If you want to hop on the Battle Spot Doubles ladder straight away, here is the QR code:
I still recommend that you read the rest of my team analysis, because I will explain to you particular team-building and move choices, and my play-style to optimize the team. Enoy!
Snorlax @ Figy Berry
EVs: 148 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def / 92 SpD / 12 Spe
- Belly Drum
When I first began team-building for BSD, I started doing so around the most popular Mega Pokemon. I didn't find much success doing this, as none of them seem to break-open the meta. So I decided to reverse my thinking and start with Snorlax, the powerhouse of VGC17. Snorlax has an incredibly positive matchup versus hard Rain teams, and with Intimidate, Misty Terrain and Friend Guard support, it is near impossible to OHKO it, often burning opposing Z moves or eating Landorus Superpowers as it sets up.
I chose Belly Drum as my core set up move for 2 reasons: I wanted to build my team around a Snorlax sweep, and the move wipes away all Intimidate uses on the Pokemon, which Curse cannot do. I have only got 4 attack investment as at maximum attack, Snorlax is at least 2HKOing everything in the game.
Return is my STAB of choice, I felt the additional damage from Double Edge was not worth the recoil damage.
Recycle allows Snorlax to sustain it's field presence, and constantly pressures your opponent into attacking it to avoid restoring already consumed berries for free. This makes it more likely that your attacks won't go into a Protect.
Stockpile is the move that sets this whole team apart and makes it so successful. The aim of the team is for Snorlax to get 2-3 Stockpile stacks up, restore it's health and the Figy Berry, Belly Drum up and sweep. This is also a far safer method of set up to just clicking Belly Drum, as there is no risk of losing the Figy Berry through opponents having Haze or Whirlwind. Pokemon such as Bisharp and Landorus may also carry Knock Off, so using Stockpile can make the most of this situation.
For opposing teams ill-prepared for Snorlax, their only answer is to often blow their Z move and all offence into that slot, giving it's partner free rein to support Snorlax, remove opposing threats or set up themselves.
Hitmontop @ Fightinium Z
EVs: 252 HP / 84 Atk / 4 Def / 156 SpD / 12 Spe
- Fake Out
- Close Combat
- Wide Guard / Feint
Next up Hitmontop is the most natural fit into this team, providing both Fake Out support and Intimidate support. It is also the Z-move user of the team: as I originally intended to use Snorlax to counter rain teams, Z - Close Combat made sense for removing the extremely common Ferrothorn.
It is important to preserve Hitmontop, so I chose a very defensive spread and gave it Detect, allowing me to stall for turns for Snorlax to set up. Wide Guard was the last move added, and is extremely useful for blocking powerful -ate boosted Hyper Voice (from Guardevoir and Salamence), Rock Slide, Earthquake and Heat Wave. Feint is also a good choice to ensure Snorlax connects attacks after drumming.
Manectric-Mega @ Manectite
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 236 HP / 12 Def / 4 SpA / 196 SpD / 60 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Flame Burst / Odor Sleuth
Manectric is my Mega of choice, and although it is extremely uncommon it suits it's role as a defensive pivot very well. It's abilities are perfect for the team, with Lightning Rod before mega evolving providing really strong support for Tapu Fini and Intimidate further supporting the Snorlax.
The EV spread has a focus on improving Manectric's low bulk. The speed stat hits a total of 179, which speed creeps max speed Kartana, Metagross and Raichu.
Volt Switch allows Manectric to act as a pivot, recycling Intimidate and resetting the terrain, whilst offering chip damage, which is very useful when Belly Drum is not an option. Snarl buffers the special bulk of the team.
A fire type attack was chosen as this team has a significant weakness to Kartana. I chose Flame Burst instead of Flamethrower, a move with 70 BP instead of 90 BP, as it deals effect damage to the partner Pokemon of the target equal to 1/16th of it's HP. The biggest benefit of this is it damages the Pokemon through Protect. As the most common held item on Kartana is Focus Sash, this will break the sash, punishing attempts to use Protect.
Odor Sleuth is a good alternative to a fire type attack if you are comfortable with the Kartana match-up. Snorlax and Hitmontop currently have no way of hitting Ghost Type Pokemon, such as Aegislash, so this offers a way to removing it's immunity.
Tapu Fini @ Leftovers
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 164 SpA / 76 SpD / 12 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
- Muddy Water
- Calm Mind
Tapu Fini is the Tapu of choice for the team, mainly because it prevents status conditions such as Sleep and Burn, which really hamper Snorlax. I decided on a Calm Mind set and purely relying on Snorlax to sweep can be quite detrimental if the opponent knocks it out, providing an alternate win condition. Tapu Fini plus Manetric as an alternate lead works well, especially if the opponent has sufficient Snorlax counters to prevent you setting up. The EV spread is simple but effective.
Snorlax and Tapu Fini will be joining you for most games. The terrain of this Tapu is severely underrated.
Clefairy @ Eviolite
Ability: Friend Guard
EVs: 236 HP / 236 Def / 36 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk
- Heal Pulse
- Follow Me
Clefairy provides the team with invaluable Follow Me and Friend Guard Support. Whilst not boasting much offence, follow me is the bread and butter support for many set up teams, and it is no different here. Leading with Clefairy and Snorlax often allows for gimmick-free set up, at the cost of playing 3 vs 4.
Both Protect and Heal Pulse punish opponents for choosing the wrong target: If you protect and they focus their attacks into Clefairy to remove friend guard, it gives Snorlax a free turn to set up. If you use Heal Pulse, Snorlax will usually be restored back to full health, preventing the opponent from chipping it down and KOing at around 60% health.
The last move on Clefairy usually ends up being filler, so I chose Incinerate, a TM from Generation 6, as it provides multiple utilities: It is a 60 BP spread fire type attack that destroys berries help by the opposing Pokemon. Firstly, with the increased popularity of pinch berries, this move has before far more useful. Furthermore, the move is a 2HKO on Focus Sash Kartana, adding another check on the team against that problematic Pokemon. Lastly, it also stops Clefairy struggling when Taunted.
Mimikyu @ Ghostium Z
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
- Shadow Claw
- Destiny Bond
- Trick Room
Mimikyu is by far the least used member of the team, however is still critical to the team. As the only form of speed control on the team, Trick Room allows me to use an alternative play-style for the team, drumming up and sweeping with Snorlax.
Using max speed allows me to use both Neverending Nightmare and Z-Destiny Bond before most Pokemon. Z-Destiny Bond provides further follow me support for the team, and can threaten a knockout on it's own. It should be noted that after Destiny Bond is used, it will remain active until Mimikyu uses it's next move, and so can force a safe Trick Room to go up.
Z-Shadow Claw isn't often used, but can be useful versus opposing Tapu Lele that often carry Taunt, or that lead with M-Metagross.
Having a fast Taunt user on the team provides more answers against gimmicks to stop Snorlax setting up. taunting Haze, Whirlwind, and opposing Taunts can be game-breaking.
Notes of importance
With the above detailed analysis of the team, you should now have a general idea of how to play the team. However, there are some extremely important points that we need to go over:
Ghost Type Pokemon
By far, the most glaring problem with the team is the lack of attacks for Snorlax to hit ghost type Pokemon, most notably Aegislash. The partners of the team often have the ability to KO Aegislash before they faint, but there are situations where you have to sacrifice them to keep Snorlax alive.
Sleuth Odour and Foresight are options to hit it, but take up valuable move-slots. Instead, I decided I would beat every Aegislash in a PP stall war: Aegislash usually carry the 3 Moves Flash Cannon, Shadow Ball and Kings Shield, all with 16 PP each. The most common 4th move is Wide Guard, a move with also with 16 PP, totalling 64 PP
Snorlax has access to Belly Drum and Recycle, both 16 PP, plus Return and Stockpile, both with 32 PP, giving you a total of 96 PP. This means you can out-stall most Aegislash. The main exceptions to this are ones that carry the moves Sacred Sword, ignoring your defence boost, Toxic, a guaranteed win condition when Misty Terrain wears off, and Shadow Sneak, carrying a total PP of 48. There may be some instances that you can use ''My Time'' to beat Shadow Sneak Aegislash.
Most times, I have found that my opponents have not maximised their move PP anyway, so often you will not have to wait that long. I've won 8 out of 8 games I have played out like this.
Clear Smog and Haze
Clear Smog and Haze can both limit the options Snorlax has. Thankfully if Snorlax uses Stockpile first instead does not use Belly Drum, this bypasses being forced to eat your berry. If the opponent chooses to remove your defence boosts, they also reset your attack boosts, allowing for a neutral STAB Return, which even with no investment, still hits hard.
Bisharp is the hardest single Pokmon for this team to deal with. With access to Knock off to threaten Snorlax and Iron Head to KO Clefairy, it gives the team a tough time. Both Pokemon that deal super effective damage to Bisharp trigger it's Defiant ability with Intimidate. It is possible to beat Bisharp, especially with Z-Close Combat to hit it though protect, but it is tough.
Flinches and Critical Hits
I've made some horrible faces when my Snorlax has been one shot by a turn 1 Superpower from Landorus. It's not particularly fun. However, in using a strategy that relies in stalling out time, and boosting it's defences, they are inevitable. Wide guard largely mitigates the use of Rock Slide, but Iron Head and Waterfall are still quite common moves that sets Snorlax back a turn.
It must be noted that once the biggest offensive threats have been removed, such as Super Power Landorus, critical hits are far less likely to end your game. I was tempted to add Muddy Water accuracy drops to this segment, however Snorlax can afford to miss multiple times when it has fully set up.
Alright, that is mostly the gist of the team! I hope you have fun stalling out players on the Battle Spot Ladder using Aegislash :) see you later, weather it be on Twitter, at the London International Championships or the Pokemon World Championships 2018!