VGC Zanza's Shadow

#1
zanza 2.jpg

In answer to Draconid997 's amazing RMT, i couldn't help but to provide something on par with his teambuilding. I can't say this team is as good as his, but results talk for themselves: This team got me a second place at a MSS, which i will make a report soon, but because Regionals are around the corner i want to make sure this team is as polished as it can be. I'll prove to you that even if my activity has decreased, i still can hold my own. Without further ado, let's go.

By the way, to keep the team's theme focused, you'd like to listen at this while reading.


Teambuilding process:


I built this team the day before the MSS so i didn't think much about the team at the time. However, i knew one thing: Weavile had to be there. I found Ice-type moves are devastating in this metagame due to how many important Pokemon are hit hard by them, which made me want to add a fast and disruptive Ice-type Pokemon, since STAB boosted Ice-type moves are crazy. At first i thought of Kyurem-W, but i'm not a particular fan of either the Choice Scarf set nor of Kyurem-W's natural speed. Weavile's speed, together with Knock Off, which is a strong move with a lot of utility, and Fake Out, would make me prefer it over any other Ice-type.



Weavile's damage output is decent but not great, which means that Pokemon like Primal Groudon would have a fun time with it. Salamence's great damage output, together with one of the best nukes on the game and Intimidate, made me pick it for this slot, together with being a pseudo Primal Groudon check.



Primal Kyogre looked hard to beat from here, together with Xerneas. Look for a check for both in one Pokemon, and you got Ferrothorn. Ferrothorn's typing, together with its amazing bulk, made me inmediatly pick it. I've always been a fan of Ferrothorn in this metagame, so using it and putting it in a team was simple.



Only Ferrothorn as Xerneas counter is really shaky as Xerneas is often paired with Primal Groudon, which is a total nightmare for Ferrothorn. So a Xerneas check that could as well handle Primal Groudon? Sounds like a job for Primal Groudon! Honestly that's a really stupid way of thinking but really, is there another way? Primal Groudon is a really good Pokemon, and i didn't see many reasons to not put it on my team. Plus, it makes my Primal Kyogre matchup relatively better.



However, if i'm going to make myself this weak to Primal Groudon, Mega Salamence alone might not be up to the task of checking it completely. Introducing the new Virizion (props to you if you got my reference), Giratina-O! This Pokemon provides my team a switch-in for common VGC moves such as Water Spout, Precipice Blades and Mega Kangaskhan's everything. Its bulk, together with Levitate and offensive stats, while also being able to check Trick Room teams, made me pick this rare yet amazing Pokemon. I swear to Bionis if it wasn't for Giratina-O, i probably wouldn't have even made top cut!

EVIDENCE.PNG


This is the team i went with to the MSS. Thundurus was the anti-gimmick Pokemon, because with guys like Pephan you never know what to expect, together with providing Thunder Wave's speed control which was in my eyes the best speed control method this format (yeah, screw Trick Room). It also showcases my love for Mega Salamence, Mega Rayquaza and Primal Kyogre.



However, after the MSS, i realised how lackluster Thundurus was on my team, together with how bad Thunder Wave is as speed control method and how desperately i was asking for both priority and a revenge killer. So with all that said, Talonflame came here, adding revenge killing power and a way better speed control method in form of Tailwind. It also does 2 things Thundurus couldn't do: it breaks Ferrothorn and it checks Xerneas.

So, with all that said, let's see every member individually:



Mumkhar (Weavile) (M) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Pressure
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Knock Off
- Icicle Crash
- Feint


Hope there's any Xenoblade Chronicles fans here because they'll get these references inmediatly. Weavile is pretty standard by any means. Fake Out as utility nullifies any offensive momentum the opponent tries to have the first turn, while Knock Off serves as a strong STAB move that also provides some utility. Icicle Crash as Ice-type STAB will do crazy amount of damage to Dragon-types while doing a decent amount of damage to any Mega Evolution, and also having a chance of flinching which with my luck happens very often. Feint is the trick here: Protect is extremely relevant in this metagame so breaking a few to take some surprise KOs is the best thing you could do.



Zanza (Groudon-Primal) @ Red Orb
Ability: Desolate Land
Level: 50
EVs: 156 HP / 196 Atk / 4 Def / 116 SpD / 36 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Fire Punch
- Precipice Blades
- Rock Tomb
- Protect

So Zanza fits pretty well for the most powerful Pokemon in VGC'16, right? (the nick is better for Xerneas, but Shiny Groudon wins over that. Too bad Groudon is shiny locked lol). Well, anyways, this EV spread was one I got while lurking around the forums and the only notable thing it really does is surviving Timid Groudon's Earth Power, as special Groudon are either Quiet which means slower than mine or Timid which i live. Fair enough, is it? As physical Primal Groudon, Precipice Blades are mandatory, and Fire Punch hits Xerneas so hard, while offering the Fire-type coverage needed for Ferrothorn. Rock Tomb is a special move i considered: used to pick up KOs on Talonflame and do significant damage to Ho-Oh, it also serves as a pseudo speed control method which my team really lacks. Bypasses Wide Guard too which is something noteworthy.



Vanea (Giratina-Origin) @ Griseous Orb
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 244 HP / 140 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpA / 116 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Draco Meteor
- Shadow Force
- Will-O-Wisp
- Shadow Sneak

Any Machina would have done it, but Vanea is more relevant in the plot so anyways. The EV spread credit goes Interstellar from Nugget Bridge, which achieves the following:

  • 252/116 survives Fairy Aura Moonblast from 252+ Xerneas 100% of the time.
  • 140+ will OHKO 252/4 Aegislash with Shadow Force 100% of the time.
Draco Meteor is a really powerful nuking move, used mainly to do damage to Mega Kangaskhan and Smeargle as well as doing crazy damage to Primal Groudon. Shadow Force breaks through Protect and offers some mindgames as I can target any of my opponent's Pokemon and hopefully get to break a Protect under Trick Room that nobody saw coming. Will-O-Wisp helps burning physical attackers and makes Mega Kangaskhan want to cry, and Shadow Sneak offers some priority which is key for picking up some KOs on faster Pokemon such as Primal Kyogre, Xerneas and Gengar.



Fiora (Ferrothorn) (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Iron Barbs
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 196 Atk / 60 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Power Whip
- Gyro Ball
- Leech Seed
- Protect


It's difficult to explain this nickname without spoiling half of the game, so I'll leave it float there. Anyways the EV spread should guarantee the 3HKO from Primal Kyogre's full health Water Spout thanks to the Leftovers, giving Ferrothorn plenty of time to reduce its HP to the point where this may not even matter. Power Whip gets the OHKO on the uninvested Primal Kyogre, while Gyro Ball hits faster Pokemon, specially Xerneas, really hard. Leech Seed allows Ferrothorn to beat 1v1 some Pokemon that aren't strong enough to break through Ferrothorn while providing extra recovery.



Kallian (Salamence-Mega) (M) @ Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 44 Atk / 212 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Hyper Voice
- Double-Edge
- Protect

Pretty generic Mega Salamence's spread. Draco Meteor is for beating Mega Rayquaza and the chilean metagame's Mega Salamence, which is a variant that usually runs Substitute or Tailwind over Draco Meteor. Double-Edge is the strong nuke I talked about earlier, while Hyper Voice deals decent damage and is a wide range attack.


Melia (Talonflame) (F) @ Life Orb
Ability: Gale Wings
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Brave Bird
- Flare Blitz
- Tailwind
- Protect

Melia, ah, Melia. I never really liked the character much, but what else can you nickname a Talonflame that isn't Kallian? Anyways, Brave Bird is Talonflame's signature move at this moment (i know it was supposed to be Staraptor's, but Talonflame represents it better to be quite honest) and Flare Blitz provides a strong Fire-type STAB that, when combined with Primal Groudon's Harsh Sun, can deal massive amounts of damage to anything it touches. Tailwind provides the speed control i mentioned before. Adamant is preferred over Jolly together with the Life Orb because Talonflame's damage output is underwhelming without both of these.

Match-ups

Big 6: difficult matchup but not unwinnable. If it is Salamence's big 6, my own Salamence + Weavile is a really safe lead, with Ferrothorn in the back as a back-up in case of a Smeargle + Xerneas lead. If it is the Cresselia / Amoonguss variant, Weavile + Groudon does the trick.
RayOgre: easiest match-up by far, I can nullify the Rayquaza anytime i want with Weavile / Mega Salamence / Giratina-O. If it's a Draco Meteor variant, Ferrothorn autowins.
Trick Room: Trick Room is a very tricky matchup, but with Weavile / Primal Groudon / Giratina-O / Ferrothorn I can deal with most Trick Room variants. A Weavile + Primal Groudon lead should nullify most attempts of Trick Room, and heck, if I see a Groudon + Cresselia lead I can use their Trick Room mentality for my advantage as I can Feint the Groudon and go for Precipice Blades for either the kill or for massive amounts of damage, sometimes even putting the Primal Groudon in Feint's range.
Gravity: lol the MSS flashbacks. I can handle Gravity rather well as most Gravity setters just die to Weavile, but Gravity is a really passive archetype by its own and my team can exert a lot of pressure since turn 1.
SD Mega Rayquaza: Mega Salamence's Hyper Voice, together with Giratina-O being inmune to +2 E-Speed and being able to live the Dragon Ascent and Weavile make this matchup bearable and even easy sometimes. Stuff always gets complicated when a Smeargle appears though.

Well, that's it! Hope you liked the RMT!

If you expected shoutouts, too bad, they won't be up in this particular RMT. However, when a certain report gets up, it'll definitely have them, so don't worry.

See ya all soon!
 
#2
Great team man and thanks for the shoutout :D
Just a couple of things I can see that could maybe do with refining

Giratina



Giratina-Origin @ Griseous Orb
EVs: 236 HP / 140 Atk / 20 Def / 4 SpA / 108 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe

Gotta say I love the spread, but after a bit of experimentation/refining I came up with this one. It still achieves the same benchmarks as the previous spread, but adds a couple of benchmarks:
  • 252+ SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 236 HP / 108 SpD Giratina-O: 216-254 (84.7 - 99.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 140+ Atk Griseous Orb Giratina-O Shadow Force vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Aegislash-Shield: 168-198 (100.5 - 118.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
  • 252 Atk Black Glasses Dark Aura Yveltal Sucker Punch vs. 236 HP / 20 Def Giratina-O: 216-254 (84.7 - 99.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252 SpA Primal Groudon Eruption (150 BP) vs. 236 HP / 108 SpD Giratina-O in Harsh Sun: 72-85 (28.2 - 33.3%) -- Miniscule chance to 3HKO
Ferrothorn



This one is totally up to you. Your current spread will guarantee that ferrothorn can survive 3 water spouts from timid kyogre without leftovers recovery, so I would suggest you do one of two things:
1) Replace ferrothorn's item with something like expert belt or lum berry, since expert belt is fantastic for getting the OHKO on bulkier kyogre (makes ferrothorn a lot less passive and much more offensive), and lum would be a nice choice since you don't have much for smeargle currently.
2) Change your current spread to 252 HP / 188 Atk / 68 SpD, as this allows ferrothorn to survive 4 Dazzling Gleams from a +2 Xerneas when factoring in leftovers recovery. This still achieves the same benchmarks as before, but gives you a bit more bulk when fighting xerneas

Groudon



Just looking over the benchmarks that your spread achieves, it seems that the large HP investment is specifically for -1 Rayquaza (-1 LO Dragon Ascent is a 3HKO) and -1 Physical Primal Groudon (Jolly -1 Precipice Blades is a 3HKO), which is actually pretty cool. The speed looks as though it should just be for speed creeping 252 Spe neutral base 90s, but it will also outspeed -1 Xerneas, Yveltal, Kangaskhan etc after a rock tomb (this requires at least 20 speed EVs if you want to drop some points). I wouldn't recommend changing this spread unless you feel a faster spread would be more optimal for the team, given its relative lack in speed control. 12 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe would be my choice of fast groudon spread, allowing it to take 2 Dazzling Gleams from +2 xerneas as well as adamant CB landorus-t's earthquake.

And that's really all that I can say!
You seem as though you are really comfortable with your current pokemon choices, and I don't think there are many holes in terms of teambuilding in that regard, so I hope that I've helped a bit with what I've suggested.
Best of luck, Draconid :]
 
#3
Great team man and thanks for the shoutout :D
Just a couple of things I can see that could maybe do with refining

Giratina



Giratina-Origin @ Griseous Orb
EVs: 236 HP / 140 Atk / 20 Def / 4 SpA / 108 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe

Gotta say I love the spread, but after a bit of experimentation/refining I came up with this one. It still achieves the same benchmarks as the previous spread, but adds a couple of benchmarks:
  • 252+ SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 236 HP / 108 SpD Giratina-O: 216-254 (84.7 - 99.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 140+ Atk Griseous Orb Giratina-O Shadow Force vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Aegislash-Shield: 168-198 (100.5 - 118.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
  • 252 Atk Black Glasses Dark Aura Yveltal Sucker Punch vs. 236 HP / 20 Def Giratina-O: 216-254 (84.7 - 99.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252 SpA Primal Groudon Eruption (150 BP) vs. 236 HP / 108 SpD Giratina-O in Harsh Sun: 72-85 (28.2 - 33.3%) -- Miniscule chance to 3HKO
Ferrothorn



This one is totally up to you. Your current spread will guarantee that ferrothorn can survive 3 water spouts from timid kyogre without leftovers recovery, so I would suggest you do one of two things:
1) Replace ferrothorn's item with something like expert belt or lum berry, since expert belt is fantastic for getting the OHKO on bulkier kyogre (makes ferrothorn a lot less passive and much more offensive), and lum would be a nice choice since you don't have much for smeargle currently.
2) Change your current spread to 252 HP / 188 Atk / 68 SpD, as this allows ferrothorn to survive 4 Dazzling Gleams from a +2 Xerneas when factoring in leftovers recovery. This still achieves the same benchmarks as before, but gives you a bit more bulk when fighting xerneas

Groudon



Just looking over the benchmarks that your spread achieves, it seems that the large HP investment is specifically for -1 Rayquaza (-1 LO Dragon Ascent is a 3HKO) and -1 Physical Primal Groudon (Jolly -1 Precipice Blades is a 3HKO), which is actually pretty cool. The speed looks as though it should just be for speed creeping 252 Spe neutral base 90s, but it will also outspeed -1 Xerneas, Yveltal, Kangaskhan etc after a rock tomb (this requires at least 20 speed EVs if you want to drop some points). I wouldn't recommend changing this spread unless you feel a faster spread would be more optimal for the team, given its relative lack in speed control. 12 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe would be my choice of fast groudon spread, allowing it to take 2 Dazzling Gleams from +2 xerneas as well as adamant CB landorus-t's earthquake.

And that's really all that I can say!
You seem as though you are really comfortable with your current pokemon choices, and I don't think there are many holes in terms of teambuilding in that regard, so I hope that I've helped a bit with what I've suggested.
Best of luck, Draconid :]
Hey man is there any way i can fix the awful Yveltal weakness I have?
 
#4
Hey man is there any way i can fix the awful Yveltal weakness I have?
Yveltal is a very difficult mon to handle, there are only a couple things i can see helping out without directly affecting other matchups etc:
Weavile/groudon already kinda help out, mawile (imo your best bet) could work over ferrothorn but it weakens kyogre matchups etc, but it could definitely work.
Talonflame and salamence also help out vs yveltal/groudon teams, but its definitely a hard matchup to handle. Landorus and thundurus can also work on the team to help out, but that's about all i can think up. I might be missing something here, but i hope this helps out a bit
 

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