Thanks to everyone who participated in the kickoff to the 2019 DUU mini-circuit. I'd like to go over my impressions from this tour, do a segment on the winners and losers, and then make some VR nominations of my own. I would like to say I personally loved the teambuilding I saw, particularly from Demantoid
, and DaAwesomeDude1
(please give team dumps). Bowman also did a fantastic job of stealing teams. Despite large meta shifts every three months, I think I'm starting to see a more positive trend to a more solved metagame as teams tend to become less about hyper offense and more about balanced, defensive teams. Things like Mega Latias and Chansey are starting to find real roles, and people are using less offensive mons as "glue" mons, namely Tsareena, Krookodile, and Zeraora, instead of things like Naganadel and Thundurus. Those and other offensive powerhouses still certainly have their place, but I really like the way the metagame is shaping up. Time for winners and losers!
Krookodile: Recently relegated to tier 4, this intimidate user was the second most used Pokemon in the DUU tour. Being a reliable check to new additions like Arcanine and Zeraora, as well as being very good versus the omnipresent Metagross and Naganadel, pushed this Pokemon back into the picture as a real threat.
Mega Latias: This Calm Mind user has seen a surge of usage in SPL DOU, which means its no surprise people have started to build around this monster in DUU as well. Incredible base stats, access to a wide variety of coverage moves coupled with Calm Mind and recovery makes this pokemon an extremely formidable threat. Even in a format where a variety of checks exist, like Mega Scizor and Metagross, this Pokemon thrived, boasting the highest winrate of any Pokemon with above a 10% usage rate by almost ELEVEN percentage points. This is one of those Pokemon that the DUU regulars (including myself) have always seen as "almost viable, but has never seen real success", which it is safe to say that is no longer the case.
Araquanid: Currently a tier 5 Pokemon, but not for long. Being the best Water-type in the format certainly goes a long way. And yeah, you read that correctly. Formidable special bulk and an insane ability with its access to Sticky Web makes this Pokemon a fantastic glue choice and speed control option. With the high amount of Fire-types in the tier, Araquanid is a safe pick on many teams and its high usage and win rate reflected that.
Azumarill: It looks like the bunny's reign of terror is officially over. When DUU was first made playable, this Pokemon dominated the format. DUU has spent the better part of 18 months adapting around Azumarill, and new additions kept coming into DUU that were direct counters to it. Going a pathetic 3-9 in just 12 appearances, this Pokemon now faces real competition as a Water-type from Araquanid, and it is so tough to rely on Azumarill as a win condition.
Mega Venusaur: A Pokemon that already faced a lot of competition as a Grass-type and as a Mega, new additions coupled with the explosion of Mega Latias has proven this Pokemon to not be worthy of its current tier 3 position. A very bad 5-13 record showed that while defensive play seems to be on the rise, this Pokemon doesn't have what it takes to make it onto those teams.
Trick Room: Hard Trick Room was almost nonexistent in the DUU tour. With very few reliable setters, poor support Pokemon, and not many solid Trick Room attackers, its a very hard archetype to build and use. I would expect to see some of the Pokemon who thrive or create Trick Room environments to fall in the Viability rankings.
Lord Death Man
did a fantastic job summarizing the necessary changes to the VR in his post, so I only have a few short nominations to make.
Musharna Tier 3 -> Tier 4: Still a good Pokemon to me, its the shift away from using Hard Trick Room that makes me write this nom. Well, that, and it went winless in all four of its uses in DUU Winter.
Raichu Tier 5 -> UR: Zeraora completely outclasses it, teams that want Lightning Rod are picking Rhyperior, Raichu saw 0 uses in DUU Winter.
Clefable Tier 4 -> 5: Belongs with Clefairy, Unaware isn't good enough now that Azumarill isn't good now (both clefs won their only appearances in the tour, btw)
Breloom Tier 5 -> UR: Went 0-3 in the tour. Sucks. Tsareena is an infinitely better grass type and there aren't things that desperately need to be put to sleep in order to deal with them.