This is a DP continuation of the much-liked Advance metagame analyses by McGraw. I will chronicle the various standards and strategies of the DP metagame as they develop. Everything here is from my opinion. We'll start from the absolute beginning of competitive Diamond/Pearl in America, the introduction of the Uncharted Territory forum to the other Smogon boards. Many of the ideas and standards used in the metagame right now were developed at this point, and there are a few notable introductions and shifts: * At first, Swords Dance Garchomp was hyped up to insane proportions. There was talk of sending it to uber, "how can anyone deal with this", you name it, it was there. Then finally more sane voices prevailed and realized that it's strong, but it's not too bad and in fact there were numerous ways to deal with it, including even the old Advance bulky waters updated for DP (Slowbro and Swampert). * Jumpman16 introduced the idea of Choice Specs Salamence, which quickly caught on and is currently the preferred Salamence set today. It was also quickly decided that Darkrai was uber, as was Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, and Arceus. There were some silly voices calling for the un-ubering of Ho-Oh and even Rayquaza, but these were generally ignored and laughed at. Then comes the state of the metagame from the American release of Diamond/Pearl to today. Things have remained basically as predicted from the month before the release. DP is a more offense-oriented game than Advance but it is not entirely offense-based; teams still include components like walls and pack a lot of defensive-oriented things. Don't plan on seeing any stall however; it is noticably harder to wall physical attackers and even Blissey has some trouble with special attackers; taking hits now, especially on the physical side, depends more on resistances than a high defensive stat and lack of weaknesses. Now I will move on to individual pokemon. Blissey is everywhere and is as much a whore as always. Sing Blissey has recently become massively popular and is a serious problem for anyone who simply switches their unprepared physical sweeper in on it. Aromatherapy and Heal Bell is not seen nearly as much. Expect to see a lot of Blissey for a long time -- it still does a great job of walling most special attackers. Cresselia is used a lot to wall most physical attackers, but the only thing it really does is wall and set up Reflects. Electivire has seen use, and the vaunted Gyarados-Electivire combo works. Despite its prevalence in RMTs, the combo has been surprisingly absent from most teams I have battled. Gallade has proved surprisingly popular, upsetting earlier ideas about how it would work (even by me). There is little reason it shouldn't be used too -- it has a wide range of status-inflicting support moves, it is capable of taking special hits, and that attack stat combined with a fighting move of such ridiculous power is nothing to laugh at. I suspect Gallade popularity to have peaked however, and while it will probably go down I expect that Gallade will remain OU. Garchomp is still widely-used. Despite being somewhat predictable and having a common weakness, it is still powerful and difficult to deal with. I don't expect Garchomp usage to decline any time soon. It is not so easy to sweep teams with this as everyone expected it would be. Gengar is on practically every team, though I'm not sure why. You had best figure out a way to deal with it. Gyarados is everywhere, but people are much better at dealing with it. Despite that, Electivire and its volt-absorbing friends do not seem to be paired with it as much. Infernape is rare. This is a shift from the early days of the American D/P release, when it was quite common. I suspect that everyone realized how difficult it was to switch in and didn't enjoy playing with essentially a team of five pokemon until later in the game, and thus stopped using it. Magnezone does not see much use, despite its amazing stats and Skarmory-trapping ability. Manaphy is as dangerous as everyone expected it to be and there is talk of sending it to the uber tier. Ninjask is practically nonexistant, probably due to the new and improved Taunt shutting down a lot of old BP team ideas, where BP teams accounted for a large number of Ninjasks used. However, it should catch on when people let their guard down and don't use Taunt or a good pseudohazer and realize that Ninjask can help more than just the BP team. Skarmory still enjoys quite a bit of use. Despite things hitting harder in general, it now gets that 50% recovery move it always wanted and Shed Shell to escape the now-evolved Magneton. However, most people are eschewing the Shed Shell on their Skarmories. Will Magnezone use increase because of this? We'll see. I predict that when people start realizing the use of Skarmory is less than it was in Advance, we will see a rise in CB normals, and then another surge in Skarmory usage. Snorlax is never seen. This is likely due to the fact that DP special attackers hit a lot harder than they did in Advance thanks to choice specs. However, I predict that rest-talk Snorlax will make a comeback when everyone gets sick of Blissey. Tyranitar has only seen moderate use, instead of being on virtually every team. I suspect this is to do with the speed of wifi battling, which Sandstorm slows down considerably. Once Competitor is released, expect to see a surge of Tyranitar usage. As far as teams in general go, there are a lot of teams out there attempting to merely counter specific pokemon instead of trying to do their own thing or run some strategy, even if it's as simple as setting up for a sweep. As a result, using some unusual pokemon has gotten excellent results because people simply don't know how to deal with them. Baton Passing Ambipom and Sucker Punching Honchkrow are ood examples of simply unusual pokemon that can inflict critical damage to people with counter-teams when they simply don't know how to deal with these. If nothing else, this shows how the element of surprise is as important as ever. The metagame has been advancing at a rather slow pace at this point due to the nature of wifi battling. Expect a much more fast-paced advancement when Competitor is released and battles can happen at the click of a mouse. That's all for now. Expect more in-depth analyses when Competitor is released and I can view and play many more battles with many more teams.