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  2.  
  3. As you can see, DrkSlay and I have been working on a new Underused tier team basically just for fun; both of us had a couple of unique ideas we wanted to try out in the current metagame and see how they would fare, improving some of the weak points of those ideas. This team is not really just a basic team in our perspective as it does not use a full team made up of Pokémon sets copied directly from the strategy Pokedex (we are still using them though); instead we are taking them and trying to improve them by tweaking the sets by a little bit which often make the set a lot more successful according to the team it is in; these tweaks may be as small as changing an item to an entire set. To add a bit of more interest into this team, we decided to mix it up with a theme basing on the Lord of the Rings trilogy which will hopefully make the experience of reading this RMT a bit more enjoyable.
  4.  
  5. This team is based around a very under rated Pokémon in our opinion, but still aspires to be one of the most lethal sweepers in the tier if played correctly with the right support; this Pokémon is none other than the infamous Absol who is often looked down to these days. We are using basically the standard swords dance set of this awesome Pokémon but after play testing the team; DrkSlay and I came up with minor tweaks which have improved the Pokémon’s overall performance in this team (will be described in detail later on). Also, we are currently laddering with this team and after a small amount of merely fifteen battles, this team has managed to reach 1123 CRE, which in our opinion is an accomplishment worth praise; we are still laddering with this team so please check in every now and then to see the teams status (current CRE rank) which will be posted here, under the Introductory paragraphs.
  6.  
  7. Current CRE Rank:  1123
  8.  
  9. ---
  10.  
  11. You might be wondering (all though the chances are slim) about how this team came to be what it is before; so even if you may not want to know, it’ll be explained anyways. This entire team basically started out with a friendly visitor message asking to make a joint RMT topic and after a very short period of time, DrkSlay and I were discussing our team’s core. Apparently it was me that got chosen to decide on the Pokémon that would start this team off and I chose a quite under rated Pokémon who may seem average to many, but proves to be an exceptional sweeper when used correctly – swords Dance Absol; and thus the foundation of our team was born.
  12.  
  13. Now after a small bit of time spent on reading the Smogon Analysis of Absol’s prime counters including Hitmontop and also Spiritomb who love spamming Will-O-Wisps and a Fake Out, we decided to choose a Pokémon who wouldn’t mind the burn and could take minimal damage from fake out – Weezing.
  14.  
  15. Now that we had decided on one offensive and one defensive Pokémon; we decided to move strait to the lead; and since we new that our team would most probably dislike entry hazards we began to search for an ideal anti lead and coincidentally, DrkSlay had a new Machoke anti-lead which looked great for this spot and thus it was added.
  16.  
  17. Now we moved on to things that would prepare the opponent for our Absol to sweep so we quickly though of a list of things that would make Absol’s life easier and one of the prime items (thing?) was paralysis support as this would stop faster counters from destroying our Absol and since this was a balanced team and we needed another wall, we chose Slowbro for this specific job.
  18.  
  19. Now we looked back at our team and noticed something wrong; we planned on having two walls, one physical and one special but when we looked back at our team, we saw that the two current walls were basically used for the same purpose and were both physical so after a bit of discussion we decided to replace Weezing with Altaria.
  20.  
  21. Now we knew we needed stealth rock somewhere on the team and since we still needed a support Pokémon (revenge killer), we decided to use a new set of Dugtrio we created which fooled players into thinking it was the common choice scarf or choice band set but could set up stealth rock the turn that the opponent switched out (will be explained later).
  22.  
  23. Now only one Pokémon was left – another offensive based Pokémon; now looking back at our team once again we noticed that it had a rather large weakness to water types; bulky and offensive so we decided on probably the best Pokémon I the tier which could deal with these Pokémon and also help prepare for Absol’s final sweep; this Pokémon was none other than the famous Raikou; capable of wrecking teams in a single sweep. And after Raikou’s addition, our team was complete.
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  26.  
  27. Machoke @ Focus sash
  28. Adamant Nature/ No Guard Ability
  29. 164 Hp, 252 Atk, 92 Spe
  30. - Dynamic Punch
  31. - Bullet punch
  32. - Protect
  33. - Rock Slide
  34.  
  35. This is a UU lead that was designed by myself, DrkSlay, as an attempt to counter the current UU metagame's trend of fast, popular leads. Machoke is really a forced to be reckoned with as a UU lead. Note that there's going to be a ton of calculations coming up so that I can validate Machoke's usefulness as a lead, so get your popcorn ready! Now, at first glance at the fact that we're using Machoke, many people will assume this is simply a miniature version of LeadChamp in OU play. However, this Machoke plays much differently. Rather than score 2HKO's on Bulky Pokes, this is designed to OHKO (or 2HKO FS'ers with Priority) a lot of opposing leads in the UU metagame with ease. DynamicPunch is a huge benefit right out of the bat, as no one besides Slowbro and Ghosts will like it and its 100% confusion rate. Even as Machoke, this STAB move hits like a nuke. The next move is really a toss-up, as both have their benefits (although both effectively deal with Froslass leads well. Payback nails Froslass leads and can actually hurt opposing Uxie leads for 3HKO's (possibly a 4HKO, but BP saves the day there). It is also the most useful against the inevitable Rotom/Mismagius switch-ins, which hit for massive damage (OHKO'ing almost all variants of Mismagius and 2HKO'ing the RestTalk variants of Rotom). Rock Slide, on the other hand, allows you to OHKO Moltres leads thanks to Focus Sash, providing yet another Lead you can beat. This still also nails Froslass for the same damage as Payback, which is important to know. While Bullet Punch may seem frivolous and unneeded as compared to a Payback/Rock Slide combo, it is actually the most important move on Machoke, making him the ultimate Froslass and Ambipom counter, along with any other Focus Sash lead. Without it, Froslass is guaranteed at least two layers of Spikes OR one layer and a Destiny Bond for a KO on Machoke, and Return Ambipom would 2HKO Machoke before Machoke can do anything. Protect is definitely the oddball on the set, but it's pretty much mandatory to beat common Fake Out leads, like Ambipom, Persian, and Kangaskhan. Without it, Ambipom can successfully 2HKO with Fake Out + Return. The Focus Sash allows it to beat many common leads with ease, including Alakazam, Moltres, and various other leads. Note, however, that if you do not fear these leads, Lum Berry helps against Uxie to an extent, as well as against incoming Rotom who wish to Will O' Wisp you or other Lead status inducers, like ScarfSaur. A Type Resist berry is also a decent choice to keep some HP left against Alakazam or Moltres, but note that Focus Sash beats both leads anyway instead of one or the other. Note that Lead Machoke and Lead Hariyama play different roles as well. Lead Hariyama is generally an Offensive lead designed to cause as much damage as possible through Close Combat and Payback, and cannot stop Stealth Rock from being set up. Machoke can stop SR from going up in all cases except Uxie and Kabutops, who the first is a bad match up anyway, and the latter is just faster.
  36.  
  37. EV's: The EV's are specifically made to give Machoke as much punch as possible, while giving it enough Speed and HP to beat Bulky leads to the punch AND take neutral hits well. Adamant nature and 252 Attack EV's makes an Attack stat of 328, which is not too shabby at all. 92 Speed EV's is enough to outspeed all Rhyperior leads by one point, which also means you out-speed Regirock, Omastar, and Donphan leads. The rest of the EV's are dumped into HP for maximum bulk outside of Super Effective hits.
  38.  
  39. Against the Top Leads of the UU Tier
  40.  
  41. Green means beaten.
  42. Yellow means a tie, needs a certain move, or can be dealt with through switching.
  43. Red is a threat.
  44.  
  45. Uxie
  46.  
  47. Payback: 328 Atk vs 394 Def & 354 HP (100 Base Power): 120 - 142 (33.90% - 40.11%)
  48.  
  49. Unfortunately, the most popular lead in UU is a 3-4HKO, and if it has access to a Psychic-based move, Machoke is not the greatest choice. On another note, though: if Uxie doesn't carry a Psychic-based move, there is little to no worry here for Machoke, as not even Thunderwave really cripples it. Also, our particular team doesn't mind Uxie a whole lot, so almost any of our Defensive Pokes can switch into it. Don't worry: it gets better from here for Machoke.
  50. Ambipom
  51.  
  52. DynamicPunch: 328 Atk vs 168 Def & 292 HP (100 Base Power): 422 - 498 (144.52% - 170.55%)
  53.  
  54. Through Protect, Ambipom is easily dealt with. DynamicPunch nails all Ambipom silly, and if they're Sashed, Bullet Punch cleans it out. Ambipom isn't a threat to Machoke at all.
  55.  
  56. Froslass
  57.  
  58. Payback: 328 Atk vs 177 Def & 281 HP (100 Base Power): 266 - 314 (94.66% - 111.74%)
  59. OR
  60. Rock Slide: 328 Atk vs 177 Def & 281 HP (75 Base Power): 200 - 236 (71.17% - 83.99%)
  61. +
  62. Bullet Punch: 328 Atk vs 177 Def & 281 HP (40 Base Power): 108 - 128 (38.43% - 45.55%)
  63.  
  64. By far, the easiest for Machoke to counter. Machoke is designed to allow all Lead Froslass one layer of Spikes total. Nothing more, and only less if one decides to Taunt or attack me first for some reason. Bullet Punch finishes off FS'ed or weakened versions. Froslass is essentially why I created Machoke in the first place.
  65.  
  66. Moltres
  67.  
  68. Rock Slide: 328 Atk vs 216 Def & 321 HP (75 Base Power): 328 - 388 (102.18% - 120.87%)
  69.  
  70. In short: Machoke wins if it carries Rock Slide. Period. If it does not carry Rock Slide, it can only hit for Payback, which does not OHKO in the slightest. Moltres can be dealt with through the team itself if one chooses to use Payback (like I do), so it's not a total threat to a team. Plus, one can Protect scout in case of Scarf or Toxic leads if Machoke has Payback.
  71.  
  72. Alakazam
  73.  
  74. Payback: 328 Atk vs 126 Def & 257 HP (100 Base Power): 374 - 440 (145.53% - 171.21%)
  75.  
  76. Note that Rock Slide + Bullet Punch does not 2HKO Alakazam. Payback + Bullet Punch is the only option here, albeit it's a really nice one. Machoke has no trouble against Alakazam thanks to Focus Sash!
  77.  
  78. Omastar
  79.  
  80. DynamicPunch: 328 Atk vs 363 Def & 334 HP (100 Base Power): 194 - 230 (58.08% - 68.86%)
  81.  
  82. A guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers, and Machoke outspeeds. This also means that Confusion can prevent Stealth Rock, which is a huge plus. If not, well, at least you kept your Sash intact after the 2HKO. Omastar leads are getting pretty common, it seems, so Machoke couldn't have been chosen at a better time.
  83.  
  84. Spiritomb
  85.  
  86. This is the only lead where Machamp can't do diddly squat to. The best it can do is scout a move with Protect and either switch to another Pokemon, or receive a Choice Band for Machoke and hit with a boosted Payback. Spiritombs are a pain to any team, though, and while a lead Spiritomb virtually guarantees that I won't be facing CroTomb (the ultimate evil), it's still a pain.
  87.  
  88. Regirock
  89.  
  90. 328 Atk vs 446 Def & 364 HP (100 Base Power): 158 - 188 (43.41% - 51.65%)
  91.  
  92. I outspeed this big fella. Two DynamicPunches and a Bullet Punch OR DPunch+Confusion hit+DPunch is technically a 2HKO. Pretty much a bulkier, yet less threatening offensively, version of Omastar. Rarely sets SR up. Nothing to fear here.
  93.  
  94. Kabutops
  95.  
  96. 328 Atk vs 361 Def & 279 HP (100 Base Power): 198 - 234 (70.97% - 83.87%)
  97.  
  98. Admittedly, this one's trickier than Regirock/Omastar, but one of three things happens: it sets up Rocks and I kill it before it kills me, it 2HKO's me without getting Rocks up, or Confusion hax kicks in and neither happens. All three are pretty positive, so Machoke wins here.
  99.  
  100. Dugtrio @ Muscle Band
  101. Jolly Nature/ Arena trap Ability
  102. 252 Atk| 252 Spe| 4 Hp
  103. - Stealth Rock
  104. - Earthquake
  105. - Stone Edge
  106. - Sucker Punch
  107.  
  108. Dugtrio plays two roles for our team. Its primary role is to trap and defeat/revenge things like Registeel, Raikou, and such who pose a threat to our SDAbsol or CMRaikou sweep. Its secondary role is to set up Stealth Rock for the team, which plays a vital role in nearly all Balanced teams, preventing our opponent from constantly switching. Dugtrio owns the infamous EdgeQuake combo, which nails pretty much anything and everything it intends to counter. Sucker Punch rounds off the set, giving Dugtrio a way to weaken Speed boosting Pokemon and the Ghosts of UU. Muscle Band allows us to fake a Choice Scarf without giving much away to our opponent in terms of damage output. This enables Dugtrio to easily OHKO many of the Flying type switch-ins, such as Swellow and Moltres (especially). Max Attack and Speed give Dugtrio enough Speed to be effective at its job revenge killing.
  109.  
  110. Slowbro @ Leftovers
  111. Bold Nature/ Own Tempo Ability
  112. 252 hp | 252 def | 4 sp.def
  113. - Slack Off
  114. - Thunder wave
  115. - Psychic
  116. -  Surf
  117.  
  118. Yep, you guessed it, the basic and very common bulky water Slowbro set which may seem so dull to your many, many previous encounters with it, but just think about it; In your encounters with it; even if you had your best counter against it; you have to admit that even in those cases, it had been able to cause even minimal damage, even by a simple thunder wave. Slowbro is naturally the Vaporeon of this tier; though it does not have the amazing ability as Vaporeon, its amazing defences can wreak havoc for foes that are unprepared for it. DrkSlay and I had originally picked it out for our physical wall due to Absol’s immense liking to having thunder waver support but after a large amount of test battles, we saw that it has been able to do more than just slow down faster foes; in fact in a couple of my personal tests, this Pokémon has ended up stalling over half the opponent’s team to death! Also acting as the primary switch in to those pesky fighting types which can otherwise destroy Absol; by using a STAB powered psychic attack  to counter Pokémon like Hariyama, and Hitmontop; this Pokémon is a very important part of this team and without It, this team would probably suffer many, many defeats.
  119.  
  120. Altaria @ Leftovers
  121. Calm nature/ Natural cure Ability
  122. 252 Hp | 200 Def | 56 SpDef
  123. - Roost
  124. - Dragon Pulse
  125. - Flamethrower
  126. - Toxic
  127.  
  128. We decided to go for Altaria as our second Defensive choice, who is a generally undervalued Pokemon in the UU tier. Her above average HP and spectacular Special Defense makes her a very nice status spreader and team supporter. Machoke can actually prevent SR from going up against most Leads, which is a huge plus for Altaria, who is knocked because of her SR weakness. Altaria also pairs nicely with her other Defensive partner, Slowbro, resisting Grass attacks aimed at him, and Slowbro resisting Ice attacks aimed at Altaria. Roost and Toxic together is deadly, stalling out pretty much everything except Steel types. Roost also covers for SR damage, if they ever should go up. Dragon Pulse and Flamethrower together hit everything in the UU tier for at least neutral damage, which prevents thinks like SubAggron and other Sub users from setting up on Altaria. 252 HP gives us maximum bulk on both sides of the spectrum. 200 Defensive EV's compensate for Altaria's rather low Defense stat. A Calm Nature and 56 Special Defense EV's gives Altaria awesome Special bulk.
  129.  
  130. Raikou @ Life Orb
  131. Timid Nature/ Pressure Ability
  132. 252 SpAtk| 252 Spe| 4 Hp
  133. - Thunderbolt
  134. - Extrasensory
  135. - Hidden power [Water]
  136. - Cam Mind
  137.  
  138. CMRaikou is known far and wide as one of the most threatening Offensive Pokémon in the UU metagame. For our team, he is no exception. With the help of his friends, CMRaikou is a force to be reckoned with once it gets even just one Calm Mind boost in. We opted for Offensive Booster Raikou over SubRaikou because of the fact that by the time Raikou comes out, most of its counters will be gone, including status inducers and such. Also, the sheer power it grants us really gives us the edge on our competition. Thunderbolt is the STAB move that rips apart most Neutral targets let alone SE. HP Grass is chosen over HP Ice due to our team's slight weakness to Rhyperior. It also hits those pesky Ground types who switch in, like Claydol, as well as 4x hits on the stray Quagsire and whatnot. Extrasensory provides us with one major ability: the ability to OHKO Offensive Venusaur, who would otherwise pose a challenge to a Raikou sweep. As our team's Special Sweeper, 252 SpA and 252 Speed EV's maximize sweeping potential.
  139.  
  140. Absol @ Lum Berry
  141. Adamant Nature/ Super Luck Ability
  142. 252 Atk | 252 Spe |4 Hp
  143. - Swords Dance
  144. - Sucker Punch
  145. - Super Power
  146. - Psycho Cut
  147.  
  148. The star of the show and a really good one at that; basically the standard swords dance Absol set in Smogon’s strategy Pokedex but with  a couple of minor tweaks in the set which have proven to be a lot more useful. As you can see, we have not used the common Night Slash move people use but replaced it with the second choice; Psycho Cut which may not have the STAB powered raw power as night slash but acts magnificently as a counter to common Absol switch ins including Hitmontop, and Hariyama who would expect a possible sucker punch in an act of struggle. Now you may ask well how does this move help the set at all; its basically the same thing as night slash and unless you are faster than the opponent switch in you are basically dead and this is when the entire strategy comes into play; Pokémon like Dugtrio and Slowbro have been chosen for a specific reason; to inflict both heavy damage and status; while Slowbro paralyzes the opponent Pokémon letting Absol out speed it; Dugtrio often is our primary switch in to neutralize the opponent’s fighting type Pokémon  without much hassle so when its time for Absol to come in; most if not all of its counters would have either been fainted or inflicted with paralysis status allowing Absol to dispose of them once and for all. The biggest tweak to this set us probably the item held by this disastrous sweeper; instead of using the standard Life Orb for the increased power, we replaced it for something far more useful; a Lum Berry. Just think about it; when Absol’s counters have perished what would an opponent send out? Something to maim Absol’s sweep; a status inflicter usually along the lines of paralysis or a burn which could really damage Absol, but with Lum berry, he can successfully avoid that status and also grab a free swords dance or if he has already been powered up, attack and keep on attacking to complete finishing off an opponents team.
  149.  
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  151.  
  152. Thanks for reading our rather long rate my team topic, and we hope you enjoyed reading it, though it may have dragged along at a couple of spot, but hey, we had to explain the overall strategy for you to get the best understanding of the team, right? And also, we hope you enjoyed the little theme we added to this topic about the Lord of the Rings and we hope it let you enjoy reading this a bit more. Please comment on the team and give suggestions on how we could improve this quite successful team because well, that’s the reason we posted it on these forums; to get descriptive feedback and criticism from our fellow competitive battlers on Smogon!
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