Team of the Episode: Ludicolo
Aloha and welcome to a special Meme Edition of the Team of the Episode, featuring everyone’s new favorite horror-creature, Ludicolo! And we’re not only using the Pineapple – we’re using it in Smogon OU!
Photo provided by ME, a MEMELORD
This week’s episode is brought to you by the glorious Detective Pikachu movie trailer and the overflow of memes that our beautiful coffee-serving pineapple waitress (yes it’s a female according to the Detective Pikachu games).
You can find this team’s PokePaste Export by CLICKING ON ANY MEMBERS OF THE TEAM!
We start off with the obvious key to this team’s success, Ludicolo herself. Because Ludicolo is best with it’s raining and gross outside and you really need a coffee to warm up, we are running a pretty standard Rain Sweeper set. Hydro Pump and Giga Drain are awesome STAB, and Giga can help you recover Life Orb damage as you mem through a team. The increasing popularity of Tapu Fini and Rotom-W are excellent news for this particular set since you can prey on them more easily. Ice Beam is there to instantly vaporize Landorus-T, Garchomp, Glisocr, and friends, as well as inflict heavy damage on Grass-types that can come in on your STABS. Finally, Rain Dance is here in case you need to emergency-set Rain again to enable your rampage.
Next, we have another very common Rain staple and an incredible Pokemon in OU, Tornadus-Therian! Tornadus bring a Hurricane abuser into the mix since Flyspam is still busted in OU. We are running a bulkier spread to act as more of a wall than a sweeper since something like Lopunny or Medicham can take advantage of this team if brought in at the right moment. You also gain Defog support, since this team will switch around a lot and your Rain-setter is Rocks weak. Knock off is needed somewhere on pretty much every team to remove troublesome items, and U-turn is for keeping the momentum on your side during the battle. As mentioned in the podcast, the Speed EVs are for being faster than Choice Scarf Magnezone and everything below it.
Now for the Rain-setter itself, Pelipper! To keep it alive the longest, we are running a super physically-bulky spread and some very bog-standard moves. Roost is to make your rain won’t go away and will come again another day. Combined with Damp Rock for 8 turns, your sweepers will be operational for a long time. Scald is for a decently powerful attack in Rain, as well as inflicting key burns on things that switch in, while U-turn is again for keeping momentum. The last slot if as an additional Defogger, which is nice with 2 Flying-types and a Volcarona. If you wish, you can swap this out for Hurricane to make Pelipper more offensive.
When you run Rain in OU, you run Mega Swampert. That’s the deal. It’s so incredibly good for Rain teams thanks to its bulk, typing, hazard setting ability, and sheer offensive power. This Swampert comes with its best offensive moves in Earthquake and Waterfall, allowing it to absolutely plow through the opponent’s team. Remember that in Rain, Waterfall is the stronger of the 2 moves, so spam that unless a specific opponent calls for a different move; even Pokemon that resist it are heavily damaged with rain up. Ice Punch is for balancing out the coverage and letting you hit a Grass-type on the switch that tries to wall you. Finally, Stealth Rocks are another thing you can set up on a switch to soften up the opponent’s team over the match. Another option here is to run Rocks on Ferrothorn, and replace this with Rain Dance to have another weather setter, or with Superpower to heavily damage Ferrothorn when it comes in on you.
Speaking of Ferrothorn, it’s another common Rain team pokemon because of the resistances it brings, as well as having one of its weaknesses reduced. Ferrothorn protects us from opposing Water-types trying to take advantage of our weather, primarily Ash-Greninja. With this Specially Defensive spread, you better combat the frog. You have Gyro Ball and Power Whip as offensive moves to continue to whittle down opponents for a Swift Swim sweep later on, Leech Seed for recovery and preventing Ferrothorn from going down easily, and Spikes for an extra layer of hazards. Other options, as I mentioned above once, is to replace Spikes with Stealth Rock, or replace Gyro Ball with either Thunder Wave or Knock Off.
Wrapping up, we have a Fire-type on a Rain team. You read that right. Volcarona actually offers a lot of valuable utility to a Rain team by countering things like Tapu Bulu, Kartana, Tangrowth, Ferrothorn, and other Grass-types that usually rain on your parade. You use them as setup fodder and can do a surprising amount of damage with your STABS even under Rain. Additionally, it gives you an alternative, non-rain-dependant way to close out the game. The tech move here is Hurricane combined with Flyinium Z for an absurdly powerful Supersonic Skystrike, and additional coverage if Rain is active. Another option is to change from this offensive version to a bulky version (248 HP / 112 Def / 148 Spe, Timid), replacing Flyinium Z with Buginium Z and swapping Hurricane for Roost. This allows for a more reliable way to stop things like Kartana, Mawile, and Magearna.
Rain. Is. FUN. It’s a really cool way to climb the ladder very quickly and has very good matchups with the other weathers you see in OU. If you want to feel some overwhelming power, watching Swampert or our star Ludicolo 6-0 an entire team is a great experience. There are some weaknesses, and they mainly involve Pelipper being taken out on a surprise move (ask R.Sigma about Thunder Ferrothorn), but there are ways around each weakness.
If you want to go out and have some fun, try this team out! Ludicolo is such a fun thing to use, and people aren’t often prepared for how much damage it can do. Come check us out on stream and try and stop the rain! Until next time, LUDICOLO!!!