NP: NU Stage 1 - Issues (Aurora Veil Banned)

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Hello, with NU leaving beta and our new system for tiering in place, the NU council has agreed to suspect Meloetta.

Meloetta is being suspect tested for it's great offensive capabilities fueled by its myriad of coverage options and exceedingly high Special Attack, making preparation for it a difficult task, with Pursuit being the most reliable means of handling it. Alongside said offensive capabilities, it's backed by great special bulk, which lets it switch into many neutral special attacks and proceed to do damage with its many viable sets such as Choice Specs, Colbur Berry Calm Mind, and Substitute + Calm Mind. Due to all these traits, counterplay is limited, with Spiritomb being the most consistent versus all of these sets bar rare Dazzling Gleam lures. Pursuit still can be shaky too due to aforementioned use of Colbur Berry turning this matchup on its head.

Meloetta will be allowed on the ladder during this suspect test.

The reqs will be 2700 COIL with a B value of 9.0 and a 70 game limit. Council reqs will be 2200. This suspect period will last for two weeks.


Tagging the The Immortal for the ladder.

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I think that a lot of people are going to sort of instantly assume that it should be banned and that this will be a very lopsided suspect, but I honestly find Meloetta to be a lot closer of a call than most. At the end of the day, I do, indeed, find that the tier lacks the defensive counterplay to sufficiently deal with Meloetta on a consistent basis, but I think that a lot of people either are lazy in building or do not approach things properly in general when trying to prepare for Meloetta, so I would like to give my genuine, open minded opinion on the subject as a whole instead of just giving my eventual, hardly convinced pro-ban vote after I get my reqs in a few days. To do this in the correct fashion, I think it is first best to break down Meloetta in the context of the metagame -- showing what it can do, what can defensively check/counter it, and what can offensively check it. After all of this is out on the table, drawing a conclusion becomes relatively straightforward after all.

To start, Meloetta can run a plethora of sets and there is no denying this. However, the main variants of Meloetta that should be discussed in this thread, in my opinion, are the Choice Specs and Colbur + Three Attacks variants of Meloetta. While there are some less consistently seen and more niche sets such as Relic Song mixed, Substitute + Calm Mind, various Z Moves, and Choice Scarf, I find all of these to pale in comparison to the aforementioned Specs and Colbur sets as they are more reliant upon set-up/support, less immediately threatening, and/or simply countered by a wider array of viable Pokemon throughout the metagame.

The Choice Specs variant is definitely the hardest to switch-in to and counter, but it also has some downsides and we must take these into consideration when trying to figure out if Meloetta is truly banworthy or not. I think that a glaring communal misconception that I find coming up time after time in suspect discussions and metagame discussions is that a Pokemon being able to 2HKO the entire (or almost all of it) metagame does not necessarily have to be broken. It obviously can be indicative of a banworthy Pokemon and I'd even go as far as saying that this is the case more often than not, but there is no surefire causation based relationship between the two. An example of a Pokemon that can 2HKO the entire metagame (outside of Uxie, Weezing, and Tangela) is Choice Banded Mudsdale. Needless to say, this Pokemon is nowhere near broken and it is only fringe viable, but it can still 2HKO everything if locked into the right move. Choice Specs Meloetta also happens to fit in this rough category, but it happens to (obviously) have many more things going for it than the aforementioned Mudsdale and it also happens to be much less forgiving when it comes to how good it is in a practical sense right now. The whole point I made about 2HKOing everything is to hopefully rid this thread of arguments such as "Specs Hyper Voice + Psychic + Focus Blast 2HKOs everything, so Meloetta should be banned" as that, in itself, is not a fully sufficient pro-ban argument, in my opinion, but it is only the start of it.

You have to really make a practical extension to this to make a complete argument. Let's go back to the Mudsdale comparison once more so I can explain what I mean by this -- sure, Mudsdale can 2HKO everything, but if it locks into Choice Banded Earthquake and does 55 to Slowbro or it locks into Choice Banded Rock Slide and does 55 to Golbat, then it is not necessarily making much, if any, long term progress. Think about it -- in the former scenario, Slowbro can switch out into a non-grounded Pokemon consequence free or stay in whereas you can stay in and Earthquake again or double-switch out predicting him to go to his immunity, opening up a lane for competitive play, where the player who made the better move ends up in the better position at the end of the sequence. As for the latter, Golbat simply roosts it off and the practical point comes into play as you can be as strong as anything in the world, but if you lack the Speed or general practical traits to thrive in the metagame, then it doesn't mean much in practice at all. On the contrary, if you look at Meloetta's Choice Specs set, you notice that it has an above average Speed tier in the metagame, it does not have many things that appreciate taking its STABs from the Specs set even if it is resisted, and, if played properly, it can almost always pick-off a Pokemon or force a scenario where it can come out making significant progress. Meloetta is a Pokemon that is suited very well to take advantage of the strength to practically 2HKO the entire metagame and that is why I believe the Choice Specs set is likely too much for the metagame to handle.

With this said, you do have to consider the downsides of Meloetta's Choice Specs variant -- there is sufficient offensive counterplay to it in the tier, in my opinion, given that it does not have the best (not too poor my any means) natural physical bulk, it is vulnerable to Pursuit, and many offensive teams have 2-3+ Pokemon that can outrun it. With this said, many teams have at least a defensive backbone and bulkier teams lack the offensive presences mentioned above more often than not and this is where Meloetta truly stands out as a broken presence as it can pick things apart if it clicks the right move or at least generate momentum to the extent that any well-built team has the tools to break through without a ton of outplaying. Another downside of it is that Specs Meloetta does have to lock into a move each time it comes in when the tier does have Regenerator defensive pivots like Slowking and each of the moves it finds itself clicking have a lot of individual immunities or resistances, making the potential progress it would make in those situations much less noteworthy than otherwise and leaving the situation in the hands of taking advantage of chipping things and predicting potential follow-ups or not, which is arguably a healthy sequence that leads to the better player coming out on top. Unfortunately, this is not exactly the most universally applicable logic and you cannot put too much emphasis on this argument as Slowking does still get 2HKOd itself, it is only one Pokemon in the metagame, and there are not many others that can situationally check it to the same extent. With all of this taken into consideration, I think that it is fair to say that the power and convenience of Specs Meloetta in the context of the SM NU metagame is a bit too much for the tier to defensively handle without limiting teambuilding and gameplay to a greater extent than deemed acceptable, in my opinion, but it is by no means broken solely on the basis of how it can 2HKO everything and it is not even overwhelmingly broken, so I do hope that people give it the fair consideration it is due.

Onto the Calm Mind + Three Attacks Colbur variant! I'd say that this set plays quite a bit differently than Choice Specs, but I think that the end result in terms of our discussion here is quite similar. I mean, sure it lacks the immediate power, but Meloetta still attracts the same defensive checks/pivots (note that I did not use the word Counter as there really aren't any although given that CM does not run Dazzling Gleam, the rare Sableye and Spiritomb do suffice), gets a relatively easy Calm Mind up against most of them, and then poses an even larger threat with the cost of letting the opponent potentially make a ballsy prediction to pivot into a faster Pokemon predicting a resisted attack or Calm Mind or try and do whatever damage they can to you with their supportive Pokemon (generally, a status move or a relatively weak attack that fails to 2HKO).

I find that the presence of the Choice Specs actually compliments the Calm Mind set quite well given the above scenario that I alluded to, but that does not mean that it is just easy pickings for Meloetta as it is easily revenge killed, even with Colbur Berry. Colbur does making trapping it much more of a challenge, however, granting it an element of greatly appreciated longevity in some match-ups. Ultimately, I feel like this set is not even a traditional win condition that sweeps teams at some ungodly rate that some people might think it is when they associate "broken" and "CM Meloetta" in the SM NU metagame, but it is an awfully good hole-puncher during the mid-game stages and I feel like it's almost always coming away with a kill in the long run unless the opponent makes high-risk plays around it consistently, which is arguably not healthy for any individual Pokemon to singlehandedly do.

Given this, I find that the Calm Mind set is probably a bit less of a pressing issue than the Choice Specs set if only because of the lack of immediate power, but it also probably has a higher ceiling in the right match-ups as it can shred through cores and if the revenge killer is not suited to kill a Colbur Meloetta, then it still can function as a win condition or simply do too much to a team for it to realistically come back in a game. I'd definitely group this in there as a controversial set and I think that Colbur CM Meloetta contributes to it being somewhat broken in the metagame, even if it does not necessarily do it alone.

Ban Meloetta
Personally I never actually put much thought into viewing meloetta's impact on the metagame as it seems to blend into the way the metagame is already heading which is dominated by hazard stacking and more limited defensive answeres. But its natural bulk, pivoting capabilities and dominant offense is unmistakable.
Because of this I want to go into this subject widely viewing what Meloetta has to offer.
First going into this Meloetta has verything a good pokemon needs in the metagame already going for it without naming a set. It's above average speed tier of 90 granting the capasity to naturally outspeed Rotom-C and Hitmonlee. Amazing 128 Base Special attack and certainly effective 100 HP and 128 Special Defense giving the capabilities to even switch into or survive some of the tiers strongest special attacks. Infact it's ability to take special attacks is something I don't see many people mention even when it makes Meloetta notably harder to both revenge and/or preventing it from grabing opportunity. Outside of the natural stats it also boosts great STAB's, coverage in Focus Blast, Dazzling Gleam, having a move to pivot with U-turn and lastly utilizing boosting moves such as Calm Mind further pushing the way Z-moves already envoked set up users to be more effective than last generation. With this being mentioned sets such as Specs, Calm Mind boosted or behind a sub sitting Meloetta has the free capasity to 2HKO the metagame while remaining that above average speed tier. With a bit more health Investment it even gets a wider increase to check some of the tiers strongest special attackers as well.
It's not to say Meloetta is perfect however it's not far from it either. While the speed tier is limiting the main pokemon that outspeed it and actually threaten to instantly OHKO is primairly limited to one of the two weaknesses it has, Dark types. Sneasel, Drapion and to an extend Houndoom, not only is this list of proper checks limited the last one also is unable to OHKO without the use of Darkium-Z boosted Dark Pulse. Additionally Meloetta's rising set in Colbur adds even more insult to injury as all besides Unnerved Houndoom will become unable to OHKO Meloetta. Sneasel is clean OHKOed by Focus Blast and both Sneasel and Drapion are OHKOed with a Calm Mind boosted Hyper Voice making them unable to revenge this more specific set after sacking a teammate.
Besides Dark types very powerfull physical attackers must be utilized in order to threaten a OHKO as Meloetta even without investment is able to survive a large number of pokemon their attacks as visable in this randome calc of one of the stronger revengekillers in Scarfed Emboar: 252 Atk Reckless Emboar Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Meloetta: 280-330 (82.1 - 96.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
I generally try to avoid showing calcs in a discussion but that is a notable benchmark to show that even the physical defense is nothing to laugh at. Add in the fact some sets tend to run HP and/or Defense investment it could become very difficule to beat meloetta in a traditional liniar situation.
Besides the Offensive stance the defensive department is looking even more grim limiting it down to AV Slowking, Spiritomb and Sableye.
First of which is unable to do too much back because of the previously mentioned high Special Defense evading the 2HKO by far and without accounting burn or previous damage it could evade a 3HKO, meanwhile Specs always 3HKO's. This is not even accounting the Calm Mind sets, specifically Sub CM which makes Slowking compleat set up bait in everyway. As for the ''main'' counter to Meloetta Spiritomb is trown around the most for its immunity to Meloetta's main 3 moves: Hyper Voice, Psychic/shock and Focus Blast but can still fall short depending on the hazards and if Meloetta is packing Dazzling Gleam(Specs doesn't really need the 4th slot either) as it will almost OHKO both Tombs sets. This is not even mentioning how most people view Spiritomb to be used solely for Meloetta as the Physical set misses out on Tombs best utility in the Calm Mind set, almost functioning as a compleatly different pokemon. Lastly Sableye, Sableye IS niche, limited to mostly dedicated Prankster utility sets and providing little to anything else and adding to this it also suffers against rare coverage in Dazzling Gleam.

Besides this black on white view of the pokemon there is still plenty of counterplay to talk about both in its inability to come in on pokemon repeatedly, it still loses against many pokemon when not running the most optimal set. Adding on to this last one, Meloetta's sets are easily distinguish in the team preview. Unfortunatly however, any of these negatives aply to nearly any pokemon in our metagame and potentially even less so for Meloetta then for the rest of the meta.

Because this post is already too long, I drop the synergie it provides for Hazard stack(keeping them up/wittling answeres + pivoting) and will end it off by saying Meloetta would either outcome be an above average pokemon able to swiftly adapt to multiple near equally effective sets each able to beat what an other may lose to.


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I'm SO happy that this is getting suspected before Aurora Veil because it means that I can possibly spam it on the ladder on the last day or two despite not being around for, like, 90% of the test :blobdevil:
Anyway, I'm away on holiday without consistent internet (less of a sightseeing thing so much as a break from London), so I've got lots of time with nothing else to do which I can spend typing about why this Pokemon should be banned. Probably not gonna say anything that someone else hasn't said before either in or out of the thread, but fuck it I'm gonna say it anyway.

Just as a starting note, I do not think that Meloetta is expressly broken in the traditional sense (like is the case with, say, OU Marshadow) because its two debateably problematic sets in my eyes (Colbur+CM and Specs (moreso Specs)) both have their fair share of issues versus offense if they aren't played very carefully due to the fact that they can be overwhelmed reasonably easily with aggressive play. Excellent special bulk can only take you so far, especially when you are grounded, don't carry Leftovers, and lack any reliable recovery options. Hell, if you are running a full-on stall team it isn't impossible to manage either; Specs sets can have their locks scouted out with the large variety of Protect users that these teams carry (Pyukumuku, Steelix, Vaporeon, Aromatisse, Audino etc.) before being shut down by an appropriate resistance or immunity (see: Spiritomb, Sableye, Drapion, Skuntank, Sneasel (ESPECIALLY these three on a Psychic lock 'cause of their ability to Pursuit trap it), SpD Steelix etc.) while also having a few viable/semi-viable hard stops to it defensively in Spiritomb, Sableye (short of a Gleam S/I), Bronzor, and Metang. Meanwhile, CM+Colbur gets shut down by specially-oriented Pyukumuku (soft checked by the physically-oriented EV spread on my analysis) and Spiritomb while being put under pressure by Toxic spamming and TSpikes. Hell, I take pride in the ability for my TSpikes+Protect spam stall (SpD Drapion, CroTomb, PhysDef Protect Pyukumuku, Golbat, SpD Protect Steelix, Cleric Aromatisse*) to not lose to Meloetta and .

*Not got the importable because it's on my other computer+I can't remember exact EVs and other shit

However, I do want to use my team's ability to not lose to Meloetta to highlight exactly why Meloetta is a problem for these types of teams. Take note of the members I have selected: a hard stop in Spiritomb, a check to each of its key bulky-team-threatening sets SpD Pursuit Drapion and PhysDef Pyukumuku, three Protect users which I can use to scout out its locks in Steelix, Pyukumuku, and Aromatisse, and the ability to pressure it with Toxic Spikes. While the Protect users aren't expressly just for Meloetta (Steelix is to take advantage of TSpikes to stall for PP/Toxic damage; Aromatisse is to heal off of its own Wishes; Pyukumuku is to make it a more efficient staller), it does force you to run at least two softer secondary answers (keyword: softer, i.e. not necessarily 100% reliable) just to stop the team being steamrolled if Spiritomb gets overwhelmed by teammates (which Melo 100% should be paired with), it necessitates the use of at least one Pursuit user to provide any means of consistently weakening it when it is paired with a grounded Poison-type to absorb TSpikes, and it leaves the team pressured when trying to prepare for other highly dangerous Pokemon to defensive teams, notably including Pokemon like Machamp. And this is all before you consider that this team has no counterplay for random, more niche sets like CM+Psychium+Dazzling Gleam if TSpikes isn't up when it comes in.

Of course, causing major issues for stall teams isn't something that, on its own, can be considered problematic; hell, if anything the current metagame is probably a lot kinder to these types of builds than it has in previous generations outside of probably two overbearing threats in Meloetta and Machamp (a Pokemon for which I share very similar sentiments for with regards to this upcoming few paragraphs, although that is a topic for another day), and one of the key things about stall as an archetype comes from the fact that it will always have very poor matchups versus certain Pokemon. The time where the problems really begin to show themselves is when you consider fatter balance builds; in the bluntest sense, Meloetta is a problem because it almost singlehandedly makes it a liability to bring a bulky team that isn't outright stall. What I mean by this is that its consistent defensive answers are not very good in the current metagame and that preparing for it severely inhibits a balance team's ability to prepare for the other things that such a team needs to prepare for. Hell, the mere fact that it can single-handedly turn the majority of viable Rapid Spin or Defog user in the tier into a liability through simple double switching or VoltTurning says a huge amount about the ability for balance to function versus MeloSpikes, and this isn't the only Melo archetype that turns bulky teams into liabilities either.

This wouldn't necessarily be such a big deal if it weren't for that absurd special bulk that allows it to not get steamrolled every time it faces offense. Meloetta is easy to build with, providing a huge number of perks to the team that it is being used on between its huge special bulk (combined with useful resistances/immunities in Ghost and Psychic), and absurd wallbreaking power, and it will very rarely prove itself to be dead weight. It requires balance to play aggressively around it with Pursuit users to prevent it killing/severely maiming something on your team (and this is BEFORE considering the threat posed by CM+Colbur variants, which just completely counteract this means of taking it on), and there are very few drawbacks (if any) to just switching in and firing off Specs-boosted attacks repeatedly in against any team lacking Pursuit Spiritomb (which can both switch in and trap Specs Melo). In fact, Finchinator's Mudsdale comparison is very apt here (and worded way better than I could ever hope to do so), so I am going to quote that below for anyone who didn't read his wall a few posts up.
Finchinator said:
You have to really make a practical extension to this to make a complete argument. Let's go back to the Mudsdale comparison once more so I can explain what I mean by this -- sure, Mudsdale can 2HKO everything, but if it locks into Choice Banded Earthquake and does 55 to Slowbro or it locks into Choice Banded Rock Slide and does 55 to Golbat, then it is not necessarily making much, if any, long term progress. Think about it -- in the former scenario, Slowbro can switch out into a non-grounded Pokemon consequence free or stay in whereas you can stay in and Earthquake again or double-switch out predicting him to go to his immunity, opening up a lane for competitive play, where the player who made the better move ends up in the better position at the end of the sequence. As for the latter, Golbat simply roosts it off and the practical point comes into play as you can be as strong as anything in the world, but if you lack the Speed or general practical traits to thrive in the metagame, then it doesn't mean much in practice at all. On the contrary, if you look at Meloetta's Choice Specs set, you notice that it has an above average Speed tier in the metagame, it does not have many things that appreciate taking its STABs from the Specs set even if it is resisted, and, if played properly, it can almost always pick-off a Pokemon or force a scenario where it can come out making significant progress. Meloetta is a Pokemon that is suited very well to take advantage of the strength to practically 2HKO the entire metagame and that is why I believe the Choice Specs set is likely too much for the metagame to handle.
Meloetta simply has enough overbearing traits that it brings to the table which allow it to just feel unfair for bulky teams to try and deal with between its dominant set and its perfectly complementary second-most-dominant set. While it isn't like Exploud in the sense that it isn't a free kill almost every time it switches in, it is very restrictive to the way in which you are able to build against it, and it is simply not a healthy presence for the metagame going forward in my opinion.

this is a short post for now but its just an observation:

Has Meloetta ever been extremely impactful in NUPL this season? It's clearly a great Pokemon but the matches I've seen it in so far have been relatively unimpressive. If Meloetta is as broken as some people have been making it out to be I would have expected it to have a bigger splash in the tournament scene

i am still undecided on Meloetta
i feel like distinguishing whether meloetta is specs/cm colbur isn't always easy as it is rather flexible in using these two sets, which some element of unpredictability with meloetta, so it is capable of forcing misplays and generating solid momentum from them, while the potential downside when misplaying with meloetta is not as large.

in regards to the specs set, it is capable of utilizing focus blast and/or dazzling gleam as coverage moves, allowing it to sufficiently threaten most pokemon in the tier. in regards to forcing misplays, consider a situation in which specs meloetta leads against a steelix, if steelix stays in on a focus blast, it'll be nearly useless for the rest of the match, and meloetta can more effectively use hyper voice and psychic later in the game. if slowbro or golbat switch-in, they can potentially fire off a free attack, but the potential momentum they can gain is just not as much meloetta can when predicting correctly. considering the same scenario, steelix switches out, and golbat comes in on psychic, and is KO or heavily dented, potentially giving meloetta's partners more useful attacking opportunities; or slowbro may switch-in on hyper voice, taking a healthy amount of damage, forcing it to switch and giving meloetta a free attack. even if steelix stays in, it still risks being 3hko'd by meloetta, meaning it may either attack meloetta twice and ko it, or attack once, set up rocks, then be sacked or forced to switch. this is a general scenario, and this may be a comparable situation for other offensive pokemon, but i feel meloetta differs in the essence that it can break down a wider variety of defensive cores, than say emboar which may have difficulties with a common core like rhydon + slowbro. also another remark in regards to being able to run dazzling gleam, while not too common, it may be able to ko spiritomb (a pokemon which realistically sees most of its usage for the sack of being a solid check to meloetta) after rocks, which may make meloetta more difficult to check mid/late game.

in regards to colbur cm set, mispredicting against the set can be even more damaging since forcing a switch when setting up cm allows it to hit extremely hard with freedom to switch moves, such a situation in which meloetta gets a free cm may allow for it to ko or dent three or more pokemon on a team. of course, it does need to successfully setup otherwise its wallbreaking capabilities are not as good, and can be managed properly with correct switch-ins (but again, it does require solid prediction even when running multiple defensive checks to meloetta). it can also threaten offensive teams more effectively, especially if it needs to be revenge killed with a drapion or sneasel since neither can ko a fairly healthy colbur meloetta with knock off, and opting to try and pursuit meloetta does even less damage, allowing meloetta to potentially nab more KOs. generally strong physical scarfers like emboar, hitmonlee, or sawk are needed to effectively revenge kill cm meloetta, as faster special attackers like scarf rotom-c or sceptile aren't capable of KOing a fairly healthy meloetta. of course meloetta can't setup freely on offensive teams, but it does get some setup opportunities against choice locked sceptile or rotom-c, mismagius, rotom, etc. which may make opponents more cautious of using leaf storm with sceptile/rotom-c or sending in mismagius since cm meloetta (and even specs) can take advantage of them.

considering the two sets in tandem and back to some of the unpredictability of sets that meloetta can run, incorrectly predicting meloetta set and what attacks it may use (under the assumption of specs) can put opposing players at a solid disadvantage early on in the game, while correctly predicting against meloetta doesn't produce such as large advantages for opposing players, as compared to the potential disadvantages they may be facing when incorrectly predicting what meloetta may use, making gameplay easier for the meloetta user, which is why i feel meloetta is unhealthy for the tier.

edit: look my 3k post lol
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I think finch and meeps both made wonderful posts that outline why Meloetta is broken. I don't have much to add, but I would like to offer some practical examples on how I feel Meloetta has warped teambuilding while quickly presenting my own view.
Week 5 Laurens vs Garay Oak

Laurens's team relies heavily on offensively pressuring Meloetta with hazards, the threat of encore, and using Steelix as a STAB move deterrent. Garay relies less on hazards and more on Pursuit trapping with Drapion to make sure that Meloetta can't do as it pleases. Both teams are Balance/Bulky Offensive teams and yet they face a ton of pressure from the most common Meloetta sets.
Week 5 Kushalos vs Eternally

I won't talk much about Eternally's team because it's clearly an offensive team (defensive synergy doesn't matter as much vs just being able to overwhelm the opponent) but Kushalos's team is similar in structure to Garay's. Relies on Pursuit trapping melo in order to prevent it from wreaking havoc on his defensive cores and depends on lix as a deterrent for its STAB moves.
Week 5 Vileman vs meeps

Meeps's team looks like it loses to cm meloetta almost at team preview as it depends on Rhydon as the team's Normal resist and depends on Rotom-Mow to prevent Meloetta from spamming CM with Trick (though the set was never revealed.) We never saw if the Slowking was CM or not, but considering how many Pursuit trappers are running around on balance squads to help with handling Melo, I would say almost any specially bulky Psychic-type designed to handle Meloetta is a liability at this point.

Vileman's team looks similar to Laurens's in how it handles Melo. Deterrents to STAB moves, Encore, etc.

I'm mentioning all of this not because I'm trying to make the "it 2 hit koes the entire tier" argument (finch did a good job expanding on why that alone is not enough grounds for ban) but because I want to point out that this is the extent to which we are able to prepare for Meloetta. We don't have any good Steel- or Ghost-types that can truly punish it for being aggressive with its play against balance. All we have are mostly soft checks that use their limited window of resistance against melo to stand up to it. This is how it's been since week 1 of nupl (ex: where people have to rely on aggressively taking advantage of the move that meloetta locks itself into or bludgeoning it down to a point where it has to be dropped. It's a Pokemon that not only feeds off of defensive cores, but necessitates aggressive play in order to check it appropriately. I truly don't believe that the series of aggressive guessing games that Meloetta so commonly enforces is healthy for the tier.

Meloetta is uncompetitive because of how heavily it restricts the range of options a player has in teambuilder and in battle. No Pokemon should be able to weasel its way past its common checks with its most common sets while also forcing such a high level of aggressive play in order to put it down.

All arguments made in this post are made with the intent that Spiritomb is a bad Pokemon and is pathetically easy to exploit, even with Meloetta.
I think everyone here made enough arguments whether Meloetta should stay or not but I really want to talk about something else:

Aurora Veil

In my honest opinion I think the move is unhealthier than the Pokemon we're currently observing. There are a number of reasons why I think it is unhealthy. The first one being it justifiying rather unviable moves/Pokemon like Brick Break, Double Kick, Arm Thrust, Pokemon with Cloud Nine etc. When Cofagrigus was in the tier, people started to run underleveled Cofagrigus (Cofagrigi?) as a way to counter other Cofagrigus, a pretty big indicator for unhealthiness and this is no different. Let's talk about the strategy. Aurorus immediately sets up Hail and Stealth Rock turn 1 and can still do significant damage with Blizzard and Freeze Dry. Just switching in/using your Fire-type to deal with Aurorus is already a small risk since it can carry Earth Power. Usually Aurorus waits to be knocked out so Sandslash can be brought in safely. If your opponent has something to counter said Fire-type, Aurorus can still be kept alive for it to set up Hail and consequently Aurora Veil later in the game although that doesn't happen often. Preventing Sandslash to set up Veil isn't all that easy either. The few viable/semi-viable things that outspeed Sandslash in Hail and don't need a setup-move are Scarf Delphox, Mach Punch Hitmonlee, Scarf Scyther with Brick Break and Scarf Tauros with Fire Blast. Two of those are already negligible. Defogging is probably your best bet but you can still get flinched/crit this happens a lot with Icicle Crash or frozen by Blizzard. Keep in mind that Golbat, our most reliable defogger, can lose to both mons. Usually after Veil is in effect, the opponent proceeds to set up with Barbaracle, Virizion, Vivillon, Turt, etc. and this happens with great ease. NU has a great amount of set-up sweepers and few of them are frail. At that point your team gets heavily dented where you had to sac 2-3 mons at the expense of 1 enemy setup-sweeper. At this point in the game, winning becomes a huge task. People are also switching up the order. They predict the Aurorus/Sandslash counter turn 1 and scares them away so that Veil can be set up more than once. Now from an enjoyment point of view. When laddering for the current suspect test I used Veil myself and it provided me a lot of wins. As soon as I started using a different team, I still got wins but my losses increased in comparison when I was using Veil. When facing Veil teams it requires almost perfect plays and even then you can still lose. NU Open and NUL Express are currently on the go and people are getting "free wins" because of this unhealthy strategy and that's what vexes me the most. This post probably has a lot of flaws and errors but I'd like to discuss the matter.
Sup, so before I say anything else I'd really prefer for everyone to refrain from discussing Aurora Veil or any other future tests, as it only detracts from the current test subject (especially considering how inactive this thread has been already). As passionate as I'm sure many of you are about Veil, it's a bit of a tricky case due to a few policy-related factors surrounding it, so please bear with us.

As for my thoughts on Meloetta, rather than reiterate what Finch, meeps, and Disj have said already, I'll cover the question Raseri asked as it's pretty important to answer: if Meloetta is so broken, why hasn't it been dominating in the tour scene? To answer that, I'm gonna have to switch to the anti-ban side for a moment and say this: as much as Meloetta may warp teambuilding around not giving it free turns, the thing is that it does work. In practice, the metagame has adapted well to Meloetta and preventing it from completely wreaking havoc onto teams.

But that brings me to my next point: that just because the metagame is able to adapt doesn't mean Meloetta's impact is healthy. I would compare my feelings about Melo to my thoughts on another recently banned Pokemon, Cofagrigus. Similarly to Melo, I believe the Cofagrigus meta was actually quite well prepared for Cofa, as warped as it was. Checks like Incineroar rose in popularity, aggressive play prevented it from setting up, and as much as everyone joked about lowering its level, it did help prevent sweeps. And much like Melo, its tour performance was relatively modest once people started preparing for it. But that doesn't mean Cofa's impact wasn't ridiculous, and I believe the same applies to Melo. Effective adaption =/= healthy adaptation, and Meloetta has forced extremely unhealthy adaptation on the tier.


is a Tutoris a member of the Site Staffis a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
NU Leader
When I make my decision on what to vote for suspect tests, I like to consider three main points; Effect on building, Effect on the meta and How the meta has / is adapting to the threat. In Meloetta's case, I personally feel that it has a distinct effect on warping building in such a way that you're forced to build even defensive teams in an aggressive way (e.g, seeing scarfers and mons like CB Sneasel and Scarf Drapion tacked onto Semi-stall and balance in an attempt to dissuade Meloetta from wreaking havoc) to cope with how easily it preys on slower passive structures. It's clearly a major propellant of a lot of the most popular building trends like Pursuit trappers, Steelix being the most common rocker, and a shift towards scarfers that can revenge it such as Emboar and Scyther over Rotom-Mow and other Special scarfers which just give Meloetta more opportunities to get off a free move. Obviously you can argue that a lot of teambuilding trends right now would still be relevant to deal with other dangerous Psychic-types like Sigilyph, Jynx, and Delphox but, the difference is Meloetta is one of, if not the only Pokemon right now with such a combination of power, bulk, versatility, and splash-ability that it actually forces players to deal with it offensively no matter what archetype they're using, rather than having the ability to consistently check it defensively.

Moreover, after hearing a lot of input from the community, it's pretty clear that the general consensus is that Meloetta's effect on building ultimately effects the meta in a negative way and has lead to a lot of complaints about the tier getting stagnant too fast. I think its a fair assumption to say that without Meloetta in the tier, there would be a lot more breathing space to let more defensive teams flourish and get more diverse, but also offensive teams would have less pressure to rely on the same small pool of mons to stop Meloetta from tearing them apart and paving the way for other threats in the tier. Personally, I've seen firsthand how this tier has been developing since we left Alpha, and while Meloetta might not be the standard definition of broken, in practice it creates way too much restriction not only on building but also on the way players a forced to react to it. At this point, the tier has had time to try to adapt to Meloetta but it's simply very difficult to consistently be prepared for one Pokemon with a combination of bulk, power, and versatility without being forced into certain directions, and at this point I think the tier would develop a lot healthier without it's presence.

Therefore, I'm going to be voting to Ban Meloetta on the basis of it hindering the growth of the tier and being too consistently versatile and restrictive to be a healthy presence in the meta.
in battle I think Meloetta is perfectly managable. It has no recovery and is easy to whittle down over the course of the match. In my mind it is a much bigger teambuilder threat. The rising popularity of Meloetta has made it to most Choice Scarfers are physical attackers, or are teched to deal with Melo (Scarf dbond Houndoom). Which in turn makes Slowbro crazy to deal with.

I do think there is a problem with NU right now and that something needs to change. I don't think its as massive as some people have been making it out to be, and I'm unsure if Meloetta is the cause of the issues the tier is facing, or a Pokemon that is great because it can handle many top tier threats. NUs power level is far higher than what we are used to, and im hesitant to pull the trigger to try and balance based on preconceived notions of what the tier would look like.

Honestly I'm not sure how im going to vote. NU might be better without Meloetta, but it might not. If Melo is banned though, I would want to see it rested down the line if it does not go RU


formerly boring
Personally Meloetta is my favorite mon in SM NU, I would be really sad if it goes but that said I do think it should go. Meloetta has such a wide movepool that it's always unpredictable of what you want to switch in on Meloetta. Personally I think CM 3 attacks Colbur is it's best set, this makes Drapion, Sneasel to an extent and Spiritomb not as much as a check to Meloetta as you normally want it to be. With what meeps said about mispredicting with Meloetta is true I have played with (vs Kiyo in week 1 of NUPL and against it and mispredicted what basicly can easily cost you the game. People often think with Meloetta meh speed that it's easily able to revenge killed by dark types, but if a certain playstyle (mainly Stall and Balance) has to run a Dark type just for a single mon it has a huge impact on the metagame which shouldn't be the case.

I talked with my tutee RedzoneX about the meta and the playstyle are viable and which are not, we also spoke about Stall and what small impact it has on the metagame. Meloetta has the possibility to beat stall on his own which forces (as eternally said before) to run fast dark types to beat it, which in my mind shouldn't be the case. For the rest I don't think there is much said about Meloetta that others haven't said. But wanted to give my 2 cents about Meloetta. BAN MELOETTA even if it hurts my heart to see it go.


Face so pretty bitches wish they could slice me.
is a Community Contributoris a defending SPL Champion
I don't think the Meloetta ban made a lot of Pokemon much much better than they were before, but here's an interesting Pokemon that definitely takes advantage from Meloetta being gone that I'd like to talk about.

Mismagius @ Ghostium Z
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Nasty Plot
- Shadow Ball
- Dazzling Gleam
- Will-O-Wisp / Taunt

I think that Ghostium Z Mismagius appreciates quite a bit seeing Meloetta gone. Meloetta's raw Special bulk and typing made it very difficult for this Mismagius set to shine properly (even though it was still somewhat good, don't get me wrong); but now that it's gone, +2 Never-Ending Nightmare is pretty much insane to switch into, the most relevant immunity probably being Braviary, which can get Taunted or burned thanks to WoW. Dazzling Gleam hits the plethora of Fighting-type Pokemon we have; honestly, the moveset is pretty self-explanatory. Mismagius still obviously has downsides; struggles from its poor bulk and still has some trouble setting up without getting chipped, which hurts its longevity, just like it did post-ban but it's still really strong and I can definitely see it get more attention now.
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Skuntank (M) @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Aftermath
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Acid Spray
- Dark Pulse
- Fire Blast
- Defog

As a dark type, while Meloetta was still in the tier, skuntank wasnt rly the sturdiest psychic answer. Now with meloetta gone, and ghost usage probably rising in NU soon i can see this pokemon get more usage. The only reason i would run skuntank is its special Defog set, since physically it may be outclassed by other Dark types. Shuca is imo the best item, i wouldnt bother with black sludge this gen so far since its not rly valuable unless youre running bulkier build, and sludge bomb/hidden power grass are great option instead of acid spray, but moveslot should depend on a team.


came over the summer like liquid night
is a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
I think Slowbro is going to become a big(ger) issue in the metagame after this ban. Generally, Meloetta was a pretty safe switch-in to Slowbro and could almost always beat it in a 1 on 1 situation. Now that Meloetta's gone, it means that Slowbro has one less check / counter in the tier, but it also means more than that. Melo was one of the few switchins that couldn't be directly threatened by Slowbro with no CM boosts under its belt, unlike most other checks we have. Checks like Rotom-Mow, Sceptile, and Vikavolt, all risk getting OHKO'd by the wide variety of sets Slowbro can run. While they all pretty much accomplish the same, Slowbro has the freedom to pretty much pick whatever Z-Crystal and/or coverage move the team might need, aside from the most standard one:

Slowbro @ Waterium Z / Psychium Z
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 224 Def / 36 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Psyshock
- Slack Off
- Calm Mind
Slowbro @ Firium Z
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 224 Def / 36 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald / Psychic
- Fire Blast
- Slack Off
- Calm Mind
Targets: Sceptile, Rotom-Mow, Virizion, Sneasel, Whimsicott, Sandslash-Alola, Vileplume, Vanilluxe, Vikavolt, Cryogonal

Slowbro @ Icium Z
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 224 Def / 36 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald / Psychic
- Blizzard / Ice Beam
- Slack Off
- Calm Mind
Targets: Sceptile, Rotom-Mow, Virizion, Golbat, Vileplume, Vivillon, Guzzlord, Drampa

Slowbro @ Buginium Z
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 224 Def / 36 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald / Psychic
- Signal Beam
- Slack Off
- Calm Mind
Targets: Sceptile, Rotom-Mow, Slowbro, Sneasel, Malamar, Guzzlord

as you can see, all Slowbro sets are highly customizable, as it pretty much always has 2 free moveslots, a Z-Crystal of choice (I wouldn't recommend Colbur or Leftovers, as neither are particularly helpful and the most spammed Dark-type move vs Slowbro is going to be Knock Off), and a free pick in what EVs you're going to put in to the set. Slowbro's EVs can easily be adapted a bit to whatever your team needs Slowbro to take on better, and it'll still be bulky on both the physical and the special side. I think I'm free to say that Slowbro is easily, maaaaybe aside from Sceptile, the best Pokemon in the tier at the moment. Slowbro has had over 50 appearances in NUPL so far, as well as a positive win-rate (55.56%), that after skipping through some replays for a bit you could easily state that it's almost always an immediate threat, even though it doesn't always appear that way. All the lures stated above have worked (for me atleast) several times, and I've seen it being used by several other players in NUPL, in NUL, and what have you.

I think Slowbro is the new rising star of the meta, due to its incredible natural bulk and the fact that it is really hard to beat if it gets a free turn (which it does really easily, vs Scarf Emboar Flare Blitz / Superpower, any hit from Hitmonlee, etc.). Most Pokemon that think they can carelessly switch in on it, like the everpopular Sceptile, Rotom-Mow, as well as a lot of defensive answers such as Vileplume and Cryogonal, get easily obliterated by any coverage Slowbro can run. It can even run Grazzium Z with Grass Knot if it wants to, if you're scared of Seismitoad, Jellicent, or even opposing Slowbro's walling you. All of these reasons combined, I think it would be good if we were to see a Slowbro suspect test in a couple of weeks. I don't think it's top priority as the metagame is going to change a bit over the coming weeks, with Meloetta's departure making a bit of a shake-up in the meta, as well as potential new drops and rises from RU and PU, respectively.


formerly boring
Now Meloetta is gone I personally think Rotom has become better, Meloetta was a free switch into Rotom allowing it either to get a free set up or do heavy damage and take a little damage in return. Rotom was forced to run Z-Thunderbolt to do some damage to Meloetta, now with Meloetta gone it's able to run Ghostium Z Hex Will-O-Wisp Subsitute Thunderbolt / Discharge without fearing Meloetta being a free switch. Good to note as well is that Z-Hex has the same base power as Z-Shadow Ball which allows you to nuke something and still being able to run SubWisp.

Rotom @ Ghostium Z
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Discharge / Thunderbolt
- Hex
- Substitute
- Will-O-Wisp

This set generally deals really well with all the Balance cores out there especially the Steelix / Slowbro / Golbat cores that are the most populair. As Shadestep said Slowbro would become even more dominant makes this set / mon even better. If you really want a mon that beats the common Balance cores I suggest you give this mon a try!

Sir Kay

Valor to me.
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Time to bump the thread with some of my thoughts on the metagame.

A-veil is busted and has been for awhile. I think majority of people share this opinion but the problem is dealing with it. I'm generally a fan of banning the abusers of the move rather then the move itself, but I can't find myself agreeing with this in the case of A-veil. If we only ban the setter in Slash then people just replace it with things like Cryognal and bypass the ban. Its just too easy to work around which I think forces us into looking at the move itself. The move is toxic to the tier, is hard to deal with, easy to build, easy to pilot, and doesn't feel competitive for both parties. Rather then banning every mon that learns A-veil with moderate speed I think its better to bite the bullet and ban the move itself.

Emboar is by far my most used mon in NU right now for very good reason. Its a fire type with no SR weakness which makes the opportune cost for running it basically 0, the scarf set is extremely hard to revenge kill, and its extremely polarizing on the tier, basically forcing teams to run the same few mons on every team in order to not get 6-0d by it. Its a scarfer that sacrifices no damage unlike every other scarfer in the tier save Hitmonlee thanks to the damage boost from Reckless, making it basically the perfect offensive mon in the tier which is a very big issue. The way that Emboar has basically warped the tier around it is extremely unhealthy for the tier and I think we'd also be better off without Emboar.

A lot of people want a slowbro banned along with Emboar but I have a very different view point on Slowbro. Right now I think its a reaction to the polarization caused by Emboar, because right now it offers something that every single teams desperately needs: a reliable switch in to Emboar. And on top of that it has its own very good merits of being a regen beef wall win condition which makes it very easy to slap on to teams. My problem is people keep seeing it on every team and thinking that its polarizing the tier, when I see it more as everyones running it because we're forced to. If we remove emboar from the tier we're no longer forced to have this dedicated slot it holds which will drop its usage and will probably make it feel less polarizing.

I see it similar to how Sawk and Musharna were back in ORAS. Before we banned sawk you'd see Musharna on almost every other team, it was ranked as an A+ mon, and it was considered a corner stone in the meta because of its ability to catch all sawk + all the other fighting types, similarly to how Slowbro is with Emboar. But after we banned Sawk people didn't need to dedicate a slot on every team to beating it, so its usage and viability both went down over time and it faded into the background. There were other factors in play such as the BP ban that happened as well as general metagame changes, but that doesn't take away the fact that directly after the ban Musharnas influence on the tier dropped basically over night. I feel as tho over time we'll have a similar thing happen with Slowbro just on a much smaller scale. I think to the people that want Slowbro banned its best to wait until after something has been done about Emboar first to see how Bro fits into the metagame rather then do a double suspect.


wait a minute, it's all been done before
is a Pre-Contributor
Well, to be fair, there are other mons/things that check Emboar, it just so happens that Bro is the only one with reliable recovery. Things like Druddigon, Seismitoad, Golbat (scarf), Delphox, RH Qwil/Garb and more all threaten or check it to an extent, and there are other ways to make clicking its STAB moves a liability. However, I do agree it definitely needs to go to make for a healthier tier.

However, that's not what this post is about. I want to talk about resident overlord Slowbro.

Now, while it may be true that it is ever-present because of Emboar being busted, its ubiquitousness can also be attibuted to the fact that there is practically 0 opportunity cost to running it on any given bulky team, and it centralizes the bulky water/psychic slot to an absurd degree - things that should be meta staples such as Slowking, Jellicent, and Vaporeon get much lower usage simply because Slowbro all but eclipses their capabilities. Although this alone doesn't necessarily constitute a broken 'mon, Slowbro also warps the teambuilder to an extent just as large if not more than the other S rank 'mons (Except maybe Scept, but that's for another day). Generally, you can deal with bulky waters by having a water immunity of some sort or something that can resist Scald and pressure them to switch, whether it be through setup or just having an attack that threatens them. This causes a whole counterplay of double switching to prevent recovery and cause more hazard damage and what not. However, thanks to a combination of Regenerator, Slowbro hardwalling practically every physical mon in the tier, and Psychic STAB backed up by 100 SpA, this counterplay is extremely limited both ways - for one, it is very often not terribly pressured to click Recover, since it knows it can switch at any time and get most of the damage it took back because chances are it took very little, and two, switchins to it are relatively limited because very few things that can threaten it appreciate taking a Psyshock. It also doesn't have the same flaws as other bulky Psychics in that it is prone to being heavily hampered by Pursuit trappers, as it takes on all of them bar like CB Skunk thanks to Colbur / Z Move. This causes it to easily outlast the majority of its few checks, meaning you often have to stack countermeasures to deal with it and can STILL come out on the backfoot should you mispredict around it or it has some wacky slightly off meta set such as Fire Blast or Z-Signal Beam. The level of preparation required for it is extremely unhealthy, and this isn't even taking into account how badly it neutralizes the effect of most physical attackers in any given game. It easily comes into literally every physical mon in the tier bar SD Drapion and Virizion and Scrafty and uses them as turns to do practically whatever it wants with little to no repercussions. Physical wallbreakers are becoming more rare as physical mons are basically required to have some sort of outside utility to make up for not beating Slowbro, such as Pursuit trappers, Rockers, and hazard control, or are one of the few have an inkling of a chance of beating it. Pokemon like Tauros, Sawk, and Medicham which would otherwise be quite solid or even excel in this meta are held down immensely as balance breakers and cleaners because Slowbro exists, and dashes all of their chances of ever beating a team including it. This, too, quite restricts building as it limits the pool of mons that can be used without them being free turns for Slowbro. While centralization to a degree is fine and even healthy for metagames, Slowbro in my opinion chokes development of this meta way too much and shouldn't stick around.

tl;dr: Slowbro invalidates most if not all of its competition, warps teambuilding excessively due to multiple factors, and also invalidates far too many otherwise viable mons, and as such is not healthy for this meta imo.
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Well Machamp was probably going to get suspected and banned anyway, so it's good that it went ahead and rose via usage.

And Froslass will serve as a nice Spiker.


Face so pretty bitches wish they could slice me.
is a Community Contributoris a defending SPL Champion
I think Froslass will definitely have a fair impact on the metagame.

Froslass (F) @ Light Clay
Ability: Cursed Body
EVs: 248 HP / 8 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Spikes
- Destiny Bond
- Aurora Veil
- Blizzard / Ice Beam

This is most likely the set I would use on a Veil team. Froslass has pretty cool features over Sandslash-Alola, such as Spikes and Destiny Bond, and a decent Speed tier even outside of Hail. I think Aurora Veil teams, and probably HO teams in general, are gonna be really insane right now thanks to Froslass; it'll definitely be amazing to have Spikes and Destiny Bond, but also a typing that pressures Xatu and Golbat which is obviously amazing for a Spikes user. On a non-veil set, I would probably run Taunt and Ice Beam for the two last slots.

Audino-Mega will be a healthy addition to the tier, serving as a SpD wall, which NU lacks currently. I think that Machamp leaving is a good thing; Quagsire leaving will definitely not change the tier much, while Drapion is somewhat unfortunate but still not that big of a deal.
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Froslass @ Focus Sash
Ability: Cursed Body
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Taunt
- Avalanche
- Destiny Bond
- Spikes

Shamelessly copying this set posted in some RU tread back in April I think. This set works the same as the lead set, just a bit more creative. Since Destiny Bond got nerfed (fails after using it consecutive turns like Protect), slower mons are more likely to avoid being knocked out themselves. But Avalanche having -4 priority lets you get around that. The Destiny Bond effect lasts until you actually execute the Avalanche, the opponent will attack first, knock out Froslass and be knocked out in return. Try it!
Mega Audino as expected. With the ability to surpass metal gear wall almost anything it wants to be made to wall, from Rotom-Mow with a Special Defensive Wish Passer that can't be tricked down to even our strongest fight types in Hitmonlee who need the Life Orb and Stealth Rocks to reliably 2HKO Max Defense M-Audino but still can't because the user won't ever risk the turns Audino could go for protect.
With the current meta having more Offensive attackers that it now needs to account for it probably won't wall everything at once anymore, but sadly we didn't exactly gain many new viable defensive answeres in this generation or tier shift. Heck we lost drapion for some reason lol.

it's almost here (Audino-Mega) @ Audinite
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Dazzling Gleam
- Flamethrower / Heal Bell
- Wish
- Protect

it's tradition (Audino-Mega) @ Audinite
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 208 Def / 48 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Dazzling Gleam
- Calm Mind
- Protect / Sleep Talk
- Wish / Rest
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