Gen 2 GSC NU 2020 Discussion

Earthworm

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:gs/Octillery: :gs/Xatu: GSC NU 2020 :gs/Flareon: :gs/Magmar:

Following the most recent tiering update to GSC NU and in anticipation of an upcoming RoA rotational ladder featuring GSC NU, now seems like a good time to post my analysis on the current metagame and what I think is good. I admittedly haven't been able to play many games yet but I've been staring at a list of the Pokemon for a while and this is what I've been able to come up with.

:gs/Octillery: :gs/Xatu: :gs/Flareon:
Best Pokemon
These three seem like the main offensive powerhouses in the tier. All three are special attackers that were held back by Raichu, Poliwrath, and Golduck in the previous iteration of the tier.

Octillery, which was a top Pokemon in the Mr. Mime Pikachu meta, is finally back to wreak havoc with its base 105 SpA. Almost nothing in the tier can wall three attack Octillery, but unlike Golduck and Poliwrath, it's pretty slow and not that bulky. It has to choose which coverage to drop if it is considering going RestTalk. HP Electric does substantially less than Ice Beam to Xatu and obviously very little to Grass-types.

Xatu's Psychic is scarcely resisted and comes off a respectable base 95 SpA. This coupled with its high Speed and Spikes immunity means that Xatu can safely be considered a powerhouse of the tier. However, unlike Octillery, it struggles to cover all of its checks with its available coverage moves. Xatu can use Hidden Power Dark or Electric for opposing Xatu and Mantine (and to a lesser extent, Exeggcute and Abra) but fails to hit Pokemon like Ninetales and Magnemite hard. Nonetheless, these Pokemon are threatened by critical hits and SpD falls from Xatu, and Xatu has other tricks up its sleeve like Night Shade and Thief that can offer means of bypassing some of its trickier checks. Xatu is also arguably one of the best Pokemon at taking advantage of chip damage from Spikes thanks to its immediate solid damage output and high Speed.

Flareon's high stats make it a significant standalone threat, with its STAB Fire Blast being backed up by HP Grass for Rock-types and Zap Cannon being a stronger option for Water-types. Its huge Attack stat can also be taken advantage of with Double-Edge or Hidden Power Ground to deal sizable chunks of damage to opposing Fire-types. However, the main draw to Flareon is its access to Growth, which is made even more dangerous when used with Baton Pass. Xatu, Magmar, and Seadra were already looking scary with no boosts, but Flareon can take them to another level. Not only this, but Pokemon like Ninetales and opposing Flareon with Roar can also be foiled by slower Flareon variants with Roar. Flareon has plenty of options to make itself incredibly dangerous and should not be underestimated, even though it can struggle to find safe opportunities to set up due to its typing and susceptibility to status.

:gs/Wigglytuff: :gs/Fearow: :gs/Pidgeot: :gs/Lickitung: :gs/Dunsparce: :gs/Stantler: :gs/Noctowl: :gs/Raticate: :gs/Persian:
Normal-types
Without Raichu around to deal massive damage with Thunder, one might think Normal-types would demolish the metagame with high base power STAB attacks and setup/coverage moves, but there are still annoying hurdles for them to get over before they can hope to sweep. Shuckle, Graveler, and Sudowoodo are relatively unchanged. Weezing is still around, as is Gastly. Magnemite is now also seeing significantly more play, and Corsola's viability has substantially increased. It can be hard to consistently find a way to break the opponent's defenses against Normal-types, although those with Earthquake are in a better position than those that don't have it.

:gs/Pineco: :gs/Delibird:
Spikers
Pineco arguably remains the more viable spiker, however Delibird is more viable than it was when Raichu was the most popular Pokemon.

:gs/Weezing:
Weezing
Weezing is still a very good Pokemon and can really cause havoc if it has an attack to bypass the opposing team's Normal-type resist.

:gs/Graveler: :gs/Sudowoodo: :gs/Shuckle: :gs/Corsola: :gs/Magcargo:
Rock-types
Graveler is notable for Rapid Spin, STAB EQ, and Explosion. Sudowoodo has much better SpD and no 4x weaknesses, so it can't get destroyed by random Hidden Powers. Shuckle is a super tank but is incredibly passive and arguably struggles in a tier with fearfully powerful Octillery. Corsola's niche as a non-Water weak Recovering Rock-type is now more viable due to Raichu being gone, but Grass-type coverage is a concern. Magcargo is a solid check to most Fire-types if they lack Cross Chop, Hidden Power Ground, and Hidden Power Water. It can permanently wall Curse RestTalk Normal-types with Acid Armor.

:gs/Octillery: :gs/Dewgong: :gs/Mantine: :gs/Azumarill:
Bulky Water-types
While they can't take on powerful Normal-types reliably, bulky Water-types are crucial for taking on Fire-types, Rock-types, and Ground-types. Octillery has a solid balance of power and bulk, whereas Dewgong has STAB Ice Beam for Xatu and more bulk but less power. Mantine is fantastic in terms of SpD but has an unfortunate 4x weakness to Electric. Nevertheless, it is potentially valuable for its consistency against non-Electric move Xatu and Flareon. Azumarill is the most bulky of the four, rivalling the bulk of Poliwrath. However, it has a paltry base 50 SpA, so it is quite passive outside of Whirlpool + Perish Song and Belly Drum.

:gs/Flareon: :gs/Magmar: :gs/Ninetales: :gs/Rapidash:
Fire-types
Fire-types are more potent than ever, although they are somewhat lacking in ways to get past bulky Water-types due to lacking Solar Beam. Flareon has Zap Cannon and Magmar has Cross Chop for Dewgong as well as Thunder Punch for Mantine. Rapidash relies on Double-Edge or Hidden Power alongside Hypnosis. Ninetales provides a great option for checking opposing Fire-types and Xatu thanks to its high SpD. Magmar is particularly potent with Sunny Day boosting its power to extremes. It nevertheless struggles against some of its checks, like Octillery and Ninetales.

:gs/Kingler: :gs/Primeape: :gs/Dugtrio: :gs/Hitmonlee: :gs/Poliwhirl: :gs/Machoke: :gs/Cubone:
Other Physical Attackers
Physical attackers aside from exceptions like Lickitung are for the most part overshadowed by special attackers, which boast better defensive attributes and coverage. However, given a setup opportunity, physical attackers can be highly effective at dismantling a team. Kingler is highly threatening given an opportunity to set up Swords Dance. It is a great fit for a paralysis-based team. Primeape is a fearsome attacker that Speed ties Xatu and has Rock Slide. Dugtrio is excellent with Spikes, although can struggle to find as many opportunities in the new metagame. Hitmonlee has great Attack and SpD, but lacks coverage options. However, it can also function as a spinner. Poliwhirl is uniquely threatening with its high Speed and access to the combination of Lovely Kiss and Belly Drum. Machoke has access to Cross Chop, Earthquake, and Rock Slide. Cubone has the highest Attack in the tier with Thick Club alongside STAB Earthquake. However, both Machoke and Cubone are very slow.

:gs/Magnemite: :gs/Elekid: :gs/Chinchou: :gs/Voltorb:
Electric-types
Electric is still a useful and powerful type, despite only NFEs being around to use. Magnemite has extremely useful typing and a highly respectable base SpA of 95. In the absence of Raichu, it is a clear mainstay in the tier, being an excellent check to Xatu and Normal-types without Ground type coverage. Elekid is fast and has useful coverage, making it surprisingly difficult to counter. Chinchou has a valuable Water-resist and may be the only Pokemon in the tier capable of taking on three attack Octillery safely. Voltorb is primarily useful for its access to dual screens and Explosion.

:gs/Seadra: :gs/Abra:
Other Special Attackers
Seadra has Agility so it can outspeed the entire tier and threaten it with its great coverage. This is even scarier with potential Growth boosts from Flareon. Abra doesn't have the coverage issues Xatu has and has incredibly high SpA but is really pathetic defensively.

:gs/Venomoth: :gs/Gastly: :gs/Sneasel: :gs/Arbok: :gs/Murkrow: :gs/Ariados: :gs/Ledian: :gs/Parasect: :gs/Houndour: :gs/Exeggcute: :gs/Tangela: :gs/Sunflora: :gs/Dragonair: :gs/Porygon: :gs/Beedrill: :gs/Farfetch :gs/Rhyhorn: :gs/Snubbull:
Other Pokemon that might be viable
These are some Baton Passers, Grass-types, Dark-types, and Pokemon with unique niches that might make them viable. I might have missed some Pokemon.

I hope this is helpful to anyone that is thinking about trying out the new tier in 2020. I left this slightly vague and I think there are many possible strategies to experiment with here so I am excited to see other people's takes on the tier. Please post about your experiences with the tier in this thread. What sets and combinations are working for you? Is the tier more enjoyable after the bans?

See you on the ladder!
 
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EraiMHFU

formerly Erai14
Pretty eager to try out GSC NU, but kind of sad seeing the dark types/pursuit users being so pathetic and Xatu being so good. This is purely theorymon, but I think this might be the best dedicated pursuit user for teams specifically looking to remove Xatu, enabling boosting sweepers like meditate Primeape/Hitmonlee or curse Weezing that are weak to Psychic. (And in theory Gastly and Abra too but I don't think those have the same durability as Xatu)

:gs/Sneasel:
Sneasel @ No Item / Leftovers
- Blizzard / Shadow Ball
- Pursuit
- Return
- Thief / Iron Tail / Dynamic Punch / Hidden Power Ground

So, Sneasel doesn't exactly accomplish much by itself, its attacking stats range from unremarkable (Atk) to awful (SpA). But it is the fastest pursuit user in NU and it can either 2HKO Xatu with Blizzard or 3HKO it with Shadow Ball while Xatu only has a 14% chance to 3HKO it in return with Drill Peck. Blizzard hits Xatu the hardest but 70% accuracy is painful, so I believe Shadow is a decent, 100% accurate physical alternative that also hits other potential pursuit targets for super effective damage. The first 2 moves are specifically meant for Sneasel to accomplish to what it is meant to do. The last 2 can be tailored to suit its teams needs. Return is Sneasel's strongest physical attack and Thief can permanently cripple something by stealing its Leftovers. Iron Tail and Dynamic Punch hit opposing Sneasel hard and can punish rock-type switch-ins. HP Ground hits Magnemite and Magcargo hard but it is weaker versus the other normal resists. It also learns Reflect if it wants to go that route and it might be decent with its speed but I'm personally not that big into screens.

I believe Elekid might be a better Pursuit user overall though because it does more than just use Pursuit but it can't switch into Psychic at all and it speed ties Xatu.

F for Murkrow :(


Edit: Ignore the above, EW corrected me.
 
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Earthworm

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Pretty eager to try out GSC NU, but kind of sad seeing the dark types/pursuit users being so pathetic and Xatu being so good. This is purely theorymon, but I think this might be the best dedicated pursuit user for teams specifically looking to remove Xatu, enabling boosting sweepers like meditate Primeape/Hitmonlee or curse Weezing that are weak to Psychic. (And in theory Gastly and Abra too but I don't think those have the same durability as Xatu)

:gs/Sneasel:
Sneasel @ No Item / Leftovers
- Blizzard / Shadow Ball
- Pursuit
- Return
- Thief / Iron Tail / Dynamic Punch / Hidden Power Ground

So, Sneasel doesn't exactly accomplish much by itself, its attacking stats range from unremarkable (Atk) to awful (SpA). But it is the fastest pursuit user in NU and it can either 2HKO Xatu with Blizzard or 3HKO it with Shadow Ball while Xatu only has a 14% chance to 3HKO it in return with Drill Peck. Blizzard hits Xatu the hardest but 70% accuracy is painful, so I believe Shadow is a decent, 100% accurate physical alternative that also hits other potential pursuit targets for super effective damage. The first 2 moves are specifically meant for Sneasel to accomplish to what it is meant to do. The last 2 can be tailored to suit its teams needs. Return is Sneasel's strongest physical attack and Thief can permanently cripple something by stealing its Leftovers. Iron Tail and Dynamic Punch hit opposing Sneasel hard and can punish rock-type switch-ins. HP Ground hits Magnemite and Magcargo hard but it is weaker versus the other normal resists. It also learns Reflect if it wants to go that route and it might be decent with its speed but I'm personally not that big into screens.

I believe Elekid might be a better Pursuit user overall though because it does more than just use Pursuit but it can't switch into Psychic at all and it speed ties Xatu.

F for Murkrow :(
You aren't the first to think Sneasel learns Pursuit in GSC, but unfortunately it doesn't. It does get Moonlight and Screech or Toxic though, so it is probably usable. It certainly has defensive utility against Xatu.

Houndour and Murkrow both get Pursuit, as does Elekid as you mentioned (though it is illegal with Cross Chop). It will be interesting to see if a Pursuit strategy can be pulled off--Body Slam Hitmonlee might be able to paralyse Xatu for Houndour perhaps?
 

Bughouse

Like ships in the night, you're passing me by
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I've run Pursuit on Dugtrio before in the old meta, though this really was more to remove Gastly on a team with a Curse Rest Normal.
It does do at least a little chip to Xatu though if it needs to flee Rock Slide, but Pursuit only does 30% or so on the switch out. So you need Xatu in a position where it already needs to Rest pretty much immediately, due to fears of Rock Slide flinches/crits. The chip is nice though regardless since it gives you a chance at beating Xatu on its next attempted switch in if you predict. Unfortunately though you have to actually run HP Rock, not Rock Slide when using Pursuit, due to illegalities, which makes it that much harder for Dug to break Xatu (relying much more on a bluff of Rock Slide on the first matchup, before you reveal Pursuit). So it's much more of a tech for Gastly than Xatu.

I think it's difficult to justify a team reliant on paralyzing Xatu so it can be Pursuit trapped. It's not the likely response to almost any mon with Thunder Wave. While Xatu could be the response to Stun Spore grasses, the opponent's switch in to these might also be a fire. So you do end up somewhat relying on less reliable paralyzers like Body Slam Hitmonlee as EW said. The fact that no good Pursuiter that actually has bulk, power behind Pursuit, or outruns Xatu is a major bummer. Dugtrio might be the best there is for the job since at least it's faster. Elekid is probably better than the Darks at the end of the day since it already can be justified for a teamslot, and it speed ties with Xatu while threatening serious damage with its STAB. Unfortunately though Psychic tears through it, but so does Drill Peck through the Darks to some extent too. Drill Peck 3HKOs Murkrow, and Xatu is faster.
 
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Hey I was just wondering which of the grass types is the most viable? I've been playing around with Tangela for awhile and it's been mediocre. Maybe I'm just using a bad moveset (sleep, synthesis, giga and hp fire), but it's kinda disapointing defensively aswell. I've tried out Sunflora and it's been much better as a sponge to most special attacks but without sleep it can't really threaten most of it's switchins unless it's using the correct HP.

Another question I have is which of the birds is the most viable? Pidgeot is decently tanky but isn't super strong and has to rely on HP flying so it has no HP coverage, Fearow is the strongest but has mediocre defences, Murkrow is like Fearow but has a wider movepool, better spatk and pursuit in exchange for worse defences, speed and attack and Noctowl has hypnosis, better support moves and better defences? (I know fearow gets pursuit but I've never seen one use it).
 

Earthworm

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Hey I was just wondering which of the grass types is the most viable? I've been playing around with Tangela for awhile and it's been mediocre. Maybe I'm just using a bad moveset (sleep, synthesis, giga and hp fire), but it's kinda disapointing defensively aswell. I've tried out Sunflora and it's been much better as a sponge to most special attacks but without sleep it can't really threaten most of it's switchins unless it's using the correct HP.

Another question I have is which of the birds is the most viable? Pidgeot is decently tanky but isn't super strong and has to rely on HP flying so it has no HP coverage, Fearow is the strongest but has mediocre defences, Murkrow is like Fearow but has a wider movepool, better spatk and pursuit in exchange for worse defences, speed and attack and Noctowl has hypnosis, better support moves and better defences? (I know fearow gets pursuit but I've never seen one use it).
Grass-types are fairly mediocre in general. The best is probably Exeggcute since it has Explosion and STAB Psychic to deter Weezing. Tangela would be my next choice. Sunflora simply takes too much from physical attacks and can't threaten things.

All of the birds are very much viable. Fearow and Pidgeot both make decent RestTalkers. Fearow can go HP Ground or Drill Peck with its Normal STAB. Alternatively, it's fast and strong enough that a four attack set could work with HP Ground or Grass and Hyper Beam or Substitute over Rest and Sleep Talk. Fearow no longer needs to worry about being OHKOed off a Raichu Speed tie, so it ought to have improved significantly.

I prefer DE RestTalk and then either Reflect or Toxic for RestTalk Pidgeot, but a phazer set with DE Toxic Whirlwind and either Reflect or Protect can also work.

Noctowl can either be a Curse phazer or it can use something like Toxic Night Shade (edit: this is illegal with Whirlwind) Whirlwind and Rest/Protect. Its huge special bulk makes it great against Xatu and non-Ice Beam Octillery.

Murkrow is pretty decent with Drill Peck Pursuit HP Dark filler. I think HP Dark is the only option for 2HKOing Xatu, so it seems like the logical choice, despite missing out on Magnemite and SE Rock- and Poison-type coverage. The filler move can be Toxic, Haze, or Thief. If running HP Ground, Shadow Ball (or.. Faint Attack?) can be used to damage Xatu fairly heavily. It might get something else good but I'd have to check.

I'd say Fearow is probably most viable, but I think they all function adequately, and much moreso than when Raichu was around.

The ladder has been pretty active over the past few days. I encourage everyone reading this to give it a try!
 
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Grass-types are fairly mediocre in general. The best is probably Exeggcute since it has Explosion and STAB Psychic to deter Weezing. Tangela would be my next choice. Sunflora simply takes too much from physical attacks and can't threaten things.

All of the birds are very much viable. Fearow and Pidgeot both make decent RestTalkers. Fearow can go HP Ground or Drill Peck with its Normal STAB. Alternatively, it's fast and strong enough that a four attack set could work with HP Ground or Grass and Hyper Beam or Substitute over Rest and Sleep Talk. Fearow no longer needs to worry about being OHKOed off a Raichu Speed tie, so it ought to have improved significantly.

I prefer DE RestTalk and then either Reflect or Toxic for RestTalk Pidgeot, but a phazer set with DE Toxic Whirlwind and either Reflect or Protect can also work.

Noctowl can either be a Curse phazer or it can use something like Toxic Night Shade Whirlwind and Rest/Protect. Its huge special bulk makes it great against Xatu and non-Ice Beam Octillery.

Murkrow is pretty decent with Drill Peck Pursuit HP Dark filler. I think HP Dark is the only option for 2HKOing Xatu, so it seems like the logical choice, despite missing out on Magnemite and SE Rock- and Poison-type coverage. The filler move can be Toxic, Haze, or Thief. If running HP Ground, Shadow Ball (or.. Faint Attack?) can be used to damage Xatu fairly heavily. It might get something else good but I'd have to check.

I'd say Fearow is probably most viable, but I think they all function adequately, and much moreso than when Raichu was around.

The ladder has been pretty active over the past few days. I encourage everyone reading this to give it a try!
Thanks for the help! Tried out Exeggcute and was kinda disapointed, speaks less about Exeggcute and more about just how meh the grass types are. I was kinda sad about Explosion being illegal with Moonlight and Synthesis but whatever, healing isn't really super necessary on an offensive team.

Gonna try out rest talk Fearow and Pidgeot, they both seem like pretty good mons. Slight problem with Noctowl, Night Shade and Whirlwind are illegal together, I'll probably just use return or something over it. Otherwise I've seen curse noctowl and it was pretty good, being walled by Gastly sucks but with spikes support it seems pretty good.

I've tried out rest talk murkrow and it was very unspectacular so this helps alot. Thanks for the information, I'll definately be keeping my eye on this metagame.
 
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Earthworm

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Update based on laddering for about two weeks and playing two games for Origin Mixed League:
:gs/Flareon: Flareon is not as good as I anticipated. Its speed hurts it and passing +1 SpA in exchange for more than half Flareon's health is not gamebreaking.
:gs/Octillery: Octillery isn't quite as amazing as I thought either, but it's still a solid Pokemon. I'd been seeing a lot of RestTalk but it now appears to be getting replaced by Dewgong a lot.
:gs/Xatu: Xatu remains probably the best Pokemon in the tier, but by much less of a margin than Lax in OU or Nidoqueen in UU. It's not even close to mandatory, and many successful ladder teams drop it.

:gs/Primeape: This thing is a monster. It's probably a candidate for top 3 Pokemon. Substitute Meditate CC RS seems to be the scariest set. Weezing is a good check but is not insurmountable or even hard to weaken.
:gs/Magmar: Another really tough to wall Pokemon. It's a huge threat under Sunny Day and has numerous other possible sets and useful Hidden Powers.
:gs/Kingler: Yet another Pokemon that's difficult to wall, but it's also simultaneously a general physical check for things like non-Curse Normal-types, Rock-types, and Ground-types, as well as checking Water- and Fire-types that lack SE coverage for it. Quite versatile. The RestTalk Crabhammer DE set seems to have been most consistently effective so far. Xatu checks it decently though.
:gs/dewgong: Encore makes this a fantastic general catch-all, although it is terrified of Cross Chop from both Magmar and Primeape. Pretty decent Xatu check, though to be consistent it would need Restalk.
:gs/Stantler: Powerful and consistent threat with a much more interesting movepool than most Normal-types. Very solid wallbreaker.
:gs/Rapidash: Lastly, Rapidash has a great speed tier and makes for a strong breaker with 3-attack Hypnosis or Sunny Day.

The activity on the ladder had been somewhat solid in the first week or so but is beginning to fall off. I hope more players decide to try the refreshed tier out, as in my opinion it is a substantial improvement on the previous metagame. There will be an open tournament coming up in about a week as well.
 
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