PU Suspect Coverage: Lilligant

By gum, Aaronboyer, KellyKafka, and TJ. Released: 2019/05/23.
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art

Art by Iyarito.

Introduction

When a Pokémon drops down a tier, the community always looks to determine whether the newly introduced Pokémon is broken or not. Fairly recently in PU, Minior and Houndoom were deemed banworthy through their respective council quickban and suspect test. However, when talks about a Lilligant suspect arose, the community was incredibly divided. While some were definitely happy with Lilligant getting suspected, some others thought that it wasn't necessary. In this article we are going to explore Lilligant and the reasons behind its ban.

Sets

Lilligant
  • Grassium Z Life Orb Lilligant @ Grassium Z / Life Orb
  • Ability: Chlorophyll
  • EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
  • Timid Nature
  • - Quiver Dance
  • - Sleep Powder
  • - Giga Drain
  • - Hidden Power Fire / Hidden Power Rock / Hidden Power Ice

Grassium Z was one of Lilligant's most common sets. While the item normally gave it a one-time nuke in Bloom Doom, it also gave it the option to use Z-Sleep Powder, boosting its Speed by one stage and making revenge killing it way trickier in conjunction with Quiver Dance. After a Quiver Dance and the use of Z-Sleep Powder, Lilligant was able to outspeed Choice Scarf users such as Dodrio, Primeape, Manectric, and Scyther as well as offensive Alolan Sandslash under hail. This Lilligant set made use of different Hidden Powers in order to hit certain specific threats for super effective damage. Hidden Power Fire was able to hit Pokémon such as Alolan Sandslash as well as Grass-types such as Victreebel, while Hidden Power Rock could heavily damage Pokémon like Oricorio-E, Oricorio-G, Dodrio, Altaria, and Articuno. Hidden Power Ice was a more niche option to hit Flying-types such as the aforementioned Altaria with a 4x effective move for luring Alolan Exeggutor when it was in the tier. However, this set was dependent on the specific Hidden Power used in order to hit specific threats, which meant that Lilligant could be walled if it didn't posses the right one, or it required the need of extra boosts to break through a specific Pokémon. Life Orb was an optional item, firmly increasing its damage output without requiring a specific Z-Move.

  • Normalium Z Lilligant @ Normalium Z
  • Ability: Chlorophyll
  • EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
  • Timid Nature
  • - Quiver Dance
  • - Sleep Powder
  • - Giga Drain
  • - Hyper Beam

Z-Hyper Beam was another of Lilligant's more common and dangerous sets. This set was extremely threatening, as it could beat traditional switch-ins to Lilligant like Oricorio-E, Drampa, Articuno, and even Guzzlord, which could check its other sets without much difficulty. Much like the other sets, the primary way of dealing with this set was to revenge kill it with fast Choice Scarf users such as Primeape and Dodrio. As for defensive counterplay, Alolan Sandslash could wall this particular set, but it still didn't appreciate Sleep Powder. Also, once Lilligant had used its Z-Move, it was easily walled by threats like Oricorio-E, Guzzlord, Drampa, and Skuntank, which meant it had to be very cautious on when to use it. However, if Lilligant was in a bad position or for a last-ditch effort damage, it could use regular Hyper Beam to hit them.

  • Grassium Z Lilligant @ Grassium Z
  • Ability: Chlorophyll
  • EVs: 248 HP / 8 SpA / 252 Spe
  • Timid Nature
  • IVs: 0 Atk
  • - Quiver Dance
  • - Aromatherapy
  • - Giga Drain
  • - Hidden Power Fire / Hidden Power Rock

The premier way for bulky Ground-, Rock-, and Water-types to not let Lilligant switch in for free was by using Toxic. However, this was totally useless against Z-Aromatherapy Lilligant, which not only was able to cure itself or a teammate from any status, giving it some utility, but also could fully heal itself. This, combined with the added bulk, made it extremely hard to deal with, as it could easily set up multiple times, thus making it harder for revenge killers such as Primeape and priority moves users like Kangaskhan to deal with Lilligant. In the last slot, both Hidden Power Fire and Hidden Power Rock could work. The former hit Alolan Sandslash and Grass-types like opposing Lilligant and Victreebel. Alternatively, the latter hit Articuno and Altaria and gave it a splendid matchp against bulky teams and against offensive teams relying on Dodrio to check it.

  • Choice Specs Lilligant @ Choice Specs
  • Ability: Own Tempo / Chlorophyll
  • EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
  • Timid Nature
  • - Petal Dance
  • - Giga Drain
  • - Hidden Power Fire / Hidden Power Rock / Hidden Power Ice
  • - Healing Wish

Albeit pretty uncommon, Choice Specs Lilligant was a ferocious wallbreaker with a limited number of switch-ins. Not a lot of Pokémon were able to safely switch into this set, with the safe answers being limited to Type: Null, Roselia, and Bouffalant. Even Pokémon able to resist its STAB moves, such as Oricorio-E and Skuntank, could get 2HKOed by Petal Dance, making it extremely tricky to switch into. It could also use a variety of Hidden Powers, each of them hitting different threats; Hidden Power Rock nailed Articuno, while Hidden Power Ice hit Guzzlord and Altaria harder, and both of them hit Oricorio-E and Oricorio-G. Hidden Power Fire was also an option, as it hit Alolan Sandslash way harder. Finally, Lilligant could support its teammates with Healing Wish, giving them a second chance to wallbreak or sweep.

  • Choice Scarf Lilligant @ Choice Scarf
  • Ability: Chlorophyll
  • EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
  • Timid Nature
  • - Leaf Storm
  • - Energy Ball
  • - Healing Wish
  • - Hidden Power Rock / Sleep Powder

Choice Scarf Lilligant differed from the more standard Quiver Dance sets by virtue of immediately having a Speed boost. This allowed Lilligant to function as a decent revenge killer for top-level threats such as Lycanroc and +2 Omastar. Its Grass-type STAB for the most part was all it really needed, as Leaf Storm's high Base Power was sufficient in most cases to even nail checks like Skuntank on the switch. However, Lilligant could fit in Hidden Power Rock to hit bulkier Grass-resistant Pokémon such as Articuno. One of Choice Scarf Lilligant's biggest perks, however, was a fast Healing Wish, which it could use to revive one of its crippled teammates mid- to late-game. Another perk was that Choice Scarf had a lot of surprise factor due to being indistinguishable from Team Preview. However, Choice Scarf Lilligant still had issues such as being outsped by faster Choice Scarf users like Primeape and Dodrio, and lacking coverage outside of Hidden Power Rock, which it rarely wanted to lock itself into. While Choice Scarf Lilligant was one of its least threatening sets, the role compression it provided as a fast Choice Scarf user and Healing Wish supporter gave it a definitive niche.

Ban Reasoning

The main argument on the pro-ban side was that Lilligant was extremely centralizing. It often forced the use of Choice Scarf users faster than it, such as Primeape, Dodrio, and Scyther, over slower ones, such as Mesprit and Kabutops, which had to bring some additional utility to remain viable. On most balance builds, it also forced the use of multiple switch-ins, such as Oricorio-E, Alolan Sandslash, and Guzzlord, often leaving the team weak to another threat. Lilligant also posed a huge strain on battle, as it caused a lot of 50/50 scenarios thanks to its access to Sleep Powder, which notably allowed it to beat some of its checks and gave it free setup opportunities. It also didn't help that Lilligant could run many sets and variations of the same set, all of them usually having very different counterplay. The Quiver Dance set had no viable counters outside of Roselia, Type: Null, and Bouffalant, as each variations of it has different checks.

No Ban reasoning

The arguments from the no-ban side regarding Lilligant were diverse: the ease of fitting checks such as Oricorio-E and Alolan Sandslash as well as Choice Scarf users such as Dodrio, Scyther, and Primeape on teams made it manageable. Furthermore, Pokémon such as Type: Null, Crabominable, and Roselia were able to reliably check most of its sets, with Roselia being able to counter all of them. Lilligant also struggled to break through many of its checks like Oricorio-E and Articuno if it lacked the right coverage move. It also didn't make the metagame stale: some people noticed high levels of creativity and diversity in the tier, some explained how many of the aforementioned Pokémon were easy to fit into teams while also fulfilling the role of checking and countering other top threats apart from Lilligant, while others referred to how the centralization caused by Lilligant wasn't a factor when considering its status as a top threat, as it would naturally lead to teams requiring the right number of answers for it. This argument boiled down to how this centralization didn't equate to a sense of unhealthiness provided by the Pokémon. The ease of fitting Lilligant on teams was also a point of argument due to its lack of defensive utility.

Closing words

In a close suspect test, Lilligant got banned. PU is still adapting to a metagame without Lilligant, but we can already see some trends, such as the rise of Ground-types like Mudsdale and Quagsire. It also makes teambuilding much easier, and some Pokémon suffering from competition from Lilligant, such as Bellossom, are seen as better picks. We'd say that without Lilligant, the future of the metagame looks greener.

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Puzzle Page

Alakazam art by Bummer

Art by Bummer.

Welcome to the eighteenth edition of the Flying Press's Puzzle Page. Thanks to everyone who sent in their answers to last time's Puzzle Page, especially SadisticMystic and Meicoo, who registered a perfect score in the last Puzzle Page despite the tricky parameter puzzles and the cryptic crossword! With the prize of the banner swiftly approaching, try not to slip up on this week's issue, which features some brand-new puzzle types! Once again, thanks to all the members of the puzzle team who helped out with the puzzles in this edition, including lovemathboy, Level 51, frenzyplant, our newest cryptic writer, Dogfish44, and our newest puzzle writer, Snaq!

If, after completing the page, you haven't had enough puzzles yet, or if you'd simply like to meet the people writing them, join the Scavengers room on PS!


Parameters

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. Cresselia, Diancie, Milotic, Porygon2 | 2 Params
  2. Ampharos, Dunsparce, Electivire, Flareon, Girafarig, Granbull, Hypno, Lapras, Mr. Mime, Muk, Persian, Regice, Smeargle, Wigglytuff | 3 Params
  3. Breloom, Bruxish, Clefable, Oranguru, Pheromosa | 2 Params, 1 Exclusion

Selection Anagrams

For each group of letter sets, select the indicated number of sets to anagram into the given description.

Example

[MANY][PINK][ISH][HATS] - (Select 2 out of 4, anagram of one Pokémon)

We can select the two sets [MANY] and [ISH], which anagram to the Pokémon SHAYMIN.

Puzzles

  1. [AAAAAAA][BLCPHLN][FLYGN][MWTW][STRPTR][TYNM][WLMR] - (Select 3 out of 7, anagram of 3 Pokémon)
  2. [ANAGRAM][METRONOME][ASSIST][PROTEIN][CALCIUM][ZINC][HPUP][MOLES][AMPERES][CANDELAS] - (Select 4 out of 10, anagram of one Move)
  3. [EA][EB][EC][ED][EE][EF][EG][EH][EI][EJ][EK][EL][EM][EN][EO][EP][EQ][ER][ES][ET][EU][EV][EW][EX][EY][EZ] - (Select 8 out of 26, anagram of one Move and one Ability)

Assembly Portmanteaus

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 Pokémon][Gen III Water-type Pokémon][Gen II Ground-type Pokémon] would form the term bisharpedonphan (a combination of Bisharp, Sharpedo, and Donphan). In addition, two adjacent terms may not be the same, and you also may not overlap entire terms in your answer (such as [Gastro Acid][Acid][Acid Armor] becoming gastroacidarmor).

With Assembly Portmanteaus, the question you have to solve isn't given—instead, you'll have to assemble it on your own! Each individual term is split into three parts (some of which might be empty) which you'll have to mix and match to create a solvable Portmanteau puzzle, after which you should solve it as normal.

Example

The pieces can be assembled to create the uniquely solvable port [Pokémon with the ability Steadfast][Water-type Move with a base power of 65], which can be solved as lycanroctazooka.

Puzzles

    • [ ][ ]
    • Part 1: Fairy-type, Ice-type
    • Part 2: Move, Pokémon
    • Part 3: Introduced in Generation III, Introduced in Generation VI
    • [ ][ ][ ]
    • Part 1: Fighting-type, Bug-type, Psychic-type
    • Part 2: Move, Move, Pokémon
    • Part 3: introduced in Generation VII, that is also Flying-type, with a base power of 70
    • [ ][ ][ ][ ]
    • Part 1: Egg, Fighting-type, Signature, [empty]
    • Part 2: Move, Move, Pokémon, Ability
    • Part 3: that Volcanion can have, that Sylveon can have, with a base power of 15, [empty]

Super Effective PokéSudoku

Fill out the grid with the nine Pokémon below—the eight Eeveelutions and Eevee itself—such that each Pokémon appears once per row, column, and red or blue 3-by-3 square. Additionally, a ">" sign between two cells indicates that the Pokémon in the first cell has a STAB that is super effective against the Pokémon in the cell being pointed to. All possible ">" signs have been placed in the grid below.

Cryptic Crossword

This puzzle is a cryptic 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.

If you don't know what a "cryptic crossword" is, or how to solve "cryptic clues," the Wikipedia article titled "Cryptic crossword" is a great place to start with.

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


Closing Remarks

The answers to the previous issue's puzzles will be posted here, and answers for this issue will be posted with the next issue. 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), with its title as "Puzzle Page: Volume 18". The deadline for answers will be 4 weeks. Good luck to all who dare to participate, and we'll see you again sometime!

  1. Dot Agumon: 99 points (+24)
  2. Knuckstrike: 98 points (+23)
  3. Meicoo: 75 points (+25)
  4. Calm: 56 points (+15)
  5. SadisticMystic: 50 points (+25)
  6. Bartimaeus: 48 points
  7. ScarfWynaut: 46 points
  8. CryoGyro: 24 points
  9. Okamu, Yellow Paint: 21 points
  10. Aalbaniaa, Da Letter El (+10): 10 points
  11. Leki: 9 points
  12. Ragmatho: 7 points
  13. Max. Optimizer: 2 points

Parameters

  1. Dragon-type, Play Rough
  2. Leaf Blade, !Grass-type
  3. Healing Wish, !Recovery

Pokémon Countdown

  1. Play Nice
  2. Two Island
  3. Ability Capsule

PokéBoggle

    • ARON
    • CORSOLA
    • GLISCOR
    • SILCOON
    • SNORLAX
    • GARCHOMP
    • MEW
    • LOTAD
    • PARAS
    • RALTS
    • DRAMPA
    • DUSTOX
    • LATIOS
    • MAWILE
    • SWALOT
    • SOLOSIS
    • STARMIE
    • SWELLOW
    • TAILLOW
    • RAMPARDOS

Pokémon Link

Answer

Cryptic Crossword

Answer

Solution notation

  • WORD*: anagram outcome of these letters
  • A(B)C: the word B inside the word AC
  • [-x]: the letter X removed
  • K_: K taken as the first letter of a word
  • _K: K taken as the last letter of a word
  • _K_: K taken as the center of a word, or a substring
  • CBA<: outcome of ABC being reversed
  • (a->B): letter A was formerly in the word, but has been replaced by B
  • [= "def"]: showing which word or phrase functions as the definition
  • (words): after the definition, additional notes to clarify things that may be a little confusing

Across

  • 1 BLI(ZZ)ARD* [= "storm"] (ZZ as in ZZ Top, aka "Top" band)
  • 5 S(PEW)PA [="Insect"]
  • 9 DUSKNOIR* [= "Transmuted"]
  • 10 DRAM(P)A [= "The placid kind, perhaps", Drampa's category] (P denoting the music term piano, = "quiet")
  • 12 SURF ("serf" homophone) [= "Use net"]
  • 13 SH(INYSTON*)E [= "means to cause change"]
  • 15 ARCH+EN [= "ancient monster"] (en as in a unit of typography, used to denote the width of a space)
  • 16 F_+RISK [= "Search"]
  • 20 [-m]DEINO* [= "irate monster", Deino's category] (that is, remove the first letter of MONIED, and anagram the rest)
  • 21 _EN_+CORE [= "again", in the sense that shouting each at a performer gives the same outcome]
  • 25 ELECTIVIRE* [= "it might shock you"]
  • 26 SEEL< [= "sea lion"] ("shelters" = LEES)
  • 28 ICE+GEM [= "it might make a move cooler?"] (ICE as slang for diamond; GEM as "ruby, for example")
  • 29 R(A+TIC)ATE [= "rodent"]
  • 30 NOI<+BAT< [= "Source of din"]
  • 31 REVE(_R)SAL* [= "it makes pupils slip up", an oblique description of REVERSAL: reversing "pupils" creates "slipup"]

Down

  • 1 BO(D_)YS+LAM [= "throw"] ("Escape" = LAM)
  • 2 IN+STRU(C_)T [= "Order"]
  • 3 Z_+IN+C [= "Metal"]
  • 4 RA+ICH+U_ [= "it's shocking"] ("Solar power" = RA, as in the Egyptian sun god; "I in Berlin" = ICH, the German translation for I)
  • 6 P(a->E)RISH'S+ON+G_ [= "death metal, perhaps?"]
  • 7 W(IMP)OD< [= "Spineless coward", since Wimpod is an arthropod without a backbone and is also cowardly] ("stock index" = DOW)
  • 8 A(ZALE*)A [= "town"] ("standard cell" = AA, as in batteries)
  • 11 _S NAR L_< [= "knot"] (hidden in coiL RAN South, in reverse)
  • 14 CELESTEELA* [= "Blaster"]
  • 17 S_+N(IV)Y [= "starters" - here abusing the fact that the plural of SNIVY is SNIVY]
  • 18 NOSE+PASS [= "it's in a field of its own?" - a magnetic field]
  • 19 H(EALB*)ELL [= "Soothing instrument"]
  • 22 LED+IAN [= "five-star category entry"]
  • 23 CELEB+I [= "Pixie"]
  • 24 TRI(A_)G+_E [= "Process of determining order"]
  • 27 BID+_E [= "wait"]

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