Don't Use This, Use That (UU Edition)

ScraftyIsTheBest

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DON'T USE THIS, USE THAT

Credits to DittoCrow for this idea


So basically, the purpose of this thread is to discuss sets that commonly see use on the ladder, but are actually very suboptimal and incredibly overrated, and suggest better alternatives. There are a lot of poor stuff that see use on the ladder, and we should tell newer players that these things are actually very bad. As an example, Choice Scarf Flygon may be suboptimal, but that doesn't mean Flygon itself is terrible as a whole. You can also suggest better Pokemon for certain roles, such as Cinccino over Ambipom as a fast Normal-type, or Blastoise over Claydol in Rapid Spinning. If you think something is wrongfully accused as a bad Pokemon, you are encouraged to discuss here why you think so. Please do not use this thread to bash Pokemon; try to educate the playerbase what isn't worth using in UU. I have made this clear.

Example Post (From one of mine in RU):



Typhlosion @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Blaze
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Eruption
- Fire Blast
- Focus Blast
- Hidden Power [Grass] / Hidden Power [Rock]

Why it's bad:
I notice a lot of people run a Choice Scarf on Typhlosion. Typhlosion's former poor reputation in RU comes from this set. One may think that Typhlosion's absurd power STAB and good Special Attack and Speed make it a good revenge killer, right? Well, it's not. Why? Well, firstly, it's weak to hazards of all kinds, and it will usually get worn down really quickly by them. Typhlosion is also somewhat lacking in power, so resists such as Druddigon and Slowking can come in and not mind it. Priority exists, particularly from Absol and Entei, and Typhlosion is useless after it can't spam Scarf Eruption anymore, which is a large portion of the time. Typhlosion also can't do much to a lot of defensive teams, which is kinda bad. There's Choice Specs Typhlosion, which is another story.



Typhlosion @ Choice Specs
Trait: Blaze
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Eruption
- Fire Blast
- Focus Blast
- Hidden Power [Grass] / Hidden Power [Rock]

Why it's better
It's the same set, so what? Take out a Scarf and replace it with Specs, and Typhlosion's a whole different story now. Typhlosion makes a great wallbreaker, abusing his great Special Attack and absurd power Eruption to put massive dents in opposing teams. For the record, he 2HKO's Entei and Lanturn after SR! He has great power, and his Speed tier is already good enough to suffice, and it doesn't matter if you can't revenge kill Scolipede and Sceptile. He has a Blaze boosted Fire Blast to hit hard with if he gets worn down, with patches up the Eruption mechanics. With the power, you can see why Specs Typh is so much better than Scarf.


This is just an example, and your post doesn't have to be like this, but please try to explain your thoughts on why something is bad.

Some things I'd like discussed to begin:
  • Ambipom
  • Claydol
  • Choice Scarf Flygon
 
I must say that i completely disagree with the notion of scarf flygon being sub optimal. Its a fantastic revenge killer thanks to its 100 base speed and dragon/ground type. For starters, even with an adamant nature it will always outspeed positive natured scarf heracross, chandelure and +1 kingdra. Also due to its natural advantage agaisnt victini and darm there inst much need for jolly which is a huge advantage compared to other scarfers that must use positive nature to outspeed each other or at the very least tie. U-turn is an excellent tool for scouting and the threat of outrage/earthquake which attain perfect coverage (bar bronzong) and coming out of 328 atk allows flygon to revenge kill several threats such as chandelure, darmanitan, nidoking, nidoqueen, cobalion, kingdra, victini, arcanine, bisharp, roserade, mienshao (non scarf), virizion etc. Being pratically immune to entry hazards means that unlike other scarfers flygon requires no rapid spin support whatsoever. Its also an excellent cleaner as very little can stomach its powerful outrages late game.
 

TPO3

Never practice; Always perform.


Flygon @Choice Scarf
Trait: Levitate
252 Atk/4 SpDef/252 Spe
Jolly nature
~Outrage
~U-turn
~Earthquake
~Fire Punch/Fire Blast/Stone Edge/Dragon Claw/Something else

I got your back, Scrafty.

Why it's bad
Scarf Flygon is probably one of the most common pokemon I see on the ladder, and honestly, it's so overrated it's incredible. With base 100 speed, it outruns all common scarfers bar Mienshao and Raikou, assuming you're Jolly, which you should be running. If you're not, have fun dealing with +1 Sharpedo and Yanmega, as well as Scarfed Pory-Z and Meloetta. And your "natural" advantage against Darmanitan and Victini is rather pointless, as you're 2HKO'd by both of them anyways. If you're using Adamant Flygon to revenge kill, it means you had to sacrifice something to get it in. Otherwise you're just killing yourself.

The based Scarf U-turn is also probably the most predictable move in the entire tier. Any player with any reasonable amount of prediction is going to see this coming, as Outrage and Earthquake STABs are very unreliable when you're forcing yourself to be locked in. If your opponent has a Flying-type or a Steel-type, one of your STABs just became completely moot for the entire early part of the game. Not many people are going to risk clicking "Earthquake" when their opponent has a Nasty Plot Togekiss or an Offensive Shaymin left alive, and even fewer are going to risk an Outrage, especially since there's several pokemon in UU that either eat an outrage through resistance, (Bronzong, Cobalion) revenge kill, (Weavile, Honchkrow, Scarf Mienshao and Raikou) or stomach a hit early-game. (literally any bulky water-type, Shaymin, Rhyperior, and more.)

Also base 100 attack is really pitiful for a scarfer. If you look at the other Scarfers in the tier, they have much more power and reliability. Heracross's base 120 Attack plus moxie or guts compared to Flygon's 100. Chandelure's obscene base 145 Special Attack. Raikou's outstanding base 115 Special Attack as well as coverage moves such as Hidden Power Grass/Ice and Aura Sphere that make almost nothing a safe switch. Mienshao's base 125 Attack, Hi Jump Kick, as well as Regenerator and Reckless. Any of these scarfers boast more reliability and more power than Flygon all on one set.



Flygon @Choice Band
Trait: Levitate
252 Atk/4 SpDef/252 Spe
Jolly/Adamant nature
~Outrage
~Earthquake
~U-turn
~Fire Punch

Much like the Typhlosion example, if you slap the item that boosts Flygon's attack as opposed to its Speed, it immediately becomes a very threatening wallbreaker. Outrage is not as unreliable as things that would normally switch in (ie: Suicune, Cresselia) are all 2HKO'd as they switch in. Bronzong takes a lot of damage from Fire Punch as well, which makes it a shaky answer at best. Even Slowbro, which is the best Scarf Flygon answer in the tier is always 2HKOd by U-turn + Outrage once Stealth Rock and 1 layer of Spikes is up, even after regenerator. It's 2HKO'd by Outrage regardless. What makes this Flygon more effective is rather than clicking Outrage to nab a KO and then making yourself extremely vulnerable to whatever comes in behind the mon you just KO'd, this Flygon is meant to break holes in teams, the most notable are the typical Balanced and Standard/Bulky Offense cores you see so commonly today. The only thing that really hard walls this Flygon is Gligar, which is not something that can just be tossed willy-nilly onto just any team. This Flygon sacrifices its "great" ability to revenge kill for an obscene amount of power and the ability to punch holes, which makes it a lot more effective in the current metagame.

EDIT: I love how this new forum makes me tag the user Choice Band any time I want to discuss any pokemon holding the item. x_x
 
Cool idea SiTB, I hope this thread gets some good discussion.

Choice Scarf vs. Choice Band

@SBB:
With your logic however, why not just use a Scarf Mienshao with Regenerator? Mienshao can revenge all those things (minus the Nido's) and more while also being faster and not dependent on Outrage. I'm not entirely disagreeing with you though, Flygon still is a good Scarf user. I'd just say that it's better set is Choice Band. It really takes advantage of how few Steel types there are in UU, Bronzong is the most used Steel type in UU and is only #11 (12.57659%) in usage. In the 1850 stats Cobalion at #20 (9.90896%) is the most used Steel type. As you said only Bronzong can stand up against Flygon's great STAB coverage, so why not abuse it to it's fullest extent and hit as hard as possible?
 

mael

word up
won the 14th Official Smogon Tournament
I dislike the idea of different roles being compared. I do think that Scarfflygon is overrated, even back in DPP it was, and I do think that Choice Band is a more useful set, but Scarfflygon still has it's uses. If you need a revenge killer that is not weak to hazards and has U-Turn you are likely going to use Choice Scarf Flygon, because it ressists rock and has levitate which makes it immune to spikes. You don't use Scarf Flygon to break through walls, but to handle threats which otherwise would be sweeping your team easily. CB Flygon does something totally different. You cannot just take your team, replace scarfflygon with CB Flygon and expect the team to be much better. Flygon can revenge stuff, especially with Hazards around, which after all, is the purpose of a scarfer. Different sets, different roles. I can agree on other scarfer being much better than Flygon and I can agree on CB Flygon being the better set if you want to make a team around it, or if you just put it on the team for ressistance, but comparing a CB Pokemon to a Scarfer just seems wrong to me.
 

CoolStoryBrobat

The hero Smogon needs, but not the one it deserves
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Yeah, I'm cosigning with the post above me on this one. Scarf Flygon's not notorious for hitting like a truck immediately from the start, but it's known for doing is job as a Scarf user for your team. It really shines its absolute best in the lategame where it's actually safe to spam Outrage against a weakened team that most likely has Steel-types removed. I've used both Band and Scarf Flygon several times, and I can say that while Band Flygon hits like a truck and is an absolute boss at dealing damage, it performs much better in the early/mid-game when you need to be putting out hard hits and racking up damage. The Choice Band one is alright lategame, but in the event your opponent has something over base 100 Speed that can kill it (SubCM Raikou for instance), you're going to be wishing you had the Scarf set. That was my experience with it. Flygon may not be the ultimate choice scarfer in UU, but I do think it's kinda iffy to compare a Choice Scarf set to a Choice Band set.
 
Comparing Choice Scarfed Flygon and Choice Banded Flygon is simply wrong. Although it is the same Pokemon, they both have two different roles.

Scarfed Flygon is simply to clean up and revenge kill. You have to remember that Flygon's typing allows it to switch onto the field without a lot of penalty. With immunity to Toxic Spikes, Spikes, Electric and ground moves--and a resistance to Stealth Rock's, it really is no wonder why it is a popular Scarfed User. Flygon also boasts Dragon STAB and a Ground STAB. In UU, the combination is only resisted by Bronzong with Levitate. With Base 120 and 100 BP moves with little drawbacks (Outrage being locked 2-3 turns and EQ hitting only non-levitates/flying types), it does an excellent job at cleaning up. For example, Fully Defensive Suicine can't switch into a Flygon's Outrage if it is below 60%, for there is a good chance it will be knocked out after SR's and such. As on can see, Scarfed Flygon is meant to provide offensive pressure for frailer, fast threats, not so much hard hitters.

Banded Flygon is meant to wall break. Because of its speed, it risks speed tieing too many threats, namely Victini, Zapdos, and Shaymin. Since very few Pokemon in the UU Meta resists the combination of Dragon and Ground STAB, Flygon can dent quite a few Pokes. It will 2HK most Suicine after 2 SR switch ins with Outrage, something that few Pokemon can boast. The only role Flygon really has a Banded User is to punch holes into teams so a Scarfer can finish up the job.

Comparing Scarfed/Banded Items should not be allowed imo. It is like comparing Scarfed Victini to Banded Victini; I believe everyone can see a clear distinction in their uses.
 
As I said before, Scarf Flygon isn't bad, Choice Band is just the better set for Flygon. Mienshao is a much better Scarf user and cleaner thanks to Hi Jump Kick and a higher base speed. Why on earth should discussing Scarf vs. Band/Specs not be allowed? As long as an argument for one or the other is produced then there's no problem.

I feel like this isn't going anywhere anymore though so I'll bring up one of my own:

Fake Out vs. HP Ice
Mienshao @ Life Orb
Trait: Regenerator
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature
- Hi Jump Kick
- Fake Out
- Stone Edge
- U-turn

Fake Out currently is on 31.095% of Mienshaos, and that's about 31% too much. Fake Out is predictable, weak, and a complete waste of a move slot on Mienshao. It helps Mienshao beat none of it's counters and does no more than about 40% to even the most frail sweepers. Fake Out gives an opposing player basically a free switch into anything that can deal with Mienshao, whether that be a Ghost type, a faster sweeper, or a wall. This move slot can be filled by many other moves, most notably....

Mienshao @ Life Orb
Trait: Regenerator
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SAtk / 252 Spd
Naive/Hasty Nature
- Hi Jump Kick
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Stone Edge
- U-turn

Hidden Power Ice helps Mienshao beat it's main wall Gligar, while before all Mienshao could do to it was U-Turn out now it can do 71.55 - 85.62% damage to it. Currently sitting with 8.18974% usage running HP Ice on Mienshao basically guarantees a free kill against any Gligar you come across. HP Ice also guarentees a more reliable way to OHKO Flygon and also a way to hit any Golurks decently.


(Btw anyone know how to change what is put inside the hide button, like in the OU Viability Rankings?)
 
Last edited:

mael

word up
won the 14th Official Smogon Tournament
I can totally agree on Fake out being useless on Mienshao, you'll barely ever be in a sitation where you'd miss having Fake out on it. If you rely on Mienshaos Fake out to kill faster threats you are doing it wrong. Hidden Power Ice is by far the better option for mentioned reasons. But don't use a hasty nature, use a naive one. It is terribly frail and it will barely ever get a switch in, but most of the ressistances are rather physically based. Namely rock (stone edge) and bug (Heracross Megahorn). You will not be OHKO'd by Azumarills Aqua jet after rocks and one time LO damage for instance. Most of the special walls are bulky waters or Umbreon/Snorlax. You'll have an easier time switching into the latter one with a Naive Nature, and you won't want to switch into bulky waters anyway, because of scald. Not that much of a big thing, but I still think that naive is the better Nature for Mienshao, and I do think that Fake Out shouldn't be used.
 
Fair point, its been added. My rational for Hasty was just because that would stop Download from getting a boost which isn't that important, especially compared to the reasons you listed for using Naive.
 
Don't Use This:


Nidoking @ Choice Scarf/Life Orb
Trait: Sheer Force
EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 HP / 252 Spd
Timid Nature
- Earth Power
- Flamethrower
- Ice Beam
- Thunderbolt

I just encountered a Scarf Nidoking in the ladder which reminded me to make this post. Nidoking in general is in itself not bad, its just in my opinion completely outclassed by Nidoqueen. While its generally okay (but not great) to use Nidoking, using Scarf Nidoking is definitely not good. The reason the Nido's work so well is because of the excellent coverage options they have at their disposal and their ability to be able to switch between them freely. Locking Nidoking into a non STAB, non Life Orb boosted attack leaves it extremely open. Having a pretty poor speed stat for a Scarf user as well isn't very helpful.

Use This:


Nidoqueen @ Life Orb
Trait: Sheer Force
EVs: 96 HP / 252 SAtk / 160 Spd
Modest Nature
- Earth Power
- Ice Beam
- Focus Blast
- Stealth Rock/Fire Blast/Thunderbolt

Nidoqueen should be used over Nidoking in almost every situation. Nidoqueen's bulk is much more important than speed when the majority of things the Nido's take on are walls. Ice Beam and Focus Blast give Nidoqueen good coverage on things like P2, Snorlax, Umbreon, Zapdos, Roserade, & Xatu. Stealth Rock is great on Nidoqueen since it can set them up very reliably, but Fire Blast and Thunderbolt can be used to provide extra coverage.

I've come up with a few more of these but I feel like I'd over crowd the thread with my own posts =/
 
How did a discussion about the viability of scarf flygon turned into a cb vs cs debate? They should not be compared as they fill different roles. I am in no way denying that cb is flygon best set atm since its so powerful but thats no reason to call cs a bad set. Anyway moving on, i disagree that nidoqueen outclass nidoking as an offensive threat. King ability to outspeed chandelure is just too valuable, not to mention that it hits harder. What i see is, queen and king are essentially the latiwins of uu. They both can run the same sets but you should always take advantage of their stats. Therefore queen should play the role of a tank with significant hp investment while king should be more of a wallbreaker with significant speed investment.
 
If you wanna get technical about it Nidoqueen actually has a higher SAtk stat than Nidoking due to their natures, so then it just comes down to a difference of speed. With 160 speed EVs Nidoqueen reaches 229 speed and beats uninvested base 95s and below. Looking at the tier the only real notable thing that Nidoking outspeeds that Nidoqueen can't is in fact Chandelure and the occasional Honchkrow. Nidoking speed ties with Heracross and Kingdra, beating Heracross and losing to Kingdra just like Nidoqueen does. Everything below that base 85 speed tier is either a wall or gets outsped by Nidoqueen unless they have a speed boosting nature, which nothing with that low of speed does.

But mainly my post was just so I could vent about people using Scarf Nidoking so its whatever.
 


Flygon @Choice Scarf
Trait: Levitate
252 Atk/4 SpDef/252 Spe
Jolly nature
~Outrage
~U-turn
~Earthquake
~Fire Punch/Fire Blast/Stone Edge/Dragon Claw/Something else

I got your back, Scrafty.

Why it's bad
Scarf Flygon is probably one of the most common pokemon I see on the ladder, and honestly, it's so overrated it's incredible. With base 100 speed, it outruns all common scarfers bar Mienshao and Raikou, assuming you're Jolly, which you should be running. If you're not, have fun dealing with +1 Sharpedo and Yanmega, as well as Scarfed Pory-Z and Meloetta. And your "natural" advantage against Darmanitan and Victini is rather pointless, as you're 2HKO'd by both of them anyways. If you're using Adamant Flygon to revenge kill, it means you had to sacrifice something to get it in. Otherwise you're just killing yourself.

The based Scarf U-turn is also probably the most predictable move in the entire tier. Any player with any reasonable amount of prediction is going to see this coming, as Outrage and Earthquake STABs are very unreliable when you're forcing yourself to be locked in. If your opponent has a Flying-type or a Steel-type, one of your STABs just became completely moot for the entire early part of the game. Not many people are going to risk clicking "Earthquake" when their opponent has a Nasty Plot Togekiss or an Offensive Shaymin left alive, and even fewer are going to risk an Outrage, especially since there's several pokemon in UU that either eat an outrage through resistance, (Bronzong, Cobalion) revenge kill, (Weavile, Honchkrow, Scarf Mienshao and Raikou) or stomach a hit early-game. (literally any bulky water-type, Shaymin, Rhyperior, and more.)

Also base 100 attack is really pitiful for a scarfer. If you look at the other Scarfers in the tier, they have much more power and reliability. Heracross's base 120 Attack plus moxie or guts compared to Flygon's 100. Chandelure's obscene base 145 Special Attack. Raikou's outstanding base 115 Special Attack as well as coverage moves such as Hidden Power Grass/Ice and Aura Sphere that make almost nothing a safe switch. Mienshao's base 125 Attack, Hi Jump Kick, as well as Regenerator and Reckless. Any of these scarfers boast more reliability and more power than Flygon all on one set.
While you've certainly made some good points about flygon's shortcomings as a scarfer TPO3, there are a few significant issues I need to point out in your post here.

"If you're using Adamant Flygon to revenge kill, it means you had to sacrifice something to get it in. Otherwise you're just killing yourself" ...Please remind me the purpose of a revenge killer again? I do get that if you were to switch it in on the predicted attack to revenge kill it would be a problem, but that bolded part is really not a good line to have in your post there.

The based Scarf U-turn is also probably the most predictable move in the entire tier This is not a valid argument. Last time I checked, this sort of thing was not accepted in suspect test discussions, nor do I see a reason why it should be accepted here. You did provide some decent examples to back this up, thankfully, but prediction works both ways. You cannot assume a player in a hypothetical to be dumber/smarter than the other without introducing bias to your point. You had some much better facts going for flygon as to the Band vs Scarf, but this is not one of them.

Special Scarfers: In a tier where snorlax is a staple (or nearly/should be a staple), this I consider to be not a good idea at all. I would certainly not be nominating P-Z for a scarf role anytime soon (it's power output I found to be rather disappointing back when I used it). Meloetta I can somewhat understand, but despite its bulk you are making things very difficult against pursuit variants of snorlax, especially without defensive investment due to scarfers requiring speed and attack instead. Raikou is somewhat okay, but it really needs to score a 4X SE hit with something not named volt switch or thunderbolt, otherwise its rather lackluster itself due to low base power of its moves (compared to flygon's outrage or heracross using CC/Megahorn).

Scarfer Reliability: For the most part, this is fine. However, several of your options you listed rely heavily on a move with <100% accuracy. I can understand the points where you would trade that for power, but flygon does boast 100% accuracy in it's main STABS, which I feel to be a valid point in its favour. I would much prefer absolute certainty in KO'ing a threat myself, though I do not object too heavily in this regard, since outside flygon and raikou, this is incredibly hard to achieve on a scarfed pokemon otherwise (unless I missed something).

The power issue I do agree with and I rather wish it had more base power in attack to justify the use of a scarf, since sadly it does not deal with all of the tier's boosting threats. I do feel rather torn about scarf vs band myself, but I don't think its exactly gotten a fair go in being lumped in first up with 'mons like ambipom and claydol, when it is significantly more useful.

I also heavily agree with the questionable use of the 4th moveslot. The only decent option I liked there oddly enough was stone edge (ironic given my distaste for inaccurate moves). I'd much prefer aerial ace myself since the last team I used scarfgon on needed a way to revenge virizion reliably, as well as additional insurance against heracross (fire punch does not 1HKO heracross at full health sadly). Alternatively, I think sleep talk could work, since it bypasses outrage hax, though flygon shouldn't be absorbing sleep in the first place except in unforseen circumstance. The rest of those options I did not like either due to redundancy or failing to accomplish anything useful.
 
I have to disagree with the Nidoking vs Nidoqueen argument. However, before I delve into that, I have to say that Scarfed Nidoking has some merit, namely surprise value. That being said, the Sub + 3 attacks or all out attacking set is definitely the best set for Nidoking.

Nidoqueen and Nidoking play two different roles. It is extremely unfair to compare the two since you are not using spreads that are similar. You have to keep in mind that Nidoqueen was invested into SpA and bulk, whereas Nidoking is invested in SpA. Nidoking is faster, therefore, it does not need the bulk when it is OHKing Chandelure and the likes after Rocks and residual damage. Nidoqueen is designed to take hits and return a powerful hit. Do you see the difference? Nidoqueen is used to come in after Mienshao takes out a Poke with HJK or a Heracross that is locked into CC, but after that, Nidoking does a better job at actually putting out damage. Nidoking can potentially get 2 hits off before taking a hit (If it doesn't 2HK the Poke) whereas Nidoqueen will most likely take take 1 hit and only be able to get 1 hit back. The argument where Nidoking only speed ties other threats is null and void. It is better to have a 50/50 chance to win the speed tie juxtaposed to ALWAYS losing the speed tie and having to take a hit. A perfect analogy is using Hydro Pump vs Surf. If you can knock it out with min damage of a Hydro Pump or 2HK with Surf, the obvious choice is to go for Hydro Pump and bank on the 80% of hitting. Nidoking can be nearly as bulky as Nidoqueen so long as you invest in the proper stats, ie HP and Defense. Sure, Nidoqueen hits harder, but can you blame Nidoking when you're running MODEST? If you run a Modest Nidoking, it'll hit harder. But Nidoqueen sports slighty better bulk, therefore it can run a beefy tank set. Nidoking runs a hit and run set. I don't see how you can really relate the two...one is clearly no better than the other. Go to the UU viability ranking and see what they said for the pro same-tier argument. Smashbros pretty much hit the argument spot on.
 
So your'e saying that Nidoking's role is to speed tie with threat that it shouldn't be staying in on. The whole point of the Nido's is to be a wall breaker, why not also use something that also can double as a defensive pivot? If your only rebuttal to Nidoqueen being better is that Nidoking can run bulk and sometimes will win speed ties, then that is pretty much wrong. Nidoqueen in battle does the same thing there is no pokemon that forces out Nidoqueen that doesn't force out Nidoking. If that is the case why not use the pokemon that can afford running extra power and bulk Nidoking is just outclassed.
 
252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Mew: 187-222 (54.83 - 65.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoqueen Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Mew: 188-224 (55.13 - 65.68%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Even with a timid nature nidoking hits as hard as modest nidoqueen and being able to outspeed and speed tie with threats nidoqueen cant. Thats why queen should focus on tanking hits and dishing them out while king should focus on outspeeding as many threats as it can and hitting hard. Both of them can run the exact same sets, queen can run a pure offensive set and king can run a tank set (the difference in bulk between them is not that big at all) but you should focus on their specific advantages. Thats why saying one of them outclass the other is simply wrong.
 
There are 4 sweepers that Nidoking ties or outspeeds that Nidoqueen doesn't: Kingdra, Chandelure, Heracross, and Honchkrow. Nidoking should never even try and stay in on a Kingdra since it can't OHKO it (252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Kingdra: 195-230 (67.01 - 79.03%) -- guaranteed 2HKO) and Heracross loses to Nidoqueen as well as King. 37.678% of Chandelure's are Scarfed and have a 31.25% chance to OHKO Nidoking while having a guarenteed 2HKO on Nidoqueen. Honchkrow fails to beat Nidoking but only has a 25% chance to OHKO Nidoqueen.

What I'm trying to get across is that their difference in speed is pretty irrelevant, the Nido's role on a team isn't to outspeed opposing sweepers because there are so few to actually outspeed. Their role is to be able to dish out great coverage attacks on slow threats and walls. Nidoqueen does this better due to the fact that her bulk is superior to Nidoking.
 

ScraftyIsTheBest

Get ready for the new me!
is a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
Regarding this Nidoking vs. Nidoqueen matter, Ernesto gave an explanation as to why neither outclass the other.

Ernesto said:
Whether or not Nidoking is deserving of B rank, the fact of the matter is I don't like how you approach the subject. First of all, Nidoking is incredibly difficult to switch into, Offensive Snorlax for example runs the risk of being 2HKOed by Earth Power followed by Focus Blast. It's the ultimate wallbreaker, with immunities to Toxic, Thunder Wave, and Life Orb recoil, but that should be taken for granted now, shouldn't it?
You say King is too frail. 82 / 77 is actually bulkier than Heracross man, and don't tell me it's incredibly frail in Special Defense because it's your fault if you switch it into Special moves outside of predicted Electric-type moves.
Then you go and compare King to Queen, that's perfect, I mean I've used Queen in most of my teams since the beginning of BW2 and I love her—running enough Speed for SubSplit Chandy that aim to outrun Adamant Honchkrow makes her pretty fast, though a bit lacking in bulk. However, you're comparing them in different situations and that's just not fair. I understand that you're using the standard sets, but they're obviously gonna favour the one that invests in bulk. Nidoking can also aim to outrun SubSplit Chandy and put the rest in bulk, for example, and that would be a fairer comparison—but going to the exact opposite side. So you should really compare their prowess with the same spread, let's say 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe Modest.
With 0 Atk IVs, King reaches 303 HP / 170 Atk (just for minimizing foul play damage) / 191 Def / 295 SpA / 186 SpD / 269 Spe and Queen reaches 321 HP / 152 Atk / 211 Def / 273 SpA / 206 SpD / 251 Spe.
There you got a fairer comparison, and you can see that Queen is much bulkier, takes less damage from FP and confusion, but is otherwise quite slower and doesn't have nearly the same damage output. Still, both of them are decent at taking physical hits, while Queen fares a bit better against special ones.

My point is, you can't compare them by using the standard sets, and you know why? Because they made that Queen spread standard just to give her a niche over King. So you can't say he's outclassed, given that he's the biggest reason that Queen set is popularized. Outside of that, I myself prefer Queen, but to say that King is not as useful because of her is a fallacy to my eyes. They should be in the same tier, and if the meta hadn't geared so much towards offense, I would go as far as to say they'd be deserving of high A rank, considering that not many slower things can take two hits from them and not many faster things can take one, though granted, you can't always predict perfectly with them so faster stuff are usually safer—like, suppose they are up against Empoleon, but they have Flygon on the wings; if you predict the switch and are wrong, bang, Empoleon KOs you with its uninvested Scald. If you use Earth Power as Flygon comes in, you're merely forced out and are giving up tempo, not risking to be one Pokemon down. Standard risk v. reward situation.
Anyways, here's one.
Don't Use This:


Ambipom @ Life Orb
Trait: Technician
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Return
- Low Kick
- Beat Up / U-turn

Why it's bad:

Ambipom is simply awful in the current metagame. On paper, Ambipom looks like it would be a great Pokemon; it has Technician STAB Fake Out for quick, strong, and free damage, as well as high Speed and U-turn, plus a usable Attack stat, so it must be good, right? In practice however, Ambipom has very poor performances. Fake Out is actually not a great move that allows you to get free damage on something, rather, it's a very situational move that allows free switches into something dangerous such as Escavalier and Rhyperior. It also struggles because Return is not always enough, and with U-turn, you're scouting nothing. It also cannot hit hard enough to be very threatening, and Rhyperior is bulky enough to take repeated Low Kicks, as is Bronzong. It cannot threaten many teams, and Fake Out is an extremely predictable move, and Beat Up doesn't do much, and Ambipom's job as an anti-lead is still outclassed. Ambipom simply sucks in UU and really shouldn't even be getting 4% usage.

Instead, Use This:


Cinccino @ Life Orb / Choice Band
Trait: Skill Link
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Tail Slap
- Bullet Seed
- Rock Blast
- U-turn

Why it's better:

Cinccino is so much more adorable than Ambipom and is just much more appealing visually. Aside from that, it's also far better than Ambipom in the current metagame. Unlike Ambipom, Cinccino actually hits hard; and it serves as an offensive powerhouse that has usable coverage too, and also outspeeds a lot of the metagame, so it has more utility aside from just breaking leads. Cinccino also has the ability to halt SubPass Mienshao and break Subs of Kingdra, which is awesome, and it still does the job of killing Scolipede and Froslass, which means it can also fill the one niche Ambipom could fill in UU (anti-lead). Its access to Bullet Seed means it threatens a lot of the bulky Ground-types such as Swampert and Rhyperior, while it has Rock Blast for Chandelure and Zapdos, so it poses much more of a threat to the UU metagame. Cinccino also has room for U-turn, and can scout quite a bit because it attracts Bronzong and friends, so it can do well to grab momentum for your team. This thing is just much better than Ambipom in the current meta, please stop using Ambipom and use this please.
 
@ PTJon, you're assuming that Kingdra and those other threats will be at full HP. How often in the game are they always gonna be out of range where an Earth Power of Sludge Wave cannot kill? And if Nidoking should not stay in against a Kingdra, why the hell should Nidoqueen? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly certain that a Specs Modest Hydro Pump coming from a Kingdra will OHK both a Nidoqueen AND Nidoking. That being said, if both Nidoking and Queeny run Modest, Queen will WITHOUT a doubt be KO'd, whereas Nidoking can potentially get a hit off. Nidoqueen fairs better against Fighting/Bug types, yes, but Nidoking always fairs better against faster threats; therefore, they are both equal. They both have utility and not one outclasses the other.

And who said Nidoking should be a wall breaker? Not me. I am saying Nidoking can provide offensive pressure onto the opponents, because once the special walls are out, Nidoking can put work onto slower offensive powerhouses, such as Chandelure and Arcanine. Who is going to go with the Earth Power when a full HP Snorlax awaits in the wings? If I'm ever going to use Nidoqueen, it's simply to set up rocks with some decent coverage moves. If I want to hit fast and hard, I'm going to use Nidoking. It's plain and simple. Who runs a bulky Nidoking? No one, that's why the role is passed onto Nidoqueen and vice versa.


EDIT: Ernesto basically sums up everything I wanted to say, but better. Yeah, you cannot compare standard sets, it makes it unfair.
 
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TPO3

Never practice; Always perform.
While you've certainly made some good points about flygon's shortcomings as a scarfer TPO3, there are a few significant issues I need to point out in your post here.

"If you're using Adamant Flygon to revenge kill, it means you had to sacrifice something to get it in. Otherwise you're just killing yourself" ...Please remind me the purpose of a revenge killer again? I do get that if you were to switch it in on the predicted attack to revenge kill it would be a problem, but that bolded part is really not a good line to have in your post there.

The based Scarf U-turn is also probably the most predictable move in the entire tier This is not a valid argument. Last time I checked, this sort of thing was not accepted in suspect test discussions, nor do I see a reason why it should be accepted here. You did provide some decent examples to back this up, thankfully, but prediction works both ways. You cannot assume a player in a hypothetical to be dumber/smarter than the other without introducing bias to your point. You had some much better facts going for flygon as to the Band vs Scarf, but this is not one of them.

Special Scarfers: In a tier where snorlax is a staple (or nearly/should be a staple), this I consider to be not a good idea at all. I would certainly not be nominating P-Z for a scarf role anytime soon (it's power output I found to be rather disappointing back when I used it). Meloetta I can somewhat understand, but despite its bulk you are making things very difficult against pursuit variants of snorlax, especially without defensive investment due to scarfers requiring speed and attack instead. Raikou is somewhat okay, but it really needs to score a 4X SE hit with something not named volt switch or thunderbolt, otherwise its rather lackluster itself due to low base power of its moves (compared to flygon's outrage or heracross using CC/Megahorn).

Scarfer Reliability: For the most part, this is fine. However, several of your options you listed rely heavily on a move with <100% accuracy. I can understand the points where you would trade that for power, but flygon does boast 100% accuracy in it's main STABS, which I feel to be a valid point in its favour. I would much prefer absolute certainty in KO'ing a threat myself, though I do not object too heavily in this regard, since outside flygon and raikou, this is incredibly hard to achieve on a scarfed pokemon otherwise (unless I missed something).

The power issue I do agree with and I rather wish it had more base power in attack to justify the use of a scarf, since sadly it does not deal with all of the tier's boosting threats. I do feel rather torn about scarf vs band myself, but I don't think its exactly gotten a fair go in being lumped in first up with 'mons like ambipom and claydol, when it is significantly more useful.

I also heavily agree with the questionable use of the 4th moveslot. The only decent option I liked there oddly enough was stone edge (ironic given my distaste for inaccurate moves). I'd much prefer aerial ace myself since the last team I used scarfgon on needed a way to revenge virizion reliably, as well as additional insurance against heracross (fire punch does not 1HKO heracross at full health sadly). Alternatively, I think sleep talk could work, since it bypasses outrage hax, though flygon shouldn't be absorbing sleep in the first place except in unforseen circumstance. The rest of those options I did not like either due to redundancy or failing to accomplish anything useful.
Thank you for taking the time to read through and criticize; your points are well-made.

For the "sacrificing" part, I should have made myself clearer, that was my fault. Yes, sacrificing something to get a revenge killer in is a common practice. However, most of the time you'd be sacrificing something at low HP or something that has served its purpose already, or something that doesn't have the best matchup against the opposing team. The point I was trying to make is that if using Adamant Flygon, due to its lack of speed, in order to get it in against Victini and Darmanitan, you have to sacrifice something every time in order to get it in safely. SmashBros was claiming that you didn't need jolly due to Flygon's "natural advantage" against these two, when it really does. Normally Flygon can switch directly in once (maybe twice if they get you with a weak U-turn or a Rock Slide or a Bolt Strike) and then threaten to OHKO due to outspeeding, but if running Adamant this is much harder to do as Flare Blitz and V-Create/Zen Headbutt will safely 2HKO and the two will have no fear of being outsped. Thus you are forced to potentially sacrifice more teammates than you would otherwise be forced to (especially since Sheer Force Flare Blitz and V-Create basically nuke everything in sight.)

For the U-turn part, I get what you're saying, I suppose it's a valid point. Technically they could Outrage or Earthquake, but it's easy to benefit from if they choose to lock themselves into one of those moves recklessly. It was still wrong for me to just assume your pokemon would be safe 100% of the time.

For reliability, the 100% accurate moves Flygon boasts are great, but I still find a tad risky due to the sheer amount of pokemon that can switch in and benefit from a choice-locked Earthquake or Outrage. With Mienshao, Ghosts are really the only thing you really have to worry about, and even then, really only OTR Cofagrigus is the only Ghost-type that actually has a means of making you pay for the mispredict. Things like Dusclops and Sableye are rather easy to switch into. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not necessarily trading reliability for power; I'll take the 95% accuracy since it's much harder to actually benefit from it as opposed to Outrage which leaves you vulnerable and Earthquake which is prone to being set up on.
 
I find Cincinno really interesting, its one thing that I can never seem to use right but is almost always a threat when I face it myself. I feel like Cincinno is much much better off with a Life Orb over a Choice Band however, it makes Cincinno much harder to switch in to thanks to the great coverage Bullet Seed and Rock Blast give.

I'll bring up another just for the sake of discussion, and because I actually think its pretty cool:

Don't Use This:


Xatu @ Leftovers
Trait: Magic Bounce
EVs: 252 HP / 240 SDef / 16 Spe
Calm Nature
- Psychic
- U-Turn
- Thunder Wave
- Roost


Instead, Use This:


Xatu @ Life Orb
Trait: Magic Bounce
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SAtk / 4 Spe (Alternatively 252 Spd / 252 SAtk / 4 Atk)
Hasty/Modest Nature
- Psychic
- Heat Wave
- Grass Knot
- U-turn/Roost

I don't think anyone can argue that Xatu is a good wall, it has lower defensive stats than at least half of the sweepers in the tier. So why are people so intent on using it defensively? Xatu has all the tools it needs to beat common hazard setters of the tier, and I think Xatu should use them. Losing bulk doesn't really affect Xatu's ability to stop hazards, the things that can OHKO it still would even with defensive investment. The best thing defensive Xatu could do to hazard setters is T-Wave them then U-Turn out, but offensive Xatu can beat all of them with the appropriate attacks. It even beats the rapid spinners of the tier. Here are some calcs:
252 SpA Life Orb Xatu Grass Knot (120 BP) vs. 248 HP / 244 SpD Solid Rock Rhyperior: 468-554 (108.08 - 127.94%) -- guaranteed OHKO

252 SpA Life Orb Xatu Grass Knot (100 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Claydol: 146-174 (45.06 - 53.7%) -- 1.56% chance to 2HKO
0 SpA Claydol Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Xatu: 136-162 (50.18 - 59.77%) -- 82.81% chance to 2HKO

252 SpA Life Orb Xatu Heat Wave vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Bronzong: 203-239 (60.05 - 70.71%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
0 Atk Bronzong Gyro Ball (91 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Xatu: 118-141 (43.54 - 52.02%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

252 SpA Life Orb Xatu Psychic vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Roserade: 296-351 (112.97 - 133.96%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Roserade Sludge Bomb vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Xatu: 250-294 (92.25 - 108.48%) -- 50% chance to OHKO

252 SpA Life Orb Xatu Heat Wave vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Registeel: 125-148 (34.34 - 40.65%) -- 57.25% chance to 3HKO


Pretty much the only hazard setters that Xatu loses to 1 on 1 are the ones that outspeed it (Froslass, Azelf, Cobalion). You'd obviously have to be careful about switching in on things like Nidoqueen or Rhyperior, but either than that its pretty easy goings for Xatu. I'd be interested to see everyone else's thoughts on this one, I just recently starting using the set and I think its cool.
 
Wow seeing this makes me want to use cincinno and xatu on a team : )

As far as fakeout is concerned, i found that it had 1 niche early in ou for me. I would usually run sand or weatherless and mienshao would scout for toed leads. The physically defensive vs. Special attacking variants took completely different amt of dmg which let me scout for scarf which eased prediction. However the rise in scarf/specs didnt help. If you mispredict your shao just got drowned.

In uu there arent too many pokes that can bereally defensive or offensive where fake out is useful. Cofagrigus is bulky as heck uninvested or not. The only thing it might be able to scout is offensive mew vs. Support mew. But even then mew is so unpredictable and bulky its not worth the risk...
 
Alright I've definitely found myself disagreeing with some of these posts. I think the point of this thread should just be to to compare 2 different pokes but with with very, very similar roles or perhaps a different variation of the same role of a pokemon (dual set-up prygon-z vs. just nasty plot p-z). For instance the banded versus scarf flygon thing kind of annoys me because, as Temptation pointed out, they fill different roles. I think that, for future posts any suggested substitutions should pretty much work as literal substitutions on a figurative team. Of course, this won't always work, but I don't think anyone should suggest something like using banded heracross over life orb darmanitan or something like that and instead stick to things like cinccino over ambipom.

That being said, I have my own Don't use This, Use That:


Don't Use This:

@ Eviolite
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
-Rest
-Sleep Talk
-Will-O-Wisp
-Night Shade


This set itself does absolutely nothing to fire types, any sort of wall like snorlax or umbreon, gives sooooo many things free switch-ins and lets practically half sweeper in the tier set up on it. Although dusclops' insane bulk can be appealing to new players, the pokemon itself does very little in actual play, especially if running this set.


Instead, Use this:

@ Leftovers
Ability: Thick Fat
EVs: 140 HP / 112 Def / 252 SpD / 4 Spe
Careful Nature
-Rest
-Sleep Talk
-Body Slam
-Whirlwind


This set works a whole lot better as a specially defensive wall. Lax can phaze, paralyze, deal actual damage and handle Chandelure; all things Dusclops Can't. The only thing Lax misses out on that Dusclops has is the ability to burn, but a shaky 75% accuracy and predictability don't make it such a huge loss. With Lax, no longer can things like roserade or azelf come in freely to set up hazards
nor can things like raikou set up as whirlwind ensures that any stat boosts are not there to stay. TBH, I'm not sure why dusclops is still in UU. The EVs here hit a lefties number, give lax some decent physical bulk to take hits from stuff like victini and still maintains rediculous special bulk.



I know the dusclops set I listed isn't majorly popular or anything, I mainly just did this as an example.
 

Kitten Milk

[22:59:31] <KittenUU> 241 of which are fellacious
I'm going to preface this one by saying that I'm not suggesting something is completely unviable, but rather that it is in my eyes severely outclassed. (You have been warned.)

Please, don't use this:

@ Choice Band
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 252 Atk/252 Spe/4 HP
Adamant Nature
- ExtremeSpeed
- Close Combat
- Flare Blitz
- Wild Charge

Unfortunately, this Arcanine really isn't as good as it looks on paper. Being weak to SR and grounded as well as its main stab and it's bulky water counter both hurting itself, it won't be around long enough to sweep. Extremespeed is a great move, but there's so many pokes in UU that just don't care about it, especially when it's unSTAB.

Instead, use the fuck out of this while you still can:
@ Choice Band
Ability: Victory Star
EVs: 252 Atk/252 Spe/4 SpD
Jolly Nature (or Naive if you're running GK)
- V-Create
- Bolt Strike
- U-turn
- Grass Knot/Sleep Talk/Zen Headbutt

Banded Victini is hands down one of the best Victini sets out there, and in my eyes it's one of the main reasons it deserves to be suspected. The sheer power behind a Banded V-create is insane, and even a lowly U-turn is boosted to pretty strong damage when banded. Bolt Strike is a great coverage move that can almost OHKO most of the bulky waters in the tier, and the last slot is what makes Victini truly amazing, its coverage. You can either opt for a mixed set and run Grass Knot to deal with Pert and Perior, go for Sleep Talk to absorb Spores and Powders, or use Zen Headbutt for the stat-drop free, 100% accurate dual stab *JUST KIDDING its 99% Accurate tyvm Ace Emerald <3*
 
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