With major metagame trends starting to surface, let's do a breakdown on what's good in Convergence. Part 1 will cover the various noteworthy defensive Pokémon the meta has to offer, while part two will highlight some of the driving offensive threats we have in the metagame.
Interestingly, some of the biggest winners of Convergence are defensive Pokémon, as many potent tools a defensive Pokémon could dream of getting are locked away on subpar Pokémon. But no longer, as you will see just how dangerous these Pokémon can get.
: Unaware, Regenerator, Adaptability
: Flip Turn, Roost, Liquidation, U-turn, Wish, Bulk Up, Jet Punch, Earthquake, Drain Punch, Stealth Rock, Rapid Spin, Dragon Tail, Wave Crash, Final Gambit
Dondozo can do anything. Literally, think of near any role you want a Pokémon to achieve on your team, and Dondozo can execute with frightening skill. Dozo is already a formidable wall in OU thanks to it's bountiful physical defense while still being able to exert offensive pressure, and all of these traits are compounded here, where it gains access to utility moves out the zaza, a superior set up move in bulk Up (or Swords Dance, if you choose), and most importantly, reliable recovery to maintain it's presense on the field. The main choices for abilities lie between Unaware and Regenerator, with one maintaining it's foothold against sweepers while the other grants it sustainability while it switches around over the course of a game, very useful in a limited PP recovery meta. Very minor success has been seen with more offensive leaning Bulk Up Dondozos with Adaptability, but they are largely inferior to the standard Unaware BU wincon.
: Regenerator, Purifying Salt
: Salt Cure, Knock Off, Spikes, Recover, Body Press, Will-O-Wisp, Iron Defense, Stealth Rock, Protect, Rapid Spin
Following closely behind Dondozo is a defensive behemoth that has taken early Convergence by storm, Garganacl! Already a major defensive beacon in standard Gen 9 OU, Dondozo amasses a wide variety of tools that make it a distracting powerful defensive tool in Convergence, such as the option to swap out Purifying Salt for Regenerator, access to Knock Off, Spikes, Rapid Spin and most hilariously Will-O-Wisp (from Rolycoly), which lets it be the primiere check to physically defensive Pokémon in the tier, especially since Regen sets can afford to drop Recovery and stock up on as much utility moves as possible. Ofc, Purifying Salt is still very much a viable ability and it can be used to catch several Pokemon that rely on inflicting Status to wear down no recovery Garg off guard. Excellent Pokemon and it should be prepped for constantly.
: Magic Bounce, Trace
: Knock Off, Moonblast, Teleport, Wish, Protect, Will-O-Wisp, Nuzzle, Encore, Stealth Rock, Light Screen, Reflect, Healing Wish, Trick, Perish Song
Scream Tail is another major winner here, getting access to the very coveted Magic Bounce, which makes it much harder to take advantage of it's passivity thanks to blocking Taunt, most status moves and hazards, while being able to inflict it's own. This makes it the ultimate hazard deterrent, as very little Pokémon can reliably force hazards against Scream Tail without taking punishment, whether it be status inflictions or item removal. It is also a phenomenal Wish Passer thanks to getting Teleport from Gardevoir, which just ensures it acn also keep up momentum. It's biggest flaw however is it's 4MSS, as Scream wishes it had access to all of it's utility moves + Moonblast, and whatever you leave off will always feel missed. It's still a top dog, and should be feared when you face it!
: Aroma Veil, Natural Cure, Thick Fat, Intimidate
: Seismic Toss, Wish, Softboiled, Final Gambit, Transform, Stealth Rock, U-turn, Glare, Rapid Spin, Tidy Up, Encore, Taunt, Super Fang, Boomburst, Shadow Ball, Imprison
Blissey is imo, a Pokémon that encapsulates what Convergence is all about. Pure Normal types are currently absent from OU, and for good reason, as no single Normal has all the tools it needs to be relevant to our current metagame. Every one has a shortcoming, including former SpD mainstay Blissey. But in Convergence, every Pokémon's individual talents combine to form one potent Normal type, and Blissey is that spokesperson. And boy, did Blissey gain ALOT. With a utility Movepool to rival that of Dondozo's, Blissey can offer unparalleled support to a team regardless of the playstyle, and is perhaps one of Stall's greatest weapons. It's ability lineup is spectacular, with each one helping partake in specific niches, from checking Chi Yu with Thick Fat, to healing status with Natural Cure or usually most useful, stopping a stray Taunt from preventing you from doing some form of service. Whether that be clearing hazards away, setting Stealth Rock, passing massive Wishes with Wish Passing via U-turn or probably it's best tool, using Transform to prevent itself from becoming set up bait. Glare access isn't bad either, and if all else fails you can just click Final Gambit and guarantee a kill versus any non Ghost type.
: Multiscale, Intimidate, Moxie, Natural Cure
: Dragon Dance, Extreme Speed, Earthquake, Brave Bird, Acrobatics, Ice Spinner, Fire Punch, Will-O-Wisp, Defog, U-turn, Haze, Super Fang, Cotton Guard, Taunt
You may be wondering, why is Dragonite being listed in a thread about defensive juggernauts, but Dragonite has more than earned it's keep. When Dragonite is not sweeping teams with Dragon Dance, you might be surprised to find it walling your physical breaker of choice. That's right, recent metagame trends have given rise to the defensive Dragonite, leveraging all of the different defensive tools the other Dragon Flying Pokémon grant it - Intimidate from Salamence, Will O Wisp and Defog from Altaria, and U-turn and even Super Fang from Noivern, allowing it to check various dangerous threats such as Palafin, Great Tusk, Meowscarada and others, while a specially defensive set can make short work of certain Chi Yu variants, Gholdengo, Lilligant and other menacing Pokémon. All of these unique attributes have let to an explosion in popularity in it's defensive sets, almost overtaking the Dragon Dance sets in notoriety. Yes, things are looking good for Dragonite, whose splashability knows no bounds.
: Regenerator, Intimidate, Poison Touch
: Spikes, Recover, Haze, Dragon Tail, Liquidation, Poison Jab, Thunder Wave, Toxic, Toxic Spikes, Chilling Water, Baneful Bunker, Taunt, Infestation
Toxapex is an often overlooked option in Convergence, seeing that it has to heavily compete with the two best bulky water types in Dondozo and Garganacl, but it gains a few key traits in addition to it's own that helps set it apart. Gaining Spikes is the major boon here, as this makes it the only naturally Water typed Spike setters we have, and is also one that is not afraid of Toxic. Being able to inflict multiple forms of status is also quite annoying, and is a trait not many Water types can lay claim to atm. Dragon Tail access paired with hazards leads to some nasty shenanigans as well. If you want a Dondozo alternative that can check a Iron Valiant better, don't look too far away from Toxapex.
Other less notable defensive Pokémon include
, who have not gained much of anything in Convergence, but are still very viable picks in the metagame, and
, who is a much less passive version of Wo Chien from standard play, but still has a few standout shortcomings that prevent it from being the standout bulky Grass type it deserves to be. See you tomorrow for part 2 when we look at Convergence's top wallbreakers and set up sweepers!