Happy New Year!
The Ubers Council has decided to suspect Zacian-Crowned!
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:
|GXE||minimum games played|
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.