Metagame BW Doubles OU


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dump of my notable bw teams for the year + i talk about defiant thundurus specifically. the defiant thundurus sets on pastes have changed a bit from the ones in replays as i began to favor LO + Crunch over Fighting Gem + Sky Drop


Weatherless Moth Balance - DPL7 Week 4 vs DaWoblefet / BW Cup vs Yoda2798

The idea going into the match-up was I generally wanted to be instantly advantageous against the Amoonguss balance teams which I was highly putting DaWoblefet on. At the same time, I wanted to make sure that I had strong answers against Skymin as I recognized that my own usage history can make it look like I'm vulnerable to it. Quiver Dance Volcarona fits within both ideas as it's a great balance breaker and can render Shaymin-S moot at +1. Defiant Thundurus and Expert Belt Cresselia are also attempts at beating balance; the former is handy for getting surprise quick damage on Tyranitar and Heatran, while Cresselia can make sure Amoonguss, Metagross, and Hitmontop can never get too out of hand. Scarf Kyurem-B is there to make sure Scarf Landorus-T is invalidated, and it's also nice for keeping Latios at bay. Jellicent and Amoonguss round the team out as a defensive duo that can generally deal with everything, in particular being key for the match-up against rain; while I do have Cresselia, it's not as reliable defensively due to how its EVswere invested. I typically never use weatherless in BW DOU and this might be the only team I have of the sort within the past three years, but I'd say this is a pretty solid attempt.

Scarf Tyranitar + Keldeo + SD Scizor - DPL7 Finals vs DaWoblefet

This one was also for DaWoblefet but now for the DPL finals matchup. While I still had the balance match-up in mind as it really did feel like DaWoblefet's style, this time I was more wary of how I deal with Kyurem-B on either of its two better sets. I went with SD Scizor, again another set-up attacker as they're good breakers against balance, but also because it's inherently good against a lot of balance pieces such as Latios, Metagross, Cresselia, TTar, and Amoonguss. Keldeo is a curious addition as it's not really common, but I really like it as it can reliably decimate Heatran while still putting heavy pressure on KB and TTar (for Latios); Latios is used in the same vein, except Draco Meteor destroys everything instead. Choice Scarf Tyranitar is there to make sure opposing Latios don't become too problematic, as it's still capable of just nabbing one every time. I'm using fast bulky Thundurus in order to maximize my range in stuff I can Sky Drop, which can be really handy in getting surprise unpins on my attackers. I genuinely like this team as I feel like it's a good attempt at maximizing Scizor while not being too exposed by Heatran and Jellicent.

The Six but it's Defiant Thundurus - BW Cup vs Yoda2798

It's the six. But it has Defiant Thundurus. I talk about Defiant Thundurus specifically later on this post, but in the context of this team I don't think it actually needs Prankster Thunder Wave as the rain match-up isn't that bad, considering it has Jellicent, Latios, and Tyranitar. What the team does appreciate, however, is more aggressive options in dealing with Latios, Tyranitar, Kyurem-B, etc..--iThundurus's handy for taking advantage of what would generally be average matchups into surprisingly daunting pressure and pins, which in turn helps me in positioning with my other 5 which are quite in dealing with a broad range of stuff by themselves already. The rest are pretty simple as they are essentially the default sets.


I have been using Defiant Thundurus throughout DPL and Classic and I can honestly say that it's a real valid set for BW DOU. It's been a generally effective pick from my experience and is basically not a meme.

Thundurus (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Wild Charge
- Crunch
- Superpower
- Protect
Thundurus (M) @ Fighting Gem
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Wild Charge
- Superpower
- Sky Drop
- Protect

The idea with this set when I first tried it out is that Prankster Thundurus typically baits out stuff like Tyranitar and Heatran, stuff which this particular set can obliterate. Teams usually don't want their offensive stuff Thunder Waved, so they usually send out their slow, bulky stuff which this set can more effectively punish with significant damage. As Prankster Thundurus and Defiant Thundurus essentially have to be dealt with in different ways and with different checks, I wanted to take advantage of this fact by using it to make quick picks, opening up opportunities for other guys; this kind of surprise element for me was valuable, especially since DPL was only a best-of-1.

Still, this set had consistency even with it being within my meta. It's strikingly effective at keeping a lot of key threats at bay with pure offensive pressure, owing to the fact that it's faster than Latios and how its coverage lets it hit a lot of key Pokemon in the metagame super effectively. Wild Charge hits hard enough neutrally as LO Thundurus still has the raw attack to be respectable and it notably hits Jellicent for SE. Superpower decimates TTar and takes a fat chunk out of KB and Heatran. Crunch is literally only for Latios but this is still valuable as Latios is one of the most daunting threats in BW DOU and is almost always in every non-rain team. All of the threats I mentioned here are Tier 1 threats. I've found that teams often just resort to using Intimidate when it comes to dealing with physical attackers, which this set punishes; as long as Thundurus has teammates that can keep Landorus-T from Rock Sliding e.g. Wide Guard Hitmontop, Scarf Kyurem-B, then it can basically wreak havoc on most opposing balance teams.

While it does have Defiant as an ability, a lot of this set's value isn't even about punishing Intimidate. Rather, it moreso comes from how it has the super effective coverage on a lot of key targets in the metagame on top of the fact that it can be a bit of a puzzle to tell apart whether a team has Prankster or Defiant from preview. Defiant Thundurus isn't necessarily a strong (physical) attacker in its own right, but it nevertheless is quite effective, this effectiveness being a product of the metagame. As long as balance teams still look like they usually do, this set should still be quite effective and I definitely recommend people give it a try if an opportunity to play BW DOU comes around.


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Some thoughts on how the BW metagame has shifted over the past few tournaments:

SMB once again shatters the idea of BW being an inconsistent tier with another dominant performance. Only losing a single game in all of BW Cup and only one BW game in Classic Finals, coupled with a string of top 4 placements in past years, SMB has pushed the BW metagame in different ways with his impact in both play and teambuilding. SMB has carved out new niches in Pokemon, such as Choice Scarf Kyurem-B or offensive Ghost Gem Jellicent, in addition to actually building teams. A good player who is able to create independently viable teams is going to do well, and I think a player wise to metagame trends should be analyzing what SMB is doing in BW if they want to succeed in the tier.

Stagnant Rain
Very little has come by way of pushing rain forward in the metagame, with many players in the most recent BW Cup opting to recycle old builds of SMB rain (Genies + Sub Lefties Metagross + Breloom), double Grass rain, or tried and true Whitewater. Seeing only around a 50% winrate overall, it also saw consistently less usage the later the rounds became. Rain isn't bad or anything, but the counterplay available with traditional good BW Pokemon, when combined with experience fighting those same teams multiple times, leads me to rate rain less favorably.

The Rise of Sand teams
Most BW players will agree that Thundurus is one of the best, if not the best mon in the tier. Excadrill has always been floated as a solid option to check Thundurus, being Thunder Wave immune itself. Other metagame trends, such as Metagross's rise in popularity, have been favorable for Excadrill; Excadrill can destroy it with a Life Orb-boosted Earthquake and takes little in return. Heatran's popularity has gone down too, the traditional Substitute Leftovers set splitting for usage with Shuca Berry to combat non-STAB Ground-type attacks. But Excadrill likes Shuca Berry a lot more, since its Earthquake is still able to KO reliably after Stealth Rock and can avoid situations where Heatran with a Sub actually threatens Excadrill. Sand cores see additional modifications with the addition of Thunder Wave Cresselia, which gives Tyranitar Speed control without making it awkward for Excadrill; Cresselia sometimes even goes so far on these teams as to run Timid Nature to outpace Adamant Landorus-T. Cresselia dealing heavy damage to the two major Intimidate Pokemon in the tier, Landorus-T and Hitmontop, gives a natural fit on these teams.

Thundurus's new tool Sky Drop initially captivated my interest quite a lot; one combo I really liked was to EV Thundurus faster than Adamant Landorus-T to combo things like Sky Drop -> rocks and then drop down the target -> U-turn (like against Cresselia). Doing it this way also let you run HP Ice to snipe some Lando; recall that most Landorus-T should be running Adamant for the Stone Edge roll on Thundurus. However, I think that Sky Drop's utility, while cool, is a real moveset cost in a lot of matchups. You always have Thunderbolt and Thunder Wave, and picking just 2 of Thunder Wave / Taunt / HP Ice / Protect was hard enough as it is. I think it's fairly telling that Memoric's physical Thundurus set listed above has Sky Drop merely as an option, where it might seem more natural with the investment given to Thundurus's attack.

General trends and thoughts
  • KyleCole's revival of bulky Conkeldurr has been very interesting to me; drawing on inspiration from Arash Ommati's 2013 Worlds team, a bulky Sitrus Berry set with Drain Punch can let Conkeldurr destroy certain Genie/Heatran builds that would ordinarily rely on it chipping itself with Life Orb recoil.
  • Jellicent is not going anywhere, but the metagame has adjusted well to it. Gone are the days where you can kill one Pokemon and have Jellicent Recover stall the rest. Jellicent sometimes needs to offer more than just the ability to set Trick Room and burn things.
  • Choice Scarf Dragon-types are super cool and super good. Scarf cube and Scarf Latios both can outspeed Landorus-T for a crucial Ice Beam KO and can Draco Meteor other faster Dragon-types. While they aren't fast enough to outpace Kingdra, they serve as solid revenge killers for a great chunk of the metagame, while offering ambiguity if comparing against a more traditional Choice Band cube or Dragon Gem Latios set.
  • Latios's reclaiming of Hidden Power has really let it rise to dominance. Hidden Power Ground Latios is what's caused most Heatran to retreat from their old Substitute habits, as a Pokemon they used to wall now cleanly 2HKOs it and takes little from Heat Wave to boot. Tailwind is still a great slash for Speed control; you can even drop Psychic if you're content Dracoing the things Psychic would ordinarily hit.
A couple newer teams

The first sample team currently offered in BW (the Latios Landorus-T Sub Metagross balance team) was by far one of my favorite BW teams, and I don't think I've ever really quite found a suitable replacement that feels as dominant while respecting current metagame trends. I think it's telling that during Classic, instead of picking one of my own builds vs umbry, I rolled up with SMB rain! Still, here's a couple teams I've been enjoying as of late:

:landorus-therian: / :thundurus: / :kyurem-black: / :metagross: / :jellicent: / :latios:

In a shocking turn of events, a team that contains 5/6 of the previously mentioned team I liked transferred well to another team I liked! marilli's usage of Earthquake Metagross really appealed to me; Metagross has decent enough attack where EQ chip matters on a ton of Pokemon, and you can easily turn from losing to Heatran to beating it with the right plays. The logic is comparable to the transition of Hidden Power Ground on Latios.

:latios: / :landorus-therian: / :hitmontop: / :gothitelle: / :suicune: / :heatran:

Similar to this bulky team originally built by marilli. Swaps Chansey for a Scarf Trick Latios to lock down support Pokemon and enable a Suicune setup. I like leading Latios + Landorus-T to have the option of Scarf Trick + U-turn into Gothitelle, or to potentially catch a Scarf cube by surprise. Latios can be given additional Speed to actually outpace all Scarf cubes if that's something that concerns you (it currently just outpaces neutral Nature Scarf Genesect).

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