Rayquaza, The Sky High Pokémon. It lives in the ozone layer far above the clouds and cannot be seen from the ground. It flies in the ozone layer, way up high in the sky. Until recently, no one had ever seen it. It is said it would descend to the ground if Kyogre and Groudon were to fight.
Rayquaza enters the 5th generation about the same as it did in Diamond and Pearl. It has one major change.. it now learns V-Create, a move with such ridiculous power that it can 2HKO even the mighty Kyogre. Otherwise its about the same as it was last gen. When Rayquaza switches in safely you can be certain that something is going to be devastated by its incredible offenses and movepool. While it lacks the better typing and speed of some other legends it more than makes up for it with crushing power.
Air Lock: While Rayquaza is on the field weather effects stop working. Weather returns when Rayquaza leaves the field. Sounds relatively useless at first until you remember all the incredible benefits. You are immune to Sand and Hail which is nice (and removing Tyranitar's sand Special Defense boost lets you blow it away with Draco Meteor). You are also able to shrug off the boosts from Rain, meaning even Kyogre Choice Specs Water Spout can not KO you (though it comes very close). It means Rain won't weaken your V-creates so even if Kyogre tries to take a V-create it will lose half its health. Finally Air Lock negates Chlorophyll and Swift Swim so Rayquaza can fight them on even ground.. and Rayquaza is faster than the common ones.
Day of the Dragon
- Draco Meteor
If its one thing Rayquaza is incredibly good at, it's punching other ubers in the face. Due to STAB Rayquaza has two 180 base power moves to work with along with a 210 base power Draco Meteor. Attempt to lead off with Draco Meteor or V-Create, two super powered move that will carve a hole in even Pokemon that resist them. Outrage has the best overall coverage but locks you into the move leaving you easily taken out by faster Dragons or anything with Ice Beam. Lastly is Extremespeed, a powerful attack that can help finish off weakened Mewtwo or exterminate a Deoxys A. So few Pokemon can switch in on this, even predicting well hits of this caliber will sting. Mixed Rayquaza will never sweep a team due to most of its moves having a negative side effect but you can use it to rip gaping holes in your opponent's team. Strike Groudon with a Draco Meteor and nothing will stop Terrakion. Nuke Jirachi and Mewtwo will ravage. Just do as much damage as possible so something else can finish off your opponent.
..I was just saiyan...
- Dragon Dance
.. No, sorry. It does not learn Wish. Rayquaza does however learn Dragon Dance which throws its speed into the ozone layer. After a Dragon Dance Rayquaza's attack becomes so nightmarish that even Lugia can be OHKOed after Stealth Rocks. In fact its so powerful that some of the only things that can take it on after Stealth Rocks is defensive Groudon and some Choice Scarf Pokemon. Earthquake turns Jirachi and Heatran into scraps of metal while Overheat incinerates Skarmory, Ferrothorn and Forretress. Flamethrower is also an option as it usually OHKOs all three as well, however it is somewhat less likely to break through Bronzong and has a chance of not OHKOing a Specially Defensive Skarmory.
- Swords Dance
Of course Rayquaza is also able to learn Swords Dance.. and make incredible use of it. After a Swords Dance Dragon Claw will be OHKOing almost anything that doesn't flat out resist it, even Arceus. The key to this set however is Extremespeed. +2 Life Orb Extremespeed is going to be ripping apart many frail Pokemon after Stealth Rocks. After a hit from Stealth Rocks +2 Extremespeed OHKOs Mewtwo, Darkrai, Palkia, Reshiram, Ho-oh, Deoxys, Kyogre and even other Rayquaza. Slower bulkier threats such as Heatran, Dialga and Ferrothorn are brought down by +2 Brick Break without any hope of survival. Earthquake is an option to hit Steel Arceus, Jirachi and Metagross harder. Overheat also takes down most Steels barring Heatran, but unlike Brick Break and Earthquake it melts Skarmory.
Ok forget for a minute Rayquaza has Dragon Dance, or Swords Dance.. lets even ignore its impossibly good mixed offenses. Lets say you want a Rayquaza who immediately hits like a nuke. Something that not even Lugia and Groudon can safely switch into. Something that is almost impossible for any Pokemon to switch in on safely. Outrage and V-Create together hit the entire Uber tier for stunning damage. In fact these two moves alone are all you need to knock something out. Extremespeed is used in the third slot to help bring down some frail things like Darkrai and Mewtwo while having the potential to sweep late game. The last slot is mostly filler but can be devoted to your needs. Waterfall breaks Specially Defensive Heatran (who has a SMALL chance of surviving two Outrages after Stealth Rocks) and hurts Groudon in a way that doesn't lock you into Outrage. Another option is Dragon Claw which can be used as a more reliable damaging move with no crippling drawbacks.
Last but not least, the obligatory Choice Scarf set. This may seem outclassed by other Scarfers like Palkia and Terrakion.. well you're right. In most cases Rayquaza is kind of a crappy Pokemon to use Choice Scarf on. You might as well use Scarf Salamence who has more useful abilities like Intimidate and Moxie. It also has 100 base speed beating out Rayquaza's 95. Rayquaza does have some advantages though. V-Create + Outrage is a punishing offensive combination which can cut apart offensive teams with ease. Rayquaza is also immune to weather effects meaning it will always outrun Swift Swimers and Chlorophyll Pokemon as well as take on Kyogre Water Spouts in a pinch. Dragon Claw and Earthquake are more situational attacks and shouldn't be used unless you have a sweep lined up or REALLY need that Heatran dead.
EVs & Natures
Choice Specs, Bulk Up, Fly, Stone Edge, Thunder Wave, Dragon Tail, Tailwind
Double & Triple Battle Options
People play Double / Triple Ubers? Huh. Well here Air Lock really shines. A few years ago the Video Game Championships allowed the use of Ubers and the result was weather domination. Rayquaza did ok at shutting down many Kyogre based teams while handling Groudon and Tyranitar decently. It also has Extremespeed, Earthquake, Surf, Rock Slide and a ton of offensive options that work well in Doubles / Triples.
Rayquaza is a good stand alone sweeper and wallbreaker. Its plan is to punch through opposing walls and do catastrophic damage to anything in front of it. It does not require much support to do this. A few Pokemon do nicely however. Kyogre can counter Lugia, Skarmory and Groudon while putting pressure on Ferrothorn. Rapid Spin support is appreciated as with anything else that has a Stealth Rock weakness. It drastically improves Rayquaza's life span. Its hard to list off offensive teammates as Rayquaza just sort of kills everything equally. Rayquaza plays best on an offensive team that likes specific walls gone. Pokemon like Mewtwo, Terrakion, Ho-oh, Garchomp etc. Send Rayquaza in to destroy and when he does pick at the holes he made. Of course using Stealth Rocks of your own is important as it lets Rayquaza gain many KOs it couldn't get otherwise.
Hah. It has 150 / 150 / 95 offenses paired with 180 / 180 / 210 base power moves along with the most powerful priority move in the game. Oh, and it gets Swords Dance and Dragon Dance. Did I mention you can't even sponge its attacks by changing the weather? Nothing in the game, not even Cresselia and Lugia can switch in safely on that. The closest you will come to a Rayquaza counter is a defensive Arceus. Arceus can run enough bulk to survive Draco Meteor + Outrage and Recover off the damage while surviving any boosted hit and OHKOing with Ice Beam. However it has a chance of being KOed by Draco Meteor + Extremespeed after Stealth Rocks. Lugia can kind of counter it at full HP. It will survive any boosted hit and OHKO with Ice Beam. Lugia can't switch in too well with Stealth Rocks though. If it tries it may end up dying, and even if it survives it will be at the brink of death afterwards (V-Create + Extremespeed can KO after Stealth Rocks). Heatran can take on the mixed set if its lucky, though Draco Meteor followed by two Outrages should KO. Heatran also can't OHKO back unless its offensive and dies to any set with Earthquake. Groudon takes on physical sets well but gets blown up by Draco Meteor. Trying to wall Rayquaza is impossible. Your best bet is to try and minimize the damage it causes with smart switching. Be aware that Dragon Dance and Swords Dance sets are also capable of ending the game in the blink of an eye. One of the best ways to handle Rayquaza is just revenge killing it. Choice Scarf Garchomp survives +2 Extremespeed and easily OHKOs back, as well as outrunning the Dragon Dancer. Choice Scarf Palkia also does well, though it will not survive a boosted Extremespeed. Dialga can take down the Swords Dancer but is outrun and disabled by the Dragon Dancer. Almost nothing can switch directly in on Rayquaza but luckily it's reasonably slow and frail so if you can limit its free switch ins you can keep its damage manageable.
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