BH Balanced Hackmons

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

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

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

High Ladder Replay Analysis:

Against Onyx Onix 7 Stall

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

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

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

berry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some general thoughts on certain pokemon:

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

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

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

On a more exciting note:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Purple Frog Hype
 
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cityscapes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

anyway yeah uh ban calyrex
 
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Mowtom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Sets in Question:

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

Sweet Jesus

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

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

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

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

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

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

a loser

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

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

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

My pregnant pause is officially over.

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

2020:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GL Volkner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cityscapes

Take care of yourself.
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
we (council) are considering quickbanning calyrex shadow due to reasons discussed above, this is a conspiracy created by me to make my sample team more visible by making others illegal. if you guys have thoughts on this idea be sure to let us know and we will get back to you in no more than 30-60 business days
 
I will make a big post about the tour i participated + teams i used and general bh stuff so i use this thread.I ended with a mediocre 2-3 record,which could easily have been 5-0 or 0-5 due to games being luck reliant with matchups and crits/misses parylisys and general mons stuff so i try not dwell a lot on that.I will say im thankfull i got picked

WEEK 1 Team https://pokepast.es/1ed2cb580ec99733
I knew going to the match that poison heal mons with boost and status move are very strong ,status beats the usual standard cheks and boosting beats everything else,ph imposter is a decent answer but u need someone to slow pivot to it for longer games and that someone doesnt always take boosted hits or status moves well.Since i struggled with a consistent counter to that style i just brought 2 of these mons in palkia for its 150spa plus stab fishious since mixed sets are hard to wall and gigas is just gigas.Evio chansey was used to gain tempo 1-2 times and scout,av xern for pivoting and lack of weaknesses and bounce ferro plus wish unaware zyg for improofing plus dealing with opposing hazards/status moves my opponent uses frequently and zyg for healing others like evio chansey and an extra soft check to boosters
The game https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1237784806-2rqblgbvfbndli4rl7xlprp1mcju39vpw
This one went my way,getting the correct moves on switchins and the pars when i needed,plus matchup favoured me with palkia having no good answers and opposing team letting me heal imposter.When zarude died to a risky switchin i had big advantage i could lose only to crits or me playing bad.Overall poison heal plus status plus boost worked rly well and i cant help but wonder if i would do better if i used it more since i didnt face much toxic orb imp and HO teams

WEEK 2 Team https://pokepast.es/83d3d0cb279b5055
For this one i was expecting an offensive team possibly weak to imposter pikatchu and a fast paced playstyle.Torb blissey since i didnt wana auto lose vs ph boosters,tailwind prank and pika imp could do some work,zygrade for pivoting and scouting,Etern can get a kill or 2 easily and prank corrosive gas to remove memory and drive items even before electrify is used that the imposters would have trouble to deal with.One added benefit it can have on knock off is the extra 32 pp which i handt considered prior to the game but it can be usefull for trapping sets.*Eternatus here was initally kyu-w hence the weird pikatchu set that i forgot to change :/
The game https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1240451286-twt7pvexjascu0iqaf4eo6cyd9yzncppw
This one didnt go my way.I faced stall with 2 trapping mons simply not having enough heals to deal with them.My opponent made a risky play sacking chansey before scouting my sets,at this point if giratina had healing move i would win but it didnt so it was doomed with zyg dead.I could maybe get a double crit but that didnt happen so i lost.Not much to say but generally its better to lose on matchup rather than with speed tie or miss and crits.To the next one

WEEK 3 Team https://pokepast.es/b439afb0ee55addf
Here the inital idea was a ph boosting calyrex but after some calcs i thought this was the most threatening set,especially vs steel mons my opponent liked using.I chose mag as a prankster mainly to let calyrex come to punish imposter trying to heal or court change back.Modest caly was needed for better chances to 2hko zyg and phero for speed control since modest caly
The game https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1247153289
This one i was kinda happy with my play.I played the early game safe trying to scout sets.Zygrade was the toughest one since i had to bounce between magearna and yveltal to deal with it.Calyrex could do some dmg if i got good predictions before mag run out of pp but mag got crit by a magma storm and then hit by it again and died.At that point zygrade would beat the long run so i tried to use the double spike i had to clean up with the breakers.After spiked got removed i tried to use chansey and yveltal to do dmg but i needed good predictions and good rng but i didnt get those so i lost in the end.Again.

WEEK 4
Sadly i dont have a paste for here.Basically i didnt prep anything,i used a ladder team with comatose for entrain shenanigans/fur coat/ice sclaes/torb/shell double imp/prank with one or 2 tweaks to better fit tour play.I was kinda losing motivation to try find cool techs plus my ladder stalls would probably auto win the last 2 games and i feel most comfortable using those so i decided to bring it.Thats pretty much it.
The game https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1254679894
This was a rather sad game.My opponent probably made some mistakes i dont wana dwell on too much.For my part i considered fishious for palkia,what i didnt consider is a defensive palkia doesnt 2hko zama even with speed boost so losing yveltal was rly poor play by me.I was also lucky to dodge a v create that could make me lose if it hit but if i switched then zama could get impostered and that would be rly bad for my team.Overall how this game came down to misses and imposter speed ties is kinda disenheartening.At least i got back to 2-2 and didnt wana end up with a negative score.

WEEK 5 https://pokepast.es/a55c9b12f20a018d
This team was based on an idea i had before week 1 of the tour,but at that point i felt it was too risky and cheesy and didnt want my game to be decided like this so ended up not using it.In the end i rly felt obliged to test it so i brought it for the tiebreaker game.I struggled a bit with the items,initially etern was HDB gira and goon was lefovers regigigas and calyrex item was a questionmark.Ended up with etern since it removes tspikes,its imposter is scared by calyrex more and goon to not have to mind guess between haze and topsy.Calyrex could get lefties to deal with wisp or hdb to deal with hazards but those get revealed which i didnt like.Lum and mental herb were considered but i dont think they would see value,leppa was considered to outpp haze but the 10 pp is rarely gonna matter,ended up with brightpowder.If sth with u trn or spectral gets trapped u still play guessing games the turn u baton pass.Brightpowder with 3 plus evasion gives you above 50% percent dodge to swap normalize back and bp safely with spectral being a normal move again.Goon also fakely seems like a tinted calyrex improof which gave me an edge to use him.Prank dbond and the pika/zacc core can deal with teams if the baton chain fails,and the prank dbond can at least trade 1 for one if it cant sweep.Volc is just and improof
The game https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8balancedhackmons-1259024468
*For starters i wanna say i remaked that game to make it public,and we had done that with my opponent week 3 as well,not week 2 as i wrongly claimed
Another terrble game by me.Teleport gigas with protect move was very threatening.In retrospect etern or volc should have an ability removal.Gigas lacked a boosting move which meant i didnt auto lose.I should protect zacian hp and yet i got it spectraled twice.The bp chain was probably not gonna work vs that gigas so i should try get him with dbond and try win with zacian nuzzle pars and pika wining speed ties but i tunneled.At least i brought my wacky idea to a serious game avoiding any potential what ifs

Overall thought about the meta,myself and tour play
Feeling rather confident and excited initially,the positive emotins gradually started weakening.The meta is weird.Ph mons are too strong right now.Their best counters are using HO teams with gambit and belly drum spam.If poison heal was gone then spore and paralysis would be more broken and games would be even uglier.Stall is also in a bad spot due to being unable to take numerous volt/utrns without runing out of recovery pp.So even with stall game is decided by 50/50 guesses what is the choiced mon gonna click.Tour play isnt very rewarding.Too little games and too much rng and luck deciding the outcome rather than actual play and teambuilding.Maybe a ladder tour would be a better form of skill expression but i doubt many ppl would want to participate in one.On the positive side i feel there are more unexplored strategies in bh and ppl are scared to use in tours or dont wana bother inovating.We still got some of them at least.This should be all for now,maybe i will address more stuff later
 
Team Name: All In
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Description: Disable while denting, Disarm with walling, open up several forms of passive damage, all while maintaining momentum as you sweep their weakened and statused remaining last resorts. *Gulp*

Pokepaste: https://pokepast.es/dad8664fffb15c2f

How to Use:
Inspired by another user's non-optimal version (wrong form, not the best moves), I upgraded to Cramorant-Gorging to achieve an unremovable ability that both deals 25% damage and paralyzes any foe that deals (even non-contact) damage; while contact moves receive 41.66% flat damage before you even use an attack. . Typically if you aren't using Endure, Flip Turn allows you to pivot the turn you leave your foe around 1/2 health, keeping up your momentum and an easy KO / forced switch the following turn. With your check safely pivoted in, you can decide between your switch-in likely being Pheromosa to maintain momentum via U-Turn, or ensuring their switches are not free with Eternatus to easily set-up hazards. Being able to send in Cramorant when your foe sends in a Rapid Spin user can easily double-up on the status and passive damage delivered, and means pivoting to Pheromosa allows you to easily dent to gradually wear down the foe's team, be it HO or defensive. Pheromosa's Glacial Lance secures its 1HKO on Zygarde-C, Wicked Blow's 1HKOs Calyrex-S. and Close Combat will force out non Fur Coat Zamazenta-C.

While keeping momentum is key, so is reducing your foe's own momentum, which is why Anchor Shot Doublade, and Thousand Waves Prankster Zygarde-C can easily trap. Zygarde-C also benefits from he massive PP of Haze, while both can prevent Rapid Spin either via Ghost-type or by a speedy Court Change before the Rapid Spin can happen, waiting to return hazards back once the Rapid Spinner cannot remove it. Eternatus becomes an effective tank, resisting many physical moves (V-Create, Bolt Beak, Fighting, Fishous Rend, etc.), while Ice Scales makes it surprisingly effective at taking even super effective hits, with Core Enforcer and Volt Switch removing ability effects before pivoting. Lastly, Yveltal can work wonders to mixed sweep, and potentially trap Imposter if the foe gets greedy, while hitting common defensive options like Zygarde-C, Giratina, and opposing Yveltal with its coverage. Doublade and Yveltal have excellent synergy, as does Zygarde-C, making them great switch-ins to their teammates' counters. Ultimately you focus on racking up status and early passive damage, tanking any opposing set-up, and HO, then trapping and gradually leaving dents for Yveltal or Pheromosa to finish off their now slower, and weakened team.

Weaknesses: Glacial Lance threatens members of the team, nevertheless, Doublade handles it well, although it can get threatened by V-create and Wicked Blow. Pheromosa can defeat Normalize Calyrex-S, but it may have trouble pivoting in, unless its coming from Cramorant-Gorging, which blocks Entrainment, and punishes any attacks. Anchor Shot on Doublade can threaten, and trap Xerneas, with Ice Scales proving useful against even its Fire / Ground coverage, and steal set-up with Spectral Thief, but -Ate Boomburst does threaten Zygarde-C and Yveltal, while Extreme Speed can handle Pheromosa. Zacian-C can be a threat to Yveltal, and Zygarde-C, but Doublade can Spectral Thief, Phermosa can finish off chipped ones in mid-late game, and Cramorant-Gorging can simply come in, and paralyze / dent, while pivoting to set-up Yveltal to KO with Power Trip. Lastly, Zygarde-C can remove boosts and use Thousand Wavesto prevent it from switching non-pivots, and Eternatus can take V-Creates. and Bolt Beaks, resists it and can Shore Up stall, and set-up Spikes, before it pivots to its preferred check of choice.

Effectiveness: This team has an 12/15 win ratio, and doesn't fail to maintain wins even against the same foes in rematches. The key here is everyone has a unique role, and no Pokemon feels too similar to its teammates, while momentum is key in keeping you one step ahead of the opponents. I have to say Cramorant-Gorging is the best use of a sacrificial switch-in, and if it can deal paralysis, 25% damage (or 41.67% with Rocky Helmet) at least twice, and can deter HO from even wanting to use an attack move (including pivots), it leaves them in a state of flux, and has served its purpose well. From here, once they feel forced out, I can begin the hazards setting, and pivoting damage to gradually wear down their offensive and defensive options. The opponent usually has the best chance to win early on in the game, but by mid-game, it tilts in my favor, as I meticulously wear down, and force switches, leaving the foe in a compromised position. Goal - be patient, don't feel rushed, take your time, and slowly let their panic be their downfall.

Edit:

Yay look at this one! VS ☆MLG's play leappad

Hehe

VS ☆palapapop
VS ☆betathunder 龍

VS ☆Locust-storm
VS ☆HUHSHRUG

VS ☆HUHSHRUG
VS ☆RED_at_peak

VS ☆Legendary Poet Cramorant-Gorging MVP

VS ☆IAmNewGoEasy

I won 20 games in a row!

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Thoughts on Calyrex-SR: I would support the council in quick banning it. It puts a significant amount of pressure at the team builder level, and the checks to it are numbered. This forces many team to have a similar build style as you'll frequently find yourself building similar style teams because you have to support similar mons (Yveltal). There are very few regenvest pokemon which can eat a neutral Astral Barrage, with AV Zyg being literally the only one which can do this (AV Registeel gets 2hkoed which is ridiculous) and then we have Moongeist Beam which just bypasses Ice Scales forcing the use of either dark or normal scales pokemon. Normalize and Electrify sets can be seen frequently to break through its normal checks, which forces a team to have a secondary check to these other sets, which further strains team building. And personally for me, this one pokemon genuinely makes dislike the current state of BH. With it gone, I feel like the variety of teams we will see will greatly increase and the meta will become more healthy.

Sample Team Submission:

Team Name:
Lets Dance

Description: Balanced team, with two complementary anti-meta special breakers(Blacephalon & Xerneas), solid defensive backbone to soft check the majority of the meta(AV Zygarde, Eviolite Imposter, prank Registeel), and solid longevity with pheal Calyrex-Ice and AV Zygarde)

Pokepaste: https://pokepast.es/acaeec898fbad66e

How to Use: In the early a solid rule of thumb is to scout sets with Imposter Chansey, and Zygarde, while searching for switchins to safely get in either Blacephalon and Xerneas frealy. Generally you should be clicking Volt-Switch early on to scout, unless going for a hard read. After sufficient scouting, try to safely activate Calyrex-Ice's toxic orb. Calyrex-Ice should be used to put pressure on defensive walls by wearing them down, setting up spikes to allows Xerneas and Blacephalon to score 2hkoes or OHKoes on incoming pokemon. Once the opposing team has been properly scouted, you should make it your priority to keep momentum, by keeping Blacephalon and Xerneas in the game as much as possible, spamming Volt Switch with them, and fishing for opportunities to KO. Choice Scarf Blacephalon should be used to offensively pressure Calyrex-SR and Zacian-Crowned. Xerneas is used as the primary breaker. Against stall, you should abuse Calyrex-Ice's crazy high pp to put a lot of pressure, and against offense try to slow down the opposition with Imposter and Zygarde to get one of the breakers in for free. Note: Calyrex-Ice is used to 2hko Zamazenta-Crowned and Regigigas with Low Kick. (try to burn Zamazenta-Crowned before comitting to Low Kick though)

Weaknesses: The team is weak to teams with a Regenvest + Scales core, as well as teams with strong Poison heal cores. Ho-Oh can give the team some trouble but Diamond Storm on Xerneas with minimal chip is used to KO it. Poison Heal Xerneas is a massive pain for the team, as it makes progress against it very effectively. A combination of Calyrex-Ice, Zygarde, and Registeel can soft check, but it will still often put work against it. Zacian-Crowned can also make progress against this team. Generally a combination of Imposter and Blacephalon is used to win late game against it. Other than that the team is relatively solid, and is pretty flexible to suit most play styles.

Effectiveness: I have gone around 20-0 with this team on ladder as it took me from 82% GXE --> 90.2% GXE. I have beaten others using omwc teams with it but have also lost to a couple omwc teams. I have had general success with it in the Daily Ladders, and challenging friends with it, but it does lose every once in a while against strong teams, though as a ladder team, it was extremely successful and due to how flexible it is and the cushioning Prankster + Imposter provides I believe it should be relatively easy to use.

Replays:
vs skylake
vs dimrah (omwc team he used against willdbeast)
vs champleon
vs Onyx Onix stall
vs Damflame (shows how a team w/ a strong regen core can give my team a lot of trouble, almost broke through but pheal Xern in the endgame was too much)
vs Dragonillis
 
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Considering that this year's BH Open is in less than a week, I would suggest that a quickban on Calyrex-Shadow should be made asap. A lot of voices in the community has already spoken out to prove it rather unhealthy for the current meta game, and with the new emergence of Techno Blast Normalize sets plus the less explored danger of Electrify sets, I think my opinion on it has also become more stronger for a ban. (I made a post a while ago saying that I would lean towards no ban on Calyrex-SR, but a suspect test should be held.)

The fact that its two most popular sets, Specs and Normalize, have entirely different checks/ cover each other's checks extremely well is the main factor that makes me change my opinion recently. Not to mention that Specs itself kinda require 2 mons to check it already. Moreover, the inability to figure out which set it is on preview just makes it worse, and if you don't have a protect move to scout, it can easily dent a hole on your team for predicting its set incorrectly.

I will use this team, which has been pretty consistent on ladder, as an example. I rely on AV Zygarde to check Specs Calyrex, which is able to avoid a 2HKO from all Calyrex except sets with Ice Beam, threaten with Nuzzle/ Thief, and U-turn to Phero if it decides to stay in. However if I hard switch into a Normalize Calyrex using Entrainment, I'm forced to switch into Zamazenta to Corrode away its Drive before hard switching again to Giratina to fully wall that set. For Electrify sets, I have to either pp stall with Groudon or Zamazenta, and not having Teleport to bring in Pheromosa is a big downside to this team. Ho-Oh can also live a hit if needed, and KO back with LO Thief. I'd like to think that my team fares decently vs Caly, having protect to scout, prank corrosive gas, av pivot, speed control and an emergency tank, though you can see that literally 5 of 6 slots have been dedicated/ altered to check it well (I can run lefties entrain on zama, zacc over phero, etc).

In general, Specs beats nearly all Prankster Gas and Bounce checks to Normalize, while Normalize beats all Ice Scales, RegenVest and PHeal (soft) checks to Specs. I think Calyrex-Shadow is just way too restrictive both in the builder and preview rn, with its unparalleled SpA and Spe, there's still so much to explore behing these two sets. Since the Open is around the corner, once again, some tiering measures against Calyrex-Shadow should be taken.

Will make another post for sample hopefully soon. I've lost a lot faith on the above team compared to when I first made it, unfortunately (it's still decent).
 

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