they seen it before, oh
Hey everyone, the OU tiering council has decided to suspect test Urshifu-Single-Strike.
Since its release with the Isle of Armor DLC, Urshifu-S has been one of the most devastating offensive Pokemon in SS OU. The main factor behind Urshifu-S's consistency has been its signature move, Wicked Blow; an 80 Base Power Dark type attack with 100% accuracy that is guaranteed to critically strike. Access to Wicked Blow alongside an excellent 130 Attack stat and a very offensively powerful Dark/Fighting type combination means that only a specific subset of Pokemon, practically limited to defensive Fairy types and Buzzwole, can safely switch into its STAB moves. This is only made tougher to deal with once its ability Unseen Fist is taken into account. Unseen Fist allows Urshifu-S to break protection moves, meaning tactics of dealing with offensive threats such as Protect scouting are useless against it. Despite not being on the faster side of offensive Pokemon, Urshifu-S has access to Sucker Punch, giving it the ability to revenge kill faster Pokemon it otherwise wouldn't be able to threaten. However, Urshifu-S still suffers from an underwhelming defensive typing, leaving it without many useful resistances, as well as a quadruple weakness to Fairy moves. It's an incredibly potent offensive threat with some defensive shortcomings; this makes it so that finding room to make progress against more offensive teams with Urshifu could be challenging.
Urshifu-S can effectively run various offensive sets, but the most common and arguably most effective is Choice Band. Due to Wicked Blow's guaranteed critical hit and Close Combat's incredibly high Base Power, it sports a STAB combination that is very difficult to switch into. Common Fighting resists in SS OU, such as Landorus-Therian, Tornadus-Therian, and Zapdos, all risk taking a massive hit or in Tornadus-T's case, outright dying to Wicked Blow. Meanwhile, typical Dark resists like Mandibuzz are 2HKOd by Close Combat, while Pokemon without reliable recovery such as Magearna can take 2 Wicked Blows but will fall to a third one, meaning Urshifu-S can attack once, switch out, and grab a KO the next time it comes in. This limits Urshifu-S's pool of defensive checks to very few Pokemon, namely defensively-oriented Fairy types such as Clefable and Tapu Fini. However, Urshifu-S also has access to Poison Jab which hits them super effectively, 2HKOing both of the aforementioned Pokemon. Sucker Punch makes up for Choice Band Urshifu-S's middling Speed stat, rendering revenge killing it that much harder. Another common strategy of dealing with Choice Band Urshifu-S is using a physically defensive Regenerator Pokemon (generally Toxapex or Tangrowth) to scout the move it locks into, paired with Pokemon that can safely stomach 2 of its chosen move. Even then, Choice Band Urshifu-S is able to overwhelm such counterplay as games draw out, so playing against it can be challenging. Additionally, those Regenerator Pokemon can be overcome by pairing Urshifu-S with a Future Sight user such as Slowbro, who can also pivot Urshifu-S into the field safely through Teleport and making Toxapex/Tangrowth unable to switch into it.
Urshifu-S doesn't need to run Choice Band, though. Urshifu-S can use an all-out attacking set with Wicked Blow, Close Combat, Poison Jab or Iron Head, and Sucker Punch alongside Life Orb to eliminate the Choice lock effect but still retain monstrous offensive capabilities. AoA Urshifu-S makes the aforementioned strategy of Regenerator scouting highly unsafe, as the opponent can no longer safely switch the Regenerator Pokemon out safely. Even a physically defensive Clefable can't reliably take Wicked Blow into Poison Jab from it, and it makes predicting against it even harder. The recoil from Life Orb does put Urshifu-S on a timer, but its sheer power makes it worth it nonetheless; that said, Urshifu-S can elect to use Drain Punch over Close Combat to give up some immediate power in favor of longevity, but it is harder to make use of in some scenarios. Alternatively, it can use Metronome instead of Life Orb, making it worse at the hit-and-run playstyle it tends to like as it needs to attack multiple times to inflict the damage it would otherwise, but making it harder to pivot around. Bulk Up over one of Sucker Punch or Poison Jab makes Urshifu-S a threatening sweeper, as the tier's most popular special attackers like Spectrier, Magearna, and Heatran, are unable to threaten it when it is already in the field. It makes pivoting around Urshifu-S that much harder, as even a physically defensive Toxapex fears a +1 Life Orb Wicked Blow after minor chip, but it uses up a valuable turn to set up instead of attacking immediately.
Due to the very specific and limited nature of Urshifu-S's counterplay options, the means with which teams choose to deal with it tend to be predictable, and Urshifu-S can force favorable scenarios for its user very consistently; Clefable will need to use Soft-Boiled, Toxapex will need to switch out to get Regenerator and so on. This makes overwhelming the defensives cores used against it easier than said defensive cores remaining steadfast against it. Moreover, due to how powerful Urshifu-S's STAB attacks are, as well as its access to strong priority, once defensive counterplay against it has been dealt with it is significantly harder to deal with compared to most other offensive threats. Without a defensively invested Dark resist, Wicked Blow is impossible to deal with; historically consistent physically defensive blanket checks, such as Landorus-Therian, are helpless against a guaranteed critical hit that breaks Protect while nearly every offensive Pokemon gets dismantled in one hit by it. Because of this consistent access to such uniquely powerful and easy-to-use tools, Urshifu-S doesn't require the user to click many moves, therefore eliminating any playing around it through guesswork that other offensive powerhouses can be liable to.
Urshifu-S is not without any negatives. Urshifu-S's counterplay, despite being very limited, is already comprised mostly of Pokemon that are incredibly solid in the metagame and would be used regardless like Clefable, Tapu Fini, and Toxapex. Predicting around Urshifu-S may be challenging, but locking into the wrong move can lead to Urshifu-S being able to be taken advantage of, causing similar challenge for the Urshifu-S user. Prediction is not a reliable form of counterplay, but it is possible to mitigate this risk through using Pokemon with Regenerator like the aforementioned Toxapex and Tangrowth, especially if they're holding a Rocky helmet, or more niche options like Buzzwole. Finally, Urshifu-S's defensive capabilities leave a lot to be desired, and getting it into the battle can be difficult. It struggles switching into most relevant Pokemon, as it's threatened by even the common defensive Pokemon. Owning to this, Urshifu-S really likes having pivoting support from teammates such as Magearna's Volt Switch and Slowbro's Teleport, thereby limiting the teams it can potentially fit on. All of that said, Urshifu-S maintains decent defensive stats and can survive a fair amount of neutral and resisted hits from other offensive Pokemon, making it able to threaten them 1v1.
All in all, Urshifu-S has remained one of the most effective offensive threats of the SS OU metagame throughout its stay in it. Counterplay to it does exist, but it is inherently very restricted, thus arguably restricting teambuilding to a very unhealthy degree. Its consistency in dealing huge damage through STAB moves that break protection make it uniquely difficult to handle defensively and limit team structures much more than offensive Pokemon typically do; all the while being nigh impossible to handle without using the aforementioned counterplay. Because of this consistency, its finite but delicious movepool options do not present it with a problem, and using the moves outlined above are all it needs to be good. In light of these reasons, the OU council has decided Urshifu-S is worthy of a suspect test.
- ***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 OUTW. For example, I might signup with the ladder account OUTW talah.
- 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, Urshifu-Single-Strike, 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 January 9th at 11:59 pm (GMT-5), 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 Urshifu-Single-Strike 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 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 Leaders, TDK and 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! Kebab mlml