What's HOT in C&C? Welcome to the QC Corner!

By AccidentalGreed, blarajan, Furai, Harsha, Molk, PK Gaming, Pocket, and Oglemi. Art by Bummer.
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Welcome to the QC Corner! Interesting proposals and discussions take place within the C&C forums and and IRC channels. Sometimes these "QC Verdicts" and "QC Talks" end up divisive and heated arguments ensue, but at the end of the day we all gain a better understanding of the Pokemon in the current metagame. This article serves to share some of these moments with you and help you learn something new about each respective metagame through these past C&C events.


Updating Overviews Project

Recently, the Smogon community deemed that analyses contained too much fluff, especially the overviews of these analyses. After much debate as to what the best course of action was, Aldaron proposed that the community work on remaking overviews for all OU Pokemon (not a Drizzle + Swift Swim ban). With the new project up and running (it can be found here), many people from the OU community have started proposing their own overviews to replace the fluffy old ones. The process is simple—all one has to do to contribute is post in the thread reserving a Pokemon to revamp and then post the updated overview in a timely manner. Members of the GP team check the overviews after they are completed just like they would for any piece of information that will go on-site, and after two checks, members can add the overviews to the analyses.

Of course, there is another aspect to this. Well-known OU players are invited to join and either advise or write the updated overviews, as they obviously know the OU environment better than most people. Even if you are not interested in writing for this project, you can still help out by contributing advice. This serves as a sort of QC, or guidance, for the newer writers that are willing to contribute. If you have spare time and are willing to work for the site to improve analyses, check out the overview revamp project!

Kyurem-Black Unleashed

Having witnessed the chaotic hype that followed the release of new BW and BW2 threats, I knew that getting Kyurem-B done wouldn't be a fast and easy task due to the inevitable flow of "creative" sets that would come. In fact, its analysis is still underway as we speak!

Currently, the analysis is looking at six (and possibly more) potential sets, all of which play extremely differently from each other with different groups of counters. For instance, there are two Substitute sets being considered. The first is the more commonly known Substitute Shuffler set, which aims to utilize Kyurem-B's great bulk and resistances to find opportunities to use Substitute, then shuffle the opposing team around with Dragon Tail, occasionally stalling and recovering with Roost. This Kyurem-B also uses the scarcely-seen Hone Claws to slowly make Dragon Tail more accurate and threatening to anything that dares switch into it. The second set uses the standard Substitute + X attacks strategy, allowing Kyurem-B to scout and and ruin switch-ins behind the comfort of its Rhydon doll.

Moreover, players can take advantage of Kyurem-B's offensive prowess by giving it a Life Orb, resistance berry, Choice Band, or Choice Scarf (amongst other items). The beauty of mixed and Choice sets is the ridiculous Attack stat; even with a neutral nature and no investment, Kyurem-B still manages to surpass Jolly 252 Atk Salamence in terms of physical power. Therefore, players may choose to invest those EVs in any stat other than Attack, making Kyurem-B even speedier and bulkier than it already is. This alone opens up a Pandora's Box of possibilities; this monster could potentially become a sturdy physical or special tank, a speedy pivot, or a simple cold-blooded murderer.

Our goal is to condense this mass amount of possibilities into simpler and more customizable forms, so in the following holidays, keep an eye out for our new snow monster!

Blazing Underdogs

Only the toughest Fire-types survive the tough selection process of OU QC. Vulnerable to Stealth Rock and resisted by Dragon-types, Tyranitar, and bulky Water-types, Fire-types must overcome their natural flaws to be deemed as OU-worthy battle pieces. Exceptional cases such as Volcarona, Heatran, Ninetales, and Infernape exist, but the rest of the ordinary fiery folks were deemed unworthy... until now!

Enter Rotom-H and Moltres. The ghastly oven and the epic phoenix have much to show, to the QC's surprise. Rotom-H's typing and ability blend together to give it a niche as a specially defensive tank. We certainly did not expect the numerous perks Rotom-H possesses over its other appliance counterpart Rotom-W. Unlike Rotom-W, Rotom-H offers resistances to Bug, Grass, and Electric-type moves. With this extra protection, Rotom-H becomes a solid repellent to Chlorophyll sweepers, Volcarona, and Thundurus-T. Rotom-H could also switch into the now-banned Genesect's STAB U-turns with impunity and without being captured by Dugtrio, a feat that Heatran failed to emulate. It also resisted every combination of RP Genesect's elemental onslaughts , except for the rare HP Water variants. These are all advantages this brave little oven holds over the sad washing machine and the molten dog, on top of its ability to check Rock Polish Landorus and Tornadus-T.

Rotom-H certainly distinguished itself from the more prominent niche special walls, Rotom-W and Heatran. However, Rain Moltres is no slouch in the offensive department, either. Scoffing initially at Rain Moltres, we simply never considered any Pokemon to successfully compete with the rather esoteric niche held by Rain Volcarona. However, what Quiver Dance Volcarona provides in amazing sweeping potential, Specs Moltres answers in kind with its sheer immediate power. Moltres pairs up gloriously with Tornadus-T, pummeling would-be Tornadus checks with powerful, STAB Choice Specs Hurricane. Even the mighty specially defensive Rotom-W and Heatran will crumble under the incessant crash of Moltres's Hurricanes backed by its 125 base Special Attack. Even Jirachi, the top contender for checking Tornadus-T, will succumb to Moltre s's STAB Fire Blast. Its alternative fiery barrages come in handy when faced by opposing weather teams, paving a path of blazing destruction in the drought, hail storm, or sandstorm. The phoenix's unique typing and decent bulk actually comes in handy, too, allowing it to check Rock Polish Landorus, Swords Dance Lucario, Venusaur, and Volcarona.


Beartic, Latias, & Genesect

Ubers' C&C subforum has been very busy lately due to the spate of newly-released Pokémon, which includes the new Therian trio, Ho-Oh, Lugia, Latias, Genesect, and more. Let me take you on a mini-tour into the heart of the Ubers Quality Control process by examining some of the most exciting additions to the metagame.

Beartic is an extremely odd Poké to see in Ubers. However, thanks to its fantastic Swift Swim ability, Encore, Swords Dance, high base Attack, and amazing STAB in Icicle Crash, it can turn into a deadly sweeper with ease. I was extremely skeptical of its viability in Ubers when I first saw shrang posting the analysis, but hey, when something sweeps you, it must be good actually! The icy bear is a surprising threat that not many teams are prepared for, plus it's the only Swift Swim Pokémon that is able to beat 252/252+ Groudon in sun with its boosted STAB, which is an amazing feat that can't be taken for the bear.

Latias has gotten her beloved Soul Dew recently, which just screams "UPDATE PLEASE". The fantastic Superimp is doing a remarkable job on it, currently writing the last few things for the analysis. There were actually three big things in the analysis that required QC: the order of the sets, the Specially Defensive set, and the EV spreads for each set. The order was put to discussion many times, and we decided on the following order: Calm Mind, All-Out Attacker, and Specially Defensive. We were quite skeptical on the last one, but judging by the number of things it counters, namely all Kyogre, Mewtwo, Deoxys-A, and Calm Mind Arceus, we let it go. The specially defensive set was put last because this set can easily become a "sitting duck"; its offenses are nothing big, but its defenses are amazing. Calm Mind and All-Out Attacker are Latias's best shots; she still has phenomenal bulk, but she can still sweep. Calm Mind was chosen to be the first thanks to the ability to beat every Kyogre, including last-mon Calm Mind, and most Arceus formes by engaging the Calm Mind war. The EV spread decision was easily decided thanks to Superimp's extraordinary post, which included several EV spreads per each set. Be sure that the girly, pink, adorable dragon is found in good hands.

Genesect is an amazing addition to any tier, be it OU or Ubers. Genesect is known for being extremely versatile; be it Choice Scarf, Rock Polish, or Choice Band, Genesect can fulfill many roles with its amazing movepool and stats. We were actually quite unsure about what the sets should be, mainly the Choice Scarf. Genesect can run a physical set and a special set with Choice Scarf as its item, but the two play completely differently. The special set focuses more on having wide coverage, such as hitting Kyogre with Thunder, Ferrothorn with Flamethrower, and Rayquaza with Ice Beam, but since Genesect would be using U-turn most of the time, the physical set came up, and that's why it's also better. Currently, the analysis is going to include four sets: physical Scarf, special Scarf, Expert Belt, and Choice Band. All we can pray for is that Theorymon won't turn this into a second Wobbuffet...


UU Mass Revamps & Snorlax

The UU QC team recently took the initiative of revamping a large amount of existing analyses, the reason being that many of the UU analyses that are on -site are outdated (most likely as a result of the several wild and prominent changes to the tier). For example, some of the onsite analyses have Pokemon using completely different sets—in some cases, sets that aren't even used in today's metagame are present, so we decided on revamping every outdated analysis, starting with the most important Pokemon in UU and working our way down in the eventual hope that we'll bring things up to speed as quickly as possible.

One of the most important analyses we're trying to tackle right now is Snorlax. Snorlax's current on -site analysis reflects the older iteration of UU, where Snorlax was primarily used as a special wall, rather than the offensive tank it's usually used as today. Powerful special attackers like Jolteon and Alakazam were common back then and often required the use of specialized walls in order to deal with them. It was around that time when some UU teams would even consist of special attackers exclusively. RestTalk Snorlax was also a staple on stall teams, as it could easily rack up entry hazard damage by forcing switches with its awesome bulk or shuffling the opponents team with Whirlwind. Today, however, Snorlax plays mostly an offensive/tank role with the current analysis structure reflecting that. The Choice Band set gets priority now, since it's an incredible attacker that also doubles as a check to pretty much every special attacker in the tier —most notably Chandelure , who is hard countered by Snorlax (and Snorlax alone). The Curse set is now more prominent than ever, as Fighting-types like Mienshao and Heracross are incredibly common, and neither are capable of OHKOing Snorlax after it has received a Curse boost without a boosting item. Don't get the wrong impression : RestTalk is still a decent choice for most teams (it's second to none when it comes to walling special attackers), but it's almost exclusively seen on stall teams, which are where it is most useful.


Pinsir, Typhlosion Revamp, & Zangoose

Business has been rather slow over at RU QC. However, an interesting Pokemon to come up is Pinsir. User Honko has done a lot to promote the strength of Pinsir lately, even featuring it in the RMT Pester Ball, as well as personally throwing Pinsir through QC. The beauty of Pinsir lies in several key aspects: its nice Speed tier which puts it above Gallade, Nidoqueen, and Kabutops; Moxie, which helps it accrue multiple Attack boosts and thereby makes it harder to revenge kill; and its STAB X-Scissor, which destroys Cresselia among other bulky walls. Pinsir will typically be running a Swords Dance set, but it's also capable of running a decent Choice Scarf set.

Another important Pokemon that's gotten a revamp is Typhlosion. Traditionally, Typhlosion has been known for its Choice Scarf + Eruption set; however, the set has proven to be suboptimal in today's metagame, and instead Choice Specs is now the preferred set. The reasoning for this is rather simple: a Choice Specs-boosted Eruption is absolutely devastating. A Choice Scarf set is still usable though, especially with the rise of hail teams, as being able to outspeed key hail Scarf users such as Rotom-F is handy.

Lastly, Zangoose's revamp is underway with the release of Toxic Boost. Thanks to Toxic Boost, Zangoose has gone from a mediocre-at-best physical attacker to a real metagame threat that should be prepared for by any serious team. The power of Zangoose's Facade is incredible, and its movepool has just the right coverage moves to make it a powerful wallbreaker. Be sure to look for its new analysis in the near future.


Dark Marriage: Pawniard and Vullaby

In a tier filled with more Fighting-type Pokemon than you can count, it’s surprising for the Dark-types not named Scraggy to even get their time to shine. However, two different Dark-type Pokemon are making a splash right now, with some newly discovered uses: Pawniard and Vullaby!

While Pawniard, a Pokemon with a 4x weakness to Fighting, might not seem like your go-to Pokemon for a bulky booster, you might want to think again! Pawniard brings a lot of qualities to the table that might surprise you with its recently-popularized Eviolite Swords Dance set. It actually offers a ton of useful resistances, letting it switch into Snover’s Blizzard or Eviolite Murkrow all day long and actually use these huge threats as setup fodder! If your team is particularly weak to Snover, Pursuit Pawniard will be a nasty surprise for anyone spamming Blizzard, offering a ton of utility to sand teams . While the details of this set are still in contention with LC QC, you better not underestimate it, as a +2 Sucker Punch / Iron Head is sure to hurt!

If Pawniard really isn’t your cup of tea, we have Nasty Plot Vullaby, doing a ton of damage on the special side . When you first look at Vullaby, you may only think of it as a defensive Pokemon... think again! Vullaby is deceptively fast, while its bulk and typing give it the ability to take some damage while setting up / sweeping . What makes Nasty Plot Vullaby so threatening is its ability Weak Armor; by switching into a U-turn or some other weak physical attack, Vullaby gets a Speed boost, which in tandem with a Nasty Plot boost turns it into a sweeping machine. While it may have issues with Drilbur when boosted, Weak Armor, Nasty Plot, its fantastic STAB moves, and resistance to Sucker Punch make it a good pick for beating many of the most common Pokemon in the tier!

Beginner's Guide to LC

The biggest and most important piece made by LC C&C recently is the Little Did You Know – A Beginner's Guide to Little Cup. This article contains everything it is that an up and coming LC player needs to succeed in our little tier. In it, you’ll find a variety of information that will help newer players wanting to figure out the tier, or older players wanting a bit of a refresher!

The guide explains the rules of the tier, illustrating the clauses, the ban list, and the restrictions on each Pokemon... such as each Pokemon being Lv. 5! Due to the difference in level, it describes how exactly you EV your Pokemon and links to other resources that will help you with your other technical questions.

However, what might be the most useful to an aspiring player is the threat list, which lists the most threatening Pokemon in the tier today, and what they really do in the tier! It describes the roles of some of the most common Little Cup threats, such as Scraggy, Drilbur, Misdreavus, Murkrow, and Mienfoo, and even outlines the uses of some of the less commonly seen Pokemon, such as Shelmet, Shellder, and Tentacool. Reading through the threat list will definitely help you understand what composes the tier, and what to watch out for when playing . The guide also explains the most valuable items in Little Cup, including the ubiquitous Eviolite, and why these are more valuable than some inferior choices, such as Leftovers.

Whether you only have a few questions, or are a brand new player, you can be sure the beginner’s guide has the answers to your questions!

Thanks for Reading!

I hope you found this an enjoyable read and gleaned some metagame knowledge while you're at it! QC IS SRS BUSINESS.

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