Metagame NP: NU Stage 12- All I Want For Christmas Is You

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Hello again everyone! With the tier being in a very stable place at the moment, the NU Council has decided that it's finally time to re-introduce a new Pokemon into the metagame and re-test Mega Abomasnow.


Following the results of the previous suspect test, the NU Council brainstormed various ideas to address some of the communities comments on the meta, and eventually we settled on retesting Abomasnow-Mega. When Abomasnow first arrived in the tier, the meta was very volatile due to the plethora of other behemoths that dropped with it, however now that we've managed to get to a very balanced and stable stage, we believe that it is the perfect time to give one of the more divisive Pokemon in NU-BL a second chance. Abomasnow-Mega gives players another option against the bulk Water balances which dominate the metagame and introduces a unique wallbreaker in the meta which can potentially encourage a spike in viability for offense and a bunch of other potential positive boons for the tier. Abomasnow-Mega's fantastic mixed offenses and high powered moves allow it to function as a very threatening wallbreaker with enough tools to run a variety of sets, ranging from Mixed Attacker, Swords Dance, and potentially others. However, its poor defensive typing, weakness to Stealth Rock, and pathetic Speed leave it extremely vulnerable to being revenge killed by a wide range of Pokemon. This suspect test will confirm whether or not Abomasnow-Mega is a balanced and positive addition to the tier or if its presence is too overwhelming to handle.

There will be no suspect ladder. Instead, we'll be using the normal NU ladder which will remain open for the duration of the test. A message will pop up at the beginning of ladder games to indicate that the suspect is going on. (Tagging Marty to implement, thank you!) Abomasnow-Mega will be legal for the entirety of this suspect test. Anyone who wishes to participate in this suspect test will use a newly-made alt with a suspect-specific tag to indicate that you are trying to achieve reqs. The requirements for this suspect test are the following:


  • All games must be played on the Pokemon Showdown! NU ladder on a new alt with the following format: "NUMAS (nickname)" For example, I might register the alt NUMAS Hootie to ladder with.
  • Do NOT impersonate other people in your ladder alt, do NOT use any usernames which are offensive, flame-baiting, or targeting specific users, and do NOT use usernames which could be interpreted as breaking any of the username rules on Pokemon Showdown! Failure to abide to this will result in you being barred from voting in this suspect, and potential infractions.
  • To qualify for voting, your alt must play a minimum of 35 games, and achieve a minimum GXE of 82.

You have until Monday, December 3rd at 11:59 PM GMT -5 to meet voting requirements. This thread will remain locked for a couple of days to allow people to play with Abomasnow-Mega and form an educated opinion on it.

  1. No one liners nor uninformed posts;
  2. No inappropriate / meme posts that would be deemed off-topic.
  3. No discussion on other potential suspects;
  4. No discussion on the suspect process;
  5. You are required to make respectful posts;
Failing to follow these simple guidelines will result into your post being deleted and infracted without any prior warning and at the complete discretion of the tier leaders. We reserve the right to deny you from voting in this suspect if you break any of the rules of the suspect test.
 

Finchinator

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Initial impression: Mega Abomasnow is not broken.

It is a strong mixed attacker that can pose a threat to generic Slowbro + SR Ground cores, but the metagame has counterplay (in terms of things being faster and pressuring it and in terms of defensive countermeasures). I reckon that the balanced MU of the mixed sets will strike people as a bit much initially, but it is pretty easy to adapt to with all things considered, especially given how low Mega Abomasnow's base speed is. While I do not have a prolonged analysis on the best specific sets/spreads and partners quite yet, I do believe that unless something drastically changes that my vote will be in favor of unbanning Mega Abomasnow.

I am mostly curious to see what people ultimately decide on in terms of the optimal set and how it may impact the current metagame trends. I feel like Blizzard / Wood Hammer or Giga Drain / Focus Blast or Earthquake / Ice Shard seems like a very good starting point, but I have only played a handful of games thus far, so hopefully the further into the test period we go, the greater idea of the specific place Mega Abomasnow will have in our metagame and the overall metagame implications this test may have if we do unban it.
 

Exiline

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Hey since i already have my reqs but faced very few mega abomas, can you fellow nu players post noteworthy replays featuring the snowman here
I'm leaning toward an unban vote rn but could easily change since my abomasnow experience is very limited :v

On a sidenote i think suspecting abomasnow mega is a very interesting idea and i would like to compliment the council for this pick since it would nerf the standard slowbro (abolish democracy and quickban this boy tho) balance that are used everywhere while not being that broken or so as it seems currently even facing competition with other offensive grass types (sceptile, alola egg and decidueye + dhelmise) and vanilluxe (which is honestly a superior choice if you just wanna spam stab lol)
 
i got reqs with a team with aboma on it and i dont think its broken. as finch said, it poses a threat to the most common balance cores like bro + sr setter and some stallls that dont utilize articuno. in my experience, the best set is blizzard / giga / focus blast / ice shard - wood hammer reduces its ability to take advantage of bulky scald waters, focus blast is a one stop coverage for inc and steelvally that hits decently hard and ice shard is mandatory imo to have a chance to chip faster stuff like weakened passimian, braviary and helio.

on the other hand, it despises hazards and too many common stuff can chip it. something like xatu only has to run heat wave (which is ok on it since it hits more than aboma) to beat it or can just u turn if you want to switch in on it. sometimes it feels like its choiced - if you click the wrong move, you often times won't have the chance to change moves because you will be forced out by inc or steelvally or somethign else that came in to take the hit. not to mention, passimian scares it out to hell and back while keeping momentum and thats not really something that you want to happen in the meta where getting momentum is big, at which the one of the best offensive cores (pass + helio) excel.

i started to believe that xatu is mandatory with aboma because youre hard pressed to get hazards off the field (id say to the same extent as having a zard cause its so prone to getting chipped) otherwise and removers in nu are just too passive in general and giving your opp the turn where you remove hazards can put you in a situation you cant get back from. thats also the reason i think aboma excels at receiving wishes - its bulky enough to take a hit and get the wish while using the turn it got in for something useful.

wish support seems rly good right now in general, esp with aboma. bulky attackers can offset the hail + hazards chip, rockers k sucan restore enough hp to keep checking what its supposed to etc and i think thats p big since the mood im getting from this meta is: get enough chip and then make progress, rather than break immediately and then clean approach to bulky offense/offense. rn i feel chipping requires more planning / skill and thats what i like the most rn.

and heres some replays if you want to form opinions but dont wanna play:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7nu-823569108 aboma is good here, silv gets chipped hard, opp aboma gets played around
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7nu-838198074 p cheesey

one more note: always run inc faster than neutral max speed aboma - thats like 20 evs on the figy set and rly pays off
 
Almost at the end of my reqs and its been an interesting journey but i'm probably gonna vote no ban.

The scary factor which makes M-Abomasnow ban worthy is that it doesn't have too much defensive counterplay There's not that many guaranteed switchins...

Guaranteed to switch in and is the most viable Abomasnow counter. Blizzard doesn't deal enough damage and pressure cuts out blizzards to 4, roost cancels out flying type too. (Cuno should probably get a raise in general :D)

Steel/Levitate is a gem so Bronzor switches in quite nicely aided with its bulk although it's a niche option with very little usage.

Another steel type with decent bulk. It's not weak to any coverage and again can bring some utility. next to 0% usage tho. (Fun meme)

Eats stabs (Sap Sipper) for days and EQ doesn't do too much. Laughs at alolan eggy too so it must be good.

Bunch of other defensive mons which might fall victim to certain coverage options depending on sets but they're ok.

However NU does have a lot of slow wallbreakers and most of them aren't too effective thanks to their crippling speed (same thing applies to snow) 30 is just so poor, that makes it the slowest wallbreaker, even Drampa is faster. Adamant/Rash only hits 159 and + nature hits 174 (sucks to lose power) and many defensive mons fall around this speed tier so ample creeping isn't too much of a sacrifice. Being hindered by rocks weakness and one of the worst defensive typings means it's not able to take full advantage of it's good bulk. WIth these factors I never had too much trouble when battling snow and it only managed to get 1 kill in my games before it got revenged after but I also started using Articuno in a lot of my other games so it wasn't able to break me. :^) Snow would be a nice addition to the tier and could make things more interesting but it just doesn't seem broken to me. NO BAN
 
The main walls of the tier are destroyed by Abomasnow. Yes, it has its counters, such as Delphox and Silvally steel, but none can easily enter thanks to Focus Blast and Earthquake.
Not to mention that he can be a physical attacker with Sword Dance and take a Pokémon like Mega Audino by surprise.
It may not be so broken, but if the tier surrounded Incineroar and Slowbro, now it will be around Abomasnow.
I lean more to the BAN, but I'm still not sure.
 

Finchinator

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The main walls of the tier are destroyed by Abomasnow. Yes, it has its counters, such as Delphox and Silvally steel, but none can easily enter thanks to Focus Blast and Earthquake.
Not to mention that he can be a physical attacker with Sword Dance and take a Pokémon like Mega Audino by surprise.
It may not be so broken, but if the tier surrounded Incineroar and Slowbro, now it will be around Abomasnow.
I lean more to the BAN, but I'm still not sure.
I disagree with most of this, but especially the bolded portion.

Mega Abomasnow has sufficient counterplay, which you acknowledge somewhat. The idea that “oh no, the pokemon/cores I spam get broken by mixed Mega Abomasnow” translates to it being broken is ridiculous. There are plenty of effective Mega Abomasnow pivots and checks present in the current metagame; this coupled with poor speed, a Stealth Rock weakness, and a shitty defensive typing makes Mega Abomasnow very easy to manage within the context of games without having to go too far out of your way in teambuilding.

In addition, Mega Abomasnow is in no way a metagame centralizing presence (not to say that centralization even is a reason to ban, as it is not at all). Mega Abomasnow is hard to fit on teams without compromising other things or building with very specific structures. Eternally and I discussed this at some length yesterday, but the notion that Mega Abomasnow will be some top tier offensive threat is inherently contradicted by the fact that you can’t really consistently use it and it has crippling flaws like its speed, hazard vulnerability, and mediocre defensive presence. It’s easy to get distracted by how good it can be offensively, but that by no means makes it some uncheckable force, let alone banworthy — which it clearly is not.
 
Hey since i already have my reqs but faced very few mega abomas, can you fellow nu players post noteworthy replays featuring the snowman here
I'm leaning toward an unban vote rn but could easily change since my abomasnow experience is very limited :v

On a sidenote i think suspecting abomasnow mega is a very interesting idea and i would like to compliment the council for this pick since it would nerf the standard slowbro (abolish democracy and quickban this boy tho) balance that are used everywhere while not being that broken or so as it seems currently even facing competition with other offensive grass types (sceptile, alola egg and decidueye + dhelmise) and vanilluxe (which is honestly a superior choice if you just wanna spam stab lol)
Not really though, slowbro can run fire blast, and while it is unconventional, it would easily catch Aboma on the switch in. Regardless of the result of this suspect, the power creep this generation has been insane.
 

Snou

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I've just finished to get reqs and I would like to spend my two cents on Mega Abomasnow.
According to what I've seen til now it's a good mixed sweeper that would eventually be an A/A+ mon in terms of viability. It has its good matchups ofc, but it's extremely slow and easily revengekillable by a good amount of common pokemon. In addition, it's weak to Stealth Rocks and it's damaged by the rest of the hazards. To be honest I struggle to find it better than Vanilluxe. I think they're kinda similiar in terms of role and that you prefer one rather than the other for minor reasons (for example typing, speed etc) depending on the team you're planning to use.
Ofc, Abomasnow, offers a grass type that allows you to switch on non-Fire Blast Slowbro, but this means some added weaknesses that Ice-type mons don't really need.
Ice shard is another cool pick, especially because of its Attack stat.
And ofc, Focus Blast is the thing that makes the difference imo. It allows you to hardly hit those that were supposed to be the safe switchins and prevent them to switch-in on Blizzard the next time if you hit.
I think the Swords Dance set is not even a set that we should take in account because absolutely outclassed by the Mixed one.
In conclusion, I don't think it's broken at all (we still have Heliolisk hello???) and we should totally UNBAN it!
 
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Now I'm not too much of a ladder player (I mostly play draft league format) but Mega Abomasnow is a favorite of mine so I had to give this a try. I came to a lot of the same conclusions on Carcy on how one has to use Mega Abomasnow - Xatu seems a natural pairing for hazard control, and wish passing is extremely strong with M-Abomasnow.

I won a league featuring a Mega-Abomasnow and I think it is an extremely powerful mon when it has the right support. One of those is good hazard control, which NU has, one is good fire checks, which NU has, one is wish support (Vaporeon is really good with Aboma), but what NU is lacking that would make M-Abomasnow a terror is good checks to fighting types and fast, offensive ground types. If something like Flygon (which I had on my league team) were to drop to NU, the likes of M-Abomasnow and Vanilluxe would become a bit overbearing, but as it sits right now, it is relativelt difficult to create an ideal offensive pair with it (besides perhaps Passimian, which could run EQ to deal with fire types).


M-Abomasnow has counterplay for sure, and building with it is restrictive (making it likely not centralizing), but those don't rule out warranting a ban. I agree that it does many of the same things as Vanilluxe, but its extra bulk, strong priority (Ice Shard on Lux is good but is probably better in RU), and ability to switch in for free on various water types like Vaporeon and Slowbro w/out fire move is what makes its niche. The ice cream is already strong thanks to a dirth of counters, but what M-Aboma also has that the ice cream does not is coverage moves. If one makes one correct prediction and nails a fire or steel type with EQ or Focus Blast, it's getting chunked in a way that Blizzard cannot.

As for the ideal set, Blizzard is extremely strong in NU, Giga Drain is preferred over Wood Hammer for longevity and for abusing bulky waters w/out fear of burn, Ice Shard priority is key for dealing with fast threats like Passimian, and while Focus Blast is better coverage against most things since you will run more SpA than Atk and Incineroar happens to be weak to it, EQ can be preferable if a team is particularly weak against a handful of fire types like Delphox and Magmortar.

M-Abomasnow can rock some of the popular defensive cores of the current meta, which I would say is a good thing. I feel there are just a couple of changes needed in NU for M-Abomasnow to be overwhelming, namely better answers to U-turn (Rocky Helmet + Rough Skin Drud could be a good partner) from the likes of Passimian and a better ground type that can together create the godly Mamoswine coverage of ground and ice. I feel that it is the sort of mon which will need some development to get the most value out of since it is very unique in its combination of properties.
 

Punchshroom

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I think the Swords Dance set is not even a set that we should take in account because absolutely outclassed by the Mixed one.
Ok I get people saying that specially offensive/mixed sets are superior, but what even is this statement? Like we're not even going to remotely consider a bulky wallbreaker with late-game cleaning potential, even though such a large majority of non-Fire-type fast mons in the tier are so vulnerable to +2 Ice Shard? Even Passimian, the physically bulkiest of the fast offensive mons we have, takes like 42% minimum from Jolly +2 Ice Shard. Plus you can easily make use of Soundproof on Abomasnow without penalizing your STAB's accuracy.

If you ask me, while specially offensive Mega Aboma is definitely the easier set to use, I'm of the opinion that Swords Dance Mega Aboma has more of a niche/standing in the future. This is primarily because of the competition that each set faces. In the case of SD MAboma, we have a small number of potent speedy setup sweepers in the tier, such as Comfey, Klinklang, Vivillon, and Decidueye. Only Vivillon and SAR Decidueye can boast immediate damage, and neither can really continuously threaten to break cores while doing so. All of those setup mons are also pretty linear in terms of their responses, but SD MAboma by itself is not that easy to check even when unboosted. SD Mega Abomasnow can present itself as a significant threat throughout the entire game, provided it doesn't wear itself out too thin by residual damage over time.

As for SpA MAboma, it still has to contend with the arguably broken in its own right Vanilluxe, which is still stronger, much faster, and has an arguably less exploitable defensive typing. While MAboma has coverage moves to smack traditional Ice checks incredibly hard, Vanilluxe speed and power usually puts it in a position where it's more able to freely spam its STABs, namely Vanilluxe's Specs Blizzards being actually strong enough to OHKO stuff like Rhydon and can even 2HKO SD Incineroar after Hail chip, it can take out things like Garbodor, Samurott, Decidueye, Golbat, & Xatu without getting forced out/heavily damaged/U-turned on, Freeze-Dry is a far better move to punish cores with, etc.; I've even witnessed instances such as AV Bro managing to force out MAboma as it switched into Blizzard and is unable to be KOed by the follow-up Giga Drain, or the likes of Dhelmise/Braviary/Vikavolt switching into Giga Drain and scaring it out as they aren't in KO range of Ice Shard. I'm also not even sure if MAboma switches in that much more safely than Vanilluxe to start threatening things. For instance, Vaporeon is faster than neutral Mega Aboma and only takes ~62-73% from +SpA Giga Drain, meaning that if Vaporeon Toxics MAboma on the switch, it can WishTect away a good chunk of MAboma's health before it's forced out, and Vaporeon's advantage is only further cemented if MAboma goes for anything else predicting an early switch. Meanwhile, its Electric resistance is only convenient if it doesn't get Volt Switched upon coming in (blocking Heliolisk's Hyper Voice and Vikavolt's Bug Buzz would be pretty helpful but most everyone is fawning over SpA MAboma too much to make Soundproof their main ability), and the Ground resistance is riskier to use against the more common Ground-types in Rhydon, Steelix, and (offensive) Seismitoad.

Don't get me wrong, SpA MAbomasnow is still a fantastic breaker; I'm just here to chide the nay-sayers who declare SD MAboma as an "unset". That said, I also feel that MAbomasnow may have sacrificed a bit of wallbreaking consistency as well as attacking opportunities by losing speed & gaining weaknesses (especially when people start adapting with things like Heat Wave Xatu/non-Sassy Incineroar/random HP Fire/etc. to make its life harder) in favor of its better coverage moves while still needing substantial support to safely switch in, so not only do I feel MAboma isn't at all broken, I suspect in the long run that SpA MAbomasnow may not even hold up against Vanilluxe's sheer simplicity in its wallbreaking approach.
 
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I finished getting reqs yesterday, and after playing 100+ games with Mega Abomasnow I think I can safely say it's not broken.

It feels like a Vanilluxe with stronger coverage but much worse speed and defensive typing, so it might not have as many chances to throw off powerful Blizzards. There are things like berry Incineroar and Silvally-Steel that can switch in a couple of times (or more if they never click Focus Blast/Earthquake) for bulky offense teams. Then there's bulky Delphox, Hariyama, and Mega Audino that can switch in multiple times for balance teams (and obviously Articuno on stall).

Because of its bad typing it can usually only switch into defensive water types such as Vaporeon, Seismitoad and Physically defensive Slowbro. It's easy to chip with Scald burn/Toxic, hazards, Volt Switch, or U-turn from Xatu etc. and it obviously gets forced out by alot of offensive threats, which is usually the best way to deal with it.

I agree with most people that the best set is Blizzard, Giga Drain, Ice Shard, Focus Blast/Earthquake. At first I thought there was no reason not to run Focus Blast, but I ended up switching to Earthquake instead because it's alot easier to click when you know Incineroar/a steel type is switching in as it doesn't risk missing, it also lets you hit Delphox which is cool.

Here is the final version of the team I built and used to ladder. It's a fairly standard balance apart from the Blastoise set which Ultraballz came up with. Offensive Icium Z lets you KO annoying spinblockers such as Decidueye and Dhelmise. It also hits Vileplume, dragon types such as Guzzlord and Druddigon, and does about half to Mega Abomasnow.

I agree with Carcy that Wish support is pretty good rn, with alot of things getting chipped by hail, Toxic, Volturn etc. it helps alot in longer games and can make a rough matchup easier to win.
 
I haven't played much Pokemon in a while (woah no way), but I did play a bit about a month back and I'm curious how the community feels the ideal NU should look. While Abomasnow itself probably isn't broken, it does seem to limit team building in a way that punishes you for using bulky Water-types that aren't Slowbro or Slowking unless you're running Incineroar or an obscure defensive counter. In that way, Pokemon like Mega Abomasnow, Slurpuff, Mega Camerupt, and I'd argue Heliolisk aren't unmanageable or even that hard to beat, but they do influence what gets used and what doesn't much moreso than many other offensive threats.

It's interesting because I think this is something that our tiering guidelines don't address well because in most cases, "broken" Pokemon tick off a bunch of other boxes. Yes, counterplay exists, and in many of these specific examples, that counterplay doesn't even put you at much of a disadvantage against other things. Slowbro and Incineroar are, for instance, very viable Pokemon that do a lot of things outside of checking Abomasnow better than other bulky Waters or checking Abomasnow in general. But diversity is limited with Abomasnow around.

Some of this post takes as assumption things that may not be 100% accurate. I might play a bit and get a taste of the metagame with Mega Abomasnow myself, but I do think lower tiers have to consider much more than higher ones how any given Pokemon influences teambuilding. It looks like the test is about over so I'm not trying to make any waves. Just some things to consider in the future.
 

Rabia

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From what I've seen so far of this Pokemon, battles around it play eerily similar to those with Vanilluxe; the idea is that you can try to make aggressive doubles into Pokemon that don't get OHKOed or outspeed it to prevent it from ever doing much. The main problem, however, with Mega Glalie is that it's significantly harder to outspeed due to its Speed. This is coupled with similar wallbreaking power that doesn't rely on a boosting item, and it isn't like using Mega Glalie comes with Mega Stone opportunity cost either. I would also argue Mega Glalie is more self sufficient than Vanilluxe; this is largely because of its access to Spikes and Earthquake, which together let it beat Steel-types more effectively than Vanilluxe can, since Vanilluxe must rely on a much weaker Hidden Power to manage them. Spikes also provide amazing team utility in general because it pressures opponents consistently as opposed to simply badly poisoning a foe, and Mega Glalie beats practically every remover with ease: Xatu (not really a remover, but point stands), Dhelmise, Rotom, Silvally-Steel, and Blastoise. I would consider these the top 5 forms of entry hazard control in the tier, and Mega Glalie bops them all.

Obviously this isn't to say Mega Glalie comes with no negatives; its pure Ice typing leaves it with little defensive utility, meaning you're going to have to bring it in through a sac, a U-turn or any other move similar, or a double switch. Mega Glalie is also checked by some common (and viable) Pokemon, so it isn't like we're being forced into using terrible Pokemon with no niche other than to check Mega Glalie.

I believe the main issue with Mega Glalie comes down to how exploitable its counterplay is. Fire-types like Incineroar and Delphox struggle to keep switching into entry hazards, and they must risk Earthquake; Steel-types face a similar issue given their lack of recovery outside of Leftovers (and of course Togedemaru getting SMACKED by Earthquake). Bulky Water-types even get blasted by Freeze-Dry, and Mega Glalie's passable defenses let it stay in to pressure further with Freeze-Dry. Faster Pokemon like Passimian and Aerodactyl (and some Delphox variants) can manage Mega Glalie sure, but I feel the extremely limited reliable defensive counterplay in addition to its self sufficiency and team support isn't healthy for the tier.
 

Punchshroom

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Frankly I feel the Speed advantage that Mega Glalie has over Vanilluxe is slightly exaggerated, as among the mons that lie between MGlalie and Vanilluxe's Speed tiers, most of them are either Choice Scarfed, run insufficient Speed investment, or have no business tackling a healthy Vanilluxe to begin with. Then again, this brings up another argument that Mega Glalie can afford to run a +Atk nature and still be faster than the base 86 Speed tier, gaining benefits such as being able to consider Return over Double-Edge, a stronger Ice Shard (recommended on +Atk), and having its Earthquake actually 2HKO offensive Incineroar instead of falling short over 50% of the time.

That said, I'd be lying if I said MGlalie's higher Speed isn't significant; there are Pokemon such as Magmortar, Braviary, and Medicham that can revenge Vanilluxe that otherwise wouldn't be able to stand up to Mega Glalie, and a good majority of Pokemon that naturally outspeed Mega Glalie either take a good chunk from Ice Shard or aren't exactly adept at revenge killing Mega Glalie in the first place. Double-Edge could more easily weaken itself into range, but as I've mentioned prior, Mega Glalie has the option to use Return instead, meaning it may not even get chipped outside of Stealth Rock or Helmet.

So far MGlalie's holepunching ability is brought up favorably against Vanilluxe, though I personally still consider Vanilluxe the better or at least more brainless overall attacker since it's hardly ever actually punished for being locked into Blizzard or Freeze-Dry, not to mention Mega Glalie has less raw power than Vanilluxe. Meanwhile, Mega Glalie is more prediction reliant when it comes to breaking, since the ubiquity of Incineroar and Slowbro makes its main STAB less free to fire off in comparison. Also let's be real, Mega Glalie's Freeze-Dry is honestly a tad inadequate for punishing the super fat Waters such as AV Slowbro, Vaporeon, and SpD Pyukumuku; AV Slowbro is almost never 2HKOed by Freeze-Dry even with SR up, is more than capable of soaking up future Double-Edges + Freeze-Drys, and boasts being able to OHKO with Fire Blast to make it incredibly risky for Mega Glalie to try and fish for narrow 2HKOes. Of course, Mega Glalie's access to Spikes and Earthquake greatly rewards successful prediction against a good number of its checks, but that said, Mega Glalie's poor defensive typing and mediocre bulk can in turn heavily punish its own mispredictions, and since Mega Glalie doesn't immediately pressure quite as many mons as Vanilluxe does (then again, Vanilluxe can do things like OHKO Vikavolt and Rhydon, OHKO MAbomasnow & Scrafty after literally any kind of chip, can 2HKO offensive Incineroar >50% of the time, and deal 75% min to max HP 180 SpD Careful Steelix, which is fuking stupid imo), it doesn't get quite as many opportunities to get away with punishing the opponent's switches.

While I don't perceive Mega Glalie as being too overpowered (compared to what we're already collectively dealing with), there's the possible argument that having 2 Ice-type breakers each with minimal defensive responses in the tier simultaneously could be overbearing and lead to an unhealthy meta where people are scrambling for Ice checks, which may warrant a suspect. That or it'd be quickbanned due to SPL business. In the meantime, I could expect an increase in mons like Piloswine and Hariyama, and possibly even stuff like more phys def variants of AV Slowking and (Reflect??) Cryogonal popping up as well.
 
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Snou

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Mega Glalie. I've always hoped we would never see his ugly face in NU, but I knew that it was only matter of time and we would have to deal with this bad teethache. Basically, Mega Glalie is broken. I don't think there are other options. Let's start saying that despite his ability has been nerfed, it's still a top tier ability.
Its typing, Ice, is a pretty common offensive type in the tier. We're all used to pack ice resists because of ice cream being extremely good, and sometimes we even struggle findind good answers and free slots for it. We also have Sneasel, whose ice-typing is probably outclassed by the best USM typing, Dark. For Sneasel, sometimes we don't even prepare, we just make sure not to pack thousand psychic-pursuitable-typings and to have some backup plan in case it pursuits one.
Why am I naming the other ice-type mons of the tier? Because despite Glalie is one of them, it's one of a kind. Let's start saying its base speed is way too much for NU, if combined with its breaking abilities. Vanilluxe, for example, has a 79 base speed (if I'm not wrong). This is somehow stopping him from being overpowered, because NU is full of 80 or slightly higher speeds that can possibly revengekill it easily, that's why people started running Modest vanilla ice cream. Glalie is able to outspeed them, and it outspeeds even an higher step of speed tier. It outspeeds Rotom, Vivillon, Houndoom, Magmortar, Sigilyph, Klingklang and several others. 100 speed base is probably a speed tier that in NU should only be reached by those who are not able to break whole teams. And Glalie definitely can.
You may think this is enough for a ban, but no, it's not over yet. Glalie has the ability to freely set spikes. I said "freely" because every possible remover just dies from its attacks, and Xatu can't bounce them. This means that if you want to prevent your mon to die, you'd better switch in some possible check (that barely exists). This, again, means you'll probably end up havin several hazards on your field just because of this dumb icy ball existing in the tier. And what's worse is that this limits the possibility of switchin-in on Glalie itself.
Glalie also has some weak priority move, just in case it wasn't enough to speed everything you need to speed and you want to revenge kill +1 Vivillon or weaker mons. "Yeh but water types wall it!". Errrr nop, nop, nop.
Water types can't handle the pressure of its stabs + layers of his spikes + Freeze Dry. Or even Toxic, why not. Slowbro has too much to tank in this tier and can't take care of Glalie too, and wouldn't be able to take care of it even if it was its only role. Vaporeon's recovery (wish) is not enough because you would kinda be forced to recover everytime you come in, and this would determinate a huge loss of momentum.
In addition, with its 80/80/80 bulk is not even frail. In all honesty, I'm seriously wondering why didn't we instaban it.
In the meanwhile, I'm gonna spam Avalugg as if there's no tomorrow.
Ban it, now, you can.
OH AND GIVE BACK UXIE, ITS INNOCENT AND DID NOTHING WRONG

#jesuisavalugg
 
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Hello NU, good to see ya all again.
M-Glalie really does look OP on paper & in practice. But, after laddering up with it a little & versing it, never really got the feeling it was full on broken when thinking outside the box a tad bit. In fact, M-Glalie might not be broken in a different meta.
Spikes is very annoying with M-Glalie, no doubt. That's a point I will concede to.
Here's the thing: if M-Glalie stays there will be new speed tiers & other kinds of fat mons, as well hazard removers, will rise.
And maybe that's not what people want.
Accelgor, Aerodactyl, Delphox, Sceptile, and Dodrio all outspeed & KO M-Glalie. Delphox can even come in on 1 return/double-edge. If M-Glalie wants to beat Accelgor, Sceptile, or Dodrio then it has to run ice shard and give up on wallbreaking capabilities with spikes or freeze dry. Even then, it needs rocks up and a bit of chip to KO.
We also have scarf Passimian (which shrugs off ice shard), Choice Specs Heliolisk, and Scarf Braviary which all outspeed & KO too.
Incineroar, Hitmontop, Piloswine, and Persian-A are good defensive/offensive deterrents. Piloswine can even set up rocks, Persian-A can outspeed and parting shot, and Hitmontop can spin away spikes.
Bronzor and SpDf Jellicent (228 SpDf EVs if you want to avoid 2HKO after rocks & a layer of spikes, less if you run lefties) can wall it. Bronzor can fit in the meta well too (just like in late gen 6).
Ferroseed, Slowbro/king, Mega Audino, Mega Abomasnow, Rhydon, Hariyama, and Cryogonal are not so easily 2HKO'd and can actually mess with it a bit.

So there is actual play against it for all playstyles. Not only that but, it can easily get pressured by hazards too. It's an ice type, duh. It's also weak to most forms of priority. In fact, you have to play pretty safely while having things go your way if you want M-Glalie to wreak havoc.

If M-Glalie stays then the whole meta will change. If it leaves, then the meta will pretty much stay the same.
Maybe M-Glalie should stay for a month. Try out new things in all playstyles. Maybe it's not as broken as you might think. Thanks for hearing me out and I definitely respect everyone's opinions on thinking this mon is broken.
 

Finchinator

IT'S FINK DUMBASS
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NU Leader
Could we potentially get a reasoning as to why it didn't get quickbanned? Not saying the wrong decision was made, but I think lots of people would like this
Usually the burden of proof is on the pro-ban side, not the anti-ban side. Regardless, I cannot generalize the sentiments of others as I am not entirely sure of them on an individual level, but I can say that on a personal level I did not find Mega Glalie banworthy at all. It has a sufficient amount of defensive counterplay in the tier; the amount of defensive counterplay it has is even greater than something like Vanilluxe, in my opinion, and the fact that it is able to reliably Spike is not something I regard as problematic in a sense that we should quickly ban it. To be quite honest, I view Mega Glalie as a solid A ranked Pokemon, but nothing more than that, after playing with it a decent amount. I am excited to see how it fits into the metagame and perhaps how teams that are frequented adapt to it, if necessary.
 

Punchshroom

Paralysis is slightly less of a devil
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributor
Not part of council or anything, but Eternally and I went into a bit of discussion behind the scenes. Here are my thoughts on the matter:

So there's no denying that Mega Glalie is a potent mon, possessing a powerful movepool that is seemingly able to net you some advantage whenever it feels like. However, the reality of the situation is that clicking anything that isn't Double-Edge (or Return) yields either some sort of risk or simply lack of immediate advantage for Mega Glalie to confidently go for, and Mega Glalie is a mon that struggles to switch in many times to begin with; an issue further exacerbated by any entry hazards on the field. Thus, during the turns that it does enter battle, Mega Glalie needs to make its turn count and tends to engage in more prediction games than it would like. Even Spikes, one of Mega Glalie's best assets, only prepares Mega Glalie for its future assaults, but otherwise doesn't deter its initial switch-ins, forcing Mega Glalie to bail out and find another suitable opportunity to begin holepunching. Again, not the easiest thing in the world given its typing.

In terms of power, Mega Glalie is certainly up there as one of the stronger breakers in the meta, but fortunately, the tier's bulky resists (or even just bulky Pokemon in general) are more capable of handling physical Ice-type attacks. Between Pokemon such as Incineroar, Slowbro, Vaporeon, Steelix, Piloswine, etc., Mega Glalie's Refrigerate attacks won't just mindlessly chunk teams to pieces. In fact, Mega Glalie doesn't even manage to wipe out mons like Rhydon and SpD Garbodor to immediately gain an advantage against many slower, unresisted foes. People are also getting too scared of Mega Glalie's access to Freeze-Dry, when it's actually a fairly easy attack for bulky Waters to adapt to since they can just beef up in a bit more SpD investment whereas Mega Glalie cannot afford to boost its Freeze-Dry in response. For that matter, while Mega Glalie does technically have the movepool to harass any of its checks, most of those moves covers such a small range of targets that you could say Mega Glalie even suffers mild 4MSS if it's expected to break through a sufficiently fortified core, and it has to consider which moves to have that won't end up being deadweight in certain matchups. This is partly what contributes to my earlier assessment of Mega Glalie not having a lot of leeway/safety to click anything that isn't Double-Edge or sometimes Earthquake, and even Double-Edge itself shaves into MGlalie's already questionable longevity.

As for Mega Glalie's Speed tier, it's certainly good, though I suspect that people are more concerned that Mega Glalie is capable of outspeeding the unboosted base 80s as well as Magmortar. That said, MGlalie's Speed tier isn't quite that impactful since the base 80s commonly either carry Choice Scarf or have powerful priority in the case of Medicham, and there are only like 3-4 relevant mons that outspeed neutral Speed MGlalie, two of which are weak to Ice Shard, meaning Mega Glalie can viably consider ditching a +Spe nature if it has a teammate that can easily cover for these. Ice Shard may sting a good amount of mons that outspeed Mega Glalie, but they should all still be able to revenge kill a weakened Mega Glalie (aka one that has Double-Edged once or twice) if they're not chipped too badly, if it even has Ice Shard.

Basically, if you lot are willing to put up with a certain other Ice-type breaker with more obscene power, can break most of the tier simply by spamming its two boosted STABs, and can inflict chip on its checks just by entering battle instead of needing to spend a hard-earned turn to do it, I don't regard Mega Glalie as being a quickbanworthy threat.
 
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Yoshi

All my enemies started out friends
is a Pre-Contributor
Hi all, Yoshi here! It's been a while since I've done a post like this is the NU forum, so I thought I'd take the time to do one today. While I obviously haven't had a great start to tournaments this year (out round 2 of NUL and round 2 of No Xatu), I would like to note that I have had little interest in playing competitive at the moment. I've been trying to instead prep for the bigger tours like Smogon Tournament, Classic, and Grand Slam. I have also been quite busy dealing with LGPE things as well. Despite those distractions, I have still taken time to build and play for NU over the past few weeks. I have noticed quite a few trends whether it be in conversation or on the battle field, so here are some of the things I'd like to take the time to talk about (and hopefully spark some discussion!).


Vanilluxe is a Pokemon I keep hearing about on Discord and Pokemon Showdown, and I do understand why to some extent. What I don't understand is why we haven't been talking about it sooner. Around the latter months of 2018, Lax and I called for a Vanilluxe suspect test on Discord and that raised some discussion. Since the Slowbro test, it really hasn't seen any serious discussion outside of what we know of (such as inside council discussions). Eternally did say that there was no Vanilluxe suspect test (or any suspect test for that matter) incoming soon. But why? To some, the answer may not seem obvious, but the council holding off on this test does make sense to some extent for a couple of reasons. For one, Vanilluxe doesn't make this tier unplayable. While a lot of people might argue that NU is very unbalanced due to the high number of offensive threats such as Comfey, Heliolisk, Passimian, and Vanilluxe, at no point have I thought (or many other players for that matter) that this tier is unplayable. This of course applies to Vanilluxe. While on paper it looks pretty broken, especially with its best checks getting worn down by hail damage and hazards fairly easily (Incineroar and Silvally-Steel). However, in practice, I find it a lot easier to play around Vanilluxe both offensively and defensively (another reason why Vanilluxe might not warrant a test), as long as I am able to keep myself in charge of the game. Of course, you won't always be in charge of the game, but in match ups with Vanilluxe, it is pivotal to do that regardless, so I think if more people try and stay out of playing in the back, the Vanilluxe match up will be a lot easier for them in that sense. Despite these things, of course Vanilluxe has an undeniable presence in the team builder and in battle, which is why Vanilluxe should perhaps be tested. For example, here's an SSD game of Lax vs. FLCL, where Lax manages to be in charge of the battle for the majority of the game, as well as keep Vanilluxe in the back until it was time to clean. As long as you can keep Vanilluxe relatively healthy for most of the match, it can be extremely easy to get kills with it, even if the opponent plays the best they can. Due to all of these above reasons, I think that a Vanilluxe suspect would be beneficial to collect information from the community. Most people don't post or voice their opinion in forum posts, but rather in their votes, which was especially apparent in the last three NU tests (Slowbro, Gigalith, and Venusaur). However, as a member of a council myself, I do understand how hosting a suspect test where a Pokemon may be not-so-obviously broken can be a risky decision (however in the case of Vanilluxe, it is very subjective to say Vanilluxe is or isn't obviously broken).


Here's a Pokemon I'm glad we kept! I think a lot of people don't understand why the council voted for this Pokemon to stay, so I'm hoping I can provide a bit more of an in-depth analysis on that. Let's quote Finchinator's opinion on Mega Glalie to start, because I believe it is fairly accurate.
It has a sufficient amount of defensive counterplay in the tier; the amount of defensive counterplay it has is even greater than something like Vanilluxe, in my opinion, and the fact that it is able to reliably Spike is not something I regard as problematic in a sense that we should quickly ban it.
He says that Mega Glalie has a sufficient amount of counter play is very true. While Mega Glalie can be more powerful than Vanilluxe while being able to switch moves all at the same time, this tier has a lot more physical walls to counter Mega Glalie than this tier has special walls to counter Vanilluxe. Pokemon like Incineroar and Slowbro can easily play around Mega Glalie, even with its access to Earthquake and Freeze-Dry. This becomes especially apparent in practice when there is a lot of pivoting around and hazard residual damage racks up. This is still true with powerful moves like STAB Double-Edge and Explosion. Like Vanilluxe, Mega Glalie doesn't have much defensive counter play on paper, but in practice, this fails to be the case. In terms of the portion on Spikes, Finchinator is right. The fact that it is reliably able to use Spikes is not a problematic thing by any means. Sure, it definitely deals with a lot of Stealth Rock users, and deals with Xatu better than say Garbodor, but Spikes itself isn't an unhealthy element for NU (or in general for that matter) and shouldn't be a factor when determining whether or not Mega Glalie is broken.

While there is this no ban argument, there is one pro-ban argument that I agree with. While it wasn't posted on the forums, I was scrolling through the NU room on PS! one day and I was looking at something rozes said. Someone had asked him why he voted ban on Mega Glalie in the council vote, and he responded with something along the lines of this reasoning: it is a lot safer to simply ban Mega Glalie and then test it to return to the tier then to let it roam free for a few weeks before it gets banned by suspect test. This to me makes sense. However, that doesn't mean it comes without its flaws. Say perhaps the council does want to test Vanilluxe, and it suddenly becomes this super problematic force in the NU tier. However, we're stuck suspect testing a Pokemon that we quickly discover isn't broken by any means. That means we are stuck having a problematic Pokemon in the tier for over a month, which is the problem I have with that ideology. A bit unrelated as well, but I wouldn't trust that a test for Mega Glalie was 100% going to happen anyway if it was quick banned. We were promised that way back when as well for Mega Abomasnow, and we waited a long time for that to happen (although we did eventually get it back).


Here's a Pokemon I haven't played around with much recently, and I'm going to tell you why. I'd first like to note, though, that Gastrodon is still perfectly viable in NU. In fact, I could see it getting ranked in the B- to B range, but I personally don't see the appeal in it. I'd rather use Slowbro or Slowking for bulky Water-types, and in terms of the Ground portion, Seismitoad is usually preferable for the Speed. However, Gastrodon is still an option over those because it fits those roles into one Pokemon. Gastrodon is simply a bulky Water / Ground-type. The fact that it is quite passive is what scares me the most. It doesn't have boosting options or the natural strength of Slowbro and Slowking, and doesn't have the Speed to always efficiently utilize Toxic like Seismitoad. Gastrodon also has a lack of Stealth Rock, which may be a bigger negative to some than others. As someone who is always trying to build creatively, I don't think the lack of Stealth Rock is that huge of a deal, as there are always other options. Overall, I don't really like using Gastrodon because it fails to mesh roles of already existing Pokemon in a super efficient manner, and is a bit too passive to fair in a metagame that leans towards more offensive Pokemon.


I feel like I talk about Druddigon a lot, but it is an extremely versatile Pokemon and deserves to be talked about. Druddigon has probably over a dozen viable sets you can run, being able to efficiently run several items, move combinations, and EV spreads to fit the needs of your team. Most people just look at the Mold Breaker Stealth Rock set, and while it does make Druddigon an extremely reliable Stealth Rock user, there are plenty of other things to consider behind that set and beyond that set. For example, here's a set that -Davon made that I have been enjoying using on hyper offense teams as of late:

@ Focus Sash
Ability: Mold Breaker
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Taunt
- Glare
- Earthquake

As you can see, Druddigon utilizes Focus Sash alongside Stealth Rock and Taunt to make lead match ups a lot easier for your offense teams. It also carries utility in Glare which can paralyze non-Ground-type leads like Accelgor and Garbodor, as well as having Earthquake for Ground-weak leads like Steelix and Garbodor. This is far from the only cool Druddigon set I have been using. I've also used a combination of Roseli Berry + Gunk Shot to deal with Comfey, Iron Head to deal with Diancie, and a majority of other cool lure sets as well. Offensive Life Orb sets with Sheer Force are also options as well, especially since Druddigon is by no means a weak Pokemon. This section is a bit all over the place, but it is meant to show that Druddigon has more to offer than just being a Stealth Rock user that gets up Stealth Rock on Xatu for free.
@ Roseli Berry
Ability: Mold Breaker
EVs: 64 HP / 252 Atk / 192 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Iron Head
- Stealth Rock
- Glare
- Dragon Tail

0 SpA Diancie Moonblast vs. 64 HP / 0 SpD Roseli Berry Druddigon: 112-133 (36 - 42.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252+ Atk Mold Breaker Druddigon Iron Head vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Diancie: 200-236 (65.7 - 77.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252+ SpA Choice Specs Diancie Moonblast vs. 64 HP / 0 SpD Roseli Berry Druddigon: 232-274 (74.5 - 88.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Mold Breaker Druddigon Iron Head vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Diancie: 256-304 (105.7 - 125.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO

@ Roseli Berry
Ability: Mold Breaker
EVs: 188 HP / 252 Atk / 68 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Gunk Shot
- Stealth Rock
- Glare
- Dragon Tail

252+ Atk Mold Breaker Druddigon Gunk Shot vs. 236 HP / 0 Def Comfey: 296-350 (98 - 115.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
252+ SpA Life Orb Triage Comfey Draining Kiss vs. 188 HP / 0 SpD Roseli Berry Druddigon: 95-113 (27.7 - 33%) -- guaranteed 4HKO

@ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Gunk Shot
- Sucker Punch
- Dragon Claw
- Fire Punch
 
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