Monday, April 24, 2017

(VGC) Battle Spot Teams No.1: Heavy Rain

(VGC) Battle Spot Teams No.1: Heavy Rain

Sept 5, 2015

Disclaimer: I'm plan on releasing in detail all my more "successful" battle spot teams in detail given some of these are months old now, especially this RMT since I never actually felt like releasing it. Unfortunately I don't have battle videos for most of these team but I do have "proof" in photos of my battle spot ranking. This is just to add more depth to my team showcase since I don't have that many RMT. Just so I don't bombard the Competitive sections, I plan on releasing these RMTs about once a week.  -Black 117

Its finally time to retire one of my personal best teams from VGC 2015, almost breaking past 1900 barrier on the Battle Spot ladder for Season 9 (actual peaked record was 1884). As a disclaimer, using this exact team WILL NOT RESULT in a good record so don't come complaining to me if there are issues with this team, which honestly there are which is why I'm posting it as an RMT. Another thing I would like to point out is this team is almost an exact archetype as my Mega Mawile team, the one I posted around mid-March. I'm going leave a link to the past team since I'm probably gonna several references here and there. Some of the EV spreads are the same but with some modifications from the other sets.


Around April 14, I decided to post my "Gliding in the Rain" team (featuring Mega Mawile) as a suggestion for ShadyPenguinn VGC series in the Youtube comments just for heck of it and see what criticism I'll get. I think around 30 minutes time, Shady responded mentioning he would like to use the team I suggested to him. Obviously I was honored to have a PokeTuber with then 240,000 subscribers (at the time) feature a VGC team I personal thought wasn't optimal at the time. Regardless it was fun seeing Shady used my team for three episodes since I never had the experience of letting someone else play your team.  After seeing both Shady, and myself utilize this team, I notice some notable flaw that just struck out, primarily my Mega of choice. Mega Mawile is a fantastic  Mega Evolution to utilize with rain, however I felt Mawile wasn't cutting it given its too slow, speed control was mandatory, and people WILL DOUBLE TARGET Mega Mawile before it can do practically anything. To top it off, Sucker Punch was rather risky since veteran VGC opponents will try spamming non-attacking moves to prevent their Pokemon from being KOed.

Obviously I'm was still using Tailwind Mega Mawile at the time not to mention these faster variants are rather frail and very weak to double targets so I began running a bulkier Mega Mawile with Thunder Wave Support from Thundurus. The team had some moderate success but I realize I still relied heavily on speed control to win me the games. I wanted a Pokemon who can take many neutral hits while not being reliant on speed control at times given Mega Mawile wasn't cutting it. I tied Mega Metagross, however Aegislash and Ghosts became problematic plus it suffers greatly to Dark and Ghost types at the time. After watch a bit for Baz Anderson's videos from his Youtube channel, I started exploring the real possibility of using Mega Scizor for this rain team. Honestly there was't much debate afterward, Mega Scizor fit the team perfectly with the rain to cover its quad weakness to Fire, and Pokemon like Terrakion, Hydreigon, and Thundurus to provide offensive synergy with Politoed and Ludicolo being the teams rain core.



Politoed @ Wacan Berry
Ability: Drizzle
Level: 50
EVs: 228 HP / 148 Def / 4 SpA / 108 SpD / 20 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Icy Wind
- Helping Hand
- Protect

-Survives Double Edge from Jolly Mega Kangaskhan
-Survives any Electric Attack thanks to Wacan Berry (Bar Crits)
-Tanks a Modest Specs Draco Meteor from Hydreigon
-Hyper Voice from Timid/Modest Mega Gardevoir cannot 2HKO without a crit or boost

Set Explanation

I'll admit this is virtually the same Politoed set I kept using for about 4 months now (now 6 since March), though I do have a second one specified for my Mega Blaziken team used for the International Challenge April. To be honest, I love rain... though I hate the fact that Politoed out of all Water Pokemon received a powerful ability once exclusive to Kyorge. This isn't the standard Choice Scarf Politoed everyone has seen in VGC 2014, rather a utility set to support the team as long as possible. Rain-boosted Scald is Politoed's main STAB option and possible the reason why I got so high in the ladder with the Scald burns I kept on getting along the way. In all seriousness, that's all I want Politoed to do in the long run, spread as much potential Scald burns as possible against physically oriented Pokemon like Mega Kangaskhan, Terrakion, Tyranitar, Mega Salamence, etc for my primary Mega to sweep (I'll explain why in the end). Icy Wind is the team's secondary speed control option as it reduces the targets speed stat by one stage, or two/thirds after a single use. This is one of the many ways I'm able to punish switch-ins while maintaining momentum for my own team. Helping Hand is essential since now any of Politoed's partners will receive 50% boost, (or increase x1.5) especially for some of my other Pokemon I'll get to later.

For the item slot, I decided to give Politoed a Wacan Berry to take at least one Thunderbolt from powerful electric types to extend its longevity. This has help Politoed take hits from even Life Orb, Specs, or Helping Hand boosted Electric attacks just to get off an Icy Wind, Scald, or even Helping Hand. Given how "frail" this team is I might result to having Politoed take physical hits unless Scizor has Mega Evolve already.

Ludicolo @ Assault Vest
Ability: Swift Swim
Level: 50
EVs: 80 HP / 20 Def / 228 SpA / 4 SpD / 176 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Ice Beam
- Giga Drain
- Fake Out

- Speed Creeps against opposing Ludicolos and base 150 Pokemon
- Scald has a 15/16 or 93.5% chance to OKHO 4 HP Tyranitar in rain.

Set Explanation and EV Spread

The main rain abuser and primary "special wall" thanks to the Assault Vest, Ludicolo has been extremely crucial for this team's successes on the Battle Spot ladder. As you can see, this Ludicolo has more special attacking power to hit its special attacks a bit harder and speed creep against some other Ludicolos. The EV spread was originally to outspeed Choice Scarf Adamant Landorus-T in the rain, but after facing three Mega Aerodactly teams 3 times in a roll, I decided to optimize the EVs to outspeed Mega Aerodactyl and Choice Scarf Modest Hydreigon (because who runs Timid Scarf Hydreigon in VGC?).  Rain-boosted STAB Scalds does a crap ton of damage to who ever gets hit, plus the additional burn on side is an added bonus. Ice Beam is to hit Dragon, Grass, Flying, and Ground types such as Mega Salamence, Amoonguss, Thundurus, Landorus, Zapdos, Breloom, etc for super effective damage. There are occasions where its best to spam rain-boosted Scalds instead of Ice beam given how both are virtually the damage output against 2x weak Pokemon for the burn chance.  Likewise Ludicolo has been the team's answer to bypassing Rage Powder redirection from Amoonguss but I usually most reserve Ludicolo for the late game if Amoonguss is still alive. Since this Ludicolo sacrifices bulk for speed creep and power, I somewhat have to predict more often Ludicolo with than any other Pokemon member in this team as I have to make every rain turn count. Given how frail the team is, Ludicolo will get worn down pretty easily by physical and even strong special attacks like Pixilate Hyper Voices. Regardless, Ludicolo remains an integral part of the team where it has truly picks up the teams much needed offense as the fastest member ( in the rain of course).

Scizor @ Scizorite
Ability: Light Metal --> Technician
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 52 Atk / 116 Def / 84 SpD / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Bullet Punch
- Knock Off
- Swords Dance
- Protect

See Mega Scizor Thread

The main cleaner of the team. Yes, Mega Mawile and Mega Metagross can just as easily fulfill my main "Steel Mega" slot but I'd like to reason a bit why I chose Mega Scizor instead of the other two. First off, Mega Scizor has only one quadruple weakness in Fire, which just about anyone can play around with especially if Politoed's Drizzle can cover this weakness. Second, I wanted a Pokemon with reliable priority to bypass all the speed control while dealing a good amount of damage, which Scizor has can do with its Technician boosted Bullet Punch. Mega Mawile's Sucker Punch is powerful, but people can spam any status move and suddenly Mawile is goes down the following turn. Mega Metagross also has Bullet Punch in tandem with Tough Claws to receives 33% boost, however I felt my team was significantly weak to Dark/Ghost type spam like Aegislash, Hydreigon, Bisharp. Mega Scizor can take neutral damage from Ghost and Dark types thanks to its typing and massive defenses. In every Scizor set ever run, Bullet Punch is always used to cover its poor speed and hit Ice, Rock, and most importantly now, Fairy types in the game. Knock Off is chosen so Mega Scizor isn't walled completely by Aegislash, who in turn an deal over 50% to Mega Scizor if they are only the 252 SpA without any boosting item. In addition, having Knock Off is a great way to figure out which Pokemon is using whatever kind of item,  Like I'd mentioned earlier, Mega Scizor will need Sword Dance in order to have the necessary power to snipe out weaken targets and Fairies since most of these targets will invest in physical bulk.

In my opinion, Mega Scizor has the bulk and the power to setup multiple Sword Dances and potentially sweep with Bullet Punch or Knock Off. The biggest threat to Mega Scizor are random Fire type attacks/users and Pokemon with the move Quick Guard since they wall Mega Scizor's prioity Bullet Punch. Another thing I'd like to point out is Mega Scizor CANNOT one shot Sylveon or Mega Gardevoir immediately with Bullet Punch and must rely on prior damage or the use of Sword Dance to kill arguably the biggest threats to the team. Regardless of its lack of power, Mega Scizor makes this up with setup opportunities to Sword Dance thanks to its 70/140/100 bulk and the rain so it can take non-STAB Fire attacks. After a Sword Dance boost, Mega Scizor practically 2HKOs most non-resisted targets with Bullet Punch and Knock Off in the format.  To be honest, Mega Scizor cannot sweep teams, just pick off remaining targets which is what this team's designed to do.

Thundurus @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 124 Def / 4 SpA / 100 SpD / 28 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 12 Atk (soft reset one)
- Thunderbolt
- Taunt
- Thunder Wave
- Swagger

-Survives Double Edge from Adamant Mega Kangaskhan
-0.8% chance to 2HKO from Landorus-T's Rock Slide after Sitrus Berry recovery (Potential 3HKO)
-5.9% chance to 2HKO from Terrakion's Rock Slide after Sitrus Berry recovery (Potential 3HKO)

Next up is the most annoying Pokemon to face in VGC 2015 IMO: Prankster Thundurus. Like most support Thundurus sets from the past, this set is the team's main support/disruption Pokemon with STAB Thunderbolt, Taunt, Thunder Wave, and Swagger. Prankster Taunt is an amazing utility move to stop generally most setup/status move from defensive Pokemon like Cresselia, Meowstic, Ferrothorn, Rotom-A forms, Togekiss, Amoonguss, and other crazier things on Battle Spot Doubles.  To be honest, Thundurus is my most targeted Pokemon other than Mega Scizor given how it basically prevents my opponent from possibly setting up setup their strategies. Prankster Thunder Wave is what makes Thundurus so threatening in this format as it spreads paralyze for necessary speed control. Obviously just about everyone hates me for using this attack, Swagger is a powerful confusion status attack which increases the attack of a targeted Pokemon by 2 stages, and is inflicted with confusion status. I know people have their opinions about Swagger, though my views are kinda double standard. About 55% of the time (if you include the 90% accuracy), this attack will fail and my opponent will get off an attack or support move, or at least in due time. However, if I get the 45% 'free turn' then I easily get a huge momentum shift which can help win me the game. Obviously I don't go for Swagger on physical attackers only when I know I "lost" the game and need it to bail me out at times. Personally, the way I view the move Swagger is a supplement to the team by providing free turns only if I'm ahead and need to close out. The opponent still has a good chance to break out of Swagger so I might pair it up with paralysis or heck even Rock Slides to prevent my opponent from moving. However if the targets are already weaken, I will usually opt for Thundurus to finish off weaken targets with its STAB Thunderbolts  Heck I guess the only "good thing" about Swagger is if it can screw up the specially based Aegislash users by dealing about 40% to itself in Blade form (assuming Aegislash hits itself). Thundurus was a necessary evil for the team to function well unto its initial push in the higher ladder given its trollish nature. From paralyzing targets to literally dice rolls, Thundurus has been the team's main devil and isn't to be taken lightly.

Terrakion @ Lum Berry
Ability: Justified
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 30 Def / 27 SpA / 30 SpD (soft reset)
- Close Combat
- Double Kick / Safeguard
- Rock Slide
- Protect

Standard and Butter Terrakion set

I was going to pick out Landorus-T to aid Mega Scizor in setting up Sword Dance thanks with the Intimidate drops on my opponent, however Kangaskhan and Charizard Y were still huge threats to the team in general. Terrakion was added as the team's band-aid solution to those two as well as offer myself a secondary battering ram when needed. I'll admit Terrakion is the most dull member of this team, though it pulled its weight when I needed it the most (except for that "one" battle I'll get to). STAB Close Combat and Rock Slide from Terrakion are practically all what it needs as its offensive movepool aside Protect. There were several third options I wanted to on Terrakion since was just filler. At first, I settled with Double Kick as a great way to finish off weaken Mega Kangaskhan as well as beat Focus Sash Bisharp and those Dark Void Smeargles. Eventually after facing three Dark Void teams in session, I realized people will always expect either Terrakion with Double Kick, or Prankster Taunt from my Thundurus almost all the damn time, which honestly I don't blame them when you lead these two against a DV team. Safeguard has been my "safest" option against Dark Void since as it forces the opposing team to stall out for five turn, which often times can't since they really so heavily on those initial sleep turns. In addition to being my main Dark Void check, Safeguard protects the team from any status inflicting moves (Will-O-Wisp, Thunder Wave, Swagger, Spore) and random 10% or so chance of status, which is especially helpful for Mega Scizor. As I mentioned hinted earlier, Safeguard in tandem with Swagger can be threatening at I can easily setup Terrakion or even Mega Scizor to +2 immediately with my Thundurus and I could continue to add more boost when needed.

Hydreigon @ Choice Specs
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 20 HP / 28 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 204 Spe
Modest Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Dark Pulse
- Earth Power
- Surf / Flamethrower

-Outspeeds non scarf Adamant Lamdorus-T by 1 point.
-12.5% chance Garchomp's Dragon Claw OHKOs
-Max Special Attack for "Wallbreaking"

At this point, this team still needed a strong special attacker who not only offers offensive synergy with Mega Scizor, but can nuke targets with strong coverage. This team needed switch-ins against Fire, Water, Grass, and Electric type Pokemon so a powerful nuke like Specs Hydreigon can do the trick. Choice Specs Draco Meteor is Hydreigon's strongest attack to offer as it either KOs or severely dent the opposing team. Now since Hydreigon is "choiced" into one attack, I face to consider what move go lock myself into before going for the nuclear option in Specs Draco. STAB Dark Pulse is Hydreigon's "safer" option to run considering Dark is only resisted to Fairy and itself as well the potential flinch factor. Earth Power is for opposing Heatran and Steel types Mega Mawile, Bisharp, etc and Fire/'grounded' electric types like Arcanine, Entei, Raichu, Raikou, Mega Manetric, etc who all threaten certain key members of the team. For the last move I chose Surf over Flamethrower since fire moves are cut in half with rain, but water attacks will receive a 50% boost as well. Not only that, Hydreigon can use Surf as Politoed switches in for Surf to deal more damage against both targets and maybe caught something off guard like a Terrakion, Tyranitar, Landorus-T, Charizard Y, or anything weak to a water.

Former Teammates:

Heatran (F) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Flash Fire
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 Def (FOR HP ICE)
- Overheat
- Flash Cannon
- Earth Power
- Ancient Power / HP ICE

To be honest, I actually kept using my Choice Scarf Heatran until I broke about 1800 for several reasons so I'll just list them down. 1) Choice Scarf Heatran severely limits my attacking options, 2) rain was still popular at the time, 3) didn't offer too much of a switch in for Mega Scizor aside from taking Fire hits with Flash Fire, and 4) I rarely utilize my main Fire option to nuke Amoonguss and Aegislash with Scarf Overheat. In the lower ladder however, Heatran was a fun Pokemon to use since most people would expect some Leftovers Shuca Berry set. I needed a Pokemon then who completed my FWG core with Politoed and Ludicolo so I decided to have Heatran act as my main check to Grass types and Charizard Y. Probably the most notable feat was that its able to outspeed the likes of Terrakion, Mega Salamence, and even Greninja so I can catch it off guard with a high powered HP Ice, Overheat, or Flash Cannon.


Sadly I don't have any battle spot videos of this team in action but its mainly all about setting up Mega Scizor to clean up the game with +2 Bullet Punch. Personally don't think this team will do as well in the current format since it struggled against the up-and-coming-now-prevalent  Japan Sand (used this team from April - Mid May). For the next RMT, I'll focus on another Steel Mega I used during around late May to late June so see you all next week.

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