np: RU Stage 14 - Vanilla Twilight

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Into the New World
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I'm a bit late on this, but uh, I guess it's better late than never right?

Anyway, with the banning of Cresselia and the tier shifts on January 1, I'm sure we were all prepared for the tier to be shaken up quite a bit. However, unfortunately, UU wasn't kind enough to give us any new Pokemon, so essentially, we are back to where we were before Cresselia was brought down, with the inclusion of hail. So, with hail being deemed not broken last round alongside the balanced state of the last metagame, I think it's fair to say that we've reached a fairly balanced metagame.

However, while both Oglemi and I feel that the tier is relatively balanced, we know that a few people still feel that there are certain Pokemon who should be suspected. Therefore, this round will serve to tie up loose ends, to an extent. One week before the round ends, Oglemi and I will open a suspect discuss thread in which you guys will be able to discuss and nominate the Pokemon who you feel are broken in the tier for the rotating council to vote on. However, we would also like to stress that if you feel the metagame is balanced, you are also free to state in the discussion thread that there should be no suspects for the round.

How will the metagame develop in the weeks to come? Will new innovations from both new and veteran players cause the metagame to shift and possibly thrust new threats into the limelight? Or, will the metagame remain as it is, with the same threats dominating the tier?

Remember, making good posts in the forums, and this thread in particular will help you get on the rotating council, so be sure to post!

The suspect discussion thread will be opened on January 16th, and the round will end on January 23th. Suspects will be decided when the rotating council is chosen, and will be voted on before January 28th so that people can adapt to the changes for SPL.

Here's the song courtesy of Windsong 9.9 .

I wondered when this thread would pop up...

Another suspect...well, the only one I'd feel like banning is Nidoqueen, just for the sake to make RU less offense oriented and probably attract new players (stall still sucks, however >:) ). But other then that, there's no specific mon that influences the meta and hail doesn't seem that threatening (theorymoning here, since I haven't faced it in the few matches I could play), so I'm really wondering about what could get suspected.
I'd agree with the above, possibly suspect Nidoqueen but other than that I can't see anything broken. Even then, it has plenty of checks so I'm not sure if it should be banned. It'll be interesting to see the arguments on this one.

Durant is the only other thing close to that I'v seen worthy of keeping an eye on. As of right now it's fierce but not broken as far as I'v seen. A special scarfer can take it out, or anything faster with a special move for that matter. Plus it's accuracy issues with hustle plague it as 1 miss usually means it's going down thanks to it's low HP and minimal defensive investments. The low base power of it's moves also hurt it severely. With hustle, this mon is the poster child for high risk, high reward strategies and it's this potential for completely doing nothing but dying that put's in into the not even worth suspecting range. Using Swarm over hustle with a pinch berry, such as a sub salac set could be interesting as you're still dealing with a boosted mon with a base 109 attack but I haven't seen this attempted yet. Maybe someone else could chime in on this?

Hail has been fun for me, especially stall, but it's no more broken than regular stall as far as I'v seen. You have Snover, which takes up a valuable slot, plus the fact that many things you use will lose their own leftovers recovery trying to cover everything. Offense has the same issues with compounding weakness' and taking residual damage while you try to cover every relevant defensive threat. Plus other weather teams tend to fair well against hail as they carry multiple setters while hail almost never carry another setter as they're strapped for moveslot's already. Snover's frailty also tends to prevent it from switching in to many times on these teams which hinders it. Unless we some how get Abomasnow, hail won't be broken anytime soon.

All in all the meta's pretty balanced right now, with many different styles being viable, which is a good thing.
Agreeing with what's been said so far. Hail is manageable, especially when you bring a Rain Dance/Sunny Day sweeper. Only Nidoqueen should go; other than that the tier is fine.


Clangorous Soulblazer
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Well well. We've got a pretty balanced tier now, which is nice. Nothing's too broken, and there are quite a few viable playstyles out there, which is nice.

That aside, Nidoqueen is the closest thing to being suspect worthy. I really don't care what happens to her or not, but I don't really know if it should be banned. It has few counters but it has its fair share of checks. Then again, whether it's ban worthy or not is interesting.

There are other strong forces out there like Moltres, Durant, Sceptile, Absol, etc, but I don't see any of them as even suspect worthy.

Hail's a fun playstyle, and I love having it around. I won't explain why, but it's a cool thing in RU. That aside, that's not even close to ban worthy, 'cause the Mighty Snover tends to be a liability on the team, not to mention the hail teams tend to struggle with threats such as Gallade, who can sub BU and shit, or even just SD and sweep. Slowking and even goddamn Munchlax can also just sit there and laugh at any hail team and their attempts to hurt them.

Anyways, I'd say we've got a pretty balanced tier as of now.


.dancin forever
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Wow, it's really really nice to finally hit a metagame that I on a personal level consider to be pretty much completely balanced. Obviously Hail's powerful (especially the build that Nails was pioneering, which utilized the core of Glaceon / Spiritomb / Snover / Nidoqueen), but it's really got notable flaws regardless of what you do with it, simply because of offensive powerhouses like Escavelier and even Piloswine that can take repeated Blizzards without all that much trouble, which will get free switch-ins verse Hail teams and will always end up doing significant amounts of damage. It's obviously very solid, but it's simply really difficult for it to effectively cover all the threats in the metagame whilst having effectively a dead slot in terms of checking things. So yeah, basically, it's got potential, but nobody's really had a degree of success with it enough for it to be really considered broken.

My stance on Nidoqueen is fairly conflicted. In Nidoqueen metagames, successful and consistent stall (and to some extent, balance) teams are significantly worse than any other teamstyles, bordering on unplayable. This is due to the offensive pace that Nidoqueen requires teams to adopt to check it if they don't want to resort to using Pokemon that really detract from the pace of some offense teams, such as bulky Uxie and Clefable. The effect this has is simply that successful offensive teams are either extremely fast paced offense, or more balanced semistall oriented. Pure balance and stall both suffer badly against these teams, and stall cannot effectively run enough Pokemon to check all the significant threats in the tier if they're dedicating the necessary 2+ teamslots to check Nidoqueen, whereas balance vs semistall will literally will become matches of "who can kill the bulky psychic first" in games between two good players.

However, I'm honestly really conflicted on the Nidoqueen ban. On one side, it's generally accepted that a stall team capable of handling the metagame well enough to be successful and consistent pretty much cannot be made in the Nidoqueen metagame, but on the other, it's very clear that stall was undeniably the dominant playstyle prior to Nidoqueen entering the RU metagame. But honestly, the metagame at that point was still adapting, and the so called perfect stall existing at that time was demolished by several now far more prevalent threats. Regardless of what happens, I'm very happy with the state of the RU metagame at this point, as it's bordering on perfect, in my opinion. As it develops further, some broken threat may arise, but at this point, nothing's standing out all that significantly.
Sorry if this sounds very nooby, but why should Nidoqueen go? I find her an all around decent, checkable pokemon that gives RU some offensive presence. I don't know, I havne't played thie meta enough, I'd like to know why would we take out a pokemon that can take so many diverse roles.


Nuke the Weebs
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It doesn't take much from residual damage and is immune to thunder wave and toxic, the two most common status moves, and it does not take life orb recoil so you are forced to kill it with attacks; stalling out nidoqueen is not an option,and you cannot switch around before revenge killing it as with other attackers like moltres, galvantula, and accelgor. It is bulky enough to live supereffective attacks from defensive pokemon that it can 2hko and strong enough to one shot basically everything that is faster than it. Its speed is not incredible but defensive pokemon have no shot at outspeeding it, or must sacrifice large amounts of bulk in cases like uxie. Resistance to rock, bug (uturn), fighting, and neutrality to many other common types (and outspeeding most water, ground, and psychic types while having SE coverage on most as well), and its electric immunity give it many chances to switch in, and if offensive teams give it a sliver of an opening, it's bulky enough to switch in and score a free kill, possibly while absorbing a hit. It happens to be the best user of SR and toxic spikes in this metagame as well, but that's not even really that relevant other than just a display of its versatility. If pokes like clefable and lickilicky were an issue it could run focus blast (which is boosted by sheer force) to completely crush what are considered its best checks, but no one uses focus blast nidoqueen because the checks that focus blast beats are easily dealt with through team support and it would rather run other coverage moves.

Individual pokemon can beat nidoqueen 1 v 1. But it will score a kill if you have a pokemon that it beats, and it doesn't even have to predict much to do it since it is so obscenely powerful.


Godlike Usmash
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Im going to agree with the above posters and say we have a pretty good metagame at the moment, the only thing i personally think would be suspectable at all would be Nidoqueen, but we'll see what happens :>.

Anyway, im sure there have been other posts regarding this excellent Pokemon, but Druddigon is amazing in the current RU metagame. Even though It has quite a bit of usage according to last months usage stats(although most of them are that mediocre paraphazing set, use something manlier please :(), it still think it doesnt get enough love. As mentioned above, it seems most people seem to really like Glare+Dragon Tail druddigon, but i really think Druddigon is much better at handling a Choice Band or Life Orb and just opening up gaping holes into the opposing team. Druddigon has all the raw power it needs to break down the majority of the walls in the RU tier, and its coverage options give it all the tools it needs to get past walls that resist its mighty Outrage. Thanks to its Dragon typing and good 77/90/90 bulk, Druddigon has ample opportunity to come in against Pokemon such as Sceptile, Lilligant, Manectric, Rotom-C, and Slowking and begin to wreak havoc. Druddigon also has the ability to set up Stealth Rock reliably because of its bulk and typing, and unlike things such as Smeargle, Uxie, and Steelix, it can pose a significant offensive threat while doing so with its great coverage and STAB Dragon attacks, making it an excellent option. Druddigon has a few flaws such as a lack of reliable recovery and a low Speed stat, but its one of the most underrated Pokemon in RU in my opinion and i would love to see fellow Druddigon users post their experience :). By the way, here's CB druddigon if you want to try him out!

Druddigon (M) @ Choice Band
Trait: Rough Skin / Sheer Force
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SDef
Adamant Nature
- Outrage
- Dragon Claw
- Superpower / Earthquake
- Sucker Punch / Fire Punch
Druddigon appears to be rapidly increasing in popularity this month. RU is becoming more like OU: first the appearance of weather, and now the appearance of a Dragon-type.

I can see Ice types on the rise again due to Druddigon, in particular physical Ice type walls such as StallRein (already a problem now without it being MORE common).

The only other way that I can see of stopping Druddigon if you do not have a Pokemon particularly designed to be a physical wall (not having one is admittedly a mistake; if you need a Pokemon just for countering Druddigon, then maybe Steelix) is by boosting Attack and Speed of other Pokemon beforehand. Ninjask again for this one: even Rhydon can be a medium-fast sweeper with the support of the aforementioned shinobi insect, and it's a physical wall as well.

252+ Atk Choice Band Druddigon Superpower vs. 88 HP / 0 Def Eviolite Rhydon: 232-274 (62.19 - 73.45%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

and if you're truly playing defensive with your Rhydon choice:

252+ Atk Choice Band Druddigon Superpower vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Rhydon: 172-204 (41.54 - 49.27%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
I like Druddigon, having used both the para shuffle set if I need a bulky rock setter with some offensive presence and the choice band set. The para shuffler set I don't use as much due to liking having a better Nidoqueen check in Uxie but on team where the queen is less of an issue he's been very good in that role.

I'v also used the band set on trick room teams quite a bit, and it's a monster with support. It's great power, decent bulk, and "speed" under trick room make it one of my favorite abusers along side Escavalier. In that situation, under trick room and even out of it cb Druddigon's main counter is gyro ball Steelix due to being resistant to it's outrages, having godly defenses to stand up to it's assaults for a while and being able to lay rocks in it's face while out speeding it under trick room to boot. For that reason, on a trick room team and even on a regular team Offensive Trick Room Slowking acts as a fantastic partner as a setter and abuser to beat such counters like Steelix and Tangrowth (Fire Blast says hello), plus it has Regenerator which helps to keep it healthy to be able to set up multiple times throughout a match.


I'll be your 1-Up girl
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Druddigon is a great example of a Pokemon that has taken advantage of metagame shifts. With FWG cores becoming increasingly more popular, Druddigon just keeps gets better and better. None of the Fire-, Water-, and Grass-type Pokemon can do much damage to Druddigon, while Druddigon can OHKO them back with Choice Band Outrage. It is not challenging to kill two Pokemon with Druddigon if you send it in on the right Pokemon -- and there are plenty of said Pokemon that it can prey on! The Steel-types that resist Outrage can be hit hard with Superpower, or just overwhelmed by consecutive Outrages once they are weakened a bit. Druddigon can also save you in desperate situations with Sucker Punch.

The team I have been using the past two days was actually quite weak to Druddigon, but it's practically fixed now that I added Piloswine on it. Piloswine is a pretty nice check to Druddigon because it has fantastic bulk, does quite a lot of damage with Icicle Spear (note that you need 4 hits to OHKO), and naturally outspeeds. Piloswine is another Pokemon I would strongly recommend because it is one of the better Stealth Rock setters in the tier.


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So after getting into RU a few days ago, I've been playing a lot and it's loads of fun. I'm kind of on the fence about Nidoqueen [leaning more towards ban] but the main reason I'm posting is because I've been using this dude, who is, while fairly uncommon, absolutely incredible.

fuck scizor (Scyther) (M) @ Eviolite
Trait: Technician
EVs: 224 HP / 16 Def / 16 SDef / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- U-turn
- Aerial Ace
- Swords Dance
- Roost

Switching it in can be kinda hard, and there's the obvious SR weakness, but once it gets going, it's really hard to stop. The EVs max out its bulk and I could probably go up even higher but idk how low to drop the Speed so some input on that would be nice. As an example of its current bulk, it lives a Scarf Rotom Thunderbolt, boosted Klingklang Wild Charge...pretty comfortably. It's the main reason why I'm at like ten wins and one loss on the ladder without ever playing RU before.

[15:35] <BKC>
^ Having my Scarf Rotom T-Bolt and my boosted Klinklang Wild Charge taken pretty comfortably by it, I can attest to that set's effectiveness :P It was kinda my own fault for misplaying the Amoongus v.Uxie match-up (I got greedy :x), but I digress.

So I don't wanna talk about Queen because tbh everyone just keeps rehashing their same arguments over and over and quite frankly I'm pretty sure everyone's already made up their mind whether they consider it to be broken or not '~' Instead I'd like to re-hype a set I personally have had a lot of success with in this metagame:

Piloswine @ Eviolite
Trait: Thick Fat
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Spd / 252 HP
Adamant Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Icicle Spear / Icicle Crash
- Ice Shard

Piloswine is a pretty manly Pokemon if I do say so myself. This thing takes and dishes out so many hits it isn't even funny. It inadvertently checks Blizzspam thanks to Thick Fat and an immunity to residual Hail damage, and can essentially take any given non-SE hit (even weaker SE hits) easily and hit back fairly hard. Ice Shard is a really nice priority to have in general, allowing it to pick off stuff like Sceptile once it gets under 55%, and having an Icicle Spear is a really cool utility for Substitute users. The popularization of Druddigon (though it isn't represented well in the general PS! RU playerbase) is just another boon for Piloswine, as he can easily take a hit and smash it with it's STAB (iirc neither Icicle Spear nor Ice Shard is a contact move either, so Rough Skin doesn't come into play!). I realize using usage stats to make a point isn't really meaningful, but this deserves more than 1.3% usage, it's one of the most efficient SR laying tanks in the metagame atm :<


Godlike Usmash
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Definitely backing up bulky scyther, ive watched quite a few of BKC's matches and most of his opponents ended up having their ass handed to them by that scyther set, from what ive seen. Its easy to set up when played well, and can actually last quite a long time in a match even with its 4x SR weakness (he was using a Kabutops, though, which helped out a lot). Obviously it needs some support like any other Scyther set because of its absolutely crippling Stealth Rock weakness and common weaknesses in Fire, Electric, and Ice, among other things, but im liking what im seeing from watching that set in action and im probably gonna try it out myself if i can fit it on a team.

I agree with col49 about Piloswine as well, while the mammoth pig is starting to get more recognition in the past few months, i still feel likes its not getting anywhere near the credit it deserves. Piloswine is one of the bulkiest Pokemon available in the RU tier overall, and even without full investment, it can take the vast majority of attacks with little to no trouble (hell, ive seen this shit take Hitmonlee Close Combats .-.). While its defensive typing leaves much to be desired normally, Thick Fat does a really good at patching that up, covering up its weakness to Fire-type attacks while also granting it a resistance to Blizzard, making it a great hail check. Ice/Ground also happens to be excellent offensively, giving Piloswine near perfect neutral coverage, while also hitting multiple common and important types such as Steel, Grass, Ground, Fire and Flying super effectively. Ice Shard and Icicle Spear are great utility moves in their own right as well, allowing Piloswine to be used as a makeshift revenge killer and substitute breaker along with its usual duties as a tank. As col49 said, Piloswine is actually one of the most consistent and useful Stealth Rock setters in the current metagame, and it really needs some more recognition for its excellent qualities.
I don't see why Druddigon should be considered broken with Hail Teams running rampant. That's why Aggron and Steelix work well to switch into Choice-locked Druddigon. Then they can set up rocks, phase it, set up, etc. Plus it's rather slow, and not many Pokemon are weak to Dark.


Godlike Usmash
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Oh yeah, heres another Pokemon that desperately needs some more usage and doesnt get the credit it deserves, despite being one of the most hyped mons in the lower tiers during the advent of BW2 ;_;.

Zangoose @ Toxic Orb
Trait: Toxic Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature
- Facade
- Close Combat
- Night Slash
- Quick Attack

Despite being outclassed by bigger and badder Normal-types in past generations, Zangoose went from zero to hero pretty damn quickly when BW2 came around, and its truely baffling to me why it doesnt get more usage. Toxic Boost works like guts, boosting Zangoose's already high Attack stat to ridiculous levels when its poisoned, and while it still doesnt hit as hard as Ursaring, it comes pretty damn close, and has a lot of extra Speed to boot, making its job as a holepuncher/late game cleaner that much easier. After Toxic Boost activates, Zangoose can accomplish absolutely herculan feats most physical attackers can only dream of doing, such as cleanly 2HKOing Tangrowth and Alomomola after Stealth Rock with a neutral STAB attack, and flat out OHKOing other well known bulky Pokemon such as Slowking, Druddigon, and Nidoqueen. This kind of raw power makes Zangoose very threatening towards slower teams, using its ridiculously powerful Facade and perfect neutral coverage moves to break almost every wall available in the RU tier (afaik the only viable Pokemon thats capable of walling Zangoose after a Toxic Boost is Spiritomb, who is admittedly a big problem). Zangoose can also play the role of revenge killer if the need arises thanks to Quick Attack, which is just a little bit more powerful than Kabutops's Aqua Jet, more than enough to pick off some frailer threats late game. I understand that Zangoose has some exploitable flaws that might turn away newer players from using it, such as its fraility and the fact that its on a timer, but i assure you, its a very dangerous Pokemon in this metagame, and deserves more usage for sure.
So yeah, here we are, at the end of the round. There are quite a few Pokemon that have jumped out to me this time. Some, like Alomomola, I was very surprised at. This massive fish is a quietly brilliant Pokemon, that can wall nigh on every physical attacker in the tier that doesn't set up. Examples include Entei (Momo doesn't even have to hit it, as Stealth Rock and Flae Blitz recoil are enough to wear it down), Tauros, Druddigon, Absol (not even a +6 Night Slash can OHKO -.-) Kabutops, Medicham, Emboar, Hitmonlee, and many, many more. The secret to using Alomomola is to come in, absorb a hit, throw up a Wish, and then get the hell out of there if you suspect an incoming setup sweeper. If the opponent doesn't pack one, then they truly are in for a world of pain between hazards, Life Orb recoil, HJK recoil, Toxic and Alomomola's Waterfall. If Alomomola is paired up with a specially defensive tank such as Amoonguss or Roselia (the former forming an excellent Regenerator core and the latter providing crucial Spikes, and both counter specially based Sceptile) then it is extremely difficult to break said core for your standard offensive team. Definetly a Pokemon that could use some more love.

Next up, I want to give a mention to Liepard. I was initially very, very sceptical about this Pokemon, as I didn't think that it would accomplish much, if anything, thinking it wouldn't be more than an occasional annoyance. Boy was I wrong. It doesn't even need much support, as it's a very self-sufficient Pokemon! Sure Spikes make it's Job so much easier, but what Pokemon doesn't enjoy them? With Liepard, it's all about getting that one turn to set up a Substitute. You can nab one on Pokemon locked into Psychic-type moves, on weak defensive Pokemon, as a lead when opponent's set up hazards, on Cosmic Power Sigilyph, whenever. Once you have that Substitute, Liepard becomes a very, very real threat. Swagger is always the first move you should use when behind a Substitute, as unlike Thunder Wave it has 50% chance of immobilizing the opponent. After the opponent has been confused and hits itself for the first time, you can Thunder Wave it, basicaly guranteeing it won't be able to hit you, Sub again for the free shield, and then spam Foul Play. If they switch, simply rinse and repeat. Leipard is particularly good against high skilled opponents, as it's a Pokemon that heavily tips the odds in your favour, and no matter the opponent's skill, there is little they can do about it. Even if all else fails, Liepard will provide you with the noteworthy service of paralyzing your opponent's fastmon, or their win condition, call it waht you like. With that one crucial Pokemon crippled, you will have a far easier time against your opponent. There's not much you can do to defend against Liepard to be honest, so just try an minimze the chances it gets to set up a Substitute. Even then you only have a 50% chance of success, as it could opt to Swagger before using Substitute. Cross your fingers and hope you don't meet this puurrfect predator ;)

Of course, you can't expect me to post about new Pokemon that I've tried out and not mention the one I built my laddering team around can you? Medicham has proven to be absolutely phenomenal. I've already talked about it and my core in both the viability ranking thread and my RMT, but I'll quickly state again: provide it with Pursuit support and a bulky Fire-type heavy hitter in Entei or Emboar, and you've got yourself a wicked offensive core. Medicham should really only be using a Choice Scarf set, as it's already got all the power it needs. Scarf Medicham is extremely adept at cleaning through up to four Pokemon on an opposing team lategame, and if provided with Stealth Rock support. Notable OHKOs it obtains are on bulky Choice Band Emboar with High Jump Kick with a Jolly nature and Moltres after Stealth Rock damage, and another notable 2HKO is on 252/252 Tangrowth. It also has Zen Headbutt for a reliable STAB option when you cannot afford to miss, ThunderPunch to hit Slowking, and Trick to mess up stall cores. If it can catch an Alomomola with a Trick, that threat is basically averted.

I also wanted to give a shoutout to some of the Pokemon previously mentioned. BKC's Scyther is an incredible Pokemon, as it comfortably surivived my Sceptile's Life Orb boosted Hidden Power Rock. That's some impressive defensive ability. Zangoose is also another really underrated powerhouse that quite literally has no counters, which is impressive considering it doesn't even need to set up a Swords Dance. Alomomola is 2HKOd by Facade. As is Tangrowth. The fact that it's on a timer and its weakness to priority/general frailty is really all that's holding it back. Give it a go!
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