Metagame np: DOU Stage 2 - Mama Said Knock You Out | Kangaskhanite is Banned | Swagger is Banned

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Doubles Guardian
Before laddering, I was with the mindset that Kang was a busted mon. Now that I've done the suspect... it hasn't changed. Perhaps, my want to ban it might just have been even stronger.

Mega Kangaskhan, with its ability to have really high bulk while still being able to apply tons of pressure and deal a lot of damage, is just too much for the tier, I feel. With its ability to constantly just apply a hard 200 damage to everything non-Ghost, it can break almost every Pokemon in this meta with little counterplay; meanwhile, its absurd bulk lets it take on ordinarily strong threats such as Mega Charizard Y, Tapu Koko, Aegislash, Heatran, etc. and make them its bitch.

This guy can pretty much dismantle slower builds all by itself as it can just ignore hits, smash whatever, Wish, and repeat. Against faster teams, it can still do work as it's still capable of breaking any switch-in and taking any attack. Take this SPL game for example; it's Mega Kangaskhan versus six things faster than it, one of them being Superpower Landorus-T and another, Mega Salamence. With its bulk and ability to keep recovering, it managed to stay in for 16 out of 17 turns lol while in the middle of it all, it was breaking head-to-head matchu-ups and switch-ins that its partner generates through pressure.

And here's another thing: Mega Kangaskhan isn't like other typical strong attackers that "can't be switched in on" like Kyurem-B and Hoopa-U. Those things still have numerous ways of being checked, such as with resists or investing a lot of bulk; the two mons have ways of being played around. Mega Kangaskhan isn't like them at all; regardless of what you try to use against it, it's still pretty much breaking it as the damage it deals is constant. There are like no real switch-ins to Seismic Toss except Ghost-types, of which there are only like Mega Gengar and Aegislash for a total of two (2) good ones (2.5 if we count Wak ,_,). Ferrothorn also actually loses as the Iron Barbs serves only as a minor annoyance while it's being 2HKO'd (source: experience). It pretty much demands a fat thing and, honestly, I don't want to see this metagame devolve into everyone being forced to prepare hard for MKanga. It's simply not like Landorus-T kind of centralizing; Landorus-T was never able to break the whole metagame on its own and is healthy as it never "forced" people to run certain specific or irrational things to prep for it. Needing to bring a Ghost-type, something with base HP 100 HP, or whatever on teams sounds ridiculous to me, and Fighting-types in this metagame with Fairies, Mega Salamence, and Psychic Spam doesn't look endearing as well.

Dealing with Mega Kangaskhan can't really be just "don't switch versus it" lol like what I've been hearing from people. Ignoring the fact that there being little-to-no valid switch-ins to Mega Kangaskhan is already a testament to its absurdity, dealing with it just isn't isn't cut and dry. Considering Mega Kangaskhan has a partner too, staying in with mons can just be, at times, a retarded move as they are pressured and eliminated. There are times when switching out is the "right" play, but Mega Kangaskhan can pretty much invalidate that. Staying in also doesn't guarantee anything; as Mega Kangaskhan is quite a fat fuck, it's capable of taking a bunch of attacks and doing its job regardless. Mega Kangaskhan is unfairly capable of capitalizing on match-ups as regardless of what it's attacking, switch-in or no, it's still gonna be smashed.

Really though, something this capable of destroying teams shouldn't also have this much bulk, it's pretty silly.

Sorry for posting late and all, I've been pretty busy with stuff and only lately have I been truly free.
I didn't vote and I don't know what I would have voted if I had earned reqs (too many losses to make it), but I gotta say it's nice having Kang gone. Almost exactly like Jirachi, it's not gonna change any of my builds that much but it sure is nice to not worry about having solid answers to it

to add some substance to this post: I'm genuinely excited for Mega Mence being top dog. It's so fucking cool and it just vomits damage without being too overbearing. Gonna be an exciting meta


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Can we take a look at Snorlax as a potential issue in the metagame?

I don't think it's necessarily broken in the conventional sense, but rather, I think the metagame surrounding it lacks a defined solution to it which is evidenced by the currently 70 per cent win rate it has in DPL (as of Week 4). The main issue is that the metagame is very unkind to Fighting-type Pokemon, primarily due to the prevalence of the Tapu Pokemon. This was also something we observed during the Kangaskhan-era, and is likely to be a staple trend in the Tapu metagame. The next issue is that I would consider the current metagame to be largely built around bulkier teams, we assumed that the Kangaskhan ban would lead to more offensive builds but that hasn't been the case for the most part. It is true that there is more experimentation with offensive builds, but they rarely have the longevity needed to deal with Snorlax in the late-game, and bulkier teams struggle to deal the damage needed to beat it before the setup. My main concern with bringing up Snorlax is that, as mentioned, I would argue that it's strength is more of a product of the metagame environment which allows for bulky Normal-type Pokemon to thrive (see Nido-Rus and Chase vouching for Chansey), rather than it being a "broken" Pokemon.
I don't mind one way or the other if Snorlax gets banned, but here's how I've been dealing with it recently.

Tapu Fini @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Swagger
- Muddy Water
- Moonblast
- Heal Pulse

Aegislash @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 240 HP / 144 Atk / 72 Def / 44 SpD / 8 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Sacred Sword
- Swords Dance
- Shadow Claw
- King's Shield

Swagger + Sacred Sword WP Aegislash. Sacred Sword is cool because it ignores the targets stat changes (read: Curse boosts) and if they hit you with a High Horsepower they activate WP and get boned. That set on it's own is only a good check, but when you pair that with SwaggerPulse Fini it becomes a lot more solid, especially because Heal Pulse goes through KS.
Aegislash always takes 2 High Horsepowers from Adamant Snorlax and always OHKOs 4HP/252Def lax with +2 Sacred Sword. It out speeds min speed Fini by 1 so that I can get the boosts before I attack in Trick Room. Aegislash also has SD, so you have a ton of ways to get the OHKO on snorlax without activating the berry.
Maybe the reason I don't have much of an issue with lax is because I also lump this in with Seed Hoopa and steal Lax's berry, but I don't need that extra insurance most of the time.
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Shay's post hits on some tendencies and potentially problems in the meta that a lot of people have been noticing and I know I've had these conversations with others as well. Lax has been the main 'culprit' of this rise in normals since Kanga's ban as they fill a somewhat similar role as a bulky attacker that does not require very much team support, the difference here is that Lax certainly requires at least minimal support to really function as a late-game cleaner in the way its advertised. The common partners of Lax seem to be Tapu Fini and Hoopa-U, two very popular pokemon that already synergize well, and together the three of them form a very formidable trick room core with Fini supporting each pokemon with potential Swagger boosts, heal pulse support and Misty Terrain to shield its allies from status. While I agree with Shaian that Snorlax teams seem problematic on paper and even in practice as of late, I think Snorlax counter-play is largely unexplored and has fundamental 'flaws' that can be exploited more by this meta than currently are.

The first of these is that Snorlax does not run protect which leaves it susceptible to damage every turn should there not be a redirector on the field. This is obviously problematic for a pokemon attempting to set-up in Doubles and even more so for a pokemon that generally wants to operate at the end of games but often sits on the field well before that. Chipping lax down is certainly manageable and if you can find a way to stop its recycling-cycle then Lax goes down even easier. The second thing that can be used way more effectively is removing Snorlax's item through Knock Off and Magician Hoopa-U. Both of these are potentially very common in this meta if more Landorus-T would run Knock and more Hoopa's ran a Seed or other immediately disposed of item, as removing lax's item renders it fairly helpless unless it has very high boosts.

Lastly I think that the metagame and really the community need to explore fighting types more. Obviously fairy types like the Island Guardians make life hard for a fighting type, but its clear that their utility is valuable given the prevalence of Snorlax, Tyranitar, Ferrothorn, Heatran and Fighting STAB generally hitting neutral targets quite hard. Terrakion is a pokemon that gets the most love out of fighting-types while Scrafty has gained a bit of traction in the past weeks. I know I have experimented with pokemon such as Buzzwole (and am not alone there) and Keldeo to at least some success (Keldeo is better than it gets credit for). Pheromosa has received some usage here and there but most of these fighting types are seen rarely in higher level matches and I think thats at least partially unwarranted given their potential.

While I definitely agree that the meta has been far from desirable lately, I think that small fixes can address these issues without having to jump to a more rash conclusion such as a lax suspect or some other suspect in an attempt to make the meta potentially more habitable for fighting-types.
Statistically speaking what is Snorlax's winrate in competitive matches and, in the cases where the lax team won, was the opposing team adequately prepared for setup sweepers?

e: k we have dpl stats, but what about ssnls?


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u don't even need fighting types to handle curselax. Snorlax can't exactly set up in the face of Koko's Tbolt or Lele's Psychic. Even after a CM, most Tapu Fini's Moonblasts pressure Snorlax into a cycle of Recycles. Lots of special attackers can target Snorlax's unboosted special defense to put it on the defensive despite 1 or 2 Curse boosts.

Fighting-types are nice to have in the face of Snorlax, but simply have a Fighting-type move may be all u need, such as All-Out Pummeling Landorus-T / Kartana or Low Kick TTar.

Indirect way of beating Lax with Taunt / pHaze / status is also an option.

One thing I realized - sometimes you have to take out Snorlax's partner before taking out Lax, because it can keep on healing or boosting up Lax if you can't take out Lax immediately.

But yea, Snorlax is the Azumarill of SM DOU, where there is some learning curve involved in defeating the strategy
Fine ill bite

I'll throw it out there right now and say that i believe lax is completely broken and really should be suspected for multiple reasons. Said reasons will be showcased in practice in a collection of replays of where I feel snorlax demonstrates the ability to effortlessly win games.
This is a seasonal replay where after a few pivots Lax was able to come in with a set up fini and begin to curse and completely dominate the endgame. Stax had practically no counterplay to it at that point other than crits.
This is a DPL replay where Demantoid built a team around guard split shuckle. Good enough playing managed to put Snorlax in a position where it could 6-0 100%.
Another DPL replay where Lax comes in twice, the first to set up on a Ddance Zygarde and get two kills and the other to win the endgame vs a Koko and a Ferrothorn.
Seasonal replay where all that had to happen for lax to win was a few mons needed to be sacked. It got a free switch and a few curses later had the game sealed.

There are a bunch more but I think you get the picture. Lax needs special treatment to be dealt with. It usually requires double targeting or moves like knock off or haze to be stopped, the former not stopping it from getting kills after curses. Lax also has the ability to make itself the center of attention since if not properly dealt with it will end up winning the endgame effortlessly. I agree that the meta favors it somewhat, but I highly doubt much can happen to make Lax that more manageable.

In conclusion I feel that Lax requires extra aggressive playing or select moves to prevent it from over preforming. It destroys bulky builds and while it does have a harder time vs offense or hyper offense it can still be annoying as it sponges a hit, restores a portion of its health with its berry and deals damage or attempts to set up. Upon Cursing Lax applies intense pressure and gives the user of said lax the advantage to wield and secure himself the win. True hard lax counters are quite scarce and mostly consists of taunt and haze, the latter being more of a niche move that you don't want to give up and important support of offensive moveslot to deal with one mon. Fighting types find it hard to preform in this meta and even if they were better they still have issues beating lax after boosts.


formerly TheRealJahim
I agree with your post to a certain extent. While yes, lax can win games effortlessly went it sets up but there are many steps that you can take to prevent it from doing so. For example:
252+ Atk Life Orb Terrakion Close Combat vs. 160 HP / 252 Def Snorlax: 572-678 (114.1 - 135.3%) -- guaranteed
At times Snorlax is frustrating to fight if not dealt with properly, I don't think a suspect is necessary, though.


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I agree with your post to a certain extent. While yes, lax can win games effortlessly went it sets up but there are many steps that you can take to prevent it from doing so. For example:
252+ Atk Life Orb Terrakion Close Combat vs. 160 HP / 252 Def Snorlax: 572-678 (114.1 - 135.3%) -- guaranteed
At times Snorlax is frustrating to fight if not dealt with properly, I don't think a suspect is necessary, though.
Yes, fighting types are super effective vs Normal-types. I think this is clearly an oversight of matame's analysis of snorlax in the metagame.

Shitposting aside lax is clearly threatening and I don't necessarily disagree with anything matame said about lax, I just think counterplay to lax is a bit understated. Knock off is a fine option on most Lando-t sets even if options like Haze are more niche than practical in most games. I do think that given another few weeks/ a month, the meta can adapt to the point where snorlax is more manageable as people have begun to realize how threatening snorlax really is.
Snorlax is a very threatening mon if it can set up, especially under a trick room. However, not under the trick room Snorlax is always going to go last, and while this may seem like its not a big deal, it does allow for 2 moves such as haze, knock off, taunt or even the afore mentioned strong STAB special attacks before snorlax attacks unlike pre-psychic terrain azumarill or bulky khan. There has been an influx of Snorlax over the last weeks, but as mentioned before it does need some support to properly set up, which makes it possible to defeat before it can. This is not something that needs to be suspected, the metagame should be able to easily transition to being able to adapt to snorlax once people realize it is a threat they need to build for rather than trying to suspect it because it defeats their current team. Landorus-T and Scrafty as mentioned before are both very effective counters to snorlax with both knock off and intimidate, they both get useful fighting moves (ie. Superpower-Landorus, Drain Punch-Scrafty) which can do damage in the case of landorus and heal scrafty. Z Moves are also a fairly hard counter to Snorlax as well, I know many people would rather not put their Z move into a snorlax, but its definitely a viable option once snorlax has been potentially chipped a little above its berry range by another mon (again look above at 2 attacks before snorlax can attack). I think the problem here is just that there are no unboosted pokemon that can OHKO Snorlax 100% outside of terrakion and while that may seem a problem to some, there really isnt a difference in that and any other bulky pokemon you dont have a super effective move against currently when its setting up. (SP Gastrodon/Cradiliy, Curse Ferrothorn, Cosmic power anything, etc)


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Snorlax is definitely an interesting mon in the meta, and I'd like to echo some of the points given above while also providing some other thoughts.
  • Similarly to how Kang was, Snorlax is inherently buffed by the presence of Tapu Fini's Misty Terrain, which nullifies an otherwise effective counter to Snorlax, burn. Additionally, the presence of the other Tapus (for Deo Psychic spam) and the auto-Speed of Megas nerfs Terrakion and Keldeo pretty badly, while other Fighting-types share similar struggles with little benefit from Gen VII's additions.
  • Snorlax differs from SM Kangaskhan because, despite being bulky, its damage is not constant. Stockpile pass + Drum or Stockpile Drum on the same set is less popular than standard Curselax, which usually runs Return / High Horsepower / Curse / Recycle. An initial Intimidate from Landorus-T, as a result, has a lot of use in curbing Snorlax's sweep through as another mon chips Snorlax above 50% to be blown up by a Z-move, etc. Intimidate cycle is a great way to deal with these kinds of slow-to-set-up Pokemon.
  • Snorlax's Speed tier necessitates Trick Room for fast Recycle / Curses. Otherwise, it risks unfavorable trades, including the classic problem of attacking last meaning more chances for hax.
  • Reversing Terrain is an option! A surprise Toxic or WoW coupled with a switch to the appropriate Tapu neuters a Snorlax trying to solo a team at an inappropriate time.
  • Leech Seed from Ferrothorn / Celesteela does a number on Snorlax. While it can certainly try to Curse its way on through a Celesteela just sitting there trying to Heavy Slam a Snorlax, switching around gives your other Pokemon large chunks of recovery, and in tandem with Intimidate cycling and pressure, forces Snorlax to try to set up in unfavorable environments.
  • Other ways: Knock Off removes Snorlax's Berry permanently, and if timed properly, Hoopa-U can steal Snorlax's item. Skill Swap removes Snorlax's ability to recover at 50%. Taunt + Intimidate cycle almost completely shuts down Snorlax.
In short, I think the main problem here is that Snorlax acts like lategame Ferrothorn, where the Ferrothorn player plays to beat the Ferrothorn checks and win by clicking Leech Seed. The difference is that Snorlax is much easier to do so with than Ferrothorn in the current metagame; notice that none of the checks I provided involved outright OHKOing Snorlax. Methods of beating Snorlax heavily incorporate ways of beating Fini imo, so I think it's valuable to think about how to beat that pair before asking whether or not Snorlax itself is broken.


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I'd like to bring attention to a few of the Steel-types that maybe aren't getting enough love right now, both as checks to Snorlax and as generally decent Pokemon in the meta. I haven't seen enough widespread success yet to consider nominating them for VR, but I think each has potential and I've talked to a few people about them but I want everyone to consider adding some variety to their teambuilding!

Escavalier is something I found by accident when trying to build a DUU team, wanting a Tangela and Sylveon answer. With two solid STABs in Megahorn and Iron Head, Knock Off, Drill Run, and Fell Stinger (it's not as bad as it sounds on AV sets I promise), it has just the right moves to cover what it needs to. Escavalier works as a solid check to Hoopa-U, Fairy-types, and Snorlax all in one, which for Trick Room teams is definitely a blessing. It doesn't have stellar bulk, but Iapapa Berry or Assault Vest can add to its longevity. The Intimidate weakness and inability to hit Mega Salamence / Lando-T / Tapu Fini super effectively hold it back, but that can always be covered by teammates.

I submitted a Mega Scizor team for Team Comp that I still stand by as being quite usable, with dual Tapus to prevent Psychic Terrain shenanigans. Bug Bite is amazing with so many 50% berries around, Fire-types are worse than ever, and Technician attacks really pack a punch. With options like Swords Dance, Tailwind, and Feint it's decently versatile and rarely deadweight. It doesn't offer the utility of Mega Gengar or the sheer power of Mega Salamence but the positive matchups it has, including (as above) Hoopa-U, Fairy-types, and Snorlax, make up for that.

Mega Mawile is often not quite powerful enough or not quite bulky enough for what you'd like it to accomplish, but I think there are a few options that haven't really been explored. With SwagPulse Fini support and under Trick Room, shaian and I made a team a little while back where it definitely pulled its weight and outright won me a couple of games. Sure, Play Rough / Iron Head / Sucker Punch works wonders, but with options like Thunder Punch, Fire Fang, Focus Punch (I've wanted to try it with Amoonguss), and Knock Off also at its disposal, Mega Mawile can change its list of counters to fit what its teammates are able to cover. Swords Dance sets get around the susceptibility to Intimidate, and it actually works fairly well under either Tailwind or Trick Room, though obviously the latter is more consistent. Mega Mawile is not something opponents can simply dismiss because if given free reign, it will tear holes in any foes it comes across.

Try some of these out and let me know if they work for you!

This might be a trivial observation, but while I was laddering with Mega Swampert I noticed a neat little nuance between this mon and the new SM mega mechanics. If Swampert hasn't Mega Evolved yet, and you bring in a weather setter on that turn, the weather will activate before the Mega Evolution, thereby giving you the speed boost that turn even if rain wasn't already up.

Here's a (otherwise uninteresting) replay demonstrating this mechanic - skip to Turn 6:

Speaking of the newly-released Hoeen megas, what are everyone's thoughts based on initial testing?

Mega Swampert - I expect this mon to be hyped up a bit initially, but I don't know if it's too much of a game changer. It has obviously good synergy with Pelipper, which sets weather while also allowing Swampert to freely spam Earthquakes. Water/Ground STABs cover a lot of threats well, and Swampert also has a few decent coverage options in Ice Punch and Hammer Arm/Low Kick, so it's movepool is a bit more versatile than the other rain sweepers. However, as a physical attacker, it is prone to being weakened by well-predicted Intimidate switch-ins (especially Mence). It also isn't *that* much stronger than Kingdra, which is able to carry a Z Crystal and doesn't take up a mega slot. Overall Mega Swampert is another option for rain teams but I don't see this mon redefining the archetype.

Mega Sceptile - This mon was pretty lackluster in ORAS but I expect it to become a low-key good pick for SM teams. It outpaces Mega Salamence for the Dragon Pulse kill, it can pivot into and redirect Tapu Koko's Thunderbolts, and has potential to work well with all four of the Tapus. Sceptile + Bulu is essentially a grass version of Lele+Deo; super strong Leaf Storms incoming! However, with access to Nature Power, Sceptile can also essentially gain a third STAB attack from the other three Tapus. Paired with Tapu Lele, Sceptile gains access to Psychic, allowing it to outpace and snipe down Mega Gengar -- a mon that would otherwise counter Sceptile. Tapu Fini + Sceptile forms 2/3 of a FWG core, and also eliminates Sceptile's Dragon weakness. And finally, Tapu Koko can spam Discharge to power up Sceptile's attack -- the ladder will execute this to the gimmicky fullest extent, I'm sure, but potentially this could be built into a serious team in a more subtle fashion.

Mega Blaziken - I haven't gotten around to experimenting with this mon yet, but I have mixed feelings about it. In ORAS it was basically regarded as a wasted mega slot given that regular LO blaziken hit harder. In this meta, the extra base speed is significant for sure, but I'm just not sure what this mon wants to run to make full use of all its STAB attacks. I'm sure this mon can be made to work on a team but it just seems like there are better megas to fill the spot.

Overall, I'm glad we finally have a bit more variety to keep things fresh, and I'm excited to see if any significant meta shifts occur from the introduction of these megas. However, I don't think we'll see anything too drastic occur just yet; the top megas will likely still be Mence and Gengar, maybe with Metagross and Swampert as close thirds. Haven't decided yet if Sceptile is a sleeper pick or still just bad.


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I think Mega Blaze is worse off in sm than in xy, largely due to the ubiquitous Mega Mence & Tapu Fini. I think Mega Swampert would fare better simply because Rain is better this gen. Mega Sceptile in XY wasn't bad tbh, esp when Prankster Thunder Wave was so common. Most Scarf Landorus-T back then also didn't run Jolly, so Mega Sceptile can snipe those off, too. In SM, the standard Zapdos would give Mega Sceptile a lot of trouble, so it would definitely appreciate SR support. Tapu Koko is probably the best partner for Sceptile to take care of Celesteela and removing Misty Terrain. Probably still want a Fire-type to handle Amoonguss and Ferrothorn.

One low-key good Mega that I've seen Demantoid use is Mega Aerodactyl. It has the same base Speed as Deoxys, so it can run Adamant if it so choose and still be faster than Mega Gengar and Tapu Koko. With STAB Rock Slide on top of Tough Claws-boosted Ice Fang and Crunch it hits the top 4 megas for super-effective damage. It pretty much OHKO all 3, barring Mega Metagross, which still takes ~60% from Crunch. You also cant go wrong with fast Rock Slides ;)
To be honest, I could see newly released megas working in one way or another( obviously except blaziken, that thing is trash, tho jolly landos and 150 speed tier might mean speed buff on mega evolution might be important).
  • Mega-pert offers an interesting choice to rain teams in general, it provides them with a really useful physical attacker to circumvent their issues with celesteela a bit, and most importantly it gives them a good switch-in to tapu koko, which they lack to some extent if not running ferrothorn. Also it has a decent move-pool which helps in general having superpower and stuff. It does hate intimidates but like it can always run ice beam on third slot, easily picking off mence due to it's really good natural bulk and leave the work dealing with ferro and other grasses to someone ( Addition of pelipper this gen helps a lot, since it gives pelliper a chance to be really offensive with flyium-z or something). Yeah not game changing or anything but yeah rain teams will certainly appreciate their new addition.

  • Sceptile on the other hand looks really promising on paper, as pocket said it was kinda good back in gen 6, it's name only being soiled by discharge spam teams we see in low ladder. Grass has some promising resistances this gen like the important one to thousand arrows, tho it's pathetic bulk doesn't help, it does provide us a fast dragon which is able to deal with tapu-fini just fine. Leaf Storm is low key powerful even without terrain, KOing Tapu-Koko easily, and the last slot is always customizable depending on the team, like "focus miss" or "earthquake" or "hp ground" or even roar for luls. It doesn't like Zapdos a bit tho, but this just makes me want to run the offensive core of dragons that is kyu-b and sceptile with proper defensive support. Well, or you can just run discharge spam because why not.

So these two mons just got released. Do either have potential? Curious to hear what others think.

It's kind of neat to have Mega Camerupt as another full TR option, but after some initial testing, it really just feels like a worse Mega Abomasnow with un-useful typing and coverage (does it really do anything Heatran can't?). Fire-types in general aren't what they used to be offensively, and single-target Ground moves on a slow Pokemon risk being wasted on a flying/levitating mon. A *4 Water weakness also sucks, since there's actually relevant water-types in the meta that are bulky and hard to counter. That said, Mega Camerupt does hit like a truck with its Sheer Force-boosted STABs, and with access to both HP Ice and Nature Power, it has decent coverage options. Idk, this mon is like a low Tier 4 pick imo.

Mega Banette is lol.
The rise of Ground- / Rock-types made it more difficult to use Fire-types. I mean the Fire-types that are usually seen is only Charizard-Mega-Y for Sun or simply Heatran. New threats such as Zygarde, Diancie, and Tyranitar as well as older ones such as Landorus-T and Terrakion are all responsible for this in this meta. However, I still feel that Fire-types has a huge role in stopping them Steel-types. (I usually have two checks for each common Steel-types in the metagame.)

Another things that I noticed is that "Electric Spam" (no, not that stupid Sceptile-Mega + Discharge shit) is becoming more of an established archetype. With Tapu Koko Volt Switch-ing to setup Electric Terrain, mons like Kyurem-B, Victini, and now even Porygon-Z can cause mass casualties, especially onto bulky Water-types such as Tapu Fini, Milotic, etc. Now, the d ownfall of Fire-types and rise of Electric-types led me to conclude that it is becoming easier and more useful to use Grass-types such as Amoonguss, Tapu Bulu, Ferrothorn, and Skymin-S. With (TR/TW) support, some of these grass-types even have the opportunity to fight back there threats.

Other meta predictions that I had was that Fighting-types will make a come back, then mostly due to Kang, but now due to Porygon2/Z and Snorlax. That didn't really happen except for maybe Terrakion, but Fighting-type moves have made itself nevertheless valuable. There is always some mon with Superpower / Close Combat around; if there isn't, there better be a mon that can cause Snorlax / Porygon-Z to be ineffective in battle. I personally like to use All-Out Pummeling with Focus Blast, and I utilized that with Tapu Lele and Meloetta. However, I haven't seen other players use much of it.

What are your thoughts in this?
This is probably gonna be my most controversial post to date, but I really want to get a conversation going on the role of the following mons in this metagame:

The four island guardians have created a pretty centralizing dynamic in this metagame, in my opinion, and its compounded by the pre-existing dynamic that XY created through the concept of Mega Evolutions.

Since XY, teambuilding has already been a bit restrictive in the fact that if you didn't run a Mega Pokemon on your team, you were handicapping yourself by missing out on a chance to run a mon with above-average base stats and/or a really good ability. But the thing is, by the end of the meta, we had 48 Megas to choose from (realistically a handful of actually viable ones, but still).

Enter SM, and you're again basically handicapping yourself if you don't have a Tapu on your team, because if you don't run a Tapu, you're missing out on a base 570 mon that can potentially reset an opposing terrain. Consequently, I'd estimate that roughly 90% of all competitively viable teams are running a Tapu, and that has some pretty centralizing and competitive effects on the meta. Priority moves are now a liability thanks to the presence of Tapu Lele, and status moves are now a liability due to the omnipresence of Tapu Fini. Spore is especially iffy because Tapu Koko also exists.

In past gens we had mons that automatically set weather, but they came with some form of a healthy handicap. Mega Charizard Y, probably the most powerful example, had a crippling rock weakness and somewhat middling speed tier. Politoed, although a great support, balanced itself out by having mediocre stats. Etc. etc. But the Tapus have base 570 stats and automatic access to terrains you'd be dumb not to run.

As a result of this meta being centralized by four base 570 mons that autoset OP terrains, we really only have a few options to gain the upper hand against the opponent. Most people are resorting to setup mons like Snorlax, Tapu Fini, Coil Milotic, etc. because they can ride out opposing forces long enough to gain an advantage over the opponent. There's also speed control, mainly in Trick Room and Tailwind, that lets us gain a temporary upper hand against the opponent. But again, the meta has become so bulky and setup oriented that speed control tactics can usually be stalled out.

Tbh, aside from setup and maybe speed control, it's tough to gain an upper hand against the opponent in the meta without somehow becoming matchup dependent. Traditionally speaking, imposing a status on the opponent (burn, paralysis, sleep, poison) was a helpful and balanced means of checking certain threats. In this meta, its shakey af to build a status move user into your team because you have a pretty good chance of running into a Tapu Fini team (and Koko in the case of sleep). Fake Out used to be a healthy move that allowed Doubles players to disrupt an opponent trying to position themselves favorably, and Quick Guard / faster Fake Out users provided a countermeasure that felt balanced. The existance of Tapu Lele discourages the use of Fake Out. Similarly, priority moves like Sucker Punch, Bullet Punch etc. are now risky to run because of their matchup dependency versus opposing terrains.

And with all that being said, its one thing to have the metagame somewhat centralized by the four Tapus. But, in the case of DOU, this is also compounded by the fact that we're also forced to run a Mega Evolution, of which there's only a little more than a half-dozen viable options right now (Mence, Gengar, Metagross, Charizard Y, Swampert, Abomasnow). By the time you've figured out which Mega and Tapu you're running, you don't really have a lot of artistic license left to decide which other four mons should work with your team...

I'm starting to think that the Tapus are problematic for the Doubles OU meta. You can't ban any one in isolation, because you're just giving more advantage to running another (e.g. even if you banned Fini, Lele, and Koko, having a Tapu Bulu that can set unopposed Grassy Terrain would be lame af). But I think the entire dynamic of having the tapus in the meta is making doubles a restrictive meta.

Idk if I articulated my thoughts 100% clear, so I'm happy to clarify if anything I said was unclear, but I think for this meta its worth asking ourselves if it might be the Tapus that are overly centralizing.


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You probably would have a hard time convincing your controversial stance. Tapus are certainly centralizing, but I don't find them particularly restrictive. In fact, they are centralizing additions that help de-centralize old threats to balance the metagame. To clarify, these terrains nerf what was centralizing in xy (powerful priority, sleep, paralysis, earthquake) and powered up formerly offensively weak typings (Psychic, Grass, Electric). Tbh, I believe the tapus has diversified the playing field.

I actually think terrains had the opposite effect on sleep and priority. The terrains repelled these moves to a large extent that nobody is prepared for it. That's why Amoonguss, Coil Hypnosis Milotic, and surprise priority from Metagross can be so potent or unexpected in the current metagame. In a way, the presence of tapus is very exploitable.
I do see that the Tapus are a centralizing force in SM, but I agree with Pocket in that it's not overly restrictive. Terrains offer amazing support for the pokemon on your team, and while it is extremely beneficial to have on each team, they aren't required (More on this in a bit). The problem, though is that Intimidate in DOU also creates a similar problem. It has caused the Metagame to become special-oriented, but I don't think that it would be centralizing to the point where it's unhealthy.

this is also compounded by the fact that we're also forced to run a Mega Evolution, of which there's only a little more than a half-dozen viable options right now (Mence, Gengar, Metagross, Charizard Y, Swampert, Abomasnow).
I also have to disagree with the Mega options being limited. Although those Megas are probably the easiest to work with, it's possible to make a competitive team with the other megas and play competitively at a high level. There was Lolk's Mega-Pinsir team that had some success in seasonals, and the 6 Megas that GenOne mentioned had surprisingly low usage within these matches (More on this).

Because the Tapu post made me curious, I put in usage data from the current seasonal Round 10, 11, and 12 (so far), which consists of some of the highest level games competitively, and did some crude analysis on this data. While the sample size is pretty small The results were pretty surprising.

66 different Pokemon are on the list.

Landorus-T is still the most used pokemon, with 60.5%. This is consistent with the usage stats.

#2 is Fini, which shows up in 47% of these teams.

Bulu has 5 uses, Lele surprisingly only has 6.

On average, there are 1.05 Tapus per team.

There were only 2 cases where a team consisted of no Tapus, and in one of the cases, the 0 tapu squad won. (94.7% of teams have a Tapu)

Intimidate was in 81% of these teams.

Every single squad brought to these Seasonal Games had a Mega Pokemon.

The "6 Viable Megas" were only in 23/38 (only 60.5%!) of these squads. 15 different Megas were used in total.

Mega-Scizor is doing better than Mega-Metagross in these samples. (2/3 wins compared to 1/3 wins.) Small sample, but its saying something.

Diancie has won 1 out of 4 matches (its not as broken as is commonly thought)

Snorlax has won 80% of non-mirror matches (this is as broken as commonly thought)

Skymin has won 0 out of the 3 games it has shown up in.

Clefairy has won 2/3 games it has shown up in.

Ferrothorn only shows up once, and it lost.

The list of Pokemon contains Necrozma, Musharna, Absol, Krookodile, Entei, Togetic, Heracross-Mega, and Togekiss.

My point is that while Tapus are a centralizing force in SM DOU, it isn't restrictive in teambuilding. Tapus seems like something that every team needs a check for, kind of like how every team should have a Celesteela/Ferrothorn check, and the easiest way to check a Tapu-terrain that you dislike is by setting up a different Tapu-terrain. There are still many competitive options for teambuilding, as proven by the top players of the current seasonal.

P.S. I posted the Spreadsheet I used as a PDF. Please excuse the terrible formatting the (Z-)conversion created


Tapus r retardely centralising. I think the biggest example here is snorlax. With fini u literally punish most ways of being able to beat lax ie status/pressuring becomes harder with heal pulse and requires u to start popping z moves and shit. Fini does the same for most other set up mons too and because of this I rly do think it needs to be looked at if we want a healthy metagame (which let's face it this metagame is a s s most of the ppl ik hate it for a magnitude of reasons including myself and have moved elsewhere for the time being). Whenever I build dou now so much is restricted and I have to account of constantly being able to pressure x broken set up mon when paired with fini sorta thing which I feel was a similar situation with rachi azu (I'd argue fini is worse). Lele deo is smth I feel is being overlooked and I feel it has a shitton of potential as u remove one of the ways ppl revenge kill or deal with deo in prio and u can usually pressure tf out of every form of speed control I feel the only real check is like ur own tapus which usually requires u to sack them in order to bring them in lolol. Bulu and koko are fine fundamentally but kinda still play into the whole tapu wars meta which is causing a so called rift in the meta which makes it so restrictive teambuilding wise.

Sry if this post is super incoherent literally need to go rn but came across this thread and felt pretty strongly on the whole tapu situation
i for one welcome our new tapu overlords. central =/= bad, they keep each other in check in such a way that no one strategy is inherently overpowered. bulky setup teams with lax and a supporting fini are certainly powerful but not without their drawbacks. (faster setup, knock off, phazing, status with your own tapu are all great answers)

also snorlax will never be as good as kangashan. I was worried i would never get to post pic related so thanks.
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