Metagame NP: NU Stage 10 - Let It Snow! [Slush Rush Banned -- see post #21]

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Due to popular demand from the community and previous discussions in council, we had a council vote on Slush Rush. The results are posted below:

View attachment 399134

Because of the outcome of this vote, Slush Rush is now banned in NU! This is predominately because of the prevalence of Sandslash-Alola in the tier, a fast breaker able to adapt to most of the tier's threats through techs such as Rock Slide for Talonflame, while offering a threatening Triple Axel which became very hard to wall when combined with the other tools that Hail teams provided. However, Beartic has also been a topic of discussion, and we believe it is much cleaner to ban the ability than the Pokemon at this time.

We will have a survey very soon asking about what preference the community has for this Hail ban, as well as addressing other Pokemon such as Goodra and Silvally-Ground. However, this came to a council vote because of the Neverused Snake Draft playoffs coming up soon, as well as the Winter Seasonal starting very soon. If there are any concerns about this vote, feel free to post them below, but just know that we will be asking about this topic in the very near future.​
Doing this because Meri Berry forgot and gave me permission, but tagging Kris and Marty to implement this. Thank you!​


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PSA to anyone that wants to talk about Slush Rush to do so in the PR thread about it!

Talking about the tier now that we've had more time to see changes post-Bronzong and post-Slush Rush, I still believe the Snow Warning Pokemon to be pretty good. Vanilluxe is kind of awkward to use because it doesn't give teams anything beyond a good wallbreaker, but that's, frankly, all it needs to supply. Escavalier is a bad matchup because of Overcoat, but against Copperajah teams I like Vanilluxe a lot more because, with Stealth Rock up, you're getting essentially an extra 12.5% damage on it every turn with hail. It's just nice to help out Pokemon like Indeedee-F that need Copperajah pretty worn down before threatening the 2HKO. Similarly, offensive Stealth Rock Aurorus (shoutouts Togkey) has been nice. We saw it used as a standalone setter in SM that capitalized on a strong Xatu matchup, and that's still the case this generation. Additionally, Aurorus really benefits from the plethora of slower Pokemon that give it free options to throw off Blizzards: Dragalge, Mudsdale, and Vileplume are relevant examples here.

:guzzlord::drapion: I don't really like Guzzlord or Drapion right now. In general, I think the utility the Dark typing provides is a bit less necessary than it was back when Golurk (and Decidueye) saw more use, and the ubiquity of Mudsdale, Vileplume, and Silvally-Ground is really harmful for both of them too. With Guzzlord, I also think Goodra and Dragalge being as good as they are sucks for it because they're much better at bypassing defensive answers to them.

:xatu: Xatu is still really good, and I struggle to understand why others believe it's had this massive fall-off. Yeah, Bronzong leaving means it's less impactful on a game-to-game basis, but it still shuts down Mudsdale, checks Silvally-Ground, and enables so many wallbreakers with its Teleport. I also think we take for granted its versatility at times and get really stable with the sets run on it. Psychic / Heat Wave / Roost / Teleport is so good that it's definitely hard to deviate at times, but Xatu has such a deep toolbox that deserves more exploring, especially with random coverage moves and teching status moves on it.

:copperajah: As I said in my previous post, I was very high on big Raj coming into this new tiering period, and the man has not disappointed. Losing both its best defensive answer and a source of great competition in one tier shift has been great for it, and Assault Vest Copperajah is back at the top to terrorize many teams when given switches. We're back at that point where every switch-in has to play very carefully around whichever coverage move Copperajah can run to smash them. I'm almost considering... Arcanine again. :pikuh:


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Are you banning Snow Warning then?
No, we're following up with our Slush Rush ban. Since Sandslash-A and Sandshrew-A are both banned by technicality due to having both abilities unavailable in NU, we decided to move them to NUBL for the sake of teambuilder clarity (as suggested by Marty). As for Arctovish, it was only an issue due to its access to a speed boosting ability in Slush Rush that let it spam a boosted Fishious Rend freely against most teams; without it, its at best a gimmick Vaporeon counter so we can unban it with no issues.


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I briefly touched on this pokemon in my personal viablity ranking but it deserves its own post in my eyes.

Thermite (Silvally-Dragon) @ Dragon Memory
Ability: RKS System
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Multi-Attack
- Swords Dance
- Flame Charge
- Iron Head
At this point it is no secret to many what a Silvally does. Multi-Attack becomes stupidly strong at +2 and it pretty much has access to w/e coverage it wants, complementing w/e type you use. With Silvally-Ground being the go-to Silvally form right now and Goodra/Dragalge and other special threats that benefit from Bronzong leaving the tier, Silvally-Dragon finds itself in an interesting spot as a physical Dragon type, abusing both its defensive typing and the fact that it hits on the usual less bulky side of the common dragon type answers like Copperajah, Escavalier and Sylveon. As for the Swords Dance set, it is similar to Silvally-Ground as it only really needs 3 moves to hit the whole tier for neutral damage. Another postive trait Silvally-Dragon provides is that it is the fastest 'viable' (depending on how you look at it) Dragon type in our tier. It reliably revengekills Goodra/Dragalge too without risking the speed tie between your Goodra and the opposing one. Now this already somewhat touches whats the biggest drawback when using Silvally-Dragon; you're not using Goodra or Silvally-Ground. Technically you can still use Goodra but most teams don't like type stacking and 99% of the time you're probably better off using the core of the two. Silvally-Dragon still has the element of surprise and is still a (IMO) viable option, simply outclassed by higher ranked top tier pokemon (similar to smth like Machamp vs Sirfetch'd (ofc they also have other differences but so does the comparison between Goodra/Silvally-Ground & Silvally-Dragon)). The best answer to Silvally-Dragon is Doublade which (luckily for me as a Silvally enjoyer) is not very common right now. It is also worth to note that Silvally-Dragon has the same incredible coverage on the special side, thus even making a case for moves like Flamethrower to bypass Doublade or Draco Meteor, which chunks physical walls like Mudsdale and Weezing. Tho these come with the cost of coverage and/or sweeping potential.
I specifically made a team where it looks like the opponent is dealing with a standard Goodra + Silvally-Ground core, but I was actually using the combination of Goodra who pretty much has the same checks as Silvally-Dragon, in order for the Silvally to sweep late game. You can check out the replay where I used it in my NeverUsed Snake Draft game in week 6 + the team.
Finally, in my eyes Silvally-Dragon deserves exploration, but so do many other pokemon in this hostile and chaotic metagame. I hope reading this encourrages you to also post your opinion (doesn't have to be about Silvally-Dragon). Have a nice day.​
I've found the recent ladder usage stats to be pretty interesting and wanted to talk a little bit about it, as I've personally found a lot of things to be quite surprising. Post inspired by Monky25's UU usage stat discussion.
Combined usage for NU (1630 stats)
+ ---- + ------------------ + ------- +
| Rank | Pokemon | Percent |
+ ---- + ------------------ + ------- +
| 1 | Talonflame | 27.496% |
| 2 | Rotom-Mow | 24.271% |
| 3 | Diancie | 21.502% |
| 4 | Sylveon | 20.047% |
| 5 | Bronzong | 20.030% |
| 6 | Mudsdale | 19.586% |
| 7 | Xatu | 16.998% |
| 8 | Vaporeon | 14.217% |
| 9 | Sirfetch’d | 12.812% |
| 10 | Dragalge | 12.063% |
| 11 | Starmie | 11.592% |
| 12 | Blastoise | 11.578% |
| 13 | Decidueye | 11.512% |
| 14 | Heliolisk | 11.359% |
| 15 | Guzzlord | 11.268% |
| 16 | Passimian | 10.976% |
| 17 | Copperajah | 10.150% |
| 18 | Drapion | 10.104% |
| 19 | Vileplume | 10.059% |
| 20 | Tauros | 9.785% |
| 21 | Salazzle | 9.681% |
| 22 | Escavalier | 8.996% |
| 23 | Dhelmise | 8.448% |
| 24 | Braviary | 8.385% |
| 25 | Goodra | 8.232% |
| 26 | Arcanine | 8.200% |
| 27 | Exploud | 7.621% |
| 28 | Tyrantrum | 7.460% |
| 29 | Doublade | 7.398% |
| 30 | Mantine | 7.345% |
| 31 | Snorlax | 7.196% |
| 32 | Araquanid | 7.137% |
| 33 | Garbodor | 7.094% |
| 34 | Silvally-Ground | 6.782% |
| 35 | Aerodactyl | 6.416% |
| 36 | Golurk | 6.395% |
| 37 | Toxicroak | 6.123% |
| 38 | Zoroark | 5.491% |
| 39 | Comfey | 5.203% |
| 40 | Silvally-Steel | 5.182% |
| 41 | Tsareena | 5.127% |
| 42 | Indeedee-F | 5.005% |
| 43 | Inteleon | 4.883% |
+ ---- + ------------------ + ------- +
| Rank | Pokemon | Percent |
+ ---- + ------------------ + ------- +
| 1 | Rotom-Mow | 23.228% |
| 2 | Talonflame | 22.006% |
| 3 | Copperajah | 19.412% |
| 4 | Diancie | 18.086% |
| 5 | Mudsdale | 18.054% |
| 6 | Sylveon | 17.048% |
| 7 | Decidueye | 16.740% |
| 8 | Vaporeon | 15.888% |
| 9 | Exploud | 15.693% |
| 10 | Goodra | 13.993% |
| 11 | Arcanine | 13.541% |
| 12 | Passimian | 13.363% |
| 13 | Sirfetch’d | 13.156% |
| 14 | Xatu | 13.099% |
| 15 | Blastoise | 12.465% |
| 16 | Dragalge | 11.996% |
| 17 | Silvally-Ground | 11.829% |
| 18 | Vileplume | 11.612% |
| 19 | Tyrantrum | 11.243% |
| 20 | Salazzle | 9.961% |
| 21 | Araquanid | 9.832% |
| 22 | Indeedee-F | 9.479% |
| 23 | Starmie | 9.323% |
| 24 | Braviary | 9.139% |
| 25 | Inteleon | 9.062% |
| 26 | Aerodactyl | 8.449% |
| 27 | Tsareena | 7.577% |
| 28 | Tauros | 7.410% |
| 29 | Heliolisk | 7.290% |
| 30 | Mantine | 7.196% |
| 31 | Escavalier | 7.157% |
| 32 | Golurk | 7.085% |
| 33 | Doublade | 6.808% |
| 34 | Drapion | 6.763% |
| 35 | Zoroark | 5.974% |
| 36 | Guzzlord | 5.729% |
| 37 | Toxicroak | 5.395% |
| 38 | Silvally-Steel | 5.381% |
| 39 | Hitmontop | 5.019% |
| 40 | Togedemaru | 4.795% |
| 41 | Garbodor | 4.771% |
| 42 | Machamp | 4.664% |
| 43 | Dhelmise | 4.628% |

Notable Increases in Usage

(10.2% -> 19.4%) Copperajah is back with a vengeance. It's one of the scariest Pokemon to switch into right now, usually relying on making a correct prediction to not immediately lose a mon to it. It also fills the void Bronzong has created when it left, offering a serviceable switch-in to the tier's broken dangerous special wallbreakers. Very influential Pokemon and I can see it continue to increase in usage as the months go on.
(11.5% -> 16.7%) With Bronzong being gone I would've expected Decidueye to drop in usage, not increase. Even with the decline of dark-types such as Guzzlord and Drapion and the rise of Silvally-Ground, it's a little surprising to see it rise so much. However, a recent Youtube Video featuring Decidueye definitely could've influenced its usage, and it's not like it doesn't deserve it either. Being a one of the most dangerous wallbreakers on both sides of the spectrum, with its defog support set being pretty okay too.
(7.6% -> 15.7%) A pretty dramatic increase, Exploud has absolutely loved the absence of Bronzong and has really taken off on ladder, taking advantage of the fact that defensive counterplay to it is quite limited. I've always been quite surprised seeing how low it's been the previous few months, but now it's truly a popular and top threat that you need to take into account when laddering. It's honestly quite concerning... I absolutely hate fighting it, I'm sure nobody does.
(8.2% -> 13.5%) Everyone's favorite mon to use play on ladder! With Heatproof Bronzong no longer being able to annoy it and the rise of Copperajah, Decidueye, Tsareena, Hail (rip) and others, it makes sense why people are using it more. Of course it's not an exceptional mon, but does an okay job at checking what it needs to, even if it may be a huge "noob trap".
(6.8% -> 11.8%) Once again another Pokemon that benefits from Bronzong being gone, Silvally-Ground has really shown off its true capabilities recently, with of course, many people wanting some sort of tiering action against it. It's one of the most dangerous cleaners/sweepers and can quickly turn the tide on many teams, with more prepared teams still being prone to just being pivoted on. The loss of Bronzong hasn't made that much of an impact for me in terms of teambuilding, but I can definitely understand where the frustration arises with this mon.
And of course with the departure of Bronzong, many other breakers previously walled/checked have risen a pretty good chunk in usage. Every metagame shift I am always a little concerned about Tyrantrum (bewear, flygone, bronzgone) but then it ends up as total meh again and just stays sorta mid. Surprised by how much usage Indeedee has gotten, even before zong was leaving. On ladder I haven't encountered it that much, nor have I really been accounting for it, but I guess this is a sign that I should start doing that. It'll be interesting to see how these Pokemon continue to develop post-bronzong, I'm especially curious about Aerodactyl.
(4.9% -> 9.1%) I'm not really sure why the sudden increase in Inteleon usage, don't really feel like much has changed? interesting to see for sure. I guess the Bronzong departure has made it so team structures are more vulnerable to waters? Though I am not really seeing it. At least it looks cool.

Notable Decreases in Usage

(27.5% -> 22.3%) Talonflame sits as one of the best mons in the tier, but a small drop does make sense. Issues that it had before still carry over, such as the need for more bulk or the vulnerability to knock off. The current offensive state of the meta also makes it so Talonflame has less breathing room, though in the grand scheme of things these are pretty minor, and is still imo a step above most mons in the tier. Slight drop could also be from the increased ladder Arcanines lol.
(17% ->13.1%) Going into Bronzongless meta I would've totally expected Xatu usage to fall off a cliff, but it turns out magic bounce is just that broken of an ability! Not much to say on this, Xatu does Xatu things and still checks the most common rockers (mudsdale/copperajah/diancie) while providing good pivoting for our million broken breakers. U can also check groundvally 80% of the time
(11.3% ->5.7%) Man, has this fallen off quite hard. Guzz is still great but the prominence of other dragons in Goodra, Dragalge, even Trum definitely creates tons of competition, often eating into its viability. Depending on the Guzzlord set it can be quite hard to create progress sometimes and is harder to justify nowadays on teams.
(11.4% -> 7.3%) The rise of Pokemon such as Silvally-Ground and Togedemaru along with already annoying mons such as Mudsdale, Golurk, Dragons and much more create for very awkward scenarios for the Heliolisk user. Boots/Ebelt sets alleviate some of Heliolisk's issues but the threat of foes such as Blastoise on ladder often forces people to use Scarf. Still a great mon and can force progress pretty easily but can also be super awkward at times.
(7.2% -> 4.4%) Once seen as banworthy by many is now ending up just like our old friend, Glastrier. It's quite hard to get CurseLax going with the amount of dangerous breakers running around, and isn't a great check to many Special Attackers either, besides like, Goodra. Other sets meanwhile also aren't much better, facing competition if you go for an offensive route and generally just creating weird holes when building.

Prospective shifts
- We are slated to get Grimmsnarl and Rhyperior in the future, though I wouldn't be surprised if the latter ended up staying. Both seem like they'd be quite influential drops, I have some hope they're better than our previous drops in Lax/Blades. It's fun to speculate on these but I won't go more in detail since there's still two months left and who knows, they might just not drop.

Have a good day!
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