Resource National Dex AG Viability Rankings

Art by imas
Welcome to the SS National Dex Anything Goes Viability Ranking. This thread will focus on organising competitive, viable Pokémon into ranks, varying on how good they are within the metagame. You are encouraged to post thoughts on where each Pokémon should be ranked; however, there are a few regulations to follow:
  • Nominations without context or supporting evidence will be ignored. Providing replays and usage stats are excellent ways to display your nominated Pokémon in action; although, this is not required and should not be the basis of your argument.
  • Be civil when debating with other users. Nothing makes an argument seem more subjective than when insults and name-calling occurs instead of actual debate on the topic at hand. Posts that take this to the extreme will be deleted.
  • Ensure any replays provided are against skilled opponents with actual teams. If your opponent has a Cosmic Power Rock Polish Solrock, this is a clear indication that this is not the case.

Viability Council
BaconEatinAssassin
Chloe
ice-master-523
Pigeons
pichus
Catalystic
Guardsweeper
bigtalk
Ktütverde

The Pokemon in the sub-ranks are ordered alphabetically.

S Rank
S+
:yveltal: Yveltal​
S
:zacian-crowned: Zacian-Crowned​
:zygarde-complete: Zygarde-Complete​
S-
:necrozma-dusk-mane: Necrozma-Dusk-Mane​
:xerneas: Xerneas​

A Rank
A+
:groudon-primal: Groudon-Primal​
:ho-oh: Ho-Oh​
:rayquaza-mega: Rayquaza-Mega​
A
Arceus-Ground​
:ditto: Ditto​
:eternatus: Eternatus​
A-
Arceus-Water​
:ferrothorn: Ferrothorn​
:kyogre-primal: Kyogre-Primal​
:necrozma-ultra: Necrozma-Ultra​

B Rank
B+
Arceus-Ghost​
:gengar-mega: Gengar-Mega​
:gliscor: Gliscor​
:gothitelle: Gothitelle​
:kyogre: Kyogre​
:lunala: Lunala​
:smeargle: Smeargle​
:tyranitar: Tyranitar​
:tyranitar-mega: Tyranitar-Mega​
B
Arceus​
:chansey: Chansey​
:deoxys-speed: Deoxys-Speed​
:lugia: Lugia​
:mewtwo: Mewtwo​
B-
Arceus-Dark​
Arceus-Fairy​
:diancie: Diancie​
:diancie-mega: Diancie-Mega​
:marshadow: Marshadow​
:mewtwo-mega-y: Mewtwo-Mega-Y​
:zekrom: Zekrom​

C Rank
C
Arceus-Poison​
:excadrill: Excadrill​
:grimmsnarl: Grimmsnarl​
:groudon: Groudon​
:sableye-mega: Sableye-Mega​
:vivillon: Vivillon​
:zacian: Zacian​

D Rank
D
:amoonguss:Amoonguss​
Arceus-Flying​
:arceus: Arceus-Electric​
:deoxys-attack: Deoxys-Attack​
:giratina: Giratina​
:omastar: Omastar​
:quagsire: Quagsire​
:salamence-mega: Salamence-Mega​
:shedinja: Shedinja​
:skarmory: Skarmory​
:thundurus-therian: Thundurus-Therian​
:toxapex: Toxapex​
 
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AV Cosmoem

Formerly supreeee
:Kyogre-Primal: B+ -> A-

Kyogre-Primal is an incredibly powerful wallbreaker in this metagame. Although the rise of Zacian-Crowned, Xerneas, and the like has made people turn to offense, it hasn't deterred Kyogre-Primal's breaking ability too much. It mainly appreciates the drop of defensive counterplay such as Ferrothorn not really being in the meta that much anymore. It also appreciates the rise of Ditto, a Pokemon that it can beat 1v1 (make sure to run 12 SpD IVs for the OHKO with Thunder, you don't need to do this if Kyogre-Primal isn't a usual lead as it can KO after rocks). It also likes the rise of Ho-oh, as it can easily beat it unless the Ho-oh carries Brave Bird.

Another thing: there are absolutely no switch-ins. A full-health Kyogre-Primal Water Spout is pretty much the strongest move in the game and obliterates even resists unless they heavily invest in bulk. The rise of offense unfortunately makes Calm Mind much less potent, as affording switches is not what it wants since faster physical Pokemon like Zacian-Crowned can dent it rather easily. However, this frees up the ability to use Thunder, allowing it to beat the aforementioned Ditto 1v1. Leading Kyogre-Primal and using Water Spout/Origin Pulse depending on your predict can pretty much net you a free kill every time, as well as beating Ditto which is a common lead choice in the metagame.

Therefore, I think Kyogre-Primal should go to A-.
 

Reffrey

Banned deucer.
Since the viability rankings were just made they're obviously not going to be perfect; there are a few things that I disagree with but it could be worse, so props to the makers of it for doing a decent job. For starters, I'll just mention something that sticks out as a sore thumb, and that is Ditto being in A-. From the experience I've had playing this metagame so far (and I am by no means an expert), Ditto is just too much of a potent threat to be ranked that low. I'm sure you're aware of what it does since it's a simple Pokemon that just runs a scarf set and pretty much nothing else, but what really raises a big question is why it would be ranked in A- when the two Pokemon that it is one of the best checks for, Xerneas and Zacian-C, are in S. On top of this, Ditto seems to be present on almost all of the best teams that have been currently made, and it isn't a difficult Pokemon to use and play around with. From my experience laddering, when my opponent doesn't carry a Ditto on their team I let out a little sigh of relief, knowing that my Zacian-C and Geomancy Xerneas will have a much easier time plowing through their team (assuming that those two Pokemon are on my team, which they often are since they're good). Now, one thing that can be argued against Ditto is that it sometimes loses in a 1v1 to opposing Pokemon if they dynamax, due to its low HP stat (this is especially the case with Xerneas). However, this does not seem like enough to justify it being ranked in the same spot as the likes of Arceus-water, especially since sending out Ditto at the right moment to score some revenge kills isn't the most difficult task (and of course, it can dynamax too, just like any other non-mega/primal etc. Pokemon). Given that moving Ditto up will result in the A- rank only consisting of two Pokemon, I'd recommend dropping one of the A or A+ Pokemon into A- as well. I would say that dropping Mega Gengar to A- isn't the most ridiculous idea. While it is cool to run the Nasty Plot Encore set, it becomes very predictable after dealing with it a few times. Marshadow already hurt Mega Gengar's viability in generation 7 due to the former literally being able to OHKO the latter with a life orb shadow sneak, and now Zacian-C hurts its viability even more due to it being able to just outspeed it and get the OHKO as well. The big advantage that Mega Rayquaza has over Mega Gengar, though Rayquaza isn't quite as potent as it once was, is that it can hold an item, specifically choice scarf (not that this is the only item it can viably use). Another thing I'd like to mention is that the presence of Ditto hurts Mega Gengar as well, due to being able to revenge kill it as long as no sub is up. At least Mega Rayquaza can fend off Ditto with extreme speed, and obviously, I don't think that suggesting Mega Rayquaza is just a better mega option on most teams than Gengar is an uncanny suggestion (it's already ranked higher). Raising Primal Kyogre to A-, as was suggested by supreeee, is also not a bad idea. My nominations:

1578109471851.png
A- to A
1578109484980.png
B+ to A-
1578110603541.png
A to A-
 
:zekrom::kyurem-black:I don't think Zekrom belongs in the same rank as Kyurem-B; it almost strictly outclasses Kyurem as a Dragon Dance user.
  • Kyurem-B is countered by defensive Dusk Mane and checked by Ho-Oh / Ferrothorn
  • Zekrom gets free subs and sets up on all of these Pokemon
  • At +1, Kyurem-B needs Life Orb to kill Ho-Oh and still can't kill Zacian-C
  • At +1, Zekrom kills both without Life Orb
  • Kyurem-B's Icicle Spear doesn't have consistent damage output without Dynamaxing
  • Zekrom's Outrage has consistent damage output, although it forces you to lock in if you don't Dynamax
  • Kyurem-B can hit Electric resists like Zygarde, Mega Rayquaza, and Primal Groudon for big damage with its STAB move
  • ...so can Zekrom
The only benefit Kyurem has over Zekrom seems to be breaking Arceus-Ground...? If there's anything else I missed feel free to point it out. If this is the only benefit, I don't think these Pokemon belong in the same rank.

I would nominate Zekrom to A considering that it abuses common walls like Ho-Oh and Ferrothorn, and consistent defensive counterplay in general is really limited outside of Arceus-Ground. In my view, it's really similar to Eternatus, another mon with like 1 or 2 counters, so it seems fitting that they should share the same rank. Kyurem-B should go lower to B- or C+ since it's almost strictly outclassed by Zekrom, although I don't feel too strongly about this.

:arceus-dark::tyranitar:Arceus-Dark and Tyranitar shouldn't share the same rank either. I don't think Arceus-Dark checks Yveltal anymore since 2 Max Airstreams kill it, it also does not check Eternatus or +1 Mega Rayquaza and is bait for Zacian-C and Ho-Oh. Tyranitar checks all of these in addition to the stuff that Arceus-Dark checks, and it's not as free of a switch for Zacian-C since Foul Play does a lot. Nomming Arceus-Dark to B or lower.

:magearna:I don't think this thing even checks Xerneas anymore now that Dynamax affects Hidden Power, since you can just kill it with +2 Max Flare. It doesn't check Yveltal either since they are usually running Heat Wave for Zacian-C now. Although I've never seen this on ladder nor have I used it myself, ig it still has a niche over Zacian-C in providing Heal Bell support, but really, it gets taken advantage of by nearly everything A rank and higher. Nomming Magearna to C+, where seems to be where all of the Ho-Oh bait mons are hanging out.

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:grimmsnarl:This deserves to be ranked. Even with the higher power level in present a natdex format, it's still excellent on hyper offense for setting up screens, since Prankster Taunt makes it very difficult to take advantage of. I'll make a conservative nomination from UR to B- since everything C+ and below seems to have some glaring flaw, although I'd be just as happy with B or even B+, honestly.
 
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:yveltal: A+ to A

Yveltal isn't really all that splashable as last gen considering its weakness to the top threats of this generation, and most of its sets arguably got worse except LO (which admittably in conjunction with dynamaxed airstream makes it a huge threat). Defensive/tank sets are basically dead due to how big of a threat zacian-c is overall and most of the time you would rather run a physical tank thats not OHKOed by it. Scarf sets now basically need to run heat wave as its not ideal to have to scarfer that cannot revenge kill zacian-c, meaning your not going to fit in moves like u-turn and defog that separate it from other scarfers like mega-ray. This in addition to necrozma-ultra getting dragon dance makes yveltal an underwhelming choice scarfer in the meta. The only yveltal set that didn't get worse is the life orb set which admittedly is extremely good as with dynamax you can boost speed and get past arceus forms and ho-oh, but one needs to keep in mind dynamaxing yveltal is an opportunity cost which means you won't be able to dynamax more dangerous mons like xerneas or necrozma-dusk, both of which are much more threatening dynamaxers that can't be stopped by simply dynamaxing you own mon back. Though Yveltal has lost its versatility, the real nail in the coffin is the popularity of xerneas and zacian-c, basically every serious team will carry a solid check to it (kind of how like in the last two generations of ubers, primal kyogre is held back simply because primal-groudon is on every serious team).

B- to B

With a physically defensive spread, arceus-fire is the closest thing you can get to a counter vs zacian-c since its not 2HKOed by any unboosted move by it and its judgement can OHKO after a bit of prior damage. It can also run perish song to stop xerneas, although theres a chance you will lose it in the process, its still nonetheless a reliable way to stop it. While its really weak to both primals, mega ray, and ho-oh, it can toxic them on the switch which means its doesn't exactly offer them a free switch-in, and unlike other arceus forms its not set-up bait for necrozma-dusk. With that said between its weakness to stealth rock (and it can't be solved with boots), the fact that its total eternatus bait, and its weaknesses to common types like ground, arceus-fire still isn't A material, but if you build around these flaws it can definitely be an asset against most matchups.
 
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Guardsweeper

Semper Ad Meliora
is a Pre-Contributor
:zacian-crowned: S >>> A+ or S-

I do not believe it is justifiable to rank Zacian alongside Xerneas. Zacian is a lot less threatening than Xerneas, and arguably Yveltal too, both during teambuilding, from team preview and during the course of a battle.

When building a Balance/BO team in such a volatile metagame, you have to account for Xerneas, Mega Ray, the Primals, Dynamax Yveltal and Necrozma-DM, Necrozma-U and Eternatus. Hence, Zacian is almost always accounted for without explicitly paying attention to it when teambuilding. For example, a core of Ho-Oh + Necrozma-DM, which seems to be quite popular for checking the likes of Xerneas, Eternatus and various Arceus forms, can naturally pivot around Zacian quite comfortably. HDB Lunala hard-checks every non-Crunch variant, PDon hard checks any variant for some time and WoW Arceus-Ground 1v1’s comfortably as well. Furthermore, a combination of any of these with Ditto severely limit its progress during a battle, since Ditto easily scouts its movepool and threatens the OHKO with +2 Behemoth Blade/Close Combat. Dynamax also does not do it any good, since it cannot make use of it itself, and only largens the scope of Pokemon that can take it out, albeit Behemoth Blade slightly alleviates this issue against specific targets.

All in all, I think these flaws hold it back from being ranked alongside Xerneas, which basically has no counters at all and is the most potent wincon in this tier by far. If there really is a need to separate Zacian from A+, I guess S- could be a possible solution, though I do not think that is necessary.
 
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:zacian-crowned: S >>> A+ or S-

I do not believe it is justifiable to rank Zacian alongside Xerneas. Zacian is a lot less threatening than Xerneas, and arguably mons like Yveltal, Eternatus and Mega Rayquaza too, both during teambuilding, from team preview and during the course of a battle.

When building a Balance/BO team in such a volatile metagame, you have to account for Xerneas, Mega Ray, the Primals, Dynamax Yveltal and Necrozma-DM, Necrozma-U and Eternatus. Hence, Zacian is almost always accounted for without explicitly paying attention to it when teambuilding. For example, a core of Ho-Oh + Necrozma-DM, which seems to be quite popular for checking the likes of Xerneas, Eternatus and various Arceus forms, can naturally pivot around Zacian quite comfortably. HDB Lunala hard-checks every non-Crunch variant, PDon hard checks any variant for some time and WoW Arceus-Ground 1v1’s comfortably as well. Furthermore, a combination of any of these with Ditto severely limit its progress during a battle, since Ditto easily scouts its movepool and threatens the OHKO with +2 Behemoth Blade/Close Combat. Dynamax also does not do it any good, since it cannot make use of it itself, and only largens the scope of Pokemon that can take it out, albeit Behemoth Blade slightly alleviates this issue against specific targets.
I disagree. Zacian-Crowned's typing, ability, and well-placed stats together make it really damn good. Its speed tier is solid, singlehandedly making 130 Speed not as golden as it once was. Ultra Necrozma basically has to use DD to pose a sweeping threat now thanks to Zacian, for example. In building, It has a lot of freedom to change up its movesets thanks to access to wide coverage as well as boosting moves combined with the very limited direct counterplay that it has.

Ditto, while scary on paper, is surprisingly easy to play around; I personally almost never see my teams swept by an impostered Zacian-C. Being locked into behemoth blade or play rough with no option to dynamax means that you can predict what they are going to do and play around it. It's not difficult to fit defensive Ho-Oh, Pdon, etc, and running substitute on Zacian is never a truly terrible idea (aside from making 4MSS worse) for the ability to possibly mess with imposter.

Teambuilding-wise, Zacian-C's typing makes it splashable and easily built around, especially given that it resists stealth rock and is immune to poison. Defensively, Zacian's typing means that it lures out Fire and Ground moves, two types that are extremely expoitable in this metagame. Mega Rayquaza and Ho-Oh, two very common Pokemon in this tier, resist or are immune to both, while Zacian-C in return gives switch-ins for all of their weaknesses barring Ho-Oh's weakness to water, a type that is mediocre at best with the presence of Primal Groudon and Mega Rayquaza. It can also switch into Toxic, while Ho-Oh doesn't really mind being paralyzed. To boot, none of the pokemon mentioned here are Pokemon that Xerneas wants to set up on, so these cores also indirectly reduce the effectiveness of Geomancy Xerneas without even trying.

TL;DR Zacian-C is a wallbreaker, defensive pivot, MRay check, revenge killer, proactive Xerneas check, and stallbreaker all in one that fits easily into powerful cores with almost no real drawbacks aside from 4MSS and its Ground weakness. It does work in almost every single game (chipping pdon counts) and its influence on the metagame is huge. It deserves its rank, arguably even more so than Xerneas does.

Edit: remind me to never edit on a phone. In any case, shortened argument and removed repetition and fluff in many cases.
 
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level 100 mudkip

Banned deucer.
I have plenty to say and most of it will be all over the place. Enjoy. After some general discussion I've had and seen in the ag room on ps people are thrown back by the nature of dynamax on the meta. It's probably the #1 thing people look at for viability. Hence xerneas being the most viable mon on the vb rankings all because geoxern paired with dynamax. I don't think that's actually the case at all and I'll explain. Every team has the opportunity to dynamax once in their game which means that both players should be considering when and how to use dynamax to get the best results from it similar to popping a zmove on a turn that ensures the player to make a pathway to victory by blowing past a mon. So people see geoxern and think it has the highest potential for success which is probably true to an extent. What others fail to look at is the possibility of dynamax being used to check opposing dynamax. Balance teams will surely keep dynamax at all costs and pop it when they absolutely must (usually to combat other dynamax). Offensive teams will want maneuver themselves into a position where they can use dynamax first because their team structure isn't meant to play passively. The whole point is defensive teams arern't actually xern weak until it gets chipped down by it's teammates. It won't blow past teams unless its offensive and they weren't able to beat it with dynamax. Furthermore I'd like to address the fact that xerneas needs dynamax to be effective. geoxern by itself is not as strong as previous gens. It lost its ability to check a bunch of things because dynamax will blow by it. Some examples are ygod/zygarde. If a player uses xerneas and zaican they are stacking weaknesses and it might be scary offensively but the defensive structure of the team will weaken in result. I'd much rather have a zaican than a xern if I could only choose one because zaican is a threat to a large chunk of mons without a turn of setup allowing it to force switches and rk easily if they choose to stay in. It doesn't need dynamax to be a threat. It's a little bit weaker to ditto compared to xern but has sub to combat it just like xern has dynamax to increase it's bulk to beat ditto. Lastly it has better coverage.

I can't stress this enough I know how powerful xern is but power does not always equate to viability. I think it has a higher opportunity cost to use compared to a lot of mons but with a bigger payout for success if they can manage to safely geo after chipping some threats. That's why I wouldn't be against dropping xern to a+ rank. At the same time it's pretty early in the meta and maybe it does deserve to be that high.

Moving on from xerneas I'd also like to see ray be moved back up to s rank. I think it's the strongest revenge killer (better than ditto a lot of the time). It can be extremely dangerous with a dd set but the bread and butter is scarf. Balance teams usually will end up having to sacrafice a mon because of how overwhelming all of the threats can be and mray can allow a balance team to not lose momentum or fall behind.Offensive teams have a hard time switching into it so if they ever pick off a mon on your team you can usually immediately even the playing field by taking one of their mons. It might not be as strong as mgar vs balance/stall teams but its still effective even vs those with scarf (dd is obviously stronger vs bulkier teams). It doesn't need dynamax to be effective either which is huge also. It's probably the most splashable mon.

mgar depending on how you evaluate viability should be raised. I personally think viability comes down to a lot of factors like offensive power/defensive niches/splashability. Lugia can be extremely good at a defensive wall but lacks in the other two leading it to be less viable. hooh on the other hand has all three and that's why it's viability is very high. At the end of the day mgar might not be as splashable as ray but due to the nature of stag+encore+np it has unmeasurable utility to a team. It can still work as a regular mgar by rk'ing shit thats weak or just stag bait. The difference now is that the opponent facing mgar is restricted to using attacking moves. If a mon is slower than mgar and clicks recover, defog, healbell, sr, spikes, toxic, etc it has the possibility of getting trapped. Mgar can be rk'd pretty easily so it wont sweep but it forces the opp to play uncomfortably all game long. It's skill ceiling is the highest of any mon in ag. This doesn't mean its easy to use by any means. For example mgar can hard into pdon using rocks and then trap it. It's not easy to hard mgar into pdon though. Just by being on the team it might force your opponent to make mistakes. Lastly its great w webs because they will surely want to defog letting mgar pick up a kill if you can't stop the defog.

poionsceus should be raised. It's not great or anything but with xern opting for hpfire/thunder most of the time it can be a decent check vs it. It can afford to run enough speed to outspeed ygod and the rest in hp/spd to ensure it can safely psych up vs xern and then recover off damage until dynamax ends. It can also psych up speed boosts from ygod so it can outspeed and recover helping to check dynamax ygod (its shaky af but its ok). A more defensive set with wisp/pjab/recover/x also can work but needs to dynamax to check xern.

Rank whim. It's not very good but it's pretty dirty vs offense and not total deadweight vs balance. Encore allows it to stop setup users if it can switch in the turn when they setup. It can sub and start spamming seeds if it gets the opportunity to. It can spread para through stun spore if it chooses to use that over other useful moves such as taunt. Knock off is great for removing hooh's hdb when it inevitably switches into whim to tank seeds. prankster defog is cool as well. I don't expect it to be ranked high but I think its viable to a certain degree.
 

Guardsweeper

Semper Ad Meliora
is a Pre-Contributor
I am not going to dispute anything you claimed, since these are mostly true, apart from Zacian being a stallbreaker (perhaps with Swords Dance, but that set isn’t too relevant, gets phazed by Lugia in Stall matchups and is extremely prone to Ditto Stall)

In my opinion, Zacian being S largely depends on the definition of S-rank in this tier. Were we to only define S as the residence of popular and easy-to-use yet rewarding Pokemon, I could feasibly see Zacian fit in that case.

Were we to define S as the residence of mons with the highest viability ceiling in the current metagame, regardless of the amount of skill (with an emphasis on skill, not team support) needed to reach the peak of said viability ceiling, Zacian does not fit, as its viability ceiling is lower than Xerneas, MGar, Necrozma-DM and arguably DD MRay.

I believe the emphasis regarding the definition of S (or any other) rank should be put on the latter, as a Pokemon’s ranking should mostly be a reflection of its prowess when it is played optimally. Based on this specific sentiment, I think it is quite frank why Xerneas is among the clear-cut best Pokemon in this tier, merely needing one setup opportunity to take out at least two mons (against non SpD-Dusk matchups) at any point in any matchup. Zacian on the other hand fails to make such progress without adequate team support against many balance builds, such as Dusk Mane + Ho-Oh and PDon + Scarf Ray, which is why I think Zacian fits better in A+.

mgar depending on how you evaluate viability should be raised. I personally think viability comes down to a lot of factors like offensive power/defensive niches/splashability. Lugia can be extremely good at a defensive wall but lacks in the other two leading it to be less viable. hooh on the other hand has all three and that's why it's viability is very high. At the end of the day mgar might not be as splashable as ray but due to the nature of stag+encore+np it has unmeasurable utility to a team. It can still work as a regular mgar by rk'ing shit thats weak or just stag bait. The difference now is that the opponent facing mgar is restricted to using attacking moves. If a mon is slower than mgar and clicks recover, defog, healbell, sr, spikes, toxic, etc it has the possibility of getting trapped. Mgar can be rk'd pretty easily so it wont sweep but it forces the opp to play uncomfortably all game long. It's skill ceiling is the highest of any mon in ag. This doesn't mean its easy to use by any means. For example mgar can hard into pdon using rocks and then trap it. It's not easy to hard mgar into pdon though. Just by being on the team it might force your opponent to make mistakes. Lastly its great w webs because they will surely want to defog letting mgar pick up a kill if you can't stop the defog.
Based on the aforementioned, I echo this nomination.
 
I am not going to dispute anything you claimed, since these are mostly true, apart from Zacian being a stallbreaker (perhaps with Swords Dance, but that set isn’t too relevant, gets phazed by Lugia in Stall matchups and is extremely prone to Ditto Stall)

In my opinion, Zacian being S largely depends on the definition of S-rank in this tier. Were we to only define S as the residence of popular and easy-to-use yet rewarding Pokemon, I could feasibly see Zacian fit in that case.

Were we to define S as the residence of mons with the highest viability ceiling in the current metagame, regardless of the amount of skill (with an emphasis on skill, not team support) needed to reach the peak of said viability ceiling, Zacian does not fit, as its viability ceiling is lower than Xerneas, MGar, Necrozma-DM and arguably DD MRay.

I believe the emphasis regarding the definition of S (or any other) rank should be put on the latter, as a Pokemon’s ranking should mostly be a reflection of its prowess when it is played optimally. Based on this specific sentiment, I think it is quite frank why Xerneas is among the clear-cut best Pokemon in this tier, merely needing one setup opportunity to take out at least two mons (against non SpD-Dusk matchups) at any point in any matchup. Zacian on the other hand fails to make such progress without adequate team support against many balance builds, such as Dusk Mane + Ho-Oh and PDon + Scarf Ray, which is why I think Zacian fits better in A+.

Based on the aforementioned, I echo this nomination.
Some of the stuff you and Zrp200 I agree and disagree. I personally think this is a multifaceted argument, and both sides have a point.
  • It is correct that Xerneas benefits immensely from Dynamax and that reduced its set of checks and counters. However, it doesn't necessarily equate to it having no checks and not needing ANY team support. For example, what if Necrozma-DM, one its biggest offensive and defensive checks, dynamaxes in retaliation or runs a SpDef set? In many of my matches, I did not feel comfortable setting up with an opposing fresh Necrozma-DM in the back. What about Pysch-Up Arceus Poison since that's a legitimate gimmicky defensive threat (and this is the same tier where Baton Pass, unlimited sleep, OHKO moves, and even Dynamax is allowed)? What about Extreme Killers and other powerful priority moves? What about Ditto? That's why there's stuff like Primal Groudon, Arceus-Ground, Mega Gengar, Mega-Rayquaza, and Zygarde to help in these match-ups.
  • The same applies for Zacian-Crowned. Despite its mere presence making 130 base speed (honestly, in my opinion) a s****y benchmark and obliterating former behemoths (no pun intended) like Zygarde, Yveltal, Marshadow, and even checking Mega Rayquaza harder, it too needs support. Some support includes Primal Groudon, Zygarde, Arceus-Water, Mega-Rayquaza, and DD Ultra-Necrozma. It's worth pointing out that Zacian-C has more common weaknesses than Xerneas, but has the overall better defensive typing and is able to pivot into a Dragon Ascent (especially if its a Choice-locked Mega Rayquaza), Sunsteel Strike, and other neutral/resisted/immune moves better than Xerneas.
  • Only Xerneas can hit Primal Groudon AND Necrozma-DM supereffectively. And it needs to be boosted to defeat Spdef Necrozma-DM. Zacian-C and Xerneas needs Mega Rayquaza, Arceus Ground, Primal Kygore, or some other defensive mon to take them more easier. That doesn't mean that they can't beat them (Substitute or Dynamax respectively).
  • Just because Xerneas and Zacian-C are in S-tier doesn't mean that they are self-sufficient to point of needing no support or have no checks/counters. S-tier means to me that their influence is felt anywhere on teambuilding (and must be constantly be accounted for) and playstyles, no and, ifs, or buts. Compared to +A mons, which need more team support and have more flaws, the +A mons look up to the S-tier mons for their team. Both of them definitely qualify this, with offensive being extremely good. An additional principle is that S-tier mons are ridiculously easily to slap onto teams with little to no consequences. Finally, the S-tier means that if a Pokemon is in the ranking, they dictate the tier.
  • Xerneas and Zacian-C surprisingly compliment another (while also being more independent), a common trend with S-tier mons. With Zacian-C weakening Xerneas' checks and counters, Xerneas can sweep with Dynamax and Geomancy easier. Who cares about OHKOing checks and counters when Zacian-C weakens them to the point where Xerneas can set up safely and obliterate?
  • Both of these mons are prone to Ditto. There's no denying that. However, there's one key difference in how Zacian-Crowned and Xerneas deal with it. Zacian-Crowned frequently uses Substitute, while Xerneas chooses to retaliate with Dynamax and bulk. Both have its advantages and disadvantages. Having Substitute on an offensive Fairy/Steel pokemon increases Zacian-C's role as a pivot and punishes switch-outs, while Dynamaxing allows Xerneas to stomach hits. Note for Xerneas, this all goes down the drain if Dynamaxing was already used and for Zacian-C if it was weakened enough.
  • Both of you guys should also acknowledge in your arguments that the metagame is still relatively young, and so is the viability ranking. Who knows how they will develop their sets. I remembered SD Zacian-C being more common than Sub Zacian-C in the early days, and look what has panned out. As Issac Newton once said, "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction". The metagame is likely adapting to both of them.
  • Despite having more obvious weaknesses (Zacian-C) compared to Xerneas, I believe that Zacian-C does deserve to be in the S-tier, but for its own reasons (or put Zacian-Crowned in the -S-tier, if the metagame continues like this). You can't compare apples to oranges. Sure, they are similar, but remember Primal Groudon and Necrozma-DM in the USUM era. Both influenced the entire tier, but served in different roles.
I agree to a promotion of Mega Gengar rising, and the demotion of Yveltal and even Arceus-Dark (which I will explain later if I need to). I don't agree with Ditto rising (he should stay), because he only works in certain offensive circumstances (even if such circumstances are increased).
EDIT: I find DD Mega Rayquaza inferior in its viability ceiling compared to the revenge killing and cleaning of Choice Scarf Mega Rayquaza. The fact you can't immediately threaten Zacian-C is huge dent to the DD set, and is harder to set up considering you have to choose between Lum Berry (to avoid widespread status) or Life Orb (to obtain crucial 2HKOs or OHKOs) and the S-tier fairies causing the entire meta to not be kind to it.
 
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:yveltal: A+ to A

Yveltal isn't really all that splashable as last gen considering its weakness to the top threats of this generation, and most of its sets arguably got worse except LO (which admittably in conjunction with dynamaxed airstream makes it a huge threat). Defensive/tank sets are basically dead due to how big of a threat zacian-c is overall and most of the time you would rather run a physical tank thats not OHKOed by it. Scarf sets now basically need to run heat wave as its not ideal to have to scarfer that cannot revenge kill zacian-c, meaning your not going to fit in moves like u-turn and defog that separate it from other scarfers like mega-ray. This in addition to necrozma-ultra getting dragon dance makes yveltal an underwhelming choice scarfer in the meta. The only yveltal set that didn't get worse is the life orb set which admittedly is extremely good as with dynamax you can boost speed and get past arceus forms and ho-oh, but one needs to keep in mind dynamaxing yveltal is an opportunity cost which means you won't be able to dynamax more dangerous mons like xerneas or necrozma-dusk, both of which are much more threatening dynamaxers that can't be stopped by simply dynamaxing you own mon back. Though Yveltal has lost its versatility, the real nail in the coffin is the popularity of xerneas and zacian-c, basically every serious team will carry a solid check to it (kind of how like in the last two generations of ubers, primal kyogre is held back simply because primal-groudon is on every serious team).
Since 2 posters have said this, I'm going to chime in. I do not agree with a Yveltal drop; when I've used it, it's always gotten me 2-3 kills with Dynamax or forced the opponent to Dynamax in response, so I think it's almost (if not equally) as good of an abuser as Xerneas. Dynamax Yveltal is basically uncounterable outside of 1 or 2 mons. Zacian has not been an issue for me, as after using Max Airstream, you're able to outspeed it and hit it with Heat Wave first. Also, Choice Scarf Yveltal doesn't need Heat Wave to revenge kill Zacian; Foul Play is a clean 2HKO and comes close to OHKOing if Zacian has used Swords Dance. I agree that non-Life Orb sets have lost some of their viability, though.
 
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Funbot28

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A -> A+

I am a huge fan of Zygarde-C right now for various reasons and I do believe it warrants a rise to join other A+ titans such as Ho-Oh, Necrozma-DM and Primal Groudon just to name a few. Firstly, it's defensive sets are splashable as ever and have a great time checking common metagame staples such as Ho-Oh, Necrozma-DM, Zacian-C that don't carry Play Rough (which are becoming more common), certain Mega Rayquaza sets (or Scarf locked into a move not named Draco Meteor), Primal Groudon, and various other physical threats that run rampant in the tier. The rising surge of Ho-Oh usage this gen also benefits Zyg-C in terms of providing an amazing teammate, forming a splashable yet nearly unbreakable core that can handle the majority of the metagame on it's own as each mon covers eachothers checks quite well. Now moving on to Dragon Dance sets, I still see huge value in them despite having a new offensive check in Zacian-C and uptake in usage of Scarf Ray this gen. This is due to the sole fact that Zyg-C can find ample opportunities throughout the course of the match to set up a Sub and begin to use many different defensive and even some offensive threats in certain cases as setup fodder and sweep quite effortlessly (especially when considering the potential of Dynamaxing as well). Mega Gengar gaining new tools in it's arsenal, namely Encore + Nasty Plot, to help further facilitate trapping and removing common Zygarde-C checks such as Arceus-Fairy, Arceus-Ground, Lugia, Arceus-Dark, and defensive Ho-Oh is also amazing and can also form a deadly offensive core that can be extremely annoying to maneuver against. With all these reasons in mind, I don't see enough reason for which Zyg-C should remain in A, and I feel A+ would more accurately display it's place in the current metagame.

B+ -> A-


I feel Primal Kyogre really takes advantage of the common defensive cores found on the majority of balance teams (mainly Zyg + Ho-Oh or Ho-Oh + Necro-DM + a supportCeus form not named Arceus-Grass) and is lowkey one of the best wallbreakers in the tier because of this. Yes Primal Groudon is still great this gen and poses a threat to it as it always has, but more Don's have been allocating their defensive investment in the physical side in order to better deal with top meta staples such as Zacian-C and thus enables Primal Ogre to better chip them down. The decline of others checks such as Ferrothorn this gen also benefits Primal Ogre a lot as that mon was one of the main stops to it in the previous gen and really does not appreciate all the Ho-Oh and Necro-DM usage seen which can really annoy it as a defensive pivot in SS AG. All in all, I consider Primal Ogre just to be an underrated threat that can really menace a lot of more bulkier teams right now and thus deserves a rise to the A ranks imo.

Now for two noms I disagree with:

Stay in S

While I can understand the comparison to Xern to be somewhat imbalanced at times (seriously Xern is just that good of a setup sweeper), I still feel that people are really undermining how effective Zacian-C is as a breaker. Yes you see checks to it in Ho-Oh, Lunala, Pdon, and Necrozma-DM in nearly every team rn, but the fact still remains that Zac-C either has the coverage to beat such checks (ie: Wild Charge for Ho-Oh really that can nearly OHKO it with some minor chip), or are foregoing the fact that most of the listed checks I mentioned are prone to being worn down and can get in range of Zac-C's coverage options provided some chip. Zac-C really sets the bar in terms of Speed tiers and has incredible prowess in flexibility as an offensive breaker that it should not drop to any rank below S imho.

Stay in A+

Seeing this nommed for a drop really baffled me considering how high I and many other players value this mon and often consider it the best dynamax abuser behind Xerneas (and maybe Necrozma-DM but it is very close). Ygod is nearly unstoppable as wallbreaker and requires specific checks (such as Specially defensive Ttar or more niche stuff like Blissey or Chansey which get shut down by Taunt) in order to avoid taking ridiculous amounts of damage from it's max moves. It's an amazing Max Aistream abuser and still offers a ton of flexibility with it's other sets that don't even intend on using Dynamax such as physically defensive, Choice Scarf, and physical sets. I just don't see no good reason to drop this mon considering how much of a presence it has on the current meta.

That is all my thoughts for now, I think we did a pretty good job creating an initial list for the most part.
 
Couple of things to point out:
Both of these guys can not hit Primal Groudon or Necrozma-DM supereffectively. Zacian-C and Xerneas needs Mega Rayquaza, Arceus Ground, Primal Kygore, or some other defensive mon to take them more easier. That doesn't mean that they can't beat them (Substitute or Dynamax respectively).
252+ Atk Intrepid Sword Zacian-Crowned Crunch vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Prism Armor Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 213-252 (53.5 - 63.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery (Close Combat is the same calc)
252+ Atk Intrepid Sword Zacian-Crowned Crunch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Prism Armor Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 214-253 (63.8 - 75.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+2 252+ SpA Xerneas Max Quake (110 BP) vs. 252 HP / 200 SpD Groudon-Primal: 470-554 (116.3 - 137.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO (ouch)
+2 252+ SpA Xerneas Max Quake (110 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Prism Armor Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 270-318 (67.8 - 79.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery (We now know why HP was removed, HP+Dmax is stupid)
Both these two are SCARY with their coverage options.
Finally, the S-tier means that if a Pokemon is in the ranking, they dictate the tier to a HEALTHY extent (anything above that and it needs to be banned).
It's AG. These two would be banned from any tier that allowed bans.
 
Couple of things to point out:

252+ Atk Intrepid Sword Zacian-Crowned Crunch vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Prism Armor Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 213-252 (53.5 - 63.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery (Close Combat is the same calc)
252+ Atk Intrepid Sword Zacian-Crowned Crunch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Prism Armor Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 214-253 (63.8 - 75.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+2 252+ SpA Xerneas Max Quake (110 BP) vs. 252 HP / 200 SpD Groudon-Primal: 470-554 (116.3 - 137.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO (ouch)
+2 252+ SpA Xerneas Max Quake (110 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Prism Armor Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 270-318 (67.8 - 79.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery (We now know why HP was removed, HP+Dmax is stupid)
Both these two are SCARY with their coverage options.

It's AG. These two would be banned from any tier that allowed bans.
What I want to clarify for your second statement is that, yes I know it is AG. My point was that they centralize the meta, and would be banned in any other sane and ranked tier (I am going to probably edit and delete that). On the other hand, whoops, forgot about Hidden Power Ground for Xerneas, my bad. I just wanted to point out that while they 2HKO (or even OHKO) their checks (and makes them unsafe switch ins), it just that their are better mons (your teammates) to address stuff like Primal Groudon and Necrozma-DM easier to free up moveslots or roles.
 

level 100 mudkip

Banned deucer.
[QUOTE="It's AG. These two would be banned from any tier that allowed bans.
[/QUOTE]

I think you over exaggerate with this. Ubers without nat dex would have trouble figuring out what to do with xerneas but even then they'd have dusk that would probably become the best or top 3 mons in the meta thanks to its overall utility + diverse offensive sets + being the one of the few mons able to check almost anything blanket checking the meta like pdon has done in the past. This itself might make for an argument to ban dynamax in general or on a select few mons for ubers but mineralizing bans has always been at the heart of ubers and since they have the tools to check said mons (even if it restricts building and still unbalanced) they most likely would try to not ban anything.

Zaican already in ubers is below etern for good reasons. the meta adapted around zaican while it was harder to adapt to etern. Ppl have already pushed for zaican crowned to be lowered from s rank all together to a-b rank depending on the individual. Regular zaican has been nominated to move past zaican for its variability in sets allowing for it to be harder to adapt to.

It shows that the meta really does influence how mons plays out. zaican c no doubt shows a lot of potential at first glance to be a very strong mon but in practice it failed. In nat dex ag zaican has less trouble finding room to take advantage of the opposing team because of the natural variation that nat dex ag has. In ubers people were easily persuaded to use zaican c on almost every team forcing everyone to adapt strongly towards it. In nat dex you have more answers to zaican and you have more mons that rival zaican for a slot on a team. This might give the impression that zaican is worse but it's probably the opposite. In ag players will feel comfortable going into a match vs zaican with maybe a hooh/dusk or a dusk/pdon etc. It's actually easier for zaican to punish these checks rather than in ubers where they run rocky helmet uturn users into a dugtrio or just a simple quag. It still has amazing value on a team because it will keep the opponent from letting their checks get weakened which is pretty hard to do considering there are plenty of ways to capitalize on its checks thanks to some key teammates like spikes/knock ferro. it will set spikes vs dusk and make it so dusk can't switch in to zaican safely as well as baiting hooh to knock off hdb. Another obvious partner is mgar which "can" remove it's checks depending on the circumstances. Overall though its the meta that allows for zaican c to be abusable while in ubers the flaws get magnified and the perks are lessened.
 
I think you over exaggerate with this. Ubers without nat dex would have trouble figuring out what to do with xerneas but even then they'd have dusk that would probably become the best or top 3 mons in the meta thanks to its overall utility + diverse offensive sets + being the one of the few mons able to check almost anything blanket checking the meta like pdon has done in the past. This itself might make for an argument to ban dynamax in general or on a select few mons for ubers but mineralizing bans has always been at the heart of ubers and since they have the tools to check said mons (even if it restricts building and still unbalanced) they most likely would try to not ban anything.
I think you're missing a few important points here. 1stly, yes I was using some exaggeration. But not much. There are no Xern checks in Ubers besides Ditto to an extent (DM Nec is unreleased), so if Xern gets 1 free turn you would pretty much lose against a good player. That's true to a degree here as well, but they lack all kinds of tools we have. And even when DM Nec comes out, it has to also check Eternatus, not get trapped by Goth just because it clicked Morning Sun/Rocks etc. It would be good, but without the birds and Pdon to back it up, it would be pretty easy to overload. Yes, when it gets released it will be a top 3 mon, but that's not much in the current context of Ubers.
Zaican already in ubers is below etern for good reasons. the meta adapted around zaican while it was harder to adapt to etern. Ppl have already pushed for zaican crowned to be lowered from s rank all together to a-b rank depending on the individual. Regular zaican has been nominated to move past zaican for its variability in sets allowing for it to be harder to adapt to.
Ok, there's several issues here. RN in OU, Dracovish is A rank. Does that mean you don't basically auto-lose to it if you don't use a Water Absorb mon? I think you're confusing viability with centralisation and power. If Pdon was to be allowed in OU (assuming the playerbase didn't just boycott the tier) would people adapt to it and find ways to beat it? Yes. Does that make it any less banworthy? No. The main issue is that while Eternatus is a very powerful mon, can it beat the checks it does have (ofc there aren't many of them)? Sometimes. Can Zacian-C beat its checks? Yes. It literally has the tools to beat anything. Adaptation goes both ways. Going back to my point on Vish, RN in SPL, there have been 4 games. Vish has been used 0 times. Toad has been used twice. Both the teams that used Toad lost. Does this mean Vish is bad? No. While you can adapt to it, there are certain compromises to your team you have to make, which cause you to lose to other threats. The same applies to Zacian-C. Yes, you can beat it in Ubers. No, not without compromising your team to do it, hence why Eternatus is doing well. And Eternatus is hardly a bad mon. It's still good enough to be A rank here in spite of a typing that gives it a load of issues. And yes, regular Zacian is a great mon, and someone who doesn't run a meme team most of the time (ie:not me) should nom it here.

It shows that the meta really does influence how mons plays out. zaican c no doubt shows a lot of potential at first glance to be a very strong mon but in practice it failed. In nat dex ag zaican has less trouble finding room to take advantage of the opposing team because of the natural variation that nat dex ag has. In ubers people were easily persuaded to use zaican c on almost every team forcing everyone to adapt strongly towards it. In nat dex you have more answers to zaican and you have more mons that rival zaican for a slot on a team. This might give the impression that zaican is worse but it's probably the opposite. In ag players will feel comfortable going into a match vs zaican with maybe a hooh/dusk or a dusk/pdon etc. It's actually easier for zaican to punish these checks rather than in ubers where they run rocky helmet uturn users into a dugtrio or just a simple quag. It still has amazing value on a team because it will keep the opponent from letting their checks get weakened which is pretty hard to do considering there are plenty of ways to capitalize on its checks thanks to some key teammates like spikes/knock ferro. it will set spikes vs dusk and make it so dusk can't switch in to zaican safely as well as baiting hooh to knock off hdb. Another obvious partner is mgar which "can" remove it's checks depending on the circumstances. Overall though its the meta that allows for zaican c to be abusable while in ubers the flaws get magnified and the perks are lessened.
I would hardly call forcing everyone to run dedicated team structures and mons to even play against it despite those structures being terrible against everything else "failing". I think it's your turn to exaggerate. Again, adaption goes both ways. In a short time Zacian-C will be on top of Ubers again, because it will just change its set to beat its checks, and/or people will stop running those dedicated team structures to not lose to Eternatus. Zacian's checks in Ubers:<br />
Ditto:If Zacian gets off a Sub, rip. Imposter-proofing is also more than possible.
Quagsire: 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Solar Blade vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Quagsire: 588-692 (149.2 - 175.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
It's very possible to build a Sun structure where this can happen. In fact, even without Sun, if Zacian-C charges a Solar Blade as Quag comes in, it has to switch out immediately to something that can take a +1 Solar Blade. Which is not a lot. Even Eternatus doesn't like Solar Blade followed by one of Zac's STABs. Before you tell me this is unrealistic, RN in OU Dragon Dance Dragapult is running Phantom Force with great results. And not a lot in Ubers is running Protect to stop Solar Blade. You also mention yourself how much its passivity is an issue in the hazard wars and not taking Knocks.
Dugtrio: Zacian-C is faster than Duggy, so CB is out the window, which means Scarf. Duggy only gets one shot, which has a low KO chance without chip. This is probably Zac's best check in Ubers. But it either requires a dedicated U-turn user with Rocky Helmet (lol how specific) which is telegraphed from a mile away or to sac a mon. If you think Zac's about to attack and you U-turn to try and get Dug in, but Zacian reveals Sub, you better have Quagsire in the back or something's dying/getting chunked. So yes, it is possible to beat a broken mon if you dedicate half your team to it. But then you lose to other stuff like Eternatus. Hence where Ubers is now.
Also, you mention Mgar as a partner here, well there's a reason every defensive wall in Ubers runs Shed Shell. Goth is nuts in Ubers. You can't click Recover on a mon slower than Scarf Goth without Shed Shell without the risk of losing that mon on the spot to Goth, and possibly getting swept. Which of course means Goth is "failing" because everything escapes it now. But again, this compromises every team to other threats. And there will come a point where people stop running Shed Shell to beat other threats. The difference is, Goth is dead weight if its counters are in place, whereas Zacian, as you say, still warps the entire game to be about checking it even with the extreme measures in place against it. Textbook broken mon. Zacian's flaws are only magnified because everyone is spending all their time looking at it. And even then, it can beat its checks and win games.
What does this all have to do with AG? It shows us that whatever checks Zacian has, it will find ways, by hook or by crook, to beat them. No matter how much prep you do to beat it the only way to sure-fire stop it is to build a team that loses to literally everything else. It is a banworthy mon in most contexts for its narrow list of checks and even narrower counterplay. Its ability to beat its checks and run 1 of 12 viable moves to beat whatever check it needs to is second to none. In fact, its 4MSS is pretty much its only flaw, which can be played around through overloading certain checks and trapping others. It also has a large unexplored pool of niche moves like Protect to beat choiced moves, Quick Attack for priority with the potential to finish off weakened checks, Rest(Talk) for recovery, and Facade to beat status. It is 100% a S mon.
 

AV Cosmoem

Formerly supreeee
Zaican already in ubers is below etern for good reasons. the meta adapted around zaican while it was harder to adapt to etern. Ppl have already pushed for zaican crowned to be lowered from s rank all together to a-b rank depending on the individual. Regular zaican has been nominated to move past zaican for its variability in sets allowing for it to be harder to adapt to.
yeah so this nom in question
Zacian-C S -> B

Don't get me wrong, Zacian-C is an okay pokemon with a narrow niche. The problem with Zacian-C is that it's unable to adapt to the metagame changes. I believe that the options for adaptions has been maxed out due to its shallow movepool. This is an issue because it means that every single team can be prepared for Zacian-C and be essentially guaranteed to beat it from the preview. You could argue that the only reason that this is happening is because Zacian-C is so blatantly powerful. IMO, the teambuilding pressure is actually coming from normal Zacian, and Zacian-C is being passively checked alongside. In addition, Zacian-C suffers from opportunity cost from Zacian with its superior typing and free item slot which enable much more adaptability.

Zacian B -> A+

Zacian is fast and powerful pokemon that is definitely better than its Crowned version. Choice band sets 2hkos the whole tier. There is no counter for this set. Its typing allows it to be only trapped by Dugtrio in its 40%'s, while Zacian-C is trapped after 1 Substitute chip. Zacian can use Choice scarf to become a powerful speed control tool. Zacian can use LO to become an even more powerful sweeper that can choose moves. In addition, since Eternatus has been forgoing poison move for Flamethrower, Zacian is an excellent check vs Eternatus and immediately threaten the rest of the team. Zacian has item slot which allows it endless amount of adaptions compared to its inferior form.
you don't really use these as """facts""" to back up your argument
 

Guardsweeper

Semper Ad Meliora
is a Pre-Contributor
Based on the aforementioned, I echo this nomination.
I really do believe ranking MGar at A is an injustice to its potential so I feel compelled to elaborate on this.

Having played my fair share of high-ladder games in this format since its inauguration, I can conclude that Balance is the most common and rewarding playstyle right now. These teams typically rely on their defensive backbone (mainly Zygarde/Ho-Oh or Ho-Oh/NDM/Arceus as has been mentioned above by Funbot28) to check a whole host of threats. MGar severely hampers these teams by putting them at a constant risk as soon as it has mega evolved.

For the sake of an example (which is based on a real scenario), let’s say you built a Balance team with NDM, Ho-Oh, Zygarde, Xerneas, Zacian-C and MGar and are facing a Balance team with NDM, Ho-Oh and Arceus-Water as its defensive backbone.
At some point, your Zacian-C comes in against a chipped Ho-Oh. You go for Wild Charge which your opponent guesses correctly and switches into his NDM, which consequently takes around 35% damage. If MGar has mega evolved, this immediately puts your opponent into an extremely dire situation, as it now has to choose between two options:
  • recovering off the damage and potentially letting MGar in for free, after which it gets Encore’d and taken care of if it chooses not to Dynamax. This puts it into another 50/50 since it now has to choose whether to Dynamax or not. If it Dynamaxes, it puts itself in risk of MGar predicting that and switching out or using Sub, which effectively wastes the opponents Dynamax. Even if MGar stays in and gets KO’d, the opponent just lost its ability to Dynamax, while you still have yours (and remember, you have a Xerneas).
  • it uses Earthquake/Sunsteel Strike/Knock Off, predicting you to go for MGar, which puts it at risk of getting chipped down further by Zacian itself. If it does get the 50-50 right and KO’s MGar on the switch, it is still chipped to the point where it cannot afford to switch into Zacian again or check Xerneas.

In my opinion, this example outlines the 50-50 situations MGar creates quite nicely, all of which favour the MGar user in the long term. However, this is merely the first reason why MGar should rise.

In addition to the aforementioned, MGar has immense set versatility, being able to devise a set consisting of anything out of Shadow Ball, Sludge Wave, Thunder, Focus Blast, Encore, Nasty Plot, Substitute, Disable, Protect, Perish Song, Hypnosis, Will-o-Wisp and Hex. This is part of the reason why it is able to quite easily support its teammates like no other, by easily adjusting its set to beat whatever its team would otherwise have a hard time against. In addition to set versatility, MGar is also very fluid during a battle, being able to take on the role of a stallbreaker/wallbreaker/revenge killer depending on the matchup.

I personally believe a set of Nasty Plot/Encore/Shadow Ball/Sludge Wave is the most capable of showcasing the peak of MGar’s viability ceiling, which, simply put, is the highest of all Pokemon. Double STAB allows you to act as a revenge killer when needed and to trap threats without hesitation against Ditto matchups where using Nasty Plot could backfire. Although Mega Gengar is perfectly capable of doing its job without Nasty Plot, as is shown in this replay, Nasty Plot allows it to turn into an unstoppable wincon against non Zacian/Ditto Balance and non-Tyranitar Stall and generally allows it to trap much more and put the opponent into severely disadvantageous situations.

All in all, I believe the amount of strain MGar puts during a battle, its ability to bait the opponent’s Dynamax and its supporting, wallbreaking and cleaning prowess definitely warrants A+ at the least.

Edit:
here's an example of MGar baiting Dynamax
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldexag-1045057218

Additionally, I echo :zygarde-complete: to A+ and :kyogre-primal: to A-
 
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Ok, time for me to actually make some noms:

Firstly, echo Ditto to A. Want to know how a stupid theorymonner can get to 1450 with a meme team? Ditto is amazing. We all know it reverse sweeps stuff and beats Zacian-C if you're not careful, etc etc. But it also has a whole bunch of utility that's hard to overlook. For instance, if you lead with it against SR Pdon, you Imposter normal Groudon, giving you a type advantage. You can then either set Rocks and Dmax out a big Max Quake, or Turn 1 Dmax to gun for the Pdon ASAP, setting rocks afterwards, or just Precipice Blades it to hurt it real bad, while not taking as much back. (Teams that have more than 1 mon that can Dmax will probably just go for the last one.)
156+ Atk Groudon-Primal Precipice Blades vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Groudon (Ditto): 195-231 (65.2 - 77.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
156+ Atk Groudon Precipice Blades vs. 144 HP / 0 Def Groudon-Primal: 300-354 (79.5 - 93.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
156+ Atk Groudon Max Quake vs. 144 HP / 0 Def Groudon-Primal: 350-414 (92.8 - 109.8%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO
(Calcs using the SR+SD set from the damage calculator, the story is the same against any other Pdon lead bar an Overheat, that will kill your Ditto. But thanks to Imposter you will know their set and whether you can 1v1 it)

This is a good example of how Ditto can give your team access to options that it won't normally have, and abuse passive mons. So here's some more examples on that theme (EVs are using sets from the calc, if anyone gives me updated EVs I'm willing to redo the calcs):
0 Atk Ho-Oh Sacred Fire vs. 248 HP / 204+ Def Ho-Oh (Ditto): 54-64 (18 - 21.4%) -- possible 5HKO
Ditto switches in all but for free on Sacred Fire, and then can spread Toxic, Defog, or better yet, spam Recover and abuse its stolen Regenerator to heal itself up for free. Just be wary of offensive sets packing Adamant Brave Bird.
252+ Atk Life Orb Ho-Oh Brave Bird vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Ho-Oh (Ditto): 305-360 (102 - 120.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
0 Atk Necrozma-Dusk-Mane Sunsteel Strike vs. 248 HP / 4 Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane (Ditto): 65-77 (21.7 - 25.7%) -- 1% chance to 4HKO
0 Atk Necrozma-Dusk-Mane Earthquake vs. 248 HP / 4 Def Prism Armor Necrozma-Dusk-Mane (Ditto): 130-154 (43.4 - 51.5%) -- 6.6% chance to 2HKO
Ditto abuses the hell out of SpDef Nec-DM. Comes in for free eating up Sunsteel Strike's precious PP and has the pleasant choice of getting Rocks up, healing itself with Morning Sun, or trying to Toxic the switch-in. The fact Nec-DM has to worry about PP on Sunsteel Strike AND Morning Sun just makes infinite PP Ditto even funnier. Even if you get the set wrong it's not the end of the world if Ditto is healthy.
252 Atk Necrozma-Dusk-Mane Earthquake vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Prism Armor Necrozma-Dusk-Mane (Ditto): 153-181 (51.1 - 60.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Moving down the VR a bit:
The new fastest Taunt. That's all I really need to say. What was Deoxys-S's trump card against other leads is turned against it. You have the lovely choice of Taunting it and next turn either Taunting the switch-in or giving something else a free in, or predicting a switch and getting hazards up, dropping a Toxic, Taunting anyway, or switching yourself as well.
Choice Scarf Spore without Sleep Clause. Smeargle's main strength is unpredictability, but Ditto takes that from it. If it's gathering boosts to Baton Pass, steal those boosts and pass them yourself. If it's just spamming Spore, spam it back.
252+ Atk Shedinja Shadow Sneak vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Shedinja (Ditto): 210-248 (70.2 - 82.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
A 299/300 HP Shedinja. You may run now.
Finally, the big one:
+2 252+ SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. +2 0 HP / 0 SpD Fairy Aura Xerneas: 232-274 (59 - 69.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252+ SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Moonblast vs. +2 248 HP / 0 SpD Fairy Aura Xerneas (Ditto): 232-274 (77.5 - 91.6%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252+ SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Max Starfall (130 BP) vs. +2 0 HP / 0 SpD Fairy Aura Xerneas: 318-375 (80.9 - 95.4%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252+ SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Max Starfall (130 BP) vs. +2 248 HP / 0 SpD Fairy Aura Xerneas (Ditto): 318-375 (106.3 - 125.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
...It's complicated. If Ditto wants to avoid a speed tie, he has to not Dmax, which makes him require a lot of chip to KO Xern. If Ditto Dmaxes... He may or may not win depending on speed ties. I'm not sure exactly how Dmax HP is calculated, as apparently it's more complicated than simply doubling HP. But assuming it does double HP:
Neither Dmaxes: Ditto has a good chance of being able to 2HKO if healthy
Xern Dmaxes: Ditto gets to move first, but needs loads of damage on Xern before it wins.
Ditto Dmaxes: Speed tie, Xern has a low win chance if it's healthy
Both Dmax: Ditto can use Max Guard to potentially set up scenario 3, (assuming Ditto comes in as a revenge killer) or can risk a speed tie if Xern is weakened.
And no, it doesn't matter what HP Ditto has:
+2 252+ SpA Xerneas Max Ooze (80 BP?) vs. +2 0 HP / 0 SpD Xerneas: 196-232 (49.8 - 59%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252+ SpA Xerneas Max Steelspike (110 BP) vs. +2 0 HP / 0 SpD Xerneas: 272-320 (69.2 - 81.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
Though Max Ooze might be possibly maybe potentially be useful for the SpA boost.
Whew, I'm burned out. I was going to nom Zacian base for C+ or B-, but I'm out of energy. So I'll just leave this (pretty bad) replay of Ditto and AV Zacian putting in some serious work.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldexag-1042517044
 

pichus

is a Forum Moderator
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ive been playing a fair bit and have a solid opinion on most of the relevant mons. big noms incoming:

Arceus-Ground to A-/B+:
Dont get me wrong, this is still the best and the most versatile Arceus form in the meta but I believe that the support set is straight up horrible rn and the offensive sets arent good enough either to justify its A rank. This applies for every other Arceus and not just Ground in specific. I just dont think that any form of Arceus is super good this gen (as in A/A+ rank worthy) because they are almost entirely outclassed by other mons offensively as well as defensively. I'll go over this in detail since my next couple of noms will also be based on this. Unlike the previous gens, supportceus isnt the staple on balance teams because it fails to check majority of the top threats in the meta. Its a set up fodder for the dynamax mons: gives a free geomancy to Xerneas, does almost 0 damage to Yveltal, does like 35% to dynamaxed dusk mane and activates weakness policy for it, Zygarde boosts its special defense with max quake and easily tanks a 2-3 Ice Beams later. Also cant check Unecro and gets *hard walled* by Ho-Oh, Lunala and Kyogre which leaves us with just 3 other relevant threats: Eternatus, Zacian and Groudon. Out of these 3, it can only reliably switch in vs Groudon because:

252 SpA Life Orb Eternatus Dynamax Cannon (100 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Arceus-Ground: 199-234 (44.8 - 52.7%) -- 80.9% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock
minimum chip (2 rounds of stealth rock or a spike) and you cant switch into this :(

+1 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade (100 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Arceus-Ground: 210-247 (47.2 - 55.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Behemoth Blade (100 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Arceus-Ground: 190-225 (42.7 - 50.6%) -- 45.7% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock
i was told that this is a Zacian switch in but I really wouldnt want my switch in to rely on a 50/50. fwiw Judgment doesnt even OHKO Zacian back so in a 1v1 scenario when rocks are up on both sides, groundceus is more likely to lose to the mon it is supposed to 'check'.
I'm assuming rocks up on both sides because balance teams in the current meta dont prioritize defogging the rocks (unless one of them has spikes/toxic spikes), which brings me to the next point that the other role which supportceus did last gen, get rocks up or defog them isnt rlly big this gen either. The standard balance teams these days have Ho-Oh/Don/Dusk Mane/Zacian/Lugia/Lunala/Supportceus/Yveltal. None of these mind stealth rock damage, unless HDB is knocked off in the case of Ho-Oh and Lunala. Even when it comes to performing these roles, theres again other mons which outclass them. Ho-Oh and Lunala are excellent defoggers and actually check things. Primal Groudon, Dusk Mane and ferrothorn are really good SR users because they can also run Toxic (Groundceus has to forgo Ice Beam or Recover to run Toxic Rocks).
This probably sounded extremely harsh but I just really dont feel the need to run an arceus anymore. Last gen I'd just brainlessly add in 2-3 Arceus formes because I knew that I couldnt go wrong with these on my team. A core of 3 good arceus formes soft checked almost every threat in the meta. This might be because last gen was overly centralized around just 5 specific threats (Ray, Unecro, Marsh, Zygarde and Don) which werent extremely hard to cover. This gen its just the exact opposite. Whenever I'm adding a support arc I wonder if its worth running an entire mon just to have a chance at checking a few threats. Do I really wanna give free switch ins to Ho-Oh? or Dusk Mane? or let Xerneas or Yveltal set up for free? This gen theres just SOOOOOO many offensive threats you have to cover that your teambuilding is extremely narrowed down and as a result you have to be extremely cautious regarding what youre gonna use. This just isnt the same mon as last gen which you could add on any team and know for sure that it will actually put in work. as I said earlier, this applies to other arceus formes as well and isnt a personal attack on Groundceus. I wouldve tried to explain more but im a bit tired atm so if anyone doesnt get what im trying to say/disagrees with this ill happily explain it again. I just wanted to say that arceus isnt the staple mon anymore and comes with huge opportunity cost. While it still checks a fair number of pokemons in the B ranks, its just not good enough for A or even A- if it fails to check pretty much every threat in the higher ranks.
fwiw at this point if we switch to a meta with most of the relevant mons minus arceus, i seriously wouldnt mind at all >:)

That being said, the offensive groundy sets are not /as/ horrible as the support set. but I still think that theyre outclassed by other dynamax mons and eternatus/zacian and other stuff. I'm not sure about this since I havent used them too much but I'm pretty convinced that Groundceus isnt any better than SD ghostceus (and maybe ekiller too) since ghosty has a fair chance to improof itself. CM + 3 atks actually sounds hot, wouldve been great if ground Judgment became Max quake tho >_>. Still sounds good when paired with Xerneas or some other good attacker.

next 2 noms should have an obvious reasoning if you read the para above ^

Arceus Water to B+/B
i actually like this one, toxic rocks judg/liquidation is a good set and rere Toxic is super annoying to face. idk if it should be same rank as groundy though, since groundceus has 2 pretty ok offensive sets and waterceus has 0 versatility.
Arceus-Dark to B-
faces competition from Yveltal and Tyranitar. CM isnt great atm and support set is pretty awful too :|

Zekrom to B+/A-
THIS is actually very good, Bolt strike and Outrage combination is great with DDance and Sub. you also get plenty of set up opportunities (vs Ho-Oh, DM and Ferro) so if you can afford to spend your dynamax on this then you totallly should. only complaint is that sometimes you'll be forced to dynamax (e.g. when you get locked into Outrage and they go to a fairy) so you have to play carefully if youre saving your dynamax for Xerneas/Yveltal/DM. this is the only reason why I slashed A- with B+. I do think that the defensive set also has potential since Zacians dont rlly run Play Rough anymore from what ive seen.

gonna reply to the other noms too because why not:

Kyogre to A-
I personally disagree with this one but tbf I really havent used it too much so Im neutral on this one. Its speed tier is pretty sad but it still gets multiple kills vs unprepared balances so I wouldnt mind seeing this in A-

Ditto to A
disagree.
meta is shifting to balance from what ive noticed. less HO in the meta is always bad for ditto and its also a bit hard to fit ditto on balance.

Gar higher or lower
definitely not lower,
Its a great teammate for sure but the A+ mons atm are just extremely good and gar isnt as good as them. but balance gaining popularity is always good for gar so I'd wait for a week or so before giving my views on this.

KyuB lower
ofcourse, we really didnt put much thought into this one while making the VR iirc

Grimnsnarl to B-
should be ranked for sure, b- sounds too high but C+/C sounds fair.

Zygarde to A+
sure
, Ive always loved the defensive set. the only problem is that the dynamax 50% forme -> complete form has a weird mechanic. im not sure if its intended to be like that but dynamaxed zygarde loses HP when it transforms into 100% forme which is uncool.

Yveltal lower
no LOL,
this thing is borderline broken in dynamaxed forme.

still unsure about Zacian. Its obviously not as good as xern but I cant decide if it should be dropped to A+ since its slightly better than the A+ mons. but again idk if good enough to deserve an S- rank of its own. ill make a post next week anyway if this gets better or worse.
 
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B+ -> A
This thing is a crazy sweeper that completely demolishes common steels and mons across the board coupled with the ability to use ludicriously powerful moves to set Psychic Terrain and sun as well as Max Airmstream off of Hurricane (140 BP) to boost its speed. Mewtwo can serve as a revenge killer, wallbreaker, and sweeper, often all at the same time.

Nasty Plot is a game-changer. +2 Max Mindstorm in Psychic Terrain devastates everything, EVERYTHING that doesn't resist Psychic that isn't also named Chansey, including Kyogre, Ho-Oh, and Primal Groudon. Even Chansey is OHKOed by +2 Psystrike in Psychic Terrain regardless of investment. Meanwhile, Fire Blast and Max Flare dispatch those annoying steels. In sun, Max Flare does 86% minimum to Dynamax Necrozma-DM, with a chance to OHKO outright.

Mewtwo is also reasonably bulky and does not find it super difficult to set up nasty plot in many cases.

However, a notable niche Mewtwo has is that it doesn't necessarily HAVE to boost to sweep, unlike most other sweepers. Simply boosting its speed is often enough to end a weakened offensive team in conjunction with Psychic Terrain to protect Mewtwo from priority.

Mewtwo's main issues atm in my opinion really are the fact that it's rather hard to fit on a team thanks to its lack of resistances and the reduced importance of its speed tier. Its bulk, while quite reasonable for what Mewtwo is, leaves Mewtwo hesistant to switch into attacks. Its lack of immunities raises questions about whether or not Mewtwo is worth giving up the better utility bestowed by running Xerneas, DD Mray, or a sweeping Primal Groudon. However, at the same time, Mewtwo offers things that none of the above can do.

Outside of Dynamax, Hurricane is unreliable at best outside of Dynamax, and with sun up its accuracy goes down to an appalling 50%. The Primal Groudon matchup basically consists of flipping a coin.

TLDR; Mewtwo is a high-risk, high-reward mon. All in all, it has less flaws than the other stuff in B+ or even A-, and thus deserves a raise. I honestly see this on a similar level to DD Ultra Necrozma, except it trades that amazing initial steel typing for the ability to hit much harder across the board and to Dynamax.

Agree with
1579725342792.png
rise

It's super underrated rn for how good it is at screwing over teams without proper electric resists, and benefits heavily from the facts that Necrozma-DM, Ho-Oh, and Yveltal are amazing in this meta; it screws over all of them when boosted. Zekrom's resistances combined with the threat of its moves cause it to force a surprising number of switches with which it can use to set up and sweep. But what is really game changing is that Dynamax lets Zekrom finally defeat its arch nemesis Primal Groudon thanks to Wyrm's otherwise rather benign attack drop. Teravolt just seals the deal by preventing one off gimmicks like Wonder Guard, Unaware, and Multiscale from stopping it from wrecking havoc.

Zekrom's list of defensive counters at +1:
  • Groudon
  • Groundceus
  • Lunala (thanks Shadow Shield)
Zekrom is really only held back by the fact that its main stab is blocked by an entire type, it's slow-ish, is weak to Dragon and thus imposter-weak unless it runs Dragon Tail, and that the mons that it really wants to set up on often try to set status on it.

Dragon Dance and Dynamax have finally realized Zekrom's true potential. After being obsolete for so long, this thing is coming back with a vengeance. This mon is so underrated right now that it is tragic. Game freak give it earthquake plz
 
:Rayquaza-Mega: A+ to A
It's sad to see this, but this mon just isn't on the level of the other A+ mons at all. Scarf sets are really bad right now due to Ho-Oh/Lunala/Lugia easily being able to switch in to every single move and then spam heals/easily switch into the appropriate check, usually meaning that Scarf Ray does very little in literally every single matchup as everyone is carrying these mons. It fails to revenge so many things, Xerneas is typically running 297 speed, Ultra Necrozma gets ddance etc, dynamax makes it do only 30% to offensive mons. Mix Ray is near non existent due to Zacian largely taking its place as a fast breaker, and Mixed Ray suffers to Lugia/Lunala and MGar's rise. It is a decent breaker though once the oppo's dmax is down. Band and DDance Ray are still alright but they get blown away by defensive dynamaxes easily while doing very little back, and Band is just too susceptible to MGar while DDance is forced out by ditto. DDance MRay also only gets very few chances to setup and do its thing due to LO/Rocks chip. MRay suffers so much due to DMax and the icing on the cake is that it can't even use it itself which massively hurts it's potential as a set-up sweeper; the best sweepers can DMax.
252 Atk Rayquaza Dragon Ascent vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Ho-Oh: 169-199 (40.6 - 47.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO. You only get a net chip of about 7 to 15%
252 Atk Rayquaza V-create vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Prism Armor Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 199-235 (50 - 59%) -- 77.7% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery: lol, this set is hot garbage

+1 252+ Atk Life Orb Rayquaza-Mega Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Prism Armor Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 273-322 (34.4 - 40.4%), dusk mane also easily just kills back. There's a lot more defensive dmaxers which just nuke ddance mray.

:Yveltal: A+ to S-
Ok, this is probably a very controversial nom but this thing is absolutely insane. No real switchins exist except tyranitar, chansey and ho-oh. It can very easily punch holes through teams at any time in the match as it easily switches in on common defensive mons, zyg c, pdon, lunala, ndm etc. It can run a very flexible 4th move slot, etc HP Poison (boosts SPA, breaks balance teams and has potential to break stalls if they don't have ditto), Taunt allows you to break stall too ,Knock Off can crack Chansey or Blissey too and annoy Ho-Oh, HP Rock and Focus Blast also beats Ho-Oh in one turn or crack ttar. Also, due to the fall in stuff like Supportceus/MRay means even non dmax can punch holes through things.

:Zacian: UR to D
Good scarfer with the capacity to revenge MRay, Zygod, Yve, Ultra Necrozma and Xerneas. Not much more to say about it.

Nominations which I have an opinion on:
:Gengar-Mega: A to A+ Massively agree. I think Guardsweeper's post covers this very well.
:Zygarde-Complete: A to A+ Massively agree with this nomination.
:Mewtwo: B+ to A- Disagree
:Zekrom: B to A- Agree
:Grimmsnarl: UR to C Agree, very nice prankster taunt screens lead.
:Kyogre-Primal: B+ to A- Agree
:Arceus-Ground: to A-, Disagree, I think this is a great fogger/3attacks support set which doesn't suffer to knock off and can massively pressure common balance cores (zygod/hooh/ndm/pdon) with rock/ice/ground coverage. Edit: I'm less sure about this now, groundceus is good but I don't think it is good enough for A. A- probably fits, literally all supportceus are meh
:Zacian-Crowned: S to S-, Agree with a drop. I think A+ is too harsh though.
 
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Dugtrio D -> B- BUT for its role as a suicide lead, not as a trapper

Dugtrio @ Focus Sash
Ability: Arena Trap
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Substitute
- Earthquake
- Stealth Rock
- Memento

Half of the idea of this set is that DeoS has a dangerous matchup vs Smeargle: if you Taunt and Smeargle uses Magic Coat you lose and if you try to use Magic Coat multiple times Smeargle can mess you around with something like Substitute if it's Baton Pass or just switching out.

If you substitute on turn 1 Smeargle can do nothing to you and you can kill it with Earthquake within 2 turns - and from there you can EQ or Memento the next thing.

Memento combined with Dug's good speed tier means it can do more than set rocks and kill Smeargle, it can also stop setup sweepers from abusing it. Xerneas won't appreciate Memento if it attempts to Geomancy and other offensive pokemon will have to reset their stats to be useful. If you wanted to, you could dmax to kill lead pdons thanks to Arena Trap:

252+ Atk Dugtrio [130BP ground move] vs. 252 HP / 56+ Def Groudon-Primal: 228-270 (56.4 - 66.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Dugtrio's problems are that its only hazard is Stealth Rock and that it loses to faster suicide leads with attacking moves, but those are pretty rare.
 
Zygarde to A+
Super agree with this one. With it commonly paired with Ho-Oh as one of the best cores, Zygarde seems just as splashable, just as much as the +A mons. Can check non-Play Rough Zacian-C, Primal Groudon, Necrozma-DM, and even boosted Ultra Necrozma (once its used up its Z move; and Adamant gives it a slight roll of dice)
+1 252 Atk Necrozma-Ultra Photon Geyser vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Zygarde: 186-220 (44.2 - 52.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252+ Atk Necrozma-Ultra Photon Geyser vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Zygarde: 204-241 (48.5 - 57.3%) -- 46.9% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Has great versatility, bulk, and Dynamax potential (although not as good as Xerneas obviously).
Mega-Gengar to A+
Also hard agree. With Nasty plot + Encore, this guy along with Zacian-C diminished stall, and makes sending Ho-Oh, Chansey, and certain Arceus support/defense forms a HUGE liability.
Primal Kygore to A-:
In a meta where everything is physical, Primal Kygore is a wonderful special attacker that exploits that. People seriously need to try experimenting with Primal Kygore more (even I am guilty of not trying). Although it is (read: definitely) outspeed by ALOT of mons, and is not as versatile as say Primal Groudon, its Calm Mind + Water Spout sets, Water typing (offensively and defensively) and even its standard all-out special attacker is highly valued on a team.
For my own nomination:
Arceus-Dark to B:
Whenever I see a team with Arceus-Dark without having any other Arceus formes, I start to scratch my head a bit. Why use this guy when there are much better Arceus formes for support? I will acknowledge while it does check Ultra Necrozma, Necrozma-DM, Mega-Gengar, Lugia, and Lunala, it doesn't really check other relevant targets.
  • Want something to check Ultra Necrozma/Necrozma-DM? Why not use Zygarde-Complete or defensive support Arceus-Water? They can DD, Rest, Recover or spread status more liberally + more punishing.
  • Want something to check Mega-Gengar and Lunala, and provide better role compression? Just use Yveltal (and Yveltal can Taunt + Oblivion Wing the heck out of support Arceus-Dark with little fear).
  • Want something to check Lugia? Stealth rock, Taunt, Status spreaders, Yveltal, Lunala, Necrozma-DM, I could name a few other more viable alternatives.
  • Arceus Ground better checks Necrozma-DM, Zacian-C, and Primal Groudon, and on top of it provides extremely meaningful team complimenting and offense. Arceus Water checks Zygarde-C AND Ho-Oh better than Arceus-Dark.
  • Its offensive sets are outclassed by Ekiller, SD Arceus Ground, and Life Orb Yveltal. Worst of all, the offensive sets becomes set-up fodder for Zacian-C and Xerneas, as they can set up multiple Subs and Geo + Dynamax with no punishment or take advantage of a predicted switch. It still is relevant in meta because it naturally checks the already mentioned-highly-relevant threats (and is definitely more viable than say, Arceus-Fairy), but it doesn't measure up to the same mons in B+ (in my opinion, at least).
Maybe I should write about Geomancy Xerneas + Dynamaxing and its impact on meta soon...
 
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:arceus:(steel) B- to UR
Unless I'm missing something, there is no reason to use this. Calm Mind is pretty terrible this gen because of Ho-Oh and faster threats like Zacian-C / Encore Mega Gengar, and every other set it has is outclassed by Dusk Mane.

While I'm here I'll give my opinions on the other noms:

:arceus-fire:(fire) B- to B
Nope, despite checking Zacian-C I would not use this on a serious team. It is rocks weak and bait for too many threats.

:zacian-crowned: S to S-
Agree, as Guardsweeper said it's possible to play around with common cores / mons and defensive Dynamax.

:gengar-mega: A to A+
Agree.

:zygarde-complete: A to A+
Agree. Zacian-C running Play Rough less often helps this out too.

:kyogre-primal: B+ to A-
Agree. Defensive sets with Rest are also a nice antimeta pick.

:arceus:(ground) A to A-
Disagree. Even though it's shut down by Ho-Oh and doesn't appreciate the increased usage of Adamant Zacian-C, it's still an important blanket check to a bunch of things (it does check ndm if wisp is run) and fits on more team structures than the mons in A-. It's versatile and can run stuff like Toxic + Refresh or Magic Coat to mess with Ho-Oh, and Swords Dance sets are very effective under Sticky Web right now.

:arceus:(water) A- to B+
Agree, not very splashable (heh) on most teams since aside from pivoting into Kyogre it does not offer much defensive synergy for a lot of the top mons, which would prefer to be paired with Zygarde or Arceus-Ground instead. Being so reliant on status is also a lot more dangerous this gen due to stuff like Eternatus / Mega Gengar / Substitute Zacian-C. Finally, it tends to be outlasted by Ho-Oh as it's easily pressured by chip damage from Toxic + rocks whereas Ho-Oh is not, so you need to pair it with another Fire check like Eternatus / Zygarde.

:ditto: A- to A
Disagree, virtually all of the top sweepers have found ways to get around this and the meta is becoming bulkier. Keep it where it is or even lower it perhaps.

:mewtwo: B+ to A
Disagree, there are better Dynamax abusers like Yveltal.

:rayquaza-mega: A+ to A
Disagree. True, scarf isn't great against fatter teams, but that set undersells its potential. I think band / LO is still great at getting kills in this metagame provided the right buttons are clicked. Defensive Dynamax is definitely an issue for it, but that's why you wait until the opponent has used it before setting up DD, or you just chip them a little bit and go straight for two Dragon Ascents so that they don't live the second hit even if they try to Dynamax. It's true that band is vulnerable to Mega Gengar, but that hasn't changed from last gen. I don't consider mray very susceptible to Ditto since Ditto is forced to lock into espeed and therefore cannot reverse sweep you.

:yveltal: A+ to S-
I guess I agree, next to no counters and always gets 1-3 kills.

:zacian: UR to D
Agree, maybe higher to C/C+ even. I've seen someone use this interesting set on Sticky Web to lure the usual fairy answers.
 

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