Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Be Afraid of Your Shadow: A Top 10 U.S Battle Spot Team (Season 10)

Admission & Prelude

I'm gonna be blunt and say the following team reports (including an upcoming one) aren't necessary mine at all (both my "Trap" and "Sand-Room") but taken from a Japanese player by who goes by the name of either Myan or Myon (みょん)  . These two teams are arguably some of the most fun teams I've had the pleasure of using on Battle Spot Doubles from late June to early September. I did happen to battle this player 3 times as he used each of the original variation to what I'm about to post in the upcoming thread. Pretty much owe my successful runs on Battle Spot to Myon.  So without further ado, here's one of those teams.


Around mid-June, I was laddering on the Battle Spot ladder using my old Mega Metagross team and I encountered a particular Japanese team consistent of the following Pokemon: Gengar, Mamoswine, Raikou, Breloom, Gyarados, and Hydreigon. Aside from maybe the Gengar (which I correctly called it as the Mega initially) this team wasn't composed of the more common Pokemon like Landorus-T, Aegislash, Mega Kangaskhan,Thundurus, Sylveon, Amoonguss, etc. To me it looked like a rag tag team but I recalled this guy had a 1870+ rating on Battle Spot so I felt it was some kind of elaborate Perish Trap team. In my first encounter with this team, I used Mega Metagross and Thundurus as he lead with Mamoswine and Gengar. Myon went on a hard read that I'd protect with Metagross and as he double targets Thundurus with both his Pokemon. To his dismay, he actually misses the Icicle Crash on Thundurus and Mega Metagross KOs the Mega Gengar immediately. Pretty much after a couple of turns, he forfeits realizing Mega Gengar was his key win condition and should have prioritize on Mega Metagross instead. The following day I encounter him around the a rating of 1890+ just close to 1900. This time the battle goes poorly on my part as his Mega Gengar goes for a Will-O-Wisp while Mamoswine KOs my Thundurus. Honestly I felt this time he'd protect Mega Gengar but instead goes for a nice counter to my aggressive play and should have recognized it. I send out Hydreigon to setup Tailwind as he switches to Gyarados for Mamoswine and Thunder Wave my dragon the following turn. At this point, I have a paralyzed Hydreigon and a -1 burned Mega Metagross that couldn't do anything else but activate Gyarados's Sitrus Berry item but the match was decided there.

Despite losing to Myon (みょん)  rightfully so in the second battle, there was just something about the team I wanted to work on immediately. The team itself has a somewhat hyper offensive mode reliant upon both Mega Gengar's trapping ability: Shadow Tag to disallow the opponent of making any optimal switch outs and disruption by using certain teammates. Again I don't know the full extend of how his team works out but I was able to get a rating of 1905 with the same team while he was around 1960+ before he probably reset his rating or something. Here's the proof of my Top 10 in the US; for those who want a "clearer" image  just check the Pokemon Global Link and change the current season to season 10.

Prior to Mid-June 2015, I never used or considered Mega Gengar as a viable Mega Evolution in the VGC 2015 format because of the "gimmicks" associates with it. Of course, some of these ideas were based on what some might call "best of one" strategies such as Perish Trap, Encore-Disable, or Fake Tears offense. Yes I'm well aware of others such as P3DS or Wolfey have used before me, both I wanted to actually work for my win and not just rely on 33% double protect chances or losing Mega Gengar prematurely. I'm not criticizing Perish Trap as a viable VGC strategy as its one of the most difficult  to pull off, but its just the reliance of stalling out for 3 turns is what doesn't appeal to me...yet.  Other teams I've used successfully on the ladder were my Mega Scizor Heavy Rain (Peaked at 1884) or Mega Metagross Hyper Offense (Peaked at 1865) team. Not going to lie but I pretty much started using the new Mega Gengar Trap team on the middle ladder (1690+) and continued on a 24-2 (not counting 3 "communication failed" battles were my internet craps out though no rating drops) run to reach to 1905. Those two losses were mostly due to how reliant status ailments are (aka Will-O-Miss) and skewed crits can mean defeat almost immediately. The rest of my wins were based on my opponent bringing what I'd expect and knowing when to let go of Mega Gengar while maintaining my other win conditions.

Recreating the Team
(Note: I'm going to explain all of this in depth later)

The team core started with these three Pokemon in particular: Gengar, Mamoswine, and Gyarados. Essentially I reasoned the goal for Mega Gengar wasn't to setup any "Perish Trapp" mode, rather to help key teams like Mamoswine and Gyarados do their particular role. Mega Gengar + Mamoswine is a great response against the Double Genie as Mamoswine can OHKO most Landorus-Therian and Thundurus-Incarnate by using Icicle Crash. Finally this Gyarados functions as a defensive pivot against most physical targets and even functions similar to Thundurus by using Thunder Wave and Taunt against key targets while spamming Waterfall for the potential paraflinch. Funny enough usually my opponents would bring Pokemon what are meant to handle Mega Gyarados like Thundurus and Amoonguss, however once they realize I'm using Mega Gengar its too late as Mamoswine or Gyarados can neutralize these targets immediately. 

The core was still weak to opposing Ghost-/Psychic-/Water-types like Aegislash, Cresselia and even strong rain teams who are all capable of taking out the original three. For Rain teams, Assault Vest Snarl Raikou was a decent answer as Gyarados can paralyze them while Mega Gengar forces them in with Shadow Tag. Hydreigon is another Pokemon I've actually used extensively for almost 5 months at the time and I almost always had one on a team. This time Hydreigon acted as my main check to Bisharp, Aegislash, Cresselia opposing Ghosts, and even my own secondary speed control by acting as the main Tailwind setter just for weather teams.

My only main concern with this team was maintaining "insurance" against opposing Water-types (Milotic, Suicune, Rotom-W, Swampert), Rock-/Steel types (Aegislash, Bisharp, Tyranitar, Exadrill), Dark type Pokemon (Hydreigon, Scrafty, Tyranitar, Krookodile, Greninja) and even Mega Kangaskhan. Breloom was the last Pokemon for this team since it can deal with all these after-mentioned threats (kinda like a poorly used duck-tape) since it has priority Mach Punch which the team lacked to beat Mega Kang/T-Tar/Driller, Bullet Seed to beat Water-types, and Spore to put things to sleep. Though I've only used it lately. Mega Gengar + Breloom is a strong lead as I'm able to put something to sleep as Mega Gengar traps the sleeping Pokemon. Now that I've discuss the main team building element, its time to discuss the Pokemon individual roles.

The Team

Gengar-Mega @ Gengarite  
Ability: Shadow Tag  
Level: 50  
EVs: 92 HP / 164 SpA / 252 Spe  
Timid Nature  
- Shadow Ball  
- Sludge Bomb  
- Will-O-Wisp  
- Protect  

-Max Speed to outspeed base 108 before Mega Evolving
-2HKOs Sylveon, Mega Salamence, Mega Gardevoir, Aegislash, Amoonguss (on a roll), etc with the appropriate moves. 
-Will-O-Wisp give Mega Gengar vital "defensive achievements" without sacrificing speed or SpA
-Sludge Bomb has a 99.6% chance to 2HKO Mega Kangaskhan aside from the the potential poison/crit damage (MAJOR MILESTONE)
-Dumped the rest of the EVs in HP. 

Without question, Mega Gengar is the very nucleus of the team thanks to IMO the best utility-based ability in the game: Shadow Tag. Here's a quick summary of how Shadow Tag works, Mega Gengar is able to trap most Pokemon from switching out aside from Ghost types so that I can break down opposing teams with the appropriate Pokemon. Though it would be wise to add "bulk" into Mega Gengar, I felt that base 110 and 130 speed was a benchmark too important to pass up since Gengar can still outspeed base 108 Pokemon like Terrakion. Aside from the speed investment, the only notable achievement I wanted out of Mega Gengar is to 2HKO 4 HP Mega Kangaskhan nearly most of the time if in case it becomes a problem even if I'd went for Will-O-Wisp against it. Speaking of the status ailment, Will-O-Wisp allows Mega Gengar to burn crucial target especially physical attackers so they are trapped in without being a major threat to my team. Shadow Ball and Sludge Bomb round out Mega Gengar's attacking options as Shadow Ball can inflict heavy damage against most team like Mega Metagross or Aegislash while Sludge Bomb 2HKOs most Fairy-types like Mega Gardevoir or Sylveon. Protect is an important move in of itself as it allows Mega Gengar to survive another turn while keeping the opposing side trapped in.

The key for this team's success to to maintain Mega Gengar long enough so that its outlived its usefulness once the opposing side has about 2 Pokemon left, or if  any Fairy-, Ghost-, or Psychic-types are around. Of course there is an element of surprise using this team since people usually don't expect a Mega Gengar without either a Liepard or Perish Trap like team. Once Mega Gengar has Mega Evolved, its mostly up to the rest of teammates below to disrupt/snipe key targets.

Mamoswine @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Thick Fat
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Icicle Crash
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Superpower

-Outspeeds Adamant Scarf Landorus-T
-Can Still OHKO Landorus-T and Mega Salamence (on a roll) with Icicle Crash.
-Speed reaches up to 217 speed with Scarf

Mamoswine is the definition of "anti-meta" if you want something to KO Landorus-T and Thundurus most of the time. With Mamoswine being part Ground-type, it cannot get paralyzed by Thundurus so it can function as a great Scarfer to KO key targets. For instance, with Mega Gengar being vulnerable to any STAB Earthquake from Landorus-T, Mamoswine's job is designated to eliminate any of these flying tigers (or whatever you'd like to call it) with a quad super effective Icicle Crash. Mamoswine is even  great pick against most Mega Salamence teams especially against "Japan Sand" as it can KO most of team archetype with its coverage options. Again Icicle Crash is meant for any Landorus-T, Zapdos, Thundurus, Amoonguss, Hydreigon, and Mega Salamence as most of these targets have a chance of being OHKO. STAB Earthquake is another fine option Mamoswine has to beat most Fire, Rock, Steel, Poison, and Electric types like Heatran, Raichu, Bisharp, Tyranitar, and even opposing Mega Gengar. Rock Slide is meant for Fire-/Flying-types like Mega Charizard Y, Thundurus, Zapdos, Volcarona, Mega Salamence, Gyarados, etc. Though I did have Ice Shard for a couple battles early one, I'd eventually opted for Superpower as another means to OHKO Mega Kangaskhan and, more specifically Mega Tyranitar if I ever encounter it since a Dragon Dance variant is an threat to the whole team.

Gyarados @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 44 Atk / 92 Def / 44 SpD / 76 Spe
Impish Nature
- Waterfall
- Taunt
- Thunder Wave
- Protect

-Jolly Mega Kangaskhan's -1 Double Edge is a 3HKO factoring Intimidate.
-Terrakion's -1 Rock Slide has a near 100% to 4HKO Gyarados.
-Intimidated Gyarados can still 2HKO 4 HP Landorus-T
-Choice Specs Sylveon's Hyper Voice only 3HKOs.
-Survives a Specs Draco Meteor from Hydreigon.

Anyone use to either a Dragon Dance Gyarados, or even expected a Mega Gyarados might be surprised to see this rather unusual set instead. Without question, defensive Gyarados has been the main defensive backbone of the team aside from Mega Gengar due to its Water/Flying-typing and intimidate ability. Since most of the team doesn't have any form of Defense EVs in their spreads, Gyarados's tasked to act as a pivot while spreading Intimidate drops on the opposing side. Coupled with Mega Gengar's Will-O-Wisp, Gyarados can surprisingly help neuter most physical attackers as they are render near useless while being unable to switch out due to Shadow Tag. Taunt is a tech option to shut down any Amoonguss, Cresselia, or any otherd from going for their support options. Since most people expected Gyarados to be either the Mega or a Dragon Dance variant, they would attempt often send in their support Pokemon (aka Amoonguss) and leave it exposed for a Taunt. For sure this has caught many players off by surprised and coupled with Mega Gengar's trap ability, they are rendered near useless throughout much of the battle (or 3 turns).

Thunder Wave is the team's primary speed control method considering Defensive Gyarados has the bulk to live and paralyze most of the top Megas in the game (Kangaskhan, Charizard Salamence, Gardevor, etc). Waterfall is Gyarados only STAB option but paired with Thunder Wave this combination of paraflinching can oftentimes sway a battle into my favor by getting free turns. Despite the lack of attack investement, Gyarados has enough power to 2HKO most Landorus-T and 4 HP Landorus-T if intimidated. In all, most of my victories would have been posssible without Gyarados acting as the defensive anchor of the team.

Raikou @ Assault Vest
Ability: Pressure
Level: 50
EVs: 12 HP / 252 SpA / 244 Spe
IVs: 22 Atk / 30 Def
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Extrasensory
- Snarl

- 2HKOes most Milotic/Politoed/Charizard Y variants without SpD investment or Sitrus Berry
- 252 SpA Modest Choice Specs Sylveon has a 10.2% chance to 2HKO with Hyper Voice.
- 252 SpA Aegislash's Shadow Ball can only 3HKO.
- Slightly cut speed investment to outrun Serperior (Rare but Potent Threat)

While Gyarados handles physical attackers, Assault Vest Snarl Raikou acts as the team's semi-special wall and primary counter to Thundurus (aside from Swagger variants of course). It was imperative to find a Pokemon who can actually stand up against the dominate thunder genie while dealing with a vast majority of Water/Flying type Pokemon.  Thunderbolt was Raikou's main STAB of choice...well I guess anyone would have guessed it so the pure Electric-type tiger can rip against Water and Flying type Pokemon with ease. HP Ice is a vital coverage option most Electric-types tend to carry to hit Dragon-, Ground-, Grass-, and Flying-types, specifically Landorus-T and Mega Salamence for considerable damage. Snarl is the crux of this Assault Vest Raikou set as it allows my team to effectively disrupt the damaging power of the opposing two special attacking Pokemon by one stage while giving the team vital momentum to quickly dispatch the weaken threats. Raikou in tandem with Gyarados is often used together when dealing with either rain/sun-based teams since most of these Pokemon are weak to STAB Thunderbolt or are vulnerable to Snarl spam.  Here's the thing, I never consider Snarling the intended special attackers no more than 2 times due to the possibility that my opponent can land a critical hit which can really hamper the team effort.

As mentioned now and in any Raikou set, the classic "boltbeam" combo of Thunderbolt and HP Ice was used to deal with a wide variety of threats, including both Thundurus and Landorus-T... though I'd need to make sure Raikou isn't face-to-face with a Scarf variant. Funny enough, Pressure has been a far reliable ability than I could image for this same reason its one of the many which goes on a particular order based on speed. Since most Scarf  Landorus-T's are either built to outspeed Mega Salamence or Mega Gengar, this will give me invaluable information determining indeed if Landorus-T is Choice Scarf, or holding a different item. Extrasensory was opted over Shadow Ball since I still needed coverage against the following Pokemon who can  beat this team: Amoonguss, Gengar, Nidoking/Queen, Mega Venusaur, Terrakion, Conkeldurr, Blaziken, etc.

Hydreigon @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 16 HP / 4 Def / 236 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Dark Pulse
- Earth Power
- Tailwind

-Outspeed Base 95 speed tier
-Idealized HP Number so Life Orb recoil does less damage
-Can KO Excadrill (on a Roll or with prior LO Recoil), Bisharp, Heatran, Blaziken, etc with Earth Power.
-2HKOs most Cresselia/Aegislash using Dark Pulse
-OHKOs 4 HP Mega Metagross with Dark Pulse

As the team was still weak against Cresselia/Aegislash while maintain "speed control", I decided then to use the same Hydreigon set I'd used to reach 1865 on Battle Spot, except this time its EVs wasn't as "restricted" as before. Without question Hydreigon was often paired to fight opposing weather teams since it has access to one particular move few ran until more recently when Lagos popularized it: Tailwind. Just thinking back to why I'd started using Tailwind Hydreigon, there were times in which I have Hydreigon and it can easily scare off the opposing team by either protecting to scout the potential set, or switch out to a favorable matchup. With Tailwind, I now have a method of punishing most opposing switch outs/protect scouting while still maintaining offensive pressure with Hydreigon. By doubling the speed now, my team can potentially overrun most weather-based teams with their offensive proneness as Hydreigon takes point.

Even without Choice Specs, Life Orb Draco Meteor still hits rather hard against most targets while OHKOing Mega Salamence, opposing Hydreigon (without Haban Berry), 4 HP Landorus-T, etc. Again I'd like to reiterate that Draco Meteor though strong, isn't the most used attack as this Hydreigon is meant to be an all-out attacker and any Special Attack drops will hinder its mid-late game value. Dark Pulse is the preferred attack against most targets due to how strong Dark-type is against the rest of the type chart while the extra chance to flinch can be beneficial at time. Earth Power was chosen over Protect for three reasons: 1) Fire/Steel types were still rather threatening, I don't have an answer to Bisharp aside from Breloom, and 3) to act as a "suicide" lead.  Pretty much the idea of Tailwind Hydreigon is to setup Tailwind for the team ASAP, do as much meaning full damage as possible, and go down as another Pokemon like Breloom or Raikou can finish the job. If Hydreion manages to KO its intended targets while impedes against the opponent's plan then its has done its job and go down. (PS: Life Orb kinda helps Hydreigon achieve this role as well).

Breloom @ Focus Sash
Ability: Technician
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Bullet Seed
- Mach Punch
- Spore
- Protect

-Standard Breloom set.
-KOs 4 HP Scarf Tyranitar with Technician Mach Punch
-Can 2HKO Milotic, Rotom-W, and Suicune with Bullet Seed.
-Guess that's it...

I guess I should explain Breloom even though people figure reason why its on this team.With the last five Pokemon in placed, I'd figured that Breloom's tasked to beat out any potential Water-types, Dark-types, and put anything to sleep with Spore. Despite being the least and quite often most replaced member of the team, Breloom was definitely able to pull its weight when I need it to take out either a Bisharp, a Milotic, stop Trick Room, or even finish off any target with its priority Mach Punch. Breloom was an vital asset against Mega Swampert rain teams and even sand in general as it can 2HKO most targets with either a Bullet Seed, Mach Punch or at the very minimum put the target to sleep. Breloom can also handle most Azumarill-Amoonguss archetypes as it can easily puts the aquatic rabbit to sleep so it can't Belly Drum. 

Other Pokemon I've Tried Out
(In place of Breloom)

Ferrothorn @ Leftovers / Rocky Helmet
Ability: Iron Barbs
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 148 Atk / 108 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Gyro Ball
- Power Whip
- Leech Seed
- Protect

-Level 51's Ferrothorn
- Survives a STAB Close Combat from Terrakion

Standard Ferrothorn set based on the one Level 51 used. Pretty much the replacement Grass-type for Breloom when I don't feel like using it. What I like about Ferrothorn unlike Breloom was the fact its able to beat most Rain/Sand teams almost by itself in addition stall out the opponent with Leech Seeds. Gyro Ball and Power Whip are Ferrothorn's main STAB to hit most Pokemon hard especially with Gyro Ball. The only problem with using Ferrothorn is that my weakness to Blaziken/Bisharp and opposing Fire-types are magnified.  Its still a good Pokemon to handle Double Genie by itself but can really slow the team down especially if it cannot pick up the KOs quickly enough.

Arcanine @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 208 HP / 156 Def / 36 SpA / 28 SpD / 84 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Flamethrower
- Snarl
- Will-O-Wisp
- Morning Sun

-Speed creep against Jolly Tyranitar and Bisharp without Scarf.
-KOs Bisharp and Breloom with Flamethrower.
-2HKOs most Amoonguss sets.
-100 SpA Suicune's Scald becomes a 3HKO.

This Arcanine set...wasn't well thought out honestly since I'd just looked around for a defensive set and only found from a NB article. Originally I felt that Ferrothorn wasn't doing its job as a damage mitigater well so I've decided that another pivot switch Pokemon was in order. At the same time I felt that Gardvoir-Amoongus teams will rise after the dominating performance it received at US Nationals so I felt the team needed a Pokemon who can beat these two while recovering off HP. Flamethrower and Snarl are Arcanine's main attacking options though Flamethrower was for targets not named Heatran while Snarl was designated for special attacker. Arcanine is also the team's second Will-O-Wisp user to alleviate Mega Gengar and the second Intimidate user so I'm sure as well will see Bisharp or Milotic make an appearance. Safety Goggles Arcanine was another check for Sun teams with Charizard Y and Venusaur since it can Snarl both targets while the Fire-type can't get put to sleep by Venusaur with Sleep Powder.


About 70% of the time, my leads for this team is Mega Gengar + either Mamoswine, Breloom, or Gyarados dependent of the opposing team. If its standard CHALK without Thundurus, then I might just lead with Gengar + Gyarados to get an Intimidate on either Kangaskhan/Landorus-T while threatening Heatran/Landorus-T for a 2HKO. If Thundurus is on the opposing team, Mamoswine is almost an "auto-lead" especially if they have Landorus-T/Heatran/Mega Salamence as a well. The times I've used Azumarill/Mega Gardevoir/Amoonguss or Kang + Milotic/Bisharp is when I bring Breloom since its able to bypass redirection, put something to sleep, or threaten with a super effective hit. For most Trick Room based teams, I use Mega Gengar with either Gyarados with Taunt or Spore from Breloom to stop the potential setup (though I'll explain why this isn't full-proof in the threats section). If I do lead with Raikou (about 10% of the time with Mega Gengar) if my opponents has a predominate special attackers (about 3+ depending on the team). 

The other 20% of the time (the only time I might not lead with Mega Gengar) is when I encounter  weather-based teams in which Hydreigon/Raikou are my main options for Sun/Rain while Gyarados/Hydreigon is a common lead for most sand-based teams. Most weather teams have a teammate who's reliant of their respective field conditions/abilities to double their speed which is why Thunder Wave Gyarados or Tailwind Hydreigon will see action. Speaking of Hydreigon, its probably my most important win-condition to keep around considering the Tailwind boost will allow the rest the teammates to outspeed the foe to maintain offensive momentum within the next three turns. 


Of course with such a highly rated team comes some notable flaws in the teambuilding as well as matchups that might be slightly difficult to beat. Here's a list of the top 10 threats for this team I've rounded out for this team report. 

Blaziken + Bisharp

This matchup is honestly the most difficult to face off against considering the fact I'm using an offensive team myself only except it requires the use of stat-reducing strategies (which Bisharp deters), use of two Dark-type/Ice-type Pokemon for speed control (which Blaziken decimates both Mamoswine/Hydreigon), and all 6 of my Pokemon cannot take the combination of Fire/Dark/Steel/Fighting coverage these threats have. The main reasons why I'd even place this so high up on the list compared with anything else is because it all depends on the leads as well as which Pokemon is going to attack/protect on each turn. Hydreigon can setup Tailwind as it threatens both Bisharp and Blaziken with a Life Orb Earth Power, though if my opponent reads this they can easily KO Hydreigon with Superpower. All that Mega Gengar can do against is fire off a Will-O-Wisp to burn Bisharp, or trap either so that Breloom or Raikou can  knock out either or. Even if I setup Tailwind as my opponent protects Blaziken, there's an extreme likelyhood they go for the 33% double protect ( heck even triple protect ) so Bisharp has a straight shot at Mega Gengar. Focus Sash Breloom can put either Bisharp/ Blaziken to sleep though again it comes down to calling who's going to protect at the cost of its item at times. Defensive Gyarados easily no doubt is a hard counter to Blaziken, though if it still has Rock Slide or if Bisharp is still around I'd risk giving the Dark-/Steel-type the Defiant boost.

Competitive/Defiant Users

Bisharp, Milotic, Braviary, and other users like Wigglytuff and Primape (though not much these two in particular) can threaten easily threaten the team archtype since it forces me to reconsidering not bringing defensive Gyarados. Oftentimes this forces me to play hyper-offensive with the team and be reliant that Mega Gengar can stick around as long as possible without being KOed. Breloom and Raikou are my main answers in knocking out either Bisharp and especially Milotic who can easily spam Icy Wind to slow down my rather fast team. 

Mega Kangaskhan

Anyone might be wondering why Mega Kangaskhan is on the list when I claim to have "answers" for it? Well the problem with relying on Will-O-Miss and Intimidate spam is practically the reason why anyone would bring Mega Kangaskhan as they can easily patch this up by having a redirection partner to avoid burns, a Intimidate deter like Bisharp/Milotic to stop Gyarados from switching in so often, and Power-Up Punch to regain their "regular" offensive power back. Again this team's reliance on neutering Kang's attacking power than just start off killing it is the reason why I have Pokemon who are able to 2HKO the standard variant.

Transform Smeargle / Some DV Archtypes like Assist Void

Transform Smeargle with Dark Void is an near auto-loss for the team as I'm extremely reliant upon either Breloom, Hydreigon, Mamoswine, or Raikou to deal with Khan-Artist. Fake Out support from Mega Kangaskhan is almost guaranteed with their team archetype as it can flinch either of my Pokemon for reasonable damage. Again all I can hope against facing Dark Void teams is hope that either Dark Void misses on someone or if my opponent goes for an attack with Kangaskhan instead as Smeargle DVs ; both scenarios are unlikely. I specifically mentioned Transform Smeargle as it can easily turn into a copy of my own Mega Gengar and my opponent now has two powerful Mega Evolutions. This time, all the opponent has to do is trap my own Pokemon while its partner takes out the rest of my team.

Latios/Latios/Hydreigon (Dragon-types)

Again so what do all three of these Pokemon have in common? Well all of them can KO Mega Gengar, have free pass to fire a neutral Draco Meteor, or even Tailwind to maintain speed control. The Lati Twins are the most concerning as they have a fast base 110 speed in which my opponent can go for a speed tie when targeting Mega Gengar, and have enough coverage to threaten most of my team. Hydreigon is surprisingly more concerning for me since I typically don't know if it outspeeds my own so I always have to play with caution. Now here's the reason why they aren't higher on this list: Raikou + Shadow Tag . If my opponent inadvertently fires a Draco Meteor as say my AV Raikou used Snarl (best checks to either), not only will their special Dragon-type receive a -1 from Snarl but an additional -2 from Draco Meteor. Now their special Dragon-type is reduced to -3 and can't switch out now due to Mega Gengar being on the field as I prioritize on the other target. Raikou can continue to Snarl or even while all they can hope for a critical hit Draco Meteor. Once the Dragon-type is low enough, I'd immediately remove it from battle, though I'd usually wait until it cannot switch out anymore by taking out two other opposing Pokemon.

Safety Goggles / Redirection / Fake Out Trick Room

While I haven't battle too many Trick Room based teams as often during my 7th place run, their intermediate hyper offense during those 4 turns can be extremely threatening if I don't bring the right Pokemon. Mega Gengar can easily trap most Trick Room setters though they might have Ghost types like Aegislash, Dusclops, Sableye, even Gengar to threaten my own Ghost-type. Pretty much Mega Gengar has to inflict as much damage on the Trick Room setter like Cresselia while Gyarados attempts to get off a Taunt so the field condition is denied. Breloom is another threat to most Trick Room teams as I can potentially spore the target so either Mega Gengar or Breloom have another turn to KO it.

However since this isn't a perfect world, Trick Room will come some form of support like Safety Goggles Cress, Fake Out Kang/Scafty/etc, or redirection from Amoonguss. The way this team handles most Trick Room teams is Mega Gengar deal optimal damage (or burn Mega Kang), and protect it as long as possible (not spamming consecutive protects btw). To expand on that last point, Shadow Tag denies most TR teams of their main offense (unless its Mega Gardevoir TR) so my opponent has to lead with their most hyper offensive teammates. Cresselia moderately threatening however not offensively capable enough to carry its team in a TR offense. The main concern would be the TR user's partner. If my opponent leads with Gardevoir or Amoonguss, I may counter with Gengar or Gyarados/Breloom (last part dependent on the team). If my opponent leads with Cresselia/Heatran, usually  Mega Gengar/Gyarados are my best leads.

In essence, this team relies on the either Mega Gengar/Gyarados/Breloom to prevent a potential Trick Room with their scare crow-like presence (STAB Shadow Ball/Spore) or a  surprise Taunt. If my opponent does happen to setup TR then the objective would be to stall it out with Gyarados and Mega Gengar taking the brunt of the offense which isn't too great. That's why I started exploring other Pokemon like Ferrothorn or defensive Arcanine who can also take incoming attacks in Trick Room so Mega Gengar can stick around longer.

PuP Mega Kang / DD Mega Mence with either Competitive/Defiant

This matchup  I really don't look forward facing off as I realize this strategy cuts off Gyarados completely. Basically I'm either forced to face a Mega Kangaskhan/ Mence with either respective setup while I can't use Gyarados (or Arcanine later on) to beat these teams since this will risk giving either Bisharp or Milotic a +1/+2 in their respective attacking stats. For Mega Kang + Bisharp/Milotic, Mega Gengar and Breloom were usually my main answer since Gengar traps both of them in and threatens with a Will-O-Wisp burns while Breloom either threatens with a super effective Mach Punch or Spore. Mega Salamence with Dragon Dance is much more threatening IMO since after +1 it can easily 2HKO or even KO majority of my team with the Flying STAB Aerilate + Earthquake. 

Sylveon or Mega Gardevoir

The only reason why I'd mentioned these two is because my only answers are Mega Gengar and AV Raikou with Snarl since the rest of my team isn't resistant to a Pixilate Hyper Voice. Sylveon isn't as threatening since its slow however Mega Gardevoir is a threat in of itself as it can either go for a Psychic STAB on Mega Gengar, spam Hyper Voice for significant spread damage, or even Trick Room to allow its slower Pokemon to move first. My method of dealing with these two are Mega Gengar + Gyarados/Breloom since Gyarados has access to Taunt so it can shut down Amoonguss (a popular partner for Mega Gardevoir) or even paralyze Gardevoir with Thunder Wave. Breloom can easily bypass Rage Powder from Amoonguss, can live one hit from Mega Gardevoir with with Focus Sash to either Spore or KO with Bullet Seed. One thing to note is 164 SpA Mega Gengar can easily do about 70% to Sylveon (assuming 232 HP) and 78% to Mega Gardevoir. This isn't factoring the additional 30% chance of the 1/8th poison damage it can get so any of my Pokemon can take them out with a neutral STAB. 


Though Taunt Gyrardos is usually my main answer to neutralize a redirection user like Amoonguss, Volcarona, Clefable, Clefairy, Togekiss etc are still rather annoying to face in battle. All they really need is a two turns like one to call the Taunt from Gyarados or Gengar (since lead Gengar usually carries it and suspect I have one) or the second turn. Once Taunted (and trapped), they are pretty much rendered useless for the next few turns. 


Last but not least, Swagger. If my opponent is desperate (say Thundurus Vs. Mamoswine) and wants to win the battle based on a 45% confusion hit (factoring the 10% chance to miss). If I hit myself, it gives my opponent an opportunity, though depends on the circumstances of the match, but if my Pokemon gets past confusion, then it depends on who got swaggered. Mega Gengar, Raikou, or Hydreigon will attempt to take out the Swagger user immediately, though if Breloom, Gyarados, or especially Mamoswine get through then its likely they'll take out Thundurus or OHKO a different target.  Course my opponent can easily get a the free confusion turn and proceed to use this as a momentum shift in their favor.

Second Proof of Peak

Just in case anyone wants physical proof.

Closing Thoughts

So we finally got to the best part of the post...the end! Sure this team never won anything like a tourney but honestly it was one of the most fun teams I've used. Though I admit this team was just a rip off of another talented Japanese player (みょん myon7314) who can sure as hell beat my ass anytime of the day, I guess emulation is a good start to team building especially when you don't have the actually source of the team to work with (like a blog post). If there happens to be a blog post about the original team then I'll give credit where it's due. Well that's about so hopefully I'll make another team report soon. As always thanks for reading.