Published on January 13th, 2015 | by R Inanimate


Here at the Battle Resort, We Do Nothing but Surf: A Return to 1000 Wins in the Battle Maison

Hey readers, how have you been enjoying ORAS so far? After doing a bunch of in-game activities, I eventually found myself back at the Battle Maison. Although disappointed that the Battle Frontier had not returned, and the fact that opponent movesets have not changed since XY for the Battle Maison, I still ended up feeling compelled to at least get some sort of decent record on my cart. Got to boost those in-game statistics that show up between turns in link battles, right?

While you may have collected a decent stock of BP in XY, items cannot be transferred between games via Pokémon Bank. As such, unless you manually trade items between your games one-by-one, you’ll likely have to leave behind all your items in XY and rebuild a supply of items in ORAS. In addition to this, you’ll need BP for the Move Tutors in the Battle Resort. While these moves come pretty cheap, often at 8 or 12 BP a pop, the points required do add up when tinkering with movesets.

About a year ago, I hit 1000 wins in the Battle Maison in triples with a team involving a highly AI-exploitative strategy in order to obtain easy victories. Once again, I’ve hit 1000 wins (on my first attempt), but this time I used a different team. Instead of the AI abuse-centric style of my previous team, this one is a little bit more straightforward and intuitive to use. As you may have guessed from the title and art, it is a rain team. Perhaps you feel like you need a change of pace from Greninja + Aron, or already have some of these Pokémon already at your disposal from VGC 2014. In any case, here is another 1000-win team you may want to give a try:

Team Members

No nickname theme this time.

Politoed (M) @ Choice Scarf ***Araragi
Ability: Drizzle
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Surf
– Ice Beam
– Hydro Pump
– Rain Dance

Scarf Politoed, rain setter. Pretty straightforward stuff—it’s a familiar face from the latter half of VGC 2014. You can’t start a rain party without some drinks, and Politoed is happy to oblige by quenching our thirst. Surf is for spread damage, Ice Beam is for coverage. Hydro Pump is for the rare cases when I need some extra power, and Rain Dance resets the rain if my opponent leads with a different auto-weather Pokémon. Unlike in VGC, I often have very little to worry about in regards to weather wars in the Maison. If they lead with auto-weather, I can reset my rain. If they have one in the back, that often means that I’m already in a large lead. As such, Politoed is pretty content with just using Surf 90% of the time or so.

Ludicolo (F) @ Absorb Bulb ***RideTheDucks
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
– Surf
– Fake Out
– Ice Beam
– Grass Knot

Swift Swim attacker number one. Another straightforward set, and a blast from the VGC 2012 past. Ludicolo gets a Special Attack boost from the Absorb Bulb when hit by its ally’s Surf. Once at +1, Rain boosted Surf deals a considerable amount of damage to opponents (and allies, too). Ice Beam and Grass Knot provide coverage, and Fake Out provides a small support option when the lead matchup is unfavorable. Since Ludicolo will have its Speed doubled most of the time by Swift Swim, its Fake Out will go before any opponent’s attempt at the same. A simple EV spread is used here. I needed at least 121 Speed to outspeed Scarf Terrakion, which would have required 244 EVs in Speed. As such, I decided to simply use maximum Speed, as that gave me a Speed tie with any opposing Fake Out Ludicolo.

Nicknamed after my Subway Double Battle Ludicolo with the same name, which is nicknamed after a tour in Seattle. *quack* *quack* *quack*

Grass Knot, Energy Ball or Giga Drain?

I chose Grass Knot as my Grass-type move. Many of the targets that I would use a Grass-type attack on are heavy, making Grass Knot the highest-damage option. Additionally, this team is mostly focused on raw power, so Giga Drain’s healing was not nearly as attractive as it usually would be. Energy Ball, after its buff in XY, is slightly stronger than Grass Knot in a number of situations, particularly against Vaporeon and Lanturn. But it is weaker against a large variety of other, heavier Pokémon, such as Suicune, Walrein, and Gyarados. Vaporeon can be a bit threatening due to Water Absorb and Signal Beam (which hits Ludicolo hard), but Grass Knot’s advantages often make it the better choice overall.

Kingdra (F) @ Life Orb ***Misdirection
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
– Surf
– Hydro Pump
– Draco Meteor
– Dragon Pulse

Swift Swim attacker number two. Since this is triples, I might as well lead with another Swift Swim friend. I ended up with a set having two Water-type and two Dragon-type attacks. Surf and Dragon Pulse are my typical moves, while Draco Meteor and Hydro Pump give me a bit of extra power for sticky situations. I had Ice Beam over Dragon Pulse for a bit of time, but Dragon Pulse is able to reach across the field, which is extremely useful. One quirk of the AI is that it will always replace Pokémon on the right first; since Kingdra is more powerful than Politoed, I placed it on the right side.

Gastrodon (M) @ Rindo Berry ***Totenblume
Ability: Storm Drain
EVs: 100 HP / 92 Def / 252 SpA / 64 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Muddy Water
– Earth Power
– Ice Beam
– Protect

Storm Drain offense and Trick Room check. Gastrodon was a member of my Subway Doubles rain team, and it is used here for similar reasons. Storm Drain and its Ground-type make Gastrodon immune to both Water- and Electric-type moves. This allows it to be a relatively safe switch-in, even while I spam Surf. Storm Drain also provides Gastrodon with free Special Attack boosts. Very often, when Gastrodon enters play, it piles up a ton of boosts from friendly Surfs, increasing its Special Attack to the point where any Pokémon it hits is usually OHKOed. Rindo Berry allows it to avoid being automatically OHKOed by Grass-type attacks. Humorously enough, due to the nerf to critical hits in XY, Rindo Berry actually allows Gastrodon to survive critical hit Grass-type attacks from more defensive Pokémon. Muddy Water provides a spread move. I had Surf back in BW, but boosted Surfs dealt too much damage to Gastrodon’s teammates, so I switched to Muddy Water despite the accuracy. Earth Power and Ice Beam provide it a secondary STAB attack and coverage move respectively, but more importantly two 100% accurate attacks to use. The defensive EVs provide a slight increase in bulk compared to 252 HP.

Bisharp (F) @ Focus Sash ***Bismarck
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 108 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 140 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Sucker Punch
– Iron Head
– Knock Off
– Protect

Focus Sash Bisharp provides a Trick Room check and Knock Off support. This team needed a Steel-type, and I decided to go with Bisharp instead of Scizor (which I used in BW). Scizor’s typical item, Life Orb, was already taken by Kingdra, and Bisharp has a better matchup against Trick Room setters. The moveset isn’t anything groundbreaking. The Speed EVs allow Bisharp to hit 108 Speed while allowing for a small amount of bulk. Knock Off is pretty helpful against some of the more annoying stall/setup Pokémon. Removing their Leftovers, Chesto Berry, etc. definitely makes life easier for this team. Bisharp’s typing allows it to draw Fighting-type moves into Protect. And if it reaches 1 HP (via Sash), it can draw away all opponent moves in a similar fashion to L1 Aron.

Conkeldurr (F) @ Assault Vest ***GONG
Ability: Iron Fist
EVs: 200 HP / 252 Atk / 28 Def / 28 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 24 Spe
– Mach Punch
– Drain Punch
– Payback
– Ice Punch

To round out my roster, I wanted another physical attacker. I didn’t want to allow some of the specially bulky Pokémon to get the better of me, and I felt like I wanted something that could help when I needed to reset the weather. I arbitrarily decided to go with Assault Vest Conkeldurr, and it sort of stuck. Conkeldurr’s impressive bulk allowed it to roll with the punches, then slug back with a Drain Punch to restore HP. Most of the time, Conkeldurr merely picks off low-health Pokémon with Mach Punch, cleaning up the opponent’s team. But when times get tough, it really ends up being something I can fall back on to stand its ground and start a comeback. EVs here, once again, are marginally better than a simple 252/252. I suppose the fact that my total HP is a bit lower does make Drain Punch’s recovery a bit more valuable.


This team’s strategy is an adaptation of that of my Subway Doubles rain team. The primary strategy is pretty straightforward: mash A, Surf Surf Surf, and wash away the opponents. My team’s back half helps to combat threats such as Trick Room and specially defensive Pokémon. The priority moves of Conkeldurr and Bisharp also keep me from falling behind against faster teams that get past my initial offense.

Due to how the team works, it is sometimes even more mindless than my previous Aron team, as you literally just hit the A button until everything faints. No targeting, no fancy plays, just raw damage. However, since you aren’t tricking the CPU into attacking a L1 decoy, there are definitely a few more things to pay attention to. Once again, the team ended up without a Mega. I can’t say for sure whether this was the right call or not, but I guess if I’ve made it to at least 1000 wins, it can’t be too bad. Besides, it saves me from having to watch the Mega Evolution animation hundreds of times. Similarly to my Aron team, I’d say that the leads are pretty well defined, but you can try substituting your own ideas for the latter half of the team.

How to Play

Due to the fast and powerful leads, you have quite a lot of control over the battle right from the start. From being familiar with opponent Pokémon and movesets, I’d say a good 80-90% of battles boil down to a simple game of what moves to use such that opponent does little or nothing on their turn. About 40% of the time, the answer is “mash A”. Every 100-200 battles or so, you’ll probably have to play a battle where you actually do have a real chance of losing if things go wrong. Since a lot of trainers have only one moveset for any given species of Pokémon, a look at some of the moveset and trainer resources available online can help save you from tricky spots.

Basically, you want to ask yourself:
Q1: Can you reliably KO all of the opponent’s active Pokémon?
Q2: If not, can you KO 2/3?
Q3: Which opposing Pokémon is the least threatening? Which are difficult to take down?
Q4: Are the any threats (see below) that you need to pay attention to?


Here are some various factors to pay attention to that might prevent full Surf spam mode. These are listed in no particular order. This list should cover just about everything you may need to watch out for, even if some might be somewhat minor. The list really isn’t that long, and some of it is pretty obvious. Don’t worry.


1. Grass-types

Grass is one of three types that resists Water. Naturally, that means that they won’t fall easily to the crashing waves. Grass-type Pokémon are far more abundant than Dragon-types, and are a lot more likely to be able to do significant damage compared to Water-types. Most of them will be able to take a non-STAB Ice Beam, but the combination of an Ice Beam and a Life Orb/+1 boosted Surf is often enough to take out offensive ones. There are a number of them that are more defensive, such as Venusaur, Meganium, and Cradily; these will easily be able to withstand a Surf+Ice Beam, but they don’t deal nearly as much damage and often use Protect. As such, they can usually be ignored. Virizion gets a special mention, as it has high Special Defense and often has offensive movesets. Fortunately, it doesn’t hit extremely hard, but it should be a priority target. It is very difficult to get Virizion down in one turn, but using Surf once and then focusing it usually does the trick. Use Fake Out on Virizion if you feel like you need to gain some extra ground.


2. Dragon-types

Dragon-types are typically more damaging than Grass-types, but are much easier to take out. Many of the common Dragon-type Pokémon are four times weak to Ice-type moves, and almost all of them are KOed by a single Dragon Pulse. Kingdra pretty much makes quick work of Dragons you’ll see; if not, a +1 Ludicolo is often more than enough to handle them. Be aware that Garchomp has a Focus Sash, so you’ll need two hits to KO it in any case. Haxorus holds a Yache Berry and will outspeed Ludicolo after a Dragon Dance, so quickly down it with Dragon Pulse. Latios/Latias have varying sets: for both, one set has an evasion item, and another has enough Special Defense to take a Dragon Pulse. Sometimes, using Fake Out on Latios/Latias is necessary. Dragonite may have Multiscale, so it should be targeted with two attacks.


3. Water-types

Water-type Pokémon are the most abundant of types that resist Water, but they are often the least threatening. It’s usually a pretty safe play to just use Surf on them, then follow up with Ludicolo’s Grass Knot at the first opening. There are a number of exceptions that will need a bit of extra attention, but many of them will be covered later in this section.


4. Lax Incense / Bright Powder

It’s just a 10% chance. No big deal. This team often just attacks everything indiscriminately with Surf anyways. Tangrowth, Lickilicky, Latios, Latias, and Regigigas are a few noteworthy Pokémon that may hold evasion items.


5. Quick Claw

Once an item that you’d probably see on something every other battle, Quick Claw is now an item you’ll likely only see on three Pokémon. Leafeon and Donphan are typically harmless. Muk can be a pain, as it will usually use Gunk Shot on Ludicolo if possible, so switching Ludicolo out for Gastrodon or Bisharp against Muk to avoid a Gunk Shot is something you may want to consider if you don’t want to risk the 20% roll.


6.Storm Drain / Water Absorb / Dry Skin

If Surf spam can knock out two opposing Pokémon, I often take a risk and ignore the possibility of these abilities. Otherwise, I might try to play around it. Poliwrath deserves a special mention, because I sometimes want to guarantee a hit to avoid Focus Punch. Storm Drain Cradily can cause serious issues if it gains too many boosts. Toxicroak and Jynx deal a lot of damage if they stay on the field, so it’s important to play with caution against them as well.


7. Swift Swim

Opposing Kingdra are more or less KOed on sight by my own Kingdra. The other Swift Swim users are largely non-factors. Note that if Seismitoad has Swift Swim, it will outspeed Kingdra, but even Poison Jab doens’t OHKO Ludicolo.


8. Cloud Nine

Weather negation sucks. Fortunately, there are only two Pokémon with Cloud Nine in the Battle Maison. Altaria is pretty easy to deal with; Ice Beam and Dragon Pulse make short work of it. Lickilicky is a bit more tricky. Against Lickilicky, I’ll likely switch out my leads, as its first move is often Explosion. Once it disposes of itself, I can bring back my weather Pokémon.


9. Drought / Sunny Day

This basically refers to Ninetales (whenever it actually shows up with Drought) and those Chefs with Fire-/Grass-type Sunny Day teams. Usually I try to switch out Politoed as soon as possible to prepare for a possible rain reset. Alternatively, I focus on taking out anything that potentially has Sunny Day before it can change the weather.


10. Sand Stream / Sandstorm

I honestly can’t remember the last time something has used manual sand, so this pretty much just refers to Hippowdon and Tyranitar. There are Sandstorm users, but the move is very rarely used. Conkeldurr is a great help against Tyranitar. Since sand teams are typically inherently Water weak and slow, sand is usually not too hard to handle when Politoed can just use Rain Dance to restart the downpour.


11. Snow Warning / Hail

The most dangerous weather. Usually Abomasnow, but sometimes Aurorus. I sometimes feel that Pokémon with two abilities (one standard, one hidden) have a 2/3 chance of having their standard ability, as it always seems that Abomasnow, Tyranitar, and Hippowdon have their standard weather abilities, but Ninetales often simply has Flash Fire. Since Hail makes Blizzard 100% accurate, even Bisharp isn’t a very safe switch in due to the possiblity of a freeze. Sometimes it’s better to not switch too hastily against hail teams; sacrificing one of the leads or Gastrodon to get Bisharp or Conkeldurr safely onto the field is occasionally the best play .


12. Wide Guard

You know what feels really bad? Surf, Surf, Surf… all into Wide Guard! You deal a bunch of damage to yourself, none to the opponent, and give the other two opposing Pokémon a free turn to attack. Maison Triples is very heavy on offensive momentum, and Surf spam into Wide Guard is a very quick way to lose all of it. There are three Wide Guard users you’ll encounter: Bastiodon, Regigigas and Mienshao. Mienshao quite literally never uses it and I believe the Regigigas is only used by one or two of the Veterans, so the big threat is Bastiodon. I usually use single-target attacks to rid the field of it as soon as possible.


13. Trick Room

If Trick Room goes up, it’s usually time to switch in Gastrodon. If it looks like I’m in enough of a lead, I may just sacrifice my leads in order to safely get Bisharp or Conkeldurr into the fray. Since Trick Room teams will usually be used by Hex Maniacs or Psychics, Bisharp can easily tear things apart. Just make sure you pay enough attention to realize that Trick Room has gone up.


14. Protect

There are actually quite a few Pokémon that carry Protect. Since this team doesn’t have a L1 Aron throwing the AI into a blind attacking rage, they will actually use Protect. It doesn’t matter too much most of the time, but keep it in mind when planning a single-target attack.


15. Fake Out

Fake Out users exist. Similarly to Protect users, they usually aren’t too bad, and in some cases they won’t even use it because they can OHKO one of my Pokémon with another move. Ludicolo does have a faster Fake Out in rain, so you are in control of the opening turn of the battle. Use Fake Out on a threat, use Fake Out on the opposing Fake Out user, or not use Fake Out at all. It’s up to you.


16. Miscellaneous

Other notable mentions include:

  • Assault Vest Magnezone and Snorlax: Extreme special bulk.
  • Blissey: Minimize is dumb.
  • Venusaur, Tentacruel, Roserade, Meganium, Lanturn: Have the potential to stall. While none of these are too threatening, they take a while to KO.
  • Registeel, Cresselia, Latios, Latias, Regice, Virizion: High special bulk. As previously mentioned, there is a Latios/Latias set with an evasion item. These Pokémon tend to be priority threats when facing veterans.
  • Talonflame: Due to Gale Wings, the proper play is to Fake Out and Surf it on sight. If it comes in late game, just spam Surf and hope for a trade.


This should cover most of what you need to know about playing this team. This team generally takes less thought to play compared to my Aron team. But naturally, there is a bit more risk of losing as there are more threats that can disrupt the strategy. With another 1000 wins down, perhaps it’s time for me to start playing for real on Battle Spot? I’m running out of excuses on why I haven’t by now…

About the Author

R Inanimate is a long time participant in official Pokemon Tournaments, first attending the 2005 Battle in Seattle Tournament. Known for using teams that are a bit off from the standard, and not using RNG'd Pokemon. Avid Battle Frontier fan. Worlds 2013 competitor, known for running Togekiss and Mold Breaker Excadrill.

4 Responses to Here at the Battle Resort, We Do Nothing but Surf: A Return to 1000 Wins in the Battle Maison

  1. FlashSentry says:

    Great article, Randy! This is very helpful. And congrats on your 1000 wins!

  2. Zenithian says:

    I used a team kinda like this for doubles. Scarf Politoed and Ludicolo really do just surf all over everything. Nice team report!

  3. GuardianDiancie says:

    This article was interesting to me, not to mention how you added info on what the major threats were to your team. Something, I’ve never seen someone do when they mention what Pokemons they used in their battles.

    I don’t think I will have the patience to go way up to 1000 in the Battle Maison, congrats on making it that far. I hope this team can make it 1000+ more in the Battle Maison

  4. Hashinator89 says:

    Why the 24 IVs on Conkeldurr?

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