Rotom-Mow has been highlighed in the recent survey as the biggest potential issue with the metagame, getting over 50% support to be the first suspect, and overwhelming support to get suspect tested in general. Because of this, Rotom-Mow is the clear next target for tiering action due to its impact on NU.
Rotom-Mow isn't a new face to NU, and has been Volt Switching around the tier in nearly the same way for well over a year. Although there is a fair bit of minor variations between sets, the goal of Rotom-Mow is rather predictable: being able to Volt Switch on most common targets that are immune to Electric-type moves. Leaf Storm is a brutally strong secondary STAB for Rotom-Mow, OHKOing common targets such as Silvally-Ground, Mudsdale, and Gastrodon, forcing them to switch out or otherwise not come in when Volt Switch is pressed. This enables many offensive cores that can keep the opposing team locked down in dangerous loops if the opponent does not take the risk of losing their Ground-type to Leaf Storm, as well as dangerous breakers to come in against the predictable Grass- or Dragon-type Pokemon that resist both STAB moves.
These problems complicate when looking at Rotom-Mow's various attributes. Sporting a well-rounded defensive type, Levitate, and decent bulk, it can switch into defensive Water- and Ground-types very easily and create opportunities for Volt Switch loops to start. An example of this bulk is the fact that it can live 2 Brave Birds from Talonflame, creating opportunities for it to switch directly in against the bird. It also has the fastest speed tier of all common Choice Scarfers, meaning that it will often be the fastest Pokemon in a given game and dictate the pace at which it is played. Although Choice Scarf allows common Protect Pokemon to pivot around the lawn mower more easily, it revenge kills many fast offensive threats such as Salazzle, Starmie, and Aerodactyl with ease, as well as opening up the option of Trick to cripple the few hard checks it has. Nasty Plot sets can abuse cores without these hard checks and have been seen as broken in the past, but we currently have enough strong Grass- and Dragon-types that these sets aren't seen as big of an issue. However, they still add an annoying dimension to its moveset.
There is some counterplay to Rotom-Mow in Pokemon such as Vileplume, Exeggutor-Alola, and Guzzlord, which offer no way for the Pokemon to break them even with Nasty Plot sets. However, all of these Pokemon are not immune to Volt Switch, which allows the Rotom-Mow user to pivot in a powerful breaker such as Machamp on these slower Pokemon. There's also a couple Electric-immune options in the tier that can take on Choice Scarf Rotom-Mow, such as Stunfisk-Galar and Togedemaru. However, these Pokemon tend to do a fair bit worse than the other Steel-type options into most of the metagame, and still happen to lose to Nasty Plot variations, making them often undesirable to use. In fact, one of the best Rotom-Mow checks in the tier is Rotom-Mow itself, because it allows the Rotom-Mow user to threaten the same Volt Switch to the opponent without taking more than about 40% damage from Leaf Storm in the worst case. This devolves some games into Rotom-Mow versus Rotom-Mow endgames, where the Rotom-Mow that wins the speedtie or that has more HP ends up winning the game.
Anti-ban arguments are very appealing due to the ubiquity of Rotom-Mow over the past year, as it adds another Defog user, another Choice Scarf user, and a powerful tool to break traditional Wish balance builds. It's not necessarily broken on its own, having several hard walls that prevent it from breaking effectively by itself, which makes it rely on its teammates to take control of the game. It also has a relatively middling speed tier after it uses Trick, allowing most speed control to overtake its pace and oftentimes revenge kill it. As has been mentioned before, Protect can completely shut down Choice Scarf sets, forcing Rotom-Mow to Trick so that its not rendered useless. This allows for the aforementioned weaknesses of Trick to show, as well as not being able to target Silvally-Ground, which becomes a very effective counter-measure to this style of play. Stealth Rocks are also a weakness of Choice Scarf sets, whittling down on its health and preventing Rotom-Mow from endless Volt Switch loops by forcing it to Defog.
Powerful breakers such as those like Dragalge and Goodra have supported Rotom-Mow and made it more powerful by proxy, as it allows entry against the Pokemon that these breakers beat. Before, these breakers that take advantage of Rotom-Mow's strengths have traditionally been seen as more banworthy than Rotom-Mow itself, which led to their eventual departure. However, instead of continuing to look at the breakers that benefit, we would like to attempt to cut off the problem from its root and weaken the Volt Switch archetypes that make these breakers so easy to use in the first place.
- Reading this is mandatory for participating in the suspect test. The voting requirements are a minimum GXE of 79 with at least 50 games played. In addition, you may play 1 less game for every 0.2 GXE you have above 79 GXE, down to a minimum of 30 games at a GXE of 83. Also, needing more than 50 games to reach 79 GXE will suffice. **It is now 79 GXE**
- You must signup with a newly registered account on Pokemon Showdown! that begins with the appropriate prefix for the suspect test. For this suspect test, the prefix will be NUUL. For example, I might signup with the ladder account NUUL Meri
- Laddering with an account that impersonates, mocks, or insults another Smogon user or breaks Pokemon Showdown! rules may be disqualified from voting and infracted. Moderator discretion will be applied here. If there is any doubt or hesitance when making the alt, just pick another name. There are infinite possibilities and we have had trouble for this repeatedly. If you wish to participate in the suspect, you should be able to exhibit decent enough judgement here. We will not be lenient.
- We will be using the regular NU ladder for this suspect test. We will not be creating a new Suspect Ladder. At the beginning of every battle, there will be an announcement denoting the ongoing suspect with a link to this thread.
- The aspects being tested, Rotom-Mow, will be allowed on the ladder.
- Any form of voting manipulation will result in swift and severe punishment. You are more than welcome to state your argument to as many people as you so please, but do not use any kind of underhanded tactics to get a result you desire. Bribery, blackmail, or any other type of tactic used to sway votes will be handled and sanctioned.
- Do not attempt to cheat the ladder. We will know if you did not actually achieve voting requisites, so don't do it. Harsh sanctions will be applied.
- The suspect test will go on for two weeks, lasting until Thursday, July 21st @ 11:59pm (GMT-4), and then we will put up the voting thread in the Blind Voting subforum.
- [NEW!!!] There will be live tours including Rotom-Mow run on the next 2 weekends that will serve as an alternative to qualify for this suspect. Further details about these tournaments will be posted in this thread as soon as possible.