It's been a while since my last RMT, partly because I've been rather busy the past year and was really only interested in the tournament section of the forum, and equally because I'm rather lazy. Despite some of my activity issues, LC has always been one of the tiers I always come back to during my free time. I like the whole concept, the way it puts a spin on the "normal" way of playing single metagames, and I really do feel that it promotes a high level of skill to be consistently good at. Despite usually being pretty akin to whats going on in LC, I took a small break from pokemon all together to get my schedule straight between work, last semester exams, and general life shit a bit ago. During that time, I didn't even get to partake in the Meditite / Murkrow suspect and consequential bans. After coming back, I was kinda surprised to see that I had lost a grip on the metagame and some of my old strategies weren't going to work anymore. Historically, I almost always use Bulky Offense in LC due to it being what I'm most comfortable with, but I decided to change it up a bit. This team does have some BO aspects left to it, but it's definitely faster-paced then my tradition teams. The idea came about after playing some initial games on the ladder where I discovered (or just saw for myself) how much of a fucking dickhead Fletchling can be. Teams could run 2 or even 3 checks / counters to it and have it still sweep in the end with the right support. I never considered Fletchling much of a threat in early LC, but I decided to base my offense off of it and I quickly realized that this metagame was Fletchling's to shit on. From there, I had a choice of going the hyped Diglett + Fletchling route or support it in other ways. Playing off of my natural BO instincts, I didn't want to waste 2 slots on pokemon that couldn't take hit's from anything, so I went with the latter. I knew I wanted Stealth Rock and Defog support for Fletch, so Archen naturally came to mind, being able to provide the aforementioned support as well as weaken Fletchling checks with its own powerful Acrobatics. Not to mention, Archen provided a solid check to other Fletchling. After that, the team kinda too shape by itself. I added Chinchou to add a bulky pivot that could check prominent threats and get my offensive mons in safely. Misdreavus gave me some other useful resistances / immunities and another sweeping threat alongside Fletch. Rounding off the team was the 2 "glue" pokemon, Croagunk and Pawniard. The team proved to work incredibly well, netting me a 47-6 record and #1 under the alt meko prophet on the LC Suspect Test ladder. I even saw a lot of similar teams, most notably Rowan's, which it seems had a comparable amount of success, showing the destructive, centralizing force behind teams of this type in this metagame.
Archen (F) @ Berry Juice
EVs: 76 HP / 20 Atk / 156 Def / 196 Spe
- Stealth Rock
I have to say, Archen is one of the mons in LC I thought I'd never use. I never really got why it had usage at all, to be honest, behind SR weakness, lesser than ideal bulk, and defeatist making like terribly hard for it. After using it on this team, though, I realize how handy it is to have. First of all, its unique typing fairs really well in this metagame. It is one of the only true Ground immunities due the the bastard Drilbur, checks Fletchling pretty well, and handles Normals with a fair amount of success. It can even switch in on fighters such as Timburr and Mienfoo once or twice and threaten with a full power Acrobatics. On top of that, it's typing along with those monstrous stats allows Archen to be a force offensively, especially after it's lost its Berry Juice. The best part about Archen though is that it can provide support as well. Stealth Rock is a must on pretty much every team in my opinion, and Archen's offensive pressure provides the perfect opportunity to set it up. Defog lets the rest of my team function without having to worry about hazards coming from Dwebble leads or the like. Although Archen brings a ton of things to the match, I do wish it could do more. I'll be the first one to say that it is no where near where Gligar was at its job. It doesn't have the staying power to be of consistent use throughout a match, and often finds itself being fodder after using SR or Defog when I need it to. Continually, Archen has small case of 4mss. There are times where I wish I had U-turn to keep up momentum, and also times where I wanted Rock Slide to have a more reliable STAB and hit opposing Archen. Overall, though, Archen is a pretty irreplaceable part of this team and is what gets the ball rolling in every match.
Croagunk (F) @ Eviolite
Ability: Dry Skin
EVs: 132 HP / 108 Atk / 116 Def / 28 SpA / 116 SpD
- Knock Off
- Drain Punch
- Sludge Bomb
- Vacuum Wave
As mentioned in the introduction, Croagunk is the main glue piece to this team, and it does it's job perfectly. Ever since I started playing LC in late DPP and all throughout BW, Croagunk has just been this swiss army knife for any team you stick it on, and this one is no different. It provides so many things for a team it's ridiculous and it is always useful in a match. Knock Off starts off the support by being my spam move of choice. Knock Off is good no matter what and softens up bulky mons for an easier Fletch sweep. Psychics and Ghosts being a common way to try and handle croagunk just adds icing on the cake. Drain Punch alongside Gunk's reasonable bulk gives it the longevity it needs to stay prominent over the course of a match and just an overall good STAB. Sludge Bomb combined with Knock Off even makes Croagunk a sort of mixed wall breaker, capable of dismantling a lot of defensive cores actually. For the cherry on top, Vacuum Wave lets it act as a fail safe against a lot of things such as Pawniard, Tirtouga, Omanyte, and Carvanha. On a team like this, you might be wondering why I don't just use Mienfoo, and it would be a good choice as other teams like this have opted for it instead. For me, though, this is where Croagunk's unique typing comes in. Gunk's coverage and moveset allows it to break past things that Mienfoo couldn't dream of such as Spritzee. Also, Mienfoo doesn't have priority outside of the shitty fake out. Lastly, the typing is a godsend on an offensive team such as this as I can use all the switch-in opportunities I can get, and the extra resistances / immunities help immensely. Not much else to say, Gunk is a baller as usual.
Misdreavus (F) @ Berry Juice
EVs: 36 HP / 236 SpA / 236 Spe
- Nasty Plot
- Shadow Ball
- Dazzling Gleam
Next we have Misdreavus, the ubiquitous friendly ghost that will rip your heart out each and every match. But seriously, there's a reason Misdreavus has the usage it has and always had. Ghosts have always been at a premium in LC for their immunities and offensive prowess and Misdreavus is the best of them, so it's natural to see it on almost every team. Misdreavus can switch in on a lot of stuff and be an offensive force from the get go. Knock Off does make life a bit harder for good ole Missy, but just don't play dumb with Missy and you'll be aight. I can't really say much about why I added Missy or what "important' role it plays on the team because it really doesn't. Missy is here, like it is on most of my teams, to be a bulky, fast special sweeper alongside my physical mons and as mentioned, provide some key resistances. Will-O-Wisp just adds insult to injury by letting Missy burn potential checks such as Mienfoo, Pawniard, and Fletchling. In games that Fletchling doesn't sweep, this is usually what does. It's kind of easy to see how I did so well with this team by abusing two of the best sweepers in LC atm. People on the ladder did question a lot of why I'm using BJ > Eviolite, and it's simply because during my time using Misdreavus I felt like it provided the best longevity. Not much else to say, standard missy doing standard shit.
Chinchou (M) @ Eviolite
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 76 HP / 212 Def / 148 SpD / 60 Spe
- Volt Switch
- Sleep Talk
God I hate Chinchou. I hate it with a passion. I know user iss is rolling in his grave right now, but I'm completely serious. It's not so much that it's a bad pokemon or it doesn't do it's job, because it does, with great consistency and success for that matter. I just hate having to run it on every team, it bores the shit out of me. I know, I do the same thing with Misdreavus, but Missy isn't boring, that's the best way I can explain it lol. Chinchou kind of just sits there, soaks up hits, burns something, then lets me bring in Missy, Fletchling, or Archen to do some damage. That doesn't sound bad though, right? No that's not bad, I guess I'm just getting sick of using the same set the same way all the time. I saw Rowan use a cool offensive BJ set that I wanted to try, but I never got around to it because this did exactly what I needed it to and maybe it's for the best because Chou's bulk has saved my ass many times. Despite my complaining, Chou really is the perfect pivot in this meta. It checks Flyers, Fires, Waters, and pretty much everything else it can soak a hit from and Volt Turn out of, letting my other mons handle them. Scald burn is also always something useful to spam so no harm there. I originally was running HP Grass to help more against other Chinchou, but after seeing how piss weak it is I eventually switched to RestTalk to help Chinchou stay relevant when I need it to. It also helped me be able to soak up sleep from Foongus as long as I don't predict wrong, which is something my team had trouble with before.
Ability: Gale Wings
EVs: 196 Atk / 12 Def / 52 SpD / 180 Spe
- Swords Dance
Ah, the beast, the king, the bird. Whatever you call it, this thing is running the meta, I don't care what you say. I played against enough of them and used mine ~60 matches and I can safely say that a lot of the time the winner was decided by whoever supported / used their fletchling better. It's actually kind of sad, and it's something I want significantly discussed during the upcoming suspect thread as it pertains to the health of the metagame. The metagame is so centralized around supporting and beating Fletchling that it hurts the viability of so many other great LC pokemon. Priority has always been a godsend in LC, and now with the advent of an abuser that can use a full-fledged STAB like Acrobatics, LC is being destroyed. The funny thing is that I rarely ever Swords Dance. In fact, I've considered running HP Grass > SD to lure and beat Rocks like Tirtouga even easier, but I guess SD has helped in some cases. Usually though, I just soften teams up with pivoting, knock off, and sr and just sweep with Acro right off the bat. Speaking of moves I don't use, Roost has only come in handy a couple of times, so I could even run Overheat and just fuck up all the switchin's barring Archen, but I digress. As mentioned numerous times in this RMT, the team was built around Fletchling and it hasn't disappointed, even exceeding my expectations. I've played teams with 2-3 Fletchling counters to have it still sweep in the end, and vice versa with my Archen + Chinchou + Pawniard. Fletchling is just too good for the metagame, and this team shows why.
Pawniard (M) @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 236 Atk / 36 Def / 36 SpD / 196 Spe
- Knock Off
- Iron Head
- Brick Break
Rounding out the team is my dear friend Pawniard. Pawniard is the second "glue" mon on the team, but it can also provide another win condition after it's own and Croagunk's knock off support and it's new found speed with Choice Scarf. The reason I added Pawn was because I needed a revenge killer, more knock off support for Fletchling, and for it's good resistances allowing it to switch into stuff even without eviolite or bj. It also provides a sure-fire way of outspeeding and beating Misdreavus, even being able to switch into everything except wow and the rare hp fighting. If something is being annoying, such as a low life Fletchling or an Abra I don't want to have to deal with sash later, I can even pursuit and give my team one less thing to worry about. Scarf Pawn also has the cool ability to check itself with Brick Break. Basically, Pawn is the best scarfer there is right now. It has good typing, power and utility moves to further support the rest of the team. If it nabs a defog "boost" and knock off is sufficiently spread, like I said, it can even be a win condition for the team. It even reliably revenges 3 of the top LC threats, Misdreavus, Fletchling, and other Pawn. It's honestly hard to revert back to original Pawniard after using this because it does what other Pawn's do, but more.