AAA Almost Any Ability

in the hills

spreading confusion
is a Top Artistis a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
Either ban the tier down to AAA UU power level or accept this is how AAA is
From an outsider perspective and as someone who played AAA quite a bit last year, I'd honestly argue going the opposite direction here. I think what AAA is lacking at the moment is strong, centralizing threats, which has lead to Regenerator cores becoming to varied and difficult to account for. To help mitigate the fishiness of the meta, my suggestion would be to unban Noivern, Weavile, and Blacephalon (or at least a subset of them). At the time of each of these Pokemon's respective bans, they were largely considered more centralizing than they were broken, and I think since their bans we've been able to gain new hindsight that to me has shown that some added centralization to the metagame is a healthy thing. I think considering unbanning these threats is very valid in steering the metagame back in the direction people are hoping for.

My hope with these unbans is that they'd not only help centralize Regenerator cores to a more manageable level, but they'd also dissuade these fishier offensive Pokemon like Genesect and Kommo-o in the process by having more solid offensive pressure in the metagame.
 
My thoughts on the discussion above are probably useless as I have not touched the meta for more than about a week in the past 2 years id say, give or take. I personally think that the gen is a tricky one to manage with oms, as gf decided to just make a lot of stuff way stronger with way too much variety, and the council has quite consistently tried to manage the meta in the best way possible ie. ban the broken stuff. Don't think thats an unreasonable proposition at all, however my issue with the meta is that I personally prefered when the aaa meta was more skewed towards defensive cores. By this I mean that at the moment it is very hard to put together a defensive backbone that feels like it has some kinda counterplay to the general meta. In the past most defensive cores could withstand the standard meta threats reasonably well without needing to commit much more than a few slots in your team, allowing for more "solid feeling" teams however now it feels much more like youre picking what you dont lose too, which doesnt feel amazing. However the issue is the best "check all" defensive mons were also too busted on the offensive side this gen, and some others just havent come back yet (like manaphy, gliscor, gligar etc) and also i think the no knock immunity hits hard too. I think at this point we just have to accept its a different meta than it once was, for better or for worse. Obviously there are changes people can pursue with the hope they fix it all, however my guess is that most changes are likely to simply shift the meta to a similar state centered around different stuff.

I don't think there exists an easy fix so I don't think complaints aimed at the council make much sense. I dont think its as easy as a ban or unban a few mons situation. I think the additions of this gen in the form of stuff like hdb and extra moves on tons of mons, and the removal of other key mons kinda fucked the meta a bit and I think the best bet is to decide on some kind of massive change to commit to and stick to that line till the end of the gen. The tour where a new rule is implemented each week sounds like a great idea to pool together everyone who actually cares about the direction of the meta, and I feel like the focus should be towards feeling which big change up feels like it has the most potential to result in a meta that people generally prefer. Am keen to see how it goes and what decisions people come too! Think the animosity and general complainyness can go tho, like ive been guilty of it too but realistically speaking it doesnt help anyone and just makes the people who are actually trying to do something positive for the meta annoyed.


Alright, that all aside I made some teams and wanted some feedback/teambuilding discussion because regardless of the meta there is always room for that. I am reasonably rusty however tried my hand at putting together some teams and came up with 4 that seem reasonably fun although none are particularly amazing. Keen to hear any suggestions or advice on potential adjustments I could make to patch holes, or at the very least people to shout at me about what 6-0's my teams as I know people enjoy the latter quite a lot ;P Usually when I come back I am on a team with stresh and berate him for tests until I patch up the teams I make, but it has been 2 days and I have seen 0 sign of him online on the pokemon simulator. Times have changed.

Anyways...
Team 1: https://pokepast.es/b4826f77acd3c251
This was the first core I tried building around - AV lando-t, regen physdef pert, and everyones favourite desoland tran. For speed control I opted for the now rarely-seen scarf adapt terrak, a personal favourite of mine from a bygone time. As my primary physical wallbreaker I opted for a setup lucario and on the special side I opted for a weird sflo blizzard thunder gene with iron head for those pesky chanseys and blisseys blobbing about. The thought process behind the gene was that if I hit the blizzard, odds are they expect it to be a no guard set and fingers crossed they dont calc to find out its actually sflo. Obviously not the most optimal set especially for competitions as everyone has calc out, but for your average friendly and ladder match it seemed fun, until blizzard missed every other turn rofl. Overall its done well, and won a fair few tests and matches, however hasn't felt amazing. I absolutely love av lando-t, but the pert on the physical side feels very lackluster. Furthermore the speed control doesnt feel too consistent, and finally it is rather setup weak. Got swept by a power trip corv and haven't used the team since. I think I would like to keep the lando-t and tran, although I am strongly considering moving rocks to tran and swapping pert and terrak out. I think I will probs shift the gene to a more consistent wallbreaking set, im leaning towards mglo. I like the luke though and the espeed speed control is nice in a pinch. Overall a fun-ish start but not the most inventive team, and certainly not the most consistent.

Team 2: https://pokepast.es/0eb178d0e45ac6b3

My second team got noticeably weirder and not in a good way. It has been approximately 562394 seconds since I last saw ttar perform well on an aaa team, and I made it my mission to take it back to the promised land. I opted for a mixed sflo set, with rock slide and crunch as its main stabs, but ice beam and tbolt as its coverage options for those hippowdons and corviknights. Honestly, its even terrible. Issue is it is rather frail without any bulk investments, cant pivot, is quite slow, and really doesnt have knockout power. I failed. That being said, I didn't overly mind the rest of the team, but it deffo needs improvement. Bliss skarm is a classic core that stil doesnt ever really dissapoint, although it felt nowhere near as solid as the last time i remember using it. Mainly speaking, the meta doesnt quite revolve around getting that all important chip on the regen mon or swallowing up a poison heal and forcing the tanks out as much (especially the latter with ph gone) making ws potentially a waste. I think perhaps regen skarm would be better. Furthermore stealth rocks and defog just isn't good nomatter how much I try and convince myself otherwise, think its gotta be spikes or just sack the hazards. Inteleon as speed control was a failed attempt to counter the azelf leads while giving some fire immunity, but its just not strong enough i dont think. Togekiss is alright but predictable, and to be honest the only redeeming part of this team is that water absorb lando-t can still cheese a fair few matchups if conditioned a bit. I still won a fair few matches with the team, but yeah was just me getting rid of the lando-t counter and then cheesing it, not my proudest wins. I don't know how much point there is in trying to fix this team but I figured there was no harm in posting :shrug:


Team 3: https://pokepast.es/becad9a93e7d63b4

With a day's break to reflect on my decision to type in "pokemon showdown" into the search bar, I came back with a fresh mind and a new idea: bring bish back. I have still yet to build a team with bish that I truly like and I find this fact incredibly infuriating. The closest I came was in the home meta in ompl, where I had a semi-cool bish garde team that worked cos the meta was slow as shit, although I still shoulda lost to aesf in that one and the team was probs my worst team of the tour. Yet from experience on the other side, I know for a fact that whenever I see a bisharp come in I shit my pants. Also in a meta lacking any knock switchins it just should be amazing in theory..... she hopes.

So to get to the rest of the team: I opted for the earlier av lando-t as I liked it so much on that team, and took the skarmbliss core from the 2nd team and switched out bliss for pex as I felt this would be a better balance (better character development than in an anime!!) to form the defensive backbone. I had seen mention of gzap being the better terrak in this day and age, due to better stab move and the all important pivot move, and I thought that seemed like the perfect mon to pair with bisharp. Especially since it turns on stuff like mew, doing a sizeable chunk and putting it in knock range. Finally to round off the team I needed some speed control, and in partiuclar I wanted to not be too weak to the triage dkissers out there, so I thought of using scarf regen exca, which is my fave part of the team! This mon does work in the current meta, forcing out koko, dealing with the triage leles and togekisses of the world, and also doubling up on the hazard removal. I also opted for rocks, which will no doubt bring out the pitchforks, however fuck you all scarf rocks is good and let me explain why. You click rocks. They assume youre not scarf. You bring it back in on their koko. You quake and take out koko. Ez. Also this freed me up to run spikes fog skarm which I like a lot more, and with spin you can spam away for days. Overall this felt byfar the best out of the 3 and I was very happy with the result. Now hit me with what all I lose to.

Team 4: https://pokepast.es/ff2a0cda40d3ac2b

My latest and greatest team revolving around none other than sd tinted golis what a throwback! Feels like almost yesterday when i tested an ompl team with think and got blown the fuck back by this monster, so i stole it and blew aesf the fuck back rofl. It is decidedly less impressive now with all the dlc's and stuff, but it still feels nice and that tinted first impression can steal a fair few souls. For this team I kinda just went for a bunch of utility attackers and a special check all pivot in bliss, with the hope that I could refine this team to not actually need a designated defensive core. That being said it is very fresh, as I just made it an hour or so ago and have only played like 3 matches with it, so I am sure I will find a fair few holes before you guys even have the chance to yell at me but it felt fucking fun to play with so I wanted to post it anyways.

So going into the team - the defensive backbone revolves around the aforementioned bliss, and then a regen doublade which obviously hard checks terrak and gzap whilst offering pretty useful offensive pressure too I found. I also was pleasantly surprised to find that a lot of koko's rn run guts facade which doublade is really strong into too. I went for the classic zap and have been going back and forth between the last slot on it (weather ball, defog, volt switch) and havent really decided yet. I think i like switch the best tho. For speed control I went for mamoswine. Again a bit of surprise factor is always nice, and yes scarf rocks again. Sue me. Finally I opted for a sciz that so far has really impressed me. Basically the thought process was kinda similar to water absorb lando-t, just with more of an offensive focus with stronger recovery to compensate, and then prio which is super nice. Also it really fucks with a lot of the fairies in the tier like kiss and lele which is a nice bonus too. I really wish the team had more reliable hazards, or like any hazard removal. I think bounce on bliss is a waste because it rarely comes in on a rocker and i think I would rather the regen for more pivotability.



Anyways, I don't know how long I will stick around for -probably a few more days - but while it lasts im keen to build as many decent teams as I can. Think even though the meta isnt my favourite aaa meta, its still enjoyable to build for and play, and most of my games have been quite fun. Think there are some good ideas in the teams above that could do with some refinement, and am keen to hear people's thoughts. If i get anymore not-so-genius ideas I might post them too if the response to this isnt too toxic/non-existent. And hope everyone is doing well, v nice to see friendly usernames that I havent seen in a while!
 

iapt

the unsuspecting victim of darkness in the valley
is a Tiering Contributoris a Smogon Discord Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
hello people. im not really a big aaa player but ive been trying to get into the meta a little bit more lately because of the debates surrounding the meta at the moment. A portion of this post was sort of sparked by ith's post above. My personal idea would be unban blacephalon, ban magic bounce, and ban kommo-o. one issue i have with ith's post above is that despite people complaining of defensive cores being limited to check threats, freeing pokemon like noivern and weavile would probably only make the defensive cores limited in a different way (elecvally/rockvally, coba, fini), but i guess we wont know unless we try it. onto reasoning

blacephalon - from what i have gathered through some discussion with people, there is some frustration with how difficult it is to make progress since aaa has decent hazard control (magic bounce chansey, blissey, mandibuzz and a number of other pokemon that can tech bounce) and strong removal (corv, mew, mandi, fini, lando, dhelmise). blace is an incredible progress maker that can do so against almost any team, not caring about its toxics being bounced back at it, or hazards from the opponent chipping it down. during the blace suspect test, common defensive cores often had a chansey or blissey, a mandibuzz and a fire immunity, something that is not too far off of what we have rn. unbanning blace would free a very good progress maker, something aaa seems sorely in need of atm, while also not completely turning the meta on its head.

magic bounce - this is sort of gonna be a follow up on the blacephalon point, lack of ability to make progress is an issue that people have with the meta rn. this can often come in the form of magic bounce, and barring mold breaker, you can hardly ever get hazards up until the bounce mon is dead or played incorrectly. while banning bounce might just make boots more common, as i believe someone said in a conversation in omcord a few days ago, knock is progress in a boots meta. this is not a bad thing, and a favorable thing when compared to constantly having to play around a bounce mon, or the threat of one.

i think both of the above options can eliminate some of the lack of progress making, for me, freeing blace is the more radical solution, while bounce is the less intrusive option. while freeing blace might not be a complete setback to aaa, it would certainly be significant. Now, regarding my last point:

kommo-o - kommo-o is an offensive matchup fish with its bellyburden set and arguably the galvanize set too. as seen in its low usage during ompl, it doesnt offer much utility on the defensive side of things, something that had made me anti-kommo-o ban previously. in some of my experiences on ladder and in some test games, bd kommo-o can just come in and 6-0 and theres rarely anything that can be done. while this has seen low usage, i believe banning it would be a good move to get rid of the fact that it can put strain on the builder, often needlessly.

genesect is often seen as a matchup fish, and rightfully so. however, genesect is not completely a fish, when compared to kommo-o. it has its regen scarf set that can check some special attackers and be a strong pivot. i can see the reasoning behind the desire for a genesect ban, but i believe it has its merits and should be kept in the meta.

my personal preference would be to unban blace or ban mbounce (or do both) and to ban kommo-o. I believe this would increase the progress making capabilities of the tier and cut out some of the strain that offensive matchup fishes place in the builder and in the game itself. anyways, thats the take of a relative outsider to aaa, so do with it what you will. hope this post was understandable and have a good rest of your day.
 
So I promised not to post more teams if the response to my last post was non-existent..... but who really keeps track of things like that anyways. Plus I got heat.

I was suffering from the pokemon showdown teambuilder equivalent of writers block the past few days, where none of my new team ideas were sticking, and all my previous teams were starting to feel really shit. I am sure any one of you fellow pokemoners know the syndrome well. So, as I found myself once again questioning whether or not I really should be typing in showdown into my google search bar, I decided to go back to my roots: primary colour teams. By this I am referring to my old but gold gen 7 aaa team that has never let me down: :tapu koko: :manaphy: :volcanion: :gligar: :buzzwole: :mew:

I set about recreating it for the current climate of gen 8 and here was the result:
https://pokepast.es/5da5c1a5fd804bd9
As you can see koko and volcanion made the cut, however manaphy was subbed out for my new favourite regenvester lando-t (it was originally primarina so i kept the primary colours but then i realised I had no ground immunity so had to swap). Gligar would have been amazing here tbh, but sadly wasn't an option so I went for doublade in its place, and bulu provided the physical wallbreaking and wincon condition that buzz used to hold. However the mon that I haven't mentioned yet is the reason why I am making this post: CINDERACE

Folks this mon is the truth without doubt and has revolutionised my approach to balance building. Quite simply it solves hazards and hazard control in one slot. Its presence alone basically means your opp either never sets hazards, or you trade equal hazard layers. Then it is simply a matter of making sure your team is better than the other team at handling even hazards. Furthermore, the specific set of scarf mg is quite hard to actually pressure, as very few mons outspeed it and it just uturns out of there, never getting chipped by hazards. This also of course aids in covering speed, and is a fantastic lead due to outspeeding the scarf azelfs of the world. Basically feels like it compresses 3 slots into one, and usually means you never really have to worry about hazards. Of course its not the perfect answer, and I have as of now only played like 4 tests with atha, but I am still surprised with how good it feels in the current meta.

The rest of this team is fairly standard, volcanion is a mixed set that was originally sflo with flare blitz which hits like a truck but only trades with blissey due to recoil. Doesnt feel terrible, not amazing either tho. Koko was me attempting to bring back the glory days of band pixie koko with return, but facade sadly doesnt have the same damage numbers. Both those slots feel replaceable. Bulu is your standard wincon that can do bits given the right conditioning and lando-t and doublade kinda just sit around tanking hits and pressuring mons out.

I wasnt blown away with how this team felt but it inspired me to make a second team around cinderace:
https://pokepast.es/2601c64fd8e04d8c

This team so far has only been tested once vs atha, however I really liked the feel of it, and if anyone wants to go and perfect it be my guest. Barra kinda is still nuts, and works really well with scarf cinderace. Cobalion too just seems like its still fairly impossible to truly switchin too, and gets nice momentum with the vswitch. WA lando-t is my only really questionable slot, but i needed a water and ground resist/immunity and figured its not the worst wincon in the world either. Mew is just solid as is regenvest pert. Not the best team defensively, as chomp is still a menace, guts facade koko tends to eat my heart out, zarude is scary, bulu requires cinder and coba to always be healthy and probably some feisty hard doubles, lele probably just wins etc, however its fast enough and scary enough in its own right to win those tough matchups with the right optimisations is my gut feeling.


If I have any more fairly mediocre, borderline common-sense thoughts that I feel like I can pass off as meta breaking genius discoveries, I will be sure to post again. pce.
 

UT

Nothing good starts in a getaway car
is a Site Content Manageris a Top Team Rateris a Battle Simulator Administratoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Member of Senior Staffis a Community Contributoris a Smogon Discord Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
Appeals + C&C Lead
A quick and sad announcement: Osake has decided to step down from AAA council. His efforts, not the least of which include contributing to 40 AAA analyses and always fostering discussion, have helped the metagame tremendously, and he will be sorely missed. Take care, friend.

Follow up to The State of AAA
First, huge shoutout to everyone that contributed solutions and/or opinions here on the forum especially, and also in Discord. We (the council) tremendously value that feedback, and have been having many discussions about where to go from here. Short version, player survey focused on tiering action people want (or don't want) to see.

Long version, we have identified four possible directions we could go from here, and want to send out a survey to gather as much feedback from tour players, ladderers, and everyone else on what they think should be done from here. We are still open to other ideas and suggestions, and there will be a place in the survey to respond with them, but these are the four we are working with right now.

:ss/blissey: :ss/slowbro:
Option 1: Suspect Test Magic Bounce
Argument for: Magic Bounce is a great example of an ability that is heavily matchup dependent. If your opponent does not bring entry hazards, or brings a hazard setter that matches up well against your bouncer, it is virtually useless. However, if your bouncer matches up well against their setters, then hazards will never go up. This also deters hazard reliant strategies, which would otherwise be a great way to punish Regenerator cores, by making progress with hazards unreliable. Banning Magic Bounce would increase the reliability of hazards, decrease the effect of Regenerator, and decrease matchup variance.

Argument against: on the face of it, it is difficult to argue that Magic Bounce itself is broken. It requires giving up a slew of other useful abilities to use, and is itself inconsistent if your opponent does not bring hazards. If anything, the existence of Magic Bounce puts an undue strain on the builder, and that is a much more subjective argument to make--and harder to test.

:ss/kommo-o: :ss/genesect:
Option 2: Suspect Test Kommo-o (and maybe Genesect)
Argument for: if matchup fish had a face, it would be Kommo-o. Its DrumBurden set can effectively be at +6 Attack and +2 Speed in a single turn, has the bulk to set up against a concerningly large variety of foes, and outspeeds all particularly relevant mons and Scarfers after set up. It is, however, absolutely dead weight against Unaware, Triage Draining Kiss, and Prankster Pex, and provides very little value in matchups where a check is present. The variance that it has is extreme, and the strain on fitting a counter (and I say counter, because soft checks are extremely unreliable) is an undue burden on building. It can also run a Galvanize set that dismantles its most common switch-ins, and is also difficult for bulky offense teams to switch into. Genesect is similar, but to a less extreme degree. It has a few more splashable, consistent checks (especially Heatran), and is always missing at least one important coverage option. However, it is similarly difficult to revenge kill due to its Speed and resistance to most relevant priority attacks, and guessing the set wrong can be more dangerous. Not having to account for these extreme, difficult-to-soft-check wincons opens up many more options defensively and reduces matchup fish.

Argument against: looking at the AAA games in OMPL, it is very hard to argue that either mon is broken. Genesect's usage has almost exclusively been its Scarf Regenerator set, which is a valuable defensive tool and very far from broken, while Kommo-o has seen low usage and has not been very impactful either. Again, these are mons that if they are broken, it is broken in the strain they put on teambuilding. This could also make them more difficult to test, as it's their absence rather than their presence that is more impactful, and that can be harder to see.
:ss/blacephalon: :ss/noivern::ss/weavile:
Option 3: Suspect Test Recent Bans
Argument for: two of the major complaints with AAA are that progress is inconsistent, and offensive threats are decentralized and difficult to account for. Well, several recent suspect tests have been banning mons that always made progress or were overly centralizing on teambuilding. Bringing one or more of these threats back into the metagame could help re-center the meta, and make matchups more consistent and less extreme. Perhaps our tiering philosophy at the time over-emphasized their centralization as a negative, and gave the metagame more predictability than we anticipated.

Argument against: the argument against is pretty clear here lol, they've all been determined to be broken before, in two cases by suspect vote and in one case by, well...most of y'all remember the great Weavile debates. Sure, freeing one or more of these threats (or other bans) would centralize the tier, but at what cost?

Option 4: Do Nothing
Argument for: the metagame is arguably in a good spot right now; teams are varied, there are very few threats that could be considered broken in a tour setting, and ladder plays are high. If there is a lack of clear consensus on how to make the meta better, leaving it as-is may be the best option. Obviously, do nothing right now does not mean do nothing for the rest of the generation; this would not be a blank check to do nothing until Gen9.

Argument against: obviously, if you are unhappy with the state of the meta right now, you won't be happy if we do nothing. Not really a lot to say here.


I would also like to briefly touch on some other suggestions that are not being considered at this time, to explain why we are declining to pursue them.
Single Ability Clause (SAC): the primary reason SAC is not being considered is logistical. For such a major change, we would ideally want a suspect test aimed specifically at SAC with no other changes. However, I think we can all agree that SAC with no ability unbans would be an unmitigated disaster, rendering the whole test moot. Given how difficult it would be to test, SAC is tabled until Gen 9. Additionally, the council does not believe that it would fundamentally resolve the matchup issues in the metagame; by significantly reducing the number of viable defensive cores, and eliminating a great scouting and soft check tool, if anything matchup issues would likely become more intense.

Regenerator Ban: Similarly to SAC, this would be nearly impossible to test and subsequently balance in the limited time we have until Gen 9, and at least in the short term would not solve matchup related issues.

Adaptability/Tough Claws/Sheer Force Bans: in our opinion, this would massively reduce the power level of AAA to an undesirable level. Banning abilities is a last resort in AAA, and banning so many at once, especially when they are inconclusively shown to be broken, is a non-starter.

The Survey
The link to the survey can be found here; huge shoutout to avyrie for putting it together! If you play AAA at all and care about the direction of the metagame, please fill it out, and share it with anyone you think might also be able to give good feedback; in particular, if you played AAA in OMPL, please consider responding! One major change is that this survey does not have an option to be anonymous, and it asks a few questions about how you usually play AAA (tours, year-round, or both). Please note that these are not qualification questions, but rather we are looking for trends that might help shed light on the direction we should take the meta.

The survey will be open until Wednesday, June 15th, at which point the council will evaluate it and (hopefully quickly, especially if there are clear trends) enact the next steps.

Please feel free to use the forum to defend whichever option(s) you consider best, or ask for further clarification, or suggest new ideas, or share cool teams like Racool is doing.

Thanks y'all, and I'm looking forward to continuing to improve the metagame with y'all.
 
Instead of responding to the survey, I've decided to share my thots on the questions in this thread, to offer a more nuanced explanation of my positions.

I've provided my perspective on the meta in the discord server at multiple points in the past, but as a general overview:

1) I believe the meta suffers from a matchuppiness, where a larger than ideal portion of games is decided in the builder. I'll do my best to simplify my thoughts on the reasons for this, which are the following:
2) Echoing racool, it's hard to construct sturdy and consistent defensive cores that give a team outs vs the majority of the meta. This leads to teams that either overstock on defensive tools, shoring up the matchup vs offense but opening themselves up to lose to stall or fatter balance or teams that don't have outs vs certain matchup fishes but can reasonably break fat teams if played correctly
3) There is a way to "kinda" bridge the gap between these two styles of teams, HOWEVER, it often requires running breakers that sacrifice offensive consistency for defensive utility (mons such as desoland cinderace and entei that excel in wearing down checks but are easily hard-countered by flash fire corvi), which turns into its own style of matchup fishing

I think GENESECT and KOMMO are contributors to this state of affairs because despite their important defensive role in the meta, their offensive sets are very good at sweeping teams without hard-counters, because you just cant soft-prep for them and outplay (drum kommo, NG gene, certain sflo gene have matchups that they just sweep)

MAGIC BOUNCE is a possible culprit, but I don't think here has been a game (at least not one id watched) where bounce made a massive difference in preventing a team from making progress. Usually progress is prevented by people not being able to stick hazards because the hazard remover beats their setter, or because all their breakers are walled and their defcore doesnt have put any pressure to help wear down the opposing team.

i dont like the idea of freeing NOIVERN and WEAVILE because they are very centralizing - not because they are uncounterable, but because they are uncheckable in a similar sense to the above mentioned kommo and gene. They both dominate teams without a counter, but often cant really do anything against the proper counter. I guess weavile less so since it can tech jab/kick for fini/cob. But definitely dont free vern.

BLACE on the other hand might centralize the meta in a "good" way by making it more consistent, since blace is the exact opposite - easily checkable in the short-midterm, uncounterable in the long term, as it has the tools needed to always break any check if played well and the game goes long enough. No true counters either.

I think the way to go if we decide tiering action is needed is either
1) banning kommo/gene or both and going from there. we are likely to see a sequence of bans in this case as scarf genesect is a very important defensive tool in the meta, checking topu keko and topu lily, garchomp, random triage mons etc
2) implement SAC + free pheal: no more regen cycling, but protectspam becomes a thing again, making choiced breakers less attractive

I think the second solution would warrant careful consideration and examination of the meta for quite some time, so its a less attractive prospect with OMWC and then gen9 around the corner.

I think the least invasive way going forward is banning kommo (or unburden), seeing whether that alleviates builder pressures and going from there. If we were to unban anything, Id go with blace > weavile > vern. Id love to see blace/weav/vern be unbanned in a round of that tour thats coming up tho.
 

Hera

Cute and genuine as ever
is a Social Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
PUPL Champion
Hi there! This post has a dual purpose: to showcase my OMFL teams, and to provide some metagame thoughts. I always wanted to do one of these posts after seeing the OMPL people post their teams, and I'd like to shout out Quantum Tesseract for giving me a chance and drafting me.

Week 1
:magmortar: :zarude: :tapu-koko: :blissey: :mew: :kommo-o:
So the idea behind this was that I have almost NEVER seen Osake bring a blob. His special walls were usually Steels like Jirachi or a SpDef Chomp. In hindsight, I should have run Wisp on Mag for Chomp, but I didn't see a Chomp so it didn't matter. Zarude seemed like the perfect partner because pivoting + Speed, and I liked that Magmortar basically 1v1 Modest Lele. Koko is CM here because I wanted a wincon that could spread para so Mag could break easier if it needed to. The rest of the team is your pretty standard defensive core, although Jacoba Kommo-o is something I think is underrated. You got your Dhelmise counterplay + contact punisher in one, and I think that teams should go Jacoba over itemless on their Dhelm counterplay.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8almostanyability-156348627

T0 loss, couldn't do anything. I thought a Steel wasn't necessary because the only special wallbreaker I saw Osake bring was Chandy, but I loaded into AoA Adaptability Latios + Facade Tapu BroKo and just lost. And even if I didn't lose to one of those two, Blissey + Jirachi meant Magmortar couldn't do anything. To my credit, I think I played well given the circumstances; I maximized Magmortar's turns in the hopes I got a crit/misplay from Osake, but no dice. It's whatever, sometimes you get an impossible matchup. Team wasn't the greatest anyway.

Week 2
:avalugg: :jirachi: :kommo-o: :blissey: :toxapex: :mew:
Funny story behind this one. I had actually built several teams for this week because I wasn't sure what to buld for jonas. I had never seen them play, so I tried to build with stuff that punished pivot spam, which is what newer players tend to gravitate towards. Eventually, I ended up being confident in none of my builds, and at the last second, I switched to Table stall because the only thing new players don't naturally prep for is stall. There isn't much behind this one: Avalugg + Rachi regen core blocks most of the tier, double Magic Bounce makes getting hazards up for the opposing side very hard (and Spin on Avalugg makes keeping them up equally difficult), Pex is your catch-all to setup sweepers, and Unaware Mew is my backup to anything Pex can't beat and has Spikes + Knock to pressure the opposing side. This was naturally weak to Alolawak and Xurkitree, which is not something newer players use very often.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8almostanyability-1570566745

There isn't much to say about this game either. It goes how you think stall vs balance would go. jonas tries to bring in breakers, I switch in my counters while scouting for opposing moves and abilites. The Genesect was not scary on team preview, but Scarf is actually quite difficult for this team because U-turn + hazards outdamage Regen on Jirachi and it can win in the long run. The Blissey being MB was also pretty annoying, as it meant that I couldn't get Spikes up and had to settle for Rocks. Game was pretty boring for a while until jonas decided to bring Ferrothorn in on Avalugg that had already revealed Body Press, got crit, and died. Not sure why they did that with a perfectly healthy Pex in the back, but whatever. Game snowballed from there, without hazards I could manage Avalugg and Jirachi easier for ZyDog and Zapdos. I made a misplay with Avalugg eventually and had to sack Mew, but it wasn't the end of the world. After a while Zydog died and the game was pretty much won there, all I needed to do was spam Toxic with Blissey and wait for jonas to bring Zapdos in.

Week 3
:tapu-koko: :zarude: :genesect: :mew: :heatran: :garchomp:
During a Week 2 test game with my manager QT, I saw a weird double dance Koko set and I immediately knew what I wanted to bring for Week 3. I was starting to form a definitive opinion on Koko (spoiler: broken), and being able to catch people off guard with a set is always a nice feeling. I hate using Zarude but it's an amazing partner for this set, with Grassy Surge letting it 1v1 Garchomp and even Mamoswine. Genesect was a good partner because broken, and the rest is an old but standard defensive core. Itemless Mew is for Dhelm and Bulletproof Heatran is for Tapu Lele.

I'm dumb and forgot to save the replay, but what basically happened was I set up Grassy Terrian T1, somehow trapped the Koko counter with Tran, and won. All I really needed was a couple of turns to setup, chip the Moltres into +1 Dazzling Gleam range (which I did), and swept from there. Would heavily recommend using DD Koko if your opponent's Koko check is something like VA Corv or Roseli Chomp.

Week 4
:zygarde-complete: :mandibuzz: :jirachi: :chandelure: :mew: :toxapex:
For Week 4 I decided to use flavor-of-the-month mon Chandelure and the annoying ZyGod. The reason for this was I saw The Numbers Man using Specs Chandy in OMPL and winning with it, but I didn't want to build a super similar build. I finally caved in and used a variant of the MandyRachi core that's been popping up recently, with Flash Fire over DShield in case I saw a Chandy or something. Last two mons are the same stuff I always use, Rocks Mew and Prankster Pex. What can I say? They're pretty good glue mons.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8almostanyability-1580327633-3dvpczoo8fxuxlhkq94xlngfp4m5tivpw

T0 loss, but not as drastic as Week 1, and I could've played better here. Xurkitree coming in meant I had to play a 50/50 between ZyGod and Rachi...but it turns out adem had 0 brain cells and just clicked Rising Volt the entire time (no disrespect meant towards them, I would've done the exact same thing). Getting in Chandy was hard because my Defogger got beat by their Rocker so I had to deal with Rocks up the entire time, and abusing ZyGod was difficult because I loaded into a stale-ass BoltBeam Mew. Eventually, Xurk got in when I had no switchins to it and I lost. Bleh. Not a fun game. At least the Genesect was Scarf.

Week 5
:hydreigon: :mienshao: :corviknight: :mew: :toxapex: :dragalge:
Not revealing the paste because I have plans for this team, but going into Week 5 I wanted to finish at least 3-2 and hopefully help make playoffs, and HydraRat was probably the most consistent team I had in my builder. The idea behind it is two underrated breakers fire off strong buttons while pivoting into each other, with a malleable defensive core giving both breakers opportunities to come in and wreak havoc. Corvid has been a bunch of things in the past, but here I decided to use Volt Absorb because of Tapu BroKo. Mew was another ability before I changed it to Regen Scarf for this match. Pex is standard, I feel like building a team without Pex in this meta (or something to stop setup in general) is very hard. Finally, Dragalge is a unique RegenVest option that helps pad the MU against DesoLand Heatran and other Fire-types.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8almostanyability-1585647214

This was not a game I should've won lol. I made a major misplay Tricking away my Scarf and not keeping it for ZyDog, which meant that a ZyDog opening was awful for my team. Luckily, my opponent was not well versed in AAA, so I could prey on predictable options and hope they didn't just hard into ZyDog at any time. When Hydregion failed to OHKO Genesect on Turn 70, I just about gave up. My only option was to hard in Mienshao and pray for a crit on Corviknight + the Corviknight clicking U-turn instead of Brave Bird...which is exactly what I got. Honestly, if martinvtran clicked Brave Bird on the turn Mienshao crit, they won 100% of the time. This is a main example of why you never quit even if all seems hopeless because watching your opponent tunnel vision and hand you the win is the most relieving feeling ever.

Other teams
:grimmsnarl: :azelf: :garchomp: :jirachi: :tapu-koko: :mandibuzz:

I built this after discovering MandyRachi cores were on the rise. The idea was that Grimm breaks with Tinted Spirit Break, while Koko and Azzy clean up the pieces. Unfortunately, I found out that DShield Mandy is not 2HKOed by Grimm. If you ran Adaptability it could work, but then you would have to predict, which requires thinking, and I hate thinking.

:suicune: :corviknight: :jirachi: :blissey: :kommo-o: :mamoswine:
:tapu-koko: :garchomp: :genesect: :barraskewda: :corviknight: :mew:
:zapdos-galar: :tapu-koko: :nidoqueen: :mandibuzz: :mew: :moltres:

Here are those Week 2 teams I was talking about. I was in a bit of a slump in terms of teambuilding and felt these teams had numerous flaws that I couldn't fix quickly enough before I had to play. I have no intention of using them in the future, so maybe they can help someone.

Metagame Observations

:ss/tapu-koko:
Over the past month, I have become convinced Tapu Koko is too much for the tier. Pixilate sets are already tough to deal with, between being a top-tier breaker and enabler, but combined with how strong sets like Double Dance, Discharge pivot, and Magic Guard + Calm Mind are, this pushes Koko over the edge for me. More splashable checks like Jirachi and WA Corvid are setup bait for CM sets in a vacuum, which forces either Icy Wind on Jirachi + offensive counterplay or a Ground-type that can handle Koko on every team. However, I think the true issue with Koko is the Screens set. Currently, I cannot see what consistently beats Screens, as anti-setup picks like Prankster Pex or Unaware mons can be overwhelmed or rendered null by the right mon. Tapu Koko is one of the main reasons why Screens is so successful, as it will almost always get both of them up, deny hazards + Defog with Taunt and Magic Bounce, and pivot into something that probably 6-0s your team. No matter what the team, Tapu Koko will always dictate the pace of the game to an unhealthy extent, and I think banning it would be an important step to improving the metagame.

:ss/zygarde-complete:
I used to think ZyGod was broken. I no longer do. However, I struggle to see what positive value it provides to the tier. Being only the second "Ubers" element unbanned this generation, it has constricted teambuilding to a point where DShield BoltBeam Mew or DShield Mandy are on every team, and not prepping for it doesn't mean "oh this is annoying but I can play around it" but actually "if I give this thing one free turn I can lose on the spot", and with its tremendous bulk + ability to bluff an equally devastating Adaptability Choice Band set, it's usually never dead weight. Unlike Zamazenta, which was also unbanned but is trash so the impact it would have on the meta is not important, ZyGod is very viable, as attested to by the rise of DShield users. Also, I'm not a big fan of how it was just dropped and people were expected to adapt to it immediately. Compared to Zamazenta, which received a suspect test, Power Construct wasn't even on a survey, it was just unbanned by the council. I would argue this is unfair because there are different standards being applied to unbanned elements, and I think that ZyGod should have an actual suspect like Zamazenta to determine its fate.


:ss/hatterene: :ss/xatu:

People are actually complaining about Magic Bounce? Sorry, I don't see it. Tbh if you can't get hazards up versus a MB mon, then you either have a bad team or are getting consistently outplayed. Magic Bounce mons like Blissey and Mew usually have to check other things that aren't the hazards setter, and often they can get overwhelmed. Magic Bounce mons are abusable in the same way other defensive mons are: by wearing them down, harding in breakers on recovery moves, smart doubles, or just abusing their passivity. There is also a major lack of MoldyTran right now, which is most likely why some teams struggle with Magic Bounce more than others, and I would highly recommend making that your Rocker if you wanna body Magic Bounce.

:ss/genesect:
#BanGenesect

Thanks for reading!
 
Last edited:
want to make a quick analysis/teambuilding for my (probably?) best team currently. once i post this, i wont have a chance to use it in seasonal, but thats fine. just building it was enough for me.

:genesect: :tapu-bulu: :terrakion: :bisharp: :mew: :chansey:
https://pokepast.es/3c7e36b07c44b7fd

i'll go through my process for building first, since thats what i like most while writing these types of posts.

:genesect: :tapu-bulu: :terrakion:
i wanted to start with these three for a simple reason: there's already a team that proves they can work together well. this entire team is mostly a variation on UT 's triage bulu + download terrak balance in the samples, just modernized for the current metagame. the main difference here is gunk shot over iron head on gene to act as a koko check, and a bulkier bulu spread specifically for creeping mandis and no speed trans.

:genesect: :tapu-bulu: :terrakion: :bisharp:
looking at the ompl usage stats, two things become obvious. 1: people run mew a lot, and mostly bulky sets without speed. 2: fini usage is low, and mandi doesnt want to eat knocks. what does this mean? bisharp is back, of course. adapt knock/sucker checks all the shift gear genes running around and kills koko with knock + sucker, its great, would highly recommend to use it sooner or later.

:genesect: :tapu-bulu: :terrakion: :bisharp: :mew:
this offensive core is really good. but how the hell do i answer terrak or chomp or check gapdos? there is only one mon that can do this on this team: dauntless shield mew. with wow to burn the physicals that threaten me, ice beam for chomp and lando, and teleport for getting in the big hitters, there is nothing that can replace mew here.

:genesect: :tapu-bulu: :terrakion: :bisharp: :mew: :chansey:
the team is mostly complete with these 5. there's a couple things the last slot has to fill. it has to be a rocker, handle the special attackers, and provide general utility for the team. at first i thought the choice here would be regen ferro, since it can rock rather freely. then qt suggested something to me: regen chansey. quickly replaced ferro with chansey, and it works much better. with the final member complete, i can actually talk about what the team does.

:ss/genesect:
F-F-Fire! (Genesect) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 56 Atk / 48 SpA / 156 Spe
Naughty Nature
- U-turn
- Gunk Shot
- Ice Beam
- Flamethrower
genesect here is extremely valuable. as one of the best koko checks in the game, and a really healthy glue overall, i kinda had to put it on the team. also it was on ut's team and i really liked this spread so i kept it. gunk is a requirement for koko(check the calcs). the last 2 moves are customizable, but imo these are the best choices.

:ss/tapu-bulu:
Steam Gardens (Tapu Bulu) @ Life Orb
Ability: Triage
EVs: 212 HP / 252 Atk / 44 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Horn Leech
- Close Combat
- Darkest Lariat
currently i feel like bulu is an underrated presence in the aaa meta. looking at the usage stats, its best counter(corviknight) isnt very high up on the usage stats, placing at 8th overall. its still common, but bulu enjoys not having to deal with it as much as other defoggers(like mandi). heatran is also 8th in usage, but really doesnt want to switch into a lo cc. the key to bulu is, as ut says, playing like a madman. cc that fully healthy fini. horn leech that gene.

:ss/terrakion:
Can't Beat Kappy! (Terrakion) @ Choice Band
Ability: Download
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stone Edge
- Close Combat
- Earthquake
- Toxic
its official. i have been downloadpilled. even if you dont get the download boost, you still have a choice band terrak. its notable for having effectively no counter with an attack boost. aside from that, it does standard terrak things. spam cc, spam edge, you get the idea.

:ss/bisharp:
Good Night (Bisharp) @ Black Glasses
Ability: Adaptability
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Knock Off
- Sucker Punch
- Beat Up
- Low Kick
this is the one i have the most to say about. bisharp matches up quite well against the current meta. a lot of mons really want their item. ferrothorn, tapu koko, garchomp, and more really do not appreciate getting knocked. and what do all of these not like taking even more? a really strong knock. with priority, bish can kill all of these with knock and sucker, including pixikoko. if koko roosts, thats a free beat up. tran comes in? well, no issue, since you have low kick. you could potentially swap low kick for swords dance or iron head, but i think its the best coverage option. in short, use bisharp more. its really good and has a lot of traits that you can find valuable for your team.

:ss/mew: :ss/chansey:

Elegy of ZZAZZ (Mew) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Dauntless Shield
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Will-O-Wisp
- Soft-Boiled
- Ice Beam
- Teleport

Great Days Fusion (Chansey) (F) @ Eviolite
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Teleport
- Seismic Toss
- Soft-Boiled
- Stealth Rock
these two are paired together due to being the core members of my defensive core(heh). mew walls, chansey walls, both spam teleport. its well worth having both here. the main reason i picked these two isnt just bulk, though that definitely helps. a double teleport core with both physical and special coverage is immensely helpful.

thats all i have to say for this team. there are a few threats you should look out for, like zarude and gapdos, but you can tend to outplay these if they're on the opposing team. most importantly, play fast and aggressive. spam pivots, get in terrak and bish and bulu, break the holes so bulu can clean. if you have advice on what i could add to improve the team, feel free to DM me on discord and/or reply to this.
 
I had a perhaps controversial idea which I thought would be worth sharing. A lot of people have brought up how match-up reliant a lot of AAA is, and this is something I'd agree with. I think one thing which contributes to this is the intrinsic unpredictability factor of not knowing what abilities the opponent has chosen when starting the battle. In standard there is also a degree of unpredictability with movesets and stat spreads, but an ability being unknown brings about a much more significant unpredictability factor which I believe isn't as healthy.

For example, let's say you open up a battle and lead with Rotom-H against Corviknight. This should be a pretty easy match-up conceptually, but considering Flash Fire and Volt Absorb are both viable on Corviknight, guessing wrong completely nullifies your turn and could drastically set you back, even though Rotom-H should actually be in a comfortable position here no matter what ability Corviknight is running.

A far more likely scenario than ever witnessing a Rotom-H in this metagame is facing Magic Bounce users. Setting up Stealth Rock without Mold Breaker just to realize the Cinderace you set it up against has Bounce for some ungodly reason can set you back pretty badly. And it's not really possible to know for sure whether or not your hazards will be reflected until the opponent's team is fully scouted generally.

I think scenarios like the above are one reason why the meta favors bulky offense with fat pivots and defensive Regenerator-based teams. If you go for something more aggressive than this, the battles are shorter and this type of problem where you can't be certain if making a given play will set you back catastrophically can easily lose games. With bulky offense or even full stall, you have more insurance and wiggle room if you make what turns out to be a bad decision.

Assuming it's possible to code it in this way, I think a solution would be to announce abilities before the game, in the same excerpt where the Pokemon are announced, i.e. something like:
Klang's Pokemon: Chansey (Unaware), Mudsdale (Harvest), Muk (Sticky Hold), Beedrill (Honey Gather), Vespiquen (Queenly Majesty), Koffing (Competitive)

One downside of implementing something like this would be the reduced viability of lures in AAA, like putting Galvanize on something unexpected to smack Corviknight or using Scrappy Terrakion for example. But I think this change would generally make the metagame more competitive by making luck a less pervasive element of it.

Either way it would be a fairly large change and the core metagame would be heavily affected. I'm curious to know what the AAA community would think about such a change.
 
I had a perhaps controversial idea which I thought would be worth sharing. A lot of people have brought up how match-up reliant a lot of AAA is, and this is something I'd agree with. I think one thing which contributes to this is the intrinsic unpredictability factor of not knowing what abilities the opponent has chosen when starting the battle. In standard there is also a degree of unpredictability with movesets and stat spreads, but an ability being unknown brings about a much more significant unpredictability factor which I believe isn't as healthy.

For example, let's say you open up a battle and lead with Rotom-H against Corviknight. This should be a pretty easy match-up conceptually, but considering Flash Fire and Volt Absorb are both viable on Corviknight, guessing wrong completely nullifies your turn and could drastically set you back, even though Rotom-H should actually be in a comfortable position here no matter what ability Corviknight is running.

A far more likely scenario than ever witnessing a Rotom-H in this metagame is facing Magic Bounce users. Setting up Stealth Rock without Mold Breaker just to realize the Cinderace you set it up against has Bounce for some ungodly reason can set you back pretty badly. And it's not really possible to know for sure whether or not your hazards will be reflected until the opponent's team is fully scouted generally.

I think scenarios like the above are one reason why the meta favors bulky offense with fat pivots and defensive Regenerator-based teams. If you go for something more aggressive than this, the battles are shorter and this type of problem where you can't be certain if making a given play will set you back catastrophically can easily lose games. With bulky offense or even full stall, you have more insurance and wiggle room if you make what turns out to be a bad decision.

Assuming it's possible to code it in this way, I think a solution would be to announce abilities before the game, in the same excerpt where the Pokemon are announced, i.e. something like:
Klang's Pokemon: Chansey (Unaware), Mudsdale (Harvest), Muk (Sticky Hold), Beedrill (Honey Gather), Vespiquen (Queenly Majesty), Koffing (Competitive)

One downside of implementing something like this would be the reduced viability of lures in AAA, like putting Galvanize on something unexpected to smack Corviknight or using Scrappy Terrakion for example. But I think this change would generally make the metagame more competitive by making luck a less pervasive element of it.

Either way it would be a fairly large change and the core metagame would be heavily affected. I'm curious to know what the AAA community would think about such a change.
while i do think something needs to be done about the matchup fish, im not very into the idea of all abilities being revealed from preview. while it sounds good on paper, there's a big issue: does it matter for the big matchup fishes? say you're playing against hyper offense, and you know very well that your opponent has a galvspeed genesect. great, you can try to outplay it. but can you? galvspeed is quite uncommon, and as such, most teams do not account for it heavily during the building process. kommo-o is another example. if your team cant handle galvburst, knowing from preview wont help at all. there's several more, such as tough claws zapdos-g, download terrakion, and others, though i wouldnt consider them broken. point is, i dont believe announcing abilities would solve the main matchup fishes that i find to be problematic, offense.

so, how would these be fixed in my eyes? i think the absolute best way to fix matchup fishes is to simply ban the fishers. therefore, a genesect and kommo-o ban would most likely be the best way to reduce the fishiness. these two are the key fishers in the meta, and a ban would give more defensive options time to shine. genesect simply has too many sets to play around, and kommo-o, while having only 2 sets, functions completely differently with those 2 sets and can end the game instantly with one free turn from either.
 

Greybaum

GENTLEMAN, THIS IS DEMOCRACY MANIFEST
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
There are too many amazing defensive abilities which results in breakers being dogshit in an annoyingly large amount of matchups. But mostly it's Regenerator. Pixilate Tapu Koko, SFLO Tapu Lele, MGLO Volcarona, all incredible threats but making 0 progress if their opponent happens to bring a (reasonably common) Regenerator mon as part of the defensive core. This is just exacerbated by Unaware and Prankster with Chansey/Mandibuzz and Pex/Mew respectively curbing every set-up breaker in the tier between them. Builder skill still exists in this tier, but from a spectator POV it seems to lean too far away from building a structurally sound team and too far towards just trying to CT your opponent's building habits.

Here are the possible solutions I've seen proposed:
I have two (relevant) issues with this;
1- I don't think this would really help that much?
The big problem with Regenerator, in my eyes, is that it makes it impossible to sustain chip on defensive Pokemon. If you limit Regenerator to one Pokemon, your offensive core is still being hardwalled if you get unlucky when you roll the dice, it's just happening roughly 10% of the time instead of 20% (just numbers thrown out there).
2- This is an absolutely massive change and probably not one that AAA could turn back from this generation. A lot of people enjoy the current meta, and I'm not on board with such a huge fundamental change when there are paths that are a lot easier to double back on, such as...
This is better; Poison Heal, despite the stigma people have against it, isn't something I can see as worse than Regenerator. You give up free turns in order to heal with Protect, you have to stay in to get healed (i.e. more hazard vulnerable, offensive doubles are more punishing), you can't stay in to scout every attack under the sun and throw out things like Status/Knock Off freely, and you have to get your mon free switchins in the early game to get the ability activated in the first place. Also, yes, Worry Seed is garbage counterplay, but Mew is already running 50 different anti-meta moves in the last slot, Worry Seed is perfectly reasonable on specifically that mon. This will also massively shake up the tier though and while it wouldn't take as long as SAC I still doubt there's enough time to get the tier into a stable position before the generation ends if you go down this route.
This is another good option, and unlike a Regenerator ban it won't drastically shake up the defensive cores in use, people will just have to work harder to keep hazards off, indirectly nerfing Regenerator. Magic Bounce is more of an enabler and not as visibly overpowered as Regenerator is but hazards have been the number one way of making progress for your offensive threats in almost every tier outside of AAA and being able to splash hazard deterrence on any Pokemon in the tier feels extremely degenerate and unfun. I also think the consequences of this, while smaller than a Regenerator ban, are understated; hazards become a lot more powerful in builder with Magic Bounce out of the picture and I'd like to think this opens up the room for counterplay against Regenerator more than it'd seem at first glnce. This is my preferred outcome.
Proposed by Klang above me, quite frankly I don't like this idea at all. Knowing which Pokemon is Regenerator or Magic Bounce or Unaware or whatever doesn't actually help with the issue I raised in the SAC section of this post; the issues with AAA right now are in the builder, not the game, and knowing your Triage Tapu Lele is being walled by their Unaware Mandibuzz doesn't do anything except give you justification to forfeit a little bit earlier because you know you're not making progress. The only benefit of this ability would be making Genesect much less obnoxious, but the downsides far outweigh the benefits in my eyes; lures are dead, scouting offensive abilities no longer exists, obnoxiously fat defensive cores become better than they already are.
I hate the idea of all of the proposed unbans. Forcing people to run Regenerator Cobalion/Tapu Fini on every team again to not lose to Weavile doesn't fix the issues plaguing the tier but instead just incentives people to bring more fishy HO builds that don't need to care about it in the first place. Centralisation doesn't work if there are 30+ top tier viable offensive threats you can build around, and I think the tier is as centralised around Pixilate Tapu Koko (and to a lesser extent Garchomp and Talonflame) now as it was around Weavile or Blacephalon back when they were legal. Again, centralisation can only go so far if the opponent is still bringing shit like Grassy Surge Dhelmise or Adaptability Zygarde-10% and you're using garbage ass Cobalion.
The final option is to just... do nothing. People like the tier. I don't, and I know I'm not the only one, but the tier sourced a respectable number of players during OMPL, OMFL, and Seasonal, and people clearly care to spend hours discussing it. This'll depend on the survey results ig but I don't think it's an awful idea to just let the tier stay as it is, even a hater like me can't pretend it's in an unplayable state.

also kommo-o should be banned for belly drum alone tbh it sets up on way too much and even though prankster pex/mew chortle all over it they aren't enough to justify keeping it in the tier especially now that a lot of the prior counterplay like triage tapu lele is ass.
 

Hera

Cute and genuine as ever
is a Social Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
PUPL Champion
600th post is done, here it is if you wanna read it. So this isn't a one-liner, I have some sets I think are cool.

:ss/volcanion:
Volcanion @ Life Orb
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Mild Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Steam Eruption
- Earth Power
- Fire Spin

Not my set but MG Steamer doesn't really need 4 moves. Weather Ball seems to be the most common option and it's good, but if Chansey is an issue, try this out. Between Fire Spin chip, Steam Eruption burn, and Flare Blitz damage, the blobs get deleted after switching in more than once. It also fucks over Pex and mildly annoys WA Lando-T that don't creep for Volcanion.

:ss/genesect:
Genesect @ Choice Band
Ability: Tough Claws
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- U-turn
- Iron Head
- Blaze Kick
- Leech Life

A fun breaker with pivot utility, solid coverage, and a decent Speed tier. Without Regen, it's a worse switch-in to stuff like Koko, but Banded TC U-turn hits very hard when backed up by Blaze Kick. Oh, your Gene counterplay is Moldy Heatran? Get Blaze Kicked nerd. Just another reason why this mon is broken to me.

:ss/articuno-galar:
Articuno-Galar @ Choice Specs
Ability: Aerilate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Hyper Voice
- Psyshock
- Shadow Ball
- U-turn

On average, this has about 3/4th of the power on Timid Specs Noivern, which I think is very funny. Against teams that use PhyDef Corvid and Ferro as their Steels, this thing runs rampant, and if you don't see a blob you can rejoice. Unfortunately, when I thought of this set, Jirachi was rising in usage, and this gets completely cockblocked by it without dedicated support. Still, it's funny, and can work sometimes.
 
The metagame survey is now closed, and we have received 35 responses! Thank you to everyone who replied and especially those who wrote pages on the extra suggestions. Now onto the results!

(I have included filtered graphs for both tour players and year-round players, but once again it is not a qualifier filter and we did not make any decisions or interpretations based on those graphs, they are just made out of curiosity.)
On a scale of 1-10, how much do you enjoy the current AAA metagame?
1655200223747.png
Out of the 35 responses, the average score on metagame enjoyment is 6.91 / 10, which means a decent number of players are still enjoying the metagame, though it is a noticeable step down from the previous survey result of 8 / 10.

On a scale of 1-10, how competitive do you think AAA is currently? Does the better player win?
1655200241068.png
The score on metagame competitiveness averaged at 6.31 / 10, which is also a large stepdown from the previous survey result of 7.6 / 10, meaning there has been an increase in broken elements in the metagame. This matches consistently with the recent concern on matchup fishing. The council will look into this in the near future.

Which statement most accurately describes how you feel about Genesect in AAA?
1655200253489.png

1655200263727.png
1655200273283.png
Out of all 35 respondents, 42.8% are in favor of tiering action on Genesect, and another 40% are not opposed to a suspect test. Interestingly, in both tour players' and year-round players' results, there were increases in both opinions of it being entirely broken and it being entirely balanced. The council will be monitoring a close eye on Genesect.

Which statement most accurately describes how you feel about Kommo-o in AAA?
1655200283012.png

1655200289820.png
1655200297196.png
A whopping 97.1% of respondents are not opposed to / in favor of tiering action on Kommo-o, and not a single tour player believed it was balanced. This is a huge difference from the previous survey's 36.8% support. The council will be looking into Kommo-o immediately.

Which statement most accurately describes how you feel about Magic Bounce in AAA?
1655200306872.png

1655200314651.png
1655200320956.png
Out of all 34 respondents, only 5.9% supported immediate action on Magic Bounce, but only 17.6% believed it was entirely balanced. Half of the respondents were indifferent to a suspect test. The overall opinion on Magic Bounce is very mixed, but the council will still look into possible broken elements of it.

Which statement most accurately describes how you feel about Blacephalon in AAA?
1655200330342.png

1655200337852.png
1655200447175.png
Out of all 34 respondents, 52.9% support a suspect to retest Blacephalon back into the tier and another 11.8% think it is balanced. The council will look into possible tiering actions on Blacephalon. Nonetheless, it is our most recent suspect ban, so retesting it in an attempt to fix the tier will likely be a last resort option.

Which statement most accurately describes how you feel about Noivern in AAA?
1655200477671.png

1655200484985.png
1655200491143.png
The vast majority of respondents agree that Noivern is broken and should stay banned, with only one person believing it is balanced. Noivern will likely stay banned in the foreseeable future.

Which statement most accurately describes how you feel about Weavile in AAA?
1655200499879.png

1655200506607.png
1655200513745.png
The vast majority of respondents agree that Weavile is broken and should stay banned, with only two people believing it is balanced. Weavile will likely stay banned in the foreseeable future.

Is there anything else about the current metagame you would like to mention?

There are a Lot to be said here, many expressed their concerns on matchup fishing, but the broken elements mentioned were all over the place:
- Tapu Koko x3
- Zygod
- 'lots of wallbreakers are restricting'
- Prank Pex
- Free Poison Heal
- Tinted Lens x2
- Unburden
- Unaware
- Primal weather
- Magic Guard

Koko was the most commonly mentioned threat that did not receive its own question, it is definitely one of the top contenders in the current metagame and could be seen as borderline broken by some. While I don't think any action on Koko would be taken in the foreseeable future, the council will keep these concerns in mind moving forward. As for others, since there is a very high bar to consider banning an ability, there will likely be no action taken on an individual ability, but the council has noted that some of these abilities do contribute to matchup fishing and one-dimension-ness of the metagame.


Stay tuned for a tiering update rolling out very soon! Once again thank you to everyone who participated in this survey. Thanks for reading and have a nice day.
 

UT

Nothing good starts in a getaway car
is a Site Content Manageris a Top Team Rateris a Battle Simulator Administratoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Member of Senior Staffis a Community Contributoris a Smogon Discord Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
Appeals + C&C Lead
Throughout June, and with the conclusion of the tiering survey, the council has had a lot of internal discussions and held a series of votes about next steps for the meta. Below is a table of the tiering actions we felt had enough discussion within the council to hold a vote on.

:ss/kommo-o:
Kommo-o is now banned from AAA!
Take action on...
UT
The Number ManbeautsavyrieTotal
Kommo-oSuspectQuick BanQuick BanQuick Ban3-1 Quick Ban
GenesectNo ActionNo ActionNo ActionNo Action4-0 No Action
Magic BounceSuspectNo ActionNo ActionNo Action3-1 No Action
BlacephalonNo ActionNo ActionNo ActionNo Action4-0 No Action

Important disclaimer, no action right now means exactly that: no action right now. We will be keeping a very close eye on the metagame, especially the AAA Seasonal games, between now and the World Cup. A Genesect, Magic Bounce, Blacephalon, or other suspect test/tiering action is very much on the table once we see how the meta responds to the Kommo-o ban.

Kommo-o's DrumBurden set is perhaps the most clear example of a high-variance set. It is very difficult to soft check; you either have a hard counter to it, or likely fold. Unburden users, since they need to give up their item and ability slot, tend to be weak. Thanks to Belly Drum, Kommo-o bypassed this limitation. Being able to get to +6 Attack while outspeeding every relevant Scarfer in a single turn, and having the bulk to set up on an annoyingly high number of threats, made it an insane wincon and sweeper. Drain Punch added to its longevity, and it had a wide range of coverage to hit almost every possible relevant wall that could withstand Drain Punch. It also had a Galvanize set to lure and delete several of its normal checks. It's Dauntless Shield and Regenerator sets, which were decidedly not broken, will be missed.

The council hopes that without needing to account for the insane sweeping potential and luring ability it possesses, defensive cores and archetypes will be allowed greater flexibility to handle the remaining threats.

Tagging Kris to implement.
 

Isaiah

Here today, gone tomorrow
is a Site Content Manageris an official Team Rateris a Battle Simulator Administratoris a Member of Senior Staffis a Community Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Top Social Media Contributor Alumnus
UM/OM Leader
I noticed that there seem to be several people in support of making AAA a Single Ability Clause [+ Poison Heal, perhaps?] metagame, with the main roadblock to that being "the gen is almost over; that's a really huge change to make; etc."

Something interesting to try could be the council voting to shift to SAC + Poison Heal (or just SAC, although personally that sounds like a super L) sooner rather than later. It's already been more or less established that doing a double suspect for two major changes like this probably wouldn't fly, but in theory couldn't this be done artificially? I haven't built or played much AAA in the last three weeks (in fact, I've just been laddering randbats and crying in PMs with TheCoastsOfToast after every game because I either get outplayed bc I'm bad or haxed into oblivion), but I've definitely been thinking about what the best tiering approach could be, and perhaps it's time to just take a bold one.

The proposal: (if they so wish) The council votes to make the meta SAC + Poison Heal (TRIVIA: This actually almost happened last year, but the vote that went in favor of SAC + PH happened just after the result banning PHeal was already posted, so it wasn't counted)

There's always the fear of a meta not being "stable" enough for whatever the next upcoming tournament is, but realistically based on all the years of experience in the 2AC version of the metagame with regen + pheal allowed, there's probably not a very high chance that the meta becomes unplayable beyond redemption (and obviously, there's always the chance that it addresses some of the grievances people have with regen). Also, I do think the point of the gen being over might've been oversold just a little bit. There's still the ongoing seasonal, World Cup, Swiss (?), and even the OM Championship itself in terms of tournament metas to develop any metagame changes in, and in theory if the council acknowledged the volatility and was very observant to revert the change if it's just super awful (perhaps after world cup pools or something, I dunno not up to me), it could work out. Sure, there's some risk of people being displeased with the way the metagame turns out and it would mean trying to develop/learn a different meta in just a few months (WC signups go up August 28th for now), but that's going to exist no matter what and some people are already in that state as is. I've actually flipped to the side of being willing to try more radical tiering changes with the stipulation of nuking them within a pre-established timeline (like I said earlier, maybe seeing how it does in WC) if things don't go well.

Keep in mind that this was all written by someone who doesn't even support SAC or Poison Heal. Just an idea that could maybe give a chance for a change some people are asking for. In the end, I personally already enjoy the meta as is (Kommo-o being gone is tuff, though), and the only change I would advocate for is magic bounce being banned because I don't think clicking hazards should be restricted (there's a reason why mbounce mons in standards are always so bad--but anyway, that's just a personal opinion on what I think competitive play should look like in general, so I don't mind if nobody agrees).
 
Poison SAC/Heal SAC (sac pronounced like sack) is literally there :P
I don't understand the "Gen is almost over" comments. Aren't we getting something new in november, iirc? That means 5 months? Heck, we make changes for OMOTM in two weeks! We ban the stupid stuff in one/two weeks when a big change happens in ANY metagame.
This change, like any other, would be revertible, as Isaiah said.
I have no strong feelings towards one thing or another though. I think I like the meta, i don't see MB as particularly bad (but I'm a low ladder player, I mostly see random fun stuff up to 1300/1400.) The only thing I can see about that meta is regen+PH in every team because they're extremely useful defensive abilities. And I'm not good enough to try a defensive core withut them XD
 

Grim_Blazer

Banned deucer.
I personally already enjoy the meta as is
Ok since my last comment was deleted for being too short I thought I'd write this, I fully agree with this sentiment put out out by Isaiah of liking the meta as it is. I know some people think this meta is bad but tbh I have been having a lot of fun rn and I know that we aren't the only ones that feel this way. I would really only support a magic bounce ban and maybe a genesect ban but otherwise I don't think we should be shifting the meta so drastically with stuff like SAC+Pheal. The meta feels like it's in a pretty good spot right now to me, every style of team has options from HO, to balance, to stall (which everyone is complaining about being hard to build, it's actually pretty easy and I got a good one on my third try lol you'll see it when samples open up). The meta can be a little bit mu fishy at times but it's never gotten to the point where it feels like I auto lose to a team on preview (unless I get counter-teamed REALLY hard)

if the council wants to vote on SAC+Pheal then whatever but I am against it being implemented
 

UT

Nothing good starts in a getaway car
is a Site Content Manageris a Top Team Rateris a Battle Simulator Administratoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Member of Senior Staffis a Community Contributoris a Smogon Discord Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
Appeals + C&C Lead
Hello friends! A couple of quick-hitter updates.

We have updated the VR!
The new-and-improved VR can be found here, and all of the individual ranking changes can be found here. We have also split the C rank into C+/- as well, so lot of activity in the lower ranks. We also welcome back S-ranked mons for the first time in a while!

Also, the sample sets and recommended abilities have not been updated yet, but are in progress! We hope to have those out to you next week.


We are looking for new sample teams!
With OMPL over, AAA Seasonal in its final stages, and Kommo-o yeeted, we are in need of new sample teams! If you have a team that you think has been performing well, or performed well in OMPL and is well suited to the current meta, we want it! Submissions are open until we are happy with what we have, could be two days, could be two weeks, so get them in!

Possible further tiering updates
Just to keep y'all in the loop (and because I am bad and forgot to respond to Isaiah's post), the council has been having discussions internally, obviously heavily weighing the results of the survey, and also holding informal votes. At this time, no additional tiering action is imminent, although we will not rule out a Magic Bounce, Genesect, or other suspect test between now and the World Cup or end of generation.

As for the big discussed change (adopting Single Ability Clause (SAC) and freeing Poison Heal), this is very unlikely to be undertaken for a number of reasons. Setting the precedent of making a massive change to the metagame via quick action, let alone multiple of them, is not one that I want to establish. Also, speaking for myself here and not the council, I do not believe that SAC + PH would address the common complaints, but rather increase matchup fishiness as it is harder to soft check offensive threats, restrict teambuilding to an unnecessary degree as a lot of common Pokemon could no longer be run together, and re-introduce a proven broken element in Poison Heal.

As always, if you have input on possible tiering action, forum posts and discord discussion are always encouraged.

Hope y'all've a great day, and enjoy the new resources!
 

Grim_Blazer

Banned deucer.
Sample teams are open and this time I bring with me not 1 but 2 sample teams! In an effort to find balance I have decided to build not only an HO option but also a stall option.

:charizard: :Tapu KoKo: :genesect: :garchomp: :dhelmise: :cinderace:

This HO team brought my test account all the way from 1000 to top 20 twice, I'll attach the screenshot from the second time since I forgot to take one the first time. It has proven itself against some pretty good players and I think would be a good addition to the samples.
1500 HO.PNG

:charizard: My baby is finally done being outclassed by kommo and will be the first mon on this sample, it's a little bit weak to stealth rock but as long as you don't let that get up before it comes out you'll be golden. Nothing too revolutionary now that everyone knows about it but it can very easily win games. Quick attack is my preferred move to beat out barra aqua jet (keep in mind that boosted quick attack only kills if barra is chipped but also barra aqua jet only kills zard if reflect isn't up) but if you are afraid of bulky zapdos then you can use rock slide instead.

:Tapu koko: Screener, nothing much else to say.

:genesect: Same tinted lens set that's been proven time and time again on most HO teams

:garchomp: Unaware chomp on HO is a little bit odd to the uninitiated but it is actually very useful to beat dauntless shield mons, in particular mandibuzz since it's becoming more common now. Chomp already does good damage by itself and swords dance boosts it to even crazier heights.

:dhelmise: This thing hits HARD, it's able to 2HKO stuff like intim corv or dauntless skarm with 1 swords dance and also acts as a barra check for this team.

:cinderace: Speaking of barra checks, here's my go-to. This used to be tinted ace but desolate does enough damage by itself and is something that can swap into barra safely which is pretty nice on an HO team.


:skarmory: :garchomp: :mandibuzz: :mew: :ferrothorn: :chansey:

I already know that putting a double unaware stall on the sample teams will make a lot of people salty (including me) but I must achieve balance! This team was also made solely to prove that stall isn't that hard to build right now so I have to post it otherwise it'll never really be able to fulfill that purpose.

:skarmory: This was originally a mold breaker set that focused on getting hazards up but I was constantly losing to stuff like cinderace and decided to swap to flash fire instead to help win that matchup and I haven't lost to a physical fire type since.

:garchomp: The only real offensive presence on this team with swords dance, though the special bulk on it can't be understated either since it's my main check for special fire types. Heatran is the main thing he's here for since it does well vs ferro and chansey, my other specially defensive mons.

:Mandibuzz: This mon is here to beat things that could otherwise be a big problem for my team, namely zarude and dhelmise. Both of these mons can be big problems for this team to beat, though with mandi here they should realistically not be able to do much. Also, defogging is super good and it's got defog.

:mew: Obligatory terrakion wall that also has defog too to help win the hazard war if needed.

:ferrothorn: Obligitory Koko check that can also reliably check primordial sea mons with the EV spread I gave it, chople berry is there to take a close combat from any barra that gets too comfortable and to give it a little more bulk vs fighting types.

:chansey: Unaware chansey with counter will always be a staple of my stall teams, it can beat most special attackers and can take some physical attacks too and answer back with a kill (or a lot of chip). Plus, realistically no genesect should be able to beat this and it’s annoying to play guess the set.


Edit: stall link wasn't working sorry
 
Last edited:

Magic Mayhem Maiden

formerly CorruptionInTheGovernment
I'm just wondering what's the reasoning for abilities to not announce themselves when Pokémon switch in, it could potentially reduce the amount of guessing in a game.

(This has nothing to do with the current state of AAA because I don't follow OMs)
 

Osake

Dans la jungle ou dans le zoo
is a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Social Media Contributor Alumnus
I'm just wondering what's the reasoning for abilities to not announce themselves when Pokémon switch in, it could potentially reduce the amount of guessing in a game.

(This has nothing to do with the current state of AAA because I don't follow OMs)
Because that's not how Pokemon works, ask Game Freak to change this and AAA will change too!
 

UT

Nothing good starts in a getaway car
is a Site Content Manageris a Top Team Rateris a Battle Simulator Administratoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Member of Senior Staffis a Community Contributoris a Smogon Discord Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
Appeals + C&C Lead
I'm just wondering what's the reasoning for abilities to not announce themselves when Pokémon switch in, it could potentially reduce the amount of guessing in a game.

(This has nothing to do with the current state of AAA because I don't follow OMs)
The simplest reason is that’s not how it works in-game, with the exception of abilities like Mold Breaker and Intimidate that are announced here too.

OMs try to stick as closely to in-game mechanics as possible. There is room for exceptions, like how Camomons announces typing on switch-in even though the base game does not, but generally we do try and avoid them.

While it can be difficult to learn at first, once you play for a bit it’s pretty easy to figure out what abilities mons are probably running. And the surprise factor does enable a few strategies like lure sets, but is generally offset by the cost of not running the usually better normal ability.

Also, pokemon always has a degree of hidden information, from movesets to EVs to items. Adding abilities is just one more layer, and in the opinion of most players, one that still adds to the skill and enjoyment of the game.
 
1657383514223.png



Daddy here. I would like to share my first ever sample submission with this team I made to get top 4 and 5 on the ladder. Didn't want to share this team because I think its really good but it's time I give back to the community.

Fat Breakers: https://pokepast.es/f5d4624aa47fa0c7

I'm not sure how to do sprites so I'll just describe each Pokémon and their role below (if anyone can help me figure out how to do the sprites, I can edit it and add them):

Dauntless :Mew: This mon just acts as a defog and a Garchomp/Landorus/Zygarde check. This team has no flying or EQ resist, so keep this mon healthy if you're against one of those. No wisp because I don't like 85% accuracy and ice beam covers the checks fine. U-turn and roost are standard, I don't like defog dauntless mew but I don't have another defog spot and defog is mandatory on this team with 0 boots and magic guard.

Physdef :Ferrothorn: Knock off and rocks user. Regen is underrated on Ferro imo, and flash fire is overrated. Walls electric/ice cheese with glaciate as well as Guts Koko. Protect is to scout banded Terrakion.

Guts :Genesect: This set is underrated, no guard set is overrated. This set can solo a ton of walls with facade. You can also bring this in on a wisp mew. This mon is used to set up on lele because your entire team loses to it. Also this pairs up well with the tinted Latios cuz the only real wall to this is prankster physdef Pex, Corv or Heatran.

Tinted Specs :Latios: Tinted needs to be suspect tested imo, it doesn't result in a healthy metagame. This set breaks everything except AV Jirachi.

Prankster :Toxapex: Prankster haze is mandatory on every team. Walls guts Genesect, Talonflame, cosmic power mew, Bisharp, Cinderace and Golisopod and so many other things this team is weak too.

AV :Garchomp: Zapdos, Volc and psychic counter. I think it lives ice beam from Genesect, so it also carries flame thrower. (Note, my previous version had rocks and toxic/sd on this Chomp and spikes on Ferrothorn. changed it to AV because Zapdos is too op)

Overall, this team has a wall to *almost* everything. But there are also some weaknesses to the team, namely your chomp getting knocked off, and then losing to special attackers. Mew, Pex and ferro are all max physdef so chomp is your only special wall. If the enemy team can play the heatran well, they can wither your chomp down.

Things to watch and best solutions:
- No guard Genesect: Ferro needs to leech this and then you need to outplay with some switches. Chomp might live a blizzard from full, I haven't done the calc but it probably does.
- Glare Zygarde: They can just purely hax your Mew which is your only counter.
- Flying spam: This team has no flying resist. Nasty plot hurricanes run through this team
- Tapu Lele: SFLO picks up a kill, Genesect will have to switch in to force it out or sweep (note that specs tinted latios ohkos it with psyshock though)
- Ground spam: Atha ran this SD Soft Sand Lando which almost ripped my team apart. Need to keep Mew healthy.
- Hazard stack: Mew is your only defogger and it's a pretty bad one. Try your best to not get this knocked off if its hazard stack, but its tough.
- Zarude: I think Ferro lives a banded CC, you need to outplay this mon with Pex, and Ferro.

Note: I don't really care for exact EVs, though they have merit. Everything is just maxed maxed based on its purpose, Im sure it can optimized. For example, speed on chomp to outspeed Chandelure?
 
Last edited:
Team
:tapu koko: :cinderace: :landorus-therian: :tapu bulu: :genesect: :barraskewda:

Sample team submission shrug idk if its good or not but its probably decent dont roast me and its also 5 am holy i need to sleep

This is an HO team centered around Tapu Bulu. I think bulu is a very neat Breaker/Cleaner. The team focuses on abusing the checks he has, to provide free switch ins and opportunities for the other members, or using the other members to lure his answers in.

:tapu bulu: The set is pretty standard, evs less so. I felt there was less and less need for speed so i just made it outspeed slow Heatrans and the likes. Adjust how you want to. There is an argument for darkest lariat > stone edge but i valued edge for zapdos and mandibuzz over lariat just hitting mew. The team has ways to pressure all 3 however so its easily interchangeable. A lot of your checks you can beat if you get one hit on them switching in, and another chance later, or any bit of chip. This team aims to provide that. Adamant LO just hits really hard even on resisted hits. This mon also helps open up your other mons, like its a fantastic pex pressure/lure/chip tool/set up on pex (they wont get the 30%) to open up Cinder.

:tapu koko: Standard Screens Koko. Team doesnt neccesarily need screens, but koko is a great way to get things rolling and apply pressure. Do not always lead this. There is very often a better lead. Evs are to live an Azelf expanding force from full as that mon tears up most HO teams without a dark (this team!). I felt speed tieing other kokos wasnt relevant enough especially because you wall non facade which takes a turn for the orb to activate. The extra spdef also lets you switch into Zapdos and other stuff super nicely. Koko also lets you take advantage of Zapdos Galar, another one of Bulus checks. Thunderbolt over taunt could be an option to pressure Pex and Gapdos but taunt is much safer for ladder where there is so much random cheese

:cinderace: SFLO Cinderace is an underrated and fun mon. +1 Gunk Shot ohkos offensive Zapdos, amazing amazing lure to open up Bulu. Bulk Up under screens lets you comfortably 1v1 a lot of things you shouldnt be able to. You can still 1v1 things with just bulk up without screens like TankChomp and Swampert but it will leave you very low. This mon also checks Volcarona, a bulu switchin, and can abuse the wisp Scarf mews. Its also a good Koko check. Unboosted Pyro Ball 2hkos Unaware Mandibuzz. If its DS, you can bulk up and 1v1 it, and if its DS, it doesnt beat bulu. Only problem is this mon is unviable because you will miss :(. Rocks are also annoying for this if you misplay your Koko. You are destroyed by Pex though.

:landorus-therian: Initially this was galvanize body slam, but i wanted to go with this one to eliminate chomp. Boom lando still does Boom lando things. Focus sash nice emergency check to anything. Gets up rocks very well (can be very important for certain ranges when playing out certain sequences, like Skewda flip turn on Regen Scarf mew putting it in guarnteed range of +2 bulu, etc.) Still a fantastic Corv Lure to open up bulu. Good for pressuring pex. Play this early mid game to strategically set up your scenarios. If not neccesary, then use it whenever. Can be an okay lead but dont prioritize rocks (in general). Get your booms off.

:genesect: HO staple for a reason. Even moreso with bulu. Lures in all the fires (cinder, heatran, volcarona) to paralyze them and let Bulu sweep later. Soft checks everything for HO, esp under screens (koko, your only real azelf tank, etc, is a steel type). Is incredibly neccesary for threathening out a lot of mons that you pivot on with Skewda and other mons (pex, fini, mandibuzz, etc). Is the strong special button you just need sometimes to scare out the physical wall so it cant heal up. Takes advantage of all the physical walls the other members bring in and force into passive cycles with recovery. On here its -spdef instead of -def to better take on Pixilate Koko. Can swap if you want better insurance vs Azelf and such, but with the newly added tech of spdef Koko it should be okay.

:barraskewda: Unorthodox pick you might think, especially for HO. This mon is amazing on HO, as it facilitates so well. The only issue is if they have an immunity, but alot of the time this mon doesnt come out immediatly so if possible, do scout for the immunities (like desotran). Some immunites as well like Water Absorb Corv cannot Handle Bulu, so it leaves them at a crossroads. Same goes for FF Corv vs Cinderace i forgot to mention. This mons sheer power and speed provides a nearly always free and riskless flip turn, to bring in a passive water/grass type like Ferro, Fini, or Pex, Letting you abuse them. This also lets you reset the field, as lets say there is a scary mon on the field but you also need to setup a move to have a shot at winning, Skewda resets the field by forcing it out and bringing in a passive Tapu FIni for your Genesect. This also lets you abuse its water typing + immunity, to switch into Heatran and Volcarona for free (letting your Genesect or Bulu beat it next time without actually losing anything for making that progress). Forms a nice Fire/Water/Grass core, however frail it is. Under screens this can switchinto most things to setup afformentioned scenarios (easier time into Talonflame, etc). This mon does nothing on its own, but it does enable you to setup your progress, and keep it. It can also get free chip on things like Defensive mews. Not to mention, this mon absoulutly crushes any team without a solid answer to it, some of which are falling off in popularity (like fini). Its most common check rn is Regen Ferrothorn, who lets Cinder, Genesect, And Bulu set up on it. This also greatly alleviates the offense/HO mirror match, which can be annoying.

Everything on this team cleans pretty well and sets up each other. One thing is this team might play at a slightly slower pace than other HO teams, as the added bits of bulk and a good resistance core lets you setup more opportunities. Choices like Barraskewda and midgame Boom Lando feed into it, to pick and choose your moments. Stuff like Spdef Koko lets you get in your chip on that Zapdos, but you dont "lose" much of anything for doing so, unlike other HO teams because of the "defensive" pressure options the team has. The team is also chock full of Bulu Lures, really letting a well played Bulu sweep often. You will sometimes have to CC that Heatran and Edge that Talonflame as prediction is an inherent part of AAA Bulu, but this team will give you multiple chances to do so and can pressure those mons from other angles.

The recent Kommo-o Ban was also pretty nice, as it reduces a lot of the risk of using mons like Barraskewda and non Zen headbutt Cinderace which encouraged me to retry this team, not to mention Kommo-o also was another Bulu check. The fall of Kommo-o might also reduce the amount of unaware users, in favor of stuff like Dauntless Shield Mandibuzz, which Bulu and Co destroy. Other meta trends like p-surge Azelf falling off also greatly helps, as thats the only check i do not have solid solid counterplay for, only soft answers like Spdef Koko and Genesect. You can use a Zarude variant of this team if psychics are a problem, it can do stuff like lure in gapdos and get chip on it for Bulu, and it also benefits from Kommo-o's ban.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)

Top