no longer Harry’s house
The SV OU tiering council has been closely evaluating the preliminary metagame. After internal discussion prompted by both firsthand observations and external discourse, we have determined that a number of game elements (including Pokemon, moves, and a concept) are on our radar for prospective future tiering action. This post will be used to outline our tiering radar as we briefly touch on each matter. Keep in mind: THERE ARE NO BANS YET! Before we proceed, I would like to thank the Pokemon Showdown contributors who made generation nine playable on the simulator so promptly. Their tireless efforts make everything we do possible and they deserve our appreciation!
The new core mechanic of generation nine is brought to you by the terastal phenomenon that is sweeping through the Paleda region. TPP does a great job introducing the concept of terastallizing and the move Tera Blast here.
There are no current plans to have any tiering action on Terastallizing, but this can change in the future. We intend to remove the blatantly banworthy Pokemon from the metagame first (hence the remainder of this post) so we can analyze the impact of Terastallizing and Tera Blast in the coming days and weeks. I believe we should focus on trying to normalize Terastallizing into our competitive experience at the start of this generation as we focus on other things initially, but if the process of normalization proves to be an impossible one and the mechanic proves to be uncompetitive in nature, we will act. Community feedback will be appreciated on this matter as we understand the offensive and defensive implications of typing shifts and the impact of Tera Blast continue to develop.
Flutter Mane has been that guy since the moment SV OU dropped. Boasting 135 SAtk with a dynamic STAB duo of Fairy and Ghost coupled with any coverage needed to dispatch common foes, it is not surprising that it is among the premier offensive options. Couple this with seldom matched base 135 speed and Protosynthesis, which can boost its highest stat by 50% at the expense of an item slot without any further restriction, many believe that Flutter Mane's offensive profile is that of an Uber rather than an OU mainstay. This is not even mentioning the fact that Terastallizing with Flutter Mane can bolster its power even further, which you do encounter on occasion. While it is true there is counterplay that exists in the metagame, it can require going well out of the normal realm of Pokemon you would see and is still more limited than some may deem comfortable for varied teambuilding to be deemed a possibility.
Here are some posts on the topic of Flutter Mane:
- Early impressions from Band
Houndstone & Last Respects
When it comes to Houndstone, it looks like a fairly pedestrian Pokemon that would not even grace the OU viability rankings, let alone be a part of the tiering radar on day one. Then, more information about its signature move, Last Respects, came out. This is a move that grows stronger for each fainted party member by 50bp while it also starts at 50bp, so if your Houndstone is the last Pokemon standing, it has an unprecedented 300 BP STAB move. This is unmanageable unless you run a Normal type. While Houndstone does lack many other great qualities, it has decent enough bulk and access to Sand Rush, which makes it an absolute monster on Sand teams later in games.
There is also some room for debate as to what we should do if tiering action is mandated. Do we ban the Pokemon Houndstone or the move Last Respects? If only one Pokemon has or is broken with a move, then we have to ban the Pokemon as it is impossible to isolate a move as broken when it is just an element of a whole Pokemon, which is what truly is broken when utilizing the move. Historical precedent backs this, too. However, if multiple Pokemon are problematic due to a single move, then that move suddenly can become the focus as there is a common thread and it can be isolated as a broken element of these Pokemon due to this. We do not have any other Last Respects users out currently, but with the release of Pokemon Home in a few months, it is heavily believed to be coming out on another Pokemon that will be even stronger than Houndstone, which will prove to be problematic if Houndstone already is. This means we can potentially avoid collateral of banning Houndstone now or potentially both upon the release of Pokemon Home in the future by banning the move, but it may be a hard sell to justify taking a stance that hinges on a future release. Only time will tell what the best policy decision is and if it is even needed, but this has been a major discussion in tiering circles today that I wanted to share.
Here are some posts on the topic of Houndstone and Last Respects:
- Video gameplay of its prowess from MANNAT and temp
Another new Pokemon at the forefront of OU is Chien-Pao, which has been assigned the nickname "Mega Weavile" due to it having the same typing as it with a superior overall presence. Despite the limitations on moves like Knock Off or not getting access to would-be helpful coverage moves such as Close Combat or Earthquake, Chien Pao has managed to ruin many defensive cores with the strength of many swords. This is largely in part to its ability, Sword of Ruin, which lowers the opponents defense by 25% -- needless to say, this has a substantial impact on limiting defensive counterplay.
Offensive counterplay is sporadic as well due to priority Sucker Punch and awesome speed limiting revenge killing prospects while a timely Terastallization can make matters even more challenging for the opponent. Chien-Pao is more interesting as it is not necessarily a single element like Houndstone and Last Respects, but rather the collective offensive profile being insanely limiting for defensive options and pesky for offensive options to dispatch of.
Here are some posts on the topic of Chien-Pao:
- Introductory thoughts from Pokedom10
- Set and presence analysis from Shade1x
- Overall thoughts from Queenzz
I have, unfortunately, yet to use Palafin myself firsthand, so my insight on this will be a tad more limited. While it may appear as the class clown of the seas of Paleda initially, a single switch in-and-out activates the Hero form, which makes it unmanageably strong with 160 base Attack while still boasting serviceable Speed. With a signature move being STAB priority Jet Punch, which is strong for a priority move, it can even overcome faster foes.
In terms of overall utilization, it can function as a pivot with Flip Turn or a win condition with Bulk Up. Tera Blast provides an awesome addition to its potential offensive arsenal while Close Combat and Wave Crash, which is a new strong physical Water move, help round it out. Taunt and Drain Punch may also be found on the aforementioned Bulk Up variant depending upon the team, which give it another dimension to play with. There are counterplays to it on the surface, but the Waters get choppy quickly around the hero of early SV OU.
Here are some posts on the topic of Palafin and Palafin-Hero:
Another potential Booster Energy Protosynthesis abuser is Roaring Moon, which joins the pantheon of high BST Dragon types with scary offensive profiles that we have seen grace OU metagames over the years. With the Dark typing present to compliment the aforementioned Dragon typing, it has a unique offensive presence that already covers just about everything with its STABs besides Fairy types. Enter Tera Blast, which can either bolster its STABs to unbearable levels or potentially solve the Fairy type issue with one terrifying click.
With a combination of 139 attack and 119 speed, it already has the tools to deal massive damage, but combine this with Terastallization, Dragon Dance, and coverage options like Earthquake, Acrobatics, and Iron Head or even pivoting options like U-turn and you get what may rival the above Pokemon for the most complete offensive presence in the metagame. Counterplay is largely circumstantial, dictated my guesswork if Tera Blast is in the equation and restricted to a limited pool of Pokemon regardless of this element. There may be slightly more pressing matters that the metagame is encountering right now, but Roaring Moon absolutely deserves to be on the radar as we see how it develops into the metagame. With this said, it is true that some people believe it is being focused on lots in preparation and more limited right now as well, so we will keep an eye on that as well.
Here are some posts on the topic of Roaring Moon:
- Overall thoughts from TDataBase
- Potential limitations and overhype of Roaring Moon from Perish Song
- Set analysis from Queenzz
Another Pokemon I, admittedly, have yet to try firsthand, so sorry for a limited account here. Iron Valiant is another Booster Energy beneficiary with an awesome physically oriented STAB combination of Fairy and Fighting. With access to Swords Dance, great coverage, and an offensive profile that is begging to be bolestered further by Terastallization, it is no surprise that Iron Valiant packs one of the hardest punches in the tier. There are very few things in the metagame that Iron Valiant cannot cover with the moves you see on it routinely.
This all is made possible by strong 130 attack and high 116 speed, which sets the tone for it to be able to dispatch many slower threats without encountering much trouble. In offensive games, it can be fragile and potentially revenge killed, but largely by the faster and stronger Pokemon we mention here rather than through a wider array of Pokemon, which is cause for concern in its own regard. With the Booster Drive, it outruns many ordinary Pokemon, even if they are electing to hold a choice scarf, thanks to the boosted speed. Priority can help, but it can be thwarted by timely Terastallization, too, so you have to really be creative and prepared to consistently minimize Iron Valiant.
Here are some posts on the topic of Iron Valiant:
Cyclizar is an interesting case as it is not a premium offensive option and some even indicate its presence outside of one element is quite underwhelming, so we are not necessarily committed to acting on it yet or even in the future. However, Shed Tail is a new move that has captured the attention of everyone.
Shed Tail allows for Cyclizar to essentially pass a Substitute all within one turn. Pair this with Regenerator and you make setting-the-table for the aforementioned scary offensive Pokemon be a little too easy, especially with all of the Screens support we are seeing in the metagame. Regenerator is already a strong enough ability, but pairing it with a repeated Substitute+BatonPass move admittedly seems like an uncompetitive concept at its core. It is still early and there is another Pokemon, Orthworm, who alos gets Shed Tail that I have yet to use myself, so I want to see and hear more, but it is absolutely on our radar for the time being.
Here is a post on the topic of Cyclizar:
Thank you to everyone for reading about what the SV OU council has on its radar. This was a lot to get out all on the first day of the metagame, but I am committed to the betterment of the metagame and look forward to working with you all to make this the best generation we have ever had! If you do not see something on the radar that you think should be on here, keep in mind it is just day 1 -- let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts here. I am following and responding to that metagame discussion thread as much as I can to have a channel of communication with you guys. As you can see, I alluded to some of the posts in there here as well, so it really does matter. We value your contributions and care for our metagame. Enjoy!