Entry Hazard Counter
A Pokemon with the movepool, stats, and abilities to prevent the setup of entry hazards and severely threaten or set up on users of entry hazards.
In a metagame so utterly dominated by entry hazards and entry hazard users, it would be interesting to see how battlers would respond to a Pokemon that was able to take advantage of the importance of entry hazards to the various types of teams. This Pokemon would particularly have a niche on offensive teams that hate being shuffled by stall teams, and would essentially reduce the effectiveness of impenetrable defensive cores that relied on this shuffling to rack up entry hazard damage. However, it could also be used by stall teams fearing other stall teams or even to prevent offensive teams from ensuring those crucial OHKOs. I'm kind of unsure about whether this constitutes an improvement or not, but I think that this will reduce the dominance of stall teams in the OU metagame, which would therefore create a more balanced metagame.
Questions To Be Answered:
- Will the metagame become focused around the removal of the new Pokemon, or will it progress to become less centralized with respect to entry hazards?
- What effect will the presence of the new Pokemon on teams have on the movesets of the common users of entry hazards?
- What defensive cores in the current OU metagame would have their effectiveness reduced by the new Pokemon?
- Would players of stall play around this handicap using the same defensive cores, or would they now adopt different ones? If the latter, which cores would be effective in the new metagame?
- Would offensive teams build their teams to account for the lack of entry hazards, or would they dedicate teamslots/moveslots to countering the new Pokemon?
- Which sweepers would fail to leave an impression on the OU metagame without the ubiquity of entry hazards, and which ones would rise to fill the vacuum?
- Overall, will stall teams benefit more from the nerf to entry hazards, or will offensive teams?
Throughout the fourth and fifth generations of Pokemon, we have found ourselves in a metagame completely centered around entry hazards, be it stall teams that abuse entry hazards to cause indirect damage or offensive teams that use entry hazards to turn 2HKOs into OHKOs. Nearly every seriously competitive team ever made has featured Stealth Rock, and nearly every stall team has made use of Spikes and Toxic Spikes. In addition, Rapid Spin, a move which would never have any competitive use in a metagame without entry hazards, is now a staple on teams of all kinds.
Generation 5 gave us the ability Magic Bounce, which allowed Xatu and Espeon to play mind games with entry hazard users and make players think twice before grabbing that Stealth Rock on the switch or setting up Spikes on a helpless Taunted Pokemon. However, Xatu and Espeon are both flawed Pokemon for a variety of reasons (such as improper stat layouts, poor coverage, and poor defensive typing) and cannot truly counter the users of entry hazards (which is the reason entry hazard users are as omnipresent as always in the current metagame).
It would definitely be interesting to turn the metagame on its head by providing a hard counter to entry hazards users without the flaws of the common anti-leads (Deoxys-S, Ambipom, Taunt users and Rapid Spin leads like Forretress and Donphan), Espeon, and Xatu. We'd get to see a restructuring of the metagame as we know it, as well as see the true potential of Pokemon that have failed to impress with the presence of entry hazards, like Moltres and Yanmega. We would learn more about the metagame by observing this restructuring; it would become evident which Pokemon are truly self-sufficient and which require support to be threatening. Above all, the adaptation of playstyles to an anti-entry hazard Pokemon would give us deep insights into the ideas that lie at the core of teambuilding; it would force players to think hard about whether it would make more sense to use a valuable teamslot to counter the opponent's strategy or to develop better synergy and further the implementation of their own strategies.