Xylology - A Reflection on SSD II

talkingtree

Using headphones to drown out your mind
is a member of the Site Staffis a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a defending Smogon Snake Draft Champion
Doubles Captain
#1

Going into this tournament, I was coming off my first impressive circuit run since my debut in Doubles, so I definitely wanted to keep the momentum going. I’ve always considered myself a better builder than a player, and I think I showed in seasonal that I’m flexible enough to keep people guessing. Building with Bio went extremely well, I think even better than our 6-4 record showed, so I hope you enjoy reading through these teams and trying them out for yourself - click the images of Team Preview for a link to the replay. I'm gonna hand this off to Biosci to talk about the games, and I'll add notes about anything noteworthy in building and how I'd adapt these teams to a Gengar-less meta.


Metagross-Mega @ Metagrossite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 176 HP / 68 Atk / 12 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Iron Head
- Ice Punch
- Stomping Tantrum
- Protect

Hoopa-Unbound @ Fightinium Z
Ability: Magician
EVs: 152 HP / 128 SpA / 4 SpD / 224 Spe
Modest Nature
- Dark Pulse
- Hyperspace Hole
- Focus Blast
- Protect

Volcanion @ Wacan Berry
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 172 HP / 228 SpA / 108 Spe
Modest Nature
- Steam Eruption
- Heat Wave
- Sludge Bomb
- Protect

Tapu Bulu @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Wood Hammer
- Superpower
- Nature's Madness
- Stone Edge

Zapdos @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Static
EVs: 236 HP / 88 Def / 76 SpA / 56 SpD / 52 Spe
Calm Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Tailwind
- Whirlwind
- Hidden Power [Ice]

Landorus-Therian @ Yache Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 224 HP / 32 Def / 136 SpA / 116 Spe
Modest Nature
- Earth Power
- Stealth Rock
- U-turn
- Knock Off
First game of the season always has some jitters to it, and having to prep for someone like him didn't help to start right off the bat. I didn't know what to expect, and team preview was all kinds of crazy. The AV Zeroara made playing this game extremely difficult, especially with the threat of Mega Blaziken looming over me. Turn 8 was definitely a turning point in the game when he protected his Blaziken just in case I was running max-Speed Scarf Lando-T, but I was simply just Yache Berry. Going into that turn I definitely thought the game was over so I went for a hail mary on the Whirlwind tech tree threw on. After that, I was able to position Hoopa in Tailwind to bring the game back in my hands. I made 1 slight choke in not just attacking the Aegislash, but hindsight he never knew I was full special Hoopa so he didn't know how safe Protecting was with Aegislash. Happy I could pull this one out though.

Not too much crazy here teambuilding wise, Whirlwind Zap is something Bowman and I came up with a bit before the tour started and it seemed like it was good protection against random setup. Scarf Bulu's moves are pretty flexible on this team but I felt like Stone Edge was pretty crucial for Zard and opposing Zapdos. If you're going to steal this team I'd probably just make Mega Metagross fast enough for Lando-I or Garchomp and 172 Atk (enough to OHKO most Zygarde with Ice Punch), the rest in HP.



Celesteela @ Leftovers
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 HP / 120 Atk / 12 Def / 124 SpD
Sassy Nature
- Heavy Slam
- Flamethrower
- Wide Guard
- Leech Seed

Kyurem-Black @ Iapapa Berry
Ability: Teravolt
EVs: 248 HP / 48 Atk / 48 Def / 124 SpD / 40 Spe
Rash Nature
- Ice Beam
- Fusion Bolt
- Earth Power
- Protect

Tyranitar @ Rockium Z
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 224 HP / 216 Atk / 68 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Stone Edge
- Crunch
- Low Kick
- Protect

Tapu Fini @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 56 Def / 16 SpA / 48 SpD / 136 Spe
Modest Nature
- Muddy Water
- Moonblast
- Icy Wind
- Taunt

Zapdos @ Misty Seed
Ability: Static
EVs: 244 HP / 84 Def / 24 SpA / 92 SpD / 64 Spe
Modest Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Heat Wave
- Tailwind
- Roost

Gengar-Mega @ Gengarite
Ability: Cursed Body
EVs: 112 HP / 144 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Sludge Bomb
- Shadow Ball
- Substitute
- Protect
Going into this game, we kind of decided we'd just play the Gengar mirror and I was ok with that. I wasn't expecting Taunt on Gengar turn 1, which set me back a lot in playing. milk making an excellent call with the ttar+exca combo really made this game difficult to play, but I was still able to almost bring it back. A connection with Muddy Water, not getting flinched several times, and winning some Speed ties could've brought this the other way but that's the way it goes sometimes.

I was really happy with the idea of Iapapa Kyurem-B for this game, Stealth Rock seemed like a pretty likely bring from milk and I wanted a bulky Kyurem-B set that wouldn't be totally invalidated by that. Originally had Icy Wind on Kyurem-B and Protect on Tapu Fini, but Protect Kyurem-B was more useful in testing to I switched those two. Tectless Celesteela seemed like the call but didn't pan out quite as well in the actual game. This team isn't really adaptable for the Gengar-less meta sadly, but Iapapa Kyu-B is definitely worth a try if that sounds neat to you.



Gardevoir-Mega @ Gardevoirite
Ability: Trace
EVs: 68 HP / 12 Def / 212 SpA / 216 Spe
Timid Nature
- Hyper Voice
- Psychic
- Substitute
- Protect

Zeraora @ Electrium Z
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 128 HP / 160 Atk / 28 SpD / 192 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Plasma Fists
- Volt Switch
- Taunt

Incineroar @ Iapapa Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 44 Atk / 16 Def / 116 SpD / 80 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Fake Out
- Flare Blitz
- Knock Off
- Protect

Genesect @ Assault Vest
Ability: Download
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 52 HP / 112 Atk / 92 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- U-turn
- Ice Beam
- Iron Head
- Flamethrower

Tapu Fini @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 64 Def / 136 SpA / 56 Spe
Bold Nature
- Muddy Water
- Moonblast
- Heal Pulse
- Protect

Naganadel @ Life Orb
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Sludge Bomb
- Fire Blast
- Tailwind
- Protect
Bowman is someone I never liked playing against, but having tree this time around helped. Going into game, we both made some pretty weird choices in Megas and having Mega Gardevoir vs Scizor wasn't the most ideal. Looking at the rest of the team though, I knew Fini and Genesect were gonna be valuable in this match up. As long as I kept Incineroar around as well, Gardevoir got off a lot of free turns against the team. With the nice match up I just had to stay focused and seal up the game.

Fast Gardevoir with double Fake Out seemed like a nice way to start, and Electrium Zeraora preyed on the bulky Water-types that could just sort of sit in front of Garde. Protect Incineroar worked really well with how HO this team was, and Taunt Zeraora patched up the Trick Room matchup a bit. Draco-less and HP Ice-less Naganadel is a pretty strange set but the rest of the team handled those threats well enough that it felt like an okay bring. Substitute Gardevoir was more of a "why not" pick than an intentional call; this is easily replaceable with Encore, HP Fire, or even something like Calm Mind.



Azumarill @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 164 HP / 252 Atk / 92 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Aqua Jet
- Play Rough
- Belly Drum
- Protect

Latias @ Psychium Z
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 128 HP / 48 Def / 196 SpA / 136 Spe
Timid Nature
- Psychic
- Tailwind
- Ally Switch
- Ice Beam

Scizor-Mega @ Scizorite
Ability: Light Metal
EVs: 252 HP / 132 Atk / 16 Def / 104 SpD / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Bullet Punch
- Bug Bite
- Swords Dance
- Protect

Tapu Koko @ Choice Specs
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Volt Switch
- Dazzling Gleam
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Ice]

Hitmontop @ Iapapa Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 92 Atk / 8 Def / 136 SpD / 20 Spe
Careful Nature
- Fake Out
- Close Combat
- Wide Guard
- Helping Hand

Amoonguss @ Mental Herb
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 188 Def / 68 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Spore
- Rage Powder
- Foul Play
- Protect
After the way our last Snake draft game ended, I wanted some revenge. Using bulky set up seemed like a solid choice as he'd been favoring very bulky teams this point in the tournament. Koko put me in a solid spot to start the game to just start wearing down the team, especially when he gave up Fini so early on. I tried to be cheeky turn 7 and miscalculated how much I thought Tornadus would do to Azu, but it was still far from over. The game still ended up being pretty even until the end game where Foul Play Amoonguss ended up being pretty clutch in closing out the game.

This is a team that was a lot more collaborative, Bio suggested Azu + Psychium Latias and we worked out the rest together. Foul Play Amoonguss patched up shaky Metagross, Sub Kartana, and Sub Gengar matchups. Spreads could all use an update for a Gengar-less meta but otherwise the team still works about the same.



Kartana @ Fightinium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 48 HP / 100 Atk / 4 Def / 232 SpD / 124 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword
- Tailwind
- Protect

Cresselia @ Electric Seed
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 76 Def / 52 SpA / 16 SpD / 112 Spe
Bold Nature
- Icy Wind
- Psyshock
- Calm Mind
- Moonlight

Tapu Koko @ Magnet
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Dazzling Gleam
- Taunt
- Protect

Landorus-Therian @ Yache Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 224 HP / 32 Def / 136 SpA / 116 Spe
Modest Nature
- Earth Power
- Stealth Rock
- U-turn
- Knock Off

Volcanion @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 HP / 132 SpA / 16 SpD / 108 Spe
Modest Nature
- Heat Wave
- Steam Eruption
- Sludge Bomb
- Protect

Diancie-Mega @ Diancite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 28 HP / 140 Atk / 68 SpA / 20 SpD / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Diamond Storm
- Moonblast
- Earth Power
- Protect
Looking back on it, this was a poor team choice for someone like Jon. The first couple turns went pretty well for me and kind of just got me to a point where I could just play safe and coast the rest of the game. The Zygarde was really interesting to play against, but barring any misses, it couldn't really break Cresselia.



Genesect @ Assault Vest
Ability: Download
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 136 HP / 112 Atk / 36 SpD / 224 Spe
Hasty Nature
- U-turn
- Ice Beam
- Iron Head
- Flamethrower

Milotic @ Psychic Seed
Ability: Competitive
EVs: 240 HP / 156 Def / 56 SpD / 56 Spe
Calm Nature
- Scald
- Icy Wind
- Recover
- Toxic

Manectric-Mega @ Manectite
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 128 HP / 44 Def / 80 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Volt Switch
- Snarl
- Overheat
- Protect

Tapu Lele @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Psychic
- Dazzling Gleam
- Nature's Madness
- Moonblast

Zygarde @ Groundium Z
Ability: Aura Break
EVs: 80 HP / 196 Atk / 8 Def / 48 SpD / 176 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Thousand Arrows
- Dragon Dance
- Substitute
- Protect

Incineroar @ Iapapa Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 112 Atk / 16 Def / 116 SpD / 12 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Fake Out
- Flare Blitz
- Knock Off
- U-turn
Definitely on of the teams I regret the most this tournament. Double Intimidate as my answer to Ground-types and then walking into the 1 Landorus-I in all of DOU wasn't a good feeling. I tried to play my positioning around it as best as I could, but Scarf definitely caught me off guard and closed out the game from there with some safe playing from SMB.

This was a pretty lazy build on my end too, AV Genesect + Icy Wind Toxic Milotic was an interesting start but then the rest was sort of slapped on sets from other teams that I figured could be okay. This team doesn't really have a positive matchup against anything, it's more built to not lose, and it's way too weak to Ground-types. I wouldn't bother taking this team tbh.



Slowbro-Mega @ Slowbronite
Ability: Oblivious
EVs: 252 HP / 16 Def / 36 SpA / 204 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Surf
- Psychic
- Trick Room
- Slack Off

Gastrodon-East @ Groundium Z
Ability: Storm Drain
EVs: 252 HP / 148 Def / 24 SpA / 84 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 16 Spe
- Earth Power
- Ice Beam
- Recover
- Protect

Kartana @ Mago Berry
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 48 HP / 100 Atk / 4 Def / 232 SpD / 124 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword
- Substitute
- Protect

Zapdos @ Psychic Seed
Ability: Static
EVs: 244 HP / 80 Def / 28 SpA / 92 SpD / 64 Spe
Modest Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Heat Wave
- Tailwind
- Roost

Tapu Lele @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 60 Def / 112 SpD / 84 Spe
Modest Nature
- Psychic
- Moonblast
- Taunt
- Protect

Incineroar @ Iapapa Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 112 Atk / 16 Def / 116 SpD / 12 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Fake Out
- Flare Blitz
- Knock Off
- U-turn
Playing Jake a 2nd time was definitely interesting to prep for. We noticed a similar weakness to bulky-Water types in most of his builds so I asked tree to put together a Slowbro/Gastrodon team for testing. I took an early advantage with catching Koko with a Terrain-boosted Psychic, but next turn got set back due to losing a speed tie and missing the roll on Amoonguss to KO. A defense drop also hurt my Slowbro's lifespan. Kartana still kept me in the game after his Latias went down, and ended up critting his MTar to seal the game. There were still a couple more avenues to win the game, but the crit made it much easier.

On the original team, Slowbro had Regenerator and Gastrodon was not designated -East. Both are clearly inferior options that have been fixed in the above importable. This is probably the most fun team to use, Surf Mega Slowbro + Tec Rage Gastrodon is a threat many people don't know what to do against.



Charizard-Mega-Y @ Charizardite Y
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Heat Wave
- Overheat
- Tailwind
- Protect

Thundurus-Therian @ Fightinium Z
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Focus Blast
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Protect

Aegislash @ Spooky Plate
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 220 HP / 252 SpA / 36 Spe
Modest Nature
- Flash Cannon
- Shadow Ball
- Wide Guard
- King's Shield

Tsareena @ Assault Vest
Ability: Queenly Majesty
EVs: 240 HP / 176 Atk / 92 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Power Whip
- Knock Off
- High Jump Kick
- U-turn

Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Earth Power
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Defog
- U-turn

Tapu Fini @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 64 Def / 56 SpA / 136 Spe
Bold Nature
- Moonblast
- Icy Wind
- Nature's Madness
- Taunt
I was super busy this week and basically ended up letting tree build and I'd just pick it up and use. An early Snarl miss put me in a very good spot, but then proceeded to miss Heat Wave onto Mew which set me back pretty hard. I played not really respecting what Mew could do and paid for it dearly, not much else to say I think.

I knew lady lumps liked 4x Fire-weak mons with a bulky Water so Zard felt like the right way to take advantage of that and what was originally Rapid Spin Tsareena was perfect support. Fightinium Thundurus-T covered a lot of conventional Fire resists, but I should have paid more attention in testing to how shaky this team could be if one thing went wrong. I stand by Tsareena, I think it can be okay on the right team, but this wasn't necessarily that team.



Mawile-Mega @ Mawilite
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 136 Atk / 24 SpD / 96 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Play Rough
- Sucker Punch
- Swords Dance
- Protect

Zapdos @ Electrium Z
Ability: Static
EVs: 200 HP / 124 SpA / 184 Spe
Modest Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Heat Wave
- Tailwind
- Detect

Tapu Bulu @ Figy Berry
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 56 Atk / 116 SpD / 84 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Wood Hammer
- Superpower
- Swords Dance
- Protect

Volcanion @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 216 HP / 180 SpA / 4 SpD / 108 Spe
Modest Nature
- Heat Wave
- Steam Eruption
- Earth Power
- Protect

Porygon2 @ Eviolite
Ability: Download
EVs: 252 HP / 148 Def / 16 SpA / 92 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 17 Spe
- Ice Beam
- Trick Room
- Recover
- Toxic

Kartana @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 72 SpD / 184 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword
- Knock Off
- Smart Strike
Trick Room was definitely something I wanted to bring this week, but Edu made a good countercall with Toxic Gastrodon being extremely annoying to what I brought. The game was pretty even and I had an opportunity with a free Steam Eruption into a slot where I'd either KO Incineroar or possibly burn whatever comes in, which would help me immensely. Sadly missed the burn, but the game was still winable had I made some different plays.

Mega Mawile Tailroom is something that's done okay for me in Seasonal and various tests and I thought it could pull through here. This was a really close game and I have no regrets, even if the end result wasn't what we wanted.



Tyranitar-Mega @ Tyranitarite
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 184 Atk / 40 Def / 4 SpD / 28 Spe
Brave Nature
- Stone Edge
- Crunch
- Flamethrower
- Stealth Rock

Cresselia @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 92 Def / 48 SpA / 116 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 Spe
- Ice Beam
- Psychic
- Helping Hand
- Trick Room

Tapu Bulu @ Figy Berry
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 56 Atk / 60 SpD / 140 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Wood Hammer
- Superpower
- Swords Dance
- Protect

Volcanion @ Waterium Z
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 248 HP / 136 SpA / 16 SpD / 108 Spe
Modest Nature
- Heat Wave
- Steam Eruption
- Substitute
- Protect

Zapdos @ Wiki Berry
Ability: Static
EVs: 236 HP / 88 Def / 16 SpA / 104 SpD / 64 Spe
Calm Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Tailwind
- Whirlwind

Genesect @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Download
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 164 Atk / 92 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- U-turn
- Iron Head
- Ice Beam
- Flamethrower
Skipping semis was really nice to shake off the 2 loss streak and just watch things unfold. Either Bowman or Jon would've been tough opponents, so I just wanted to take the time to gain composure. I spent the early turns priortizing SR due to the match up, and after that it'd be a matter of picking my Speed control options to create end game scenarios. I made some misplays against the Chansey during TR turns to set me back, but ended up with a trade scenario end game. I did however end up missing Steam Eruption which could've been a game ending occurance, but Jon ended up using Heal Pulse instead which caused another 50/50 play to end the game. Super close game though, probably one of my favorite of the season next to the Bowman Stage 1 game.

I was kind of a mess preparing for this game, this team was probably the fifth or sixth draft after lots of regrettable attempts at creativity. Biosci saved me by just posting a set of six mons and I came up with the moves and spreads, definitely what I needed to get out of my head.

Going into the tournament, it was absolutely not my intention to use a different mega evolution each week. That can be attributed to my desire to avoid being predictable and my tendency to get bored with builds I’ve done before, as well as Biosci’s ideas giving me different avenues that I hadn’t explored before (see: stax game 1 and Bowman game 2). It can be really exhausting to build solid teams every week, especially with how much I pressured myself to be fresh, innovative, and surprising. I definitely lost the balance a couple times (Tsareena comes to mind), but this experience has developed me into a better builder and player so even though I wasn’t able to get a game, I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.


Congrats to all my fellow Serpents, it was a long and tiring tour and I’m glad I got to know all of you and learn what it can be like to truly be a part of the team. Even though I didn’t play, I still felt included and valued as a team member and that kept me going in doing whatever I could to help you all get this green. Shoutouts are long overdue so I won’t ramble too much, but I have to give a couple quick mentions:

Biosci - I was slightly skeptical at the beginning of the season because we hadn't really interacted that much before, but you had the perfect balance of trust in me and pushes in the right direction. Having someone so capable piloting these teams in my first team tour was incredible and I'm glad I could propel you to a much more successful Snake than your first time around. This reassured me that I can prepare for a big team tournament and talking with you throughout the season was a blast, I'm so glad we got to work together.

obii - Thanks so much for picking me up, had a blast this tour and got a trophy as a nice bonus! You might not be the most experienced Doubles player but you were always willing to throw around ideas or play a couple tests and when I was way too in my head, that was invaluable.

teal6 suapah Pak Star Leru elodin Ojama - None of you came in as DOU mains, but you didn’t just take that as an excuse to mute the doubles channel and hope for the best. I’ve heard from Doubles players in the past that it could feel really isolating to be the only one with a different format, but it’s thanks to each of you that I never felt that. Even the stupid questions helped me in their own way and the fact that you all tried your best to help the teams succeed meant a lot.

MajorBowman - My partner in crime, we didn’t get to build together as much as I wanted to, but you were always there for everything from casual, joking conversation to an in-depth existential crisis. On a less mushy note, you even helped testing and building. Sorry you didn’t get the tour you wanted, but now you have another SPL coming up to prove this was just a fluke.

Everyone I tested with, AuraRayquaza Demantoid GenOne Kaori Level 51 miltankmilk n10sit Nido-Rus qsns, my creative side wasn’t always the best to listen to so thanks for ironing out some of the kinks and talking through the sometimes overly convoluted thought process.

If you want to see all the teams together with descriptions of what all the spreads do, I've collected them in this doc! I also put together some of my favorite sets that went unused for your enjoyment here.
 

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