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Surfin' GBU: 2012 Autumn Friendly Team Analysis

blog-ludicolo_byryuzaki.png

Hello. I believe most people here don't know me and still won't after reading this article, so I'm keeping the introduction short: I'm called Fatum, I'm way too old for Pokémon and I'm a native of Germany -- home country of people like Albert Einstein, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche and Ludwig van Beethoven, but also of the first Pokémon World Championship runner-up Edwin Krause (2000 in Sydney, Australia). As the title might have one guess, I'm writing a team analysis related to the Global Battle Union, i.e. the 2012 Autumn Friendly. I have finished that with 102 recorded wins, 17 inofficial ones, 11 losses and 1934 points as my best and final score. I achieved that using a Rain Dance team which in team preview looks like this (in a less obvious order though):

tornadus.png

Motivation and Team Building Process

First, disconnect marathons GBU tournaments without Japanese involvement tend to get very exhausting in the long run, especially with me almost never meeting people I know. Instead, I would be fighting in-game teams half of the time and the better part would still be mostly barely "good" people, so I saw no point in running some boring cliché Cresselia/Metagross/Thundurus/X/Y/Z standard good stuff team in another Friendly. In fact, I've already used a fun heavy-offense team of Whimsicott/Hydreigon/Garchomp/Rotom-H/Abomasnow/Hitmontop in the 2012 Spring Friendly, which had Whimsicott disrupting people with Encore and setting up surprise knockouts with Fake Tears, and the rest, well, destroying stuff. I had a good time then, I did even manage to beat 2 out of the top 3 of the final ranking in the process. While I do not reject bringing the usual stuff against the Japanese to put it to a real test, opting for something out of the picture against the rest of the world again should be the best way to jolly oneself along and progress in team building at the same time.

The starting point for this team project lies somewhere around this year's Spring Friendly. I was certain that Rain teams could do very well in our metagame, where most people are "countering" them just by tacking on an "anti-weather" Pokémon that didn't really fit their team. So I figured, I might build one with a lone Fire type in it to punish them (yes, only few threaten Tyranitar, but Tyranitar alone should be no real problem -- it hates Water, Steel and much else) and also to address especially hard counters like Ferrothorn, Virizion etc. My first idea was Infernape, which beats both Tyranitar and Abomasnow and is also a pretty neat supporter (Fake Out, Feint, Encore, STAB priority and whatever else it learns, four moveslots are obviously a disgrace to it). I just didn't get around to it and then, at the Spring Friendly, I became aware of R Inanimate's Surf-oriented Rain team (it can be found here).

Well, when I theorymonned with Infernape before, I wasn't even taking Surf into account because I hated how it is both rather weak and an obstacle for fellow team members at the same time. (Fun fact: Even in Japan, where I also get a good share of my inspiration from, Surf is pretty unpopular with less than 10% of their Politoed using it, according to the Japan Cup statistics on Global Link.) Even hitting double-resistances like Ludicolo or Kingdra with it wasn't inviting, as I would still eventually critical hit my own resources to death instead of the opponents'. For actual Water immunity, I would need obstructive mons like Musharna or something, which wasn't appealing either. Of course, this was all before I became aware of Gastrodon's greatness. (Gastrodon's actually a story on its own... I have never touched it until this March, but used it in more than half of the teams I've built since then.) So, R Inanimate's success was basically fuel I needed to give Surf a chance, and of course Gastrodon would play a role in this project as well. I also liked his Scarf Politoed, probably because I always like to have one Scarf mon in my team and it's somewhat similar to the Scarf Tyranitar that I kinda fell in love with at the time. You see, personal preferences do matter.

So, I basically picked up the Politoed/Ludicolo/Gastrodon trio then -- there would be no point in diverting from that too much. The next step was to include a Steel Pokémon as insurance against Dragons. Metagross, Scizor and Ferrothorn are the popular options for that, with Metagross being the overall most solid of them, Scizor being a qualitatively similar attacker with better support options, and Ferrothorn being... completely useless against itself. I went with Scizor out of personal preference. It would also make a good combination with Gastrodon and support the speediness of the concept with the best Bullet Punch of the game.

Now for the weird stuff; I still wanted to test a Fire Pokémon in a Rain environment. My inspiration probably had a similar idea, as he used Arcanine in his team. It sure does lack the great supporting movepool Infernape has, but on the other hand it's more bulky, has access to Intimidate and can actually Flare Blitz without committing suicide. In the end, I kind of copied that instead of sticking with Infernape because Infernape really doesn't work well with Surf at all.

The sixth slot was the most difficult one. I could either do more Surf abusing just as my source did or I could try to include another counter to this concept's worst enemies. I decided to do the latter to avoid getting too similar to the original, but I also thought another offensive Water Pokémon would be overkill and thus worsen some of my matchups while not adding much new to the mix. So I somehow remembered that Tornadus actually exists und customized his pranks in order to meet a Rain team's needs.

So, now for the sets. IVs are always 31/31/31/31/31/31 or 31/0/31/31/31/31; the RNG made it easily possible for everyone except Tornadus (that would be a 22 in the unused attack stat).

A Look through the Magnifying Glass

politoed.png

Politoed / Quaxo / Edenspring

Modest, Drizzle, ♂

4 HP, 252 SpAtk, 252 Spe

@ Choice Scarf

~ Surf

~ Ice Beam

~ Hydro Pump

~ Perish Song

Surf is, just as the title suggests, the move I used the most as it is accurate, hits both foes and powers up two team mates. Hydro Pump is used when Surf is not an option because of Politoed's partner or when I don't want to be Choice-locked into Surf. (Random fact: I didn't miss a single Hydro Pump in the Friendly. I used it only on two days if I'm not mistaken, but multiple times each.) Ice Beam is the rather generic coverage move that helps in dealing with Dragons and occasional Grass Pokémon not named Abomasnow or Ludicolo. Perish Song is nothing too surprising again, as Politoed's movepool doesn't have much to offer. Because I just didn't get around to using it until a late match on day 4, I was toying with using a suitable Hidden Power over it, but those now just have to be thoughts of the past -- Perish Song saved me once and has thus justified its place on the set. On another note, I seem to have a special relationship with weather-summoning Scarfers for some reason... While they do have a clear disadvantage in weather wars, they tend to be comfortable as super-fast attackers.

Politoed's nature is the one thing I'm really not sure about. I thought I would be fine with Modest for the extra power, and I do believe it has won me some matches indeed. On the other hand, I've met way more Jolteons and the likes than I ever expected, which was quite annoying since I had only Ludicolo to outspeed them and a bunch of Pokémon that (except for Gastrodon) get 1-2HKOed by STAB Thunderbolts.

ludicolo.png

Ludicolo / Kappalores / Kokolores

Modest, Swift Swim, ♂

4 Def, 252 SpAtk, 252 Spe

@ Absorb Bulb

~ Fake Out

~ Surf

~ Giga Drain

~ Ice Beam

Just ripped that off my inspiration, pretty standard offensive Ludicolo otherwise though. Absorb Bulb is a one-time-use item that yields +1 special attack when hit by Water (i.e. Politoed's Surf), Fake Out buys me time and disrupts opposing Fake Out setups, and the three attacks give Ludicolo good coverage: Surf and Ice Beam are just as obvious as for Politoed and pretty much any special-attacking Water Pokémon, while Giga Drain gets STAB and beats most other Water Pokémon, which resist the Water/Ice combination in one way or another. Additionally, it can be very annoying if it hits something for good damage, as the healing effect can save a damaged Ludicolo from impending knockouts. Of course I would have liked Protect against Trick Room teams, but the offensive coverage is way more important to be actually able to sweep. If there were an item that does nothing but give a fifth moveslot (here's something you might do for Gen VI, Game Freak), I would use it without hesitation.

Nevertheless, I'm in fact one step away from changing the item to a straightforward Gem (might even go for the unusual Ice one to hit those Dragon pests harder...) or a Lum Berry, because Thundurus is nothing short of a major nuisance, or even a Life Orb to go all-in from scratch. If I were to keep Absorb Bulb, I would need to add more Surfs to the team for better means of activation. Using Politoed alone for that turned out to be a little clunky against people who are not easily beaten anyway.

gastrodon-east.png

Gastrodon / Tritonus

Calm, Storm Drain, ♂

252 HP, 108 Def, 4 SpAtk, 140 SpDef, 4 Spe

@ Rindo Berry

~ Earth Power

~ Ice Beam

~ Recover

~ Protect

"So, who is that Hitmontop guy everyone talks about anyway?" While I do like Hitmontop for his utility, Gastrodon is without any doubt the most impressive old-gen discovery of the metagame, in my opinion. If there are still people who seriously don't know about it, Cassie's article should be a good starting point. Well, Storm Drain (just as Lightningrod) has become an insanely cool ability in Gen V, as it not only redirects Water attacks but also grants immunity to it while even boosting the Pokémon's Special Attack by +1. Surf abuses this fact because as a field move it both hits everything out and at the same time pumps up Gastrodon. So basically, while Gastrodon is also a valuable Pokémon in standard good stuff, Trick Room and whatever, Surf-oriented rain teams like this one are actually using Gastrodon to its full natural potential.

As for the set, it's again pretty standard and straightforward, but a fully defensive variant. The team in total is pretty frail after all, so I figured I'd want at least my Gastrodon to eat hits for breakfast rather than death. With this EV spread, it's nearly impossible to 2HKO Gastrodon without Grass, very powerful attacks or the occasional critical hit. Speaking of the offensive side, I don't care about investing into special attack at all, since I would be boosting it with Surfs most of the time anyway. In addition, I'm not even using a Water-type move, so this Gastrodon is definitely not the born Rain sweeper. (Actually, it would never really have a shot at sweeping without proper speed control.) So, Recover and Protect are both in the set to maximize Gastrodon's longevity, while Earth Power is the one compulsory STAB and Ice Beam is, again, the best coverage move out there.

arcanine.png

Arcanine / Arkani / Hasso

Adamant, Intimidate, ♂

188 HP, 252 Atk, 4 Def, 4 SpDef, 60 Spe

@ Fire Gem

~ Flare Blitz

~ Close Combat

~ ExtremeSpeed

~ Protect

That's pretty much what one would/should come up with initially after viewing Arcanine's data on their Pokédex site of choice, I guess. Flare Blitz hits anything without resistance like a truck™ outside of rain (especially with the Fire Gem still available) and checks the team archetype's arch nemesis Ferrothorn inside of Rain. ExtremeSpeed hits for the rare +2 priority, outspeeding Bullet Punch, Ice Shard, Sucker Punch etc. Close Combat is what I believe to be Arcanine's best coverage move, as it hits most Rock Types super-effectively (especially Tyranitar), threatens Heatran, also hits Hydreigon hard and is the best last-ditch effort against most things that are slower but resistant to Fire. Of course, this set can't do a single point of damage to Flash Fire Chandelure, but really, who would even want to pick that against any Water-heavy team? The EVs are again focused on attacking, but also provide some bulk to be able to use Intimidate well and Flare Blitz more than once. Outside of Rain, this Arcanine outspeeds Ludicolo by one point, though I actually might add some more, because I've just found out that the rare Jolly Tyranitar is still one point faster.

There's another story about Arcanine that might be interesting: Back in 2009 when VGC was introduced to Europe, many German top players enjoyed using Arcanine as a solid anti-metagame Pokémon in their good stuff teams, with three of them playing in the national semifinals. Then, when the generation transition occured, I noticed that Arcanine received Close Combat as a new egg move (we used Will-o-Wisp, Iron Head, Charm or other situational stuff for this filler slot before), which made me breed Arcanine as my first old-gen Pokémon on White. It has been a prime choice on many different teams in different modes for me since then.

scizor.png

Scizor / Scherox / Eisenfaust

Adamant, Technician, ♀

252 HP, 4 Atk, 36 Def, 204 SpDef, 12 Spe

@ Steel Gem

~ Bug Bite

~ Bullet Punch

~ Swords Dance

~ Protect

This was obviously inspired by the American National champions, though I chose a more defensive route, as I lack the Thunder Wave / Icy Wind support that lets this lil' bug do the awesome things we've seen in the first place. The purpose of it in this team is rather to check threats like Dragons or opposing Ludicolo and give me, together with Gastrodon, a defensive backbone to work from when the aggressive way isn't working out at the time. Besides, Swords Dance is also nice to put pressure on Ferrothorn users, since Ferrothorn itself has absolutely no way except insane "parahax" to stop it. The low attack isn't hurting too much (it does sometimes annoy me, but the additional bulk has fully paid off), Bug Bite still OHKOs most Ludicolos, 2HKOs most Cresselias and Bullet Punch never really OHKOs anything anyway. Apart from that, Intimidate disrupts all variants the same as long as they have no attack boosts.

Yes, until Worlds I've definitely preferred Scizor over Metagross in general, but with everyone and their mother being like "I'm throwing random Fire moves on any mon jajaja," my love has since faded. Plus, no matter what EVs I use, Scizor never ever reaches Metagross in terms of bulk. Another problematic thing is the quirky coverage: as I've already mentioned somewhere, I'm having a hard time versus Electric mons, and especially the Flying ones of them laugh at Scizor's attacks. I really might have enjoyed a nice, hard-hitting Zen Headbutt there, but who knows.

tornadus.png

Tornadus / Boreos / Random Orc

Jolly, Prankster, ♂

4 HP, 252 Atk, 252 Spe

@ Flying Gem

~ Acrobatics

~ Rain Dance

~ Taunt

~ Protect

Yeah, you've read right, I'm using physical Tornadus in a Rain team. I actually did want to use a special one with Hurricane, but can't be bothered to restart my Black, and I'm not too fond of trading my teams together, so physical it is. Turned out, this "choice" was not naïve but prudent: I can't always assume I'll have Rain available, and 70% accuracy is something I prefer to completely refrain from relying on. So, it's just less power for more reliability, of course, and usually still does enough damage. The "Rain vs. no Rain" issue leads me to the next choice, which is manual Rain Dance as backup weather. As I have pointed out, Politoed loses at weather wars, and because of its frailty, it really isn't a weather summoner that would guarantee my field effects. So, once Politoed is absent or is in fact still on the field, Tornadus can easily fix the weather because of Prankster, and five turns are usually enough mid-game. As for the negative side of things, his lack of bulk is probably what I like the least about him -- I actually had no choice there, since I wanted something that outspeeds Latios and hits him hard at the same time.

Taunt was supposed to prevent Trick Room, but this was indeed a naïve assumption. Especially if they're offensive summoners like Reuniclus or something, they would just attack for free and still get the setup later somehow. Mental Herb is another issue, because it just renders the first Taunt useless (and most importantly, it is in fact used by people!), which is enough to force me onto the defensive. Thus, I should just do it like I do it most of the time with random good stuff teams: let them have their Trick Room and then disrupt their game under it. It's tempting to just use Amoonguss or something... whatever. If I were to still use this exact team in B2W2 (which I won't), I would try Superpower over Taunt to make Tornadus more valuable to pick against Sand teams and improve coverage in general.

Combinations

gastrodon-east.png

Politoed + Ludicolo + Gastrodon

These three are obviously the core of the team -- I might call it "WWW", to parody the magical buzzword that FWG (Fire - Water - Grass) is. Out of the 132 matches I have played during the Autumn Friendly, there have been only 15 where I didn't pick all of them, and of those only 2 where I picked only one of them, which was Gastrodon. They have been surfing GBU, after all! What exactly they are doing together should be intuitive after reading the movesets, but for the record once more and at a single place: Politoed's Drizzle summons the rain to activate Ludicolo's Swift Swim and boost the power of their Water-type moves. Politoed is also the one to eventually trigger Ludicolo's Absorb Bulb by using Surf on it. Independently from that, both Politoed and Ludicolo can use Surf on Gastrodon any time to activate Storm Drain. If I were to average the number of boosts Gastrodon got per battle, I'm pretty sure it would be at least +2.

While it isn't much, they also have a minimum of defensive synergy: Gastrodon's Ground typing helps to absorb Electric moves of any form, be it the Thunder(bolt) threatening a Politoed knockout, the Thunder Wave attempting to cripple Ludicolo or even the Volt Switch, effectively denying the opponent a switch without the use of Mean Look. To a lesser extent, Gastrodon also helps Ludicolo avoid random Poison attacks. The other way around though, there is nothing of value. Politoed and Ludicolo just don't want to take hits -- they just want to flood everything and Gastrodon's their sponge in both offensively and defensively.

As for the actual foursome construction, Politoed and Ludicolo have also turned out to be my favorite lead. Gastrodon, on the other hand, was in the back or not used 100% of the time -- I did see other people opening with the sea slug somehow, but I don't know. I don't like such a slow and unable-to-do-much-on-its-own starter, and I need it to switch into stuff I don't want other mons to suffer. Well, back to Politoed and Ludicolo, or just Policolo in short. While this duo looks rather straightforward and simple in theorymon, it does have versatility. First, I just would not be doing Fake Out / Surf mindlessly just for the setup if I know the time has not come yet. (Random fact: The second-place girl of the German Junior Division National Championship 2012 used this as an autopilot setup, but with Toxicroak and Kingdra in the back, and all four in their ugly shiny versions to top that off. It's a sad thing that German juniors appear to have no real understanding about the game at all. Well, at least we finally have some talented seniors...) ...But, I digress.

This is what I mean: the purpose of Policolo against more competitive players is not to set up but to pressure them by the mere appearance of the infamous Rain duo. They have to fear a Fake Out combined with any powerful Water attack, they have to fear even two powerful Water attacks, they need to apply some countermeasures (i.e. anti-weather or status infliction) instantly or they might just get overrun etc. Sometimes I'm activating the Absorb Bulb, sometimes I'm not. If I am activating the Absorb Bulb, there is also a possibility to attack with Ludicolo the first turn instead of using Fake Out. Because Politoed is Scarfed, both mons are usually moving before the opposing ones, so I might put a severe dent into their teams before they can even hit back. This aggressive approach is even more interesting when they are using Tyranitar: Usually, they will not be opening with it but instead with something that plainly loses to Policolo on their own. That's why they need to bring Tyranitar to steal the weather before they get too far behind -- this is when Tyranitar is in for some super-effective damage which will definitely matter in the future. On the one hand, it's simply adding up with Tyranitar having no means of recovery, and on the other hand, it's setting up the usual bulky Tyranitar for a Bullet Punch knockout or threat thereof. Switching one part of Policolo to Gastrodon while Surfing with the other also boosts the slug which doesn't care about the weather but is a completely new threat on the field.

Well, in general, as long as they don't find a way to knockout or disable Policolo or a decisive part thereof, they always have to live in fear of the fatal downpour. Gastrodon's defensive role makes conserving them for later easily possible. Dedicated counter Pokémon like Ferrothorn, Amoonguss, another Ludicolo etc. though should be handled by the team's supporting Pokémon in a suitable way. One implementation is...

ludicolo.png

Arcanine + Ludicolo

Not a duo with particularly noteworthy synergy but another useful lead. As Arcanine doesn't like Rain in general, having it open without Politoed is a way to get at least one full-force Flare Blitz off. Ludicolo's Fake Out helps with that -- the idea is not much different than the common Latios/Hitmontop or stuff like that. Usually, this lead is chosen if the opponent has some Grass Pokémon but doesn't seem to have much to keep Arcanine at bay. So, if he then is also starting with the Grass mon, I have just created myself a favorable field situation. If he is not, well, most times there would still be another nice target for the strong hit. Nevertheless, especially because of Intimidate, this lead can also be used in an entirely different way: switch to Politoed while using Fake Out, so Ludicolo will have its Rain. This approach appears to be particularly useful against dedicated Sand teams, as they tend to be heavily leaned toward physical attackers, while there is still a good chance that Arcanine will have favorable weather mid-game.

ludicolo.png

Tornadus + Ludicolo

This is another lead combination which I happened to use often, but I actually don't like it -- maybe because I don't really like Tornadus at all... Nevertheless, the purposes are simple: 1) Again, they can be used just as aggressively as the other duo (except that Acrobatics is a good chunk weaker). 2) Because Tornadus packs Taunt, they can prevent setups that are played a bit too carelessly. I do hate this tactic, as it's way too easy to punish and therefore rather ineffective. 3) Tornadus can set up surprise rain, of course. This is best done when the opponent's weather changer is right on the field, so he needs to switch it out and back in to stop Ludicolo from raging. A big problem with that though is Tornadus's frailty -- sometimes he winds up as mere cannon fodder; summoning rain with Politoed is much easier and better, in general.

scizor.png

Gastrodon + Scizor

Or short Gastrozor. Actually, they are a combination that I have discovered in a good stuff environment this spring. I was always somewhat paranoid about playing against rain, and once I got around to use Gastrodon, I quickly found that it basically walls rain stuff except for Ludicolo. This can be handled by Scizor then, which also appreciates Hydro Pumps and Scalds being redirected. This way, they also happen to counter Calm Mind Suicune, which can be pretty annoying on its own. Well, back to the Rain counter thing: If they use Electric Pokémon like Rotom, this block can still be broken easily, so actually Gastrozor need a helpful third or even fourth team member to really beat Rain -- an element that was greatly missed during the Autumn Friendly, as I have learned... Anyway, Rain paranoia of course isn't their only selling point. First, they cover each other's weaknesses in general. Second, while Gastrodon does have some bulk, it still greatly prefers not to be double-targeted -- that's where Scizor's unmatched Bullet Punch comes into play. Third, because of they overall bulk, they don't care too much about field conditions. Be it Trick Room, weather other than my Rain, Icy Wind or whatever, they are hardly incapacitated by that. It's no wonder that they are working well with good stuff, too.

arcanine.png

Gastrodon + Arcanine

Well, this is actually quite similar to Gastrozor but a tad more intuitive. As long as the opposing Pokémon don't know Surf or Muddy Water, Arcanine loses one of its three weaknesses just by Gastrodon's presence, while Arcanine is an even bigger threat to Grass Pokémon. Besides, Intimidate increases Gastrodon's longevity. If we put both Gastrozor and Gastrodon/Arcanine together, the result is somewhat resembling the common Gastrodon/Salamence/Metagross core. Sadly, Gastrodon and Arcanine didn't have much fun together during the Friendly, because I was heavily focusing on my Rain mode.

Problems and Future Work

The team as I've introduced it is what one might call version 1.0 (apart from that, it's my first time playing Rain seriously since Gen III) -- I have played not more than 15 matches with it before the Friendly, so it is only natural that there are some flaws. Most notably, it has some consistency issues in multiple regards. For example, if I'm choosing Politoed for battle (which I do most of the time), I'm required to also choose at the very least one of Arcanine, Scizor and Tornadus, who all obviously do not enjoy Surf. Usually, I can avoid them being hit by it by releasing the Scarf lock with a timely switch, or if not, at least Scizor isn't 2HKOed by it and all three carry Protect. Though, this mere fact has led me into lose-lose situations sometimes, where I had to either switch Politoed out to give my opponent a free turn to attack or just let it stay in, in both cases have the partner faint by an attack to then replace it by my last Pokémon -- the one who hates Politoed's ultimate bond with Surf.

Another problem is the fact that 4/6 Pokémon have rather weak offensive coverage on their own: Politoed is useless against Water -- ok, we can't be perfect. Scizor is useless against Fire, pure Steel and some popular mixed Flying-type mons -- fine, even Big Boss Metagross doesn't hit everything. Arcanine is useless against Fire, Dragon and Water -- now it's getting rough, as there are already a good number of other team members that are experiencing difficulties with certain Water Pokémon. Tornadus, for the last one, is useless against Rock, Steel and Electric -- this is obviously what a pure Flying attacker gets, but we do know that there are not few teams of Tyranitar/Rotom-W/Metagross/X/Y/Z or even worse roaming about. It might not be too big of a matter for each of them on their own, but because too many are sharing this predicate, it does add up in the end. By mentioning Wash Rotom, I have already painted the devil on the wall: I have no reliable way but Ludicolo to beat it. As for "adding up" in general, sometimes I have felt as early as team preview that "I do not want to use this Pokémon in battle, but I'm forced to bring it." Ironically, other Rain teams are the matchup where this has happened most often, though there it wasn't even only because of bad attacking options... Anyway, all of this could very well be mitigated by adding more Pokémon with better overall coverage to the team (it's an offensive team after all), and while I'm at it, I should also deal with the slight Electric weakness.

So, in a nutshell, this team has some issues, and I advise no one to copy it only to make the same discoveries. The core and each single mon on its own are working fine but the synergy could be better. Therefore, I will most likely keep the core while trying out a few different supporters. This experience has brought me many ideas for them, some even by my opponents in the tournament.

Conclusion

Although the Autumn Friendly still consisted of steamrolling casual players for a big part, I have learned much about both my team and also Rain concepts overall. With Politoed, Ludicolo and Kingdra dominating the picture, one cannot be blamed for thinking of Rain as being rather limited, but in fact I have found it to be about just as versatile as "Master Good Stuff" himself, and I'm amazed by that. It starts with questions like "do you intend to run full Rain or keep it just an option?", "Which Water-type moves do you want to employ?" or "Do you want to include Trick Room and if yes, to what extent?", and the result will always be an individually customized team -- sometimes resorting to standard Pokémon which have been proven to work and sometimes doing things the rogue way.

Thus, I did my best, I have no regrets and I'm looking forward to when I'll be Surfing GBU again!

Article image created by ryuzaki for Nugget Bridge. See more of ryuzaki’s artwork on deviantART.


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      - Follow Me  
      - Tailwind  
      Togekiss+xerneas is the core I built this team around. Togekiss's main role is to redirect moves from xerneas so it can get a geomancy and then sweep. It has 252 HP and defence evs to help defend against the physical moves that are commonly used to KO xerneas. It does have some problems with Iron head users, but generally one turn is all that is required. The reason for togekiss to be used instead of amoongus is to avoid being 2HKOed by precipice blades from groudon. The safety goggles are to give it the ability to redirect spore from amoongus. Air slash can be used to lock down the pokemon xerneas is not moonblasting, albeit unreliably. Protect is just staple in doubles, follow me provides the redirection support I need, and tailwind is for setting up almost unbeatable groudon or xerneas sweeps if given the opportunity.
      oh Deer (Xerneas) @ Power Herb  
      Ability: Fairy Aura  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 244 HP / 252 SpA / 12 Spe  
      Modest Nature  
      - Geomancy  
      - Moonblast  
      - Thunderbolt  
      - Protect  
      Xerneas is the crutch this team is built around. I gave it HP EVs because the geomancy boost means it outspeeds most things, notably not speed invested groudon, but I don't run into that very much for some reason. The special attack EVs are self explanatory, and the speed evs are to speed creep speed creeping bulky xerneas. Geomancy is the setup that this team is built around, Moonblast was taken because I prefer the obscene single target damage to the only powerful dual target damage dazzling gleam provides. Thunderbolt is taken to deal heavy damage to primal kyogre, a weakness of this team. protect is sometimes used turn one combined with tailwind from togekiss on a prediction that xerneas gets double targeted.
      Rotom-Wash @ Choice Scarf  
      Ability: Levitate  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 4 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpD  
      Calm Nature  
      - Trick  
      - Thunder  
      - Hydro Pump  
      - Protect  
      Rotom wash is here because I found this team has a huge weakness to primal kyogre, and xerneas carrying thunderbolt doesnt really do enough. It is designed to be tanky, but still 2HKOs primal kyogre with thunder. The scarf means it outspeeds kyogre, and with trick it can cripple support pokemon, and slow down an enemy in trick room. Hydro pump is to provide a secondary coverage option also boosted by heavy rain. Protect may seem stupid on a choice scarf user, but it very rarely keeps its scarf after turn 1 of it being on the field, due to the number of supporting pokemon in the meta right now.
      Groudon-Primal @ Red Orb  
      Ability: Desolate Land  
      Level: 50  
      Shiny: Yes  
      EVs: 244 HP / 252 SpA / 12 Speed
      Modest Nature  
      - Earth Power  
      - Eruption  
      - Protect  
      - Fire Blast  
      My Primal Groudon is built to beat other primal groudons. It OHKOs opposing primal groudons with earth power, deals ridiculous damage to both enemys and 2HKOs Primal groudon with eruption, and carries fire blast for powerful fire type damage if it is on low HP. It has enough speed to speed creep speed creeping primals. It is a relatively straightfoward inclusion in this metagame.
      Kangaskhan-Mega @ Kangaskhanite  
      Ability: Scrappy  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 116 HP / 252 Atk / 140 Spe  
      Jolly Nature  
      - Fake Out  
      - Return  
      - Protect  
      - Sucker Punch  
      Kanghaskan is here to lock down pokemon that threaten xerneas with spread moves, and to break smeargle's sash. I needed a mega, and so this one provided. It is tanky enough to take at least one hit from any non-supereffective or primal hit. The fake out makes it useful for looking after xerneas. Return deals heavy damage to almost anything that doesn't resist it. Protect is self explanatory, and then sucker punch 2HKOs most sweepers.
      Scizor (M) @ Choice Band  
      Ability: Technician  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD  
      Adamant Nature  
      - Bullet Punch  
      - Bug Bite  
      - U-turn  
      - Knock Off  
      Scizor here has only one job, and that is to bullet punch xerneas. It carries knock off to deal with pesky items, bug bite to screw with sitrus berry users and do decent STAB damage, and u-turn to provide switch utility
       
       
       
       
    • VGC 2016 (incomplete)
      By rexursi
      Hello, and Aloha Nuggeteers! (You like that? We have a LABEL :D) All of you probably have NO IDEA who I am, so let me go ahead and fill you in! My Name is George Wielichowski, Everyone calls me by IGN though; Rex, although Rex Ursi is the Full IGN ^_^. I’ve never been really prominent in the World Circuit, but I have been avid through Battlespot throughout the 2015 year. I have been fairly “off-grid” due to my SEVERE disdain for using legendaries (no seriously take a look at my 2015 team)
       



       
       
      But alas, unfortunately with the change in rulesets I thought I would be able to just wait it out… But right when you think you’re out of the game, they pull you back in! (I need mental help, I’m not socially acceptable xD) AAANNNYYYWWWAAAYYY, after a long drought of not playing in competitive, this is my polished rough draft (meaning I’ve tried several things but can’t quite get it right {that’s why I’m asking for help ^_^})  well without further ado let me introduce to you my VGC 2016 team!

         ?


      Yeah, Yeah ANOTHER RAYOGRE TEAM… I had no intentions of using this as a “core” the first mons on the team were WEAVILE SCIZOR and I though “hey. You know what goes great to stop a couple mons who are REALLY weak to fire? PRIMORDIAL SEA” and immediately kyogre came with it. I tried some YVELTAL sets but nothing ever seemed to click. And I didn’t want to have to bring Kyogre in against EVERY Groudon, so Rayquaza just fit in so perfectly. After that I figured I needed some tailwind type shenanigans and find Talonflame the easiest way for me to manage this. Anyway, here’s the team/spreads!


      Kyogre @ Blue Orb

      Modest Nature

      Drizzle > Primordial Sea

      4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

      ·         Water Spout
      ·         Ice Beam
      ·         Scald
      ·         Protect
      I went for a faster, harder hitting build, using Water Spout very aggressively. A lot of people usually go for Origin Pulse instead of Scald, I’ve also seen some Kyogre’s running Thunder. In my personal experience, and my personal opinion, it is nice to have some NON-spread STAB with Scald, and Ice Beam covers much more than Thunder, and doesn’t require the rain incase Rayquaza is in.

       

      Rayquaza @ Life Orb

      Hasty Nature

      Air Lock > Delta Stream

      4 HP / 252 Atk / 40 SpA  / 212 Spe

      ·         Dragon Ascent
      ·         Extreme Speed
      ·         Overheat
      ·         Protect
      Pretty standard I feel. I carry dragon ascent for obvious reasons, along with E-Speed. I carry 212 EV’s in Speed because with the Hasty Nature it allows me to outspeed Jolly Khan. Dropping the rest of the EV’s into Special Attack for the little bit of extra damage with Overheat. I have toyed with several different options, and find that Overheat works best for me. Deals with pesky Aegislash, Ferrothorn, and pretty much any prominent steel type. Any advice for a change of set would be greatly welcomed.


      Weavile @ Focus Sash

      Jolly Nature

      Pickpocket

      252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

      ·         Fake-Out
      ·         Icicle Crash
      ·         Knock-Off
      ·         Taunt
      I needed a fast taunter and I didn’t feel like using a prankster, I felt like Weavile offered a lot of coverage having an Ice stab and Knock-Off is great up against Cresselia, Mewtwo, and pretty much EVERY Psychic type in the meta, ESPECIALLY Bronzong. Of course Fake-Out support, I made it a Jolly Nature to outspeed Mega-Kang. Focus Sash for obviously frailty.



      Scizor @ Assault Vest

      Adamant Nature

      Technician

      252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD

      ·         Feint
      ·         Bullet Punch
      ·         Bug Bite
      ·         Superpower
      This. THIS. Leading with this into a Xerneas makes them switch out so fast, their heads spin. Feint to counter protects and wide guards, Bullet Punch for stab, Bug Bite is stab and is a THKO against cresselia, which is sayin something, and I didn’t really have anything for a final move, and just threw in Superpower. Ive thought about running a bulkier more support set, but I have found most of my success on this build.



      Talonflame @ Sitrus Berry

      Adamant Nature

      Gale Wings

      252 Atk  / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

      ·         Brave Bird
      ·         Flare Blitz
      ·         Tailwind
      ·         Quick Guard
      Pretty Standard set. I’ve tried to run a slightly bulkier set with taunt, move feint onto weavile, and change my Scizor into the fast variant. This has had the most benefit, but I still don’t know about this addition.

      The final slot is completely empty ive tried such things as:

      TOGETIC (anti trick room)
      After You, Follow Me, Tailwind, Dazzling Gleam


      HARIYAMA (thick wall)
      Fake-Out, Wide Guard, Low Kick, Protect


      LUCARIO (inner focus)
      Bullet Punch, Close Combat, Follow Me, Protect


      AEGISLASH (wide guard set)


       (SPRITE WONT WORK >.<) King's Shield, Wide Guard, Shadow Ball, Flash Cannon
      I would really like to stay away from smeargle, but if its something I should try I guess I could give it a run :/

      What do my fellow nuggeteers think?
    • Purple Rain
      By Wilson
      Two blogs lead to the creation of this team: Necrocat219's brought my attention to the Big-Six-Killing-Combo of Crobat/Gengar, and MonkeyWarlock's was further reading on using the combination. Thanks to both of you for inspiring my team I used at the recent Florida Regionals, although, I didn't do as well there as I had hoped (only got 29th). Still, I continue to use the team, but I seem to plateau on Battle Spot around the low 1700s. While I can only improve my playing by, well, playing, I can possibly improve the team with some input from others.

      Here goes:

      Crobat @ Lum Berry  
      Ability: Inner Focus  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 20 HP / 236 Def / 252 Spe  
      Jolly Nature 
      - Tailwind  
      - Taunt  
      - Super Fang  
      - Quick Guard  
      252 Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Double-Edge vs. 20 HP / 236 Def Crobat: 139-164 (85.2 - 100.6%) -- 1.6% chance to OHKO
      Standard Crobat, as far as I know. Survives Jolly M-Kangaskhan's Double-Edge majority of the time and is as fast as possible. I used Jolly over Timid because it is what I had readily available. Have considered Talonflame over the bat, as it can perform a similar job and, in many cases, deal greater damage. Crobat, However, has Inner Focus, and that's what wins it the slot on the team.
      Crobat with Gengar is a lead that is fairly annoying for Big Six teams. Crobat disrupts Xerneas with either Taunt or Tailwind, allowing M-Gengar to outspeed the following turn and Sludge Bomb (which generally gets the KO when combined with Super Fang, post Geomancy). Quick Guard helps against Talonflame (and Pranksters!), unless they're clever and Flare Blitz; not being able to Taunt their Tailwind sucks, though. I originally had Haze over Taunt, but settled on Taunt as a way to deal with Smeargle (Lum also helps in this endeavor) and rogue threats, such as Minimize Clefable. It can also stop Protects. Tailwind is actually fairly important, being my only form of speed control on this team (Kyogre benefits the most), and is often required simply to maintain status-quo (matching Tailwinds with the opponent). Super Fang is fine as my damage-dealing move, putting many things (like M-Kang) in KO range for M-Gengar, though I hate the accuracy as well as the inability to hit ghosts (Gengar can be a tough enemy for Cro/Geng) and the difficulty in KO-ing with it.
       

      Gengar @ Gengarite  
      Ability: Levitate  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 12 HP / 96 Def / 180 SpA / 220 Spe  
      Timid Nature 
      IVs: 0 Atk / 30 Def
      - Sludge Bomb  
      - Hidden Power [Ice]  
      - Substitute  
      - Protect  
      252+ Atk Life Orb Talonflame Brave Bird vs. 12 HP / 96 Def Mega Gengar: 114-136 (83.2 - 99.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
      Spread taken from @Necrocat219
      Alongside Crobat, Gengar "counters" the Big Six. Sludge Bomb is obviously for Xerneas, picking up the OHKO a little less than half the time on 4 HP ones. Sludge Bomb doubles as Gengar's damage-dealing move, which is unfortunate when against other Gengar or Steel types. Aegislash is a pain. HP Ice is primarily for M-Salamence, but also works effectively against M-Ray and Landorus-T. The speed boost Gengar receives after mega evolving allows for it to OHKO or cripple many of these ice-weak threats before they can move, without Tailwind. The speed EVs allow fro Crobat to outspeed M-Gengar, for combos with Super Fang, and still outspeeding Weavile.
      Substitute has been interesting. The reason for M-Gengar over regular, ol' Gengar (besides boosted stats) is Shadow Tag. The ability gives me more control over weather wars, which is hugely important on a Kyogre team. Taking away a function of the game for the opponent is quite handy, in general. Anyway, Substitute can prolong Gengar's life when I'm in sticky situations waiting for Crobat to get KO'd and allow for a clean switch into 'Ogre (generally under Tailwind still) or Ray. It has saved Gengar through turns for me in the past, but I've considered swapping it for Shadow Ball more than a few times. It does also make mind games against M-Kang's Sucker Punch a little easier, too, though.
      Cro/Geng is not an infallible lead. I've seen it called garbage against non-Big Six teams, which I would have to disagree with, but I will say that it's not something you should bring to every game.
      Japanese player, Catalina Penguin, outlines some basic strategy against Big Six teams when using Cro/Geng (translated by @MonkeyWarlock)
       
       

      Rayquaza @ Focus Sash  
      Ability: Air Lock  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 32 Def / 220 Spe  
      Jolly Nature  
      IVs: 30 Def / 5 SpA  
      - Dragon Ascent  
      - Extreme Speed  
      - Overheat  
      - Protect  
      252 Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Double-Edge vs. 4 HP / 32 Def Rayquaza: 157-187 (86.7 - 103.3%) -- 10.5% chance to OHKO
      EV spread based on @Necrocat219, but adjusted for my Rayquaza's 30 Def IV. My Rayquaza is not the best out there, but the SpA has not proven to be incredibly detrimental as of yet.
      Rayquaza doesn't always get to mega evolve on this team, and that's okay. Oftentimes, Air Lock is more important than anything, allowing for my Kyogre to not be walled against Groudons in the back. Kyogre usually comes out before Ray with how I play the team, but the timing of Ray's mega evolution (when not using Gengar) can make or break weather war games.
      Without Life Orb or Choice Band, this Ray is dealing less damage than others, but the Focus Sash allows for better longevity. With less than max speed, this Ray can take a Dragon Ascent from an opposing Ray, survive, and KO back with its own (assuming no Focus Sash on the opponent. The sash gives me more turns to play with, which I've grown to prefer over the damage -- in all cases except the Mawile match-up. This Ray cannot OHKO M-Mawile with Overheat unless Mega evolved, and even then, the chance of OHKO are lower than 50%. Sash can, however, help Ray finish off the fairy with another turn.

      Kyogre @ Blue Orb  
      Ability: Drizzle  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 244 HP / 76 Def / 76 SpA / 92 SpD / 20 Spe  
      Modest Nature  
      IVs: 29 HP / 27 Def  
      - Water Spout  
      - Scald  
      - Ice Beam  
      - Protect  
      252 Atk Life Orb Mega Rayquaza Dragon Ascent vs. 244 HP / 76 Def Primal Kyogre: 173-204 (84.3 - 99.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
      +2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Dazzling Gleam vs. 244 HP / 92 SpD Primal Kyogre: 85-102 (41.4 - 49.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
       
      My imperfect Kyogre, which I'm actually quite fine with since it was able to hit defensive benchmarks I set out for. Surviving M-Ray's Dragon Ascent is quite useful in being able to safely retaliate with an Ice Beam (gets the KO unless they're Sashed or Banded, in which case, they KO me). I didn't fully invest in SpA because 'Ogre doesn't need it. As is, it can OHKO 4 HP M-Kang with Water Spout, which is enough power for me. I went with 20 Spe for the sake of outspeeding other primals with investment in bulk over speed. Blind speed-creeping. It's worked out, and when it doesn't, Tailwind.
      I rely on Kyogre as the backbone of my team, being the only one capable of dealing massive amounts of spread damage. I prefer this bulky spread to a speedier one since, as was mentioned with Ray's sash, it gives me more turns, which fits my playstyle. I only wish that I had enough bulk to make Groudon's Precipice Blades or Thundurus' Thunderbolt a 3HKO.

      Scizor @ Life Orb  
      Ability: Technician  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 188 HP / 204 Atk / 116 SpD  
      Adamant Nature  
      IVs: 0 Spe  
      - Bug Bite  
      - Bullet Punch  
      - Swords Dance  
      - Protect  
      +2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Dazzling Gleam vs. 188 HP / 116 SpD Scizor: 72-84 (42.6 - 49.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
      204+ Atk Life Orb Technician Scizor Bullet Punch vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Xerneas: 151-179 (74.7 - 88.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
      Prior to this team, I had been using Jamie Boyt's (@MrJellyLeggs) RayOgre team; this Scizor came from there. Jamie was using Lum Berry, but since I already had Lum on Crobat I opted for Life Orb. I like the extra damage, but the recoil isn't my cup of tea. I don't have any alternatives in mind right now, though. Anyway, Scizor kills fairies (Xerneas) with priority.
      I tried other steel types in this slot (Aegislash, Ferrothorn), but I went with Scizor because of Bullet Punch. the priority can get me out of scraps not only against Xerneas, but other foes as well (Scarf users, anything under Tailwind when I can't get up Tailwind, etc.). Swords Dance is a bit tricky to use, but I like how it can immediately divert attention away from Scizor's partner. Life Orb sucking away at HP works slightly against this, though.
      The 0 speed helps against Trick Room (Jamie's team was quite fast; my team does not need the minimum speed here as much, but I've yet to change it), and Bug Bite especially helps against common setters like Cresselia. Scizor has an awful match-up against the primals. It can do nothing against Groudon and, while it can 2HKO even 252 HP Kyogre with Bug Bite, Kyogre will almost always outspeed. Hitmontop's Wide Guard can help a lot in such a scenario, though.
       

      Hitmontop @ Sitrus Berry  
      Ability: Intimidate  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 204 HP / 236 Atk / 68 SpD  
      Adamant Nature  
      - Low Kick  
      - Feint  
      - Fake Out  
      - Wide Guard  
      252+ SpA Primal Kyogre Scald vs. 204 HP / 68 SpD Hitmontop in Heavy Rain: 126-148 (83.4 - 98%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
      This spot was originally a Thundurus. I don't remember Thundurus doing a whole lot for me, so I made the switch to Hitmontop. I love Intimidate, I love Feint/Fake Out combination on one pokemon, and I love Wide Guard in this format. Hitmontop is pretty great, at least, on paper. I remember also being really paranoid about Dialga, since it is really good against RayOgre teams. Hitmontop helped calm my nerves on that front, and helps with other Steel types as well (Ferrothorn. Aegislash is still troublesome, though).
      I deviated from the normal EV spread a bit in order to survive one Scald/Origin Pulse from P-'Ogres. The slight special bulk has saved me from other OHKOs as well, so I'm happy with the investment. I chose Low Kick over Close Combat so that Top wouldn't have to worry about decreasing it's bulk with every attack. This may or may not be a worthwhile decision, considering the power Pokemon in this format have and how easily Top can get blown off the field anyway. With Low Kick, I do miss out on OHKOs against M-Kang, which is annoying, but the damage against Primals is the same as it would be with Close Combat.
      Hitmontop often serves as a lead option when Crobat or Gengar (or both) seem less optimal. Fake Out and Intimidate let it pair pretty well with the rest of the team as far as openings are concerned.
       

      Basic Play
      I think it's been talked about a lot already, but Cro/Geng is an easy lead for this team to use, especially against the Big Six. It offers disruption, setup, and damage. Crobat is generally expendable; its high speed allows it to get the one or two things it needs to do done before being KOd. Tailwinds and Super Fang chip damage can make the rest of the game much easier on me (Taunt, too!). Gengar locks the opposition while Crobat setup, ensuring that whatever Kyogre (or whatever) is coming into is stuck there.
      Top also works to support Kyogre and occasionally leads (sometimes with 'Ogre). Fake Out support can allow for Water Spouts, Swords Dances, or even free Dragon Ascents. The threat of Fake Out is also a thing, creating prime plays for Feint, during which Hitmontop's partner can continue to hit hard. I find trouble in switching Top out. While it can be good as an opener, I often find that it's not generally best for it to stay out. The games in which I bring Top usually need him for the end game and its managment I haven't worked out yet.
      I usually save 'Ogre and Ray in the back. With the prevalence of Groudon, weather wars can be an issue. I don't want to risk losing my rain early and not being able to recover from such a position.
      Scizor is always a difficult choice for me. Mostly, it gets the thumbs up when I'm against Xerneas and I perfer to not bring Gengar, but beyond that, I can't think of as many examples of a Scizor need as I can with Top. It's a powerful member of the team, but I'm not sure that it's a necessary one.
    • Dialga's time! a 3rd Place PC and need help for Regionals
      By Kirlion85
      Yooooo, What's up guys? I'm back after a good 3rd place of a PC in my city, and i'm about to go to Turin Regionals next week end. so i need your help for some troubles against this team that i've Created.
      Let's start!!
       
       
      Building process:
      So, at the beginning the idea for this team was a Dialga based team, followed by Kyogre, Mawile, amoonguss, Crobat and Smeargle. After a couple of testing i've found out that this team was heavily based on Trick Room and it wasnt doing well, also i had huge problems against the Big 6. So i decided to change some things. With the PC getting closer, i run against time and the team looked like this.
       

      Dialga @ Sitrus Berry  
      Ability: Telepathy  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 72 Def / 104 SpA / 80 SpD  
      Modest Nature  
      IVs: 0 Spe  
      - Dragon Pulse  
      - Flash Cannon  
      - Protect  
      - Trick Room  
       
      One of the best Ubers of this year. Yeah surely it doesn't hit hard as Groudon or Xerneas. But it get's  more than an honorable mention in the uber list, also it has an amazing match up against the RayOgre combo, Which is huge because he really helps Groudon. The EV Spread was made for guarantee a 2HKO from both Precipice Blades (Spread damange) from 252+ Atk  and 252+ SpAtk Earth Power from Primal Groudon, and i think that is a good Benchmark. The sitrus berry was put in order to increase Dialga's longevity, and for tank Low kick from mega Kangaskhan. Dragon Pulse is Stab for OHKO Mega Salamence, Rayquaza and Some Palkia set after a life orb recoli (it seems stange but it really happened D:) Flash Cannon is second STAB and  to hit Fairy Types  like Xerneas (without a Geomancy boost, it's a 2HKO) Protect because VGC, and Trick room for Speed control. Having Telepathy gaves me some troubles against min. Spd Groudon, because of the nature lock, but i need Telepathy because i have Earthquake from Groudon and EQ  Explosion from Landorus, but in all honesty, i think i'm going to change some teammates of Dialga, i'll explain that later.
       

      Groudon-Primal @ Red Orb  
      Ability: Desolate Land  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 84 SpA / 156 SpD  
      Quiet Nature  
      - Eruption  
      - Flamethrower  
      - Earth Power
      - Protect  
       
      The absolute new Mega Kangaskhan of 2016. With his abilìty it get rid of one Weakness, and the chance of multiple set makes him really umpredictable. Yeah, because choosing the role of Groudon is a real Pain. Butbin the end i'm using a special set for hit hard other Groudons, which i'm little weak against. Eruption and flamethrower as Second stab because Fire Punch Sucks. The Ev  spread is designed to survive a Earth Power From other Quiet/Modest primal Groudons. his role is to rip apart other teams and set the Weather against Kyogre or Rayquaza.
       

      Talonflame @ Sharp Beak  
      Ability: Gale Wings  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  
      Adamant Nature  
      - Brave Bird  
      - Flare Blitz  
      - Tailwind  
      - Quick Guard  
       
      Ah, The famous Smogon Bird. His role is more important than VGC15, Mainly because you see less more Lando's nowadays. He set up priority Tailwind and has the power to 2HKO Xerneas with priority Brave Bird, which really helps a lot when opposing Xerneas have already use Geomancy. Flare Blitz is a move to use against Steel types or Pokés that resist Flying type moves (Using it during Harsh Sun provides a hella lot of damange than a Sharp Beak boosted brave bird). About Quick Guard, i never use it at the PC, i had Protect before, but i don't know if i should switch back to it or keeping QG. I choose Adamant nature because the only reason you could run Jolly is for outspeed other Talonflame, which i think is useless, and also Adamant provides a little more damange.
       

       
      Kangaskhan-Mega (F) @ Kangaskhanite  
      Ability: Parental Bond  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD  
      Adamant Nature  
      - Double-Edge  
      - Sucker Punch  
      - Fake Out  
      - Low Kick  
       
      Do i really need to talk about him? c'mon, It's Kanga, it does the same job as last year, providing Fake Out support, strong DE and LK damange, and has priority in SP. I choose this Ev spread and nature for make him bulkier and outspeed other Kanga in TRoom and TWind and dealing a lot of damange ( i OHKOed a 4 Hp Xerneas in 2 matches with just double Edge...)
       

       
      Scizor @ Lum Berry
      Ability: Technician  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpDef
      Adamant Nature   
      - Bullet Punch
      - Bug Bite
      - Swords Dance  
      - Protect  
       
      Scizor is more usable this year, as it provides me with another priority and the chance to use Swords Dance for dealing a to of damange and OHKO Xerneas. The ev spread is pretty simple, max bulk and attack for the only reason that i should invest to much on defenses for resisting at least spread Water Spout.
       
      Landorus-Therian (M) @ Life Orb  
      Ability: Intimidate  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe  
      Jolly Nature  
      - Earthquake  
      - Rock Slide  
      - Explosion  
      - Protect
       
      Landorus was a steange addiction to the team, i needed Intimidate for opposing Groudon, but all the groudons that i've founded we're all special, except one Gravity team that i found, which gave me a lot of problems. It has the same set of last year but with Explosion. It gaves me the chance to OHKO timid Kyogre (4 HP set obviously) and provides Rock Coverage, but as for Ferro, i didn't use him. so i don't really know with who i should change him.
       
      The problems that i've found are: Struggle against opposing Groudons because Dialga, Ferro and Groudon are weak to him, and i don't have anything that can KO hm quickly except Earthquake.
      Gravity teams are also a real problem, if the opponent set up Gravity, it's over, Whimsicott can put asleep everyone, and Groudon can easily set up Swords dance.
       
      So here we are. Thank for everyone for reading till here. I hope that someone will leave some advice or criticism. Have a nice Day!
      Kirlion85
       
      *Updates to the Thread:
      -Addes Scizor in place of Ferrothorn
      _ Groudon set to special from mixed.
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