Metagame NP: NU Stage 5.1 - Kung Fu Fighting [Bewear & Pangoro Banned]

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:Mienshao: Personally, I think this should be priority one. Mienshao's ATK and SPE allow it to easily force switches, and Regenerator means that any means of accumulating chip are limited to RNG like Flame Body/Effect Spore, as well as a few niche abilities like Neutralizing Gas or Wandering Spirit. It's not an impossible thing to deal with, but I think it has been limiting meta development for too long now.

It single-handedly drove Rocky Helmet etc. out, barring special abilities to nullify Regenerator; scarfers are either Shao or Shao-alternative (Mowtom as the Volt-Switch version, Flygon as the 'I have a Fighting type already' version, Starmie as the 'screw Shao specifically' rep). Checking opposing Fighting types once or twice is unfeasible for many styles, since Shao will outlast virtually any check that does so.

Frankly, I'm looking forward to the colorful developments that can take place when builders don't have to account for the Virtually Unchippable Everything-Check and Zero-Risk Zero-Opportunity-Cost U-turn/Knock Off Factory*yes that's hyperbole dont' @ me that will probably last the whole game. (And in my experience, yes- Mienshao is usually the last to go down.)
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:Cresselia: I think that we can afford to sit on this one for a bit, since a lot of stuff that Bewear kept in check (read: Ghost types) happens to be good in a vs. Cresselia matchup. I think the specificity required to fight Cresselia will go down a bit, but I feel like it'll still be braindead easy to protect Cresselia from whatever is thrown at it, leading to unpleasant chess games with Cresselia as the Queen.

:Icy Rock: Hail feels like something that's incredibly difficult to play around if you don't have something very specific for it, especially considering the combination of Arctovish and Sandslash-A, and the fact that there's no shortage of setters to keep hail active practically the whole game. I think that so far, it's been easy to perceive hail as balanced because of a highly questionable Shao keeping it in check, which sounds like 'unhealthy-checking-unheatlhy' to me. We also just lost a great hail check in Bewear.

:Tyrantrum: Again, we lost the best non-passive Tyrantrum check just now, and, similarly to Hail, I think that Shao's presence creates the illusion that the guy 3HKO'ing Mudsdale and Bronzong with a resisted move, while outspeeding other wallbreakers, is somehow balanced, because you can always just throw Mienshao at it after something blows up.

Either way, I think that a decision regarding Mienshao should come sooner rather than later, because of the sheer impact that Mienshao has on teambuilding and game-playing (imo).
 

Pokeslice

Thanks for the Dance
is a Pre-Contributor
In my opinion right now, :Cresselia:>:Mienshao: broken wise, although I understand the sentiment for the opposite and actually think Shao should be suspected first even though the player base as a whole and the average player would rather Cress go first since it would hopefully open up enough Cress counterplay to make it beatable? But honestly, probably not, and definitely not more than this previous ban did. Anyways, here's my 2 cents.

:Mienshao: - This mon is stupid strong and idt I need to explain to anyone why it should go, but my main gripe with it is the effect it has on teambuilding. I've found 3-4/5 teams I'll make will have some form of Comfey, Talon, or Plume ready to try and cripple it or threaten it, since so little else can. Obviously more niche answers exist, like Rune or Weezing, but when I queue up with or against the same looking teams each time specifically to deal with Shao, it can get restrictive really fast. At the same time, LO sets are INSANE and don't really have counters outside of faster threats, especially with Regen. Those same sets can often beat some of it's counters, such as LO Blaze Kick for Plume or LO P Jab 2HKOing the Fairy's. That set is what really pushes it over the edge for me since, as a wallbreaker outside of Scarf, it can be impossible to wall, or near impossible. The best ways I've found to deal with it is to have a faster threat to beat it out and 3 mons that abuse it's coverage options for Scarf. I won't miss this stoat.

:cresselia: - I believe that this mon is by FAR the most restrictive presence in the metagame and deserves a QB (but suspect it thanks since I know that won't happen LOL). It feels like, for viable options, you're forced to run an Escav, Taunt Drapion, or Haze Mantine on every team, although there are cool options out there like Decid or other offensive Ghost's. Outside that, you're stuck with running weird sets like Curse Copper, random Whirlwind just for Cress (I even have a team with Whirlwind Exploud as a last filler slot to help vs Cress), or not super viable mons, like my boys Stunfisk-G and Frosmoth. It also feels like Cress can just 1 v 5 entire teams, especially fatter ones, despite how healthy they are because that one check went down, making games rage inducing, long, and unfun as Cress just subs, sets up on your Plume, and sweeps with ease. There's a reason you don't see it as much on the ladder as it's overwhelming presence should make it. The average player hates using it, facing it, or trying to build around it and it needs to go.

EDIT: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nu-1280727087-u4ac5xhfjud1jg4z2huwmxt4gxiysn9pw - I think this replay sums up Cress for me pretty perfectly. I'm so sorry to the guy who had to go through 30 turns of Cress shit with me. Why is this thing still here :psycry:
 
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Finchinator

You’re so golden
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I think that :Mienshao: is the most pressing problem right now.

There are a small handful of switch-ins that are mostly situational against the Life Orb set. The Choice Scarf set is also strong, but I feel we should focus on the stronger of the two variants. It is challenging to revenge kill and you are not even capable of keeping chip on it very easily due to Regenerator. I think that Mienshao has been a problem since it was dropped down to the tier and we have given the metagame a couple of cycles of adaptation to try to minimize it. We have seen some promising options pop up with potential to check it such as Vileplume and Talonflame, but ultimately these Pokemon alone are insufficient and I do not believe the metagame has the ability to consistently keep Mienshao in check without feeling very limited.

To put it in perspective, Bewear had practically no defensive answers that were able to stick around in the long-haul, but it was revenge killable. Mienshao has a couple of defensive answers that have some durability, but a very limited pool of revenge killers and Regenerator. They are broken in very different senses, but for Bewear, there was insufficient defensive counterplay. For Mienshao, there is arguably insufficient offensive counterplay and still quite limited defensive counterplay.

I am fine looking into :Cresselia:, but I find it more cheesy and annoying than I do a cause of the tier being anything close to unplayable or uncompetitive. I am not saying I would vote to keep it, but rather I am less sold on it and I feel there are still team archetypes adapting to minimizing it. I have found Mienshao pressing for a longer time and it is more clear-cut than Cresselia for me. If the community favors Cresselia, that is totally fine with me still.
 

Luck O' the Irish

the money will roll right in
is a Tiering Contributor
agreed w finch wrt shao and cress. i think cress is more constraining in the teambuilder than it is broken in practice. i see posts saying u need escav or like taunt drapion to beat cress, which is just not true: golurk, decidueye, golisopod are all mons that need to be removed before cress can sweep. other things like curse or whirlwind on raj, encore on salazzle, taunt on talonflame (admittedly doesnt have much room for it) can keep cress at bay. now admittedly cress has found a lot of ways to get around various counterplay, like rest + kee or chesto berry to mess w tox and polt users.

with the bears bans i think there's more room to explore counterplay to cress. with shao i dont think there's much more to be said. i think now maybe rune and ngas weezing are better cause bewear put way too much pressure on those and pangoro just didnt care ab them. i still dont see either becoming good enough in the meta for them to be rly worthwhile unless youre facing shao teams, but we'll see i suppose
 

Pokeslice

Thanks for the Dance
is a Pre-Contributor
Hey everyone! As someone who HATES Cress and wants to see it gone, I've been sifting through our options, both in NU and below, looking for answers to this demon, and since I'm allllll over the NU chatroom, I can tell that the average player has the same problems. So, I've decided to put together a guide I've come up with on how to beat Cress and some cool options (and some weird ones ofc) for those who hate spamming Escav+my mindset and gameplan going into teambuilding and a battle.

Overview
A lot of ladder players try to beat Cress head on in a 1v1 or expect their offensive breakers to deal with it, but as we know, this doesn't always work. It's great speed tier and bulk let it demolish fatter teams or easily beat/stall out certain breakers, such as our fighters, Polter Golurk depending on the set, or even Ttrum. What's important to recognize when building is that beating Cress is a TEAM effort, even with a dedicated answer hard wall in Escavalier. Going into a battle with a laid out plan beforehand is a great way to do it.

Gameplan
When building, Cress should be public enemy number 1, and once you figure out how to beat it, you'll have a wayyy easier time in game and in building. The main thing to remember is that every team should have a minimum of 2 checks to Cress, whether that means a hard wall and a soft check, two hard walls, 3 soft checks that support the team and let you abuse Cress etc. Having multiple different outs against Cress is KEY to beating it. Now, here's some of my favorites.

Hardest Wall
I know we're all sick and tired of hearing about this guy, but if you really never want to lose to Cress, no matter the set, you pack an...

:escavalier: - With a fantastic typing for beating down Cress and access to either CB or SD sets, Escavalier will literally never ever lose to Cresselia. The demon, even at +6, will never be able to kill you before you kill it, even if you run into the rare, but potent, Trick Scarf set. Remember though, if your team loses to Cress the second Escav goes down, you're going to be in deep trouble.

Offensive Mons/Types
Now, as someone who loves running more offensive teams, I've been trying to find a clear, definitive way to beat down Cress, and tbh, there isn't one. Don't give up hope though there's a LOT of ways still to beat it.

1613626947669.png
- With the banning of Bewear and Goro, it's now the meta of the Ghost's, whether that's :decidueye:, :golurk:, :Silvally:, :Dhelmise:, or even random :Shedinja:, more offensive teams who want to break Cress should look no further than these guys. All are capable of offensively beating down Cress, but remember, if you rely on Poltergeist, you better watch out for those Kee variants. Running moves like Shadow Claw, Shadow Punch, or Spirit Shackle are all ways to circumvent this.

1613626998850.png
- Besides dealing super effective damage to Cress, Bug types, specifically special bugs, can use Bug Buzz to get behind that Sub and beat it with ease. Almost every single one in the game can do this, from :escavalier: ofc to Specs :Ribombee:, :Frosmoth:, or another FANTASTIC hard wall in :centiskorch:. Oh, and don't forget two other Bugs that can beat it, :golisopod: and :araquanid:. Both make sure Cress either can't or has a hard time sweeping your squad. The special Bugs can be a little inconsistent at times if you let them CM up, but if the Cress had set up and you had an answer in the back you didn't bring out, that's on you. A super weird, but cool, way to deal with Cress.

1613627014174.png
- I know what you're thinking. Sure they resist Moonblast, but how do they actually beat Cress without the super effective damage? Good question, but here's the answer. Let's start with our best Fire type, :salazzle:. Salazzle has the unique ability of turning normal CM Moonblast Cress into setup fodder like nothing else. You take less than 0 from a Moonblast while you NP up and KO them. Psychic STAB is scary, but if your team can beat both variants, you should be fine (PACK 2 CHECKS). :Arcanine: on paper also looks like setup fodder, but I've started to run a lot more Flare Blitz with attack investment when I run it, making sure to outspeed Cress, break the Sub, and Toxic it. It's a soft check, but solid. :Centiskorch: is my favorite sleeper pick. Just like Escav, it'll beat every single Cress variant, even Kee! By teching your Fires like this, you can beat Cress down pretty well.

1613627031093.png
- Yes, Spdef Taunt/Taunt SD :Drapion: will usually beat Cress, but other Dark types have merit, too, especially when paired with a Moonblast Cress answer. Mono Psychic STAB can't sweep ever if you have a Dark in the way, such as :Guzzlord: or :Absol:. I want to make it very clear that outside Drapion, Dark types for Cress are probably the most inconsistent by far, but when paired with a Fairy move Cress answer, it's really underrated.

:cresselia: - I know you're wondering how your own Cress can help you beat another Cress, but if you Calm Mind up together, your Psyshock will beat his, especially if you're faster. It's not a guaranteed check and you have to be careful with PP, but it's a semi reliable check you can throw on a team.

More Defensive Options

Curse
1613627818088.png
- As many probably know, Curse :Copperajah: is a solid answer to Cresselia (REMEMBER NORMAL COPPER LOSES 1v1), but it isn't the only Curse Steel. My boy :stunfisk-galar: is another solid Curse Steel that adds other utility Copper doesn't while largely serving the same role if you try it.

Haze - Haze will usually stop a quick Cress sweep, especially for more passive and stallier teams, with mons such as :mantine:, :vaporeon:, and even :xatu: proving to have put in work. Just remember, Haze is merely a CHECK and none of these mons can ever kill Cress, so unless you want to PP stall for 50 turns, bring an offensive answer of sorts.

Other Offensive/Defensive Options Outside a Guaranteed Check aka How to Abuse Cress
All of these aforementioned mons are really solid, but obviously, to abuse Cress, you're going to need more than just them. When looking at Cress, it's greatest weakness lies in its passivity until it sets up, and for more offensive teams (and defensive ones too) you should be abusing this aspect of Cress through your team. The best way to do this, although semi hard to fit, is through the use of Taunt and Encore. What people get wrong about using these two moves, including me at first, is that a lot of people think that throwing these two moves onto a team beats Cress, but it's important to recognize that they DON'T. You should be utilizing those two moves to support your Cress answers, bringing them in safely to set up on Cress or force it out. For example, a Taunted Cress becomes Lazzle setup bait or Curse Copper fodder etc. Use those two moves to your advantage. You will have to warp certain sets and builds for it, but until Cress is gone, if you want to do run a more offensive team not named Screens HO, Encore/Taunt will be necessary imo. Taunt also has use outside of Cress so abuse it!

Toxic and Trick are more good answers to Cress, but remember, you have to be faster or it will just Sub up and block your move. Now if it's Rest Cress, Toxic isn't a great answer, but you now have 3 turns to take advantage of a sleeping Cress, so I'll preach it once again. You NEED more than one answer.

Heal Bell/Wish Support - If you're going to rely on a harder wall, such as Escav or Drapion, imo you need to make sure you can keep them healthy on balance type teams. Without the ability to keep these checks healthy, a lot of them get easily chipped throughout a match, whether by random attacks, Spikes, burns, whatever. Keep this in mind when making a defensive core.

Conclusion
Ban Cress please. But until then, I think people should start taking a closer look at some of the techs and mons I outline here, and there's definitely some I missed, when teambuilding. The biggest problem I see on ladder is people relying on shaky or only one check to Cress thinking that that will solve all of it's problems. Start trying to build around 2 ways out v Cress, even if it's a very soft check like Psyshock Cress paired with the hardest wall in Escav. Your life will still be miserable teambuilding because of Cress, but now you won't lose to it. So, for the last time, PACK 2 CHECKS AT LEAST. But even if you decide not to have 2 checks for some reason, the most important thing to remember is to have a gameplan. If you know you need to keep Escav healthy, never sack it. If you need to bait in Cress and Taunt then go to Lazzle to beat it, make sure you know how to do it. Being prepared is key to beating Cress. Be conscious about it in the builder

I hope everyone likes my post here. This was all the things I've seen, used, and lost to on the ladder in games with Cress, and after spamming it a lot, I thought I would try and help the community out in beating it down. If there's something I missed or you think I'm violently wrong about, reply and tell me why! Thanks and hf watching Cress die till we ban it :D

P.S - I threw together a small concise box of some of the mons I mentioned here. It's not every answer and I left out the Taunt/Encore options, besides Sableye, and the Dark's, but it's still a great list to consult. https://pokepast.es/2f628196c391f567

EDIT: YSB in the chatroom told me that my point here wasn't clear whether I'm team ban Cress or keep it because it's playaroundable, so I want to clear it up. BAN IT. If there's one thing I've learnt prepping for this thread and playing is that this mon is 1) SUPER restrictive. That's why I decided to make a post helping people see a clear out or gameplan against Cress that isn't Escav and 2) inconsistent and unreliable at times. A lot of the gameplay I've laid out here can be beat by certain sets, whether Rest, Trick, Psyshock, etc. Cress will constantly have a way to cripple or beat some of it's answers. At the same time, I wanted to clear up some common misconceptions about certain counterplay, such as Taunt or Haze, when it comes to Cress. They do not work, especially not as a standalone move/mon/whatever tech they have. Please ban Cress.
 
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my top 5 things I think need to be tested-

1. cress- for reasons we all know cress is just to good to be in nu,
very few things stop it, banded excava, decid, ho3's hail team

2. min- I hate this thing more then cress my self, it was fine when when Goro and beware were around, helped balanced things out,
but now it just a bit to good for nu,

3. Sylveon- for some reason I haven't seen anyone talk about syl I mean this mon is annoying, the wish stall set or the specs set are both very good,
I think when cress and min go, you'll see a big uprising in syl, then im sure we'll test it,

4. flame- same as syl, I think we'll start seeing a lot of flame after min and cress go, flame was once a ou mon just remember that, I know gale wings works different now, but still its still pretty fast, the flame body wilo set is really good, I see it being tested at some point,

5. Flygon- now I do I think it will get tested down the line, but not resulting in a ban, the meta right now destroys it anyway
so I don't see it going anywhere
 

Yoshi

IT'S FINK DUMBASS
Hey guys! It's been a while since I've posted (and played Pokemon in general), but I've been playing a lot over the past couple of days. I believe I have identified two Pokemon that should be suspect tested, alongside some pro and anti ban arguments.

Mienshao



Mienshao is very clearly the most polarizing Pokemon in the tier. It is quite controversial and many people in this thread have already called for this Pokemon to be tested and/or banned. First and foremost, it is important to breakdown why players want Mienshao gone.
  1. There is insufficient offensive counterplay.
  2. It puts a limit on team building.
  3. There is limited defensive counterplay.
Many users have mentioned that it's oftentimes difficult to play around Mienshao in an offensive manner. Mienshao's almost-unique speed tier allows it to be an extremely potent pivot and near-unchallenged scarfer. Players are forced into using offensive Pokemon that are faster and winning predictions left and right. However, it can be argued that a lack of guaranteed offensive this promotes good gameplay by forcing players to think harder and make better moves. Furthermore, players might avow that a lack of solid offensive counterplay is less of an issue when defensive counterplay is strong.

Players have also brought up the idea that Mienshao is restrictive in team building. This, of course, is true, as is with any other potent offensive Pokemon. However, users cite that Mienshao is especially restrictive because a player is forced to think about it specifically rather than thinking generally. For example, most good builders will assert that it's necessary to have a solid Ground resist on every team. This is okay, given that it's a general "requirement" and gives room for the player to think of complicated solutions. When it comes to Mienshao, players find that every team needs a Mienshao check and they find themselves going down a list of Pokemon they can use. Arguably, though, this may not be as big of a problem as some might think. Other players claim that there is a wide enough list of defensive (and even offensive) counterplay to not feel too restrictive.

Although, many anti-Mienshao users will cite that there might be a strong lack of defensive counterplay. NU is not all that large of a tier, and it's certainly not a tier with pages long of viable Pokemon. That leaves only a handful of Pokemon to potentially wall Mienshao. It's especially harder given Mienshao's abilities and moves that allow it to come in and out of the battlefield with ease. However, others may argue that having a small list of defensive counterplay is true of every other offensive Pokemon in the tier.

It seems that most players would want to see a ban on Mienshao. Personally, though, I can see a strong anti ban argument. It is true that Mienshao is rather centralizing. However, I like to look at historic precedent. Landorus-T in ORAS OU was a beyond centralizing force, much more centralizing than Mienshao. Yes, one would have to have an answer to Landorus-T on every team they made. But they didn't resort to banning Landorus-T, despite its extremely potent offensive and defensive capabilities. I think the biggest difference comes in the fact that Mienshao is much more offensively potent and has recovery. Of course, these two Pokemon have differences, but I want players to consider what happened in a meta where there was an extremely centralizing force and how players dealt with that.

Yes, believe it or not, restriction does not necessarily mean less fun. However, I tend to be wrong and that is why I believe Mienshao should be tested. It's quite polarizing and there is a very strong ban argument for it. If anything should be tested, it's Mienshao.

Cresselia



Cresselia, weirdly, is much more polarizing than Mienshao. There are many sides: you have users like Pokeslice who contends that Cresselia should be quick banned. There's users like Finchinator, who believes that if anything, Cresselia is cheese. Then there are users like me, who have a very hard time connecting with the idea that Cresselia should be banned.

Despite my own opinion, it's clear that people have many different opinions on Cresselia. Like Mienshao, it is important to look at what people are saying, particularly those in favor of a ban.

  1. It is almost impossible to break through Cresselia.
  2. It is very restrictive in the builder.
  3. It can tear through teams by itself.
Cresselia is a wall. A very good one at that. Such a good wall, in fact, that it makes some players believe it might need to be thrown in jail. There are few wallbreakers in NU. There are fewer wallbreakers that have high potential of running through a Cresselia. While solid breakers like Escavalier and Tyrantrum may come to mind as Cresselia answers, they don't make for a long list. A lack of breakers leaves Cresselia a lot of room to set up, be fat, and run through teams. However, breakers aren't the only side of the story. Some players like to remind that there is defensive counterplay to defensive Pokemon. Moves like Haze, Thunder Wave, and Toxic, come to mind as moves that stifle Cresselia's ability to do its job. Furthermore, Pokemon like Bronzong can straight up wall the common Cresselia sets if played properly.

Certain players argue that Cresselia is even more restrictive than Mienshao. They note that every team is required to have a solid Cresselia answer, whether offensive or defensive. This makes sense; if Cresselia can get set up and going, it's almost impossible to stop it without the proper counterplay. However, other players argue that the amount of counterplay is actually strong. Furthermore, they mention that counterplay is much more than a list of offensive and defensive Pokemon. Pokemon games are dynamic: there is attacking, hazards, status effects, switching, pivoting, and much more. Users oftentimes find that Cresselia can get worn down quite easily, especially when it is usually acting as a wall alongside being a win condition.

Although very bulky, Cresselia has sweeping potential. The most common Cresselia set pairs Calm Mind with Psyshock and Moonblast. If the player can get rid of strong Dark- and Ghost-type breakers, Cresselia has strong potential to tear through teams. Anti-ban Cresselia players say otherwise. They believe that there is a limited number of situations where Cresselia has a good opportunity to set up and get going. Furthermore, they contend that Cresselia is wide open on the physical Defense side. They say that, while Cresselia is a good sweeper, it has the struggles that healthy sweepers often do.

Concluding Thoughts



I hope that people read this post and take away something that they didn't understand about a side of the argument. When it comes to tiering decisions that are controversial like this, it is pivotal that people listen to every side and keep an open mind. I notice that some posts in this thread take one side extremely hard without thinking much about the other. It leads to devisiveness, and, furthermore, leads to an ever-changing and unstable tier.

Yes, changes are great. It is great to have a change of pace, especially now that we are back to three-month shifts. However, the magic of Pokemon is not in change, nor is it in staying the same. It is all in the power of the players and their creativity. It is important to identify and remove problems. But, it is equally important to look at challenges from many directions, and to find solutions that may not even have to involve a tiering decision. Players triumph over policy.

tl;dr: We should probably suspect test Mienshao and Cresselia and there are good arguments on both sides.
 
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