Gen 5 BW OU Viability Ranking, mk. 4

Caetano93

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February VR Update:

We now have 3 sub-VRs for sand, rain and weatherless, yay!!!
Any drop, rise, or inclusion in this new sub-vr can be done like a normal nomination, just inform that is for the specific one.

For the normal VR, new nominations are coming! Just waiting for the SPL week 9 to start them.
 
Sub-VRs look great, good job Caetano + whoever else contributed! Feel like it gives a more concise and relevant snapshot of where the meta is rn rather than looking at global viability.

Are the Sub-VRs ordered within each rank? Sometimes it looks like it and sometimes not. If they are ordered then I think Gastrodon is on-par with Jellicent / Celebi as the 3 most splashable ways for fat sand teams to combat Specs Keld, and I would struggle to separate those 3. Gastrodon being a full 6 spots below, ranked below Amoonguss, looks a little bit off.

Otherwise this looks fantastic!

edit: scizor also potentially up to A- on rain, Scarf has been seeing a lot of use to checkmate Latios / Celebi in these offensive cores with Thund+Keld
 
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Caetano93

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Sub-VRs look great, good job Caetano + whoever else contributed! Feel like it gives a more concise and relevant snapshot of where the meta is rn rather than looking at global viability.

Are the Sub-VRs ordered within each rank? Sometimes it looks like it and sometimes not. If they are ordered then I think Gastrodon is on-par with Jellicent / Celebi as the 3 most splashable ways for fat sand teams to combat Specs Keld, and I would struggle to separate those 3. Gastrodon being a full 6 spots below, ranked below Amoonguss, looks a little bit off.

Otherwise this looks fantastic!

edit: scizor also potentially up to A- on rain, Scarf has been seeing a lot of use to checkmate Latios / Celebi in these offensive cores with Thund+Keld
Ty a lot peng. I tried to make them ordered with how the meta is rn at the SPL, but is possible that i have made some blunders there, any error or sugestion, feel free to to say.
 
(These are my thoughts based on playing a lot of games, can't provide replays)

A- -> A+: :Terrakion: Can almost 2HKO all the meta. Against stallish oriented teams it doesn't fear SD'ing up, against offensively oriented predicting on it is a 50/50 many times, it doesn't need a SD set up. You can run it CB, CS, Rock Gem, SubSalac. You can use it to open holes in mid-game or sweep in late-game. +50% Sp. Def. on Sand.

A- -> A- Lower Position: :Dragonite: As said in the BW discussion post, teams have their strategies to reliably check strong Dragons locking into Outrage, add up its SR weakness and that to make its ability do some work you need to build around it. CB isn't that good as Kyurem-B CB set, DD + 3 Attacks needs a very good position to set up 1 DD (when Mamoswine is having a popularity rise, Scarf Ttar with IB, Scarf Chomp, Fast Heatran with HP Ice, Sash Alakazam). Not sure about the other variants (SubDD, Hurricane).

B+ -> B: :Amoonguss: Can't absorb a Scald burn, doesn't reliably recover health barring ability, paired with burn it can't get in on things it should counter, set up fodder (depending on the HP it runs, almost always Ice), can't attack back powerfully. Ferro and Skarm can set up Spikes free on it. Only better than Celebi in not being weak to U-Turn and Pursuit. Very predictable (only one viable set).

B+ -> B+ Upper Position: :Celebi: Just because all of the above, plus that it can create momentum (BP, U-Turn), all teams must be prepared (or have something that checks) for NP+BP. It can set up SR very easily.

B -> B+: :Scizor: Banded and bulky SD versions haven't been as effective as before, but the scarfed version is pretty good at what it does which (apart of the surprise factor) is checking/threatening offensive Psychic's (Alakazam, Latis, Starmie) (also Celebi) which are are a pain for rain teams, and it's the perfect couple for Keldeo and Thundurus. Loses bulk, but at the same time, it's not going to get hit a second time and will be able to achieve some KO on some fighting weak poke which would be faster than it otherwise. Further, fast SD variants can pull a sweep without fearing being trapped by AB/Specs Magnezone (as long as it's not Timid).

B -> B+: :Slowking: Counters almost every Keldeo variant, can Recover so status are a bit less problematic, forces switches which can be taken advange using DTail (which Slowbro doesn't have) or having more opportunities to burn something. Also DTail being nice to phaze some bulky sweeper in mid-game.


I would also do things like swapping Garchomp and Breloom, since teams are more adapted to Breloom now. Alakazam is good on A because it's not a good option in Rain (though in Sand and Hail it is cool). I'd also drop Rotom-Wash from that second position in A+ to the lower half. I feel like it doesn't counter or check the things that it had to counter and also making it "fat" to VS the last against other Rotom-Ws encourages giving some pokemon that could beat it but feared WoW some more speed.
 
A- -> A+: :Terrakion: Can almost 2HKO all the meta. Against stallish oriented teams it doesn't fear SD'ing up, against offensively oriented predicting on it is a 50/50 many times, it doesn't need a SD set up. You can run it CB, CS, Rock Gem, SubSalac. You can use it to open holes in mid-game or sweep in late-game. +50% Sp. Def. on Sand.
I personally think raising it to A would be more fitting due to the inaccuracy of Stone Edge. Bulky Lando being very common doesn't help this case either.

A- -> A- Lower Position: :Dragonite: As said in the BW discussion post, teams have their strategies to reliably check strong Dragons locking into Outrage, add up its SR weakness and that to make its ability do some work you need to build around it. CB isn't that good as Kyurem-B CB set, DD + 3 Attacks needs a very good position to set up 1 DD (when Mamoswine is having a popularity rise, Scarf Ttar with IB, Scarf Chomp, Fast Heatran with HP Ice, Sash Alakazam). Not sure about the other variants (SubDD, Hurricane).
Sub DD is actually its best set atm, but yeah, the rest of Nites' sets are pretty much outclassed by other mons. Not sure if I agree about dropping it though.

B+ -> B: :Amoonguss: Can't absorb a Scald burn, doesn't reliably recover health barring ability, paired with burn it can't get in on things it should counter, set up fodder (depending on the HP it runs, almost always Ice), can't attack back powerfully. Ferro and Skarm can set up Spikes free on it. Only better than Celebi in not being weak to U-Turn and Pursuit. Very predictable (only one viable set).

B+ -> B+ Upper Position: :Celebi: Just because all of the above, plus that it can create momentum (BP, U-Turn), all teams must be prepared (or have something that checks) for NP+BP. It can set up SR very easily.
This is fully justified especially from Celebi's massive usage + win rate from the SPL. Amoonguss in comparison just seems too passive in the current metagame. At the very least, just switching their placings after the SPL feels better.
 
What is it that makes Metagross not good in current gen 5 OU? On paper its good against alot of the top pokemon in OU. Can anyone please explian why he's no longer viable?
 

Caetano93

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What is it that makes Metagross not good in current gen 5 OU? On paper its good against alot of the top pokemon in OU. Can anyone please explian why he's no longer viable?
For a start, Metagross have a very bad type for a meta where Excadrill, Landorus-T, Gliscor, and Garchomp are kings. Another of its flaws is that it can't outspeed a lot of the opposing threats and have not a good coverage option for it Attack stats. For example, it is hard walled by Ferrothorn and Rotom-W, and also need coverage to deal with , Skarmory, Jirachi, Jellicent, Gastrodon, Seismitoad, Politoed, Tentacruel...
Metagross is only in the VR because it have a small niche of being the only Stell-type with Pursuit + Stealth Rock + Explosion, so its a fringe option in HOs to deal with Latios.
 
For a start, Metagross have a very bad type for a meta where Excadrill, Landorus-T, Gliscor, and Garchomp are kings. Another of its flaws is that it can't outspeed a lot of the opposing threats and have not a good coverage option for it Attack stats. For example, it is hard walled by Ferrothorn and Rotom-W, and also need coverage to deal with , Skarmory, Jirachi, Jellicent, Gastrodon, Seismitoad, Politoed, Tentacruel...
Metagross is only in the VR because it have a small niche of being the only Stell-type with Pursuit + Stealth Rock + Explosion, so its a fringe option in HOs to deal with Latios.
That makes total sense, I run a Spd and attack Gross to stone wall Latios. The thing I have noteced recently is that spd gross is a great check to Scarfed Kyrum black, which is super dangerous in the current meta, since it eats Its dragon moves, bolt strike and isint crushed by earth power, and unlike Ferro, its an offensive mon.
I doubt its much to raise its use, but its another unique niche it has.
 
Garchomp being ranked over Gliscor and Alakazam seems wrong to me. I don't think Chomp is bad but is not nearly as splashable/impactful as Gliscor and Alakazam are. Flawed as they are as a viability metric, I am sure the SPL stats back me up here. Alakazam and Gliscor are some of the core components of sand builds and should both be A+, Zam makes you less weak to spikes, abuses your own spikes, and revenge kills everything. Gliscor's support sets are really good (knock off) and Swords Dance is ridiculously hard to counter, especially with Magnezone support. I am not sure if Garchomp should stay in A+ as well or go to A, I lean towards A but not sure. (I know I am suggesting to put Alakazam above Reuniclus but I honestly think he is a subrank better.)

I also think that Skarmory and Heatran should move up to A. Skarmory being bad against rain is obviously a detriment but it is an important defensive piece of bulky sand cores. It also isn't that bad against Alakazam especially because it is immune to spikes. Skarmory + Seismitoad or Skarmory + Gastrodon is really powerful role compression core that gives you a lot of freedom to pack in some hard hitters on your sand team without sacrificing defense. Heatran is devastating to balance teams that rely on shaky checks to it - magma storm + sand is brutal to switch into. Lots of versatility too from magma storm offensive stuff to magma storm toxic stuff to weather reset (traps toed) to lava plume stuff etc.

Slowking is 100% better than Slowbro, although Slowbro is increasingly tempting to try out with how annoying all these SD Gliscors are (you probably need ice beam but it helps out with dnite/chomp anyways) I would maybe say Slowking to B+ and Slowbro to B? Less sure about this one.

tl;dr:

--> A+
--> A+
--> A (?)
--> A
--> A
--> B (?)
--> B+ (?)
 
Ok, since the SPL is almost ending, I think it is fitting for me to bring some thoughts to the table.

--> A+: The idea of Zam rising to A+ has been a bit contested, but with the SPL ending, I can't help but join in the Zam Hype Train. Zam is just really good in the current meta. Magic Guard is just so good as an ability and makes Zam so difficult to dance around in games. It can fit in any playstyle and give solid speed control to the team thanks to the meta being filled with slow wallbreakers like Kyurem-Black to prey on. The fact that Chople Berry Tar is waning in effectiveness also helps Zam a lot. I would put it either above Rotom-Wash or Keldeo (but at least above Politoed at worst).

--> A: Skarm obviously has issues but it is also a Spiker that doesn't get pressured as much as Ferro does by Sand Force Excadrill. It also has really good matchups against Gliscor and Mamoswine, who are becoming more popular in the meta. Rain also isn't nearly as much of an issue since it is so often paired with Jellicent. Also, A as a rank is really barren atm.

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--> A (Or the top of A- at worst): Finchinator went through just how good Mamo really is here. Seeing Heatran and Jirachi above Mamoswine just doesn't feel right to me. SubSwine is frustrating to face as Rotom has to rely on Hydro Miss in order to actually damage it.

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<-->
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: Celebi has gotten a lot better in recent days especially with how much usage it garnered in the SPL. Stealth Rock is always a good set, but there are so many options thanks to how diverse Celebi's supporting movepool really is. Amoonguss in contrast seems to have gotten worse overall. It obviously has the advantage of Regenerator and a Keldeo check that isn't weak to Tar, but I often find it difficult to use especially with the fact that it is just so passive. Like it gets on the field and just sits there. Sure it can spread Paralysis to Grounds but Celebi can do so much more.

--> B+: Its a Keldeo check weak to Tar, sure. But the fact that it has Dragon Tail as well as being able to reliably run Slack Off as Recovery makes it a lot better than the majority of stuff in B. At least having it above Slowbro would be nice. (I could say that Slowbro could warrant a drop since it hasn't seen usage in the SPL but it seems like a good check to Gliscor and Mamo running rampant in the current meta).

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--> B: Seen quite a modest amount of usage on Sand and Rain Teams thanks to Magic Bounce. Its Flying-Typing is also really nice thanks to the Grounds being so good in the current meta and pairs really well with Seismitoad so that Rotom doesn't use it as an opportunity to rob momentum. I would at least put it high than Mienshao. I personally think its much better than most of the crap in B-.

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--> C: It obviously didn't make a splash into the SPL but at least some players made efforts to make it work. (I know that this team lost but its at least a consideration for the future)
 

Ununhexium

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Celebi, Gastrodon, Volcarona --> top of B+
Celebi + Gastrodon teams became pretty popular this SPL for their ability to manhandle rain teams and provide a really solid defensive backbone. Celebi is great against all sorts of stuff because its typing + Natural Cure let it switch in on Scalds / Toxic / WoW and stuff without being crippled long-term, making it really difficult to kill if you can keep Spikes off. I honestly think Celebi might be A- worthy if not for the fact that it lends itself to being on slow and bulky teams that don't really apply a lot of pressure.

Volcarona I think should rise as well but for a different reason, mainly that people just kinda forgot it existed and were underprepared for it. Because of that it has come back really strong on sand teams and Smurf HO (praise Smurf).

Slowking --> B+ above bro
I think this one has just been a long time coming. Slowking is just really solid in the meta right now thanks to its good special bulk and typing, making it a solid option on sand and the weatherless teams that are becoming more and more popular. I think it should be above Slowbro because the extra special bulk makes a huge difference against Keldeo and other special hard-hitters such as Alakazam and Latios.

Milotic --> B
I'm hardly an expert with Milotic, but its bulk, recovery, and Refresh make it a really solid options on sand to handle all sorts of things including Alakazam which can be a real pain to prepare for and can even shrug off stuff like a Volt Switch from Rotom-W in a pinch.

Alakazam, Gliscor --> A+
Alakazam is arguably the hardest Pokemon to prepare for in the metagame at the moment and is massively threatening to almost every team. It also has coverage for just about everything and has ridiculous speed to boot. Though I feel like I've seen a bit more of Thunder Wave on Tyranitar to ruin Alakazam, I think it deserves a rise for how hard to have to prepare for it and play carefully so that it doesn't run you over if Tyranitar is chipped.

Gliscor was one of the most used Pokemon this SPL, having greater usage than staples like Landorus-T and even Politoed. It's ability to tank all sorts of attacks with special defense EVs and still stand up to Pokemon such as Excadrill (and status immunity) make it a terrific option in this status and entry hazard heavy metagame. It also fits well as an SD sweeper on those aforementioned Celebi Gastrodon teams.

Breloom --> A
Breloom is still very good and I think it should be in the top of A rank, but all the Celebi and Gliscor all over the place make life a lot more difficult for Breloom, especially since it can't even use Toxic sets to cripple them.

Rotom-W --> a bit lower in A+
This one might be a bit more controversial, but it just doesn't feel like the #6 Pokemon in the metagame at the moment.
 
Why is Hydreigon in B+? It got 0 uses this SPL, I’ve never once seen a team opt for it over Latios. It being above relevant mons like Seismitoad and Volcarona really surprised me. Maybe “strong dragon Ttar can’t trap” is a theoretical niche? Maybe dragon spam is really, really good? (Idt that’s true)

I’m honestly baffled by it being this high and would love to hear the reasons why and/or see it in action.
 
These tiers are all unordered. Well the first two are ordered and I sort of tried to order the others, but it felt arbitrary so I gave up.

S+:

lol i'm not explaining their placements
S-:
1597182828168.png

I don't think Lando is on the same level as the 3 above. He is replaceable by Gliscor somewhat and scarf Lando isn't that great. Excadrill is pretty obvious, amazing on sand and weatherless. Poli brings the rain. Nothing is truly required on rain besides Politoed, there are structures to get away from Tentacruel, Ferrothorn, etc. (and they are totally viable and decent) so I have him ranked a subtier above Tentacruel etc.

A+:
1597182928449.png

I don't think any of these are surprising - this is the tier that made me give up on ordering, it's really hard to pick out who is the best of this bunch. Breloom should not move down, subpunch is really good against unsuspecting teams, choice band or fight gem sets are really good against lots of standard builds, and standard bulky pheal is really good at what it does and still does well. Garchomp is godlike on dragmag, but has other uses too from smurf to more offensive rain to chainchomp in the sand. I could see him moving down though. I think moving any of the rest of these mons would be preposterous to any seasoned BW batttler.

A:
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Yeah, I think Reuniclus belongs below Zam. Skarm brings a lot to sand balances that Ferrothorn doesn't, and while he doesn't have the depth in terms of builds he functions on skarm sand balance is pretty wide. You can run everything from bulky teams that appreciate Skarm's longevity to Alakazam skarm to everything in between. Magnezone is here because he is great on dragmag and sands, and even usable on rain. I don't think he is nearly consistent enough to move up to A+, even when you trap ferro early on dragmag doesn't just auto-win or anything SubDDNite required support but is really good, and normal DDnite can set up on lots of stuff like Ferro without gyro ball. This set is a lot better when people are turning away from Scarf Landorus. I haven't really tried CB recently, it's definitely solid. Jirachi is more than a piece of the alternative rain style. He is good on dragmag and other weatherless teams as a rocker, and can also be used on sands. SubCM Jirachi can also be used alongside standard rain. Celebi has risen to prominence as something that can handle Keldeo, non NP thundurus, and scald/toxic/wisp from defensive waters. This is really amazing, he is also one of the best Stealth Rock setters in the tier. Passing boosts is really strong and definitely somewhat unexplored. Not limited to sand either, good on rain or weatherless with the same sets. Mamoswine loves that people are using less Rotom and more Celebi and such. Even against Rotom teams spicy sets that weren't used much before are making him a lot more viable. Sub evades status and can prey on low accuracy moves, Chople Berry destroys Alakazam and Thundy. Some guy on the ladder is even using Salac Mamoswine which is pretty neat. Great on rain especially.
A-:

Ranking the moth is hard; if you have the right hidden power (or giga drain) you can 6-0 a lot of teams. If you don't have the right stuff you fall flat really easily. Volcarona sand and rain are more than just a shitty meme. I think Terrakion should stay where he is although he does have some nuts matchups. I previously advocated for a Heatran raise, after laying out how I think all the tiers should be I think he should stay. He is a bit limited in terms of the builds he fits on (need sand and then you have already doubled up on 3 weaknesses with ttar, not to mention non balloon Heatran HATES spikes). Starmie is legitimate on rain teams as a spinner, a key component of some weatherless offenses (dragmag or otherwise), and decent on sand. Trick flame orb is a really good set.

B+:

As good as he is on paper I think Kyurem-B is sort of limited and outclassed despite his power. Torn is kinda weak without specs but specs has some issues about being locked into a move that just gets your pursuitted. Seismitoad can handle some stuff really well and be an absolute monster with knock off and scald.. however he doesn't actually take hits from strong attackers that great. Excadrill can just stay in and if you don't get the scald burn he comes out on top. Can get kind of run over. Scizor is good as a pursuitter, also good on weatherless offense. Could be kinda good alongside Hippowdon to handle psychics, I think Dice used this. The rest of these mons are decent water resist options for sand. They are totally usable and decent but not as consistently splashable as the above water resists for sand like Rotom and Celebi
B:

A lot of niche options here. Kyurem I bumped up because subprotect is evil. Hydreigon I bumped down because he is pretty limited. Outside of Ttar/Latios/Hydreigon/Rotom/Ferro/LandoT I don't know where to use Hydreigon and I would usually rather have a psychic on that roster. I bumped up Cloyster because he is actually pretty good - lots of BW teams don't really run good ice resists, especially when they have gastrodon or seismitoad (Kyurem also preys on this weakness.) I moved Slowbro down because he is pretty limited and unless you're anticipating one of a few specific things (Mamoswine) I would rather just have a different pokemon there. It's annoying to run a bulky water that isn't sufficient for Keldeo, scald spam, or Thundurus because you still have to handle all of that..

B-:
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Hippowdon is hard to build with but certainly has builds it is important to. Forretress is role compression between Excadrill and a spiker, or potential tspikes (think the Smogon Tour game where z0mOG used this shit lol). Chansey is for rain stall, Abomasnow is for cheese, Zapdos is for weird hippo builds. Toxicroak sucks and so does Gengar.

There's a C tier below this but I don't want to sit here and decide what technically should and shouldn't be ranked, not to mention I don't feel sufficiently knowledgeable on some of the mons.
 

FNH

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Why is Hydreigon in B+? It got 0 uses this SPL, I’ve never once seen a team opt for it over Latios. It being above relevant mons like Seismitoad and Volcarona really surprised me. Maybe “strong dragon Ttar can’t trap” is a theoretical niche? Maybe dragon spam is really, really good? (Idt that’s true)

I’m honestly baffled by it being this high and would love to hear the reasons why and/or see it in action.
It doesn't have the usage it use too that is true. but it still has an INSANE move pool decent speed and good SpA. If you look back, there are existing comments by Caetano and I over how Hydreigon should be placed. Mind you, this was all pre SPL. Caetano moved to swap spots of Hydreigon with Volc because Hydreigon when used does has some level of consistency to it given its move pool whereas Volcarona is a bit of a MU fish. I am fine with Volcarano re rising. It's a good mon, very threatening if it gets the right MU. I do think that Hydreigon deserves its B+ though, just on its movepool alone. Maybe I am wrong and Hydreigon sucks, or maybe its not re figured out yet on how it will fit into a team at the moment. It has it's flaws, but I think there is place for it in the meta.
 
Why is Hydreigon in B+? It got 0 uses this SPL, I’ve never once seen a team opt for it over Latios. It being above relevant mons like Seismitoad and Volcarona really surprised me. Maybe “strong dragon Ttar can’t trap” is a theoretical niche? Maybe dragon spam is really, really good? (Idt that’s true)

I’m honestly baffled by it being this high and would love to hear the reasons why and/or see it in action.
First of all FNH already gave some of the reasons Second ,usage not equal to viability as many people have said it.Third is it really that hard for people to realize hydreigon's mixed set is arguably the best set:

Hydreigon @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Superpower
- Fire Blast
- Roost

It is completely different from latios with this set while also has enough coverage to hit the whole meta for at least neutral dmg with just three moves while a fourth filler could generally carry roost for recovery as hydreigon is one of the few offensive pokemon that could viably carry recovery without loss of a significant coverage.though roost can be replaced by dark pulse for having a better move to hit hit jelli without relying on predictions.Ranking hydreigon with the likes of worse latios(aka latias) and gyarados is a crime imo.it definitely has enough consistency for b+ rank. I could see it dropping a few positions in b+ rank(possibly the bottom of b+) but hydreigon does have consistency,the fact that it only needs 3 coverage moves to be called uncounterable, while also being able to carry recovery without a loss of useful coverage being an offensive mon and ot doesn't really have to predict to make the best out of. just bring it on a favourable MU and drop a draco. Specs is just worse latios tho that is agreeable but I don't really use it for specs rather mixed.
 

Finchinator

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Something needs to change in that area and I think Hydreigon is what has to give. In my eyes, it’s clearly less viable than Scizor, Latias, and Slowking. All 3 of these Pokemon are B and I view them as slightly worse than most of B+, so Hydreigon being B+ is a clear fish out of water right now. Either make B+ larger to include a wider array of options or balance things out by dropping it to B and perhaps moving Scizor up to B+. Either or is fine with me.

Once I’m done with my SPL chronicles, I’ll make a lengthy post here going through my thoughts from top to bottom, fwiw
 

Caetano93

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I'm the bigest fan of Hydreigon and one of its defender.

However, Hydreigon is just awful in a meta were HO is spammed. Ideallistic, it wants Celebi + Gastrodon balances or scafless structures. Until SPL week 5, Hydreigon was aB+ in my yes since it just rip apart those spamed fat structures. With the re-rise of Smurf and worse, the re-rise of Volcarona, using Hydra now is a very fringe choice. For it to return to a B+ state, the meta needs to forgot that Volcarona exist for a few months.

For new players reading this, DO NOT use Life Orb Hydreigon. Its his worse set. Leftovers 3 atks or Choice Specs in a sand structure is the way to use this mon to its maximum potential. Hydreigon is a nuke with similar power of a Latios that can not be Pursuited.

Hydreigon @ Choice Specs
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 24 HP / 252 SpA / 232 Spe
Modest Nature
- Draco Meteor
- Dark Pulse
- Focus Blast / Flamethrower
- Earth Power / Surf / U-turn

tl;dr: I'm ok with Hydra droping to top B for now. All the B ranks needs to be reworked after this SPL throwing away a lot of some mons viability.
 
I can't back it up with tournament replays but I think Hippo deserves better than being on same rank as Gengar as being a weather setter with huge bulk, reliable recovery and important utility between stealth rock and whirlwind are valuable things in this metagame. Sure it doesn't have ttar's invaluable stab pursuit but it's the most resilient weather setter in OU by a significant margin and you can pair the two together in more defensive cores to help ttar have some pressure relieved from him to truly focus on dealing with Latios, Alakazam and Reuniclus. Ttar truly appreciates not having to do this AND survive long enough to win the weather war when he cannot heal at all. Using Hippowdon does restrict what teams you can use because you also need Ttar to not be helpless against psychic spam and Excadrill to not be destroyed by spikes (and toxic spikes) but I think it has a niche worth exploring on more defensive sand teams.

Compare this to Gengar who has no discernable niche because it's an offensive pokemon that is weak to Alakazam who is getting better and better while struggling to get past any well-built defensive core and it's entirely outclassed as a spinblocker by Jellicent who can beat certain Tentacruel variants one on one even in rain and isn't destroyed by mold breaker Drill like Gengar.
 
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Im sorry if im being dense by asking this but why is Riolu ranked at all?
Copycat + Roar + Prankster. Riolu can use Roar and because of its negative priority, it will always be the last move used. Copycat will select the last move used (Roar) and allow Riolu to shuffle out the opponent before the have a chance to do anything. With Entry hazards support, this will lead to the opponent taking a lot of damage.
 

Caetano93

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Welcome everyone to the April BW VR update! A bit late given SPL ended. I was waiting for the metagame stabilize a bit. Anyway, since there are a lot of changes, I will be explaining the changes this time by rank, instead of each mons individually. Explanations will be brief, but do feel free to ask if you have any questions on the changes. All of the changes for the VR and the sub-VRs where discussed in the BW Community server.

S: With the new wave of Gliscor structures taking over the SPL, no one should be surprised to see Landorus-T dropping to the bottom of the S rank. Still S rank and still an amazing Pokemon, but Ferrothorn is incredibly amazing at the moment. Spikes are super threatening to bulkier teams and Ice Fang Gliscor is so common. Other bulkier Water-types seeing increased usage as well have hurt Lando-T’s viability.

A+: With Celebi and Gastrodon rising in usage, Rotom-W is no longer as spamable as it was a few months ago. The big introduction to the A+ is Alakazam who has been in the past nominated for a rise. Alakazam is amazing, both as a revenge killer and as a breaker, and is one of the few Pokemon that can stop a Volcarona sweep with Encore / Thunder Wave.

A: In the current meta, Breloom has fallen out of place. It’s good, just not the monster it once was with so many Celebi and Gliscor structures being played. Terrakion also rises to A, as the Swords Dance set is very dangerous versus bulkier Celebi structures. Terrakion is also pretty threatening versus Volcarona offense builds as well, thus meriting a rise on the V/r.

A-: Not much changed in the A-. Dragonite dropped to reflect the sub-VRs, but still maintains its presence as a very dangerous mon in the meta. Heatran remains in the A- rank, taking the top spot. Heatran has the potential for further rises into the A rank with less explored Air Balloon sets and its capability to fit on offense structures with its trapping sets.

B+: Onions > Mushrooms. Jokes aside, Celebi climbed the V/r and is replacing Amoonguss, as they both fulfill similar roles, but Celebi’s move pool and base stats allow it to be a more versatile and a better viable alternative to Amoonguss. Scizor rose as well, becoming very successful and viable in rain and Hyper Offensive structures. Slowking swapped places with its brother Slowbro, since being an SpDef tank is better currently than a physical one. Finaly, Latias have showed good utility in some specific sand, rain, and HO structures so a rise on the V/r was warranted.

B: Hydreigon has once again fallen from grace. Despite being a personal favorite of mine, it hates the HO spam we are seeing currently. Other mons were given raises as well to the B rank to include: Xatu, Kyurem, and Milotic (!!!). All three have shown good tour usage and are viable in certain team structures. The raises are well deserved.

B- Amoonguss and Mienshao are noticeably bad in the current meta, these drops should come as hardly a surprise. Blissey’s addition may appear be odd, but when you realize that it’s just a Chansey that trades less physical bulk to have an item (Leftovers or even Mail to prevent being tricked) it makes sense to put both Chansey and Blissey in the same rank. Hippowdon’s increased usage was grounds for given it a raise. Zapdos and Abomasnow have both been used in important tours for some time with varied success. B- is a deserved spot.

C: Cloyster is having fun with this new HO / balance meta, so top C for it. I'm not ok with it going to B- yet. If Cloyster can maintain its current presence, there is potential for a future rise. Chandelure is a new addition to the C rank for its new found role as spinblocker on Hyper Offensive structures (s/outs to We Three Kings for this one, lol).

Potential Additions:

Two new potential additions to the C rank are both Liepard and Aerodactyl. Liepard has been used on Assist role spam teams for some time now, and should be included into the V/r. Aerodactyl has had varied usage on Hyper offensive structures and even some sand structures in the past. Its placement in the C ranking is merited

Liepard: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen5ou-554439
Aerodactyl: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen5ou-548963
 
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