I was able to play a decent chunk of games last night and today, so here are some Day 1 impressions.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, this Pokemon is pretty bonkers. Does pretty much the same thing here as it does in OU: try to squeeze in a Calm Mind, usually with Tera, and then sweep with Stored Power and its coverage of choice. The dominant Tera-types for the ostrich appear to be Fairy and Fighting, both of which help immensely vs Hydreigon. Steel seems like another good option to me, as it protects you from Gyro Ball Forretress enough to PP stall the move. I tried a Lumina Crash TrickSpecs set since that move is absolutely insane, but the opportunity cost is too high. If you are running the ostrich, just use the better set. The sheer amount of decent priority in the tier make this Pokemon not completely able to runaway with games, I am curious to see if the meta will develop enough to curb Espathra's poweress, and how the funny bird will adapt.
More than just Revival Blessing, Pawmot has a good Speed tier, great STAB, three useful abilities (slightly hyping up Iron Fist Ice Punch here), and great coverage. Seed Bomb and Ice Punch gives you the ability to smack around Ground-types, and the ladder gives Salamence pause. Close Combat off of the respectable 115 Attack stings a fair bit, and it can pivot with Volt Switch too! Revival Blessing is the ace in the sleeve, especially when combined with strong priority like Lucario and Azumarill, or Scarfers.
One of the best offensive Tera users, STAB Extreme Speed is an excellent anti-offense tool. Lucario is an imposing physical threat lategame with one of the strongest priority moves in the tier, Swords Dance, and nearly unrivaled coverage at its disposal. Inner Focus is icing on the cake, protecting it from Intimidate from Gyarados, Tauros, and Salamence. Fast Ghost-types are at a premium in the builder due to this Pokemon (and because Gengar and Mimikyu are quite good in their own right!) Special sets seem like a meme.
Remember Ice Gem Cloyster? What if I told you you could have Ice Gem more than once? Or Tera-boosted Rock Blast? It lives Extreme Speed from Lucario after Shell Smash and drops it with Liquidation. The smashes. You lose. You weep. You find another game, and GUESS WHO'S BACK! I hate Cloyster, every time I use it and I face the only Specs Thunderbolt Gyarados in the world. I want to use the funny clam too :(
Eviolite makes this Pokemon insanely bulky. Max SpD hits like 393, which is absurd number. It also can play support with Stealth Rock and Thunder Wave, or offensive with Swords Dance. Bisharp's raw bulk, good STAB typing, and access to TWave and Swords Dance makes it great at trading into many threats in the metagame. It's a surprisingly effective defensive glue that isn't lacking offensive potential either.
I don't think this one needs much explanation. Rotom-Wash has a great typing and all the wonderful utility and offensive moves it has last gen, minus Defog. Tera into Electric for both boosted Electric STAB and no weaknesses! One of the most annoying Scarfers in the game due to Trick and how strong it is a Tera user. Tera-boosted Volt Switch and Thunderbolt is scary. Shoutouts to that one guy using Water Absorb Quagsire on the ladder.
For some reason Game Freak gave it Stealth Rock, so one of the scariest breakers gained a little extra role compression. U-turn is wonderful for scouting the inevitable Azumarill switch-in and Specs Draco Meteor continues to claim lives. A really funny Tera mon too, Tera Electric lets you Terablast Azumarill and turns you into Mega Eelektross. I have been using Tera Dark on Specs since it makes Dark Pulse a much more respectable STAB option that few things want eat.
In all honesty, Salamence has underwhelmed me in practice, but there is a lot of potential here. Dragon Dance with Dual Wingbeat/EQ seems good but then you remember Rotom-Wash made it to UU. Salamence doesn't have a moveset that covers enough of what I want it to; you want Dual Windbeat, Outrage, Earthquake, Fire Fang alongside Dragon Dance and probably Roost too. At the end of the day the Pokemon still has two excellent abilities and great stats, when combined the Tera potential keep it a relevant threat in my mind.
I am going to lump these 6 into the same category of "rain." Drizzle is back in force for UU, and is pretty oppressive to deal with considering the range of Pokemon that benefit. Floatzel and Barraskewda are pretty similar. Floatzel has stronger Water STAB while Barra is way faster. Sushi mon has Rapid Spin for rain, Water immunity for opposing Rain teams, and crucially a strong af Hydro Pump. Qwilfish is basically there for Azumarill, but it definitely a more niche Swift Swimmer. Kilowattrel is an Electric immunity with excellent rain moves, while Tera Water synergizes with Weather Ball and keeps it safe from Aqua Jet users. Gyarados and Azumarill are also excellent on rain. A strong archetype, and probably of the most overbearing things in the metagame at the moment.
Big Hippo is back. Super customizable to EV thanks to its stat spread and Whirlwind remains excellent. Losing Toxic hurts a lot, as does the return of Drizzle, but the beefiest Rocker in the metagame will have its place on some teams.
Okay Speed, Intimidate, and two 120 BP STABs? They are bulky enough to eat physical hits thanks to Intimidate and they hit quite hard. I have seen Bulk Up, Band, and Scarf, and all three seem good. I did not respect them enough because, come on, its TAUROS, but they have surprised me more than once with how difficult they can be to switch into and how easily Intimidate let's them come in. The main issue for both of them is the Pokemon below, which somewhat necessitates Wild Charge in their moveset. Or Will-O-Wisp for the Fire one.
Offensive powerhouse and defensive cornerstone simultaneously, Azumarill is both a boon and pain for the builder. It's Fairy-typing, Water resistance, and naturally solid bulk are great buffers against threats like Hydreigon, Heracross, Slither Wing, and rain. Aqua Jet helps weaken or pick off Espathra. At the same time, Azumarill remains nigh impossible to switch into until you scout its set. Choice Band forces meaningful damage on pretty much everything except like Qwilfish lol. I am not keen on Belly Drum, it gets revenge killed by the likes of Lucario and all the faster Dragons and Waters a little too easily, of which there are many. You still must respect the threat of Belly Drum in preview and play accordingly.
Quiver Dance turns garbage into gold. Surprisingly potent offensive threats, especially the pom-pom one. Ghost gets a shoutout for its three awesome immunities and almost unresisted STABs. Revelation Dance is hilarious with Tera. I never thought I would play in a UU where mf Oricorio would make me sweat on team preview. I suspect their threat will taper off as the metagame gets more figured out, but I am still eager to see what creative sets people come up with considering the wild potential behind Revelation Dance.
Intimidate very gud. Gyarados is a pretty fun Tera mon. With Grass and Terablast, you can use it effectively against most Rain teams to countersweep after a Dragon Dance. Ground is good but somewhat predictable. Dragon turns you into a juiced Kingdra, clicking the Outrage and Waterfall button. Without Tera, it remains a solid wincon with good coverage (RIP Power Whip) and Taunt. I haven't tried Moxie yet, but not proccing Bisharp's Defiant seems quite good and the snowbally nature of Tera DD makes it look good on paper.
The most Tera dependent Pokemon I am going to mention, but Ice Scales lets Tera Water set up on a lot of special attackers. Tera Blast also gives the Pokemon pretty good coverage after a Quiver Dance thanks to Giga Drain and Ice Beam. This isn't an exceptional Pokemon, but its very funny and a real wincon if you can get it in vs something like Gengar. The large amount of physical attackers and priority in the tier make it a risky, if not suboptimal, option.
Mimikyu's biggest gripe has always been the base power of its Ghost STABs. Tera Ghost alleviates this issue and makes it a formidable offensive threat. A free Swords Dance, Extreme Speed immunity, and its own STAB priority makes Mimi a solid choice into opposing offense teams. I haven't tried any of the other Tera types, mostly because passing up the extra power on Shadow Claw and Sneak seems too costly.
Pretty cheesy as usual, although I don't think I have lost to this mon yet. You have a lot of priority and Intimidate users available in builder to help against Hawlucha, and Mimikyu helps against it as well. Unburden is good, and it is unironically one of the better Defog users thanks to its Speed and access to utility move like Encore and U-turn.
A good defensive pivot, its typing and STAB Gyro Ball also allow it to answer non-Substitute Espathra well. It has Rapid Spin and hazards of course, but those are just icing on the cake. The real draw to Forretress in this offensive meta is how bulky it is and its ultra slow Volt Switch. Most Electric immunities let you spin or Spike for free, while Ghost-types are a free Volt Switch. It has a bunch of tech options too, Forretress has one of the most bizarrely stacked movepools in the game. One day I will get Ice Spinner'd by one and I will smash the X button. I can feel it in my bones.
Staraptor does the exact same thing it always has, but now it can make its Brave Bird even STRONGER. The amount of strong priority in the tier helps a fair bit, but the bird looks positioned to claim at least 1 every game, and then give you a bit of momentum as it nukes something while KOing itself with recoil. It's still too early to call this mon overbearing for me, but Staraptor outside of BL hurts the soul, bring the bird home.
Great offensive potential, useful Extreme Speed immunity, and highly unpredictable. Gengar is a premier offensive threat. The sky is the limit with Gengar's movepool and Tera, which either gives it a big enough power boost to secure an OHKO with Shadow Ball or enough survivability to squeeze in a crucial attack. Fast Will-O-Wisp and Trick are excellent anti-set up tools, Destiny Bond is great cheese for grabbing a 2 for 1, and Cursed Body will forever exist to make Choice item users seethe. The Normal immunity and Speed make Gengar invaluable on offense, I cannot not overstate how terrifying Lucario is right now.
A relatively strong Fairy-type that benefits from the coverage of Tera Blast. I think Azumarill fits on more teams but Florges doesn't seem that bad, although without Tera it gets eaten absolutely alive by common Pokemon like Gengar and Lucario.
An UnderUsed regular for now 5 generations, first impression of the metagame do not favor the crocodile. Rain exists, faster threats with super-effective coverage exist and also have Intimidate, and while Krookodile is faster than Lucario, it cannot Intimidate it and takes a ton for Extreme Speed. Slither Wing has shown up a lot on the ladder, which hurts Krookodile's viability a ton too. The biggest loss for Krookodile is Knock Off, hurting its utility and offensive presence tremendously. I suspect Gen 9 may finally be too much for this UU veteran.
Rapid Spinner support is great, and Earthquake/Knock Off slams all the common Spinblockers I have seen. Donphan hasn't really changed much this generation, but the lack of solid Defog options makes it a lot more appealing out of necessity.
Prankster Encore and Will-O-Wisp make Sableye worth mentioning. Getting your Gyarados Encore'd is like watching your dad get beat up. It also is a pretty great Spinblocker against Forretress. You can't really set-up confidently with a lot of mons if the opposing team has a Sableye.
Water resists are always appreciated against rain. These two seem like natural picks for balance teams, the loss of Teleport and Scald hurts the slowtwins a lot. At least Slowking has Chilly Reception. I like Yawn on Slowbro in such an offensive metagame. I will build more with them and have more thoughts for a later post.
The strongest First Impression in the game commands respect, this Pokemon hits very hard with solid coverage to boot. It also has middling Speed and mediocre physical bulk, which hurts it a lot against stuff like Salamence, Staraptor, and Mimikyu. Scarf sets seem outclassed by Heracross to me. I have seen this Pokemon hyped a fair bit, but I would be pleasantly suprised if the hype lasts. Min Attack to get a Speed boost with Protosynthesis for Bulk Up is saucy, but seems risky. It looks very cool though.
A decent Scarfer. Guts sets seem too slow in the early metagame, maybe if balance teams with Hippowdon, Florges, and Blissey pop up more it could be a standout attacker. Heracross and Slither Wing have a lot of common weaknesses at the moment and not great Speed, and while Tera could patch up the former problem, there are a lot better Tera options in most games.
I am not conviced this Pokemon is good yet, although Sharpness Leaf Blade and Night Slash adding some "STABs" is definitely intriguing. I feel like Tera Normal with Slash is a hot meme, but adding a Ghost immunity for Gengar and Mimikyu has potential. It also has access to Shadow Sneak, so Tera Ghost with Swords Dance/Shadow Claw/Shadow Sneak/Sacred Sword doesn't look unreasonable to me. I will have to experiment more with it or see more than just Scarf on the ladder to form a better opinion of Gallade.
I am mentioning this as it is the fastest Defog option and Tera Normal Boomburst will sauce some teams up at preview. I don't have a lot respect for this Pokemon, but I'm being opened to that changing!
I haven't seen stall yet, but if it exists, Blissey (or Chansey) will probably be there. We will see what the stallheads cook up for UU.
Prankster TWave is a great resource and Spikes are good. It is probably the best Screener in the format. Klefki should see more use as the metagame is further developed since Screens are lookin mighty good.
Quiver Dance Tinted Lens Tera-Boosted Bug Buzz is funny. It also dies to most priority users sneezing on it. I always miss Sleep Powder, so I unfortunately cannot test this Pokemon to its full potential.
I lost to this so I am going to mention it as a coping mechanism. Shift Gear is a good move. This mon is probably terrible for the environment, Tera it into an Electric-type to be more sustainable.
Take THAT rain!!!
I am sure I missed some mons but I have to go to work so that's all for now.