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Why are Snorlax, Shuckle, and guard split not viable in this format? Someone claims to have used them to reach 1600 on the ladder.
gimmicky strats and traditional singles walls are countered easily in doubles with the use of taunt, fake out, simply ignoring the passive mon, and even double targeting (attacking one opponent with both of your mons.) any doubles player that is either: somewhat decent and / or knows the specific nature of the gimmick they are fighting can very easily take advantage of passive mons like shuckle, or the gimmick in question, in order to set up their own sweeper or simply move towards their win condition. i dont know about snorlax specifically, but my guess is that it requires way too much set up and team support (bd + tr, im assuming.) i dont doubt that someone reached 1600s on ladder with these techniques because many ladder players do not necessarily meet the aforementioned criterea. you can read my post on defensive mons in doubles for more information on this topic.


Playing Black 2 Dexit Challenge
is a Pre-Contributor
I've decided to try playing Doubles OU for the first time today, and built a thrown-together goodstuffs team of Incineroar, Tapu Fini, Zapdos, Zygarde, Kyurem-B and Genesect to clear my way through the low-ladder noobs. However, I was quite surprised by the wide variety of gimmick teams that were on the low ladder. There was an Entrainment Shedinja giving Wonder Guard to a Balloon Drapion (who actually succeeded, but my Zygarde's Thousand Arrows ignores the balloon, so I beat it), an all Eeveelutions team, various Belly Drum + Trick Room pairs, Beat Up Whimsicott with... not even Terrakion, it was Lucario for the Justified Pokemon, and one person that had normal-looking species but with Bulk Up Mew and Liquidation and Ice Punch Blastoise. Whilst you do get this kind of stuff on other ladders, they usually have cleared out by reaching 1300, but there are still lots I'm seeing there.

Although I haven't reached the "proper" levels of the ladder yet, from looking at the usage statistics for the last three months this seems to be even happening higher up, with Comfey, Entei, Regieleki, Glastrier, and Dusclops all unranked yet DOU by usage, and numerous "niche" tier 5 Pokemon extremely popular, like Whimsicott, Tyranitar, and Dracovish. Even the usage of viable Pokemon doesn't reflect the VR with Kyurem-B, considered the best Pokemon in the tier at the moment, only at #11 below two of the aforementioned Pokemon, and a premier threat, Spectrier, not even DOU. (I'm aware usage does not reflect viability in any format, but it doesn't usually seem to be this different between the two in most tiers).

So is there any reason why the ladder is so different from what the viability rankings would suggest? Is it just lots of poor players, some serious people particularly enjoying one archetype, or what?


Sugar! Spice! Everything nice!
is a Pre-Contributor
So is there any reason why the ladder is so different from what the viability rankings would suggest? Is it just lots of poor players, some serious people particularly enjoying one archetype, or what?
I'd attribute the gimmicks to the fact that most of the ones you see are ether only possible in doubles, or far easier in it. VGC may not be an option sometimes due to the restricted movesets, but im currently under the impression that it's ladder is pretty similar.

For the usage stat part? Tl;dr most of the ladder probably hasn't touched Smogon, use what they think is good, and face players similar to them. (This is true for other tiers as well, DOU ladder is just small enough so its felt more)

And for your own sake, dont try to help them. I've tried, they refuse to listen 80% of the time.
So is there any reason why the ladder is so different from what the viability rankings would suggest? Is it just lots of poor players, some serious people particularly enjoying one archetype, or what?
There are several different reasons for the phenomenon you have observed. First, yes, the ladder has a number of poor players, in addition to some good ones. There are a lot of literal kids just having fun, who never read the VR, and there are people who primarily play in OU or other metas just trying out doubles with mons they like. There are a number of gimmicks that are only viable in doubles. Beyond that, there are some mons that may be more interesting/fun to play than others. Among the ones you mentioned, Regieleki is ridiculously fast and powerful, Whimsicott has prankster and beat up, Tyranitar is a weather setter (especially important in doubles) and Dracovish is super powerful when it outspeeds. Very good players can play around these mons better than your average ladder denizen, making them less attractive for the VR. Spectrier only has one strong attacking move and can feel one dimensional, though it's very good when played right. However, when constructing teams, you also also have to look at possible substitutes. Spectrier can hit psychic and ghost types super effectively. Well, Incin can do that and so much more. So even most very good players end up picking Incin over Spectrier for their balanced team.

If you're just looking for a way to be good on the ladder, the VR is absolutely the best resource out there to get you started. However, you should understand that it was built by people who have just about 0 respect for the ladder with just about 0 input from ladder usage (not sure if the disconnect is as complete in other metas). It's built to reflect the current tour bros metagame (mostly comprised of say 50 or so experienced tour bros playing each other and chatting with each other about it). Therefore, it evolves significantly over time as the tour bros meta does. The ladder may evolve in different ways. Tour bros and ladder heroes both play to win, but they have fundamentally different objectives. To be successful in tours, you have to beat very very good players in the tour bros meta more often than not and gimmicks don't really work (because most tour bros have seen them, and you are probably going to reuse your team, such that even a gimmick that worked once probably wouldn't work again). To be successful on the ladder, you need to beat all kinds of different teams with more varied mons, usually ones lower ranked than you, very consistently. The best ladder heroes play a LOT of games and have like ~3-4 to 1 win loss ratios (even after getting to the highest level). If a tour bro ever tells you that there's 0 difference between what's viable in tour bro tours and what is viable on the ladder, they are not a top ladder player.

If you want to invest a lot of time in getting good at the DOU ladder, you can definitely start with VR, but also watch the top players on the ladder. Watch their matches and replays. That's ultimately what you want to be, so you can learn from them. Use what works for you on the ladder. There are definitely a few unranked mon that you could make work on a ladder team after you get more exposure to them, but you really can't go wrong by starting out with a balanced highly ranked VR team like the one you have (though you'll have to figure out how to deal with all the room/semiroom teams out there).

As for dnagerbadger saying don't try to help people on the ladder? The affectation of tour bro elitism from someone like him is pretty silly (and it won't even help him get drafted for their tours). There are people on the ladder who just want to have fun and many others who genuinely want to learn and appreciate advice. Strike up a friendly convo and you can find out ("nice team" if the opposing team really looks good is often a good starter).
I was away from the dou discord for almost a month and I hadn't realized how many new players joined since I left. For all the new players out there, I hope you stick around. There are so many great players in the dou community! Some of them might even decide to take on a disciple if they have time. Don't be afraid to reach out to them, some of them might say yes. I actually have a disciple of my own :p.

Dou is starting to take off and its only going to get stronger. We were able to get osdt to happen this year(Congrats Nido-Rus!), DPL is as strong as ever, and dwcop is having its 2nd iteration this year. The community is doing its best to make sure dou is a welcoming place and its only going to get brighter. Thank you MajorBowman and talkingtree for all the hard work you did. I'm positive Yoda2798 and Paraplegic will do their best to achieve the same results :)

Arcticblast i finally pressed the enter button lmao

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