Resource ORAS OU Metagame Discussion

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Imperator Romanum

formerly Grains of Salt
I think you're missing the point about defensive volcanion in that it doesnt necessitate a defensive team to be floored by stall-breaker talonflame, which is a weakness with a lot of defensive teams, since unlike Rotom-w it can now apply offensive pressure using scald while covering steels such as Ferro in one slot. If you've tried using a Rotom-W to cover a SpDef Talonflame you'll notice real quick the moment Rotom-W catches an incoming Will-O-Wisp it starts to become shakier and shakier as a check in the long run. Rotom-W's only means to handle most steels is throwing a will-o-wisp while Volcanion can actually attack / threaten them with Flamethrower. You don't need Wisp on Volcanion when Scald, flamethrower, toxic, utility move (I use Haze) will cover what Volcanion would be doing in terms of defensive utility. Rotom-W also doesn't have the viable means to beat things like Mega Bro 1v1 as it sets up on you while you volt switch and turn your team-mates into fodder. They cover different threats defensively, even offensively when you consider Volcanions access to Flamethrower such as Amoonguss and grasses, and I don't know why people are using steam eruption on the defensive set with the low pp that it has that defeats the purpose of using it for defense. Definitely has more than just Water Absorb as defensive utility.
Out of curiosity, you can supply some sets you believe utilise Volcanions defensive side the best?
 
Out of curiosity, you can supply some sets you believe utilise Volcanions defensive side the best?
People are experimenting with different stuff but this is some of the stuff I've been using and quoting the checks compendium thread where I posted these.
I think if you want to use sets for reference in compiling checks you can use some of these for starters until the meta stabilizes more and we see the standards / better spreads.

Life Orb Variants
Volcanion @ Life Orb
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 100 Atk / 156 SpA / 252 Spe
Naughty Nature
IVs: 29 HP / 30 Atk / 30 SpA
- Steam Eruption
- Fire Blast
- Hidden Power [Grass]
- Superpower

Consistent benchmark to 2HKO Max Defense / Max SpDef Chansey without rocks since they're normally be on M-Sableye builds.

Volcanion @ Life Orb
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 76 Atk / 180 SpA / 252 Spe
Rash Nature
IVs: 29 HP / 30 Atk / 30 SpA
- Steam Eruption
- Fire Blast
- Hidden Power [Grass]
- Superpower

Emphasis on more special attack gets the 2HKO on Chansey with Rocks up. Depending on which defensive builds you want to break more easily and how much more power you want on your special attacks.

A huge important note is that the Life Orb set is customized based on team needs. So you'll see things like Earth Power to hit other Volcanions, HP Electric to hit both Azumarill and Volcanion at once, Sludge Bomb to hit the Lati twins, or HP Ice for more focus on Latis.

Defensive
Volcanion @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 232 HP / 176 Def / 100 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Flamethrower
- Toxic
- Haze

Specs
Volcanion @ Choice Specs
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 SpA
- Steam Eruption
- Fire Blast
- Sludge Bomb
- Hidden Power [Grass] / Ice

Scarf
I think Scarf is its worse set fyi but it runs a pretty similar set to the specs one with optional moves and a Timid nature.
 

eaglehawk

I COULD BE BANNED!
So I've been messing around with Defensive Volc, and I've heavily enjoyed Volc + MSab + Ferro Core. I know it's technically building off of someone suggesting Volc + Sab core earlier, but it makes for a solid Balance core.

Volcanion @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe
Bold Nature
- Roar
- Scald
- Toxic
- Protect/Flamethrower

Sableye @ Sablenite
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 112 Def / 144 SpD
Careful Nature
- Fake Out
- Will-O-Wisp
- Recover
- Foul Play

Ferrothorn @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 88 Def / 168 SpD
Impish Nature
- Spikes/Stealth Rock
- Leech Seed
- Power Whip
- Toxic
 
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I think you're missing the point about defensive volcanion in that it doesnt necessitate a defensive team to be floored by stall-breaker talonflame, which is a weakness with a lot of defensive teams, since unlike Rotom-w it can now apply offensive pressure using scald while covering steels such as Ferro in one slot. If you've tried using a Rotom-W to cover a SpDef Talonflame you'll notice real quick the moment Rotom-W catches an incoming Will-O-Wisp it starts to become shakier and shakier as a check in the long run. Rotom-W's only means to handle most steels is throwing a will-o-wisp while Volcanion can actually attack / threaten them with Flamethrower. You don't need Wisp on Volcanion when Scald, flamethrower, toxic, utility move (I use Haze) will cover what Volcanion would be doing in terms of defensive utility. Rotom-W also doesn't have the viable means to beat things like Mega Bro 1v1 as it sets up on you while you volt switch and turn your team-mates into fodder. They cover different threats defensively, even offensively when you consider Volcanions access to Flamethrower such as Amoonguss and grasses, and I don't know why people are using steam eruption on the defensive set with the low pp that it has that defeats the purpose of using it for defense. Definitely has more than just Water Absorb as defensive utility.
Thank you for the analysis. I appreciate it :)

I see defensive Volcanion being a pretty nice Poke on balance teams. It's a water type that can actually threaten grass types such as Ferrothorn while having enough power to muscle through Stallbreaker Talon, never fearing burns thanks to being immune to it, something no water type that I can think of can boast. I can see running at least 4-8 speed EVs on defensive variants being a good idea so you don't have to risk speed ties with Skarmory. While that doesn't really make too much of a difference since Skarmory does nothing to Volc and has no business staying in when healthy, when the opponent doesn't need Skarm anymore and wants to click Spikes on the sack, you can always prevent that extra layer from going up.
 
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Freeroamer

The greatest story of them all.
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I've noticed a pretty basic Volcanion team formula for bulky offense emerging in the shape of Volc / Lati / Tar / Landog / Steel type / Fighting type bish check which seems pretty solid and covers a hell of a lot of the metagame pretty well. I went for Mzor and Keld as the last 2 but there are definitely other good choices while the first 4 provide such a solid backbone offensively and defensively. Tar / Lando combo does so much for Volc, as Lando gets U-Turns out of Skarm / Ferro / Hippo which obviously gives Volcanion ample opportunity to spam it's STABs especially with the threat of getting trapped by Tar in the back.

As for sets, I had Specs initially but I changed it to ebelt, I feel if you support Volc correctly it's coverage is so good at tearing apart standard team archetypes that you won't miss the raw power of Specs nearly as much. Anyway this mon has been a really fun addition to the meta thus far.
 
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Halcyon.

@Choice Specs
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^that is really funny because the first team I built with Volc was exactly that, Scizor and Keldeo and all. Keldeo + Volcanion is a really neat core, since they can just decimate the opponent's water checks (Lati taking about half from Steam Eruption, not even taking into account Pursuit trappers waiting in the back).

Ebelt is definitely nice for luring especially opposing Volcanion, since you're way more free to spam Steam Eruption when you can simply Earth Power next turn. I just wish Ebelt Superpower did more to Chansey, since you need LO and some attack investment to 2HKO it iirc. I still prefer Specs for the raw power, but that might change as time goes on.
 
Dang, so close! My steel is Ferrothorn and my fighting guy is megacross while I have Thundurus in my Landoge slot for speed/paralysis/knock off support. I agree that Volcanion is really fun to use and build around but at the rate we're going it's only a matter of time til we find a standardized Volcanion team
 
With all the Volc hype I found something that can actually fit rather well as a counter to it:

Alomomola@Leftovers
Calm Nature
64hp 192def 252sdef
Scald
Wish
Protect
Toxic

Standard Alo. I know it's not that common but I found it to be pretty good. Spread avoids the 2HKO from Specs Steamer after Rocks, Lefties, and burn. Yes HP Grass 2HKOes you but then you know it's a specs Volc and can switch to something else that doesn't mind grass/electric (I used an MZor for that) and you get Regenerator back anyway (again, I used a U-Turn/Defog MZor). Alternatively, you can choose not to run lefties and go helmet for wearing things down as long as you have somthing to take steamers (like say, a Volc of your own! who also eats fire blasts!).

This did get me thinking, why not pair Volc with fast electrics like MMane or Thundy? Volc wears down the walls with Steamer burns and can beat (or at least threaten) the bulky grounds, bulky fairies (Sludge Wave/Bomb) and grass types that give them headaches (albeit you can't directly switch in and need a scarf or a shit ton of speed to handle Lando-T and Chomp). Hell, you could even go LO Superpower to lure in and crush Chansey. Meanwhile the electrics remove bulky waters that give Volc trouble.

EDIT: Also found a possible reason for Steamer over Scald on bulky Volcanion:

0 SpA Volcanion Steam Eruption vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Mega Charizard Y in Sun: 132-156 (44.4 - 52.5%) -- 10.9% chance to 2HKO (25% OHKO chance after rocks)

It's not like Zard Y will be swtiching in to you that often, but hey, an emergency check isn't a bad thing, I guess...
 
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WECAMEASROMANS

Banned deucer.
Hi! With the introduction of Volcanion in OU I'd thought it'd be a good idea to post all the Volcanions I've seen in my experience on high ladder (top 50 or 100) since there have been no official tours displaying Volcanion in them yet. Here are the different sets I've encountered which are arguably the most effective at the moment.

Volcanion @ Choice Specs
Timid Nature
EVs: 252 Spatk | 4 Spdef | 252 Speed
IVs: 0 Atk
Ability: Water Absorb
- Steam Eruption
- Fire Blast | Overheat
- Sludge Wave
- Earth Power | Hidden Power Grass

The most used, "standard" set of Volcanion thus far. Obviously people are eager to slap a Choice Specs on a Pokemon with base 130 spatk, and this thing was quick to illustrate its power in the tier. It's much harder to wall than Keldeo because theres no need to spam Scald when steam eruption exists, and the fire STAB makes it so grasses can't wall you at all. You act as a great check for Azumarill and Weavile and Gardevoir which is a godsend for offensive teams which often have no switch ins. Sludge Wave is used to beat fairies like mega gardevoir and azu and clef while the last slot is a mix up between earth power and hp grass. earth power lets you beat opposing volc which usually switch in anticipating steam eruption/fire blast, think of it like earth power heatran in this case where earth power is used to beat yourself lol. Hidden Power Grass is also used on the last slot for waters such as rotom-w, suicune, gastrodon, slowbro, and other water types who think they can wall you. I honestly just run max speed timid because to me outspeeding other volcanions and killing them with earth power is so much more worth it compared to getting some random number of HP points and living a few select hits.

Volcanion @ Expert Belt | Mystic Water
Timid Nature
EVs: 252 Spatk | 4 Spdef | 252 Speed
IVs: 0 Atk
Ability: Water Absorb
- Steam Eruption
- Fire Blast | Overheat
- Sludge Wave
- Earth Power | Hidden Power Grass

Same set, different item. With the popularity of the specs set, expert belt and mystic water are also great options that can act like a lure to anyone thinking you're choice locked and switching to the appropriate pokemon to wall you, and then you reveal another move to outright kill them and netting you momentum. Think of it like expert belt hoopa-u in this context when everyone always thought it was choice scarf/specs/band when they didn't see life orb recoil. This is great when you reveal steam eruption and then your opponent thinks its a good idea to send in Amoongus or Gastrodon vs you and then you kill them with fire blast or hidden power grass the next turn, or when other volcs try switching in on you after you reveal steam eruption too lol. Fantastic lure which is seeing consistent use.

Volcanion @ Power Herb
Timid Nature
EVs: 252 Spatk | 4 Spdef | 252 Speed
IVs: 0 Atk
Ability: Water Absorb
- Steam Eruption
- Fire Blast | Overheat
- Sludge Wave
- Solar Beam

Similar to power herb Heatran, except it actually has Water Absorb to tank hits from water types and has water STAB of its own to dissuade Fire types from coming in on you. Typically what happens when you use Volcanion is your opponent will try switching in their bulky water to tank your STAB attacks. This is where this set comes in handy. Their water type switches in and takes some intial damage from steam eruption, then you destroy them with Power Herb Solarbeam. This set is great for destroying Rotom-W for birds, heavily weakening Suicune, and destroying Gastro/Seismitoad which leaves you free to spam your high powered STABs later on during the match.

Volcanion @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 232 HP / 176 Def / 100 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Flamethrower
- Toxic
- Haze

More defensive set on Volcanion that I've seen several ladder stall players fit on their stall teams. Acts as a great check to mono attacking CM Suicune and Manaphy, beats CM Clef and CM (Mega) Slowbro as well. Besides that, it does other things, such as hard walling azumarill, checking Mega Gardevoir, non EQ Mega Altaria, Mega Metagross, and walls the crap out of Stall breaker Talonflame as well. Scald is used here for PP and consistency's sake so you don't get PP stalled and you pressure a lot of pokemon even when uninvested like stall breaking Heatran. Oh yeah it also hard walls Mega Scizor as well which is always a pain in the butt.

I honestly have never seen life orb Volcanion on high ladder play yet so I can't really comment on the success and set of that. Also I've seen Choice Scarf Volcanion literally just once where it won the game by killing my 20% Lati and I got super pissed cuz of that, but in all honesty its not a great set and shouldn't see use at all lol.

This is also a similar scenario like in the beginning of XY OU after all the initial bans there was a "cookie cutter" Mega Charizard-Y build. Currently on ladder I'm seeing a lot of cookie cutter Volcanion teams as well where they all revolve around the same principles and typings. For instance, as of right now I have three successful Volcanion teams, all allowing me to reach top 20 on ladder several times already. These are the skeletons of the teams as I'm too lazy to post sets:

Team 1: Thundurus | Landorus-T | (Mega) Diancie | Volcanion | Latios | Bisharp
Team 2: Thundurus | Tyranitar | Excadrill | Volcanion | (Mega) Altaria | Breloom
Team 3: Thundurus | (Mega) Metagross | Volcanion | Landorus-T | Tyranitar | Latios

As you can see all three of my teams look pretty similar and if you compare it to any typical high ladder offensive team consisting of Volcanion you'll notice that their team resembles mine a lot as well. I'll just break the cookie cutter Volcanion team by describing each of the slots and roles you should aim to have on your team.

Slot 1) Volcanion, obviously. lol
Slot 2) Pursuiter which can trap Latis, Slowbro, Chansey, and other Pokemon which makes Volcanion that much more threatening. For team 1 I used Bisharp as the pursuiter, where as for teams 2 and 3 I had Tyranitar as the pursuiter. There are definitely other options for this such as Metagross, Scizor, and Weavile.
Slot 3) Bulky SR setter. This will typically be your standard go to "sponge" to tank physical attacks as well. For teams 1 and 3, Landorus-T is my go to SR setter and it adds a great EQ immunity for Volcanion and can u turn into it on common defensive Pokemon to give you a free attack and momentum. For team 2, Tyranitar is my bulky SR setter and it sets up sand and is my Lati switch in that come in on Volcanion as well.
Slot 4) Steel type. This will typically be your Clefable killer and secondary fairy check, which is necessary for Mega Altaria Mega Diancie which beat Volcanion and such. For team 1, i had a bisharp as the steel type of choice, while for team 2 I had an Excadrill with sand support. Team 3 utilizes Mega Metagross as the steel type with Grass knot to bait water types for Volcanion.
Slot 5) *insert pokemon that beats water types for Volcanion here*. As you can see, Thundurus is used on all three of my teams which occupies this role, and it also gives you very valuable prankster t-wave support which allows your offense team to have more room with speed boosters or speed demons which would otherwise steamroll right through you. There can be other options for this role such as Celebi, Breloom, Mega Manecetric, etc.
Slot 6) Hazard removal. This is very useful so Volcanion's survability isn't cut down 25% every time it comes in. For teams 1 and 3 I had a Latios as the defogger, where as for team 2 I used rapid spin Excadrill.

Other mandatory things to include:

Bisharp check) Since most Volcanion teams employ Lati as their hazard control having a Bisharp check is mandatory so a +2 Bisharp doesnt destroy you. For team 1, I have (Mega) Diancie, and for team 2 I have two options which consist of Breloom and Max Spe timid (Mega) Altaria with Fire blast. Team 3 employs Scarf Tyranitar with Superpower.
Water and Fighting resists) Latios and Landorus-t are the most standard and typical go to Pokemon people choose to occupy this role, which is what I also have for teams 1 and 3. For Team 2 I have Mega Altaria which does both jobs simultaneously.
 
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why is M-Altaria considered "bad" right now? I don't even see M-Metagross as common as before so I don't understand the sudden hate
 
why is M-Altaria considered "bad" right now? I don't even see M-Metagross as common as before so I don't understand the sudden hate
The reasons why have already been said, but I'll repeat the short and sweet version of it: The metagame has adapted to it, and all the stuff it really hates is all over the place. Every team carries a natural Megataria check/counter or two, so it being a pain is no longer a thing. Weavile is still going strong, as is sand offense with Exadrill, plus Scizor and Clefable put a cold stop to it. Also, teams have been getting fatter and fatter even before Feral Chaos left the building, and Megataria really does not like having to go through bulkier teams. It needs to set up to have a chance, and these bulky offense/balanced teams rarely give it the chance to do so. It's still a threat, but not what it was early on in ORAS. There's more powerful and useful DDance users for sweeping purposes, and for most anything else, Clefable outclasses it while also not taking up a mega spot, leaving what it can do limited.
 
I'm sure you can still make Mega Altaria work. It's by no means unviable, but like has been said before, it's just not the best mega around.
 

Gary

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Specially mixed Mega Alt is still pretty solid, it's definitely the most consistent set it can run atm. While it may not be as overall threatening as DD, its ability to hit hard right off the bat with Hyper Voice is pretty cool, and it can roast Steel-types that normally wall it with Fire Blast as well as Heatran and Volcanion with EQ. It can also still afford to run Roost to increase its longevity and allowing it to pivot into attacks consistently throughout the match without missing out on valuable coverage. I personally like this set the most right now because it takes advantage of Mega Alt's ability to check lots of threats as well as still being able to threaten fat teams that depend heavily on shaky checks such as Jirachi, Heatran, and Ferrothorn to beat it which all lack reliable recovery and take lots from Fire Blast/EQ respectively. It works very well with Volcanion because it can smack bulky Water-types like Slowbro and Rotom-W very hard and checks Latios and Terrakion (a bit shaky CB is strong as fuck). Volcanion heavily pressures fat teams and weakens everything to the point where Mega Alt can just start spamming Hyper Voice late game and 2HKO everything.

Bulky DD is still decent considering how easy it is for it to sweep with its checks gone, but its checks are so ominpresent that even with team support it will struggle to sweep most of the time, and its usefulness in most battles is usually minimal aside from its ability to switch into Keldeos, Zards, Chompers, and Thundys, which Special Mega Alt can still do decently. I just really like how Special Mega Alt is able to actually do something throughout the match instead of just sit there and sponge hits. Being able to punish something like Thundy for just clicking T-Bolt on the switch and forcing something to stomach a strong Hyper Voice/coverage move is really nice, which is something bulky DD can't really do as without a boost Return is hitting like a wet noodle.

I'm still not a huge fan of Mega Alt over something like Mega Gard or Mega Diancie, but its defensive and offensive synergy is just so awesome paired with Volc that I think it has a bit more usefulness in the current meta, at least until the Volc hype dies down a bit. Volc just has such amazing synergy with so much of the metagame that it's so easy to just slap on any team. If hazards weren't such a bitch to it, I'd honestly go as far to say that you could probably run Volc on pretty much every team and benefit from it. It lacks reliable switch-ins, and pairs so well with already very solid offensive and defensive threats such as Keldeo, Mega Sableye, Mega Meta, Fairies, Mega Lati, and Mega Medi.
 
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Martin

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I've never actually found DD Altaria to be that good personally and have always preferred its mixed set simply because of the fact that DD is just so underwhelming without a boost and will always be walled by either steels or fires depending on its choice of coverage (not to mention that FerroTran always hard walls it unless it forgoes Roost, which just leaves it susceptible to being worn down to the point where it is just unreliable)--not to mention that the Alt+Zone squads which attempt to rectify this kinda struggle versus Shed Shell steel squads with other KOff absorbers on them (which any Shed Shell squad should have by default; RestTalk Keldeo on offensive teams is a good example, as is [insert moderately fat mega here] on basically any archetype and Gliscor on balance). Whenever I built with it it always just made me wonder why I wasn't using ZardX or DNite, I'm kinda baffled that it was S rank for so long tbh--but that's besides the point. Basically, I've always preferred the versatility provided by Roost+3 attacks and found that it is just a little bit harder for teams to take advantage of than the standard DD sets are due to not being limited in what it can take on by its choice of moveset. However, regardless on your old opinion of DD Alt, it is pretty much irrefutable that mixed is the way to go in the current metagame simply because, unlike DD, people aren't particularly prepared for it. It kinda just fucks with the ever-present FerroTran, and its good matchup versus Volcanion (resists STABs and can outpace+hit back with Earthquake; has to watch out for Sludge Bomb tho (anyone running Wave is stupid ftr as the high poison chance is the whole reason its so threatening to defensive water resists/immunities) and the burn rate fucks it over, so its not all that reliable anyway. The competition it faces from MLati as a bulky Dragon-type mega, the competition it faces from MDiancie as a mixed Fairy-type and the competition it faces from MGarde as a Pixilate abuser are big setbacks, with the only reason that I can think of for using it coming from its role compression as a bulky Dragon-type which can beat things that MLati doesn't with its offensive coverage.

Enough about Altaria though. The other day (it was either Sunday or Monday) me and -Magic- had a brief exchange about balance which can basically be dumbed down to:

Magic: Jelli balance is hot
Me: What happened to "balance sucks?"
Magic: Volcanion made balance viable

That last line has been on my mind all week, and I have to say that the ladder is really showing this--with a massive spike in balance usage ever since Volcanion's release as the teams that it fits best on tend to be balance, and similarly the teams that tend to be able to beat it the most consistently tend to be--you guessed it--balance. Stuff like SubToxic Zapdos (can't switch in, but forces it out and sets up a free sub as it does; can also take one Steam Eruption to Pressure stall if it absolutely has to), Jellicent and Mega Latias (the two best answers to this thing) tend to fit onto these teams really well and as such balance just really seems to be good nowadays. I've been particularly enjoying Jellicent+MegaZam Spikes stack, and I've also been messing around with a slightly updated version of Balance. Isn't. Dead. to very good success.
 

bludz

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Balance never really died it's sorta just at the mercy of other playstyles. You can't really account for all the breakers on offense and have your own breakers to beat stall if you're going full balance. Volcanion sorta performs a role compression of being able to fit on bulkier teams and still wallbreaking like a beast.

That said I still think it benefits bulky offense more since its breaker sets are more suited to that archetype for the most part.
 

p2

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the implication that balace has ever been bad in oras is just lol

i mostly agree with the point gary made though, volcanion is incredibly splashable and can literally work paired with anything in the tier. it really is an amazing glue and i strongly believe it is the saviour of oras in terms of building especially when it comes to offense because it offers a nice answer to one of the biggest offense restraints in the tier (looking at you azumarill) and various other mons, and its physical bulk is just enough to eat up some hard hits like mega lops hjk after rocks then just proceeds to evaporate it. volcanion is an easy a+ mon in terms of viability because it opens up many holes for creativity.
 

Martin

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Volcanion @ Choice Specs / Expert Belt / Mysic Water
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 72 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 180 Spe
Modest Nature
- Steam Eruption
- Fire Blast
- Sludge Bomb / Sludge Wave
- Toxic

This is a set that I've been using on one of my teams and it has been a moderately useful lure. Similar to Toxic M-Lop in ORAS and Toxic ScarfDrill in XY, it allows Volcanion to lure in a large number of its switch-ins (namely Jellicent, Alomomola, MLatias, Goodra, Slowking, Seismi, Gastrodon and anything else which beats this thing after switching in on it) in one moveslot by putting them on a timer, making it harder for them to consistently check it later on in the match. This is useful because, unlike burns and regular poison, it can't be easily handled with recovery due to the fact that it keeps racking up and putting pressure on them to not stay in for prolonged periods, whichーwhen paired with other 'mons that share checksーcan make them very quickly worn down between switching in to check Volc and its teammates and the passive damage racking up (which also opens up the option to stay in for a few turns to rack up toxic damage). Obvious drawbacks of using it involve either the power drop from using EBelt/Mystic Water over Specs or the fact that using it involves locking yourself into Toxic, but it is definitely a solid luring move that I have had good success with. It is also the only time I'd ever suggest even considering Sludge Wave over Bomb (note consider as opposed to use, and Bomb is still generally a better move), because the high poison rate can often get in the way and block you from using Toxic if stuff like Jelli and Gastro come in when you use your Poison-type coverage.

Its nothing amazing, but then again that last moveslot is incredibly filler anyway and my team wanted something that had the utility of catching both fat waters and dragons in one moveslot.
 
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Toxic is perfectly fine. I find there aren't many opportunities where you even get to use Hidden Power, as Steam Eruption is just that stupidly good. Killing a random Gastro/Seis with HP Grass is nice, but Toxic can cripple them already and it has more utility outside of them.

I'm really loving using offensive Grass types like Breloom, Serperior and Mega Sceptile as partners for Volc, since you can get a lot of the benefits of the FWG core in just two team slots. Volc can handle or weaken the Pokes problematic for them like Steels, Dragons, and others Grasses, while the Grass types can clean up and handle the easily destroy the bulky Waters that love switching into Volc, plus act as emergency Ground/Electric absorbers for it.

I'm thinking of trying double Fire offensive cores like Volc + Heatran, Volc + Victini, Volc + Volc, but dealing with hazards and pokes like Terrakion, T-tar, and Garchomp is gonna be a pain.
 
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Gary

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Goodra @ Choice Specs / Expert Belt
Ability: Sap Sipper
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Draco Meteor
- Fire Blast
- Sludge Wave
- Focus Blast / Muddy Water

Please don't hurt me, but I'm honestly being dead serious lol, this thing is REALLY fun to use right now. Goodra is kind of that Pokemon that gets a really bad rap because of how low ladder players think slapping an Assault Vest on it makes it some sort of god, but it's so weak there's no reason to use it outside of Latios, Kyurem-B, etc, and defensively it's outclassed by Mega Latias. However, with Specs, it can take advantage of both its stellar special bulk, solid power, and VERY good coverage, which separates it from the other dragons. While I'd never use this outside of a Volcanion meta, with Volc being so dumb right now, I really like Goodra as an offensive check/switch-in to it because it takes 26% max from Specs Steam Eruption and Specs Draco just straight drops it on the floor. The reason why I even thought of using Goodra in the first place was because I was sick and tired of losing to Volc + T-tar, and while Goodra doesn't like being Pursuited, it can still actually threaten T-tar a lot more than Latios and it doesn't just straight lose to Scarf Pursuit. The current rise in bulky Waters, offensive Electrics, and Grass-types also work in Goodra's favor, as it's able to tank LO HP Ices from Thundy with such ease and repeated Volt Switches from Mega Manectric, and it is immune to Spore from Amoonguss and Breloom as well as Leaf Storm from Serp. Its coverage is so good lol, as it can hit a lot of common Dragon-type switch-ins very hard which is one of its biggest trump cards over other Dragons. Fire Blast roasts Steels, Sludge Wave easily 2HKOs Clef and OHKOes Azu after rocks, and Mega Gard with just a little bit of prior damage. Focus Blast is the best option in the last slot for dealing a ton of damage to Heatran (OHKOs offensive variants) and pimp slapping every common T-tar set. Muddy Water only 2HKOes them but is much more accurate, and it always OHKOs Mega Diancie. Thunderbolt can be used alongside Focus Blast instead of Fire Blast because both of these moves hit most common Steel-types, and T-bolt has the advantage of smacking bulky Waters more reliably, so it's a cool move to use as somewhat of a lure. I used Goodra on a sand team with Exca as my hazard remover, and it worked out really well lol. It also pairs pretty well with Volcanion because it can switch into practically any Electric, Grass, or Water-type. Max Timid is used over Modest for the ability to outspeed positive base 70s like Bish and Loom.

Goodra is by no means a top tier threat now or anything, or even worthy of rising a lot in the VR, because despite its advantages over the Latis and other Dragons it's pretty outclassed, and it's pretty weak to hazards + only somewhat above average SpA is really annoying for it. However, if you play it smart and to its strengths, it can actually preform pretty well. If the Volc hype dies than there's little point in using it, but as long as Volc is on like every team and everyone is spamming answers to it, Goodra is honestly something I wouldn't completely overlook. Give it a try, it's fun.
 
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Well, I feel as though we have gone through the more obvious options in regards to Volcanion so I was experimenting and found that it also makes a great user of Weakness related berries in particular Shuca Berry.

Volcanion @ Shuca Berry
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 152HP / 252 SpA / 104 Spe
Modest Nature
- Steam Eruption
- Fire Blast
- Sludge Bomb / Wave
- Earth Power / Hidden Power Grass

This was the set that got me to the semi-finals of a silly room tour (as it doesnt really mean much) and it put in work every single game. One game I faced a dugtrio who had his sash broken earlier and would've allowed the opponent to win but didn't KO due to shuca, similarly against Garchomp and Landorus-Therian in separate games each of which I revealed me not being scarfed gave them the confidence to try and nail an easy KO against Volcanion but of course Shuca Berry saved the day allowing me to KO both them (the garchomp was already weakened). This set was merely an example as the following calc proves you don't have to run Hp investment to avoid the ko against basically any ground type in OU.

252+ Atk Soft Sand Landorus-T Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Shuca Berry Volcanion: 199-235 (66.1 - 78%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Life Orb Excadrill Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Shuca Berry Volcanion: 207-243 (68.7 - 80.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

I think it's potential as an abuser of these berries will definitely play a factor in its future roles in OU.
 
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Re: Garys post above.

daftmau5 awhile back, idk if it was early oras, like early early or so mentioned a Goodra set with Expert Belt momentarily during idk wtf the discussion was or where. I played starry blanket earlier with the set and its pretty neat just cause offense and fatter teams are kind of strapped for good Serperior counterplay along with Volcanion switch ins. It's the same set gary has just expert belt so yeah give it a try if you want more freedom of choice at the cost of power. I used it on a Mega Diancie build, I figured it paired well with that. Cool stuff.
 

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I've been using BoltBeam Mega Medicham a lot recently and it is just puting in so much more work on a more consistent basis than the dual-priority set recently, which kinda contrasts around 6 months ago and is a really interesting shift to see. I guess its evidence that either the meta is slowing down again and that teams are generally preferring to use other things to feast on offense or that my opponents just really don't expect BoltBeam Medi lol.

Also thirding that Goodra is definitely a lot better than it used to be. With it gaining the ability to tackle Volcanion, as well as providing a nice method of countering Serperior and just generally discouraging the spam of FWG attacks and providing a way of sponging electric-type moves without really fearing HP Ice all in one teamslot is just proving to be a lot more useful than it used to be.
 
I've been using BoltBeam Mega Medicham a lot recently and it is just puting in so much more work on a more consistent basis than the dual-priority set recently, which kinda contrasts around 6 months ago and is a really interesting shift to see.
For real, though. I remember a few months ago where you always had to suspect Mega Medicham was packing both Fake Out and Bullet Punch, but these past few times I've played squads with Medicham they usually only run Fake Out. Diancie really had team builders shook for a minute lol
 
just some observations


BoltBeam Mega Metagross
Metagross @ Metagrossite
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Meteor Mash
- Pursuit / Hammer Arm
- Thunder Punch
- Ice Punch

This is the most common Mega Metagross set I use, with Pursuit being the more flexible slot on most teams, but usually standard on my teams. You can run Zen Headbutt, Grass Knot, Earthquake, etc. I honestly don't really care for Zen Headbutt on Metagross since it only hits a small selection of threats it's other coverage moves can't hit, which branches mostly to Rotom-W and more niche things. The BoltBeam combination is incredibly potent right now, since it gives it the ability to slice through most balance incredibly easily especially those concerning Mega Latias, Skarmory, Defensive Landorus-T, etc. Pursuit is one of the best moves right now since it lets it actually get it's bang for it's buck when you use it as a Lati switch-in, which is incredibly helpful on a bevy of teams. Hammer Arm is for those sticklers who care about being not walled by Ferrothorn, but I'd rather if a teammates did that instead seeing as how it isn't too hard to even lure or beat.


AV Tangrowth
Tangrowth @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
- Leaf Storm
- Earthquake / Shock Wave
- Knock Off
- Hidden Power [Fire]

AV Tangrowth is pretty amazing right now since it just doesn't die. It just won't. The Physically Defense set has gotten a ton of hype for it's insane bulk, but imho AV is still the best overall set. Despite not being heavily invested into it's impressive Defense, it still has the capacity to sponge things like Mega Diancie's Diamond Storm fully invested and it's Rash Moonblast tickles it. It even still expertly checks LO Excadrill and the current shift of more Jolly than Adamant variants only helps it breathe easier. Overall it's an amazing glue for teams that need a multipurpose check to fast electrics, sand, Serperior, Garchomp, Keldeo, etc. while still maintaining nice offensive presence. Hidden Power [Fire] is the usual filler since it makes Mega Scizor think twice about using it as fodder and Ferrothorn gets denied free Stealth Rock / Spikes. Shock Wave is a decent at best filler since it gives you a Fighting chance against ChestoResto Gyarados who could just eat a Leaf Storm and proceed to setup, underrated threat btw.


Stallbreaker Hydreigon
Hydreigon @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 216 HP / 104 SpA / 188 Spe
Modest Nature
- Dark Pulse
- Draco Meteor / Earth Power / Fire Blast
- Roost
- Taunt / Thunder Wave

Hydreigon is awesome, don't ever let anymore tell you different. Instead of posting a generic goon set with Dark Pulse / Flash Cannon / Draco Meteor / Filler, I'm instead posting a spread I created when I saw more potential in Hydreigon than being a mindless attacker. 216 HP gives Hydreigon a Life Orb number as well as a considerable amount of bulk. 188 Spe was invested to outrun Heatran at the most, to deny it Stealth Rock or a quick Toxic, and the rest were simply dumped into SpA to give it a considerable boost in power. Thunder Wave is also a lovely alternative that lets you cripple the few counters Hydreigon has. The way this set is used is for Hydreigon to abuse it's incredible and unique defensive typing to function as a bulky stallbreaker with access to Roost + Taunt and check to things like Mega Manectric, certain Manaphy variants, Mega Gyarados without Ice Fang, etc. I find it a waste to make use of Hydreigon's awkward Speed tier, while the true beauty of it is in the vast utility it can bring to a team. And for the record, Choice Scarf variants are usually not worth the team slot enough if you want to improve your matchup against offense. Being locked into Draco Meteor / Dark Pulse is really suboptimal since it forces you out a ton right now and Terrakion getting a free +1 since you're locked into Dark Pulse means you practically lose the game, please don't use it. Offensive variants beside the one I provided are still a-okay.


Stallbreaker Jellicent
Jellicent @ Colbur Berry
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 248 HP / 172 SpD / 88 Spe
Calm Nature
- Scald
- Taunt
- Will-O-Wisp / Toxic
- Recover

Jellicent has really started to receive recognition as a pretty hard counter to Volcanion. The set I provided is a standard Stallbreaker set that I received from gamer boy,which gives your Jellicent a pretty spectacular matchup against stall while being able to "burn" Sableye with Scald. A Colbur Berry is a nice item for it, especially since most Volcanion squads are packing a Pursuit Trapper and a Colbur Berry allows Jellicent to take an unboosted Pursuit with ease and retaliate with Will-O-Wisp to render them useless. Toxic is an option however, if you'd rather have some shape or form of damage to inflict on Volcanion, otherwise it's a stalemate between the two.


Calm Mind Mega Latias
Latias @ Latiasite
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Surf
- Stored Power
- Calm Mind
- Roost

Calm Mind Mega Latias is by far my favorite set to use. I originally saw this set from a few teams p2 posted around on the forums, and I have to say it intrigued me. After formulating a team around it, it put in but the finest work. Surf is for being able to break past Heatran, Tyranitar, and other Steel / Dark-types not named Ferrothorn relatively early game without being forced to accumulate boosts from Calm Mind. Stored Power becomes a monstrously strong move after but a few boosts, allowing it to blow past a multitude of teams after their best checks towards it have been weakened or eliminated. Thunder Wave sets are pretty pitiful imo, since they don't use Mega Latias to it's full potential as a Calm Mind set or even Reflect Type would be. If you wanted a Thunder Wave spreader there are tons of other options you could use, even Latios could pull it off.
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My final observation is that bulky offense is truly the best playstyle right now without a doubt. It has the absolute best matchup against a large variety of teams, more so than what stall or balance can secure. Reason being bulky offense maintains offense presence while utilizing relatively bulky pivots that either hit rather hard or offers methods of momentum through U-Turn, Volt Switch, and Baton Pass. They also give you some kind of countermeasure to the vast amount of threats in ORAS, so vast they realistically can't be covered in only 6 teamslots, there's always going to be something that gives you a hard time, which generally gets the best of stall and more passive balance builds. Before I go further however, make note of how I said countermeasure and not check / counter. There's no way you can counter each and everything in the entire metagame, but without countermeasures you can always manage most threats to your team without being a direct check or counter. A great example being Specs Hoopa-U before it's ban. Offensive teams had no switch-in whatsoever towards it, but they usually had sufficient counter measures which usually equated towards priority, faster Pokemon, Pursuit, etc. Going on, bulky offense also maintains enough offensive prescecne where the threats they can't handle defensively are able to be managed offensively and vice versa. Hyper offense is about maintaining constant pressure on opposing archetypes, which leaves a ton of them at the "mercy" of the power that most HO teams pack as eventually balance or stall will end up toppling over, in other words "If you keep pounding at a brick wall, eventually it will fall." But the flaw with HO is that it's *somewhat* matchup dependent, especially against other offensive teams as their own pressure can outweigh the pressure they exert themselves or in the case bulky offense, be absorbed by pivots such as Slowbro, Heatran, Mega Latias, etc who all still exert pressure one way or another.

In a ranking of playstyles in my mind i'd go like this: bulky offense -> hyper offense -> balance -> stall
It's rather subjective since some may say that balance is better than hyper offense, stall is better than balance, etc. and I guess I could say this is more ranked by popularity than which is better, but I believe it's somewhat accurate.

tl:dr - I've been saying this for quite some time now, but bulky offense is the absolute best offense for consistency.
 
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