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 the absorption squad: an underused team

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PostSubject: the absorption squad: an underused team   Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:10 pm

please note: i encourage you to make any extensive critiques on the pokestadium version of this thread, because i'd really like to help johan get that forum moving once again. however, feel free to post in this thread if you have any short comments to make.

so, without further ado, i would like to present my first UU RMT:

absorption squad


this is my first somewhat definitive UU team, built for my preferred, offensive style of play. i'm sure that it's obvious what the theme plan for this team was: to absorb common-type attacks in a beneficial manner and force the opponent to constantly switch. for UU play, this sort of unsupported offense has proven to be approximately 65% reliable, giving me a solid rating of ~1150 after approximately 20 ladder matches. this is evidently not an acceptable success rate, so after each pokemon's analysis, i will include some observations and possible improvements under "workshop".

game plan
a ridiculous, fantastic amount of prediction is required to use this team properly. each of the pokemon on this team carries a single immunity, with the exception of swellow, who has a handy four immunities: ground, ghost, sleep, and paralysis. leading with swellow's excellent speed gives me an immediate offensive advantage. using the sheer amount of power to deal super-effective attacks on the switch, the ultimate goal is to clear the way for one of the team's four sweepers. once one of the opponent's walls is taken out of commission, very little support is required to set up for a sweep.

in depth

swellow @ flame orb
6 hp, 252 atk, 252 spe
-brave bird
-quick attack

fantastic base 125 speed makes swellow a neat, albeit generic lead that counters many of the common tier leaders. persian, perhaps the most common UU lead, has nothing to say to this set: swellow outspeeds the inevitable fake out with quick attack, nullifying the "free hit" and making the first turn a useful one for flame orb to activate. guts facade decimates almost everything that doesn't resist it. u-turn feigns a choice band swellow, as well as scouting for counters; brave bird is somewhat of a suicide move when cornered by something relatively fragile, yet resistant to facade, like rotom.

workshop: quick attack gives swellow insurance against faster enemies, or speed ties, as opposed to the standard protect, which buys swellow a free orb activation turn. because it only has one turn's use (swellow is not a staller, after all), protect becomes dead weight for the rest of the game after the orb is activated. i plan to test pursuit over brave bird, which will act to 2hko rotom at worst; it's very rare that i use brave bird in the first place, since most of the time i find rocks or steel-types switching in to wall swellow.

poliwrath @ leftovers
water absorb
252 hp, 252 atk, 6 spe
-focus punch
-rock slide

subpunching poliwrath, three attacks. poliwrath can switch in on ice shard leads like lapras and cloyster, and serves as the ever-useful water immunity. having a fighting-type doesn't hurt in UU, either: steelix + clefable wall users will find poliwrath hard to handle, as focus punch 2hkos steelix and obviously 1hkos clefable. poliwrath's sturdy 90/95/90 defense distribution is handy; max hp allows him to survive a good amount of hits, as well as a few super-effective ones. with full to near-full hp, poliwrath can more often than not guarantee enough hp to make a sub, even after a super-effective attack, mainly because of the relatively low attack power found in UU.

workshop: ice punch is a move that would replace rock slide, but is as of yet untested. similarly, if focus punch is used in tandem with ice punch, hypnosis or bulk up would serve as a much better use of the "secondary STAB" slot. adding hypnosis to poliwrath's moveset would certainly allow for more freedom among the other members of the team. alternatively, a jolly, non-subpunching, bulk up poliwrath could work well in this moveslot, using brick break to clear reflect and light screen for the team. however, building up enough power to prevent roaring steelix from phazing could prove to be a problem.

lanturn @ leftovers
volt absorb
40 hp, 136 spatk, 252 spdef, 80 spe
-ice beam
-thunder wave

when swellow's main counter is an electric-type that either won't be killed by facade or outspeeds swellow (electrode, basically), lanturn is the go-to guy for electric absorption. volt absorb also helps out to support poliwrath, and stops thunder wavers cold. speaking of which, lanturn's own thunder wave helps to cripple the incoming clefable, who does not carry a status-healing move, and, aside from facade + magic guard abuse leads, has no way of blocking thunder wave. here, lanturn serves as the rather generic special sponge: 40 hp evs gives 401 hp, 80 spe outruns nidoqueen and claydol, and after maxing spdef, the rest of the evs go in spatk.

workshop: i would like to experiment with alternative movesets and ev spreads. 252 spatk + 136 spdef would allow lanturn to be somewhat more offensive, albeit not by much; choice specs would remedy this, although it would force me to alter my clefable-countering tactics. a parafusion set may prove to be more useful, albeit forcing lanturn to be played more conservatively than normal.

ninetales @ life orb
flash fire
6 hp, 252 spatk, 252 spe
-nasty plot
-energy ball

fire absorption, and a rather standard sweeper ninetales set. poor type coverage with flamethrower and energy ball only make this viable during the lategame, which has proven detrimental to the general strategy, on occasion. furthermore, hypnosis is rather unreliable on the frail, and occasionally outsped, ninetales, so it's very hard to get this to work properly.

workshop: if poliwrath runs hypnosis, the true excellence can be found in ninetales' potential. dark pulse is a welcome addition to her movepool, allowing her to defeat hypno and grumpig with no problem, although hidden power electric will grant excellent special sweeping type coverage, as well as strike down mantine. as with lanturn, however, i could run a choice specs set to run with the high-prediction nature of this team, and provide more immediate attack power. i am strongly leaning towards specstales and intend to test her viability.

chimecho @ leftovers
252 hp, 116 def, 80 spatk, 60 spdef
-heal bell

one of the most useful team supporters in UU, in my opinion. adding an ever-useful ground immunity, chimecho helps the gang out by setting up reflect, wishing and ringing the heal bell at will due to her surprisingly sturdy defenses. it's interesting to note that even with a minimally effective attack, chimecho beats non-resting steelix one on one.

workshop: chimecho is rather uninteresting besides her ability to pack both heal bell and wish. the closest thing to this wonderful support set is xatu, who is immune to ground, sets up wish and can use psycho shift to great effect; however, xatu suffers from an unfortunate stealth rock weakness. a separate option in this team slot would be claydol, who, while lacking wish, provides a totally different mode of play by setting up stealth rock and spinning the hazards away. claydol also makes an overall stronger lead than swellow, working to hide the facade surprise until lategame. yet another option is drifblim, who would provide an easily-utilized extra buffer (think abusing the rampant immunities) by passing substitutes. i plan to carry out tests for the viability of claydol, and possibly a variant of this team utilizing drifblim.

absol @ scope lens
super luck
6 hp, 252 atk, 252 spe
-swords dance
-sucker punch
-psycho cut
-rock smash

absol has quickly become one of my favorite UU physical sweepers, and i'm not sure whether i like him or swellow better. base 130 attack is no laughing matter, and after a swords dance, sucker punch will decimate almost anything that isn't named steelix or shuckle. fighters can't say anything, as it will act like a 120 bp extremespeed against the likes of choice scarf primeape. obviously, absol has issues with faster (read: toxicroak, hitmonlee, and hitmonchan) mach punchers, but this is the main reason i was considering using drifblim: absol will rip them to shreds with psycho cut as they break the sub. rock smash adds type coverage against opposing steels, most notably aggron, probopass, and bastiodon, and also hits threatening dark-types. jolly nature to speed tie with opposing absol, at worst.

workshop: absol is such a neat, yet powerful pokemon that i would gladly create a whole new team just to use him. passing speed boosts and/or a sub would really help out the critter, because frankly, base 75 speed sucks. funnily enough, absol learns baton pass, so he would be completely viable in a UU baton pass chain. as for this particular set, night slash and x-scissor would be passable substitutes for sucker punch and rock smash, respectively, although sucker punch seems much too powerful to waste, and x-scissor says hello to aggron. overall, there is not much to change about absol except the team around him, to which the responsibility of wearing down physical walls and eliminating mach punchers should be relegated. after that, there is nothing in UU that can stop absol.

throughout my current undertakings, i've found that UU requires much more teambuilding strategy than OU due to the huge number of of pokemon in the tier. this team, while it may seem well-made, suffers from massive holes in offensive type coverage, and lacks proper answers to common UU strategies. considerations must be made as well for the nine new, formerly BL additions to the UU tier, most notably: aerodactyl, weezing, marowak, venusaur, shedinja, and with these five in mind, it may prove very useful to have claydol, at the very least. (think steelix + weezing wall combo.) as a final thought, building a team without utilizing the nine UU testing pokemon, which will have the ability to counter these stronger threats, may also be wise in the long run if (for example) aerodactyl and weezing get moved up to BL after all. i would like to realize an "average joes" offensive UU team which can effectively cope with any potential changes to the tier; the absorption squad is my first stepping stone to that.

please rate my team!
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