Just Lead Raichu Azumarill: Bring Wartortle Amoonguss in the back

Azumarill/Wartortle makes a SPLASH! Phot Cred: @MrEobo

Hey everybody, Caitlin Beach (@RandomVGC) here. I’m coming to you today with a team report from one of the more silly formats I’ve played in a while: tiny tourney. Emphasis on the lower case letters, because this format only allows Pokémon 1.0 m or shorter. Notable inclusions of these Pokemon that are legal are: Kartana, Uxie, Azelf, Mesprit, Excadrill, Azumarill, and Chandelure.
 
 Listed are the beginning goals I had for my tiny tourney team.

1. Double Special Defense stat dropping moves.
2. 2 good Special attackers to take advantage of those drops
3. An answer to Excadrill
4. 2 Kartana answers

Listed are the end goals I had for my tiny tourney team.

1. Fake Out (to help set up Azumarill and provide pressure in general)
2. Reliable speed control (going without speed control in this format seemed scary)
3. Redirection (being able to protect a boosted Azumarill can let it sweep teams)
4. Sleep Inducer (same as Redirection)
5. Fire type (Kartana would have high usage and with Sun being a thing, taking advantage was huge)
6. Ground type (Tectonic Rage is a very powerful attack and gets neutral damage on many targets)
7. Azumarill (If you are in a non-Restricted format and Azumarill is legal, you better have a good reason for not using it)
8. At least 2 Kartana answers (As said before, Kartana would be huge and posed a huge threat to Azumarill, so being able to stop it was necessary)

Iterations:

Luxio Porygon-Z Chandelure Pachirisu Accelgor Basculin

Originally, I wanted the team to use Fake Tears scarf Luxio with Acid Spray Accelgor to deal with the format.

Raichu Porygon-Z Chandelure Togetic Accelgor Azumarill

Then I started to dislike Luxio and Accelgor more, and Pachirisu didn’t flow well with the team, so I went to Raichu and Togetic. Basculin just didn’t do the job of KOing Excadrill as well as Azumarill, so I made that switch as well.

Raichu Sylveon Chandelure Amoonguss Excadrill Azumarill

Porygon-Z never got is Z-Conversion off and I wanted to change to Amoonguss for Spore support. Excadrill came in here as well to deal more offensive pressure

Raichu Gastrodon Chandelure Amoonguss Excadrill Azumarill

Sylveon got KO’d rather easily, so I decided to switch it to Gastrodon to use Icy Wind, but with all the Kartana in the meta, it didn’t too well. Which led us to this final iteration below

Raichu Wartortle Chandelure Amoonguss Excadrill Azumarill

The Team

Raichu (F) @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Lightning Rod
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Fake Out
- Thunderbolt / Volt Switch
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Protect

Raichu fills the Fake Out slot and Kartana answer slot. It is able to knock out most Kartana with an Aqua Jet + Hidden Power Fire, but usually Fake Out + Hidden Power Fire can take care of Kartana. I put Safety Goggles on this Raichu because I wanted it to be able to check what I thought would be a good lead of Amoonguss/Azumarill. It can also help with Torkoal / Bellossom leads after I am able to knock out Torkoal and disallow Bellossom from putting me to Sleep.
 
 Relevant Calc: 
 252 SpA Raichu Thunderbolt vs. 196 HP / 12 SpD Azumarill: 144–170 (72–85%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery

How it stacks up

Fake Out was included on 87.3% of Raichu, where Volt Switch was included on only 26.2%. Hidden Power was seen even less with only 15.5% usage, but Protect did have a respectable 27.4% usage. Raichu seems like one of those Pokemon that players didn’t really know how to use, and it can fill a lot of roles. I think the role we filled here with protecting Azumarill and mitigating Kartana was very good for this team. Additionally, Safety Goggles was only used by 2.4% of the Raichu in the competition, with 36.1% of people using a Focus Sash. We could for sure use Focus Sash on this Raichu, I just more expected that Amoonguss/Azumarill combo, which I only saw once in the tourney.

Wartortle (F) @ Eviolite
Ability: Torrent
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 28 Def / 228 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Icy Wind
- Rain Dance
- Follow Me

Wartortle here fills out 2 of the roles I assigned in team building: Reliable speed control and redirection. Normally Wartortle does not have access to Follow Me, but with this tournament allowing any Pokemon from any game, I was able to access the event Squirtle and use it. There’s not much to say here, but Wartortle will be pressing Icy Wind and Follow Me 90% of the time, leading Raichu and Fake Out + Icy Wind is a very strong lead and gives you a tremendous amount of upperhand heading into the game.

Relevant calcs:
 252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 252 HP / 28+ Def Eviolite Wartortle: 138–164 (83.1–98.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO

How it stacks up:

Looking at the stats, there were only 16 Wartortle used throughout the tournament, and 5 of those were accounted for by people playing this team. Scald, Rain Dance, Follow Me, Icy Wind were the top 4 moves on Wartortle. 5 more people used Scald, 2 more people used Rain Dance, and 1 more person used Follow Me and Icy Wind. Wartortle also had 12/16 of the people using Eviolite, so the right item and meta-item was used here.

Chandelure (F) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Flash Fire
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Heat Wave
- Overheat
- Shadow Ball
- Haze

Chandelure fills out my Fire type slot and Kartana check slot really well. I believe Chandelure to be the best fire type in this format, except for maybe Choice Scarf Simisear, but that seems to not have exactly what I want out of my Fire type. The main difference is having access to Shadow Ball and Haze. With Haze, I can just switch in Chandelure turn 1 on Eevee teams and click Haze and hopefully get them to forfeit the next turn. There’s not much to say about this set aside from it being Timid in order to outrun Adamant Choice Scarf Excadrill, but most of the Choice Scarf Excadrill I ran into in testing were Jolly, so you have to play safely around that and try to get an Icy Wind onto them before sending in Chandelure 100% confidently.

Relevant calcs:
 252 SpA Chandelure Heat Wave vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Excadrill: 186–218 (100–117.2%) — guaranteed OHKO

How it stacks up:

Shadow Ball was up to 95.7% usage on Chandelure, being the most often used move. With Heat Wave at 54.4% and Overheat at 18.5% usage. Haze wasn’t even on the listing but I believe it to be instrumental in denying the Eevee setup that this team might have trouble with. Additionally, it looks like 30.8% of the Chandelure used a Choice Scarf, so I definitely feel safe in my claim that the best way to use Chandelure in this format was to use a Choice Scarf. It just allowed the Chandelure to do more than it could do otherwise, and get surprise KOs on many other Pokemon.

Amoonguss (F) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Regenerator
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 52 Def / 4 SpA / 4 SpD / 196 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Giga Drain
- Spore
- Rage Powder
- Protect

Amoonguss here fills out my Sleep Inducer role and Redirection. There’s not much to say but Amoonguss is trained to out speed Adamant Azumarill with not much speed investment, in order to have another out to the Amoonguss / Azumarill combo.

How it stacks up:

It’s safe to say that Amoonguss here is the most standard Pokemon of this team. Spore was at 96.2% usage with Rage Powder at 87.9%, Giga Drain at 71.5%, and Protect at 50.4%. Our nature was the most off-standard thing with Calm being 4th at 16.1%. But the held item Rocky Helmet was for sure very standard with 25.2% of usage.

Excadrill (F) @ Groundium Z
Ability: Mold Breaker
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- Iron Head
- Rock Slide
- Protect

Excadrill is here for being my Ground type. I think it’s really the only usable attacking Ground type in the format, so it was a no-brainer inclusion on my team. I just threw a Z crystal on it to have one on my team, but have even considered removing it and switching to a Focus Sash and running Drill Run instead of Rock Slide, but going over it in my head, this set seems to be more ideal with the rest of the team, so I left it as-is.

How it stacks up:

Scratch that, Excadrill was the most standard Pokemon on this team. Earthquake was at 88.5% usage, Rock Slide at 83.1%, with Iron Head at 64.5% and Protect at 43.6%. With 60.7% of Excadrill being Jolly, speed was favored over that last little bit of power. And with Groundium Z being 31.6% usage, we definitely see that Tectonic Rage is a strong attack and valued by many.

Azumarill (F) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Huge Power
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 196 HP / 244 Atk / 12 Def / 12 SpD / 44 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Aqua Jet
- Frustration
- Belly Drum
- Protect

Azumarill fills out the Azumarill slot pretty well on my team. Lots of speed creeping happening here, and I figured Return would be usable in this format given there’s not many steel or ghost types, and those lose to Aqua Jet really hard. It doesn’t really have issue with Gastrodon, so I like this set a lot.

How it stacks up:

Azumarill’s usage surprises me a little bit. Aqua Jet was at 94.5%, and Belly Drum at 57.4%. But Protect was only at 33.4% and Frustration/Return were not even on the list of top 10 used moves. Overall I do not disagree with having Frustration, but maybe Knock Off could have been better.

Common team archetypes

Sand
Hippopotas, Excadrill, Lycanroc, Hawlucha, Rotom-H, Kartana, Chandelure, Gastrodon

Sand teams are seemingly very straightforward and usually have a few tricks up their sleeve. The hyper aggressive lead of Hippopotas/Excadrill offers lots of answers to many other leads, but is beaten by other weathers. Hawlucha is a good fit on the team offering Fighting and Flying STABs and a Tailwind option. Lycanroc is an alternative to Excadrill that focuses more on Rock type moves and can even carry Firium Z with Fire Fang for a surprise KO on Excadrill. Rotom-H is a good fire type that pairs well with an Excadrill under sand. Kartana is just a great Steel type with differing STABs to Excadrill, and may even drop Smart Strike overall. Chandelure is another good Fire type that can carry Trick Room. Gastrodon is in general your way to stop Aqua Jet from running rampant against your team and serves not very much else besides a special Ground attack in Earth Power.

Sun
Bellossom, Torkoal, Mimikyu / Porygon2, Chandelure, Kartana, Muk

The Sun archetype differs quite a bit from Sand. Sun focuses around the Bellossom / Torkoal pair that can spam After You + Eruption and clear a board, or set up Trick Room with Mimikyu / Porygon2 and sweep that way. Having a Choice Scarf Chandelure with Heat Wave and Torkoal out at the same time can devastate many teams without a Flash Fire user. And Kartana is just overall a good Pokemon outside of Trick Room. Muk is really bulky and shares weaknesses, but operates really well under Trick Room.

Protect Azumarill
Azumarill, Amoonguss, Kartana, Mimikyu, Chandelure, Excadrill

The theme of these teams is to simply protect Azumarill. You do this by eliminating threats to Azumarill such as grass types that ignore Rage Powder using strong Fire Type moves from Chandelure, and use Amoonguss to redirect Electric Type moves. Kartana works well since it’s just naturally a dominating Pokemon in this format, as well as Excadrill.

Goodstuffs
Excadrill, Amoonguss, Chandelure, Azumarill, Kartana, Mimikyu, Muk

Goodstuffs teams are like all other formats and try to fit the strongest Pokémon from the format onto one team together. There’s not much to say here besides these were some of the most popular Pokémon in the format and they worked very well together.

Eevee
Eevee, Clefairy, Chandelure, Espeon, Kartana, Mimikyu, Sylveon

Eevee teams focus on the theme of letting Eevee boost with Extreme Evoboost usually protected by Clefairy, and get a Baton Pass off to a strong sweeper in the back. Not much else to say here. This was not a strong team in the tourney overall, and I think that’s because of all the redirection and Azumarill checks flying around like Haze and Clear Smog.

Trick Room
Porygon2, Mimikyu, Torkoal, Chandelure, Muk, Wishiwashi

Trick Room teams generally focused on setting up Trick Room with one of Porygon2, Mimikyu, or Chandelure, and then sweeping with Torkoal, Muk, or Wishiwashi. Very straight forward and generally paired with faster options that would work in a matchup where Trick Room is stopped from getting up.

A word from @LithiumAcid_

Hi, I got around 1798 with the team with 7 battles remaining. I didn’t really want to play the rest of my games, but I really should have if I wanted to make it in the top score of USA.

Originally, I wanted to use leimin’s team of 
Sylveon/Excadrill/Amoonguss/Chandelure/Azumarill/Porygon-Z and I was actually prepared to, before Caitlin Beach shared her team with me

I had a lot of experience using Follow Me Blastoise in Smogon Doubles, so I was already drawn to using Caitlin’s team.

Basically, Caitlin’s team was set up Azu + double the redirection allowing a large margin for error when playing, which was part of the reason why I felt like I could do so well.

In the end, I was glad to score so high, beating out some of the higher ranked players who had blazing starts like Lega. I only wish I went further to secure the top spot in America

I really like formats like this, and I hope Pokémon does more like this

Caitlin:

Overall, this was a really fun format and I would play this again any day. At the end of the day, I would probably use Togetic over Wartortle with a similar moveset and Tailwind over Icy Wind. I hope you enjoyed this report as much as I enjoyed this format! If you have any questions please direct them to my Twitter DM’s @RandomVGC