The Great Pokémon Master
Over the great heavens, the radiant Sun rises. Its light reveals the features of the Earth beneath it, as the tale embodied by the history of the world of competitive Pokémon unfolds. Innumerable times, the aforementioned blazing star sets to reveal the light of the tranquil Moon, which once more fades away upon the coming dawn. As the days and nights pass, the Pokémon trainers under the celestial bodies continue to compete amongst each other over countless different metagames across the generations, improving their skills whilst innovating new teams and Pokémon movesets along the way. Battles are fought, drama unfolds, glory is gained and lost with victories and defeats, legends are taught, and friendships and hostilities are born every day amidst these interactions between Pokémon trainers.
This grand tale, covering billions upon billions of Pokémon battles and warstories, has numerous highlights. The beginning, embodied by the release of Pokémon Red and Green. The creation of Azure's Height, as well as the discovery of the sciences that govern the laws and mechanics of Pokémon battles. The rise of online Pokémon battling simulators with the advent of GSBot and Pokémon NetBattle. The tale of the RBY Legend GGFan, which spans across GameFAQs and THE Alternative. The establishment of the Smogon University, as well as the unfolding of the myriads of individual tales within or associated with this community. The birth of Pokémon Online, as well as the stories within or associated with that community, including the tale of the Living Legend Sasha The Master. However, in the entire history of the world of competitive Pokémon, one tale sits at the center of all the others, and surpasses them all in grandeur - The Legend of The Great Pokémon Master - a story that encompasses the creation of The Blazing Glaciers and The▲Absolute▲Power▲, the rise and fall of the Dragon Masters clan, as well as countless other events of legend.
The Pokémon trainers of the Earth, who battle amongst one another, fight with a myriad of different goals within their sights. The defeat of the single opponent who stands before their eyes. The #1 spot on the ladders on which they battle. Victory in the tournaments in which they participate, individually or as a team. The optimization of their GXEs or win-loss records in various contexts. However, no matter what any Pokémon trainer's short-term goal at any given point in time may be... their long-term goal remains one and the same. Regardless of whether it is day or night, every Pokémon trainer possesses the ability to behold a symbol of this goal as they gaze up towards the sky, at the source of the heavenly light that watches over the world of competitive Pokémon.
As they look up at the Sun or the Moon, a Living Legend springs to their mind. An intellect responsible for the creation of a myriad of unique and extremely useful Pokémon teams and movesets across many different metagames throughout the generations. A Pokémon trainer who has achieved consistent success over countless battles across the aforementioned metagames and generations, even in the face of hax and bad team matchups. A genius who has mastered the highest of Pokémon metagames, allowing the use of even the strongest of legendary Pokémon, as well as the most powerful of strategies. A being whose wisdom and understanding of the nature of Pokémon Mastery transcends all. A man capable of seeing the grandest picture of the art of Pokémon battling, rather than merely specific small parts of it. An entity who sits above the sphere of the Earth, and whose light shines brightly upon the world, giving all the Pokémon trainers who dwell within it the aspiration of hope, as well as the desire to approach the Ultimate Champion's heavenly level of Pokémon Mastery.
However, the effect of said light on the Pokémon trainers of the Earth is not always positive. Because of the sheer brilliance of the glory that radiates from the Great Pokémon Master's celestial throne, many Pokémon trainers have confused said glory with Pokémon Mastery itself, rather than merely a byproduct of it, if not something that exists simply by coincidence. Failing to differentiate recognition from true skill, many trainers have chosen to walk down the path of dishonesty in their pursuit of the Ultimate Champion's transcendent position. Laddering selectively to avoid bad team matchups and/or skilled trainers. Boosting on ladders by battling oneself. Being ghosted in tournaments. Gambling towards success in tournaments by attempting to win at the Team Preview, rather than on the battlefield itself. Stealing or otherwise taking the Pokémon teams built by others - often the Great Pokémon Master himself - and seeking acknowledgement through victories "achieved" with said teams.
Through such practices, countless trainers throughout history have succeeded in deceiving others by painting images of themselves as Pokémon Masters, with such images being, in truth, as fragile as a flower in a mirror, or the Moon on the water's surface. And like a monkey jumping at said Moon's reflection, only to sink to the bottom of the lake and drown, many trainers have eternally separated themselves from the ideal state of Pokémon Mastery, upon putting themselves to sleep with the very lies spread by, ironically, none other than themselves.
The chaos that unfolds across the world of competitive Pokémon is, in truth, nothing more than a reflection of the sinful nature of humanity itself - the very same flaws that resulted in the countless atrocities that occurred throughout history beyond the aforementioned world. In the world of competitive Pokémon, barbarity has been directed at the Great Pokémon Master himself - sometimes in spite of, and other times because of the very grand position that he holds, in an attempt to diminish the light of the glory he emanates. Hatred and ostracism, banishment and other forms of punishment, humiliation and denial of his Kingship in the art of Pokémon battling, and at times, denial of his very existence as a whole.
As an answer to such hostile treatment, the True Master of Pokémon has developed powers that transcend the realm of Pokémon battling itself, and manifest in the way of immortality in the world of competitive Pokémon - powers symbolically reminiscent of those possessed by certain creatures. Traditionally, the Ultimate Champion has been compared to a mythical being represented by a certain Dark/Dragon-type Pokémon, due to his possession of a defiant power akin to said mythical being growing back two heads every time it loses one. The Great Pokémon Master has also been compared to a legendary Fire/Flying-type Pokémon he is often seen battling with in innumerable metagames throughout the generations, not only because of the sheer frequency with which he uses said Pokémon, but also because of his ability to circumvent banishment and other forms of punishment brought down upon him with a simple click of the "Register" button or a change of his IP address, much in the same way that the aforementioned Fire/Flying-type Pokémon rises from the ashes to overcome death itself. And finally, the power of the Living Legend has been compared to a certain Pokémon Ability that grants its possessor a 30% chance of curing its own status every turn, due to the sheer ease with which the Great Pokémon Master sheds his identities in the same way that a snake sheds its skin. With such powers of immortality under his command, the Ultimate Champion has often been referred to by names such as "R The Resurrection" and "The Unbannable Legend."
However, the hydra, the phoenix and the serpent are not the only creatures that serve as symbols of the Great Pokémon Master's undying nature. While the aforementioned creatures may represent his immortality in terms of his defiance of punishment, none of them are sufficient to symbolize the immortality of the very power of his for which he is best known - his Mastery and Sovereignty over the art of Pokémon battling. For achieving that purpose, only one creature is suitable - one of the most iconic animals to have ever graced human culture, and a regal beast that has long been respected as a symbol of strength, courage and Kingship. A creature that gracefully and nonchalantly sits atop a rock amidst a vast savanna, with the blazing Sun behind it, reminiscent of the Ultimate Champion sitting upon his heavenly throne. An animal whose mane is as majestic as the very light that radiates from the Great Pokémon Master himself, and shines upon the world of competitive Pokémon. The King of Beasts, whose position draws parallel to that of the Pokémon Master who stands above all other Pokémon Masters - the King of Every King in the world of competitive Pokémon.
The seventh generation of Pokémon has introduced two cover legendary Pokémon, each representing one of the sources of the celestial light that watches over the world. And serving as the emissary of the very heavenly body that represents the shining Kingship of the Great Pokémon Master during the day is the fearless lion of steel, Solgaleo.
Though a master of countless metagames, the dominion of the Ultimate Champion's Mastery of Pokémon is best known and displayed within a specific trinity of tiers across the generations - Übers, his traditional tier; Anything Goes, the tier that is Pokémon battling in its purest form; and Balanced Hackmons, a tier that transcends the limits of legality, as well as the home of some of the most skill-demanding, patience and long-term-planning-requiring, and intricate strategies that exist in the world of competitive Pokémon. While all three of the aforementioned tiers may share similarities with each other, in the sense that all of them allow the use of even the strongest of legendary Pokémon, the last of those three differs dramatically from the first two, when looking at the viability of the Pokémon in each respective metagame.
Übers and Anything Goes are the realms in which two of the Great Pokémon Master's signature Pokémon - the aforementioned rising phoenix, as well as the leviathan of unparalleled defensive power - rule the skies, but Balanced Hackmons is a world in which the latter is nigh-unviable, while the former is merely niche. In this metagame, the Mega forms of a certain Psychic-type Pokémon stand a serious chance at living up to Dr. Fuji's claim of it being "the world's most powerful Pokémon," whereas this Pokémon struggles to overcome the simple barrier that is opportunity cost in Übers and especially Anything Goes. The aforementioned two metagames are the lands on which a blisteringly-fast and ghostly boxer thrives, whereas such is completely outclassed in Balanced Hackmons, the land on which two of the four legendary golems - namely, Regigigas and Registeel, are seen in abundance, much in contrast with the other two tiers. Übers, and especially Anything Goes, courtesy of the lack of the Species Clause in the latter, are tiers in which the Alpha Pokémon dominates, whereas this deity's utility is far more niche in Balanced Hackmons. The Sparkling Blue Black Kyurem, often ridiculed for its shallow and inappropriate movepool in legal tiers, faces no such problems in Balanced Hackmons, in which it stands as a far more dominant force.
But far more interesting than the above is the fact that Übers and Anything Goes are two tiers that far more heavily favor the emissary of the Moon over that of the Sun, with the former having undeniable use, and the latter being, in spite all of its strength, regality and magnificence, borderline unviable at best, due to its weaknesses to trapping-based strategies, the Dark-type attacks of the Personification of Death itself, and by far most importantly, the incredibly powerful attacks of the roaring behemoth that serves as the harbinger of the very celestial body ironically symbolized by Solgaleo itself. However, the exact opposite holds true in Balanced Hackmons, in which the legendary lion is far more appreciated for its quadruple resistance to the Psychic Terrain-boosted attacks of the allegedly most powerful Pokémon, its resistance to all Fake Outs, Extreme Speeds and Boombursts except for those of the Electric-type variety, as well as its neutrality to Fighting-type attacks, which differentiates it from other Steel-type Pokémon.
Descending the heavenly stairs from his grand throne that rests upon the radiant Sun, the Great and Noble King of the world of competitive Pokémon has come in glory upon the Generation VII Balanced Hackmons metagame. And walking at his right is the legendary and magnificent beast, whose mane reflects and symbolizes all the greatness and majesty of its trainer. The time has come for every knee to bow, and for every tongue to confess... that LANCE is the Greatest Pokémon Master to have ever graced the heavens, the Earth, and all that is under the Earth.
The☀Heavenly☯Throne☾ is one of my proudest creations among Pokémon teams. Out of all the Pokémon teams I have ever built in any metagame in Generation VII, I would personally say that it is one of the only three that I would honestly consider to be truly excellent, with the other two being my pre-Marshadow SM Ubers team, 天下無敵, as well as my pre-Marshadow SM Anything Goes team, 天下無敵 [Ultimate Pokémon Mastery Mix]. However, because neither 天下無敵 nor especially 天下無敵 [Ultimate Pokémon Mastery Mix] are viable anymore in their respective metagames after Marshadow was released, this means that, when looking at the current SM metagames, The☀Heavenly☯Throne☾ is my one and only excellent team in any Generation VII metagame. I would honestly say that it is by far the best team I have ever built in any Generation VII metagame, especially now that Primal Groudon is banned in Balanced Hackmons. It may not be a team with no bad team matchups, and it is true that even it can fall if it faces enough hax, but I am convinced that, if played perfectly over 1,000 battles against the countless different opponents and teams in the entire SM Balanced Hackmons metagame, there is no team in this metagame that can get a win-loss record better than The☀Heavenly☯Throne☾ can, after taking into account the numerous random factors that even out in the long run, such as hax and team matchups.
Being built for a metagame that in and of itself is already incredibly intricate, this team is carefully crafted, in such a way that all six of its members work together with amazing defensive synergy as a single unit, like an army. The sheer depth, versatility, and intricate nature of this team is clearly evident when reading through the sections of this thread dedicated to this team's individual Pokémon, especially Solgaleo, Giratina and Arceus, with the vast details regarding all the nuances and situational utility of each and every single move of such Pokémon, as well as all the different uses of such Pokémon in respect to their typing, Ability and stats.
This team's strategy is spearheaded by the mighty and brave lion, which charges head-first into the chaos of warfare, and defiles the opponent's side of the battlefield by crippling them with a combination of Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes, which cannot be blocked by Magic Bounce, thanks to the blazing aura that fittingly radiates from the emissary of the Sun itself. The entry hazards set up by the radiant King are mercilessly abused by the Whirlwind technique of this team's incredibly bulky Poison Heal Giratina. And as the entry hazards slowly drain away the life of the opponent's team, they find themselves completely walled by the team's remaining four incredibly well-synergized members - namely, the blisteringly fast Unaware wall embodied by this team's Arceus, the glacially-slow yet unbelievably specially-bulky wall that is this team's Assault Vest Regenerator Primal Kyogre, as well as the anti-setup units taking the forms of Choice Scarf Imposter Blissey and Prankster Xerneas. This team also contains two Core Enforcer users, as well as one user of Worry Seed, which, fittingly for a team that centers around Toxic Spikes, greatly threatens Poison Heal Pokémon.
According to the Vermilion City Gym Leader Lt. Surge, "a Pokémon battle is war," and in my opinion, The☀Heavenly☯Throne☾ is a team that demonstrates this extremely effectively. As a team centered around the abuse of the entry hazards set up by its King, as well as a focus on utilizing such entry hazards to outlast the opponent's team with a combination of sheer bulk and anti-setup measures with the team's other members, The☀Heavenly☯Throne☾ is truly a team whose motto is to "win but never fight." The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting, after all.
The team at a glance:
Team building process:
The☀Heavenly☯Throne☾ first began as a Contrary Mega Mewtwo Y team, originally created by highlighter.
Upon using highlighter's team for a bit, I realized that it had trouble against a certain Pokémon, which has traditionally been one of the most dangerous sweepers in the entire history of the no EV limit Balanced Hackmons metagames. Initially created by Adrian Marin as a moveset for regular Kyogre in the pre-EV limit era of XY Balanced Hackmons, it was later used on one of the most iconic teams ever made in my entire Pokémon battling career - my legendary XY Balanced Hackmons team, ☽Mare Tranquillitatis☾. The Pokémon in question is Poison Heal Kyogre, with the moves Quiver Dance, Moonblast, Water Spout, and either Spore or Dark Void, with the latter being used sometimes back in Generation VI, when it was not hard-coded to only work with the Pokémon Darkrai.
The Primal form of Poison Heal Kyogre, nicknamed "The Ultimate One" by Balanced Freakmons and myself, is undoubtedly one of the most devastating sweepers in the current SM Balanced Hackmons metagame, even when considering the sheer prevalence of the move Core Enforcer, due to The Ultimate One's sheer firepower, combined with its ability to put its foes to sleep. As such, a team in this metagame being weak to this Pokémon is simply unacceptable in my eyes. Additionally, I also found that highlighter's team was weak to another notable threat in the Balanced Hackmons metagame - namely, Refrigerate Kyurem-W. In response, I replaced the Assault Vest + Regenerator Celesteela on Highlighter's team with a different Pokémon, which also shares the exact same item and Ability. Interestingly, this Pokémon also shares the exact same form and species as one of the Pokémon it is intended to counter. Thus, an Assault Vest-holding Regenerator Primal Kyogre with the moves Core Enforcer, Revelation Dance, Spectral Thief and U-turn found its way on my team.
However, the removal of Celesteela meant that my team no longer had a resistance to Fairy-type attacks, giving it a hard time dealing with the powerful Boombursts and Extreme Speeds of the incredibly common Pixilate Mega Diancie. My solution to this problem was to replace Mega Tyranitar with a Flash Fire Solgaleo, which is capable of checking Pixilate Mega Diancie, while at the same time retaining Mega Tyranitar's ability to Imposter-proof this team's Contrary Mega Mewtwo Y. I was also happy with this decision from an aesthetic point of view, as I absolutely love the design and concept of the Pokémon Solgaleo, but have always been disappointed in the fact that this Pokémon is not very viable in my other two main tiers, Übers and Anything Goes.
The replacement of Celesteela had created another problem for my team, which was that it no longer had a Pokémon which could Imposter-proof the team's Aerilate Mega Rayquaza. Thus, I changed my Mega Rayquaza to a Choice Specs set, with the moves Boomburst, Extreme Speed, Secret Sword and Techno Blast, with this set Imposter-proofed by my Solgaleo. The move Stealth Rock, which was previously known by my team's Mega Rayquaza, was relocated to my Solgaleo, which knew Knock Off, Slack Off, and Toxic Spikes as its other moves. Toxic Spikes was chosen as I absolutely love this move's utility in gradually weakening the opponent's team, and creating immense pressure for the opponent when combined with the incredibly powerful attacks of my Mega Mewtwo Y and Mega Rayquaza. Out of all possible movesets for Mega Rayquaza, I chose Aerilate Choice Specs, due to its sheer wall-breaking potential, especially when combined with the aforementioned Toxic Spikes, while at the same time partially retaining the revenge-killing abilities of the Aerilate Mega Rayquaza moveset highlighter originally used.
Seeing that my team had two Pokémon that lacked any form of recovery whatsoever, I decided to take a page out of the book embodied by my The Master of the Universe [Transcendent Being of Power Mix] team, and teach the move Wish to my Poison Heal Pokémon, with this move replacing my Giratina's Parting Shot technique. Now, I could pass large Wishes to my Mega Mewtwo Y and Mega Rayquaza in order to heal them, thanks to Giratina's incredibly high HP stat. I also replaced Giratina's Topsy-turvy technique with Core Enforcer, in order to have a less passive method of dealing with Poison Heal Regigigas.
Finally, I replaced the team's Eviolite Imposter Chansey with a Choice Scarf Imposter Blissey, since I was sick of losing to Speed-ties when dealing with Contrary Pokémon as well as Shell Smash users, especially those that were immune to priority due to having Dazzling, Queenly Majesty or Psychic Surge as their Ability. I also changed my Imposter's entire moveset to Heal Bell, Soft-Boiled, Spikes and Trick. Trick's utility on a Choice Scarf-wearing Pokémon is obvious, while I personally see more benefits in using the moves Heal Bell and Spikes on an Imposter, rather than the standard Imposter moves, such as Fake Out, Metal Burst and Whirlwind. In fact, the answer to the question of why such moves, instead of other, more useful moves such as Aromatherapy, Heal Bell, Defog, Spikes and Toxic Spikes are considered to be standard on Imposter Chansey/Blissey is currently still a mystery to me.
After some battles with the above team, I found that it was exceedingly weak to Dark-type Pokémon, such as Mega Tyranitar, Mega Gyarados and Yveltal. My solution to this problem was to add to my team a certain Pokémon found in ☽Mare Tranquillitatis☾ - by far the single best and most reliable Dark-type check in the entire metagame from my experience, Magic Bounce Xerneas. However, before I could add this Pokémon to my team, I first had to make a decision regarding which Pokémon on my team should be replaced.
Although Contrary Mega Mewtwo Y was the very Pokémon highlighter had originally built his team around, I eventually realized that it was the weak link in my team. Sure, it was an unbelievably dangerous offensive threat, but unlike all the other Pokémon on my team, it contributed close to nothing to my team's defensive synergy, as it could not be used to wall, revenge-kill, or otherwise check anything. I found that battling with a team with this Mega Mewtwo Y on it was akin to battling with a team of five well-synergized Pokémon along with one standalone and one-dimensional offensive threat. Furthermore, it was also a highly risky Pokémon to use, not only because of the shaky accuracy of the moves Psycho Boost and Overheat (especially relative to my own standards, as well as my well-known dislike of inaccurate moves), but also because the move Spore had the possibility of being reflected by a Magic Bounce Pokémon, with devastating effects, since my Mega Mewtwo Y did not wear Safety Goggles, and my team did not have an Aromatherapy or Heal Bell user outside of its Imposter.
With all of this in mind, I replaced my Mega Mewtwo Y with a Magic Bounce Xerneas. Now that my team no longer needed to Imposter-proof my Mega Mewtwo Y, I changed my Solgaleo's Ability to Turboblaze, as I personally find the ability to set up entry hazards on Magic Bounce Pokémon to be exceedingly useful in this metagame.
Initially, I gave my Magic Bounce Xerneas the exact same moveset it had in ☽Mare Tranquillitatis☾ - Moonblast, Rapid Spin, Spikes, and a healing move - Shore Up, in this case. However, because my team already had a very powerful entry hazard game in the form of Solgaleo's Turboblaze Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes, combined with Blissey's Spikes, which it could situationally set up, I found Spikes on Xerneas to be quite redundant on this team. Furthermore, at the time of this iteration of my team, the item Gengarite had yet to be banned, so I replaced my Xerneas' Spikes with U-turn, in order to allow it to escape from a Shadow Tag Mega Gengar, especially when combined with its Magic Bounce Ability, which makes it immune to Encore.
Finally, now that my team had a very reliable Magic Bounce-possessing Rapid Spin user that is capable of threatening opposing Giratina with its powerful Moonblast attack, I felt that my own team's Giratina no longer needed to know the move Defog. As such, I replaced this move with Whirlwind, in order to abuse my Turboblaze Solgaleo's Toxic Spikes to the maximum level. After all, a Pokémon only needs to be dragged out once by Whirlwind when Toxic Spikes is on the field in order to be poisoned. Even if the opponent removes the Toxic Spikes later on in the battle, the poison still remains, at least until the opponent removes it with a move like Aromatherapy or Heal Bell. Furthermore, people who know me well from the other two metagames I main would also know that I absolutely adore the Toxic Spikes + Whirlwind strategy in general, and I personally believe that this may be the ultimate and most consistent strategy, when looking at the art of Pokémon battling as a whole.
After some more battles, I found that my team had trouble with two things. The first was Choice Band Primal Groudon with either Stakeout (which was not yet banned at the time) or Tinted Lens as its Ability, as my team had no reliable switch-in whatsoever to either of those. As such, as useful as my Magic Bounce Xerneas was, I had to replace it with a Fur Coat Arceus, for which I chose the Arceus-Dragon sprite, since Dragon is my favorite of the eighteen Pokémon types. For my Arceus-Dragon-disguised Arceus-Normal, I chose the moves Gastro Acid, Rapid Spin, Shore Up and Spectral Thief. Shore Up's role is obvious, while Rapid Spin is needed as my team would have no way of removing entry hazards otherwise, except with my Imposter. Spectral Thief was there as it could be useful in case I switched my Arceus into a Primal Groudon, expecting a Choice Band attack, only to see it boosting with Shell Smash. And the very idea of Gastro Acid Arceus originated from Pokémon Online's version of Balanced Hackmons, a metagame in which Arceus can be of any type regardless of its item and/or Ability. Gastro Acid Arceus serves a myriad of utility in that metagame, and since I can personally see many of such benefits being applicable in this metagame as well, I decided to use it here as well. With my Magic Bounce Xerneas being replaced with a Fur Coat Arceus, my team was now far more passive against Dark-type Pokémon. But since Choice Band Primal Groudon was such a massive threat, I had no choice but to make this sacrifice. And at least my Arceus possesses the ability to use Gastro Acid to cancel out the Poison Heal of Mega Tyranitar, Mega Gyarados and Yveltal, anyway.
The second thing my team had trouble with was Unburden Belly Drum sweepers, such as Kartana. After performing a damage calculation, I found that a Fake Out followed by an Extreme Speed from a Sky Plate-holding Aerilate Mega Rayquaza can take out a Kartana from 75% health, so I changed my Mega Rayquaza's item to Sky Plate, while giving it the moves Boomburst, Extreme Speed, Fake Out and Low Kick.
At the time, the Ability Magnet Pull had yet to be banned, and I found myself losing a lot as a result of my Solgaleo being trapped and eliminated by Magnet Pull Primal Groudon. Such an event was always very devastating to me, as the Sunne Pokémon is arguably the most important Pokémon on my team, since the entry hazards it sets up serve as my team's primary win condition. One cannot win a game of chess or a battle in war without the King, after all. Thus, I replaced Solgaleo with an Aegislash possessing the exact same Ability and moves. The Royal Sword Pokémon, whilst retaining all of Solgaleo's roles, including its ability to Imposter-proof my Mega Rayquaza, cannot be trapped by Magnet Pull, the Shadow Tag of a Gengarite-holding Gengar, or anything else, for that matter.
Notably, with this iteration of the team, I defeated morogrim in the Balanced Hackmons Ultimate League.
Later, Magnet Pull and Gengarite were both banned from Balanced Hackmons, so I put Solgaleo over Aegislash again, since the former's quadruple resistance to Psychic gave me a much easier time dealing with the devastating attacks of the unbelievably threatening Psychic Surge Choice Specs Mega Mewtwo Y. Additionally, its significantly more powerful Knock Off also proved useful at times, such as when it comes to chipping down a burned Defog Registeel, or hitting a Mega Mewtwo Y on the switch.
Despite all the previous iterations of my team, I found that it was still extremely far from a truly excellent team, due to three primary reasons. The first was the fact that, despite the presence of a Sky Plate-holding Aerilate Mega Rayquaza with Fake Out and Extreme Speed, the team still struggled with Unburden Belly Drum sweepers in general. This was because while Mega Rayquaza was capable of revenge-killing Kartana, it cannot do the same to every single abuser of this strategy, as some, such as Primal Groudon, possess way too much physical bulk to be revenge-killed easily. The second reason preventing this team from being truly excellent was the fact that, despite the presence of a Choice Scarf Imposter Blissey, it was still heavily threatened by Focus Sash-wearing Shell Smash sweepers with Dazzling, Queenly Majesty or Psychic Surge, such as Deoxys-A, Mega Mewtwo Y and Hoopa-U. And the third reason, and by far the biggest reason was just because of Primal Groudon in general. Very often, I'd lose a match due to my (logical and completely justified) decision to switch my Fur Coat Arceus into the opponent's Primal Groudon, expecting a powerful Choice Band-boosted attack such as V-create or Thousand Arrows, only to see it using Belly Drum or Shell Smash, with the former situation always forcing me to sacrifice multiple Pokémon in order to stop it, and the latter situation resulting in Primal Groudon being able to take out my Arceus in a single +2 hit if it has the Sheer Force Ability, holds a Life Orb, and knows the move Earth Power.
I eventually concluded that as long as Primal Groudon remained unbanned in Balanced Hackmons, there could not be any such thing as an excellent team in this metagame, as battles would always be easily decided by team matchups in the form of what moveset the opponent's Primal Groudon runs, as well as the question of whether or not one correctly guesses the opponent's Primal Groudon moveset an/or Ability the first time it is sent out. Furthermore, opting to use Primal Groudon myself under the logic that it is "overpowered" was not a solution to this problem, because it was not the case that Primal Groudon was "overpowered" in the sense that it gives its user consistent success, but rather, it simply makes everything more random. For example, if I were to use a Shell Smash Primal Groudon myself, I could defeat someone by Shell Smashing on the turn the opponent switches to their Fur Coat wall, but if I were to battle the same opponent again in the future, I would no longer have this massive advantage, and could even easily lose as a result.
However, while I did conclude that the problem presented by Primal Groudon could not be solved without banning this Pokémon, I did come up with a solution to the problems presented by Unburden Belly Drum sweepers, as well as Focus Sash-wearing Shell Smash sweepers with priority-blocking Abilities, with this solution also simultaneously addressing a previously-mentioned minor problem created by my previous decision to replace my Magic Bounce Xerneas with a Fur Coat Arceus. And this solution was replacing my Mega Rayquaza with a personal invention of mine in the SM Balanced Hackmons metagame, of which I am very proud - a Safety Goggles-wearing Prankster Xerneas knowing Encore, Haze, Moonblast and Shore Up. As soon as I made this change to my team, its overall consistency instantly skyrocketed. With a single change, my team no longer struggled with Unburden Belly Drum sweepers and anti-priority Shell Smash users, and it also instantly gained a very powerful check to Dark-type Pokémon.
Finally, at this point in time, I sat back to observe my team, and noticed something rather cool about the color pattern of my Pokémon. My Xerneas and Giratina were both in their shiny forms, something I chose as I personally find the appearances of these two Pokémon's shiny sprites to be extremely awesome. When combined with the presence of the absolutely majestic Primal Kyogre on my team, I saw that half of my team's members shared the same awesome-looking light blue color. I wanted to add more of such a color to my team, so I changed my Arceus' sprite from that of an Arceus-Dragon to that of an Arceus-Ice. Furthermore, I also personally find it incredibly cool to see a Pokémon that takes the form of an Ice type easily shrugging off Primal Groudon's V-create, a move it switches into extremely often, since it makes my Arceus appear to be unbelievably tough, like a glacier that never melts.
When the Primal Groudon suspect ladder came up, I participated on that ladder using this team, but with my Arceus' Fur Coat Ability replaced with Unaware, since I no longer had to worry about any catastrophically powerful V-creates or Thousand Arrows, as Primal Groudon was banned on that ladder. Furthermore, changing my Arceus' Ability to Unaware gave my team a much easier time dealing with Triage Mega Rayquaza with Tail Glow and Oblivion Wing, especially those with Spore.
Around this time, I changed my Arceus' Gastro Acid technique to Entrainment, based on the logic that the latter has more PP. At the same time, changing the opponent's Pokémon's Ability to Unaware, rather than suppressing its existing Ability, made no difference to my team, since my team has no setup sweepers that can allow the opponent's Pokémon to abuse their Unaware Ability anyway. Additionally, I also found that the ability to give my Arceus the Magic Bounce Ability by using Entrainment on a Magic Bounce Pokémon was kind of cool, and useful at times.
However, after some more battles, I eventually concluded that the optimal move for my Arceus was neither Gastro Acid nor Entrainment, but rather, Worry Seed, due to a rather specific scenario in which my team often finds itself.
Imagine a situation in which the opponent has a Normalize Mega Gengar with Entrainment, which is one of the most common threats in the SM Balanced Hackmons metagame. Normally, my unbelievably specially-bulky Revelation Dance Primal Kyogre serves as my check to this Pokémon. However, there are some situations in which it cannot accomplish this task, such as if it is fainted, weakened, poisoned by Toxic Spikes, or if there are simply multiple layers of entry hazards on the field. In such a scenario, my only hope of playing around the opponent's Mega Gengar would be with my Prankster Xerneas. However, by using Worry Seed instead of Gastro Acid or Entrainment on my Arceus, I would still be able to somewhat deal with Normalize Mega Gengar through the following method: I first use Worry Seed to change my opponent's Mega Gengar's Ability to Insomnia. If my opponent clicks Entrainment on that turn, then I would need to switch my Arceus out, possibly sacrificing a Pokémon in the process. Then, the next time my Arceus comes in, it would be able to hit the Ghost/Poison-type Pokémon with Spectral Thief, while Mega Gengar would no longer be able to use Entrainment to make itself immune to that move, since its Ability would be Insomnia by then. Furthermore, my team does not have a single sleep-inducing move, since it is based around the move Toxic Spikes, meaning that against my team, the Ability Insomnia has no benefits whatsoever. As such, I made the final change to my team, by replacing Arceus' Entrainment with Worry Seed.
It should also be noted that the sheer amount of time and number of battles it took me to finally realize that Worry Seed is superior to Gastro Acid on my Arceus serves as a clear demonstration of one of my central philosophies regarding teambuilding in Pokémon, which I have repeated many times: That true success in teambuilding can only be achieved after testing and tweaking a team over countless battles, in a long process of trial and error, rather than quickly throwing a team together without much testing.