Metagame NP: ZU Stage 2 - Turn It Again - Combusken Quick Banned @77

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:klang: Klang: DNB If this votinghad happened like before Cheezy's votw on klang, I would have understood the reason. But now, after that being done, I definitely dont see any reason for this pair of gears to be banned. I understand that the Shift gear/ Iron defense is a little too strong, but obviously it has its own flaws. In the final move slot it either has to fit rest which makes it a sleeping pile for the next 2 turns, when the opponent can set up and stuff, or add vswitch which basially removes its stats, or add façade which has no point or use wild charge or toxic which basically mean its gonna get weared down pretty quickly and then jut die. The flame body of carkol has almost 52% chance to bur it because of 2 hits of gear grind. Basically we found a lot of counters and checks for it in the votw. Moving on from the recent deadly set, the prev one with gear grind/vswtch had a lot of answers and needs not be mentioned, like the older sets aren't even the reason for it tobe vote on.
Oh and did I mention how cp/sp goth always beats it no matter what?(except if klang crits ofc). Same is with a lot of other mons that pp stall it.

:Grapploct: Grapploct: DNB Not the fault of this guy that people sleep on it :(. Like its said it restricts teambuilding by making people run bulky mons, but shouldn't a team already have one? Like the drop in which we get grap, our tier's power level went up significantly. We got major hardhitters like beheeyem/stonjourner/stoutland/trevenant/grapploct/ (themons that shouldn't be recalled, aka swoobat and musharna). So basically, we got two options, adapt to these power drops and DO run bulky stuff as well, OR become pu and ban all these stuff until we go back to the power level of june. Coming on its sets, the noteable for banworty illusion are av pup/bu/octolock.octolock sets are a little problem but can still be countered because most stuff we send in on grapp has strong super effective move they use on the turn of octolock. The problem is there only when we switch in on octolock, which like something that one must be cautious of already. The pup set has no defense boosting and has ebough dmg answers. The bu set has weak spd side and is beaten similar to octolock set. While people may argue on the sucker power, it must be noted that +1 sucker is something that can still be managed.
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Beheeyem: 298-352 (84.1 - 99.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 36 HP / 220 Def Beheeyem: 230-272 (76.6 - 90.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Gothitelle: 176-208 (51.1 - 60.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (and since the sucke is dependant on offensive move of opponent and this is obvio a stored power goth with cosmic power, this is a def win win matchup against the most feared set, the sucker).
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Eviolite Duosion: 272-320 (81.4 - 95.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO(similar to goth, a def win win matchup).
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Solrock: 190-224 (49.6 - 58.4%) -- 98.8% chance to 2HKO(this set also often runs colbur berry that I didn't consider right now due to polter).
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 252 HP / 244+ Def Eviolite Hattrem: 150-178 (47.1 - 55.9%) -- 79.3% chance to 2HKO (at this point, giga drain + psychic kills grapp whereas hat lives).
And then the sub lamp beats the sucker set up and beats it down. Not to mention how trick users destroy it completely.
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Ice Punch vs. 200 HP / 56 Def Beheeyem: 148-175 (43.4 - 51.3%) -- 7.4% chance to 2HKO
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Ice Punch vs. 56 HP / 56 Def Beheeyem: 148-175 (48.5 - 57.3%) -- 94.1% chance to 2HKO
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Ice Punch vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Beheeyem: 159-188 (54.4 - 64.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Gourgeist-Large: 198-234 (68 - 80.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Emolga: 178-210 (70.9 - 83.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+6 252+ Atk Grapploct Ice Punch vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Koffing: 167-197 (58.8 - 69.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
 
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Greybaum

formerly uhuhuhu7
is a Tiering Contributor
:ss/klang: Klang: No Ban
ok so this mon is incredibly good but i don't think it really distinguishes itself that much from dusclops or gothitelle that much, it's just far more splashable because of its hazard resistence & utility in checking ice-types. it 1v1s most of the meta if given a free turn, this is true, but there's a solid number of mons that are relatively easy to keep healthy & beat it very consistently on all archetypes i've personally played with. on stall both pyuku and bronzor hardwall and can pp stall it (or shedinja LOL), balance has various solid breakers to pick from like whiscash, bulk up grapploct, physdef nasty plot beheeyem, as well as defensive options like gourgeist (worry seed) and, stupidly enough, your own ID klang. many of these mons are also viable across multiple archetypes, with both grapp and klang being very solid HO options and bronzor being a reasonable stealth rock user on balance. there's also far more niche options, some of which were highlighted in VOTW very recently as seen here. some other unmentionables include octillery, honedge, and hidden sets for trev, bellossom and emolga which i encourage people to figure out for themselves

normally i'd say a pokemon can not be reasonable counterplay for itself (at least not when using the same set), but klang literally pp stalls itself, trading its life on both sides, and it'll always benefit at least one of the two players to go for this play if they lack a better alternative. this was recently made evident during kay's ZUPL II game vs zugubu royale as seen here, where zugubu set up quite a few turns in advance, leading to it being pp stalled and kay's klang sweeping in return. you can also do this with cosmic power gothitelle but you run the risk of being crit which klang has less of an issue with.

i think this vote could be revisited in the future after people start exploring variations like attack invested klang or shift gear/gear grind/toxic/rest to win games long-term vs mons with less reliable recovery like grapploct. these sets have their own issues and allow hippopotas, vibrava etc. to once again answer it, but i'd be keen to see if the set variations cause too many restrictions. first people need to stop getting 6-0d by this stupid mon though, start using teams w/ better counterplay pls (or just use grapp/whis on every team like i and apparently kay do LOL)

:ss/grapploct: Grapploct: Ban

two main sets i'm going to talk about here:
Grapploct @ Leftovers
Ability: Technician / Limber
EVs: 228 HP / 252 Atk / 28 Spe
Adamant Nature (creeps uninvested Machoke, Mudbray, Dunsparce)
OR
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Careful Nature

- Bulk Up
- Drain Punch
- Sucker Punch / Brutal Swing
- Ice Punch / Brutal Swing
Grapploct @ Choice Band
Ability: Technician
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Close Combat
- Brutal Swing
- Ice Punch
- Drain Punch / Sucker Punch

bulk up is the most centralising set, it breaks pretty much everything in the tier.
you can run a few pokemon for it, notably koffing, hippopotas, pyukumuku and physdef gourg, but all of these pokemon are not only hard to fit on teams (koffing & pyuku in particular) but extremely abusable. both of these pokemon also typically lose if grapploct gets multiple boosts, meaning they often need to switch directly into grapploct and can't find time to scout for band/octolock. band also takes out all of these pokemon except koffing with great ease, and octolock traps & takes out both koffing & pyukumuku handily (as well as shiinotic, which people sometimes bring up as a "counter" but it gets 2HKOd by high rolls, or more realistically, +0 ice punch into a +1 ice punch. if their team doesn't let you heal up for free (e.g. they have a low attack mon or a hattrem) you're folding over. synthesis shii is a little more reliable, but shares the same problems as the other defensive pokemon where it's taken out by choice band and octolock easily. even if you aren't dying to absolute minimal chip. synthesis is also just outright worse in every other matchup.

offensively, we have dedenne, and that's about it.
pretty much everything else either drops to sucker punch, can't take out grapploct without substantial chip, or both:
252 SpA Life Orb Raichu Thunderbolt vs. 228 HP / 0 SpD Grapploct: 179-212 (50 - 59.2%)
252 SpA Emolga Air Slash vs. 228 HP / 0 SpD Grapploct: 206-246 (57.5 - 68.7%)
252 Atk Silvally-Ice Multi-Attack vs. +1 228 HP / 0 Def Grapploct: 115-136 (32.1 - 37.9%)
252+ Atk Farfetch’d Brave Bird vs. +1 228 HP / 0 Def Grapploct: 246-290 (68.7 - 81%)
+2 252+ Atk Choice Band Stoutland Retaliate vs. +1 228 HP / 0 Def Grapploct: 244-288 (68.1 - 80.4%)

+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Eviolite Mr. Mime-Galar: 224-264 (92.9 - 109.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock (hdb is just OHKOd)
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mr. Mime: 167-197 (75.5 - 89.1%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock (minimal chip, easily attained by a second round of stealth rock)
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Lunatone: 334-394 (104 - 122.7%)
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Rufflet: 202-238 (71.8 - 84.6%) -- 75% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock (or just BB recoil)
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Farfetch’d: 188-222 (76.7 - 90.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock (or just BB recoil)

i could go on with more mons like gastly or whatever but the point is unless you're using specs dedenne or focus sash abra you've got no chance of revenge killing this thing reliably, as you have to tailor the rest of your team to prevent it from getting healing from drain punch or hoping for absolute perfect conditions (e.g. full health mime, getting a sub predict right with mime). this is also while having pretty much no answers to choice the band set. i also haven't covered the full spdef spread (because generally speaking it's not as good) but it does a lot of the same things the regular spread does while also calling into question things like gime as offensive checks as demonstrated in this ZUPL II game between my teammate Procrastinasian and his opponent BagOfTrixx, in which a full spdef grapploct didn't even need to play sucker mindgames because, well, np gime wasn't even reaching 70% with psychic.

The flame body of carkol has almost 52% chance to bur it because of 2 hits of gear grind. Basically we found a lot of counters and checks for it in the votw.
not sure who you're playing against but every klang is running rest, burn is irrelevant and carkol can't beat klang. absolutely nobody is running facade because it doesn't need it. i think we have enough counterplay to klang but this is absolutely not it

+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Ice Punch vs. 200 HP / 56 Def Beheeyem: 148-175 (43.4 - 51.3%) -- 7.4% chance to 2HKO
+1 252+ Atk Technician Grapploct Brutal Swing vs. 200 HP / 56 Def Beheeyem: 356-420 (104.3 - 123.1%)
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Ice Punch vs. 56 HP / 56 Def Beheeyem: 148-175 (48.5 - 57.3%) -- 94.1% chance to 2HKO
+1 252+ Atk Technician Grapploct Brutal Swing vs. 56 HP / 56 Def Beheeyem: 356-420 (116.7 - 137.7%)
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 56 HP / 56 Def Beheeyem: 278-328 (91.1 - 107.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock

+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Ice Punch vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Beheeyem: 159-188 (54.4 - 64.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Beheeyem: 298-352 (102 - 120.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Gourgeist-Large: 198-234 (68 - 80.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Choice Band Gourgeist-Large Power Whip vs. +1 228 HP / 0 Def Grapploct: 189-223 (52.7 - 62.2%)
grapploct has solid natural bulk even without investment. yes, some pokemon can live sucker punch, but most of them are physical attackers like gourg or stonjourner and cannot hit back without substantial chip (hard to keep on grapploct w/ drain punch & stealth rock resistance)

+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Sucker Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Emolga: 178-210 (70.9 - 83.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Emolga Air Slash vs. 228 HP / 0 SpD Grapploct: 224-266 (62.5 - 74.3%)
+1 252+ Atk Technician Grapploct Brutal Swing vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Emolga: 228-269 (90.8 - 107.1%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO
+1 252+ Atk Grapploct Ice Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Emolga: 380-448 (151.3 - 178.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+6 252+ Atk Grapploct Ice Punch vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Koffing: 167-197 (58.8 - 69.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
yep i accept this as a viable answer, no problems here.

please let me know if you disagree and i will retaliate
 
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tko

Redefining Success
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
Resident ZUPL player coming through

I can see Haze and whirlwind (and specs Whiscash, Lampent, guts FO Machoke, and modest life orb np specs raichu) being very effective in dealing with any sweeping threat.
I don't think guts flame orb machoke can't switch into klang because after a shift gear its faster and after an iron defense it doesn't do enough to kill and with the drops and chip it loses. It also loses if it clicks Knock off. And Lampent being weak to rocks means that its taking 25% from rocks and 20% on the switch in from gear grind. Its not hard to outlast it if its your only klang answer. Haze is an extremely limited counter play because all but 1 of the haze mons suck and whirlwind only delays the problem because if that's your only klang answer you just sack your team and win with last mon klang.


If this voting had happened like before Cheezy's votw on klang, I would have understood the reason. But now, after that being done, I definitely dont see any reason for this pair of gears to be banned.
Most of the stuff in that thread was stuff like scraggy and magnemite. If that's considered good counter play then it should be banned for that reason alone if your choices are whiscash, bu grap, and a bunch of not viable pokemon.


In the final move slot it either has to fit rest which makes it a sleeping pile for the next 2 turns, when the opponent can set up and stuff, or add vswitch which basially removes its stats, or add facade which has no point or use wild charge or toxic which basically mean its gonna get worn down pretty quickly and then jut die.
I don't think anyone's dropping rest on klang especially not for facade or wild charge. And nothing outside of a few mons even can punished iron defense klang for resting other then a few pokemon which is the entire problem.


The flame body of carkol has almost 52% chance to bur it because of 2 hits of gear grind. Basically we found a lot of counters and checks for it in the votw. Moving on from the recent deadly set, the prev one with gear grind/vswtch had a lot of answers and needs not be mentioned, like the older sets aren't even the reason for it tobe vote on.
I'm not too sure about this. Are you just supposed to let klang set up to +6 attack speed and defense while you wait for it to hit you so you can go for a 52% chance at burning it? Burning a +6/6/6 mon with rest doesn't do anything.
Also as for the older sets those aren't ban worthy but its when you mix together the fact it could be the iron defense set + the older sets which normally beat the counters to the iron defense set is when the older sets become more relevant for the discussion. It doesnt need 1 single set to be broken when it has a lot of sets it can run that you have to be prepared for on top of the best one.


and there's plenty of ways to prevent it from sweeping, similar to how people deal with stored power Gothitelle.
ok so this mon is incredibly good but i don't think it really distinguishes itself that much from dusclops or gothitelle that much
I think the people comparing klang to goth or dusclop totally miss the point of klang. The problem with goth especially is it just doesn't do anything other then win very specific match ups and do nothing in others. Klang is useful in literally every single game not only as a win condition but as a wall to half the tier. There is opportune cost to running clops and goth and there just isn't any for running klang which makes it totally different. The only thing they have in common is their bulky set up sweepers.


The only good answers have been whiscash and BU grap, and one of them is on a voting slate and should probably go which really just leaves whiscash and a bunch of random niche pokemon. Even when you do have counter play to klang its not hard to wear down those checks and counters because of the massive longevity klang has. It offers way too much defensively, is extremely hard to stop, and you can lose the game off a single turn playing against it. It doesn't help that one of the best ways to beat ID klang is your own ID klang and play pp stalling wars against it. Like kay said broken shouldn't be used to beat broken, its not healthy for any tier.

I'd be pro ban btw
 
:Grapploct:
DNB Grapploct is an amazing top tier threat in the zu metagame with extremly little counterplay. It has two great sets in the form of a bulk up set up sweeper and a trapper with octolock. The bulk up set is the most problematic with it easily being able to sweep teams after a couple of bulk ups. It can also choose its counters by running ice punch or brutal swing as its coverage moves. Sucker punch is also very strong on grapploct as it makes up for its slow speed allowing it to not get revenged killed. I also think that just by the octolock set existing it makes the bulk up set even scarier. This is due to the two sets having different counters which makes your opponent think twice before they send in a Pyukumuku or Shiinotic.

The problems that grapploct faces is finding the right time to set up. Grapploct isn't that bulky before setting up so it needs to set up on weaker support mons. The issue with setting up on weaker mons is that alot of them run status moves and Grapploct hate status as it cant prevent or remove them. Grapploct also hates t-spikes which is a problem as t-spikes are everywhere right now. It also doesnt like coming in in the early/mid game and talking chip as this decrease its chances of setting up later. This is problematic when grapploct is your stonjourner check. Also another problem is that once you figure out what the grapploct set is it becomes easier to handle and you can play around it. Good players can also just look at Grapploct at team preview and have a good guess and what set or support moves it in running based on its teammates and then play around it.
Grapploct @ Leftovers
Ability: Technician
EVs: 228 HP / 252 Atk / 28 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Bulk Up
- Drain Punch
- Ice punch / Brutal Swing
- Sucker Punch
Grapploct @ Leftovers
Ability: Technician
EVs: 228 HP / 252 Atk / 28 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Octolock
- Drain Punch
- Ice Punch
- Protect
:klang:
DNB klang is another amazing top teir threat in the zu metagame with a multitude of great sets. There is almost no reason not to use klang as it can be a special wall, ice resist, toxic immunity and a win con. However I don't think its banworthy even though it does grind my gears daily and I have been spamming ban klang in the zu room as a joke for months. The iron defence set has been popping off lately but in my experience I dont think its that great and it just a craze and prefer the standard rest talk set and the offensive shift gears sets. The iron defence set is just too passive for me as when your forced to rest you just become a sitting duck. Mons like Whiscash and lampent can just switch in and 2hitko klang, if klang swicthes out then it has to struggle to find 2 free turns to wake up whilst being chipped down and losing momentum. Nothing much else to say on klang, Its just your standard top tier mon that heathy for the metagame and has counterplay
Klang @ Eviolite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Rest
- Iron Defence
- Gear Grind
- Shift Gear
Klang @ Eviolite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Rest
- Sleep Talk
- Gear Grind
- Shift Gear
Klang @ Eviolite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Rest
- Sleep Talk
- Gear Grind
- Toxic / Volt Switch
Klang @ Eviolite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 80 HP / 252 Atk / 176 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Shift Gear
- Gear Grind
- Substitute
- Toxic

:totodile:Final thoughts
Ban Stonjourner instead. It got even better thanks to Hattrem dropping which decreased the usage of its counters such as Hippopotas and Palpitoad. Also Stonjourner paired with pikachu is nasty as they have the similar counters so once pika knocks your stonjourners counter you might as well ff.
 
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I wont have a fancy formatted post here but just some of my quick thoughts. As someone who builds probably close to the most teams, teambuilding for Klang is a nightmare. Its very good defensively and because of that, gets a lot of free switchins. Then you need dedicated counters and elaborate gameplans around forcing it to take knock offs. It's frustrating from a team building standpoint and I would love to ban it but I am honestly afraid of that meta switch, especially if Rockvally comes down in two weeks. I think I would like to see next months drops before I make a decision on Klang.

Grapp is a different case. Ban 100%. Ive actually given up even prepping for it because it has multiple sets/insane coverage/prio/longevity/setup like you actually cannot prep a team for all options. I am all for a meta with no Grapp being a complete menace and ending PL games in 1 turn. I dont even think its being fully abused right now and could get even better if people put more effort into team support/ev spreads.

That's all I have for now but I am excited for a possible meta shift!
 
No Ban
Klang its incredibly good and dominant, splashable on many teams being both a special wall for lots of potential threats such as psychic, grass and ice types while also being a great setup sweeper and late wincon as its moveset provides it. The set that puts it over the edge was the id one which was seen on various zupl games. Tho klang its a mon you need to consider when teambuilding to not autolose to it, at the same time it provides a lot for teambuilding as it gives so much role in one slot and it glues the tier in some sort of way. My honest fear its that if klang its gone other threats will get out of hand cuz Klang its the only good steel type rn (alongside Bronzor which is extremely passive). Also pretty much all its best sets have some flaw as it cant run all of them in once. ID gives free turns when resting. Sleep talk gets threaten kinda easy by physical mons like ground and fighting types. Toxic doesnt allow to setup unless no SS over sleep talk which led free turns again.
I think Klang can be revisited later but rn its too important to make it leave.

Ban
I think Grapploct its too much for the tier to handle simply because of the variety of viable good sets in BU, Octolock, CB, AV, and even lo that this thing could run alongside a great coverage, setup with ease, really good bulk and instant offensive pressure that leads to little counterplay or actual counters. Spritzee its honestly bad and the majority of the counters seen on VOTW for grapploct have to be at full and can get pressured really easy. All psychic checks lose that condition when they lose colbur coming on a knock off of another mon. Shii and dedenne takes so much from ice punch. Even the standard Vespi can't deal with it as it forced to run air slash/toxic to be an actual check. Most teams rely on toxic grapp and play around it getting every turn right to wear it down so things like Hwish hattrem + bu grapp are amazing cuz u can bu without worrying about toxic and take 2-3 mons to then recover grapp on lategame. Grapp has even further unexplored sets that let it bypass passive counters like fast BU Taunt, and even rest or fully spdef. So yes, overall Ban octopus.
 

Greybaum

formerly uhuhuhu7
is a Tiering Contributor
kay changed my mind on klang about an hour or two after my post went up so i should probably detail what was wrong with my previous arguments and why i feel differently now.

to quickly sum up my previous post in many less words, my previous arguments were:

1- klang is basically just a better goth/dusc (and i implied it has similar core issues w/ passivity & matchup as a result)
2- there is counterplay available on every viable archetype
3- there is enough reliable counterplay available.

to cover 1- first, it's just so much better than gothitelle as a set-up sweeper. gothitelle is reliant on multiple boosts before stored power hits anything, whereas gear grind is actually doing a chunk to proposed defensive counterplay (i'll cover this later). in addition, gothitelle really struggles in poor matchups and can find it hard to switch in due to its awkward typing. with klang, however, it's resisting rocks, immune to toxic, has way better bulk, and even in matchups where it isn't setting up it's still going to put in work by virtue of being a s-rank steel-type with extreme bulk.

2- this is true but it's a lot more limited than i initially thought. the reason i thought this is because every team i brought (and almost every team i helped with on slowpokes or flamencos) carried either grapploct or whiscash. going over the mons i mentioned in my last post:

- pyuku: still solid, only available to stall
- bronzor: needs iron defence, which i didn't mention in my last post because i forgot it. stall teams can fit this, but balance teams can't, it really only helps vs klang & silvally-ice and you can't really afford to give up toxic or gyro ball without becoming too passive to properly support on balance. this is still an answer, but only on stall, not balance
- grapploct, whiscash and (nasty plot) beheeyem: are all fairly reliable still.
- gourgeist: simply can't afford worry seed as much as i wish it could. there are too many pokemon you need to answer with foul play/power whip/toxic/whatever you'd be giving up. gourgeist is still counterplay, but it needs to be paired with sandygast or vibrava (who can only answer klang if given leech seed recovery).

if you're using balance, you're either using grapploct, whiscash, np beheeyem, or a special core of gourg & sandygast/vibrava. i think it's worth including knock off & sandygast/palpitoad here for being incredibly similar, but imo a lot worse because it's actually really near impossible to force a knock off onto klang unless you're using "mr shadow s-rank" ivysaur.
you can also use incredibly niche pokemon like octillery (just whiscash but worse on most builds), honedge, and lampent, but with the exception of honedge they all have a hard time actually answering klang outside of the calc/1v1 vacuum.

3- this is an issue though, because it's far easier to win with klang than it is to stop klang winning. the klang user can pretty freely set-up on half the tier, and likely over half of the opponent's team. the opponent can have scraggy, or mudbray, but they need to be preserved the entire game specifically as anti-klang and aren't comfortably doing the roles they should be doing instead (there was a good example of this in the one zupl replay where scraggy got used. it also eventually died to that klang).
grapploct and whiscash are the best forms of counterplay, but if you get a toxic onto them or enough damage from outside sources (e.g. stonjourner superpower damage on whiscash) the klang answers suddenly get a lot tighter. playing against klang often feels like you're walking on eggshells with how you have to preserve pokemon, and after looking at the previously used shift gear/gear grind/toxic/rest set again it's really hard to say that this wouldn't break recent teams reliant on whiscash or grapploct to answer klang (you can run hippo or whatever else alongside them but it's much harder now that mons like whiscash and hattrem are in the top usage). the only big exception to this is honedge, but it's currently unranked and council appear to be putting it in C- which says a lot about how much support it needs to function.
this is doubly true for other "niche" answers, lampent in particular which takes 30-45% from gear grind after rocks and i'm pretty sure loses to a +1 klang after that because fire blast only does 60% max. this is doubly true for torracat, who lacks possible recovery, fails to 2HKO klang with fire blast 90% of the time, and takes more damage from gear grind.
also, if you're using the aforementioned gourg & vib/sandy you have twice as many pokemon that you need to preserve/keep away from toxic to avoid losing.

| 4 | Grapploct | 25 | 26.04% | 40.00% |
| 9 | Whiscash | 16 | 16.67% | 43.75% |
| 34 | Mudbray | 5 | 5.21% | 80.00% |
these are probably the three most used forms of klang counterplay right here. it's pretty clear that anything other than grapploct/whiscash can be considered "niche" when you're jumping from 16 uses to 5. also, considering that grapploct very well could be leaving in this ban slate you may as well raise whiscash to S rank if klang isn't going.
it's also worth noting that every single ZUPL game in the semi-finals (including tiebreak) had whiscash, grapploct, or both, with the exception of a pif stall team that used pyukumuku.

in short, there's really only a handful of pokemon that answer klang, and only grapp (probably being banned), whiscash and np beheeyem actually deal with it in the high ranks of the VR until you drop to lampent in B (and both np beheeyem and lampent are pretty shaky answers). the fact you have to either use grapploct, whiscash, or build a team around supporting a pretty mediocre niche mon to beat a defensive s rank pokemon makes me think yeah klang gotta go. there's also magnemite, which is an argument for banning klang in itself. enjoy playing 5v6 in every matchup without klang and 5v5 in every matchup with klang.
 
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This is going to be a bit sloppy because I've had really long school nights recently but I prommy for the next meta development that I will have an insufferably long and silly post so for now just appreciate the songs and bad mspaint drawings.


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No ban arguments for Klang are extremely wild. Klang has been dominating ZUPL for weeks, to the point where in Weeks 4 and 5 it was everywhere with a high winrate, and then in playoffs it was brought once just because everyone knew overprep would be a thing. There are clear defensive answers to even Iron Defense + Shift Gear Klang: Roar Mudbray, Pyukumuku, and Whiscash. However, Klang just puts way too much pressure on teams to not lose any momentum and always keep their Klang checks healthy while it lurks in the back. Most of these mons also become worse if people start running Toxic on Klang again to take advantage of the popularity of the Iron Defense set. We've seen matches come down to PP stalling between two Klang or fishing for crits, and this is in a tournament setting. On ladder, Klang is even more disgusting just because of how easily it dominates teams that aren't running multiple checks to it. So many of the "no ban" arguments for Klang are weak too. Sure Klang is a great defensive glue, but that doesn't matter when it is so oppressive in the metagame that it calls for balance and bulky teams to contort themselves in ways that don't let it get a single free turn by having Roar Mudbray, Whirlwind Hippopotas (both of which lose if Klang is the last mon), and Whiscash. We can't keep Klang around just because it's a good way to keep down other threats, because if those threats are broken then they need to be banned too. That's just how tiering works. Sure Iron Defense gives free turns while resting but so few things actually break through it that it's hardly a problem. I get that some people think "but what if shifts change it", but that really won't end up mattering if we get nothing that breaks through and Klang just ends up still being broken and we wasted time this week LOL. We can't play a week ahead into a theoretical meta where we have answers to it when Klang is unhealthy right now. Offensive counterplay that takes advantage of it is limited to Whiscash, Lampent, and Torracat, two of which are weak to literally all hazards and are not switching in multiple times to check Klang (and guess what? they're Toxic weak too LOL). Defensive counterplay got worse with shifts because Bronzor, Pyukumuku, and Palpitoad got so much worse thanks to Hatt just blanking all of them no problem. Did I forget to mention that Klang barely needs team support to function and supporting it is ridiculously easy? Hattrem beats nearly all of its defensive checks, Vespiquen's Toxic Spikes make Klang's time setting up ridiculously easy, and Stonjourner and Pikachu weaken all the remaining bulky Grounds that don't lose to Hatt. This is not the sign of a healthy Pokemon. Stored Power Gothitelle? You don't even consistently 4HKO at +6/+6 and you lose if Klang gets a single crit off of a multi-hit attack. Iron Defense + CM Duosion is one of my go-to's, but I still have to pray every single time that I don't get crit or I didn't get Knocked in the fight or they didn't keep their Dark healthy all game. Also why the hell is fishing for a burn with Carkol a good strategy against a mon that doesn't even come close to a 3HKO with its STAB, gets set up on or Toxic'd, and is trying to pull this off against a Rest user? The onus should always be on pro-ban people to provide material for why a mon is unhealthy, but just looking at the anti-ban arguments has actually provided an even better picture of how stupid Klang is that people think Gothitelle, Duosion, Torracat, Carkol, and Lampent are consistent counterplay. I'm tired of seeing Whiscash on every team, ban Klang.

Yes I used I Fight Dragons twice. What are you gonna do, get 6-0'd by Grapploct at me?
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Like Kay I was split on Grapploct at first because unlike Klang, Grapploct has been less consistent in ZUPL and doesn't always auto-win when it gets a free turn. The biggest problem for me with Grapploct is how it overcomes checks to it and forces teams into extremely centralized compositions just to deal with it. Sucker takes out frail faster mons that try to RK and especially presumed offensive Psychic/Ghost checks like Beheeyem, Gime, Oranguru, Lunatone, Lampent, and Gastly. Ice Punch does a ton to other mons that resist Fighting like Gourg, Ivy, Vespi, Bello, Shiinotic, Gloom, and Togetic. Brutal Swing easily breaks through other bulky boosters Gothitelle and Duosion too. Grapploct has the tendency to stay alive to the very end of the match a lot of the time too thanks to the general recovery of Leftovers and Drain Punch, but I wanted to bring up another point that pushes Grapploct over the edge: team support. One of the things cited for how Grapploct isn't broken is that it's tough to bring into battle if the opponent is competent or has built their team well, but a lot of that argument weakens by how easy Grapp is to support. Ivy absorbs T-Spikes, Vespi sets them for Grapp, and Pika + Ston as well as Zweilous wear down most of its defensive checks, and all of these mons are exceptionally good right now. Sure Gourg is a counter, but defensive Gourg's job is commonly to be a blanket check to a bunch of really powerful stuff currently in the meta, meaning it gets worn down and then can't deal with Grapp properly late into the game (esp as Grapp gets the luxury of Lefties + Drain recovery). One of the most prominent points of team support I want to bring up is HWish Hattrem, which makes it so that if you weren't 6-0'd by Grapploct when the battle started, you're probably going to get 5-0'd back when the thing keeping off TSpikes, Hazards, and status off Grapploct gives it another chance to push your shit in. This isn't even to speak of Grapploct's other sets like Band, AV, and Octolock, all of which thrive off of how menacing Bulk Up is and can take mons for free just based off of that while offering great team support. Octolock is especially annoying, because you can straight up just lose important checks on Stall like Pyuk or Hattrem because you need to hard switch in. "Hard switch in? Who does that to Grapp?" Me, because giving Grapploct any free turns to potentially set up Bulk Up can be devastating. A lot of the go-to for dealing with Grapploct seems to be just playing around the set and scouting it, but scouting Grapploct is extremely risky because Grapploct either snowballs out of control or takes one of your checks to it. Again, this is not the sign of a healthy Pokemon. Grapploct has slowly been unfolding itself into a greater and greater threat, and for that I don't think it's a healthy addition to the ZU meta. Ban Grapploct.
 
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5gen

blessed be the lactose tolerant
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Hello all, the quick ban slate is now over. Here is the voting sheet with reasoning from each council member. Aaronboyer abstained this time around.

:ss/grapploct: Banned with a 3:2 majority.
:ss/klang: Remains unbanned with a 3:2 majority.
Ban. Grapploct has little to no consistent defensive counterplay due to all the sets it can run and how it picks and chooses its counters and checks. While its low Speed limits its ability to set up and makes it vulnerable to faster breakers, Grapploct still sets up on quite a bit and even after one Bulk Up, its counterplay becomes that much more limited. Moreover, as some have stated in the thread, Grapploct is able to adapt to its checks and counters and is also very easy to support. I do not feel that meta has been able to adequately adapt to Grapploct.

Ban. Klang has proven to be too much for the tier with its ability to steamroll through teams and in a sense, be an uncompetitive presence with Iron Defense+Shift Gear. That being said, I'm leaning ban on Klang as opposed to being confident that it should be banned. I feel that unlike Grapploct, Klang more reliable counterplay and that gives teams comparatively more flexibility to prep for it. But despite having more counterplay, Klang is incredibly easy to support and it can even play around certain checks and counters depending on its set. In addition, Klang being the best Steel-type and having amazing bulk and Clear Body allow it to put in work almost every game.
Ban. The offensive and defensive counterplay to this is just super shaky in any way you look at it. Octolock sets are just the icing on the cake making it support other teammates easily and making its reliable switchins even more narrow. This is definitely more broken on paper than on practice due to the WR it shows on ZUPL but its definitely something unhealthy that is close to impossible to prep for consistently. Its counters are basically non-existant or can all be easily pressured by a partner such as how Ivysaur easily pressures both Dedenne and Shiinotic and how Hattrem easily prevents Shiinotic from Sapping

DNB. As much as I have liked the discussion surrounding Klang in the last few days I just cant follow up with a ban despite agreeing with some points. I believe there's room for some metagame development here after Grapploct is removed from the metagame, especially by freeing defensive cores from running shaky defensive mons such as Shiinotic and moveslots. Klang has very few hard counters (here's a big difference from Klang and Grapploct, Klang has reliable and splashable hard counters!) but there are several combinations of mons or moveset adaptations that can just check it with minor effort such as running Haze Dusclops, Pain Split Lampent, Encore/Knock Off Emolga, Infestation Palpitoad and so on, nothing here is too insane and can easily force Klang's hand during a match. If Klang remains an issue after shifts I want to address it again but DNB for now
Do not ban. Grapp has multiple shortcomings when it comes to its Speed and coverage options. Like UC points out, there's new innovation in the meta coming up to combat its sets. I say new because optimal Grapp sets and support are still relevatively new; most of the ZU playerbase weren't sure how to fit it on teams at first, nor what set / coverage is optimal. Now that we're well aware of its new potentinal, I don't think it's fair to judge it when there's definitely more digging around to see what can be done about it, if any more at all. Right now I think it's only boderline broken and boderline restrictive, but neither too far in one direction to call it outright bannable.

Do not ban. The variability it has is scary but nothing the tier cannot manage nor play around. More adaptations are plausible and, with the advent of another month's shifts, this isn't a mon I'd consider to be broken enough going forward to premptively ban.
Ban, Bulk Up Grapploct just demolishes offensive teams after some chips unless they have Dedenne, because of how absurdly strong it is. Defensively, Gourgeist-L and Psychic Solrock are the safest answer due to how brutal Grapploct's coverage is and how easily Grapp can break through other mon. For example Octolock is able to trap and remove BU counters such as Hattrem and Pyukumuku, that's sooooo unhealthy. Right now, it's impossible to have a team prepared for every Grapploct set since even defensive Gourg and Psychic Solrock (notice that you've to run a special move on a 55 SpA mon just to handle BU Grapp) take significant damage from Grapp's moves forcing them to spend their recovery PP and their recovery are hindered by Sandstorm.

Ban, Klang is almost unbreakable with its Iron Defense set. If you can't get a Knock Off on it, only BU Grapploct, Whiscash, Lampent, Torracat, Scraggy, Shedinja, and Pyukumuku can handle it. However, Lampent and Torracat are extremely weak to hazard and you can't afford to use them for anything else bar checking Klang. Scraggy, Shedinja, and Pyukumuku can only fit on very specific teams (and can eventually lose, see my game vs pif, w5). If you can get a Koff on it, you can add Palpitoad to this list, but if you can't get it you lose: watch OBB vs czim (ZUPL w1). Read tko's and uhuhuhu7's (second) post on NP thread, their posts are well more written up than mine and sum up pretty well the issue with Klang. Btw, I didn't see any convincing anti-ban argument. Broken check broken is against Smogon's tiering policy and waiting for Tier Shift is also against Smogon's tiering policy as we judge a Pokémon within the current metagame (a retest is always possible).
Do not Ban. I believe it's premature to quickban Grapploct from zu. Despite the consensus about its strength, its result in ZUPL has been clearly at best average compared to other high ranked mons of the tier. It's true that this mon lacks of what we can call a true counter but common switch ins like Gourgeist-Large /Colbur Beheeyem / sometimes Solrock are emerging as decent counterplay against most of its sets. It's a threat mostly due to its versatility with a clear variation of its answers according to what it runs but also as a consequence a clear variation of what it is able to threaten, especially for no BU sets. I don't think there is currently a clear demonstration that this mon is overbearing. I'm ready to change my mind in the future if more elements are shown but currently, I don't see it as a broken element in the metagame.

Do not Ban. There is enough counterplay to klang. Whiscash, Grapploct, Pyukumuku, Worry Seed Gourgeist, Mudbray are mons fairly common in the metagame and splashable. You can add to this list mid-tier such as Lampent, Torracat, Shedinja or low tier mons such as Scraggy. With basic support, these mons are able to be kept enough healthy to prevent klang to set up. More than that, core such as Knock off Ivysaur + Palpitoad can also pressure Klang significally. If you use an other set, Klang indeed deal better with some mons but at the cost to see other match up less in its favor. I also think ban posts don't highlight enough the position uncomfortable for Klang when it is asleep and the fact that SGID needs to have support done by other members of the team. Klang is without any doubt one of the best mon of the tier but i don't cross the line to say it's broken. If anything, its very low usage in semifinal gives interesting explanations of how players were afraid of using it because they know the opposite team would be prepared. If Klang restricts the teambuilding, it restricts as much as it gives more freedom in other aspects in the teambuilding notably in being our best ice check, which makes the question of restriction far more complicated that it could appear usually, especially since most of its anwers are not used only for it. For these reasons, I'm not convinced that Klang is currently too much to handle for the metagame or has a clear negative impact to warrant a quickban.

Tagging The Immortal to implement, thank you.
 
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September ZU: The Recapenning
So that my review of the September ZU happenings doesn't get completely buried by the classic "ZU has received X, Y, and Z in shifts" post (and then inevitably, the random 10 hot takes on said drops), I'll be using a number of SEO terms in order to help my chances of getting viewer engagement. So, wish me luck!!!

Part 1: CRAZY ZU DROPS?!
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download-1.jpg

HATTERENE AND MEGA DUGTRIO CONFIRMED?!
:Hattrem: :Dugtrio:
So these two things plopped themselves down on September 1st and decided to do their things in the meta.
For Dugtrio, this ended up as... being a negligible addition. In ZUPL, it was seen 3 times: once on a Screens team where it never came on the field because Iron Defense Klang swept, once where it lost on a full Sand team, and once on another Screens team where it lost to stall. Dugtrio just doesn't have the ability to really break a meta full of bulky Grasses and Grounds that chew, swallow, and spit back out its hits.
In Hattrem's case, the shockwaves were very fast. Hattrem featured in significant amount of Week 5 games with a split winrate, and was seen less the following week but had a great WR. The way that Hattrem pushes down a number of passive Pokemon in terms of viability cannot be understated, especially when many of those mons (Hippopotas, Palpitoad, Mudbray) are meant to check the biggest physically offensive threats in the metagame (Klang, Stonjourner, and Pikachu).
I personally believe Hattrem's introduction was liable for a lot of the current state of the meta given how it centralizes and emphasizes some of the biggest threats. There's still some under the hood tweaking of Hattrem to find the most optimal set, given that it could run Psychic, Giga Drain, Mystical Fire, Nuzzle, Aromtherapy, Rest, Sleep Talk, and Healing Wish, but never everything it kind of wants in one set. I will say that Healing Wish is my personal favorite to use, and I've warmed up to the hat despite not liking it initially. Also, don't use Life Dew.

PART 2: WHICH ZUPL II PLAYER IS YOUR ENDGAME?
:stunky: :hakamo-o: :oricorio: :slowpoke-galar: :silvally: :persian:
ZUPL II has been progressing the meta forwards at a fast pace over the past few weeks. Through kay's introduction of Iron Defense + Shift Gear Klang into tournament play, there has been a dizzying amount of innovation and response. Already in Week 5, where ID + SG Klang first appeared, Klang tied for the second highest usage in ZUPL and had a 67% WR. The following week, during playoffs, it was seen a single time, where it lost. In that same week, Whiscash spiked in usage, ending up at 50% usage with only a 40% WR. Clearly, the people were shook. And this is only in tournament play. Klang is extremely threatening in roomtours and on ladder just for its potential to grind through teams that are lacking a hard counter to it.
:luvdisc: :alomomola:
However, before I get to actual discussions of the meta, ZUPL II had its own sort of media circus and clownery throughout. Ho3nConfirm3d has continued his amazing fanfic of Durza/Yovan, which in reality had a bitter ending as the Flamenco's lost the tiebreak against the Hakamo-o's 1-2, though Durza did beat Yovan in their tiebreaker. Though ZUPL II is not over, I thought I'd get into the spirit and, as a now ex-cheerleader for the Flamencos, create a personalized and highly accurate quiz telling you about your compatibility with each team. Give it a try if you're feeling silly at: https://uquiz.com/MMCRiz

PART 3: BREAKING NEWS: WWE CANCELLED OVER MECHANICAL CONCERNS
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:grapploct: :klang: :mr. mime-galar: :stonjourner:
After a few more weeks of ZUPL from the shifts, the ZU Council took a vote September 21 for which picks in the meta might be unhealthy. While Grapploct, Klang, Galarian Mr. Mime, and Stonjourner were all put on the slate, only the first two would be chosen for a suspect vote. UC and Tuthur both raised valid concerns about the centralization around Stonjourner and lacking defensive counterplay to Gime, though the council unanimously voted to look at Klang and Grapploct.
The resulting vote of the suspect slate on September 28 wound up completely polarized, which you can read by simply scrolling up. With that vertical scroll, you can also read people's defenses of and grievances with both Klang and Grapploct.
Grapploct ended up banned by the council for its oppressive nature against defensive counterplay and the punishing consequences for trying to play around Grapploct. Concerns were brought forwards about its susceptibility to status and offensive pressure, but Grapploct ended up being the one of the two to leave for ZUBL.
Klang, on the other hand, remains in the ZU meta. The anti-ban argument follows the premise that because there is viable, consistent counterplay to Klang in the form of Whiscash and Pyukumuku. This isn't the most charitable representation, but the consensus for not banning Klang lies in other arguments about its positive contributions to the metagame and that Klang is pressured by some splashable options that can run other options themselves. As it stands, the gears stay.

PART 4: CLICK HERE TO ENTER A RAFFLE FOR A FREE R1 KNOCKOUT
:solrock: :lunatone:
The ZU Classic has begun with opening signups for the SM Cup this week, which will then have matches starting October 4. This has the potential to explore a lot of Old Gens metagames in much further depth than ZUPL II may have allowed for, so stay tuned if you're a fan of new old new old stuff, or maybe even sign up! Crazy, right?
From here, I'm less certain about where the metagame will progress. Klang remains an extremely irritating brokemon that has only gained even more freedom now that Grapploct is gone. I don't think there are necessarily any other huge oppressive threats in the metagame at the moment. Hattrem makes a lot of top threats like Stonjourner even better, but it and Gime remain manageable in my opinion for now.
:eiscue: :greedent: :drakloak: :linoone-galar: :morgrem:
The final thing to talk about then are shifts. Not just the shifts that are due in a few hours, but the ones that will continue on as SS progresses. A cascade of mons from post-DLC1 OU has been squeezing meta picks downwards through the tiers each month, with PU expected to be hit with the wave for October, and finally ZU in November. The issue then arises that we now are aware of the release date for DLC2, where it drops on October 22. This means that we will be playing whatever meta we get for the next three weeks before being hit by all the reintroduced NFEs in DLC 2, having that for a week, and then getting another shift from PU in November. With that, the cycle then repeats itself depending on how hyper-shifts will work this time around. With the same system, it is only by March that we will likely have a full scope of the metagame once the last wave of DLC2 hits ZU. And that's not taking into account the possibility of more DLC in 2021. ZU has been mostly spared from the tier-melting chaos of DLC shifts so far, but the insulation of the tier is bound to run out eventually.
I'm not entirely sure what I want to get at here, but I do want to bring up the point that we should consider not treating shifts and unbans as some panacea to problems in the tier. I see a lot of "lets wait until shifts" for action on the meta, or as if some almost-fringe PU mon will drop and make unhealthy aspects of the meta healthy again. That part of the base has been vocal about unbanning threats like Ludicolo in an era of mass unbans of huge threats in other lower tiers does not bode well for the stability of the tier.
Not really sure how to finish this post really. Good luck to the Stunky's and Hakamo-o's in the Finals of ZUPL II, ban Klang, and thanks for making me a room voice!
 

5gen

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Tier Shifts happened and ZU received four drops and nothing rose.

:ss/lycanroc midnight: Lycanroc-Midnight moved from PU to ZU
:ss/meowstic-m: :ss/meowstic-f: Meowstic moved from PU to ZU
:ss/politoed: Politoed moved from PU to ZU
:ss/wigglytuff: Wigglytuff moved from PU to ZU

These shifts are quite nice and should have a significant impact on the metagame. Lycanroc-Midnight seems like a fantastic breaker with its combination of power, mid-tier Speed, and coverage. I wouldn't be surprised if Lycanroc-Midnight knocks down Stonjourner's viability because of the competition it gives Stonjourner. Meowstic returns to ZU after a stint in PU and adds to the metagame's already stacked Psychic-types. Notably, Meowstic-M does its thing with Prankster and differentiates itself from Morgrem due to its Speed tier, typing, and coverage. Meowstic-F should develop a solid niche as well, being the fastest Psychic-type and having NP+Competitive. Politoed is a bulky Water-type that offers a lot for the tier, especially in terms of defensive utility (i.e checks Klang). Politoed could run offensive tank sets too which might be great glue for teams. Wigglytuff is an exciting drop as well since it has the amazing combo of Wish+Teleport (especially coming off that huge HP stat) and has a vast move pool. In theory, it could run a bunch of sets from physically of specially defensive to offensive tank to mixed defensive. All in all these shifts seem really cool and I'm looking forward to how the meta shapes up this month.
 

kay

The unlikely story of an unorthodox protagonist
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Some post shift thoughts!

1601646340883.png

This is easily the best thing we got from shifts and honestly probably a little bit too good. Its got a nice variety in the sets it can run ranging from SD, scarf, CB, eject pack rocks, rock polish, and even a cool balloon set with SD and taunt that I've been running to totally shut down stuff like hippo and muds. This thing is basically stonjourner but better which is kinda scary when stonjourner was already one of the best mons in the tier.

1601646444812.png

Unlike the former, I think Politoed is actually a pretty healthy addition to the tier. Specs on paper looks to be really scary but the fact Sp.D Politoed sets are good really helps bring this to a more manageable point. It also adds more viability to Palpitoad as a rocker as water immunity suddenly is pretty premium to have which gives it a nice little boost in a meta it was struggling in. It also adds a much welcome Klang answer that we lost in Grap which also helps balance out the tier a bit with the lefties offensive sets having enough longevity to go toe-to-toe with it in a grind game.

1601646490238.png

Now we get on to the filler parts of the drops starting with Wiggly. Before running calcs I was super excited to have this because a wishport passer with that amount of HP has to be good. But then I realized that its bulk even in ZU just isn't good enough to do anything defensively. I think there might be potential in offensive sets still tho but that will remain to be seen.

1601646542425.png

Another mon I was really excited to get as I love screens, but after testing with it I quickly realized its a worse Morgrem. Lack of taunt means you can't stop defoggers like vesp from coming in and defogging out your screens or making you set up bait for stuff like Klang who otherwise doesn't mind the twave. Pretty disappointing drop.

1601646559821.png

While not as bad as the other two, I actually think this mon has potential in the meta as a NP sweeper thanks to its amazing speed tier, but just not quite in this meta. Not having any coverage for Klang really hurts any psychic type right now and this unfortunately is no exception. I think in a different meta we could really see this shine but as it is right now its got an up hill battle to fight in this meta.
 
Since we did indeed get some new drops from the September shifts AND the new Pokemon have a very different metagame from PU to play around in, I thought I'd make a set dump for some people to try out the various new options! I can't necessarily claim that these sets will become standard or anything, but they'll give some good options to toy with.
:lycanroc-midnight:
La Bete Noir (Lycanroc-Midnight) @ Life Orb
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant / Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Stone Edge
- Close Combat
- Sucker Punch / Play Rough
Hachiko (Lycanroc-Midnight) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stone Edge
- Close Combat
- Play Rough
- Crunch / Stomping Tantrum
Beautiful Joe (Lycanroc-Midnight) @ Choice Band
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stone Edge
- Close Combat
- Play Rough
- Crunch
Bing (Lycanroc-Midnight) @ Air Balloon
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stone Edge
- Close Combat
- Swords Dance
- Taunt
Marley (Lycanroc-Midnight) @ Focus Sash
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Taunt
- Endeavor
- Sucker Punch / Stone Edge
Laika (Lycanroc-Midnight) @ Life Orb
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stone Edge
- Close Combat
- Play Rough
- Rock Polish
Balto (Lycanroc-Midnight) @ Life Orb
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Rock Polish
- Stone Edge
- Close Combat
Pavlov (Lycanroc-Midnight) @ Leftovers
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Substitute
- Bulk Up
- Stone Edge
- Close Combat
Pavlov (Lycanroc-Midnight) @ Leftovers
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Substitute
- Swords Dance
- Stone Edge
- Close Combat
Snuppy (Lycanroc-Midnight) @ Leftovers
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Substitute
- Toxic
- Stone Edge
- Stomping Tantrum
Handsome Dan (Lycanroc-Midnight) @ Life Orb
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stone Edge
- Close Combat
- Play Rough / Psychic Fangs
- Crunch / Sucker Punch
Jonathan (Lycanroc-Midnight) @ Life Orb
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Stone Edge
- Close Combat
- Sucker Punch / Crunch
:meowstic: :meowstic-f:
Drug Screening (Meowstic) (M) @ Light Clay
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Reflect
- Light Screen
- Psychic
- Thunder Wave / Yawn
Poisson Substitution (Meowstic) (M) @ Leftovers
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute
- Toxic
- Protect
- Psychic
Duplicat (Meowstic-F) (F) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Competitive
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psychic
- Thunderbolt
- Shadow Ball
- Trick
Catseye (Meowstic-F) (F) @ Choice Specs
Ability: Competitive
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psychic
- Thunderbolt
- Shadow Ball
- Trick
La Petite Mort (Meowstic-F) (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Competitive
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Nasty Plot
- Psychic
- Thunderbolt
- Shadow Ball
Stuffed Cat (Meowstic-F) (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Competitive
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute
- Nasty Plot
- Psychic
- Thunderbolt / Energy Ball
:politoed:
Cauldron Bubble (Politoed) @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Ice Beam
- Toxic
- Protect
Froggles (Politoed) @ Choice Specs
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hydro Pump
- Ice Beam
- Focus Blast
- Surf
Mating Call (Politoed) @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Whirlpool
- Perish Song
- Protect
- Toxic
The Other Familiar @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Curse
- Liquidation
- Rest
- Sleep Talk
Frogs of War @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Belly Drum
- Liquidation
- Earthquake
- Ice Punch
:wigglytuff:
Big Ol' Eyes @ Choice Specs
Ability: Competitive
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Dazzling Gleam
- Hyper Voice
- Fire Blast
- Teleport
Wigglytuff @ Heavy-Duty Boots / Leftovers
Ability: Frisk
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Wish
- Teleport
- Protect
- Dazzling Gleam
Wigglytuff @ Leftovers
Ability: Competitive
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Heal Bell
- Wish
- Protect
- Dazzling Gleam
Helium Poisoning @ Leftovers
Ability: Competitive
EVs: 248 HP / 8 SpA / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Protect
- Toxic
- Wish
- Fire Blast / Flamethrower / Dazzling Gleam
Inflation @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Competitive
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Wish
- Protect
- Dazzling Gleam
- Fire Blast / Flamethrower
 

kay

The unlikely story of an unorthodox protagonist
is a Battle Simulator Driveris a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
So speaking strictly from my own personal thoughts I'd like to address what I find to be two really overbearing issues with the meta right now. I want to attempt to open a discussion about the two of them and what the community’s experience has been with them post shifts.

1601785274244.png

So lets not be around the bush. This thing is a monster. It has so much going on for it being able to run scarf, band, rocks, and SD. And even within those sets you have variations like eject pack or balloon on rocks, your choice of coverage between sucker or adamant play rough to hit machoke, even your item on SD can differ depending on your team because balloon SD with Taunt also absolutely shuts down some teams instead of the normal LO sets, and the list just goes on. Stonjourner was already one of our best mon in the tier and this comes in and pretty much power creeps it out in every set it wants to run because the counter play to Lycanroc is so much smaller compared to Stonjourner to the point where I think this mons really problematic.
It can muscle past teams through sheer power and finesse around its counters in team builder thanks to the absurd versatility it has even within the same sets. I think in the current state of ZU before the dlc's we'd be better off banning this then letting it run circles around the tier.

That said its not totally unstoppable. LO sets find it hard to set up against more aggressive teams, balloon lacks that huge oomph, and scarf/band sets can be exploited a lot easier then the SD sets can.
1601785291049.png

Obligatory Klang post. I think Klang got a lot better through the tier shifts and now with Toxic Shift Gear sets seeing more exploration (see: pif vs hoen) it's able to remove a lot of the standard as well as even the niche counter play to the now standard Iron Defense Klang such as Whiscash, Lampent, Worry seed Gourgeist (not that anyone's actually running that), non rest mudb, and even the newly dropped Politoed. Its not hard for Klang to lure in these counters to the Iron Defense set, hit them with a toxic, and then just play a long grind game and out last and win in the late game while acting as a special wall that forces these mons back in over and over again to take more Gear Grind chip + toxic chip + hazard chip.

And that's just Toxic Klang. Iron Defense Klang has gotten even better now thanks to Grapploct leaving the tier and while its replacement in Politoed is a decent alternative, its not quite the fix all I was hoping it to be. Specs Politoed lacks the longevity to deal with Klang as, with rocks down, you're only able to switch into Klang twice due to Gear Grind doing 20% every time it forces you in which leaves only the lefties offensive sets as the only good Politoed set that answers to Klang outside defensive sets with Encore + something that can abuse it for being locked in for a turn which is a far cry from the end-all-be-all broken answer that was Grapploct.

I can see the argument for keeping it in the tier tho with DLC right around the corner it might be better to just keep the tier at a stable point until then so I'm not totally sure on what to do with it despite thinking its pretty broken because it really does hold a lot of the tier at bay and banning it would throw the tier into a bit of a spiral without time to be able to fix it before the DLCs hit.



These have just been my personal thoughts on what I find to be the most problematic parts of the meta since the shifts but I'm overall quite happy with how the tier is looking pre-dlc. I'd love to get the discussion going on a potential ban vote on these 2 or if people think only 1 or the other needs to or if both are fine or if you're like me think Klangs broken too but still aren't sure what to actually do with it.
 
Politoed is a decent alternative, its not quite the fix all I was hoping it to be. Specs Politoed lacks the longevity to deal with Klang as, with rocks down, you're only able to switch into Klang twice due to Gear Grind doing 20% every time it forces you in which leaves only the lefties offensive sets as the only good Politoed set that answers to Klang outside defensive sets with Encore + something that can abuse it for being locked in for a turn which is a far cry from the end-all-be-all broken answer that was Grapploct.
Why isn't perish trap given any importance tho...? Like whirlpool/perish song/rest/protect or sub or encore. I can see this set being a broken problem for the meta. I think it's like grapploct, where initially everything was manageable with pup av being main thing, but later on things changed. I think we need to start considering perish trap same ways.
 
Obligatory "kay is right" post but I agree that Lycanroc-Dusk needs to be looked at by the council quickly.

kay on Lycanroc-Midnight: :lycanroc-midnight:
It has so much going on for it being able to run scarf, band, rocks, and SD. And even within those sets you have variations like eject pack or balloon on rocks, your choice of coverage between sucker or adamant play rough to hit machoke, even your item on SD can differ depending on your team because balloon SD with Taunt also absolutely shuts down some teams instead of the normal LO sets, and the list just goes on. Stonjourner was already one of our best mon in the tier and this comes in and pretty much power creeps it out
Stonjourner was already on the council's docket of potentially suspect mons in the meta, and Lycanroc-Midnight upstages it with a better speed tier, more reliable moves to lock into, and Taunt + SD for plenty of breaking shenanigans. If Lycanroc is both outperforming and overcoming checks of the one of the S Ranks of the meta, there needs to be swift action.

kay on Klang: :klang:
Iron Defense Klang has gotten even better now thanks to Grapploct leaving the tier and while its replacement in Politoed is a decent alternative, its not quite the fix all I was hoping it to be. Specs Politoed lacks the longevity to deal with Klang as, with rocks down, you're only able to switch into Klang twice due to Gear Grind doing 20% every time it forces you in which leaves only the lefties offensive sets as the only good Politoed set that answers to Klang outside defensive sets with Encore + something that can abuse it for being locked in for a turn which is a far cry from the end-all-be-all broken answer that was Grapploct.
Wholeheartedly agree after a day of laddering that Politoed is not a proper stand-in for Grapploct in terms of checking Klang. If anything, now that Klang is running Toxic on some sets, it only makes Politoed an even shakier response because you can risk being Toxic stalled. Politoed also lacks the bulk and reliable recovery to be checking Klang consistently throughout the match while also playing around the possibility of Toxic.

risin_glory on Politoed: :politoed:
Why isn't perish trap given any importance tho...? Like whirlpool/perish song/rest/protect or sub or encore. I can see this set being a broken problem for the meta. I think it's like grapploct, where initially everything was manageable with pup av being main thing, but later on things changed. I think we need to start considering perish trap same ways.
If what you're suggesting is that Perish Trap Politoed is broken, I have to disagree. Perish Trap can be a nasty surprise and might take a mon, but something like Block Pyukumuku works similarly by simply PP stalling mons to death instead. The set has to be played really carefully considering there's an ample number of Electrics and Grasses in the tier to threaten it out, and it can even fail against Ghosts or slow Pokemon with pivoting moves (Vespiquen, Wartortle, Vullaby) that don't really care about the trap. Not to mention that no one even says in with their Klang vs Poli.

If instead what you're suggesting is that Perish Trap Politoed is a proper check to Klang... then for pretty much all the reasons above, I think it's a very poor choice on a team. Perishtoed just doesn't really stand out in the metagame as a good option, akin to Magnemite or Worry Seed Gourgeist.

kay on DLC:
I can see the argument for keeping it in the tier tho with DLC right around the corner it might be better to just keep the tier at a stable point until then so I'm not totally sure on what to do with it despite thinking its pretty broken because it really does hold a lot of the tier at bay and banning it would throw the tier into a bit of a spiral without time to be able to fix it before the DLCs hit.
I want to refer back to my perspective that we should not treat DLCs / shifts as some metagame panacea that's going to save us. We have the opportunity to craft the metagame we want to play ourselves without needing to make ourselves bespoke for whatever gets squeezed out of PU on Halloween or the NFEs of DLC2. I think the mindset of "wait until X Y and Z" just holds the metagame in unhealthy stages of development and creates an accumulation of problematic elements in the meta that only accumulate. Might try and write some more thoughts about that later but it's late lol.
 
risin_glory on Politoed: :politoed:


If what you're suggesting is that Perish Trap Politoed is broken, I have to disagree. Perish Trap can be a nasty surprise and might take a mon, but something like Block Pyukumuku works similarly by simply PP stalling mons to death instead. The set has to be played really carefully considering there's an ample number of Electrics and Grasses in the tier to threaten it out, and it can even fail against Ghosts or slow Pokemon with pivoting moves (Vespiquen, Wartortle, Vullaby) that don't really care about the trap. Not to mention that no one even says in with their Klang vs Poli.
the big difference between perih trap and block of pyukumuku and politoed,consequently also between the brokenness of those two, is that the moment u see pyukumuku u already know that some or the other kind of stall is about to be unleashed so u switch out into a stall breaker, whereas the merit of politoed is its flexibility and unpreidctibility. U can never f sure say what going to happen, unless it uses a move (which is whirlpool and like once it hits, a big fish is down). Plus whirlpool does some nice dmg over the turns which is another good thing. Also pyuku is taunt bait, so shouldnt be compared
 
While lycanroc seems like a broken addition and no one knows how long it is a zu resident, it is a fact that atleast for now it does reside here. Hence, its time to try and optimize it. So I had made these sets on the day it dropped, but didn't have time to post them that time. Anywyas, on to the sets already.

1) Life Orb 4x Offense:
:sm/lycanroc-midnight:
Lycanroc-Midnight @ Life Orb
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Stone Edge (stab)
- Close Combat (coverage against steel and rock)
- Sucker Punch (answer to priority attacks and weakened fast mons)
- Play Rough/Psychic Fangs (coverage against fighting types. play rough has extra niche of beating vibrava, chance to lower opoonent's attack stat and 5bp more power, while psychic fangs has the extra niche of breaking screens.)

2) Flash Menace:

:sm/lycanroc-midnight:
Lycanroc-Midnight @ Choice Scarf
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Close Combat (steel and rock coverage)
- Zen Headbutt (fighting coverage)
- Stone Edge (stab)
- Play Rough (fighting and vibrava coverage)

3) Suicide Lead:

:sm/lycanroc-midnight:
Lycanroc-Midnight @ Focus Sash
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock (strongest move in competitive battling)
- Endeavor (Nightmare of opponent)
- Sucker Punch/Taunt (Suicide lead is incomplete without priority, but taunt also does the job)
- Stone Edge (stab)

4) Meta Chomping Beast Version 1:

:sm/lycanroc-midnight:
Lycanroc-Midnight @ Air Balloon
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Stone Edge
- Sucker Punch
- Close Combat

5) Meta Chomping Beast Version 2:
:sm/lycanroc-midnight:
Lycanroc-Midnight @ Life Orb
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Stone Edge
- Sucker Punch
- Close Combat

6) Rocky Alakazam:
:sm/lycanroc-midnight:
Lycanroc-Midnight @ Focus Sash
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Counter
- Stone Edge
- Sucker Punch
- Iron Tail/Play rough/Psychic Fangs

7. Hitmonlee Of ZU:
:sm/lycanroc-midnight:
Lycanroc-Midnight @ Salac Berry
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature (not adamant so u can outspeed scarf lycanroc)
- Endure
- Reversal (can be a maximum of 200bp, which is mostly reached because of avg. bulk)
- Stone Edge
- Swords Dance/Sucker Punch/Play rough (safe execution of SD means you are ready to wreck everything, whereas sucker punch beats the priority users and play rough is just coverage if you really want to fit one.)

8. Sayonara With A Grin:

:sm/lycanroc-midnight:
Lycanroc-Midnight @ Eject Pack
Ability: No Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance/Play Rough
- Stone Edge
- Sucker Punch
- Close Combat

Now that you have read till the end, you deserve a bonus prize which is a nickname for lycanroc: "BLOOD_THIRSTY_EYES"
That nick is basically its ability in tcg but fits it too well so yeah.​
 

5gen

blessed be the lactose tolerant
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Moderator
ZU Council Minutes #2
Meta Discussion:
  • Tier shifts gave us five drops (four if you consider Meowstic and Meowstic-F the same Pokemon) in Lycanroc-Midnight, Meowstic, Meowstic-F, Politoed, and Wigglytuff
    • Lycanroc-Midnight has quickly cemented itself as the most threatening and versatile attacker in the metagame. Between its raw power, amazing coverage, and decent Speed, little can comfortably take on Lycanroc-Midnight. As various people have noted, Lycanroc-Midnight is like a better version of Stonjourner, who is already an S-rank
    • Politoed has proven to be a good pick in the current metagame, with Choice Specs and tank sets leading the way. Nothing really competes with Politoed as a bulky Water-type due to its stats, move pool, and ability in Water Absorb, which allows Politoed to carve a niche for itself on a variety of teams (unlike Pyukumuku and Seaking that usually fit on select teams).
    • Meanwhile, Meowstic/Meowstic-F and Wigglytuff have not been very impressive. Meowstic struggles with competition from Morgrem as a screens setter and both Meowstic and Meowstic-F are limited by Klang's prevalence and have pretty much been power crept compared to previous metagames. Meowstic and Meowstic-F have a niche as fast Psychic-types and are able to run Choice Specs/Choice Scarf and Nasty Plot, especially Meowstic-F as it has competitive. However, they are nothing more than decent picks in the current metagame due how the metagame naturally pressures them and due to inherent shortcomings such as lack of breaking power.
    • Similarly, Wigglytuff has been a decent pick. While it has clear niches in Wish+Teleport and as an offensive Stealth Rock user, Wigglytuff lacks the defensive utility to really be useful for teams. Wigglytuff fails to wall much and does not pivot into many Pokemon as a result (defensive sets also have 4mss to an extent). Conversely, offensive sets might be the best way to use Wigglytuff as it has amazing coverage and competitive to deter Defog.
  • The council will be voting on Lycanroc-Midnight this week. As noted in the previous bullet, Lycanroc-Midnight has garnered the most attention out of the drops due to its offensive potency. In a nutshell, Lycanroc-Midnight breaks most of the meta and is incredibly difficult to prepare for because of all the sets it can run. For example, Swords Dance can run Life Orb and Play Rough to beat down checks such as Machoke, Hakamo-o, and Vibrava while Taunt+Air Balloon allows Lycanroc-Midnight to play around standard Hippopotas and non-Rock Slide Mudbray. However, Lycanroc-Midnight is still very new and has a lot left to be explored and tested. Consequently, the council has decided to vote on it.
    • Side note, the council also discussed adding Klang to this vote, but ultimately we felt that Lycanroc-Midnight was a comparatively more pressing issue and with Klang not being a new drop, that it did not really fit in the same boat as Lycanroc-Midnight. While the metagame did change in Klang's favour (namely Grapploct being banned), it did not change so much to the point where Klang is much more difficult to manage than in the previous meta and warrants another quick ban vote.
Viability Rankings:
  • The VR received an update a week ago. Klang is now S ranks, Vespiquen is A+, and there were other notable rises. Check out the post for more detail.
  • Lycanroc-Midnight, Meowstic, Meowstic-F, Politoed, and Wigglytuff are under the "New Pokemon" rank. Feel free to share your thoughts on them after you have tested them and seen the drops in action. Keep in mind that Lycanroc-Midnight may end up banned and in ZUBL rather than somewhere on the VR.
Forums:
Other Discussion Points:
  • There may be a scheduled round robin tour or two this week to give council and players to help with the Lycanroc-Midnight quick ban vote for this week. The idea is to have a focused session where players (council and regulars alike) test out and watch Lycanroc-Midnight in action to gain a better understanding of it in the current metagame
  • Kind of a major announcement: We've had considerable success with making the VR channel public in the ZU Discord, having increased activity, discussions, and transparency. Subsequently, we feel doing the same with our council channel (and soon after, for old gens councils) would be quite beneficial. As such, the SS council channel will now be public.
 
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With Lycan being sent to the realms of ZUBL, it's that time of the month!
:fraxure: First Impressions! :Farfetch

Let's start with the new drops
:Politoed: - Easily the most impactful of the drops, its blend of great movepool, balanced offensive and defensive stats and an excellent ability on Water Absorb pushes it into being a top metagame mon and something all teams should account during teambuilding. It has a wide variety of sets and has tools to check the always present Klang, but is it enough?
Losers - Offensive water types :Whiscash::wartortle::seadra::octillery:
- Not too strong water weak special attackers :Lunatone::Lampent::Torracat:
- Bulky Grounds :Hippopotas::Mudbray::Vibrava:
Winners - Offensive grasses and electric types that take advantage of it :gourgeist::Pikachu::Raichu::Ivysaur:
- Pokemon that hate the losers :Stonjourner::Solrock::Klang:

:Wigglytuff: - Here we start with the 2nd most relevant drop, although its way less strong than Polidab. Wiggly has some interesting tools at its disposal with Stealth Rock, Teleport, Wish, Knock Off and so on. And that means it can try to pull offensive and defensive sets, but it doesn't do either super well. My favorite so far has been offensive rocker with Knock Off, Dazzling Gleam and Fire Blast, spreading Knock Off while setting hazards, which is great for pressuring hazard removers such as Vespiquen and Mime-G, that hate to lose their items, while also crippling Fairy-checks such as Klang and Ivysaur. Access to SR+Competitive gives it good role compression for webs though, which I personally think will be its major niche.

:Meowstic::Meowstic-F: - I'm gonna be honest here, Meowstic is unimpressive. It has a cool speed tier, 2 incredible abilities, but it pretty much stops there. It seems mostly outclassed in anything it tries to do. Screens is better done by Morgrem, Nasty Plot is better done by the Mimes or Gothitelle (in webs), its speed just isnt as good as it used to be, being outspeed by several Pokemon such as Raichu, Dugtrio and Persian. I don't think it's all bad though. It's access to priority Psychic Terrain might give it a niche on dedicated teams. Scarf is still cool since versus webs you basically get a free Nasty Plot. It has access to Yawn and Toxic as well, something that Morgrem does not. Overall i think there's room for development here, it's just been underwhelming so far.

Now let's talk about this
:Klang: - This is still grinding everyone's gears in the metagame, Politoed is a cool check but the loss of Grapploct definitely makes it harder to punish. Grapploct definitely put a strain on teambuilding, which made preparing for Klang harder, and I honestly think Lycanroc did the same thing, since it started pushing Whiscash out of the meta in favor of bulkier Rock-checks. Well, with both of them gone and Klang becoming the center of attention, let's see how the next week go and if Klang becomes more manageable or not.

This is going to be a short one since DLC 2 is just around the corner. I hope we have a good month of ZU!
 
The thread has been pretty quiet lately and I don't really blame anyone since we are in an empty period between the end of zupl and the wave of november. Except for kay who is having fun with rain teams, the meta hasn't changed very much with drops and I would like to take this moment to talk about a set I really like right now:

:Beheeyem:
Beheeyem @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Analytic
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Future Sight
- Shadow Ball
- Recover
- Teleport

This is the famous combo Future Sight + Teleport with Boots sponsored by gen8. I think what is specially astounding with this set is the ability to play very aggresively with a pokemon which is oriented to handle hits. The principe is easy to understand, due to your correct bulk and boots, it's relatively easy to find a moment to come safely on the field and you take this as an opportunity to click future sight and if possible teleport to send a physical attacker. If you manage to reproduce this situation, the opponent is now forced to lose a mon.

Futureport allows simply to bypass usual answers of your teammates. The best example of this utility is with Stonjourner. Lately, Stonjourner answers became extremely popular with Mudbray, Hippo, Whiscash, defensive machoke which hurt quite a bit the viability of one of our stronger mon in the tier. With Futureport, you have Stonjourner 2.0. None of the mons listed above can switch on scarf Stonjourner without being killed. Of course, it doesn't work only with our dolmen but with any physical attacker which has an interesting synergy with Future Sight.

Outside of Teleport, spd beheeyem has other secondary utilities such as being able to switch on Galarian Mime and inflicts 90% of the life back. Even if it's not specially adviced if you have better answers, Beheeyem is also technically able to win the 1v1 versus Specs whiscash and Lunatone. However, its main goal stays to serve as a defensive-aggressive pivot and not as an answer versus wallbreakers of the tier.

I could end this post here but I figure out it could be a bit difficult for someone who doesn't play ZU to build a team around beheeyem so here is a team you are free to use.

:Gourgeist: :Vespiquen: :Beheeyem: :Hippopotas: :Stonjourner: :Machoke:

This team is a variation of the team I built for Evigaro for the final of ZUPL. This is one of my favorite team I built this gen so far. What I really like with this squad is its structure. We have a good defensive core but without passivity, which is at the contrary very aggressive and able to gain the momentum. We have toxic spikes which have always been deadly in ZU, we have also u-turn and teleport to secure a switch in. Thanks to future sight, even Whirlwind is a kill move which prevents the opposite player to choose which mon will take a psychic attack of 120 base power. Offensively, we have two breakers with priorities to have a good shot against offensive teams. For reasons mentionned above and since it's our best scarfer, I also chosed scarf Stonjourner as a second way of speed control. Its natural bulk also helps the team to take hits if needed.

I hope you will enjoy using the team as much as I did. Most of teams used in ZUPL are unfortunately pretty outdated with banned mons or taking into account specific trends not really relevant right now. Therefore, I don't think to make an other post around one of them. However, feel free to ask if you want to have the pokepast for one of these teams.
 
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CROWN TUNDRA DLC IS HERE!!!
Going to do the usual thing and divide this up into multiple parts. This will be coming out probably seconds after the Crown Tundra drops. I have no idea if there will be new move tutors moves, but this is everything I've put together is based off of the previous missing Pokemon TM/TR data in the base game as well as the Pastebin containing all the Isle of Armor DLC Moves that missing Pokemon can learn. Kind of sloppy, might look really silly if there's some revolutionary new moves introduced, but otherwise, I get to be first :D
Without further ado...

PART 1: THE BIGGEST SET DUMP EVER
:golbat: :electabuzz: :magmar: :dragonair: :grovyle: :combusken: :marshtomp: :lairon: :sealeo: :shelgon: :metang: :gabite: :poipole:
TONS of NFEs have returned in this DLC just as with the Isle of Armor, though there aren't exactly the Chansey's and Scyther's of the last time around, which were thoroughly broken. In fact, many of the better picks of the CT NFEs tend to hang around NU/PU "range" at best. However, with any new and variable metagame, it can be hard to figure out the right set to use. I've taken the liberty of throwing together as many sets as possible, some clinging onto D-Rank worthy, but may be the next big thing or even just the standard set. There's a lot to look around through, so I've included a gigantic paste, but I'll be listing them all out (including how to pilot a few of them) in this post.

:sm/golbat:
Golbat looks to be a really sick addition right off the bat. Its stats are kind of mediocre all around. Even with an Eviolite to bolster its lacking defense, Golbat still takes extra damage from Rocks. Golbat is pretty good at compressing roles all onto one set given that it has no-miss Toxic, Roost recovery, Taunt, Defog, and U-Turn if it can fit that. Stonjourner, Raichu, Pikachu, Gime, Klang, Mime, and Emolga all are fine offensive checks, so I don't understand a lot of the impulse to quickban something like Golbat. It's a VERY good stallbreaker in some matchups, but I don't know if this is the meta for it, especially as it comes in with Electabuzz.
Stoker (Golbat) @ Eviolite
Ability: Infiltrator
EVs: 248 HP / 84 SpD / 176 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dual Wingbeat / Brave Bird / Acrobatics
- Toxic
- Roost
- Taunt
Cave Wind (Golbat) @ Eviolite
Ability: Infiltrator
EVs: 248 HP / 84 SpD / 176 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dual Wingbeat / Brave Bird / Acrobatics
- Toxic
- Roost
- Defog
A Horrible Bite (Golbat) @ Eviolite
Ability: Infiltrator
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Nasty Plot
- Sludge Bomb
- Heat Wave
- Giga Drain / Air Slash
Mind Map (Golbat) @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dual Wingbeat
- Roost
- Defog
- U-turn
Batty Breeze (Golbat) @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Infiltrator
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Brave Bird
- Tailwind
- Taunt
- U-turn
Pulp Novel (Golbat) @ Blunder Policy
Ability: Infiltrator
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hypnosis
- Nasty Plot
- Sludge Bomb
- Heat Wave

:sm/electabuzz:
Electabuzz is straight up sick. Hidden Power being gone hurts its coverage a lot, but Ice/Fighting on the physical side is really good while Fighting/Psychic is passable. Air Balloon sets a la Stonjourner/Lycanroc might not even be bad given how few good Grounds we have. Gabite's presence might crimp on Electabuzz's style, but there's so much potential with physical, special, scarf, and pivot sets. Competition with Raichu might be a bit difficult, but Electabuzz's little bit of power and unpredictability might give Electabuzz the edge in some circumstances.
Frayed (Electabuzz) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Thunderbolt
- Psychic
- Focus Blast
Current Meta (Electabuzz) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Volt Switch
- Wild Charge
- Ice Punch
- Cross Chop
Optics (Electabuzz) @ Choice Specs
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Focus Blast
- Psychic
- Volt Switch
Static Cling (Electabuzz) @ Choice Band
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Wild Charge
- Ice Punch
- Cross Chop
- Volt Switch
Battery Acid (Electabuzz) @ Leftovers
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Focus Blast
- Substitute
- Toxic
Electrician (Electabuzz) @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Thunderbolt
- Focus Blast
- Psychic
Disco Power (Electabuzz) @ Life Orb
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Wild Charge
- Ice Punch
- Cross Chop
- Taunt
Conveyor (Electabuzz) @ Expert Belt / Magnet / Metronome
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Focus Blast
- Psychic
- Volt Switch
Coil (Electabuzz) @ Expert Belt / Magnet / Metronome
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Wild Charge
- Ice Punch
- Cross Chop
- Volt Switch
Polarity (Electabuzz) @ Light Clay
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Reflect
- Light Screen
- Taunt / Ice Punch
- Volt Switch
Cumulus (Electabuzz) @ Damp Rock
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Rain Dance
- Thunder
- Focus Blast
- Volt Switch
Strike Twice (Electabuzz) @ Blunder Policy
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Zap Cannon
- Thunderbolt
- Focus Blast
- Psychic

:sm/magmar:
FINALLY a good Fire type. No shade to Lampent or Torracat, but those two just did not cut it. Magmar's better speed and coverage really shows the other two NFE fires how to be a powerful fire attacker. Magmar's just weird enough speed tier and good coverage with Scorching Sands covering up the Hidden Power cut a bit might make it a top tier in the DLC2 meta for the time being, and I don't really anticipate this being banworthy or PU snatching it either. It can absolutely melt things with specs, but it's not as though we're completely lacking in special walls or ways to strain Magmar's coverage between Politoed, Whiscash, Lunatone, Pyukumuku, Lampent, Slowpoke, Solrock, and quite a few others.
Hot Flash (Magmar) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fire Blast
- Focus Blast
- Scorching Sands
- Teleport / Toxic
Volcanic Lightning (Magmar) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Cross Chop
- Thunder Punch
- Teleport / Toxic
Caldera (Magmar) @ Choice Specs
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fire Blast
- Focus Blast
- Scorching Sands
- Teleport / Toxic
Sweat (Magmar) @ Choice Band
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Cross Chop
- Thunder Punch
- Teleport / Toxic
Volcanic Chain (Magmar) @ Expert Belt / Heavy-Duty Boots / Eviolite / Charcoal
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fire Blast
- Focus Blast
- Scorching Sands
- Psychic
Ring of Fire (Magmar) @ Expert Belt / Heavy-Duty Boots / Eviolite / Charcoal
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Cross Chop
- Thunder Punch
- Toxic
Pink Slip (Magmar) @ Blunder Policy
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fire Blast
- Focus Blast
- Scorching Sands
- Substitute
Brimstone (Magmar) @ Leftovers
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fire Blast
- Scorching Sands
- Substitute
- Toxic
Helios (Magmar) @ Life Orb
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fire Blast
- Focus Blast
- Scorching Sands
- Taunt
Jet Fuel (Magmar) @ Eviolite
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Cross Chop
- Thunder Punch
- Flame Charge
Hellfire (Magmar) @ Eviolite
Ability: Vital Spirit
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fire Blast
- Scorching Sands
- Taunt
- Toxic

:sm/dragonair:
Dragonair is more of a stretch for me here. Middle evos of pseudo legends, aren't exactly new, and Hakamo-o, Sliggoo, and even Fraxure aren't exactly at the peak of the meta right now, and Dragonair's only real distinguishing characteristic aside from some status recovery is Extreme Speed. The dragon might be really good with it given how Pikachu has proven itself, but DD Dragon STAB and Curse Dragon STAB aren't exactly revolutionary.
Wyrm (Dragonair) @ Eviolite
Ability: Shed Skin
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Outrage
- Extreme Speed
- Iron Tail
Salamander (Dragonair) @ Eviolite
Ability: Marvel Scale
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Curse
- Outrage
- Rest
- Sleep Talk
Wyvern (Dragonair) @ Eviolite
Ability: Shed Skin
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Curse
- Outrage
- Iron Tail / Extreme Speed
- Rest

:sm/grovyle:
Another sort of stretch pick here. Grovyle isn't exactly going to revive the Grassy Terrain playstyle any time soon, but Unburden + SD + Seed shenanigans do give the archetype something else to toy with other than Gourg + Trev. Grovyle's special coverage is just downright terrible though given that its mediocre 85 SpA is the better of its two attacking stats, meaning SD isn't going to hit hard, Grovyle isn't coming in with pretty much any bulk, and it needs SD to do damage. The speed tier might be nice to exploit for Leech Seed or Toxic, but my assumption with Grovyle is that it will eke out something in the low ranks of the VR or just go unused altogether.
Vine Hopper (Grovyle) @ Grassy Seed
Ability: Unburden
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Grassy Glide
- Acrobatics
- Drain Punch / Low Kick / Rock Slide
Vibrant Markings (Grovyle) @ Eviolite
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 248 HP / 8 SpA / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
- Giga Drain
- Seismic Toss
- Toxic
- Leech Seed
Fruit Gecko (Grovyle) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Unburden
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Substitute
- Swords Dance
- Leaf Blade
- Acrobatics
Blade of Grass (Grovyle) @ Life Orb
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Leaf Blade
- Drain Punch
- Rock Slide
Phytoxins (Grovyle) @ Life Orb
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Leaf Storm
- Synthesis
- Toxic
- Leech Seed

:sm/combusken:
BIG PINCHO IS BACK BABYYYYYY
Combusken is kind of in a weirder spot this gen both without Hidden Power to give it that extra coverage the special sets needed and the Z-Crystals to make up for its just-fine attacking stats (85/85). Unfortunately the chicken doesn't get U-Turn, Close Combat, or Scorching Sands like its evo, but that doesn't mean the little chick can't have some fun. This meta has really been starved for good Fighting and Fire types and Busken fits the bill perfectly while offering some more diversity to the speed game. Busken was definitely at the top of the SM metagame by its end and could 6-0 some teams if the stars aligned right, but I think it will be comfortably in our new power level without the HP or Z's it once wielded. It is worth noting that the most common scarfers (Stonjourner, Mime) OHKO it and outspeed if it only gets to +1. One of the mons I'm most looking forwards to forgetting to use in the new period and then hating it once I get beaten down by it.
Kebab (Combusken) @ Eviolite
Ability: Speed Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Flare Blitz
- Low Kick / Brick Break
- Protect / Thunder Punch / Shadow Claw
Basan (Combusken) @ Eviolite
Ability: Speed Boost
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fire Blast
- Focus Blast
- Protect
- Substitute / Work Up
Phoenix (Combusken) @ Eviolite
Ability: Speed Boost
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Flamethrower
- Focus Blast
- Protect
- Defog
Basilisk (Combusken) @ Eviolite / Leftovers
Ability: Speed Boost
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fire Blast
- Protect
- Substitute
- Toxic
Boneless Wings (Combusken) @ Life Orb
Ability: Speed Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Flare Blitz
- Low Kick / Brick Break
- Shadow Claw / Thunder Punch

Answer: Because they axolotl!
:sm/marshtomp:
Marshtomp is kind of an arguable sidegrade to Palpitoad in that it gives up the Water-immunity for a bit more attacking power and also some other neat little tricks like Curse. I really don't see it making a splash in a meta that has established more of its bulky water/ground types with options like Mudbray/Hippo/Palp/Whiscash/Poli, but it could maybe eke something out? Idk I just like its face 0__0
Aquatic Ambience (Marshtomp) @ Eviolite
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Curse
- Waterfall
- Rest
- Sleep Talk
Mud Puppy (Marshtomp) @ Eviolite
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Curse
- Earthquake
- Toxic
- Rest
Lagoon (Marshtomp) @ Eviolite
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Waterfall
- Earthquake
- Toxic
Fighting Dirty (Marshtomp) @ Blunder Policy
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Substitute
- Waterfall
- Earthquake
- Dynamic Punch

I thought Lairon was just a meme until I played ORAS and almost had my teeth kicked in a few times LOL. Lairon looks actually sick in a meta where our Steel rockers were Cufant (rip) and Bronzor (Hatt food). Head Smash hits like the truck it always was with Rock Head, and Body Press is a sick new addition that can work perfectly with Lairon's already good physical bulk, Iron Defense, and Curse if you so wish. I've completely changed my stance on this thing from "ew prevo with 4x weaknesses" to "wow cool alternative rocker".
:sm/lairon:
Slag (Lairon) @ Eviolite
Ability: Rock Head
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Head Smash
- Heavy Slam / Stomping Tantrum
- Body Press
Blood Metals (Lairon) @ Eviolite
Ability: Rock Head
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Curse
- Head Smash
- Body Press
- Heavy Slam
Tempered (Lairon) @ Eviolite
Ability: Rock Head
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Iron Defense
- Body Press
- Head Smash / Toxic
- Rest
Industrialization (Lairon) @ Eviolite
Ability: Rock Head
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Rock Polish
- Iron Defense
- Head Smash
- Body Press
Heavy Metals (Lairon) @ Eviolite
Ability: Sturdy
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Head Smash
- Body Press
- Toxic

:sm/sealeo:
This is literally just a stand-in as we play the 9 day waiting game to see PU get Walrein and then for PU to drop Walrein down to us since it's only a marginally better Lapras. BUT. We have Sealeo right now. It doesn't look amazing per se given that a lot of special breakers take advantage of its typing (Focus Blasts and Tbolts galore) but maybe one or two brave souls will give a Curse set a go while we prepare our seal traps for the bigger catch.
Tubba Blubba (Sealeo) @ Eviolite
Ability: Thick Fat
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Curse
- Waterfall / Icicle Spear
- Rest
- Sleep Talk

Do I need to repeat myself from Dragonair? Probably, because Shelgon is kind of just Dragonair but without the cool status-related abilities. The physical bulk and power are definitely better, but E-Speed was kind of the selling point to Dragonair, and Shelgon doesn't have much aside from the bulk itself to set itself apart from Fraxure (which has greater power, other boosting options, and amazing coverage). I don't see this taking off, but it deserves some little mention before being completely forgotten.
Dragon Ball (Shelgon) @ Eviolite
Ability: Rock Head
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Outrage
- Brick Break
- Double-Edge
Universal Archetype (Shelgon) @ Eviolite
Ability: Overcoat
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Iron Defense
- Dragon Claw
- Brick Break

:sm/metang:
Dear god yes. A steel type rocker that has good coverage and bulk. No Pursuit in the game is a blessing for Metang, and it's nice to have a Steel who isn't so committal to have in like with Klang. Meteor Mash is clutch for that good power and possible Attack boost, Earthquake means a ton of Klang checks aren't applicable as Steel-checks anymore, and Bullet Punch is extremely good when some of the big fast Pokemon in the meta (Ston, Mime, Gime, Icevally) are Steel-weak and/or fragile. Not sure if this one is going to get snatched up by PU or not given its history, but they have bigger Steels to fry with Perrserker + Klinklang + Ferroseed + Mawile + Pawniard) so we don't need to be timid about getting comfy with this one IMO.
Mind in a Program (Metang) @ Eviolite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
Adamant Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Meteor Mash
- Earthquake
- Bullet Punch
Download Speed (Metang) @ Eviolite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Meteor Mash
- Earthquake
- Zen Headbutt
- Agility
Cyber Attack (Metang) @ Choice Band
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Meteor Mash
- Earthquake
- Bullet Punch
- Zen Headbutt
Above it All (Metang) @ Eviolite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Meteor Mash
- Stealth Rock
- Toxic
- Magnet Rise
Oxidize (Metang) @ Eviolite / Damp Rock
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Rain Dance
- Meteor Mash
- Explosion
Computer Screens (Metang) @ Eviolite / Light Clay
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Light Screen
- Reflect
- Explosion
Hardware (Metang) @ Eviolite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Cosmic Power
- Meteor Mash
- Toxic / Sleep Talk
- Rest
Software Update (Metang) @ Eviolite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Agility
- Hone Claws
- Meteor Mash
- Earthquake
Heavy Metals (Metang) @ Eviolite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Meteor Mash
- Bullet Punch
- Toxic

:sm/gabite:
Again, Gabite is kind of a defensive godsend to the tier. It's an amazing check to Pika+Ston+Klang in one neat little slot that also coughs up rocks. Dragon/Ground is so much more reliable now that special attackers and especially electric types can't just sneeze a random HP Ice on you. Gabite still screams for Mime/Gime/Icevally to smack it back to Sinnoh, but to be fair so do a ton of our Ground rockers, and it's nice to have one that's more consistent against Klang+Ston+Pika while offering a bit more in the realm of offense.
Megabite (Gabite) @ Eviolite
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Toxic
- Roar
Chomping at the Bit (Gabite) @ Eviolite
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Stealth Rock
- Draco Meteor
- Scorching Sands
- Roar
Sharpened Teeth (Gabite) @ Eviolite
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Hone Claws
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Scale Shot
Dragon Force (Gabite) @ Choice Band
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Iron Head
Rivers in the Desert (Gabite) @ Eviolite
Ability: Sand Veil
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Earthquake
- Substitute
- Toxic
- Roar
DnD (Gabite) @ Eviolite
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Dragon Claw
- Toxic

:sm/poipole:
I'm almost sorry for putting this one here just because of how kind of gross it is. Poipole literally has next to nothing going on in its moveset aside from that NP + Beast Boost with Poison STAB and Dragon PULSE so it's easy pickings for any Steels or mildly defensive Ground types. It does get Toxic Spikes though this gen which is a... cool perk if it ever sees use. Looks incredibly tough to pull off but you deserve the views you get on the "INSANE POIPOLE SWEEP" clickbait if you manage it.
A Small Pinch (Poipole) @ Eviolite
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Nasty Plot
- Sludge Wave
- Dragon Pulse
- Toxic Spikes / Substitute

PART 2: WINTER IS COMING
:dusclops: :gothitelle: :vullaby: :emolga: :fraxure: :persian: :stoutland: :lunatone: :zweilous:
It's no secret that ZU is still a developing meta. We've had smaller drops recently accompanied by a quickban of Lycanroc-Midnight, but things were beginning to look more stable. The meta has grown to deal with previously the large threats of Klang and Stonjourner a lot more thanks to surges in viability for ZU veterans like Whiscash, Mudbray, and Machoke. Isle of Armor NFEs such as Krokorok, Slowpoke, Whirlipede joined the meta, not exactly making splashes, but slotting nicely into some very unique roles. Vanilla SS mons like Hattrem, Vespiquen, and Galarian Mr. Mime all finally got to join the tier and centralize the dynamic around their greater utility. Even older picks like Gourgeist-Large, Lunatone, and Charjabug have had some facelifts thanks to the new moves added by the DLC. It's been a wild ride from June 17th to now, but that only invites questions about where the tier is going.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEZmhNnMTEs
:ss/klang:
Klang has been an oppressive force in the ZU meta for the past two months. It's continued its role as a great bulky steel that has setup in a meta generally lacking other options, and it capitalizes on the lack of good Fire types in the tier. The rise of Whiscash and Mudbray with the drop of Politoed have thrown a wrench in the machine, rendering Klang less suffocating and more constraining. With the introduction of fast attackers like Magmar, Combusken, Electabuzz that resist its STAB and defensive Pokemon that don't care much about boosted Gear Grind like Marshtomp and Gabite, Klang seems like it will begin to decline. Klang's also going to face competition as a bulky steel from Metang, which has STAB priority, better coverage, and access to rocks. With that, there's also a few other potential lower tier checks that could come down the pipeline in the future, such as Mareanie, Raboot, Marowak, Manectric, and Dubwool from current PU. I predict that it will begin to be forced into a more defensive role before we end up getting better Steels or it just gets creeped out.
:klang: (:whiscash: :politoed: :pyukumuku:)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4NTXWz4cMw
:ss/stonjourner:
Stonjourner has been a fiercely dominant Pokemon since its drop in August and though there's been some shaking of its S rank pedestal, it still stands at the top. While Whiscash, Mudbray, and Slowpoke have risen to manage it, innovations like Eject Pack demonstrate that Stonjourner just has a great amount of flexibility at the top. Going forwards though, Stonjourner's speed tier looks to be much less secure given the new fast threats that join us, and it struggles with breaking through some new defensive toys like Gabite and Marshtomp. I still predict that it will be good for the time being, but the more fresh blood that gets added into ZU, the less secure Stonjourner's position at the top will be if it has to compete wiwth something like Silvally-Rock or a potential Lycanroc-Midnight freeing.
:stonjourner: (:hippopotas: :machoke: :mudbray:)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAe-P-dHrpM
:ss/ivysaur: :ss/vespiquen: :ss/hattrem:
Ivysaur, Vespiquen, and Hattrem have come to define bulkier teams in ZU over the past few months and the meta has evolved towards building cores around these Pokemon. Stealth Rock is still an amazing and nearly always mandatory hazard when teambuilding, but the utility of each of the three mons and how they tie into a Toxic-Spike heavy meta has been greatly influential. Drilbur and Koffing have sprung up as superniche setters that go through Hattrem, Ivysaur has shoved its rival Gloom to the other end of the VR, and Vespiquen's Toxic Spikes have helped drive Wartortle further into obscurity. Magmar, especially Boots variants, may push these types of cores more into the periphery as the meta becomes less centralized about Toxic Spikes and Klang. I don't see the trio falling from grace completely in the next 9 days or anything, but Golbat's presence (for however long if the council jumps to ban it) and potential drops of Dubwool, Mareanie, Heatmor, Marowak, and Silvally-Rock may very radically change up how the Toxic Spike meta plays.
:hattrem: :vespiquen: :ivysaur:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMrFiOjxk5s
:ss/mr. mime: :ss/mr. mime-galar: :ss/silvally-ice: :ss/pikachu: :ss/beheeyem: :ss/raichu:
The Isle of Armor has seen a plethora of new and powerful wallbreakers sweep aside the old bulky balance eviolite meta of pre-DLC ZU for something much faster and much stronger. The introduction of the Mimes still is something I feel hasn't been fully accounted for, as Specs Mime itself has extremely few switch-ins and Gime is barely held back by the extreme popularity of a lot of things that threaten it currently (Scarf Ston, SpDef Klang, Pika). Silvally-Ice has claimed the position of the only Vally left, and a still threatening one at that, while Pikachu has really been the offensive glue that dictates what is or is not an effective revenge killer or offensive progress maker. Beheeyem and Raichu, though notable for their great breaking capabilities at first, are beginning to wear a bit thin for some of their inconsistencies when breaking. The introduction of capable new breakers with more convenient types may give old breakers like Raichu and Beheeyem more grief. While the Mimes might feast on Gabite and even Golbat, they have to now deal with Metang's addition into the meta and Combusken as a threat they aren't always able to outrun. Gime will remain our best offensive spinner by a longshot until we manage to get Rime by some miracle, but Mime classic taste is at risk for no longer being unwallable.
:mr. mime: :mr. mime-galar: :silvally: :pikachu: :beheeyem: :raichu:
:ss/grookey: :ss/gourgeist: :ss/trevenant:
Grassy Terrain was a contentious subject in ZUPL that was mostly resolved by the banning of Swoobat in late August. Grovyle doesn't look like it's exactly going to be the thing to revive the archetype, and Gourg and Trev are mainly what the archetype depends on with little room for change. Combusken and Magmar put offensive strain on the team style while Golbat can just shut it down completely with Defog. Future possible additions like Raboot, Glaceon, Dubwool, and Heatmor also mean that Grookey's fun little reign as a mini Thwackey (already a mini Rillaboom) might be coming to a close.
:grookey: :gourgeist: :trevenant:
:ss/grapploct: :ss/ludicolo: :ss/lycanroc-midnight: :ss/musharna: :ss/swoobat:
It's been the MO of a lot of lower tiers to just empty out their banlists on the reaction to getting a volley of new mons, but I struggle to sometimes see the efficacy in trying to put out a fire with gasoline.
Grapploct is the pick I can most see getting a re-examination with how split the decision was on its ban. Grapploct was booted in the midst of ZUPL II, though now it will be entering a meta with relatively few new checks. Wigglytuff is a Fairy that doesn't resist Fighting, the Meowstics aren't at all beating it, and of the DLC2 NFEs, only Golbat really stands out as something that could break down Grapploct. I'd rather hold off on retesting it where it's more obvious that Grapploct won't wrestle its checks in the meta into submission like before.
Ludicolo has been frequently mentioned, ironic or otherwise, as a ZUBL member that could be retested. Ludi was banned back in July, was considered for a retest in August... but again, little has changed due to the stability of the metagame. It might add a healthy-ish check to Klang akin a bit to Politoed, but the meta still does not stand up to its coverage nor its power. No DLC NFE can really put up with it. If anything, Ludicolo is actually better now that rain is on the uptick with Seaking, Beartic, Wigglytuff, and Meowstic-M. This will just have to be longer dry spell for Free Ludi stans.
Lycanroc-Midnight is a mon I'd personally like to look into giving a second chance. Lycan was banned quite quickly given how overwhelming it was with Ston's general coverage but with SD and a few other tricks making it quite potent at tearing holes in offensive and defensive teams. What draws my attention are the various mons in DLC2 like Combusken, Marshtomp, Metang, and Gabite that strain Lycan's coverage. The meta has done well with adapting to Stonjourner, and if it's equipped to handle Ston, I would not be opposed to seeing this bad boy maybe become a good boy.
Musharna is ironically not an elephant in the room when it comes to bans. Mushy was banned quickly and unanimously. Though it was banned earlier ZUPL II and during the buildup to the big Grassy Terrain meta, Musharna still would exert a ton of pressure on teams to try and check it, which is easier said than done. Musharna's great natural bulk gives it so many opportunities to set up, and it doesn't need to stay in the back until the end like some other setup mons either. I can see the argument that maybe the popularity of Klang with the introductions of Lairon and Metang provide good stops to its Psychic/Fairy coverage, but Musharna very often finds a way to circumvent its checks or just simply outlast them (especially as Metang now lacks Pursuit). Mushy needs longer in time-out tbh.
Swoobat is probably the worst offender of the group IMO. Grassy Terrain would infest its way and cover the meta like a fast-acting mold if Swoobat were introduced, and its same proclivities to just end up sweeping through games with a ton of boosts if opponents don't bring multiple checks (we're still limited in Dark types to Vull + Zwei + Krok). There's no way I think Swoobat would be a heallthy addition, especially in a more dynamic phase of the meta.
:grapploct: :ludicolo: :lycanroc-midnight: :musharna: :swoobat:

PART 3: OUR FALLEN HEROES
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Before we leave the Isle of Armor completely, we should at least say a word for our fallen heroes, who have lost all their viabilities for one reason or another during this rigororous DLC, and have next to no possibility of coming back as time's arrows marches on. Some have managed to hold onto the lower ranks of the VR and are nearly on life support, almost unfit to participate in the meta at this point, and their fates grim with the inevitable rush of power/utility/compression creep.
The Shame of Defeat
:cherrim: :delibird: :lopunny:
:ss/cherrim: :ss/delibird: :ss/lopunny:
These three each failed in their own way to really preserve already strained niches in the meta. Cherrim's exclusive access to Healing Wish is just no longer the case. Delibird was already a cheesy spikes lead, but now that Spikes aren't even that good, it was all too easy to blip off the radar. Lopunny was the one FE from the DLC that may have managed to claw out a niche with its coverage, Healing Wish, and speed, but fast normals pivots like Linoone-G and Persian were already on the decline themselves.
Honorable Discharges
:cufant: :dottler: :dwebble: :frillish: :hatenna: :rufflet: :sandygast: :stunky: :swirlix: :trubbish: :onix: :pupitar: :skorupi: :spritzee:
:ss/cufant: :ss/dottler: :ss/dwebble: :ss/frillish: :ss/hatenna: :ss/rufflet: :ss/sandygast: :ss/stunky: :ss/swirlix: :ss/trubbish: :ss/onix: :ss/pupitar: :ss/skorupi: :ss/spritzee:
So many poor little NFEs from early SWSH, Alpha, Beta, and beyond have just been completely crept out. Dottler lost to Charjabug, Hatenna to its evo, Rufflet to Farfetch'd, Swirlix to Hattrem, Trubbish and Skorupi to Vespiquen and Ivysaur, Onix and Pupitar to Krokorok, and Spritzee to Lickitung. The gag is that some of those "replacements" are themselves struggling in the meta right now. Raw stats still mean something in mons apparently (who would have thunk?) Sandygast and Frillish are more notable in that they rose generally to combat certain centralized threats, but their weaknesses and the evolution of the meta have only pushed them back out of the fold. Cufant is a special one (shoutout to Tuthur for making sure this veteran was properly honored) for defining Alpha-Beta and the early DLC period for its precious Steel typing, rocks, and colorful coverage.
Temporary Fighters
:fletchinder: :jigglypuff: :larvesta: :magnemite: :marill: :mienfoo: :seadra:
:ss/fletchinder: :ss/jigglypuff: :ss/larvesta: :ss/magnemite: :ss/marill: :ss/mienfoo: :ss/seadra:
Many of these mons, such as Fletchinder, Jigglypuff, or Mienfoo simply failed to make a splash just because their base stats didn't really cut it, even if the niches of priority Defogger, wishporter, and Regen pivot seemed at least a little attractive earlier in the DLC meta. Larvesta, Magnemite, and Marill failed to be even hollow simulacra of their evolved forms. Jigglypuff is most notable, as even Wigglytuff has not really made waves in the meta with its unceremonious drop this month. Seadra is one more niche pick that managed to hold its place in the C Ranks until Politoed just completely invalidated it. RIP to those who were only with us for a short period.
Those Who Have Suffered Defeats
:drakloak: :eiscue: :farfetchd: :gastly: :gloom: :lickitung: :linoone-galar: :maractus: :natu: :scraggy: :shedinja: :wartortle:
:ss/drakloak: :ss/eiscue: :ss/farfetchd: :ss/gastly: :ss/gloom: :ss/lickitung: :ss/linoone-galar: :ss/maractus: :ss/natu: :ss/scraggy: :ss/shedinja: :ss/wartortle:
The last of these are mons that have completely fallen from the good graces they once may have had in the meta. Linoone-Galar in B is a far cry from how integral it was as speed control up until Persian, Pikachu, Gime, Mime, Raichu.... Emolga... this thing just got crept in its main feature of speed. Gloom was knocked aside (haha) by its rival Ivysaur, Natu is really stiffed by Hattrem doing most of its job better and fitting on more offensive teams, and Wartortle just isn't the spinner hotness with Toxic Spikes being in the vogue, Gime giving it a lot of competition, and the new drop Politoed. Scraggy, Gastly, Farfetch'd, and Maractus just generally have failed to keep up with the evolving metagame as their stats and typings became more liabilities in a meta with more options. Shedinja was hype for a time when Poltergeist gave physical ghosts new life (haha) but the power boost generally has been curbed by increasing bulk on defensive picks and the meta almost always having some way to make it a huge liability in teambuilding, even with boots. Eiscue is probably the saddest of them all, plummeting from meta-defining S rank all the way into the slums of C. Toxic Spikes, Klang, better special attackers, and a whole host of moving parts in the meta have rendered the penguin mascot of ZU more of a trophy than an actual participant in the meta. Very few of these picks will likely improve as better options are added into the meta, especially in Eiscue's case with the advent of Magmar, Combusken, and Electabuzz, which is before we even get any drops.
Taken Too Soon
:leafeon:
:ss/leafeon:
Pour one out for Leafeon, pretty much the only thing PU actually dangled down for us before snatching it right back up. Leafeon was a pretty cool stop to Grassy Terrain and provided a great offensive physical grass type in meta lacking its meaty base stats, but it wasn't a titanic tragedy that it was lost. Hopefully we'll gain it again as a good bulky attacker with some good utility and set variety, but the meta may be more challenging for it if Magmar, Combusken, and Golbat are here to give it hell.

image0-1.jpg

On the concerns of Tuthur Cufant has been rehoused to a proper habitat where it may live out the rest of its days in leisure. We thank it for its service to the early stages of the SS ZU tier.
 

5gen

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Hey all, the Crown Tundra DLC gave ZU many NFEs and two Pokemon that immediately stood out to the player base as potentially broken elements are Combusken and Golbat. Combusken is an incredibly threatening Pokemon on paper, being able to run a multitude of sets from SD to Substitute+Protect to specially offensive and threaten the vast majority of the metagame. Meanwhile, Golbat is a Pokemon with superb Eviolite-boosted bulk and the speed to shut down much of the metagame with its Taunt Toxic set. That being said, the metagame is quite different with the addition of all these NFEs and the dynamic of metagame is changing. The council will take the next days to discuss, test, and vote. We also really like seeing what the community at large has to say, so we'll be monitoring the thread. I look forward to your guys' posts. Remember not to post any one-liners or to derail discussion.

:ss/Combusken: :ss/Golbat:

Here is the voting sheet we will be using.
 
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