AAA Almost Any Ability (Weavile banned! See #368)

https://pokepast.es/b1db74f505040c98

Recently ive been loving this team I built around Tinted Lele. When i had used this set previously I found that its biggest problem was dealing with Corv+Bliss/Chansey as if you psyshock, corv gets a free switch in and blissey didnt lose much(assuming they're regen) so i decided to pair it with turboblaze tran which beats both no matter their ability(also beats ff ferro which I despise). After that I added primsea koko for some speed control and as a talonflame and desotran check. At this point I didnt really have a switch in to any water type and pert is simply annoying in this meta so I put a water absorb LandoT as my rocker. I went back and forth on using the set in the current team and using bulk up eq+smackdown but ultimately decided on using edge and uturn as I never really got to set up and felt that the pivoting it provides is better for the team. Needed a weavile check and defogger so yeah Fini is pretty self explanatory. experimented with a couple of mons in the last slot and cb adapt weavile worked best. low kick over pjab cuz this team deals better with fini than coba.

Any suggestion would be appreciated too!

Edit: Forgot to explain that I didnt feel the need to run any speed or defense on lando, you could def change the evs on both tran and lando but running both spdef made the most sense to me and worked in practice.
 
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Elaborating on Weavile a bit


With opml the AAA metagame has stabilized quite a bit, resulting in a rather balanced and enjoyable build/play experience. My main concern at the moment is Weavile. Before OMPL I thought the problem was its unpredictability between MGLO and Choice Band Technician and the fact that MGLO can beat anything on paper (mainly Cobalion and Tapu Fini are both ohkoed at +2 by Low Kick and Poison Jab respectively), but it's become quite clear that the Magic Guard set, while still quite strong, isn't as unstoppable in practice as it is on paper, mainly because it lacks immediate power, usually offering very little room for it to setup and decent offensive counterplay.

The Band set however does have the power that the MGLO set lacks, which means it gets lots of opportunities to come in and threaten an ohko (for example against specially defensive Swampert, Heatran after Rocks, DShield Mew with any chip damage, Mandibuzz, which all live a hit or two from the MGLO set). This, coupled with its very high speed tier and acceptable bulk means that you can't really afford to soft check it and go for offensive counterplay, as it will inevitably get to click for free at some point. I don't find its weakness to Rocks to be sufficient to balance its strenghts.

You see where I'm going : Band Technician Weavile forces Intimidate Corviknight/Skarmory or Tapu Fini or Regen Cobalion on every non-HO team, and it absolutely destroys teams that don't have them (see my ompl game vs Bushtush, where his check is MGLO Cobalion and he gets obliterated baring unholy luck, or TNM vs Bushtush). Also important to note that Corviknight is shakier than the other two, as Triple Axel 2hkoes it even without rocks, its only saving grace being Rocky Helmet, which can be knocked off, and Triple Axel missing. These are very good pokemon and arguably Fini and Intim Corv's usage wouldn't go down after a Weavile ban (which I doubt) (Regen Coba's usage would obviously suffer), but you have to use them, reducing quite heavily the potential for creativity for defensive cores.

For example say you want to use Toxapex because your opponent likes HO, already the first thing that comes to mind is "Pex is 2hkoed by Beat Up so I need a Weavile check. Fini would mean two bulky waters which is redundant so I'll go with Corv/Coba". This could look like laziness but it's really not, as you absolutely need one of these. Same if you want to use Regen Golis or Bounce Slowbro for example ; same for Coba if you want to use Kommo-o or Regen Ferro ; same for Corv if you want to try defensive Zapdos or Mandi, etc.
If you want to build around, say, Kommo + Primsea Zapdos, already you're forced to use Fini. Of course you're not too unhappy to use it, it's S-tier for a reason, but there are like 10 bulky waters you could choose from if Weavile wasn't a thing, or opt to not have a bulky water. And it's the same for many defensive cores.
I remember I was building around bulky Scarf Regen Zapdos-Galar and it seemed quite obvious that its best partner would be Rocks Swampert, as Gapdos covers its weakness to Bulu/Zarude/Dhelmise as well as strong Close Combats and Earthquakes that Pert doesn't like taking. But the core gets owned by Weavile, and already it's annoying to fit Fini cause your bulky water is Swampert, to fit Cobalion because that would mean 2 Regen Fighting types, and to fit Corv because Gapdos already covers most things Corv aims to deal with. So this very sound 2-mons core cannot be used without concessions because of Weavile.

To conclude Weavile is overcentralizing because it forces Tapu Fini, Cobalion or Corviknight on 100% of teams, altering creativity for defensive cores, and therefore should be banned from AAA. Also, and with the consent of 100% of the players as well as the UN Security Council, it's pronounced "wea-vile" and not "w-evil" TheCoastsOfToast. Also ban Genesect wtf.
 
whats a reliable counter to desolate land users? I had so much fun playing rain in this tier but desolate land heatran just crushes it as soon as i get a little higher in the ladder.
 

UT

4th-Best AAA Council Member
is a Pre-Contributor
whats a reliable counter to desolate land users? I had so much fun playing rain in this tier but desolate land heatran just crushes it as soon as i get a little higher in the ladder.
The best answers to Desolate Land Heatran are either Primordial Sea users (Primarina and Zapdos are good ones) or bulky AV mons that resist Fire, like Garchomp or Silvally-Dragon.

Fair warning, rain will never be super consistent on the ladder due to Primal Weathers and teams being able to abuse your setters, but it is a lot of fun!
 
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whats a reliable counter to desolate land users? I had so much fun playing rain in this tier but desolate land heatran just crushes it as soon as i get a little higher in the ladder.
if you want a desotran answer, try out ff corv! it sucks against moldy tran but its really good against desoland. also handles other fires like talonflame and cinderace, and if you run physdef you can check weavile
 

UT

4th-Best AAA Council Member
is a Pre-Contributor
if you run physdef you can check weavile
252 Atk Choice Band Technician Weavile Triple Axel (40 BP) (3 hits) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Corviknight: 291-345 (72.7 - 86.2%)
Just to be clear, Flash Fire Corv is not a Weavile check. Even MGLO has a chance to 2HKO.
It is a good answer to Cinderace and Talonflame, and Desolate Land Heatran can’t do anything to it either.
 
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252 Atk Choice Band Technician Weavile Triple Axel (40 BP) (3 hits) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Corviknight: 291-345 (72.7 - 86.2%)
Just to be clear, FF Corv is not a Weavile check. Even MGLO has a chance to 2HKO.
It is a good answer to Cinderace and Talonflame, and Desolate Land Heatran can’t do anything to it either.
oh shit sorry, i thought it would be better against it
 
whats a reliable counter to desolate land users? I had so much fun playing rain in this tier but desolate land heatran just crushes it as soon as i get a little higher in the ladder.
In rain there's a few things you can do to improve your matchup against desotran or desolate land users in general.

The best one is running weather ball. Volcanion for example has stab weather ball in rain and in sun, meaning if heatran switches on volcanion to tank a water move, it will instead get OHKOd by weather ball.
Desoland mons usually take advantage of a setter that cannot damage them, if your setter can hurt heatran it will dissuade heatran from coming in. For example if you run drizzle LandoT, heatran cannot come in on your rain setter. If you then uturn into your swift swim Volcanion (for example), heatran still cannot come in. It's similar for Barraskewda where Close combat can threaten tran with an OHKO.
 
This happened a lot sooner than I anticipated...

Currently, the council is considering/discussing action on two fronts:

1. Sleep Clause Mod vs. Sleep Moves Clause

Before anything, I should show the differences between what each of these clauses do.

Sleep Clause Mod:
View attachment 364917

Sleep Moves Clause:

View attachment 364926

As you can see, the former allows sleep moves (except when used by Mega Gengar in the tiers where it's allowed) as long as only one opposing Pokemon is put to sleep at a time, whereas the latter just outright bans all the sleep moves upfront. Currently, AAA uses the Sleep Clause Mod in its ruleset, but recent discussion has brought attention to the fact that the Sleep Clause Mod is more of a modification to game mechanics than an actual ban, and as such might be worth reconsidering. In practice, it restricts the use of certain moves rather than cleanly allowing/disallowing them, which can be argued as complex. As a user in the OM discord put it, " Sleep moves w/o gengar are still so much of an issue that we mod the game to nerf them". With other OMs such as STABmons which recently covered how uncompetitive sleep moves can be and actually implemented the Sleep Moves Clause already, we feel it's worth at least opening discussion and gathering the community's opinions on this topic before moving forward.

2. King's Rock (and potentially other luck-based elements)
View attachment 364920This one probably doesn't require much explanation since it's so straightforward, but in essence it's no secret to anyone that there's been a recent wave of banning luck-based items in Standard tiers (see: SS OU and Natdex) and even as far back as the Kyurem suspect test here in AAA, there have been calls for a King's Rock ban. For anyone unfamiliar, what makes King's Rock potentially more of a nuisance than in other metas is that in AAA, Pokemon can give themselves the ability Skill Link, which in conjunction with a King's Rock brings their flinch chance up to ~41%. While this is no guarantee by any means, it can definitely introduce an element of RNG to would-be competitive battles that doesn't exactly have counterplay. Inner Focus is the only ability that prevents flinching, and realistically it's not worth running in pretty much every case. King's Rock aside, it's also worth considering:

View attachment 364928
All of these have luck-based elements with the potential to be uncompetitive as well. In the event of a King's Rock ban, would you all consider a ban of these item/abilities necessary as well?

Feel free to post any thoughts/opinions on this below :]
While the final decision will naturally remain the council's right to make, seeing what arguments people have for/against will help us make the overall best decision for the meta in the end.
after my most recent aaa seasonal game, i think its safe to say that king's rock should be banned due to the strength of :mew:. in this game(https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8almostanyability-1401491210), i would've been dumpstered by a double dance fini...unless mew didnt get the double flinch with bullet seed. it can completely change the tide of battle based on rng, and if it werent for the double flinch, i probably wouldn't have won. you can say that this also works for something like stench, but i think that's a much weaker case. unlike king's rock, it's impossible to slap stench on any multi hit move user since they want skill link or technician in the case of weavile. tl;dr mew is the goat, king's rock is a fuck
 
also while i'm here, may as well suggest a change to the vr
:weavile:: A+ to S
weavile is the meta atm. weavile and heatran and bulky waters are the name of the game, so i think weavile absolutely deserves a spot in S tier. if you dont have a fully physically defensive fini or cobalion or dstream corv, you may as well have lost the game from the very start. and even those two are weak to weavile's coverage in poison jab or low kick. and all of this is just on the technician set, which is obv the most dangerous variant, but mglo is also extremely dangerous due to mimicking tech. if you send in your coba to check it and it uses swords dance, then you will die to a +2 low kick every single time. not to mention the speed tier is phenomenal, with mainly koko and scarfers exclusively outspeeding it. the bulk is also serviceable enough to make it tank one crucial hit in a pinch(252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Weavile: 175-208 (62.2 - 74%) -- guaranteed 2HKO, 252 SpA Heatran Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Weavile: 113-133 (40.2 - 47.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO). so yeah, weavy boy should be S tier imo
 

Think

The inner workings of my mind are an enigma
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderator
Moderator
also while i'm here, may as well suggest a change to the vr
:weavile:: A+ to S
weavile is the meta atm. weavile and heatran and bulky waters are the name of the game, so i think weavile absolutely deserves a spot in S tier. if you dont have a fully physically defensive fini or cobalion or dstream corv, you may as well have lost the game from the very start. and even those two are weak to weavile's coverage in poison jab or low kick. and all of this is just on the technician set, which is obv the most dangerous variant, but mglo is also extremely dangerous due to mimicking tech. if you send in your coba to check it and it uses swords dance, then you will die to a +2 low kick every single time. not to mention the speed tier is phenomenal, with mainly koko and scarfers exclusively outspeeding it. the bulk is also serviceable enough to make it tank one crucial hit in a pinch(252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Weavile: 175-208 (62.2 - 74%) -- guaranteed 2HKO, 252 SpA Heatran Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Weavile: 113-133 (40.2 - 47.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO). so yeah, weavy boy should be S tier imo
VR discussion goes in the Resources thread
 

Think

The inner workings of my mind are an enigma
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderator
Moderator
TIERING CONCLUSION: King's Rock and Sleep Moves Clause

Thanks for all the responses/discussion in this thread and on Discord! The council has decided to ban King's Rock and implement Sleep Moves Clause. You can read about what makes either of these worthwhile in my earlier post here, but in essence the former is an uncompetitive luck-based element and the latter enables us to deal with an arguably broken element without modifying the game's mechanics to an egregious extent.

The votes:

Think
jrdn​
xavgb​
shiloh​
The Number Man​
RESULT:​
Sleep Moves Clause​
IMPLEMENT​
ABS​
IMPLEMENT​
IMPLEMENT​
ABS​
IMPLEMENT (3-0-2)​
King's Rock​
BAN​
BAN​
BAN​
BAN​
BAN​
BAN (5-0)​

PS: We're also suspect testing Zamazenta-Crowned!

Tagging Kris to implement
 
since thread has been a little inactive lately, figured i should post some sets that seem decent(in theory, h avent tried any of them yet)

Zamazenta-Crowned @ Rusted Shield
Ability: Dauntless Shield
EVs: 72 Atk / 184 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Behemoth Bash
- Close Combat
- Wild Charge
- Rest
it's really nice to pair this set with a blob or zarude or something that can heal its rests off, along with avchomp. 184 def guarantees you will always live 2 cb tech weavile taxels after rocks( 252 Atk Choice Band Technician Weavile Triple Axel (40 BP) (3 hits) vs. +1 0 HP / 184 Def Zamazenta-Crowned: 132-156 (40.6 - 48%) -- approx. 3HKO after Stealth Rock), rest is just stat dump

Landorus-Therian (M) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 224 Atk / 100 SpD / 184 Spe
Careful Nature
- Earthquake
- U-turn
- Knock Off
- Stealth Rock
main goal of the set is to reliably switch into mglo koko. 100 spdef with calm always lives 2 dgleams before rocks, and 224 attack is just above killing no def chomp with 2 eqs. 184 spe scarf is also enough to speedcreep koko


It. (Blissey) (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Soft-Boiled
- Calm Mind
- Ice Beam
- Thunderbolt
It.
 

UT

4th-Best AAA Council Member
is a Pre-Contributor
184 def guarantees you will always live 2 cb tech weavile taxels after rocks( 252 Atk Choice Band Technician Weavile Triple Axel (40 BP) (3 hits) vs. +1 0 HP / 184 Def Zamazenta-Crowned: 132-156 (40.6 - 48%) -- approx. 3HKO after Stealth Rock)
As a heads up, the damage calculator does not handle Dauntless Shield correctly. You need to manually add the +1 to defense to get the correct calc. Zama does not need any defense EVs to avoid the 2HKO, so you can throw those all into Attack:

252 Atk Choice Band Technician Weavile Triple Axel (40 BP) (3 hits) vs. +1 0 HP / 0 Def Zamazenta-Crowned: 99-120 (30.4 - 36.9%) -- approx. 78.7% chance to 3HKO
 
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As a heads up, the damage calculator does not handle Dauntless Shield correctly. You need to manually add the +1 to defense to get the correct calc. Zama does not need any defense EVs to avoid the 2HKO, so you can throw those all into Attack:

252 Atk Choice Band Technician Weavile Triple Axel (40 BP) (3 hits) vs. +1 0 HP / 0 Def Zamazenta-Crowned: 99-120 (30.4 - 36.9%) -- approx. 78.7% chance to 3HKO
thanks for the heads up, i'll go change the spread
 
Volcanion @ Choice Specs
Ability: Primordial Sea
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Weather Ball
- Steam Eruption
- Earth Power
- Sludge Bomb

this mon is stupid LOL, the amount of breaking power it has absolutely nutty and has a way to get past all of its "checks". Here are some calcs

252+ SpA Choice Specs Volcanion Steam Eruption vs. 252 HP / 4+ SpD Blissey in Heavy Rain: 313-369 (43.8 - 51.6%) -- 10.2% chance to 2HKO

Heres the calc when blissey is at 90% which is reasonable.
252+ SpA Choice Specs Volcanion Steam Eruption vs. 252 HP / 4+ SpD Blissey in Heavy Rain: 313-369 (43.8 - 51.6%) -- 94.1% chance to 2HKO

252+ SpA Choice Specs Volcanion Weather Ball (100 BP Water) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Swampert in Heavy Rain: 210-247 (51.9 - 61.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ SpA Choice Specs Volcanion Earth Power vs. 248 HP / 120 SpD Toxapex: 218-258 (71.9 - 85.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock(needs like 10% chip+rocks to ohko reliably)

252+ SpA Choice Specs Volcanion Weather Ball (100 BP Fire) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Heatran in Harsh Sunshine: 280-330 (72.5 - 85.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery(max spdef on desoland isnt common at all and it still nukes it...)

You get the idea, the team im using with it is probably suboptimal but i just wanted to test how well the mon did in practice so I slapped it onto CorvBlissPert balance with 2 other broken choice breakers. https://pokepast.es/4b8b3d71091e4e2a gonna keep testing the mon, just wanted to make a quick post about it :)

Edit: I forgot about the AV dragons such as silvally and garchomp, those things can switch in but dont wanna take the burn from steam eruption.
 
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Hey AAA,

I just hit rank 4 on the ladder, which feels like a decent achievement for a dumb noob like me, and I'd thought I'd share my favorite set with you all.


Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: Desolate Land
EVs: 252 HP / 136 Def / 120 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Magma Storm
- Solar Beam
- Taunt
- Body Press


This is obviously an adjustment of the standard Desotran set, but I think it's noteworthy because it's primary way of breaking is not to wall break but to trap walls and dispatch them from there. Furthermore, this Heatran set is not OhkO'ed by any unboosted weavile set, non stab fighting moves from the likes of scarf Zarude and magic guard Cinderace.

Offensively speaking this Heatran set has to make concessions, it has no good answer to Primordial sea Zapdos and AV swampert/Garchomp, these mons survive the combination of Magma Storm and solar beam and all of these can answer with super effective moves. Magma storm is also far from a perfect move with its subpar accuracy, but the pay-off is worth it in my eyes.

This Heatran set is best paired with a Corviknight, or Flying primordial sea Mon.

However, these are the noteworthy pokemon this Heatran set gives a run for their money:

- Chansey and Blissey; Non-magic bounce variants get destroyed by the combination of trapping them with magma storm and then taunting them. Magic bounce variants usually take over 50% from the combination of magma storm and body press, forcing them to repeatedly use Softboiled, draining their PP fast.
- Tapu Fini; trapping Tapu fini and hitting it with a solar beam will destroy most Tapu fini sets. Taunt prevents any calm mind set from trying to survive as well.
- Swampert; even though Swampert can come in on a magma storm and survives a single solar beam as stated before, it does not survive 2 solar beams. Desolate land prevents it from Flip turning making Heatran a risky but viable way to regain momentum.
- Weavile; Weavile is unable to OhkO this Heatran set after rocks. With Jolly choice band technician low kick coming closest with 86,5% max. Even adamant version does not OhkO without rocks and only has a 50% chance to OhkO with rocks, without leftovers regeneration.
- Toxapex; the combination of trapping, taunt and solar beam make quick work of Pex. noteworthy is that there is no SPAtk investment needed on this heatran to dispatch Pex. You have just enough turns on magma storm and taunt to burn even the most specially defensive Pex out with Solar Beam.
- Ferrothorn; Flash Fire and Primordial Sea variants of Ferrothorn are susceptible to taunt and loose the Body press race.


Additionally, here are some favorable lead matchups for this Heatran.
- Primordial sea Barraskewda; slower speed means Barraskewda looses his rain and Heatran survives a choice banded close combat.
- Weavile; mainly the Beatup variants. Weavile fails to OhkO Heatran and gets OhkO'ed back with Bodypress.
 

UT

4th-Best AAA Council Member
is a Pre-Contributor
What if you took a bunch of the best mons in the meta and threw them together on one team?

I wanted to share a team that has been working really nicely for me recently, both on the ladder and in test games. In addition to being a good team, I think it highlights several trends going on in AAA at the moment and could be a nice conversation piece about where the meta is, and what might be coming next since freeing Zama-C did nothing.


Tim McGraw (Zarude) @ Choice Band
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Grassy Glide
- Darkest Lariat / Power Whip
- Close Combat / Power Whip
- U-turn

Zarude has a number of traits that make it a fantastic choice for most any team. It has ridiculous longevity for an attacker between naturally higher bulk than Corv and Grassy Surge providing recovery. It's typing, while at times disadvantageous, also provides several coveted resistances, including a key immunity to Psychic. It also has priority, pivoting, strong STABs, and good coverage in Close Combat, allowing it to function as a wall breaker, a momentum grabber, and a cleaner all in one mon.

Grassy Glide and U-Turn are the mandatory moves, and then pick two from Darkest Lariat/Close Combat/Power Whip. I went with DL since it's its most spammable attacking move and CC to be able to nail Heatran, but Power Whip packs a punch and should not be discounted.



Sparks Fly (Zapdos) @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Primordial Sea
EVs: 184 HP / 252 SpA / 72 Spe
Modest Nature
- Hurricane / Weather Ball
- Thunder
- U-turn
- Roost

Similar to Zarude, Zapdos is another attacker with great longevity, pivoting, and power. Hurricane and Thunder provide powerful, reliable STABs with useful secondary effects and good coverage between them. U-Turn provides momentum against teams with a good Zapdos switchin like Blissey or AV Swampert, who usually don't like seeing Zap change into a Zarude. Roost plus Zapdos's nice bulk and useful typing allow it to come in multiple times per game and pressure the opposing team.

If Zapdos was allowed five moves, Weather Ball would be great to nail Heatran. I find it hard to justify dropping any of the other moves for Weather Ball, but if you really want it, I'd slot it in over Hurricane. Zapdos's EVs are also very customizable, giving it more bulk or speed as you need is very viable.



Fearless (Tapu Lele) @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Focus Blast
- Thunderbolt
- Energy Ball

Sheer Force Tapu Lele is an absolute powerhouse of an attacker, and arguably the star of the team. It doesn't have the longevity of Zapdos and Zarude, but it more than makes up for it in raw power. Part of the reason it pairs so well with them is they make fantastic pivots to get it in safely, and often wear down the few switchins Lele does have, which are usually shaky to begin with.

252+ SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Tapu Lele Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 4+ SpD Blissey: 341-403 (47.7 - 56.4%) -- 85.5% chance to 2HKO
252+ SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Tapu Lele Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Heatran: 335-395 (86.7 - 102.3%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO
252+ SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Tapu Lele Energy Ball vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Swampert: 380-447 (94 - 110.6%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO
252+ SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Tapu Lele Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 40 SpD Tapu Fini: 281-333 (81.6 - 96.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252+ SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Tapu Lele Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Corviknight: 416-491 (104 - 122.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest Silvally-Dragon: 315-374 (79.9 - 94.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Mew: 289-341 (71.5 - 84.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Lele can absolutely shred defensive cores, but is slightly held back by Focus Blast's accuracy against many teams. When it hits though, it has virtually no safe switchins. Also, it may be tempting to run Timid to get the jump on other mons in the same speed tier, but it loses noticeable power, especially then missing the 2HKO on Blissey.


Getaway Car (Azelf) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Expanding Force
- U-turn
- Knock Off
- Trick

Azelf is my pick for best glue mon in AAA right now. Having the fastest mon on the field, especially when that mon is also a pivot, is invaluable in AAA, and Azelf should usually be the that. It provides fantastic speed control, momentum grabbing, item removal, and makes a nice secondary win-condition when the other team is worn down too much to stomach Expanding Force. It's also usually a safe lead, unless you see a Zarude on the opposing team. This team would otherwise be pretty weak to Triage too, so being able to deny them their Triage move is very important.



Mr. Perfectly Fine (Swampert) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Flip Turn
- Earth Power
- Stone Edge
- Counter

august (Tapu Fini) @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 220 Def / 40 SpD
Relaxed Nature
- Moonblast
- Knock Off
- Defog
- Haze

These two I will say less about, since everyone should be familiar with them by this point. I have really embraced AV Pert as a catch-all special check, and it's perhaps the best momentum grabber in AAA right now. Fini is fantastic roll compression; item removal, hazard removal, physical check, and set up control. I very rarely need to click Haze, but when I do I'm glad it's there.

TL;DR: here's the paste.

The team does have a few known weaknesses. Both of the main defensive mons are weak to grass, which is not ideal, but if the team is applying pressure right it should be very difficult to get those grass types in. Heatran as always is beyond annoying, as the Desolate Land set is only checked by Zapdos and the Mold Breaker set is only checked by Swampert, and it has ways of making progress against both of them if you know of any mon that denies Heatran progress in all cases, please message me. If you see any other weaknesses/potential improvements, please let me know!

AAA Trends

One of the things I think this team does best is control the field, and that's very important in AAA. In most matchups, it has the fastest mon on either side. Four of the mons are able to pivot effectively to control the matchup. Fini, especially with boots, provides extremely reliable hazard control and is able to keep hazards away. There are two different terrain setters and a weather setter, providing control against opposing field conditions and denying their preferred condition. Being able to deny the opponent their terms and forcing them to play the way you want is extremely valuable, and I think a growing trend in AAA.

Another trend that has been going on for a long time but I think is worth reiterating is longevity, especially for your attackers. Thanks in no small part to Regenerator and tons of pivoting mons, AAA is often a game of positioning, and the more times you can get your mons in position, the better. This is made easier when your offensive mons have means of sustaining themselves, good bulk, or both, so they can take hazard damage, stray hits, and come in multiple times. 4/6 mons on this team have some form of sustainability and very good natural bulk; the two that don't either make up for it with insane power (Lele) or should never be taking hits, period (Azelf). This means in protracted battles, the attackers on this team have a better chance of holding up and can come in more times.

The last point I want to bring up is how this team, and many teams right now, win through a combination of offensive pressure and maintaining momentum. 4/6 mons on this team exert significant offensive pressure, 4/6 gain momentum through pivoting, and 3/6 do both. Only Fini, who still makes progress with Knock Off, and provides utility in Haze and Defog, does neither. This means at most points in the match the team should be applying pressure to the other team and forcing them to respond. Free turns for the opponent to get in their breaker to set up should be very hard to come by, and in a battle of attrition the team is well suited to outlast the opponent (in no small part due to Lele dramatically shortening the longevity of the other team). I am very curious to see if any new strategies or techs come about to disrupt opposing momentum, especially given how many of the offensive pivots elect to use choice items.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on what I think is a good team, and the AAA meta as a whole. Please feel free to expand upon, contradict, or ask questions about anything I said!
 
Hello everyone !
I'll take inspiration from UnnerfTalonflame's format and share some teams to use them as springboards for remarks on the meta. I can't provide the full thought process behind the manufacturing of every one of these since I built them a while ago, but I'll outline the main points.

Teams

:arcanine: :garchomp: :landorus-therian: :scizor: :tapu fini: :tapu koko:
Here's a team I built around this bulky Regen Landorus-T that I really wanted to try. If i remember correctly the spread is for Band Terrak on the physical side, for Scarf Blace on the special side, and the atk makes sure it beats Intim Corv with Smack Down. This set can pretty much make progress in every game for one reason : the Regen mons can't really come in on EQ, or they take over 40 in Pert and Fini's case. That means they have to go Zapdos and take Toxic, or go Corv and get Smack downed (worst case when using this Lando), or some physical wall like Mew and get U-Turned on. It's also really good at soft checking pretty much the entire tier, which helps since there's been a trend towards choice breakers. Then I had a Regen Ground (so no Pert) and a defensive flying type (no Corv), meaning my Weavile answer had to be Fini (ban Weavile). This Arcanine's good af. The Chomp exerts a lot of pressure on most teams, especially since opposing Finis often end up taking a Lando EQ/Toxic or Arc Will-o, meaning they usually can't come in for free. Obviously you want to avoid clicking Dragon Rush but you sometimes have to unleash it on a bird. Lots of momentum, sometimes the team just wins instantly on matchup with Lando or Arc or Zor ; a lot of flexibility.

:cobalion: :incineroar: :nidoqueen: :mew: :Tapu Fini: :Zapdos:
The lack of Poison types in the tier encouraged me to find a reliable T-Spiker, one that could beat every defoger and still have nice defensive utility. Dry Skin Nidoqueen is pretty much the perfect T-Spiker. It threatens bouncers and Fini with Poison Jab, it threatens potential Poison Types with EQ, and it Taunts Corviknight for free. Dry Skin over Water Absorb lets it take Zapdos Hurricanes and potential Barraskewda Drill Runs quite easily. It seemed to me that the most threatening mon with T-Spikes up would be Cobalion, since its main answer currently is Swampert, and potential other Regenvesters. Furthermore it is a very reliable rocker, which I highly value. It also occured to me that T-Spikes being up would force Defogs from the opponent, and would consistently win the hazards war (given Nidoqueen has also very good defensive utility and plenty of opportunities to come in) ; which could allow the use of RegenVest Inci despite its rocks weakness, cause this mon pretty much walls every special attacker in the tier except for Primsea mons (Zapdos, Prima, Inteleon, Koko), which all lose to Nidoqueen. Primsea Zapdos isn't only broken, it's also very good with T-Spikes up, so I added it since it fit well. Weird spread for Zarude and other stuff iirc. Then Mew, and Fini because Weavile. DTail on Mew is important I think, since there's been a trend towards random winconds with slow setup (damned motherlove). Heal Bell to heal Toxics from Heatran. The team is slow overall as you noticed, but it's very solid and applies a lot of control over most games. The Mew, Fini and Zapdos sets are flexible depending on the meta.

:alakazam: :cinderace: :corviknight: :hydreigon: :necrozma: :swampert:
Remember my old Psyspam team ? Here's a new one. I tried a lot of structures, and this one is as close to optimal as I could get. Corv is definitely the best terrain setter ; it's physically defensive since the sweepers are rather bulky on the special side here (so you force your opponent to hit on the special side and sweep right after with the +1 Spdef Berry). Bounce Sitrus Swampert is godlike. 80% of games you lead with Corv and go Pert on Rocks or whatever, and Flip Turn to try breaking holes. Usually games last below 25 turns so you don't need lefties nor Regen, you just need hazards away for Sash Zam and Cinde, as well as the two Unburden breakers. Speaking of these, Psyshock on Necrozma is necessary to weaken Blissey and then win with Hydrei in a lot of cases (or the contrary : weaken them with hydrei and win with Psyshock Necro). Photon over Expand is an option, but the extra power is nice. Scarf Cinderace feels just like Band tbh, it's ridiculously strong ; but here it also outspeeds everything. Sash on Zam brings the extra surprise effect. Guard Swap is an option over Knock to avoid getting 6-0d by demon Mew. Sometimes you run into losing matchups like Flash Fire Mandibuzz + Hydreigon counter but it's life. Otherwise very reliable and easy team to use.

:blissey: :inteleon: :palossand: :tapu fini: :xurkitree: :zapdos-galar:
Sadly I discovered No Guard Xurk right before Sleep Moves Clause was implemented. With Hypnosis this mon is an immense threat. Without it it's still very good so I'll still share this team. I wanted a special attacker with a very spammable STAB that could take advantage of the opponent's special walls being Paralized by Xurk, and that would also be fast. Inteleon fit this role perfectly, so I had my core. Then I added Bounce Blissey because it enjoys having a Primsea mon in the Back to generate 50/50s against Heatran (especially DLand). Having such reliable Tran counterplay made Fini all the more appealing (I'll talk about Fini and Weavile and why the former is in 3/4 teams). And the fun doesn't stop, since I ended the core with Regen Gapdos (which allows in Xurk and Intel very well) and most importantly Klutz AV Trick Palo. This isn't a meme, it's a reliable Rocker since Trick massively cripples (kills pretty much) the opponent's bouncer if they have one, as they'll definitely switch to it ; but also their Defoger, and the next time you'll get up Rocks they won't be able to Defog. This is made possible because Palossand doesn't need any extra ability to deal with the mons it's supposed to counter, like Terrak and Koko. A surprisingly well rounded team given the unusual things it contains.

Metagame

:tapu fini::weavile: I think Swampert is a better Regen Water type in and of itself, but if like me you dislike using Intim Corv and Coba, it's kind of forced in every team. The assertion that Weavile allows sufficient freedom in the builder is unearthly, as well as the one that you can avoid letting it in with correct play. You cannot. Even teams that feature innovative defensive cores with Scarf Regen and all ; a Knock, a Trick or some kind of crippling very quickly offer room for Band Weavile to get it over the course of a game. Most of my point is already argued before.

:zapdos: I hate Zapdos. It's broken. It can reliably 1v1 its best counters with confusion/para/Toxic from team support. Reliably. Playing around Modest Primsea Zapdos is a daunting task, it's not really possible in a lot of scenarios. Stuff like Silv-Dragon, Blissey, AV Pert, they lose. I hate it.

:zarude: Zarude is definitely securing itself as a top5 mon. The Psychic immunity, the priority, the terrain support, the pivoting, being a Swampert check (this is big, lots of teams are very weak to Pert), everything is great about it.

:heatran: Heatran is a bit overrated in my opinion. Yes, it can make progress in any game, but 1) most teams feature a special wall + a Primsea user, forcing it to come multiple times in order to truly break through, 2) the gameplan that comes with it is usually quite obvious at team preview, offering ways to circumvent it (for example if you see tran + blace you'll preserve your AV pert and go Primsea Zapdos on Tran). Still a good mon, but The Number Man should definitely diversify his building style, as I think a good prep can easily beat it. For example (and UnnerfTalonflame asked for Tran switchins), Magic Guard users like Arc, Moltres, Volc or Latis straight up wall all Tran sets.

:azelf: Scarf Aelf is incredibly good. Provides a lot of flexibility gameplan-wise. Makes you safe against Triage users as well as very fast sweepers like Kommo-o. As you can see (same for Zapdos, Zarude and others), some kind of defensive utility is what defines the cut from a top tier breaker (like the ones I mentioned) to a fine but not as great breaker (Blace, Terrak, sflo Lele, etc.). UnnerfTalonflame's team, as well as the teams I posted show this well. This is the reason why Terrain and Primal weathers breakers are so good.

:terrakion: (Click) This Terrakion is the best one. Ohkoes both Mew and Corv after Laser Focus. Can only be stopped by winning multiple 50/50s if you can't prevent it from coming in. Pairs very well with Scarf Azelf. Crits in general are an under-exploited strat.
 
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https://pokepast.es/68333f0fd04657a8

Making a Quick post about this team yes i know this core is way overdone i whipped up in literally 5 minutes. went 42/5 on a fresh account and got to 1500 in the span of 2 days. This team is insanely easy to use and puts immense pressure on the opponent as you should pretty much always have momentum and getting one of your 3 breakers that your opponent might be underprepped for is deadly.

Totally agree with both Atha's and UnnerfTalonflame's remarks about the meta. Its in a really good place as there are no broken or overcentralizing mons atm, i haven't seen weavile much lately and believe its on a slight decline. Zarude and Zapdos are both insanely good at the moment due to the role compression they have. Also #FreeNoivern
Edit: The blissey should be calm nature, 11 speed ivs are to outspeed corv so it still cant roost on you at low hp but still underspeed other blisseys/chanseys

DIfferent Version of the team: https://pokepast.es/22290568d43b410a not sure if its better but can definitely handle some mons a lot better than corvblisspert can
 
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oh boy its time to show off a new set again

draconic evolution (Garchomp) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Adaptability
EVs: 88 HP / 252 Atk / 132 SpA / 36 Spe
Naive Nature
- Earthquake
- Dragon Claw
- Outrage
- Fire Blast
what if we took adapt terrak, gave it a scarf, and made it bulkier? thats the main idea with this chomp and it works amazingly. 2hkos max def corv with 2 fire blasts after rocks, outspeeds jolly barra, rest are just dump. naive might seem counterintuitive to the whole switching in thing, but its a necessity. nothing you can really do about it. might consider hasty tho. here's a little team i made with it, shoutouts to unnerf for the sflo lele set: https://pokepast.es/42f18723bdab99ef
 
hey! if you've been in om discord you've prob seen this team already beauts rematch with gentleman's clause zapdos when but anyways i have an avrachi team, so lets just go over it
https://pokepast.es/28a17443bbb9c1b4

Tim McGraw (Zarude) @ Choice Band
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Grassy Glide
- Darkest Lariat / Power Whip
- Close Combat / Power Whip
- U-turn

Zarude has a number of traits that make it a fantastic choice for most any team. It has ridiculous longevity for an attacker between naturally higher bulk than Corv and Grassy Surge providing recovery. It's typing, while at times disadvantageous, also provides several coveted resistances, including a key immunity to Psychic. It also has priority, pivoting, strong STABs, and good coverage in Close Combat, allowing it to function as a wall breaker, a momentum grabber, and a cleaner all in one mon.

Grassy Glide and U-Turn are the mandatory moves, and then pick two from Darkest Lariat/Close Combat/Power Whip. I went with DL since it's its most spammable attacking move and CC to be able to nail Heatran, but Power Whip packs a punch and should not be discounted.



Sparks Fly (Zapdos) @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Primordial Sea
EVs: 184 HP / 252 SpA / 72 Spe
Modest Nature
- Hurricane / Weather Ball
- Thunder
- U-turn
- Roost

Similar to Zarude, Zapdos is another attacker with great longevity, pivoting, and power. Hurricane and Thunder provide powerful, reliable STABs with useful secondary effects and good coverage between them. U-Turn provides momentum against teams with a good Zapdos switchin like Blissey or AV Swampert, who usually don't like seeing Zap change into a Zarude. Roost plus Zapdos's nice bulk and useful typing allow it to come in multiple times per game and pressure the opposing team.

If Zapdos was allowed five moves, Weather Ball would be great to nail Heatran. I find it hard to justify dropping any of the other moves for Weather Ball, but if you really want it, I'd slot it in over Hurricane. Zapdos's EVs are also very customizable, giving it more bulk or speed as you need is very viable.

(pretend there's a lele gif here)
Fearless (Tapu Lele) @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Focus Blast
- Thunderbolt
- Energy Ball

Sheer Force Tapu Lele is an absolute powerhouse of an attacker, and arguably the star of the team. It doesn't have the longevity of Zapdos and Zarude, but it more than makes up for it in raw power. Part of the reason it pairs so well with them is they make fantastic pivots to get it in safely, and often wear down the few switchins Lele does have, which are usually shaky to begin with.
now we can go onto the somewhat original mons >:]

femboy finis (Tapu Fini) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 84 Def / 172 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Scald
- Trick
- Defog

scarf fini is surprisingly good on this team. you just click scald and trick and let everything else do the work for you. v nice mon overall

zerp (Jirachi) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- U-turn
- Iron Head
- Energy Ball
- Body Slam

avrachi is a really good meta pokemon atm, since it's one of the only counters to sflo lele. but if it just countered sflo lele, it wouldnt be on this team. it also checks zapdos, latios, azelf, and more. ofc, it falters against blaceph and desoland abusers such as heatran, but psea dos can help patch up those weaknesses somewhat, as can fini.

scarmory (Corviknight) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Dauntless Shield
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Impish Nature
- Body Press
- U-turn
- Roost
- Defog

pretty standard dshield corv set. didnt go skarm since there's really no need for spikes here.

the main weakness with this team is, of course, blacephalon. it absolutely mauls this team, so make sure to keep scarf fini alive when you go against it. terrakion and weavile are also, as usual, big threats. but really what arent they threats to lol
 
If you have a corvblisspert team I think it's important to take advantage of means with immunities so you actually have smt to go into after your midground.

A ghost answers the fact that none of the mons are fighting resists. If terrak comes in on blissey or to force out an offensive mon you're kinda forced to sack smt since helm corv and pert are pretty easily 2HKOd (arguably so is lefties corv as corvblisspert team usually play with rocks up). Iirc all of Talon's replays from when he shared the core had blace (blace is also a mon that enjoys the opportunity to come in repeatedly throughout the game) which patch that paired with pert.
A primsea mon also addresses the fact that Blissey is really a fake heatran / blace answer for the most part, altho nowadays Blissey is almost as good as we have.
And a dark mon means you don't have to put so much weight on Bliss to answer psychic types, but that's by far the least important of the three imo.

This seems kinda hard to all fit on a team, but you can try patching a few weaknesses with the same mons or making a few adjustments to corvblisspert in itself. for example with bounce bliss / lefties corv / lefties tect pert you lowkey answers the terrak problem and the heatran problem.

A team like this will get you easy wins on ladder because spamming momentum moves + having the hot new breaker on your team will always get you wins on ladder as long as you stay slightly ahead of the curve. But it kinda suffers heavily from the aaa build style I always see where you rely entirely of having a mon with 0 switchins to win, and the rest is kinda there. Personally I often find these teams kinda easy to take advantage of.

I've said it before and Talon said it again, but it's really important to be able to force progress outside of your breakers, otherwise you can't win bad matchups.
This is not to call out chew specifically, but to call out a style/mentality I keep seeing over and over again that just doesn't work once you start battling more competent players. And that (in my opinion) kinda hinders your progress as a player. I often find ppl saying "I can't win because they have rachi" or "intim pex walls my terrak/heracross so I can't make progress". That's just not good enough.

Making good teams is actually kinda hard :blobglare:
 

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