BW OU Viability Ranking, mk. 4

I think terrak A rank is accurate :
- it brings nice defensives utilities with its typing and sand boosted spdef. In the BW landscape it still is commonly used in those volt-turn sand, and bw being so restrictive in the teambuilding department really shows how useful this pokemon is.
- terrak has no switch-ins, nowadays most sands structures are filled with only one ground type (most of the time gliscor) meaning stone edge always hits neutral. Gliscor being invested in spef for zam and landorus t usages decreasing, terrak is even harder to check.
- terrak is so hard to rk, plaid well terrakion gets only rked by psyshock alakazam and latios specs draco. You could argue that keldeo and ttar scarf also rk but it is easily exploitable. Thus terrakion can be a threat throughout a game.
Maybe the low usages of choice band or the quick attack less terrak make it feels like terrakion is doing nothing. I agree that sd rock gem is overrated, but band and set up terrak are sets that work both on paper and on practice.

About rotomW, its a fantastic mon so useful in the early game, it is good in middle game with pain split and this mon offensive potential is slept on. overall i love it and the argument that it is a water type that does not check keldeo does not work in my opinion, it has other qualities than just being a pseudo water check

funny thing is that these two are often paired together and it has been one of my favorite playstyle during the global and seasonal bw tours. Now i don’t consider myself a good player at all but i manage to reach at least top 8 in these tours using terrak and rotom.
The only fact that this playstyle is efficient enough for player like finchinator to use it frequently, really shows again in this restrictive metagame how good these two mons are.

celebi is indeed overrated, at least as a rocker, it could be the only water check of a team just like it is in the team that soulwind used against abr in Classic finals.
 
- it brings nice defensives utilities with its typing and sand boosted spdef. In the BW landscape it still is commonly used in those volt-turn sand, and bw being so restrictive in the teambuilding department really shows how useful this pokemon is.
It has a nice Sand Boost for its SpDef in Sand, sure, but what do you mean by "nice defensive utilities"? Volt-Turn Sand is also probably only one of the few structures that Rak also fits in, so I will give you that point.

- terrak has no switch-ins, nowadays most sands structures are filled with only one ground type (most of the time gliscor) meaning stone edge always hits neutral. Gliscor being invested in spef for zam and landorus t usages decreasing, terrak is even harder to check.
Most of the time, the mons that stay in don't even both switching out and as Peng explained it, would end up ruining any chance of Rak sweeping. The fact that it is also reliant on Stone Edge to break through Gliscor (made worse by the fact that even with rocks up and being banded, Rak doesn't even KO Gliscor with Stone Edge) ends up working against Rak's consistency.

- terrak is so hard to rk, plaid well terrakion gets only rked by psyshock alakazam and latios specs draco. You could argue that keldeo and ttar scarf also rk but it is easily exploitable. Thus terrakion can be a threat throughout a game.
Both of which are far too common in the metagame. You are also ignoring the fact that Smurf comes with tons of priority meaning that Rak sweep almost never happens.

About rotomW, its a fantastic mon so useful in the early game, it is good in middle game with pain split and this mon offensive potential is slept on. overall i love it and the argument that it is a water type that does not check keldeo does not work in my opinion, it has other qualities than just being a pseudo water check
Pain Split is notoriously unreliable as recovery. Wouldn't even consider Rotom-W as a "threat" once it goes down low health. Not to mention that so many mons have ways to buffer Wisp/VSwitch which makes Rotom-W even worse (Tect Gliscor, Seismitoad, etc).
 

peng

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The important thing here is not what tier a Pokemon is in, but where it sits relative to everything else. Everything is ranked relative to one-another.

No-one is saying that Terrakion is awful or unviable, but the question is, is it better than all of Skarmory, Mamoswine, Scizor, Starmie, Volcarona, Jellicent, and Jirachi in this metagame, which are ranked A- to B+? I can't answer yes to that question. I look at current VR and see a minimum of 6-7 Pokemon that are outright more metagame-defining than Terrakion has been in the last 6 months, which puts it as a B+ mon to me.

edit: on rotom-w, i've been down on it a while but especially so now. Just seems to have been a mindset switch in the last year or so, where people just don't build ferrothorn teams that actually care about burn anymore? If you're using a ferro and need it unstatused then you're using Lum/Rawst, otherwise you just happily take the burn t1 and start getting hazards - like i literally build teams assuming that ferro will be burnt in 75% of games. Obviously there is more to Rotom-w than this interaction but it feels like people have just stopped using teams that get walked all over by it. Literally can't remember the last time I saw a Rotom-w actually do its job vs Mamoswine either. Feels like a really easy mon to snuff out of games, or rather, its really easy to make a rotom-w user feel like they are making progress with wisp and vswitch whilst going about your own gameplan anyway
 
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to answer to Gamer1234556 :
- terrakion is a mon that benefits from volt-turn so he can get on the field safely and on pokemon it can abuse. Now if you are saying me that pokemon are not switching out it really makes my point for the band set, plus it also means the team you are facing is lacking in terrakion answer. Of course it’s not like dragonite who can set up on anything for the final sweep, but sd can help break through stuff more than is help sweeping the opposite team just like SD Gliscor.
- psyshock zam and latios specs are not common at all.
- Bold Gliscor is forced to protect after switching on terrakion, something you can easily exploit and pressure in order to get gliscor out of the picture.

to answer to peng, I don’t think a vr works that way. Imo a vr main purpose is to help getting a global picture of how the metagame works and how pokemon are exploiting it. I think terrakion, in this sand, ferrothorn infested metagame, has a lot more qualities than starmie, mamoswine, jellicent… when im building teams i'm paying more attention towards terrakion, keldeo, thundurus.
starmie is for exemple way easier to play around, it just spins well, which is helping volcarona, but it is not exploiting anything, it is not as viable as terrakion, it has literally one job. Plus i'm pretty sure we all agree on smurf being a counter metame team.
I think I understand what you mean though, but when I'm building teams, I am not preparing for breloom or starmie, I'm preparing against smurf so breloom being A rank is really misleading especially to new players.
 
- terrakion is a mon that benefits from volt-turn so he can get on the field safely and on pokemon it can abuse.
Terrakion literally only fits on Volt-Turn since it struggles so much to switch into anything.

Now if you are saying me that pokemon are not switching out it really makes my point for the band set,
I just made the point against Band since Stone Edge can't even muscle through its biggest checks.

252 Atk Choice Band Terrakion Stone Edge vs. 244 HP / 116+ Def Gliscor: 166-196 (47.1 - 55.6%) -- 77.3% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Poison Heal
-1 252 Atk Choice Band Terrakion Stone Edge vs. 244 HP / 176 Def Landorus-Therian: 148-175 (38.9 - 46%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

And this isn't even factoring Stone Edges' unreliable accuracy as STAB.

plus it also means the team you are facing is lacking in terrakion answer.
How are most of the teams that you see nowadays lack answers to Terrakion? Psyspam has Gliscor / Skarm / Latios / Zam to deal with it, Rain has Scarf Keld/Latios, and Smurf has Priority as I mentioned before.

- psyshock zam and latios specs are not common at all.
Yes they are. At least Psyshock Zam. I am not entirely sure about Latios Specs but you don't even need that to revenge kill Rak. You also forgotten that Priority Users (Scizor and Breloom) also revenge kill it.

- Bold Gliscor is forced to protect after switching on terrakion, something you can easily exploit and pressure in order to get gliscor out of the picture.
Nobody runs Bold Gliscor. And Tecting after switching into Terrakion doesn't make any sense w/o context. If you hit the Stone Edge on Gliscor that makes more sense, but that is reliant on Stone Edge actually hitting Gliscor.

starmie is for exemple way easier to play around, it just spins well, which is helping volcarona, but it is not exploiting anything, it is not as viable as terrakion, it has literally one job. Plus i'm pretty sure we all agree on smurf being a counter metame team.
Starmie doesn't need to exploit anything. It just needs to get rocks off so that Nite / Volc can go crazy.

I'm preparing against smurf so breloom being A rank is really misleading especially to new players.
How is Breloom being A rank misleading for new players?
 
Im not gonna make it personal and spoil the thread with long essays type comment when you don’t even want to understand my point but if you think skarm, latios, zam, keldeo are switch ins good for you, if you think that priority users are not exploitable good for you if you think 80% accuracy will miss every time good for you, if you think that breloom and starmie are so relevant outside of smurf and they should be S rank good for you.
I think my point still apply just let terrakion A rank, in my conception of what a vr is, terrak deserves this rank
 
Im not gonna make it personal and spoil the thread with long essays type comment when you don’t even want to understand my point but if you think skarm, latios, zam, keldeo are switch ins good for you, if you think that priority users are not exploitable good for you if you think 80% accuracy will miss every time good for you, if you think that breloom and starmie are so relevant outside of smurf and they should be S rank good for you.
I think my point still apply just let terrakion A rank, in my conception of what a vr is, terrak deserves this rank
I don't have problems with understanding arguments. The problem is that most of the points that you made are either outdated or don't make any sense. How the hell are priority users exploitable? Isn't having an 80% inaccurate move pretty much an actual problem? I never said that there were any good switch-ins for Rak, but even if there were, this is a completely moot point. By that logic, Hydra has no switch-ins but even less common than Rak is. Another point is that I never said that Starmie and Breloom are S Rank, but you aren't giving them the proper credit they deserve.

If you are going to have an opinion on something, you are going to have to be prepared to properly defend yourself. Simple as that.
 

FNH

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There has been plenty discussion here, as well on the discord. Here are the proposed changes briefly summarized if we are all in agreement. I will wait a few days before changing for any one oppossed to the changes to voice their opinion.


Rotom to A

It doesn’t have the meta presence it once did. Mostly in part to players bringing Ferrothorn’s expecting it to be burned and just getting up hazards, and Rotom is still super chippable, pain split is poor HP recovery. That said its still very easy to fit on builds and slow volt switch is excellent for getting in teammates safely. Electric water combo is also very nice to have and can be menacing as well.

its usage has seemed to drop (?), but I personally still like Rotom a lot and find it a very effective no BS mon.


Gliscor to A+
Really just echoing Gary’s thoughts here. Ill copy and paste his thoughts here cause I agree 100%.
Gliscor to the top of the A tiers due to its great performance recently, with Landorus falling from s to take the spot behind it. Every sand team basically needs one of the ground/flying mons, as keep physical threats such as Excadrill in check. Gliscor is bulkier in practice due to poison heal and the tendency to invest fully in bulk. It can be a great sr setter with the ability to poison stall, pivot via uturn, or knock off items. This set can also offer some defense vs. Volcarona, which is hard to come by on many sand spike teams. On the other hand, Gliscor is a dangerous sweeper with swords dance. If a team doesn't have a check to sd Gliscor, they lose on the spot, and teams with limited counterplay often lose long term. Great mon, borderline S.

Terrakion to A-
Lots has been said about this, I sit in more of middle ground though. To summarize, terrak has poor results [according to peng]. Its hard to fit on teams, comes in on nothing safely bar a locked ttar on pursuit/crucnh, and it has to rely on a 80% acc move. Its still fast and has excellent attack with 0 real switch ins. I am for moving it down/back to A- but don’t think terrakion is as terrible as Peng makes it out to be.


Volcarona to A-
No surprise here IMO. It’s still a hit or miss mon still with some really really bad matchups, but it's proven to be a extremely terrifying. requires certain builds, but is also probably the best sweeper in the ou.


Skarmory to A
Excellent spiker, excellent defensive wall, but is still weak to rain which would keep it from going any higher then A, but rain feels pretty meh at the moment. Wouldn’t mind giving Skarmory a raise here.


Others I would like to hear some thoughts on.

:starmie: Could argue that smurf is the 2nd best team in the game right now, so it would make sense that the members of the team be given a rise? Its an excellent offensive spinner. top of B+ or low A- doesnt seem unreasonable.
:politoed: + :thundurus-therian: i personally think rain is pretty meh at the moment as it struggles to deal with psy-sands. the archetype is good to use to help make opponents more cautious about smurfing you, but over all thundurus-t rains are pretty meh at the moment.
:Celebi: Having used celebi a ton, it just seems pretty bad and makes teams even worse against smurf spams. Can't run rocks on it as well otherwise you risk volc setting up. you have to spin with celebi to get full defensive value out of it. its a B rank mon in my opinion.


Am i missing anything? Feel free to say what you believe should change.
 
:starmie: Could argue that smurf is the 2nd best team in the game right now, so it would make sense that the members of the team be given a rise? Its an excellent offensive spinner. top of B+ or low A- doesnt seem unreasonable.
I would say mid A- as its best place cuz Mie does an extremely good job as a suicide spinner. If Mie gets rocks off for Smurf, then Smurf literally wins. In fact, I am actually running Jelli, Gengar and even more niche ghosts such as Base-Rotom and Chandelure on Psyspam to keep Rocks on the field, which goes to show how much of an impact Mie is actually having on my teambuilding strategies. I even gave SR Tar another look since it can also keep Rocks against Starmie (though of course you would need another Rocker to not lose to Drill).

:politoed: + :thundurus-therian: i personally think rain is pretty meh at the moment as it struggles to deal with psy-sands. the archetype is good to use to help make opponents more cautious about smurfing you, but over all thundurus-t rains are pretty meh at the moment.
I think Thundurus-T as a standalone is still really good even w/o Rain. Unun proved in his BW OU Hub Post that Thundy can indeed work on Psyspam and even sees occasional use in weatherless HO. Agility allows you to outspeed Scarf Latios and Zam, which is absolutely massive as they are the No #1 checks to it, and is one of the biggest banes for Weatherless Teams to face. NP is also very solid if you want to crush fatter teams reliant on Gastrodon, Celebi and the rarer Chansey. Really, Thundy can really just do it all. I will admit that Rain itself is kinda meh at the moment, but Thundy is about as good as it has ever been.

:Celebi: Having used celebi a ton, it just seems pretty bad and makes teams even worse against smurf spams. Can't run rocks on it as well otherwise you risk volc setting up. you have to spin with celebi to get full defensive value out of it. its a B rank mon in my opinion.
Yea Bi in general is really meh atm. There is no denying that it can absolutely be suffocating for Rain to face, but most of the time you are better of out-offensing Rain with Latios + Zam. It does enable some offensive cores such as SD Rak so there is at least that.

At an unrelated note. I feel like the Ghosts generally need a rise. Jellicent/Gengar are very good atm and Base Rotom actually has a legitimate niche as Peng proved in his BW PL Game. I also feel like Gyara and Scizor could rise as well as the former loves the fact that Rotom-W is a lot less common and Scizor is absolutely terrifying for Psyspam to face. Quite frankly, I think the biggest threat to Psyspam is not Volc, but Scizor, as it is one of the hardest Zam counters in the game.

Edit: Oh and here is my VR atm:
Screenshot 2021-10-03 141602.png
 
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Ununhexium

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Rotom-W -> A-
I mentioned a few months ago that I thought Rotom-W should drop to lower in A+ but I really think it needs to go lower than that. It doesn't have quite enough bulk to come in on a lot of stuff other than like Excadrill and Landorus-T (which are big targets but there is other stuff that handles them), and every team comes tech'd out for Rotom-W just like naturally. Like peng said, most players assume their Ferrothorn will get burned now, but even the common PsySpikes structures always come prepared for Rotom-W with at least one Electric immunity and something that doesn't mind switching into WoW, such as Gliscor, Seismitoad, or Reuniclus. I also think that the type of teams it fits on (sand bulky offense teams) are less good than they used to be. I suppose it fits on some weatherless stuff (and is an absolute BLAST to use on rain teams) but its bread and butter has always been causing chaos on sand teams which it isn't quite as good at anymore.

Gliscor / Volcarona
Gliscor -> S (or top of A+)

Gliscor saw a huge rush of usage in SPL on bulky sand teams featuring Celebi, and its SD sets are as good as ever, but I have found it has become an even better Pokemon as PsySpikes has come to dominate the metagame more and more as it's a natural fit on these teams and can be useful in defeating them. It keeps Stealth Rock up consistently against Excadrill which is arguably the best spinner in the tier, can act as a buffer against Rotom-W that try to status / Volt Switch on your whole team (and can Knock Off on it as well), and can handle Heatran without much difficulty, which can otherwise be a hassle for some PsySpikes teams. Additionally, as Tyranitar are running Thunder Wave more often for Alakazam, they have less room to run Ice Beam, meaning Gliscor is an even safer switch-in. Its Spikes immunity and ability to handle Tyranitar allows it to be valuable against PsySpikes as well.

Volcarona -> A- or A

Volcarona has seen a big uptick since SPL on Smurf and other hyper offense teams and it has some matchups where it just wins games outright. Yes, it can be matchup reliant and yes, it is super weak to Stealth Rock, but one free turn can end the game in a lot of cases unless the other team is packing scarf Keldeo. I think it deserves a bit more respect than B+.
Skarmory -> A
Yeah like 90% of my teams in the last few months have had Skarmory and even if it is bodied by rain, rain is kinda bad right now and its pretty easy to tech for with Pokemon like Jellicent or Seismitoad. Not a lot to say that hasn't been said already.

Keldeo -> A
Rain is in a tough place right now and Keldeo sand sucks. That said, I think Choice Scarf Keldeo is pretty solid right now because of its ability to revenge +1 Volcarona in rain, but I think it's overall now as good as it used to be. Still super threatening under the right circumstances.

:starmie: Could argue that smurf is the 2nd best team in the game right now, so it would make sense that the members of the team be given a rise? Its an excellent offensive spinner. top of B+ or low A- doesnt seem unreasonable.
I wouldn't mind moving this to high B+ or low A-. I've been experimenting with other weatherless HO and it's really valuable because it's just so fast and has solid coverage, making it a relevant threat in its own right and not just as a Rapid Spin for your Volcarona and Dragonite. Also, try Water Gem for a fun time.

:politoed: + :thundurus-therian: i personally think rain is pretty meh at the moment as it struggles to deal with psy-sands. the archetype is good to use to help make opponents more cautious about smurfing you, but over all thundurus-t rains are pretty meh at the moment.
Rain is not super great right now, but I still think Thundurus-T has a lot of room for experimentation on weatherless and some sand teams (sets other than Substitute + 3 Attacks exist. Who knew?)

Fuck it one last one

Alakazam -> S
This might be controversial and probably won't go anywhere but Alakazam is in my opinion the most threatening offensive Pokemon in the tier and can tech out for a whole bunch of different Pokemon with stuff like HP Ice / Fire, Signal Beam, Psyshock, Grass Knot, Encore, Thunder Wave, etc. Just use Alakazam + Spiker and stack em high and let em fly.

I forgot to mention Terrakion -> lower
Agree. +2 rak is the most threatening Pokémon in the tier but also doesn’t exist
 
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Nalorium

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i hate u FNH

:excadrill: A+ -> A/A-

Excadrill in my opinion has declined a lot in recent months, the psyspam atm covers a large part of the BW sand teams and in them Excadrill is completely useless so its major function as sand spinner is no longer as used as before and in rain is clearly outclassed by tentacruel and in HO by starmie. The high usage of Gliscor and Rotom-W is another huge problem for Excadrill, as they both wall it and in a Gliscor vs Excadrill you simply give it a Free SD or SR. And the clearest example is none other than Skarmory, lately I see that bird in almost any sand team and if you have a skarmory in your team you completely disable Excadrill.

:Volcarona: B+ -> A

Why this thing is still B+, volcarona is the n1 threat of all BW followed by Thundurus/Kzam. Volcarona with any movepool can cause huge disasters vs any team. HP Ground/Psyquic/Giga Drain is capable of destroying almost any archetype. It is an excellent Sand Killer and with any RNG in your favor vs a Rain you can also beat it without any problem. A- it seems to me a rather low role for such an influential pokemon in the current meta. And if we want to compare it with the same mons of Rank A-, Jirachi is not even 10% of what Volcarona is nowadays. It always forces you to use Scarf Keldeo/Scarf Chomp/TWave Kzam because otherwise it is almost impossible to stop it.


:Skarmory: A- -> A

I fully agree with what has been said above. Skarmory in my opinion is currently the best Steel in most Sand Teams besides being an excellent lead in most HO's and an excellent check to almost any dragon in the tier. The SPD set is capable of walleting Latios, Latias or even Alakazam.

:terrakion: Keep A

I don't feel there is any reasoning good enough to justify that such an influential pokemon could be A-. Terrakion is one of the best answers Sand offers to beat Smurf. It's not just the ability to withstand a Volcarona hit and kill it from any rock-type move. Banded Terrak is capable of destroying any kind of rain teams. The most common set right now is Rock Gem SD, terrak at +2 is completely insane, a mon with 108 speed and 129 atk with a +2 boost in atk becomes a complete beast. At +1 Terrakion with his gem is able to KO Landorus one of his best answers in sand and at +2 KO mons like Def Gliscor, reuniclus or even skarmory 252 def after a little chip. Besides a ridiculous ability like resisting a psyquic from Alakzam under sand and giving him 2HKO with QA. To finish with this, Terrakion is one of the best leads for any kind of HO thanks to Taunt.

:cloyster: C -> B/B+

Cloyster def doesn't deserves to be in the lowest rank of all the VR. At this time I would consider it to be one of the best Screens Users if not the best. Although he received a pretty important nerf with the Kings Rock ban, an icicle spear with an ice gem at +2 is capable of killing almost all the mons in the tier. Besides being a key piece when it comes to destroying a good amount of Sand Teams.

:Slowbro: B -> B-

Slowbro is not what he used to be, he is too passive for such an aggressive meta as the current one. It's been weeks since I've seen him in any team both in ladder and Tournaments. Slowbro is seriously outclassed by Slowking who is 10 times in Sand and W.Less teams.

:Abomasnow: B- -> B

Abomasnow its p good atm imo, many times he gets an almost perfect MU vs Rain due to his movepool being able to get more than 1 kill more than once. Hail is a pretty underrated MU vs Smurf, being many times a win almost for sure as long as you get a good way to kill Volcarona. Hail teams like Dice's, have a very good MU vs most of the current meta tendencies. Besides being a key piece in most Liepard teams.

:Gliscor: A -> A+

Everything has already been said, I completely agree

:rotom-wash: A+ -> Top A

Although almost everything has already been said, I must say that I do not agree that Rotom-Wash is "overrated" it is an excellent mon when pivoting in most games, one of the best answers vs Mamoswine, Tornadus among others and burn mech is broken. It puts a lot of pressure on most rain teams and is one of the best partners for latios.

:keldeo: Keep A+

There is no point in putting the best HO's answer of the entire tier in A.

:jellicent: A- -> A

Jellicent deserves a place in the A rank, he is not only the best ghost of the whole tier but also one of the best wincon vs a lot of Rain teams, fast taunt puts in trouble a lot of these teams and even more if they don't have thundurus in them.EB Jelli is the best way to stack rocks vs most HO's.

Hot take :magby:

:ferrothorn: S -> Top A+ (S Rank is still good tho[S- rank?])


Imo the viability of ferrothorn beyond rain is quite limited, although within rain is the best steel by far because in addition to having defensive presence, it is also capable of stacking hazards in a metagame in which practically the best spinner is tentacruel and its only used in rain, besides serving as a threat against other rain bcz of having knock, power whip or the possibility of better withstand a Thundurus. Outside of rain, in sand the ttar itself is already used and I consider that there are better steels like skarmory.

PERSONAL VIABILITY RANKING

1633395156574.png
 
I'm by no means an expert on BW, but I wanted to give my two cents. I agree with every point Nalorium makes above, and I'd like to argue for excadrill in A not A- as it feels criminal putting one of, if not the best spinner in the tier on par with celebi and gastro.

The only real reason I'm making this distinct post is I wanted to advocate for scizor being put at the bottom of A rank from A-. Scarf Scizor in my opinion has been increasingly viable as it checks the best mon in the tier being Latios. Band scizor is certainly no joke, as well as SD sets. In relation to peng's comment on tiers being more about relativity, I think scizor is more viable than breloom is on a variety of teams/sets/roles, but I don't feel right demoting breloom from A-.
 
:Celebi: Having used celebi a ton, it just seems pretty bad and makes teams even worse against smurf spams. Can't run rocks on it as well otherwise you risk volc setting up. you have to spin with celebi to get full defensive value out of it. its a B rank mon in my opinion.
I'm not a big fan of Celebi, the fact that your typing is so weak against certain types which are quite seen in the tier makes you be careful when using Celebi and any of its variants. If you use this set you are a place in which Volcarona can do set-up without any difficulty, also this set is used when you are accompanied by Magnezone or some user with substitute. The set which I consider the best of Celebi would be Leaf Storm/Giga Drain, Psychic, Nasty Plot and Hidden Power Fire, because it makes use of its good speed to be able to even a kill. In conclusion, I think Celebi should be downgraded to B due to the current metagame circumstances.


:starmie: Could argue that smurf is the 2nd best team in the game right now, so it would make sense that the members of the team be given a rise? Its an excellent offensive spinner. top of B+ or low A- doesnt seem unreasonable.
I quite agree with you, thanks to the Smurf team, Starmie has been seen in almost every game of the tier in which he has to do with Hyper Offense. The only problem Starmie has is that he doesn't have the firepower to kill Jellicent (one of his biggest counters) and be easily caught by TTar, although there are opponents that throw their TTar directly in front of a Starmie, they don't count (or they did or they just forgot that he learns this ability) that Starmie learns Analytic, which depending on the item (and if you hit it) almost always gives kill, besides, the tech of Eject Button Jellicent and Scarf TTar totally disables Starmie which would leave the team with an important loss. I'd raise Starmie to A-
 
I feel like people really overestimate how good Rak really is against Smurf. While Terrak can certainly beat Volc in a 1v1, you realise that it basically drops to Breloom and Scizor even with QA. Peng also already went through how Rak cannot switch in at all on any mon in Rain aside from Ferrothorn, and even then it has to be wary of a Power Whip. There is also the fact that Rak is overreliant on Stone Edge hitting Lando-T, Gliscor, Skarm, a problem a lot of Rak defenders seem to overlook. (You can argue that Power Whip hitting Rak is also technically unreliable, except for Rak's case if it misses then it literally dies while Ferro can wail as many attempts to take down Rak as it wants). The fact that Zam is using Psyshock over Psychic to hit Volc only makes things worse for Rak. To be frank, I don't see how any of this is a good justification for keeping Rak in A, low A- is where Rak really belongs.

I feel like Drill dropping, while understandable, is a bit harsh considering it is near mandatory for any Sand Team that isn't Psyspam. Hazards are such a bitch to deal with and the fact that Drill is so good at its job is enough justification to keep it in A+. There is also the overlooked fact that Drill can be obnoxious for Psyspam teams that don't have Skarm, cuz then Drill just harasses Ferro into oblivion.

Also, when are people going to realize that Kyu-B doesn't fit on A- anymore? Dragmag is pretty meh atm especially with Mamo, Psyspam and Smurf running around in OU.
 
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Fuck it one last one

Alakazam -> S
This might be controversial and probably won't go anywhere but Alakazam is in my opinion the most threatening offensive Pokemon in the tier and can tech out for a whole bunch of different Pokemon with stuff like HP Ice / Fire, Signal Beam, Psyshock, Grass Knot, Encore, Thunder Wave, etc. Just use Alakazam + Spiker and stack em high and let em fly.
Hell yeah, I was thinking about some hot takes and I actually completely agree with this one. Thanks to the Magic Guard ability, its incredible speed, good special attack and varied moveset, Alakazam in my opinion is the Pokémon that with 2 or 3 Spikes in the opponent's field can easily clean the opponent efficiently. I still have my doubts if it deserves to be tier S but I don't dislike the idea. I would like to hear the opinion of others about what they think.

:excadrill: A+ -> A/A-

Excadrill in my opinion has declined a lot in recent months, the psyspam atm covers a large part of the BW sand teams and in them Excadrill is completely useless so its major function as sand spinner is no longer as used as before and in rain is clearly outclassed by tentacruel and in HO by starmie. The high usage of Gliscor and Rotom-W is another huge problem for Excadrill, as they both wall it and in a Gliscor vs Excadrill you simply give it a Free SD or SR. And the clearest example is none other than Skarmory, lately I see that bird in almost any sand team and if you have a skarmory in your team you completely disable Excadrill.
Excadrill suffered a big fall these months, yes, it has been overshadowed by Starmie which has had a rise, this because it is seen in every team hyper offensive (and in dragmag sometimes) this because it is faster, moveset varied and etc.. I quite agree with Excadrill being downgraded to A, I don't see it as a tier A- Pokémon as it is still used in sand teams that don't opt for Psychic Spam.
 
:ferrothorn: S -> Top A+ (S Rank is still good tho[S- rank?])

Imo the viability of ferrothorn beyond rain is quite limited, although within rain is the best steel by far because in addition to having defensive presence, it is also capable of stacking hazards in a metagame in which practically the best spinner is tentacruel and its only used in rain, besides serving as a threat against other rain bcz of having knock, power whip or the possibility of better withstand a Thundurus. Outside of rain, in sand the ttar itself is already used and I consider that there are better steels like skarmory.
I get this is supposed to be a hot take, and I would agree that Skarmory psy spikes is better than ever, but it seems really unfair to say Ferrothorn outside of rain is limited. Ttar/Ferro/Latios/Landorus or Gliscor/two fillers is still one of the best structures in my opinion with tons of flexibility for the last two slots. Is this something people consider bad now? I just don't see how it's really fallen off. The last two slots can be double magic guard, one magic guard and something else, mons like Keldeo, Rotom-W, Garchomp, etc. and even more fringe stuff like Hydreigon or Gengar. Over skarm, Ferro has knock, dual hazards (huge to relieve pressure on Ttar to set rocks) and a pretty valuable set of resistances. I just don't see it, honestly I think Ferrothorn is #2 above Tyranitar.


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I think Landorus is being overrated somewhat. Gliscor just feels better to me a lot of the time on psy spikes, I don't think Scarf Landorus is very good either. Hard to rank between Breloom to Scizor, I moved these mons around between A and A- and between eachother quite a bit. I think Starmie has to be reasonably high up given it unlocks a ton of potential for mons like Volcarona and also has some viability in rain.

I think Magnezone is decent, I just don't think the Magnezone Excadrill Gliscor Tttar two water resists structure is all that great. Magnezone can be used to sneakily fit into some other builds really effectively though. Scizor I had as high as right below Garchomp, scarf Scizor is really pretty good on rain or stuff like Hippo sand.
 
Hello BW community, it's the time that no one was waiting for: The BirD's takes on BW OU!
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I don't really want to go too much in depth for every mon on the VR cause i'm way too lazy for even typing this whole thing.
However, let's get started.
Firstly i'd like to mention that some spots are interchangable because i find myself troubled with finalizing a pokemon's real place in the metagame since i tend to overthink that type of stuff.
Secondly i should mention that some of these mons don't deserve the ranking i gave them IMO but i gave them that ranking due to some too important niche roles they have like weather inducing and abusing etc.

~S RANK~
:Latios:
Highly deserved S Rank on my mind considering the billions of holes it patches on a team, how greatly it performs it's roles on a team and how splashable it is ultimately on literally every team archetype in the tier.
It has ways to kind of pick the mons that will check it with how versatile it is with sets varying from the traditional choiced sets to DD sets with LO or a gem to CM Breaker sets with dragon gem(which is simply amazing rn i should mention.) to just purely utility sets like colbur roar or 3 attacks.
It being the #1 mon in the tier right now is something i'm very adamant about.
:Tyranitar:
This is one of the mons i was skeptical on ranking it so high up but ultimately the norm got to me.
Sand was always just too important ever since the dawn of time and tyranitar being the premier setter makes it even better.
WIth fine matchups all across the board vs stuff like Rain, HO and being as important as ever vs psysand it's not wonder it's S tier on everyone's list.
Not much else is needed to say regarding the top 2 pokemon in the metagame.

Regarding the A rank i don't think that it matters too much for me if X mon is put above Y mon because the difference in my eyes is minimal.

~A+ Rank~
:Landorus-Therian:
Unsurpriginly lando finds it's spot very high up on the VR considering the multitude of good sets it excels with.
It's one of the most consistent pokemon in the tier and like latios it manages to patch a good amount of holes in every team it finds itself into.
Very splashable and customizable to your teams needs with a great defensive typing and a great ability in intimidate while it has the utility of pivoting in and out of threatening mons with u-turn and can set up rocks fairly easily.
SD Sets can be devastating in some matchups but i find it quite slow as a breaker and it has a painful weakness to getting revenge killed by the premier offensive behemoths that the tier has to offer.
:Ferrothorn:
Nothing much to say here besides the already well known facts.
Possibly the best defensive typing that a mon was blessed with for this tier, close to mandatory on rain due to it's invaluable ability to set up hazards very easily on rain teams.
Reason why it's not S for me is probably the downfall of it's viability on sand(Debatable) and cause of how "easy" it is to abuse it on these archetypes. (See how common HO structures tend to overwhelm it fairly consistently and how mons can potentially set up on it if it doesn't have the needed set to prevent it.)
:Alakazam:
No surprises here since alakazam is one of the fastest viable pokemon in the tier with possibly the best ability it could want in magic guard.
It has coverage for everything the team using it would need it for with the list consisting but not limited to: Psyshock(premier stab in my opinion) or psychic as stab, Focus blast, Grass knot, Shadow ball, Signal beam, Hidden power of choice, Encore, Thunder wave and the more niche options like Gravity on some themed teams, Psych up or magic room.
Zam basically created the psyspam archetype and it is to this day possibly the trickiest mon to handle in the end game with hazards down.

From now on i'll get less and less detailed since i mentioned earlier that i'm just too lazy zzz..

~A Rank~
:Terrakion:
Despite peng's efforts to talk me out of it, i truly feel like terrakion is just amazing.
With good play vs sand u can grab an SD and obliderate so many defensive staples of the tier.
Vs rain u don't even need an SD to just wreck havoc with a great speed tier and a godly stab combo vs the most common rain structures.
The HO matchup is just fantastic considering that HO will obviously not have any type of switch in to it and terrak's typing and bulk is surprisingly sturdy vs HO staples like volcarona and u can chew up some hits if there's sand up.
Lead sets are great and choiced sets have merit too(scarf revenge killing scary shit and band just having the power to overwhelm most teams without needing to set up)
Needless to say, i love terrakion but every mon has it's weaknesses and terrakion ain't any different.
It's weak to the most common forms of priority and it's speed(while good) misses out on stuff like alakazam/latios/tornadus and it's not the easiest thing to get it in a good spot if your opponents position themselves nicely.
:Skarmory:
Not the greatest thing in the world vs any type of rain and dragmag but it's still the better spikes setter on sand and it's a surprisingly consistent HO lead which is why it's this high up for me.
:Gliscor:
Versatile, reliable and a tier staple.
Rocks gliscor is probably the best rocks setter rn with great utility in u-turn/knock off/taunt/ice fang etc in it's flex slots.
The defensive SD sets have fallen a lot in my eyes which is not surprising at all considering how offensive the metagame has gotten.
SD or RP pass sets are great and kinda unpredictable on some teams and double dance sets are good fun on HO.
:Rotom-Wash:
Probably the sturdiest pivot vs both sand and rain, always reliable and easy to slap on any team and call it a day.
:Keldeo:
Rain keldeo is the devil, no 2 ways about it.
Scarf revenge kills and cleans incredibly easily vs a weakened team.
Specs is a fucking nuke(albeit harder to use and fit on a team).
The scariest keldeo set in my opinion tho is unlocked keldeo.
Unlocked keldeo with 4 attacks on rain is absolutely amazing and it's half the win vs HO! no way for anything to set up really on a keldeo that has coverage for everything.
great defensive typing and great speed but like terrakion it's revenge kill-able.
:politoed:
Politoed's only reasoning behind A rank is drizzle and i guess encore.
It's one of rain's best tools vs reuniclus and it's obviously mandatory for rain to function.

From here on out i'll just make pointers about interesting mons below the A tier.

:volcarona:
The most obnoxious pokemon in pokemon history.
Will pick it's counters and will just terrorize sand forever.
One thing to note is that every decent player will make sure to have this matchup covered in one way or another since awareness was raised in spl.
A- cause it needs many conditions to be met to get the sweep going and is not too splashable outside of HO.

:thundurus-therian:
Terrifying rain abuser with many great sets and is just insanely strong and tough to handle defensively, it sits on A- cause it's mostly viable only on rain.

:heatran:
Has a strong niche vs risky HO teams, considering that it hard counters most volcarona sets and can live a hit from cloyster at +2(If not rock gem or LO)
great utility mon and great anti-weather mon in general.
Baloon with solarbeam and sunny day is great vs rain for instance.

:excadrill: :starmie: :tentacruel:
The only 3 viable spinners that the metagame has to offer.
Only thing to note here really is that drill has kind of fallen out of favor lately since its points of entry are getting more and more limited.

:reuniclus:
Amazing pokemon but it's at A- just because HO will probably run over it or because bulkier archetypes generally prep harder for it rn.
Still a consistent pokemon to use.

:jellicent:
Defensive jelli is great but i feel like the teams that it's best utilized on are naturally weak to thundurus so i generally avoid them,
My favorite jelli right now is eject button on skarmory HO.

:xatu:
Surprised i don't see this thing more on balance teams.
It's a good "fuck u" to spikes and has interesting synergies.

:cloyster:
This heathen is incredibly scary at +2 considering how easily it sets up on drill/gliscor/lando and how much damage it does to resists like rotom with ice gem.

:tornadus: :latias: :dragonite: :mew: :magnezone:
I put these in a single category since they're basically matchup mons.
Torn only fits on rain(for now at least) but it's a very good pick on it and vs it.
Latias and dragonite help a lot with the rain matchup and dragonite spesifically is good on HO cause of the defensive utility it provides.
I played around with mew quite a bit lately and it has many cool sets like set up, taunt wisp, or even scarf trick and i find it pretty cool in some matchups.
Magnezone is a cancer to the metagame in my opinion but that's a story for another day!

:kyurem: :kyurem-Black: :hydreigon: :salamence:
Generalized the mid dragons in one since i find them to be on the same spot on the metagame.
notes here are that regular kyurem and hydreigon should get some more respect.

:slowbro: :amoonguss:
Regen balances kind of died down as time went by but both mons have good niches.
Slowking is just better than both in my opinion.

:weavile:
Hard to fit but i find it very interesting as a pick rn with either SD ebelt/Fighting gem sets or pursuit sets being good vs psysand.

~Conclusion~

I'm a terrible writer and i hate writing stuff on forums cause i don't know where to stop and how to proceed.
However i wanted to say that this metagame we're playing rn is probably my favorite by a long-shot cause i feel like the state that BW has evolved into is getting more creative and less restrictive in regards of the teambuilder and u can get away with a lot of funky stuff that the norms wouldn't allow you to do so otherwise 1 or 2 metagames ago.

Sorry for the long post(again), FNH L2P and that's all!
 

peng

fuck xatu
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dingdong VR update

Been a bit of work going on behind the scenes to update this, moving to a community aggregate VR a la GSC/ADV. Massive thank you to Finchinator Nalorium Stareal august TDK crucify M Dragon Separation Frania McMeghan GaryTheGengar for contributing their own personal rankings, from which we have been able to produce the following aggregate VR.

Bear in mind that the changes in this update will be the result of:
1) legitimate changes in viability since the last update
and
2) changes in the rankings approach - polling more players should iron out previously over- and under-ranked Pokemon in the last update, even if they haven't actually gotten any better in that period

S:
1. = :latios: Latios
2. +1 :tyranitar: Tyranitar
3. -1 :ferrothorn: Ferrothorn

A+:
4. = :landorus-therian: Landorus-T
5. +2 :alakazam: Alakazam
6. = :politoed: Politoed
7. +7 :gliscor: Gliscor
8. -3 :excadrill: Excadrill
9. +2 :thundurus-therian: Thundurus-T
10. -2 :keldeo: Keldeo
11. -2 :tentacruel: Tentacruel

A:
12. = :garchomp: Garchomp
13. = :reuniclus: Reuniclus
14. -4 :rotom-wash: Rotom-W
15. = :breloom: Breloom
16. +15 :volcarona: Volcarona
17. +4 :dragonite: Dragonite
18. +1 :skarmory: Skarmory

A-:
19. -1 :heatran: Heatran
20. -4 :magnezone: Magnezone
21. +2 :mamoswine: Mamoswine
22. -2 :jirachi: Jirachi
23. -6 :terrakion: Terrakion
24. -2 :jellicent: Jellicent
25. +4 :starmie: Starmie
26. +2 :scizor: Scizor


B+:
27. = :Gastrodon: Gastrodon
28. -4 :tornadus: Tornadus
29. -4 :kyurem-black: Kyurem-B
30. +2 :Latias: Latias
31. -5 :Celebi: Celebi
32. +18 :cloyster: Cloyster
33. = :seismitoad: Seismitoad
34. +5 :kyurem: Kyurem

B:
35. = :mew: Mew
36. +1:slowbro: Slowbro
37. +3 :Gyarados: Gyarados
38. +8:Hippowdon: Hippowdon
39. -1:xatu: Xatu
40. -6:hydreigon: Hydreigon
41. -11:slowking: Slowking
42. -6:milotic: Milotic
43. +4:Salamence: Salamence

B-:
44. -3:amoonguss: Amoonguss
45. -2:ninetales: Ninetales
46. -1:chansey: Chansey
47. -3:cresselia: Cresselia
48. +5:zapdos: Zapdos
49. -1:toxicroak: Toxicroak
50. -1:gengar: Gengar
51. +3:Abomasnow: Abomasnow

C: (everything else)
:aerodactyl::forretress::mienshao::moltres::rotom::rotom-mow::zoroark::weavile::kadabra::metagross::kingdra::victini::darmanitan::chandelure::alomomola::ditto::azelf::bronzong::tangrowth::omastar::scolipede::golurk::conkeldurr::haxorus::sharpedo::feraligatr::blissey::donphan::infernape::vaporeon::froslass::virizion::roserade::magneton::quagsire::sigilyph:

Big winners and losers:
+2 :alakazam: Alakazam
-3 :excadrill: Excadrill
Alakazam and Excadrill fundamentally just switch places in this VR compared to April, reflecting a gradual shift in the approaches to Sand teambuilding. PsySpam is on top form with no sign of slowing down, with Alakazam being the #1 mon you don't want to see in the endgame. Alakazam, Spikes, and Scald are likely the 3 must-deal-with issues in the teambuilder, but despite this Alakazam is routinely able to outlast even its sturdiest counters when paired with low opportunity cost partners such as Latios, Tyranitar, and Ferrothorn. Increasingly over the last couple of years, the go-to way to build offensive sand is to be Spike immune from conception with a combination of Flying-types, Levitators, and Magic Guard Pokemon, and Alakazam is the (very handsome) face of that playstyle. Excadrill sees a slight dip by virtue of being near mutually-exclusive with Alakazam when teambuilding; if you're committed to being Spikes immune, then its unlikely Excadrill will find its way onto your team and as such the strength of Excadrill sand runs inversely to Alakazam. That said, Excadrill is still a top-10 mainstay as it is the defining supporter of most non-Magic Guard Sand teams and can be an essential enabler of Pokemon otherwise held back by inherent Spikes and Stealth Rock weaknesses (see: most bulky waters).

+7 :gliscor: Gliscor
What more needs to be said? Gliscor wallowed back in 14th back in April but has seen a resurgence as legitimate alternative to Landorus-T as a Stealth Rocker, if not eclipsing Landorus-T as the most consistent rocker in the tier. Gliscor has an unparalleled ability to stick around far longer than its welcome, and disrupt opposing teams with a support movepool including U-turn, Knock Off, Taunt, and others. Although the Swords Dance sets are on a slight downward turn what with a more offensive shift in metagame trends, Gliscor viability overall is incredibly high and this is reflected in its bump to A+.

+15 :volcarona: Volcarona
+4 :dragonite: Dragonite
+4 :starmie: Starmie
+2 :scizor: Scizor
All of the "Smurf offense" mainstays received VR bumps in the April 2021 update, though there was hesitancy back then about quite how long this HO trend could last. 7 months later and weatherless HO is still a significant player in the BW OU metagame, with frontman Volcarona getting a further +15 bump to A rank. Dragonite, Starmie, and Scizor have always seen some usage outside of Smurf offense and such were not quite as underrated as Volcarona in the April VR, but still see modest bumps this time around. Understandably, all 6 members of the standard Smurf offense (Garchomp, Breloom, Volcarona, Dragonite, Starmie, and Scizor) find themselves in the A to A- ranks, showing us how potent this playstyle remains in the eyes of our VR contributors.

+2 :thundurus-therian: Thundurus-T
-2 :keldeo: Keldeo
Our contributors consistently ranked Thundurus-T above Keldeo as the premier rain abuser, resulting in an inversion of these two wallbreaker/sweepers in the A+ rank. Whereas Keldeo is a Pokemon that can be invalidated in the teambuilder with the likes of Jellicent, Gastrodon, Seismitoad (as well giving openings to reverse-sweeps from Alakazam), Thundurus-T is almost impossible to completely shut down. Thunder, Hidden Power [Ice] and Focus Blast sets have no relevant reliable switch-ins in the tier irrespective of the 4th moveslot option (Substitute, Protect, Agility, Grass Knot) and as a result, a well-played Thundurus-T appears Rain's best way to break up otherwise unfavourable Sand match-ups. Keldeo remains an incredibly relevant Rain threat, with Scarf Keldeo possessing near auto-win status against a range of weatherless offenses; however, the days of Specs Keldeo being the go-to Rain breaker might be in the past, at least for now!

+18 :cloyster: Cloyster
+2 :mamoswine: Mamoswine
Ice-types on the rise. Recent trends in Sand teambuilding result in compositions that lack decent Ice-resists with many structures relying on generic bulky mons such as Skarmory, Ferrothorn, Tyranitar, Excadrill, Gastrodon, Reuniclus etc as their best Ice switch-in; we've seen these trends get increasingly punished in 2021 with the abuse of powerful STAB Ice-type wallbreakers and sweepers that power through these teambuilding blindspots. Cloyster is potentially the biggest beneficiary of the alternative ranking system, previously wallowing in C-tier due to an unshakeable "cheese" status despite notable high level tournament appearances - when we asked VR contributors to put together full rankings it quickly became clear that Cloyster is not as universally despised as its old ranking would have suggested. Much like Breloom and Spore, its possible that King's Rock was a crutch item choice that kept Cloyster from reaching its full offensive potential, with the newfound Ice Gem and Nevermeltice sets replacing the luck element with just... straight-up firepower to blast through those neutral targets. Mamoswine was already highly ranked in the April 2021 VR but continues to go from strength-to-strength, solidifying itself as a great breaker particularly on Rain teams.

-6 :terrakion: Terrakion
-4 :kyurem-black: Kyurem-B
-6 :hydreigon: Hydreigon
Terrakion has historically found itself in the A+ and A tiers because, well, its Terrakion! - this guy was borderline broken in 2011 and it seems nuts not to include in a top 20 of BW Pokemon. However, when we asked our contributors to fully rank the BW VR many noticed how tough it is to justify Terrakion in BW's upper echelons, especially so when its competing in that 17-23 range with high-fliers like Volcarona, Dragonite, and Mamoswine which all saw bumps. Terrakion is by no means bad, but a gradual shift to more offensive structures means that the semi-stalls and balances that it would usually pray on are fewer and far between. It will still guarantee a KO a game (outside of Stone Edge misses!) but unfortunately this isn't enough if you then give an opening for threatening counter sweepers such as Alakazam, Latios, Scarf Keldeo, Breloom, and Scizor - an issue shared with a fellow droppers, Kyurem-B and Hydreigon.

-11 :slowking: Slowking
The biggest dropper in the new VR is a bit of a surprise, but the stats don't lie. Our contributors really were not fans of Slowking, dropping a whopping 11 places from solid B+ rank down to the lower end of B rank. Again, do not take this to mean that Slowking is bad, but more that its niche is something that teambuilders find less important in the current metagame compared to earlier in the year. Slowking is an attractive option in the teambuilder owing to a combination of Regenerator, typing that keeps Keldeo at bay and an SDef stat that makes it a modest answer to Alakazam. However, a defensive Pokemon with an inescapable Pursuit weakness is a risky combination in a metagame where Tyranitar, and now Pursuit LO Scizor, see such significant usage, and as such Slowking can be an inconsistent answer to many of the Pokemon it aims to shut down in practice. Combine this with an apparent shift away from "Specs Keldeo clicks Hydro" Rain builds and the appeal of Slowking understandably suffers. An underlying issue with Slowking is also how limiting it can be in the teambuilder, normally forcing partners such as Excadrill for spin support, some kind of status absorber such as Breloom, one of the Ground/Flying-types to give you Rocks and... quickly Slowking becomes the face of very HO-weak Sand balances - running out teams that knowingly can't stem Volcarona and friends is not a wise approach in current BW and Slowking-style balances may be the biggest losers with this trend.
 
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FNH

Siatam's Eternal Understudy
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Moderator
just some changes I wanted to speculate on.

:Celebi: Celebi
Had a bit of a larger than usual pressence in SPL and through out the summer on sand structures or Baton pass rain strategies. Really took a hit when Volcarona became almost guarenteed to face in a Bo3. Its sets felt a little more constricting, to not give offensive structures opportunities to set up on it, such as dropping SR. Its defensive ability also felt largly dependant on keeping spikes and hazards off the field. Despite the drop, dry pass is still good and celebi in the right build can be an excellent asset to a team though.

:Rotom-wash: Rotom-Wash
Didn't take a massive fall, but took a drop. Players seemed to prefer it a little less? Well that was my observation based on some discussion. On one hand, in the sand with Stealth rock up its a really easy mon to widdle its Hp down decreasing its defensive value over the course of longer drawn out games. On the other hand, rotom still has great typing, and almost always ensures the ferrothorn will get burned, bar an unfortunate series of misses. The lack of consistent Hp recovery, crippling its ability to function as defensive utility in longer games seemed to be responsible for its slight drop.

:tornadus:Tornadus
Took another slight fall, but the drop was odd because the the rain I see run the most is the tornadus mamoswine rain. Maybe I havent observed enough games recently. Regardless, Tornadus is still as good as always. This fall is most likely a reflection of how rain has seemed to fall out of sorts with players rather then tornadus being worse. Its drop was more of a result of the rise of other mons, such as starmie. I dont think tornadus's slight fall on the vr was because torn is worse in the current meta, but more of players prefering other styles and builds then rain. Still premier rain threat regardless though.
 
Seems pretty fair overall, though I will point out something that might change overtime:

:jellicent: -> A

I am going to be really frank and say that Jellicent is just plain broken in this meta. Not only is it one of the few good spinblockers in the tier, its probably one of the biggest reasons why Zam Sand Spikes is so good in the current meta. Looking of a mon that completely swallows Rain teams up whole while managing to screw with HO teams reliant on Mie spinning? Jellicent is easily your best bet. Its also great because it not only is a Rain counter, but it also counters other bulky waters such as Gastrodon, Seismitoad and Milotic. Its also adapted a lot in the current meta with Sitrus Berry and Eject Button variants being explored a bit more. I feel like the coming future of BW would be to find ways to neutralize the excessive hold that Jellicent has on teambuilding.
 
Seems pretty fair overall, though I will point out something that might change overtime:

:jellicent: -> A

I am going to be really frank and say that Jellicent is just plain broken in this meta. Not only is it one of the few good spinblockers in the tier, its probably one of the biggest reasons why Zam Sand Spikes is so good in the current meta. Looking of a mon that completely swallows Rain teams up whole while managing to screw with HO teams reliant on Mie spinning? Jellicent is easily your best bet. Its also great because it not only is a Rain counter, but it also counters other bulky waters such as Gastrodon, Seismitoad and Milotic. Its also adapted a lot in the current meta with Sitrus Berry and Eject Button variants being explored a bit more. I feel like the coming future of BW would be to find ways to neutralize the excessive hold that Jellicent has on teambuilding.
While i do agree that jellicent is more and more useful currently in the tier, it doesn't come without flaws.
I mentioned on my post that jelli teams generally tend to be pretty weak to thundy rain for an example.
I'm obviously not saying "run thundy rain to never have trouble with jellicent" but i think that "plain broken" are strong words to describe it's place in the tier.
Good points nevertheless!
 

Oglemi

Hooo
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dingdong VR update

Been a bit of work going on behind the scenes to update this, moving to a community aggregate VR a la GSC/ADV. Massive thank you to Finchinator Nalorium Stareal august TDK crucify M Dragon Separation Frania McMeghan GaryTheGengar for contributing their own personal rankings, from which we have been able to produce the following aggregate VR.

Bear in mind that the changes in this update will be the result of:
1) legitimate changes in viability since the last update
and
2) changes in the rankings approach - polling more players should iron out previously over- and under-ranked Pokemon in the last update, even if they haven't actually gotten any better in that period

S:
1. = :latios: Latios
2. +1 :tyranitar: Tyranitar
3. -1 :ferrothorn: Ferrothorn

A+:
4. = :landorus-therian: Landorus-T
5. +2 :alakazam: Alakazam
6. = :politoed: Politoed
7. +7 :gliscor: Gliscor
8. -3 :excadrill: Excadrill
9. +2 :thundurus-therian: Thundurus-T
10. -2 :keldeo: Keldeo
11. -2 :tentacruel: Tentacruel

A:
12. = :garchomp: Garchomp
13. = :reuniclus: Reuniclus
14. -4 :rotom-wash: Rotom-W
15. = :breloom: Breloom
16. +15 :volcarona: Volcarona
17. +4 :dragonite: Dragonite
18. +1 :skarmory: Skarmory

A-:
19. -1 :heatran: Heatran
20. -4 :magnezone: Magnezone
21. +2 :mamoswine: Mamoswine
22. -2 :jirachi: Jirachi
23. -6 :terrakion: Terrakion
24. -2 :jellicent: Jellicent
25. +4 :starmie: Starmie
26. +2 :scizor: Scizor


B+:
27. = :Gastrodon: Gastrodon
28. -4 :tornadus: Tornadus
29. -4 :kyurem-black: Kyurem-B
30. +2 :Latias: Latias
31. -5 :Celebi: Celebi
32. +18 :cloyster: Cloyster
33. = :seismitoad: Seismitoad
34. +5 :kyurem: Kyurem

B:
35. = :mew: Mew
36. +1:slowbro: Slowbro
37. +3 :Gyarados: Gyarados
38. +8:Hippowdon: Hippowdon
39. -1:xatu: Xatu
40. -6:hydreigon: Hydreigon
41. -11:slowking: Slowking
42. -6:milotic: Milotic
43. +4:Salamence: Salamence

B-:
44. -3:amoonguss: Amoonguss
45. -2:ninetales: Ninetales
46. -1:chansey: Chansey
47. -3:cresselia: Cresselia
48. +5:zapdos: Zapdos
49. -1:toxicroak: Toxicroak
50. -1:gengar: Gengar
51. +3:Abomasnow: Abomasnow

C: (everything else)
:aerodactyl::forretress::mienshao::moltres::rotom::rotom-mow::zoroark::weavile::kadabra::metagross::kingdra::victini::darmanitan::chandelure::alomomola::ditto::azelf::bronzong::tangrowth::omastar::scolipede::golurk::conkeldurr::haxorus::sharpedo::feraligatr::blissey::donphan::infernape::vaporeon::froslass::virizion::roserade::magneton::quagsire::sigilyph:

Big winners and losers:
+2 :alakazam: Alakazam
-3 :excadrill: Excadrill
Alakazam and Excadrill fundamentally just switch places in this VR compared to April, reflecting a gradual shift in the approaches to Sand teambuilding. PsySpam is on top form with no sign of slowing down, with Alakazam being the #1 mon you don't want to see in the endgame. Alakazam, Spikes, and Scald are likely the 3 must-deal-with issues in the teambuilder, but despite this Alakazam is routinely able to outlast even its sturdiest counters when paired with low opportunity cost partners such as Latios, Tyranitar, and Ferrothorn. Increasingly over the last couple of years, the go-to way to build offensive sand is to be Spike immune from conception with a combination of Flying-types, Levitators, and Magic Guard Pokemon, and Alakazam is the (very handsome) face of that playstyle. Excadrill sees a slight dip by virtue of being near mutually-exclusive with Alakazam when teambuilding; if you're committed to being Spikes immune, then its unlikely Excadrill will find its way onto your team and as such the strength of Excadrill sand runs inversely to Alakazam. That said, Excadrill is still a top-10 mainstay as it is the defining supporter of most non-Magic Guard Sand teams and can be an essential enabler of Pokemon otherwise held back by inherent Spikes and Stealth Rock weaknesses (see: most bulky waters).

+7 :gliscor: Gliscor
What more needs to be said? Gliscor wallowed back in 14th back in April but has seen a resurgence as legitimate alternative to Landorus-T as a Stealth Rocker, if not eclipsing Landorus-T as the most consistent rocker in the tier. Gliscor has an unparalleled ability to stick around far longer than its welcome, and disrupt opposing teams with a support movepool including U-turn, Knock Off, Taunt, and others. Although the Swords Dance sets are on a slight downward turn what with a more offensive shift in metagame trends, Gliscor viability overall is incredibly high and this is reflected in its bump to A+.

+15 :volcarona: Volcarona
+4 :dragonite: Dragonite
+4 :starmie: Starmie
+2 :scizor: Scizor
All of the "Smurf offense" mainstays received VR bumps in the April 2021 update, though there was hesitancy back then about quite how long this HO trend could last. 7 months later and weatherless HO is still a significant player in the BW OU metagame, with frontman Volcarona getting a further +15 bump to A rank. Dragonite, Starmie, and Scizor have always seen some usage outside of Smurf offense and such were not quite as underrated as Volcarona in the April VR, but still see modest bumps this time around. Understandably, all 6 members of the standard Smurf offense (Garchomp, Breloom, Volcarona, Dragonite, Starmie, and Scizor) find themselves in the A to A- ranks, showing us how potent this playstyle remains in the eyes of our VR contributors.

+2 :thundurus-therian: Thundurus-T
-2 :keldeo: Keldeo
Our contributors consistently ranked Thundurus-T above Keldeo as the premier rain abuser, resulting in an inversion of these two wallbreaker/sweepers in the A+ rank. Whereas Keldeo is a Pokemon that can be invalidated in the teambuilder with the likes of Jellicent, Gastrodon, Seismitoad (as well giving openings to reverse-sweeps from Alakazam), Thundurus-T is almost impossible to completely shut down. Thunder, Hidden Power [Ice] and Focus Blast sets have no relevant reliable switch-ins in the tier irrespective of the 4th moveslot option (Substitute, Protect, Agility, Grass Knot) and as a result, a well-played Thundurus-T appears Rain's best way to break up otherwise unfavourable Sand match-ups. Keldeo remains an incredibly relevant Rain threat, with Scarf Keldeo possessing near auto-win status against a range of weatherless offenses; however, the days of Specs Keldeo being the go-to Rain breaker might be in the past, at least for now!

+18 :cloyster: Cloyster
+2 :mamoswine: Mamoswine
Ice-types on the rise. Recent trends in Sand teambuilding result in compositions that lack decent Ice-resists with many structures relying on generic bulky mons such as Skarmory, Ferrothorn, Tyranitar, Excadrill, Gastrodon, Reuniclus etc as their best Ice switch-in; we've seen these trends get increasingly punished in 2021 with the abuse of powerful STAB Ice-type wallbreakers and sweepers that power through these teambuilding blindspots. Cloyster is potentially the biggest beneficiary of the alternative ranking system, previously wallowing in C-tier due to an unshakeable "cheese" status despite notable high level tournament appearances - when we asked VR contributors to put together full rankings it quickly became clear that Cloyster is not as universally despised as its old ranking would have suggested. Much like Breloom and Spore, its possible that King's Rock was a crutch item choice that kept Cloyster from reaching its full offensive potential, with the newfound Ice Gem and Nevermeltice sets replacing the luck element with just... straight-up firepower to blast through those neutral targets. Mamoswine was already highly ranked in the April 2021 VR but continues to go from strength-to-strength, solidifying itself as a great breaker particularly on Rain teams.

-6 :terrakion: Terrakion
-4 :kyurem-black: Kyurem-B
-6 :hydreigon: Hydreigon
Terrakion has historically found itself in the A+ and A tiers because, well, its Terrakion! - this guy was borderline broken in 2011 and it seems nuts not to include in a top 20 of BW Pokemon. However, when we asked our contributors to fully rank the BW VR many noticed how tough it is to justify Terrakion in BW's upper echelons, especially so when its competing in that 17-23 range with high-fliers like Volcarona, Dragonite, and Mamoswine which all saw bumps. Terrakion is by no means bad, but a gradual shift to more offensive structures means that the semi-stalls and balances that it would usually pray on are fewer and far between. It will still guarantee a KO a game (outside of Stone Edge misses!) but unfortunately this isn't enough if you then give an opening for threatening counter sweepers such as Alakazam, Latios, Scarf Keldeo, Breloom, and Scizor - an issue shared with a fellow droppers, Kyurem-B and Hydreigon.

-11 :slowking: Slowking
The biggest dropper in the new VR is a bit of a surprise, but the stats don't lie. Our contributors really were not fans of Slowking, dropping a whopping 11 places from solid B+ rank down to the lower end of B rank. Again, do not take this to mean that Slowking is bad, but more that its niche is something that teambuilders find less important in the current metagame compared to earlier in the year. Slowking is an attractive option in the teambuilder owing to a combination of Regenerator, typing that keeps Keldeo at bay and an SDef stat that makes it a modest answer to Alakazam. However, a defensive Pokemon with an inescapable Pursuit weakness is a risky combination in a metagame where Tyranitar, and now Pursuit LO Scizor, see such significant usage, and as such Slowking can be an inconsistent answer to many of the Pokemon it aims to shut down in practice. Combine this with an apparent shift away from "Specs Keldeo clicks Hydro" Rain builds and the appeal of Slowking understandably suffers. An underlying issue with Slowking is also how limiting it can be in the teambuilder, normally forcing partners such as Excadrill for spin support, some kind of status absorber such as Breloom, one of the Ground/Flying-types to give you Rocks and... quickly Slowking becomes the face of very HO-weak Sand balances - running out teams that knowingly can't stem Volcarona and friends is not a wise approach in current BW and Slowking-style balances may be the biggest losers with this trend.
Just posting to say this commentary is exemplary, please contribute to the flying press or something ffs
 

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