Introduction to LGPE OverUsed

By tennisace. Released: 2018/12/04.
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Art by LifeisDANK

Art by LifeisDANK.

What is LGPE OU?

Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee [LGPE] are Nintendo and Game Freak's first foray into a more casual market for non-spinoff Pokémon games. Building upon the smash hit Pokémon Go, LGPE aims to bridge the gap from the mobile market to the console market. However, just because the games were aimed at a more casual market, that doesn't mean there aren't competitive elements within. There is still a PvP battling system, and the underlying battle engine is extremely similar to the Generation 7 games. In addition, Game Freak has gated some aspects of competitive play through either time (soft resetting for starter nature, obtaining 400 Meltan candy in Pokémon Go when you can get roughly 70 per week max) or money (Mew is a Pokéball Plus exclusive and cannot be soft reset to obtain a good nature).

Let's Go Pikachu & Eevee OverUsed, or LGPE OU, aims to distill the competitive elements present within these games down to a more manageable and accessible format, bringing together the quirks and unique mechanics present with traditional Smogon clauses and balancing. The metagame is based off of the "Normal Rules" in-game, which is played at Level 50, with no stat boost from Candies.

What makes the metagame unique?

The first major difference between LGPE OU and normal USM OU is the long list of omissions from the games. Standard competitive elements present for over a decade in most Pokémon games such as items, abilities, and EVs are all missing from LGPE. In addition, the only Pokémon allowed currently are the original 151 Pokémon (minus Mewtwo, including Alolan formes and Mega Evolutions), with the small but significant addition of Meltan and Melmetal, both obtainable from Pokémon Go. To go along with those deletions, a significant portion of moves introduced in later generations were removed from the games, with some exceptions. All of these changes lend a closer comparison to a less-buggy RBY OU, as opposed to just a cut-down USM OU.

Those omissions and the addition of Melmetal both cause and highlight some interesting quirks in the fabric of the metagame. To begin with, since there are no held items, in-game Pokémon Mega Evolve while having the correct Mega Stone in the player's bag. In order to emulate this on Pokémon Showdown, the Pokémon must be "holding" its Mega Stone. However, since there are no other items that can be used, there is no opportunity cost to bringing multiple Pokémon that are able to Mega Evolve and picking which Pokémon to Mega Evolve based on the matchup at hand. In addition, Stealth Rock is present in the game, but there is no form of hazard removal, which means it's up for good once it is set up. This lends itself to a sort of cat-and-mouse game between users of Taunt and other Pokémon that check Stealth Rock users, and between the users themselves. Preventing Stealth Rock from going up at all is a huge advantage in a switch-heavy metagame. Finally, there are many users of status-inducing moves (including Rest), but there is only one way to cure it: Eevee-Starter's move Sparkly Swirl. This means Thunder Wave, Will-O-Wisp, Toxic, and other status-inducing moves are frequently thrown around, putting pressure on an opposing Eevee-S to clear them without getting KOed first. Status is also manageable through smart switching and exploiting type-based immunities, in addition to Rest on Pokémon that won't be 2HKOed.

What are some key threats?

Melmetal

Melmetal

Melmetal (and its pre-evolution, Meltan) is the only Pokémon not to appear in the original Pokémon games that is present in LGPE. Since Steel-type Pokémon were only introduced in Generation 2, the only Steel-type Pokémon present are a small handful of Pokémon that were retconned over the years (Magneton, Alolan Dugtrio, Alolan Sandslash) and the newcomer Melmetal. This puts it in an envious spot in the metagame as a blanket check to a wide variety of threats. It has great coverage between its signature move Double Iron Bash, a physical Steel attack with 60 Base Power and 100% accuracy that hits twice and has a 30% flinch chance, and Earthquake, which is only resisted by Zapdos, regular Gyarados, and the uncommon Moltres and Mega Charizard Y. If Ice Punch is used over Rest, Melmetal can hit Zapdos super effectively and hit the others neutrally as well. Melmetal boasts a massive base Attack stat of 143, and its HP and Defense of base 135 and 143 coupled with its typing allow it to be the premier physically defensive tank in the metagame. In addition, even though it has a low Special Defense stat, the lack of Life Orb and Choice Specs means that Melmetal is able to reliably tank multiple resisted special hits.

Mew

Mew
  • Mew
  • Level: 50
  • Timid Nature
  • IVs: 0 Atk
  • - Taunt
  • - Will-O-Wisp
  • - Roost
  • - Psychic / Flamethrower
  • Mew
  • Level: 50
  • Timid Nature
  • IVs: 0 Atk
  • - Nasty Plot
  • - Psychic
  • - Flamethrower
  • - Roost

Imagine taking the standard role of Mew in USM OU and plopping it right in the middle of RBY OU. Whereas most Pokémon took significant hits in the movepool department, Mew's ability to learn every single TM in the game means it retains all of its good coverage options AND has reliable healing in a metagame that lacks many Pokémon that can heal themselves outside of Rest. It has excellent stats compared to the rest of the metagame, as while base 100 all-around doesn't shine in any particular area, it can do a little bit of everything and do it pretty well. The most common set is a classic stallbreaker-style set, with Taunt and Will-O-Wisp to stymie the opponent's attempts to set up Stealth Rock and impede physical attackers such as Melmetal, Alolan Muk, and Mega Gyarados, which it would otherwise struggle against. Roost gives Mew reliable healing with no drawback, allowing Mew to stick around and be a nuisance to your opponent. Alternately, Mew can go on the offensive with Nasty Plot, using its solid Speed tier of base 100 to outspeed the majority of Pokémon and wreak havoc on an opposing defensive core with the nearly unresisted combination of Psychic and Flamethrower.

Eevee-S

Eevee

The star of Let's Go Eevee, the starter Eevee obtained in the game is unique for several reasons. It has boosted stats compared to regular Eevee, bringing it up to a somewhat-respectable base stat total of 435. Where Eevee-S really shines, however, is in its myriad of exclusive tutor moves. Each tutor move has a typing and effect based on one evolution of Eevee. The most useful one of all is Sparkly Swirl, which is the only form of team status healing available in the game. Couple this with Sizzly Slide's 100% burn chance and Sappy Seed's 100% accurate Leech Seed, and you have one of the best support Pokémon in the metagame. However, even outside of those three moves, there are many good options for Eevee-S to use. Buzzy Buzz is a 100% chance to paralyze the opposing Pokémon, while Baddy Bad and Glitzy Glow set up Reflect and Light Screen, respectively. The best part about all of these support moves? They all do damage and thus are unable to be stopped with Taunt. This means Eevee-S can spread status, Leech Seed its enemy, and heal status conditions for its team, with the only way to stop it being to directly KO it or at the very least force it out. Thanks to its relatively low defenses, however, it is still easy to wear down and KO Eevee-S.

(Mega) Alakazam

Mega Alakazam

A top-tier OU Pokémon in its own right, Mega Alakazam fits into LGPE OU as one of the biggest threats in the metagame. Since Choice Scarf is not available, Speed-boosting moves are largely missing, and there is a dearth of priority attacks available, Mega Alakazam's base 150 Speed stands mostly alone at the top of the metagame, aside from a tie with Mega Aerodactyl, nearly always guaranteeing it will go first. Couple that with its gargantuan base 175 Special Attack and the ability to boost with Calm Mind, and you have an extremely dangerous sweeper in a metagame with few dedicated answers. Generally, Mega Alakazam is best used as a late-game sweeper, as it has a few solid checks that it can punch through when weakened. However, if those checks (namely Alolan Muk, Mega Gyarados, and Melmetal) are at or near full health, then Mega Alakazam will lose 1v1. In addition to Mega Alakazam being a major threat, regular Alakazam is also a competent special attacker in its own right if paired with another Mega Pokémon. Its base 120 Speed allows it to outspeed a large portion of the metagame, and while it loses a significant chunk of power, it is still strong enough to clean up a weakened team.

(Mega) Aerodactyl

Mega Aerodactyl

Mega Aerodactyl, like Mega Alakazam, also benefits from an excellent base 150 Speed stat, with few options available to outspeed. This guarantees that barring a Mega Aerodactyl mirror matchup, it will always be able to set up Stealth Rock at the start of a match if desired. Alternately, it can Taunt an opposing Stealth Rock lead to stop the opponent from setting up Stealth Rock or potentially burning it if facing a Mew. Outside of setting up Stealth Rock, though, Mega Aerodactyl is an excellent physical sweeper in its own right. While it is not as instantly powerful as Mega Alakazam, and it cannot boost its base 135 Attack stat, it does have STAB Rock Slide to pair with Earthquake, which in LGPE OU is an unresisted combination. This allows Mega Aerodactyl to quickly spread damage around, as in just two moveslots it can hit an entire opposing team neutrally at the very least. As with Alakazam, regular Aerodactyl is a viable option to pair with a second Mega Pokémon, as it has an excellent base 130 Speed stat on its own with a passable base 105 attack stat. This is frequently seen on teams with Mega Alakazam, forming a dangerous core that can power up one member or the other depending on the matchup.

Zapdos

Zapdos

Zapdos functions largely the same as it does in regular OU; with an all-around solid package of good bulk, high Special Attack, and a solid base 100 Speed stat allowing it to act as one of the better pivots in the tier. While it lacks Heat Wave to hit opposing Grass-type Pokémon and Melmetal and Hidden Power Grass to hit Rhydon, it is still able to spread Toxic and then U-turn out of bad matchups. Zapdos is also one of the few Pokémon blessed with reliable self-healing in this metagame, meaning it can keep coming in to check dangerous threats like Melmetal, Mega Gyarados, and others. Finally, Zapdos is one of the few Pokémon able to use Agility to boost its speed, allowing it to sweep unsuspecting weakened teams. However, Zapdos's reliance on Toxic as a "coverage move" (outside of the rarely seen Drill Peck) means that it is nearly 100% unable to damage threats such as Nidoqueen and Mega Venusaur and is forced out almost immediately. Thanks to U-turn, though, there is a quick and easy way out, giving free momentum to the user.

Alolan Muk

Alolan Muk

Alolan Muk is one of the most valuable defensive tanks in the entire LGPE OU metagame thanks to its ideal typing for the role. It serves as a near-full stop to the majority of Psychic-type Pokémon (and Gengar) available thanks to its Poison / Dark typing and STAB Crunch. This gives it an immunity to Psychic-type attacks in addition to a resistance to Ghost-type attacks, also without leaving it weak to Fairy-type moves. Alolan Muk cleanly OHKOes Mega Alakazam and regular Gengar while having a 75% shot at OHKOing Mega Gengar after Stealth Rock damage. It also can cleanly 2HKO Mew, but it must watch out for Will-O-Wisp, as Mew can stall out a burned Alolan Muk eventually with Taunt and Roost. However, if Mew lacks Taunt, Muk can use Rest and win in the long run. In addition, two of its main checks must be wary of coverage moves. Fire Blast does a minimum of 40% to standard Melmetal, and Alolan Muk outspeeds it even with a negative Speed nature, meaning Melmetal can only switch in once. In addition, if Mega Drain (with its boosted 75 Base Power) is chosen, Rhydon is unable to switch in, as any of Alolan Muk's moves followed by a Mega Drain will KO. However, Alolan Muk should generally only be used as a stop to special attacking threats, as its physical bulk is fairly low in comparison, and it is weak to Earthquake, which is a common coverage move in LGPE OU.

Pikachu-S

Pikachu

The final "threat" covered here is Pikachu-Starter. Pikachu-S is fairly commonly seen on the lower ladder, but it is generally a lackluster choice to use in LGPE OU. The main issue with Pikachu-S is the opportunity cost involved in using it. Since the starter Pokémon in LGPE are unable to be traded, it is impossible to use both Pikachu-S and Eevee-S on the same team. Since Eevee-S is one of the top support Pokémon in the metagame with a totally unique niche, using Pikachu-S is generally more trouble than it's worth. However, Pikachu-S does have a couple neat tricks up its sleeve. It gets the combination of Calm Mind, Thunderbolt, and Splishy Splash, which gives it nearly unresisted coverage outside of Grass-type Pokémon. It also has access to Floaty Fall, which allows it to hit those same Grass-types super effectively, albeit weakly. Its boosted stats over that of regular Pikachu mean it has a good Speed stat of base 120, outspeeding a large portion of the metagame. Finally, it has access to Zippy Zap, its "signature move". Zippy Zap is a physical attack with 50 Base Power that always crits and has +2 priority, meaning it will always go first in LGPE OU, as there are no attacks with higher priority available. This allows Pikachu-S to pick off weakened threats that would be faster than it such as Mega Aerodactyl and Mega Alakazam. Overall though, Eevee-S is almost always the better choice (apologies to those who bought Let's Go! Pikachu).

Get out there!

There are many more threats in the LGPE OU metagame that aren't reviewed in this article. The metagame is a vibrant and diverse change of pace, with a totally unique feel to it. For more information regarding the metagame, check out our thread in the Other Metagames forum, located here. Get out there and give this metagame a try!

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