OU BW OU Viability Ranking, mk. 4

Ophion

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I don't think your argument is bad, but I find Jirachi to be a very helpful glue mon in many scenarios. I'm a particular fan of the Sub CM set these days. Works pretty well with big meta mons like Tyranitar and Garchomp.
These kinds of substanceless one-liner posts aren't helping your argument or proving your point. Gamer gave you a very valid set of counterpoints that can be easily seen if looking through recent notable tournament replays along with what seems to be the general community not being super high on Jirachi in general for a while now. If you want to push for something to rise, you should argue about how meta trends are favoring it (hypothetical example: Keldeo has become better as a result of a lot of hyper offense threats it does well against, like Scizor, seeing more usage and also enjoys the rise of Heatran), or even a new widely used set that has been propelling its viability upward. How come you're such a fan of Sub CM in the current metagame compared to before? What has made that set so good to where you think it's worth rising Jirachi? Also, so many Pokemon work well with things like Tyranitar and Latios and Garchomp that saying "it works p well with them" isn't an argument that holds any water. Heck, argue why you disagree with his assessment if you want if you feel he was misrepresenting something.
 
I think Jirachi is fine where it is, pretty much entirely agree with gamer1234556. The mon that does deserve a raise from A- in my opinion is Mamoswine. Mamoswine benefits from a couple of trends in the last year:
  • Thundurus-T becoming rain's main abuser over Keldeo => ice shard is more useful than ever, Thundurus threatens virtually every team, even if you pack counters, a niche option like grass knot or nasty plot can screw you over. Keldeo hasn't really regressed much, but checking Thundurus is more important than ever.
  • Gliscor and Landorus-T on virtually every sand, and an uptick in Gliscor => more passivity on teams that are already terrified of Mamoswine makes him more threatening
  • Slight downtick in Excadrill
  • Rotom-W dropping off
  • Latios and Alakazam are still good
A lot of BW sand is converging on very same-y structures, and those builds just don't pack Rotom like sand teams used to and are generally quite Mamoswine weak. Even moreso when Skarm has helmet, which has become a near necessity in order to effectively harass Excadrill. He also isn't dead weight against weatherless stuff or rain either where ice shard is particularly important. Lots of options for sets too; band, sub leftovers, gem, chople, scarf, etc. Fairly splashable on rain, but totally usable on sand and weatherless structures as well.
 

Gamer1234556

"Because... Scald is a shit Ferro answer!!!"
Since the SPL is coming to a close, I will bring some thoughts to the table.

Nominations

:scizor: --> A: Scizor's SPL usage eclipses every used Pokémon in A-, and for good reason. It's easily of the best Psyspam counters in the tier since Alakazam can seldom afford HP Fire (unless it is paired with 3 Attacks Reuniclus). HOs are really in need of a consistent pursuit trapper and Scizor delivers that role in spades. It also has an argument on Rain since it improves the Psyspam MU significantly (albeit to the expense of the Thundy-T MU). Hell, it even sees use in Hippo Sand and Dual Pursuit teams with Tyranitar.

:dragonite: and :skarmory:--> Top of A: Dragonite's usage in SPL is equal to Keldeo's, which itself is the 7th most used Pokémon in the SPL. Dragonite's typing and ability add much-needed longevity to HO and its ability to check Breloom and Volcarona in a pinch should not be overlooked. Slowbro and Hippowdown, two of Dragonite's hardest counters, are also incredibly fringe in the current metagame, which Dragonite likes as it can prey on faster, frailer Zam Psyspikes teams. Skarmory is Sand's premier spiker, IMO eclipsing Ferrothorn in that category because it is much better equipped to deal with HO. Its incredible typing means that it's able to pull its weight in any matchup barring rain, and since it's so often paired with a water-immune, it's not like that is even as big of a deal as before.

:aerodactyl: --> B-: Aerodactyl has seen 4 uses so far in the SPL, meaning that its viability far exceeds other Pokémon that reside in C (and IMO, any Pokémon currently residing in B/B-). Aerodactyl is the fastest Pokémon in the tier, meaning that it's very consistent at getting rocks up and preventing other leads from getting rocks up themselves. Its obviously not quite a metagame defining force but the fact that its usage is on par with Celebi and Salamence and eclipses Kyurem-B, Tornadus, Seismitoad and Kyurem make it worthy of a rise.
 
Biased opinion, but given my SPL battle of 2 days ago, I don't see a reason to not have Whiscash in C Rank, given that Feraligatr, Kadabra, Virizion, Magneton and Chandelure are there, all of which ( in my personal opinion) are worse Mons and fit in much less teams than Whiscash.
 
So I'm new to this generation and was looking up pokemon in OU and I have an important question.

Why is stuff like Blissey and Forretress that have been recognized as viable and in Blisseys case actually been used in SPL games grouped with mons like Infernape, Vaporeon and Haxorus which the last one is considered outclassed by mid tier dragons and the former 2 are considered terrible?

I think we should probably have a D tier blacklist just to seperate fringe picks in C tier from stuff that should never belong on teams.
 

Fakee

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So I'm new to this generation and was looking up pokemon in OU and I have an important question.

Why is stuff like Blissey and Forretress that have been recognized as viable and in Blisseys case actually been used in SPL games grouped with mons like Infernape, Vaporeon and Haxorus which the last one is considered outclassed by mid tier dragons and the former 2 are considered terrible?

I think we should probably have a D tier blacklist just to seperate fringe picks in C tier from stuff that should never belong on teams.
there will always be someone who uses that kind of mons (blissey forretress and stuff) so do not get carried away by impressions, while it is true that blissey, forretress and aerodactyl stand out from the rest, they are used sporadically in SPL and do not go beyond that, while the others are not used is mainly due to the fact that it is too difficult to create a team with them and make it work. if a C rank was made there would only be between 5-6, so I see no need to separate those who are not used and those who are used only once a year.
 

peng

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so in short, when we last did the VRs we combined the C+, C and C- ranks into a single “this stuff is really bad but usable on specific teams” group. A lot of the VR discussion was revolving around Froslass being better than Victini, Forretress being better than Vaporeon or whatever and its just a generally fruitless discussion point because none of these Pokemon are seeing top level usage anyway - maybe Forretress Blissey Hail sees 2 usages in a side-tour and people fight for them to be a tier higher, but then they aren’t seen again for 18 months whilst Victini / Vaporeon usage slightly “spikes”. Realistically these Pokemon are all pretty similar viability, and there’s no use in constantly moving these up and down based on what is the flavour-of-the-month RU mon that makes, at best, a small handful of sidetour appearances before returning to insignificance. Compare that to Ninetales / Cresselia in the tier above which make consistent appearances cross-tournament and year-round, a clear distinction from the C rank.

C tier purely acts as a place to document things that you can actually find niches for and have evidence of viability - whether its 1 appearance or 3 doesn’t drastically alter their place in the metagame.

That said, there are some pokemon that will almost definitely rise in the next VR update - Aerodactyl is a crucial member of revitalised hyper offenses and will surely see a bump, maybe Azelf going with it
 

GaryTheGengar

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VR update time!

Something to keep in mind before delving into the rankings - we had a very small set of entries this time around; only 7 users polled submitted their personal VRs. As a result, some apparent trends may be slightly overexaggerated due to the small sample size. I'll try to address the larger outliers in my commentary following the ranks themselves. Thanks to everyone who made this update possible via your submissions.

Without further ado, the summer 2022 BW viability rankings!

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

A+:
4. +1 :alakazam: Alakazam
5. -1 :landorus-therian: Landorus-T
6. = :politoed: Politoed
7. +2 :thundurus-therian: Thundurus-T
8. -1 :gliscor: Gliscor
9. -1 :excadrill: Excadrill
10. +1 :tentacruel: Tentacruel
11. -1:keldeo: Keldeo

A:
12. +6 :skarmory: Skarmory
13. = :reuniclus: Reuniclus
14. +3 :dragonite: Dragonite
15. -3 :garchomp: Garchomp
16. -1 :breloom: Breloom
17. -1 :volcarona: Volcarona
18. +3 :mamoswine: Mamoswine
19. +6 :starmie: Starmie

A-:
20. +2 :jirachi: Jirachi
21. -7 :rotom-wash: Rotom-W
22. +4 :scizor: Scizor
23. +9 :cloyster: Cloyster
24. -5 :heatran: Heatran
25. -5 :magnezone: Magnezone
26. +1 :Gastrodon: Gastrodon
27. -3 :jellicent: Jellicent
28. -5 :terrakion: Terrakion


B+:
29. = :kyurem-black: Kyurem-B
30. +7 :Gyarados: Gyarados
31. -3 :tornadus: Tornadus
32. -2 :Latias: Latias
33. -2 :Celebi: Celebi
34. +9 :Salamence: Salamence
35. -2 :seismitoad: Seismitoad


B:
36. +15 :abomasnow: Abomasnow
37. -2 :mew: Mew
38. -4 :kyurem: Kyurem
39. -1 :hippowdon: Hippowdon
40. -1 :xatu: Xatu
41. *new* :aerodactyl: Aerodactyl


B-:
42. -1 :slowking: Slowking
43. *new* :weavile: Weavile
44. -8 :slowbro: Slowbro
45. -3 :milotic: Milotic
46. -2 :amoonguss: Amoonguss
47. -7 :hydreigon: Hydreigon
48. -2 :chansey: Chansey
49. *new* :forretress: Forretress
50. -5 :ninetales: Ninetales
51. *new* :blissey: Blissey
52. -5 :cresselia: Cresselia

C: (everything else)
:zapdos: :toxicroak: :medicham: :azumarill: :moltres: :gengar: :mienshao: :conkeldurr: :froslass: :tangrowth: :chandelure: :sharpedo: :virizion: :rotom: :kadabra:


Rises and falls:
-1 :excadrill: Excadrill
+1 :alakazam: Alakazam
+6 :skarmory: Skarmory
Excadrill continues to drop, from 5th place two rankings ago to 9th. However, this time around it's fall is almost entirely due to the limited sample size in combination with one significant outlier; Excadrill was headed for a 7th place finish, a rise from the last VR, but one ranker placed Excadrill in an astonishing 20th place! On the other hand, Alakazam continues to rise, now occupying the top spot in A+. Players have grown to prefer spikes + psychics as the most common type of sand teams, as opposed to the more traditional sand teams operating on defensive synergy and relying on a spinner to facilitate their more passive playstyle. Skarmory finds itself leaping from the bottom to the top of the A rankings primarily due to its home on the aforementioned psyspikes. Skarm not only is a reliable spiker with more longevity than ferrothorn, but a key defensive piece in the matchup against opposing psyspikes, being possibly the best check to Alakazam in the tier outside of the rare defensive Jirachi. Its main downside, the weakness to rain, is relatively insignificant on this archtype due to its fantastic inherent matchup against rain. The influx of offense can largely be attributed to the dominance of psyspikes, as it is one of the few archetypes in the tier that holds a positive matchup at team preview.

+2 :thundurus-therian: Thundurus-T
+6 :starmie: Starmie
-1 :keldeo: Keldeo
Another continuation of last ranking's trends. Thundurus-T has firmly established itself as the premier rain breaker, largely due to the huge threat it poses to sand, as well as it's positive matchup vs opposing rain. Starmie, once limited to hazard removal duties on offensive teams, has seen a massive comeback on rain. It's newly unearthed water gem set offers a large offensive threat while also being effective hazard removal, removing one complaint some users such as myself have with rain - the passivity of Tentacruel as a spinner. Keldeo on the other hand has continued to lose popularity on similar structures. It manages to salvage some viability on rain due to it's fantastic matchup vs trending offensive teams with a scarf set. However, Keldeo stays in A+ primarily due to it's synergistic properties with sand. The offensive matchup can feel substandard with some established sand structures (think gastro/skarm psyspikes vs cloyster), and keldeo patches up these holes tremendously well both defensively and offensively. The relatively novel set of protect + 3 attacks can be an absolute nightmare for offensive teams to deal with while offering a key resistance to ice, which can be hard to come by.

+3 :dragonite: Dragonite
-3 :garchomp: Garchomp
+2 :jirachi: Jirachi
+4 :scizor: Scizor
*new* :aerodactyl: Aerodactyl
Offense continues to trend positively, largely due to it's great matchup vs ever popular sand teams. Offense started to pick up popularity around a year ago as players began to recognize how kind the metagame was to it overall, with an influx of "smurf" offense and other pre-established variants such as custap Skarmory + Jellicent. Recently, players have begun to deviate more from these styles, exploring pokemon such as lead Aerodactyl and imprison Landorus as opposed to the traditional Garchomp lead.

Dragonite has essentially established itself as the face of these offensive teams, as it is nearly omnipresent regardless of the composition. Multiscale grants it unmatched defensive utility for an offensive pokemon, while the variety of items and a largely customizable moveset allow it to pick and choose it's checks. Jirachi offers some defensive utility as well, while being an underrated offensive threat with it's vast movepool. Jirachi has also seen a slight spike in usage on rain with it's subcm set.

+9 :cloyster: Cloyster
+3 :mamoswine: Mamoswine
Ice types continue to rise. Ice could very well be the most potent offensive typing in the metagame, hitting well over half of the top 20 pokemon neutrally if not better. Ice is especially potent coming from the physical side of the spectrum, as the tier's primary defensive walls hold a 4x weakness. Both of the frozen pokemon offer an outstanding matchup vs many sand teams. Mamoswine is one of the easier pokemon to slot on a team in my opinion, finding a home on every archetype from sand and rain to weatherless offense. I'm an especially big fan of Mamoswine on rain due to it patching up a weakness to Thundurus-t and drastically improving the sand matchup. Cloyster on the other hand appears more linear, primarily finding it's home on all out offensive teams. However, we've seen innovations within these teams, with rapid spin gaining prominence and offering these teams a newfound flexibility, previously being limited to running Starmie as their sole hazard removal.


-7 :rotom-wash: Rotom-W
-5 :heatran: Heatran
-5 :magnezone: Magnezone
-3 :jellicent: Jellicent
-2 :Celebi: Celebi
-8 :slowbro: Slowbro
A large number of "traditional" sand pokemon suffered a large drop this update, largely due to the fact that they're both difficult to fit on psyspikes style teams as well as poor in the direct matchup against the style, thanks to their passivity and general susceptibility to hazards. This may seem counterintuitive in regards to Magnezone, however without a spinner it can easily allow one or two layers of spikes prior to removing the opposing spiker, easily enough for the spikes user to execute their gameplan without a hitch.

As the meta continues to evolve, I wouldn't be surprised to see some of these pokemon regain some of their prominence, as they can offer an improved matchup vs trending offensive styles at the cost of a weakened matchup vs opposing sand, particularly the psyspikes variety.
 

Ununhexium

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I might be able to help a little bit

Why Salamence was 43th in the last ranking and 34th now ? what changed ?
I'm not sure Salamence has gotten a lot better, as much as some people have "rediscovered" it. It can be used on some Smurf-adjacent offenses, DragMag, and I think I've seen it as a filler on rain once or twice, as its scarf set is actually pretty decent on the right team.
what made abomasnow rise so massively?
dice mostly, but Abomasnow has a really good movepool and has a typing that gives it a natural advantage against a lot of Pokemon common in the metagame right now when given a free turn. Keep in mind, however, it's still at the bottom of B- tier, so I suppose it rose a lot but its still not a top tier Pokemon.
 

GaryTheGengar

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It's that time of the year again...

Fall 2022 BW OU Viability rankings:

S:
1. +1 :tyranitar: Tyranitar
2. -1 :latios: Latios

A+:
3. +5 :gliscor: Gliscor
4. -1 :ferrothorn: Ferrothorn
5.. = :landorus-therian: Landorus-T
6. -2 :alakazam: Alakazam
7. +2 :excadrill: Excadrill
8. +3 :keldeo: Keldeo
9. -3 :politoed: Politoed

A:
10. +2 :skarmory: Skarmory
11. +2 :reuniclus: Reuniclus
12. -5 :thundurus-therian: Thundurus-T
13. -3 :tentacruel: Tentacruel

A-:
14. +4 :mamoswine: Mamoswine
15. +6 :rotom-wash: Rotom-W
16. -1 :garchomp: Garchomp
17. -1 :breloom: Breloom
18. -4 :dragonite: Dragonite
19. -2 :volcarona: Volcarona
20. +4 :heatran: Heatran

B+:
21. +4 :magnezone: Magnezone
22. +6 :terrakion: Terrakion
23. -4 :starmie: Starmie
24. +2 :Gastrodon: Gastrodon
25. -5 :jirachi: Jirachi

B:
26. -4 :scizor: Scizor
27. +6 :Celebi: Celebi
28. -1 :jellicent: Jellicent
29. -6 :cloyster: Cloyster
30. +2 :Latias: Latias

B-:
31. +4 :seismitoad: Seismitoad
32. -3 :kyurem-black: Kyurem-B
33. -3 :Gyarados: Gyarados
34. -3 :tornadus: Tornadus

C+:
35. +4 :hippowdon: Hippowdon
36. +1 :mew: Mew
37. +3 :xatu: Xatu
38. +8 :amoonguss: Amoonguss
39. -5 :Salamence: Salamence

C:
40. +4 :slowbro: Slowbro
41. -5 :abomasnow: Abomasnow
42. -1 :slowking: Slowking
43 -5 :kyurem: Kyurem
44. +6 :ninetales: Ninetales
45. +4 :forretress: Forretress
46. -5 :aerodactyl: Aerodactyl
47. = :hydreigon: Hydreigon

C-:
48. = :chansey: Chansey
49. +2 :blissey: Blissey
50. +2 :cresselia: Cresselia
51. -6 :milotic: Milotic
52. *new* :bronzong: Bronzong

D:
:tangrowth:
:zapdos:
:mienshao:
:gengar:
:toxicroak:
:moltres:
:weavile:
:conkeldurr:
:ditto:
:alomomola:
:azumarill:
:chandelure:
:rotom:




Rises and falls:
1. +1 :tyranitar: Tyranitar
3. +5 :gliscor: Gliscor
10. +2 :skarmory: Skarmory

Bulky sand teams have emerged as the premier playstyle, and as a result, Tyranitar has taken up the mantle from Latios as the premier pokemon in BW OU. Tyranitar not only facilitates sand teams through chip damage, changing the weather vs opposing rain teams and activating Excadrill's sand force, but is also a great pokemon to have in the matchup against sand due to being the foremost psychic check. Gliscor rises to the top of A+ much in part to these teams popularity, with its fantastic longevity making it a favored choice in comparison to Landorus-t. The SD set has also seem somewhat of a resurgence, with a solid matchup vs most styles of sand combined with rain falling out of favor. Skarmory continues its rise for similar reasons as last update: a great matchup vs sand, longevity, as well as the decline of rain.


6. -2 :alakazam: Alakazam
11. +2 :reuniclus: Reuniclus

Psychic spam, or psyspikes, had begun to establish itself as the pre-eminent archetype and as a result, garnered a certain amount of attention when building teams or preparing for a match. Offensive teams had seen a massive uptick in popularity, primarily due to their great matchup against these traditional psyspike teams. However, the recent gem ban has mostly neutered the style, and it has begun to recede in popularity. At the same time, rain has began to see a decline in usage, owing much to its poor matchup vs the popular sand styles, and the decline of its strongest matchup, offense. Alakazam thrived in these two matchups, thanks to its speed and guaranteed focus sash. Naturally it has begun to see a slight decrease in popularity, with a few contributors ranking Reuniclus as the better magic guard psychic. The cell offers a better matchup vs sand, particularly the bulky variant. Customizable coverage options grant Reuniclus the ability to pick and choose its checks for the most part, and successful Psyspam teams often find themselves focused around setting up a late game Reuniclus sweep. Don't count the mustachioed magician out though - underexplored life orb sets can turn its matchups on their head, and the sash set is still a formidable threat.


16. -1 :garchomp: Garchomp
17. -1 :breloom: Breloom
18. -4 :dragonite: Dragonite
19. -2 :volcarona: Volcarona
23. -4 :starmie: Starmie
26. -4 :scizor: Scizor
29. -6 :cloyster: Cloyster

As I mentioned above, the popularity of hyper offensive teams has evaporated as quickly as its swift onset. The importance of gems to these teams cannot be overstated. Volcarona lost the ability to ohko Tyranitar, turning it from a massive threat to one who can easily be stopped by the tier's forerunner. Cloyster finds itself in a similar position, having lost the ability to drop Reuniclus with a single move. At a glance, life orb can seemingly pick up most of the missing slack, but sand, recoil, hazards and the prevalence of protect let sand teams stall these pokemon out before they can do too much damage. Starmie finds itself as another victim of the gem ban - water gem granted it tremendous burst power that partnered well with its speed and ability to spin. Without a boosting item Starmie often feels weak, and it suffers from similar complications with life orb. With the archetype losing popularity, Starmie has also lost its niche as the go to spinner on hyper offensive teams.


9. -3 :politoed: Politoed
12. -5 :thundurus-therian: Thundurus-T
13. -3 :tentacruel: Tentacruel

With the fall of HO, players are hard pressed to find a reason to use Politoed. The archetype inherently struggles with Sand, and finds itself without many positive matchups, while also effectively feeling like playing a mon down due to Politoed's general lack of utility. The traditional structure of Toed/Thund/Lati/Ferro/Cruel offers little recourse against sand outside of grass knot Thundurus, and has seen a drastic decrease in usage. All hope isn't lost however, as novel rain varients utilizing pokemon such as Mamoswine and Gyarados can offer an improved sand matchup. Trends like Excadrill rain show signs of a resurgence for the playstyle moving forward, but as of now it has taken a clear backseat and finds itself at possibly its lowest point in the tier's history.


8. +3 :keldeo: Keldeo
27. +6 :Celebi: Celebi
38. +8 :amoonguss: Amoonguss

While the formerly popular Keldeo rain is rarely seen anymore, the musketeer finds itself in the midst of a renaissance of sorts, finding its home on sand builds. Novel innovations such as the sub+tect set alongside old favorites like subcm can trivialize rain matchups for sand teams choosing to go a different route than magic guard abuse. While somewhat weak against the psychics, Keldeo can be very effective against opposing sand teams due to the numerous water and fighting weak pokemon the teams are home to. Structures utilizing powerful cores like Tar/Glisc/Exca can find half their team beaten by Keldeo. As a result, the teams have begun to turn to pokemon that resist keldeo's fantastic dual stab, such as Celebi and Amoonguss. These pokemon also offer ways for sand teams to keep up with rain without overly relying on psychic types.


14. +4 :mamoswine: Mamoswine
15. +6 :rotom-wash: Rotom-W
20. +4 :heatran: Heatran
21. +4 :magnezone: Magnezone

While sand has entrenched itself as the top of the metagame, it hasn't stagnated. Pokemon such as Mamoswine, Heatran and Magnezone have seen increased usage in an effort to combat the monopoly of psyspikes. The former two are incredibly difficult to switch into, while the latter impacts the hazards that are so heavily relied on, in addition to removing key defensive pieces. Rotom-W isn't as directly threatening as any of these pokemon, but is a great facilitator. It provides good defensive utility such as keeping sand force excadrill in check while volt switch allows it to pivot to easily bring in breakers. Rotom also grants an invaluable ice resist and mamoswine check - something very hard to come by on this style of teams.

7. +2 :excadrill: Excadrill
35. +4 :hippowdon: Hippowdon
40. +4 :slowbro: Slowbro
45. +4 :forretress: Forretress

Sand's diversification has also brought forth a resurgence of bulky teams, stall and balance alike. These teams approach the game differently than the popular methods of overloading opposing checks, focusing more on defensive integrity and nullification of opposing threats. These teams are facilitated twofold by Excadrill: not only is it a fantastic way to remove hazards, but also one of the most threatening pokemon for slower teams to face. Additionally, it is one of the rare effective checks to Reuniclus, a massive threat towards passively inclined teams. In general, these bulkier teams can offer some counterplay to threats that would normally be overwhelming. However, with the high power level of BW OU, it is difficult to account for every single threat in the builder, so these teams can often find themselves with certain holes that can be taken advantage of. It is also difficult to maintain momentum, granting experienced opponents opportunities to take advantage of predictable patterns in play.
 

Finchinator

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Can someone elaborate on how Bronzong managed to rise from the ashes of unranked?
Unique typing that offers rocks and status while hard walling Alakazam and only being threatened by Trick from Lati — it’s niche and Spikes are free into it for both Skarm/Ferro, but it can work.
 

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