Resource [Crown Tundra] Sword/Shield BSS Viability Rankings

Psynergy

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Welcome to the Battle Stadium Singles Viability Rankings thread for the Crown Tundra metagame. Here, we as a community will rank all viable Pokemon into tiers. Everyone is encouraged to post thoughts and opinions on Pokemon that are usable in the metagame and what rank they should fall under. The general idea of the thread is to rank Pokemon based on their effectiveness in the Battle Stadium Singles metagame, and posts in this thread will be taken into account when deciding rank changes. Remember that this thread is maintained by players just like you so this list can never be truly objective, but these rankings strive to be as accurate as possible so every post helps.

The Viability Rankings will be updated appropriately as the metagame progresses or when new Pokemon become available, and we will take posts in this thread into consideration. There is no concrete schedule to when these updates will happen, but the VR Council has the final say on what gets moved in the ranking list. These users are all well informed players that gather the community's input to make final decisions on any individual Pokemon:
Battle Stadium Singles Rankings
(In alphabetical order)

S rank
Reserved for the best Pokemon in the Battle Stadium Singles metagame. These Pokemon are usually able to perform a variety of roles effectively, or can just do one extremely well. Their use has low risk involved and high reward exerted. Pokemon in this rank have very few flaws that are patched up by numerous positive traits.
S rank
Cinderace
Landorus (Therian)
Mimikyu
Zapdos


A rank
Reserved for Pokemon that are fantastic in the Battle Stadium Singles metagame, and can sweep, support, or wall significant portions of the metagame. These Pokemon require less support than most others to be used effectively and have few flaws that can easily be overlooked when compared to their positive traits.
A+ rank
Celesteela
Dragapult
Dragonite
Ferrothorn
Hippowdon
Porygon2
Tapu Fini
Urshifu (Single Strike)

A rank
Dracovish
Nihilego
Pheromosa
Rillaboom
Toxapex
Tyranitar
Urshifu (Rapid Strike)

A- rank
Cresselia
Excadrill
Glastrier
Heatran
Kartana
Magnezone
Regieleki
Swampert


B rank
Reserved for Pokemon that are great in the Battle Stadium Singles metagame. These Pokemon have more notable flaws than those above them that affect how they function in the format. Their positive traits still outshine their negatives, but they require a bit more team support to bring out their full potential.
B+ rank
Blaziken
Chansey
Garchomp
Gyarados
Lapras
Metagross
Moltres (Galar)
Naganadel
Rhyperior
Rotom (Heat)
Rotom (Wash)
Salamence
Thundurus (Therian)

B rank
Clefable
Darmanitan (Galar)
Grimmsnarl
Latias
Mamoswine
Raikou
Skarmory
Snorlax
Suicune
Tapu Koko
Tapu Lele
Thundurus
Togekiss

B- rank
Aegislash
Azumarill
Blissey
Cloyster
Corviknight
Diggersby
Dracozolt
Latios
Ninetales (Alola)
Spectrier
Slowking (Galar)
Whimsicott


C rank
Reserved for Pokemon that have a niche in the Battle Stadium Singles metagame. These Pokemon fill unique roles that are valuable on certain teams but have numerous flaws that hold them back. Pokemon in this rank may actually outperform those in higher ranks with specific team support but often depend too much on their teammates to function.
C+ rank
Amoonguss
Arctozolt
Ditto
Durant
Gothitelle
Kingdra
Lycanroc (Dusk)
Porygon-Z
Primarina
Seismitoad
Sylveon
Volcarona
Zapdos (Galar)

C rank
Articuno (Galar)
Buzzwole
Corsola (Galar)
Dragalge
Gastrodon
Haxorus
Hydreigon
Incineroar
Landorus
Marowak (Alola)
Scizor
Scolipede
Stakataka

C- rank
Aggron
Arcanine
Aurorus
Avalugg
Azelf
Chandelure
Charizard
Conkeldurr
Milotic
Moltres
Nidoking
Quagsire
Reuniclus
Type: Null
Uxie

Rules
  • Post intelligently. Posts like "I think Pokemon X should be in this tier" without giving any reasoning is not helpful.
  • Usage statistics may be used to support an argument or a claim, but avoid basing your entire argument around them.
  • No flaming, if you disagree with someone please be civil about it.
  • No one-liners or useless comments.
 
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Psynergy

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Hello again! So if you remember the old threads you'll realize that there's been a change of plans. We've decided it was more appropriate to have a new thread for the Crown Tundra metagame rather than re-open the old one, since there is value in keeping the old metagame thread intact for archival purposes. Since this metagame is so drastically different, it's cleaner to start again with a new thread. I promise this isn't a ploy to fish for likes, probably.

Obviously the metagame has only opened on up cart today so it seems extremely premature to have actual ranked stuff this time around, and you'll quickly notice that early usage on Home/Pikalytics differs significantly than what our ranks say. That's because this list was put together based on the PS ladder meta which has been around for a little longer now so we've been able to see the new stuff in action for a bit. Credit goes to 1_TrickPhony for the base we used which in itself used the Series 5 VR as a framework. We've discussed based on this framework a bit and made a few adjustments but otherwise a lot of this list is based on that initial list.

There's a lot of "new toy syndrome" going around so expect to see a lot of big changes from this as the meta develops and hopefully gets a chance to settle. Compared to early cart usage we may be drastically overrating stuff (i.e. Snorlax, Togekiss, Diggersby) and other stuff might be getting underrated (i.e. Tapu Lele, Kartana, Zapdos-G, Swampert), but it's hard to know how much of that is due to new/returning stuff getting all the attention as opposed to us simply being off the mark. As always though, that's what this thread is for. If you feel very strongly that something here is out of place, then by all means please feel free to point out anything you disagree with. I can already see quite a few things that can be argued one way or another, so don't hesitate to suggest changes!

Hopefully they don't stealth drop any other huge meta shifts before giving us plenty of time to play with this meta, but otherwise the floor is open!
 
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1_TrickPhony

BSS Circuit Co-host
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Couple of early metagame thoughts:

Top 3, in order: Celesteela, Cinderace, Lando-T

:celesteela: 1. The best mon, in my opinion, is clearly Celesteela. Two sets, the fast subseed and offensive (power herb or WP) have taken the metagame by storm, and are simply unstoppable given the right setup. There is currently no drawback to bringing it, as it is fantastic in both the Dynamax and non-Dynamax stages of the game.
:cinderace: 2. Closely trailing it is Cinderace. Cinderace got a bit worse due to the emergence of Lando-T and the new dragons doing well against it. However, it is one of the few Pokemon that can reliably take down Steela while not completely bricking on the plethora of viable ground types. While it now needs to run u-turn on its non-counter sets, it has hardly lost a step and still threatens with its incredibly deep movepool.
:landorus-therian: 3. Finally, Lando-T is a huge beneficiary of the Dynamax meta. Its two main sets, Life Orb SD sweeper and choice scarf, are a huge matchup stress, one of which outright ends games while the other pivots better than basically any other pokemon we've seen previously in the Gen 8 meta.

The next 4: Mimi, Pult, P2, Fini
:mimikyu: 4. Due to not every team running Cinderace now, as well as increased dragon usage, Mimikyu got a half step better in this meta compared to S5. However, losing matchups to the top 3 make it difficult to rise above this second tier.
:dragapult: 5. Pult is still insanely good, and is heavily underestimated and underutilized. With its speed and ridiculous movepool, there isnt a single matchup where it is completely lost. Unlike mimi, which struggles against the top 3, Pult has the tools to make things very difficult for the top mons. Infiltrator, a variety of status moves, and almost unparalleled coverage + speed, it can force the top 3 to dynamax and become fodder for the rest of your team. It also does ridiculously well against the new dragons, OHKOing sash naga and chunking Dragonite.
:porygon2: 6. P2 has a great spread in this metagame, generally needing several pokes in order to take it down (with the exception of Cinderace). P2 would be a clear candidate to be S rank, except for the fact that it loses to the top mon in the game due to completely getting stalled by seed, and doesnt have the special bulk to keep up with meteor beam sets (without losing its edge in the physical department). Excluding the top 2 mons, it cleanly beats lando-T, is a tough matchup for mimikyu, and dunks on lower tiers generally.
:tapu-fini: 7. Fini is the only high viability Tapu due to the move compatibility destruction of the other Tapus. Fini can use either Choiced set or calm mind to punch holes through Dragon-dependent teams, as well as forcing non-Gunk Cinderace to pre-emptively dynamax or switch out. While not being a top Dynamax abuser, it is one of the best at forcing Dynamax, allowing the rest of your team to clean up shortly after (provided you aren't getting swept by something like Steela)

Other contenders for a top slot: Glastrider and Zapdos.
 
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marilli

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There is almost no doubt that the 7 Pokemon outlined above are going to be top metagame presence. So instead of posting about the same, I will instead post about my opinions on the Pokemon that are next up on the list:

Hippowdon I would personally add as a top slot contender. Physical cushions are as valuable as ever, and the fact that Landorus-T is an alternative ground type may drop its usage a bit, but being able to cushion physical dynamaxers includes Landorus-T. It is basically the most effective disruptor that is able to take on top tier Pokemon, without getting Subbed on like Swampert does. You want to cushion their dynamax? Disrupt their setup? Give your setup Pokemon a clean setup turn? It can basically do it all. If you want to start something against a physically offensive Pokemon not named Rillaboom / Gyarados, Hippo's your guy as usual.

Glastier is really anti-meta and certainly a top tier contender. It is surprisingly good out of Trick Room just based on its positive type matchups, which raises its stock quite a bit - consider Rhyperior in Series 5 where it needed TR to be a proper Pokemon, and in Series 6 where it could just start boosting up and have at it, and you realize how big the difference is of just being a pretty independent attacker. Glastrier is hard to handle without Tapu Fini. But on the flip side, it's difficult to imagine it overtaking the above big 7 as long as Fini is on that list. It also needs to Dynamax in order to avoid getting OHKOed by Cinderace, which is a huge downside. You can get swapped on as Glastier Dynamax, and now with Celesteela / Fini absorbing the Dynamax, you will be in trouble.

Zapdos is another attacker that can be super dominant. Its Electric / Flying coverage hit the top metagame Pokemon neutrally, and many of them including Celesteela and Tapu Fini super effectively. And Airstream is broken as always, letting Zapdos move first and take advantage of its good offensive coverage. It's also quite bulky, so currently most Zapdos I see are offensive, but it wouldn't be surprising to see it use different EV spreads and items to adjust to the metagame.

I think Ferrothorn and Snorlax should probably fall unless they really prove themselves in the metagame. They won't need to fall too hard, Snorlax and Ferrothorn always have managed to thrive in what seems to be a pretty hostile metagame time and time again. I also dunno if Excadrill has a place in A given how it literally loses 1v1 to 8/10 of those Pokemon - and he loses them pretty hard.

Heatran I found a lot more threatening than most other stuff in A-. 3 turn Max Overgrowth, and the ability to set up sun for future raw Solar Beam, really takes out the heavy investment & opportunity cost & the one-time restriction put on Grassium-Z Heatran. It's honestly frightening to switch into, as Fini and Lando don't switch in at all despite type advantage, and it finds many opportunities to fire off those attacks with prevalence of Pokemon like Porygon2, Celesteela, and others.

So here are my Day 1 impressions.

Ferrothorn A+ -> A
Snorlax A+ -> A
Excadrill A -> A-
Heatran A- -> A

No call for action yet, but my impression is not that Ferrothorn and Snorlax are bad, but it's that P2 / Fini / Hippowdon / Zapdos are all damn ridiculous at what they do, on a level beyond those 2 Pokemon.

And after A- I don't have too strong an opinion quite yet. Most of the stuff down to B- are pretty viable in their own right, and in C+ and below I think Tapu Lele, Lando-I, Raikou, Scolipede, Ditto, and Cresselia all may be worth using and exploring. Though I believe Cress and Ditto won't rise much above it because of their situational nature, I can definitely see the first three rising. Lele in particular enjoys being able to threaten Tapu Fini when they predictably use its Misty Terrain to switch into Yawn Hippowdon.

Excited to see how the meta develops.
 

Brambane

burn the midnight oil
is a Contributor Alumnus
I managed to go 25-4 to reach Rank 1 on cart yesterday (pic for proof below) using ScoliPass / Weakness Policy Celesteela and will note of some early meta mons to look out for (and a few to avoid!) Also I am not recommending any rating changes or anything until the meta develops further, at least for another week or so. I agree with the above posts on pretty much everything, so I won't dwell too much on the same mons. I experiment a lot on showdown too, say hi if you find me on the ladder.

Celesteela is in a league of its own. It's typing, stats, and movepool allow it to be extremely flexible in EVs and role; it is extremely hard to predict what set Celesteela is from team preview since most sets are good enough to work on any team comp. Dynamax has cranked Celesteela's offensive potential up to 11; max moves give it the power it needs to break through defensive threats and snowball with Beast Boost. Absolutely phenomenal, I expected the meta to shift towards even harder Celesteela counters, and Kanto Zapdos is already everywhere.

Mimikyu itself isn't that different than before, but it is a fantastic Pokemon for filling gaps on teams because it has great synergy with the returning Dragon and Steel-types. Dragon/Fairy/Steel is super strong (especially since Tapu Fini/Kartana/Heatran/Ferrothorn can also enable Water/Fire/Grass) and Mimikyu is a flexible Fairy-type for that core. Porygon2 being on every other team at Master Ball is annoying for it.

Landorus-T is a very threatening end-game Dynamax mon, but most people were using the Rock Tomb lead set for my Master Ball run, idk why that set is more common on cart than it is on Showdown. Lum Swords Dance Lando can win games from turn 1 if they lead Hippo, its pretty funny.

Zapdos (Kanto) is fantastic. It wins every max Airstream trade and does stupid damage with its STABs and Life Orb. Zapdos (Galar) on the other hand is awful. Fairy, Electric and Flying (and to a lesser extent, Psychic) moves are everywhere right now. It also is slower or ties with a lot of things it would really need to outspeed in order to be good, i.e. Salamence. Use regular Zapdos instead; if you want a Defiant mon, use Thundurus. If you want a Fighting-type, use Blaziken or Urshifu.

Moltres (Galar) is a very real threat. It has probably the best offensive typing for a Dynamax special attacker. Max Darkness and Max Airstream synergize so well with Berserk its not even funny. It is one of those Pokemon that you are afraid to hit super-effectively because it has good natural bulk and can easily run Weakness Policy. Very few things are eating a +3 Max Airstream, and those that do aren't enjoying it. I fought a Chesto-Rest one that almost gave me a run for my money, but I had Mimikyu in the back thankfully.

Dragapult is being sidelined due to new toy syndrome bringing all the new dragons out. It struggles with Porygon2 and Tapu Fini being everywhere on the ladder right now, but its has a lot of potential. I expect it to come back later as the meta shifts, but its hard to use right now.

Garchomp is underrated. As a Dragon-type that covers Celesteela's Electric and Fire weaknesses, it has awesome team synergy. Tapu Fini/Celesteela/Garchomp is a core that I am definitely going to experiment with this week. Garchomp is also flexible in terms of items, I expect Lum Berry, Rocky Helmet, Focus Sash, Haban Berry and Roseli Berry to be the top 5 in the future. In similar vein, I think Dracozolt still has a lot of potential as a Celesteela partner, especially since Zapdos-Kanto can't out DPS it.

Cresselia by itself is fairly mediocre, but now that is has Stored Power it is a monstrous Baton Pass recipient. Scolipede is still the best passer in the game due to Iron Defense and its naturally high Speed; I ran enough bulk so Lead Lando-t's Rock Tomb had a low chance to break my Sub after Iron Defense. If you try it out yourself, Tapu Fini will be your nightmare because you are never quite sure it isn't running Haze. Other strong new Baton Pass recipients could be Draining Kiss Tapu Fini, Stored Power Latias, and Suicune.

Ice is nice. Snow Warning + Focus Sash is fun anti-meta tech for the same reason Sash Mamoswine is good. There are a lot of common Pokemon that don't want to eat a Blizzard for Aurorus/Vanilluxe/Abomasnow, and hail chip/Ice Shard can easily finish them off. Most of the time Mamoswine is better, but being able to reset weather is situationally useful and the Snow Warning mons have their perks. Aurorus has Freeze-Dry, SR, and good coverage. Abomasnow has Grass STAB for Tapu Fini and Earth Power to bait Heatran. Vanilluxe has DAMAGE, and Ninetales ofc has fast Veil. Lapras is pretty solid, and I think everyone has firsthand experience of how quickly Glastrier can get out of control. I haven't seen too many Darmanitan-Galar on cart; perhaps Glastrier and Mamoswine have pushed it out of the physical Ice-type slot on most teams.

This post is getting a little long, so to wrap things up I want to quickly list things I didn't mention that I expect to be strong and rise in usage, and things I expect to drop. I am excited to see how right/wrong these predictions are around the end of the month!
Rise in Usage/Viability: Raikou, Kartana, Nihilego, Rotom-Heat, Dragonite, Lati@s, Skarmory
Fall in Usage/Viability: Swampert, Rillaboom, Gyarados, Regieleki, Excadrill, Hydreigon

yes that is a ferrothorn plush don't judge me
rank1nov1st.png
 
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Wow good job. Does this mean that both Cresselia and Scolipede will move up? Idk about Scolipede never used it this gen though I have one, but I'm most definitely in favor of Cresselia moving up I always use one on my team. B+?

EDIT: Why the bulk for Lando's Rock Tomb? SE Tomb is still weaker than STAB EQ...
 
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Theorymon

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So I did about 50 battles yesterday and got to 1810. Here's some proof of it! Consider these sorta my day 1 impressions, but mine are probably going to be different since I started a little over a week after the ladder opened up!



So since it's a bit early, I'm not gonna argue for sweeping changes, but I'm gonna divide my impressions into two categories: Pokemon I think we're under rating, and Pokemon I think we're over rating! I'll also have a section for Pokemon I'm pretty unsure about, that I'd like to start discussion on.

Pokemon we're under rating

:moltres-galar: Galarian Moltres: I think this is the mon we've underestimated the most! I noticed a swarm of these things soon as I got on the high ladder on cart, and for good reason: its a shockingly fearsome Dynamax sweeper! Don't let that 100 base SpA fool you: as an airstream sweeper, Max Darkness, Berserk, and Nasty Plot more than make up for that SpA stat. Since it's fairly bulky too, it makes a great weakness policy user, so that + berserk often get it to +3 SpA, more than enough to strike fear into teams!

I'd probably upgrade it to at least B+. Maaaaaybe A-, but new toy syndrome might be playing a role in things here, I have to admit.

:raikou: Raikou: I didn't really think about this mon till I started seeing them on the high ladder (and as of the usage update, its in the top 30 now actually), but god DAMN Scald was a good buff for Raikou! I realize in generations past Raikou could do more to say, Landorus-T with Hidden Power Ice, but in this metagame Raikou being able to throw out Scald to punish Ground-type switch-ins makes it a lot harder to deal with than you expect! It's got good special bulk too, that combined with its Speed actually makes it a fearsome Calm Minder!

Honestly I'd put it at least B rank, maaaaybe even B+ since I feel like Scald makes it comparable to Tapu Koko's level in some respects, though I'll admit I might be overating it a bit because Raikou gives me way bigger issues than Tapu Koko atm lol. Not sure if I'd go above the B-range though because Raikou is rather soft physically, so it isn't that hard to revenge kill with stuff like Scarf Landorus-T.

:tapu lele: Tapu Lele: Look obviously, this thing got hit with the nerf hammer quite a bit this generation, but I think C+ might be a strike too far. Psychic Terrain blocking priority still comes in handy, and Tapu Lele can still hit plenty hard, it just isn't at that high level it was in USUM. It also helps that outside of Ferrothorn, most Steel-types honestly aren't gonna take Thunderbolt switch ins that well either, so its not like Tapu Lele is helpless. Personally, I'd put it as a solid B Pokemon, but B- might be fine too.

:heatran: Heatran: I gotta agree with marilli here, Heatran is a bastard to switch in too, this mofo really takes advantage of Dynamax. Yes the 4x Ground-type weakness sucks, but I find that doesn't matter too much when Landorus-T is hard pressed to eat Max Flare comfortably without an AV, and Max Overgrowth really helps against Water-type switch ins. I think A is a fitting rank for Heatran, it's certainly better than anything in A- imo.

:mamoswine: Mamoswine: With the return of some major Ice weak Pokemon, I think we might not be giving Mamoswine enough credit here. Scaring the hell outta Landorus-T is really nice for a sash Stealth Rock setter, and unless you're a flying steel or Porygon2, Mamoswine can do a lot of damage! A new secret tool it has by the way, is Oblivious, which now makes Mamoswine immune to Intimidate. I've found this to be a lot more helpful than expected, it punishes Landorus-T leads a lot more now that it won't cut Mamoswine's power. I'm pretty eager to try Mamoswine with offensive items too, since that lets Max Hailstorm do TONS of damage to Celesteela switch-ins.

Speaking of that though... I'd probably put Mamoswine into B-B+ personally because as cool as it is right now, Porygon2 and Celesteela are BIG issues for it.

:dragonite: Dragonite: This one is might be a bit of a hot take, but as obvious as "OMG WEAKNESS POLICY MULTISCALE DYNAMAX!!!!!" is... I think it works! In particular, I find that a lot of teams hit Dragonite with a weak-sauce move fearing the Weakness Policy, which is a good chance to set up Dragon Dance and do a ton of damage anyways. It does suffer a bit from 4mss for its last move, but Fire Punch / Thunder Punch does give it enough coverage at least. I'm not sure if I'd quite put it on Salamence's level (just because Moxie and Intimidate are incredible), but I would not object to Dragonite making A- either.

Pokemon we're over rating


:excadrill: Excadrill: I don't think Excadrill is bad, but the metagame feels really hostile to it at the moment. Celesteela and Landorus-T sorta dunk it unless it gets a Weakness Policy boost. I think Excadrill is a fine Pokemon to make a centerpiece to your team, but you can't really just slap it on teams anymore, so I think B+ or A- is a better fit.

:diggersby: Diggersby: I'm sure this thing is still viable, but B+ seems a bit high to me considering how heavily it competes with Landorus-T for a slot. I'd personally put it around B rank.

:aegislash: Aeiglsash: I can't help but feel that the current metagame is really hostile to Aegislash, with the return of Cinderace and Landorus-T in particular being big issues for it. I've barely seen it so maybe I'm missing something, but B rank seems like a better fit to me.

:hydreigon: Hydreigon: I think we're over rating Hydreigon quite a bit. It's pretty poorly equipped to handle the returning Fairy types, especially compared to its returning Dragon-type buddies. I'd personally put this in B-rank at best.

:ferrothorn: Ferrothorn: Don't get me wrong, Ferrothorn is still a damn fine Pokemon, but with Cinderace, Celesteela, and Zapdos being everywhere, I think A+ is overselling it a bit too much. I'd personally put it in A rank.

:snorlax: Snorlax: similar deal with Ferrothorn, it's still good, but Cinderace being back sorta sucks for it, I think A rank is a better fit.

:corviknight: Corviknight: This might be my most controversial suggestion! It's not that Corviknight isn't good: I mean, it does well vs Landorus-T and Mimikyu, so I can't really knock on it much. My issue is... Celesteela is SO DAMN GOOD, that every time I've thought about Corviknight... I just use Celesteela instead. I realize that's also heavily reflected in its usage atm (its not even in the top 50 lol), but I don't want to use usage here too much. I'd personally put it in B+ just because I find it hard to justify over Celesteela, but I'm pretty open to being convinced otherwise!

Other Pokemon to talk about


:spectrier: Spectrier: I realize this thing had some really early hype when the datamine happened... but I have yet to see Spectrier in action at all. I'm honestly rather skeptical of it too: Mimikyu is freaking everywhere, and it's bulk isn't that hot so just one Dynamax can screw it over. Maybe I'm totally wrong though, maybe one Nasty Plot is good enough to wreck stuff! I don't think Spectrier is gonna be a huge part of the metagame, but I'm curious to see some discussion on it from anyone whose... tried or actually seen it.

:cresselia: Cresselia: I noticed I started seeing these more on the high ladder, and it seems to be top 20 in usage atm. I actually haven't seen them in action unfortunately since no one has sent this in on team preview to me (probably good for me, my team doesn't seem to hot against it right now lol). Looking at its current usage, they seem to mostly be bulky Calm Minders, alongside the usual old support rules it had in past metagames. Not really sure what to make of it currently, any other thoughts?

:clefable: Clefable: I haven't really seen these at all this season. It's a bulky Fairy so I'm sure its usable, and its got some neat things over Tapu Fini such as Life Orb + coverage, Stealth Rock, recovery... but I'm not quite sure what it's place is in the metagame at the moment? I'm wondering if the power level increase has been too much for it, but maybe I'm wrong because I just haven't seen it anywhere.
 
I agree w/ lowering Excadrill, I've been using it a lot but think I should stop. It loses to too many common things, the 2 you said and Fini and Hippo. It'll always be good thanks to Mimikyu but it can move down a bit.
 

Brambane

burn the midnight oil
is a Contributor Alumnus
After playing a lot of the meta (mostly on Showdown) and watching a lot of games, I have some general thoughts on various placements to get some discussion going. There are still a lot of Pokemon I haven't experimented or seen enough yet to have a strong opinion (i.e. Milotic, Dragalge, Dracovish). I am putting the list in spoilers since its kinda long.
Dragapult from S to A+
The rise of Porygon2 and Tapu Fini has put a huge dent in Dragapult’s viability. Dragapult’s immediate power is also less than the other dragons, and Crowned Tundra’s reintroduction of the legends and their naturally high BSTs has made the meta overall bulkier. As a result, offensive Dragapult has suffered. Despite these changes to the meta, Dragapult is still dominant; Crowned Tundra hasn’t changed its role as fast team support, with an unpredictable pool of support options to disrupt the opponent. But with its offensive capabilities curtailed, I don’t think Pult can hold its spot in S-rank.

Tapu Fini from A+ to S
I think Dragapult’s slot in S should go to Tapu Fini and/or Hippowdon. This Pokemon is flexible, splashable, consistent, and powerful. It’s movepool is superficially shallow, but options like Draining Kiss, Iron Defense, Stored Power, Haze, Trick, Nature’s Madness, Icy Wind, even Soak all have potential. The real flexibility comes from its EV spreads; Tapu Fini base stats distribution supports fast offensive, slow defensive, and everything in between. It’s offensive and defensive coverage is excellent and has amazing synergy with other top threats like Landorus-T and Celesteela. And don’t even get me started on Misty Terrain. An absolutely phenomenal Pokemon, and I think only Hippo gives it any competition for the S-Rank slot.

Hippowdon stays A+ or moves to S
Ground is such an integral typing to building consistent teams in this metagame. Hippowdon is an excellent physical buffer that brings a lot of important utility. Rocks help manage things like WP Dragonite and Zapdos, Whirlwind stops Scolipede and Lando from setting up in your face, and Yawn is always fantastic. Hippowdon is also a surprisingly effective offensive Pokemon with Weakness Policy, as most of its standard switches like Tapu Fini don’t stand a chance of KOing it and it hits back hard with Max Lightning from Thunder Fang. But that set is more of a fun surprise option; if you are looking for consistency, keep Hippo on the defensive.

Ferrothorn from A+ to B+
Ferrothorn’s downfall was surprising and unsurprising; it is kind of hard to articulate. A lot of relevant Pokemon have coverage options that smack it really hard. Zapdos has Heat Wave, Celesteela Flamethrower, you get the idea. I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that the bulky Steel-type slot has more competition with Heatran and Celesteela. Ferrothorn still has its place; it absolutely crushes Nihilego, can annoy crap out of P2 and Tauntless Tapu Fini, and maintains its wide support movepool. When I look at the Pokemon in A tiers, I don’t see Ferrothorn anywhere near their levels of effectiveness. I had a lot of teams I built where I eventually dropped Ferrothorn.

Snorlax from A+ to A-
I haven’t been too impressed with Snorlax, but I am not confident enough in its unviability to drop it from the A ranks. I think the combination of Tapu Fini’s Defense and ability to protect allies from Yawn, new powerful physical attackers in the meta, and being total Leech Seed bait for Celesteela have hurt Snorlax’s options. Snorlax’s usage appears to be on the downtrend as well. I believe Snorlax has potential for a resurgence, especially with Custap Berry, but for now a drop in rank is warranted.

Excadrill from A to A-
Landorus-T and Celesteela make life really hard for Excadrill. Both of them threaten it immensely and it requires a Swords Dance to even stand a chance of threatening them back. I am not counting Excadrill out yet; if you can get past those Pokemon, Driller can still hit a lot of the top meta very hard, and Mold Breaker gives Rotom-Heat nightmares. It’s typing is also very useful against Nihilego.

Lapras stays A

I am not going to focus too much on Pokemon that keep their rank, but this is an exception because its usage is on the lower side. You don’t see many Lapras, but it's honestly still solid. It has the coverage to threaten a lot of the meta. It’s power comes up a little short at times for sure, but it’s bulk means it can trade very effectively. The biggest problem Lapras has is the fact it has absolute zero chance to break through Porygon2 and struggles heavily with Leech Seed Celesteela after Dynamax ends. I highly advise keeping Perish Song or Roar on Lapras, otherwise things like Cresselia will just set up on you for days.

Glastrier from A to A+
This thing is terrifying. It is absurdly tanky when Dynamaxed, and you almost NEVER want to try and hit a max Glastrier with a SE move out of fear for Weakness Policy. This effectively makes it even bulkier. When this Pokemon maxes, you enter survival mode for three turns, desperately trying to avoid giving it Chilling Neigh boosts. Honestly this Pokemon, Zapdos, and Celesteela are why I think Rotom-Heat is a top meta pick (I will get to that later.) Oh, and Glastrier also gets Swords Dance and can viably run Assault Vest too.

Naganadel from A to A+
Naganadel’s defensive capabilities leave a lot to be desired; it has very few things to confidently switch-in on. The offset is when Naganadel is in, it applies a ton of pressure with its Speed and coverage. Heatran or insanely bulky special defensive Pokemon like Nihilego and Blissey are the few safe answers to this monster. The trifecta of sets is Scarf, Specs, and Focus Sash. This Pokemon leaves little room for error. With Naganadel, guessing the wrong set can often cost you the game. It is #7 in usage for a reason.

Nihilego from A to A+

Nihilego has frighteningly high turn 1 snowball potential. The 84 HP / 172 SpA / 252 Spe Timid Meteor Beam set can run away with games if you don’t have a lead to match it or something like Excadrill or Metagross in the back. The other sets, such as Sash Hazards, Specs, Scarf, etc, are also still viable and only add to this Pokemon’s surprise factor. It has a glut of positive match-ups; most special attackers that can’t hit it super-effectively struggle to trade well with Nihilego.

Rillaboom from A to A-
There are more Flying-types than ever, and that makes Rillaboom a sad ape. It remains strong overall, stronger than I anticipated, but much of its effectiveness has been stymied. Being a real threat toTapu Fini is a nice trait, and it is still one of the better Grass-types to complete the FWG core, largely because Ferrothorn took such a big hit in viability.

Corviknight from A- to B
Everything running coverage for Celesteela also catches Corviknight in the cross-fire. With Skarmory getting Custap back for Sturdy shenanigans and Celesteela collecting the souls of anyone unfortunate enough to switch in Zapdos on Meteor Beam, Corviknight’s competition even among its own typing is the toughest it has ever been. I am not ready to completely write off Corviknight, but it is really hard to justify fitting it on a team when there are so many other good Flying- and Steel-types in the metagame.

Dracozolt from A- to B
I had pretty high hopes for Zolt, but they were quickly quashed by a Ground-type uprising against the terrifying Electric-types storming the metagame. Dracozolt is still a nightmare to switch on; Hippowdon and Swampert do not like eating Wyrmwinds from this threat. It just takes a lot of effort to get it in that position, and it is completely useless against a lot of fast, offensive threats like Latios, Garchomp, Naganadel, and Salamence. Being slower than Tapu Fini is also a pain, since it is a Pokemon you want your Electric-types to scare off.

Gyarados from A- to B+
Gyarados’ greatest and oldest foe, Zapdos, has returned. Painful electrocution aside, Gyarados’ 81 base Speed is much more noticeable with the introduction of Regieleki, putting Gyarados on edge even after an Airstream. Add to the fact the Salamence somewhat eclipses Gyarados’ niche, Gyarados has become a much more tame and less consistent fish in Series 7.

Heatran from A- to A
Ol’ reliable is back for another generation of high tier play. Heatran can struggle mightily with Landorus, Tapu Fini, Cinderace, and even Celesteela, but it makes up for that by being very threatening to other top threats, such as Mimikyu, Ferrothorn, and especially Naganadel. Heatran is still an excellent defensive piece in both Fire/Water/Grass and Dragon/Fairy/Steel cores, giving it a nice amount of overlapping synergy in teambuilding. Not much else to say, Heatran is solid.

Hydreigon from A- to C
This thing tanked. Okay, let’s look at the good: it’s still reasonably powerful with STAB Draco Meteor, it’s immune to Prankster, it's the best Dragon vs Cresselia, and can switch in on Earthquake. Now let’s look the bad: it gets smacked around by Landorus-T U-turn. It’s slower than Naganadel, Salamence, Lati@s, Dragapult, and Garchomp. It can barely touch Tapu Fini. It gets revenge killed all the time by Mimikyu and Pheromosa. Glastrier eats it alive unless it manages to somehow pull off a Nasty Plot. Oh, and it doesn’t even get special Max Airstream. I will give its Prankster immunity a passing grade and acknowledge its raw power, but Hydreigon is not sitting pretty in Series 7.

Regieleki from A- to A
I underestimated how consistent this Pokemon would be as a screener. Dual Screens + Explosion is a powerful momentum shift, but Regieleki can also sit on the backlines to threaten things like Gyarados and Celesteela. The pure offensive sets are easily countered, but extremely dangerous; this Pokemon is part of the reason why Ground is almost mandatory on every team.

Salamence from A- to A

The first few days on Crowned Tundra I thought Mence was going to be one of the best Pokemon in the format. Things have settled down and teams have gotten better at managing it, but Salamence is still a menace. People are sleeping on Scarf; being able to quick nab a KO without having to max is great, and it also makes Salamence less reliant on Airstream. Another cool set is special LO Salamence, but Dragonite’s access to Thunderbolt to zap Tapu Fini makes it slightly better at that role. Salamence is a solid Dragon-type that has powerful snowball potential. Too bad about, ya know, Ice Beam Porygon2.

Spectrier from A- to B
This Pokemon can absolutely run through teams… if you removed Porygon2, Dragapult, Urshifu, and Mimikyu. Being so vulnerable to some strongest Pokemon in the format puts Spectrier in an awkward position. Most teams at high levels will usually have one of those four, or Snorlax, Assault Vest Glastrier, or any other manner of Pokemon that can put Spectrier on hold. This Pokemon is very inconsistent, but when it gets a good matchup or the opponent let’s their Porygon2 drop oh MAN, you are off to the races.

Togekiss from A- to B+
Not a bad choice, but hard to fit on a team because it shares weaknesses with a lot of really good Pokemon. If you are going to use Togekiss, you have to build around it. You are never going to have a top level team where you are looking for a 5th and think “oh yeah, Togekiss is the pick!” If you build around it, Togekiss is good enough for B+ imo.

Aegislash from B+ to B

I almost NEVER see this Pokemon despite its adequate usage. Aegislash is decent enough, but it can struggle mightily with Pokemon such as Heatran and Rotom-H threatening to roast it. Special sets struggle to break Porygon2, and physical sets get Intimidated and threatened by Landorus-T. After some testing it feels consistent, but consistently above average, not exceptional.

Dragonite from B+ to A
Salamence and Dragonite occupying the same ranking feels viscerally wrong, but they deviate enough from each other that one does not eclipse the other. Dragonite’s advantage is most related to its superior coverage, ability to smack Porygon2 with Superpower, and Multiscale. If you can preserve Multiscale, Weakness Policy Dragonite can roll over teams. The safer, less explosive option is Boots Dragon Dance, but this set misses out one some of the valuable coverage offered by running 4 attacking moves.

Pheromosa from B+ to A-
This thing can be an absolute headache to deal with. Strong U-turn is scary enough, but when Pheromosa decides to go in, it can quickly snowball with Beast Boosts. It's naturally faster than common Scarfers and, unlike Regieleki, has the coverage to match. Don’t sleep on special Pheromosa either; access to Throat Spray Bug Buzz and Max Lightning through Electroweb can catch Tapu Fini completely off-guard, who is otherwise to most reliable Pheromosa switch.

Raikou from B+ to A-
Scald and Discharge make it a pain to switch on, Calm Mind makes it a formidable sweeper, and with Substitute + Leftovers, Zapdos and Porygon2 become set-up fodder. Raikou's offensive presence is not to be underestimated, especially with that wonderful base 115 Speed. It's biggest problem tends to be Dragon-types and Swampert, but it can always fish for a burn or para against them. Surprisingly good, worth trying if you haven't already.

Rotom (Heat) from B+ to A
An excellent anti-meta Pokemon. Non-Meteor Beam Celesteela hates this, it switches on Zapdos and Tapu Koko all day, it burns Mimikyu and Glastrier, Heatran almost never runs coverage for it, and you still get to roast Ferrothorn when needed. Heat and Wash Rotom are both effective in the current format, and which one you should use usually comes down to if your team already has Tapu Fini or Heatran.

Articuno (Galar) from B to C+
Articuno has a lot of upfront power and Competitive can screw over Landorus-t, but its typing and lower Defense leave it wide open for Mimikyu, Glastrier, Dragapult and others.. It also lacks critical coverage, relying on Shadow Ball to deal with the meta’s ubiquitous Steel-types. Articuno really suffers from 4MSS; if it could run Calm Mind / Recover / Freezing Glare / Hurricane (or Air Slash) / Shadow Ball, it would probably be the best of the Galar birds. Currently I think the best set is Choice Specs since you are less reliant on Competitive and Calm Mind to break down defensive threats. If you do nab a Competitive boost you can max for Airstreams, and finish off the game with Specs-boosted +2 STAB moves. On the bright side, at least Tyranitar isn’t that common!

Garchomp from B to A-
Garchomp is only A- because it can’t Airstream or Dragon Dance; if it got either I would argue it is the best Dragon. Instead Garchomp has to use “lol nice Defense” Scale Shot to boost its Speed. Garchomp and Tapu Fini are best friends, which might seem weird since Misty Terrain weakens Chomper’s Dragon moves. But Garchomp really just wants to be clicking Earthquake most of the time anyways, and Tapu Fini can get rid of Grassy Terrain while blocking status too! The things that you hit with Dragon STAB are usually unaffected by Misty Terrain or hit by Fire Fang, which is currently the coverage move to use. Garchomp’s ability to switch in on Electric moves is an excellent asset to Tapu Fini, Celesteela, and even Zapdos. Garchomp also threatens top threats like Nihilego, Heatran, and Regieleki. It can’t snowball as hard as Dragonite or Salamence and hates Landorus-t with a passion, but it is still a very effective Pokemon in the current metagame.

Porygon-Z from B to C++
Porygon-Z is a team preview check. It forces the opponent to bring specific things to deal with it. If your team can capitalize on that, it’s fine, but a lot of Pokemon can accomplish the same goal while also being way more useful in common match-ups. If there was a tier between B- and C+, I would put PZ in there. Nothing has really changed about PZ, but the meta is just bulkier overall, which is bad for it.

Scizor from B to C+
It’s fun to Bullet Punch Nihilego, but Scizor doesn’t have the coverage (unlike Durant) to hit the top threats in the metagame. That’s all I really have to say, Scizor has more bad matchups in Series 7 and is due for a drop.

Zapdos (Galar) from B to C+
Zapdos’ biggest problem is itself, or rather its Kantonian self. Zapdos-Galar’s Fighting-type gives it excellent offensive potential with Airstreams and Knuckles, but the typing also leaves it extremely vulnerable to other Airstream users, many of which outspeed or tie with it. Ultimately, this compounded with its Electric weakness and generally less useful resistances makes it an almost immediately inferior choice to Thundurus as a Defiant user, and Kantonian Zapdos as a, well, Zapdos. It's not completely unusable, but it's certainly suboptimal on a lot of teams.

Latias from B- to B
An extremely unpredictable Pokemon in almost every aspect: moveset, EVs, items, even nature. Is it Sub Stored Power? CM + 3 Attacks? Weakness Policy? Who frickin’ knows, I have seen almost every possible permutation of moves on this thing. Latias has the potential to beat almost all of its counters, but not all at once. As such, Latias tends to stomp or completely flop in battle. The real thing holding Latias back however is the prevalence of Mimikyu, Naganadel, Pheromosa, Porygon2, and Cinderace, all of which are huge headaches for the Eon twins.

Latios from B- to B
Latios is much more predictable than Latias: it’s almost always going to hit you and hit you very hard. It suffers from the same weaknesses as Latias, but is a lot harder to switch on due to its raw power and the threat of Trick or Memento. Its coverage options allow it to help cover some team weaknesses, but Latios itself needs a strong team to cover its glaring weaknesses in order to thrive.

Mamoswine from B- to B
Not nearly as good anymore as it was in the first days of the meta, but Mamoswine is still a fearsome offensive rocker. I don’t think Mamoswine flexes very well into any other role. If your team wants Stealth Rock and you need something to threaten Heatran, Nihilego, fliers and dragons, Mamoswine fits the bill. All those things are pretty common, and warrants Mamoswine a small bump in viability.

Moltres (Galar) from B- to A
Easily the best of the Galarian birds, and easily the best Dark-type in the format. Moltres’ phenomenal typing and solid overall stats make it a terrifying Dynamax threat. Berserk + Weakness Policy means it can get completely out of control in a single turn while still clicking Max Airstream. Don’t want to attack it? Too bad, it will just Taunt or Nasty Plot in your face. Chesto Rest is surprisingly effective and also allows it to eat Yawn from Swampert and Hippowdon. I wouldn’t put it in A+ because it can flounder against some of the higher ranked threats, but never underestimate this Pokemon’s ability to turn a game on its head. Also, use screens with it. It’s really, REALLY good with screens.

Swampert from B- to A-
Probably the biggest surprise of the metagame for me. I expected Swampert to suck, but that bulky slow Flip Turn is so good. Swampert can cover a lot of threats and is by far the best Regieleki counter in the game due to Damp. Swampert can sometimes flop pretty hard; almost every common Substitute user is a nightmare if you don’t run Roar, and Grass coverage is starting to become common specifically for Swampert. It definitely has the traits and utility on par with the other A- Pokemon, and the usage to back it up too.

Comfey from C+ to Unranked
The sheer amount of common Pokemon that crush this thing before it even has a chance to set up is tragic. Leave Comfey to doubles.

Cresselia from C+ to B-
As a sweeper, Cresselia either rolls over the opponent if it gets in safely, or it is completely unbringable on team preview. Getting it in safely is the hard part, although the Ground immunity and stupid bulk help. Support Cresselia is also extremely obnoxious; watching a Glastrier get Lunar Danced is a feeling of despair that is hard to describe. Both of these sets, and Cresselia in general, are too situational to rise above B-, but it is a powerful Pokemon to build around.

Ditto from C+ to B-
Fuck Ditto. I stopped running Psyshock on Nihilego for opposing Nihilego because the opposing Nihilego never ran it, but the Ditto transformed into my Nihilego certainly does. There are a lot of good things for Ditto to copy in Series 7.

Indeedee-M from C+ to Unranked

Indeedee not only has absolutely abysmal usage, but it falls short against a lot of the common threats. It’s generally average to below average stats aren’t enough to keep up with the meta. It also constantly has to deal with Tapu Fini coming in. Tapu Lele is decidedly better due to the superior coverage and power outside of terrain. Even then Tapu Lele isn’t exceptional either.

Rotom (Mow) from C+ to Unranked
The Grass-typing hurts more than it helps, leaving it open to the wide breadth of Pokemon with Ice and Fire-type coverage in the meta. The neutrality to Flying is the worst part, as one of Rotom’s best traits is its ability to eat Airstreams. Wash and Heat are substantially better, it's time to put this lawnmower out to pasture.

Scolipede from C+ to B-
Scolipede is only as good as its Baton Pass receivers. Cresselia and Tapu Lele getting Stored Power has opened up new opportunities, and Scolipede welcomes back Metagross in its many open arms. Even Hippowdon can be a monstrous recipient due its surprisingly good coverage, Body Press to abuse Iron Defense boosts, and sheer surprise factor. Scolipede itself is predictable, but it's receiver isn’t necessarily so. ScoliPass is reliant on either a crushing match-up that can’t stop Scolipede or precise positioning, but a well-built ScoliPass team always has a mode that isn’t dependent on Baton Pass. I wouldn’t rank Scolipede itself that highly since Baton Pass flops hard when it fails, but that is the nature of the strat.

Chandelure from C to Unranked
Chandelure is almost reasonable to use. It hits a lot of the meta really hard with its STAB moves, but gets hit twice as hard by the entire meta. Mimikyu returning is a big nuisance. Sash + Trick Room is probably the best set, but it is very situational. At least it's better than Blacephalon.

Duraludon from C to Unranked
Not only is it bad, its usage is hilariously low. You think it would be better with its typing and movepool, but the base stats just don’t cut it. It can’t reliably switch in on the special attackers you need it to check, even with Assault Vest. There are better Dragons, there are better Steels, there are better Pokemon.

Mudsdale from C to Unranked
Mudsdale is not the best bulky Ground-type, it's not even the best horse. There really isn’t a reason to use this over Swampert or Hippowdon, who offer better offensive and defensive traits. If Mudsdale had any way of touching Landorus-t or Celesteela I would give it a pass, but it doesn’t so it sucks.

Rotom (Fan) from C to Unranked

“What’s that? Zapdos is back? But-but-but! Will-o-wisp! Nasty Plot! Who needs Roost, good Speed, or Fire coverage? Come on, don’t leave me! I WANT TO BE RANKED, WHAT ABOUT AIR BALLOON THAT MEME IS FUNNY RIGHT GUYS? GUYS??”

Umbreon from C to Unranked
Tapu Fini absolutely obliterates this Pokemon, and even if it didn’t exist Umbreon would be fringe viability at best. Yawn support is good and all, but there are at least 5 better Pokemon that can do it. Only usable if you have a shiny one on cart, because Umbreon is among the best shinies in the game.

Aggron from Unranked to C
Aggron is the only Pokemon that gets the combination of Endeavor and Sturdy, making it a potent Custap Berry abuser. You can use it as a lead with Stealth Rock, or late game to chunk something down with Endeavor into Custap Iron Head. The lead can get rocks up and leave something wide open to be taken down by an Ultra Beast, Salamence, or Gyarados, allowing for a snowball sweep. Don’t bother with using any other set; Stakataka will probably do it better.

Aurorus from Unranked to C

What makes Aurorus different from the other Snow Warning Pokemon is its huge base HP, access to Stealth Rock, Mirror Coat, and excellent coverage. It is 100% not worth building around, but if your team could still fit a Stealth Rock user that can threaten the likes of Zapdos and Naganadel, Aurorus is worth consideration. Just be sure Mamoswine wouldn’t fill the role better on your team.

Avalugg from Unranked to C
Sturdy + Mirror Coat has always been an option for Avalugg, but this time around it's better because Avalugg’s decently strong Icicle Spear is relevant! Not only does it pin a lot of Dynamaxed special attackers with Mirror Coat, its monstrous Defense allows it to take on Salamence and Landorus-t. Not good enough to build around, but if you want a cheeky Pokemon to retaliate against early maxers and some common physical attackers, Avalugg is an off-meta choice that can catch people off guard.

EDIT: Why the bulk for Lando's Rock Tomb? SE Tomb is still weaker than STAB EQ...
Players will often use Rock Tomb to negate Speed Boost or to cover switches/passes.
 

Psynergy

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Hi, now that the meta has had more time to sit we've decided to update stuff since the current rankings are very drastically out of date. We didn't formally vote on them just because there's so much to change, but now that analyses are going out we're updating now so that the analyses can properly list an appropriate VR placement. These changes take the current nominations into consideration, but that doesn't necessarily mean every single thing that was brought up ended up changing. That said, thanks for all the nominations and discussion so far!

As a side note, we're also discussing on whether or not we should add an S- rank to the current list. As you can see the S rank list is a little on the large side for an elite group of Pokemon, so there was consideration to limit S rank to the absolute best (Cinderace, Landorus-T, and Celesteela in this case), and then add an S- tier for the stuff that's better than A+ but not quite on the level of the other S ranks (Mimikyu, Tapu Fini, and probably Porygon2 in this case). My personal opinion is that the current S rank is fine and doesn't need further adjustment, but there's enough support in favor of S- that we're giving it serious consideration. Any comments on such an idea would be highly appreciated!

With that, all the changes should be archived below. For clarification, the lists are so large that they've been grouped into lists that reflect changes based on ranks, everything that was S or A before this change is in the first group for example. Obviously there are still plenty of drastic changes like Raikou going from C+ to A-, but hopefully this is easy enough to read! There's a ton of changes listed here and I already had to edit a few things here while writing this post, so if there's anything that looks off here let me know!

Dragapult: Drop from S to A+
Ferrothorn: Drop from A+ to A-
Snorlax: Drop from A+ to A-
Tapu Fini: Rise from A+ to S
Excadrill: Drop from A to B
Glastrier: Rise from A to A+
Naganadel: Rise from A to A+
Nihilego: Rise from A to A+
Rotom (Wash): Drop from A to A-
Azumarill: Drop from A- to B
Corviknight: Drop from A- to B
Dracozolt: Drop from A- to B
Gyarados: Drop from A- to B+
Heatran: Rise from A- to A
Hydreigon: Drop from A- to C+
Magnezone: Drop from A- to B+
Regieleki: Rise from A- to A
Salamence: Rise from A- to A
Spectrier: Drop from A- to B
Toxapex: Drop from A- to B+
Urshifu (Single Strike): Drop from A- to B+
Togekiss: Drop from A- to B+

Aegislash: Drop from B+ to B
Clefable: Drop from B+ to B
Darmanitan (Galar): Drop from B+ to B
Diggersby: Drop from B+ to B
Dragonite: Rise from B+ to A
Pheromosa: Rise from B+ to A
Amoonguss: Drop from B to B-
Articuno (Galar): Drop from B to C+
Durant: Drop from B to B-
Garchomp: Rise from B to B+
Kartana: Rise from B to B+
Metagross: Rise from B to A-
Porygon-Z: Drop from B to B-
Scizor: Drop from B to C+
Seismitoad: Drop from B to B-
Skarmory: Drop from B to B-
Sylveon: Drop from B to B-
Zapdos (Galar): Drop from B to B-
Dracovish: Rise from B- to B
Grimmsnarl: Rise from B- to B
Latias: Rise from B- to B
Latios: Rise from B- to B
Mamoswine: Rise from B- to B
Moltres (Galar): Rise from B- to A
Swampert: Rise from B- to A-
Whimsicott: Rise from B- to B

Comfey: Drop from C+ to UR
Cresselia: Rise from C+ to B+
Ditto: Rise from C+ to B-
Indeedee-M: Drop from C+ to UR
Raikou: Rise from C+ to A-
Rotom (Mow): Drop from C+ to C
Tapu Lele: Rise from C+ to B+
Duraludon: Drop from C to UR
Mudsdale: Drop from C to UR
Rotom (Fan): Drop from C to UR
Umbreon: Drop from C to UR
Aggron: Rise from UR to C
Aurorus: Rise from UR to C
Avalugg: Rise from UR to C
 
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That's good Rotom-Fan went UR but is Mow not getting the boot? I agree that it should. Rotoms shouldn't be weak to fire and there's the flying neutrality.
 
On S-:

I think that the five pokemon mentioned in S are clearly the five best in the game at current and there is a pretty big fall off between these five and the rest of the cast. I think there is a big difference between the strength of something like Mimikyu or Tapu Fini or Celesteela which I'd consider 3-5 and Porygon2 in how meta defining it is at least currently. It's not unprecedented to have that many pokemon in S either. Take for example USUM where there was Mimikyu, Greninja, Landorus-T, Mega Salamence and Tapu Fini in S. I do think it is fine to keep it as is, but I have no great opinion either ways.

Potential VR changes:

Glastrier A+ -> A:
I do think that Glastrier is very strong in the right team composition, especially the likes of trick room and dual screens where it does shine, however I do think it is the odd one out in the A+ ranks and might have been a bit overhyped. The rest of the pokemon there to me can fit on almost any team composition which I do not think is the case for Glastrier. I do think it fits better with the A pokemon as of present.

Lapras A -> A-: I think Lapras is a shadow of where it was in its heyday and its ice typing definitely holds it back more defensively than it did pre-CT. As a bulky water, it is outclassed by Tapu Fini, Swampert and perhaps even Suicune and even though G-Max Resonance is undoubtedly broken, it does come with an opportunity cost of needing to Dynamax.

Garchomp B+ -> A-: I think Garchomp is slept on a bit, it is actually pretty good. It does face a lot of competition from Landorus-T but it does come with a different movepool, comes with some different resistances and is faster and generally slots into any composition if for whatever reason you don't want to use Lando-T. Not 100% sold on this one myself, but thought I'd put it out there.

Zapdos-G B- -> B: This thing is definitely a slept on threat that is obnoxious to deal with, especially under screens.

Uxie UR -> C: Uxie should probably be C or something

Moltres UR -> C: Yea
 
Potential VR Changes for Spectrier:

Spectrier: B -> B+/A-


I think that Spectrier is slept on and I do think that Spectrier can fit on Hyper Offensive Teams or on TR teams to have a fast mode on. It benefits from dual screens and it partners up with Eleki and Grimmsnarl quite well. It can set up Nasty Plot/Agility or run Choice Scarf to deal with Dragapult, one of its better checks. Once it sets up easily with Nasty Plot with Screens, it can sweep teams and end games. It feels consistent to use it on Dual Screens once it has gotten support from Eleki or Grimmsnarl. It can run Life Orb, Focus Sash, Weakness Policy if you are using Eleki's Fast Pivot Option to try to deal with Dragapult with Agility, Grassy Seed or Electric Seed to help with its poor bulk with Rillaboom or Tapu Koko and Eleki or Grimmsnarl, you can even run Choice Specs if you are Crazy and you can use Whimsicott support moves like Tailwind and Memento to deal with Dragapult. Despite it being Uncommon, I think that Spectrier can destroy teams under the right circumstances. So that's why I like to see it go up from B to either a B+ or A-, this horse is really good and might be meta-defining.
 
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cant say

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Potential VR Changes for Spectrier:

Spectrier: B -> B+/A-


I think that Spectrier is slept on and I do think that Spectrier can fit on Hyper Offensive Teams or on TR teams to have a fast mode on. It benefits from dual screens and it partners up with Eleki and Grimmsnarl quite well. It can set up Nasty Plot/Agility or run Choice Scarf to deal with Dragapult, one of its better checks. Once it sets up easily with Nasty Plot with Screens, it can sweep teams and end games. It feels consistent to use it on Dual Screens once it has gotten support from Eleki or Grimmsnarl. It can run Life Orb, Focus Sash, Weakness Policy if you are using Eleki's Fast Pivot Option to try to deal with Dragapult with Agility, Grassy Seed or Electric Seed to help with its poor bulk with Rillaboom or Tapu Koko and Eleki or Grimmsnarl, you can even run Choice Specs if you are Crazy and you can use Whimsicott support moves like Tailwind and Memento to deal with Dragapult. Despite it being Uncommon, I think that Spectrier can destroy teams under the right circumstances. So that's why I like to see it go up from B to either a B+ or A-, this horse is really good and might be meta-defining.
No.

57th in usage and requires all the support you just listed to even have a chance at working out, and straight loses to the top threats. If anything it should be dropped from B to B-
 
I honestly believe Spectrier is way better than most people give it credit for. Access to both calm mind and nasty plot along with grim neigh and a fantastic speed tier make Spectrier incredibly threatening. I honestly say that it’s more threatening than glastrier to me. Here are 2 Spectrier sets I’ve used to great effect
Set 1 - sub calm mind
Spectrier @ leftovers/hp pinch berry
Grim Neigh
Timid
102 SpA / 252 Spe / 154 HP (not optimized lol)
Substitute
Calm Mind
Shadow Ball/Hex
Dark Pulse

This is designed to be a stall breaker of sorts that can double as a sweeper if given the right set up opportunity, with grim neigh being a fantastic snowball ability if the opponent attempts to sacrifice something to Spectrier. After a few calm minds, Spectrier will have deceivingly tough subs, at least on the special side. I’ve found that this set partners great with many fighting weak Pokémon, such as Heatran, Darmanitan, Mamoswine, Weavile or Ferrothorn, who can bait in attacks like close combat for Spectrier to come in and begin to set up on. Will-O-Wisp support from the likes of Dragapult and/or Rotom make Hex a viable option over shadow ball and turn Spectrier into a vicious cleaner with this set. With spectier’s high speed tier, sub can also be used to stall out non airstream focused dynamaxers, but defensive utility is obviously limited on Spectrier regardless.


Set 2 - scarf

Spectrier @ choice scarf
Grim Neigh
Timid/Modest
252 SpA / 252 Spe / 4 SpD
Will-O-Wisp
Shadow Ball/Hex
Mud Shot
Dark Pulse

High speed along with Grim Neigh make Spectrier an ideal choice scarf candidate. Spectrier’s cleaning ability is almost unrivaled in the right hands, with a high speed tier that outspeeds all but obviously faster scarfers when scarfed itself, and Grim Neigh can allow the obligatory scarfer task of revenge killing to snowball into a counter sweep. This set also becomes an excellent dynamax abuser if Spectrier manages to land its revenge kill on the faster Pokémon standing in its way, such as regieleki, dragapult, or an opposing choice scarfer. This in turn allows Spectrier to snowball even more with max moves, complimented by a Grim Neigh boost should Spectrier land a KO on its target, which it often does.

I tend to use off meta stuff anyway, so maybe I’m not entirely correct but from what I’ve seen, Spectrier is by far one of the most threatening Pokémon in the game, and I thoroughly believe it is more viable than is given credit for.
 


One thing that I don't think has been mentioned yet which could further the case of Spectrier is Taunt.

My current preferred set the follows:

Spectrier @ Leftovers
Ability: Grim Neigh
Level: 50
EVs: 12 HP / 196 Def / 68 SpA / 44 SpD / 188 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Shadow Ball
- Dark Pulse
- Calm Mind
- Taunt / Will-o-Wisp / Substitute

Tl;dr:

hp: leftovers number
def: vs. Mimi vs. Hippowdon vs. Rillaboom etc.
spdef: Porygon2 Download Boost = Attack
speed: Outspeeds Naganadel by 1 point
SpA: dump and helps maximise damage output including the OHKO on Dragapult.


There is a general choice between what you want your utility slot to be, but CM, Shadow Ball and Dark Pulse are standard as it gives you good coverage and Max Darkness is very useful for reducing opposing Spdef in dynamax wars. I personally like Taunt but what makes Spectrier great is you can run multiple moves in the last slot and opponents have to respect them. You may be wondering, why the GBU Conkeldurr EVs? I believe that every single EV should have a purpose and therefore I have created this masterpiece. First lets talk about the HP. The HP EVs add up to exactly 177 HP, which allows Spectrier to get the most out of its leftovers. This is often known as the 16n+1 rule. Then the defence EVs, lets start first by talking a bit about Mimikyu. Many Spectrier naysayers have claimed Mimikyu's bad matchup as a particular falling block for our hero.

Vs. Mimikyu:

252 Atk Life Orb Mimikyu Shadow Sneak vs. 12 HP / 196 Def Spectrier: 81-96 (45.7 - 54.2%) -- 9.8% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Mimikyu Shadow Claw vs. 12 HP / 196 Def Spectrier: 108-128 (61 - 72.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Mimikyu Shadow Sneak vs. 12 HP / 196 Def Spectrier: 62-74 (35 - 41.8%) -- 75.1% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Spell Tag Mimikyu Shadow Claw vs. 12 HP / 196 Def Spectrier: 128-152 (72.3 - 85.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Spell Tag Mimikyu Shadow Sneak vs. 12 HP / 196 Def Spectrier: 74-90 (41.8 - 50.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Mimikyu Shadow Claw vs. 12 HP / 196 Def Spectrier on a critical hit: 162-192 (91.5 - 108.4%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO

68 SpA Spectrier Shadow Ball vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Mimikyu: 126-150 (96.9 - 115.3%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO


The defence EVs allow to live two LO Shadow Sneaks most of the time. Spectrier guaranteed KOs with 2 Shadow Balls. They can also help Spectrier to live 1 LO Shadow Claw into Shadow Sneak if clicking Dynamax on a low Shadow Claw roll. This percentage chance increases from about 30% to 70% vs. Spell Tag Mimikyu and 100% vs. Kee Berry Mimikyu. In the case of the latter, Spectrier does not even need to Dynamax vs. a Mid/Low roll of Shadow Claw and lives a Shadow Claw crit 60% of the time.

Spectrier can actually beat Mimikyu in the 1v1 without Dynamax most of the time if Mimikyu isn't holding Life Orb. This obviously increases significantly if using Will-o-Wisp which Mimikyu does have to respect (though I do prefer Taunt for its overall utility).

The Defence also helps vs. Hippowdon

Vs. Hippowdon:

8 Atk Hippowdon Earthquake vs. 12 HP / 196 Def Spectrier: 72-85 (40.6 - 48%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after sandstorm damage and Leftovers recovery
+1 68 SpA Spectrier Max Phantasm vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Hippowdon: 208-246 (96.7 - 114.4%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO

This basically allows you to Taunt to prevent Stealth Rock/Yawn Spam and start CMing up.


There are some more relevant calcs, such as being able to deal with Banded Rillaboom and even Sucker Punch Cinderace specifically with Will-o-Wisp, but I won't go into them or I could be here all day. All you need to know is it helps live hits better

Vs. Porygon2:

Porygon2 can't deal very well with Spectrier even if it has Shadow Ball, at +2 Shadow Ball from P2 has a chance to 6HKO so Spectrier can essentially set up to +6. This is even easier with Taunt which prevents P2 from recovering so you can 3hko at +2 with Dark Pulse:

4 SpA Porygon2 Shadow Ball vs. +2 12 HP / 44 SpD Spectrier: 36-44 (20.3 - 24.8%) -- possible 6HKO after Leftovers recovery
+2 68 SpA Spectrier Dark Pulse vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Eviolite Porygon2: 62-73 (32.2 - 38%) -- 94.7% chance to 3HKO

Discharge and Ice Beam literally do nothing against Spectrier other than the hax chance either. Spectrier also has an advantage over the likes of Fini which employ similar strategies in that it cannot get hit by Giga Impact Max Strike when P2 gets attack download boost.

In general, in conjunction with its speed tier and Taunt/Calm Mind, Spectrier can shut down a lot of Setup sweepers and bulky pokemon such as Calm Mind Tapu Fini, Sub Seed Celesteela, Hippowdon, Zapdos, Cresselia, Heatran and Porygon2. I could go through some of the matchups such as vs. Stall and all of these calcs, but really Spectrier just wins them all easily. It is also a potent stallbreaker due to these same traits. It is in many ways similar to the old stallbreaker Koko but without being weak to Ground and Poison and therefore having a better matchup vs. Heatran, Naganadel and Hippowdon.

Vs. Naganadel:

68 SpA Spectrier Shadow Ball vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Naganadel: 84-100 (56.7 - 67.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Naganadel Draco Meteor vs. 12 HP / 44 SpD Spectrier: 161-191 (90.9 - 107.9%) -- 50% chance to OHKO

This essentially means the only way Naganadel is winning the 1v1s is either Dracoing, which cripples Naganadel or early Dynamaxing which you can capitalise on later, whilst you get to click shadow ball for free. You can actually move EVs out of SpA into SpD if you want to shore up the Naganadel Matchup, 12Hp/108SpD turns Draco into a 6.3% chance to KO.

252 SpA Life Orb Naganadel Draco Meteor vs. 12 HP / 108 SpD Spectrier: 149-177 (84.1 - 100%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO

Vs. Sash Naga, Spectrier even lives a Max Draco 100% of the time. In the Dynamax 1v1, Spectrier always wins with the Max Darkness into Max Phantasm combination.


I am not saying that Spectrier is S, but it is definitely not that bad. I'd urge people to open their minds and consider Spectrier and play it for themselves before judging it based of statistics of a metagame that hasn't even settled yet. Afterall it is not uncommon for things to change very quickly.

2p47cg.jpg


PS: Im not saying that Spectrier should be B+, it's probably fine at B unless things change significantly, just the general memeyness of this post despite it having a lot of content in it was too good to resist.
 
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One thing that I don't think has been mentioned yet which could further the case of Spectrier is Taunt.

My current preferred set the follows:

Spectrier @ Leftovers
Ability: Grim Neigh
Level: 50
EVs: 12 HP / 196 Def / 68 SpA / 44 SpD / 188 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Shadow Ball
- Dark Pulse
- Calm Mind
- Taunt / Will-o-Wisp / Substitute
It's worth also considering 100 HP / 108 Def / 108 SpA / 4 SpD / 188 Spe Timid with Sitrus Berry. This allows you to avoid a Download SpA boost without SpD investment, has slightly higher SpA, and behaves pretty similarly (if not slightly better) defensively:

Vs Mimikyu:

252 Atk Life Orb Mimikyu Shadow Sneak vs. 100 HP / 108 Def Spectrier: 88-109 (46.8 - 57.9%) -- 3.1% Chance To 2HKO After Sitrus Berry Recovery

252 Atk Mimikyu Shadow Claw vs. 100 HP / 108 Def Spectrier: 120-144 (63.8 - 76.5%) -- Guaranteed 2HKO After Sitrus Berry Recovery
252 Atk Mimikyu Shadow Sneak vs. 100 HP / 108 Def Spectrier: 68-84 (36.1 - 44.6%) -- 16.4% Chance To 3HKO After Sitrus Berry Recovery

252 Atk Spell Tag Mimikyu Shadow Claw vs. 100 HP / 108 Def Spectrier: 144-170 (76.5 - 90.4%) -- Guaranteed 2HKO After Sitrus Berry Recovery
252 Atk Spell Tag Mimikyu Shadow Sneak vs. 100 HP / 108 Def Spectrier: 84-98 (44.6 - 52.1%) -- 5.9% Chance To 2HKO After Sitrus Berry Recovery

252 Atk Mimikyu Shadow Claw vs. 100 HP / 108 Def Spectrier on a critical hit: 182-216 (96.8 - 114.8%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO

The bad news first: Spell Tag Shadow Sneak now has a small chance to 2HKO by getting a low roll (thus not activating the Sitrus Berry) followed by a high roll, and Kee Berry Shadow Claw on a crit is now much more likely to OHKO you. On the other hand, your odds against LO Shadow Sneak are improved, and 95% of the time you survive LO Shadow Claw to Shadow Sneak by Dynamaxing on the second turn. I think the trade-off is worth it, personally. The additional SpA is also useful if Mimikyu uses Swords Dance then Dynamaxes:

108 SpA Spectrier Max Phantasm vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Dynamax Mimikyu: 210-248 (80.7 - 95.3%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO
68 SpA Spectrier Max Phantasm vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Dynamax Mimikyu: 204-240 (78.4 - 92.3%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO

(Note that Mimikyu will be at 228 HP after Disguise is Busted followed by Dynamax.) There is additionally a 31.3% in either case that Mimikyu survives, but faints after LO recoil.

Vs Hippowdon and Porygon2

I'm not going to go into details here, but the two EV spreads end up behaving pretty similarly in both cases defensively, while obviously 108 SpA is an improvement offensively. For the record, 8 Atk Hippowdon is not relevant in BSS.

Vs Naganadel

252 SpA Life Orb Naganadel Draco Meteor vs. 100 HP / 4 SpD Spectrier: 169-200 (89.8 - 106.3%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO

Slightly improved survival odds here, too.
 
hg32

8 Attack Hippowdon is merely quickly copying the OU spread where they put the spare 8 EVs into Attack, the calc is exactly the same as 0 attack EVs. I do like the utility of leftovers against stallier teams since 4 turns will overall out-recover sitrus berry and in which case you either want 177hp or go up to 193hp. I do like the P2 download adaptation, especially if you are low when P2 comes in which can tank a fair few hits or you have to deal with the odd shadow ball P2 but it is not 100% important. It is one of these where you have to think, what am I aiming to do. For me, Spectrier is probably at its best when it is taking on fat and it will have a lot of turns on the field.

Versus the Mimikyu matchup, my personal opinion is one more of, well if you do something other than attacking such as SD -> Dynamax, then you can be exploited due to disguise break. For example, take Spectrier vs. Mimikyu with the scenario you have mentioned. I'd actually not dynamax, I think an unboosted spectrier, unless its really in position to win the game is not a great dynamax choice even if you get the grim neigh boost, there are other pokemon that do outspeed or have priority to pick off at such low HP. I prefer something more akin to:

T1: Spectrier Shadow Ball - Mimikyu SD
T2: Spectrier Shadow Ball - Mimikyu Max Phantasm

After Min roll shadow ball (50%), Mimikyu LO recoil (5%), Mimikyu Disguise break (12.5%), the opposing Mimikyu is in range of your own Mimikyu LO Shadow Sneak, LO Cinderace Pyro Ball, Nihilego Meteor Beam, Zapdos Max Airstream, Garchomp EQ etc. etc.. Often you can revenge Mimikyu without even taking damage and keeping dynamax intact meaning you are 2v2 but you still have Dynamax and the opponent does not so you hold the initiative and are likely to win the game. Therefore I'd believe its suboptimal for the Mimikyu player to play this way in most situations. I'd probably be more likely to expect the +2 Sneak here since it KOs non-bulky Spectrier and then you can pivot from there and if needed go back into Spectrier if they Dynamax and KO your switchin.

Your spread is interesting though and I'll be sure to give it a try out on showdown to see if I prefer Sitrus.
 
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I am not saying that Spectrier is S, but it is definitely not that bad. I'd urge people to open their minds and consider Spectrier and play it for themselves before judging it based of statistics of a metagame that hasn't even settled yet. Afterall it is not uncommon for things to change very quickly.
I second this.
Spectrier is not a top threat or whatever, due to the fact that it requires support and the team should be built accordingly, in my experience using it it's not very splashable, if at all.
But it's not to be underestimated. It can snowball pretty quickly and one Grim Neigh proc is enough to stomp a lot of offensive teams if they come underprepared or you played smartly around their check/counters, plus it can even boost itself with NP/CM.

I surely can see Spectrier going from B to B+, but I don't think it can go any higher than that barring super crazy metagame shifts.

It's not an easy Pokémon to judge: it seems to be a one-trick pony with its shallow offensive movepool, but as mentioned before, Taunt is a very interesting option that need some more exploration, and one thing to note is that it can be very centralizing in Team Preview: Spectrier is scary, even with the poor reputation it seems to get people tend to respect it and auto-pick, for example, Galar Moltres if they see it, and you can try to take advantage of these assumptions, so that it does something even in poor matchups where it is seemingly useless.

Of course this is all theory with little practice, as I don't have that much battles with Spectrier at all. I'm just trying to say that it can be interesting, it requires effort but it can be rewarding.

I actually kinda like Spectrier.
 
Nominating Zapdos to S. I struggle w/ these far more than most of the current S rank, it hits very hard. And it's more common than Glastrier and Dragapult by quite a bit. Only a few things seem to work against this and they require AV, like Rotom-H and Heatran. Landorus-T needs to run a rock move to hurt Zapdos when Dynamaxed, and dies to Airstream if not Dynamaxed. Fini and Celesteela obviously have losing match-ups to this, and even Mimikyu has to beware of Static.

I don't use or like Zapdos, it's no great victory for me to get this approved but imo it's a top tier threat and even if A+ reflects that I think it's more than that, unless we drop Glastrier and Dragapult to A or so.

EDIT: Threatening Landog and EQ immunity are huge on an electric, imo the other electrics aren't that great cuz Landog
 
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DragonWhale

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I'm going to throw in my support for S Zapdos as well.

The simplest and most straightforward reason is that it is better than Celesteela atm. It can probably swap places with that thing no problem.

The more in depth reason is that Zapdos is one of the strongest if not the best Pokemon in the meta right now thanks to the reasoning below. There's going to be a few comparisons to Cinderace just to get the point across:

The most common set, Life Orb, is effectively special Cinderace letting it tear through most of the top threats thanks to STAB Max Airstream being broken as usual (and Zapdos has the added benefit of simultaneously resisting it). The only things that resist all three moves are Dracozolt, Rhyperior, and Rotom-Heat, all of which are not too difficult to cover for with other team members. While it doesn't get the benefits of Electric Terrain, the insane damage output Zapdos provides by itself is enough to make up for it. Unlike Cinderace, Zapdos doesn't have a priority attack in its arsenal, but instead has a healing move which is arguably more insane for a Pokemon of this caliber.

There are Pokemon that are becoming very prominent mainly for their ability to beat Zapdos. The most notable is Nihilego, which has the special bulk to win the 1v1, and Tyranitar, which has been on the rise recently. Most other Pokemon are pretty much required to equip an Assault Vest to come out on top vs Zapdos, but this means they won't have boosting items that allows them to outdamage Zapdos's healing capabilities. SpDef Porygon2 is able to parry the Dynamax (if the Zapdos was nice enough to Dynamax before taking care of P2. Physdef just gets 2HKOed so it is not a switchin), but is not able to deal enough damage back and gets PP stalled out of Ice Beam with Pressure (not counting freeze hax).

Zapdos itself has adapted to these challenges, creating other sets past the Life Orb set. The newest trend right now, Steel Wing, lets Zapdos launch a Max Steelspike onto unsuspecting Nihilegos or Tyranitars switching in, often ending the battle on that turn alone. The defense boost is just bonus points as the Mimikyu in the back is unable to revenge kill Zapdos. Eerie Impulse has been on the rise in the past week or so, letting Zapdos completely neutralize Special Attackers including Porygon2 and opposing Zapdos and Roosting back. The adaptation of the Eerie Impulse set, Charge + Kee, is also picking up on popularity after people realized that instead of debuffing an opponent that can switch out, you can instead buff Zapdos so that it becomes unkillable.

The adaptation sets are not as popular as the Life Orb set, but they are still very effective. This is pretty much the same case with Cinderace and its variant sets as well. All in all, Zapdos currently has the same principles in this format that puts it on par with something broken as Cinderace, and therefore deserves its spot in S tier (over Celesteela).
 
I do agree with a lot that is said by the above posts, some of the suggestions such as Glastrier to A I have echoed myself. That being said, I also think you can make similar arguments that have been made above for Zapdos for Celesteela which is why I wouldn't agree to a straight up swap, where it can just use stupid things like power herb Meteor Beam as Zapdos or Rotom-H switches in as a check to win a game on the spot and even if you have Dracozolt as a very niche check, how is it supposed to deal with Max Quake. I could add many more examples here but I do not wish to bore.

I'm not arguing against Zapdos for S here, but only that it should be less surprising/more expected that pokemon in the upper echelons have a possible way/tech for dealing with practically everything due to the inherent tools that Dynamax gives, giving extra bulk, power, boosts and allowing unviable moves with favourable typing to be used on sets on top of what excellent tools these pokemon already have and finding out that a pokemon only has that (crazy I know) does not instantly make that pokemon the best in the game.
 
yay lots of support for Zapdos. I'll try my luck here again now.

Nominating Drifblim to C+. It's a lot like Cprsola-G, Strength Sap, Wisp, even Haze(Clear Smog better.) Plus it gets Memento. Many other options like Thunder Wave and Phantom Force, but I've been using mine like a faster Corsola-g. Strength Sap/WoW/Shadow ball(hex maybe? idk)/ Memento. Sitrus Berry goes very well w/ Unburden. I've managed to completely shut down Weavile w/ this, and that obviously has the type advantage so it works where it should imo. ika ika Musume also suggested BP over my set which may be good too. You can pass Minimize, CM, Amnesia, or Stockpile.

My W:L ratio was even worse before the new team w/ Driofblim, 14 more losses than wins. Now after several games it's 6 more Losses so it's c;early improving my record, and this team doesn't even have Fini like the other!
 
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Have a couple observations to throw in here myself:

:zapdos: A+ -> S (Rise)

This thing is basically the new Togekiss. It can basically show up as it pleases, sports amazing coverage and is next to impossible to kill quickly when its Dynamaxed from full. I think this is because despite actually being decent offensive types this meta, what does the meta have for top Rock and Ice type talent to challenge it? Nihilego, and that's about it. Glastrier is theoretically the next best thing but its far rarer for a reason. Roost is what really puts it over the top though, because if you can't kill it before it comes out of Dynamax it just heals up unless you start going for hard EQ reads. Its a monster and it absolutely should be S tier.

:glastrier: A+ -> A-/B+ (Drop)

I honestly don't have much to say here except I almost never see it, which goes along with its #21 usage stat per Pikalytics. If I had to guess, its opportunity cost is just too high if you aren't running something like dedicated Cress support with Trick Room + Lunar Dance. I'm obviously making a bit of a blind suggestion here, but there are enough popular checks to it (ex: Tapu Fini) that I think it can't snowball as hard as its statline and ability would suggest.

A -> A-/B+ (Drop)

Easy for me to say now but when the hype first started for this thing I was skeptical. Its neutral Dark/Flying coverage is fantastic but without reliable super-effective hits you are going to struggle as a sweeper. I think this has proven true for Moltres-G. The amount of boosts you need for Moltres-G to truly snowball out of control is absurd; its definitely possible, but Moltres-G is another opportunity cost mon that wants plenty of room to setup (ex: dedicated screen support) and Dynamax to be truly successful. Even at +3 SpA, Moltres-G is far from being an auto-win. Then of course we have something like S-tier candidate Zapdos who makes it absolutely miserable by being faster than it and resisting Airstream; if Dynamax is on the table, Zapdos can stall out Moltres-G's Dynamax and reverse sweep with ease unless Moltres has boosted to absolutely looney levels of SpA.

Make no mistake, Moltres-G is a terrifying mon under the right circumstances but it requires an insane amount of support to function as a consistent win condition. If it had just a little bit better coverage I think it would be a completely different story.

:swampert: A- -> A (Rise)

I'd really like to hear other people's experiences with Swampert. Its very hard to stop without grass coverage or Tapu Fini, the latter of which can get slow-turned on into a potential counter. On top of that it can carry Ice Beam/Ice Punch to smack Lum setup Dragons. Its got a great suite of tools to differentiate it from Hippo and it can warp team preview in much the same way, so I do think it could use a small bump.
 

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