Rands Slam Winner
Offense is a very interesting archetype in the current USM OU metagame. With most offensive Pokemon hitting incredibly hard, and some breakers, such as Kartana and Ash-Greninja, being able to snowball through teams, it can't be overstated how much even an offensive team needs a solid defensive backbone. Luckily, the tier is home to three of the absolute best Pokemon for this kind of stuff, being Landorus-Therian, Rotom-Wash and Magearna.
These Pokemon are extremely useful on Offensive teams thanks to their ability to easily eat hits, and more importantly, utilize Volt Switch and U-turn to bring in frailer offensive teammates. This is something we've seen a lot in the last SPL, due to how effective Lele + Zam offensive teams are at ripping through the metagame. A very common team last SPL ran Lele, Alakazam, Kartana and the aforementioned Defensive-Pivot core of Landorus, Magearna and Rotom.
However, this core is obviously something we've seen a lot recently, and I wanted to build a kind of Offense that wasn't going to rely on the usual core (or sets, since this team features Landorus and Magearna), to try and go with a different structure.
For this, I wanted to experiment with an underutilized Mega Pokemon that we don't see a lot in OU, and for good reasons that I'm going to elaborate on later: Pinsir.
Pinsir is a very interesting Pokemon in this metagame. It has access to the very coveted coverage of Flying+Fighting, a trait only shared by Tornadus-Therian and Hawlucha in OU. Hawlucha being relegated to HO teams with Koko, and Offensive Tornadus being on the rarer side these days, Pinsir stands out as a very prominent offensive threat in the metagame. It also packs very valuable traits: its access to STAB Quick Attack boosted by Aerilate make it a very good revenge killer, for weakened faster Pokemon like Serperior, Greninja, Mega Alakazam and Mega Lopunny. Furthermore, its defensive typing, and great physical bulk of 65-120 help it set-up a Swords Dance in the face of otherwise dangerous Pokemon, such as Choice-locked Tapu Bulu and Kartana, while acting like a good Landorus-Therian (not packing Stone Edge, obviously) check.
However, life is unfair, and all Pokemon aren't created equal. Pinsir obviously has a very crippling Stealth Rocks weakness, often requiring Defog support from multiple teammates. While its Speed isn't bad, reaching 339 with a +Speed nature, it's still outsped by Kartana, Latias, Greninja and Tornadus, to name a few. Lastly, even though Aerilate-boosted Returns hit like trucks, Pinsir will often need to set-up to punch a hole in the opposition, which can be a daunting task in a lot of situations, especially with rocks up.
I initially built this team for a french team tour, really liked using it, and ended up improving it a lot to reach what I believe is the best team I've ever built in this tier. I used it every round to great success to win teal cup I recently (even though I used a completely different team in finals).
BOOTS WITH THE FUR (Pinsir-Mega) @ Pinsirite
Ability: Hyper Cutter (Aerilate)
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
- Swords Dance
- Quick Attack
- Close Combat
Pinsir is, as you can imagine, the wincond for this team. As stated before, it's a very potent offensive threat, being very difficult to deal with for many defensive teams because of Pin's coverage, access to SD to break even the bulkiest Defensive Pokemon, like Skarmory and Scizor, and priority to threaten faster, frailer opposing Pokemon. Its ability to easily bypass a common defensive core of Ferrothorn + Toxapex, and it being able to use Defensive Landorus-Therian as free entry and set-up are extremely valuable to the rest of the team. It's a very straightforward Pokemon that might require some agressive doubles to enter the field, and some high-risk, high-reward plays to set-up or break an opposing defensive core. However, Pinsir comes with its fair share of problems as well. Its comparatively low speed and inability to break Zapdos in particular make it a very match-up fishy Pokemon overall. However, with a bit of team support, MegaPin can very easily be an absolute nightmare to deal with for your opponent, especially when paired with Victini, and Magnezone.
THAT'S WHAT I LIKE (Victini) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Victory Star
EVs: 216 HP / 76 Atk / 216 Spe
- Final Gambit
Victini is a great addition to Offense and Hyper Offense teams thanks to its ability to grab quick KOs with Final Gambit. In this situation, this specific set allows you to bait and get rid of very annoying Pokemon for your team, like the aforementioned Zapdos, as well as mons like Rotom-Wash, Latias, Latios, Gliscor, Swampert-Mega and Clefable. 216 EVs in HP allow Victini to reach 395 HP, guaranteeing the KO with Final Gambit on Max HP Base 95. Victini is a great Alakazam-Mega check as well, KOing it with V-Create. Victini can also switch into Lele, its Speed investment allowing it to outspeed 95 Base Speed Scarf users. Trick helps vs fatter teams, and U-turn is there to gain momentum after switching into the likes of Magearna, Ferrothorn, and Lele.
TALK TO THEM (Magnezone) @ Electrium Z
Ability: Magnet Pull
EVs: 80 Def / 252 SpA / 176 Spe
IVs: 30 Atk
- Flash Cannon
- Hidden Power [Fire]
Zone is perhaps the absolute best partner for Pinsir. Its ability to get rid of the few Steel-types Pinsir can't beat is invaluable, and its defensive capabilities allow it to check Koko, and Zapdos not packing Heat Wave. It's also a great Tornadus switch-in, since most of them don't run Fighting coverage nowadays. Its Speed investent allow it to outpace Mega Scizor and Mega Mawile, and the rest is put into Defense to ensure Zone can eat hits from the likes of Mawile and Kartana. If you're facing Zapdos, try and keep the Z-Move to force it out with Rocks up, as it will usually be your best way of dealing with Zap. Volt Switch can be run over Substitute, but it makes dealing with Ferrothorn a little bit harder. Steelium isn't a bad option either, since it helps you dent or straight up KO Garchomp, Landorus and Gliscor, but Electrium is prefered to threaten a larger amount of Pokemon.
THEY DON'T BLEED (Tapu Fini) @ Leftovers
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 248 HP / 16 Def / 48 SpD / 196 Spe
Fini is a very nice addition to this team, providing much needed support. While acting like a Greninja and Heatran switch in, Tapu Fini is a great Defog user for this team; utilizing Taunt and either of Moonblast and Scald to weaken defensive Pokemon that would be annoying to Pinsir such as, you guessed it, Zapdos and Koko. Fini is also your only Water resist on the team, meaning Rain teams can be a bit difficult to deal with. However, Victini can quite easily lure in Swampert to Final Gambit it, making Magnezone much more threatening, and Fini can simply click Scald against rain teams, making it very difficult to play around, especially if Ferrothorn has been dealt with. Fini isn't the best Defog user around, since it's weak to Toxic Spikes, so be very careful if your opponent can set them up with Toxapex, or Protean Greninja. Nature's Madness can be ran over Scald, but burning the likes of Swampert (outside of Terrain) and Zapdos can very much open up Pinsir for a sweep.
AM I CRYING? (Magearna) @ Leftovers
EVs: 248 HP / 28 Def / 232 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Pain Split
- Heart Swap
- Flash Cannon
This Magearna set is a swiss-army knife of utility, while being an offensive threat on its own. It is our dedicated Tapu Lele & Alakazam switch in, while being able to take on Latias and Calm Mind Reuniclus with Heart Swap. Volt Switch allows it to pivot on the aforementioned threats, and Pain Split help it stay healthy against bulkier teams. Flash Cannon is your designated STAB move to immediately threaten Pokemon like Tapu Bulu, Tapu Lele and opposing offensive Magearna. More importantly, Magearna is your dedicated Serperior switch in, since Heart Swap bypasses Substitute, allowing you to steal its boosts, even if you used Defog while Serp switched into Fini. AV Magearna is a decent option as well, making dealing with rain much easier, since Magearna can quite easily switch into Greninja, even with Rain-boosted Hydro Pumps.
FCK THE CLUB UP (Landorus-Therian) (M) @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 204 Def / 52 Spe
- Stealth Rock
- Hidden Power [Fire]
Landorus is the last member of the team, giving us a Ground Immunity, an Electric Immunity, a Kartana switch in, Stealth Rocks and a way to deal with faster physical threats. This Lando set is my absolute favorite, since it destroys Kartana while chipping at Ferrothorn and Scizor with Hidden Power Fire. Defog can be an option on U-turn but I'm not a fan of Rocks + Defog, and Lando's main role is to pivot on physical attackers. This specific EV spread allows you to outspeed Jolly Crawdaunt, as well as Choice Band Tapu Bulu. Hidden Power Ice is another option to deal with Garchomp which can otherwise be a pretty big threat to this team, while hitting opposing Landorus-Therian as well, but I really like Hidden Power Fire to smack Kartana. Stone Edge is also a decent option to deal with Zapdos (yes, again), but it's overall inferior to both Hidden Powers.
As you probably understood, Electric types in general are a big, big problem for a team based on Pinsir-Mega. Most movesets can be tweaked to get a better match-up against them, but your best bet is usually to try and bait them with Victini. Leading Victini against a Rotom-Wash team can often be very useful to snipe it turn 1, but it's a very high-risk / high-reward play. Magnezone can switch into all of these Pokemon and force them out with the threat of a Z-Move, so utilizing Magnezone's capabilities with Rocks up is a great, effective way to put these Pokemon in range of Pinsir, although be careful of Static on Zapdos as always.
Every team in SM OU is a bit weak to Garchomp and this one is no exception to this. Once again, sniping Garchomp with Victini, or changing some movepools to put Hidden Power Ice on Landorus, or giving Magnezone a Steelium Z is the best way to deal with it. Fini is a decent option to check it as well, easily putting it in range of Earthquake from Landorus, or Return / Quick Attack from Pinsir after a single Moonblast.
Rain isn't the worst match-up this team has due to Victini being hilariously excellent against rain with the threat of Electric + Fire coverage, allowing you to easily Final Gambit on Swampert to remove it. Most rain teams don't have a Flying resist either, making Pinsir a huge problems for this archetype, especially with Rocks up. Fini is your only Water resist and should primarily be used to check Greninja, but it can also stomach hits from Swampert to put it in range of Return, or a +2 Quick Attack.