September 22 - Initial Analysis Platinum has only been around for a short time, although in that time I have played it rather extensively. To be honest, this metagame is actually significantly different to the previous DP metagame, so I thought that to help get everyone into this new metagame, I’d write an analysis on the “Big Threats” of Platinum, and what I’ve seen of them so far. Sky Shaymin – Undoubtedly the number one used pokemon on the ladder, I’ve seen it in every battle bar one. Almost always runs Substitute 100 % of the time, in conjunction with Leech Seed or Earth Power. Even after a day, I can tell that this thing should be uber, because its ridiculous ability backed up by high offensive stats and great speed means that everyone needs a Blissey/Registeel or a steel type to switch in on it. The speed in particular means that this thing is more of an uber then Garchomp, although the Stealth Rock weakness helps incredibly. Rotom forms – These things are a great addition to the Diamond and Pearl metagame, and I’ve seen each fill an important niche in the metagame. Rotom -heat – My personal favourite of the forms and my favourite pokemon in this metagame. Overheat in conjunction with Choice Scarf and its other moves mean that it can reliably revenge kill the following threats: Mamoswine, Scizor (needs to be careful of not letting it get too many SD’s though), Lucario, Heracross, Gyarados, Azelf, Metagross, Infernape and Sky Shamin (!) That’s a mighty impressive list so far J The only negative with this form is that Tyranitar takes any of its hits like a man and Pursuits it to death, which makes me think of considering Will-O-Wisp > Thunder Wave. Rotom – wash – The washing machine’s main role from what I have seen is to be able to beat Heatran one on one. That and the fact it is better suited to block Rapid Spin then Rotom-heat make it generally more bulkily EV’d. Rotom – lawnmower – Leaf Storm is what makes this thing a slighty better spin blocker then wash Rotom, as it hits Donphan much harder as well as Claydol. However, it can’t take on Heatran too well. Rotom – fridge – I had my doubts about this things viability, but boy was I forced to eat my words. This thing is an awesome addition to any hail team, with a Ground and Fighting immunity as well as taking on Steels that give the team trouble. I’ve seen this pokemon run with Blizzard/Thunderbolt/Rest/Sleep Talk with bulky EV’s, and this beast is one of the best fighting counters ever. Swords Dance Lucario risks either being walled by Gliscor or by this, so the teams I’ve seen usually run it in conjunction with each other. Rotom – fan – Lol. Scizor – The crimson bug has jumped from low OU/BL to top tier OU, with the addition of a single move in Bullet Punch. After a Swords Dance (factoring in Life Orb), Bullet Punch actually 2HKO’s Gliscor which is unbelievable. Has the potential to sweep unprepared teams and has done so many a time that I’ve witnessed. However, the one reason it doesn’t run rampant is because of the pokemon I am about to outline below. Heatran – Without this, people would be repeatedly swept by Scizor and get owned by SubSeed Skymin. The moveset is the same, except people almost always run Naïve just to beat Skymin, which further proves my point in how overcentralising it is. Dugtrio – A rise in Heatran has led to a rise in Dugtrio. They are now commonly scarfed, to be an 100 % check of sorts against threats like Heatran or Infernape. Commonly run with Scizor or Shaymin to take out the larger threats to it. Kingdra – It has seen improved, albeit not incredible use. However, LonelyNess and I have had great success with it. It sets up on every bulky water, which are usually the bane of Dragon Dance/Outrage pokemon such as Salamence, and pummels traditional physical walls such as Gliscor and Hippowdon. It even has enough Special Attack unlike Gyara to utilize Hydro Pump to destroy Skarmory, much in the same way that Mamoswine uses Blizzard. Make no mistake, every team should prepare for this. Salamence – It hasn’t been as threatening as I thought. Whilst 135 base attack and Outrage is beastly, the fact that Skymin forces every team to carry a priority move such as Ice Shard or Bullet Punch means that Salamence isn’t nearly as effective as it should be. This is yet another argument that I believe will throw Garchomp into the mix for a readmission into OU, should Skymin somehow remain in OU. Tyranitar – I’ve seen it lead sometimes, but in all honesty it has done shit all vs me, aside from Pursuiting Rotom and letting my Skymin set up a free sub :). I suspect that it hasn’t seen anywhere near as much play as it deserves due to Bullet Punch Scizor running rampant and Sky Shaymin outspeeding variants with even one Dragon Dance. Lucario – Gives you headache’s thinking of a counter with its new toys, but as projected, greatly suffers from 4 slot syndrome. The first three slots will almost always be Swords Dance/Close Combat/Extremespeed, meaning that Gyarados or Gliscor can still potentially be effective counters, although Ice Punch is the most common 4th attack it runs. Bronzong/Jirachi/Deoxys – I’m mentioning them all in the same breath for one reason, that they are all commonly run with Light Clay and dual screen support. They are often used to great effect on offensive teams, making Brick Break an incredibly useful asset. Registeel – Lol, we all know the only reason this thing is seeing any use :P. That and the fact that it counters 2 attack Scizor pretty well mean that RegiNazi actually has a niche in the OU Metagame. Stealth Rock/Ice Punch/Thunder Wave/Explosion is by far the most common set, but don’t seem surprised if the Curser becomes pretty popular too. Mamoswine: The good news for Mamoswine means that Skymin makes Ice Shard an incredible asset to anyone’s team. The bad news is that Bullet Punch means that Scizor will always beat Mamoswine 1 vs 1 no matter what, something that it could never previously do. The jury is still out as to which one of these changes impact on the mammoth the most. Trick(insert psychic here): Yeah, this move is available to pretty much all psychics. The sheer movepool most of these pokemon have already means Trick adds another element of unpredictability in, making them incredibly annoying to deal with. Azelf: Has been used almost exclusively as a suicide lead, which pretty much disgusts me. A mixed set is incredibly dangerous, I got owned by the only one I played. Another threat teams are yet to prepare for, which could prove costly in the end. There’s probably more I could add, but here’s all I have for now. If anyone has anything to add from personal experiences, feel free to do so. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- November 1st - An unfinished update on the state of the metagame Alright, seeing as I don't have a lot of time, I'll do a few pokemon and then edit this post (this time I actually will ^_^) with more. Also decided to be much less biased in this one. Skymin - Still a pain in the ass, and a good lategame sweeper. However, a Blissey/Registeel isn't required to stop it. The fact that it is frail coupled by the fact that many moves OHKO it (without it KOing in return) and a SR weak (+ Sandstorm running rampant), this thing isn't used as much as it was at first. It is still a potent threat though, so keep it in mind whilst building teams. As for set popularity, Substitute sets seemed to have died down with all the residual damage I mentioned previously. Choice Scarf Skymin sets have seen alot of use, but from my experiences, its frailty means it can't switch in and revenge kill enough well. That, and it OHKOes barely anything, means that I am actually quite puzzled as to its popularity. Some people swear by it though, so be wary of it just the same. With the removal of Deoxys-S to ubers, I predict its usage will start to decline. Heatran - Oh boy, this things usage has skyrocketed. The standard moveset hasn't changed but Heatran's popularity has (and always will be) based around the popularity of stuff such as Celebi/Jirachi/Scizor/Lucario/Skymin. It is a "check" against them of sorts, and as their popularity peaks (as it certainly is now), Heatran's will most likely follow. Rotom(s) - Still sees a fair bit of usage, and why not? Many resistances coupled with impressive movepool mean that Rotom will be continued to be a staple of teams, barring an even larger surge of Tyranitar. The most popular sets seem to be Rest/Sleep Talk, the supporter with one (or more) of Will-O-Wisp/Reflect/Thunder Wave or a Trick set. However, Stellar's set of (Sub/Charge Beam/Shadow Ball/Hp Fighting) is certainly starting to become popular. As for the forms themselves, the oven is far and away the most popular, due to the usefulness of fire attacks in this metagame. The washing machine sees a bit of usage, but the lawnmower/fridge are rarely used and the fan is never. Also something of note is that the Rotom's have now made Spiritomb and Dusknoir obsolete as Spin blockers, due to beating almost every rapid spinner in the game. Registeel - Lol obsolete after a week of popularity. Scizor - Nothing has changed since week 1, this thing is a beast. Forget Deoxys-e (well we can now, heh ^_^), this thing is the absolute bane of glass cannon teams, due to a souped up Bullet Punch, making it hard to revenge kill. Due to the popularity of the Swords Dance/Bullet Punch/X-Scissor/Superpower (Roost can either replace X Scissor or Superpower), I've seen an increasing number of people run a Choiced U-Turn set, so as to beat Scizor's usual counters. A big reason why Zapdos and Heatran are so popular. Not unbeatable but definately a top tier threat everyone should watch out for. Lucario - With Scizor on the rise, Lucario usage has sadly declined. People have seemed to forget that Extremespeed is almost as powerful as Bullet Punch, and that Lucario has access to a 120 BP STAB move. Something of note is that they mainly run Jolly nowadays as to counteract the Gliscor/Salamence that run + 279 speed, although I'm not sure as to why as Gliscor is never used anymore. SpecsLuke is still not given the credit it deserves, and remains a massive threat to anyones team, being able to 2HKO practically everything with the right move. HP Rock has started to see use to still hit Salamence and Zapdos very hard as well as Gyarados. Not a really common threat, but a large one nonetheless. These two sets above are all that I really see, aside from the occasional Calm Mind or Agility Lucario. Dugtrio - - Scarf Dugtrio was hugely popular in early Platinum, commonly paired with Scizor or Skymin to remove threats such as Heatran, but is now obsolete. The removal of Deoxys (Dugtrio could trap and OHKO offensive versions 100 % of the time) has also led to a major decrease of CB/LO Dugtrio's, although they are still more common then the scarf set. Expect to see Scarf Dugtrio's make a return as Heatran and Gengar get increasingly popular. Zapdos - Has seen alot of usage as of late. It has incredibly impressive type coverage (Heat Wave was the best thing that could happen to it, barring something like Aura Sphere/Focus Blast) and fills the unique niche of being a Scizor/Bulky water counter in one. The Life Orb set had a boom of popularity for awhile. However, with Blissey and Tyranitar seeing increased usage, as well as the omnipresent threats of Scizor and Lucario, Zapdos has been seeing more usage in its pre-platinum role of a physical tank. Salamence - After Skymin's drop in usage, Ice Sharders have fallen off the face of the planet, with the two main ones (Mamoswine and Weavile) seeing comparatively little usage. Enter Salamence. Physical sets are by far the most popular (and why shouldn't they be!), with STAB CB Outrage 2HKOing stuff like Heatran and actually OHKOing Lucario (the ones I've faced anyway, without a defense drop as well). Works well at tearing down walls, and forces most good teams to carry a steel type (like Chomp did in DP). The overwhelming popularity of the Dragon Dancer and the Choice Bander will lead to a resurgence in mixed sets, once the good players cotton on to the fact that 9 times out of 10, an opponent will switch in a steel type. Stealth Rock weakness still makes it cry in general, but most teams aren't prepared to deal with both variants of Salamence (I for one know that MixMence bones me, but physical Mence loses to my team). This versatility means that it will enjoy very high levels of usage for months to come.