Metagame NP: NU Stage 3 - The Ugly Barnacle

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Hello, going into NU's next stage, we're moving forward by suspect testing Barbaracle.

Barbaracle is being suspect tested due to it's fantastic offensive capabilities which are furthered by great coverage, brutal power, and a perfect sweeping tool in Shell Smash. With the introduction of Z-Moves Barbaracle has gained a deadly tool for obliterating would be defensive checks, and in this fast paced metagame it only takes one boost for Barbaracle to wreak havoc and potentially just end games by itself. To make matters worse, the very few Pokemon which do have the ability to check Barbaracle are either picked off by coverage such as Grass Knot or very niche in the case of Ferroseed and Gurdurr. Barbaracle's spectacular speed after a Shell Smash lets it outpace virtually the entire metagame outside of very uncommon Base 110 Choice Scarf users, and thanks to it's impressive bulk it can even take most priority attacks decently. Thus, the NU Council has unanimously agreed that Barbaracle's terrifying mix of sheer power, speed, and consistency has made it worthy of being suspect tested.

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

The reqs will be 2700 COIL with a B value of 9.0 and a 70 game limit. This suspect period will last for 10 days, ending on Thursday, October 5th at 11:59 PM EDT.


Tagging the The Immortal for the ladder.

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A lot of what I would like to talk about here I covered in the previous NP thread. However, one thing I forgot to mention is that this Pokemon really restricts teambuilding. You're forced to run a check like Seis or Poliwrath, and it can get in the way of building something you want to. So, all that with the fact that it has one counter (Ferroseed), as well as the fact that it's kind of uncompetitve since Memento into Barb, I will vote ban if I manage to get requirements.

Initially overshadowed in the early stages of NU, Barbaracle has stolen the spotlight recently, cementing itself as the tier's best set up sweeper. Access to Shell Smash boosts its attack to insane levels and patches up its mediocre speed, making it very deadly late-game. With solid coverage backed up by Tough Claws and the ability to abuse Z-moves to get past conventional checks like Slowbro, it's no wonder Barb's gotten the level of hype that it has.

One of the biggest strengths Barbarcle has is what Hootie outlined in a previous post: it's a sweeper and wallbreaker all in one. Rock/Water/Normal coverage is very hard to cover coming off of 105 base attack and Tough Claws, along with the potential of a tech Grass Knot to lure Seis/Gastro, and Continental Crush is always there to blow through something when you need to. This unrivaled power can permit the Ugly Barnacle to do double duty for its team, to hole-punch for a teammate early, or secure a sweep in the late-game. This gives Barbaracle a degree of versatility, where other setup sweepers would need more specific conditions to be met in order to put in work, and highlights how difficult it is to handle on the defensive spectrum.

Now, power is all fine and good, but it isn't enough to make something broken, especially a setup sweeper: you need a chance to setup in order to achieve that breaking potential, and how often or how reliably you can achieve that turn of setup will make or break you as a mon. Luckily for Barbaracle, its decent defensive typing and high defense stat allow it for ample opportunities to smash its shell. In particular, Barbaracle can take advantage of some of the most dangerous mons in the tier to boost up: Emboar, Sneasel, and Vanilluxe are all possible fodder for the Barnacle. These are some of the most splashable and powerful offensive mons we have at our disposal, and they can still be abused by Barbaracle if they lock themselves into the wrong move, and this is an aspect of the suspect in question that has a taxing effect on its opponents: sometimes a player will be in a prime position to, say, revenge kill a +2 Virizion, but might hesitate with their Sneasel or Emboar, because if they click that banded IC or Scarf Blitz, the match could easily be decided then and there.

With all that said, what firmly pushes Barbarcle over the edge for me is its speed tier. Let's take a look at another ocean dweller with a tendency for setup sweeping: Carracosta. Carracosta has the same rock/water typing, same niche as an SS sweeper, and same ability to abuse Z-moves, even with the added bonus of being a mixed attacker as well. If this is all true, then why isn't Carracosta being considered broken as well, or at least in good competition with Barbaracle? Well, unfortunately for the Primordial Placoderm, it's far too easily revenge killed. Carracosta possesses an abysmal base 32 speed, which might be good for outpacing unboosted mons, but most competent scarf users will leave Costa in the dust, usually with the coverage to easily ko it. Barbaracle, in contrast, has a base 68 speed tier, which is pretty average unboosted, but, at +2, makes the Barnacle a bonafide speed demon, outpacing practically every relevant scarfer, bar Dodrio. This leaves the matter of revenge killing to Super Effective priority, which is very rare in the tier, only being wielded by Hitmonlee and very niche options like Gurdurr and Poliwrath.

Overall, Barbaracle's insane power, ability to setup on a variety of strong offensive mons, and amazing speed at +2, combine to make a pokemon that is very difficult to deal with, possessing no counters and very few offensive/defensive checks to take it on. It constrains teambuilding and can turn some of the best mons in the tier into liabilities in one turn. If I'm able to obtain reqs, I will most surely be voting to Ban the Barnacle.
I think in two posts a lot of the barnacle has been covered. I want to bring up a point that comes up in game versus barnacle, but isn't really given much consideration when thinking about the theory behind the mon. This is that with a z-move it is an immediate threat. If it is in versus vikavolt it isn't given a chance to set up, but it can kill vikavolt right then and there. This is a common situation for barnacle because of its respectable bulk and 105 base attack. If you have encore whimsi to stop it from setting up, switchin in your whimsi is threatening to lose it. This means that even building that preps for it might fall short in an actual game. I also agree with the above posts and so I believe it should be BANNED. It's a massive teambuilding restriction that can find opportunities to do work even when well prepared for.


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real talk the only reason people weren't using barbaracle as much as because it's so ugly.

but yeah the problem with facing it is pressuring gameplay when facing it with scarf emboar, scarf delphox, scarf vanilluxe, band sneasel, you can't safely click fire/ice coverage which barbaracle resists simply because it'll give barbaracle solid opportunities to setup in the case where one of the aforementioned pokemon KO's something, giving barbaracle a free switch-in. so ultimately gameplay is easier for the barbaracle user since it'll pressure pokemon that it can potentially setup on from clicking the moves that will allow barbaracle to setup, which may net multiple KO's for barbaracle, simply because of the difficulty to revenge kill it given its solid speed tier which lets it outspeed pokemon like scarf delphox with jolly. the impact barbaracle is having on the tier is leading to pokemon like scarf virizion and ditto being used, when virizion would rather not use non-scarf sets, and ditto isn't as nearly as effective of a revenge kill against pokemon not named barbaracle

also the fact that people are realizing specs whimsicott is better than pixie plate prankster is helping barbaracle to an extent, because whimsicott can't switch-in and encore to limit the damage when using specs
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I also share the opinion that Barbaracle makes teambuilding much more restricting. I used to not think of Barbaracle as a huge issue to the metagame, but lately I clearly understood how unhealthy it is. In a tier where so many common Pokemon are choiced (namely Emboar, Vanilluxe, and Sneasel at some extent), Pokemon that can be trapped on moves that will help Barbaracle set-up (Flare Blitz, Blizzard, Icicle Crash...), which is something that makes it even harder to check because you need to make sure that by clicking a move you won't be setup bait for the Barnacle. Furthermore, it has very few defensive checks -- as stated before -- that usually struggle to fit on most offensive teams; while it can still get revenge killed by a few Pokemon like Hitmonlee, and sometimes Toxicroak, but they're still manageable Pokemon that can get worn down really easily throughout the battle. While I believe other Pokemon are currently problematic in the metagme, Barbaracle is just really strong, combining Tough Claws and its raw power, making it really hard to wall it reliably on most teams if it sets up at the right time, which also makes the tier really unhealthy so this is why I think it should be banned first.
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Barbaracle should be banned, but I'm not gonna make a big post about it because basically everything I have to say has already been said. I just came in here because I want to show off something cool that I've been running on balance recently to help with this broken monster:

Ditto @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Imposter
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Atk / 252 Def
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 30 Atk / 30 SpA / 2 Spe
- Transform

Ditto is a really nice 'mon because it invalidates quite a lot of setup Pokemon that give balanced teams a headache (including, but not limited to, Barbaracle (!), Vivillon, Virizion and Malamar) while also helping wrt speed control vs Pokemon like Sceptile, LO Whimsi etc. and scouting out movesets too. The listed IVs give Ditto HP Fire, which is the Hidden Power of choice in this metagame imo because the majority of prominent Hidden Power users which aren't hit harder by their own STAB moves (namely Vanilluxe and Sceptile) are weak to Fire-type attacks. HP Rock (30 Def / 30 SpD / 2 Spe) is also an option on teams which have no issues with Sceptile which retains coverage on Vanilluxe and also hits Houndoom. Anyway, it's just a fun mon that I felt like talking about since it pertains to Barbaracle.
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Pretty much everything about Barbaracle has been covered, it's incredibly restrictive to teambuilding, gameplay (some of the best mons in the tier; e.g scarf emboar / delphox / houndoom become liabilities, ultimately forcing you to play more passive and lose momentum), and with Rockium-Z there's just too few things to actually stop it from claiming multiple kills if not an entire sweep. Just by watching recent high level tournament play you can see just how hard it is to play around without inevitably falling into a game of "catch up" which either forces opponents to either play ultra defensively or super aggressively and make fatal risks. The fact that a niche Pokemon like Ferroseed (which doesn't exactly fare well in this Fire + Xatu heavy meta) is seeing progressively increasing usage speaks volumes. Therefore I'll be voting 'Ban Barbaracle'.

Also as a side note, since the start of this suspect test I've noticed a fair amount of people justify their "Do Not Ban" stance with arguments like 'Emboar's way more broken, it should've gotten tested first' or 'Well I haven't seen Barbaracle do much, nobody uses it!'. I cannot stress this enough, please do not vote with the mentality that because you haven't seen something enough or because you might think something else is broken Barbaracle is fine or should be left alone. Barbaracle's usage prior to this suspect test was admittedly not extremely high, but it's during these tests that you're given the opportunity to go out there and use it for yourself, watch how it works in high level environments, even on the upper ladder, and make an informed judgment on it. The NU Council is aware of how the tier is progressing and we all believe Barbaracle was easily the most unhealthy presence, if after this test we feel there's something else that needs to be looked at, we'll look at it, but for now the focus is on Barbaracle.
Yeah, I'm definitely leaning toward a ban. Not only does it make most choice users a liability since barb can switch in on a sack and win the game, but more importantly imo is the fact that it makes hazard clear a liability. NU already struggles with it, and barb's existence makes it even worse; every time a mon like cryo, golbat, or skuntank switch in, they risk a 50/50 chance of losing the game if they choose to defog/spin. Imo spikes offense+ barb is probably the best archetype in the tier rn, and it's super unhealthy.

Building off what eternally said a bit, most players aren't really engaged in the nu tour scene and don't realize that barb won a bunch of snake games lol. "Nobody uses it" isn't even relevant on ladder anymore now that people are more aware of it.


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Bye bye Barb; might as well show off what I used when it was still around now that it has lost p. much its whole niche. It was smth that I used when I couldn't afford to drop my speed tier vs stuff like Delphox and Missy:

Hitmonlee @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Reckless
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- High Jump Kick
- Earthquake / Rapid Spin
- Mach Punch
- Knock Off

This set looks kinda weird, but let me explain what it does for you. EQ is the less weird move here, being nice because it allows Hitmonlee to outpace and OHKO Delphox through its Colbur Berry/Z move, but it also 2HKOs standard Garbodor and is helpful for revenge killing Toxicroak, among other good shit. Mach Punch, however, is the real star here. Provided I attacked Barbaracle as it set up, it allowed me to revenge kill all variants (barring chople, which nobody ran anyway) without needing to sacrifice the speed control element that Scarf allowed. If my opponent knew Hitmonlee carried Scarf, they were more likely to take opportunities to try and set up in the knowledge that Hitmonlee couldn't revenge kill it, only to be surprised when I revealed the Mach Punch. Running it alongside EQ means no Spin but eeeehh the team was so offensive that it doesn't really care about Spin utility anyway, and CC is only really good for 100% accuracy and not crashing on ghosts, but I p. much always clicked KOff when shit like Missy was still alive anyway so it ended up being a non-issue for the most part.
This post'll be a bit short because of mobile, but I felt like getting my thoughts out there ASAP.

So, with Barb out of the tier (bless), there will definitely be a loss of some teams that relied on the dynamic it brought. Don't throw away your teams yet, though -- I think the perfect substitute is already here.

lost it (Omastar) @ Waterium Z / Normalium Z / Rockium Z
Ability: Weak Armor
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hydro Pump
- Ice Beam
- Shell Smash
- Hidden Power [Grass] / Hyper Beam / Ancient Power

This thing... is terrifying. The calcs it puts out are straight up crazy - it's basically Barb levels of unstoppable, with even better physical bulk at the cost of not having a 100% reliable attack like Barb's Return and a slightly worse speed tier that puts it behind scarf Phox.

+2 252 SpA Omastar Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Virizion: 288-340 (89.1 - 105.2%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 SpA Omastar Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Slowbro: 333-392 (84.5 - 99.4%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 SpA Omastar Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. 252 HP / 104+ SpD Cryogonal: 358-423 (98.3 - 116.2%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO

+2 252 SpA Omastar Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Audino-Mega: 339-399 (82.6 - 97.3%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 SpA Omastar Hidden Power Grass vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Gastrodon: 392-464 (92 - 108.9%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 SpA Omastar Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Eviolite Golbat: 466-550 (131.6 - 155.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 SpA Omastar Ice Beam vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Eviolite Golbat: 304-358 (85.8 - 101.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 SpA Omastar Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 196 SpD Guzzlord: 444-524 (75.6 - 89.2%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 SpA Omastar Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 0 HP / 196 SpD Guzzlord: 493-580 (83.9 - 98.8%) -- 75% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 SpA Omastar Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Virizion: 319-376 (98.7 - 116.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 SpA Omastar Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Vaporeon: 414-488 (89.2 - 105.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 SpA Omastar Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 252 HP / 6 SpD Seismitoad: 504-593 (121.7 - 143.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 SpA Omastar Continental Crush (120 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Vaporeon: 373-441 (80.3 - 95%) -- 50% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 SpA Omastar Continental Crush (120 BP) vs. 252 HP / 104+ SpD Cryogonal: 464-548 (127.4 - 150.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 SpA Omastar Continental Crush (120 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Slowbro: 433-510 (109.8 - 129.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO

252 Atk Choice Band Sneasel Knock Off vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Omastar: 106-126 (37.7 - 44.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

252 Atk Reckless Emboar Wild Charge vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Omastar: 188-222 (66.9 - 79%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Life Orb Hitmonlee Mach Punch vs. -1 0 HP / 4 Def Omastar: 198-237 (70.4 - 84.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Choice Band Emboar Sucker Punch vs. -1 0 HP / 4 Def Omastar: 149-176 (53 - 62.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

There's a bit of unpredictability with it, as well. Waterium Z is the previous go-to, it provides a ridiculous atom bomb of an attack that vaporizes neutral targets and even smacks some bulky resists (Slowbro). It also frees up a slot to use HP Grass to blow up Seismitoad and Gastro. After spitballing in the NU room a bit, we came up with a few alternatives, though. Nornalium Z Hyper Beam / Wring Out blows away bulky Water resists like Vaporeon, Guzzlord and Seismitoad with a bit of chip, and Rockium Z Ancient Power pops Cryogonal while still maintaining amazing damage on Vaporeon and Slowbro and gives you a move you can actually use after you've used up Z, at the cost of less reliability vs Water/Grounds, Mega Audino, and the occasional Poliwrath. In short, nothing's safe until you successfully scout this terror's item, and by the time you've done that it may be too late.

So uh... go try it out. I'm already preparing my Protect Cryogonals and Specs Poliwraths.

s/o carcy , Z+V , i like cute things , and Allstar for ridin this wave w me : )

edit: added calcs, still terrified of this monster
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Sneasel @ Choice Band
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Pursuit
- Knock Off
- Icicle Crash
- Ice Shard

With Barbarcle gone Sneasel finds itself in a really good spot. Before it was really hard to run on offensive teams because if you ever locked yourself into Pursuit then you'd have Barbarcle free set up. This relegated Sneasel to bulky teams that could deal with a +2/+2 Barbarcle, but now its free to be splashed onto basically any team.

The meta trends don't just stop at Barbarcle leaving, right now all the Psychic and Ghost types aren't running Colbur, instead opting to run things like Rocky Helmet or Z-moves which makes pursuit trapping them extremely easy. Sneasel has been benefiting from basically every recent meta trend and I can only see its usability and usage rise with the ban of Barbarcle.
Here's a Pokemon that I'd like to talk about.

Vanilluxe @ Choice Specs
Ability: Snow Warning
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Blizzard
- Freeze-Dry
- Flash Cannon
- Hidden Power [Ground]

Vanilluxe, which was already very threatening before Barbaracle's ban, is definitely gonna be one of the top Pokemon in the tier with the infamous combination of Snow Warning + Blizzard. The reason why it was harder for Vanilluxe to properly shine in a Barbaracle meta is mainly because of the fact that it couldn't spam Blizzard as it would be easier for Barbaracle to set-up on it. However, with NU lacking reliable Ice resists on the longterm -- the only ones that come to my mind being Miltank, defensive Cryo, and Piloswine, with other resists that are not as reliable being Hariyama, Incineroar -- make it very easy for Vanilluxe to brainlessly spam Blizzard and slowly but surely denting the opposing team. I just think that Vanilluxe is absurdly good now, and I definitely think it's even worthy to consider it for a suspect test.
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Been a while since the last post and I'd like to revitalize this thread with some of my thoughts on the current meta. Firstly, I think the meta is quite stable as people are running adequate checks for prominent pokemon like Emboar, Whimsicott, Vanilluxe etc. The latter might be the last removable thorn but I like to think that we achieved a more or less stable metagame. Now I know people aren't always eager to discuss the current state of NU wether people think it's stagnating or teams look always the same. However, the best way to turn these negatives into positives is to explore as much as possible and that definitely happened these past few weeks. It's probably not the biggest surprise that a lot of pokemon that are currently in the B ranks are very underrated. Here's a list of pokemon you should definitely try out:

Klinklang: Fun set-up sweeper that punishes any team lacking Steelix. Wear down the bulky Ground and Water types and you're good to go.
Scyther: Its Scarf set outspeeds and KOs a lot of prominent threats while offering a form of momentum.
More info:
Braviary: Bulky set-up sweeper that can set-up reliably in front of defensive mons like Toad and Vileplume. It gets going pretty fast too.
More info:
Hariyama: Thick Fat is useful but the Guts set is dangerous. Packs a lot of power and hits the opponent hard if unprepared.
Slowking: Good pivot with a colorful movepool, great ability and good overall bulk. The Trick Room set is also tons of fun to play with.
Toxicroak: Able to dismantle bulkier teams with both SD and NP sets. Its typing and ability give this pokemon everything it needs to perform.
More info:

Klinklang @ Steelium Z
Ability: Clear Body
Happiness: 0
EVs: 88 HP / 252 Atk / 168 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Gear Grind
- Wild Charge
- Frustration
- Shift Gear

Scyther @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Technician
Happiness: 0
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Aerial Ace
- Bug Bite
- Pursuit
- U-turn

Braviary @ Leftovers
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 HP / 32 Def / 200 SpD / 24 Spe
Careful Nature
- Bulk Up
- Substitute
- Brave Bird
- Roost

Hariyama @ Flame Orb
Ability: Guts
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Close Combat
- Facade
- Knock Off
- Heavy Slam / Bullet Punch

Slowking @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Psyshock / Future Sight
- Fire Blast
- Grass Knot / Dragon Tail

Toxicroak @ Life Orb / Poisonium Z
Ability: Dry Skin
Happiness: 0
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Gunk Shot
- Drain Punch
- Sucker Punch / Knock Off
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I’d like to share my thoughts on the current metagame, and just how I feel about it right now.
I really like how it turned out, as some new threats like Klinklang and Magmortar are getting attention, and teambuilding feels much better with more room for diversity and originality — which is something that used to bother me a lot during SM NU’s early stages. It’s great to see that people have adapted themselves to the metagame as well; with Pokemon like Vanilluxe, Emboar and Delphox being borderline unbearable some time ago, but that are now perfectly fine right now, thanks to the rise of Miltank, Piloswine, Thick Fat Raticate-Alola, and defensive Delphox, in example. It’s great to see that if the council is more on the conservative side and it doesn’t suspect everything that gets too much attention, people start to create effective trends to solve these problems; I was really advocating for an Emboar and Vanilluxe suspect some time ago but currently I think they’re both fine and there’s no issue in our metagame thanks to these innovations and the new gems we keep finding. I really like the route NU is taking right now and I hope the tier will get better with new shifts and USM around the corner.
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My own personal opinion on the state of Defog of NU (feel free to disagree):

After giving every single new defogger in USUM a somewhat fair chance (at least I'd say, I tried each one at least 5 times with a dedicated team around them with like the exception of bad silvally forms and ghost rotom), my results have been:

-Silvally's are garbage (someone make this work and prove me wrong) because they:

1) have no reliable recovery nor leftovers not amazing enough bulk (95/95 is decent don't get me wrong) to offset the first two downsides (T-spikes = gg because Silvally-Poison literally loses to every rocker)

2) do not have a catch-all typing against every hazard setter in the tier as well as anti-hazard deterrents

Examples include: (probably best one but kinda ass) Water losing Toxic Seismitoad and Garbodor, Dragon losing to Piloswine, Sneasel and more offensive Druddigon builds and still Garbodor, and Steel losing to Steelix and Rhydon. (All the other forms are considerably worse having tried Fairy/Fighting/Electric/Ground)

3) Kind of 4mss as well. Parting Shot/Surf/Toxic/Defog "hits" the most, but will let Vileplume in so free among other things that escape my brain atm. T-wave replacing toxic removes any chance of beating Seismitoad, Ice Beam instead of Surf WILL make you lose vs Rhydon/Lix, and anything replacing parting shot removes its biggest niche imo.

-Sigilyph is a mixed bag. All in all, NOT a Xatu [REPLACEMENT] but not bad depending on team build.
two sets: defensive and offensive defog but both come with a decent amount of crippling weaknesses

1) Both suffer heavily and I do mean HEAVILY of 4mss.
-In offensive sets, every combo of Energy Ball, Psychic, Heat Wave, Dazzling Gleam, Air Slash, Dark Pulse, and Roost will leave you walled by at least something. I personally like going 3 atks, Energy Ball, Dazzling Gleam, Psychic (walled by Delphox, Incineroar) but in the end, still walled by just too many things (not to mention, only modest energy ball kills most full health Rhydons) and will have to sacrifice Roost which is much appreciated in anything not HO. Tinted Lens is alright (2 atks Roost) but taking SR as a defogger and losing out on Life Orb recoil immunity is ew.

2) Defensive sets people have been talking about, oh lord. King of 4mss. Psycho Shift Flame Orb pretty much gives you one attack, which most of the time is like Air Slash or Psychic so either: one weak STAB, or not being able to do anything to darks except burn them. Either way, CM Delphox/NP Houndoom especially has a field day against these sets as well as still being rekt by Sneasel which some Xatu's can play around by unning protect to scout or just u-turn in prediction. Also you either kind of have to pick either getting outsped alot or taking way more than you want to by attacks.

-Defog Whimsicott is more like a "light hazard control" option as you really can't depend on fogging all game due to astronomically low bulk but more offensive teams that can free the Encore/Memento/Tailwind slot, this is a decent option.

-Defog Mowtom is kind of in the same boat, splashing defog on the 4th slot is probably the best option (Defog on choice sets aren't that bad). I've ran a defensive Calm nature set w/ leftovers with VS/LS/WoW or PS/Defog but it's rather "eh" as it lacks firepower and doesn't have an amazing defensive typing as well as deciding between Wisp and Split is very difficult considering you want to crippling physical set up sweepers or actually have some form of real recovery.

-Drampa is simply unfit for the role as it much rather be clicking Draco and Noctowl is still lol even w/ flyinium z tinted lens.

I want to give attention to I'd argue is the current GOAT at defog:

Altaria @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 248 HP / 160 Def / 100 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Roost
- Defog
- Toxic
- Flamethrower

(Spread lives any attack besides Head Smash from CB Emboar and Altaria doesn't NEED to outspeed anything so spdef investment helps a lot also customize your own spread if you don't like it bub)

Ok, I know this is a passive shit, but damn if this wasn't the GOAT.
+walls Delphox, AV Hariyama, both Rotoms, Emboar (no head smash uprising pls), Accelgor, Swords dance Rott, Scyther, Defensive Garbodors, and Steelix (a bunch of other shit like ScarfDoom, non-stone edge Virizion, and Hitmonlee just too much to list)
+Wins any and every status spam war due to Natural Cure aka middle finger to Toxic Seismitoad, Toxic/Glare Druddigon, Toxic/Wave Miltank,
Wish Toxic Tect Delphox
-However will take a back pedal on things like Shed Skin Scrafty (bad), Guts Hariyama, Cryogonal, and Mesprit coverage.

(ok I'm lazy so the rest of this research paper is bad and I have to do things other than write for digimons)

Good teammates include ice resists AV yama and shit. No replays but here's calcs.

252 SpA Delphox Dazzling Gleam vs. 248 HP / 100 SpD Altaria: 140-166 (39.6 - 47%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252+ Atk Choice Band Reckless Emboar Wild Charge vs. 248 HP / 160+ Def Altaria: 157-185 (44.4 - 52.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252+ Atk Hariyama Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 248 HP / 160+ Def Altaria: 92-109 (26 - 30.8%) -- 4.3% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery

252+ Atk Steelix Heavy Slam (120 BP) vs. 248 HP / 160+ Def Altaria: 135-160 (38.2 - 45.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
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