Resource BW Simple Questions, Simple Answers Thread

Gamer1234556

"Because... Scald is a shit Ferro answer!!!"
Can someone explain what forms the basis of a "psyspikes" team?
It's basically Magic Guard Psychics (Latios, Alakazam or Reuniclus) with a Spikes Setter (Ferro or Skarm) and a Sand Setter (Tyranitar or Hippowdown). Many of these teams have around two of the mentioned Psychics and in some cases, they even have all three. Sometimes Ferro compresses the role of the Rocks and Spikes setter but other times something like Lando-T or Gliscor can be used to set Rocks. The last slot is reserved preferably to a Water Immune (Jellicent or Gastrodon) to make Rain MUs a lot easier to play around.

There are more variants of this but that is the general basis.

EDIT #1: Aww shit Unun beat me to it.
 
Would be surprised if there were any posts on this, but I can summarise below. Note this is very very broadly speaking and there are many exceptions

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Rain vs Sand

The very simple answer is that Rain teams suffer more playing under Sand than vice-versa.

Rain teams tend to be built around defensive cores of Politoed/Ferrothorn/Tentacruel which utilise residual damage of Scald, Tox, hazards to support offensive mons. These mons tend to be quite reliant on Rain being up to do their job well, including:
  • Keldeo (wants Rain for power + survivability of especially Sub sets)
  • Thundurus-T (wants Rain for Thunder accuracy + survivability of especially Sub sets)
  • Tornadus (wants Rain for Hurricane accuracy)
  • Tentacruel needs Rain for Rain dish, again especially Sub sets
  • Ferrothorn needs Rain to check mons with Fire coverage e.g. Latios, Dragonite
  • and so on
Sand teams, on the other hand, are already loading up on Sand immunes so have that natural survivability advantage. However, outside nerfed Fire coverage, facing an increased power of water-type moves (which you are already prepared to face anyway when preparing for Scald) generally, there is otherwise no real disadvantage for Sand mons playing under Rain - some, such as Latios, Celebi, Rotom-W and their own Keldeo, actively enjoy playing under Rain so the opponent can be punished for actually having their preferential weather up. The closest a Sand Pokemon gets to being "nerfed" under Rain is SF Excadrill but this is not close to the nerf that Keldeo, Thundurus, Tornadus, Tentacruel face.

It goes a bit further than this - most Rains won't be able to fit Pursuit on and so they defensively struggle against Latios with hazards up. Teams that have Spike + Latios + a Magic Guard Psychic, which also overlaps as Scald/Keldeo prep, tend to be incredibly strong into Rain. The idea that Sand >>>> Rain comes from a time where Spikes + Latios/Reuniclus/Alakazam teams were the predominant Sand, and when Keldeo/Thundurus/Latios Rains were the most predominant Rain, and thats a MU in particular that can feel close to unwinnable for the Rain player.

major exceptions:
Rain abusers that happily play under Sand e.g. Mamoswine, Sub Jirachi, Garchomp can really punish Sand teams
Some Scizor Rains can be good into some Latios Sands due to pursuit
Sand teams that don't prepare well for Rain in an attempt to be better vs HO (Heatran + Scarf Latios stuff for example can be very frail into Keldeo)

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HO vs Sand

Hyper offense is really strong into Sand for a few reasons. The main upside of Sandstorm itself is in drawn out games with a residual damage focus, as there aren't really many proper offensive Sand abusers. HO aims to finish games in 20 turns or less which means there isn't much upside to having uncontested Sand - the upside of Sand is when the opponent brings another weather, not when the opponent brings weatherless offense.

More specifically, HOs capitalise on the defensive typings that most Sand teams stack in order to, well, be good vs Rain to begin with. The pool of glue mons that sand uses is mostly limited to:
  • Sand immunes - Ttar (obv), Ferrothorn, Skarmory, Landorus-T, Gliscor, Garchomp, Excadrill, Gastrodon, Reuniclus, Clefable, Alakazam
  • Scald immunes (some of which are needed for rain keldeo also) - Jellicent, Gastrodon, Clefable, Reuniclus, Breloom, Jellicent
  • Spike immunes (if the sand doesn't have Excadrill it probably needs to minimise its hazard weaknesses): Gliscor, Landorus-T, Latios, Rotom-W
Find me reliable Quiver Dance Volcarona and Shell Smash Cloyster counterplay in that list. This is the unfortunate reality of building sand - a lot of the "safe" picks you want for residual damage immunity are set-up fodder for Cloyster and Volc and the remainder of your team can often fall to their power + coverage.

Another layer of complexity is that Sand teams have very few good Choice Scarf options, which means that revenge killing the likes of Volcarona or Dragonite can be tough. The Scarf options for Sand that are faster than Volcarona are like... Latios (Pursuitable and only good alongside another Tyranitar lure, so only works on a subset of sands), and Garchomp (grounded, spike susceptible, completely shut down by Skarmory). Other Scarfers like Excadrill, Landorus-T etc are good into Dragonite but they are also those Pokemon's worst sets. Tyranitar is a great Scarfer but revenge kills nothing boosted. The result is that, for a long time, a lot of sand teams were "cheating" speed control by using only Focus Sash Alakazam as a catch-all, 1-time revenge killer, therefore letting them avoid using a bad choice scarfer - however HO easily bypasses Alakazam by stacking multiple Pokemon that you'd rely on Alakazam to beat e.g. Volcarona, Dragonite, along with priority users Breloom, Cloyster, Scizor to easily overload the 1 time Sash use.

major exceptions:
Sand teams with Heatran or Keldeo (esp with ice coverage) tend to do well vs HO
Sand teams with Landorus-T can smartly use Intimidate to beat Dragonite / Cloyster / Breloom / Scizor
Sand teams with Jellicent can help keep up SR to limit Volcarona and Dragonite

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HO vs Rain

Rain is generally strong into hyper offense as uncontested Rain makes the abusers very difficult to handle, in contrast to Sand which finds it hard to leverage its uncontested weather in short games. Keldeo, Thundurus-T, Tornadus, Gyarados etc under rain are all HO killers, almost regardless of set, as the frail offensive Rain Pokemon often can't find set-up chances in front of Rain boosted Hydro, 100% accurate Thunder, 100% accurate Hurricane.

The defensive core under Rain also tackles the HO pokemon well. Defensive Politoed is strong into Cloyster and disrupts other set-up with Encore. Gyro Ball Ferrothorn is strong into Dragonite, which also gets its Fire Punch nerfed. Toxic Tentacruel tends to be good into Volcarona and Scizor.

Rain also has better access to choice Scarfers than Sand. Scarf Latios is more splashable on Rain and its faster than Volcarona + boosted Surf power. Scarf Keldeo is also a great option.

Major exceptions:
Without Gyro Ferrothorn or Ice Beam Politoed, Rain teams can actually be very bad vs Dragonite
Without Keldeo, Rains are at risk of losing to well-played Cloyster
Passho Volcarona
Sunny Day Magnezone
Some HOs run Abomasnow over a sweeper (normally dropping where Breloom would fit) which flips the Rain MU on its head


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Very very very general - the tier is not completely a rocks-paper-scissors of team selection but there are trends which lead to archetypes tending to be strong into others. There are loads of exceptions and the metagame changes a lot every year, some of the stuff above is already a bit outdated information
Would be surprised if there were any posts on this, but I can summarise below. Note this is very very broadly speaking and there are many exceptions

-----
Rain vs Sand

The very simple answer is that Rain teams suffer more playing under Sand than vice-versa.

Rain teams tend to be built around defensive cores of Politoed/Ferrothorn/Tentacruel which utilise residual damage of Scald, Tox, hazards to support offensive mons. These mons tend to be quite reliant on Rain being up to do their job well, including:
  • Keldeo (wants Rain for power + survivability of especially Sub sets)
  • Thundurus-T (wants Rain for Thunder accuracy + survivability of especially Sub sets)
  • Tornadus (wants Rain for Hurricane accuracy)
  • Tentacruel needs Rain for Rain dish, again especially Sub sets
  • Ferrothorn needs Rain to check mons with Fire coverage e.g. Latios, Dragonite
  • and so on
Sand teams, on the other hand, are already loading up on Sand immunes so have that natural survivability advantage. However, outside nerfed Fire coverage, facing an increased power of water-type moves (which you are already prepared to face anyway when preparing for Scald) generally, there is otherwise no real disadvantage for Sand mons playing under Rain - some, such as Latios, Celebi, Rotom-W and their own Keldeo, actively enjoy playing under Rain so the opponent can be punished for actually having their preferential weather up. The closest a Sand Pokemon gets to being "nerfed" under Rain is SF Excadrill but this is not close to the nerf that Keldeo, Thundurus, Tornadus, Tentacruel face.

It goes a bit further than this - most Rains won't be able to fit Pursuit on and so they defensively struggle against Latios with hazards up. Teams that have Spike + Latios + a Magic Guard Psychic, which also overlaps as Scald/Keldeo prep, tend to be incredibly strong into Rain. The idea that Sand >>>> Rain comes from a time where Spikes + Latios/Reuniclus/Alakazam teams were the predominant Sand, and when Keldeo/Thundurus/Latios Rains were the most predominant Rain, and thats a MU in particular that can feel close to unwinnable for the Rain player.

major exceptions:
Rain abusers that happily play under Sand e.g. Mamoswine, Sub Jirachi, Garchomp can really punish Sand teams
Some Scizor Rains can be good into some Latios Sands due to pursuit
Sand teams that don't prepare well for Rain in an attempt to be better vs HO (Heatran + Scarf Latios stuff for example can be very frail into Keldeo)

---------
HO vs Sand

Hyper offense is really strong into Sand for a few reasons. The main upside of Sandstorm itself is in drawn out games with a residual damage focus, as there aren't really many proper offensive Sand abusers. HO aims to finish games in 20 turns or less which means there isn't much upside to having uncontested Sand - the upside of Sand is when the opponent brings another weather, not when the opponent brings weatherless offense.

More specifically, HOs capitalise on the defensive typings that most Sand teams stack in order to, well, be good vs Rain to begin with. The pool of glue mons that sand uses is mostly limited to:
  • Sand immunes - Ttar (obv), Ferrothorn, Skarmory, Landorus-T, Gliscor, Garchomp, Excadrill, Gastrodon, Reuniclus, Clefable, Alakazam
  • Scald immunes (some of which are needed for rain keldeo also) - Jellicent, Gastrodon, Clefable, Reuniclus, Breloom, Jellicent
  • Spike immunes (if the sand doesn't have Excadrill it probably needs to minimise its hazard weaknesses): Gliscor, Landorus-T, Latios, Rotom-W
Find me reliable Quiver Dance Volcarona and Shell Smash Cloyster counterplay in that list. This is the unfortunate reality of building sand - a lot of the "safe" picks you want for residual damage immunity are set-up fodder for Cloyster and Volc and the remainder of your team can often fall to their power + coverage.

Another layer of complexity is that Sand teams have very few good Choice Scarf options, which means that revenge killing the likes of Volcarona or Dragonite can be tough. The Scarf options for Sand that are faster than Volcarona are like... Latios (Pursuitable and only good alongside another Tyranitar lure, so only works on a subset of sands), and Garchomp (grounded, spike susceptible, completely shut down by Skarmory). Other Scarfers like Excadrill, Landorus-T etc are good into Dragonite but they are also those Pokemon's worst sets. Tyranitar is a great Scarfer but revenge kills nothing boosted. The result is that, for a long time, a lot of sand teams were "cheating" speed control by using only Focus Sash Alakazam as a catch-all, 1-time revenge killer, therefore letting them avoid using a bad choice scarfer - however HO easily bypasses Alakazam by stacking multiple Pokemon that you'd rely on Alakazam to beat e.g. Volcarona, Dragonite, along with priority users Breloom, Cloyster, Scizor to easily overload the 1 time Sash use.

major exceptions:
Sand teams with Heatran or Keldeo (esp with ice coverage) tend to do well vs HO
Sand teams with Landorus-T can smartly use Intimidate to beat Dragonite / Cloyster / Breloom / Scizor
Sand teams with Jellicent can help keep up SR to limit Volcarona and Dragonite

-----------
HO vs Rain

Rain is generally strong into hyper offense as uncontested Rain makes the abusers very difficult to handle, in contrast to Sand which finds it hard to leverage its uncontested weather in short games. Keldeo, Thundurus-T, Tornadus, Gyarados etc under rain are all HO killers, almost regardless of set, as the frail offensive Rain Pokemon often can't find set-up chances in front of Rain boosted Hydro, 100% accurate Thunder, 100% accurate Hurricane.

The defensive core under Rain also tackles the HO pokemon well. Defensive Politoed is strong into Cloyster and disrupts other set-up with Encore. Gyro Ball Ferrothorn is strong into Dragonite, which also gets its Fire Punch nerfed. Toxic Tentacruel tends to be good into Volcarona and Scizor.

Rain also has better access to choice Scarfers than Sand. Scarf Latios is more splashable on Rain and its faster than Volcarona + boosted Surf power. Scarf Keldeo is also a great option.

Major exceptions:
Without Gyro Ferrothorn or Ice Beam Politoed, Rain teams can actually be very bad vs Dragonite
Without Keldeo, Rains are at risk of losing to well-played Cloyster
Passho Volcarona
Sunny Day Magnezone
Some HOs run Abomasnow over a sweeper (normally dropping where Breloom would fit) which flips the Rain MU on its head


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Very very very general - the tier is not completely a rocks-paper-scissors of team selection but there are trends which lead to archetypes tending to be strong into others. There are loads of exceptions and the metagame changes a lot every year, some of the stuff above is already a bit outdated information

This is a great general explanation, but I feel it largely validates many people's issues with the tier. Specifically that the majority of teams—no matter how carefully designed—are constantly on the back foot against very common team styles.

I want to preface my explanation by saying that all teams struggle against some threat/style, no matter the metagame or generation. Examples from other gens include:
  • The big 5 of ADV (Skarm-Bliss-Ttar-Pert-Gar) famously struggles into Hariyama.
  • Manaphy in ORAS excels at breaking traditional bulky clef, ferro, and excadrill balance .
The difference that I feel—and from what I've gleamed on Smogon, many other BW OU players feel as well—is that counterplay in BW OU is unreasonably difficult. If Hariyama knocks off my Skarm, I still have ways to deal with it: wish Blissey, pressure with spikes, sand chip. Manaphy can get revenge killed by myriad common offensive threats—Mega Lopunny, Mega Metagross, SR drill.

But a significant number of teams I've both built with and faced in Gen 5 OU—some coming from high level players—are completely torn apart by a single mon. Even on the Sample Team's page, this issue is seemingly apparent: crucify's Keldeo + LO Zam PsySpam gets torn apart by Volc, Smurf struggles into the most common forms of toad+cruel+ferro rain.

Part 1: "Safe Sand"

This is the unfortunate reality of building sand - a lot of the "safe" picks you want for residual damage immunity are set-up fodder for Cloyster and Volc and the remainder of your team can often fall to their power + coverage.
And this is precisely the issue isn't it? Volc abuses -2 Scarf Lati like nothing else, Cloy threatens out many defensively-sound ground types, Scizor SDs all over ferro. We see this play out in greater metagame trends, too: when ABR-psyspam was at its most prominent, HO was what came out to abuse it's prevalence.

But my question is what else are you going to use? Are you not going to Ferro or Skarm at all, foregoing spikes entirely? Are you not going to use Gliscor or Lando-T and risk getting torn apart by Terrak and Drill? Many of the most common sand mons that you correctly point out are "set-up fodder" for HO aren't just being used because they lead to easy wins: they're being used because they serve very important functions that such sand teams would be crippled without otherwise.

major exceptions:
Sand teams with Heatran or Keldeo (esp with ice coverage) tend to do well vs HO
Sand teams with Landorus-T can smartly use Intimidate to beat Dragonite / Cloyster / Breloom / Scizor
Sand teams with Jellicent can help keep up SR to limit Volcarona and Dragonite
The issue is that many of the options listed feel and often are extremely flawed. Yes Heatran does stuff most Volc variants, but it's at the cost of losing to 4-5 mons at least on most Rain. Lando-T can potentially pivot around Cloy, but one wrong predict and your Lando is gone. And those other threats, the D-nite, Breloom, and Scizor you also mentioned? You've lost your best check to them entirely.

Of course, Sand teams can make adjustments to not lose to HO. Like you mentioned, Tran and HP-Ice Keld can defensively and offensively, respectively, threaten HO. Scarfchomp in particular can clean up a lot of even slightly weakened HO. The issue is that these adjustments have the minor issue of doing far, far worse into:

Part 2: Rain

There's two main points I want to address. The first is:

Rain teams tend to be built around defensive cores of Politoed/Ferrothorn/Tentacruel which utilise residual damage of Scald, Tox, hazards to support offensive mons. These mons tend to be quite reliant on Rain being up to do their job well

...

major exceptions:
Rain abusers that happily play under Sand e.g. Mamoswine, Sub Jirachi, Garchomp can really punish Sand teams
Some Scizor Rains can be good into some Latios Sands due to pursuit
Sand teams that don't prepare well for Rain in an attempt to be better vs HO (Heatran + Scarf Latios stuff for example can be very frail into Keldeo)
I 100% agree that there's several adjustments you can make to rain that make you significantly more threatening into Sand. Mamo and sub-Rachi are definitely two of them. Chomp often thuds into Ferro, but +2 Aqua tail in rain is a clean 65.8% - 77.5% against Skarm at least.

But yet again, a catch-22 position arrises. One of the main points of using rain in the first place is the offense abusers. With your toad/ferro/cruel core, you're left with 3 offensive slots. Ideally, you want a scarfer or fast threat in there somewhere (such that you don't get picked up by any half-decent scarfer), leaving you with just normally 2 mons that can potentially abuse the rain at all.

None of the adjustments to help against Sand really abuse rain. Yes, sub-cm rachi abuses Thunder and Chomp can potentially run Aqua Tail (forcing it to forfeit one of its dragon stabs), but that's about it. So offensively, you're left with: limited rain abusing scarfer, rain abuser, non-rain abuser sand adjustment. Not exactly ideal for a team that wants to continuously abuse its weather-indcued offense.

But at least always Rain has one thing going for it. And that is:

Part 3: Spinning

Anyone whose played BW can tell you how difficult spinning can be. Between Jellicent, Ferrothorn, and the constant offensive onslaught of at least 2/3 major team styles, spinning is a difficult proposition.

And that's not even mentioning the spinners themselves. As I mentioned in the previous part, I think rain has the only consistent spinner. The other spinners are

-Excadrill, which stacks crippling weaknesses to water, ground, and fighting with the T-tar you're going to be paired with. You also lose momentum against several extremely common mons: Lando-T, Cloyster, Chomp, D-Nite, Volc (if no rock slide).

-Starmie, being Sand and Spikes weak yourself isn't great. Not to mention that taking 29%-44% from non-specs Keld's sword outside of rain when you're being used as a Keld check is...unideal, to say the least.

Only Tentacruel really stands out. It has passive recovery in rain, and the fact that it is a special attacker means that a burned Tenta can still function half-decently, checking Keld and keeping t-spikes up.

You yourself have even suggested options like Donphan (which I fine incredibly innovative), but it still doesn't solve the weakness to water moves and above all:

Part 4: Scald:
In your debate with BKC, you mentioned how you were worried that banning Scald could potentially cause a lot of physical attackers to become broken. Specficially, stuff like Kyurem-Black, Garchomp, and other the physical threats.

The big, big issue I have with that argument is that physical attackers are...fine in Gen 5 OU. And I think it has very little to do with Scald. The issue with Kyurem-Black isn't it's ability to switch-into scald; if that was all, it would up in Ubers. Rather, it's KB's lack of a physical ice stab, stealth rock weakness, and middling speed. Chomp's viability also isn't exactly determined by Scald; it has more to do with the fact that Keld, Terrak, and especially Latios can outspeed and OHKO it, and getting rid of Skarm and even Ferro is considerably more difficult.

What I see Scald doing, in actuality, is completely crippling spinners in the tier. Drill doesn't want to switch into Cruel in fear of getting burned (and can no longer keep T-spikes off if it get scald burned), Starmie gets burned by Keld with rocks up, and now to choose between spinning and actually hitting Keld for damage (not to mention the added dimension of Ttar trapping).

Worst of all, many of the others mons that are actually affected by Scald are the ones that are least offensively threatening. Ferro's burn just means it gets worn down easier against repeated Dracos and Outrages, while not even threatening Tentacruel back in return with Power Whip; burned Slowtwins and Amoonguss have an even harder time checking Keld; and Ttar getting burned means that it's going to struggle even more against even Latios and Reun.

If there is any single action the tier should make, banning Scald is it. It does functionally nothing to improve the Gen 5 OU's health; on the contrary, it turns rain-on-rain matchups into coin-flipping games and everything else—especially balance—into a prayer session.

Conclusions:
My intention for this response isn't simply to voice my disagreement with several points that were expressed in regards to Gen 5 OU's central identity: it's to highlight some of the many issues that both enfranchised and potential players find with the tier.

Ultimately, I think the tier's most basic is one of consistency. Every metagame has centralizing threats, styles, and cores. The difference is that the almost all of those other tiers have reliable counterplay that does not render you crippled to other incredibly common team styles.

BW is caught in a sort of transitional period state mechanics-wise that renders it innately vulnerable to issues with consistency. It has incredible offensive power creep—fast offensive threats (Latios, Keldeo, Terrakion), incredible new abilities (Magic Guard, Multiscale), moves that buff more than 2 stat stages at a time (Shell Smash, Quiver Dance), permanent weather. Defensive power creep exists—specifically in the forms of Ferro, poison heal gliscor, lando—but these developments are often unable to cover very prominent threats without rendering yourself completely torn apart by another Mon.

Compounding all of this instability is RNG and prediction games. Even in the teambuilder, you often have to pick and choose the threats you are 'comfortable with' losing to—because again, the relatively spread-thin defensive options mean that there will frequently be one or more Mons that are not just good, but overwhelming into your team. Examples like sub-CM Keldeo against Rain, and Cloyster against sand are matchups that you often have to risk when building and playing the tier.

Even against matchups you're theoretically 'good' into, RNG is still a huge element at play. Scald's 30% is a major player—threatening Ttar's ability to check the psychics and keep up sand—but the same holds true for much riskier situations: pivoting Lando into Cloyster and risking getting torn apart by D-nite and Scizor, having your Keld flinched by Mamo's icicle crash, etc.

The fast offensive threats relative to the limited defensive counterplay means that in a significant portion of games, you're constantly on the back foot in one way or another. That position of "being on the back foot," in turn, exacerbates the effects of RNG and matchup fishing—of which the tier already struggles with due to its limited archtypes. All that leads to a metagame that feels overall unpredictable and highly unstable, even in the best of times.

Suggestions:
Despite my many qualms about the tier, I think that there are several suggestions that could great help it's overall playability.

Banning Scald, as many people have suggested, is my most urgent suggestion. As I've hopefully established in Part 4, the physical attackers Scald checks aren't really problematic threats. In fact, I think the supermajority of players would agree that (with the exception of Cloy) it is special threats that define the tier offensively—Zam, Reun, Keld, Volc, Thund-T, Latios. Even the physical threats that are prominent mainly exist to abuse common sand structures of Ttar + Ferro—which is often forced by these special threats to begin with.

Speaking of Volc, I think one of it or Cloy should be banned. I know that past gen tiering is typically difficult, and shaking up the tier on a fundamental level is even more so, but Cloy and Volc exert overwhelming pressure on the team builder. They have the very real potential to tech past their checks:

  • +1 252 SpA Insect Plate Volcarona Bug Buzz vs. 248 HP / 172 SpD Tyranitar in Sand: 308-366 (76.4 - 90.8%) -- 25% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

(Whie lum berry is a very viable alternative for shrugging off T-wave).

Not to mention the fact that both these mons claim one KO at least, every time they set up—which is not hard to do, given the prominence of defensive mons like Ferro and Lando. Many checks, particularly Cloyster's, have to keep their health above a very high threshold so that they can even perform their checking duties in the first place:

  • +2 252+ Atk Never-Melt Ice Cloyster Icicle Spear (5 hits) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Keldeo: 235-280 (72.7 - 86.6%) -- approx. 2HKO after Stealth Rock

  • +2 252+ Atk Cloyster Rock Blast (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 200+ Def Rotom-Wash: 175-210 (57.5 - 69%) -- approx. 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
Banning one of these offensive terrors and definitely Scald, would—as I see it—for sure help the matchup games and overall experience of the tier.
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One last note: thanks again to Peng and his post explaining the basics of the tier. Even though I'm arguing against his view on a number of the tier's fundamental concepts, the fact that he takes the time to explain these concepts non-condescendingly is something that we should all we appreciate.

Thanks also to Finch for answering loads of questions on this thread, whether they're basic concepts or the more complex usage of mons and/or sets. And lastly, thank you BKC, who first introduced me to the tier.
 
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But a significant number of teams I've both built with and faced in Gen 5 OU—some coming from high level players—are completely torn apart by a single mon. Even on the Sample Team's page, this issue is seemingly apparent: crucify's Keldeo + LO Zam PsySpam gets torn apart by Volc, Smurf struggles into the most common forms of toad+cruel+ferro rain.
I definitely agree that BW is a tier where every team is going to have at least 1 30-70 unfavorable MU. I don't think individual Pokemon are necessarily the causes of this, though, nor do I think consistent teams nowadays are running into the problem of being shredded by 1 ubiquitous pokemon.

Crucify's LO Zam team on paper is destroyed by specific (and fairly common) variants of Volc, but it's a team that's very good at minimizing its opportunities in the first place. Theoretically with a power item to break ttar with just sr, latios trapped, and either Psychic or Giga Drain, volc wins the moment it QDs, but the room for this actually to happen isn't really there. A problem this type of build would traditionally struggle with is that early game Garchomp or Breloom forces your hand with Latios, but this isn't a concern with Keldeo and Lando. Furthermore, keeping SR off vs this team is easier said than done considering it uses a Zam set that can KO Starmie with just SR (thanks to LO) and can't be removed by Sciz (runs HP Fire, can EV to live LO BP from full). The only opportunities volc's getting to set up are against Ferro, and often with Gyro on the switch or something similar, it's put into Latios range.

To use another example, which is a bit more extreme and less likely to come up in today's metagame, the "standard" rain 6 with scarf latios keldeo thundurus is on paper extremely vulnerable to Zam + spikes + Pursuit, yet one of the most iconic structures featuring such a thing (ABR SkarmGastro psyspam) can actually have a horrible MU vs it depending on Keld/Thund sets. If that Keld is SubCM or non-choice Grass or that Thund has Grass Knot, suddenly that Sand is getting bodied. Of course, this is because a blind spot for that team is an overreliance on Gastro to check these two rain abusers, and it's a lot worse at doing this depending on set compared to Latios, but the bigger point is that even if that rain is vulnerable to Zam, its opportunities are minimized because how the hell are they getting spikes up or forcing in latios to trap when Gknot thund is reaming them? Naturally, I think that the SkarmGastro sand is inconsistent by nature because it is very weak to many many individual pokemon, but the point still stands.

While that example is a bit extreme and it's this type of scenario that makes that team extremely inconsistent in the current metagame, I think
the takeaway from it is that being vulnerable to a specific pokemon on paper is often made up for by exerting pressure in such a way that denies it the opportunities or circumstances it needs to threaten you. The Keld Thund rain example doesn't always hold up for all variants of Zam (Zam Latios is much harder, for example), and the crucify team can struggle vs specific iterations of Volc (like screens). This is inevitable, though. Expecting to have resources for pokemon like zam and volc every game you face them is asking for the impossible. The same can be said for Keld or Thund or Cloy. Such is BW.

Of course, Sand teams can make adjustments to not lose to HO. Like you mentioned, Tran and HP-Ice Keld can defensively and offensively, respectively, threaten HO. Scarfchomp in particular can clean up a lot of even slightly weakened HO. The issue is that these adjustments have the minor issue of doing far, far worse into:
Obviously, if pokemon that help you vs volc like terrak, scarfchomp, and heatran didn't open you up to other shit, volc would be unviable, but I don't think one's ever so crunched for options that attempting to MU boost in one area puts you on a huge backfoot against an entire archetype.

To take another isolated example, one of the best attempts at fitting terrak onto a team is ttar lando drill celebi rotom terrak. SubPass Celebi + Terrak is quite strong into Rain, and the team has the tools to divide and conquer most HOs. This leaves opposing Sand, but depending on sets, it can very much deal with teams with sturdy fight resists like gliscor and reun that Terrak is going to struggle against. The solution I've turned to often is SD > Tect on Drill. That will probably only help so much against something like slowbro, but the bottom line is that this is a team with a fine Volc MU while being good to great against other archetypes too.

This is but one example, but I think it's a stretch to say that one's inevitably pushed into frequent near-unplayable MUs. If that's happening, it's usually a sign of teambuilding greed. Skarm Gliscor triple Psychic is never losing to Keld Thund Rain but it also autoloses to Mamoswine clicking ice moves.

Excadrill, which stacks crippling weaknesses to water, ground, and fighting with the T-tar you're going to be paired with. You also lose momentum against several extremely common mons: Lando-T, Cloyster, Chomp, D-Nite, Volc (if no rock slide).
I think this sells the pokemon short to a criminal degree. Steel/Ground is an absolutely absurd typing that makes even a pokemon with 110/60/65 bulk comically hard to wear down. It's a massive offensive and defensive presence that aids against pokemon like scizor jirachi and even latios reun zam. It's also very good at spinning because it's so hard to wear down and is very hard to spinblock outside of the rare Ghost Rotom thanks to Sand Force. It is also not a momentum sink against dnite volc because these do not set up on it at all regardless of rock slide or not. Cloy also barely sets up on it in Sand.
 
Has there been any talk of tiering action and bans besides the normal “everything in bw is broken” thought? Even just a poll of player satisfaction that I haven’t saw? Honestly I don’t really know how tiering works but I feel like I’ve been hearing a bit more dissatisfaction than normal. Of course if people are loving the meta and I’m tripping, it’s a moot point.
 
Does anyone have any good cores / teams with Reshiram or Kyurem-W in BW Ubers? I know Magic Sun is one archetype where these can work but I'm wondering if anything else would work
 
Is HP Fire viable on specs Latios? I've been messing around with different moves to run in specs lati's 4th slot since I never really found myself clicking dpulse or recover all that much, and I've found myself with a bit of a conundrum with the idea of running HP Fire. I really like the idea of nuking common switch-ins to draco, like ferro, rachi, sciz, etc, as my team seems to struggle to punish them very quickly, but the fact that to run HP Fire requires lowering both speed and SpAtk IVs by 1 has given me conflicting thoughts. Anyone know if this a worthwhile trade-off, or am I better off not running it? Thanks!
 
Is HP Fire viable on specs Latios?
Hello. This is definitely a usable set for the reasons you mention above. Punishing common draco-switch ins and pressuring steels generally can go a long way.

Dropping roost can sometimes be problematic if you tend to throw latios in against keldeo or thundurus. If you have other ways to play around this (whether that be through other defensive pieces or offensive pressure) then its totally justifiable. Besides, i think roost serves more utility on scarf/non choiced sets anyways. If there was ever a set id drop roost it would be specs.

I wouldnt really be deterred by the drop in speed personally, especially on specs. You cant always tell if the opposing latios/latias is scarf regardless, and best case scenario you are just risking ties that you can likely avoid with accurate play.

Hope this helps
 

Tree69420

早上好中国、现在我有bing chilling!
is a Tiering Contributor
on smogdex it says that BP is banned, while ladder has baton pass stat boost clause, is this a mistake?
 

Gamer1234556

"Because... Scald is a shit Ferro answer!!!"
After all the hullabaloo about Baton Pass being banned, I was shocked to find people sub passing.
BP was unbanned but you can't pass stats. So far it seemed like SubPass is a tolerable enough strategy but not entirely broken (considering that technically only one Pokemon really benefits from SubPassing) to be worth banning.
 
Hello, I'm writing up a blog post and wanted to reference DragSpam teams from BW2 OU- gimmick teams of 6 dragons (i.e. NOT DragMag). There was a thread on PO that I remembered where some notable players reported success with that strat, but it sadly wasn't archived. Does anyone know of any RMTs on smogon with such teams?
 

Gamer1234556

"Because... Scald is a shit Ferro answer!!!"

peng

policy goblin
is a Community Contributoris a Forum Moderator Alumnus
The entire BW current gen RMT subforum was archived and can be found in Closed Forums, but it is thousands of threads deep and 99% of it is unviable casual teams. If you have the dedication it may be worth searching in there though

as someone who was around at the time though, I can’t recall any serious use of 6 dragon teams by top players so I imagine you’ll be out of luck. Maybe some top guys laddered with it as a meme, but it certainly wasn’t seeing the kind of actual success that would lead to a notable RMT or forum discussion, I think. This has never been an actual viable strategy even by gimmick standards
 
Just wondering, but why are volc and cloyster being suspected? I get that they are extremely powerful but cloyster especially is only B+ rank.
 

Monai

is a Forum Moderatoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Moderator
Just wondering, but why are volc and cloyster being suspected? I get that they are extremely powerful but cloyster especially is only B+ rank.
A large part of the community believes Volcarona and Cloyster to be overwhelming and destabilizing to the tier's standard cores. I would recommend reading this forum post and/or joining the BW discord if you want a more nuanced understanding.
 
Toxicroak is only viable with Rain support, and it's a mon that struggles into some of the biggest banes for rain teams: Reuniclus and Jellicent. It also struggles with pokemon that rain should never have trouble with like Lando.

It's deadly in Rain mirrors since it sits and sets up on Tentacruel and Ferrothorn, and it's pretty decent against Keldeo, but there are far more elegant ways to secure rain mirrors.
 
Has a BW1 pre-BW2 format ever been considered? Like a format that's just identical to BW OU the day before BW2 released (this could be applicable to most old gens, but BW is the old gen I'd like to see do this the most, so I'm asking it here). This seems like a very fun thing to do. I understand metas develop and all, but this would be nice for people that weren't there to experience it and fun in general. Plus, this isn't easily done with a challenge code, especially when considering the move tutor moves. And I'm sure this wouldn’t get much activity, but it would be nice for it to at least be a challengeable format.

(I know my other post was the latest question asked. sry. just very curious about this)
 
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Has a BW1 pre-BW2 format ever been considered? Like a format that's just identical to BW OU the day before BW2 released (this could be applicable to most old gens, but BW is the old gen I'd like to see do this the most, so I'm asking it here). This seems like a very fun thing to do. I understand metas develop and all, but this would be nice for people that weren't there to experience it and fun in general. Plus, this isn't easily done with a challenge code, especially when considering the move tutor moves. And I'm sure this wouldn’t get much activity, but it would be nice for it to at least be a challengeable format.

(I know my other post was the latest question asked. sry. just very curious about this)
Even if its wildly unbalanced, Id love to see a BW Dex format, get the feel of an alternate gen 1
 

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