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Serebii Journal December Issue

Discussion in '6th Gen' started by Eliteknight, Dec 17, 2014.

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  1. Eliteknight

    Eliteknight S.L.Y.

    [​IMG]

    Welcome to the Serebii Journal's December Issue. This month we shift our focus to ORAS OU.

    Table of Contents
    SPPF Christmas/Holiday Article, a gift from us to you
    Guardians Cup Coverage Part 2
    ORAS Megas in OU Part 1
    ORAS Megas in Ou Part 2
    Interveiw With Saph~
    Baton Pass
    Entry Hazards: Spikes and Toxic Spikes

    Writers
    Ger9119 - SPPF Christmas/Holiday Article, a gift from us to you,
    Clone - ORAS Megas in OU
    MMS - Guardians Cup Coverage
    Apollo77 - Entry Hazards: Spikes and Toxic Spikes
    Gray - Baton Pass
    BGP_ - Interveiw with Saph~

    Journal Archive
    November 2014
    October 2014
    September 2014
    July 2014
    March 2014
    February 2014
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  2. Eliteknight

    Eliteknight S.L.Y.

    Holiday Greetings from the SPPF Journal Staff

    This article i'm going to do something rather different, we have dedicated readers who each month look forward to reading what we have to share. The whole SPPF Journal staff is very appreciative and thankful for all the feedback and all of you. I tossed around numerous ideas from reviewing holiday based Pokemon, to making a Christmas story kind of thing. But i feel like the best thing was to give a gift of sorts to everyone who reads this, and that gift is a Holiday based team built around the signature Christmas Pokemon Delibird. This team has proved to be quite effective and fun overall. Best of luck to anyone using this team and please post replays of matches you did with this team in the feedback thread. Thank You!

    The Team

    Delibird @ Focus Sash
    Ability: Vital Spirit/Hustle
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
    Jolly Nature/Adamant Nature , Lonely Nature/ Hasty Nature (If running Icy Wind)
    - Seed Bomb / Icy Wind
    - Destiny Bond
    - Ice Shard
    - Fake Out

    The lead of this team, as well as the signature Pokemon. Delibird is quite an effective lead, at first I wanted to run Counter+Destiny Bond but that was proven to not be legal as well as counter with it's priority moves so i scrapped that idea. Fake Out breaks sashes and cause some damage. Ice Shard is the STAB Move plus priority, and it hits for decent damage. Seed Bomb is just for additional coverage and can be replaced by like Icy Wind to make Destiny Bond more effective. But if you run Icy Wind i suggest running a Hasty or Lonely Nature for you don't lose anything on it damage wise. Destiny Bond is the main move, as it nets you an easy kill against anything. Using Delibird as a lead is the best way, but you can just use Fake Out and switch out afterwards to preserve the destiny bond and the focus sash for later on. Brick Break or Rapid Spin can also work very well here. The choice of abilities is a tough one, you can either avoid being put to sleep or have additional power while risking your move missing.

    Bronzong @ Leftovers
    Ability: Levitate
    EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
    Relaxed Nature
    - Stealth Rock
    - Earthquake/Gyro Ball
    - Hidden Power [Ice] / Hidden Power [Fire]
    - Toxic

    Bronzong is very good and works outstanding with Delibird, as it can take any rock type moves without any effort as well as steel type moves. Stealth Rock is the first move, and is needed to add into hazard damage. The choice between Gyro Ball and Earthquake is more of a personal preference. The hidden power is a different thing that can catch people off guard, HP Ice is very good for taking out Lando-T and if you decide to run HP Fire it's for stuff like Scizor. Toxic is great as it wears down a lot of the common sweepers in either XY OU or ORAS OU, It also gives the team even something more for balanced and stall teams. Another move option that can be placed is Rock Slide mainly for Talonflame.

    Clefable @ Leftovers
    Ability: Magic Guard
    EVs: 252 HP / 152 Def / 104 SpD
    Calm Nature
    - Soft-Boiled
    - Flamethrower
    - Moonblast
    - Counter

    Clefable is a outstanding pokemon, it's my status sponge. It also works well with the rest of the team. The choice between Wish/Protect and Softboiled is tough but i felt like this is the best recovery move for this team as well as keeping Clefable able to function better by itself. Moonblast is the STAB move and it hits pretty hard across the board. Flamethrower is great for hitting Steel Types that can come in and give this team some trouble. Counter is an underrated move that i saw someone on the lower ladder use on Clefable and i decided that it works out really well. The EV spread is something i saw Saph used and it's outstanding and maintains a balanced bulk and leaving it not to battered from Latias and Latios psyshocks.

    Tyranitar @ Choice Scarf
    Ability: Sand Stream
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe , 252 Attack / 4 SpA / 252 Speed (With Ice Beam or Fire Blast)
    Jolly Nature / Hasty Nature
    - Pursuit
    - Stone Edge
    - Fire Punch / Ice Punch / Ice Beam / Fire Blast
    - Crunch

    Tyranitar sits in really well with the rest of my team, it can pursuit trap the Latis while handling Talonflame with ease while also being a loose check to Lando-T and LO Gengar. Pursuit is the main move here, switching in on Latis's psyshocking Clefable and trapping them. Stone Edge is a great secondary STAB move but can be replaced by Rock Slide if you fear the accuracy drop. Coverage move is a choice between Fire Punch or Ice Punch from the Physical side of things, Fire Blast or Ice Beam from the special side of things. Going with special attacks makes it easier to hit Skarmory or Lando-T which can be common switch ins. Crunch is in the last slot as another STAB move that hits pretty hard. Crunch could be replaced for Earthquake to obtain EdgeQuake coverage, or for Iron Head to hit fairy types for Super Effective damage.

    Charizard @ Charizardite X
    Ability: Blaze
    EVs: 144 HP / 252 Atk / 112 Spe
    Adamant Nature
    - Dragon Dance
    - Dragon Claw / Flare Blitz or Fire Punch
    - Earthquake
    - Roost

    Charizard-X is a major underrated threat so far in ORAS, it's been slept on for other Dragon Dance sweepers but it shouldn't be forgotten at all. Dragon Dance is pretty easy to figure out why it's there, at +1 it wrecks a lot of things. Roost is needed to recover health and to keep Charizard X's sweep intact. Dragon Claw is my personal choice for coverage as the rest of my team can handle steel types fairly well, Flare Blitz and Fire Punch are still equally as good options here and you can't go wrong with either of the moves but Dragon/Steel is better coverage than Fire/Ground . Earthquake is a great coverage moves and it hits steel types, and is generally good against most Pokemon that aren't afraid of Dragon Claw

    Tentacruel @ Leftovers
    Ability: Clear Body
    EVs: 224 HP / 252 Def / 32 Spe
    Bold Nature
    - Rapid Spin
    - Scald
    - Sludge Bomb
    - Protect/ Giga Drain / Knock Off / Haze / Magic Coat / Ice Beam

    Tentacruel has been reborn in ORAS, and can handle Greninja like a pro. And unless Extrasensory becomes popular again i don't see that changing. Rapid Spin is the main move as it removes Stealth Rock and Spikes which can prove to be rather annoying to this team. Scald is great for the burn chance as well as STAB and Sludge Bomb is great STAB. The last slot has so many options, you can run protect to gain lefties recovery. You can add a coverage move like Ice Beam or Giga Drain to hit a switch in fairly hard. A utility move like Knock Off works very well. Magic Coat can stop status moves for a bit, while Haze can block set up sweepers.

    Replays

    http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-188694819 (Char-X Sweep)
    http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-188696981 (Delibird saving the Day)
    http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-188698564 (Great Match, ClefTar)
    http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-188996757 (Char-X, Tar sweep)
    http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-188998853 (Tar sweep)
    http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-189005067 ( Delibird Rage Quit)
    http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-189127839 (Delibird 2 Kills, Tar)
    http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-189406288 (Close match, Delibird stops sweep + Clef saving the day)
    http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-189415576 (Scarf Tar, Bronzong)
    http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/battletower-ou-313859 (Against Rain used by XY Legend Cloos)
     
  3. Eliteknight

    Eliteknight S.L.Y.

    Guardians Cup Coverage Part 2: Match Analysis Part 1[/U


    Serebii's Guardian Cup has always been an important tour for the competitive community, and this year's was no exception. In fact, it may have even been bigger due to the lack of official tournaments as of late and the last big tournament, The Combatant's Cup II, failing to finish. All the participant's really gave it their all considering the high stakes, and it is for this reason that I will be reviewing every replay available and giving feedback on all matches that have a full set of replays. To start things off, the first match of the tournament to be completed:

    Round 1: Saph vs KITT

    Game 1
    Game 2

    This outcome was one largely foreseen by those predicting, and this isn't surprising, as it pits the future Guardian Cup Champion and long time battler, Saph, against a relative newcomer to the community, KITT.

    Saph's moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Predicted that KITT would fear Jirachi's Fire Punch Turn 3 and set up Stealth Rock for free because of it.
    -Took out a major threat in Ferrothorn early on by luring it in with HP Fire Greninja.
    -Capitalized on Latias' and Gardevoir's immunities to Mega Garchomp's STAB moves in order to take out KITT's Mega.
    -Saved Scarf Keldeo until it was needed most: To revenge kill an Alakazam that otherwise could have swept.

    G2:
    -Staying in on Charizard-X with Ferrothorn to get off a Leech Seed, predicting the Dragon Claw.
    -Double Leech Seed, predicting a Charizard-X switch-in.

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Lead with the all-too obvious Landorus-Therian, despite the presence of a Ferrothorn on the opposition.
    -Sacced Landorus-Therian in order to bring in Greninja when he could have just as easily brought in Mega Gardevoir for free and preserved his team.
    -Used Fire Punch instead of Body Slam or Iron Head despite the fact that the only Pokemon that would have been useful for, Ferrothorn, had already been KO'd.
    -Absorbing Landorus-Therian's Knock Off in order to give Medicham a free switch-in.

    G2:
    -Using Stone Edge with Heatran was somewhat pointless. A surprise reveal on Kyurem-Black later in the match could have been much more beneficial.

    KITT's Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Correctly predicted Saph's lead and countered it accordingly.
    -Saved Alakazam for what appeared to be the right moment to sweep.

    G2:
    -Miraculously predicting Latios to be a Surf lure and switching to Vaporeon accordingly in order to preserve Heatran's health and Balloon.

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Overall lackluster prediction. Lost huge amounts of momentum by not predicting some of Saph~'s more obvious switches. This is seen especially when Mega Garchomp is on the field.
    -Not switching to Chansey right away on Greninja cost him his Ferrothorn, which could have been a huge boon in the long run.
    -Saccing Togekiss for no apparent reason probably wasn't a good strategy.

    G2:
    -The use of Yawn when Ferrothorn easily could (and in the end, did) KO Espeon then and there, allowing for later hazard stacking.
    -Using Flare Blitz on the obvious Latios switch. He had little more to gain than a layer of Spikes by staying in more than once with Ferrothorn.
    -Switching from Charizard-X to Vaporeon on Latios despite the fact that Psyshock and Draco Meteor both would have crippled it, and Charizard-X isnt weak to Water.
    -Using Power Herb Freeze Shock on Kyurem-Black.

    Round 1: MMS vs Skullbash

    Game 1
    Game 2

    This was also an outcome largely foreseen by those predicting, for similar reasons as Saph vs KITT. MMS simply has more competitive experience than Skullbash, and that ends up playing a major role.

    MMS' Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Correctly predicted Substitute and U-Turn'd accordingly.
    -Correctly predicted Outrage and switched to Clefable accordingly.

    G2:
    -Preserved Diggersby until the late game when its Sash was needed most.

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Switching in Azumarill to Mega Garchomp without considering the possibility of an incoming Poison Jab cost him Azumarill early on.
    -Risking minimum damage with Acrobatics cost him Hawlucha earlier than it would have had he gone for HJK.

    G2:
    -Not using Aqua Jet on the Charizard-X, overpredicting that he would use Roost.

    Skullbash's Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Predicted the Hawlucha switch and used Ice Fang accordingly.

    G2:
    -He was able to easily change his game plan to fit the hax and the flow of the game.

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Saccing Gastrodon to Landorus-Therian despite Hippowdon being perfectly capable of taking the hit.
    -Overpredictions forced his hand in the Clefable vs Hippowdon scenario. Had he not used Ice Fang so much, he may have weakened Clefable more.
    -Taking a Fire Blast from Clefable with Ferrothorn when Nidoking could take any hit rather well.

    G2:
    -Assuming Cloyster could take a hit from Life Orb boosted Latias
    -Despite Hidden Power being super effective on Cloyster and Latias already having access to Thunderbolt and Energy Ball, he still switches his Tyranitar in to the obvious HP Fighting.
    -Could have killed Latias with Tyranitar, but instead went for a Dragon Dance only to be KO'd that same turn.
    -Risked Ice Fang on a 1 HP Diggersby, with the miss costing him the match.

    Round 1: Psilo vs MasterGohan

    Another match many people predicted correctly, MasterGohan is new to both Serebii and Competitive, while Psilo is well-established as a strong player. The difference in experience really showed in this one.

    Game 1
    Game 2

    Psilo's Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Predicted the switch into Jellicent and used Stone Edge accordingly.

    G2:
    -Chose an optimal lead to combat the obvious Rotom-W.

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Revealed Swords Dance despite Whirlwind having been used as recently as the turn beforehand.
    -Used Latios without Earthquake against SubProtect Heatran.

    G2:
    -Switching to Politoed to use Hypnosis was a pretty risky play.

    MasterGohan's Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Preserving Clefable once Bisharp came in by switching to Heatran.

    G2:
    -Forced Kingdra out with Zygarde's ExtremeSpeed

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Quick Claw is far from the optimal item for a pokemon like Hippowdon, that doesn't care about moving first much, to use.
    -Didn't kill Terrakion with Hippowdon in the first matchup while he had the chance.
    -Sacced Hippowdon for no reason whatsoever.

    G2:
    Sacced Rotom-W to Kingdra when Heatran was the least useful pokemon on his team- Ferrothorn could be dealt with by Clefable.

    Round 1: SilentReaper vs The Last Jedi

    Both of these battlers have been around for awhile, but many predictions went to Silent, and with good reason, as he ended up taking the match.

    Game 1
    Game 2

    Silent's Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Switching to Raikou just before the Sticky Web went up allowed him the chance to outspeed most of Jedi's team.
    -Baiting the fire move with Ferrothorn then switching to Houndoom allowed him to get his Houndoom in for free, with a boost to boot.
    -Used Ferrothorn effectively despite it being frozen for several turns.

    G2:
    -Played Jirachi pretty well.
    -Paved Gardevoir's way for a sweep perfectly.

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Tried too hard to stack CM boosts when Salamence could easily revenge kill Latios anyway.
    -Assumed Charizard-Y wouldn't have Earthquake; Cost him Houndoom.

    G2:
    -Used Defog too early, costing him Latias.
    -Used Hydro Pump instead of Scald; Double misses cost him Keldeo.

    Jedi's Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Played Scarf Salamence fairly well in the early game, though he relied to heavily on it later on.

    G2:
    -Picked a good lead to counter Landorus-Therian.

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Assuming Raikou wasnt carrying HP Ice cost him a vital member of his team in Gliscor.
    -Blast Burn Charizard-Y is never a good idea.

    G2:
    -Made poor choices when attempting to best Jirachi.
    -Attempted to set up on Mega Gardevoir, costing him his Gliscor.
    -Saved Iron Head Garchomp in the wings until Mega Gardevoir had swept through the rest of his team.

    Round 1: Moonclawz vs Bakphoon

    Considering Moonclawz's overall experience and well-known battling prowess, it was easy to correctly predict him as the winner of this match.

    Game 1
    Game 2

    Moonclawz's Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Correctly predicted the Rotom-Wash switch Turn 1 and U-Turn'd accordingly.
    -Capitalized on an opportunity for a Lucario sweep, which ended up sealing his win.

    G2:
    -Took a risk and set up Swords Dance on Mandibuzz, which allowed him to take out a good chunk of the opposition early on.
    -Took advantage of every time Bakphoon slipped up.

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Waited too long to use Thunder Wave with Ferrothorn- Dragonite was switching out by the time he got around to it.
    -Drew out the end of the match too much. He could have ended it with Ferrothorn much earlier than he did.

    G2:
    -There really weren't any. Overall, this was a practically flawless game for 'Clawz.

    Bakphoon's Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Predicted the switch to Rotom-Wash.

    G2:
    -Realized Tyranitar was scarfed in time to save his Greninja, though he should have sent out Rotom-Wash much earlier...

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Poor choice of lead. Dragonite should have been preserved for when the things that stopped it, such as Landorus-Therian and Ferrothorn, were taken out.
    -Used Outrage on Rotom-Wash despite a Ferrothorn in the wings ready to capitalize on it.
    -Gave Lucario a free turn when it came in by staying in with Blissey too long.

    G2:
    -Brought the same team and used the same lead both games. It's never good to be predictable.
    -Sacced Blissey to Garchomp for no real reason.
    -Didnt use Quick Attack with Pinsir, costing him his mega.
    -Sacced Mandibuzz to Tyranitar when Rotom-Wash was perfectly able to take the hit.

    Round 1: Clone vs NeohopeSTF

    This was an interesting matchup. Clone is a newer member of the community, but he has already proven himself to be a force to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, Neo has been in competitive for years. Clone was able to snatch a win here despite Neo's superior experience.

    Game 1
    Game 2
    Game 3

    Clone's Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -U-Turning out to Ferrothorn on the predicted U-Turn turn one was the optimal choice, forcing Landorus-Therian into taking a fair bit of damage, while Ferrothorn was barely scratched.
    -Scouting for HP Fire ended up saving him from losing his Ferrothorn on Turn 2.
    -Made excellent use of Landorus-Therian's U-Turn throughout the match.

    G2:
    -Keldeo was an excellent choice for lead.
    -Double switch to Thundurus on the predicted incoming Azumarill was a fantastic play.
    -Used Healing Wish at a perfect time.

    G3:
    -Good choice of lead in Rotom-Wash.
    -Capitalized on his knowledge of the team from G2 to make better predictions.
    -Did well to preserve Keldeo until the end this time.

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Made some obvious switches that allowed Neo to get outplay him once or twice.

    G2:
    -Predicting a switch to Latias as early as turn 1 of the game was very risky, and ended up backfiring.
    -There was no reason to attack Azumarill with Charizard X; keeping Charizard in regular form could have been beneficial.
    -Played Keldeo too riskily.
    -Overestimated Charizard X's power, costing him his mega and the match.

    G3:
    -Depended a bit too heavily on Rotom-W.

    Neo's Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -It was a great choice to double to Breloom, predicting the Azumarill.

    G2:
    -Capitalized on many of Clone's mistakes, such as the Icy Wind overprediction.

    G3:

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Revealed HP Fire Greninja too early.
    -Played to recklessly with Skarmory, Greninja, and Mega Gardevoir alike. All of these would have been much more effective had they been preserved.

    G2:
    -Let Manaphy do way too much damage to the team.

    G3:
    -Using the same team twice is never a good idea.
    -Switching Mamoswine in on Heatran was very risky, and in the end only two low rolls in a row by Heatran saved Mamoswine from getting KO'd.

    Round 1: The Hermit vs BGP

    This one came as a surprise to many, as Hermit is relatively unknown in the competitive community, while BGP is a long-time player. Despite this, Hermit was able to take the win here with ease.

    Game 1
    Game 2

    Hermit's Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Stayed in on Scizor with Azumarill in case of a fighting move, allowing him to preserve Heatran for later.
    -Predicted BGP to attempt a double switch and stayed in on Breloom with Blissey, a huge play that helped a fair bit.

    G2:
    -Did a good job of wearing down Latias to allow Stealth Rock to stay on the field, imperative in a switch-war like this match.

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Stayed in too long on Skarmory with Blissey.

    G2:
    -As I've said before, using the same team repeatedly is a bad choice.

    BGP's Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Used Blissey to heal up Skarmory.
    -Double switched to Breloom to gain some momentum off Blissey.

    G2:
    -Good choice of lead.
    -Predicted the incoming Amoonguss and burned it accordingly.
    -Excellent double switch to Rotom-Wash predicting the Azumarill.

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Using Toxic on a pokemon with Natural Cure is rarely your best option.
    -Setting Up on Skarmory when the possibility of Whirlwind is still there isn't a good choice.
    -Wasted Heatran's health on taunting and statusing Blissey.

    G2:
    -Shouldn't have let Latias get put to sleep so early. Landorus-Therian was the closest thing to dead weight he had.

    Round 1: Ger9119 vs Tattooed Tooth

    Most expected this outcome, as Ger has plenty of experience under his belt, while Tattooed Tooth is extremely new to the community. Ger was easily able to pull of the expected win, but TT gave him a bit more trouble than some might have guessed.

    Ger's Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Played Tornadus-Therian excellently.
    -Was able to preserve the 6-0.

    G2:
    -Held his own despite having his plan thrown out the window by hax early on.

    G3:
    -Used his knowledge of the team to his advantage both when picking his team and during the battle.
    -Was once again able to preserve the 6-0.

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Using Spore predicted Slowbro to switch out was a bad idea when Psyshock, Ice Beam, and Fire Blast were all potential problems for Amoonguss.

    G2:
    -Quiver pass is a bit gimmicky to be ideal for tournaments.
    -Played a bit too risky, especially with Venomoth.

    G3:
    -Really, there wasn't much of anything. Excellently played, Ger!

    TT's Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Weavile was a good choice for a lead.

    G2:
    -Utilized Florges and Mega Scizor rather well to wall Ger's team.

    G3:
    -Salamence was a solid lead as it countered the incoming Rotom-Wash thanks to its Lum Berry.

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Switching Salamence in on Charizard X isnt a good idea, even with a Lum Berry attached.
    -Red Card Slowbro running speed is a waste of potential.
    -Should have used Zapdos to take Torndaus-Therian's attacks.

    G2:
    -Brought the same team as G1.
    -Basically only won because of a lucky miss followed by a lucky crit.

    G3:
    -Same team as G1 and G2.
    -Let Salamence get KO'd way too soon.

    Round 1: Cryssy vs Phantomclaw

    This one wasn't much of a surprise. Crys has been in the community for awhile, while Phantomclaw was new and at that point had been first rounded from smaller tournaments several times. Crys, predictably, took the win here.

    Game 1
    Game 2

    Crys' Moves:

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Set up Diggersby at a great time.

    G2:
    -Brought in Mega Pinsir at the perfect time.

    Cons:
    G1:
    -No reason to go into Azumarill on Garchomp when Latias was an option.

    G2:
    -Same team as last time.

    Phantomclaw's moves

    Pros:
    G1:
    -Predicted the incoming Magnezone and Roared it out.

    G2:
    -Made use of his knowledge of Crys' team from G1.

    Cons:
    G1:
    -Most Garchomp leads, including Crys', are sashed. Leaving a frail attacker like Greninja in on it was just begging for trouble.
    -Using Growth with Mega Venusaur when Latias was still a threat was not a wise decision.
    -Let Diggersby set up too easily.

    G2:
    -Used Scolipede too early, it could have swept late game had he preserved it.
     
  4. Eliteknight

    Eliteknight S.L.Y.

    "ORAS Megas in OU"

    With ORAS having just been released, many people would think that we would have to give the new Metagame some time before forming any opinions on how the newly introduced Megas will affect OU. However, through late October and most of November, an ORAS OU Ladder was implemented into Pokémon Showdown once the massive data leak happened from the Demo, which allowed everyone to play with the new toys a little bit early, and see how they fare in OU. In this article, I’ll go over every new Mega introduced with ORAS and how they affect the tier, as well as their most effective set and how to use it.


    The Megas:


    [​IMG]

    Sceptile

    Sceptile got the buff he needed to become a force to be reckoned with in OU. His new typing in Grass / Dragon gave him some good resistances and powerful STAB Dragon moves to work with, with the most notable one being Dragon Pulse. Additionally, he got a massive increase in his Special Attack and Speed, which allows him to put in work against offense once he has Mega evolved. His new ability, Lightningrod, is admittedly situational, as he already has a 4x resistance to Elelctric-type attacks, but it also gives him a cool niche in blocking Volt Switch, as well as being a full stop to Rotom-W.

    Sceptile @ Sceptilite
    Ability: Overgrow
    EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spe
    Timid Nature
    - Substitute
    - Giga Drain
    - Dragon Pulse
    - Focus Blast / HP Fire

    This set’s main goal is to come in on something Scpetile forces out, Mega Evolve, then set up a Substitute. This allows for an easier time handling bulky offense and balance teams, as it eases prediction and protects against status. Giga Drain is a STAB move that recovers HP to allow for more substitutes, while Dragon Pulse is used to hit opposing Dragons and other mons that resist Grass-type moves. The last slot provides coverage against Steel-types. Focus Blast is good for nailing every Steel-type not named Scizor, while HP Fire is a good option against Ferrothorn, Mega Metagross, and Mega Scizor.

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    Swampert

    After one and a half generations of obscurity, dwelling in the depths of UU, Swampert has made a splash in OU once again with his new Mega Evolution. Receiving big buffs in his Attack and Defenses, Swampert has the power and bulk to be a dominant force in the Metagame. That’s not all though, as Swampert’s new ability is Swift Swim, which doubles his speed under rain. This finally gives Rain teams the Pokémon they’ve been looking for, as a Water / Ground type has excellent STAB coverage, and an immunity to Thunder Wave, which only Seismitoad could boast before. Previously, Kabutops was the go-to physical Swift Swimmer, but Swampert is stepping up to claim the throne, as he has a higher attack, better coverage, a better defensive typing, and much higher bulk.

    Swampert @ Swampertite
    Ability: Torrent
    EVs: 104 HP / 252 Atk / 152 Spe
    Adamant Nature
    - Waterfall
    - Earthquake
    - Ice Punch
    - Low Kick / Superpower / Protect

    Swampert’s best set is his Rain sweeper set, hands down. He's got the bulk, typing, and STABs to do this extremely effectively. Waterfall is his main STAB move. Despite the lower Base Power than earthquake, Waterfall is boosted in the rain which allows it to actually outdamage Earthquake when both hit their targets neutrally. Ice Punch is the mandatory coverage option in the third slot, as it provides important coverage against the likes of Dragons and Grass-types. Finally, the last slot is a tossup between a Fighting move, and Protect, which allows Swampert to get off a safe Mega Evolution. The Speed EVs outspeed Mega Sceptile in the rain.

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    Sableye

    Sableye’s massive defense buffs and improved Special Attack has made him a staple of stall teams already. His ability, Magic Bounce, also makes him a terrifying Calm Mind Sweeper, as any attempts to Taunt or status him will simply be bounced back. This also applies to hazards, as previous common Stealth Rock users like Ferrothorn and Landorus-T have lost some viability due to being completely walled by Mega Sableye. Additionally, Sableye’s Pre-Mega ability, Pranskter, allows him to be useful even before Mega Evolving, as getting off priority Will-o-Wisps and Recoverscan greatly bolster his effectiveness and longevity.

    Sableye @ Sableite
    Ability: Prankster
    EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SDef
    Bold Nature
    - Calm Mind
    - Will-o-Wisp
    - Recover
    - Shadow Ball / Dark Pulse

    Sableye’s best set is arguably his Calm Mind set, as it poses utility against a wide range of playstyles. Pre-Mega, Sableye can spread around burns with Prankster Will-o-Wisp, and heal with Prankster Recover. Additionally, he can set up a Calm Mind against a plethora of special attackers the turn he Mega Evolves, which allows him to take on top tier special threats like Greninja, Keldeo, and Latios much better. The choice between Shadow Ball and Dark Pulse boils down to having better neutral coverage, or having no immunities. Both have their merits and are equally viable, so it really just comes down to personal preference.

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    Beedrill

    Let’s bee honest here, who would have ever thought that Beedrill would be relevant in OU? Like everyone else, you are wrong when you said no for the past 15+ years. Beedrill got one of the most lopsided stat increases, as his Attack and Speed skyrocket to match those of even Ubers Pokémon. To do this, they even took away from his Special Attack just to reach those numbers. Add on the fact that he received Adaptability as his ability, and youd think that there's no reason not to use him. However, he got no boost to his bulk, and has a poor typing, leaving him susceptible to all priority moves not named Mach Punch. His STABs aren’t particularly impressive either, as he is completely walled by Steel-types when he isn’t using Drill Run, and his coverage is all but nonexistent. Additionally, he has a poor speed tier pre-mega, which forces him to run Protect in order to Mega Evolve safely.

    Beedrill @ Beedrillite
    Ability: Swarm
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
    Adamant / Jolly Nature
    - Protect
    - Poison Jab
    - U-Turn
    - Drill Run / Knock off

    Beedrill’s best set is not an SD set. He does not have the bulk or access to priority to make use of any boosts. Beedrill’s best set is a Dual STAB momentum grabbing set. U-Turn is his best move, as it deals a large blow to even some resists, Like Landorus-T. Poison Jab is used to clean up late game, as it gets decent neutral coverage and makes Fairies regret ever becoming a type. Protect is used to scout choice attackers and to Mega Evolve safely. His last slot goes to either Drill Run or Knock Off, as they both have merits over the other. Drill Run is preferred, however, as it allows Beedrill to get past Steel-types that would otherwise wall him. Both Adamant and Jolly are viable options, but Adamant is preferred to maximize Beedrill’s power output.

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    Camerupt

    Despite getting a great buff to both his offensive and defensive stats, Camerupt struggles to make a significant impact in OU. That’s not to say he's bad, however, as he still holds a niche as a powerful special attacker that is able to take on the likes of Mew, Mega Gardevoir, and any Electric-type not named Rotom-W. Additionally, Camerupt has access to Sheer Force, which boosts his two main STAB moves, as well as coverage like Rock Slide, Ancient Power, and Flash Cannon. He even has access to Will-o-Wisp, which is a great move to his mons like Azumarill on the switch. However, a 4x weakness to Water, and a very low speed stat stop him from being a top tier threat.

    Camerupt @ Cameruptite
    Ability: Solid Rock
    EVs: 172 HP / 252 SAtk / 84 Spe
    Modest
    - Fire Blast
    - Earth Power
    - Ancient Power
    - Will-o-Wisp / Hidden Power Grass / Hidden Power Ice

    Camerupt’s best used as a bulky special attacker to take full advantage of Sheer Force, which boosts of his STABs. Additionally, Ancient Power receives a boost as well, and its useful for hitting the likes of Talonflame, Mega Charizard Y, asnd other Flying-types. The final slot is for coverage against Water-types with HP Grass, or to cripple opposing physical attacks with Will-o-Wisp. Neither option is definitevely better than the other, as it really depends on the team. HP Ice can also be used to hit Dragons on the switch, as it OHKOes Garchomp and does upwards of 50% to the likes of Latios and Latias. The speed EVs allow you to ouspeed and 2HKO Slowbro with earth Power.

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    Sharpedo


    Sharpedo is one of those mons that would be good if he weren’t a Mega Evolution. He's got great all around stats, and an ability in Strong Jaws that boosts his STAB Crunch to insane levels, but he finds himself foregone in favor of other, more powerful megas. However, he still has his uses as a late game cleaner. His pre-mega ability, Speed Boost, allows him to KO a weakened target or Protect in his base for to gain a Speed Boost. After Mega Evolving, he outspeeds a good portion of the Meta and can clean up weakened teams with Strong Jaw Crunch and Ice Fang. He can even make use of his Special attack stat by using Ice Beam > Ice Fang, but its personal preference and both have their uses.

    Sharpedo @ Sharpedonite
    Ability: Speed Boost
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
    Adamant / Naughty Nature
    - Protect
    - Crunch
    - Waterfall
    - Ice Fang / Ice Beam

    Sharpedo’s best set is a late-game cleaner set to take advantage of his Base-forme’s Speed Boost and clean up weakened teams with Strong Jaw-boosted Crunches. Protect is there to guarantee at least one speed boost, as a base 105 Speed with an Adamant nature isn’t particularly fast without the boost. Waterfall is the secondary STAB move, but it should only be used when Crunch is resisted, or when Waterfall hits Super Effectively, as Crunch is otherwise more powerful. Ice Fang also gets a Strong Jaws boost, and its useful for hitting Dragons and Grass-types Super Effectively. If physically defensive Landorus-T is a problem, however, then Ice Beam can be used instead to guarantee the OHKO.


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    Altaria

    Altaria is another one of those mons who has never had the chance to shine in the higher tiers in any generation. She has always been held back by mediocre stats across the board, and a typing that has been severely overdone. However, ORAS granted Altaria the greatest gift ever in the form of a Mega Evolution, which changes her bland Dragon / Flying-typing into an amazing Dragon / Fairy typing. On top of this, Altaria received Pixilate as an ability, which grants a 1.33x boost to all Normal-type moves and changes them into the Fairy-type. Lastly, Altaria’s stats got universal boosts, which allows her to perform multiple roles effectively for any type of team. This is only bolstered by her movepool, which contains gems like Hyper Voice, Return, Dragon Dance, and Heal Bell.

    Altaria @ Altarite
    Ability: Natural Cure
    EVs: 252 HP / 116 Atk / 136 Def / 4 SpD
    Impish Nature
    -Dragon Dance
    -Return
    -Roost / Refresh
    -Earthquake / Fire Blast

    This set is arguably Altaria’s most effective set. Dragon Dance boosts both her Attack and Speed, and with the HP and Defense investment, allow Altaria to rack up boosts in tandem with Roost, thanks to her excellent defensive typing. Return is the obligatory STAB here, as Fairy is an excellent attacking type. To round off her coverage, both Fire Blast and Earthquale work in the last slot. Earthquake gets boosted by DD, and hits many Steel-types super effectively like Heatran and Jirachi. However, Fire Blast is a good option in you want to hit Ferrothorn, (Mega) Scizor, and Skarmory harder. Additionally, Refresh over Roost is an option in order to avoid burns from bulky Water-types, but Roost is generally the superior option as it makes it harder to wear Altaria down.

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    Gallade


    Many people expected Gallade to get a Mega Evolution after seeing Mega Gardevoir, and ORAS has granted our wish. Gallade got a massive boost to his viability, as his once-mediocre base speed of 80 got boosted to a very respectable base 110. Additionally, his Attack stat was boosted to an insane base 165, and his once pitiful physical defense is now a respectable base 95, meaning he can actually live a hit or two. Unfortunately, he received a less-than-impressive ability in Inner Focus, but even that hasn’t stopped him from becoming a top tier threat. His movepool, stats, and amazing cape has pushed Mega Medicham into obscurity, and it’s looking to stay that way for the rest of Generation VI.

    Gallade @ Galladite
    Ability: Justified
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
    Jolly Nature
    - Close Combat
    - Swords Dance
    - Zen Headbutt
    - Knock Off

    Gallade’s most effective set is his Swords Dance set, hands down. Thanks to his excellent dual-STAB coverage and great speed stat, he has no trouble forcing out slower mons and nabbing a boost. His coverage move of choice is Knock Off. Not only does it hit the bulky Psychic types that he would otherwise have trouble with, but it also removes items and is in general a very spammable move. Both Close Combat and Zen Headbutt are his STAB moves of choice, as Gallade likes the high power output provided from each of these moves to deal as much damage as possible. The only variation that I could recommend on this set is Poison Jab > Knock Off, but that should only be used if Clefable gives your team trouble.

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    Metagross

    Aside from being the coolest Mega Evolution introduced in ORAS, Mega Metagross is also arguably the strongest. Metagross went into obscurity after Generation IV due to a number of factors, with the main ones being a mediocre base 70 speed and having poor offensive STAB coverage. However, Metagross got everything he could dream of to dominate OU once again. His speed was increased to a base 110, which puts him near the top of OU in terms of speed tiers. Additionally, both his defense and special defense received massive buffs, giving him excellent 80 / 150 / 110 bulk along with a very good Steel-typing. Metagross also received a small attack boost to both his attack and special attack stats, but his most notable buff was the ability he received: Tough Claws. Tough Claws is an excellent ability, as we already know from Mega Charizard X and Mega Aerodactyl. Metagross has all the right moves to take advantage of his ability with Dual STABs, the Elemental Punches, and even Grass Knot. All these traits have pulled him from obscurity to becoming a top tier threat.

    Metagross @ Metagrossite
    Ability: Clear Body
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
    Jolly Nature
    - Meteor Mash
    - Zen Headbutt
    - Ice Punch
    - Earthquake / Hammer Arm / Grass Knot

    Mega Metagross has two extremely effective sets. One is a Rock Polish set, while the other is an all-out attacking set. The latter is more consistent, which is why it is the one that is chosen to be covered. Metagross takes full advantage of the buffs he received through an all-out attacking set. He becomes a premier check for top tier threats such as Latios, Mega Gardevoir, Azumarill, Clefable, and Sylveon, while also sporting the coverage to hit most of his switch-ins extremely hard. Tough Claws boosted Meteor Mash hits insanely hard, and should be the go-to move against anything neutral or weak to it. Zen Headbutt is a secondary STAB move capable of of 2HKOing even physically defensive Rotom-Wash. Ice Punch is the first coverage move, as it hits Dragons and Ground-types hard for super effective damge, while also gaining a boost from Tough Claws. The last slot is used to determine what actually counters Metagross. If Hammer Arm is used, both Ferrothorn and Skarmory lose, as the speed drop allows Metagross to underspeed the latter. Earthquake is useful for hitting Heatran and other mons weak to ground such as Mega Charizard X. Lastly, Grass Knot is capable of 2HKOing physically defensive (Mega) Slowbro, who otherwise hard walls Metagross.

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    Diancie

    Diancie, when first released, was hyped up to be an offensive monster thanks to a good typing, and powerful offensive STABs. Sadly, that wasn’t the case thanks to a pitiful base 50 speed. However, Diancie became the first Gen VI mon to receive a Mega Evolution, and in addition to Earth Power via Move Tutor, has become a real threat in OU. She got buffs to both of her offensive stats at the cost of her bulk, which gives her 160 base attack and special attack to work with. Additionally, a base 100 speed allows her to speed tie with other top threats like Latios, Mega Metagross, and Mega Gallade. Her movepool also contains gems such as Diamond Storm, which is a Stone Edge that doesn’t miss as much and has a chance to raise her defense one stage, Moonblast, and Earth Power. Additionally, she has access to two boosting moves in Rock Polish and Calm Mind, which give trouble to offensive and defensive teams alike, respectively. Finally, her new ability Magic Bounce allows her to not care about attempts to status her, and she can even bounce back entry hazards as well. However, a 4x weakness to steel and being forced to go mixed to take advantage of Diamond Storm keep her from being at the top of the pack.

    Diancie @ Diancite
    Ability: Clear Body
    EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
    Naive Nature
    - Diamond Storm
    - Moonblast
    - Earth Power
    - Hidden Power Fire

    Diancie’s best set is an all-out attacking set, as without it she lacks valuable coverage against important threats. Diamond Storm is the only Rock STAB worth using, and is used to take on the likes of Talonflame, Mega Charizard X, Gardevoir, and Mega Venusaur. Moonblast is her secondary STAB, which is the move she shouls spam the most as it sports great power and gets good neutral coverage against most types. Earth Power is to nail Steel-types such as Heatran, Bisharp, Mega Metagross, and Jirachi for large hits, while HP Fire is to hit Ferrothorn and nail (Mega) Scizor on the switch. If Scizor and Ferrothorn aren’t a problem, however, then either Calm Mind or Rock Polish can be used depending on what your team needs.
     
  5. Eliteknight

    Eliteknight S.L.Y.

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    Audino

    Audino was a mon that was never relevant in higher tiers, and unfortunately, it seems to remain that way even with her new Mega Evolution. Despite gaining massive defensive buffs and a Fairy typing, Audino gained a useless ability for Singles in Healer. Had she kept Regenerator, everything would be entirely different, but for now, she remains outclassed by other defensive Fairies such as Clefable and Sylveon. She does, however, hold an interesting niche in being a good special wall that doesn’t fear anything from most special attackers, and still has the physical bulk to take on neutral physical hits.

    Audino @ Audinite
    Ability: Regenerator
    EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SDef
    Calm Nature
    - Protect
    - Wish
    - Dazzling Gleam
    - Heal Bell / Toxic

    Audino is best used as a specially defensive wall, as she takes on the likes of Latios, Mega Gardevoir, Thundurus, and other special attackers extremely well. Her only form of recovery is from Wish + Protect, but it can get the job done if played smartly. Dazzling Gleam is the only offensive move Audino should run, as it gains a STAB boost and hits decently hard, though it won’t score any OHKOes any time soon. The last slot is a tossup between team support and being able to wear down opposing walls. Heal Bell is always a great move, as it removes status from your teammates, but Toxic allows you to not be total setup bait from boosting sweepers.

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    Slowbro

    When Mega Slowbro was first revealed, he was laughed at not only for his design, but for his seemingly useless ability, Shell Armor. However, that soon changed when his stats were released. Mega Slowbro got an insane buff to his physical defense and special attack. Combined with Shell Armor and access to Calm Mind, Slowbro makes for a devastating late game sweeper. His titanic base 180 Defense backed by a solid base 90 HP means that only the strongest of physical hits will be able to bring him down. However, Mega Slowbro is plagued with an average at best defensive typing and a terrible speed tier. Additionally, Mega Slowbro’s mediocre base 80 Special Defense means that strong special attacks will be able to break him before he can accumulate too many boosts.

    Slowbro @ Slowbronite
    Ability: Regenerator
    EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpD / 8 Spe
    Calm Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk
    - Calm Mind
    - Iron Defense
    - Scald
    - Slack Off / Rest

    Slowbro’s most effective set is a defensive Calm Mind boosting set that takes advantage of him being unable to be critted. Iron Defense, a normally useless move, allows Slowbro to eat up hits from powerful physical attackers like Bisharp and Tyranitar. Calm Mind is used for boosting Slowbro’s Special Attack and Special Defense, which both powers him up and allows him to tank special attacks better once he's accumulated a few boosts. Scald is the attacking move of choice, as it has a nifty 30% burn chance and no immunities outside of abilities. Slack off is the preferred healing move, as gives you half yor HP back every time. However, Rest can be used if status scares you.

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    Steelix

    Ever since the GSC era, Steelix has fallen out of favor for other, better mons in OU. New hope arrived for him when he received a Mega Evolution, but unfortunately, it seems as if he will stay in obscurity. In theory, Mega Steelix isn’t bad. He has a titanic base 230 defense alongside a good base 75 HP, which allows him to eat up physical hits for breakfast. Additionally, his base 125 attack stat is no slouch either, especially when he has access to a Ground STAB in Earthquake. Unfortunately, that’s where the positives stop. Meg Steelix has an abysmal base speed of only 30, and has no form of reliable recovery, which leaves him prone to being worn down throughout the match. Additionally, Steelix’s Special Defense is average at best, and most special attackers will be able to 2HKO him with neutral hits.

    Steelix @ Steelixite
    Ability: Sturdy
    EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
    Adamant / Brave Nature
    - Heavy Slam / Gyro Ball
    - Earthquake
    - Stone Edge
    - Fire Fang / Curse

    Steelix’s best niche in the meta is being used on a Sand team as an abuser of Sand Force. He has a niche over Mega Garchomp in this regard in that he trades speed and power for a lot more physical bulk and a batter defensive typing. Steelix is very heavy, and his access to Heavy Slam lets him abuse his weight to its full potential, especially since many of the Fairy- and Rock-types that it hits super effectively are relatively light compared to the Steel Titan. However, Steelix also has an extremely powerful Gyro Ball under the sand thanks to his extremely low speed and Sand Force, so both are viable options, though Heavy Slam is chosen for its more PP. Earthquake is the tried and true Ground STAB, while Stone Edge provides coverage against the likes of Flying-types such as Mega Pinsir and Talonflame. In the last slot, Fire Fang is there to have a move that does noticeable damage to Ferrothorn, Skarmory, and Scizor, but if you have those covered, Curse can be used instead to boost Steelix’s attack and defense, while also powering up Gyro Ball even more.

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    Pidgeot


    Pidgeot has always been the starting bird that serves everyone well in-game, but falls by the wayside on the competitive side of things. To somewhat fix this, Gamefreak decided to give Pidgeot a Mega Evolution that allows him to abuse Hurricane and Heat Wave to its full potential thanks to No Guard, an ability that bypasses accuracy checks for both Pokemon on the field (Why no Focus Blast Gamefreak ;_;). Along with an increased Special Attack and speed, Pidgeot received a small buff to its previously nonexistent bulk, which allows him to finally be able to tank hits. Despite all this, however, Pidgeot still has very little viability in OU itself, as he faces direct competition from Tornadus-T, a mon that sports much better bulk, has the ability to hold an item, a larger movepool, and has access to Regenerator to negate Stealth Rock damage. Pidgeot is still usable, but should never be your first choice for building a serious competitive team.

    Pidgeot @ Pidgeotite
    Ability: Big Pecks
    EVs: 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
    Timid Nature
    - Hurricane
    - Heat Wave
    - Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Fighting
    - Roost / U-Turn

    Pidgeot should always be running a special attacking set should you choose to run him. Access to a 110 BP STAB that gets good coverage and has a small confusion chance is too good to pass up, and is the move you should be spamming the most. Heat Wave is Pidgeot’s best coverage move, as it hits Steel-types such as Ferrothorn and Skarmory that would otherwise give Pidgeot trouble. HP Ice is a good option to hit Landorus-T, Gliscor, and Garchomp for a large blow, while HP Fighting works for Tyranitar, an otherwise great check. However, they should only be used when they hit a target for 4x damage, as even a 2x resisted Hurricane outdamages a super effective Hidden Power. The last slot is between longevity and the ability to maintain momentum. Both work well thanks to Pidgeot’s high speed, so it really depends on your team’s needs.

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    Lopunny

    Having been ridiculed for having terrible stats and useless abilities since the Fourth Generation, Lopunny was always doomed to being at the bottom of the barrel even in NU. Any mention of using Lopunny in OU was laughable, as there simply was absolutely no reason to use her. However, Gamefreak gave her a Mega Evolution, and she made everyone eat the bad things that they said about her for all those years. She got a type change to Normal / Fighting, and received High Jump Kick as a new level up move. Her greatest asset, however, is her ability: Scrappy. Scrappy is what makes Lopunny such a threat, as she gets perfect neutral coverage with her STABs alone, which gives her two free moveslots to work with. She also has a decent attack stat and blazing speed, which makes the lives of offensive teams hell, similar to Greninja. Gems in her movepool like Heal Bell, Healing Wish, and Baton Pass allow her to support her team unlike any other offensive mon found in OU. She even has access to Fake Out, which allows her to get a free Mega Evolution and chip damage. All these traits make hera top tier threat that every team needs to watch out for.

    Lopunny @ Lopunnite
    Ability: Limber
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
    Jolly Nature
    - High Jump Kick
    - Return
    - Fake Out / Ice Punch
    - Toxic / Healing Wish / Heal Bell

    This is Lopunny’s most used and most consistent set. High Jump Kick has a great base power and can be spammed without worry thanks to Scrappy, though mons with Protect such as Heatran and Ferrothorn need to be watched out for. Return hits every Ghost-type that resists HJK neutrally, which gives Lopunny her coveted two STAB perfect coverage. In the third slot, Fake Out is there for chip damage and getting a free turn to Mega Evolve, but Ice Punch is an option to hit the likes of Landorus-T, Garchomp, and Gliscor hard. However, both of Lopunny;s STAB moves hit harder neutrally than a 2x SE Ice Punch, so its only good for the aforementioned mons. The last slot is dedicated entirely to team support. Toxic wears down the mons that wall Lopunny such as Mew, Slowbro, and Cresselia, while Healing Wish allows Lopunny to sacrifice herself and heal a teammate once her job is fulfilled. Finally, Heal Bell works to remove Lopunny’s own status, as well as that of her teammates. All are viable options, so once again it depends on what your team needs.

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    Glalie

    Similar to Pidgeot, Beedrill, and Lopunny, Glalie has always been an irrelevant mon in the competitive scene. Lackluster base 80 stats across the board and a terrible defensive typing left Glalie rotting at the bottom of the pit. Gamefreak changed this with his Mega Evolution, and turned him from a mediocre spiker into a powerful wallbreaker. Access to Refridgerate, Double Edge, and Explosion allow Glalie to hit extremely hard, as Double Edge 2HKOes even the likes of Skarmory. He even has access to Freeze Dry to hit the bulky Water-types that would otherwise wall him. However, Glalie is still plagued with mediocre bulk, average at best speed, and a terrible defensive typing. Glalie should rarely be your first choice for a Mega Slot, but if you need a nuke, Glalie’s your man – err, face.

    Glalie @ Glalitite
    Ability: Inner Focus
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SAtk / 252 Spe
    Adamant / Naughty Nature
    - Double Edge
    - Ice Shard
    - Earthquake / Freeze Dry
    - Explosion

    Glalie needs all the power he can get to fully abuse Refridgerate. Double Edge is the STAB move of choice as the power is well worth the recoil damage, as Glalie’s nonexistent bulk means he won’t be staying around long anyways. Ice Shard is there to revenge kill Choice Scarfers and faster threats in general. Earthquak is a good option to hit the Steel- and Fire-types that otherwise resist his STAB moves, but Freeze Dry along with a Naughty Nature allows him to get past bulky Water-types easier. Finally, Explosion is the last move that lets you nuke whatever is facing Glalie. Literally. Even resists take enough damage to strip off over 50% of their health, which allows a teammate to clean up the mess with relative ease.

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    Latios

    Upon first look, a mon with Mega Latios’s stats just screams Ubers. However, that simply isn’t the case because normal Latios outclasses Mega Latios outside of gimmicky Dragon Dance sets. Life Orb Latios hits harder than Mega Latios, and more importantly, doesn’t take up your Mega Slot. This, along with the fact that Life Orb Latias is just as bulky and hits as hard as Mega Latios means that Mega Latios should really only be used if you haven’t yet used up your Mega Slot. Mega Latios isn’t bad, but his opportunity cost prevents him from seeing the light of day more often than not.

    Latios @ Latiosite
    Ability: Levitate
    EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
    Timid Nature
    - Draco Meteor
    - Psyshock
    - Earthquake
    - Roost / Defog

    If you choose to use Mega Latios, this is the set you should run. It works exatly like regular Life Orb Latios except with more bulk and less power. The only difference is that Earthquake is more powerful thanks to a base 130 Attack, meaning that Heatran, Jirachi, and Bisharp are no longer safe switch-ins, where previously Latios almost always lost to them. The choice between Defog and Roost depends on what your team needs. Roost is the overall better option as it takes advantage of Mega Latios’s increased bulk and increases his staying power. However, Defog is as viable as ever if your team struggles with hazards.

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    Latias

    Last on the list, but by no means the least, we have Mega Latias. Unlike her brother, Mega Latias has a niche over her base form in that she can take on the role of a bulky Calm Mind sweeper thanks to her insane bulk and access to Stored Power. This is really only Mega Latias’s niche, but it’s so effective at it that bases on this set alone, Mega Latias has earned an A ranking on the OU Viablity Rankings thread.
    Latias @ Latiasite
    Ability: Levitate
    EVs: 248 HP / 204 Def / 56 Spe
    Bold Nature
    - Calm Mind
    - Roost
    - Substitute
    - Stored Power

    This set acts as a great mid- to late-game sweeper, as once Dark-types have been removed, very little can stop Latias from setting up. Calm Mind and Substitute allow her to boost up and protect her from status, while Roost is used to keep her healthy. After just a few Calm Minds, Stored Power becomes insanely powerful and only the bulkiest of resists can stand up to it. However, Mega Latias needs quite a bit of support to pull this off. First an foremost, she absolutely needs Dark-types to be removed. It doesn’t matter how many boosts you get – if you can’t damage your opponent it’s all for naught. Secondly, Mega Latias is extreme Taunt bait. Her naturally high speed allows her to outpace some of the slower ones with the given speed investment, but Stallbreaker Gliscor and especially Gengar are still capable of shutting this set down. However, once you remove everything you need to, not even Calm Mind Clefable can stand in your way.

    Conclusion:

    XY has come to a close, and the metagame that everyone knows and loves no longer with us. ORAS introduced new move tutors and new Mega Evolutions, which drastically changed the metagame, for better or for worse. I have gone over all of the OU legal Mega Evolutions (shout outs to Mega Salamence for being quickbanned, and especially Mega Rayquaza for being the first Pokemon banned from Ubers) introduced in the Ruby and Sapphire remakes, and have explained how they work and what their best sets are. I hope that you will use this article as a guide along with your experience from XY to take on this fresh new metagame. Thanks for reading, and have a nice day.
     
  6. Eliteknight

    Eliteknight S.L.Y.

    An Interview With Saph~

    For this interview I'll be talking with Saph~, who just recently won Serebii's Guardian Cup, the biggest tournament of the year on Serebii.

    BGP: Before we talk about your recent accomplishment, could you tell us a little about the newest Guardian Cup champion?

    Saph~: Been on serebii for a couple years now, not really much to me honestly.

    BGP: When did you first start playing competitive Pokemon?

    Saph~: I started in mid BW, but I don’t really think I got the hang of competitive until some time into XY. First guild was TSS.

    BGP: Moving onto the Guardian Cup, did you believe before the first round that you’d actually be able to come out on top?

    Saph~: To be honest, I struggled more in the first round than I'd like to admit having taken a sizable break before playing in that tournament. I thought I had a chance though.

    BGP: You recently put up a RMT for your one team that you made for the Guardian Cup and ended up using twice (Return of the Loom). What made you want to build a team around the Breloom you were using?

    Saph~: When I built that team, I was looking for some pokemon that had kind of slipped out of the metagame. Breloom seemed like a solid choice, and with the even smaller percentage of people using that set compared to something like a sash lead, it seemed solid. Gyarados was also a nice sweeper that had been a little underused late XY, so I brought that back too.

    BGP: Since you mentioned it was the only team you used twice, I assume you used a unique team for every battle of the tournament, besides your Breloom team? Were most of these made prior to the tournament, or were some made specifically for it?

    Saph~: Some of the teams I used I had made long before the tournament had started, and perhaps were a bit out of the metagame. I made a couple specifically for the tournament with some older metagame threats. Also received some from TDK. The purpose of using a different team every round was to not get counter teamed if someone decided to watch the replays.

    BGP: Throughout the early rounds of the tournament, did any matchups stand out to you as being difficult or interesting?

    Saph~: MMS vs Moonclawz was a match I felt was going to be a highlight of the tournament when I saw it, though it happened closer to the late rounds. I also had the winner of that match winning their next match as well and going to the finals 100%.

    BGP: Did you do anything different to prepare for the final match, or did you treat it like any other battle?

    Saph~: Had to be careful not to get nervous for it to be honest. I spent a lot more time testing teams than the previous rounds though, I will say that.

    BGP: Going into Game 1, how did you feel about the team you were using, and did Moonclawz keep you on your toes from the start?

    Saph~: Hyper offensive definitely wasn’t my usual playstyle. Thanks TDK.

    BGP: Game 2 you brought a rain team and weren’t able to come up with the win. What were your thoughts coming off this loss before heading into Game 3?

    Saph~: Going off this loss, I felt like I had to pull off the win in game three. To me, and possibly others, I choked away what I had considered a solid lead going into the late game.

    BGP: In Game 3, you came away with the win in a very close battle. Did you feel you had the win in the bag at any point despite the close battle (which is hard to do considering hax but still), and when you did realize you had won, how did you feel as a result?

    Saph~: I had my hopes struck down when a +2 Mega Gyarados didn’t ko celebi with ice fang, but it did put me in a solid position after it. I only realized I had the win within the last couple turns, as I believe there was still a possibility of a 50/50 happening with the last ~6 turns with some keldeo shenanigans depending on how much moonblast from clefable would’ve done to Moon’s scizor. I just felt relieved when I pulled the W so my loss game two didn't matter as much as it could have.

    BGP: Do you believe this accomplishment does anything for you in the competitive section moving forward? For instance, does this give you a bit more confidence with your play, give you more incentive to keep battling actively, etc.?

    Saph~: It kind of made me want to get involved in sections of competitive other than just guilds and participating in tournaments. As for confidence in my play? I think I just need to actually take seriously the battles I want to win and I’ll have a good shot at them.

    BGP: Now to touch on some things about the competitive scene at Serebii. What do you think would help improve the competitive forum?

    Saph~: Return of SPL would be cool (eventually). Required wars for guilds might also be interesting.

    BGP: Do you think more large tournaments like Guardian Cup should be done, or is the current amount fine?

    Saph~: I’d personally like to see more tournaments like Guardian’s cup per year, but it depends on if the activity amongst guilds and the competitive section increases by enough or not. I think this was the only tournament that was officially hosted during this year. I’d definitely like to see at least one more during the other half of the year.

    BGP: Looking forward, have you played any of the ORAS OU metagame? If so, what are some of your favorite new toys, and do you think it could be a better metagame than XY OU?

    Saph~: I have played a little bit of ORAS OU, I haven’t quite immersed myself in it yet though. Right now, I'm not sure if it holds more promise than XY OU. A lot of the matches are decided from the team matchups. With so many things gaining power boosts Pretty much all of the new megas are dealing some major damage to the tier, as well as Greninja packing quite a punch with the addition of gunk shot to its already massive viable movepool. I think with the right bans this could shape up to be a better tier than it is right now.

    BGP: Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to get better at battling, especially at the start of this new metagame?

    Saph~: I’d grind out the ladder as much as possible. Try to play people who you would consider better than you and gain experience like that so you can learn what sets most people might be running. Test and/or build lots of teams.

    BGP: Is there anything you’d like to say to the readers, be it shoutouts to supporters or words of advice?

    Saph~: What supporters? Just kidding.

    Hopefully.

    Shoutouts to:
    The Dragonknight, MMS, jirachiuser1, Silent, and Clone.

    BGP: To finish off, what is your favorite Pokemon?

    Saph~: Gotta go with the based Jolteon.
    --------------------------------------------------------

    The final match between Moonclawz and Saph~ came down to a very close 3rd game, with Saph~ pulling off the win. Check out the battles below. Congrats to Saph~ on winning and Moonclawz for a great runner-up performance!

    Replays from the Finals:

    Game 1: http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/battletower-ou-313547
    Game 2: http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/battletower-ou-313548
    Game 3: http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/battletower-ou-313549
     
  7. Eliteknight

    Eliteknight S.L.Y.

    Relay Battle-A view on Baton Pass


    Introduction
    Baton Pass teams are quite possibly one of the most hated strategies in Competitive Pokemon and there are some very valid reason for this.First is that Baton Pass teams are anti-meta meaning if you fight a proper Pass team your team probably wont have an ideal solution for it and even if you do since full Baton Pass teams are build so they can avoid those specific threats chances are that even then you might not be able to stop it.Second is that if you find yourself in a situation where you can't break the chain that will most likely result in a quite long and tedious battle where the only progress will be your opponents pokemon getting stronger every turn and you not being able to do anything but wait until they start attacking.The last reason is that these teams are often labeled as "gimmicky" and that most players believe that it takes no skills to use such teams(although between you and me I still hate Stall the most).

    Baton Pass' Effects

    Now before we get to the strategy lets explain the move itself.
    "The user switches places with a party Pokémon in waiting and passes along any stat changes."-Baton Pass' description in Pokemon X/Y.
    Baton Pass is a Normal type non-damaging move which has 40 PP (max. is 64).If a Pokemon uses Baton Pass it will pass along every temporary stats changes(whether they are beneficial or not),certain status conditions such as Confusion,Leech Seed,Curse and Perish Song(note: it does not pass infatuation) it also passes other status such as Lock-On, Substitute and Ingrain.
    Same as U-turn and Volt Switch Baton Pass will allow it's user to escape certain trapping abilities/moves such as Shadow Tag and Mean Look.However, unlike U-turn and Volt Switch when a pokemon uses Baton Pass it does not activate Pursuit's effect which is why some Celebi sets run Baton Pass despite not having any kind boosts or status to pass.
    A little side note for those who battle on Wifi.As of Generation V when a pokemon uses Baton Pass the animation will show the correct pokemon's PokeBall(whether it's Luxury Ball,Master Ball, etc) as opposed to the previous generations where it just showed a regular PokeBall.

    Strategies

    Full Pass
    Prior to Generation V Baton Pass teams used to run one lead which should be able to start gathering boosts as well prevent the opponents lead to use a move that would cripple your chain such as Taunt or Roar, a chain of four pokemons who should be able to pass as many boosts as possible to the receiver which upon receiving these boosts should be able to completely sweep the opponents team with 100% accurate moves as one miss could jeopardize all the effort you had passing those stats to that specific pokemon(or you could be like screw the rules and sweep try to sweep with a Pikachu).

    Smash Pass and it's variants
    That was pretty much the only use for Baton Pass outside of a few Celebis trying to escape Pursuits,however with the introduction of moves such as Shell Smash a slightly different strategy started to gain some popularity.Labeled as Quick/Smash Pass it is quite simpler to use than a full Baton Pass team as it only requires a simple core of two to three pokemons and it takes but a couple of moves to pull it off.This whole strategy revolves around bringing a pokemon with both access to a stat boosting move and Baton Pass(usually something like Gorebyss passing Shell Smash or Volbeat passing Tail Glow) in order to pass several stat boosts to an offensive threat.A prime example of this strategy could be found in the Ubers tier with Dialga being often used as Smash Pass receiver and dealing massive damage in the Ban tier thanks not only to it's high power but also great bulk couple and great typing.Pokemon X/Y inadvertently introduced yet another variant which can only be used by Smeargle (due to move set restrictions) Geo Pass.

    Generation VI Baton Pass' "Ban"
    Given the popularity of Baton Pass teams and how easily they would find ways to complete their chains against average teams(average in the sense of being built to deal with the majority of threats in OU rather than worrying about Baton Pass ) Smogon added an extra clause which prohibits any player from having more than one pokemon with Baton Pass on their team.This is meant to prevent most players having to specifically build teams that can stop Baton Pass chains while also allowing people to use the Smash/Quick Pass strategy which is not as troublesome as full Baton Pass teams.

    Baton Pass abusers
    These Pokemons are the most likely to be found in this sort of strategy whether fulfilling the role of supporter or attacker.
    [​IMG]
    If you ever faced a Landorus-i then you must know how dangerous it's ability Sheer Force is.Nidoking despite having that same ability still struggles to climb out of the Underused Tier so you're probably wondering if Nidoking is in a lower tier than Landorus then the genie would definitely be the better option to use as a receiver right?Well there's two reasons why Nidoking is better at this particular job.First is the lack of a 4x weakness meaning it's significantly harder to revenge kill Nidoking while Landorus will most likely die at the simple mention of Ice Shard.The second reason is it's movepool.While Landorus has all the right moves to pull off various sweeps but Nidoking has more options both physically and specially making it not only less predictable but also more difficult to counter which is why I have chosen the King to start off this list.
    [​IMG]
    Magic Bounce,access to Baton Pass, Calm Mind as well as Stored Power. This cute little purple fox is why Full Baton Pass teams have become banned.Not only it can't be phazed by Whirlwind or Roar but it also packs an incredible amount of power after a couple of boosts making Espeon a staple on every Baton Pass team whether as a member of the Baton Pass chain, as a sweeper or why the heck not both.
    [​IMG]
    Once again Smeargle somehow finds a place in certain Overused and even Ubers teams.This is certainly not because of its type nor its Stats so of course it's because Smeargle gigantic movepool.So Smeargle stands in this list as the only pokemon able to pass any move whether it's Ingrain, Substitute or even Geomancy if there's something that can be passed Smeargle can do it.
    [​IMG]
    The original Speed Booster.In the previous generations before the team review just the sight of this pokemon would immediately let you know of your opponents team without you even having to see any other members.It was a Baton Pass team.It was always a Baton Pass team.As such Ninjask was one of the most predictable pokemons in those metagames but even still it managed to get the job done.The reason for this is that it was too fast to be stopped and while it certainly wasn't very bulky it would often carry a Focus Sash so it was sure to be able to pass at least a bit of speed to it's team members .This however was before Scolipede and Blaziken gained that very same ability making Ninjask seem completely useless when in comparison as Scolipede can not only actually make use of Speed Boost for itself but it is also a much better Baton Passer nowadays.
    [​IMG]
    Not quite as common as the other pokemons on this list but still quite an interesting little Prankster.It's ability makes Volbeat the faster Baton Passer in this list and despite being only able to pass a Special Attack boost it is quite dangerous when it finds a way to do it's job as Volbeat has access to the extremely dangerous Tail Glow which can up the Special Attack of a pokemon by 3 in just one turn!To make matters worse it also has access to Encore and Substitute meaning it can stop your opponents momentum and set up a sweeper in just a couple of turns.
    [​IMG]
    Thanks to it's pre evolution Gorebyss has access to one of the best set up moves in the game:Shell Smash.Despite not being neither the fastest or the bulkiest of pokemons Gorebyss is quite possibly the best Smash Passer(which really isn't saying alot since there are like 3 in total).Sure it may not be one hundred percent foolproof but it is still quite reliable as it only takes one turn too increase it's stats exponentially and unlike Smeargle, Gorebyss can actually make some use of this power boost by threatening the opponent with a possible 2+ Hydro Pump allowing it to put some pressure on it's opponent by timing when to attack or when to support its teammates.
    [​IMG]
    Despite being able to control time Dialga is seen more often than not struggling to keep up with the faster threats in the Ubers tier.A real shame when you consider it's offesnive stats as well as its movepool,this paired with it's numerous resistances and bulk would certainly make it one of the top sweepers if it could pick up the pace.Shell Pass comes as a perfect solution to this problem not only making Dialga unbelievable fast but also increasing it's already sky high Sp.Atk to absurd levels and given Dialga's stats and resistances it finds it easy to receive these boosts making it an ideal receiver and threat to be reckon with in the tier of Ubers.
    [​IMG]
    Speed Boost used to be an amazing ability wasted on a very underwhelming pokemon(Ninjask)however with the introduction of DreamWorld and the Hidden Abilities a couple more pokemons managed to get their hands on this stat boosting ability resulting in the ban of one of them.The other is Scolipede and although it is not as capable as Blaziken it's got the moves and the stats to make most of Speed Boost.Thanks to this Scolipede is a capable Baton Passer which can pass not only a mean Attack stat thanks to Swords Dance but also several Speed Boosts making it one of the top choices for a Quick Pass core.
     
  8. Eliteknight

    Eliteknight S.L.Y.

    Entry Hazards: Spikes and Toxic Spikes

    Entry Hazards are undoubtedly an integral part of today’s metagame. But it’s really just one entry hazard that demands our attention: Stealth Rock. Stealth Rock is so metagame-defining that a Pokémon’s place in the almighty tier list often depends on how well they can switch into the ubiquitous hazard. From the moment it was introduced, Stealth Rock completely overshadowed the other entry hazards, leaving Spikes and Toxic Spikes to rot, unused. To make for even stiffer competition, Gen VI brought us yet another entry hazard in the form of Sticky Web, which, with its unique effect, has far surpassed Spikes and Toxic Spikes as well due to its niche ability to be built around. But, in a meta that’s over 10 years old now, Spikes and Toxic Spikes were all we had, and were actually an important component of teams. This might seem preposterous to those who never experienced pre-Gen IV battling, but both Spikes and Toxic Spikes could do serious damage to opposing teams, and they still can today, when used correctly.

    Spikes Users

    Spikes may be considered inferior to Stealth Rock due to the fact that all Flying or Levitating Pokémon are immune to Spikes, but in the same way, types that resist Stealth Rock will take more damage from Spikes, and with 3 layers of Spikes down that damage is consistent and deadly. Here are a few Spikes users who can work well on your team to punish the switch.

    Ferrothorn
    [​IMG]

    Ferrothorn @ Leftovers / Shed Shell
    Ability: Iron Barbs
    EVs: 252 HP / 88 Def / 168 SpD
    Sassy Nature
    - Spikes
    - Leech Seed
    - Gyro Ball / Power Whip
    - Power Whip / Protect / Thunder Wave

    Ferrothorn, already a common sight in OU, is one of the best Spikes users out there. With its great defensive prowess and its ability to stay in with moves such as Leech Seed and Thunder Wave, Ferrothorn makes a great Spikes stacker. You’ll have your 3 layers up in no time, and from there opposing attackers will find it harder to switch in and take down Ferrothorn. It’s got a flexible moveset that can be tailored to your team’s needs, and thus can fit on a lot of teams with ease.

    Skarmory
    [​IMG]

    Skarmory @ Leftovers
    Ability: Sturdy
    EVs: 252 HP / 172 Def / 84 Spe
    Bold Nature
    - Spikes
    - Whirlwind
    - Roost
    - Taunt / Brave Bird

    Skarmory is another consistent OU threat who excels at laying down Spikes. Like Ferrothorn, it’s great defensively, and unlike Ferrothorn, it has both reliable recovery in Roost so that it can keep Spiking and a phazing move in Whirlwind so that it can force switches and make those Spikes do their thing. Skarmory can safely set up Spikes and continue to do its job as a well for the rest of the battle.

    Greninja
    [​IMG]

    Greninja @ Life Orb
    Ability: Protean
    EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
    Timid Nature
    - Spikes
    - Hydro Pump
    - Ice Beam
    - Gunk Shot / U-Turn

    Greninja, normally only thought of as an offensive powerhouse, can be a surprisingly good Spikes setter as well. Thanks to its high speed it can get Spikes down before the opponent can move, and with Protean it can catch opposing Electric types off-guard by switching its type to Ground. Greninja’s high offensive firepower also allows it to threaten common spinners and defoggers, making it easier to keep Spikes on the opponent’s side of the field.

    Chesnaught
    [​IMG]

    Chesnaught @ Leftovers
    Ability: Bulletproof
    EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
    Impish Nature
    - Spiky Shield
    - Leech Seed
    - Hammer Arm
    - Spikes

    Chesnaught may not be the most common sight in OU, but it’s a useful physical wall that checks some important threats, and has the added boon of being a Spikes setter. At first glance one might think to use Ferrothorn over Chesnaught, but Chesnaught can fare better against some Pokémon such as Bisharp. With damage from Spiky Shield and Leech Seed, opposing mons will find their health to be slowly chipped away, exacerbated by the Spikes damage coming in. Chesnaught isn’t a fit for every team, but a perfect fit for some.

    Toxic Spikes Users

    Toxic Spikes is the least popular of the hazards out there due to the fact that there’s simply too many ways to avoid being afflicted. Not only is it removed with Rapid Spin and Defog, but Poison types can also absorb the spikes upon switching in. Combine that with the fact that airborne Pokémon are unaffected, and you have a lot of problems. However, Toxic Spikes shine in being able to cripple stall teams and set-up sweepers, and if used correctly can make a big difference.

    Tentacruel
    [​IMG]

    Tentacruel @ Black Sludge
    Ability: Liquid Ooze
    EVs: 224 HP / 252 Def / 32 Spe
    Bold Nature
    - Scald
    - Rapid Spin
    - Toxic Spikes
    - Knock Off

    Tentacruel may no longer be in its former OU status, but when it comes to Toxic Spikes it’s one of the best there is. Tentacruel has decent defensive stats and typing and the tools with which to thoroughly annoy the opponent. Scald has a handy burn chance to charm physical attackers, Rapid Spin can remove hazards on your side so that you don’t have to risk removing the ones you worked so hard to set down with Defog, and Knock Off removes items to make mon a bit less potent. Combine that with Toxic Spikes and you’ve got an amazing utility mon ready to make an impact.

    Scolipede
    [​IMG]

    Scolipede @ Focus Sash
    Ability: Speed Boost
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
    Jolly Nature
    - Megahorn
    - Toxic Spikes
    - Protect
    - Baton Pass

    Scolipede uses its unique skillset to make an excellent Toxic Spikes lead. Depending on what your opponent leads with, Scolipede can either begin laying down Toxic Spikes immediately or Protect and pass on the speed boost to something that can make use of it. It’s a bit unorthodox compared to other Scolipede sets but the element of surprise is what allows it to work.

    Greninja
    [​IMG]

    Greninja @ Life Orb
    Ability: Protean
    EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
    Timid Nature
    - Toxic Spikes
    - Hydro Pump
    - Ice Beam
    - Gunk Shot / U-Turn

    Literally the exact same thing as mentioned for Spikes except now Protean makes Greninja a Poison type which now aids it against Grass and Fighting attacks. (Seriously, is there nothing Greninja can’t do?)

    Forretress
    [​IMG]

    Forretress @ Leftovers
    Ability: Sturdy
    EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
    Sassy Nature
    - Rapid Spin
    - Spikes / Toxic Spikes
    - Toxic Spikes/ Gyro Ball
    - Gyro Ball / Volt Switch

    Forretress, much like Tentacruel, has fallen quite a bit in usage this gen, but it deserves a mention here for being the universal hazards setter. It’s the only mon that can set all three of Spikes, Toxic Spikes, and Stealth Rock, and thus should be used to deploy the lesser used of those hazards. It also has Rapid Spin to avoid the need for Defog and Volt Switch to help get a fragile teammate in.


    Conclusion

    Spikes and Toxic Spikes aren’t the menaces they once were, but shouldn’t be overlooked for any reason in today’s metagame. With proper teambuilding and execution, these hazards can give an opponent a lot of frustration. Next time you’re looking for something interesting to put on a team, give Spikes or Toxic Spikes a try; you won’t regret it.
     
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