Spice UUp Your Game

By Hikari. Art by Bummer.
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Tentacruel Art


The UU metagame is one of the most diverse metagames. There are tons of viable Pokémon, and it's constantly changing to adapt to new trends or drops from OU. These factors create a tier rich with innovations. Innovations can be an uncommon Pokémon with a unique niche, an unorthodox moveset, or an unusual move that allows you to beat specific threats. Basically, anything that can surprise your opponent, allowing you to gain the upper hand or put yourself in a more favorable position, can be considered innovation.

In this article I want to showcase some examples of UU innovations and explain why they are different from the standard sets and why you should give them a try.

Offensive Tentacruel

Tentacruel @ Black Sludge
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Hydro Pump
- Sludge Bomb / Acid Spray
- Ice Beam / Dazzling Gleam
- Rapid Spin

Tentacruel is usually seen as a relatively slow, bulky spinner that uses its great defensive typing and support moves, such as Toxic Spikes and Haze, to help its team. Tentacruel lacks raw power, as it only has mediocre base 80 Special Attack, but thanks to its base 100 Speed, it can outspeed a huge portion of the metagame and use its superb coverage to KO some key threats. Pokémon that usually feel safe around Tentacruel, such as Krookodile, Mamoswine, and Hydreigon, can be KOed before they even get a single attack off. Once the surprise factor is gone, Tentacruel becomes much more manageable for the opponent, but it can still use its coverage moves to deal with certain offensive threats or remove entry hazards with Rapid Spin. Clear Body allows Tentacruel to easily spin against Sticky Web teams, as it prevents the Speed drop and those teams struggle against fast spinners. Acid Spray can potentially make Tentacruel a much bigger threat, because with the -2 Special Defense drop, even its subpar Special Attack can leave it hard to deal with for some bulky Pokémon.

4 Attacks Mega Absol

Absol-Mega @ Absolite
Ability: Magic Bounce
EVs: 252 Atk / 48 SpA / 208 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Knock Off
- Sucker Punch
- Fire Blast
- Iron Tail / Ice Beam

Mega Absol is mostly used as a setup sweeper that can use Magic Bounce to create opportunities to use Swords Dance. With four attacks, Mega Absol is able to lure in and beat many of the checks and counters to the Swords Dance set, and it does so without needing to set up. The combination of Knock Off, which is extremely spammable and almost riskless, followed by the necessary coverage move is all this set needs to get the job done. The coverage move of choice depends on what your team needs to beat. Fire Blast is for Forretress, Cobalion, and Chesnaught and does massive damage to Mega Aggron. Iron Tail is for Florges, Aromatisse, and Slurpuff; however, note that the last will outspeed Mega Absol if it loses its item. Ice Beam is mostly for Gligar and Salamence, but it also maintains coverage on Chesnaught. All three moves punish Whimsicott switch-ins, but note that they are usually faster than Mega Absol and easily KO it with Moonblast. A good thing about this set is that even if the opponent's team lacks any of the Pokémon you want to lure in with Mega Absol, it can still spam Knock Off to cripple almost every Pokémon in the tier and Sucker Punch is a fairly strong priority move.

Snarl Sableye

Sableye @ Leftovers
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
- Snarl
- Recover
- Will-O-Wisp
- Taunt

Standard Sableye runs Taunt and Will-O-Wisp to shut down many Pokémon, Recover to keep itself healthy, and Knock Off or Foul Play as its attacking move. Knock Off allows it to cripple almost every Pokémon in the tier, and Foul Play punishes Pokémon with high Attack stats that don't mind getting burned, such as Entei and some Salamence sets. As you can see, this set is mostly standard, with only move that can be considered out of the norm: Snarl, which always lowers the Special Attack of the target. But that small moveset difference drastically changes the list of Pokémon that can switch into Sableye and come out on top. Special attackers regularly switch into Sableye because burns don't lower their useful stat and they can break through Sableye's subpar bulk. But if these special attackers switch into Snarl or lack the raw power to do approximately 80% to Sableye, they won't be able to 2HKO it. To showcase Snarl's usefulness, let's use Choice Specs Kyurem and Life Orb Zapdos as examples:

If Kyurem switches into Snarl, Draco Meteor will not come close to OHKOing Sableye, and after the additional drop, it won't threaten Sableye at all. -1 Ice Beam has a small chance of 2HKOing, but Sableye can simply use Snarl a second time.

Zapdos easily 2HKOes Sableye at +0; however, Sableye can stay in to tank Thunderbolt, use Snarl to put Zapdos at -1, and proceed to outstall it.


Gastrodon @ Leftovers
Ability: Storm Drain
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
- Recover
- Scald
- Ice Beam
- Clear Smog / Earth Power / Toxic

Gastrodon currently is RU by usage and is practically nonexistent in the UU metagame, but this doesn't mean it is unviable. Its bulk, typing, and ability help it shut down one of UU's biggest threats: Mega Aerodactyl. Thanks to Clear Smog, Gastrodon also is one of the few Pokémon that can comfortably deal with most Feraligatr sets, because it can easily survive +2 Crunch and get rid of the boosts. Mega Swampert and Mega Sharpedo can heavily pressure Gastrodon with their non-Water-type STAB moves, but it can check them in a pinch and get rid of the latter's Speed boost, which is something it won't be able to get back. Gastrodon can also check lots of other threats, such as Cobalion, Salamence, Doublade, and bulky setup sweepers like Reuniclus and Snorlax. Lastly, Gastrodon can run a Curse set with more Special Defense investment, because that is a fairly decent wincon and beats all non-Roar Suicune and non-Life Orb Gyarados in one-on-one scenarios.

What's next?

Give these Pokémon a shot, they won't disappoint you!

Try coming up with your own innovations, anyone can do it. You only need to be willing to think outside of the box and not be afraid to experiment with new stuff. Get out of your comfort zone and don't be discouraged if you don't instantly succeed, because sooner or later your work will pay off.

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