Metagame np: SV DOU Stage 2: Dance Monkey | Annihilape Banned

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There’s been a lot of discussion here and in other places about what the next suspect should be (or if there should be one). We’d like to continue to hear people’s thoughts on this thread, and we can run a suspect soon.

I am of the opinion that we should suspect Iron Hands, and many council members have also expressed this view. Despite the survey responses suggesting Chi-yu is something to be focused on, when watching games and building for the tier, Iron Hands is the most oppressive threat. SD Iron Hands has replaced Annihilape as the premier set up sweeper behind screens, or you can run it alongside Indeedee-f and use a psychic seed to raise its SpDef.

Iron Hands has a few good options for Terastillization, with Grass allowing it to ignore Amoonguss and resist Ground type attacks, Fire to be immune to burns and resists Fairy attacks, and Water for its overall good defensive typing. Defensive Terastillization on something with this level of bulk that is able to heal itself while firing off powerful drain punches has made this the biggest threat in the tier. It also makes it very difficult to prep for, as while you can pack answers to Iron Hands natural typing, it’s hard to be sure what it will Tera into.

Chi-yu is certainly good, but it is very limited due to its mediocre defenses. There’s plenty of Pokémon that can live a hit and ko it back (Tauros forms/Arcanine/Palafin/Ting-Lu/Iron Hands/Great Tusk). Then it’s also often outsped and ohko’d by Iron Bundle/Walking Wake/etc. Even though it can Tera to a better defensive typing, this often just lets it get off one more attack before it does finally get koed. I would even point out that Sun’s rise has been due to Walking Wake, so despite Chi-Yu getting a lot of play in that style, I don’t think it’s the primary driver of the archetype.

Here’s some replays showing how tough Iron Hands can be to beat:
In this game I have two Iron Hands checks in Farigiraf and Sylveon, but due to Tera it’s able to essentially sweep my whole team.
One of the many examples of setting screens and trying to sweep with Iron Hands from the jump. DPL lately has been littered with screens Iron Hands teams.
This match shows how quickly psychic seed Iron Hands can just win a game.


DOU main. GMT-7. PS!: GenOne
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There are a lot of parallels between Iron Hands, which is currently raising concern, and Annihilape which is already banned.

Both of these Pokemon:
  • Are bulky Fighting-types with high Attack
  • Have access to STAB Drain Punches which allows constant healing while also dealing big damage
  • Can boost their stats through Swords Dance and Bulk Up respectively
Annihilape also had access to the broken move Rage Fist which quickly let its damage output snowball as its main STAB climbed to 200+ BP.

However what Iron Hands lacks in Rage Fist it makes up for with higher overall stats, including a bulk spread that is roughly equivalent to Melmetal and enough Attack to still be fearsome at +2 even with lower BP STABs.

I think it's the combination of being able to deal big damage AND constantly heal in the same turns that ultimately make both of these Pokemon problematic, and this is all further exasperated in the current metagame which has many Fighting-weak Pokemon and few good Fighting resists. There is also a case to be made that Terastializing, SV's flagship mechanic, is an enabler that makes both of these Pokemon especially "unkillable" when combined with good team support such as screens settters, redirectors, healers, etc.

Admittedly I do think that with Home coming soon-ish that whether we ban Iron Hands or not now will probably be short-lived, since I expect the power creep we get with Home might balance Iron Hands out more. Nevertheless, I understand why people want to suspect Iron Hands and I'm in support, albeit unsure how I would actually vote.


DOU Master of Snow-based Trick Room teams
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I do see Hands as a meta warping pokemon atm that may require a look at (though i dont think its broken myself! (Not biased!)), but as genone said, I think with home comming soonish? It would be best to hold any tiering action until after home arrives since we have mons like Landorus-I/T, Ursaluna, Enamorus etc. that may change the meta and viability/need for hands.


now I am become eepy, taker of naps.
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I have a very limited experience with the current metagame, but I do think banning Iron Hands would open up a Pandora's Box of atrocities given it effectively checks most single top tier Pokemon, mainly the 4 that I consider the best besides Iron Hands; Chi-Yu, Chien-Pao, Palafin, and Iron Bundle. I normally am opposed to the sentiment of "waiting until home" because letting an unbalanced metagame fester for an undisclosed amount of time for no reason is a really bad idea given there's zero downside to just banning then unbanning when home comes out, but I don't exactly think Iron Hands is a broken element in the tier, at least any more than the aforementioned big 4. I'm unsure if I would vote ban or not if there was a suspect test, because beating so many top tier Pokemon and even staying healthy in the process, all while enabling the absurd amount of Trick Room spam on mid-to-high ladder made my experience in this tier less fun than I think it could have been? I haven't played against a lot of SD Iron Hands with Screens support but unless it's Tera Fire with Safety Goggles, it sounds like you can just status it down and bring some anti-screens tech like Brick Break Chien-Pao or Dragonite.


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I've been kind of instigating regarding this all day, but at the end of the day this is a pretty good idea for a suspect.
Iron Hands was always a strong meta choice due to its immense bulk since the early days of SV, when its primary item was the Assault Vest. I was always a fan of Hands in this context, but it wasn't dominant due to the other threats that demanded attention (like Dondozo and Flutter Mane). Following these bans, Hands was quite strong, but it was once again overshadowed, this time by the ridiculously stupid Annihilape. In the aftermath of the Ape ban, the meta began to settle (into perhaps my least favorite metagame of all time).
I definitely think Hands is a very strong option that has become increasingly centralizing as the metagame has progressed. When AV was pretty much the only set seeing use, it was fine, but the recent increase of the usage of the Psyseed set has pushed it over the edge into something that needs a suspect, imo. It's kinda funny because US West actually had knowledge of this set as far back as early January, but since I never brought it, its use never became known until recently, and the only result of my testing was Fangame adding sd to his Hands set.

eragon vs fangame, Jan 4, 2023

<-- Fespy is not a fan of weakness policy Ting-Lu for whatever reason
Jonas pilots my team in ssnl (March 3, 2023)
I think there is easily enough evidence of Hands being broken posted by others above me to justify a suspect, although I like Iron Hands I will most likely vote ban if its suspected, this format is not my favorite and honestly any change would be appreciated. My only concern is that I feel Chi-Yu is a menace to the metagame as well, but I think Hands coming first is valid. If Iron Hands gets banned, however, I think we're going to need to see tiering action after since Iron Hands has been keeping some of the other brokens in check recently.


NatDex Doubles TL
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I agree with the above pro-test posts, so I'll say something a little different. (Do note that I am pro-ban.)

I think we have plenty of time for a test, perhaps multiple.

I believe GF said "Spring" at some point... however, as of the Pokémon Day direct, they seemed to have loosened their release window for Home, to "Early 2023" now. We're now nearing the end of the "early" window with no real indication of when it might drop. I was discussing this a little with Arctic earlier, and he more or less said he wouldn't be surprised if it came with DLC1 instead (paraphrasing a bit). I thought about it for a bit and at this point I'm inclined to agree that they may just delay it until then. At the earliest, I would expect late May, (totally just my feeling, no actual evidence to support it mind you) which if we start now, gives us a solid 6 or 7 weeks post-test. I just cannot believe they would randomly drop it soon, because if they were they'd probably have said so.

More than enough time for action to be worth it, the way I see it. I think SVOU is pretty miserable as-is.
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