Project AG What're Their Lasts? [On Hiatus]


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Week 3
Team by Fardin
Stepping back in time a bit, this week I’ve got a USUM AG team! This one is built around the deadly offensive core of CM ReRe Fairyceus alongside Choice Specs Lunala, which neatly cover each other’s checks with Fairyceus threatening dark types like Arceus-Dark, Yveltal, and Tyranitar, while Lunala breaks through Necrozma-DM and Primal Groudon. Defensive Yveltal helps to semi-reliably check Primal Groudon and Mega Rayquaza while also tearing stall teams to shreds. Arceus-Poison provides a reliable check for Marshadow and Xerneas, preventing them from ripping the team apart.
What’re my lasts?

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:ss/zygarde-complete: :ss/ferrothorn:
(Click sprites for sets)

Looking at the team so far, I think the way to close it out is with both hazards which it lacks, and a much sturdier check to the primals. Yveltal doesn't exactly appreciate any pdon variant with its set, and Pogre has 0 reliable switch ins currently. I feel like since 3 Arceus is a bit excessive on the roles they share, Zygarde-C is the best choice as a Pdon check. It's one of the sturdiest physical walls in the whole meta if not the bulkiest, and is able to take on most Pdon variants while providing additional defensive support against things like CB Rayquaza, although not a guaranteed fix for that because of Dragon coverage possibilities and how hard it hits, but it helps alleviate the pressure off Arceus-Fairy for that.

Ferrothorn is the Pogre switch in, and as to not double up on Ground-types it was chosen over Pdon, and it gives good support itself that is fairly helpful. Spikes gives much needed hazard pressure to the team, while Leech Seed is always good for chipping things down. Power Whip is chosen as the attacking move to hit Pogre harder since Poisonceus already beats Xerneas, so I think defensively these two round out the team quite well to support Specs Lunala and CM ReRe fairyceus.
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ghost town
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(click on the sprites for an importable)

After taking a look at the team, it has come to my attention that there are many glaring issues. First and foremost, the team lacks a rocks setter. Any decent USUM balance team requires rocks to make progress and apply pressure as the game goes on. Second, the team is extremely weak to common metagame threats such as CM Steelceus, Gengar-Mega, Groudon-Primal, Kyogre-Primal, and Rayquaza-Mega. Not only are there no checks to these aforementioned Pokémon, but the team simply provides no options to even threaten most of them. Lastly, the team fails to provide enough offensive pressure to break through anything significant and unfortunately is stuck in a weird situation where it just sits around. To remedy as many of these issues as possible with the two remaining Pokémon, I believe that the best route to take for teambuilding is by adding Scarfed Rayquaza-Mega and SpD Groudon-Primal.

Scarfed Rayquaza-Mega is a centralizing offensive force that can mount pressure on opposing Gengar-Mega builds with ease, provides the team with counterplay to fast sweepers such as Necrozma-Ultra/Rayquaza-Megas, and allows you to threaten bulky opposing defensive pivots such as Groudon-Primal that once irritated your team. Toxic allows you to break through max defensive support arcs over time. As the scarfed Rayquaza-Mega is adamant, Toxic is somewhat interchangeable with Surf because Dragon Ascent is able to break through on its own after some chip. Surf is definitely a decent option as it allows you to hit Groudon-Primal a lot harder but I believe that Toxic is slightly more optimal here because the team hard loses to any form of stall with Lugia/Sableye-Mega without it and Lunala is already able to apply a decent amount of offensive pressure on Groudon-Primal.

Specially defensive Groudon-Primal is one of the most reliable rocks setters and Kyogre-Primal checks in USUM AG. There is just no way that you can opt for any other Kyogre-Primal check in its place given how passive and Rayquaza-Mega weak the team already was to begin with. Groudon-Primal's speed is minimized to hopefully set rocks after opposing Ho-Oh and Giratina's defogs in a pinch. Its SpD is maximally invested to ensure that it does not get 2HKO'd by +1 Ice Beam from CM Kyogre-Primal. I opted for Toxic and Dragon Tail as the last two moves alongside the mandatory Earth STAB/rocks to punish opposing defensive cores that defog rocks necessary for our Scarfed Rayquaza-Mega to break through and improve the Rayquaza-Mega matchup. Although Ho-Oh irritates the team, I still believe that Dragon Tail is better than Stone Edge here because the Ho-Oh matchup is still manageable between refresh Arceus-Fairy, taunt Yveltal, and toxic on Groudon-Primal; on the other hand, the DD Rayquaza matchup is not manageable if DD Rayquaza comes in on Groudon-Primal.​
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The trenches dug within our hearts
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And the winner is WSun1 by one vote! Congratulations on winning the week. This project is now going to go on a (hopefully temporary) hiatus because of a combination of factors, including a lot of irl stuff on my end and the fact that this format just doesn't seem to be that interesting to people.
The original team had DD Ray alongside spdef pdon, but I'm sure the winning version would work great too.

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