Differences Between BW OU and Dream World Written by Birkal, Engineer Pikachu, Harsha, Joeyboy, Mafeking, Steamroll. Introduction Hello, and welcome to the exciting metagame that is Dream World! This guide seeks to explain the differences between the BW OU and the Dream World metagames. It includes discussion on Pokemon that currently don't exist within BW OU, both unreleased and currently banned, and provides information on Pokemon that have gained new abilities and egg moves from the Dream World. We'll be discussing which tactics are prevalent within this metagame and not BW OU, from the re-addition of pinch Berries to strategies that prevent Shadow Tag from wrecking your team. Brand New Threats Genesect One of the most dangerous new threats in the Dream World metagame, Genesect can rip holes through unprepared teams with impressive base 120 offensive stats and access to Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, Fire Blast, and STAB U-turn. Its excellent Bug / Steel typing gives it many opportunities to switch in as well. To further add to Genesect's offensive presence, its ability, Download, raises either of its offensive stats by one stage upon switching in. The key to stopping Genesect is exploiting its base 99 Speed stat, which leaves it easily outsped by base 100 Speed Pokemon, such as Salamence, Volcarona, and Jirachi. However, please note that Genesect is almost always run with Choice Scarf; plan accordingly when attempting to stop it. Also note that Genesect has access to Rock Polish, which can make it a fierce late-game sweeper. Keldeo Although Keldeo's movepool is limited, it is enough to get the job done. With access to Hydro Pump and a massive base 129 Special Attack stat, Keldeo can muscle through the bulkiest of special walls. This insane power can be further boosted via Calm Mind, Choice Specs, and the abundant rain provided by Politoed. Keldeo also has access to a great move in Secret Sword, which hits the likes of Blissey on their weaker Defense. Rounding out Keldeo's coverage is the choice between Hidden Power Ghost or Hidden Power Ice; in addition to hitting Latios and Latias, the former also covers Jellicent, and the latter Dragonite. However, the aforementioned Pokemon can either easily wall or beat down any Keldeo that lacks the appropriate Hidden Power. Keldeo is also stopped by strong attacks from faster Pokemon, such as Thundurus and Tornadus, who can use the rain to fire off a super effective STAB Thunder or Hurricane, respectively. Meloetta Meloetta is not too common in the Dream World metagame, but she is a versatile threat nonetheless. Her signature move, Relic Song, lets her change between two formes: Aria and Pirouette. The former has great base 128 Special Attack and Special Defense, which make her a great Calm Mind user and special attacker, while the latter takes on a more hyper-offensive approach with base 128 Attack and Speed. However, the most potent strategy takes advantage of the forme switch of Relic Song; counters to the Aria forme, such as Tyranitar, fall to the Pirouette forme's Close Combat, for example. This can either destroy troublesome opponents or force switches; entry hazards are therefore a welcome support option. Threats that are Banned from BW OU Deoxys-S The premier hazard setter from BW OU of old is still around in the Dream World metagame, and is still as unpredictable as ever with the greatest support movepool in the game. Access to Stealth Rock, Spikes, Taunt, Reflect, Light Screen, Rain Dance, and Sunny Day really diversify Deoxys-S and make it a dangerous opponent to face. Deoxys-S also has a wide attacking movepool to delve into; it can surprise a ton of switch-ins with attacks such as Ice Beam, Focus Blast, Superpower, Psychic, and Thunderbolt. Deoxys-S is one of the most threatening Pokemon in the metagame, so take caution when facing it. Nonetheless, there are a few ways to stop Deoxys-S from setting up Spikes or dual screens. Of these, the most notable is Prankster Taunt from Pokemon such as Thundurus, as they can always outspeed Deoxys-S and shut it down. As Deoxys-S is often a suicide lead that does not stick around for long after providing hazard or screens support, there are a few other ways to thwart its strategy, such as by spinning right after Deoxys-S faints, and using Brick Break while Deoxys-S is setting up screens. Excadrill Excadrill is the crux of many a sand team, as its Sand Rush ability makes it the fastest Pokemon in the game in sand, and it possesses a highly threatening Attack stat as well. Excadrill has a limited movepool, but pseudo-EdgeQuake coverage and Swords Dance are often more than enough. Furthermore, it has access to Rapid Spin and can easily pull one off, as Ghost-types that attempt to spinblock risk being KOed by Rock Slide. This makes Excadrill a great team supporter, a potent sweeper, as well as a reliable revenge killer. Breloom easily checks Excadrill with a Technician-boosted Mach Punch, and Gliscor and Skarmory can wall it and either KO it or phaze it out, respectively. Another way to stop Excadrill is to simply change the weather, as this will bring it back to its abysmal base 88 Speed and open up many more checks to dispatch this monster. Garchomp Despite being booted out of BW OU and into Ubers, Garchomp is one of the most frightening suspects to have been allowed a second chance in the Dream World metagame. With Sand Veil at its disposal, not even completely accurate moves can reliably beat down Garchomp. It even works well on sun and rain teams due to its great coverage, bulk, versatility, and ability to check sand teams, the most common type of team in DW OU. Garchomp's capability to choose between both a Substitute + Swords Dance set and a Choice Scarf set makes it particularly terrifying. Its base 102 Speed is quite good for the fast-paced Dream World metagame, though it is outsped by key threats such as Thundurus, Keldeo, and Choice Scarf Genesect. Manaphy The most dangerous Pokemon under rain, Manaphy, must always be treated as a threat that you should eliminate as soon as possible. With the Hydration ability and access to Rest, Manaphy gets instant recovery under rain, which grants it far greater longevity than other sweepers. Manaphy also has access to two great boosting moves in Calm Mind and Tail Glow, both of which make it a dangerous threat once it gets a boost. Access to Surf and Ice Beam gives Manaphy great coverage, but it leaves it completely walled by Jellicent even with plenty of boosts under its belt. Other ways of dispatching of Manaphy include Thundurus's Thunder, or simply by changing the weather to deprive it of instant recovery. Even outside of weather, however, Manaphy must still be treated with extreme caution, as once it acquires enough boosts, the game is pretty much over. Thundurus Boasting excellent 115 / 125 offenses, Thundurus hits hard right off the bat. With a great ability in Prankster and access to key moves in Thunder Wave, Taunt, Substitute, Toxic, and Nasty Plot, Thundurus can get the jump on faster opponents, especially ones that are equipped with a Choice Scarf. Thundurus also has a very good Speed stat; at base 111 Speed, it outruns Gengar, Keldeo, Terrakion, Garchomp, Latios, and Latias, and can smack them with powerful STAB Thunder or Hidden Power Ice. Additionally, Thundurus can use Volt Switch to scout the opponent, but it needs to be careful of Ground-types, such as Quagsire, Gastrodon, and Excadrill, which can switch in for free and completely wall Thundurus, although the latter must be wary of Hammer Arm. Old Pokemon, New Tricks Breloom Breloom is a common sight in Dream World due to its amazing new ability, Technician, which grants it the ability to handily KO troublesome Pokemon such as Excadrill and Keldeo. While it is limited in coverage with only Bullet Seed, Mach Punch, and Drain Punch, it is still a deadly sweeper because of Swords Dance. Breloom often holds a Shed Shell because Chandelure resists everything Breloom can throw at it and has the ability to trap and set up on Breloom. Dragonite too is an amazing counter because of its powerful moves and resistances to Breloom's most common attacks. Chandelure Chandelure might have been given the biggest blessing of all from the Dream World: Shadow Tag lets it effectively set up on many Pokemon that cannot touch it, such as Blissey and Breloom. In fact, these Pokemon are often forced to hold Shed Shell to escape the wrath of Chandelure. With Substitute, Chandelure can avoid Blissey's Toxic or Thunder Wave and begin its rampage, as it is immune to Seismic Toss and takes a pittance from Ice Beam and Flamethrower. Chandelure also has plenty of boosting options, including Flame Charge and Calm Mind. Alternatively, Choice Scarf Chandelure is the most common revenge killer used in DW OU, and can often clear the field effectively despite the presence of Pursuit users such as Tyranitar. With Shadow Ball and either Flamethrower or Fire Blast, Chandelure has plenty of coverage against foes not named Heatran, and it can utterly decimate opposing teams. All in all, Chandelure is a noteworthy threat that one should play against with great caution; locking a Choice Band user into ExtremeSpeed could often spell inevitable doom if the opponent has Chandelure. Ditto While it still might not look like much, Ditto became a force with the advent of the Dream World. Imposter enables it to become the opposing Pokemon, stat boosts and all! Choice Scarf Ditto is a fantastic revenge killer, as it will be able to take down the opponent and simply switch out, making the opponent pay for any stat boosts he or she had obtained. Imposter has its downfalls, however. Firstly, it is thwarted by Substitute; secondly, each copied move only has 5 PP. One thing to note is that one must set Ditto's IVs to achieve the desired Hidden Power, as Ditto will have the default Hidden Power Dark if its IVs are left untouched. Golurk Dream World gives the otherwise rarely used Golurk access to what was once Machamp's exclusive ability, No Guard. With a base 124 Attack stat and guaranteed confusion from DynamicPunch, Golurk is certain to pack a deadly punch against many threats that are not prepared to take it on. Additionally, Golurk's Ghost / Ground typing nets it a handy Fighting-type immunity, fantastic dual STAB, and spinblocking capability. This same typing, however, is not the greatest defensively, as the rise of Multiscale Dragonite has led to a surge in Ice-type attacks; Water-type moves are as common as ever, too. A poor Speed stat and only average defenses force Golurk to be a rather situational threat as it will not get many opportunities to boost its Speed with Rock Polish, but when Golurk hits—and it always will—the resulting blow is devastating. Raikou In Dream World, Raikou gains the Volt Absorb ability, and along with that, a new lease on life. Volt Absorb is incredibly useful as it helps Raikou stop two huge influences in the Dream World metagame: Thundurus and Volt Switch. In fact, Raikou boasts the title of being one of the few true counters to Thundurus, as it can survive any Nasty Plot-boosted hit and swiftly revenge kill Thundurus with its powerful STAB Electric-type attacks without worry of Thunder Wave, to boot. Furthermore, Raikou can be a solid answer to VoltTurn teams, as it can come in on Rotom-A's Volt Switch and proceed to severely dent the switch-in; it can even use Hidden Power Fire to stop the Bug / Steel types that tend to accompany Rotom-A. Scrafty Scrafty is known for its top-notch abilities, and thanks to the Dream World, it can add another one onto its resume: Intimidate. Intimidate, which lowers the Attack stat of the opponent's Pokemon by one stage upon switching in, is widely regarded as one of the most powerful abilities a Pokemon can have. It grants Scrafty numerous new opportunities to begin setting up with moves such as Bulk Up and Dragon Dance; thanks to Intimidate and its awesome natural bulk, it is not hard for Scrafty to gain even two Dragon Dance boosts. Serperior Though a rare sight in BW OU, Serperior is a common menace in Dream World due to its ability, Contrary. With Contrary reversing the drawback of Leaf Storm—a sharp decrease in Special Attack—Serperior is able to grow continuously more powerful while repeatedly firing off high-powered attacks and easily nabbing momentum; while its coverage is limited mainly to Leaf Storm and Hidden Power, a neutral hit from either move will still pack a punch once Serperior gains a couple of boosts. Furthermore, Serperior possesses a plethora of support options, such as dual screens, Leech Seed, Glare, and Substitute, all of which can give the opponent a hard time. Once it has a few turns to repeatedly use Leaf Storm, Serperior becomes a gigantic threat; however, dispatching it with several strong blows as soon as possible will preclude this from happening. Venusaur Venusaur's perks make it a very useful Pokemon on sun teams. In sun, its Chlorophyll ability doubles its Speed stat, and Growth boosts both of its attacking stats, which combine to make it a potent sweeper of sorts. Giga Drain, in addition to providing STAB, also helps Venusaur stick around for a while. Furthermore, Venusaur has a diverse movepool to tap into, which includes Substitute, Leech Seed, Sleep Powder, Sludge Bomb, and Hidden Power Fire. Venusaur is much more manageable after Sleep Clause has been activated, because Pokemon such as Heatran and Blissey can easily wall Venusaur, although the latter must be careful of mixed variants. Other ways to make Venusaur more manageable include changing the weather and crippling it with Prankster Thunder Wave, but one must still be careful of switching Politoed and Tyranitar into Venusaur's strong Grass-type attacks. New Strategies Shadow Tag and Shed Shell Upon receiving Shadow Tag as its Dream World ability, Chandelure has made a huge impact on the metagame by being able to trap any Pokemon it switches in on. The item Shed Shell thus becomes a highly enticing option for the likes of Blissey, Skarmory, and Breloom; sacrificing Leftovers recovery or a Life Orb power boost is a small price to pay for Pokemon that would otherwise be a free kill or complete setup bait. On the flip side, two common Pokemon that can completely stop Chandelure are Tyranitar and Heatran. Tyranitar is not easily KOed by even boosted Fire Blasts and can trap Chandelure with Pursuit, while Heatran can snag a Flash Fire boost and force Chandelure out. When battling, taking away Chandelure's trapping will give you the upper hand. Finally, note that Chandelure cannot trap other Shadow Tag users, including other Chandelure. Pinch Berries The stat-boosting Berries are an underrated threat in the Dream World metagame that can turn a check into setup fodder. There are nine in total, but only three will see use, namely Petaya, Liechi, and Salac, which raise Special Attack, Attack, and Speed, respectively. Users of these Berries commonly carry Substitute as well; making three consecutive Substitutes is a safe and reliable way to activate the Berry. Prime examples of pinch Berry users include SubPetaya Empoleon and Drifblim. Conclusion Well, those are some of the new, exciting surprises that Dream World has to offer! Don't be alarmed, though; many of your favorite Pokemon are still present and viable to use. It's a fun change of pace from the slower OU metagame, and is enjoyable for just about any player looking for quick battles. Why not take advantage of all the fun, unbanned threats and try out Dream World play for yourself? It is an exciting metagame and will surely not disappoint!