Copy Paste: Breaking the Species Clause in Anything Goes

By Megazard. Art by Litra.
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Double Darkrai by Litra


Have you ever thought, "Wow, Arceus is a really good sweeper, I just wish I could use more than one type at once" or "Xerneas is so good I bet two would be even better"? Or maybe "Klefki is so annoying, I wish I could run even more to make everybody mad"? Well, in Anything Goes, this can become a reality. When every clause but Endless Battle was removed, the opportunity to use multiple of the same Pokémon on a team became possible—and was instantly squandered on running mono-Klefki teams. Nevertheless, using the same Pokémon multiple times can often be the most effective way to wear down defensive checks, since, unlike in other tiers, your pair of sweepers has the exact same list of counters. Of course, not all Pokémon are successful when used in pairs, trios, or sextets. Below are some examples of which Pokémon can best benefit from themselves.

The Pokémon

Arceus + Arceus


If you want to use the same threatening sweeper multiple times, there's no better place to start than simple Extreme Killer Arceus. Arceus has several checks, such as Yveltal and Ghost Arceus, but they cannot take on multiple Arceus in a row. It's not uncommon to see two to four Arceus on a single team simply because it's so good at overwhelming opposing teams. Sure, they have a few checks like Yveltal and Giratina-O, but when you have three Extreme Killers it's easy to simply sacrifice two of them to weaken a team before cleaning with the third. Additionally, some can run different coverage moves, with Stone Edge for Yveltal, Earthquake for Steel Arceus, and Shadow Claw for Ghost-types. Of course, if you're bluffing Extreme Killer spam you might not want all of your Arceus to be fully offensive. Wallceus may seem outclassed by its typed brethren, but it has three main advantages: the ability to hold Leftovers or Rocky Helmet, no stray weaknesses to take advantage of aside from the relatively rare Fighting, and surprise factor. And, like all Arceus formes, it's incredibly bulky, avoiding the 2HKO from Adamant unboosted Mega Rayquaza's Dragon Ascent. Arceus spam is a perfect example of a Pokémon taking advantage of its own shared checks to wallbreak and sweep.

Typed Arceus + Typed Arceus

Steel Arceus
Fairy Arceus

Lack of Species Clause is also a major factor in Arceus's other formes becoming so dominant, since they no longer come with the opportunity cost of not running a different forme. If you need a fast Defogger, try Arceus. If you want a bulky Calm Mind sweeper, use Arceus. If you could use a Swords Dance wallbreaker, why not use Arceus? The notable thing about using multiple Arceus formes is that you don't have to have a team built around supporting multiple of the same Pokémon, since each form has a totally different typing, making it easy to use multiple Arceus without even thinking about it. Rather than specifying a certain team archetype, you can fit multiple Arceus on balance, offense, or stall, and they don't force the team to go a specific way. There are plenty of types to choose from, with the most popular being Ghost, Fairy, Steel, Water, Ground, and Normal, but the ability to fit so many roles and still be run again is what makes Arceus so prevalent. Arceus is by far the most spammed Pokémon in Anything Goes, with a whopping 70% combined usage for all types at the top of the ladder, and all teams should be prepared to face multiple Arceus on one team.

Darkrai + Darkrai


Darkrai's notoriety might come from the lack of Sleep Clause allowing it to use Dark Void over and over, but it still benefits from multiple uses of itself. Most Darkrai checks fall under two categories: reflection and Sleep Talk users. Reflection includes Magic Bounce users like Mega Diancie and Magic Coat users such as Arceus, and Sleep Talk can fit on any number of Pokémon from Primal Kyogre to Ho-Oh. But when you have multiple Darkrai on the same team, it's easy to simply fit one with moves such as Taunt for Sleep Talk users like Ho-Oh, Substitute + Sludge Bomb to handle Mega Diancie, and Nasty Plot to lure in and beat Mega Sableye, and break down checks with one Darkrai before sweeping with the other. The main downside to Darkrai is its total lack of defensive utility: it's excellent at destroying slower Pokémon, but multiple Darkrai automatically leave a team far weaker to setup sweepers such as Xerneas, Arceus, and Mega Rayquaza.

Xerneas + Xerneas


Xerneas is one of the deadliest sweepers ever produced by Game Freak. Fortunately, they also added in Pokémon like Klefki to Prankster Thunder Wave it before going down for a teammate to revenge and Primal Groudon to take a hit and cripple or KO a set-up Xerneas. Unfortunately, these strategies both rely on leaving your main Xerneas check too weakened to handle any other Pokémon. Fitting a second GeoXern on your team means that you now have one to wallbreak and one to sweep. Unfortunately, there are a couple of checks that cannot be worn down so easily, such as Ho-Oh. This is where Choice Scarf Xerneas comes in. Close Combat beats back Steel Arceus, Rock Slide KOes Ho-Oh, and the Choice Scarf can catch Pokémon used to outspeeding and KOing Xerneas, like Mega Rayquaza, off guard. And even when not used alongside GeoXern, Xerneas still makes for a pretty good Choice Scarf user. Xerneas's main drawback is its vulnerability to priority, so even if Primal Groudon has been weakened it can still be revenged by Extreme Speed users like Arceus and Mega Rayquaza. It also lacks resistances to most common attacking types in Anything Goes, making it more difficult to fit two onto a single team.

Primal Groudon + Primal Groudon

Primal Groudon
Primal Groudon

Primal Groudon is a classic case of simply using the same good Pokémon multiple times because you can. It doesn't provide any significant support for itself aside from a switch into Primal Kyogre when heavy rain is up and beating Xerneas spam, but it's just a nice Pokémon to have. You can fit one support set with Stealth Rock and then slap on a dual dance Groudon for a late-game cleaner. The benefit is that Primal Groudon only has a single weakness, to Ground, with harsh sunlight up, so it's not as easy to take advantage of as, say, two Darkrai with no defensive utility. Using multiple Primal Groudon can be dangerous, as it leaves teams with two fairly slow Pokémon with no recovery, but certain teams can benefit from having the same Pokémon acting as both an offensive and a defensive powerhouse.

Klefki + Klefki

Klefki Klefki

This might seem like the most brain-dead Pokémon to spam of all, but Klefki still has a few tricks up its sleeve. The benefit of spamming Klefki, other than waiting for a ragequit, is that you can always fit extra moves over Substitute to benefit your fellow keys. Why not fit Spikes on one so opponents can't keep switching around to reset confusion? Or maybe run Flash Cannon or Dazzling Gleam to beat Mega Diancie and Mega Sableye? You can even fit moves like Double Team for even more annoyance or Magnet Rise to beat Ground Arceus, because you'll still have classic SwagKeys waiting in the back if all goes wrong. Klefki spam is still easy to pressure with Magic Bounce users, Lum Berry, Magic Coat, and simply not being lucky enough, but that doesn't make it any less effective at Swaggering through certain teams.

Deoxys-A Giratina-O Skarmory

The types of Pokémon you don't want to spam can be separated into three categories. Some, like Deoxys-A and Mewtwo, are so lacking in defensive utility that any wallbreaking benefits are made useless by the fact that they can barely get an opportunity to switch in and are easily revenge killed. Some, such as Giratina-O and Ho-Oh, are very slow and have many weaknesses, so using multiple of them opens up teams to being swept by threats like Xerneas and Mega Rayquaza. And finally, there are some Pokémon like Skarmory, Dialga, and suicide leads like Deoxys-S that are only effective on their own. Skarmory is a great Spikes setter and phazer, but what would a second Skarmory actually do for a team? You can only set so many layers of Spikes and phaze foes so much. Most defensive Pokémon are only useful in small doses, since they can't really provide anything for the team when used multiple times.


Using any Pokémon multiple times aside from Arceus will always come with one major drawback. It leaves you with at least a third of your team weak to the same exact Pokémon; how exactly do your two Darkrai help if you're being swept by an Extreme Killer Arceus or Geomancy Xerneas? Still, the benefits of working without the Species Clause can be enormous; it's part of what defines Anything Goes as a metagame. So get out there, and try spamming a few Pokémon of your own. Just use Klefki in moderation.

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