Metagame Linked

Ivy

resident enigma
is a Live Chat Contributor
1595208404063.png
Credit to Hack_Guy for original Linked metagame. Programmed by Kris, Slayer95, MacChaeger.
Approved by The Immortal
Led by Ivy and Kris

Premise
Selecting a Pokemon's first or second move will cause it to use both of those moves in a row on that same turn.

Introduction
Fans of the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon spin-off series will likely appreciate this OM based on a special mechanic from those games. An Electivire NPC was able to conjoin up to four of your Pokemon's moves in a sequence, which caused them to all be used in succession but impossible to use individually. The other caveat was that the link became broken upon PP depletion, which was a common occurrence in those games. While four moves in a row would be pure insanity, this metagame does give you the option of linking moveslots one and two.

FAQ
How do I create and use linked moves?

In the teambuilder, the first and second moveslots (the top one and the one under it) are automatically linked; in the battle screen, this displays as the leftmost move and its neighbor.
To use the linked pair, click one of these moves. Note that whether you click the first or second move does not matter—it will still execute both moves in the link in descending order. You cannot use either move individually. Make sure the order of your moves is correct in the teambuilder if that's important to your combo, because you can't change the order in battle.

Held items!?
That's not really a question but it poses an interesting one nonetheless. Some items are better, and others become nearly useless.
  • Choice items: Due to an interaction in gen 7 and 8 mechanics, one cannot physically use another move while Choice locked into the first. For example, a Choice Band user locked into Metronome calls a two-turn move like Dig: trying to actually use Dig on the next turn results in a failure, because the game expects only another Metronome. So, for simplicity's sake, Choice items disable the linking mechanic.
  • Rocky Helmet: Each contact-based attack against the holder inflicts the 1/6th HP recoil. Think Mega Kangaskhan counterplay.
  • Assault Vest: Don't try to be cheeky and link a status move with an attacking move; it won't work! Only attacking moves can be used.
  • Life Orb: Both moves give the usual 10% recoil. Somewhat less useful due to this.
  • Focus Sash: Because every Pokemon has access to multi-hit moves, this becomes almost useless.
  • Leftovers: Because of the offensive nature of this metagame, Leftovers is somewhat less prevalent in favor of things like the Rocky Helmet.
  • Metronome: Only works on non-linked moves. Sorry!
What about Dynamax?
Dynamax is banned in OU and therefore also this metagame. However, theoretically, only one Max Move would ever be selected at a time, temporarily bypassing links similar to how Z-moves worked in gen 7. This could be relevant in a mashup like Linked Ubers, if a tournament gets made with that ruleset, for example.

How does priority work?
Priority of a linked pair is equal to that of the lowest-priority move in the link. So if for example Roar and Crunch are in a link, you will use both Roar and Crunch at the -6 priority bracket. On the other hand, Fake Out and Mach Punch would possess a +1 priority. Note that move priority is calculated before the turn, so even if a move changes priority somehow, both moves are still used in succession.

Paralysis, confusion, sleep?
If you get paralyzed, each move is checked individually. Same goes for confusion and infatuation. Even freeze will do this, so it's quite nerfed, as the effective chance to unfreeze is raised to 36%. Sleep is an exception, and the counter will only increment once per true turn. (Also, Truant will use a turn-based counter.)

What if my U-turn or phaze move goes first?
A general rule of thumb to keep in mind is that all effects of move 1 will follow through before the next move activates. It ought to be pretty intuitive this way. If you U-turn first, you leave before finishing the link (not really useful). If your phaze move is first, the foe gets switched out and then your next move is used on the new Pokemon.

Moves that do things across multiple turns: Hyper Beam cooldown, Charge boost, etc.?
If Hyper Beam, etc. is at the end of a link, your cooldown extends to the next turn. If it's at the front, it will cancel only your next Linked move, allowing you to spam a Hyper Beam every turn at the expense of your linkage. Semi-invulnerable moves like Dig are banned.
Moves like Charge and Laser Focus that affect the immediate following move do just that: they will work on your second linked move, or if at the back of the link, simply transfer to the next turn as usual.
Moves like Thrash, if linked, lock you into the pair. A link such as Outrage and Iron Head will only allow the use of these moves when trapped.
However, the Thrash trapping and Hyper Beam cooldowns are a bit inconsistent with how Choice items behave and original Mystery Dungeon design choices, so these are liable to change.

What if a move is disabled or runs out of PP?
A move being disabled through Disable or Taunt simply halts the link with the move for that duration; you may still use the non-disabled move on its own. And, as in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, losing PP in any of the linked moves will also sever the link. All this means in these scenarios is that you can now use the remaining move as normal; you will not prematurely Struggle in addition to it.

Bans
  • Standard OU clauses (incl. Dynamax clause, Galarian Darmanitan ban)
  • Moves not allowed in slot 1 or 2:
    • Protect, Detect, Spiky Shield, Baneful Bunker, King's Shield, Obstruct.
      • Protecting while attacking or setting up is uncompetitive, even with priority being reduced.
    • Super Fang, Nature's Madness (in gen 7 and upcoming DLC), Seismic Toss, Night Shade
      • A combination of these 2HKOes essentially the entire metagame and is spammable. Even if paired with normal BP-based moves, they are overpowered in a link.
    • Semi-invulnerable two-turn moves such as Dig.
      • Allows you to use a move while semi-invulnerable every other turn and is in general impractical to code.
    • Trick Room
      • The extra turn of Trick Room when paired with a pivoting move allows the already powerful playstyle to snowball extremely powerfully.
      • Tailwind is a contender as well, but it can be played around more traditionally.
  • Abilities:
    • Unburden, Surge Surfer, Swift Swim, Chlorophyll, Sand Rush, Slush Rush. (info)
  • Items:
    • King's Rock, Razor Fang.
      • Flinch abuse. Imagine Cloyster with a 10-hit skill link move.
Strategy
There are a lot of unique pairings that can be taken advantage of under these circumstances. For instance, you can set Tailwind and pivot out on that same turn. A setup move like Swords Dance and an attack can be used in conjunction, creating a massive Ice Ball-type situation. A Pokemon can buff defenses and Recover in one fell swoop. Creativity will be your ally here, but by all means check out some sample sets to get started:
:ss/kommo-o:
Kommo-o @ Throat Spray
Ability: Bulletproof
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Clangorous Soul
- Clanging Scales
- Flamethrower
- Flash Cannon

This is the standard OU set, except it can now both boost and Throat Spray Clanging Scales on the same turn. Yowza!

:ss/excadrill:
Excadrill @ Life Orb
Ability: Mold Breaker
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Iron Head
- Earthquake
- Stealth Rock

A very offensive Excadrill set that serves to shatter opposing Unaware users, namely Clefable, before they have set up. For this role it is best to pair Swords Dance with Iron Head. A Life Orb maximizes its wallbreaking power. It can also be useful to set up Stealth Rock against the rare Magic Bounce user.

:ss/grimmsnarl:
Grimmsnarl @ Light Clay
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 92 HP / 252 Atk / 164 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Reflect
- Light Screen
- Taunt
- Spirit Break

Grimmsnarl rocks its regular OU set, now with two screens simultaneously, freeing up more turns for mischief to Taunt opposing setup sweepers with and such.

:ss/dubwool:
Dubwool @ Leftovers
Ability: Fluffy
EVs: 104 HP / 252 Def / 152 Spe
Impish Nature
- Cotton Guard
- Body Press
- Thunder Wave
- Body Slam

Once again, this is Dubwool's standard set, except it now boosts and attacks on the same turn. It needs only fear special attackers, haze, and phazing. It also still gets walled by Ghost-types, so those need to be destroyed before trying to use this meme sheep. Orbeetle can run a similar set with Iron Defense and also provide utility with Sticky Web.

:ss/clefable:
Clefable @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Unaware
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold / Calm Nature
- Cosmic Power
- Moonlight
- Moonblast
- Heal Bell / Toxic

Being able to both bulk up and heal in one turn is great, and with Unaware, Clefable is invaluable against the setup sweepers so prevalent in this metagame. However, Moonlight has extremely low PP, which makes it tricky to not squander. Moonblast prevents it from being complete Taunt bait. The Rocky Helmet inflicts massive damage on any one-two punches from physically oriented foes.


Thanks largely to urkerab from the gen 6 thread.
Momentum:
  • Stat-lowering attack + U-turn/Volt Switch. Gets rid of your stat drops.
  • Fake Out + switching move. Particularly annoying when using two of them, but they need to outspeed and not get worn down.
  • Phazing + switching move. Force your opponent to switch and get a free switch in to your counter.
  • Trick Room + switching move. Get your Trick Room user in without wasting time. Guaranteed slow pivot.
  • Regenerator + switching move. Can be paired with a STAB move now.
  • Rapid Spin + switching move. Get that safe switch-in. (May be preferable to use as a Speed boosting move now.)
  • Recharge move + filler. Can be used to spam moves like Hyper Beam every turn.
Priority (needs both moves to have priority):
  • Prankster + two status/priority moves, e.g. SubSeed.
  • Feint + Quick Attack (RIP Mega Pinsir).
  • Feint/Fake Out + Extreme Speed. Still has +2 priority.
  • Hitmontop gets Technician + Bullet Punch + Mach Punch.
Two status moves:
  • Substitute + recovery (or draining move).
  • Boosting move + recovery, for stall types.
  • Boosting move + boosting move, e.g. Swords Dance + Rock Polish. Double Dance in one slot.
  • Defog + Stealth Rock. Have the last laugh when it comes to hazards!
  • Hazards + Hazards, e.g. Spikes + Toxic Spikes. Get those hazards up more quickly.
  • Hazards + phazing. Make immediate use of those hazards.
  • Recovery + recovery. Like Rest but without the sleep.
  • Encore (or Choice Scarf + Trick) + Disable. (Best Prankster version is Encore + Torment.) As a bonus, removing your own Scarf will instead cripple the enemy's link thereafter.
  • Phazing + recovery
  • Dual Screens (Grimmsnarl can do this with Prankster too).
  • Belly Drum + recovery. Can be used if you're down to under 50%, as the Belly Drum will fail, but the recovery will still work.
  • RestTalk. Could be annoying if you have a phazing move. Also works with Prankster and Guts.
Status move + attack:
  • Boosting move + attack.
  • Other setup + attack. Examples:
    • Lock On/Mind Reader + Dynamic Punch/Inferno/Zap Cannon
    • Charge + Electric attack
    • Laser Focus + strong attack
    • Sunny Day + Solar Beam, Rain Dance + Thunder/Hurricane, Hail + Blizzard
    • Terrain + Nature Power
    • Miracle Eye + Psychic
    • Foresight + Rapid Spin/Feint/Drain Punch
Attack + status move:
  • Recoil move + recovery (like Brave Bird + Roost above)
  • Life Orb attack + recovery
Two attacks (pseudo Parental Bond; break Substitute and Focus Sash/Sturdy):
  • Stat-raising attack + attack, i.e. Rapid Spin or Power-Up Punch.
  • Attack + Assurance. Doubles the power of Assurance. Great with Crunch for the Defense drop chance.
  • Attack + Last Resort
  • STAB + STAB. Something's bound to give, particularly if you have Adaptability or Tinted Lens.
  • STAB + Coverage. Useful if the strong STAB move has immunities.
  • Smack Down + Ground move
More specific options:
  • Copycat. Execute the same move twice.
  • Serene Grace + flinch-inducing moves and/or paralysis
  • Trapping move + Perish Song
  • Mew gets Fake Out / Substitute + Transform, making transformation much safer.
  • Metal Burst + negative priority for a slow Counter + Mirror Coat.
  • Jellicent gets Recover + Water Spout. Always has at least 75 power.
  • Recycle + Fling, assuming you don't lose your item to Knock Off on your first turn.
  • Endeavor + Final Gambit (You may want Protective Pads)
  • Soak + Toxic
  • Soak + Volt Switch (Lanturn). Volt Switch is now super-effective against many annoying Ground types.
  • Recycle + Rest + Chesto Berry for full health on demand.
  • Hydration + Rain Dance + Rest + rain-boosted moves (Doesn't work on the last turn of rain)


Not yet available for gen 8, but gen 7 is playable on ROM.
You can search for gen 7 Linked replays on replay.pokemonshowdown.com by typing in "gen7linked".
 
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Coming back as a shittier version of Tapu Lele + Mega Alakazam from Gen 7 linked we have Indeedee + Mew or Hatterene !

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Mew @ Twisted Spoon / Life Orb
Ability: Synchronize
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Zen Headbutt
- Psychic Fangs
- Close Combat / Flare Blitz
- Dragon Dance



Hatterene@ Life Orb
Ability: Magic Bounce
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA
IVs: 0 Spe
Quiet Nature
- Dazzling Gleam
- Psychic
- Mystical Fire
- Trick Room



Indeedee @ Terrain Extender (you could run a female bulky support set as well)
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Psychic
- Psyshock
- Mystical Fire / Dazzling Gleam
- Aromatherapy
 
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Something fun that became immediately obvious while reading this is that you can run a kind of double dance set with a setup move and Rapid Spin/Flame Charge. Users of either of those moves are kind of rare right now, but a few are worth noting.
  • Excadrill can Swords Dance and Rapid Spin at the same time, which seems like a pretty good choice with Mold Breaker.
  • Morpeko’s Attack is too low to practically do this, but Aura Wheel and Rapid Spin gives it +2 Speed every time it attacks. It’s something, at least.
  • Turtonator and Blastoise can Shell Smash and spin but that’s not a good option IMO.
  • Mr. Rime with Nasty Plot and Rapid Spin is almost very scary, but stats and typing really suck. Could work low on the ladder maybe.
There are also a few Flame Charge users worth noting...
  • Chandelure gets Quiver Dance now!
  • Incineroar is too slow in my opinion, but it gets a weird physical version of Quiver Dance if it uses Bulk Up.
  • Silvally can Flame Charge with whatever set it wants except that its stats suck
  • Mew can do all this stuff too.
 
Just to be clear: does "linked moveslots" mean that the two moves act like one move, or that they are just selected in the same turn? With the gen8 mid-turn speed order changes that makes a difference now.

E.g. if I'm just a little bit faster than my opponent and use hammer arm + happy hour does happy hour go off before or after my opponent?

I'd expect the former, but the latter sounds more interesting imo.
 

Ivy

resident enigma
is a Live Chat Contributor
It's not coded for gen 8 yet, but they should both be encapsulated in one turn action (except when they get interrupted i.e. the first move being a U-turn). In gen 7, though, it did check paralysis and confusion twice, and yet only took off one sleep counter. There were a lot of arbitrary decisions that might be worth reconsidering.
 
Moves that do things across multiple turns: Hyper Beam cooldown, Charge boost, etc.?
If Hyper Beam, etc. is at the end of a link, your cooldown extends to the next turn. If it's at the front, it will cancel only your next Linked move, allowing you to spam a Hyper Beam every turn at the expense of your linkage. Semi-invulnerable moves like Dig are banned.
Moves like Charge and Laser Focus that affect the immediate following move do just that: they will work on your second linked move, or if at the back of the link, simply transfer to the next turn as usual.
Moves like Thrash, if linked, lock you into the pair. A link such as Outrage and Iron Head will only allow the use of these moves when trapped.
However, the Thrash trapping and Hyper Beam cooldowns are a bit inconsistent with how Choice items behave and original Mystery Dungeon design choices, so these are liable to change.
What about moves like Skull Bash or Solar Beam that take waste a turn before the move is used? Or Focus Punch and Shell Trap, which have multiple parts in a single turn with varying priority, and have a second part with conditional success?

This generation saw the introduction of two signature omniboosting moves. I thought it might be interesting to take a look at them.


Falinks doesn't have very good stats or movepool, but it does have a choice between Swords Dance, Bulk Up, and Agility to augment No Retreat.


Kommo-o is everything Falinks wishes its could be. Not only does it have all of Falinks's other boosting options (Swords Dance, Bulk Up, Autotomize / Rock Polish) but it also has Dragon Dance and Work Up. Combined with its stellar movepool, this affords Kommo-o a ton of versatility. Most of its set-up moves are physical, but Throat Spray sets can still make good use of Work Up or speed boosts. It also has the option of using Clangorous Soul more than once, while No Retreat will fail if used a second time.


Charizard can now learn Acrobatics through TM, making it legal with Belly Drum, and it can also now learn Blaze Kick. This opens up a few interesting options. With a Sitrus Berry, Zard can follow up a Belly Drum with Tailwind or Dragon Dance to boost its speed, or Roost to heal back up. The berry makes Roost a tad redundant, but the 75% healing could still come in handy if you've taken damage before setting up. An interesting option could be to put Roost in the first slot, not just for Zard, but for anything that can use recovery + Belly Drum (soooo, for now just Clefable and Slowpoke). While you forfeit the usual benefits of healing off the Drum damage and being able to heal normally when under 50% health, you become able to use Belly Drum even when under 50% health. No idea if that's worth it, but it's an option. Another option Zard has is following Belly Drum with Substitute to lower itself to 25% health, which will activate either a Salac or Figy Berry while also obviously providing a Substitute for protection. Especially with the Salac set, Blaze Kick might be preferred over Flare Blitz due to its lack of recoil.


I guess while we're on the topic of Fire-types, here's one with an interesting signature move. Tar Shot lowers the target's speed by one stage and makes it weak to Fire, allowing Coalossal to follow up with Heat Crash or Fire Blast. Unfortunately, the added Fire weakness doesn't stack with itself, so subsequent uses on a single target will only lower speed.


Fire Lash may not be Centiskorch's signature move, but given the other Pokemon that learn it, it might as well be. Once the target's defense has been lowered, Centiskorch can immediately follow up with another attack. Leech Life sounds nice, since the extra damage also means extra healing. Because Fire Lash and Tar Shot work by hindering the foe instead of buffing the user, they might be good at pressuring the opponent to switch. Centiskorch can also use Coil into Will-O-Wisp to boost its defense and inflict accurate burns, making it hard to take down physically.
 
So, for clarification, the two linked moves get used at the same time? The linking don't just combine the possible side effects of both moves?

Or is that some other OM that I'm thinking about?
 

Ivy

resident enigma
is a Live Chat Contributor
So, for clarification, the two linked moves get used at the same time? The linking don't just combine the possible side effects of both moves?

Or is that some other OM that I'm thinking about?
The first move is used and then the second one comes after. There was another OM that let you "fuse" moves in that other way, but I don't recall the name of it.
 
The first move is used and then the second one comes after. There was another OM that let you "fuse" moves in that other way, but I don't recall the name of it.
Oh okay, so I'm not crazy. Got it.

There are also a few Flame Charge users worth noting...
  • Chandelure gets Quiver Dance now!
As I was reading your post, my brain somehow forgot that you were talking about merging Calm Mind with Flame Charge to make a makeshift Quiver Dance.... So I ended up freaking out like - "What?! It got Quiver Dance? Since when?" XDDD
 
As you know, ROM is still running Gen 7 Linked. It's one of the few official OMs that needs its own mod, which makes running more than one generation at a time tricker than normal. What would be your preference:
  • Find some way of running both Gen 7 and Gen 8
  • Replace Gen 7 Linked with Gen 8 Linked now
  • As above but wait until after I've added the DLC
 

Ivy

resident enigma
is a Live Chat Contributor
As you know, ROM is still running Gen 7 Linked. It's one of the few official OMs that needs its own mod, which makes running more than one generation at a time tricker than normal. What would be your preference:
  • Find some way of running both Gen 7 and Gen 8
  • Replace Gen 7 Linked with Gen 8 Linked now
  • As above but wait until after I've added the DLC
I don't think we're in any hurry, so moving to gen 8 post-DLC seems like the best choice.
 

drampa's grandpa

#BlackLivesMatter
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Moderator
:ss/barraskewda:
Barraskewda @ Mystic Water
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature / Jolly Nature
- Liquidation
- Flip Turn
- Close Combat
- Drill Run / Psychic Fangs

The addition of Flip Turn makes this thing able to smack stuff around decently hard with a really good Speed tier while pivoting.

252+ Atk Mystic Water Barraskewda Liquidation + Flip Turn vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mew: 259-306 (75.9 - 89.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

:ss/slowbro:
Slowbro @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Counter
- Teleport
- Scald
- Slack Off / Expanding Force / Coverage

This set is designed to tank hits then pivot VERY slowly (-5 priority lol) while being able to hit physical attackers back in return with counter. Rocky Helmet is super nice in this meta because it will activate twice a lot of the time.

:ss/cinderace:
Cinderace @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Libero
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Pyro Ball
- U-turn
- Sucker Punch
- Court Change

This isn't so much about the specific set and more about Libero. Being able to fire off two different types of STAB move in one turn is excellent. Cinderace should be able to modify its moveset pretty freely, so I'm not gonna go overboard with slashes. Be careful with High Jump Kick though, Ghost Types will punish your link which is nasty.

:ss/haxorus:
Haxorus @ Life Orb
Ability: Mold Breaker
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Scale Shot
- Earthquake
- Close Combat

Last set. This looks super scary. It gets +2 Attack +1 Spe per turn in a meta with few scarfers while spamming a potentially 125 BP attack. Bring priority or Skarmory / Corviknight.

:ss/azumarill:
Azumarill @ Aguav Berry
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Belly Drum
- Substitute
- Aqua Jet
- Play Rough

:ss/slowbro:
Slowbro @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Trick Room
- Teleport
- Flamethrower
- Scald

Slowbro @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Thunder Wave
- Teleport
- Body Press
- Hydro Pump

:ss/slowking:
Slowking @ Leftovers
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Trick Room
- Teleport
- Psyshock
- Scald

Slowking @ Leftovers
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
- Dragon Tail
- Teleport
- Scald
- Expanding Force

Slowking @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
- Scald
- Psyshock
- Dragon Tail
- Fire Blast

:ss/scizor:
Scizor @ Protective Pads
Ability: Technician
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Bullet Punch
- Quick Attack
- Swords Dance
- Knock Off

:ss/basculin:
Basculin @ Protective Pads
Ability: Mold Breaker
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Endeavor
- Final Gambit
- Flip Turn
- Aqua Jet

:ss/mew:
Mew @ Leftovers
Ability: Synchronize
EVs: 248 HP / 8 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Imprison
- Transform
- Soft-Boiled
- Block

:ss/polteageist:
Polteageist @ Life Orb
Ability: Weak Armor
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Shell Smash
- Nasty Plot / Shadow Ball / Stored Power
- Stored Power / Giga Drain
- Shadow Ball / Giga Drain

:ss/dragapult:
Dragapult @ Life Orb
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Thunder Wave
- Hex
- Fire Blast / U-Turn
- Draco Meteor / Dragon Darts

:ss/urshifu: smh still no sprite >:(
Urshifu @ Expert Belt
Ability: Unseen Fist
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Close Combat
- Lash Out
- U-turn
- Bulk Up

:ss/obstagoon:
Obstagoon @ Flame Orb
Ability: Guts
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Close Combat
- Lash Out
- Facade
- Bulk Up

:ss/comfey:
Comfey @ Life Orb
Ability: Triage
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Draining Kiss
- Giga Drain
- Calm Mind
- U-turn

:ss/indeedee:
Indeedee (M) @ Terrain Extender / Twistedspoon
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Expanding Force
- Terrain Pulse
- Dazzling Gleam
- Mystical Fire
 
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Bug report here. I've been running Encore/Disable Sableye to amusing effect, but there's a bug with Encore.

Replay: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8linked-1143562196
Turn 15

Cinderace switches in on an Encore, which locked it into its last-used move from when it was last on the field. Its last-used move happens to also be its linked move, so I'm not sure if Encore is also bugged with non-linked moves. To be clear, Encore should not work if they haven't used any moves since switch-in.

It's also worth mentioning that Disable only disables the first move of a link, allowing the second move to execute. This makes sense to me, but I thought I'd bring it up in case it's not the intended effect or something.

EDIT:

Replay: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8linked-1143567547
Turn 13

Encore also locks Sky Attack into charging repeatedly.
 
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This mechanical rabbit is going to be pretty dank in Linked.
Simply just using sets Magearna has already will bring a lot of success to using it.

Magearna @ Leftovers/Rocky Helmet/Aguav Berry
Ability: Soul-Heart
EVs: 4 HP / 24 Def / 248 SpA / 232 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Shift Gear
- Calm Mind
- Ice Beam/Iron Head
- Thunderbolt/Stored Power
One of my own spreads for Magearna that I used, the 4 HP and 24 Def being very useful against Urshifu-Single-Strike, and probably now more than ever, as it makes Wicked Blow deal just below a 2HKO (which is rad since Wicked Blow always critting means you won't get haxed). This EV spread after Reflect also makes Close Combat do the same damage as Wicked Blow, this means that at full health and with Reflect up, Magearna will survive a Linked Close Combat+Wicked Blow as long as CC doesn't crit.
The Speed EVs put Magearna at the same speed as Scarf Jolly Jirachi after a +2.
Linked are Shift Gear and Calm Mind, giving you essentially a Quiver Dance with Attack and an extra

Magearna @ Leftovers/Aguav Berry/Rocky Helmet
Ability: Soul-Heart
EVs: 248 HP / 136 Def / 16 SpD / 108 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Calm Mind
- Iron Defense
- Draining Kiss
- Stored Power
One of Flinch's Magearna sets and does this thing set up fast. It can very well be GG once gets the opportunity to set up. Here is the explanation for the EVs in the set by Flinch.

Magearna @ Aguav Berry
Ability: Soul-Heart
EVs: 4 HP / 24 Def / 252 SpA / 12 SpD / 216 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fleur Cannon
- Power Swap/Volt Switch
- Flash Cannon
- Focus Blast
A more fun set with Power Swap. Fleur Cannon will lower your own SpA stat, then Power Swap will swap the -2 SpA from Magearna to your Target. This can go even further if you KO an opponent while using Fleur Cannon, then have Power Swap fail, which means that if you do it again, you'll transfer a -3.
Volt Switch will be less gimmicky though.
The EVS here help Magearna survive against Urshifu, and the 216 Spe will let Magearna outspeed Neutral Nature Magnezone, which can be a target for Power Swap or Focus Blast.

Magearna @ Light Clay
Ability: Soul-Heart
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Timid/Jolly Nature
IVs: 0/31 Atk
- Reflect/Light Screen
- Light Screen/Volt Switch/Explosion
- Volt Switch/Explosion
- Encore
You know, Grimmsnarl isn't the only Screens setter in the game, and with Magearna's great typing, and move pool, it can be fantastic. Screens is especially cool here since Linking them will set them both at the same time.
Not only does Magearna have an easy time setting up, but also can piece out of there as well, thanks to Volt Switch and Explosion, which are great tools for HO, allowing for Magearna to bring in a frail offensive Pokemon in safely. You can also have either Reflect or Light Screen linked to Volt Switch or Explosion to make the process faster.
Encore can be used on Magearna to lock something into a status move as it sets up.

Magearna @ Aguav Berry/Rocky Helmet/Leftovers
Ability: Soul-Heart
EVs: 248 HP / 136 Def / 124 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe or 0 Spe
- Speed Swap
- Volt Switch
- Encore
- Fleur Cannon/Gyro Ball
Also another meme set. Speed Swap into Volt Switch is like if Volt Switch just lowered your target's Speed to 121. This is one of the lowest Speed tiers around and this means any teammate you decide to have with 122 Spe will be outspeeding that target. Also because of this unique interaction, if you still have 122 Spe, the extra speed Ferrothorn and all those slow Pokemon get from Magearna won't matter either.
So not only do you get a slow pivot, but also can ensure what ever is coming in will always be outsped if you have 122 Speed (or 243 Speed if they have Unburden or Swift Swim up after the fact).
Encore can help gain momentum by forcing switched and you can either go Fleur for 1 time nukes, or Gyro Ball to abuse your low speed.

Edit: Here is a sample team using that Shift Gear Magearna to success. It's pretty insane how once Magearna gets its boost it can sweep with Stored Power. Replay showing off here.
 
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Note that move priority is calculated before the turn, so even if a move changes priority somehow, both moves are still used in succession
As of gen 8 this is no longer true. Move priority (and speed) is now dynamic—if you use grassy glide in grassy terrain but a faster pokemon with prankster sets another terrain before you act your move will act at normal (+0) priority. I can’t think of any plausible situation where this would matter though. (I suppose maybe a pokemon with grassy terrain as the first move in a link against a pokemon with grassy glide and a priority move, but that seems very unlikely to ever occur.)
 
As of gen 8 this is no longer true. Move priority (and speed) is now dynamic—if you use grassy glide in grassy terrain but a faster pokemon with prankster sets another terrain before you act your move will act at normal (+0) priority. I can’t think of any plausible situation where this would matter though. (I suppose maybe a pokemon with grassy terrain as the first move in a link against a pokemon with grassy glide and a priority move, but that seems very unlikely to ever occur.)
The only scenario this could happen is if Indeedee with Psychic Surged into a Grassy Glide user, which deactivates the priority.
Every other scenario this simply won’t matter for singles.
 
What about if Talonflame runs Brave Bird in slot 1 and Dual Wingbeat or Quick Attack in slot 2? When Talonflame uses Brave Bird, both moves have priority, so Brave Bird gets priority, but now one or both moves no longer have priority, so does the second move still have priority?
 
Speed-boosting Abilities are definitely not banned on the current ladder and absolutely should be. Another issue I’ve come across is that hyper offense as a playstyle is way too good in this meta to the point where any other playstyle is unviable. Magearna is the main offender with Shift Gear and Calm Mind, plus Stored Power to deal with Unaware. Shift Gear, Dragon Dance and Quiver Dance are unreasonably good as link moves, and I’d argue that Bulk Up and Calm Mind should probably go too. I’ve seen people using Red Card and/or Trick Room to attempt to counter setup spam, but the only team I’ve seen that can consistently do this has three Red Card users and three Trick Room setters.

Tl;dr: Ban Magearna, ban Speed + attacking stat boosting setup moves in links, potentially ban attacking stat + defensive stat setup moves in links, and the meta will become a lot healthier.
 
What about if Talonflame runs Brave Bird in slot 1 and Dual Wingbeat or Quick Attack in slot 2? When Talonflame uses Brave Bird, both moves have priority, so Brave Bird gets priority, but now one or both moves no longer have priority, so does the second move still have priority?
The linked moves count as a single action, so for instance in the case of a speed tie both linked moves will still execute together. This also means that the priority has to be calculated before either move executes. The bug with Grassy glide is just that its mechanic is too new and hasn't been ported to Linked yet. I'm sure Kris will fix it soon.
 
Speed-boosting Abilities are definitely not banned on the current ladder and absolutely should be. Another issue I’ve come across is that hyper offense as a playstyle is way too good in this meta to the point where any other playstyle is unviable. Magearna is the main offender with Shift Gear and Calm Mind, plus Stored Power to deal with Unaware. Shift Gear, Dragon Dance and Quiver Dance are unreasonably good as link moves, and I’d argue that Bulk Up and Calm Mind should probably go too. I’ve seen people using Red Card and/or Trick Room to attempt to counter setup spam, but the only team I’ve seen that can consistently do this has three Red Card users and three Trick Room setters.

Tl;dr: Ban Magearna, ban Speed + attacking stat boosting setup moves in links, potentially ban attacking stat + defensive stat setup moves in links, and the meta will become a lot healthier.
Speed abilities are actually banned, just not implemented yet.
This meta is also naturally inclined to being HO by default, mainly because Linked can effectively be double targeting, have customizable pivoting tools, or having double dance. Unless you ban half the meta, HO will just be forever dominant.

But I do agree with banning Magearna. It’s pretty insane since it finds it pretty easy to set up with Magearna and sweep. Getting an instant 100+ BP by simply using a Linked Shift Gear+Calm Mind and the +2 speed make checking Magearna after it sets up nearly impossible.
Couple that with instant Duel Screens Dragapult and Magearna’s typing, and there is rarely a thing you can do but have Cinderace out to prevent Magearna from just coming in.
 
Sorry from the double post, but is it just me or do crits have a higher chance of occurring while the opposing side has screens up? Or just Hax in general?
It seems like the opponent freeze, crits, flinches, ect. far more often on this ladder and while screens are up.
Really wish Zarel would add a Skill Ladder to each format so people wouldn't have to deal with this bullshit. It's the reason why I don't ladder often
 
This meta is also naturally inclined to being HO by default, mainly because Linked can effectively be double targeting, have customizable pivoting tools, or having double dance. Unless you ban half the meta, HO will just be forever dominant.
It’s fine if HO is dominant, but the current situation makes for a very unhealthy meta. Stacking two powerful STAB moves, using stuff like Laser Focus or a move that drops the opponent’s defenses, Assurance as the second move in a link, combos like Close Combat + Lash Out, all of those are good offensive strategies that don’t see nearly as much play as they should because it’s less risky and more rewarding to spam setup moves. If hyper offense were dominant but had more variety than “hee hoo Magearna + Volcarona + Dragapult”, I’d be fine with that.

Sorry from the double post, but is it just me or do crits have a higher chance of occurring while the opposing side has screens up? Or just Hax in general?
It seems like the opponent freeze, crits, flinches, ect. far more often on this ladder and while screens are up.
There’s no increased chance of hax once screens are up. Laser Focus guarantees a crit for the turn it’s used plus the turn after it’s used, so if it’s the first move in a link you get two guaranteed crits. That might be the cause of some of your crit problems. As for flinches, Jirachi is just stupid like that.
 
This is the kind of dumbass offensive metagame I've wanted. Here's a team I made in like a minute with no forethought. Used it to terrorize confused low-ladder kids at midnight for a while until I got tired of them asking why my Pokemon under Tailwind were faster.

Sirfetch’d @ Life Orb
Ability: Scrappy
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Meteor Assault
- Close Combat
- Poison Jab
- Knock Off
When I heard two-turn moves become one-turn moves if linked, this immediately came to mind. Scrappy Meteor Assault is a 150 BP STAB move that smacks everything and hits even harder than Banded CC when you use Life Orb, without the drawback of being locked in and lowering your defenses. CC is still there as a backup move.

Whimsicott @ Focus Sash
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Tailwind
- Memento
- Defog
- Taunt
Whimsicott's job is to shut down set-up if possible, use Tailwind, and then die while crippling the opponent. Helps in letting the rest of the team overwhelm the opponent.

Porygon-Z @ Focus Sash
Ability: Adaptability
EVs: 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hyper Beam
- Tri Attack
- Nasty Plot
- Dark Pulse
Another two-turn linked abuser. Kills everything, and if it doesn't, click Nasty Plot. Focus Sash gives it more utility as a sack/time waster and can let it Nasty Plot safely. Tri Attack is there to deal some damage if you miss Beam.

Urshifu @ Black Glasses
Ability: Unseen Fist
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Wicked Blow
- Assurance
- Close Combat
- Iron Head
This shit's so broken lmao, 240 BP damage instantly with the infamously strong Dark STAB. Black Glasses augments this combo's ridiculous breaking and sweeping power while not draining HP, making your 100/100 physical defense more valuable.

Durant @ Life Orb
Ability: Hustle
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Hone Claws
- Iron Head
- First Impression
- Rock Slide
Hustle is a really cool ability that pairs well with Hone Claw, but it sucks having to set one up first. No more! Essentially doubles your attack + LO and if you're a lucky bastard you can flinch something. Rock Slide kills Volcarona. First Impression is there for those moments you need it to revenge kill something but feel like losing instead because 80% accuracy. You can definitely run something else there.

Azumarill @ Assault Vest
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 132 HP / 252 Atk / 124 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Liquidation
- Knock Off
- Aqua Jet
- Play Rough
Added because Volcarona kept applying immense pressure to this team, and it's both powerful and quite tanky. Liquidation + Knock Off is pretty brainless, just deal lots of damage and cripple something. Aqua Jet is another form of revenge-killing priority.

I don't doubt this team is pretty wack but it was a lot of fun to use and it gave me a good feel for how many cool strategies exist. Urshifu-SS is especially nasty.
 

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