The OU tiering council believes Zamazenta-Crowned deserves the opportunity to be tested down from Ubers into the OU tier. Please note that a retest does not make it an official addition to the OU tier, but rather it allows for Zamazenta-Crowned to have the opportunity to be voted down from Ubers to OU. In order to have an accurate vote, we will be retesting Zamazenta-Crowned on the OU ladder over the next few weeks, much like any other suspect test.
The council believes now is the best time to test Zamazenta-Crowned as the recent survey established that players and council alike believe the metagame to be very competitive and balanced. Following the Cinderace and Magearna bans, there have been no outstanding candidates that would warrant tiering action. This can be backed up by 68.5% of the playerbase from the survey that stated they do not believe that any Pokemon currently in the OU tier deserves a suspect test. These factors coupled together provide a good opportunity for the council and the community to evaluate the potential impact Zamazenta-Crowned can have on the OU tier.
The survey also displayed that 51% of players support a suspect test for Zamzenta-Crowned, with the remaining 14.6% being indifferent, and 34.4% being against it. While 51% is barely more than half, when you consider how the 14.6% of players that feel indifferent do not oppose the test, it could be seen as saying that 65.6% of players are open to testing Zamazenta. With this majority in mind, the council decided Zamazenta-Crowned was in a fair position to receive a suspect test due to the various reasons detailed below.
Zamazenta-Crowned is unlike most Pokemon as it is forced to use Rusted Shield as its held item. This means it is unable to use other items, such as Leftovers or Choice Band. This by itself limits Zamazenta-Crowned’s performance to its stats, typing and its movepool. Zamazenta-Crowned’s bulk is naturally high as a cover legendary, sitting at a base stat total of 720. It’s ability, Dauntless Shield, provides it additional bulk by giving a +1 boost to its Defense stat upon entry in battle. This boost alongside Zamazenta-Crowned’s high Defense stat allows it to serve as a strong defensive answer to physical threats in the metagame, such as Melmetal and Weavile. This Defense boost can also be useful in making Zamazenta-Crowned difficult to revenge kill. For example, Zeraora’s Close Combat against Zamazenta-Crowned after Dauntless Shield only deals 35% - 41%, which means it is able to comfortably avoid the 2HKO. On the other hand, Zamazenta-Crowned’s high Special Defense stat can also make it difficult to KO, as a Shadow Ball from Specs Dragapult only deals 36.3% - 43.3%. Zamazenta-Crowned’s bulk cannot be underestimated and looks to be a large factor to its performance in the OU tier. This will be a key aspect to evaluate during the suspect test, as it may determine whether or not Zamazenta-Crowned’s bulk is too much for the current OU metagame to handle.
Additionally, Zamazenta-Crowned does provide another benefit in that it is essentially immune to Knock Off and Trick, both of which are very strong moves this generation. In an item centric metagame, this immunity can grant Zamazenta-Crowned some additional defense roles. Zamazenta-Crowned is more reliable at handling Trick users like Clefable and Tapu Fini, as they will be unable to trade their items away. Knock Off users that have recently risen in prominence such as Bisharp and Weavile will now have to deal with an opposing threat that eat Knock Off comfortably. Not only is Zamazenta-Crowned immune to losing its item, but its typing, bulk, and ability allow it to tank Knock Off with ease and force Dark-types out.
While Zamazenta-Crowned boasts immense bulk, it also has a respectable Attack stat. Base 130 Attack with a decent movepool, including options such as Close Combat, Behemoth Bash, Ice Fang, and Wild Charge can allow it to pose a threat to a majority of offensive Pokemon in the OU tier. Close Combat and Behemoth Bash are strong STAB attacks, which can allow Zamazenta-Crowned to deal significant damage to Pokemon like Ferrothorn, Heatran, and Clefable. Its remaining attacks can provide solid coverage to hit every switch in - Ice Fang for Landorus-Therian, Wild Charge for Toxapex and Corviknight, and Fire Fang for Scizor. Despite the various coverage options, Zamazenta-Crowned may run into a small issue of 4 move slot syndrome. With 4 attacks, it has enough strength to punish offensive Pokemon, but it may lack enough attacking power to break through bulkier teams. With Howl, it can improve its breaking capabilities, but it then struggles to quickly KO threats like Landorus-Therian, Garchomp, and Scizor, depending on whichever coverage option was dropped.
While it appears to be difficult to answer offensively, Zamazenta-Crowned looks to struggle at breaking through bulkier Pokemon in the metagame. No boosting item and no Swords Dance means that aside from Howl, Zamazenta-Crowned is forced to rely on its Attack stat and coverage moves to break through walls like Toxapex, Tangrowth, and Corviknight. Wild Charge, while nice in theory, is unable to 2HKO a physically defensive Corviknight with 168 Defense EV’s even with Stealth Rock. Additionally, because Zamazenta-Crowned lacks recovery and cannot hold Leftovers, any residual damage from Wild Charge recoil and hazards is permanent. In other words, this means that Zamazenta-Crowned is on a timer, which has been seen less this generation due to Heavy-Duty Boots being a popular item.
As mentioned earlier, Zamazenta-Crowned does have access to Howl as its only boosting move. Howl, unlike Swords Dance, raises the Attack stat by a single boost instead of two. As such, this means Zamazenta-Crowned will require multiple uses of Howl before it is able to make a significant difference in its damage output. However, thanks to Zamazenta-Crowned’s bulk and Dauntless Shield, it may not be too difficult to set up multiple times in battle. It is essentially guaranteed to live any single hit, even strong super effective ones like Garchomp's Earthquake. Zamazenta-Crowned is already capable of setting up on a majority of physical attackers, and its bulk can help increase set up opportunities.
Finally, thanks to Zamazenta-Crowned’s high Speed stat, it is able to function as an offensive pivot that can provide defensive utility while simultaneously exerting offensive pressure in order to check faster threats, such as Kartana and Kyurem. This by itself opens up a potential role in the metagame, as it can provide an additional check to Tornadus-Therian, which only three other Pokemon at this current time can do (Tapu Koko, Dragapult, and Zeraora). Additionally, thanks to its typing and immunity to Knock Off, Zamazenta-Crowned looks to be a strong answer to Dark-types such as Bisharp, Hydreigon, and Mandibuzz, as well as Knock Off users including Ferrothorn, Rillaboom, and Clefable.
Zamazenta-Crowned in theory looks to be an interesting addition to the tier. It has a fair number of pros, such as its immense bulk and high Speed tier, and a fair number of cons, such as its inability to run another item as well as a lack of a proper boosting move. This thread should be used to focus on Zamazenta-Crowned’s place in the suspect metagame and nothing else. There should be no discussion of alternative suspects or discussion opposing this retest. Normal suspect rules and procedure, which is outlined below, applies to this retest as well. Finally, the threshold necessary to unban Zamazenta-Crowned is 50%+1 due to it being a retest and for more on this, consult this thread.
- ***THIS IS NEW TO SS OU SUSPECTS*** Reading this is mandatory for participating in the suspect test. The voting requirements are a minimum GXE of 80 with at least 50 games played. In addition, you may play 1 less game for every 0.2 GXE you have above 80 GXE, down to a minimum of 30 games at a GXE of 84. Also, needing more than 50 games to reach 80 GXE will suffice.
- 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 OUTK. For example, I might sign up with the ladder account OUTK TPP.
- Laddering with an account that impersonates, mocks, or insults another Smogon user or breaks Pokemon Showdown! rules may be disqualified from voting and infracted. Moderator discretion will be applied here. If there is any doubt or hesitation when making the alt, just pick another name. There are infinite possibilities and we have had trouble for this repeatedly. If you wish to participate in the suspect, you should be able to exhibit decent enough judgement here. We will not be lenient.
- We will be using the regular OU 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 aspect being tested, Zamazenta-Crowned, will be allowed on the ladder.
- Any form of voting manipulation will result in swift and severe punishment. You are more than welcome to state your argument to as many people as you so please, but do not use any kind of underhanded tactics to get a result you desire. Bribery, blackmail, or any other type of tactic used to sway votes will be handled and sanctioned.
- Do not attempt to cheat the ladder. We will know if you did not actually achieve voting requisites, so don't do it. Harsh sanctions will be applied.
- Unlike previous tests, we will be posting the voting identification thread immediately after this thread. Your voting requisites will be confirmed by a Council member or OU moderator, to which we will edit in confirmation. Please avoid getting more games before getting confirmed.
- The suspect test will go on for two weeks, lasting until April 25th at 11:59 pm (GMT-4), and then we will put up the voting thread in the Blind Voting subforum.
- No unhelpful one liners nor uninformed posts;
- No discussion on other potential suspects;
- No discussion on the suspect process -- this includes retesting Zamazenta-Crowned vs other potential suspects;
- You are required to make respectful posts;
- You are required to read this thread before posting.
- Failure to follow these simple guidelines will result in your post being deleted and infracted without any prior warning.
- Please also take a moment to read over some suggestions from the OU Council and the OU Moderation team for posting in this thread; adhering these will help out our time moderating the thread and present your arguments better and more educated.
- Do not argue because it's your favorite Pokemon. This should be common sense, but please don't do this, because we will delete posts like this.
- You do not need a boatload of experience to have an informed opinion, but please try to minimize the theorymon aspect and use your experiences watching and playing. Playing some on the ladder before posting is plenty if you're concerned about this.
- Do not flame, belittle, or be disrespectful to users in this thread. While not everyone will read this post in its entirety nor will everyone have informed opinion, please be sure not to be disrespectful. If there's an issue, bring it up to a moderator.
- Do not use the argument of broken checking broken. Should your argument rest on your opinion that banning the Pokemon or mechanic being tested in this suspect test will make a Pokemon or mechanic broken, overpowered, and/or uncompetitive; don't. If something needs to be banned because of the result this suspect, then so be it.
- This thread is not to voice complaints about the suspect process or decisions of the council. While we are more than open to hearing complaints that may arise, this isn't the place for it. I suggest you message the OU Council, PM our Tier Leader suapah, or make a post in Senior Staff requests, should you have a badge.
Keep in mind that our suspect tests are decided by the community; anyone who achieves voting requisites is allowed to vote. The outcome is up to you. Happy posting and laddering!