Pageantry: A Beginner's Guide to Got Talent

By nv. Art by FellFromtheSky.
Puzzle Page by GoodMorningEspeon. Art by Bummer.
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What is Got Talent?

Art by FellFromtheSky

Got Talent is a metagame where the contest conditions, Cool, Tough, Beautiful, Clever, and Cute, are now each associated with a particular stat. For example, Tough correlates to the Defense stat while Cute associates with the Speed stat. This allows moves to be distinguished by what contest condition they associate with rather than just by their damage category, which allows Pokémon to invest into their Defense or Speed and still hit as hard as a Pokémon that would normally invest into its Attack or Special Attack. Pokémon can also now become mixed attackers a lot easier, as physical and special moves can end up being classified under the same condition. For example, Knock Off, a physical move, and Psychic, a special move, are both classified under the Clever condition, which use a Pokémon's Special Defense stat. Furthermore, boosting moves that are normally not deemed viable in standard play, such as Iron Defense, Amnesia, and Cotton Guard, can now boost the power of moves in the respective categories.

The metagame has developed enough to have both bans and unbans from the OU banlist. Shuckle was banned towards the beginning of the metagame thanks to the ability to boost its defenses with Contrary Shell Smash and its access to a plethora of coverage moves split between its equal Defense and Special Defense. While it is slow and has low HP, Shuckle became more of a nuisance and hard to deal with rather than being outright broken. The latest ban happened during the month of June, when Got Talent was OMotM, which was banning the ability Speed Boost. It became essentially a better version of Moxie for Pokémon that used their Speed stat such as Scolipede and, more importantly, Ninjask. The first unban, which happened at the creation of the metagame, was Aegislash, since it couldn't exploit its great defenses because it changes its stats when it attacks, effectively neutering it as a threat. The second unban, Hoopa-U, recently happened at the end of June. Hoopa-U was allowed in the initial stages of Got Talent because OU hadn't banned it at the time, but, since Got Talent follows OU's banlist, Hoopa-U left for awhile. It was eventually deemed not broken by the current council, ~Eternally, PinkDragonTamer, Quantum Tesseract, and myself, and as such was unbanned.

What's Got Talent like to play?

Got Talent has a lot of possibilities and intricacies that make the metagame itself unique in all aspects. First off, the meta had a power creep, as most OMs do, but the power creep was also coupled with a bulk creep because most of the major threats use their massive bulk to hit hard. While bulky offense is the go-to playstyle for the OM, every playstyle has its own purpose in the metagame; more offensive teams can use Pokémon with bulk to make themselves more sturdier, while stallier teams can now have offensive presence. Also in Got Talent, unlike standard play, bulk is more important than Speed, although Speed does factor into the viability of some Pokémon such as Mega Diancie and Sceptile.




Furfrou is the headlining act of Got Talent. Furfrou is able to double its Defense thanks to Fur Coat, giving its Tough moves a massive power boost. It also has base 102 Speed, making it faster than most of the metagame. Furfrou also has access to Cotton Guard, allowing it to become a pretty powerful wincon that cannot be taken down except by powerful special attacks. The other thing Furfrou has going for it is its access to a special Tough move in Snarl, which, while normally considered "weak", is a powerful coverage move, as being able to go mixed in Got Talent is the most ideal for a setup sweeper such as Furfrou.



Sceptile is one of the few Pokémon in Got Talent that is able to effectively use its Speed stat and the small number of moves the Cute condition has access to. Sceptile also has a nice ability in Unburden, which furthers its power after it loses its Salac Berry. While Grass + Normal isn't the best in terms of coverage, Sceptile is able to overpower most Pokémon that resist this coverage to be able to clean late-game.

Tough boosters

Mega Aggron Mega Altaria Skarmory

Pokémon that can boost their Defense are pretty common in Got Talent, as a lot of Pokémon have access to one of the Tough boosting moves: Iron Defense, Barrier, Acid Armor, and Cotton Guard. A lot of moves also tend to fall under the Tough condition, allowing these Pokémon to thrive because they have a ton of coverage options. The downside for Tough boosters is most Tough moves are physically based, making them susceptible to burns and weak to other Tough boosters that may carry one of the few special Tough moves such as Incinerate, Snarl, or Sludge Wave.

Clever boosters

Uxie Mega Venusaur Snorlax

Pokémon that have access to Amnesia and a solid Special Defense stat are able to thrive in Got Talent. While the Clever condition has nowhere near as many options as other conditions, it is able to be more diverse with the ability to use Hidden Power. Clever also has access to common priority moves such as Sucker Punch and Shadow Sneak, meaning these Pokémon are able to afford being slow, as they can move before the faster Pokémon and potentially hit them hard.

Defensive Water-types

Slowbro Suicune Swampert

Defensive Water-types are as near a staple in Got Talent as they are in standard play, but with more going for them. Thanks to the further separation of moves, Scald becomes a special move that uses a Pokémon's Defense stat thanks to it being classified under the Tough condition. That means bulky Water-types can now invest in their Defense stat to take on the plethora of Iron Defense boosters while also having an invested and powerful STAB move to hit them on their weaker defensive stat.

Eviolite users

Dusclops Rhydon Gligar

With the change to allow defensive stats to become attacking stats, the major beneficiary of this change is Eviolite users. There are quite a few viable NFE Pokémon in standard play that now appreciate being able to use their item to gain a power advantage as well. Dusclops has massive defensive stats, meaning it can easily use Clever and Tough moves, while Pokémon with high Defense such as Rhydon and Gligar can now have a very powerful Earthquake.

Assault Vest users

Meloetta Hoopa-U Spiritomb

Normally, to get a 1.5x boost, one must be locked into a specific move, as the only items to give such power are the Choice items. This is changed in Got Talent, as Assault Vest can boost the power of Clever moves by 1.5x at the cost of not using status moves. This allows Pokémon with a decently high Special Defense and access to moves such as Psychic, Knock Off, Rock Tomb, and even Hidden Power (!!!) to become very powerful threats while also having a decent amount of special bulk.


Got Talent is a very diverse metagame that breaks the standard Other Metagame mold by finding a way to incorporate contest conditions into competitive play. This allows for a lot of unique takes on individual Pokémon's sets, moves, and even roles. While it isn't eligible to be OMotM for quite some time, it is still playable on the ROM server hosted by the wonderful urkerab, so get out there and see which Pokémon's Got Talent!

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Puzzle Page

Alakazam art by Bummer

Welcome to the fourth edition of the Flying Press's Puzzle Page! Thanks to all of those who sent in their answers. No one was able to solve every puzzle for the previous installment; however, the people who earned the most points were Kit Kasai and baconbagon! Congratulations to both of them. As usual, anyone who submitted correct answers has earned points on the leaderboard at the bottom of the page.

Thanks to all of the members of the puzzle team who helped out with the puzzles in this edition, including DarkShinyGiratina, ILRB, Irraquated, kevinrocks, and Level 51!


Anagrams consist of several Pokémon-related terms whose letters have been scrambled around. In order to solve them, you have to figure out which terms have been scrambled. For example, "Science Spy Hop" unscrambles to Espeon / Psychic.

  1. Barnacles Burst Duds Frowns (3 Terms: Move from a TM, Move from an HM, Move from an In-Game Tutor)
  2. Subjection Forwards Be Haha Sass (3 Terms: Pokémon, Item, Ability)
  3. Knowledgeable Orthodontist Be Tier (5 Terms: Pokémon, Move, Item, Ability, Region)

Cryptic Portmanteau

Portmanteaus comprise several Pokémon-related terms, each of which is in a set of [brackets]. Each term and its preceding and succeeding terms must "overlap" with each other with two or more of their letters. All of the overlapping terms, when combined, will form one large amalgam of terms, which is your answer! For example, [Gen V Dark-type][Gen III Water-type][Gen II Ground-type] would form the term bisharpedonphan (a combination of Bisharp, Sharpedo, and Donphan). In this one puzzle, no specific details on each Pokémon are given; however, each Pokémon in the portmanteau shares an ability with at least one other Pokémon. Additionally, all of the shared abilities are listed here:



By using the /dexsearch command on Pokémon Showdown, find out which parameters match only the Pokémon listed. For example, say you are given these Pokémon: Bibarel, Bidoof, Pachirisu, Patrat, Raticate, Rattata, Smeargle, and Watchog. Even though all of them learn both Protect and Substitute, there are many other Pokémon that can as well, so the trick is to try to narrow down your options as much as possible. Parameters may include moves, abilities, tiers, generations, colors, and so on.

  1. Bouffalant, Cacturne, Heatmor, Munchlax, Smeargle, Snorlax (2 Parameters)
  2. Bellsprout, Cinccino, Smeargle, Victreebel, Weepinbell (3 Parameters)
  3. Hippowdon, Lillipup, Mamoswine, Piloswine (3 Parameters)


In a cryptogram, every letter used in a message is replaced with a different letter. In order to solve it, you must determine what the original message is. The following phrase is a quote from a character in the main series Pokémon games. For example, a cryptogram of "VDWXQFR REBU AFRSUBKYTCA!" would unscramble to "Pikachu used Thunderbolt!", as each U in the original sentence is swapped for R, each E is swapped for B, and so on.


Cryptic Crossword Puzzle

This last puzzle is a crossword and has several clues listed below that will fit within the boxes of the crossword grid. Once you have filled in the grid completely, take a screenshot of it as proof of your triumph. The answers will consist of several Pokémon-related terms, whether they be Pokémon, moves, abilities, etc.

Note: Click the hint to go to the corresponding line.


The answers to last week's puzzle can be found in the announcement thread of the Flying Press forum. As usual, once you've completed one, some, or even all of the puzzles that this page has to offer, send your answers via a private message to Smogon's Flying Press on the forums (a Smogon account is required). Good luck to all who dare to participate, and we'll see you again in a few weeks!


  1. Kit Kasai: 51 points
  2. lovemathboy: 50 points
  3. baconbagon: 36 points
  4. Calm: 26 points
  5. DarkShinyGiratina: 25 points
  6. Someoneelse: 25 points
  7. EnemyJurist: 24 points
  8. Awesomepi: 23 points
  9. Kyubics: 20 points
  10. eeveeattract: 19 points
  11. Blitzamirin: 16 points
  12. Chimechoo: 16 points
  13. Dogfish44: 16 points
  14. Fuuta of the Stars: 16 points
  15. Seito Hakari: 16 points
  16. shadowmist: 16 points
  17. SparksBlade: 16 points
  18. Tralf: 16 points
  19. rhydreigon: 14 points
  20. Yoda2798: 14 points
  21. Mowtom: 13 points
  22. xXDuongDannyXx: 13 points
  23. chuckaboomboom: 12 points
  24. HeadsILoseTailsYouWin: 11 points
  25. Mishimono: 11 points
  26. VeryPinkPancakes: 11 points
  27. asparandix: 9 points
  28. Swede: 7 points
  29. Plaessynplaeae: 5 points
  30. Reigaheres: 5 points
  31. Yellow Paint: 5 points
  32. Amitghosh: 3 points
  33. aXl: 3 points
  34. BenTheDemon: 3 points
  35. Epic_Mewtwo: 3 points
  36. Memoric: 3 points
  37. Sobi: 3 points
  38. Vader_the_White: 3 points

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