Introduction to Pure Hackmons

By Ransei and DurzaOffTopic. Released: 2018/10/24.
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Art by LifeisDANK.

What is Pure Hackmons?

Pure Hackmons is a metagame where you are allowed to give any Pokémon any ability and any move possible, just like when you have an external device. This is Balanced Hackmons without any bans.

The concept of this metagame leans towards Anything Goes, but things are taken into a more literal perspective. Instead of mostly just focusing on what the individual Pokémon has to offer, players are taken into a different world where abilities, moves, and items flow just as freely if not even more. This is a world where Pokémon are free to choose what they can utilize!

How Does The Metagame Work?

Since Pure Hackmons allows players to use anything to their heart's content, how items and abilities work in this metagame is extremely different from any other metagame. Here, abilities are most of what defines the use of a Pokémon. This is due to the precedence certain abilities have over all other abilities. A few examples of valuable abilities that define a Pokémon the most in Pure Hackmons are Wonder Guard, Huge Power, Pure Power, and Shadow Tag. Because highly valued abilities already offer so much to Pokémon, items don't have as much of an importance. Less often than in other metagames would players need to carry power-boosting or stat-boosting items such as Life Orb and Choice Band or recovery items such as Leftovers. Most abilities match or surpass the effectiveness of items. The items players should expect to use the most are ones made to weaken the effects of moves or abilities. Shed Shell, an item made for users to escape trapping, and Safety Goggles, an item made for users to block powder moves, are the greatest examples.

Due to the effectiveness of moves and abilities, the value of a Pokémon in Pure Hackmons has changed, becoming generally harder to determine than elsewhere. As previously stated, some of the most centralizing abilities can work on a mass number of Pokémon. In this case, a Pokémon's viability is partially determined by whether it is one of the best users of a certain ability.

Examples of sets

More example sets can be found on Set Compendium.

Deoxys-Speed Psychic-type
  • Deoxys-Speed @ Focus Sash
  • Ability: No Guard
  • EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
  • Timid Nature
  • IVs: 0 Atk
  • - Sing
  • - Gastro Acid
  • - Sheer Cold / Fissure
  • - Stealth Rock / Toxic Spikes / Magic Coat

Here's a perfect example of a No Guard lead with the fastest Pokémon in the game, Deoxys-S. It utilizes Sing to put the foe to sleep before throwing out OHKO moves or hazards that can deal with teams that are not prepared for them.

Mega Mewtwo X Psychic-type Fighting-type
  • Mewtwo-Mega-X @ Safety Goggles / Shed Shell / Lum Berry
  • Ability: Huge Power
  • EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
  • Jolly Nature
  • - Photon Geyser
  • - Play Rough / Knock Off
  • - Sacred Fire / Sunsteel Strike
  • - Thousand Arrows / Close Combat

The definition of Huge Power, Mega Mewtwo X is able to blow away bulky Pokémon like Zygarde-C and Giratina with its powerful attacks. Photon Geyser is able to ignore Wonder Guard, making Mega Mewtwo X an incredibly potent offensive threat in the metagame. Safety Goggles can be used to prevent Spore, while a Shed Shell allows Mega Mewtwo X to switch out of a potential foe with Shadow Tag.

Mega Scizor Bug-type Steel-type
  • Scizor-Mega @ Lum Berry / Safety Goggles
  • Ability: Wonder Guard
  • EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
  • Bold Nature IVs: 0 Atk
  • - Powder
  • - Defog
  • - Shore Up
  • - U-Turn

Mega Scizor uses its great typing and base stats to become a phenomenal user of Wonder Guard, which allows it to perform as a support Pokémon that is efficient and difficult to break. Resistances to Sunsteel Strike and Photon Geyser and access to Powder to block Fire-type attacks make it one of the most dangerous pivots in the metagame.

Chansey Normal-type
  • Chansey @ Safety Goggles / Shed Shell / Figy Berry
  • Ability: Innards Out
  • EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
  • Hasty Nature IVs: 0 Def
  • - Shore Up
  • - Haze
  • - Final Gambit
  • - U-turn / Parting Shot

The Blob's purpose here is to be an all-end answer to setup sweepers—a suicidal nuke that will almost always bring down any Pokémon that OHKOes it. This ability makes Chansey a great emergency button if an opposing sweeper gets out of hand.

Zygarde Dragon-type Ground-type
  • Zygarde-Complete @ Lum Berry / Safety Goggles
  • Ability: Fur Coat
  • EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
  • Impish Nature
  • - Stealth Rock / Defog
  • - U-turn
  • - Shore Up
  • - Will-O-Wisp

A massive tank, Zygarde-C also carries a defensive presence in this tier where Fur Coat drastically improves its already monstrous physical bulk. This support role cripples powerful physical attackers and can work as hazard control and a pivot as well.

Mega Gyarados Water-type Dark-type
  • Gyarados @ Gyaradosite
  • Ability: Wonder Guard
  • EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
  • Adamant Nature
  • - Shell Smash / Shift Gear
  • - Substitute / Taunt / Magic Coat
  • - Liquidation / Waterfall
  • - Power Trip

Gyarados is one of the most interesting Pokémon in the tier, as this set allows it to use its very good Water / Flying typing pre-Mega to set up before Mega Evolving and gaining an incredibly useful ability in Mold Breaker, which ignores abilities of opposing Pokémon, most notably Wonder Guard. Power Trip is a powerful STAB-boosted attack that gets incredibly powerful after setup.


Unlike most other metagames, Pure Hackmons comes with a lot of misconceptions that stem from what the metagame could be to how effective abilities are. Here are three seemingly common misconceptions in Pure Hackmons from newer players.

  1. Pure Hackmons is just blank spam

    Even though Pure Hackmons consists of seemingly overwhelming abilities, this does not mean they're the only things that fill the metagame up. Pure Hackmons surprisingly has quite a few extra abilities, including ones players would normally find in Balanced Hackmons such as Poison Heal, Aerilate/Pixilate/Refrigerate, Prankster, Magic Bounce, and Imposter.

  2. X is extremely broken in Pure Hackmons because they're banned from Balanced Hackmons / broken in Anything Goes.

    Fortunately in most cases, all of the best abilities have methods to counteract each other, neutralizing their effectiveness in battle. Examples include how Shadow Tag is a Wonder Guard check, various Wonder Guards are Huge Power checks, Huge Power is potentially a Shadow Tag check, Shed Shell has common use for Wonder Guards to go against Shadow Tag, Shadow Tag can use King's Shield and Encore for Huge Power, Huge Power can run coverage to go against common Wonder Guards. Because of this, the most centralizing ones don't stand out as much in Pure Hackmons. However, granted with a few exceptions, they still have an incredible impact on the metagame.

  3. This is Classic Hackmons/Custom Game

    Many players who know of ORAS Classic Hackmons presume it's safe to call Pure Hackmons Classic Hackmons because there isn't much of a difference. However, this isn't the case. In the words of Other Metas Leader The Immortal, "Classic Hackmons was a variation of Pure Hackmons created in gen 5. Pure Hackmons has Team Preview." Classic Hackmons was a separate metagame and will not be supported on Pokémon Showdown.

    Occasionally, there are people who will often mistake Pure Hackmons for Custom Game, likely because Custom Game also allows you to use anything but to an extreme. Custom Game is a metagame where you can not only do anything you want in regards to Pokémon but go even further by accepting the mechanics outside Pokémon such as the ability to bring monsters beyond level 100 and using over six of them with more than four moves in battle. Pure Hackmons does not support what is beyond Pokémon mechanics, as you can only use a maximum of six level 100 Pokémon with four moves each.

How Pure Hackmons has changed

Generation 7 has brought us many new changes to the Pure Hackmons metagame. The biggest changes players should keep track of come in the form of nerfs, new abilities, new moves, and new mechanics.

- The power of -ate attacks has been decreased from 1.3x to 1.2x.
Dark Void
- Dark Void had its accuracy nerfed to 50% and can only be used by Darkrai.
Destiny Bond
- Destiny Bond can now only be used once every two turns.
Gale Wings
- Gale Wings is only put into effect if the user is at full HP.
- Prankster no longer affects opposing Dark-type Pokémon.
Sheer Cold
- Sheer Cold no longer affects Ice-type Pokémon.
Soul Dew
- Instead of boosting Latias and Latios's special stats by 1.5x, Soul Dew currently merely boosts Dragon-type and Psychic-type moves by 1.2x.
- This Pokémon cannot be statused and is considered to be asleep.
Dazzling / Queenly Majesty
- While this Pokémon is active, allies are protected from opposing priority moves.
- This Pokémon's Normal-type moves become Electric-type and have 1.2x power.
Innards Out
- If this Pokémon is KOed with a move, that move's user loses an equal amount of HP.
- This Pokémon's healing moves have their priority increased by 3.
Water Bubble
- This Pokémon's Water power is 2x; it can't be burned; Fire power against it is halved.
Sunsteel Strike / Moongeist Beam
- Ignores the abilities of other Pokémon.
Photon Geyser
- Physical if user's Atk > Sp. Atk. Ignores abilities.
Spectral Thief
- Steals target's boosts before dealing damage.
Power Trip
- + 20 power for each of the user's stat boosts.
Removal of EV limit
- Players are now free to run more than 508 EVs on every Pokémon.
Introduction of CFZs
- Players are able to use Z-Moves without a Z-Crystal.
Introduction of Terrain abilities
- Electric Surge summons Electric Terrain, Grassy Surge summons Grassy Terrain, Misty Surge summons Misty Terrain, and Psychic Surge summons the newly added Psychic Terrain, making these abilities appear more similar to a subform of weather.

What is listed above is an explanation of how the changes made by Generation 7 work. For detailed information on how these changes seem to have affected the metagame, click here.

Starting Tips

For upcoming players interested in Pure Hackmons, here are five great tips to follow when building a team and playing the metagame.

  1. Always keep your mind open.

    Many players who aren't very successful when playing think in a narrow manner, following up from part 1 of misconceptions. Since this is a broad metagame, players should take advantage of what they can expect, but always try to prepare for the unexpected, as players here always have the opportunity to pull out tricks and gimmicks.

  2. Always keep Pokémon's typing in mind when considering Wonder Guard.

    Being able to acknowledge what types of Pokémon are more likely to have Wonder Guard will give you an advantage, as you would be able to focus the moves your team carries in order to check these Wonder Guard Pokémon.

  3. Always find at least one way to deal with Huge Power, Pure Power, and No Guard attackers.

    Pure Power and Huge Power are some of the most centralizing abilities used in this metagame, and Generation 7 only buffed them with the addition of Sunsteel Strike and Photon Geyser. Despite their buffs, there are still plenty of ways to take down these types of Pokémon. Some examples would be the use of Innards Out Pokémon, Imposter Pokémon, Prankster Destiny Bond, speedy revenge killers such as Mega Aerodactyl and Deoxys-S, and bulky retaliators such as Metal Burst Zygarde-C. You can also try burning Huge Power and Pure Power Pokémon using Will-O-Wisp and Sacred Fire.

    No Guard is an ability that can catch players off guard if they aren't prepared for it. Most of them commonly carry at least one OHKO move in an attempt to sweep your team. Some of the most effective ways to take care of these types of Pokémon are running Pokémon with the ability Sturdy, Wonder Guard, or Innards Out or running Pokémon with various types such as Ice, Ghost, and Flying. In many cases No Guard Pokémon can also run status moves in an attempt to make your Pokémon fall asleep or set up hazards. Magic Bounce and Magic Coat, especially on Ice-type or Flying-type Pokémon, are effective ways to deal with No Guard status.

    No Guard has gone through a bit of a decline in this generation due to a new immunity Ice-type Pokémon have to Sheer Cold. While this may have weakened the usage of Sheer Cold, it also made it harder to determine what OHKO move(s) Deoxys-S could run. Wonder Guard Pokémon trying to block Deoxys-S would need to be more careful due to a higher possibility of Deoxys-Speed running Fissure over Sheer Cold. However, Sheer Cold is still ultimately the best OHKO move in Generation 7 and is still expected to be used the most.

  4. Always have a backup plan.

    In a metagame where anything is possible, it's impossible be prepared for everything you can possibly run into. However, to maximize your chances, your team needs to have blanket checks for various strategies. For example, the most common blanket check to setup spam is Imposter Chansey, which creates a possibility for a countersweep. However, most good teams have preparations for a Chansey Impostering one of their Pokémon, so don't get your hopes up on more than forcing a Pokémon out. Often, a Pokémon that is self-Imposter proof, such as a Spooky Plate Mega Mewtwo Y with Protean, can prevent this, but that often leads to suboptimal matchups versus another threat. The most offensive blanket strategies are in two forms: first, in abilities like Mold Breaker, Turboblaze, and Teravolt, which ignore defensive abilities like Wonder Guard; and second, in the ability-ignoring moves Photon Geyser, Moongeist Beam, and Sunsteel Strike. But be careful—an opposing Imposter Chansey can make use of these qualities as well and therefore can be significantly more difficult to deal with.

  5. Have fun

    This is a wild metagame with endless numbers of possibilities in every battle. There are plenty of things you can try out and enjoy! See if Pure Hackmons is right for you!

Final Thoughts

Pure Hackmons is currently playable on Pokémon Showdown via Custom Game format or tournaments made in the OM Mashups groupchat, hosted by drampa's grandpa and Ransei. It is also a format for Other Metagames side servers such as rom and dragonheaven. Go out there and visit the world of endless possibilities! See what you can come up with when playing Pure Hackmons.

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