Metagame NP: NU Stage 15 - We Are The (Ma)Champions [Sirfetch'd Quickbanned, see post #25]

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Finchinator

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:ss/Machamp:


Machamp is the next suspect in the SS NU metagame. It is seen as one of the scariest breakers in the tier due to its obscene strength with the Guts set. The combination of STAB Close Combat, boosted Facade, and Knock Off provides superb coverage. 130 base Attack coupled with Guts allows for this coverage to be abused in the best possible capacity. In addition, being able to soak status thanks to Guts and sporting respectable natural bulk allows for Machamp to partially compensate for lackluster speed and thrust itself into combat with the aforementioned offensive assault. Of course, Machamp still struggles to outrun a majority of the metagame and, without investment, is very possible to take down, making it possible to pivot around or minimize depending upon the circumstances.

Machamp has never quite been the face of NU, oftentimes contending with fellow Fighting types like Sirfetch'd, Toxicroak, Passimian, Scrafty, and even Virizion for teamslots. However, it stands out as the most dynamic and consistent breaking force as a standalone threat. It combines the sheer strength of the most potent breakers the tier has to offer -- such as the aforementioned Sirfetch'd -- with the ability to soak status and avoid a choice lock, which goes a long way towards the functionality of Machamp. Facade in particular is an amazing asset here as it functions as a catch-all for would-be Fighting type checks like Sylveon, Vileplume, Mantine, and Talonflame.

Minimizing Machamp is possible through offensive pressure, running cores with the right set of immunities, and some oddball options such as Colbur Berry Ghost types and physically defensive Arcanine, but there are no true counters to Machamp in the tier. Counterplay can exist with the lack of true counters thanks to deficiencies in the area of speed, but passive teams find themselves discouraged and reliant upon prediction to blank opposing Machamp. Wish+Protect stalling of Burn turns can only go so far as Machamp outdamages Wish and can pivot out on Protect, which can be a major factor as well.

Prediction is a noteworthy factor towards limiting Machamp. Wasting valuable turns taking burn damage on clicking a coverage move like Knock Off or even predicting around threatening opponents can leave Machamp with a quickly closing window of opportunity due to limited survivability. However, some games can go downhill quite quickly if crucial Machamp turns go wrong for the player opposing it as Machamp deals unforgiving amounts of damage when it lands the right attack. Overall, it is hard to assign a lot of value to anything as a true counter to Machamp given this, but checking it and forming strategies around restricting it very much can be argued.

Teammates for Machamp largely focus around the concept of generating momentum and finding openings for it to enter safely, which can be a limiting factor for it in terms of what archetypes it may fit on and what Pokemon it may partner with. Tier regulars such as Rotom-Mow, Talonflame, and Xatu still suffice in this role, however. This does mean that Machamp will not work on every team or necessarily be as common as some other suspects, but do not let this detract from the impact it could have within games it is used.

Overall, Machamp is a potent offensive presence that comes with some frighteningly effective characteristics and limiting flaws. Naturally it can threaten close to the entire metagame while being among the strongest Pokemon in the tier, but speed and longevity do not do Machamp many favors. Pivoting assistance can make Machamp a very menacing Pokemon to face, but without the right support and timing, it could find itself a step behind where one would picture a top tier threat.


  • 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**
GXEminimum games
7950
79.249
79.448
79.647
79.846
8045
80.244
80.443
80.642
80.841
8140
81.239
81.438
81.637
81.836
8235
82.234
82.433
82.632
82.831
8330

  • 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 NUYB For example, I might signup with the ladder account NUYB Finch
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  • 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, Machamp, will be allowed on the ladder.
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  • The suspect test will go on for two weeks, lasting until Sunday, August 21st @ 11:59pm (GMT-4), and then we will put up the voting thread in the Blind Voting subforum.
Tagging Kris and Marty to implement this, thanks!
 

S1nn0hC0nfirm3d

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I wasn't so gung-ho on a Machamp suspect because I don't believe banning it will solve NU's current problems.

For starters, there's not much collateral with banning Machamp. Yes, the tier will lose a borderline broken Pokemon, but banning Machamp is almost pointless when Sirfetch'd is in the tier. Counterplay overlaps pretty heavily between the two, and where Machamp's Facade excels, so does getting lucky with Leek Sirfetch'd. There is an obvious replacement on teams with Machamp to just go Sirfetch'd that I'm sure will work just as well, albeit less consistently.

I suppose I'm just not entertained with the current state of affairs in NU. The Wish-centric cores that dominate most of the metagame are boring to use and can easily succumb to hax, whereas offense is getting much harder to build around when the tier lacks wallbreakers to take into consideration. I cannot tell you how many shoddy HOs I built both this suspect and all of last ones (I did not even qualify for last suspect it was so bad) till today I finally built the jankiest Silvally-Grass + Focus Sash Butterfree team that actually worked consistently enough for laddering. And speaking of haxing Wish cores, a handful of times I got into endgames with Substitute Blastoise versus Vaporeon and won with a flinch. It's great on my end when that works, but my opponents could do nothing for what otherwise is a good play if I was Ice Beam; but how could they have known? Things feel off.

Of course, I'm willing to accept this as a personal issue, but I would like us to be open to what we want out of NU, especially because we're getting close to finishing this generation off. If we think Machamp is banworthy, let's boot it and Sirfetch'd and see how the meta adapts to our remaining Fighting-types. I do think if you give Machamp an inch it will go a mile with the right plays so I'm fine with banning it, but again I'm not that excited about it either way. It's possible we need more, drastic changes for the metagame to be more enjoyable, but one step at a time for now.

edit: After rereading the OP, I wanted to comment on the "with the ability to soak status and avoid a choice lock" line. Machamp isn't switching into status users bar maybe Scald Vaporeon, but even then Scald does noticeable chip damage and exploits Machamp's limited switch-ins and tendency to wear itself down / make itself easier to be revenge killed. The lack of a choice lock would be more notable if it wasn't for Leek Sirfetch'd doing the same thing. I wouldn't call Machamp a status absorber by any means. It has less counterplay because it's harder for Talonflame and Vileplume to passively check it like they do Sirfetch'd + it can 2HKO virtually everything, but when you factor in Leek, all these matchups end up being the same for both Fighting-types, plus or minus some RNG.
 
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Yeah machamp is probably too strong but this doesnt fix the fundamental issues w the tier at all — namely, vap balance being both required by certain threats that are much harder to handle without it (toise, lazzle, intel, silvground) and the overwhelmingly best style right now.

-> suspect vaporeon: it simply walls too much of the tier, keeps everything alive forever, and overcentralizes building in order to fit one of the nicher vap pressurers on if u arent using eggy-a, np mow, or croak. this mon is the fundamental root of the tier being shitty right now: it simply does too much in one slot.

-> council vote on everything broken after vap ban (if it is banned): vaporeon’s absence can be made up for with other water absorbers (gastrodon, mantine, croak/helio on offense) and sylv (or worse mons like audino on a full stall lol) can still wishpass. this should mean not too much is immediately broken after its ban, but it may push borderline mons like silvground and lazzle over the edge.

vap balance being so hard to drop and so compelling to use is the fundamental root of the tier’s problems, and we should give serious consideration to an argument that on its face seems “nooby” because of our reluctance to consider defensive mons broken: that Vaporeon walls too much of the tier and should be removed.
 
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Pokeslice

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I was going to make a post today covering some of my thoughts on this suspect, Machamp, and the current metagame, but Ho3n basically spoke my mind, so I'm going to echo a few of his sentiments that I largely agree with, but first, to stay on track a little bit (yw Rabia)...

:ss/machamp:

I think it's the worse of the two Fighting-types, but Machamp is a pretty crazy breaker. The combination of Guts and perfect coverage between CC, Facade, and Knock Off absolutely shreds through basically every fatter team in the metagame, relegating all defensive counterplay to "can you predict correctly with a Ghost-type or eat one CC with a Fight resist and get the 50/50?" That being said, I don't ever feel like I struggle with Machamp. On paper it's extremely threatening, but because of the passive damage it so easily acquires throughout a game, it never really has the opportunity to switch in much and can be easily taken advantage of offensively. I always feel as if I can outplay the Pokemon, despite how broken it can be, by just playing slightly aggressive into it, which is something I feel like I have to do for a lot of breakers. Machamp is really one of those Pokemon that I won't miss if it went, and I'd vote ban on it, but I also won't care if it stayed. Also, why do I keep facing AV Machamp with SpDef investment ;__;

I wasn't so gung-ho on a Machamp suspect because I don't believe banning it will solve NU's current problems.
This. Going after the Fighting-types in the long run makes perfect sense for the tier, as both Fighting-types are broken, but at this point in time I don't really get it. Banning Machamp wouldn't actually solve any of the problems with the tier at this moment in time. Yes it's a strong wallbreaker, but I never feel as if my building is warped by the idea of Machamp as I do with many of the other threats in the metagame nor do I think getting rid of Machamp will help people stop complaining about ways to break down Vap-centric teams that currently run the meta (yes, I think it's a Vap team issue and not as much a Wish focused team as I believe Sylveon is significantly more abusable and overrated a bit in the current meta). But to those people I say build better and explore more, we have options! Choice Scarf Mow just isn't a Vap answer and never will be.

Although I think a lot of the problems with the tier are way overblown, the frustrating thing is that pinning down exactly what currently pains the meta isn't clear in the slightest. Banning Machamp wouldn't necessarily be a step in the wrong direction, but it feels more like a sidestep and a waste of two weeks for the tier rather than a way to move forward. Sirfetch'd isn't just a direct replacement, I personally even like it MORE because of the speed tier, FI, and how much easier it is to keep alive without the Burn chip, and if we ban Machamp, we're effectively back at square 1 when it comes to having a broken Fighting-type in the tier. I think for this suspect to be truly effective, it would have had to have been a double suspect of sorts, and unlike with the last time we did that for two Fighting-types, this time the comparisons would make sense.

I would like us to be open to what we want out of NU, especially because we're getting close to finishing this generation off.
For me personally, I believe the efforts to fix up the tier went off the rails when, somehow, we voted to let Silvally-Ground stay in the tier. In doing so, we've kept the single most warping presence and broken mon we have in the metagame. Yes we've been able to adapt a bit, but there's not really much adapting to be done to a Pokemon that just U-Turns over and over and over on its checks. Was Mowtom a big part of the VoltTurn breaker stuff? Yes, but in my opinion, G-Vally is just as big, if not the biggest, proponent of those styles of teams and the problems people were facing with them on top of being a powerful breaker in its own right. You just always have to respect that it can Multi-Attack or SD on you, which makes outplaying G-Vally extremely difficult. I want this Pokemon gone. I think it's an extremely restrictive presence in the builder and a broken presence in battle.

Besides G-Vally, I don't feel like anything else is actually that broken. Maybe Mowtom would be once G-Vally went, but right now the only other thing I'd want suspected besides that would be Snorlax, because that Pokemon is insane and requires very specific play and counterplay in the builder.
 
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I agree with just about everything Ho3n said (not the weed vally part ofc, that mon is not real), Machamp is not the sole problem with the tier, it’s far from it. However, as much as the tier is boring to play, it’s probably in the best state it’s been in a long while, competitively speaking. Games are longer yes, but over a longer game, it’s more likely that the person who played better/prepped better would win. Kinda similar to ubers in that aspect, another meta that people hate on for being too linear and teams too similar.

Banning vaporeon is FAR from the solution. As much as I hate playing this tier normally, I do enjoy it when I have to fight hard for a win in a balance v balance situation. The tier is enjoyable to some, not to others which is expected of any tier.

Banning machamp is a simple decision, getting rid of a very strong breaker, but as multiple people have said, Sirfetchd is very capable of replacing machamp. The key difference between the two is sirfetchd needs leek, a luck based item, to be actually broken. We have every precedent needed to get rid of leek. The soul dew ban in past gens for items specific to a mon or two, and the luck items ban from a few months ago. We can wait for the conclusion of this test, but I think banning leek is the right decision regardless of what happens to machamp, and I don’t think it has any opposition. The sooner we decide on this the better imo.
 
Machamp is an odd case as its suspect was largely elicited by the justified complaints that it is virtually unwallable. This leaves me mildly confused as this is the same tier where players complain the tier is too bulky, with Vaporeon balance teams seemingly dominating the scene (also justified although not as much). To me the fact that players are complaining about completely opposite things (a Pokemon kills everything in sight while also a core exists that is unkillable by conventional means) tells me that the tier is in a great spot, and a lot of issues with the tier are simply a product of the generation. Yes we get 200+ turn Vaporeon mirrors, but if you're going to build an incredibly bulky team whose corner stone is completely walled by Vaporeon, aka your own Vaporeon, you better be willing to play some longer games lol. We see these long games in every tier, namely this TJ vs Cryingg UU game which lasted over 600 turns. Heavy Duty Boots with offensive Pokemon being the common target of suspect tests for obvious reasons just means the generation will have some longer games. If Machamp were to go, I think that its only fair that Sirfetch'd goes with it; both Pokemon are notorious for their lack of switchins, and while both have unique qualities over the other, they are widely considered "broken" by many players while also being similar enough to each other to justify a double suspect test. Pangoro and Bewear were double tested together and are more different than each other than Machamp and Sirfetch'd and while a majority of the council behind that test acknowledges a double test was probably not the best decision, I do think our 2 current Fighting-types are extremely similar to each other and would justify being tested together.

Many of Machamp's on-paper prowess seems to ignore the fact that it puts itself on a timer right off the bat, although a well-piloted Machamp with Wish or Healing Wish Support and smart pivots is probably the most terrifying thing to think of; even defensive behemoths like Mudsdale and Weezing are cleanly 2HKO'd by Machamp, same for common Fighting resists like Talonflame and Sylveon. Many Pokemon such as Mantine and Sandaconda EV specifically to outspeed Machamp, although Jolly Machamp can still find similar KO thresholds while breaching a whole new speed benchmark. As one of the first people to really start believing in Machamp far before Silvally-Ground was tested, saying it was better than Passimian and Sirfetch'd when it was considered a very hot take or even a bad take, I'd be a little sad to see it go, although I get it. On the fence on what I'll vote currently but as it stands I think the tier, while maybe a little boring (gen 8 moment), is very competitive, which is the goal.
 
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Champ is such a crazy breaker. Unfazed by burns, access to guts facade + cc makes this mon the huge threat it is towards BO and Balance teams (mostly).

It definitely suffers from switching directly into vapo scalds and muds eqs for ex. but the amount of great pivots and wish support going around mitigates that fact.

In regards to the Sirfetch’d comparison, Machamp is a lot more consistent due to guts which in turn means less switch-ins and counterplay (almost none in this case).
Duck is indeed faster but being subject to burns and relying a lot more on coverage makes it a bit less of a threat.

Fun mon on a timer… and always on a timer ;)
GET IT BANNED
 
Hello, everybody! Torracat advocate and Roselia aficionado Catalisador here! Lately, I've been thinking about the core difference between hail and sand in the current NU metagame and what factors differentiate the two in terms of brokeness as hyper-offensive playstyles (mainly because I wanna use Beartic again... but also because I think sand is kinda problematic).

:ss/beartic: vs. :ss/sandslash: :ss/lycanroc:

Is a Slush Rush unban (coupled with Arctovish and Sandslash-Alola ban) not a better option in order to not invalidate the use of Beartic?
I believe unbanning Slush Rush in order to free Beartic as a hyper-offensive tool for hail is possible and is what should've been done off the start. The bear's Speed tier leaves much to be desired, making it manageable by simply utilizing a Choice Scarf user, and its offensive coverage is lacking, being completely walled by Vaporeon and checked by the likes of Gastrodon and Escavalier.

But is Sand Stream not just as broken as hail?
I kinda believe sand is an overlooked playstyle with extreme offensive pressure in the current metagame, giving two great abusers with incredible offensive capabilities an unparalleled Speed tier. Sure, they are somewhat kept in check by a common wall in Mudsdale, but other common checks like Vaporeon are easily devoured by Swords Dance or Choice Band-boosted hits. Furthermore, having two abusers, Sandslash and Lycanroc, makes it possible for each of them to break for the other.

Then, what about Slush Rush makes it inherently broken in a way that Sand Rush/Sand Stream isn't?
Maybe a couple of factors could differentiate hail's powerlevel from sand's, most importantly its access to Aurora Veil as an instant defensive boost to the entire team. However, even with a supporting tool like Aurora Veil, having Beartic as its only abuser doesn't seem particularly broken to me, it seems to be of a similar powerlevel to sandstorm (making a trade-off for an extra tool vs. having two abusers to break for each other).

Why, then, do I believe Beartic and Aurora Veil coupled together aren't broken?
Having to choose between speed and power is one of the issues Beartic suffers from. Adamant Beartic is needed to be able to break through defensive walls like Escavalier and Vaporeon. However, it leaves you vulnerable to being revenge-killed by the likes of Choice Scarf Passimian.
Also, being the only speedy abuser of hail makes it have to work twice as hard to sweep through a team alone.

Is this really necessary?
No, but I wanna use Beartic uwu. It obviously isn't of major concern right now, there are more obvious problems with the current metagame, but the Beartic vs. sand comparison shows a worrisome situation either way: either both playstyles are overwhelming or both playstyles are fine, with Beartic banned for no reason.

What do you think, though? Should Beartic be unbanned? Am I just causing chaos for the sake of it? Maybe! We might never know...

:icy_rock: :beartic:
unban me pls
 
Is a Slush Rush unban (coupled with Arctovish and Sandslash-Alola ban) not a better option in order to not invalidate the use of Beartic?
I believe unbanning Slush Rush in order to free Beartic as a hyper-offensive tool for hail is possible and is what should've been done off the start. The bear's Speed tier leaves much to be desired, making it manageable by simply utilizing a Choice Scarf user, and its offensive coverage is lacking, being completely walled by Vaporeon and checked by the likes of Gastrodon and Escavalier.
Beartic outspeeds Scarf Passimian and Modest Indeedee-F, which is the standard imported set. Rotom-Mow fails to KO it from full

Fighting, Ice, Dark, Rock.. literally 4 of the best offensive types in the game. This is more than flawless coverage.

+2 252 Atk Beartic Superpower vs. 252 HP / 216 Def Vaporeon: 294-346 (63.3 - 74.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
0 SpA Vaporeon Scald vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Beartic: 112-133 (33.8 - 40.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO ???

Gastrodon is complete setup fodder
+2 252 Atk Beartic Icicle Crash vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Gastrodon: 255-300 (59.8 - 70.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
0 SpA Gastrodon Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Beartic: 109-129 (32.9 - 38.9%) -- 99.2% chance to 3HKO

Escavalier almost dies if it comes in as Beartic SD's and if Beartic is Adamant it gets OHKO'd after SR
+2 252 Atk Beartic Superpower vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Escavalier: 251-296 (72.9 - 86%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
and can't even KO it back
4 Atk Escavalier Iron Head vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Beartic: 270-320 (81.5 - 96.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

But is Sand Stream not just as broken as hail?
I kinda believe sand is an overlooked playstyle with extreme offensive pressure in the current metagame, giving two great abusers with incredible offensive capabilities an unparalleled Speed tier. Sure, they are somewhat kept in check by a common wall in Mudsdale, but other common checks like Vaporeon are easily devoured by Swords Dance or Choice Band-boosted hits. Furthermore, having two abusers, Sandslash and Lycanroc, makes it possible for each of them to break for the other.
Sand is very solid right now but there's no shortage of incredible Grass- and Water-types that make Sand teams cry at preview; Vileplume, Alolan-Exeggutor, Quagsire, Mantine, Tsareena, etc.. Not to mention physical walls like Mudsdale and Weezing. If Sand was even remotely half as broken as hail you would see its usage accordingly. Let's not forget that a single hail team passed around completely warped top 10 usage stats on the ladder two different times in two different metas.

Then, what about Slush Rush makes it inherently broken in a way that Sand Rush/Sand Stream isn't?
Maybe a couple of factors could differentiate hail's powerlevel from sand's, most importantly its access to Aurora Veil as an instant defensive boost to the entire team. However, even with a supporting tool like Aurora Veil, having Beartic as its only abuser doesn't seem particularly broken to me, it seems to be of a similar powerlevel to sandstorm (making a trade-off for an extra tool vs. having two abusers to break for each other).
So besides the fact that both Aurorus and Vanilluxe are actual Pokemon that do stuff other than set sand, while Gigalith is just a sand bot, the very concept of Slush Rush is broken to me and many others (hence its ban). Having near uncontested speed control AND passive damage on the opponent with STAB to arguably the best offensive typing in the game with the natural coverage that all Slush Rush users possess simply makes the risk/reward of loading Hail a joke. Aurora Veil is only half the story but Slush Rush was not banned purely because Beartic was too strong with it, far from that and you know that.

Why, then, do I believe Beartic and Aurora Veil coupled together aren't broken?
Having to choose between speed and power is one of the issues Beartic suffers from. Adamant Beartic is needed to be able to break through defensive walls like Escavalier and Vaporeon. However, it leaves you vulnerable to being revenge-killed by the likes of Choice Scarf Passimian.
Also, being the only speedy abuser of hail makes it have to work twice as hard to sweep through a team alone.
Just showed that its not needed but this is true than Jolly is preferred and the attack loss is noticeable

What do you think, though? Should Beartic be unbanned? Am I just causing chaos for the sake of it? Maybe! We might never know...
Its not banned just a broken ability + ratio
 
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Trying to get reqs on the NU ladder has been a notoriously bad experience for years, but this is the worst time I've ever had. I have a lot of problems with the current SS NU metagame (which to be fair stems from the structure of SS as a whole), and I could list out a whole bunch of things I'd like to see banned and addressed, but I'll just stick to Machamp for the time being.

Champs' ability to 2HKO the entire tier without being choice locked is detrimental to teambuilding as frankly there is no defensive counterplay outside of some extremely inconsistent and niche options (namely Palossand, Neutralizing Gas Weezing, and Cofagrigus). Palossand is mediocre and needs to immediately recover to ever switch in again, Weezing still takes a lot from a neutralized Facade which makes it a one time check most of the time, and defensive Cofagrigus borders on the edge of unviable. Vileplume can handle Machamp initially, and win a 1v1 scenario in most cases, but once Flame Orb activates it can't switch in without being vaporised by Facade. It also helps that Champ's two strongest moves 'Facade' and 'Close Combat' have great neutral coverage together, which makes it near impossible to pivot around Machamp in a productive manner without losing multiple mons.

In terms of revenge killing, Champ has decent enough bulk to stomach a neutral hit like a Silvally-Ground Multi Attack or a Rotom-Mow Leaf Storm and respond with an OHKO, though it becomes much easier to finish off after a Close Combat defense drop. Flame Orb and Hazard damage can stack up quickly, and Champ ideally wants to be brought in safely to ensure it's longevity, however this can be said for most of our wallbreakers to a similar extent and doesn't hinder Machamp enough to prevent it from claiming multiple KOs in a match. Bullet Punch is a solid alternative move over Heavy Slam which has been popping up more frequently as of late, and it makes revenge killing a bit trickier, as mons like Aerodactyl, Grimmsnarl, Sneasel take massive damage from it.

Overall I feel Machamp is too strong for how easy it is to use and lacks enough consistent counterplay or drawback to be a healthy component of SS NU, I'll be voting ban. Btw, all of this applies to Sirfetch'd as well, ban him too please!
 

roxie

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Machamp being banned is definitely a step in the right direction. I also want to point out Heavy Slam being a totally viable option to demolish Sylveon and Diancie but overall this Mon reminds me of Obstagoon in RU pretty much LOL.

In regards to Leek, someone linked a Leek thread and the majority of our community at the time wasn’t able to comment on its presence in the tier. (Literally in a badge only thread lol) With some of the community not being able to comment on such a thing, comments such as “Leek isn’t a great option, Leek is cheese, and Leek is used for bad players” was presented throughout the thread and I feel completely otherwise. Im pretty sure starmaster and one of their friends had an amazing performance in NU OPEN and we wouldn’t consider starmaster a bad player right lol. If Leek Sirfetch’d was so bad of an option why is it included on one of our sample teams? Think about Swords Dance sets, Sirfetch’d is pretty powerful after an SD and Leek is a fine option to not take yknow recoil damage from Life Orb. Leek has and always demonstrated an unhealthy presence because you’re pretty much running a Choice Band but you can switch moves. I really hope Leek is revisited or maybe a joint suspect with Leek + Sirfetch’d but one of the centralizing problems of Sirfetch’d is Leek enabling it to be so demonic… I can at least see Sirfetch’d in the tier without Leek with a more controlled presence (Life Orb + Band or smthn).
 

Finchinator

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We are not banning Leek because it is inconsistent with tiering policy, which was the overwhelming point of the thread being put in Policy Review...a section to discuss general tiering policy. Nobody who has an opinion worth anything thinks Leek or Sirfetch’d is bad and claiming that was the result of the thread is disingenuous.

Sirfetch’d will be treated like any other Pokémon and handled as a whole rather than as fragments if we do address it — and doing so is on the table. The council is discussing it and I encourage people to here as well.

Same goes for other potential suspects as well.
 
this ban is, again, probably justified but also doesn’t fix any fundamental issues with the tier. people weren’t building with machamp in mind; instead, they would play to mitigate its impact with aggressive doubles and maybe throw chople on their rocker.

in fact, the ban probably makes vapo balance even more prevalent by removing one of the on-paper strongest weapons against it (though it usually could be limited to roughly a one-for-one trade by attacking w ur rocker as it comes in and doubling around it).

this tier sucks so much!!!!! not to be toxic but it’s the clear consensus among basically every outsider that plays it. suspect vaporeon to save this tier: it will introduce more diversity, ensure games don’t come down almost exclusively to whose one breaker has a better matchup into the other core, and remove the single most overcentralizing mon in the meta. sirfetchd is not the problem w this meta and suspecting it will spend 2-3 weeks on something fairly inconsequential
 

Ren-chon

⸢This story is for just that one reader.⸥
is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor
Couldnt be happier with this result. I really thought Machamp would stay in the tier or that the vote would be super close, so gotta admit Im extremely happy to have been proved wrong there LOL With that said, I think theres still quite some issues we need to address moving forward. The state of the tier right now is basically "Pick the breaker you think might 6-0 your opp when paired with GVally/Mowtom + another pivot", except that we have way too many borderline broken stuff to account for when building and trying to not keep your team super boring and standard, because by then you become food to some other stuff like Croak, CM Drampa or w/e that prays on the standard vap/sylv balance kind teams. Right now NU has basically been reduced to Vap balance that can sort of check all the brokens VS Teams made to beat Vap balance but that are a bit more shaky when dealing with some of the more proeminent offensive threats. Since suspecting Vaporeon unfortunately isnt an option right now, what we should do is take action on the stuff that make the standard cleric + muds/staka + mowtom cores nearly mandatory on most teams, while easing the pressure on builds that stray away from it.

I think right now we have 3 Pokémon that deserve a bit more attention than the rest due to the negative impact they have on the tier, and literally every single day at least one (or lets be honest, all 3) is brought up on NU cord and council chat. Before I move on to them, I gotta make it clear right now that I will not be talking about mowtom nor groundvally. Theyre both OBVIOUSLY two of the biggest issues right now, but 1) both of them were recently suspected so Id rather talk about mons with bigger odds of being susp in the near future; and 2) we all know already how bad to the tier they are lol. So, in my opinion, the three most teambuilding and game warping 'mons right now are, in order: Indeedee-F, Sirfetch'd and Blastoise.


I honestly think this thing has a bigger impact on the tier than Sirfetchd, for reasons Ill explain when I talk about the duck. First, we gotta keep in mind it has 3 main sets: Scarf, Specs, and CM. Scarf is by far the most manageable one, and I dont think anyone has ever had any issues with it unless they for some reason are running a team without a Steel OR Dark-type, so I will refrain from talking too much about it. Specs and CM, however... Theyre both beasts on their own. Specs has literally NO safe switch-ins other than immunities, and even then you risk getting screwed over by coverage

252 SpA Choice Specs Indeedee-F Expanding Force (120 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Stakataka in Psychic Terrain: 110-129 (33.7 - 39.5%) -- 24.1% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 SpA Choice Specs Indeedee-F Expanding Force (120 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Escavalier in Psychic Terrain: 107-126 (31.1 - 36.6%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 SpA Choice Specs Indeedee-F Expanding Force (120 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Stunfisk-Galar in Psychic Terrain: 123-146 (29.1 - 34.5%) -- 99.9% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 SpA Choice Specs Indeedee-F Dazzling Gleam vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Drapion: 133-157 (47.3 - 55.8%) -- 23.4% chance to 2HKO after Black Sludge recovery

252 SpA Choice Specs Indeedee-F Dazzling Gleam vs. 0 HP / 220 SpD Guzzlord: 504-596 (85.8 - 101.5%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO

252 SpA Choice Specs Indeedee-F Expanding Force (120 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Vaporeon in Psychic Terrain: 229-270 (49.3 - 58.1%) -- 62.1% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery


These calcs may seem fine at a glance. I mean, all of them are 3HKOs or 4HKOs, so whats so bad about it? Well, these are our BEST answers to ndd. Through the course of a match, through pivoting or doubles you can easily overwhelm your opponent because theres almost no playing around specs indeedee. If its in, youre forced to send your staka, esca or w/e and take 30~40 which quickly adds up through the game. Even dark-types arent safe either, since Drapion takes half and guzz is always KOd on its more common offensive variants; not to mention the possibility of Indeedee just running Modest which makes all these calcs even worse (well, better for ndd). And all of this on top of being immune to priority and fast enough to make revenging it a tad harder, unlike, say, Exploud.

And then, theres the more recent set that debuted last NUPL: Calm Mind variants, which requires an almost completely different counterplay than Specs. Usually, what you can do is is switch in your Esca and tect to get some more lefties, or even tect with vap / sylv to scout and send in your steel or dark-type. You cant do this against CM. Every free turn is converted into a SpA boost until its damage output becomes greater than specs. Teams that rely on esca vap or even guzz + steel to check ndd completely fold to this. This 'mon has two sets that would already be too good on their own, but when you can afford to run either AND they require your opp to play around it (and even build to an extent) differently until they figure out wtf is going on, then it becomes a prime ban candidate.


As for the duck... Their case is kinda funny honestly. They dont really warp teambuilding all that much simply because... Theres nothing we can do about it really? Our options are limited to stuff like fairies, poison-types or flame body talon and all of them risk being invalidated as checks depending on where the leek coin lands. Having the ability to crit 50% of the time means you basically have a choice band minus all the downsides (in fact, ignoring boosts is a huge positive over CB when dealing with the likes of diancie, lax or muds), AND it also makes planning your game around Sirfetchd nearly impossible. You cant just go "ok, I will keep this healthy so it can switch into Sirfetchd next time and threaten a burn / KO" because you have absolutely no control over what damage rolls you will get, and with that I dont mean if youll take 50% or 55% on your talon, but rather if youll take 50% or 75-80%. How the fuck do you plan around this? Worst of all is that theres no drawback to the person using Sirfetchd, as the crit comes out as more of a neat little bonus that can win you the game rather than a part of your gameplan.

252 Atk Sirfetch’d Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 120+ Def Mantine: 114-135 (30.4 - 36%) -- 48.7% chance to 3HKO
252 Atk Sirfetch’d Knock Off vs. 252 HP / 120+ Def Mantine: 77-91 (20.5 - 24.3%) -- guaranteed 5HKO

252 Atk Sirfetch’d Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 120+ Def Mantine on a critical hit: 171-202 (45.7 - 54%) -- 46.9% chance to 2HKO
252 Atk Sirfetch’d Knock Off vs. 252 HP / 120+ Def Mantine on a critical hit: 115-136 (30.7 - 36.3%) -- 58.4% chance to 3HKO

252 Atk Sirfetch’d Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 120+ Def Mantine: 141-166 (37.7 - 44.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 Atk Sirfetch’d Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 120+ Def Mantine on a critical hit: 211-249 (56.4 - 66.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Sirfetch’d Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 248 HP / 52 Def Talonflame: 135-159 (37.6 - 44.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 Atk Sirfetch’d Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 248 HP / 52 Def Talonflame on a critical hit: 202-238 (56.2 - 66.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Sirfetch’d Brave Bird vs. 248 HP / 52 Def Talonflame: 166-196 (46.2 - 54.5%) -- 59% chance to 2HKO
252 Atk Sirfetch’d Brave Bird vs. 248 HP / 52 Def Talonflame on a critical hit: 249-294 (69.3 - 81.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Sirfetch’d Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Mudsdale: 145-172 (35.8 - 42.5%) -- 94.5% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Sirfetch’d Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Mudsdale on a critical hit: 219-258 (54.2 - 63.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Sirfetch’d Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Sylveon: 127-150 (32.2 - 38%) -- 1.3% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Sirfetch’d Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Sylveon on a critical hit: 191-225 (48.4 - 57.1%) -- 45.3% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Sirfetch’d Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 212+ Def Weezing: 89-105 (26.6 - 31.4%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
252 Atk Sirfetch’d Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 212+ Def Weezing on a critical hit: 133-157 (39.8 - 47%) -- 39.5% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock


A single crit can completely turn around the dynamic of how one Pokémon can check another one. These calcs show how many calcs go from barely 3HKOing to guaranteed 2HKOs, and worst of all is that almost all of its checks can be KOd by a combination of crit knock + crit cc/bb, meaning theres just no predicting involved. Sirfetchd is just super dumb with its ability to basically crit on demand. Imo its more broken than indeedee, but funnily enough not as warping since we just lack the tools to properly deal with it no matter how creative you get anyway lol


Last but not least... Them. The most controversial Pokémon weve had all gen, able to end more friendships than an election year with how split the pro ban X no ban sides are. Personally I dont think its that bad, but my role as a council member is to tier based on what would be best for the community and the tier, not just personal bias anyway; so its hard to deny how influential this one has been specially over the past months. It has the perfect combination of bulk and offensive stats meaning it can find plenty opportunities to set up and then sweep at +2/+2/+2, although its gated a bit by its overall low bp moves. One of the scariest things about this 'mon though is how customizable it can be: the bread and butter set is SS / Surf / Dark Pulse / Ice Beam, which gives it an out against basically the entire tier even if you do need a bit of luck at times; however, you can easily play around with other moves like Substitute (sets up on Cane-less Mantine and Vap), Earthquake (gets past Helio and Croak), Focus Blast (good option over Dark Pulse to wreck vap and gastro), and even physical sets if you feel like it. I dont rate it as highly as others might mostly because its pretty much limited to a single playstyle (HO, with the occasional terrain or sands) and its low BP means it requires either a lot of chipping or flinching through with Dark Pulse, but I cant deny the impact it still has on the tier to this day.
 

Lucario

A Side Must Always Be Chosen
is a Community Contributoris a Top Social Media Contributor Alumnus
this ban is, again, probably justified but also doesn’t fix any fundamental issues with the tier.
The Machamp suspect was never meant to "fix the tier." Nobody wanted it gone to fix the tier, we wanted it gone to get rid of an annoying breaker.

I do agree that a Sirfetch'd suspect would be a waste of time, though it should just get a quickban so we don't have to worry about it. However, I think council should look closely towards Snorlax and Scrafty if Sirfetch'd leaves. Snorlax more than Scrafty, but they're both able to dominate after just a single Bulk Up.

Since Expulso mentioned Vapo, I will say what 80% of the community is thinking. Wanting to ban Vapo is a big L + ratio. Sure it can be annoying fighting the same team every other game, but there are other defensive cores that are just as great. Sylveon + Copper + Muds is the big second with Gastro + Staka and a few others being noteworthy. Not to mention banning Vaporeon will result in a meta that doesn't have an identity. Do you really want the last couple of months to be full of everyone begging council to ban most breakers that aren't even banworthy right now? Banning Salazzle and Inteleon just to use weak Pokemon that lose to Muds + Copper isn't an ideal scenario.

There are still other Pokemon that are deserving of a suspect like Indeedee-F and Blastoise. Indeedee is obviously a strong Scarfer and demolishes teams with Specs while Stoise does Stoise things. For more in-depth read Ren's post right above.
 
I do want to preface this by saying that I know a Vaporeon suspect would be unconventional and gets a little creative with Smogon’s tiering policy definitions. However, I do believe that this tier is in such a poor state that many bans would be required to remedy this. I also think that the breakers we are currently targeting contribute less to this negative state than Vaporeon does, since a) Vaporeon’s prevalence restricts the teamslots you have available to deal with these breakers and b) Vaporeon gives you tools to make these breakers less broken if u are using vap balance. Blastoise completely gets shut down by Vap and Indeedee makes less progress when you can heal up the Steel-types, for two quick examples.

i’m not trying to be toxic or unnecessary negative when I say the SS NU metagame is in a bad state right now. It’s a very widespread opinion from talking to most Slam participants and watching all the games, along with my own experiences in NUPL. If I’m totally an outlier here I’ll let it rest but I did want to make the case since I really enjoyed this tier for a while and do not want SS NU to be dreaded in SCL, future NUPLs, and so on.


Sure it can be annoying fighting the same team every other game, but there are other defensive cores that are just as great. Sylveon + Copper + Muds is the big second with Gastro + Staka and a few others being noteworthy.
i disagree with the argument that they are “just as great”. sylveon cores are generally easier to play around; every rocker can up on Sylveon pretty freely, giving you some easy progress when it is forced to Wish, and the ubiquitous Talon can play it to a stalemate, force a Wish, and bring something in to pressure it pretty freely. tournament usage stats reflect this, i believe, particularly since some of the sylvs used were specs/cm. non-Wish balances with cores like Gastro+Staka w no cleric simply get outlasted by Vap/Sylv balances.

my argument is not “oh it sucks to play balance a lot bc im a noob and like offense”, it’s that the very homogenous vap steel ground talon scarf mowtom +breaker teams seem to have a pronounced advantage over all other styles, which i believe is the root of the tier’s current problems.


Not to mention banning Vaporeon will result in a meta that doesn't have an identity.
With peace and love ive gotta say that this is a meaningless statement, lol. If this meta has an identity it is a very negative one, and creating a vacuum will cause an identity to spring up.


Banning Salazzle and Inteleon just to use weak Pokemon that lose to Muds + Copper isn't an ideal scenario.
This is total speculation; people will probably find ways to break the common defensive cores, and if we are unsatisfied w the current meta (perhaps an open question) I think it’s worth trying a new meta rather than being afraid it’ll somehow be worse

i do intend to be respectful and constructive with this argument & would thus love to hear counterarguments that are not L+ratio; i would also like to know how widespread this dissatisfaction with the current meta is. Personally, I thought it was rather damning that about half the Slam series cut NU, but feel free to drop ur thoughts or pm me at Expulso#7025
 
I’m not that involved in other communities outside NU, all I have to judge the outside’s pov on NU is the low play rate in slam. The tier is most definitely not perfect, but I think most people in the community share my view of the meta as very competitive, albeit slightly boring to play. I think of it as a less controlled Ubers, builds are relatively similar, but there are a lot more threats than ubers. Games last longer but are much more competitive in that the person who outplays more throughout the game is much more likely to win, and that putting more work in the builder can pay off big time. That being said, I really don’t think we need to care what outsiders think, the community are the people who know and play the tier the most, and their opinion matters most.

Like I said, the tier is far from perfect, but I think we have a very clear path moving forward. The most problematic mons rn imo are Indeedee-F, Sirfetch’d/leek, Snorlax, and Blastoise, in no specific order.

:Blastoise: Most people I’ve talked to consider a full suspect a waste of time, and I share the same opinion. I would much rather this thing gets quickbanned. It has done what it always does, clean teams very efficiently, and luck it’s way through rougher matchups. A blastoise win is very easy to set up, especially on HO builds with correct sequencing, something I think is quite easy to learn given the limited number of viable cores. I’ve loaded this mon 4 times so far in swiss, and I’ve won all 4 times, and I’ve lost to it the one time it was loaded against me. I’ve also seen multiple replays/screenshots from other players with similar outcomes. Mon is oppressive and I’d much prefer a quickban than a suspect.

:Snorlax: Talking with multiple people during the machamp suspect only confirmed what I already thought. If machamp left the tier, this mon would be too much to handle. It beats every single fighting type we have if at +1 def, barring a sirfetch’d crit ofc, and forces opponents to play very conservatively as it can set up on almost all common cores and defensive options, and very easily snowball after one or two curses. In most matches I’ve seen it, it either forces a trick, ridding opponents of speed control and allowing breakers to run rampant, claims at the very least a kill or two, or just flat out wins. It’s flaws are obvious though, and it has been suspected before so I wouldn’t it mind being suspected later.

:Indeedee-F: Scarf is a very balanced set, with a lot of checks in the tier. Specs and CM sets are an entirely different story. Steels are barely a two time switchin, and are susceptible to mystical fire and crits, and CM sets can prove to be a very oppressive late game wincon against balance cores. The raw damage this mon provides is too much imo, and considering it doesn’t have to predict, I’d say it’s definitely broken and deserves the boot.

:Sirfetch’d: While Leek is the most broken aspect of it, council has decided that the item alone cannot be banned. That being said, even band sets might prove too powerful, being one correct prediction away from taking over a game. This mon is last on my priority list, but should still be suspected.
 
:ss/salazzle:

Salazzle deserves to take a look on future.Despite the fact he doesn't get too much complain in last surveys,i think salazzle presence is overwhelming.Not much in builder (although wish sylveon sucks rn because of lazzle) but more in game.Wanted to talk about the sash variant almost always found on HO with endeavor since dragon pulse being less common with guzzlord dropping in usage.HOs started to run Kabutops over Aerodactyl,which mean they always keep rocks outside of their side instead of Aerodactyl who need watch out for rock blast stuff,Xatu,scald burns,rapid spin etc....
Now there's a full life lazzle who can pick up to 2 kills thanks to endeavor which allow his teammates to be unstoppable (hello blastoise).
The only form of priority who can switch-in is lycanroc restricted to sand teams,and they still can be blocked by psy terrain support.Machamp ban slightly help it since he often runned bullet punch.
Fasters mons are inteleon,talonflame,and aerodactyl,2 of them can't directly switch.

Then there is utility sets .They are easier to kill,but punish passive moves from defensive checks .Knock off/poison/toxic on a single read (and they fold vs nasty plot variants the next time they come.Trying to wishpass?Get Encored or Taunted.Defensive rock types are hard to justify with stakataka being right here and this only made salazzle better.
Both sets didn't get any drawbacks (or they get offsetted by teammates) and put too much pressure without risks .
 
The council is discussing it and I encourage people to here as well.
Thanks for the invitation :D I'm going to break down what I consider to be the biggest suspects of the tier in a rough order of most to least problematic.

CODE RED OMEGA LEVEL THREATS:

:ss/indeedee-f:

Indeedee-F (NDD) has quickly become revered as one of the most broken Pokemon in the tier, for good reason. With the influx of Fighting-types making Steel- and Dark-types lock their doors at night, coupled with NDD's own coverage to whoop her checks herself, NDD boasts 3 equally absurd sets and has some insane damage calcs under her belt along with decent (specially biased) natural bulk.

EXPANDING FORCE AGAINST STEEL-TYPES:
Although NDD has Fire-type coverage, it often doesn't even need to click it, easily 3HKOing the bulkiest Steel-types NU has to offer, meaning that they are often only one-time checks in a tier where breakers are given so many points of entry through our pivots.

252+ SpA Choice Specs Indeedee-F Expanding Force (120 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Stakataka in Psychic Terrain: 120-142 (36.8 - 43.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252+ SpA Choice Specs Indeedee-F Expanding Force (120 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Copperajah in Psychic Terrain: 152-179 (39.4 - 46.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock
252+ SpA Choice Specs Indeedee-F Expanding Force (120 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Escavalier in Psychic Terrain: 117-138 (34 - 40.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252+ SpA Choice Specs Indeedee-F Expanding Force (120 BP) vs. 252 HP / 192 SpD Silvally-Steel in Psychic Terrain: 145-171 (36.8 - 43.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock


WHAT ABOUT DARK-TYPES?
Indeedee gets a free coverage slot to play with, assuming it has Trick, Calm Mind, or Healing Wish as the 4th move. Dazzling Gleam is often used on Choice Scarf and Colbur CM sets, while Choice Specs can get away with Hyper Voice for the OHKO on Drapion and doing enough damage to Dark-types to break past them with a little effort anyway.

252+ SpA Choice Specs Indeedee-F Dazzling Gleam vs. 0 HP / 104 SpD Guzzlord: 652-768 (111 - 130.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Choice Specs Indeedee-F Hyper Voice vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Drapion: 247-292 (87.9 - 103.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
252+ SpA Choice Specs Indeedee-F Dazzling Gleam vs. 252 HP / 164+ SpD Scrafty: 324-384 (97 - 114.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock


:ss/sirfetchd:

Although the main point of discussion is the item Leek
Leek
, I personally believe that, veggies or not, Sirfetch'd is simply too powerful for the tier in a similar vein as Machamp. Choice Band Sirfetch'd still picks up absurd KO's on even relatively sturdy resists, and with Knock Off crippling sturdier checks long-term such as Mantine, Sylveon, and Talonflame, along with First Impression destroying many offensive checks, Sirfetch'd has all fronts covered. As esteemed tier leader Finchinator said, banning Leek is simply not an option, which is fine as again I think Sirfetch'd is nearly as bad for the tier as Machamp, if not more. There's not too much to say about this Pokemon; its a pretty cold take to say Sirfetch'd should be one of the next ones on the cutting board, and its already been discussed the logistics behind a double suspect test, but I do think this was a golden opportunity to hold our second double Fighting-type suspect test of the generation.

IMAGINE IF CRITS WERE WAY MORE COMMON IT'D BE IMPOSSIBLE TO CHECK SOME POKEMON

252 Atk Sirfetch’d Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 188 Def Sylveon on a critical hit: 224-264 (56.8 - 67%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Sirfetch’d Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Mudsdale on a critical hit: 219-258 (54.2 - 63.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Sirfetch’d Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 248 HP / 52 Def Talonflame on a critical hit: 202-238 (56.2 - 66.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Sirfetch’d Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 212+ Def Weezing on a critical hit: 133-157 (39.8 - 47%) -- 39.5% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Sirfetch’d First Impression vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Heliolisk on a critical hit: 255-301 (96.2 - 113.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Sirfetch’d First Impression vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Inteleon on a critical hit: 216-255 (76.8 - 90.7%) -- 25% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock


:ss/blastoise:

Daring today, aren't I? Saying Blastoise is broken and haxes everything and has no checks and blah blah blah.
No.
Blastoise SUCKS lol. There's a plethora of solid defensive checks for it, albeit typically one-time checks. The issue arises when you talk about OFFENSIVE checks for Blastoise. Scarf Heliolisk is considered quite bad in the current metagame for a number of reasons, and nothing else can outspeed Blastoise. This leaves us with priority from Sirfetch'd and.. Thwackey? Pretty stark in comparison to the defensive answers including but not limited to Araquanid, Mantine*, Gastrodon, Vaporeon, Quagsire*, AV Copperajah*, Sylveon, Toxicroak*, and Snorlax. a * next to these checks indicates that it folds to specific sets like Earthquake or Substitute, and even the more consistent checks are never safe from a flinch or two. Many other "broken" Pokemon, although lacking defensive counterplay are very easily dealt with offensively, even the late Machamp. The lack of offensive counterplay to Blastoise means a well-prepared team needs typically at least two defensive Blastoise checks, which need specific teammates to work best as all Pokemon do; Vaporeon with a Ground- and a Steel- type, Gastrodon and Stakataka, etc.. This leads to very similar looking teams due to a, while wide, still limited pool of defensive Blastoise checks while offensive counterplay is very hard to find. When these checks are stacked in such a way, Blastoise ends up unable to do much of anything, maybe occasionally cheesing a win but typically ending up doing nothing but denting a bulky Water-type. This is not the itinerary of a "broken" or even "good" Pokemon, but this metagame however, is a product of a "warping" Pokemon; something so easily checked but without those checks will absolutely steamroll you so hard you'll delete your team that it lost to while also providing quite literally nothing to the tier but a "I sure hope my opponent messed up BADLY in the builder" MU fish.

+2 68 Atk Blastoise Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Copperajah: 362-426 (94 - 110.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
+4 252+ SpA Blastoise Dark Pulse vs. 252 HP / 64+ SpD Gastrodon: 214-252 (50.2 - 59.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+0 252+ SpA Torrent Blastoise Surf vs. 252 HP / 68 SpD Unaware Quagsire: 234-276 (59.3 - 70%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
Although the arguments for Stoise lucking stuff are 100% invalid, Stoise does have the bulk to often reliably fish for flinches vs weaker checks such as Mantine and Gastrodon if Blastoise is hiding behind a Sub.


CODE ORANGE PLANET LEVEL THREATS:

:ss/silvally-ground:

I think its an actual joke that this thing wasn't banned the first time around, and if I had the power to QB one single Pokemon it would be this in a heartbeat. The natural bulk to eat even super effective hits while avoiding the 2HKO's from walls such as Mudsdale and Sylveon, flawless coverage with 2/3 moves and SD, immune to Trick and resisting Knock Off, forcing in its few "checks" to get U-turned on then giving free entry to some braindead wallbreaker. Its all too much. Its hilariously hopelessly too much and its easily the most broken Pokemon in the tier to me. Silvally-Ground not being banned in its first test was the first nail in the coffin for the general consensus that something is "wrong" with the tier. Players continue to complain about the tier and either don't even get reqs to vote or do vote and its DNB like that changes ANYTHING. I don't want to see anybody who hasn't voted in the past 2-3 tests to say anything bad about the tier like they're not actively contributing to any problems they come up with.

:ss/vaporeon:

just build better lol

:ss/snorlax:

It's pretty scary to imagine how this beast would snowball in a metagame without 2 of the most devastating Fighting-types around, given its prowess to easily sweep teams even with them around. I don't have too much to say about Snorlax as most of it is already known or speculative, but I think developments such as my FlingLax or TrickScarfers or OBB and Roxiee's revival of Lariat to win the Snorlax mirror will make Snorlax dominate in the upcoming SCL and other tournaments.

:ss/salazzle:

The only consistent check to this is hoping Renchon gets their hands on it. Even the most consistent Salazzle answers can lose to specific utility moves coupled with its raw power such as Knock Off, Toxic, Encore, and moves such as Overheat. For example, Knock Off Salazzle with Overheat can eventually win against Quagsire without any external support besides switching if it Knocks Quagsire upon initial entry then simply fishes for a Poison with Sludge Bomb each subsequent time Quagsire comes in.
252 SpA Salazzle Overheat vs. 252 HP / 68 SpD Quagsire: 123-144 (31.2 - 36.5%) -- 23.4% chance to 2HKO after poison damage
Every other Salazzle check ranging from Aerodactyl to Vaporeon gets insanely crippled by Poison or Knock Off, while Salazzle often gets free entry against common physical walls such as Vileplume and Weezing, which can support teammates such as Snorlax and Silvally-Ground.

CODE BLUE HAPPINESS LEVEL THREAT

:ss/vileplume:

Hey so uh.. nothing.. checks this? Literally nothing like. Salazzle gets Cgassed and can no longer safely come in, or put to Sleep, Xatu can block Strength Sap but gets cleanly 2HKO'd by Sludge Bomb. Steel-types can wall it but you better pray its not TrapperPlume or you just lost your Steel. Enjoy getting swept by Indeedee now :D. Plume still obviously can die to stuff but its very annoying and never goes down without a fight. Potentially broken Pokemon imo.

:ss/exeggutor-alola:

I think this thing has simmered down a little bit but its coverage and natural bulk are insane. Very few solid checks and its bulk allows it to take on a lot more than expected, especially with Synthesis or Harvest with Sitrus. I used to think this thing was broken but I haven't seen it too much lately so my recency bias is gone.
 

roxie

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I also want to point out I’ve been using Hyper Beam Normal Gem Blastoise and that’s a valid way to lure Vaporeon and Mantine. (+4) Personally I think ice beam , water attack, and hyper beam hits pretty much everything in a general sense. This kinda forces Vaporeon to run like max SpD and max HP. I’m not super heavy ban on Blastoise (kinda neutral) but it’s definitely the most talked about cheese. ATP time to bring back Roar Vaporeon..
 
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