Sun Viability in OU

By insanelegend. Art by Myuu767.
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Some readers may remember Generation 5. It was a brutal battle of sun vs rain vs sand, with hail teams not having much of an impact. Sweepers such as Kingdra and Venusaur were brutal and powerful (though Kingdra was used against rain teams due to the combination of Drizzle + Swift Swim not being allowed on the same team), while Excadrill was even banished to Ubers because people could not deal with its combination of Swords Dance + Sand Rush. Each of the three main weathers had their own sweepers, which had their moves powered up, their speed boosted, or some of their other traits bolstered by the weather. But then came XY. Soon, people realized the metagame was going to turn on its head because of one simple mechanics change: weather-inducing abilities did not keep their respective weather around for an infinite amount of turns. These abilities now had the same effect as moves such as as Hail, Rain Dance, Sandstorm, and Sunny Day. While certain items could boost the amount of time the weather was up, it was nothing compared to the permanent weather seen in Gen 5. Excadrill was unbanned, simply because it was now more manageable. Many abandoned weather teams, and ignored new Pokémon that could forever change the way these teams work. While all types of weather have gotten new toys, sun teams got the biggest and brightest, and with these new tools, sun remains a viable threat.

Goal of Sun Team

The whole goal of sun teams is to keep the sun up and use it to the best effect; there are a variety of ways to take advantage of the sun. For example, sun powers up Synthesis, Morning Sun, and Moonlight, allowing Pokémon with these moves to survive and recover more health. It powers up Fire-type moves and weakens Water-type attacks, making Fire-types all the more viable. It makes Solarbeam a one-turn move, transforming it into a great coverage move for many Pokémon. One of the huge buffs it gives is to Growth, a move normally not worth using due to its lack of a notable boost outside of sun. But under the sun, it gives a +2 boost to each of the user's attacking stats. This move usually goes hand-in-hand with with the ability Chlorophyll, which instantly doubles Speed in the sun with no downsides (beat that, Choice Scarf). Three other abilities that are benefited by sun but are not very seen often are Havest, which provides a 100% chance to recover its user's berry, Solar Power, which works like a more powerful Life Orb, and Leaf Guard, which prevents all status and unfortunately prevents the use of rest. That seems like a lot, but is sun really even the best choice for a weather team?

Weather Comparison

As previously mentioned, the two other main weathers are sand and rain. Both will be the bane of your existence if you use sun, so make sure to ALWAYS take out opposing weather inducers quickly and efficiently, unless they help you maintain your own weather (like opposing Mega- Charizard Y). As for whether sun is the best weather, let's compare. Rain and sand match up much better against the Fire-types seen on sun teams, but Grass-types will match up well against these opponents. There is always the option of running a coverage move to hit Pokémon on opposing weather teams, but matchups will generally give the advantage to one side or the other. Also, all three have very different weather inducers. Since we have to talk about them somewhere, let's do it here.

Ninetales and Mega Charizard Y both have their ups and downs. Let me make this clear, though: you have to use Ninetales and it has to hold Heat Rock. You can try other things, but this is the only Pokémon who can get the sun up long enough and often enough to be able to truly benefit your team. Mega Charizard Y can help, but you need to have Ninetales. Apart from that, Ninetales can utilize many sets to be effective. It can boost with Nasty Plot for pure offensive power or use the combination of Calm Mind + Will-O-Wisp to run a harder-to-crack defensive set. Hypnosis can put counters to sleep and cripple them while allowing Ninetales a free switch if the opposition switches into it. This must be said, though: Heatran totallly and completely walls Ninetales in every way if you do not have Hidden Power Ground or have Heatran hit itself in confusion maybe about 20 times after Confuse Ray. On the defensive side, Will-O-Wisp is a must. Its ability to burn the opposition cripples switch-ins such as Tyranitar and Terrakion. There are other options for Ninetales as well: Pain Split gives Ninetales some recovery outside of Sleep Talk, Foul Play can heavily damage physical attackers, Roar stops set-up sweepers, and Confuse Ray lets it harm Pokémon that it otherwise would not be able to. Overall, Ninetales is a mediocore Pokémon in OU, its only niche being Drought. Charizard Y on the other hand is an absolute nightmare. It is very simple to use; spam STAB sun-boosted Fire Blasts, use coverage moves such as Ancient Power, Solarbeam, Focus Blast, and Dragon Pulse when needed, and use Roost to recover health. The downside to Mega Charizard Y is that it can only keep sun up for 5 turns, including the turn it switches in.

As for opposing weather inducers, Politoed operates much like Ninetales. It can use a RestTalk set or hit hard with powerful STAB attacks. It has much better coverage than Ninetales, but has slightly fewer support options, although it does have Encore, which can easily provide set-up opportunities and force switches. Ninetales has lower defenses and Special Attack, but also has much higher Speed and a somewhat better supportive movepool, making it the better Pokémon for a quick, reliable burn or a speedier attack. Politoed works better in defensive roles. As for Tyranitar, it has very high usage outside of weather teams. Its movepool includes Stealth Rock, EdgeQuake, Crunch, Fire Blast, Ice Beam, and Pursuit. It also has high base 134 Attack stat and decent Special Attack stat. Sand Stream and its good Special Defense make it an incredible tank. Sun sweepers are overall better than rain sweepers and sand sweepers, with sand having only Excadrill and Mega Garchomp appreciating a direct buff. Sun has such monsters as Darmanitan, Volcarona, Chandelure, Venusaur, and Sawsbuck (Someone please tell me why all the Fire-type sweepers with huge attacking stats are in UU). Rain has Keldeo, as well as some potent Swift Swim sweepers in Kabutops and Kingdra. These sweepers get their STAB Water-type moves boosted, making them look like the superior options at a glance. A closer look reveals that while they may hit harder and faster right off the bat, some Chlorophyll Pokémon can utilize Growth to turn into incredible mixed attackers; Fire-types also tend to have slightly more power. Sun teams are better at sweeping, so just don't try to match the other weathers in stall.

Threats and Ways to Beat Them

Fortunately, weather teams are few and far between. Since the weather nerf, all weather playstyles have lost a great deal of usage and are now the least of your worries. However, that does not mean it will be easy to keep your sun up and use it. There are three very common Pokémon you should worry about when using sun. The first of these is the new starter bird, Talonflame. Many assumed it would be exactly like every other one of these birds (except Staraptor): utterly useless in the upper tiers. It had mediocre stats, with the only good one being an exceptional 126 Speed. It was, however, gifted with the unique ability Gale Wings, which lets it have priority on every single Flying-Type move it uses. Choice Banded Brave Bird soon appeared all over OU and started wrecking shop. Fortunately for us, Talonflame lacks good coverage. Most sets are hard-walled by any Rock-Type available. So all we have to do is find a great Rock-Type. This does not include Terrakion, which takes 80% from Choice Band-boosted Brave Bird. Not to worry, there is another amazing Rock-type Pokémon with very high usage and a great ability in Sand Stream... We can still use it with Unnerve, but that almost seems just wrong on a sun team. Unfortunately, Tyranitar is also a huge annoyance to sun. While it is powerful and has great coverage, the real nuisance is in its ability, Sand Stream. This takes away your precious sun and whittles away your Pokémon slowly. While there seem some Pokémon that can easily wall it, such as Skarmory, Landorus-T, and Gliscor, these Pokémon die to coverage moves such as Fire Blast and Ice Beam which some Tyranitar carry. Tyranitar also supports Sand Rush Excadril, which is a huge threat as it deals with all of your Fire-types and can usually KO your frail Grass-types, especially with a Swords Dance boost. Luckily, Tyranitar is weak to STAB attacks from sun sweepers, and also has a low Speed stat and, as well as weaknesses to common Fighting- and Ground-type moves, which you should be carrying for the last Pokémon on this list.

This Pokémon absolutely walls Ninetales, and laughs in the face of most Venusaur. It takes on any of Volcarona's standard moves. ..It is known as Heatran. If you don't understand why this is threat so fearsome, let me explain. Many Chlorophyll sweepers, such as Exeggutor and Venusaur, rely on their dual STAB attacks and sun-boosted Hidden Power Fire. This has basically perfect coverage on everything except for Heatran, which completely walls Grass-type moves, is immune to Fire-type moves, and has many resistances along with Earth Power and Lava Plume to utterly destroy your Pokémon. Just like the other 2 Pokémon listed here, it is very threatening but has good counters. Probably the best Pokémon to counter these threats is Slowbro. It is a hard counter to most Talonflame as it is not 2HKOed by Choice Band Adamant Talonflame's Brave Bird. It also takes on all of Heatran's coverage bar the nonexistant Dark Pulse and resists its dual STAB attacks. While it does not wall Tyranitar, Tyranitar switches into Scald at its own risk. Slowbro is also solid with the amazing ability Regenerator, allowing it to heal off damage, and also has resistances to Ice-, Water-, and Fire resist-type moves to help your Chlorophyll and Fire-Type sweepers stay alive and healthy. Chansey serves as another counter to Heatran, able to take any one of its attacks with ease while finding time to heal teammates with Heal Bell. It can also use Wish, allowing it to switch into whatever Pokémon the opponent sends out to deal with it with no cost on HP, thanks to its massive Wishes coming off a huge HP stat, and can threaten foes with Seismic Toss. Since Talonflame is such a huge threat, you may also want to use Rotom-Heat. It resists both of Talonflame's STAB attacks and can do serious damage or stand as a steadfast wall. For Tyranitar, just carry moves such as Jump Kick on Sawsbuck and Focus Blast on whatever can use it, keeping in mind that it can, however survive a Focus Blast. Or possibly two.

These offensive and defensive behemoths are certainly not the only threat to your team. Stealth Rock must be prevented and removed ASAP from your side of the field. Sure Mega Charizard Y is pretty powerful, but losing half its HP when it comes in limits switch opportunities. Ninetales especially needs to be able to switch in freely without too much loss to its health. The entry hazards just wear your team down, letting them be OHKOed instead of 2HKOed. Hazards should be removed regardless of what team you have, but it is even more imperative on a sun team. Stall playstyles can also be troublesome. The sun is up for a limited amount of turns anyway, without dealing with defensive stalling. This uses up your precious turns of sun and forces you to come in with Ninetales more often then you would like. This also makes your Pokémon less powerful and will not let them have an advantage until you switch into a certain fiery fox (not named Delphox).

The first can be prevented with Anti-Leads, such as Focus Sash Infernape, which uses Fake Out and another powerful move to KO leads such as Smeargle before they can get their entry hazards up. Taunt is also an option that prevents entry hazards and helps your team wallbreak later. You must always have a back up spinner or defogger to catch all entry hazards, and there are a few good choices. I find Archeops to be particularly potent. Just look at those glorious 140 / 112 / 110 offensive stats. It has EdgeQuake, Knock Off, and Acrobatics, which give great coverage while sun-boosted Heat Wave really hurts Pokémon such as Skarmory and Ferrothorn that think they can wall this beautiful bird. Excadrill can work as a potent offensive spinner with STAB Earthquake to deal with Tyranitar and Heatran. To deal with those annoying Pokémon that want to stall you, I advise Life Orb Magmortar. It scores nice 2HKOs against Blissey, Tank Mega Venusaur, Slowbro, and others while outright OHKOing Skarmory, Ferrothorn, Heatran, and Tyranitar. Enough said. So, while sun faces many challenges, they can be overcome by including one or two key Pokémon that also work well with the team as a whole. You need to clear away entry hazards, destroy common threats, and keep the sun up if you want to be successful. But what does this success at getting your team ready to sweep mean? Total destruction when used wisely.

Chlorophyll Sweepers

As many of you know, Chlorophyll makes many sweepers the fastest in the game. Just look at Exeggutor. Sure it has Base 55 Speed, but with a positive nature it will outspeed Jolly Mega-Aerodactyl. Beware of using them outside of sun however as they are usually slow and can easily be outsped. Here are some of the sweepers you might see with Chlorophyll.

Type: Grass / Normal
Ability: Sap Sipper / Chlorophyll / Serene Grace
Base Stats: 80 / 100 / 70 / 60 / 70/ 95

Sawsbuck is easily the most viable physical user of Chlorophyll, as it has Swords Dance to boost its good Attack to much higher levels. It commonly uses Double-Edge and Horn Leech as dual STAB attacks, both hitting hard. Horn Leech heals off Life Orb recoil, which is the item usually carried. Jump Kick and hits Steel-types hard and provides good coverage. This coverage is rounded off by Wild Charge to hit Pokémon with Flying typing like Skarmory, and is the only move in Sawsbuck's usuble arsenal doing about 40% with no Swords Dance boost. Unfortunately, it does have somewhat of four-moveslot syndrome in the fact that it can't run Swords Dance and be able to hit every one of its counters hard enough. Lacking Wild Charge, this Pokémon can't do anything to Skarmory. Forfeit Jump Kick, face getting beaten by Ferrothorn.

Type: Grass / Poison
Ability: Overgrow / Chlorophyll
Base Stats: 80 / 82 / 83 / 100 / 100 / 80

Venusaur. The generic posterboy of sun sweepers. The one who you will almost always see accompanying Ninetales. There is a good reason for this. First off is the amazing coverage. Nothing resists the common Hidden Power Fire, Solar beam / Giga Drain / Energy Ball, Sludge Bomb coverage except for Heatran and Chandelure, the latter of whom is an uncommon sight in OU. Heatran is very problematic, but can be beaten by carrying Earthquake. These are few options in Venusaur's movepool, though. For example, it has Sleep Powder to cripple switch-ins. Growth shoots its attacking stats to sky-high levels. Leech Seed helps it stall out Pokémon walling it (although this is better used on Mega Venusaur). Speaking of Mega Venusaur, it can be used to help sweep, too. Simply carry the normal three attacks as well as Synthesis, max out your Special Attack, figure out the right speed to outspeed threats with Chlorophyll and invest the rest in your bulk. You now have a Pokémon that turns from one of the fastest Pokémon in the game to one with huge bulk and nice padding against Fire- and Ice-type moves when you need it. This is especially potent as the Speed the turn it mega evolves is still that of Chlorophyll Venusaur. That trick will make opponents beat their heads against a wall for a while.

Type: Grass / Poison
Ability: Chlorophyll / Gluttony
Base Stats: 80 / 105 / 65 / 100 / 70 / 70

Next up is Victreebel. This uncommon Pokémon is often seen as a lesser Venusaur. This is not correct. You should use different playstyles with each. Venusaur is tankier, allowing it to survive a few hits resisted and hit back or raise some stats with Growth. Victreebel however should use Growth only on switches as it is very frail and has a lot of trouble taking hits, but has much better mixed stats and access to Weather Ball over Hidden Power Fire gives it a more powerful coverage as well as allows you to run a different Hidden Power if so desired. It has Encore, unlike Venusaur, but Sleep Powder usually will work better and also puts counters out of commission. I reccomend you save Sleep Powder for Venusaur and instead run a Growth mixed attacker with Life Orb for Victreebel. This deals with common walls such as Ferrothorn, Skarmory, Gliscor, and even Blissey, which is OHKOed by +2 Leaf Blade by some spreads. However, it can be hard for Victreebel to boost its stats, and even if it does, it is still forced out by Talonflame. Be sure to eliminate these counters before trying to sweep with a boost.

Type: Grass / Psychic
Ability: Chlorophyll / Harvest
Base Stats: 95 / 95 / 85 / 125 / 65 / 55

Enter Exeggutor, a Pokémon with a good Base 125 Special Attack stat complemented by a usable 95 Attack stat. This allows it to run moves such as Hidden Power Fire, Leaf Storm, and STAB Psyshock to hit very hard, indeed. Coverage moves such as Low Kick for Heatran / Tyranitar and Explosion for Blissey, Chansey, and others can also be used . All these factors make it a great sweeper and revenge killer that can explode if things get tough. While it does have access to Sleep Powder, this is inferior and should be used on Pokémon who can set up a Growth, a move that Exeggutor sadly lacks. If you are feeling "trolly", you can use a combination of Leaf Storm and Power Swap to cripple special attackers trying to threaten Exeggutor out. However, base 55 Speed doesn't let it do too much outside of sun and Chansey can easily wall all sets except the uncommon and usually inferior Swords Dance variant. Exeggutor is a nice Pokémon if you want to hit hard straight off the bat or need a powerful sweeper with great coverage.

Fire-type Sweepers

Chlorophyll sweepers may be faster than anything else, but sun-boosted Fire-type attacks win in terms of power. As some Cholorphyll sweepers are weaker, you need Fire-types to help wallbreak so they can sweep. Many Fire-type Pokémon appreciate the power the sun gives them or the added coverage in Solarbeam. While they may be powerful without the help of sun, with its effects, some of them are nearly unstoppable, especially once counters are eliminated. Another effect that many of them take advantage of is the reduced Water-type weakness, which, in sun, hit just like neutral moves would. Unfortunately, it's not all sunshine for these flaming forces of nature. Most have a Stealth Rock weakness and many are still hit very hard by Water-type moves. They are also generally frail and do not take hits and so must be protected well. Though they still have weaknesses, the sun helps minimize these and maximize their power.

Type: Fire
Ability: Sheer Force / Zen Mode
Base Stats: 105 / 140 / 55 / 30 / 55 / 95

Lets start off with the most powerful sun sweeper in OU: Darmanitan. As if 140 Attack wasn't enough, it also has Sheer Force and many great coverage moves to take advantage of it. With a Life Orb, Darmanitan has a small chance to OHKO Mandibuzz without an Adamant Nature, though Adamant brings the chance up over to 50%. The real beauty of Darmanitan is that nothing can safely come in on a sun-boosted Flare Blitz unless they have Flash Fire, in which case they fear moves such as like Earthquake and Rock Slide. Nothing can risk taking a huge chunk of damage on the switch, especially when Darmanitan can simply switch out and come in at a later point in the battle. Playing with it is simple: only use a coverage move when it is super effective and Flare Blitz is resisted. Otherwise, Flare Blitz will do more in sun. That is how powerful it is. It also means Darmanitan takes a lot of damage from recoil, which really decreases survivability when coupled with a weakness to Stealth Rock. Unfortunately, its base 95 Speed stat simply doesn't cut it, so you will almost always be using Darmanitan with a Choice Scarf as no other set is fast enough. This constant need to switch in and out to change moves means taking a lot of damage which is sometimes simply too much for Darmanitan to survive, causing a premature death without much meaningful impact. Even with these flaws, it is still a Pokémon to always consider when you need a powerful wallbreaker or a Choice Scarf user on your side.

Type: Fire / Bug
Ability: Flame Body / Swarm
Base Stats: 85 / 60 / 65 / 135 / 105 / 100

Darmanitan sweeps through pure power, while some Pokémon such as Volcarona rely on other tactics. While Choiced and Focus Sash Volcarona can both be effective, the best set by far is Bulky Quiver Dance. With investment in bulk and a little in Speed, this Volcarona finds it easy to pull off Quiver Dances, enhancing its special bulk and turning it into a more powerful sweeper. One-on-one, it can beat Heatran with Ancient Power with this set. Simply boost your stats until you feel you can sweep and Roost whenever you need more health. Another boon Bulky Volcarona has is the ability Flame Body. Sure, Azumarill's Aqua Jet, might hurt but it only risks burning itself. Flame Body also lets it deal with Scizor even better as even U-Turning out may burn the bulky bug. The sun helps out a lot on this set as you could use Morning Sun for more recovery (though Roost has twice the PP), it lessens Volcarona's weakness to Water-types and allows it to beat them (most notably Azumarill). However, bulk will do you no good if you have no health. Stealth Rock takes away half of Volcarona's health, making it all too easily KOed by Pokémon that it would normally beat. This same weakness to Rock-type moves also means it has to switch out every time something threatens to have Rock Slide or Stone Edge, common coverage moves. All of this combines to make Volcarona a Pokémon that can take hits and hit back harder.

Type: Fire / Flying
Ability: Flame Body / Gale Wing
Base Stats: 78 / 85 / 71 / 74 / 69 / 126

In Gen 6, Talonflame was introduced and quickly became a threat to sun teams everywhere. But it also became one to use on our side. It has the infamous Gale Wings, giving it priority on Flying-type moves. This means that speed boosts are useless against it unless the opponent also has some form of priority. It can simply use Brave Bird to knock the opposition out before they can touch it. While people were at first shocked by this, they realized that its coverage consisted of Brave Bird, Flare Blitz, U-Turn, and the occasional Steel Wing. This means it is walled by most Rock Pokémon, as well as Rotom-W and Rotom-H. The only common Rock-type counter is none other than Tyranitar, already a threat to most sun teams. But Talonflame can be used as a lure to draw out Tyranitar. Choice Banded Talonflame's Steel Wing has higher than a 99% chance to 2HKO offensive Tyranitar. With more bulk, this will most likely be a 3HKO, but with no reliable recovery this means it will be easier to whittle down. Brave Bird can be utilized against fast Pokémon carrying a Choice Scarf or for revenge killing the opposition when the sun isn't up. It even has priority Tailwind, making it much easier for Pokémon like Darmanitan to outspeed opponents without a speed boost or Choice Scarf.

Powerful Mega Pokémon

Mega Charizard X
Type: Fire / Dragon
Ability: Tough Claws
Base Stats: 78 / 130 / 111 / 130 / 85 / 100

Mega Charizard Y
Type: Fire / Flying
Ability: Drought
Base Stats: 78 / 104 / 78 / 159 / 115 / 100

Mega Charizard X and Mega Charizard Y are major threats. These are very effective at destroying walls and terrorizing small children. While base 100 Speed can be a letdown, Choice Scarf Darmanitan or Sawsbuck will be happy to take down those Latios and Latias to make sure Mega Charizard Y's sweep is complete. Mega Charizard X will commonly use Dragon Dance to patch up its speed and boost its Attack and crush the opposition. The greatest tool that Charizard has is versatility. It's not that it has every thing, it's that it could and you won't know until it Mega evolves. While Heatran might seem like a good answer, Charizard X has Earthquake while Charizard Y prefers Focus Blast (which also works on Tyranitar). Other than that, they both attain neutral coverage with their moves. If only coverage was the worst of your opponents' fears. They should be more worried about Charizard X sweeping entire teams with a single DD or Charizard Y simply picking off Pokémon one by one. These both work well with sun, as Charizard X appreciates an even more powerful Flare Blitz with over 150 Attack factoring in Tough Claws. While Charizard Y brings its own sun, it appreciates sun teams keeping possible checks in line. There are plenty of checks out there if the opponent knows which Mega they are facing. Assualt Vest Tyranitar checks both and OHKOs with Stone Edge. Quagsire walls Charizard X, while Charizard Y simply faces the threat of Chansey. These checks and counters mean you must use their uncertainty to your advantage before you Mega evolve or you will lose the advantage and possibly your Mega Pokémon.

Mega Venusaur
Type: Grass / Poison
Ability: Thick Fat
Base Stats: 80 / 100 / 123 / 122 / 120 / 80

Walls are a wonderful thing. They keep your sweepers safe and are hard to crack. There are many greats, and Mega Venusaur may just be one of them. Its movepool includes options such as Sleep Powder, Leech Seed, Synthesis, and more. It counters Pokémon like Azumarill and is the reason Hidden Power Flying (really?) is standard on Choice Specs Keldeo. When counters try to stop it, it can simply use Sleep Powder to neutralize them and get a free switch back out. The only common threats to it are Talonflame, which you should be carrying a counter for anyway, and users of Psyshock, like Alakazam and Latios. Life Orb Timid Latios does not in fact OHKO Mega Venusaur with Psyshock, for all those doubters out there. This does not mean that you should stay in and take this, however, as Pokémon such as Talonflame and Latios still will always beat Mega Venusaur. Even though Sleep Powder might help you neutralize them, an accuracy of 75 means that many times you will simply waste a turn as they get a free switch in on a missed attack. Mega Venusaur works effectively as a mixed wall against most threats but is beaten by many common Pokémon.

Mega Houndoom
Type: Fire / Dark
Ability: Solar Power
Base Stats: 75 / 90 / 90 / 140 / 90 / 115

For our last Mega Pokémon, I thought we would have a Pokémon so powerful that it has a chance to 2HKO Blissey after Leftovers in sun without a super effective hit: Mega Houndoom. Not that a 2HKO is needed, as access to Taunt wrecks the hardest walls. Unlike, Mega Charizard, however, this Pokémon has great Speed that makes it faster than Latios, Latias, Terrakion, and Garchomp. Like Darmanitan, it simply spams Fire Blast unless it is resisted and one of the coverage moves is super effective. While it doesn't have great bulk and loses HP quickly due to Solar Power, you can use this to your advantage to pull off a Destiny Bond to take down one opposing Pokémon that would normally tank a hit (such as Heatran or Tyranitar). However, Destiny Bond will sometimes be wasted as Solar Power will take Mega Houndoom out while leaving the opposing Pokémon unscathed. While its Mega forme did not receive an attack buff, it does have STAB Sucker Punch and Pursuit to play mind games, but this is generally unadvised because of the HP drop from Solar Power. Speaking of Solar Power, the loss of health and lack of bulk means that Mega Houndoom usually needs a free switch and cannot afford to stay long. Once a few Pokémon are cleaned up, this makes for a fearsome sweeper that can lay waste to entire teams.

Bulky Walls

Type: Psychic
Ability: Levitate
Base Stats: 120 / 70 / 120 / 75 / 130 /85

Type: Grass / Ghost
Ability: Frisk / Natural Cure / Harvest
Base Stats: 85 / 110 / 76 / 65 / 82 / 56

Like Mega Houndoom, many sweepers do not appreciate taking hits. You need something reliable to switch into to help wall opposing sweepers that cause trouble. One such wall is Cresselia. With an unbelievable 120 / 120 / 130 bulk in an RU Pokémon, opponents find it very hard to break through. Morning Sun helps by restoring 66% of its maximum HP in sun allowing for even more walling to happen. It appreciates Fire-type Pokémon to take care of Bisharp and the constant threats to Tyranitar, Pokémon that normally destroy Cresselia. It even has potential to sweep through teams with a Calm Mind set. While Cresselia is made by its great defenses, Trevenant is not. It looks like a Pokémon that was originally made to fulfill one purpose but later changed to another. On one hand, it has Harvest, Frisk, and Natural Cure, all great defensive abilities. On the other, it has very mediocore 85 / 76 / 82 defenses, its best stat being its Attack stat. It still serves as an annoying wall that thrives on residual damage. If you burn a Pokémon and use Leech Seed on it (both of which Trevenant does with ease), then Trevenant can most likely kill it while only being hit on one turn thanks to its access to Protect and Phantom Force to avoid damage. It even has Curse if you are a high risk / high reward kind of guy. Couple this with its ability to Harvest a Sitrus Berry every turn and your opponent will soon find his team crippled and broken. Unfortunately, both of these Pokémon are weak to the Knock Off spam that is the current metagame. This leaves Trevanant without its essential item and both Cresseilia and the former with severe dents.


So now we get to the question we first set out to answer: Are sun teams viable, or should they be shunned and ignored like most people using Donphan in OU? I believe they are good and should be used. While they may share a weakness to Stealth Rock, many teams have this and make do. All you have to do is include something such as Starmie which can spin AND contribute to the team, which Starmie does by threatening Mega Venusaur and taking out dragons with Ice Beam. While you can use a spinner, usually a defogger will work better due to the fact that Defog can't be blocked, making Pokémon such as Latias with Defog great additions to the team. Sure, these teams have trouble with some Pokémon, but most of these are easily countered and every team has some Pokémon that threaten it. But if you get those issues out of the way, you can enjoy the upsides: Pokémon that are faster than most Choice Scarf users while getting to choose an item. Fire-types that destroy most Pokémon in 2 hits, walls that can take abuse and keep going, and the most powerful Mega Pokémon in the game. All of these Pokémon benefit from and help to preserve the sun that is the center of the team. So while they may be harder to use than most teams, they should be given a try as they will control the game when used correctly.

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