With an excellent base 135 Attack and the bulk to complement it, Metagross can fit right in with the Uber Pokemon. While Metagross lost its nuclear powered Explosion, and faces even more competition with Groudon than ever before, the big iron supercomputer can still hold its own. Its STAB Meteor Mash is extremely powerful, especially when boosted by a Choice Band, and it even has the potential to raise Metagross’s Attack further. Its stellar defensive typing grants it an immunity to Toxic and Toxic Spikes, along with a crucial resist to Dragon- and Ice-type moves, allowing it to take on Lugia much better than other physical attackers. These qualities also make it an excellent switch in to Choice locked Dragon-type attacks, and Metagross can Pursuit them as they flee for a large amount of damage. Clear Body also makes it a great check to Shaymin-S, taking Seed Flare without risk of a Special Defense drop while sporting a resistance to both of its STABs. Despite these excellent qualities, Steel isn't the greatest offensive type, and Metagross would have really enjoyed significantly more Speed, even with Bullet Punch. Nevertheless, Metagross has bulk beyond that of Skarmory, a devastating Attack, and thus should be considered when building a team.
With a base 135 Attack and a respectable movepool, it's no wonder why Metagross can abuse a Choice Band to such great effect. After the boost provided, Metagross reaches an amazing 607 Attack, admirable even by Uber standards. Backed by its excellent signature STAB attack, Meteor Mash, Metagross can easily smash holes in the opposing team. For example, even Bold Lugia is 2HKOed after Stealth Rock, and Timid variants are 2HKOed regardless. Offensive variants of Groudon will also fall in two hits even without Stealth Rock. Meteor Mash also has the possibility of raising Metagross's Attack stat, that can turn one on one situations against Giratina (that lack Will-O-Wisp) into wins. Metagross can even 2HKO specially defensive Bronzong and Skarmory with Meteor Mash if it gets a boost!
With Metagross's excellent bulk and typing, it can effortlessly switch into even a boosted Outrage and KO the dragon using it. Metagross doesn't mind switching in on Palkia or other Dragon-types locked into Spacial Rend or Draco Meteor either, and can Pursuit them as they flee for a large amount of damage, clearing the way for teammates that are troubled by them. Beware of good prediction, however, as most are cautious before locking themselves in to an attack and a correct prediction by the opponent can mean the end of Metagross.
Bullet Punch provides a useful STAB priority attack that can easily clean up a weakened team, and provides some insurance against some ferocious but frail sweepers such as Deoxys-A and Darkrai. Despite this, some might find its power lackluster, as it's not even half as strong as Meteor Mash and can't even 2HKO Mewtwo after Stealth Rock. Therefore, Explosion is a perfectly viable attack over Bullet Punch, as it's still Metagross's strongest attack even with the major nerf and it OHKOes almost every common switch-in with the exception of Giratina. Hammer Arm rounds out the coverage, OHKOing Dialga and physically defensive Ferrothorn with some prior damage, two Pokemon that would otherwise be annoying to face. Hammer Arm hits most Steel-type Pokemon just as hard or harder than Earthquake. Despite this, Earthquake is still viable if you are particularly troubled by Electric Arceus, Jirachi, opposing Metagross, or even the tiny chance of missing; just make sure to have another way to beat Ferrothorn.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Metagross has a decent movepool, but few viable options. Metagross has many other moves it can run on its Choice Band set, although the ones listed are generally the best. ThunderPunch can be used for the 2HKO on Kyogre, Skarmory, and Ho-Oh, while Rock Slide can be used if one is paranoid about the latter. They are both quite weak otherwise. Metagross can run a Trick + Iron Ball set, allowing it to take away its checks' Leftovers at worst, with the possibility of grounding Skarmory or Ho-Oh. Metagross could even Trick an Iron Ball to a faster Pokemon such as Mewtwo, thus crippling it for the rest of the match. 88 Speed EVs are recommended for such a set to outspeed everything up to Mewtwo after Tricking them an Iron Ball. More EVs could be used to beat faster Pokemon, but this starts to detract from Metagross's bulk. Just keep in mind that Metagross loses many OHKOes and 2HKOes without an item to boost its power. Metagross also has a good support movepool with Stealth Rock, Reflect, and Light Screen, although Ferrothorn and Bronzong are better at these jobs. Metagross also gets Hone Claws and Agility, although its only advantage over Groudon in these roles is its better defensive typing; otherwise, it's completely outclassed. Metagross can attempt to run a more defensively inclined set, and has Toxic to cripple some of its checks, but lacks recovery outside of Rest. Metagross can run an all out attacker set, but it needs Life Orb to do any real damage, and the recoil really cuts into its prized bulk. Metagross also has plenty of special attacking options that would be great if it had the Special Attack to go with it. Grass Knot can get a surprise 2HKO on Groudon though, with some investment. Finally, Metagross gets the gimmicky Gravity that grounds some of its checks, but it can often backfire.
Checks and Counters
A universal counter to Metagross doesn't exist thanks to its sheer power, so it must be beaten with prediction. Many offensive Pokemon are 2HKOed with Meteor Mash even if they resist it. For example, Palkia is almost always 2HKOed after Stealth Rock. This is made worse by the fact that many of of its checks can be beaten with another move. Giratina is arguably the best counter, as it can easily survive a Meteor Mash and burn Metagross with Will-O-Wisp. Giratina must be kept in good health though, as it runs the risk of being 2HKOed by Meteor Mash after some prior damage, and will despise Trick. Defensive Groudon is also a good counter, as it can survive a Meteor Mash and retaliate with Earthquake. Groudon will still be weakened after absorbing a Meteor Mash though, and can be 2HKOed with Spikes support. Ho-Oh is a decent check if Stealth Rock is off the field, as it can outspeed and OHKO Metagross with its Sacred Fire outside of rain. It cannot take Zen Headbutt or ThunderPunch very well, though, and is destroyed by Rock Slide or Explosion. Skarmory and Bronzong are decent checks, as they can set up Spikes, screens, or Trick Room on Metagross, while the former can phaze Metagross as well. Both despise Trick, and the former doesn't enjoy taking a ThunderPunch. The former will always lose one-on-one as well, thanks to Meteor Mash's Attack-raising effect, while the latter must have Earthquake to have any chance of winning. A physically defensive Ferrothorn also annoys Metagross greatly if Metagross lacks Hammer Arm. Reshiram can survive a Meteor Mash and melt Metagross with Blue Flare regardless of the weather. Preying on Metagross's low Speed is often the easiest way to dispose of it, as many Pokemon have more than base 70 Speed.