Suspect Testing Rounds 8-9

By PDC. Art by shadowbind.
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The last time we chronicled the suspect tests, you might have caught the heavy influence of Genesect and Tornadus-T in all the suspect ladders through suspect testing rounds 6-7. Turns out it wasn't just a few players who noticed it, either. Everybody was going crazy over the prevalence of Genesect and Tornadus-T. They were everywhere and there was no way of denying that. Genesect being #1 on every ladder where it could be used was no big surprise—not a person could go a game without seeing Genesect. Rain was also becoming a problem. People were realizing how good it truly was and what powerful assets it had over other styles of play. The events that took place in these two rounds turned BW2 into a whole new playing field when the outcome was announced. The regular offensive teams would struggle to adapt, and rain would lose the OP status that it held previously for the last 6 months or so prior.

Round 8

Anybody else smell burning metal? No? Well you obviously can't smell, then, because this is what the entire round was about. Genesect was the god of the OU metagame, and it was not a surprise why. Ever since it had been introduced, people were addicted to using it on every team. The luxury of the Steel typing paired with a beautiful set of stats and moveset options made Genesect ideal for offensive teams that needed an all-purpose special sweeper or pivot. At first Genesect functioned almost solely as one of the best Choice Scarf users in the metagame, but then it evolved into much much more. Genesect turned into a fearsome special Rock Polish sweeper that had very few and specific counters. It didn't need to care about boosting its Special Attack because of the close-to-guaranteed Special Attack boost it would receive, making it incredibly powerful. After a Rock Polish, only priority could stop it; even fast Choice Scarfers like Latios could not outspeed it. As if that wasn't enough, Genesect also resisted common priority moves such as Bullet Punch, ExtremeSpeed, and Ice Shard, leaving Mach Punch as the only thing that could revenge kill it. For the most part, it was easy to see why Genesect was such a driving force in the metagame.

Genesect was also highly versatile; it could mix and match different options depending on the support from its teammates or specific preference. Some checks to Genesect included specially defensive Rotom-W, Tentacruel, Gastrodon, and specially defensive Hippowdown. However, all these checks wouldn't hold up for very long, if at all. People quickly realized that after a Special Attack boost, or even without one, Genesect was still strong enough to take out these alleged counters. And the unpredictability that Genesect possessed was incredible. From Rock Polish to Choice Band, it could easily get around its counters with ease. Giga Drain could destroy Rotom-W, Gastrodon, and Hippowdon, and as an added bonus heal Genesect at the same time. While Thunderbolt could tear Tentacruel and other bulky Waters into pieces, Flamethrower could destroy other Steel-types that attempted to block Genesect, like specially defensive Jirachi and Scizor. They stood no chance in the face of Flamethrower after a Special Attack boost. Other moves that saw consistent usage were Ice Beam and Bug Buzz. Ice Beam took out Dragon-types such as Dragonite, while Bug Buzz would act as an overall useful STAB move to fall back on if Genesect lacked one of the above moves. Although Genesect could not carry all of these coverage moves at once, it could most certainly come up with combinations and good pairs of these moves that would work very well in conjunction with team support to break through counters with ease. Pair all of this with Life Orb, and you have a picture of what Genesect looked like in the metagame, if you weren't there to experience it yourself.

In one phrase, Genesect could be simply described as a "shark in a fish tank", destroying all opposition and claiming the metagame as its own. Genesect dictated the metagame with an iron fist, controlling what was popular, viable, and used to a large extent. It even made team styles like sun more popular for a short while. The tyrant had to be stopped, but how?

Now that we have some background on our suspect, we can look at what was used during the test and what was going on on the suspect testing thread and the ladder. For the ladder, it was quite clear what was being used: Genesect, rain, rain with Genesect, and occasional sand teams that contained Genesect. Specifically, hyper offensive teams with Deoxys-D as the ringleader were really common. With the latter setting down hazards and powerhouses such as Kyuem-B blowing holes in the opposition so in the end Genesect could clean up teams in a matter of minutes. Rain was of course used, but not as much as the previous round, surprisingly; while still being the #1 weather, it was not king of the game.

Unlike the previous rounds, something different went into play here. Two ladders instead of one were used this time to test the waters of the BW2 metagame: one with Genesect in it, and one without. The ladders were quite different in the way they played. The former was hard in the sense of fighting Genesect, while laddering without Genesect was hard in the sense of having to fight rain over and over. The best team, as it turns out, was Genesect sand. The team had Tyranitar / Genesect / Latios / Terrakion + 2 additional interchangeable Pokemon. The team was not completely set in stone and fluctuated, but for the most part these four remained constant every time. On the ladder that didn't contain Genesect, there were really no amazing or new types of teams introduced. The standard rain offensive teams were used mostly, and it was no surprise why. The most enjoyable ladder also happened to be the hardest though; due to Genesect's absence, auto-win was no longer decided by who got a Rock Polish up. It took more skill, and more time overall than the Genesect ladder.

The suspect thread was alive with discussion, and this time it didn't get too out of hand or stupid like it did in the previous threads. However, the unanimous decision was to ban Genesect. After the first few days of initial excitement of the thought of getting rid of this broken giant, discussion started to cease. The thread's discussion ran its course, and it was unsurprising to not see people yelling at each other over banning a Pokemon this time due to how closely knit the community was on banning this one Pokemon. When the results came, in it was clear just how many people wanted it banned. The thread was posted and people were itching to ban it as fast as possible. Overall, at the end of the round, it was declared on a 67.27% margin that Genesect would be banned from the OU tier forever. While some believed that it could have had a reasonable place in the OU metagame, more people believed that it deserved status as an Uber Pokemon instead. The banning of Genesect opened up more viability on teams and spread diversity in the metagame by quite a bit. Once again, Scizor and Dragonite could be used without the fear of used as setup bait or being revenged constantly by the all powerful bug Genesect.

Round 9

Unlike the previous round, round 9 was focused on banning two Pokemon instead of just one. These two Pokemon were the self-proclaimed kings of rain: Tornadus-T and Keldeo. While Tornadus-T was usually used strictly on rain teams, Keldeo was utilized on a variety of teams which varied from weatherless offense to more offensive variations of sand teams. I am sure you would have noticed the notorious presence of these two even if you had casually played the suspect testing, or just read about them now. These two were among the top players in all tests, specifically rounds 7 and 8. Round 9 was where we all decided it was time to put these two titans on the chopping block and test them to see if they were truly broken.

Tornadus-T is who we will start off with, considering it was arguably the most powerful of the two, or at least the most talked about. After the end of the World Cup, Tornadus became a popular force in the metagame that was previously unrecognized and not seen as a major threat. After all, what danger could a mono-Flying-type pose to the Steels and Dragons of OU? Tornadus had checks in the form of Jirachi and Rotom-W, both of which could easily sponge a Hurricane and then take it out easily. While this was true, Tornadus had a unique way of utilizing its powerful Hurricanes and U-turns effectively enough so that it could damage its counters heavily before going in for the final blows. Tornadus-T was then introduced in BW2, and it became obvious it would be a major upgrade to Tornadus in many ways. It became faster and gained a much better ability in Regenerator, allowing it to heal every time it switched out of battle and thereby U-turn around hazards much more safely. This turned Tornadus-T into the ultimate pivot, which could take advantage of all counters it had by weakening them continuously over the matches length before ending it with a strong Hurricane.

Now, in the other corner, we had the previously underrated Keldeo. A Pokemon who was once only #40 in usage stats was being tested for being broken. Keldeo certainly brought some unique things to the table, not only typewise, but moveset-wise. Secret Sword allowed Keldeo to break through some of the specially defensive counters that otherwise would defeat it. Hitting Chansey and Blissey very hard makes Keldeo easily notable as a unique special sweeper. Outside of that, Hydro Pump could definitely destroy anything that got in its way, especially if rain happens to be up. Keldeo first gained notoriety in round 6 with a strong and speedy Choice Scarf set. It was a great check to Garchomp and other dragons due to the high speed it possessed along with brute strength. There was nothing that could stand in its way under the right conditions, and even those that resisted Hydro Pumps and Secret Swords could be easily accommodated for. Keldeo was not strictly Drizzle-limited, either. Tyranitar happened to be one of the best partners for it in the game due to its ability to trap and kill the Lati twins and Jellicent and damage other bulky Waters that often switch into Keldeo. Within little time Choice Band Tyranitar became one of the most powerful partners to Keldeo. It was noticeable on both suspect and regular ladders that Keldeo was becoming more popular by the second and was a top-10 threat in the metagame quickly. The niches it filled courtesy of a unique and wonderful typing and superb wall-breaking prowess allowed Keldeo to become a new threat in the metagame like never before.

It was quite easy to see why rain was such a dominant force because of these two beasts, and that they would be put up for suspect testing sooner or later. The ladder was mainly influenced by rain this time around, and it became exceptionally popular not only because of the influence it had on the metagame, but also because of the fact it could be the last time they would be available for use. The ladder was specifically rain-based, which dominated the entire suspect metagame ladder. Keldeo and Tornadus-T were top tier threats and had very few counters that could be worked around very easily, especially when they were used together. Tornadus-T could simply escape from Jirachi and Tyranitar with a U-turn, and then Keldeo could come in and destroy them with a powerful Hydro Pump or Secret Sword. These two made quite the potent combo and together dominated the metagame with some help from their friend Politoed. It was not surprising to see a different type of team, however; hyper offense remained a top-tier laddering strategy, as it had for most rounds prior. Keldeo was also used commonly on these teams as a backup revenge killer or powerful Choice Specs user that preyed upon rain teams, turning their momentum against them. A surprising Pokemon that worked well in this specific metagame was Kingdra, a beast that could take advantage of the prevalence of Drizzle (especially during this suspect test) and wreck havoc on the unsuspecting rain teams. Kingdra could outspeed both Scarf Keldeo and Tornadus-T with just a little additional Speed and KO them both with a powerful Draco Meteor. Rain teams had only one way of countering this usually, and luckily, their solution was the bulky Ferrothorn, which was another common sight on rain teams due to its ability to support the team through valuable resistances and laying hazards.

This time there was no real clear consensus on the fate of the suspects, but what was a hot topic was the question of banning rain completely. With the generation coming to a close sooner than many thought, it seemed foolish to ban after it had been a problem for so long. At least, that's what others thought about it. It would allegedly solve the problem of many broken Pokemon in the metagame. However, this discussion was quickly stomped out and treated as one for another day in a different discussion. The thread was more focused on Tornadus-T than Keldeo, but users were still skeptical of their presence in the OU metagame. Finally the voting day came, and Tornadus-T was voted Uber by a 71.05% margin, while Keldeo was decided to be kept in OU by a 84.93% no-ban margin. It was clear the general community wanted Tornadus-T gone, and they got their wish. Some still questioned Keldeo's presence, but it was generally accepted.


And there you have it, folks, rounds 8 and 9 in a nutshell. These two rounds marked a turning point in the development of the BW2 metagame, where we saw some of the most overpowered giants fall and be eliminated from OU play. I will continue to chronicle the impact and results on the suspect tests in full detail, making sure all of you have received the inside scoop of what is going on. Next article, we will be covering the Deoxys-D suspect test along with special bonus content relating to the next possible suspect tests that may be conducted, while also possibly tying back to past ones as well. Until next time, keep tuned in on #pokemon to catch upcoming discussion on the metagame, along with the OU forum to see what the community is talking about.

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