Volcarona + Mega Gyarados Core OU

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Volcarona + Mega Gyarados Core OU

Post by Literally Death on Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:51 pm


Introduction

I'm still a bit new to the OU, so my team is probably pretty bad. I used a core from the Smogon Good Cores list, and built it around that. I used a good bit straight from smogon without changing a whole lot.

Teambuilding Process



The Team


Volcarona @ Passho Berry
Ability: Flame Body
EVs: 72 HP / 252 SpA / 184 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fire Blast
- Bug Buzz
- Giga Drain
- Quiver Dance
Part of my main core, I use this to pressure Ferrothorn and other common grass or steel types. He covers a good bit with Fire Blast and Bug Buzz. Works really well with Gyarados.


Gyarados @ Gyaradosite
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Waterfall
- Crunch
- Substitute
- Dragon Dance
The other part of my core, Mega Gyarados counters almost everything that Volcarona can't. The two of them can take on almost any typing, though they are troubled by electric and ground types quite a bit.


Latios @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Defog
- Psychic
- Recover
- Draco Meteor
I needed a defogger (though I added excadrill as a spinner so I might not need Latios anymore), since Rocks can hit my core pretty badly, and I heard Latios was a pretty good one.



Clefable @ Leftovers
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 HP / 172 Def / 84 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Stealth Rock
- Moonblast
- Thunder Wave
- Soft-Boiled
Clefable is a good counter to dragon, dark, and fighting types, which can threaten Volcarona and Gyarados through their general versatility. Also a good support with thunder wave, and can last some time with Soft-boiled.



Gliscor @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
EVs: 244 HP / 8 Def / 200 SpD / 56 Spe
Careful Nature
- Swords Dance
- Earthquake
- Knock Off
- Roost
Gliscor's my wall against fire, steel, and electric types. Roost and Poison Heal keep him alive for a long time, Knock off helps drop momentum, and swords dance and earthquake is quite terrifying, though I can rarely pull it off.



Excadrill @ Focus Sash
Ability: Mold Breaker
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Earthquake
- Iron Head
- Rapid Spin
- Stealth Rock
Excadrill's a good lead, able to interrupt Rocks with RSpin and setup his own. Also my go to against fairy types.

Conclusion

I've found that this team could possibly work well, but really I think it's my poor skills that can really put me in a spot. But this team still let's me make mistakes every so often, which is why I like it. There's room for error. Any suggestions on different movesets or pokemon would be much appreciated.
Importable:

Volcarona @ Passho Berry  
Ability: Flame Body  
EVs: 72 HP / 252 SpA / 184 Spe  
Timid Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
- Fire Blast  
- Bug Buzz  
- Giga Drain  
- Quiver Dance  

Gyarados @ Gyaradosite  
Ability: Intimidate  
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe  
Jolly Nature  
- Waterfall  
- Crunch  
- Substitute  
- Dragon Dance  

Latios @ Life Orb  
Ability: Levitate  
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  
Timid Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
- Defog  
- Psychic  
- Recover  
- Draco Meteor  

Clefable @ Leftovers  
Ability: Magic Guard  
EVs: 252 HP / 172 Def / 84 SpD  
Calm Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
- Stealth Rock  
- Moonblast  
- Thunder Wave  
- Soft-Boiled  

Gliscor @ Toxic Orb  
Ability: Poison Heal  
EVs: 244 HP / 8 Def / 200 SpD / 56 Spe  
Careful Nature  
- Swords Dance  
- Earthquake  
- Knock Off  
- Roost  

Excadrill @ Focus Sash  
Ability: Mold Breaker  
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD  
Careful Nature  
- Earthquake  
- Iron Head  
- Rapid Spin  
- Stealth Rock
A replay of me using this. I lost. Sad
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/ou-463382362
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Re: Volcarona + Mega Gyarados Core OU

Post by Naito Raizu on Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:48 am

Hey there Death. I'm not sure if I introduced myself before, so I'll do it here. My name is Naito, and I'm one of the Professors here at the Lounge. Now, I'm going to do a review of your team. This review shall be broken up into three parts. The first part will be my initial review of your team, with it's strengths and weaknesses. The second part will be my "tear down", basically me really ripping into the team and making suggestions on how to improve it. The last part will be my "build up", which will be me putting together some of my suggestions and printing out a sample of the team for you to use and fiddle with, should you so choose.

Remember before we begin that NONE of my suggestions are binding. Please feel free to sort through them and extract the ones you like the sound of. However, do remember that none of these suggestions are made without reason. They're all here to help you grow as a player. Now let's begin.

Team Overview:
Let me just say that at a first glance, this is a pretty solid team for a starting competitive player. You've worked out cores, you've gotten yourself some Entry Hazards, and Entry Removers, and seem to have a firm grip on basic concepts. However, this team clearly isn't designed with the meta in mind. Here are some of the big weaknesses I see your team facing:

Stealth Rocks - Your Team dies to Stealth Rocks pretty face. Volcarona doesn't like it, and Gyarados doesn't want to take it. You've got Latios & Excadrill to cover that weakness, but nothing to counter the Mon's that set the rocks.

Mega Venusaur - Mega Venusaur will be a pretty big issue for your team. If you decide to junk Latios, suddenly your team is Venusaur fodder, as even Volcarona will have a hard time facing him down.

Water-Types - Volcarona, Gliscor, & Excadrill all die to one of the most common types in the meta, and you don't have a lot to improve upon the situation. You've got a Latios & Gyarados which both resist Water-Type attacks, but hate Azumarill, Slowbro, & Keldeo, the three most common Water-Type Pokemon in the format.

Revenge Killers - Set-Up sweeping means you don't have a lot to deal with revenge killers, which could become an issue.

At first glance, this looks like an attempt at a balance team, so that's what my main suggestions are going to go forward as. However, I will drop hyper offensive suggestions as well, should you choose to take that route.

Tear Down:

Volcarona:



Volcarona @ Passho Berry
Ability: Flame Body
EVs: 72 HP / 252 SpA / 184 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fire Blast
- Bug Buzz
- Giga Drain
- Quiver Dance

This seems like a pretty standard Volcarona at first glance, but I've noticed some changes to HP & Spe that you've made with your EVs. While this adds more bulk to Volcarona, I argue that this defeats the overall purpose of the Pokemon. Volcarona is known for his blistering speed, able to outperform a Choice Scarf Lando-T at +1 when fully invested, and the drop in Spe can quickly become fatal as Volcarona no longer outspeeds or ties with a lot of his competitors. While the added HP may allow Volcarona to better survive attacks from Pokemon such as Azumarill, the hit to Spe is ultimately not worth the benefit. I would recommend readjusting your EVs so that you've got maximum investment in Speed and Special Attack, which will allow Volcarona to outspeed and kill anything that stands in your way.

On top of this, I've noticed that with the HP you've also added the Passho Berry. While this berry would allow you to set-up on opponents such as Azumarill, Manaphy, & Keldeo, I would again advise you that it's probably not worth it. Volcarona hits hard enough as it is, and with the presence of Stealth Rocks as such as common Entry Hazard, whatever you've calculated that you can survive likely becomes void. Instead I'm going to recommend that you drop the Passho Berry in favour of a Lum Berry, which will help Volcarona in case it gets caught by attacks such as Spore, Glare, & Toxic, all of which would cripple Volcarona otherwise.

Other than those two glaring weaknesses, Volcarona looks pretty solid. I will make the suggestion that you consider replacing Fire Blast with Fiery Dance. Fiery Dance has more accuracy than Fire Blast (in exchange for power, of course) but carries the benefit of potentially boosting your Special Attack by one stage, which could potentially save your skin in a battle. Just don't take the decision lightly. Fire Blast's higher base power is capable of achieving STAB powered KO's that Fiery Dance cannot, so choose wisely.

Mega Gyarados:




Gyarados @ Gyaradosite
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Waterfall
- Crunch
- Substitute
- Dragon Dance

On top of Volcarona, you are also running a Mega Gyarados with the Dragon Dance set-up sweeping set, as well as a Gliscor with Swords Dance, something that is rather confusing. Multiple set-up sweepers on teams isn't very common, and can often lead to your team getting clogged up. Nonetheless, as this is a core, I'll try and work with it.

Your Gyarados is a pretty common set-up. His Dragon Dance & Jolly Nature should get rid of anything that's troubling you. I can't say much for him, as you've got him pretty much down-pat. I would offer you the advice of switching his set-up to a more Bulky Offensive set. Volcarona is a frail sweeper, compared to Gyarados who is very bulky and can live quite a few hits. With this in mind, Gyarados' Bulky Offensive set sacrifices some speed & firepower for the ability to live longer, and hit back hard. The set would swap out Crunch for Bounce, which I would argue is okay should you change Latios, as your team is basically walled by Mega Venusaur at this point in time (trust me, Volcarona don't do much to Venusaur). But again, other than that I can't think of much you can do to Gyarados. If you want the Bulky Offensive EV spread, it's just below this line.

88 HP/220 Atk/4 Def/196 Spe

Latios:




Latios @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Defog
- Psychic
- Recover
- Draco Meteor

Latios is a good Pokemon to be running in this format, especially for your team. Latios has a lot of strong points to help your team, including the ability to remove Entry Hazards, and the ability to deal with Mega Venusaur. Like Volcarona, this Latios is going to be fast and hit hard before coming back to be replaced with something else on the battle field. There's not a lot of suggestions to be made to improve Latios, other than replacing Psychic with Psyshock, giving you the ability to take care of pesky Calm Mind users like Keldeo.

(This post shall be a work-in-progress. Time restraints are currently restricting my ability to complete it.)


Last edited by Naito Raizu on Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:51 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Volcarona + Mega Gyarados Core OU

Post by Literally Death on Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:07 pm

Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'm thinking of maybe making Gliscor a Baton-Passer, as well as a pivot. I can switch in, swords dance, and baton pass out. I guess I could replace roost, if I'm going to make him a pivot too.
Also I've noticed I'm really weak to Skarmory. If the opponent predicts the change, they can just use Brave Bird and OHKO my Volcarona. My other Pokemon can't really combat it either without taking some serious hits. Do you have any suggestions against Skarmory?
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Re: Volcarona + Mega Gyarados Core OU

Post by MelonSquid on Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:05 am

Gotta say before I start: kudos to you for using Mega Gyarados. It is viable in OU for sure, but is not used often.
Anyways, on to the team:

1) Bird Spam check
The first thing I noticed looking at your team is that it completely dies to a playstyle called Bird Spam. Bird Spam is an offensive teambuild focused around Talonflame and (usually) Mega Pinsir, which form something called an overload core. I can talk more about overload cores in a different post if you want me to. For now, just know that when someone says that your team is weak to birds or bird spam, they mean that it is weak to Talonflame and/or Mega Pinsir.
How bad is this weakness? Well, I ran some Damage calculations for you to look at:
Damage Calcs:
252+ Atk Choice Band Talonflame Brave Bird vs. 72 HP / 0 Def Volcarona: 668-788 (203 - 239.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ Atk Choice Band Talonflame Brave Bird vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Mega Gyarados: 217-256 (65.5 - 77.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Choice Band Talonflame Brave Bird vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Latios: 282-333 (94.3 - 111.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
252+ Atk Choice Band Talonflame Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 172 Def Clefable: 246-291 (62.4 - 73.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252+ Atk Choice Band Talonflame Brave Bird vs. 244 HP / 8 Def Gliscor: 193-228 (54.8 - 64.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Poison Heal
252+ Atk Choice Band Talonflame Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Excadrill: 177-209 (41.7 - 49.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

As you can see, Choice Band Talonflame Can 2HKO every single Pokemon on your team, except Excadrill. However, Excadrill falls to a well-timed Flare Blitz, and can only switch into brave bird once before being 2HKOed anyways. In other words, literally nothing on your team can switch into Talonflame. This weakness is too large to play around, no matter your skill level.
To fix this, Rotom-w, Heatran, Tyranitar, Defensive Garchomp, Landorus-T, Slowbro, Zapdos, and Hippowdon to name a few, can all beat birds. I would recommend at least one, probably two, bird checks.

2) Azumarill/water check
The entirety of your team is weak to Azumarill. Between Aqua Jet, Play rough, and Waterfall, it can dispatch your entire team. To patch this up, I would remove Gliscor, Excadrill, and (possibly) Clefable in favor of other pokemon.
Quick note here: removing Clefable is very much optional. I personally prefer more offensive playstyles, and find that Clefable often has trouble providing the pressure I want it to. However, the utility of thunder wave as well as Stealth rock support that it provides is very valuable. Not to mention the hits it takes. I would try both keeping it AND removing it for this reason.
The common water types of OU consist of Rotom-W, Azumarill, Keldeo and Slowbro. In addition, Rotom-W can be covered by Mega Gyarados if it chooses to run Earthquake , Keldeo is quickly removed by Latios, and Slowbro is defeated by Crunch. This means that the biggest water type threat is Azumarill.

Recommended Pokemon (top recommendations are in caps):
AMOONGUS – Amoongus beats every listed water type except boosted Slowbro with psyshock/psychic. Regenerator allows it to check these threats more consistently too.

Slowbro—beats Azumarill and Keldeo, as well as birds. However, it has common weaknesses with Gyarados and Latios

CELEBI – beats all listed water types, and can be played offensive, defensive, or supportive. This pokemon can pack a lot of surprise. Also gets Healing Wish, which would be a huge addition to this team.

Tangrowth with Assault vest – beats Keldeo

ROTOM-W – Cannot switch into Keldeo or Azumarill, but it scares both of them out with volt switch. Also beats birds and Skarmory (which you were worried about).

Serperior – Cannot switch in, but scares out all four with leaf storm.

3) Only one hazard remover and one stealth rock setter
While stealth rocks are devastating to your team, it does not warrant multiple hazard removers. Move slots are valuable. By having two ways to remove hazards, you are losing out on precious coverage that could very well make the difference between an easy victory and a quick defeat. The logic for having only one stealth rock setter is similar.

4) Psyshock over Psychic on Latios
While the drop in power might be offputting, psyshock allows Latios to always check keldeo, a huge threat to your team. Otherwise, keldeo almost always lives a psychic after one use of calm mind, and can retaliate with Icy Wind (2hko, but lowers opponent’s speed.) to always win (bar a miss). It also allows Latios to do meaningful damage to Chansey and Blissey.

5) Some way to deal with +2 Bisharp
Examples (may not work on this team, but should get you thinking):
Keldeo
Infernape
Cobalion
Breloom

In Summary:
REMOVE: Gliscor, Excadrill and (maybe) Clefable
ADD: Bird check, Water check, stealth rocker (if Clefable is removed), Bisharp check

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Re: Volcarona + Mega Gyarados Core OU

Post by Literally Death on Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:42 pm

I replaced Excadrill and Gliscor, though I like Clefable, so I kept it.
Here's my new pokemon:
Spoiler:

Rotom-Wash @ Chesto Berry  
Ability: Levitate  
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 Spe  
Bold Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
- Volt Switch  
- Hydro Pump  
- Will-O-Wisp  
- Rest  

Infernape @ Choice Scarf  
Ability: Blaze  
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  
Jolly Nature  
- Flare Blitz  
- Close Combat  
- U-turn  
- Stone Edge  
I've noticed that I'm now pretty weak to fairy types. I used to be able to counter them with Excadrill, but he's gone now. What do you suggest I should do?
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Re: Volcarona + Mega Gyarados Core OU

Post by Literally Death on Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:43 pm

So I put on a Bisharp instead of Infernape, to counter fairies.
Spoiler:
Bisharp @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- brickbreak
- suckerpunch
- ironhead
- knockoff
Suggestions?
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Re: Volcarona + Mega Gyarados Core OU

Post by MelonSquid on Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:18 pm

Bisharp is best run as an offensive Pokemon. Try the following instead:

Bisharp:

Bisharp @ Life Orb/Focus Sash/Black Glasses  
Ability: Defiant  
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  
Jolly/Adamant Nature  
- Sucker Punch  
- Knock Off  
- Iron Head  
- Pursuit/Swords Dance

Life orb is needed to maximize the chance of an OHKO onto clefable:
252+ Atk Life Orb Bisharp Iron Head vs. 252 HP / 172 Def Clefable: 382-452 (96.9 - 114.7%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO

If this calc is not particularly important to you and you hate life orbs, black glasses gives a noticeable boost to knock off and sucker punch, the main two moves Bisharp uses.

If running swords dance, Jolly should probably be chosen to outpace as many foes as possible. If Pursuit is chosen, the choice between Adamant and Jolly is up to you.


Other things you might try:

Choice scarf Excadrill (I know I recommended removing him before, but adding him back would allow you to run HP fire on Latios for better coverage, since Scarf drill uses Rapid Spin. Also, Scarf drill can check Birds if it is at full health. This would, however, make you incredibly weak to Azumarill. Rotom-W cannot switch into a Play Rough, meaning the Water Wabbit is almost guaranteed a kill every time it hits the field.)

Heatran (beats birds, and gets stealth rocks which would let you choose your rock setter. Clefable gets so many options, including calm mind, flamethrower, heal bell, and wish. Having another pokemon run stealth rocks would let you use these other options on clefable. But it also looses to Azumarill just like Excadrill)

Ferrothorn (beats Azumarill that lack superpower. Also, it is not OHKOed by most weaker fire attacks if EV'd correctly)

Gengar (totally owns clefable with sludge wave, is not OHKOed by Azumarill's Aqua jet, and has great wallbreaking potential. With taunt, it forces out Chansey as well.)

Amoongus (beats Azumarill, but Clefable is not 2HKOed by sludge bomb. It still beats Clefable, but must PP stall its soft boiled, put it to sleep with spore, or score multiple crits to KO it)

PS. I totally forgot that Mega Gyarados resists dark attacks. M-Gyarados is your dark check. Sorry about that XD
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Re: Volcarona + Mega Gyarados Core OU

Post by Literally Death on Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:07 pm

Thanks for the tips! My team is doing much better, though I still suck. Also, I feel like electric types just keep hitting me hard. I would like to bring in Excadrill, but I don't want to lose to Azumarill. I think I should just change my moveset, or bring in Gengar.
Suggestions?
PS. I gave Rotom Thunderbolt because I need to be able to stay in against Azumarill if I have to.
EDIT: I tried a team with gengar; it's not bad.
Gengar set:
Gengar:

Gengar @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Shadow Ball
- Sludge Wave
- Focus Blast
- Taunt
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Re: Volcarona + Mega Gyarados Core OU

Post by MelonSquid on Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:34 pm

Rotom-W really benefits from the momentum of Volt Switch. If you need to be able to stay in on Azumarill, and if they are reckless enough to leave it in vs a rotom, punish them with will-o-wisp
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Re: Volcarona + Mega Gyarados Core OU

Post by Literally Death on Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:31 am

Alright. Thanks for the help!
I think I might get this taken to Smogon for some more suggestions, but this team is much stronger.
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