Revolutionizing the Metagame in Late 2007 - Aldaron


UPDATED October 7, 2009.

K, I deleted this team because I simply didn't want to update it with the real, completely competitively viable version I used about a month after posting this (It replaced Hitmontop with Choice Scarf Infernape and Life Orb Heatran with Life Orb Salamence).

But, I was sifting through my files on my old computer and found an updated version I had planned on posting before getting lazy and just deleting this lol. Note, I'm editing stuff in now based solely on memory, so some things could possibly seem anachronistic due to changes from DP -> DPP and now DPPHGSS. So remember that this team was meant SOLELY for DP; it wasn't meant for DPP or Garchomp-less at all (Note the HP Ice on Gengar AND Infernape).

Surprisingly, I actually tried out this version of the team with Choice Scarf Rotom-h with Thunderbolt, Shadow Ball, Will-O-Wisp, and Trick in place of Gengar on standard ladder and went 8 for 8 lol. Of course, the battles weren't particularly challenging, as the hardest was simply an average player using a standard good team, so I was able to outbattle them all, not necessarily out team them all.

I was talking to MoP recently and we both noted how incredibly boring "good" rmts had become. Just standard teams with 1 or 2 changes, boring explanations, and incredibly banal (and bordering on arrogant) threat lists. I decided that I would judge an rmt's quality based not only on how well it did competitively, but also its effect on the metagame. Did it change how people view the game? Did it change how people play the game? Did it change Pokemon usage? Did it introduce a significant new competitive strategy?

That's partly why I'm undeleting this team, to show what it introduced into the metagame circa late November 2007 to early February 2008, and what lasting effects it has had on the metagame even up until now. I think these are the rmts that really should be shown, not the ones that use a bog standard team to get to #1 on the ladder.

Anyway, around the time I built this team, copies of Obi-stall were running all over ladder. Stall in general was being utilized non stop and the game was becoming EXTRAORDINARILY slow. I wish I could describe just how much stall was on the ladder, but I'm not sure I could without approaching the realm of hyperbole. So Obi stall with its Hippowdon, Blissey, Skarmory and Celebi was all over the place, and I thought..."how do I beat this." Also, you had to deal with the standard offensive stuff at that time, like Mix Infernape, offensive Dragon Dance Gyarados, and Starmie.

The answer, over a long period of time (including after posting the initial version of the team), came pretty simply: Toxic Spikes and Life Orb Salamence give Stall trouble, and Stealth Rock and 2 (at the time) "surprise" Choice Scarfers in Gengar and Infernape would help keep offense in check.

The Team

Roserade @ Focus Sash
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Grass Knot
- Hidden Power Fire
- Sleep Powder
- Toxic Spikes

I ended up sticking with Hidden Power Fire as the main move, to deter stall (Skarmory / Forretress primarily) from setting up after allowing a Pokemon to absorb sleep. I also settled on Sleep Powder + Toxic Spikes over Grass Whistle + Spikes because Sleep Powder's accuracy was much more appealing and 1 layer of Toxic Spikes is just a little worse than 1 later of Spikes for the initial switch in.

Swampert @ Leftovers
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 240 HP / 216 Def / 52 SpD
Relaxed Nature
- Ice Beam
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Hydro Pump

I stuck with Hydro Pump to help me deal more damage to Skarmory again (note the beat stall pattern lol). The EVs help me survive a +2 Outrage from neutral attack nature Garchomp and 2 Life Orb Shadow Balls from Gengar, even after Stealth Rock damage.

Gengar @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Shadow Ball
- Focus Blast
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power Ice

Note the Hidden Power Ice lol. Garchomp was _that_ much of an issue. Also helped against Dragon Dancing Salamence, I guess, but before Platinum they weren't too much of an issue.

Lucario @ Life Orb
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Close Combat
- Bullet Punch
- ExtremeSpeed

The main point of this team. Note that while I generally advocate Crunch as the main move for Lucario, on this team I settled on Bullet Punch to help me deal with Aerodactyl and Gengar, both of whom annoy me more than Celebi (or Cresselia / Dusknoir).

Infernape @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 156 Atk / 120 SpA / 232 Spe
Naive Nature
- Close Combat
- Fire Blast
- ThunderPunch
- Hidden Power Ice

Hidden Power Ice again, lol. Damn, Garchomp must have been a bitch. This reaches 341 Speed without the Scarf, to allow me to outspeed Adamant Choice Scarf Dugtrio and Dragon Dancing Salamence / Gyarados and all Choice Scarf Garchomp. The Special Attack reaches 274, or enough to ohko 4 hp / 0 spdef Garchomp after SR + 1 Toxic Spike turn damage on average. Rest are put into attack so I can deal more damage with Close Combat. In Platinum I would probably dumb ThunderPunch for U-turn and Hidden Power Ice for Stone Edge (as I have for Choice Scarf Infernape on my other teams).

Salamence @ Life Orb
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 76 Atk / 252 SpAtk / 180 Spd
Rash Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Fire Blast
- Brick Break
- Roost

Woooo! Have loved this set since the beginning of DP, and love it now in HG / SS. Classic Mixmence, my second favorite Salamence set (after bulky DD Roost :P). This team needs something to help deal with general stall, and there isn't much of a better pokemon than Classic MixMence to do that lol. I didn't have an explanation in my word document, so my best guess regarding the EVs is that I reach 280 speed to get Heatran and Lucario, max Special Attack and dump the rest into Attack.