Metagame National Dex Metagame Discussion v2

Jordy

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Discord Leader
Hey everyone! With the release of The Isle of Armor, we've decided that now is a good time to revamp the National Dex Metagame Discussion thread.

Although National Dex isn't affected as strongly as metagames like OU because National Dex already has access to all of the introduced Pokemon, we still got a few newly introduced Pokemon such as Urshifu and Galarian Slowbro. On top of these newly introduced Pokemon, we also got a bunch of new moves. Feel free to use this thread to discuss how these additions may shake up the metagame and to discuss any other metagame trends!

To spark some discussion, I'll leave a couple of questions below:

1. How do you believe these newly introduced Pokemon will affect the National Dex metagame?
2. Are there any Pokemon that you anticipate to see more usage and which do you anticipate will drop in usage? Why?
3. Many Pokemon also gained new tools with the release of new Moves. Which do you believe benefit most?

The previous rendition of this thread was moderated rather loosely, but be aware that we will be a lot stricter this time around.
 

Jho

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Here are all the new moves that were added and released with the DLC and their details!

Burning Jealousy
Typing:

Base Power: 70
Accuracy: 100%
PP: 5-8
Category: Special
Move Description: Burns all that set up in the same turn.

Coaching
Typing:

Base Power: -
Accuracy: -
PP: 16
Category: Status
Move Description: Raises the target's Attack and Defense by 1.

Corrosive Gas
Typing:

Base Power: -
Accuracy: 100%
PP: 64
Category: Status
Move Description: Removes the target's item.

Dual Wingbeat
Typing:

Base Power: 40
Accuracy: 90%
PP: 16
Category: Physical
Move Description: Hits 2 times in one turn.

Expanding Force
Typing:

Base Power: 80
Accuracy: 100%
PP: 32
Category: Special
Move Description: Psychic Terrain: Boosted power + hits all foes.

Flip Turn
Typing:

Base Power: 60
Accuracy: 100%
PP: 32
Category: Physical
Move Description: User switches out after damaging the target.

Grassy Glide
Typing:

Base Power: 70
Accuracy: 100%
PP: 32
Category: Physical
Move Description: +1 Priority under Grassy Terrain.

Lash Out
Typing:

Base Power: 75
Accuracy: 100%
PP: 8
Category: Physical
Move Description: 2x power if stat lowered on same turn.

Meteor Beam
Typing:

Base Power: 120
Accuracy: 90%
PP: 16
Category: Special
Move Description: Raises user's Sp. Atk by 1 on turn 1. Hits turn 2.

Misty Explosion
Typing:

Base Power: 100
Accuracy: 100%
PP: 8
Category: Special
Move Description: Hits all Pokemon. Stronger in terrain.

Poltergeist
Typing:

Base Power: 110
Accuracy: 90%
PP: 8
Category: Physical
Move Description: Fails if the target has no item.

Rising Voltage
Typing:

Base Power: 70
Accuracy: 100%
PP: 32
Category: Special
Move Description: 2x power in Electric Terrain.

Scale Shot
Typing:

Base Power: 25
Accuracy: 90%
PP: 32
Category: Physical
Move Description: Raises Spe, Lowers Def. Hits 2-5 times.

Scorching Sands
Typing:

Base Power: 70
Accuracy: 100%
PP: 16
Category: Special
Move Description: 30% chance to burn the target. Thaws target.

Shell Side Arm
Typing:

Base Power: 90
Accuracy: 100%
PP: 16
Category: Special
Move Description: Physical if target Def > Sp. Def. 20% poison chance

Skitter Smack
Typing:

Base Power: 70
Accuracy: 90%
PP: 16
Category: Physical
Move Description: 100% chance to lower target's Sp. Atk by 1.

Steel Roller
Typing:

Base Power: 130
Accuracy: 100%
PP: 8
Category: Physical
Move Description: Fails if no terrain. Ends terrain.

Surging Strikes
Typing:

Base Power: 25
Accuracy: 100%
PP: PP
Category: Physical
Move Description: Always results in a critical hit. Hits 3 times.

Terrain Pulse
Typing:

Base Power: 50
Accuracy: 100%
PP: 16
Category: Special
Move Description: Power doubles and type varies in each terrain.

Triple Axel
Typing:

Base Power: 20
Accuracy: 90%
PP: 16
Category: Physical
Move Description: Hits 3 times. Each hit can miss, but power rises.

Wicked Blow
Typing:

Base Power: 80
Accuracy: 100%
PP: 8
Category: Physical
Move Description: Always results in a critical hit.


Heres the list of new Pokemon we get:


Urshifu - Single Strike

Stats: 100 / 130 / 100 / 63 / 60 / 97
Ability: Unseen Fist - All contact moves hit through Protect.


Urshifu - Rapid Strike

Stats: 100 / 130 / 100 / 63 / 60 / 97
Ability: Unseen Fist - All contact moves hit through Protect.


Zarude

Stats: 105 / 120 / 105 / 70 / 95 / 105
Ability: Leaf Guard
(Will be released later)


Galarian Slowbro

Stats: 95 / 100 / 95 / 100 / 70 / 30
Ability: Quick Draw / Own Tempo / Regenerator
Quick Draw -This Pokemon has a 20% chance to move first in its priority bracket.

All movepool updates can be found in this thread.
 
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Jho

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With Mega Alakazam being quickbanned, lets kick this off with talking about some of the other more impactful additions to the metagame:


Urshifu

Urshifu - Single Strike looks to be an extremely strong wallbreaker in the metagame thanks to its decent STAB combination paired up with its incredibly high BP attacks. Between Wicked Blow and Close Combat, even the metagames strongest physical walls, such as Tangrowth and Alomomola, can be 2hkod with hazards present or a little bit of chip damage. It also has coverage such as Poison Jab to help it deal with Tapu Fini and Clefable, as well as U-turn which allows it to keep up the momentum. I believe something along the lines of the following will be it's most prominent set:
Urshifu @ Choice Band
Ability: Unseen Fist
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Wicked Blow
- Close Combat
- U-turn
- Poison Jab

On the other hand, Urshifu - Rapid Strike seems extremely underwhelming due to the fact that there are far more Water resists in the metagame currently and the combination of Water- and Fighting-type STABs are much easier to pivot around than its counterpart's. I do not think this Pokemon is worth using at all in the National Dex metagame.



Galarian Slowbro

Galarian Slowbro is an interesting one but overall I do not think it has a niche in the National Dex metagame. Its lesser bulk compared to its Kantonian counterpart, as well as much less attractive typing, make it incredibly hard to justify using. Whilst Galarian Slowbro does have better offenses, I do not think that makes it worth using as even then, Nasty Plot sets must choose between being walled by Heatran or Ferrothorn for example, and it is also very susceptible to Hydreigon, which is extremely good in the current metagame. Its extremely poor speed tier also makes it lacklustre as a wallbreaker.

Pokemon which got better with new moves:

:lopunny-mega:
Mega Lopunny

Mega Lopunny has access to a more consistent Fighting-type STAB in Close Combat now, and also some additional coverage options, however, the highlight here is Lopunny's new found access to U-turn, which allows it to function as one of the best offensive pivots in the metagame. U-turn turns Mega Lopunny's matchup versus Fat teams on its head, allowing it to much more freely bring in strong Wallbreakers. Kyurem in particular benefits greatly from this as Lopunny lures in Pokemon such as Hippowdon, Tangrowth, Alomomola, Tapu Fini etc all of which can be abused by Kyurem. Not only this, Mega Lopunny also retains its great matchup versus offensive teams that it is known for, making it just a really strong pick on all fronts. Mega Lopunny seems like the new defacto best Mega Pokemon available after the Mega Alakazam ban.
Lopunny-Mega @ Lopunnite
Ability: Limber
Happiness: 0
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Close Combat
- Frustration
- U-turn


:charizard-mega-x:
Mega Charizard X

Charizard X gets a new tool in Scale Shot, allowing it to boost its speed whilst attacking at the same time. This enables sets that lack Dragon Dance, such as Belly Drum or SD for example. A Dragon-type STAB that can be stronger than Dragon Claw, but also doesnt have the drawbacks of Outrage also makes Charizard X a little stronger in that regard. The added Attack boosts means that it is less reliant on Flare Blitz for it's Fire-type STAB, meaning that it also doesn't have to worry about recoil reducing its longevity.
Charizard-Mega-X @ Charizardite X
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Belly Drum
- Scale Shot
- Earthquake
- Fire Punch


This obviously isnt everything that got better, but its some of the most high profile additions in my opinion, what other mons do you guys think got better with the new moves? And what are your thoughts on the new additions?
 
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SputnikGT

Sad but Hopeful Racing Point F1 Fan
Ok might as well

:ss/alakazam:
Alakazam @ Life Orb
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psychic / Expanding Force
- Focus Blast
- Shadow Ball / Recover
- Nasty Plot

The banning of Mega Alakazam was swift and well deserved, but it has given this bad boy a time to shine. Life Orb Alakazam is finally out of the shadows of "Theoretically ok but nobody has any reason to use it." Funnily enough, this actually hits a tad harder than Mega Alakazam, and Magic Guard makes it a pain for bulky cores to deal with.

Now, this is significantly worse than Mega, obviously. The speed tier leaves you open to notable threats (Mega Lopunny being the big one), , you don't get Trace (although Magic Guard is still good) and the bulk leaves a lot to be desired. Its obviously going to be significantly worse.

But Mega Alakazam shone against bulkier balance teams, and this absolutely will as well. Switching into this, even without Nasty Plot in mind, is really tough, especially if its the Expanding Force PsySpam variant (which is absolutely worth trying because its pretty insane what you can pull off) It can also use Magic Guard to turn Pokemon that would look to Toxic it into free Nasty Plots, which is probably the only place its gonna be setting up because the bulk is bad. It also has the great coverage that Mega Alakazam did, and if you're running it with Pursuit (which is easier to fit now that you can run it with Mega Tyranitar), it doesn't even need Shadow Ball. Hell, Dazzling Gleam could be a thing if you really hate Sableye (not worth it most of the time though) It's definitely higher risk than Mega Alakazam, and requires much more care to use, but keep an eye on this thing, because it just might just tear you apart.
 
:Rillaboom:
I really like Rillaboom before, and now having access to Grassy Glide, I would like to pay my respects to Ash-Greninja.
F

:Alakazam:
Mega Zam unsurprisingly was quickbanned this morning after gaining access to Nasty Plot.
And Honestly wonder if the same will happen to Alakazam itself.
Darkrai is already banned itself, and take a look at Alakazam’s stats compared to it.
It’s HP and Def are much lower, but Alakazam shares its SpA and is only a little bit slower by 11/10 points depending on if it’s Timid or Modest.
However, Alakazam has a far better ability in Magic Guard. Giving it hazard immunity for Focus Sash, and no recoil when using Life Orb.

My only thoughts on how Alakazam couldn’t be ban worthy, based on its similarities to Darkrai, is that Alakazam is vulnerable to Pursuit and Sucker Punch (and it’s not like Darkrai appreciates Mach Punch, Bullet Punch, or Water Shuriken either).
And even then, Alakazam has an answer to things like Chansey that is more reliable than Hypnosis spam.
+2 252 SpA Life Orb Alakazam Focus Blast vs. 248 HP / 8 SpD Eviolite Chansey: 442-523 (62.8 - 74.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+2 252 SpA Life Orb Alakazam Psyshock vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Chansey: 464-546 (66 - 77.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
With Nasty Plot, it won’t be a psycret or a psyshock to anyone that Alakazam becoming S rank.
 
:sm/scizor-mega:

Scizor-Mega @ Scizorite
Adamant Nature
Ability: Technician
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
- Swords Dance
- Bullet Punch
- Superpower
- Psycho Cut

This is likely a bad or at least rather niche set for HO, but the addition of Psycho Cut to Mega Scizor's movepool means it finally has a way of beating Toxapex, who pretty much dies to +2 Psycho after SR if SpD. Superpower kills Heatran, Ferro, etc. and Bullet Punch is Bullet Punch. Obviously this set has flaws such as being slower than Tran and Scarf Zone, not having Roost to check Lop and Meta, etc., so this will likely be restricted to niche stuff like Webs if it turns it to even be remotely viable. Still nice to have something to beat Pex though.
 
I’m not going to lie I’m a little confused on the mega alakazam ban.
Obviously it becomes extremely dangerous after a NP boost, but due to its atrocious physical bulk, attaining that boost against offensive teams will pretty much never happen. The most common scarfer in the tier(G Darm) forces it out with the threat of an OHKO and keeps up momentum with U Turn. It also has poor special bulk due to its atrocious HP stat(much less than other relevant Megas such as Scizor, Metagross, TTar) meaning that you’re not going to be switching this in on more passive mons like Heatran or Zapdos without losing close to half your HP from their uninvested attacks. The opportunity cost of using Alakazam as your mega is massive as well, as you miss out on the instant hard hitting power of Metagross, the utility and raw bulk of TTar, or the pivoting and late game wincon that is Scizor. Let’s not forget that Zam must rely on a 70% accurate move to hit dark/steel types. Due to its lackluster singular typing, it must choose whether it wants to hit foes on their Sp Def stat or their defense. Another mon with similar strength after a boost is Hoopa Unbound, but it trades in the blazing speed(which in Zams case doesn’t really matter, bc similar to Hoopa, you’re forced out by anything with a scarf or other Megas such as metagross ttar scizor etc. the only notable exception is lopunny) and an actually useful ability for massive natural special bulk, a neutrality to dark which notably makes it a more reliable greninja check, and it’s excellent dual stabs allow it to both hit physically and specially with its Nasty Plot set, allowing it to mow down stall with ease as Sableye hates a boosted dark pulse and Chansey gets cleanly OHKOed by Fightnium Z. This also allows you to run a mega that doesn’t die in one hit, and due to its physical bulk being superior to Mega Zam’s, it can actually survive priority that would blow Zam away such as Bisharps Sucker Punch or Banded Aegislashs Shadow Sneak. I just think with the prevalence of Toxapex and passive mons in general banning something that takes advantage of them only promotes their usage further, which results in a very stagnant meta game(like gen 8 OU right now, w everything that could OHKO clef banned you see games pretty much being mirror matchups and taking 50+ turns)
 
:ss/hippowdon:
Hippowdon @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 120 Def / 136 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Stealth Rock
- Scorching Sands
- Slack Off
- Toxic

Scorching Sands lets Hippo beat Mega Scizor long game, a feat it couldn't before. It also helps vs Kartana and G-Darm which is great because those 2 tend to be scary vs Sand teams kinda. I know this post is kinda short but I haven't played that much DLC meta so far so I will making this post brief.
 
I’m not going to lie I’m a little confused on the mega alakazam ban.
Obviously it becomes extremely dangerous after a NP boost, but due to its atrocious physical bulk, attaining that boost against offensive teams will pretty much never happen. The most common scarfer in the tier(G Darm) forces it out with the threat of an OHKO and keeps up momentum with U Turn. It also has poor special bulk due to its atrocious HP stat(much less than other relevant Megas such as Scizor, Metagross, TTar) meaning that you’re not going to be switching this in on more passive mons like Heatran or Zapdos without losing close to half your HP from their uninvested attacks. The opportunity cost of using Alakazam as your mega is massive as well, as you miss out on the instant hard hitting power of Metagross, the utility and raw bulk of TTar, or the pivoting and late game wincon that is Scizor. Let’s not forget that Zam must rely on a 70% accurate move to hit dark/steel types. Due to its lackluster singular typing, it must choose whether it wants to hit foes on their Sp Def stat or their defense. Another mon with similar strength after a boost is Hoopa Unbound, but it trades in the blazing speed(which in Zams case doesn’t really matter, bc similar to Hoopa, you’re forced out by anything with a scarf or other Megas such as metagross ttar scizor etc. the only notable exception is lopunny) and an actually useful ability for massive natural special bulk, a neutrality to dark which notably makes it a more reliable greninja check, and it’s excellent dual stabs allow it to both hit physically and specially with its Nasty Plot set, allowing it to mow down stall with ease as Sableye hates a boosted dark pulse and Chansey gets cleanly OHKOed by Fightnium Z. This also allows you to run a mega that doesn’t die in one hit, and due to its physical bulk being superior to Mega Zam’s, it can actually survive priority that would blow Zam away such as Bisharps Sucker Punch or Banded Aegislashs Shadow Sneak. I just think with the prevalence of Toxapex and passive mons in general banning something that takes advantage of them only promotes their usage further, which results in a very stagnant meta game(like gen 8 OU right now, w everything that could OHKO clef banned you see games pretty much being mirror matchups and taking 50+ turns)
I mean, only one Knock Off lure on your team and any scarfer stops being an answer. If you read the thread you'll know how easy is to partner it with Tapu Lele that nullifies priority to revenge kill him and makes him nuclear with Expanding Force.

+2 252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Expanding Force vs. 248 HP / 8 SpD Eviolite Chansey in Psychic Terrain: 538-634 (76.5 - 90.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

+2 252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Expanding Force vs. 248 HP / 244 SpD Scizor-Mega in Psychic Terrain: 337-397 (98.2 - 115.7%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO

+2 252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Expanding Force vs. 248 HP / 224+ SpD Assault Vest Magearna in Psychic Terrain: 189-222 (52 - 61.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

+2 252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Shadow Ball vs. 232 HP / 40 SpD Metagross-Mega: 386-456 (107.5 - 127%) -- guaranteed OHKO (this is last gen Ubers spread, meaning that common Metagross takes even more damage)

+2 252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Tyranitar in Sand: 420-496 (103.9 - 122.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO (it might rely on Focus Blast but not even AV Tytar is safe, only Chople Berry variants can handle it)

It finds incredibly easy entry points on stuff like Heatran using Fire moves, Slowbro, Toxapex, and pretty much ends the game with little support. Let's not act like we need more busted mons in this tier.
 
I mean, only one Knock Off lure on your team and any scarfer stops being an answer. If you read the thread you'll know how easy is to partner it with Tapu Lele that nullifies priority to revenge kill him and makes him nuclear with Expanding Force.

+2 252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Expanding Force vs. 248 HP / 8 SpD Eviolite Chansey in Psychic Terrain: 538-634 (76.5 - 90.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

+2 252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Expanding Force vs. 248 HP / 244 SpD Scizor-Mega in Psychic Terrain: 337-397 (98.2 - 115.7%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO

+2 252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Expanding Force vs. 248 HP / 224+ SpD Assault Vest Magearna in Psychic Terrain: 189-222 (52 - 61.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

+2 252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Shadow Ball vs. 232 HP / 40 SpD Metagross-Mega: 386-456 (107.5 - 127%) -- guaranteed OHKO (this is last gen Ubers spread, meaning that common Metagross takes even more damage)

+2 252 SpA Alakazam-Mega Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Tyranitar in Sand: 420-496 (103.9 - 122.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO (it might rely on Focus Blast but not even AV Tytar is safe, only Chople Berry variants can handle it)

It finds incredibly easy entry points on stuff like Heatran using Fire moves, Slowbro, Toxapex, and pretty much ends the game with little support. Let's not act like we need more busted mons in this tier.
I mean I read the thread and understand the calcs, but my thing is if you run into a rain team who are you going to set up that nasty plot on? Pelipper? Ferrothorn while you get OHKOed by Gyro Ball? On paper it’s a very threatening mon, but in practice Psychic spam as a team style has a lot of flaws. Although it does have easy entry on those aforementioned mons, if you choose you use a team full of mons with next to no offensive presence, then you’re obviously going to open yourself up to inviting in boosting sweepers. Even though psychic terrain blocks priority, in reality Tapu Lele lacks recovery and is prone to chip damage, and it’s quite vulnerable to the most popular mega in the game right now, Metagross. If anything I’d say using Zam takes more skill than a mon like pex, as you’re never going to really be punished for making a wrong prediction with it due to its ability to simply switch and recover off all the damage. Regenerator mons( Pex specifically due to its insane mixed bulk)as a whole are low risk high reward, so I don’t see the point of banning mons that can take advantage of them but allowing them to run free in the metagame. Like I said, look at what happened to gen 8 OU when the best breakers allowed were all UU power level last gen.
 


Unironically believe Palossand and Golurk will have a niche thanks to Scorching Sand and Poltergeist. Small Niches, but still will be something to consider.
Palossand is slightly less bulky than its Sinnoh cousin Hippowdon on both sides, has Shore Up instead of Slack Off, doesn't get Whirlwind, and Hippowdon does get Scorching Sand too, but it does have some advantages too (and most apply to Golurk as well).
First and the most obvious point being its Ghost typing.
This means;
A. Blocks Rapid Spin attempts from Excadrill as well as Breakneck Blitz
B. Blocks High Jump Kicks from Cinderace and Reduces Gunk Shot's power. It also stops Body Press from defensive setters like Kommo-o, Skarmory, and Ferrothorn
C. Gives it a secondary STAB it definitely will use against Flying types, namely Corviknight and Corvilight to at least discourage them from Defogging if they are at low health.
Second, Palossand puts a bit more pressure on the opposing Physical Attackers thanks to Scorching Sand, which has a decent power gap over Hippowdon's own Scorching Sand.
Mega Metagross
0 SpA Palossand Scorching Sand vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Metagross-Mega: 138-164 (45.8 - 54.4%) -- 52.3% chance to 2HKO
0 SpA Hippowdon Scorching Sand vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Metagross-Mega: 102-122 (33.8 - 40.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

Excadrill
0 SpA Palossand Scorching Sand vs. 252 HP / 180 SpD Excadrill: 168-200 (39.6 - 47.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 SpA Hippowdon Scorching Sand vs. 252 HP / 180 SpD Excadrill: 122-146 (28.7 - 34.4%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after Leftovers recovery

Mega Mawile
0 SpA Palossand Scorching Sand vs. 92 HP / 0 SpD Mawile-Mega: 158-188 (59.8 - 71.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
0 SpA Hippowdon Scorching Sand vs. 92 HP / 0 SpD Mawile-Mega: 116-138 (43.9 - 52.2%) -- 69.9% chance to 2HKO

Darmanitan-Galar
0 SpA Hippowdon Scorching Sand vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Darmanitan-Galar: 90-106 (25.6 - 30.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock and sandstorm damage
0 SpA Palossand Scorching Sand vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Darmanitan-Galar: 123-145 (35 - 41.3%) -- 67.2% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock
Palossand does have the disadvantage of being vulnerable to Dark and Ghost type moves unfortunately, but hey. It's niche and not a mainstay.

For Golurk, it has similar type advantages as Palossand and can make a pretty decent Suicide Lead
Dynamic Punch has great power and causes confusion, which was nerfed, but a free confusion off a powerful 100 Fighting move is priceless for Golurk. Especially when Excadrill, Tyranitar, and Ferrothorn are involved. With the chance of confusion, Golurk, with some luck, can completely stop attempts at a Corviknight Defogging or Excadrill from setting up Stealth Rock.
Poltergeist is the brand new physical Ghost type move, and FINALLY Golurk has a usable Ghost STAB.
Poltergeist is Golurk's strongest move and it can hit very hard. Against Mew, this means Golurk has a 50% chance to OHKO Suicide Lead Mew, which will not activate Mew's Red Card (in case you didn't know, it actually does fail if the holder faints. Check Bulbapedia). Give Golurk Adamant and it turns into a 68.75% chance.
Golurk then has the option to choose between Earthquake/High Horsepower, Stone Edge, Ice Beam, and Self-Destruct.
Earthquake/High Horsepower is good consistent damage, the former being stronger and the latter being useful against a Rillaboom team (although much more rare, the only downside is a tad bit less power). This will always OHKO Heatran too, which Golurk is able to outspeed defensive variants looking to set up Stealth Rock.
Stone Edge can be used against Tornadus-T, Mandibuzz, Moltres, and Talonflame so they won't continue to Defog your Stealth Rocks.
Ice Beam is an alternative as to surprise Landorus-T, Gliscor, and Physical Tangrowth. It won't kill them, but they will be in ranges to be revenged killed and they won't snuff out Golurk either.
Self-Destruct (no Explosion rip) is great for Hyper Offensive teams, similar to how Excadrill will sometimes use Steel Beam to kill itself, allowing you to not only let a teammate come in safely, but if a slower Pokemon were to Defog, the move would fail.

It's by no means perfect. It's slow, so taunt will be a common issue. It has to rely on RNG to prevent an opposing Pokemon from setting up Hazards/Defogging. And someone can get their Ash-Greninja early against it.
But it's pretty nice having a Stealth Rock user that naturally stops some Hazard Removal and can hit back hard too.
 
I mean I read the thread and understand the calcs, but my thing is if you run into a rain team who are you going to set up that nasty plot on? Pelipper? Ferrothorn while you get OHKOed by Gyro Ball? On paper it’s a very threatening mon, but in practice Psychic spam as a team style has a lot of flaws. Although it does have easy entry on those aforementioned mons, if you choose you use a team full of mons with next to no offensive presence, then you’re obviously going to open yourself up to inviting in boosting sweepers. Even though psychic terrain blocks priority, in reality Tapu Lele lacks recovery and is prone to chip damage, and it’s quite vulnerable to the most popular mega in the game right now, Metagross. If anything I’d say using Zam takes more skill than a mon like pex, as you’re never going to really be punished for making a wrong prediction with it due to its ability to simply switch and recover off all the damage. Regenerator mons( Pex specifically due to its insane mixed bulk)as a whole are low risk high reward, so I don’t see the point of banning mons that can take advantage of them but allowing them to run free in the metagame. Like I said, look at what happened to gen 8 OU when the best breakers allowed were all UU power level last gen.
You come in M-Swampert via a U-Turn or Teleport, trace its Swift Swim and start breaking with a 160BP move backed by Psychic Terrain. You don't need to always boost because Expanding Force is already really strong against offense. Pex can be taken advantage by other mons like Garchomp, the Latis, Reuniclus, Metagross, etc. It's not that difficult.
 
:ss/rillaboom: :ss/heatran: :ss/toxapex:

https://pokepast.es/31cc4f1d35da2571

I've been playing around with this fire/water/grass core. It seems like a really solid base for building a new team. Rillaboom weakens earthquake which heatran and pex really appreciate, heatran takes on the grass and steel types that rillaboom gets walled by, and pex is pex and softchecks many things in the tier. The specific sets and EVs can change depending on your remaining teammates (I'm personally using max phys def pex because hawlucha is everywhere rn).

A side note on rillaboom. This mon is sooooo good lol. It's basically all the good parts of kartana and tapu bulu into one mon, minus the secondary typing, and let's just give it u-turn cause why not. If you didn't prepare proper grass switch-ins before, you'll definitely have to now. Don't sleep on this.
 

Jordy

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Between Pokemon such as Toxapex, Slowbro, specially defensive Kommo-o, and Heatran, Mega Alakazam certainly did not struggle to come into play on its own. It's undeniable that Mega Alakazam's all-around bulk is pretty mediocre, but that doesn't mean it wasn't sufficient to take advantage of many commonly used Pokemon in the tier.

Moving on, I would like to discuss some Pokemon.


Alakazam @ Life Orb
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psychic
- Focus Blast
- Recover
- Nasty Plot

Alakazam is miles worse than Mega Alakazam; it's susceptible to Knock Off from Pokemon like Toxapex and its much worse Speed tier leaves it outsped by many prominent Pokemon like Ash-Greninja and Mega Lopunny. With that said, it is still a very potent wallbreaker against the slower balance teams with Pokemon such as Toxapex and Hippowdon. The fastest Pokemon on these teams is oftentimes Tornadus-T, which isn't really sufficient at keeping Alakazam at bay on its own, so Alakazam can continually pick up KOes against such teams, as they lack the means to consistently pressure it. I do also want to point out the pretty significant competition that Alakazam faces from Reuniclus, which brings a lot more defensive utility with it, which is very valuable right now considering how Mega Lopunny's running over the tier. However, Alakazam definitely does manage to set itself apart because of how much more immediately threatening it is with Nasty Plot, and its much better Speed tier which leaves it a little less susceptible to Pokemon like Mega Metagross.

I haven't listed Shadow Ball as an option because Recover is nearly mandatory on Alakazam; you are way too weak to Toxapex long-term without Recover.

To make up for that, I have especially liked Alakazam on sand teams; it synergizes incredibly well with Mega Tyranitar, which is capable of trapping Psychic-types like Reuniclus and Mega Latias with Pursuit. Sand teams generally tend to struggle with Toxapex a little anyways, so having a Pokemon that can consistently taking advantage of it like Alakazam is pretty valuable.


Urshifu @ Choice Band
Ability: Unseen Fist
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Wicked Blow
- Close Combat
- Poison Jab
- U-turn / Sucker Punch

Urshifu is an absolute menace to deal with for many bulky offensive and balance teams right now. Besides Clefable and Tapu Fini, which it can overwhelm with Poison Jab, Urshifu really doesn't have any good defensive counterplay, and you'll mostly have to resort to mindgames to pivot around its moves. Despite the little defensive counterplay to it, Urshifu does have a lot of offensive counterplay; its Speed tier leaves a lot to be desired. The fact that it is outsped by some of the most popular Pokemon in the tier, notably Tornadus-T, Mega Lopunny, and Ash-Greninja definitely hurts Urshifu's overall potential. Urshifu has managed to fit into this metagame really nicely because the previously popular Reuniclus and Chansey semi stall teams are hurt by its presence pretty badly. I honestly don't really have anything else to say; Urshifu seems to be fairly balanced in this metagame, despite the relative lack of consistent defensive counterplay. It will be interesting to see how Urshifu will ultimately settle down in the tier.


Lopunny-Mega @ Lopunnite
Ability: Limber
Happiness: 0
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Frustration
- Close Combat
- U-turn

Speaking of Fighting-types, Mega Lopunny definitely does deserve to be highlighted. The gain of Close Combat is relatively minor, as Mega Lopunny had access to High Jump Kick anyways, but the fact that Close Combat doesn't have such drastic repercussions attached to it certainly make it a welcome addition to replace High Jump Kick. The real highlight however is U-turn, which gives Mega Lopunny so many more options. I wouldn't quite go so far as to say that U-turn pushes Mega Lopunny as the best Mega Evolution in the tier, but the increased flexibility surely has only solidified its viability. With U-turn, Mega Lopunny can grab momentum against checks such as Clefable and Slowbro pretty freely, making it much more potent in matchups against bulky offensive and balance teams. Mega Lopunny was already very potent, particularly against more offensively oriented teams, but with U-turn it can also continue to gain momentum against many of its checks with little to no punishment, which can even feel very overwhelming to deal with at times.
 
People have been hating on Rapid Strike Urshifu because it's typing is overall more terrible than Single Strike's Urshifu typing.

I'm going to show you guys a set I've been having success with.

1592576070932.png

Urshifu-Rapid-Strike @ Electrium Z
Ability: Unseen Fist
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Bulk Up
- Thunder Punch
- Close Combat
- Surging Strikes

With this set right here Urshifu can ohko several different bulky waters to let Urshifu to turn into a wall breaker

Here are some calcs of me using Keldeo because Urshifu is isn't the damage calculator yet.

+1 252 Atk Keldeo Gigavolt Havoc (140 BP) vs. 40 HP / 216+ Def Alomomola: 394-464 (81.9 - 96.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

+1 252 Atk Keldeo Gigavolt Havoc (140 BP) vs. 40 HP / 216+ Def Alomomola: 394-464 (81.9 - 96.4%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

+1 252 Atk Keldeo Gigavolt Havoc (140 BP) vs. 248 HP / 16 Def Tapu Fini: 400-472 (116.6 - 137.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+1 252 Atk Keldeo Gigavolt Havoc (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 308-364 (78.1 - 92.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

+1 252 Atk Keldeo Gigavolt Havoc (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 308-364 (78.1 - 92.3%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

+1 252 Atk Keldeo Gigavolt Havoc (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 244-288 (80.2 - 94.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Black Sludge recovery

+1 252 Atk Keldeo Gigavolt Havoc (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 244-288 (80.2 - 94.7%) -- 50% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

+1 252 Atk Keldeo Gigavolt Havoc (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Tornadus-Therian: 548-646 (151.3 - 178.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
 

Guardsweeper

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TEAMBUILDER ISSUES; and what to do about it
We have had the opportunity to get accustomed to the post-Mega Alakazam metagame for two days now, and it is already apparent that persistent teambuilder issues from the previous metagame have carried over, and even, I daresay, worsened, to the point where balance and bulky offensive teams have to pick and choose what they want to cover with their defensive slots, and what matchups they will essentially need to avoid. In other words, the metagame is increasingly devolving into a state where games are decided by matchup alone. There are several culprits to blame for this anomaly in balance, which I will outline below in no particular order.

:sm/metagross-mega:

Mega Metagross is as problematic as ever, continuing to demand extensive attention in the teambuilder and centralizing it to quite an extent. Notably, Toxic sets have blossomed more visibly ever since its suspect test, making the formula to check it even more complicated than it already was. Up to this day, the only reliably splashable hard-checks remain the Toxic-prone Hippowdon and physically defensive Tangrowth on bulky offense and balance, and the fairly exploitable Mega Scizor on bulky balance, with a limited pool of additional soft-checks in Slowbro, Alomomola, and Rocky Helmet Reuniclus. Moreover, combined with its hax potential and the presence of common teammates that pressure these checks well, Garchomp and Urshifu being prime examples, Mega Metagross is often capable of pressuring its counterplay into oblivion in the long run regardless, making it all the more overbearing.

:sm/greninja-ash:

Ash-Greninja is another such threat with a limited pool of viable and contemporarily realistic counterplay options, merely consisting of Tapu Fini and Toxapex (which needs to be paired with backup Dark-resistant Pokemon if forgoing Baneful Bunker) on bulky offense and balance, and Chansey on bulky balance and stall. The fact that Ash-Greninja often mandates at least two slots in order to take it on inherently adds pressure to the teambuilder, and this is even more problematic in a metagame where teams are strapped for slots as is.

1592596817541.png


Urshifu-Single-Strike lacks relevant counters, period. The only somewhat reliable short-term defensive soft-checks are Clefable, and Tapu Fini to an even lesser extent, and this is not even considering the fact that Urshifu needs a singular correct Poison Jab prediction to break through these, or the fact that it can simply U-turn into Mega Metagross. Personally, the only balance team compositions I have built that can somewhat take on Urshifu defensively are Toxapex + Clefable teams, and even this particular core struggles against it long-term. A Choice Band-boosted Wicked Blow is an extremely risk-free move, forcing out plenty of defensive staples and picking up 2HKO’s on the bulkiest of Pokemon such as Hippowdon, physically defensive Toxapex, Alomomola, Tangrowth, and Mega Scizor after Stealth Rock. Unseen Fist may also not be ignored, as it allows Urshifu to break through very relevant trends such as Baneful Bunker Toxapex, Unaware Clefable, and Alomomola, and it makes Urshifu very hard to scout since the likes of Protect Heatran and Ferrothorn fail to do so. Obviously, this results into added strain in the teambuilder, as defensive counterplay is so limited.

:sm/tornadus-therian:
As of right now, Tornadus-T lacks true counters as well, other than Zapdos and the incredibly niche Tapu Koko. Its phenomenal resiliency courtesy of Regenerator paired with Knock Off means it can naturally outlast many Flying-resistant Pokemon, such as Heatran and Rotom-H. Heat Wave allows it to lure and weaken several additional ones in Mega Metagross and Magearna. U-turn and Z-Focus Blast allows it to overwhelm Mega Tyranitar, either in the long term or directly. Taunt takes advantage of and beats the only consistent answer to the aforementioned sets, i.e. Toxapex. All things considered, Tornadus-T is one of the trickiest threats to account for, and therefore a major influencing force in the teambuilder as well.

:sm/darmanitan-galar:
Galarian Darmanitan still mandates the use of at least one bulky Water-type from an already shallow pool to begin with, consisting of Toxapex, Tapu Fini, Slowbro, or Alomomola. Moreover, running Toxapex or Tapu Fini mandates the use of an additional teammate that can punish a Galarian Darmanitan locked into Earthquake, which makes it comparable to Ash-Greninja in the sense that it very often requires two slots to be accounted for properly, condensing the teambuilder quite significantly in this scenario.

:sm/lopunny-mega::sm/kyurem:
Mega Lopunny has always been infamous for its stellar matchup against offense. In addition, it was capable of making progress against balanced teams as well if it chose to drop Quick Attack for Toxic, which overall made it the second best Mega Evolution in the tier. However, with a brand new toy in U-turn in the DLC metagame, it is now capable of directly grabbing momentum against its checks and counters in a much more punishing fashion than Toxic, as it can now bring in dangerous wallbreakers into battle in a very risk-free manner. Kyurem is perhaps the most dangerous wallbreaker that benefits from this, easily dismantling some of Mega Lopunny's premier checks in Tangrowth, Slowbro, Toxapex, and Hippowdon. This is particularly troublesome in the context of the teambuilder, as there's just very little that can consistently handle Kyurem in the first place, essentially boiling down to Clefable, Mega Scizor, and Volcarona. Notably, Mega Alakazam's departure has also taken away one of the best ways to pressure Mega Lopunny teams, further worsening the situation.

:sm/dragapult:
Dragapult has proven to be nigh impossible to check once it gets into a good position mid- to late-game for many builds, which basically boils down to every single build other than Mega Tyranitar balance, Mandibuzz / Ditto bulky balance / semi-stall, and Unaware Clefable (semi-)stall. Not running either of these options, which you often will as they are not the most conventional options available to us, means you will need to either play aggressively so as to not give Dragapult a convenient opportunity to set up a Dragon Dance, or outplay your opponent in a series of predictions where you will ideally have to stomach the Z-Move with your physically bulky Pokemon, bait Phantom Force with a Dragon-resistant Pokemon, and directly switch into your Ghost-resistant Pokemon to kill it the turn it hits you with Phantom Force. In other words, quite a bit of thought must often be dedicated to Dragapult when building a team, resulting in further constriction.

:sm/garchomp:
Garchomp is another threat you must seek to pressure whenever playing against it, as traditional counterplay to physical attackers, such as Slowbro and physically defensive Tangrowth, fold to a boosted Devastating Drake, or even a Continental Crush after some chip. Luckily, Garchomp often serves a few defensive niches as well, such as being a Heatran / Rotom-H pivot, which will give you opportunities to limit its progress in the long run by pushing damage / status inflictions on it. Nevertheless, it remains a fearsome wallbreaker that has no true defensive counters in ideal circumstances, and therefore something that needs to be somewhat accounted for by your defensive slots.

:sm/cinderace:
Libero Cinderace's unwelcome arrival came at a time where our bulky Water-types were being pressured severely already by Galarian Darmanitan and either Ash-Greninja or Mega Metagross. After its drop, Cinderace added insult to injury, invalidating the established Tangrowth + Tapu Fini builds by virtue of Gunk Shot, pressuring Toxapex and Slowbro significantly well along with Ash-Greninja and Mega Metagross, respectively, and limiting traditional counterplay to Fire-types in general with Choice Band, or a boosted Dark Hole Eclipse / Shattered Psyche, leaving Hippowdon as the only somewhat reliable check to all sets. Obviously, it has made a splash on the teambuilder as a result.

:sm/dracovish:
Nothing is more annoying then building a team and being satisfied about it, only to get cleaned by the first Dracovish that shows up in ladder in your attempt to test it. This particularly holds true for specially defensive Toxapex + Hippowdon cores, which do not have the means to handle a Choice Scarf Dracovish under rain at all. It's not something you can convincingly ignore either, as Rain is still the best hyper offensive playstyle in the metagame, although they do tend to forego Dracovish for Ash-Greninja or Manaphy in most instances.

All of the above has resulted into bulky balances and (semi-)stall builds being one of, if not the, most reliable builds as of now, as you can afford to dedicate more slots to cover as many threats as possible. However, even these builds are inherently restricted in the teambuilder, with the culprit in this case being:

:sm/manaphy:
The single best stallbreaker our metagame has to offer easily slices apart every single one of these bulky builds that has the guts to forego Clear Smog Gastrodon. It is quite possibly the number one threat to the defensive metagame as a result, and a nigh impossibility to defensively account for in our teambuilder.

All of these threats combined, in addition to several other ones such as Nasty Plot Hydreigon, Z-Move Heatran, and Rotom-H, make this metagame a quite unhealthy one to build in, and as a result, it is very clear further action needs to be taken in order to restore balance to an extent again. What do you think needs addressal foremost? Please feel free to elaborate on this issue here.
 
:sm/metagross-mega: + 1592479582271.png

After playing the meta I think this core is disgusting and is extremely hard to check defensively. Urshifu is the one of the most dangerous threats the tier has seen thanks to its access to Wicked Blow and Close Combat let it blow past almost any wall in tier. Outside of Clefable and Buzzwole its almost impossible to for it not to claim a kill or seriously dent something once it comes in. Not only that, it has U-turn so it can always lure Clefable in and get Mega Metagross in the field. Mega Metagross is a amazing partner because Urshifu's Wicked Blow dents everything so hard so Mega Metagross can clean later. Metagross is also Torn check kinda so that helps as well.

This core is so broken that I think something needs to be done about it. Now, here comes the Mega Metagross ban vs Urshifu ban debate in my mind. I'm gonna be honest here and say that the fact that Mega Metagross only stayed in the tier because of a TECHNICALLY and not the community interest is horrible. Mega Metagross is not unhealthy, its broken. The fact that it forces you to go out of your way to deal with it makes teambuilding more of a chore than actually fun. Urshifu is only the tip of the iceberg of things that are made harder to check because of Mega Metagross scaring the fairies away.

I hope the Council figures out what is the best way to deal with these 2 which will surely improve the overall metagame.
 
Any chance MegaZam gets a test in the future? I was kind of curious if it was going to be meta defining with NP but it got quickbanned so fast lol
 

Jordy

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Any chance MegaZam gets a test in the future? I was kind of curious if it was going to be meta defining with NP but it got quickbanned so fast lol
Quoting this thread here:
All in all, Mega Alakazam's ability to take advantage of a plethora of passive Pokemon, force switches, and capitalize on these traits with Nasty Plot boosts, after which it becomes a nightmare to check, was deemed incredibly unhealthy by the council. As a result, it has been quickbanned from National Dex, although it will be considered for a retest later if deemed worthwile.
So yes, if deemed worthwhile, Mega Alakazam may receive a suspect test in the future.
 
TL;DR: Suspect/Get rid of Z-moves and go from there

I think that the (lack of) identity of National Dex is contributing to the state of the format problem(s). We're trying to cram all the mechanics into one format, but that means mashing a bunch of mechanics that independently might be healthy together into a rather unhealthy format that is plagued by multiple issues. And I think Z-moves are the main mechanic that's just causing a bunch of these issues. BEFORE YOU HATE, LEMME EXPLAIN/JUSTIFY THIS.

Yes, several of the Gen 8 movepool additions-most prominently Nasty Plot (Mega Zam, Hydreigon) and Shell Smash (Mega Blastoise)-have proven to be (too) difficult to handle. But more notably IMO, old mechanics with the new mons (Z-moves on Cinderace and Dragapult) are also proving to be a problem as well. And even last gen, Z-moves were controversial in OU to at least some degree, and they undoubtedly made stuff like Kartana and Magearna much more difficult to handle than they would be otherwise. Yes I know Dracovish/G-Darm/Mega Metagross/Urshifu are still individually bonkers to deal with and some likely should/will be suspected, but ignoring them for the moment, I think that (IMO once again) Z-moves are causing multiple mons to be problematic. From that post alone, Torn-T, Garchomp, Cinderace, Manaphy, Rotom-H, Heatran, and Hydreigon all would be at least somewhat more manageable without Z-moves (stuff like Magearna and Kartana would be as well). And if it turns out there's still broken stuff if you got rid of Z-moves (and probably those 4 mons I mentioned earlier), we would do suspects as needed as usual.

Yes I know we're trying to make a "EVERYONE/EVERYTHING IS HERE" format with NatDex OU and that's a laudable goal, but we can't even point to even 4 clear mons and say "yea if we ban these 4, things will be mostly fixed." I think that if we want NatDex OU to be a healthy format, there need to be either 1) some broader changes to what NatDex OU actually means/allows (like this) or 2) do a lot of suspect tests and bans.
 
Last edited:
TEAMBUILDER ISSUES; and what to do about it
We have had the opportunity to get accustomed to the post-Mega Alakazam metagame for two days now, and it is already apparent that persistent teambuilder issues from the previous metagame have carried over, and even, I daresay, worsened, to the point where balance and bulky offensive teams have to pick and choose what they want to cover with their defensive slots, and what matchups they will essentially need to avoid. In other words, the metagame is increasingly devolving into a state where games are decided by matchup alone. There are several culprits to blame for this anomaly in balance, which I will outline below in no particular order.

:sm/metagross-mega:

Mega Metagross is as problematic as ever, continuing to demand extensive attention in the teambuilder and centralizing it to quite an extent. Notably, Toxic sets have blossomed more visibly ever since its suspect test, making the formula to check it even more complicated than it already was. Up to this day, the only reliably splashable hard-checks remain the Toxic-prone Hippowdon and physically defensive Tangrowth on bulky offense and balance, and the fairly exploitable Mega Scizor on bulky balance, with a limited pool of additional soft-checks in Slowbro, Alomomola, and Rocky Helmet Reuniclus. Moreover, combined with its hax potential and the presence of common teammates that pressure these checks well, Garchomp and Urshifu being prime examples, Mega Metagross is often capable of pressuring its counterplay into oblivion in the long run regardless, making it all the more overbearing.

:sm/greninja-ash:

Ash-Greninja is another such threat with a limited pool of viable and contemporarily realistic counterplay options, merely consisting of Tapu Fini and Toxapex (which needs to be paired with backup Dark-resistant Pokemon if forgoing Baneful Bunker) on bulky offense and balance, and Chansey on bulky balance and stall. The fact that Ash-Greninja often mandates at least two slots in order to take it on inherently adds pressure to the teambuilder, and this is even more problematic in a metagame where teams are strapped for slots as is.

View attachment 255601

Urshifu-Single-Strike lacks relevant counters, period. The only somewhat reliable short-term defensive soft-checks are Clefable, and Tapu Fini to an even lesser extent, and this is not even considering the fact that Urshifu needs a singular correct Poison Jab prediction to break through these, or the fact that it can simply U-turn into Mega Metagross. Personally, the only balance team compositions I have built that can somewhat take on Urshifu defensively are Toxapex + Clefable teams, and even this particular core struggles against it long-term. A Choice Band-boosted Wicked Blow is an extremely risk-free move, forcing out plenty of defensive staples and picking up 2HKO’s on the bulkiest of Pokemon such as Hippowdon, physically defensive Toxapex, Alomomola, Tangrowth, and Mega Scizor after Stealth Rock. Unseen Fist may also not be ignored, as it allows Urshifu to break through very relevant trends such as Baneful Bunker Toxapex, Unaware Clefable, and Alomomola, and it makes Urshifu very hard to scout since the likes of Protect Heatran and Ferrothorn fail to do so. Obviously, this results into added strain in the teambuilder, as defensive counterplay is so limited.

:sm/tornadus-therian:
As of right now, Tornadus-T lacks true counters as well, other than Zapdos and the incredibly niche Tapu Koko. Its phenomenal resiliency courtesy of Regenerator paired with Knock Off means it can naturally outlast many Flying-resistant Pokemon, such as Heatran and Rotom-H. Heat Wave allows it to lure and weaken several additional ones in Mega Metagross and Magearna. U-turn and Z-Focus Blast allows it to overwhelm Mega Tyranitar, either in the long term or directly. Taunt takes advantage of and beats the only consistent answer to the aforementioned sets, i.e. Toxapex. All things considered, Tornadus-T is one of the trickiest threats to account for, and therefore a major influencing force in the teambuilder as well.

:sm/darmanitan-galar:
Galarian Darmanitan still mandates the use of at least one bulky Water-type from an already shallow pool to begin with, consisting of Toxapex, Tapu Fini, Slowbro, or Alomomola. Moreover, running Toxapex or Tapu Fini mandates the use of an additional teammate that can punish a Galarian Darmanitan locked into Earthquake, which makes it comparable to Ash-Greninja in the sense that it very often requires two slots to be accounted for properly, condensing the teambuilder quite significantly in this scenario.

:sm/lopunny-mega::sm/kyurem:
Mega Lopunny has always been infamous for its stellar matchup against offense. In addition, it was capable of making progress against balanced teams as well if it chose to drop Quick Attack for Toxic, which overall made it the second best Mega Evolution in the tier. However, with a brand new toy in U-turn in the DLC metagame, it is now capable of directly grabbing momentum against its checks and counters in a much more punishing fashion than Toxic, as it can now bring in dangerous wallbreakers into battle in a very risk-free manner. Kyurem is perhaps the most dangerous wallbreaker that benefits from this, easily dismantling some of Mega Lopunny's premier checks in Tangrowth, Slowbro, Toxapex, and Hippowdon. This is particularly troublesome in the context of the teambuilder, as there's just very little that can consistently handle Kyurem in the first place, essentially boiling down to Clefable, Mega Scizor, and Volcarona. Notably, Mega Alakazam's departure has also taken away one of the best ways to pressure Mega Lopunny teams, further worsening the situation.

:sm/dragapult:
Dragapult has proven to be nigh impossible to check once it gets into a good position mid- to late-game for many builds, which basically boils down to every single build other than Mega Tyranitar balance, Mandibuzz / Ditto bulky balance / semi-stall, and Unaware Clefable (semi-)stall. Not running either of these options, which you often will as they are not the most conventional options available to us, means you will need to either play aggressively so as to not give Dragapult a convenient opportunity to set up a Dragon Dance, or outplay your opponent in a series of predictions where you will ideally have to stomach the Z-Move with your physically bulky Pokemon, bait Phantom Force with a Dragon-resistant Pokemon, and directly switch into your Ghost-resistant Pokemon to kill it the turn it hits you with Phantom Force. In other words, quite a bit of thought must often be dedicated to Dragapult when building a team, resulting in further constriction.

:sm/garchomp:
Garchomp is another threat you must seek to pressure whenever playing against it, as traditional counterplay to physical attackers, such as Slowbro and physically defensive Tangrowth, fold to a boosted Devastating Drake, or even a Continental Crush after some chip. Luckily, Garchomp often serves a few defensive niches as well, such as being a Heatran / Rotom-H pivot, which will give you opportunities to limit its progress in the long run by pushing damage / status inflictions on it. Nevertheless, it remains a fearsome wallbreaker that has no true defensive counters in ideal circumstances, and therefore something that needs to be somewhat accounted for by your defensive slots.

:sm/cinderace:
Libero Cinderace's unwelcome arrival came at a time where our bulky Water-types were being pressured severely already by Galarian Darmanitan and either Ash-Greninja or Mega Metagross. After its drop, Cinderace added insult to injury, invalidating the established Tangrowth + Tapu Fini builds by virtue of Gunk Shot, pressuring Toxapex and Slowbro significantly well along with Ash-Greninja and Mega Metagross, respectively, and limiting traditional counterplay to Fire-types in general with Choice Band, or a boosted Dark Hole Eclipse / Shattered Psyche, leaving Hippowdon as the only somewhat reliable check to all sets. Obviously, it has made a splash on the teambuilder as a result.

:sm/dracovish:
Nothing is more annoying then building a team and being satisfied about it, only to get cleaned by the first Dracovish that shows up in ladder in your attempt to test it. This particularly holds true for specially defensive Toxapex + Hippowdon cores, which do not have the means to handle a Choice Scarf Dracovish under rain at all. It's not something you can convincingly ignore either, as Rain is still the best hyper offensive playstyle in the metagame, although they do tend to forego Dracovish for Ash-Greninja or Manaphy in most instances.

All of the above has resulted into bulky balances and (semi-)stall builds being one of, if not the, most reliable builds as of now, as you can afford to dedicate more slots to cover as many threats as possible. However, even these builds are inherently restricted in the teambuilder, with the culprit in this case being:

:sm/manaphy:
The single best stallbreaker our metagame has to offer easily slices apart every single one of these bulky builds that has the guts to forego Clear Smog Gastrodon. It is quite possibly the number one threat to the defensive metagame as a result, and a nigh impossibility to defensively account for in our teambuilder.

All of these threats combined, in addition to several other ones such as Nasty Plot Hydreigon, Z-Move Heatran, and Rotom-H, make this metagame a quite unhealthy one to build in, and as a result, it is very clear further action needs to be taken in order to restore balance to an extent again. What do you think needs addressal foremost? Please feel free to elaborate on this issue here.
This just seems more like a list of currently good Pokemon, more than a list of problematic teambuilding.
And some of the issues you address are about things happening in the middle of the game and others can be applied to other Pokemon as well. Like Dragapult’s description, you even say that Dragapult only becomes a problem when you play passively. If you need to be aggressive with your team, be aggressive. Stall teams may be more inclined to play passively, but to be frank in this little rant, Stall has always sucked outside of GSC and when Arena Trap exists. It’s only purpose to to hope that your opponent makes several mistakes or to make your opponent quit out of boredom or if they have to go somewhere quick IRL.

And saying “well you’re screwed when X comes in safely and gets a free turn and its checks are gone” can apply to pretty much every sweeper and cleaner. That’s the entire point, and it just so happens Dragapult does that well.

:sm/metagross-mega: + View attachment 255655

After playing the meta I think this core is disgusting and is extremely hard to check defensively. Urshifu is the one of the most dangerous threats the tier has seen thanks to its access to Wicked Blow and Close Combat let it blow past almost any wall in tier. Outside of Clefable and Buzzwole its almost impossible to for it not to claim a kill or seriously dent something once it comes in. Not only that, it has U-turn so it can always lure Clefable in and get Mega Metagross in the field. Mega Metagross is a amazing partner because Urshifu's Wicked Blow dents everything so hard so Mega Metagross can clean later. Metagross is also Torn check kinda so that helps as well.

This core is so broken that I think something needs to be done about it. Now, here comes the Mega Metagross ban vs Urshifu ban debate in my mind. I'm gonna be honest here and say that the fact that Mega Metagross only stayed in the tier because of a TECHNICALLY and not the community interest is horrible. Mega Metagross is not unhealthy, its broken. The fact that it forces you to go out of your way to deal with it makes teambuilding more of a chore than actually fun. Urshifu is only the tip of the iceberg of things that are made harder to check because of Mega Metagross scaring the fairies away.

I hope the Council figures out what is the best way to deal with these 2 which will surely improve the overall metagame.
As a side not, I feel like Urshifu is being WAY too overhyped by all fronts.
Like did you guys forget Terrakion exists?
Both have comparable power, with Urshifu having slightly more power, but with a drop in Speed, Special Bulk, the lose of Stealth Rock, and has Bulk Up over Swords Dance.
Sure it has U-turn, but I don’t think U-turn Terrakion would be problematic either. In fact it has an easier time with Choice Band since it can hit Toxapex and Hippowdon in 1 move (although I would like to see a list of Pokemon that can switch into Terrakion safely can’t with Urshifu).
This isn’t to say Urshifu is bad by any means, but it’s definitely not as problematic as people are making it out to be when a Pokemon of similar power exists and is on no one’s radar.
 
Like Dragapult’s description, you even say that Dragapult only becomes a problem when you play passively. If you need to be aggressive with your team, be aggressive.
if a pokemon invalidates a playstyle, it might be broken. (this is not saying that pult is broken or that it invalidates stall. just replying to his argument)

Stall teams may be more inclined to play passively, but to be frank in this little rant, Stall has always sucked outside of GSC and when Arena Trap exists. It’s only purpose to to hope that your opponent makes several mistakes or to make your opponent quit out of boredom or if they have to go somewhere quick IRL.
1. stall is definitely good in other generations btw
2. stall does not rely on your opponent making mistakes more than any other playstyle. in fact, it relies more on you not making mistakes
3. just because you do not like stall, does not mean it is not a valid playstyle

And saying “well you’re screwed when X comes in safely and gets a free turn and its checks are gone” can apply to pretty much every sweeper and cleaner. That’s the entire point, and it just so happens Dragapult does that well.
that is true, but that is also not even Guard's argument - hes saying that its checks (mega tar/mandi/ditto/unaware clef) are uncommon/hard to fit on teams so most teams have to play very very well to stand a chance.

As a side not, I feel like Urshifu is being WAY too overhyped by all fronts.
Like did you guys forget Terrakion exists?
Both have comparable power, with Urshifu having slightly more power, but with a drop in Speed, Special Bulk, the lose of Stealth Rock, and has Bulk Up over Swords Dance.
Sure it has U-turn, but I don’t think U-turn Terrakion would be problematic either. In fact it has an easier time with Choice Band since it can hit Toxapex and Hippowdon in 1 move (although I would like to see a list of Pokemon that can switch into Terrakion safely can’t with Urshifu).
This isn’t to say Urshifu is bad by any means, but it’s definitely not as problematic as people are making it out to be when a Pokemon of similar power exists and is on no one’s radar.
252 Atk Choice Band Terrakion Stone Edge vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 130-154 (42.7 - 50.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Black Sludge recovery
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Wicked Blow vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex on a critical hit: 157-186 (51.6 - 61.1%) -- 94.1% chance to 2HKO after Black Sludge recovery
(i know physdef pex isnt that relevant just an example)

This is way stronger. I also think you are underestimating the power of u-turn - u-turn terrak would imo be relevant in the meta. also, hitting both members of a common defensive core (hippopex) with one move is super important for a band wallbreaker, as it significantly reduces its prediction requirement.

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on a similar note, some things definitely need to go. Mega Metagross most of all, it completely warps the meta around itself. urshifu maybe, it has one (1) relevant consistent switch-in, that being buzzswole, which it u-turns on letting in megagross. i think we should ban megagross and then see where the meta goes from there.
e: i forgot to mention monkey, the mans unhealthy get him out of here
 
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