OU's Top Threats: How Do They Fare in Ubers?

By ThisMysteriousGuy. Art by Magistrum.
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As we all know, the OU tier is the most popular tier of play on Smogon. As such, it also happens to be the one that people seem to complain about the most. There has been endless discussion about how [insert top tier threat here] is broken or not broken; people rage over how their favorite childhood Pokemon isn't considered to be A-tier in the Viability Rankings, and don't even get me started on the whole ordeal of weather. Of course, it really isn't up to the lowly normal users when it comes to what is actually going to be suspected. It's the job of the OU Council to dissuade the ban-happy nature of parts of the OU community and only test the threats that are truly ban-worthy.

Now, imagine if the OU Council collapsed one day and the staff of Smogon decided to bring back the old version of suspect testing in their place, where users who make the ladder requirements can nominate any Pokemon that they feel is ban-worthy. Then, some ridiculously ban-happy members of OU decide that there is a pressing need to ban a wide variety of threats in OU that see massive amounts of usage. Surely there would be people wondering what would become of them? Could they possibly get back to their former glory? Or will they be left in the dust compared to all of those overpowered legendaries in Ubers? So if you're one of the many afraid of such a horrific dystopian future, or you're just curious about how OU Pokemon do in Ubers, then you've indeed come to the right article. So then, shall we get started?


Kicking off this list is none other than the king of OU (at least in terms of usage), Scizor. With a solid defensive typing that gives some good resistances, only one weakness that isn't a huge deal thanks to the presence of rain, a great Attack stat as well as decent bulk, and the always awesome Technician, you have a Pokemon that is already solid. However, it gets access to several moves that many of its rivals would die for, like a scouting move in STAB U-turn, priority in Bullet Punch (which is boosted by both STAB and Technician), the trapping move that is Pursuit, and the always awesome Swords Dance. Scizor's access to such useful offensive tools and some solid bulk wins it a spot on many teams as a Choice Band user, though it also can be seen sweeping on its own with Swords Dance. It does have its flaws, though. Its Speed stat is rather disappointing and while Bullet Punch does help patch that up, it also has relatively poor offensive coverage when compared to something like Mach Punch. Regardless, Scizor is undoubtedly a top-tier threat in OU that every team needs to be aware of.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said of how our metal bug friend fares in Ubers. Don't get me wrong, it's viable, but it also faces tons of competition from various other Pokemon in the tier. One of the best examples of this is Genesect. While it might be gone in OU, Genesect is quite the threat in Ubers and is considered to be one of—if not the best—Choice Scarf user in the tier, as well as pretty much the best U-turn user in all of Pokemon, thanks to better mixed offensive stats, Download, and more Speed. As you can imagine, Scizor doesn't really enjoy this.

However, even outside of Genesect, it has several issues that need to be taken into account. First off, its Speed is much more noticeably poor in Ubers with all the base 90s running around. While it does have Bullet Punch, many of the new threats in Ubers Scizor has to face either resist Bullet Punch or are bulky enough to not mind it too much. Its bulk is suddenly nothing very special, making it even easier for it to get killed. As such, pulling off a Swords Dance boost is rather difficult, and again, there are a lot more top-tier threats in Ubers that can stomach a Bullet Punch. But it's not all bad for the metallic mantis. For one, its lack of Speed means that it can actually afford investing EVs into bulk, making it a decent switch-in for tanking Draco Meteors. Its U-turn and Superpower still hurt like hell, and while Bullet Punch is noticably weaker it is still just enough to allow for revenge killing. Overall, even though it is viable, Scizor is an OU threat that unfortunately suffers from both the competition in and the stronger environment of Ubers.


Next up, we have one of the most defining Pokemon of the OU tier, Politoed. I think we all know why this is so. Game Freak decided that, for whatever pressing reason, they needed to buff Politoed in the most extraordinary of ways by giving it a ridiculous Dream World ability in Drizzle. Anyone who has played OU knows the dramatic impact this has on the tier. There are a variety of rain abusers in the tier, such as Thundurus-T, Keldeo, and Tornadus to name a few. Others are used simply because they counter rain threats extremely well, such as Gastrodon, Seismitoad, and Slowking. Politoed isn't even that bad as an actual Pokemon. Thanks to rain, it can become a real powerhouse when equipped with a Choice Specs thanks to rain further boosting its Hydro Pump, and it has some rather sought-after moves to make a viable support set, including Hypnosis and Perish Song. Despite those relatively mediocre stats, the average movepool, and the fact that the OU Council has constantly been trying to cripple rain by removing its top threats, until the day when Drizzle is at last banned from the OU tier (or if a ridiculous rain counter is introduced in XY), Politoed, and rain in general, will continue to remain a dominant force in OU.

Incredibly enough, Politoed is actually considered to be a very poor choice in the Ubers tier. But why? Why could something so meta-defining in one tier become practically useless in another? Politoed's struggle to get anywhere in the Ubers tier can be pretty much summed up in one simple word: Kyogre. As we've stated before, Politoed is really nothing special without its ability. So when you have a behemoth of a rain inducer that has great bulk and an incredible Special Attack stat, plus a sizable movepool that allows for a variety of different sets, do you really see any reason to use the toad? You could argue that you can use Politoed as a backup Drizzle user but, come on, you'll basically be playing the game with five Pokemon and a slightly higher chance to win the weather war. Politoed has neither the bulk nor the power to justify any use in Ubers, let alone reliably keep rain up. And, honestly, Kyogre is such a monster by itself that you really don't need a backup Drizzle user. So to put it simply, please don't use Politoed in Ubers.


Considering how much of a dominant force rain and, to an extent, sun teams are, it would be natural that something that can bring a weather that neuters such teams would be quite effective in this metagame. And this is exactly why Tyranitar is such a threat in OU, as it can easily brew up a sandstorm that prevents rain teams from receiving their benefits and also gives a small group of threats such as Landorus and Stoutland a useful buff. Tyranitar not only accomplishes this but also has amazing assets that make it useful beyond being a simple weather setter. First off, and most noticably, are its impressive offensive stats. Tyranitar is certainly an offensive juggernaut thanks to a great Attack stat and a usable Special Attack.

Of course, stats don't matter as much if the movepool is horrible, but Tyranitar has a surprisingly versatile movepool allowing for a lots of viable variants to its usual sets, ranging from Crunch, Stone Edge, Superpower, Ice Beam, Flamethrower, and a bunch of stat-boosting moves that are more or less unviable for use but a nice touch nonetheless. It also includes a fantastic trapping move in Pursuit, which it actually gets STAB on. This means that even if the Psychic- or Ghost-type chooses not to switch, it will have to face massive amounts of damage regardless of what option it chooses unless it can KO Tyranitar. This is easier said than done as, despite a poor defensive typing, Tyranitar does have some nice defenses, especially on the special side due to Sandstorm increasing its Special Defense. While it is held back by a poor defensive typing—which gives it a glaring weakness to Fighting-type attacks—and its lackluster Speed, Tyranitar is still fully capable of adapting to OU and its status of remaining in OU ever since its introduction in GSC is a testament to just that.

Unlike Politoed and Drizzle, the only other viable Sand Stream user in Ubers is Hippowdon. Hippowdon performs completely different roles from Tyranitar in both OU and Ubers, due to being more bulky and less powerful. As such, Tyranitar still finds itself having a niche in Ubers, so while not Arceus-like, it is still is quite great. While its bulk and offenses are not quite as impressive as they were previously, it still brings enough useful tools to the table to justify its use. One of the best things about the T-Rex is that it is still a rather solid check to Latias and Latios, despite the existence of Soul Dew. Yes, they can deal hefty amounts of damage if it is not careful, but being able to trap as well as KO two otherwise massive threats to the tier gives Tyranitar quite a solid niche. Its typing also gives it a nice advantage offensively so it can check the likes of the Giratina formes, the Kyurem formes, Lugia, and, to an extent, Mewtwo, all thanks to that Special Defense boost. The biggest setback for Tyranitar, other than the ones every other OU Pokemon faces, is that it must contend with two extremely powerful weather starters in Groudon and Kyogre, both of which are faster than Tyranitar, bulky, and having a super effective STAB against it.

Other than that, there really isn't much that needs to be said about Tyranitar. Its two main sets, the Stealth Rock set and the Choice Band set, are still viable. Tyranitar itself doesn't change a whole lot going from OU to Ubers. It fares well against some new threats and not so well against others, and is in a more harsh metagame than before, but still manages to keep fighting on.


After spending the last two generations in Ubers and getting put on the ballot several times during the early stages of BW OU, it seems Latios is here to stay. What with great Special Attack and Speed, a typing which gives it an edge over the plethora of Fighting-types in OU, and a good movepool, it's easy to see why this is the case. With these traits, the first things that come to mind in terms of what to run on Latios are Choice item sets and all-out attacker sets. With access to moves such as Draco Meteor, Surf, Thunder, Dragon Pulse, Trick, Psyshock, and Roost, Latios is able to pull these sets off brilliantly. It also gets Calm Mind, and while Latias typically gets the nod over Latios for such sets, an offensive Calm Mind set is still something Latios is perfectly capable of pulling off well. It even has an effective dual screens set, thanks to a great Speed stat and access to Memento.

Of course, Latios does have some downfalls. For one, while not completely terrible defensively, its typing leaves it with some major weaknesses to Bug-, Dark-, Ghost-, Dragon-, and Ice-type moves, all of which are common in the tier. Additionally, it lacks a good way to take on Steel-types unlike many other Dragons, and must resort to the weather-dependent Hidden Power Fire in order to deal super effective damage. Regardless, Latios has indeed proven its worth in OU and still remains a top-tier threat.

I know what you're thinking: "Why the hell would I use Latios in Ubers when Dialga, Palkia, Giratina-O, Rayquaza, Reshiram, Zekrom, and the Kyurem formes exist?" Well, there's this item that exists called Soul Dew that is only usable in Ubers, which I mentioned earlier when talking about Tyranitar. When equipped to Latios, it essentially starts the battle off with a Calm Mind boost, causing its Special Attack and Special Defense to skyrocket to insane levels. Not only that, but its base 110 Speed is actually great in Ubers as you get the jump on all those base 90s, 95s, and 100s. While the lack of a reliable way to beat Steel-types still sucks, Latios's movepool remains solid, especially its access to Calm Mind. It can even run a viable Dragon Dance set, as thanks to a very good Speed tier and solid special bulk, it can grab a boost with ease and outspeed practically everything in the tier.

Unfortunately, Latios has to contend with a lot of new threats that give it massive problems. Darkrai, Choice Scarf Genesect, and Ghost Arceus all outspeed Latios and have super effective STABs to take it out quickly with. The same goes for physically-based Dragon-types. In fact, Latios really doesn't like taking physical attacks in general. Even some powerful special attacks will leave a massive dent in it, such as Choice Specs Kyogre's Ice Beam and Water Spout. Regardless, Latios's access to one of the best items in the game give it a lease of life in Ubers.


Pretty much the new standard for physical attackers in OU, Terrakion has certainly left a massive mark on the tier. Even now, when people have pretty much gotten used to it, its potency remains undeniable. Its Attack stat may seem to be pretty standard, but behind that lies two incredible STAB moves in Stone Edge and Close Combat, which actually work in tandem together quite nicely. Its Speed stat is also pretty standard, but thanks to great coverage, it can run an extremely effective Choice Scarf set. Of course, it is most well known for the brain-wrecking power that is its Choice Band set. Being able to 2HKO Skarmory with Choice Band Close Combat is no small feat.

But Choice sets are only part of what makes Terrakion so vicious. While it might not look capable of it, Terrakion does have its share of great setup moves. Swords Dance needs no explanation, turning Terrakion from a powerhouse into something virtually uncounterable. Rock Polish on the other hand makes it faster than pretty much everything in the tier, with Life Orb still giving it some nice power. Thanks to such great STAB coverage, the two moves can actually work extremely well in tandem with each other, allowing you to choose between being a wrecking ball or outpacing everything, or perhaps both! It even makes for a nice Stealth Rock user as it puts offensive pressure on the opponent alongside setting up Stealth Rock. Unfortunately its typing doesn't exactly do it many favors defensively, as being weak to Fighting-, Water-, and Ground-type moves generally sucks, and weaknesses to Bullet Punch and Mach Punch doesn't help either. Regardless, Terrakion's sheer power makes it the definition of a good physical attacker.

Ubers is a rather interesting change for Terrakion. Its Attack, while still solid, isn't exactly that great anymore. Its Speed stat, on the other hand, is great, but isn't fast enough for it to outspeed the fastest Pokemon in the tier, such as Darkrai, Arceus, Deoxys, and Shaymin-S. Well, what happens when Terrakion gets a Choice Scarf? I'll tell you what, it suddenly becomes one of the fastest Pokemon in the tier, allowing it to revenge kill a variety of threats such as Darkrai, Deoxys-A, Shaymin-S, +1 Rayquaza, the Kyurem formes, and even Adamant Kabutops in the rain that lack Aqua Jet. The best part about it all is that Terrakion's defensive typing actually comes in handy. Thanks to its Fighting typing and resistance to Normal-type moves, it becomes one of the best checks to Extreme Killer Arceus you can find, and that is not something that is to be underestimated, as Extreme Killer is a ridiculously common threat in the tier. So essentially, Terrakion reduces the emphasis on power while increasing that on Speed. Yeah, it's still a decent user of Swords Dance and Choice Band, but really, it's best off using a Choice Scarf or even Rock Polish. There are already quite a few wallbreakers in Ubers, but there is room for fast and strong physical attackers, especially Fighting-types (Blaziken is really exclusive to sun teams). So even though Terrakion's defensive typing still isn't that great, and its Attack isn't enough to power through the strongest of the physical walls, its great Speed, great STAB moves, and ability to act as a fantastic check to Extreme Killer Arceus allows Terrakion to carve out a niche for itself in Ubers.


While Dragonite really hasn't found itself in the spotlight in the previous generations, it is certainly a force to be reckoned with in BW OU. Multiscale, while not meta-defining like, say, Drizzle, is a huge step forward for Dragonite. Dragonite might not look like something that could make much use of Multiscale due to more offensively-based stats, but it still utilizes it extremely well. Yes, its Speed is rather low, but, hey, it has Dragon Dance to patch it up. With Multiscale, Dragonite can set up a Dragon Dance or two with ease, after which it can proceed to rip apart everything in its path. It also has a wide enough movepool to give it some more intriguing sets. Thanks to Extremespeed and weather-based moves such as Waterfall and Fire Punch, it can run a Choice Band set that differentiates it from the likes of Kyurem-B or Garchomp. Underneath its offenses lie solid defensive stats, allowing it to abuse Multiscale even more with SubRoost sets that can either spread paralysis or start a mono-attacking Dragon Dance sweep. It also has a relatively extensive special movepool allowing it to function as a great mixed attacker, especially in the rain. Clearly, Dragonite is not one of those cases in which a Pokemon becomes OU solely thanks to its ability. Rather, it becomes a top-tier OU threat because its ability only makes it even more devastating.

So with all these things Dragonite has going for it in OU, surely it might be at least decent in Ubers... right? Ironically, Dragonite, one of the best usable Dragons in OU, is among the worst in Ubers. But how could such a majestic beast fall so low? First of all is its Speed. Many Ubers Pokemon generally have base Speeds hovering in the 90s and 100s. A Pokemon below that number with the intention of sweeping that has hard time when it can't have its Speed automatically boosted in a viable way (in other words Scarf Dragonite is a stupid idea, even in OU) usually has a hard time in the tier. The only real way for Dragonite to boost its Speed is through Dragon Dance, and even once you pull it off, it's still relatively slow and not all that powerful either. Salamence has better mixed stats and can use Moxie if it so chooses. Rayquaza is... Rayquaza. Dragonite, on the other hand, must use Multiscale in order to differentiate itself from these other Dragons, which admittedly can be useful in getting the boost, at least in theory. Even with Multiscale, however, the top threats of Ubers are usually so absurdly powerful that Dragonite will find it difficult to sponge hits while setting up. If you're really that desperate for something that abuses Multiscale, use Lugia: it has far superior bulk and a better movepool (please don't kill me for encouraging the use of Lugia). Most of Dragonite's other viable OU sets are outclassed by the plethora of Dragons in Ubers, so Dragonite really finds itself left in the dust here.


Garchomp is the only Pokemon on this list to get banned to Ubers. While it did get unbanned, this should still convey the idea to you that Garchomp is not something to screw around against. While its Attack and Speed don't make people want to gouge their eyes out from looking at it, it still remains great nonetheless. It also has surprisingly good bulk for an offensively based OU Pokemon. There really isn't a whole lot to talk about in terms of its moves; it's the standard fare for physical Dragon-types. However, it strangely doesn't have access to Dragon Dance, but it does have Swords Dance to compensate for it, making it a better wallbreaker than outright sweeper. Oh, and did I mention it gets Stealth Rock? Unlike many OU Pokemon, Garchomp can fit it onto both offensive and defensive sets, and being a Dragon-type only makes it cooler in this role. But one of the biggest reasons for Garchomp's use in OU over the other Dragons is that typing. Dragon-type STAB and Ground-type coverage really complement each other well offensively, allowing Garchomp to get STAB on Earthquake, while many other Dragons wish they had a decent Flying-type STAB. Speaking of Flying-types, one of the cool things about not soaring through the sky is that you're not weak to Stealth Rock. In fact, Garchomp takes little damage from Stealth Rock thanks to its Ground-typing. Yeah, you're then vulnerable to Spikes, but, hey, it's not nearly as common as Stealth Rock is. Between Choice sets, Swords Dance sets, and Stealth Rock sets, Garchomp certainly has quite a bit of versatility to work with, allowing it to become one of OU's leading offensive forces.

Initially Garchomp may seem a little underwhelming in Ubers. Its Attack just isn't as potent as it is in OU, and while base 102 Speed is better in Ubers than it is in OU, it's still not incredible. It also has to face competition from such titans as Rayquaza, Zekrom, and Groudon. So why then does it often find itself with relatively high usage in the tier compared to most other OU Dragons? It turns out that Garchomp's success in Ubers involved its old ability: Sand Veil. Sand Veil, as we all know, was banned from all tiers except Ubers back in September. So thanks to this, Garchomp is able to use the ability that has forced it over the edge and out of OU all this time. Now it might sound pretty crazy at first, as Sand Veil is a very luck-based ability and requires sandstorm, but this really is Garchomp's biggest niche in Ubers. First off, Sand Veil generally is more useful than Rough Skin. Secondly, the simple chance that your opponent can miss their attack can give Garchomp either a free hit or a setup turn. This allows Garchomp to use one of its more common OU sets to induce Somalian Suicide-esque rage quits: Substitute + Swords Dance. Basically, as long as Garchomp can outspeed the opponent, it can use Substitute repeatedly. The thing is though, in a sandstorm, there's a good chance your opponent will eventually miss their attack, leaving Garchomp's Substitute intact. It can then freely pull off a Swords Dance, and either try to get another Substitute to prevent Garchomp from being revenge killed or sweep without a Substitute. Some of its other sets aren't too shabby either, and again can benefit from sandstorm by making your opponent miss at just the right time. So while Garchomp itself might seem weak in Ubers initially, once you realize the ability that had banned it all this time has returned, you should be able to understand how it has remained popular for so long.


Finally, we have the rising star of OU, Ferrothorn, which is chilling at the #2 spot in OU usage stats as of now. A lot of its fame comes from its typing. Its resistances allow it to take common physical and special attacks with ease, specifically that handy resistance to Water-type and Dragon-type moves. Now this would be meaningless if it didn't have good bulk to back it up, but it has good bulk on, again, both the physical and the special side. Most important of all, however, is its great movepool, allowing it to accomplish several tasks at once. With Spikes and Stealth Rock, it can lay hazards. With Leech Seed and Protect, it can wear down the opponent while providing recovery, possibly to other teammates. Thunder Wave lets it cripple anything that thinks it can freely switch in on it. It even has a solid Attack for a support-based Pokemon, so using Power Whip and Gyro Ball to dish out some damage here and there is also an option.

Even with such versatility, it does have its faults, though. Its typing leaves it with a massive weakness to Fire-type moves, and while this is somewhat mitigated by rain, it still is something that must be taken into account. Its other big weakness, Fighting-types, are also incredibly common. Luckily, a good typing with neat resistances, great bulk, and an impressive movepool all lend a hand to Ferrothorn's popularity in OU.

This may or may not come as a surprise, but Ferrothorn is arguably the best non-Uber Pokemon in the Ubers metagame. Now it's possible that many of you who haven't played Ubers are a little confused right now. Ferrothorn's bulk, while good, isn't as amazing as that of the likes of, say, Giratina, and having a massive weakness to Fire is never good, especially in a tier where Groudon, Ho-Oh, and Blaziken run amok. However, those who have played Ubers know that Ferrothorn really has had a drastic effect on the tier. For one, its typing and sufficient bulk make it a great Kyogre check. The only set it really can't counter is the Choice Specs set, but considering that the only Pokemon that can really counter it are Gastrodon, Quagsire, and Shedinja, all of which are pretty terrible choices in Ubers by the way, this isn't a deal-breaker. Next off, its typing and bulk still let it tank Dragon-type attacks with ease, making it a great check to the likes of Dialga, Palkia, Latios, Latias, Rayquaza, and Giratina-O. It also checks a few other threats such as some Arceus formes, Excadrill, and Manaphy. Other than that, there really isn't much else to say about Ferrothorn. It operates pretty much identically to how it does in OU. It still lays hazards whenever it has the chance, is a great Leech Seed user, is capable of paralyzing your switch-ins, and really hates Fire-types. So while Ferrothorn itself might not change much, the Ubers environment allows it to remain just as effective as it is in OU.


And there you have it—now you know how your favorite OU Pokemon will be doing in Ubers. I know I couldn't cover EVERY OU Pokemon that is considered top tier (please don't kill me for not covering Landorus and Keldeo) but if there's a Pokemon whose possible fate in this terrifying future wasn't mentioned, that's because I leave that for you to find out. Get out there and see how your favorites stack up in the land of the Ubers!

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