Metagame Flipped

I've been playing a lot of Flipped lately (my alts are "how does win" and any variants of that), and I think I've come to get a good understanding of what some of the more unbalanced aspects of this meta are. So I think it's about time to voice my concerns, there is definitely an elephant in the room that I think needs to be addressed....

:steelix: The "Ban Steelix" Post :steelix:

Yup. Steelix is probably the most problematic Pokemon to deal with in the tier. When talking about Steelix, the first thing to establish is that it basically doesn't have any switch-ins. To add to that, the handful of things that can be considered defensive "checks" to Steelix have some combination of an inability to adequately pressure Steelix back, a lack of recovery, or are bopped by some less common coverage move Steelix can use, or some combination of these three factors. Steelix also has a degree of unpredictability, largely in the form of its Scarf set, making it harder to deal with until you know what set it is precisely.

Steelix @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest / Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Earth Power
- Flash Cannon
- Dark Pulse
- Autotomize / Ancient Power / Stealth Rock

This is the main, most threatening Steelix set. STAB moves plus Dark Pulse are generally the best coverage options, and they are all boosted by Sheer Force. To give you a reference of how powerful Steelix is, its Life Orb Sheer Force Earth Power has about the same raw power as Primal Kyogre's Origin Pulse, and its Flash Cannon is not far behind. Being a breaker that's fairly resistant to hazards means that hazard stacking is not as effective of a means to handle Steelix as it could be. While it is slow, it's still fast enough to beat the defensive mons it needs to, and if Sticky Web is up, its effective speed lets it beat out most non-scarfed Pokemon. Here's some calcs against some of the meta's most specially defensive mons best suited to try and handle Steelix, to give you an idea of how they fare:
252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Steelix Dark Pulse vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Charizard: 165-195 (40.8 - 48.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252+ SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Steelix Dark Pulse vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Charizard: 182-214 (45 - 52.9%) -- 30.5% chance to 2HKO

Specially defensive Charizard is something that narrowly avoids being 2HKO'd by Steelix's STABs or Dark Pulse from the Timid Life Orb set. However, with a Modest nature, Charizard runs the chance of losing to Steelix's Dark Pulse anyways. Of course, if Steelix is running Ancient Power, Charizard stands no chance. It's also worth noting that Charizard's uninvested Flamethrower is not a guaranteed OHKO against Steelix either, meaning that it needs to run a move that is otherwise less optimal if it wants to guarantee that OHKO.

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Steelix Dark Pulse vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Cramorant: 164-194 (43.8 - 51.8%) -- 10.9% chance to 2HKO

Cramorant is very bad, but I did use it on one team as a check to Steelix. It can't even guarantee avoiding the 2HKO from Dark Pulse and is handily 2HKO'd by Ancient Power too. So not a good check.

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Steelix Dark Pulse vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Dragapult: 263-309 (53.8 - 63.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Steelix Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Dragapult: 220-259 (45 - 53%) -- 0.4% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Specially defensive Dragapult, who has perhaps the highest raw bulk in the tier, is not a safe answer to Steelix either. It may be weak to Dark Pulse, but even if you ignore that it's still taking way too much from Steelix's STAB moves to adequately answer to it. Add to it that Dragapult lacks recovery and can't pressure Steelix back (Fire moves are 2HKOs at best. Non-statused Hex isn't even a guaranteed 3HKO) and Dragapult's ability to check Steelix looks pretty grim.

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Steelix Dark Pulse vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Rotom-Heat: 192-227 (51 - 60.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

The Rotoms can only pivot in on a STAB move at best. Dark Pulse is a 2HKO against all variants of Rotom. Being reliant on Pain Split for recovery is a big limiting factor too.

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Steelix Flash Cannon vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Hawlucha: 234-277 (53.1 - 62.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Hawlucha can pivot in on Steelix and is actually capable of OHKOing it, even if it has Sturdy for some reason, thanks to Mold Breaker. But as you can see, Hawlucha is still not a counter.

252+ SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Steelix Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Goodra: 183-216 (50.2 - 59.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Assault Vest Goodra is something I've seen on the ladder for its great mixed bulk and respectable power, but as you can see, even with maximum investment in bulk, Modest Earth Power is still a guaranteed 2HKO.

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Steelix Flash Cannon vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Hitmontop: 214-253 (62.2 - 73.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Hitmontop is a decent offensive check to Steelix that is capable of revenging it even if it gets a speed boost. Defensively, it is far from a safe answer though, as it needs bulk investment and an Assault Vest to even switch in safely once.

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Steelix Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Mew: 344-407 (100.8 - 119.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Just for reference, Steelix OHKOs anything with roughly 100/100 uninvested special bulk or less. This includes Dracovish, Goodra, Shuca Cobalion (much to my dismay), Virizion, Keldeo, among other things.
I could go on with calcs for a while but I think you get the picture; answering defensively to Steelix is nigh-impossible. This isn't quite the full picture of what Steelix is capable of, however.

Autotomize/Rock Polish:

This is a move that Steelix can easily slot as the last move on its Life Orb set. If it sets up on a predicted sack and it is outside of the range of the opposing Sylveon, Steelix can easily clean up games. It can also set up on passive mons like Espeon, Xatu, more passive variants of Hydreigon, and other things, but most of its setup opportunities will come from predicted switches. The main answer to this set is to keep your Steelix check pristine and maintain pressure on Steelix to prevent it from setting up, but that leads to lame 50/50 situations where you leave something in to prevent it from setting up and it just kills you. Revenge killing a +2 speed Steelix takes either a priority mon that can OHKO it (Hitmontop, Primarina, or Keldeo), Scarf Ditto, or Scarf Snorlax.... that's about it. +2 Timid Steelix just barely outspeeds Scarf Timid Rhyperior, limiting the amount of scarfers that can be used to safely answer to this beast. Too often I have pivoted out of an opposing Steelix, only to see it Rock Polish and sweep my team.

Scarf:

Steelix @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Earth Power
- Flash Cannon
- Dark Pulse
- Stealth Rock / Ancient Power / Dragon Pulse / Steel Beam

The other really good Steelix set uses Choice Scarf. This set still boasts enough power to OHKO or severely damage most offensive threats and can surprise a lot of things that would normally be faster. When you add in the fact that Life Orb Steelix can bluff being Scarf Steelix in certain situations (since it doesn't take Life Orb recoil) and you get an annoying guessing game when dealing with Steelix, especially early in the match. Say for instance that you have Specs Rhyperior out against Steelix. If it's Scarf and you stay in you get OHKO'd, if it's Life Orb and you switch out whatever you bring in will get 2HKO'd, or it Autotomizes and sweeps your team. These guessing games are far more punishing than they typically would be with Pokemon that have multiple good sets, since Steelix is more than powerful enough to act as a breaker even if running Choice Scarf, so long as you can predict correctly. For reference, Timid Sheer Force Earth Power still OHKOs uninvested offensive mons like Dracovish and Keldeo most of the time, and Steelix can still 2HKO or OHKO most everything except some of the "checks" listed above.

Sturdy:

Really the cherry on top, Sturdy is one of those things that's way less consistent, but you'll lose to occasionally and it will make you feel like an idiot. Since you can't run Life Orb with Sturdy, you'll lose out on a lot of power if running this set but it will allow for janky setups like HDB to always survive a hit while hazards are up, or Weakness Policy + Autotomize to get sweeps going that way. These options are all far less consistent and don't play as much into Steelix's strengths, but they're all options to consider and add to Steelix's surprising versatility and make it more of a headache to deal with.

TLDR:
-Steelix is absurdly powerful and has virtually no defensive checks
-It can use its other options like Scarf, Autotomize, or Sturdy to punish some of its usual counterplay
-Even without Life Orb, Steelix is very strong and capable of breaking through teams
-Ban Steelix

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I've primarily been running defensive teams to try to find counters to the above threats, and as someone who's had his ass whooped by readytolose's alts many times, I can attest to the fact that the biggest problems are Steelix and Dracovish. So far I have found nothing that can reliably switch into them more than once or twice throughout the match.

Let's look at Gyarados, who is on the VR mainly for its supposed niche to be able to check Steelix. On paper it looks amazing. It has great 81/125 special bulk (comparable to Roserade's 90/125 physical bulk), is immune or resistant to both of its STABs, only takes neutral damage from Dark Pulse, and can OHKO Steelix with Waterfall.

Here's the reality:

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Steelix Flash Cannon vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Gyarados: 94-112 (25.7 - 30.6%) -- guaranteed 4HKO

This is resisted hit yet it takes between a quarter and a third of its health. If Steelix switches out and the process repeats just once, you could already see yourself around 40% if you're running HDB. Remember that Steelix is faster than you so if it does stay in, you'll need to take a hit before you can smack it with Waterfall. This means that it only takes three Flash Cannon switch-ins before Steelix can finish you.

But it gets worse when you factor in the neutral coverage.

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Steelix Dark Pulse vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Gyarados: 126-149 (34.5 - 40.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

You take more than a third, so you only get one switch-in to try to kill it. Ain't happening. Steelix will switch out and finish you next time you come in on it.

Let's say you put an Assault Vest on Gyara.

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Steelix Flash Cannon vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Gyarados: 62-74 (16.9 - 20.2%) -- possible 5HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Steelix Dark Pulse vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Gyarados: 84-100 (23 - 27.3%) -- 62.9% chance to 4HKO

In theory this could work okay, but the problem is that Gyarados is a bad AV user. The only thing of use it can do under AV is Dragon Tail, on which it is hopelessly outclassed by Dragapult, but the biggest issue is that it's weak to Stealth Rock. If your opponent has them up, you'll take 50% coming in on a Dark Pulse, and you're basically dead weight. This puts you under tremendous pressure to keep the field clear, which is easier said than done. Even if you succeed, switching into Dark Pulse is essentially the same as my first scenario, where all you get is 2 switch-ins before you're toast. If your opponent keeps up the pressure to deny you a chance to pass a Wish to Gyarados, then Steelix will eventually win out and sweep your team.

Gyarados, by the way, is a terrible answer to other special nukes, as it succumbs fairly easily to Avalugg Ice Beam and very easily to Rhyperior Thunderbolt.

My favorite AV user is Hitmonlee (who IMO is far superior to Hitmontop on stall and is being slept on), who is great at handling Rhyperior but falls short against Steelix.

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Steelix Earth Power vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Hitmonlee: 146-173 (38.7 - 45.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

Roserade-level bulk just doesn't get you as far on the special side in this meta.

To my knowledge, the only other pokemon that share the traits I mentioned that theoretically make Gyara a good Steelix check are Rotom-W and Rotom-H, but they have terrible 86/65 special bulk, so you'll only get a more pathetic repeat of the Gyarados calcs.

readytolose already discussed Dragapult, the best mon with abnormal bulk, who I've also played extensively with an Assault Vest, and while it's the closest I've found so far, the fact that it can't OHKO makes it pretty easy for Steelix to break as well.

Steelix can be beaten fairly easily by hyper offense. The problem is that pure hyper offense is somewhat unviable with Quick Attack Sylveon running around. When Sylveon destroys HO and Steelix destroys stall, I think you get a situation where you can't have both, and of the two Sylveon is by far the easier one for opponents to deal with.

For these reasons, the council is currently discussing what to do about Steelix.

Dracovish is the other mon that I think may be broken. Roserade and Dragapult are the only checks to my knowledge but they can be worn down. Whimsicott can handle scarf variants alright but takes 50% from banded Vish and even sub-seed can't counter that. IMO Vish is the problem rather than Fishious Rend. Arctovish, by contrast, has the same speed and slightly higher attack, but this can't make up for the power from Strong Jaw, and with its Ice typing and base 55 HP, is much easier to wear down with SR and priority. I see Bolt Beak users quite rarely as they can be countered.

I agree that Espeon, Rhyperior, and and Sylveon are centralizing but not broken. Espeon will almost certainly be moving up on the VR, along with Salazzle. Will update soon.

As a side note, for those who detest Espeon, I strongly recommend trying out Tyranitar. It has one of the strongest Dark Pulses available and does over 75% to standard Esp, who can't touch it in return. The real beauty of Ttar over the other Dark types is that it is a Stealth Rocker who Espeon is afraid to switch in on, greatly improving your control of the match. On top of that it can be a special wall or even sweep with Dragon Dance. This is a mon that I expect will rise in abundance if Espeon starts to get out of hand.
 
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Since Tyranitar was just brought up, I’d like to take a moment to remind people that Tyranitar can run a mean AV set. If you aren’t wanting to run Rocks, Tyranitar has a fantastic special coverage pool, including BoltBeam, Fire Blast, Earth Power, Surf, Tyranitar can hit basically anything with SE damage and take negligible damage from many special threats while under Sand. Nasty Plot Mandibuzz lacking U-Turn is hard countered by Tyranitar, while Avalugg has its Sturdy made irrelevant by Sand and doesn’t do enough to KO back most of the time.

Tyranitar with Assault Vest can take on Steelix 1v1, living a LO Sheer Force Earth Power and dishing back the pain, usually OHKOing with its own Earth Power. Also, unlike Rhyperior, Tyranitar can avoid running the relatively mediocre Ancient Power as its Rock STAB in favor of Stone Edge, thanks to its Attack still being base 100. Running mixed allows you to deal roughly a quarter to a third of health in damage to the Hitmons each time they switch in, as well as do a surprising amount to other high SpD low Def mons in the tier. And, also unlike Rhyperior (and the Hitmons), you can switch in very safely on mons like Espeon without worrying about a stray Psychic Fangs scoring a KO on you, and unlike the Hitmons, you can actually deal damage to stuff like Espeon. As I said before, it also pairs very well with an Espeon itself because there are often opportunities to heal it up with Wish.

Overall, it and Drifblim are mons that I think are currently a bit low on the VR, and I’d like to see them at least considered a bit more. (See my team post for a more in depth analysis of Drifblim, but in short, 336 Speed uninvested means full bulk investment makes you a fast wall, Strength Sap, Will-o-Wisp, Knock Off and Defog are incredible support moves, and overall I think it should at least be considered a niche mon)
 
To my knowledge, the only other pokemon that share the traits I mentioned that theoretically make Gyara a good Steelix check are Rotom-W and Rotom-H, but they have terrible 86/65 special bulk, so you'll only get a more pathetic repeat of the Gyarados calcs.
Charizard is an option, it has 100/84 special bulk and Roost.
 
'Sup peeps.

The council is finalizing a Steelix solution; one of us will post an update shortly.

In the meantime, here's another wave of amendments to the Viability Ranking.

Rises
:Dracovish: A- to A+ (Smashes things with next to no checks. Can still be outsped by offensive teams)
:Espeon: A to A+ (Superb support from Magic Bounce, Wish, Heal Bell, and great physical bulk)
:Salazzle: B- to A- (Far and away the best Fairy counter, with great support options. Can wall most physical attackers lacking ground and water attacks)
:Keldeo: B to B+ (Good bulky water that can be a set-up sweeper on either the physical or special side, or a physical tank
:Tyranitar: C+ to B (One of the best (and only) Espeon destroyers. Great Stealth Rock and AV sets with wide mixed movepool. Can pull a surprise Dragon Dance)
:Grimmsnarl: UR to B- (Another Espeon abuser. Good at setting up on defensive teams with Prankster Sub, and immune to Dragon Tail)
:Hitmonlee: UR to B- (Superior to Hitmontop on stall teams, with much more longevity and Knock Off utility. Great counter to Rhyperior)
:Cloyster: UR to C (Spikes + Rapid Spin user with offensive presence)
:Hitmonchan: UR to C (Intermediate between Hitmonlee & Top, but with partial healing from Drain Punch)
:Liepard: C- to C (Diverse support sets including Taunt, Encore, and Rain Dance)
:Weavile: UR to C (Attacking AV set is excellent counter to Avalugg and Cloyster)
:Drifblim: UR to C- (Niche as very fast support. Surprisingly annoying for physical attackers to break)

Drops
:Accelgor: A- to B+ (Generally too passive, although the threat of Final Gambit can freak opponents out and give you free U-turns)
:Togekiss: A- to B (Unreliable Hustle accuracy. Now countered by all the Sylveon checks)
:Virizion: A- to B (Bad against most top tier threats. Keldeo is better)
:Dracozolt: B+ to B (Unreliable Hustle accuracy. Not that hard to wall)
:Gyarados: B- to C- (Unsuccessful Steelix counter. Bad typing matchup against other special threats. Dragon Dance set is outclassed)
:Raichu: C- to UR (Unreliable Wish user. Easily broken or set up on)
 
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Sorry for the delay, the council faced a couple setbacks recently (nothing serious, don't worry). We've decided to quickban Steelix, and this is likely going to be the last major decision up until the DLC wave brings in new Pokemon.

There was a good amount of discussion on Steelix and how problematic it is: the remarkably hard-to-wall Ground/Steel/Dark coverage, combined with Dark Pulse flinch chances letting it sometimes muscle past otherwise solid answers, proved extremely potent and gave it no true defensive counters. Versatility was another issue: choiced sets boasted immediate, sometimes unanswerable pressure, while Life Orb possessed incredible damage output with no HP cost due to Sheer Force, and opened up the opportunity to run Rock Polish sets. Sturdy didn't help either; it only added to the list of things Steelix could provide, as it's 200 Base Special Attack was often enough to nab OHKOs by itself, thus "bluffing" what set it might be unless they used Ancient Power (which Sheer Force can't use). Offensive answers to a Sturdy Steelix were less reliable, as you either needed a way to break past Sturdy or get lucky (flinch or status, mainly). These factors combined made for an unhealthy, overbearing threat to many teams and archetypes.

TL:DR big snake go bwaaaaa

Tagging The Immortal to implement this.
 
And now, a council-member approved double post to avoid cluttering the important one above. Yes, that member refers to me. Fear my power.

As the month comes to a close I'd like to share a few of my personal thoughts on key figures in the metagame and where they stand.

:sylveon:I think Sylveon fits a lot better into the metagame now that bulkier teams are allowed to exist. Defensively oriented Fire and Poison types are really effective at keeping it contained, and the rise of Jirachi as a multi-purpose answer to it certainly helped. The biggest problem with Sylveon is trying to offensively check it, since its powerful Quick Attack makes it hard to outspeed without sustaining heavy damage on most Pokemon. It doesn't look like any new additions are going to remedy this unless we get a new fast Steel or Poison with good Defense, a resistance to Fairy, and a strong Attacking stat. Nihilego and Celesteela would be promising in that regard, but I don't think they've been confirmed to be returning alongside the other legendaries this year.

:rhyperior:I'd wager this is better than Sylveon ATM. Its got a lot more going for it thanks to a much larger movepool with actual coverage. Rhy's Speed tier is fantastic versus most of the metagame and it constantly puts in work when I use it (or face one). Kind of the opposite of Sylveon in a lot of ways: instead of a strong, Physical mono-attacker with good priority that has trouble with defensive Pokemon, you have a blazing Special attacker that abuses its incredible coverage to succeed, with its biggest fears being any Pokemon which can get the jump on it. What separates the two is that, while Sylveon faces a lot of strong checks and even some near-counters, there's much less I can think of that wants to fight against a well-played Rhyperior.

:dracovish:If Sylveon weren't among the best Pokemon right now I'd be extremely worried about Vish. Quick Attack mauls it after a bit of chip damage (or just KO's if you run Band), and if that weren't bad enough, the presence of Roserade in response to Sylveon does not help. Whimsicott is also a fantastic answer due to high bulk + Prankster allowing it to avoid a boosted rend. Its got the coverage to bypass a lot of defensive counterplay, however, and the fact that the only thing on VR that can outspeed it without Scarf is Snorlax troubles me as well. The future for our prehistoric catastrophe is definitely still in the air.

:indeedee:The departure of Shell Smash and Steelix has definitely made Psychic Terrain look less constricting. I'm not sure about Psychic Surge, but don't see much problem with the move itself: you're sacrificing a moveslot to set it up and no longer have immediate access just by switching. There's an actual cost to it in that sense, and less teams rely on priority as a means of answering the glass cannons these days. Something to consider.
 
Hey everyone. Now that the month is winding down, I just want to take a moment to say thank you for taking part in the metagame and developing it into what it is today. Two months ago the concept hadn't even been approved yet, but with the playerbase we received, Flipped has grown into a fully-fledged OM with both offensive and defensive playstyles and a Viability Ranking. Special thanks to SBPC and shnowshner for helping me run this thing.

I also want to reflect on the patterns and questions I noted in the OP, because these metas are always a fun opportunity to learn more about the nature of competitive battling. Let's see if my predictions were relevant...

1) Narrow range of speeds. In normal play, there is surprisingly little variation in the HP stats of fully evolved pokemon. Not that many have HP stats above 100, and very few have HP below 50 or 60. In Flipped, this means that speed EV investment and all forms of speed control can make a ton of difference.
In a way this mattered, and in a way it didn't. The benchmark for very good speed was certainly lower, which meant that you could make effective Choice Scarf sets out of things like Steelix, Torkoal, and Araquanid, but the other forms of speed control (Sticky Web, Paralysis, and Trick Room) really weren't that common. I think the lack of the former two owes a lot to the ubiquity of a certain Magic Bounce Eeveelution, while TR suffered from a relative dearth of mons who were all of bulky, powerful, and slow.

2) Many glass cannons. Unlike HP, standard play does have many fully-evolved pokemon with abysmal speed stats. Such pokemon are usually highly defensive. This translates to a large number of pokemon with very frail HP and incredible offense.
Yup. The paper nukes were indeed a defining aspect of the metagame, so much so that we had to ban a few elements (and the most extreme cannon) to keep hyper offense from stealing the meta.

3) Reverted Type Stereotypes. It's no secret that there are some common stat patterns associated with each type--for instance, steel pokemon are usually slow and defensive, while electrics are usually fast attackers. When stats are flipped, this means that roles can change not just for individual species, but for entire types on average. There are now far fewer viable bulky steels, and way more defensive electrics.
True for several types. In addition to the above, Fairy was entirely physical, dragon erred on the defensive side, and there weren't many bulky waters. But how did the different types do?

4) Who's Got the Utility? Certain utility moves also tend to be constrained to certain types. For instance, recovery is much more common for psychic and flying types than it is for electrics. That means that in this metagame, a lot of those new bulky electrics will face challenges fulfilling their roles as walls, while many fat fliers are excited to make use of Roost+Defog+Heavy-duty Boots.
I don't think entire types were helped by common coverage/utility, just individual mons. It is stat distribution, more than typing, that mainly controls how well you can make use of a move.

5) New Best/Worst Types? The above two points could cause changes in the usefulness of certain types that could trickle throughout the entire type chart. For example, will fighting become less valuable now that there are fewer steel types to smash? Will ice be more sought after now that there are several good defensive flying pokemon? What we value as a "good type" and a "bad type" could potentially change.
This is the interesting part. Some chain reactions certainly did occur. Most notably, a near-complete lack of defensive Steels (paired with the increase in defensive dragons) helped pave the way for Fairy to be an incredibly powerful offensive type, and sure enough, defensive Fire and Poison types rose as a response. But there is a clearly a limit to these reshufflings. There actually were some bulky electrics with healing from Wish that looked very good on paper (namely Jolteon and the Raichus), but the fact of the matter is that electric will always be a mediocre defensive type, for while it only has one weakness, it is to one of the best and most common coverage types in the game. Perhaps more critically, electric has next to zero useful resistances, so even with astounding defensive stats, these pokemon just couldn't pull their weight. Even more surprising was Flying. There was a plethora of relatively bulky flyers with Defog and Roost and the choice to run HDB, but most were never used, and only a few attained niche roles on the VR (Xatu, Hawlucha, Drifblim, and Ninjask). Perhaps it's also just a poor defensive type, or maybe it's an effect of the specific meta, where most of the top threats that emerged are all neutral or super effective against Flying (Sylveon, Dracovish, Avalugg) or have coverage that can make short work of them (Rhyperior). Probably didn't help that their main utility was outclassed by good Rapid Spin users.

6) The Challenge of Change. Many moves are also associated not just with certain types, but with certain stat spreads. There are more slow bulky pokemon with recovery than fast ones, and often offensive pokemon get better coverage. In Flipped, this means many recovery users will be frail, though at the same time, many sweepers will be limited by their offensive options. The pokemon who make the transition most successfully will be the ones with the movepool to adapt.
Not much to add here. This was the meta in a nutshell, and I had fun.

:Crobat::Azumarill::Blissey::Metagross::Nidoqueen::Volcarona::Aurorus:
Next time we get OMOTM or LC many months from now, the landscape will be very different, with several interesting returning mons, not to mention a ton of legendaries. Hope to see you then. -fm
 
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Gonna wrap the month up a couple more VR nominations.

:incineroar: Incineroar plays similarly to the newly ranked Grimmsnarl by leveraging its good typing to set up on defensive threats like Espeon, Salazzle, Necrozma, Hydreigon, Arcanine, Roserade, and others. Dark type breakers have proven really solid for their ability to turn Espeon into setup fodder and not get Encored by Whimsicott. I've used SD + 3 Attacks, Sub SD, SD + Taunt, and Sub Bulk Up all to varying levels of success, but Incineroar's stats and movepool give it other options too. Compared to Grimmsnarl, Incineroar's higher offenses and a more faster-paced boosting move in SD let it pose more of an initial threat and not sucking up as much momentum, and Knock Off as a STAB move lets it deprive foes of items, letting Incineroar be more useful in the early game. It also can't be burnt through Sub by Dragapult or Chandelure, although it can be Dragon Tailed, but not before Dragapult gets a Knock Off for its troubles.

:charizard: I was using this as the closest thing to a Steelix check for a while but it still has merit, even without Steelix in the meta. Charizard is an option for a Sylveon counter with reliable recovery that can also Defog, basically taking the reliable recovery from Arcanine and the Defog from Rotom-H, but lacking the pivoting ability of either. Just like Rotom-H it really invites in Rhyperior too which is a big flaw it has. The fact that it's weak to Electric also means it can't switch in on opposing Cobalion or Rotom-H as easily without being chunked by Volt Switch, but the Fighting resist lets it sorta check Cobalion too? When you factor in the generally higher special bulk. Overall I think Charizard should be ranked because it provides good role compression, is bulkier than Rotom-H, and generally harder to wear down since it doesn't need to rely on Pain Split.

:obstagoon: Another breaker that I've put to good use. Obstagoon is far more niche than in standard play since it competes with Diggersby so heavily, who quite frankly has much more tools making it useful against a variety of teams. The main reasons you would want to use Obstagoon are for one, it's a Dark-type, meaning it gains many free turns against Espeon, and it also doesn't really care about status, letting you bring it in easily against passive status mons and go from there. It also has usable special bulk, unlike Diggersby, meaning it can usually take a hit from something like Rhyperior. Its speed is unfortunately lower than Sylveon, but thankfully higher than Keldeo and Cobalion, who would otherwise be more workable as offensive checks to it. Compared to Diggersby's base 85 speed, Obstagoon's base 93 speed lets it come in after a slower breaker like Specs Cobalion, CB Goodra, CB Diggersby, CB Dracovish, etc. has got a kill and then get a kill of its own from there. All that said, Obstagoon is still very niche, and its low defense makes bringing it in on U-turners like Dragapult and Hydreigon risky, so because of that I think it merits a lower ranking on the VR.

And yeah, I think Psychic Terrain / Psychic Surge is safe to try now. +2 Speed Steelix under Psychic Terrain would be hell to deal with, but now that it's gone I think there's nothing too egregious that would be broken with Psychic Terrain, especially since to make the best use of it you would need to use the mediocre Indeedee.

Flipped has been a lot of fun, can't wait to play it again further down the line :blobthumbsup:
 
Well we've hit the post-DLC part of the month and now that we know who's in and what's new, I felt like this was a good time to spark some minor discussion on the new additions. Flipped may not be active ATM but there's no harm in theory.


NEW MOVES
Terrain Pulse:
:mew::stunfisk-galar: Pretty underwhelming unfortunately. There's very few good Special Attackers for this move and none of them have a Terrain ability. G-Stunfisk's Mimicry is interesting at least, with it gaining STAB on whatever terrain it wants and giving it some nice coverage options.

Burning Jealousy: As cool as this move is conceptually, it's obviously intended for Doubles. Feels a bit too worthless in Singles because of how situational it is.

Flip Turn: :keldeo::primarina::vaporeon: Incredible addition. Keldeo was already a solid Pokemon, access to a STAB pivot move greatly increases it's offensive and defensive potential. Primarina is another big winner from this and actually makes me want to use it. Vaporeon is noteworthy for it's great Speed stat of 130 and decent 95 Attack.

Rising Voltage: :pincurchin: There's a lot of potentially dangerous users of this move, which reaches absurd damage under the right conditions. Pincurchin has been practically unseen due to its awful Speed, but as the sole Electric Surge user, there might be room for it somewhere. A 140 BP STAB attack boosted by terrain is nothing to sneeze at, even if its Special Attack isn't terribly impressive.

Grassy Glide: :rillaboom::virizion: Rillaboom lacks the Attack to properly abuse this move, but partnering up with Virizion might be a good strategy. A shame Grass STAB is difficult to use in this metagame.

Triple Axel: :primarina::hitmontop::milotic: All three of these greatly benefit from the addition of a good physical Ice move. I'm not too sure on how this works yet, but it's better than nothing. Hitmontop doesn't really need it but it hits harder than any of the Ice-type users.

Corrosive Gas: A lot of the best users get Knock Off, like Salazzle and Gengar, so I don't see much purpose. Maybe someone will find a place for it.

Scorching Sands: :rhyperior::coalossal::hippowdon::turtonator::arcanine::flygon::centiskorch: An interesting addition for sure. Offensive users probably aren't going to get much mileage out of this, but Turtonator appreciates the newfound Ground coverage. Defensive Pokemon also like having a Scald clone, especially Arcanine.

Dual Wingbeat: :mantine::togekiss::mandibuzz: Mantine users rejoice, you no longer need to use Hurricane or bother with Acrobatics. Not sure how other Flying-types will benefit from this, as Togekiss already struggles with enough accuracy issues and Mandibuzz has Brave Bird.

Expanding Force: lmao maybe one day

Skitter Smack: An uninteresting and rather poor support move due to low damage and 90% accuracy??? When Lunge, Struggle Bug, and Fire Lash exist??? If anyone can find success with this please inform me.

Meteor Beam: :rhyperior::coalossal::stonjourner::rhydon: Two-turn moves like this are risky and generally not worth it, but a boost to Special Attack is pretty sick and not much wants to take a +1 Meteor Beam from our selection of Rock attackers. It hits even harder than two Ancient Powers... if you hit it. Power Herb is an interesting choice, letting you fire one off immediately and clean up with your boosted Special Attack after. Rhyperior can easily go nuts with this combination thanks to its fantastic coverage.

Poltergeist: :dusknoir::cursola: Lacks solid users. Dusknoir and Cursola will hit hard but they're both slow and not the bulkiest Pokemon in the world.

Scale Shot: :hydreigon::kyurem: A neat addition for some of our Dragons. Hydreigon appreciates a move which can potentially KO through Subs/Sash/Sturdy, but losing Defense sucks. Same for Kyurem.

Lash Out: Capable of dealing incredible damage depending on what Stat was lowered. Can abuse 100% stat-drop attack users, Intimidate users, and random hax I guess. Don't think it's terribly useful however.

Steel Roller: Too situational. If Dynamax was allowed, would be a nice Steelspike slot, but this isn't a Dynamax meta.

Misty Explosion: 252+ SpA Choice Specs Weezing-Galar Moonblast (200 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Arcanine: 171-201 (43.4 - 51%) -- 5.9% chance to 2HKO. Funny move but it has like one viable user, and by viable I mean what can viably run the move.

NEW POKEMON:
:azumarill: Great Speed, massive Attack, and a sizeable movepool makes this one of the scariest Offensive threats right off the bat. It's everything horrific about Azu in the base game, but trading its respectable bulk for ludicrous offensive prowess. Probably broken.

:tentacruel: I already had an affinity for the unique traits Tentacruel brings, being a fast defensive Pokemon with a cool list of utility options. Now, Tentacruel is a slower, physically offensive Water with passable bulk. Utility sets still sound good, and it could run a Swords Dance Rapid Spin set to compress utility and late-game sweeping like a budget Excadrill. Clear Body and Liquid Ooze both have some potential, the former blocking all stat drops and the latter punishing many recovery moves, including the dangerous Strength Sap (if anything around uses it).

:lickilicky: K-mart Snorlax. 110 Speed is good, but it's not 160 good, and lacks the 110 Attack which lets Lax thrive. What Lickilicky has over Lax are much better defenses, mixed offenses with a wider movepool plus some team support options, and a hilariously powerful STAB Explosion which kinda just kills everything. Remember our good friend Arcanine? 252+ Atk Choice Band Lickilicky Explosion vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Arcanine: 390-459 (98.9 - 116.4%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO. You can't even Intimidate it. God forbid it gets an SD off. Might actually be fire.

:starmie: K-mart Slowbro. Great PhysDef and okay SpDef. Flip Turn is a nice option, Natural Cure is pretty cool too. Has a lot of nice support options like Spin, Scald, Screens, TWave, Toxic, and Teleport.

:porygon2::porygon-z: I'm not sure what these do but they are interesting. Pory2 still has great bulk with Eviolite and hits rather hard thanks to Download Boosts and nice mixed offenses. PoryZ goes full Defensive and is less reliant on an item to do so, but I feel is worse overall.

:sharpedo: Likely a meme. Has solid 95/95/120 bulk, Scald, Toxic, Destiny Bond, Rough Skin as an ability, and Flip Turn, but its awfully passive at times.

:tangrowth: Interesting Sun Sweeper. Very fast with Chlorophyll and fast in general. Massive Special Attack but poor movepool on that side. Those Solar Beams are gonna hurt however.

:emolga: K-mart Zapdos. Defog/Knock Off/Roost/Nuzzle with Static to piss off your foes. Might find a use. Probably garbage.

:amoonguss: Do you like the Sleep status? Do you like accurate moves? Do you like 114 Base Speed? Amoongus has it all, and can maybe deal some damage afterwards with STAB or just Foul Play. Fast Sleep is scary but it seems worthless after-the-fact and despises the existence of Espeon and Roserade as top-level defensive Pokemon. I still don't like that this is around.

:mienshao: 105/95/125 Bulk w/ Regenerator and a decent offensive support movepool consisting of Knock, Taunt, U-Turn, Toxic, and more.

:volcarona: VERY bulky Pokemon on the Physical side with an interesting typing and a great movepool for what it wants to do. Think of it like Centiskorch but, like, better probably.

:talonflame: Could pull off some Gale Wings tricks, or just run Flame Body and call it a day. Priority Defog not blocked by Dark Types is nice, and it could be a revenge killer in a pinch.

:dragalge: Oh no no no no this looks absolutely terrifying. Scale Shot can completely murder something if you get lucky thanks to a fantastic Attack stat + Adaptability, and even if you don't succeed, it raises your Speed afterwards. Gunk Shot also has great potential to mess something up royally, and Flip Turn rounds it off as a terrifying wallbreaker should it get in.

:klefki: klefki but a slow prankster user with better offensives and slightly different bulk. click thunder wave button and set up spikes wowow

:palossand: Honestly looks pretty sick if not a fringe option. Ghost/Ground is a cool STAB combo and it gets some okay coverage options. Not terribly fast but maybe decent anyhow?

:comfey: This has a lot of potential IMO. Great Physical bulk, better Special Attack, and can patch up poor Special Defense with Calm Mind, Amnesia, or perhaps an AV. Triage is just as ridiculous as it was before.

:magearna: A surprise for sure, but a welcome(?) one. Having a Steel that resists Fairy and has actual Defense is pretty dope. Also has nice mixed offenses and a workable 80 Base Speed. I think a lot of the same sets which Gear enjoys normally are going to be great here as well, such as CM, Shift Gear, and Assault Vest.

:slowbro: Has some cool moves and decent stats to be a Special Attacker. Probably not much to write home about though; Nasty Plot, however, could easily sway my opinion on it. Also, if you thought Galarian Slowbro was disappointing before, it's not much better here.

:alakazam: Fat Espeon, which sounds redundant, but it's true. Magic Guard is incredible and it has a much better Physical movepool + Recover, though the Special Defense leaves a LOT to be desired.

:kingdra: Pretty much unchanged. Slower, takes hits better, will only be run on Rain teams 99% of the time.

:poliwrath: On that note, here's Poliwrath. Trades Attack for Speed, but who needs Attack when you can get to +6 in one turn? Has potential.

:marowak::marowak-alola: They're faster but lost a ton of defensive utility. You could definitely still justify Alolawak but the base form has to compete with Diggersby, which is not good for it.

:chansey::blissey: No. Absolutely not. Unparalleled Speed Tiers, great Attacking stats, and a really cool and competitive combination of Serene Grace + Body Slam/Headbutt. You can run both demons at the same time and get away with it because they are really fast and can ParaFlinch their way through a ton of Pokemon. I don't see a world where these don't warp the metagame around themselves. If Flipped becomes playable again somewhere you get a couple hours to ruin each other's lives with these abominations before I embark on a crusade to banish them from the realm of the living.
 
Burning Jealousy: As cool as this move is conceptually, it's obviously intended for Doubles. Feels a bit too worthless in Singles because of how situational it is.
It does at least give special Fire coverage to a few Pokemon that previously lacked it. Though none of those Pokemon are special attackers in Flipped, so it doesn't really matter.
 
Why did Alolawak get faster?

Well we've hit the post-DLC part of the month and now that we know who's in and what's new, I felt like this was a good time to spark some minor discussion on the new additions. Flipped may not be active ATM but there's no harm in theory.


NEW MOVES
Terrain Pulse:
:mew::stunfisk-galar: Pretty underwhelming unfortunately. There's very few good Special Attackers for this move and none of them have a Terrain ability. G-Stunfisk's Mimicry is interesting at least, with it gaining STAB on whatever terrain it wants and giving it some nice coverage options.

Burning Jealousy: As cool as this move is conceptually, it's obviously intended for Doubles. Feels a bit too worthless in Singles because of how situational it is.

Flip Turn: :keldeo::primarina::vaporeon: Incredible addition. Keldeo was already a solid Pokemon, access to a STAB pivot move greatly increases it's offensive and defensive potential. Primarina is another big winner from this and actually makes me want to use it. Vaporeon is noteworthy for it's great Speed stat of 130 and decent 95 Attack.

Rising Voltage: :pincurchin: There's a lot of potentially dangerous users of this move, which reaches absurd damage under the right conditions. Pincurchin has been practically unseen due to its awful Speed, but as the sole Electric Surge user, there might be room for it somewhere. A 140 BP STAB attack boosted by terrain is nothing to sneeze at, even if its Special Attack isn't terribly impressive.

Grassy Glide: :rillaboom::virizion: Rillaboom lacks the Attack to properly abuse this move, but partnering up with Virizion might be a good strategy. A shame Grass STAB is difficult to use in this metagame.

Triple Axel: :primarina::hitmontop::milotic: All three of these greatly benefit from the addition of a good physical Ice move. I'm not too sure on how this works yet, but it's better than nothing. Hitmontop doesn't really need it but it hits harder than any of the Ice-type users.

Corrosive Gas: A lot of the best users get Knock Off, like Salazzle and Gengar, so I don't see much purpose. Maybe someone will find a place for it.

Scorching Sands: :rhyperior::coalossal::hippowdon::turtonator::arcanine::flygon::centiskorch: An interesting addition for sure. Offensive users probably aren't going to get much mileage out of this, but Turtonator appreciates the newfound Ground coverage. Defensive Pokemon also like having a Scald clone, especially Arcanine.

Dual Wingbeat: :mantine::togekiss::mandibuzz: Mantine users rejoice, you no longer need to use Hurricane or bother with Acrobatics. Not sure how other Flying-types will benefit from this, as Togekiss already struggles with enough accuracy issues and Mandibuzz has Brave Bird.

Expanding Force: lmao maybe one day

Skitter Smack: An uninteresting and rather poor support move due to low damage and 90% accuracy??? When Lunge, Struggle Bug, and Fire Lash exist??? If anyone can find success with this please inform me.

Meteor Beam: :rhyperior::coalossal::stonjourner::rhydon: Two-turn moves like this are risky and generally not worth it, but a boost to Special Attack is pretty sick and not much wants to take a +1 Meteor Beam from our selection of Rock attackers. It hits even harder than two Ancient Powers... if you hit it. Power Herb is an interesting choice, letting you fire one off immediately and clean up with your boosted Special Attack after. Rhyperior can easily go nuts with this combination thanks to its fantastic coverage.

Poltergeist: :dusknoir::cursola: Lacks solid users. Dusknoir and Cursola will hit hard but they're both slow and not the bulkiest Pokemon in the world.

Scale Shot: :hydreigon::kyurem: A neat addition for some of our Dragons. Hydreigon appreciates a move which can potentially KO through Subs/Sash/Sturdy, but losing Defense sucks. Same for Kyurem.

Lash Out: Capable of dealing incredible damage depending on what Stat was lowered. Can abuse 100% stat-drop attack users, Intimidate users, and random hax I guess. Don't think it's terribly useful however.

Steel Roller: Too situational. If Dynamax was allowed, would be a nice Steelspike slot, but this isn't a Dynamax meta.

Misty Explosion: 252+ SpA Choice Specs Weezing-Galar Moonblast (200 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Arcanine: 171-201 (43.4 - 51%) -- 5.9% chance to 2HKO. Funny move but it has like one viable user, and by viable I mean what can viably run the move.

NEW POKEMON:
:azumarill: Great Speed, massive Attack, and a sizeable movepool makes this one of the scariest Offensive threats right off the bat. It's everything horrific about Azu in the base game, but trading its respectable bulk for ludicrous offensive prowess. Probably broken.

:tentacruel: I already had an affinity for the unique traits Tentacruel brings, being a fast defensive Pokemon with a cool list of utility options. Now, Tentacruel is a slower, physically offensive Water with passable bulk. Utility sets still sound good, and it could run a Swords Dance Rapid Spin set to compress utility and late-game sweeping like a budget Excadrill. Clear Body and Liquid Ooze both have some potential, the former blocking all stat drops and the latter punishing many recovery moves, including the dangerous Strength Sap (if anything around uses it).

:lickilicky: K-mart Snorlax. 110 Speed is good, but it's not 160 good, and lacks the 110 Attack which lets Lax thrive. What Lickilicky has over Lax are much better defenses, mixed offenses with a wider movepool plus some team support options, and a hilariously powerful STAB Explosion which kinda just kills everything. Remember our good friend Arcanine? 252+ Atk Choice Band Lickilicky Explosion vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Arcanine: 390-459 (98.9 - 116.4%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO. You can't even Intimidate it. God forbid it gets an SD off. Might actually be fire.

:starmie: K-mart Slowbro. Great PhysDef and okay SpDef. Flip Turn is a nice option, Natural Cure is pretty cool too. Has a lot of nice support options like Spin, Scald, Screens, TWave, Toxic, and Teleport.

:porygon2::porygon-z: I'm not sure what these do but they are interesting. Pory2 still has great bulk with Eviolite and hits rather hard thanks to Download Boosts and nice mixed offenses. PoryZ goes full Defensive and is less reliant on an item to do so, but I feel is worse overall.

:sharpedo: Likely a meme. Has solid 95/95/120 bulk, Scald, Toxic, Destiny Bond, Rough Skin as an ability, and Flip Turn, but its awfully passive at times.

:tangrowth: Interesting Sun Sweeper. Very fast with Chlorophyll and fast in general. Massive Special Attack but poor movepool on that side. Those Solar Beams are gonna hurt however.

:emolga: K-mart Zapdos. Defog/Knock Off/Roost/Nuzzle with Static to piss off your foes. Might find a use. Probably garbage.

:amoonguss: Do you like the Sleep status? Do you like accurate moves? Do you like 114 Base Speed? Amoongus has it all, and can maybe deal some damage afterwards with STAB or just Foul Play. Fast Sleep is scary but it seems worthless after-the-fact and despises the existence of Espeon and Roserade as top-level defensive Pokemon. I still don't like that this is around.

:mienshao: 105/95/125 Bulk w/ Regenerator and a decent offensive support movepool consisting of Knock, Taunt, U-Turn, Toxic, and more.

:volcarona: VERY bulky Pokemon on the Physical side with an interesting typing and a great movepool for what it wants to do. Think of it like Centiskorch but, like, better probably.

:talonflame: Could pull off some Gale Wings tricks, or just run Flame Body and call it a day. Priority Defog not blocked by Dark Types is nice, and it could be a revenge killer in a pinch.

:dragalge: Oh no no no no this looks absolutely terrifying. Scale Shot can completely murder something if you get lucky thanks to a fantastic Attack stat + Adaptability, and even if you don't succeed, it raises your Speed afterwards. Gunk Shot also has great potential to mess something up royally, and Flip Turn rounds it off as a terrifying wallbreaker should it get in.

:klefki: klefki but a slow prankster user with better offensives and slightly different bulk. click thunder wave button and set up spikes wowow

:palossand: Honestly looks pretty sick if not a fringe option. Ghost/Ground is a cool STAB combo and it gets some okay coverage options. Not terribly fast but maybe decent anyhow?

:comfey: This has a lot of potential IMO. Great Physical bulk, better Special Attack, and can patch up poor Special Defense with Calm Mind, Amnesia, or perhaps an AV. Triage is just as ridiculous as it was before.

:magearna: A surprise for sure, but a welcome(?) one. Having a Steel that resists Fairy and has actual Defense is pretty dope. Also has nice mixed offenses and a workable 80 Base Speed. I think a lot of the same sets which Gear enjoys normally are going to be great here as well, such as CM, Shift Gear, and Assault Vest.

:slowbro: Has some cool moves and decent stats to be a Special Attacker. Probably not much to write home about though; Nasty Plot, however, could easily sway my opinion on it. Also, if you thought Galarian Slowbro was disappointing before, it's not much better here.

:alakazam: Fat Espeon, which sounds redundant, but it's true. Magic Guard is incredible and it has a much better Physical movepool + Recover, though the Special Defense leaves a LOT to be desired.

:kingdra: Pretty much unchanged. Slower, takes hits better, will only be run on Rain teams 99% of the time.

:poliwrath: On that note, here's Poliwrath. Trades Attack for Speed, but who needs Attack when you can get to +6 in one turn? Has potential.

:marowak::marowak-alola: They're faster but lost a ton of defensive utility. You could definitely still justify Alolawak but the base form has to compete with Diggersby, which is not good for it.

:chansey::blissey: No. Absolutely not. Unparalleled Speed Tiers, great Attacking stats, and a really cool and competitive combination of Serene Grace + Body Slam/Headbutt. You can run both demons at the same time and get away with it because they are really fast and can ParaFlinch their way through a ton of Pokemon. I don't see a world where these don't warp the metagame around themselves. If Flipped becomes playable again somewhere you get a couple hours to ruin each other's lives with these abominations before I embark on a crusade to banish them from the realm of the living.
 
:Azumarill: :Blissey:
These two are definitely going to be a problem. Azumarill is the deadly lovechild of Sylveon, Dracovish, and Diggersby, except that it's faster than all of them. All I can predict is that Roserade usage will skyrocket in order to deal with it, but I don't see enough alternative answers to think it will be healthy. For Blissey, while it is clear that absolutely nothing will ever be able to outspeed it, Jarebear and I were discussing on Discord if there are any reliable defensive answers to it. The problem is Blissey's amazing movepool, with Earthquake, Drain Punch, and one of elemental punches probably being the standards to fill in the other three slots after Body Slam. Eviolite Haunter was the best we could come up with, taking 22-26% from Blissey's Zen Headbutt, but no recovery sucks. Mimikyu, Base Rotom and Polteageist are also hard for Bliss to touch but are otherwise outclassed and also lack recovery. If Crown Tundra drops certain mons (like Mismagius and Hoopa) there may be a few more defensive checks, but still limited. Offensively, there's next to nothing. Hitmontop and Vacuum Wave Kartana will be good but can't switch in. In short, when Flipped is playable again, we will definitely be monitoring these two.

:starmie: K-mart Slowbro. Great PhysDef and okay SpDef. Flip Turn is a nice option, Natural Cure is pretty cool too. Has a lot of nice support options like Spin, Scald, Screens, TWave, Toxic, and Teleport.
This is your only analysis I will dispute. Slowbro is the K-mart Starmie. I think this is hands-down the best Rapid Spin user Flipped has ever seen, with the best overall defenses and the only one with recovery. The support options you mentioned (namely Natural Cure, Teleport, and Scald) are all fantastic.

:Volcarona: :Alakazam:
Agreed, these ones will be so good for defensive teams. Both have recovery and great abilities. Flame Body is amazing on a physical wall.

:Scolipede:
112/55/100 defenses makes it a great specially defensive Spikes and T-Spikes setter, with a respectable 89 SpA for its Sludge Bomb and maybe Hex. Infestation could be used to build the Toxic damage on the opponent, or to keep one mon in while you set the T-Spikes so they don't switch their wall into a single layer.

:Zoroark:
Illusion tricks are much easier to pull off when you have 105/120/105 defenses. Here you play team support rather than attack as they respond the wrong way, with Encore, Taunt, Knock Off, Roar, Trick, U-turn, Substitute, and Toxic as options. Foul Play helps save you from your base 60 attacking stats.

:Tauros:
Could be a decent Assault Vest user with 110/40/100 defenses and 95 SpA with a huge movepool and Sheer Force. Alternatively Intimidate could make its physical defense less pathetic.

:Skarmory:
Probably a dumb gimmick, but 140 SpA Flash Cannons, Air Slash, and Dark Pulse will hurt.
 
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Offensive Toxapex hahaha
In all seriousness, it has a rather amazing movepool for the job, and FINALLY a use for Merciless. You could go physical with Gunk Shot, Liquidation, Knock Off, filler, but its special movepool...
Toxapex @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Merciless
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hex
- Hydro Pump
- Toxic Spikes/Sludge Wave
- Ice Beam
This set uses Choice Scarf to make up for its base 50 Speed, but it can set its own Tspikes on forced switches. With Tspikes support elsewhere on the team, it can just clean through teams with crits.
Toxapex @ Life Orb
Ability: Merciless
EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpA / 8 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Hex
- Hydro Pump
- Sludge Wave
- Ice Beam
This set has two prerequisites: TR and Tspikes. In combination with the following Mew set:
Mew @ Red Card
Ability: Synchronize
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Toxic Spikes
- Taunt
- Trick Room
- U-turn
Mew has a fast Taunt that helps with a slow U-turn under TR. And the end result:
252+ SpA Life Orb Toxapex Hex (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Dragapult on a critical hit: 437-515 (89.5 - 105.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Poison damage
252+ SpA Life Orb Toxapex Sludge Wave vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Kyurem on a critical hit: 298-352 (75.8 - 89.5%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO after Poison damage (no idea if this is the right spread or not, just looked right)
252+ SpA Life Orb Toxapex Hex (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Prism Armor Necrozma on a critical hit: 353-415 (97.5 - 114.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Poison damage
So the only things that are realistically switching into it are Steels and Poisons. And the viable ones don't appreciate its Water STAB or coverage. Gengar and Salazzle just refuse to switch into Hydro Pump, Roserade gets gunned down by Ice Beam, and most of the Steels like Excadrill and Cobalion drop to or get crippled by Hydro as well. Duraludon is probably the best switch-in:
252+ SpA Life Orb Toxapex Ice Beam vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Duraludon: 165-195 (44.1 - 52.1%) -- 16% chance to 2HKO (again, unsure on the correct spread for this)
Though obviously if it gets para'ed or burnt it drops in two to Hex. So basically, if this comes in with Tspikes and TR up, unless you have Duraludon or sac a Poison type, you are saccing 3 mons to burn TR. Decent wincon.

Other notable TR stuff I saw-
Mimikyu: Already on the VR, but wow 105 base attack now. It also can Curse from low health if you want it to be a suicide setter, and obviously Disguse+Mental Herb=yay.
Dusknoir: 130/130 mixed attacking be good and all, but OTR Calm Mind I think is the way to go. Shadow Ball+Ice Beam is just enough coverage. Of course, Poltergeist+BoltBeam punches is good and all, but no setup means it probably doesn't hit quite hard enough.
Alolawak: Did you know its Attack and Special Defense are equal? Well you do now. It does exactly the same things as in OU, but trades a decent Defense stat for 110 SpA that it gets no coverage or setup for.
Runerigus: It does in fact get Nasty Plot. Don't use it as a TR setter, too frail. Two turns of +2 Earth Power under TR is pretty devastating if you can pull it off though.
Weezing-Galar: No OTR or setup is disappointing. But it gets decent coverage and can set Tspikes for Pex. I don't think there's anything major Ngas hits, but it does get Levitate as an alternative.
Claydol:
Claydol @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Trick Room
- Nasty Plot
- Scorching Sands/Earth Power
- Psychic
...Might Claydol not be totally useless for once??? 120/105 offenses, with Nasty Plot on the special side and EdgeQuake on the physical side. Pretty ehh overall.
One non-TR thing:
Weavile @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Impish Nature
- Knock Off
- Taunt
- Substitute
- Protect/Swords Dance
The current metagame isn't nice to it (weak to Steel, Fairy, Fire...), but Weavile makes a decent on-paper Pressure wall and/or stallbreaker. 85 Attack is passable, and 125/45/120 bulk is nice. If only that typing wasn't so horrific defensively... The one true Ice glass cannon could make a serviceable wall otherwise.
Edit: I lied about one thing, meet unironic physical Magearna:
Magearna @ Life Orb
Ability: Soul-Heart
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Naughty Nature
- Iron Head
- Fleur Cannon/Zen Headbutt
- Brick Break
- Shift Gear
Magearna gets 115/115/80 offenses, which is just about right for Shift Gear 3 Attacks. Its movepool is just barely big enough for the job. Fleur Cannon is a way of using the Soul-Heart boosts to bypass certain physical walls.
 
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I just learned that usage statistics are recorded for Other Metagames, which I thought was pretty cool. Just for fun, I took a look at May's usage stats for Flipped to see what the would-be OU environment looks like. Obviously this doesn't have any practical purpose since we're inactive and everything will be different when we are playable again, but it's interesting to see.

There are stats for the full metagame (Elo >0) and for three higher levels on the ladder (>1500, >1630, and >1760). I will list the mons that made the OU cutoff (at least 3.406%). Check out the links for yourselves to see the actual usage rates.

These pokemon made the OU cutoff in all four of the lists:
Top 10::Sylveon::Steelix::Dragapult::Espeon::Rhyperior::Avalugg::Goodra::Cloyster::Snorlax::Tyranitar:
11-20::Araquanid::Cobalion::Accelgor::Kyurem::Zeraora::Salazzle::Diggersby::Hydreigon::Togekiss::Jirachi:
21-30::Hitmontop::Arcanine::Mew::Torkoal::Dracovish::Mandibuzz::Mantine::Roserade::Coalossal::Excadrill:
30+::Duraludon::Mimikyu::Kommo-o::Pelipper::Necrozma::Rotom-Wash:

These guys made the OU cutoff for the full metagame, but did not at one or more higher levels of play:
Absent from 1760::Shuckle::Virizion::Whimsicott::Toxapex::Xatu:
Absent from 1760 & 1630::Ninjask::Milotic::Jolteon::Hippowdon::Corviknight:
Absent from 1760, 1630, and 1500::Gengar:

These ones did not make the OU cutoff for the full meta, but did at higher levels of play:
1500, 1630, & 1760::Ditto:
1630 & 1760::Drifblim::Persian-Alola::Rotom-Heat:
1760::Gallade::Grimmsnarl:

Hitmontop, Arcanine, Dracovish, Roserade, Whimsicott saw lower use than I expected. Some notable omissions include Keldeo and Chandelure. I'm totally surprised that Toxapex and Gallade made it up anywhere (I would have guessed Primarina, Centiskorch, Gourgeist, or Hitmonlee/Chan as more likely fringe players). Some things are surely up here due to New Meta experimentation (like Shuckle and Jolteon) while others are higher than they would have been at the end of the month because they were staples prior to bans (Cloyster, Torkoal, and Steelix).

One more thing that isn't captured above, but can be seen in the actual stats: Espeon, Tyranitar, Salazzle, Jirachi, Dracovish, and Excadrill all see increasingly higher usage as you move up the ladder. The same rise can be seen to an extreme extent in Ditto and Drifblim, to the point where I wonder if the 1760 list is skewed by a low number of battles above that Elo rating. In any event, most of these names are stall staples, indicating that defensive playstyles were not just viable but effective. Since the meta opened as an explosion of hyper offense, this makes me happy to see.
 
I just learned that usage statistics are recorded for Other Metagames, which I thought was pretty cool. Just for fun, I took a look at May's usage stats for Flipped to see what the would-be OU environment looks like. Obviously this doesn't have any practical purpose since we're inactive and everything will be different when we are playable again, but it's interesting to see.

There are stats for the full metagame (Elo >0) and for three higher levels on the ladder (>1500, >1630, and >1760). I will list the mons that made the OU cutoff (at least 3.406%). Check out the links for yourselves to see the actual usage rates.

These pokemon made the OU cutoff in all four of the lists:
Top 10::Sylveon::Steelix::Dragapult::Espeon::Rhyperior::Avalugg::Goodra::Cloyster::Snorlax::Tyranitar:
11-20::Araquanid::Cobalion::Accelgor::Kyurem::Zeraora::Salazzle::Diggersby::Hydreigon::Togekiss::Jirachi:
21-30::Hitmontop::Arcanine::Mew::Torkoal::Dracovish::Mandibuzz::Mantine::Roserade::Coalossal::Excadrill:
30+::Duraludon::Mimikyu::Kommo-o::Pelipper::Necrozma::Rotom-Wash:

These guys made the OU cutoff for the full metagame, but did not at one or more higher levels of play:
Absent from 1760::Shuckle::Virizion::Whimsicott::Toxapex::Xatu:
Absent from 1760 & 1630::Ninjask::Milotic::Jolteon::Hippowdon::Corviknight:
Absent from 1760, 1630, and 1500::Gengar:

These ones did not make the OU cutoff for the full meta, but did at higher levels of play:
1500, 1630, & 1760::Ditto:
1630 & 1760::Drifblim::Persian-Alola::Rotom-Heat:
1760::Gallade::Grimmsnarl:

Hitmontop, Arcanine, Dracovish, Roserade, Whimsicott saw lower use than I expected. Some notable omissions include Keldeo and Chandelure. I'm totally surprised that Toxapex and Gallade made it up anywhere (I would have guessed Primarina, Centiskorch, Gourgeist, or Hitmonlee/Chan as more likely fringe players). Some things are surely up here due to New Meta experimentation (like Shuckle and Jolteon) while others are higher than they would have been at the end of the month because they were staples prior to bans (Cloyster, Torkoal, and Steelix).

One more thing that isn't captured above, but can be seen in the actual stats: Espeon, Tyranitar, Salazzle, Jirachi, Dracovish, and Excadrill all see increasingly higher usage as you move up the ladder. The same rise can be seen to an extreme extent in Ditto and Drifblim, to the point where I wonder if the 1760 list is skewed by a low number of battles above that Elo rating. In any event, most of these names are stall staples, indicating that defensive playstyles were not just viable but effective. Since the meta opened as an explosion of hyper offense, this makes me happy to see.
Excadrill barely got any discussion during Flipped's activity, but it's really a miracle it stayed relevant. Turns out losing your incredible Attack stat for a specially-defensive speedster is actually not that bad: it was very good at getting rocks up, smashing frail Pokemon that relied on Sturdy to survive hits like Avalugg or some Steelix, and made for a decent Rapid Spin user thanks to being so fast. It managed to hit just hard enough against what it needed to with EQ by its side. 1760 saw it reach ~10% usage and beat out a lot of strong Pokemon like Snorlax, Diggersby, Roserade, Arcanine and Hydreigon. Drill was something I never thought would see the light of day, yet it really proved me wrong.

I wonder if anything else unmentioned has some potential? The two Urshifus were Pokemon I downplayed quickly: two inconspicuously physical attackers with Base 60 Attack. I decided to look a bit further in what they have to offer, however, because you never know.

Urshifu-Single-Strike seems less promising: Dark Pulse, Aura Sphere and Focus Blast are the only good Special Attacks available, and its Special Attack is just average. But you don't have to run Special Attacks. Wicked Blow is able to 2HKO even the bulkiest Espeon if you go far enough.

252+ Atk Choice Band Urshifu Wicked Blow vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Espeon on a critical hit: 236-282 (55.6 - 66.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

With hazards up, you don't need the extra power from Band to dent it.

252+ Atk Black Glasses Urshifu Wicked Blow vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Espeon on a critical hit: 192-228 (45.2 - 53.7%) -- 91.4% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

1.2x boost compared to 1.5x, and you still have almost guaranteed 2HKO on Espeon.

It does not fare as well against other Pokemon, however. Wicked Blow may not be affected by an Arcanine's Intimidate, but you are still not breaking though that easy.

252+ Atk Choice Band Urshifu Wicked Blow vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Arcanine on a critical hit: 142-168 (36 - 42.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

Fighting/Dark is also atrocious in a metagame dominated by Sylveon, which destroys you with any Pixilate move it wants and resists your best offensive options. Despite Wicked Blow being such a strong move in general, I feel too much is going against Urshifu to viably run a Physical set. Yes, you can beat Espeon with just 60 Base Attack, or you could run Dark Pulse. Or a different Dark Type in general.

Urshifu-Rapid-Strike has much more potential in my eyes. Same stats and limited movepool, but an overall better typing. It gets Scald too, and Surging Strikes is a reliable way of breaking past frail Sash/Sturdy users. I think a utility set could be alright: while 97/63/130 bulk is good Specially, it is not Physically: that, however, is where Scald comes into play, which can punish and pressure Physical attackers looking to take advantage of its mediocre Defense. You also get priority in Aqua Jet, U-Turn to pivot, and Taunt to shut things down. The latter two aren't exclusive to RS, but they help with the overall idea.

Both get access to Bulk Up, Iron Defense, and Body Press, which could make for an interesting set. You don't need to worry about Special Attacks as much, so you can focus on boosting your Defense up and breaking opponents down with Body Press. Bulk Up also increases the strength of your Physical Attacks, and lets you abuse that sick Physical Movepool you have laying around. Not to mention Unseen Fist still having some use as a way of breaking through Pokemon that want to stick around with Protect, though it does require a contact move.

Whether these find any significant viability is left to actual experimentation, but they could be a lot worse. Would at least be fun to try out.
 
Its very interesting to me to see the eevelutions so high. Since they all share the same stats, just rearranged, this meta effectively "made" new eevelutions. If gamefreak were to continue the cycle, they might actually have to be careful not to break them!
 
A few announcements:
  1. We're now playable on ROM! Unfortunately, the site doesn't seem to be updated to include the Isle of Armor, so none of the new Pokemon can be used yet, among other things probably. I wish I knew why this was still the case over a month later, but I don't. The metagame is accurate up to Steelix being banned but before DLC, so if you want to play more Steelix-free Flipped in its original form, this is the place.
  2. :zarude:Zarude was released since the last post; it honestly doesn't look half bad, and by that I mean its stats aren't completely awful. It has a good amount of set-up moves and great Speed for the tier, and 105/70/120 defenses aren't terrible, especially if you run a Bulk Up set. The biggest hurdle is going to be the Grass/Dark typing, which gives it some annoying weaknesses.
  3. Magearna and Cinderace being banned in OU should not affect their presence in Flipped. If it does, we'll get on it once we can.
  4. flying moose please update OP
 
The OP is updated with the ROM link. Also updated the sample threats and metagame characteristics to reflect the end-of-the-month meta, rather than our initial theorymon.
 
  1. We're now playable on ROM! Unfortunately, the site doesn't seem to be updated to include the Isle of Armor
Sorry about that. I've started the process of updating it... I've merged 1116 commits, and now I have to deal with all of the errors from the existing OMs which don't work any more; there are 225 lint errors already and I still need to convert all the OMs to TypeScript which will undoubtedly result in further lint errors, and then once I've fixed those I've got to deal with the TypeScript errors...
 
This is another set I think was/is super slept on and can do nutso damage whilst keeping up a good bit of bulk:

Milotic @ Leftovers
Ability: Marvel Scale
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Def
Adamant Nature
- Coil
- Aqua Tail
- Iron Tail
- Recover

This thing is fantastic because it's not easily predictable, for one. There are a lot of potential sets, although the coil recover set is my favorite. Aqua Tail for STAB and Iron Tail for high damage/no miss coverage
 
I have a lot of high hopes for Milotic too, I think it's a pretty underexplored Pokemon and gaining Flip Turn + Triple Axel (a move I legit forgot about until now) gives it much more mileage than before. Coil seems like a neat late-game wincon but I expect DD + 3 Attacks or even Choice Band/Scarf to do nicely as well, if not better.

Also are we doing sets now?

:mienshao:
Mienshao @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 108 Def / 148 SpD
Careful Nature
- Drain Punch
- Knock Off
- U-turn
- Poison Jab

I never thought I'd see the day where we have a Pokemon that can switch into any of Rhyperior's attacks consistently, but it happened.
252+ SpA Choice Specs Rhyperior Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 148+ SpD Assault Vest Mienshao: 108-127 (26 - 30.6%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after Stealth Rock
It's almost good enough to stop Steelix in its tracks! Not actually, but almost!

This Pokemon's Special Bulk is insane with AV, and it has a great typing in mono-Fighting. Seriously. None of Rhyperior's coverage options hit it SE, and it resists Rock to boot, which makes SR less of a pain. In return, STAB Drain Punch is an easy 2HKO back, while providing health. It also handily beats HDB Avalugg and Specs Cobalion. It's basically a bulky pivot Hitmonlee and I think it has very broad applications as a Special sponge for many team styles. 252/148 is enough to deal with most Special attackers, many of who are weak to Drain Punch as well. You could go 252/252 if you're worried about Knock Off lessening your defensive integrity, but Mienshao also packs a respectable Defense stat and I don't think it should go to waste.

The rest of its moves are designed to provide utility, with the obvious combination of Knock + U-Turn letting it be a great pivot. Poison Jab is nice for spreading status and racking up passive damage. You could run a stronger STAB like Low Kick alongside some Attack EVS to scare out many of the typically heavy Pokemon you wall, or perhaps Low Sweep to slow down switch-ins and enable offensive partners.

Status is a big concern and it wouldn't be hard for some Special Attackers to slot Toxic and pressure it that way, so it'd greatly appreciate a form of Heal Bell/Aromatherapy support. Beyond that, this is easily one of the best Special walls in the entire metagame, even if pretty reliant on its item. I honestly can't believe I glossed over this initially.
 
Sorry about that. I've started the process of updating it... I've merged 1116 commits, and now I have to deal with all of the errors from the existing OMs which don't work any more; there are 225 lint errors already and I still need to convert all the OMs to TypeScript which will undoubtedly result in further lint errors, and then once I've fixed those I've got to deal with the TypeScript errors...
Good news! I got there in the end, so ROM is now only a few weeks out of date rather than a few months! Go mad with that DLC! (Or maybe not. There are probably still more bugs to shake out...)
 

SBPC

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Hey! The banlist for flipped on rom is a little messy right now, but you can still play even though thats a problem
/challenge [user], gen8flipped@@@+Dracovish, +Cinderace and you can play just fine
 
Mienshao @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 108 Def / 148 SpD
Careful Nature
- Drain Punch
- Knock Off
- U-turn
- Poison Jab

I never thought I'd see the day where we have a Pokemon that can switch into any of Rhyperior's attacks consistently, but it happened.
252+ SpA Choice Specs Rhyperior Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 148+ SpD Assault Vest Mienshao: 108-127 (26 - 30.6%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after Stealth Rock
It's almost good enough to stop Steelix in its tracks! Not actually, but almost!

This Pokemon's Special Bulk is insane with AV, and it has a great typing in mono-Fighting. Seriously. None of Rhyperior's coverage options hit it SE, and it resists Rock to boot, which makes SR less of a pain. In return, STAB Drain Punch is an easy 2HKO back, while providing health. It also handily beats HDB Avalugg and Specs Cobalion. It's basically a bulky pivot Hitmonlee and I think it has very broad applications as a Special sponge for many team styles. 252/148 is enough to deal with most Special attackers, many of who are weak to Drain Punch as well. You could go 252/252 if you're worried about Knock Off lessening your defensive integrity, but Mienshao also packs a respectable Defense stat and I don't think it should go to waste.

The rest of its moves are designed to provide utility, with the obvious combination of Knock + U-Turn letting it be a great pivot. Poison Jab is nice for spreading status and racking up passive damage. You could run a stronger STAB like Low Kick alongside some Attack EVS to scare out many of the typically heavy Pokemon you wall, or perhaps Low Sweep to slow down switch-ins and enable offensive partners.

Status is a big concern and it wouldn't be hard for some Special Attackers to slot Toxic and pressure it that way, so it'd greatly appreciate a form of Heal Bell/Aromatherapy support. Beyond that, this is easily one of the best Special walls in the entire metagame, even if pretty reliant on its item. I honestly can't believe I glossed over this initially.
Ohhhh I am so excited for this mon. I was gonna wait to rave, but now that discussion about it is out, here I come.

I ran AV Hitmonlee on almost every stall team I made because of its ability to counter Rhyperior (as well as Rapid Spin and Knock Off utility). Mienshao can do the same while being much, much less dependent on Wish support from Espeon due to Regenerator. It even shares Knock Off, which is a fantastic move to spam as Rhyperior switches out.

While Mienshao does miss out on Rapid Spin, U-turn is an excellent alternative that maintains momentum and works great with Regenerator. Plus Mienshao arrives alongside Starmie, a phenomenal new Rapid Spinner that looks like it would actually make a good partner for it, with Starmie taking Psychic moves aimed at Mienshao, and Mienshao taking Dark and Bug attacks, with both generally trading places to tank neutral physical vs. special attacks. And with Starmie's access to Flip Turn or Teleport, they would make an excellent pivoting team. Hitmonlee will still have a niche thanks to the role compression and priority, but I think stall will make room for StarShao to split the job thanks to their improved longevity and unique benefits.

I think Mienshao may need to run some Attack EVs for its moves to have a reasonable impact. Here's the set I had come up with:

Mienshao @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 240 Atk / 20 SpD
Careful Nature
- Drain Punch
- Knock Off
- U-turn
- Power-Up Punch

shnowshner's selection of Poison Jab for the fourth move to hurt Fairies is probably better, but I have had success with PUP on AV Weavile. It's a good move to use on opposing defensive mons who think they can sit in on you all day. Use it on the switch or while they're healing, and soon they'll find that a pokemon with middling damage output is now respectable.

For reference, this set acquires 413/216/226/140/320/166, vs. Hitmonlee's 377/258/106/127/372/136 when running 248 HP / 8 Atk / 252+ SpD (Hitmonlee needed full defensive investment). Even without investing much in Mienshao's special defense, it's bulk is similar to Hitmonlee's (taking 26.3-31.2% from Timid Specs Rhyperior Earth Power, compared with 24.6-29.4% for Hitmonlee). The 20 EVs are chosen to allow Mienshao to avoid being 3HKO'd by Specs Rhyperior even after Stealth Rock. And you can see that this set gives it an attack stat that's not that much lower than Lee's (certainly higher if using Power-Up Punch) while having much better defense and of course Regenerator.
 
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