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0 votes

WARNING: Question is long and complicated. Read at your own risk.
I am building my first truly competitive VGC team for use in a tournament in two weeks' time, and it is almost complete. There is only one weak link in the chain: my Hydreigon. I haven't found him to be overly useful and want to replace him. He's nowhere near as speedy as I need him to be, and he shares several weaknesses with the rest of the team. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy, but I think there is a more adequate replacement for him. Here is the rest of the team, as well as his current build. I would recommend skimming over that before you evaluate my Hydreigon.

These are the criteria for the replacement. I want a Pokémon who fulfills as many positive roles as possible.

  • check Thundurus (and preferably Rotom-W)
  • check Mega Charizard Y and the Sun that comes with him
  • not a Mega Evolution
  • has a coverage option for Fire, Ground or both
  • has Dark coverage
  • can take a hit or two from Gengar (in tandem with Dark coverage)
  • something not completely shut down by Trick Room
  • no Fighting weakness
  • preferably no Rock Slide weakness
  • doesn't get rekt my Mega Kangaskhan (doesn't have to check it, only survive it)
  • special attacker or a mixed attacker that favours the special side
  • synergizes with the rest of the team

Note that the replacement does not have to fulfill all of these requirments, just as many as possible.

These are the Pokémon I have been considering for a replacement

+) can run Ice Beam or STAB Rock Slide to check Thundurus and Charizard
+) gets Dark coverage via Crunch
+) doesn't have to go Mega
+) Fire coverage with Fire Blast or Ground coverage with Earthquake
+) can go special/mixed
-) Mega Kanga reks with Low Kick and Rotom-W reks with Hydro Pump
-) massively increases my Fighting weakness
-) Earthquake is a risky spread move

+) checks Thundy and Rotom with Freeze Dry
+) counters Trick Room with low speed
+) priority in Ice Shard
+) Water Absorb takes advantage of Scalds and Hydro Pumps.
+) Weakness Policy Lapras is a beast
-) adds to Fighting and Rock weakness
-) gets rekt by Kangaskhan with Low Kick
-) no Ground/Fire coverage

+) tanky
+) possible Rock attack for Thundy and Charizard
+) takes advantage of Trick Room
+) Storm Drain all the things
+) resists Rock Slide
-) adds to my $#@! Fighting weakness
-) poor coverage

+) tanky
+) Ground coverage in Earth Power
+) Rotom can't touch him and Thundy can only Taunt, then get rekt by Ice Beam
+) Storm Drain
+) Scald to spread burns
+) reliable recovery
+) resists Rock Slide
-) gets pwnd by Charizard's Solar Beam
-) weak to Mega Venusaur, who is rather prevalent

Well, those are my considerations. If you see one of these who fits the bill then great. If not, and some other replacement comes to mind, please let me know. Thanks a mil!

edited by
That warning was well needed. Nice job.
Radi is on the case! All the viable ones have been physical attackers tho ;-;
;-; I'm sure you'll find a way, Radicool.
Aight, I've got a few. No BA yet, please. :P
Gastrodon doesnt have a fighting weakness.
lol, thanks Tenebrae.
Ok, like half my kin I know nothing about VGC (xD) but if speed is your problem, then you could Scarf Hydra. It's pretty handy if you ask me, but give importance to the first ten words the most.
Just saying because Hydra alone is a several times more versatile than the other 'mons you have there (which I'm pretty sure run very niche sets), sans T-tar. And T-tar itself works only if your team doesn't mind sand.
Beat ya in those suggestions bud ;)

2 Answers

3 votes
Best answer

Alright, this is by no means an expert-esque response being as I have no knowldge of the VGC tier. But there is one Pokemon that stands out over the rest. With Sand Support, Hippowdon does indeed do most of what you need and lend some. Let me post a set for it.

[email protected] Leftovers(As you haven't used Leftovers on your team.)
Ability: Sand Stream(Vital)
EVs: 252 HP / 144 Def / 112 SDef
Careful/Sassy Nature
~ Earthquake
~ Slack Off
~ Protect
~ Stone Edge/Crunch

As you can see, Hippowdon does meet some great criteria that you have asked for.

  • Checks Thundurus(52+ SpA Thundurus Hidden Power Ice vs. 252 HP / 112+ SpD Hippowdon: 68-80 (31.6 - 37.2%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after Leftovers recovery)
  • Not a Mega Evolution
  • Has Ground coverage
  • Can have Dark Coverage, but Stone Edge is recommended
  • Is not 2HKOed by any of Gengar's attacks(252 SpA Mega Gengar Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 112+ SpD Hippowdon: 87-103 (40.4 - 47.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery)
  • Has low speed to not be Trick Room fodder
  • No Rock Slide or Fighting weakness
  • Can check an unboosted Mega Kangaskhan, and live a hit from a +2 MKang(+2 252 Atk Kangaskhan Return vs. 252 HP / 144 Def Hippowdon: 109-129 (50.6 - 60%) -- 82.8% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery)

Now the only cons are that it is not a special attacker, and that it does not beat Zard Y reliably. Also in Team Synergy, it's not the greatest, but that can be because Breloom is being used, which also leaves your team quite open to MVenusaur. So I'd suggest either replacing it for a Venu+Zard Y check, or just keeping Hydrei and change your current variant to the Choice Scarf variant.

selected by
I was considering Scarfed or Specs Hydreigon, but I like being able to use Protect (hence Life Orb). I like the idea of Hippowdon, and Rock Slide will be good over Stone Edge. You make a good argument for him, and I do love the hippo. One heckle: how does Hippy fare against Water-types, namely a +2 Milotic, Suicune and Rotom-W?
112 SpA Suicune Scald vs. 252 HP / 112+ SpD Hippowdon: 98-116 (45.5 - 53.9%) -- 3.5% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

60 SpA Rotom-W Hydro Pump vs. 252 HP / 112+ SpD Hippowdon: 144-170 (66.9 - 79%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

+2 100+ SpA Milotic Scald vs. 252 HP / 112+ SpD Hippowdon: 228-270 (106 - 125.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO

It doesn't fare well against Water Types, but it's not meant to take hits from them hehe
Okay, thanks! I'm anicipating other answers, so if there is more than one I'll Showdown test them and BA goes to the one I use. Hippowdon is certainly original, and VGC revolves around original :)
Alright, sounds good. I was going to suggest Ttar but it didn't quite fit the role too well. Although Ttar checks non FB Zard Y. And that's true!
Tbh Garchomp would work as well.

You can scarf it to check both M-Charizard (even after a D-Dance for X), or give it Rocky Helmet and make it a SR setter.
'Zard X is a no-show in VGC, so no need to scarf Garchomp. Stealth Rocks (and hazards in general) are also rare. But thanks for the advice, I've seen LO Garchomp work in the past.
2 votes

I'm gonna post 3 that I think may fit the bill.

Lanturn, Seismitoad, and Druddigon.


Lanturn eats Mega Zard Y's hits for breakfast, and it eats Thundurus's for lunch.

(this is Smogon's standard VGC set)
244+ SpA Mega Charizard Y Solar Beam vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Lanturn: 164-194 (70.6 - 83.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

+) Amazing and often overlooked defensive typing
+) Wide movepool
+) Great HP
+) Immunity to Electric thanks to Volt Absorb
+) No one ever uses it so no one knows what it does

-) Poor defense and average SpD
-) Dies quickly to the likes of Mega Venusaur
-) In order to take Mega Zard Y's Solar Beam, it's gotta forgo non-attacking moves or special attacking power
-) No one ever uses it probably because it's kinda bad

Here's the set I would run:

Broturn @ Leftovers
Ability: Volt Absorb
Modest Nature
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
-Thunder Wave
-Heal Bell


Seismitoad is an often overlooked Pokemon because Swampert's just better. However,
Swampert doesn't have Water Absorb. Seismitoad can hard wall a lot of Rotom sets and shrugs off most Thundurus sets.

+) Wide movepool
+) Potential to run mixed
+) Not total Trick Room fodder

-) Defenses aren't that outstanding
-) Easy to force out
-) Poke it with a leaf and it will die

Here's the set I would run:

Seismibro @ Rindo Berry
Ability: Water Absorb
Sassy Nature
EVs: 252 HP / 80 Atk / 176 SpD
-Earthquake / Toxic
-Rock Slide
-Ice Punch / Stealth Rock

And last but most definitely not least:


Druddigon positively screams potential. The opponent won't know what set you're running! Is it a Sheer Force Life Orb set? Is it a Mold Breaker Earthquake set? Is it a Rough Skin Rocky Helmet set? Your opponent most likely will freak trying to find out what the heck this thing plans to do. Mega Kangaskhan shudders at the thought of taking Rough Skin and Rocky Helmet both twice, and you can destroy it with Revenge.

+) Movepool bigger than Wailord, with gems like Sucker Punch, the elemental punches, Gunk Shot, and Glare
+) Respectable defenses
+) Unpredictable
+) Awesome Attack
+) Rough Skin and Rocky Helmet cause massive recoil to Mega Kang

-) Burn it and it is essentially useless
-) Slow as heck
-) You can only run one set

Now, I'm gonna be honest. I have no idea what set you should run. But whatever you do run, this bro's a force to be reckoned with.

"often overlooked defensive typing" – Rotom-W has the exact same typing :P

That aside, I like your… original suggestions. I think I'd like to try Lanturn. Seismitoad just isn't bulky enough and Drudd gets destroyed by Sylveon, but I think Lanturn has potential.
Hah, I like the hesitation before original. As for often overlooked, I mean that people don't think of Lanturn sharing Rotom-W'e typing.
And Drudd gets Gunk Shot tho
Also, Kyurem-B might be of interest to you with Teravolt Earth Power
Illegal for tournaments :(
Aw, srsly? Dangit.