Metagame Anything Goes

#26
So in y'alls opinion, what's the better GeoXern counter? Magearna, or Solgaleo?
Yeah, Solgaleo's the better Xern answer. I just run Magearna because my team can't afford to stack more Dark and Ghost weaknesses -- Heart Swap is a fun way to turn things around on unsuspecting opponents, not something as reliable as Solgaleo's raw bulk and recovery.
 

Funbot28

Breaking hearts since '09
is a Pre-Contributor
#28
HypnoGar is actually more of a nuisance in AG imo compared to how it functions in Ubers since AG teams often carry more Arceus formes which Mega Gar can really capitalize on. Once it sets up a sub, u really need to bank on that 40% not to get absolutely wrecked. How are you guys dealing with HypnoGar atm, Lum Berry? scarfed Lunala? It's honestly such a nuisance in gen 7 AG and might actually have the chance to be the top mega this gen....
 
#29
Hypnosis Mega Gengar was never "good" in any metagame, in the same way that Moody Glalie was never "good." It can let you win battles against anyone regardless of skill if you're not unlucky, but this does not make it "better" than Mega Rayquaza in any sense of the word.

The way to deal with Hypnosis Mega Gengar in Anything Goes is simply by knowing that although anyone using it can easily defeat you in a single battle... if you are skilled, anyone who uses it will have a much harder time achieving a consistent win-loss record, let alone reaching #1 on the ladder compared to you. It can be terribly unfair within a small number of battles, but it is absolutely nothing worth using for someone who attempts to achieve success on a far grander scale.

Anyway, Anything Goes is definitely my favorite Generation VII metagame at the moment. Stall simply works extremely consistently in this metagame (contrary to in Übers, funnily enough) from my experience, especially with Darkrai no longer being relevant.
 
#30
So what is it about this gen that makes stall so much better? Besides Darkrai, of course. I find it hard to believe that the tier that's home to Arcspam, Deoxys-spam, MegaRay, and MegaGar is friendly to stall...
 
#31
Arceus spam (which, by the way, is hardly an anti-stall thing. In fact, it is actually one of the easiest things for stall to defeat), Deoxys-A, Mega Rayquaza and Mega Gengar were in this metagame last generation as well. The absence of Darkrai is huge, since this Pokémon with Substitute and Taunt massively threatened any stall team with Stealth Rock down. The combination of Darkrai and Mega Gengar in the same team was virtually impossible for stall to defeat, while the uncommon, yet still existent Sludge Bomb Darkrai could singlehandedly destroy some stall teams if played well. All in all, my laddering experience just tells me that stall is way more effective in this generation than in the last, as it appears that the vast majority of teams I have seen used in this generation simply cannot break stall at all. In contrast, I simply remember that back in ORAS, the number of anti-stall teams being used in the metagame was significantly higher. Admittedly, all of this stuff (with the significant exception of Darkrai's absence in Generation VII) may be nothing more than metagame phases though.
 
#32
So, I've been messing around with a meme team lately, and I've come across scarf Excadrill. It works as a fairly reliable check to Solgaleo, if it's weakened even 25%. 252+ Atk Solgaleo Sunsteel Strike vs. 4 HP / 36 Def Excadrill: 133-157 (36.7 - 43.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO. You can switch in on a Sunsteel fairly easily, even with no investment, and do quite a bit back. 252 Atk Mold Breaker Excadrill Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Solgaleo: 318-374 (66.5 - 78.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock. Given, this may be situational, as Solgaleo typically runs Earthquake to deal with other threats, but it has more purpose than that. It also works as a pretty effective Rapid Spinner, with a 4x resistance to Rocks. This also deals with Tapu Lele offense, with it outspeeding Deoxys-Attack and being super effective on Tapu Lele itself. 252 Atk Mold Breaker Excadrill Iron Head vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Tapu Lele: 342-404 (99.4 - 117.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock. I've liked using it thus far in the meta, and just thought I'd share a set I like. And, seeing as Ho-Oh hasn't been relevant in the meta up to this point, I'm running Brutal Swing over Rock Slide to hit Lunala, although it still avoids the OHKO at max HP investment.
 

Chloe

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#34
I believe everyone has been severely underrating Magearna within this metagame. It's an efficient check to many prevalent threats within the metagame such as Xerneas, Arceus-Fairy, Arceus-Dragon, Arceus-Rock, Deoxys-Attack and Mega Gengar, and has the ability to halt almost any special set up sweeper by threatening it with Heart Swap. While many people ponder about Solgaleo's ability to check Xerneas, Magearna does a much more effective job in my honest opinion, especially on Balance builds. Solgaleo has a hard time carving itself a spot on any playstyle bar Offense, and that's often foreshadowed by Steel Arceus's tremendous capabilities. If you wanted a Steel Arceus that isn't Ho-Oh lure but has a harder time against Primal Groudon, then sure be my guest.

2 | Groudon-Primal | 40.78249% | 20660 | 9.065% | 14002 | 10.033%
23 | Ho-Oh | 6.33100% | 2690 | 1.180% | 1821 | 1.305%


Magearna @ Leftovers
Ability: Soul-Heart
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Flash Cannon
- Fleur Cannon
- Volt Switch / Aura Sphere / Pain Split
- Heart Swap

This set here is incredibly useful at just checking every aforementioned threat and more. I was going to talk about this for a while but something caught my attention.

23 | Ho-Oh | 6.33100% | 2690 | 1.180% | 1821 | 1.305%
23 | Ho-Oh | 6.33100% | 2690 | 1.180% | 1821 | 1.305%
23 | Ho-Oh | 6.33100% | 2690 | 1.180% | 1821 | 1.305%

What are you all doing? I'm concerned because it didn't have any gamebreaking flaw that affected it in the Generation 7 transition. Without being the meme that I am, I'm honestly confused why it's seeing so little usage, especially since Balance continues to be such a justifiable playstyle. I've continued to use it extensively, and it's still the angel from last generation. This makes me wonder if everyone was using Ho-Oh as a Darkrai check last gen, instead of using it to its maximal functionality.

Can someone explain to me why it's seeing so little usage though honestly?

[Usage Stats found here.]
 
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#35
I believe everybody has been severely underusing Ho-oh within this metagame. It's an efficient check to many prevalent special attackers within the metagame such as Xerneas, Arceus-Fairy, Arceus-Dragon, Deoxys-Attack, Mega Gengar, Arceus-Ground (Special Variant), Arceus Steel, Arceus-Ghost and has the ability to halt almost any set up sweeper by threatening it with extremely powerful STAB moves. While many people ponder about the ability for Ho-oh to check Xerneas after the Thunder Wave nerf, Ho-oh can still reliably deal heavy damage, leaving for any priority to finish Xerneas off. Ho-oh has a very outstanding role on bulky offense, balance, and stall, and should definitely be considered by more teambuilders.

Ho-Oh @ Life Orb / Choice Band
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 208 Atk / 52 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Brave Bird
- Sacred Fire
- Recover
- Earthquake / Toxic / Substitute / Thunder Wave / Whirlwind

This set is immensely powerful and can be a fantastic pivot and solid tank to support almost any balance team, as long as pointy rocks aren't on the field. Speed creep isn't absolutely needed to outspeed M-Diancie before it mega evolves because it doesn't exist, but it can never hurt.

I was going to continue to glamour about Ho-oh's greatness, but something caught my attention.

1 | Rayquaza-Mega | 44.04760% | 25859 | 11.346% | 15160 | 10.863%
2 | Groudon-Primal | 40.78249% | 20660 | 9.065% | 14002 | 10.033%
3 | Arceus | 40.20306% | 13920 | 6.107% | 7174 | 5.140%
9 | Arceus-Ghost | 18.56270% | 4756 | 2.087% | 2683 | 1.922%

7 | Zygarde | 19.72994% | 25472 | 11.176% | 15913 | 11.402%
7 | Zygarde | 19.72994% | 25472 | 11.176% | 15913 | 11.402%
7 | Zygarde | 19.72994% | 25472 | 11.176% | 15913 | 11.402%

While Rayquaza and Primal Groudon have always been common, along with SD Arceus variants, Zygarde really heavily threatens Ho-oh. Even though Ho-oh is still almost just as good as last generation, the loss of utility of checking stuff like Darkrai and the loss of Thunder Wave, along with Zygarde, has hurt Ho-oh's popularity quite a bit.

Conclusion: Ho-oh is as good as always, but requires even more team support to function. Chloe.
 
#36
To my understanding, Ho-Oh has been hurt in two ways by the burn nerf. Firstly, such a nerf detracts from the value of Sacred Fire. Secondly, it lowers the value of Ho-Oh's burn immunity, which has always been one of its notable advantages, since burn-inducing moves are not used as often as before. And to add on to that, the existence of Zygarde-Complete has definitely led to this Pokémon being much easier to wall than in ORAS. I do agree that being #23 in usage is still a little low though.
 

Chloe

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#37
To my understanding, Ho-Oh has been hurt in two ways by the burn nerf. Firstly, such a nerf detracts from the value of Sacred Fire. Secondly, it lowers the value of Ho-Oh's burn immunity, which has always been one of its notable advantages, since burn-inducing moves are not used as often as before. And to add on to that, the existence of Zygarde-Complete has definitely led to this Pokémon being much easier to wall than in ORAS. I do agree that being #23 in usage is still a little low though.
Even so, such a minor nerf shouldn't directly affect Ho-Oh's usage to that extent. The only time I can pinpoint the burn nerf being evidently detrimental is when Ho-Oh is attempting to overwhelm Support Arceus formes, and even in that case Brave Bird is still doing over 50 when accounting for burn damage. As for your second point, I can't imagine Will-O-Wisp will see any less usage based on that, due to its main purpose being left unaffected. No physical attacker wants to switch in on Ho-Oh still, especially now when Lum Berry doesn't exist nearly as much. The change to the burn status condition really should not affect its usage period. Support and Calm Mind Steel Arceus and Fairy Arceus have both increased dramatically in usage due to the lack of Ho-Oh; one can only assume its usage may make a comeback in the near future. I agree with Zygarde being a major factor though.

In other news, sample teams should be up quite soon, as well as a Resource Thread like last generation assuming I can finish it (speed tiers are a pain). Hope you're all enjoying the metagame.

Edit: Sample teams added.
 
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#38

Magearna @ Leftovers
Ability: Soul-Heart
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Flash Cannon
- Fleur Cannon
- Volt Switch / Aura Sphere / Pain Split
- Heart Swap

This set here is incredibly useful at just checking every aforementioned threat and more. I was going to talk about this for a while but something caught my attention.
84 speed on that is well worth the investment. Still tanks +3 HP ground after rocks and the speed helps it creep Ceus forms after para/+2 geo xern heart swap. More speed can be invested to outspeed Mgar/deo a and sweep more efficiently, tbh, since it really doesn't need to tank +3 HP ground if it switches into Xern on the z geo turn. But I feel 84 speed is an absolute necessity.
 

Chloe

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is a Forum Moderator
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#41
Where can I find the popularity of this ladder in comparison to the other ladders on the smogon server?
There are currently not any usage stats available as the ladders were implemented late in the month of November, hopefully in a few days we'll have the usage stats for December available to us.

Chloe. could you explain darceus's EV spread in the quag balance team in the OP ? Also why no +spe for mega ray?
The Dark Arceus is used mostly as a Deoxys check, rather than a Mega Rayquaza check so the sole focus of the spread is to allow it to tank most hits from Nasty Plot variants of Deoxys-Attack; however, I did end up investing speed EVs for Mega Rayquaza because Life Orb Mega Rayquaza variants would sometimes overwhelm Fairy Arceus, and leave me stranded without a Rayquaza check. I have enough investment to outspeed neutral natured max speed Mega Rayquaza as this is the most common speed tier that it hits. Jolly/+Spe natured Mega Rayquaza are quite rare in comparison and not worth the investment when I needed the SpD bulk for it to perform its main function on the team. Also if it did opt for a +Spe nature, it wouldn't be able to overwhelm Fairyceus.

+2 252 SpA Deoxys-Attack Ice Beam vs. 248 HP / 164 SpD Arceus-Dark: 187-220 (42.2 - 49.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
 

avocado

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#42
I played a lot on that quag balance team and I think darkceus is the weakest link imo. I found it nice for checking random psychic/ghost mons (Lunala, ghosteus, deoxys, not sure how common these are but I came across them a few times) but otherwise it just doesn't do anything tbh. The team is MASSIVELY weak to pdon so having a pdon check instead is probably better. like the team seriously just loses to pdon .-.
 
#43
It really isn't that weak to Pdon imo, you just have to play around it with Mray/ho-oh and quag, but i agree..replacing dark ceus with something more useful would be better imo
 

avocado

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#44
It really isn't that weak to Pdon imo, you just have to play around it with Mray/ho-oh and quag, but i agree..replacing dark ceus with something more useful would be better imo
I really wouldn't wanna play around it with mega ray since it's the team's wincon.. how I played around it was toxic and sack one of the arceus to it while dealing damage, enough for mega ray to take it out with dragon ascent afterwards.

when your only solution to a huge threat in the metagame is having to sack something every time, there's a problem imo.
 

Chloe

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#46
I played a lot on that quag balance team and I think darkceus is the weakest link imo. I found it nice for checking random psychic/ghost mons (Lunala, ghosteus, deoxys, not sure how common these are but I came across them a few times) but otherwise it just doesn't do anything tbh. The team is MASSIVELY weak to pdon so having a pdon check instead is probably better. like the team seriously just loses to pdon .-.
When I built it, Rayquaza wasn't intended for the late game but rather eliminating threats that Ho-Oh and the support arcs couldn't bust through. Eliminating PDon and Water arceus early on was the intention. Darkceus is important because Deo + Lele teams are somewhat prevalent high ladder and balance struggles with it unless it has a solid answer. The two Support Arc formes should regardless be able to handle PDon assuming they're not sd variants. If you planned to run this in a Deo-less environment then go ahead and replace the Darkceus with something else.

It doesn't just lose to pdon lol what
 
#47
Are there any pokemon in the tier that can handle lunala and primal groundon?
Arceus Dark makes a good go, particularly Calm Mind+Iron Defense sets. However, most pokemon in the tier, and particularly Primal Groudon, have few-to-no counters at the best of times, so certain sets will still defeat even Calm Mind+Iron Defense Arceus Dark. Failing that, Yveltal and Shadow Claw Extreme Killer Arceus can work in a pinch, or Ho-Oh for certain Primal Groudon sets.


Also Chloe. Link resources in OP, we have them now.
 

Funbot28

Breaking hearts since '09
is a Pre-Contributor
#48
Well the day is finally upon us... Pokebank is now live meaning that Fissure No Guard Machamp will be upon us...

Rip stall

Nah but in all seriousness though do you guys think that it will actually have a huge impact on the metagame? For me personally we will have to see, but a move that can just take down any wall in one hit (especially under Gravity) sounds pretty ridiculous to me. Hopefully that low speed Stat will save the meta.

Edit: Confimed that all Gen 1 mons being transferred over only come with their Hidden Abilities, so RIP Fissure No GuardMachamp, I Guess Game Freak did not want to make the same mistake like Shadow Tag Chandelure.

At least Counter Sash Alakazam would be cool for offense (credit to Thimo for thinking bout that).
 
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#50
Saw hunter using the other day, and i got to say it's pretty good, but...the best thing about eleceus is the suprise factor imo cause no one expects it these days. usually replacing it with another arc is almost always a better choice