META OF THE MONTH YEAH BABY!!1111!1!! The return of a classic. 1 vs 1 is the most basic of all Pokemon battles; just one Pokemon versus another. Without team mates, a Pokemon faults become more glaring, so it has to rely upon its best traits to win games more than any other format. Despite the limit of use to one Pokemon, 1 vs 1 has a surprisingly large amounts of strategies that one can run. The strategy you chose to run is a hard choice since you only have 4 moveslots to cover the entirety of all other Pokemon. This creates an environment where 1 vs 1 is highly matchup based; almost a Rock-Paper-Scissors environment where some strategies will blatantly win or lose to others. However, the matchup-based environment of 1 vs 1 can breed creativity; the key to victory maybe a surprise deviations of Pokemon. With such a short amount of time in a battle (1 to 3 turns) surprises certainly punish opponents expecting a standard much harder than any other format. Simply put, an opponent will not have enough time to recover from a surprise. Banlist Arceus Blaziken Darkra Deoxys-A Deoxys Dialga Giratina Giritina-O Groudon Ho-Oh Kyurem-W Lugia Mewtwo Palkia Rayquaza Reshiram Shaymin-S Zekrom All Suicidal moves: (Explosion, Perish Song, Destiny Bond, Healing Wish, etc). Unbanned Pokemon: Deoxys (Defense, Speed Forms) Excadrill Genesect Manaphy Thundurus-I Tornadus-T Since the 1 vs 1 metagame takes away key support from some "once OU but now Uber Pokemon", paticularly weather, the 1 vs 1 metagame will welcome a few Pokemon back with some welcome arms. Out of all the unbanned Pokemon on the list possibly Thudurus-I, Deoxys-S, and Genesect will stand to make the greatest impact. Their wide movepools and pumped up stats will make them an enormous offensive presence in the tier. More maybe coming soon so keep a look out! Strategies Sleep Sleep is an extremely popular and viable strategy in 1 vs 1. The short duration of the battles (1 to 3 turns) means the opponent will be completely incapacitated for the large majority of the match. Sleep also has a wide variety of users of different types to chose from, diversifying the strategy. Sleep has been expanded to Yawn users in 1 vs 1. With the inability to switch, Yawn+Protect can knock a Pokemon right out of the match. While Sleep is great against Focus Sash users, its own popularity launches Lum Berry into the limelight of commonplace use. Beware because a sleep-inducing move to a Lum Berry user can lose you a turn and quite possibly a match! Breloom (M) @ Focus Sash Trait: Technician EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Focus Punch - Bullet Seed - Mach Punch - Spore Breloom gold standard for Sleep Inducers. Breaks Sashes with Bullet Punch, priority to take down faster Pokemon, immediate power with Focus Punch after Sleep Other known users: Gengar, Jynx F.E.A.R F.E.A.R abuses the top item of the tier, Focus Sash, to the greatest extent. Coming out with full-health right off the bat means that little can be done to stop low-defense FEAR users from ruining an attackers day. The best endeavor users can snipe down their opponents with priority to make sure they get the game-winning strike. While F.E.A.R. is strong against attackers, it falters to sleep-inducers, Toxic-stallers, and Pokemon with faster priority. Mamoswine (M) @ Focus Sash Trait: Oblivious EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spd (0 HP IV, 0 Def IV, 0 SpD IV) Hasty Nature (+Spd, -Def) - Ice Shard - Earthquake - Endeavor - Icicle Spear Mamoswine: Many weakness, low defenses, decent speed, immunity to hail+sandstorm, and priority make it a prime Endeavor user Has decent attack in case it does not have the ability to endeavor. Icicle Spear breaks sashes. Other users: Smeargle, Infernape All-Out Attacker All-out-attackers use their great coverage and power to get by in 1 vs 1. Oftentimes, they only need one move to get the job done against the opponent. All-out-attackers are stymied by the heavy usage of Focus Sash, which prevents the OHKO on targets. All-out-attackers also get destroyed by Counter-Coat users. Dragonite (M) @ Lum Berry Trait: Multiscale EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Outrage / Dragon Claw - Superpower / Earthquake - Fire Punch - ExtremeSpeed Dragointe: Multiscale acts as a pseudo-Focus Sash, allowing it to survive nearly any hit. Lum Berry makes sure he can not be stopped by Sleep Good power, great coverage, and access to +2 Extremespeed to beat out opposing priority makes him have great match against a large amount of targets Other users: Machamp, Thundurs-I, Terrakion, Genesect, Deoxys-S Counter and Mirror Coat In a similar fashion to F.E.A.R., CounterCoat preys on opponents that use attacking moves to KO the opponent back. The difference is that CounterCoat users rely on a bit of bulk instead of frailness to get the opponent (they do not need priority either). The use of only one Pokemon by the opponent and most likely one move that the opponent can win with means the prediction involved in using CounterCoat is significantly lessened compared to other formats. Oftentimes, Pokemon shoehorn Counter or Mirror Coat into their movesets if their coverage falls short. CounterCoat users can easily fall to Trick users and Toxic-stallers. Gastrodon (M) @ Rindo Berry Trait: Sticky Hold EVs: 252 HP / 84 Def / 172 SDef Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk) - Mirror Coat - Counter - Surf / Toxic - Protect Gastrodon has one weakness, which can be mitigated by Rindo Berry, making him a great user of countercoat Gastrodon is also immune to sandstorm and immune to trick with sticky hold Surf to get Pokemon with Substitute, Toxic to get targets he won't attack Other users: Tyranitar, Blissey, Wobbufett, Swampert Choiced Items Choice items become incredibly useful in 1 vs 1 because the need for prediction is eliminated since the opponent can not switch. Oftentimes only 1 move is necessary to get the job done against the opponent. Choice Scarf is possibly the most useful, since the extra power of Choice Band or Choice Specs might go to waste because of Focus Sash. Choice users can also pack trick to get around their usual counters, such as CounterCoat users. They can even pack Sleep Talk for expected Sleep users. Latios (M) @ Choice Scarf Trait: Levitate EVs: 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Trick - Draco Meteor - Psyshock - Surf Latios has high speed and power, great STAB in Dragon, hit on the other defensive side with Psyshock Also can stop counter counters or set up sweepers with a fast Trick Other users: Jirachi, Keldeo, Kyurem-B, Abomasnow Boosting The inability to phaze in the tier means boosters can not get their snowball stopped by the opponent. Unlike other attackers, boosters can often get around CounterCoat users by just boosting away to victory while they waste turns Countering or Mirror Coating. Even Toxic-stallers can fall to certain boosters since the Toxic damage can be recovered off or not accumulate fast enough. However, boosters can fall to the powerful Choice users or all-out attackers of the tier if they can not respond fast enough with their own attacks. Tyranitar (M) @ Leftovers Trait: Sand Stream EVs: 252 HP / 248 SDef / 8 Spd Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk) - Curse - Rest - Sleep Talk - Rock Slide Great bulk allows Tyranitar to set up easily, and has a good STAB for mono attacking Can beat certain Sleepers with Rest Talk Leftovers is a highly unused item, so Tyranitar's Sandstream will sure add up Other users: Dragonite, Volcarona, Suicune, Genesect Toxic Stalling The inability for many Pokemon to recover is their downfall, since the Toxic count can not be delayed by switching in 1 vs 1. If the Toxic user can wall the attacker in question, it is almost assured victory. Toxic is especially useful against MirrorCoaters and F.E.A.R, since they will not be able to activate their strategy to the fullest extent without getting hit. Toxic also gets around Focus Sash. Toxic-stallers are susceptible to Choiced-attackers / Trick Users or boosters that can overwhelm them before the Toxic timer gets to do meaningful damage. Lum Berry and Taunt can also be a thorn in the side just as it is for Sleep, forcing you to waste a turn. It is also important to note Toxic does not work against Steel-types or Poison-types, so Toxic-staller's main win-condition is completely nullified! Gliscor (M) @ Toxic Orb Trait: Poison Heal EVs: 244 HP / 28 Def / 236 Spd Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk) - Protect - Substitute - Earthquake - Toxic High speed and inability to get hit with Substitute+Protect+Poison Heal is quite annoying Gliscor has a status immunity with Poison Heal and is unable to be beaten by certain endeavor users with poison heal Other users: Blissey Berries Berries retain an important niche in doubles. Lum Berry is the most common of berries, giving the user an immunity to status and a good match-up against Sleep-inducers and Toxic-Stall users. A more unorthodox berry to use is the Custap Berry. Certain Sturdy users and Substitute users can abuse it to gain a pseudo-priority move. Type-resisting berries can also be used, but they receive heavy competition from Focus Sash. Magnezone @ Custap Berry Trait: Sturdy EVs: 252 SAtk / 252 Spd (0 HP IV, 0 Def IV, 0 SpD IV) Naive Nature (+Spd, -SpD) - Thunderbolt - Flash Cannon - Hidden Power [Ice] - Mirror Coat Powerful attacker with good coverage Any Special attacker can be taken down by Mirror Coat If Magenezone hits sturdy, he has a clutch chance to attack the opponent with a priority move Get Out There While 1 vs 1 does not have its own ladder set up on PS! at the moment, it can easily be played by playing challenging someone to Ubers and using a Pokemon with only 1 team. You can find opponents opponents on #othermetas on synirc. You can also make a splash in live tournaments, which will be further elaborated on below.