Metagame np: USM PU Stage 2: The Modern Things [Passimian is Banned]

I also did not get reqs (and have given up on trying to get them at this point) but wanted to say a little bit about my opinions on Passimian. The only reason I want to share mine and not just leave it to the others who have already posted is because most people are very on one side about this. Either you are very in favor of the ban or against it. I, on the other hand, am fairly on the fence and I'll explain why.

Anti-ban: My main thing on this side is that I absolutely LOVE using Passimian. I find it such a fun mon and even tried to hype it before USUM. It's just such an easy mon to use and as someone who typically uses Hyper Offense, I love the amount of work it can put in. And as people have already said, it has fairly solid checks and counters. I've had games where Passimian can't do anything but U-turn because it risks a check coming in and taking care of it. There are a few reasons that I think Passimian should stay but my main thing is really just that I like it. Which seems kind of like a selfish thing to say when talking about the tier as a whole but w/e.

Pro-ban: I just gotta say that I've seen way too many games where people run 3 Fighting checks and still get beat by Passimian. In particular, I remember a game where someone was running Palossand, Clefairy, and Spiritomb as their normal fighting checks. However, as most Passimian carry Gunk Shot, Clefairy isn't a check, and the other two were worn down and eventually beaten by a combination of U-turn and Passimian's teammates. Though it does have checks and counters, you would have to play near perfectly to constantly keep offensive pressure up so it doesn't get a chance to U-turn for momentum. Also as I said before, I enjoy playing HO but Passimian's bulk and power means that HO has an awful matchup against it as many things can't outright KO it without prior damage and it can just pick up a most of the time. People have said that Passimian doesn't invalidate any playstyles, but I believe it does fairly heavily invalidate HO.

Throughout the whole suspect I've been very on the fence about Passimian. Although, more and more recently I've noticed how well it can do no matter how hard you prepare for it. So for that reason, if I could vote, I'd ban it despite how much I like using it. The meta has been stale for a long while now and I would love to see some change in the teambuilding process.
So I've been getting back into PU as practice for PUDL, and via some playing around I discovered some stuff

Call me crazy, but I legit think Silvally-Fighting is a super sleeper pick in this metagame. Picture it as a sort of hybrid between Gurdurr and Primeape, for it has the speed and pivoting of Primeape, while having the bulk to match Gurdurr. Parting Shot is such a dangerous move, for switching into conventional Fighting checks like Spiritomb could potentially give you a chance to bring out a sweeper/wallbreaker like Drampa and devastate stuff. It can even cram in Defog support, something no other Fighting type in PU can claim to have.

Silvally-Fighting @ Fighting Memory
Ability: RKS System
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Multi-Attack
- Defog
- Parting Shot
- Crunch


Raticate-Alola needs to be used more, seriously. Bulky playstyles still thrive with Passimian being gone and Spiritomb and Altaria being common, and what would you know, Faticate just shreds them apart. After an SD, you'll be hard-pressed to find a switch-in to this mon. I know this is common knowledge by this point, but Faticate is super slept on rn, and will demolish any and all unprepared teams. Not even Hitmonchan checks it consistently, for Sucker Punch does a nice chunk of damage and it can't switch into Return. As a bonus, it forms a great core with Silvally-Fighting, for it hits mons Faticate struggles to break like Regirock as well as opening up set-up opportunities with Parting Shot, while Faticate in turn helps Silvally get past bulky Ghost types like Spiritomb.

Raticate-Alola @ Darkinium Z
Ability: Hustle
EVs: 212 HP / 252 Atk / 44 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Knock Off
- Sucker Punch
- Return
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A Sticky Web/hazard setter that isn't just a suicide lead and can actually fit on more Bulky Offense teams rather than Hyper Offense (which struggles in current meta) especially having the bulk to come back in later and set up webs if they're removed? Sign me the h*ck up. I can see this working with stuff like Kingler, Absol, Alola-Rat, offensive Mesprit, or even more niche stuff like Toucannon as well as other strong mons that aren't always the fastest. Also this thing being here is good for Primeape's viability both as a Defog deterrent to pair with Shuckle and as a web deterrent for opposing Shuckle.

Altaria leaving means we also lost one of our best fighting checks, also making Primeape a lot better. Unfortunate to see this thing go but can't say I didn't expect it.
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Altaria leaving is definitely going to impact the metagame, as it was the best defensive defogger the tier had to offer. Not only was it a fantastic check to popular fire- types and special attackers but it could beat the majority of hazard setters 1v1. Most of all I think this will impact stall, as it was a defogger, cleric and status absorber in one. Having hazards on the field is often a wincon versus stall if a remover is eliminated.

That being said, I think Articuno is likely the most optional Altaria replacement on stall archetypes for its monstrous bulk, useful utility in freeze-dry and pressure stalling, and it was often paired with Alt on stall to minimize hazards. I still believe that a second hazard remover is useful, so possible experimentation with stuff like Oricorio-E and Silvally-Water on balance/stall would be intriguing as forms of hazard removal that serve as a check to fire and fighting types and have serviceable utility in Taunt/multiple coverage moves.

E: completely missed Silvally-Dragon, really nice defogging pivot that can apply offensive pressure with Draco Meteor.

Also power trick shuckle or bust :pimp:
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Losing Altaria sucks massively, as it was by far the tier's best defensive defogger and an amazing defensive mon. I think the tier will suffer for it, but in the meantime, these few stick out as noticeably better as a consequence:

Altaria was one of the few special walls that could reliably stand up to Magmortar, but now only Clefairy can claim to counter this beast. Fightinium can tear up Clefairy-less balance teams, and other sets like Choice Specs and Taunt are definitely viable to muscle past Clefairy easier. Definitely watch out for this guy.

cant even tell its a gif
With the best defogger gone, spikestack obviously gets better, especially when said defogger hard-countered your best spiker. Ferroseed can now set spikes much more reliably since it doesn't need to worry about Alt coming in for free and defogging them away. Still struggles with other hazard removers like Swanna and Hitmonchan unfortunately, but at least they aren't as free a switch-in as Alt was.

Amazing how this monster gets better and better each shift. Kingler has risen as a notoriously hard-hitting Agility sweeper, but Altaria threatened to stop it in its tracks, as even Sp.Def variants could comfortably eat Knocks and stall it out. But now, little can stand in the way of this bloodthirsty crustacean. Hail to the King, baby.

Shuckle's also cool I guess, and it's convenient that it drops as soon as Alt goes, but I'm not sure how well webs will fare when Primeape is coming into its prime(ape). Still, that amazing bulk and ability to run Mental Herb gives it a significant niche over Smeargle as a setter, and things like Encore and Knock can make it annoying to try and take advantage of. Unsure of how it will fare, but I look forward to seeing if it will find success.
Echoing Ceal's post above, my immediate thought when I saw Altaria was gone was "oh s***, we can't stop fight-Z Mortar any more". I hate that set so much, because it prevents things like Miltank from functioning as a check/counter unless you scout/have a secondary fighting special resist (lul), which comes with its own risks (eating fire blasts is never fun). So, with Altaria gone, what are our options?

Lanturn does a decent job, though the Mortars that carry EQ can still almost 2HKO with Z-Focus and EQ. I definitely think we will see a resurgence in AV-Lanturn use.

As mentioned above, Clefairy will continue to rise in prominence, since it is a one-stop-shop SR setter and Mortar counter. Outside of these two and maybe Carbink, though, I don't really see an obvious choice, and it will be interesting to see how the meta shifts to respond to this void. I'd like to throw a special little buddy's hat in the ring for one-stop Mortar counter before I leave, though:

With access to Flash Fire and its secondary Ghost Typing, Lampent can......nah. Never mind. But you have to admit it's kinda cute and may even find use as a niche mon in someone's wildly successful tournament team, yeah?

The more interesting thing I wanted to say was that, with Altaria gone, other defoggers will see more use. Specifically, I think Skuntank will come back into favor as the ever-splashable defogger and psychic/Mesprit answer. It's down in usage, though still holding a solid #2 - I expect its usage to rise by 5-10% this month as the meta adjusts.

Naturally, this makes things like Sub HP Ground Haunter more important/viable.

Wait, I'm the only one who instantly thought that? Huh.

Chan will see more use again as a spinner, though with Spiritomb in the tier he will probably never regain his past glory. Speaking of Spiritomb, if people start moving back to using Skuntank as a defogger, I think we will see Tomb's usage decrease dramatically, since it fulfills a similar offensive role in many teams but does not provide Defog support. All of those teams with Altaria-Spiritomb cores will be dead in the water and require significant work to return to viability.

Shuckle's an interesting one, and I'll mostly just echo what Sergio said - I think it's what PU Webs has needed to be a viable strategy. Prior to this, the only webs-setters were frail and mostly useless after setting webs (and were often sacrificed). Once those webs were cleared, the setting mon became dead weight and the team often fell apart quickly,, but now we have a mon that can set multiple times throughout the battle as they get spun/defogged away. This increases the need for solid hazard control, returning to my point about Skuntank's imminent resurgence.

Shell Smash Shuckle or bust.

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