OU & NU Leader
Hey everyone, the OU tiering council has decided to suspect test Magearna.
Magearna has been one of the strongest Pokemon in SS OU ever since it was released during DLC 1: Isle of Armor. With a versatile movepool -- including new moves like Trick, Draining Kiss, and Stored Power, superb natural bulk, and a practical typing, Magearna has found many ways to impact the SS OU metagame. Perhaps the most profound impact it has had on SS OU is with the Choice Specs variant, which has very limited counterplay overall. Choice Specs Magearna takes advantage fully of 130 base Special Attack in order to break through opposing teams. The scope of Magearna's effectiveness does not end with the Choice Specs set either as it has a versatile array of set-up variants that can also function at a high level in the metagame. This all makes it very challenging to consistently check or counter Magearna.
Some of the biggest pros of Magearna in SS OU come from its natural characteristics. The Steel-Fairy typing with 80/115/115 bulk is fantastic. This allows for it to get in repeatedly to make progress and even function as a defensive check to a number of Pokemon, which cannot be said for a vast majority of offensive threats in the metagame. Once Magearna gets in safely, it is also able to take advantage of almost unmatched special coverage and various forms of utility, ranging from Volt Switch to generate momentum to Trick, Shift Gear, Calm Mind, Iron Defense, and even Pain Split. This allows for Magearna to account for would-be counterplay with the different options it has at its disposal.
Choice Specs Magearna is the most common and effective variant. While plenty of breakers in SS OU hit hard such as Urshifu and Rillaboom, Magearna's Choice Specs boosted Fleur Cannon may stand-out even in this company. Common resists such as Excadrill, Rotom-Heat, and Cinderace all can take north of 60% and cannot switch in reliably at all, for example. Regenerator Toxapex and Amoonguss are seen as satisfactory pivots initially, but the former risks taking significant damage from Volt Switch and losing momentum whereas the latter is 2HKO'd by Flash Cannon. Even seemingly unbreakable special walls like Chansey and Blissey are a Volt Switch or two away from being put into 2HKO range of Aura Sphere or Fleur Cannon, which is being generous to them considering variants running Trick have the opportunity to limit these Pokemon for the remainder of the game.
Choice Specs Magearna has a small pool of counterplay and it is capable of circumventing some of it as described above. With this said, it is still limited to only four moves, oftentimes having to pick between Aura Sphere for Steel types and Trick for crippling specific walls. With only base 65 Speed, it is also very possible to revenge kill thanks to the handful of fast Fire and Ground types you encounter in SS OU such as Cinderace, Rotom-Heat, and Excadrill. It is also a bit prediction reliant due to Volt Switch immune Pokemon being on almost all teams. A distinguishing factor between Magearna and other breakers in the tier has to be its bulk and typing; it can take advantage of common walls like Mandibuzz, Clefable, and Slowbro because of this. However, hyper offensive teams are able to minimize the amount of times any Magearna can enter safely, leaving it incapable of finding the same breathing room it has in balanced match-ups.
Beyond Choice Specs, Magearna has stored many other tricks up its sleeve. A lot of the other noteworthy Magearna variants focus on set-up sweeping. It can viably run three set-up moves, Shift Gear, Calm Mind, and Iron Defense, which gives it effective options to pick from. On more offensive teams, a set with Shift Gear and Electro Ball can be great at sweeping and in general Shift Gear with Calm Mind or three attacks fits well on hyper offense. With support of screens, Weakness Policy can be employed to make Magearna much more dangerous. A downside of this set is that it lacks the outright breaking power of Choice Specs and the bulk or longevity of bulkier boosting sets, making it a good pick on a limited pool of teams.
On more balanced teams, there are a variety of options for Magearna to pick from as a win condition. Stored Power variants are occasionally utilized. With Calm Mind and Iron Defense, Stored Power + Draining Kiss can get out of hand quickly for unprepared teams, but Haze Toxapex shuts this down, breaking through Steel types is challenging, and Fire types can dispose of it before it gets out of hand usually. These variants can also use Grassy Seed if paired with Rillaboom to help boost Stored Power and improve the immediate defensive prowess of Magearna. On the other hand, Calm Mind variants with Substitute can be used to take advantage of Amoonguss, Toxapex, and Clefable, making use of Fleur Cannon + Thunderbolt. These variants are still limited to this coverage and incapable boosting physical defense, making Rotom-Heat, Excadrill, Jirachi, and other Fire or Steel type Pokemon potentially good checks to it. Finally, Calm Mind + Pain Split can be used and there are a number of different coverage options worth considering here, but no one variant of it is perfect, running into various roadblocks no matter how you approach it.
Magearna's set-up variants are all viable and even strong options, but they all have common checks and counters. In addition, Magearna as a whole is far from perfect. It is at its strongest when locked into a specific move with Choice Specs, thus making it prediction reliant and potentially at mercy of outplaying in order to generate consistent progress. It has the most devastating potential with the Shift Gear or Stored Power sweeping sets, but all have difficulty breaking through balanced teams without support and having the proper moves for the occasion. A lot of the time, Magearna sweeps also fail to manifest due to offensive pressure suffocating it if it requires multiple set-up turns in order to sweep.
Overall, Magearna is a great option in the metagame, but there is some counterplay to it and there are some limitations to what it can do. It can be argued that Magearna imposes restrictions on teambuilding due to how oppressive the Choice Specs set is and how versatile it is overall. Even if you prepare for it sufficiently, there is a possibility that it will continue to give you issues due to how effective the Choice Specs variant is at forcing progress and wearing out defensive cores. However, many common structures are able to minimize how often it gets in and make it rely on prediction in order to make much progress at all due to durable Fleur Cannon resists and common Volt Switch immunities. Magearna also is a good win condition with a wide array of options that leaves many teams struggling to consistently handle it. Despite all of this, there are still some checks and counters to every variant of Magearna, including every set-up variant multiple times over. Due to the points outlined above, the OU council has deemed Magearna worthy of a suspect test.
- To achieve voting requisites, you must reach a minimum GXE of 82 with a minimum of 40 games played on the Pokemon Showdown! OverUsed (OU) ladder
- 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 OUTU. For example, I might signup with the ladder account OUTU FINCH.
- 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 hesitance 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, Magearna, 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 August 4th 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
- 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 he 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 moderater.
- 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, TDK or Eo Ut Mortus, 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!
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