Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Comprehensive Guide to Weather (VGC) [Mostly Gen 6]

A Comprehensive Guide to Weather (VGC)
October 6 2016

One of the most common strategies seen in the VGC scene is the use and manipulation of field effects, notable "weather conditions" in order to gain the upper-hand in battle. Some VGC teams use the mechanics of certain weather conditions to change the battlefield, power up / nerf attacks, activate abilities, give certain boost in stats, potentially damage certain Pokemon in battle, and several other effects. Aside "Primal Weathers", most of the four major weather conditions in Rain, Sun, Sand, and Hail are able to override each other through the use of a move, or an ability. All four of these weather conditions have seen usage in the VGC formats over the years and changes in strategies and playstyles whether its hyper offense or defensive play. As of Gen 6, all weather conditions will only last for about 5 turns, with the obvious exception to the "Primal Weathers". Keep in mind, no weather effect is too strong over the other, how a couple do have immediate type advantages if their own weather effect is up.

Given how "fast-pace" VGC format is, most weather-based teams compose of auto-"setters" who are able to initial their field conditions at the start per turn. Select groups of team might have specific moves like Sunny Day, or Rain Dance which allows the user to "manually" change the weather, usually the main basis is to "disrupt" opposing weathers. Just note the opportunity cost of running a specific moveslot is great as it cost a turn, but again it depend on the battle situation. Most VGC teams will use automatic weather summoners to initiate their weather-based strategies, however note not all of them rely entire on this strategy. Just because a certain team with, say Drizzle Politoed along with Swift Swim Pokemon seems appealing, note there are still other factors to consider like team synergy, type coverage, specific partners/cores, and of course, potential counter measures for opposing weather, aside the weather summoner.

Note the "best" weather based teams aren't too specific on their own weather, rather a supplement to their own team composition. Some teams might only use weather for their "defensive" qualities specific key members of the team who "indirectly" take advantage. An example of this are "Sand & Sun" teams featuring Tyranitar and Charizard Y who use their own respective weather-abilities to "cancel" out Rain-based teams, with some defensive switching. Rain itself can be used to help cover for Pokemon who are weak to "Fire-types" to reduce the damage output. All weathers have their respective advantages, but its important to consider "how" and "why" it should be used for the benefit of the team, instead of the sake of using its with certain Pokemon.

For this guide, it will list down all the weather effects and dive into the common weather setters in the VGC metagame. For these Weather-based Pokemon, it will feature some of the most common moves/items seen on them, a brief overview, and a list of "checks/counters" to them. The following 5 Pokemon will be covered are Politoed, Tyranitar, Abomasnow, and Mega Charizard Y / Ninetales. Before anyone thinks of a "bias", note the VGC 17 circuit has "banned" Mega Evolutions, meaning Charizard Y cannot be allowed, however to many its the "best" Drought, or Sun user in the game. For the time being, Ninetales will be covered as well. Hippodown and Aurorus won't be covered as they are outclassed by their weather counterparts in the VGC format, and both Tyranitar / Abomasnow receive major usage. At the very end will list some other "weather"-based strategies, and some articles for people to give a good read. Alright lets get started.


  • All Pokemon with the Ability Drizzle, or use the move Rain Dance will cause "rain" which lasts for about 5 turns (8 turns with the Damp Rock).
  • The following Pokemon have either the ability Drizzle or Primordial Sea: Politoed (Hidden Ability), Kyogre (Drizzle), and Primal Kyogre (Primordial Sea). 
  • Power of all Water-type moves increase 50%.
  • Power of all Fire-type moves decrease about 50%
  • Power of Solar Beam is reduced by half. 
  • Thunder and Hurricane's accuracy is now 100%.
  • Swift Swim activates and doubles the Speed stat of the user. 
  • Pokemon with the ability Dry Skin and Rain Dish will activate and recover HP by 1/8th (Dry Skin) and 1/16th (Rain Dish) each turn respectively.
  • Hydration will cure the user of any Status Condition.
  • Weather Ball changes to Water-type and doubles in base power. 
  • Following recovery moves are reduced to a 1/4th of the user's HP: Synthesis, Morning Sun, and Moonlight.
  • Primordial Sea ( Primal Kyogre ): Summons "heavy rainfall"; "Primal Weather" ; emits the same effects as rain, though some minor changes.
    • Fire-type moves will have no effect under heavy rain.
    • All weather-changing abilities and moves won't override heavy rain.
      • Exception being Desolate Land, Delta Stream, and Air Lock / Cloud Nine (cancels all weather effects).

 Summary: Rain is arguably one of the most common weather-based field conditions seen on VGC, most notable for its use to boost the power of Water-type attacks. To ask, why are Rain teams slightly used far greater than the other weather conditions in the game like Sun, or Sand? Out of all the weather conditions found in competitive play, Rain offers the most "benefits" from activating specific abilities such as Swift Swim, both Electric-type  and Flying-types can abuse their STAB Thunder / Hurricanes, and perhaps the most under-looked, Water-type is the most "common" Pokemon in the game. Remember based on the type chart, Water-types attacks are super effective against Fire-, Rock-, and Ground-type Pokemon, so even if Rain teams don't have the weather advantage, they can still hit these targets for super effective damage. Rain is one of the "two" weather conditions which boost the power Water-type attacks by 50%, however since most rain-based teams utilize Water-types, their power is further multiple thanks to the STAB. Swift Swim users are one of the major sources of "Rain" offense as their now doubled speed stats can allows them to hit most targets neutrally with neutral Rain-boosted Water-type attacks. Consider the "counters" to most Water-type Pokemon such as Grass-, and Dragon-type Pokemon are weak to Ice-type coverage. As a result, most Swift Swim users have some form of Ice-type move to hit most things aside Water-types themselves as their resisted to both coverage moves. Pokemon normally weak to Fire-type moves like bulky Steel-types benefit in the rain as they can tank most Grass-/Electric-type attacks, while take less damage Fire-type damage in the rain. Aside both Kyogre's forms, the only other rain summoner is Politoed, but its often used as a supportive role more so than offensive. As a result, most "rain-based" teams are based around not only covering for Politoed's main weakness in Grass-type (Talonflame, Mega Salamence), and Electric-type (Mega Swampert, Mega Manetric, Ferrothorn), it can still provide the team with an array of support options as shown.

Primary Setter: Politoed

BS Season 16 Stats

Politoed @ Sitrus Berry / Damp Rock
Ability: Drizzle
EVs: 252 HP / 76 Def / 76 SpA / 100 SpD / 4 Spe or 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA
Calm / Bold / Modest Nature
- Scald
- Icy Wind / Ice Beam
- Helping Hand / Encore / Perish Song / Toxic
- Protect


Politoed @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Drizzle
EVs: 4 HP / 4 Def / 248 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Hydro Pump
- Ice Beam
- Scald
- Hidden Power Grass / Surf / Rain Dance

Since its release back in Gen 5, Drizzle Politoed has been one of the most defining Pokemon in the VGC metagame as it allowed previously manual weather teams to finally have access to the the Drizzle, once exclusive to Kyogre. Though Politoed lacks in "offensive" power, it can support most rain-based teams with its vast support options. Some of these support options include Helping Hand to further augment the power of Rain-boosted Water-type hits further, Encore to lock the opponent into an unfavorable move, Icy Wind for sub-optimal speed control, and of course, Scald to inflict potential Burn status. Most Politoed sets are built on the defensive end to be able to maintain themselves for the late game for their partners, or win out the weather wars. A good fraction of Politoed about 30% in BS Doubles Season 16 were Choice Scarf, mostly to get the upper-hand against the Pokemon weak to both Water-, or Ice-type hits. In terms of partners, the obvious Pokemon to pair with Politoed are Water-types, or specifically Swift Swim users like Ludicolo, Kingdra, and Mega Swampert. While most Water-types don't have "high" offensive stats compared to others, the potential boosts in Rain along with the STAB makes these weather sweepers dangerous when uses properly. Keep in mind though Rain may boost the power of Politoed's Water-type attack, however the base 90 Special Attack holds it back considerable and relies on its partners for the main heavy rain offense. Politoed still has to worry about opposing Grass-, and Electric-type Pokemon who have the type advantage over it and its partners. Unless there's a new Drizzle user for the regular Pokemon, Politoed will remain as the premier Rain-setter in the game, so be sure to prepare for.

Teammates: Swift Swim users (Ludicolo, Kingdra, Mega Swampert), Flying-type Pokemon (Talonflame, Mega Salamence), Electric-types (Mega Manetric, Zapdos, Thundurus-Incarnate / -Therian), Bulky Steel-types (Aegislash, Mega Mawile, Ferrothorn, Mega Metagross), Shadow Tag for Weather Control (Gothitelle, Mega Gengar), etc.

Checks / Counters (Rain): Bulky Grass-types (Amoonguss, Ferrothorn, Ludicolo), Electric-types, Speed Control against Swift Swim users (I.E. Paralysis / Trick Room), Drought and Sunny Day ("momentum killer"), Sand/Hail (Override Weather), Storm Drain (Cradily, Gastrodon), etc


  • All Pokemon with the ability Drought, or use the move Sunny Day will bring "sunlight" which last up to 5 turns (8 turns with the Heat Rock). 
  • The following Pokemon have the ability Drought or Desolate Land: Mega Charizard Y ( Mega Evolution ), Ninetales ( Hidden Ability ), Groudon ( Drought ), and Primal Groudon ( Desolate Land )
  • Power of all Fire-type attacks increase by 50%.
  • Power of all Water-type attacks decrease by 50%. 
  • Solar Beam becomes a single-turn move and hits the target automatically without waiting two turns. 
  • Accuracy of Thunder and Hurricane are cut to 50%.
  • The following Abilities activate or are affected under Sunlight: Chlorophyll, Dry Skin, Harvest, Flower Gift, Leaf Guard, Solar Power, and Forecast.
  • Chlorophyll activates and doubles the speed of the user.
  • Pokemon with the ability....
    • Dry Skin will lose 1/8th of their HP.
    • Harvest will always restore a Berry if consumed.
    • Flower Gift increases the Attack and Special Defensive of its allies by 50%.
    • Leaf Guard prevents the user from "non-volatile" status such as Poison, Burn, Sleep, Freeze, Paralysis.
    • Solar Power increases the Special Attack by 50%, but loses 1/8th of its HP per turn
  • Weather Ball changes to Fire-type and doubles in base power.
  • Growth will sharply raise both Attack and Special Attack stats by +2 boosts. 
  • Prevent all Pokemon from being afflicted with "freeze status". Despite popular belief, "frozen" Pokemon CANNOT automatically defrost, or thaw out.
  • The following recovery moves replenish 2/3th of their original HP: Synthesis, Moonlight, and Morning Sun.
  • Desolate Land (Primal Groudon): Causes "extreme harsh sunlight" ; "Primal Weather" ; Emits the same effects as sunlight, except the following:
    • Causes all Water-type moves to "evaporate" and fail.
    • All Weather-based abilities and moves won't override "extreme harsh sunlight"
      • Exception being Primordial Sea, Delta Stream, and Air Lock / Cloud Nine (cancels all weather effects).

Summary: In terms of the other weather conditions, Sun has seen usage only in this generation due to the "buff" it received from a specific Pokemon, or summoner in Mega Charizard Y we'll go into detail later. Generally speaking, Sun-based teams are use in a hyper offensive setting similarly to Rain as it boosts the power of all Fire-type moves by about 50%, as well other abilities it activates. Keep in mind, Sun-teams aren't just focus on Fire-type Pokemon to abuse the ability Drought, rather Grass-types with a plethora of abilities like Chlorophyll, or Solar Power to augment their offense. Though Sun teams might seem like "counters" to the popular Rain teams due to its effect to reduce Water-type moves in half, keep it mind this goes both ways in weather wars. A Politoed can easily switch in to reverse the weather against either Charizard Y / Ninetales to "reverse" the weather effects of Sun in favor of the Rain team. One advantage Sun-teams have is the automatic use of Solar Beam to hit most Water-, Rock-, and Ground-type Pokemon, who generally are at a type disadvantage. Going back to why Sun-teams received a "massive" buff in Charizard Y, essentially its one of the most dominate Mega Evolutions and for its ability to setup its weather whenever it wants. Given the "switch"/ Mega Evolution mechanics, opposing players can't just switch in that easily against a Charizard Y as it will always have the weather advantage as it Megas, (exception is if weather is changed mid battle). Now with Charizard Y leading Sun teams, why isn't is as dominate as "Rain" or "Sand". Problem is there aren't as many "direct" abusers of Sun like how say a Swift Swim user has access to the Rain-boost, and its ability activating. Most of the main beneficiaries are Fire- and Grass-type Pokemon, however note there aren't Fire-types who have a potential "speed boost" in the sun and can use their boosted attacks. On a final note, Grass-types are weak to Fire-type attack moves themselves, at risk of being hit with a stronger Super Effective attack. That's why most "sun" teams aren't reliant or a select group of Fire-, or Grass-types, rather will use the "defensive support" of the sun itself to weaken the power of Water-type moves to other types weak to it like Rock- and Ground-type. In all, Sun-teams are used more or less in a hyper offensive setting to net OHKOs.

Primary Setter #1: Mega Charizard Y 

Mega Charizard Y

BS Season 16 Stats

Charizard @ Charizardite Y
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid / Modest Nature
- Heat Wave / Flamethrower
- Solar Beam
- Overheat / HP Ground / Tailwind
- Protect

Summary: Mega Charizard Y is the premier Sun setter in for most sun-teams given with is high base 159 Special Attack and augmented boosted of it STAB Fire-type moves. Essentially with its massive firepower with the Drought ability, Charizard Y can effectively wall break, or sweep through unprepared teams with ease, and have its partners cleanup as well. Most of Charizard Y's moveset is rather simple to use with the standard Fire-type move, Solar Beam for Water-, Rock-, and Ground-type Pokemon, and a coverage move. Thing about Charizard Y is its with its high base 159 Sp Atk, strong STAB Fire-type options, and the boost with the Sun, this Mega will be hitting even the most resisted Pokemon for massive amounts of damage. Usually most Sun-teams are based to "support" Charizard Y like having Intimidate support to take physical hits better, Wide Guard support to protect it from Rock Slide, and other ways to deal with Electric- and Water-type Pokemon. Other "Sun-based" strategies like the use of Chlorophyll user like Venusaur, Shiftry, and others are able to double their speed stats and handle both Water- and Electric-types fairly well. Keep in mind Charizard Y still needs a decent amount of support options in order to be successful.

Primary Setter #2: Ninetales

BS Season 16 Stats

Ninetales @ Heat Rock / Life Orb / Choice Scarf
Ability: Drought
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid / Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Heat Wave / Flamethrower
- Solar Beam
- Will-O-Wisp / [Hidden Power Ice / Ground] / Disable / Skill Swap
- Protect / Overheat

Summary: Normally Ninetales won't be listed here, had it not been for the recent news that Mega Stones are banned in the VGC 17 format, so we'll discuss Ninetales as well. The problem with Ninetales unlike Charizard Y is its weakness to both Rock-, and Ground-type attacks, which the latter was an immunity for Char Y. The damage output from Ninetales with the Drought boost is somewhat sub optimal with its base 80 Special Attack compare to the 159 Sp. Atk. Despite these notable flaws, Ninetales has the advantage of holding a Held Item, along with being able to setup the sun potentially at the start of the battle. Based on the usage stats, the most common Ninetales sets are built offensive in line with the nature of most Sun teams. With Ninetales, the player has their general Fire-type move of choice (Flamethrower, Fire Blast, Heat Wave), Solar Beam for those Water-, Rock-, and Ground-types,  and another move for coverage list above. With the Held Item choice, Ninetales can hit harder with the Life Orb, outspeed faster targets with a Choice Scarf, or maintain more Sun turns with the Heat Rock.

Teammates: Chlorophyll users ( Venusaur, Shiftry, Liligant ), Lighting Rod Support for Char Y ( Rhyperior, Raichu ), Fire-types ( Heatran, Talonflame), Wide Guard ( Conkeldurr, Aegislash, Swampert, Machamp ), Spread Damage users ( Sylveon, Heatran, Landorus-T, Rhyperior), Ground- / Rock-types ( Terrakion, Landorus-T, Rhyperior), Electric-types ( Raichu, Rotom-A, Thundurus, Zapdos).
Checks and Counters (Sun): Rain ( Politoed, Swift Swim Users ), Dragon-types ( Garchomp, Hydreigon, Mega Salamence ), Rock-types or Fast Rock Slide Users ( Scarf Tyranitar,Terrakion, Excadrill ), Opposing Fire-types for Grass-types in Sun-teams ( Rotom-H, Heatran, Arcanine), etc.


  • All Pokemon with the ability Sand Stream, or uses the move "Sandstorm", hence the name cause the weather condition. Sandstorm will last up to 5 turns (8 turns with the Smooth Rock).
  • All non Rock-, Steel-, and Ground-type Pokemon will be inflicted with 1/16th damage every turn.
  • The following Pokemon have the ability Sand Stream: Tyranitar and Hippowdon.
  • Pokemon with the following Abilities / Items will avoid Sandstorm residual damage: Sand Force, Sand Rush, Sand Veil, Overcoat, Magic Coat, and the Safety Goggles item.
  • As if Gen 4+, raises the Special Defense of all Rock-type Pokemon by 50%. 
  • Pokemon with the ability...
    • Sand Force will increase the power of all Ground-, Rock-, and Steel-type moves by 30% for the user.
    • Sand Rush will double the user's speed current speed stat.
    • Sand Veil will increase evasion by 20%.
  • Weather Ball changes to Rock-type and doubles in base power.
  • The power of Solar Beam is cut to 50%.
  • The following recovery moves will receive only 25%, or one-quarter of their original HP total: Morning Sun, Synthesis, and Moonlight.

Summary: Probably one of the more "linear" weather conditions in the VGC format are Sand-based teams given only a "select" group of Pokemon can really take use of the sandstorm. Note unlike both Rain and Sun, sand doesn't boost any specific offensive or STAB itself, without having one of the three Sand-based abilities as listed above. In terms of the setters, Tyranitar and Hippowdon are the two main Sand Stream users current available in the games, however there's one huge difference viabilty. Recall sand boost the Special Defense stats of all Rock-type Pokemon to about 50%, and with Tyranitar's naturally high base stats in HP, Defense, and even Special Defense, it can make a a good setter to combat the opposing weathers (will get to Tyranitar's usage later). Hippowdon has high physical defensive stats (useful in singles), but with the prevalence of Special Attackers, notably all weather summoners being special makes it almost outclassed. In terms of common users, Excadrill is the most used partner to pair in Sand-based teams, notably for its Sand Rush ability which doubles its middle speed stat and turns it into a strong sweeper. Perhaps the closest abuser of sand is Mega Garchomp, though not as fast as its regular form, has a massive base 170 Attack stat, access to strong Ground-, Rock-, and Steel-type moves, and with Sand Force, bolsters their offensive base power by about 30%. Some people have "doubted" the effectiveness of full Sand-based teams given the lack of "strong" users like Tyranitar and Excadrill, who both were extremely common back in VGC 15. However as a "supplement" to the team, Sand-based teams can be quite strong with the right kind of support, like Grass-type who can take on Water-types, bulky Steel-types who can deal with Grass-types, Flying-types who threaten Grass- and Bug-types (for Tyranitar), etc.

Primary Setter: Tyranitar

BS Season 16 Stats
Tyranitar @ Choice Scarf / Tyranitarite
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Rock Slide
- Crunch / Assurance
- Ice Punch / Ice Beam / Dragon Dance
- Low Kick  / Superpower / Protect


Tyranitar @ Lum Berry / Chople Berry
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 244 Atk / 12 Def
Adamant Nature
- Rock Slide
- Crunch
- Low Kick / Superpower / Ice Punch
- Protect

Summary: Without question, Tyanitar (and Mega Tyanitar) is the best Sandstorm setter in the game, mostly for its high overall base stats, with the further increase in Special Defense with the Sand up. What makes Tyranitar standout is its been one of the most "custom" VGC Pokemon that can be tailored to almost any team and can fit its role well. Keep in mind, Tyranitar is no offensive slouch either with both offensive stats at 134 Attack and 95 Special Attack, which are respectably high for VGC.  A good portion of Tyranitar sets run Choice Scarf to allow them to outspeed the base 115s and hit powerful STAB Rock Slide (with a chance to flinch on both targets), and Crunch to threaten common Trick Room setters like Cresselia. Slow Tyranitar variants tend to maximize its bulk, while the same time focus on its naturally high Attack stat to target down opponents. Heck there are even "setup" variants who use "Dragon Dance" to bolster both Attack and Speed for a sweep. Note these are not just the way to run Tyranitar as it has a huge movepool to abuse, along with Sp. Atk moves like Ice Beam, Fire Blast, Dark Pulse, etc. Mega Tyranitar has the same "secondary" weather effect as Char Y and Mega Abomasnow who can setup the sand on a delayed turn (likely during protection) to maintain the weather as it Mega Evolves. While Tyranitar is seen as a strong bulky offensive Pokemon, the whooping seven-type weaknesses and slow speed is what sets it back. Without the proper team support, Tyranitar cannot face most weather teams head on as these Pokemon will hits its likely on the special defensive end, when the sand has been removed. Nevertheless, Tyranitar has been the most resilient weather user for generations and can still hit relatively hard if used well.

Teammates: Sand Rush users (Excadrill), Sand Force users (Mega Garchomp, Landorus-I without Sheer Force), Storm Drain (Gastrodon, Cradily), Bulky Water-types (Rotom-W, Milotic, Azumarill), Flying-types (Mega Salamence, Talonflame) Grass-types (Amoonguss, Breloom, Ferrothorn), Steel-types (Aegislash, Metagross, Ferrothorn, Mega Mawile, Scizor)
Checks and Counters (Sand): Bulky Water-types (Rotom-W, Milotic, Suicune, etc), Grass-type (Amoonguss, Ferrothorn, Ludicolo), Fighting-types (Conkeldurr, Breloom, Terrakion), Rain (Politoed, Kingdra, Mega Swampert),

  • All Pokemon with the ability Snow Warning, or uses the move Hail will cause a "hailstorm". Hail will last up to 5 turns (8 turns in with the Icy Rock). 
  • All Pokemon who aren't Ice-type will be inflicted 1/16th of their HP each turn.
  • The following Pokemon have the ability Snow Warning: Abomasnow and Aurorus (Hidden Ability)
  • Pokemon with the following abilities / items avoid residual damage from Hail: Ice Body, Snow Cloak, Magic Guard, Overcoat, or the held item Safety Goggles
  • Blizzard becomes 100% accurate in the Hail.
  • Pokemon with the Ability...
    • Ice Body will recover 1/16th of their HP every turn during Hail
    • Snow Cloak will raise evasion by 20%.
  • The power of Solar Beam is decreased by 50%.
  • Weather Ball changes to Ice-type and doubles the base power. 
  • The following recovery moves will receive only 25%, or one-quarter of their original HP total: Morning Sun, Synthesis, and Moonlight.
Summary: The final field weather condition to discuss is the rather uncommonly used "Hail"-based teams. Compared to the other weather conditions, Hail benefits solely Ice-type Pokemon as they aren't pelted by the Hail damage, and rely heavily on spamming the move Blizzard. Note that Ice-type is one of the strongest "offensive" attacks in the game given it hits four-types for Super Effective damage against other "common" types like Dragon-, Grass-, Ground-, and notably Flying-type. Blizzard is one of the strongest spread attacks in VGC, though the main drawback with using Blizzard is the 70% accuracy, but this can be remedies as now Hail allows the move to receive 100% accuracy counter. One other aspect Hail-based teams might go is with a Trick Room option given how both setters in Abomasnow (also its Mega), and Aurorus are both slower than most of the average Pokemon. Most Hail teams might utilize bulky Water-types to counteract against opposing Sand- and Sun-based teams. For Sun-based teams with Fire-type attackers, ally Fire-types with the Flash Fire ability can make for good partners as they can absorb most Fire-type attacks, and retaliate with a boosted hit. Despite covering for potential type weaknesses, note how one of the Hail setters in Abomasnow has a plethora of weaknesses for the opponent to abuse, the Grass/Ice-type Pokemon can do work it support well.

Primary Setter: Abomasnow

BS Doubles Season 16

Abomasnow @ Focus Sash / Life Orb / Abomasite / Choice Scarf
Ability: Snow Warning
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA  or EVs: 4 HP / 252 Spa / 252 Spe
Quiet or Timid Nature
- Blizzard
- Giga Drain / Wood Hammer / Energy Ball
- Ice Shard / Ice Beam
- Protect / Hidden Power Fire 

Summary: One of the important factors to consider Abomasnow over its counterpart Aurorus is its part Grass-type to complement to its secondary Ice-type. Notice both weather setters in Politoed and Tyranitar are both weak to Grass-type, and Politoed itself being immediate threaten give Abomasnow some great value. In a way, Abomasnow can be seen as a hard rain counter given both its part Grass-typing, the ability to reset the weather to Hail, and resists Water- and Electric-type moves. As depicted, Abomasnow has a number of option set options to consider, though the two leading sets tend to orient themselves into to ways: Trick Room, and a Choice Scarf fast mode. Though both sets do have their main difference in investing either negative / positive speed values, the main goal is to "hit" the opponent with as many STAB Blizzards as possible. Most of these Abomasnow sets are mostly offensive in order to get as much damage output alongside its other Blizzard, or spread-attack ally. Like Charizard Y and Mega Tyranitar, Mega Abomasnow has the potential to wait out for a couple turns, until its time to reset, or bring back Hail once more.  Despite these traits, its important to note both Abomasnow and Mega Abomasnow are weak to a plethora of types such as Bug-, Fighting-, Poison-, Rock-, Flying-, Steel-, and of course its quad weakness to the Fire-type. Usually its "easier" to spot whether the Abomasnow is going to be a Trick Room variant, or will be "fast" just by looking to see if there are anything that give it away like Cresselia, Jellicent (Trick Room), or Protean Greninja / Glaceon. Finally, Fire- and Steel-type Pokemon are generally the go-to counters for most Hail-based teams, though watch out for potential Water- or Ground-type Pokemon.

Teammates: Fast Blizzard users [Protean Greninja, Rotom-F, Glaceon (Scarf)], Trick Room setters (Cresselia, Chandelure, Jellicent, Gothitelle), Fire-types (Talonflame, Chandelure, Heatran, Infernape), Spread Attackers (Heatran, Jellicent, Rhyperior), Intimdate Support (Landorus-T, Scrafty), Bulky Water-types (Gastrodon, Swampert, Rotom-W, Milotic), etc.

Checks / Counters (Hail): Fire-type Pokemon (Heatran, Mega Char Y, Talonflame, Arcanine, Rotom-H), Steel-types (Aegislash, Heatran, Mega Mawile, Scizor, Mega Metagross), Wide Guard (Aegislash, Conkeldurr), offensive type advantage, etc

Other Weather Abilities and Potential Usages

  • Delta Stream: The main primary user of this ability is Mega Rayquaza seen on the VGC 16 format. Note Rayquaza has the ability Air Lock which tandems well with its Delta Stream to "cancel" out the opposing Primal Weathers, though keep the last point in mind.
    • Summons a "mysterious air current" and allows all part-Flying-type Pokemon to receive "half", or neutral damage from Rock-, Ice-, and Electric-type moves.
      • Essentially speaking Flying-types will be dealt normal damage against Rock-, Ice-, and Electric-types
      • Other "secondary" typing will not be factored in. Ex Mega Rayquaza takes only x2 Super Effective damage now instead of neutral due to its part Dragon-type being calculated as "weak" to Ice-type.
    • Cancels out all regular "weather conditions" (Rain, Sand, Sun, and Hail), and all weather abilities and moves won't work.
    • Doubles the power of Weather Ball, but the type will remain Normal.
    • If a move was originally super effective to the Pokemon ( Rock-, Ice-, and Electric-type ), but not isn't due to Delta Stream, it will no longer count as a Super Effective hit.
      • This means Held Items such as Weakness Policy, damage-holding berries (Wacan, Yache, and Charti Berry), etc won't have an effect.
  • Primal Weathers: Keep in mind Primordial Sea, Desolate Land, and Delta Stream all override each other in some fashion. Delta Stream is NOT the "ultimate" weather option as the other two "Primal Weathers" will override it if Primal Groudon / Kyogre switch in. 
  • Air Lock / Cloud Nine: Though not seen as much in the VGC format due to the lack of strong user (aside Rayquaza), here's what it does:
    • "Suppresses all weather effects". Meaning all weather conditions, boosts, potential residual damage, accuracy changes, etc are ignored
      • Pretty much no a neutral battlefield as long as the Air Lock / Cloud Nine user is on the field. 
  • Manual Weather Setters: The use of a Pokemon who has the following moves to summon a certain weather: Rain Dance, Sunny Day, Hail, and Sandstorm. Usually these fall under two types:
    • Pranksters Abusers: Pokemon with the ability "Prankster" can use their priority-effect on all status moves such as individual weathers moves to summon either Rain, Sun, Sand, or Hail. Keep in mind Weather-abilities associated with speed won't allow the Pokemon to go first, until the following turn as speed bracket are determine before a respective weather condition is set.
      • Common Prankster users are Thundurus, Klefki, Tornadus, Whimsicott, Sableye, etc
    • "Slow" / Switch Manual Users: Either Pokemon with the intent of setting up a respective weather condition for their allies with the potential of being outspeed. Can be use to describe a Weather user for the sole purpose of using an opposing "opposite" weather to "ruin" the opposing team's momentum.
      • Examples of these are Sunny Day Cresselia, Tyranitar, Latios, and Amoonguss (from Wolfey 2012, Gebebo 2013, Arash 2013, and Honami 2015).
      • Notice most of these teams had few responses to rain aside relying on Sunny Day support to essentially break the Rain-teams momentum and go from there.

Other Online Guides and Analysis

Here's a list of "online" guides I've used while "researching" for weather though most of the Pokemon fan site such as Smogon, Nugget Bridge, and blogs throughout the years. Most of the "weather mechanics" were found via Serebii, Pokemondb, Bulbapedia, etc to compile all relevant weather mechanics. The example sets are from the Smogon Dex, however not these are typical 4 / 252 / 252 spreads and can always be altered to your liking.

[spoiler] [/spoiler]

So there you have it, a complete comprehensive and general overview of all weather used in VGC formats. This guide is suppose to be a generic overview of all weathers, not how to use them. Will see what I'll work on next. Later.

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