Samurott returns in VGC 2011 (team analysis)

So here I was, wondering why no one plays old gen VGC formats, and I decided to start building. The reason I begin with gen 5 is that this was the first gen I got into VGC. I didn't play in any official tournaments then, but I watched some older friends play nationals. Since no one cares about this format anymore, I built a non-conventional team just to have fun in room tours. :totodiLUL:

The spotlight of the team is my favorite pokemon, Samurott. I wanted to make him a viable pokemon after seeing it didn't have much usage a decade ago in official tournaments (less than 5% throughout the whole season and 1 top cut). Even though the dex was very limited in 2011 and lacked water types, Jellicent outclassed Samurott in almost every aspect. Jellicent could act as a support Trick Room setter, as well as a powerful sweeper with a Water Gem-boosted Water Spout under Trick Room or even running scarf. The number of varied sets the jellyfish could run made it very unpredictable for the opponent and, therefore, a very consistent pick for almost any team.

Building around Samurott wasn't easy since Thundurus-Incarnate is the undisputed king of the metagame. Even though Samurott has decent bulk, it can't live a Thunderbolt without a Wacan Berry. The problem is Samurott needs a Life Orb to dish out damage. Although it can run both physical and special sets, I found the special one more consistent and immediate since it had more coverage and didn't have to set up with Sword Dance. The only reason you should pick the physical set is to have STAB priority with Aqua Jet.

To counter Thundurus, I thought about running a Trick Room setter along Samurott to outspeed. Unfortunately, Ice Beam doesn't OHKO Thundurus even with no bulk invested. I could run Scrafty with Fake Out instead, but Thundurus can run Protect, and other Fake Out users would stop my strategy if they targeted Samurott. While searching for a Trick Room user, I discovered that Beheeyem is the only Ally Switch mon in the dex. This was an excellent pick for my team since it fulfilled the niche of protecting Samurott from Thunderbolt and being immune to my own Surf due to its ability Telepathy. It could also use Trick Room and run Imprison to prevent other Trick Room since Samurott isn't very slow. Beheeyem is faster than common Trick Room users like Reuniclus and Musharna, so my Imprison will always hit first. Psychic is great as well because Conkeldurr is very popular.

After testing this lead in several matches, I noticed Hydreigon was a threat because Dark Pulse flinches prevented Beheeyem from setting up Trick Room. Then I thought about running Amoonguss as a partner for Samurott because it is the best redirector with Rage Powder. This move is so broken in this gen because it is +3 priority and there aren't ways to avoid it (grass types aren't immune, safety goggles don't exist, and overcoat doesn't block it yet). I had to run Coba Berry on Amoonguss just to live 2 Hidden Power-Flying from Thundurus and max SpDef. Even though the mushroom doesn't usually run Synthesis, I had to use it to recover from Samurott's Surf damage. The other moves are Spore, since it's only blocked by Safeguard and Lum Berry, and Giga Drain to deal with Jellicent. Amoonguss tends to run Regenerator, but I prefer Effect Spore because I will redirect attacks and barely switch out. The other moves I'm running with Samurott are Air Slash to hit fighting types like Scrafty and Conk, and Detect because of obvious support.

Samurott (F) @ Life Orb
Ability: Torrent
Level: 50
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Surf
- Air Slash
- Ice Beam
- Detect

Amoonguss (F) @ Coba Berry
Ability: Effect Spore
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Spore
- Rage Powder
- Synthesis
- Giga Drain

Amoonguss is probably the best counter against my strategy because when paired with a Trick Room user, it can spore both of my Pokémon. The next lead I thought about dealing with Amoonguss is Fake Out + Chandelure. I chose Scrafty as the Fake Out user because it counters Trick Room. He doesn't get Intimidate yet, but Moxie can help pick up KO's when the boost activates. Drain Punch is great for longevity, and I slapped a Chople Berry to live Mach Punch from Conk. I realized I didn't have a Haxorus check, so I gave Scrafty Ice Punch and enough EVs to 2HKO Haxorus. Also, Chandelure is a great Amoonguss counter with Heat Wave for great damage and Trick Room to revert opposing Trick Room. Also, I run Safeguard to block Spore and Fire Gem to OHKO Amoonguss if it's not running an Occa Berry. The investment in speed EVs is to outspeed other non-scarf Chandelure and Krookodile.

Scrafty (F) @ Chople Berry
Ability: Moxie
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 164 Atk / 92 Def
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Ice Punch
- Fake Out
- Drain Punch
- Crunch

Chandelure (F) @ Fire Gem
Ability: Flash Fire
Level: 50
EVs: 92 HP / 244 SpA / 172 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Safeguard
- Heat Wave
- Trick Room
- Shadow Ball

After I found out Scarf Jellicent with a Water Gem-boosted Water Spout is quite popular paired with Amoonguss, I had to add Thundurus to my team. If I felt my opponent was leading with those two, I was forced to play Scrafty and Thundurus. Jellicent is immune to Fake Out, so I couldn't stop the Water Spout. However, Amoonguss isn't, therefore, I could prevent Rage Powder or Spore during the first turn. This means Jellicent is taking a Thunderbolt no matter what. Even if it doesn't OHKO, Jellicent loses so much health that Water Spout will barely do any damage the next turn. The other moves Thundurus runs are Hidden Power-Flying for STAB, Substitute to prevent status, and Taunt to shut down other Thundurus from using Thunder Wave/Swagger. Even with Prankster, he needs max speed to be faster than other Thundurus. Charti Berry is for Terrakion's powerful Rock Slide.

Thundurus (M) @ Charti Berry
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 8 HP / 248 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 30 HP / 2 Atk / 30 Def / 30 SpA / 30 SpD
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Flying]
- Substitute
- Taunt

For the last slot of the team, I chose Scarfed Terrakion as a fast revenge killer for the late game. The reason it's Jolly instead of Adamant is because I wanted it to outrun other Scarfed Terrakions. Rock Slide is a flinch machine, and Close Combat OHKO's other Terrakion if not holding a Sash. Finally, Earthquake and X-Scissor are for coverage.

Terrakion @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Justified
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Rock Slide
- Close Combat
- Earthquake
- X-Scissor


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