* Its Steel / Psychic typing is great both offensively, hitting many of the new Fairy-type threats hard, and defensively, resisting a number of common offensive types in the metagame.
* Its good Attack stat and respectable bulk further complement its offensive and defensive capabilities.
* Its main ability allows it to face Pokemon with Intimidate, which are a common sight in the metagame, unfazed.
* Its typing is decent, but it misses out on some coverage with its STAB moves, and it still has commonly exploitable weaknesses to Fire-, Ground-, and Dark-type moves.
* Lack of access to a move tutor means its main STAB moves have imperfect accuracy, which may be an unaffordable price in a metagame in which every hit is crucial.
* Without its Mega Evolution, it sits at a somewhat awkward Speed tier, and many Pokemon can thus naturally outspeed it and chip it down.
name: Bulky Attacker
move 1: Meteor Mash
move 2: Bullet Punch
move 3: Zen Headbutt
move 4: Hammer Arm
item: Assault Vest / Choice Band
ability: Clear Body
evs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
* Meteor Mash is Metagross's strongest STAB move, and its chance to boost Attack by one stage in exchange for only 90 accuracy is a fair trade-off.
* Zen Headbutt is a nice secondary STAB move that offers some decent coverage, and the flinch chance that comes with it can hinder slower threats.
* Hammer Arm rounds out its coverage in the form of a strong Fighting-type move, being able to hit opposing Steel-types harder than any of its other moves.
* Bullet Punch allows Metagross to finish off weakened threats and allows it to "outspeed" faster threats not affected by Psychic Terrain.
* The given EVs maximize Metagross's overall bulk and power, and an Adamant nature ensures that Metagross hits as hard as possible.
* There are a few Speed investments you can opt to run if you want to outspeed certain Pokemon: 44 EVs in Speed make Metagross faster than uninvested Tapu Bulu, 84 EVs let it outpace uninvested Goodra, and 124 EVs ensure Metagross moves before uninvested Tapu Fini.
* You can also opt to give Metagross a Jolly nature to reduce the above Speed EV requirements to 0, 12, and 52, respectively, but there will be a noticeable drop in its offensive power.
* Assault Vest helps Metagross tank special attacks like Flamethrower and Shadow Ball better and complements its bulk rather well.
* Choice Band significantly increases Metagross's offensive power, and due to having to deal with multiple targets at once, being locked into a single move is not as detrimental in this metagame.
* Clear Body should be the obvious choice of ability, letting it stand up to opposing Intimidate users while still keeping Heavy Slam damage against it at a relative low.
* Do not be hasty in bringing in Metagross and spamming Meteor Mash against the opponent's team. Metagross has no means of recovery outside of Grassy Terrain, so premature spamming may leave it vulnerable to heavy damage; if you can keep Metagross from being worn down excessively, any Meteor Mash boosts it gains are worthwhile in the long run.
* If you see plenty of Fairy-types that are detrimental to your team's success, it would be a good idea to send Metagross out early so that it can quickly dispatch of them. On the other hand, if you see a Torkoal and other Pokemon that work well in the sun, it would be best to have Metagross sit that battle out.
* As with all other Pokemon, consider Metagross's damage output and what you can afford to use. Don't risk a Meteor Mash miss if Earthquake or Bullet Punch can KO just as easily.
* Garchomp helps take care of opposing Alolan Marowak and Alolan Muk. Metagross, in return, can take care of opposing Fairy-types that threaten Garchomp.
* Aerodactyl and its Wide Guard utility can help protect Metagross against the likes of Earthquake and Eruption.
* Metagross appreciates help from a number of different Terrains. Tapu Bulu's Grassy Terrain mitigates its weakness to Earthquake, Tapu Lele's Psychic Terrain powers up its Zen Headbutt, and Tapu Fini's Misty Terrain renders Metagross immune to detrimental status conditions.
* Pelipper brings rain, which helps reduce Metagross's Fire-type weakness. It can also offer Tailwind support to give the latter more speed.
* Other Water-types, like Araquanid and Milotic, are helpful Pokemon that can switch into Metagross's spot to take opposing Fire-type attacks that originally targeted it. Araquanid is particularly notable for its Water Bubble rendering it immune to burn, letting it take opposing Will-O-Wisps and Scalds as well.
* Having a Salamence or an Arcanine to Intimidate the many physical attackers that threaten Metagross is appreciated.
name: Z-Move Attacker
move 1: Zen Headbutt
move 2: Meteor Mash
move 3: Bullet Punch
move 4: Protect
item: Psychium Z
ability: Clear Body
evs: 132 HP / 252 Atk / 124 Spe
* Zen Headbutt is a fairly strong STAB move with a good chance to induce flinch; with Psychium Z, however, a 160-Base Power Shattered Psyche, with Psychic-type STAB, is even more terrifying to face, especially if powered up by a previous Meteor Mash's Attack boost.
* Meteor Mash is Metagross's strongest STAB move, and a 20% chance to boost Attack by one stage is especially beneficial for this set.
* Bullet Punch helps Metagross finish off opposing threats weakened by its Shattered Psyche.
* Protect gives tremendous utility to any VGC Pokemon, and Metagross is no exception. It allows it to scout what the opponent is planning to do, save itself from damage as its teammate takes out one of its checks or counters, or simply stall out undesirable field effects like Trick Room and harsh sunlight.
* This set wants speed. As such, 124 EVs and a Jolly nature help it outpace everything up to and including uninvested Arcanine.
* 252 EVs in Attack ensure Metagross hits as hard as possible, and the rest of the EVs go into HP to increase its overall bulk.
* Psychium Z turns Zen Headbutt into a 160-Base Power, physical Shattered Psyche.
* If you do not care for outspeeding Arcanine, you can choose to run other Speed investments. 0 Speed EVs make Metagross faster than uninvested Tapu Bulu, 12 EVs let it outpace uninvested Goodra, and 52 EVs ensure it moves before uninvested Tapu Fini.
* Clear Body is the ability of choice for ignoring opposing Intimidate and taking less damage from Heavy Slam, should it ever do so.
* As this set has less bulk than bulky attacking sets, do not be hasty in bringing it out. Make sure it can outspeed and KO an opposing threat before sending it out to do so.
* As this set has no coverage options apart from its STAB moves, it would be better to leave it behind if there are multiple Steel-type threats on the opposing team and to bring it into battle if there are multiple Fairy- or Ice-type threats. Fire-type threats are not as troublesome if they are weakened slightly, for a Shattered Psyche will often be a sufficient finisher.
* Be very careful when using Shattered Psyche. As it only does 25% of its usual damage when going through Protect or Detect, its only use must be aimed and timed perfectly to achieve optimal damage. Immediately after the Pokemon you want it to hit has used Protect would be the optimal time to use it.
* Garchomp and Salamence are good Pokemon for taking out some of Metagross's main checks, like Gengar and Alolan Muk, and their typings complement Metagross's to a high degree.
* Pelipper and Tapu Bulu are good options to mitigate its weakness to Fire-type moves or Earthquake, respectively.
* Tapu Fini gives Metagross immunity from status conditions with the Misty Terrain it sets.
* Tapu Lele is a great teammate, for its Psychic Terrain increases the power of Shattered Psyche even further. Bear in mind that Bullet Punch is consequently rendered useless against grounded Pokemon in Psychic Terrain.
* As this set has little means of dealing with opposing Steel-types, Fire-type help is appreciated. Do note that if running Pelipper, the utility that Fire-types would provide is diminished.
* Earthquake is an option if you want a move with perfect accuracy that can hit multiple foes; however, you lose out on some significant coverage against the likes of Celesteela and Kartana.
* Rock Slide is a spread move that does not hit Metagross's teammate, but with less accuracy than Earthquake and even less coverage, it is not recommended.
* Explosion is a strong move that lets Metagross go out with a bang, but it is rather weak against Pokemon that resist it and is rendered ineffective against Ghost-types or Pokemon that Protect themselves.
* Lum Berry gives Metagross one-time protection from status conditions, to which it is rather vulnerable, but it doesn't offer much else.
* Occa Berry or any other type resistance Berry can mitigate its common weaknesses, but these can be remedied within the team without wasting the item slot on a consumable item.
* Thanks to its bulk and STAB Bullet Punch, Metagross can run Psych Up effectively to acquire the boosts of Pokemon like Belly Drum Snorlax. Thanks to Clear Body, those stat boosts cannot be removed by the opponent.
Checks and Counters
**Fire-types**: Alolan Marowak, Torkoal, and Arcanine can all take a Zen Headbutt, even a Choice Band-boosted one, and OHKO with a strong Fire-type move in return. They do have to be wary of an Earthquake if they've taken prior damage, though.
**Ground-types**: Garchomp, Gastrodon, and Krookodile are all able to deal serious damage to Metagross with their respective Ground-type moves, but they must be wary when facing one that has received a Meteor Mash boost. The former two succumb to a +1 Shattered Psyche, while the latter, as it outspeeds Metagross, will fall to a combination of Meteor Mash and Bullet Punch.
**Dark-type Pokemon**: Alolan Muk, Mandibuzz, and Alolan Persian take very little from Metagross's moves, apart from a Choice Band-boosted Earthquake for the former, and can retaliate with a strong Dark-type move that will 2HKO at the least.
**Ghost-types**: Gengar and Mimikyu, despite being weak to one of its STAB moves each, can both outspeed it and potentially KO with a strong Ghost-type STAB move. Mimikyu is potentially even more dangerous if its Disguise is not busted.
**Celesteela**: Celesteela can take any of Metagross's attacks with ease and stall it out with Leech Seed.
**Burn**: If no Misty Terrain is present, Pokemon with Will-O-Wisp, such as Arcanine, and Scald users, like Milotic, have a chance of burning Metagross, severely limiting the damage it can dish out.
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