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Help with Competitive Singles and Doubles Team

varanus_komodoensis

they call me Varanus
Hey everyone! I need a little help with my competitive team. Right now, on the Rating Battles, I have a win/lose ratio of exactly 50/50.

What I need help with the most is finding a replacement for Xerneas, who is my current Special Sweeper. He has great synergy with all of my team members, can take hits, and can sweep through an entire team after a Geomancy. But, he isn't allowed in Rating Battles, and I just cannot find a replacement for him. I like him because of his pure Fairy typing and that he learns Moonblast and Thunderbolt, which saves me many times. So help is greatly appreciated.

Here's who I have so far. All Pokemon are flawless and shiny except Xerneas (a lot of work went into this). I also use this team for both Singles and Doubles. Gliscor doesn't see a whole lot of Doubles action because he needs to set up, so a Doubles replacement for him would be nice. In Doubles, I usually have either Sableye/Tentacruel or Sableye/Xerneas out first, depending on the opposition. Gliscor and Tentacruel work great together, too, however.

LEAD: Sableye, "Jewel", @Focus Sash
252 HP/120 Def/136 SpDef
Calm
Prankster

Recover
Will-O-Wisp
Taunt
Foul Play

Despite her awful stats, Sableye is freaking AMAZING. She never lets me down. Prankster gives her priority to burn an opponent, preventing her and her teammates from being hurt by physical attackers. Taunt prevents the opponent from setting up. After everything has been taunted or burned, she has literally swept through entire physical sets with Foul Play and get back health with priority Recover. She is a great lead and you would be surprised how many hits she can take.




Tentacruel, "Kraken", @Black Sludge
248 HP/244 Def/16 Spe
Timid
Rain Dish (Clear Body might have been better, but this is what he hatched with)

Protect
Toxic Spikes
Rapid Spin
Scald

Tentacruel is my Rapid Spinner and Toxic Spiker. I have considered getting rid of Scald for Sludge Bomb since Sableye also spreads burns, but Scald has been incredibly useful against Talonflames and other Fire-types, so I'm torn on what to do with it. I also don't want to get rid of Toxic Spikes because Poison has been very useful against the Special Attackers that burns don't phase. Tentacruel doesn't hit hard, but he takes hits well and frustrates opponents with Protect when Gliscor uses Earthquake.




Dragonite @Lum Berry
/252 Atk/4SpDef/252 Spe
Adamant
Multiscale

Dragon Dance
Fire Punch
Outrage
Extremespeed

Dragonite has proved to be a great late-game sweeper. Multiscale gives her a guaranteed Dragon Dance boost, and once all the fairies are gone, she can rip through teams twice with an Outrage. Fire Punch has been useful against Steel-types, particularly Lucario, that threaten my fairies as well as Ferrothorn if I absolutely have to, because most people don't expect it and so they don't switch out on Dragonite. However, I do wonder if I should replace it with something else sometimes.




Talonflame@ Weakness Policy
4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe
Adamant
Gale Wings

Brave Bird
Flare Blitz
Roost
Swords Dance

Talonflame comes in handy sometimes even though he's frail. If I look at a team preview and I know I'll need priority to win, I go for Talonflame. Swords Dance is almost necessary because Talonflame often can't Brave-Bird sweep a team unless he has a boost. However, setting up is sometimes problematic if I predict wrong, because Talonflame is frail and will die easily. With two recoil moves, Brave Bird and Flare Blitz, I need Roost to heal. However, Dragonite also has a Fire move, but unless it's 6v6, I might not use both together. I have the Weakness Policy because should Talonflame survive a hit, he can sacrifice himself with a super powerful Brave Bird. He doesn't have Leftovers because Sylveon has it, but sometimes I do switch the item to Leftovers.




Now here's where my biggest problem lies. Xerneas really holds this team together, and I need a replacement for him in Rating Battles. Any suggestions are welcome.

Xerneas @ Power Herb
4HP/252 SpAtk/252 Spe
Modest
Fairy Aura

Geomancy
Moonblast
Thunderbolt
Psyshock

Xerneas can take hits and dole them out. He's bulky enough to take a hit while he sets up Geomancy with Power Herb, and then his speed is so fast that even if he has very little HP left, he can sweep a team with Moonblast and Thunderbolt. He also has great typing, being pure Fairy-type. I can switch him into an Outrage with no problems. I really need that Electric move, too, and I'm just not sure what to replace him with because he's so good.

-----

Here are my two problem Pokemon that I use interchangeably with this team:

Gliscor, "Fang", @Toxic Orb
244 HP/40 Def/224 Spe
Impish
Poison Heal

Protect
Substitute
Toxic
Earthquake

This is your standard Toxic Heal Gliscor. He's awesome in singles if you can set up a sub, but not very good in Doubles, since it's hard to keep a sub up against two Pokemon. However, if you can set up, he works great with Tentacruel and Sylveon and they can Toxic-Stall out just about anything. I'm thinking of maybe replacing him with Mandibuzz for Doubles?




Sylveon, "Navi", @Leftovers
252 HP/252 Def/4 SpAtk
Modest
Pixilate

Protect
Wish
Heal Bell
Hyper Voice

Sylveon is a standard Wish passer. She's saved Talonflame and Dragonite from Stealth Rocks before when Tentacruel has died or hasn't been in the battle for some reason. She doesn't hit very hard sometimes, but she can take quite a few hits and be annoying while Toxic kills an opponent. She's no replacement for Xerneas though.

-------

So there's my team, and here's a recap of the issues I have:

1. I need to replace Xerneas for Rating Battles. What is a good replacement for him? It really needs to be a bulky special sweeper.
2. I have a LOT of trouble with Rotom-W. I can usually manage to dispose of them, but I need something that's a good counter.
3. I need to replace Gliscor for Doubles, but I'm not sure what to replace him with.
4. Right now my win/lose ratio in Rating Battles (so no Xerneas) is 50/50. I need suggestions on how to improve this.

I would prefer to play Doubles as it's more interesting, but I like having a dynamic team that can handle singles or doubles since you never know what people will challenge you to. Plus Singles with only 3 Pokemon doesn't involve a lot of strategy and is often just more luck-based.

Thanks to anyone with suggestions!
 
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TheMegaJedi

Pokemon Master
Hey Varanus, I see you're using the pokemon I got you. Earthquake is better for killing Steel types on Dragonite. A replacement could be Togekiss, as he is a very bulky special pokemon. A good set would be
Togekiss @Leftovers
Serene Grace, Bold Nature
248 HP, 252 Def, 8 Spe
31/X/31/31/31/31
Thunder Wave
Ancient Power
Air Slash
Aura Sphere
ParaFlinch is OP when Serene Grace is involved, Ancient Power and Serene Grace can get you a boost in ALL stats, and Aura Sphere has coverage on Rock and Steel types.

Also, a good doubles pokemon is Greninja w/ Mat Block. Gives you a turn to set up freely. Follow Me Clefable works too, if its bulky enough.

Rotom W gets demolished by Mega Charizard Y Solarbeam. Most sets are bold, so special Grass attacks kill easily most of the time in my experience.

Improve by battling with this team on ShowDown or PokeBattle, or against Friends. Also, if you play VGC Doubles, be wary of Mega Khan and Mega Gar Perish Song. Scary Stuff.
 
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Onyx Tanuki

Very very dramatical
The closest thing I can think of to replace Xerneas would be Aromatisse. It's definitely not speedy enough to sweep, but it does have solid SpAtt, decent bulk, and access to Moonblast and Thunderbolt. It also can Wish to recover HP, and has access to Calm Mind to set up, or Trick Room if you plan to use it to outspeed things.

Togekiss is another option you may want to consider; though still slower than Xerneas, it has amazing bulk and unique typing, and if you can outspeed the opponent its Serene Grace ability combined with Air Slash's flinch chance can ruin opponents. Unfortunately, you already seem to have a couple of Flying types, so you may have some issues with weakness to Flying's common weaknesses, especially Rock.
 

varanus_komodoensis

they call me Varanus
Hey Varanus, I see you're using the pokemon I got you. Earthquake is better for killing Steel types on Dragonite. A replacement could be Togekiss, as he is a very bulky special pokemon. A good set would be
Togekiss @Leftovers
Serene Grace, Bold Nature
248 HP, 252 Def, 8 Spe
31/X/31/31/31/31
Thunder Wave
Ancient Power
Air Slash
Aura Sphere
ParaFlinch is OP when Serene Grace is involved, Ancient Power and Serene Grace can get you a boost in ALL stats, and Aura Sphere has coverage on Rock and Steel types.

Also, a good doubles pokemon is Greninja w/ Mat Block. Gives you a turn to set up freely. Follow Me Clefable works too, if its bulky enough.

Rotom W gets demolished by Mega Charizard Y Solarbeam. Most sets are bold, so special Grass attacks kill easily most of the time in my experience.

Improve by battling with this team on ShowDown or PokeBattle, or against Friends. Also, if you play VGC Doubles, be wary of Mega Khan and Mega Gar Perish Song. Scary Stuff.

The closest thing I can think of to replace Xerneas would be Aromatisse. It's definitely not speedy enough to sweep, but it does have solid SpAtt, decent bulk, and access to Moonblast and Thunderbolt. It also can Wish to recover HP, and has access to Calm Mind to set up, or Trick Room if you plan to use it to outspeed things.

Togekiss is another option you may want to consider; though still slower than Xerneas, it has amazing bulk and unique typing, and if you can outspeed the opponent its Serene Grace ability combined with Air Slash's flinch chance can ruin opponents. Unfortunately, you already seem to have a couple of Flying types, so you may have some issues with weakness to Flying's common weaknesses, especially Rock.

Thank you both SO much! And yes, Mega, I am using the Pokemon you bred for me, and I adore them! Thank you a million times over! It looks like I'll have to try out Togekiss, although if I do, I'm going to have MAJOR Stealth Rock/Stone Edge issues because of all of my flying types. I can't use Aromatisse because it's not fast enough, and plus, I think it's really fugly. :p If I do use Togekiss, I would have to replace a Pokemon - preferably Talonflame over Dragonite - with something else that isn't flying. Follow Me Clefable is a pretty creative idea, Mega, and I might just have to try that. Surprisingly, Mega Kangaskhan has never given me any problems, especially if Sableye can burn it. Mega Gengar is obnoxious, though. Surprisingly, I've never run into one with Perish Song. I have a Gengar but whenever I use it it just dies. I don't know how to use it properly, apparently.

The issue with Togekiss is I would really want Thunderbolt because without it, I have no counter to Water types. I want to replace Scald with Sludge Bomb on Tentacruel to counter fairies, but then I don't have a Water move. Earthquake on Dragonite might be a good idea, but Fire Punch is useful when I run into Grass types. And I can't put Thunderpunch on Dragonite because the Electric move is also for Greninja, who carries Ice Beam as a rule. However, if Dragonite and Clefable are together, that would work until Clefable died.
 
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TheMegaJedi

Pokemon Master
The problem is that you are overthinking it way too much. Although this is good in an actual battle, when making a team it becomes a hassle because you think of situations that may never happen. Thunderbolt for Thunder Wave is good, because Serene Grace gives you a higher chance to Paralyze anyways. Clefable can run Wish/Protect, so it basically can't die, even without it, it's still bulky. You could replace Protect, as for the fact that the only actual use for it is a toxic stall. Besides, with the amount of flying types you have, just switch into them and you're free to E-Quake. Also, Greninja has no defenses, so Outrage can one shot unless it runs the obscure HP Fairy. Sludge Bomb can kill Grass types, so Tentacruel should really get it. Also, I should thank you. I'm still EV training, but you saved me with those pokes.
 

Ironthunder

The Uncultured One
In my experience, Mega Mawile is awesome for a bulky devastator, if you're allowed to use one in ratings battles that could sub in for Xerneas.
Mawile@Mawilite
Inimidate>Pure Power
Adamant/Impish/Careful
252 Atk, 126 Def, 126 SpDef
-Sucker Punch
-Play Rough
-Iron Head
-Swords Dance

Set up one Swords Dance when its safe, i.e. there are no imminent EQs, Flare Blitzes or Fire Blasts, then sweep. Simple. Fairy/Steel/Dark hits everything for neutral, while the EV setup helps take a hit or two from Fire Blast or EQ. Natures are up to you, they just need to focus on max SpDef, Def and Atk, as it will need to take a few hits. It also can partner well with anything not reliant on a partner setting it up or weak to EQ. It also has the added bonus of 11 resistances, with only 2 weaknesses, making it an awesome defensive bet if Fire and Ground weren't so common. Clear them out, and its a straight line to the finish. Sucker Punch also deals with any suspected Fire/Ground attackers before they strike, and Intimidate on the switch-in can help stop EQ if they don't switch out. Only my advice, though.
 

varanus_komodoensis

they call me Varanus
The problem is that you are overthinking it way too much. Although this is good in an actual battle, when making a team it becomes a hassle because you think of situations that may never happen. Thunderbolt for Thunder Wave is good, because Serene Grace gives you a higher chance to Paralyze anyways. Clefable can run Wish/Protect, so it basically can't die, even without it, it's still bulky. You could replace Protect, as for the fact that the only actual use for it is a toxic stall. Besides, with the amount of flying types you have, just switch into them and you're free to E-Quake. Also, Greninja has no defenses, so Outrage can one shot unless it runs the obscure HP Fairy. Sludge Bomb can kill Grass types, so Tentacruel should really get it. Also, I should thank you. I'm still EV training, but you saved me with those pokes.

In my experience, Mega Mawile is awesome for a bulky devastator, if you're allowed to use one in ratings battles that could sub in for Xerneas.
Mawile@Mawilite
Inimidate>Pure Power
Adamant/Impish/Careful
252 Atk, 126 Def, 126 SpDef
-Sucker Punch
-Play Rough
-Iron Head
-Swords Dance

Set up one Swords Dance when its safe, i.e. there are no imminent EQs, Flare Blitzes or Fire Blasts, then sweep. Simple. Fairy/Steel/Dark hits everything for neutral, while the EV setup helps take a hit or two from Fire Blast or EQ. Natures are up to you, they just need to focus on max SpDef, Def and Atk, as it will need to take a few hits. It also can partner well with anything not reliant on a partner setting it up or weak to EQ. It also has the added bonus of 11 resistances, with only 2 weaknesses, making it an awesome defensive bet if Fire and Ground weren't so common. Clear them out, and its a straight line to the finish. Sucker Punch also deals with any suspected Fire/Ground attackers before they strike, and Intimidate on the switch-in can help stop EQ if they don't switch out. Only my advice, though.

Thank you both again! And you're welcome for the Pokemon, Mega. I did replace Scald with Sludge Bomb on Tentacruel, and I think I'm going to try out Follow Me Clefable and Togekiss.

Ironthunder, I actually have that exact Mega Mawile set. I love using Mega Mawile - Mawile looks cool in the first place and I love its Mega Form, plus it's a very powerful Pokemon if you can use it right. I don't want to use Mawile on this team, though, because I need a Special Sweeper, and Dragonite kind of took the place of the Mawile I was using because he gets that free set-up with Multiscale. Plus Mawile requires a lot of prediction for it to not die since it's so darn slow.
 

KillerDraco

The Enforcer
Staff member
Super Mod
Mawile@Mawilite
Inimidate>Pure Power
Adamant/Impish/Careful
252 Atk, 126 Def, 126 SpDef
-Sucker Punch
-Play Rough
-Iron Head
-Swords Dance

While the moveset is fine, don't use that EV spread. Splitting your EVs between Defense and Special defense is not a good idea, since Mawile gets MUCH more survivability on both sides of the spectrum simply by investing in HP, since its HP is comparatively lower. To compare 252 Atk / 126 Def / 126 SpDef vs. 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpDef:

252+ SpA Abomasnow Blizzard vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Mega Mawile: 81-96 (26.6 - 31.5%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
4 Atk Abomasnow Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Mega Mawile: 112-132 (36.8 - 43.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

252+ SpA Abomasnow Blizzard vs. 0 HP / 126 SpD Mega Mawile: 72-84 (29.8 - 34.8%) -- 13.1% chance to 3HKO
4 Atk Abomasnow Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 126 Def Mega Mawile: 102-120 (42.3 - 49.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

As you can see, splitting the EVs yields more damage taken from both physical and special attacks. Don't forget that defenses have diminishing returns with HP; the higher the base stat, the less efficient EVs become. Therefore, due to Mawile's base 50 HP stat, it gets considerably more survivability from those HP EVs.

Also, Adamant is preferably over Impish or Careful 90% of the time.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That said, Mega Mawile's not a bulky special sweeper as you were asking for. Unfortunately there is very little that's as bulky as Xerneas while still not compromising speed, since Xerneas is Legendary/Uber/all that jazz. There's always Manaphy, but if I'm not mistaken, it may be banned from Rating Battles too. Volcarona could be considered, given Quiver Dance makes it fast and bulky on the special side. Unfortunately, its physical defense is laughable, and it creates a compound (Stealth) Rock weakness, given half of your team would be weak to it, and two would be 4x weak to it. There's Latios/Latias as well, which could attempt a Calm Mind set. Other than that though, there's nothing else that would be both fast and bulky. If you consider less bulky alternatives, you could try something along the lines of Keldeo, or Mega Lucario. But yeah, there's no real perfect fit for Xerneas, unfortunately.
 

varanus_komodoensis

they call me Varanus
While the moveset is fine, don't use that EV spread. Splitting your EVs between Defense and Special defense is not a good idea, since Mawile gets MUCH more survivability on both sides of the spectrum simply by investing in HP, since its HP is comparatively lower. To compare 252 Atk / 126 Def / 126 SpDef vs. 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpDef:

252+ SpA Abomasnow Blizzard vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Mega Mawile: 81-96 (26.6 - 31.5%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
4 Atk Abomasnow Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Mega Mawile: 112-132 (36.8 - 43.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

252+ SpA Abomasnow Blizzard vs. 0 HP / 126 SpD Mega Mawile: 72-84 (29.8 - 34.8%) -- 13.1% chance to 3HKO
4 Atk Abomasnow Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 126 Def Mega Mawile: 102-120 (42.3 - 49.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

As you can see, splitting the EVs yields more damage taken from both physical and special attacks. Don't forget that defenses have diminishing returns with HP; the higher the base stat, the less efficient EVs become. Therefore, due to Mawile's base 50 HP stat, it gets considerably more survivability from those HP EVs.

Also, Adamant is preferably over Impish or Careful 90% of the time.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That said, Mega Mawile's not a bulky special sweeper as you were asking for. Unfortunately there is very little that's as bulky as Xerneas while still not compromising speed, since Xerneas is Legendary/Uber/all that jazz. There's always Manaphy, but if I'm not mistaken, it may be banned from Rating Battles too. Volcarona could be considered, given Quiver Dance makes it fast and bulky on the special side. Unfortunately, its physical defense is laughable, and it creates a compound (Stealth) Rock weakness, given half of your team would be weak to it, and two would be 4x weak to it. There's Latios/Latias as well, which could attempt a Calm Mind set. Other than that though, there's nothing else that would be both fast and bulky. If you consider less bulky alternatives, you could try something along the lines of Keldeo, or Mega Lucario. But yeah, there's no real perfect fit for Xerneas, unfortunately.

Thanks! Yeah, Mawile won't work because she's Physical, not Special. I think Togekiss is as close to Xerneas as I'll get. I don't like using legends on my team, but Xerneas was just so perfect, with his high Speed/SpAtk and pure Fairy-typing and wide movepool. Plus I just love how he looks - he reminds me of the Forest Spirit in Princess Mononoke.

I would use Keldeo, but he's also not allowed in Rating Battles. And Mega Lucario is too frail. Latios is an idea; I might use him. The Latis are two of my favorite Pokemon as well. I'd prefer not having another dragon on the team, though.
 

Ironthunder

The Uncultured One
It's OK, I just thought it may be useful as it can function as a wall, with 9 resistances and 2 immunities, as well as being capable of dealing some hurt. I personally would run it over Dragonite, as the glaring 4x weakness to Ice, as well as weaknesses to Rock, Dragon and Fairy, with only five resistances and one immunity, compared to Mawile's 2 weaknesses, 9 resistances and 2 immunities. Also, Mega Mawile has 5 less base SpDef than Dragonite, and 25 more Def, helping it take several hits it isn't weak to. The lack of Spd is a pain, but Sucker Punch overruns that, or Mawile just takes a few hits, which it can and does. Mawile is an offensive wall, not a sweeper. I don't think I've seen anything OHKO Mega Mawile, aside from a Horn Drill user, whereas Dragonite pretty much relies upon getting rid of the Fairies through Burn/Poison, resisted Foul Play, Scald and a few other non-SE moves, which is a problem due to the number of Fairies with good SpDef. Brave Bird is pretty much your only real threat to Fairies, or EQ possibly, aside from status long-haul. Still just my opinion though, do what you want.
 

TheMegaJedi

Pokemon Master
A good pokemon is Vivillion
Vivillion@Focus Sash
31/X/31/31/31/31, Modest, Compoundeyes
Quiver Dance
Energy Ball
Bug Buzz
Hurricane
Ensures QD set up and gives Hurricane a better accuracy. Best part is, super easy to breed, takes maybe a day or two max. Granted its more of a singles pokemon, it can work in doubles because EQuake cant hit it.
 
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