Announcement National Dex UU Suspect 6: Empty Pockets (Weavile Suspect) [READ POST #9]

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Suspect Reasoning
Weavile has been a prominent threat in the tier for a long time now, often sitting near or on the border of being problematic throughout its history here, but has recently begun to be overwhelming in the eyes of many. Weavile's high speed, solid attack and excellent dual STAB makes it an fantastic offensive threat in the National Dex UU tier, outpacing many of the tier's offensive threats and threatening them with high power STABs, especially when backed by Choice Band, its most common item. Additionally, Knock Off allows it to cripple many switchins, Ice Shard lets it revenge kill a number of sweepers and Pursuit lets it trap a significant number of Pokemon, providing invaluable support to a number of Pokemon. It also received Triple Axel in one of the DLCs, a semi reliable effective base 120 Ice STAB move that can break sashes and bypass subs to an extent thanks to its multi hit nature. This overall puts Weavile as an offensive Pokemon significantly ahead of most other offensive Pokemon, who are either slow and strong or fast and weak, as Weavile is not only both fast and powerful but has a much more spammable set of STABs.

While Weavile theoretically has a number of viable switchins that can take its STABs, in practice the majority are too reliant on their item to function to risk losing their item from checking Weavile - notably, choiced Pokemon like Urshifu-Rapid-Strike, Keldeo, and Primarina absolutely cannot lose their choice item in order to function properly, and Z variants usually don't do the same job. Primarina additionally takes too much from a max power Triple Axel to be a reliable check without a defensive set anyways, not to mention all three have no reliable recovery and thus get worn down over repeated Knocks/Axels.

Melmetal similarly needs its item a little too much, needing Protective Pads to more freely attack and not be worn down, Choice Band for similar reasons to the above listed Pokemon, and Leftovers to make use of Protect+Toxic and not be worn down as quickly. Z Move sets don't care as much but (like most Melmetal sets) are not hard to wear down with repeated Knock Offs or, more importantly, Rocky Helmet users, making it similarly unreliable in the long term. Rocky Helmet defensive Pokemon such as Skarmory to severely punish Triple Axel may seem like a decent long term answer until you remember Weavile can Knock the helmet off and Triple Axel freely next switchin (notably always 2HKOing Skarmory after rocks), turning it into a series of mindgames if you have a dark resist (which will more than likely miss their item) and just not that feasible in the long term without one.

For this reason, many teams are forced to fall back on otherwise suboptimal item choices on defensive Pokemon in order to have switchins, such as seemingly random Z moves on defensive Ice resists such as Rotom-Wash or on bulky Scizor sets (though in the latter's case it turns out the Z move can actually be useful in a few cases) on account of Z moves being just marginally more useful than being itemless in the highly rare case the main Z move user isn't in a position to use it or fainted from some other cause, often resulting in teams with multiple Z move users. There aren't even many lesser viable Pokemon to choose from - in the B ranks the only other alternatives are Rocky Helmet Buzzwole (who, like Skarmory, gets the helmet knocked and potentially 2HKOd by Triple Axel the next time around after rocks), the very mediocre Cobalion, or Alomomola, who has a hard time fitting on anything other than fat balance or stall.

There are also very few viable Pokemon who naturally outspeed it, limited to Choice Scarfers, Mega Manectric and Zeraora, and often the speed control for many teams is Weavile itself. This limits you to those Pokemon or priority to deal with it offensively (usually super effective priority, as our strongest priority user who hits it neutrally, CB Urshifu-Rapid-Strike with Aqua Jet, only does around half), or losing a ton of health with one Pokemon and often an item to kill it in return.

Additionally, at the cost of Pursuit and the Choice Band, it can also run a Swords Dance set which gets past a number of these makeshift checks, thanks to a Z move (often Darkinium, but Icium with Icicle Crash can work too), setting up rather easily due to how many switches the threat of Choice Band forces. The boosted Ice Shard makes the jobs of revenge killers harder too. These sets can also run Heavy-Duty Boots to negate the hazard chip it might otherwise accumulate but lose the ability to bypass certain checks as easily.

In total, this means Weavile has a rather limited pool of reliable checks and switchins, and forces items (or worse, forces a lack of items) certain Pokemon would never normally run, making it rather constricting on the teambuilder. More offensive teams don't have many viable options other than bulky Scizor or Waterium Rotom-Wash, or checks without recovery like Icium Urshifu-RS, Z move Keldeo, Z move Infernape or Melmetal, and defensive teams don't have much other than Skarmory, defensive Primarina, and Alomomola.

However, Weavile is of course not without flaws - Its typing offers almost no useful resistances, with what few resistances it has being made useless by its poor bulk, meaning it will struggle to get in without a sack, double or a pivoting move. Bulky Scizor and Skarmory, two of its best checks, are also very good in their own right. Weavile's rocks weakness also definitely works against it, limiting the number of times it can come in to 4, dying on the 5th. This can somewhat limit the damage it can do if you pack a decent check to force it to Knock first and then come in again to Axel. Additionally, bulky Scizor can switch into all Weavile sets and threaten it with a Bullet Punch, while still fitting on most teams that need a dedicated Weavile switchin and being a very viable Pokemon regardless.

That being said, we have a number of reliable defoggers that can keep hazards off to mitigate this, notably Rotom-Wash and Moltres (both of which being excellent partners for Weavile regardless, Rotom-Wash notably being able to pivot in Weavile with Volt Switch), as well as some slightly less reliable defoggers such as Mega Altaria, Skarmory and Mew, which makes this ultimately an unreliable strategy against any reasonably well put together team. Additionally, 4 times may be all the switchins Weavile needs to wreak havoc, especially with Swords Dance sets. The need to keep hazards off may limit Weavile's opportunities to come in enough to make it manageable, however.

Suspect Test Information

  • **This is new to National Dex UU suspect tests** Reading this is mandatory to participate in the suspect test. The voting requirements are a minimum GXE of 79 with at least 40 games played. In addition, you may play 1 less game for every 0.2 GXE you have above 79 GXE, down to a minimum of 20 games at a GXE of 83. Also, needing more than 40 games to reach 79 GXE will suffice.
  • GXEminimum games
  • You must use a fresh account that begins with the given prefix for this suspect test. That prefix is NDUUVILE. For example, I could signup and qualify with the name NDUUVILE Niadev.
  • You may not impersonate or mock another user with your account name. If there is any slight hesitation, you're probably better off picking a different name. We reserve the right to null your voting requisites if you are found impersonating or mocking another user with your account name. Moderator discretion will be applied.
  • If you are found trying to manipulate voting requisites in any way, you will be met with a harsh infraction. Manipulating voting requisites ranges from faking your screenshot to asking another user to forfeit.
  • The Pokemon that's being suspect tested, Weavile, will be allowed on the National Dex UU ladder for the next two weeks so that we can properly assess its position in the metagame.
  • This suspect test will go on for two weeks. It will last until July the 1st at 11:59 PM GMT+1.
There haven't been many arguments for vote DNB so I think I'll make my case here.
As Niadev mentioned, Weavile relies on numerous switchins to break through its checks. For example, it has to first knock skarm's helmet, and then hit 6 hits with axel on the switch to break through it. If the opponent has rocks up, thats already 68% chip, assuming you hit all of your axels AND click the correct move twice on the switch. For example, imagine weavile safely switches in on a hippo. Clicking knock on a hippo that stays in means you just lost your wincon. Clicking axel as skarm switches in means that weavile is effectively dead, assuming rocks are up.

Of course, this is all assuming that rocks are up, but with the recent ban on msab, hazard stacking has been stronger than ever, with hippo skarms cores and mew spikes ho everywhere. There are of course some decent defoggers, but they are definitely not flawless. Moltres loses 1v1 to toxic hippo and swampert, rotom gets worn down way too easily (that base 50 hp really shows) with the things it’s tasked on checking (chunked hard by scizor, knocked by like everything, toxiced by all the rockers), and pain split is not very reliable, albeit pretty annoying. These defoggers also face the same trouble that msab did, as all of them get destroyed by nihilego (nihilego for A+/A!) and lose to terrakion.

Now regarding the argument that all weavile checks are either forced to run suboptimal items or don’t have reliable recovery, there is nothing wrong with that. Against offense, z move users like keldeo and urshifu are almost always good enough due to weavile’s susceptibility to hazards and the fast paced nature of offense. While z scizor is suboptimal, it also helps it check other threats like bisharp and nuke the unsuspecting slowking thinking it can take a uturn, and I think this is a healthy amount of metagame development. It’s the same with z melmetal; while pads are probably better, z t punch can be used to destroy a lot of its checks with just a bit of chip. Other sets like z/colbur glowking are also just metagame developments (lure not a check) that will definitely be used even if weavile is gone. Sub cm prim, which doesn’t like losing lefties, is a good enough wincon without them that it can be used as a weavile check as well.

Even though weavile in theory has no reliable answers, in practice, a good axel resist and a mon that can take knocks is usually good enough counterplay for weavile due to switchins being limited by hazards and near perfect prediction being required for weavile to break teams.
Alright so I want to get my thoughts out of the way on Weavile, but first I'll get a more of the "state of the meta" part out of the way firstly. At the moment, I see and use Choice Band Weavile on Spikes stacking teams, with the combo of stuff like hippo + skarm, mew + a few rockers or skarm + swampert or others cuz skarm can work there as well. Weaviles Knock Off is incredibly free at the moment, as the main Knock Off Absorber is Mega Altaria, who dies horridly to Triple Axel. As an adaptation, weve done things like Z rotom, Z scizor and Z Urshifu Rapid so as to assist in absorbing this very spammable move. My problem lies in how easily Weavile abuses the fact these mons have to use a not very useful item, like Scizor who would much prefer boots, to try and stop knock off. Scizor isnt even safe with a z move, as the hazards weavile teams so easily lay can cause a 50/50 with banded knock off threatening to 2hko, and using Bullet Punch into a wall can spell your death. Skarmory is by far the best Knock Off switch, but needs additional support to stop the threat of Banded Axel 2hkoing, and this gets even dicier if Weavile has Spikes, as good ice resists like Melmetal, Aegislash, Urshifu become food for it over repeated turns. If you do play it safe and go skarm on Axel, youre left with a heavily weakened skarm that is easy to take advantage by Weavile's teammates. The other part that I think makes Weavile broken is its boots set. Boots by themselves is already strong, but on Weavile it allows it to bypass it's main flaw in hazards for some less immediate power. I dont believe this is an issue however, as when supported by Spikes so easily layed by the metagames pillar in Skarmory and others, this set has the ability to outlast checks like Scizor, Melmetal and Skarmory, since they can't run boots due to the threat of the choice band sets very powerful knock off. Because of how easily rocks get up, with good play, after an SD its incredibly hard to stop defensively without an alomomola, and offensively we only really have Zeraora who can battle the hazards with it's own boots set, as Manectric is vulnerable to this even with Intimidate weakening Ice Shard. Overall, I think due to the incredible strength of Choice Band and the Heavy Duty Boots set ability to easily outlast its checks, I believe Weavile should be Banned.


Banned deucer.
I am not really convinced Weavile is broken. It is a super good wallbreaker & cleaner, but I do not think it dominates the tier in a way where it should be banned. It's pretty well known that in NDUU, there are many physically defensive walls that run rocky helmet for a variety of reasons. These pokes, combined with Weavile being stealth rock weak, means it gets chipped down very easily. It also is frail and doesn't have a good defensive typing, meaning it is hard to get in. I haven't seen many games besides maybe a ladder game or two where Weavile truly dominates the whole game, in a way that Hoopa-Unbound and Mega Sableye could. HDB Weavile is immune to stealth rock and can be a late game sweeper, but I think that set is mediocre most of the time. I prefer a poke like Zeraora, which is faster, has a more helpful immunity, and has volt switch. As R1C3M4N said, there are not many pokes in the tier that excel at removing hazards throughout the game. One more way of assessing Weavile is that if you see it takes stealth rock damage, you can smartly pivot around its dark and ice coverage. It's a bit risky, but usually CB weavile is using knock off the first time it comes in. CB Weavile also hates protect.

The most unhealthy part of Weavile is definitely what you need to run to not lose to it. I admit that I run a lot more physically defensive Scizor than is good, and maybe this shows an unhealthy side of Weavile. A lot of its switch-ins really hate to take a knock off (Melmetal, Skarmory, Urshifu-Rapid and Keldeo) and the amount of viable pokes that can repeatedly switch into it is a lower than I would want. Also, if everything goes perfectly, I know CB can 1v1 Skarmory throughout the game.

Looking at both sides though, I believe I will vote Do Not Ban. I think Zapdos-G, Hoopa-Unbound, and Mega Sableye all had a chokehold on the tier no matter what archetype of team you used. Weavile does not though, and I think it is a great but flawed poke in the metagame. A ban would not upset me a lot, it lets you have more freedom to explore different types of physical walls (like Chesnaught, who is so underrated). I like that we are having a suspect, but I think you have to asses how big and impacting its weaknesses are. Smart teambuilding and play makes Weavile not as scary as it may seem.
Weavile should be banned.

People are comparing Weavile wayy too much to other behemoths we've had in the tier such as Galarian Zapdos, Victini, Hoopa-U etc. It's obvious we're past the stage of ''simply clicking buttons and being broken'' type of Pokemon, thus that being the reason why Weavile is only getting its suspect 1.5 years into the metagame. However, Weavile is simply too restrictive to be called a healthy aspect of the metagame.

The problem isn't that we lack Weavile checks per se. We have a good amount of them, and even within the A ranks we have stuff like Melmetal, Rotom-W, Scizor, Urshifu-RS, Keldeo, Primarina and Skarmory. Even in the lower rankings stuff like Alomomola, Buzzwole and Cobalion are pretty good checks to Weavile. The problem with almost every single check that Weavile has is that said check is super reliant on their item to even check Weavile to begin with. Skarmory and Buzzwole absolutely need Rocky Helmet to punish Triple Axel spam (which 2HKO's both after Rocks fyi), but a simple Knock Off from Weavile (its most spammable move) takes this form of counterplay away pretty much immediately. Melmetal without Leftovers is a super ass check over the main course of the game and as such does not suffice as a proper Weavile check.

Another problem is that Weavile centralizes the metagame too much. Weavile absolutely forces certain sets to be used on Pokemon, while not bad, just restricts building heavily. Only defensive Z-Move Scizor checks Weavile, and even then you need a secondary check to not risk anything, so why would you run any other set? Same goes for Rotom-Wash. Rotom-Wash with a Z-Move, while not bad, is only ran for Weavile. Primarina cannot run a Choice Specs set to check Weavile, it can only run defensive (which is also quite reliant on Leftovers, which is easily Knocked).

That's the exact problem with Weavile. It forces every build to run a minimum of 2 checks for it, which are only limited to a single set because every other set fails to check Weavile whatsoever. The meta is unable to actually properly develop with Weavile in the tier with the strain it holds on teambuilding. I hope people are able to look past the ''it has checks + weak to rocks, thus no broken'' reason and also focus on the actual grasp it holds on the metagame itself and whether that is healthy or not.

tl:dr Weavile restricts the tier too much and makes the meta unable to develop properly. ban.

RE: Weavile rise

In the most recent tier shift, Weavile rose to OU by usage. This will not affect the suspect or voting - instead, voting will determine where it would land if it falls via usage again (either UU if DNB wins or UUBL if ban wins). The suspect will end at the same time as outlined in the post (in just under 7 hours from when I post this). If ladder is updated before the deadline for the suspect (not likely), just say it's a taste of the post Weavile meta. For the purposes of voting, please treat it as if it is still UU. Don't theorymon about a meta 3 months in the future and try to base your vote on that, as without a time machine there is absolutely no way to know.
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