Metagame Anything Goes Old Gens Hub

chlo

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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)
 
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chlo

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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​
: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​
:shuckle: Shuckle​
C
:arceus: Arceus-Dark​
:arceus: Arceus-Fighting​
: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​
:salamence-mega: Salamence-Mega​
:tyranitar-mega: Tyranitar-Mega​
:wobbuffet: Wobbuffet​

Baton Pass Rank
:blaziken: Blaziken​
:drifblim: Drifblim​
:espeon: Espeon​
:mew: Mew​
:mr-mime: Mr. Mime​
:vaporeon: Vaporeon​
 
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pichus

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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:

Band Mega Rayquaza + SD NDM Balance by Skarph
:Rayquaza-Mega::Groudon-Primal::Marshadow::Arceus-Fairy::Arceus-Dark::Necrozma-Dusk-Mane:

Note: S through A- rank are ordered by viability.

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
 
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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!
 
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Fc

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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

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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.
 
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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.
 
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Unicorns

Banned deucer.
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

Banned deucer.
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
 
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:ss/yveltal:
:yveltal: Yveltal: B+ --> A- :yveltal:
Hey, I'm AD and in this post, I'll give an overall description of Yveltal, and would go through Yveltal's different sets in detail (which are pretty heat), and I'll try to explain why they're as good as Ho-Oh or DarkCeus. This is more or less an Yveltal primer, and I've been wanting to do a long post since so long, and I'm actually outraged by the Yveltal drop, so yeah. Working on this since October, glad it came out well. Post is not complete, btw, I'll add more later.


:yveltal: Part 1: Yveltal's Description :yveltal:
Over here, I'll discuss about Yveltal, why it is a great Pokémon, how it can shine in midst of Arceus-Dark and Ho-Oh and why it deserves A- than B+ rank. I'll discuss everything about Yveltal in detail, and would canvass the idea of Yveltal in A-.

First, I'll put all of Yveltal's viable sets over here:
Yveltal @ Leftovers / Rocky Helmet / Charti Berry
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 248 HP / 180 Def / 80 Spe
Bold Nature
- Foul Play
- Roost
- Taunt / Defog
- Toxic

Yveltal @ Life Orb
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Rash / Naive Nature
- Dark Pulse
- Oblivion Wing
- Taunt / Knock Off
- Sucker Punch

Yveltal @ Choice Specs
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Dark Pulse
- Oblivion Wing
- U-turn
- Heat Wave

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

Yveltal @ Metronome
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Dark Pulse
- Oblivion Wing
- Taunt
- Substitute

Yveltal @ Leftovers
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 248 HP / 76 SpD / 184 Spe
Timid Nature
- Foul Play
- Toxic
- Taunt
- Roost

Yveltal @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 72 HP / 252 Def / 184 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Foul Play
- U-turn
- Toxic
- Defog

Yveltal is such a fucking good Pokémon. The thing that I like most about it is its versatility, the number of sets it can run successfully is a lot (check above spoiler), each having different perks and uses. Blessed with a great typing and a stellar movepool, Yveltal has a lot of options to chose from, and can aid a team in a lot of ways. The amount of team archetypes it can fit in is amazing, too. It is a premier choice on Hyper Offense builds because of its ability to shut down opposing Defog users with Taunt, and on Webs HO, it hits stupidly hard, going past a majority of defensive Arceus forms with Dark Aura boosted Dark Pulses, plus it checks threatening Pokémon like Gengar-Mega, Necrozma-U and Necrozma-DM. It's also a neat choice on Hyper Offense because it checks Marshadow, which more or less is a very big threat to a lot of offenses. On Bulky Offense builds, Choice Scarf Yveltal is a great Pokémon because it checks the aforementioned Pokémon and more, and acts as a great speed control and revenge killer. Even without Life Orb, Dark Pulse and Oblivion Wing hit stupidly hard, 2HKO'ing a majority of 0 HP Arceus forms, such as Calm Mind SteelCeus and GroundCeus before boosts and Swords Dance GroundCeus. Even without defense investment, it can also soft-check Extreme Killer (bar Life Orb variants, but Chople Berry is more common, except for Webs), KO'ing 0 HP/Def forms with Foul Play. It can also generate momentum through U-Turn, a common move on Scarf Yveltal, and can fit on VoltTurn teams (pretty rare, but Magearna + Yveltal + Scizor-Mega + Rotom-Wash is pretty heat). On Balance builds, offensive Yveltal is rare because it's difficult to determine without changing the style to Bulky Offense. Of course, we have Bulky Choice Scarf, and that might be called an exception. But nevertheless, Gengar-Mega + Yveltal are extremely efficient together, with Gengar-Mega trapping Fairy-type Pokémon, and Yveltal helping against Necrozma-DM, which Gengar-M can't defeat unless it's chipped. The defensive sets are great against bulkier matchups, and can switchin on weak physical attacks such as Extreme Speed from Arceus, Close Combat from Marshadow etc. It can also viably run a Stallbreaking set, as base 99 Speed is good enough for a Stallbreaker set, with 184 Speed to outspeed all positive-natured base-90 Speed Pokémon, and Taunt + Toxic can irritate stall and semistall a lot. I personally don't like Stallbreaker Yveltal much because of my lack of good experience with it (it's bad against a few matchups), but it is a good set overall. Yveltal also has a great ability in Dark Aura, which gives a boost to its already powerful Dark-type STAB moves. Dark Aura also gives it access to the strongest priority move currently, Sucker Punch. Because of its extensive movepool, it has the leisure to Toxic even on the offensive sets, to pressurise common switchins like Arceus-Fairy and Ho-Oh, making it easier for the Yveltal to break them down. Toxic is a common move on the Stallbreaker and Physically Defensive sets already, and is a great option on the Choice Scarf set, too. Yveltal is also a great Defog user, because it pressurises the most common hazard setters in Groudon-Primal and Necrozma-DM extremely well, with the combination of Toxic + Foul Play. Taunt + Defog is also viable, but the loss of Toxic would hit Yveltal pretty hard. Albeit a bit rare, Yveltal can also run a Choice Specs set, which hits pretty hard too. Dark Aura + Choice Specs boosted Dark Pulse is capable of 3HKO'ing offensive Xerneas's and Ho-Oh (without Life Orb recoil, too), and a clean 2HKO on SupportCeus forms, bar FairyCeus. It can also get past Magearna, one of its best checks, through Heat Wave, and DarkCeus through Focus Blast, both of which are exotic options are are a little rare on Yveltal right now. And now we have some Yveltal sets which are pretty nice, but uncommon, and have been used by some people on the ladder, actually, back when USUM was the main AG Gen. We have the Substitute + Disable set, EV's I'm unaware of, which forces a lot of switches and aims at getting past a few common Yveltal checks which only have one attack to break its Substitute, like FairyCeus, PoisonCeus etc. The set lacks power, however, but it can be a pain to deal with if played carefully. There's Z-Embargo too, which has a cute 85% chance to 2HKO FairyCeus, one of its most common checks, after Stealth Rock (with the boost), and Dark Pulse is a clean 2HKO on almost every other SupportCeus form. It can also viably run Tailwind on Z-Embargo sets, as it usually needs only Dark Pulse + Oblivion Wing to become a potential threat, leaving the two other slots free for Tailwind and Embargo. There're also a few niche sets that decreased in popularity in USUM, like Choice Band, which was better in ORAS because of Klefki, Xerneas and Ho-Oh switching more on Yveltal. Foul Play with Choice Band 2HKO's all variants of Groudon-Primal, and Sucker Punch does 90 to Rayquaza-M. With so many sets, Yveltal is really versatile and splashable (yes), has the ability to force a lot of switches and hits pretty hard with its great STAB options, and therefore, I feel that Yveltal's drop to B+ is a not depicting Yveltal's actual placement in the Viability Rankings and it deserves A-.

Here's a list which analyses the Pokémon against which Yveltal has a good and bad matchup:

  • Rayquaza-Mega (yes)
  • Necrozma-Ultra
  • Zygarde-Complete
  • Marshadow
  • Gengar-Mega
  • Necrozma-DM
  • Ferrothorn (Taunt)
  • Arceus
  • Celesteela
  • Lunala
  • Skarmory
  • Giratina
  • Gothitelle
  • Lugia
  • Sableye-Mega
  • Vivillion
  • Mewtwo
  • Mewtwo-Mega-Y
  • Mewtwo-Mega-X
  • Arceus-Ghost

  • Arceus-Fairy
  • Xerneas
  • Arceus-Poison
  • Kyogre-Primal
  • Tyranitar
  • Arceus-Rock
  • Magearna

As you can see, the good matchup section has some of the most threatening Pokémon in the metagame, which make up almost all of S rank and some lower ranks, whereas the bad matchup section has some common Pokémon which make up the A, A- and B rank. Obviously this Pokémon isn't perfect, but the number of Pokémon it has a nice matchup against are some of the biggest threats in the metagame, and so it checking them is really nice and you'll love how Yveltal turns out to be in the end.

Now lets have a look at the ranking definitions.

B+ Definition:
B+ rank have a more specific function in the metagame that they are capable of fulfilling quite well. While they boast great capabilities, they require more support to work than A- rank Pokemon. These Pokemon are limited to specific roles/archetypes and/or require a lot of support to be utilized properly.
This is the most concise definition of the B- Rank that I could find. According to this, a Pokémon in the B- rank is limited to specific roles and requires a lot of support to fulfil its role. Is Yveltal limited to specific roles? Of course not. Scroll up a little for a small overview of Yveltal's various sets. Yveltal is not at all "limited" too anything, you have a plethora of sets to choose from, something that fits your team. The next question is, does Yveltal require a lot of support to be brought into play correctly? It does require support, being weak to the most common entry hazard and a really common SupportCeus form isn't helping, but not extreme support. Necrozma-DM + Yveltal is an extremely efficient core which cover each others weakness, and Yveltal suddenly becomes extremely difficult to wear down without Toxic or hazard pressure. Overall, Yveltal isn't limited to a few roles and doesn't require too much of support, which contradicts the definition of its current ranking in the VR's.

A- Definition:
A- rank Pokemon have glaring flaws but maintain unique capabilities that enable them to be large threats in the current meta, creating powerful offensive/defensive pairings. Pokemon in this rank will require support to be utilized properly.
Now this is, again, the best definition for the A- Rank that I could get my hands on. According to this, a Pokémon in the A- Rank has some big flaws, but have some distinctive qualities that make a big splash in the metagame, albeit requiring some support. Now is Yveltal having some flaws. It does, and a few pretty bad ones at that. Does it have some special potential which helps it to be a minatory Pokémon in the current metagame? Yes. Checking it is a headache if your Fairy- or Dark- or Poison- SupportCeus's are chipped, and the defensive sets can create havoc with Toxic + Taunt. And finally, does it require support? Of course. So does Yveltal fit the description of an A- Pokémon or B+? To me it seems that B- is an understatement and by golly Yveltal's placement in the VR's need to be revised.

That's it for my Yveltal description, thanks for reading.

:yveltal: Part 2: Yveltal's Sets :yveltal:
Over here I'll talk about the different sets of Yveltal, a nice number of them actually, some underrated, some common, and how it can cater to a lot of your team's needs. The versatility and customisability of Yveltal is amazing.

1. Defensive Yveltal
:yveltal: @:leftovers:or:rocky helmet:or:charti berry:

Yveltal @ Leftovers / Rocky Helmet / Charti Berry
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 248 HP / 180 Def / 80 Spe
Bold Nature
- Foul Play
- Roost
- Taunt / Defog
- Toxic
This is the hottest Yveltal set in my opinion, mainly because of its cool defensive typing, extensive movepool and great 126/95/98 base defenses. It can switch into weak physical attacks from the likes of Arceus, Marshadow, Necrozma-DM etc, and has the ability to force amplitude of switches. Dark Aura boosted Foul Play allows Yveltal to hit physical threats hard without the need for investment, and it hits the aforementioned Pokémon pretty hard, securing OHKO's or 2HKO's on most physically oriented attackers. It has lots of support options which can be utilised in accordance to the team, like Taunt, U-Turn, Toxic etc. Taunt + Toxic is a very neat combination of moves which can be a pain for a lot of matchups, especially against bulkier builds which lean towards the balanced core of Groudon-Primal + Ho-Oh + a SupportCeus, as it'll have lots of opportunities to spread Toxic. It's also a formidable Defog user, as it has a nice matchup against few of the common hazard setters in the metagame, namely Groudon-Primal and Necrozma-DM. I personally feel that Yveltal can't afford to slash Toxic, because then it'll be too passive and won't be able to hurt its common switchins like Arceus-Fairy, to which it does nothing. Yveltal also has the luxury to choose an item from a plethora of choices according to the need of the team. Leftovers provide it with passive recovery, Rocky Helmet is cute to chip damage on Marshadow, Extreme Killer etc, and Charti Berry is pretty situational as it helps against Rock-type coverage Necrozma-U and some other Pokémon like Groudon-P, but is a waste if you have a bad matchup. There are other options like U-Turn and Sucker Punch, but it'll have to leave either Taunt or Toxic for apparently not a good enough move, so you're gonna go with the latter two more often than not.
Apparently, when compared to Arceus-Dark, Yveltal has a few issues against Necrozma-Ultra, but has a better matchup against most Necrozma-Dusk Mane sets. Necrozma-U can get past it with a +2 Outrage when Yveltal is hurt by Stealth Rock, and a +2 Stone Edge also quashes non-Charti Berry Yveltal. That's one of Yveltal's biggest issues, but as this post focuses on its pros than cons let's leave that and focus on something else!! Against Necrozma-DM, Foul Play 2HKO's each and every of its viable sets (Offensive Trick Room, Specially Defensive, Double Dance and Calm Mind + Stored Power), whereas Arceus-Dark's Judgment fails to 2HKO the Specially Defensive and CM + Stored Power sets, and both of them can setup on it pretty easily. The Double Dance / Trick Room set can get past it with a +2 Searing Sunraze Smash. Please keep in mind that all these calcs are when the Yveltal or DarkCeus comes on a free switch into NDM when it's setting up otherwise even Yveltal gets blown by +2 SS sniff. So while Yveltal has a bad matchup against Swords Dance Necrozma-U, it has a far better matchup against all Necrozma-DM sets and Special (Calm Mind or Offensive Stealth Rock) Necrozma-U sets, as compared to Arceus-Dark.
It also has a great matchup against Marshadow, which can get past DarkCeus and Ho-Oh with Close Combat and the rarer Rock Tomb, respectively. A backup check to Marshadow along with a Support Arceus form is pretty nice especially when Marshadow is one of the biggest offensive threats right now. Another, pretty rarer, Ghost-type is Arceus-Ghost, which is usually seen on Sticky Webs Hyper Offense and is pretty hard to fit anywhere outside that, but is threatening nonetheless. A +2 Brick Break can 2HKO Arceus-Dark, whereas Judgment from the Darky fails to OHKO Ghosty (wow ghosty and darky rhyme!1!!!1!). In contrast, Yveltal can sweetly OHKO a boosted GhostCeus, and even if it's unboosted Foul Play does 94.5 on average to it, and in return, a +2 Never-Ending Nightmare does only 55 on average, and the other moves hit like noodles. Against Lunala, both our Dark-types have a tendency to fall to Focus Blast and Ice Beam (DarkCeus and Yveltal respectively), especially against the Scarf set. Now against Gengar-Mega, which also can't do much to Yveltal. Apparently Gengar can Perish trap Arceus-Dark with Substitute + Disable or Embargo, but it's more difficult for Yveltal as it has access to Taunt. Gengar can also get past DarkCeus with the rare Focus Blast, but outside the weird Thunder sets, Yveltal doesn't really take much from Gengar.
I hope I have covered most things about PhysDef Yveltal, so let's move on to our next description, offensive Yveltal sets!

2. Offensive Yveltal
:yveltal: @ :life orb: / :choice specs: / :choice scarf:

Yveltal @ Life Orb
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Rash / Naive Nature
- Dark Pulse
- Oblivion Wing
- Taunt / Knock Off
- Sucker Punch

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

Yveltal @ Choice Specs
Ability: Dark Aura
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Dark Pulse
- Oblivion Wing
- U-turn
- Heat Wave
Yveltal is a very versatile powerhouse with plenty of offensive sets too. Offensively, Yveltal is easy to fit on offensive teams due to its great STAB options which are pretty inconvenient to handle and can 2HKO a large amount of the tier. As I've mentioned before, offensive teams are weak to Marshadow, and Yveltal is one of its best offensive checks, thus bettering the matchup against something which can dent offensive teams a lot. It also has a satisfactory base 99 Speed, which allows it to outspeed the congested base 90 Speed tier, thus outspeeding both the Primals, bulky SupportCeus forms, Zygarde, Lunala etc. Dark Pulse + Oblivion Wing hits everything for neutral damage, so you have two free moveslots to fit in anything like Taunt, Sucker Punch, Toxic and Knock Off. With Taunt, Yveltal can shut down its non-Arceus checks in Tyranitar and Ho-Oh pretty easily, as they get limited a lot after Taunt.
Life Orb Yveltal struggles verses some Bulky Offense structures, but when paired with adequate support, it becomes lethal. Dark Pulse and Oblivion Wing is very difficult to check, and if disagree you're a Yveltal hater. When your SupportCeus is on a death timer (Toxic), you're losing more HP than recovering after one round of Toxic poison against Yveltal, even Arceus-Fairy which resists Dark Pulse. Life Orb is an absolute powerhouse on Webs Hyper Offense, and half of them incorporate Yveltal because of its sheer power and the fun people get when mindlessly clicking Dark Pulse when the opponent doesn't have FairyCeus (or Xerneas)! You're burning the whole metagame with your STABs, not to mention that there're more exotic moves such as Focus Blast, for Arceus-Dark and Tyranitar, and Heat Wave, for Ferrothorn, Arceus-Steel and Magearna (lol). I personally have tried Hurricane too, because it invalidates Arceus-Fairy (if it hits) and even it won't be able to come freely on Yveltal. You can play Sucker Punch mind games against opposing Rayquaza-Mega, and sometimes it is worth it, as a dead Rayquaza >> dead Yveltal. Sucker Punch is also arguably the strongest form of priority in the metagame, and it does 40 to 0 HP/Def Calm Mind or Swords Dance Arceus formes on average, making it one of the best revenge killers available. It also sits on a comfortable speed tier, so it can viably run a +SpA nature to get the maximum damage output from its main STABs, and in the meanwhile outspeed Modest Lunala, 16 Spe SupportCeus formes, Jolly Necrozma-DM, the Primal's and Zygarde-C, dealing heavy damage to a majority of them. Life Orb Yveltal is also a great lead, because its matchup against most Pokémon in the metamage is pretty nice, so it can do some early-game wallbreaking so that Marshadow can clean later. Life Orb Yveltal is a great Pokémon and has a lot of potential, being one of Yveltal's best sets, and I won't hear any argument.
Choice Scarf Yveltal is in my opinion its best offensive set. Even with Modest, it outspeeds everything upto base 150s (Deoxys moment LOL!!), making it one of the fastest Pokémon in the tier, a perfect tool to revenge kill the likes of Necrozma-Ultra, Gengar-Mega, Rayquaza-Mega, Marshadow, Groudon-Primal, and whatnot, the list is endless. Choice Scarf Yveltal isn't meant to wallbreak, I don't know why people say "it hits so weak", it's meant to be a revenge killer, a job which it excels at, and Life Orb Yveltal is a far better wallbreaker. Foul Play in tandem with Dark Aura hits almost every boosted foe for an OHKO, and even non-boosted physical attackers take a million from it. It's also very fun to turn their own attack boosts and investment against them lol. Also, Yveltal is one of the only viable U-Turn users in the tier, and can utilise it to pulverize its common switchins in Aceus-Fairy, Arceus-Dark, Ho-Oh and Tyranitar, as it can let in Groudon-Primal for free, which can, for instance, use Rock Polish and then proceed to break the opposing team, increasing the pressure on the opponent. Skarph isn't the only person who can utilise U-Turn, I personally have used Scarf Yveltal a lot of times on ladder and it's not that difficult to pull off. It's like the Pursuit Marsh vs. Gengar 50/50, you either win or lose and profit if you win. Because Yveltal forces a lot of switches, Toxic is also a viable option, which can put the aforementioned common Pokémon which like to switch into it on a timer, thus making it easier for Marshadow to pick them off late-game. Gengar-Mega + Scarf Yveltal is also very efficient, as you can U-Turn and trap the opposing Arceus-Poison/Fairy easily with the Gengar, or don't U-Turn and predict well (gg.). It's not easy to scout, I disagree, you can get loads of momentum if you predict well, and you can pick a KO with any other move if you predict them staying in. Defog is also a viable option for its last move, as it has a nice matchup against a the most common hazard setters, like Necrozma-DM and Groudon-Primal. With the number of switches Yveltal forces, it's gonna get loads of opportunities to use Defog. Scarf Yveltal is also an amazing late-game cleaner, when the opposing team has been weakened, and can turn guarenteed loses into wins. I love how amazing this mon is.


I'll add more later, am continuing this. And btw I'm nomming Yveltal to A- just in case you forgot.
Cheers.
 

Unicorns

Banned deucer.
:ss/Arceus:
With the release of BDSP and data-mining signaling it's possible return in the near-future, I think it's worth detailing the effect that Arceus has had on the identity of AG. Arceus is one of the few Pokémon to ever achieved >100% usage in a tier and it provides an unrivaled combination of speed, bulk, utility, and offensive capabilities. Arceus is a Pokémon that has checked the most dangerous sweepers in the history of competitive Pokémon and has also been the most famous sweeper of competitive Pokémon. With the shift to Galar as the primary metagame last fall, AG has been without it's single most important entity for just over a year. The purpose of this post is to provide general insight on the role of Arceus in AG metagames, as well as detailing the strengths and limitations of the species as a whole. DPP AG will not be explored as the metagame is relatively unexplored, so information regarding Arceus's role would not be as comprehensive. A future post will analyze the roles of each Arceus type throughout ORAS, USUM, and ND individually. This post is going to be way too long, so I'll divide sections using spoilers. With all that said and out of the way, it's time that we cast off our sins and those of Game Freak and return to the light of Arceus.

Following AG's creation in early ORAS as containment for Mega-Rayquaza, Arceus emerged as the most prominent beneficiary of the lack of species clause. As mentioned before, this was due to Arceus's unmatched speed, bulk, utility, and offensive prowess. Arceus comes in 18 different flavors, each with their own nuances, so let's start with the traits that apply to all forms of Arceus: it's base stats, ability, typing, and movepool.
  • Arceus has a base stat total of 720, the highest of any non-Mega/Primal Pokémon, distributed as base 120's across the board.
  • Base 120 speed is awesome and is a very important speed tier in the format. This high base speed most notably eclipses Giratina, Giratina-Origin, Primal-Groudon, Ho-Oh, Primal-Kyogre, Lunala, Mega-Rayquaza, Xerneas, Yveltal, and Zygarde/Zygarde-Complete. While this is eclipsed by several metagame staples, namely Calyrex-Shadow, Darkrai, Eternatus, Mega-Gengar, Marshadow, the Mewtwos, Ultra-Necrozma, and Zacian-Crowned, as well as the common Choice Scarf users, these Pokémon offer nothing close to the other positive traits Arceus provides.
  • Base defenses of 120 / 120 / 120 are simply outstanding. Arceus is one of the physically and specially bulkiest Pokémon based on raw stats alone and, in conjunction with it's to-be-discussed typing, Arceus defensively checks any conceivable offensive Pokémon in the game with the appropriate typing. Let's look at some of them!:
  • +3 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade vs. 252 HP / 240+ Def Arceus-Ground: 351-414 (79 - 93.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • +1 252+ Atk Life Orb Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 252 HP / 244+ Def Arceus-Dark: 341-403 (76.8 - 90.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • +2 252 Atk Life Orb Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 252 HP / 240+ Def Arceus-Ground: 417-491 (93.9 - 110.5%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO
  • +2 252+ SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 244+ SpD Arceus-Grass: 291-343 (65.5 - 77.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • +1 252+ SpA Kyogre-Primal Ice Beam vs. 252 HP / 244+ SpD Arceus-Grass: 264-312 (59.4 - 70.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • +1 252+ SpA Kyogre-Primal Water Spout (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Arceus-Water in Heavy Rain: 331-390 (74.5 - 87.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252+ SpA Groudon-Primal Eruption (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Arceus-Ground in Harsh Sunshine: 382-451 (86 - 101.5%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO
  • +2 252+ Atk Groudon-Primal Precipice Blades vs. 252 HP / 240+ Def Arceus-Ground: 352-415 (79.2 - 93.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • +6 252+ Atk Zygarde-Complete Thousand Arrows vs. 252 HP / 240+ Def Arceus-Ground: 343-405 (77.2 - 91.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • +2 0 Atk Necrozma-Dusk-Mane Searing Sunraze Smash vs. 252 HP / 240+ Def Arceus-Ground: 408-480 (91.8 - 108.1%) -- 50% chance to OHKO
  • +2 252 Atk Necrozma-Ultra Outrage vs. 252 HP / 164 Def Arceus-Dark: 352-415 (79.2 - 93.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • +1 252 SpA Necrozma-Ultra Dragon Pulse vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Arceus-Dark: 214-253 (48.1 - 56.9%) -- 91% chance to 2HKO
  • +1 252+ SpA Lunala Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Arceus-Dark: 384-452 (86.4 - 101.8%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO
  • +2 252+ Atk Life Orb Arceus Extreme Speed vs. 252 HP / 244+ Def Arceus-Dark: 226-266 (50.9 - 59.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • +2 252 SpA Life Orb Calyrex-Shadow Psyshock vs. 240 HP / 0 Def Arceus: 347-409 (78.6 - 92.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • +2 252 SpA Calyrex-Shadow Savage Spin-Out (175 BP) vs. 240 HP / 0 SpD Arceus: 389-458 (88.2 - 103.8%) -- 25% chance to OHKO
  • +2 252 SpA Life Orb Mewtwo Psystrike vs. 248 HP / 244+ Def Arceus-Fairy: 308-363 (69.5 - 81.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • The weakest point(s), Arceus possesses "only" base 120 attack and special attack. While not staggering, these stats are certainly serviceable and are a key aspect to Arceus's blanket-checking ability. Along with its aforementioned bulk, even neutral Arceus provides solid offensive pressure on some of the most threatening Pokémon in the game. A wall of calcs will follow this paragraph, but it's important to remember that a check must be able to force out the opposing Pokémon; otherwise, it's fodder. One last note is that Arceus does have an offensive movepool to back these stats up, so they are not misleading as with Kyurem-Black or Spectrier.
  • 0 SpA Iron Plate Arceus-Steel Judgment vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Rayquaza-Mega: 151-178 (43 - 50.7%) -- 2% chance to 2HKO
  • 0 SpA Iron Plate Arceus-Steel Judgment vs. -1 0 HP / 0 SpD Rayquaza-Mega: 228-268 (64.9 - 76.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 0 SpA Iron Plate Arceus-Steel Judgment vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Darkrai: 165-195 (58.5 - 69.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 0 SpA Iron Plate Arceus-Steel Judgment vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Arceus: 129-153 (33.8 - 40.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
  • 0 SpA Iron Plate Arceus-Steel Judgment vs. 12 HP / 48 SpD Zygarde-Complete: 150-177 (26 - 30.7%) -- 2.4% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery (guaranteed to break Substitute)
  • 0 SpA Iron Plate Arceus-Steel Judgment vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Marshadow: 165-195 (51.4 - 60.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 0 SpA Iron Plate Arceus-Steel Judgment vs. -1 0 HP / 0 SpD Marshadow: 247-292 (76.9 - 90.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 0 SpA Iron Plate Arceus-Steel Judgment vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 135-159 (41.5 - 48.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
  • 0 SpA Iron Plate Arceus-Steel Judgment vs. -1 0 HP / 0 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 202-238 (62.1 - 73.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • 0 SpA Iron Plate Arceus-Steel Judgment vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Calyrex-Shadow: 151-178 (44.2 - 52.1%) -- 16% chance to 2HKO
  • Arceus is obligated to have it's into a signature ability, Multitype. Consulting the generation VIII in-game description, Multitype "changes the Pokémon's type to match the Plate or Z-Crystal it holds." This is the trait that defines Arceus's omnipresence in AG. Arceus can become any of the 18 single types in the game by holding the corresponding Plate or Z-Crystal. There is no other Pokémon that can change their typing to fulfill almost any needed role, outside of a Pokémon explicitly based on resembling Arceus.
  • A unique mechanic regarding Arceus needs to be addressed for newcomers to the format: Standard AG metagames exist only in generations in which team preview is enabled. Team preview does not reveal Arceus's typing, only appearing as Arceus-Normal until said Arceus has been sent out onto the field. While an unrevealed Arceus typing will never be a guaranteed conclusion, this unique dynamic rewards players for scouting and forcing switches, as well as having knowledge of the metagame. To put it another way, an un-scouted late-game Calm Mind or Swords Dance Arceus of a specific typing may very easily result in a potential sweep.
  • When paired with Arceus's aforementioned bulk, mono-typing is excellent, leaving Arceus without any x4 weaknesses. For this reason, offensive Pokémon are generally unable to lure Arceus forms with surprise coverage and must instead rely mostly on brute force with a set-up Z-move or Dynamax.
  • Arceus's movepool is incredible and is only bested by Smeargle and Mew, two Pokémon known for learning nearly all moves. To keep this section simple, I've organized a table to classify and highlight Arceus's generally useful and niche moves. This table is not exhaustive and should only be referred to as a general guideline.
ClassificationGenerally UsefulNiche
StatusCalm Mind, Defog, Perish Song, Recover, Refresh, Sleep Talk, Stealth Rock, Swords Dance, Thunder Wave, Toxic, Will-O-WispGravity, Iron Defense, Magic Coat, Light Screen, Reflect, Roar, Safeguard, Trick, Trick Room
UtilityExtreme Speed, WhirlpoolBulldoze, Icy Wind, Liquidation, Poison Jab, Rock Tomb, Snarl
PhysicalEarthquake, Stone EdgeAvalanche, Brick Break, Facade, Frustration, Giga Impact, Iron Head, Last Resort, Outrage, Return, Shadow Claw, Shadow Force
SpecialEarth Power, Fire Blast, Ice Beam, Judgment (see note below), ThunderGrass Knot, Focus Blast
  • Judgment is Arceus's signature move. It provides Arceus with a consistent (100% accuracy), high base power attack (100 base × 1.5x STAB × 1.2x Plate = 180 BP) with good usability (16 PP) of variable typing (changes type to match the Plate Arceus equips).

  • With these defined traits, we can discuss the fit of Arceus and its many forms on different playstyles. I'll limit this discussion to a single sentence summary for each Arceus type, given that this post is already way too long lol. I'll give an attempt at a quantifiable value of each typing's summative placement across the most up-to-date version of the three VR's (UR=0, D=1, …, S-=9, S=10), as well as the playstyles on which each form is typically found and the sets for which each type will usually run. "?" indicates guessing as there is very little data (i.e.- the form is kinda bad lol). Again, I plan on posting a further analysis about the role of each Arceus type in each metagame, but that will come at a later date.
TypeNumerical ValueSetsPlaystyles
Arceus-Bug0/30Support?Bulky offense?
Arceus-Dark16/30Support, Perish Trap, Calm Mind + RefreshBulky offense, balance, semistall, stall
Arceus-Dragon5/30SupportBulky offense, balance
Arceus-Electric3/30Calm Mind + coverage
Rarely support
Hyper offense, semistall
Arceus-Fairy19/30Support, Calm Mind + Refresh/coverage, offensive leadHyper offense, bulky offense, balance, semistall
Arceus-Fighting0/30Calm Mind + coverage?Bulky offense?
Arceus-Fire0/30Support, Calm Mind + coverage?Bulky offense, balance?
Arceus-Flying3/30Calm Mind + Refresh, supportHyper offense, bulky offense
Arceus-Ghost11/30Swords Dance
Rarely support
Hyper offense, bulky offense
Occasionally balance
Arceus-Grass2/30SupportBalance
Occasionally bulky offense, semistall
Arceus-Ground24/30Calm Mind + coverage, Swords Dance, support, offensive leadHyper offense, bulky offense, balance, semistall
Arceus-Ice0/30Calm Mind + coverage?
Rarely Swords Dance?
Hyper offense?
Arceus-Normal23/30Swords Dance
Rarely support
Hyper offense, bulky offense
Occasionally balance
Arceus-Poison13/30Support, Perish TrapBulky offense, balance
Arceus-Psychic0/30Support?Bulky offense, balance?
Arceus-Rock15/30Support, Calm Mind + Refresh/coverage
Rarely Swords Dance
Balance, semistall
Occasionally bulky offense
Arceus-Steel17/30Calm Mind + coverage
Rarely support
Bulky offense, balance, semistall, stall
Arceus-Water21/30Support, Perish Trap
Rarely Calm Mind + coverage, Swords Dance
Bulky offense, balance, semistall
  • This comes out to at least 40 different sets that an Arceus could viably be running. This doesn't even include move-slot variations or the classic unset. For comparison, Mega-Rayquaza has ~5 viable sets, Primal-Groudon has ~8, and Necrozma-Dusk-Mane and Yveltal have ~9 each. Arceus is easily the most versatile of any single Pokémon in the game.

Despite all the positive assets, there are some limitations that prevent six Arceus from becoming the standard metagame team.
:ss/Chansey: :ss/Giratina: :ss/Ho-Oh: :ss/Quagsire: :ss/Skarmory:
  • As previously stated, Arceus possesses base 120 attack and base 120 special attack. While these would be solid by the standards of most metagames, AG has seen metagame staples with far greater offensive capabilities. Pokémon such as Calyrex-Shadow, Primal-Kyogre, Ultra-Necrozma, Mega-Rayquaza, Xerneas, and Zacian-Crowned have been some of the gold standards for offensive power in the history of the tier, so defensive responses tasked with checking them are typically able to wall even the most offensive Arceus variants. Physical walls such as Quagsire, Mega-Sableye, and Skarmory can typically manage the common physical attacking and Swords Dance Arceus variants, namely Arceus-Ghost, Arceus-Ground, and Arceus-Normal. Specially defensive walls, such as Blissey, Chansey, and Gastrodon, can similarly manage special attacking and Calm Mind Arceus variants. Pokémon possessing generally bulky stats, such as Celesteela, Eternatus, Giratina, Gliscor, Ho-Oh, Lugia, Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, Yveltal, Zygarde, and even fellow Arceus, can also plague some Arceus forms. Lastly, niche defensive Pokémon, namely Magnemite and Shedinja, can very easily become immovable roadblocks for specific Arceus variants incapable of otherwise breaking their ability-driven role on defensive teams.
  • I would like to clarify that Arceus is not necessarily dead-weight versus stall. While Arceus is generally a suboptimal wall-breaker, it can be an extremely effective component in a stall-breaking core (please refer to this page regarding the difference between the two). There are two sets in particular that devastate defensive teams and can easily provide the necessary support for an almost guaranteed win. As a small reminder, the most consistent method for stall-breaking across AG will typically rely on forcing consistent Stealth Rock and/or other chip damage and sweeping with a fast breaker, such as Darkrai, Ultra-Necrozma, Mega-Rayquaza, or Yveltal.
    • I have gushed about the first set multiple times on this website for good reason. When paired with Giratina, no defensive responses exist that can mitigate Arceus-Steel's progress between Calm Mind + Judgment and Stealth Rock. Arceus-Steel can set-up Calm Mind boosts to force out hazard removers like Arceus, Giratina, Gliscor, Mega-Sableye, Skarmory, and Yveltal with boosted Judgment. Stealth Rock forces progress versus the remaining defensive Pokémon and immunity to Toxic prevents Arceus-Steel from being passively worn down throughout a match. Giratina stonewalls, spreads status, and most importantly Pressure stalls the defensive responses that can hold off an Arceus-Steel sweep, namely Arceus-Poison, Arceus-Steel lacking Calm Mind, Arceus-Water, Blissey, Celesteela, Chansey, Ferrothorn, Primal-Groudon, Ho-Oh, Lugia, Magnemite, specially defensive Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, Shedinja, and Zygarde. Arceus-Steel also provides Giratina with a teammate not quite as prone to Dragon-, Fairy-, Flying-, and Ice-type attacks from Arceus-Fairy, Kyurem-White, Mega-Rayquaza, un-boosted Xerneas, and Yveltal.
    • Generally, Arceus sets consisting of Judgment + Recover + Stealth Rock + Toxic will provide consistent pressure against defensive teams; The most notable of such being Arceus-Fairy. This combination of moves (Refresh can be slotted over Toxic in niche situations) makes Arceus-Fairy the premier breaker of defensive teams lacking specially defensive Gliscor (see my post here on that). Fairy-type Judgment forces out Giratina, Mega-Sableye, and Yveltal while Toxic cripples opposing Arceus, Ho-Oh, and Lunala. With nearly all defensive hazard control options sufficiently threatened, Stealth Rock can be set on the remaining defensive Pokémon, leaving common offensive Pokémon, like Marshadow, the Mewtwos, Ultra-Necrozma, Mega-Rayquaza, or Yveltal, with an ideal situation to complete a simple sweep.

  • While Arceus may become any type thanks to Multitype, it's required to hold a Plate or Z-Crystal to perform this action (Arceus-Normal notwithstanding). While these items are nice, they restrict Arceus from holding other useful items, such as Heavy-Duty Boots, Leftovers, Life Orb, Rocky Helmet, Safety Goggles, Shed Shell, or a weakness-halving berry.
  • Similarly, Arceus is obligated to use Multitype. While this is a unique and role-defining ability, it does not provide any passive effects. In short, Arceus could be even better if each of it's 18 forms were individual Pokémon, as with Darmanitan-Unova and Darmanitan-Galar. This would allow Arceus even more versatility in having other abilities, such as Magic Bounce, Protean, or Regenerator.
:sm/Gengar-Mega: :sm/Gothitelle:
  • Mega-Gengar out-speeds Arceus and can hit it hard with STAB Shadow Ball, Sludge Bomb, or Sludge Wave, or use strong coverage moves in Focus Blast or Thunder. Arceus with a single attacking move are additionally prone to Perish Trap Mega-Gengar (Disable + Perish Song + Substitute) in USUM (and occasionally ORAS). Mega-Gengar gained access to Encore in generation VIII, which can be used to force an opposing Dynamax to break the trap, boost with Nasty Plot (also gained in generation VIII!) to potentially sweep, or force Struggle recoil between Disable + Encore mechanics.
  • Gothitelle provides a special type of hell for most support Pokémon, of which most variants of Arceus are included. While rare in ORAS due to the omnipresence of Darkrai and Swords Dance Arceus forms, Gothitelle gained usage in USUM that carried over to later metagames as a means of trapping, PP stalling, and effectively removing opposing support Pokémon. Without prior set-up, Roar, super-effective coverage, a timely critical hit, or any other means of clearing Gothitelle, Arceus is unable to 2HKO Gothitelle. Rest heals off damage and potential status while more importantly wasting turns for Arceus to lose PP. Charm and Confide mitigate Swords Dance and Calm Mind boosts, respectively, in addition to augmenting Gothitelle's bulk. This can be particularly threatening if Gothitelle is paired with an offensive Pokémon that support Arceus is intended to check, such as Marshadow, Mega-Rayquaza, Zacian-Crowned, or Zygarde, as these Pokémon may likely sweep unopposed in the late-game. Generation VIII granted Gothitelle access to Cosmic Power and Stored Power. While it could use Calm Mind + Psyshock in previous generations, this set drastically reduced the utility of Gothitelle as it had to choose between Charm, Rest, and Taunt for its remaining two move-slots. Cosmic Power effectively combines Charm and Confide into one move-slot, only failing to stop sweepers utilizing Swords Dance. Free set-up on Arceus, utilizing the unique mechanics of Stored Power can singlehandedly end games without a Dark-type or bulky Psychic- or Steel-type remaining.
:SS/CALYREX-SHADOW: :xy/Darkrai: :sm/Marshadow:
  • Perhaps the single thing that limits set-up Arceus variants the most. No matter the investment or amount of boosting, Arceus will always be out-sped by some common Pokémon. Naturally faster attackers, namely Calyrex-Shadow, Darkrai, Mega-Gengar, Marshadow, the Mewtwos, Ultra-Necrozma, and Zacian-Crowned, as well as common Choice Scarf users, like Kyogre, Mega-Rayquaza, Xerneas, and Yveltal, will always out-speed and possibly revenge kill Arceus. While Extreme Speed can partially mitigate this issue, this move is limited strictly to specific Swords Dance Arceus forms and it's still unable to hit the faster Ghost-type Pokémon. For reference, set-up Arceus-Flying variants have an explicit niche in ND for their ability to Dynamax and boost their speed with Max Airstream.
:sm/Necrozma-Ultra: :xy/rayquaza-mega: :ss/Zacian-Crowned:
  • This is an issue limited strictly to Swords Dance Arceus. Earthquake, Extreme Speed, and Stone Edge are all serviceable attacks while Facade, Giga Impact, Iron Head, Last Resort, Liquidation, or Shadow Force can function on specific Swords Dance Arceus variants. Outside of these options however, Arceus has a limited physical movepool. The remaining options are either of low base power (Brick Break, Shadow Claw), are unreliable (Avalanche, Fly, Outrage) or are just poor type coverage (everything else). Arceus most notably lacks physical Electric-, Fairy-, and Fire-type moves and would appreciate upgrades in physical Fighting-, Flying-, Ghost-, and Ice-type coverage options. This does cause Swords Dance Arceus to be somewhat outclassed by physical sweepers with better coverage, such as Marshadow, Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, Ultra-Necrozma, Mega-Rayquaza, and Zacian-Crowned.
  • Admittedly a small knock against Arceus. While Arceus does offer amazing versatility in Stealth Rock, hazard prevention/removal, phasing, status absorbing, status spreading, and pseudo-trapping, it does lack utility moves that are more common in other metagames. Arceus's movepool is missing options like Pursuit, Taunt, pivoting, self-fainting moves, cleric moves (Aromatherapy/Heal Bell/Wish), and viable multi-hit moves (such as Icicle Spear or Tail Slap). Due to these gaps in utility moves, Arceus can find itself glanced over for slots on certain teams.

Conclusion: And that's mostly it! As a species, Arceus has had an unequivocal effect on AG's identity. To put it succinctly, Arceus is fast, strong, bulky af, and has a movepool for days. It's unlikely that we will ever see a Pokémon quite like Arceus again. Praise be to Arceus!

My next post like this will detail the role of each Arceus type in each of the three metagames. That means there is going to be 54 sections, so give me some time lol. I got school and life stuff going on. Until then, be good people!
 
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​
: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​
:shuckle: Shuckle​
C
:arceus: Arceus-Dark​
:arceus: Arceus-Fighting​
: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​
:salamence-mega: Salamence-Mega​
:tyranitar-mega: Tyranitar-Mega​
:wobbuffet: Wobbuffet​

Baton Pass Rank
:blaziken: Blaziken​
:drifblim: Drifblim​
:espeon: Espeon​
:mew: Mew​
:mr-mime: Mr. Mime​
:vaporeon: Vaporeon​
yessssss oras
 

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