Metagame Follow the Leader

#26
I remember seeing this meta last gen, but I never really tried it out. As my first dive into theorymonning for Follow the Leader, I thought I'd take a look at a powerful new Pokemon with an arguably hindering ability:

Wishiwashi
Golisopod

Golisopod has poor Speed and Sp. Attack, but good Sp. Defense, great Attack, and amazing Defense. In addition, STAB moves such as Aqua Tail, X-Scissor, and U-turn are fairly common, and U-turn in particular works really well with Golisopod's speed, bulk, and firepower to make him a hard-hitting pivot.

When making the sets, I tried to make sure the leader was good for more than just Golisopod, and I left the sets unfinished so that the basic idea was more visible. Also, remember that this is my first time exploring this meta, so take things with a grain of salt.

Barbaracle @ White Herb
Ability: Tough Claws
- Shell Smash
- X-Scissor
- Razor Shell

Barbaracle has a few things going for it as a leader. Firstly, Shell Smash is sexy move. Secondly, it learns a large variety of both physical and special moves. Thirdly, all three of its abilities are useful; Tough Claws powers up contact moves (which includes Grass Knot for special attackers), Pickpocket can fill the void left by a Focus Sash or White Herb, and Sniper makes your critical hits extra-critical in case Tough Claws and Pickpocket don't sound appealing.

As for Golisopod, his huge bulk allows him plenty of room to set up a Shell Smash, and since he's rather slow, he might even be able to go for a second boost without worrying about being hit after lowering his defenses.


Scolipede @ Leftovers
Ability: Speed Boost
- Megahorn / X-Scissor
- Aqua Tail
- Swords Dance

Scolipede would probably make a decent leader. Its physical movepool is fairly deep, though its special movepool is lacking. However, its biggest strength is Speed Boost, which speaks for itself.

Thanks to his huge bulk, Golisopod can safely set up a Swords Dance or two and tank hits while it waits for Speed Boost to raise his low speed to something more threatening. Also, following Scolipede grants Golisopod access to Megahorn, though X-Scissor is an option if you're a wimp you're worried about missing.


Nidoking
Ability: Poison Point / Sheer Force
- Megahorn
- Aqua Tail

Nidoking has already been established as an amazing leader, so I'll skip right to Golisopod. I get that Sheer Force is one of the big reasons why Nidoking is such a great leader, but since Golisopod's STABs don't have secondary effects, Poison Point might be better, since it synergizes with Golisopod's physical bulk. I guess it would depend on what you chose to run in those last two slots. Oh yeah, and Megahorn.

Rhyperior
Ability: Lightning Rod / Solid Rock
- Megahorn
- Aqua Tail

Rhyperior's movepool is pretty similar to Nidoking's, though its abilities are more defensive in nature. Lightning Rod makes Golisopod immune to Electric instead of weak, while Solid Rock trades immunity to one weakness for reduced damage from all of them.


Toxapex
Ability: Regenerator / Merciless
- Pin Missile
- Liquidation

Toxapex probably isn't the best choice of leader for Golisopod, but it has its perks. Pin Missile can be pretty strong if you're lucky, Regenorator makes up for Stealth Rock damage, and Merciless offers extra firepower.


Pelipper @ Leftovers
Ability: Rain Dish
- U-turn
- Scald
- Pursuit

I'm not sure how viable of a leader Pelipper is, but has a few things going for it. It has the nifty ability combo of Drizzle + Rain Dish, and it learns a few odd moves like Gunk Shot and Seed Bomb.

By following Pelipper, Golisopod finally gains access to U-turn. Pelipper unfortunately lacks any physical Water attacks, though STAB, rain, and burns might make Scald a worthwhile choice despite Golisopod's low Sp. Attack. Finally, Pursuit pairs well with U-turn to give Golisopod even more tools for controlling momentum.


Tornadus-Therian @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
- U-turn

Tornadus has a pretty funky movepool and a great ability. Tornadus-T is probably the best leader for Golisopod to abuse U-turn, as Regenererator both makes up for his Stealth Rock weakness and allows Golisopod to use an Assault Vest to have insane defense on both sides.


Necrozma
Ability: Prism Armor
- X-Scissor
- Swords Dance
- Trick Room

Necrozma's movepool is very varied (heh) and its ability is pretty good. By having Golisopod or a teammate set up Trick Room, Golisopod can put his slow speed to good use. Unfortunately, Necrozma lacks any Water attacks, but it still gets X-Scissor.

Mew
Ability: Synchronize
- Leech Life
- Waterfall / Aqua Tail
- U-turn
- Swords Dance

I've only just realized how insane Mew's movepool truly is. Anyway, in a Trick Room setting, Mew provides Golisopod with Water STAB, coveted Bug STAB in Leech Life, and U-turn to retreat when you're almost out of Trick Room turns.

Slowbro @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Regenerator
- Aqua Tail
- Belly Drum
- Trick Room
- Fury Cutter

As a leader, Slowbro and his brother Slowking offer a wide variety of physical and special attacks (not many Water types learn Fire Blast), reliable recovery from Slack Off, two useful abilities in Oblivious and Regenerator, and powerful setup moves like Trick Room and Belly Drum.

Speaking of Trick Room and Belly Drum, Golisopod benefits heavily from following Slowbro. Golisopod's bulk makes it much easier to set up with Belly Drum and Trick Room (though you could opt to run extra coverage and let someone else set up Trick Room) and thanks to Regenerator, it can potentially do so several times throughout the match. Unfortunately, Slowbro's only physical Bug move is Fury Cutter. Because Golisopod will be switching out frequently to heal or reset Trick Room, Fury Cutter is an even worse option than usual. Still, it's there if you're just itching for some Bug STAB, I guess.


Dragonite
Ability: Multiscale
- Dragon Dance / Hone Claws
- Waterfall / Aqua Tail
- Extreme Speed / Aqua Jet
- Fury Cutter

We all know Dragonite is a great leader. Its ability is fantastic, its movepool is enormous, and it has access to valuable moves such as Roost, Heal Bell, Defog, and Extreme Speed.

Of those valuable moves, Golisopod only really directly benefits from Extreme Speed, though Aqua Jet is also an option if you value PP and super effectiveness over Extreme Speed's higher raw power. Dragonite also gets two setup moves that Golisopod can benefit from. Faster builds can use Dragon Dance to boost Golisopod's speed to more workable levels, and maybe get a few Waterfall flinches, while bulkier builds can use Hone Claws to boost the accuracy of moves like Aqua Tail. Like Slowbro, Dragonite's only physical Bug move is Fury Cutter (apparently its horn is too small to use Megahorn), but unlike with Slowbro, these Golisopod are less likely to switch out, and may even have an accuracy boost, so maybe Fury Cutter isn't such a horrible option. Maybe.


Masquerain
Ability: Intimidate
- Aqua Jet
- Lunge
- U-turn
- Fell Stinger

I honestly think Masquerain would make for a great leader. It has access to Quiver Dance, and a colorful special movepool to back it up (Bug, Flying, Water, Grass, Ice, Ghost, plus Psychic and Ground if you count Psybeam and Mud Shot). It has a ton of options for speed control between Sticky Web, Tail Wind, and Stun Spore. It has Roost for recovery. It has Defog for the hazards that you'll definitely want gone. Intimidate means that you lower your opponent's attack every time you switch, and it even gets Haze to deal with Contrary. Masquerain also received a significant offensive stat buff this gen, so it's not like it's only good for its moves and ability.

That said, Masquerain's physical options are quite limited, though they suit Golisopod very well. I've already gone over Aqua Jet and U-turn, but Lunge lowers the opponent's attack even more, and Fell Stinger combined with Aqua Jet could make Golisopod terrifying late-game (though maybe don't pair it with U-Turn).


Murkrow
Ability: Prankster
- Perish Song
- Mean Look
- Roost
- Pursuit

Are Perish Trap teams a thing? If they're not, then maybe Murkrow could make it a thing. I mean, its got the Perish Trap combo, Prankster Roost keeps everyone healthy, and Pursuit deals with pesky Ghosts and VoltTurners.

Golisopod would work well on a theoretical Perish Trap team. It's bulky, so it will likely survive long enough for the trap to work. It's slow, so in a last-mon situation, it will likely faint last. And it's strong, so its Pursuits would hurt.


Accelgor
Ability: Hydration
- U-turn
- Water Shuriken
- Leech Life

This last one is more of a look at what could have been. Last generation, Water Shuriken was physical, so Golisopod would have been able to use it to great extent. This gen, Water Shuriken is now special, but Leech Life was buffed dramatically. If Golisopod, physical Water Shuriken, and buffed Leech Life had all existed at the same time, we could have had something wonderful. *plays Taps*


I've also got a few non-Golisopod related ideas.
Xurkitree
Ability: Soul-Heart
- Shift Gear
- Thunderbolt
- Ice Beam
- Hidden Power [Fire] / Focus Blast / Aura Spear

Xurkitree gains so much from following Magearna. In exchange for losing access to Tail Glow, Xurkitree is able to boost its speed past +1, has stronger coverage, and Soul-Heart is strictly better than Beast Boost for Xurk.


Raichu-Alola @ Terrain Extender
Ability: Surge Surfer
- Electric Terrain

Alolan Raichu could potentially make for an interesting leader. Its movepool has a lot of variety, but more importantly, it gives everyone on your team Surge Surfer and access to the move Electric Terrain. Combined with the new Terrain Extender item, you can manually set the terrain, and for next 8 turns all of your mons have their speed doubled.


Buzzwole
Ability: Contrary
- Superpower
- Trick Room

Pretty self explanatory. I'm assuming Spinda is the go-to mon for Contrary, as its movepool is by far the deepest.


Pidgeot-Mega @ Pidgeotite
Ability: Multiscale / Intimidate
- Hurricane
- Thunder
- Blizzard
- Fire Blast / Focus Blast

I'm positive I'm not the first person to come up with this. Anyway, Gyarados got Hurricane this gen, and Focus Blast only works with Dragonite.


Donphan @ Shell Bell
Ability: Sturdy
- Endeavor
- Ice Shard

This isn't really an idea. More like a plea that this doesn't actually work the way I think it does. Donphan is the only Pokemon with access to the ungodly combination of Sturdy, Endeavor, and priority, but thankfully evolves to late for the FEAR strategy to work. If Donphan is the leader, could it pass the combo onto a Level 1 Pokemon?
 
#27
Ah, it's nice to see that meta again.
Anyway, here's two nice leaders :

Togekiss is awesome.
It gives a lot of useful things to the team, like Espeed, Hustle, Serene Grace + Air Slash, Nasty Plot, Super Luck + Tailwind (for Flyinium Z shenanigans) , Defog, Reflect and Light Screen, Trick, Thunder Wave, Heal Bell, lots of good special moves (including Aura Sphere and Water Pulse for Blastoise-Mega even if nobody cares about that) ...


Zygarde got a really nice buff with Sun and Moon. Now you can enjoy giving your team moves like Espeed (all over again) , Core Enforcer, Thousand Arrows, Thousand Waves, Coil and Dragon Dance. Scared ?
 
#28
Donphan @ Shell Bell
Ability: Sturdy
- Endeavor
- Ice Shard

This isn't really an idea. More like a plea that this doesn't actually work the way I think it does. Donphan is the only Pokemon with access to the ungodly combination of Sturdy, Endeavor, and priority, but thankfully evolves to late for the FEAR strategy to work. If Donphan is the leader, could it pass the combo onto a Level 1 Pokemon?
Since you can't have a Donphan before level 25, you can't have a Pokémon below level 25 inherit from Donphan.
 
#29
Since you can't have a Donphan before level 25, you can't have a Pokémon below level 25 inherit from Donphan.
Thats not true. Any follower, no matter the level, gains access to any set the leader can run; in affect, they copy the leaders set but leave the specimen itself untouched. Thus, shinyness, level, and gender are unimportant (and thus you can have any pokemon following a latias), but you cant have illegal comboes like Unaware+softboiled Chansey.
 
#30
Thats not true. Any follower, no matter the level, gains access to any set the leader can run; in affect, they copy the leaders set but leave the specimen itself untouched. Thus, shinyness, level, and gender are unimportant (and thus you can have any pokemon following a latias), but you cant have illegal comboes like Unaware+softboiled Chansey.
Sadly, on the way Follow the Leader is coded on the Dragonheaven server, level does matter.
Should i report that as a bug ?
 
#31
Sadly, on the way Follow the Leader is coded on the Dragonheaven server, level does matter.
Should i report that as a bug ?
Spandan could you fix this? The idea is that the follower is "doing the same thing" as the leader does, not that they literally level up with the same moves and have the same events. I don't know if this also applies to shiny and gender (I hope not on the second one, for sure), but those would also not be intended mechanics.
 
#32
Thats not true. Any follower, no matter the level, gains access to any set the leader can run; in affect, they copy the leaders set but leave the specimen itself untouched. Thus, shinyness, level, and gender are unimportant (and thus you can have any pokemon following a latias), but you cant have illegal comboes like Unaware+softboiled Chansey.
I tried that same Donphan set gen 6, and teambuilder said it was invalid because you can't have a Donphan below level 25.
 

G-Luke

We Eat Losers
is a Pre-Contributor
#33
Spandan could you fix this? The idea is that the follower is "doing the same thing" as the leader does, not that they literally level up with the same moves and have the same events. I don't know if this also applies to shiny and gender (I hope not on the second one, for sure), but those would also not be intended mechanics.
Actually that was how it was intended, as anything the leader cannot do, the follower cant as well. I am not so sure about level, but events and shinies applied last gen. Anyways, it can be removed if you wish, was just giving a history lesson.

Speaking of that, the code last gen had a loophole that allowed Mega Medicham (and I assume now Mega Mawile).
 
#34
Actually that was how it was intended, as anything the leader cannot do, the follower cant as well. I am not so sure about level, but events and shinies applied last gen. Anyways, it can be removed if you wish, was just giving a history lesson.

Speaking of that, the code last gen had a loophole that allowed Mega Medicham (and I assume now Mega Mawile).
Ah, thats good to know; I suppose I didn't explore lower level mons enough last gen. Still, I think for consistancy I'd still prefer it this way, as Gender isnt an issue (and I think it would hurt the meta concept to make it on).

In other news, Centinela has graciously prodvided a banner for this metagame.
 

MattL

I have discovered a truly remarkable CT which this box is t-
is a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus
#36
Araquanid @ Damp Rock
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Impish Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Rain Dance
- Scald
- Toxic
- Mirror Coat

Manaphy @ Waterium Z
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Rain Dance
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Hidden Power [Grass]

Gyarados @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Liquidation
- Poison Jab
- Crunch
- Facade

Keldeo @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Hidden Power [Electric]
- Frost Breath

Swampert @ Choice Band
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Liquidation
- Crunch
- Leech Life
- Facade

Volcanion @ Choice Specs
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Hidden Power [Grass]
- Frost Breath

252+ SpA Choice Specs Water Bubble Volcanion Surf vs. 252 HP / 24 SpD Toxapex in Rain: 264-312 (86.8 - 102.6%) that is not a counter

what else do you need

this should probably be banned
 
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#40
I wouldn't recommend Shaymin as a leader - it has a pretty shallow movepool, even for itself.
Dazzling Gleam, Earth Power, Energy Ball, Giga Impact, Hyper Beam, Last Resort, Leaf Storm, Psychic, Seed Bomb, Seed Flare, Solar Beam, Zen Headbutt

Natural Cure isn't the best abilty, and you're pretty much forced to run all special attackers which could pose a problem.
 
#42
So... this is a thing
Araquanid @ Assault Vest
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Liquidation
- Lunge
- Crunch
- Poison Jab

Greninja @ Waterium-Z
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpA / 8 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Ice Beam
- Surf
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Scald

Gyarados @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Crunch
- Liquidation
- Leech Life
- Poison Jab

Don't run M-Gyara. It's liquidation becomes a lot worse and without dragon dance, you're better off just running scarf/band.

Buzzwole @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Leech Life
- Crunch
- Liquidation
- Stockpile

Now without risk of burn!

Golisopod @ Assault Vest
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Crunch
- Leech Life
- Liquidation
- Poison Jab

Remember that one time when you wouldn't be able to land a hit because your ability activated before you OHKO with a +2 Liquidation?

Marowak-Alola @ Thick Club
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Liquidation
- Crunch
- Leech Life
- Poison Jab


The most barren movepool known to man, but hot damn does it hit hard. I'm not sure if a quick ban is needed because of the absolute garbage coverage, but you know. It's pretty neat.
 
#43
So... this is a thing
Araquanid @ Assault Vest
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Liquidation
- Lunge
- Crunch
- Poison Jab

Greninja @ Waterium-Z
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpA / 8 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Ice Beam
- Surf
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Scald

Gyarados @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Crunch
- Liquidation
- Leech Life
- Poison Jab

Don't run M-Gyara. It's liquidation becomes a lot worse and without dragon dance, you're better off just running scarf/band.

Buzzwole @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Leech Life
- Crunch
- Liquidation
- Stockpile

Now without risk of burn!

Golisopod @ Assault Vest
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Crunch
- Leech Life
- Liquidation
- Poison Jab

Remember that one time when you wouldn't be able to land a hit because your ability activated before you OHKO with a +2 Liquidation?

Marowak-Alola @ Thick Club
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Liquidation
- Crunch
- Leech Life
- Poison Jab


The most barren movepool known to man, but hot damn does it hit hard. I'm not sure if a quick ban is needed because of the absolute garbage coverage, but you know. It's pretty neat.
I'd recommend a fast Greninja with 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe. It already has 122 base speed and 252 HP isn't making it much bulkier anyway. Otherwise, cool team.
Oh well. It was worth a try...

And I see your point. Was it okay for my first try?
Yeah, it was good for your first time. Seed Flare does look promising.
 
#46
In Gen 7, Spinda can't learn Leaf Storm
In Gen 7, Spinda can't learn Overheat
In Gen 7, Spinda can't learn Vacuum Wave

My point still stands, and I don't understand the point of your post
The point is that Fighting types can take advantage of Superpower with Contrary, while still getting access to other moves that can be useful.
 
#47
...You know that Malamar's probably the better choice to use as a leader, right? It also supports Special Attackers nicely, gets Taunt and Topsy-Turvy to mess with other setup, and while Malamar itself is a bit of a deadweight, it can still be a valid member/threat. ...Unfortunately, its movepool has a few very noticeable gaps...

Anyways, let's cover some of the newer leaders with potential.

Decidueye:

+ Gets Swords Dance and Nasty Plot, allowing for wallbreakers on both sides.
+ Gets recovery, pivoting, and Defog, allowing its followers a variety of roles.
+ Surprsingly diverse physical movepool.

- Special movepool is very disappointing, only offering its own STABs and Tri Attack.
- Cannot learn Taunt, leaving it without a way to break Unaware.
- Struggles with Steel types.

Gumshoos
+ STAKEOUT. Just... STAKEOUT.
+ Adaptability is a great secondary ability.

- Movepool is sparse, besides Earthquake and Crunch.
- Special movepool is nonexistent, and lacks recovery.
- Gumshoos itself is disappointing.

Toucannon
+ Beak Blast is incredible for walls, and it also gets recovery.
+ Skill Link with Rock Blast and Bullet Seed hurt with the right followers.
+ U-turn is a very good move that grabs momentum. Especially good with the offense provided here.
+ Swords Dance is a very scary prospect with Skill Link.
+ Special movepool is actually very nice in bashing steels, and gets Brick Break for the physical side, too.
+ Boomburst is also a thing to be worried about.

- Sadly, no special boosting moves leaves special attackers stuck with Specs, usually.
- Lack of Taunt makes Unaware breaking difficult.
- Cannot control or set hazards in any capability.

Toxapex (mentioned already, but doing so again does not hurt)
+ Regenerator is amazing.
+ Toxic Spikes and recovery to compliment Regenerator is also amazing.
+ Baneful Bunker is one of the best protection moves, if not one of the best moves period.
+ Has a decent offensive movepool for a wall, too. Scald in particular helps.
+ Toxapex itself is fairly potent.

- No boosting moves in sight leaves Steel types as huge problems.
- Cannot support some types of Pokémon without giving them no STAB moves.

Araquanid:
+ WATER BUBBLE.

- Movepool suffers greatly as a result.
- Highly limited in followers.
- No hazard control.

Shiinotic
+ Having the best healing move in the game is nice.
+ Having Spore is nice, too.
+ Aromatherapy gives a nice status immunity.

- Movepool, particularly on the physical side, is non-existent.
- With the movepool being what it is, obviously lacks hazard control.

Salazzle
+ Corrosion is super fun when you actually have bulk to abuse it with.
+ Taunt, Disable, AND Encore? Sign me up for the ultimate stallbreaker leader.
+ Nasty Plot makes setup sweepers possible and viable.
+ Actually has an average physical movepool, despite being a special attacker.
+ Somehow also learns Knock Off.

- Requires Hidden Power to fix coverage issues for the team's Special Attackers.
- No hazard control at all leaves the team vulnerable to being worn down.
- No recovery in sight besides Rest.


I'll cover some of the others later, maybe in another post.
 
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#48
...You know that Malamar's probably the better choice to use as a leader, right? It also supports Special Attackers nicely, gets Taunt and Topsy-Turvy to mess with other setup, and while Malamar itself is a bit of a deadweight, it can still be a valid member/threat. ...Unfortunately, its movepool has a few very noticeable gaps...

Anyways, let's cover some of the newer leaders with potential.

Decidueye:

+ Gets Swords Dance and Nasty Plot, allowing for wallbreakers on both sides.
+ Gets recovery, pivoting, and Defog, allowing its followers a variety of roles.
+ Surprsingly diverse physical movepool.

- Special movepool is very disappointing, only offering its own STABs and Tri Attack.
- Cannot learn Taunt, leaving it without a way to break Unaware.
- Struggles with Steel types.

Gumshoos
+ STAKEOUT. Just... STAKEOUT.
+ Adaptability is a great secondary ability.

- Movepool is sparse, besides Earthquake and Crunch.
- Special movepool is nonexistent, and lacks recovery.
- Gumshoos itself is disappointing.

Toucannon
+ Beak Blast is incredible for walls, and it also gets recovery.
+ Skill Link with Rock Blast and Bullet Seed hurt with the right followers.
+ U-turn is a very good move that grabs momentum. Especially good with the offense provided here.
+ Swords Dance is a very scary prospect with Skill Link.
+ Special movepool is actually very nice in bashing steels, and gets Brick Break for the physical side, too.
+ Boomburst is also a thing to be worried about.

- Sadly, no special boosting moves leaves special attackers stuck with Specs, usually.
- Lack of Taunt makes Unaware breaking difficult.
- Cannot control or set hazards in any capability.

Toxapex (mentioned already, but doing so again does not hurt)
+ Regenerator is amazing.
+ Toxic Spikes and recovery to compliment Regenerator is also amazing.
+ Baneful Bunker is one of the best protection moves, if not one of the best moves period.
+ Has a decent offensive movepool for a wall, too. Scald in particular helps.
+ Toxapex itself is fairly potent.

- No boosting moves in sight leaves Steel types as huge problems.
- Cannot support some types of Pokémon without giving them no STAB moves.

Araquanid:
+ WATER BUBBLE.

- Movepool suffers greatly as a result.
- Highly limited in followers.
- No hazard control.

Shiinotic
+ Having the best healing move in the game is nice.
+ Having Spore is nice, too.
+ Aromatherapy gives a nice status immunity.

- Movepool, particularly on the physical side, is non-existent.
- With the movepool being what it is, obviously lacks hazard control.

Salazzle
+ Corrosion is super fun when you actually have bulk to abuse it with.
+ Taunt, Disable, AND Encore? Sign me up for the ultimate stallbreaker leader.
+ Nasty Plot makes setup sweepers possible and viable.
+ Actually has an average physical movepool, despite being a special attacker.
+ Somehow also learns Knock Off.

- Requires Hidden Power to fix coverage issues for the team's Special Attackers.
- No hazard control at all leaves the team vulnerable to being worn down.
- No recovery in sight besides Rest.


I'll cover some of the others later, maybe in another post.
I forgot about Malamar, I was just trying to save that user's Infernape set.

As a leader I suggest Cloyster over Toucannon, this way great coverage with Icicle Spear, Rock Blast, Shell Smash, etc. will allow Focus Sash/White Herb Kyurem/Makoswine/Weavile to be a thing.
Plus access to Rapid Spin, Spikes, Self Destruct, etc.
 
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Wob

it's like we keep coming back for more...
is a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
#49
I've been using Kecleon a lot recently and it's hella good. It gets amazing coverage options with moves like Fire Blast, Ice Beam, Shadow Ball, and Thunderbolt on the special side and it also has a heavy physical movepool which notably includes the elemental punches, Knock Off, Drain Punch, Sucker Punch, Iron Tail and Rock Slide. I think the main reason to use it though (obviously besides Protean which is amazing) is the support options it gets; Stealth Rock, Nasty Plot, Thunder Wave, Trick, and most notably, reliable recovery with Recover. Obviously Greninja exists, which is a better Pokemon individually, but Kecleon's huge movepool makes it generally a much better pick imo.
 
#50
I love this meta and I'm glad it's back. I did some preliminary theorymonning for this and there are some new leaders that can really make a splash.

Golem-Alola: This thing looks like it has a lot of potential. It has a quite wide movepool, with good physical and special coverage and useful abilities, letting its team members fill a variety of archetypes. It can run Sturdy + SR + Explosion leads, Steel-trappers with Fire Blast, Focus Blast, or Earthquake, and Electric-type sweepers with Galvanize. EDIT: It also gets Nature Power for Galvanize Tri-Attack. They can somewhat overcome Golem-Alola's weakness to Ground-types with HP Ice, too. Another great move is Volt Switch, making choiced mons more viable. Golem-Alola seems kinda tricky to build around but could be worth it.

Bibarel: Bibarel teams have gained lots of good moves this go round, particularly, Swords Dance, Aqua Jet, and Crunch. The main idea is to set up rocks and break through teams with Simple Swords Dance-boosted priority from the likes of (Mega) Gyarados, with maybe a RestTalk unaware mon as filler to spread status. A Simple Charge Beam mon adds variety and gives the team some special breaking power. Overall Bibarel as a leader is significantly improved from last gen, where it was a mediocre choice.

Linoone: Linoone teams are drastically better than last gen. They are extremely one-dimensional, revolving around multiple BellySpeeders, an -atespeeder, and a Pursuit trapper. Obviously they are a high-risk high-reward sort of deal, but with the recent inclusion of 50% heal berries+Gluttony, as well as Z-Belly Drum, Linoone teams became a whole lot more threatening and versatile. With every team member being able to guarantee setup, things can get pretty stupid in here. Normalium-Z can also double as a nuke to bust through troublesome Steel-types. Seriously though I think this has brokenness potential, we should keep an eye out.

Ninetales-Alola: Might be quite one-note, but the ease with which they can set up Aurora Veil and the fact that everything that doesn't have Snow Warning has Snow Cloak can cause headaches for certain kinds of teams. The main game plan is to become bulky and hard to hit while setting up with Nasty Plot or Calm Mind and breaking through everything. A paper-thin movepool really limits it though, with hardly any physical moves and the inability to support many types, although accesss to Psyshock lets a boosted Psychic-type break through Chansey. Probably bad, but I can see offense having trouble with Ninetales-Alola.

Torkoal: I am scared of Torkoal. Constant sun makes overwhelming opponents extremely easy. Torkoal's small movepool has everything it needs to support a team of powerful Drought wallbreakers and Shell Smash sweepers. Slap Stealth Rock, Rapid Spin and Will-o-Wisp on a support mon and you have everything you need to set up easily and get sweeps. Torkoal has a slim movepool but it can defeat nearly everything with just overwhelming firepower. Did I mention it gets Eruption too? Torkoal is really scary, and I can see it cementing its place as a top leader this gen.
 
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