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While the Ubers metagame is more static by its very nature compared to most other tiers, it is also one of the most under-explored tiers, allowing plenty of room for creativity. While there will always be standards such as Kyogre and Groudon, unexpected Pokemon or unique movesets can decide the outcome of the game. Additionally, because the Ubers metagame is so under-explored and under-played, there are many Pokemon that are good enough to become standards, but are not simply because of the player base. In fact, if you look at the usage stats for June, an empty slot was almost used more than Steel Arceus! This article aims to show you examples of these Pokemon, both niche sets and Pokemon that have a wide range of uses!
Jirachi @ Leftovers
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 252 HP / 40 Def / 216 SpD
Careful nature (+SpD, -SpA)
- Iron Head
- Toxic / Body Slam / U-turn / Fire Punch
A specially defensive set is Jirachi's claim to fame in the BW OU metagame; however, Jirachi in general is uncommon in Ubers. In the fourth generation, Jirachi had a few sets that worked great in Ubers, and its ability to wall the ever-common Lati twins bolstered its usage. With the loss of Soul Dew, Latios and Latias are rarely seen, and Jirachi has found tough competition for a spot on many teams. Jirachi can't really be compared to other Steel-types though; its movepool and utility make Jirachi's purpose so different it would be like comparing a physical sweeper to a special wall.
The danger in this set lies in the state of the current metagame, which heavily leans towards a balanced style of play. This means that Jirachi will find numerous opportunities to switch in, and can proceed to cripple something with a status condition, or pass Wish along to a teammate in need. The biggest implication of this is that if you can stay on top of the opponent and get Jirachi in on something that doesn't threaten it, which a great number of Pokemon don't, you can keep key team members healthy for the duration of the battle; in conjunction with the help of U-turn or the threat of Toxic / Iron Head + paralysis. Jirachi easily sponges special attacks too — for example, Fire Blast cannot 2HKO Jirachi when used by a Pokemon holding Choice Specs with base 150 Special Attack while rain is in effect. Jirachi also boasts the ability to threaten a plethora of specially-oriented Arceus sets, if it chooses to run Toxic, as Arceus needs +4 to even 2HKO Jirachi with Fire Blast in the rain (assuming that it has 0 SpA investment). A +1 neutral Judgment will also fail to 2HKO Jirachi, so it is able to switch in on the Calm Mind and go from there. The number of Pokemon Jirachi can wall is so great that it would be impractical to list them all, so why don't you go find out for yourself!
Wobbuffet @ Leftovers
Abillity: Shadow Tag
EVs: 28 HP / 228 Def / 252 SpD
Nature: Calm (+SpD, -Atk) / Bold (+Def, -Atk)
- Mirror Coat
- Safeguard / Tickle
At first glance, it may seem like Wobbuffet has seen a fall from grace this generation. Like Mew, it fell from Ubers to Underused, and while it was eventually banned from UU, its usage hasn’t recovered in Ubers. This is mostly due to the "Encore nerf", lowering the duration of Encore to 3 turns. However, Encore lasting for less time isn’t as bad as you think, because Pokemon Online actually messed up its implementation! In Pokemon Online’s original implementation, Encore’s 1st turn counted as the turn Encore was used on, even when Wobbuffet went last, meaning that you only had one turn to set up a sweeper before Encore wore off. This was especially detrimental vs Normal Arceus, because thanks to ExtremeSpeed, it would ruin most attempts to set up on it. However, on the cart, Wobbuffet’s Encore will actually last one extra turn when it moves last. This was recently fixed on Pokemon Online, and does wonders for Wobbuffet’s Ubers viability. Now, Wobbuffet’s Encore will give you enough time to switch in a Pokemon, and allow two turns of set up if the opponent dares to stay in. This extra turn might not seem like much, but in a tier full of insanely powerful sweepers such as Arceus and Rayquaza, that extra turn of set up can be game changing!
Besides the Encore nerf and the loss of the Custap Berry, Wobbuffet plays very similarly to how it did last generation in Ubers. Wobbuffet is still the number one choice for setting up sweepers and eliminating pesky Choice Scarfers, such as Palkia, Dialga, and Zekrom, making it an excellent teammate for frail sweepers such as Darkrai and Rayquaza. Wobbuffet can also use Tickle when paired with a user of Pursuit (such as Tyranitar and Scizor) to defeat walls such as Lugia and Chansey, allowing physical sweepers such as Arceus and special sweepers such as Kyogre to have a much easier time sweeping. Overall, despite its nerfs, Wobbuffet is still an excellent support Pokemon for offensive teams.
Tentacruel @ Leftovers
Ability: Rain Dish
EVs: 252 HP / 32 Def / 224 SpD
Calm nature (+SpD -Atk)
- Toxic Spikes
- Rapid Spin
- Protect / Ice Beam / Toxic
Tentacruel is another Pokemon often overlooked in the Ubers tier; Water just isn't an amazing defensive type like it is in OU. However, Tentacruel has some moves that let it stand out from the pack of useless Water-types that are common in OU. First off, Tentacruel's surprising special bulk lets it take basically any non-super effective special attack in stride. Secondly, Tentacruel has two utility moves that many would die for: Rapid Spin and Toxic Spikes. These moves, in conjunction with its good state distribution, allow Tentacruel to be an amazing spinner, tank, and a great user of Toxic Spikes; of which there are so very few in the Ubers tier.
What makes Tentacruel so useful is that it, once again, thrives in the current metagame. The most common spinblocker, Giratina-O, can't even 2HKO Tentacruel, and the best it can do is phaze it out with Dragon Tail (keep in mind that it still hurts, as it does 46%-54%; Outrage can OHKO, but Giratina-O rarely runs it). Tentacruel can potentially burn Giratina-O, and can easily recover off any damage inflicted upon it later with its ability. This brings me to my next point, Rain Dish. Rain Dish is a godsend Dream World ability for Tentacruel, as, in conjunction with Leftovers, it allows Tentacruel to recover 12.5% of its HP per turn; this can be further amplified with the use of Protect. It also helps that Ferrothorn and Tentacruel have near-perfect synergy, so Tentacruel will be seeing a lot of Pokemon who have been Leech Seeded, which it can use for addtional recovery. Tentacruel and Ferrothorn with Protect form a fierce core of tanks that not many Pokemon can break in the rain. Tentacruel's main weakness, physical attacks, is also somewhat mitigated by Scald, as not many physical Pokemon dare to switch directly into it for fear of a burn. Tentacruel is also an amazing spinner that can fare quite well against the most common spinblocker, Giratina-O. This, once again, is an impressive trait in this hazard-filled metagame. Tentacruel can also give other Pokemon that set up hazards a run with Scald; Ferrothorn hates burns and Forretress can be 2HKOed a good portion of the time. Keep in mind that Tentacruel, as well as the Pokemon that pair best with it, loves rain support, so when using it it would be wise to include Kyogre in your team.
Lugia @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 176 Def / 80 SpD
Impish nature (+Def, -SpA)
- Dragon Tail
Lugia has always earned its place on stall teams for being the best mixed wall in the Uber tier. Usually used as a physical wall to prevent monstrous physical attackers such as Extreme Killer Arceus and Rayquaza from plowing right through your team, Lugia's main claim to fame over other mixed walls such as Giratina and Groudon is its superior 110 base Speed, immunity to Spikes and Toxic Spikes, and access to Roost as well as Reflect. Along with Chansey or Blissey, Lugia forms one of the best defensive cores, capable of walling nearly every offensive threat in the game. Traditionally, however, Lugia has always been used to fulfill the role of a wall, rather than a Pokemon with the intent to stall out entire teams. However, the time has finally come for Lugia to step out of its mold and show the Uber tier just how deadly a staller it can be!
This variant of Lugia really thrives on the fact that entry hazards currently dominate the metagame. It is near impossible to spin them away with Giratina-O or Ghost Arceus lurking around every corner. All Lugia needs is Stealth Rock and a layer or two of Spikes down and it can wreak havoc against both stall based and offensive teams alike. Since Lugia tends to cause numerous switches with its massive bulk, it's relatively easy to grab a Substitute. From there onward, Lugia can just proceed to Dragon Tail to phaze and then use Toxic, any switching on the opponent's part can easily be predicted and forced out again with Dragon Tail. Since Lugia can wall so many threats, more often then not Dragon Tail will bring out something that can't threaten Lugia at all, perpetuating the cycle. Lugia's superior Speed means that it can usually phaze out the opponent before being phazed out itself, and Dragon Tail being a damaging move makes it not affected by Taunt. Roost allows Lugia to remain healthy over the course of the game and repeat the cycle of phazing + Toxic if forced out. Lugia's massive defenses make it incredibly difficult to break its Substitutes while Pressure makes stalling even more easy.
The 252 HP EVs allow Lugia maximum longevity while 76 Special Defense are all it needs to take two Thunders from Scarf Palkia and thereby stall it out with Roost. The rest of the EVs are placed into Defense since investing in Lugia's humongous base 154 Special Defense stat is rather superfluous.
Cloyster @ Life Orb
Ability: Skill Link
EVs: 232 Atk / 32 SpA / 244 Spe
Naive nature (+Spe, -SpD)
- Shell Smash
- Icicle Spear
- Hydro Pump
- Rock Blast
Cloyster has always been a relatively soft option in the Ubers Tier. While it could set up Toxic Spikes and use Rapid Spin relatively well, this was only due to the scarcity of viable Pokemon with the aforementioned moves. It was never really a major offensive threat due to its mediocre Attack and Special Attack and numerous other faults; not anymore.
With the creation of Shell Smash, Cloyster becomes quite a scary Pokemon. Once Cloyster uses Shell Smash, it has 568 Attack, 428 Special Attack, and 520 Speed to boot. With Skill Link and its handy Icicle Spear, Cloyster can tear through the common physical walls, Lugia, Groudon, and Giratina, due to their weakness to Ice-type attacks. All of the previously mentioned walls are easily OHKOed after a Shell Smash, even without Stealth Rock support. Defensive Pokemon such as Ferrothorn, Dialga, and many others besides will quickly fall to Cloyster's might. With the given Special Attack EVs, 252 HP / 0 SpD Steel Arceus is OHKOed by +2 Hydro Pump in the rain after a single layer of Spikes. Once Cloyster has a Shell Smash in the rain with 1 layer of Spikes support, there is almost nothing that can stop it. Even common priority attacks will fail to subdue Cloyster due to its oft-overlooked base 180 Defense stat. The only issue with Cloyster is getting that crucial Shell Smash. While its Defense stat is sufficient, its Special Defense leaves much to be desired. It easily falls to most special attacks in the Ubers metagame, meaning Wobbuffet is a must-have teammate to let Cloyster truly shine. It may be hard to set up, but its nearly impossible to stop if you make the mistake of letting it.
Mewtwo @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 224 SpD / 32 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Will-O-Wisp / Toxic
- Substitute / Light Screen / Psystrike
Many people see Mewtwo's jaw-dropping Special Attack, complimented by its blistering Speed and vast movepool, and see no need to stray from an offensive set. This is a mistake, as Mewtwo can be an extremely effective stallbreaker, and even wall, with its respectable defensive stats. Please don't take the given EV spread and moveset to be Mewtwo's only defensive options; with Mewtwo's versatility, there are quite a few possible EV spreads and move combinations. For example, you can opt to run a faster set with the goal of outspeeding Arceus, or make Mewtwo bulky on the physical side rather than special.
The beauty of this set is the much-sought-after Taunt + Recover combination, in conjunction with Mewtwo's amazing Speed. With this, Mewtwo has no trouble stalling out a great many defensive Pokemon that would otherwise annoy an offensively-oriented Mewtwo. Pokemon who previously gave Mewtwo some trouble fall with ease to Taunt + Recover and your choice of status. Mewtwo can choose to run Will-O-Wisp to easily handle physical attacks such as Groudon, Rayquaza, and Garchomp. Will-O-Wisp also compliments Light Screen well, allowing Mewtwo to take half damage from both special and physical attacks, while Taunt protects it from status. The only downsides to Will-O-Wisp are its poor accuracy and conflict with Toxic Spikes. Speaking of Toxic Spikes, they are a great help to Stalltwo, as this Mewtwo set is commonly referred to, as Toxic Spikes allow Mewtwo to simply use Taunt / Recover / Light Screen etc. as needed, and forgo a wasted turn Mewtwo previously required to inflict status itself. If you thought Mew was good at this in the lower tiers, wait until you see Mewtwo...
Terrakion @ Choice Scarf / Choice Band
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Nature: Jolly (+Spe, -SpA)
- Close Combat
- Stone Edge
- Sacred Sword
- X-Scissor / Earthquake / Quick Attack
Don't be fooled by Terrakion’s status as an OU Pokemon, as its power rivals that of its Uber companions. In fact, a Jolly Terrakion Close Combat deals about as much damage as an Adamant Groudon Earthquake! Terrakion’s excellent secondary STAB, Stone Edge, also gives it near perfect coverage, to the point where the last two moves are simply filler. With a Choice Scarf in tow, Terrakion makes an excellent revenge killer in the Ubers metagame. Thanks to its Rock typing, Arceus and Rayquaza will not be able to KO Terrakion with ExtremeSpeed, while Terrakion will deal a massive 75.7% - 89.2% to max HP Normal Arceus with Close Combat and OHKO Rayquaza with Stone Edge. Terrakion’s wonderful 108 base Speed also allows it to outpace even Deoxys-S, and common Choice Scarfers such as Palkia and Zekrom, meaning that Terrakion is not easy to defeat by speed alone! Finally, if Terrakion switches into a Dark-type attack such as Darkrai’s Dark Pulse, its Attack will increase by one stage, allowing Terrakion to potentially sweep teams if they aren’t careful!
When not revenge killing sweepers in Ubers, Terrakion can be one of the most fearsome Choice Banders in the Ubers metagame. Treakion’s Close Combat is insanely powerful, being able to 2HKO both Mewtwo and Rayquaza after Stealth Rock despite both of them resisting it! Thanks to that fantastic 108 base Speed, Terrakion will outspeed most Lugia, and OHKO it with Stone Edge after Stealth Rock damage, a feat most Choice Banders are very jealous of. Terrakion’s blistering Speed also allows it to outspeed non Choice Scarfed Palkia and Adamant Arceus, ensuring that its sweep isn’t easy to stop!
Finally, Terrakion is a great sweeper thanks to Rock Polish and Swords Dance. Unlike Rock Polish Groudon, Terrakion is able to strike fear into Lugia’s heart with a powerful STAB Stone Edge, and crush Normal Arceus with a STAB Close Combat. Terrakion can also blast through Skarmory with a +2 Close Combat, something Groudon is unable to accomplish without a Fire-type attack. Despite being OU, Terrakion is an amazing physical attacker in Ubers that should always be considered for any team.
Excadrill @ Leftovers
Ability: Sand Rush
EVs:176 HP / 60 Atk / 252 SpD / 20 Spe
Nature: Adamant (+Atk, -SpA)
-Rock Slide / Shadow Claw
Excadrill, the famed OU sand sweeper, can take on a different role in the Ubers metagame. Rapid Spinners are in short supply in Ubers, and Excadrill is the only viable offensive Rapid Spinner in the metagame! Because many teams carry both Groudon and Kyogre, Tyranitar's sandstorm can be harder to keep up, thus, Excadrill takes a different approach to its Rapid Spinning. Instead of focusing on becoming a speed demon in the sand, Excadrill beefs up its defenses for the purpose of being used on a rain team. Excadrill's Ground typing is a godsend to many rain teams, allowing it to be the only Rapid Spinner in Ubers that can switch into Thunders and most of all, Zekrom's Bolt Strikes.
Don't be fooled by Excadrill's subpar looking defensive stats, its 110 HP makes it far bulkier than it looks. In fact, this Excadrill takes special hits better than specially defensive Forretress, allowing Excadrill to easily switch into the infestation of Choice Scarfed Dragons! The special bulk of this set also allows Excadrill to never be 2HKOed by Palkia and Dialga's Fire Blast in the rain as long as they are not carrying Choice Specs. Additonally, Excadrill's great typing and offenses allows it to check many threats that Forretress and Tentacruel have serious issues with, such as Bulk Up Dialga, Calm Mind Steel Arceus, Dark Arceus, and most Electric Arceus. Excadrill also has a good chance of defeating Giratina-O, the most common spinblocker in Ubers. After a Swords Dance, Rock Slide will 3HKO most Giratina-O, while Giratina-O's Hidden Power Fire will deal paltry damage in the rain. If you want to destroy Giratina-O faster, you can use Shadow Claw over Rock Slide, which will 2HKO Giratina-O after a Swords Dance.
While this set may focus on rain support, Excadrill will still appreciate Tyranitar's Sand Stream. Not only does this turn Excadrill into a threatening sweeper, but it also allows Excadrill to outspeed and 2HKO Ghost Arceus with a +2 Earthquake, while Ghost Arceus will fail to KO Excadrill with Focus Blast. If you wish take advantage of Excadrill's ability, a spread of 64 HP / 252 SpD / 192 Spe can be used to outspeed Choice Scarf Terrakion in the sand while still letting Excadrill have a decent amount of bulk. While Excadrill may focus on bulk in Ubers, it is also capable of using its OU sweeping set to great success in Ubers. Once Groudon and Kyogre are out of the way so Tyranitar can bring up the sand, Life Orb Excadrill is a monstrous sweeper in Ubers, being able to OHKO bulky Pokemon such as Arceus after a Swords Dance!
Zekrom @ Leftovers / Life Orb
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
Nature: Adamant (+Atk, -SpA) / Jolly (+Spe, -SpA)
- Hone Claws
- Bolt Strike
- Outrage / Dragon Claw
When most people look at Zekrom, their first instinct is to slap a Choice item on Zekrom and call it a day. However, a little known fact is that Zekrom does have one set up move: Hone Claws. While Hone Claws doesn't allow Zekrom to outright sweep teams, its use in conjunction with Substitute allows Zekrom to beat its arch nemesis, Ferrothorn. Defensive Ferrothorn will never break Zekrom's Substitute in one hit, allowing Zekrom to set up Hone Claws on Ferrthorn. With just a few boosts, Zekrom will be able to 2HKO Ferrothorn with Bolt Strike (which becomes 100% accurate after a Hone Claws boost). With a Substitute and a boost under its belt, Zekrom can easily tear through most Pokemon that attempt to make up for Ferrothorn's misplay thanks to its excellent coverage!
The choice between Leftovers and Life Orb can be a bit tricky. Leftovers will give Zekrom a longer lifespan on the battlefield, especially when using Substitute to scout. Life Orb may seem silly on a Substitute set, but not only does it give Zekrom a nice boost in power for when it wants to attack instead of setting up, it also hides Zekrom's item before it attacks, allowing it to more easily lure in Ferrothorn. Outrage is generally the best choice for Zekrom, as it allows it to 2HKO Groudon after a boost. While Dragon Claw is rather weak, it will allow Zekrom to avoid being easily revenge killed.
Dialga @ Life Orb
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 SpA
IVs: 0 Spe
Nature: Quiet (+SpA, -Spe)
-Fire Blast / Aura Sphere / Thunder
The Ubers metagame is fast paced, with speedy sweepers such as Mewtwo and Darkrai, and an abundance of Choice Scarf Pokemon. Because of this, Trick Room can be a very deadly strategy in Ubers, and Dialga is easily one of the best users of it. While base 90 Speed may seem a bit much for a Trick Roomer, Dialga will hit a low Speed of 166 when using a Speed reducing nature and 0 Speed IVs, which is as fast as a Scizor with no Speed investment! After the use of Trick Room, Dialga hits hard and fast with its marvelous 150 base Special Attack and 120 base Attack, both of them being maxed out so Dialga can smash through most teams. Dialga is also a fairly bulky Pokemon, with 100 / 120 / 100 defenses, and thus you can choose to maximize its HP instead of Attack or Special Attack. The last move is for coverage. Fire Blast covers Steel-types in the sun, Aura Sphere hits Heatran, while Thunder is Dialga's best bet against Lugia despite the 30% paralysis rate actually being harmful to Dialga's sweep under Trick Room.
Dialga isn't the only viable Trick Roomer in Ubers either, and its usually a good idea to pair Dialga with them if you aren't using Dialga's Trick Room for a stand-alone sweeper. Palkia is a must on these kinds of teams. While Palkia's 100 base Speed may seem way too fast for a Trick Room user, with minimum Speed it will still underspeed most of its Uber companions while providing a valuable switch into Kyogre's Water Spout. Victini gets special mention as a Trick Room abuser, because not only does it set up Trick Room, but its incredibly powerful STAB V-creates will actually make it faster under Trick Room! Finally, Ubers with base 90 Speed such as Groudon, Kyogre, and Zekrom are far harder to revenge kill when under the influence of Trick Room!
This article doesn't even scratch the surface of just how many underrated threats there are in the Ubers metagame. We had to spend a long time deciding on which 10 Pokemon to put in this article, because if we wanted to list them all, this article would be far too gigantic for a single read! The Ubers metagame is still developing, and while there will always be common standards such as Kyogre and Mewtwo, many extremely threatening Pokemon and movesets are just waiting to be exploited! We encourage you to test out new ideas in Ubers, because a "creative" moveset today could become tomorrow's new standard!
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