Announcement Espathra is banned from SV OU

Not open for further replies.


is a Site Content Manageris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Smogon Discord Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
OU Leader
Earlier today, Chien-Pao was banned from SV OU as the result of a suspect test. Usually, we don't go back to quickbanning Pokemon once we've started suspect testing them. However, we felt holding a council vote on Espathra instead of a suspect test was more appropriate in this case, for a couple of reasons:
  • This week's tiering survey showed an unprecedented overwhelming amount of support to take tiering action on Espathra, both from the qualified and the global community (these survey results will be publicized tomorrow).
  • The Smogon Premier League and the Official Smogon Tournament, two of Smogon's flagship OU tournaments, are ongoing, and Espathra has continued to leave its mark on the games played for these tournaments.
  • With Pokemon HOME compatibility on the horizon, we would like to reach a balanced metagame state sooner rather than later.
  • With relatively new Tera types like Fire popping up, Espathra has become increasingly hard to reliably answer.
Without further ado, here are the results of the council vote:

FinchinatorRuftausmaFlamingVictiniimaOx the FoxStartalahTPP

For something to be quickbanned at this stage of the metagame, we require a supermajority of over 2/3 votes. With our current 9 members, at least 7 out of 9 votes need to be ban votes. We believe this process leads to only the most definitively ban-worthy presences of the metagame being removed, but please message Finchinator or myself if you have any further questions on the process. Do note that it is possible we may reevaluate Espathra once Pokemon Scarlet and Violet become Pokemon HOME compatible later this year. Since the council ban vote is unanimous, Espathra is now banned from SV OU, effective immediately (tagging Marty and Kris to implement).

Espathra is a very do-or-die type of Pokemon. Its bread and butter set consists of the ability Speed Boost, the moves Calm Mind, Stored Power, Tera Blast or Dazzling Gleam, and Substitute, Protect or Roost, and usually Fighting, Fairy or Fire as the Tera type of choice. Boosts from both Calm Mind and Speed Boost make Stored Power an exceptionally strong STAB move, allowing it to break past even Unaware Pokemon once it has garnered enough boosts, due to the increase in BP. Pair this with the fact that Speed Boost makes Espathra outspeed the entire metagame after just a few turns and that it can Terastallize to resist common priority moves, and Espathra turns into a sweeper that can be hard to stop. This is exacerbated by Espathra's usual partner in crime, Orthworm, which can provide it with a free Substitute with the use of Shed Tail. Even dual screens and/or entry hazard support can be used to give Espathra the best possible opportunity to set up a game-ending sweep.

Despite this, Espathra checks should be plentiful, at least in theory, as there are many viable Dark- and Steel-types in the metagame. These so-called checks are at the mercy of Espathra's handpicked Tera type, however. Tera Fairy Espathra has Dazzling Gleam to knock out Dark-types like Roaring Moon, Meowscarada, and Greninja. Fighting Tera Blast blows back Steel-types like Kingambit, in addition to the aforementioned Dark-types. Tera Fire Espathra can snipe other Steel-types like Gholdengo, Scizor, and Kingambit, while providing a nifty resistance to Skeledirge's Torch Song. At this point, if you don't want to gamble on Espathra's Tera type, you are left with either Whirlwind Ting-Lu or an Unaware or Haze user with a Tera type that provides a resistance or immunity to Stored Power. The latter requires the use of Terastallization, which is a huge opportunity cost to answer a single threat and can leave you open to other threats these Pokemon are supposed to answer, e.g.: Tera Dark Clodsire, Skeledirge, and Toxapex go from resisting Iron Valiant's Moonblast to being weak to it. Taking all of this into account, we felt that Espathra is too restricting of a presence on the metagame.

In short, while Espathra may not win every game on the spot, the right Tera type can give it an opportunity to do so against an overwhelming amount of teams, with little to no ability to outplay it from the opponent's side. We find this unhealthy and have thus unanimously decided to vote to ban Espathra from SV OU.
Not open for further replies.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)