Metagame NP: USUM PU Stage 5.5: At Doom's Gate (Houndoom Banned)

Taskr

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The PU council has decided to suspect test Alolan Exeggutor. In a metagame stacked with strong wallbreakers, Alolan Exeggutor stands out due to its ability to both threaten fatter teams with its excellent unresisted coverage and high-powered moves, but also be a massive threat towards faster, more offensive teams due to its access to Trick Room. Alolan Exeggutor is extremely difficult to counter, and taking into account multiple strong sets and items can leave it an unpredictable foe. It finds setup opportunity versus many common defensive Pokemon as well, and overall has a very large impact on teambuilding. However, Alolan Exeggutor can also be offensively pressured quite easily due to its double-edged typing. It rarely forces otherwise poor Pokemon to be run just to check it, as most of its best checks are useful for checking other threatening Grass-types such as Lilligant and Lurantis. Finally, Alolan Exeggutor cannot boost its offenses very reliably or viably, so although it may net 2-3 KOs or clean weakened teams, it will often fail to outright sweep on its own. Still, Alolan Exeggutor poses a massive threat in terms of its power, unpredictability, and sheer difficulty to reliably counter, which is why we've decided to place it on the chopping block.


There will be no suspect ladder. Instead we will use the normal PU ladder which will remain open for the duration of the test. A message will pop up at the beginning of ladder games to indicate that the suspect is going on (Tagging Marty to implement, thank you!). Anyone who wishes to participate in this suspect test will use a newly-made alt with a suspect-specific tag to indicate that you are trying to achieve reqs. The requirements for this suspect test are the following:
  • All games must be played on the Pokemon Showdown! PU ladder on a new alt with the following format: "EAST (nickname)" For example, I might register the alt EAST Taskr to ladder with.
  • Do NOT impersonate other people in your ladder alt, do NOT use any usernames which are offensive, flame-baiting, or targeting specific users, and do NOT use usernames which could be interpreted as breaking any of the username rules on Pokemon Showdown! Failure to abide to this will result in you being barred from voting in this suspect, and potential infractions.
  • To qualify for voting, your alt must play 35 games with a minimum GXE of 80.
The suspect test will last for 14 days, ending on Sunday the 27th at 23:59 EST.
 
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This is my first time touching PU in a long time and honestly I found it to be a pretty fun tier. The ladder session was quick and through my usage of the palm tree, I don't think it's worth of a ban. I may lack knowledge for the tier but from what I saw, its not that hard to handle if you pressure it right. I didn't encounter every set but it was seemingly pretty easy to revenge due to it being somewhat frail. At one point I played off against a hp ice lilligant which was a pretty neat counter measure to palm tree. Multiple articunos were on ladder as well and despite having access to flamethrower, it was still a pretty good soft check to palm tree. Overall though, I feel there is plenty of counter play and will be voting NO BAN when the thread is up. Also shoutout to manyy and dibs
 
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After fighting hard against pure hax and earning I am leaning towards ban. The choice specs set is ok to handle but the trick room set can be pain to face especially if you don't have a dedicated wall for it.
The main problem that I think Eggy has that it forces sacs which I think is the thing that pushes it to the edge. Yeah it can be dealt with decently when using offense (which again can lose to tr) and it's not a mon without it's switch ins but the amount of sacrifices it causes is just too much for the tier imo.
 
after having faced a few times against this pokemon and after seeing how annoying it is with the harvest ability + a berry why I lean on the ban
until uu if they can
 

Amane Misa

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Not only did I not play PU for long, but also in the last time I played PU I just spammed a Reflect + Light Screen team with 3 Shell Smash users, which definitely was fun, but it didn't really give me an idea on the tier.

Looking at the Viability Rankings thread, I noticed that PU has a lack of sturdy Dragon-type switch-in; the highest-ranked Dragon-resists are Aggron and Alolan Sandslash, both of which get OHKOed by a Choice Specs Alolan Exeggutor's main STAB move or coverage.
252+ SpA Choice Specs Exeggutor-Alola Giga Drain vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Aggron: 297-349 (105.6 - 124.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO

252+ SpA Choice Specs Exeggutor-Alola Flamethrower vs. 252 HP / 208+ SpD Sandslash-Alola: 620-732 (175.1 - 206.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO

252+ SpA Choice Specs Exeggutor-Alola Draco Meteor vs. 248 HP / 204+ SpD Articuno: 217-256 (56.6 - 66.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

252+ SpA Choice Specs Exeggutor-Alola Leaf Storm vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Audino: 270-318 (66 - 77.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252+ SpA Choice Specs Exeggutor-Alola Leaf Storm vs. 48 HP / 0 SpD Silvally-Fairy: 355-418 (103.4 - 121.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO

These calculations show that Choice Specs Alolan Exeggutor is defensive almost impossible to deal with. Another dimension of Alolan Exeggutor that supports its ban is its decent defensive typing that is abused by its good bulk and ability to regenerate HP via Giga Drain. It can potentially take advantage of bulky Water-types like Jellicent, Lanturn, and Gastrodon to gain a free turn to land a heavy hit on the opposing team.

However, not only does Alolan Exeggutor's Speed leaves it very vulnerable for opposing revenge killers, but also a good number of the aforementioned Water-type Pokemon which Alolan Exeggutor aims to generate a free turn against may carry Ice-type coverage to surprise Alolan Exeggutor, and either OHKO or severely weaken it, which results in Alolan Exeggutor not getting as many opportunities to get a hit off as it wished it had. Lastly, after one strong hit, Alolan Exeggutor's Special Attack drops which can potentially leave it abusable by opposing setup sweepers or breakers.

And that concludes my thoughts on the Choice Specs set, which I did not find broken. As the metagame develops, it may also turn to a faster and more offensive one, which will hurt this set's viability.

I haven't played with Offensive Trick Room Alolan Exeggutor so I prefer to not give my thoughts in much details on this, but on paper, it seems like it trades its balance matchup for its offense matchup. However, it is possible to play around Alolan Exeggutor's STAB moves, and as I previously mentioned once Alolan Exeggutor's Special Attack drops it is abusable by opposing setup sweepers or breakers.

All in all, I believe that while being a very good Pokemon, Alolan Exeggutor shouldn't be banned from PU.
 

Funbot28

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To be quite honest I am quite conflicted on this suspect. On one hand, Eggy proves to be a potent wallbreaker and a menace to balance and bulky offensive teams with limited defensive switchins besides obviously niche stuff like Marill and Togetic yet can be revenge killed quite easily and be played around (although it is risky) through which coverage move it chooses to lock itself into via the Specs set. Yet on the other end, Trick Room can decimate practically any offensive team due to their really being no offensive mon that can really come into it safetly which is impractical if it manages to have a chance to twist the dimensions. This is important though as even if Eggy-A is not frail by any means, common weaknesses to types such as Ice, Flying, Poison, and Fairy can all be taken advantage by common mons like Mesprit, Skunktank, Alolan-Sanslash, Oricorio-P, and even stuff like Clefairy (altho that aint as common anymore).

I do feel that Eggy-A is quite polarizing as an offensive breaker by the nature of its 2 main sets taking advantage of 2 different playstyles, I feel it can still be managed through proper management of its checks and scouting its set through the other members of the team (which usually can give an indication to what set it is with lets say another z-move abuser for example). After much delibaration I will likely be voting no ban although I am noticing a trend especially in PU upon how Z-moves are blurring the balance between offensive and defensive power creep in the metagame.
 

Ktütverde

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Hello everyone! PU-main ktut will hereafter share his view on the Neckboi (aka Eggy) suspect test.

Introduction
I have noticed all the previous posts were made by non-PU mains, and mostly based on ladder experience. I just want to say that :
1) 35 games barely allows you to get out of lowladder
2) PU's lowladder doesn't represent the meta at all, and trust me I have laddered for a long time in PU.
3) I've seen many EAST people laddering with hard stall or hailspam or rain, which don't represent the meta either and won't let you understand how good neckboi is since they are full counterteams to the egg-tree.

Don't take it as an offense, I just wanted to point at the biggest bias when it comes to suspecting a mon. I would like to base all my arguments on tournament play. I'm not saying I'm an elitist or anything, since the most popular PU tournament is/are the seasonals, and anyone can join it. You can watch replays from many people, whether they are known players, newer players or unknown ones, and I have to say I enjoyed watching these replays, since it really shows what the PU metagame looks like. I used to hide my replays and link privately to the moderator, but I just realized we (the Pu community) are still quite a small community, and the more replays, the faster the metagame develops and players learn (100x more efficient than laddering).

Sorry for this introduction, I will now tackle the Neckboi suspect.


Neckboi: a chronicle. How the tree rose to S rank
In order not to generalize my thoughts, I will explain first why and how it has been used.
-In Ferroclef/ Specs aurorus meta: the most splashable grasstype, able to dismantle ferroseed+clefairy+spiritomb cores, thanks to its Specs set or Mixed (woodhammer for example). It was quite underrated, but it makes sense when you can use pyroar and kingler as your breakers, and when you need to predict vs ferroseed and have leafstorm rolls vs clef. Besides, the super popular specs aurorus left eggy in the shadow.
-In Kingler meta: neckboi couldn't handle SD kingler/icebeam kingler, so it wasnt the best grasstype/dragon : people typically used tangela, servine and silvally dragon.
-In Aggron / froslass/scyther/omastar meta: neckboi is slower than band aggron which was, for a while, used a lot. The froslass/scyther hype didn't help eggy either.

Now, things become interesting:
-Late Aggron meta: mudsdale/gurdurr became much better, and as you probably know, eggy is a very good check to both (yes, even gurdurr is easily checked by eggy)
-Finally, Jellicent/Dodrio/TogeGoat meta: the most recent meta. Eggy becomes the go-to jellicent switchin, and shares ridiculous synergy with all 3 mons: dodrio/toge bring rock/ground type mons in, which are food for eggy. Jelli is weak to zingzap toge/random tbolts or voltswitches, which are switchin oportunities for neckboi.
-Quagsire/gastrodon: ok


Neckboi in the current meta



Neckboi is the bulkiest wallbreaker in the tier, along with Stoutland. I have to say, specs neckboi and band stoutland are really similar: being able to take moderately strong hits and retaliate with litteral nukes. They are also similar because they are hard to revengekill. For example, neckboi can take any hit that isnt hurricane or an icemove.
The most noticeable scenario is vs skuntank:
252+ Atk Skuntank Poison Jab vs. 212 HP / 0 Def Exeggutor-Alola: 264-312 (68.7 - 81.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252+ Atk Choice Band Stoutland Return vs. 212 HP / 0 Def Exeggutor-Alola: 280-330 (72.9 - 85.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Primeape Gunk Shot vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Exeggutor-Alola: 260-306 (65.9 - 77.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
208 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Exeggutor-Alola: 264-312 (67 - 79.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
0 SpA Oricorio-Pom-Pom Hurricane vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Exeggutor-Alola: 296-350 (75.1 - 88.8%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock


252 SpA Simisear Inferno Overdrive (185 BP) vs. 212 HP / 0 SpD Exeggutor-Alola: 315-372 (82 - 96.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

So one of neckboi's biggest attributes is its Bulk.


This Bulk poses some problems, or should I say, worsens them. Let's compare it to the (imo) second best grass-type:
-Unlike lilligant, exeguttor can quite easily take non-stab uturns (mesprit, primeape) and annihilate a pokémon in one hit (or put it very low)
-Unlike lilligant, it doesn't have to worry about being toxiced or being quickly worn down. It just has to switch in vs something that cant hit it hard (regirock, mudsdale, gurdurr, poliwrath, eelektross, defensive mesprit, quagsire...), via voltturn support if possible, but not necessary due to its bulk. It doesn't have to worry about chip damage because, every time it comes in, it will send something straight to the hospital. I don't want to start a lilligant discussion, but lilli cannot switchin excessively and secure KOs without much thinking (less power, no 130 dragon stab, no flamethrower).

Unhealthy, broken?
Healthy or broken? What does that mean?
We all know when something is broken, like Broken. You Feel it: you prepared as much as possible for X mon, and it still destroys/walls/sweeps your team. Usually you will find yourself using "unmons", pokémons you usually wouldn't be using much. For example, carbink for magmortar, silvally water and tangela for kingler. There is a difference between "adaptation" and "centralization". I would say that if a pokémon ranked below B+ has an abnormally high usage (in tournament, not ladder) for quite a long time (so it's not just a "hey this mon looks fun" trend), you can be pretty sure X pokemon is centralizing the meta.

Neckboi: not broken, but highly unhealthy
So neckboi isn't broken. Except some memers using marill and togetic, nobody seems to be using a specific mon to handle eggy. However, the current tier has reached a state beyond adaptation. The adaptation is too heavy: avoid using mudsdale, becareful with regirock, stealth rock snowslash spam, icebeam defensive mesprit, HP ice eelektross, icebeam AV lanturn (when u would rather use a toxic+healbell/protect set in this CM pompom meta), occa berry spdef-snowslash, and using pokemons that are faster and hit it very hard. Balance is also extremely weak to eggy, and tries to pseudo-check it with sandslash 5050s, roselia checking it once, AV crabominable...
Also, the best OTR eggy check is lvl99 eggy, which is checked by lvl98 eggy. A bit silly, right?


Neckboi: why I would ban it
What pushes it over the edge and makes it Highly Unhealthy is the ridiculous effectiveness of the Z-move OTR set. Not only is it able to wallbreak due to its raw power and the access to Z-drake, but it is splashable, needs basically no support (something that beats articuno/audino stall, thats all), finds many set-up opportunities do its bulk and typing, and just goes ham vs HO, offense, bulkyoffense and balance with a free Z-drake kill, followed by insanely strong hits sharing perfect coverage. The OTR+Z set has no real drawbacks as compared to the specs one, except vs clefairy (not terrible atm) and vs audicuno stall.

In other words, not only does eggy destroy most of the tier, but one of the most reliable ways of beating it (revengekilling it since it is slow) becomes irrelevant if it twists the dimensions. Eggy will always put in work, no matter the team you are using it in. This careless splashability (you just use it because why wouldn't you do so?), efficiency and pressure it exerts on most teams isn't good for the tier.

Conclusion
As a conclusion, here are my answers to some questions:

Hello Mr. ktut, may I ask you some questions?
-Sure
Is eggy broken?
-No
Is it unhealthy?
-Yes
Does it deserve a ban or can we adapt to it?
-We can adapt to it, but it often means using random ice coverage (HP ice lilli, icebeam mesprit, HP ice eelektross...) and your own eggy. If your oppo is to get free kills, why wouldn't you do so. Also using balance is really hard, especially because of the choice specs set and because there are other powerful wallbreakers: omastar, stoutland, simisear, raichu-A... That's why I think it should be banned.
Won't we miss it? Its typing still helps compressing roles (elec/ground/water resist)
-I don't think so. Drampa can do a similar job, but with many more flaws and no access to Trickroom. Lilligant, lurantis, tangela (offensive tangela isnt bad) can still take on ground/water/rock types and wallbreak, however in a more healthy way (read: using your brain will be necessary)



I think I wrote everything I wanted to say. I hope someone will do a post gathering several high-level PU games where we can see Eggy's unhealthiness. Here are two replays from my series vs HJAD in PU Circuit Playoffs.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7pu-838791168
Eggy just leads turn1 since I can't KO it, and destroys my mesprit turn1.


https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7pu-838808163
HJAD vs me, where you can see how eggy is stupidly bulky and self-sufficient: HJAD uses it in stall (so with no offensive support to soften up its possible checks). Not only does eggy kill half my team, but it also forces me to lure it with CC mudsdale and carefully playing around in order to put it in KO range for Alolachu (yes, it easily checks +2 raichu: the tree is Bulky).

Note that my team doesn't have a real eggy switchin, but isn't that weak to it on paper. It really pressures it: NP raichu, eviolite max HP scyther, poison jab skuntank, icicle crash snowslash...


Thanks for reading! Goodbye and BAN EGGY.
 
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Megazard

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While it is entirely possible to come to a reasonable no-ban perspective, the reasoning brought up for no-ban has been seriously weak and feels mostly predicated on the brief ladder experience gained by people with otherwise very limited PU playtime. I don't want to completely generalize all no-ban arguments nor call anyone specific out, ladder is the only thing we expect voters to have experienced and it is entirely possible that the people I'm assuming simply stole teams and played the minimum amount of games actually built their own teams and have watched tournament replays. However, it really doesn't look like it.
I haven't played with Offensive Trick Room Alolan Exeggutor so I prefer to not give my thoughts in much details on this, but on paper, it seems like it trades its balance matchup for its offense matchup. However, it is possible to play around Alolan Exeggutor's STAB moves, and as I previously mentioned once Alolan Exeggutor's Special Attack drops it is abusable by opposing setup sweepers or breakers.
Again, not to call anyone specific out since this is a suspect system thing and not a slight on any one person's opinion. But if someone is going to vote, I'd really hope they have more experience with the main problematic set than this, because TR eggy is absolutely not the kind of Pokemon you can gloss over. It also becomes significantly more annoying if you're trying to build your own teams and play in tournaments as opposed to using a few of the same set teams on ladder that someone passed you, which is why this experience can really be unrepresentative. Anyway, to try to provide another perspective for people to see, here's some eggy replays.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7pu-838808163 Circuit semis, HJAD vs Ktutverde. Here we can see what playing around eggy with offense often comes down to- eggy still picks up 3 kills and Ktut only wins because HJAD choked earlier and the 3 free kills simply weren't enough to win. Drops didn't come into play at all because they just often don't have to, eggy can wait until its sweeping time is over to click Draco.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7pu-837255767 Circuit Quarters, Taskr vs Xiri. Again eggy puts in massive work only to lose the game, but the point on its prowess still stands. Xiri plays around it to minimize kills but it still takes out 3 mons and moves the game from favoring Xiri into a sucker 50/50. "You can play around it" isn't as simple as it sounds.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7pu-843319655 DPL, me vs LST. Another great way to minimize how much eggy can be played around is by pairing it with, well, a lot of great top tier mons because it happens to go super well with them. By going Lycanroc, a sweeper that is otherwise not very deadly vs LST's team because of his full health Mudsdale, I can force him to KO me with the one Pokemon Exeggutor can set up on, leaving no real options. I mean Mesprit turned out to not be Ice Beam so I didn't need to be quite so safe, but it easily could've been so w/e

Alolan Exeggutor is starting to force out some downright unhealthy stuff in my opinion. Bringing level 99, 98, 97, etc. sets has become a legitimate option we've seen in seasonal and exhibition (not to mention the epic lure of level 99 specs eggy because it wasn't already difficult enough to suss out its set at preview). It's extremely difficult to run otherwise excellent Pokemon like Regirock and Mudsdale and Quagsire without significant defensive prep for Alolan Exeggutor, which practically mandates a very fat team because of how few Pokemon can handle eggy with Trick Room up (not all the time, but offense is incredibly hard to build in this meta). To me, this is now the optimal way to build a team if you want to use Regirock. Super slow, pretty fat, fitting both a Roselia and AV Crabominable to check OTR Eggy, and still coming out kinda weak to Specs Eggy because it's a great wallbreaker that just adds dimensions to the actually problematic TR set. If you don't find TR eggy a big issue and didn't build your own teams for suspect ladder, you're missing out on a big reason why I think this needs to go. The tier just lacks effective options to deal with this Pokemon. Unless you build semistall, you're either running a very very specific combo of mons to where it has zero setup opportunity or compromising your build to run an actual check to eggy once TR is set up (of which there are very few that ever want to fit on offense). And if you watch replays from larger PU tours between good players and see Eggy being so incredibly oppressive and think "wow, they just happened to use a really eggy-weak team", that's just kind of how it be. You can't reliably prep for this thing and keep up diverse teams. My favorite, most different teams I used during circuit (ex: games 1 and 3 vs Ktut) were just Eggy weak because there isn't much of a choice.

Really hope I find the time to ladder because I'm tired of dealing with this mon. Use moorill

e: to be clear, my issue is not outright brokenness but what it's doing to the tier's meta and diversity. Like it's incredibly strong on its own, but I voted DnB on Kingler, I don't think that's the primary issue. This can be a tough thing to figure out when just coming to PU for reqs, but hopefully a more tour replay-focused post can help with that. Or maybe it's not convincing, but at least I tried
 
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I was going to make a detailed post about how Eggy is bad for the tier, but honestly I don't have much more to add that Ktut and zard didn't already say. What I do have, however, is a more casual, ladder based player perspective (I suck in tours lol).

Basically reiterating the points already brought up by the former two, Eggy is super hard to play around and even though it really only has two main sets, the strain they put on the metagame is huge and make both balance and offense that much harder to use. Its combination of bulk and resistances make it hard for most mons to take it down and either allows it to nab a free kill or set up TR for a pseudo-sweep. People are forced to either run 2-3 checks for just the one mon, or use weird lure shit all over the place just to handle it, my favorite examples from ladder being HP Ice Eelektross and Poisonium Z Skuntank (while the latter isn't inherently bad, Darkinium is still better in most situations).

From my perspective, as a casual player who likes building offense with fun mons, I find Eggy to be a huge drag on the tier. Building my own teams has never felt like more of a chore and as a primarily offensive player, I can't use the styles of teams that I want to because of Eggy's influence on the meta. I've built a team recently with SpDef Sandslash, AV Eel, and Ice coverage on 2 other mons so even though I have a decent Specs Eggy matchup, OTR can very possibly 6-0 the team. I've told several people both in the PU room and on Discord that I don't think Eggy is broken, like the others have said, it's just unhealthy. However, I think even going beyond that, it makes the tier less fun and I know I'm not the only one who thinks that building teams and actually laddering with more diverse, underrated mons would be much more enjoyable if Eggy were to leave the tier. I'd love to use stuff like Carracosta and non-Psychium Z Alolan Raichu or even something weirder like Leafeon, but Eggy makes it really hard to build with these kinds of mons in my opinion.

tl;dr Ban Eggy

Also to whoever keeps using Claydol, stop. It's bad. Let it drop to ZU where it belongs.
 

2xTheTap

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I wasn't going to post initially, thinking I'd just be repeating the above, but these poll results really surprised me. While they may not necessarily reflect the consensus of those who've already earned their reqs, I feel more obligated to post now knowing we may be in danger of reaching a DNB verdict. :psycry:

My take on the meta can be a bit different as I spend a good portion of my time on Showdown simply building and testing with other council. There isn't really a limit to what I'll consider using (shoutouts meme team with min speed pursuit Parasect as Jellicent trap + OTR egg check), as long as my teams still competently address meta-pertinent threats. I pretty much keep a running Word doc of PU's various tour matches, then I identify building patterns or individual building quirks that people stick to, and use this to inform how I build.

Through this kind of obsessive (but fun!) process I've come to the conclusion that, not only is it infeasible to cover Exeggutor-A sufficiently through even my all-inclusive style of building, but I can also plainly see via tracking others' building patterns exactly how much thought and resources (team slots) have been dedicated to answering Exeggutor-A. Nearly every team you'll see below has some mix of 2-3 Grass checks (ex. Roselia, Victreebel, Oricorio-E or -G, Dodrio, Froslass, Abomasnow, Crabominable, Aurorus, Swanna, Skuntank, Jynx, etc.) + a Draco answer in the form of Fairies, Steels, or just PHAT mons (ex. SpDef Clef, Sandslash-A, Metang, Silvally Fairy, Type:Null, SpDef Articuno, Audino, even some Mawile, etc.); seeing these teams all follow such a formulaic pattern pretty much screams how centralizing it is and how mindful players are in their attempts to keep it from picking up too much steam. Ktut hit the nail on the head in saying that its workable bulk necessitates moves that OHKO it, like Supersonic Skystrike and/or ice coverage, to keep you safe from it on offense, otherwise you run the risk of letting it set up Trick Room and netting a few KOs.

What's more surprising is that despite following this pattern of building to avoid being weak to OTR Eggy A on offense, this still wasn't enough to stop neccboi from just mangling teams. If that doesn't constitute an unhealthy presence for our meta, I'm not sure what does. Watch some replays below from my replay doc that I use for building my teams - even if not all of these teams have an Exeggutor-A, you can see how much prep went into checking it from full or switching into its dual STABs + Flamethrower / how easily it gains switch-in initiative and just runs away with some of these matches:
mz vs tjay (pult: mz's team has exeggutor-a checks in haunter + silvally fairy + dodrio + sandslash-a; adds yawn quagsire to avoid letting it and other threats to quag like lilligant stay in without cost)

mz vs tjay (pult: defensive hp ground mesprit lets in exeggutor-a which just cleans against mz)

mz vs jmash (specs v specs, no real reason not to run this as your go-to breaker. defensive mesprit or anything unable to ohko gives it room to break something)

taskr vs mz (taskr running multiple dragon + grass checks in spdef clef + probopass + silvally dragon + ori-pom + dodrio alongside quag)

tjay vs mz (tj running pjab skunk + hp ice lilli + metang as draco resist + cm z ori-pom)

mz vs tjay (again no egg, but mz's team is well prepped for eggy with checks like froslass + skunk + ori-pom, as well as a draco switch in spdef CM clef).

mz vs jogurt (still no egg, but has metang as aurorus switch and for chewing a draco + roselia as grass check for lilligant and eggy a grass STAB + rotom-f as check)

mz vs lst for dpl (each side has so many eggy checks, lst with ktut-inspired ice spam vs mz's alola slash + froslass + pom + z lycan (calc below) + TR eggy a itself)
252 Atk Lycanroc Splintered Stormshards vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Exeggutor-Alola: 325-384 (82.6 - 97.7%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

mz vs ktut (silv dragon + victreebel + aurorus + alola slash as tools to pressure egg)

ktut sun vs mz (ktut circumvents builds typically used to answer eggy a with faster threats like simisear and victreebel that break down these rose-quag-alola slash or metang type cores; mz uses swanna + alola slash + skunk as egg checks)

tjay vs back at you bro (rose quag metang core vs more specialized prep for egg in crabominable + ice beam float + skunk)

tjay vs xiri (eggy a fires off z draco freely against xiri's team with no dragon stop when eggy is brought in via togede's uturn against mudsdale)

xiri vs tjay (xiri's eggy a, despite tjay's team having checks to eggy a along with switch-ins to its dual stabs in rose + jynx + metang, wins once metang is no longer healthy enough to take a draco / rose is no longer there to eat giga or leaf storm)

tjay vs taskr exhib with eggy a win

tcr vs tjay (tjay's quagsire needed to stay alive against tcr's gurdurr and aggron, and in the time it took to recover, eggy a found the opportunity needed to setup TR and threaten tjay's team's defensive backbone well enough, despite tjay packing ori sensu + pjab skunk + alola slash as checks).

From preview, Exeggutor-A theoretically shouldn't have been able to put in so much work seeing ~3 solid checks per game, but part of Exeggutor-A's ability to overcome teams that were built with it in mind stems from its variability in being able to run (and bluff!) either Choice Specs or TR (some people are running LO or even Harvest Petaya).

The other part is of course the timing the Exeggutor-A user has in bringing it in in order to break something; all that's needed to setup or wallbreak is the player's ability to double from a Pokemon that is threatening from the physical end of the spectrum, ex. Lycanroc or Gurdurr (which then brings out something Exeggutor-A scares out, like Quagsire or defensive Mesprit) to Exeggutor-A. You essentially have to play perfectly around it and win all of these 50/50s so that it or one of its offensive partners don't just win.

One last example: Lst brings out my Regirock easily on threat of a CB-boosted Frustration from Stoutland, then he doubles to Exeggutor-A and removes my Stoutland stop because I didn't have anything that could comfortably take a Z Draco: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7pu-826883439. A simple double from Pokemon like Aggron, Stoutland, Dodrio, Lycanroc, etc. is sometimes all it takes for Exeggutor-A to break something with its nearly unwallable coverage.

Long story short, it takes multiple slots to account for its dual STABs, and at the same time, you must have either scouted its set via SAFE means like Protect or Frisk or watching replays, or you must have the capability of OHKOing Exeggutor-A before it sets up Trick Room when using offense. Another option is to play with Ice coverage across your defensive Pokemon when using fatter teams (see Ice Punch Quagsire: 4 Atk Quagsire Ice Punch vs. 212 HP / 0 Def Exeggutor-Alola: 220-260 (57.2 - 67.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO) so as to not let it in, but at best, these are stopgap measures for containing it. There really isn't a good answer to Exeggutor-A no matter how you slice it, so I'm going to be voting BAN.
 
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Wassup fellads and fellasses, im just gonna briefly add my thoughts on the above 3 cute users who have already outlined well the reason why eggy-a is a restricting meta threat that manipulates the current PU meta such that its very difficult for certain styles of build to exist, and as a result will make the tier increasingly stale in the upcoming metas / months.

We've all heard this jam by now, we have 2 main eggy-a sets. Specs and OTR-Z, both of which are incredibly viable. I just want to reiterate the reason (spoiler alert) that i want this thing banned, is a mixture of eggy being one of the tiers biggest wallbreakers and being one of the tiers best (if not THE best) cleaners simulataneously, and requiring vastly different counterplay depending on the set. I don't wanna focus too much on Specs, its a really good breaker but clearly not the broken element about it. We have similarly powerful and perfectly balanced breakers in Aurorus and Jellicent (as well as others but those are the most similar), I wanted to comment more on OTR-Z sets, which I believe is a huge issue with battling currently in PU.

Basically the issue with OTR-Z is that Offense has 0 chance of checking it. The best offense has is AV Crabominable (aka easy to chip mon) and Roselia (pursuit bait) both of which struggle to check the dragonium-z draco, but are actually some of the few things that can tank one. Here in which lies the issue, that Eggy-A under its own trick room decimates Offense due to its ability to be simulataneously a wallbreaker and a hard to revenge kill, infinitely quick; cleaner all in one mon. Dragonium Z gives it a one turn Specs Draco meteor without any of the disadvantages of having to use said Specs Draco meteor, giving it a one time opportunity to blow some "check" to kingdom come. Therefore, given its other stab is giga drain, you would expect Fairy types to raise in popularity, but the only fairy type with any credentials in this tier, clefairy, absolutely sucks on balance, let alone offense where it struggles to mesh with that playstyle as well as suck in the literal sense too. We can begin to use Assault Vest Wigglytuff (s.o tcr ) or Spritzee (whatever the fuck that pixie LC mon that uses wish is called) but surely that comes under the "too warping and unhealthy" clause.

OTR Eggy is basically a godsend for balance, a mon that is extremely easy to settup and very effective at cleaning as well as just being a huge leash on any offense team to exist ever and to be quite frank it stales the meta because any and every offense that isnt utilising the god awful assault vest wigglytuff is gonna have issues to the point where the meta is gonna be revolving around who has the lower level eggy-a on offense and creating metas/meta trends based on how well they do vs eggy and preventing eggy from functioning. The net result for now is Offense being basically non-existent since its legit impossible to pull off given the power of the cleaners we have. Its effectiveness is showcased in several top tournament matches, something that few suspect worthy pokemon can boast, that its even doing work vs people who play the meta day in out.

tldr; eggys tr set is fuckin busted, offense cannot even hope to slightly check it unless u try to underlevel it (lol) or use av wigglytuff (extra lol), mindgames between specs and tr are also stupid. will cause the meta to be stale in the future
Conclusion: Ban
 
Exeggutor_(Alola_Form).png

Hello,

I think Eggy is unhealthy for the tier because it forces too much burdens already in the teambuilding process.

Offense cannot switch into Eggy, since it has no counterplay or pkmn, which can eat up hits well enough. This already counts for Specs Eggy, but the real issue starts with the OTR set. The Specs set forces Eggy to switch out itself, at one point especially after a Draco Meteor Spatt drop.
Meanwhile the OTR Set has the Freedom to run rampant, Z-Draco gives it such a insane strong STAB move and Giga Drain as a secondary good STAB meanwhile F-Thrower and S-Bomb are amazing coverage options. You either switch around until TR end in hope you dont lose a pkmn in this process OR
you have your own Eggy as counter to it, which stupidly enough has to be 1 Level lower to outspeed the Eggy, which should get countered in the Tiwsted Dimensions to kill it or force it out.

I think, when teambuilding around a mon evolves around the fact, that you have to "underlevel" a certain mon, with the same mon, so you don't autolose to this certain mon with a certain set, its reaally not going into a healthy teambuilding process neither into a healthy metagame process.
I think Alola Eggy should get BANNED from PU, due to the fact, it forces too many switches, too many guessing games, not really good counterplay, and with the OTR set runnin' around crazy it definetly forces an unhealthy burden.
Conclusion: BAN
 
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Houndoom @ Darkinium Z / Firium Z
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Dark Pulse
- Fire Blast
- Hidden Power [Grass] / Taunt
- Nasty Plot

Now NP Houndoom I feel will have a lot of competition with Simisear. Houndoom has a higher Special Attack stat, and a useful secondary STAB to take on various Psychics and Ghosts, but Simisear is faster, isn't weak to Fighting, and has better coverage options. If you can get a NP up this thing straight up nukes shit:

+2 252 SpA Houndoom Black Hole Eclipse (160 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Colbur Berry Jellicent: 445-525 (110.1 - 129.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 SpA Houndoom Black Hole Eclipse (160 BP) vs. 252 HP / 200 SpD Regirock: 382-451 (104.9 - 123.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Leftovers recovery

+2 252 SpA Houndoom Black Hole Eclipse (160 BP) vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Audino: 367-433 (89.7 - 105.8%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO after Leftovers recovery (After Rocks this is a clear OHKO)

But on the other hand, this thing is very frail, and vulnerable to certain threats like basically any Fighting-type that isn't Crab and is revenged by stuff like Kanga, Lycanroc, and Dodrio.

Scary mon but will likely be manageable.

Of course, Houndoom has plenty of other tricks up its sleeve. It can go mixed with Sucker Punch and possibly even Pursuit, and run a decent Scarf set capable of revenge killing stuff like Lilligant with ease.

Perhaps I might be underestimating Houndoom's abilities, but regardless I do see this at least being quite a viable choice, even if it faces competition in some areas.
 

Ktütverde

Pupitar Used
is a Tiering Contributoris the defending PU Circuit Champion
Hi, just wanna put my 2 cents in. Haven't tested the dog yet (wow we have 3 dogs now), so I will just quickly theorymon on the thing, especially because I won't have much time to test it so making a post helps me gathering my thoughts. I'm gonna talk about pyroar too since they are quite similar, and pyroar was banned from PU via a suspect test for those who don't know.



At first glance I think of the firedog as outright broken, or at least as broken as the fire cat. However the meta has changed a bit since pyroar's ban so let's see how doom does vs the meta:

-Choice specs is like choice specs pyroar but better ig. Same spatk stat, but a better secondary stab (dark) which is super spammable. However it is slower, but I don't think that matters at all since the only thing it speed ties with is jynx (super rare and loses to doom anyway), while non-scarf toge isnt there anymore to pick off a weakened doom. Doom is still slower than swanna and scyther, but both cant switch into it and aren't that common. 95 speed is excellent in PU (I think oricorios define the speed tier, and they are at 93 speed).

-Z moves: pyroar became really controversial when sets like Z-solarbeam or Z-fireblast with willowisp became popular, since they beat all pyroar checks (Z-grass for regirock/lanturn, wow+Z fireblast dealt with chan quite well). Doom however can just use darkiniumZ to boost his stab and destroy lanturn and regi after a Nastyplot, so it doesn't have to waste its Z-crystal for solarbeam which is otherwise useless. Basically pyroar only needed 3 moves (two stabs and HPgrass/solarbeam+Z) while doom only needs 2 (firestab+Z-darkpulse) to actually put in work, nastyplot pushing its wallbreaking presence even further. A free last slot, I haven't thought much about what it could be (taunt/hidden power steel for the stall MU I guess).

-Choice scarf: scarf pyroar wasn't a thing, since specs/Z were absolutely crazy good. Kinda helped vs lilligant, so the same goes for firedog, especially with earlybird helping vs sleeppowder (although sleeppowder has become less common). Choice scarf mixed seems like nice role compression: doom learns pursuit ye

-Z-sunny day: a bit risky since it speed ties with scarf ape. I think that overall its just better to keep houndoom for breaking down opposing teams easily (just hit darkpulse boy), and use something else to sweep.

-Mixed attacker: something pyroar cannot do. Doom becomes the best pursuit trapper in the tier: stab pursuit+firetype+unnerve means that it ignores jelli's and froslass's colbur berries, while its typing protects it from willowisps. Suckerpunch might be cool too, however it is already fast enough, and u wont be using suckerpunch vs persian, lycanrock or scyther i guess. Hits swanna and dodrio hard tho.

Pros for doom:
-regirock and lanturn aren't as abusable as they were in kingler/eggy meta
-loses to our top scarfer, primeape
-frail, dies to machpunch and accelerock

Cons:
-regirock and lanturn aren't as abusable as they were in the past, but doom just destroys them with Z-darkpulse or specs
-chan and poli have become really mediocre. Even if they are the best checks to doom imo, its hard to justify them in teams (especially chan in this ghost-infested meta).
-Darktype means that our other topscarfer, mesprit, cannot touch it, while skuntank can't RK with suckerpunch.
-Doom preys on all our toptiers: mesprit just dies vs an Unnerve darkpulse, skuntank cannot RK with suckerpunch and has to spam pjab in order not to let doom in. Lilligant, dead, sandslash, dead, stoutland kanga are slower and take massive damage
-Lycanrock cannot switch into doom's darkpulse unlike vs pyroar's hypervoice.


So here's my contribution to the discussion. I know it just seems like a solid anti-doom post, but I tried to eliminate all possible bias and I just see that -in theory- doom is even better now than pyroar was back in 2017. Looking forward to testing it as much as possible if I have time to do so, looks really fun especially with all the different sets (unban species clause please)!!

PS:
Core ideas:

chan+doom+froslass. Chan brings stuff like froslass, jelli and sableye everytime it switches in, so u go into pursuit unnerve doom and you get free spins later. Froslass as a fighting resist and because of the synergy with the two other dudes.

lilli+doom+jellicent: FGW core where all three mons dont lose vs skunk or specs/scarf mesprit

doom+pompom: doom Kos regirock and lanturn with a specs darkpulse or Z move, so pompom can easily setup
 

How about this new addition to the meta huh? Another dangerous doggo to go with the already dangerous physical wallbreakers Stoutland and Lycanroc. I can already see several uses for this evil fire-breather. The sets that come to mind are: NP + 3 Attacks, Specs, Scarf (pair it with Primeape and either one could bluff it), Z-Solarbeam, Z-Sunny Day, Mixed Attacker (Pursuit-trapper), etc. If it were me, I'd be running NP + 3 Attacks 95% of the time since it appears to be the most viable. With the item being Dark Z, Fire Z, or if real Psychic Z for Gurdurr, Hitmonchan, and Poliwrath. This makes sense given its very good SpAtk and Speed stats. It does have a problem with its physical bulk and easily loses to a Mach from Chan after rocks damage. Not to mention that Chan walls it completely.

The Good
------------------------
1) Base 110 SpAtk. Let's face it, this tier has been lacking a viable Fire since Pyroar was banned. Sure, Simisear is getting more attention and usage, but in my opinion, Houndoom provides the meta with a somewhat dominant Fire type. Its Special Attack lets it do just that, dominate. With its dual STABs of Fire Blast and Dark Pulse hitting everything that doesn't resist them hard, it makes you wonder what can fight back against this thing.

2) Speed tier. With a base Speed of 95, it puts itself in some decent company within the tier. The Silvallys, Primeape, Haunter, and even Jynx all share the same base Speed. Houndoom can hold its own vs. Haunter and Jynx but w/Primeape usually running Scarf, it faces competition there.

3) Priority. While Houndoom is usually running SpAtk and its respective moves, it can usually run Sucker Punch to pick off threats near death. It can also Pursuit trap viable mons like Mesprit, Froslass, and possibly Sensu.

4) Unnerve. This ability is actually really handy here. With most Mesprit running Colbur berries and a lot of 50% HP berries roaming around, Houndoom just says "Nope!" to each of them. Mesprit just dies to a Z-Dark Pulse at full:

252 SpA Houndoom Black Hole Eclipse (160 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Mesprit: 446-528 (122.5 - 145%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Bypassing the berries is a very nice thing to do.

The Bad
--------------------------
1) Physical Bulk. Major ouch! As mentioned before, Houndoom just dies to a Mach Punch from Hitmonchan after rocks damage:

136+ Atk Iron Fist Hitmonchan Mach Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Houndoom: 236-278 (81 - 95.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock

It's easily picked off by that and Aqua Jet users in Kabutops and Qwilfish and that's just something that isn't wanted on any mon.

2) Common type weakness. With Fighting, Water, and Rock types being a thing here, that doesn't exactly bold well for our new dog friend.

3) Stealth Rock. Well, this one should be self-explantory lol. -25% HP for this thing every time it comes in!

Overall, I do like Houndoom and believe it's balanced enough to be here. I don't think it being here dictates a quickban or a suspect test. We need to give it some time to get a feel for the tier and find its place.

Sets
--------------------
Houndoom @ Darkinium Z
Ability: Unnerve
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Dark Pulse
- Fire Blast
- Nasty Plot
- Hidden Power Grass

Houndoom @ Choice Specs
Ability: Unnerve
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Dark Pulse
- Fire Blast
- Overheat
- Hidden Power Grass

Houndoom @ Firium Z
Ability: Unnerve
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Sunny Day
- Fire Blast
- Dark Pulse
- Hidden Power Grass
 

Ktütverde

Pupitar Used
is a Tiering Contributoris the defending PU Circuit Champion
Hi again!

I'm kinda confused rn, since the council vote will happen very soon and all I've read so far is that "doom seems balanced" "idk, we'll see" "yeah we can adapt to it" (both in the PU chat and in the discord). As you may know, I'm quite pro-ban. However, I was (and still am) looking forward to finding solid counterarguments to mine. The best one (and best discussion) was with fellow Uhuhuhu who pointed out at
-the risky speed ties vs jynx and silvallies, while losing to swanna if not suckerpunch. Most people (except me) have agreed with the idea of scyther being terrible, so avoid bringing the word "scyther" in this discussion because that seems super artificial: yes, scyther outspeeds doom, but scyther is scarf 90% of the time or isn't used at all;
-doom doesn't resist uturn, unlike pyroar. But honestly, you aren't staying in vs uturn primeape/scyther, while mesprits uturn does actual damage. However, mesprit is Forced to uturn. The Dark typing is an incredible boon, allowing it to simply setup/trap/wallbreak by using mesprit and froslass as free switchin opportunities, or at least forcing the mesprit/froslass users to make a ridiculous amount of predictions.

So I'm just convinced now that Houndoom is just a better pyroar (which loses to swanna and speed ties with 3 rare mons). Better because its movepool is way bigger and its typing is way more useful: darkpulse is super spammable; NP+pursuit+suckerpunch makes it unpredictable and able to fulfill every possible offensive role.

So I created a set and a team in 5mins and tried to get good replays. To start with, the set and the team:


Houndoom @ Mago Berry
Ability: Unnerve
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Pursuit
- Fire Blast
- Dark Pulse
- Will-O-Wisp

Here is my favourite set, and probably one of the best sets along with specs and nastyplot+Z. It simply invalidates mesprit and froslass which cant touch it and get trapped, since their colbur berry becomes useless vs unnerve. Pursuit being just utility and the only physical move+already dealing heavy damage to mesprit and froslass, I put all the EVs in speed and spatk. Wow is the best move to use early game vs the few reliable checks to houndoom, namely chan, regirock and lanturn. I paired Doom with froslass so wow was my choice because it makes Hex a lot stronger. I guess you can find a better mixed spread and use suckerpunch or nastyplot on it, it just needs the berry and pursuit to fulfill the pursuit trapper role very well, way better than skuntank.



Houndoom @ Mago Berry
Ability: Unnerve
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Pursuit
- Fire Blast
- Dark Pulse
- Will-O-Wisp

Hitmonchan @ Assault Vest
Ability: Iron Fist
EVs: 244 HP / 136 Atk / 128 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Drain Punch
- Mach Punch
- Thunder Punch
- Rapid Spin

Froslass @ Icium Z
Ability: Cursed Body
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Spikes
- Ice Beam
- Hex
- Will-O-Wisp

Primeape @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Close Combat
- U-turn
- Stone Edge
- Gunk Shot

Regirock @ Leftovers
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 180 Def / 72 SpD
Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Rock Slide
- Drain Punch
- Toxic

Tangela @ Eviolite
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
- Giga Drain
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Knock Off
- Leech Seed

Not gonna lie , I made the team in 4 or 5 minutes. Doom+chan is just a fantastic core, since chan checks opposing dommers while doom traps mesprit, froslass and destroys sableye. Added froslass because hitmonspikes is great+adds a fighting immunity+enjoys having opposing regirocks/lanturns/eelektross/hitmonchans burnt/weakened by doom. Rest of the team: scarf ape because it is stupid when paired with pursuit doom, regirock as my secondary doom check +bird check (ok I know it sounds like I'm saying "this is obvious cmon", but the chan+regirock structure was +/- a thing in pyroar/magmortar metas so I just copied it). Tangela is the water resist+main fighting check and uturn absorber (yes, uturn absorber, calc primeape's uturn vs tangela).

My conclusion, after several games, is that the metagame becomes instantaneously centered around hitmonchan+regirock/lanturn, just like in pyroar meta. However, unlike in pyroar meta where u used chan just because it checks pyroar, chan is stupidly good in a doom meta imo. Doom being immune to psychic and able to take advantage of ghosts/mesprit allows chan to become a nightmare since all its checks get trapped or used a free switches for doom. Here is a replay vs Drud, where you can see similar team structures (coincidence). The game was... dumb. Doom+chan+froslass+regirock plays.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7pu-870428794 : vs drud

Here are other replays:

Lanturn+Chan
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7pu-870442296 : vs beefdreams

Eel+drampa+gurdurr

Drampa+chan

Hakamo-O+scarf mesprit gets trapped



As you can see the meta has become hitmonchan+random doom soft check+houndoom+3 other mons. I know this structure too well from my experience in pyroar and magmortar meta, and that's the icing on the cake imo: I'll be voting ban since Teambuilding is affected a lot by houndoom's presence, and not in a good way. Seeing so many chans and mesprit's spamming uturn especially is the main factor that makes me think of centralization.

Only tested one set, but the vote is gonna happen soon so I did my job I guess. Thanks for reading!
 
With the Quickban decision looming in, I figure I should put my thoughts down while I have the chance.
Over the last few days I've gone from a "No Ban" stance to a "Ban" stance, but I'd like to elaborate on this because it's really not that simple in my mind.

To start off, I'd like to explain just why I was no ban, and what made me look at it again.
First off, when Houndoom first dropped I saw two very respectable arguments against its inclusion in the tier.
"Houndoom has little to no defensive counterplay", "Houndoom has too many viable sets".
On that note, here are the viable sets I've found:

So. Here we have two Nasty Plot sets, with equally destructive Z-Moves.
My question here is the following; is this anything special? Simisear is able to perform a similar role. Not only is it not weak to our common priority, taking just 31% from Gurdurr's Mach Punch, but it's faster, and doesn't even need to consume a Z move to remove the likes of Regirock and Gastrodon, as Grass Knot covers pretty much everything Fire Blast doesn't. Its speed tier allows it to threaten out base 95 Pokémon such as Jynx and Silvally without risking a speed tie, which Houndoom cannot, and thanks to its resistance to bug it forces scarfers like Scyther and Primeape to commit to Aerial Ace/Close Combat respectively, making them much easier to play around.

With all that in mind, Houndoom is still better... on most teams.
Its Dark typing allows it to set up on the likes of Mesprit, Froslass and (Foul Play) Persian-A. It gives it a prankster immunity and a better way of pressuring the Ghost types it outspeeds like Jellicent and Oricorio-Sensu. It also gives it a reliable STAB move, so that it doesn't have to rely on an 85% accurate Fire Blast. Sucker Punch gives it a way to bypass weakened scarfers like Mesprit and Manectric, and most importantly, it's just more splashable.

This is what originally made me think Houndoom wasn't broken; while it isn't by any means worse than Simisear, it's not outright better either. While Simisear can't perform a Scarf or Specs set nearly as well, neither of these sets appear to be overbearing on the meta.
But, upon homing in on the "splashable" aspect of Houndoom, I've decided that it really is too unhealthy.

If you look at the teams being built right now, a LOT of them are balance teams that are extremely weak to Simisear. Simisear isn't broken, however, because not only does it have ways to be played around, but it's also a lot harder to use Simisear unless you specifically decide to build a team around it. It often has rather static support builds, and at preview you can typically assume it's the standard Nasty Plot Z-Fire Blast variant.
Houndoom in comparison not only brings a psychic immunity and a more reliable check to Lilligant, but it also threatens a variety of hypothetical sets from team preview. Scarf and Specs are both threatening in their own right, and have to be played around much differently to either of the Z Nasty Plot sets. You even see Ktut's Pursuit/Will-O-Wisp set listed above, which as you can see in the replays above does a fantastic job of crippling a lot of meta threats like Froslass and Hitmonchan which the other sets have varying degrees of difficulty performing. Pokémon like Mesprit and Froslass that used to be revenge killers (for Simisear) are now setup bait for Houndoom.
While I'd argue Simisear is an equally strong wallbreaker, Houndoom offers enough utility both within the match and in team preview that you can add it onto teams fairly easily, unlike the Jynx-esque nature of Simisear.

Lastly, I'd like to make a callback to a fantastic post made by UberSkitty back in October: Here.
In it, Skitty explains one of his biggest gripes with teambuilding in a post-Pyroar/Kingler meta. We have a lot of offensive threats, and not much has changed since Skitty's post; we still have too many threats for a balance team to adequately cover in 6 slots. While Houndoom isn't necessarily broken, its only defensive counterplay seems to be Lanturn and Type:Null, both of which have fairly poor recovery and can be chipped into range of Z-Dark Pulse. Unlike Simisear, which balance teams already have enough time playing around, I'd argue that the inclusion of a much more versatile, more splashable fire type is really too much for the playstyle to handle in conjunction with all the other threats like Lilligant and Mesprit that can be pretty easily paired with it.

We could of course take a more RU/LC approach and allow the tier to shift to a more fast, aggressive playstyle, where threats are managed through offensive counterplay rather than defensive cores, but I also appreciate that this isn't what many people want from the meta. I think whether or not Houndoom is worth banning comes down to what you want from team building, and from playing. I personally think that the inclusion of a fast, splashable Fire type that has no reliable switchins is too much for the tier to be forced to adapt to... but I can appreciate the non-ban arguments as well. In a vacuum, I don't think it's too much, but when combined with the other threats it just puts too much pressure on teams without even being on the field.

Now for my final message: If Houndoom stays, don't use Z-Solar Beam. It's garbo.
 
Hello,

I wanna give my thoughts on Houndoom as well. First of all, we didn't have a good fire type since Magmars and Pyroars depature and Ninetales rise to RU. Sure Simisear and Combusken are good, especially Simisear, but Houndoom on the other hand has a secondary STAB to profit from, which is helpful to dent holes in teams with Ghost types. Houndoom has a good speed tier and a good special attack stat, resulting into a versatile breaker with utility moves to profit from (Destiny Bond, WoW, Toxic, Taunt) and also good offensive moves (Fire Blast, Dark Pulse, HP Grass, Solar beam as Z Solar Beam and Sludge Bomb).

My Fav Houndoom set is:
Houndoom @ Dread Plate
Ability: Unnerve
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Fire Blast
- Dark Pulse
- Pursuit
- Hidden Power [Grass]


I decided to go for Dread Plate, since LO recoil isn't productive on a frail pokemon.
The goal os this set is, to trap Mesprit, Jellicent, Oricorio-Ghost and Froslass with luring these pkmn in with a fighting type paired with Houndoom, Gurdurr, Primape and Hitmonchan are good partners for Doom to do its job properly. Unnerve makes it that Colbur Berry can't get eaten by Ghosts and Psychics, which run this Berry.

I can also see Sucker Punch work for Houndoom for weakened foes to pick them off with a fast priotity move.

Some Core ideas:
163359

163361

163365
Primeape + mesprit U Turn into Houndoom for Houndoom to check and Suit trap Psychics and Ghosts

A team idea:
163367


Overall conclusion: I don't know yet if Houndoom is too much for the PU tier, it looks busted on paper, but it is easily picked off via Mach Punches and Acceleroc. Also it loses to faster pkmn and can only switchin into resistet moves or Psychic Type attacks.
 

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Megazard

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PU Leader
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The PU council has decided to suspect test Houndoom. Although it is extremely new to the tier, Houndoom is reminiscent of past bans such as Magmortar and Pyroar. It is extremely difficult to switch into, has an excellent Speed tier, and can run multiple different sets for wallbreaking or sweeping, including Nasty Plot Z-Move, Z-Sunny Day, All-Out Attacker, Pursuit Trapper, and more with plenty of different options for each set to consider. In addition to nearly unresisted coverage bolstered by a wide offensive movepool, Houndoom's offensive typing sets it apart from other drops such as Dodrio which fell off soon after dropping. Fire and Dark are two of the best offensive typings in the tier, and teams cannot naturally account for a wallbreaker such as Houndoom nearly as easily as Pokemon such as Dodrio or Omastar. However, Houndoom still has many of the same flaws as the Pokemon it has been compared to. Houndoom has an extreme susceptibility to priority and entry hazards, is quite frail, and has an overall mediocre matchup versus more offensive teams that can keep it pressured. While Houndoom is capable of crippling or outright breaking through most of its counters, Pokemon such as Hitmonchan, Lanturn, Regirock, Altaria, Carbink, Munchlax, and others still give bulky teams plenty of options for checking it. This suspect will decide whether or not Houndoom is too good at breaking down teams and if its presence overcentralizes the tier in order to effectively keep it in check.

There will be no suspect ladder. Instead we will use the normal PU ladder which will remain open for the duration of the test. Houndoom will be legal on the ladder. A message will pop up at the beginning of ladder games to indicate that the suspect is going on. Anyone who wishes to participate in this suspect test will use a newly-made alt with a suspect-specific tag to indicate that you are trying to achieve reqs. The requirements for this suspect test are the following:
  • All games must be played on the Pokemon Showdown! PU ladder on a new alt with the following format: "PUH (nickname)" For example, I might register the alt PUH MZ to ladder with.
  • Do NOT impersonate other people in your ladder alt, do NOT use any usernames which are offensive, flame-baiting, or targeting specific users, and do NOT use usernames which could be interpreted as breaking any of the username rules on Pokemon Showdown! Failure to abide to this will result in you being barred from voting in this suspect, and potential infractions.
  • To qualify for voting, your alt must play 35 games with a minimum GXE of 80.
The suspect test will last for 14 days, ending on Sunday the 17th at 23:59 EST. A 51% majority will be needed to ban Houndoom.
 
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Yo PU. It's your boy TTK here. I wanted to post my thoughts concerning Houndoom and thought it would be cool to finally post something in a NP thread for a suspect test. Usually I am a spectator when it comes to suspect tests, I like reading people's posts concerning the suspected mon in question and I really like the debate it brings, quite interesting. Despite staying a spectator of some sort, I still have my own opinion regarding this and I want to deliver that to you guys in this post. I'm gonna leave whether I think Doom should stay banned or not at the end of the post because my main objective is to just deliver my thoughts and opinions about it and hopefully, provoke some discussion, whether that comes from people disagreeing with what I say (which I'm expecting ngl) or agreeing with me and posting their thoughts also. Without further ado, let's go.

Let's start off with the obvious stuff here. Houndoom is an incredibly good pokemon. Despite the fact it was usable in the tier for only 2 days, I still managed to make 1 team during this period and it succeeded in doing its job, which leads on to the most dangerous set in its arsenal. Nasty Plot.
Nasty Plot Houndoom is a really strong wallbreaker at +2 and practically has no switch-ins. This set is run commonly with DarkiniumZ or FiriumZ. GrassiumZ is also an option but some people have called this bad and unnecessary, as DarkiniumZ nukes pretty much everything it needs to and here comes my opinion. I still believe that it's cool to be able to dispose of Lanturn, which is probably one of Houndoom's best switch-ins and be able to make sure you don't checked by it, but I still see how DarkZ is probably the best item on it.

Houndoom @ Darkinium Z
Ability: Unnerve
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Nasty Plot
- Fire Blast
- Dark Pulse
- Hidden Power [Grass]

Mesprit @ Colbur Berry
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 248 HP / 244 Def / 16 Spe
Bold Nature
- Stealth Rock
- U-turn
- Psychic
- Healing Wish

Silvally-Fairy @ Fairy Memory
Ability: RKS System
EVs: 48 HP / 208 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Defog
- Parting Shot
- Multi-Attack
- Thunderbolt

Stoutland @ Choice Band
Ability: Scrappy
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Return
- Facade
- Pursuit
- Superpower

Primeape @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Close Combat
- U-turn
- Stone Edge
- Gunk Shot

Lilligant @ Life Orb
Ability: Chlorophyll
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Sleep Powder
- Quiver Dance
- Giga Drain
- Hidden Power [Fire]

Below are some points that I thought are very important to consider during this suspect test and some points that have seen some discussion over the last 2 days.

1. Comparisons to Pyroar
Now, PU is infamous for banning broken Fire-types and Doom has been compared to its predecessors Magmortar and Pyroar, particularly Pyroar. They both have high Special Attack stats and they are not the bulkiest mons in the world. However, the massive difference between them is of course, the Speed tier. Pyroar sat at a comfortable 106 base Speed whereas Doom sits at 95 Speed, which isn't too bad in itself but finds itself being more vulnerable to mons like Swanna, Mane, Scyther, Silvally forms (which speedtie with it) and Jynx. Personally, I think Pyroar was more busted than Doom is right now. The Speed tier really makes a difference.

1.5 Comparisons to Simisear
Simisear vs Houndoom is definitely a debate that I have seen being discussed in the PU chat recently. They are both Fire-types with access to Nasty Plot and are both wallbreakers. The main point was obviously "Is Houndoom worth using over Simisear?" or "Is Houndoom better than Simisear?" Both of them are quite good yes but why is Doom banned and Simisear isn't? One thing that Doom has over Simisear is the Dark-typing. This is amazing for it because it has a dual-STAB and that's what Simisear lacks. It can prey upon the Dark-weak mons in the tier thanks to its ability Unnerve, which basically cucks Colbur Berry users like Golurk, Mesprit and Froslass for example and just remove them from the game but Simisear only has Fire-STAB to rely on, although it has an amazing movepool and coverage options in Grass Knot and Focus Blast but I just think the Dark-STAB Houndoom possesses really goes a long way to making it a more dangerous wallbreaker than Simisear is.

I wouldn't advise anyone to dismiss Simisear as of yet, the mon still has a superior speed tier over Houndoom and still hits hard after a Nasty Plot. It's just unfortunate for Simisear that Houndoom has dual-STAB and possesses a higher special attack to just make it a more dangerous threat.

2. Checking Houndoom
Houndoom of course has its checks and counters. Having a really poor defence stat leads Doom susceptible to pretty much all forms of priority bar Sucker Punch, Mach Punch being the most common form from the likes of Gurdurr and Hitmonchan and Aqua Jet, although not as common, from pokemon like Kabutops and Carracosta. Weakness to Stealth Rock also hinders it as well, definitely guaranteeing its death to priority and requiring hazard removal support to ensure its longevity throughout a game. To be perfectly honest with you guys, this is the part that makes Houndoom not seem as broken as it seems at first glance. On paper, it doesn't have much safety when setting up and of course can be forced out by a smart play of bringing in something like AV Hitmonchan on the Nasty Plot turn and it can't really do anything.

3. Versatility of Sets
Houndoom was blessed with high Special Attack and decent 90 base Attack which allows it to run a good amount of sets, particularly the Pursuit set. The Pursuit set is very nice to really take a chunk from Froslass, doing 89% max to offensive Lass sets. Mixed Sucker Punch is also another good set Doom is able to run effectively, picking off faster mons that have been weakened throughout the game. This versatility has also led to sets like running Taunt, Will-o-Wisp, Destiny Bond and Z-Sunny Day to name some more sets that aren't just Nasty Plot. This really again, sets it apart from Simisear, which can really only run Nasty Plot, Scarf or Specs effectively and makes it much more a unpredictable pokemon and certain teams will definitely find it hard to face at least all of its sets at one time.

4. Effect of Teambuilding
On to my final point of this post. I believe Houndoom will definitely have a negative effect on teambuilding, which is my greatest fear. In my opinion, I find teambuilding quite hard in this meta of ours at this current moment. This tier is home to a plethora of offensive threats, too many to account for when building one team. At the end of the building process, you are most likely gonna realise "oh I accounted for X but Y and Z, or just Y, are gonna give me some trouble". Houndoom is just one more to add into the clown fiesta and will actually become one of the top threats to account for. It gives balance a lot of trouble, like Uhuhuhu said above and a reliable core in Null + Lanturn can easily get chipped by hazards and residual damage taken in the game and fall victim to a Black Hole Eclipse.

Whoo, we finally got to the end. Sorry that took so long. Even as I finish off this post, I do not fully know whether Doom staying banned is a good idea or not. One part of me feels like we could adapt to it, we never adapted to Minior and honestly, we were too quick to quickban it. I do not wish that to be the case for Houndoom. It's not fully broken at all. Offensively, we can handle it and in most cases, it never just goes off and sweeps unless your team lacks priority or a scarfer (which they should). However, the other part of me sees the effect on teambuilding and the versatility of its sets, which would obviously take longer to adapt to due to its unpredictability and that could be potentially dangerous to keep such a powerful mon. If I somehow manage to get the reqs (Pray to God), I might actually vote BAN but we'll see.

Thanks for reading and good luck laddering!
 
I haven't played against Houndoom much, but he seems very overwhelming at first glance because it's offensive typing, mixed offensive stats and decent movepool. I think It has enough checks with tons of priority users like Kabutops, Gurdurr, Hitmonchan, Lycanroc, Carracosta alongside stealth rock and faster pokemon in general to warrant this suspect test and not a quickban. It does seem a bit restricting on team building, between it's dual stab, it can effectively hit any Pokemon for neutral damage which makes playstyles like stall and balance less ideal because of it's dual stab. Nasty plot and z-move make it difficult to wall out Houndoom, the only pokemon that can actually "resist" it's dual stab is Eviolite Marill, Poliwrath, Carbink or very specially defensive walls like Cradily and Gastrodon who rely on their base stats to tank the attacks from Houndoom. Houndoom is like a mix between Magmortar and Pyroar in that it's incredibly hard to switch into due to his high speed and offensive stats, but like Magmortar it can run a plethora of different movesets which makes it difficult to switch/predict around unlike pyroar, because it can run mixed, pursuit trap, nasty plot sweeper, z-move and more like megazard said. Now it can be revenge killed/pressured very easily with stealth rock/pokemon with higher speed and priority, and bringing in houndoom for free outisde of slow pivots like u-turn isn't very easy at all, but that doesn't take away the fact there's very little that can safely switch in multiple times and counter houndoom. This means the best way to deal with houndoom is to offensively check and pressure it which is restrictive towards teambuilding because you're either being forced to run something unorthodox like Marill/Carbink, or run Poliwrath on every team to safely deal with it's dual stab, or use an offensive team/build. I know Houndoom seems unhealthy for the tier, but at the same time PU has like no good fire types at all, we got Rapidash and Simisear and Monferno/Combusken if you want to push it... I really want Houndoom to stay, but acknowledge preparing for Houdoom ontop of other scary wall breakers in PU isn't healthy for the meta at all. I'm excited to see how this suspect test turns out though and am fine if it stays or goes.
 

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