Gen 3 ADV OU Lead Viability and Matchup Data

LEADS IN ADV OU

ADV is a no-preview format, which means that lead choice in the teambuilding stage is important to ensure your team does not have to sacrifice much to poor lead matchups and has favorable odds of gaining early momentum. Inspired by the GSC thread with a similar name, I created some resources here to introduce new players to the ADV lead metagame.
+ ---- + ----------------------- + ---- + ------- + ------- +
| Rank | Leads | Use | Usage % | Win % |
+ ---- + ----------------------- + ---- + ------- + ------- +
| 1 | Zapdos | 22 | 28.95% | 45.45% |
| 2 | Tyranitar | 18 | 23.68% | 61.11% |
| 3 | Salamence | 10 | 13.16% | 60.00% |
| 4 | Milotic | 5 | 6.58% | 20.00% |
| 5 | Suicune | 4 | 5.26% | 75.00% |
| 5 | Skarmory | 4 | 5.26% | 50.00% |
| 5 | Metagross | 4 | 5.26% | 50.00% |
| 8 | Snorlax | 2 | 2.63% | 100.00% |
| 9 | Machamp | 1 | 1.32% | 100.00% |
| 9 | Venusaur | 1 | 1.32% | 0.00% |
| 9 | Swampert | 1 | 1.32% | 0.00% |
| 9 | Weezing | 1 | 1.32% | 0.00% |
| 9 | Jolteon | 1 | 1.32% | 0.00% |
| 9 | Celebi | 1 | 1.32% | 0.00% |
| 9 | Hariyama | 1 | 1.32% | 0.00% |

S rank
1575869764602.png
Metagross
1575869838406.png
Salamence
1575869755987.png
Tyranitar
1575869778233.png
Zapdos

A rank
1575869822806.png
Celebi
1575869848004.png
Skarmory
1576004338171.png
Smeargle
1575869887011.png
Suicune
1575869861545.png
Venusaur

B rank
1575869955589.png
Forretress
1575869875553.png
Gengar
1575869918805.png
Heracross
1575869903749.png
Jynx
1576004246860.png
Milotic
1575869940620.png
Vaporeon

C rank
1575870020814.png
Cloyster
1576004286451.png
Hariyama
1575869992104.png
Jolteon
1576004315606.png
Machamp
1575870008581.png
Snorlax
1576004368914.png
Swampert

lead roles.PNG

adv lead.PNG

How to use the matrix: Your lead is in the first column. Your opponent's lead is in the first row. The cell where the row of your lead and the column of your opponent's lead meet represents your lead's matchup against theirs. For example, my Metagross against your Tyranitar leads to a green cell, meaning my Metagross has a Very Good lead matchup.

Legend
legend.PNG

Final Scores
scores.PNG


Some concepts to explore might be the causes of the differences between matchup spread and usage, impactfulness of a lead, staying power (Jynx will do jack shit if it sleeps something then Blissey comes in whereas CB Meta or MixTar will cause permanent damage), rate of return on investment of free turns (lead matchup is really just 1 free 'free turn'; TTar sets sand indefinitely with 0 free turns, Skarm sets Spikes with 1 free turn; both worth 100s of percent over the course of a match), flexibility (Zap will always be special with status whereas TTar could be band, fast mixed, physical, DD, slow mixed...), etc.
 

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Last edited:
This is cool.
The matrix has the Hariyama vs Jolteon lead as bad both ways? Probably a mistake.

Also, are they supposed to be exact opposites, or is Hariyama vs Gengar "bad" and Gengar vs Hariyama "very good" acceptable, as I see it in the matrix? There might be a few others - for example I also just noticed Zapdos/Heracross are not exactly opposite in their relationship.

Just curious now.
Because there could also be a negative metric like "punishability" that tracks or indicates that a lead can be punished on account of it having many "bad" and "very bad" matchups.

Thanks.
 
Last edited:
This is cool.
The matrix has the Hariyama vs Jolteon lead as bad both ways? Probably a mistake.

Also, are they supposed to be exact opposites, or is Hariyama vs Gengar "bad" and Gengar vs Hariyama "very good" acceptable, as I see it in the matrix? There might be a few others - for example I also just noticed Zapdos/Heracross are not exactly opposite in their relationship.

Just curious now.
Because there could also be a negative metric like "punishability" that tracks or indicates that a lead can be punished on account of it having many "bad" and "very bad" matchups.

Thanks.
In theory, they are supposed to be opposites as you pointed out. There are definitely mistakes in the matrix in places. I've gone ahead and fixed the ones I've been alerted to and added Swampert, Milotic, and Machamp as well.

Punishability as a metric is a neat concept, but requires usage stats integration in order to be accurate, and as such, will always be a fluid value. For example, Milotic has "Very Bad" lead matchup against Jolteon and Zapdos, but Zapdos is more frequent as a lead by a factor of 4 (let's say for the sake of the example; this is not accurate usage data), meaning its "Very Bad" matchup should be 4 times more heavily weighted than Jolteon's in the calculation for Milotic's "punishability."
 

mad dawg

formerly elpresidento
I have noticed venusaur has quite a lot of good matchups with only a few bad ones but poor usage stats at least from wcop and my own memory. Is the reason venu isn't used more a case of it abusing more niche matchups while only doing decently against the popular ones or because venu teams are quite niche themselves?
 

vapicuno

你的价值比自己想象中的所有还要低。我却早已解脱,享受幸福
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Venusaur is indeed pretty niche. It's not easy to build with, and it's not easy to use well. Celebi is the golden standard of a grass type pokemon in ADV OU and one must ask what advantages venu has over it. That's mainly sleep, and to use it means having good reasons to value sleep over defensive prowess through better stats and recover, or offensive prowess through the calm mind and/or baton pass set.

Using sleep well tends to require partners that can abuse the sleep, as venusaur (just like any other sleeper) frequently has no immediate offensive prowess to follow up. The philosophy I subscribe to is that since sleep is finite, every turn spent burning sleep is precious, and one way to abuse sleep is to bring in glass cannons during those turns. Such partners may include Choice Band Metagross, Moltres, Heracross, or anything else so frighteningly powerful that can exploit a free turn from sleep to switch in. These can either be done by switching these threats in on a sleep turn, or by predicting the switch of the slept pokemon in. A common train of thought that can be exploited is that the slept mon is seen as the most useless and can be used to pivot into all sorts of stuff, so one can double switch on the expected pivot. Speaking of exploiting this psychology, a common line of play is to sleep Skarmory, bring in a physical threat later in the game, and double switch to Magneton. But I digress.

Another way to exploit the threat of sleep with Venusaur is Spikes. By choosing to delay the use of sleep powder, Venusaur can keep the opponent guessing and rack up Spikes damage while spreading Leech Seed and Spikes chip damage around against Stall teams. To be effective with this style though, it is recommended to have Pursuit Tyranitar and/or Magneton to eliminate all sorts of hovering threats so that Venusaur can exert maximum pressure with Leech seed, Giga Drain and HP fire.

Regardless of which team archetype above Venusaur fits itself on, it immediately becomes a trickier deal to maintain broad defensive coverage, just because Venusaur itself is barely a good check to anything. It takes lots of damage from Swampert and paralysis from Zapdos really hurts it. Using Celebi wouldnt have subjected one to these issues. Thus these teams either end up filling the rest of their ranks with stuff that looks repeated, or one would have to get creative. One might also have to play well to overcome these coverage deficiencies.

thelinearcurve is a fan of Venusaur, so maybe he has more to say.
 

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