Metagame Anything Goes Old Gens Hub


Welcome to the Anything Goes Old Gens Hub. This thread is intended to be a resource for new and experienced players hoping to journey into previous generations of Anything Goes. This thread currently contains resources from Generations 6 (ORAS) and 7 (USUM).

The main goal of this thread is to act as a resource; however, discussion on previous generations of AG is permitted as well. This resource may help in future multi-generation tournaments or just for casual tournaments held within the Anything Goes Showdown chatroom.

Please try to keep discussion civil and on topic. Additionally, please, no one-liner posts.

Directory:
Generation 6 (ORAS)
Generation 7 (USUM)
 
Last edited:
Generation 6: ORAS

Information

ORAS AG Metagame Discussion
ORAS AG Resource Thread
Anything Goes Creation Reasoning

Articles
The Creation of Anything Goes
Baton Pass in Anything Goes
Copy Paste: Breaking the Species Clause in Anything Goes
AG: Don't Use That, Use This!
AG Spotlight: Mega Rayquaza
AG Spotlight: Xerneas
Gen 7 AG Predictions

Sample Teams
Deoxys-S Hyper Offense by Thimo


Excadrill Hyper Offense by GunnerRohan


FlyingSpam Balance by Chloe


Mega Diancie Stall by Fardin



S+ to A-'s subranks are ordered by viability.
The remainder's subranks are ordered alphabetically.

S Rank
S+
:darkrai: Darkrai​
S
:rayquaza-mega: Rayquaza-Mega​
:arceus: Arceus​
:xerneas: Xerneas​

A Rank
A+
:gengar-mega: Gengar-Mega​
:groudon-primal: Groudon-Primal​
A
:yveltal: Yveltal​
:ho-oh: Ho-Oh​
:arceus: Arceus-Fairy​
:arceus: Arceus-Ground​
:arceus: Arceus-Rock​
:arceus: Arceus-Water​
A-
:arceus: Arceus-Ghost​
:arceus: Arceus-Steel​
:kyogre-primal: Kyogre-Primal​
:skarmory: Skarmory​
:klefki: Klefki​
:lugia: Lugia​

---------------------------------------------

B Rank
B+
:clefable: Clefable​
:deoxys-speed: Deoxys-Speed​
:diancie-mega: Diancie-Mega​
:giratina: Giratina​
:mewtwo: Mewtwo​
:sableye-mega: Sableye-Mega​
B
:arceus: Arceus-Poison​
:blissey: Blissey​
:chansey: Chansey​
:deoxys-attack: Deoxys-Attack​
:ferrothorn: Ferrothorn​
:giratina-origin: Giratina-Origin​
:groudon: Groudon​
:quagsire: Quagsire​
B-
:arceus: Arceus-Dragon​
:excadrill: Excadrill​
:jirachi: Jirachi​
:kyogre: Kyogre​
:mewtwo-mega-y: Mewtwo-Mega-Y​
:smeargle: Smeargle​

C Rank
C+
:dialga: Dialga​
:ditto: Ditto​
:genesect: Genesect​
:gothitelle: Gothitelle​
:mewtwo-mega-x: Mewtwo-Mega-X​
:salamence-mega: Salamence-Mega​
:shuckle: Shuckle​
C
:arceus: Arceus-Dark​
:scolipede: Scolipede​
:terrakion: Terrakion​
:tyranitar: Tyranitar​
C-
:breloom: Breloom​
:bronzong: Bronzong​
:landorus-therian: Landorus-Therian​
:shedinja: Shedinja​
:zekrom: Zekrom​


D Rank
D
:amoonguss: Amoonguss​
:cloyster: Cloyster​
:gliscor: Gliscor​
:kyurem-white: Kyurem-White​
:tyranitar-mega: Tyranitar-Mega​
:wobbuffet: Wobbuffet​

Baton Pass Rank
:blaziken: Blaziken​
:drifblim: Drifblim​
:espeon: Espeon​
:mew: Mew​
:mr-mime: Mr. Mime​
:vaporeon: Vaporeon​
 
Last edited by a moderator:

pichus

are you bored yet?
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Staff Alumnus
Generation 7: USUM

Information

USUM AG Resource Thread
USUM AG Metagame Discussion

Projects
Break My Team
AG Break My Team Season 2
AG Matchmaking
AG Victim Of The Week
Top 5 Titans of AG
AG Next Best Thing

Sample Teams

CM Steelceus HO by WSun1
:Rayquaza-Mega::Arceus::Yveltal::Xerneas::Arceus::Necrozma-Dusk-Mane:

Shuckle Webs by Zenithial
:Shuckle::Groudon-Primal::Xerneas::Yveltal::Rayquaza-Mega::Arceus:

Band Ray Hazard Stack by ice-master-523
:Arceus-Poison::Arceus-Water::Arceus-Dark::Marshadow::Ferrothorn::Rayquaza-Mega:

Gengar + DD Zygarde by Zenithial
:Gengar-Mega::Zygarde-Complete::Groudon-Primal::Yveltal::Arceus-Water::Arceus-Poison:

DD Ray + CM Ultra Necrozma Bulky Offense by ice-master-523
:Rayquaza-Mega::Necrozma-Dusk-Mane::Arceus-Dark::Arceus-Ground::Groudon-Primal::Ho-Oh:

DD Ray + Primal Kyogre by Zenithial
:Rayquaza-Mega::Kyogre-Primal::Zygarde-Complete::Arceus-Fairy::Arceus-Dark::Necrozma-Dusk-Mane:

S Rank

S Rank

Rayquaza-Mega

S- Rank
Necrozma-Ultra
Groudon-Primal

A Rank

A+ Rank

Zygarde-Complete
Marshadow
Gengar-Mega
Ho-Oh

A Rank
Necrozma-Dusk-Mane
Arceus-Ground
Arceus-Fairy
Arceus-Dark
Arceus-Water

A- Rank
Ferrothorn
Arceus-Poison
Xerneas
Kyogre-Primal
Arceus-Steel
Arceus
Celesteela


B Rank

B+ Rank

Lunala
Skarmory
Smeargle
Tyranitar
Yveltal

B Rank
Arceus-Rock
Chansey
Giratina
Gothitelle
Lugia
Mewtwo
Mewtwo-Mega-Y
Sableye-Mega
Vivillon

B- Rank
Arceus-Flying
Deoxys-Speed
Ditto
Excadrill
Mewtwo-Mega-X
Naganadel
Shuckle


C Rank

C Rank

Arceus-Dragon
Arceus-Ghost
Arceus-Grass
Blissey
Deoxys-Attack
Gliscor
Kyogre
Magearna
Toxapex


D Rank

D Rank

Aerodactyl
Arceus-Electric
Dialga
Giratina-Origin
Heatran
Necrozma-Dawn-Wings
Shedinja
Tyranitar-Mega


This rank is for Pokemon viable only on completely Baton Pass oriented teams. They are not relevant for any other strategy. Pokemon viable on Baton Pass and non-Baton Pass teams are ranked as normal above.

:blaziken: Blaziken
:drifblim: Drifblim
:eevee: Eevee
:espeon: Espeon
:gliscor: Gliscor
:krookodile: Krookodile
:lopunny-mega: Lopunny-Mega
Mr. Mime
:scolipede: Scolipede
:vaporeon: Vaporeon
:whimsicott: Whimsicott
:zoroark: Zoroark
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Hi I got a few noms for USUM AG
First civilian post feels good huh.

RISES

:yveltal: A- to A

A- to A

:ss/Yveltal:
Yveltal @ Leftovers / Charti Berry / Rocky Helmet
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 248 HP / 180 Def / 80 Spe
Bold Nature
- Foul Play
- Roost
- Taunt / Defog / U-Turn
- Toxic

Yveltal @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Dark Pulse
- Oblivion Wing
- Foul Play
- U-turn

Yveltal @ Life Orb
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Rash Nature
- Dark Pulse
- Oblivion Wing
- Taunt
- Sucker Punch
Yveltal is one of the best Dark-type Pokémon in the metagame. With Necrozma-Ultra firing brawny Light That Burns Me Eyes, a Dark- type is mandatory on a lot of teams. Its ability to viably utilize a multitude of sets allows it a degree of unpredictability and forces opponents to proceed with caution.
Yveltal’s offensive sets are quite underwhelming imo. Whenever I try making a team around Offensive Yveltal, I end up with something on the lines of Hyper Offense or Bulky Offense (except for Scarf obviously), and consequently I find its Defensive sets quite better. That just be me tbh, but Geysers said the same thing so ig it's not just me. But why use Defensive Yveltal over Defensive DarkCeus, which can check Necrozma-DM and Necrozma-Ultra somewhat more consistently?
Defensive Yveltal is better than DarkCeus in a lot of ways. One of the main points is that Yveltal has access to Taunt. Taunt + Toxic can 6-0 lots of matchup’s, and is quite not what Stall teams look to face. Yveltal also has access to Foul Play (boosted by Dark Auro too), which means that it punishes Necrozma and co better than DarkCeus (which by the way does not force NDM to switch after a +2, as they eat DarkCeus's Judgement, and retaliate with Searing Sunraze Smash, which cleanly OHKO’s DarkCeus, but Yve forces them out because of Foul Play). It also has the leisure of choosing it's item in accordance to what the team requires. Charti Berry makes it an apt Necrozma-Ultra check, plus the matchup against Edge Groudon-Primal and Swords Dance GroundCeus is greatly improved. Rocky Helmet Yveltal is a headache for Marshadow, Extreme Speed Arceus, GhostCeus and more. Into the bargain, it forces momentum with U-Turn, which'd also allow a frail / weakened teammate to come in safely and wreck havoc. Defog is great on it, I personally feel that it's one of the best Defog users right now, as it has a good matchup against Necrozma-DM, Groudon-Primal and Ferrothorn, a few of the most common hazard setters in the tier.
Now let's take a look at it's Offensive sets. As I mentioned before, I find them quite meh (not Scarf). But still, everything has its perks, and in the same way the Offensive sets are also not left behind. Life Orb boosted Dark Pulse is capable of 2HKO’ing almost everything that does not resist Dark-. Taunt + Sucker Punch is a very neat combo that eases predictions, and Sucker Punch on its own is a very good priority. Oblivion Wing nails everything that Dark Pulse doesnt hit, and also acts as a source of recovery, so that its not worn out by Life Orb damage.
Because of all these efficacious traits, I'm nomination Yveltal from A- to A Rank.

:ss/arceus-dark:

Arceus-Dark @ Dread Plate
Ability: Multitype
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe OR 252 HP / 160 Def / 96 Spe
Timid Nature
- Calm Mind
- Judgment
- Recover
- Refresh

Arceus-Dark @ Dread Plate
Ability: Multitype
EVs: 248 HP / 136 Def / 124 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Judgment
- Recover
- Perish Song
- Whirlpool

Arceus-Dark @ Dread Plate
Ability: Multitype
EVs: 252 HP / 160 Def / 96 Spe
Timid Nature
- Judgment
- Recover
- Toxic / Will-O-Wisp
- Defog / Ice Beam

As I mentioned before also, Dark- is a superlative typing, with the immunity to Psychic- and resistance to Ghost-. But I stressed on Yveltal being a great Dark- type above, here I'll talk about DarkCeus.
DarkCeus is one of the best Arceus types no questions asked. It can pull of a few decent sets, all of which serve their different purposes beautifully.
First off is Calm Mind + Refresh. An extremely devastating set with only a few checks, it can pull off a late-game sweep extremely easily. With Recover + Refresh (commonly dubbed as ReRe), it's very annoying and a pain to take down. Its extremely few counters are Whirlwind and Roar users such as Ho-Oh and a few SupportCeus formes, the former of which is taken down through hazard pressure. Another epic fact is that its 252 HP / 160 Def / 96 Spe Set survives a Close Combat from non-boosted Life Orb Marshadow (at high HP), and a +1 Judgement is a clean KO on a -1 Marsh. Plus Refresh also makes it a status absorber, which means less pressure on your OtherCeus.
Next up is PerishPool. With it's godsend typing, it's one of the best Perish Trappers you can get. Against Stall matchups, the Stall player would have to play extremely carefully, as if they predict a Calm Mind set and send the Chansey / Blissey in, it can be a very sad moment in their life. Whirlpool is a useful move anyways; even if you Whirlpool a FairyCeus you're still getting the free switch into Groudon-Primal or Necrozma-DM without having to worry about an incoming Rayquaza-Mega double. (Skarph's line). Trapping is always useful, and DarkCeus does that very efficiently. Goth sucks is quite matchup reliant.
Now we come to the last set, SupportDarkCeus. With enough and to spare Support moves, DarkCeus is a premier choice on lots of Balance builds. It's matchup against a few of the common Hazard setters, like Necrozma-DM, is also commendable, as it can Defog on them quite easily. With both Will-O-Wisp and Toxic in it's arsenal, it can chose what to run according to what the team requires. Will-O-Wisp cripples Necrozma-DM, Marshadow, Rayquaza-Mega, Ferrothorn and more, whereas Toxic is a better option to hinder the likes of FairyCeus and other Defensively-oriented Pokémon. With a respectable speed tier, it outspeeds Adamant variants Rayquaqza-Mega and Wisp's it before it starts to commit genocide. Ice Beam is also a very good option, as it pressurises Yveltal and Xygarde.
Because of it being extremely customisable, being an outstanding Pokémon and overall a great addition to many teams, I'm nominating Arceus-Dark from A- to A Rank.


DROPS

:ho-oh: A+ to A


:ss/ho-oh:
A+ to A

Ho-Oh @ Leftovers
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 204 Def / 52 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
Relaxed Nature
- Sacred Fire
- Toxic
- Defog
- Whirlwind / Recover

Ho-Oh @ Choice Band / Choice Scarf
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly / Adamant Nature
- Brave Bird
- Sacred Fire
- Defog / Earthquake
- Toxic

Ho-Oh is a good Pokémon, but it's way too hyped about. Its main drawback (and also a part of it's milk and honey) lies in it's typing. The 4x weakness to Rock- is quite problematical, especially against bulk-balanced builds, which can maintain hazard pressure for long. Because of this one, sizeable issue, it can fail to perform what is it supposed to perform.
It's Scarf set, even though capable of revenge killing plethora of Pokémon such as Gengar-Mega, Marshadow, Necrozma-Ultra and Calm Mind / Swords Dance Arceus formes, lacks the basic power to pick KO's on bulkier Pokémon, plus it can't even touch defensive behemoths such as Giratina and Zygarde. It's Band set has exactly the opposite problem. Being a devilishly Herculean set, it lacks speed, which means that the aforementioned Pokémon revenge kill the Ho-Oh itself.
Another of its good sets is the Wall Birb set, which is, by far, it's most famous set. Ho-Oh pulls of that set quite well, but only
when Rocks are off the field. Because of this, teams that incorporate Ho-Oh need to have strong anti-hazard support, which might put pressure during teambuilding and any match. It also suffers from the Four Moveslot Syndrome. It would like to run both Recover and Whirlwind on one set, but that's virtually impossible without messing with the Ho-Oh's utility. Taunt also limits it, as then it'll either be forced to switch, or waste Sacred Fire's PP and be stalled out by Toxic, and then forced to switch, as shown here.
Ho-Oh is also easily overwhelmed by the likes of Necrozma-Ultra, Kyogre-Primal and Rayquaza-Mega, all of which are extremely common Pokémon. It also can do nothing to Zygarde, the defensive sets just eat everything that the Ho-Oh throws at them, and the Dragon Dance variants can turn non-Whirlwind Ho-Oh into setup fodder. Another essential point is that a lot of Pokémon which carry Rock- type coverage, like Marshadow, Swords Dance GroundCeus, Groudon-Primal and Necrozma-Ultra get the better of Ho-Oh.
Even though Ho-Oh is a good Pokémon per se, it has a few drawbacks because of which I don't deem Ho-Oh fit for the A+ Rank, and therefore I'm nominating Ho-Oh from A+ to A Rank.


A last few words, the Necrozma-DM set in the first sample is messed up. Swords Dance with 0 Attack IV's and Timid? Nice but won't work. This might also just confuse anyone who uses the team.

A last few questions,

  • Do we have a setpedia? If yes, do we plan to add it to the main post? If no, do we plan to have it?
  • Do we have a VR by sets? If yes, do we plan to add it to the main post? If no, do we plan to have it?

That's it, thanks for reading!
 
Last edited:

Fc

Resident Ubers Zoomer
is a Site Content Manageris an official Team Rateris a Community Leaderis a Live Chat Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Ubers Leader
ORAS noms :o

:arceus: S --> S+
nomming Arceus to S+ rank in ORAS, above Darkrai or at the very least move Darkrai down. I think ekiller is a comfortable bit above the rest of the meta, being the best mon. Its splashability can't be understated, with teams commonly using multiple of them as they check almost every offensive threat, Darkrai itself included.

:salamence-mega: C+ --> Down somewhere
The amount of teams I'd want to use this mon on is literally 0. There's so many better mega options for every playstyle, and when mega ray exists I just don't think there's that much of a use for this thing. It's not bad because its stats and ability are still insane, it's just so incredibly outclassed that I don't think C+ is justified.

:tyranitar: C --> Up somewhere
I think Tyranitar is better than it's shown rn, with it being a good pivot on stall teams that checks a good amount of strong threats while providing Stealth Rock. Not the best of mons but I think it's better than company down in the C rank.

Also why is barbaracle ranked .-.
 

Ransei

is a Battle Simulator Administratoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
OM Leader
This is sudden but I was encouraged to make this post starting at 4 in the morning. So here I am done with this post by 7:30 AM. I spammed usage stats and submitted this post early by mistake so it was deleted and then edited until done.

Okay I know I haven't played Anything Goes seriously in a long while aside from quickly trying out tours every now and then but I've been around during a lot of ORAS AG's development and have seen both sides of the AG community from before and after ORAS held as the current generation. Playing this metagame fairly often back then and being Anything Goes roomstaff since day one has helped me gather some community perspective when it comes to judging Pokemon. With that in mind, I feel making a couple of nominations could be worth a shot. Here goes!

:darkrai: S+ --> S

I had a long conversation in the Anything Goes room the night before talking about this Pokemon and its perception by the community over the years. Darkrai is an amazing Pokemon who does an outstanding job oppressing the entire Anything Goes metagame to prepping for hax. Lum Berry, Substitute, or Sleep Talk are often required on many offense Pokemon for players not to get screwed over and sometimes, those weren't even enough. Darkrai has had its moments for sure, as shown in tours such as OMPL 4 and AGPL, but despite this and its high influence in the metagame, Darkrai had one big issue.

It tends to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options players had to prepare for it.

Here's a list:
- Lum Berry Extreme Speed Arceus and Lum Berry Extreme Speed Mega Rayquaza, both used much more used than Darkrai and helped against nearly all the offense threats in the meta.
- Magic Coat Pokemon, used mostly by Arceus and all of its most prominent formes bar Ghost.
- Magic Bounce Pokemon such as Mega Diancie and Mega Sableye
- Choice Scarf Moonblast Xerneas and U-Turn Genesect
- Substitute users with Lum Berry
- Mega Mewtwo Y
- Sleep Talk Primals and Xerneas
- Prankster Klefki

This isn't a full list and are not all perfect checks or counters against Darkrai but they very frequently stacked up in Anything Goes games. This and its reliability of an 80% accuracy sleep move made Darkrai not as difficult for the community to deal with at the time as what's being exaggerated in modern times. Darkrai is pretty frail, which meant missing Dark Void or getting surprised by the Lum Berry/Sleep Talk Pokemon listed usually meant game over for it. Darkrai often had to risk playing mindgames to get around the preparation against it.

Three of the Pokemon noted are the very three directly below its placement on the VR. As Fc pointed out, E-Killer Arceus was insanely splashable. It became the most used Pokemon BY far for essentially all of ORAS AG.
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2015-01/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2015-02/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2015-03/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2015-04/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2015-05/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2015-06/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2015-07/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2015-08/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2015-09/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2015-10/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2015-11/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2015-12/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2016-01/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2016-02/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2016-03/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2016-04/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2016-05/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2016-06/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2016-07/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2016-08/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2016-09/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2016-10/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2016-11/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2016-12/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2017-01/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2017-02/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2017-03/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2017-04/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2017-05/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2017-06/anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2017-07/gen6anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2017-08/gen6anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2017-09/gen6anythinggoes-1760.txt (the one exception)
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2017-10/gen6anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2017-11/gen6anythinggoes-1760.txt
https://www.smogon.com/stats/2017-12/gen6anythinggoes-1760.txt

Mega Rayquaza was also more prominent Darkrai due to it being the biggest offensive threat in the metagame. It often ran Lum Berry + Extreme Speed to deal with Darkrai. Darkrai couldn't 1v1 Mega Rayquaza much of the time unless Mega Rayquaza's Lum Berry was used, as all it took was 1 Dragon Ascent and 1 Extreme Speed to take Darkrai down. It could play a mind game and spam Substitute to stack Rayquaza's Special Defense drops and land a hard hitting Dark Pulse, but doing so made it risk falling into the KO range of Extreme Speed.

In addition, many Xerneas ran Substitute in order to help face off against non Sludge Bomb variants of Darkrai. Some even ran Choice Scarf Sleep Talk sets dedicated to taking down the Pokemon.

All three of these Pokemon can give Darkrai a harder time than vice versa especially when paired together.

Darkrai also has some 4-moveslot syndrome. It wants Dark Void, Dark Pulse, Substitute, Sludge Bomb, Nasty Plot, Focus Blast, Taunt, and Double Team to prepare for everything that can take it down, but it can only runs four of these moves. Darkrai can still cheese its way into winning at times depending on the set, or just win if it carries the right moves for an opposing team.

In summary, I'm trying to say that Darkrai is not the best Pokemon in this metagame. It has to constantly fight to accomplish what it wants to the fullest extent much of the time due to the excessive demand this metagame has on preparing for hax and the amount of dominant options there are for doing so.

On another note, the usage stats above have proven who the best Pokemon truly is in Gen 6 Anything Goes. Usually these stats shouldn't weigh too heavily on how viable a Pokemon is but when a Pokemon is so consistently far ahead of any other in usage for a time frame the size of a whole generation and the sample size of games were large to enormous throughout nearly all of it, there isn't really anything better to indicate that this is the best Pokemon.

ORAS noms :o
:arceus: S --> S+
nomming Arceus to S+ rank in ORAS, above Darkrai or at the very least move Darkrai down. I think ekiller is a comfortable bit above the rest of the meta, being the best mon. Its splashability can't be understated, with teams commonly using multiple of them as they check almost every offensive threat, Darkrai itself included.
What Fc said here is true and stands out. This Pokemon was incredibly common because it beat out all your best offense threats in the meta. I personally believe no Pokemon is S+ because Mega Rayquaza was shown to heavily oppress the metagame to stack checks specifically for it, and still beating them out much of the time, while Normceus was more so a Pokemon extremely usable for dealing with everything rather than one who heavily dictated the metagame as much as Darkrai and Mega Ray. This is not something I would die on a hill for though. If there are any Pokemon who truly deserves S+, Arceus-Normal would be it.

Aside from Arceus, I also believe Mega Rayquaza is better than Darkrai because its checks were far less splashable and less easy to utilize. Mega Rayquaza was often worn down by Arc spam (thanks E-Killer and Arceus-Fairy/Arceus-Rock/Arceus-Water) but outside those, when rocks were up, hardly anything viable had enough to deal with this monstrosity. Arceus was the one true Pokemon stopping Mega Rayquaza from becoming nigh unmanageable. It's at least a little more overwhelming to deal with than Darkrai.

[02:29] &Ransei: Darkrai was always highly prepped for
[02:30] &Ransei: at least since late gen 6
[02:30] &Ransei: just we had a very wide shift in playerbase afterwards of people who weren't familiar with darkrai
[02:30] %Frito135 ❤: i think we've seem more interesting ways of dealing with darkrai pop up
[02:30] %Frito135 ❤: while actual innovation with rai has dropped off a cliff
[02:30] &Ransei: i honestly don't think rai is the best mon
[02:31] %Frito135 ❤: probably not anymore, but idt it can ever be discounted even slighty
[02:32] &Ransei: it never was at least in a fully developed metagame
[02:32] %Frito135 ❤: so i think its a crazy mon still in the sheer amount of constraint it puts on the builder
[02:32] &Ransei: yeah
[02:32] &Ransei: it's still a crazy Pokemon

(3 days later)
[02:52:05] &Ransei: but uh when ORAS AG ended
[02:52:18] &Ransei: i was left under the impression that both mega ray and ekiller were above darkrai in viability
[02:52:45] &Ransei: and tbh nobody really complained about darkrai nearly as much as they did after oras
[02:53:07] &Ransei: the entire community took a drastic shift towards people who mostly didn't experience ORAS ag as much and at the time it was the current gen
[02:53:21] &Ransei: and this caused Darkrai to be grossly over-exaggerated

To be honest the former conversation was initiated by me discussing how Darkrai might be in Gen 5 Anything Goes, where sleep counters are reset upon switching out. That right there would truly make Darkrai an S+ rank nightmare to face off against but that's just my speculation. Genesect spam might stop that :psysly:.

:groudon-primal: A+ -> S-
I agreed with its drop to A+ at first, but then tried to compare it to Mega Gengar. I think the extreme customizability of Primal Groudon in Gen 6 Anything Goes turns it into a defining figure of its metagame and a figure that's more dominant than Mega Gengar. Primal Groudon works really well in an offense oriented metagame where it can unpredictably run many combinations of physicals, special sets, and support sets, making it difficult for most Pokemon below it on the VR to properly deal with. It even tends to carry out of this world sets like Thunder Wave + Rock Slide or Solar Beam Eruption. Here's an overall analysis of Primal Groudon with some example sets: https://www.smogon.com/dex/xy/pokemon/groudon/ag/

Primal Groudon's insane versatility in physical, special, and even support sets in general that allow it to prosper here while people struggle to use Mega Gengar over Mega Ray due to Pokemon like Darkrai. In addition to being so customizable and usable, Primal Groudon also serves as the most effective countermeasure to Xerneas in Generation 6. In a metagame without Dusk Mane, Magearna, or Zacian-Crowned, some of your best options are limited to Primal Groudon, Ho-Oh, Arceus-Poison, Mega Gengar, and Arceus-Steel. Ho-Oh can be cracked down by Thunder sets, Arceus-Steel can get cracked down by Focus Blast sets. Arceus-Poison and Mega Gengar can be cracked down by Psychic/Psyshock if they become too frequent. Primal Groudon does not really have a hard answer Xerneas can use but lacks reliable recovery most of the time. Xerneas is one of the most defining Pokemon of Gen 6 Anything Goes and can easily tableflip games with a lack of priorityspam or the aforementioned checks who are restricted. I believe Primal Groudon being able to check Xerneas a better than Mega Gengar, it dominating the vast majority of lower VR, and using its versatility to deal with some other Pokemon higher than it on the VR (Sleep Talk for Darkrai, burns/paras/rock tomb for MRay/E-Killer Arceus) makes Primal Groudon a defining figure in the metagame worth at least bringing up to S-.

:klefki: A- --> A
To me, it was confusing to see Darkrai move up but Klefki move down with Klefki still being heavily influential in this metagame and being able to check Darkrai. Klefki is a silly mon that can almost never be overstated. Although its RNG is less effective and its checks/counters are more solidified than Darkrai's, Darkrai wasn't the only one who greatly oppressed Anything Goes to prepare for hax at extreme levels. Prankster Thunder Wave + Swagger allowed teams of six of these have often hit high ladder in the past (as opposed to like, Xynix's Baton Pass team in Gen 7 being a one off instance), despite the amount of luck it uses. It heavily benefits in the offense metagame and annoyed many Pokemon because not only did it lower their speed, it took advantage of nearly every physical set with Swagger + Foul Play. Players had to pray for their Pokemon do not hit themselves because if they did, Foul Play doubled down on their damage and Pokemon like Arceus and Mega Rayquaza were done for. Thunder Wave lowering speed badly harmed Pokemon who used up Lum Berry and went without Rest, and this Pokemon was able to take on Darkrai in a 1v1 if Darkrai didn't carry Substitute. Klefki's recognition has gotten down to the point where we've had several claims of Numel being viable JUST because it could deal with Klefki and Klefki was usually seen as one of the best Pokemon in this metagame metagame for a long while. I wouldn't say it's more viable than Yveltal or Ho-Oh but I think it's still more efficient than the likes of Lugia, Skarmory, and Primal Kyogre for being able to deal with a wider span of Pokemon with something very silly and oppressive. It gives Darkrai and Xerneas quite difficult of a time if they don't carry Substitute. It gives Mega Ray and Arceus a difficult time if ahead of time, either Darkrai or another Klefki forced their Lum Berries to be eaten. Ho-Oh and Primal Groudon can deal with it if they aren't confused by Swagger and pressured by rocks in addition to getting hit with a Foul Play from prediction, but Klefki can just as easily pair with Primal Kyogre to play a mind game and eventually make both of these Pokemon sweat a drop when they realize someone may have to take a Water Spout. It is more effort for most teams to work around Klefki when spammed, than I can arguably say for all other Pokemon in A- individually, but this Pokemon is manageable and overshadowed enough to be kept out of something as high as A+ or S.

Lastly:
ORAS noms :o
Also why is barbaracle ranked .-.
Barbaracle was ranked because Thimo made some fire innovative teams with this Pokemon back then and they worked. Some of his teams even spammed it. Its rock typing resisting Extreme Speed spam and Shell Smash doubling Attack + Speed in a metagame as offense-oriented as Gen 6 AG gave Barbaracle more of a shot. This Pokemon did carry White Herb to reduce its defense drops after the first Shell Smash, which could also be a factor and probably allowed this Pokemon to hit x3 against any bulkier teams.
 
Last edited:

WSun1

treasure the experience
VR Update!

Hello! The USUM council has awoken from its two-years slumber to launch a long-overdue VR update. This will probably be the last USUM VR update for a while; the metagame has gotten its time to settle in, and with no looming developments on the horizon, we believe this to be the most comprehensive overhaul of the VR. The voting slate can be found here. Without any further ado, let's dive into the changes!

Rises

:groudon-primal: A+ to S-

:arceus-dark: A- to A (Dark)

:arceus-water: A- to A (Water)

:arceus-steel: B+ to A- (Steel)

:celesteela: B+ to A-

:gliscor: D to C

:sm/groudon-primal: A+ to S-

Groudon-Primal's initial A+ rank has always been indicative of how immense its impact on the metagame is, but we believe it deserves to rise to S-. As one of the best role compressors in the metagame, its defensive set allows one to reliably check Kyogre-Primal, set Stealth Rocks, and spread status with Toxic at a minimum while leaving room for customization, allowing you to tailor your Groudon-Primal set to fulfill your team's exact needs. Outside of its primary defensive functions, it's capable of checking the most dangerous setup sweepers with Roar/Dragon Tail, threatening Ho-Oh with Stone Edge, and even posing as a bulky breaker with Swords Dance. Defensive sets aside, Groudon-Primal's potential as an offensive force is undeniable—its specially attacking and mixed breaker sets are both spectacular for breaking down even the most robust walls thanks to its diverse move pool and incredibly high base offensive stats.

:sm/arceus-dark: :sm/arceus-water: A- to A

Arceus-Dark and Arceus-Water have risen due to the phenomenal defensive utility and stability they provide for one's teams. Arceus-Dark needs no introduction; it's the only Arceus forme that reliably checks Necrozma-Ultra and has a neutral typing against most metagame threats, making it one of the best Calm Mind sweepers. It can also provide defensive utility with its Defog + Toxic set and make progress in slow matchups with its Perish Song + Whirlpool set. Arceus-Water has seen many developments lately with its Waterium-Z + Liquidation set, a set that greatly improves its Mega-Gengar, Gothitelle, Calm Mind Arceus-Ground, and Xerneas matchups. Aside from its moveset versatility, its excellent typing allows it to check Swords-Dance Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, offensive Groudon-Primal, and pivot into Kyogre-Primal in a pinch. One must also not forget about the choices for utility that it provides between Defog, Will-O-Wisp, Toxic, and much more.

:sm/arceus-steel: :sm/celesteela: B+ to A-

Both of these Steel-types are seeing rises in their ranks due to their excellent role compression capabilities. Arceus-Steel can serve many different purposes ranging from a Stealth Rock setter that threatens the common Defog Arceus-Fairy, a toxic immunity, a one-time Mega-Rayquaza switch-in, and a Calm Mind sweeper. Most revered, however, is its offensive capability as a Calm Mind sweeper due to its typing that allows it to forgo Refresh and carry two attacking moves without worrying about getting Toxic'd. As for Celesteela—its reliability as a check to common metagame threats such as Dragon Dance Mega-Rayquaza, Calm Mind Arceus-Ground, and Extreme Killer Arceus compounded with its tendency to spread status and chip enemies prove that it deserves to rise above the B rank.

:sm/gliscor: D to C

Gliscor has its niche on certain stall teams as a status absorber/spreader, Guillotine trapper, and Defogger. It effortlessly switches in on metagame staples such as support Arceus sets, defensive Zygarde, Ho-Oh, and Groudon-Primal and threatens to retaliate with Sand Tomb + Guillotine. Its initial rank of D was too low to reflect the functionality it provides for making progress in matchups of attrition.

Drops

:xerneas: A to A-

:arceus: A to A- (Normal)

:lunala: A- to B+

:yveltal: A- to B+

:arceus-rock: B+ to B (Rock)

:giratina: B+ to B

:mewtwo: B+ to B

:sableye-mega: B+ to B

:excadrill: B to B-

:naganadel: B to B-

:arceus-ghost: B- to C (Ghost)

:kyogre: B- to C

:magearna: B- to C

:dialga: D to UR

:klefki: D to UR

:kyurem-white: D to UR

:muk-alola: D to UR

:scolipede: D to UR

:slowbro-mega: D to UR

:umbreon: D to UR

:wobbuffet: D to UR

:zekrom: D to UR

:sm/arceus: :sm/xerneas: A to A-

While Arceus is nigh-mandatory on hyper offensive builds, it suffers on every other playstyle due to its complete lack of defensive utility; Marshadow/Celesteela's increase in usage since the end of USUM cements its drop. Extreme Killer balance is awkward to build and typically mandates specific partners like Arceus-Fairy and other countermeasures to bulky support Arceus formes. Xerneas generally struggles due to the more centralized nature of teambuilding in USUM AG following the end of the generation. While the Geomancy set remains a potent win condition, it is always well-prepared for and modern balances have more priority to deal with it than in the past. The predominant issue with the Geomancy set, however, is the relative difficulty it has in fitting on balance structures. While it nominally has defensive utility in checking some threats like Yveltal and Arceus-Dark, it is generally relied on as a win condition and must carefully manage its health due to lacking recovery. It maintains its position in A- largely due to the good utility the Choice Scarf set possesses in being a cleric and a solid form of speed control, while also spreading paralysis.

:sm/lunala: :sm/yveltal: A- to B+

Lunala has seen its niche narrow considerably, especially on balance. The ubiquity of Pursuit Marshadow heavily restricts most Lunala sets as they are trapped and eliminated once Shadow Shield is broken. The defensive set suffers from this to an especially large degree as it frequently trades Toxic with Stealth Rock setters like Primal Groudon. As such, the only reliable remaining Lunala set on balance is Choice Specs, a relatively potent wallbreaker. Calm Mind Lunalium Z is threatening as well but restricted by Marshadow and Arceus-Dark to a greater extent and can only fit on Sticky Webs hyper offense builds, while Choice Scarf is very niche and generally outclassed by Choice Scarf Yveltal. Yveltal is in an awkward spot as it doesn't hit hard enough to justify its fragility, awkward speed tier, and Stealth Rock weakness. It faces stiff competition from fast Arceus formes that are able to effortlessly pivot into/set up on it and bulky pivots that it cannot break in one hit but can OHKO it back. Its defensive set is lackluster as well; unlike the other premier defensive bird, Ho-Oh, it's very prone to status and has to find time to Roost. It is also far more vulnerable to Outrage Ultra Necrozma than Arceus-Dark since it is OHKO'd after Stealth Rock damage by +2 Outrage and typically cannot fit Sucker Punch.

:sm/arceus-rock: :sm/giratina: :sm/mewtwo: :sm/sableye-mega: B+ to B

While being a reasonable Flying resist, Arceus-Rock suffers from a multitude of problems, predominantly its Ground weakness and one-dimensional nature. Calm Mind + Refresh sets have fallen off and perform extremely poorly in the context of the larger metagame, and even the support set is restricted to Stealth Rock + Will-o-Wisp; Defog sets are extremely mediocre. In general, however, Arceus-Rock generally suffers from compounding weaknesses to Groudon, Zygarde, and Marshadow while performing a singular role in checking V-Create Rayquaza. Giratina is notably worse overall than its compatriots in B+, fitting only on stall and a few bulky balance builds, while facing additional competition from Arceus-Water on stall, which is capable of checking Swords Dance Necrozma-Dusk-Mane better. The same goes for Mewtwo; it's worse than the other Pokémon in B+ and it's been increasingly difficult to fit it on teams that actually benefit from its presence. Even with a team that benefits from its presence, it's difficult to get much value as Dark-types completely nullify most of its effects. Mega-Sableye suffers from the rise in Outrage variants of Ultra Necrozma, which it cannot adequately check; therefore, stall teams often opt to run Mega Gengar or a different Necrozma check over it. It was also used to check specially defensive Necrozma-Dusk-Mane in the past but has been struggling as of late because Necrozma-Dusk-Manes almost always run Swords Dance + Solganium Z.

:sm/excadrill: :sm/naganadel: B to B-

Excadrill has fallen off lately as the necessity of its niche as a suicide lead that sets rocks through Magic Bounce and Rapid Spins hazards slowly fades alongside the usage rates of Mega-Diancie and Mega-Sableye. There are better alternatives for suicide leads that reliably set Stealth Rocks and provide ample counterplay against the hazards that other Hyper Offense suicide leads might set. Furthermore, these alternatives do not give away that your team is a hyper offense team upon preview. Naganadel's drop has been long warranted; it is entirely relegated to specific hyper offensive teams that have an otherwise impossible stall matchup, and ironically enough, it tends to have an awful matchup against offensive builds. With the gold standard in modern balance being the Mega Rayquaza + Marshadow core, it often finds itself getting forced out by priority due to its fragility. As such, it struggles to make progress against most modern balance cores due to the necessity for it to set up with Nasty Plot before being able to deal an adequate amount of damage.

:sm/arceus-ghost: :sm/kyogre: :sm/magearna: B- to C

Not only does Arceus-Ghost lack the power to break through support Arceus without its Z-move, but it fails to break through Arceus-Dark and gets forced out by Marshadow, draining valuable momentum on the hyper offense teams that it fits on. Non-Choice Scarf Kyogre sets get overshadowed by Kyogre-Primal's raw power and Choice Scarf Kyogre sets get shut down by Groudon-Primal's Desolate Sun. Additionally, Choice Scarf Kyogre sets are highly prone to Stealth Rock chip which decreases Water Spout's base damage with every switch-in. Magearna fills a niche of checking Xerneas and providing cleric support but often invites dangerous enemy breakers and Groudon-Primal in, effectively handing momentum over to your opponent and allowing them to set Stealth Rock for free. Notably, it lacks access to Toxic, which most other walls in AG can use to punish their checks.

:sm/dialga: :sm/zekrom::sm/kyurem-white::sm/klefki: :sm/umbreon::sm/wobbuffet::sm/slowbro-mega::sm/muk-alola: :sm/scolipede: D to UR

These options have little to no conceivable niche and are deservedly being unranked. The likes of Dialga, Zekrom, and Kyurem-White are completely neglected by the overwhelming amount of bulky support Arceus formes that are faster and can comfortably live hits from them. Klefki simply does not provide enough utility to warrant being used, and cannot make progress against Defog Dark-types. Umbreon is far outclassed by Arceus-Dark and the cleric support it provides never comes close to outweighing the utility and breaking power that Arceus-Dark offers. Wobbuffet completely folds to Toxic, an omnipresent move in the modern metagame. The niche that Muk-Alola fills can be carried out by more effective Pokémon that offer better role compression and matchup versatility; moreover, it cannot threaten Gothitelle despite its access to Pursuit. Mega-Slowbro used to be ranked as it filled a small niche on stall teams—however, it restricts one from building with Mega-Gengar and Mega-Sableye, both of which are far superior options. Scolipede is outclassed by other suicide leads on hyper offense teams and only sees beneficial use on Baton Pass teams, hence its transition from the viability rankings to the Baton Pass rank.
 
Last edited:

Unicorns

#ProtectTransKids
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
I was told to wait to post this until after the VR update and then I kinda just forgot + got busy lol. I wrote most of this post before the update, and I spent too long on this post only to not post them (the out-of-date noms are spoilered). I didn't separate rises and drops because (***fake a reasoning here***). Usage stats used in this post may be a bit off due to how the eo program processes Arceus forms. With all of that out of the way, I got some thoughts for a couple of mons on the USUM VR.

:sm/Ho-Oh:
Ho-Oh from A+ to A
This Pokémon is ultimately one-dimensional and has fallen off a bit. Ho-Oh's biggest flaw comes down to its inability to keep up with the modern metagame. Stealth Rock setters that match up well versus Ho-Oh are more common, such as support Arceus (Toxic), Arceus-Poison (Poison Jab), Primal-Groudon (Stone Edge), and specially defensive Necrozma-Dusk-Mane (Toxic). The same can also be said for set-up sweepers that Ho-Oh is unable to fend off in the long-term, including Calm Mind + Refresh Arceus, Swords Dance Ultra-Necrozma, and Coil / Dragon Dance Zygarde. Ho-Oh finds itself shut down at too many opportunities. Relying on a 47.5% chance to check physical attackers is not an ideal game plan, as it or a teammate is likely dying without the burn. Considering the oft-fatal nature of the aforementioned limitation, the Rainbow Pokémon largely necessitates supplementary forms of hazard removal and/or prevention, subsequently constraining the player to utilize specific and/or restricted defensive backbones. In short, bird became so good that hazard setters shifted their strategy to beat bird. Bird has been unable to recover fully from this shift. While bird is still an excellent tank and status-absorbing mid-ground, it's not as great as it once was. Ergo, bird's viability has taken a small dip. Ho-Oh's other sets, namely Choice Band, Choice Scarf, Choice Specs, Curse, fast Life Orb, and bulky Life Orb, have been proving to be less effective and downright rare in tournament settings. In fact, the singular non-defensive Ho-Oh that appeared in an AGPL III game was a Life Orb + Curse set piloted by the hands of a multiple tournament-winning madman. As much as I love how versatile this Pokémon can be, I feel that Ho-Oh should move down in the viability ranking.

:sm/Lunala:
Lunala from A- to B+
Fully agree.
Theoretically destruction. In reality, Lunala finds itself outclassed and has crushing role overlap with an S- Pokémon, Ultra-Necrozma. Subsequently, this causes the two to have similar checks, namely Arceus-Dark + Yveltal. Pursuit Marshadow has become increasingly common and outright removes Lunala if Shadow Shield is broken. With Shadow Shield broken, Lunala is forced out by and loses momentum against Mega-Gengar, Mega-Rayquaza, and Yveltal. The offensive teams on which Lunala typically finds itself do not exactly want to be allowing these threats in for free, classifying Lunala as a suboptimal breaker. This limitation has been glaring, with Lunala sporting an abysmal 32.43% win rate in higher-stakes tournaments (the second-lowest among the top 30 most used Pokémon in those tournaments). Its best set right now is probably Choice Specs, which can be a pain in the ass to pivot around, but it faces too many 50-50s to be considered a reliable breaker. Calm Mind has difficulty managing to go better than one-for-one and is outclassed by more splashable Z-Crystal users, like Arceus, Marshadow, Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, and Ultra-Necrozma. Lunala's defensive set is interesting and its support movepool is underrated, but that is not enough. Please drop Lunala down a little.

:sm/Yveltal:
Yveltal from B+(?????) to A-/A
Wtf. Yveltal is an awesome pivot right now and is one of the most versatile Pokémon in the tier. It works well on webs, hyper offense, bulky offense, balance, and semistall. The combination of Yveltal's expansive movepool, great typing, solid bulk, and good speed is stellar. Resistances to Ghost-, Ground-, and Psychic-type attacks are always needed due to the omnipresent reign of Mega-Gengar, Marshadow, Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, and Ultra-Necrozma. Yveltal has a huge number of utility options (Taunt, U-turn, and STAB + Dark Aura Foul Play) and an astonishing variety in sets, including mixed Life Orb, Choice Scarf, bulky Choice Scarf, physically defensive, stallbreaker, Choice Band, Choice Specs (even sets like jank coverage Focus Blast / Heat Wave / Rock Slide, Substitute, Hone Claws, Embargo, Metronome, or even a Z-Crystal). In AGPL III alone, we saw four of these Yveltal sets (including Substitute and Z-Embargo!). It's pretty tough to beat every single one of Yveltal's sets. This Pokémon is an incredible pivot right now for excellent teammates. It can use U-turn to bring in offensive breakers and utility trappers. It can use Taunt to prevent Calm Mind, Defog, or Recover. It can use Toxic to scout sets and cripple checks for late-game cleaners. Yveltal is rough. Its best non-Arceus checks and counters are either easy to wear down (Tyranitar and Xerneas), exploitable with offensive pressure (Ho-Oh and Zygarde), or terrible (Magearna). Even Arceus is beatable with the right set or correct support, such as Mega-Gengar, status induction, or offensive pressure. This Pokémon is incredible right now. Going back to higher-stakes tournaments, Yveltal has an excellent 57.47% win rate (the third-highest among the top 30 most used Pokémon in those tournaments). Please send Yveltal to A.

:sm/Arceus-Water:
Arceus-Water from A- to A
Fully agree.
I used to think it only belonged on balanced and defensive teams, but Liquidation + Toxic has proven to me that Arceus-Water is actually awesome on offensive teams. Its typing synergizes well with already solid Pokémon, such as Arceus-Ground, Arceus-Steel, Primal-Groudon, and Mega-Rayquaza, and it's able to reliably pivot into Pokémon offensive teams tend to struggle with, like Arceus-Ground, Primal-Groudon, Primal-Kyogre, and Marshadow. Arceus-Water is really good at forcing progress and should be able to go at least one-for-one every battle. Liquidation bypasses Calm Mind boosts from Arceus-Ground, Arceus-Steel, and Primal-Kyogre and can troll specially defensive Swords Dance Necrozma-Dusk-Mane. Utilizing the Z-Crystal gives Arceus-Water a workaround to Disable Mega-Gengar and Encore Shuckle while chunking set-up sweepers for a revenge killer to follow-up. I'd like to note that Splash Plate-boosted Liquidation is still solid damage and I appreciate the flexibility Arceus-Water has to run Waterium Z or Splash Plate. I'm also liking Perish Trap as a lure for defensive answers right now and Calm Mind / Swords Dance Arceus-Water sets are pretty interesting. Standard support is still great and I think some niche options go overlooked (Toxic + Will-O-Wisp, Ice Beam + Judgment, Ice Beam + Liquidation, Refresh, Roar, Magic Coat). Again with usage stats, Arceus-Water has a 59.09% win rate across higher-stakes tournaments (the second-highest among the top 30 most used Pokémon in those tournaments). Arceus-Water deserves to move up.

:sm/Celesteela:
Celesteela from A-(?????) to B+/B
Celesteela is not a good Pokémon and is matchup-reliant in the strongest sense of the term. Celesteela actually hurts its team by existing when against defensive teams. Celesteela is unable to make any kind of progress versus balanced teams due to the presence of Ho-Oh, Zygarde, and other status absorbers. It's not even guaranteed to perform well versus offensive teams due to the usage of Taunt, lures, and increased usage from the likes of Calm Mind + Heat Wave Ultra-Necrozma and Dragon Dance + Substitute Zygarde. Virtually all of the Pokémon Celesteela is tasked with checking have methods of working around it. Nowadays, more Calm Mind Arceus are carrying Fire Blast, Refresh, or Thunder. Marshadow, Ultra-Necrozma, and Mega-Rayquaza are all capable of breaking past Celesteela with coverage, boosting, or just playing aggressively. Celesteela has a paltry 40.00% win rate in higher-stakes tournaments for a reason. It resists Fairy-type attacks, but loses to Geomancy Xerneas and some Arceus-Fairy (Fire Blast). It resists Flying-type attacks, but loses to Yveltal, Ho-Oh, and most Mega-Rayquaza. It resists Dragon-type attacks, but loses to Zygarde and most Mega-Rayquaza. It's immune to Ground-type attacks, but loses to Zygarde, some Primal-Groudon, and some Arceus-Ground. Needless to say, I'm not a fan. The few things Celesteela does decently are beating specially defensive Swords Dance Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, out-of-date Calm Mind Arceus sets, and teams without status absorbers, while also buffering attacks from Arceus, Marshadow, Ultra-Necrozma, and Mega-Rayquaza (while not even doing much once it's on the field). These same things could also be accomplished by Arceus-Dark, Arceus-Water, Skarmory, or just aggressive play. Even as a defensive pivot, Celesteela is outclassed by Arceus-Poison, Arceus-Steel, Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, or just taking an active role in the outcome of the battle. Celesteela is not an unusable Pokémon, but it is detrimentally passive and frankly should not be considered as a component of a decent game plan. Drop, drop, drop, drop, drop it like RoboCop.

:sm/Arceus-Steel:
Arceus-Steel from B+ to A-
Fully agree.
Stupid awesome Pokémon. In my opinion, the best Calm Mind Arceus form right now. Arceus-Steel fits on every single playstyle, outside of some niche hyper offensive teams. Flying-type resistances are in high demand right now as Mega-Rayquaza buffers. Arceus-Steel is at the top of this list in my opinion due to its speed, Toxic immunity, always great typing, and set-up potential. Arceus-Steel has resurged in viability with Ho-Oh's recent shortcomings (see above) and it's revealed a ton of devastating options. I was a big fan of Calm Mind + Thunder during AGPL III and Edgar got to showcase Calm Mind + Stealth Rock as part of a bulky defense-breaking core. Earth Power, Fire Blast, and Roar are still viable fourth moves for Calm Mind sets (Substitute even made an AGPL appearance for an unknown purpose) and Stealth Rock + Toxic is a usable set as well. Earth Power, the fourth move for which Arceus-Steel is most famous, is frankly outdated coverage and Arceus-Steel does not lose much by dropping it. The only conceivable thing Earth Power does is kill Primal-Groudon and Mega-Lucario(?) slightly faster and banking on opposing Arceus-Steel to not also run Earth Power (Roar beats Earth Power anyways). Please use this Arceus-Steel's other coverage options. It is H-O-T! Please send Arceus-Steel up.

:sm/Arceus:
Arceus-Normal from A-(?????) to B
I apologize for the informal tone of this nomination. I'm genuinely confused how Arceus-Normal is in A- when its use is limited strictly to niche offensive teams. Arceus-Normal is outclassed by several revenge killers (Mega-Gengar, Marshadow, Mega-Rayquaza, Choice Scarf Xerneas, and Yveltal), most set-up sweepers (different forms of Arceus with Calm Mind or Swords Dance, Bulk Up + Marshadium Z Marshadow, specially defensive Swords Dance Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, Dragon Dance / Swords Dance Mega-Rayquaza, Calm Mind / Swords Dance Ultra-Necrozma, Geomancy Xerneas, and Coil / Dragon Dance + Substitute Zygarde), and numerous breakers (Calm Mind Primal-Kyogre, Calm Mind + Lunalium Z / Choice Specs Lunala, Calm Mind / Swords Dance Ultra-Necrozma, Choice Band / mixed Life Orb / Swords Dance Mega-Rayquaza, Taunt Yveltal, and Dragon Dance + Substitute Zygarde). Arceus-Normal's biggest failing right now has to be its lack of set-up opportunities and negative utility. It flat-out does not have a single consistent set due to its typing and limited coverage. Arceus-Normal has major 4MSS (needs Swords Dance + Extreme Speed; wants Shadow Claw, Earthquake, Refresh, Recover, Substitute, and Facade / Return / Frustration / Last Resort / Giga Impact), wants too many items (Normalium Z, Chople Berry, Leftovers, Life Orb, Silk Scarf, and Lum Berry), and is the most matchup-reliant Pokémon (outside of Smeargle, Vivillon, and some offensive leads). Every playstyle has common reliable ways to beat Arceus-Normal (these are generalizations). Offensive teams have Marshadow, Mega-Rayquaza, Sticky Web, screens, and Taunt. Balanced teams have Arceus, Celesteela, Ferrothorn, Mega-Gengar, and Zygarde. Defensive teams have Ditto, Giratina, Lugia, Magnemite, Mega-Sableye, Skarmory, and Tyranitar. None of these lists even account for basic counter-play sequences. I would rather use Arceus-Ghost or Arceus-Ground. Calm Mind and mixed Swords Dance Arceus-Normal sets are gimmicky at this point in the metagame and support sets are lol. These are not traits that would describe an A- Pokémon. Deoxys-Attack has most of these same shortcomings and it's sitting in C-rank. Deoxys-Attack even comes with a much simpler win-condition. The only thing Arceus-Normal does consistently is fish for matchup. Please send it to B (or lower).
 

Unicorns

#ProtectTransKids
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
Sorry for the double post. I'm not sure if there will be further updates, but I have a few cores that I'd like to submit for consideration to the USUM core compendium. It's pretty out-of-date and is not consistent with the current metagame. If not, then this post will just be some thoughts about some cores that are not already on the list. I wrote this while I was working on school and work stuff, so the wording and tone are so weird lol. For the sake of clarity, here is the most recent version of the compendium I could find:
Offensive Cores
  • Mega-Gengar + Zygarde-Complete
  • Necrozma-Dusk-Mane + Zygarde-Complete
  • Necrozma-Dusk-Mane + Mega-Rayquaza + Xerneas
  • Arceus-Fairy + Mega-Gengar + Marshadow
  • Deoxys-Attack + Tapu Lele
  • Primal-Kyogre + Mega-Rayquaza
  • Marshadow + Mega-Rayquaza
  • Arceus-Ground + Primal-Kyogre
  • Naganadel + Xerneas
  • Ultra-Necrozma + Xerneas

Balanced Cores
  • Arceus-Water + Primal-Groudon + Ho-Oh
  • Arceus-Dark + Arceus-Poison
  • Primal-Kyogre + Tyranitar
  • Arceus-Dark + Arceus-Fairy
  • Primal-Kyogre + Necrozma-Dusk-Mane

Defensive Cores
  • Arceus-Ground + Ferrothorn + Ho-Oh
  • Arceus-Fairy + Ferrothorn + Zygarde-Complete
  • Chansey + Skarmory + Tyranitar
Without further ado, here we go:


:sm/Arceus-Steel: + :sm/Rayquaza-Mega:
  • The pairing of Arceus-Steel + Mega-Rayquaza satisfies 2/3 of the parameters for the always excellent "fantasy" core, consisting of Dragon-, Fairy-, and Steel-typing.
  • Mega-Rayquaza provides Arceus-Steel with a switch-in that can stomach Fire- and Water-type attacks (notably from the likes of Arceus-Water, Primal-Groudon, Primal-Kyogre, and Ho-Oh if the user is lucky and bad) while also having a coveted immunity to Ground-type attacks (Thousand Arrows notwithstanding). Mega-Rayquaza is the best wallbreaker in the metagame and one of the best offensive pivots. The claim that "Mega-Rayquaza is the best Pokémon in the format" is not without evidence. Due to these traits, Mega-Rayquaza is also able to form potent cores with most other Pokémon. The question one should actually consider when teambuilding is "What can this potential teammate offer to Mega-Rayquaza?"
  • Arceus-Steel bestows Mega-Rayquaza with a teammate that resists Dragon-, Fairy-, Flying-, Ice-, Normal-, Psychic-, Rock-, and Steel-type attacks while still being immune to Poison-type moves. This is particularly valuable as Arceus-Steel only takes 6.25% from Stealth Rock and is naturally immune to Toxic, meaning that Arceus-Steel is going to easily remain healthy throughout a game. As said in a previous post of mine, Arceus-Steel has a ton of devastating coverage options that allow the team to bend towards nearly any playstyle the builder desires.


:sm/Arceus-Steel: + :sm/Marshadow: + :sm/Rayquaza-Mega:
  • Combine the cores of Arceus-Steel + Mega-Rayquaza and Marshadow + Mega-Rayquaza. Boom! New core!
  • Arceus-Steel beats a majority of the faster threats that immediately threaten Marshadow and Mega-Rayquaza, such as healthy Mewtwo, unscouted Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, and Choice Scarf users like Mega-Rayquaza, Xerneas, and Yveltal. Arceus-Steel halts most of the support Arceus forms, Celesteela, and Skarmory that would otherwise inhibit Marshadow from making much progress versus defensive responses, thanks to the Toxic immunity and option to carry Calm Mind + Fire Blast/Thunder.
  • Regarding Marshadow, copy everything I said in the above section and add a check to faster threats that match up well against Arceus-Steel + Mega-Rayquaza, such as Arceus-Ground, Mega-Gengar, Calm Mind / Choice Specs Lunala, Mewtwo, Mega-Mewtwo-Y, specially defensive Swords Dance Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, Choice Scarf Mega-Rayquaza, and Calm Mind / Swords Dance Ultra-Necrozma. Marshadow provides the core with an excellent offensive check for all of these Pokémon, using its strong priority Shadow Sneak to snipe faster threats, an option to Pursuit trap on predicted switches, and the ability to halt set-up with Spectral Thief.
  • Mega-Rayquaza furnishes Marshadow with an extremely strong teammate that can break past or lure checks shared between the two in the early game. These checks generally include Pokémon such as support Arceus forms, Celesteela, Skarmory, Xerneas, physically defensive Yveltal, and physically defensive Zygarde. Mega-Rayquaza excels in this role thanks to its devastating immediate power and expansive move pool.


:sm/Arceus-Fairy: + :sm/Arceus-Steel:
  • Needless to say, I felt Arceus-Steel was underrepresented on the core compendium.
  • Arceus-Fairy switches into Fighting-, Fire-, and Ground-type attacks aimed at Arceus-Steel and can typically force at least a one-for-one. Fighting-type attacks, sans Close Combat from Marshadow, are pretty irrelevant, outside of Low Kick from the rare Mega-Mewtwo-X or occasional Focus Blast from Mega-Mewtwo-Y. Regarding Fire-types, Arceus-Fairy should be able to go at least one-for-one versus most Primal-Groudon, thanks to status-absorbing with Refresh or being a bulky user of Toxic. While Arceus-Fairy is unable to directly threaten the stupid bird, it can force Ho-Oh a rough spot by carrying Refresh or Stealth Rock + Toxic. Speaking of Refresh, a dual set-up core of Calm Mind + Refresh Arceus-Fairy + Calm Mind Arceus-Steel is also an excellent bulky core capable of outlasting and breaking through balanced teams without much issue. In addition to the previously mentioned Primal-Groudon, Arceus-Fairy is still a solid check to Arceus-Ground (thanks to Refresh, Toxic, or forcing decent chip with neutral Judgment versus sets lacking Recover) and Zygarde (thanks to its bulk, strong STAB attack, move pool, and ability to force Zygarde out and punish switch-ins).
  • In return, Arceus-Steel switches into Poison- and Steel-type attacks aimed at Arceus-Fairy while being resistant to passive chip damage. This makes Arceus-Steel a free switch-in to most bulky status-inducing Pokémon that would otherwise harass Arceus-Fairy, such as opposing Arceus-Fairy, Arceus-Poison, Arceus-Rock, Arceus-Water, Blissey, Celesteela, Chansey, Lugia, specially defensive Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, Skarmory, and physically defensive Yveltal. Additionally, Arceus-Steel acts as an excellent Flying-type resistant buffer for Arceus-Fairy. Mega-Rayquaza can cleanly OHKO or 2HKO virtually every single Pokémon in the game. Arceus-Fairy is one of the best checks to Mega-Rayquaza, but even it is unable to directly switch in without the threat of being 2HKOed by Choice Band or Life Orb-boosted Dragon Ascent [252 Atk Life Orb Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 248 HP / 244+ Def Arceus-Fairy: 208-247 (46.9 - 55.7%) -- 77% chance to 2HKO]. Arceus-Steel alleviates this issue by switching into some of the strongest attacks of Mega-Rayquaza, like Dragon Ascent, Draco Meteor, and Outrage, while threatening significant damage using neutral Judgment. Over a long-term period, this interaction forces your opponent to consider not click these moves and allows Arceus-Fairy to better perform its role.
  • I am actually shocked that these two never appeared on the compendium together. This core has been viable since the early days of SM. It combines two of the best Arceus forms in the metagame for a core with great type synergy. The pairing has been successfully used on several tournament game-winning teams, including a few rather notorious ones. This is a time-tested pairing and should not be ignored when building.


:sm/Marshadow: + :sm/Necrozma-Ultra: + :sm/Rayquaza-Mega:
  • The broken three. If Marshadow + Mega-Rayquaza is a great offensive core, the addition of Ultra-Necrozma turns the core into a suffocating offensive onslaught. This core is comically strong.
  • I have already talked quite a bit about the already known Marshadow + Mega-Rayquaza core. While Mega-Gengar is capable of removing Ultra-Necrozma or Mega-Rayquaza, it will never have the opportunity to remove both, thanks to the threat of Pursuit from Marshadow. The same can also be said for any of the other fast Pokémon that could threaten Ultra-Necrozma or Mega-Rayquaza, like Deoxys-Attack, Mewtwo / Mega-Mewtwo-Y, or opposing Ultra-Necrozma.
  • Ultra-Necrozma has a nearly unmatched sweeping potential between its solid bulk, great speed tier, an expansive list of viable attacks, and breaking power between the Calm Mind and Swords Dance sets. In early game settings, Necrozma-Dusk-Mane can offensively pivot into un-scouted Pokémon that typically carry attacks that would threaten Marshadow or Mega-Rayquaza. This list includes Arceus-Fairy (Judgment), Arceus-Ground (Ice Beam), Arceus-Water (Ice Beam), Ho-Oh (rare Brave Bird), Primal-Kyogre (Ice Beam), Mewtwo / Mega-Mewtwo-Y (Ice Beam or Psystrike), opposing Ultra-Necrozma (Dragon Pulse, Outrage, or Photon Geyser), Mega-Rayquaza (Dragon Ascent, Draco Meteor, or Outrage), and Xerneas (Moonblast). After this, Necrozma-Dusk-Mane can Ultra Burst and attack using one of its many coverage attacks or set up to sweep, using Calm Mind or Swords Dance-boosted attacks. In fact, one of the most beneficial traits Ultra-Necrozma is its ability to reinforce the breaking and luring aspect of Marshadow + Mega-Rayquaza. General checks for the trio, such as Arceus, Celesteela, Skarmory, Yveltal, and Zygarde, may be nuisances for each member of the core individually, but they cannot hope to stomach an assault from all three. Marshadow could be running Life Orb Hidden Power Ice / Pursuit / Toxic or Marshadium Z. Ultra-Necrozma could be running Calm Mind or Swords Dance (or it could just be Necrozma-Dusk-Mane with all of its own variants). Mega-Rayquaza could be Choice Band, Choice Scarf, Life Orb Dragon Dance (with Earthquake or V-create for coverage), mixed Life Orb, or even Life Orb Swords Dance. The overwhelming devastation that the trio can inflict makes for very simple win-conditions.


:sm/Mewtwo-Mega-Y: + :sm/Necrozma-Ultra:
  • PsySpam without the Terrain.
  • Mega-Mewtwo-Y and Ultra-Necrozma are both fast set-up sweepers with expansive move pools that mostly share defensive responses. The list consists of Pokémon with vast amounts of mixed bulk and/or are resistant/immune to the STAB Psychic-type attacks shared between the two. This typically means Arceus-Dark, Ho-Oh, Lunala, specially defensive Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, Mega-Sableye, Umbreon(?), and Yveltal. The core works best on bulky offensive teams that have methods to mitigate opposing anti-offense measures from the likes of Life Orb Marshadow and Choice Scarf users, such as Mega-Rayquaza, Xerneas, and Yveltal. That, or you can just throw them on PsySpam. The highly offensive nature of both Pokémon effectively allows them to overwhelm shared defensive responses. That way, the other can exert the might of their offensive pressure largely unimpeded. Using the shared check Arceus-Dark as an example:
  • +2 248 Atk Necrozma-Ultra Outrage vs. 248 HP / 244+ Def Arceus-Dark: 301-355 (67.9 - 80.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • +1 248 SpA Necrozma-Ultra Dragon Pulse vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Arceus-Dark: 214-253 (48.3 - 57.1%) -- 91.8% chance to 2HKO
  • +2 248 SpA Necrozma-Ultra Dragon Pulse vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Arceus-Dark: 286-337 (64.5 - 76%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 0 SpA Dread Plate Arceus-Dark Judgment vs. +2 0 HP / 8 SpD Necrozma-Ultra: 152-182 (45.3 - 54.3%) -- 48% chance to 2HKO
  • +1 216 SpA Mewtwo-Mega-Y Ice Beam vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Arceus-Dark: 168-198 (37.9 - 44.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
  • 216 SpA Mewtwo-Mega-Y Focus Blast vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Arceus-Dark: 298-352 (67.2 - 79.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • This is essentially what the two do with all of their checks. Both Mega-Mewtwo-Y and Ultra-Necrozma are prone to Marshadow, however the Marshadow user must win two 50-50 situations (Shadow Sneak versus Pursuit on an attack versus a switch-out) in order to successfully check the pair offensively. The pair breaks everything for each other.


:sm/Necrozma-Ultra: + :sm/Tyranitar:
  • Tyranitar offers Ultra-Necrozma a Dark-, Fire-, Flying-, Ghost-, and Psychic-type resistant switch-in that can Pursuit trap many of the best offensive checks to Ultra-Necrozma. In return, Ultra-Necrozma wins games for Tyranitar.
  • Ultra-Necrozma does not need any further introduction as the last two sections have thoroughly reinforced this.
  • As stated, Tyranitar provides Ultra-Necrozma with a bulky switch-in to Dark-, Flying-, Ghost-, and Psychic-type attacks. This is useful in scouting items from Pokémon that frequently carry Choice Scarf and could halt the sweep of Ultra-Necrozma, such as Mega-Rayquaza and Yveltal. The Pursuit and Sand Stream of Tyranitar are additionally useful in securing chip damage on some of the defensive checks of Ultra-Necrozma. Lugia and Lunala are unable to check Ultra-Necrozma without Multiscale or Shadow Shield intact, respectively. Mega-Sableye is guaranteed to fall to +1 Dragon Pulse or +2 Outrage from Ultra-Necrozma after Pursuit (22.7 - 27% on the switch) or a single turn of Sand Stream. Even Arceus-Dark can be overwhelmed between Pursuit (8.1 - 9.4% on the switch), Sand Stream, and entry hazards.
  • +2 248 Atk Necrozma-Ultra Outrage vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Sableye-Mega: 291-343 (96 - 113.2%) -- 75% chance to OHKO
  • +1 248 SpA Necrozma-Ultra Dragon Pulse vs. 248 HP / 8 SpD Sableye-Mega: 220-261 (72.6 - 86.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • +2 248 Atk Necrozma-Ultra Outrage vs. 248 HP / 244+ Def Arceus-Dark: 301-355 (67.9 - 80.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO


:sm/Marshadow: + :sm/Zygarde-Complete:
  • This is an interesting core with both offensive and defensive prowess. The pair covers revenge killing, has the option for two users of set-up, and provides a physical wall/special tank that eats every attack under the sun. Zygarde landing a Toxic on the correct target can set up for a fairly simple late-game Marshadow sweep.
  • Physically defensive Toxic Zygarde bestows Marshadow with a status-absorbing, status-inducing, all-purpose tank that checks/counters some of the most dangerous Pokémon in the metagame. Zygarde also has the option to set up its own active win-condition using Coil. Toxic passively erodes targets lacking status-removal that attempt to switch into Zygarde, namely Arceus-Dark variants lacking Refresh, Arceus-Fairy variants lacking Refresh, special variants of Arceus-Ground, Arceus-Water, Giratina, Primal-Kyogre, Lunala, Xerneas, and Yveltal. Alternatively, Zygarde can run most of its other viable options in the fourth move slot, like Dragon Tail, Glare, or Haze.
  • Meanwhile, Marshadow shores up the passivity of Zygarde by dominating offensive matchups. Strong priority Shadow Sneak snipes faster threats, the option to Pursuit lets Marshadow trap and remove predicted switches, and Spectral Thief halts set-up that could otherwise be troublesome. In fact, Marshadow naturally checks Pokémon that otherwise threaten Zygarde, including Arceus-Dark, Deoxys-Attack, Primal-Kyogre, Lunala, Mewtwo / Mega-Mewtwo-Y, Naganadel, Ultra-Necrozma, Mega-Rayquaza, and Xerneas. Ghost-typing grants it an immunity to Extreme Speed, meaning Arceus-Normal and Mega-Rayquaza are unable to hurt Marshadow without first taking an attack. With some of its bulkier checks on a Toxic-induced timer, Marshadow typically will not have too many issues cleaning up in the late-game.


:sm/Giratina: + :sm/Gliscor:
  • Universally, there are about three or four methods that entry hazard setters will use to improve their matchup versus common hazard removers. Only three of these are applicable in the context of USUM AG and one is markedly more common than the remaining two: Taunt, set-up, and status.
  • While an excellent combination of utility moves to naturally have, the distribution of entry hazard + Taunt is limited to leads on hyper offensive teams, such as Aerodactyl, Deoxys-Attack, Deoxys-Speed, and Lycanroc(?). While neither Giratina nor Gliscor typically beat these offensive lead hazard setters, they can be shut down very easily with other common defensive teammates, such as Mega-Sableye or a user of Magic Coat.
  • The combination of entry hazard + set-up move is also pretty rare in USUM AG. Reliable recovery is generally prioritized over coverage in a bulk-laden metagame like AG. Entry hazard + recovery + set-up takes up three move slots and set-up Pokémon typically want more than one attacking move (Zygarde notwithstanding). The only common hazard setter without reliable recovery is Primal-Groudon. While it can run a set using an entry hazard (Stealth Rock) + set-up move (Swords Dance), this set faces issues relating to viability in that this Primal-Groudon set is extremely overwhelmed in matchups against offensive teams. There are a couple of entry hazard + recovery + set-up sets that exist and are capable of breaking the hazard control managed by Giratina + Gliscor, such as the previously mentioned Calm Mind + Stealth Rock Arceus-Steel and Stealth Rock + Swords Dance Solganium Z Necrozma-Dusk-Mane. These are both very uncommon sets however.
  • The last and most common method entry hazard setters will use to beat hazard removers is through a status-inducing move. In recent years, this category of hazard setter has dominated USUM AG, with the likes of Toxic Arceus forms, Poison Jab Arceus-Poison (with or without Will-O-Wisp), Toxic Primal-Groudon, Leech Seed (effectively a status move) and/or Toxic Ferrothorn, Toxic Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, and Toxic Skarmory being very common sights in tournament games. Here are some replays from a single metagame in a single tournament, showcasing just how status-inducing hazard setters can bypass otherwise solid Defoggers. This is the matchup in which Giratina + Gliscor thrives.
  • Giratina + Gliscor is limited mostly to stall and semistall builds using hazard control to keep a Pokémon with a Sturdy-like ability (think Lugia, Magnemite, or Shedinja) intact to check some otherwise unmanageable wallbreakers. Gliscor is a rare Pokémon in that it has been seen a total of five times throughout four AG draft tournaments spanning three years. It is an elusive sight in late-stage individual tournament games and it does not even have a page in the USUM AG SmogDex. Despite this, Gliscor justifiably rose from D-rank to C-rank with the most recent VR update. So what does Gliscor do? As Will stated, "Gliscor has its niche on certain stall teams as a status absorber/spreader, Guillotine trapper, and Defogger." As the above aside indicates, Gliscor is a Defogger that cannot be pressured by one of the most common methods hazard setters attempt to bypass standard Defoggers. This is important because setting up Stealth Rock is generally the most pertinent step most teams need to take when attempting to break stall or semistall. Due to this unique set of traits, Gliscor can end up being an insurmountable barrier for a large number of common hazard setters and thusly teams attempting to break stall. As Will said, "[Gliscor] effortlessly switches in on metagame staples such as support Arceus sets, defensive Zygarde, Ho-Oh, and Groudon-Primal and threatens to retaliate with Sand Tomb + Guillotine." While it is generally able to accomplish similar feats itself, Giratina is extremely prone to status and can easily be overwhelmed in bad matchups or just aggressive play. With Gliscor as a teammate, Giratina is no longer tasked with going head-to-head against hazard setters that would otherwise annoy it to no end. Sets like Stealth Rock + Toxic Arceus-Dark, Stealth Rock + Toxic Arceus-Fairy, Poison Jab + Stealth Rock Arceus-Poison, and Dragon Tail + Stealth Rock Primal-Groudon (with or without Toxic) are no longer much of an issue for Giratina. The 12.5% recovered each turn from Toxic Orb-activated Poison Heal offsets any Stealth Rock damage or Leech Seed chip attempted on Gliscor while its bulk and typing prevent it from being directly threatened by hazard setters a majority of the time. This gives Gliscor incredible longevity, meaning it has a lot of free turns while the opponent attempts to meaningfully respond to it. This is what makes the Guillotine + Sand Tomb combination one of the most punishing traits of Gliscor: the amount of time it has. If an opponent attempts to defensively respond to Gliscor over a longer game, Gliscor will have time to realistically hit at least Guillotine. Multiple solid opportunities to use a 30% accurate attack that eliminates an entire Pokémon is something one should not typically attempt to passively answer. While generally not as punishing as Guillotine + Sand Tomb, the other move pool options of Gliscor are certainly interesting. Taunt and U-turn are always fantastic utility moves and Toxic is just nice.
  • In return, Giratina is a status-inducing, bulky Defogger with solid typing. While these traits can also be applied to Ho-Oh, Giratina offers better type synergy when being paired with Gliscor. Given the natural general bulk and typing afforded to Giratina, it can Defog in situations that Gliscor would otherwise not be able, such as against Ice Beam Arceus, special attack-invested Primal-Groudon, or Calm Mind Primal-Kyogre.
  • +1 252 SpA Arceus-Ground Ice Beam vs. 248 HP / 52 SpD Giratina: 226-268 (44.9 - 53.2%) -- 0.4% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • +1 252 SpA Arceus-Ground Ice Beam vs. 248 HP / 208+ SpD Giratina: 182-216 (36.1 - 42.9%) -- 96.4% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • 0 SpA Arceus-Water Ice Beam vs. 248 HP / 52 SpD Giratina: 124-148 (24.6 - 29.4%) -- possible 5HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • 0 SpA Arceus-Water Ice Beam vs. 248 HP / 208+ SpD Giratina: 100-118 (19.8 - 23.4%) -- possible 6HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • +1 252+ SpA Kyogre-Primal Ice Beam vs. 248 HP / 52 SpD Giratina: 338-398 (67.1 - 79.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • +1 252+ SpA Kyogre-Primal Ice Beam vs. 248 HP / 208+ SpD Giratina: 272-320 (54 - 63.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • 252+ SpA Groudon-Primal Eruption (150 BP) vs. 248 HP / 52 SpD Giratina in Harsh Sunshine: 183-216 (36.3 - 42.9%) -- 97.1% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
  • 252+ SpA Groudon-Primal Eruption (150 BP) vs. 248 HP / 208+ SpD Giratina in Harsh Sunshine: 147-174 (29.2 - 34.5%) -- 99.9% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery


:sm/Arceus-Steel: + :sm/Giratina:
  • As documented in a previous post of mine, Calm Mind + Stealth Rock Arceus-Steel + Giratina is a balanced core that stonewalls defensive teams. The pair frees up the four remaining team slots by compressing hazard setting, hazard removing, and set-up roles, making for a fairly simple win-condition.
  • As stated in a previous section, Arceus-Steel is largely resilient against chip damage and can effectively sit on most Defoggers, thanks to its Stealth Rock resistance, Toxic immunity, and ability to boost with Calm Mind. Against Defoggers that are unable to force it out, Arceus-Steel can threaten a Calm Mind-boosted Judgment or just set up Stealth Rock again. Arceus-Steel provides Giratina with a check to Arceus-Dark, Mega-Gengar, Mega-Rayquaza, and Xerneas, as well as a counter to Arceus-Fairy and Yveltal. Arceus-Steel notably boosts alongside opposing Calm Mind Arceus (barring Arceus-Ground) that would otherwise be given set-up opportunity on Giratina.
  • Giratina endlessly walls and Pressure stalls the Defoggers that can scare Arceus-Steel out, such as Arceus-Ground, Arceus-Water, and Ho-Oh. Giratina also defensively checks other Pokémon that are obnoxious for Arceus-Steel, such as Perish Song + Whirlpool Arceus-Poison, Celesteela, Ferrothorn, Primal-Groudon, specially defensive Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, Skarmory, and Zygarde. Giratina can also Pressure stall Confide from the likes of Blissey and Chansey, should the need arise. It is not even total deadweight when asleep, being that Pressure remains active any time Giratina is on the field.

god, i'm not writing again for a while
 
Last edited:

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

Top