Other Metagames USUM Balanced Hackmons - Dusk Mane Sweeper

#1
I've been working on and off on this team. I've sought help for this team not only on Smogon but on the Discord server for this subreddit. I've gotten to the 1450s and am on the track to Top 500 (1500+ is Top 500). This team is extremely successful and with a few more tweaks I can easily get into Top 500 with time.



Blissey @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Queenly Majesty
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Impish Nature
- Soft-Boiled
- Defog
- U-turn
- Toxic

Blissey without Imposter or Fur Coat can be something of an odd sight. But I wanted something that could tank and hard counter most versions of Mega Diancie as well as Triage Ray-M. Also: Fuck Triage Ray-M. With that being said, Blissey is entirely meant to be a Support Pokemon. It's Safety Goggles allow it to serve as an anti-lead to Deoxys-S while countering Triage Ray-M, as both commonly run Spore. Defog reinforces it's capability to anti-lead Deoxys-S. Soft-Boiled gives longevity. Toxic puts a timer on many Pokemon it would normally have issues with, such as Mega Diancie. U-Turn can let it gain momentum by switching to a more offensive Pokemon on the team.

With that being said, I'm unsure as to whether Blissey is best for the job. Blissey was chosen over any other Pokemon due to it's great Special Defense, leaving it comfortably 3HKO'd by a Boomburst from Mega Diancie, whereas the other Pokemon including Aegislash do not take it quite as well. This team has three Steel types which means that I was unable to fit a Registeel into my team for a Fairy resist and chose Blissey instead. I am considering adding Hyper Voice with a Relaxed nature to hit Triage Mega Ray behind a substitute.



Aegislash @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
Shiny: Yes
Happiness: 0
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Recover
- Topsy-Turvy
- Toxic
- Scald

Aegislash is an absolutely incredible Pokemon at countering Contrary Pokemon. Initially it's job was to counter -ate Pokemon but I found it to be a bit lackluster at doing so and added Blissey instead. It still checks Kyurem fairly well however. It can Stall out threats like Mega Mewtwo X and other Contrary Pokemon. Since many Contrary users prefer to exclusively use moves that lower stats, that means their only moves which hit Steel types are Close Combat, which Aegislash is a Ghost type, and V-Create, which Aegislash has Flash Fire. Because of there being no Ground type moves that lower the users' stats, Aegislash is often completely safe from Contrary Pokemon. To prevent Aegislash from getting overrun, it has Topsy-Turvy which completely grinds any momentum the opponent had into a halt. Toxic and Recover can stall out any threat to Aegislash. Scald is to prevent Aegislash from completely getting shut down while having a Burn chance. Scald has more PP and accuracy than Steam Eruption. I could try using a different move instead, like Sacred Fire, but also sacrifice PP. Lava Plume can't burn other Flash Fire Pokemon like Mega Scizor.

Aegislash serves as a wall for the other Steel types as well.



Kartana @ Choice Band
Ability: Steelworker
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Power Whip
- Sunsteel Strike
- Sacred Fire
- Bullet Punch

Kartana is the best physical wallbreaker in the tier. It's not as fast as Mega Mewtwo X, but it's not reliant on stat boosts either. Kartana flat out destroys any wall that tries to switch in on Kartana. Kartana also serves as a lethal revenge killer, being capable of finishing off weak targets easily with Bullet Punch, namely Mega Mewtwo Y, while also OHKOing virtually anything that isn't Chansey or Zygarde Complete. Speaking of which...

252+ Atk Choice Band Steelworker Kartana Sunsteel Strike vs. +2 244 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Chansey: 343-405 (48.8 - 57.6%) -- 95.3% chance to 2HKO

For some reason the damage calc does not support Fluffy/Fur Coat correctly so I'll just increase it's Defense by 2 for the same effect.

252+ Atk Choice Band Steelworker Kartana Sunsteel Strike vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Zygarde-Complete: 328-387 (51.5 - 60.8%) -- 91.8% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

That is disgustingly powerful. I like this Pokemon so much because it's immensely effective. Because it's a revenge killer, Imposter Chansey often tries to reverse sweep me, but Aegislash also counters this Kartana set so Imposter Chansey is forced out.



Zygarde-Complete @ Leftovers
Ability: Prankster
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Careful Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Haze
- Thousand Arrows
- Slack Off

Prankster Zygarde is busted. I've seen a few people on Smogon complaining about it. It's just an overall fantastic Pokemon. It serves as an emergency check to Contrary sweepers as well as a check to Simple Pokemon. Prankster Haze will defeat virtually any set except for Triage, which Blissey handles. Rocks gets set up while the opponent has lost his momentum after a Haze. Thousand Arrows is to make this mon less passive. Prankster Slack Off is always appreciated.

Zygarde is absolutely essential to this team and I'll remove every other Pokemon before I even consider removing this one.



Mewtwo-Mega-Y @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Psychic
- Bolt Strike
- Moonblast
- Earth Power

Mega Mewtwo Y is a specially offensive Pokemon specifically meant to take out threats like Zygarde-Complete, Mega Gengar, and Mega Mewtwo X. Psychic is absurdly strong and gets the Sheer Force boost unlike Psystrike or Photon Geyser. Bolt Strike gets rid of Primal Kyogre and other mons, notably ones which are specially defensive. Moonblast gets rid of Dragons and Dark types, and despite being weaker than Ice Beam for the most part is generally preferred due to hitting Yveltal and the like. Earth Power destroys Steel types and is preferred over Blue Flare because of Flash Fire.



Necrozma-Dusk-Mane @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Unburden
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 96 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Belly Drum
- Sunsteel Strike
- Photon Geyser
- Power Trip

When the conditions are just right, Dusk Mane can come out and start 6-0'ing entire teams. If it gets a Belly Drum up while the opponent lost his momentum, it'll go to half health, eat it's Sitrus Berry, then Unburden activates. Dusk Mane is literally the perfect Belly Drum Pokemon. It's Steel type, which means Fake Out/Extreme Speed from -ate Pokemon aren't going to do much to Dusk Mane. It's typing lets it get STAB off BOTH Sunsteel Strike and Photon Geyser. Unburden lets it fuck over Imposter Chanseys. You may have noticed that it has 96 Defense. With 96 Defense and at +4 Attack, a 140 BP Power Trip can OHKO even opposing Chanseys with Eviolite. The damage calc is... strange in that it only lists a 2HKO and doesn't support Imposter, but rest assured it can OHKO Chansey consistently. Some may worry about it being outsped. With 252 Speed, Adamant, and Unburden, Dusk Mane reaches 506 Speed. For context, Deoxys-Speed at 252+ speed reaches 504 speed.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-761198618

Dusk Mane sweeps. Dusk Mane don't care about your feels. Dusk Mane wins.

What do you guys think about this team? I'd like to improve it rather than just receiving thoughts on the matter.
 
#2
Okay firstly:
252+ Atk Choice Band Steelworker Kartana Sunsteel Strike vs. +2 244 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Chansey: 343-405 (48.8 - 57.6%) -- 95.3% chance to 2HKO

For some reason the damage calc does not support Fluffy/Fur Coat correctly so I'll just increase it's Defense by 2 for the same effect.
This is probably because sunsteel strike ignores abilities so having fur coat won't affect the damage, so it's a possible OHKO on fur coat chansey.

You may have noticed that it has 96 Defense. With 96 Defense and at +4 Attack, a 140 BP Power Trip can OHKO even opposing Chanseys with Eviolite.
This I believe should be 220evs:
+6 252+ Atk Necrozma-Dusk-Mane Power Trip (140 BP) vs. +1 252 HP / 220 Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 704-830 (100 - 117.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
with HP adjusted and +1 for eviolite.

Okay now to the important stuff:

The team seems fairly reasonable so far and I can see where the offensive pressure from kartana will quickly wear down the things intended to stop dusk-mane which seems nice for making your sweep easier, and sf mewtwo is excellent late game cleaner and has few good switchins. However there are a few glaring flaws with the team that really need to be addressed to stop you losing to common things as you get higher in the ladder. I'll address these issues rather than any nuances of team building because covering the basics will help you a lot more. I'll try to cover these with minimal changes because otherwise I might as well direct you to someone else's team (which I will probably do anyway kek).

This here is what I view as the basic checklist for the things you absolutely have to cover for a team and I'll go through the one's that aren't covered:
Imposter
Poison Heal Regigigas
-ate
Normalise Gengar
Setup
Shedinja
Special PH mons (Xern and Pogre)
Triage Ray

Obviously there are more things that that in the meta, and other people might have different lists, but these are the things that aren't necessarily hard to check but will beat you every time if you don't prepare for them. Generally this checklist is a good place to start when checking if your team has a solid defensive backbone.

So far -ate, setup, shedinja and triage ray are well prepared for, with imposter not being a huge issue. However this leaves a few things left to be answered.

Firstly I would change your Zygarde set to something more like this:


Zygarde-Complete @ Groundium Z
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Thousand Waves
- Entrainment / Core Enforcer
- Shore Up
- Haze

This change does a number of things: The set now traps imposter and pp stalls it which improves the matchup a little bit, although it wasn't the biggest issue with the team; you now have a z-move (which ignore normalize) so this gives you a last resort against normalise gengar so you stand a chance at least; you can now remove abilities which gives you a softish answer to PH Regigigas which alongside Kartana should be enough. These changes are at the expense of stealth rocks which makes you a bit weaker to shedinja but that is less common and less troublesome since you have aegislash. This doesn't fully address any of the issues but it gives you some sort of chance.


I would change Blissey to a chansey, and consider making it fur coat. However if you want to keep it as dazzling then being a chansey means it can take physical moves better with eviolite which helps against -ates with ground coverage and means you can imposter proof your mmy set (bolt strike does quite a lot without fur coat but it doesn't 2hko like it did to blissey).


Chansey (F) @ Eviolite
Ability: Dazzling
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Worry Seed
- Soft-Boiled
- U-turn
- Topsy-Turvy / Haze

I think that's what I would run on this team. Worry Seed helps with special PH mons and topsy helps with that and triage ray. Worry seed used over Entrainment to help against Normalise Gengar since you can remove the normalise then switch to something. Haze if you are overly worried about Substitute.

Those two changes help the team with Imposter, PH mons, MGar and some -ate which should hopefully improve your chances on ladder. However it is at the expense of all hazard setting and removal which will hurt in other places, I considered adding Stealth rocks to mmy or chansey but the moveslots are lacking.

I hope that helped and if you wan't to understand better about teambuilding then my best advice is to read the RMTs of good players (three of which I'll link) since these usually explain the thought process behind their decisions as well as the comments pointing out some mistakes that you can hopefully avoid, and imo learning how to build well is much more important than being helped with one team (teach a man to fish and all that).

Standard Balance, gives nice view of a solid team that's not particularly groundbreaking but well put together and a good example of how to do it by the book: this stuff is standard for a reason.
Shedinja Offensive Balance, a more offensive team with shedinja - harder to use than the others but good nonetheless.
Morostall, basically a how-to on BH ladder stall. The team is old and not up to date with newer threats but was an excellent team and the descriptions are really good. Used quite a lot by other people too so worth knowing. Particularly good as an example of improofing defensive mons properly.

All these are by very experienced and skilled players so their thoughts should give you guidance. Hopefully this makes it easier to find the good stuff.
 
#3
Okay firstly:

This is probably because sunsteel strike ignores abilities so having fur coat won't affect the damage, so it's a possible OHKO on fur coat chansey.


This I believe should be 220evs:
+6 252+ Atk Necrozma-Dusk-Mane Power Trip (140 BP) vs. +1 252 HP / 220 Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 704-830 (100 - 117.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
with HP adjusted and +1 for eviolite.
I couldn't find any way to reliably calculate this since my damage calculations were wildly off each time. Thanks. I think I ran Jolly by accident and that's why I ran 96 instead of 220. Even though Jolly was pointless as I still outsped Speed Form Deoxys after Unburden.

Okay now to the important stuff:

The team seems fairly reasonable so far and I can see where the offensive pressure from kartana will quickly wear down the things intended to stop dusk-mane which seems nice for making your sweep easier, and sf mewtwo is excellent late game cleaner and has few good switchins. However there are a few glaring flaws with the team that really need to be addressed to stop you losing to common things as you get higher in the ladder. I'll address these issues rather than any nuances of team building because covering the basics will help you a lot more. I'll try to cover these with minimal changes because otherwise I might as well direct you to someone else's team (which I will probably do anyway kek).

This here is what I view as the basic checklist for the things you absolutely have to cover for a team and I'll go through the one's that aren't covered:
Imposter
Poison Heal Regigigas
-ate
Normalise Gengar
Setup
Shedinja
Special PH mons (Xern and Pogre)
Triage Ray
Mega Mewtwo Y was not Imposter proof, but I often found myself trying to lower it's health by spamming Bolt Strike at it before eventually trying to knock it out with Kartana which was extremely unreliable. I found Zygarde-Complete to be a decent check to Mega Mewtwo Y Imposters.

Poison Heal Regigigas gets obliterated by Kartana but a second check is always welcome.

I don't have issues with most -ate Pokemon however Kyurem-Black definitely does give me issues and I may consider making further changes to stop it.

I generally attempt to outplay Normalize Gengar. What I commonly do is let it use Entrainment on one of my Pokemon then switch out to Mega Mewtwo Y the following turn when it tries to trap me. It has always worked so far but some players may trap first then use Normalize.

Setup is completely and utterly shunted by Aegislash and Zygarde-Complete. Setup + Triage is the only thing that concerns me but Chansey/Blissey can take care of it.

Shedinja is countered by Aegislash.

I've never seen any Poison Heal Pokemon other than Regigigas, but I imagine Kart beats the ones you mentioned too.

Triage Ray generally only runs Oblivion Wing (Oblivion Wing, Spore, Sub, Tail Glow) so a Dazzling mon counters it.

Obviously there are more things that that in the meta, and other people might have different lists, but these are the things that aren't necessarily hard to check but will beat you every time if you don't prepare for them. Generally this checklist is a good place to start when checking if your team has a solid defensive backbone.

So far -ate, setup, shedinja and triage ray are well prepared for, with imposter not being a huge issue. However this leaves a few things left to be answered.

Firstly I would change your Zygarde set to something more like this:


Zygarde-Complete @ Groundium Z
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Thousand Waves
- Entrainment / Core Enforcer
- Shore Up
- Haze

This change does a number of things: The set now traps imposter and pp stalls it which improves the matchup a little bit, although it wasn't the biggest issue with the team; you now have a z-move (which ignore normalize) so this gives you a last resort against normalise gengar so you stand a chance at least; you can now remove abilities which gives you a softish answer to PH Regigigas which alongside Kartana should be enough. These changes are at the expense of stealth rocks which makes you a bit weaker to shedinja but that is less common and less troublesome since you have aegislash. This doesn't fully address any of the issues but it gives you some sort of chance.
That is definitely a superior set to my current Zygarde-Complete, however I worry about being hard walled by Flying types. I'm definitely going to run Core Enforcer.

I would change Blissey to a chansey, and consider making it fur coat. However if you want to keep it as dazzling then being a chansey means it can take physical moves better with eviolite which helps against -ates with ground coverage and means you can imposter proof your mmy set (bolt strike does quite a lot without fur coat but it doesn't 2hko like it did to blissey).


Chansey (F) @ Eviolite
Ability: Dazzling
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Worry Seed
- Soft-Boiled
- U-turn
- Topsy-Turvy / Haze

I think that's what I would run on this team. Worry Seed helps with special PH mons and topsy helps with that and triage ray. Worry seed used over Entrainment to help against Normalise Gengar since you can remove the normalise then switch to something. Haze if you are overly worried about Substitute.

Those two changes help the team with Imposter, PH mons, MGar and some -ate which should hopefully improve your chances on ladder. However it is at the expense of all hazard setting and removal which will hurt in other places, I considered adding Stealth rocks to mmy or chansey but the moveslots are lacking.

I hope that helped and if you wan't to understand better about teambuilding then my best advice is to read the RMTs of good players (three of which I'll link) since these usually explain the thought process behind their decisions as well as the comments pointing out some mistakes that you can hopefully avoid, and imo learning how to build well is much more important than being helped with one team (teach a man to fish and all that).

Standard Balance, gives nice view of a solid team that's not particularly groundbreaking but well put together and a good example of how to do it by the book: this stuff is standard for a reason.
Shedinja Offensive Balance, a more offensive team with shedinja - harder to use than the others but good nonetheless.
Morostall, basically a how-to on BH ladder stall. The team is old and not up to date with newer threats but was an excellent team and the descriptions are really good. Used quite a lot by other people too so worth knowing. Particularly good as an example of improofing defensive mons properly.

All these are by very experienced and skilled players so their thoughts should give you guidance. Hopefully this makes it easier to find the good stuff.
I think the problem with this Chansey is that it's vulnerable to Sleep and it doesn't have Defog. I've seen Sticky Webs somewhat often and I'm very concerned about Chansey being put to Sleep frequently so that it's setup bait. I could try running Comatose but I may be losing out on bulk. I'm more concerned about Sleep than Hazards. While I have Kartana, most Pokemon that run Spore are Specially Offensive Pokemon.

I've considered running Toxapex with Safety Goggles, but I'd be weak to Zygarde-Complete. Here's a possible set anyways.



Toxapex @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Fur Coat
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Careful Nature
- Haze
- Recover
- Poison Fang
- Will-O-Wisp

I'd be weak to Mewtwo, however. Will-O-Wisp instead of Scald as I need to more consistently Burn than Poison, and Poison Fang still has a very good Poison chance while not being Taunt bait. Even then this doesn't have Defog. I did try Magic Bounce originally but found it to be checked by Mold Breaker Spore Pokemon. However I don't know how common those are.

Regardless, for this spot, I need a Pokemon that can counter Spore users, check -ate Pokemon, and check Triage. Even with a Chansey, I still feel like I'm weak to Kyurem-Black, Spore Deoxys-S, and Triage Mega Heracross. What do you recommend I do to help against those without simultaneously making myself weak to Mega Mewtwo Y?
 
#4
With some more testing and some more help from others, I've made some more changes to my team. I'd like some more opinions on this.



Chansey @ Eviolite
Ability: Queenly Majesty
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Impish Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Soft-Boiled
- Topsy-Turvy
- Toxic
- Worry Seed

Changed to the one Willdbeast recommended. Used Toxic instead of U-Turn to prevent Chansey from being 100% passive and encouraging stall wars, but may change back. I may also change Topsy-Turvy to Haze.



Aegislash @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Flash Fire
Shiny: Yes
Happiness: 0
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Recover
- Haze
- Toxic
- Scald

Leftovers -> Safety Goggles to mitigate Spore weakness.



Kartana @ Choice Band
Ability: Steelworker
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Power Whip
- Sunsteel Strike
- Sacred Fire
- Bullet Punch

Same set. May consider running V-Create, but Sacred Fire is spammable...



goodbye (Necrozma-Dusk-Mane) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Unburden
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 220 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Belly Drum
- Sunsteel Strike
- Photon Geyser
- Power Trip

Same set.



Zygarde-Complete @ Groundium Z
Ability: Prankster
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
- Core Enforcer
- Haze
- Thousand Waves
- Slack Off

Changed to set Willdbeast recommended.



Mewtwo-Mega-Y @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psychic
- Seed Flare
- Moonblast
- Earth Power

Changed Bolt Strike to Seed Flare to improof Mega Mewtwo Y.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-762206003

Vid of me 6-0ing Anna, a top 500 player with this new team.

Thoughts/opinions, everyone?
 
#5
One thing I would do, although minor, is changing all the heals to shore up. Shore up heals more in sandstorm, and on the offset chance you face one, it heals 2/3 of your health.
 
#6
I wouldn't recommend that as he is still in mid ladder and stuff like imprison transform and imprison in general exist. Shore Up on chansey is ok but aegi and zygod don't take sand damage anyways the extra healing isn't worth as much.
 

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