Can someone care to explain what Kadabra's niche actually is? I mean, I guess it is nice as a mini Zam in theory, but what advantages does it have over Zam itself and what team structures does it fit in?
Tier 2 - Pokemon you need an answer to:This group is encompassed by the most defining members of the tier, not being able to beat what is in this category would mean not being able to win a game. This includes your Ferrothorn's, Latios's, Landorus-Therian's, Tyranitar's, Politoeds, Reuniclus's, Tentacruel's, Excadrill's and even Alakazam's. Being unable to deal with members as such, gives players the only option of clicking forfeit. I wouldnt really go as far as ranking these pokemon above each other, as each is uniquely good in the tier. This ranking can also go a step further with including spikes and hell even scald. Showing up spikes weak to a game is just as bad as showing up with nothing that can hit Ferrothorn or deal with a Latios. Showing up with no real answer to scald spams, or something that is "sackable" to a scald burn, is going to see the game end pretty fast as well. This list should be subdivided into two smaller lists of defensive/Utility members and Offensive power houses.
Breaking it out in that manner you would have:
You have to have an answer for each of these Pokemon. They will win 10/10 without a solid answer to shut them down. A unique trait that all of these attackers have is how none are affected by spikes except for Excadrill who spins anyway but all of them become absurd when paired with spikes. All of these attackers are rather spashable as well, ie they fit well into a large variety of teams as well giving players multiple paths to explore in the team builder when utilizing them. Interestingly enough all but one is spikes immune and all members of this group have an attacking stat of 130 or greater bar Reuniclus who uses CM boosts to power through opponents. None are weak to Stealth rocks as well, this going to show just how far not being weak to hazards can go in a tier dominated by entry hazard play.
You have to be able to break these Pokemon in order to make progress in a game. there is no other way about it. They are all too common and too strong to be left ignored. Furthermore most of these members enable the attackers above ie. Ferrothorn’s spikes enables Alakazam's positioning in a game from threat to game winning. Landorus-Therians dual hatted role of attacker and defender makes it one of the more verstatile pokemon in the metagame, its also arguably the best stealth rock setter, able to constantly keep rocks in play. Politoed's drizzle gives Tentacruel rain dish, making Tentacruel a virtually unkillable defensive check. Scald in the rain has a natural way of forcing ferro in and burning it, thus giving Latios on in the rain a more powerful positioning. I don't know how else to say it but you have to be able to break these Pokemon. Tyranitar is a little bit unique here, but the power of sandstorm is massive in the metagame, especially when it comes to checking the rain. Taking 1/16 of the total Hp of an opponent reduces the number of times said threat can come in while also removing the boost that the rain gives them. pairing this with spikes gives very limited room for certain attackers to have a massive influence on a game and constricts rain archetypes ability to dominate play.
Tier 3 - Pokemon you need a general plan to deal with:These Pokemon are all good, but their presence in the meta is less imposing for lack of a better word. No team can function well without solid answers to members of this category. This category could be split into two subcategories, one for general attackers and the other for general defensive members. Every member here wants to be paired with top category Pokemon and passive support via sand, spikes, and entry hazard removal goes a long with these Pokemon
I would include stuff like Keldeo's, Garchomp’s, Mamoswine's, Thundurus-Therian's, Dragonite's, Breloom's, Volcarona's, Heatran, Kyurem-Black's, Terrakion's and Magnezone's.
You need some sort of plan to deal with not only these Pokemon but the common strategies behind them. If you have to sack something every time one of these Pokemon come in, then your team isn’t a team worth using. Everything in this category also enable’s offensive strategies. General "soft" checks can sometimes work with dealing with these threats, such as sometimes a Landorus-Therian can be enough to negate Breloom's effectiveness in the game or going with Latios (not really a soft check) is enough to keep Keldeo from opening up your team, but regardless a plan and answers must be in place in order to deal with these threats. A large part of what can help negate the impact that these Pokemon have is their weakness to Stealth rock or lack of immunity to spikes (a factor that is largely absent from the attackers in the top category). Negating the number of times a threat comes in dimishes the threats capability to break down opponents. Breloom, despite excellent Hp recovery is harder to get in with spikes up or sand as well. Volcarona is countered by aggressive rocks play, often forced in early due to the threat of hazards going up (see this post). Each one of these members can be shut down or reduced in impact by hazards. Ferrothorn's or even Skarmory's spikes go a long way in prohibiting a threat’s effectiveness, escpecially the ones in this ranking. On the flip side all of these Pokemon because massively threatening with spike support as well. Each member here is also capable of breaking down opponents’ teams. Every member is threatening when it comes in and is accompanied by a large move pool to pressure opponents. Some attackers here could have arguments to push them into the top catagory as well given how threatening they can be.
Jellicent's, Skarmory's, Rotom-Wash's, Heatran's (again), Jirachi's. These are defensive giant's but are harder to fit into a proper team at the moment due to it generally opening up the team to other threat's (Skarmory can open opponents up to Rotom, Thundurus or even just scald spam's), but also showing up to games without a consistent way to break through these pokemon can prove quite troublesome. These members are all great but the varied usage or poor Mu's means that one can't expect to face them as often as members above. Defensive Heatran, as great as it is, has varied usage due to how poor it can perform vs a rain MU, but against a Sand team, one would want a plan to deal with it's lava plume spams if given sand team is to perform properly. Another example Having 0 good answers to Rotom-Wash's Volt-Switch + Hydro-Pump combo can quickly put you at a loss in a game as well or if your one answer is pursuit-able (given that Tyranitar is a common partner for Rotom). Rotom's versatility and ability to pivot could make an argument for being in the tier above, but I kept it here for how poor its Hp recovery is in general. Regardless, showing up without an answer to any of these mons will generally result in being walled by them. Thus a general method to beat them is in place.
I think the methodolgy of "ranking by clusters" holds well and better shows how pokemon can be better broken out in the meta game. It simplefies the V/r in some capacity as well, but I still feel like I or the methodology failed to highlight each member of the groups individual role and influence in the metagame well enough which might be above the V/r's capacity. An alternative approach would be ranking them based on choice of usage. This V/r was written with through the lense of preparing for opponents teams. I could have taken the alternate and thought about the power of pairing these pokemon together and how effective they would be in that regard as well. Though i dont know how comprehensive this mentality would be as you naturally exclude non synergetic members that dont fall into your teams game plan, despite how good they are. A ranked role compendium could maybe work in this regard. There is also the problem of highlighting the strength of the synergies of pokemon paired together ie. why people can claim Tentacruel in the rain is S rank, or Alakazam with spikes support is as well. A primary take away from this though would be how important hazard support and control is to ensuring the effectiveness of pokemon in the tier. Attackers less constrained by hazards also seemed to dominate the top tier of this list as well (this is my opinion though). Thanks for the read and would love hear your thoughts on the matter.Most of the entire B rank and below would fall into this category. I would start with including: Celebi, Slowking, Slowbro, Scizor, Tornadus, Seismitoad, Gastrodon, Hydreigon, Gyarados, Starmie, Salamence, Toxicroak, Zapdos, Latias, and Gengar. There would be more to include to be fair, but this is a fine enough start. It is a different category in structure given that in general the mons occupying it have some overlap in how they are used with either each other. Gastrodon and Seismitoed both would fall in this category share similar typing and vaguely similar roles, but are countered by the same/similar stuff. Regardless not having an answer for them would be putting yourself at a serious disadvantage especially due to how similar what these two can do when compared to some of the S rank rain Pokemon ie, you need a plan for scald. I would also venture to say that Pokemon in this category are susceptible/countered/broken easily by Stealth Rocks and spikes as well. Slowking's capability to wall and regain Hp easily is quickly diminished by the presence of spikes. Zapdos could be quite formidable, but with the presence of Stealth rocks and sand, it quickly struggles to find opportunities to come into play. Scizor in theory should be able to take out any Magic guard play, but once again spikes quickly negates its capability to be effective in this capacity.
There is also just the general argument the pokemon here are "blanket checked" by a lot of the ones listed above them. Most well-built teams will have a couple soft checks and one good one to everything listed here, further diminishing the impact that they have in the metagame. There are very few exceptions to this (maybe Hydreigon, but his poor speed and general frailty cripples his impact).
Showing up to a game without a general strategy to deal with these lower ranked threats can lead to a really problematic game. Stuff like Slowking or Hydreigon can quickly snowball from problematic to game winning if you dont have a plan to deal with them. Part of dealing with these threats though seems to also come down to how you play. If Celebi (with only Psychic) lets Hydreigon in for free don’t keep Celebi in. These pokemon don’t define the metagame or see a ton of usage but they are still something that has to be considered when building.
A few Pokemon might have slipped through the cracks, but the rest not listed are rather poor and not viable.
It's totally usable, but not very good. Its speed tier is nice because it outspeeds Dragonite, but unlike a scarfer like Latios, Keldeo, or Garchomp it does not outspeed Volcarona. Landorus also doesn't really have a move which is good to lock into besides U-Turn, everything else is pretty exploitable if your opponent switches. Unlike bulkier Landorus, scarf really doesn't cut it as a check to physical attackers like Terrakion, Excadrill, etc. So you will want some other support there, which is going to be really hard to find. It's mostly trying to do too many things at once and ends up not doing any of them very well, leaving you open to physical attackers and Volcarona. Practically every sand team runs Landorus or Gliscor to help with those physical attackers, the scarf variant just takes too much damage and leaves you pretty open. It isn't a trash set or anything but certainly not something to spam on all sorts of teams.How viable is scarf landorous? It could u-turn on everything and revenge kill a lot of stuff with its high speed tier. I know it is not landorous’ main set but this makes it easier for it to use intimidate again and again after u-turning out of like Kyurum black. It could also Outspeed other landorous and hidden power ice
Yes, given hydreigon's typing this is very true. It can't switch into fighting types effectively. Its just how to type chart works. I dont know if you are implying that Hydreigon was your check here, but regardless you should always have solid checks to these two mons. They are both massive offensive threats in the tier. Forgoing checks on a Keldeo and Breloom leads to massive problems. Every team should check them.hydragons weakness to fighting is a big problem as it wont be able to switch into keldeo and breloom meaning you will need to fit a check for these pokemon
why is terrakion still in a rank as reun gliscor and breloom you only really see it on sand offence and some ho.
The choice band set is not really good anymore in my opinion because it gets stuff by lando gliscor ontop of being locked into 1 move making it easy to dance around.
The suicide lead set ran on ho is good because it is the fastest lead w taunt and sr which allows you to switch into your volcorona right after setting up rocks and doing some damage. however chomp is usually better due to it forcing more damage.
The best set is prob the sd gem set as this allows you to lure and drop terraks counters. this is extremly valuable on alot of sand offence.
A big reason why terrak is still good imo is bcz of how prevalent ho is and how terrak is the best volc check in the game.
however it has trouble switching in without any reliable recovery and due to all the spikes it is kinda hard for it to switch ontop of being weak to alot of common types like psychic water and grass.
In conclusion terrak has alot of useful traits but its flaws prevent it from being A in my eyes
if you think its deserving of its placing please state why.
Generally speaking, IDK if I can say that I agree with this.Terrakion can perform several functions thanks to its stats, one of Terrakion's functions can be that of Sweeper and Wincon. The reason (at least for me) why Terrakion is A is because it puts pressure on some of the best Pokémon of the tier as they are currently Volcarona and Ferrothorn, also after a Swords Dance can easily beat the Pokémon that are above him in the ranking, of course this possessing the rock gem and praying that you hit, I have not talked about his good speed stats and that the special hits will not be as effective when Terrakion is in sand. I think this is reason enough for him to stay in tier A.
The thing about making teams with Terrakion, is that yes, there will always be defensive holes which is inevitable, since no team can be perfect, especially when you take a Pokémon that as you say, is affected by the two best priority users currently which are Scizor and Breloom, however there are teams with Terrakion that are quite solid and that serve in the current meta, take as reference this team of Finch:Generally speaking, IDK if I can say that I agree with this.
First things first, Terrakion doesn't actually work all that well as a sweeper in Practice. Every time I try to setup on Ferro thinking that I would be able to scare it out, I end up getting twacked by a Power Whip. Instead, Rak ends up serving the role as a wallbreaker since it is so easily stopped by so much of the metagame.
Another thing is that, despite being really good against Volc, it gets scared out by so much priority. Between Bullet Punch from Scizor and Mach Punch from Breloom, it ends up not really being as good of an answer to Smurf HO as one would expect.
And this isn't even touching its biggest issue, its habit of opening glaring defensive holes in your team. Every team I try to build around Rak, it ends up inevitably weak to something. Tar / Celebi / Lando-T / Rotom-W / Rak / Drill can sort of work, but then you realise that you have trouble in terms of forcing out Skarm. Add Zone? Then you end up being weaker to Latios and Rain. Really, I don't think Rak fits in A at all. I think A- would be its best placement.
Fair enough I guess. Are you able to send the pokepaste of that Rak Psyspam Team Finch made?The thing about making teams with Terrakion, is that yes, there will always be defensive holes which is inevitable, since no team can be perfect, especially when you take a Pokémon that as you say, is affected by the two best priority users currently which are Scizor and Breloom, however there are teams with Terrakion that are quite solid and that serve in the current meta, take as reference this team of Finch:
The real threat I see in this team is Scarf/Specs Keldeo and Thundurus-Therian which manages to enter in substitute and manage to hit 2 Focus Blast to TTar you would be in big trouble, which somehow, you didn't add them at the end of your post. Anyway, Terrakion is NOT a solid and viable answer to all the Pokémon you encounter in a Smurf HO, it's just a variable to answer or get a kill.
Speaking of Lead Terrakion, as seen in this team that has become quite popular, not only is having taunt that improves your matchup vs other Hyper Offense, it also allows you to pressure and lure Pokémons like Skarmory which Scizor, Breloom and Dragonite will thank you for later.
Not really disagreeing with your overall point about Terrakion (it usually just gets a kill and then gets revenged) but id argue that the team structure you gave as an example is actually one of the best at handling Terrakion (Gliscor/Alakazam/Latios all check it well and the ones "weak to it" aka Ferro/TTar can easily ohko or status it back) and if people tell you that your structures are Terrakion-weak they very likely are just bad at the game.As well as its low usage, I think its important to note that even when Terrakion is brought to games, it is frequently a near anonymous presence. I'm often called out as someone who builds a lot of "Terrakion weak" teams of Tyranitar / Gliscor / spiker / Latios / Alakazam / filler and several people have been surprised by how irregularly that goes punished. Fact of the matter is that SD Terrakion hardly blows through teams that it is great against on paper, because it has basically zero set-up chances against common structures.
I think Rotom-W is pretty good - voltswitch+hydro+wow is just really strong and gives some teams huge problems.rotom-w, terrak, and celebi by far the most overrated bw mons rn. not really ranked within tiers: