|« Previous Article||Home||Next Article »|
There are always exciting things to speculate about and anxiously wait for in the RU metagame. Players are thinking about how those UU Pokemon who are close to dropping could fit on their teams or checking if some ridiculous Dream World ability is finally released. How will changes like these affect RU gameplay? It's a very broad and yet important question, so I encourage you to join me in thinking about these powerful changes that could happen in the near future.
Every seasoned RU player knows how game-changing the ability Sheer Force is. Nidoqueen, who recently rose to UU, actually had Special Attack as her worst stat, and yet Sheer Force allowed her to be the tier's greatest wallbreaker. Many are relieved to see the all-powerful queen gone, but déjà vu can be cruel. Nidoqueen, with a base 75 Special Attack, was almost too strong. Please stare in horror as the base 105 Attack Feraligatr wreaks havoc upon the tier, for the short time that it may still even be in the tier, at least. Feraligatr's Speed and bulk are actually almost identical to Nidoqueen's, meaning it's just as hard to take down and is not outsped by anything more. However, taking into account Life Orb and Sheer Force, Feraligatr has the equivalent of a stupidly high base 211 Attack. Nidoqueen had better coverage and slightly more powerful attacks, but Feraligatr is much stronger and can boost.
The first three moves are very self-explanatory as Sheer Force gives all of them a boost, providing Feraligatr with nice coverage and STAB. There are several options in the last spot depending on what your team needs more. Swords Dance turns Feraligatr into a slower but terrifying Nidoqueen-like wallbreaker. With Dragon Dance, Feraligatr can clean through slightly slower teams after the opponent's Choice Scarf Pokemon are eliminated or you're fortunate enough to get more than one boost. Agility seems like a strange option, but with the extra power, Feraligatr can become a deadly late-game sweeper, outspeeding nearly everything and still packing a punch. Unfortunately, Aqua Jet doesn't get a Sheer Force boost, but it is still nice STAB coming off of a base 105 Attack, so it's always a good option to take out weakened foes.
Can it be stopped? Unfortunately, GATR TIME on steroids is not quite invincible, as there are a few Pokemon who can survive a hit even when Feraligatr is at +2. That's why I envision an offensive core of Feraligatr and Manectric. With Electric STAB, powerful Fire attacks, and a strong Hidden Power, Manectric takes care of the Pokemon that Feraligatr can't quite break though, such as Alomomola, Tangrowth, Carracosta, and Poliwrath. Sheer Force Feraligatr will have a significant effect on the RU metagame, as Feraligatr will certainly rise to the top as an incredible offensive threat. I would not be too surprised if Feraligatr ends up leaving RU because of Sheer Force because it would simply be too powerful.
Dusclops has regularly been dangerously close to dropping from UU. The single event of Nidoqueen being promoted to UU has made stall more viable in RU, and Dusclops fits in perfectly. Its selling point is its titanic base 130 defenses which are boosted to insane levels due to Eviolite. Its good Ghost typing allows it to wall things like Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Accelgor, and Bouffalant, whose STAB attacks do little to Dusclops. Through Curse, Will-O-Wisp, and Pain Split, Dusclops can quickly whittle away at the opponent's health while restoring its own and taking little damage due to its amazing bulk. Physical attackers are especially not safe due to the threat of a burn and the fact that nothing can OHKO Dusclops without several boosts. To add insult to injury, Dusclops has the ability Pressure, which allows it to frequently stall an opponent out of a certain move's PP.
All is not well, though, as the many flaws that nearly force Dusclops out of UU would continue to haunt (hehe, it's a Ghost, get it? Haunt? Gosh, I just kill myself) it in RU. It's very susceptible to status especially due to its pitiful Speed, and even though the Speed drop from paralysis doesn't really matter, a full paralysis can cost Dusclops a crucial Pain Split. Dusclops has no reliable form of recovery, which is a must for any really good wall. On top of that, its HP is so low that set-damage attacks such as Night Shade are actually pretty effective, as Dusclops falls to just three. Unlike its evolution Dusknoir, Dusclops doesn't really have usable attacking stats, forcing it to stick with stall. However, Dusclops will commonly be used on defensive teams which have a good cleric for healing status and Wish-passing.
Overall, Dusclops will be a very interesting option to consider, as many of RU's attackers will have trouble breaking through its defenses. However, Dusclops is pretty easy to set up on, and if its opponent is at low health, Dusclops really can't recover at all, allowing it to be swiftly KOed from a low range of health. I don't see Dusclops as outclassed because it's far bulkier than any other Ghost in RU, although it doesn't have access to that coveted Leftovers recovery. As other Ghosts can run more offensive sets, I think Dusclops's tried-and-true stall will provide some headaches, but there are still several options to get around Dusclops. It might just put in a bit of work in the process.
Hmmm, if there were only a way to take care of that stupid Amoonguss that keeps switching and recovering all its health back! Introducing Shadow Tag Lampent! As much as that sounds like the start of a very bad commercial, Lampent has a very unique niche in trapping the opponent, allowing the elimination of some huge threats quickly. Lampent's effective SubSplit set will probably continue to be its most popular. With this set, Lampent can trap and kill Ferroseed, Escavalier, Steelix, Amoonguss, Snover, Smeargle, Klingklang, Tangrowth, Medicham locked into Hi Jump Kick, and Cryogonal that don't carry Toxic while taking nearly no damage and sometimes even with a Substitute intact afterwards. Lampent will also work well against hail teams since it resists Blizzard and can trap and KO opposing Ice-types with its super effective STAB. Tangrowth out of the way on turn three? Sign me up. Given that Lampent does a great job at eliminating troublesome Grass-, Steel-, and Bug-types, offensive Grass-type Pokemon really appreciate not having to deal with as many opponents who resist their STAB.
You might not know that Lampent has access to both Acid Armor and Calm Mind. It's extremely situational and gimmicky, but with those two moves, Substitute, and probably Flamethrower, Lampent can set up to +6 in Defense, Special Defense, and Special Attack. This is probably only possible on Ferroseed, Amoonguss, Smeargle, and maybe Cryogonal, but even Choice Specs Slowking cannot 2HKO +6 Lampent with Surf. Although this set only has one attack, Flash Fire is pretty much unseen in RU, and at +6, Flamethrower does great damage even to things that resist it. However, because of how limited its options are for setup bait and due to the lack of recovery, this appealing set is probably not practical.
Fire-types often have a hard time standing out in RU, but that won't stop Lampent from getting some usage. All of RU's Fire-types do a good job of scaring those Grass- and Bug-types out, but only one will be able to keep them in to be cooked. Although Lampent doesn't beat that many RU Pokemon 1v1, it's the surest way to take care of several major annoyances. However, the only reason Lampent should be used is because of its trapping capabilities, as others greatly outperform it on the offensive and defensive spectrums. Lampent's strengths are limited, so it won't become a huge threat in RU, but it'll be an option that's worth keeping in mind.
Houndoom struggles to see use in UU due to being not quite fast enough or strong enough either. Houndoom will be much more welcome in RU because its capabilities are much less commonly shared with other RU Pokemon. Until Entei and Typhlosion receive it from Dream World, Houndoom would be the only Flash Fire user, a great asset in a tier full of powerful Fire-types. RU also doesn't have very many good mixed attackers or fast offensive Dark-types. The feared Pursuit and Sucker Punch STAB combination coming from a fast Pokemon that also has great Fire STAB makes Houndoom a relevant offensive choice.
Houndoom is kind of the jack of all trades, but master of none. Everything it does can be done about as well or better by something else, but Houndoom's versatility is one of its strengths. Sure, Absol provides stronger Dark-type STAB, but although they both learn Fire Blast, Absol's does insignificant damage compared to Houndoom's, plus Houndoom is much faster. In terms of just being an offensive Fire-type, its Special Attack and Speed don't really stand out, but Dark-type STAB trapping and priority give it an edge over pure Fire-types. Also, unless Mismagius drops to RU at the same time, Houndoom would be by far the best Nasty Plot sweeper (Slowking and Spiritomb are just a teenie bit too slow to sweep, sorry) in the tier.
A mixed attacking set will probably be the most popular, as it allows players to take advantage of both the Pursuit and Sucker Punch combination, plus Houndoom's good base 110 Special Attack. It'd be good to use this set on very offensive teams with teammates that can dent holes in everything. Once all faster and Choice Scarf Pokemon are taken care of, Houndoom's Flash Fire and threatening STAB can force switches, allowing the Nasty Plot variant to sweep. Houndoom is also a decent candidate for a Choice Scarf itself, which fixes its good, but not great, Speed. Kabutops is a nice partner for Houndoom because Houndoom hates all entry hazards. Especially since it's so frail on the physical side, Houndoom appreciates a teammate that can take care of Fighting-types. By itself, Houndoom isn't the all-powerful attacker that would destroy everything in the lower tier unfortunate enough to incur its wrath, but given the correct support, Houndoom can prove to be part of a solid offensive core.
Despite Serperior not even being the most common in NU, only two words are sufficient to describe why Contrary Serperior will be a major threat even in RU: Leaf Storm. 140 Base Power STAB attacks are terrifying. Nasty Plot is also scary. Now imagine being able to do both at the same time and you have a combination that may be best described as broken. We all know from Nidoqueen that equipped with a good ability, a Pokemon with only base 75 Special Attack can cause unmatched destruction. Unfortunately for Serperior, its special movepool is horrendous. Despite this, not much coverage is needed because at +6, anything hurts.
Serperior will often be seen running a Choice set. We've all seen a set like this before. It's essentially "slap a Choice item on this guy, spam a really powerful move, and watch things take massive damage." With blazing fast Speed, Choice Scarf Serperior can outspeed every common opponent except +2 Klinklang and Pokemon with Unburden. Scarf Moxie? Psh, how weak. How about Scarf Contrary Leaf Storm? This is the pinnacle of late-game sweeping, as nearly everything is OHKOed at +6 despite Serperior's low Special Attack and lack of an item that boosts power. To get the ball rolling a little more quickly, Choice Specs is also a fine option, as Serperior is only outsped by five Pokemon in the RU tier, and this Serperior can dish out unheard of damage. Either way, the only viable moveset is Leaf Storm, Dragon Pulse, Hidden Power (it's possible to justify the use of Fire, Ice, or Rock depending on the situation and Serperior's teammates), and Giga Drain, as Serperior doesn't really have access to any other good attacks. Also, it's important to note that Serperior actually has good base 95 defenses and an acceptable base 75 HP stat, meaning it will not be OHKOed by any form of priority.
A Substitute set will also prove to be very effective. This way, Serperior is not as easily PP stalled out of Leaf Storms before having to throw away the boosts. Also, Serperior's other coverage moves will be able to enjoy the Special Attack boosts this way, plus Serperior threatens a decent fraction of the tier, giving it plenty of opportunities to set up a Substitute. Then, Serperior's lack of coverage doesn't matter as much, as the entire tier is hit for at least neutral damage and most likely with Special Attack boosts.
The only RU Pokemon who can even survive a +6 Leaf Storm are Escavalier, Ferroseed, Moltres, Amoonguss, and Mandibuzz. Therefore, Serperior and Typhlosion form a deadly offensive core. Typhlosion's Hidden Power Rock takes care of Moltres, while Escavalier, Ferroseed, and Amoonguss are torched by Typhlosion's ridiculous STAB attacks. Unfortunately, Typhlosion or other possible Serperior partners Moltres, Manectric, and Entei cannot OHKO Mandibuzz, even with the proper Choice items, but Mandibuzz is not the greatest Pokemon and you shouldn't really have that much trouble with it. To take care of Bouffalant, Miltank, and Sawsbuck, which will likely rise quite a bit in usage because they can wall Serperior due to Sap Sipper, it might be wise to pair Serperior with something like Choice Scarf Medicham or Unburden Hitmonlee, both of which can outspeed and OHKO all three of the Sap Sippers with Hi Jump Kick.
Contrary Serperior is an insane threat when played correctly. It's possible that Serperior would be banned from NU, and I expect it to be a fairly ubiquitous threat in RU. It's worth considering that it might even be too good for RU, but each set has its own set of counters that will rise in usage to take on the huge surge in Serperior's presence. Although opposing Sap Sipper users can be taken out by Serperior's teammates, they may be the one thing stopping Serperior from being removed from RU.
Receiving very tough competition from Cofagrigus and Chandelure, Mismagius struggles to find its place as a serious threat in UU. In RU, though, Mismagius would shine as the only Ghost-type setup sweeper. The only other Ghost-type in RU that functions even similarly to Mismagius is Rotom, but Mismagius is stronger, faster, has much more special bulk, and can boost at the cost of a nice Electric-typing to go along with Levitate. Mismagius won't be overpowered in RU, but it'll be a nice option to consider for all offensive teams. It has the movepool to try a supporting spinblocking set, but with extremely poor physical bulk and its sweeping capabilities, Mismagius is probably better off leaving that job to things like Spiritomb and Dusknoir.
With base 105 Speed and Special Attack, access to Nasty Plot, and coverage moves such as Thunderbolt, Psychic, Energy Ball, and Hidden Power, it's no surprise that a boosting late-game sweeper set is Mismagius's most used and probably the most effective option. With Nasty Plot plus three attacks, Mismagius can hit a nice fraction of the tier for super effective damage, with nothing resisting the three-move coverage Mismagius can have. The best selection for the three offensive attacks is probably Shadow Ball, Hidden Power Fighting, and Thunderbolt, which provide excellent coverage to compliment Mismagius's STAB. However, Mismagius's Ghost-typing is a blessing offensively, as Hidden Power Fighting alone hits everything that resists Ghost super effectively. This means that Mismagius can afford to run Substitute or perhaps even Taunt while still securing unresisted coverage.
Fortunately for Mismagius, Nasty Plot is not its only good boosting move. It's important not to forget that Mismagius actually has a very good base 105 Special Defense, which is boosted to great levels after a Calm Mind or two. As with many Pokemon which run Calm Mind, Substitute is a great option, allowing immunity to status and ease of prediction; some defensive special attackers may not even be able to break the Substitute once Mismagius gets going. This Mismagius has the luxury of being able to set up in the face of things like standard Clefable, Amoonguss, and Lanturn, as the latter two fail to do over 25% after just one Calm Mind.
Given that Mismagius's offensive capabilities are much more welcome in RU, it could also run effective Choice sets. None of the Pokemon in RU that are faster than Mismagius commonly run a Choice Scarf, so the only common Scarfer that outspeeds Mismagius is Manectric, which outspeeds by just one point if Mismagius is running Hidden Power Fighting. Regardless, Mismagius can definitely function as a nice revenge killer. After opposing Choice Scarf users and all naturally faster Pokemon are removed, it's possible for Mismagius to even use Choice Specs effectively, although boosting moves are generally the better option if added power is needed, since Substitute, which really shouldn't be used on a Choice set, helps against those troublesome Dark-types with Pursuit and Sucker Punch. Speaking of which, Mismagius can function by itself fine, although it appreciates the help of a Fighting-type to get rid of those Dark-types that it hates.
Theorymon is about the community as a whole speculating cool things that could happen soon, or even somewhat unlikely things that are just interesting to think about. What do you think about these subjects? There's always room for you to think and share! To read and talk about subjects like these, head on over to the RU Theorymon thread! People have begun talking about the topics that I've brought up as well as more obscure ones, so go ahead and leap into the discussion! Of course, theorymon isn't limited to RU, so you're always welcome to talk about things that could happen in the other tiers. Hopefully, my thoughts on these topics have been interesting and informative, and I'm looking forward to more discussion in the future!
|« Previous Article||Home||Next Article »|