BH Balanced Hackmons


formerly XxSevagxX
is a Pre-Contributor

(thanks Varrio for the banner once again!)​
What is Balanced Hackmons?
Balanced Hackmons (BH) is an Other Meta that allows you to use nearly anything possible that you can battle with in a local battle between players, in the most current cartridge. Conceptually, BH is defined as a sandbox tier where one can use Pokemon to their fullest potential with normal restrictions being removed.

What makes it Balanced?
The removal of abilities, moves or Pokemon that focus the meta only around their use.

Highlights of BH Mechanics:
Here is but a sample of the cool things you can do in BH and nowhere else!
Note: The following is subject to the current banlist. Some mechanics may not be finalized on PS
  • Mix and match mons in any of their usable forms in the game directly!
  • Use (nearly) any Pokemon, Ability, move or item of your choice! If it's coded in the game, you can use it!
  • Make use of Pokemon with maxed out EV's!
Clause and Ban List:
The banlist keeps the"Balanced" in Balanced Hackmons. Here's our banlist for the BH9 Ladder:
Belly Drum
Last Respects
Rage Fist
Revival Blessing
Shed Tail
Shell Smash
Arena Trap
Comatose + Sleep Talk
Huge Power
Innards Out
Magnet Pull
Neutralizing Gas
Parental Bond
Poison Heal
Pure Power
Shadow Tag
Water Bubble
Wonder Guard
Sleep Moves Clause
Species Clause
Evasion Clause
OHKO Clause

Victory Dance / Quiver Dance
Gorilla Tactics
Terastalize Clause
Click to see dates and links for each action
  • Endless Battle Clause: Forcing an endless battle is banned, similar to the rest of PS
  • Evasion Moves Clause: No moves that can increase Evasion are allowed. This does not include abilities or items that may modify Evasion passively such as Sand Veil or Brightpowder
  • Sleep Moves Clause: Moves that cause opposing Pokemon to fall asleep are not allowed. This excludes self-inflicted sleep or Comatose
  • Species Clause: You may only use one pokemon per team associated with a pokedex number. (eg, you cannot use both Arceus-Ghost and Arceus-Fairy on the same team)
Important Links:
Previous Gen(s):
[Gen 8] Balanced Hackmons
Balanced Hackmons Old Gens Hub

:Kyogre: Chessking345
quojova (Co-Tier Leader)
XxLazzerpenguinxX (Tier Leader)
Tea Guzzler
:Registeel: TTTech
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formerly XxSevagxX
is a Pre-Contributor
Balanced "FAQ"mons
Why isn’t Normalize banned?
Entrainment Normalize, coming from Ghost-types like Dragapult and Calyrex-Shadow can be annoying to deal with at times but there are multiple options to counter this strategy which include but aren’t limited to: all status moves except Thunder Wave, Magic Bounce, and Judgement with an appropriate held item.

Why isn’t Imposter banned?
Imposter is one of the few things in BH that you have a near 100% expectation of what you'll be facing because you design the set. The only variation is the amount of HP and the item. Imposter-proofing ("Improofing") means building your team to handle the Imposter of each team member, and the power of Imposter is entirely dependent on your own teambuilding. Taking advantage of Multi-Attack and Techno Blast, item removal, status moves, uncommon hard-counters to sweepers, trapping via Anchor Shot / Thousand Waves and even its limited 20 pp movepool are all common and valid strategies.

Balanced Hackmons: a Primer
Overview on popular mechanics in the Balanced Hackmons scene!
  • BH allows the use of anything that is coded in the game. This allows players to use unreleased mons, moves, abilities and items
    • This does not allow the player to use mechanics that were available only in previous gen games
  • The above also means the player can only use 4 moves per Pokermon
  • Pokemon are able to have maxed out EV's
  • Pokemon may begin in any form they have in game without restrictions (subject to the banlist). This includes different forms without necessary moves and/or items (such as Aegislash-Blade, Rotom forms, Meloetta-P, Darmanitan-Zen and so forth)
  • Hard-coded abilities designated for specific Pokemon can be used on other mons but will not have any effect on them. This includes RKS System, Stance Change, Zen Mode, Disguise, Gulp Missile, Flower Gift and so forth
  • Some moves are hard-coded for a specific Pokemon (or their Imposters), such as Dark Void, Aura Wheel, and Hyperspace Fury
  • Pokemon that change their forme during battle due to their item can utilize any ability in their base form, but this will be overriden with their new forme's ability
  • Arceus Mechanics: Arceus can be used in any of its forms. Without Plates it will take on that form's typing, otherwise it will be normal type. See the following:
    • Arceus-Ghost with Multitype without Spooky Plate -> Normal Type
    • Arceus-Ghost with Multitype with Spooky Plate -> Ghost Type
    • Arceus-Ghost with any other ability with any item -> Ghost Type
  • Pokemon with Imposter while holding special items retain their item's properties. This includes
    • Stat buffs from items such as Eviolite, Soul Dew, Light Ball, Thick Club, DeepSea items and more
    • Special effects from items such Lucky Punch or Stick
    • Note that this excludes Ditto's special items which are specifically coded to not work when Ditto is in a transformed state.


formerly XxSevagxX
is a Pre-Contributor
Sample Teams
(Last updated Jan 30, 2023)

Hell on Earth by Tea Guzzler
[Offense - Tough Claws Hoopa-Unbound + Mixed Enamorus]
How to use: Hoopa is your main sweeping threat and you should aim to get it in as much as possible. Zacian-C and Groudon both aim to help soften physical walls that Hoopa struggles with, such as opposing Arceus-Fire, with both helping limit offensive threats in the process. Arceus-Fire, Dondozo and Groudon fill the defensive slots, with Enamorus in the back as secondary hazard control and additional wallbreaking potential.
Other options:
  • :hoopa-unbound: Lonely ensures you can outspeed +1 neutral-natured Arceus after Shift Gear, but if this isn't a concern then Brave works. Tera Fire also allows you to set up in front of Pixilate + Extreme Speed users.
  • :arceus: Torch Song lacks the burn but can bypass Zacian-C's Substitute.
  • :zacian-crowned: If Gorilla Tactics isn't your thing, other damaging sets like Sword of Ruin or Ruination/Taunt can also work.
  • :groudon: Ground-types are naturally trouble since the Fur Coat wall is a Fire-type, so using Dondozo as a semi-replacement can work.
  • :palkia: Tera your Groudon and cope with Water Spout, or try to out-offense it with Zacian.
How Effective: See the RMT here. Has been brought to BH No Johns 3 times and hasn't lost, also beats good players.

Corner Store by augustakira
[Balance - Simple No Retreat Arceus-Ghost + Choice Specs Miraidon]
How to use: Make progress with arceus-ghost, once the team is softened, hard reads with miraidon can usually clean up. Zacian confusehax and status from dondozo and clodsire can force situations where ghostceus can set up without fear of status, but it can generally perform even if burned or paralysed.
Weaknesses: PH taunt qd mons that dondozo can't handle (especially ghostceus), generally you can try and power through these with your ghostceus or with zacian but it can end up pretty matchup fishy with what PH sets can beat what teams. Try swapping around clod and dondo's phazing moves if need be.
Effectiveness: Got to top 5 on ladder pretty easily, won several games against reputed players.

The Scare Bear by Tea Guzzler
[Offense - Gorilla Tactics Ursaluna + Headlong Rush Enamorus]
How to Use: This team has 2 primary ways to win - either through QD Arceus-Ghost (supported by Headlong Rush Enamorus, which removes all common special walls with relative ease), or through GT Ursaluna (supported by Ruination Zacian-C, who tears through Fur Coat users' Recover PP and removes Rocky Helmets). Arceus-Ghost, Dialga-O, and Dondozo fill out a standard FurScalesPrank core. Playing defensive early is usually the best bet, since most of the attackers enjoy being slow pivoted in and don't appreciate a surprise Glare or Nuzzle, so early scouting is recommended unless it's clear that they probably autolose to Arceus. Once stuff is scouted and you know what the main objective is (ie. you've identified which wincons you want to pursue, which can easily be both), the team excels at creating very high pressure in a very short time window, which you can keep applying until you break through.

Other Options:
  • :palkia: The team has an alternative version with some slight changes, namely swapping Ursaluna for QD Beads Palkia and making Dialga-O Ice Scales over RegenVest. This version focuses almost entirely on special wallbreaking, although is less consistent in Imposter-proofing (even with Scales Dialga-O, Palkia-O just does so much damage) and gives up Ursaluna's massively strong Extreme Speed. Here it is.
  • :thundurus: Enamorus is aggressive hazard control, however is frail as a result - nothing else can really perform the role it does, although if you're intent on playing a slower game, fitting this slot with bulkier hazard removal (like Tidy Up) can work.
  • :zacian-crowned: Headlong Rush Enamorus + Earth Eater Zacian-C is the general setup, however V-create Enamorus + Well-Baked Body Zacian-C also works. Trades lower killing power for better utility against stuff like Arceus-Fire.
Effectiveness: Won with it in ghosting tour, consistently beats good players and has few exploitable weaknesses.

  • :arceus::spooky plate::flutter mane: Normalize is annoying but generally not a game ender, getting them Glared and pivoting to Zacian (to knock Flutter's plate) or Arceus (to QD faster than opposing Arceus) works best.
  • :palkia: No team has long-term answers to this (without fringe stuff like DesLand Zacian-C), here it's no different. Playing aggressive is best, Ursaluna's Extreme Speed can pick it off from moderate HP / Tera Normal ESpeed is 62.5% to just OHKO.
  • :miraidon: Similar story to the above, but you have switching options with Ursaluna / Zacian-C and the threatening sets don't boost Speed (so Zacian-C can always chase them out). Tera Ground Enamorus also just default dances on people that don't know the set.
The Infernals by tzaur
[Balance - Double Fur Coat]
How to use: Straightforward game plan. Just play well. Scout via Ting-Lu and Imposter and start finding some openings with Eternatus or Ghostceus. Cover most of the physical attackers defensively—especially Ghostceus since it interacts so little both defensively and offensively with the type chart. Etern is cool 'cause even if you don't even Tera, it punishes people who send in their Zacian thinking they'll KO it from full-ish with HR. Especially at +2. Zacian-C is a cool midgame breaker. Toxic + taking hazard chip wears down Dondozo pretty easily (Salt Cure also probably works here if you want more immediate chip, but Fireceus becomes more annoying, so I don't love it). Kiiiiiiiiinda have to out-finesse Imposter if it comes in on Don or Ting, but I had little to no problems doing that. Straight-up dogwalks most fat/stall builds.
Weaknesses: GTactics Don if you don't opt for Tera Flying on Eternatus. Fuck that mon. Mostly went Tera Steel when I laddered, and it obliterated most of the team; only reason I still won was cause for some strange reason my opponent closed their eyes and clicked a button missing their game-winning play when my paralysed Ghostceus was the last mon standing and was well within KO range of their last Headlong Rush lmao.
-ate Boomburst anything can be an issue since nothing reliably switches in on it. Especially random Aerilates with Specs or Metronome. Terastallize Poison Ting-Lu immediately to handle Pixiburst Fairyceus, Flutter, and Iron V. If/when PH gets banned, you can easily go Eviolite > T-Orb on Imposter to further ease this MU.
QD Miraidon of any breed. Struggled a lot vs. these. A well-played Tera Dragon Specs can also be a huge nuisance.
PH Fairyceus with Steel/Fire Tera can also be a nuisance. Will hopefully no longer being an issue after the current suspect. If it sticks around, you can opt for Tera Ground on the Don.
Effectiveness: I'm very, very terrible at saving replays, so I unfortunately don't have any. All I really have is 25-0 on first try on PH suspect with minimal effort aside from Onyx. Even though I was just shy of 1500s ELO by the time I finished, I believe the GXE was only surpassed by the top 2 in rank at the time, CHISIRYO and Quantum Tesseract.

Frighteners by Storm Eagle
[Bulky Offense - Toxic Spam + Magic Guard Slaking]
How to use: Play defensively, focus on getting Toxic off on as many mons as possible until you can safely bring in Slaking. Slaking should exclusively be used in endgame as a cleaner unless you can ensure it won't get easily checked. The other 5 mons, specifically Imposter, should focus on annoying the opponent's team through any means necessary until Slaking can clean or break if given the opportunity. Imposter should scout and Eternatus and Arceus-Fire should be used to maintain offensive pressure on the opponent. Ting-Lu and Dondozo can be a huge pain to defensive mons which would otherwise check Eternatus and Arceus-Fire such as Dialga-Origin. Normalize should be Poisoned and Tidy Up deals with the odd few sets that also run Substitute.

Weakness: No Heal Bell due to improofing issues, weak to Rain teams, slightly annoyed by Growth Arceus-Fire but absolutely not an unwinnable matchup. No Ghost-type may be a problem, however I have not found myself horribly bothered by this. Weak to Trick, but also not an unwinnable matchup and Arceus-Fire can optionally run Flame Plate to counteract this.


The only reason I hadn't laddered higher is because it's hard to find any damn games at that high ELO. This took several days for me. I predict I can get to mid-1600s with it, but felt like submitting sooner since I want to take a brief break from BH and sample submissions would likely be closed by the time I come back. But the team itself beat Onyx Onix, Soul Dew Latias, LuciShrimp, Slightly Angry Kevin, amnael, and a few other 1400s-1500s rated accounts.
:arceus: Fireceus is a great mon, but what makes it truly great is it not being passive while simultaneously threatening FC walls. Tidy Up is severely underrated solely for its ability to remove enemy Substitutes. At +1 Attack, Arceus can get 2HKOs or OHKOs on a shockingly high amount of the meta. The main problem you will encounter using it is Imposter as you can not risk Fireceus being Poisoned.

Alternate Options: Heavy-Duty Boots can be used if you find Stealth Rock to be an issue, but I generally don't and can typically handle hazard removal fine without it. Not being Paralyzed or haxed is far more valuable to you. Flame Plate provides a modest buff to V-create plus the immunity to Trick. Tera Ghost is an alternate viable Tera Type that allows for a different generic defensive typing that lacks the Steel-type weakness in trade for a Ghost- and Dark-type one.

Improof: Eternatus, Slaking in a pinch.

:eternatus: Eternatus is a genuinely great mon hindered by a lack of particularly great sets. Unfortunately, its typing does it no favors either. But Base 130 Speed and a huge amount of bulk with great Special Attack allow it to remain a constant threat. This set is more or less a theorymon that I made to find viable SetPedia sets, but this paid off rather handsomely. Mold Breaker allows it to be very, very versatile. Especially with Toxic, as Toxic gets --- accuracy with Poison-types while Eternatus can reliably improof Arceus.

  • Good as Gold, Magic Bounce, and Purifying Salt are vulnerable to Toxic.
  • Strength Sap bypasses Good as Gold, Magic Bounce, and... maybe Liquid Ooze.
  • Torch Song bypasses Well-Baked Body, which is notable as WBB Zacian-C typically counters Eternatus.
  • Both Torch Song and Dragon Energy bypass Ice Scales.
However, it finds itself annoyed by RegenVest Goodra-Hisui and Dialga-Origin due to it having trouble with beating them without the use of Terastal, but the option is there should the need arise. Imposter is a bigger worry due to Eternatus having a natural Poison immunity and it likes to try and force out Eternatus to prevent it from snowballing.

Note: Never go to +2 Special Attack on Eternatus while the opponent has an active Chansey or Blissey. Your improof risks getting overrun.

Alternate Options: Covert Cloak can be used on Eternatus, however Leftovers (Black Sludge stops working on Terastallized Pokemon) synergizes better with Dragon Energy. Moveset should not be changed or Eternatus loses significant effectiveness. Tera Type can be Fairy if you want a defensive Tera Type rather than an offensive one.

Improof: Blissey, Ting-Lu in a pinch.

:blissey: It's Imposter. Use it to scout, use it to win against certain offensive matchups, but most importantly use it to PP stall if you cannot reasonably win through offensive tactics. As for the moveset itself, it is solely for improofing Eternatus and nothing else. Amnesia is there to allow Blissey to avoid getting overrun by Torch Song. Jungle Healing cures Toxic. Low Attack means enemy Imposter doesn't heal at all. Salt Cure is there to have passive damage against both Imposter and any switch-ins.

Alternate Options: Do not use Choice Scarf on this set. Blissey needs Covert Cloak. But Eviolite Chansey is acceptable here. The major change I'd say is viable here is Ruination or Comeuppance over Salt Cure if you're worried about an enemy Covert Cloak Blissey. Haze and other means of removing Torch Song boosts are likely unviable as they cause Blissey to be too heavily pressured especially as Blissey always underspeeds Eternatus. It is possible you could run Heal Bell over Jungle Healing to better support the party at the cost of a slightly dodgier improof.

Improof: N/A

:ting-lu: Ting-Lu is here over Dialga or Goodra as the team would otherwise be too weak to Ground-type attacks. It does its job fine as Knock and Salt Cure is very hard to wall on the same set and it readily takes on most special attackers besides Flutter Mane and Enamorus. It's not a particularly inspired set, but it does its job and it does it well for this team, providing an essential Nuzzle and Prankster immunity. Ting-Lu should prioritize Knocking Off items at any point, and Salt Cure any switch-ins. Salt Cure as mentioned is also great for harassing defensive sets that otherwise get in the way of the rest of your party.

Alternate Options: Ability Shield is usable if you're super afraid of Normalize Entrainment, but Toxic on Eternatus or Arceus can still hit Flutter Mane and enemy Arceus through Normalize. Tera Type should not be changed, and while the moveset can be changed, I do not particularly have any suggestions. Both Ting-Lu and Dondozo can change up their moves if you desire, however they work perfectly fine as is.

Improof: Knock Off the enemy Imposter's item and Salt Cure them to force them out. Eternatus can improof in an emergency as Toxic severely threatens enemy Imposter.

:slaking: Slaking is the late game cleaner, but he can work as a breaker in some cases too. However you should be skittish with it especially given that it does not like the presence of Imposter and needs to wait for an opportune time to come in. Magic Guard provides some extremely useful immunities with hazards, status, and Salt Cure. It also is immune to Rocky Helmet. Unfortunately, due to the status immunity, this means a Poisoned Imposter isn't going to be threatened coming in unless you Terastallize. Rock Tera Type is generally an ass type, but the Fire resistance is very useful in some non-Imposter matchups and it resists Normal too.

As an important note, while it seems counterintuitive, you should focus on removing hazards with Arceus over Slaking as your team is significantly handicapped if Slaking even risks being crippled or knocked out. Slaking is best used only after you know what exactly your opponent has in a given matchup. Or if Imposter is down, then scout to see what mon your opponent brings in on Slaking once you set up with it.

Alternate Options: Wide Lens is an obvious one, but Life Orb gives more power that's less consistent. This LO power has won me games though so I still use it personally. Morning Sun can be used in favor of Sap, but Slaking generally wants the PP. Victory Dance is usable, however Slaking generally appreciates being able to remove hazards and Substitute.

Improof: Terastal, PP stalling with Strength Sap if needed. Parting Shot spam can work in an emergency. Just because Slaking can self-improof, doesn't mean it should, and you should try to get Imposter down over time or at the very least put it in a disadvantageous position so it thinks twice before coming on in. Slaking generally always wants to come in late game or if the need to break something is absolutely necessary to avoid dealing with Imposter directly. Bringing Slaking in on mons without pivot moves gives Imposter less breathing room especially if it risks coming in as +0 on you Tidying Up.

Slaking is genuinely not hard to use despite the precarious improof. Imposter doesn't get full accuracy Population Bomb and its rather easy to annoy out with Eternatus and Dondozo unless you get extremely unlucky. That being said, some opponents may only use Imposter to PP stall you and this is another reason to avoid bringing out Slaking early until you have a gameplan which results in it getting at least one KO before switching out. Slaking is almost always going to put in work even despite this Imposter problem especially as it tanks almost everything extremely well and can force out certain mons with Strength Sap before setting up.

:dondozo: Dondozo is a fairly typical Prankster. It's likely you've already used this thing before given its bulk and the necessity to have a fat physical mon on your teams. This Dondozo is rather passive but Ceaseless Edge makes it extremely annoying to deal with as the opponent needs to focus on bringing out hazard removal which can give you a momentum advantage, especially if their removal doesn't like one of the other party members. Prank Parting Shot is very valuable in this metagame as Dondozo does not particularly mind Ting-Lu switch-ins and this team is not super afraid of Hoopa-U. Dondozo should mostly be used reactively, but if the game stalls at all you can start aggressively setting up Ceaseless Edge to try and force the aforementioned momentum advantage.

Alternate Options: Rocky Helmet is an option, but not for improofing Slaking as its immune to Rocky Helmet damage via Magic Guard. Only use Rocky Helmet if you think its worthwhile. Morning Sun is an option over Shore Up, but I specifically chose Shore Up to avoid Rain reducing Dondozo's healing. Tera Type is not too important, use Ground or whatever type you feel is necessary; Dondozo is unlikely to change any matchups as a result of Terastal.

Improof: Arceus removes hazards and forces Imposter out at the threat of Toxic. Ting-Lu prevents Parting Shot from letting Imposter gain momentum and the threat of 1/4HP Salt Cure + Knock Off forces Imposter out as well. Slaking is usable but not advised as an improof.

Life's Epilogue by Onyx Onix 7
[Hyper Offense - Destiny Bond Spam + Choice Scarf Zacian-Crowned]

The following team is a hyper-offense build I originally created for the ghosting tour, though we eventually decided to bring rain instead. The team is built around powerful mixed attackers like Arceus Grass and Rayquza to shatter most defensive cores and suicide Destiny Bond users to quickly restrict offensive counterplay options. Scarf Zacian-C and Carkol round out the rest of the build by offering some form of a defensive backbone and the ability to revenge-kill fast threats like Miriadon and opposing Zacian.

Tips on how to play:

* Zacian-C is typically the best lead and midground due to its ability to scare out offensive pokemon and force in exploitable walls
* Save Tera-Fire for Arceus grass so it can 1 v 1 Imposter Chansey and so it has its Fire STAB
* Rayquaza, Arceus, and Zacian are Imposter Proofed by Carkol
* Against bulky Quiver Dance Pokemon Eternatus usually can win the 1 v 1 with the combination of Destiny bond and its ability to crit through Quiver Dance boosts


*Fur Coat Moltres and Fur Coat Arceus Fire can be tricky to break through for this team
* Bulky Victory Dance and Quiver Dance users can sweep the team if one isn't careful to preserve Groudon or Eternatus
* Random Flip Turns
* Primordial Sea Corviknight

Ladder Peak / Replays;

While I, unfortunately, don't have a screenshot of how far I climbed on the ladder, I managed to easily make it into the high 1600s twice with HO. Had I continued laddering, I'm sure I could've made it to first place on the ladder. I likely won’t have the time to play a bunch more games to make that happen in the near future. So that will have to be good enough to demonstrate effectiveness.
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Tea Guzzler

serial waffler
is a Contributor to Smogon
Hi, am currently playing through the actual game so will likely be inactive in BH for a few days, however thought i'd list the things that have changed since last gen.
Buffs/Nerfs from Generation 8
:abomasnow: Snow Warning now summons Snow instead of Hail. Snow has replaced hail, and gives 1.5x Defense to Ice-types when active.
that's the only buff lol
:cresselia: -10 Defense & Special Defense
:greninja-ash: BST now same as base form due to Battle Bond rework.
:zacian: -10 Attack
-20 Attack
:zamazenta: -10 Attack
:zamazenta-crowned: -10 Attack, -5 Defense & Special Defense
:scyther: Kleavor has -5 Attack, +5 Special Defense
:calyrex-ice: Glacial Lance now 120BP
:urshifu: Wicked Blow now 75BP (so effective 112.5 after crit)
:rillaboom: Grassy Glide now 60BP
:chansey: Soft-Boiled, Recover, Milk Drink, Slack Off, Roost, Rest all 5PP base (so 8 after PP max/on showdown)
:zacian-crowned: Intrepid Sword now activates once per battle
:zamazenta-crowned: Dauntless Shield now activates once per battle
:cinderace: Protean/Libero now activate once per switch-in
Battle Bond now grants +1 Attack, Special Attack and Speed on KOing a target.
Zoroark-Hisui's BST now matches regular Zoroark's (relative to PLA, -5 SpA and Spe for +5 HP and Atk )
:zoroark: Bitter Malice is 75BP and always drops target's Attack.
:braviary: Esper Wing is 80BP, gives the user +1 Speed and has a higher crit rate.
:sneasel: Dire Claw is 80BP and has a 50% chance to inflict Poison, Paralysis or Sleep.
:stantler: Psyshield Bash is 70BP and always raises the user's Defense.
:scyther: Stone Axe is 65BP, 90% Accuracy and sets Stealth Rock.
:tornadus::thundurus::landorus: Storm moves are all 100BP with 80% accuracy, and have a secondary effect - Springtide drops Attack with 30% chance, Bleakwind drops Speed with 30% chance, Wildbolt paralyses with 20% chance, Sandsear burns with 20% chance.
:azelf: Mystical power is 70BP, 90% accuracy and always raises the user's Special Attack.
:arcanine: Raging Fury is Fire-type Outrage.
:basculin: Wave Crash is Water-type Brave Bird.
:electrode: Chloroblast is a Grass-type Mind Blown with 95% Accuracy.
:avalugg: Mountain Gale is 100BP, 85% Accuracy and has a 30% Flinch chance.
:lilligant: Victory Dance boosts Attack, Defense and Speed.
:ursaring: Headlong Rush is Ground-type Close Combat.
:qwilfish: Barb Barrage is 60BP, has a 50% poison rate and damage doubles if the target is poisoned.
:goodra: Shelter is Iron Defense.
:decidueye: Triple Arrows is 90BP and has higher crit rate, 50% chance to drop target's Defense and 30% flinch.
:typhlosion: Infernal Parade is 60BP and has a 30% chance to inflict burn. Damage is doubled if the target has any status.
:samurott: Ceaseless Edge is 65BP, 90% Accuracy and sets Spikes.
:cresselia: Lunar Blessing is Jungle Healing.
:manaphy: Take Heart is Calm Mind + Refresh.
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Tea Guzzler

serial waffler
is a Contributor to Smogon
How broken is a core of double Prankster-Revival Blessing-Lunar Dance? That looks like infinite PP stalling to me as long as it's not interrupted.
Revival Blessing might get quickbanned. It only has 1PP, so would require Leppa Berry + Recycle to be infinite on Prankster mons, however Imposter is the problem as it gets infinite from copying something (and I haven't tested if it drags the PP up to 5 or not). Still not implemented so only time will tell.
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After a day of laddering these are my first thoughts of the tier:

-It started off as a Tera-Fire-Vcreate spam fest featuring Orichalcum Zacian-C, but over the day alone it already got a lot weaker in my opinion. I am still not sure that keeping Orichalcum is a good idea though, the wallbreaking potential is just a little too much in my opinion.

-Cramorant may be infuriating to play around but ironically it's one of the few things that keeps the super hard hitting metagame in check at the moment. Zacian cannot just freely spam V-Create, else it runs the risk of eating the para which makes it substantially weaker, especially in Zacian dittos.

-Population Bomb is absolutely ridiculous. I have been running a Magic Guard Arceus-Normal with a Wide Lens, giving each hit a 99% chance to connect while also invalidating Rocky Helmet counters. I've also added Shell Smash into the kit, and if it gets going it's honestly ridiculous how much power that move has,especially if being allowed to set up near freely with a Shed Tail pivot. Even without boosting, an Arceus firing off an effective 300BP move is no bueno, not to mention the potential this move has on -ate mons.

-Shed Tail seems interesting. Again, with the current power level of the meta, it's a solid way to keep some semblance of defense going. I do however believe that it will become a problem once the powerlevel inevitably lowers a bit.

-Prankster Haze feels almost required. A lot of setup answers got removed from the game, I don't think I need to elaborate further on this one.

-Ting-Lu feels amazing. I like bulky teams, and it is a powerful stopping tool in all-out offense. The typing is also really good, giving it immunites to Prankster and Nuzzle.

-Please get that stupid shadow horse out of my metagame, thanks.
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Immediate thoughts:
  • Calyrex-Shadow: Broken as expected. Can elect to run Normalize Entrainment (150 base speed, mind you), Tera Fairy Pixilate to finesse Darks, or Adapt/that SpDef lowering ability.
  • Flutter Mane: Will almost certainly get nuked once Caly-S inevitably gets booted for very similar reasons.
  • Zacian-Crowned: Still feels dumb even after the -20 nerf to its base Atk, and it seems like all of the new toys kinda offset this nerf. Some of the abilities/moves it abuses would probably need to go first, though. Time will tell. Gorilla Tactics, Sword of Ruin, Mold Breaker, Orichalcum Pulse, Pixilate, and others I'm likely leaving out are all pretty strong on it.
  • Population Bomb: Incredibly absurd move even with the vulnerability to Helmet.
  • Cramorant-Gorging: Uncompetitive for the same reasons it was in Gen 8/NDBH.
  • Terastallizing: Doesn't seem immediately problematic, so it may be fine for now; I actually kinda like it. May or may not be too strong when the meta stabilizes. Definitely nowhere near as bad as Dmax was, though.
  • Shell Smash/Belly Drum: Absurd for the same reasons it was in BH7, BH8, and NDBH. Facilitates brainless setup spam tactics, and it doesn't help that a lot of setup countermeasures have been nerfed/revoked.
  • Shed Tail: Very good on HO especially with Smash/Drum around. Will likely need to go once meta stabilizes a bit. The paste in Nihilslave's post above is very, very strong; I used it with my own adjustments (Sash + Astral on Caly-S, PixiSpeed BD Zac-C, FC on the Ghostceus with plot + fighting coverage, PH Slaking). Can win games on the spot if your move fails to break the incoming mon's sub.
  • Arceus + Judgment: Glad to have Arc & friends back in. Very cool mon and a major reason why I always enjoyed NDBH. Huge fan of this thing's versatility. Also glad to have Plate + Judgment back--was another thing I very much missed in BH8.
  • Orichalcum Pulse: Undecided so far. Hard to tell if the ability is dumb or just Zacian-C. FC Waterceus/Dondozo, PSea Steelceus/ZZC seem to handle most abusers.
  • Additional notes: lack of stuff like Moongeist Beam/Sunsteel helps FurScales users. Recovery nerfs suck, though, so I can see more offensive FurScales users, with Sap as the recover move, becoming more common (though IMO they were always very good). As mentioned, lack of Spectral and Core makes PH wincons be a pain in the ass to deal with.

Tea Guzzler

serial waffler
is a Contributor to Smogon
i have played a few games, what i've found:
  • cram is popular despite not actually being in the game lol (it's not supposed to be usable)
  • pixibomb (pixilate + population bomb) zac-c practically mandates a helmet unaware/prank resist with cgas to not instantly lose it. i think zacian might be the problem here, just because gtactics + band with the option to tera into STAB v-create or make gigaton a nuke exists.
  • poison healers have scattered use, the average prankster mon doesn't have room for worry seed so they can be annoying but are manageable.
  • shed tail enables drum/smashspam far too easily. giving free switches from ultrafats to absolute demons is not OK, especially when you can just regen off the damage completely free of charge. frankly, the lack of topsy and spectral means both are problematic on their own. all 3 of these should be banned IMO
  • caly-s is stupid busted. normalize sets are obnoxious and can just instawin certain matchups and gen 9's donations in judgement and beads of ruin also help. hell, even just running specs adapt rips shit.
  • the new dragons are, ok i guess? miraidon is arguably just worse etern but compensates with 5 base speed, koraidon i haven't seen but likely has a niche with some technician stuff. blue flare being absent really hurts etern (and by extension mirai)'s ability to threaten zac-c which is really important, fire blast just doesn't cut it.
  • the likelihood is you're either using tera to make up for a bad matchup by turning something into an ultrafat (eg. turn your darkceus into steelceus if you need to check zac-c), but predominantly on nukes to give them free STAB on coverage or make existing STABs complete overkill.
  • population bomb has so far (as far as i can tell) been used exclusively on zac-c. anything else needs pads + -ate or mgolo kante + be normal type to actually use it well, which i don't think has any other current candidates. zac-c will likely be banned over pop for this reason unless something major crops up.
  • Flutter Mane is a big misdreavus? it has a good STAB combo but is frail as shit. unless i'm severely missing something i don't think it's an issue.
tl:dr cramorant isn't supposed to exist, all of caly/zac/smash/drum/possibly shed tail are broken
also revival blessing is most likely busted when the server actually implements it

drampa's grandpa

2022 sucked
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Community Leader Alumnus
Population Bomb
The Move, The Mouse, The Legend

In this post I will be comparing Population Bomb to other Normal type moves. Obviously I will be ignoring Status and Special moves in this comparison.

To start I need to figure out what exactly I should expect when I click Population Bomb. To quote myself from another thread Population Bomb has a

10% chance to miss completely
9% chance to hit exactly once
8.1% chance to hit exactly twice
7.29% chance to hit exactly 3 times
6.561% chance to hit exactly 4 times
5.9049% chance to hit exactly 5 times
5.31441% chance to hit exactly 6 times
4.782969% chance to hit exactly 7 times
4.3046721% chance to hit exactly 8 times
3.87420489% chance to hit exactly 9 times
34.86784401% chance to hit exactly 10 times

which is also

90% chance to hit once or more - 20 BP
81% chance to hit twice or more - 40 BP
72.9% chance to hit 3 times or more - 60 BP
65.61% chance to hit 4 times or more - 80 BP
59.049% chance to hit 5 times or more - 100 BP
53.1441% chance to hit 6 times or more - 120 BP
47.82969% chance to hit 7 times or more - 140 BP
43.046721% chance to hit 8 times or more - 160 BP
38.7420489% chance to hit 9 times or more - 180 BP
34.86784401% chance to hit 10 times - 200 BP

On average (that is to say the mean) you will hit 6.57881348 times for 131.5762696 BP. Obviously you will never actually hit this amount exactly, but it's a reasonable to that you'll fall somewhere close to that usually. That is about 6 or 7 out of 10 hits.

I have ignored critical hits for all of this. Crits increase your average hit by the same amount as usual, they just space it out differently when you use Population Bomb.

Extreme Speed - 80 BP, +2 priority
Double-Edge - 120 BP, recoil
Hyper Drill - 100 BP, breaks protection
Explosion - 250 BP, self-ko
Facade - 70 BP, doubles when statused

Extreme Speed will always potentially be worth it over a non-priority move. These moves are not comparable.
Double-Edge is a little weaker than you typically expect Population Bomb to be and has recoil to boot. Not worth it.
Hyper Drill is only 100 BP which Population Bomb has an above 50% chance to match, an average BP well above, and a maximum BP which is double. I would not run Hyper Drill.
Explosion is Explosion. It's still stronger than a Maximum hit Population Bomb without Technician, and the self-KO is something we've learned to abuse where possible. This is still a good move, and much more reliable than Population Bomb.
Facade is more reliable than Population Bomb, and on anything with Poison Heal (say, Slaking) is clearly the better option, as those Pokemon cannot afford Punching Gloves. However its use is limited to stuff that knows it will be statused.
Stuff that are incredibly dumb rn:
- Cramorant Gorging: So this thing is fsr freed, and while yes it on theory helps keep Caly-S and Zac-C under control this is by far the most uncompetitive and unfun thing to deal with in the meta for sure.
- Revival Blessing: Not even implemented rn but we all know what it does
- Moody: RNG machine, in theory you can run something like Imprison Haze Power Trip and try to cheese. I don't think its remotely broken like some other stuff but at the same time its also one of the many things mandating Prank Haze.

Stuff that are very dumb but not as much:
- Belly Drum: In theory again this is more manageable because no Moldy moves so stuff like FC and Unaware have an easier time but in reality if you get drummed on without your FC/Unaware or your Prank out you lose a mon, fun.
- Terastalize: Its super similar to Dynamax where you don't actually know what type they can Terastalize to. In a defending scenario you can often get bopped because opponent Tera and has SE coverage that otherwise would not have broken through. On the contrary you could get your offensive breaker completely crippled because opponent Tera their defensive mon into another type and lives a hit to Nuzzle/Knock/whatever you.
- Last Respects: Literally a move that rewards you for either playing worse or running something like Gambit/Explosion spam.
- Rage Fist: Its Last Respects but instead of getting your team fainted you just have to switch into some moves.
- Orichalcum Pulse: Think a lot of people have shared calcs of this + V-create blowing past Fur Coat resists. Very annoying when it really pressures a PSea user (even if PSea doesnt check it helps neutralize for double switch)

Stuff that are dumb:
- Population Bomb: The best counterplay is obviously Helmet which instantly KOs but forcing Helmet means no Leftovers which is super important to preserve recover PP
- Shell Smash: We all know what this does. Premier setup move.
- Gorilla Tactics: Straight up premier offensive ability for the physical mons, completely outclasses the already strong Protean which is hilarious. Though I haven't ran into this much because most Zacians are Pixilate.

Stuff that are probably dumb but haven't really seen and are also hard to evaluate rn or are just tame compared to above:
- Contrary: Theoretically Unaware and Fur Scales are better and with the removal of Moongeist Beam you have more options to pick mons that actually resist the common Contrary moves. Also not a whole lot of strong mixed attackers to fully abuse Contrary with V-create. But its still free 130+ BP moves without Spectral or even Topsy, so you never get punished for clicking the move ignoring Imposter.
- Ruin: They basically outclass all other offensive damage increasing abilities while not Choice-locking (Gorilla) or increasing improof difficulties (old ISword). There is a damage decrease but its the same as Adapt still so...
- Fillet Away: Discount Shell Smash
- Lumina Crash: Practically mandates a Dark-type defensively, main abuser is obv Caly-S but something like Mewtwo can also abuse quite well. Reasonably strong move that eases predictions making it super spammable if a team lacks a Dark.
- Gigaton Hammer: So this move has one main abuser that also abuses n other stuff so its hard to tell if this move is actually very incredible or not.
Stuff that IMO are actually borderline ok atm or just need to be checked after all the other stuff get banned first.
- Calyrex-Shadow: Despite how absurdly dumb this mon is, I think it is currently more broken because of stuff like Tera, Lumina Crash, and maybe Beads. Mandating Dark-types isn't as egregious (despite there only being like 2 actually viable Dark-types and then some other niche ones) esp if Lumina Crash gets booted. Still incredibly dominating with its speed tier, power, and ease of use with self improof so definitely one of the borderline ones later on.
- Zacian-Crowned: Zac-C 20 atk nerf is actually noticeable sometimes and while Zacian currently is regarded as broken by many, almost all of the above listed stuff can be abused by it, which means if all those things get banned Zacian-C might actually be more or less reasonable. (Also restricted Zac-c looks shit)
- Court Change: This move actually helps keep hazard stack in check which is so important when chip damage is immensely good even without offensive pressure.
- Slaking: Slaking is, IMO, more broken by itself than something like Zacian-C. Zacian-C is only broken because of all the tools it can abuse with. Slaking is straight up busted with 1 set. High physical bulk + typing + Victory Dance makes it practically impossible to OHKO, and after a Victory Dance it pretty much is unrevengekillable since it 2HKOs all the offensive stuff while they fail to OHKO back. Poison Heal makes it impossible to punish properly because lack of good trapping, lack of Core (which did damage on top of poison damage), and lack of weaknesses, making Zama-C with fighting STAB the only good reliable answer. Meanwhile it pretty much switches in for free against the rest of the defensive mons and proceeds to make progress.

Some observations:
- Dondozo is great, near Giratina levels of physical bulk with the desirable Water-typing makes this a much welcome check to Zacian-C and Orichalcum. Almost always worth using over Waterceus.
- Ting-Lu is really bulky, I haven't used it yet (been using Darkceus instead) but there are multiple occasions where I wanted the Electric immunity to deal with the Hadrons on ladder. Advantage of Darkceus is noticeably more SpD.
- Zamazenta-C is, despite nerfed, still amazing. Best answer to Slaking, great PSea user, and has reasonable offensive power with Combat Torque.
- Dialga-O seems interesting with the increased SpD but I can't see myself running this over Zama-C. It lost some of its tools in Doom Desire, Anchor Shot, and Core Enforcer so it feels awkward in moveslots and often just loses to stuff like Slaking which sucks.
- Haven't seen like any Eternatus, losing Core is somewhat annoying but I think it can run a pretty good Contrary set. Defensive purpose is unknown though typing kinda doesn't offer much this meta.
- Giratina loses to every single offensive threat. Best you can do is trying to do something against Slaking since you can somewhat just sit in front of it. Problem is you need to run very specific techs (stuff like partial trapping + ability removal, trick pecha)
- Haven't seen any Groudons. Kyogre has a very hostile meta towards it so can't imagine it being very useable. Rayquaza might be interesting because its one of the few strong mixed offensive mons. Its only set rn is probably Contrary though, but outspeeding the unboosted meta at +1 is very nice on paper.
- Palkia seems to be a pretty good Orichalcum check, but it loses to Magical Torque from Zac-C which blows.
- Koraidon seems very mediocre. Miraidon has some offensive potency but I think Etern gives it a lot of competition.
- Flutter Mane doesn't seem very amazing, it struggles to actually force switches outside of Norm but thats not a set because you can't abuse your Fairy STAB. Rked by the two best mons in the meta
- Haven't seen any of the lower BST niche defensive mons at all.
- Poison Heal is completely busted, not actually surprised if it warrants a suspect at all, good counterplay is severely lacking with no trapping no core no spectral no topsy. I have seen some Toxic Orb Imposters and I think Lucky Punch is also justifiable.
- Protean/Libero look pretty balanced and pretty interesting. Theres probably a lot of room to play with them, Choice sets are the most obvious, but I can see some other sets like setup utilize the only switching types once mechanic to their advantage.
- Hazard meta seems wild with Stone Axe Ceaseless Edge + Tidy Up Mortal Spin Court Change.
- 8 pp Recover sucks, chip damage becomes so important and ways to negate them are incredibly good, so stuff like Leftovers, HDB, PH, Regen are all desirable. Running double recovery is legit with stuff like Recover + Sap or even Jungle + Sap on some more offensive utility stuff.
- With Prank Haze being the only consistent setup check Unaware becomes interesting since it compressed FurScales in one against setup and can ignore opposing defensive boosts from QD and VD.
- Since there isn't actually anything to punish opposing setup (no Spec no Topsy) status is incredible, stuff like Nuzzle and Prank Glare are very good, though Glare competes with other utility options like DBond.
- Heal Bell is actually good utility if you are running Caly and Zac and they don't have a way around Cram themselves (stuff like Electric Libero, Electric Tera, Jungle Healing, Purifying Salts).
- Apart from Cram whos not supposed to be in theres another mon that got banned from Gen 8 thats currently bugged to be available that might be decent (not cram level though)...
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I had great success with this mon in my team so far:

Lavalugg (Avalugg) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Fur Coat
Tera Type: Fire
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Careful Nature
- Blazing Torque
- Strength Sap
- U-turn
- Worry Seed

Fire is a surprisingly good defensive typing in early meta, being neutral to many attacks and resistant to fire (v-create), steel and fairy. It is a hard stop to basically all Zacian and Darm-Z-G sets, to Zamazenta, to Koraidon and to other physical attackers besides Palafin and some Shell Smash power trip users, and a check to PH Slaking. Of course it requires some hazard control and can be annoying to switch in when not terastallyzed yet, but it puts in a ton of work for my team.
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posting team for meta development:

team is called "wisp the zamac" because in theory you do that and then slaking beats every team (you can also just ghost tera)
in practice I didn't run into any zamacs so slaking won anyway. you could run shadow sneak/headlong rush instead.
most common terra for me was zamac

rage fist is very obviously in need of a ban
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formerly XxSevagxX
is a Pre-Contributor
Been playing a bit of bh lately, and I think a few things stand out.

1. Shell Smash w/o very good set-up control is really tough to deal with. Prankster pokemon can kind of do it, but the boosting abilities which you can stack with shell smash are extremely strong this generation, so I'm not sure how one deals with it. Similarly, with judgement being around, improofing these broken breakers because quite simple.

2. Terastalize seems extremely uncompetitive to me. In a sense, it's almost like a crystal-free mutliple use z-move. It's nearly impossible to predict, it will most likely result in you losing a pokemon, before you can defensively terra, and the user still has that type to condent with after. This practically mandates a defensive tera, or countering with an offensive terra of your own. To me, it also makes things quite hard to evaluate, as anything that is borderline broken, is immedietly pushed over the edge by terra.

3. I think some of the new moves, like rage fist, lumina crash, gigaton hammer, etc seems extremely strong / broken right now.

Also, if you notice the first post, we have a new banned now! Thank you Varrio for yet again an incredible logo for our metagame :).
Meta observations, none of which should be new to you:

* Due to the removal of Spectral Thief and Core Enforcer, setup control is a lot tougher than it was in Gen 8. Also, being able to bp subs with shed tail, and double the hp of normal subs by the way, is pretty crazy and means that status moves become a lot harder to use. All of this combines to make setup way stronger, though the one saving grace is that Arceus's bulk is crazy and can usually take any single neutral hit at +2. Now whether it can do anything back is another question.

* Population Bomb is really dumb, and you can even combine it with King's Rock to get an almost 100% flinch chance if you like cheese. I really like running it with Aerilate Landorus-T, as it has stab headlong rush to hit all the steels that would come in otherwise. Its bulk is bad and it's slow, but if it can get in for free and click PB, it can 2hKO neutral Arceus forms with only 6 hits. I also experimented with running Galvanize PB on Regieleki with Coil and King's Rock, but the results weren't as good because of Ting Lu being everywhere. The set I tried Coil / PB / Glacial Lance / DESTINY Bond. It's probably pretty good with the right support actually.
* Calyrex-S is probably still banworthy even though we have Arceus-Dark and Ting-Lu and Meloetta, all three of which can blank its standard breaking or Entrainment sets. They probably just lose to Electrify sets though. Ability shield helps against Entrainment too, but it can be knocked off.
* Ting Lu and Dondozo are great new physical walls, especially Dondozo now that the most powerful physical electric moves have recoil and only 120 bp.
* Having regenvest users that can set hazards is pretty wild, and having Regenvest users that can spin them away while dealing Poison chip is just as nuts. I made space for Heal Bell to alleviate this problem.
*I haven't seen Terra as a serious issue, because from what I've seen, you lose both your original types. (could be wrong about this, correct me if I am.) The most pressing issue is being able to click V-Create and get it with STAB and Fire-Type's resistances, especially when combined with orichalcum pulse, but that's more of an issue with V-Create and Pulse than Terra.

I think both Shed Tail and Poison Heal should be the first things to hit the chopping block, though Caly-s isn't too far behind.
My thoughts after playing some games of gen 9 BH:

In general, I like the meta more than Gen8 BH actually.

  • Zacian-C is very strong, but it can be handled defensively. I don't think it needs to go, but giving Gorilla Tactics and maybe Blades of Ruin a check might be good. Gigaton hammer is a nuke, but also a momentum sink, especially on choiced sets, as Zacian is forced to switch out or to struggle. Even if it kills something, the opponent gets a guaranteed free turn afterwards and can even set up with a mon that usually would lose to Zacian. In that sense it essentially is like Truant.
  • Calyrex-S probably is banworthy as it is just too fast and powerful. All the fat darks can be caught off-guard by a pixilated Boomburst; its Entrainment set is not that problematic.
  • Arceus-Ghost. I think Arceus's Entrainment set is a lot more annoying than Calyrex's, for the simple reason that its Spooky Plate cannot be removed in any way, which is a common way to disable Entrainment sets. Because of Arceus-Ghost, I am running a Spooky Plate on my imposter chansey these days. The combination of Spooky Plate plus tera-normal on chansey is actually a dead stop to any Normalize set, but if tera is used on a different mon already, it comes down to a speed tie most likely.
  • Population Bomb: Honestly, from what I have seen, this is more of a noob trap than an actual threat. Its user dies to Rocky Helmet or has to either dedicate their ability slot or their item slot to avoid that cruel fate - and then one should ask why not use a different move that does not require an item or ability solely to avoid Rocky Helmet recoil? Maybe there are some genuinly threatening sets I haven't seen on ladder yet. I have seen pixilate on Zacian-C, some flinchers with King's Rock, even Galvanize, but they were unable to break through my fur coat mon or just died to its Rocky Helmet.
  • Poison Heal/Slaking: Quickban ASAP. It is the most broken thing right now. With Core Enforcer and (prankster) Tipsy Turvy gone, there is no defensive counterplay outside of a well-timed Ddestiny Bond. Any attempt to Worry Seed, to phaze or to Entrainment it is just blocked by Taunt. Imposter does not check either unless it is Toxic Orb, which means it would lose to Normalize sets. Banded Gorilla Tactics Zacian-C has a chance to OHKO Slaking even at +1 Def with its Gigaton Hammer and steel tera while being an actual switchin into a Facade, but that's it.
  • Rage Fist needs to go ASAP too. It becomes ridiculously strong after a few hits and is part of why Slaking is so broken. I doubt that banning Rage Fist solves the issue of Slaking being broken though. When that move reaches hundreds of BP, it becomes impossible to handle and breaks even through the most bulky mons out there.
  • Shed Tail is annoying to deal with, probably it is worth to suspect it? It is mainly an issue when it comes off a mon like Chansey or someone else with a massive HP stat.
  • Tera: Actually I think this is fine. While it has the potential of making offensive threats even more powerful, it also has a lot of defensive potential as it can make mons with great defensive stats that were held back by their typing actually interesting, worthwile picks - such as the Avalugg I posted above.
  • Set-Up: Honestly, I think the issue here are less set-up moves by themselves, and much more the moves Power Trip/Stored Power. Especially these days with the mold breaker moves gone, Unaware and FurScales actually are decent ways to handle set-up, despite Spectral Thief being gone. Stored Power/Power Trip however become so powerful when backed up by a simple Shell Smash or two that they just kill any unaware mon not immune to them. The issue is comparable to Rage Fist, which also breaks through checks and counters with its sheer BP, rendering Unaware and Fur Coat useless. I would quite like to see a meta without these two moves...
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Gonna give my thoughts on the gen 9 metagame:

- Rage fist is just ridiculous and needs to go soon as possible. Even just one hit can make this move insanely hard to switch and constrains building to an immense degree when you think about slaking using this. Not to mention that hazards on switchin also boost its base damage, meaning you're effectively punishing yourself for setting hazards.
- Population bomb is also insane, 10 hit triple axel after a coil. GL surviving that.
- Zac-C isn't as ridiculous as it was in gen 8, but still powerful nonetheless. On the fence about whether or not it should be restricted, but after the appropriate bans are made then we'll see its impact on the meta.
- Caly is just as ridiculous as it was in gen 8 because normalize sets, shell smash, etc. Its purely a guessing game for if you've prepared properly for almost every set it has.
- I personally consider slaking more threatening than zac-c because ph is really really good with core being gone. King can just run victory dance, taunt, facade, and rage fist and effectively be unkillable.
- Shell smash and drum, do I have to say anything? Yes we have prank haze, unaware, and heart swap. However, these moves are still ridiculous because of the same reasons they got banned in gen 8 and are more powerful now because recovery moves have been nerfed heavily meaning unaware and prank mons can't stall out set up mons as easily.
- Shed tail is annoying to face, especially vs HO or BO because they can freely set up a shell smash/drum and nuke you if you're not prepared. Pray you got something to deal with that when it happens.
- Unaware is really good with the lack of mold moves, unaware + prank haze basically invalidates any set up you face.
- Bounce is still good even with attacks and abilities that can set up hazards past it. Strength sap alone makes this ability useful because sap is the best recovery move.
- Stall is still viable, not as bad as we thought it would be.
- The tera mechanic isn't as busted as I thought it would be. Really great offensive tool, mid defensive. However its the beginning of a new gen and we're just gonna have to see the impact it has when bans/adjustments are made.

Few other things I can say or point out, but these are the more important observations I got from the current metagame.


is a Tiering Contributor
Here's a team I've been using:

This is a bulky, pivot-heavy balance that aims to soften defensive cores with status, hazards, and Knock Off before pushing through with SD Zac-C or Shift Gear OriPulse Fireceus. It is a little soft to some broken/cheese stuff, like certain forms of setup spam, Gambit + Last Respects spam, and some physical attackers, but it's generally solid and has counterplay to basically everything if you're careful. Enjoying it a lot.

Covert Cloak is awesome. Getting an immunity to Nuzzle, Ceaseless Edge, Stone Axe, Scald burns, and other random stuff like Combat Torque para, Magical Torque confusion, Mortal Spin poison, and Thunderous Kick drops is a huge amount of utility for an item. It really messes with Regenvesters who often rely on hazard setting moves + Nuzzle to make progress, and it's a great option for Imposter proofing RegenVesters too: the linked team uses Cloak on Zac-C to Improof RegeVest Meloetta. I think Zac-C in particular loves it because it can come in so safely and force out every RegenVesters, and a lot of teams rely on Nuzzle to beat it.

Ability Shield as Normalise counterplay feels awkward. It feels great being able to just slap an item on my Zama-C to beat Normalise Caly-S, but with only 8 recovery PP I really want Leftovers, and Rocky Helmet is awesome in the current meta too. I'm not sure if it's worth it, but Normalise Caly-S is so hard to beat otherwise. Magic Bounce is awkward at the moment with CEdge + StAxe being so popular, but I can see it being better once the meta slows down, people get annoyed with missing their hazard setting move, and Sap becomes more popular. Magic Bounce on Zama-C and Steelceus is a solid way to get your Slaking and Normalise check in one slot, but feels easy to take advantage of.

I'm kinda in love with Orichalcum Pulse Fireceus at the moment. It's got insane offensive presence (V-create has a solid roll to OHKO Slaking and neutral Arceus forms with Adamant and no boosting item, gets them reliably with Charcoal) and it's a solid check to Zac-C and Fairyceus (which is far rarer than it should be, very strong mon). Weather healing moves like Synthesis and Moonlight give it great survivability and aren't too exploitable by Imposter because presumably you're improofing with a PrimSea steel. With the recovery PP nerf, the 8 PP on these isn't even a drawback anymore, so they're very justifiable to run on mons that don't have Orichalcum Pulse. It's a great user of Mortal Spin because it fucks up every Poison Healer and Steel and can often push through Giratina and FC Waterceus and whoever over long games with it, especially if you also have Knock Off or something.

I want to talk about Mortal Spin a bit more actually, it's a real gamechanger. Functionally Rapid Spin that gets blocked by Steels instead of Ghosts and inflicts poison(!) instead of boosting speed. It's probably the most powerful hazard removal option in the meta currently, although being blocked by steels limits it mainly to mons like Groudon, Koraidon, Fireceus etc. 8 recovery PP makes regular poison quite powerful, and even if you don't run them out of recovers the number of free turns you get from Mortal Spin forcing recovery is insane. Love this move, crazy powerful tool for bulky offense.

Unaware isn't great against Stored Power/Power Trip, but as long as Shell Smash and Drum are legal and Sunsteel and Moongeist don't exist, it's pretty good. Arceus forms are generally the best users of the ability due to good mixed bulk, but a ton of mons can run it effectively. Tried it on Scream Tail once and it was like fine
Ability Shield as Normalise counterplay feels awkward. It feels great being able to just slap an item on my Zama-C to beat Normalise Caly-S, but with only 8 recovery PP I really want Leftovers, and Rocky Helmet is awesome in the current meta too. I'm not sure if it's worth it, but Normalise Caly-S is so hard to beat otherwise. Magic Bounce is awkward at the moment with CEdge + StAxe being so popular, but I can see it being better once the meta slows down, people get annoyed with missing their hazard setting move, and Sap becomes more popular. Magic Bounce on Zama-C and Steelceus is a solid way to get your Slaking and Normalise check in one slot, but feels easy to take advantage of.
There is also another option, which is regenvest Darkceus with Revelation Dance. This basically handles every common Caly-S set except for Specs pixilate (which I have never seen on ladder). Even Tinted Lens can barely muster the 2hKO with hazards up. Still, using your Arceus slot on Dark Arceus means you aren't running Ting-lu which is almost as good of a Specs Caly-S check, especially since it has a Volt Switch immunity. I've tried both and I like Ting-Lu a lot better, but there's definitely utility for using Darkceus.


formerly XxSevagxX
is a Pre-Contributor
Some announcements here! The BH Council would like to announce its first ban slate!

It's been quite apparent in this first half-week, that shell smash is quite overbearing, and essentially impossible to account for all the possible sets enabled by it. The loss in moves like spectral thief and topsy-turvy, limiting set-up control to mainly haze and heart swap further enables the shenanigans that can be pulled of with shell smash. It, paired with abilities such as simple, adaptability, tough claws, normalize Calyrex-Shadow etc. are far too overbearing on the metagame. Thus, BH council has voted to ban Shell Smash.

Additionally, we have voted to ban Rage Fist. This move on principle is ridiculous, giving the user the potential to reach 250 bp, quite quickly. On pokemon such as poison heal Slaking, and regenerator Arceus-Ghost, it becomes nigh-unswitchable, and is what enabled the potency of these two pokemon. Thus, BH council has similarly voted to ban Rage Fist. Voting results can be seen below:

XxLazzepenguinxXQuojovacityscapesTea GuzzlerMAMP
Shell Smashbanbanabstainbanban
Rage Fistbanbanabstainbanban

To give every move / mechanic / ability, etc its fair chance we'll be looking at doing 1 ban slate / week. This is a rough schedule, and we will prioritize simply making a tiering decision when we feel we've seen enough evidence to make one. Tagging Kris to implement bans (+ remove / ban darmanitan-galar-zen plz, it shouldn't be in the gen9 pokedex)
Some announcements here! The BH Council would like to announce its first ban slate!

It's been quite apparent in this first half-week, that shell smash is quite overbearing, and essentially impossible to account for all the possible sets enabled by it. The loss in moves like spectral thief and topsy-turvy, limiting set-up control to mainly haze and heart swap further enables the shenanigans that can be pulled of with shell smash. It, paired with abilities such as simple, adaptability, tough claws, normalize Calyrex-Shadow etc. are far too overbearing on the metagame. Thus, BH council has voted to ban Shell Smash.

Additionally, we have voted to ban Rage Fist. This move on principle is ridiculous, giving the user the potential to reach 250 bp, quite quickly. On pokemon such as poison heal Slaking, and regenerator Arceus-Ghost, it becomes nigh-unswitchable, and is what enabled the potency of these two pokemon. Thus, BH council has similarly voted to ban Rage Fist. Voting results can be seen below:

XxLazzepenguinxXQuojovacityscapesTea GuzzlerMAMP
Shell Smashbanbanabstainbanban
Rage Fistbanbanabstainbanban

To give every move / mechanic / ability, etc its fair chance we'll be looking at doing 1 ban slate / week. This is a rough schedule, and we will prioritize simply making a tiering decision when we feel we've seen enough evidence to make one. Tagging Kris to implement bans (+ remove / ban darmanitan-galar-zen plz, it shouldn't be in the gen9 pokedex)
While I appreciate that tiering action has been taken... why is Slaking still free? That thing has absolutely no counters.

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