Why be another grain of sand, when I can be a snowflake? (Peaked #1)

Celestavian

Smooth
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I have always wanted to try Snover, and what better time to do that then now when everyone and their mother has been running sand teams? However, I was unsure what to build with it. It's not exactly a team player with it constantly sapping the health of my teammates, so I wanted to be able to end the battle quickly so that the hail doesn't take its undue toll. By surrounding it with powerful sweepers and cleaners, I can end the game quickly by overloading the opponent's walls. This team did me pretty well on the ladder, and when I first used it, I hit #1 with a record of 38-0 before getting styled on by some guy using Croagunk. Now that it's getting a little old and a lot of people know about it, it's time to put it up and move on to something different. If you're looking for a team that differs from sand rush abuse without being unviable, try this out for a while:

At A Glance

In-Depth Analysis


Snover @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Snow Warning
Level: 5
EVs: 200 Spd / 184 SAtk / 124 HP
Timid Nature
- Blizzard
- Giga Drain
- Hidden Power [Rock]
- Ice Shard​

Sand teams are one of the most dangerous team archetypes out there in this metagame, and what better counter could there be than Snover? It only needs to exist to block the sand menaces Drilbur and Sandshrew from crushing an otherwise unprepared team. My only problem with it is the hazard weakness which Starmie takes care of. Blizzard is the best STAB move in Snover's arsenal, and sees a ton of use when you consider that there are so many powerful Ground- and Flying-types in the metagame. It also has a habit of crushing Hippopotas when it changes the weather and stays in, thinking I'll switch out of the 70% chance to destroy their one chance of winning. Seriously, start doing that on the ladder and you will be surprised how many people do that! Giga Drain hits the Water-types coming in to absorb Blizzard, and while it gives Snover a few nasty weaknesses, that extra Grass STAB coverage is what makes Snover usable. HP Rock deviates from the normal HP Fire in that I want to hit Fire-types harder than Steel-types, since I have two Fighting-types to deal with them. Ice Shard is filler, since I like having it sometimes to finish off really weak stuff. However, I chose not to lower it's already dismal defenses with a Hasty or Naive nature to accommadate it since I use it so rarely. Not sure if something better can go here, but if so, please say so!


Timburr @ Eviolite
Trait: Guts
Level: 5
EVs: 76 HP / 196 Atk / 236 SDef
Careful Nature
- Bulk Up
- Drain Punch
- Mach Punch
- Payback​

Timburr is super-underrated in this metagame, because most people think they have to choose between it and Mienfoo. In reality, they go well paired together! Timburr runs a mean Bulk Up set, what with its high Attack, deceptively high defenses, and priority in the form of Mach Punch. You might think it's a waste to invest in Timburr's low Special Defense, but it is actually bulky enough to take Sash Abra's Psychic at full health, be 3HKOed by Missy's Shadow Ball, and plenty of other feats. Drain Punch provides the recovery that makes this set work, while also packing enough power to put holes in stuff after a Bulk Up. Mach Punch lets me finish stuff off, and guarantees that Sash and Sturdy mons like Abra and Tirtouga can't KO me if I have them at 1 HP. Payback gives me a move to hit Misdreavus with, and that's pretty much it besides Gastly, since every other relevant Ghost- and Psychic-type either underspeeds me or just destroys Timburr. Timburr is also my main Scraggy check, since I can tank even a +1 Eviolite Zen Headbutt and KO with Drain Punch + Mach Punch.


Misdreavus @ Eviolite
Trait: Levitate
Level: 5
EVs: 240 SAtk / 240 Spd
Timid Nature
- Will-O-Wisp
- Shadow Ball
- Hidden Power [Fighting]
- Taunt​

With all these Fighting-types running around, no team could get any worse by adding Misdreavus to it. I used to run a Nasty Plot set here, but Mienfoo and Croagunk proved too much for my team to handle sometimes. As such, I replaced it with Will-O-Wisp to burn them along with any Porygon or Murkrow that happen to stray in trying to block Shadow Ball. Shadow Ball is Misdreavus's STAB move and whatnot, which I use to hit Psychics and other Misdreavus with. HP Fighting grants Misdreavus perfect coverage with Shadow Ball, hitting the Normal-types and Steel-types that resist it super effectively, though not very hard unfortunately. Taunt is an important move, since it allows me to stop set-up sweepers and hazard setters off the bat, and also prevents Murkrow from using Substitute and Porygon from using Recover or Thunder Wave. With it and Will-O-Wisp, Misdreavus functions as the team's utility Pokemon, breaking down walls that rely on recovery moves for the rest of the team.


Staryu @ Eviolite
Trait: Natural Cure
Level: 5
EVs: 36 HP / 200 SAtk / 236 Spd
Timid Nature
- Hydro Pump
- Rapid Spin
- Recover
- Thunderbolt​

Using Snover without a Rapid Spinner is asking for trouble, and since I otherwise lack a switch-in to Fire-types, Staryu gets the nod for this spot. While it's not as bulky as I like, it provides an excellent switch-in to Houndour, Ponyta, Larvesta, and other Fire-types as long as I can avoid Wild Charge. Hydro Pump is needed for the power and the chance to 2HKO Misdreavus with hail damage, but of course, missing sucks. Thunderbolt covers other Staryu, Murkrow, and Frillish, while also providing a back-up move to use when I want to KO a really weakened threat but can't afford a Hydro Pump miss. Rapid Spin clears hazards away, of course, but it's also cool to use when they have a Pokemon with 1 HP left and you feel like killing something with Rapid Spin. That is the most fun thing to do ever! Rounding out the moveset, Recover makes Staryu usable at all, and allows me to repeatedly switch into Fire-types and other threats without fainting. If Misdreavus can't keep the hazards off the field in the first place, then Staryu cleans them up to make sure that Snover is healthy.


Mienfoo @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Regenerator
Level: 5
EVs: 236 Atk / 236 Spd / 36 Def
Adamant Nature
- Drain Punch
- Hi Jump Kick
- Stone Edge
- U-turn​

Revenge killer Mienfoo is coming in to wreck some face! I first read about this set in Furai's old RMT and I am very impressed with it! This guy is pretty much my back-up check to almost everything, from Scraggy to opposing Mienfoo to Snover, Mienfoo KOes so much stuff that it is unbelievable. Hi Jump Kick vaporizes pretty much whatever it touches, including itself when it misses, but Regenerator is so awesome that it rarely matters. Drain Punch is a more reliable STAB move for cleaning up late-game, or for when I can't risk taking the recoil if Misdreavus were to switch in. Stone Edge is an important coverage move, hitting Murkrow, Larvesta, Drifloon, and other Flying- and Bug-types super effectively who would otherwise live through a stray Fighting-type move. U-turn is an excellent move, allowing me to deal a little bit of damage to Misdreavus, while knocking Abra to its Sash as I go to Pawniard to take the Psychic. There's a lot of good Mienfoo sets out there to use, but if you get a chance, try out the Scarf set since it's totally good!


Pawniard @ Eviolite
Trait: Defiant
Level: 5
EVs: 196 Spd / 236 Atk / 36 Def / 40 SDef
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Iron Head
- Sucker Punch
- Brick Break​

If my team has a late-game cleaner, this is it. Swords Dance boosted Sucker Punches have the power to destroy weakened teams, and even unboosted, it has the power to make all those frail Normal-types think twice about attacking. Pawniard is also the closest thing to a Murkrow switvh-in that I have, since it walks all over the SubRoost set, counters FetherDance Krow, as rare as it is, and can live through an LO Heat Wave at full health. Sucker Punch allows me to bypass Misdreavus's faster HP Fighting, while also using the priority to sweep weakened teams at the drop of a hat. It is, unfortunately, easy to play around, but I make do as well as I can with predictions. Iron Head provides a secondary STAB move to use when my opponent looks like they are anticipating Sucker Punch, as well as a way to smash Lileep to pieces. Brick Break KOes Steel-types weak to it like Ferroseed and other Pawniard, as well as being my best safe move against Bronzor and Chinchou. While the Fighting-type infested metagame doesn't help Pawniard much, it still puts in a lot of work and can 6-0 teams if I play right.

Top 3 Threats


Shelmet
This thing seriously never dies unless I get a crit (which Shell Armor blocks!). Since I lack a super effective STAB move, and since it resists Mienfoo's Hi Jump Kick, I don't really have anything that can 2HKO it. Acid Armor boosts alongside Pawniard so I need a few flinches, Timburr is walled, Snover hates Bug Buzz, and Hydro Pump is a 3HKO. Misdreavus can Taunt it to prevent Recover, but since it lacks recovery, that only works for so long. This thing is a lot better than people think, and I'm really glad it's not more popular!


Misdreavus​

Not as bad as Shelmet by any means, but as long as this thing is alive, Mienfoo, Timburr, and sometimes even Pawniard are prevented from sweeping. Sacrificing my own Misdreavus or Snover to weaken it enough for other Pokemon to eliminate it is my main way to deal with it, but if I lose either then I have a harder time winning. I've tried Murkrow over Pawniard before to deal with this and Shelmet, but removing my only Steel-type reveals weaknesses to Dragons, Murkrow, and a bunch of other nasty stuff, so I had to keep Pawniard.


Bulk Up Croagunk​

While Utility Croagunk is handled, ironically, by Timburr, Bulk Up Croagunk spells all kind of trouble for me thanks to that stupid Water-type immunity. If Misdreavus can't burn it, then it can grab boost on pretty much anything and OHKO Snover and 2HKO Staryu who can do nothing back. Mienfoo is walled, Timburr can only boost alongside it which doesn't help much, and Pawniard is of course trashed. Misdreavus is pretty much my only hope, and should that fail, I'm staring down a 6-0.

To Conclude​

I've had a lot of fun with this team on the ladder, and while it's not as skilled as some of the other ladders, there's still quite a few gems out there with whom I've enjoyed playing. I wish I would have built this team before getting crushed in the LC Open rather than after, but hey, at least I got to round 2! This team is also the one I used to take Riolu to the top 3 for the PotW ladder challenge Though, I think this is a much better ladder team than a tournament team, since it's designed to counter the sand teams that are everywhere rather than, uh, sand team counter-team teams, I suppose. With that, here's the importable if you want to try it for yourself:

Snover @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Snow Warning
Level: 5
EVs: 200 Spd / 184 SAtk / 124 HP
Timid Nature
- Blizzard
- Giga Drain
- Hidden Power [Rock]
- Ice Shard

Timburr @ Eviolite
Trait: Guts
Level: 5
EVs: 76 HP / 196 Atk / 236 SDef
Careful Nature
- Bulk Up
- Drain Punch
- Mach Punch
- Payback

Misdreavus @ Eviolite
Trait: Levitate
Level: 5
EVs: 240 SAtk / 240 Spd
Timid Nature
- Will-O-Wisp
- Shadow Ball
- Hidden Power [Fighting]
- Taunt

Staryu @ Eviolite
Trait: Natural Cure
Level: 5
EVs: 36 HP / 200 SAtk / 236 Spd
Timid Nature
- Hydro Pump
- Rapid Spin
- Recover
- Thunderbolt

Mienfoo @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Regenerator
Level: 5
EVs: 236 Atk / 236 Spd / 36 Def
Adamant Nature
- Drain Punch
- Hi Jump Kick
- Stone Edge
- U-turn

Pawniard @ Eviolite
Trait: Defiant
Level: 5
EVs: 196 Spd / 236 Atk / 36 Def / 40 SDef
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Iron Head
- Sucker Punch
- Brick Break
 
Wow Hawkstar amazing lc team you have here :) and thank god someone else besides me uses Scarfoo. Lol you just cant seam to use the evolite mienfoo can you? Anway i am on my way to school now but i will be sure to give you a full rate when i have time. For now Luvdisc'd


Ok now time for the rate. There really isn't to much i can critique about this team with it being very solid as it is. However you could always try Knock Off>Drain Punch on Mienfoo. Although Drain Punch is quite nice for recovery. With Regenerator if you play with Mienfoo smartly and dont get cursed with massive HJK bullshit then Mienfoo should be sticking around for a long time anyway. Hi Jump Kick also has the Fighting-type stab that Drain Punch brings so there is no loss of coverage. Knock Off can be good to get rid of pokemons Evolites which your team really appreciates seeing as it is a very offensive oreintated team. Knock Off can also help you get rid of Coagunk and Shelmets Evolites letting you ko them easier.

Anyway thats really all i can say about the team nice job!

Tl;dr

Mienfoo
.Knock Off--->Drain Punch



~Superpowerdude
 
Not going to do an extensive rate here, but running Drifloon over Misdreavus seems to solve most problems. yeah basicly something like acrobatics shadow ball destiny bond hp fire or if you're willing to take risks put hypnosis somewhere in there idk lol. You do lose a lot of bulk so it needs to be played carefully though...

congrats on the peak :)


i suck at team rating
 

Rowan

The professor?
is a Community Leader Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
Great team Hawkstar!

I was the dick with Bulk Up Croagunk by the way, and I think I got a slight bit of a hax that time getting a crit on Staryu, but in reality it didn't matter too much as it still wins the Bulk Up war against Timburr. Anyway as long as you don't let Misdreavus die, it won't be a problem as Will-o-Wisp screws it over big time.

As for your Shelmet issue, you could run Nasty Plot on Misdreavus which allows you to set up on Shelmet, forcing it out. Although I would've thought that taunt was enough to stop it doing anything as they usually only run Bug Buzz/Spikes/Acid Armour/Recover, and Bug Buzz does next to nothing to Missy. Aside from that, it might be useful trying to find a place on your team for toxic. This will destroy Shelmet and also aid in getting rid of Non-Substitute Misdreavus. However, none of your pokemon really have a spare moveslot for it to go in. :/
To be honest, your big 3 threats are just mild annoyances than glaring weaknesses, and you're a good enough player to play around them.

Fantastic team, luvdisc'd.
 

Furai

we will become who we are meant to be
is a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
Great team Hawkstar! I love the title as well!

I have 2, quite simply, yet somewhat odd solutions for you team.

You say Croagunk, especially Bulk Up can literally beat you on its own. Most Croagunk will try to use Staryu as setup fodder, therefore I recommend changing Thunderbolt for Psychic which will guarantee you a surprise hit on those pesky Fighting-types. For bulky Water-types you have both Snover and Misdreavus so you should be just fine!

The next change is much more odd than the one I just suggested. Choice Scarf Mienfoo is definitely a beast and I love it, but do you really need Drain Punch with Regenerator? I understand that it IS the best filler move here, but seeing as your team is weak to both Shelmet and Misdreavus, which are lured in by Mienfoo, I recommend Toxic > Drain Punch, which will allow you to cripple them with ease.

Amazing team brother, you earned my luvdisc with honor.
 
I used your team with great success in Little Cup, but I found some threats difficult to counter. First, Ponyta hurts tremendously, and second I found the lack of status effects on the team very sub-optimal.

So, a few of my changes:
I gave Meinfoo Knock Off over Drain Punch because Drain Punch wasn't seeing much use, and it helps remove Eviolites on bulky pokemon or difficult counters (Shelmet and Misdreavus in particular).

I replaced Staryu with Chinchou. I found Chinchou does Staryu's role better than Staryu.
EV's: 56 Def/150SpA/236SpD/66Spe Timid Nature
Holds: Eviolite
Moveset: Rest / Sleep Talk / Scald / Discharge
Ability: Volt Absorb

This allows me to switch in on Ponyta regardless of whether it's using Flare Blitz or Wild Charge, the latter of which OHKO's Staryu, while the former still deals a good chunk of health to poor Staryu. Chinchou can also rest off status effects and acts as a pretty good defensive pokemon, while being able to simultaneously paralyze or burn targets. All in all, I am much happier with him over Staryu.

The next change I made was Foongus over Pawniard
236 Def / 236 SpD, Bold Nature
Hold: Eviolite, Ability: Effect Spore (Although I'm considering changing that to regenerator...)
Moveset: Clear Smog, Giga Drain, Spore, Synthesis

Clear Smog gets rid of situations where a 'mon has set up to the point where I don't know what to do with it anymore, although I have yet to encounter a situation where I've used this to great effect, but it makes me feel safe at least.

Giga Drain is a good STAB with some health restoring effects. Another no-brainer.

Spore is a no-brainer, this allows Foongus to immediately put anything to sleep and then either restore health or start knocking it out with Giga-Drain.

Synthesis is just to gain back some HP, but I'm seeing this as increasingly useless considering Snover's presence on the team. I'd consider replacing this or replacing Snover, but then with no decent weather counter (namely stopping anyone trying to use Drillbur in the sand) I'd probably be taken out rather quickly. Regardless, Synthesis isn't a terrible move even in Hail if the enemy isn't doing a lot of damage anyway, and your Giga Drain is being resisted. Again, I'd consider replacing this.
 

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