Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #21: New Pokemon Ability Releases


          Starting September 28, 2011 (tomorrow), the new Spooky Manor Pokemon Dream World Expansion will become active, allowing for the ability to obtain a whole range of new Pokemon with their Hidden Abilities, as well as new furniture and items for your Dream House.

        The reason this is important from a competitive standpoint is that several Pokemon to be released in this wave include Magic Guard Abra, Gluttony Spoink, and Volbeat, Illumise and Sableye all with Prankster (among many others). This means that a lot of fearsome threats are to be added into the mix of the lower tiers, such as RU and UU, and since this is the first major and noteworthy addition from the Dream World into the Competitive Battling scene, it will be extremely interesting to see how these things play out against some of today's top tier threats.

Here are some interesting sets that might be prominent in the new metagame. Please keep in mind that at this moment I am not sure where each of these will end up tier-wise, so these are rather rough, but still quite useful, sets:

            Prankster Sableye
            252 HP/252 Def/4 Sp.Def
            Impish @ Leftovers
            -Will O Wisp
            -Knock Off/Toxic/Sucker Punch

Sableye with Prankster is one of the most anticipated Pokemon to be released due to its excellent ability, and unique typing and movepool that allow it to easily come to occupy a special niche in the metagame in the coming months. While none of its stats are even above average, with max HP, max Defense and Will O Wisp, it can serve to wall a great portion of physical threats, such as Excadrill, Toxicroak, Dragonite, etc, crippling them before they are able to do much damage. The fact that Sableye’s typing grants it no weaknesses is also an enormous benefit on a support set like this one, as only the most deadly of offenders will be able to do it in.

Other noteworthy moves at Sab’s command include Taunt, Recover and even Trick, all of which give it an astounding edge over today’s most common Prankster abusers. For more fun with Prankster, you may fill the last slot of this set with Trick, and equip Sableye with an Iron Ball (or Macho Brace) instead of Leftovers. This will allow you to cripple other fast threats, namely Fire types that can’t be burned with WoW and Special Attackers that Sableye would not otherwise wall. Additionally, as a Ghost type Sableye fills the role of an excellent Spin Blocker on the likes of both offensive and defensive teams that rely heavily on entry hazards to diminish threats. Overall, this is one Pokemon that is sure to skyrocket in usage due to its new toy. Be sure to look out for Sableye’s debut in the lower (and perhaps even upper) tiers, and be sure to be prepared for it as well.

Volbeat Prankster
252 HP/252 Sp.Def/4 Spe
Careful @ Leftovers
-Tail Glow
-Baton Pass
- Confuse Ray/U-Turn/ Roost

Volbeat also has access to Prankster now, and, like Sableye, fills a completely new niche in the metagame for its unique movepool. Priority Sub is something not commonly seen, except on Thundurus and Whimsicott, but it serves a vital function on this set due to the remaining moves. Additionally, Volbeat also has access to priority Tail Glow, allowing for a quick +3 in certain situations. And while Beat’s Special Attack is one of the most awful ever conceived, being the only Prankster abuser with access to Baton Pass gives it an automatic Green Card into the land of success. If used correctly, this set can be extremely deadly, as Volbeat need only utilize one or two turns of setup, after which the Baton Pass is essentially guaranteed. This is an excellent support spread that can vastly benefit nearly any Special Attacker in the entire game, bulky or speedy. You better get your Taunters ready for this one, lest you be swept by a +6 Reuniclus behind a Sub!!!!!

Magic Guard Alakazam
252 Sp.Atk/4 Sp.Def/252 Spe
Timid @ Life Orb or Focus Sash
-Shadow Ball
-Focus Blast
-Psyshock/Guard Split/Recover 

My personal favorite of all the new DW Pokemon released in this mix, Magic Guard Alakazam is the long awaited key to redemption for this old wizard-thing. I mean, seriously, how beautiful is this?! Zam is one of the fastest Pokemon in UU right now, boasting 120 Speed, and with an endlessly complementary base 130 Special Attack, is essentially the epitome of an offensive threat. This, coupled with a movepool that almost always yields perfect coverage, creates a deadly threat now immune to entry hazards and residual damage from the likes of Poison, Burn or Leech Seed. This is almost a perfect offensive threat, in that it can come in all day without fear of losing health from SR/Spikes and blast away at an opponent’s weakened mons. As Life Orb will now no longer sap 10% of Zam’s health, you need only ensure he not be slapped by faster threats and priority. If you can ensure this simple task is done, you’ve got yourself a god of a Pokemon just waiting to obliterate cowering threats.

A good item for MGZam is definitely Life Orb, as it optimizes damage output with the excellent coverage to back it up. Likewise, a Focus Sash variant may be employed, as without fear of hazard damage, you can save it for later and still have your Sash intact if at full health. Additionally, Choice Scarf is a wondrous option for such a Pokemon as Alakazam, if you want a deadly revenge killer at your command.

As of right now, Alakazam sits comfortably in the top percentage of RU monsters, but I think Magic Guard is just the gift to send it packing straight to UU, or perhaps, dare I dream it, OU.

Honorable Mentions:
The following Pokemon also have decently notable tools attained from Spooky Mansion, though not as amazing as the previously mentioned threats.

   Meowth (Persian)- Unnerve; A fast offense/support Pokemon with the ability to cripple Berry holders like Kingdra, Exeggutor, and anything else that employs the Resto strategy. This could come in handy.

Mr. Mime- Technician; Technician is always a great ability for anything with even considerable offensive potential, and I think Mime can use it to its advantage. While primed as a decent Baton Passer for its inability to be roared away with Soundproof, I think a uniquely offensive spread can be attempted to reasonable success with moves like Charge Beam, Icy Wind and Magical Leaf getting nice boosts.

Snubbull (Granbull)- Rattled; The bulldogs are never really seen in any of the tiers, but I think Rattled is a nice little addition to their repertoire. With a nice +1 Speed boost upon being hit by a Dark or Bug type move, this could be an interesting way to attempt to get a sweep going in the lower tiers.

Smoochum (Jynx)- Hydration for Smoochum (Dry Skin for Jynx); Jynx is easily an overlooked offensive threat due in part to her weakness to Stealth Rock and middling Speed. Dry Skin doesn’t make her too much better, but it does slightly allow her to mirror Toxicroak’s success with it as an offensive sweeper. Still, bad defensive typing and no priority means this probably won’t be as prominent on an OU rain team, but it deserves the crown now as Jynx’s most viable ability.

Spoink (Grumpig)- Gluttony; I could be wrong in saying that the pinch berries (Petaya, Salac, etc) have yet to be released, but if I am not than this mention is a little bit irrelevant. Still, once Grumpig can get its hands on a Salac Berry, it shall definitely become a reasonable offensive threat in RU. 

It will be quite interesting to see how any of these novelties will impact the metagame, but I think the changes will start once these new Pokemon are implemented into their respective tiers.

Happy Battling! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #20: New Pokemon Ten, Gigalith

A truly monolithic new monster.
Compressed Pokemon

H.P.: 85
Attk: 135
Def.: 130
Sp.A: 60
Sp.D: 70
Spe: 25

Abilities: Sturdy: This Pokemon will survive any hit (with at least 1HP) if at full health. Because Sturdy got a welcomed buff this generation, it now plays out far better on both Offensive and Defensive wielders. Gigalith is no different, and with nice stats can play either of those roles with the sanctity of having a built-in Focus Sash, Gigalith becomes a prime threat in any of the current tiers.

Sand Force (DW): Attacks of the Ground, Rock, and Steel types are boosted in power by 33% in a Sandstorm. This ability can actually help Gigalith out a lot more than some might think. With natural bulk and a lot of HP and Sp.Def investment, Lith will be easily able to survive hits and fire back with extremely powerful STAB and coverage moves. I think Sand Force will be an excellent addition to the Choice Band set once it gets released.

Prior to the release of Black and White, when the hubbub for certain new monsters (anyone remember Prankster Volbeat or the insane amount of Whimsicott being used??) was a bit skewed, Gigalith was looked at by most as a welcomed addition to the spot of Offensive lead. It had all the right qualities; a high Attack stat, good Defense, Sturdy, and of course, Stealth Rock (at the time people had though SR had died off). Fast forward nearly a year and you have Gigalith posted far below the cutoff point for even RU, forgotten by those who once loved it. The reason for this is that things like Donphan and Rhyperior quickly edged it out in the bulky Stealth Rock department, while Terrakion (and Rhyperior again) were exceptionally better in terms of Offense.
            But this doesn’t completely spell doom for the monolithic behemoth of a stone, as Gigalith has come to fill a special niche in today’s metagame with its power, precise ease at setting up Stealth Rock, and ability to Explode, should the need arise. 

Potential Sets:  

1     1. GigaLead
252 HP/252 Atk/4 Def
Adamant @ Leftovers or Wide Lens
-Stealth Rock
- Stone Edge
-Explosion/Toxic/Rock Blast

         With a great amount of Physical Bulk, natural offensive prowess and a built-in Focus Sash, Gigalith is primed for the spot of Lead on any team type. With Sturdy it is guaranteed to get up Stealth Rocks, except maybe against the likes of Abomasnow and fast Taunters, both of which can be disposed of with ideal Team Support. Lith also maxes out at 405 Attack, giving a powerful punch to the pseudo perfect EdgeQuake coverage combo. The last moveslot may be filled with any of the provided Attacks, each of which benefits Gigalith in particular scenarios. Explosion, despite its decrease in Power this generation, is ideal with 405 Attack to effectively blast holes in weakened Offensive threats, and is also great to use against Bulky opposition, as it allows you a free switch into an appropriate counter. Toxic is another good move on Gigalith, as it can damage any Non-Steel/Non-Poison type switch-in and give you the upper hand in the long run. Lastly, Rock Blast is to break Substitutes that might otherwise give your opponent an edge for setting up and sweeping your team. It is also much more accurate than Stone Edge and can demolish a lot of noteworthy RU threats like Yanmega, Venomoth and Entei.
            As far as Item choice goes, Leftovers is for added longevity, and acts nicely with Sturdy, while if that is not your concern Wide Lens may be equipped to boost Stone Edge’s accuracy to a decent 88%.
            Overall, Gigalith has the stats and moves to work as an effective lead, and its typing, stat spread, and unique defensive ability in Sturdy guarantee that it is not outclassed by anything in the upper tiers, making it a great surprise lead for OU and UU.

1    2. GraviLith
252 HP/252 Atk/4 Def
Adamant @ Leftovers or Wide Lens
- Stone Edge
-Toxic/Rock Blast

            This may not be the most standard set by any means, as Gravity is one of the most non-standard moves in existence, but its benefits for Gigalith and teammates can prove to be extremely valuable if used correctly. Blatantly put, Gravity lasts for five turns and has many effects that can exploit and ruin the opposing team, such as:
        It is easy to see where Gigalith comes into play with these benefits, both as an Offensive and Defensive threat. Offensively, with 135 base Attack power and two very outstanding coverage moves, Lith can hit everything that is not a dedicated Physical wall for very high amounts of damage since Earthquake will now hit everything in the game, and Stone Edge will hit 100% of the time on things that resist EQ. Notable RU threats like Yanmega, Entei and Venomoth will be much easier to dispose of with a never-missing Stone Edge, just as Defensive beasts (Gligar and Claydol, Bronzong and Skarmory in OU) will be more maneuverable with the fear of being hit by a powerful Quake. The Accuracy boost to Toxic is also quite noteworthy, as it allows you to diminish other rather bulky foes like Cresselia and Quagsire without the annoying 20 % chance of a miss.
            Overall, Gravity Gigalith looks like a fearsome warrior on paper, but it is not all Stones and Quakes for the Craggy monster. Though Sturdy and very usable bulk help Giga to live a hit from most things and set up Gravity indefinitely, other powerful monsters, or fast Taunters can find themselves easily outstepping Lith before he can do much at all. For this reason, it is a great idea to pair this set with strategically placed partners in your team, such as other Gravity users and/or hazard support so that you can fully make use of the fact that everything (bar Poisons and Magic Guards) will be damaged by Spikes and T-Spikes. Considerable teammates that can also utilize Gravity include Alakazam and Porygon-Z on the Offensive side, and Clefable and Dusknoir on Defense. Scolipede, Ferroseed and Drapion will gladly fill the role of Hazard support.

2    3. Of Sandstone
252 HP/4 Atk/252 Sp.Def  OR 252 HP/252 Atk/4 Sp.Def
Careful OR Adamant @ Smooth Rock
-Stone Edge

            The second best Sand Rush abuser (Stoutland) lies quite dormant in RU. But though no Auto-Sand support is present in the tier, Gigalith has an amazing amount of assets to make use as an effective Sandstormer, bolstering the capabilities of appropriately selected teammates. With the ability to live any hit when at full health, you are guaranteed to set up an eight-turn Sand with Smooth Rock equipped. Explosion is to decimate anything that then stands in your way, and also for scouting purposes so that you may get a free switch into just about anything at the cost of Giga’s life. EdgeQuake is for….well, you know.
            Though the Hippos, T-tar, Excadrill, and Landorus reside in the upper tiers, the possibility of making a dominant Sand team in RU is very real, with Sand lovers like Stoutland, Durant, Krookodile and Cacturne for excellent Offensive potential. Also on the Defensive side of things, a myriad of beasts including Claydol, Clefable, Mandibuzz (with Overcoat), Ferroseed, Rhyperior, Crustle and Rhydon [the latter 3 of which garner an astounding 50% bonus to their Special Defense] can all make wondrous use of the Storm and work well to form solid cores for more Defensive teams. A lot of these Pokemon are even capable of setting up Sandstorm as well, so you can have a nice backup should Gigalith fall or your initial Sandstorm should falter.
            In terms of EV spread, an ideal one would be Max HP and Max Sp.Def with a Careful nature, so that you can more optimally abuse Sandstorm once it’s up. Alternatively, Max Defense may be attained, though Lith hits very high Defense without any investment. Furthermore, if you’d like to play more offensively, a standard spread of 252 Attack with Adamant nature is ideal.

3    4.  BandedLith
252 HP/252 Atk/4 Def
Adamant @ Choice Band
-Stone Edge
- Return
- Rock Blast/Explosion/Heavy Slam

By now, you should be annoyed with what I have to say about Gigalith, but a Choice Band set is effective for abusing this monster’s mountain-high Attack stat, good coverage options, and of course, Sturdy. The outright power and coverage of this set also serve to make a great anti-lead in both RU, and also in UU where things like Frosslass and Nidoqueen are common. The motives of a CB Pokemon remain true here, as dishing out disastrous attacks and hitting surprise switch-ins anchor this set as being extremely reliable, scoring notable 3HKOs on dedicated Physical walls like Max Defense Cress and even Cofagrigus. And while this may not be something exceptional to boast about, there still remains a possibility of landing a Critical Hit with that STAB Stone Edge.
The usual two-move coverage scheme returns here as always, with a number of notable options to back it up. First off, Return adds a decent means of hitting typical resists of EdgeQuake, and with base 102 power should hit a lot of things quite hard. Rock Blast is nice to prevent the opponent from setting up a Substitute, and has a chance of hitting harder than Stone Edge at the 5-turn max. Explosion is another great move choice that works well against powerful foes once Sturdy has been activated. Lastly, Heavy Slam is an interesting choice as it acts similarly to Grass Knot in that the opponent’s weight affects how powerful of a move it will be. This could be beneficial against lighter opponents and adds significant coverage as well.
Because Gigalith is slow, it lacks a convincing amount of purpose for use when considered against super-powerhouses Honchkrow and, especially, Rhyperior for employment of Choice Bander on a team. This is likely because, despite the fact that Lith has an astounding Attack stat, there remains a certain lack of additional factors that make him a particularly superb Band abuser. Blatantly put, he is “just another Rock type” and has nothing entirely worth note when compared to things like Rhyperior, Archeops, and even Golem.

Despite these shortcomings, Gigalith does make great use of its ability and is a great surprise player against teams who would normally expect a Standard Lead set and can add the very beneficial element of surprise to your roster, potentially giving you a slight edge over the opposing team. Use Gigalith, as with anyting, for its assets, and because these are unique in of themselves, it is hard to say he is outclassed by anything upon more in-depth consideration.

         Competitive Usability: 7 out of 10  

        Gigalith's design didn't stand out too much to me when I first saw it. In fact, I didn't even think it was a final-stage evolution, I thought it still had a couple more to go through to reach its highest state of awesomeness.  Its shiny sprite is pretty awesome, resembling some sort of crystal rock formation, but otherwise, I think the whole scheme is a bit sub-par. 
        Aesthetic Design: 7 out of 10

Sunday, September 11, 2011

RMT #2: Standard OU Team; “In the Desert”

In the Desert

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said: "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter - bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."
-Stephen Crane

Here is my second Rate My Team for this site. I must say, I am a lot more experienced with the 5th generation metagame than I was way back when I posted the first one, and for that reason I think this is a much more solid team. However, that is not to say that it is in any way perfect; I am still aware that there are some necessary improvements to be made, and I think there are still a lot of exploitable flaws present. But that is why I am posting this here, so that you can all help me make this team better, and can hopefully learn from my team building process and the Pokemon sets I use. This is an OU team, a very standard one at that, and I think it’s safe to say that OU is currently my favorite of all the tiers. I’ve tried a fair bit of RU, and even a little UU, but nothing really requires as much quick thinking and strategy as I feel OU does. But that’s just latent opinion that will probably change in a month or two.
As you will also notice, this is a very standard Sand team. Now, before you think to yourself, “Oh great, just another one of those. How boring and uncreative”, I’d like you to consider that the current OU metagame, rampant as it is with Weather teams of all forms and types, has come to need this abundance for its own stability. In other words, because there is one particular type of Weather, it is necessary to have another in order to efficiently counter it. This means that threats like Excadrill, Venusaur and Thundurus won’t entirely demolish the entire metagame in their respective Weather as long as there is another Weather type able to counter it. That is not to say, however, that Weather is the only thing capable of countering other Weather, but it is one of the few. Of course, this then makes it a cut-throat game of Last Weather Standing, but that just makes it all the more fun in my opinion.

So let’s get to the team.

Po @ Leftovers
252 HP/4 Def/252 Sp.Def, Careful
-Stealth Rock
-Ice Fang

The foundation of this team was Hippowdon, as I knew Tyranitar is the most used Sand summoner (the most used Weather summoner in general), and wanted to experiment with a team of two auto-Sand abusers. I figured this would give me a nice advantage in keeping Sand on the field, since it is the only auto-weather with two fully evolved Pokemon able to instigate it. This means that most other weather teams would only have one means of getting up their Sun, Rain or Hail, and once I dispose of that Mon, as long as Hippo or T-Tar are still alive, I can win the Weather war. So now came time to think of a set. I knew Hippo has amazing bulk overall, but I had never once seen a max Sp.Def variant used. I wanted to try one out, and the results were wonderful. I could take hits from Choice Specs Latios and set up my Rocks indefinitely. I was also able to dapple with other common leads such as bulky or Scarfed Rotom-W, and all other Weather summoners bar Specs Politoed. This was excellent, since Hippowdon’s main use on this team is to set up Sand, lay down Stealth Rock, then die. In that sense it is more of a suicide lead, since I have Tar to ensure I get up Sand in the end.

The moveset is as odd as the EV spread, in that it plays a little bit like an offensive variant. EQ is for obvious STAB, and is useful in taking down some notable threats, while Superpower adds decent coverage and power. Ice Fang is for the likes of Latios and Gliscor, so that I can threaten them much more effectively, and since they usually don’t expect it. I used to run Slack Off in its place, but found that the recovery wasn’t as necessary as the coverage, since this plays out more like a suicide lead anyway.

Even out of dreams, the Sandman will find you.

Sandman @ Leftovers
252 HP/128 Sp.Atk/128 Sp.Def, Quiet
-Ice Beam

Hippowdon’s Partner in crime, Tyranitar, is my secondary means of setting up Sandstorm, and my primary means of taking most Special hits from less powerful threats. The set and spread may seem unorthodox like Hippo’s set, but I’ve found Tar can take hits pretty nicely and dish out a reasonably powerful, well-covered move in the process. The reason I chose Quiet and some Special Attack investment was because I wanted it to deal as much damage as possible while still being able to absorb some attacks. Thunderbolt is here for coverage, and to hit certain unsuspecting Pokemon like Politoed or Gyarados, and the rest of the set is pretty standard.

n the Sand, T-tar hits a monstrous 402 Special Defense which, coupled with a naturally high 404 HP and decent 256 Defense, allows it to take hits reasonably well. I’m also not too concerned about the lack of physical Defense, as I have something to take care of that. Tyranitar is great on this team, not only for Sand Stream, but because it can rid me of annoyingly efficient threats like Ferrothorn, Forretress, Starmie, Latios and Latias, to name a few.

He may look slow, but what goes on in that mind, you may never want to figure out.

Savant @ Leftovers
252 HP/252 Def/4 Sp.Def, Bold
-Slack Off
-Fire Blast

One of the best Physical Walls in the game at the moment, I chose Slowbro for its natural ability to take powerful hits, usable Tanking potential, and uniquely excellent ability Regenerator that further increases its longevity, and thereby shortens my concern with Physical threats like Excadrill, Conkeldurr or Dragonite, all of which would otherwise threaten my team. The EVs here are standard, unlike a few other sets on this team, and I’m proud with the outcome. Slowbro is growing as one of my favorite Pokemon of 5th generation, and for good reason.

The moveset is reasonably standard as well. Scald, with its high Burn rate, only increases Slowbro’s wondrous walling capabilities, Fire Blast is for Skarm, Ferro and Forre (though all of these don’t like the Burn rate of Scald either) and Toxic and Slack Off are for bulkier threats and to Stall out other things, respectively and together. While Toxic seems nice, though, I find myself rarely ever needing to use it, and wonder whether there is another move I can replace it with that I might have generally overseen. It is necessary, though, in taking down the occasional Gastrodon if one of my sweepers is unable to. Overall, Slowbro is a hugely key member of this team, for it deals with certain Monsters and team types that no other member could.

“Why do I act like I made this when I so obviously had another hand?” Mandala, by Circa Survive

Mandala @ Leftovers
108 HP/148 Atk/100 Sp.Atk/56 Sp.Def/96 Spe, Lonely
-Iron Head
-Fire Punch
-Thunder Wave
-Hidden Power Ice

An interesting, yet key member to this team, this rather unconventional Jirachi set fills several roles at once. With the given EVs, it is bulky enough to take hits, dish out some powerful Iron Heads that work brilliantly in tandem with the T-Wave hax, and can even outspeed and KO common Gliscor and Dragonite sets, neither of which ever expect an oncoming HP Ice. Because spreads like Sp.Def Wall Rachi, SubCM Rachi, and even ScarfRachi are more commonly seen today, this little guy becomes my secret weapon, scoring notable KOs on Pokemon that would otherwise win against it, which forces my opponent into a minor state of confusion, giving me an immediate upper hand. Paraflinch hax is as annoying and prominent as ever on this set, and it really helps me out in the long run against threats who rely on Speed to win their side of the battle. This is a very viable Jirachi set, and is recommended if you want to try something new. Courtesy of Faladran.

Now, let’s get to the Offense of the team.

Anyone Got a Broom???

Terra Force @ Choice Band
4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe
-Quick Attack
-Stone Edge
-Close Combat

Perfect power, monstrous Speed, an overall intimidating glare. What do these three qualities have in common? They are all rocked hard by Choice Banded Terrakion. This set is amazing. Nearly everything in OU is taken down by at the very least two of these moves, meaning that if I can predict a Gliscor or Skarmory switch (as these are two, if not the two most common Physical Walls in OU), I can hit them with a Stone Edge or Close Combat, respectively, and ensure they lose their Wall on the next turn. After that, Terrakion is free to demolish the remainder of the opponent’s team, or I can send in Excadrill for an assured sweep. These two Offensive mons work great together, and I’ve had a few late game sweeps with just Terrakion alone. As if the brute force of its attacks weren’t enough glory to gloat over, its 108 Speed allows it to attack before a humongous chunk of the metagame, netting easy OHKOs on faster, frailer threats. Do not underestimate the Force.

“Bulldozer, run right over us” -Bulldozer, by Cold War Kids

This Pokemon is named after one of my favorite songs at the moment, as I found it fitting for what Excadrill is capable of in the OU scene. Because it is by far the best Sand Sweeper in the game, and even one of the best Weather Sweepers at that, I’ve found many opportunities with this guy to open up sweeps for my team. I’ve chosen an Adamant nature for maximum power before and after Swords Dance, and with an insane 550 Speed in a Sandstorm, Excadrill is easily capable of outspeeding just about anything it comes up against.

Strictly in regards to the set, I employed the use of Air Balloon so that I can switch in on opposing Excadrill that doesn’t hold a Balloon itself, or even a Haxorus locked into Earthquake (which has happened more time than you’d expect). Swords Dance is the icing on the cake of a Pokemon with massive Offensive potential, and Rock Slide and EQ are for great powerful coverage and STAB, respectively. In quite a bold play on my part, I have forgone the additional coverage of X-Scissor and even Brick Break for the ability to relinquish opposing hazards that may have been placed on my side of the field. This is very important since, although nothing on my team fears Stealth Rock, layers of Spikes and especially Toxic Spikes can really stack up against my monsters and wear them down before I can make an impact. Because Excadrill 4x resists Stealth Rock, is immune to Toxic Spikes, and evades Spikes due to Air Balloon, it is a nearly perfect Rapid Spinner, and therefore an extremely efficient member of this squad. In addition to that, its Offensive prowess only helps it as a Spinner; a boosted Rock Slide or STAB EQ is capable of demolishing OU’s most common Spin Blockers, Jellicent and Gengar.

There is no doubt that Excadrill fits very nicely into this team as a whole. I know he and Sand teams really go hand in hand, but that is because In the Desert is where he is at his best. I am aware there are probably several holes to be patched in this squadron of creatures, and so I hope you may be able to help me to perfect it. I also really hope that you can take something from this team, and even try it, or some of the Pokemon on it ,out yourself. All of these sets are extremely viable, and a lot of them will not be expected by your opponent. Just be sure to bring your Go-Goggles if you don’t want to try Sand out yourself.

Click HERE to see a replay of this team in action!

A couple key points about this battle:
1. I led with Slowbro because I figured it was the best thing to be paired up against Dugtrio. I figured he’d lead with Dugtrio because he’d want to trap and kill
one of my two Sand Streamers right away.
2. The disgustingly brutal combination of Excadrill and Terrakion works at its best here.
3. I did end up winning the match, though that part is not shown. I remember being anxious once I knew that he had Ninetails and Volcarona left, as two Stone
Edge hits in a row would win me the match, but a miss would cost me dearly.
Hope you enjoyed this post! Leave feedback, Please!