Metagame [Gen 8] Category Swap

Chi-Yu now gets access to Flame Charge + Flare Blitz, while trading Pulse for a Dark STAB that's just as powerful but with a slightly worse effect. Flame Charge and Flare Blitz will definitely make it a top meta threat.

Flutter Mane goes from OU banlist to literally useless! It gets a whopping total of 3 physical moves that have terrible coverage between them and even worse damage output. Gholdengo is in a similar although not quite as horrible spot.

Chien Pao becomes a lot worse as it loses access to Sucker Punch and Ice Shard. It's also unfortunately one of the few Ice Types to not get Ice Beam. It might still have a niche as a breaker, though.
Now that I'm not just typing a rather halfassed post---

I'm going in with the assumption that we will ban Tera, by the way, but I'm going to mention stuff here when I think it's worth it. I'll also not be mentioning anything from yesterday.

===============LOSERS (mostly)===============

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Rain lost a lot of its tools this time around - while the Hurricane trio of Dragonite, Gyarados, and Salamence remain, Tapu Koko is gone, every viable swift swimmer bit the dust, and you really don't have any strong and decently fast Thunderspam user left. Drednaw is the only 'good' Swift Swimmer, but itself has a poor defensive type and only has Hydro Pump, Surf, Ice Beam, and Earth Power to its name. Shift Gear Toxtricity will likely remain as useful as it always has been, but now serves as the 'fast' Thunder user. On the upside, Rain gained Iron Bundle, who has extremely good raw Speed, high Special Attack, Hydro Pump, and Freeze Dry... in standard. Here, it relies on Ice Spinner and Liquidation, and has a far stronger Flip Turn than before. It hits like a fucking meteor, but it doesn't have a boosted Speed stat to avoid getting jumped by a random Scarfer and misses out on Hydro Pump.

Rain gets significantly better once everything that is unreleased is properly released - Thundurus-I and Zapdos can serve as extra Thunder users, Tornadus shows up for Hurricane, and perhaps most importantly is Basculegion, who has a much better typing and coverage (including both STABs!) give it a way better place than Drednaw as a Swift Swimmer. And Last Respects will hopefully be banned.

Tera can help patch up several holes, such as allowing Roaring Moon, Slither Wing, or (eventually) Lilligant-Hisui to join the fray as Hurricanespam, but in general Rain just lacks the same speed-and-power versatility it had previously thanks to Koko's omnipresence, but it's still gonna be pretty damn strong.


Ghost Special attackers suffer the greatest nerf of them all: Poltergeist no longer exists. Polteageist and Rotom barely existed, particularly Rotom, but Gengar lost the most important took in its entire gameplan, and its best Ghost STAB is now Shadow Claw. Tera Blast doesn't patch this issue, although at least Polteageist can act like it's cool by changing into anything but a Ghost type.


Magnezone lost a lot of its favorite switchin opportunities in the Tapus, many other Fairies, and there's just far fewer Steels for it to abuse, especially Ferrothorn. Iron Defense + Body Press is what defined it and its ability to handle Ferro easily, and that is now just completely gone. Corviknight is the only reasonable target, as everything else is either uncommon or outspeeds and OHKOs it, such as Lucario or Iron Treads. Speaking of which.


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With the massive loss of an incredible number of common defoggers and a lack of Steel types with good movepools and good stats, Iron Treads breaks the mold by being not just good, but incredible. Treads rocks one of the best statlines, a great typing actual dual STAB options, a pivoting move in Volt Switch, Rapid Spin, and Stealth Rock. Iron Treads exists as an Excadrill replacement who trades Sand Rush for Volt Switch and better overall stats, particularly Speed. Treads functions in Electric Terrain teams for Quark Drive, Rain teams as a mass resist/spinner/Thunder user, or just in any team in need of hazard removal.
It also gets Steel Beam, which if you know me at all, is the best gift of all.

[imagine the rest of the Protosynthesis mons and Ceruledge here lol]
Sun benefits from Rain being a bit less prevalent. Oh and the fact that a bunch of the new mons are designed exclusively around Sun.

Of the Protosynthesis mons, Slither Wing and Roaring Moon stand out; Slither Wing has U-Turn, Bug Buzz, Heat Wave, healing in Giga Drain, and more reliable healing in Roost as well as Bulk Up to snowball if you so desire, and gains a massive power increase under Sun. More impressively is Roaring Moon, who much like his friend Salamence comes with the benefits of one of the most expansive movepools in the game, including U-Turn on top of Salamence's normal fare of Fire Blast, dual STABs and Dragon Dance.

Lots of other Fire types also are helped out. Ceruledge and Amarouge both have extremely strong STAB moves that they love to spam, and granting them additional power as well as reducing Water power is excellent. Scorvillain is the coveted Fire/Grass Pokemon we've been waiting 4 generations for, and while its raw speed and power are underwhelming, its access to Solar Beam, Fire Blast, and Stomping Tantrum is enough, especially with Growth.

Slight note on the Chlorophyll sweepers this time: Leafeon lost Weather Ball in the generational shift, meaning it now needs to rely on Stored Power or Mud Shot (ew) to break past Steels. Lilligant-Hisui, when released, lacks a Fighting move, and while Tera is legal, that is likely the best option for it.

[imagine this is clodsire]
Clodsire is cool. While losing the Tapus makes having the Poison typing a bit less cool, Clodsire has enough upsides to make up for any downsides: Access to all three hazards, Recover, Haze, and Unaware lets it serve as a backup check to effectively any offensive sweeper, especially as Poison gives a fantastic resistance to Fairy, Fighting, and other Poison moves. Clodsire's statline is optimized better than Quag's, letting it invest into Physical Defense fully and become a far better mixed wall. f you hate Rain teams as much as everyone did last gen, then Water Absorb essentially stops all forms of having fun, as they will have to brute force through with +0 Hurricanes or by poking it repeatedly with resisted attacks. What's not to love?


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Here's my thoughts on every fully-evolved returning Pokémon that wasn't in Sword and Shield. + means increased viability, - means decreased, and = means it hardly changes.
  • :Floatzel: Floatzel doesn't have much special coverage, but in rain with Swift Swim, Hydro Pump/Surf + Ice Beam + filler could be all it needs. =
  • :Breloom: Breloom's only special Fighting move is Focus Blast, and it loses its Rock moves and Thunder Punch, but Technician-boosted Mud Shot could be interesting? -
  • :Ampharos: Ever since Gen 4, Ampharos has had much more special coverage than physical, as I discovered the hard way the last time I replayed SoulSilver. +
  • :Florges: :Sunflora: I hope you like nothing but Normal and Grass for coverage, because those are the only physical moves Florges and Sunflora learn. -
  • :Banette: Dazzling Gleam, Psychic, and Thunder/bolt from 115 base attack could be interesting. Unfortunately, Banette is slow. =
  • :Donphan: Donphan doesn't learn many special moves, but you'd mainly use it for hazards anyway. =
  • :Mismagius: Shadow Sneak and Sucker Punch are better than nothing, but Mismagius' best option against Dark-types is Facade. -
  • :Honchkrow: Honchkrow is still a mixed attacker, but now you can use Hurricane, Heat Wave, and Psychic from its higher attack. +
  • :Bruxish: Not being able to use Strong Jaw hurts, and Bruxish's only non-STAB special moves are Ice, Normal, and Venoshock. -
  • :Camerupt: Its special attack is only 5 points higher than its physical, so any changes to Camerupt's damage output are barely noticeable. =
  • :Cacturne::Seviper: Cacturne's and Seviper's attack stats are equal, and they're both pretty slow. =
  • :Eelektross: Eelektross' Thunderbolts have a bit more oomph, but like Camerupt, its attacking stats are barely different. =
  • :Electrode: 252 SpA Choice Specs Electrode Explosion vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Toxapex: 165-195 (54.2 - 64.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Black Sludge recovery. Unfortunately, it's a one-trick pony, because its best STAB is Wild Charge and its only other non-Normal physical moves are Thief, Rollout, and Gyro Ball with base 110 speed. =
  • :Komala::Ursaring: Komala and Ursaring literally have no special coverage. Ursaring is technically NFE, but even when Ursaluna is added, the only special move it gains is Earth Power. -
  • :Gogoat: Surf is Gogoat's only special coverage, but it's not something you usually see on a Grass-type. Unfortunately, it loses the use of its physical coverage like Earthquake, Play Rough, and Brick Break. -
  • :Grumpig: Grumpig learns a surprising variety of physical moves, so it could be a setup tank with Calm Mind and/or Thunder Wave. That low defence really hurts, though. =
  • :Jumpluff: :Lumineon: :Pachirisu:Jumpluff's, Lumineon's, and Pachirisu's attacking stats are all equal and all very low. =
  • :Kricketune: Kricketune's best special moves are Bug Buzz and Giga Drain. It sure is an early-game Bug-type. -
  • :Oricorio: Oricorio's only non-Flying STAB is Revelation Dance, which it would have to run on a paltry 70 base attack. Its best physical moves are U-Turn, Acrobatics, and Facade. Maybe you could run a Flame Orb gimmick set if you want to be funny, but other than that... -
  • :Medicham: Medicham would go in the "equal attacking stats" pile, but Pure Power-boosted physical Psychic could be scary. Plus, it learns Aura Sphere, the most reliable special Fighting move. Grass and Ghost is decent coverage, I guess? =
  • :Masquerain: I was pleasantly surprised by Masquerain's physical movepool; I was honestly expecting it to have, like, three non-Normal moves. Its best physical Flying move is Acrobatics, which is a problem for a Pokémon you'd want to run Heavy-Duty Boots on, but nothing in SV so far resists Flying, Water, and Bug. Its physical Water moves are both decent, too: Aqua Jet for priority and Waterfall for power. Unfortunately, with its middling speed and defences, you might have a hard time setting up Quiver Dance. =
  • :Venomoth: Venomoth's only physical Poison move is Poison Fang, and it's also too frail to set up Quiver Dance most of the time, but at least it doesn't have a quad weakness. Your only coverage options are Acrobatics and Zen Headbutt, though. (Wasn't it in UU in Gen 6?) -
  • :Muk: Like many Gen 1 Pokémon, Muk learns a surprising variety of moves; the special move that stood out to me the most is Giga Drain, which is great for a bulky Pokémon that otherwise lacks recovery. On the downside, it learns no special contact moves to use Poison Touch with. It also has some useful status moves like Toxic, Taunt, and Haze. =
  • :Pyroar: Pyroar has more physical coverage than special, such as Crunch and Psychic Fangs. As for STAB, it has Flare Blitz and Body Slam. (RIP Return 1999 - 2019.) Someone should combine CatSwap with AAA so we can give it Strong Jaw. +
  • :Luxray: Luxray gets to use Thunderbolt with 115 base attack... and that's it. -
  • :Tropius: Leaf Blade from Tropius' base 72 special attack isn't much better than from its base 68 attack. =
  • :Slaking: Slaking learns a lot of special moves, but it still has Truant. =
  • :Vivillon: Vivillon's best physical Bug move is U-Turn, ONLY physical Flying move is Acrobatics, and its only non-Normal coverage is Thief. -
  • :Sawsbuck: Sawsbuck's only non-STAB special move is Shadow Ball, it doesn't even get Hyper Voice, and you can't even use it for paraflinching now. -
  • :Zangoose: Zangoose is unfortunately stuck with Tera Blast for Normal STAB, but... Aura Sphere? Flamethrower? BoltBeam? Its movepool is amazing! +
  • :Staraptor: Staraptor's best special moves are Hurricane, Air Slash, and Heat Wave. This is Mega Pidgeot all over again. -
  • :Hariyama: Hariyama gets some special Water moves, but other than that, it's stuck with Focus Blast for STAB and its next-best coverage is Mud Shot and Tera Blast. -
  • :Forretress: Did you know that Forretress learns Giga Drain? It could become discount Ferrothorn. Other than that, you'd still use it for hazards anyway. =
(Note: if we allow Terastalising, you could cover up holes in coverage with Tera Blast on all these Pokémon, but that probably won't change much.)

Also, I always assumed moves with variable categories (Photon Geyser, Shell Side Arm, and now Tera Blast) would still work the same, but I'm not sure if that's actually the case in practice.
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