Dealing with Hard Trick Room in 2017

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Duggler, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. Duggler

    Duggler New Member

    Jan 27, 2017
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    I've seen little discussion about the implications of Hard Trick Room lately, but since everybody keeps losing to it I thought I'd make a little post to help get the conversation rolling. This post assumes you already know definitions, so If you don't know what TR or STAB means, please do a little research before you furiously type out that reply. We'll be discussing what Hard Trick Room is, the various methods available for shutting it down and the sweeper mons that seek to take advantage of Trick Room itself. This is by no means a comprehensive list and is meant to spark discussion because despite the fact that this team archetype is in the best spot it's ever been and has won 2 regionals, I see no dialogue about it on public forums.

    What is Hard Trick Room?
    Hard Trick Room is a team archetype that relies on setting up and operating within Trick Room pretty much no matter what. It's usually easily distinguishable from other team types by the inherently slow Pokemon it utilizes and that is usually equipped with 2 Trick Room setters.

    Hard Trick room has not always been a fiercely reliable form of play given the opportunity cost associated with setting up Trick Room itself. This year however, the entire Alola Dex is remarkably slow and it's quite consistent. Infact, it is said that when California is not in a constant drought, on fire, or falling into the ocean that it exists in a constant state of Trick Room!

    The Setters

    Many Pokemon in Alola obtain access to Trick Room, Gengar, Nihilego, etc. but for the purposes of this write up we will stick to the most common setters.


    Porygon2 Is one of the most reliable Trick Room Setters for its survivability. It's closer in bulk to Cresselia than anything else in the Alola Dex because it carries Eviolite 100% of the time. (there is zero reason for it to ever carry another item) It can also be seen as the best pseudo ice type in the game for its ability to fire off Ice Beams into Garchomp and leaves the Dragon with few ways to actually hit back for big damage.

    There are three notable ways to deal with most Trick Room setters. One way is to attack the bejeezus out of it before it's able to set up Trick Room. Not too many things can accomplish this feat on their own, but to give you a rough idea of what the calcs look like:

    252+ Atk Guts Hariyama Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Porygon2: 246-290 (128.1 - 151%) -- guaranteed OHKO

    252 Atk Pheromosa All-Out Pummeling (195 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Porygon2: 180-212 (93.7 - 110.4%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO

    Another reliable way to shut down P2 is to simply Taunt it. Taunt is fantastic move as it shuts down virtually all mons capable of set up. It's easy to fit on teams as all it does is eat a move slot and is a move with very wide distribution. If you don't have Taunt on your team you had better have a good reason as to why.

    Roar, while not necessarily easy to fit on teams, is a great way to shut down Trick Room as well. Roar, existing in the -6 priority bracket has the benefit of moving before the -7 bracket TR exists in, but the cost involved is that you will move last on the field, risking the possibility that your opponent went on the offensive. Notable mons with access to roar include, Arcanine, Gyarados, Aerodactyl, Ninetails and Lapras.


    Mimikyu tends to come in two varieties, but your inability to distinguish what it's running initially is in itself an advantage for the Pikachu wannabe. Mental Herb sets take advantage of the super sash that Mimikyu already has in its Disguise ability. Trick Room setters are often strapped for room as to whether they want to be able to take a taunt, or take a hit and in this way Mimikyu can do both. Ghostium-Z sets allow you to dunk Lele as Mimikyu at full speed outpaces Tapu Lele by one point. This is very important for the Hard Trick Room team as many opt to carry power-house Hariyama as a sweeper and Lele is as hard a counter to Hari as they come. Having two mons that are faster than Mimikyu in order to dunk it before it can set up is a perfectly valid option as well. (Shade's recent invitational team is actually a team with a rather fast mode of play that has several options for decking Mimikyu in this fashion)


    Instruct makes for some pretty interesting plays in doubles. You see this guy normally paired with Torkoal and lately, I haven't seen a whole lot of innovation on the Oranguru front, but I think it's worth mentioning as it's still a common TR setter. Presumably, most should be investing to survive Alolan Muk's Knock off

    252+ Atk Muk-Alola Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 116 Def Oranguru: 164-194 (83.2 - 98.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

    Like so many other setters, you either need to Taunt, Roar, or take out Oranguru before it sets up its shenanigans. Being that many carry mental herb, Taunt isn't that reliable and outside of Hariyama or Muk carrying Knock Off, Oranguru is in a pretty good place as there are not too many things out there packing Dark coverage.

    Offensive Sweepers

    I think there is this misconception among the uninitiated that Trick Room is a slow, deliberate form of play that requires you to run bulky Pokemon. While it's true that Trick Room is usually accompanied by bulky monsters, you have a limited number of turns once Trick Room goes up meaning you want to get work done, fast. These are some of the mons that can score you the KO's to put you ahead in the 4 meager turns of Trick Room allotted to you and some ways to deal with them.

    Hariyama has access to Fake Out and that alone makes it formidable
    support for the TR setter. Close Combat does massive damage to begin with, but paired with its Guts ability and Flame Orb Hari blows though teams with sheer offensive presence. It's stats are in just the right places to do what it needs to do. It has bulk, it has offense and it can still play a supportive role. In that sense, it's probably most comfortable in the hands of a Mega Kangaskhan player more than anything else. Your big concern with Hari should be the Tapus. The proliferation of actual fairy types means that a team packing Hariyama needs something like an offensive Mimikyu to deal with Lele or a Metagross for that type synergy. Even Tapu Fini's Misty Terrain has merit in this matchup as it denies Hariyama of the Guts Flame Orb boost.

    I've heard a lot of people say that they don't like Araquanid and it's hard for me to understand why. As a Pokemon who's mode of
    operation is as a physical attacker, Araquanid's Water Bubble ability is amazing. Not only does it double the power of water type moves, receive stab on top of that, and still resist Fire type hits, but is also immune to being hit by Will O Wisp making it a very consistent offensive presence. Access to Wide Guard is fantastic in helping a partner set up Trick Room and besides, Its bug typing makes it resistant to Ground moves meaning Z-Liquidation can nab certain Earthquake abuser back for rather meaningful damage.

    152+ Atk Water Bubble Araquanid Hydro Vortex (160 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Garchomp: 186-220 (101 - 119.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO

    Heck, even when intimidated, Araquanid is a threat to behold.

    -1 152+ Atk Water Bubble Araquanid Hydro Vortex (160 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Arcanine: 288-338 (173.4 - 203.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO

    It is not ridiculous to think that an effective team could easily be made around Araquanid in the same fashion as whole teams are made centered around a mega.

    I'm baffled by the lack of Gigalith in general, but particularly it's virtual non-
    existence on Trick Room teams. Perhaps people are worried about Kartana, Garchomp, or Tapu Fini and that's fair, but you have five other team slots to fill and there have been mons with plenty of metagame weaknesses who have seen success in past iterations of VGC. (Here's lookin' at you Tyranitar!) Gigalith gets the benefits of a pseudo assault vest in Sand Stream and Rock stab lets it squish (oh, look at that) Araquanid. Of course positioning is important in its matchup with water bug, but it wins the matchup inside Araquanid's most comfortable form of speed control, Trick Room. Base 25 speed means you aren't setting up Sand Stream when facing down Torkoal, but Torkoal is doing little to damage a Gigalith that comes out of the back and Z-Stone Edge is rocking (pun intended) the fire turtle's world. Access to Wide Guard is well placed tech on the boulder as well, being able to stave off Garchomp while its partner potentially re-positions the board.

    What a monster. With fighting being such a rare typing a beastly normal type once again steps in to plow through teams. The Gluttony + Figy Berry combo gives Lax the health bar of a final boss. Belly Drum sets once set up are able to battering ram their way through mons that resist hits and recycle sets can check mate teams in certain board positions. Remember though, Knock Off in particular denies the recycle user access to its berry again. (As does incinerate, but that's not exactly the most viable tech) Most Snorlax sets have opted to carry Return and High Horsepower making them susceptible to the likes of niche picks like Drifblim. It would not surprise me if we start to see most Snorlax Carry Rock Slide in place of the ground coverage move. Will o Wisp is a great way to bring a boosted Snorlax down to manageable levels of damage output and while I haven't seen much of it lately, allowing Snorlax to set up so you can nab it with a Foul Play off of something like Mandibuzz is a legitimate strategy. Being rather set up reliant, Taunt and Roar also happen to be effective measures to shut down Lax, although a smart snorlax player will always know their calcs outside of being boosted. Snorlax may not get to set up, but it is rarely dead weight.

    Your Thoughts
    So what do you think? I've hardly covered everything. Vikavolt and Mudsdale for instance are very effective inside Trick Room. How have you dealt (or not dealt) with Hard Trick Room teams as the format has gone on? Have you adapted your play style to accommodate such matchups? Or have you just taken the "auto loss" as so many have? Please discuss.

    Edit: Fixed a P2 + Pheromosa calc
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
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  2. Nazara

    Nazara Member

    Jan 28, 2017
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    Puerto Rico
    I believe the main reason as to why people lose to hard Trick Room is due the great amount of players that struggle against TR matchups while teambuilding. It is often recurrant that I hear in a chat or Discord server something along the lines of "Can you guys please rate my team?" to which the primary response is very commonly: "How do you plan to deal with Trick Room?". Not only is Trick Room difficult to handle for the avarage player (and I say avarage considering that outside of sites such as this, the majority of players are simply casuals who like to play Pokemon and attend events for fun and not with explicit serious intent) due to the pressure it entails having your otherwise faster Pokemon attack last, but those who do often recurr to overly simple strategies such as carrying Taunt on a single Pokemon or having X slow Pokemon in their team and continue believing that will suffice.

    In order to defeat Hard Trick Room a concise strategy must be implemented, which can be also said when dealing with the now popular Drifblim but that is a topic for another thread. This strategy must be one which must outsmart the opposing player given the fact that due to its very nature it's more often than not the Hard TR team that carries the momentum, and it is this ability that proves monumental for the average player (and still proves difficult for the more advanced and even profesional player) to overcome.
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  3. TheMinimizer

    TheMinimizer Member

    Jan 27, 2017
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    #FIFE4LIFE, Scotland, UK
    Curse Recycle Snorlax is an extraordinary and a very splashable way to deal with TR, improving bulk, attack and speed. Just make sure Hari is dead and P2 can't toxic. Fini is a great partner for this reason
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
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  4. Hamstermania(Koutesh)

    Hamstermania(Koutesh) Active Member

    Jan 28, 2017
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    Prague , Czech Republic
    TheMinimizer add in arcanine to the squad and lax will sweep even easier in TR , as physical attackers (like araquinid and marowak) will start doing laughtable damage after curse , even with super strong Z-moves / Flare blitz. haryiama wont even kill lax after intimidate (yes even with burn). Extremespeed + return kills haryiama after -1 too.
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  5. Czechmate

    Czechmate Member

    Jan 27, 2017
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    When I encounter hard TR with my current team I normally have to make the initial decision to either drop the setter or weather the storm. My current team is koko, lele, arcanine, Garchomp, gigalith, and kartana. If it's a mimikyu that I don't think is sashed I'll break disguise with scarf lele/koko and nuke it with kartana. If I can't KO the setter I normally go gigalith/arcanine and punish with helping hand+rock slide.
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