The Cloyster Challenge

When I’m really bored and I have nothing else to do, sometimes I play a little game I like to call The Cloyster Challenge, often sharing the most ridiculous replays with people via IRC.  Here’s the way you do it:

  1. Create a team with Focus Sash Cloyster.  Other than the sash, the set is a standard Shell Smash set with Icicle Spear, Rock Blast, and Razor Shell.
  2. Choose 5 other Pokemon that are commonly used to lead.  Pokemon like Smeargle are the best, since it’s extremely rare NOT using it as a lead.  This is so that the opponent doesn’t know what you’ll lead with and spoil the challenge via predictability.
  3. Give them all a random move and ability.  It doesn’t matter because you won’t actually be using them.
  4. Find a battle.  Just as a warning, do this on a new account – your win/loss will be nowhere near satisfactory unless everyone you play is drunk.  Also, this really only works against new players.
  5. Lead with Cloyster, set up Shell Smash, and sweep like your life depends on it.  If your opponent beats Cloyster or somehow forces it out, you must forfeit the match.
  6. See how many people you can beat with only a Focus Sash Cloyster!  The numbers may surprise you.

You may be thinking, “Cyclic, is this really what you do with your life when you’re bored?”  The answer is yes, because it requires minimal thinking and usually when I’m bored, I’m too tired to think of anything more creative.  Surprisingly, I have gotten a win-to-loss ratio greater than 1 after about 20 battles – how’s that for ladder quality?

Feel free to share any funny replays with me!  I’ve had numerous people call this strategy “cheap” because they built teams without any method of checking Cloyster.

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My Stupid OU Team

My Smogon friend Magnemite and I love to make joke teams and try them out on the ladder.  I decided I’d show off the team I’ve been using for a long time, and it actually got me to the finals of one of the recent OU tournaments hosted by the Community Mentoring room on Pokemon Showdown! (I also want to note that I didn’t actually get the chance to play in the finals – I had to leave before the finals commenced.  Who knows, maybe I would have won).  Yeah, I feel like kind of a jerk winning with a joke team, but I wasn’t actually expecting to win with it.

An importable version of the team: http://pastebin.com/m0ACfNuP

I’ll go through the members one-by-one:

Choice Specs Ferrothorn was actually Magnemite’s idea.  Beforehand I had a Steelix with Life Orb, Sheer Force, Rock Polish, and 3 special attacks.  It was fun but simply underperformed.  On the other hand, Choice Specs Ferrothorn is literally a god.  Nailing Charizard with Thunderbolt and Heatran with Hidden Power Ground is really satisfying, and it’s also fun seeing a Rotom-W thinking it’s safe to stay in as long as they Will-o-Wisp (hint: it’s not).  With a bit of prediction, Choice Specs Ferrothorn easily snipes high-value targets.

Physical Flame Charge Heatran is another fun one.  Although it really hates Garchomp, Landorus-T, and Rotom-W, it’s surprisingly good at sweeping any weakened team, dealing surprisingly respectable damage to usual checks like Keldeo and Greninja.  I might replace it due to it being walled by typical Heatran checks, though.  You’ll notice a lot of these other sets are awesome because they can beat a lot of their checks unexpectedly.

Sub Hone Claws Kyurem-B was an old favorite of mine from BW2 that everyone has forgotten about due to the presence of Fairy-types.  It was frequently used as my “trump card” against typical BW2 Rain teams, particularly Rain stall which got dismantled alive by this thing.  I’m pleased to say that against people who aren’t familiar with the set, it can actually do it’s job and shuffle the opponent around really well.  I’m considering dropping Hone Claws for Iron Head, however, which will definitely help with the Fairies.

Weak Armor Skarmory isn’t just fun to say, it’s also surprisingly effective.  Although it is almost certainly going to kill itself in the process through insane Brave Bird recoil, it actually can do a crapload of damage before going down thanks to Swords Dance (and a boost really isn’t hard to obtain, since you can set up on the vast majority of things that also conveniently give you a Weak Armor boost!).  To give you an idea of how much oomph it has at +2, it has a 68% chance to OHKO Mega Charizard X from full health.

Choice Scarf Gyarados is, along with the next member, the MVP of this team.  With Moxie and a Scarf, Gyarados pulls off late-game sweeps like it’s nobody’s business, outspeeding and OHKOing a majority of the metagame with its really nice coverage.  Because it’s so fast, Pokemon rarely actually get a chance to hit it, so its greatest enemy is Stealth Rock.  That should tell you how boss this thing is.  For those looking for an equally (if not more) satisfying alternative, Magnemite has successfully swept with a Choice Scarf Moxie Pinsir.

Finally, Hustle Togekiss is there to hustle the entire OU metagame by carrying Focus Punch and Extreme Speed, two extraordinarily useful moves that singlehandedly eliminate a ton of dangerous threats to this team.  SubPunch allows Togekiss to obliterate Tyranitar, Heatran, and Excadrill, all of which are usually completely fine switching into Togekiss.  Extreme Speed, on the other hand, is the revenge-killing tool that no one sees coming.  It gets so many important snipes that it’s impossible to express how useful Togekiss is.

There’s my team, if anyone thinks of a fun replacement for Heatran, I’d be more than willing to try it out.  Just remember that the set has to be stupid yet surprisingly effective towards a player unaware of such beasts as Choice Scarf Gyarados and Hustle Togekiss.

And just a reminder, this team is in no way designed to be competitive, or even creative.  These aren’t what I’d call “creative and/or underrated sets,” as there exist much, much better lures and sweepers.  This team is just to have fun on the ladder when I’m in a stupid mood.  Unless you’re a ladder god, don’t expect to get higher than 1500 with this team.