Friday, 19 June 2015

[VG] Early Heatran/Amoonguss Semi-TR

All right, as announced last time, now it's finally time to actually post some teams, now that my season is effectively over. For now, I'm releasing them in chronological order, but this might change if I feel like it. So we're still looking at a team that should be considered as early-in-the-format, having used it in late February and early March, where it already felt a bit old at times. However, parts of it have remained in my teams for most of the season, much notably the Salamence and even more notably...the freaking Amoonguss.

As for results, I brought this to the one International Challenge that didn't yet award CP. I ended up getting 1st place in Germany (well, but no one took the thing any seriously) with a record of 24-6 and missed top 50 in the world by 3 rating points. Afterwards, I brought it to a Premier Challenge and got a then usable 20 CP with it from a really weird run, won my Nugget Bridge Major match of the week and top cut a NB Live. Can't complain!

Motivation and Team Building

The main inspiration for the team I took from Lajo's first PC win, where he brought a similar core and just locked his opponents down when things went as desired. I think I went onto Showdown with something close to it right the night after, and it felt very refreshing just after having had it with my good old defensive trainwrecks of Togekiss and Excadrill. Also, the point with the legendary mons: I still had to get them together eventually, and with how most of my other teams to build would have required multiples of them, the decision to go for one that would just require a Heatran first was easily made. (And I ended up getting a Heatran that missed only half a point in less than 30 tries, haha.)

So Heatran was the intended star of the show, no surprises here with it being Lajo's idea and all... Salamence would be a pretty good Mega partner for it and supposedly is my favorite Mega in this format anyway. Amoonguss and Jellicent would add in Spore, redirection and a Trick Room option, while also completing a semblance of one of those illustrious Fire/Water/Grass cores. For the Fighting mon I wouldn't really want Conkeldurr like Lajo and lolfailsnail (St. Louis Regionals top cut with another team of that layout, also seen on stream) had it, because I didn't like how passive and reliant on Speed control it was. Instead, I went for one with Fake Out to actively gain me some momentum: Scrafty. And for the last slot, I realized that my Breloom matchup looked a bit horrifying, so I did what a lot of people do nowadays: throw a random Gengar into that last slot and work some black magic.

The Team

The Red Door (Heatran) (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
Level: 50
EVs: 212 HP / 132 Def / 80 SpA / 84 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 30 SpA
- Heat Wave
- Earth Power
- Substitute
- Protect

Nothing too surprising here moveset-wise. I think this set sucks nowadays, but back then it was one of the best things imaginable, with people being about as unprepared for it as in pretty much all of 2012/13. The EV spread makes it so that a Terrakion's Rock Slide doesn't break the Substitute -- but it turns out that I only saw a single Terrakion in all of the time I was using this team and that single Terrakion wasn't even brought, haha. But actually, this team is so full of Terrakion hate, one can argue it doesn't even make sense to build strong Substitutes against it...which is why I actually changed the spread for my next Salamence/Heatran/Amoonguss team.

The Crow (Amoonguss) (F) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Regenerator
Level: 50
EVs: 140 HP / 252 Def / 116 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Giga Drain
- Rage Powder
- Spore
- Protect

Amoonguss sucks. Some people just suck even more. I didn't believe how much work it actually did for me, and I had good reasons to, haha. One thing that I actually appreciated Amoonguss for was it being a life-insurance beyond compare against Kangaskhan/Bisharp, and this is literally why I pretty much used it all season starting from here. Kangaskhan and Bisharp are so annoying and over-used, they kinda warrant those measures...

The 9th Wave (Scrafty) (M) @ Lum Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 140 Atk / 116 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 3 Spe
- Drain Punch
- Knock Off
- Ice Punch
- Fake Out

And Scrafty completes the 2013 Lajo core. Not a whole lot to say about it, except that it was really good as long as I didn't have to deal with Fairies. The EV spread was made so that it OHKOs 252/0 Blade Aegislash with Crunch -- yes, I initially didn't know Scrafty learns Knock Off! I ended up keeping the spread anyway, because I feel like even just that small bit of Attack investment makes a huge difference in letting Scrafty doing something vs. just sitting there. It also isn't OHKOed by popular Charizard Overheats -- for whatever reason no one uses 252+ Charizards I don't know...

My Xanadu (Jellicent) (F) @ Mental Herb
Ability: Cursed Body
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 180 Def / 76 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 25 Spe
- Scald
- Will-O-Wisp
- Trick Room
- Recover

And here's my Trick Room option, or rather, my annoying option. I really don't know what to think about my honey Jellicent in this format, but sometimes you just run into people that barely can touch it and some of them have Choice Items, and then you know what happens. I chose that oddball Speed because I wanted no pure Trick Room Jellicent but still win base 60 Speed mirrors with Trick Room up.

No More Gods (Salamence) (F) @ Salamencite
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 36 HP / 252 Atk / 44 Def / 36 SpD / 140 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Return
- Dragon Dance
- Roost
- Protect

Oh boy, double Intimidate was so amazing with this team! But mind you, there's a good chance this was only the case because Bisharp sucks and Milotic was hardly used at that time. Other than that, you're looking at the probably best Salamence moveset here. With one or two Attack boosts, what else than a Flying STAB would it really need? There are no good coverage options whatsoever because even resisted hits tend to 2HKO as well a lot of the time, and there's nothing to say against healing on Sucker Punches, or whatever. About the EVs...I can't remember what they did, sorry. Please don't copy.

Mordred (Gengar) (M) @ Gengarite
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Sludge Bomb
- Will-O-Wisp
- Substitute
- Protect

So yeah, sixth slot random Gengar. I just thought, why not try something new and actually use a Mega variant, especially with how well Shadow Tag fits with this team and with how Salamence was nowhere near essential. Sadly I ended up not doing much more with it afterwards, which is not due to it disappointing in any way but me just not having convincing ideas for new sidekicks.


No one seemed to understand when I told them and I even saw people not bring them at all when they had them, but: this team has an autoloss against Politoed/Ludicolo. Just can't touch them, and my Trick Room option is entirely worthless. If I were to work on the team again, there would probably be now way around working Mawile in somehow, and then we would actually have a Trick Room mode that has damage output including a workable rain matchup. I could see Kangaskhan being generally useful as well, but this awkward Speed means she could be Scald Burned before getting an attack off on any field.

Naturally there are a lot more problems than just this one, but I'm leaving it there for now because this really is the one absolutely unacceptable one for tournament play. I just found no easy way around all known problems together, so I just built a new team from scratch as soon as I was completely fed up with this lineup. Assuming I don't change my plans spontaneously, I'll show it to you next week. Take care!

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