So i decided to use Hail on ladder for a little bit just to see how threatening some of the threats it brings to the table, and i found two big Pokemon that are probably going to be big players during this round =).
Rotom-Frost @ Life Orb
EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
- Pain Split
With decent defensive stats, a great special attack stat, and STAB Boltbeam, Rotom-F makes a particularly potent user of subsplit when used under hail. As most of you already know, Hail boosts Blizzard's accuracy up to 100%, making it not just powerful, but reliable. Rotom-F can force a bunch of switches with its excellent STABs and the threat of a scarf set and/or Volt Switch, giving the refrigerator plenty of chances to set up a substitute, from there Rotom-F can repeatedly batter the opponent with Thunderbolt and Blizzard while using pain split when needed. Rotom-F's offensive prowess is further complemented by the hail its going to be used in, an extra 6% is never a bad thing, and residual hail damage can often put bulkier Pokemon into KO range late game, at the very least, hail will cancel out Leftovers recovery for the Pokemon who run it, this works especially well against lanturn, who resists both of Rotom-F's STABs but lacks recovery, letting the haunted icebox wear it down with Blizzard that much more easily. This set was a top threat on Hail teams back in BW1 and im expecting no different now, ive used hail in about 30 or so matches over the course of the time its been allowed and Rotom-F has been excellent for me!
GOD (Glaceon) @ Leftovers
Trait: Ice Body
EVs: 8 HP / 248 SAtk / 252 Spd
- Hidden Power [Ground]
Glaceon is another previously irrelevant Pokemon that gets a big buff from hail's unbanning. Glaceon, like fellow hail abuser walrein has access to the ability Ice Body thanks to the Pokemon Dream World, and it sure makes good use of it!. Glaceon has the ability to play like Stallrein if it has to, simply alternating between protect and substitute to wear down the opponent through residual damage or PP stall out an attack, but Glaceon sacrifices some bulk and a secondary Water-typing for what is undeniably the strongest Ice-type attack available in the lower tiers (and the second strongest ice-type move overall, only beaten by Kyurem-W blizzard). As you would expect, this gives Glaceon some serious firepower to back up its stalling strategy, and like Rotom-F, i often end up wearing down certain opponents with repeated hail damage until they end up in KO range of my Blizzard. Hidden Power Ground rounds off Glaceon's coverage and gives it the ability to hit mons like CB entei, emboar, and Lanturn incredibly hard, making it nearly indispensable on Glaceon. Glaceon has the option to run more hp if you want some more bulk, but keep in mind that only certain benchmarks will heal Glaceon fully after two turns! Also, Vanilluxe can run the same set as Glaceon, and has the added perk of having a significant amount of speed more than glaceon, giving it the ability to outspeed various Pokemon, especially nidoqueen, which is especially notable. I think Ice Cream is worth testing too imo.
About hail in general, i personally think that its going to be fine in RU at least for now, there are a bunch of Pokemon that have either dropped or have recently become popular that can be a huge pain for hail, such as Escavalier (overcoat does have a use!). To use hail to its fullest effect you also have to stack up on what can be called arguably the worst defensive Pokemon in the game, and you often need to take up more teamslots than you would like with Pokemon to cover this problem, some of which might be crippled by your own hail! Nonthenless, i still think that hail is going to be a very viable and potent strategy this round, and i cant wait to see how things turn out :o.