VR Update: Reasoning
UR to S+
A+ to S
A to S- [Ground]
A to A+ [Dark]
A to A+
A- to A [Normal]
A- to A
B to A
B to B+
B- to B [Steel]
C to B-
D to B- [Rock]
D to C [Electric]
D to C
UR to C
UR to C
UR to D
Calyrex-S is not comparable to anything else, it's as simple as that. Nasty Plot + Baton Pass sets sport the highest ceiling in the metagame by some margin. These sets have elevated the very definition of broken and centralizing by themselves, and it's even more evident in National Dex AG. This is due to two factors. Most importantly, the amount of receivers is incredibly large; anything from Xerneas, Eternatus, Arceus-Ground, Yveltal, Arceus-Water, Arceus-Fairy, Primal Kyogre, and even niche options in Arceus-Electric, Arceus-Steel, and Ultra Necrozma can wreck havoc after Calyrex-S passes a Nasty Plot boost.
Beyond that, Calyrex-S flaunts incredible versatility and unpredictability within just this one set, being capable of running anything from Life Orb Draining Kiss, Z-Pollen Puff, Z-Astral Barrage, and Life Orb Psyshock. All of these sets have their own hand at adding up to the pandemonium; Life Orb Draining Kiss plays lethal mind-games with Yveltal, Arceus-Dark, and a chipped Tyranitar; these variations always have the option of outright removing checks from the game with a boosted Max Starfall on top of already being capable of taking advantage of them with Baton Pass. The same dynamic can be observed between Z-Pollen Puff and Arceus-Dark, Tyranitar, and a chipped Yveltal; Z-Astral Barrage and Ho-Oh or bulky Eternatus; and Life Orb Psyshock and Arceus. Ghostium Z also comes with the benefit of discouraging the opponent from trading blows with Calyrex-S, cleanly taking out Pokemon such as fast Zacian-C, offensive Primal Groudon, and Necozma-DM before they can make a ballsy play and retaliate. The combination of these variations in conjunction with the slippery nature of Baton Pass makes it impossible to properly scout Calyrex-S without being punished, let alone properly checking it.
It doesn't stop here, either. Calyrex-S is also a great Choice Scarf user in a metagame where Speed control is pivotal, and can still operate as a dreaded stand-alone wincon with Leech Seed, Choice Specs, Substitute + Nasty Plot, and Nasty Plot 3-Attacks sets. All things considered, Calyrex-S makes its debut on the VR at S+.
With Calyrex-S dominating the metagame, its checks naturally rise through the ranks as well.
Yveltal is the safest check, not fearing much Calyrex-S can dish out itself other than a boosted Max Starfall or Trick. Bulky Yveltal is also the most capable when it comes to disrupting Baton Pass variants; it has the option of softening the recipient up with Snarl or using U-turn and bringing out a form of speed control that can force Calyrex-S or said recipient out. On the other hand, offensive variants are capable of playing mind-games between Roost, Sucker Punch, and Dynamax, which usually favors the Yveltal user. The ability to take direct advantage of Calyrex-S is particularly noteworthy, as giving opportunities to an offensive Yveltal is just as dangerous as ever. Yveltal reclaims its spot in S as a result.
Arceus-Dark is the second profiteer of Calyrex-S's introduction, being a fairly good check altogether that's capable of forcing it out with its STAB moves and punishing Baton Pass with Thunder Wave or Perish Song. It is met with a raise to A+ in order to reflect the elevated relevancy. Not a whole lot has changed beyond that, Arceus-Dark is still the splashable Pokemon it was prior to DLC II, posing as a wincon between its Calm Mind and Perish trapper sets or providing utility as a Defogger.
Lastly, Tyranitar rises a subrank based on the same reasoning, i.e. limiting Calyrex-S with Rock Blast or Foul Play and disrupting Baton Pass with Roar or Thunder Wave. Tyranitar still faces the same flaws as before, however, limiting Necrozma-DM's form of recovery and being fairly passive due to an overreliance on Rest. It will modestly reside in B+ for the time being.
Arceus-Ground has truly taken off as an offensive presence, sporting a ridiculously high win-percentage in Snake (84.62%). Swords Dance sets are as dangerous as ever, taking advantage of just how common Necrozma-DM, passive Arceus forms, and Primal Groudon are; the ability to easily create continuous opportunities for itself against these Pokemon with Recover is a very intimidating trait for such a dangerous wallbreaker. Beyond that, the fact that its best check in Lunala is fairly limited in the context of a metagame dominated by Calyrex-S and Dark-types, as well as the fact that Arceus-Ground can break through other checks in Zygarde-C and bulky Arceus forms with Dynamax or Tectonic Rage all sum up to create an incredible wallbreaker.
It doesn't stop here, however. Ho-Oh's fall from its status as a universal glue has given room for Calm Mind Arceus-Ground to truly shine as a terrific wallbreaker and late-game cleaner for the first time in National Dex AG. Taking advantage of the same Pokemon as Swords Dance variants, Calm Mind Arceus-Ground faces no lack of opportunities either. The interchangeability between Swords Dance and Calm Mind variants on most builds combined with the fact that counterplay is wildly different between these two sets makes Arceus-Ground one of the top contenders in the metagame, resulting in a rise all the way to S-.
Eternatus has been another clear winner in Snake, boasting a win percentage of 72.73%. This is no surprise to anyone watching from the sidelines. Both specially defensive Toxic Spikes and offensive Life Orb sets are incredible wincons that benefit immensely from the prevalence of bulky Necrozma-DM and passive Dark-types as a result of Zacian-C and Calyrex-S's centralization. The specially defensive set is a great tool of progress-making; its enormous resiliency and proficiency as a Toxic Spikes user often makes it impossible to outlast the grip Eternatus exerts on almost any balanced team these days. As a wallbreaker, Eternatus is nothing short of amazing either. Outside of a few Pokemon that are quite hard to justify, e.g. Chansey and Tyranitar, nothing can really afford to switch into the combination of Life Orb boosted Dragon / Poison / Fire coverage. To add fuel to the fire, Eternatus itself can easily switch into a range of threats that's becoming wider with every passing day. The combination of these two traits establishes Eternatus as one of the most respected wallbreakers in the metagame. Consequently, it finally makes the jump to A+.
Another development we've seen as a result of Calyrex-S is the emergence of speed control, with all of Arceus, Marshadow, and Ditto seeing significant usage and boasting very positive winrates, and rising to A as a result.
Arceus not only stands out as a form of speed control, it is also a good means of limiting Calyrex-S as a whole with Recover, not fearing much outside of boosted Max Mindstorms. This defensive utility has even resulted in experimentation with utility and Calm Mind variants wielding Shadow Ball as a way of checking or taking advantage of Calyrex-S. This increased versatility adds up to Swords Dance Arceus's already established position as a dreaded wallbreaker, late-game cleaner, and form of speed control.
Marshadow is another revenge killer that has skyrocketed in relevance. It is perhaps the most effective form of speed control in the current metagame, limiting everything from Calyrex-S, Swords Dance Arceus forms, Calm Mind Arceus forms, and Mega Rayquaza, and only really falling short of revenge killing Zacian-C, boosted Yveltal, and Eternatus. Beyond operating as a revenge killer, Marshadow is a terrific wallbreaker in its own right, capable of busting through the overmajority of bulky pivots with a well-timed Soul-Stealing 7-Star Strike or Life Orb boosted Max Moves that increase its snowballing potential between Max Phantasm dropping Defense and Max Knuckle raising Attack. Choice Scarf Marshadow is also worthy of a mention; it's the most foolproof way of patching up the matchup against any Calyrex-S variant by virtue of outspeeding it and finishing it off with Pursuit after minimal chip.
Ditto is another great way of limiting Calyrex-S, always forcing the latter to think twice before netting a KO and in general being a good way to limit most Baton Pass recipients in a pinch. Other than that, its previous qualities as a great way to punish Zacian-C and revenge kill hard to wall threats such as Eternatus, Swords Dance Arceus forms, and Marshadow definitely carry over to the post-DLC II metagame.
Arceus-Steel, Arceus-Electric, and Arceus-Rock all rise up to better reflect their overall prowess.
Arceus-Steel is a powerful wincon capable of shredding just about any team lacking Primal Groudon on the spot with its Calm Mind + Roar sets. The immunity to Toxic is especially a blessing, freeing up the crucial moveslot for Roar necessary to counteract Whirlpool Arceus forms and Whirlwind Ho-Oh after accruing a few Defense boosts with Dynamax.
Arceus-Electric is a powerful wallbreaker on Sticky Web teams, effortlessly scaring out most Defoggers and hitting large parts of the metagame for super-effective damage between Jugdment, Ice Beam, and Earth Power. Recover variants forgoing Earth Power are no slouch either, only really fearing Primal Groudon and Arceus-Ground, as well as posing as a clutch check to both Zacian-C and Mega Rayquaza.
Arceus-Rock, on the other hand, rises due to being the single-most reliable check to most Mega Rayquaza sets and providing a way to sponge Yveltal's Max Airstream. It is also a pretty great Stealth Rock setter, scaring out both Yveltal and Ho-Oh, and thereby a good way to enable both Necrozma-DM's Dragon Dance or Swords Dance sets and making Assurance Zacian-C that much more threatening.
Groudon and Grimmsnarl are a few other Pokemon that were misrepresented in the previous VR.
Groudon really doesn't know any good checks at all and is more than capable of taking advantage of Necrozma-DM or bulky Primal Groudon and running away with the entire game by itself. However, it is still pretty hard to justify, not really adding any defensive utility to a team. It carves out a tentative spot in B- for now.
Grimmsnarl rises as a result of Dual Screens hyper offenses undoubtedly being in a better spot than is suggested by a D-ranking. Especially with the elevated speed tier in the current metagame, with various forms of speed control finding their way onto just about any team, Dual Screens can really go a long way in boosting a lot of hyper offensive staples to near-unbearable levels.
To finally wrap up the rises, we have Celesteela, Shuckle, and Regieleki making their debut in the VR. Celesteela is a product of Arceus-Ground breaking teams left and right. It is the best way of meaningfully limiting both Swords Dance and Calm Mind variants without giving away too much momentum courtesy of Leech Seed. Shuckle is a good Sticky Web setter that can also compress Stealth Rock, disrupt leads in a better fashion than Sticky Web Smeargle with Red Card, and keep up momentum with Final Gambit. Regieleki is a niche option for people looking for ways to limit Calyrex-S and Zacian-C, and can definitely clean up unprepared teams with relative ease. However, it fails to do anything to Ground-types and so will be placed in D for now.
S to S-
S to S-
A to B+
B+ to B
B+ to B
B+ to B- [Ghost]
B+ to B-
B to B-
B+ to C
B to D
C to D
C to D
D to UR
D to UR
D to UR
D to UR
D to UR
D to UR
Mega Rayquaza suffers from the redefinition of Speed tiers yet again at the hands of Calyrex-S. Beyond that, the popularity of Swords Dance Arceus, Marshadow, Ditto, as well as Choice Scarf Calyrex-S gives more room than ever to limit Mega Rayquaza's attempts at cleaning up. None of these trends take anything away from Mega Rayquaza's wallbreaking prowess, however; it is still among the best of the best when it comes to finding ways to pave the path for a player to wrap up a match. All things considered, it will be dropping to S-.
While still being close to as mandatory as ever, the metagame is becoming progressively more hostile to Necrozma-DM. Many popular and dangerous Pokemon such as Calyrex-S, Arceus-Ground, Eternatus, and Yveltal take enormous advantage of Necrozma-DM. Necrozma-DM also faces quite a lot of 4-move-slot-syndrome these days. It really wants to run Thunder Wave or Earthquake to limit Zacian-C and Eternatus, but is hopelessly taken advantage of by the dangerous Arceus-Ground if going that direction and cannot do anything meaningful to Defoggers. On the other hand, it may opt to run Toxic in order to at least beat Defoggers and punish Arceus-Ground, but must accept losing to any well-played Swords Dance Zacian-C and inviting Eternatus in for days in that case. These trends and struggles ultimately result in a drop to S-.
Kyogre has lost a great deal of its relevance. It may still be an incredibly powerful wallbreaker, but the fact that it takes up a slot without offering much of any utility is a major setback in such a constricted metagame, in which every slot has to be filled as efficiently as possible. Due to this, it's not really accurate anymore to place Kyogre at a rank that seems to convey it's still a staple in the metagame. It drops to B+ as a result.
Bulky balances and stall teams are severely hard-pressed between having to account for Calyrex-S and its Baton Pass shenanigans, Swords Dance Arceus forms, bulky Eternatus, and several traditional wallbreakers in Zacian-C, Yveltal, Mega Rayquaza, and Primal Groudon. The rise in Ditto usage does no favors to these sort of archetypes either; they fail to make meaningful progress against any well-played Ditto. Chansey, Giratina, and Lugia are some of the faces of these teams, and therefore drop from B+.
Beyond defensive presences, a wide range of offensive presences drop due to Calyrex-S as well. Arceus-Ghost has no niche outside of a select few hyper offensive builds now. Not only does it suffer massively as an offensive Pokemon that is limited pretty easily by Calyrex-S and the rising Marshadow, it doesn't appreciate the influx of Yveltal and Arceus-Dark one bit either. Offensive Psychic-types face the exact same issues, but on top of all, all of them are also directly outclassed ánd soft checked by Calyrex-S itself. Arceus-Ghost, Mewtwo and its Mega form, Deoxys-Attack, and Ultra Necrozma drop accordingly due to all of these very notable short-comings.
Gliscor and Magearna drop to D due to not holding too much of a relevant niche right now. Gliscor's ability to take advantage of most bulky Pokemon is a relic of the past; it cannot do so anymore against most Arceus forms and Yveltal, and doesn't appreciate many Primal Groudon being offensive. Beyond that, the bulky teams Gliscor fits on best are not representative of the metagame anymore either. Magearna may still be able to run away with a lot of games given Ho-Oh's rare presence, but pales in comparison to Baton Pass Calyrex-S.
The D-ranks have also been cleaned up as a result of the constricted nature of National Dex AG. None of these Pokemon hold a niche anymore and have lost their last bit of relevancy. Amoonguss cannot check what it's supposed to check anymore, Diancie's niche as a check to Yveltal is moot when there are tons of better ways to tackle the latter, Shedinja requires way too much maintenance to ever really justify, Toxapex is outclassed and limited by Eternatus, and Vivillon fails to overcome Perish Song's relevancy and cannot stick above Power Trip Smeargle.