Welcome to our third installment of Ladder Legends! In this article series we take 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 third Ladder Legend is Luxiobro who reached a more than respectable 1797 rating with an old favourite of the website…
Sableye @ Eject Button
EVs: 252 HP / 60 Def / 196 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Fake Out
– Foul Play
– Rain Dance
This tricky little prankster is a Pokémon I think has a lot of untapped potential in VGC 20 and was the main reason for me choosing to showcase this particular squad in Ladder Legends.
As with all Prankster Pokémon, Sableye’s role is to support the rest of its team. The item Eject Button has two main functions, the first allows Sableye to assist Dusclops with setting Trick Room by clicking Fake Out into the threat then be bounced straight out once hit by an attack which allows one of the slower sweepers to take full advantage of the Trick Room turns. The second function is to give an opposing Pokémon the Eject Button with Trick which, not only removes the target’s item for the rest of the match, provides us with the opportunity of forcing the opposing Pokémon to switch out (even if Dynamaxed!) – this comes in especially useful when coupled with Conkeldurr’s Mach Punch as this combination will force an opponent out before it has the chance to move!
Sableye’s access to priority manual weather, coupled with the new speed mechanics (where changes to speed are taken into consideration mid turn), makes it seem strange this little ghoul hasn’t been experimented with in great depth; Rain Dance allows us to give Ludicolo a nifty speed boost mid turn which can catch the most notable weather sweeper in the format, Excadrill, by surprise. Manual weather also can’t be overridden mid turn by common Tyranitar, Torkoal or Ninetales switch ins which is always handy to keep in mind.
Foul Play rounds off the set nicely to provide Sableye with a solid means of going on the offensive itself, being able to knock out a Dragapult, or at least take it down to its Focus Sash. 0 Atk Sableye Foul Play vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Dragapult: 194-230 (118.2 – 140.2%) — guaranteed OHKO
The sample EV’s for this Pokémon ensure we take a Hyper Voice from a Sylveon as the starting benchmark. I have also given Sableye a negative speed nature with 0 IV’s as a throwback to my old 2015 Sableye which was designed to underspeed Aegislash, take an attack and knock it out with Foul Play. Whilst it still fulfills this role in 2020, the more relevant reason for making Sableye as slow as possible allows us to underspeed any other Prankster weather setters, ensuring our desired weather is on the field.
Duraludon @ Assault Vest
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Draco Meteor
– Flash Cannon
Okay, I’ll be honest with you all… I really… REALLY dislike Duraludon. It has a decent typing, solid base Special Attack and Physical Defence but…that’s about it. The only Duraludon I have used this season was on Gabriel Agati’s rental code team where it was used in conjunction with a Fake Tears, Thunder Wave Meowstic. It worked well but, frankly, any Special Attacker can thrive when next to a partner with access to Fake Tears. It also feels slightly underwhelming when Dynamaxed, especially without a damage boosting item, compared to other common Special Attackers like Togekiss & Inteleon whilst the less said about Duraludon’s Gigantamax forme the better…
Luxiobro’s Duraludon held the Assault Vest and utilised Draco Meteor and Flash Cannon as the STAB attacks of choice. Snarl was an interesting pick to reduce the damage output of opposing Special Attackers and isn’t commonly seen on Duraludon. The final attack was not revealed in the games we spectated, however Thunderbolt seems to be the obvious choice for this team.
The sample EV’s are nothing special (fitting considering this Pokémon’s quality); despite how well Luxiobro utilised Duraludon, you’ll notice – when watching the replays at the foot of this article – a few key knock outs being missed. An edit I would suggest when using this team for yourself would be to give Duraludon a Weakness Policy to boost its special attack – we can also self activate this with Conkeldurr’s Mach Punch and free up the Assault Vest for another Pokémon a little later on…
Conkeldurr @ Flame Orb
EVs: 252 HP / 156 Atk / 100 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Ice Punch
– Mach Punch
– Drain Punch
Conkeldurr is one of the most relied upon Trick Room sweepers in the format, and for good reason too! Boasting a monstrous 140 base Attack and more than respectable bulk of 105/95/65, Conkeldurr is a Pokémon which can be tacked onto almost any VGC 20 team either to take advantage of your own Trick Room or to act as a “lazy” Trick Room counter. Whilst most Conkeldurr opt to carry an Assault Vest, Luxiobro opted to provide theirs with a Flame Orb to activate Conkeldurr’s Guts ability (which increases its attack stat) and also prevents it from being put to sleep by the ever present Venusaur.
The Moveset is fairly straight forward – Drain Punch deals huge damage with the power boost from STAB & Guts whilst offering Conkeldurr a healing option to mitigate some of the residual burn damage. Mach Punch also benefits from STAB and holds positive priority, allowing Conkeldurr to move first and finish off weakened opponents. Assault Vest variants typically carry the Ice & Thunder elemental punches to round off the set – however on a Guts set, one needs to make way for Detect/Protect; Ice Punch is the selected coverage move of choice for this Conkeldurr.
Our sample EV’s help to mitigate some of Conkeldurr’s lackluster Special Defence, allowing us to survive, whilst dynamaxed, a Solar Power boosted Max Airstream from Charizard as a benchmark.
Ludicolo @ Life Orb
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 4 HP / 108 Def / 244 SpA / 4 SpD / 148 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Scald/Hydro Pump
– Ice Beam
– Energy Ball/Leaf Storm
Another Pokémon which has been criminally overlooked this season, Ludicolo provides this otherwise sluggish team with a much needed fast mode. In conjunction with Sableye’s Rain Dance, Ludicolo can be sure to move first and hit ridiculously hard with Life Orb boosted Water, Grass and Ice attacks.
The first major call to make when constructing a Ludicolo is choosing your Water attack of choice. Scald offers a 100% accurate option with a 30% chance to burn the opposing Pokémon, however has 30 less base power. As a max move, Scald’s base power only ends up being ten base points lower than Hydro Pump; whilst there is a case to be made for Hydro Pump, Scald just about edges our recommendation. This exact conundrum comes into play with the choice between Energy Ball and Leaf Storm for the Grass STAB of choice, however with Leaf Storm holding the added drawback of lowering Ludicolo’s Special Attack by two stages, this is a more resounding victory for Energy Ball. Ice Beam provides us with coverage to take care of those pesky Dragon type Pokémon (yes, looking at you Dragapult) and Protect rounds off the set nicely as Fake Out already has a more suitable home on this team.
The sample EV’s allow Ludicolo to outspeed Dragapult in the rain by four points, which also allows us to speed creep other Pokémon specifically trained to outspeed Dragapult whilst keeping us slow enough without Rain to still be useful under Trick Room in the right conditions. The defensive EV’s ensures we can survive Max STAB attacks from Jolly Dragapult and Tyranitar without the need to Dynamax as a starting benchmark.
252 Atk Tyranitar Max Rockfall (130 BP) vs. 4 HP / 108 Def Ludicolo: 132-156 (84.6 – 100%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
Dusclops @ Eviolite
EVs: 252 HP / 92 Def / 164 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Pain Split
– Trick Room
– Night Shade
There’s nothing particularly new to say about Dusclops. If you’ve played any amount of VGC games, you’ll know already how good this Trick Room setter is.
Pain Split, Trick Room and Night Shade are staples on almost every Dusclops set, which leaves one space open for an additional support move. With nothing on this team benefiting from Bulldoze, Will-O-Wisp takes this slot to cripple opposing physical attackers, namely Rhyperior under Trick Room. You may end up swapping Will-O-Wisp for Bulldoze or Brick Break if the advice of giving Duraludon Weakness Policy is followed.
Ferrothorn @ Occa Berry
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 116 Atk / 140 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Protect/Body Press/Leech Seed
– Gyro Ball
– Power Whip
Remember earlier when I mentioned Assault Vest being freed up would be appreciated by another member of this squad? I feel the reason Luxiobro bestowed the Occa Berry upon this Ferrothorn – especially based on the moveset – was because the Assault Vest was already taken. Whilst there is certainly some merit to Ferrothorn holding an Occa Berry whilst Dynamaxed, it seems to be fairly redundant especially with the lack of recovery on this set.
On a non Iron Defence Ferrothorn, Gyro Ball and Power Whip are your standard STAB attacks of choice; Luxiobro opted to run Bulldoze on this set which provides Ferrothorn with a useful special defence boost when used as a max move. The final move wasn’t revealed to us throughout the matches we observed, however one game in particular made it apparent Leech Seed was not the final option. Protect or Leech Seed can fit onto this set whilst the item remains as it is, however I’d recommend just biting the bullet and adding Assault Vest & Body Press to this set.
The sample EV’s allow Ferrothorn to survive a Flamethrower in the sun from a Choice Specs Dragapult… however you can just change this spread to a simple 252/252 in HP and Attack once the item is changed up.
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!