RU Spotlight RMT: Rise of Mangoose

Team by Molk, with commentary by Mack the Knife. Art by ZapDraws.
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Sup everyone, my name is Molk, and this is my first RMT in quite a while (i think my last one was Mach Aviation, the team with Swellow during the Nidoqueen meta). So anyways, things have changed quite a bit since I last posted that team, I now have well over 2000 posts, I've recieved CC, and most notably: I've gotten RU mods since then, something I never expected myself to get after all the trouble I caused on the forums and irc tbh, so thanks to all of you who supported me in getting them, it means a lot :>. The metagame's changed quite a bit since then as well, more NU threats such as Alomomola are starting to get more popular, and Nidoqueen's finally left the tier after about 9 months, something quite a few RU players had been waiting for for a long time (I personally didn't have a problem with Nidoqueen, but I know for a fact that several other people certainly did). I started using this team during the final part of the queen meta, (actually its the team I got reqs with) and its been one of my favorite teams since I've started playing Pokémon, so I decided to post it for all of you to enjoy :).

This team started out when blarajan asked me on irc to help him out with building a team around Swellow for one of his spl matches, and after about two days of teambuilding, tweaking sets, and testing the team on the ladder we decided it was ready for use. Sadly, although the original version of the team was in fact very good, blara still ended up losing because of a Scald burn on Druddigon during an important part of the match. Nonetheless, I thought the team held its own, especially given the match was still only a 1-0 even given that bout of bad luck, so I decided to make a few modifications to the team, even replacing the Pokémon the team was originally built around, and started using it on the ladder and on RUgged Mountain myself. After the modifications I made I was quite happy with how the team performed, although I still change some Pokémon and EVs around occasionally just for fun (Swellow's original teamslot is what changes the most, pretty much any offensive Normal-type can work decently there from my experience, although I prefer Zangoose because of its sheer wallbreaking ability).

The team itself is a bulky offense team built around setting up as many entry hazards as possible, using Druddigon and Qwilfish's defensive typing and bulk to set up multiple layers easily, eventually leading up to a late game Zangoose sweep. Offensive Cryogonal keeps hazards off of my side of the field with Rapid Spin and its ability to pressure most of the spinblockers, while providing a decent check to things like Blizzspammers with its reliable recovery, ice resist, and good special bulk. Entei and Rotom-C serve as my revenge killers, and between the two of them very few Pokémon can attempt to run through my team without getting revenge killed rather quickly. Entei and Rotom-C can take advantage of the hazards Druddigon and Qwilfish set too, giving me more methods to pressure the opposing team even if Zangoose ends up being KO'd early on in the match.

I'm rather happy with how the team's performing at the moment, but I'm rather curious as to how other forum members might be able to improve it, while its a very solid team, there are a few holes that could be covered, such as the lack of a rock resist, if you think you have a good way to improve the team be sure to leave a rate :).

A First Glance


A Closer Look

Druddigon @ Leftovers
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 200 HP / 252 Atk / 56 Spe
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Stealth Rock
- Outrage
- Sucker Punch
- Earthquake

Druddigon's just amazing in RU at the moment, it was a great Pokémon back in BW1 RU too, but the new movepool additions and metagame shifts that BW2 brought on have turned Druddigon into a top tier threat, that pretty much every team needs to be prepared for. Anyways, Druddigon serves as my team's Stealth Rock setter, using its bulk, ability to force switches, and typing to reliably set it up multiple times a match if needed, and also checks many common threats for me such as Lilligant, Sceptile, Rotom-C, Manectric, Magmortar, Cinccino (switching Rough Skin Drudd into tail slap is fun) Entei, and Slowking (watch out for the possible Scald burn though ;-;).

Outside of this, Druddigon has the power and coverage to be a really potent offensive threat, and it usually gets at least one KO a match if I play well. STAB Outrage in RU is incredibly dangerous, with very few good resistances to it being available, the only real downside to Outrage is being locked into it for a few turns after the initial attack, preventing me from switching out Drudd when I might really need to, although this doesn't happen as often as you might think. Earthquake rounds out Drudd's coverage, hitting many of the Steel-types the resist Dragon such as Steelix and Klinklang super effectively, it also lets me hit various Ground weak Pokémon such as Entei and Kabutops hard when being locked into Outrage would be unfavorable for me. Lastly, Sucker Punch makes Druddigon a decent revenge killer, allowing me to use it to pick off various weakened/frail threats if Entei/Rotom-C are either down or crippled. The EVs I gave Druddigon are pretty simple, they make Druddigon as powerful and bulky as possible, while letting me outspeed minimum Speed Tangrowth, plus a little more Speed to help me outrun opposing Druddigon, Outraging them before they can Outrage/Dragon Claw me.

Cryogonal @ Icicle Plate
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 60 HP / 252 SpA / 196 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Ice Beam
- Rapid Spin
- Hidden Power Fighting
- Recover

When blarajan and I first started off this team with Swellow, we knew we'd need a spinner for sure given how easily Swellow gets worn down with Stealth Rock on the field. After some thought, we decided to use offensive Hidden Power Fighting Cryogonal over Kabutops as our spinner to help out against hail abusers such as Glaceon and Walrein a bit more and to lessen the Volt Switch weakness the team had. Although I no longer have Swellow on this team, I still find Cryogonal's Rapid Spin support very useful, as most of my team is grounded and Cryogonal itself is the only Pokémon on my team with reliable recovery, meaning multiple layers can get annoying fast when left unchecked. Cryogonal still serves the role of helping out against Blizzspammers such as Glaceon, Walrein, and Rotom-F as well, only really fearing Toxic or well played Volt Switching with Stealth Rock up on my side. I used Icicle Plate over Life Orb on Cryogonal to help lessen recoil while still giving a similar power boost, making it easier to keep Cryo alive for as long as it has to be to pull off a Rapid Spin, and also makes it a little less reliant on Recover. Ice Beam is the offensive move Cryogonal is using the most regardless, so it doesnt miss the boost on Hidden Power Fighting too much.

Hidden Power Fighting was chosen over Hidden Power Fire and Hidden Power Ground to serve almost as a middle ground between the two. Like Hidden Power Fire, Hidden Power Fighting hits most of the hail sweepers super effectively (it actually hits Walrein harder than Fire), giving me an easier time taking them out and letting me easily break the Substitutes of subtect mons such as Glaceon and Walrein. Like Hidden Power Ground, Hidden Power Fighting also gets a relatively strong hit on Aggron and Omastar, both of which threaten my team, and also gives me a way to hit Kabutops hard on the switch, preventing it from using Cryogonal as an opportunity to Rapid Spin my hazards away. The EVs are aimed at letting Cryogonal hit as hard as possible, while giving it enough Speed to outrun max Speed Sigilyph, the rest are placed into HP for just a small amount of extra bulk.

Zangoose @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Toxic Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SpA)
- Facade
- Close Combat
- Night Slash
- Quick Attack

You know, I really don't understand why Zangoose gets little to no usage in RU these days, from my experience it's one of the most underrated Pokémon in the tier at the moment, and I think it definitely deserves way more usage. Zangoose serves as the late game cleaner and wallbreaker of the team, and with more and more slower, bulkier teams showing up because of Nidoqueen's abscence, Zangoose is arguably even more powerful than it was last meta, as it does a great job of demolishing these kinds of teams. After Toxic Boost activates, Zangoose's Facade becomes more powerful than even notoriously powerful moves such as CB Druddigon's Outrage and Adamant Scarf Medicham's Hi Jump Kick, giving it the ability to 2HKO pretty much every defensive Pokémon in the tier at worst, with only physically defensive Steelix and Spiritomb even having a chance to avoid the 2HKO from all 3 of Facade, Close Combat, and Night Slash; even Tangrowth falls to the mighty mongoose, getting 2HKO'd by Facade 100% of the time after Stealth Rock.

Quick Attack gives Zangoose some more utility against more offensive teams, letting it pick off frailer threats that might attempt to revenge kill it, while also giving my team yet another way to revenge kill potential threats to my team before they can do too much damage. Although Zangoose's fraility makes it harder to activate the Toxic Orb, I almost always get the Toxic Boost on Zangoose during the match either via means of smart double switching, switching Zangoose in on a predicted Toxic, using Zangoose to revenge kill, or by using Rotom-C's Volt Switch to help get Zangoose in for free, so goose's lower defenses aren't as crippling as some people might think it is imo. Lastly, i'll list some damage calcs below to show just how dangerous Zangoose can be with the Toxic Orb activated, I think you'll be pretty impressed =).

Qwilfish @ Leftovers
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 160 Def / 96 Spe
Impish Nature (+Def, -SpA)
- Spikes
- Waterfall
- Taunt
- Thunder Wave

Qwilfish is probably one of the more annoying Pokémon in RU at the moment, proving to be a nuisance to countless teams via a combination of Intimidate, its good typing, and great support movepool. Qwilfish serves as this team's Spikes setter, defensive pivot, and glue, and like fellow hazard setter Druddigon checks many threatening Pokémon such as Escavalier, Durant, Entei, Emboar, Hitmonlee, and Hariyama. Outside of checking these threats, Qwilfish's Intimidate ability is still incredibly useful, making Qwilfish a decent emergency stop to pretty much every physical attacker in RU, whether it hard counters them or not. Taunt stops slower Pokémon such as hazards Omastar and Crustle from setting up their own hazards while Qwilfish attempts to set up Spikes, giving me the immediate advantage in these matchups. Taunt also lets Qwilfish stop slower Pokémon such as Bouffalant, Crawdaunt, and Omastar from setting up on Qwilfish while it attempts to set up Spikes, which is always nice. Thunder Wave helps prevent Pokémon from setting up on Qwilfish as well, crippling them and cutting their Speed even if they manage to get the boost, making them much easier to handle.

Thunder Wave is useful for crippling switch-ins as well, especially given that many Pokémon such as Sceptile, Lilligant, Rotom-C, and Rotom-N that commonly attempt to switch into Qwilfish absolutely hate being paralyzed, with their Speed being one of their most important assets. The Speed EVs I gave Qwilfish allow it to outspeed max Speed Crawdaunt and Omastar, allowing me to either Taunt or paralyze them before they can set up Substitute, Dragon Dance, or Shell Smash respectively. More or less Speed/Bulk can be run rather easily though, and the spread really depends on personal preference.

Entei @ Choice Band
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Flare Blitz
- ExtremeSpeed
- Stone Edge
- Sleep Talk

Entei is a rather simple Pokémon to be honest, and I'm sure anyone who's played RU for a significant amount of time knows what it does by now: breaks down defensive Pokémon who don't resist Fire-type attacks with its nuclear Flare Blitz, while also serving as a good revenge killer with Extremespeed and possibly as a sleep absorber with Sleep Talk. On this team Entei provides me with a way to reliably check and revenge kill a large amount of common Pokémon such as Sceptile, Lilligant (absorbs Sleep Powder too!), Accelgor, Galvantula, Hitmonlee, Gallade, Absol, Jynx, Hail sweepers, and pretty much anything thats been sufficiently weakened enough and doesn't resist ExtremeSpeed. It also gives me a secondary check to say Escavalier, who can't KO Entei with even CB Megahorn and gets OHKOed by Flare Blitz in return. Although moves like Will-O-Wisp and Hidden Power Grass might seem appealing in Entei's last moveslot at first, I think Sleep Talk is by far the best option for a fourth move. Entei matches up well with pretty much all of the common sleep inducers in RU, switching into Lilligant, Amoonguss, Tangrowth, Lilligant, and Jynx with ease and forcing them out with ease, if they stay in, they risk getting OHKOed by Flare Blitz or ExtremeSpeed. Lastly, although CB Entei can't fully stop Smeargle, the combination of Entei and Rotom-C handles the artist dog quite handily, with Rotom-C Volt Switching to Entei so it can absorb the Spore, while Entei outspeeds, Sleep Talks, and OHKO's Smeargle with any attack.

Rotom-C @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 12 HP / 252 SpA / 244 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Volt Switch
- Leaf Storm
- Thunderbolt
- Trick

Rotom-C is simply an awesome Pokémon, and it definitely deserves its recent promotion to low S rank on the RU viability thread imo, it has a lot of utility, and it's powerful and versatile to boot :). Anyways, Choice Scarf Rotom-C serves as my secondary revenge killer, handily checking most of the threatening Pokémon that Entei can't cover, such as Crawdaunt, Kabutops, Feraligatr, Aerodactyl, and Rock Polish Aggron, and also revenge kills other Pokémon its teammates already cover just in case I have to sacrifice one during the match, such as Durant. Volt Switch is an amazing move as well, and because of Rotom-C's typing and ability to force switches, its absolutely amazing at racking up momentum for my team, using Rotom-C's Volt Switch as my opponent switches out is also one of my main ways to activate Zangoose's Toxic Orb for free, making Mo wtom an invaluable teammate in this regard.

Because of Rotom-C's great Speed stat with Choice Scarf equipped, Rotom-C can clean up late game just like Zangoose and Entei, although not quite as easily because Rotom-C doesn't hit as hard as those two. Although it might look strange not to run max Speed on a Choice Scarfed Pokémon, the Speed EVs serve a specific purpose: they make sure I always Volt Switch after other Scarf Rotom-C in a mirror match whether they're running a speed reducing Hidden Power or not, making sure I always get the switch advantage. I checked the RU Speed tiers before making this change, and I don't really lose out on anything bar Scarf Rotom-F, so I think the Speed EV drop is a pretty good tradeoff (don't go any lower though, thats when you start losing out on important things. Lastly, Rotom-C forms a nice FWG core with Entei and Qwilfish, which is always really cool :>.


A lot has changed in RU. Nidoqueen, who was arguably the biggest threat in RU, has left the tier. This has led to many Pokémon becoming more viable such as Qwilfish or Steelix. As you see, Molk is using Nidoqueen's absence to create a bulky offensive team that utilizes a very underrated threat: Zangoose!

The Team

As you can see, Druddigon is usually the lead, due to its ability to set up Stealth Rock. Its typing and bulk are very effective, allowing it to set up Stealth Rock repeatedly. Druddigon is also useful due to its ability to force switches with STAB Outrage. This makes it a very dangerous holepuncher which can allow Zangoose to sweep more easily. Also, its movepool gives it good coverage and a priority move in Sucker Punch. Next up is Cryogonal, who is the team's spinner, helping Zangoose and Entei, who hate entry hazards, a lot. Cryogonal was chosen above the other spinners in RU due to its access to Levitate, reliable recovery, and ability to counter Blizz-spammers, who would otherwise only be countered by Entei.

Entei, Qwilfish, and Rotom-C form the popular Fire / Water / Grass core that is very useful. Qwilfish and Rotom-C are quite bulky and able to set up entry hazards or pivot, respectively. Rotom-C is a sweeper as well and is able to finish off weakened teams if Zangoose has been KOed or is unable to, while Qwilfish can set down Spikes and switch in against many physical attacks, including (but not limited to) Emboar, Entei, Durant, and Escavalier. Qwilfish's Taunt can stop many hazard setters, such as Ferroseed or Crustle, and, in the process, make Cryogonal's job easier. Also, its Thunder Wave is very important for paralyzing many fast Pokémon on the switch, such as Rotom-C or Sceptile. Entei, which is quite different from the other 2 members of this core, is the wallbreaker of this team and is able to force switches, break walls, and sweep while being able to "outspeed" opponents with ExtremeSpeed. This makes it another backup sweeper if Zangoose is down for the count. Rotom-C makes for a good lead, if the opposing team lacks any Pokémon immune to Volt Switch, since it is able to get the advantage no matter what. Also, Volt Switch is great for breaking Focus Sashes on leads such as Smeargle or Snover.

Now, onto the titular Pokémon: Zangoose! Zangoose, as shown by the damage calculations, is quite underrated. His Facade is extremely powerful and has good coverage. Also, priority from Quick Attack is very nifty. Zangoose is the main sweeper of this team and makes for a good wallbreaker as well. However, it isn't all good news, since passive damage of all kinds can be very annoying. Fortunately, this is taken care of by Cryogonal, which takes care of two of the most common forms of passive damage: hail and entry hazards. All in all, this is a well-rounded team that covers most of its weaknesses quite well.


This team may be very well-rounded, but alas, no team is perfect. There are three Rock-type Pokémon that can be very dangerous to this team if one doesn't play carefully. The first one is Aggron, which is able to switch in on a Choice-locked Entei or Outrage-locked Druddigon, set up Rock Polish, and begin to wreak havoc. Also, Head Smash is extremely powerful, being able to 2HKO Qwilfish, this team's main physical wall. Fortunately, it can be revenge killed by Rotom-C, but Aggron will usually be able to take down at least one Pokémon. The next threat is Omastar, which can almost sweep the entire team if it gets a Shell Smash boost, even outspeeding Scarf Rotom-C. It is not a perfect counter though, since Qwilfish is able to take a +2 Hydro Pump and it can only set up on Choice-locked Entei, but if Qwilfish has taken damage beforehand and Omastar manages to set up, it will not be stopped. The last big threat is Rhydon, which Molk described as "too manly for me". Rhydon is a pain because it is immune to Volt Switches, can switch in on Entei, and is able to take a Close Combat from Zangoose. It's not unbeatable though, because it has no form of recovery whatsoever (not even Leftovers), and is extremely weak to Leaf Storms from Rotom-C and Waterfalls from Qwilfish.

Spiritomb is a great answer to Zangoose due to its immunities to Quick Attack, Facade, and Close Combat and neutrality to Night Slash. However, even though the almighty Zangoose is unable to defeat it, there are other ways of dealing with it. Since it lacks reliable recovery, multiple layers of hazards can spell doom for Spiritomb! This is proof of this team's ability to support Zangoose under almost any circumstances. Also, although hail can be very annoying to Zangoose, it is taken care of with ease by Entei and Cryogonal.


As you see, Molk has crafted a great team that has very few counters and covers most of its weaknesses. This team has now popularized Zangoose, which was seen before as a gimmick and best left in NU. All in all, it is a great and, more importantly, influential team.

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