art by Kaiju Bunny
Welcome to Sword and Shield Anything Goes! This thread will be used for all things related to the new metagame - theorymonning, metagame observations, and set sharing are all encouraged! Since we're entering a generation with some pretty unprecedented differences, I'll clarify exactly how AG is going to work this generation:
AG is going to be a national dex format from now on. Because of this, we are moving into the National Dex subforum, which is kind of under Other Metagames, it's not precisely a UM anymore.
CLICK HERE FOR AN EXPLANATION OF NATIONAL DEX BATTLE MECHANICS
New Pokemon / Early Metagame Observations:
This dog looks like it'll be the defining offensive threat of the generation. Most sets will use the Crowned Form due to its stellar Fairy / Steel typing and phenomenal speed tier. Play Rough and Close Combat together hit most of the metagame neutrally, giving it plenty of flexibility in the last moveslot on a Swords Dance set. 4 attacks seems like a viable choice as well given how strong Zacian is even without a Swords Dance boost - additional coverage allows it to bypass potential checks like Toxapex and Aegislash.
Unlike the other dog, this one looks terribly underwhelming. While it has superb stats in its Crowned Form and Base Form, Zamazenta lacks the tools it needs to take advantage of this. Without any noteworthy utility options, a defensive set seems underwhelming at best, while offensive sets pale in comparison to Zacian. It's possible a Howl set could act as a bulkier but slower boosting alternative to Zacian, but at the moment I'm not seeing much use for it.
Eternatus seems like it has some potential. Dragon / Poison / Fire coverage is phenomenal as we know from Naganadel, and Agility with its high SpA stat could make for a decent cleaner. It has some other interesting tools in its kit as well - a bulky attacking set with Toxic Spikes or Recover seem possible as well. Overall it's quite hard to say how Eternatus will fit into the metagame, so it's definitely worth exploring more!
Dynamaxing seems like a very interesting new mechanic. While the cover legendaries can't Dynamax, Pokemon like Excadrill or Zekrom can take fantastic advantage of Dynamaxing's mechanics. It's still not clear how the meta will stabilize around Dynamaxing but it seems like it will require players to be adaptable and consider what the optimal Pokemon to Dynamax is and when to Dynamax it.
AG's longtime staple will no doubt continue to be extremely viable. Choice Scarf sets seem very potent for their ability to revenge kill Zacian-Crowned, but other offensive sets will no doubt thrive as well. Mega Rayquaza might end up pairing well with Zacian-Crowned: the two cover each other's weaknesses and both hit extremely hard. If Mega Rayquaza knows Dragon Ascent, it will not be able to Dynamax, only Mega Evolve. However, it will not stop any other Pokemon on your team from being able to Dynamax.
Heavy-Duty Boots is a godsend for defensive Ho-Oh that allows it to bypass its biggest flaw: a 4x Stealth Rock weakness. Considering it also checks the new legendaries, Ho-Oh is likely going to be a defining defensive threat this generation.
This gets Encore + Nasty Plot now. Stall players can be heard sobbing violently in the distance.
Gets Dragon Dance now so no more getting revenged by Mega Gengar or Scarf Mega Rayquaza. Ready your Dittos kids.
Hits the metagame hard with its STAB moves and gets Dragon Dance too.
Mewtwo gets Nasty Plot now too. MMY can probably make good use of this since it's faster. Game Freak REALLY hates stall this gen it seems.
In a world where everything is broken, Ditto shall rise from the ashes and deliver us salvation. Ditto will probably be mandatory on balance / stall to combat all the broken new offensive threats, plus it makes a great Dynamax abuser.
That's all - discuss away!
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