Prepare for trouble! Make it double…..
Like most people of the 90’s generation, as a child I was enthralled every Saturday when the Pokémon TV series would appear on screen to show us the latest adventure of Ash and his Pikachu, who invariably saved the day in some capacity before winning some gym battles out of pure luck. However, another constant staple of the show were the ever-present figures of Team Rocket. Each episode would see Team Rocket dressed up in terrible disguises, which our heroes could (for some reason) never see through, before attempting to make off with Pikachu for no good reason at all. As a testament to Team Rocket’s perseverance and ineptitude, I have put together a team list for an in-game Pokémon team based solely on Pokémon used by the inept trio. I have tried to stick to their most iconic Pokémon, rather than use Pokémon which they only briefly owned or only used once. Let’s be clear, this is not a competitive team. Its pretty hard to make a competitive mono-type team at the best of times but with the restriction of using only Rocket Pokémon makes it considerably harder. Still, against less hyper competitive teams it may do well.
Item: Focus Sash
Moves: Coil, Earthquake, Gunk Shot, Dragon Tail.
EVs, Nature and Ability: 252 Attack, 252 Speed, 4 SpD, Intimidate, Adamant.
Arbok’s intimidate ability is useful for reducing the attack capability of physical attackers, which is a good thing because Arbok’s defences are pretty average at best. Therefore Arbok is more of a sweeper. Focus sash allows you to guarantee surviving one hit allowing you to set up a Coil move, which raises Attack, Defence and Accuracy by one stage. Arbok can then sweep using gunk shot for massive damage along with earthquake. Dragon tail allows Arbok to force Pokémon to switch out if it outspeeds. As a sweeper maximum speed and attack investment make perfect sense.
Moves: Brave Bird, U-turn, Confuse Ray, Toxic.
EVs, Nature, and Ability: 252 Attack, 252 Speed, 4 Def, Infiltrator, Jolly.
Due to its status as being a mid-evolution Pokémon, the Eviolite item is a must as it increases both defence and special defence by 50% giving it reasonable staying power. That being said, this Pokémon will still not be taking many hits so is more suited to a sweeper role. The infiltrator rule is extremely useful as it allows the Pokémon’s attacks to ignore substitutes and the effects of reflect, light screen, safeguard etc. This Pokémon has decent enough coverage with bug type U-turn to take down dark and psychic types (and allows you to switch out troublesome match-ups) and brave bird to inflict heave damage. Toxic and confuse ray can cause you foe some serious problems, completely ruining even some of the best strategies.
Item: Black Sludge
Moves: Giga Drain, Sludge Bomb/Clear Smog, Infestation, Sleep Powder.
EVs, Nature and Ability: 252 SpA, SpD 252, Def 4, Chlorophyll, Bold.
This Pokémon fulfils a special attacking role and adds a useful grass typing to the mix. While still not being a great overall typing, the addition of poison to grass at least removes the poison and bug weaknesses and makes earthquake a neutral hit. The item Black Sludge, when combined with Giga Drain, gives this Pokémon a bit of staying power, allowing it to regain health. Sludge Bomb is a powerful special STAB move, but clear smog could be used to remove stat changes from Pokémon who are trying to set up, such as Dragonite. Infestation traps a Pokémon in battle and causes gradual chip damage, forcing a Pokémon to stay into an unfavourable match-up. Sleep powder, as you would expect, can cause some serious headaches.
Moves: Sludge Bomb, Flamethrower, Will-O-Wisp, Stockpile/Pain Split.
EVs, Nature and Ability: 252 SpD, 252 Def, 4 SpA, Levitate, Modest.
Weezing can be an impressive physical wall. With naturally high defence Weezing can soak up attacks from physical attackers. Weezing can also gain the Stockpile move, boosting its defences enormously. Leftovers help to make the Pokémon hard to get rid of, giving back 1/16 health each turn. With a few stockpiles under your belt this may almost negate any damage that your opponent does. Will-O-Wisp inflicts gradual damage and reduces physical attackers damage capability, adding to its staying power. Flamethrower and Sludge Bomb offer good coverage, as fire is super effective against the only type immune to poison (Steel). If you would rather gain more health back rather than increase defences then pain split can be substituted for stockpile.
Item: Choice Specs
Moves: Shadow Ball, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Toxic.
EVs, Nature and Ability: 252 HP, 252 SpA, 4 SpD, Cloud Nine, Modest.
Coverage, coverage, coverage. Thats the purpose of Lickitung at this point. It was hard to come up with a use for Lickitung; its stats are all pretty average except speed which is terrible. However, it has access to a decent movepool and with the choice specs and modest nature will be able to do at least reasonable damage. The cloud nine ability will be useful against teams which use weather effects to their advantage as it effectively cancels out the effects of rain, hail, sun etc. Its two other potential abilities are pretty decent, oblivious and own tempo allowing the Pokemon to avoid confusion and gender dependant attacks such as infatuation and destiny knot etc.
Item: Rocky Helmet
Moves: Counter, Mirror Coat, Encore, Destiny Bond.
EVs, Nature and Ability: 252HP, 252SpD, 4 Def, Shadow Tag/Telepathy, Bold.
This Pokemon is extremely tricky to use but could be pretty hilarious. It knows very few moves and with pitiful attacking stats it relies almost exclusively on counter and mirror coat to do damage. These moves reflect damage back based on whether a move was physical or special in nature. Get this wrong and you are going to do no damage whatsoever. Shadow tag can be useful to trap opponents into battle, and telepathy can be useful in doubles battles as it makes you avoid taking damage from allies spread moves. Encore can shut down opponents in both singles and doubles by trapping them into moves such as protect, forcing them to either switch out or be stuck doing nothing for several turns. The addition of the rocky helmet ensures that anyone physically attacking Wobbuffet will take residual damage, and the HP and special defence investment should make the Pokemon bulky enough to take some hits.
Like I said this team is not especially competitive and would be destroyed by most VGC teams, but could definitely be fun to try out. As always, leave a comment below if you wish to battle!