Friday, September 18, 2015

Welcome to the New ORAS Battle Spot Meta + Gimmicky Gravity Team

New ORAS Battle Spot Doubles Meta

So if anyone of you guys have been living under a rock for the past few days, or just don't know about the Pokemon Global Link, which about 99.999%  of all of you don't know TPCi have announced a new ruleset change for all Rated Battles. Don't worry about that ninety-nine percent crap  since I'll bring everyone up to speed. Basically the new Battle Spot format allows for non-pentagon Pokemon into all Rated formats from Singles, Doubles (the one we are concern with), Triples, and Rotation. Special Battle Spot is doing their own thing with a competition with ORAS League and the XY League battle each other out, but that's not the main focus of today.

With the removal of the pentagon rule from the Battle Spot ORAS ladder, this has allowed the return of several past generational Pokemon such as Sheer Force Landorus, Defiant Thundurus/Tornadus, previous move tutor Pokemon (I.E  XD Pokemon like Helping Hand Togekiss, Follow Me Magmar/Electabuzz), event Suicune with Sheer Cold, Kangaskhan with Seismic Toss, Follow Me Blastiose, Clefable with Soft-boil, Quiet Heatran with Eruption, and a host of other past gen Pokemon. Honestly there wasn't that many other notable Pokemon (maybe Flare Blitz/Extreme Speed Entei) but that's about it, though the fact we are allowing all generational Pokemon means that the metagame will most definitely shift, but in what way we don't know. In XY, there wasn't that much of a change, maybe Mega Kangaskhan having Low Kick + Elemental Punches, Gardevoir and Sylveon getting Hyper Voice, and a host of other Pokemon getting move tutors attacks, but most of them return with ORAS. with the new ORAS Megas and the fully weight of all available Pokemon since generation 3, there might be some new cores but I think there's nothing too notable that could shake the format.

Keep in mind, this isn't the VGC 2016 format, since those rules haven't been announced, though its extremely likely given that TPCi and the Organized Play has allowed generational Pokemon in VGC before, notably in Gen 5. Despite the lack of confirmation, I'm still going to ladder on the site mainly because of the fact this COULD be the new format, but we may never know for sure. The only negative I fine with this is we've lost an official online ladder to play VGC 2015 rules so people will resort to using Pokemon Showdown for full 100% practice. Course people can write off their losses from a Pokemon with generational moves or abilities, but they have to know how to deal with those threat if it becomes the format.

Maybe after 2-3 months I'll  write a summary about the season, but for now I'll focus on the team I've used for the new Battle Spot format. Since I did have some generational Pokemon from my Poke Bank to use, I thought it be fun to base a team around a couple of them. Sheer Force Landorus and Defiant Thundurus was the first thing that came to mind since I wanted to try out these two. While searching for these two, I found a Dynamic Punch Metagross a friend of mine likely genned and gave to me. I do have a legit Metagross from Emerald which has like 25+ IVs all across the board, didn't feel like going through my game again for transfer and soft resetting for a Beldum again. Then it dawn on me about making a dumb gimmick team with Gravity so Landorus can fire Earth Powers at will, and Mega Metagross can use Dynamic Punch in place of the speed dropping Hammer Arm. Here's the results of the team so far and the overview:


Sableye @ Mental Herb
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
- Will-O-Wisp
- Taunt
- Recover
- Gravity

**Note: Cannot win against Fire types if Sableye is the only one left

Hopefully the star and the main instrument of the team's success on Battle Spot. This is pretty much a standard Prankster Sableye set with Will-O-Wisp to burn targets, Taunt to stop any setup (especially against support Thundurus since I have the Mental Herb), and Recover to replenish Sableye's health. The last moveslot definitely is the most interesting; Gravity. No I'm not running Gravity because I don't like Will-O-Wisp missing, though it can help. The idea of Sableye's Gravity is to use it to disrupt Landorus-T and any other Earthquake users into attacking themselves. At the same time, this "grounds" all Levitate users, Flying Pokemon, and Balloon item holders as they lose their immunity to Ground. At the same time, everyone on the field has their evasiveness dropped by a pseudo  -2 stages so  this allows for some of my other Pokemon to run more "inaccurate" attacks to overpower my opponents. So here are a couple of examples:

Metagross-Mega @ Metagrossite
Ability: Tough Claws
Level: 50
EVs: 44 HP / 204 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Zen Headbutt
- Iron Head
- Dynamic Punch
- Protect

Note: Dynamic Punch is a move tutor found in Pokemon Emerald

Same Mega Metagross set I've ran for the past 4 months now without any changes to the set or EVs except for one move: Dynamic Punch. So why Dynamic Punch of something like Hammer Arm? The latter is be more accurate, fact over 100% accurate with its Hammer Arm attacks so why again?  Yes its true that Dynamic Punch will only receive a boost to 83% accuracy, factor in the fact that it has a guarantee 100% chance of confusion when it attacks the target is rather huge IMO. With the target inflicted with a 50% probability to hit itself, this gives my team additional "free turns" to inflict damage against my opponent. Another reason why I forgo Hammer Arm was because it drops my Mega Metagross speed by 1 stage. Usually I'm somewhat "forced" to run speed control such as Tailwind and Thunder Wave. Nevertheless, Tough Claws boosted Dynamic Punch basically does what Hammer Arm was used for and that's to hit against any Mega Kangaskhan, Ferrothorn, Hydreigon, Heatran, Mega Gyarados, Bisharp, or Tyranitar on the field. STAB Zen Headbutt is for Amoonguss and Fighting types plus it gets a nice accuracy boost from Gravity. I kinda like how Gravity has made Mega Metagross much more reliable now now at least its main Psychic STAB can hit, though at the cost of a rooster and moveslot from Sableye.

Landorus @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 30 Atk / 30 Def
- Earth Power
- Psychic
- Focus Blast / Hidden Power Ice
- Protect

(Disclaimer: Going to refer to Landorus-Incarnate form as Landorus from now on)
Note: Sheer Force 
Landorus can still be obtain from the Pokemon Dream Radar on the 3DS ESHOP. 

The big guns of the team and a Pokemon to be feared if the new Battle Spot format turns out to be VGC 2016,  Life Orb Sheer Force Landorus-I. This Pokemon is probably one of the most efficient wall-breakers in the game given how much of the boost Sheer Force grants to much of Landorus's attack. In my opinion, Landorus has been the main MVP of this run since it able to consistently apply pressure against most teams. The first two moves I included on its roster where Earth Power, Psychic, and Focus Blast. Let me just say this, Sheer Force LO Earth Power is nothing to laugh at from a Landorus since now it can practically 2HKO the the format bar those resisted. Remember why I have Sableye for this team? That's right to fuck up some birds and washing machines:

  • 252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Landorus Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 148+ SpD Rotom-W: 179-213 (114 - 135.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Landorus Earth Power vs. 236 HP / 128+ SpD Thundurus: 226-268 (122.8 - 145.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Landorus Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 140+ SpD Zapdos: 205-244 (104 - 123.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO

All three of these Pokemon are now vulnerable to a powerful Earth Power meaning that my opponents have zero switch ins bar maybe Cresselia or Porygon2. At first, I thought maybe Sludge Bomb was a viable option to KO Fairy types like Sylveon or Mega Gardevoir, but all three have a high Special Defense stat and Earth Power already 2HKOs them. Instead Psychic was opted since aside from Mega Metagross, I don't have a great response from Fighting and Poison Types like Mega Venusaur, Amoonguss, Conkeldurr, or Virizion. Honestly most of these Pokemon can still take a Sheer Force Psychic but at least I want to heavily damage them for the rest of the team to revenge kill. For my last moveslot aside from Protect it was kinda of a toss up between Focus Blast and HP Ice. I really wanted to try out Focus Blast + Gravity since it can OHKO +4 HP Mega Kangaskhan, but the threat of Dragons and the Double Genies makes HP Ice too valuable not to give up.   

Thundurus @ Expert Belt / Safety Goggles
Ability: Defiant / Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe (First Set)
EVs: 212 HP / 108 Def / 20 SpA / 100 SpD / 68 Spe  (Second Set)
Jolly / Timid Nature
- Superpower / Thunder Wave
- Knock Off / Hidden Power Ice 
- Thunder Punch / Thunderbolt
- Protect

Note: Same as Landorus, Defiant Thundurus can be obtain from Pokemon Dream Radar from the 3DS ESHOP

To be honest, Defiant Thundurus is somewhat underwhelming presence for the team compared with maybe it Prankster support. Rarely did it even put a decent amount of work aside from getting a couple KOs on Mega Kangaskhan with its Superpower and me being a dumbass in my first loss with this team. Superpower and Knock Off form perfect coverage for Thundurus while Thunder Punch is the main STAB option. Wild Charge is something to consider in the future when comparing the damage output to that of Thunder Punch. Well here's a one some notable calculations:

Expert Belt Thunder Punch (with Defiant boost)

+1 252 Atk Expert Belt Thundurus Thunder Punch vs. 252 HP / 100+ Def Suicune: 158-187 (76.3 - 90.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
+1 252 Atk Expert Belt Thundurus Thunder Punch vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Milotic: 180-211 (89.1 - 104.4%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO

Expert Belt Wild Charge (with Defiant boost)

+1 252 Atk Expert Belt Thundurus Wild Charge vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Milotic: 211-252 (104.4 - 124.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252 Atk Expert Belt Thundurus Wild Charge vs. 252 HP / 100+ Def Suicune: 190-226 (91.7 - 109.1%) -- 50% chance to OHKO

with Life Orb

+1 252 Atk Life Orb Thundurus Wild Charge vs. 252 HP / 100+ Def Suicune: 205-244 (99 - 117.8%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO
252 Atk Life Orb Thundurus Thunder Punch vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Mega Charizard Y: 187-221 (101 - 119.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO (Only here to demonstrate a point)

As you can see, Defiant Thundurus with a +1 boost from its ability can do heavy damage against two of the premier bulky Water types currently. The last damage calculation with the Life Orb Wild Charge as it can clearly beat Milotic with only the Expert Belt boost already (Life Orb hits harder by about 30% compared to 20%), and has a 15/16 chance of OHKOing the most standard Suicune set. However the problem is Thundurus needs the Defiant boost, Wild Charge, and Life Orb just to enough damage to get KOs on targets. However LO Thundurus can one shot the standard Charizard Y set shown compared with the 50% chance from a LO Timid Thunderbolt.

However since Landorus has the Life Orb, Thundurus has to settle with the Expert Belt just so it can stick around longer, though kinda ironic since I removed it for a Safety Googles set following a really bad experience with Mental Herb Amoonguss. Both my losses I realized Prankster Thundurus would have been so much better just to paralyze the opposing team and allow Mega Metagross to hit hard and apply para flinches from Zen Headbutt, Iron Head or heck even parafusion with Dynamic Punch if I'm playing risky. After my 6th game with Thundurus (4th rated game ) I dropped it for the the Prankster set shown. It really pairs well with Dynamic Punch Mega Metagross with because of the above stuff I mentioned. Damn just realize that one Pokemon could be paralyzed, confused from Dynamic Punch, and get repeatedly hit with Iron Head from Mega Metagross... pretty fucked up indeed.

Volcarona @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Flame Body
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 188 Def / 4 SpA / 4 SpD / 60 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fiery Dance
- Giga Drain / Bug Buzz
- Quiver Dance
- Rage Powder / Protect / Bug Buzz

-Outspeeds Smeagle by one point (though should outspeed Excadrill)
-Defense investment enough to take a Double Edge from Mega Kangaskhan with Sitrus Berry

Until July, I never actually used Volcarona competitively in VGC Doubles since I felt that Rock Slide just makes it life harder. Honestly after toying around another Mega Metagross team with Volcarona on the Battle Spot Special 11 ladder, I decided to bring an updated version of the it. Fiery Dance and Quiver Dance allows Volcarona to become an immediate offensive threat on the field, often in which my opponents tend to double target. Though weaker than Flamethrower, Fiery Dance give Volcarona a 50% chance to further boost its Special Attack. Despite the Quiver Dance boost, +1 Flamethrower doesn't get the OHKO on 4 HP Aegislash nearly all the time bar a high damage roll. Giga Drain is essentially coverage for Water types like Rotom-W or Suicune after it gets a Quiver Dance boost up since now it can get back some health. For the last moveslot, I kinda want to revisit it here since Volcarona has Rage Powder just to protect Mega Metagross from Sucker Punches and maybe get a burn from the Flame Body. To be honest, I could see myself running Quiver + 3 attacks mainly because I don't have a response for Hydreigon or Cresselia so Bug Buzz be an option. Giga Drain has came in handy in matches where Volc is setup and just needs to KO a target with Giga Drain to get HP back.

Hydreigon @ Lum Berry
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 48 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 204 Spe
Timid Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Dark Pulse
- Taunt / Earth Power
- Tailwind

Outspeeds base 95 Pokemon with positive speed natures

Since I'm running Mega Metagross, its a no-brainer not to run Hydreigon as my last Pokemon since I needed a resist to the elemental types (Fire, Grass, Water, Electric) and deals with Aegislash. This Hydreigon set normally has a Life Orb set because of its "supportive" role for the teams its seen action, but Landorus has it so I'd just slapped Lum Berry here. Honestly might want to reconsider the item choices but don't know since I'm doing moderately well with this team. Basically I only have STAB Draco Meteor and Dark Pulse to round up its attacks. To be honest, I find it hilarious that there are now over 40% of Hydeigons carrying Tailwind, a move I've been using on it since like mid-May. Before Mid-May, I've been using Modest Specs Hydreigon just to wall break opposing teams with its immense coverage but I alway had issues with opposing Tailwind users like Suicune, Talonflame, and Zapdos. The idea was to setup Tailwind to match their own just so my Pokemon can still outspeed them. Even more funny enough, was the fact that experimental Tailwind Hydreigon set took my team from the 1600s all the way up to 1865 on a 23-2 record. Taunt was just there as a means to surprise my opponent's setup Pokemon from achieving their intended goals and its a nice tech. Probably should run Earth Power to improve my matchup with Fire and Steel *cough Heatran Cough*. 

First Impressions

Though not the most well-thought out team (it has a clear weakness to Pixilate Hyper Voice with 3 Pokemon weak to Ice, 2 weak to Water/Rock), its putting its weight for now. Before going on the ladder, I did practice 2 battles on free battle just to test if there's any connection issues and if it fairs well. Both games featured teams with Mega Metagross and Mega Venusaur so with some careful maneuvering I was able to get 2 wins with a Volcarona and Landorus. Afterword I took my team unto the ladder to see how it fair, Funny enough, our first team was against a Guard Swap Carbink + Minimize Chansey with Mega Sableye and I have two taunters + a Gravity user.... lets see how that came out. 

Following suit, the second battle I suffered a bad I'm pretty still upset about I called Arcanine to Protect and have both Landorus and Thundurus (with the Defiant boost) gang up on Suicune, but it reveals Protect.  I do the same thing again, but the player switches out to Landorus and I double target the Suicune....again with ....a Thunder Punch and Earth Power as Arcanine burns my Thundurus which I knew was coming so but didn't attack with an EP on it. Here's a calc for what LO Sheer Force boosted EP does to the specially defensive Arcanine.

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Landorus Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Arcanine: 198-237 (100.5 - 120.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Notice unless Arcanine has Shuca Berry, it ain't living that attack.... so yeah. Worse part was my opponent had Mega Venusaur, AV Landorus-T, Intimidate defensive Arcanine, and Suicune mentioned earlier and I still had Volc and Metagross in the back. Technically speaking had I targeted Arcanine, the battle would have fallen in favor of me but I was more concern about the potential Ice Beam on Thundurus/Landorus and felt doubling up was my best possible play. AV Landorus-T won't be an issue as I can Knock Off Landorus-T and HP Ice for a sure KO which happen afterward. Yeah it even upsets me that I didn't target the Arcanine slot just because it might have protect but its movepool was Snarl, Protect, Flamethrower and Will-O-Wisp, which missed my Thundurus the first time, but the double target on the Landorus-T switch in kinda makes it even worse on my end. Funny enough, once Landorus-T lost it item from Knock Off, Volcarona was able to aggressively setup with a Quiver Dance + Fiery Dance boost so it could have won me the game. However, I double onto the Mega Venusaur with Metagross and Volc and it barely survives what looks like 1 HP and Volc gets poisoned by Sludge Bomb from Mega Venusaur and faints with having little heath left.

My second loss was mostly due to Rock Slide literally saving my opponent's ass since they went for a terrible misplay with his Thundurus by going for Sky Drop on Mega Metagross (course it fails due to Metagross being among the heaviest Pokemon in the game)  as I double target with Metagross and Landorus getting a knock out. Landorus-T is sent out and all I did was HP Ice the Landorus-T with my own Sheer Force Incarnate form and Iron Head it in case it has a Sash. The opposing Landorus-T is faster (obviously Scarf), Rock Slides, and flinches both my Pokemon as Sylveon goes for Hyper Voice and KOs Landorus-T. Best case scenario I'll admit no matter what, Landorus goes down but it kills its other form at the very least as Metagross doesn't flinch and gets heavy damage down to Sylveon to the point Thundurus and Volcarona beat it. My opponent still has a Mega Kangaskhan in the back but it would have been a 3 v 1 (discounting the heavily weaken Sylveon). Of course, Landorus-T flinches both Mega Metagross and Thundurus again and Sylveon beats Thundurus as well. I only got remotely close as Landorus-T misses the RS on Volc I KO it with a double target. Honestly I can't view that as a "loss" on my end for that matter mainly because it was literally around a ~80% chance (factoring in the miss and not flinching) where Landorus hits HP Ice and unfortunately got 20% roll. I'll leave it at that.

The other 11 battles were mostly due to the fact people were likely unprepared for Gravity and the antics my team has from Sheer Force Landorus, Double Taunt, and, Dynamic Punch Mega Metagross.  While weak to Water, Volcarona was able to provide Landorus redirection support and basically it can dismantled teams cores mid to late game. Sableye is very important to the team's success as its a great disruptor with Will-O-Wisp and Taunt. I find it funny that Gravity Dynamic Punch hasn't missed not once given it has a 17% chance in doing so factoring in the -2 evasion drops on all Pokemon on the field. There where only 2 battles where I was able to get a KO on Mega Kangaskhan with Dynamic Punch with prior damage and disrupt any other Pokemon with the 50% chance of confusion. If I see a Fire type Pokemon in team preview, Sableye will probably not make an appearance because it cannot touch them is forced to rely on Toxic or Foul Play if I ever elect to swap out a moveslot. The team has somewhat of an item slot issues with Thundurus, Hydreigon and Volcarona since Landorus has the Life Orb. Thundurus has Safety Googles for now but I think it will have to swap this for Sitrus Berry from Volcarona since Thundurus doesn't have no recovery while Volc can easily Giga Drain. Somehow I see myself running Weakness Policy Hydreigon again since most people often target it with super effective attacks that won't normally KO but do a decent chunk to it.  With a +2 Special Attack a pseudo +2, or double its speed stat, Hydreigon can hit harder than Modest Specs so that's definitely something to consider. Here are some items choices I seen some Hydreigon run lately.
The following stats have been taken from the Pokemon Global Link as of 9/18/2015 regarding the item choice for Hydreigon:
  • 1 Safety Goggles 28.1%
  • 2 Choice Specs 26.4%
  • 3 Chople Berry 19.8%
  • 4 Choice Scarf 11.6%
  • 5 Life Orb 6.6%
  • 6 Focus Sash 3.3%
  • 7 Black Glasses 1.7%
  • 8 Lum Berry 1.7% 
  • 9 Bright Powder 0.8%
Safety Googles is become the norm for Hydreigon apparently so it can avoid Rage Powder or Spore from Amoonguss, though +2 SpA +2 Spe for Hydreigon sounds interesting to try out at best. Earth Power on Hydreigon can definitely help in my Fire matchup and especially against Heatran or Arcanine. Going back to Mega Metagross, while its certainly a strong Mega Evolution that's viable in VGC, it lacks the proper firepower and STABs like Mega Kangaskhan, Mega Salamence, Mega Gardevoir, or Charizard Y. What does those 4 have in common? All of them have incredibly spam-able movepools to abuse, as Mega Metagross only has Steel / Psychic STAB. Unfortunately aside from Fairy, Poison, Ice, Rock, or Fighting, that's really all what Metagross can do. To make matters worse, the format is filled with Intimidate users, Prankster disruptors, and Steel types like Aegislash and Heatran who all give Metagross a poor matchup.

In the coming weeks I'll  attempt to make a team where Mega Metagross can be the main cleaner rather than the sole offensive presence since that's probably the best approach to using the Steel / Psychic Mega. Again this team isn't too seriously well built, though given the record, I'll continue using it and update the how its doing. Maybe it can evolve into something that's I could use in the new format, but again this was only to test out the non-pentagon ladder so far.

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