Other Obscure Metagames

By DTC. Art by Cartoons!.
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There are a ton of wacky metagames out there that you have heard of. Maybe you even scoffed at them. However, a few of the wacky metagames are actually pretty entertaining. Some foreign strategies from the "standard" metagames are applicable in these obscure metagames, giving you a fresh and new experience. Certain metagames may emphasize a specific strategy, so in a way they might assist you in improving how you execute said strategies. If you happen to be knowledgeable and competent at one of these metagames, and a tournament for it rolls around, you are in luck! This is also not an unusual scenario: most of these metagames are excellent tournament material. They may not be as balanced as the standard metagames, but hey, that might just be part of the fun for you.


Hackmons is a bit different from the norm. You may use any Pokémon you want, as well as any ability, 252 EVs in every stat, and any move you want on said Pokémon. There are also no Clauses. This creates an incredibly absurd metagame that has endless possibilities. Wonder Guard is one of the most popular strategies to utilize, with Gastro Acid, Mold Breaker, and various residual damage moves popping up to counter it. Sorry to break the ice, but your Wondertomb is far from invincible. There are so many possibilities that instead of trying to counter every strategy out there, one should instead simply try to successfully execute their own strategy. Every so often the ladder is taken by storm by a new strategy... which is subsequently followed by seemingly endless bitching. This happens in the standard metagames to one degree as well, but it is not personified as much as it is here. Creativity is the key to being successful in this metagame.


Glitchmons is centered around the intricate Mimic glitch. Any Pokémon that can learn the move Mimic, Copycat, Metronome, Transform, or Assist in generation 4 has access to this glitch, which allows them to learn any move in the game. This means that all generation 5 Pokémon and Dream World abilities are illegal with this glitch. Pokémon may also have one move of their choice from generation 5 if they are transferred to BW with the move Sketch. Numerous Pokémon have access to this glitch from the generation 3 tutors. Besides the Mimic glitch, every Pokémon is legal in Glitchmons and all Clauses are off.

So how does this glitch affect the metagame? For starters, it makes Ursaring and Machoke dominant forces. Ursaring can take advantage of its newly expanded movepool by adding on Fake Out and ExtremeSpeed to its roster. Ursaring is so influential that the viability of a lot of sweepers is determined by whether or not they can get past it. Mewtwo and Rayquaza are notable examples of Pokémon that are much less viable with the presence of Ursaring, while Pokémon such as Aerodactyl and Omastar are examples of the contrary. Machoke's prominence is because of the lethal combination of Sheer Cold and No Guard. Of course, the notorious DynamicPunch haxing plays a part in Machoke's top tier status as well. Machoke's influence is also similar to Ursaring: Pokémon that have the ability Sturdy have a niche in blocking Sheer Cold. The reason Machoke is used more often than its evolution, Machamp (although Machamp does see some use), is that Machoke has more bulk thanks to Eviolite, which is more useful than Machamp's Attack increase.

Most of the top threats in this tier are physical attackers, which is probably because of the generally stronger physical attacks. Pokémon often carry the item Lum Berry because it acts as a "get out of sleep free" card. Interestingly enough, there are certain Pokémon that do not have access to the glitch, and yet have still managed to establish a niche for themselves. Notable examples include Heatran and Chandelure, who can take advantage of their useful resistances to defeat many foes.


Offstat is a relatively new metagame. Like the name implies, Pokémon may only use moves that correspond to the lower base attack stat. Now you may think that this would just mean prominent sets such as special Landorus would be all over the place, but let me throw a wrench your way: the lower attack stat must be of a difference of 50 base or more. Another notable change is hazards are not allowed, otherwise the focal point of every match is who is more competent at setting up and maintaining hazards. In addition, Kyurem-Black, Kyurem-White, Groudon, and Kyogre are banned.

Blissey is undeniably the most important Pokémon in Offstat. Blissey takes advantage of the weaker attacks by walling almost everything that comes its way. Another attribute that aides Blissey is Natural Cure. Toxic is one of the most important moves, and Natural Cure acts as a safeguard for Blissey against it. However, once Blissey is isolated, it can finally be worn down from it. Blissey also has the ability to efficiently pass colossal Wishes.

Setup sweepers are pivotal in Offstat. Everything is so pitifully weak that they have to boost a few times before they can do significant damage to the opposing team. Choiced attackers are pretty much nonexistent because they can not do sufficient damage to anything. To do well in Offstat, you need to be creative and do well in long-term planning. Any given Offstat match is not going to end in just 30 turns like they do in the standard tiers.

GSC Redux

What is GSC Redux and why does GSC need a redux? GSC Redux is a tier that introduces arbitrary restrictions to simulate a GSC-esque metagame, except it comes with a few modifications. The rules are as follows:

This metagame shapes out to be an intriguing compromise of GSC and BW in terms of game length: they are not super short, but you will not end up DC'ing in the process of playing out the 600+ turn game. Snorlax, the infamous tyrant that ruled GSC, is not nearly as stellar in this bastard child of a metagame. The RestTalk and Selfdestruct nerfs as well as everything else around it becoming stronger does not help it one bit; Thick Fat was hardly a buff for Snorlax in comparison to the goodies that all of the other Pokémon obtained. Pokémon that got notable buffs include Politoed, Azumarill, Ninetales, Tyranitar, Wobbuffet, Gengar, and Dragonite.

Seasonal Ladder

Alright you OCD people are going to twitch at this one. The Seasonal Ladder is a special themed Random Battle format. The roster of Pokémon that can be chosen is modified to fit a certain theme that is declared for that particular month. In addition, there may be a few easter eggs and restrictions thrown in the mix.

The theme for this month is "Winter Wonderland". Most of the Pokémon that are in the roster are either Ice-types, pixies, star-shaped, reindeer, or fairy-like. Every Pokémon that is in the roster that has access to the move Present must use it. Present is a pretty mediocre move that is not very exciting, but it has an interesting twist in this format: when it is used, there are 14 different possibilities. The Present can contain anything from a bomb to a makeover. Of course we just had to make a play on the old "Delibird is a terrorist" joke. Chandelure, Jirachi, and Victini, who would otherwise be too powerful for the tier, are appropriately nerfed to allow them to enjoy the Christimas—oh "sorry", I meant Holiday—spirit without ruining it for everyone else.


3-mon is a fast and entertaining frenzy. With only three teamslots, battles are much more fast-paced. One misprediction is enough to cost you the entire game so you are on your toes at all times. Strategies that are shunned in the standard metagame because of their low duration or one-time use are much more potent in 3-mon. Items such as Focus Sash and type Gems are much more effective because their one-time use contributes that much more to winning. Moves such as Trick Room, Tailwind, Reflect, and Light Screen are similarly much more effective. However, hazards and Choiced Pokémon (although Choice Scarf can be very helpful in clutch situations) are less useful. VGC is a decent outline on what is good and what is not in 3-mon, because it shares the fast-paced nature. One should note that this metagame also accommodates lazy people by capping the amount of Pokémon you can use at three instead of the usual six.


Any and every Pokémon that is not fully evolved is allowed in NFE, including Pokémon that have managed to make it up to tiers above NU, such as Chansey and Porygon2. Most of the top Pokémon are middle-staged Pokémon, but there are a few outliers like Scyther who are generally Uber in LC.

An interesting dilemma between NFE players is whether Eviolite is legal or not. Eviolite NFE and non-Eviolite NFE are drastically different. Eviolite makes Pokémon like Chansey and Dusclops that much more annoying to break through, but non-Eviolite NFE makes the metagame reminiscent of DPP LC. There are also some Pokémon who are great regardless of the presence of Eviolite in Croconaw and Piloswine. Whether you are playing with Eviolite or not, note that you are playing a tier where Pokémon are neither cute nor strong; instead, they are an awkward compromise. Just kidding: NFE is cool.

Six Move Battling

Yep. You read that right: it is possible to play a match on Pokemon SHOWDOWN! with more than just 4 limited moveslots on each of your Pokémon. That means no more 4 moveslot syndrome! It's just replaced with the even more irritating and ironic 6 moveslot syndrome. For the most part, a 6 move metagame favors bulky offense. Bulky boosting Pokémon can now run their boosting move, all of the coverage moves they need, AND possibly a safeguard like Substitute or a healing move. Choiced attackers are still good, but generally inferior in this metagame because they can only use 1 of their 6 moves at a time. Stall teams appreciate having more room for utility moves and the like, but they struggle even more against the top offensive threats. The additional coverage moves offensive Pokémon have the room for make it even harder for defensive threats to beat them. Some Pokémon that greatly appreciate the extra moveslots are Breloom, Deoxys-D, Hydreigon, Tyranitar, and Dragonite.

Now how exactly do you make a team for this format and battle? Simple: when building a team, go to import, then give each Pokémon 6 moves. The only way you can use all 6 moves is by challenging someone to Custom Game. Since you are battling in the Custom Game format, people can cheat and use even more than 6 moves and Ubers. Battle with someone you trust, not a random user on PS.


Go out there and play some of these taboo metagames! Some of them are difficult to find battles in, but fret not: there is sure to be at least that one odd ball on #othermetas or #pokemon that has a team and would be willing to battle you.

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