With the release of Platinum came a brand new toy for Salamence to play with: Outrage. Fortunately for Mence, this happened right as the Order of Operations were being decided, allowing it to slip under the radar, hiding behind the likes of Garchomp and Skymin… until now. I would hereby like to nominate Salamence as a suspect, under the Offensive and Support Characteristics. Offensive Characteristic A Pokémon is uber if, in common battle conditions, it is capable of sweeping through a significant portion of teams in the metagame with little effort. To start it off, a typical Salamence set consists of Outrage, Earthquake, and Fire Blast, according to X-Act’s November statistics. These three moves alone provide Salamence with perfect coverage, hitting every Pokemon with either a minimum of 100 base power super effective move, or a 120 base power STAB attack. These are backed by his insane base 135 and 110 Attack and Special Attack stats, which are often boosted even further by Life Orb. To top it all off, Salamence has access to Dragon Dance, which combined with its base 100 Speed allows it to outpace every non-scarfed Pokemon in the OU metagame. Those four moves combined create the set that qualifies Salamence as a suspect under the Offensive Characteristic. The particular set is: Salamence @ Life Orb Ability: Intimidate EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe / 4SpA Naughty nature (+Atk, -SpD) -Dragon Dance -Outrage -Earthquake -Fire Blast This set produces some impressive damage outputs: Fire Blast vs. 252/0 Neutral SpD Skarmory 257 Atk vs 176 Def & 334 HP (120 Base Power): 328 - 386 (98.20% - 115.57%) (Always a OHKO after SR and Leftovers) Fire Blast vs. 252/92 +SpD Bronzong (Levitate) 257 Atk vs 320 Def & 338 HP (120 Base Power): 180 - 212 (53.25% - 62.72%) (Always a 2HKO) Outrage vs. 252/252 +Def Cresselia 405 Atk vs 372 Def & 444 HP (120 Base Power): 183 - 216 (41.22% - 48.65%) (70% chance of 2HKOing after SR and Sanstorm) Outrage vs. 252/252 +Def Gyarados 405 Atk vs 282 Def & 394 HP (120 Base Power): 240 - 283 (60.91% - 71.83%) Outrage vs. 252/252 +Def Hippowdon 405 Atk vs 368 Def & 420 HP (120 Base Power): 184 - 217 (43.81% - 51.67%) (7% chance of 2HKOing after SR and Leftovers) +1 Outrage vs. 252/40 +Def Gliscor 607 Atk vs 325 Def & 354 HP (120 Base Power): 313 - 370 (88.42% - 104.52%) (Always a OHKO after SR) +1 Outrage vs. 252/252 +Def Rotom-A 607 Atk vs 344 Def & 304 HP (120 Base Power): 295 - 348 (97.04% - 114.47%) (Always a OHKO after SR) +1 Outrage vs. 252/252 +Def Blissey 607 Atk vs 130 Def & 714 HP (120 Base Power): 781 - 919 (109.38% - 128.71%) (Always a OHKO) +1 Outrage vs. 252/252 +Def Swampert 607 Atk vs 306 Def & 404 HP (120 Base Power): 331 - 391 (81.93% - 96.78%) (20% chance of OHKOing after SR) +1 Earthquake vs. 240/160 +Def Jirachi 607 Atk vs 303 Def & 401 HP (100 Base Power): 374 - 442 (93.27% - 110.22%) (92% chance of OHKOing after SR) As you can see, with “little effort” (minimal prior damage to some defensive threats), Salamence is capable of sweeping through all of the biggest defensive threats currently in OU. With its ability to outpace every Pokemon in OU after one Dragon Dance, this obviously means that it can also easily sweep through the more fragile threats of OU as well. Support Characteristic A Pokémon is uber if, in common battle conditions, it can consistently set up a situation in which it makes it substantially easier for other pokemon to sweep. The fact that Salamence boasts incredible stats in Attack, Special Attack, and Speed, allows him to dent plenty of threats in the OU metagame, with no setup required. Doing so makes it hard for any defensive Pokemon to maintain their health, making it vastly easier for other Pokemon to sweep. With the ability to heal off all damage using Roost, Salamence is able to consistently set up these situations in any match. The set that demonstrates Salamence’s prowess under the Support Characteristic the most is: Salamence @ Life Orb Ability: Intimidate EVs: 84 Atk / 216 SpA / 208 Spe Mild nature (+SpA, -Def) -Draco Meteor -Fire Blast -Outrage / Brick Break -Roost Let the wall-breaking commence: Fire Blast vs. 252/252 Neutral SpD Skarmory 341 Atk vs 239 Def & 334 HP (120 Base Power): 318 - 376 (95.21% - 112.57%) (Always OHKOs after SR) Fire Blast vs. 240/76 Neutral SpD Jirachi 341 Atk vs 255 Def & 401 HP (120 Base Power): 298 - 352 (74.31% - 87.78%) Fire Blast vs. 252/92 +SpD Bronzong (Levitate) 341 Atk vs 320 Def & 338 HP (120 Base Power): 238 - 282 (70.41% - 83.43%) Draco Meteor vs. 252/4 Neutral SpD Swampert 341 Atk vs 217 Def & 404 HP (140 Base Power): 306 - 361 (75.74% - 89.36%) Draco Meteor vs. 252/4 Neutral SpD Cresselia 341 Atk vs 297 Def & 444 HP (140 Base Power): 226 - 267 (50.90% - 60.14%) Draco Meteor vs. 252/4 Neutral SpD Hippowdon 341 Atk vs 181 Def & 420 HP (140 Base Power): 367 - 433 (87.38% - 103.10%) (53% chance of OHKOing after SR) Draco Meteor vs. 188/0 Neutral SpD Vaporeon 341 Atk vs 226 Def & 448 HP (140 Base Power): 295 - 348 (65.85% - 77.68%) Draco Meteor vs. 252/0 Neutral SpD Gliscor 341 Atk vs 186 Def & 354 HP (140 Base Power): 358 - 423 (101.13% - 119.49%) Draco Meteor vs. 252/0 Neutral SpD Gyarados 341 Atk vs 236 Def & 394 HP (140 Base Power): 282 - 333 (71.57% - 84.52%) (66% chance of OHKOing after SR) Outrage vs. 252/252 +Def Blissey 327 Atk vs 130 Def & 714 HP (120 Base Power): 421 - 496 (58.96% - 69.47%) (Always a 2HKO) Brick Break vs. 252/0 Neutral Def Heatran 327 Atk vs 248 Def & 386 HP (75 Base Power): 186 - 220 (48.19% - 56.99%) (Always a 2HKO) With Intimidate, its resistances to Fighting, Water, Fire, Grass, and Bug type attacks, and immunity to Ground type attacks, Salamence can find many opportunities to come in and dish out big damage, be it against defensive or offensive teams. He can then easily Roost off his Life Orb and SR damage, allowing him to come in multiple times throughout the match and do it all over again too. Because of this, Salamence has the ability to make it substantially easier for other Pokemon to sweep with relatively little effort. On top of the two sets listed above, Salamence has many other completely viable sets that can destroy many common OU teams. The physically bulky DD Roost set can easily set up on common “checks” to Salamence, such as Scizor, and sweep teams clean. The Choice Band set allows Salamence to just blast through things, 2HKOing some Pokemon even through their Dragon resist with Outrage. It takes multiple Pokemon on one team to check every Salamence set (which you must do, if you plan on having a successful team, seeing as each set is relatively common). Even if you do carry multiple checks for every Mence variant, a wrong initial switch can, and often will, cost you a Pokemon or more. There is absolutely no safe initial switch-in for Mence, and you just have to hope you guess right. Because of all these reasons, Salamence needs to be tested as a suspect for sake of having a balanced OU metagame. If we decide to make Salamence a suspect, we also need to decide when and how he will be tested. I propose that we do this after the current stage of testing is complete. That way, we can be sure that Mence will be tested in the true OU metagame. There is also the question of whether or not we should create a separate ladder for testing Mence, which I leave up to debate. On one hand, most of us already know first-hand what Mence is capable of, and are qualified to vote based off of the standard ladder. On the other hand, it might be beneficial to expose ourselves to a Salamence-less metagame, to give us a reference point. Discuss.