NP: NU Stage 0 (Beta) - Bring The Noize (Cofagrigus is Banned)

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rozes

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hey we are having voting going on currently for hopefully the last time before we move out of beta. with nu open coming up we decided one more round of voting would be the best in order for the tier to be the best before the tournament started. the slate for this round is


Cofagrigus | Sneasel | Virizion | Meloetta | Aurora Veil (or Sandslash-Alola) | Machamp | Hitmonlee​
while this is quite a large slate, keep in mind a large majority of these will not be banned, but are there to show the impact they have on the tier and what the council may be looking at in the future. if you guys have any thoughts on the current slate or what you would like us to look at in the future please post below or feel free to pm me on smogon or discord.

also to expand a bit more on aurora veil, if the council deems aurora veil to be the problem it will be removed from the tier, however if the council is not for banning the move itself and would prefer to ban a pokemon to have a more strict tier list sandslash would likely be looked at in a future slate.

results will be posted as soon as all the votes are in, so probably early morning tomorrow!
 

Jarii

formerly boring
Okay again i'm gonna give my cents about these mons that are being voted on.

: Cofagrigus has on set that punishes it to S rank which is Trick Room Nasty Plot Z-Shadow Ball and HP Fighting, which makes Cofagrigus probably the best late game sweeper in NU. The issue with this mon is that it's also has incredible bulk and is able to survive any hit which makes it always either able to set up the Trick Room / Nasty Plot or nuke something with Never-Ending Nightmare. Cofagrigus also has an easy splashability on most teams that need a Spin blocker / win con. Personally I think Cofagrigus is pretty unhealthy for the tier and I haven't even spoken about Cofagrigus under Aurora Veil which is just insanely stupid. BAN

: There is lately a discussion if Sneasel even deserves rank S because of the standard teams having Steelix Colbur Slowbro etc. This might be true but Sneasel still one of the most threatening mons in NU, it only needs some more support what it didn't need before. Despite all of this Sneasel still has amazing typing, really fast, strong stabs, if you don't prep for sneasel well you will lose to it. My conclusion on this is Sneasel still should be Rank S because it also keeps other mons from being broken like Meloetta but NO BAN.

: Virizion is a mon that is able to shine vs the standard teams with Steelix Slowbro core, plus it's amazing offensive capabilities, amazing speed / movepool. Despite all this I always find the issue that Virizion looks better on paper then it does in battle for some reason, without an SD up it's pretty weak and makes it's match up vs offense way harder without a boost since offense has most of the time 2 or 3 mons to kill it with. Balance has always something to threaten it out with, Aurora Veil up on the opponant side makes Virizion rather useless and vs webs it's basicly becoming useless. I still think Virizion is a good mon but how the metagame is developing I don't see Virizion being banned at all. NO BAN

: Meloetta is one of my favorite mons in SM NU, decent speed, amazing spA / SpD / typing / Movepool. Able to counter Cofagrigus is also amazing, with all this in mind Meloetta has two major weaknesses, Dark types and poor Defenses. In a metagame where heavy offensive attacker like Sneasel, Drapion, ScarfBoar and Houndoom (both sets) are populair Meloetta has issues to shine without support. I tried to find a way to make Meloetta better without using Scarf since that gets easily trapped or checked, I found out as you can see in my week 1 battle vs Kiyo that webs with Meloetta is amazing, both Specs and CM 3 attacks shine under webs also the ability to threaten almost every hazard control in the tier such as Golbat, Hitmon family and xatu makes Meloetta an ideal partner for Webs. Most threatening mon vs webs is Cofagrigus and Meloetta counters that mon. I really think Meloetta deserves S rank. But despite all of this it still needs alot of support to make it really threatening so NO BAN.

: Noticed that in almost every single mon I have talked about yet Aurora Veil pops up with either making the mon more broken or less useful, Aurora Veil reminds me of Drought in SM NU it has basicly no drawback on offense, makes set up sweepers like Cofagrigus job way easier, hazard stack with a Aurora Veil up is basicly almost always 3 layers and slow heavy hitters like Specs Meloetta and Flame Orb Machamp don't have to worry being OHKO'ed before they can attack. Why Aurora Veil reminds me of Drought? Remember when Drought was allowed, Tennis used Vulpix Sun team which showed how powerful Drought itself was, this made me thinking what if we ban Alolan-Sandslash? What makes people not able to use Alolan-Sandshrew? Alolan-Sandshrew has with Jolly a speed of 196 which under hail is 392 which is still way faster then things like Sceptile and basicly the whole process starts again. I really think just like Drought Aurora Veil has to go since what makes people not use other Aurora Veil users? BAN Aurora Veil

: As Omfuga said to me "Why the fuck is Machamp still allowed?!", I do think he is right though. Machamp is an insane wallbreaker with Flame Orb, able to break through almost every team. People tend to use Machamp balance lately what I personally think isn't the way to go with Machamp, Machamp shines way more on Trick Room- and Sticky Webs teams. This makes Machamp bad speed tier way more threatening and it's ability to go reck teams with ease. Probably alot of people don't agree with my on Machamp being broken but I do think it's potentially broken if you use it right (Just like Exploud back then, ofc different scenario but couldn't think of a better example). BAN

: Not broken and healthy for the tier. As PSPL NU'ers would say "Next".

These are my two cents for voting round I hope I explained everything well and if you have any questions please ask them!
 
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just gonna give a brief review here:
  • cofagrigus:considering mons like meloetta,sub BU braviary, incineroar are one of only relevant checks to this, and considering not many teams dont run special tanks in this meta (bcz most of sp tanks arent that good and arent a ghost resist), i dont see this staying in tier, +2 neverending nightmare ohkoes anything that doesnt resist it, and not many dark types are relevant,most of good ones are rather frail
  • sneasel:115 speed, strong, name me which pokemon resists the double stab on balance? thats right, steelix. Sadly you literally dont have another choice considering every other rocker gets rekt by either icicle crash(rhydon) or knock off(uxie), not to mention steelix gets wore down too easy. Popular mons on bulkier builds like slowbro(why the fuck is this thing still in Nu), golbat, and most of the offensive mons get either outsped and are weak to double stab, while whimsicot and sceptile die to ice shard
  • Virizion: Name me a fighting check on balance that deals with this. Slowbro/king? +2 leaf blade can ohko, Golbat? obliterated by continental crush. jellicent,xatu,aromatisse? pokemon like weezing are falling off the usage considering how many good fighting checks there are, and pls dont tell me garbodor is used on bulkier builds commonly (it can be, but its just not that great). anyway, virizion also has great bulk, great speed and nice resistances so theres that
  • Meloetta: This mon can run multitude of sets, each of one being successful (except scarf which is garbage), sub cm is underrated and can 6 0 teams from preview, specs has no switchins and like someone mentioned colbur cm+3 atks, there isnt much counterplay for balance, offense somewhat can deal with it better, it can rek stall which is usable but not amazing, and Ho is not rly viable. Quoting jarii sentence "Able to counter Cofagrigus is also amazing, with all this in mind Meloetta has two major weaknesses, Dark types and poor Defenses. " i dont know what youre talking about, 100/77/128 is way above average bulk in NU, its probably the bulkiest sweeper in tier and can setup on any mediocre wall, and weaker attackers as well, dark weakness will not be a problem considering it can run+focus blast so it can break them anyway so this was not the best argument. Sure, they can force meloetta out 1v1, but this scenario wont be too common, and colbur is a Set as you mentioned anyway.
  • Sandslash-alola-no comment, didnt play vs it and didnt try it, can just say theres lot sweepers that can abuse aurora veil
  • Machamp-not much to say about this, strong af and only "hard""check" is slowbro, even vs faster teams it can put some work bcz of decent bulk, while destroys balance
  • Hitmonlee-This mon is a black sheep on this list, compared to other threats like slowbro,rotom mow,emboar in tier rn and mons above ^ , its a below average spinner(weak to toxic spikes so you basically gotta pair it with drapion, so thats automatically a minus for choosing it for a team unless you wanna lose to tspikes since bad matchup vs garbodor), and a mediocre fighting type overall compared to others. I know someone will say "B-But its our best spinner!!", but most of the spinners are bad here, so that doesnt make it any better as utility. I mean, its certainly not bad, and its niche as being rather strong fighting type+spin is fair, but it doesnt rly stand out as a whole
 

Jarii

formerly boring
just gonna give a brief review here:
  • Meloetta: This mon can run multitude of sets, each of one being successful (except scarf which is garbage), sub cm is underrated and can 6 0 teams from preview, specs has no switchins and like someone mentioned colbur cm+3 atks, there isnt much counterplay for balance, offense somewhat can deal with it better, it can rek stall which is usable but not amazing, and Ho is not rly viable. Quoting jarii sentence "Able to counter Cofagrigus is also amazing, with all this in mind Meloetta has two major weaknesses, Dark types and poor Defenses. " i dont know what youre talking about, 100/77/128 is way above average bulk in NU, its probably the bulkiest sweeper in tier and can setup on any mediocre wall
I meant with the poor defensive typing and mediocre 77 Def and all the heavy hitters in this tier are all able to abuse that mediocre defenses such as Sneasel, Drapion, Emboar, ScarfLee, Dodrio and Tauros. Sorry if I didn't explain this too well apparantly. But in this tier Normal Psychic isn't a defensive typing you want to have with 77 Def in my oppinion.
 
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Punchshroom

Paralysis is slightly less of a devil
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Cofag is only commonly seen with one set, and already it establishes itself as one of the polarizing forces in the tier as it offers just so much in one slot. Nasty Plot Ghostium just smashes through most bulky cores in the tier while access to Trick Room lets it put in work against offense as well. Its typing and ability makes for one of the best Fighting answers in the tier, even able to answer monsters like Hitmonlee, Guts Machamp, and Medicham, which, in addition to its bulk, pretty much guarantees at least one setup opportunity in a match. Its status as a bulky yet explosive wincon not only makes it splashable for a wide variety of teams, but is even a significant factor that exacerbates the potency of certain playstyles, such as Aurora Veil and Trick Room. This mon certainly has a lot going for it, and while I personally don't find it too overwhelming, I wouldn't mind its absence from this tier.

Sneasel is an offensive force, especially when its STABs and defining Speed tier just threaten nearly every offensive mon in the tier, but it still suffers from its core flaw in that it has to KO its targets to avoid being crippled or just KOed back in return. While Sneasel's attacks are certainly very strong for not having much drawback, they aren't powerful enough in that they can just OHKO uninvested neutral targets for the most part, and certainly has issues 2HKOing bulkier Pokemon such as Steelix and Colbur/Waterium Z Slowbro. The entry hazard weakness certainly does not help its case, as that alone makes Life Orb much less appealing than it otherwise would be, whereas Sneasel bears weaknesses to 'punch-based' priority, which are amongst the most common priority moves in the tier.
Hitmonlee, on the other hand, does have the power to just OHKO uninvested neutral targets with the sheer power of its Reckless High Jump Kick. Otherwise, it still suffers from needing to KO its targets (although its Special Defense is pretty respectable, but then again it has no good special resists and its HP is piss), and while its Speed tier is influential in that it's among the fastest of the heavy-hitting wallbreakers, it's still slow enough to be worked around; it does have Choice Scarf or Unburden to patch that up, though those have their own sufficient drawbacks. Finally, Hitmonlee's coverage isn't flawless either, especially when it often makes way for auxiliary moves such as Mach Punch and Rapid Spin which limit its range of targets. Speaking of which, Hitmonlee is one of the most important users of both of those aforementioned tech moves, making its presence more healthy than unhealthy if anything.

I can understand the sentiment behind Virizion being a potential issue; SD Z-move sets became exponentially harder to keep in check, while its Speed, typing, bulk, and 'weight' (to weaken Heavy Slam) give it several setup opportunities, and became the sole reason Steelix favors Gyro Ball these days. On the other hand, I feel Virizion can be managed offensively without going too much out of one's way, as mons like Sneasel, Dodrio, and Zen Headbutt Tauros can keep Viriz in check, whereas nearly every relevant Choice Scarfer in the tier just seems to be able to hit Viriz with some super effective attack, or just raw power in Hitmonlee's case. While defensive answers to Viriz are few, they do come in the form of existing Fighting checks, such as Gourgeist-XL, Whimsicott, Garbodor, Weezing, Granbull, and (Thunder Wave) Uxie. I can even see potential adaptations to Virizion, such as Poisonium Z Vileplume or the other bulky Poison-types running Z-Haze, to help combat the threat. While Virizion's access to Zen Headbutt (and by extension Shattered Psyche) does invalidate some of these checks, it does expose Virizion to others ones such as Sigilyph, Xatu, and Scyther. As far as I can tell, Calm Mind Virizion hasn't really taken off since it doesn't have Z-moves to help get rid of most of its checks, has less convenient coverage than its physical counterpart, and has notable competition with Z-Move Lilligant as a late-game cleaner, so I have doubts if this will add too much to Virizion's potential brokenness, at least for the moment.

Holy shit, this is easily my least favorite Pokemon to fight in this tier. Between Colbur CM and Choice Specs, this Pokemon can badly punish you for hazarding a guess and has the gall to not even slow down the pain train afterward. Meloetta has unreasonably respectable Speed for a Pokemon so specially tanky, and its coverage lets it nails the entire tier for neutral at worst. Colbur Melo flips off attempts to Pursuit trap it and blasts away with +1 Hyper Voice to instantly put down your Sneasel or Drapion or whatever and continue holepunching while being just generally annoying to revenge kill, whereas Choice Specs has absurdly strong neutral coverage and has the option to either run moves like U-turn, Knock Off, or Dazzling Gleam or even consider forgoing Hyper Voice to fully round out its Psychic coverage and throw you off your game. And then we got sets like SubCM which preys on your overconfident AV Slowking, and even some whack Calm Mind + Bloom Doom set to smash counters like Spiritomb + Steelix + Slowking in one go & give me nasty Necrozma vibes all over again. Basically, FUCK fighting this mon.

I shared my thoughts on Aurora Veil before, and I brought up my proposal of Slush Rush + Aurora Veil complex ban back then. With that said, it's come to my attention that even with AlolanSlash/Shrew no longer able to set up a fast 8 turn Veil and spin away hazards, there is a single next best alternative in
, which boasts natural Speed, Spin, and even a similar tolerance to entry hazards. Cryogonal would be a bit less effective than AlolanSlash since its Speed doesn't reach insane levels and is more susceptible to Mach Punch and Bullet Punch, which are more common than Vacuum Wave. However, Cryogonal's biggest asset over AlolanSlash is its access to Explosion, which brings its teammates in for free; this prompts an entirely new level of urgency which AlolanSlash does not, which can be problematic to face in its own right. Furthermore, Cryo's lesser Speed compared to AlolanSlash is made up for by the fact that the opponent still has to face the same issue which they have against Aurorus + AlolanSlash: they have to be able to bypass Aurorus without getting crippled and stop the incoming Aurora Veil setter from setting up, and I've mentioned numerous times previously how effective Aurorus is at slowing down foes. Because of this, I won't be pushing for my prior proposal very strongly, and I won't expect the council to consider it much either.

Man, RU Heracross, UU Conkeldurr, and now this? While it's certainly true that Guts Fighting-type wallbreakers have gotten a substantial buff, I don't think Machamp is quite on the level of 'broken' just yet. For starters, it lacks extra sustain, STAB priority, nor a good Speed tier, which do hold it back from breaking as much as it could; the lackluster Speed tier is especially notable as it means that certain walls such as Golbat, Qwilfish, and Garbodor can keep Machamp under much better control, and also weakens its matchup against opposing offensive teams since being outsped by the majority of wallbreakers is almost never a good thing. While Machamp can certainly function well on speed control teams like Trick Room and Webs as Jarii said, but I would attest that there's competition in those categories: personally I would actually consider Guts Hariyama on Trick Room to be able to outrun base 30s such as the Slow-siblings and non-Gyro Ball Steelix, whereas on Sticky Web, I would much rather choose Fighting-types with better Speed tiers such as Emboar, Medicham, Sawk, and Hitmonlee, as Jolly Machamp cannot even outrun -1 Virizion. Simply put, while Machamp is certainly very powerful, I don't consider it particularly tier-breaking.
 
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rozes

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Voting is complete! You can see how everyone voted inside the hide tag, and keep in mind it takes a 60% majority for something to be banned.
tldr Cofagrigus is now banned from NU with the latest round of tests! tagging The Immortal to make the changes on ladder!

If you guys have any questions on certain mons being nommd or why things were voted on feel free to post below or pm me, but here is the reasoning for Cofagrigus!


Cofagrigus: Cofagrigus was banned due to a large number of factors, mainly its bulk, ease of set up, and power. Starting with its bulk, Cofagrigus has a large defense stat that allows it to tank every hit from the physical side, super effective or not. Also by using a Z-Crystal for Never Ending Nightmare you were able to tank Knock Offs from Pokemon like Sneasel and Drapion with ease. It also found a very easy time setting up due to this, as after a Nasty Plot it has the ability to sweep through a large portion of teams if Normal / Dark types are weakened or removed. Overall it did have some down sides like weak coverage and low Special Defense, but with all the meta shifts the positives far outweigh the negatives leading it to be banned.​
With that the tier should be staying the same till any shifts, so have fun playing and exploring the metagame without Cofagrigus and good luck in the NU Open!
 
Why is Aurora Veil not banned if quite a few people were for it needing to go?
To quote Rozes:

if the council is not for banning the move itself and would prefer to ban a pokemon to have a more strict tier list sandslash would likely be looked at in a future slate.​
Since Aurora Veil was not banned, I think it's fair to assume that the council will be watching Alolan Sandslash now. Even if A-Slash isn't found to be the source of the problem, it's not impossible for Aurora Veil to be looked at later in the future.
 
I think the problem with Aurora Veil is the fact that removing it requires more specific teammates and or builds. Defog is not as common as it once was. I can sit down and look at this tier and name only a handful of (at the very minimum) "decent" defog users: Golbat, Prinplup, Skuntank, Archeops(?), Vullaby(?), Lurantis(?). (Yes I did make a heat defog Lurantis set which to my surprise actually worked). 3 of those mons are eviolite dependent. All of them lose to Sneasel. All of them have to wait until Sandslash-Alola or Aurorus are not in front of them to even use defog. Defog is a pretty useful way to remove screens, but unfortunately we don't really have that very much. You can even throw Togetic onto that list, but it's really passive and doesn't change any of my prior statements to the above list of "decent" defoggers. You'll also have to factor in what types of teams these defog users are commonly run on. Apart from Archeops and maybe Skuntank, all of them fit balance/semi-stall. That is a fairly limiting factor to account a little bit for. Archeops is so frail that you'll probably end up with only one chance to use defog. Skuntank can be worn down with ease and, imo, is awkward to fit onto a team. Swanna could be added to this list, but it is frail and must also wait until it can be brought into battle against anything but Aurorus/Sandslash-Alola. It does fortunately check Aurorus without the screens up, but when you are trying to defog the screens away... well... You get the idea. Also when was the last time you saw Swanna getting consistent use in this tier? So when defog is uncommon and left with a dried up pool of mons who can use it, screens can be a bit troublesome. What about brick break? I'm not using it over Superpower, HJK, Close Combat, Hammer Arm, Low Kick (Sneasel), or another coverage move for a pokemon that prefers X coverage move. Brick Break is pretty accessible; however, it's just not the best move against a large majority of teams due to there just being better overall moves to use. Psychic Fangs is learned by... Stoutland and Carvahna. So that option is also limited to Stoutland, a common sand rush abuser for this tier. Even so, you don't particularly run into it on the ladder much. Thus, that leaves us with one option: wait for the screens to wear out. Wait 8 turns essentially. The number of things that can happen in 8 turns is expansive, let's just be honest. It's pretty tough to play against, but it's only one type of situation in the grand scheme of things. Aurora Veil being one thing out of many others is fine until you see how insane it can be to combat. Put any set up sweeper behind screens and it immediately becomes more menacing than without those screens. I would like to mention a fact that Sandslash-Alola is not the only thing capable of setting up Aurora Veil. Cryogonal, which is naturally fast and can use recover, could become a valid candidate over Sandslash-Alola. Jynx is another option with decent speed and some versatility. Glaceon is bulky enough to use it as well, not to mention it can pose as an offensive threat. I don't know if Sandslash Alola is the actual problem, but I definitely think it plays a role in the problem. I just thought that I would point out a few things that I noticed regarding Aurora Veil. It's definitely something we should keep an eye on as this NU metagame continues to evolve and settle.
 

Kiyo

I'm curious.
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here's a short summary of why I voted the way I did:

Cofagrigus: this pokemon was quite obviously broken, there's a total of like 3 viable counters to its best set (TR Ghostium NP) and it can very easily set up both TR and an NP with little to no support on most teams. It's also a good sign that something is straining the metagame if people are going to level 99, 98, 97 etc. just to counter other Cofagrigus

Sneasel: I was borderline ban on this pokemon and I have been throughout all of beta. That said, I honestly think the metagame has adapted well to Sneasel over the past couple of weeks. It can still definitely make life a living hell for balance and some offense teams with its dual stabs (primarily knock and pursuit) but we have a good chunk of pokemon that can punish choice locked sneasel and make it weary of simply clicking knock off every turn. I also think people are underplaying the effect Z-moves are having on this pokemon, theres a ton of Pokemon that fear sneasel much less than they used to because they take less damage from Knock off due to holdign a z crystal.

Virizion: this may be the most overrated pokemon in the tier at the moment. plain and simple this pokemon is too weak unboosted and is revenge killed fairly easily. yes if your team is comprised of slowbro / steelix / golbat and you allow it to set up an sd you're probably going to lose a pokemon, thats the danger of running slow pokemon that give foes free set up opportunities in an offensive metagame. virizion is tough to check in the teambuilder, but easy to check in practice imo

Meloetta: this is kinda the exact opposite of virizion, its easy to say you can check it based on your teams resistances and speed tier but the thing is so damn bulky and punches holes through resistances better than any other breaker in the tier when holding choice specs. it doesnt help that its best checks are pretty poor in the metagame (sableye and spiritomb)

Aurora Veil: I still think this move is inherently broken and gives the user such a huge advantage its not even funny. dual screens in one move and its two best users can pack light clay without the fear of most of the tier ohkoing them before they can set them up. Aurorus and Vanilluxe are both viable snow warning users and can punch holes in teams all by themselves, sandslash and cryo can easily set up veil. even though you're stacking weaknesses you can kinda afford to if you pack a halfway decent resistance or simply get up veil before they can hit you.

Machamp: I was borderline on this pokemon as well. its incredibly difficult to deal with the first time it comes in due to massive natural bulk, but it simply lacks the longevity and priority that other guts users have that make them so succesful in higher tiers. i still think this pokemon is a top tier threat and is difficult as fuck to check with balance, but offensive and stall teams can typically check it efficiently or outlast it, respectively. this may get worse for offense with cofagrigus leaving, but only time will tell.

Hitmonlee: I just dont think this thing has the raw power or speed necessary to make it ban worthy. its still checked by every standard.fighting-typecheck and only serves as a problem for offensive teams late game if they leave themselves wide open to unburden lee
 

Finchinator

IT'S FINK DUMBASS
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can we get a new council
Been seeing a lot of this lately, so I feel like responding because it's important. I do not mean to derail the topic, so I will keep my response relatively brief to this, but what is the point of posting this or complaining in general? I think it is great that people care about the state of the metagame and want it to improve (as shown by posts in threads like this and the others in the subforum), but the council members are simply doing their job to the best of their ability and (speaking from personal experience) it is much harder to pull the trigger on something (ban wise) in the early stages as a council member than you may think. It is always best to lean towards being conservative as opposed to being too quick and potentially banning something prematurely considering you can always suspect or revote on something in the immediate/near future whereas a hasty retest is highly unlikely and unprecedented. Moreover, while many people may think that more than just Cofagrigus could be banworthy (even including myself), that does not mean that these things cannot be addressed in the near future, that certainly does not mean people should publicly question, insult, or bash the council when they have a very hard job to do right now, and that also does not mean that the metagame is in bad shape as is, because we have a really enjoyable tier now and I feel like people should stop taking that for granted!

---

Anyway, to add some substance to this post and my main reason for posting, I want to discuss a very general topic that I feel has become commonplace in teambuilding and a generally effective archetytpe. A lot of people (including myself) have been using teams in this metagame with two or three Pokemon of the same typing/similar offensive purposes and trying to stack them with lures (especially Z move oriented) in order to overwhelm the means of counterplay that we find in the tier on balance teams. For example, pairing DD Scrafty with Z-Iron Tail and SD Virizion with Zen Headbutt does this as it generally overwhelms the counterplay to these two Pokemon, which, again, happens to be similar. This is just one instance and I feel like, given the depth of viable offensive threats and the nature of how defensive cores are in the current metagame, there are countless possibilities. Generally, I have been following some rough structure along the lines of this type of 2-3 Pokemon core followed by a synergetic Stealth Rocker and defensive pivot, a Scarfer or revenge killer, and then filler. It has led to some of my most effective teams on the ladder and in tournaments. I feel like, when it comes to bulky-offensive teams, this is almost foolproof in a sense. Obviously, there are countless ways to build teams and this is certainly not the standout most effective way to do so, but it has been something I have been taking advantage of given that there are so many things to take advantage of with Z moves and very capable offensive threats roaming throughout the tier which simply has not always been the case to the same extent in past generations (not that this has not been done before, as it obviously has countless times, but I feel like it excels more than ever right now).

Oh and while I'm posting, I just wanted to say something regarding Delphox as I feel like it has been misused to an extent or just potentially not fully explored. I'm aware that Scarf, which I view to be a very mediocre, but viable, set on it, and Z-Solarbeam are the most common variants. Personally, I find Z-Solarbeam to be a bit of wasted potential on the Z Calm Mind sweeper set. I find Z-Fire Blast or even Z-Psychic (I prefer the former) with Calm Mind and Grass Knot to be highly effective right now as the extra strength on the STAB is generally very surprising and can often nab a kill and simply overpower threats it otherwise could not. I find that Grass Knot and hazards generally keeps the bulky waters in check to a sufficient extent and the firepower of the change in Z move is greatly appreciated for the long-term sweeping capabilities of the Pokemon. Here is the set I have been using for the most part and I hope it sees some more use as the Z-Solarbeam set just does not function as a very consistent win condition given the predictability of it and the lack of nuke power behind the STAB while this set is actually one of my favorite win conditions in the tier right now and I feel it is quite underrated.

+1 252 SpA Delphox Inferno Overdrive (185 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Meloetta: 333-393 (97.6 - 115.2%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Delphox Inferno Overdrive (185 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Drapion: 349-412 (124.1 - 146.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Delphox Inferno Overdrive (185 BP) vs. 0 HP / 132 SpD Skuntank: 340-402 (97.9 - 115.8%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO
+1 252 SpA Delphox Inferno Overdrive (185 BP) vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Uxie: 330-388 (93.4 - 109.9%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO
+1 252 SpA Delphox Inferno Overdrive (185 BP) vs. 252 HP / 168+ SpD Braviary: 390-459 (96.5 - 113.6%) -- 75% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Delphox Inferno Overdrive (185 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Scrafty: 246-289 (90.7 - 106.6%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Delphox Inferno Overdrive (185 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Kangaskhan: 331-391 (94.3 - 111.3%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Delphox Inferno Overdrive (185 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Sigilyph: 330-388 (115.7 - 136.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO
 

Eclipse

I've seen so much I'm going blind & I'm brain dead virtually
is a Contributor to Smogon
Seconding with Finch about how good CM Delphox is; a number of slower defensive mons in the meta like Golbat, Garbo, Rhydon, Steelix, etc. all fall over to this thing, and given that Cofag is gone, that's another threat preventing it from sweeping. You have to rely on Rockium Z Virizion or Sneasel/Scarfed Dark-types like Drapion to offensively check it since its Speed tier is so good. AV Incineroar is the most consistent answer, but even that is easy to wear down with the number of viable hazard setter partners in the tier. CM Inferno Overdrive is basically my favorite set due to its great coverage as traditional Fire-type checks like Slowbro, Rhydon topple over to Delphox's coverage. This mon is underrated for sure, and with the relevant mons that it checks such as Sceptile, Whimsicott, and non-DPulse Sigilyph, it only makes Delphox even better.

Cofag's banning definitely made Machamp far more of an annoyance to deal with; any traditional Fighting-type check aside from Sableye/Spiritomb simply do not have much of the means to deal with it offensively. The fact that Slowbro can get 2HKOed by Facade after Rocks is insane. While the meta is pretty fast and has the means to deal with it, Machamp is for sure a mon that needs closer attention as the weeks go on; I'm looking forward to NUPL games this week to see exactly how other players are looking to deal with this monster.

Overall, though, outside of Veil offense/Machamp, this metagame is insanely fun and I'm looking forward to see what innovation everyone else is gonna come up with in the next few weeks.
 
It is always best to lean towards being conservative as opposed to being too quick and potentially banning something prematurely considering you can always suspect or revote on something in the immediate/near future whereas a hasty retest is highly unlikely and unprecedented.
I agree that there's no point complaining without adding any substance to your complaint but I have a bit of gripe with this part of you post, mainly because of this :

This is the tiering policy set out by Tier Leader rozes that was to be followed throughout beta and it explicitly states that if a pokemon is potentially broken it will be removed by the council and retested at a later date. This heavily contradicts the conservative method of voting that you implied was to be followed and it makes me wonder if the council was aware of this tiering policy as imo it really wasn't followed well throughout this beta phase. I find it very difficult to believe that cofagrigus was the only thing on that slate viewed as potentially broken and I've shared my sentiments with others who agree so, to me, it seems that these "can we get a new council" type posts stem from the fact that the council don't seem to have followed the tiering policy that was set out very early on.
 

rozes

Tournament Banned
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I agree that there's no point complaining without adding any substance to your complaint but I have a bit of gripe with this part of you post, mainly because of this :

This is the tiering policy set out by Tier Leader rozes that was to be followed throughout beta and it explicitly states that if a pokemon is potentially broken it will be removed by the council and retested at a later date. This heavily contradicts the conservative method of voting that you implied was to be followed and it makes me wonder if the council was aware of this tiering policy as imo it really wasn't followed well throughout this beta phase. I find it very difficult to believe that cofagrigus was the only thing on that slate viewed as potentially broken and I've shared my sentiments with others who agree so, to me, it seems that these "can we get a new council" type posts stem from the fact that the council don't seem to have followed the tiering policy that was set out very early on.
i think the major problem with this line of thinking is that the system that was set in place wasnt supposed to last in a beta that has been over 6 weeks at this point. we decided on this system and put it in place and used it for what we assumed would be the only month of beta in which we banned 10 things over the course of a month, which is quite a bit considering most BL tiers in past NU's have had 1-2 pokemon in them. once we realized we werent going to be able to move out of beta and start the retests on time we were in a weird position where we still felt we should do something but it was hard to decide what. continuing to do the method i had outlined prior felt very unsustainable at this point with a fairly large banlist already and doing more rounds of this would make future retests and issue along with creating a large BL which is bad for optics.

i think it is quite unfair to keep on bringing up the latest trends to be banned with every council vote because at a certain point the trends are going to be what define nu as a tier in sm. even with a system like the kokoloko method there has to be a line and i believe we have passed it already which is why i remain conservative with my voting.
 

Shuckleking87

"Assault vest makes everything better" AV Seaking, BT
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
once we realized we werent going to be able to move out of beta and start the retests on time we were in a weird position where we still felt we should do something but it was hard to decide what. continuing to do the method i had outlined prior felt very unsustainable at this point with a fairly large banlist already and doing more rounds of this would make future retests and issue along with creating a large BL which is bad for optics.
The fact that you felt like you should do something signify that the amount of previous quickbans were insufficient, so it seems illogical that you would transition to an arbitrary and/or concealed quickbanning alternative without consulting the general playerbase. The fact it was a difficult to decide what you wanted to do also proves that saying, "hey, the only thing left to improve nu is to ban cofagrigus to give a stable enough tier before introducing the quick banned mons back" would not be true (there could be other pokes that you deem broken and were not nommed, so that is fair). By discontinuing the quickbanning method after a set amount of time and a set amount of pokemon, yet saying that theres more to be done after dropping the previous method, invalidates the quickbanning process in the first place to me. A larger bl list than normal should not be a justifiable reason to stop the process because i assume the tier leaders want the most enjoyable and competitive tier possible. The BL lists from the past should be irrelevant to now; with each generation there will be an inherent power creep, and that should result in a higher ban list (i am not sure how to go about this, but i would assume there is an increase in bl pokes at this time of the respective metas after each generation). Not caring about "optics."
 
So under request of Esteemed NUTL Kiyo™, and because I think it's pretty important to share at this point, I'm going to summarize my thought process as an Esteemed NU Councilman™ going into this vote.

For the record, the size of the BL3 list had no effect on my vote, but for the most part I'd say I was somewhere in between a more "radical" and a more "conservative" banning mindset, with Aurora Veil being the only thing I felt was /definitely/ limiting the tier. On one hand, for both Sneasel and Cofagrigus, I could see how the metagame had slowly started taking measures to adapt to them, but I still voted ban because I felt they had way too much of an impact on the metagame to not test at all. On the other hand, in the case of Machamp and Meloetta, frankly I just hadn't seen much of them and didn't want to be overly hasty without more exploration of their potential (though admittedly, now that I've seen more of those two, I can see how they'd be potentially broken).

As for Virizion and Hitmonlee, they're nothing more than good Pokemon imo. Virizion in particular falls just short of being a potential problem to me; its Speed tier falls just short of some pretty huge benchmarks, and its MASSIVE lack of power before setting up can be easily exploited. Like, I could see a case made for it if it didn't have both of those problems simultaneously, but as long as it does I really can't. Besides, if you're asking me, it's actually healthy to have some effective balance breakers.

All that said, I'll say this much: I do think some of you have raised legitimate concerns regarding our handling of quickban policy. It hasn't been very consistent between votes, and that's on us for not communicating it very well. At the same time, what rozes said earlier is important: there is a point where we have to draw a line and just accept the top dogs as top dogs. You can say we haven't reached that point yet, which is fair enough to say, but be reasonable. Some complaints I've heard are basically the equivalent of asking us to indulge certain specific players and playstyles, which we're not going to do.
 

Punchshroom

Paralysis is slightly less of a devil
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
I would like to chime in on this:

While koko's method is certainly a good baseline to follow, I'm of the opinion that each tier's council should have a bit more leniency in how they approach their quickbanning process, as things aren't always so clear cut in the earlier stages of the meta. Between the scenarios of: A) not quickbanning something that ends up developing into a broken threat later on, and a suspect test is conducted to decisively ban it via community input, or B) quickbanning something before we manage to see its true/full potential, I'd sooner choose the former because I don't want to remove an element from the meta via theorymonning. Sure, the former risks the backlash of some of the community lambasting the council for making such a mistake, but the latter would just prompt the other side of the community criticizing the council for not giving them a say in the matter, so it's "damn if you do, damned if you don't" situation for the council either way. This especially applies for cases that aren't as apparent as to how broken they are, making it a tough choice for council members to make their decision as it is. While some council members are not fazed by such criticism as "can we get a new council", I do hope you realize the pressure your unconstructive disapproval is having on the council.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that regardless of the circumstances, such as BL size or tiering method, the council has the right to however they make their decision, be it more conservative or even outright ban-happy (though thankfully, no one reasonable enough to be council in the first place has attempted this, as far as I know). Each tier has different approaches towards their own suspect tests, which may incorporate the threat(s) in question into their suspect ladder or bar them from it, due to the threat's specific qualities/circumstances that would warrant its inclusion/exclusion. In the same vein, each tier's council can make their own decisions regarding quickbanning, and if the council's slower quickbanning pace leads to more suspect tests, I do not mind that at all. After all, suspect tests would include a larger pool of voices than the council which may lead to an overall more informed decision. This would certainly please those that wish for the community to have a greater influence in shaping the tier, and for those who were unhappy with the council's quickban decision, wouldn't this be a good opportunity to present your opinion in a more meaningful manner than simply bashing the council? For those of you who would inevitably complain about not having enough time to participate in suspect tests, know that this implies you wish for the council to pick up the slack for you in the qb process, because they certainly don't have enough pressure on them as is.

Tl;dr: Give the council some leeway, guys.
 
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I'm a little late since I was on a break for the past couple of days, but I want to chime in with my explanation on how I voted as well.

For reference, here's what I voted:
Ban: Cofagrigus, Meloetta, Aurora Veil
Do Not Ban: Sneasel, Virizion, Machamp, Hitmonlee
My Nominations: Cofagrigus, Sneasel, Virizion, Meloetta (meant to put Sandslash-Alola, but I just checked and I apparently forgot to lol)

I'll start by saying that I firmly believed that almost every problem in the tier could have been traced back to Cofagrigus a week ago in some way. Cofagrigus powered up offensive playstyles to what I believed was an unhealthy degree because of its ability to provide an almost perfect wincon and spinblock at the same time. If you look at just about any of the most successful offensive teams from the past few weeks, you're likely to find that Cofagrigus is a center player in each of them because of everything it brings to the table. Aurora Veil offense was so good because Cofagrigus could shut down all the Fighting-types that tried to put pressure on Aurorus, Sandslash-Alola, and all the secondary sweepers and threaten to dominate by setting up on them. Spikes stack obviously benefitted from Cofagrigus invalidating just about every spinner bar Foresight Hitmontop which I believe to be a liability of a Pokemon. If Cofagrigus was easier to stop, I wouldn't mind it, but you often times had to rely on using a lot of the same Pokemon to prepare your team for it, which ended up making teams look very similar because you had to prepare for the Pokemon being used to prepare for Cofagrigus (see: Meloetta.) I think this was an obvious choice for a ban and it's something I've wanted for a while.

I think in hindsight I could have been talked out of voting to ban Aurora Veil and Meloetta, but I also believed that they were broken about a week ago. Maybe they were only broken because of the influence of Cofagrigus and waiting was the better option to see how the tier developed around the two of these as Cofagrigus left, but I've found it's hard to justify voting do not ban on some of these Pokemon by assuming that another Pokemon on the slate will go. In the situation that Cofagrigus had stayed and I had voted dnb on these two, we'd be left with three broken components instead of 1-2, but I digress.

I felt Meloetta was destructive to the tier in a different way than Cofagrigus was. Cofagrigus powered up offense and made it a playstyle that was much harder to build against while Meloetta destroys bulkier playstyles and makes them much more difficult to play. The two played big roles in creating the tier we had, but they did it in different ways, y'know? I felt that, between all of its different sets and potential it had to perform as a threat, Meloetta was only going to get more and more influential as the tier progressed and only serve to stifle it. Don't get me wrong, I believe that balance and stall breakers are essential to a healthy and diverse metagame. It's ok for offense to be the prominent playstyle in a metagame and for balance and stall to come with some opportunity cost to run. However, I firmly believe that you shouldn't feel like it's a complete liability to run bulkier playstyles. If you look at most of the replays of balance teams from NUPL, you'll find a lot of them rely on shaky resists and Pursuit trapping to deal with Meloetta because defensive synergies don't really apply to it.

I guess Aurora Veil's influence on the meta is pretty simple and a lot easier to understand if you just use it yourself. I was more in favor of just banning Alolan Sandslash because my approach to the problem is pretty similar to Smogon's global policy (prefer mon bans over moves) but it's a tricky situation and that was more in the hands of the tier leaders to decide. I think it's fine that it isn't banned, but I felt it was one of the major forces leading to the offense domination that was storming the tier, so I felt it should be removed.

Machamp is something that I could see suspected/voted on later on, but I don't think is contributing as much to the problem as other people think. Balance and stall builds have checks to it and the offensive climate of the tier makes it less useful in a lot of matchups.

Virizion/Hitmonlee I have never really seen as overcentralizing, just as good mons. Machamp is more powerful than these two and I've already explained what I think about Machamp.

I voted ban on Sneasel the slate before last, but I voted dnb this time around because I feel the tier has done a surprisingly good job of adapting to it. Maybe it's because of z move sweepers becoming more commonplace and pressuring sneasel to not click knock off or maybe it's the dirversity in options for every archetype to make sneasel play a guessing game. Whatever it is, I have found that Sneasel is becoming increasingly more comfortable to play around. If you build your team in a way that can make sneasel scared to click knock off, so that its checks don't have to fear losing their items as much, it becomes a matter of pressuring the sneasel to stay out of the game. I understand that this isn't always easy and that this can also be construed as an argument for it being broken (polarizing in teambuilder, etc), but I feel that it's not so hard to do that you're restricted in freedom of choice in the builder. Sneasel is another mon I can easily see suspected/voted on/explored more in the future and I would be so in favor of doing it too.

Hopefully this post wasn't too much. I know my walls can get out of hand so I tried my best to talk about relevant stuff.
 

Brawlfest

I SOUND WEIRD LIKE NIGGA WITH A HARD R
is a Team Rater Alumnus
upload_2017-7-21_21-28-7.png

Rotom-Frost @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Blizzard
- Thunderbolt
- Volt Switch
- Trick


Rotom-F is by no means a super reliable pokemon due to one of its main selling points being a shaky blizzard, but the current meta is actually SUPER favorable towards it, and I've seen a ton of success with it. Of the tier's top threats, it either checks or outright beats Sneasel, Sceptile, Rotom-C, Viriz, Sigi, Lilligant, Barb etc. as well as its Dual Stab being really potent at destroying common defensive cores like Slowbro / Slowking + Golbat / Brav + Donner. It's actually atrocious how good of a time it has beating most of the tier's top threats, and with the viability of aurora veil hail (I've yet to try it on hail but Im sure the support doesn't hurt) I feel that it only has room to improve its positioning in said meta. It pretty much achieves every benefit that Rotom-C does in terms of momentum, with the added benefit of being a much stronger grass check while having a more spammable STAB making it quite the force to be reckoned with.
 

Finchinator

IT'S FINK DUMBASS
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Moderator
View attachment 85625
Rotom-Frost @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Blizzard
- Thunderbolt
- Volt Switch
- Trick


Rotom-F is by no means a super reliable pokemon due to one of its main selling points being a shaky blizzard, but the current meta is actually SUPER favorable towards it, and I've seen a ton of success with it. Of the tier's top threats, it either checks or outright beats Sneasel, Sceptile, Rotom-C, Viriz, Sigi, Lilligant, Barb etc. as well as its Dual Stab being really potent at destroying common defensive cores like Slowbro / Slowking + Golbat / Brav + Donner. It's actually atrocious how good of a time it has beating most of the tier's top threats, and with the viability of aurora veil hail (I've yet to try it on hail but Im sure the support doesn't hurt) I feel that it only has room to improve its positioning in said meta. It pretty much achieves every benefit that Rotom-C does in terms of momentum, with the added benefit of being a much stronger grass check while having a more spammable STAB making it quite the force to be reckoned with.
I have actually been tinkering with Rotom-Frost quite a bit lately. I feel like there is a lot of untapped potential here, but I definitely do not think Choice Scarf is the way to go in the current metagame. First and foremost, why would we use Choice Scarf on a Pokemon that has viability solely because of the threatening nature of its dual STAB? Seems to be defeating the point of using it. Additionally, Rotom-Frost is almost completely outclassed as a Choice Scarf user by Rotom-Mow, in my opinion, because Rotom-Mow is not weak to Stealth Rock, has a much more reliable secondary STAB, and manages Ground types (Steelix, Piloswine, Rhydon, and Seismitoad) all much better, which is pretty important for an Electric type that is choiced. The only upside Rotom-Frost has as a scarfer is not being walled by opposing Grass types, so like a small niche of revenge killing Virizion and full health Sceptile, when Rotom-Mow can just run HP Fly anyway, is really not selling the best point at all here, I feel. Overall, I'd consider Choice Scarf Rotom-Frost borderline viable, but certainly not the main selling point of the Pokemon and definitely an underwhelming set.

@ Icium Z
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Blizzard
- Will-O-Wisp
- Thunderbolt

This is the main set I've used and I feel like it, and maybe Specs, are the two best sets for Rotom-Frost right now. This set is pretty much (defensively) uncountered in this tier outside of Piloswine, Cryogonal and Lanturn, the former of which can only really set up Stealth Rock and do some chip in exchange for getting Burnt anyway. Obviously, it has downsides -- Stealth Rock weakness being a big one, but also poor defensive typing and presence in general does not do it any justice. Ultimately, Blizzard with Z is a nice nuke and means of bluffing the Choice Scarf variant mentioned above and BoltBeam STABs are so fucking good right now. It threatens teams and puts a dent into a lot of the generic balance cores with SR Grounds, Slowbro, and a Grass type, so it can be considered "anti-meta" to an extent. I still think this Pokemon is not necessarily the best pick right now simply due to so many things holding it back like I mentioned before, but if it is played properly and can get in a few times, then it can do well in most match-ups.

252 SpA Rotom-Frost Subzero Slammer (185 BP) vs. 244 HP / 128 SpD Steelix: 310-366 (88 - 103.9%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
252 SpA Rotom-Frost Subzero Slammer (185 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Machamp: 298-352 (92.8 - 109.6%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
252 SpA Rotom-Frost Subzero Slammer (185 BP) vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Garbodor: 307-363 (84.5 - 100%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
252 SpA Rotom-Frost Subzero Slammer (185 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Hitmonlee: 238-282 (98.7 - 117%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Rotom-Frost Subzero Slammer (185 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Mismagius: 250-295 (95.7 - 113%) -- 75% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Rotom-Frost Subzero Slammer (185 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Seismitoad: 331-390 (79.9 - 94.2%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
252 SpA Rotom-Frost Subzero Slammer (185 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Kangaskhan: 313-369 (88.9 - 104.8%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO -- guaranteed OHKO w/ SR

s/o krusty krab btw
 
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