i'd take the past and make it straight
The PDC Show
This has been my more or less serious team for the past year or so, with its origins in last years World Cup, where a version of it was used in the finals of World Cup by BKC. For the most part the team hasn't changed from it's original version, but overall I feel that it simply cannot get any farther from where it is now. With Landorus-I banned now it seems that there really isn't much else that can be done to improve the team. This team is pretty interesting in using some unusual sets in separate versions, which do particularly well in today's metagame. Although this team does not have too many credentials to be shown, I definitely do feel that it is one of my favorite teams I built in this Generation. Although it is coming to a close, I must say it was a generation for opportunity and a huge metagame shift. I have considered peaking the ladder with this team, but it really doesn't matter too much anymore due to way the Pokemon Showdown ladder functions with the typical way of screwing you over, which it has done to me many times before. I can't say for sure if this team will be able to function very well anymore with the removal of one of it's prime members and surprises, but maybe it will, i'm not quite sure.
Although the team itself is not very hard to use, to overcome match-ups it must have to be played properly or else it will fail. The main crux of the team is the power LO Gastrodon holds. Surprisingly it does very well against Rain, especially the one that was prominent in BW1. Rain offense is your typical enemy to the team, with Keldeo being the absolute definition of a nuke under Rain. Considering how this team functions it really is hard to keep pace with more fast and powerful teams like those, but if you are able to use Gastrodon to your advantage you will usually be off to a good start. Latias also plays a prime role in playing games with Rain due to her specialty in being a fast and powerful hitter, who really works well in weakening the opposing team. This team does very well against your standard Sand Offense which has very little answers for SashTar, who ultimately 2HKOS the majority of your members. Although it may not be the strongest hitter, it definitely pulls its own weight as a team member. Not only does it have great coverage, but it is just fast enough to outrun things like Landorus-T and take it out in a surprise. All you need to do with this team is basically control the momentum and hazards those types get, and if you minimize it you will always have an advantage.
Sand-Offense has always been a solid style, but recently it has turned to a more defensive style with Hippowdon being more and more recognized as an amazing Pokemon. Tyranitar I feel doesn't really pull off a Choice Band set or Specially Defensive set as it used to be able too, so a mixed set or Scarf set is really your best option to run. Most fragile offensive teams struggle to take it out in one shot due to Focus Sash, and because of the anti-lead prowess Tyranitar does hold, it is definitely a staple on offensive teams. There is really not a set way to make an offensive team, and because of that you get a lot of variables. It's not as easy as it was at the end of BW1 where you could simply make a sand team that would peak the ladder by using Tyranitar + Terrakion + VoltTurn core + Celebi + Scarfer. That was one of the easiest ways to peak the ladder, and many people took advantage of it. In BW2 I feel that you just can't do that anymore to as much success as you used to be able to. This team is a pretty decent representation of the standard (mostly) sand team of the day, with a few twists. Considering how it looked when it first started out a year ago, it looks like a completely different team.
I can't exactly say how the end of the metagame will be and how the Generation 6 one will be like, but most of you know how fiercely I dislike the idea of a new type being introduced, and how it will affect the next main metagame. BW2 was a very interesting adventure, and I really did enjoy it while it lasted. Considering how there were a lot of options to go by and ways to innovate to take advantage of the weather controlled metagame. For the most part Generation 5 was looked down upon from the very start after the banning of Rain was rejected, and instead Aldaron's proposal was instead enacted. Generation 6 might be a change of pace with the possible elimination of weather, or maybe it will simply remain the same with the exact same threats staying the same, and the OU tier remaining weather controlled for eternity, but for now I can say I enjoyed the ride, with this being probably the most growth filled Generation for me as a team-builder and as a player. With Negative 3 being my most successful team back in the day of Sand Veil Garchomp, I can surely say that the metagame was completely different back then, with Sand being virtually the only play-style. There is not much else to say, so as we are nearing the end of the Generation I feel it is finally time to post this team and retire it.
But first, i'll show you the team-building process.
As Far as I remember, this was the original team, at least I believe it was. It was something like this, along the lines of generic "Sand Offense". If you remember BKC's shout-out post in World Cup where here said "Make sure your only water resist isn't a Hydreigon!", this is the team he was specifically referring too. If I remember correctly, this was not even the original complete version. LizardMan used something like this and I changed it up a little and added some different Pokemon to make it a bit better for the current metagame at the time. As you cans see the team didn't change completely, but over time many members were replaced and added again as time went on. But as it stood, this was the team. Terrakion and Hydreigon made a pretty sick combo back in the days before Breloom, but that was only short-lived. I was incredibly weak to things like Rotom-W and VoltTurn, which tore me apart pretty badly. Hydreigon just didn't hold up, so it was the first to go.
I played BKC with the team and he agreed with me, I needed to get rid of Hydreigon for something bulkier, so I did. This was the team BKC used during World Cup against Lavos Spawn in the finals last year, we both agreed that it was a pretty solid team at the time and he used it. Sadly, he lost. But for the most part I still liked the team and picked it up again and tried to make it better. I did ladder with it a bit, and reached over 1400 on PO a few times, but that's as far as laddering accomplishments go. This team loved the Spinner + Rotom-W combination in addition with the rest offensive core, but it didn't hold up too much against sun, which was a problem at the time, and still is one today simply because of how threatening Volcorona and Chlorophyll is. I felt this team needed a few edits to make it a bit better, so I took tried to edit it over the rest of the year, but it really didn't benefit me too much. I put it down for a little while, and then got back at it and tried the team out again. This is where I edited in Gastrodon and Jirachi back in, trying to get the team back to where it was success wise. I used ScarfJirachi along with SR Tyranitar with the addition of DoubleDanceScor.
I edited in Gastrodon and changed up the team a bit, and this is where I realized that Gastrodon was an amazing Pokemon to use. The water immunity gave me a beautiful synergistic advantage, and considering how well it did pair with the rest of my rather bulky-water weak team, I felt it did a bit better than Rotom-W did in its spot. Double Dance Gliscor and Scarf Jirachi along with Stealth Rock limiting Tyranitar a bit, so I decided to dump Gliscor which just wasn't doing that well as a sweeper, even with Agility and Swords Dance to act as a opportunity sweeper, and instead gave that role to Terrakion, who could do it just as well, if not better. I put Landorus-I in its spot, and thats how I got the current version of the team. This freed the team a bit and gave me a check to Volc which was greatly appreciated.
This is how I arrived at the final product.
Tyranitar (M) @ Focus Sash
Trait: Sand Stream
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
- Ice Beam
- Fire Blast
- Stealth Rock / Crunch / Thunderbolt / Taunt / Earthquake
- Low Kick
Tyranitar is an amazing lead for sand offense and is usually my primary choice for leading against other Sand Teams and weatherless. For the most part weather-less teams don't like facing a mixed Tyranitar set that can usually deal heavy damage to everything on their team. Slower teams struggle with killing Tyranitar due to the speed I give it, and the ability to simply hit everything for high damage for the exception of bulky waters. Bulky Sand-Stall has a lot of trouble handling Tyranitar, and because of that it can give me a huge early game advantage. There are only a few Pokemon that can really handle Tyranitar due to it's Focus Sash, and sadly they are relatively common, but usually they will not risk the lead. Sash Breloom is really the only guaranteed way to beat SashTar, but outside of that not much else has a great match-up. Because I don't run Stealth Rock on Tyranitar I usually gain the advantage against other lead Garchomp and Terrakion, and considering how most think Garchomp can scare Tyranitar away, they will usually be taken out Turn 1. Because not many Tyranitar run Ice Beam anymore surprise is very crucial, and a designated Lead with Focus Sash is very vital to the teams success.
For weather leads, the only ones I really have to worry about are Politoed and Ninetails. Politoed can easily force out Tyranitar, so I will probably not send it out Turn 1 for the most part because I know I will be at a disadvantage. Ninetails can burn Tyranitar and shut it down, but because of the threat of a Choice Scarf or Choice Band Stone Edge they will usually be a bit weary to Will-O-Wisp Turn 1. Other Tyranitar are a bit easier to take out Turn 1, and for the most part they don't expect a Low Kick Turn 1. And because of the Focus Sash I don't need to worry about a Speed tie or a Choice Scarf Superpower just in case. Although most teams that do carry Tyranitar are in trouble from the start due to the ability to break most standard Sand Teams pretty easily. Sand Offense struggles against Tyranitar and because of the coverage it has, paired with decent prediction, can weaken and shut down Sand Offense from the start. Although it is not guaranteed to gain an advantage, you will for the most part keep Stealth Rock off the field for the start of the game. Teams like Wish Upon A Blackstar are great examples of Sand Offense in the current metagame, and how well Tyranitar preforms against them. Specially Defensive Hippowdon is really the only way these bulkier teams can guaranteed shut down Tyranitar, as Physically Bulky ones are much more susceptible to an Ice Beam.
When starting the team I felt Hippowdon was a pretty decent option due to my weakness to Terrakion and the way it could quite easily sweep my team with little effort. Hippowdon can be placed on a variety of teams in this metagame, and because of the flexibility it garners and the strength it gives to Sand is amazing. You basically have a fully powerful physical wall which can easily handle Physical Dragons, Fighting Types, and many other powerful Physical threats. A fail-safe of sorts, Hippowdon works very well on most teams, but the reason I wanted to use Tyranitar was because of how well it does against these Hippowdon teams. Physically bulky ones get 2HKO'd by Ice Beam from the very start, and Specially Defensive versions, which are becoming more and more uncommon, are really the only way to stop Tyranitar. Tyranitar is a very solid Pokemon, and it has shifted greatly from the pure defensive role it had in the start of BW, to the more offensive and speedy ones in the current metagame. Some teams struggle to actually defeat Tyranitar due to the Focus Sash, and this is where Hippowdon does not reach my expectations. For this team to work it needs to have a very good offense to start, and with the ability to break common Sand-Stall is an amazing virtue.
The spread is rather simple, the main purpose it has is to break up offensive and stall teams early in the game. I have tried to use a different and slower spread with a Rash nature to make sure I get some vital 2HKOs early in the game, but by using that spread I lose the early advantage against Landorus-T, which I don't out-speed otherwise. Tyranitar is a very strong Pokemon and it needs all the speed it can get, and as long as I get the early-game lead advantage I can almost always get a very strong start, which sets momentum for the rest of my team. Tyranitar is very needed for at least luring in and weakening the opponents team early game, and without it I will almost always be loosing some offensive momentum. There are multiple options I have used and tried on Tyranitar, but the above spread I feel is the most successful and simplistic. Fire Blast destroys other steels like Skarmory, Ferrothorn, and Scizor early game. A very good surprise to most Scizor is how I out-speed them, even fast Swords Dance versions. If I can take them out early game I am almost guaranteed a good chance to sweep with Terrakion, or clean up with Landorus-I. Outside of Specially Defensive Hippowdon, Scarf Jirachi is another lead that I have problems with because of the fast U-Turn it holds and the speedy Iron Head. Even Specially Defensive Jirachi are big problems for Tyranitar because of how they sometimes out-speed and how Fire Blast can't 2HKO. If I am faster however, I can 3HKO it, but that is usually very rare and it is quite hard to control and guess correctly. Stealth Rock is the main first option simply because of how it allows Jirachi to now check Scizor, and Tyranitar doesn't mind it too much overall.
The last thing I can really say is how Tyranitar is a very flexible Pokemon, but this set does have some very notorious flaws. This is an early game threat that, if it doesn't get sent out early or doesn't have the opportunity to be, it will struggle to hold its ground as an offensive threat later on, especially if Stealth Rock is up. The Focus Sash really makes this Tyranitar valuable. I have tried Expert Belt on this set previously, and although the added power is nice, it just doesn't gain too much and without Focus Sash I lose a lot of lead momentum and Terrakion and Garchomp can now safely beat me while getting Stealth Rock up at the same time. I still don't gain the 2HKO on Specially Defensive Hippowdon unless I switch to a Rash nature, but the chance is very slim and I just don't feel it gives me enough of an advantage. I rarely need to use Crunch as not many Gengar and Latias will be switching into Tyranitar, so I have switched it for other moves such as Taunt, Earthquake, Stealth Rock on other versions, and Thunderbolt for lead Politoed, which works very well. Politoed struggles to handle lead Tyranitar, and because you do out-speed most offensive versions bar Scarf, and the defensive version cannot KO you, you are at a very high advantage if you can avoid the Burn. Thunderbolt is definitely a very concerning option as I just don't use Crunch as much as I would like too. Playing mind-games with Politoed with Thunderbolt + Gastrodon is a sure way to win the weather war, and it works very well in most cases.
Terrakion @ Babiri Berry / Shuca Berry
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
- Close Combat
- Stone Edge
- Rock Polish
- Swords Dance
Terrakion is really just unbelievable, it hasn't changed much at all during the first part of BW, but now it has turned into a total monster. Terrakion is a very vital part of my team as a wall-breaker, and bane of offensive teams that are seen so much in the current metagame. Double Dance Terrakion is a bit of a rarity nowadays, often being overshadowed by Substitute Salac Berry or Rock Gem Substitute, but I really do think this particular set works the best on the team. Although Terrakion is a bit overdone, it definitely pulls its own weight on this team especially. The way Terrakion can tear through standard stall or offensive teams is unbelievable, and how it has a great team-match up against virtually any team is amazing. Offensive teams are usually a little trouble for Terrakion due to the amount of priority used on them, and that's where the item comes in to give Terrakion a crucial advantage against Scizor and Scarf Jirachi if need be. I will go into that in more depth later, but for now i'll explain how useful Terrakion is when it is used correctly against other styles of teams. Seeing its first initial popularity in late BW1, Terrakion evolved into a top tier threat which was previously less-recognized in what it could do. An amazing sand-sweeper and decent lead, Terrakion embodies the typical Sand-Sweeper in the current BW2 metagame. Although very predictable, Terrakion can run a few surprises up it's sleeve, and usually that surprise comes from its item. not it's moves.
Terrakion is known as a great sweeper, but because of it's typing is rather weak against common priority like Mach Punch and Bullet Punch, while it can't just muscle past stall's defensive threats by itself. This is why I custom fitted Terrakion to trick and defeat most of it's common checks and counters in the metagame. The set I made is custom made to defeat it's common counters, and while its not that original, it is certainly not seen to often in the current metagame either. Double Dance is not seen that much anymore, and because of that it is a bit unexpected, and that is what makes it great. It doesn't fail me very often and is a very opportunistic Pokemon that preys on the opponents team and gains an advantage. Although I can't always be at an advantage, Babiri Berry and Shuca Berry give me two distinct advantages depending on the team. Offensive teams with either Scarf Jirachi or Scizor can easily be countered with Babiri Berry if Terrakion is at good enough health, and after a Rock Polish Jirachi can be easily lured in and killed, while Scizor can come in on the switch and be taken out. Babiri Berry is something that should definitely be used a lot more due to its use in the current metagame, but of course it is not the only option to use, as usually it only works very well against more offensive teams in the first place.
The second option I use on Terrakion is Shuca Berry to combat more defensive teams which usually carry Hippowdon and Skarmory. For the most part, depending on Hippowdon's health, and the rest of the team, I can make a decision to either Swords Dance or Rock Polish in case I need too. Specially Defensive Hippowdon are in trouble if they think they will get past this Terrakion alive, same with more Specially oriented Skarmory. If they Earthquake they are in for a big surprise, especially if Hippowdon is even slightly weakened or they lack anything else to outspeed it. There is really nothing they can do at this point, especially if I got the Swords Dance on the switch as well. You can get to +4 with ease, although this is rarely needed if the rest of the team is sufficiently weakened. You can just get to +2 and then Close Combat twice, and thanks to Shuca Berry, you don't face the consequences of being taken out as long as you hold enough bulk. You get to break down defensive teams fairly easily, and because of that you can gain a quick advantage, especially if the opposing team is weakened enough. Terrakion made a vicious partner with Scarfed Landorus-I because usually after the offensive walls are broken down, it can deal quite a large amount of damage itself.
Terrakion of course has many other options aside from these two items however, and I have experimented with many others including Rock Gem, Chople Berry, Life Orb, and the now rarely seen Air Balloon. While originally Air Balloon would seem like the much better option instead of Shuca Berry, I hate how you have to be untouched in order for it to be used, and that has been troublesome in the past. Shuca Berry in my opinion is very useful, and it has been displayed before with things like Jirachi, who uses Shuca much more effectively than Air Balloon. While of course Double Dance would appreciate the extra power from Life Orb, I don't like Terrakion being worn down very fast and being so susceptible to priority moves in general, especially due to the common weakness to them. Chople Berry is also very helpful in defeating and acting as a possible back-up check to Breloom, which Terrakion does surprisingly well. Although I think that Babiri is a bit more effective just because of how Scizor and Jirachi are a bit more common than Breloom, but it is definitely worth considering.
My favorite part of Terrakion is how it can use its predictability to its advantage, being able to exploit its average checks and eliminate them easily. Although there is nothing special about this set, Terrakion can definitely do very well as a wall-breaker and a counter to standard offense. Terrakion does very well against Sun along with Rain Hyper-Offense. While Terrakion can run a majority of very solid sets, I feel Double Dance and Choice Band are by far the most opportunistic out of them all. Double Dance for one can set-up on all different styles of teams depending on their shape, while Choice Band in general is just incredibly strong. There is really nothing that can take a hit from it very safely, and because of that it was definitely considered over the current set I run on Terrakion. Although Choice Band has not been extremely popular since the end of BW1, it is definitely a pleasant surprise for your opponent when it deals a huge amount of damage to most bulky walls like Jellicent, Hippowdon, and Skarmory. Terrakion was the second Pokemon I added to the team simply because of how a Sand Offense team basically demands it due to it's power and wall-breaking abilities.
Jirachi @ Leftovers
Trait: Serene Grace
EVs: 252 HP / 32 Spd / 224 SDef
- Fire Punch / Stealth Rock
- Iron Head
- Toxic / Body Slam
Your typical standard Jirachi here, and it is nothing that special. Even though I love specially defensive Jirachi and it has been one of my favorite Pokemon to use this generation simply because of how annoying it is for my opponent to face and how it can wall such a large portion of the metagame, cripple anything that switches in, and then gain momentum through U-Turn. This Jirachi specifically used to be a Scarfed version, but I decided my team would fall apart to easily and just wasn't really worth keeping. ScarfJirachi works amazingly, but it just didn't work that well on my team because of the lack of a defensive backbone. Specially Defensive Jirachi, while very predictable, is a very key player to how the team works. Stealth Rock is placed on him instead of Tyranitar, but of course it can be interchanged and Jirachi can used a completely different set entirely. Jirachi for the most part can't hurt too much directly, but it sure can cripple a lot of things. Body Slam is obligatory to Jirachi, although some people prefer Thunder Wave due to the guaranteed paralysis. However, I feel that Body Slam is just as good because you actually get the chance to hit things like Landorus-T, Garchomp, Hippowdon, and the previously legal Landorus-I. The actual damage, however how slight is also a pretty cool bonus.
Jirachi at the start of the Generation was one of my favorite Pokemon to use, because it was basically forced upon yourself to be used. It really had to have been a defensive version at the time of Sand Veil Garchomp, Reuniclus Thunderus-I, and Excadrill. An offensive version was just not plausible and would struggle to be used. Although it would have been a very good way to break through common balanced core Gliscor / Jirachi / Rotom-W cores pretty decently well for a mixed version, Excadrill and the rest would just use it as a reliability. Shuca Berry would have worked of course, and it does surprise me how it was not used as much as it could have been. But like I said, because of Thunderus-I and the huge rise of Reuniclus at the time, most teams needed a check to these offensive giants. While Jirachi could not guaranteed beat Reuniclus every time, it was the closest thing at the time to a counter to it. Although Jirachi was really not that sturdy of a counter or check even to begin with, as being even slightly wakened put it in a very unfavorable position. Jirachi's style of play slowly evolved into being the flag-ship of undisputed's Rain Stall team which absolutely destroyed the ladder at the time, abusing Calm Mind under Rain to destroy common teams with it's gift of hax. Nowadays Jirachi is used in a infinite amount of ways due to its beautiful move-pool. Mixed lure sets to kill its counters and open holes, offensive Calm Minders to cripple and tear apart defensive teams, and Choice Scarf sets to revenge kill and act as in general annoying forces to deal with due to it's omnipresent Iron Head. Toxic is now beside Body Slam slash wise for reasons like crippling and slowly widdling down Pokemon like Landorus-T, Jellicent, and Rotom-W which can trouble the team later on. Toxic Jirachi is a worthwhile option and definitely something that is considerably useful.
This spread is fairly standard because this Jirachi doesn't really gain much from being a bit more offensive or fast, it harms it more than anything else. Jirachi needs to be this bulky in order to tank Life Orb Draco Meteors and Outrages that may come its way. Standard and completely ripped of the site, this offers nothing original to the team, but what it does offer is amazing synergy and a great way to gain momentum. Surprisingly U-Turn is not used too often on Specially Defensive Jirachi, usually preferred for for Wish or Fire Punch. While Fire Punch is definitely worth while, especially for breaking down steels like Ferrothorn and Scizor, along with other Jirachi when they're not under Rain, I prefer U-Turn just a bit more. Wish is also a good option, and it is something I have considered as well just because of the healing benefits it grants me and my team. Jirachi doesn't fall easily anyway, so Wish isn't to necessary to be used, and because of how I would have to give up something in place of it, I just feel it wouldn't give me as much of a advantage as I would like it too. I have tested different spreads also to make it faster than things like max speed Scizor and Breloom, but usually it doesn't benefit me too much, especially if I am not running Fire Punch along with the extra speed.
The main purpose for Jirachi on this team is not to be an all-out offensive killer, and because of how Jirachi is built it does seem like it would slow down the momentum of the mostly offensive team a bit, especially when being compared to Terrakion and Gastrodon instead. But anything with U-Turn isn't really slowing anything down, and although Jirachi can often be a bit of a Stealth Rock bait itself sometimes, getting it up myself and then U-Turning out if very crucial and often will keep me on top despite a slow-down with Jirachi. The best thing about Jirachi is that it is almost always doing something, and unless the opponent has Skarmory of Forretress, I can usually at least hit something and cripple it considerably with Paralysis. Almost all of my successful teams this Generation have used Specially Defensive Jirachi, dating back to when I used my Thunderus-I team when we were still testing Blaziken. Negative 3 also worked very well with Jirachi, although that was a bit slower of a team overall compared to this one, which relied more on hazard support and paralysis hax paired with Sand Veil more than anything else. Of course Jirachi is not helping break any walls, but it definitely does hold a huge part in containing the problem with strong special dragons that otherwise just absolutely can blow through this team because of how fragile and death-prone Tyranitar is.
You cannot measure Jirachi by its accomplishments through killing the opponents team, more in the way it aids the rest of the team in executing it. Providing Stealth Rock, priceless momentum to Terrakion and Gastrodon, and overall just crippling everything that comes it way one way or another with Paralysis. Jirachi is simply amazing, and because of how good it preforms on every team I put it on no matter the set, it was definitely a good option to place it on this team as a more defensive role than an offensive one because of the needed bulk it offers to the team. A bit of a slow-down is necessary, and for the amount of threats Jirachi handles it is simply amazing how well it does in the current metagame. Of course there are other options depending on how you alter the team, with either a more offensive version with or without Stealth Rock to help aid Terrakion in sweeping. It's good comes in the long run most of the time, and how well it preforms can change depending on team match-up it faces, where sometimes it literally does nothing but set up Stealth Rock, while other times it provides a crucial role in either taking out or walling certain threats that pose a huge threat to the team one way or another.
Gastrodon (F) @ Life Orb
Trait: Storm Drain
EVs: 160 HP / 36 Def / 252 SAtk / 60 SDef
- Earth Power
- Ice Beam
Gatrodon is one of my favorite trump-card of sorts against teams. While usually overlooked as and offensive water-type by Starmie, Keldeo, and Rotom-W, Gastrodon brings the team something else that no other Pokemon really can. A water immunity and a huge amount of pressure on the opponent by clicking Hydro Pump or Scald, which don't affect Gastrodon at all, in fact they help it tremendously if anything. After a Special Attack boost Gastrodon absolutely annihilates some teams with proper prediction, and due to its decent enough bulk, it can live a Draco Meteor if it is healthy enough from things like Latias, which are usually most peoples first response to things like it. A +1 Surf, Earth Power, or Ice Beam paired with Life is devastating the most offensive teams, and defensive ones lacking Ferrothorn or a special wall are in deep trouble if they give Gastrodon a +1 boost or a free switch. With solid enough coverage, Gastrodon doesn't face too many counters. Thunder-Wave Rotom-W can't touch it (although that craze has seemed to die down quite a bit), and the only real counter I have seen to Gastrodon is either Toxic Stalling it or Specially Defensive Celebi, which if weakened still needs to be weary of an Ice Beam on the switch. Gastrodon brings so much to the table, and because of that it definitely deserves to be classified much higher on the Viability list than it is now. While the defensive set is definitely viable, it just isn't as effective as Life Orb Gastrodon in my opinion. It is much weaker and is a much bigger set-up fodder for things like Ferrothorn, Skarmory, and Forretress. While Life Orb Gastrodon just forces them out limiting their hazards they set up very nicely.
The reason I praise Life Orb Gastrodon so much is because of how it has such a large team advantage against some teams in general. You can prepare against Keldeo, Rotom-W, and even Starmie in some cases, but Life Orb Gastrodon is completely different. It can actually beat out some over-confident Ferrothorn users on the switch if it is even moderately weakened, something that only Keldeo can otherwise do. And considering how much more fragile Keldeo is to weather like SandStorm, I didn't feel it could fit on this team very well. When I was looking for a water type I wanted something that could actually handle other water types and did not mind getting Scald Burned, so I picked Gastrodon which took Scald into a reliability. Once it grabs a boost from Scald you can't stop it. Starmie, even offensive versions, can't touch it and just give it another way to Recover if they lack Psyshock. Standard Defensive versions are no problem either, and they have to be very careful when switching in and throwing around Scald in hopes of burning something. You can force the opponent not to Scald and click Hydro Pump just because you have Gastrodon, which is something you can't really do with any other Pokemon in the current metagame. For the most part Gastrodon is a very vital part of the team due to my need for a good solid water resist that doesn't get too buffered by SandStorm, which Gastrodon doesn't get bothered by at all, and is bulky enough that it can handle itself, which Recover provides.
Speaking of mind games, Gastrodon works very well against Politoed when paired with Tyranitar, especially if Tyranitar is using Thundrbolt. Although a bit gimmicky, Thunderbolt is a definitely worthwile option, and paired with Gastrodon he can help you win the weather war as soon as the game starts. Usually, if the opponent is running defensive Politoed, they will Toxic as soon as they see Gastrodon, as they know they cannot afford to give it a Scald boost so early in the game. This way I can Thunderbolt relatively safely and get off some early game damage to Toed, and then go out to Gastrodon while they most likely don't Toxic again. Even though Tyranitar may be crippled, it is on a slight blemish, and it definitely helps me winning the weather war from the very start. From that point on I make it a top priority to set up Stealth Rock and make sure I continue to pressure Politoed harshly, because at this point it lacks a very reliable way of getting in on the team. Gastrodon is really a great Pokemon which plays a crucial role on this team, and because of how I play it, you can psychologically pressure the opponent into making certain moves into your favor, which using Gastrodon should really be all about. A underused threat, Gastrodon deserves more attention in the limelight of OU, and hopefully this is what this RMT will accomplish.
The spread I use on Gastrodon is a bit strange, and seems a bit misplaced to most people, but what it really does is give me a bit extra physical and special bulk while still giving me the most offensive power possible. The standard one on site does not accomplish as much as this one does, surviving things like Gengar Shadow Balls more comfortably and tanking extra stray hits. Luckily Gastrodon has a huge HP stat to back up it's rather average defenses, if it were any lower it would definitely be in trouble otherwise. I have to thank LizardMan specifically for this spread, as it is much more efficient EV wise than the standard one on site I was previously using. Of course, Gastrodon is not a bulky wall, and it has to be treated that way no matter how high it's HP stat is. Gastrodon is not fragile, but it does have trouble handling things like Keldeo, which can overpower it if it gets a Secret Sword on it in advance, but usually Latias is used to handle them for the most part due to it's faster speed and stronger moves against it. I find that too many people just throw Gastrodon in on any suspected Hydro Pump or Scald, but that is usually not a good idea. You need Gastrodon healthy if you want to keep it alive, and because of it's subpar bulk, if you predict and play incorrectly you can come out of a situation worse than when you started. Gastrodon is not a physical wall or tank, and as much as you may think you can play it as one, you really can't with this particular Life Orb set.
Gastrodon is a force to be reckoned with, and although you may think Keldeo would do a better job as an offensive water type, this team definitely needs something bulky enough take Scalds and Hydro Pumps and absorb them, otherwise I would fall apart to Rain teams. Gastrodon also does pretty well against Sun surprisingly thanks to powerful Earth Powers and Ice Beams which pressure Sun's threats to an extent where they can't safely switch in. Sand teams usually struggle against Gastrodons coverage, and if they lack something like Celebi they are in a lot of trouble. Latias isn't a very sturdy counter to Gastrodon under sand, and especially in conjunction with Life Orb. Overall, I feel Gastrodon is a very interesting option on this team and it does a very good job by playing mind-games with the opponent and making them think twice before they click Hydro Pump or Scald. Gastrodon has been getting better and better as BW2 goes on, and if Keldeo does get banned next round, I feel Gastrodon will have yet another reason to be used.
Latias (F) @ Life Orb
EVs: 72 HP / 184 SAtk / 252 Spd
- Draco Meteor
- Sleep Talk / Psycho Shift / Thunder Wave / Hidden Power Fire
Latias is a commodity on sand offense nowadays. Due to Keldeo and Landorus-I's immense popularity, it became a staple on almost all teams and basically is a one-size-fits-all kind of Pokemon due to it's resists, speed, and solid attacking power. It is good at what it does, and can fit on basically all teams. Thanks to its bulk Latias handles a plethora of threats that would otherwise threaten this team to no end. Of course Keldeo can still work its way around Latias, but luckily I can usually avoid that before it happens. For the most part Latias is an irreplaceable member due to her amazing viability in this metagame. There is not a Pokemon that does as many things as Latias can do. Although she doesn't preform as well against stall, she definitely pulls her own weight against offense, especially ones that carry Keldeo. Latias is still a bit under-used though, and its really a shame. Latios, although stronger, gets 2HKO'd way to easily, and just can't hold its own weight against more powerful threats, especially in conjunction with Life Orb and SandStorm. Too many people think Latias only sticks to a defensive role like it previously used to in the start of Gen 5. I have to thank TGMD for really introducing this to my eyes, and because of his Stoutland team it made this set extremely popular. Recently it has started to fade away a bit, and although it may not be as amazing as it once was, especially with a seemingly surge of Tyranitar popularity, especially in tournaments, it still holds its ground very well. Sometimes, a Pursuit or Crunch can even work in my favor.
Offensive Latias brings 2 special things to the table, bulk, and a decent amount of pure strength. The spread I use if I believe hits a Life Orb number, while outside of that it doesn't give me anything special. The move-set I run is a bit more particular though, and thanks to Latias's movepool, it can run a lot of different moves in support of my team. Draco Meteor, Recover, and Psyshock are all givens, they basically guarantee Latias gets the job done. However, what is usually Surf, is very interchangeable and can be replaced by a myriad of different moves. My first option was not my own idea, in fact it was from an old team back in DPPt Era. panamaxis used a Psycho Shift Latias on his old offensive team back in Gen 4. This inspired me because I always get Latias burned by random Scalds flying around in Rain, just in case Gastrodon is either too weak or a bit too risky to switch in, Latias is usually my second option. Although a sturdy water resist, status is one of its biggest weaknesses. Psycho Shift can turn it right back on the opponent, and there is no way out. Although if they have a steel it is a bit more tricky if I get a surprise Toxic, but otherwise I am usually perfectly fine in crippling the opponent with a Burn or Paralysis. Considering how Ferrothorn hates taking burns, a Rain team is very badly in danger if their main Dragon resist is at low Health. Psycho Shock destroys Rain Stall as otherwise they just can't touch Latias. Rain hates getting burns, and if I can spread them out it weakens the team as a whole. Sleep Talk is a newly added addition tied for first, as it surprises people by checking Breloom much easier. Surprisingly many people stay in on Latias, but thanks to Sleep Talk they are sure to meet an early fate. The second move I use is also quite standard in being Hidden Power Fire. This is exactly what you think its for, eliminated steels like Scizor and Ferrothorn. Not everybody expects it because Surf is a little bit more common, but overall it is just a standard option that is their because of how sometimes it can lure in a Scizor, Ferrothorn, or Jirachi on the switch. My final option is Thunder Wave, which surprisingly has caught on quite a bit and no longer is an uncommon move. Crippling and slowing down Tyranitar, Jirachi, and a plethora of other Pokemon. While none of them actually fear a Thunder Wave as they would something like a Will-O-Wisp, it still cripples everything the same.
Latias is usually my first response to fighting types, especially Terrakion and Breloom. Those two Pokemon are some of the biggest threats in the metagame and by no means are easy to take out. While sometimes I can catch Terrakion early game with Tyranitar, Breloom is definitely something different. Breloom outspeeds Gastrodon, Tyranitar, and Jirachi, while Mach Punch can do heavy damage to Terrakion, which can't really switch in. Latias and Landorus-I are really the only ones that can really revenge or handle Breloom even slightly. Breloom is very complicated to handle, and because of that I have to deal with it carefully. Latias needs to avoid being Spored for as long as possible, as it is the only thing that can guarantee to take out Breloom in 1 hit without being severely damaged. Latias has a huge advantage over Latios here because of how it can actually manage to take a boosted Mach Punch or Bullet Seed, but Breloom is something that definitely is a concern when playing against. Latias is something that is very special, but sometimes it can be overwhelmed, and that is the key problem with choosing something else like Latios. They lack the bulk to repeatedly handle threats like this over and over again.
The main thing Latias adds to the team is a bit of extra speed, bulk, and power. A Life Orb Draco Meteor hits incredibly hard, no matter whats using it. Latias doesn't even need to run max Special Attack to hit hard with it, especially considering it does more to preserve her bulk and add a bit to her HP. The funny thing is how people underestimate how strong Latias really is on an offensive set. Sometimes I will be against something like a weakened Tyranitar, nothing that far down on the health bar, but around 70% in health switching in. Draco Meteor does a huge amount, equaling out to 49-58% to standard Scarfed Tyranitar with this spread. Usually a weakened Tyranitar user will still think they have the upper hand, but that is usually quite the opposite. Like previously stated, if Tyranitar is at least moderately weak it will lose the fight, especially if it chooses to Pursuit instead of Crunching, which many Scarf Tyranitar actually do end up doing. Crunch is very risky with a Terrakion on the enemy team, and giving a boost in attack too it, especially considering when I have Rock Polish, can be very risky for most offensive teams.
Latias really is the glue that holds this team together thanks to her speed, set of resistances, and beautiful attacking power which is so unexpected. Latias can fit onto many teams and be molded into a completely different Pokemon depending on her role. Back at the start of BW1 Latias mainly was a defensive Calm Mind + Roar Pokemon that was used on stall to help against the very common Reuniclus and Blaziken at the time. Slowly Latias evolved into a bit more offensive threat with sets like Sub + Calm Mind, the LO Offensive one, and even Choice Specs which was recently utilized by Jirachi on Blackstar recently. Offensive and defensive sand alike hate Latias, and I love it. Being mostly immune to hazards, and partially tolerant of status depending on her moves, she is a vital part on this team and in the metagame. Considering how skeptical I was on this set at the start, it is a huge change in opinion from seeing it as an inferior Latios to an all new powerful Pokemon. Latias plain and simple is good at what she does, and considering how much of an impact she has made on the metagame as of yet. From almost being UU in the start of BW to being a top tier (although not completely considered by many people) threat that can do a number on many teams. While sometimes SubCM is a bit superior as it alone can completely dismantle Rain-stall teams, LO Latias is a much better check to Terrakion, especially as otherwise it can't touch it.
Landorus (M) @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Sand Force
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 Atk / 4 SAtk
- Stone Edge
- Hidden Power [Ice]
Landorus-I was the recently banned suspect, and for, as much as I regret it, a decent enough reason. Landorus-I was great at gaining momentum, acting as a superb wall-breaker, a great sweeper, and overall amazing Pokemon. The entire concept of it being banned, which it later had been, brought up the possibility of U-Turn being broken as a whole. While it was banned on a very small majority, I guess I do see the point of how the community hates this thing either way, and for a good reason. However, the set I am using is not the usual Special Sweeper that you see everywhere on the ladder, instead its an older set which was taken out of light for a little while due to Landorus-I's crazy new ability. Sand Force is a bit unexpected, and people rarely end up switching Skarmory or Forretress into Landorus-I anymore. This is a very good thing, as in the right hands Landorus-I can be a very dangerous threat, especially when the opponent switches something in that may be able to take a weak U-Turn, but not an invested one. You can really surprise a lot of people with this sets powerful U-Turns, and because of that it is amazing how a game can turn tides so quickly. When people see this team it is easy to assume that I am using ScarfTar paired with special U-Turn Landorus-I, but that is hardly the case. Landorus-I beats up a lot of the counters to Gastrodon better than any Special one could, and that's what Landorus-I instantly adds to the team as soon as it enters the battlefield.
When I was building this team, I felt that I really needed something different than a Scarfed Jirachi to revenge things. Volcorona was a huge problem, and there was just really no way to beat it once it got set up. It was a huge problem for me and I really didn't like facing it. Scarfed Landorus-I is a breath of fresh air, and I am glad to see other players are also using it. Landorus-I has to be one of the best Scarfers in the metagame, or at least used to be back when it was still fair game. Gaining momentum is key, and the way Landorus-I does it is amazing. Switch it in, hit something hard with U-Turn depending on what it is, then switch in something else to finish the job. Thanks to the helpful speed number and Ability it has, I can revenge Volcorona safely, while also beating out things like Dragonite and Salamence. In fact, most Dragonite don't even ExtremeSpeed in the first place, but even if they do, I can usually survive and KO it back with Hidden Power Ice or Stone Edge if need be. Sand Force powers up my STAB Earthquake and allows me to badly damage teams like light offense which lack a designated counter to Physical Landorus-I. I honestly felt this was a bit of an Anti-Metagame set because of how so many people completely on prepared for one Landorus-I set, and then were left completely vulnerable to this one. Whats funny is how much havoc I can really wreck in this new metagame. Back in BW1 Scarfed Landorus-I was a great Pokemon, but it really couldn't wreck to many teams. However now it gets a great unexpected factor that only helps its success as a Sweeper and Scarfer at the same time.
The set itself is pretty standard both EV wise and move wise, nothing special at all, this set doesn't need any gimmicks or surprises to be special. Its item is enough for that, and how a standard set can surprise people is just amazing. I have tried Focus Blast over Stone Edge a few times just to fake a special set a couple of time, and it is nice to make people think i'm mixed. It really is a bit useless though, as it means I almost have to use Sheer Force to get some select kills. It doesn't hurt me too much, but I definitely have a worse weakness to Volcorona now, so I didn't really want to stay with it for long as it didn't give me anything that beneficial. Landorus-I doesn't really get stopped by too much, so that's a pretty cool bonus. Sadly, I can't break stall at all with this set, its just not strong enough, but without a Scarfed Landorus-I I would be in serious trouble against offensive teams. Luckily Landorus-I is very effective at what he does, and because of how hard he does hit against paper offense, I can usually gain an advantage as soon as I get Sand and Rocks up. Landorus-I gains momentum, does a huge amount of damage to the opponents team, (depending on teamstyle) and is one of the most important additions I made to this team.
As Landorus-I is banned for now, I feel I might give my opinion on how broken it was in the metagame and why I voted Do Not Ban. Landorus-I had a lot of things going for it with Sheer Force. It basically had no counters outside of things like Chansey and Mantine. Everything else it could hurt pretty badly. U-Turn could beat up Latias and Celebi pretty hard, and thanks to that new fad that caught on with using just an all-out attacker set with no need to set up, it turned a large threat into a huge one. Landorus-I's potential had been fully realized as a sweeper and wall-breaker. When paired with Keldeo, another current suspect, and Tyranitar, it could tear apart teams pretty badly, especially unprepared ones. Tyranitar could Pursuit most of it's weakened counters and then Keldeo, who shared similar counters to Landorus-I, could pair up and do just as much damage as Landorus-I could. However, saying that a combination of Pokemon is broken and not the single one alone is a silly argument; if its only the combination of Pokemon that's broken, and not the single Pokemon alone that does not warrant a ban. Landorus-I may have been able to absolutely rip up teams, but at this point most people prepared for it, and it wasn't as serious a threat as it was when BW2 had just came out. The only way I think Landorus-I was really broken was in the way of how it could gain momentum in a level similar to Genesect's, and that put almost all of its enemies at a disadvantage. Like I said earlier, it even sparked a thread in which the possible banning of U-Turn was discussed. U-Turn had been a staple on teams for a long time now, and is an amazing way to gain momentum. Scarf Jirachi and Scarf Flygon used it in Generation 4, and were some of the best Scarfers in the metagame. Flygon is similar to Landorus-I in aspects, but it was much weaker compared to this beast, and overall I felt was a bit sub-par in many situations. Scarf Jirachi outclassed it in the long run in my opinion, I felt Flygon did a much better job at breaking down walls unexpectedly with Choice Band and Mixed Sets than a Choice Scarf could ever do in it's respective role. I felt Choice Band and Mixed sets just did more for the team overall, and because of how terrible Earthquake is to be locked into, especially one as weak as Flygon's, it put you at a very bad disadvantage. But enough talking about Flygon, back to the point of how Landorus-I was not broken in my eyes.
The majority itself was a bit small, which showed no real strong sway in votes over another. I felt that Landorus-I really was not that overall broken, and didn't meet any criteria for a broken Pokemon. Sure, it did make momentum a huge aspect of the metagame, but I felt that it did have both offensive and defensive counters, and In no way made the game unplayable. But aside from all that, Landorus-I was the best choice for this team while it was still an option to use. Landorus-I was a revolutionary Pokemon as of late BW2, and hopefully we will be able to look back at it back when it was just a humble Scarfer or Expert Belt user. A great sand duo with Terrakion, both being able to lure in and beat down walls which countered each other. Thanks to its great speed, revenging abilities, solid power, and surprise factor, Landorus-I made a perfect teammate for this team. Although not too bulky, it can revenge many Pokemon like Breloom in a pinch if need be. It can even switch into things like Terrakion and Gliscor if need be, but for the most part, it is not too hard to replace. Landorus-T is another great option to place here, but due to the lack of speed I will still have a problem with Timid Volcorona, if people even run that that is. Although I do gain a bit of an advantage if I use it again Terrakion and more offensive threats thanks to Intimidate, I do lose a bit of power with Sand Force and Hidden Power Ice. It is a worthwhile option, and I have definitely taken it into consideration over the times I have used this team. It does do better against things like Garchomp as well, which does trouble my team. Overall, I might do the change, but the lack of speed does put me at a disadvantage, so I may need to look a bit further for solutions to solve this problem if I choose to revamp the team for the future metagame. But I probably will do that post-Keldeo metagame if it does get banned, or at least after the Suspect Test has ended.
As Generation 5 comes to a close and Generation 6 is slowly creeping up upon by the time of the years end, I feel it is finally time to showcase this RMT. I have a pretty good feeling about this team, and hopefully it will be able to be revised possibly and make it a bit better in the new Landorus-I free metagame. Although I don't have an extensive history behind it, at least tournament or ladder wise, I feel I should post it anyway just to showcase how this Generation was near its end, and how the team preformed well by using some unusual sets that surprisingly work very well in the current metagame. Besides, the Pokemon Showdown ladder is nowhere near as fun as the Pokemon Online one, but the competition there is abysmal compared to the, even though bad, Pokemon Showdown ladder where you occasionally battle a decent player. I have peaked #1 on numerous occasions, so doing it again just to give this team some sort of credential is un-needed. Looking back at the start of the team which was detailed in the building process, I think it became better over time through many revelations and changes. Although the original was pretty fun to use, especially because of Hydreigon, it would have gone nowhere without the changes subjected to it now. Nothing special by any means, sand offense is a bit overplayed nowadays, and hopefully that can come to my advantage. With Rain no more being the overall dominant weather, I think it should finally come to an even playing ground between all 3 (and sometimes 4) weathers as the end comes closer. Hippowdon is gaining a little more popularity as time goes on, and although it still hovers around the high 40s in statistics, it is showing its usefulness in tournaments like World Cup and SPL much more. Abomasnow is also an interesting option, which can take on almost all other weather-setters with ease, except for Ninetails, but even then a well-built Hail team doesn't have too many chronic problems in dealing with Sun teams. But as the RMT comes to an end, I will provide a Copy / Paste version of this team if you wish to try it out yourself, but since Lando-I is banned the best quick-fix would have to be adding Landorus-T over it in its place. Maybe even this team can spark a bit of a Gastrodon usage surge, as it really does deserve a bit more use than it is currently getting at the very edge of OU. I will include a threat-list in the next post, along with shout-outs to those that are specifically applicable to this team, and it's changes over time.