BH Balanced Hackmons

Tea Guzzler

serial waffler
is a Contributor to Smogon
hi, random post on how to beat the common meta stuff rn, should cover most sets
setpedia is here if you're not sure on the sets actually being talked about

:zacian-crowned:
All Sets: COVERT CLOAK
A huge point of failure against many Zacian sets is Magical Torque confusion. Rocks are uncommon in the meta RN so there's usually little opportunity cost to running this, and the extra security plays a significant role in pretty much every instance.

:choice band:
Hardest Counters: :dondozo::moltres::arceus::splash plate::slaking: [Fur Coat]
Soft Checks::arceus::spooky plate::flame plate: [Fur Coat] :dondozo::moltres: [Prankster]
Probably the main strengths of Band attackers right now (just all of them) is that, to safely check them, there is no midground - you HAVE to go to a Fur Coat mon. This is part of the reason why, despite how dangerous and probably broken Gorilla Tactics is, I don't think banning it significantly changes most team structures. Either way, if you have a Fur Coat mon that Zacian-C doesn't have coverage for, you should always survive until you run out of Recover PP. If it has coverage for you (such as Stone Axe for Moltres or Power Whip for Dondozo), you need to predict around them and (in Dondozo's case, where it can live 2 non-Tera PWhips) keep the Fur Coat mon as close to max HP at all times, even if you don't get maximum Recover value. In these sorts of cases, checking it long-term mostly comes down to winning faster.

:honedge:
Hardest Counters: :moltres::arceus::dondozo: [Prankster] :chansey: [Eviolite Imposter]
Soft Checks: :moltres::dondozo: [Non-Prankster]
SD sets (Mold Breaker) are basically unwallable for most teams, so the counterplay basically becomes going to your Prankster and forcing it out - for this, one of Glare or Entrainment (so it can't ignore Fur Coat) is mandatory, otherwise Zacian can PP stall whatever your Prank mon is trying to do. Eviolite Imposter can live one LO Blades, even with Tera Ground, so scouting whether it's Pixie Plate or Life Orb can impact how safe Imp is. Zacian can also potentially beat Imposter if it predicts right and wins Speed ties, so the most reliably way to force Zacian out is to slow pivot on the SD.

:sylveon:
Hardest Counters: :arceus::moltres::dondozo::slaking: [Fur Coat] :weavile: [Knock Off] :chansey: [Imposter] :rocky helmet:
Soft Checks: :moltres::dondozo: [Prankster]
Pixilate sets rely entirely on Population Bomb for damage - for this reason, Knock Off is massive as it introduces the risk of attacking into Rocky Helmet, meaning that Zacian essentially becomes unusable until they've removed Helmets entirely. Even if they keep Pads, Zacian is basically unusable without a Coil up, so Prankster Haze can sit on it in most instances. Most Fur Coat users also sponge +1 Population Bomb all day, so you can safely Strength Sap or fish for status. Prankster Entrainment nearly halves Population Bomb's damage and makes Ghost-types completely free. These types of Zacian checks are usually unable to fit reasonable coverage for Imposter, and even then you copy Defense boosts, so spamming Strength Sap is pretty easy.
:miraidon:
:choice specs:
Hardest Counters: :dialga::goodra::clodsire::ting-lu::arceus::meadow plate: [Ice Scales]
Soft Checks: :dialga::goodra::clodsire::ting-lu: [RegenVest] :samurott: [Spikes / Ceaseless Edge] :tapu fini: [Misty Surge users]
Specs Miraidon often has issues with being stonewalled - many Scales users it just straight up can't break past (at least not without Tera Dragon + Full HP Dragon Energy), and it is highly vulnerable to chip damage cutting into Dragon Energy's damage. RegenVest users soft-check by switching in, sponging the hit, and switching to an immunity if necessary (most of these heal about half of the damage they take from full-HP DEnergy. Misty Surge is a more niche option that cuts the Dragon damage everything takes, also functioning as a Palkia-O soft-sheck, though terrain turns can be problematic and Miraidon can override the terrain if you aren't careful.

:draco plate:
Hardest Counters: :dialga::goodra::clodsire::ting-lu::arceus: [Ice Scales or RegenVest] :weavile: [Knock Off]
Soft Checks: :groudon: [Ice Scales] :zacian-crowned::arceus::pixie plate: [Pixilate]
This Miraidon completely lacks instant damage output and relies entirely on its Plate to be useful - Knock Off completely neutralizes it, which is helped by the fact that most RegenVest mons already use it. There's not really any soft checks except Groudon (which doesn't take Judgment as well as other special walls), however this is mostly because everything that checks this ultra-checks it. PixiSpeed picking Miraidon off from low HP should be pretty obvious too.
:palkia:
:chi-yu:
Hardest Counters: :dialga::goodra: [Ice Scales] :arceus::meadow plate: [Ice Scales or Misty Surge]
Soft Checks: :zacian-crowned::arceus::pixie plate: [Pixilate] :grass gem: [Tera Grass]
Palkia-O is another highly dangerous offensive threat, especially given that it has the Special Attack to go to +1, Terastallize, and OHKO stuff through AV. Dialga and Goodra aren't recommended for use with Misty Surge since Dragon Tail does significant damage, whereas Arceus-Grass isn't really bothered, however all should be able to force Palkia-O out if they're above 70 or so. Pixilate users also scare Palkia out, although not necessarily if Palkia is basically intact, as it can live even Pixie Plate-boosted ESpeeds and Sap back to full. Tera Grass grants a Water resistance, which in many cases is only useful when used by a Ground-type staring down Palkia (as, against the majority of targets, it's clicking Dragon Energy).
:arceus::spooky plate:
:furfrou:
Hardest Counters: :meloetta::muk-alola::dialga::arceus::ting-lu: [Ice Scales] :chansey::spooky plate: [Imposter]
Soft Checks: :meloetta::muk::dialga::goodra::ting-lu: [RegenVest] :meloetta::muk-alola::ting-lu: [Prankster]
Arceus-Ghost is incredibly threatening after it gets a QD up, especially given unlike Miraidon you can't remove Spooky Plate to nullify Judgment. Passive play is generally the best against it, with methods like Parting Shot spam and fishing for full paras the most consistent in my experience. Plazing is also useful on mons that carry it. Spooky Plate Imposter also just floors this, though being transformed into Arceus doesn't inherit Plates being unknockable, so it must be played with caution. Meloetta and Muk-Alola are the most consistent at not dying but also have the lowest utility as general Pokemon.

:delcatty:
Hardest Counters: :ting-lu: [Anything besides RegenVest] :chansey::spooky plate: [Imposter] Ability Shield
Soft Checks: :dialga::goodra::clodsire: [Prankster] :slaking: [Anything]
Normalize Arceus-Ghost requires multiple boosts to be threatening and also usually lacks any coverage besides Ghost, so Dark- and Normal-types are pretty reliable counters: Ting-Lu in particular commonly runs Prankster, and so unlike Slaking, doesn't have to make predictions on when to safely switch to a Haze user. Ability Shield can nullify the set completely provided Arceus-Ghost lacks Knock Off. Spooky Plate Imposter argument still applies.
:arceus::flame plate:
:koraidon:
Hardest Counters: :palafin-hero: [Primordial Sea] :giratina::arceus-fire: [Prankster]
Soft Checks: :zacian-crowned: [Well-Baked Body] :zacian-crowned: [Choice Band] :fire gem: [Tera Fire]
OPulse Arceus-Fire is rarer than other offensive threats largely due to the opportunity cost of running, so most defensive responses will be panic-button options (Tera Fire) as the hard counters are uncommon and WBB Zacian doesn't fit on all structures. Arceus-Fire depends on the sun for both V-create damage and for Solar Beam to instantly activate, so stalling out sun is a potential route, however in most instances the safer option is to go to a really bulky mon that resists Grass and Fire (most commonly Fire- or Dragon-types). Arceus-Fire is also one of the few setup threats that doesn't boost Speed, instead opting for Growth, so Banded Headlong Rush Zacian-C can scare it out (provided you account for Tera Grass Arceus-Fire).
:hoopa-unbound:
:lycanroc-dusk:
Hardest Counters: :arceus::flame plate::pixie plate::slaking: [Fur Coat] :zacian-crowned: [Well-Baked Body]
Soft Checks: :zacian-crowned::arceus-fairy::pixie plate: [Pixilate] :ursaring: [Extreme Speed] :scizor: [U-turn]
Hoopa-U is incredibly threatening but also difficult to set up. U-turn does a massive chunk to it (since most things clicking U-turn have no investment), and Extreme Speed users can revenge kill it fairly reliably. Everything listed as a Hard Counter will stonewall Hoopa-U without significant chip beforehand, although none of them safely switch in on +1 Hoopa-U.
:flutter mane:
:CHOICE SPECS:
Hardest Counters: :clodsire::arceus::dialga::goodra: [Ice Scales]
Soft Checks: :clodsire::dialga::goodra: [RegenVest] :zacian-crowned::arceus-fairy::pixie plate: [Pixilate]
Flutter Mane has high damage output and a good STAB combination, however these STAB types don't really excel at hitting stuff super-effectively; as such, most Ice Scales users will work well, with the only significant risk being Tera Ghost Astral Barrage. RegenVest enjoys switching in on Specs and pivoting out to a safe teammate, and Flutter Mane's abysmal 55/55 bulk means Arceus-Fairy's Extreme Speed always 2HKOes.

:delcatty:
Hardest Counters: :chansey::spooky plate: [Imposter] :dialga: [Revelation Dance] :weavile: [Knock Off] Ability Shield
Soft Checks: :zacian-crowned::arceus-fairy::pixie plate: [Pixilate]
Largely the same arguments that apply to Normalize Arceus-Ghost apply here too. Flutter Mane's Plate is removeable, and bad base HP + Fairy-type means it's weak to Steel-type Revelation Dance, although Ting-Lu isn't reliable since Flutter Mane can viably run both Pixie Plate and Spooky Plate.
:groudon:
:furfrou::frosmoth:
Hardest Counters: :dondozo::moltres::arceus::giratina: [Anything] :zacian-crowned: [Earth Eater]
Soft Checks: N/A
Sort of similar to setup Miraidon in that it lacks instant damage output - FurScales + Tidy Up is only really useful as a tool to force out offensive threats, and in reality +1 Precipice Blades just doesn't do a whole lot to most bulky neutral targets. Utility moves like Knock Off and Glare are the only really problematic things you'd get as a defensive Pokemon from this set, which aren't too hard to play around (there are plenty of Para sacks that can take Glare, such as Ting-Lu, and Arceus and Giratina have unremovable items.
:darmanitan-galar:
Hardest Counters: :arceus::spooky plate::giratina::slaking: [Fur Coat] :zacian-crowned: [Earth Eater]
Soft Checks: :arceus::splash plate::dondozo: [Fur Coat]
Most of the ultra-fats in the tier right now aren't particularly bothered with taking Headlong Rush, and the two best ones (Arceus-Ghost and Slaking) are both easy to fit on teams and outspeed Groudon to Strength Sap first. Water-type Fur Coaters are slightly more risky as Groudon has 2 free moveslots (Headlong Rush and U-turn are mandatory), so a common coverage option is Power Whip, which can 2HKO after slight chip - whilst Arceus-Water does outspeed, it doesn't appreciate burning through Recovers. No relevant coverage beats Zacian immune to Ground.
:thundurus:
:sylveon:
Hardest Counters: :zacian-crowned: [Well-Baked Body or Earth Eater] :arceus::flame plate: [Fur Coat]
Soft Checks: :clodsire::goodra::dialga: [RegenVest or Ice Scales]
Most of Enamrous' danger comes from either Fairy/Fire or Fairy/Ground coverage, both of which standard Boomburst switchins don't appreciate - notably, Tera Ground Headlong Rush always OHKOes Clodsire and Hisuian Goodra, barely missing out on OHKOing Dialga-O. Arceus-Fire is basically impossible to kill for Enamorus, as is Zacian with the right immunity ability. Enamorus is also the usually the primary hazard removal on a team, and struggles with both Stealth Rock and its low bulk.
:ursaring:
:darmanitan-galar:
Hardest Counters: :arceus::spooky plate::giratina: [Fur Coat] :rocky helmet:
Soft Checks: :dondozo::arceus-water: [Fur Coat] :zacian-crowned: [Earth Eater]
Another mon that forces in Fur Coaters, Ursaluna can't beat any of the hard counters at all, as they are both immune to the most dangerous attack in Population Bomb. Even for non-Fur Coat targets, Population Bomb connecting with a Rocky Helmet almost definitely KOes Ursaluna. Arceus-Water and Dondozo's non-resistance to Population Bomb means that high numbers of hits can be dangerous (especially given Ursaluna outspeeds the former), and Zacian-C takes up to 93% from 10-hit Population Bomb / is 2HKOed by Tera Normal Extreme Speed after some chip (though is generally safe).
 

Tea Guzzler

serial waffler
is a Contributor to Smogon
also yeah sample submission might do that

Team Name: The Scare Bear

Synopsis: Gorilla Tactics Ursaluna Offense

Pokepaste: https://pokepast.es/cac53e368da178b3

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.

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.

please help i can't stop building with pixilate enamorus
 
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Storm Eagle

Banned deucer.
Hi there, welcome to the BH thread. If you want to share a novel set, you should probably give some background behind it and possibly share replays of it. Otherwise just dumping a set might get your post deleted by the mods since it doesn't really contribute much to the discussion.

Unfortunately, Water Shuriken is among the weakest of the multi-strike moves, especially accounting for the fact that it is 15 BP; it only has 20 BP as Ash-Greninja, and only with Battle Bond at that. As a 75 base power priority move, it's weaker than Extreme Speed from Slaking or various -Ate users. Skill Link isn't that great either since Generation 7 as it was primarily used with Kyurem-Black, but wasn't fantastic there. Your set may show some promise in games, but its main strength seems to be catching people off guard.
252+ SpA Choice Specs Kyogre Water Shuriken (15 BP) (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 165-200 (42.5 - 51.5%) -- approx. 0.4% chance to 2HKO

252+ SpA Choice Specs Kyogre Water Shuriken (15 BP) (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Flutter Mane: 150-180 (47.7 - 57.3%) -- approx. 89.8% chance to 2HKO

252+ SpA Choice Specs Kyogre Water Shuriken (15 BP) (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Arceus-Ghost: 165-195 (37.1 - 43.9%) -- approx. 3HKO

252+ SpA Choice Specs Kyogre Water Shuriken (15 BP) (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Enamorus: 210-245 (59.6 - 69.6%) -- approx. 2HKO

252+ SpA Choice Specs Kyogre Freeze-Dry vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Eternatus: 228-270 (47.1 - 55.7%) -- 78.5% chance to 2HKO
Your Kyogre set has generally favorable calcs against anything faster than it, but the problem is that not only can it not heal, it is easily walled by Ice Scales.
252+ SpA Choice Specs Kyogre Steam Eruption vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Goodra-Hisui: 59-70 (16.2 - 19.2%) -- possible 6HKO

252+ SpA Choice Specs Kyogre Steam Eruption vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Ice Scales Dialga-Origin: 52-61 (12.8 - 15%) -- possible 7HKO

252+ SpA Choice Specs Kyogre Steam Eruption vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Meloetta: 133-157 (32.9 - 38.8%) -- 99.8% chance to 3HKO
(Meloetta runs Knock Off and Nuzzle)

252+ SpA Choice Specs Kyogre Steam Eruption vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Muk-Alola: 159-187 (38.4 - 45.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
(Also runs Knock Off)
Instead of Skill Link Kyogre, have you considered Beads of Ruin Palkia-Origin? From the SetPedia...
Palkia-Origin @ Lustrous Globe
Ability: Beads of Ruin
Tera Type: Dragon / Water
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Quiver Dance
- Water Spout / Steam Eruption
- Dragon Energy
- Strength Sap
Lustrous Globe cannot be removed from Palkia, therefore it cannot be Knocked Off. Trick fails on it as well. Not to mention, it doesn't choice lock you. Quiver Dance allows you to outspeed all but Regieleki after one boost, and you already outspeed a fair bit more than Kyogre does at base. Strength Sap allows for some survivability over the course of the battle, and Dragon Energy is far superior than Freeze-Dry, which has less than half the base power.

Suppose another thing to mention is imposter-proofing. Palkia-Origin is very hard to improof, but your Kyogre doesn't fare much better unfortunately. Desolate Land (NOT Orichalcum Pulse!!) Zacian-Crowned is completely immune to both STABs of Palkia-Origin and makes a great core. Imposter Chansey can also possibly work as an Imposter-proof (Chansey doesn't Transform vs Transformed Pokemon, meaning you keep your fat bulky Normal-type base form). Tera Fairy is not uncommon to try and win a 1v1 matchup with Imposter, too.

Have fun with BH, if you have any questions feel free to ask us. The official Other Metagames Discord may be able to help you in depth.
 
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Tea Guzzler

serial waffler
is a Contributor to Smogon
BH for new players: How is it different?
This is intended to act as a short primer for people unfamiliar with the tier (The current one is IMO bad and needs updating). This is largely going to assume that you have at least basic knowledge of universal Pokemon mechanics.

Basic Meta Mechanics
  • Any Pokemon has any move and ability, and any forme of Pokemon can be used (subject to balancing restrictions). Formes that require manual activations, such as Meloetta-Pirouette and Palafin-Hero, are usable without needing to transform first. This is limited to things in the game, so cut content like Megas and Z-Moves aren't usable.
  • Pokemon have unlimited EVs, so they can use 252 EVs in all stats if desired (the 252 limit per stat still applies).
  • Unreleased Pokemon (Pokemon that are in the game but are unobtainable through standard gameplay) are usable. Currently, this includes Pokemon which will be released when Pokemon HOME releases, notably including Arceus.
  • Species clause is in place. This is to eliminate Species Spam and to prevent people from using multiple Arceus formes on the same team, although other strategies like Palkia and Palkia-O on the same team are removed as collateral.
  • The only things that matter to a mon in BH are the base stats, typing, and any species-specific interactions (eg. a held Plate being unremovable from Arceus or Hyperspace Fury only being usable by Hoopa-Unbound).
  • Arceus formes other than Normal can be used without the need for Multitype + Plate.
  • Imposter (which is common) will interact with species-specific items using the base species, not what the user is transformed into. This means Eviolite will work if held by Imposter Chansey, and a Plate held by an Imposter Blissey is removeable (even if Blissey is transformed into Arceus).
Understanding gameplay
  • Speed tiers are very basic as a result of unlimited EVs. A Pokemon's Speed will always be the maximum, 252 EVs, or the minimum. Minimum Speed is used on slow pivots like RegenVest users, 252 EVs used on Speed-boosting Pokemon and non-pivoting defensive Pokemon, and maximum Speed on basically everything else.
  • Entry hazard removal is basically mandatory, and the most common forms of removal are -atespin (Pixilate/Aerilate + Rapid Spin) or Tidy Up. Hazards are typically set by Ceaseless Edge, so Magic Bounce doesn't reliably stop them going up (unlike Gen 8 BH).
  • Offensive Pokemon usually have full defensive EVs, so are less vulnerable to stray attacks. There are limited exceptions to this, namely where a Pokemon can guarantee an OHKO on Eviolite Chansey with Imposter if they lower their defensive investment, such as these sets.
  • Everything has recovery. If the Pokemon isn't holding a Choice item, it 98% of the time has a healing move. There are few exceptions to this and these are only found on offensive teams, such as the Hoopa-Unbound in this team. Of these, Strength Sap is the most common on offensive Pokemon.
  • Pokemon in BH can't typically "brawl" with each other - the power level is so high that things not dedicated to taking hits from offensive Pokemon can't really stay in unless you're making a risky prediction or resist every attacking move.
  • Setup control is easy and common in the form of a Prankster user with Haze. In addition, defensive Pokemon can generally handle +1 attackers.
  • Defensive Pokemon are generally less passive than in other tiers. Basically all pack utility moves like Nuzzle, Glare, and Knock Off, and a select few carry setup moves like Quiver Dance or Victory Dance.
  • Covert Cloak is a common item. Choice Scarf is basically unviable.
Understanding building
  • Building in BH is largely centered around Imposter users and how to counter them. This is a massive topic that i'll do a proper write-up on at some point.
  • In the early meta, Fur Coat + Ice Scales + Prankster is a generic but reliable defensive core.
  • There are some things in the builder which need to be accounted for, lest you risk an instant loss to them. The most common of these is Normalize + Entrainment Ghost-types.
  • Normal-type Rapid Spin is generally a poor option for hazard removal due to the presence of viable Spinblockers like Arceus-Ghost and Giratina. Tidy Up is usable on a wide variety of Pokemon but removes your own hazards, whereas most -ateSpinners either only fit on offensive teams (Enamorus and Rayquaza) or take up the valuable Arceus slot (Arceus-Fairy or Arceus-Flying).
  • The Arceus slot is the most flexible slot on a team as Arceus can perform basically any role well.
  • Thanks to Fur Coat and Ice Scales being legal, as well as everything having instant recovery, offensive Pokemon normally need consistent support to break past most walls. Mixed Attackers can largely circumvent this issue, however there are few viable ones and Terastallization can block them in an emergency.
 
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With poison heal banned, I shall be sharing/submitting a new team (or 2) since these are pre-poison heal ban teams that work better with PH gone.

Team Name: Don't Be Salty

Description: MG Salt Cure Stall

Pokepaste: https://pokepast.es/caef5cd5cf6a7d43

How to use: Team is reliant on hazards, spreading status, and being immune to opposing hazards. Giratina and Arceus-Steel are your Magic Guard users and phazers, allowing for constant chip to be applied when needed and improofs the Salt Cure users. Moltres is the Prankster user that prevents set up and can be a switchin to Zacian-C. Hisuian Goodra and Cresselia are the special walls that spread Salt Cure while keeping hazards off your side of the field. Lastly, Dondozo is the physical wall that gets up rocks and provides pivoting support with Parting Shot making it easier for your teammates to take hits.

Weakness: Doesn't have offensive power, knock off (keeping boots as long as possible is important), Good as Gold can be annoying, Mold Breaker, Choice Specs Spectrier

Effectiveness: Got me to 1600s, not difficult to use since it doesn't require much too thinking

Team 2

Team Name: Rain Is Magic

Description: Gorilla Tactics Rain

Pokepaste: https://pokepast.es/97c4e033bfbf05c9

How to use: Getting rain up is very important for this team. The main wallbreakers for the team are Zacian-C and Barraskewda being able to pivot and apply immense pressure with their Gorilla Tactics + Choice Banded attacks. Palkia-O is the Swift Swim special wallbreaker being able to wear down things Zacian-C and Barraskewda can't. Giratina sets the weather for the team, allowing for its allies to get in more easily with Teleport switching and removing hazards with Mortal Spin. Last 2 mons are the defensive FurScales core of the team, Arceus-Grass improofing Palkia-O and being a reliable Miradon switchin while Dondozo is able to set hazards + answer physical attackers like Zacian-C, Barraskewda, and Groudon.

Weakness: No Prankster user means set up can be detrimental if Roar or Whirlwind don't work, Desolate Land, somewhat prediction reliant, Fur Coat mons can be annoying but not unplayable since you wear them down fast

Effectiveness: Also got me to 1600s on a different alt account

I'd share replays for effectiveness, but I generally never save any. Post more teams so I can cteam you all UwU
 

Tea Guzzler

serial waffler
is a Contributor to Smogon
I've seen some discussion on Terastallization's impact on the tier, so I thought I would drop my thoughts on the matter.

Short answer: Terastallization only breaks Pokemon that are already borderline due to lacking good defensive counterplay, which currently is basically just Palkia-O in my opinion. Other offensive stuff with Tera, such as Miraidon, can be annoying but is generally manageable. Outside of these, I think Tera's fine.

Longer (but not too long) answer: The above still applies. The main problematic use case on no-good-defensive-counterplay stuff is through a Tera type that mixes both offense and defense - in Palkia-O's case, Water. Palkia-O is the standout mon here because consistent counterplay just does not exist - outside of using fringe double immunity options (like DesLand Zacian-C), you're essentially on a "can you live enough Dragon Energies before you kill it" timer, given that there are no viable mons that resist both Water and Dragon. This means that the only consistent counterplay to Palkia is offensive, which is where Tera steps in to invalidate this in a pinch (eg. Tera Water Palkia-O firms Magical Torque Zacian-C or PixiSpeed Arceus-Fairy). I do agree that this use of Tera is problematic, however at the current time I think it's largely tied to just Palkia-O. Many of the other dangerous attackers in the meta either don't use Tera types with much defensive utility (Zacian-C) or have notable opportunity cost issues between their Tera types (Miraidon) and simply aren't as nuclear. The latter could be argued to create unhealthy 50/50s and invalidate less consistent counterplay (which is why Miraidon is Palkia-O lite; Dragon Energy is still a dumb move but the other STAB is less usable), aided by the fact that they could be either type, however I personally haven't experienced many issues with this.

I'd encourage discussion on the matter, the council will be watching to gauge general community opinion (maybe another survey? likely too close to the old one but the option's on the table) and we'll hopefully be following this up soon with something.
 

Tea Guzzler

serial waffler
is a Contributor to Smogon
wow this forum is desolate

Optimizing EVs and IVs

When looking at newer players' PokePastes, the EVs are almost always Showdown's suggested spreads, which works OK in standard tiers but generally falls apart in BH. This is for two main reasons:
  • Showdown only checks for attacking moves, not their base power. This means that Nuzzle, a 20 BP move, is treated the same as V-create, a 180 BP move, for the purposes of EV spreads. This has the issue of suggesting 252 Attack EVs to support Pokemon.​
  • Showdown doesn't know what a Pokemon is supposed to do, as it can't pull sets from the SmogDex - as such, spreads are based on the moves alone. This means Pokemon that want to reduce stats (other than running 0 Attack) get forgotten about.​
The result of the above two factors is an EV system that is flawed for BH, only checking moves against a few binary questions as such. This leads to a few sets being right but the majority of them needing fixing. Here's some examples:

1674598000583.png

In this example, Palkia-O has no physical moves and has a way to boost its Speed in Quiver Dance. These mean that, in this instance, the guessed spread is correct: Modest nature with the lowest possible Attack. Special attackers generally don't have issues with EV spreads, since they don't run weak physical moves that would gain no benefit from 252 Atk (but still trick the builder into giving 252 Atk).

1674599863679.png

Similarly, mono-physical sets have a -Special Attack nature and 0 EVs. Curiously, the guessed spread doesn't attempt to give 0 Special Attack IVs. I don't know the reason for this, and honestly, how high or low a physical attacker's Special Attack is basically doesn't matter. As far as I know, there is literally one instance where it makes a difference, which is with Power Split (and even then, you're just going to win because the opponent is both using unviable moves and giving away free turns).

1674598526999.png

This is by far the most common example - support Pokemon having 252 Attack EVs. This is due to the first point from earlier, where PS basically thinks you have a physical attacker because you have a physical move (irrespective of the power of said move). This has important applications as the majority of offensive Pokemon use Strength Sap - so, if you have a pointlessly high Attack stat, you're giving away extra HP to the opponent completely free of charge. The only method around this is to just manually change the EVs and IVs to 0, along with running a -Attack nature. Additionally, Doom Desire and Future Sight use the caster's Special Attack when the move hits - so, if you use either as Imposter, and then switch out, the attack lands off of Chansey's Special Attack. Due to this, Imposter users should always have 31 Special Attack IVs and 252 Special Attack EVs.
(As an example, a Zacian using Strength Sap on a 252 Attack Arceus heals for 339 HP, or 87%, whereas with minimum Attack it only heals for 220 HP, or 57%. Running the least Attack possible has no relevant downsides and means Zacian gets 34% less HP back.)

1674599403322.png

This example brings up the issue of PS not knowing what a set does. The main issues here are the Attack (same point as above) and the Speed - since PS doesn't know what this Ting-Lu does, it doesn't see that it's supposed to be a slow pivot, which means it needs to be... well, slow. In this instance, since Ting-Lu is trying to underspeed opponents to get its allies in safely, it needs the least Speed possible. On this kind of set, Ting-Lu would want the minimum amount of both Attack and Speed, which it obviously can't do since it can only reduce one stat via its nature - the better option is almost always to go with -Speed (in this case, a Sassy nature), since this lets you speed tie other foes doing the same as you.

Overall takeaways from this:
  • If the Pokemon either has no physical attacks, or only has ones that deal insignificant damage / you don't care about them dealing damage, use 0 Attack EVs, 0 Attack IVs, and a -Attack nature.
  • If the Pokemon has no special attacks, it does not matter what its Special Attack is. If the Pokemon has any Special Attacks, use 252 EVs and 31 IVs.
  • If the Pokemon is supposed to be a slow pivot, give it 0 Speed EVs, 0 Speed IVs, and a -Speed nature. -Speed takes priority over -Attack.
  • "Stealth Rock numbers" aren't particularly relevant in BH. With everything having full EVs, the 1HP reduction in damage is generally insignificant, so while it's not wrong to use them, the benefits are marginal at best. (For the uninitiated, a Stealth Rock number involves setting your HP to one less than a number wholly divisible by 8, as this makes you take 1 less damage from 12.5% damage effects like Stealth Rock, Salt Cure, and one layer of Spikes).
 
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Storm Eagle

Banned deucer.
I've already made my comment on Terastal and it has not changed. Tactics and Miraidon need to be shown the door. But I'm not making this post to discuss that. Rather I have a Sample Team I would like to submit. As a note, this was still being written before Tea submitted his latest post.

Team Name: Frighteners

Description: Passive Damage-oriented Bulky Offense

Pokepaste: https://pokepast.es/109f04009e327c43

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.

Effectiveness:
Discord_74bIV9rIup.jpg
firefox_z66RkE7xBi.jpg

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.
Alright, now that that team is out of the way, I wanna discuss something. That is status, and what the best status of the game currently is. If you think that is Nuzzle, then sorry, you've been galar-pilled and this isn't Gen 8 BH any more. The current best status is Poison.
Poison in Balanced Hackmons
Poison in BH is very, very underrated right now. Poison Heal is banned, which means now the best ways of checking it are Guts-equivalents and Purifying Salt. So, what about Poison is good and what Poison-moves are good? Let's go over that briefly.
:ting-lu: :dondozo: :arceus: :chansey: :slaking: :groudon: :giratina:
It's not exactly a secret that BH9 has a bunch of fatass mons to account for the level of power in the metagame, but often times handling them can be a pain. Fortunately that's where Poison comes in hand, and this causes enemy walls to crumble quickly. Paralysis works by giving your party a speed advantage against faster walls, but speed is not quite as important in a metagame with Zacian-Crowned, Flutter Mane, Miraidon, and others outspeeding common walls. Heal Bell exists and is common, but all relevant Poison moves have far more than 8PP as even a single Toxic user can still pressure the opponent immensely. Take this set, for example:
Zacian-Crowned @ Covert Cloak
Ability: Well-Baked Body
Tera Type: Fairy
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Headlong Rush
- Magical Torque
- Toxic
- Strength Sap
At first glance, this seems like a fairly mundane if not disappointing set. It doesn't have an offensive item, its ability is defensive, and it lacks any setup. So you might ask why this set stands out. That is because all of Zacian's checks are fat Fur Coat Water/Fire/Ground-types and as a result, Zacian ends up being an offensive presence not through sheer power but stallbreaking.

Stallbreaking. Stallbreaking is incredibly underrated overall and it isn't limited to just Zacian-Crowned. If you've used Salt Cure, Poison is basically the same but isn't removed nearly as easily. Threatening mons like Zac-C, Groudon, Ursaluna, Palafin, and many many more benefit from a poisoning move in their movement tremendously.

However, it should be noted in that if your opponent has trouble with it that Imposter will give you an equal amount of trouble. Pokemon who are immune to status will always give these sets a problem. That is the main trade-off for having a set that can reliably stallbreak. Of course, Substitute is another problem, but that's why Tidy Up is great. For Imposter or Purifying Salt, you can either play around them like in the Frighteners team I mentioned, build your team with countermeasures for Imposter and Purifying Salt, or you can build with a breaker like Miraidon or GT Zac-C that gains momentum off those and benefits from the Poison.
What Poison-inflicting moves are viable?
I'll go over each of them one by one giving my thoughts on them.
Toxic
Toxic is the most basic of the moves that poison foes, but also one of the most reliable. It should be noted that this move is great on Eternatus as its accuracy is --- rather than 90% on Poison-type pokemon, including (if its relevant at all...) Poison Terastal. It has 16 PP which allows it to reliably harass most pokemon even through Heal Bell. For most teams though I'd recommend either two Toxic users or a Toxic user plus another means of poisoning if you plan on using this as one of your wincons.

Toxic goes through Normalize, beats Covert Cloak, but loses to Good as Gold, Magic Bounce, and Purifying Salt unless you use Mold Breaker. Because of this versatility, Toxic is great, but you must be vigilant when it comes to Taunt.
Poison Fang
Poison Fang is the second preferred option due to it being an attack rather than a status move. Unfortunately, there's only a 50% chance it will badly poison, however that is acceptable due to its higher PP than Toxic, at 24. It can still reliably beat Heal Bell, but requires more team support. Poison Fang alone may be a disappointing move for your team and diversifying your poison moves will help out. If you don't intend on relying on poison, it may be acceptable as a generic alternative to Salt Cure.

Poison Fang goes through Taunt, Good as Gold, and Magic Bounce, but cannot poison Purifying Salt and is inherently reliant on Knock Off support. Covert Cloak blocks Poison Fang. Knock Off is absolutely required should you use this in your moveset.
:overqwil:Barb Barrage
Barb Barrage is a more offensive version of Poison Fang, sporting a higher base power; especially against already poisoned targets. The tradeoff is that you don't get Bad Poison and you have lower PP. While it being an improved physical Venoshock may be appealing to those who don't like passive sets, do keep in mind that Poison is a very mediocre offensive typing. Arceus-Grass is far too uncommon to warrant worrying about it and you don't need to hit Enamorus super-effectively to put a dent in it.

Barb Barrage has the exact same strengths and weaknesses as Poison Fang otherwise.
Toxic Spikes
A hazard rather than a move that directly attacks the opponent. Toxic Spikes is good but finds itself rather easily removed. Additionally, bad poison requires two layers and as such this is not terribly efficient given how easy it is to remove hazards. Regardless, phazing can help spread the status around should the Toxic Spikes not get removed immediately.

Unfortunately, Toxic Spikes is rather disappointing overall. It requires the same support Poison Fang does if not more. Tidy Up, Mortal Spin, and Pixilate Rapid Spin all cause Toxic Spikes to be hard to build around and even harder to play around. One of the only major benefits is that Toxic Spikes has the most PP of any move that causes poison, but Rapid Spin beats it out in PP easily and Tidy Up can put you in a precarious position. Should this actually work though, it bypasses Good as Gold, but is checked by Taunt, Magic Bounce, Purifying Salt, and Heavy-Duty Boots. With Enamorus being such a common mon however, many teams will have little difficulty checking you.

I don't think Toxic Spikes is unviable. I just think it's too much effort to utilize for the average player, even if it theoretically has a higher payoff.
:toxapex: Baneful Bunker
With the ban of Poison Heal, it is difficult to justify protection moves on any pokemon. Furthermore, this is not particularly useful even in its optimal usage. It is mostly meant to punish the odd contact move like U-turn. This is not a reliable way to poison and it isn't even bad poison.

:sigilyph: Psycho Shift
Psycho Shift was cut. I mention it due to it being a niche but well-known secondary means of spreading status. Thanks Shit Freak.

:eternatus: Sludge Bomb
Poison STAB is not particularly useful for Eternatus currently and its strictly used as an offensive move.

:sneasler: Dire Claw
Dire Claw is definitely uncompetitive, but just because it's uncompetitive doesn't mean its good. Its frankly unreliable and you only have a very minor chance of actually getting poison over paralysis/sleep or even nothing.

What about [x]?
I am very aware of how many methods of poisoning foes there are. If I didn't mention it, it's not a viable strategy.
  • Shell Side Arm is just a shittier version of Sludge Bomb and Barb Barrage respectively, sporting lower base poison chance too.​
  • Toxic Thread wasn't used when it was introduced and is basically a theorymon now. Lowering Speed is almost never worth the tradeoff of Bad Poison, even when Toxic Thread has twice as much PP. If anyone serious were to ever use it, it would solely be a gimmick for its PP on hard stall.​
  • Gunk Shot is bad, there is no reason whatsoever to use it on any pokemon. Barb Barrage is just straight up better in all aspects but power.​
  • Sludge Wave isn't unviable as its the strongest special Poison-type attack... but it only has 10% poison chance, so you will almost never get a poison with it in practice.​
  • No, Serene Grace isn't viable. SDL's Koraidon set was a secret santa that was made for fun. Even though it can work in games, its never worth using your ability slot on Serene Grace on a serious team.​
That should deal with just about everything. I am unlikely to be terribly active, but will still participate in the development of the meta and try to contribute whenever I see fit. Thanks for reading, I hope this helps you all. I hope my team gets considered as a sample, it's genuinely one of the best teams I've built so far.
 
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Since Poison Heal was recently banned, I'll submit another set of teams for a potential sample consideration.

Life's Epilogue: https://pokepast.es/cb513a2ff0972a10.

Synopsis:

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

Weakness:

*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.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1781412716-n5fetmxemzutv94oimyx5iug8cm66vlpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1780054633-xf87404k4kpxtcmcucubcyb2z8xwj0hpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1779437387-8powld7v1g16xqlqda90ecok7n92uunpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1778371178-dlbrflimpretu3azxc68lxgdl6i7sfopw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1763449752-ylcicpqbtemfj71mdipq3rc3tiacepopw


Imprisoned in the Mirror: https://pokepast.es/ee205f3522935845.

Synopsis:

The team, Imprisoned in the Mirror is built around Accupressure and creating situations where it can run away with the game. Arceus Ghost and Tera-Ghost Zacian maximize the likelihood of a successful pass while also offering the ability to nullify potential threats with skill swap. The rest of the team's tools aren't quite as straightforward, but nonetheless are equally as integral to the team. Level 1 Salazzle poses a false offensive threat while also being capable of trapping common offensive foes with Fairy Lock. Prankster Toxapex provides some defensive backbone to the team and can do the same with the combination of Fairy Lock and Eject Button. Ting-Lu with Mortal and Rapid Spin reliably keeps hazards off and allows for repeated regenerator scouting and the removal of covert cloaks. Spiritomb finishes out the team by being the dedicated receiver of the Accupressure boosts.

Tips on how to play:

*Be patient with setting up the Accupressure trap, it's important to know beforehand what pokemon have moves like Haze, Whirlwind etc . . so the trap works properly
* In the early game aggressively Knock - Off as many covert cloaks as possible with Ting-Lu and Salazzle, this is vital to allow Spirit Shackle to work properly
* Identify common offensive Pokemon that likely don't have pivoting readily available like choice specs Hadron Engine Miriadon, Life Orb Palkia, Non choice Zacian-C etc . . . this is important since often you can grab them with Fairy Lock.
* Look for Regenerator Pokemon to potentially lure in Pokemon since those often don't have status moves to escape Normalize trapping

Weakness:

* Imposters
* Trapping resistant teams
* Unexpected Status moves
* Choice Locked Pokemon

Replays / Laddering:

Unfortunately, I lost track of the screenshot with my laddering peak. I do know for sure though that I was able to fairly easily climb into the 1500s, which was around the top 10 when I laddered with the team. I also used this team for the majority of games in the poison suspect and it easily netted me a spot in the suspect test.

I don't have very many replays saved but I have these few good ones:

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1741100483-o0juta65dxgfrznw1277n5z5unssucvpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1741019214-5p2gvhkk6cssieakv6br28nyf7nx9fypw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1748868513-td7d6pm57v7fkmy1t3vkfksngl2iogopw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1737850949-dkxol5zaykxo5qhhs4indqqgky47pv6pw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1735996812-6yjxhplsv6zwdc3o6e1jyi6ye1fxephpw
 
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Tea Guzzler

serial waffler
is a Contributor to Smogon
stuff i've been playing about with recently

:ss/palkia:
Palkia-Origin @ Lustrous Globe
Ability: Beads of Ruin
Tera Type: Water / Dragon
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Quiver Dance
- Dragon Energy
- Steam Eruption
- Strength Sap

broken mon. needs minimal support (basically just knock to annoy special walls) and has no long-term walls that are both viable and consistent. tera water lets you set up in front of stuff you have no business being in front off (like zac-c) whereas tera dragon ensures you OHKO regenvesters at +1 with energy. only held back by being annoying to improof and people coping with double-immunity stuff like desland zac-c, which is kind of a bad zac-c set so you're basically playing 5-5 anyway.

:ss/chansey:
Chansey (F) @ Eviolite
Ability: Prankster
Tera Type: Steel
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Haze
- Recover
- Glare
- Parting Shot

speaking of copium, ice scales and prankster chansey are the most robust special answers and the only good palkia checks barring desland zac-c. given that dondozo (probably the easiest prankster to run) gets away with poor special bulk, you'd think chansey would be the same with its poor physical bulk - this is true but arguably worse, both because dozo's special bulk is bad whereas chansey's phys bulk barely exists and because you can't run imposter chansey. it's an option if you find your team ultra-weak to all the special attackers, though it's nothing more than an option - it really isn't that good.

:ss/galvantula:
sticky web seems to both rise in value and be harder to keep up every gen. stuff like palkia loves webs as it can afford to run plot instead of QD, completely removing the need for support and the ability to defensively answer it, however with all the tidy up, mortal spin and boots running around they don't tend to stay up for long (especially given that bounce has fallen off a cliff so you can't easily stop imp from getting them up without using an unmon webs setter).

:ss/gengar:
i've been experimenting a fair bit with spite recently - the idea is that the majority of the dangerous offensive moves right now have poor-to-average PP, so theoretically, spite allows you to instantly cut into an offensive threat's damage potential by simply preventing them from attacking long-term. in practice, the utility is questionable - spite often finds itself sinking momentum for an effect which it isn't even guaranteed to land (often you only ever meaningfully trigger spite once) and offensive stuff in this meta generally doesn't stay in on walls unless the mon is a "wall" (like palkia with every spdef mon). the potential upsides are great (namely: removing 4 dragon energy PP is golden) but running it carries the risk of having a dead slot + the mons running it are generally passive imposter fodder.

:ss/zacian-crowned:
Zacian-Crowned @ Leftovers
Ability: Good as Gold / Well-Baked Body / Earth Eater / etc
Tera Type: Fairy
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Substitute
- Magical Torque
- Victory Dance / Taunt
- Taunt / Salt Cure

sub zac-c is generally annoying for the majority of bulky structures, though rarely wins by itself. the main goal is to get sub up and then to start harassing defensive pokemon with the bottom 3 moves: subsalt (normally good as gold to stop pshot spam) doesn't like cloak but wears down recovers a lot more reliably, whereas victory (normally immune abil + taunt) functions as a bulky wincon that can be hard to stop late-game with chipped walls and spikes up. beating these mostly comes down to positioning well enough to not give them a chance to safely sub, though if a sub is up, the best option is usually to brute-force through with something bulky like fc ghostceus spamming judgment. torch song also invalidates any non-wbb variant.

:ss/eternatus:
Eternatus @ Life Orb
Ability: Regenerator
Tera Type: Fire / Dragon
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Dragon Energy
- Torch Song
- Volt Switch
- Final Gambit

the HP stat on etern is really appealing for gambit fodder, but in practice this is really hard to successfully do. compared to last gen, eternatus is almost always strictly outclassed by the other dragons; the reason why gambit worked last gen since it was never telegraphed, which isn't the case here. the higher overall bulk of the meta, as well as the omnipresence of zac-c, mean spamming dragon energy is less than free and connecting gambit with the target is also really inconsistent (made worse on gambit + non-regen, where you have to rely on sap). fur coat etern is also OK, but you either lack gambit or get forced to gambit into fairies, and it also has issues with the bulk and typing being mediocre relative to other fur coaters - to not get blown back by band stuff spamming headlong, you need a second fur coater, which either makes etern redundant (if you go a good fur coater like ghostceus) or means you depend on double QD to win.

:ss/garchomp:
Garchomp @ Life Orb
Ability: Adaptability
Tera Type: Dragon
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Rash Nature
- Quiver Dance
- Dragon Energy
- Headlong Rush
- Strength Sap

certified jokeman classic, do not use
 

Tea Guzzler

serial waffler
is a Contributor to Smogon
Teambuilding Guide: Gen 9 Edition

Thought I might as well skip the waffle.

1. Start with a concept.
The concept is what you want the whole team to be built around - this is probably the thing you want to be winning games with. Normally this is something offensive, however this is by no means binding; it just needs to be able to win the game. Having something to build around makes things significantly easier, as building becomes much more streamlined when you actually know what you need - simply going "I want to build a good balance team" will leave you with your FurScalesPrank core and hazard removal, sure, but rarely does much good regarding game progression.

2. Work out how to win.
So you've got the thing you want to build around - now you need to think how to make sure it can actually do its job as a win condition. The pace of the win condition (and thus the rest of the team) will largely dictate what support you give it: If you're using an offensive mon, team support will likely lean more towards raw damage, whereas more defensive win conditions likely want longer-term support with entry hazards and item removal. These 2 pools aren't mutually exclusive (eg. both playstyles appreciate item removal and status), though some will be easier to fit and (depending on the amount of time you want to spend playing) more effective.

3. Fill out the defensive backbone.
This is basically deciding how you're going to not lose during the time it takes you to win. Most cores follow a similar structure of Physical Wall + Special Wall + Anti-Setup, which is usually in the form of Fur Coat + Ice Scales/RegenVest + Prankster/Imposter. When deciding on what defensive mons to actually use, there's a few questions which can help guide you:
  • Do I have the Arceus slot available? Arceus fills any role you need, and so is often the bulkiest defensive option if you've got the free slot.
  • Do the defensive Pokemon do a reasonable job against common offensive threats? Here you should try and not lean too heavily on Tera as a bandage - you can for some of the less common stuff, such as Hoopa-Unbound, but if the team folds to something like Miraidon then you might need to reconsider.
  • Do the defensive Pokemon Imposter-proof other team members? Imposter-proofing is necessary for both offensive and defensive Pokemon, ensuring you both don't fold to Imposter and that it doesn't get completely free utility.
  • If you don't already have it, can any defensive Pokemon (acceptably) remove entry hazards? Emphasis on acceptably as there's a tendency for teams to rely on whack like mono-Mortal Spin on a RegenVest for removal, which is sketchy at the best of times.
  • Do the defensive Pokemon support the main win condition? This isn't as necessary as the others, though still nice to have - entry hazards, status, slow pivoting, and the like all help out.
If you're running a heavily defensive team, you can use these would-be slots to patch up any specific weaknesses or fill specific roles (such as a Magic Bounce user).

4. Review and check for oversights.
Teambuilding should never be just a checklist, since basing your team on "does it have x" criteria doesn't really get you anywhere, however it's useful to look at a complete team to scan for any oversights:
  • Is the team Imposter-proofed? If so, are these Imposter-proofs safe to an acceptable degree (which you're ultimately the judge of)?
  • Does it have satisfactory entry hazard removal? If not, can you work it in anywhere without massively distorting something's main role?
  • Do you have checks for common meta threats? Consider offensive pressure but don't rely solely on it. Having a quick scan down the VR can help.
  • Can you actually beat defensive stuff? Again, scanning the VR can be useful to check if there's any defensive mons you instalose to.
5. Test the team.
Now that you have a decent team that works in theory, you need to make sure it works in practice. Playing against decent players is normally the way to go here, since they pit you against common meta stuff and are much less likely to let you get away with building oversights - the best way to find games this way is through the OM room on Showdown or in the OM Discord. Testing a team on the ladder will always have varying success, since the amount of games against competent players and teams is generally low (especially below 1400-1500, where most games are illegible), however don't discount it completely.

https://pokepast.es/f5f0b12a62e42ab2 - One of my current sample teams.
:ursaluna: Ursaluna's the main win condition in this team - Gorilla Tactics brutalizes most teams through sheer power, and it even packs a strong Extreme Speed as a tool to remove offensive Pokemon after slight chip.

:ursaluna::zacian-crowned: Ursaluna's main issues with breaking through teams are that faster walls (such as Slaking and Arceus) don't typically have to take a second hit before healing, and that Ursaluna instantly dies if Population Bomb connects with a Rocky Helmet. Support Zacian-C helps overcome these issues - Knock Off removes Rocky Helmet from any physical walls (who, because you're Zacian-C, sort of need to switch in), Earth Eater / Levitate Imposter-proofs Ursaluna, and Ruination forces physical walls to burn through Recover PP lest they have to switch in on Ursaluna at half HP.

:ursaluna::zacian-crowned::arceus: Arceus-Ghost is generally a good defensive Pokemon, acting both as a potential win condition and as a wall. Ursaluna can encounter potential hard-walling issues which can be tedious to overcome (opposing Fur Coat Arceus-Ghost or Earth Eater Zacian-C), so having a secondary win condition allows the team to navigate a poor Ursaluna matchup / potentially win faster if the opponent has more vulnerable special walls.

:ursaluna::zacian-crowned::arceus::enamorus: Enamorus can both remove entry hazards for the team and remove special walls with Life Orb Headlong Rush, which 2HKOes every common special wall and allows Enamorus to clean a path for Arceus-Ghost to sweep through.

:ursaluna::zacian-crowned::arceus::enamorus::dialga-origin::dondozo: Since entry hazard removal is already there and the team is already fully Imposter-proofed, any 2 generic defensive Pokemon can do here, so long as they provide enough breathing room against common threats like Miraidon and Arceus-Fire.
 

Tea Guzzler

serial waffler
is a Contributor to Smogon
What's the best flinch spammer in this format?
well, to keep it short, zacian-c. flinch spam has never been a good strategy, made even worse this gen by the introduction of covert cloak (which blocks king's rock flinches), so pixilate zacian-c is probably the least unviable mon to attempt it.

:ss/zacian-crowned:
Zacian-Crowned @ King's Rock
Ability: Pixilate
Tera Type: Fairy
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Coil
- Population Bomb
- Knock Off / Spirit Shackle
- Strength Sap

population bomb zacian enjoys coil as a way to both boost damage output and to make population bomb a guaranteed 10 hits - with 10 hits, you have about a 65% chance to flinch the opponent. normally this set has protective pads, as population bomb into a rocky helmet instantly kills you - as such, knock off gives you some autonomy in not instantly dying (ie. you don't have to rely on teammates to remove the helmets). alternatively, spirit shackle allows you to trap and remove a would-be completely safe wall in imposter users.
 
What's the best flinch spammer in this format?
Try this one
zacian-crowned.gif

Zacian-Crowned @ Covert Cloak
Ability: Serene Grace
Tera Type: Flying
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dire Claw / Poison Fang / Glare
- Triple Arrows
- Strength Sap
- Knock Off

Pretty self-explanatory. Dire Claw can either Poison, Paralyze, or make your opponent sleep. Triple Arrows has a 60% chance of flinch, and a guaranteed defense drop. Knock Off is there for Covert Cloak, and Strength Sap for recovery since you're Zacian-C and you don't get punished because you're the fastest mon in the tier.

I don't think this is the best flinch spammer this meta has to offer, but it certainly is up there being one of the most annoying flinch spammers there is.
 
Try this one
View attachment 488526
Zacian-Crowned @ Covert Cloak
Ability: Serene Grace
Tera Type: Flying
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dire Claw / Poison Fang / Glare
- Triple Arrows
- Strength Sap
- Knock Off

Pretty self-explanatory. Dire Claw can either Poison, Paralyze, or make your opponent sleep. Triple Arrows has a 60% chance of flinch, and a guaranteed defense drop. Knock Off is there for Covert Cloak, and Strength Sap for recovery since you're Zacian-C and you don't get punished because you're the fastest mon in the tier.

I don't think this is the best flinch spammer this meta has to offer, but it certainly is up there being one of the most annoying flinch spammers there is.
Inoue pls, why are you telling people about this set :(
 

Tea Guzzler

serial waffler
is a Contributor to Smogon
How to Wallbreak in BH
Wallbreaking is the primary way that most teams are making progress against the opponent - if you're able to weaken the opposing defensive core, you can have any amount of demons in the back that can clean up. However, wallbreaking is also pretty easy to do wrong if you either don't know what you're doing or you're using slightly dodgy sets. So, this should hopefully fix some of those issues.

Picking a good wallbreaker is paramount.
This sounds simple but can also be deceptively challenging depending on both the team structure you have/want and the walls you want to beat. Generally, a good wallbreaker should:
  • Have sufficient wallbreaking power to threaten the majority of the tier,
  • Have a good STAB typing that means it actually has strong moves to use, and
  • Not require excessive support to be useful.
  • Either being fast, having priority, or being bulky enough to trade hits in a pinch is also valuable, and ideally you have at least one, but isn't necessary.
Picking the right moves on a wallbreaker is important too. Coverage moves that you pick should actually be things you're going to use - more specifically, they need to beat a wall that would otherwise beat you, and also need to out-damage other options (the amount of times i've seen random Miraidon running Astral Barrage, when Rising Voltage is stronger even against Ghost-weak targets, is saddening). If they're not Choice-locked, generally you're going to be running Strength Sap, although this can also be forgone on some offense-heavy teams.

Give it support.
If you take away anything from this guide, it should be that wallbreakers are almost never autonomous. Even among the strongest wallbreakers, such as Gorilla Tactics Zacian-C and Beads of Ruin Palkia-O, they still need at least some support to beat their hardest checks. Support is generally through Knock Off, status, entry hazards, or other attackers on the same physical/special side which can put additional pressure on walls. If you don't give a wallbreaker any support, it's likely that you will struggle to beat teams with even average prep for the threat you've chosen, and if you encounter a brick wall then you likely lose on the spot.

Additionally, i'll put emphasis on having a wallbreaker and it's offensive support being both primarily physical or primarily special - if you have a Specs Miraidon, who cares if you've got a Ruination Zacian-C that keeps the opposing Fur Coat Slaking at half, since Zacian-C is never bringing in a special wall (what Miraidon needs weakened). This isn't to say the support should only be attacking physically or specially - mixed Enamorus is great as offensive special support, and the thing this mostly does is run Pixilate (to force in special walls) and dent or remove them with Headlong Rush - your supporting stuff just needs to actually force in the things you need to weaken.

Since wallbreaking stuff is on the frailer side, in addition to having no defensive ability and many having no recovery, slow pivots are also recommended to get wallbreakers on the field safely. If you don't run one of these (ideally multiple), wallbreaking becomes predictions on top of predictions (you have to switch the wallbreaker in at the correct time and then use the right move), which is miles from reliable.

Know how to actually play to your wallbreakers.
If I could sum up the main mistakes that many newer-to-BH players make with wallbreakers, it's that they play far too aggressive with them, leading to unnecessary weakening of the wallbreaker through Knock Off, status, chip damage, or all three. Wallbreakers generally need to be played with caution - since your team is likely based around the wallbreaker doing its job, you need to ensure it actually does do.

The most common way of getting a wallbreaker in is through slow pivoting. This guarantees that they get in unharmed and with full wallbreaking power, giving them a perfect chance to deal damage - however, relying on pivot moves alone can take a long time depending on your team and the matchup you have. To speed up the game, you can opt to bring in wallbreakers with aggressive double switches - this circumvents the need to pivot through something first, significantly increasing the amount of wallbreaking chances you get, though with this comes risk of predicting wrong and being punished (often really hard) from it. How fast you want to win generally depends on how fast you need to - in many matchups, it's clear that you can almost take as long as you want to position well and bring in your wallbreakers (such as against Stall), so taking the risk simply isn't worth it.

A key skill of wallbreaking is also knowing when to trade stuff for progress. This is generally HP or status - you're almost never wanting to give up your item. Generally, you can afford to trade chip damage for wallbreakers if the reward is going to change the outcome of the game (eg. half a wall's health), and usually this means taking on a layer of Spikes chip. For some wallbreakers that need high HP, such as Dragon Energy users, their damage is tied to their HP against many targets - in these instances, you're going to want to play a little more cautiously, since a wallbreaker with limited damage output gives the opponent a massive window to make progress while you try and heal (if you even can).

In terms of scouting, the easiest way to do this is to simply not commit to anything too early. Playing slow with your wallbreakers early on is the best way to find out what's switching in on you, what's trying to scare you out, and what you can sit in front of. Most commonly, you're scouting for Nuzzle/Glare and Knock Off, which can otherwise severely limit a wallbreaker's ability to be threatening. Holding on to Terastallization is also important, since you should only use it when you either need it or have a guaranteed way to make progress from it - using Tera early can be a severely limiting factor in terms of the wallbreaker's defensive profile, prediction reliance, and cutting the flexibility of other teammates.

tl;dr for this section - don't throw your breakers into random stuff for no reason. scout what's going to ruin your mon, be careful with how much damage you take (though realize that taking damage is necessary in some situations) and don't be an idiot getting it on the field.

What do I do if my wallbreaker is (almost) completely bricked?

This is typically going to happen because of the target being highly resistant or immune to your main attack(s), meaning that you aren't able to reasonably break past - examples of this include Desolate Land Zacian-C (if running Palkia-O), Fur Coat Arceus-Ghost (if running Ursaluna), or Ice Scales Chansey if running basically any special attacker. Luckily, if this happens then there's a decent chance you're running the same breaker as them, which also means there's a decent chance they're bricked too. There's only really two things you can do here:
  • Persevere, if the wall isn't completely immune to damage from your breaker. Many of these massively bulky walls can be played around reasonably well enough if you're able to last that long in the game, so there's a decent chance that you'll eventually get through - however, this only really works against passive teams, where they aren't really able to win before you get through.
  • Go for an alternative win condition. Part of using any offensive mon is knowing when you can't get it through, so in these sorts of instances it's still worth keeping the wallbreaker alive (just for the threat of a potential sweep if they sack the wrong thing) but instead trying to win with something else.
1675531037975.png

I've been using this a lot to good success. Here, Zacian-C is the supporting option, helping Ursaluna break through by removing Rocky Helmets and cutting the longevity of its switchins by forcing them to either burn through Recover PP or take on Ursaluna while injured. Taunt is also another option over Knock Off if you're using a different wallbreaker, like GT Groudon (where removing Rocky Helmet isn't as necessary). Zacian-C's heavy offensive presence almost innately forces in the bulky targets that Ursaluna enjoys being chipped.

1675531058934.png

Here, Eternatus is useful largely due to it's high HP stat combined with Final Gambit, which allows it to trap and remove any special walls that might give Palkia trouble. Mold Breaker ensures that it isn't forced to gambit on Well-Baked Body Zacian-C, which would otherwise be a significant roadblock (though Regenerator could also work), and Dragon Energy ensures it's able to actually bring in the things it needs to clear with Final Gambit.

1675531076675.png

Another one I use a lot, Enamorus' good mixed attacking stats and Pixilate Boomburst ensure that most teams will be sending in their special wall to handle it, which is where Headlong Rush (possibly complimented by Tera Ground) allows Enamorus to heavily dent or remove special walls for Arceus-Ghost to more reliably clean up late-game. This one fits more on offensive teams, where Enamorus' desirable compression of wallbreaking support and entry hazard removal make up for its less-than-stellar bulk.
 
Last edited:
Ghosting tour just ended and I have a few meta opinions, many of them shaped by the most recent team I built (this):

I think by far the most consistent way to play right now is to stack a bunch of bulky mons that can pose some threat on their own. In all three games of the ghosting tour we brought double fc, which I think is just about the only way to consistently hold back zacian and various gtactics mons. In the last game I decided from the previous weeks that one regenvester wasn't cutting it, so we brought regenvest + scales. To fit this we dropped the prank, which is very nice to have on ladder but often dead weight vs standard teams. In particular the regenvest here is Ting-Lu to easily get momentum vs any of the pranks that might try to wall zacian. On this team Ting-Lu is less of a wall and more of a momentum-stealing, spike-setting machine.

This gen has a lot of great tools to allow these "defensive" pokemon to be really annoying while also fulfilling various utility roles. Given all the incredible hazard removal options like court, mortal spin, and tidy up, I don't think I'd ever really opt for an ate-spin mon, which can't quite compress utility and defensive roles in the same way.
 

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