Today I'd like to show you my last VGC 2013 team. I started building it a few weeks before WCS 2013 when I was trying to figure something out on my own other than my Nationals team. At first nothing worked for me so I decided to try someone else's team. My attention was caught by Peter Seo's Australian top four team that didn't win him a Worlds invite due to a Crunch miss caused by Muddy Water accuracy drop. I found it on Nugget Bridge but I didn't know anything about it other than Pokemon. Here's what I ended up with:
Cresselia @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 220 HP / 56 Def / 156 SpA / 76 SDef
- Ice Beam
- Trick Room
- HP: minimizes weather damage
- SpA: lets Ice Beam OHKO 4 HP Landorus-T
- SpD: Cresselia gets 2 points more than with 68 EVs
Cresselia was my main support Pokemon on this team. It let me control Speed with Trick Room, hit genies, dragons and fighting types pretty hard and had a good synergy with Tyranitar. I originally used Helping Hand instead of Safeguard but Amoonguss was pretty annoying. It also can help against Thundurus that spam Thunder Wave and Swagger. Because I really like Helping Hand it was a tough decision to make but I think it was worth it.
Tyranitar @ Chople Berry
Trait: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 12 Att / 100 Def / 144 SDef
- Rock Slide
- Low Kick
- HP + Def: Survives a non-boosted Jolly Terrakion Close Combat 100% of the time, Ground Gem Landorus-T Earthquake 50% of the time, has a chance to survive +2 Scizor Bullet Punch after it got rid of its Steel Gem.
- Att: OHKOs 4HP Latios with Crunch
I developed this EV spread earlier in the season and never looked back. Tyranitar was definitely my MVP, with sand up its bulk is unbelievable. It switches into any special attack extremely well. There's not much I can say about the moves though: I previously had Stone Edge instead of Rock Slide as it can OHKO some Thundurus even after being intimidated but Rock Slide is more reliable and is my only spread move that can be used in Trick Room. Low Kick deals damage to enemy Tyranitar, so if I want to use Trick Room against some teams, I don't have to bring Conkeldurr. Chople Berry is a very standard item but the idea of Bulktar would've been destroyed if my Tyranitar could be OHKO'd by a non-boosted move. Some people may think that this Tyranitar lacks offense but it's got a fantastic base 134 Attack. I really don't get why almost everyone puts so many Attack EVs on Tyranitar. It doesn't score any significant KO's with those while it could be bulkier.
Conkeldurr @ Fighting Gem
Trait: Iron Fist
EVs: 84 HP / 212 Att / 12 Def / 196 SDef
- Mach Punch
- Hammer Arm
- Ice Punch
- HP + Def: survives Metagross' non-boosted Zen Headbutt
- Att: OHKO's 4 HP Thundurus/Tornadaus-I
This spot was previously occupied by Escavalier but I after a lot of practice I switched to Conkeldurr. It deals a lot easier with genies and has a priority move which always comes in handy. Fighting Gem is a fantastic item for Conkeldurr, in my opinion superior to Life Orb. It doesn't cost me HP so I can maintain bulk while hitting extremely hard. With 45 Speed Conkeldurr outspeeds minimum Speed base 30's (and obviously 33's) like Amoonguss and Bronzong after one Hammer Arm. I had a few problems with Gyarados and Jellicent and I was considering Thunderpunch but priority saved me so many times that I couldn't drop it for a very situational move.
Rotom-W @ Leftovers
EVs: 236 HP / 84 Def / 4 SpA / 180 SDef / 4 Spe
- Hydro Pump
- Pain Split
- HP + SDef: survives Timid Latios Dragon Gem Draco Meteor
My replacement for Gastrodon. At first I was running a Choice Scarf Tyranitar because I wanted to have three slow Pokemon able to abuse Trick Room and three a bit faster able to outspeed most of the metagame outside of it. Why did I mention Scarftar? Because Gastrodon is a slow 'mon and my slow trio at that time was Gastrodon-Cresselia-Escavalier but I really wanted to use my bulky Tyranitar set on this team, so I dropped Gastrodon for Rotom-W which, thanks to Levitate, helped me use Landorus-T a bit easier and is able to outspeed most base 70's (most notably Hitmontop and Metagross to burn them before they can attack). I discovered how good Will-o-Wisp was a long time ago but I didn't really have a chance to put it on a team. In my opinion burn is the best status condition as it completely shuts down Pokemon like Tyranitar, Metagross and Scrafty (my favourite WoW target) against Rotom. Thunderbolt and Hydro Pump have a surprisingly good coverage. Cybertron's Rotom convinced me to use these two simulantainously as in the past I picked Hidden Power Ice over Hydro Pump. Pain Split is a trick in my sleeve as nobody expects it. After Cybertron's success at worlds many people would very predictably lead Cresselia-Rotom and Pain Split completely ruins their setup as it bypasses Light Screen and lets me take advantage of Cresselia's high base HP. Leftovers make up for sand damage and are a decent item on any bulky Pokemon.
Landorus-T @ Focus Sash
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spe
- Stone Edge
- Spe: outspeeds neutral natured base Speed 100s (and 102s) and Pokemon EV'd to outspeed them
I haven't mentioned it yet, but this team has a fast mode and here's its first part – Landorus. This set is yet again very standard. The only difference from most Focus Sash Landorus-T's is the nature. I chose Jolly to jump on Volcarona, Salamence, Thundurus-T, Hydreigon and other Pokemon around base 100 Speed. As you can see all these mons can KO Landorus pretty easily, so Speed advantage was crucial. Intimidate helped my team a lot, as well as access to a powerful STAB spread move in Earthquake. Stone Edge hits Thundurus for huge damage, also dealing a meaningful amount to Rotom-W (more than U-Turn and Rock slide anyway). I like how Landorus works with Tyranitar even though they share a weakness to Water.
Tornadaus-I @ Flying Gem
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Att / 252 Spe
- Att: OHKOs 4 HP Latios
- Spe: outspeeds max Speed Latios
Second part of my fast mode. Previously I had Calm Mind Latios in this slot but Defiant Tornadus turned out to be a lot better, mostly because it outspeeds and OHKOs Latios and hits a lot of different stuff harder (Amoonguss, Conkeldurr etc.). I tried using Smack Down for a while but Substitute is just too good on such a powerful and fast Pokemon. I probably should've kept both and remove Superpower which was good against Bisharp, Heatran and Tyranitar but still rarely used. Smack Down would help me handle Rotom-W and Thundurus, ironically both not pleasant to face with such a bulky team (even though my team is 4/6 physical, so not Swagger-friendly). Tornadus came out to be one of the most important Pokemon on this team mostly because it prevented my opponents from leading with intimidate or if they decided to do so, punish them.
Even though this team looks like many late VGC 2013 teams, I started building it a few weeks before worlds, so I wasn't really “inspired” by Cybertron's team (which IMO lacks fast Pokemon and relies on Trick Room a bit too heavily). I know this team heavily resembles his but mine is bulkier and faster but obviously less successful. I already explained what I started with and I have to admit I was very reluctant to make the last major change – switching Excavalier for Conkeldurr but it clearly paid off (I had to learn to use Tyranitar a bit better and not lose it until late game in order to win, as it was my only counter to enemy Cresselia). Feel free to use any spreads or sets, or even the team as a whole if you decide to get back to VGC 2013 some day. Hopefully new rules will be announced soon, I'm hoping for National Pokedex but I'm sure I'll have a lot of fun in any format.