SM OU UPDATE • Greninja + Pinsir-Mega Offense

-Latios-

PLOT ARMOR INTENSIFIES

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I Introduction - Explanation behind the team and quick overview
II Creation - The teambuilding process
III Details - An in-depth look
IV Threats - A list of threats, why they're threatening, and how to play around them
V Replays - Replays of games played on the ladder
VI Conclusion - Summary and closing thoughts
I Introduction

With Zygarde's ban from the OverUsed tier, there is a lot more freedom for airborne Pokemon. For example, Celesteela, Zapdos, Rotom-Wash, and Pinsir-Mega become increasingly more safe to bring.

This build aims to use one of these Pokemon to really showcase one of Zygarde's many effects on teambuilding. Currently, some of the biggest threats in OU include Mawile-Mega, Greninja, Magearna, and more.

This team is built around Greninja-Ash in particular. A premier partner is Mega Pinsir, as it targets Grass-type Pokemon that would check Greninja such as Tangrowth or Tapu Bulu. In exchange, Greninja hits Celesteela, Zapdos, Rotom-Wash, etc., extremely hard with its STABs. Access to Spikes support allows Greninja to be a major offensive threat in general, and that principal applies here as well. Greninja provides Spikes when it forces switches to assist the team's offensive Pokemon like Garchomp and Kartana in garnering 2HKOs and OHKOs. Garchomp is a Pokemon that suffers less competition as a Ground-type with Zygarde's ban as well. Landorus-Therian will always contend with Garchomp's spot on teams as a Ground-type.

II Creation

As stated above in "I • Introduction," the team is built around Greninja-Ash. Greninja is simply an extremely powerful Pokemon in the current metagame and will continue to dominate opposing teams. Its Water/Dark typing allows for a great offensive combination. In tandem with priority, Ash Greninja checks and pressures a solid chunk of the tier. To compensate for Greninja's flaws, Pinsir-Mega was selected as a second team member. Mega Pinsir has access to strong Flying-type STABs, which is useful in taking down Grass-types that annoy Greninja. Pinsir's access to Earthquake allows it to target Magearna and Toxapex for Greninja-Ash as well. To benefit from Greninja and Pinsir's wall breaking abilities, Choice Scarf Kartana was selected. Kartana is blessed with Defog, which allows it to get off fast Defogs for the team; this is especially useful for Mega Pinsir. Kartana beats Ferrothorn, which is an another annoyance to Greninja-Ash. Thanks to its ability, Beast Boost, Kartana is one of the best cleaners in the metagame, and it compliments the two former Pokemon well. Tapu Fini acts as a check to opposing Greninja and additional Defogger. This establishes double Defog, which is something not seen on many teams. Fini's excellent defensive-typing is only held back by a lack of reliable recovery, but its Nature's Madness puts massive dents in potential checks to the team's offensive Pokemon. Alongside Taunt, too, Tapu Fini can stallbreak more passive Pokemon. Celesteela supports the team's defensive backbone and adds an additional Steel-type. This allows for a better check to Tapu Lele, Alakazam, Tapu Bulu, etc. Celesteela has Leech Seed, which allows it to weaken Pokemon overtime. This is a great help to the team's wallbreakers and Kartana. This team also needed another Flying-type Pokemon, and Celesteela is another Pokemon that greatly benefitted from Zygarde's ban from the tier. Lastly, Garchomp was selected as the team's offensive Stealth Rock setter. Stone Edge in combination with Rockium Z allows for a powerful Continental Crush. Continental Crush OHKOs several Pokemon after a Swords Dance. Earthquake offers perfect coverage as well. The team needed an Electric-immunity so that Tapu Koko, Rotom-Wash, etc. don't Volt Switch or Thunderbolt freely.

III Details


Greninja-Ash
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• Battle Bond
4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe • Timid
Surf • Dark Pulse • Water Shuriken • Spikes


Surf and Dark Pulse are Greninja's main STABs that hit a large majority of the tier for at least neutral damage. Greninja is the team's special attacking wallbreaker and Spikes setter. Access to Water Shuriken lets Ash Greninja stop sweepers or general weak Pokemon that may be faster, such as Unburden Hawlucha or Choice Scarf Kartana. Greninja supports Kartana, Garchomp, and especially Mega Pinsir in the offensive department. It helps take down Pokemon such as Landorus, Victini, Heatran, Gliscor, and other Pokemon that may prove to be a threat—offensively and defensively speaking. Greninja-Ash is checked by Pokemon like Gastrodon, Ferrothorn, Tapu Bulu, or Assault Vest Tangrowth, so there may be turns where Spikes is the optimal play. Spikes will help catch these aforementioned checks as they switch in. If Greninja is no longer useful in the game, Spikes may still be an optimal play to support the team's Offensive threats. Kartana heavily benefits from Greninja's ability to break its checks and provide Spikes support. Greninja's brutal flaw is its fragility, which means it often doesn't want to switch into Pokemon such as Heatran or opposing Greninja. Even resisted hits will generally do over 50% damage.

Greninja is a top threat in the metagame at the moment due to its versatility and high damage output. The opponent will not always know if the Greninja is Ash or Protean, and will simply have to depend on team knowledge and prediction to play around it. Greninja's high power means that if its checks are at low percent, it has a high chance of attaining Battle Bond. If the opponent's Gastrodon is at 18%, for example, they are put in a position where they either sacrifice Gastrodon and allow Greninja to transform or let a teammate take major damage for Greninja's partners.


Pinsir-Mega
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• Aerilate
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe • Jolly
Swords Dance • Return • Earthquake • Quick Attack


Mega Pinsir has an extremely powerful Flying-STAB in Aerilate Return, which hits a solid chunk of the tier for neutral damage. Whatever it doesn't hit for resisted damage will take massive damage. The Flying-typing hits Grass-types, which is very useful for Greninja. Pinsir and Greninja cover each other's weaknesses extremely well. Both Pokemon have access to priority as well. To compliment Pinsir's Flying-type STAB, Earthquake is chosen. It hits Rock-, Steel- and Electric-type Pokemon super effectively. This includes Pokemon such as Magearna, Tyranitar, or an incoming Tapu Koko. Mega Pinsir struggles with physically bulky Pokemon such as Rotom-Wash and Skarmory, but Greninja-Ash supports it heavily in those departments.

One of Mega Pinsir's many flaws—probably its most glaring one—is its 4x weakness to Stealth Rock and 2x weakness to Stealth Rock prior to Mega Evolving. This means that Mega Pinsir will take 24% (pre-Mega) and 49% (post-Mega) from rocks. On this team, both Kartana and Tapu Fini sport Defog to support Pinsir as much as possible. Another notable weakness is Pinsir-Mega's average speed tier.


Kartana
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• Beast Boost
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe • Jolly
Leaf Blade • Sacred Sword • Smart Strike • Defog


Kartana is an extremely potent cleaner thanks to Choice Scarf, a naturally high attack stat, and Beast Boost. Kartana pairs best with strong wallbreakers that will wear down its answers. Mega Pinsir and Greninja both do this and both benefit from Kartana's heavy hits as well. One of the most premier Kartana checks, Zapdos, is handled by Garchomp's Continental Crush. To support Pinsir-Mega's 4x weakness to Stealth Rock, Kart runs Defog to remove hazards. Because of its Choice Scarf, it is able to get off fast Defogs as well. It will get locked into a move thanks to Choice Scarf, and this is a cause of several 50v50 scenarios in games. For example, against aim, Kartana is forced to click Sacred Sword in an attempt to 2HKO or OHKO the rest of the team members.

Kartana is one of the team's ways of weakening Ferrothorn. The most Ferrothorn can do is Knock Off or Thunder Wave, which are both rare in the current meta. Kartana falls short in the specially defensive department. Even resisted hits like Greninja-Ash's Water Shuriken will nearly OHKO a Kartana. Tornadus-Therian is always a solid check to Kartana. It takes about 57% from a Smart Strike. In cases such as the game against aim, Tornadus can constantly U-turn out to an Intimidate user—Landorus-T in this case— to regain HP via Regenerator.


Tapu Fini
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• Misty Surge
248 HP / 8 Def / 252 Spe • Timid • 0 Atk
Taunt • Nature's Madness • Moonblast • Defog


Tapu Fini is a soft check to Greninja and kicks off the team's defensive backbone. With Taunt and Nature's Madness, Fini can act somewhat like a stallbreaker. Its Misty Surge prevents status as well, so status users such as Chansey can only Seismic Toss as a means of damage. Moonblast is Fini's hardest hitting Fairy-type STAB, and it does decent damage to Pokemon like Tapu Koko that may opt to switch in. Tapu Fini also runs Defog on this team to provide extra insurance for Mega Pinsir. Tapu Fini can Defog on a lot of the tier's hazards setters, as it threatens several of them with its STAB combination. However, Surf or Scald are also useful options to hit Pokemon such as Heatran. The latter also has a 30% chance of burning Celesteela, Zapdos, and other airborne Pokemon. Tapu Fini's excellent bulk and stallbreaking abilities have allowed it to rise in popularity yet again, but there are notable flaws that Tapu Fini has.

Tapu Fini does not have access to reliable recovery, which means it may have to rely on Celesteela's Leech Seeds at times. Against a Tornadus-Therian or Kartana, they will likely go for Knock Off against this team to remove either Celesteela's or Tapu Fini's Leftovers. Tapu Fini is generally a solid mid-ground, but if it loses it Leftovers, Tapu Fini can no longer heal. This is what makes it more of a soft check to Battle Bond Greninja. Opposing Greninja can wear Tapu Fini down with strong Hydro Pumps.


Celesteela
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• Ability: Beast Boost
248 HP / 28 Def / 232 SpD • Sassy
Leech Seed • Protect • Heavy Slam • Flamethrower


Celesteela completes the team's defensive backbone. On this team, it acts as the Psychic- and Fairy-type check. Alakazam, Tapu Lele, or Jirachi, for example, can't necessarily touch Celesteela for much damage and risk being worn down or outright KO'd. Like Kartana, Celesteela has access to Beast Boost as its ability. In Celesteela's case, the special defense gets boosted after each KO. In the lategame, this boost can change the game completely. Leech Seed is Celesteela's main way of recovery outside of Leftovers. Protect compliments it nicely, as it can regain Lefties HP, potentially Leech Seed HP, and wastes enemy PP. Against Choice Specs Tapu Koko or Choice Scarf Landorus, Celesteela can use Protect to scout for moves. Then, it can choose an option accordingly. Aside from Pinsir, Celesteela is this team's only Flying-type.

Celesteela being the primary backbone means there is a lot of pressure on it to tank enemy attacks. Despite its high damage, Celesteela is rather passive against some teams.


Garchomp
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• Rough Skin
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe • Jolly
Stealth Rock • Earthquake • Stone Edge • Swords Dance


Garchomp is this team's main Zapdos killer. Garchomp resists Heat Wave and is immune to Discharge. Due to Zygarde's ban, several Zapdos have dropped Hidden Power Ice entirely on Defog sets. Heat Wave was always the more popular alternative to Hidden Power Ice on defensive Defog movesets, but usage of HP Ice on Zapdos has dropped. All Garchomp has to risk is a Heat Wave burn and a rare Toxic. A reliable Zapdos answer is valuable for Mega Pinsir and Kartana—as they're both checked by Zapdos. Garchomp can get Stealth Rock up against a lot of the tier. Usual checks such as Tapu Bulu don't survive a +2 Continental Crush. This ability to lure in Tapu Bulu is highly valuable to Greninja's success as a breaker. Chomp can punish U-turn and Knock Off users thanks to Rough Skin.

Garchomp is outsped by a lot of the tier with its decent 102 speed tier. Once Garchomp's Z-move is burned, it can struggle to be much of a threat as well.

IV Threats

Tornadus-Therian annoys Tapu Fini and Celesteela with Knock Off. If the Tornadus user is weary of Garchomp's Stone Edge and Continental Crush, it becomes a lot tougher to KO. Tornadus-T checks Mega Pinsir and Kartana solidly due to its natural bulk, power and speed tier. Torn is also able to Defog the team's hazards away as well. Fortunately, Greninja-Ash's high damage output and the aforementioned Garchomp have a good shot of knocking Tornadus out eventually. Chomp can KO it on a prediction play as well. Celesteela is annoyed by Knock Off, but Torn doesn't beat it regardless—even with Heat Wave or Fightinium Z.

Mawile-Mega is a strong breaker, and this still applies against this team. It can use strong Thunder Punches or Knock Offs to target Celesteela. Mega Mawile's high power Sucker Punches will heavily dent the team as well. Celesteela can afford to take the damage and fire off a Flamethrower. The Flamethrower damage is enough for Greninja's Surf to knock it out. Greninja (before Battle Bond) does 73% minimum to Mawile-Mega and doesn't fold to a +2 Sucker Punch.

Serperior has access to Glare, which can paralyze Celesteela and Mega Pinsir respectively. Leaf Storm and Hidden Power Fire are a strong combination that hits every Pokemon on this team for at least neutral damage. Serperior should never really sweep, though, as Celesteela and Pinsir both beat it before it sets up too much.

Gliscor loses to Battle Bond Greninja pretty handily, but other than that, Pinsir-Mega is the best shot. Gliscor often runs Ice Fang, which does high damage to Garchomp. If Surf is used on Tapu Fini, this match-up becomes increasingly better. Ice Beam could be another option specifically to OHKO Gliscor.

V Replays

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VI Conclusion

This was an extremely fun team to build and use on the ladder. Tapu Fini and Celesteela are the best forms of defense on the team. Use Greninja-Ash and Pinsir-Mega to compliment each other. Garchomp has an amazing place in the current metagame with the influx of Zapdos usage. Hazard support from both Greninja and Garchomp helps Kartana, Pinsir, and Greninja itself in cleaning late game. Definitely provide any suggestions, experiences with the team, mistakes in the OP, or tips on dealing with the Pokemon in "IV • Threatlist."
A huge thank you to the RMT community for improving my teambuilding abilities as a whole. Lastly, shoutouts to the YouTube and Tournaments room on Pokemon Showdown! for being great communities and having great people to talk to.


(click images for importable!)
 

Attachments

Hey, good friend gave you a like. Thanks for the rates you gave me on my first posted teams here. Your team looks great, but it could have issues with Thunder analytic Starmie with Signal Beam. So to patch that you could run Choice Scarf Vicitini with adamant and bolt strike, and Choice Band Scizor with Adamant and 34 in SpD because it's the best set right now. 112 in HP and the rest in speed.
-Deschutes (Alex Amaterasu)
 
Hey, good friend gave you a like. Thanks for the rates you gave me on my first posted teams here. Your team looks great, but it could have issues with Thunder analytic Starmie with Signal Beam. So to patch that you could run Choice Scarf Vicitini with adamant and bolt strike, and Choice Band Scizor with Adamant and 34 in SpD because it's the best set right now. 112 in HP and the rest in speed.
-Deschutes (Alex Amaterasu)
Starmie isn't anything OU mons should be worried about, especially higher up on the ladder. Banded Scizor is unviable in OU as well as Victini being a little shaky imo. My advice here is to maybe opt for Hydro Pump over Surf on Greninja, because this team kinda needs the power that it offers to actually KO things. Also Shuca Berry Tapu Koko looks very annoying because Chomp doesn't KO through Shuca and takes a huge chunk or straight up dies from HP Ice. Besides Garchomp, your only Electric answer is Kartana...which isnt that great at switching into strong special hits.

I personally don't know what to do about this, I just feel like I needed to correct Deschute's statement and Alert you to the fact that you're Shuca Koko weak. Anyways, if I think of anything, I'll either post here again or PM you on PS. Good luck with your team though :)
 

-Latios-

PLOT ARMOR INTENSIFIES
Hey, good friend gave you a like. Thanks for the rates you gave me on my first posted teams here. Your team looks great, but it could have issues with Thunder analytic Starmie with Signal Beam. So to patch that you could run Choice Scarf Vicitini with adamant and bolt strike, and Choice Band Scizor with Adamant and 34 in SpD because it's the best set right now. 112 in HP and the rest in speed.
-Deschutes (Alex Amaterasu)
Hey, Deschutes! What would you suggest I replace for Adamant Choice Scarf Victini and Choice Band Scizor? What EVs and moves (outside of Bolt Strike) would be ideal for Victini, and is your recommended EV spread for Choice Band Scizor 112 HP / 34 SpD / 252 Spe? I've got 110 missing EVs, so any reason I can't add those extra 110 for this Scizor? I was struggling with Thunder + Signal Beam Analytic Starmie the other day, so I definitely think these two aforementioned Pokemon will make a great addition to combat this common threat. The 112 HP + 34 SpD is sure to come in handy for those Thunders. :blobtriumph:
 

Diophantine

慈陰
is a Tutor
Hey there -Latios-, this is looking like a pretty cool team you have there. Tapu Fini + physical attackers is something I've experimented with myself. There are some things I would change with this team, however.

I'll start with the biggest change. Mew over Garchomp. I decided to go with this because you looked pretty weak to Mega Medicham and Mega Medicham. It also gives you some counterplay to Mega Mawile as you are able to outspeed and burn it. You can also burn Tyranitars, which can be annoying - just watch out for your own terrain setting you back. The burning is not too important, however. This is a lure for Heatran also, which Garchomp took care of. Gave it rocks because we're replacing the rocker. An option here could be to give Mew Flamethrower to lure Ferrothorn, which this team dislikes.

Set:
Mew @ Leftovers
Ability: Synchronize
EVs: 240 HP / 96 Def / 172 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Earth Power / Flamethrower
- Roost
- Stealth Rock
- Will-O-Wisp

Another change I went with is Choice Scarf Landorus over Kartana. I feel like Landorus has more opportunities to Defog than Kartana does. It also gives us the much needed electric immunity (be careful with this though). I went with Knock Off to remove Leftovers from Celesteela and Ferrothorn to help out Greninja and Mega Pinsir.

There are some smaller changes that I would make too. First off, the Tapu Fini set. I really like the quality that Tapu Fini possesses being able to Defog on Heatran. I therefore decided to give it Surf over Taunt. You can change it back if you want if you think Clefable or stall is giving you too much trouble, it's optional. I changed the EVs too. I did not think that max speed was necessary. It speed creeps Gliscor and Garchomp EV'd for Heatran too. Set
Tapu Fini @ Leftovers
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 248 HP / 60 SpD / 200 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Surf
- Nature's Madness
- Moonblast
- Defog
An optional change, but one you should consider, is removing Spikes on Greninja. This is because you'll be Defogging quite a lot on a Pinsir team that isn't hyper offence, so you may have to get rid of your own Spikes a lot. Ice Beam would be a nice option here, but there are some more rogue choices such as U-turn, Hidden Power Fire and Gunk Shot.

I hope you like what I've discussed. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot them at me. Try out some of the changes I recommended and see if you like them.
 

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