Announcement np: SS OU Suspect Process, Round 10 - Royals

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Niko

Banned deucer.
this has to be one of the most insufferable things i’ve read here in awhile.
prob because you don't understand that he's using a team he copied to give credits to what he says after. i faced him on the ladder when he was using my team (with zamazenta, not kartana) and i also made a joke with him about the fact that he picked a good team. i don't really care btw, it just looks stupid
 
So after lurking in the thread for a while I had a thought about how to use zamazenta crowned. To use it to pivot and scout the other person's zama answer with protect, then answer accordingly, the team I came up with was honestly pretty awful but I'm curious if anyone has had any more success with the idea of zama baiting answers for a teammate to take advantage of. I'm gonna try to get reqs but as it stands I have no idea whether or not I will vote ban because zama has answers but those answers in part only beat zama and hopefully after getting reqs I will have decided how to vote.
I think it pivots well as long as he not your main Pokemon as your win con . Definitely can't destroy team on it own but if opponent team get low enough work well clean up. I agree not sure if ban worthy
 

McCoolDude

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I do like giving my thoughts in these threads, but Zamazenta is a mon that is perplexing me greatly.

To be frank, I was always of the opinion that the dog should never see OU. On paper, it has too many ways to abuse too much stuff to be worth adding it. In practice, after playing it, I found that the howl set was basically all it could run and be consistent (I also played around with a facade set which was very good if RNG was on your side, and very bad if it wasn't). It's not as strong as I expected it to be, but still has an effect on the meta I don't very much like or enjoy.

I've pretty consistently seen people describing it as just a breaker, or just a tank, and truthfully I think many people are ignoring much of what Zamazenta brings to the table, and why it both seems under-and-over whelming depending on who you ask.

Zamazenta is a fast tank + wallbreaker. It has the option to blanket remove or trade most offensive mons in the tier with very little disincentive. It has the option to boost in the face of many of the (former) premiere walls in the tier, again, usually with little disincentive. It does both of these things with a single set. With cleric support, it does the first role for a long time. With hazard or future sight support, it does the second role very well.

Because it does both of these things in a single set, it has the effect of forcing one of a limited set of options to be added to a team, usually with movesets that are explicitly run because of Zamazenta. These checks are often very abuseable - I had the opportunity to watch a ZamaC team match up against a team with Iron Defense Skarmory and PhysDef volcarona on it. It won because of how streamlined Zamazenta's counterplay had to be. Every time Zamazenta came in against an offensive mon, the opposite side had to choose between potentially losing something or switching to a dedicated Zamazenta check. Zamazenta was able to pick up a single strong KO (Bulu), with almost no risk. The problem really occurred because Zamazenta was never really punishable with that offensive mon - none of them had the ability to do much more than chip to Zamazenta. The defending player was forced to switch into physdef volc every time and rely on RNG to punish Zamazenta, who could often simply howl risk-free.

(In fact, in many of the calcs that people have linked in this thread, Zamazenta is not constrained to +1. It can easily just keep howling.)


The recurring theme I noticed in most matches was, due to its inherent bulk and speed, Zamazenta was more heavily rewarded for its predictions than it was punished for its mispredicts. To contrast it with other bulky breakers, like Melmetal: if Melmetal predicts poorly and facetanks an EQ from lando-T, it is likely useless for the rest of the game without being wished up or slow turned/ported in front a wall. If Zamazenta does the same, it is only marginally less effective - still requiring being punished by hazards or revenged by the limited faster mons in the tier, rather than easily dismissable by the variety of present breakers.

This is the first time I think I've posted in one of these things without being sure of my final thoughts. Is Zamazenta broken? Absolutely not. Is it unhealthy? Maybe. Every day I see new builds popping up to support Zamazenta, but I haven't seen much innovation in stopping it without using the several checks that are already known and abused by other things present in the meta.
 

Lily

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Volcarona is garbage offensive counter play, offensive teams that run it can pretty much give up on breaking stall when the basic archetype these days is a lead and 5 physical sweepers. Same goes for Zapdos btw. Adding volc to check Zama-C means giving up the advantage you normally have because stall teams run Blissy and it does not play against your physical sweepers, thereby ensuring stall begins at a soft 5-6 disadvantage against offense. Since you have to run roost and invest in defense to consistently answer Zama-C, your volcarona is also garbage against other offensive teams where it is set-up fodder for Garchomp, DD Dragapult, Dragonite, etc. Having set-up fodder mons like defensive Volcarona is how matchups between offensive teams are lost and devoting resources to run a special attacker that is bad against offense and stall is a massive nerf to the recent offensive archetypes that have been used in Gen 8 OU.

If nothing else, I hope this post will motivate better explanations for why we should want to unban Zama-C and shine a light on its implications for team match-ups.
I've been meaning to respond to this post for a few days but haven't gotten around to it, apologies for that. I'd like to address a few things here-

This reads like an odd, warped perception of both teambuilding and in-game scenarios. You are essentially claiming that any team with Volcarona is unable to break stall and is therefore poor, which is a) untrue, Volc is massively threatening to stall builds depending on both its set and whether or not the user can force damage on Blissey (they can, overloading checks is literally the entire point of modern hyper offense) and b) not all that relevant as stall isn't particularly common over bulkier balances that often don't even opt to run Blissey anyway. Volcarona's slot also does not need to be dedicated to breaking stall regardless. Bulky offense has other, dedicated tools available if they care about the matchup that much - for example, Future Sight + Urshifu-R - and if Volcarona were truly as poor as it's claimed to be then it would simply not be used. You claim that its bulkier sets are poor because they're setup fodder for Dragonite, Dragapult etc and yeah, they are, but the offensive ones are too. Doing 17 through Multiscale instead of 14 isn't saving you.
As a side note, Volcarona has only gotten more popular in SPL as weeks went on, so I can't say I understand how this is a nerf to common recent developments in offenses. They've actually been using it more.

Moving on to the dog's impact on team matchups. Zama-C is not something balances really have to keep in mind in their current state. Between pivots like Corviknight, Landorus and Slowbro, it's very possible to bring in Pokemon that can threaten the dog quite reliably like Dragapult, Tapu Koko, and Choice Scarf Kartana. Offenses will need to adapt somewhat as other posters have covered, but as mentioned before there are options - a team with mons like Dragonite, Tapu Koko, Hawlucha, Garchomp, Volcarona, Victini, Landorus, SD Superpower Rillaboom and whatever else can actively threaten Zamazenta enough to ensure it doesn't get setup opportunities and at best trades with something - a trait it's very good at, but not enough to be banworthy in its own right. All styles of team can & have adapted to it very easily and quickly, and it's very rare that you'll see any competent team just lose to it, even without much builder effort.

So what does it provide in terms of benefits? Not a lot actually, but it counters Bisharp and Weavile and it's a valuable soft check to things like Rillaboom and Kyurem, things offense appreciates a lot more than any other team, and that's where Zamazenta seems to fit best in my experience. This is a question of tiering philosophy - should this Pokemon be unbanned because it's palatable in OU, or should it only be unbanned if there's a demand for its traits, i.e. if it was desperately needed to check some other massive metagame threat. Personally I don't believe things belong in a banlist if I wouldn't vote ban on them in a regular suspect (if Zama was already OU and being tested for Ubers rather than vice versa) but I can see why others would not want to shake up a meta without much reason. readytolose touched on this much better than I can earlier and I encourage others to read their excellent post.

Earlier in your post you mention Zamazenta being very potent on stall as a way to help with the matchup against offense, but I'm yet to see any truly functional Zamazenta stall that doesn't just get trounced by various breakers or voltturn corrs because of Zamazenta being a poor Steel-type and taking up an otherwise extremely valuable slot while also having next to no utility options. Do you have any examples of teams or replays where Zamazenta is effective on stall? Those would certainly help in persuading me at least, and probably some others too.

As a final thing, UU recently held a retest for Aegislash, and a lot of the posts on our np thread were very similar to posts here. Arguments such as "nothing KOs it reliably", "it 2hkos the entire tier", "it invalidates x y z" were everywhere and in general people just couldn't believe that this former Uber was suddenly actual UU material but hey here we are and shock horror it isn't even that good, it's like A- on the VR. I'm not saying Zamazenta will be the same but I encourage people to think a little more about how things go in practice rather than in theory because the game being played is a whole lot more important than any wall of calcs you can drop.
 
People keep saying that Zamazenta is great in theory but poor in practice. If it is supposed to be poor in practice that means the theory was wrong, and it should be poor in theory as well. If it is supposed to be great in theory, it is supposed to be great in practice when the theory is actually applied. If Zamazenta is actually great in theory but poor in practice, that means it is a great Pokémon that people aren’t using correctly. If it is broken in theory, should we unban a broken Pokémon because people aren’t using it correctly?
 
People keep saying that Zamazenta is great in theory but poor in practice. If it is supposed to be poor in practice that means the theory was wrong, and it should be poor in theory as well. If it is supposed to be great in theory, it is supposed to be great in practice when the theory is actually applied. If Zamazenta is actually great in theory but poor in practice, that means it is a great Pokémon that people aren’t using correctly. If it is broken in theory, should we unban a broken Pokémon because people aren’t using it correctly?
"Theory" just means that part of the game that is easy to comprehend without playing. It's obvious that Zama-C has incredible base stats, and it's easy to imagine how it would win many 1v1 matchups, but how it plays out in a long 6v6 is data better gained from practice.

Of course, Zama and its counterplay will evolve over the suspect too. You see posters in the reqs thread saying what they'll vote on the very first day of the suspect but (hopefully) they'll keep playing and judge it by how things end.
 

Monky25

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People keep saying that Zamazenta is great in theory but poor in practice. If it is supposed to be poor in practice that means the theory was wrong, and it should be poor in theory as well. If it is supposed to be great in theory, it is supposed to be great in practice when the theory is actually applied. If Zamazenta is actually great in theory but poor in practice, that means it is a great Pokémon that people aren’t using correctly. If it is broken in theory, should we unban a broken Pokémon because people aren’t using it correctly?
I personally haven't decided whether or not zamazenta should be freed but this post doesn't sit right with me. The "theory" about zamazenta is that looking at its stats with defenses rivaling toxapex, speed rivaling talonflame, and a solid attack stat, it would be way to much for OU. However, in practice, it has shown to not be too bad. It struggles to break through walls since 130 attack without an item is pretty weak, its STABs have low PP with its coverage either being weak as shit with ice fang or chips it even more with wild charge. Furthermore, there are many instances of Pokemon who were broken in theory but fine in practice. using the example given by Lilburr, Aegislash was a Pokemon many people saw broken on paper, with solid breaking power and a multitude of sets who wouldn't? However, in practice it has shown itself to be underwhelming and leading to its unbanning. Aegislash was a Pokemon that was very slow and weak to common tier staples, meaning that it could rarely generate attacks due to it being forced out by so much. Choice Soecs, its "most dangerous set" got owned by plenty common cores, like Rotom-H + Kommo-o. You have to be super keen with the prediction or you can suffer big costs by clicking the wrong move. My point with this comparison is that Pokemon may look fine on paper or with a bunch of calcs but until you actually use it in practice you won't know how it is. This is why we have 2 WEEKS to figure this out. It seems the major contested point would be zama's effect on teambuilding and how it functions with support, but many have acknowledged that zama has plenty of checks and counters that can effectively be used in the metagame, so in terms of it being overpowered by breaking through too much is simply incorrect. The above post says it well, Pokemon is a 6v6 game and judging how a Pokemon performs 1v1 with a bunch of meaningless calcs any player could do is pointless. You want to show zamazenta is broken? Show some replays, drop teams, give high ladder in-game evidence showing zamazenta to be unhealthy, whether it be on screens or stall or whatever, to help further your point.
 

Finchinator

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People keep saying that Zamazenta is great in theory but poor in practice. If it is supposed to be poor in practice that means the theory was wrong, and it should be poor in theory as well. If it is supposed to be great in theory, it is supposed to be great in practice when the theory is actually applied. If Zamazenta is actually great in theory but poor in practice, that means it is a great Pokémon that people aren’t using correctly. If it is broken in theory, should we unban a broken Pokémon because people aren’t using it correctly?
This post was not worth it in theory or in practice. This is not your freshman year philosophy class.

Let's focus every single post from this point onward on actual uses of Zamazenta-C in game, the impacts it has on play and teambuilding, and evidence-backed opinions on if it should be banned or not.
 

Finchinator

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I want to expand on ^ because this has been a recurring issue due to Zamazenta-Crowned being an entirely new Pokemon to many of us.

I am glad that so many people are interested in the Zamazenta-Crowned suspect and I hope this interest in the metagame continues moving forward. However, I do want to emphasize we have a pretty strict rule against theorymon. If you wish to discuss the metagame and the suspect, play it and base your posts off of your experiences in the builder and in the battle. We have a lot of posters openly admitting to having speculatory posts; we locked the thread for the first day and give over two weeks for the sake of avoiding this and letting people test things out themselves.

The post I quoted above kept alluding to the difference between theory and practice; perhaps theories about Zamazenta-Crowned being too good for OU or too bad to remain banned from OU will actually be put to the test by the posters having their arguments hinge on theory will be proven or disproven more by actual firsthand experience. I find it troubling that we have to delete posts and steer conversation out of the same funk numerous times already when we are hardly five pages into the discussion.

A lot of experienced players have posted their accounts on Zamazenta-C after laddering and I have a ton of respect for each and ever one of them, even if I do not agree with all myself. I think the best way to participate in this discussion and the metagame/suspect process is to start by playing and continue by posting rather than skipping to the latter or vice versa.
 
With theory vs practice, I was trying to point out a flaw in the way people argued, which is relevant to this suspect test because people were doing that in this thread. It’s not about Zamazenta specifically, but it’s about arguments for/against Zamazenta.

I personally haven't decided whether or not zamazenta should be freed but this post doesn't sit right with me. The "theory" about zamazenta is that looking at its stats with defenses rivaling toxapex, speed rivaling talonflame, and a solid attack stat, it would be way to much for OU. However, in practice, it has shown to not be too bad. It struggles to break through walls since 130 attack without an item is pretty weak, its STABs have low PP with its coverage either being weak as shit with ice fang or chips it even more with wild charge.
If Zamazenta is supposed to be “not too bad” in practice, the theory should take into account the reasons you mentioned, and be not too bad in theory as well.

I was playing with a Zamazenta balance team in the 1600s, using Chansey wish support and Nidoking. I noticed that everyone goes to their counter, possibly a combination of Zamazenta being new and being just good at doing that, leading to a safe double to Nidoking. Wish support didn’t work as well as I expected, but a few times, I got a wish off even though Zamazenta was very low because of its bulk. I saw someone SD with Weavile into get Zamazenta paralyzed with Zapdos, which I thought was an interesting way to make Weavile useful.
 
I do like giving my thoughts in these threads, but Zamazenta is a mon that is perplexing me greatly.

To be frank, I was always of the opinion that the dog should never see OU. On paper, it has too many ways to abuse too much stuff to be worth adding it. In practice, after playing it, I found that the howl set was basically all it could run and be consistent (I also played around with a facade set which was very good if RNG was on your side, and very bad if it wasn't). It's not as strong as I expected it to be, but still has an effect on the meta I don't very much like or enjoy.

I've pretty consistently seen people describing it as just a breaker, or just a tank, and truthfully I think many people are ignoring much of what Zamazenta brings to the table, and why it both seems under-and-over whelming depending on who you ask.

Zamazenta is a fast tank + wallbreaker. It has the option to blanket remove or trade most offensive mons in the tier with very little disincentive. It has the option to boost in the face of many of the (former) premiere walls in the tier, again, usually with little disincentive. It does both of these things with a single set. With cleric support, it does the first role for a long time. With hazard or future sight support, it does the second role very well.

Because it does both of these things in a single set, it has the effect of forcing one of a limited set of options to be added to a team, usually with movesets that are explicitly run because of Zamazenta. These checks are often very abuseable - I had the opportunity to watch a ZamaC team match up against a team with Iron Defense Skarmory and PhysDef volcarona on it. It won because of how streamlined Zamazenta's counterplay had to be. Every time Zamazenta came in against an offensive mon, the opposite side had to choose between potentially losing something or switching to a dedicated Zamazenta check. Zamazenta was able to pick up a single strong KO (Bulu), with almost no risk. The problem really occurred because Zamazenta was never really punishable with that offensive mon - none of them had the ability to do much more than chip to Zamazenta. The defending player was forced to switch into physdef volc every time and rely on RNG to punish Zamazenta, who could often simply howl risk-free.

(In fact, in many of the calcs that people have linked in this thread, Zamazenta is not constrained to +1. It can easily just keep howling.)


The recurring theme I noticed in most matches was, due to its inherent bulk and speed, Zamazenta was more heavily rewarded for its predictions than it was punished for its mispredicts. To contrast it with other bulky breakers, like Melmetal: if Melmetal predicts poorly and facetanks an EQ from lando-T, it is likely useless for the rest of the game without being wished up or slow turned/ported in front a wall. If Zamazenta does the same, it is only marginally less effective - still requiring being punished by hazards or revenged by the limited faster mons in the tier, rather than easily dismissable by the variety of present breakers.

This is the first time I think I've posted in one of these things without being sure of my final thoughts. Is Zamazenta broken? Absolutely not. Is it unhealthy? Maybe. Every day I see new builds popping up to support Zamazenta, but I haven't seen much innovation in stopping it without using the several checks that are already known and abused by other things present in the meta.
This sums up everything I feel is wrong with Zam-C.

Effectively, when well played, its bulk and speed lets it trade with one of its counters every game and still put in work afterwards.

Zam-C can benefit hugely from a wide variety of team support. In fact, it's hard to name field effects and support moves that don't benefit it. Even things like Misty Terrain making it immune to being crippled, Rain removing its Fire weakness, Sandstorm chipping its counters but not it, all of these things can allow it to bypass more than 1 check a game. No other breaker can benefit so greatly from so many different sources of team support because no other breaker in the tier can tank SE moves so casually to bypass checks, because it is so bulky that when healthy all its checks have one way and only one way of dealing with it, and if that one way goes south they go too.

Simply put, if someone trades their Ferrothorn for chip on a DIB-locked Melmetal, that Melmetal is basically sac fodder. Trade your Lando-T for "chip" and Intimidate on Zam-C, and it is still one of the fastest mons in the tier and capable of tanking hits from the tier's walls to setup. Melmetal is arguably the next-best abuser of Wish support in OU, but it almost has to wait for a Wishpass to start putting in work again, while Zam-C can just keep going.
The other fast mons in the tier can abuse Wish support and keep going after chip, but they aren't tanky enough to keep taking hits, so they have to pivot out every time they could be attacked, and be sure they force switches without getting caught in unfavourable trades.
Zam-C can do both sides of this coin, which leads back into what McCoolDude said about Zam-C's predictions being very risk-reward tilted in favour of the Zam-C.

Adding onto the point that Zam-C's counters are linear af, even if you come against a Zam-C counter that you can't beat, Zam-C still forces that counter into battle every time because it threatens to trade favourably with any Pokemon in the tier not specifically built to check it. And it trades pretty well with its counters too.

So here are my questions for the unban side:
  • Have we really found the full extent of Zam-C's counterplay? Is what we have sufficient?
  • Which of its counters have you found to be more/less reliable, and which are more prone to losing to a supported Zam-C?
  • Many Pokemon in OU have no true counters, but instead are managed by a system of "soft checks" that individually lose to it, but form defensive cores that hold it off in practice. What soft checks have you observed to be effective?
  • How much thought have you been giving to covering Zam-C in the teambuilder? It is more or less than other top threats like SDSS Chomp, NP Torn and offensive Heatran?
  • How in your observations do teams without one of the Zam-C counters fare against it in practice? (This does overlap with the soft checks question.)
And for the pro-ban side:
  • How often does Zam-C end up bypassing its specific counters without support? Are there any lures it can use without massively compromising itself?
  • What team support have you found to work best with Zam-C and which counters does this support let it bypass?
  • What would you say is the difference between a well-played Zam-C and a poorly played one? How much does player skill affect its breaking capabilities?
Keep the discussion going guys.
 

Niko

Banned deucer.
Reminder that this is a suspect thread and not a cringe compilation, so post accordingly. Thanks
What if you focus on the 3 posts i wrote about Zamazenta and the SS OU metagame instead of 3 stupid OT lines?
And maybe spend the time you spent to write down this hypocritical post to write smth like this in your council chat: "hey guys its finch there, XxPussySlayer2008xX already finished the suspect and posted his rationale, when are you going to do the same?"
Thanks.
 

Clone

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Just got reqs so I figured I'd post my thoughts on this.

I used this team the entire time I laddered. It's an edit of the team Finch posted earlier in the thread that better takes advantage of what Zama is able to accomplish..... which in my experience was a lot.

There was not a single game where Zama did not put in work. When I was facing offensive teams, I was able to either break early or clean up late game depending on the match up. Howl + 3 attcks is the only set worth a damn imo, with the only deviation being Behemoth Bash or Ice Fang as move #4. Against offense, its speed and bulk made it very difficult for my opponents to deal with because the only mons able to OHKO it were slower, and everything faster needed two hits at least to KO, meaning if I stayed in they were taking a hefty hit too. This forced pressure, which was I was able to take advantage of throughout games. This happened consistently against offense squads I faced. Against fat teams, Zama needed a lot more support due to its underwhelming breaking potential. It was still able to put in work, but it was much more difficult and required more plays and team support.

So do I think Zama is objectively broken? No, I don't think so. I went from being very against this mon at the beginning to being less sure. That being said, I don't really think OU needs Zama in the tier.

I look at this suspect differently than I would others, as this mon was never OU, and this test is to see if it would be a good fit for the tier. Zama isn't "owed" OU like say, Garchomp or Lando-T are, as it is a cover legendary that started in Ubers by default. Meaning the baseline for this mon is Ubers, not OU. And so I base my decision on if OU would benefit from Zama enough to free it. There is not a lot of precedent for this type of test, as the only one I am aware of was Kyubes in BW, which was also tested down from Ubers and eventually freed. I was not around back then, so I do not have experience to draw from. I can only base my decision on my past votes back in Gen 6 and my opinion on the current metagame.

So to that I have this to say: I do not believe Zama is a positive addition to the tier. Vs fat it struggles, but that would encourage people to use fat more. While I enjoy the current meta (ie w/o Zama) to an extent, fat teams with FuturePort support and Regen cores seem to be the dominant archetype currently. And while these teams handle Zama just fine, other do not (ie offense, as I stated above). Zama puts in too much work vs offense in my opinion, making that archetype weaker than it already is in the metagame. That's not something I am a fan of. If anyone remembers me from back in the day (oh god I'm old), I enjoy offense much more than I enjoy fat. I don't necessarily want another mon in the tier that encourages more fat while simultaneously dissuading offense. I'll add in that I realize that Zama is a good mon to have on offense, as it can handle threats to this type of team, but every offense needing Zama to be viable isn't healthy in my opinion.

So to sum it up, I don't think Zama is objectively OP. At the same time, I do not think it is a good addition to the tier. Given that Zama's default tier is Ubers, not OU, I do not believe it belongs in OU. I will be voting Keep Ubers when the time comes.
 
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Finchinator

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What if you focus on the 3 posts i wrote about Zamazenta and the SS OU metagame instead of 3 stupid OT lines?
And maybe spend the time you spent to write down this hypocritical post to write smth like this in your council chat: "hey guys its finch there, XxPussySlayer2008xX already finished the suspect and posted his rationale, when are you going to do the same?"
Thanks.

Ok, done.

I already read through your posts and even liked one of them, Niko. I read through every single post I can in this thread and contribute as often as I can. I also encourage others to do the same on a regular basis. The same can be said for other OU contributors and moderators. I can also guarantee you the council chat has discussed the suspect thread at length. If they post or not is up to them — Ima already has multiple times with some great insight — and I encourage everyone to give their insight, but taking that out on me and continuously derailing the thread is doing nobody any good, so perhaps avoid doing that.
 

Niko

Banned deucer.

Ok, done.

I already read through your posts and even liked one of them, Niko. I read through every single post I can in this thread and contribute as often as I can. I also encourage others to do the same on a regular basis. The same can be said for other OU contributors and moderators. I can also guarantee you the council chat has discussed the suspect thread at length. If they post or not is up to them — Ima already has multiple times with some great insight — and I encourage everyone to give their insight, but taking that out on me and continuously derailing the thread is doing nobody any good, so perhaps avoid doing that.
Yes you do what you can, but you know I wasn't talking about you. I don't really see how discussing inside the council chat can help once a suspect test starts and the decision isn't only yours to do anymore. Do you need to have an unanimous thought before to share with others?
 
And for the pro-ban side:
  • How often does Zam-C end up bypassing its specific counters without support? Are there any lures it can use without massively compromising itself?
  • What team support have you found to work best with Zam-C and which counters does this support let it bypass?
  • What would you say is the difference between a well-played Zam-C and a poorly played one? How much does player skill affect its breaking capabilities?
I think this are really good questions and I would like to answer them, haven't posted this much ever in a suspect thread :0.

1) So I did my reqs and a bunch of other ladder games with this team (it is important to note that I made this team before zamazenta test was announced and the only change I made was adding heat wave to zapdos) and as you can see it is a team with a bunch of zamazenta checks and counters, zapdos and pex are the big ones but dragapult can also pick off a weakened zamazenta while rillaboom and blissey can use their momentum keeping moves to bring something in to deal with zamazenta.
And I can say that without support its almost impossible for zamazenta to bypass its checks as I had scenarios where zapdos was incredibly low and it still managed to hold off zama with one last heat wave or leave a paralysis which meant now it was super easy to deal with dragapult.
In my run I think I only lost to a zamazenta team once or maybe twice, but the loss I do remember was in a stall team and it didnt do that much other than force blissey out.
And thats the thing with zama's checks/counters most of them leave it with status or a bunch of chip damage which means that if it somehow manages to overcome its roadblocks it will be not very effective afterwards.
When using zamazenta I personally haven't tried to use a non-standard set as honestly there is no need to, as I previously stated zamazenta can't really overpower its checks and it doesnt really want to, so that job should be left to the rest of team to overwhelm/lure the opposition so that zamazenta can clean up.

2) Two types of support stand out when thinking about zamazenta, one incredible partner is scarf tapu fini, at first I was introduced to it in the finchinator team and after using it myself it truly puts in the work, fini can outspeed mons that zamazenta can't handle like dragapult and also has good MU against defensive lando but the true support comes in tricking its choice scarf to something like toxapex or other mon that walls zamazenta allowing it to clean more easily.
Also...F sight is kinda dumb and just pairs with everything, in contrast I've found that screens doggo barely does anything and it isnt the best use for it, it does have many setup opportunities and can clean in a some scenarios but we already have mons that accomplish that.

3) Big difference for sure, in one of my previous posts I said how zamazenta isnt a "No Skill Mon" and I still firmly stand by that, a well played zamazenta will know when to come out and start boosting up to make meaningful progress and not just come out everytime they see a rillaboom or constantly bash at a toxapex trying to crit.
There isnt much to say about this tbh, zamzenta honestly requieres optimal play to truly make progress, one thing I gotta admit is that if zamazenta is played sub-optimally it isnt as punishing as other mons and thats why we see many zamazenta's in ladder that make absolutely nothing.

Prolly my last post for a while, and I'll try to lurk more to inform myself even more.
 
3) Big difference for sure, in one of my previous posts I said how zamazenta isnt a "No Skill Mon" and I still firmly stand by that, a well played zamazenta will know when to come out and start boosting up to make meaningful progress and not just come out everytime they see a rillaboom or constantly bash at a toxapex trying to crit.
There isnt much to say about this tbh, zamzenta honestly requieres optimal play to truly make progress, one thing I gotta admit is that if zamazenta is played sub-optimally it isnt as punishing as other mons and thats why we see many zamazenta's in ladder that make absolutely nothing.
From my own experience (23 games where I've gone 13-10, as well as watching quite a few replays), Zamazenta-C is pretty matchup-reliant. Sometimes my opponent has barely anything to handle it and Zama gets 3 kills, and sometimes all it does is finish something off or even just sit in the back unused. Over half the time, it's my Volcarona or Corviknight that breaks the biggest hole instead of Zama. It's not like I don't support the thing either; to the contrary, I have a Blissey with Wish and Heal Bell. The problem is finding a safe opportunity to do that, usually a double switch or by forcing out a special attacker of theirs. So far, I think Zama is quite good, probably worthy of A or A+ rank, but not broken.
 
Can anybody explain (pro ban side) how is Zamazenta-C unhealthy addition to the current meta? To be unhealthy it must have limited counterplay/overcentralizing. So far I haven't seen any particular mons being forced to run on a team to deal with Zama (as it was the case with something like Dracovish or Spectrier).

So, how is Zamazenta-C an unhealthy addition?
 

TailGlowVM

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Can anybody explain (pro ban side) how is Zamazenta-C unhealthy addition to the current meta? To be unhealthy it must have limited counterplay/overcentralizing. So far I haven't seen any particular mons being forced to run on a team to deal with Zama (as it was the case with something like Dracovish or Spectrier).

So, how is Zamazenta-C an unhealthy addition?
Well the argument is that just about all of Zama's checks are defensive Pokemon, which could make the metagame shift away from offense, and a lot of them need to use Rocky Helmet to chip it or run different EV spreads to before.

The real problem, the closest thing to making Zama-C broken in my opinion, is the fact that sacrificing your check leaves a team vulnerable to being swept by it afterwards, putting pressure on you to avoid getting your Zapdos, Skarmory, Landorus-T or the like worn down too much by checking something else on Zama's team. Kind of like Regieleki, which requires you to save your Ground-type for it lest it cleans up in the late game, except that Zamazenta doesn't need as much chip to beat its checks, and if played properly it can sometimes outlast them with its natural bulk.
 
The real problem, the closest thing to making Zama-C broken in my opinion, is the fact that sacrificing your check leaves a team vulnerable to being swept by it afterwards, putting pressure on you to avoid getting your Zapdos, Skarmory, Landorus-T or the like worn down too much by checking something else on Zama's team
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this statement apply to most offensive pokemon? If you let your Zapdos/Clef/Corv get chipped too hard against a Hawlucha HO team, that pokemon is likely to sweep you; if you let your Hippo/Lando/Clef get chipped too hard against a Dracozolt sand team, that pokemon is likely to sweep you. I understand that Zama's bulk and its toxic immunity makes it somewhat harder to deal with in other ways than these two specific mons, but I fail to see how this argument can't be applied to any good fast offensive pokemon. Is there something unique about this dynamic with Zama-C that makes it uniquely broken?
 

TailGlowVM

Now 100% more demonic
is a Pre-Contributor
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this statement apply to most offensive pokemon? If you let your Zapdos/Clef/Corv get chipped too hard against a Hawlucha HO team, that pokemon is likely to sweep you; if you let your Hippo/Lando/Clef get chipped too hard against a Dracozolt sand team, that pokemon is likely to sweep you. I understand that Zama's bulk and its toxic immunity makes it somewhat harder to deal with in other ways than these two specific mons, but I fail to see how this argument can't be applied to any good fast offensive pokemon. Is there something unique about this dynamic with Zama-C that makes it uniquely broken?
Zamazenta-C has 128 base Speed, so it outruns everything unboosted in OU except Dragapult, Zeraora, and Tapu Koko (and if Adamant Torn-T and Weavile), so combined with its bulk having an emergency secondary offensive check that wins the 1v1 is more difficult than other Pokemon. For instance, with Dracozolt sand will usually only last five turns, and Hawlucha is frail enough that defensive Pokemon that survive a boosted hit like Slowbro can do heavy damage back.
 
Zamazenta-C has 128 base Speed, so it outruns everything unboosted in OU except Dragapult, Zeraora, and Tapu Koko (and if Adamant Torn-T and Weavile), so combined with its bulk having an emergency secondary offensive check that wins the 1v1 is more difficult than other Pokemon. For instance, with Dracozolt sand will usually only last five turns, and Hawlucha is frail enough that defensive Pokemon that survive a boosted hit like Slowbro can do heavy damage back.
Scarf is a very common item that Zama-C can't run, which I feel you should keep in mind. You also mentioned Hawlucha. Thing about that mon, it usually runs a terrain seed, which boosts a defense stat, so it's always harder to stop than you think it will be. Granted, you'll usually use a seed that boosts defense and not Sp.Def, which doesn't really help in the specific case you mentioned, but it's still worth noting. There are probably better examples you could have used for a frail sweeper...
 
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