The Ins and Outs of OU Theorymon

By Recreant, and Tressed. Art by Bummer.
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Introduction

Focus Blast Mega Pidgeot

"Man, Moltres would be so good in OU if it weren't for Stealth Rock. Can you imagine how good it would be if it got Magic Guard?"

"Empoleon's my favorite, but it's too bad it's not so useful. Wouldn't it be cool if it had a good ability?"

"Braviary looks decent, but it's just not worth using over Staraptor. What if it could do something that Staraptor couldn't..."

We've all had those thoughts at one point or another. Sometimes certain Pokémon aren't viable no matter how hard you try. However, some just need a slight push in the right direction. This is where the OU theorymon meta comes in. The project is based off of the OU metagame and is heavily community involved; the thread can't run without submissions from everybody interested. Four new Pokémon are created each slate, which are created by either the community, who are able to send submissions in via personal message, or the council members, Recreant, Tressed, Valmanway, Patolegend!, and GnralLao.

When submitting an idea, keep in mind that the goal of the project is not to slam the meta with A+ threats. The main idea is to give bad Pokémon a niche to perform in the OU tier. Sticking Huge Power, Wonder Guard, and Fur Coat on some random Pokémon isn't the way to go. The council looks not only at the viability of a submission but also at how unique it is. So if you're interested in playing, jump onto Pokémon Showdown! There is a challenge format, meaning it's never too hard to make a quick team to challenge your friends!


Most Influential Theorymon

Although not every slate is filled to the brim with devastating creations, certain theorymon get buffs that rock the metagame by its roots. With even so much as a glance, it's blatantly obvious that these Pokémon have traits that few teams are prepared for. Whether it be a new move that everyone dreams of, a unique ability that changes the Pokémon's role entirely, or a combination of the two, Pokémon in this category have very few negative aspects and are able to fit on a variety of different teams. To put it simply, these are the best of the best, and all of these submissions heavily influence the metagame in one way or another. Prepare for these threats while teambuilding, or else.


Defiant Entei

Taking advantage of its newfound ability in Defiant, Entei is able to take advantage of stat-decreasing abilities and moves such as Intimidate, Defog, and even the likes of Moonblast or Shadow Ball to gain a massive buff to its Attack stat. Sacred Fire's solid burn rate and extreme power at +1 or +2 wear down opposing checks extraordinarily quickly, and when this is combined with entry hazard support, foes will begin to drop like flies. Entei's solid bulk also means that it is possible for it to take stronger neutral hits before going down, and its disappointing Speed stat is remedied by its access to Extreme Speed, which outprioritizes other priority moves such as Aqua Jet and Mach Punch. However, Entei finds itself vulnerable to every kind of entry hazard, thanks to its mediocre defensive typing, and combined with possible Life Orb recoil, it is going to have a hard time staying on the field for too long. Nevertheless, Entei has proven itself to be a threat that every team must prepare for.

Entei

Entei's flagship theorymon set does not stray too far from the OU standard set. Sacred Fire is Entei's most powerful STAB attack, doing heavy damage to common answers. Pokémon such as Garchomp, Landorus-T, Azumarill, and Hippowdon fear the high burn rate, making Entei a terror to switch into for all types of teams. With an Adamant nature, Extreme Speed packs decent power, and it is able to pick off weakened faster threats, including the likes of Talonflame, Mega Charizard X, Tornadus-T, and Mega Manectric. Bulldoze is able to OHKO Heatran, which is able to switch into any of Entei's other attacks and takes advantage of Sacred Fire. You'll rarely be clicking Stone Edge, but it is able to nail Fire-types that do not fear burns and are able to tank a Sacred Fire.


Sheer Force Kyurem

Move over, Kyurem-B, you have some serious competition. Vanilla Kyurem has proven its worth over its big brother, as Life Orb-boosted Ice Beams hit for an amount of damage that towers over Kyurem-B's, thanks to Sheer Force. Although its typing might leave it weak to Stealth Rock, it has great bulk all around, meaning it's able to take resisted hits and some neutral hits like a champion. Adding onto that, if the move used is affected by Sheer Force, Life Orb no longer takes away a slight amount of HP. Thanks to Kyurem's forcing many switches, Roost is not hard to use, slightly amending its entry hazard weakness. Kyurem is not without its flaws, sadly, as a mediocre Speed stat means it can struggle against the offense-heavy metagame, and it remains easy to revenge kill. Nevertheless, Kyurem's positives heavily outweigh its negatives, and it is a solid addition to most any theorymon team.

Kyurem

Kyurem only has one main set in this meta; however, it is easily its most devastating set. Ice Beam, boosted by the combination of Life Orb and Sheer Force, hits like a truck and easily obliterates common offensive Pokémon. Draco Meteor is Kyurem's secondary nuke, hitting bulky Water-types such as Manaphy, Rotom-W, and Tentacruel harder than Ice Beam. Earth Power provides fantastic coverage with Kyurem's STAB attacks, nailing Heatran, Metagross, Bisharp, Jirachi, and Empoleon, which would otherwise switch into Kyurem with ease. Roost is the most reliable option for the fourth slot, as it restores Kyurem's HP, slightly amending its entry hazard weakness. It also lets Kyurem be a stronger check to the likes of Regenerator Stunfisk, Sand Rush Cacturne, Spikes Jolteon, and Poison Heal Gastrodon. Focus Blast has very limited uses over Roost: while it has the ability to OHKO Tyranitar, Empoleon, and Ferrothorn, Ice Beam or Earth Power does plenty of damage to both.


Focus Blast Pidgeot

Every Pidgeot fan dreams of the fabulous bird gaining Focus Blast, and for good reason. Thanks to its newfound reliable Fighting-type move, Pidgeot's number of switch-ins are drastically reduced, as Pokémon such as Tyranitar, Heatran, Empoleon, and Magnezone now tremble in their boots. Combine this with Hurricane's confusion chance, and many would-be checks are shaky at best. Pidgeot does face slight competition from Tornadus-T, as sacrificing the Mega slot might turn you away, but Pidgeot has its advantages, including No Guard, meaning none of its moves will miss, making it easier to clean up late-game. Pidgeot also has access to Roost, meaning it doesn't have to switch out to regain lost HP, and Work Up, letting it boost its Special Attack to high levels. Sadly, Pidgeot's typing isn't outstanding defensively and leaves it weak to Stealth Rock, and its mediocre defenses mean it isn't hard to OHKO with stronger neutral attacks. Even with its flaws, Pidgeot is a fantastic Pokémon and one you shouldn't look over while building a team.

Pidgeot Mega Pidgeot

Pidgeot's all-out attacker set is its most common set and not one to underestimate. Hurricane, combined with No Guard, is a devastating move that blows away foes that don't resist it and does heavy damage to everything. Focus Blast is Pidgeot's new move, and it destroys Steel- and Rock-types such as Tyranitar, Heatran, Empoleon, Mega Steelix, and Excadrill. Roost provides more utility than Heat Wave, as recovery allows Pidgeot to last longer throughout the match and Flying / Fighting coverage is already fantastic. However, if your team is particularly weak to Jirachi, Bronzong, Mega Metagross, or Klefki, Heat Wave could be an option to you. U-turn allows Pidgeot to pivot out of unfavorable situations, particularly in front of the likes of Raikou, Archeops, Rotom-W, and Mega Diancie. While Hyper Beam does not deserve a primary mention, it does have the niche of hitting Assault Vest Raikou and Rotom-W for heavy damage. However, the two are quite rare in the theorymon metagame, and using Hyper Beam leaves Pidgeot vulnerable for a turn. Finally, although quite mediocre due to its weakness to priority, Pidgeot is able to pull off an Agility set with a Modest nature, allowing it to be a decent late-game sweeper with absurd power.

Pidgeot Mega Pidgeot

Although Pidgeot's all-out attacker set has gained the most traction, its Work Up set is still viable in its own right. Work Up boosts Pidgeot's Special Attack by one stage. Combine this with a Hurricane with perfect accuracy, Pidgeot becomes an even more threatening late-game sweeper than it already was. Roost allows Pidgeot to restore its own HP and rid itself of its Flying typing for a turn. Heat Wave is a very team-specific option, but it has its niche in targeting Bronzong, Jirachi, and Klefki. Focus Blast rounds out Pidgeot's coverage, hitting for massive damage against Steel-types after a Work Up boost.


Underrated Theorymon

While some theorymon have become huge threats, others see less use. Due to small flaws in their typing, movepool, or compatibility with teammates, they are much harder to build a competent team around. Despite these issues, these Pokémon have clear niches that can suit their strengths to the fullest and are therefore some of the most rewarding Pokémon to experiment with.

Simple Mega Audino

Mega Audino would be decent were it not for its lack of a useful ability. Healer has no effect in singles, leaving Mega Audino without a notable way of differentiating itself from Clefable. Simple, on the other hand, allows Audino to rapidly boost with Calm Mind, and it can make a nice bulky sweeper that can also use its great raw bulk to check some threats. Reaching +2 quickly is a benefit for any sweeper and can allow Audino to quickly become nigh unbreakable by special attacks.

Mega Audino

This set works like most Calm Mind boosters do, relying on Audino's bulk and good defensive typing in order to tank hits and boost up. After a boost, it becomes nearly impossible to break through with special attacks, while also packing a sizable punch. This set does have notable drawbacks, since it relies on WishTect or Rest for recovery. WishTect Mega Audino suffers from a weakness to status and a lack of coverage, while sets utilizing Rest need to survive multiple turns in order to heal properly.


Ghost / Normal Porygon-Z

Porygon-Z receives the benefit of a strong Ghost-type STAB to complement its Normal-type STAB. Vast neutral coverage, a wide movepool, and Adaptability make Porygon-Z quite the threat. Although this change in typing also gives Porygon-Z more resistances and immunities, its low bulk prevents it from finding a place to switch in, and its average Speed makes it difficult to avoid taking hits against offensive teams.

Porygon-Z

Porygon-Z's Choice sets are fairly similar to each other, despite doing vastly different jobs. The trio of Tri Attack, Shadow Ball, and Hidden Power Fighting provides great coverage, with Hidden Power providing coverage on targets such as Tyranitar and Bisharp. Choice Scarf is a great option for a late-game cleaner, being able to outrun and outgun most of the offensive meta. Choice Specs sets, on the other hand, bring raw power to the table, 2HKOing most walls and blowing through defensive cores with their STAB moves alone.

Porygon-Z

In certain cases, the Speed boost from Choice Scarf just isn't enough, and that's where Agility comes into play. With +2 Speed, a Life Orb, and the ability to switch moves, Porygon-Z is able to outpace and annihilate offensive teams. Porygon-Z's new Ghost typing comes in handy here, making it immune to Extreme Speed, which is very common in theorymon thanks to Entei and Braviary.


Dark / Fairy + Parting Shot Mega Absol

The buffs on this variation of Absol give it several perks. Its Dark / Fairy typing somewhat makes up for its lackluster defensive stats. Immunity to both of Latios' and Latias' STAB types allows Absol to check them both nicely, and a 4x Dark resistance makes it a potent Knock Off absorber. The addition of Parting Shot allows Absol to gain momentum and makes it a great offensive pivot when combined with Magic Bounce. Absol's sets play relatively similarly to its sets in regular OU, with the benefit of a stronger Fairy-type STAB move making for good neutral coverage. Absol still suffers from some of the issues that plagued it in regular OU, though, namely a low pre-Mega Speed, the inability to take even neutral hits, and a small degree of four-moveslot syndrome.

Mega Absol

Absol's great STAB coverage, partnered with its Speed and access to Sucker Punch, allows it to pull off an effective Swords Dance set. Magic Bounce prevents status from Pokémon such as Thundurus and Klefki, allowing Absol to beat them as well as use Sucker Punch more reliably.

Mega Absol

Mega Absol is also able to pull off a convincing all-out attacker set, taking advantage of its mixed offenses and solid coverage. Knock Off and Sucker Punch are able to apply pressure to fast offensive and slow defensive Pokémon alike. Ice Beam allows Absol to take out Garchomp and Landorus-T, while Fire Blast allows Absol to hit Ferrothorn, Cobalion, and Scizor. In the last slot, Play Rough gives Absol a secondary STAB move, but Parting Shot allows Absol to switch out of its counters and provide setup opportunities for its teammates.


Successors of OU Theorymon

We constantly get submissions that stick Huge Power or Protean on almost every Pokémon. However, there were times where some of these overpowered submissions actually made it by council and onto a slate. Two theorymon were deemed too powerful for competitive play by both the new council and the majority of the community and were the first to be permanently removed from the archive. These two were over-centralizing to a much more extreme degree than any other. The theorymon that came to be known as such were Protean Hydregion and Moxie Weavile.

Protean Hydreigon

Hydreigon

Protean Hydreigon was easily one of the most controversial theorymon and was almost immediately met with cries of outrage once it won. Thanks to its phenomenal coverage options and great attacking stats, Hydreigon was left with zero switch-ins in the entire tier. Additionally, its decent non-attacking moves, such as Roost, Taunt, and Work Up, made it extremely unpredictable. Combining this with its decent bulk, which allowed it to take at least one strong neutral attack, Hydreigon was a nightmare for balance and offensive teams alike. It was unanimously voted too powerful by the theorymon council, becoming a legend in its own right.


Moxie Weavile

Weavile

Not only has Weavile far exceeded the cutoff for submitted theorymon by now, leaping all the way to A+ on the OU Viability Rankings, Moxie gives an already metagame-defining threat a much more useful ability that makes it a terror to all forms of offensive teams. Weavile's good STAB coverage and decent Attack were amplified each time it got a KO. Games often came down to whoever's Weavile could achieve a KO first, and matches could easily snowball out of control, even if the Weavile user played poorly. For these reasons, Weavile was banned after a long time of sitting in the archive.


Theorymon Flops

On certain slates, some people might think, "how did some of these Pokémon become theorymon in the first place?". Some slates are very mediocre, plain and simple, whether it be from delays, poor submissions, or lack of ideas from the council. Even though some theorymon get the most votes, they are still plagued with glaring issues that limit their ability to be effective. Pokémon in this category are rarely seen on serious teams and require much team support to be efficient. They serve certain niches that make them worth using a very small amount of the time; however, theorymon in this category are always looking for new buffs.

Poison / Steel Weezing

Weezing

Even though a Poison / Steel typing combined with Levitate gives Weezing a minimal one weakness in Fire, said weakness is a very common form of coverage for most offensive Pokémon. Fire-type coverage also often hits for special damage, and Weezing's lacking Special Defense will often leave it at low health after the ordeal. A pathetic base 60 Speed stat leaves it outsped by the majority of the metagame, and its low offenses mean that it will have issues doing enough damage. On top of all of these flaws, a lack of reliable recovery outside of the shaky Pain Split leaves it easy to wear down. Weezing does have a small niche of being a Toxic Spikes user immune or resistant to every entry hazard, and its typing gives it handy resistances and immunities, but most battles you will find it falling flat on its face.


Multiscale Milotic

Milotic

At first glance, Milotic might looks like a worthwhile addition to the metagame. A Pokémon with fantastic defenses, which are doubled if it has not taken any damage, a solid defensive typing, and Scald to back it up? Sounds great, right? Well, sadly, Milotic isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Entry hazards are a frequent sight, Milotic is weak to all of them, and with any damage taken, Milotic's ability is neutered, not to mention constantly remaining at full health proves difficult. Its lacking Defense makes it troublesome to switch into even strong neutral attacks. Now, without Marvel Scale, Milotic is even weaker to status, and it can't switch into Scalds as easily as before. Adding on to the negatives, Milotic doesn't have fantastic offenses and generally has to rely on luck-based Scald burns to win certain matchups, and some setup Pokémon can take advantage of that. Overall, you're better off running many other bulky Water-types than Milotic.


Conclusion

If you're looking for a new meta to try out, OU Theorymon is a great choice. It's easy to learn if you've played standard OU before, since the ruleset is the same. It's also a pretty easy community to contribute to, as we're always looking for new submissions and ideas. If you've got a creative idea (i.e., not Fur Coat or Pure Power), feel free to PM any of the council members with it, along with a short description of what the theorymon is supposed to do.

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