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[VGC 2023] Salt Cure Sand Squad


Half, ninja, half cat, all attitude
For thousands of years I lay dormant and now I have returned to VGC with a power that will make the gods quake in their cosmic boots. With the powers gen 9 has granted me, I have tested four different teams and this is the one I've had the most success with. Ironically, this is the one I was least excited about. The other three were much more interesting to me. Loaded Dice Breloom, Population Bomb + Sweet Scent and a sun team were the others but I digress.

Tyranitar @ Eject Pack
Ability: Sand Stream
Level: 50
Tera Type: Rock
EVs: 252 HP / 156 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 92 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Rock Slide
- Crunch
- Ice Punch
- Protect

Starting out our team is the crux of the operation. Tyranitar starts off every match by setting up sandstorm. He can do damage and he can take damage. He's a good lad. I've equipped him with an eject pack so he comes right back if he gets intimidated.

Naclstack @ Eviolite
Ability: Purifying Salt
Level: 50
Tera Type: Fighting
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpD
Impish Nature
- Salt Cure
- Body Press
- Curse
- Helping Hand

But forget Tyranitar, this guy is the one I built the team around and I'm gonna be honest with you, I expected it to suck. Salt Cure carried me throughout my playthrough of Scarlet allowing me to take on things while severely underleveled and while I expected it to be nowhere near as useful in VGC, I had to give it a try and it CAN provide just a tiny bit more damage needed to pick up a KO. Nothing major but hey, its there. Naclstack misses out on Wide Guard by not evolving but the bulk gained from Eviolite is worth it in my opinion. Especially when considering Body Press. I didn't think teras would be super useful pre-release but thanks to it Body Press has lowkey become my favorite move. It allows Naclstack to deal a considerable amount of damage, especially as a trick room counter.

Houndstone @ Expert Belt
Ability: Sand Rush
Level: 50
Tera Type: Ghost
EVs: 180 HP / 252 Atk / 76 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Last Respects
- Body Press
- Will-O-Wisp
- Protect

Houndstone has one job: To clean up. He moves fast in the sand and Last Respects can become a 200 power move when he's the last puppo standing. He's a good boy and sometimes he's what stands between winning and losing.

Garchomp @ Bright Powder
Ability: Sand Veil
Level: 50
Tera Type: Ground
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Stomping Tantrum
- Dragon Claw
- Protect

Garchomp is Garchomp. He's ground type and he deals a lot of damage. That's all there is to it. He's got a bright powder to double down on Sand Veil. And no, it has not worked a single time so far.

Gholdengo @ Choice Specs
Ability: Good as Gold
Level: 50
Tera Type: Steel
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Make It Rain
- Shadow Ball
- Thunderbolt
- Dazzling Gleam

I hate this thing. It looks like a cheese stick. And yet, when choosing a steel type to go on this team, I saw no better option. Complete immunity to status moves is just too good. I would gladly use anything else. Loaded Dice Breloom, Maushold, Loaded Dice Baxcaliber, Dudunsparce, ANYTHING! Please give me the validation to stop using this monstrosity. And maaan, THIS guy is the 1000th pokemon in the nat dex. I can't believe this! It's got to be the dumbest looking pokemon in history but it's too good not to use.

Amoonguss @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Effect Spore
Level: 50
Tera Type: Water
EVs: 252 HP / 100 Def / 156 SpD
Sassy Nature
- Spore
- Rage Powder
- Clear Smog
- Giga Drain

I opted for Rocky Helmet + Effect Spore on Amoongus for two reasons. One, I actually don't switch out my mons that much. Its never really been part of my playstyle. And two a 60% chance to sleep or paralyze a physical attacker via rage powder is pretty poggers. Of course, there's still that 30% chance to poison instead but 2/3 ain't bad.

And there you go, that's the quick write up of the team I'll be using this year. I look forward to improving it with y'all's input! And for the love of god, please give me a reason to not use this cheese stick! Possibly for the last time since this place seems to have died. It's a shame because this used to be my go-to place.
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