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CORES IN THE OU META GAME

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CORES IN THE OU META GAME

Post by Saquib Al Mamun on Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:30 am






Effective cores are very important in competitive Pokemon, and any good player uses them, intentionally or not. Defensive cores rely on covering a lot of attacking types and common threats within the core, while also offering team support, so that the core is useful even when walled. On the other hand, offensive cores still like having the common attacking types covered between its members, but offensive synergy is most important. Be it one member of the core attracting Pokemon that another member can easily switch into and force out, one member luring and weakening the checks and counters of another, or one member being able to beat the Pokemon that the other can't, those are the characteristics that are wanted from a good offensive core. Finally, there are mixed or balanced cores, as well as support and pivoting cores, which blend in into offensive and defensive cores. Support or pivoting elements in cores aim to either provide easier switch-in and set up chances to offensive Pokemon, or help to wall and stall out the opponent in the case of defensive cores. With that said, let's cut to the chase:

Talonflame + Mega Pinsir:




With two excellent additions to the offensive flying-types, flying spam is more viable than ever, and this is the premier core of this playstyle. Mega Pinsir provides the power and Talonflame the speed, even though both Pokemon are quite strong and both have priority, so either can fulfill both sweeping and revenge killing duties if the need arises. Mega Pinsir usually is the one who enters the stage first, setting up whenever it finds the opportunity, and weakening or KOing Pokemon such as Skarmory, Zapdos, Rotom-W, and Landorus-T. Then Talonflame, can clean up the remains. Stealth Rock and anti-SR support are musts for this core, as both need all the help they can get to wear down their counters, and both despise Stealth Rock, especially Talonflame. Mega Manectric and Thundurus are major problems to this core, so make sure to have answers to them.

Usual Sets:

Talonflame @ Choice Band
Ability: Gale Wings
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spd / 4 Def
Adamant Nature
- Brave Bird
- Flare Blitz
- U-turn
- Tailwind

Pinsir @ Pinsirite
Ability: Hyper Cutter
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spd / 4 Def
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Return
- Quick Attack
- Close Combat/Earthquake


Gothitelle + Mega Gyarados:




This core runs off Mega Gyarados Late-Game sweeping. Now, M-Gyarados is an excellent late-game sweeper with it's great bulk and high attack, but it does have its fair share of flaws. It is easily walled by the likes of Slowbro, Skarmory, Mandibuzz, Ferrothorn, Chesnaught & Mega Venasuar (If Lacking Ice Fang) and Kyruem-B (If Lacking Stone Edge) Now here comes the good part. If Gyarados has Stone Edge instead of Ice Fang, Cube is out of the equation. Now that he's gone, Gothitelle can Trap and remove All of the threats. With one of the best abilitys in the game, Shadow Tag, it can trap many of Gyarados's Checks And remove them with Energy Ball, Thunderbolt, and Psychic.

This core works best when Gyarados isn't sent into play until it's checks and counters are removed by Gothitelle. If Gyarados stays at full heath, it can come in on something that can't touch it, Say, Greninja, and force it out while possibly getting 2 dragon dances off. If Gothitelle has done its job, it's good game from then on. Gyarados can switch in early game if you need to lure its counters in, but it is generally not safe. Gothitelle only use after trapping is death fodder, but it's job was done nonetheless.

usual sets:

Gyarados-Mega @ Gyaradosite
Ability: Mold Breaker
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature
- Stone Edge
- Waterfall
- Earthquake
- Dragon Dance

Gothitelle @ Choice Specs
Ability: Shadow Tag
EVs: 84 HP / 252 SAtk / 172 Spd
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psychic
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Thunderbolt
- Trick


Mega Medicham + Bisharp:




Here's a fun offensive core that I've been toying with lately and used a ton in UU before Medichamite was banned and Bisharp rose to OU. Mega Medicham is a huge powerhouse in OU, but it really struggles with bulky Psychic-types.This core focuses on Mega Medicham's amazing ability to break down bulkier team in congruence with Bisharp's Pursuit support. It is especially frightening when you run Baton Pass on Mega Medicham. This gives you the ability to pivot out with little to no fear of misplaying. Unlike double switching, if you overpredict against your opponent, you can just switch to an appropriate check or counter to whatever you passed out of. But if they do go to Lati@s or Slowbro or (insert check/counter), you can safely bring out Bisharp and go ham. Of course, there are still predictions if this happens, but it makes things a lot easier when you don't have to hard switch or double switch to bring out your trapper.

usual sets:

Medicham @ Medichamite
Ability: Pure Power
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- High Jump Kick
- Zen Headbutt
- Ice Punch/Fire Punch

Bisharp @ BlackGlasses
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Knock Off
- Sucker Punch
- Iron Head
- Pursuit


Kyurem-B + Greninja:




This core is beats pretty much all offensive teams that face it. The core is generally only dismantled by Talonflame, Conkeldurr, Thundurus-I, and Choice Scarf users (mainly Terrakion and Garchomp). Greninja's best set is imo the one I just showed. U-turn is just such a waste on a 'mon with Greninja's ability, Protean. Hydro Pump is your main STAB. Ice Beam is STAB coverage. Extrasensory is chosen because it beats Keldeo, Gengar, Conkeldurr on switch... Hidden Power [Fire] is used to surprise kill Mega Scizor, Ferrothorn, and Bisharp while also getting a nifty Fire-typing allowing you to avoid things like Clefable's Moonblast trying to screw you up to go for an easier 2HKO. However, the main problem about Greninja is that it struggles to break past bulky waters. Azumarill for example is walling Greninja and Kyurem-B beats it with Fusion Bolt. You can use Dragon Claw if beating Chansey is required and it hits a huge portion of the metagame for neutral damage. This core is just a huge pain for HO teams. Mega Scizor is also a really good teammate because it can absorb Thundurus-I paralysis meaning it can't be burned so it can pivot out and into Scalds with no fear. Defog / Rapid Spin support is mandatory as well because Kyurem-B is weak to Rocks. Bulk Up Talonflame is imo this core's best teammate because it switches into Play Rough while burning Azumarill, Roosts off damage, sets up Bulk Up to sweeps bulky offense / balanced teams which naturally carry ways to dismantle this core. Stallbreaker is recommended. Overall, core is huge bane for HO teams and defeats most teams with relative ease.

usual sets:

Greninja @ Life Orb
Ability: Protean
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Hydro Pump
- Ice Beam
- Extrasensory
- Hidden Power Fire/Grass Knot

Kyurem-Black @ Life Orb
EVs: 252 Atk / 56 SpA / 200 Spe
Lonely Nature
- Dragon Claw
- Fusion Bolt
- Ice Beam
- Iron Head


Gyarados + Magnezone + Mega Tyranitar + (Optional Excadrill):


+

First lemme get this out of the way: normal Gyara is really good. Like, really really good. It's an unexpected and underprepared for threat. Using Keldeo or Mega Venusaur as a check? lol good luck with that. It also does a lot more to Azumarill, bunch of nice stuff, and best of all it doesn't take up a Mega slot and can run a Lum Berry to circumvent Thund. Lum Gyara is practically begging for MTTar as a partner. They pose similar threats to the opposing team, and between the two of them you can usually bust through their sweeper checks and get one to sweep. Plus, they have decent synergy as Gyara wipes the floor with Keldeo, a large threat to Tar. And, you can bluff your Mega, especially with plays like not evolving Tar so they might guess it's Scarfed or whatever. Tar can set up on Talonflame BB revenge kills of Gyara. However, they share a couple major flaws, primarily a vulnerability to Ferrothorn, Skarmory, and sand Drill. I could run Fire Punch on Tar, but that really only helps with Ferro, and I miss useful coverage on Keldeo, Terrakion, and other things EQ provides like a perfectly accurate move that's nice to have in various scenarios. The best partner to finish this up is Magnezone. It, naturally, traps Ferro and Skarm, which already makes a good choice. This set here seems really weird (it's Stathakis's iirc, btw), but it performs one important role and that is trap Exca with Balloon + MRise. With this, you take out 3 of the biggest threats to the Gyara + Tar sweeper core, giving them a much easier time at sweeping.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind with this core, mainly that certain Scarfers (Superpower Land-T, Keldeo, Terrakion) will give it trouble, so you need to pack things for these, but they're not very difficult to account for. A Lati and/or Exca does well with this core, but you can really customize the last 3 slots to most anything depending on whether you want to go a more hyper offensive or balanced offensive route. Anyways cool core I've been working with.
Mega Tyranitar + Excadrill is pretty self-explanatory.Tyranitar Sand Excadrill Sweep.

(If you donot want to run the said Magnezone set and run something more main stream consider the Specs or the Scarf Set,but then be sure to carry something to check Excadrill)

usual sets:

Gyarados @ Lum Berry
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 8 HP / 252 Atk / 248 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Waterfall
- Bounce
- Stone Edge

Magnezone @ Air Balloon
Ability: Magnet Pull
EVs: 120 HP / 252 SpA / 136 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Magnet Rise
- Thunderbolt
- Flash Cannon
- Hidden Power Fire

Tyranitar @ Tyranitarite
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Stone Edge
- Ice Punch
- Earthquake

Excadrill @ Life Orb
Ability: Sand Rush
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Earthquake
- Iron Head
- Rock Slide
- Rapid Spin


Mega Medicham + Rotom-W + Talonflame :




This is one of my favorite offensive cores involving Mega Medicham. Mega Medicham is an absolute boss with Aegislash gone from the metagame. I prefer it to the other stallbreaking Megas because it has better Speed than Heracross and is less prediction-heavy in general. Gardevoir, Heracross (more this than Gard tbh), you need to play really well anticipating switches and get into a lot of guessing games that can result in free switch-ins for the opponent. Most of the time with Medicham, you can just spam HJK and be fine. The other key is priority. Contrary to what people will say, Medicham's priority is STRONG. Like, strong enough to force switches on things like Thundurus and Lati@s that don't have Roost. A couple people got me hooked on Bullet Punch + Fake Out and really I've found any hatred towards the dual priority unwarranted. It's not like Zen and HJK don't already murder almost everything, I never really found Ice Punch that useful while that extra touch of priority has been crucial more times than I can count. Just a tangent on Medicham as a whole, now I'll talk about the interactions of the core ^_^

The first thing you have to account for with Mega Medicham, imo, is birds (Talonflame Pinsir). Also, Fairies can be troublesome checks, especially Azumarill and Clefable. Rotom-W is an excellent start because it helps cover Azumarill and birds. It synergizes pretty well with Medicham outside of that, providing a check to Scarf LandoT a good Medicham check, ScarfChomp/sand Exca that just love to revenge kill it. It can also check ok non-HP Grass Greninja, ie take the hit Split/VSwitch/whatever and wear it down so Mega Medicham can eventually take it out with priority (well Fake Out does 50% anyways lol). With Split can also chip off damage on Thundurus 1v1, and lures Lati@s in to Wisp and VSwitch them down so Medicham can finish them off. It also provides the all-important VoltTurn, which is also a key with using Mega Medicham because it has few switch-in opportunities otherwise.

Talonflame completes this core. It synergizes well because it takes on Clefable and can revenge kill Pinsir which is key if Rotom is overwhelmed by a dual bird core or whatever. I prefer an SD variant because it actually beats all versions of Clefable (you can PP stall Unaware because it only has 64 PP assuming Wish Tect Moonblast Bell and you only need to Roost every 2 Moonblasts so 12/16 Roosts are needed), so they can't just Soft-Boiled up and stall for recoil damage like CB or whatever, and has some nice sweeping potential. With Mega Medicham's priority, the two can actually help take down a lot of faster threats for the team in combination, and Mega Medicham's weakening of various different things with Rotom's Volt Switching around can help allow for an SD Talonflame sweep. Rotom-W can actually come in on different things that threaten Talonflame, like different bulky Waters, Heatran, Landorus-T, defensive Tyranitar, etc and even help check opposing Rotom-W.

This balanced offense core synergizes really well to support each other. Rotom-W + Talon beat birds and Fairies for Medicham, Rotom giving both espec Cham switch-in opportunities to demolish things, to where the team is weakened so Talonflame can clean. This core obviously needs a few things, like a good Keldeo check and Defog/spin. Healing Wish Latias is an excellent partner I've found because it reduces the strain on Medicham not to miss/predict around Protects and in case it gets heavily worn down or whatever smashing through the teams, for this reason.

usual sets:

Medicham @ Medichamite
Ability: Pure Power
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Fake Out
- High Jump Kick
- Zen Headbutt
- Bullet Punch / Ice Punch

Rotom-W @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hydro Pump
- Volt Switch
- Will-O-Wisp
- Pain Split

Talonflame @ Sharp Beak
Ability: Gale Wings
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Brave Bird
- Flare Blitz
- Roost

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Saquib Al Mamun

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