Metagame BW LC


let's play bw lc!
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:bw/gastly: :bw/abra: :bw/chinchou: :bw/mienfoo: :bw/drilbur:

Why play BW?

- It's slow for LC: with the current banlist, Knock Off being 20 BP, and no Berry Juice, there's a lot more room for defensive play than in other LC gens. Chip damage goes a long way- especially with permanent weather. (The offensive threats are still very strong, though.)

- Diversity in styles: while bulky offense / balance is certainly very good (as in every LC gen), everything from sand semi-stall to screens HO is tournament-viable. There aren't any required Pokémon or even required roles (not even Stealth Rock); seeing 12 unique Pokémon in a match isn't that unexpected.

- It's new: Less than 100 tournament matches of sans-Misdreavus BW have been played. There's a lot of room to explore and experiment with new stuff!

Where to play BW

January 2021:
There's a BW LC ladder on Showdown this month (look in the top right, under "RoA Spotlight"). There's also a Swiss tournament being run in RoA here. LPL 6 also has a BW slot.

Aside from LCPL and LCWC, the RoA Tour Nights series plays BW LC on Fridays on a semi-regular basis. You can also vote for BW LC in the automated tournaments run in the Little Cup room on Showdown. Just want to get some games in? Feel free to ping me on Smogon / PS / Discord- I'm always happy to play!


Sand Rush
Sand Veil

Berry Juice

Dragon Rage
Sleep-inducing moves
Baton Pass

Sample teams

Abra-Gastly offense

Scarf Drilbur Sand offense
(originally by brewfasa)
Scarf Snover + Scarf Magnemite and pivots
(originally by watashi)
Roar Riolu

Staryu-Timburr balance
(originally by trash)
CM Bronzor Sand stall (by Fille)
Dual Shell Smash
(originally by RaJ.Shoot)

Check out the RoA sample teams page for more!
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let's play bw lc!
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Set Compendium

Viability Rankings
:mienfoo: Mienfoo

:natu: Natu
:gastly: Gastly
:diglett: Diglett
:porygon: Porygon

:timburr: Timburr
:hippopotas: Hippopotas
:abra: Abra
:snover: Snover
:staryu: Staryu

:vullaby: Vullaby
:drilbur: Drilbur
:lileep: Lileep
:frillish: Frillish
:magnemite: Magnemite
:drifloon: Drifloon
:clamperl: Clamperl
:ferroseed: Ferroseed

:pawniard: Pawniard
:archen: Archen
:carvanha: Carvanha
:trapinch: Trapinch
:tentacool: Tentacool
:omanyte: Omanyte
:chinchou: Chinchou

:tirtouga: Tirtouga
:aipom: Aipom
:bronzor: Bronzor
:shellder: Shellder
:budew: Budew
:foongus: Foongus

:ponyta: Ponyta
:dwebble: Dwebble
:slowpoke: Slowpoke
:stunky: Stunky
:riolu: Riolu
:wynaut: Wynaut

:croagunk: Croagunk
:magby: Magby
:exeggcute: Exeggcute
:trubbish: Trubbish
:shelmet: Shelmet
:lickitung: Lickitung
:darumaka: Darumaka
:houndour: Houndour
:elekid: Elekid
:larvesta: Larvesta
:wingull: Wingull
:doduo: Doduo
:larvitar: Larvitar

Role Compendium
Entry Hazards:
Stealth Rock::diglett::hippopotas::drilbur::lileep::ferroseed::pawniard::archen::omanyte::tirtouga::dwebble::bronzor:
Toxic Spikes::tentacool::omanyte:

Hazard Control:
Magic Bounce:
Rapid Spin::staryu::drilbur::tentacool:

Clerics and Wish:
Heal Bell:

Knock Off:

Offensive Roles

Choice Item Users:
Choice Scarf:

Setup Sweepers:
Bulk Up:
Calm Mind::natu::bronzor:
Nasty Plot::vullaby:
Shell Smash::tirtouga::omanyte::clamperl::dwebble::shellder:
Speed Boost::carvanha:
Swords Dance::mienfoo::drilbur:

Aqua Jet:
Fake Out::mienfoo::croagunk:
Ice Shard::snover::shellder:
Mach Punch::timburr:
Sucker Punch::gastly::drifloon::pawniard::croagunk:

Defensive Roles
Physically Defensive:
Specially Defensive::porygon::vullaby::lickitung:


Magic Guard:

Sand Stream:
Sand Force::diglett::drilbur:

Snow Warning:
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let's play bw lc!
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LCWC 2 retrospective

Inspired by the SPL writeups by various ADV players, I figured I'd do a brief one with the teams I brought this season. (Click on the sprites for pastes!)

Week 1: vs. giove97 (Italy)

Looking back at LCPL 9, a big standout to me was Archen's 7-0 record and its incredible wallbreaking power with Flying Gem Acrobatics. I had experimented with it during LCPL (bringing it to this game against Void), and I thought it'd be a great pick against slower / bulkier teams that I expected others to bring early in the season. Against faster teams, Tirtouga was the primary win condition, being able to consistently find setup opportunities thanks to the incredible bulk provided by Eviolite + Solid Rock and picking off most offensive threats. I also threw in some flair with Salac Diglett to patch up an otherwise significant Magnemite weakness, plus Natu- which had been picking up some steam at the end of LCPL.

I stumbled into a pretty annoying matchup, though. Eviolite Snover was a threat that I hadn't really accounted for- +SpA Snover is a lot more annoying to handle with Mienfoo / Porygon. I let Mienfoo get chipped a bit too much in the early stages and could've preserved more HP on it through better sacrifices of Archen / Natu. In the end, Tirtouga pulled through by winning a (probable) speed tie against Magnemite.

Week 2: vs. bugzinator (Europe)

For this week, I wanted to play something fairly standard. I settled on this: Staryu + Gastly helped deal with fast threats, while Toxic Spikes and Timburr could pick apart slower teams. The biggest tweak I made was adding Knock Off Gastly, which is fantastic against most common Gastly switch-ins; it's a lower-commitment version of Trick + Black Sludge / Toxic Orb where you have the bulk of Eviolite up front. It also has Giga Drain Tentacool, which lets you beat Staryu in a bunch of situations- I like it quite a bit.

I'm probably more sad about this game than any other game this season. The early game went very nicely- I was able to remove Diglett and Gastly without giving up much and even got the Knock Off to remove Magnemite's Scarf. But I really misplayed Timburr this game- it got chipped by Ferroseed and then I miscalced against Staryu. Even after that, I probably had winning chances with better Porygon / Gastly play, but messed that up too. Sadly, this would turn into a trend this season.

Week 3: vs. trash (WAP)

You can usually count on trash to bring out something at least a bit unexpected. My answer to this was to bring something unexpected of my own; Roar Riolu hadn't been brought since Week 4 of LCPL. It's an easy thing to overlook when teambuilding, especially if you're targeting something weird. The rest of this team had some fun tricks as well- Acrobatics Mienfoo made a return to try to snipe opposing Mienfoo, and I stuck Payback on Ferroseed to smack Natu. (I think Payback's still a bit underrated- more people should give it a go with Natu usage rising.)

Objectively, I think this was a really fun game of BW to play and watch. It wasn't a fantastic matchup- my answer to Diglett and Frillish weren't awesome. Still, it was certainly playable, especially after sniping Exeggcute early in the game. I'm mostly sad by how I played Drifloon; I think it was hard to make game-winning progress with it given the presence of Frillish and Hippopotas, but it could've done more than what it did. After that, I could've played more aggressively on some turns to knock out Frillish sooner. Even so, this was the only loss of the season that I wasn't too upset about.

Week 4: vs. Hurtadoo (France)

I was at a bit of a loss as to what to bring this week. A lot of my teambuilding had fallen into these defensive Porygon cores, which feel really solid on paper but are sometimes hard to make progress with. Clamperl stood out, though- it was auto-winning in several matchups if it had the right coverage / utility move, and combined with paralysis support it felt very strong. I almost brought Hidden Power Electric (which would've been great in the game), but brought Grass instead as Hurtadoo had used Chinchou earlier in the season. The rest of the team has a couple quirks as well; Thunderbolt Porygon is a bit nicer against Staryu- I felt Drilbur wasn't much of a threat at this point- and Substitute + Protect Abra can be quite deceiving to play against. I think bluffing a Sash on LO Abra makes it way more threatening- the two require fairly different answers.

This game also frustrates me a lot in hindsight. I played the Foongus sequence terribly- I messed up my calc and didn't quite realize that it was Specs Magnemite until a turn too late (it is a cool set, though!). Credit to Hurtadoo for playing a solid game and making the right bluffs and switches- I'm just sad that I ended up being one move from winning.

Week 5: vs. KingKdot (Central)

At this point, I was 1-3 and quite sad about how I had played the past few weeks. Without strong confidence in my play, I decided to bring something a bit cheesier- LO Tirtouga. The calcs it hits are insane: with SR, it OHKOes Mienfoo, Timburr, Foongus, and Porygon- everything that ordinarily checks Tirtouga with the exception of Ferroseed. I wasn't too worried about that, as Ferroseed faced significant pressure from high Magnemite and Natu usage. However, this team needed a solid backbone with two slots gone to Drifloon + Tirtouga, and I decided to bring my own Ferroseed with a twist- HP Ground to OHKO non-Eviolite Magnemite. I liked this quite a bit more than Payback, as it's a lot more threatening against its intended target and comes with the added bonus of being able to run Giga Drain, which is really good for Ferroseed in this meta.

The game itself was luckily super straightforward- Tirtouga had the perfect surprise factor and hit its moves. I was even able to hide the HP Ground Ferroseed for later use.

Week 6: vs. RaJ.Shoot (India)

RaJ.Shoot had turned in a fantastic performance in BW up to this point. While I thought several of the sets they had brought were somewhat strange, India was finding wins in BW thanks to good matchups and solid play. Sand usage was at an all-time high in the previous week, whereas Snover use had continued to lag, so I knew I wanted to bring Snover in some form- and felt more validated in my decision when trash brought a Snover team early in the week. RaJ had used a lot of Shell Smashers coming into this week, so I set myself up well for that as well- Sash Abra and Porygon gave me pretty good coverage there. Otherwise, this was a pretty standard defensive setup- but also the only team I brought this season without a Fighting-type.

That lack of a Fighting-type hurt quite a bit, as I didn't have a solid answer to the opposing Porygon. It might've been better to keep Drilbur around and try to pull a Toxic off at some point; as is, it didn't do a ton. Star pointed out after the game that doubling to Snover instead of Abra late in the game might've given me winning chances, and I agree (note that Snow Warning doesn't grant hail immunity!). And of course, this was another instance of bad Drifloon play. I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually.

Week 7: vs. Thiago Nunes (Brazil)

The prep for this week was obvious: Thiago Nunes had brought the same Sand Veil Diglett team to all four of his previous BW games, and Brazil had essentially given up on the season, so this was an obvious reuse... right? I built this standard-ish team with some extra anti-Diglett measures- physically defensive Mienfoo, max Defense Porygon- with the added touch of Shellder to top it off. This Shellder even packed Razor Shell to snipe his Scarf Magnemite; I dropped Rock Blast as its only common targets were Staryu and Frillish. In testing, this was basically a guaranteed win against the target team.

Alas, TNunes brought a completely different team- one that I had a pretty awful matchup against. Snover, Staryu, and Gastly all exert tons of pressure on Porygon alone, which is never a good sign- especially when Porygon gets frozen. While Shellder had a field day, its lack of Rock Blast prevented it from closing out the game entirely. That this game even came down to a Gastly speed tie is honestly a bit surprising. If anything, I think my opinion of Shellder went up a lot after this week- depending on metagame trends, it can just be a better Tirtouga.

Semifinals: vs. trash (WAP)

I wasn't too sure what to bring this week, so I decided to go with something comfortable: a revamp of the Abra-Toxic Orb Gastly team I brought to semifinals during LCPL. The ideas are pretty much the same- stick a defensive target with Black Sludge and break teams apart with Gastly + LO Abra. I think this specific combination is really difficult to deal with- it's very difficult to find good switch-ins to either, and you can't really assume the sets up front. I made some other minor edits; I repurposed the HP Ground Ferroseed to lure Magnemite, added Frillish over Chinchou to lessen the defensive burden on Gastly, and ran Taunt Mienfoo as I didn't really expect trash to bring a Shell Smasher.

The game itself was... strange? I think Abra and Gastly pretty much did what was expected (and would've done a lot more had Abra not been crit), but I generally think Carvanha teams are kind of weak in the current meta. On the flip side, not having removal against a Toxic Spikes team isn't awesome. It ended up being relatively straightforward after trash took a Frillish trade and lost Carvanha on the switch; I think it would've been an interesting game without those turns.

Finals: vs. RaJ.Shoot (India)

After looking over replays from the end of the season, Gastly really stood out to me as one of the biggest threats in the meta. Good switch-ins to Trick-Black Sludge and LO sets were pretty much nonexistent. I decided to bring LO Gastly to switch it up from last week, and added a pretty nice Gastly trapper in Beat Up + Pursuit Diglett. (Rock Slide really doesn't hit anything.) The remainder of the team is pretty defensive and covers a variety of threats; I was particularly concerned about Porygon (which CM Natu matches up well against), Shell Smashers (covered well by Thunder Wave Staryu + Ferroseed), and Magnemite (which is met by HP Ground Ferroseed once again).

For once, I'm actually pretty happy with how I played this. Diglett did exactly what it was intended to do, securing KOs against Eviolite Gastly (you have to fear Pursuit more there) and Natu (have to fear Beat Up now that it's revealed). My only gripe is misplaying a little at the end, where I should have sacrificed Ferroseed in the Mienfoo mirror for Regenerator purposes, but it ended up not mattering. (Also, I had HP Fighting over Sludge Bomb on Gastly until five minutes before the match... that would've been nice.)
I went into this lcwc thinking “fuck I might have to play bwlc”, but after a few weeks of building I ended up realising that “fuck I might not get to play bwlc”. Building fresh teams each week trying to make different structures work made me realise how versatile this gen of LC actually is compared to other gens, and while obviously we all have our preferences and I ended up in a cycle of mainly 4 different kinds of builds there were still plenty of other opportunities and I truly appreciate that. I do believe the Missy ban, Sleep ban, BP ban and Swagger ban were all really good for the tier, and I’m just hoping we can rid ourselves of Sand Veil as well at this point. Had a small discussion with dcae on it and it’s not that Sand Veil is inherently broken or even too powerful, I just don’t find it competitive in the way it abuses its ability. I’ll probably do a small write-up on that at one point, but for now, positives!

First of all, was hoping we could probably possibly sort of get an actual VR going? Idk who’d be on that team bar like Corporal Levi / Dcae / iss , 3 people I know are either very invested or at least very capable BW players and then like idk KingKdot brewfasa Serene Grace fitzy72 all seem fairly invested as well and I know they’re experienced, idfk where Fran stands tho apparently he hates it but likes it? I’d like to get some proper resources up anyways so that newer faces can actually get a proper chance to get into it, rather than having the cycle of certain teams dominating said slot in teamtours and then the rest just having to hope for a willing sacrifical sub to put in for bw (RIP neomon , I still love you). Now I don’t think it’s as troublesome to get into anymore, so that goes a long way but like an actual up to date VR based on the discussion and votes of multiple qualified players would be dope just saying.

Also for fresher faces to the tier, I present you this:

Idk for how long Hp docs have been a thing, I just know they were immensely popular by the end of gen 7, so figured I’d get one rolling for gen 5 too since we had a BW player on our lcwc (in fact, 2) who had never touched the tier before, or at least not in the state that it currently exists. For those few of you who don’t really know what this is, essentially it’s a doc of what percentage each HP value would be on depending on the max Hp of said mon, so like if we look at Mienfoo, we can deduce whether it is 23 or 21 hp (or something else) depending on what % hp it’s at after a Fake Out. Since Fake Out usually doe 3/4 hp, it’ll be at around 87/83 or 86/81, and hence based on that we can deduce what the rest of the set and spread likely is. Obviously this isn’t relevant for every single mon, so there’s a list below of relevant mons and likely sets based on the hp investement it has. Note that I’m not in any way a BW LC veteran, so not all of these are like 100% set in stone dead accurate, and there are also some mons that we simply don’t have the info just based off of Hp to pinpoint exactly 100% what set it is, so colourcoded those red just to say that hey here’s a very likely set it will be, but there are plenty of other variations it could be or yk just it varies based on who you’re facing and what spreads and shit they prefer (Or just even sorry this mon is relevant but hasn’t seen the usage or it’s difficult to pinpoint what would be the 100% optimal and hence likely set like Snover for example). Thanks to Dcae and Levi for helping me with my many errors and multiple additions I hadn’t considered when getting to it with this.

OK ACTUAL META THOUGHTS. I think it’s really cool and there’s plenty of room for innovation, and I love how everything from Stall to blind HO is actually viable as long as you know how to pilot the different builds. bugzinator had a lot of success with the fatter builds I passed him, while RaJ.Shoot did well with extremely offensive builds and I think that’s pretty neat. Obviously sand is like really good, but it’s not nearly as dominant as it is in BWOU, in spite of the fact that there is no rain to give it competition. I personally don’t mind that sand is so big, the only downside for me is the amount of LC mons that kinda relies on clear weather to have good recovery, see Ponyta / Shroomish especially as mons that would benefit alot from less sand and otherwise have defensive or offensive typings that would be pretty clean in the current meta, as well as other interesting traits. I do however enjoy that Foongus can’t synthesis in every game, cause fuck that mon.

Sand really wasn’t as strong as I thought tho getting into building bw, but what I realised is how easy it is to just start there. It’s so simple to just go Hippo/Lileep/Fighting/Fight Check and you have a solid team already here with few weaknesses, and you still have 2 mons left to patch em up so yk. I’d say this is also the only reason why Sand Veil Diglett is actually viable, because it’s so easy to build a 5 mon squad that can counter or at worst check everything in the meta, and it only leaves you slightly weaker to like Snover MUs depending on 5th, and like ig the big stallbreakers like Gastly / Knock Abra type shit but only slightly. I’d probably suggest to anyone getting into bw building to just start with a simple sand team and see where to go from there, probably the easiest route to take.


Staryu from A to A+: It’s THE best spinner in what is currently a metagame full of BO and stall, it’s the only Spinner with a good way around common spinblocker Frillish (Toxic+Recover stalling, Toxic being a great tool to deter many otherwise hardcounters that would try to switch in like Lileep again..), and in general the only spinner with reliable recovery while still also being a very good Offensive mon for certain teams with great coverage. I’d say these traits are far more valuable than the defensive presence of Foongus and Porygon, and its offensive presence being similarly good (albeit not 100% equal to) Abra while still having good defensive utility and support just ye please respect Patrick.

Vullaby from A- to A: Solid as fuck stallbreaker, and there’s like a billion different variants of NP sets all being really good and having slightly varied counters bar like extremely hard hitting rock moves and most of them dislikes Toxic or Para but it’s not always easy to do if they have Toxic/Sub or just straight up outspeeds and kills at +2. Besides that bulkyer sets like roostToxic type shit and the Scarf set are also pretty viable rn and I’d argue that while it’s not AS easy to slap on a team as a scarf steel type, it usually provides a lot more utility in what it does in a game and most of it is pretty similar bar the trapping part. It also deals with and for that matter sets up on a larger portion of the metagame, including the top tier Fighting types that are otherwise a huge pain to deal with in the current meta.

Archen from B+ to A-: It’s not as easy to bring in or slap on teams as many other mons in the A ranks, but it’s the strongest immediate wallbreaker in the tier and has no actual consistent switch-in bar like super bulky Tirt and Hippopotas, and then like a couple 1 time switch-ins like Omanyte/Staryu or shit that can come in if Gem is used but before that gem is used it can just dismantle bulkier builds and Offense stands no chance if this thing has a chance to come in regularly. Just overall a really difficult mon to deal with, especially when given a spdef boost under sand. Prepping for this for Bugzi I’d usually have to pass him a note like “let either of [3 mons] tank the gem, then use either of [2 remaining mons] after gem is used” and like that’s the most solid counterplay you can “slap on” in the current meta unless you wanna forego a solid MU vs a more common Magnemite for 18 Defense Hippo.

Trapinch from C(??) to B: What the actual fuck. Why is this in C? I really don’t get it, it’s like the superb easy and trustworthy way to hardtrap Pawniard and Magnemite for shit like Aipom, Abra, Gastly, Vullaby and Archen to get clean and easy sweeps, as well as countrtrapping Diglett (which to be fair Porygon does too but eh). It’s like great on its own kinda archetype, and ye it’s kinda niche but it’s a hella solid and relevant niche that should not be taken for granted. We have shit like Dwebble / Budew / Wynaut / Shellder / Clamperl in B which are also mainly relevant for niche HO so I’d say this is a very good fit for Trapinch as well.

Abra from A+ to A / A-: Honestly it’s kinda underwhelming, anything with 14 spdef and 25 hp can take 2 psychics and heal up unless Life Orb, and while Life Orb is a tad bit better shit like Lileep and Vullaby existing and being as common and strong as they are just hard fucks Abra so hard. Steel Type scarfers being so common and good as they are (Aka Pursuit Pawn and Magnemite) doesn’t really help either, and ig Bronzor is sort of rising in popularity without being a fantastic mon yet also hurts but Bronzor still isn’t great so idfk. Still a solid mon but not fully on par with Gastly which has like a multitude of relevant sets and is like the only really solid Mienfoo switch-in (If Mienfoo is taunt that is, since TauntFoo right now is just insane shits on every counter it has).

Magnemite from A+ to A / A-: Again sand is big, every team has a ground type because Mag is good or because sand is good and like ye it’s great for a multitude of reasons but it’s not immediately threatening every time it comes in unlike other top tier offensive mons and like ye it traps Ferroseed but Ferroseed isn’t meta-defining either albeit very good, and you always know what set Magnemite is bar the rare Sub set which ig pops up once in a while but usually won’t switch the match-up around on its common counters like Hippopotas and other good checks like Mienfoo, and like ig Specs popped up once but can’t remember that game ngl. Very strong in the late-game, great soft check to many things and overall good offensive presence but again not on par with shit like Gastly, Timburr and Staryu.

Drilbur from A to A-: Staryu is just a better fit as a spinner for most teams, and as a sand sweeper I’ve really come to like LO Sand Force Diglett for having a better speedtier without requiring scarf and hence allowing it to swap between EQ and Rslide without having it be a prediction based game. Drilbur is still a great mon and the only mon to set up rocks through Natu (Even Pawn can struggle vs Twave+Heat Wave variants unless it has room for SD or Night Slash), and a solid enough offensive presence with Ground being a solid typing and Mold Breaker being a good ability in general but it’s utility set is really only good for like HO teams I feel that needs rocks up ASAP even through Natu or like ig some SR Spin Toxic EQ set MIGHT work on a bulkier team but idrk I wanna try that tho, and also there are just so many better wallbreakers that don’t even require SD like Archen which is just threatening as fuck no matter what and then like NP Vullaby is also just better atm especially like SUb or Taunt variants which shits on bulky teams and can set up on the plethora of grass and water types running around rn like Lileep / Foongus / Ferroseed / Staryu / Tentacool / Frillish.

Snover from A- to B+: It’s really just an anti Sand mon, and like while it still hardfucks offensive sand builds it doesn’t really switch in on anything it needs a free switch from like a pivot or death or a double and when in it’s like 1 move that shit like Mienfoo can often easily tank then switch to the appropriate check based on what Snover is locked into. Taunt Mienfoo is usually just an overall easier and more reliable way to fuck up bulkier sand builds I feel, especially if people are actually gonna start running Bronzor sand.

Ponyta from B to B- / C: It just isn’t relevant anymore, doesn’t really do anything offensively and like Sunny Day is cool and all but Sand is great and weatherless teams rarely fucking cares and bulky sets are too fucked by weather wars so sunny day is a must no matter which is a valuable slot wasted on coverage etc.

Finishing this off I’d like to hear thoughts on
Chinchou. I never even bothered trying to use it cause it felt so fucking garbage but it might be somewhat ok idfk? Someone who tried it can tell me? Some Evio Toxic 3 attacks for example I could see having merits toxicing bulky switch-ins then Vswitching out to the appropriate check and is an alternative hardcounter to Magnemite that can also fuck common mons like Staryu?

Edit: Oh yeah sorry not posting any lcwc teams and thoughts, the few that aren't public already I'd like to keep secretish for my friends who are in the BW RoA tour thing yk sorry


Link Together With All
BW LC was my intoduction to mons I highly recommend playing it! It's funny, the viability rankings you posted have so many differences than my memory suggests. I think that just means the meta has been evolving so much since the last time I played the meta and that's really cool to see

Corporal Levi

ninjadog of the decade
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Team Rater Alumnusis a Community Leader Alumnus
As Fille said, I usually post my own takes on BW rankings in the team chats I join - for example, I had this at the start of last LCPL. My current list would probably look something like this; there are a fair amount of differences from iss's list, but I feel more strongly about some of these differences than others. Also, I didn't really pay attention to anything mid B and below because it gets pretty gimmicky at that point, so please ignore what I have there. I'm gonna go through some of my meta takes, along with the changes to iss's vr that I would suggest accordingly.


Mienfoo is the best mon in BW LC, of course. After Mienfoo, though, I would comfortably consider Diglett, Gastly, Natu, and Timburr to stand above the remainder of the metagame in both splashability and consistency, forming a definitive top 5; the only question is what order they should appear in. (I'm ok with listing Hippopotas here too, but I feel like if you aren't directly abusing sand then it's slightly hard to justify, and that makes it a bit less generally splashable.) Gastly is the most versatile mon in the metagame, boasts fantastic defensive utility with its immunity to Fighting and resistance to Grass, and is virtually uncounterable as one of the most immediately threatening mons in the tier; it would hold my vote for being the second strongest mon in BW LC. Timburr's relation to Mienfoo is largely the same as in later gens: it misses out on the massive utility of Regenerator U-turn and isn't as effective at spreading Knock Offs. On the other hand, for teams that don't appreciate those as much, its stats, coverage, and access to Mach Punch make it better suited for tanking through the enemy and dueling pretty much anything that isn't a dedicated check, as well as being a more reliable safety net against sweepers. It may be a bit less splashable than Mienfoo overall, but nearly every team wants a fighter, and Timburr is still the superior fighter for its fair share of teams.

:diglett: Diglett: A -> A+
I strongly believe that in any metagame similar to our modern gens (BW and later), no matter what the current state of a metagame, it will eventually trend toward a position where Diglett, Foongus, Mienfoo, and Timburr are among the top mons. Their strengths are simply too big and too consistent to give up. In Diglett's case, I think that both the effectiveness and value of its trapping in BW are comparable to in later gens. Knock Off may have less raw power in BW, but it's still very important in such a bulky, Eviolite-centric metagame, so Diglett's trapping ability isn't that much worse on those grounds. The metagame is generally slower and bulkier, but forcing every defensive mon to remain relatively healthy or risk being revenge-killed by Diglett and having the defensive core dismantled is just as valuable as Diglett's potentially easier pickings against offense. Being countertrapped is problematic, but I don't think it's actually more common than in later gens - it's just generally done by Trace Porygon instead of Trapinch or other Diglett sets - and countertrapping being a major niche is in itself a testament to Diglett's presence.

It's worth noting that Diglett has a couple of sand abusing sets that are each probably individually good enough for A-. The Sand Force set is absurdly difficult to switch into, being able to 2HKO even physically defensive Lileep after rocks, and has a fantastic speed tier - I agree with Fille in that it may actually be the more effective sand abuser than Sand Force Drilbur. I won't get into the Sand Veil set. In any case, both sets play off each other and the Arena Trap set to make Diglett as a whole even more threatening, giving it a surprise value that it doesn't have in later gens.

I'm going to agree with Fille's nomination of Trapinch way up to B here, and I would actually bring it to B+. While Trace Porygon overlaps with Trapinch's niche as a Diglett trapper, it's still an important role that Trapinch brings to the table, and Trapinch can additionally trap Sand Force Diglett. Trapinch's biggest draw over Porygon is imo its ability to guarantee a Toxic on defensive mons, which can be huge against sand stall - more on that later.

Natu: A -> A+
In a tier where Knock Off is weak enough to tank and Pursuiters are either unreliable or unviable, Natu's Magic Bounce just offers so much for most teams. Natu is a fantastic choice for general role compression as your answer to hazard stacking because it also automatically makes Ferroseed and Foongus - Foongus's Stun Spore spam is actually pretty hard to handle without the Grass immunity to it this gen - much more bearable. It also checks fighters and acts as a nuisance to various mons like Hippopotas and Abra. All of this can be pretty hard to come by without Natu, and I personally find it really tough to give up. Defensive teams love being able to keep hazards off the field for longer, and appreciate having a strong wincon in CM Natu. Offensive teams enjoy having one of the few ways to truly shut down Foongus in a slot that also comes with paralysis spreading and a slowish U-turn. It also has some neat matchups against a significant portion of the metagame just by virtue of its typing and movepool - for example, the current emphasis on Eviolite Gastly plays into Natu's favour as it can survive a Shadow Ball and paralyze Gastly or hit it with a Psychic.

I'm also going to mention my main disagreement with Fille's noms, which is Staryu to A+. I don't feel that it has the splashability of these four mons or Hippopotas. While defensive Staryu is great at removing hazards and spreading status, its lack of resistances prevents it from hard checking a ton of threats. This means that while it does offer some role compression, it's not really on the level of Gastly or Natu.


Sand got a pretty insane usage rate this LCWC partly because it's straight-forward to build around, but I think it's completely justified viability-wise as well. I consider both sand offense and sand stall to rank among the best archetypes in the tier right now. Sand stall generally consists of Hippopotas and Lileep as a very bulky core that gets rocks up; a mandatory fighter; and then a bulky psychic + bulky ghost to deal with opposing fighters and get some offensive presence in. There's only a small amount of room to maneuver here, but it's a really solid build that can easily patch up any remaining minor holes. Sand balance / offense is a bit more versatile; it'll still have Hippopotas, and then usually an abuser in Diglett or Drilbur, but after that, it can either go for a solid core and lean toward balance or shoot for all-out hyper offense.

Lileep: A- -> A
Lileep's stats are so absurd when backed by sand that it should basically be seen as mandatory for sand stall. It defines the sand stall archetype as the one slot hard wall to what would otherwise be some of the most threatening offensive mons in the game, like Abra, Carvanha, and Drifloon. Lileep, and the sand stall archetype built around it, forces the rise and fall of metagame trends in a manner comparable to any offensive threat or core; you have trends like Toxic being an excellent filler move and Carvanha archetypes being relatively difficult to work with that are at least 66% because of Lileep sand. You can build a viable sand stall team without Lileep, but Lileep is so good that such a team would surely be worse than a regular sand stall team on average. Though it does have some flexibility in its moveslots between Toxic, STAB moves, Hidden Power, and setup options, Lileep carries its definitive weaknesses; it's just that it does so much and so reliably that it's pretty much always worth stacking answers to those weaknesses for the rest of the team.

Lileep may be at its comfiest on stall, but it's so good that it's justifiable on sand balance and offense too. Its loss of momentum against fighters is more problematic here, but if you value having a solid matchup against the various sweepers that Lileep shuts down, then it's frequently worth including anyways. I would consider it only a bit less mandatory than Hippopotas on sand, though like Hippopotas, it's pretty tough to justify outside of dedicated sand archetypes.

Frillish: A- -> A
Frillish may be the less splashable bulky ghost than Gastly overall, but I think the relationship here is pretty comparable to Timburr vs Mienfoo in that Frillish's strengths are still enough for it to be the better ghost on a significant portion of teams, and enough teams need bulky ghost-types for the position of second best ghost-type to be a very splashable role. (Drifloon occupies a separate niche as a purely offensive ghost-type that doesn't really want to switch into anything, but I would also personally argue that Frillish is better than Drifloon overall with how good sand stall is, and how that partially shuts down Drifloon.) Compared to Eviolite Gastly, Frillish brings to the table better initial bulk, a resistance to Staryu's Scald, and a great defensive combination in Cursed Body + Recover; in exchange, it loses speed and offensive presence, though 12.5% burns and good STABs keep Frillish reasonably threatening. There are two main archetypes that Frillish generally finds itself over Gastly on. The first is hazard stack, since Frillish is a much better spinblocker than Gastly; it loses to Toxic Staryu in the end, but it's able to get a good amount of chip in first and leaves room for hard switchins while Staryu is spamming Recover. The second is sand stall (though Gastly is still a great choice), where its better bulk and access to Recover allows it to keep up with Hippopotas and Lileep and remain healthy much more easily, and its ability to easily take on any Pursuit trapper ensures that the defensive backbone stays alive. I think that these two archetypes - especially sand stall - consist of a large enough portion of teams to make Frillish much more splashable than anything in A-.

Bronzor: B- -> B/B+
Bronzor is kinda cheesy at a glance and I know that when iss used it during LCPL it was alongside Baton Pass, which no longer exists. However, the CM + Rest set got used alongside sand twice this LCWC where I think it fits reasonably well as a bulky Psychic, doing decently against fighters while acting as a potential wincon. It's also probably the best answer to Snover available. Bronzor is obviously not the best choice for every or even most sand stall teams, but imo it has enough positive matchups to be ranked above the mostly unviable mons in B-.

I also agree with Fille's nominations for Magnemite down to A- and Abra down to A for their poor matchups against sand, as well as Vullaby up to A for being one of the stronger mons against sand stall. I do still support Snover down to B+ despite how strong sand is because I think it's a better position for a mon like Snover who isn't very valuable in matchups where its specific niche isn't required.

I support Archen up to A-, where it's a bit worse (but still usable) against sand stall and 18 def Hippopotas but it's also one of the better choices on sand offense. The raw power it offers can be really valuable on teams that need a wallbreaker in a tier where Knock Off doesn't do that automatically.

Unsure of where I stand on Drilbur since while I agree with Fille in that it's probably only the third best anti-hazard mon and second best offensive sand abuser, it's still able to do both and/or provide rock support for some neat role compression. I feel like it's usually a bit disappointing in-game, even against teams that look weak to ground on paper, but it's often still the mon you need in the builder to cover what the team is missing.


I'm going to start off by saying that I do agree with iss overall when he says that Carvanha archetypes aren't in as good a spot as they used to be, and I have a Carvanha team posted above anyways because trash explicitly asked for Carvanha so what can you do. With that being said, I think the rankings are a bit too harsh on cheesy Water-type sweepers, and I do feel that they have their place in the metagame as members of strong but inconsistent matchup fishing (ha) archetypes the way we see webs in XY or screens in SS.

Carvanha: B+ -> A-
Even though its archetypes are less solid than before, Carvanha is still a very immediately threatening mon to build around; it's more consistent than smashers and I would hesitate to consider it outright cheese. Carvanha forces a lot of switches so it can pair really well with hazard stacking, taking advantage of teams without Staryu especially; it probably wants Aqua Jet right now to have to Protect less and catch a heavily chipped Timburr. Special Carvanha 2HKOes everything that isn't Lileep, including even defensive Porygon. Carvanha needs good hazard support to hold its own against sand stall, but is otherwise tough enough to switch into to still pull its weight against Timburr teams while often having a great time against Mienfoo teams. It's a strong pick against offensive builds that may not be as careful to have dedicated answers as they used to.

Clamperl: B -> A-
Shellder: B -> B+

Clamperl is definitely cheese, but I think its favourable matchups are common enough for Clamperl teams to be pretty good on average, with both super easy and super hard matchups against other top archetypes. Protect/Substitute Clamperl punishes teams that have the wrong defensive answer to its coverage option, and 3 attack Clamperl punishes teams that lack priority, by threatening to immediately end the game every time it comes in, especially if it's paired with Memento Diglett. Sashbra does get around this by revenge-killing every Clamperl set, but it basically has to be reserved for Clamperl or it's probably gonna get trapped. There isn't much else to say here, I just think that Clamperl wins often enough to warrant A-.
Shellder is in a similar boat, but I think it wins slightly less easily against common archetypes than Clamperl and doesn't have the same immediate presence. Instead of the matchup fishing being based on the coverage move, it's moreso in the item choice for Eviolite vs Life Orb.


I didn't end up playing BW during LCWC like I did for LCPL, but my teams ended up getting used a few times so I'll go over them like iss did:

This was based on a team I built last LCPL that Europe used for one of their weeks this tour. The idea is pretty straight-forward: paraspam supports Clamperl if smashing isn't feasible, and Memento Diglett supports Clamperl if it is. Slowfoo pivots into clam and/or dig and the rest of the team forms a defensive backbone. Originally the Natu was also twave but this left the team pretty vulnerable to a well-played CM Natu, so Fille came up with Toxic + Psycho Shift, which is also generally useful to get rid of Sludge Bomb poisons and so on while still allowing Natu to handle slower teams, as this team is pretty reliant on Clamperl for offensive pressure otherwise.

I built this team for KSG in week 6, but he ended up being lucked kind of brutally so not much came of it. The choice of the six mons are pretty typical of sand stall teams that have done well in this tour. KSG and I had planned to use this week to get him some general tour experience since he was still having nerves, and I figured a slower-paced team would help him get a game plan going more easily. To that end, the team also carried three separate setup sweepers to have a clear wincon against most opponents. In my opinion, the two biggest threats to stall in the tier are NP Vullaby (usually Taunt or Sub) and CM Natu, so the team carries some techs in Electroweb Porygon (paired with Toxic Lileep) and Psych Up Frillish to deal with them respectively.

I'd originally actually made this last LCPL but didn't end up using it. I beat dcae with it in tests a couple of times, though, so he asked to pass it to trash after removing a few outdated redundancies/ill-fitting sets (it originally had Protect Hippopotas/Stone Edge Mienfoo/a frailer Gastly spread). The six mons are again fairly standard for sand stall. As for the Lileep set, I genuinely think it's a strong set overall, even disregarding its surprise factor, mainly because it retains the majority of its defensive presence even with the offensive set; despite a lack of defensive investment, it still hits 25/14/21 bulk after sand, which is enough to survive Omanyte's +2 Ice Beam. Compared to traditional variants, Swords Dance and Bullet Seed's initially decent power makes this Lileep a big threat against teams that only have a single mon to break Lileep with (the majority of them, given its bulk), especially Timburr teams, which it's EVed to speed creep. Suction Cups helps mainly for Whirlwind Hippopotas - 21 SpD is enough for Lileep to handle most waters anyways.

I whipped this up for trash about 10 minutes before his game because he hadn't built at all, but it's really just a modernization of the classic foo/dig/carv/tenta/missy build that was really popular during the sand rush iteration of BW. Hazard stack made a lot of sense then because Misdreavus basically made removal obsolete, and Ferroseed/Tentacool were the easiest choices for that; Misdreavus got replaced with the comparably reliable spinblocker Frillish here, though Frillish is of course a lot less threatening as an abuser. Blizzard on fast Tentacool was because I was 95% sure iss would Snover after trash had brought sand 6 times - I was wrong on this by the way - and figured this would help mitigate the Drifloon threat. The above paste didn't account for Ferroseed, though, and dcae and I were literally in the middle of discussing which mon(s) to add HP Fire on when trash said he didn't care, challenged iss, faced a Ferroseed and lost. I still think the matchup was comfortably positive because of Toxic Spikes, but trash got outplayed super hard so I guess we'll never know. (For the record, dcae and I had decided that Tentacool doesn't really need to spin on such an offensive team and that HP Fire would fit there.)


I went into LCPL with a pretty skeptical outlook on BW, but my impression of it was already way better by the time LCPL had ended. Now that it's had a chance to settle (and rid itself of Swagger) for LCWC, I think the tier is super cool. Its unique mechanics are impactful and interesting, but at the same time it still feels comfortably familiar to later LC gens at its core. I had a lot of fun discussing the tier with the central gang as well as dcae/fille; looking forward to see how it develops further!
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let's play bw lc!
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Thanks for the feedback! Based on Fille and Levi's posts and some self-reflection, I've reworked the VR to better reflect the current state of the metagame. In order to have better segmentation between tiers, I dropped several Pokémon from C and compressed other tiers, mostly downwards. This isn't final by any means; it'd be cool to run a proper VR survey to incorporate more opinions.

The full set of changes is below:
:diglett: A -> A+
:natu: A -> A+
:frillish: A- -> A
:lileep: A- -> A
:archen: B+ -> A-
:carvanha: B+ -> A-

:clamperl: B -> B+
:bronzor: B- -> B
:trapinch: C -> B

:magnemite: A+ -> A
:abra: A+ -> A
:drilbur: A -> A-
:foongus: A -> A-
:snover: A- -> B+
:tirtouga: A- -> B+

:chinchou: B+ -> B-
:dwebble: B -> B-
:ponyta: B -> B-
:wynaut: B -> B-
:croagunk: B- -> C
:stunky: B- -> C
:darumaka: B- -> C
:taillow: B- -> C

And some of my own thoughts on specific Pokémon:

My prior is probably too high on Magnemite, as I've always tended to bring relatively offensive Mag-weak teams. I do think that Scarf Mag is a logical choice on a lot of teams as a check against Abra / Gastly structures and is a pretty potent win condition; I brought Careful Mienfoo in the finals primarily to neuter its pivoting ability. Eviolite Mag is an interesting alternative that's somewhat underexplored; it trades a lot of its cleaning power for being quite a bit more usable against Sand teams.

I definitely agree that Sash Abra feels a bit underwhelming right now; while it's a frustrating thing to deal with, it's quite easily walled. LO Abra is still strong, though; pivoting isn't terribly hard in this metagame with Mienfoo and Natu being so good. It smashes Porygon and comes close enough to a 2HKO after SR on Lileep and Vullaby that it puts quite a bit of pressure on them, especially when paired with Gastly. It also benefits a lot from the fact that Sash Abra is still quite usable; those situations can often be converted into a surprise 2HKO or a free Substitute. I'm still inclined to keep it in A for those qualities.

As a side effect of the kinds of teams I enjoy, I haven't used or played against Vullaby very much. I definitely appreciate its unique qualities and its power against slower teams, but I hesitate to move it up primarily because it hasn't seen much success in tournament matches so far. Non-NP sets are hard to use if SR gets up (as hard as that might be these days), and NP sets typically have to dodge a lot of hax even in situations where it theoretically wins. I think I could definitely be convinced otherwise if it begins performing well- there's a lot of flexibility in its sets that I haven't thought about much.

While it's gotten a lot weaker over the past few months, I think Drilbur might be up for a return soon. The standard offensive SR / Spin set fails to do much in many matchups (particularly vs Staryu), and with Magnemite usage declining, one of its big defensive skills is less impressive. However, a lot of Natu teams find it quite annoying to play with SR up, and Drilbur's ability to guarantee this seems important. I also wonder if there's room for bulkier sets, perhaps paired with Wish Natu or the like.

I've only brought this once (to LCPL semis); it's kind of a fun alternative to Magnemite that lures Lileep and Porygon pretty well. It's also the only viable-ish Heal Bell user, which seems valuable. I think it's usable if you're pretty confident that you'll play against Scarf Mag.


LC Main, No Brain
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Exeggcute: B- to B/B+
Its simply better than the other folks in B-. Eggy is criminally underrated, considering how good Oran Berry + Harvest is for survival in permanent weather, and is prolly one of the few mons that can directly switch into stuff like Sand + Timburr. Substitute + 3 Atks (usually Dual STABs + HP Fire) is difficult to contain if properly utilized and you can always spice it up with other options like Ancient Power to catch Natu, Toxic to stall something like Porygon and Lileep out, or Stun Spore to catch unsuspecting foes. There are also other options like Chlorophyll LO Sweeper on Sun teams and Wish that haven't been fully explored yet.
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let's play bw lc!
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Sand Veil has been banned from BW LC.

We've got a stacked BW pool for LPL. Here are three bold predictions on how the metagame will shape up; I think each of these are roughly 60% likely to happen, so hopefully I'll be right on 2/3.

Natu reaches top 3 in usage: Natu notched a 73% winrate during LCWC, and it's become a huge issue for most defensive Pokémon. It's very splashable, as most teams want some kind of hazard deterrent and Staryu doesn't always want to run Rapid Spin- plus, it's an excellent Timburr check. Finding good counterplay is also difficult; Gastly is the most threatening answer, but can't switch in. I think Drilbur is the best long-term answer, as getting Stealth Rock down makes it a lot more passive, but Drilbur's got its own problems in the current metagame.

Ferroseed is used more than Foongus: I think Foongus is good, but has a lot of issues in the current metagame; it isn't really assured of checking Timburr or Staryu, and it often loses its Eviolite early to Mienfoo. Ferroseed arguably has more utility by being the only really solid defensive Steel-type and Spikes user. The main question is whether it can avoid being Natu bait; I expect a lot of Payback / Thunderbolt to be tried, although I'm not convinced it'll work.

Snover wins >2/3rds of its games: I think Snover's ready for a comeback; getting Stealth Rock up is harder than ever, which was the primary thing holding it back. Figuring out a good way to reliably remove Mienfoo's Eviolite and generate free turns for Snover are going to be the most important things. I think something like RaJ.Shoot's semifinal team is a decent place to start.
With LPL reaching semifinals, we now have the 4 BWers for playoffs (Or ig 7 since both Riolus and Omaknights have had multiple people in this slot), figured I'd give a quick introduction to highlight these 4 players, as well as some quick thoughts on the tour and meta so far! Quick shoutout to boulicrok for going undefeated despite not having any previous teamtour experience for BWLC!

#1 Seed WAP Civil War Veterans, #2 Ranked, 6-1 iss

Ye, the veteran on the Veterans pulled out the most wins in the entire pool (along with Bouli), with a pretty sick 6-1 record. His teams have been very sound, and he's been playing it consistently well, but had some bad MUs that probably should've been an L from the start where he's put himself in ok positions with minimal hax and overall a couple very clutch turns. People have been resorting to using a variety of weird gimmicks to edge him out, such as Magby screens and even fucking Exeggcute/Anorith/Stunky core, but the most exciting game to watch was probably his game vs me where he managed to snag himself a good MU from the builder, and played a very solid game against the #1 PR player to a solid victory with a cool team based around LO Shellder! I'm hyped to get a hopefully good rematch for Semis, where I can hopefully clutch out a win vs the one who probably should've been ranked #1.

#2 Seed Roaring Riolus, #5 Ranked, 3(2)-4 Laroxyl

While only having 2 wins in BWLC atm, he certainly has proven that he is both a capable builder and a capable player, with especially his last game vs 5-1 Iss coming down to a crit from Iss' side winning him the game. While not all his games have been perfect either, there are no big mistakes and with his willingness to innovate and try new things, and possibly some good backing from LilyAC he should be a big threat for Tlenit to take down in the semis, and I'm looking forward to watching that match bigtime. Shoutout Laroxyl for putting Evio Snover on the map for me, pretty dope mon that actually does a really good anti-sand job.

#3 Seed Omaknights, ... tlenit ??

They have Heysup and Raj.Shoot for bw, but chose to go with the untested... Tlenit. Honestly, baller move and I'm fucking terrified of what they may make him bring. Whether he builds on his own or is passed a team, Tlenit is no doubt gonna bring solid plays to a meta he has yet to touch much bar possible tests with his teammates. While his overall record this tour isn't great, he certainly is a name to behold and a capable player whom Laroxyl shouldn't take lightly. Looking forward to see what this mans gonna pull up with, especially knowing the weird ideas Heysup and Raj. have had before him!

#4 Seed Azzurills, #1 Ranked, 2-5 Fille

Ye. I'm biased so not gonna talk much about myself, but 2-5 after those PRs backing me is somewhat embarrassing. I'd like to blame bad luck, but not all of my games have been so great from my end so hopefully I can bring my A-game vs mr. Iss in our semis match, hoping to get a good match with some good teams.


I'm kinda surprised to see that sand has only been brought 20 times this season, I'd expect a lot more but many players have been dabbling with other ideas or, especially vs me it seems, Snover to counter possible sand teams. Especially the rise of Eviolite Snover is really big, as it seems to be an actual legitimately good mon on its own, with there not really being any very good contenders as a grass type for most teams as a ground/water counter. Foongus has fallen off the map completely, probably because especially with Taunt Mienfoo just demolishing it but also Natu existing to punish its existence (And also making Tspikes builds struggle somewhat), there rarely is any reason at all to bring a Foongus, especially when mons like Natu and Gastly can also cancel Foo while also threatening or crippling potential switch-ins. As for Ferroseed, it's just so difficult to justify with the high Natu usage when Heat Wave Natu has a far too high chance of coming in on, AND beating Ferroseed even when said Ferro has Payback or Tbolt. That just leaves us with Lileep and Snover, one of which being only good for sand teams leaving Snover as the sole truly useful grass type for other MUs (or countering sand), with a powerful STAB Blizzard, Giga Drain for recovery and threatening Staryu/Frillish, Protect to scout scarfers like Magnemite and HJK Foos, and either a strong coverage Hidden Power or Ice Shard for solid priority.

Speaking of Mienfoo, throning at the top of the usage stats with a 75% usage. Taunt has really gotten popular, and I think we've seen quite a few Stone Edge variants too to catch potential Natu switch-ins (Love how that coverage move is simply for just 1 mon, yet so vital on quite a few different teams!). Fake Out seems to be dabbing off, which is fair I don't think that's too useful on teams that aren't using hail or sand as most things you'd fake out it doesn't really do much against bar hail/sand chip due to likely protects (See Clamperl/Shellder/Snover ig). Taunt on the other hand just hard shuts down so many good Mienfoo counters like Foongus and Frillish, while leaving incoming Gastlys unable to trick or Wow to cripple Foo or incoming mons leaving it possible to u-turn into a faster mon to threaten Gastly out.

Gotta admit I'm surprised to see Vullaby win-ratio so low, considering how good it is vs Foo and Natu meta. I don't really know what's gone wrong here, but shit happens ig.

Also love to see mons like Magby being used, which under screens is actually terrifying vs slower sand builds and was a sick choice from Hurtadoo in his game vs Iss. Fun to see the weird builds from Heysup's end as well, with even Snivy being used which was actually pretty dope. Also very glad to see that a couple of my builds from LCWC got used by strong players like Laroxyl, lilburr and Bouli, means a lot to see that what I've been spending a lot of time on to perfect with multiple good friends is considered solid by players like you. Also fun to see fresh team compositions like the balls to the walls Dwebstack HO by Laroxyl, which admittedly had its flaws and I'm sorry for not pointing them out during testing bro but I really didn't think through it at the time, was a fucking cool team tho.

Once finals is over I'll drop a few of my teams from LPL here, those I feel are worth sharing anyways along with my thoughts on each game just like Iss and Corporal Levi did for LCWC. hoping a few other goons do that as well!


let's play bw lc!
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My LPL season is over, so here are some thoughts on how the metagame shaped up. I'm going to forego a per-game discussion, but hopefully this is useful; I felt like I played some excellent games down the stretch and am pretty happy with how it went overall.

(click on the sprites for pastes and usernames for replays)

Week 1: :mienfoo::natu::tirtouga::frillish::snover::magnemite: vs Tack
Week 2: :mienfoo::natu::hippopotas::archen::staryu::lileep: vs Lilburr
Week 3: :mienfoo::natu::trapinch::gastly::snover::magnemite: vs Boulicrok
Week 4: :mienfoo::natu::diglett::gastly::shellder::porygon: vs Fille
Week 5: :mienfoo::natu::hippopotas::gastly::staryu::lileep: vs Hurtadoo
Week 6: :mienfoo::natu::diglett::gastly::clamperl::porygon: vs RaJ.Shoot
Week 7: :mienfoo::natu::drilbur::drifloon::carvanha::porygon: vs Laroxyl
Semifinals: :mienfoo::diglett::hippopotas::gastly::staryu::ferroseed: vs Fille

Here are the usage stats from the regular season of LPL (h/t Eseque for compiling this):
+ ---- + ------------------ + ---- + ------- + ------- +
| Rank | Pokémon            | Use  | Usage % |  Win %  |
+ ---- + ------------------ + ---- + ------- + ------- +
| 1    | Mienfoo            |   42 |  75.00% |  52.38% |
| 2    | Natu               |   32 |  57.14% |  56.25% |
| 3    | Hippopotas         |   20 |  35.71% |  50.00% |
| 4    | Porygon            |   19 |  33.93% |  63.16% |
| 5    | Gastly             |   18 |  32.14% |  44.44% |
| 6    | Staryu             |   15 |  26.79% |  53.33% |
| 7    | Lileep             |   14 |  25.00% |  50.00% |
| 7    | Diglett            |   14 |  25.00% |  42.86% |
| 9    | Frillish           |   13 |  23.21% |  76.92% |
| 9    | Magnemite          |   13 |  23.21% |  38.46% |
| 11   | Timburr            |   12 |  21.43% |  50.00% |
| 12   | Drilbur            |   11 |  19.64% |  63.64% |
| 12   | Drifloon           |   11 |  19.64% |  45.45% |
| 14   | Abra               |   10 |  17.86% |  40.00% |
| 15   | Snover             |    9 |  16.07% |  66.67% |
| 16   | Clamperl           |    8 |  14.29% |  50.00% |
| 17   | Vullaby            |    7 |  12.50% |  28.57% |
| 18   | Pawniard           |    6 |  10.71% |  33.33% |
| 19   | Tirtouga           |    5 |   8.93% |  60.00% |
| 19   | Ferroseed          |    5 |   8.93% |  40.00% |
| 19   | Trapinch           |    5 |   8.93% |  20.00% |
| 22   | Carvanha           |    4 |   7.14% |  75.00% |
| 22   | Tentacool          |    4 |   7.14% |  50.00% |
| 24   | Bronzor            |    3 |   5.36% |  33.33% |
| 24   | Shellder           |    3 |   5.36% |  33.33% |
| 24   | Archen             |    3 |   5.36% |  33.33% |
| 27   | Onix               |    2 |   3.57% |  50.00% |
| 27   | Houndour           |    2 |   3.57% |  50.00% |
| 27   | Omanyte            |    2 |   3.57% |  50.00% |
| 27   | Foongus            |    2 |   3.57% |  50.00% |
| 31   | Woobat             |    1 |   1.79% | 100.00% |
| 31   | Baltoy             |    1 |   1.79% | 100.00% |
| 31   | Bagon              |    1 |   1.79% | 100.00% |
| 31   | Trubbish           |    1 |   1.79% | 100.00% |
| 31   | Kabuto             |    1 |   1.79% | 100.00% |
| 31   | Budew              |    1 |   1.79% | 100.00% |
| 31   | Larvitar           |    1 |   1.79% | 100.00% |
| 31   | Munchlax           |    1 |   1.79% | 100.00% |
| 31   | Deerling           |    1 |   1.79% |   0.00% |
| 31   | Psyduck            |    1 |   1.79% |   0.00% |
| 31   | Snivy              |    1 |   1.79% |   0.00% |
| 31   | Dratini            |    1 |   1.79% |   0.00% |
| 31   | Riolu              |    1 |   1.79% |   0.00% |
| 31   | Dwebble            |    1 |   1.79% |   0.00% |
| 31   | Magby              |    1 |   1.79% |   0.00% |
| 31   | Cottonee           |    1 |   1.79% |   0.00% |
| 31   | Croagunk           |    1 |   1.79% |   0.00% |
| 31   | Stunky             |    1 |   1.79% |   0.00% |
| 31   | Chinchou           |    1 |   1.79% |   0.00% |
| 31   | Exeggcute          |    1 |   1.79% |   0.00% |
| 31   | Anorith            |    1 |   1.79% |   0.00% |
| 31   | Aipom              |    1 |   1.79% |   0.00% |
I really like the current state of the metagame, despite bringing a similar Mienfoo + Natu setup to all of my regular-season games. I'm personally a fan of that setup given its good matchups against most teams and the ease of play that having two good pivots gives you, but I actually think that a lot of the teams play pretty differently in practice. I'm particularly proud of my Week 6 and 7 teams. Clamperl + Diglett is a well-known combination, but I think the support that it's given there is exceptionally hard to play against. I also think that (special) Carvanha is surprisingly strong at the moment, even against seemingly bad matchups like sand stall.

Teams are starting to adapt to deal with high Natu usage, and I'm curious to see how that will play out. Towards the end of the season, I had the intuition that teams with Natu but without Staryu needed significant offensive firepower, as otherwise the Drilbur matchup was quite painful. The next Pokemon to return to prominence might be Timburr; it's strong, but it's checked incredibly well by defensive Natu. As anti-Natu measures continue to develop, its strengths might shine again.

As for my predictions above, I ended up being right on Natu and Ferroseed and borderline on Snover (it won exactly 2/3rds of its games). Good enough, I suppose.
Yo bw lc is a fun meta (except for crits). I had fun playing it on lpl and I will show you the teams I used this season, even if im not a master in this gen.
I'm still happy about how I played these games, I went unlucky at the start and robbed one game but overall 4-4 isnt so bad as result, considering this was my first tour playing bw lc.

Firstly I wanna talk about the bw pool. It was so fire and competitive.
Although iss was and still is the best in this gen, we had fire boulicrok who smashed all and played so well. Tack, Hurtadoo, Lil still played well and had a good scores. Heysup brought weird mons that worked as always and fille, even if he had not a good score, he played well all games and he was unlucky in some games. We missed raj the first 3 weeks sadly but he is still fire.
All my oppos played well and im happy I had fun in all games.

My thoughts about the meta:

as iss said a lot of people are trying to adapt against natu spam. I feel like the best 4th move on hippo nowadays is surely crunch (putting pressure with rocks helps a lot against natu, so if you dont have crunch, it will be so difficult to do that, that's why imo crunch is so useful more than other moves atm). I saw a lot of porys, a lot of sands (especially fille's team that is really incredible and strong to face against), a lot of digs (it seems nice also as pursuiter). Mienfoo is preferred to timb in general, drifloon is still so good as lategame sweeper and I always payed attention on that in my builds, clamperl is the same and snover continues having a good win rate (maybe because of the steels lack, they can also be trapped by dig). I also saw less abra and magne (maybe cuz it is kinda annoying to face hippo with it and the lack of ferro dropped its usage).

Now let's analyze the teams I brought this season.

Week 1-
week 1.JPG
vs Heysup ( Spectrum (

I wanted to bring fgem drifloon and I decided to make a fast team with the support of dig (trapping steels, rocks). I put then magne as gastly/ abra check, trapper for steels. Staryu as spinner, tbolt useful for waters like frillish, vulla as good switch-in on natu and good pivot in core with standard taunt foo. It has a pretty good momentum and it is easy to put in drifloon thanks to two biggest pivots + volturn. In game I forgot I didnt have rocks LOL but I think it is still ok cuz it creates pressure with these spam pivots.

Heysup brought a weird team (clamperl was a big threat under screens). I was trying to avoid it stalling screens turns but heysup got me with that double switch and nothing else to say wp.

Week 2-
week 2.JPG
Sky vs Hurtadoo ( Clamp + gastbra ( )

I saw hurtadoo usages and he used, loves playing sands and he was p weak to clamperl, so that's why I built around that. Another fast and offensive team with sr drilbur + gast + abra koff eball, standard foo and scarf magne. LilyAC made some changes with modest magne and koff eball abra.

Week 3-
week 3.JPG
vs Tack ( hazards + roariolu ( )

I wanted to build around riolu even if with the high usage of natu is bad but if the oppo doesnt bring it, riolu is a nice niche. The best partner is dwebble suicide lead so good against natu means you will put up your hazards. Clamperl + carv as special sweepers, scarf trick gastly and archen fgem agil qa. Kinda weird as team but I had fun playing with it especially against no natu teams.

I didnt expect Tack to bring ferro sr spikes + natu, it was kinda annoying to face against. I thought staryu was in range of carv but I was wrong, I just needed a flinch but rip.

Week 4-
vs Boulicrok

I wanted to bring something solid and different than using again an offence. So I opted for sand balanced with scarf drilbur. I deleted it because after I realised it was similiar to fille's team.

The game went well until hippo took a crit, this changed a lot the game and it was kinda hard to win that after that crit.

Week 5-
vs Fille ( evio snover + scarf dig + koff abra ( )

I was kinda unhappy about my score, 0-3 was so bad, so I really wanted to change this shit score. I saw fille's usages and he always brought sand spam, so I decided to bring evio snover. Lily made this full team, evio snover + scarf dig sr hp for switching in on magne (what happened in the game), blizz tbolt pory, def foo and koff sball sash abra.

The team worked perfectly, I had a good mu as expecting making a clean win even if I played bad around archen first 3 turns.

Week 6-
vs Lil

Finally the first bw win in the tour, I wanted to continue to improve my score, and I just decided to bring something solid good vs sand teams and fille's team is p solid.

We had a mirror match LOL and im sorry about this game I robbed it because I copied a bad version of that team and frillish was without psych up, so cmind natu was literally a 6-0. Only way to win at that point was critting with lileep and fortunately I got it.

Week 7-
vs iss ( 248 tbolt ferro hazards + nplot vulla + aipom ( )

Against the strongest player of the pool. I wanted to bring something solid and different, I found nplot vulla with trapinch was nice against iss and so I decided to put hazards ferro with a weird set made by me. 248 spatk to kill natu without evio at 70-75 hp + recovering better with giga. The plan was kinda simply (koff natu with foo, chip it with uturn and after spam tbolt he wouldnt expect a kill and after I can spam hazards and win with nplot vulla + aipom). Tentacool was the fight resist and trapinch (under Plas advice) was put over hippo, cuz dig was annoying. Fille passed me that spread, still think maybe I needed qa.

We both played well and the game ended with that hjk crit but except of that it was a fun game.

vs tlenit

I wanted to bring again this team because it is so solid and because I didnt know what raj could pass to him, cuz their bw usages were kinda weird, so I opted for just bringing solid.

I was scared about clamperl but fortunately bronzor did it.

vs Fille ( Finals- stunky trapper + cmind natu + sforce hip ( )

Yooooo finals here. I had the possibility to be 4-4 and to win lpl. In regular weeks I brought against fille snover, so I thought he could be prepared against that. I both watched my usages and his usages and found that he used a lot of abra, gastly, natu and frillish, so I decided to bring stunky. I also thought that he wouldnt bring dig or trapinch. Stunky trapper with explosion as 4th because its better vs fights (they were a bit annoying), cmind natu (iss passed me that goat spread), fake standard foo, hippo toxic because I didnt need crunch cuz I trap natu with stunky + toxic so good vs lileep, sand teams and waters. Also sand force was kinda heat because all mons suffered about sand so I decided to put that (also because fille loves sand teams) and worked p well in the game. Tbolt staryu and psy pory.

I think this was the best game I played and stunky worked so well. I was kinda scared about bronzor from the start. After killing frillish and trapping natu, foo was on fire. This game gave to me both the win of the finals and improved my score with 5-4 (1 game in ss).

In conclusion bw lc is fun and is evolving, adapting for natu's rise. Fortunately we banned sand veil which was so unhealthy and uncompetitive for the meta.


let's play bw lc!
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LCPL X is over (for me), so once again I'll do a quick summary of the teams I brought this season. I mostly felt like I played well, so I'll just stick to teambuilding notes.

(click on the sprites for pastes and usernames for replays)

Week 1: :mienfoo::tentacool::drilbur::carvanha::snover::timburr: vs bugzinator

Special Carvanha's a menace; there aren't really good switchins to it except for Lileep in sand and defensive Chinchou. It's mainly held back by losing momentum to a healthy, un-Knocked Mienfoo, and also having to hit Hydro Pumps consistently. I paired it with Drilbur for consistent hazard support and Eviolite Snover to deal with bulky Waters (primarily Staryu), which was a pretty fun combination. However, the rest of this team is not quite as solid. Tentacool's a fun pick for high-value Knock Offs, and I had expected Timburr- having been underutilized as of late, especially by me- to be of value in several matchups. I think maybe something like Gastly + Vullaby would have been more sane, but also more boring.

Week 2: :mienfoo::natu::ferroseed::gastly::staryu::vullaby: vs ez

I thought I was something like 75% likely to play against sand this week, and I prepped accordingly. I've never actually brought NP Vullaby to a match before, but the matchups it gets against defensive sand are pretty absurd. This team is pretty straightforward: paralyze things, pivot around using the very solid defensive setup of Mienfoo / Natu / Ferroseed / Staryu, and clean up with LO Gastly or Vullaby. Definitely give this one a spin if you haven't played much BW LC yet.

Week 3: :mienfoo::natu::trapinch::gastly::snover::chinchou: vs fatty

This team was a variation on a team I brought against boulicrok in LPL, and primarily focuses on removing Snover counters via Trapinch. It has some issues against bulkier teams, primarily with Porygon, but it's mostly fine thanks to the power of LO Gastly; plus, I thought it was unlikely that I'd see such a matchup. The primary change here was bringing Chinchou over Magnemite to be more solid against offensive Waters and opposing Magnemite, which ended up being a good call. I do think offensive Chinchou has a decent place in the metagame; Volt Switch is a really good move, and it plays pretty differently from Magnemite which feels pretty one-dimensional at times.

Week 4: :mienfoo::natu::diglett::gastly::clamperl::porygon: vs Fille

Another very close copy of a LPL team. I honestly think Clamperl is kinda busted; it doesn't win against all teams, but with the right third and fourth moves it wins a lot of games straight-up. I don't really think a Clamperl / DST ban is warranted given its low usage, but I could see the metagame trending in that direction. Other than that, there are a couple of cool tricks on this team: Substitute Gastly gets a free sub against lead Mienfoo (which often wants to Knock Off against defensive Gastly) and Hidden Power Fire Porygon really ruins Ferroseed, which I think is pretty good in the current metagame.

Week 5: :mienfoo::vullaby::foongus::gastly::staryu::porygon: vs watashi

You can't get too predictable in teambuilding, so I wanted to bring a couple things that I don't normally use in Scarf Vullaby and Foongus. Foongus is pretty good right now, despite its low usage, but I think it plays completely differently from what it does in later gens: instead of being an annoying Spore / Synthesis pivot, it's more of a wincon against a pretty diverse set of teams. Specifically, I think Toxic is a pretty important move for winning endgames, and it's more reliably useful than Synthesis or Hidden Power Fire. Scarf Vullaby is fine, but physical Vullaby in general is always a little underwhelming to me in BW. I'm not exactly sure why this is true- on paper, it should be a lot stronger than it is. I think the biggest factor is just lower Knock Off prevalence across the board, which means that Brave Birds frequently clunk into Eviolite-fortified targets for little gain.

Week 6: :mienfoo::hippopotas::diglett::gastly::staryu::ferroseed: vs trash

This one is the team I brought against Fille in LPL playoffs, and it's very nice. Sand Force Diglett is just amazing, and this team makes it super easy to get it into favorable situations by virtue of being extremely solid even without it. It's also got fast Stone Edge Mienfoo to snipe Natu, which is a very potent thing to keep in mind when teambuilding. BW has a ton of flexibility with defensive Mienfoo spreads due to the lack of real OHKO potential against it (no Scraggy, for instance), and figuring out how much speed + which moves to run is pretty important.

Week 7: :mienfoo::natu::diglett::aipom::snover::porygon: vs SoulWind

Aipom is very scary, and this set has a nice optimization in Beat Up that actually lets it threaten OHKOs on Gastly and Drifloon. Adamant's also used to deal big damage to 16 Def Porygon, which is otherwise a hard stop to it. The primary remaining blocker is sand (and, well, Ferroseed), making Snover a good pairing. I originally had RestTalk Chinchou over Diglett to provide consistent entry for Aipom, but ran into problems where the team had trouble forcing the issue against faster teams (particularly Abra). Note also the 11 Spe Porygon to provide a marginally better Timburr matchup, but you really don't want to see Timburr with these guys.

I'll give some more thoughts on the metagame / put together a VR update after LCPL playoffs. In the meantime, BW's going to be played in BW PL and potentially LPL. Sign up if you're interested!
LCPL was fun and I'm pretty happy with my run bar that one loss, so I'll try to make up for my lack of input after a horrible LPL run!

Just like last time, I won't share all of my teams, but I'll give out a few I don't think I'll be using again for say BWPL coming up or LPL if BW is there as well! Anyways I'll do team stuff first then like Vr stuff later :)


Week 1 Vs Fran17


Honestly kinda weird to say the only sand team I brought was a fucking Slack Off-less Hippo HO lol. Anyways this was just something I was messing with around LPL, did a couple drafts for a couple HO ideas and this one seemed the best. The Hippo is meant to tomb incoming Natus, then Crunch them so they faint and Hippo can sit and comfortably get up rocks for the rest of the team. Didn't work out vs Frans Staryu but oh well. Otherwise it's just a couple good strong mons with literally no synergy bar like immunities and somewhat ok bulk and strong offensive power, with a Drifloon to set up a potential Clamperl or Drilbur sweep. I wasn't really sure what to bring beforehand and had a couple builds I wanted to try, but ultimately settled on using either of 2 teams, but didn't really have a preference. Ended up letting a cat flip a coin for us to decide on which team to use, so ye shoutouts to Klutze and her cat!

Game itself was kinda straight forward. Fran lost when he sacced his Gastly, and team had the right gimmicks to limit his Vullabys destruction of my team. I made one bad prediction Turn 5 thinking he'd check the damage and realise Foo was Reckless and hence likely Scarfed, hence harding Gastly but he didn't so eh.

Week 2 Vs Bugzinator


bugzinator is definitely one of the most terrifying players in this pool, especially after having the honours of getting to prep for him during LCWC, so I hella knew I wasn't gonna bank on any stupid bring-solid-and-outplay type shit. Essentially I decided on something that could look seemingly simple standard, something he could look at and guess a couple standard sets that I knew I'd passed him for LCWC and just make everything set-up.

I'm pretty sure I missplayed at one point during the midgame, but I still haven't really looked for where, ended up in a frightening endgame tho where ultimately I crit his Slowpoke for a guaranteed win in an endgame that I'm pretty sure still favoured me, but I would need to get one or two predicts right, or rather catch his attempts to predict around Drain/Mach/Payback.

Week 3 Vs trash


This was incidentally the second build I wanted to run week 1, just a generally reliable structure with a strong wincon in Vullaby and Snover which deadass I've slept on this thing and I thought it was really good when LPL was finished. Either way you can't really go wrong with Foo/Fightcheck/Pory/Dig so like ye simple but strong, covers gimmicks n shit and hella glad it did cause facing fucking Riolu in a serious tournament from a renown player like trash, whom I know is capable of taking down anyone in BWLC, as well as knowing he'd be running a dcae build I was fucking terrified. Good Vull lead and a likely scarfVull on this structure (speedcontrol and Vull in lead slot) ended up saving the fucking game for me, with the rest really being just up to me not to choke vs Riolu. Oh ye the Foo spread is fucked up, did that by accident then did a testgame with iss (Ty for all the games king) I realised that it was just fucking amazing against his build and that essentially it's a nice idea for BWLC in general so kept it. Have not checked calcs. Have no clue if it's worth. I hope it is. Oh and Vullaby is broken here too.

Hella glad that turn 1 worked out, I had no clue he'd be such a dope Shelmet set, I that game woulda been a lot different if it weren't for him knowing how much I love ScarfVull.

Week 4 Vs Iss


Noticed during LPL that bar a high Diglett usage, LO Abra was really good vs his builds so this is essentially the team I was planning on using vs him earlier in LPL (Before I was convinced to instead go Frillish+Onix over Gastly+Vullaby losing all momentum and strength of the general structure), with a few minor changes to adjust to current meta. Again Foo/Dig/Pory/Fightcheck and then like Vullaby + Abra as strong special breakers and winconditions.

Turn 3 was the dumbest play I made this entire tournament, and it wasn't even a miscalculation or shortsighted. Just literally a deviation from my team preview conclusion of "ctrap Diglett with Pory when it's time for that so Diglett can revengekill Clamperl limitting it to only one kill". Well, probably shouldn't have sacced Abra early game once Foo was burned anywas to get rid of Gastly when Sub was revealed hence not trickSludge and I had Pory, but I'd still have a good matchup if I didn't just speedclick Diglett by pure habit. After that I had to bank on a 30% flinch chance from Vull to clutch up, since I couldn't get a kill with anything else (or a non set-up Vullaby) and plausibly still win), and I saw no plausible scenario where Iss would let me get rid of his Porys Eviolite or chip it down enough for Dpulse to be a guaranteed OHKO, man's too fucking good for that unfort

Week 5 Vs Fatty


Honestly, I don't like reusing much but I just loved the matchup this had vs most of the shit he'd brought so far and had no other builds I'd been working on that I were satisfied with at the moment so yeah. Typespam in general is such a good offensive strategy if played right, and Trapinch fits so well with the plethora of Ghosts and Psychics in this tier. Main idea was to have Drifloon die early game, preferably taking down an unconvential Pursuit Trapper with Destiny Bond (People were starting to run some weird Pursuit Trappers vs me during LPL, like fucking Munchlax and Stunky and like Houndour had seen a game earlier between fatty and Heysup iirc?), then just trap whatever secondary check they had with Pinch and sweep with Gastly or Abra or Magnemite even if said check was Diglett. Ferroseed just provided some momentum regain and hazards, plus some valuable resistances for the team. Ftr Thunderbolt is a shite move on Ferroseed vs Natu, but it does catch it on switch-in relatively hard compared to Payback, and invites Roost giving a potential free switch-in for any of the Special attackers, which is neat.

The actual game went fairly smooth, I had a slightly unfortunate early game leaving Drifloon dead weight early on from a Will O Wisp miss, and I hella should've calced Trapinch vs LO Diglett before just clicking it in, but I was still in an ok spot and that Feint crit made it easier for me when he went Foo instead of Natu on my Ferroseed, allowing a layer of Spikes to 100% deny Diglett ever coming back in.

Week 6 Vs Soulwind


I really liked Band Ponyta after running a few tests with Iss, and originally brainstormed a variant of this with Double Band Ponyta and Doduo for just all out sheer fucking power and wtf energy that would be difficult for a non-mainer to comprehend. However, Wish Natu into Ponyta just got too tempting, especially after Iss had demolished me in tests with that Wish Natu into shit like Gastly (Creds for realising the potential of Wish Natu goes to him fosho fosho). Was originally not planning on sharing this team yet but Jox's shoutout just got me too hyped to share ngl. Also team struggles a lot vs Magnemite, deadass having to sac Snover to ctrap with Porygon, but I just came to the conclusion that goat ass builder boulicrok would be in that phase were Magnemite wasn't a tempting mon to run, and that I had enough Ground trappers with a variety of sets to discourage any attempts at building with Magnemite.


Ye game went smooth as fuck, got an early crit that like kinda mattered but not really cause instead of spamming wild charge lategame I'd play a tad bit safer and spam Flare Blitz which would still eventually win more likely than not, had just a too good a match-up to fuck that up.

Week 7 team was fucking busted so saving that team for later use :)

So like I don't really think too many of the current sample teams we have atm are too representative of what is actually good rn, we should probably swap some of them out, at least the top AbraGastly one, the Watashi pivots one and the Roar Riolu one I feel are pretty bad right now for a variety of reasons that I can go in depth on but would prefer not to. Overall solid earlier on but current trends just kinda makes them somewhat meh. I feel like we should probably instead have a couple Foo/Pory/(Natu/Gastly)/Diglett ones and at least 1 NP Vull one and a good Snover team. Speaking of...


Rn these 6 are the top 6 mons in the meta imo. They're easy to slap on any team and can blanket check a multitude or checks or provide pressure in a variety of ways depending on what your team needs, and the only mons I feel come close to being as good as these 6 are Timburr and Vullaby, both of which could reasonably be added to this list above (Also yw that's essentially a free team up there). I'm gonna provide a few big and a few small VR nominations based on my observation, building and playing this LCPL and discuss the meta a bit within these nominations. I'll do this in order of how high they rise or low they drop, so ye.

:Snover: from B+ to A+
This one is probably gonna seem outlandish to some, but I truly believe that Snover is a fantastic mon in its own right in the current metagame, and should not even be seen in comparison (and even less so as a countertool) to sand. It's a fantastic water resist with decent bulk and just the right speed to hit a good 14 speed benchmark. While the Eviolite Protect 3 attacks set is hands down the best set, Scarf still has utility and merritt in typing and offensive power, as well as its inability to be trapped bar by say Pawniard, which is kinda not great atm. Protect makes even faster foos a slightly uncertain check, and whlie Natu running heat wave is kind of a bitch, the lack in usage of the various steel types in Pawn/Mag/Ferro/bronzor running around at the moment highly favours Snover. Furthermore, Snover doesn't really have any issue with those either, since Ice shard (or just 4th move on scarfers) isn't difficult to get rid of, and the lower Ferro usage (5 so far this LCPL) means Hp Fire is less used on other special attackers like Abra/Staryu/Porygon, leaving room for Snover to wreak havoc with Giga Drain/Blizzard/Ice shard to hit after sash! Timburr is also a lot less common now, another small trend that boosts its viability slightly. Idrk how I feel like summing this up, but Snover is essentially just a great go-to grass type as a nice Water counter, residual chip for your wallbreakers and overall powerful special attacker/nuissance with slightly less common counterplay and versatility enough to change up its set item and coverage based on team and opponent!

:Porygon: from A to A+
Slightly less controversial, Porygon is just too easy to slap on literally any weatherless/Hail team atm to basecheck the plethora of special attackers in the tier much like Lileep would on a sand team, just without the many inconvinient weaknesses and likely tempo loss, while boasting access to a multitude of good support moves based on team, insane coverage depending on what you need, actual decent attacking stats AND, one of the main thing for many offensive teams; Trace to countertrap Diglett and Magnemite. The only real counterplay is like crippling it with a random toxic and hoping it doesn't trace natural cure, running like trick black sludge which is a likely way to catch it (But sucks if the Porygon also has trick), and Mienfoo/Timburr, neither of which wants to switch in on Thunder Wave or Psychic (Or Tri Attack really tbh). Foo/Pory/Fightcheck builds are just too solid and good rn and the VR should reflect that imo.

:Vullaby: from A- to A
Nasty Plot is just fantastic. That is all. But ye no it's an offensive late-game cleaner that can act as a counter to the many Psychics and Ghosts currently running around in BWLC, and has like 5 or 6 viable sets, 4-5 of which are NP variants mind you (And then like Choice Scarf). Don't know why it wasn't ranked up in the first place, but it really should now.

:Clamperl: from B+ to A-
I mean, it's something you'll have to hard prep for in builder unless you wanna autolose, and while it's not something you can easily slap on any team and expect it to win, it's also not too hard to build around either and just the sheer pressure it exerts even in the builder should be taken into consideration.

:Chinchou: from B- to B
I don't think it's fantastic yet, but playing against Iss and seeing him use it in LCPL makes me realise it most definitely has potential as a solid mon, 100% winrate in LCPL in 2 games where it actually made a difference is pretty neat. It's a nice glue mon for specific builds, and Volt Switch + Scald is pretty neat, + a variety of other support moves and coverage moves available. Essentially it has a place in the meta as a nice glue mon that doesn't lose momentum and doesn't require niche teams built around them or just provide some kind of niche support like a the other B- mons.

:Ponyta: from B- to B
And here's the other B- to B nom for an entirely different reason. CB Ponyta turns out is a pretty decent mon with the speedtier and coverage and Fire generally not being something people prep hard to counter. Essentially, it works well vs standard Foo/Snov/Pory builds, Sand builds and while it requires a lot of team support, said team support is easily provided with 2-3 of the top 2-3 mons in the tier that also incidentally fits very well together so ye.

:Stunky: from C to B-
It really only does 3 things, and that's trap Abra, trap Natu, and trap Gastly. However, those are 3 pretty great things that many teams appreciate.

:Larvitar: from UR to C
I mean, it's just essentially insane role compression in a pursuit trapper that threatens Gastly (And Natu), sets Rocks and acts as an Elec Immunity for teams lacking but needing all 3, something I've actually found myself doing multiple times this LCPL. However, I'm also that guy that almost never clicks rocks so I often opted to run rockless instead of risking using a (Should be) C rank mon. Ftr Diglett can do the same but also it can't because it can't come in on a Will o Wisp and also it doesn't really threaten Natu unless Sand Force.

:Timburr: from A+ to A
It's not been used much recently, Sand teams are kinda falling out of fashion and while Timburr is still a fantastic mon to deal with many top tier threats and as Corporal Levi has stated earlier, it can 1v1 almost anything in the tier if needed, all the other A+ mons have kinda gotten a bit better with the meta developing in a direction that suits them more while Timburr has kinda fallen behind as a result. It hasn't really gotten worse, it's just harder to justify on a team at the moment.

:Hippopotas: from A+ to A
Sand isn't as good as it was late 2020 / Early 2021, and this should reflect the meta shifting more towards Hail / Weatherless being slightly better. Still good though just not as great as these other structures have shifted to become.

:Lileep: & :Frillish: from A to A-
Sand stall and Sand Balance still loves the two of them and are both perfectly viable and strong playstyles, but their ranking should reflect that Hippo is also neccessary for those, while also being neccessary for Sand Offense and HO where Lileep & Frillish are a bit harder to viably fit.

:Magnemite: from A to A-/B+
It's sitting at 33% winrate with 3 of 9 games won this LCPL, Diglett is still one of the best mons in the meta, Trapinch is still as viable as it was, Porygon is even more common now and Chinchou is also getting usage, albeit close to none. Ferroseed is also used quite rarely so trapping that isn't even as neccessary, can we just drop it please? Preferably to B+. Shit's still good but feels too MU fishy if you really want it to work.

:Pawniard: from B+ to B
It's not really a great pursuit trapper, it's not really a great rocker and while I haven't tested SD sets and I do wanna try them out, Foo and Timburr are still probably a bit too good for that to really clean house. Sand has 2 great potential rockers in Hippo/Lileep, and weatherless generally prefers Tirtouga or Diglett as offensive setters and Ferroseed if you need a bulkier setter / Immunities. I think even fucking Bronzor is a better weatherless Rocker atm since it actually threatens bulky Gastly somewhat unlike the Dark Type Pawniard. what the fuck?

:Foongus: from A- to B
I haven't built a single team this tournament where I've thought "hmm Foongus would be nice here" and like I don't really see any reason to use it at all atm when Gastly / Natu are just so much better for offensive builds and Frillish is a good addition for bulkier builds and like start using Tentacool/Trubbish more to actually set Tspikes so that Foongus can have a purpose and like it has a 2 times usage 0% winrate in LCPL for a fucking reason it's just so useless rn lacks reliable recovery, gets taunted, gets magic bounced, gets subbed on and everything just hits it hard.

:Carvanha: from A- to B
HOW was this ranked higher than Clamperl? Ye Carvanha is strong but kinda lacks the OHKO potential unless you use spikestack teams which struggles vs the plethora of Natu teams so they require really niche structures (See Dcaes Choice Scarf Final Gambit Shelmet Riolu time), to get the neccessary chip for OHKOs. idk it's strong and scary to face, but requires even more set up support than Clamperl and is less immediately threatening as well and less threatening after set-up even so ye it should be ranked below and I feel like it's not really in a good enough spot this meta to warrant a B+ either where we have other strong mons like Aipom that requires little to no set-up, as well as Omanyte that does require set-up but is infinitely easier to set up too and has other purposes as well.

:Lickitung: from B- to C
Use Lileep or Porygon. If you wanna Wishpass then use Natu.

To sum up meta thoughts from these noms, Offense is a bit better again, Stall is falling out of favour and so is Sand, which I never felt was too strong or immediately threatening, just easy to build but now kinda feels like a pitfall for newer players since it's easy to build semi-solid structures but piloting them vs a good weatherless/Hail offense is mad difficult. Furthermore building one that can get an even / favourable matchup vs Snover is difficult without suffering vs other mons. Short and sweet conclusion to an otherwise tiresome and long post.


Big shoutouts to tko and trash for accepting my builds this LCPL, it was really fun to see you and your players run them, even when the teams lost. Also thanks to lily , bugzinator and boulicrok for trusting older builds of mine, it means a lot to see them still see usage with top players using them. iss you been a good testing partner, love your ideas and ty for keeping this shit alive! dcae and Jox thanks for being such fire hypemen when I show you my wack shit. Hoping a couple of you post here as well, especially you Bouli!


let's play bw lc!
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We put together a VR update! Thanks to everyone who participated; the raw results can be found in this spreadsheet. Below is a graph of the average ranking of each Pokemon, +/- 1 stdev:


:mienfoo: Mienfoo

:natu: Natu
:gastly: Gastly
:diglett: Diglett
:porygon: Porygon

:timburr: Timburr
:hippopotas: Hippopotas
:abra: Abra
:snover: Snover
:staryu: Staryu

:vullaby: Vullaby
:drilbur: Drilbur
:lileep: Lileep
:frillish: Frillish
:magnemite: Magnemite
:drifloon: Drifloon
:clamperl: Clamperl
:ferroseed: Ferroseed

:pawniard: Pawniard
:archen: Archen
:carvanha: Carvanha
:trapinch: Trapinch
:tentacool: Tentacool
:omanyte: Omanyte
:chinchou: Chinchou

:tirtouga: Tirtouga
:aipom: Aipom
:bronzor: Bronzor
:shellder: Shellder
:budew: Budew
:foongus: Foongus

:ponyta: Ponyta
:dwebble: Dwebble
:slowpoke: Slowpoke
:stunky: Stunky
:riolu: Riolu
:wynaut: Wynaut

:croagunk: Croagunk
:magby: Magby
:exeggcute: Exeggcute
:trubbish: Trubbish
:shelmet: Shelmet
:lickitung: Lickitung
:darumaka: Darumaka
:houndour: Houndour
:elekid: Elekid
:larvesta: Larvesta
:wingull: Wingull
:doduo: Doduo
:larvitar: Larvitar
:porygon: A -> A+
:snover: B+ -> A
:clamperl: B+ -> A-

:trapinch: B -> B+
:chinchou: B- -> B+
:stunky: C -> B-

:timburr: A+ -> A
:hippopotas: A+ -> A
:lileep: A -> A-
:frillish: A -> A-
:magnemite: A -> A-
:drifloon: A -> A-

:archen: A- -> B+
:carvanha: A- -> B+
:tirtouga: B+ -> B
:aipom: B+ -> B
:foongus: A- -> B
:slowpoke: B -> B-
:riolu: B -> B-

Overall, I think the two big trends over the past few months have been steady increases in Porygon and Snover usage. Let's look at some usage stats from recent tournaments:

TournamentPorygon usage%Snover usage%Hippopotas usage%
LCWC II (Nov 20 - Jan 21)29.0%9.7%41.9%
LPL 6 (Jan 21 - Mar 21)33.9%14.5%38.7%
LCPL X (Jun 21 - Aug 21)43.3%25.0%35.0%
BWPL 1 (Aug 21 - ongoing, 3 wks)50.0%22.2%22.2%
LPL 7 (Aug 21 - ongoing, 2 wks)62.5%18.8%18.8%

I think Snover has been quite strong for a while, but the increase in Porygon usage has definitely made its life harder. Snover's main weakness is that it loses momentum to Mienfoo and Porygon, two of the most common Pokemon in the metagame. But neither are insurmountable; finding a Knock Off or burn on Mienfoo is not too hard to do, and Porygon can be muscled through by various Gastly and Abra sets (particularly Life Orb and Trick-Black Sludge). Indeed, Gastly / Abra teams are once again very good, and I think some of the anti-meta picks that have gained popularity (Trapinch, Pawniard, Chinchou) are a direct consequence of this.

Natu gets the #2 ranking (behind Mienfoo and effectively tied with Gastly), but I expect its usage to drop over the coming months. The teams that it used to beat handily (primarily defensive sand) have gotten less common and have learned to adapt to it. Against the current metagame, the standard pivot set can be a liability, as it doesn't find its way in particularly reliably against any of Mienfoo, Gastly, Porygon, Staryu, or Abra (now that Shadow Ball is more common). It is still an incredibly important Pokemon in the metagame as Magic Bounce has almost singlehandedly made Ferroseed and Foongus much worse than they otherwise would be. Its pivot / support power remains strong (not to mention Calm Mind sets), but I don't think it'll ever reach its 50% usage mark from LCPL X.

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