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  #1    
Old 4 Weeks Ago (12:30 PM).
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So I've got my current team worked out pretty well, and I've been reaching out to some of yous guys individually to bounce ideas around about the next thing on my docket. I thought we could consolidate here and chat about what needs work, point out any obvious holes, run calcs, and get some fresh opinions from folks who aren't privy yet. Lemme know what moves you.

I wanted to develop a Pledge-based team since Sejun Park (2014 World Champion) has been tearing it up this year with one, and as a result it's one of the hot things to do in VGC right now. I've also been kicking around the idea of a Dual FWG/Fantasy core. So the first 2 mons were obvious to me:


Sceptile@Sceptilite
Ability: Overgrow/Lightningrod
4 HP/252 SpA/252 Spd
Nature: Timid
- Grass Pledge
- Dragon Pulse
- Focus Blast/HP Ground
- Protect

Purdy standard Mega Sceptile, but with Grass Pledge as its STAB. I'm torn between HP Ground and Focus Miss, because one is difficult to breed onto stuff and the other... well it's Focus Miss, but it hits Mega Kang pretty well. Open to other ideas for the 3rd and 4th moves. I like it because it outspeeds Scarf Lando and soaks up Thunderbolts aimed at Empoleon, perfectly checks Rotom, and runs circles around almost anything in the meta.


Empoleon @ Assault Vest
Ability: Defiant
252 HP/4 Atk/52 Def/68 SpA/132 SpD
Nature: Quiet
- Water Pledge
- Ice Beam
- Flash Cannon
- Aqua Jet

I've been toying around with the EV's in my calcs, but so far it looks like this standard VGC set does some serious work. The Special Attack investment allows it to OHKO Megamence, Scarf Lando, and most Garchomp with Ice Beam. The defense lets it take an EQ from Max Attack Scarf Lando-T, and the rest of the EV's are dumped into HP and SpD. Empoleon is not the most common Defiant user so there is a surprise factor, and that makes for more powerful Aqua Jets. I like having bulky priority users on my team as well, it's definitely one of my things. And this is so nice:

252+ SpA Choice Specs Pixilate Sylveon Hyper Voice vs. 252 HP / 132 SpD Assault Vest Empoleon: 32-38 (16.7 - 19.8%) -- guaranteed 6HKO

68+ SpA Empoleon Flash Cannon vs. 248 HP / 8 SpD Sylveon: 92-110 (45.7 - 54.7%) -- 49.6% chance to 2HKO


Clefairy @ Eviolite
Ability: Friend Guard
252 Hp/252 Def/4 SpA
Nature: Bold
- Follow Me!
- Moonblast
- Helping Hand
- Protect/Heal Pulse

I'm torn with this one. I want more reasons than "Angel Miranda kicks ass with his Clefairy" to run this thing, and so far, this sequence is the only real saving grace for Friend Guard I've found that sets it apart from Clefable:

(With Friend Guard)
252 Atk Terrakion Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 52 Def Empoleon: 162-190 (84.8 - 99.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

68+ SpA Empoleon Flash Cannon vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Terrakion: 128-152 (76.6 - 91%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
4 Atk Empoleon Aqua Jet vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Terrakion: 48-56 (28.7 - 33.5%) -- Miniscule chance to 3HKO

Otherwise, Clefable outshines in every regard. I'm curious to see what else y'all can find that Friend Guard would help with though.


Gengar @ Focus Sash
Ability: Levitate
252 SpA/252 Spd
Nature: Timid
- Sludge Bomb/Dazzling Gleam
- Shadow Ball
- Will-O-Wisp
- Taunt

When Polar and I were originally chatting about the Sceptile/Empoleon lead, the two things that came up quickly were the penguin's vulnerabilities to Fighting and Ground types. Enter Gengar. Immune to Empoleon's biggest threats, hits like a truck, and fills in some holes with a killer support move pool. I decided to go with a second attacking move over Icy Wind, as my team already has 2 other forms of speed control in the swampy pledge marsh and Tailwind (see below). Which do you think I should go with? Does Gangu need Protect?


Talonflame @ Life Orb
Ability: Gale Wings
??? HP/252 Atk/??? Spe
Nature: Adamant
- Tailwind
- Flare Blitz
- Brave Bird
- Protect

Not sure how I want to set the EV's on this yet. I know I want it for levitation, Tailwind setup, more priority, and Flare Blitz to complete my FWG core and take down Aegislash and stuff. I like the prospect of Lightningrod giving this guy Electric immunity. Might put a Passho berry on it if I make this a tanky set.


Terrakion @ Lum Berry (Life Orb?)
Ability: Justified
252 Atk/252 Spd
Nature: Jolly
- Rock Slide
- Rock Slide Close Combat
- Rock Slide Quick Guard
- Rock Slide Protect

So... yeah. Rock Slide. And an answer to Fake Out and other Kangaskhan stuff. Also pretty much just because Terrakion is dabes and it's hard to build teams without him.

Discuss?
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  #2    
Old 4 Weeks Ago (01:24 PM).
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The team looks really solid. A bit gimmicky, but very effective. I'd opt for hp ground on Sceptile if you can breed for it. Terrakion takes care of Kanga so that Sceptile won't have to. As for the Talonflame spread, max speed and attack is standard, but you can also run just 172 speed so that it outspeeds KAnga and dump the rest in hp. I'd go with max speed though, since Talonflame can't tank many hits, even with the extra hp
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Old 4 Weeks Ago (09:20 PM).
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I've tanked quite a few hits with my Talonflame, actually. It's got some nice resistances. I'll try both speed investments though, that 172 benchmark is exactly what I was looking for.

I guess I'll start looking for a breeder who's any good at HP breeding before this team rolls out, but you're right, HP Ground is totally sweet on Sceptile

And Pledges aren't really gimmicky because of the arena effects they bring to the table and 160 Base Power hits. Thanks Scraggy :D
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Old 4 Weeks Ago (04:17 AM).
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What do you really need Hidden Power Ground for though? STAB Dragon Pulse does as much damage as a 2x super effective HP Ground does to Electric types, and while Focus Miss's accuracy is kinda lame it does do more damage to Steel types than HP Ground can in most cases. Maybe there's something I'm forgetting but it seems like a lot of breeding hassle for a move that doesn't do much more than other easier to obtain moves can do.

But I'm not seeing any major problems with the team so....
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Old 4 Weeks Ago (06:48 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Zekrom:
What do you really need Hidden Power Ground for though? STAB Dragon Pulse does as much damage as a 2x super effective HP Ground does to Electric types, and while Focus Miss's accuracy is kinda lame it does do more damage to Steel types than HP Ground can in most cases. Maybe there's something I'm forgetting but it seems like a lot of breeding hassle for a move that doesn't do much more than other easier to obtain moves can do.

But I'm not seeing any major problems with the team so....
HP Ground takes some of the burden off of Empoleon to take out Heatran and Metagross, which otherwise would wall Sceptile, and the latter of which can take a Focus Miss to the face.

252 SpA Mega Sceptile Hidden Power Ground vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Heatran: 144-172 (86.2 - 102.9%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO
4 Atk Empoleon Aqua Jet vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 38-48 (22.7 - 28.7%) -- possible 5HKO after Leftovers recovery

68+ SpA Empoleon Water Pledge vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Metagross: 54-64 (34.6 - 41%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 SpA Mega Sceptile Hidden Power Ground vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Metagross: 70-84 (44.8 - 53.8%) -- 39.8% chance to 2HKO

In both of these scenarios, HP Ground does the same amount of damage with higher accuracy. And it can also hit Aegislash. I just hope I can find a breeder nice enough to help me out with getting it

Thanks for the thumbs up on the team Elsa :D
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Old 4 Weeks Ago (06:49 AM). Edited 4 Weeks Ago by ScraggyTrainer.
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Quote originally posted by Zekrom:
What do you really need Hidden Power Ground for though? STAB Dragon Pulse does as much damage as a 2x super effective HP Ground does to Electric types, and while Focus Miss's accuracy is kinda lame it does do more damage to Steel types than HP Ground can in most cases. Maybe there's something I'm forgetting but it seems like a lot of breeding hassle for a move that doesn't do much more than other easier to obtain moves can do.

But I'm not seeing any major problems with the team so....
HP Ground hits Heatran for 4x damage, hits Metagross supereffectively (is that a word?), and actualy hits Aegislash, which is very common and would otherwise wall Sceptile. Also it's just more reliable and I hate focus miss haha

... and you ninja'd me to the response
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Old 4 Weeks Ago (09:29 AM).
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Aaaaaah I knew that there would be something I wasn't thinking of lol
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Old 4 Weeks Ago (01:08 PM).
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Clefable or Clefairy, folks? The question remains. Does the Friend Guard benefit warrant a minor loss in redirection potential? Also, Sludge Bomb or Dazzling Gleam on Gengar?
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Old 1 Week Ago (07:31 AM).
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Got to test out this team for the first time this weekend. Here are some things I'm considering:

Volcarona in place of Talonflame or Togekiss in place of Clefairy to consolidate redirection and speed control into a single bulky Pokemon. Right now I'm relying on Talon for both fire type coverage and support, and in my experience, making it bulkier would sacrifice the fire type coverage.

Consolidating into Togekiss would give me the opportunity to run a 3rd pledge user. I'm thinking about a variation on my defensive Infernape, which actually impressed me to no end when I brought it out for a Prism League challenge last week.

Consolidating into Volcarona would make for redirection that can handle Metagross.

Thoughts?
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Old 1 Week Ago (09:00 AM).
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Quote originally posted by skyburial:
Got to test out this team for the first time this weekend. Here are some things I'm considering:

Volcarona in place of Talonflame or Togekiss in place of Clefairy to consolidate redirection and speed control into a single bulky Pokemon. Right now I'm relying on Talon for both fire type coverage and support, and in my experience, making it bulkier would sacrifice the fire type coverage.

Consolidating into Togekiss would give me the opportunity to run a 3rd pledge user. I'm thinking about a variation on my defensive Infernape, which actually impressed me to no end when I brought it out for a Prism League challenge last week.

Consolidating into Volcarona would make for redirection that can handle Metagross.

Thoughts?
Defenisive Infernape? I've never seen Infernape take hits like a champ, I think Lucario as a Follow Me users was viable in certain situations but I don't think Infernape should be defensive at any time. Fake-Out with 2 attacks is the way to go with this bad boy. And his speed is superb only be outclassed by Raichu and Weaville as common Fake-Out users in VGC.

Infernape @ Focus Sash
Ability - Iron Fist / Blaze
Nature - Naive
Ev's - 116 Atk / 140 Spa / 252 Spe
- Fake Out
- Close Combat / Mach Punch / Vacuum Wave
- Fire Pledge / Overheat / Heat Wave / Flare Blitz
- Encore / Quick Guard / Will-o-Wisp / Taunt

You can go so many different approaches with Infernape. You can go a mixed attacker, all out Attack or only Special Attack. In my opinion I would go with Close Combat to get a OKO on Mega Kangashkan and normally I would go for either Overheat or Heat Wave but in your team you can check how Fire Pledge will work. 4th move is just a support move my move of choice is Encore. Encore is fast it disrupts and is annoying.
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Old 6 Days Ago (04:46 AM).
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At this point I think that play testing will do more for you than theorymonning in here will. All the changes you're considering are viable options and it'll be easier to tell what's the optimal way to go through battle experience.

Also at this bit:
Quote:
Also, Sludge Bomb or Dazzling Gleam on Gengar?
Sludge Bomb. Dazzling Gleam will be rather weak since it'll lack STAB and is a spread move (and it's only got like base 80 power or something). Sludge Bomb gives you and option outside of Empoleon's Flash Cannon to smash the oh-so-common Fairies with.
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Old 6 Days Ago (09:08 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Nah:
At this point I think that play testing will do more for you than theorymonning in here will.
Agreed. I'll be hitting some of yous guys up for practice matches in the coming month or two.
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