NFE NFE Metagame Discussion


Banned deucer.
hi this is going to be my post explaining why Corsola-Galar should not be left alone and stay legal till home (haunter and machoke shouldn't be the only ones to be suspected).
Corsola is overcentralizing. By definition of the word "counter", there are none to gorsola.
0 SpA Corsola-Galar Shadow Ball vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Haunter: 198-234 (85.7 - 101.2%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Haunter Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Corsola-Galar: 151-179 (46.6 - 55.2%) -- 59% chance to 2HKO
As shown above, Haunter who is the best breaker in the tier does about half to corsola and cannot switch in if it carries Shadow Ball. Another common answer to Corsola-Galar is Machoke, who can knock it off and get 1v1'd by strength sap. Although choke is definitely a wisp switch in, it again cannot beat corsola 1v1 and often has to rely on knocking it off and denying recovery with either mons with extremely low attack (lampent roselia) or magic bounce (basically just Hattrem). As a result, it is undeniably clear the amount of resources a player has to expend of breaking a single pokemon is larger than any mon in the tier.

I haven't covered abt Haunter yet but yeah that shit is pretty broken too.
Verdict: Dual Suspect both Haunter and Corsola-Galar.
in my opinion this is the clear way to ensure that the tier isn't fucked balance-wise. Without Haunter, one of Corsola's checks even though it cannot switch in, Corsola-Galar becomes even more obnoxious than before with the primary answer that hits it for the most damage being gone. On the other hand, without Corsola-Galar, Haunter is not affected as much but is still extremely strong due to the reasons explained in the posts before mine (practically no switch-ins, good speed tier, extremely strong ghost moves). I'm extremely sick right now and I couldn't make this longer so I hope I got my point across.
also machoke is not broken u guys are capping, if necessary it should be looked at after haunter and gorsola, not before.


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Beating vooper to the punch on this one

Welcome to Pokemon Home! With the release of the new way to transfer up old gen pokemon to the current generation, lots of new toys have found their way into our metagame, and with a large portion of them being very very usable at that. I'm posting this reference guide to help give thinking room what you guys think on the meta post-home will look like!

Stage 2:

Gen 1 and 7 starters

Using the VR in order to keep relevance, all new gen pokemon have been cut and moves are somewhat cherry picked to the more usable additions. (Even if the move is unviable on standard sets, i included any additional coverage moves gained)





:Haunter: Knock Off, Explosion
:Machoke: Toxic, Focus Punch
:Piloswine: Toxic, Roar

:Ferroseed: nothing relevant
:Sneasel: Knock Off, Toxic, Focus Punch


:Fraxure: Aqua Tail, Toxic
:Gloom: nothing relevant
:Klang: Toxic
:Mareanie: Covet
:Rufflet: Roost



:Charjabug: Toxic
:Gurdurr: Knock Off, Toxic
:Pawniard: Knock Off, Toxic


:Clefairy: Soft-Boiled, Toxic, Knock Off
:Duosion: Toxic
:Lampent: Toxic
:Palpitoad: nothing relevant
:Roselia: nothing relevant
:Togetic: Roost, Soft Boiled, Toxic
:Trapinch: nothing relevant


:Hakamo-o: Toxic
:Munchlax: Chip Away
:Natu: Toxic
:Pikachu: Knock Off, Toxic
:Vullaby: Toxic
:Vulpix: nothing relevant



:Honedge: Toxic
:Mudbray: nothing relevant
:Remoraid: nothing relevant
:Shelmet: Toxic, Infestation
:Zweilous: nothing relevant


:Diglett: Toxic
:Drilbur: Toxic
:Sliggoo: nothing relevant


:Boldore: Toxic
:Dewpider: nothing relevant
:Dusclops: Toxic
:Shellos: Toxic

:wartortle: This Thing Got Shell Smash Lol

:torracat: this thing being back means we have a cool scarfer with intimidate

:meltan: could potenially be fun but its movepool kinda blows

Some quick discussion topics to throw out there
1: What pokemon do you find to be "winners" of going into the future meta, and what impact will they have on the metagame?
2: Inverse to question 1: what threats are the "losers" of these changes and have to face stiff competition or struggle to be as prominent because of new additions?
3: What are your thoughts on the newly introduced threats? What relevant roles could they supply in the meta?
4: How does the reintroduction of the Knock Off TM shift the meta, if at all?
5: While this only lists the VR pokemon, are there any pokemon that could see a surge in viability from an addition they recieve?


is a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributor
Hi all! I'm somewhat new to NFE, but I do ladder on a regular basis and have a grip on what mons are good and bad in the meta. So that Home is out, I want to share my thoughts on which mons strictly improved or gotten completely nerfed from this as Home being out is going to effect the meta quite a bit.

Winners & Losers

These 2 are the biggest winners of Home coming out. Both got Knock back, but these 2 moves will make them so much better. Sneasel doesn't have to rely on Throat chop for Dark STAB anymore as the utility knock provides with getting rid of an item is invaluable for a meta like this. Gurdurr is arguably even more buffed from this as it gets somewhat walled by most all ghosts without Payback, now it can hit them hard and threaten them out while still having as much utility if not more post-home, oh and speaking of Gorsola.

Fortunately, this is the absolute biggest loser of this entire thing. Gorsola has been dominant but one of the reasons for that was because of the lack of Knock off and Toxic distribution. Now with at least one of the 2 being on above 50% of all of the viable mons, Gorsola is going to be significantly worse and not as absurdly overwhelming as before as it has much more counterplay than pre-home.

As for the new Pokemon

Ngl I feel like these 2 are the only ones that will potentially have an impact on the meta, especially Ivy with the 3 deadly sins, Growth + Solarbeam + Weather Ball. So Ivysaur on sun will probably be broke but hopefully Ivysaur doesn't make sun as a whole too overbearing. As for Wartortle, Shell Smash is a nice new tech, as stuff like Ferro that would probably wall it to bits get hit hard by an Aura Sphere, let's see how much its Shell Smash set will hit the meta.

So in conclusion, Gurdurr and Sneasel got strictly better; Gorsola (thank god) was completely nerfed, and as for Ivysaur and Wartortle, time will tell. Anyway I can't wait to see how this meta evolves, this meta is so fun and I will continue to keep in track of the trends and shifts of the meta. As always, have a nice day! :psyglad:


Flamer Girl
is a Pre-Contributor
A Tale of Two Foxes

Home’s been out for a day now, and both Vulpix forms have been vital for the success of two of the strongest archetypes at the moment. Regular Vulpix is the only Pokemon in the tier with access to Drought which is a must-have on Sun teams, whilst Alolan Vulpix is the only Hail setter which also has access to Aurora Veil, defining Screens setup spam.

:Vulpix: :Ivysaur: :Charmeleon: :Gloom:

Before Home was released, Sun was already a solid archetype, which revolved around Charmeleon and Gloom as the Sun abusers/sweepers. However, both of these Pokemon had very easy to fit counterplay. Charmeleon has very poor coverage and is forced to run Choice Scarf or else it is very easily revenge killed. Bulky Fire resists like Palpitoad, Mareanie and, Carkol can generally switch into Charmeleon’s attacks with relative ease. Gloom, on the other hand, is completely walled by Steel-types. Both of these Pokemon are also easily revenge killed by faster Pokemon such as Choice Haunter and Toxic Orb Linoone.

Home gave Sun teams a significant buff, in the form of Ivysaur, which has become the best Sun sweeper in the metagame. Unlike Gloom, Ivysaur has the coverage to hit Steel-types with Weather Ball under Sun, making it much harder to switch into. After a Growth, Ivysaur is able to nuke everything except for a few special walls (Carkol, Munchlax and, Sliggoo) and Lampent. Ivysaur also has the option to run Sleep Powder to cripple opposing Pokemon which Sun struggles against.

Not only is Ivysaur an extremely potent wallbreaker but it synergises very well with other core Sun members. Charmeleon greatly appreciates having another Grass-type to check opposing Water-types. In return, Charmeleon can fire off Solar Power boosted Ancient Power to deal with Fire-types which threaten Ivysaur. Ivysaur also pairs well with Gloom, since Ivysaur is able to deal with Steel-types which wall Gloom, whilst Gloom is able to easily deal with Mareanie, as it’s able to fit Sleep Powder more easily. Vulpix can cripple opposing Pokemon with Encore, Will-O-Wisp, Hypnosis or Memento, giving Ivysaur ample setup opportunities.

Overall, I believe the addition of Ivysaur has made Sun teams far too effective at breaking teams. I’d like either Vulpix or Drought to be looked at. Normally it’s preferred to ban a Pokemon over banning an ability, since smogon doesn’t agree with the premise of nerfing Pokemon in order to make them fit in a tier. However, I think that arguments can be made that Drought could be breaking multiple Pokemon or at least the combination of them is slightly uncompetitive for NFE to keep. I’d love to hear others’ opinions on this matter.

Aurora Veil
:Vulpix-Alola: :Rufflet: :Sneasel: :Klang: :Gurdurr: :Fraxure: :Wartortle:

Home also gave us back Alolan Vulpix, along with returning some important moves to several setup sweepers. Alolan Vulpix is not only the premier Aurora Veil user at the moment but it’s also lowkey one of the better answers to broken Sun teams. Aurora Veil synergises amazing with setup sweepers, most notably Rufflet. Double Dance Rufflet is incredibly broken behind veil, because it can easily setup on a tier predominantly revolving around physical attackers. Rufflet also got Roost to further help its reliability in setting up. Whilst I do think Rufflet is something which should be looked at as it is absurdly strong on its own and the biggest benefactor of Aurora Veil, many other Pokemon are also easily able to abuse it.

Sneasel and Gurdurr received an amazing buff with Knock Off back in their arsenal, the Swords Dance and Bulk Up sets, respectively, are very difficult to deal with behind screens. It makes revenge killing far more difficult and in Gurdurr’s case lets it beat other Gurdurrs as Bulk Up wars aren’t too infrequent. However, Aurora Veil’s power should be carefully examined when looking at these two.I personally think both Gurdurr and Sneasel are broken, as they can now easily break for themselves and don’t require Aurora Veil support to be used effectively.

Other setup sweepers such as Klang, Wartortle, and Fraxure do benefit greatly from Aurora Veil support. It’s very easy to overwhelm the opponent with multiple setup sweepers with Veil support as the majority of teams are simply not adept to deal with it. It’s very difficult to keep up offensive pressure and Pokemon faster than Alolan Vulpix in, in order to not give it the opportunity to setup screens. NFE doesn’t have a particularly large pool of Defog users and the majority of viable Defog users don't enjoy taking a STAB Blizzard from Alolan Vulpix making this archetype even harder to deal with.

In conclusion, I’m leaning towards looking at Alolan Vulpix/Aurora Veil as the main problem in the tier, with its incredible ability to reliably support every Pokemon. Realistically Aurora Veil can only be effectively used Vulpix as the alternative would be using Snover to setup Hail or manually setting it up and then have Vanillish as the Veil user, so this would suggest that Alolan Vulpix is what we should target first. I’m still not certain though, since it might just be certain setup sweepers are making this archetype far too dominating. In that case Rufflet would be the first Pokemon to look at. I’d also love to hear others’ thoughts on this.

Thanks for reading and I’m looking forward to seeing what other people think of the post-Home meta so far.
Hey everyone, the NFE Council will be voting on Ivysaur and Vulpix. Sun has been at the forefront of the metagame since Home dropped, and this is mainly thanks to the release of Ivysaur. Ivysaur has become the best sun sweeper, thanks to amazing coverage in Solarbeam, Sludge Bomb and Weather Ball. That being said, Ivysaur does have a few checks such as Lampent, Carkol, Munchlax, and Sliggoo. Ivysaur is also reliant on Sun being up in order to hit Steel-types. Vulpix is the other mainstay on Sun teams, being the only Pokemon in the tier with access to Drought. Vulpix also provides valuable support in Encore, Hypnosis, Memento, and Will-O-Wisp, providing Sun sweepers with easier switchins and ample setup opportunities. However, the effectiveness of Sun teams can be largely attributed to Ivysaur, as other Sun sweepers lack the same speed tier and coverage that Ivysaur has access to.

The council will discuss Vulpix and Ivysaur and vote this weekend. Votes must be submitted by February Sunday 16th, at 8 PM GMT. Please provide any thoughts you have on Ivysaur and Vulpix in the meantime, so that we can get an idea of where the community stands on Sun.

We’re also looking into Alolan Vulpix, so feel free to provide your thoughts on it as well.


Banned deucer.
Hey everyone, the NFE Council will be voting on Ivysaur and Vulpix. Sun has been at the forefront of the metagame since Home dropped, and this is mainly thanks to the release of Ivysaur. Ivysaur has become the best sun sweeper, thanks to amazing coverage in Solarbeam, Sludge Bomb and Weather Ball. That being said, Ivysaur does have a few checks such as Lampent, Carkol, Munchlax, and Sliggoo. Ivysaur is also reliant on Sun being up in order to hit Steel-types. Vulpix is the other mainstay on Sun teams, being the only Pokemon in the tier with access to Drought. Vulpix also provides valuable support in Encore, Hypnosis, Memento, and Will-O-Wisp, providing Sun sweepers with easier switchins and ample setup opportunities. However, the effectiveness of Sun teams can be largely attributed to Ivysaur, as other Sun sweepers lack the same speed tier and coverage that Ivysaur has access to.

The council will discuss Vulpix and Ivysaur and vote this weekend. Votes must be submitted by February Sunday 16th, at 8 PM GMT. Please provide any thoughts you have on Ivysaur and Vulpix in the meantime, so that we can get an idea of where the community stands on Sun.

We’re also looking into Alolan Vulpix, so feel free to provide your thoughts on it as well.
u mean Drought right?? gen7uu banned drought separately i dont see why we cant.


Flamer Girl
is a Pre-Contributor
u mean Drought right?? gen7uu banned drought separately i dont see why we cant.
Banning a Pokemon is preferred over banning an ability. Despite them very likely having the same impact on the metagame, the precedent set by Smogon is to avoid "nerfing" Pokemon to keep them balanced in a tier. Only when an ability is uncompetitive (e.g Shadow Tag) or breaks multiple Pokemon should the ability be targetted over the Pokemon.
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I'm all for the drought ban but i do worry slightly about removing gloom as it is one of the few things that can possibly guard against certain sets on the very powerful fighting types. However if banning the pokemon is the only way forward with regards to rules and regulations on bans then i still believe it should be done. I don't have any experience with veils in nfe but when i look back at how powerful it was in other tiers especially lc who share the added bulk on pokemon with evio i feel like it may provide problems in time, once optimum teambuilding around it occurs.


Flamer Girl
is a Pre-Contributor
I'm all for the drought ban but i do worry slightly about removing gloom as it is one of the few things that can possibly guard against certain sets on the very powerful fighting types. However if banning the pokemon is the only way forward with regards to rules and regulations on bans then i still believe it should be done. I don't have any experience with veils in nfe but when i look back at how powerful it was in other tiers especially lc who share the added bulk on pokemon with evio i feel like it may provide problems in time, once optimum teambuilding around it occurs.
Gloom is not being targeted, Ivysaur is the sun sweeper which is being looked at because of its superior coverage and speed stat, making it much harder to switch into and revenge kill, so Gloom will still be around to check said Fighting-types


Flamer Girl
is a Pre-Contributor
Hey frens, the vote on both Vulpix and Ivysaur has ended, as mentioned by vooper 's post here.

With 7 Ban votes and 1 Abstain vote, :Ivysaur: Ivysaur has been banned from SS NFE.
With 8 Do Not Ban votes, :Vulpix: Vulpix will remain in the NFE tier.

Sun votes.png

Thanks to those who voted, especially those who provided their own reasoning. You can find that in the tab below.
simbo sun reasoning.png

San's sun reasoning.png

crystal sun reasoning.png

SBPC sun reasoning.png

Vooper's sun reasoning.png

Kindly tagging The Immortal to remove Ivysaur from the NFE ladder.
hi everyone, im sure youre all very disappointed to see that i posted and not someone with actual metagame knowledge but here i am :blobthumbsup:

so after the home drop, the meta has been in a very weird state to say the least. the meta essentially went from fat cors ferro choker type teams to straight ho (veil and sun before the ban) and im glad sun was banned bc it was very clearly broken but i definitely want to shift the attention onto aurora veil now because i feel its by far the most banworthy thing in the meta rn. veil teams for the most part consist of a suicide rocker, alolapix and a bunch of sweepers eg rufflet, tortle, maybe even sd sneasel. the current sweepers and offensive threats we have are super problematic especially in an environment like the one we have rn that essentially reward you for using braindead screens since the mons are stupidly strong. the main culprit of this imo is definitely rufflet. with screens up, rufflet is able to consistently set up bulk up and even agility/sub (to stop twave/burns/knock) to the point where nothing is able to stop it. the fact that pokemon such as piloswine and carkol which should in theory always beat it lose the 1v1 most of the time is just absurd (i'll post calcs at the end of the post). it basically forces you to carry a mare/cors with haze just so u dont get completely 6-0ed. dyna did the exact same thing, gave rufflet an opportunity to set up super easily, and made it super threatening which made defensive haze mons significantly better and much more needed. im not saying veil is the same as dyna or as broken as dyna for that matter, im just trying to show that veil gives rufflet oppotunities to set up that have been deemed banworthy in the past. rufflet is only 1 mon which can terrorize the tier behind screens, theres a plethora of other super threatening mons that can also just go crazy behind screens. wartortle also is super scary after a shell smash and screens basically gives it a free opportunity to do so. after a shell smash, the only thing tortle has to worry about is a. a toxiced linoone which can only kill u after chip and without screens up or b. a haze mare. again in this scenario, you are basically forced to run a haze mare or lose practically ur entire team. with water spout, mare isnt even that big of a problem because +2 spout into regular spout just kills mare anyway so the fact that this mon has barely any answers and can still still break past them is just insane. the only semi reliable switchins to this mon i can think of would be roselia but that mon really isnt very good in this meta and sliggoo which also sucks, both of which lose to ice beam if tortle decides to run that over spout.

scenario: screens set up t1, rufflet comes in t2, pilo/carkol come in t3 trying to counter rufflet
rufflet clicks bulk up t3 on the pilo/carkol switchin then clicks it again t4, giving it +2 in atk and defense
252+ Atk Piloswine Icicle Crash vs. +2 0 HP / 0 Def Eviolite Rufflet through Reflect: 75-88 (26.6 - 31.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock
at this rate rufflet can continue setting up bulk up and roosting up until it reaches stupid heights.

same scenario but with carkol this time
252 Atk Carkol Stone Edge vs. +2 0 HP / 0 Def Eviolite Rufflet through Reflect: 58-70 (20.6 - 24.9%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after Stealth Rock
even if carkol is running max atk fsr, rufflet wins here unless carkol miraculously gets a burn via flare blitz/flamethrower and mare comes in.
other than veil i would really like to see some discussion on the possible qb or suspect for
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Flamer Girl
is a Pre-Contributor
I want to open up to discussion about Sneasel and Gurdurr so this post will most be about that. I know I’ve already made a post on Aurora Veil, but I’d like to quickly say that I mostly agree with Phantom’s post on Veil. To add, the relatively low speed tier of the limited dex means Alola Pix is able to get off Veil with relative ease. Contrary to what I’ve heard from some people, Alola Pix whilst frail isn’t the easiest Pokemon to remove. Moves like Hypnosis and Encore means that Alola Pix can often switch out again and be preserved to setup Veil again in the late game. Aurora Veil forces you to play in a one dimensional way and I find Aurora Veil as an archetype to be pretty uncompetitive as it boosts the power level of multiple setup sweepers making those difficult to evaluate.

:Sneasel: I promise I won’t bore you guys too much with this first point but just quickly for Viper’s (vooper ) sake, I believe that Sneasel falls under the Broken category of tiering policy (defined as: “Elements that are too good relative to the rest of the metagame such that "more skillful play" is almost always rendered irrelevant.”).

Home gave back Sneasel Knock Off, which is a super spammable Dark-type STAB move and returned its ability to break for itself. Choice Band is an extremely potent set right now, as Sneasel is able to spam Knock Off during the early game to cripple common switchins like Gurdurr, Machoke, Piloswine and Mareanie. With the exception of Mareanie which has recovery and Regenerator, the aforementioned checks realistically are unable to switch into more than one attack safely, as the former two do not take kindly to Banded Icicle Crash and Piloswine dislikes Brick Break. Far too often you’re forced to make sacks during the mid to late game, to bring in Gurdurr (easiest example to show the point), which is then forced to Mach Punch or risk being KOed itself. During this turn, Sneasel can easily switch out into something to take a 40 Base Power move.

Offensive counterplay is extremely limited as well due to Sneasel being the fastest unboosted mon in the tier. Whilst it can be revenged by Choice Scarf users and Toxic Orb Linoone fairly easily due to its relatively poor defences, all of these need a free turn to safely switch in and they all take a significant amount of damage from Ice Shard. Furthermore, this is only considering a 1v1 situation; Sneasel currently performs a “hit and run” playstyle extremely effectively using Knock Off to cripple things, switching out and then using either Icicle Crash or Knock Off to clean late game. Whilst its weakness to Stealth Rock limits how often it can do this, it’s still extremely easy to keep around until the late game and very difficult to deal with and punish once itson the field.

:Gurdurr: Again for Viper’s sake, I believe that Gurdurr is very Unhealthy (defined as “Elements that are neither uncompetitive nor broken yet are deemed undesirable for the metagame such that they inhibit "skillful play" to a large extent.”) for the NFE metagame.

Similar to Sneasel, the re-addition of Knock off to its movepool has bolstered its ability to break past walls for itself or its teammates. Whilst the standard Bulk Up Gurdurr set is unable to beat every one of its supposed “checks and counters”, it can very easily tech for them since it can be very flexible with its last move. Whilst Mach Punch is most common as a means to deal with the ever present Sneasel and occasional Pawniard, other options do exist. Poison Jab can be run to break past Fairy-types such as Clefairy and Togetic, Thunder Punch hits both Flying-types and Mareanie and Taunt stops Strength Sap users such as Galarian Corsola and Gloom from recovering and means they can’t reliable check Gurdurr. I think this versatility makes Gurdurr very difficult to deal with both from a teambuilding aspect and also having to make particular effort to scout out moves within battle (significantly more so with Gurd than with other mons).

Not only is Gurdurr a very potent offensive threat, it has very solid defensive stats overall. The metagame is currently dominated by physical attackers which perfectly suits Gurd’s 85/85 physical bulk and allows for its Bulk Up set to flourish. Its special bulk is decent too, and I’ve had a ton of success with SpDef Gurdurr which is able to take a hit from Specs Haunter and Hattrem and OHKO them. I don’t think that Gurdurr is particularly the best at one thing but there isn’t much reason not to use it. It’s the best Defog because of its typing, the most splashable Sneasel check by far and one of the best setup sweepers in the tier with incredible offensive and defensive pressure. I understand the argument that banning Sneasel will mean there is less of a need to run Gurdurr on every team, and walls like Togetic and Gloom have one less offensive threat to worry about but I think that if we were to ban Sneasel alone, Gurdurr would instead become better. The need to run Mach Punch would decrease meaning it can tech for defensive switch-ins without giving up as much.

Knock Off has significantly reduced the defensive counterplay for both Sneasel and Gurdurr. I personally think Sneasel should definitely be quickbanned and Gurdurr is at least suspect worthy, and still quickbanworthy in my eyes. Also Aurora Veil’s dumb as well and should go.
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formerly uhuhuhu7
is a Tiering Contributor
In light of two recent posts made by PhantomHurious and Crystalites I figured I should be the first to make a post defending Aurora Veil, although there really isn't that much to it; I believe Morgrem is better than Alolan Vulpix, and I think the true issue lies in almost solely one mon; Rufflet.
Rufflet has been controversial for a while, mostly because practically nothing can tank Brave Bird (particularly from the Choice Band set) and Aerial Ace is pretty easy to click mid to late game without having to care about Hustle. Since Home, however, a new set has emerged in the form of a previously niche Bulk Up set, with Roost giving it incredible survivability and set-up potential.

Rufflet (M) @ Eviolite
Ability: Hustle
EVs: 240 HP / 152 Atk / 16 Def / 100 Spe (or 240 HP / 152 Atk / 40 Def / 76 Spe)
Adamant Nature
- Bulk Up
- Agility (or Substitute)
- Aerial Ace
- Roost
This was the set given to me by Crystalites when I asked for a basic Screens team to work off of when making my own. The set in question gives you an odd HP stat (to live four rounds of Stealth Rock) and enough Defense investment to take 49.8% max from Choice Band Piloswine's Icicle Crash after two Bulk Up uses. 100 Speed allows you to outpace Jolly Sneasel after a single use of Agility, turning it into legitimate setup fodder.

Alternatively, I used this spread; EVs: 240 HP / 152 Atk / 40 Def / 76 Spe
To save you time, I moved EVs away from Speed and into Defence, just investing enough to outspeed uninvested Palpitoad. This was because I opted to run Substitute over Agility, trading that specific matchup against Sneasel (and the general speed to beat out things like Haunter) for a better matchup against weaker Knock Off users like Ferroseed and Mareanie and a way to avoid status from the likes of Galarian Corsola and the aforementioned Palpitoad that might otherwise limit your sweeping potential.

To provide some calcs on how ridiculous this mon actually is:
252+ Atk Choice Band Sneasel Icicle Crash vs. +1 240 HP / 16 Def Eviolite Rufflet: 276-326 (80.9 - 95.6%)
If you Agility or Bulk Up on the switch you can just click the other move and outstall it with Roost (and Bulk Up again when you get healthy enough or if they happen to miss).
252+ Atk Choice Band Piloswine Icicle Crash vs. +1 240 HP / 16 Def Eviolite Rufflet: 288-338 (84.4 - 99.1%)
Same deal here.
252+ Atk Piloswine Icicle Crash vs. +2 240 HP / 16 Def Eviolite Rufflet: 144-170 (42.2 - 49.8%)
If they aren't Choice Band they can't even do half to you at +2. Now factor in Reflect.

Special Attackers tend to fare better, but not much better:
252+ SpA Hattrem Psychic vs. 240 HP / 0 SpD Eviolite Rufflet: 142-168 (41.6 - 49.2%)
Hatt isn't a breaker, to be fair, but this is a good example of how solid Rufflet actually is and on how many things it can set up. Short of SpDef drops, you're not breaking past Rufflet and it's slowly building up boosts against you.
252 SpA Life Orb Haunter Sludge Bomb vs. 240 HP / 0 SpD Eviolite Rufflet: 203-239 (59.5 - 70%)
+1 152+ Atk Hustle Rufflet Aerial Ace vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Haunter: 301-355 (130.3 - 153.6%)
+1 152+ Atk Hustle Rufflet Aerial Ace vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Eviolite Haunter: 202-238 (87.4 - 103%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
Offensive breakers do more, but it's not like you're taking an Aerial Ace.

In short, Rufflet is incredibly bulky and its checks are incredibly limited. Klang wins, but it has to be Shift Gear and get a Gear Grind crit. Mareanie wins, but it loses to the Sub variant if it doesn't have enough PP or gets hit by a stray Knock Off (fairly easy to force in this meta; just pair Rufflet with Gurdurr). Corsola-Galar, but only if you're Haze, and you still lose to Sub variants unless you use Ice Beam also. Honedge is the best check by far, but lets be honest it's pretty terrible outside of the Rufflet matchup. Faster attackers, e.g. Pikachu and Sneasel can revenge kill it, but the former is 2HKOd by Aerial Ace (i.e. not a safe switchin) and loses if Rufflet gets too many boosts (or a sub up), and Sneasel is 1v1d by the Agility variant.

This is also unboosted by Screens. When you're getting Substitute up on Piloswine, something is wrong, and Rufflet really pushes these teams into dangerous territory.

It's also worth noting that Band and Scarf sets *do* still exist and are phenomenal in their own right. Band is able to cleanly 2HKO Galarian Corsola, Mareanie etc and can suprise Klang and Carkol with Close Combat for a OHKO (assuming SpDef Carkol).
252+ Atk Choice Band Hustle Rufflet Brave Bird vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Mareanie: 229-271 (75.5 - 89.4%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
252+ Atk Choice Band Hustle Rufflet Aerial Ace vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Mareanie: 172-204 (56.7 - 67.3%)
252+ Atk Choice Band Hustle Rufflet Brave Bird vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Piloswine: 427-504 (125.2 - 147.8%)

Not much calcs to show for Scarf, it's just a solid cleaner, and the scariest part of Rufflet is (outside of screens) it really shares the same teammates every time, so it's not particularly easy to scout for.

For a quick note on Morgrem: If the opponent carries anything faster, or strong enough to take it Alolan Vulpix through screens (Haunter, Sneasel, Raboot, Gurdurr, Machoke, Klang etc.), it's hard to send Alolan Vulpix out at preview, and due to a lack of Eviolite it can also be hard to find set-up opportunities that don't involve trading your life in the process, particularly if the opponent isn't running any passive, defensive Pokemon (e.g. Palpitoad, Mareanie).

As an example, see this NFE Open Finals game against zugubu royale:
In this game, had I opted to use Alolan Vulpix, I had a much harder time setting up; Roselia speed tied and could potentially knock me out before I even got screens up. Gurdurr and Pawniard OHKOd me through screens, meaning I was effectively trading my 6th slot for 7 turns of setup. In comparison, Morgrem came out twice, didn't risk speed tying (due to Prankster) or dying (due to Screens reliably being up) and I even kept it as a soft check in the back for Gurdurr. The only reason I didn't lead with it was because I wanted to try and force an early Knock Off on Gurdurr so that Pilo could threaten it later. That clearly didn't go to plan, but enter Rufflet.
This game is also a good example of what Rufflet can do when you get screens up. If I just clicked Aerial Ace on Turn 26 I'm pretty sure it beat out Shellos, but as I didn't calc I instead clicked Aerial Ace 15 times before being forced out and later winning with Piloswine. For the record, I had a 47% chance to crit Shellos at least once in those 15 turns (math done by 84percent) so on paper it should've 6-0d if I played it right.
Here's a friendly practice game I had with Quags in the leadup to Finals. Similarly to the last replay, Morgrem got screens up twice and lived to sack against Sneasel (securing a risk-free win). Gurdurr also forced an eventually Knock Off on Mareanie here, again giving Rufflet an easy win, with Band Sneasel only doing 30%ish with Brick Break. This is another example of Substitute Rufflet just absolutely destroying a slower team; Quags really didn't have good counterplay here and I'm not sure many Pokemon exist that fulfil this criteria.

im done talking about rufflet now

okay so i've typed up way too much already but i'm in agreement with the others that sneasel is also extremely busted, with knock off pretty much never having a drawback and icicle crash being ridiculously dangerous with eviolite off the table and it kinda necessitates gurdurr on every single build. band and swords dance are both extremely strong, and i've even made use of sash counter in the past to lure and break physical attackers.
i also believe that gurdurr is unhealthy, with the ability to 1v1 any pokemon in the tier and taunt sets making traditional checks like mareanie and gloom incredibly unreliable, with additional room for exploration in the form of elemental punches and substitute as soon as sneasel goes, removing the necessity for priority mach punch.

i also think haunter, machoke and trapinch should all also be looked at at some point, but rufflet, sneasel, and to a lesser extent gurdurr are higher on my list purely because of how easy they are to use and how much of an efffect they have on what does and does not constitute a defensive mon.
thanks for reading and i'll probably post more eventually.


Flamer Girl
is a Pre-Contributor
Hey frens. The NFE Council will be voting on Sneasel, Gurdurr, and Rufflet.

Sneasel regained access to Knock Off and has since become one of the best revenge killers and late-game cleaners in the tier. It is able to run multiple sets with the most common being Choice Band, which allows it to become a phenomenal wallbreaker when backed up by its solid Attack. Its blazing Speed in conjunction with STAB priority in Ice Shard also makes offensive counterplay extremely limited as it is the fastest unboosted Pokemon in the tier. However, its poor defenses means it cannot switch in easily to attacks. Additionally, its weakness to Stealth Rock does limit the amount of times it can safely switch in. That being said, Sneasel is still one of the top tier threats in the metagame, which is why it is being voted on.

Home also gave Gurdurr Knock Off back. This has made its Bulk Up set far more reliable as it is able to cripple the defensive utility of its common switch-ins as well as having a more damaging move for hitting Pokemon which resist its Fighting-type STAB. Its last move extremely flexible with Taunt to shut down walls from recovering, Mach Punch as a form of priority to cover for its poor speed and various coverage moves which can be used to lure its common checks. Gurdurr does have some weaknesses though. If not running Poison Jab, Fairy-types are able to wall it with relative ease. Mareanie and Gloom also are decent switch-ins which can recover on it, as long as Gurdurr does not have Taunt. Nevertheless, Gurdurr remains a top tier setup sweeper which has a massive influence on both teambuilding and in battle, which is why we’re taking a close look at it.

Rufflet was already a strong wallbreaker in the pre-home meta capable of abusing both Choice Scarf and Choice Band, with the former making up for its mediocre Speed and the latter further enhancing its already absurd Attack. With Home’s release, Roost has been added to its arsenal and has led to the rise of Bulk Up sets. Substitute and Agility both being suitable filler options makes Rufflet a particular nuisance to deal with, as the counterplay against both variants is slightly different. On the otherhand, Rufflet's weakness to Stealth Rock means it can be unreliable to setup with. Without Agility, it can be revenge killed by Special Attackers with relative ease and without Substitute, it is very susceptible to both Toxic and burns. Carkol and Klang are also semi reliable checks to Bulk Up sets. Choiced sets are easy to revenge kill since they are far more frail. However, Rufflet is a near unstoppable setup sweeper when behind screens, and the it might be pushing the archetype too far.

The Council will have until Tuesday 3rd March to vote on these three Pokemon. Until them, feel free to continue providing your input on these 3 Pokemon and the general metagame.
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Flamer Girl
is a Pre-Contributor
Hey again frens. We're back with the results.

Sneasel, Gurdurr, and Rufflet are now banned from SS NFE or should I say:

SBPC made me include this song
sneasel, gurdurr, rufflet votes.png

Reasoning from individual council members can be found below:

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Quag sgr.png

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We greatly appreciate the discussions in the room, in discord and especially on forums about the metagame, all of which help the council make these decisions. We hope to see more contributions soon.
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With Gurdurr, Sneasel, and Rufflet leaving the tier, the metagame has quickly adapted and offered us some brand new faces at the forefront, while i don't personally believe any one pokemon is broken here, definitely a lot have changes in their viability as individuals, which i go more into detail on this VR post.

The metagame in itself has shifted towards one that heavily favors Haunter, without Sneasel being everywhere to delete its chances of running anything not named scarf. A huge contributor to the recent mass success of Haunter is Trapinch, since due to its access to First Impression, is a terrifying pokemon to be facing down on the field at any time, and can effectively remove all the current relevant dark types without too much opportunity cost. Eviolite sets are also rather successful due to the fact that they can trade an incredibly powerful blow for the ability to soak in a little more punishment. Teambuilding personally I've found myself centered around Pinch and Haunter, and seen myself using a lot more Pawniard, since the leave of Gurdurr and Rufflet removed two very good offensive pokemon that can effectively stop it from getting in, while still having an incredible defensive typing that gives it a much better time against Haunter in comparison to Linoone-Galar, who must be fearful of Sludge Wave and Dazzling Gleam coverage, and additionally relies on Evio or Torb as its item slot too often to run Shed Shell as a means of helping stay alive against Trapinch.

Klang has definitely benefitted from the removal of both Rufflet and Gurdurr, as those two were both some of Klang's most consistent offensive checks, with Gurdurr doubling down as a defensive answer as well. Klang doesn't fear First Impression off Trap either, and with the only remaining mach punch user with a semblance of viability left being Timburr, (i tried it, its bad.) Priority has become a very rare method of checking Klang. However Haze users such as G-Cors and Mare can be used, and Machoke's close combat is of the scariest moves to be targeted by in the tier.

Meta overall has shifted to reward more careful offensive play, with certain sweepers such as Klang, Pawniard, and Curse Piloswine being harder to stop, while choice wallbreakers such as Haunter, Trapinch, and Brionne can synergize together to keep up pressure against teams that aren't built to keep up against the raw damage output. Teams can lean more offensively than defensively right now due to the insane power of the tier's wallbreakers and the sweepers are never anything to laugh at. Definitely looking forward to see where this meta goes from here.
Hello! I had some free time today so I thought I'd share some of the teams I have been using the past week or so. Before I get started I think it should be mentioned that I am not a great builder, all teams I make on average have taken about 30 seconds to make, blame my short attention spam and lack of motivation. I should also mention that my sets are all over the place and you probably will have to switch moves around. Hopefully you will get something out of this post, if not I'm sorry.

:Wartortle: :Haunter: :Corsola-Galar: :Machoke: :Roselia: :Torracat:
First team is probably the one I've used the most. Wartortle is a really solid Pokemon and great midgame breaker. I'm not a pussy so I went with Hydro Pump but you can easily switch that to Surf or Scald. I'm not sure what else to say, it's a pretty straightforward team with solid momentum. The goal is basically to set up your hazards and switch between Haunter and Machoke to weaken the team and then sweep with Wartortle. If that isn't enough then Torracat can also sweep maybe idk.

:Brionne: :Haunter: :Piloswine: :Machoke: :Charjabug: :Torracat:
This team is basically just me wanting to use Brionne because it is very cute. Brionne is pre solid, it's not like amazing but it's solid, specs haunter hits and is better but Brionne is just as hard to switch into really. I've added webs on this team just to ease the damage output my mons will make but you can easily change that if you're not really into it, the team doesn't really depend on it also this team doesn't have a great mu vs Pawniard so ye you can switch Charjabug for Sleep Powder Gloom or something which is probably better.

:Vulpix-Alola: :Charjabug: :Wartortle: :Haunter: :Piloswine: :Machoke:
I had to try Veil and used Crys's team as a base, back then it was better because it had Rufflet and Gurdurr and other things this one is a bit more messy and offensive which is ironic because I can't "play" anything but BO. Vulpix is pre fun I think its not terrible, it's hard to lead w it because so many people expect it and boom torracat you know but once veil is up team is really solid. Wartortle + Haunter + Piloswine is just really good and if you're lucky enough to have spammed Knock Off with Machoke you should have no trouble breaking past through walls.

Screen Shot 2020-03-08 at 16.05.18.png
Feel free to use these teams and edit them and make them better or easier for you to use, this is also a nice way to start raising your Machoke speed creeps, maybe by the end of the year Bulky Machoke will be full speed. If you have any comments on these teams feel free to quote me on stuff or if you have any questions, maybe I won't be able to answer them but you never know. Thank you for reading!

hello again! since you've checked this out let me reward you.
:Dusclops: :Machoke: :Togetic: :Morgrem: :Munchlax: :Clefairy:
if you're ever feeling bored or tired of the NFE metagame here is a nice way to spice things up.
However if the game hates you in a similar way as it hates me I don't recommend this team.
Here's a bad team that I've built for shits&giggles.

: As the evolved form of the newly introduced gen 8 water type starter, Drizzile struggles to find a viable niche in this meta. Due to poor movepool and average-ish stats, this pokémon really doesn't brings anything new to the table. BUT, Drizzile does have the access to Light Screen, Reflect and U-turn at the same time. Also, being a water type, it inflicts a bit of fear to Piloswine, a scary rocks setter in this meta. Another good thing about this pokémon, is that it rocks the high base speed stat of 90, which is able to outspeed a vast majority of the meta.

: The Oh So Scary Fairy survives the Pokédex Massacre to bring doomsday to NFE once again. As the bulky monster that it is, Clefairy's paper is to be the main sweeper of this team, with Calm Mind, Softboiled and its high defense stat, it shouldn't find trouble on finding a place to setup and sweep the enemy team.

: One thing that this team struggles against, is Haunter. With the Sneasel ban, Pawniard takes its paper of checking Haunter with Sucker Punch. Though not always reliable to do that, it can also be a late game sweeper with Swords Dance and a good checker for Gorsola. There isn't much to say, it's just a solid pokémon by itself.

: Drakloak is an interesting pokémon, as it can run a vast array of sets. The one from this team runs the Special Set. Unfortunately, its SpA stat isn't the highest by itself, so it has to hold Choice Specs to be able to deal some damage. To cover that, its amazing base speed outspeeds almost anything, which is why this is the most reliable revenge killer this team has, and it's also a great checker for other Ghost types such as Haunter. (As long as they are not running Choice Scarf)

: With its outstanding defense stat reaching +400 defense with Eviolite intact, you'd think this pokémon would be unbelievably broken. Unfortunately... it lacks offense. It struggles on dealing consistent damage against Steel types, which makes it a safe setup fodder for Pawniard. This pokémon's role on this team is to take the hit, defog, and switch out afterwards. I prefer using Leaf Blade, but you can use Knock Off instead if you wish to do so.

: Last but not least, we've got the physical sweeper counterpart of this team with Dragon Dance. Hakamo-o has a decent defense stat with Eviolite even without investment. Also, with its ability Bulletproof, it can safetly switch in against Choice Locked Haunter's Shadow Ball. Just becareful of Fairy type moves as they usually nuke it. It really hates brionne.

Note: If you want to change Drizzile for Vulpix-Alola or Morgrem, feel free to do so. I just really like Drizzile for some reason and I'm glad that I've found a niche for it.


Flamer Girl
is a Pre-Contributor
Hey frens. The bans have definitely shaken up the metagame, and a Pokemon I’ve enjoyed using a ton as of recent is Pawniard, which has slowly gotten better as time has gone on.

Pawniard @ Eviolite
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Knock Off
- Iron Head
- Sucker Punch

Unlike the previous generation, the Galar cut has meant that there is a distinct lack of Fire- and Fighting-types (namely Monferno, Combusken, and Magmar) meaning Pawniard can easily flourish. The small pool of Pokemon in general means that one of Pawniard’s weaknesses in the past, its Speed, isn’t a big problem in the current generation. Gen 8 also removed Hidden Power, meaning special attackers such as Haunter are now reliably checked by Pawniard. With Home returning Knock Off to its movepool and now with the recent removal of its biggest counter in Gurdurr, Pawniard has finally become a very reliable and prominent wallbreaker and setup sweeper in the metagame.

Whilst Machoke is still extremely common on teams, its common sets, with the exception of RestTalk, lack any form of recovery meaning it is very susceptible to being worn down. Pawniard also dislikes the rise in usage of Trapinch, particularly the Eviolite set which is able to comfortably switch into Pawniard and knock it out with Superpower. To try and circumvent these issues, I’ve been using Pawniard with Klang or Galarian Linoone. I think Pawniard is really solid on “type-spam” teams where the main objective is to overwhelm the limited checks and/or counters to Pawniard and frens.

Klang @ Eviolite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 240 HP / 176 SpD / 92 Spe
Careful Nature
- Rest
- Sleep Talk
- Gear Grind
- Shift Gear

Klang forms a solid dual Steel-type core with Pawniard, with both significantly benefitting from the banning of Gurdurr. I think they are both best used together as setup sweepers as the one of the two can easily wear down Machoke to the point that it no longer has enough to check the other. Additionally Eviolite Trapinch can only switch into one of the two, whilst Choice Band Trapinch is unable to safely switch into either Klang or Pawniard. Additionally, Pawniard in particular can deal with Torracat with relative ease, due to its access to Sucker Punch and Intimidate giving it a Defiant boost. A nice bonus is that this core’s abilities are very anti-Webs which is an archetype which is still relatively popular.

Linoone-Galar @ Eviolite
Ability: Quick Feet
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Knock Off
- Double-Edge
- Parting Shot
- Taunt


Linoone-Galar @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Quick Feet
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Knock Off
- Facade
- Parting Shot
- Protect

Galarian Linoone also pairs well with Pawniard with its ability to bring in Pawniard far more safely with Parting Shot and its incredible speed letting it revenge kill potential threats to Pawniard such as Raboot. In return, Pawniard is able to handle Fairy-types with ease. Machoke is easily worn down by both of these Pokemon and will have its Eviolite removed very early on as it tries to switch into either. Toxic Orb G-Linoone runs Protect to stop Choice Band Trapinch which cannot safely switch into either Dark-type reliably. Similarly to the previous core, Eviolite Trapinch is unable to trap both of these threats with G-Linoone being able to Parting Shot out of it and Pawniard leaving it extremely low (to the point where G-Linoone can clean it easily). The removal of the two best Knock Off Pokemon (in Sneasel and Gurdurr) means that Pawniard and Galarian Linoone have less competition for this role making them even more valuable in the current metagame.

Lastly, both these cores have incredibly good matchups into Haunter, even when it's paired with a Trapinch. Pawniard can revenge Haunter very easily with Sucker Punch. SpDef Klang is arguably the most reliable counter and switch-in to Haunter, whilst Galarian Linoone is one of two Pokemon which outspeed Haunter (with Drakloak not being particularly viable at the moment). Overall Pawniard is a top tier threat and whilst I wouldn’t consider it broken yet, I do think many teams aren't really adept at handling it at the moment.

Have fun optimising these two archetypes!
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I wanna address three Pokemon, who I think make the meta extremely stale at the moment.

Haunter has been an issue for a long time, and it was always at the brink. Now with Sneasel gone, there's only Linoone-Galar left to outspeed it (and Drakloak, but that doesn't count). Defensively, we have options like Klang, Piloswine, Ferroseed, Mareanie, Carkol, Roselia, Munchlax, Vullaby, Brionne and Sliggoo. Some of these just aren't too viable (e.g. Sliggoo), and barely any can take Haunter out quickly enough without having to take multiple hits first. This is an issue, because Haunter's sheer power overwhelms most of these.

Pokemon without recovery:
252 SpA Choice Specs Haunter Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Ferroseed: 96-114 (32.8 - 39%) -- 99.7% chance to 3HKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Haunter Shadow Ball vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Carkol: 109-129 (30 - 35.5%) -- 24.4% chance to 3HKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Haunter Shadow Ball vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Piloswine: 118-141 (29.2 - 34.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock

Pokemon with recovery:
252 SpA Choice Specs Haunter Shadow Ball vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Mareanie: 127-151 (41.9 - 49.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Haunter Sludge Wave vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Roselia: 118-141 (38.8 - 46.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Haunter Sludge Wave vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Vullaby: 135-159 (39.3 - 46.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

Pokemon who rely on Rest:
252 SpA Choice Specs Haunter Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Klang: 96-114 (29.6 - 35.1%) -- 14.6% chance to 3HKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Haunter Sludge Wave vs. 0 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Munchlax: 115-136 (27.9 - 33%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Haunter Sludge Wave vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Brionne: 118-139 (36.4 - 42.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Haunter Sludge Wave vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Sliggoo: 94-112 (27.6 - 32.9%) -- guaranteed 4HKO

Ferroseed, Piloswine and Carkol don't have (reliable) recovery and can take a maximum of three hits, not taking hazards into account. Especially Ferroseed and Carkol can get trapped my Trapinch and hit for SE damage.
Out of the Pokemon who rely on Rest as recovery, Brionne dies in three hits, making Rest not reliable. Only Klang, Munchlax and Sliggo can decently rest on Choice Specs Haunter, but both Munchlax and especially Sliggoo suffer from low overall viability.
Then there are our Pokemon with reliable recovery. Mareanie, Roselia and Vullaby all take less than 50% from Choice Specs Haunter and are able to heal it off. Mareanie and Vullaby lose that quality though, once Stealth Rocks are on the field. Only Roselia has a decent chance to switch in with Stealth Rocks up and still live the second hit, but it is forced to run Shadow Ball in order to touch Haunter.
What I haven't mentioned so far is Haunter's ability to Trick a choice item and invalidate those walls for the rest of the game. Lastly, there are certain sets like Sub Wisp Haunter, who can work around some of these answers (e.g. Klang) in other ways than just brute force, but in exchange these sets make it easier for others checks to handle them.
Then there's a last category of Pokemon who don't want to switch in, but can live a hit and kill Haunter in return. Pawniard, Machoke and more offensive Piloswine sets are worth mentioning here. Pawniard specifically also has access to Sucker Punch, giving him a very effective tool especially vs choice locked Haunter. Piloswine and Machoke have access to priority aswell, albeit a weaker form.

Overall the (reliable) counterplay to Haunter is very limited, mostly forcing you to use more offensive teams, that don't allow Haunter to come in for free even once, or to rely on combinations of Steel types and Ghost immunities / resists to play around choice items. The general low viability of Choice Scarf in the current meta outside of the Haunter MU doesn't make things easier. Haunter is extremely influencial in terms of teambuilding, and not in a positive way. And using it well is not a question of skill – not with how Haunter blows through defensive Pokemon.

With Gurdurr out of they way, we're back to not having a single reason to not use Machoke on every single team. Especially with Pawniard on the rise, physically defensive RestTalk Machoke has gained steam too, so there are three viable sets now.
Honestly though, there's a good amount of reliable counterplay to Machoke. Bulky versions have trouble getting around Pokemon like Gloom and Corsola-G (and depending on coverage Mareanie, Togetic, Clefairy), and Flame Orb versions suffer from poor speed and bulk. The main issue with Machoke is not that it's overwhelming, but that it does its job so consistently. Amazing base stats, access to Knock Off (by far the best move in NFE), powerful STAB and a variety of coverage options make Machoke fit on basically every team, ranging from HO to super bulky builds. In terms of the Tiering Policy Framework Machoke isn't broken. But it is unhealthy. Basically limiting the available slots we have on a team to 5 (or 3 if you take into account some of the other dominant Pokemon).

There's a bunch of qualities that make Pawniard scary: Knock Off, Sucker Punch, Swords Dance, unresisted dual STAB, Defiant and a speed higher than our big 45-50 cluster. Similarly to Machoke, Pawniard can use Knock Off to cripple defensive answers. Unlike Machoke, Pawniard dishes out a huge amount of damage with Knock Off, because of STAB and Swords Dance (Corsola-G has a 75% chance to drop to +2 Knock Off if Stealth Rocks are up). Defiant prevents recovery from Gloom and Corsola-G. And the speed puts it in a position where the faster stuff is starting to be on the frailer side. This combined with the fact that the only (remotely viable) Pokemon faster than Pawniard with a Dark resistance are Morgrem, Hakamo-o, and most importantly Linoone-G (which has to run Body Press if it wants to dent Pawniard), shows how limited counterplay is, once Pawniard gets up a Swords Dance. One thing worth mentioning is that Trapinch can only successfully trap Pawniard if it gets a free switch on an unboosted Pawniard. The only thing keeping Pawniard in check is Machoke, in my opinion. Using Substitute on Pokemon faster than Pawniard is a tool though, that hasn't been explored too much outside of Haunter.

(Toxel might be unrelated to this text and serve only as separator. But who knows, maybe it's a metaphor)
Now, how can we take this into account to make the current meta more enjoyable. I don't know. In a perfect world, we ban Machoke, Pawniard and Haunter. In terms of the Tiering Policy Framework we can classify Machoke as unhealthy, and Pawniard and Haunter as broken. At that point we would probably have to take a look at Piloswine too, since Machoke and Pawniard hold it back currently.
But seriously, take a look at the VR and imagine that those 3 / 4 Pokemon are gone. Beyond Piloswine, to me there's nothing that stands out as overly dominant, and there seems to be a much bigger pool of usable Pokemon. But I'd be interested in your opinion on that!
Sadly the time for quick bans is kinda over, and holding a suspect for multiple Pokemon at the same time is nonsense. Well, this is for council to figure out. Just don't make the mistake of removing Machoke without touching Pawniard.

Thanks to PhantomHurious for taking a look at this, so I don't post incoherent gibberish. (If Phantom understood it, so will you)
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Flamer Girl
is a Pre-Contributor
Hey frens; I'm back with a new post which is on a slightly more subjective topic but before I go onto it, I would like to say I very much agree with what 85 said in his really well written post (so read it if you haven’t but only after you’re done reading mine), and I hopefully aim to cover those Pokemon in more depth in the future. Anyways without further ado...

Arena Trap has always been a very controversial ability. In previous generations, most notably SM, NFE for whatever reason was based on OU rather than being a standalone tier (like LC), and thus Arena Trap was automatically banned. With the exception of DPP, which is a wildly different metagame due to it being non-preview, Sword & Shield is the first time we’ve actually had Arena Trap legal for such a long duration.

:Diglett: :Trapinch:
There are two Pokemon with access to this incredible ability; those being Diglett and Trapinch. The former is pretty lackluster, due to its poor Attack and even worse defenses. Diglett is only really used as a suicide lead on the occasional HO team (and even then in isn't great) so I won't be covering it much in the rest of the post.

Trapinch, on the other hand, has a monstrous base 100 Attack stat, with its other stats being relatively poor, especially its Speed stat. This is somewhat circumvented with its access to First Impression. Its Choice Band set in particular can abuse this very well and with one layer of Spikes it can OHKO Eviolite Galarian Linoone and has a high chance to OHKO standard Eviolite Hattrem. Banded Pinch is also able to take an attack from Mareanie and Carkol and OHKO them in return with Earthquake, but the main point of this set is to trap and revenge things with Banded First Impression. Trapinch’s other common set is a bulkier Eviolite set which focuses on being able to deal with Steel-types such as Klang and Pawniard in any given 1 on 1 situation (Earthquake will 2HKO Klang, whilst Superpower OHKOs Pawniard).

Trapinch isn’t without its flaws though. The Choice Band set does require a free switch to come onto the field and has a heavy overreliance on First Impression. Nearly always is Trapinch immediately forced out after using this move, or worse it just faints to any attacker which can live its First Impression. Its Eviolite set lacks the same immediate power meaning

Good Teammates

By far, the Pokemon which benefits the most from Trapinch support is Haunter. Whilst Haunter alone is already an incredibly difficult Pokemon to deal with due to its insane wallbreaking ability and speed tier, and is one of the “Big 3” (With Machoke and Pawniard being the other 2) at the moment. As 85 mentioned in the post above, Haunter has very limited offensive counterplay, and many of its defensive switch-ins lack recovery and therefore aren’t exactly the most reliable. Trapinch is able to deal with Galarian Linoone (the only viable Pokemon which is faster than Haunter naturally), Pawniard (which has access to Sucker Punch which can easily revenge kill Haunter) and Klang (arguably the best Haunter switch-in which commonly has recovery). I think this core is pretty busted as things stand especially with how reliably this can be pulled off. Whilst I’m not completely certain since Trapinch does play a part in Haunter's success, I am still leaning in favour of Haunter being looked at over Trapinch.

:Hattrem: :Woobat:
Similar to Haunter, Psychic-types with setup moves also benefit greatly from Trapinch’s ability to deal with Galarian Linoone (although if Linoone is running Protect it becomes a lot harder to deal with). Whilst Hattrem and Woobat both have Fire-type coverage to deal damage to Steel-types, they still struggle to deal with Pawniard and Klang in 1 on 1 situations. Eviolite Trapinch is able to beat both these Steel-types with relative ease. Both these Psychic-types are far less reliable than Haunter when it comes to being cleaner but they still form cool cores with Trapinch.

Just read the post :(

Trapinch is super good and Arena Trap is lowkey uncompetitive. However, there are bigger problems in the tier (Haunter, Pawniard, Machoke) that should be looked at first.
Thanks for reading!!
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I’ve been playing NFE for a while now, and probably continue so. So I wanted to post my thoughts about this current meta.

The current meta is just oppressive with it being revolved around Haunter and Pawniard, with some degree Machoke and Piloswine. You will most likely see two of them in everyone’s team and there isn’t a reason why you should not use them most of the time. Plus all of those 4 mons can form “cores” each to each, where I consider them from a decent to a frightening combination.

Pawniard + Haunter: They deal with each other’s checks, form a strong playstyle where Pawn can cripple everyone while haunter cleans the latter where there are so few that can switch into both of them. While both of them do not like to take hits, the reward of cleaning everything is worth it.

Haunter + Machoke: A classic core back in the pre-home days, and still works together today. Machoke would cripple haunter’s checks while haunter can switch in Machoke’s checks like Togetic, Clefairy and Gloom. And both of them can run in various sets and I would consider this core the most common out of everything in Gen 8 NFE meta.

Pawniard + Machoke: Fighting/Dark typing synergy. Pawn takes care of most of Machoke's checks, allowing Machoke to use various sets, making Machoke much harder to predict. And Machoke can cripple and take damage from Pawniard’s checks with most of its sets.

Piloswine isn't as versatile as the aforementioned threats and therefore doesn't form as deadly of a core as the ones listed above. However, it is the best Stealth Rocker and the lack of resistances to its STAB means its cores will always provide a solid offensive presence.

Piloswine + Pawniard: Oppressing hazard control. Pilo beats every defogger, Pawn just makes sure you won’t ever defog ever. Pawn also takes care of Corsola Galar, which is Piloswine’s best counter.

Piloswine + Haunter: Pilo can act as both hazard control and endgame cleaner, and does beat on some haunter’s checks as Vullaby and Carkol. While Haunter can clean Piloswine’s counters/checks overall.

Piloswine + Machoke: Piloswine beats most of Machoke’s core with ease, while Machoke can cripple everyone with its hard coverage and take physical damage for it. Probably the weakest core out of all, but it’s still not bad.

I don’t really like the current meta as it feels like we have gone backwards with the rise in Haunter/Machoke usage, but now pawn knocks off everything. These 3 create immense pressure and make teambuilding as limited as it can be. Which is why I dislike the current state of the meta and think it’s frustrating.

But I’m still optimistic as I can still find some enjoyment playing in the current meta. So I wanted to share the pokemon sets using the pokemon above (except Piloswine) to anyone new that does want some references. I’m doing this so people can have an easier time to build a team, but also to build up my point.

Pawniard @ Eviolite
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Knock Off
- Sucker Punch
- Iron Head
- Sword Dance / Stealth Rock

Knock Off gets rid of everyone’s eviolite and is mandatory for him. Iron head compliments with Knock Off by hitting on faires and fighting types. Sucker Punch let him act as a revenge killer. Sword Dance makes him one of the best sweepers in the game, and you can easily find times to set up. Examples are on grass and fairy mons, and forcing switches on their defensive Machoke (which is also 2ohko’d by iron head once their eviolite is gone lol) Also fully invested speed evs, it's a lot faster than your average NFE mon since a lot of them doesn't speed creep or hit over 200 speed era.

If you don’t need a sweeper, Pawniard is also a great stealth rocker. Threatening every defog and magic bounce pokemon let Pawniard throw in stealth rocks as freely it wants.

Pawniard @ Eviolite
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Knock Off
- Iron Head
- Sucker Punch
- Brick Break

Just an anti-meta set lol. Brick Break is there to stop the other Pawniard since there are so few check against Pawniard. It can also punish on other dark mons and Carkol as an option. Jolly is there to outspeed the adamant pawn. Not much else to say here. I just wanted to post this weird set.
Haunter @ Choice Specs / Life orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Shadow Ball
- Sludge Wave
- Psychic / Dazzling Gleam
- Knock Off / Will O Wisp / Trick / Filler

Shadow Ball and Sludge Wave are there to hit hard. Psychic is used for poison types, and secure kills on Machoke by far, while dazzling gleam has a better coverage, hitting on dark types in exchange for a weaker base attack. The 4th move is a move you can fill in whatever you want. Knock Off for switch-ins, Will O Wisp is to weaken physical mons, Trick is for limiting your opponent option or make them completely not a threat anymore. You can even run Energy Ball for Piloswine and Brionne, but the 4th move is very optional.

Choice Specs is the superior item with no health recoil and allows it to beat its checks better, but life orb is good itself if you don’t like being locked

Machoke @ Eviolite
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Impish Nature
- Dynamic Punch
- Knock Off
- Rest
- Sleep Talk

Takes in physical hits like a champ , also aka Pawniard’s most used checker. Dynamic Punch has no drawbacks with No Guard gives it 100% accuracy. Knock off as a coverage option and get rid of the opponent's eviolite. Rest and Sleep talk is there for keeping health up. I personally dislike this set because of the confuse hax, but it’s a good set overall.

Machoke @ Eviolite
Ability: Guts
EVs: 200 HP / 252 Atk / 56 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Close Combat
- Knock Off
- Heavy Slam / Ice Punch
- Bullet Punch

Close Combat and Knock Off are mandatory and hit hard on anyone. Heavy Slam is for fairies, while Ice Punch gives it an option to hit on grass mons like Roselia and Dartrix. Bullet Punch let him revenge kill everyone. And Machoke is still bulky with the invested HP and Eviolite together. A pretty simple bulky all out attacker, but it does the job.

I do want to speak out some positive stuff before ending this post since I still care about the meta. So here’s some good mons I wanted to talk about.

Trapinch benefits a lot with the rise of Pawniard. It’s one of few good checks in the meta and is easily the best pokemon to just get rid of Pawniard. Eviolite is much better if you want a spread to switch in against Pawn, and still kill it with one hit. And it’s still good outside of that as it can stop Hattrem, Linoone Galar and Klang. This is also why I think Trapinch will rise up in rankings, despite a hard losing matchup against Haunter.

Brionne is such a cool pokemon to have in NFE. You can have a Choice Specs set to make it hard to switch in, or act as a special tanker to check on popular mons as Haunter. Honestly really glad we got another good water pokemon lol.

Linoone Galar seems to be back in business after the Sneasel/Gurdurr ban. It can actually hit Haunter and Pawniard with Knock Off/Body Press. And with Gurdurr gone, it can play this hit and run playstyle without worrying about any Mach Punches. Glad to see it used more again <3

That’s all I got for now. I hope the DLCs just give us more pokemon to play with, and the meta will have more playstyles in the future.

Thanks for Crystalites for helping me with fixing some grammar errors :)
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Flamer Girl
is a Pre-Contributor
Hey frens. It’s been a few weeks since the quickbans occurred and the metagame has changed up quite a bit since. There has been some dissatisfaction with several issues among the community and even though the council has a general grasp of the playerbases’ stance, we think it’s best if we have a more focussed discussion with the objective of getting more people’s opinions before following up with any actions.

There are currently 3 Pokemon which are particularly centralising in the current metagame; those being Haunter, Pawniard, and Machoke.

:Haunter: Haunter has a blazing 95 Speed, making it the third fastest Pokemon in the metagame, and a phenomenal 115 Special Attack which is backed up by an incredible movepool making it a problem for many teams. Haunter demands fairly specific checks which need to cover a multitude of sets which it can run; the most common Haunter sets are Eviolite Will-O-Wisp, Life Orb, Choice Scarf, and Choice Specs. Each of these sets have slightly different checks and counters and it is very difficult to tell which set a Haunter is at team preview. An example of this would be how Haunter’s Choice Specs set is able to 2HKO the majority of the metagame and its SubHex set is able to beat the checks and counters to its Choice Specs set.

:Pawniard: Pawniard has quickly risen in popularity since Home returned its Knock Off, and the last ban wave removed its main counter in Gurdurr. Unlike other physical wallbreakers, Pawniard is able to easily bypass common physical walls which utilise Strength Sap, such as Gloom and Galarian Corsola, due to its ability Defiant. It outspeeds a large portion of Pokemon in the metagame which means only a few Pokemon are able to reliably switch-in and threaten it out. Lastly, the combination of Swords Dance and Sucker Punch often makes it difficult for faster Pokemon to revenge kill Pawniard.

:Machoke: Machoke has an amazing 100 Attack which is backed by very solid bulk making it a very popular Pokemon in the current metagame. It currently has 3 very solid sets, all out attacker, Flame Orb and physically defensive, with the latter seeing a huge rise in usage as the most reliable check to Pawniard as well as being able to deal with other physical attackers. Its other two sets are more offensive and are incredibly difficult to switch into. Flame Orb is especially difficult to switch into and is able to net 2HKOs on nearly every Pokemon in the tier. Along with having almost no competition as a Fighting-type, Machoke is able to fulfill both an offensive and defensive role which has led to it being used on a majority of teams.

Together, they have a massive influence on teambuilding limiting the viability of other Pokemon significantly as well as making the teambuilding process in general relatively linear.

With regard to a solution, it’ll most likely take the form of suspecting any of these aforementioned threats or perhaps straight up banning them. We want to preserve the number of Pokemon in the tier and we believe along with future DLCs coming out soonish that this is the best way forward.

Please bring up anything that you feel might add to this discussion. Evidence for arguments such as replays are greatly appreciated and make sure to keep discussions civil.
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Own a doghouse?
Gonna preface this by saying most of my points are based on what I've seen, so feel free to correct me if I say something objectively wrong. Haven't had much time to build and play in post-home meta unfort.

From what I've seen of the PawnHauntChoke debate, most people think all three are suspectworthy and the main source of debate is who first, especially with DLC 1 and, more importantly, the highly prestigious OMPL coming up soon. You don't want to force suspects too quickly, nor remove too many Pokemon from the tier with Galardex.

I think Pawniard is the best first/pre-DLC suspect. From a defensive standpoint, there are very few mons capable of defensively checking Pawniard, with checks limited to defensive Machoke, defensive Hakamo-o, defensive Carkol, and defensive Palpitoad. It can break for itself with Knock, then sweep late-game, and has a bunch of useful resistances which let it exploit common defensive Pokemon in the tier like Gloom, Roselia, Clefairy, Klang, Gcors etc. Pawn is highly predictable but it's so good at what it does that it needs no element of surprise. The tier just doesn't have enough defensively to deal with it, and even most offense is shut down by boosted sucker. Defiant great ability to block Sap, Pawn has everything going for it. Depending on the circumstance, you can use Trapinch to bulk a hit and revenge kill/eliminate Pawn from the game, but Trapinch needs a free switch on unboosted Pawn to trap, which means you have to both prevent boosting and make that turn available. It's probably the main reason why NFE is so restricted rn, big offensive threats with limited counterplay tend to centralise building.

Haunter, while still a bitch, does have more counterplay, and relies on certain sets to beat certain counterplay, it doesn't beat everything bar 4 Pokemon with one set. It lacks the same sweeping power that Pawn possesses, and usually needs more support from teammates in order to sweep or clean late-game. Set versatility is Haunter's biggest strength, but atleast you can name fairly consistent Haunter checks on more than one hand. It will definitely still be suspectworthy if Pawn got banned, but idt it's as bad rn.

Machoke would be a poor suspect rn imo. I wouldn't class it as broken in the metagame, moreso highly centralising and an almost neccessity on teams, partly due to Pawniard, but it's not as clearcut as the other two.

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