Announcement Kyurem-Black and Melmetal are now banned from OU

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The OU council has decided to ban Kyurem-Black and Melmetal.

Kyurem-Black has lingered in the OU tier for the last three generations. However, it recently gained access to some new moves that bolster its effectiveness. Dragon Dance and Icicle Spear are the most notable additions to its arsenal. The former allows for Kyurem-Black to have its unmatched physical attacking strength translate into sweeping potential and the latter gives it a physical, one turn STAB Ice move that it previously lacked. When used in conjunction with Fusion Bolt, Icicle Spear gives Kyurem-Black BoltBeam coverage, which is very hard to keep in check because nothing resists it except for Rotom-Heat. In addition, access to Earth Power allows for it to hit bulkier Steel types like Melmetal, who shrug off boosted Icicle Spear, and the aforementioned Rotom-Heat, who is impacted due to Teravolt nullifying Levitate.

Despite being strong offensively, it is true that Kyurem-Black has some vulnerabilities. It is weak to Stealth Rock and cannot always take advantage of its superb natural bulk due to a mediocre defensive typing. With the increase in Defog distribution and the ability to use Heavy Duty Boots, Kyurem-Black is oftentimes able to mitigate the entry hazard vulnerability. It is also able to muscle through most offensive threats to it with the help of Dragon Dance; setting one up is rarely problematic, too, considering that there are many more passive Pokemon circulating and plenty of things still are incapable of hitting Kyurem-Black super effectively. Couple this with the fact that the ability to revenge kill Kyurem-Black is limited to Mach Punch from Conkeldurr and a very limited pool of faster Choice Scarf users and it becomes clear that the metagame lacks sufficient offensive or defensive counterplay to Kyurem-Black. Because of this, we are electing to quickban Kyurem-Black.

Melmetal is a newer Pokemon, but it has made the most of its brief stint in the OU metagame. To start things off, Melmetal is one of the strongest Pokemon in the game physically and it is able to make use of this attacking prowess with signature move Double Iron Bash, which is effectively a 120 base power move with a 51% chance to flinch and an Iron Fist boost. The mono-Steel typing coupled with similarly great physical defense allows for Melmetal to be quite sturdy on that side of the spectrum, but it also enables Melmetal to pack a punch with Body Press, which is oftentimes used in conjunction with Acid Armor in order to strengthen it while making Melmetal even bulkier. Moreover, it also has a number of other options that allow for Melmetal to hit potential counterplay, including coverage moves such as Thunder Punch for Toxapex that can otherwise prove problematic.

While Melmetal has plenty of unique characteristics that let it stand out in the OU metagame, it is true that Melmetal is quite slow and can fall to strong special attacks. The problem is that most special attackers, aside from a healthy Rotom-Wash or Rotom-Heat, are incapable of switching into Melmetal safely due to how strong it is. On the contrary, Melmetal finds itself getting in unscathed frequently due to how practical the mono-Steel typing is, especially in conjunction with its defensive stat spread. Be it through the Body Press + Acid Armor set that is only countered by a very limited pool of Pokemon such as Toxapex and Jellicent or through other sets such as Choice Banded Melmetal, which is an absolute wrecking ball with Double Iron Bash, Melmetal is capable of posing a consistent threat to teams offensively while being a physically defensive behemoth. Given how disruptive the combination of Double Iron Bash and a potentially boosted Body Press can be, the amount of defensive counterplay to those variants of Melmetal present within the metagame is insufficient. In addition, there are virtually no switch-ins to the more offensive variants such as Choice Banded Melmetal, which is even more problematic due to how naturally bulky it is, letting it get in safely frequently. Therefore, we are electing to quickban Melmetal. The council intends to retest Melmetal in the near future once the metagame has settled down, so keep an eye open for that down the road.
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