BH Balanced Hackmons

cityscapes

Take care of yourself.
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
from my perspective, intrepid sword feels more like say stakeout than triage, something prediction-reliant that lacks both checks and counters. i think one of the best ways to balance bh is to reward "patchwork" style teams that make liberal use of generally solid pokemon such as regi, ogre, don, xern, yveltal, girao, dialga, and other similar mons in this gen; the flexibility of these pokemon offers a high skill ceiling in the builder and can reduce the matchup aspect by having several routes to outplaying threats. against triage yveltal, for example, you can face it head-on using a spectral or status user, try to limit it with hazards + imposter, or use some harder counterplay including refrigerate ogre, sand stream, av, and dazzling. in this gen, these types of teams just get suffocated by intrepid sword because of the ease it has in picking up ohkos. you end up just not having enough options against something like teleport into kart or phero or even eleki.

in their place, you end up getting into the inconsistent stuff like double fc balance, stall, and making use of choice isword/calyrex which is actually an autoloss to that baneful bunker spam team. these team strategies are inherently inconsistent even without considering the metagame, so achieving any sort of consistency ends up being a lot harder when they're a step above every other playstyle in terms of viability. i would argue this is primarily because of the sheer diversity and strength of intrepid sword as a warping force in the metagame.

i still think calyrex is fine (although sucker has proven to be much worse than i thought) but i think banning it in place of something else isn't an unviable option-- it goes back to what i said pre-dlc where it was about reducing the "sauce" level of the meta.
 

xavgb

:xavgb:
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a former Tournament Circuit Champion
Following on from the discussion in this thread, the BH council decided to vote on various potential actions to take with the meta. Now that the results are in, we have a few announcements to make:

Firstly, Darmanitan-Galar-Zen has been quickbanned from Gen 8 BH! Tagging The Immortal and Kris to implement this.

As many of the posts on this page of the thread have elucidated, one single tiering action doesn't seem to cover everyone's issues with the meta. The council generally agreed with this sentiment and voted to look into Intrepid Sword. While we couldn't fully agree on whether to suspect or quickban Intrepid Sword, the vote to suspect Intrepid Sword had a majority, and as such we will be taking that course of action. Expect to see a thread for this suspect either today or tomorrow.

Finally, I bear some bad news as MAMP has decided to leave the council. Thank you for your numerous contributions to BH over the years.

As a side note, I'd like to thank the posters on this thread for maintaining active discussion on what they think should happen to the meta. We as a council regularly discuss the points made in posts and factor them into our decision making process, so if you have any further thoughts on other potential threats (such as Calyrex) be sure to let us know either on here or in the OM Discord so that it's easier for us to gauge community opinion. We've had 17 posts since about a week ago when we banned Dynamax -- let's keep this trend going!
 

a loser

I'm a loser, baby, so why don't you kill me?
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
In case you missed it, the suspect test for Intrepid Sword has started and can be found here.
While this suspect test could potentially change the meta more based on its results, we are really needing to update the sample teams to at least get rid of the old Isle of Armor meta teams.

But until we get the results, the council is looking for sample team submissions to fill the void and give new players some better and more viable teams to try out. Since the suspect test could impact the meta and building strategies, these sample teams will be temporary for now. So feel free to use Intrepid Sword, Fur Coat, or whatever you want in your sample team submissions.

Although these are potentially temporary, they will still be the official sample teams for the time being so please follow the format shown below when submitting a team. When submitting, please make sure that you have actually tested the team on the ladder.
  • Your name of the team
  • A generic one-liner description of what the team does, which will be put with your name above the screenshot. If you don't provide a name, I am planning on just using this inside the screenshot too if it fits. If you don't provide either of these, we will make a description for you.
  • Your team on pokepaste (try to include the above two points in pokepaste, but anything else is upto you).
  • How to use your team: try to answer the following - what are the effective combo pieces, what should you open with, what are some popular threats or playstyles your team is able to answer. Don't worry too much about this being a whole RMT though!
  • What sets or playstyles your team is weak to: maybe some quick changes that are suggested with a note about how it changes your matchup, but this is not required.
  • How effective is your team: why should someone use it? here you can add an rmt if you've written one but definitely some ladder/tour experience, possibly with a replay or two.
 
So this will be the first submision for the temporary samples:
Baneful Stall:
The main premis of this team is to slowly whittle down your opponents with burns and hazard damage until thier team collapses.
Here is the Team: https://pokepast.es/9a54911747013712.
For this team you want to play as conservatively as possible, being sure to keep key walls healthy. Usually the best lead for this team is Chansey so you can scout key offensive mons and can dermine which mons to take advantage of to trigger Giratinas Toxic Orb. Giratina is by far the most valuable member for this team for both it's ability to set hazards and Spin-Block most threats so it's usually best to priortize other mons if you need to sack a mon. Be sure to use Baneful Bunker liberaly to scout Intrepid Sword users, and Calyrex. Once you know what move they are locked into switch into the appropriate resist or wall. I've found this team has been able to practicely counter almost all threats in the meta by either hard walling or blocking hazard control with Shed Shell Chansey/Giratina. The only things I've encountered that were even remotely threats were Belly Drum Shadow/Shadow Sneak, Baton Pass chain, Focus Energy Calyrex and dual Defog cores.
Screenshot 2020-11-11 at 12.03.14 AM.png

Screenshot 2020-11-11 at 12.13.09 AM.png

With this team I was easily able to get 1st place with a 53-3 win ratio, and win mutiple room tours. Most of these loses were in the testing phase of my team. Unfortunately I don't have any good replays. If anyone has further quesions about playing the team, just PM me.

Edit: Here is an alternative variant of the team: https://pokepast.es/e6967c8c55971abd. It has the same core that has just been configured slightly diffrently.
 
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berry

rock
is a Community Contributor Alumnus
So this will be the first submision for the temporary samples:
Baneful Stall:
The main premis of this team is to slowly whittle down your opponents with burns and hazard damage until thier team collapses.
Here is the Team: https://pokepast.es/9a54911747013712.
For this team you want to play as conservatively as possible, being sure to keep key walls healthy. Usually the best lead for this team is Chansey so you can scout key offensive mons and can dermine which mons to take advantage of to trigger Giratinas Toxic Orb. Giratina is by far the most valuable member for this team for both it's ability to set hazards and Spin-Block most threats so it's usually best to priortize other mons if you need to sack a mon. Be sure to use Baneful Bunker liberaly to scout Intrepid Sword users, and Calyrex. Once you know what move they are locked into switch into the appropriate resist or wall. I've found this team has been able to practicely counter almost all threats in the meta by either hard walling or blocking hazard control with Shed Shell Chansey/Giratina. The only things I've encountered that were even remotely threats were Belly Drum Shadow/Shadow Sneak, Baton Pass chain, Focus Energy Calyrex and dual Defog cores.
View attachment 290546
View attachment 290547
With this team I was easily able to get 1st place with a 53-3 win ratio, and win mutiple room tours. Most of these loses were in the testing phase of my team. Unfortunately I don't have any good replays. If anyone has further quesions about playing the team, just PM me.
I think this team is great, I've played a couple dozen games on ladder with it and I've enjoyed it a ton. It's ultra consistent and pretty easy to work with, which imo makes for a great sample. My biggest gripe with it lies that it's very succeptible to getting matchup'd by pixilate users: both of your poison healers are weak to fairy and don't have a 50% recovery move. It's pretty difficult to deal with mons like magearna that can just freely click boomburst / rapid spin vs your pheals, and you can't really switch in your dialga either since it takes a chunk on switch in and doesn't really do anything vs fairy or steel types. Aegislash is an ok switch in vs fairy boombursts but it just sits there clicking recover, which you just lose momentum on (unless I'm just playing the pixilate mu completely wrong lol). Outside of that, I think it's a great team.

my submission: https://pokepast.es/1ccd2781fd88f56c
Pivot Calyrex Balance

QD PHeal xern is absolutely bonkers and the most consistent mon in the entire meta right now. Golis and Magearna are two incredible partners for it, giving it easy switchins to its two weaknesses. The goal of the team is to just stack spikes and out-whittle their defensive mons with your double pheal core and catch weakened mons off guard with modest astral barrages from caly-s. Big thanks to those who helped me polish this in the RMT channel of the discord and cityscapes for giving me more feedback.

alternate, more offensive option switches the spikestack for pheal regigigas who can hit gigantic numbers with boosted facades, as well as trap mons in with thousand waves.
https://pokepast.es/b1954232b7c84dcb

As always, feel free to critique my teams and choices. I'm not the best builder, but with some help I think I can make some decent squads. I'm also working on an offense team which is by far my preferred style but it's nowhere near polished, so I'll hold off on posting it.
 
I think this team is great, I've played a couple dozen games on ladder with it and I've enjoyed it a ton. It's ultra consistent and pretty easy to work with, which imo makes for a great sample. My biggest gripe with it lies that it's very succeptible to getting matchup'd by pixilate users: both of your poison healers are weak to fairy and don't have a 50% recovery move. It's pretty difficult to deal with mons like magearna that can just freely click boomburst / rapid spin vs your pheals, and you can't really switch in your dialga either since it takes a chunk on switch in and doesn't really do anything vs fairy or steel types. Aegislash is an ok switch in vs fairy boombursts but it just sits there clicking recover, which you just lose momentum on (unless I'm just playing the pixilate mu completely wrong lol). Outside of that, I think it's a great team.


The thing with Magearna is that it is imposter bait. You can just switch in Shed Shell Chansey repeatedly and outstall it, just be careful about Knock-Off users. For choiced users you can easily scout with Baneful Bunker and pp Stall Boomburst. Mixed Xerneas is more difficult but still managable since they will likely run out off pp before they will be able to kill off Dialga.
 

sugarhigh

Tournament Banned
Hello everyone! It's been a long time since touching balanced hackmons so it was cool to play with some of the new toys the dlc has given :) :
1605240428064.png

1605240459442.png

The combination of these two on specs dragons I found quite fun. The damage output can be insane and is extremely difficult to switch into without a fairy.
I found the ability Dragon's Maw works great with :eternatus: especially. The reason being is generally people expect a support set from Eternatus so when it is offensive it can catch the opponent off guard. Furthermore, the poison subtyping allows it to remove fairies on a predicted switch providing only really :magearna: as a true counter to it. I also found the combination of this ability on :kyurem-white: as a good abuser under sticky webs to ensure you are faster then the opponent and netting the important KOs with Dragon Energy before they are able to hurt Kyurem-W. Finally, I found :magearna: with flash fire and nuzzle support extremely strong as a :Chansey: Improof option as well as to spread paralysis for speed control quite synergistic to the Dragon's Maw Core. The use of dragon energy while amazing still has the giant problem of, if the attack doesn't OHKO the opponent and they are able to attack you the power drastically falls on subsequent attacks.

With all this theorymonning to preface, I did get to build a pretty decent funky build (definitely not optimized lmao) with Dragon's Energy+Dragon's Maw+Specs utilizing both Eternatus and Kyurem-W as abusers under sticky webs.

Team: :eternatus: :zamazenta-crowned: :Kyurem-white: :Kyurem-Black: :magearna: :Yveltal:

High Ladder Replay Analysis:

Against Onyx Onix 7 Stall

Didn't get a chance to save more replays but this replay is good (though I do play the endgame horribly). It shows the pressure the abusers :eternatus: and :kyurem-white: can put on teams that have no fairies. In the replay it is showcased that the two are able to break the team so kyurem-black can clean at the end. It is especially notable the amount of pressure that is placed on the ice-scales dialga and aegislash even though they are both "resists" to the abusers. The synergy of magearna is also notable as it allows the chansey to get paralyzed allowing the abusers to play more aggressively as well. Overall not the cleanest game played by me but the replay shows the potential of this combination D-Maw + D-Energy in an actual scenario.

Ending Remarks: Overall I found this combination of ability and move quite fun to mess around with especially the theory-monning behind getting the most potential out of the abuse of this combination. I hope this inspires others to get creative and to put their theory-monning to action with the new toys provided in the DLC :)!

TLDR: Dragon's Maw + Dragon Energy + Specs is really fun and strong
 

berry

rock
is a Community Contributor Alumnus
Usage stats for this past Saturday's BH livetour: we had a total of 12 games which is a pretty good sample size, so I think this could be a decently effective way of seeing how the metagame is trending. Please keep in mind that this is an Intrepid Sword inclusive format, and isword was not banned in this tour.

:giratina: SWSH Balanced Hackmons :giratina:
Code:
+ ---- + ------------------ + ---- + ------- + ------- +
| Rank | Pokemon            | Use  | Usage % |  Win %  |
+ ---- + ------------------ + ---- + ------- + ------- +
| 1    | Giratina           |   15 |  62.50% |  60.00% |
| 2    | Yveltal            |   12 |  50.00% |  58.33% |
| 2    | Chansey            |   12 |  50.00% |  41.67% |
| 4    | Zamazenta-Crowned  |   11 |  45.83% |  72.73% |
| 5    | Calyrex-Shadow     |    9 |  37.50% |  44.44% |
| 6    | Zacian-Crowned     |    8 |  33.33% |  50.00% |
| 7    | Xerneas            |    7 |  29.17% |  57.14% |
| 7    | Ho-Oh              |    7 |  29.17% |  28.57% |
| 9    | Regigigas          |    6 |  25.00% |  83.33% |
| 9    | Palkia             |    6 |  25.00% |  66.67% |
| 9    | Zekrom             |    6 |  25.00% |  50.00% |
| 9    | Solgaleo           |    6 |  25.00% |  50.00% |
| 9    | Umbreon            |    6 |  25.00% |  33.33% |
| 14   | Calyrex-Ice        |    4 |  16.67% |  25.00% |
| 15   | Type: Null         |    3 |  12.50% | 100.00% |
| 15   | Zamazenta          |    3 |  12.50% |  66.67% |
| 15   | Zygarde-Complete   |    3 |  12.50% |   0.00% |
| 15   | Groudon            |    3 |  12.50% |   0.00% |
| 19   | Regieleki          |    2 |   8.33% | 100.00% |
| 19   | Thundurus-Therian  |    2 |   8.33% |  50.00% |
| 19   | Eternatus          |    2 |   8.33% |   0.00% |
| 22   | Blissey            |    1 |   4.17% | 100.00% |
| 22   | Tapu Fini          |    1 |   4.17% | 100.00% |
| 22   | Swampert           |    1 |   4.17% | 100.00% |
| 22   | Celesteela         |    1 |   4.17% |   0.00% |
| 22   | Tapu Koko          |    1 |   4.17% |   0.00% |
| 22   | Zarude             |    1 |   4.17% |   0.00% |
| 22   | Golisopod          |    1 |   4.17% |   0.00% |
| 22   | Dialga             |    1 |   4.17% |   0.00% |
| 22   | Melmetal           |    1 |   4.17% |   0.00% |
| 22   | Landorus-Therian   |    1 |   4.17% |   0.00% |
| 22   | Pikachu            |    1 |   4.17% |   0.00% |

Compared to BH Livetour 1 (DGZ + isword allowed), keep in mind there were only 7 matches in this tournament.
:calyrex-shadow: SWSH Balanced Hackmons :calyrex-shadow:
Code:
+ ---- + ------------------ + ---- + ------- + ------- +
| Rank | Pokemon            | Use  | Usage % |  Win %  |
+ ---- + ------------------ + ---- + ------- + ------- +
| 1    | Calyrex-Shadow     |    9 |  64.29% |  55.56% |
| 2    | Zamazenta-Crowned  |    8 |  57.14% |  25.00% |
| 3    | Yveltal            |    6 |  42.86% |  66.67% |
| 4    | Zygarde-Complete   |    5 |  35.71% |  60.00% |
| 4    | Darmanitan-Galar-Zen |    5 |  35.71% |  40.00% |
| 6    | Suicune            |    4 |  28.57% |  75.00% |
| 7    | Snorlax            |    3 |  21.43% | 100.00% |
| 7    | Zacian-Crowned     |    3 |  21.43% | 100.00% |
| 7    | Zekrom             |    3 |  21.43% |  66.67% |
| 7    | Eternatus          |    3 |  21.43% |  66.67% |
| 7    | Kyogre             |    3 |  21.43% |  66.67% |
| 7    | Xerneas            |    3 |  21.43% |  66.67% |
| 7    | Giratina           |    3 |  21.43% |  33.33% |
| 7    | Zamazenta          |    3 |  21.43% |   0.00% |
| 15   | Solgaleo           |    2 |  14.29% |  50.00% |
| 15   | Tangrowth          |    2 |  14.29% |  50.00% |
| 15   | Incineroar         |    2 |  14.29% |  50.00% |
| 15   | Magearna           |    2 |  14.29% |  50.00% |
| 15   | Ho-Oh              |    2 |  14.29% |  50.00% |
| 15   | Umbreon            |    2 |  14.29% |   0.00% |
| 21   | Xurkitree          |    1 |   7.14% | 100.00% |
| 21   | Registeel          |    1 |   7.14% | 100.00% |
| 21   | Volcanion          |    1 |   7.14% | 100.00% |
| 21   | Type: Null         |    1 |   7.14% |   0.00% |
| 21   | Regieleki          |    1 |   7.14% |   0.00% |
| 21   | Kyurem-Black       |    1 |   7.14% |   0.00% |
| 21   | Barraskewda        |    1 |   7.14% |   0.00% |
| 21   | Keldeo             |    1 |   7.14% |   0.00% |
| 21   | Melmetal           |    1 |   7.14% |   0.00% |
| 21   | Aegislash          |    1 |   7.14% |   0.00% |
| 21   | Chansey            |    1 |   7.14% |   0.00% |
:chansey: Chansey shot up incredibly in usage: in the first livetour, it was only seen once (used as an imposter by Chazm in the finals) versus the second livetour, where Chansey was the third most common mon.

:giratina: Giratina's usage increased as well, shooting up from only being used 3 times to being used on 15/24 teams.

:yveltal: and :zamazenta-crowned: stayed pretty constantly at the top of the leaderboard, possibly because of their effectiveness at combating dragons or calyrex-shadow.

:calyrex-shadow: Calyrex-shadow itself dropped from 64% to 37% usage, potentially coinciding with the continued high usage of yveltal and increase of chansey.
 

XxLazzerpenguinxX

formerly XxSevagxX
is a Pre-Contributor
State of the Meta and Sample Team

A bit of a long post here but I’ll get started.

Overall I’ve really enjoyed the meta post dlc II, and post darm-g-z ban. There’s a lot of room now for innovation and creative sets.Team building in general feels a lot less restrictive. I recall a cityscapes post earlier which discussed the imbalance between offence, stall, and attrition that was in gen8bh pre-dlc, and to a certain extent I feel like the meta between these playstyles has balanced. Ladder is fairly active now too which is nice to see.

Some general thoughts on certain pokemon:

Xerneas currently is a top tier pokemon in the meta. Defensive and offensive Poison Heal sets are all extremely threatening, and must be accounted for when building any team. Pixilate Xerneas also seems really strong. A set originally created by Churro which uses metronome along side pixilate has been shown to be really effective on ladder.

Kyogre currently is extremely underrated. Probably one of the top 5, at least top 10 pokemon in the meta. It’s mixed offensive sets with Primordial Sea is extremely threatening, and not many teams are well prepared for it. Poison heal kyogre is also very much underrepresented as defensive sets w/ Scald & pivot or offensive ones with Quiver Dance are all really good.

The last pokemon I want to discuss is Calyrex-SR. At the start of the meta I didn’t think it would be too overbearing as there were strong walls to it in the form of Yveltal, Umbreon, FC Type: Null, Ice Scales Zamazenta-Crowned, and Oranguru to name a few. However, now the pokemon feels overcentralizing and it puts a lot of strain on team building. Many of these are checks, not counters and thus cannot beat every Calyrex-SR set. With a combination of moves such as Fleur Cannon, Knock Off, Moongeist Beam / Photon Geyser, Secret Sword, and Psystrike it has a means to break through most walls I just listed. Specs Fleur Cannon ohkoes Umbreon, and Knock off + Tinted Lens Calyrex-SR can break through Ice Scales or RegenVest walls with Moongeist Beam. Mold Breaker sets are also really popular which can invalidate your dedicated wall to it. Due to its amazing speed tier, it is also very hard to offensively check it as Sucker Punch doesn’t ohko without stab or very high attack. Scarf sets can still work but require a very meticulous style of play to ensure you won’t just lose to a Calyrex-SR which can freely pivot in, plus they don’t fit on very many playstyles. With these points in mind, I believe that there should be more extensive discussions around whether Calyrex-SR should stay in the meta, and whether it should be suspect tested or quick banned.

On a more exciting note:

Some things I’ve found while testing out random teams and sets is that mixed sets are REALLY strong right now, and should be explored further. Mixed Adapt / Desolate Land Reshiram, Primordial Sea Kyogre, Rayquaza, and Palkia all have so much potential. I’d love to see someone use them and get the best out of them.

And finally, I’d like to submit a sample team: https://pokepast.es/ad0d84394b292cf8

This is a stall team which I have found a lot of success with. I’m currently sitting at 3rd on the ladder using it. I’ve used it in room tours 3 times, and have won all 3 times with it. I used this team in the OM Livetour circuit and made it to the finals. I’m also pretty sure I’ve beaten everybody in the top 10 with it. I can explain the team if needed, but here’s a quick run down on why I think this is a good sample team. The team is composed of 2 Poison Heal pokemon, 1 Fur Coat, 1 Ice Scales, 1 Magic Bounce, and 1 Imposter, pretty standard. The team in general is very simple to use. The strategy here is to be in control of the game. With solid typing, bulk, Imposter, and longevity from Poison Heal, it allows for the team to wall a majority of the metagame and stay alive for a really long time. This gives the user the opportunity to get a better understanding of the meta. The main wincons of the team are burns, hazards, and Imposter. Though the team does struggle with Belly Drum Unburden because I don’t have Prankster.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8balancedhackmons-529933
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8balancedhackmons-529944
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8balancedhackmons-529959
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1234526182

To sum it up, this team is super consistent and easy to use, and can still be used successfully in higher level play.

And to end off this massive post here’s a team dump. Most of them aren’t great, but I feel like I have some interesting sets / concepts which can be really potent if built around correctly. Thank you to anyone who’s read this far and happy team building!

https://pokepast.es/6a9276c0347de64e
https://pokepast.es/28c89ee76c7815f3
https://pokepast.es/a8cace9189c626f2
https://pokepast.es/d23050d8e756c57e

Purple Frog Hype
 
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cityscapes

Take care of yourself.
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
Clown Tundra Clown Tundra

those who experienced gen 7 bh back when it was around will remember how good of a presence mgar was in the meta. not because of specific healthy meta traits or whatever, but because of how well its incorporeal form and shadowy grin matched the figure of the gengar user behind the computer screen, selfishly smiling to themselves alone in a dark room as their electrify/lovely kiss/normalize/shell smash set sees no counters and rapidly spins out of control.

this is one of the chief reasons why calyrex's presence in the metagame is so offputting to me, because the pokemon's aesthetics simply do not match its playstyle. despite its presentation as an almost stereotypical genius pokemon with the ability to escape any situation with a smart enough strategy, calyrex is one of the most smooth-brained pokemon in the game.

anyway, i used to think calyrex was a healthy pokemon mostly cause everyone on ladder was spamming specs and getting owned by whatever counter i thought was cool at the time. no longer is this the case. not only are calyrex's counters easy to bypass with basically any set, the use of them at all severely limits building patterns in combination with other meta-defining mons like xern. consider the fact that every team running yveltal will have to make major efforts to not get owned by ph + pixilate xern, ph regi, and many others. it's a tough trap to run into when building. and i don't even want to get into ice scales as an answer, which is laughable and loses hard to photon/moongeist from calyrex itself.

typically when i talk about calyrex being able to bypass counters, i talk about coverage moves and toxic on specs. but recently, altogether different sets have popped up that can beat these counters on the spot rather than rely on a longer game.

I EAT GAMERS (Calyrex-Shadow) @ Burn Drive / Chill Drive / Douse Drive
Ability: Normalize
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Entrainment
- Nasty Plot
- Techno Blast
- Boomburst

Ga (Calyrex-Shadow) @ Chill Drive
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Nasty Plot / Quiver Dance
- Electrify
- Techno Blast
- Focus Blast

j (Calyrex-Shadow) @ Life Orb
Ability: Adaptability
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Nasty Plot
- Astral Barrage
- Photon Geyser
- Focus Blast / Fleur Cannon / Secret Sword / etc

the first 2 sets are fairly straightforward: fully imposter proof, easily able to bypass any attempts to wall them out based on typing and use of knock/spectral. focus blast notably gives you a 61% chance to ohko scales zamac from full at +6, which is a little better than 4% for a more accurate coverage. first set chooses who walls it by picking a drive. i'm not saying these sets are perfect or uncounterable, but i think their range of counterplay is just too far off from the standard specs sets to justify claiming the mon to be competitive and keeping it.

the third set works differently from the other 2, aiming to secure a kill with np into attacks vs anyone not carrying knock/spectral. what sets this apart from specs sets you might be used to is the extreme advantage state it secures against teams that try to wall out calyrex with normals. i ran ice scales regi and autolost to this cause regi died to photon and they won the speed tie vs imposter. basically, its range of checks/counters overlaps a bit with choice calyrex, but counterplay that relies specifically on exploiting the choice lock simply loses the game immediately.

counterplay to this pokemon in an optimized environment (not ladder) is incredibly volatile in that not only are you running limited and unreliable pokemon, but you're liable to lose very quickly if you picked the wrong pokemon. revenge killers like phero and scarf hooh are a concession in themselves, but even then youre losing to any qd set. as someone who's experimented with non choice calyrex + lunar dance, i think it's extremely telling how consistently an unexpected healthy calyrex can just wreak havoc.

im sure that by revealing these sets i have lowered the omwc win chance of certain players by like 30%. sorry guys!!!!!!!!!

anyway yeah uh ban calyrex
 
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Mowtom

I'm so meta, even this acronym!
is a Community Contributor
ToiriX shadowpeashooter did you read the official implementation of the endless battle clause? In particular:
If at any point after the first 100 turns of battle all Pokémon on the field are stale, at least one team does not have the option of switching to a non-stale Pokémon, and at least one side's Pokémon's staleness has been inflicted by a Pokémon of the opposing side, the game ends.
Neither of the posted links got to turn 100, so the endless battle clause has nothing to say about them. If you had continued the battle until the 100 turn mark, it would have been ended.

Onyx Onix 7 Struggle is still a typeless move even if it is affected by Electrify, so that is not an endless battle. The opponent still has the option to Struggle to death, for an endless battle it is required that one side is forcibly preventing the other side from doing so.

EDIT: Lol Onix deleted their post after seeing this. For posterity it was a Volt Absorb Regieleki holding a Leppa Berry with the moves Substitute/Recycle/Electrify/(something else).
 
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ToiriX shadowpeashooter did you read the official implementation of the endless battle clause? In particular:

Neither of the posted links got to turn 100, so the endless battle clause has nothing to say about them. If you had continued the battle until the 100 turn mark, it would have been ended.

Onyx Onix 7 Struggle is still a typeless move even if it is affected by Electrify, so that is not an endless battle. The opponent still has the option to Struggle to death, for an endless battle it is required that one side is forcibly preventing the other side from doing so.

EDIT: Lol Onix deleted their post after seeing this. For posterity it was a Volt Absorb Regieleki holding a Leppa Berry with the moves Substitute/Recycle/Electrify/(something else).
I deleted the post once I realized it was incorrect becuase I didn't want to spread misinformation about how the endless battle clause works.
 
I should probably talk about the increased discussion about the rise in Normalize + Entrainment Ghosts running amuck.

I'm only doing this because there's been increased talk about this over time. Now, I am NOT saying these should be banned, but, as someone who has been abusing Normalize Dragapult since the start of Gen 8 BH and continuing to troll the ladder with these sets to this day, I have some grounds to agree that they are indeed viable threats in BH and should be taken note of. As such, I feel obliged to talk about them, explaining how the sets work, why they are so good, and some possible ways of fighting back against the speedy ghost invasion.


The Sets in Question:

Calyrex-Shadow @ Douse Drive / Chill Drive
Ability: Normalize
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Entrainment
- Quiver Dance
- Techno Blast
- Boomburst / Substitute / Shore Up / Strength Sap

Dragapult @ Ghost Memory / Dragon Memory
Ability: Normalize
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Multi-Attack
- Entrainment
- Shift Gear / Shore Up / Strength Sap
- Fishious Rend / Substitute


Set Details:
These sets have been gaining traction in as of late, and frankly it's easy to see why. Unlike Gen 7, Gen 8 cut a lot of methods for BH to consistently deal with these sets. To be fair, Gen 8 also cut a tool for them to use in Judgement, but that is a small difference compared to what others lost to fight back against it. As such, the power of the lock has been increasing over time with these sets being the best abusers of the strategy.

Entrainment, along with the user's insane base speed, is the key to the diabolic engine, forcing whatever it typically outruns and hits to be locked into Normal-type attacks against an immune Ghost type and thus preventing them from dealing any direct damage back. Afterwards, you simply boost with moves like Quiver Dance or Shift Gear to maintain your advantage, launch attacks with your strongest offensive options to nab kills at appropriate times, and spit Entrainment at anything that tries to switch in and challenge your position. This is the core philosophy of the Entrainment lock in a nutshell.

The part where the strategy becomes interesting is the use of unique moves that change your typing despite Normalize being active. Here, Techno Blast and Multi-Attack will turn into a type depending on the item you are holding, and will override the effect of Normalize while providing actual coverage. Here, either Douse Drive or Chill Drive are the best choices for Calyrex-Shadow, either for optimal neutral coverage that isn't walled by Steels or for super effective coverage against Yveltal or Giratina. As for Multi-Attack, it should usually work as a STAB move to maximize damage and, in the case of Ghost Memory, force opponents to think twice about trying to wall the Normalize sets with their own Ghost types. Or, if none of these typings happen to be up to your liking, you could go with any available coverage type of choice if need be.

This also explains one of the most brutal aspects of this set; it is a lockdown set that also doubles as a sweeper set who is almost entirely Imposter-proof. Unless the Imposter also runs a Drive or Memory of their own, they are unable to deal any damage to the opposing Ghost type due to Normalize being copied and forcing their attacks to have no effect against Ghost types. Meanwhile, the Ghost in question gleefully boosts its stats, deal damage back using their non-Normal attacks, and proceeds to snowball the rest of the team while they can rarely do a thing about it due to Normalize, or at least in theory.


Other Options:
Of course, while Techno Blast and Multi-Attack is required so that you aren't walled endlessly by opposing Ghost types, the last slot could either go to a splashable power move, or could be replaced with another utility slot to improve your matchups over additional power and coverage. Substitute is a beautiful move for these sets that eliminates some of the most practical answers to combat the set. Although it does have limited uses and digs into your already-limited HP reserves, the price can be well worth it if you are able to maintain the lock that effectively negates all direct damage dealt to you. A recovery move like Shore Up or even Strength Sap keeps Calyrex alive longer and thus theoretically extends the length of the Normalize loop even under hazards. Wish could also work as a hybrid team support move that you will mostly have the time to set up while maintaining the lock. Spore could be used to put target threats out of commission and generate a secondary pseudo-lock on top of spamming Normalize. Toxic can force opponents on a timer while Entrainment negates Magic Guard and Poison Heal as they struggle to find meaningful ways to combat you, but it risks being walled by Steels. On the topic of other move choices, Nasty Plot and Swords Dance sound like tempting choices for the additional power buff they offer, but you almost always want to be boosting your speed so that you deny the opponent any chance to regain advantage against you, even with your high base speed, which is why Quiver Dance and Shift Gear are the superior choices.


Checks/Counters:
Despite the loss in ways to work around Entrainment locks through the generation transition, there are DEFINITELY practical ways to deal with these sets. Of course, any Pokemon could always go for something like a Drive or Memory with Techno Blast or Multi-Attack just to spite the sets, but there exists other non-gimmicky methods of circumventing the lock.

The first and absolute best method of beating these Normalize sets is Magic Bounce. Not only does this make the Pokemon immune to Entrainment and thus avoids the dreaded Normalize lock, but it also turns the opponent's ability into Magic Bounce if they blindly go for Entrainment against it, thus preventing the lock from spreading even further. It also prevents the Normalize user from using other alternative trickery such as Spore or Strength Sap to try and disable the user in question, and forces them to go on the offensive. This is without question the best way of dealing with Normalize abusers before they get a chance to boost uncontrollably.

The other methods are definitely effective, but are a tad more risky or situational to freely slap down. Priority, whether it be through Prankster or an augmented Extreme Speed, is a very reasonable means on landing a move on the opponent before they get a chance to shut it down with Entrainment. However, keep in mind that this is the entire point of running Substitute and they can block out the revenge kill attempt beforehand. Normalize doesn't necessarily mean that Ghost types become immune to all status moves, and can certainly be taken advantage of, but you must be wary about Substitute blocking your attempts. Regardless, there are some moves that not even Entrainment and Substitute can account for. Whirlwind cuts their streak short and forces them out and forces them to have to come in and start the lock all over again. Haze neutralizes the constant boosting and can force the Normalize Pokemon in a stalemate situation depending on who they go up against, and Perish Song forces them to cut the infinite loop short and makes it so they have to switch out and try again later. It is certainly possible to just send in a Pokemon with a typing that happens to be fully-resistant or immune to the coverage being used by the usually-Normal-locked attacker, but this would require prior knowledge and certainty that they could withstand fully-boosted attacks.

Finally, residual damage is a good foundation for limiting the use of Entrainment Pokemon. Since they usually lack recovery and cannot run Leftovers, entry hazards, Rockly Helmet, Curse, and other methods of dealing consistent chip damage will restrict and pressure the opponent on where and when they can send in the Pokemon to start the lockdown. Although this could be mitigated by the opponent running a recovery move or proper team support, this is a good start to mitigate the potentially-catastrophic damage you could take without it.

Really, the best advice I can give against these sets is to just be smart about teambuilding. These sets are so effective because people are ill-equipped to dealing with them given the teams that they generally build without giving any acknowledgement to being hopelessly walled and unceremoniously swept by them. Always make sure your team has general ways to combat these threats that aren't total one-note gimmicks, and you should be fine for the most part.
 

Sweet Jesus

Neal and Jack and me, absent lovers...
The best normalize set to run on dragapult is Multi-Attack(ghost)/spirit shackle/taunt/entrainment. Normalize entrainment dragapult is as good as it gets late game, but as long as your opponent has a counter to it, you're basicaly fighting the match 5 mons vs 6 as it won't be making any holes in a team or doing any significant damage early game that can gain you momentum because it's coverage is crap and it's attacking stat is not good enough to make up for it even after shift gear. This set can at least dent a hole early game in an unprepared opponent, but most of all, once your opponent has loss it's dragapult counter(s), his response wil practically always be to try to pp stall it by switching out constantly and setting up is actualy not the best way to counter that, trapping and taunting is.

Taunt stops your opponent from setting up, using recovery, using some status inducing moves and using teleport/parting shot or baton pass. Unlike setting up sets, this set counters anything with haze that usualy pp stalls dragapult easily or parting shot users that will counter your set up. Spirit shackle should be used over other coverage moves because as stated above, the power gained using moves such as fishious rend just isn't worth it with such bad coverage. Instead, you want to trap an opponent so that he can't switch out of the taunt. Spirit shackle is used over anchor shot because it can fake another set (as it's usualy stabbed without normalize) and it doesn't make contact (which is important vs baneful bunker, spiky shield and rocky helmet as you don't have recovery). Trapping an unsuspecting opponent is what can net you kills early game when your opponent think he's safe to recover with a wall on the turn you use entrainment and then switch to a counter.

Once magic bouncers and faster mons are gone, the situation you will always encounter is an opponent trying to pp stall you by switching out constantly. In this situation, you will be spamming entrainment and taunt depending on what's the mon in front of you and your opponent will try to pp stall those moves. That is until you surprise your unsuspecting opponent with a spirit shacke on the switch to a non prankster mon. You can then use entrainment or taunt depending on if you suspect an attack (especialy volt switch, u-turn or flip turn) or if you suspect a non attacking move. After a couple of switches, it is usualy very easy to predict how your opponent is going to try to escape this position as he usualy only has one option. Once one of the switching out duo is dead, it's usualy a clean sweep from there. Multi-attack is the obvious main stab move that cover ghosts wich are unaffected by your trapping move.

Here's another fun little set that abuses the fact most people carry spectral thief or imposter chansey as their main set up counter.

Marshadow @ Protective Pads/Lum berry
Ability: Simple
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Spectral Thief
- Thunderous Kick
- No Retreat
- Imprison

The point is to start by using no retreat on turn 1 against something you outspeed (or imprison if your opponent's current mon has spectral thief), then use the other of the 2 moves on your second turn. You then have a bulky sweeper with perfect STAB coverage that can't be countered by spectral thief or imposter. Thunderous kick can even counter unaware mons and ghost unaware mons can't take a stabbed adamant spectral thief. I usualy use this on misty terrain teams as it doesn't ohko everything and can be statused by anything that it doesn't ohko. If you use it without misty terrain, I suggest using lum berry as your item. Otherwise, protective pads will let you spam your attacks without fearing spiky shield/rocky helmet. I guess you could be original and go with weakness policy, life orb or something else, but they seem inferior to the 2 items I mentionned. The main counter to this set is pranskter haze/strength sap/parting shot since you can't use your setup move twice. However, your ghost type lets you switch out even after using no retreat so you can at least comeback later when the prankster user is dead.
 

a loser

I'm a loser, baby, so why don't you kill me?
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
samples.jpg

Alright BH fans we need to update the sample teams. There were a handful of submissions from before the Intrepid Sword ban (and all are still legal but probably built around checking isword) but the meta has changed a bit since then so we'd like to re-announce that submissions are open.

Follow the below guidlines when submitting, and please make sure that you have actually tested the team on the ladder before submitting.
  • Your name of the team
  • A generic one-liner description of what the team does, which will be put with your name above the screenshot. If you don't provide a name, I am planning on just using this inside the screenshot too if it fits. If you don't provide either of these, we will make a description for you.
  • Your team on pokepaste (try to include the above two points in pokepaste, but anything else is up to you).
  • How to use your team: try to answer the following - what are the effective combo pieces, what should you open with, what are some popular threats or playstyles your team is able to answer. Don't worry too much about this being a whole RMT though!
  • What sets or playstyles your team is weak to: maybe some quick changes that are suggested with a note about how it changes your matchup, but this is not required.
  • How effective is your team: why should someone use it? here you can add an rmt if you've written one but definitely some ladder/tour experience, possibly with a replay or two.
berry Onyx Onix 7 XxSevagxX sugarhigh If you want to keep your previous submissions for council review that is fine, but if you want to edit them or submit another feel free to do so.
 
*Spills a bottle of L’Oré... Max Revive* all over the thread.

My pregnant pause is officially over.

I wanted to post my thoughts on the year as a whole and acknowledge some changes I felt might be upcoming based on discussions I have seen on Discord, highlighting the HO in the WC games tournament people have been playing since the DLC2.

2020:

After making a huge comeback to this thread after 2019, and demonstrating a newfound poise and grace, I had taken some time away for other activities, and was happy to see the thread evolve in new ways.

I found that topics moved more smoothly, and the amount of posts on sets were mitigated by replays, and discussions on final results.

I felt inspired to do more such posts and reduced my replies to the essentials.

As a newfound glory, I even supported those who were under appreciated for their historic contributions.

Since then, I felt happy to share my thoughts on what I perceived as a dying metagame and celebrate what changes to policy and leadership we have seen.

I appreciate that there was more consensus on banning features like Dynamax, and Pokémon like Darm-G-Z. Even though I opposed them, I understood the merits behind them, and accepted their decision bc it would benefit the metagame overall.

WC DLC2:
The same can be said for a potential Belly Drum suspect ban. And while everyone knows I like to click that move... occasionally, I have come to the realization that dominance doesn’t always equal prominence when it comes to overall playability for everyone else. It can be a strategy that can override the rest and I see now how scary it can be without Unaware or Prankster (I always used them anyways, but I can sympathize for people who constantly forget to come prepared to counterplay it and end up quitting:psyangry:).

I feel this thread can continue the discussion more emphatically than prior generations bc the metagame is more concentrated and less spread out due to less viable mons, and moves, so there are less surprises to prepare for.

For 2021: I see the need for Gen 9 more than ever (it will be the 25th anniversary year), so we will likely get a huge change to impact us, and with DLC rather than new console games, I could even see Gen 9 being a large expansion rather than a new game, necessarily.

I hope that people stay active enough to post in this thread and keep the dream alive and wish everyone a Happy New Year!

So people can take something special away from this post. Here is a collection of inspirational sets I feel are fun, and helpful, to benefit your teams.

Magearna @ Burn Drive
Ability: Simple
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Quiver Dance
- Techno Blast
- Strength Sap

As a gentle warrior, she can dance herself to victory, and diminish an Imposter’s ability to heal, especially as Simple reduces the Atk twice as quickly, letting Imposter’s subsequent uses quickly produce diminishing returns.

Moonblast provides adequate coverage and benefits from STAB, while it’s Steel typing can allow her to resist the attacks of her opponents more frequently than the average Fairy.

With the ability to use the equivalent of a Geomancy each turn, Magearna ends up in a unique role, where they can simultaneously cover most types beyond Fire, and come in repeatedly to squash offensive presence, and set up against Defense. Toxic immunity helps, as it reduces the need for Magic Guard, Poison Heal, etc. sets that other Fairies may need, allowing her to arrive on Toxic Spikes, Stealth Rocks, and use a more potent ability in Simple for added viability.
**
Eternatus @ Black Sludge
Ability: Ice Scales
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Shore Up
- Toxic Spikes
- Volt Switch
- Core Enforcer

A personal favorite since its creation, I found it to be such a multi-tasker that it seems almost a staple to my teams. While Calyrex-S certainly can threaten it with Photon Geyser, the foe would likely want to slow-pivot it in, allowing Toxic Spikes to serve as an immediate deterrent to its own greatest threat.

Volt Switch works prominently to pivot to a check, and rack up necessary hazard damage, and Core Enforcer hurts Dragons and removes abilities from faster (or set-up to be) opponents.

Ice Scales works well for handling even opposing Eternatus, and pairs nicely with Pokémon like Prankster Court Change to block Rapid Spin, and set it back on the foe when the RS user has left the building.

Eternatus is its own TSpikes absorber as well, allowing it to threaten walls, while your sweeper ends up cleaning up the rest of their team.
**
Doublade @ Eviolite
Ability: Ice Scales / Fur Coat
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Spectral Thief
- Entrainment
- Shore Up
- Anchor Shot

By using Ice Scales, not only do you patch up its weaker Defense, you also reduce the likelihood of running into Knock Off, and resist necessary types like Ice, Fairy, Dragon, and even Psychic for Choice Specs Expanding Force Calyrex.

You still have huge Defense thanks to Eviolite, and can tank Spectral Thief, which usually means if they have Spectral they don’t have Wicked Blow, or Knock Off. Doublade has a strong enough Spectral and Anchor Shot to dent nuetral foes, and Entrainment works well to punish Poison Healers like Regigigas who think an immunity to Spectral Thief is an actual invincibility... not when you are trapped and take increased Poison damage...

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1249388149-m59ymd9wj46ciskpb4eel1ac68igu7hpw

**
Zygarde-Complete @ Leftovers
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Haze
- Shore Up
- Court Change
- Thousand Waves

Trap Imposter, switch hazards, remove set-up, and Shore Up to reduce Fishous Rend, while staying immune to Bolt Beak. Pretty self-explanatory. I chose Zygarde-C over Giratina bc Imposter cannot switch. Thousand Waves also handles Steels, and can catch Eternatus on the switch, while blocking its typical Volt Switch.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1249388149-m59ymd9wj46ciskpb4eel1ac68igu7hpw

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1247495269-e4558ra5tkiotwwmli88z3pvvsrr7ukpw
**
Landorus-Therian (M) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Speed Boost
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Earthquake / Precipice Blades
- Bolt Beak
- Belly Drum
- Poltergeist

Of course, sometimes a little bit of sweep ends a would-be 6-0 streak. ;)

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1247476837-w572xm2bzbi9qyaap9mplnpkahckbekpw
 
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cityscapes

Take care of yourself.
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
:zamazenta-crowned::magearna-original::regigigas::reshiram::xerneas::regieleki:
Team Name: The Showdown
Description: hazardless semi paraspam with potential wincons in drummer zamac + cb eleki alongside a sturdy defensive core to fall back on (fc resh + scales gear + unaware zamac) to support a variety of paces.
Pokepaste: https://pokepast.es/e52d26d649526573
How to Use: typically you'll want to start off with a slower pace making wide use of the teleporters rather than all-out aggression. defensive core + eleki being super fast + glare regi for calyrex will help you stop most opposing threats so you can see what you're dealing with. eleki can be used aggressively (making predictions) but it's most consistent if you can get it into situations where you can just click bolt beak and be fine, and as a bonus this can help with conditioning opponents to switch out in the future.

typically it's best to try and get safe paras with regi and xern early on to limit what the opp can do, and then react to that to develop a gameplan that goes around that. for instance if your opp has a zamac that they let get parad, you can just keep forcing it in and getting momentum off it to make progress against the rest of the team. then lategame youre cleaning with what's left of regi + xern as well as bringing in eleki or zamac.

couple of details: rest + chesto on xern prevents imposter from safely healing on it, heal bell eleki is to wake up xern and cure paras from imposter (dont let regi get knocked if u use this), 1 def iv on eleki is to always ohko non eviolite imposter chansey on the switch, you can run 0 ivs to guarantee it on blissey as well but it really doesn't matter much.
Weaknesses: fc/scales based cores can be annoying to break thru cause everyone on the team can get walled but in practice you just para everyone anyway so its no big deal. zacc is annoying cause resh cant kill him, you have to rely on teleporting out to regi or eleki and going for a para. in general there's a slight weakness to physical attackers which is why gear is sap, although that does make it vulnerable to bounce so recover is considerable. stall is annoying but often you can just outlast them as long as your attackers aren't being completely useless. eleki is getting heal bell opportunities here and you aren't losing to hazards at all. another variant to consider is spikes over glare on regigigas but this makes the matchup vs someone like prank court change gira or zacc just really annoying. EDIT: fc pert with something like core/sands/recover/teleport over resh is workable, makes xern a little more pressured but makes the mu vs zac much much easier.
Effectiveness: i think this team has all the tools you need to beat pretty much anything on ladder, and it did win me a game in omwc so i dont know what else you could ask for. heres a ladder replay i got (link) against ladder offense, i did get pretty lucky here but it didnt matter cause unaware zamac was sending every setup user here directly to hell, and the paras/existence of eleki was just the nail in the coffin. just so many options you have here. this can also consistently beat dimrah's stall team but i wont post a replay cause idk if he wants it publicized and hes not online

here is a template in case anyone else wants to submit teams
[b]Team Name:[/b]
[b]Description:[/b]
[b]Pokepaste:[/b]
[b]How to Use:[/b]
[b]Weaknesses:[/b]
[b]Effectiveness:[/b]
 
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a loser

I'm a loser, baby, so why don't you kill me?
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Here's my sample submission and we would still love to see more submissions before our final decision so please consider submitting a team!

Team Name: Abbey Road
Description: Fat-ish offense with "mixed" attackers PH Palkia and Mold Breaker Calyrex, late game cleaner Yveltal, and a defensive core that isn't super passive.
Pokepaste: https://pokepast.es/952dd60078e5f7b4
How to Use: Leading with Bunker on Palkia is a good idea to activate its orb and potentially punish pivot leads. Palkia pressures a ton of things with its STABs and potential to spread status, so it puts in good work. RegenVest Zama-C is a pretty solid special check for choiced Calyrex-S and can scout its moves to see if Yveltal needs to come in for something like Psy Surge Expanded Force. Ho-Oh keeps hazards off the field with -ate Rapid Spin and can pressure offense and certain walls with its STABs too. Bring Calyrex-S and Yveltal in only when needed, as they need to stay health in order to put in the most work. Once the opposing team is weakened a bit though, these two can do some major damage and just win. Zygarde-C hangs out until PH Gigas comes in or other random setup sweepers.
Weaknesses: Glacial Lance is pretty annoying since only really Zama-C can take it well and it can get owned by V-create or other coverage that Glance users commonly run. Zacian-C puts in some work with this move but it can't OHKO Calyrex-S unless it is running Knock Off or Spectral, so it just gets sapped and 2HKOed by Astral Barrage. PH Xern is annoying to deal with but Palkia can outspeed and dent it with Rend, Zama-C can steal boosts and use Iron Head, Ho-Oh resists it and can 2HKO with V-create, then Calyrex-S can give it trouble with Psystrike.
Effectiveness: This team has faired well on the ladder so far, helping me win at least 15 games in a row. It has enough of what you need to handle various ladder threats like setup, Normalize, etc. I haven't faced full stall with it yet, but it should be able to give it trouble. Here are some replays I've gathered so far. Not having hazards (or Court Change) makes the team feel a little odd, but Spin support and the power of the offensive mons has worked well.
Replay 1
Replay 2
Replay 3
 

Ren

your empire for the taking
is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
I don't normally put effort into posts like these especially considering I'm not nearly as involved in tiering now, but I'll make an exception cause this meta's driving me nuts and I really wanna know what others think.

:calyrex-shadow: :zacian-crowned: :zamazenta-crowned: :glastrier: :dracozolt: :dracovish:

Right now, these are the things that strike me as busted in the meta. I'll detail them in order of my perceived priority.

:ss/calyrex-shadow: :zacian-crowned: :zamazenta-crowned: :glastrier: :dracozolt: :dracovish:

This Pokemon's strain is more in the builder, honestly, rather than in the actual game. While it's very easy to manage once you have those checks (typically a Normal-type/Dark-type + a Corrosive Gas Pokemon that's bulky on the special spectrum), I believe that the necessity of these checks stifle creativity in the builder. I also think that even though Choice Specs Adaptability and Normalize are the two best sets right now, sets like Electrify are also very quickly gaining traction which makes this Pokemon tougher to manage. I can look at a team and think that said team is solid vs Calyrex-S, but the process of getting there is an arduous task and Calyrex-S, while not being super flexible, is just flexible enough that the checks it forces can be taken advantage of, be it by variants of Calyrex-S or other partners. I also do think that the meta right now is incredibly warped by Calyrex-S, and I think that if it goes, the metagame will probably be a lot easier to build for and become infinitely healthier, but I'm not fully sure. Consider the next few entries a "watchlist" of sorts rather than an "these need to go for sure after Calyrex-S".

:calyrex-shadow: :ss/zacian-crowned: :zamazenta-crowned: :glastrier: :dracozolt: :dracovish:

Zacian-C is very interesting. I don't think as a breaker, it's anything outstanding, even if getting the right matchup means it goes haywire really fast. Where it really shines in my opinion is how nothing in the metagame actually stops it from making progress unless you have a hard counter to it. It's one of the most reliable hazard setters in the entire tier considering how powerful the physical metagame is right now and how vast its array of moves it can run are. It's one of those Pokemon which you can't really have a dedicated Bounce user for. Zacian-C is just so overwhelmingly strong that if you don't have a Fur Coat user as your check, you're gonna get blown away by the coverage (and even if you do have a Fur Coat user as your check, there are still coverage options accessible that may beat you.) Not being able to answer something reliably is definitely a BH issue, but what sets Zacian-C apart from the rest of the metagame is how its incredible typing and respectable bulk allow it to generate switch-in opportunities that a Pokemon like it shouldn't really have, coupled with how most, if not all, of its checks are pretty much restricted to Fur Coat allowing it to be a very consistent hazard setter. I wouldn't say that this Pokemon is really tough to answer in the builder, but the issue is that even if you can switch in on it, it's still going to make progress vs you. You could argue that reliable progress is a good thing for the meta, but I think Zacian-C does it with insane consistency even despite the ability/item restriction (and, let's be real, Intrepid Sword isn't even close to being a bad ability to be locked into.)

:calyrex-shadow: :zacian-crowned: :ss/zamazenta-crowned: :glastrier: :dracozolt: :dracovish:

Zamazenta-Crowned is super interesting in that it's a Pokemon that's primarily used for defensive purposes. These Pokemon tend to be very passive in nature and/or very easy to take advantage of. So why is this a Pokemon that I'm bringing up? Because I am of the opinion that it's just too good at being a defensive beast. The sets that I'm worried about are Ice Scales, Fur Coat, Unaware, and Flash Fire (wow, that's just about everything it runs.) Zamazenta-Crowned's obscene bulk and fantastic typing allow it to use the first three abilities to incredible success, but that's not all it has going for it. Prankster is so good as an ability - So why is it that whenever Zamazenta-Crowned is used, it's generally one of those three abilities and very rarely Prankster (at least in a tournament metagame perspective, I can't really speak on ladder). It's because Zamazenta-C has the ability to outpace a large amount of the metagame already. Moving first on an unboosted foe is not a concern for it past Zacian-C and Calyrex-S, two Pokemon which it can already threaten quite well. I believe the speed, instead of the fantastic typing or the insane bulk (though they definitely do contribute) is what leads Zamazenta-C to do what it does so well and is a HUGE reason why Calyrex-S and Zacian-C are the best at what they do - Because with any other breaker, you don't wanna risk your opponent's blanket check going first and either Knocking your item or statusing you or who knows what that evil ass wolf wants to do.

:calyrex-shadow: :zacian-crowned: :zamazenta-crowned: :ss/glastrier: :ss/dracozolt: :ss/dracovish:

Lumping these together because I think that they enable Zacian-C to an extent, but I'm also not sure what the future of these moves would look like with all of the above threats gone. I do think they'd still be broken, though, Glacial Lance's typing is just so incredible offensively while Bolt Beak and Fishious Rend boast absurd power, power enough for things like Xerneas and Palkia to be able to use them despite not even being that fast or strong physically. Hell, I even used Bolt Beak on Calyrex-S and it worked well despite that poor attack stat. I don't really want to invest too much time on writing about these moves though because the metagame without the above three threats would likely look so different that I really can't tell why they'd be broken (I just have a strong feeling they would be.)

Lemme know what you think, chances are I won't reply but pretend I will anyway if that makes you motivated to post :)
 

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