Ladder Legends #2 – AkazaHakuji

Welcome to our next installment of Ladder Legends! In this article series we’ll be taking a look at teams used in the higher echelons of the Pokémon Showdown ladder for VGC 2020! As always, whilst we’ll stick as close to the original team’s items and move sets, our featured teams won’t contain the exact EV spreads of the originals; instead, we’ll provide sample spreads so you can copy & paste your way to the top of the ladder and tweak as you go!

Your second Ladder Legend is Akaza Hakuji who reached 1862 on the Showdown ladder using a hard Trick Room team, featuring one of the newest Pokémon able to Gigantamax in competitive play…

1862

Click this link for the full Poképaste!

hatterene head

Hatterene-Gmax (F) @ Life Orb
Ability: Magic Bounce
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 76 Def / 180 SpA
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Psychic
– Trick Room
– Dazzling Gleam
– Mystical Fire

Having used Trick Room teams since I first started playing competitively back in the hazy days of Battle Revolution, I can appreciate how invaluable it is to have a Trick Room setter capable of dishing mass amounts of damage by itself. With the Life Orb Hatterene hits super hard, however when Gigantamaxed, Hatterene is capable of tearing through opponents at will, setting Psychic Terrain for itself with Max Mindstorm, bringing out the sun with Max Flare and G-Max Smite being able to inflict confusion can really tilt games in your favour. Babiri Berry is a useful alternative to Life Orb should you want to increase Hatterene’s longevity.

Dusclops

Dusclops @ Eviolite
Ability: Frisk
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Trick Room
– Ally Switch
– Helping Hand
– Bulldoze/Brick Break

The more traditional Trick Room setter on the team; if you’ve played VGC for any length of time, you’ll know exactly how outrageously bulky Dusclops is. As opposed to Hatterene setting Trick Room and sweeping by itself, Dusclops sets Trick Room and sits on the field, annoying your opponents whilst supporting its teammates. Bulldoze is the move of choice the team’s creator went with to activate Rhyperior’s Weakness Policy and has the added bonus of being immune to redirection whilst chipping away at both opposing Pokémon; Brick Break is a viable alternative however, should you wish to break any Screens set by G-Max Lapras. Helping Hand ensures our Trick Room sweepers are fully capable of blasting through opposing teams whilst the mere existence of Ally Switch creates endless mind games and essentially provides you with a 50/50 chance of forcing your opponent into an incorrect prediction.

Butterfree

Butterfree-Gmax @ Focus Sash
Ability: Compound Eyes
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Protect/Pollen Puff
– Sleep Powder
– Hurricane
– Rage Powder

I mean, Butterfree can Gigantamax so… why not? Even though it doesn’t take advantage of G-Max Befuddle, Butterfree is still an excellent support Pokémon for any Trick Room team. Its middling speed stat ensures we’ll be putting opposing Trick Room abusers to sleep outside the Twisted Dimensions whilst forcing the quickest Pokémon to take a nap before they can even move whilst Trick Room is active. Rage Powder can redirect pesky super effective attacks away from our Trick Room setters (or sweepers should we be unable to gain the speed advantage) whilst Hurricane dishes out respectable damage and can boost the speed of our Dracovish should we choose to unleash Butterfree’s Gigantamax form. The Butterfree I used in a recent Regional took advantage of G-Max Befuddle through Pollen Puff, however Akaza’s Butterfree chooses to run protect instead to ensure we can block the first turn Fake Out.

Rhyperior

Rhyperior @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Solid Rock
Level: 50
EVs: 68 HP / 252 Atk / 188 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Rock Slide
– High Horsepower
– Swords Dance
– Protect

This team, in my opinion, takes advantage of the two best Trick Room sweepers available in the format. Rhyperior is such a common Pokémon this year and makes an amazing Dynamax sweeper due to the combination of Solid Rock, which decreases the damage from super effective attacks, and Weakness Policy increasing Rhyperior’s attack stat by two stages once hit with a super effective attacks (Bulldoze from Dusclops anyone?). Akaza elected to include Swords Dance over a coverage move on this set, particularly handy to mitigate any attack drops from intimidate.

2336685-image-torkoalpng-pokemon-shuffle-wiki-fandom-powered-by-wikia-torkoal-png-256_256

Torkoal @ Charcoal
Ability: Drought
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Eruption
– Flamethrower
– Solar Beam
– Protect

I’ve used Torkoal frequently over the past few seasons. One of the slowest Pokémon available, Torkoal is almost guaranteed to move first under Trick Room and is capable of winning games by itself within two or three turns due to the ridiculous amount of damage Sun + Charcoal boosted Eruption distributes to unprepared opponents; imagine just how much more damage it can do whilst Dynamaxed AND boosted by Duslops’ Helping Hand…

252+ SpA Charcoal Torkoal Helping Hand Max Flare (150 BP) vs. 68 HP / 0 SpD Snorlax in Sun: 264-312 (108.1 – 127.8%) — guaranteed OHKO

draco

Dracovish @ Expert Belt
Ability: Strong Jaw
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Fishious Rend
– Psychic Fangs
– Protect
– Crunch

I’ll leave the demonstration of how destructive Dracovish can be to Wolfe Glick; I didn’t see too much of Akaza’s Dracovish build, it just came in, picked up KO’s and finished games. I knew it wasn’t choice locked so Expert Belt seemed like a funny option to boost Dracovish’s already ridiculous damage output. Dracovish’s speed stat is similar to Butterfree’s, making it useful both under Trick Room and whilst boosted by Butterfree’s Max Airstream. Psychic Fangs and Crunch both provide excellent coverage whilst being bosted by Dracovish’s Strong Jaw ability, Psychic Fangs also has the added bonus of breaking opposing screens.

Time to have a look at the squad in action below! Once again, we’ll feature both wins and losses for that full unbiased reflection of how the team performs!

So there we have it! Let us know how you find the team in the comments section!
If you want to be featured as our next ladder legend, feel free to reach out to us over on Facebook or Twitter and ensure your Pokémon Showdown account is rated 1700 or higher!

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