VGC VGC 18 Machamp + Sky Drop Offense (Need Help)

Hey guys! This is my second RMT on the forums, and I really want this one to be perfected because I will be using it on my actual Ultra Moon profile. It's a pretty cool team. I would never use a completely normal team, so I put a little fun surprise in Machamp.


Tapu Koko @ Focus Sash
Ability: Electric Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Sky Drop
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Protect

Tapu Koko is considered one of the best VGC Pokemon, and I'd have to agree. It has typical BoltBeam coverage to check things like Landorus and Pelipper. It used to have grass knot over HP Ice to deal with Mega Swampert, but I never got the chance to use it. Protect because duh, and Sky Drop is a very good support move, giving the pokemon beside it a free turn if used right. It also works with Machamp's No Guard, which allow it to hit Pokemon held up by Koko.

Machamp @ Assault Vest
Ability: No Guard
Level: 50
EVs: 180 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 68 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dynamic Punch
- Poison Jab
- Knock Off
- Bullet Punch

Machamp may not seem like a pokemon that fits in VGC, but it wrecks house. Dynamic punch for STAB, Poison Jab for Pokemon like Mega Gardevoir and Tapu Lele, Knock off to get hits on Mega Gengar, Aegislash and Cresselia, and Bullet Punch for priority on the team. The best part is that because Tapu Koko outspeeds so many pokemon, it can just pick things up with sky drop, allowing Machamp to just blow them back with its huge attacks. The speed is to outspeed uninvested TTar and for outpacing base 100s under Tailwind.

Tapu Fini @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Misty Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 116 Def / 44 SpA / 84 SpD / 20 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Taunt
- Protect
- Moonblast
- Hydro Pump


I needed a bulky water on the team that could check Lando-T, Heatran, Excadrill and other threats. Milotic would be on the team due to its Competitive + Adrenaline Orb set to hard counter Landorus, but I found Non-Scarf Lele to be a problem, as Machamp couldn't Bullet Punch it. I then used Tapu Fini as a bulky water that could reset terrain. The EV spread allows certain attacks, such as Mega Salamence's Double Edge, Ludicolo's Fake Out + Giga Drain, and -1 Mega Kangaskhan's Fake Out + Double Edge to barely knock Fini into Sitrus range. Taunt deals with Cresselia, and the investment in SpA is to 2HKO Mega Swampert in the rain with Hydro Pump. the rest is put into Speed to speed creep things like 12 Speed Cresselia and 4 Speed Rotom-Wash.

Heatran @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Flash Fire
Level: 50
EVs: 36 HP / 20 Def / 196 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Heat Wave
- Earth Power
- Flash Cannon
- Protect

Heatran helps check some of the hard hitting special attackers in VGC, such as Lele, Mega Gardevoir, and Charizard Y. The spread allows Heatran to avoid the kill from Drill Run or EQ from Excadrill, and KO it back with Heat Wave.

Salamence-Mega @ Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 212 Atk / 44 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature

- Tailwind
- Protect
- Double-Edge
- Hyper Voice

Mega Salamence is the best option for Tailwind this team has. It is another switch for Zard Y, and can check Landorus and other physical attackers with Intimidate. The EV spread is best for balancing out hard hitting Double Edges and Hyper Voices, while keeping both pretty high with a Hasty Nature rather than Jolly or Timid.

Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- U-turn
- Superpower

I had such a hard time choosing between AV and Scarf, but in the end, I absolutely need the speed for opposing Koko and Landorus, which can still run through the team. Superpower is for TTar and Steel types whenever you don't want to click EQ. Honestly, this is my least favorite member of the team, and I would be OK if there is another pokemon that fits better.

Big thanks to Level 51 for suggesting some new ideas for the team, and if anyone else sees something wrong, don't feel shy to speak up. I'm open to criticism, and chances are, you are probably better at team building than me. Thanks a bunch!!
 
Last edited:

Level 51

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Hey SelfDestruct0r, cool team you have here! I definitely appreciate Machamp + Sky Drop since I used that the whole of VGC 2014 with Sky Drop Mega Aerodactyl :P

Like you said, your team appears to struggle against Cresselia, especially CM variants. Here's some ways I thought of to help remedy this problem:
Tapu Koko: HP Ice -> Nature's Madness. Nature's Madness allows you to chunk Cresselia for 50% from full HP, making it much easier for your teammates to KO. Obviously you lose out on a great way to hit Landorus-T in particular, but I think the rest of your team is alright with that, especially since you have your own Landorus-T and Salamence to stack Intimidates on it and a Milotic to shred it. Also, change the EV spread to 252 SAtk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe with a Timid Nature, since Sky Drop isn't doing much damage anyway and you want to reduce the damage you take, for example from resisted hits like Mega Salamence's Double-Edge.

Machamp: Ice Punch -> Knock Off. Similarly, Knock Off lets you chunk a Cresselia for about 50-60% with the Life Orb, as well as remove pesky berries and Leftovers. I don't think I'd recommend making this change and the change to Tapu Koko, since it sets you back on your ways to hit Landorus-T with the Koko / Machamp combination, but it's a thought.

Another change I thought of on Machamp was Machamp: Life Orb -> Assault Vest. This helps your team deal with Tapu Koko more easily, especially since you said it was a big threat to your team. Tapu Koko can't even KO Machamp with a Gigavolt Havoc in terrain: 252 SpA Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 180 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Machamp in Electric Terrain: 138-163 (73.4 - 86.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO. Furthermore, this means you don't have to make the choice between Ice Punch and Knock Off, since you can just put them both on the moveset. Bullet Punch could be another considerable option, giving the team in general a little bit of priority, albeit a rather weak form. If you do make the change to Assault Vest, I'd recommend changing the EV spread to 180 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 68 Spe to get your Special Defense stat to an even number, getting an extra stat point out of the AV.

========================

Next up are Tapu Koko and Excadrill. In both cases, your team already has one solid check to each Pokemon in the form of Choice Scarf Landorus-T, but a secondary check could definitely help out. In this respect, I'd suggest changing Heatran to a less bulky, more offensive set:

Heatran @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Flash Fire
Level: 50
EVs: 36 HP / 20 Def / 196 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Heat Wave
- Earth Power
- Flash Cannon / Nature Power
- Protect

With a Shuca Berry and the above spread, Heatran can always survive an Earthquake or Drill Run from non-LO Excadrill (or a LO Excadrill after Intimidate) without a critical hit, after which it can retaliate with a Heat Wave. Obviously you wouldn't want to use Heatran as your primary Excadrill check, but using this set does make your matchup against it a lot better. Besides, Milotic also functions as an effective Excadrill check most of the time, so I don't think there's really all that much to worry about on that front. More importantly, though, this Heatran can outrun an Excadrill outside of Sand, or equivalently, if you have a Tailwind up and they have Sand, putting the shoes on the other feet, so to speak.

On the other hand, this set also carries Earth Power, letting you chunk Tapu Koko for upwards of 80%—this given spread has a 11/16 chance of KOing standard Tapu Koko after one round of Life Orb recoil. You could also forego the defensive EVs to increase your chances of KOing Tapu Koko, though I'm not sure if this is worth it. Note that this new spread no longer survives Tapu Koko's Gigavolt Havoc, so it's a trade-off.

For the third moveslot, Flash Cannon is a good STAB option if you find yourself having trouble with Tapu Lele, for example, while Nature Power is a subsidiary option to damaging Milotic and Tapu Fini (it turns into Thunderbolt under your Electric Terrain) since you no longer have Bloom Doom to hit them with.

========================

One last more general change: Salamence seems rather out-of-place in terms of its moveset. On the one hand, it has a bulky set, but it's running Double-Edge, which actively harms its own survivability; I assume this is a result of you "mixing and matching" EV spreads, so to speak. I'd suggest straight-up going with an offensive moveset for this team, either 252/4/252 with the current moveset, or my preferred option:

Salamence @ Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 44 Atk / 212 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Hyper Voice
- Double-Edge
- Tailwind
- Protect

(The Salamence is Hasty in this case to give it a more favourable set of damage rolls against Tapu Koko.)

Anyway, I hope some of what I said is of some use for your team. Let me know if you have any doubts about my suggestions, and if they helped, and good luck with your team!
 
Hey SelfDestruct0r, cool team you have here! I definitely appreciate Machamp + Sky Drop since I used that the whole of VGC 2014 with Sky Drop Mega Aerodactyl :P

Like you said, your team appears to struggle against Cresselia, especially CM variants. Here's some ways I thought of to help remedy this problem:
Tapu Koko: HP Ice -> Nature's Madness. Nature's Madness allows you to chunk Cresselia for 50% from full HP, making it much easier for your teammates to KO. Obviously you lose out on a great way to hit Landorus-T in particular, but I think the rest of your team is alright with that, especially since you have your own Landorus-T and Salamence to stack Intimidates on it and a Milotic to shred it. Also, change the EV spread to 252 SAtk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe with a Timid Nature, since Sky Drop isn't doing much damage anyway and you want to reduce the damage you take, for example from resisted hits like Mega Salamence's Double-Edge.

Machamp: Ice Punch -> Knock Off. Similarly, Knock Off lets you chunk a Cresselia for about 50-60% with the Life Orb, as well as remove pesky berries and Leftovers. I don't think I'd recommend making this change and the change to Tapu Koko, since it sets you back on your ways to hit Landorus-T with the Koko / Machamp combination, but it's a thought.

Another change I thought of on Machamp was Machamp: Life Orb -> Assault Vest. This helps your team deal with Tapu Koko more easily, especially since you said it was a big threat to your team. Tapu Koko can't even KO Machamp with a Gigavolt Havoc in terrain: 252 SpA Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 180 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Machamp in Electric Terrain: 138-163 (73.4 - 86.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO. Furthermore, this means you don't have to make the choice between Ice Punch and Knock Off, since you can just put them both on the moveset. Bullet Punch could be another considerable option, giving the team in general a little bit of priority, albeit a rather weak form. If you do make the change to Assault Vest, I'd recommend changing the EV spread to 180 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 68 Spe to get your Special Defense stat to an even number, getting an extra stat point out of the AV.

========================

Next up are Tapu Koko and Excadrill. In both cases, your team already has one solid check to each Pokemon in the form of Choice Scarf Landorus-T, but a secondary check could definitely help out. In this respect, I'd suggest changing Heatran to a less bulky, more offensive set:

Heatran @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Flash Fire
Level: 50
EVs: 36 HP / 20 Def / 196 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Heat Wave
- Earth Power
- Flash Cannon / Nature Power
- Protect

With a Shuca Berry and the above spread, Heatran can always survive an Earthquake or Drill Run from non-LO Excadrill (or a LO Excadrill after Intimidate) without a critical hit, after which it can retaliate with a Heat Wave. Obviously you wouldn't want to use Heatran as your primary Excadrill check, but using this set does make your matchup against it a lot better. Besides, Milotic also functions as an effective Excadrill check most of the time, so I don't think there's really all that much to worry about on that front. More importantly, though, this Heatran can outrun an Excadrill outside of Sand, or equivalently, if you have a Tailwind up and they have Sand, putting the shoes on the other feet, so to speak.

On the other hand, this set also carries Earth Power, letting you chunk Tapu Koko for upwards of 80%—this given spread has a 11/16 chance of KOing standard Tapu Koko after one round of Life Orb recoil. You could also forego the defensive EVs to increase your chances of KOing Tapu Koko, though I'm not sure if this is worth it. Note that this new spread no longer survives Tapu Koko's Gigavolt Havoc, so it's a trade-off.

For the third moveslot, Flash Cannon is a good STAB option if you find yourself having trouble with Tapu Lele, for example, while Nature Power is a subsidiary option to damaging Milotic and Tapu Fini (it turns into Thunderbolt under your Electric Terrain) since you no longer have Bloom Doom to hit them with.

========================

One last more general change: Salamence seems rather out-of-place in terms of its moveset. On the one hand, it has a bulky set, but it's running Double-Edge, which actively harms its own survivability; I assume this is a result of you "mixing and matching" EV spreads, so to speak. I'd suggest straight-up going with an offensive moveset for this team, either 252/4/252 with the current moveset, or my preferred option:

Salamence @ Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 44 Atk / 212 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Hyper Voice
- Double-Edge
- Tailwind
- Protect

(The Salamence is Hasty in this case to give it a more favourable set of damage rolls against Tapu Koko.)

Anyway, I hope some of what I said is of some use for your team. Let me know if you have any doubts about my suggestions, and if they helped, and good luck with your team!
Thanks man! I love the idea of having AV + Knock and BP on Machamp, but the reason I was hesitant to run it was Tapu Lele's Psychic Terrain, which if slower than Koko, can reset and disable my bullet punch kill, and if it's faster, it gets a hit off anyway. Would it be wise of me to:
a. Keep HP Ice on Koko.
b. Switch mitotic to something like a Sitrus Berry Tapu Fini, so I can reset terrain even when Koko is active, while also giving me a pokemon with Nature's Madness and/or Taunt for Cress
 
Last edited:

Level 51

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Thanks man! I love the idea of having AV + Knock and BP on Machamp, but the reason I was hesitant to run it was Tapu Lele's Psychic Terrain, which if slower than Koko, can reset and disable my bullet punch kill, and if it's faster, it gets a hit off anyway. Would it be wise of me to:
a. Keep HP Ice on Koko.
b. Switch mitotic to something like a Sitrus Berry Tapu Fini, so I can reset terrain even when Koko is active, while also giving me a pokemon with Nature's Madness and/or Taunt for Cress
I don't think HP Ice on Koko is too bad of an idea, especially if you're replacing Milotic with a softer Lando-T check. For the record I'd use either an AV Fini with Muddy Water / Moonblast / Icy Wind / Nature's Madness or a Wiki Berry Fini with Muddy Water / Moonblast / Taunt / Protect. My AV spread is 252 HP / 4 Def / 100 SpA / 44 SpD / 108 Spe with a Bold Nature, and my Wiki spread is 252 HP / 4 Def / 116 SpA / 28 SpD / 108 Spe with a Modest Nature. Good luck!
 

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