Metagame np: SS Ubers Stage 5 - Hound Dog (Zacian-Crowned Banned)

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Icemaster

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Ubers Leader
:ss/Zacian-Crowned:
Happy New Year!
The Ubers Council has decided to suspect Zacian-Crowned!

Reasoning
Ever since DLC 2's release Zacian-Crowned has consistently been an overwhelming offensive presence. The combination of its 148 speed tier, high bulk and great defensive typing ensures that it is difficult to revenge kill. A base 170 attack stat, Intrepid Sword, and potent movepool ensures that it OHKOs a good chunk of the offensive metagame, largely forcing you to rely on defensive counterplay in order to contain it. The main defensive switch in, Necrozma-Dusk-Mane struggles to sustainably switch into Zacian-Crowned - if hazards are on the field Assurance into Close Combat KOs Necrozma-Dusk-Mane. Morning Sun is a rather weak recovery move - with only 8 PP and heals far less in Rain. Note that if Necrozma-Dusk-Mane's HP falls below about 90%, it can no longer reliably counter Zacian-Crowned. Necrozma-Dusk-Mane might choose to run Heavy-Duty Boots or Utility Umbrella instead to help circumvent these problems, but this is often suboptimal as without Rocky Helmet it fails to punish Zacian-Crowned for repeatedly attacking it on the switch, and struggles vs Swords Dance variants. The other option is to run Quagsire, but Quagsire is easily abusable given that it is forced to recover every time it is attacked by Zacian-Crowned, and Quagsire struggles to check much of the Ubers metagame at all - by using it to check a Zygarde, Zekrom or Groudon, you risk it getting statused, Knocked Off, or chipped, leaving it unable to then switch into Zacian-Crowned. Due to Zacian's aforementioned bulk and speed tier, once the defensive counterplay is removed, the game usually ends as Zacian-Crowned is difficult to check - while scarfers or Calyrex-Shadow may force it to switch out, its bulk enables it to easily switch back in at various points of the game in order to pick up KOs.

We chose to suspect Zacian-Crowned first before Calyrex-Shadow for numerous reasons. We believe Zacian-Crowned is even more problematic to handle in the teambuilder - it is common to see all of Necrozma-Dusk Mane/Quagsire, and backup checks such as defensive Groudon, Ho-Oh, Zygarde-C and a scarfer, as the event in which Zacian-Crowned defeats its primary counter is extremely common. While Calyrex-Shadow forces the use of Yveltal (or more rarely Tyranitar), you generally don't need to add backup checks as Calyrex-Shadow doesn't defeat Yveltal as easily. Subsitute + Leech Seed sets aren't too difficult for Yveltal to defeat as Snarl, Taunt, or U-Turn with a revenge killer are all common and relatively easier to fit on teams. Choiced variants rely on tricking Yveltal and then whittling it down on the switchin via Astral Barrage or Stealth Rock chip - which requires multiple correct 50/50s and getting Calyrex-Shadow in multiple times - which is more difficult than getting Zacian-Crowned in multiple times, owing to Zacian's bulk. We believe Zacian-Crowned is able to perform better in unfavourable matchups, compared with Calyrex-S. Additionally, if Zacian-Crowned is banned, we believe Calyrex-Shadow will become more manageable, as stacking Necrozma-Dusk-Mane, Groudon, Zygarde-Complete - multiple Calyrex-Shadow weak pokemon wouldn't be as common anymore. Zacian-Crowned also exploits the main switchins to Calyrex-Shadow: Yveltal and Tyranitar extremely well. If Zacian were to get banned, we believe Calyrex-Shadow may become more manageable. On the other hand, if Calyrex-Shadow was banned, Zacian-Crowned would become even more problematic as it's main revenge killer would no longer be present.

Back to Zacian, as touched upon earlier, Zacian-Crowned has two main options for its sets - Swords Dance enabling it to focus on sweeping, and Assurance aimed at tackling the various forms of counterplay. One may attempt to switch their Necrozma-Dusk-Mane into Zacian-Crowned immediately, however if Stealth Rock or Spikes are up they risk taking a boosted Assurance - likely leading to a loss. Otherwise, they may attempt to scout Assurance with Ho-Oh or Zygarde-Complete, but this risks Zacian-Crowned using Swords Dance. Due to Zacian's incredible bulk, it can come in incredibly easily and force many difficult scenarios such as these for the opponent.

Given that counterplay is unreliable or limited, the Ubers Council has deemed Zacian-Crowned as the most powerful threat - perhaps too powerful for the tier, and so we offer up the decision to the community, is Zacian-Crowned too much for the Ubers metagame? Let us know what you think!

Suspect Test Information:
The current Ubers ladder will be used for this suspect, you must create a new Showdown alt using the tag UZ4 (Name). This means I could use the name UZ4 Firemaster. The alt doesn't have to match your Smogon account, but impersonation of users is forbidden and the account you create will be verified in the reqs thread, so do not cheat in the suspect test. It goes without saying, but do not ask for wins on a suspect ladder, if it happens your vote will be nullified and you will be punished. Votes will contribute to the Tiering Contributor Badge. Reach at least 80 GXE after 50 games to be eligible to vote, with less minimum games to play if you have a GXE higher than 80, scaling to a minimum of 30 games @ 84 GXE. The table below outlines this in full:
GXEminimum games played
8050
80.249
80.448
80.647
80.846
8145
81.244
81.443
81.642
81.841
8240
82.239
82.438
82.637
82.836
8335
83.234
83.433
83.632
83.831
84+30



The test will run until Saturday 16th January, 10pm GMT. A 66.6% Ban supermajority will be required to ban Zacian-Crowned. To be clear, this suspect aims to only examine Zacian's Crowned form, and if a ban decision is reached then only this form will be banned. If you meet the requirements then post a screenshot in the voting requirements thread - but take note of the criteria outlined there when you do to be eligible!


Council members will be posting their thoughts over the course of the test. Remember: suspect test threads are strictly moderated, so provide good quality posts that are on topic to the active test and engage with other users in a civil manner. Failure to do so will result in deletions and possibly infractions. One liners aren't good enough.
 
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Doom desires

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I wasn't expected this but I think that Zacian deserves to be banned.

The main issue with Zacian is that it's most viable counters are still manageable as Ndm takes way too much damage on Assurance with rocks and Ho oh get 2HKO by anything + Wild charge. This thing is way too much overpowerded since the begining of gen8. However, with its more solid counter aka Quagsire becomming way less viable, Zacian became even more threatning in the Crown Tundra metagame.

With the set Wild charge, Close combat, Play rough, Assurance you're pretty much able to deal with everything when rocks are up

Ndm :
+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Assurance vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Prism Armor Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 219-258 (55 - 64.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 146-172 (36.6 - 43.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock

Ho oh:
+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 204+ Def Ho-Oh: 96-114 (23 - 27.4%) -- 66% chance to 4HKO

+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Wild Charge vs. 252 HP / 204+ Def Ho-Oh: 290-342 (69.7 - 82.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Zygarde:

+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Play Rough vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Zygarde: 338-402 (80.4 - 95.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery


Have fun in Ag doggo !

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I am glad this is finally happening. While I initially thought Calyrex-S to be more dominant and a nuisance in the metagame due to it being a brand new offensive tool that forced Yveltal on every viable team nearly, I took a step back and came back to my senses and also came to the conclusion that Zacian-S is still the true menace and main problem of SS Ubers ever since it's inception. Teams must dedicate at least two soft checks to Zacian-C and unlike Calyrex-S, Zacian-C can abuse it's colorful movepool to break through would-be checks like Ho-Oh with Wild Charge, Assurance for Non-boots Necrozma-DM, and Play Rough for defensive Zygarde-C. Support moves like Substitute and Agility have also started to be explored alongside more diverse EV spreads investing more into Zacian's respectable defenses in order to make it even more of a menace to stop.

Zacian-Crowned @ Rusted Sword
Ability: Intrepid Sword
EVs: 144 HP / 252 Atk / 112 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Behemoth Blade / Play Rough
- Close Combat
- Swords Dance
- Wild Charge

Zacian-Crowned @ Rusted Sword
Ability: Intrepid Sword
EVs: 144 HP / 216 Atk / 36 Def / 112 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Play Rough
- Close Combat
- Wild Charge
- Assurance / Crunch

Zacian-Crowned @ Rusted Sword
Ability: Intrepid Sword
EVs: 92 HP / 252 Atk / 164 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Agility
- Close Combat / Wild Charge
- Play Rough
- Swords Dance



Banning Zacian-C may not solve the issue with Ubers this generation entirely, but I feel it will change the teambuilding landscape enough to help free up more teammslots in order to keep other oppressing threats like Calyrex-S, DD Zygarde-C, Kyogre, and GeoXern in check enough to have a somewhat more stable metagame. Definitely voting ban and encouraging any others with sane minds to do the same for the love of Arceus.
 

Ropalme1914

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Yeah, although I think Calyrex is worse for the tier since it's straight up one Pokémon to deal with it or you lose Ttar still loses very hard to Grass Knot or Trick it doesn't make this any more manageable. Zacian is ALWAYS good on any matchup - even when you bring Quag, you're one crit away from Play Rough on the switch-in to lose, and Necrozma-DM is not really reliable anymore for it.

Before, you could focus on checking on Zacian with your teams, as there weren't nearly as many threats and Dynamax was always avaliable as an emergency check to it. Now, you need to worry about Kyogre, Calyrex, Zygarde, Xerneas, etc. all Pokémon with extremely limited counterplay that either have their checks vulnerable to Zacian (Dark-types in the case of Zacian) or are overwhelmed when combined with both Pokémon pressuring it (Steel-types like Necrozma for Xerneas).

It also is not as easy to revenge as it seems - not many relevant Pokémon are between a 252 Speed Zacian and a 0 Speed one except for Marshadow and offensive Eternatus, so its already amazing 92/115/115 defenses can even be invested - which also is a difference to how Zacian was on the other metas where it generally only was able to use max HP on Agility sets.

Calyrex will most likely still need a suspect on the future, but this is only theorymonning and a Zacian suspect would be a necessary step for a better tier in general. Taking it out allows some breathing on the teambuilding, especially against another Pokémon that I also see people complain about in Gothitelle, as Zacian both is great vs offense and has very passives checks, which Gothitelle preys on. While I think the counterplay for it is a bit more volatile, as the lack of a single spammable move means that pivoting around is possible and you can take out Zacian that way via recoil from Wild Charge with Ho-Oh and Rocky Helmet, chipping away its health, and that actually rewards the better player imo, but it doesn't excuse the fact that sometimes it's one good play away from simply winning. Def voting ban.
 
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Zacian-Crowned has really created this facade for itself that by having shaky "counters" and opposing offense (not to mention scarfers with +Speed nature solely for Zacian/Calyrex speed tier) you can somehow take it on reliably. You can't. Coupled with Calyrex for offensive pressure or Gothitelle for defensive pressure (i.e. trapping), it's a menace to society. 350 Speed Zacian with bulk to live a single non-Specs Calyrex Astral Barrage, RestTalk lets you become arguably the best unkillable Knock absorber for semistall/balance builds in the tier, and niche Sub/Agility sets that unexpectedly sweep you are all a sign that this mon forces a hand in building specifically for this mon far too much.

It's a step in the right direction to vote ban on Zacian so every team you and I build, at minimum, doesn't require full on offense or an NDM/Quagsire, the latter of which still lose to crits or any prior damage whatsoever. NDM is pressured by Assurance plus Stealth Rocks/Spikes, but if it runs Boots then SD is a huge problem (and Speed invested T-Wave + Boots is ridiculously telling of how broken Zacian is). Quagsire comes in and MUST click Recover. It's a ridiculous mon and I have no sympathy for it being gone and I hope it really helps the tier out building and playing wise.

based.png
 
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I remember Zacian-C is always top tier ever since Gen 8 Ubers was a thing and its actually getting better since. In the pre CT meta I remember its usual checks are Quagsire, Excadrill, Ditto & Necrozma Dm and as far as im concerned all but Ditto somewhat got worse when CT came. The increase in the power level of Ubers makes it easier to overwhelm Quagsire and Necrozma Dm, with both of them being bait for Calyrex S. Also Yveltal being more common due to Calyrex S hurts Necrozma Dm. Excadrill requires sand support to revenge kill and with the weather duo able to easily disrupt sand makes revenge killing Zacian less reliable. The only new check its gotten is Ho-oh and Groudon and even then defensive Ho-oh is 2HKO with Wild Charge and only defensive Groudon barely avoids the 2HKO from Behemoth Blade. Calyrex S is a good revenge killer but it requires chip damage to guarentee OHKO even on Timid Specs (and not to mention Calyrex S also being problematic on its own and the two cover each others checks quite well). So if i get reqs i will vote BAN.
 

SiTuM

can you hear the silence, can you see the dark?
is a Tiering Contributor
as a viability council member, after doing the suspect, i will briefly express my thoughts on the matter.

zacian-c has been a giant joke since it was released : it never had a correct counter, only shaky checks, like quagsire and dusk mane. the problem with those two is that they were never able to 100% counter zacian, because it can hit so hard you only have one choice if you can survive a hit: click a healing move.

while it could still be bearable in pre home, post home and dlc 1 because they weren't a lot of threats, it's totally different now when you see the monsters we currently have in the tier: calyrex-s, xerneas, kyogre, groudon to name a few. this has caused passive gameplay to be greatly hindered as teams are now a lot less passive than they were in post home (the most boring and passive ss ubers meta), for example.

but zacian could also adapt to passive metagames, thanks to the most retarded pokemon in existence : gothitelle. i firmly believed during the post home meta and i still believe today that gothitelle is an absurdity and that it should be banned from every metagame existing. the combination of zacian and gothitelle was deadly in post home, but for some reason no one really abused it even if zacian+goth+spikes could beat absolutely every team at that time, but whatever.

the illusion in pre home that dugtrio was the perfect answer to the zacian problem was also quite funny ; there were literally three moves that could easily make dugtrio blatantly useless against zacian : quick attack, sub and agility.

i'm still glad people finally seem to understand that zacian is utterly broken and that it has nothing to do in this tier, maybe after this hopefully gothitelle or calyrex-s can be banned ? o_o
 
I haven't player Ubers in a while, and I'm no good in competitive Mons, but even for a Noob this is just too obvious. Even when I was using Zacian at the very short epoch I was playing, I got to 1250 in ladder merely due to this. And it was before CT. I can't get reqs at all, but if I could I wouldn't think twice before voting BAN. This is metabreaking even for the Ubers tier and it forces you to design half of your team to literally a single mon.
 
Despite that fact that I am in favour of banning Zacian because he dulls gameplay, I would like to point out that ditto and lugia are both incredibly solid counters to zacian. While typically just forces switch and will KO one other pokemon, in a situation where zacian is last ditto always wins. Lugia running earth power can deal 33% damage per hit and will take approximately 20% damage from behemoth blade with multiscale, and can just roost and use recover every second turn. If zacian uses swords dance then whirlwinding will get him away.
 

Ropalme1914

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Despite that fact that I am in favour of banning Zacian because he dulls gameplay, I would like to point out that ditto and lugia are both incredibly solid counters to zacian. While typically just forces switch and will KO one other pokemon, in a situation where zacian is last ditto always wins. Lugia running earth power can deal 33% damage per hit and will take approximately 20% damage from behemoth blade with multiscale, and can just roost and use recover every second turn. If zacian uses swords dance then whirlwinding will get him away.
Neither are counters, Ditto simply cannot switch-in, only revenge kill, and in the case of Lugia, you need Multiscale up always (so if you're even at 99% you won't even touch it after you switch into it), and also take more from Wild Charge than you can recover with Roost after the Multiscale is broken on the switch-in, so the best you can do is paralyze it with Thunder Wave and that's it (Lugia already has a hard time fitting many moves, and running Earth Power for that is even another slot take).
 
Despite that fact that I am in favour of banning Zacian because he dulls gameplay, I would like to point out that ditto and lugia are both incredibly solid counters to zacian. While typically just forces switch and will KO one other pokemon, in a situation where zacian is last ditto always wins. Lugia running earth power can deal 33% damage per hit and will take approximately 20% damage from behemoth blade with multiscale, and can just roost and use recover every second turn. If zacian uses swords dance then whirlwinding will get him away.
adding to the above response. Ditto & dugtrio, I do not believe, check the sub or agility sets which can be run on Z.

This thing really is just awful, I won't be a part of the vote as I don't often play Ubers (mainly cos I hate this pokemon so much actually). It's like GF decided the game was too slow so said "here, have this fast, fairly bulky, nigh perfect typing, auto-boosting pokemon, just to balance the game." There is no such thing as a true counter to it either. Quagsire: must recover & the current meta allows easy counters; DM-necro: requires nearly max HP and the T-wave (and boots too).
Has some revenge killers but they too require a certain set ups (such as sand) or can be broken down by other things recently introduced.
 
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Although quagsire is a decent check to Zacian specifically, it struggles against another titan being calyrex-shadow. Not only can calyrex-s destroy it with a 4x energy ball but is capable of 2 hit ko-ing quagsire with astaral barrage, making quagsire a poor choice in the overall metagame. What makes zacian more devastating is the fact that it 2 hit koes max defense zygarde complete with play rough. Zygarde-complete is one of the best checks to physical pokemon and has been since gen 7. The other common check to zacian is necrozma-dusk mane. Necrozma-dm is a fine ubers choice in general, but with the rise of assurance zacian and necrozmas unreliable morning sun recovery it can be dealt with. U have also seen swords dance zacian 1v1 necrozma-dm by getting +3 as necrozma-dm switches in and then 2 hit ko-ing necrozma with close combat as necrozma paralzyzes zacian. Necrozma-dm is being forced to run max defense for zacian, making weaker against xerneas and other special attacking threats. I have even seen some heavy duty boots necrozma-dm to help handle assurance zacian, heavy duty boots being otherwise bad on a stealth rock resistant and toxic spikes immune pokemon. Not much of this would be a problem if zacian's ability was not as unmistakably broken as it is. Often many games I have played came down to zacian v zacian speed ties.
Wondering what the vote will be.
 
The whole dynamax ban has made Zacian more of a threat. Dynamax should have been available for the pokemon below OU ( Banning dynamax of ubers only could have been a good idea as Zygarde C and Weakness policy necrozma dm were abusing it). Instead of banning doggo can't we just reenable dmax for pokemon with bst<600 (except ditto). Dmax melmetal/magerna can counter the doggo due to higher bulk.
 
The whole dynamax ban has made Zacian more of a threat. Dynamax should have been available for the pokemon below OU ( Banning dynamax of ubers only could have been a good idea as Zygarde C and Weakness policy necrozma dm were abusing it). Instead of banning doggo can't we just reenable dmax for pokemon with bst<600 (except ditto). Dmax melmetal/magerna can counter the doggo due to higher bulk.
Allowing Dynamax for non Ubers would always be problematic, as certain mons benefit disproportionally from dynamax than others due to their typing and movepool. This was explained in great details as to why it's a poor idea to allow mons based on their usage or bst
 
I am currently leaning towards "Do Not Ban". Why?

1) Banning Zacian will not improve competitiveness of Ubers.
2) Banning Zacian will not make Ubers more fun.
3) Banning Zacian will make the metagame worse.
Why would the meta be worse? Zacian forces a versatile mon like NDM to be passive wall (which becomes food for Goth without shed shell) or make people use awful mons like Quagsire (Zacian's only reliable check)
 
I am currently leaning towards "Do Not Ban". Why?

1) Banning Zacian will not improve competitiveness of Ubers.
2) Banning Zacian will not make Ubers more fun.
3) Banning Zacian will make the metagame worse.
Can you explain to me how not banning something with a 170 base attack that gets +1 upon entry will make ubers more fun to play. If you ask me it sounds like you crutch on Zacian.
 
I vote BAN
Because Zacian do too much damage. Zacian is very hard to handle, but it's not the worst. Ditto, one of his checks, becomes impossible to beat once he takes Zacian's form, unless he switches at the wrong time.


I am currently leaning towards "Do Not Ban". Why?

1) Banning Zacian will not improve competitiveness of Ubers.
2) Banning Zacian will not make Ubers more fun.
3) Banning Zacian will make the metagame worse.
I think fighting a Zacian breaks a lot more dreams than it makes the Uber fun. It is even less so with Ditto-Zacian, who somehow breaks the rule that Zacian-Crowned cannot hold an item.

(Oh, and don't forget groudon. It's a good check for zacian)
 
(Oh, and don't forget groudon. It's a good check for zacian)
Groudon needs maximum defense in order to actually attempt to switch into Zacian-C, as maximum HP alone is not enough to stop it from 2HKOing you. Even then, it's complete lack of recovery outside of Leftovers and the super exploitable Rest + Sleep Talk combo means that best case scenario (i.e., is at full HP, no hazards especially Spikes, no status conditions) it can do this only once.
 

Pheo'

Sasha n Nezuko lover
is a Tiering Contributor
broken mon tbh, i loved to play against him + xern lol lol, s/o necrozma-dm for the help against him ! Fortunately, i've not faced assurance zacian hum hum. Of course, I'll vote ban.
The Combination of his movepool and his stats really makes this mon too strong.
Peace and love.
Thanks.
 

Manaphy

水野亜美ちゃんはハンバーガーを食べています
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Hi, as a council member I've been a bit silent about this issue because I think others have explained it well enough. However, with Most Wanted and Ubers Championship happening currently I think it's a good time to put forward my thoughts backed by the meta being played at the top levels.

As others have pointed out, Zacian-C has only 2 somewhat reliable switch-ins: Necrozma-DM and Quagsire. This doesn't really cover the full story however, because Lugia is another mon that can switch-in somewhat reliably, and chip + Dugtrio is another viable way of attempting to deal with Zacian-C. The main problem is that all of these options are incredibly flawed.

Necrozma-DM is the main check to Zacian-C in this tier, and that is because it is simply the least passive of the switch-ins available. It also happens to have some usefulness outside of checking Zacian as a generally bulky steel-type that can set up rocks. There are several problems, however. For one, NDM can only check Zacian if it has 80-90% of it's health left, otherwise Close Combat/Crunch will 2HKO. This massively limits the utility of Necrozma-DM and it means that it has to essentially always click Moonlight when it switches into Zacian-C, otherwise it risks getting 2HKO on the next switch-in. Because of this, NDM becomes very passive when facing an opposing team with Zacian-C on it. The item choice of Necrozma-DM is massively important too. Assurance Zacian has popped up as a tech to deal with non-boots versions of NDM, cleanly 2HKOing it on the switch after rocks. However, Swords Dance Zacian is also a menacing set; if you don't have Rocky Helmet on Necrozma-DM, and considering that you always have to Moonlight on Nec so that you can check Zacian-C later, there is nothing stopping Zacian-C from just fishing for luck and CCing/Crunching NDM repeatedly, unless it has Rocky Helmet. Finally, no matter what set you run, NDM is complete easy pickings for Gothitelle. Necrozma-DM has almost no chance against Gothitelle as Goth can just Charm it once and easily PP stall it. You can easily see this in one of the top SS matchups of the Week 1 Most Wanted Tournament. FC fished for the good matchup and he got it, leaving icemaster very little options in the game unless he managed to play like a god and win a billion 50/50s. The game was wholly uninteresting because the outcome was very much decided in the builder, and while this speaks of Gothitelle very much, it also speaks of how Zacian-C is a menacing combo with it. The only viable counterplay to Gothitelle on NDM is to run a set consisting of Iron Head and Thunder Wave; this will at least give you a chance to luck Gothitelle out, but the fact that Zacian is encouraging strategies based on hoping you luck out and get a good team matchup or lucking your opponent out does not speak well of it's presence in the tier.

Let's move on. Quagsire is often considered the most reliable check to Zacian, even being considered a hard counter by some. However, it has the exact same problems mentioned above as Necrozma-DM does. Quagsire also has little use outside of checking Zacian-C, so if your opponent happens to not bring it, Quagsire becomes usually useless. Back in the older SS metas, Quagsire had more use for checking random dynamaxed mons, and there were less threats in the meta overall, so the opportunity cost of Quagsire was not so bad. However, now, dedicating an entire slot just for Quagsire is a huge burden. Necrozma-DM at least has usefulness as a decent check to Geomancy Xerneas and Eternatus, not to mention it can provide utility by setting rocks or spreading status or knocking items off. Quagsire provides none of these things. All of that for a mon that is a complete momentum sink. You are pretty much forced in this meta to run Heavy-Duty Boots Quagsire, because Quagsire can not fall under near 100% HP, or else it risks getting 2HKO'd by Adamant Zacian Play Rough. You would need just a round of Spikes to accomplish this. This, of course again, leaves you completely open to getting trapped by Gothitelle, and due to the lack of Rocky Helmet, Zacian has no reason to not just fish for luck on Quagsire. This Ubers championship game between garay oak and goat heart is a good example of this. I counted 9 Play Roughs and 4 Close Combats Zacian-C threw at Quagsire, and if any one of those moves happened to critical hit, it would have essentially been game over for Goat Heart. Goat Heart had no options there but to just sit there and recover and hope for the best.

Lugia is another mon that can theoretically check Zacian-C, however Lugia is once again a mon that is extremely passive as it almost always has to Roost up to keep Multiscale active. Lugia can't even directly hurt Zacian-C, as all it can do is paralyze it and Whirlwind it out. In the end, Lugia is simply too passive to handle the offensive cores that Zacian-C enables. Due to the breaking power that Zacian-C has, the meta at top play has revolved around using offensive cores that compliment Zacian-C well. Kyogre is the most potent example of this, as Kyogre freely switches into the mons that check Zacian and vice versa. Not to mention, the rain that Kyogre summons nerfs Moonlight on Necrozma-DM, meaning it has no reliable recovery against it. Xerneas is another fantastic partner, as Zacian-C can break down Necrozma-DM leaving one of the main checks to Xerneas gone, and vice versa. If your team is too passive versus Zacian, that team will eventually lose over time as the opponent is free to double switch away and gain momentum. My game 1 vs. Pohjis for championship is where I learned this lesson the hard way.

Many of the top player's current complaints with the meta is that the teambuilding is way too restrictive and similar cores show up time and time again. Notice any pattern in the SS replays? The vast majority of teams currently consist of Eternatus/Necrozma-DM/Yveltal, typically with another defensive mon that can check top threats such as Ho-Oh, Zygarde, Lunala, or even Buzzwole, and the addition of two breakers that hopefully also have some defensive utility themselves. There is some slight variety to this, such as opting for Umbrella Blissey to free up the Etern slot, Hyper-Offense builds consisting of webs or screens, or the rare full stall, but what I just described makes up 90% of the metagame. With the release of the old Ubers back, and due to the lack of Arceus, you had better hope that the breakers you chose just happen to cover the myriad of new offensive threats that exist right now. Groudon is an extremely strong breaker currently, being usually only soft-checked on most teams by Foul Play Yveltal, Zekrom is capable of breaking through many teams as many don't have a check for it bar maybe EQ Necrozma, Marshadow and Urshifu can typically 2HKO the vast majority of teams, Band Ho-Oh has almost no switch-ins, Zygarde can just fish for luck with glare or stall many of it's checks out with Toxic, Kyogre's specs set can rip through any team that lacks Sdef Eternatus or Umbrella Blissey, his CM set can solo teams by itself unless you have Dragon Tail Eternatus or Confide Blissey, etc etc. These are extremely potent threats that you always have to deal with in this meta and it is simply way too hard to do all of that and at the same time not make a team passive and also make a team that's even somewhat creative. Zacian makes this an even more important issue because you really want to have multiple checks for it, which limits the checks you can run for other threats and also not be passive so most teams just settle and say that "meh, Specs Caly can outspeed it so I guess thats good enough?" This is not the state that a healthy meta should be in.

Truthfully I think the strategy of getting chip damage + Dugtrio as a way of checking Zacian is underrated, and I had a lot of fun using the build in my Game 1 of Most Wanted vs. Tony. As a bonus, it is not vulnerable to Gothitelle. However, even this is only enabled currently because Zacian-C sets have adjusted to the meta revolving around breaking Necrozma, and they could easily adjust for Dugtrio by running Sub, Agility, or Quick Attack, as Zacians have done in previous SS metas. And even with chip, you can still force the opponent to play passively by forcing switches with Zacian and racking up hazard damage. The team worked because Corviknight was able to pressure stall out Necrozma's Stealth Rocks, but with a bit of better luck or plays Tony could have easily won that game.

I could go on and on but in short I think banning Zacian-C comes down to these 3 reasons:
1.) In Zacians most common checks, they are extremely passive allowing Zacian to either fish for luck and/or pressure with hazards and/or Gothitelle
2.) Zacian-C creates a more matchup-dependent metagame
3.) Zacian-C is very much limiting to the teambuilding of the current meta which makes the tier monotonous, boring, and match-up catchy
 
I am currently leaning towards "Do Not Ban". Why?

1) Banning Zacian will not improve competitiveness of Ubers.
2) Banning Zacian will not make Ubers more fun.
3) Banning Zacian will make the metagame worse.
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I hope the community received your message well. #1 is right, even 2015 VGC was competitive despite the overcentralized meta! :^)

On a serious note though I hope the Zacian-C ban does make Ubers more "fun" because it is really defeating sometimes building teams that are "decent" against Zacian-C only to realize either:
1.) It's already a made team because there's only so many permutations of Etern/NDM/Yv cores (or you pick variations like picking from Blissey/Zyg/Buzzwole/Ho-Oh, but even that has a high chance of being re-used).
2.) It's still weak to Zacian-C or some other niche offensive mons ("don 6-0s" is valid here).

It's a good question about what NDM's usage will be after what's probably a ban, because there's only so many good rockers on general balance. I think Zacian-C has really warped my perception on what constitutes a balance build versus an offense build (not including Hyper Offense), because both of these need an NDM and then some for Zacian and others. pls ban
 
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