Hello everyone! The meta has been progressing fairly well, and I think it has balanced out a good amount even if there are still a bunch of broken stuff. Some pokemon that have stood out to me lately: - Alolan Raichu: A very effective cleaner with nice coverage and the ability to break even fatter teams if running Nasty Plot. - Vanilluxe: Few balance teams are truly prepared for Specs Blizzard, and Vanillluxe actually has decent enough speed and bulk that it usually can get multiple kills per game if played well. - Primeape: This pokemon is as reliable of a Choice Scarf user as it can get, easily fitting onto any team that needs a revenge killer. It has everything it needs- great STAB, speed tier, access to U-turn, and very usable coverage that can pressure some main fighting-checks. - Absol: Not as broken as I expected, but it thrives against both balance and even offense builds. Life Orb Pursuit sets are a personal favorite as they can cause mindgames with Sucker Punch. - Weezing: Really coming into its own as a defensive pokemon lately, and Tspikes are very helpful at wearing down most of the common teams. Works fantastic on bulky offense, and with priority abusers like Kangashkan. - Prinplup: It fits as hazard control on many teams that would rather have a water-type than Skuntank or Hitmonchan. Pairs great with pokemon like Klinklang, Gourgeist, Vanilluxe. I also want to share a few sets/pokemon I feel are underrated: Ninetales @ Firium Z Ability: Flash Fire EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe Timid Nature IVs: 0 Atk - Nasty Plot - Fire Blast - Psyshock - Energy Ball Pyroar is the better choice most of the time, but Ninetales has a few unique tools it can bring to the table. Firstly, with Flash Fire it can take on choice-locked Pyroar and other fire-types, while pivoting into Sableye's wisp. Additionally with Nasty Plot, Ninetales can easily set up and break through bulky cores. Although Ninetales only has 81 SpA, Z-moves make up for it in a big way. At +2, it can beat pokemon like Hariyama, Hitmonchan, and Gastrodon unlike Pyroar, and outspeeds many pokemon that Magmortar cannot. Lack of immediate power is still an issue, but Ninetales overall is a usable niche option for a win-condition and special sweeper. Passimian @ Choice Band Ability: Receiver EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe Jolly / Adamant Nature - Close Combat - U-turn - Rock Slide - Iron Head I'd heard a lot of people say Passimian was bad so I decided to try it out, and it achieved beyond my expectations. Although not a great mon, it holds its own and actually offers up some useful niches over the other Fighting-types in the game. Passimian is like a heavyweight Primeape; in exchange for Ape's golden speed tier it trades in a good bit more power and bulk. 100 HP and 90 Defense are actually quite remarkable, and in battle I found that it helped Passimian take on a variety of pokemon that stuff like Gallade or Primeape could never dream of. It could switch in on Skuntank, on Piloswine, on Samurott, and just function well as a tank on a team that is looking for that kind of pokemon. Passimian is no Gallade, and is not going to decimate most balance cores, but between CC, U-turn, and coverage it functions more than adequately (bonus points for U-turning on Sableye to a Pursuiter). 80 speed tier is crowded but getting the jump on Rott and Chan is nice, and with Jolly you can even get Shiftry, Skunk, and Vanilluxe. Again, not a fantastic pokemon but it's worth trying out, especially when Gallade probably gets the boot. Altaria @ Leftovers Ability: Natural Cure EVs: 248 HP / 188 Def / 72 SpD Calm Nature IVs: 0 Atk - Roost - Flamethrower - Toxic - Heal Bell / Haze / Moonblast Another ORAS mainstay that's been mostly forgotten about, but can still retain a relevant niche in my opinion. Altaria struggles quite a bit against some common pokemon like Piloswine, Jynx, and Granbull. However, on some very bulky teams it stands out as a pokemon that is able to take on Fire and Fighting-types at the same time, as well as a bunch of assorted defensive pokemon with Toxic + Natural Cure, such as Musharna, Gastrodon, Gourgeist, and Regirock. One thing going for Altaria at the moment is that one of the most relevant switch-ins to Toxic at the moment, Ferroseed, is 4x weak to Fire. Make sure you pair this pokemon with bulky pokemon that can cover its weaknesses, and it can prove useful. Heal Bell is a great support move, Haze can help a bunch with pokemon like SD Samurott, DD Charizard, and SD Scyther, and Moonblast is an option to make the matchup vs fighting-types and Sableye stronger. The given EV spread lets you live two Pyroar Choice Specs Hyper Voices from full, while still having the bulk to check various physical attackers. Kangaskhan @ Silk Scarf Ability: Scrappy EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe Adamant / Jolly Nature - Fake Out - Double-Edge - Earthquake - Toxic Yeah I know I have a fetish for Toxic. Blame ADV PU. Anyway, dual priority is one of the main draws of using Kanga, but the moveslot for Sucker Punch can be dropped if you are feeling reasonably comfortable against speedy offense. There are a bunch of options Kanga can run, such as Fire Punch or Facade, but Toxic is just one that can pressure some of the bulkier builds that are running around now. Toxic pressures many of the fat walls in the meta, such as Gourgeist, Quagsire, and Regirock. Using Toxic on the switch and then pivoting out can be helpful in the long run, especially after wearing the opponent down with hazards, but you can also click Toxic as they go for recovery/rocks/whatever. Just another option to keep in mind if your team is struggling a little with fat stuff.