BH Balanced Hackmons

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Just some thoughts on what we as a council should do about Dynamax:

Tiering in a meta with Dynamax is very different from tiering in a meta without it. Dyna impacts p much every borderline suspect-worthy offensive threat in the meta, sometimes pushing them past checks with setup + bulk increase, and other times limiting them by introducing 50/50s into otherwise safe situations to try and predict. In some cases like with Isword Band, Dyna can do a bit of both, making it hard to consistently judge not only a pokemon's viability, but also whether it's problematic in the metagame. I think the difference between Dyna and literally everything else is that it's a non-building element which, by nature of the uncompetitive things it can do in games, influences (and limits) the range of good choices you can make while building.

Offensively, Dynamax can usually be handled, and to an extent when trying to deal with a mon in the builder you are also dealing with its Dynamax form. This sounds fine in the context of some moves being around the same power level as their regular versions, but this point has never fully held true across the metagame. To give some examples of commonly used moves that do get notable boosts from Dynamax (from older metas since we got to see more of that):

PH Reshiram's Lava Plume (80 -> 130 + Sun boost)
PH Zekrom's Dragon Darts (100 -> 130)
PH Zekrom coverage (Grav Apple is a fine example, goes from 80 -> 130 securing some big kills with its burst damage in the process)
Most coverage in general (seriously, most of the other types but FishBeak V-create and now Glacial Lance)

The best way to deal with this defensively is simply to pad your defensive mons with extra bulk. This is something that's almost entirely limited to Fur Coat, Ice Scales, and to an extent Zyg-C, because everything else just isn't fat enough and therefore becomes much more unreliable. Off the top of my head I can already think of a few replays I watched of this current seasonal that show issues with using other methods to defensively check mons that might Dmax:

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1189421864

Here we see a team from Chessking that uses Slowbro as its Fur Coat user which checks some big physical attackers like Zac-C, but notably doesn't beat Zekrom. The Zekrom counterplay here is kinda weak, but not entirely unplayable, as can be seen from the plays surrounding the Slowbro and bringing Imposter in on Bolt Beak to revenge kill. The problem here is that with the game giving Andyboy multiple opportunities to Dynamax out of this situation, he eventually breaks directly through the Imposter by surprising it with a Max Wyrmwind, which pretty much draws the Imposter to Dynamax at 7 percent to maintain any hope of beating Zekrom (and still fails to kill anyway). This is just one of many examples of matchups going from "bad but playable" to "hopeless" via Dynamax.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1205269136-vhmwhzdc77pczbq16qsnsdgub540umvpw

The Chessking game is far from a one-off either; the exact same interaction between boosted Zekrom + Imposter happens here, and once again the Imposter being one turn slower to react makes all the difference here. The Imposter wasn't the only check here, but with the Eternatus dying in reasonable circumstances, it was needed to save the game, and couldn't do so because of Dmax.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1204754088-2dozrw550cu48sv94f1xm0yfwzuc14fpw

Here's a game where Prank Zama-C is up against Zekrom. Note the amount of damage PDT's Dmax does, mostly because after Dynamaxing this Bolt Beak gets stronger compared to the previous hits, leaving the Zama-C stranded at 9 percent and forcing sacks for Zama-C to get its health back post-Dmax. This pushes atha's game pretty much out of range vs Zac-C and he forfeits within 40 turns.


All of these replays feature PH Zekrom because those were the recent ones that I remembered the best, PH Resh is another big offensive abuser that forces similar attitudes to checking it in the builder, and in general out of the few offensive threats that are good in DLC 1, most of them can benefit from Dmax significantly.


Defensively, Dmax can get even more wild. Reactively Dmaxing to stop opposing offensive threats from running through when they're in a position to get kills/win is a common use of Dmax. At first this sounds like a not horrible thing in BH -- with matchup being more of a factor in theory something to balance that aspect of the meta out should help. The problem here comes more with its impact on building. The one thing I've felt the most throughout the gen, regardless of what's been allowed and what's not been allowed, is that Dynamax fucks over offense and HO stupidly hard. Think about it -- those playstyles are going for a win within a compressed number of turns, they normally have to sacrifice stuff to break through good balances, and once they've done that they normally have a limited amount of time to convert what's left into a win. Dynamax throws a wrench in these types of gameplans -- while they're walling your offensive Dmaxes with Fur Coat/Ice Scales and checking your threats with Prankster/Imposter, they have a whole Dynamax in the back to either clean house or stop any stray threats on top of the stray threats you need to get into a good position in the first place. Again, as Dynamax is a non-building element, these issues when running offensive builds are intrinsic flaws with the playstyle and not just unlucky matchup.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1197894088-7jv0z3hv3bfi6sw6rqtdnkuarq8sel6pw

Here one turn of defensive Dmax pretty much seals the game by taking out Andyboy's wincon in Zamazenta. Depending on the overall matchup players can be more or less forced to Dmax in certain scenarios or to risk the opponent just killing something. Effectively Dmax adds an extra option so if you're the offensive mon and you kill everything then Dmax leads to a 50/50 instead, if your offensive mon has a 50/50 between two different potential switchins that's actually a 33/33/33 where the opponent has 2/3 winning outcomes. Generally the best approach to avoiding this happening is to draw out games as long as possible so that there's too many potential Dmax reading scenarios to get the correct one (similar to the Zekrom situations above). Overall this contributes further to people attempting to draw out games from the builder and avoiding anything that needs to win games quickly as that's just too unreliable.


While I do think this provides some reasoning for why Dynamax is uncompetitive and unhealthy, my main purpose with these paragraphs was to outline just how much of an impact Dynamax has on the meta in general. My take here is that Dynamax should almost certainly be dealt with first out of anything, because even if it may not be the most broken thing in some people's opinion, it's so influential to how the meta builds and plays that it simply doesn't make sense to start tiering other things before Dyna. My worst case scenario for tiering this presumably final edition of the Gen 8 meta would be for other things whose brokenness are heavily influenced in either direction by the existence of Dynamax (such as Calyrex Isword and DGZ) to get banned, only for Dynamax to get banned right after them. That order of events would effectively lead to the decisions taken between now and Dynamax being banned no longer making sense -- the decisions would be botched as a result of the mechanic not being dealt with first. Given the time sensitive nature of OM tiering right now with OMWC around the corner, I'd like to suggest a quickban on Dynamax, which would leave more time to look at other problematic aspects of the meta and judge them more fairly. If anything is clear to me right now, it's that trying to decide what is and isn't broken while there's also a huge random element thrown into the game just isn't a good idea.


TL;DR Dynamax is unhealthy and uncompetitive, and it should be dealt with before other elements (preferably via a QB), so that we can get on with tackling the questionable elements of the metagame which may be pushed forward or held back by Dynamax being in the meta. This approach makes sense even in the case that Dyna isn't the most broken thing in the meta, since it is an entire game mechanic which exists outside of the players' building choices and thus forms the foundation of Gen 8 BH's tiering going forward.

P.S. The replays given are from the DLC 1 metagame as it is the most recent metagame that we've had a tour in... I felt this was fine as they mostly serve as visual aids for my points so just try to focus on what I'm saying and how those games back my points up. Given the nature of said points I don't feel much changes in DLC 2 anyway, and the last paragraph outlines most of the core argument behind my stance from a less meta-specific perspective anyway.
 

cityscapes

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calyrex isnt broken. anyway first of all fat ttar isnt a mon (not even the 3rd best dark type) so dont use him. calyrex has some notable additional forms of counterplay that set it apart from darm. notably, av regen means that calyrex's attacks actually have the potential to be negative on hit, and sucker punch can cleanly kill it from full when used by dark types or strong mons like zac-c. (other mons like defensive don can run sucker too, taking it out after a bit of chip although not cleanly ohkoing) additionally, calyrex suffers from the insane prevalence of knock, which means that if it misses a kill, it is dying; also any knock/spectral user can dynamax vs calyrex and simply kill it.

running coverage strong enough to beat spdef yveltal means sacrificing adapt barrage. although transistor and ate are good sets, they do give up the main draw of calyrex and thus make it much easier to deal with thru other means. meanwhile specs can get around yveltal with either toxic or knock off + volt switch, both of which require prediction and don't actually remove yveltal from the equation for some time. basically they don't feel unfair at all. volt switch also just gets stopped if the opponent goes into a ground (an exploitable but strong play).

darm is stupid. you run stabs + any 2 of rend/cc/pblades/beak. "neutral" fcs such as cress simply do not function and crumple to vcreates from any set. this leaves you with only fc resists as options, which can typically get bypassed easily by isword with the right coverage and get completely blown past by moldy. this wouldnt be as much of an issue if i didnt just look at the list of mons in ubers when building and marveled at how many of them simply got ohkod by vcreate or glance from full. it feels like making offensive cores that arent weak to darm is just impossible unless youre running calyrex (do not run zac) or like rain, which is bad.

i will say that rocks have gotten slightly better than trash tier cause no darm should be running boots or lomg in this meta, but even then they dont feel anywhere close to reliable. i ran rocks once on a team with a bunch of rock resistant mons which was alright, theres always goofy stuff like random bounce and court change to stop you though. either way its nowhere near a good answer at the level of sucker for calyrex.

i would honestly ban both intrepid sword and darm itself. even without isword darm can still run really stupid sets like sd and cb tough claws/adapt to have 0 defensive counterplay while still ohkoing the uber list mons, while intrepid sword in general forces fc which is incredibly uncool.

dynamax is dumb as hell. now that ph has finally gotten its act together dynamax is starting to decide more games than ever before. i think philosophical meta-agnostic arguments like stresh's above are unnecessary given that you can just play a few games and experience for yourself how incredibly impactful it is. the key is that now we have pokemon that are both bulky and not passive including all the dragons, xern, regigigas, groudon, ogre, yveltal, and hooh, which disproportionately benefit from dynamax especially considering that they typically dont run choice items. this mechanic is starting to really mess with gameplans both in-game and in the builder so id like it gone sooner if possible.
 

a loser

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The council has decided unanimously to quick ban Dynamax from Balanced Hackmons.

It became increasingly apparent that the mechanic is too much for the new metagame, as it pushed both offensive and defensive threats over the edge and created unhealthy 50/50 situations in almost every battle. As discussed in some of the previous posts, the amount of Pokemon added from Crown Tundra that benefit from Dynamax is drastically higher than what we saw in both the Isle of Armor and Pre-DLC metagames. This opens up even more opportunities for the unhealthy 50/50s to have impact of the outcome of battles.
Check out this replay from yesterday, which showcases some 50/50s that the Dynamax mechanic introduces into battles. This shows that Dynamax isn't just unhealthy when it is actually in use, but can have impact on the outcome of the battle at several states.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1211749378
  • Turn 31: I could Dynamax Phero to break the choice lock and KO Calyrex (using Max Darkness via Wicked Blow), but risk being lured to do so while the opponent switches out and stalls Dynamax turns. This is what the opponent does and I correctly guessed and switched out as well, but also had to keep in mind that I could be sacking my switch if I was wrong.
  • Turn 40: Same situation here, where I could break the choice lock and KO Calyrex, which at this point in the battle is the opponent's best wincon since my Yveltal went down. We both decide to switch out again on this 50/50, but in either case so far if the opponent clicked Astral Barrage instead then my Zygarde would be gone and my chances of winning in the end would decrease.
  • Turn 43 through 45: Both Zygarde and Calyrex have opportunities to Dynamax in this series of turns, but Zygarde has the advantage with its immense bulk, potential of SpD boosts from Max Quake, and the fact that Calyrex wouldn't have the Specs boost when maxed.
What does this mean for the metagame?
Here are some notable changes I anticipate will be seen in the meta with Dynamax being gone:
  • Low Kick being used as STAB and coverage. The amount of legendaries at our disposal now means the meta is heavier, and no Dynamax means Low Kick is good again thanks to its normally high BP and high PP.
  • Increased usage of Encore and Destiny Bond on Pranksters. Both of these traditionally good utility moves have seen less usage in the Dynamax meta due to threats breaking through or ignoring them while maxed.
  • This one is pretty easy to see coming, but I think Behemoth Blade/Bash and Dynamax Cannon will become relics since their utility is gone. Sunsteel Strike and Core Enforcer completely outclass these moves now.
What comes next?
As seen in recent discussion, the council does recognize that Dynamax wasn't the "most broken" aspect of the new metagame but was unhealthy and a game mechanic that every Pokemon could use, and therefore needed to be removed first before any other tiering decision.

The council's watchlist now is primarily Intrepid Sword, which is making preparation for physical threats like DGZ become increasingly difficult. We are also keeping a close eye on Calyrex-Shadow and DGZ, who have been two of the most dynamic and impactful offensive threats up to this point in the new metagame. We'll be watching to see how their success is impacted with Dynamax no longer in their arsenal.

Other than that, we will soon be in desperate need of updated Sample Teams to reflect all the recent updates since the current teams look out-dated and ill-prepared to deal with the current metagame. So keep this in mind and feel free to share your new teams here, as we could consider them for new samples!

Tagging Kris and The Immortal to please implement the Dynamax ban
 
So... Dynamax is banned but not Calyrex-Shadow ?


252+ SpA Choice Specs Tinted Lens Calyrex-Shadow Moongeist Beam vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Umbreon: 192-228 (48.7 - 57.8%) -- 54.7% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252+ SpA Choice Specs Tinted Lens Calyrex-Shadow Moongeist Beam vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Umbreon: 192-228 (48.7 - 57.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Umbreon Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Calyrex-Shadow: 372-444 (92 - 109.9%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO


Mongeist over Atral because:

Ice Scales 252+ SpA Choice Specs Tinted Lens Calyrex-Shadow Astral Barrage vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Ice Scales Umbreon: 115-136 (29.1 - 34.5%) -- 99.9% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery

252+ SpA Choice Specs Tinted Lens Calyrex-Shadow Astral Barrage vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Yveltal: 308-364 (67.5 - 79.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery


252+ SpA Choice Specs Tinted Lens Calyrex-Shadow Astral Barrage vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Assault Vest Yveltal: 206-244 (45.1 - 53.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

252+ SpA Choice Specs Tinted Lens Calyrex-Shadow Photon Geyser vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Melmetal: 330-390 (69.6 - 82.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO.

252+ SpA Choice Specs Calyrex-Shadow Photon Geyser vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Regigigas: 237-280 (55.8 - 66%) -- guaranteed 2HKO.

But nevermind, Calyrex-Shadow is a pretty balance mon, we can deal with it very easy... :psysly:

 

berry

rock
is a Community Contributor
What comes next?
As seen in recent discussion, the council does recognize that Dynamax wasn't the "most broken" aspect of the new metagame but was unhealthy and a game mechanic that every Pokemon could use, and therefore needed to be removed first before any other tiering decision.
The council's watchlist now is primarily Intrepid Sword, which is making preparation for physical threats like DGZ become increasingly difficult. We are also keeping a close eye on Calyrex-Shadow and DGZ, who have been two of the most dynamic and impactful offensive threats up to this point in the new metagame. We'll be watching to see how their success is impacted with Dynamax no longer in their arsenal.
Anyway

I think DGZ is by far the most unbalanced aspect remaining in the meta right now, and I think it require the most urgent attention because it both greatly stifles team compositions and prevents meta growth and expansion. A fur coat or unaware mon that can live repeated glacial lances or switch into v-creates / close combats is a near meta requirement at this point because of how strong of a presence this mon is. Combined with an absolutely insane speed tier that allows it to run scarf to still outspeed the fastest mon ever created and STILL have room for an adamant nature with a 160 base attack stat. Intrepid just throws another dash of spice into the format, and on switchin it gives the mon a massively valuable attack boost. Finally, the mon gained a best in slot move for its SECOND stab which is ultra spammable and has legitimately no downsides. Lance doesn't even make contact, which renders it immune to the negative effects of spiky / king's shield and rocky helmet, and by extension, a large amount of physical counterplay.

I think with the addition of the new moves in the DLC as well as the return of dlc legendaries bringing old moves back to the format (namely precipice blades / thousand arrows), DGZ was left with way too many options to be manageable in the current format. It has two incredibly strong stab moves that almost always result in free chunks of damage, which allows you to pick the rest of the moveset to make sure the mon synergizes extremely well (a little too well) with whatever your team struggles to hurt.

As for Intrepid Sword? It's an incredibly powerful ability, yes, but I don't see it as broken or overpowered at the current point. Apart from DGZ, most mons need to compromise when running the ability. For example, Kyu-B has a mediocre speed tier (for BH) and now that we have more variety in defensive options that came from DLC2, it's much more manageable (as well as the fact that kyu-b is weak to fairy and ice, two of the most common attacking types in the format right now, and it's extremely week to -atespeed, but I'm not too sure how much of a factor that is since it seems that atespeed has dropped in viability quite a bit). Other new users such as regieleki are strong, but they don't have access to incredible stabs like v-create or glance (even though eleki gets bolt beak, it's strong and a pretty viable user of isword but it's not broken in the slightest if you're facing it with a real team).

I think caly-s is an entirely different case than DGZ. Looking at pure stats, it's faster and stronger specially than DGZ, and it gets two incredibly powerful stabs (astral and psystrike) that allow it to run a pseudo-mixed set. However, I think the fact that both of these attacking types have very common immunities, as well as the fact that astral is 10bp weaker than lance and psystrike is only 100bp compared to v-create's 180, makes this mon a lot easier to deal with. The return of common special walls and the upwards-trending viability of regenvest contributes to this mon being bearable as well. The DLC brought us back a good amount of the all-star defensive mons from last gen like yveltal, giratina, zygod, and registeel, which do deal with it with a bit of trouble. I think that in the future caly-s could prove to be overwhelming, but it's a similar story to last gen's MMY and gengar: they were both extremely strong, but they ended up being decently healthy for the game. Another aspect this gen is that we finally implemented species clause, which presents bmoc-esque 6 calyrex teams from popping up and actually ruining the format.
*note: i forgot to mention the moongeist / astral tradeoff, moongeist has more utility and general usage but I think in the long run astral will turn out to be the better move based on raw power

tldr: ban dgz, isword is fine without dgz, watchlist caly-s but it's just a strong mon not broken
 
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tldr: ban dgz, isword is fine without dgz, watchlist caly-s but it's just a strong mon not broken
I'm totally agreed with you about Snowman and Intrepid Sword, but come on Dead Horse is just a strong mon ? That's hilarious lol Dead Horse need gone with Snowman to banned lands for a metagame healthy.
 

cityscapes

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I'm totally agreed with you about Snowman and Intrepid Sword, but come on Dead Horse is just a strong mon ? That's hilarious lol Dead Horse need gone with Snowman to banned lands for a metagame healthy.
stop running umbreon, stop losing to tinted lens, and start building new teams

also post replays not calcs i have 0 idea how lens calyrex is getting all these openings when it ohkos like nothing man what are you using mewtwo???
 

Quantum Tesseract

No Longer Dead
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stop running umbreon, stop losing to tinted lens, and start building new teams

also post replays not calcs i have 0 idea how lens calyrex is getting all these openings when it ohkos like nothing man what are you using mewtwo???
Calyrex pairs mostly well with Flip Turn Darmanitan-Galar-Zen in my experience. You need the really strong physical walls to try and eat an attack by GDZ, and these tend to melt in front of calyrex. To make things worse, you can't just stay in with your DGZ check; even if it does eat a Astral Barrage, it certainly isn't switching in to Darmanitan-Galar-Zen again, so they can't afford to eat the attack to retaliate. This lets you fire off specs attacks from your Calyrex and fish for a kill. That said, I do find Adaptability to be a better option in general; you can run coverage to still hit Darks on the switch, usually fleur cannon, and being able to chase things out at 75 rather than 60 is a boon.
 

Darmanitan-Galar-Zen @ Choice Band
Ability: Mold Breaker / Intrepid Sword
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Glacial Lance
- V-create
- Earthquake / Thousand Arrows / Precipice Blades / Bolt Beak
- Flip Turn

1604339045145.png

Calyrex-Shadow @ Choice Specs
Ability: Psychic Surge / Adaptability / Tinted Lens
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Astral Barrage
- Expanding Force / Psystrike / Photon Geyser
- Moonblast / Fleur Cannon
- Volt Switch

We need to talk about these two, because these things are incredibly strong. Choice Band and Choice Specs combined with their incredible coverage and STABs bring their damage output to staggering heights to levels that not even dedicated physical/special walls can withstand unscathed. Most of the moves and abilities you see here really speak for themselves, and I really shouldn't have to go into detail about each of these sets, other than the potential mix-up when it comes to coverage move and ability choices. However, I do want you to pay attention to Flip Turn and Volt Switch, because those will definitely come up later.

What's even scarier is that, technically, these sets can be somewhat Imposter-proof by design. Even though a Chansey can copy the set in front of them, they can't copy the items that boost their power to the level that makes them so difficult to wall. This means that unless your Chansey is holding Lucky Punch or (for some reason) a respective Choice item, the sweeper you steal will not have the same level of power as yours will have, and you have a chance to build a defensive core to punish that fact.


Now, these two wallbreakers/sweepers are great on their own, but together carry a huge potential problem for BH, which is introduced by one simple question: What Pokemon set in Balanced Hackmons can reliably switch into the both of these?

Nothing.
Seriously, there exists no single set that can avoid being 2HKOed by these two beasts, and I've tried. Fur Coat Chansey can't tank Darmanitan even without boosted Attack or Mold Breaker, Regirock can't beat Calyrex, Yveltal just loses to Darmanitan or Calyrex's Fairy coverage, Type: Null either falls to Expanding Force or V-Create depending on its ability, and Steel types like Registeel have no options against Darmanitan. While you could run dedicated walls to beat on a specific set, such as Primordial Sea Melmetal or Ice Scales Magearna, you can't account for a change in coverage move or ability/item or adjust them to take on both at the same time. Hell, priority moves are mostly off the table due to Psychic Surge, so I guess you just have to outspeed them naturally or get 2HKOed just for switching in. Just to make matters worse, even if you were correct in sending the right defender in at the right time, they could always click their respective pivot move and you'd be back to square one while they keep all of the momentum they gained. These two can 2HKO anything you throw at them, all with a spare slot to apply more pressure off pivoting.

Now, I already know what you're thinking: That doesn't mean these are necessarily broken in BH. You could still potentially revenge kill them if Psychic Surge is off the field, entry hazards make life difficult for pivoting the both of them in and out, and you could theoretically wall the two of them out with a combination of different walls on your team. So what's the issue here?

The problem is the colossal and outrageously-lopsided investment each team requires to patch up their shortcomings. You have to remember that people will be forced to make sub-optimal changes to a team to have a chance at not immediately dying against the duo and, because only two Pokemon here are threatening the whole tier, they have FOUR FREE SLOTS to fix up any potential counterplay that they are forcing onto others. Those four slots can by anything ranging from anti-hazard strats like Magic Bounce, Count Change, and Defog, to more anti-priority measures such as Steel types in addition to your own possible Psychic Terrain, to additional offense to pressure defensive cores such as Pheromosa, Regieleki, and Zacian-C, to general defensive countermeasures or useful utility or pivot slots to better supplement the dual-attacking beasts. All of these are available to them while sacrificing next to nothing, whereas everyone else is required to sacrifice tons of synergy just to not lose only to find out that their answers won't actually work.

Just think: If you want to be 100% certain that you don't lose to this core, your team needs to make room for any combination of reliable methods of setting and maintaining entry hazards, comfortable methods of revenge killing and pivoting through their offenses, or painstakingly-meticulous teambuilding that can somehow succeed in walling both Darmanitan and Calyrex at once. You're forced to stuff any number of those into your team just to not auto-lose, while the opponent has more than enough space to run counter tech just to make your efforts futile. This simply isn't fair.


And here lies the problem; this simple core forces a horrible imbalance onto the tier in a way that makes it seem like nothing works. Running both Darmanitan and Calyrex on a team incentivizes a rigged battle of teambuilding where the opposing side needs to make room for mostly-unrealistic measures to keep up, most of which easy to play around if skilled enough, and requires more effort for others to survive than the user has in defending themselves against them. Whether it be a hyper-offense team that blitzes past defensive measures, a 4-man stall team that wins off attrition with two win conditions in the backseat to clean up the rest, or a general balance core that mixes them both and covers all of the potential answers to the both of them, any team that runs these two nukes naturally has an unfair advantage over the rest.

I'm not advocating for a single ban or limit to come asap, because I wouldn't know what the correct course of action would be. Instead, I am writing this to spark some discussion, because this could pose a massive problem if not dealt with proper, and if anyone could find the answer to this besides just sucking it up and dealing with a centralizing core, that would be wonderful.
 

Quantum Tesseract

No Longer Dead
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
Ok, I'm going to start this off by saying I agree with your conclusion, that DGZ and potentially calyrex are broken in BH. I think this fact is pretty much undeniable to anyone who actually plays post DLC2 BH. However, I disagree with some of the logic here, so I'm going to try and help imporve the case.
We need to talk about these two, because these things are incredibly strong. Choice Band and Choice Specs combined with their incredible coverage and STABs bring their damage output to staggering heights to levels that not even dedicated physical/special walls can withstand unscathed. Most of the moves and abilities you see here really speak for themselves, and I really shouldn't have to go into detail about each of these sets, other than the potential mix-up when it comes to coverage move and ability choices. However, I do want you to pay attention to Flip Turn and Volt Switch, because those will definitely come up later.

What's even scarier is that, technically, these sets can be somewhat Imposter-proof by design. Even though a Chansey can copy the set in front of them, they can't copy the items that boost their power to the level that makes them so difficult to wall. This means that unless your Chansey is holding Lucky Punch or (for some reason) a respective Choice item, the sweeper you steal will not have the same level of power as yours will have, and you have a chance to build a defensive core to punish that fact.


Now, these two wallbreakers/sweepers are great on their own, but together carry a huge potential problem for BH, which is introduced by one simple question: What Pokemon set in Balanced Hackmons can reliably switch into the both of these?

Nothing.
Seriously, there exists no single set that can avoid being 2HKOed by these two beasts, and I've tried. Fur Coat Chansey can't tank Darmanitan even without boosted Attack or Mold Breaker, Regirock can't beat Calyrex, Yveltal just loses to Darmanitan or Calyrex's Fairy coverage, Type: Null either falls to Expanding Force or V-Create depending on its ability, and Steel types like Registeel have no options against Darmanitan. While you could run dedicated walls to beat on a specific set, such as Primordial Sea Melmetal or Ice Scales Magearna, you can't account for a change in coverage move or ability/item or adjust them to take on both at the same time. Hell, priority moves are mostly off the table due to Psychic Surge, so I guess you just have to outspeed them naturally or get 2HKOed just for switching in. Just to make matters worse, even if you were correct in sending the right defender in at the right time, they could always click their respective pivot move and you'd be back to square one while they keep all of the momentum they gained. These two can 2HKO anything you throw at them, all with a spare slot to apply more pressure off pivoting.

Now, I already know what you're thinking: That doesn't mean these are necessarily broken in BH. You could still potentially revenge kill them if Psychic Surge is off the field, entry hazards make life difficult for pivoting the both of them in and out, and you could theoretically wall the two of them out with a combination of different walls on your team. So what's the issue here?
I think this is vastly missing the point. Yes, no Pokemon checks both Calyrex and Darmanitan. To which I think someone could respond, and? They don't have the same typing, they don't use the same attacking stat, and they dont use the same abilities. Of course they aren't checked by the same Pokemon. The issues with them isn't that nothing checks both, it's that nothing checks either. Now, this is a bit of a strong claim to advance, but I'm going to make it explicit: There is no such thing as a reliable Darmanitan answer, and vanishingly few for Calyrex. Let's look at some examples:

Darmanitan-Galar-Zen @ Choice Band
Ability: Intrepid Sword
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- V-create
- Glacial Lance
- Flip Turn / Bolt Beak
- Fishious Rend / Bolt Beak

This is, IMO, the best wallbreaker DGZ set. Just 5 moves to pick from, none of which are that terrible to be locked into, and with coverage for pretty much anything. And this alone - ignoring any more esoteric coverage, or mold breaker sets (which are good themselves, but not needed to make DGZ broken) - is unanswerable. Here's some would-be checks in action:
Flash Fire Zamazenta: +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar-Zen Fishious Rend (170 BP) vs. +1 252 HP / 252+ Def Zamazenta-Crowned: 269-317 (69.3 - 81.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Fur Coat Suicune: +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar-Zen Bolt Beak (170 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Fur Coat Suicune: 318-376 (78.7 - 93%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
Volt Absorb Suicune: +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar-Zen V-create vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Suicune: 252-297 (62.3 - 73.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
Flash Fire Ferrothorn: +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar-Zen Glacial Lance vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Ferrothorn: 331-391 (94 - 111%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO
Flash Fire Melmetal: +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar-Zen Fishious Rend (170 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Melmetal: 272-320 (57.3 - 67.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Flash Fire Steelix: +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar-Zen Fishious Rend (170 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Steelix: 418-494 (118 - 139.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Fur Coat Reshiram: +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar-Zen Glacial Lance vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Fur Coat Reshiram: 201-237 (49.7 - 58.6%) -- 68.4% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
Fur Coat Palkia: +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar-Zen Glacial Lance vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Fur Coat Palkia: 201-237 (52.3 - 61.7%) -- 96.9% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
Fur Coat Type Null: +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar-Zen V-create vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Fur Coat Type: Null: 192-226 (48.8 - 57.5%) -- 94.9% chance to 2HKO
Flash Fire Avalugg: +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar-Zen Fishious Rend (170 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Avalugg: 224-264 (56.8 - 67%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Fur Coat Zygarde-C: +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar-Zen Glacial Lance vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Fur Coat Zygarde-Complete: 708-832 (111.3 - 130.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Fur Coat Giratina: +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar-Zen Glacial Lance vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Fur Coat Giratina: 356-420 (70.6 - 83.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
Flash Fire Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar-Zen Fishious Rend (170 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 295-348 (74.1 - 87.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
Fur Coat Slowbro: +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar-Zen Bolt Beak (170 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Fur Coat Slowbro: 328-388 (83.2 - 98.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Volt Absorb Slowbro: +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar-Zen V-create vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 259-306 (65.7 - 77.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
That's pretty much a who's who of "BH defensive pokemon that aren't weak to V-create," and not one of them is able to safely switch in. And this isn't a case of DGZ being able to pick and choose who walls it - you could fit all of those moves on one set if you wanted to give up Flip Turn, and I can confirm from experience it would work just fine even if I don't think it's worth the trade. Furthermore, you might have noticed that every single one of these uses an ability to even try to check, which is in turn how Mold Breaker sets work out; it blows past Flash Fire and Fur Coat with Mold Breaker and bops Primordial Sea with Fishous Rend. It's a worse set due to the lack of OHKO potential, but it's also a hell of a lot less prediction reliant against many teams. DGZ is impossible to switch into.



How, Calyrex is a slightly different situation.
Calyrex-Shadow @ Choice Specs
Ability: Adaptability
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moongeist Beam
- Psystrike / Photon Geyser
- Astral Barrage / Fleur Cannon
- Switcheroo / Volt Switch / Knock Off
It actually does have a bare handful of checks; Regenvest Yveltal, Umbreon, Ice Scales Blissey, Ice Scales or Fur Coat Regigigas / Snorlax / Type Null (Unless Photon Geyser), Fur Coat / Ice Scales Chansey. Now sure, none of these except regenvest yveltal or Fur Coat Chansey were ever seriously used before Calyrex came around, but just having htem available makes it a lot easier to check. Except... Most of these are not reliable checks. Regigigas, Type Null, and Snorlax dies if Calyrex is running Photon Geyser; it just flat out 2hkoes them. Blissey dies to Psystrike or Switcheroo. Yveltal is perhaps a bit more reliable, since it is harder to wear down with Volt Switch, but Fleur Cannon does significantly more than it heals, and both Knock Off and Stealth Rock leave it dead to Fleur Cannon directly, no wearing down required. If it's a serious issue the Calyrex player can go a bit further afield to run something like Blizzard or Bolt Beak and 2hko. straight up
Regenvest Yveltal: 252 SpA Choice Specs Calyrex-Shadow Fleur Cannon vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Yveltal: 248-292 (54.3 - 64%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Regenvest Yveltal vs Special Coverage: 252 SpA Choice Specs Calyrex-Shadow Blizzard vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Yveltal: 210-248 (46 - 54.3%) -- 54.3% chance to 2HKO
Regenvest Yveltal vs Physical Coverage: 252 Atk Calyrex-Shadow Bolt Beak (170 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Yveltal: 226-268 (49.5 - 58.7%) -- 99.6% chance to 2HKO
Ice Scales Regigigas: 252 SpA Choice Specs Adaptability Calyrex-Shadow Photon Geyser vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Regigigas: 264-312 (62.2 - 73.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
Ice Scales Snorlax: 252 SpA Choice Specs Adaptability Calyrex-Shadow Photon Geyser vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Snorlax: 264-312 (50.3 - 59.5%) -- 82.4% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
Ice Scales Blissey: 252 SpA Choice Specs Adaptability Calyrex-Shadow Psystrike vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Ice Scales Blissey: 354-417 (49.5 - 58.4%) -- 68.8% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
Type Null: 252 SpA Choice Specs Adaptability Calyrex-Shadow Photon Geyser vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Type: Null: 194-230 (49.3 - 58.5%) -- 98.4% chance to 2HKO
Ice Scales Umbreon: 252 SpA Choice Specs Calyrex-Shadow Fleur Cannon vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Ice Scales Umbreon: 153-180 (38.8 - 45.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
Fur Coat Chansey: 252 SpA Choice Specs Adaptability Calyrex-Shadow Psystrike vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Fur Coat Chansey: 260-306 (36.9 - 43.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
As we can see, of these only Umbreon and Chansey reliably answer Adapt sets, and even leaving aside switcheroo they have their own problems. Chansey cannot take a Knock Off, doesn't really threaten Calyrex back aside from metal burst, and has no passive recovery, so it can't act as an answer after a Volt Switch or two. Umbreon does better, but it's kind of a shitty mon and can't take on the fairly common Tinted Lens sets without dying itself. Both also lose to Mold Breaker Calyrex, which isn't as good in general but does a fine job demolishing would-be Calyrex checks.

The problem is the colossal and outrageously-lopsided investment each team requires to patch up their shortcomings. You have to remember that people will be forced to make sub-optimal changes to a team to have a chance at not immediately dying against the duo and, because only two Pokemon here are threatening the whole tier, they have FOUR FREE SLOTS to fix up any potential counterplay that they are forcing onto others. Those four slots can by anything ranging from anti-hazard strats like Magic Bounce, Count Change, and Defog, to more anti-priority measures such as Steel types in addition to your own possible Psychic Terrain, to additional offense to pressure defensive cores such as Pheromosa, Regieleki, and Zacian-C, to general defensive countermeasures or useful utility or pivot slots to better supplement the dual-attacking beasts. All of these are available to them while sacrificing next to nothing, whereas everyone else is required to sacrifice tons of synergy just to not lose only to find out that their answers won't actually work.

Just think: If you want to be 100% certain that you don't lose to this core, your team needs to make room for any combination of reliable methods of setting and maintaining entry hazards, comfortable methods of revenge killing and pivoting through their offenses, or painstakingly-meticulous teambuilding that can somehow succeed in walling both Darmanitan and Calyrex at once. You're forced to stuff any number of those into your team just to not auto-lose, while the opponent has more than enough space to run counter tech just to make your efforts futile. This simply isn't fair.


And here lies the problem; this simple core forces a horrible imbalance onto the tier in a way that makes it seem like nothing works. Running both Darmanitan and Calyrex on a team incentivizes a rigged battle of teambuilding where the opposing side needs to make room for mostly-unrealistic measures to keep up, most of which easy to play around if skilled enough, and requires more effort for others to survive than the user has in defending themselves against them. Whether it be a hyper-offense team that blitzes past defensive measures, a 4-man stall team that wins off attrition with two win conditions in the backseat to clean up the rest, or a general balance core that mixes them both and covers all of the potential answers to the both of them, any team that runs these two nukes naturally has an unfair advantage over the rest.
Which leads me to the next part, which I do agree with. Checking these mons is just too hard. I've flat out given up on checking DGZ on my teams, with the logic that I'm going to not be able to switch in to it anyway and and abandoning it as a lost cause gives me room to actually check Calyrex. The most I put as a sop to it is having a Flash Fire Steel-type so it can't just mindlessly click stabs. And this sorta works, because I have a Darmanitan-Galar-Zen of my own and my team does a good enough job denying it switchin opportunities that I can get more use out of mine and break them down first, but the fact of the matter is that the reason I'm doing it is that I don't really have a choice.
 
I don't believe anyone has mentioned this before but the splashbility of Intrepid Sword also needs to be taken into consideration. Chatter was banned because it could work on every mon in the game and could force unfair 50/50s. Intrepid Sword functions in the same way where literally every physical attacker uses it because it's simply the best ability and with it's the sheer power it forces a game of chance between the move the Intrepid Sword user Clicks and the switch in and an additional game of chance with the opponents defensive mons and the coverage options it possesses. The difference here is it is at a much grander scale with instead of being used to cheese past checks, it's being used by physical attackers to outright destroy checks.

The only consistent way I found to break this game of chance was to run hard stall with 5 Baneful Bunker users. WIth that strategy I can scout out exactly what move the opponent is going to use and so I can switch in a resist. I've so far been able to win multiple room tours with this strategy since almost every team is exactly the same (Banded Intrepid Sword/Calyrex) and therefore predictable. In the end stall is the strategy that benefits most from the Intrepid Sword madness simply because it stifles out all other team options leading a homogenous meta that can easily be taken advantage of.
Here is a replay of me vs Quantum Tessaract with the first prototype of my stall team:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1213424798

Since Intrepid Sword stifles any amount of thought when considering physical attackers due to its splashbility and it creates unhealthy 50/50's with coverage and move selection I recommend a quickban on Intrepid Sword.
 
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Sweet Jesus

Neal and Jack and me, absent lovers...
In my opinion, Calyrex is more toxic to the tier than DGZ.

Calyrex outspeeds practicaly everything naturaly, his STAB combination let's him hit ridiculously hard with a rarely resisted ghost type move and a powerful move that targets regular defence to bypass assault vests. But what really makes him overpowerful is the fact there are plenty of viable sets that all require extremly different counters. Specs, no guard, normalize-entrainment, quiver dance and more. The only mon I'd actualy consider a true counter would be oranguru with assault vest regen or ice scales and that's not really viable (and even then normalize-entrainment can probably kill it). Unlike DGZ, Calyrex isn't even a slouch on the defensive side. It can actualy switch-in relatively safely on a couple of weaker attacks, be a pain to kill for inferno burn victims and doesn't have such a strong incentive to lose it's item to heavy-duty boots.

DGZ in my opinion is tolerable. First off, there's actualy a handful of mons that naturaly outspeed him, many of which can OHKO and threaten decent damage on a switch-in (this stays true even if Calyrex gets banned). Choice band in my opinion is overated now that dynamax is banned because a) you can't bypass the choice lock once per game and b) spiky shield, baneful bunker and others which imo are better than recover on poison heal mons can completely shut down a choice mon with such polarizing moves. Choice band on DGZ can easily make your wallbreaker pretty bad at creating any sort of pressure if your opponent's defensive mons run such a move and exposes DGZ to huge stealth rock damage. To me trick is still a staple on anything you want to choice lock now that dynamax is banned and it removes very useful coverage for DGZ.

That being said, heavy duty boots DGZ is still amazing and imo more relevant in the meta, but even him has siginficative drawbacks. First off, V-create doesn't go unpunished. Wether it kills a mon or not, you're probably forced to switch after using it (unlike Calyrex that can just ravage through half a team unboosted late game). There are a couple of mons that can tank nearly everything unchoiced DGZ throws at them and sometimes retaliate directly after. I've had decent success with scarf regen palkia (Dragon energy, steam eruption, volt switch, trick). Reshiram and flash fire steels also come to mind.

The last thing I think makes DGZ not overpowered for the tier, is that unlike Calyrex, I feel his choice of ability comes with larger drawbacks. Intrepid sword is probably the best, but you have to assume it's very possible a chansey comes in every time you kill a mon and then you're the one stuck trying to counter a +2 DGZ. Anything not running mold breaker is prone to falsh fire or fur coat and anything running mold breaker doesn't hit as hard suddenly and won't OHKO things like regigas and other offesnive neutral type threats. Adaptability and maybe desolate land are the last of the main options, but you lose the power on your coverage moves. It should also be noted that all of DGZ's abilities are revelaed immediatly on the switch except adaptability (so you can usualy guess adaptability by deduction) so there's rarely any element of surprise. Even the item can usualy be guessed if there's hazards on the field.
 
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Ok, I'm going to start this off by saying I agree with your conclusion, that DGZ and potentially calyrex are broken in BH. I think this fact is pretty much undeniable to anyone who actually plays post DLC2 BH. However, I disagree with some of the logic here, so I'm going to try and help imporve the case.

I think this is vastly missing the point. Yes, no Pokemon checks both Calyrex and Darmanitan. To which I think someone could respond, and? They don't have the same typing, they don't use the same attacking stat, and they dont use the same abilities. Of course they aren't checked by the same Pokemon. The issues with them isn't that nothing checks both, it's that nothing checks either. Now, this is a bit of a strong claim to advance, but I'm going to make it explicit: There is no such thing as a reliable Darmanitan answer, and vanishingly few for Calyrex.

...

Which leads me to the next part, which I do agree with. Checking these mons is just too hard. I've flat out given up on checking DGZ on my teams, with the logic that I'm going to not be able to switch in to it anyway and and abandoning it as a lost cause gives me room to actually check Calyrex. The most I put as a sop to it is having a Flash Fire Steel-type so it can't just mindlessly click stabs. And this sorta works, because I have a Darmanitan-Galar-Zen of my own and my team does a good enough job denying it switchin opportunities that I can get more use out of mine and break them down first, but the fact of the matter is that the reason I'm doing it is that I don't really have a choice.
Okay, there might have been some miscommunication on my part. I get we're on the same page for the most part about this, but I might as well clarify:


I am not claiming that both Darmanitan and Calyrex are broken on their own or that this is why they should be respectively banned. We can all agree that they are extremely strong and borderline overpowered attackers on their own, but this is not new for BH and should not force a swift ban through that alone.

To make a long story short, Darmanitan-Zen-Galar is an outrageously powerful wallbreaker and sweeper and can cleave through any defensive set with its STAB combination and other tools it uses, but it's terribly prone to revenge killing due to its lacking bulk and somewhat-manageable speed and is limited by its Choice Item lock and its user's choice of ability and coverage moves in how many dedicated physical walls it can outright kill at once.

However, Calyrex-Shadow is a really good albeit typical special sweeper that can invalidate revenge killing with its massive speed, being the 3rd fastest (viable) Pokemon in the tier, and Psychic Surge, negating priority and boosting its very high power even further, but it lacks the raw nuclear power or type coverage on its STABs to pierce through every special wall it meets.

On their own, each of them incredibly good and arguably even overpowered, but you'd be right in saying that none of this alone is enough to warrant a harsh ban on either of them.


But when used together, you start to notice a problematic dynamic arise.

The problem is specifically the combination of the two threats on the same team, not them on their own. The core issue is there is literally no realistic way to stop them both at once due to their completely different set of checks and counters that the other destroys. This is made even harder when factoring in that there is a sizable variance in what Darmanitan and Calyrex can run on their sets.

Take for instance Fur Coat Regirock. This, in my opinion, is a near-perfect counter to Darmanitan-Galar-Zen, not being 2HKOed by aalmost anything. Normally, a competent Balanced Hackmon player could run something like this on their team and be mostly done with it. But, because Calyrex-Shadow comfortably 2HKOs it with Astral Barrage, that simply doesn't work. And even then, Darmanitan could run Fishious Rend, which is the one move that 2HKOs Regirock, so that may not even be a factor in the first place. The same can be said for Umbreon or Assault Vest Yveltal, who can somewhat check Calyrex, but immediately fold against Darmanitan, and if Calyrex has Trick or fires off Fleur Cannon, it may not even matter in the first place. Because there's no one-and-done solution for the two of them, and there's already some variance in their specific counters depending on what each set runs already, you have no choice but to invest more into reliably checking the both of them than you do making a solid overall team, which branches into the main conflict.

Even though you could find ways to make it more difficult for the core to auto-win, the fact that it covers so much on its own without any downside or even outside support makes the aspect way too taxing in comparison, especially since that doesn't prevent them from running many different ways to invalidate those soft answers. As I said before, the soft answers to both of them can be almost completely answered if the rest of your team is correctly built around them. Entry hazards inhibiting their constant switching can be prevented or removed, revenge killing isn't an option because of Psychic Surge or defensive backbone you see fit, constantly getting them back onto the battlefield is no longer prediction-reliant so long as you have any number of your choices of a selection of reliable pivots, and creating a defensive core to shuffle through their Choice Item onslaughts is simply unrealistic since you have to account for other attackers too. You can't even try using Imposter to reverse their momentum because most of their strength comes from their Choice Items that you don't copy, meaning it's possible for them to take the beating you're trying to use against them, while you're still at a statistical disadvantage. Hell, just to emphasize how much free space you have with your party, Calyrex and Darmanitan aren't all that required to run hazards themselves because they already 2HKO effectively everything on their own, but they can just to make life even harder for the opponent if enough space is given to them.

To summarize: While a team using Calyrex and Darmanitan as their main win conditions gets to ravage through the majority of the tier off running only those two Pokemon and patching up their few flaws with the four free slots they have on their team, the opponent has to go through completely asinine means just to make a team resistant to the two of them, only to realize that most of their efforts are in vain due to all of the free space the core has. This is a stupidly one-sided, but shockingly realistic situation that running the both of them puts onto teambuilding.

Honestly, I think the core of the problem here is that Pursuit isn't in the game. If Pursuit was a tool that other Pokemon could use in Sword/Shield, then this whole dilemma wouldn't even be all too bad, as it can effectively trap Calyrex and keep Darmanitan in reasonable check while denying the option of switching out to escape revenge kills. This would strangely enough be a perfect answer to the both of them by not letting them freely run around and kill whatever they want or see. I know that this won't happen and is not realistic to implement back due to it not being possible to even hack into Sword/Shield, but it goes to show you just how much removing a game mechanic can affect the health of even a hypothetical metagame.


To me, THIS is the problem that both of these sweepers create. It's not that each of these Pokemon are hard to stop on their own, or that the two of them create an attacking core that is impossible to defend against. The problem is that the dynamic of using the two gives the user a naturally-unfair advantage that very well seems impossible to fight against due to the huge difference of investment each side would need to maintain advantage. And it all comes from the fact that the both of them naturally murder over 80% of the metagame when used in conjunction with each other. This isn't an ordinary case of "strong attacker no counters pls nerf," this is a much more nuanced case than that which has very rarely if ever happened before.

An offensive core having no defensive checks is one thing, but forcing everyone else into a state of perpetual disadvantage just by running it is simply unacceptable, and that's what Darmanitan and Calyrex do when used together.


I was also clear in saying that I don't have a single answer to fix this problem. Banning both of them simultaneously is far too unrealistic. Intrepid Sword is a dumb and controversial ability, but banning that won't fix this whole problem. I think it's too early for Psychic Surge to be re-banned and although it does prevent one aspect of fighting back against the two with priority, I'm not even sure if banning that again would fix everything on its own. And while both Darmanitan-Galar-Zen and Calyrex-Shadow are both stupidly good offensive threats by themselves, each with very convincing reasonings for their respective bans, as I stated before, just being strong by itself isn't enough to warrant their own ban in a vacuum. The short answer is: I don't know what should be hit here, because every choice has its argument for and against it, all I know is something SHOULD be done here.
 
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Okay, there might have been some miscommunication on my part. I get we're on the same page for the most part about this, but I might as well clarify:


I am not claiming that both Darmanitan and Calyrex are broken on their own or that this is why they should be respectively banned. We can all agree that they are extremely strong and borderline overpowered attackers on their own, but this is not new for BH and should not force a swift ban through that alone.

To make a long story short, Darmanitan-Zen-Galar is an outrageously powerful wallbreaker and sweeper and can cleave through any defensive set with its STAB combination and other tools it uses, but it's terribly prone to revenge killing due to its lacking bulk and somewhat-manageable speed and is limited by its Choice Item lock and its user's choice of ability and coverage moves in how many dedicated physical walls it can outright kill at once.

However, Calyrex-Shadow is a really good albeit typical special sweeper that can invalidate revenge killing with its massive speed, being the 3rd fastest (viable) Pokemon in the tier, and Psychic Surge, negating priority and boosting its very high power even further, but it lacks the raw nuclear power or type coverage on its STABs to pierce through every special wall it meets.

On their own, each of them incredibly good and arguably even overpowered, but you'd be right in saying that none of this alone is enough to warrant a harsh ban on either of them.


But when used together, you start to notice a problematic dynamic arise.

The problem is specifically the combination of the two threats on the same team, not them on their own. The core issue is there is literally no realistic way to stop them both at once due to their completely different set of checks and counters that the other destroys. This is made even harder when factoring in that there is a sizable variance in what Darmanitan and Calyrex can run on their sets.

Take for instance Fur Coat Regirock. This, in my opinion, is a near-perfect counter to Darmanitan-Galar-Zen, not being 2HKOed by aalmost anything. Normally, a competent Balanced Hackmon player could run something like this on their team and be mostly done with it. But, because Calyrex-Shadow comfortably 2HKOs it with Astral Barrage, that simply doesn't work. And even then, Darmanitan could run Fishious Rend, which is the one move that 2HKOs Regirock, so that may not even be a factor in the first place. The same can be said for Umbreon or Assault Vest Yveltal, who can somewhat check Calyrex, but immediately fold against Darmanitan, and if Calyrex has Trick or fires off Fleur Cannon, it may not even matter in the first place. Because there's no one-and-done solution for the two of them, and there's already some variance in their specific counters depending on what each set runs already, you have no choice but to invest more into reliably checking the both of them than you do making a solid overall team, which branches into the main conflict.

Even though you could find ways to make it more difficult for the core to auto-win, the fact that it covers so much on its own without any downside or even outside support makes the aspect way too taxing in comparison, especially since that doesn't prevent them from running many different ways to invalidate those soft answers. As I said before, the soft answers to both of them can be almost completely answered if the rest of your team is correctly built around them. Entry hazards inhibiting their constant switching can be prevented or removed, revenge killing isn't an option because of Psychic Surge or defensive backbone you see fit, constantly getting them back onto the battlefield is no longer prediction-reliant so long as you have any number of your choices of a selection of reliable pivots, and creating a defensive core to shuffle through their Choice Item onslaughts is simply unrealistic since you have to account for other attackers too. You can't even try using Imposter to reverse their momentum because most of their strength comes from their Choice Items that you don't copy, meaning it's possible for them to take the beating you're trying to use against them, while you're still at a statistical disadvantage. Hell, just to emphasize how much free space you have with your party, Calyrex and Darmanitan aren't all that required to run hazards themselves because they already 2HKO effectively everything on their own, but they can just to make life even harder for the opponent if enough space is given to them.

To summarize: While a team using Calyrex and Darmanitan as their main win conditions gets to ravage through the majority of the tier off running only those two Pokemon and patching up their few flaws with the four free slots they have on their team, the opponent has to go through completely asinine means just to make a team resistant to the two of them, only to realize that most of their efforts are in vain due to all of the free space the core has. This is a stupidly one-sided, but shockingly realistic situation that running the both of them puts onto teambuilding.

Honestly, I think the core of the problem here is that Pursuit isn't in the game. If Pursuit was a tool that other Pokemon could use in Sword/Shield, then this whole dilemma wouldn't even be all too bad, as it can effectively trap Calyrex and keep Darmanitan in reasonable check while denying the option of switching out to escape revenge kills. This would strangely enough be a perfect answer to the both of them by not letting them freely run around and kill whatever they want or see. I know that this won't happen and is not realistic to implement back due to it not being possible to even hack into Sword/Shield, but it goes to show you just how much removing a game mechanic can affect the health of even a hypothetical metagame.


To me, THIS is the problem that both of these sweepers create. It's not that each of these Pokemon are hard to stop on their own, or that the two of them create an attacking core that is impossible to defend against. The problem is that the dynamic of using the two gives the user a naturally-unfair advantage that very well seems impossible to fight against due to the huge difference of investment each side would need to maintain advantage. And it all comes from the fact that the both of them naturally murder over 80% of the metagame when used in conjunction with each other. This isn't an ordinary case of "strong attacker no counters pls nerf," this is a much more nuanced case than that which has very rarely if ever happened before.

An offensive core having no defensive checks is one thing, but forcing everyone else into a state of perpetual disadvantage just by running it is simply unacceptable, and that's what Darmanitan and Calyrex do when used together.


I was also clear in saying that I don't have a single answer to fix this problem. Banning both of them simultaneously is far too unrealistic. Intrepid Sword is a dumb and controversial ability, but banning that won't fix this whole problem. I think it's too early for Psychic Surge to be re-banned and although it does prevent one aspect of fighting back against the two with priority, I'm not even sure if banning that again would fix everything on its own. And while both Darmanitan-Galar-Zen and Calyrex-Shadow are both stupidly good offensive threats by themselves, each with very convincing reasonings for their respective bans, as I stated before, just being strong by itself isn't enough to warrant their own ban in a vacuum. The short answer is: I don't know what should be hit here, because every choice has its argument for and against it, all I know is something SHOULD be done here.
It is very much possible to defend against that core. To do so though the only good way is by running hard stall with mutiple Baneful Bunker users. Here's a replay of me defeating a Calyrex/Darminatan core: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1213424798, and here's a replay of defeating a Zekrom/Darmanitan core:https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1216004452-7sz1i9yrrkcrlw5zemxxv9balgqat9ipw. The core(s) are definitely beatable, the issue is that it's overcentralizing.
 
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After reading all these, I’d say that Intrepid Sword should be quickbanned, while a suspect should be held for Darm-GZ, if not a quickban too. For Calyrex-Shadow, I personally feel it’s still manageable, but based on what others said on this thread, it might need a suspect as well.

:rusted_sword:
Chatter was banned because it could work on every mon in the game and could force unfair 50/50s. Intrepid Sword functions in the same way where literally every physical attacker uses it because it's simply the best ability and with it's the sheer power it forces a game of chance between the move the Intrepid Sword user Clicks and the switch in and an additional game of chance with the opponents defensive mons and the coverage options it possesses.
This statement basically concludes the whole Isword matter. The ability is extremely centralizing among physical attackers, and makes abusers like the infamous Darm-GZ near impossible to switch into (see qt's post above). It puts a really great amount of pressure on the defending team, and makes Fur Coat or Unaware mandantory in the builder. I don’t see why something as over-centralizing as Isword should be allowed at all, even before Crown Tundra (i was lazy to post kek).

:darmanitan-galar-zen:
Personally, I don’t see why this should even be allowed, with solid evidence from qt's post that literally nothing switches in. Even without Isword, Adapt or Mold Breaker sets are still extremely hard to switch into, not to mention that Magic Guard sets have always been viable. I understand that it has a glaring weakness to Rocks while being reliant on predicting switchins correctly (not even a problem on isword), so there are still valid arguments for this to stay. It still remains as one of the most controversial topics rn so I think a suspect would be appropriate.

:calyrex-shadow:
I think some players are overly exaggerating its power, but I do agree that it is an extremely strong threat that could even bypass some of its checks. It pretty much requires a RegenVest mon + Dark type, but both of them are perfectly viable and it’s not like it creates defensive holes for something else to easily take advantage of. You can also be fairly creative/ flexible in choosing the RegenVest mon, ranging from Dark-types to Normal and Steel-types, while you can also utilize Nuzzle and U-Turn, two common moves on regenvest, to bring in a breaker safely. For example, I ran a team with RegenVest Zygod + PH Yvel + Zac-C, which is fairly safe vs Calyrex, especially when I have Bunker on Yvel to scout its move. MMY is in a similar situation last gen, being extremely strong and versatile but overall healthy to the tier. No Ban on Calyrex imo.
 
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If intrepid sword is banned, does Zacian-Crowned automaticaly become banned as well since it is currenty forced to run that ability?
No, Zacian-Crowned doesn't get banned. Since Zacain base intially doesn't have Intrepid Sword and obtians that ability from a transformation in state it will function similar to Primal Groudon and Gengarite in that it can still have that ability or form in spite of a ban on the ability or form.
 

a loser

I'm a loser, baby, so why don't you kill me?
is a Tiering Contributor
Looking at the meta right now is tough. There are a couple things that stand out to me and I'm struggling to figure out which of them is the source of unhealthiness. Here I'll talk about the three main things I think are the biggest issues for the meta and would love to see some thoughts on them. Here they are, in no particular order.

1604597731170.png

Remember the good ol' days of BH when you could simply slap V-create onto a set and make it so much harder to deal with? The power creep of Gen 8 makes those days seem like a pillow fight. It is interesting to look back on Gen 7 discussion and see people call for V-create to be banned, comparing it to CFZs and what not, and even early Gen 8 discussion of V-create along with FSMs Bolt/Rend. At the time, Shedinja and Dynamax were both still around so these moves had some room to work around them. But now with Shed (rest in peace) and Dynamax both gone, these moves seem more overwhelming than they ever have.

I think BH got to a state where we just grew accustomed to dealing with these high powered moves and accepted that we could run Fur Coat on every team and Dynamax our wall when necessary to live a hit. I don't think this was a healthy state to be in. It led to an overabundance of FC Eternatus to stomach V-create and Bolt/Rend, a rise of FC Darm-Zen to check Sunsteel and Photon Geysers aimed at FC Etern, and a lot of room for bad matchups.

Things have only gotten better for physical attackers with Glacial Lance, an epic Ice-type move with 130 BP that doesn't make contact and has no drawbacks. The sheer power doesn't quite live up to V-create and Bolt/Rend's 170+ BP but when used alongside one another, finding a mon capable of taking hits from each one is impossible. Sure, certain typings are somewhat capable like Reshiram, Volcanion, Swampert, and Ferrothorn, but each of these ends up taking neutral damage from one or more and are each very reliant on their abilities to perform.

The problem here is each move, outside of maybe Glance, isn't broken on its own. V-create has two viable options to provide immunity abilities, Bolt Beak has a type-based immunity along with multiple immunity abilities, and Fishious Rend has several immunity ability options as well. Glance stands out here because nothing is immune to Ice, using the move doesn't drop the user's stats, and its power is not determined by turn order.

dgz.png

DGZ is not the only abuser of the four above-mentioned moves but it is by far the best, as it gains STAB on two of arguably the best ones. DGZ can easily slap these four moves on its set and pick up KOs with almost any ability thanks to their raw power alone.

From what I've seen on the ladder so far, Darm usage has been sky-high and for good reason. Almost nothing can reliably switch into its attacks and that is without considering coverage. Finally getting a reliable (and super spammable) Ice STAB basically invalidates any fat dragon's hopes of checking this mon. V-create and Glance tear through the available legendary mons with ease, leaving us with mostly 600 BST and lower mons to hope to check it.

Being able to effectively run Choice Band, Choice Scarf, and Life Orb sets makes DGZ so much harder to prep for since you can't simply rely on just bulk, speed, or protect clone scouting to check it. A combination of these things certainly helps, but at the moment there is not a surefire method of keeping this mon in check.

sword.png

Since the release of Crown Tundra, Intrepid Sword has become the go-to ability for DGZ instead of the formerly popular Mold Breaker. I think this is largely thanks to Glance patching up its sketchy Ice STAB slot that used to belong to the unreliable Icicle Crash and Triple Axel. Glance with Band Intrepid Sword helps DGZ almost cleanly 2HKO Fur Coat Swampert and coverage moves hit other FC/immunity ability mons so hard that Moldy is almost not needed to break them.

There are other good Intrepid Sword users like Zamazenta, Barraskewda, Regieleki, Pheromosa, and Kartana, but DGZ is likely the best thanks to its spammable STABs and speed. The other users have fine STABs, but they are much easier to deal with thanks to more common immunities and resistances.

This ability, along with the high BP attacks, has helped contribute to the extremely high usage of Fur Coat. This gets back to the issue of ability reliant walls. Just the existence of Intrepid Sword almost mandates Fur Coat as a means to counteract it. Naturally, this leads to Mold Breaker abilities being used to take advantage of this and bypass FC mons by using insanely high BP moves.
________________________________________________________________________________________

These three aspects of the meta, when combined, attribute to an unhealthy dynamic for checking physical threats. The high BP moves and constant attack boost merit running Fur Coat, which leads to physical attackers running Mold Breaker, which leads to walls running things like Primordial Sea (which gets pounded by Fishious Rend and strong coverage). This makes it very difficult to prepare for the various physical attackers in the meta since each physical check we have can be worked around by extremely powerful moves or just brute force from ability boosted strong attackers like DGZ.

Overall I think the power surge of this generation is much more noticeable with Dynamax gone. Using it defensively was a great option for keeping the physical power at bay and with that no longer being an option, physical threats are running rampant. But that gets into broken checking broken, which is not a direction we want to go in.

But as I said in the beginning, I can't decide which of these things is the biggest issue or even the source of the issue. Right now DGZ and Glacial Lance stick out to me the most and seem to be having the biggest impact on the meta. DGZ is by far the best abuser of the four powerful moves and Intrepid Sword, which makes me think it is the problem here. Lately there have been some comparisons to Primal Groudon last gen and that is looking pretty accurate right now.

I don't believe that nerfing the moves is the right way to go, for now at least. While Pyro Ball + Triple Axel DGZ sounds easier to deal with, I don't think that gets to the root of the issue. I also don't think Intrepid Sword on its own is the problem. DGZ can put in plenty of work with almost any other ability. Basically, when looking at these aspects of the meta it all comes back to DGZ and leads me to believe it is the main issue or at least the starting point to help balance things in the meta. Any thoughts or feedback are more than welcome.
 
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berry

rock
is a Community Contributor
I think this thread's argument right now has moved past the point of "is DGZ broken" (or even "isword is broken, but I still hesitate when this is brought up). Experienced and keen-eyed players and posters have pretty much unanimously come to the conclusion that this mon, alongside the tools it gained in dlc2, overwhelms the vast majority of the meta. Most of the discussion since the meta has smoothed out a bit has been about what steps we need to take, and in what order we need to take them.

This situation is extremely reminiscent of the Gen 7 Mega Ray vs Triage discussion (thread here but i'll need to do more digging to find the discussion). The targeted solution of just banning the mon that was seen as extremely strong in the mon + ability combo ended up leading to strong, but (usually) not overwhelming triage mons still being able to survive in the format. This is why I'm so opposed to banning isword: isword mons are strong, but no other isword mon other than dgz has truly shown meta-breaking potential. It would be bad practice to restrict teambuilding in the sandbox meta because one mon showed that it was unbearable when in combination with a certain set.

In loser's post above, he mentions
DGZ is by far the best abuser of the four powerful moves and Intrepid Sword, which makes me think it is the problem here
I agree with this point: fighting against dgz specifically, when it has two relatively safe and hard-hitting options (lance and vc) makes it extremely hard to play around, especially when it has two other slots it can fill to hit anything it wants. I'm extremely hesitant to think that banning the third part of the combo (isword) is the right way to go because dgz has shown its prowess with other abilities in previous dlc metas as well, where it has still been at the top of the food chain. DGZ gaining all of its new dlc tools, specifically glance, has pushed it over the edge.

To reiterate a point from a couple paragraphs above, I think that isword is extremely strong and has high viability, but no other isword mon has truly shown itself to be a meta-tearing threat like DGZ: Isword mons are strong, but not absolutely dominating. I would hesitate to ban an ability just because it makes offense better or shifts the meta out of our comfort zone. We have to realize that Gen 8 will never be like gen 7 or gen 6 because of the new toolset the game has provided to us.

I think the correct next steps are a DGZ ban and an isword watch / isword heavy discussion. With the mon gone, I believe that isword will not be as much of a threat as people are saying it is.
 
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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 the defending Other Metas 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 Tiering Contributor
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
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.
 

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