Tournament OLT IV Discussion Thread

#1
previously ran by bloo
approved by bludz
banner by ium
trainer "card" art design inspired by bloo


Introduction

Smogon's Official Ladder Tour (OLT) is currently underway, and many players are hitting the ladder for the chance to win their very own trophy (
) this and any future ones.

As for this thread, its purpose is to discuss the OLT ladder metagame, trends, player experiences, ladder advice, popular teams and why they are popular, and any other information players feel like discussing! I will be following OLT closely and updating this thread accordingly with any trends I notice, a list of individuals who qualified for each cycle, and so on. There will be plenty to discuss during the duration of OLT. I'd love for this thread to be fun and hope to see players share their thoughts and experiences during each cycle. After each cycle ends, I will be writing an overview for them each. These overviews will be archived and linked in the OP for easy access, along with any notable posts from individuals/OLT participants who take the time to share their thoughts.

Cycle Overview Archive


Archive of Posts

Contribution by imsosorrylol
Contribution by ABR
Qualifier team imports by njnp
Contribution by blunder
Contribution by Kickasser
Contribution by Liones
Contribution by Empo
Contribution by Zuchtrest
Contribution by Ojama
Contribution by Vertex
Contribution by Sabella
Contribution by Cdumas
 
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#2
Cycle 1 Qualifiers

Rank
: #1 | ELO: 2178 | GXE: 87.4% | Record: [reset]
Rank
: #2 | ELO: 2177 | GXE: 83.8% | Record: [reset]
Rank
: #3 | ELO: 2174 | GXE: 85.5% | Record: [reset]
Rank
: #4 | ELO: 2171 | GXE: 84.9% | Record: [reset]
Rank
: #5 | ELO: 2170 | GXE: 85.5% | Record: [reset]
Rank
: #6 | ELO: 2170 | GXE: 87.7% | Record: 105-40
Rank
: #7 | ELO: 2167 | GXE: 87.1% | Record: 95-34
Rank
: #8 | ELO: 2164 | GXE: 89.0% | Record: 84-25​

~
- Magearna did a great job displaying just how powerful a threat it could be this cycle, between the unmatched versatility in Z-moves, huge movepool, access to Shift Gear and Calm Mind, and incredible typing, it was very capable of completely sweeping teams if provided setup opportunities (easily found through the abundance of Pokemon like Greninja, Latios, and Mew). Soul-Heart makes Magearna snowball extremely quickly and allows it to effectively punish scouting and saccing Pokemon.
- Dugtrio has been doing the same thing it has been since the start of the gen, trapping threats for stall, and trapping threats on stall. Z-moves make it extremely reliable for trapping things like Chansey and Toxapex, until they started bypassing it through Skill Swap and Shed Shell. Don't really need to say much, it's been doing the same thing for like 9 months now.
- Veil has been extremely popular this cycle, paired with bulky breakers like Mega Tyranitar and Manaphy, making them extremely hard to take down. Ninetales also has other uses such as being able to harass rain by clearing weather and being able to beat rain abusers thanks to Freeze-Dry.
- Ditto teams popped up a lot during this cycle for its ability to abuse and usually completely shut down Veil teams, Web teams, and have a very valuable niche in infinite PP against Stall, which means it excels at outstalling Stall.

Notable Teams
Below are some popular teams used during Cycle 1. These show some of the trends discussed above and provide some insight into the type of builds people were using to compete with (mainly bulky offense and stall). Many of the teams here were used by more than one person, including several of the people who qualified for Cycle 1. I may have missed a few, so please feel free to mention any teams you feel were popular during the cycle and I will add them. Note, replays were a little tedious to find, so if there are better ones people have in mind, please let me know and I'll include them as well.

- [built by ABR/bro fist] many players during this cycle, this team abuses Toxic Spikes Greninja, along with SubDD Zygarde to set up against many Pokemon weak to Toxic Spikes like Tangrowth and various bulky Waters. Also shows how stupidly bulky and hard to kill Mega Venusaur can be at times. Leftiez also used a similar variant with Mew > Latios and Scarf Gren.
- [built by imsosorrylol] Used by a lot of people too including qualifier imsosorrylol, Veil relies on Ninetales setting it up and just letting the other 5 mons set up and break down the opponents team, really straight forward concept.
- This is my team I made a couple of months ago, relying on Mega Scizor and Chansey to force set-up and then use Ditto to beat their boosted sweepers. Uses Agility Zapdos which functions surprisingly well as a sweeper and breaker for annoying things like Clefable which could switch into Thunderbolt endlessly. Some players such as Blightbringer opted for fast Zapdos with Defog instead, while some others such as -Niko- and Corazan opted for Dugtrio>Zygarde in order to actually trap threats.
- [all variants built by diff people] Rain was very common, at least in the mid ladder as it's fairly reliable for laddering quickly, many different variants were running around such as TDKs Rain team Shake used in Wcop finals, and many more.
- [built by ilikepinkmons] Double Defog stall was common, used by qualifier Zokuru and a lot of other players too. This team has been doing the same thing since last gen, keep hazards off and stall stuff out, easy.
- [built by sabella/empo] Birdspam returns this gen, functioning similarly the same, but with Mimikyu replacing Talonflame. The extremely offensive nature of this team forces Pokemon like Celesteela to take huge damage from Pinsir and / or Dragonite, usually leaving it too weak to take on the other breakers effectively. Mimikyu is a great emergency button against a lot of sweepers too thanks to Disguise.
- TDK webs. Shuckle is used over Smeargle thanks to its better bulk and in general its just more reliable because it can also run Mental Herb meaning Taunt isn't a reliable enough stop to it either. Uses some wack sets like Modest Magearna (puke)
- [built by imsosorrylol] TR was also very effective high up on the ladder, as teams really struggle to deal with threats like Maw/Wak/Craw, especially when they're outspeeding your entire team. Pressures near enough everything while the breakers handle stall very easily too.
 
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#3
I just casually watched some matches towards the end of the cycle and I was surprised at how many versions of that bird spam team were running around. There are so many minor changes that can make or break games, such as the scarf being interchangeable between azelf and drill, using eq or cc on pinsir, messing around with manaphy's and dnite's moveset. I think being able to switch and shuffle moves and roles among team members is a super good quality for a ladder team. Thumbs up.
 

elodin

formerly papai noel
is a Past SPL and WCoP Champion
#4

I think you should've added the Trick Room team by imsosorrylol to the OP. I saw that a lot even on the high ladder (although I'm not sure if there were several people using it or just a group of friends) and it's a very difficult matchup for some teams. I think he qualified using it too, which shows how effective this team can be if played correctly.

(there are like 20 variations of this team and I think these sprites aren't one of them but whatever)
Another archetype that saw a lot of play this cycle was Sticky Web. I guess it was expected by everyone that it'd appear a lot but there were some cool variants this cycle that caught me off guard. People using Shuckle a lot more than Smeargle these days (not sure if this has been going on for a while, I just noticed it this OLT) and saw people replacing a few components to alleviate certain matchups. Definitely another build that was used a lot.

The ben gay rain team is probably the best rain variant to use on the ladder (not really sure if it's ben gay's, my bad if it's someone else's). That team has a very good matchup into a lot of playstyles because people usually rely on bad Water resists in offensive teams (such as Greninja and Latios and stuff like that) which are straight up 2HKOed or OHKOed by Swampert and Kingdra. Z-Wild Charge Koko and Swampert under rain can be a pain for Stall to deal with unless they know Koko's set (which, to be fair, has risen a lot in popularity over the last few months), and Hawlucha can be a very threatening sweeper in lots of games. I used this team a lot on the high ladder and peaked top 8 with it for some time, think it has a decent matchup vs every playstyle at the moment and some matchups are just straight up unlosable from preview.

I didn't see many people obtain success with Veil honestly. The playstyle just seems a bit too cheesy and easy to play around with competent teams. I guess some variants did work out for some people (especially on the low ladder, Veil is very abusable there), but around 1900+ it started looking suboptimal in my opinion. Mob Barley's version with Conkeldurr was one that obtained good results even on the high ladder though, so perhaps it was more about the huge amount of players copying teams from NJNP's thread and not being able to use them properly than the team itself that gave me this impression.

The p2 Ditto team was by far the team I faced the most this cycle though, at least on the high ladder. I really don't know what to say about it because it seems like absolute crap to have a team with a defensive core of Chansey / Toxapex / Scizor and then 2 random Offensive Mons in Zygarde and Zapdos without any sort of recovery or Wish support and an even more random Ditto to round it off. I really don't know how this team works or how p2 was able to come up with it, but it sure was successful for a lot of people and as such I think it's good after all? I think the matchup is tough whenever Scizor is pressured and forced to be sacked early, because then hazards put too much pressure on everything on the team for it to work. It's cool that Hawlucha isn't outsped by Ditto by the way, which means it's a big threat to the team if Zapdos is weakened. :O

Fun cycle, too hard though. This was my first time playing OLT and although the ladder might not have improved in quality per se I definitely think it becomes extremely difficult to reach high ELO considering the amount of good players involved in it. Congratulations to everyone who made it :toast:
 
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#6
I just wanted to shed a little light on some of my teams that were seen around the ladder over the course of this cycle.


First off, I want to talk about Aurora Veil as it was arguably the most dominant teams this cycle, being used very commonly on high ladder and having a very good matchup vs common metagame-type teams. The first variation of the team that I made was in conjunction with NJNP, with him replacing my original Manaphy for a Suicune and making Landorus-T Z move. This was the commonly spammed A-Tales/Mega Tyranitar/Suicune/Zygarde/Magearna/Landorus-T team on ladder by several players. This team focuses on having Alolan Ninetales set up veil so that incredibly bulky Pokemon like Magearna and Zygarde can set up and sweep the opposing team. However, the team that I used to qualify replaces Suicune and Mega Tyranitar for Manaphy and Mega Mawile respectively to vastly improve the team’s matchup vs stall. The Mega Tyranitar version of this team frankly isn't as good as the Manaphy version due to just how difficult it is to break past fatter teams among other factors. This team is incredibly effective on the current ladder due to the low prevalence of Mega Charizard Y and the common usage of Rain teams to quickly gain points. A common misconception about Aurora Veil is that it's an autopilot team that gets brainless wins, but plays still need to be made in difficult matchups such as making the correct play vs lead Greninja and not outright losing to HP Ice Charizard Y. Additionally, stall was fairly common this cycle, with 4 of the top 8 players that qualified using it to qualify, so veil had a great matchup vs their teams.




Also, I want to talk about my trick room team, which was also used by many people on high ladder that were attempting to qualify. It has a great matchup vs Veil, Stall, Rain, Birdspam, and Webs, making it an excellent anti-meta pick at the moment. Additionally, it worked very well for me when laddering because I could alternate between it and hail, meaning that I couldn't be counterteamed solely because of the insane combined threat levels of both teams. Here is a link to my RMT which contains a full description of the team as well as its importable.

 
#7
As many people have taken note of, the ladder has an abundance of "cheese" styles. More specifically, pokemon like Smeargle/Shuckle with webs and taunt Azelf/Greninja with any kind of hazard are also seeing much usage. As such, I figured Sableye would net me some key anti-HO matchups and it also helps vs stall for obvious reasons. So, I'd like to go over the 2 Sableye teams I primarily used for the latter half of my run.

Despite using Sableye, I didn't want a run of the mill full stall because I felt people would over prepare for it and it left very little room for outplaying. So, I tried to make sure I had my own ways of keeping momentum and applying pressure. Now, in building Sableye non-stall, there were basically two types of teams I wanted to try. I wanted to use a traditional hazard prevention team like most Sableye teams function, and I also wanted to use an all out hazard stacking team that has Sableye as the only form of removal/prevention.


Team 1: http://pokepast.es/ead1dad124ab6ec7

In going with the removal route, I knew right away that Zapdos was the defogger I wanted. It's pretty much a necessity for the rising SR Clef, but it's also the best vs these gravity/smack Landos, hence HP ice and the EVs. Another thing that was pretty much a necessity here, as you'll see it on the 2nd team as well, was shed shell Toxapex. At the time I created this team especially there was high ZardY + trap usage, and Zard gets endless free turns on Sab, so Toxapex was the best fit to have an answer to this style. Additionally, max spdef and regen guarantee a 100% long term AV Magearna counter as well as an immediate response to magma Tran. Now at this point, it was really just a matter of covering the remaining threats. AV Magearna provides an answer to Lele, Latios, Ash Gren pulse, and importantly: Manaphy. Manaphy is commonly used on teams like the birdspam one to abuse Sableye trying to mega turn 1, and so Magearna lets me mega anyway. I can Knock with Sab and then Magearna easily avoids the 2hko from +3, so I can just volt into a revenge killer. The moveset is fairly standard besides iron head over flash cannon for CM Gear/Clef. There were still some incredibly dangerous pokemon such as Zygarde (most important one as it abuses pex mag), Bisharp, Lopunny, and Mawile, and thus I opted for phys def Tangrowth. I actually found all of Zygarde, Bisharp, and Mawile far more common than Bulu on high ladder, so I decided to go with the set I did. It's also important to note that double regen + Sab + Zap meant I could easily win the pp war vs other stall teams in the long run. Since I chose helmet instead of AV on Tang, I wanted a scarf ground to help deal with the elecs like Koko that came in on Pex. Stuff like Chomp seemed kind of useless on a team like this so I figured I'd just use Dugtrio as a backup shift Magearna counter and a win cond vs slower teams if I trap properly. Additionally, every time Dug comes in on a double switch vs a grounded poke in the stall pp war, they're forced to use their pp due to arena trap. Ace is there to revenge Heracross and memento to slow down something like a +2 Mawile.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-613527811
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-614443145


Team 2: http://pokepast.es/8d9f0027fef59188

As I said before, this team is all about stacking hazards. Since I wanted something more reliable at setting spikes than Gren the only other option was Ferrothorn, but it does more than lay hazards for the team. Ferro beats boltbeam Magearna, Ash Gren, Koko, and is overall just extremely consistent at laying down hazards. Additionally, most Ferro teams just accept a spikes trade vs other Ferro but having my own one alongside Sableye meant I usually had amazing matchup vs opposing Ferro teams. At this point the team was Sab + Pex + Ferro, and I wanted to ensure I had proper counterplay for threats I currently gave free turns to. Some of these threats were Pinsir, Bulu, SD Lando, Some Lele, TornT, and Bisharp, so I opted for phys def Celesteela. Fire Blast with the given EVs ohkos Bish after 2 SR switchins or a spike. I also love the fat leeching steel component of this core, with Celes being fully phys def and Ferro being fully spdef - they prevent one another from being overwhelmed and are super annoying to switch around with spikes up. Defensively, I still had a notable weakness to Zygarde, Mawile, and gravity/smack Lando. I already had all my hazard setters so I decided to use the protect Lando set I came up with a while back. Protect + lefties helps it stay healthy and also has the added benefit of softening Z moves from Chomp, Zygarde, and Lando if needed. At this point, I still wanted some speed control but also had some defensive uses in mind. I didn't want to be hax bait going to Pex/Ferro repeatedly on Gengar sball and pre-Ash Gren pulse, so Weavile was a perfect fit here. It's fast, resists ghost/dark, and also traps weakened threats for my defensive mons. I also don't mind having Weavile with no hazard removal because there's a Sableye here and my Weavile doesn't need to switch in frequently to do its job.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-614755423
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-614769290
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-614854982
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-614707104 (long one)


Enjoy
 
#8
1) i didn't use bro fist / ABR team but MY version which i've built one month prior their game.
2) MY version has Mew > Latios and Scarf Greninja (without tspikes).
3) This is a totally different team, while my team is based around abusing Venusaur on the long run, bro fist / abr one is all about EH + Sub DD Zygarde.

Congrats to all the qualifiers and good luck / have fun in playoffs ;*
 
#9
- [built by ilikepinkmons] Double Defog stall was common, used by qualifier Zokuru and a lot of other players too. This team has been doing the same thing since last gen, keep hazards off and stall stuff out, easy.
Wanna react about this. First, I can't say, and I'm not saying, that ILikePinkMons do not deserve to be credited for this team.
However, I co-built it with him, as I made the major part of spreads and sets, ( But ILPM is the guy who comes to me with those 6 mons, that's huge af ), and then, we disagreed for techs moves etc, so we both have a different version, so I used my version that I updated for OLT.

I'll make an RMT / Post of it to explain how it works, for everyone who want to use it.

Last thing I wanted to say, playing this on the ladder was far from " easy ", everyone was prep'd, I had to play really well and stall in general isn't as dumb as you can think, I know a lot of people who tried to use that because they was stuck on the ladder and who lost like 200 pts by chainlosing with this.
 
#10
appreciate the thread

does the status quo need to change? i feel like there are a lot of things wrong with this tier. i have been dabbling a bit and i have lost interest already in playing this tier in a ladder environment.

all of the "notable teams" above are very formulaic and predictable rosters. the only team with a unique and fresh approach is the top squad - otherwise we are just seeing heavy offense or "don't lose" stall squads. i have played a lot of 200+ turn games and have been witness to even more 200+ games. aside from playing extremely aggressive squads (rain, fly offense etc.), what is the best response to these stall archetypes? in my opinion it is just to stall them back...

a little intermission for you: http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-614573102

the tournament circuit differs as often these teams will crumble to a z-move - but the effectiveness of the z-move obviously slips after playing the same game over and over again. there is also the ability to increase your unpredictability through gimmicks and a lowered need for optimisation.

in past generations u had this issue to an extent and the counter play was always a boosting sweeper. curse snor, cm sui, sd luca etc. i think we should create an environment that provides a better platform for these sorts of guys to actually pose more of a threat against the common stall rosters.

the issue is not purely dugtrio. it is a combination of dugtrio, unaware, regen warriors especially toxapex and defog. counter play for well built balance teams is utilising the z-move correctly - effectively giving the balance player one turn to win the game (or just set SR lol)

are we playing for fun as well as competition? there is definitely an element of skill involved in pp management but it is not something to be enjoyed. a pokemon like toxapex is not a net positive to this game in any shape or form. regenerator is a terrible ability that allows players to consistently make risk free plays without consequence.

my opinion: ban unaware, dugtrio, toxapex, z-moves or release some legendaries from upstairs

(zekrom would be like a top 20 pokemon if it was unbanned for example)
 
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#11
Cycle 2 Qualifiers

Rank
: #1 | ELO: 2122 | GXE: 85.7% | Record: 127-60
Rank
: #2 | ELO: 2112 | GXE: 91.2% | Record: [reset]
Rank
: #3 | ELO: 2109 | GXE: 87.8% | Record: 127-46
Rank
: #4 | ELO: 2109 | GXE: 87.1% | Record: 146-65
Rank
: #5 | ELO: 2107 | GXE: 90.1% | Record: 96-35
Rank
: #6 | ELO: 2106 | GXE: 86.5% | Record: 137-70
Rank
: #7 | ELO: 2099 | GXE: 84.8% | Record: [reset]
Rank
: #8 | ELO: 2098 | GXE: 85.3% | Record: 108-51​

- Newly released Megas in Latias and Diancie quickly found themselves fitting into the meta nicely, Mega Latias gains extra bulk so it can become a more reliable answer to CharizardY+Dugtrio cores and more threats like Tapu Koko and Lando-T. Reflect Type along with Calm Mind sets were very common this cycle as Reflect Type allows it to bypass Pursuit and switch out with ease, making it harder for the likes of Tyranitar to reliably trap it, while Calm Mind sets can be difficult to stop between its coverage options and options to bypass status and trappers.
- Diancie was a great Pokemon last gen and is even better this generation due to Mega evo mechanics, making Protect no longer near mandatory to ensure a safe Mega evo. Diamond Storm buff helps a lot too as it has a chance to completely stop physical revenge killers like Dugtrio or Mega Lopunny, while also weakening most priority moves if it aims to sweep with Rock Polish. Diancie has quickly fit into the meta and established itself as a top tier threat, despite the extremely high usage of Dugtrio and Magearna, two very common answers that fit on a variety of teams.
- Kyurem-B was always somewhat under the radar in OU this gen, with a couple of uses here and there in spl/wcop, but it had a recent surge in usage thanks to the reliability of Icium Z which provides it with an extremely powerful physical Ice stab move, usually being enough to force a trade vs most teams, easily done with the high usage of Gliscor / Celesteela / Pex etc balances running around. It's extremely flexible and has a free 4th moveslot too which makes answering it even harder, as Substitute can prevent switching between its Ice/Elec coverage and punish plays bringing in faster breakers, HP Fire can hit Scizor which has been rising a lot too, while Roost just makes it incredibly annoying for bulkier teams to deal with.
- Mega Scizor dropped off hard after the MegaGross ban, but it eventually it rose back up, mainly through its SD sets which punish common teams like Veil, while Defog is still reliable for keeping hazards off against these v common hazard stacking teams. Mega Diancie and the rise of KyuB also give it more reason to be used as it can offensively check them easily too.

Notable Teams:
[built by Liones and DANN3] - very bulky team which uses a combination of SD Taunt Gliscor along with CM Koko to give defensive teams hell, Gliscor sets up easily against stall, shuts down Unaware Clef, doesn't care about Sableye, and isn't trapped by Dug, making for a very solid option as it pressures all forms of stall on the ladder. SR Clef also helps a lot with getting rocks up against Sableye, and Gliscor shuts down defoggers easily too. The rest of the team is just geared to beating the rest of the meta w/ a very solid bulky core in Lati/Pex/Ferro.
[built by ABR] - ABRs cycle 1 team, read his post here
[built by alex1467174] - People have told me hiye and CaronSmith built this team but I don't think they actually did, some guy called alex1467174 who has been using the team and older variants for the past 4+ months or so was the actual creator of the team. It features threats like SD Scizor which does very well against the current meta, beating lots of relevant teams and pressuring common mons very well. Icium Kyu-B is used on this team too which usually allows it to power through some mons that can be used to handle Sciz like Pex/Steela/Tran, in general it's just a very powerful core of breakers, along with Weavile which can pursuit trap things like weakened Heatran too. Uses Scarf Lando-T so its a bit weak to fast things like Volc, but Volc has been extremely uncommon during OLT so far, maybe we'll see a rise in it soon with all these <100 Scarfer teams.
[built by y4/edited by kanto] - One of the first relevant teams featuring Mega Diancie. Rock Polish along with Psychic Terrain is a huge threat for a lot of teams that rely on Priority from stuff like Sciz / Gren in order to shut down any attempts at sweeping. Sash Explosion Landt also ensures rocks are going up and usually stay up, allowing Specs Lele to pressure fat teams very easily, especially when paired with Waterium Spikes Gren, which takes advantage of mons like Heatran which may stay in predicting Specs Spikes. Scarf Kartana is underrated and pressures a lot of teams well in this meta too, while the rest of the team just blasts fat teams.
[built by Sabella] - meeps qualified with this team while users like Sabella also used it to good effect. Sab approached me at the end of cycle1 asking about Ditto teams so I kinda pointed him in a direction for what I think optimal Ditto teams consist of, and this was the end product. A lot more offensive than mine, geared towards cteaming my team too, especially w/ Medi + Medi answers, preventing opposing Ditto from beating the team. Skarm provides Defog support, similarly to Mega Scizor, and shuts down breakers like Lando-T fairly well.
 
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#12
(there are like 20 variations of this team and I think these sprites aren't one of them but whatever)
Another archetype that saw a lot of play this cycle was Sticky Web. I guess it was expected by everyone that it'd appear a lot but there were some cool variants this cycle that caught me off guard. People using Shuckle a lot more than Smeargle these days (not sure if this has been going on for a while, I just noticed it this OLT) and saw people replacing a few components to alleviate certain matchups. Definitely another build that was used a lot.

The other version was my YAKO webs, i was top 15 in the cycle 1 with another version of this wonderfull TDK Build. my max was 2093

Hay Hachís (Shuckle) @ Mental Herb
Ability: Sturdy
EVs: 252 HP / 244 Def / 12 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Stealth Rock
- Sticky Web
- Encore
- Final Gambit

Esto No Para (Pinsir-Mega) @ Pinsirite
Ability: Aerilate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Earthquake
- Return
- Quick Attack

Efectos Vocales (Bisharp) @ Life Orb
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Knock Off
- Iron Head
- Sucker Punch

Ayer (Tapu Koko) @ Electrium Z
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 30 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Calm Mind
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- U-turn

Ven Ven (Zygarde) @ Mago Berry
Ability: Aura Break
EVs: 252 HP / 196 Atk / 60 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Thousand Arrows
- Substitute
- Extreme Speed

Pollos Hermanos (Mimikyu-Busted) @ Life Orb
Ability: Disguise
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Play Rough
- Shadow Sneak
- Shadow Claw

actually is not enough solid but in the cycle 1 did really well his job
 

blunder

the bobby fischer of pokemon
is a Tiering Contributor
#13
was fun laddering despite having to avoid omari p and mob barley at every intersection but ladder was definitely similar to last cycle in terms of cheese styles, lots of webs / tr / veil and of course the five different variations of stall that are usable and unbeatable. the biggest thing w/ high ladder to me was having a good matchup vs the obscene amounts of stall i would end up playing but also having a good matchup vs other stuff like aurora veil / trick room etc.

team 1: http://pokepast.es/5fc205c0be960e50



ben gay and poek built this team and passed it to me on the second or third day and it's what i used for about 70% of my high ladder games. this team originally had this clefable set which was basically the crux of the team -

Clefable @ Psychium Z
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 HP / 48 Def / 140 SpA / 52 SpD / 16 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Calm Mind
- Soft-Boiled
- Moonblast
- Stored Power

evs were made to ohko pex at +1 with z stored power which is 160 bp but we decided at the end that it was much better to just go with cm stealth rock which still beats stall in combination with zapdos, albeit a lot slower and because this clefable was taking like 65 from defensive lando eqs and that sort of thing. sd scizor is the second cool part about this team as it basically destroys veil from lead and also stomps trick room out if you play well. this team was my favorite for this reason since it could cover the majority of cheese strats while also having solid win conditions unlike other stalls/semistalls that play to outlast the opponent. all in all one of my favorite teams but it doesn't come without its weaknesses. while it's excellent in destroying balance and stall it has a lot of trouble vs some hyper offensive teams, specifically vs birdspam as they pack psychic mana which 6-0es right through this team. other nuisances include electrium z zapdos which is seen on the p2 ditto stall since this team has no sound elec res.

other than this i used zokuru's stall for about 5 games which i consider to be the best team in sun moon currently which has to do with how broken stall is and because it's good at winning most pp management games. shoka used scarf dug so that you have a better matchup vs koko and you also can 50/50 ditto stall instead of losing 100% while I preferred sash reversal bc people kept using kartana and the zapdos on this team is spdef so it's a bad check with sr up.

i used njnp's hawlucha rain to get to 1800 and went like 40-2 so it is imo the best low ladder technique since you can get 2 games at once because most just end with swampert waterfalling everything and it took only like 2 and a half hours for me. i also used some offenses and bulky offenses on high ladder, here's two in particular i used a decent amount.



this team made use of two sets that i really liked, one being sub sd life orb bulu which just runs max speed max atk jolly and horn leech / superpower but it's a sick set since it's able to not only dumpster stall bc u 2hko clef with lo horn leech, but u also destroy trick room at lead since you sub on uxie sd twice and end them immediately bc sub + grassy lets u heal enough to stall out tr.

a greninja set i used a decent amount was one ctc made way back and i used in heatah fajita but i also saw kanto laddering with it a ton this week

Greninja-Ash @ Waterium Z
Ability: Battle Bond
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Spikes
- Water Shuriken
- Dark Pulse
- Hydro Pump

this sets awesome since it lets you crush sableye while also obliterating tr and z pump is awesome for ohkoing mawile and shit like that. it's also a ton more easy to get up spikes since you know in the back of your head you have the water z nuke to aid with evolving later on.


ANYWAYS i wanna talk about what i think is good on the ladder and cool trends. icicum kyurem b is amazing since it can basically always nab one ko which is great for most teams, i hate playing this mon with any sort of team since its fucking unable to be koed without something like draco meteor and it will always grab one so it's definitely one of my favs. kartana is really cool too and got a ton of usage with sd 3 atk, sd 2 atk fog, and scarf - def use this mon. i think lo protean gren is really cool and should make a return as it dumpsters a lot of these common teams now. look at what i laddered up with and the liones team. absolutely dumpstered by ice / gunk / esense gren which doesn't even sound that bad with literally everyone spamming clef + pex + ground. i dont think diancie is that good but it might just be because i ran dug and pex a lot but it def has merit. pre olt ladder celesteela was my favorite mon in ou too but after spamming zapdos and also playing against 3000 zapdoses i can tell you that it just feels like a liability since you the whole time u use celesteela u can feel ur pp sapping away. as for styles that i think are good to ladder with, i like balance, stall, and as for cheese-offense strats i only consider trick room good bc marowak under trick room cannot be stopped

ideally dugtrio will be banned soon and the meta can flourish a little bit because right now i think that sun and moon ladder meta is pretty bad with the amount of shit you have to cover. i do enjoy the metagame and there is a lot of room for innovation which was easy to see with the icium kyu-b + sd sciz team for example, but having to cover veil / birds / tr / dug stall is just a little too much, especially stall. i think my biggest beef with sm rn is that it favors teams that outlast instead of win so you just sit there having 1800 turn games, shoutout shoka and poek
 
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#14
yeah laddering was a pain, I have no idea how to improve the meta, thought duggy was the problem but everyone start using shed shell toxapex and skill swap chansey that totally invalidate some cores that relie on trapping like zardug. dug is still a fantastic mon of course (sash/scarf are it's best sets atm I think) but I'd suspect magearna first if I had the choice
shed shell toxapex is absolutely fantastic as a pokemon cuz it basically checks 50% of the meta and u absolutely can't be guarenteed to OHKO it unless you pack specs lele, it can pivot on almost everything thanks to regenerator+haze and tspikes are a fantastic wincon against offense w/out tspikes absorber so I'm not surprised to see all these balance based on it + the core celesteela/pex is so hard to break because no one use band gard these days
mlatias is kinda underrated I feel, the stored power set can break many team by it's own especially stall and some sets like the hp fire+bolt/beam that liones used in his team is a great wincond against many offenses
koko in general is fantastic too, very fast and one of the best revengekiller in the game, it can also beat stall w/ z wild charge/taunt, and can destroy offense with boltbeam coverage, magearna can sweep every single team in the game with the good moveset (pain split cm shift gear bolt beam stabs etc), kyub claims a kill every time it comes on the field, kartana does the same as mag but doesn't even need to boost itself to be dangerous, lele (even if we don't see it that much) can also do very well against every team with the right set, lando celesteela greninja yeah I feel they are so much mons that are way too dangerous, the meta is chaotic and I feel like OLT kinda shows that the strats that are actually viable are not the funniest ones if you want my opinion (hard stall, semi stall, tr, brainless HO, webs) I didn't mention z moves that are fantastic too but we all know them so yeah don't have that much to say about the meta, I feel like smogon in general doesn't really know what to do about it to but I encourage all of you guys to post your thoughts about the metagame and how could we improve it, and I hope OLT will help in that sense

teams I used to qualify:

- Team that I used during my lowladder run, ABR actually made a post of this team, it can insure a lot of safe wins against most of the offense that you could face in low ladder thanks to the strong defensive core hazards RKiller weavile, solid team overall that helped me to got around 1900. Exemple replays:#1, #2, #3
- This one was build by Liones and used by some players like Tricking , Liones used a lot of different versions but the one I played was using z-zbolt koko, you basically hazard spam and win against offense with koko tias, cm koko is generally the wincon in mirror/against semi stall while gliscor destroys every stall team thanks to SD taunt. Clef runs sr and beats sab zapdos thanks to toxic and if skarm comes out that gives gliscor a free switch in so yeah stall is a free match up for this team, Liones destroyed this cycle and deserves some credits for that. Exemple replays: #1, #2, #3
- The team I had the most fun using this cycle, builded by my friend Norton aka jake5 aka kickisgay. Features some interesting sets like gravity rocks z fly lando, band zyg and cm knock off clef, Norton prooved that you can basically get any high you want if you play well (he peaked #1 with it, and it got me around 2000). It has an excellent match up against stall, rain may look like an issue since greninja is the water resist but the only pain is Kingdra, because Swampert gets weakened by clef magearna and then clef 6-0s when pert is dead (the only other thing that kills it is z move koko, that gives landorus a free switch in). Exemple replays: #1, #2, #3, #4
 
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Liones

Vom leben gezeichnet
is a Tiering Contributor
#15
Yo laddering was actually fun this time apart from magearna being broken
Since alot of people already have it anyways might as well give a more indepth explanition of the team i used for the most part.




I made this team for the most part, when I showed it to dann3 we noticed that it is a bit too zygarde so he changed heatran to clef as well as some sets.
At the low ladder i used birdspam and the at the end i used sorrys trickroom team because people were using breakers and offense alot, but this is the team I used the most during the cycle.

Explanation:
The basic idea of this team was to obliterate stall with this insane gliscor set while spikes+koko and lati are supposed to pressure offense and balance.
This gliscor set has beaten spl as well as ilovepinkmons and trump stall but it's kinda getting harder since some people are trying hard and changed sets such as the zap on ilovepinkmonsstall to fast hp ice which used to have heatwave.
The hardest matchup for this team is probably sticky web because it's very hard to win vs webs+pinsir+blast,fleur,bolt magearna+bisharp which the standard webs runs you literally have to put up tspikes and spikes and try to chip these down.
Birdspam,veil and tr are all kinda beatable if you outplay them enough you have to pressure them with koko+tspikes for the most part.
Rain also loses to pex+ferro+spikes too if you play decent enough.
Standard steela venu balance is also very beatable due to wi spikes+clef+pex+koko+gliscor, except for reuni, you have to beat that with gliscor, which would be easier if it had roost (cwl)

Gliscor @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
EVs: 244 HP / 160 SpD / 104 Spe
Careful Nature
- Swords Dance
- Earthquake
- Taunt
- Knock Off


Threats:
the definitly biggest threat for this team is ice beam/fleur cannon,tbolt,focus blast or late game cm bolt beam magearna you have to play really carfull,or dodge focus blasts or just complain about magearna being broken.

close second is tapu lele because you have to win a lot of predictions every time this mon comes in to not lose a mon, alot of lele builds were tspike weak tho.


tapu bulu is also a big threat tho you can tox it with clef or pressure it with lati doubles.

Ttar is a huge threat too because it trapps lati and pressures the other stuff if you missplay a bit, luckily enough its not too common right now anyways.


replays:
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-616217529
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-616223279
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-616254860


import:
http://pokepast.es/5d3e7c37a87e939c
 
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Empo

the darkness persists forever
is a Tutor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
#17
Hi I'm Empo and as you many know I like laddering quickly with my favourite playstyle to ladder, which is Offense or Hyper Offense. In the first cycles, I tried to use Sabella's modified birdspam (the Mimikyu - Azelf one) but when I started cycle 3, WhiteQueen suggested me to replace Azelf because it was deadweight against most of the playstyles, and a lot of people knew what coverage I used to run on zelf (fire blast + hidden power ice). Therefore, thinking about it, I decided to replace Azelf for something that gave me a possibility of sweeping lategame and was also an additionary Tapu Lele check. That's why I came up with Magearna, which I find really broken because it can dismantle balance with shift gear + calm mind. After adding Magearna, I felt like Scarf Excadrill was deadweight as well and wasn't a reliable srocker, therefore I put a sash Excadrill, which is an awesome lead because it can set on pretty much everything. One thing I recommend you to do is that to keep Excadrill alive in case your opponent got Tapu Koko, even if you can manage to do well if you pressure with Stealth Rock + Mimikyu + Dragonite. For mag, I used a robopoke's spread, and I like to shoutout him because he even made my Dragonite spread, this dude is a teambuilding machine. Finally, when I was in 2000s, I decided to swap Close Combat for Substitute on Pinsir. I saw that reyscarface and Soulwind were laddering a lot with stall, and I noticed a lack of whirlwind / brave bird skarm, therefore I put that move to have a huge advantage against them.

- https://pokepast.es/ac3b0fe3c6824a9b

Replays
vs reyscarface
vs Soulwind
vs Cdumas
vs p2
vs Sanjay

Here is another team I built. pork chop man initially asked me if i wanted to build some HO team for OLT, and I said sure. He asked me to build around some nice stealth rock setter, which is Excadrill, and as I said earlier, it can set rocks on everything and force common defoggers like Zapdos out thanks to toxic. So, we wanted to do some hazard spam offense with taunt Greninja, and indeed we added it. Then, we added some uncommon threat (that is becoming more used rn, see blunder and hiye), SD scizor, which atm can sweep lots of balance lacking toxapex, steela or some other counter (although if spikes and rocks are up knock off +2 is almost kill). Initially we decided even to add sub SD Marowak but that was probably too much. Our last two members were Latios and Zapdos, but I felt that opponents could easily defog on those and they were deadweight a lot. Therefore, I decided to fix the team keeping Exca + Ninja + Zor, but replacing Marowak with Mimikyu, which has Z Move and it's generally more reliable in revenge killing thanks to Disguise. I replaced Lati and Zap with Zygarde and Magearna for some reasons: Zygarde really appreciates Toxic Spikes, as I put the Sub Tect set (thanks again robopoke for the spread) and even if they defog you take advantage starting subbing and stuff, same for Magearna being a Lele Check. Don't wanna explain everything, but the goal is setting rocks + spikes + tspikes (if you don't see a toxapex or some other poison who can absorm them) and then sweep with either zor / mimik / mag / zygarde.

- https://pokepast.es/077c407b50437e4c

Replays

vs Za Meowdo
vs haxrme
vs Pierrick
vs wobblybobbly
vs pokegolf

These are the teams I used mostly. I even used some Cloyster HO at some point in the ladder but the squad is not even that good so I ain't posting it. Finally I want to shoutout Za Meowdo because I used some of his teams as well, so thanks for the help man :) and good luck to everyone in cycle 4.
 
#18
Posting this because some people actually asked for the team.

The whole teambuilding process was just like I got mad from laddering and wanted to use some mindless mons like specs lele. This team is definitely retarded and inconsistent don't get me wrong but it was surprisingly effective on the ladder (well mainly because I often did not face the stuff that this team loses to like Victini, Medicham, Swampert or Bisharp or people choked badly with these mons) but also because this team had a surprisingly solid matchup against many ladder teams that were running around this and previous cycle like the balance team from Liones or the RP Diancie offense for example.
The team was first centered about mindless stuff like specs hoopa/lele and a chansey because that is what I mainly saw on the ladder and was surprised how well it actually works despite having poor synergy. Anyways like I said I have most likely no explanation on the spreads on most of these mons because I just clicked the suggested spread on the teambuilder and didn't really care. It was kinda fun how max hp lele always took a hit from Pinsir and in general clicking psychic like a braindead. I twisted this team a few times around (Band Hoopa, Fightinium/specs Lele, an actual lando set...) but I'm fine with this version.

Again don't use this team if people are laddering with rain, medicham or stuff like that, don't use it in low ladder because darmanitan will eat this team alive. Again don't expect this team to have a big thought process because it clearly does not and it's just that random and mindless stuff works well on the ladder despite being inconsistent. I know some of you will probably hate me (or think I'm dumb which may be true) for this but I'm also just a human and was trying to have fun.

http://pokepast.es/877c43048e81119a

Lele outspeeds Bish, Zapdos outspeeds timid Pelipper and always lives a Hydro from specs Ash-Gren, other spreads are nothing special and copied from the teambuilder ._.
 
#19
Alright so before sharing my thoughts about the current metagame and talking about the experience of laddering in SM during 3 cycles, keep in mind that I'm not a SM player and so that my opinion about the tier as a whole may sound a little bit biased since I'm an old gens player. That being said, although I dont have the legitimacy of players like ABR, blunder or Leftiez in this tier, I think I have enough experience in other generations to have a relatively accurate opinion about the metagame.

First of all, this was by far the worst experience of my Pokémon career. I used to ladder a lot so I know how laddering can get on one's nerves and how annoying/boring it can be. But I have to be honest: I had never imagined something like that. First cycle was probably the worst. Me discovering the tier, learning how to ladder effectively and great players trying this cycle didn't help much. I didn't even reach 2000 points in cycle 1. An absolute disaster. Nothing made sense and there were too many teams/playstyles being spammed during this cycle. Veil/Webs/Birdspam/Stall/Rain. That was too much for me. Obviously ladder isn't an objective representation of the tier, I know that, but there is something wrong with the current metagame but I wanted to convince myself it was because I was just not too familiar with the tier yet to have a real opinion about the question.

Cycle 2 was easier and healthier. Despite not making it again I was a lot closer this time and felt that I had improved. Less stall and webs helped a lot too. I'm now convinced stuff need to be banned in the tier.

Cycle 3 was just Birdspam vs Diancie-Lele, with some players coming up with original teams like Meodow or Zuchtrest. A certain playstyle remains too broken though. God bless I barely faced it this cycle.

I don't have any teams to share because I didn't use any of my own so it would be inappropriate to post teams that I didn't make. I'm not really good at laddering and am not a SM expert like I said but if you care to know what teams I used the most to qualify, there you go:

This was the most used version of the Kanto team from last cycle. I am not sure who actually made that change (Gyarados>Greninja), I've heard it was beatiful but I'm not completely sure. Anyway, this was the first time I had ""fun"" laddering and that is thanks to this team. My personal change was Calm Mind > Diamond Storm on Diancie, making it a CM + RP set. Paired with Magnezone and with Specs Lele carrying HP Fire, I felt like Diancie didn't need HP Fire with the CM set so I decided to keep Rock Polish (the CM set being in my opinion the most dangerous; which is why I wanted to use it over the original RP + DS set) and it turned out to be very effective. I won several games with this set once the Celesteela/Ferrothorn/Scizor was/were trapped. Z Bounce Gyarados in my opinion makes this version better than the Greninja one because Gyarados adds a Ground immunity (the team being very weak to Scarf Landorus-T) and it is surprisingly extremely anti-metagame (or ladder metagame, call it however you want). It helps vs the Rain Matchup too. I'm still unsure whether to run Intimidate or Moxie though.

You know it already, not much to say about it. It's a great team. SD Zor is really good at the moment and so is Fini. Z Kyurem-B getting at least 1 kill per game is always nice. Weavile + Scarf Landorus-T matches up very well against most of the teams spammed on the ladder. It can also beat stall if you play well, always nice.

You probably recognize it too. This is the team Michy has been spamming for the last 2 cycles. I am extremely surprised at how dangerous CM Stored Power M-Latias can be. You got hazards, a defensive core, 2 win conditions (potentially 3 with Greninja) and a scarfer. Of course this team can have rough matchups but it's overall pretty solid. Being able to run Surf for Greninja's last slot is extremely satisfying. Not relying on hydropump to win a game can save you from a few heart attacks.

I know this isn't really the goal of that thread but I feel like this is the only one where we can talk about the metagame with an objective opinion, especially after going through the hell laddering in it was. My opinion as a new SM player is the following:

- Ban Dugtrio (or Arena Trap) before Playoffs start. I've heard a lot of different versions about when the next suspect test will happen so I have no idea if they plan on suspecting Dugtrio before playoffs start or after OLT is over. I would like to suggest something: quick ban that thing and let's move on. It couldn't be clearer that Dugtrio has to go. Please spare us from another laddering session. Don't force us to waste time laddering for an outcome we already all know. Maybe I'm wrong, but I strongly believe than at least 80% of the SM players want to ban Dugtrio (or Arena Trap).

- Suspect Test Magearna. I had a radical opinion about its case before they released M-Latias and Diancie so a suspect test would be worth it for Magearna.

Whoever the council members are, please do something before playoffs start.

blunder barrington :racehorse: u shine head motherfucker, TDK, ABR, John I bet you guys are on council, aren't you. I can't think of any other players that could be part of it. Or am I missing someone.................

S/O to the original creator of this thread l0l
 
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#21

Rank
: #1 | ELO: 2135 | GXE: 86.2% | Record: [reset]
Rank
: #2 | ELO: 2130 | GXE: 87.6% | Record: [reset]
Rank
: #3 | ELO: 2128 | GXE: 87.1% | Record: 160-88
Rank
: #4 | ELO: 2128 | GXE: 87.6% | Record: [reset]
Rank
: #5 | ELO: 2127 | GXE: 89.8% | Record: 99-27
Rank
: #6 | ELO: 2127 | GXE: 84.6% | Record: [reset]
Rank
: #7 | ELO: 2121 | GXE: 87.4% | Record: 102-38
Rank
: #8 | ELO: 2119 | GXE: 89.6% | Record: [reset]​

Magnezone has seen a fair rise in usage over the past few cycles, more teams are relying on things like SD Mega Scizor to chip into and weaken teams to allow teammates like Lele or Kartana to freely spam stabs. Also useful for removing Ferrothorn which has been all over the place recently, and likewise for Celesteela.
Tangrowth has been considered quite mediocre over the past while, mostly because the meta has found ways to adapt to it and abuse its passiveness, mainly through things like high Kyurem-B usage, spiking with Ash Gren as it comes in, a lot of little things like these lead to Tang being a less optimal choice in the metagame, but as of late, it still has a very valid use in the tier and teams forgetting about it are being punished, especially if they're over reliant on breakers like Koko or Ash Gren. Knock Off is a lot more valuable in the meta atm due to the high usage of Shed Shells, making it harder to Pokemon like Toxapex to come in and set up Toxic Spikes to punish Tang, because it's now left vulnerable to trappers like Heatran or Dugtrio.
Lele is kinda all over the place right now as people seek to find some of the most reliable breakers in the tier in order to give themselves as much as an advantage over bulky teams as possible, Lele is pretty great right now as Specs punishes the high usage of Phys Def Celes, while SpD Celes could easily wall Lele. Phys Def finds itself taking upwards of 50% from Modest Psychic which just shows the extent of stupidly powerful Lele can be. Lots of other options are coming up again, such as CM + Z-move sets, Shed Shell, while Scarf has still been a very solid option.

Notable Teams
[built by Mael] Used by Alexander this cycle, one of maels SPL builds w/ some edits to suit it for the current meta. Hydreigon is a very nice option thanks to its extremely spammable Dark stab along with coverage options that allow it to punish typical Ash Gren resists like Ferrothorn and Toxapex a lot harder, while also having some nice defensive uses w/ Levitate and being able to resist Greninjas STABs, making for a good switchin to come in and fire off powerful hits.
[built by Zuchtrest] Read about this team here.
[original builder unknown] Standard stall is back this cycle, used by reyscarface in cycle 2, and many users in cycle 3, mainly by qualifier fardin and others like christo. Everyone knows what this team does by now lol..
[built by hand relief] Very offensive build used by c0mp, very similar to the team Updated Kanto used in cycle 2 and was spammed by many this cycle. Features sets that died down before such as Shed Shell Lele and Scarf Koko, the latter which functions very well in the meta as it can outspeed offensive builds with ease and threaten nearly everything w/ terrain tbolts. Mega Alakazam is scary good with psychic terrain as we all know by now. Mag traps annoying Pokemon like SD Sciz which has risen a lot in usage this past while.
[built by iloveleague] Used by Bushtush this cycle, features a different type of Psychic spam this cycle, using Mega Gallade as opposed to Mega Alakazam or Hoopa. There really isn't much to say about this build, it's a really straight forward bulky offense build with Celes and Tang, the latter of which is very nice atm despite dropping off in usage because it checks so many dangerous mons and helps provide a decent buffer vs rain teams too.
 
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#22
- http://pokepast.es/8d9977daf9ee8aa6

i am surprised no one attempted using rain to qualify because of the insane amount of hyper offensive teams that were spammed this cycle. two were built by empo and the diancie-lele team is more popular this cycle than last cycle. the ladder has also become incredibly friendly towards rain users because the release of mega diancie put a dent into aurora veil strategies. mega charizard y is no where to be seen because of how prevalent shed shell toxapex is. finally, as noted in the cycle overview by p2, tangrowth is another pokemon that has not seen much usage. the chances of me playing a hyper offensive team on the upper ladder is super high already, and this was close to guaranteed when sniping. even if i didn't get the matchup i wanted through sniping, the remaining teams that were used during this cycle are heavily pressured by swampert + hawlucha, meaning that i would almost always have the matchup.

obviously, i am not going to take an njnp team raw because that man is on another level. i ended up ditching hydro pump on my kingdra because ice beam was way too important to revenge kill dragonite and pressure a possible tangrowth. i reduced my pelipper's speed evs to 6 to safely u-turn out of celesteela. waterfall > aqua tail and damp > torrent on swampert always. these were just small changes however. the biggest change i made to this team was the use of this set:

Tapu Koko @ Tapunium Z
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Thunder
- Nature's Madness
- Taunt
- U-turn

if i wanted to beat double defog stall (which ciele was spamming), i would go with z-wild charge, but mega venusaur was another popular pokemon that was used on the upper ladder, so i wanted a way to help me versus both playstyles. this tapu koko set does just that, and it helped me clinch the 7th spot.

all credits go to njnp for building this, and s/o GMars for staying up until 2am with me.
 
#23
- https://pokepast.es/077c407b50437e4c
Replays
vs Za Meowdo
vs haxrme
vs Pierrick
vs wobblybobbly
vs pokegolf

These are the teams I used mostly. I even used some Cloyster HO at some point in the ladder but the squad is not even that good so I ain't posting it. Finally I want to shoutout Za Meowdo because I used some of his teams as well, so thanks for the help man :) and good luck to everyone in cycle 4.
I told Empo about this but he seems to have forgotten and before people complain, lemme fix one thing: the spread for Zygarde.
It is supposed to have 180 Spe EVs so you have to move those 4 Spd EVs into Speed to outspeed Lopunny and Manectric at +1, unless you enjoy speedties.
Lemme quote the Setdetails I have posted on my RMT:

"Oh my Zygarde. Lemme explain the EVs first. 180 Speed is important to outspeed Mega Mane at +1 and Scarfers up to Serperior at +2. 192HP gives Zygarde 101HP Subs and 136+Atk is a jump point. Because of this teams nature to get up Hazards reliably and prevent their removal, you can expect the switch ins to take massive damage which allows you to have less attack than usual.
Sub/Protect helps maximize Leftovers recovery and either allows you to setup on many defensive answers. Protect also helps scouting Scarf Lati. If they try to Defog you can DD twice and probably win the game. Sub+Protect also can stall out Tapu Bulus Grassy Terrain without taking any damage because you recover all the damage from Substitute in two turns. Also helps stalling out Trick Room and Rain turns, which are always huge problems for teams like this."
 
#24
Alright so before sharing my thoughts about the current metagame and talking about the experience of laddering in SM during 3 cycles, keep in mind that I'm not a SM player and so that my opinion about the tier as a whole may sound a little bit biased since I'm an old gens player. That being said, although I dont have the legitimacy of players like ABR, blunder or Leftiez in this tier, I think I have enough experience in other generations to have a relatively accurate opinion about the metagame.

First of all, this was by far the worst experience of my Pokémon career. I used to ladder a lot so I know how laddering can get on one's nerves and how annoying/boring it can be. But I have to be honest: I had never imagined something like that. First cycle was probably the worst. Me discovering the tier, learning how to ladder effectively and great players trying this cycle didn't help much. I didn't even reach 2000 points in cycle 1. An absolute disaster. Nothing made sense and there were too many teams/playstyles being spammed during this cycle. Veil/Webs/Birdspam/Stall/Rain. That was too much for me. Obviously ladder isn't an objective representation of the tier, I know that, but there is something wrong with the current metagame but I wanted to convince myself it was because I was just not too familiar with the tier yet to have a real opinion about the question.

Cycle 2 was easier and healthier. Despite not making it again I was a lot closer this time and felt that I had improved. Less stall and webs helped a lot too. I'm now convinced stuff need to be banned in the tier.

Cycle 3 was just Birdspam vs Diancie-Lele, with some players coming up with original teams like Meodow or Zuchtrest. A certain playstyle remains too broken though. God bless I barely faced it this cycle.

I don't have any teams to share because I didn't use any of my own so it would be inappropriate to post teams that I didn't make. I'm not really good at laddering and am not a SM expert like I said but if you care to know what teams I used the most to qualify, there you go:

This was the most used version of the Kanto team from last cycle. I am not sure who actually made that change (Gyarados>Greninja), I've heard it was beatiful but I'm not completely sure. Anyway, this was the first time I had ""fun"" laddering and that is thanks to this team. My personal change was Calm Mind > Diamond Storm on Diancie, making it a CM + RP set. Paired with Magnezone and with Specs Lele carrying HP Fire, I felt like Diancie didn't need HP Fire with the CM set so I decided to keep Rock Polish (the CM set being in my opinion the most dangerous; which is why I wanted to use it over the original RP + DS set) and it turned out to be very effective. I won several games with this set once the Celesteela/Ferrothorn/Scizor was/were trapped. Z Bounce Gyarados in my opinion makes this version better than the Greninja one because Gyarados adds a Ground immunity (the team being very weak to Scarf Landorus-T) and it is surprisingly extremely anti-metagame (or ladder metagame, call it however you want). It helps vs the Rain Matchup too. I'm still unsure whether to run Intimidate or Moxie though.

You know it already, not much to say about it. It's a great team. SD Zor is really good at the moment and so is Fini. Z Kyurem-B getting at least 1 kill per game is always nice. Weavile + Scarf Landorus-T matches up very well against most of the teams spammed on the ladder. It can also beat stall if you play well, always nice.

You probably recognize it too. This is the team Michy has been spamming for the last 2 cycles. I am extremely surprised at how dangerous CM Stored Power M-Latias can be. You got hazards, a defensive core, 2 win conditions (potentially 3 with Greninja) and a scarfer. Of course this team can have rough matchups but it's overall pretty solid. Being able to run Surf for Greninja's last slot is extremely satisfying. Not relying on hydropump to win a game can save you from a few heart attacks.

I know this isn't really the goal of that thread but I feel like this is the only one where we can talk about the metagame with an objective opinion, especially after going through the hell laddering in it was. My opinion as a new SM player is the following:

- Ban Dugtrio (or Arena Trap) before Playoffs start. I've heard a lot of different versions about when the next suspect test will happen so I have no idea if they plan on suspecting Dugtrio before playoffs start or after OLT is over. I would like to suggest something: quick ban that thing and let's move on. It couldn't be clearer that Dugtrio has to go. Please spare us from another laddering session. Don't force us to waste time laddering for an outcome we already all know. Maybe I'm wrong, but I strongly believe than at least 80% of the SM players want to ban Dugtrio (or Arena Trap).

- Suspect Test Magearna. I had a radical opinion about its case before they released M-Latias and Diancie so a suspect test would be worth it for Magearna.

Whoever the council members are, please do something before playoffs start.

blunder barrington :racehorse: u shine head motherfucker, TDK, ABR, John I bet you guys are on council, aren't you. I can't think of any other players that could be part of it. Or am I missing someone.................

S/O to the original creator of this thread l0l
Hi Ojama im The author of cm diancie set instead of rock polish and gyarados z fly moxie instéad of gren. I put gyara because give al extra ground inmunity to lando, Tanks gren and works really well when celestela and Ferro are traped And gren check worst scizor than gyarados. The last Reason was The anti-meta factor gyara sweep a lot of teams With dd three atacks, Other option is dd taunt dual stab, works better vs stall teams. I passed The team To Bea because she is a great friend of mine. Congrats updated Kanto, he created The base but you laddering with my Yako remix. Good Luck in The OLT Ojama
 
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#25
Cycle 2 Qualifiers

Rank
: #1 | ELO: 2122 | GXE: 85.7% | Record: 127-60
Rank
: #2 | ELO: 2112 | GXE: 91.2% | Record: [reset]
Rank
: #3 | ELO: 2109 | GXE: 87.8% | Record: 127-46
Rank
: #4 | ELO: 2109 | GXE: 87.1% | Record: 146-65
Rank
: #5 | ELO: 2107 | GXE: 90.1% | Record: 96-35
Rank
: #6 | ELO: 2106 | GXE: 86.5% | Record: 137-70
Rank
: #7 | ELO: 2099 | GXE: 84.8% | Record: [reset]
Rank
: #8 | ELO: 2098 | GXE: 85.3% | Record: 108-51​

- Newly released Megas in Latias and Diancie quickly found themselves fitting into the meta nicely, Mega Latias gains extra bulk so it can become a more reliable answer to CharizardY+Dugtrio cores and more threats like Tapu Koko and Lando-T. Reflect Type along with Calm Mind sets were very common this cycle as Reflect Type allows it to bypass Pursuit and switch out with ease, making it harder for the likes of Tyranitar to reliably trap it, while Calm Mind sets can be difficult to stop between its coverage options and options to bypass status and trappers.
- Diancie was a great Pokemon last gen and is even better this generation due to Mega evo mechanics, making Protect no longer near mandatory to ensure a safe Mega evo. Diamond Storm buff helps a lot too as it has a chance to completely stop physical revenge killers like Dugtrio or Mega Lopunny, while also weakening most priority moves if it aims to sweep with Rock Polish. Diancie has quickly fit into the meta and established itself as a top tier threat, despite the extremely high usage of Dugtrio and Magearna, two very common answers that fit on a variety of teams.
- Kyurem-B was always somewhat under the radar in OU this gen, with a couple of uses here and there in spl/wcop, but it had a recent surge in usage thanks to the reliability of Icium Z which provides it with an extremely powerful physical Ice stab move, usually being enough to force a trade vs most teams, easily done with the high usage of Gliscor / Celesteela / Pex etc balances running around. It's extremely flexible and has a free 4th moveslot too which makes answering it even harder, as Substitute can prevent switching between its Ice/Elec coverage and punish plays bringing in faster breakers, HP Fire can hit Scizor which has been rising a lot too, while Roost just makes it incredibly annoying for bulkier teams to deal with.
- Mega Scizor dropped off hard after the MegaGross ban, but it eventually it rose back up, mainly through its SD sets which punish common teams like Veil, while Defog is still reliable for keeping hazards off against these v common hazard stacking teams. Mega Diancie and the rise of KyuB also give it more reason to be used as it can offensively check them easily too.

Notable Teams:
[built by Liones and DANN3] - very bulky team which uses a combination of SD Taunt Gliscor along with CM Koko to give defensive teams hell, Gliscor sets up easily against stall, shuts down Unaware Clef, doesn't care about Sableye, and isn't trapped by Dug, making for a very solid option as it pressures all forms of stall on the ladder. SR Clef also helps a lot with getting rocks up against Sableye, and Gliscor shuts down defoggers easily too. The rest of the team is just geared to beating the rest of the meta w/ a very solid bulky core in Lati/Pex/Ferro.
[built by ABR] - ABRs cycle 1 team, read his post here
[built by alex1467174] - People have told me hiye and CaronSmith built this team but I don't think they actually did, some guy called alex1467174 who has been using the team and older variants for the past 4+ months or so was the actual creator of the team. It features threats like SD Scizor which does very well against the current meta, beating lots of relevant teams and pressuring common mons very well. Icium Kyu-B is used on this team too which usually allows it to power through some mons that can be used to handle Sciz like Pex/Steela/Tran, in general it's just a very powerful core of breakers, along with Weavile which can pursuit trap things like weakened Heatran too. Uses Scarf Lando-T so its a bit weak to fast things like Volc, but Volc has been extremely uncommon during OLT so far, maybe we'll see a rise in it soon with all these <100 Scarfer teams.
[built by y4/edited by kanto] - One of the first relevant teams featuring Mega Diancie. Rock Polish along with Psychic Terrain is a huge threat for a lot of teams that rely on Priority from stuff like Sciz / Gren in order to shut down any attempts at sweeping. Sash Explosion Landt also ensures rocks are going up and usually stay up, allowing Specs Lele to pressure fat teams very easily, especially when paired with Waterium Spikes Gren, which takes advantage of mons like Heatran which may stay in predicting Specs Spikes. Scarf Kartana is underrated and pressures a lot of teams well in this meta too, while the rest of the team just blasts fat teams.
[built by Sabella] - meeps qualified with this team while users like Sabella also used it to good effect. Sab approached me at the end of cycle1 asking about Ditto teams so I kinda pointed him in a direction for what I think optimal Ditto teams consist of, and this was the end product. A lot more offensive than mine, geared towards cteaming my team too, especially w/ Medi + Medi answers, preventing opposing Ditto from beating the team. Skarm provides Defog support, similarly to Mega Scizor, and shuts down breakers like Lando-T fairly well.
Hi p2. For the 3rd team, it was in fact actually built by that alex1467174 guy. However Hiye and CaronSmith made big edits to the team, and therefore get a decent amount of credit. But their team waas based off of alex1467174's after they found a pastebin of it. As for the 4th team, it is very Greninja weak, and I believe that the versions using Keldeo > Greninja and SD Kartana work much better and are easier to use from what I've seen. Thanks and enjoy your day