Metagame Partners in Crime

Partners in Crime
(Special thanks to Snaquaza for coming up with the idea and letting me take over this meta!)








partners.png





Banner by AmirAlexander !!!


Welcome to this metagame! This is a metagame based on Doubles OU, but with a twist! The concept was that you "share" your moves and abilities with your partner. This means that you can use your partners moves (aka, eight moves will show up in the selection screen). Additionally, the ability of your current partner will affect you. Say you have a Heatran and a Cresselia in the field, both of them experience Flash Fire and Levitate effects, but if you switch out Cresselia for Nidoking, Heatran loses the Levitate effect and "gains" Sheer Force instead. This means that you can get powerful combinations, but you need to be both skilled at teambuilding and at playing. You need to make sure your team can benefit from each other and has good synergy during teambuilding, however you need to plan ahead while playing to make sure you can get the combinations you want on the field together, so you can sweep.

Banlist: Standard Doubles OU Banlist, Huge Power, Pure Power, Wonder Guard, Shadow Tag, Normalize, Trace, Imposter, Transform, Arctovish, Arctozolt, Dracovish, and Dracozolt.
Unbanlist: Nothing as of now.
Clauses: Pokemon, Standard Doubles, Team Preview.

FAQ
What happens if Gastro Acid, Skill Swap, Entrainment or any similar move is used?
Since you don't actually have your partner's ability, your normal abilities will be taken into account. This means that the partner's ability is totally unaffected.

What about Trace?
Due to an issue with coding, this is banned.

What if the two Pokemon have the same ability?
The ability won't stack, and thus nothing special will happen.

What happens if both Pokemon know the same move?
It will only appear once.

How do Transform and Imposter work?
Due to an issue with coding, both of these were banned.

How do Mimic, Mirror Move, etc. work?
They will copy the move regardless of whether the original Pokemon or partner used it.

What happens when abilities overlap? (eg. Refrigerate and Pixilate)
Effects are applied in a random order.

What happens when your partner switches out?
You may not use a move of your partner when it switches out. Whether you use the ability of the partner depends on whether it takes effect before or after switching. Turn order is determined before switching, so if your partner has Prankster, it will take effect, but if it has Tough Claws it will (likely, unless you're using Pursuit) be after switching, so it won't work. It works similarly with the new partner switching in.

What happens with abilities that work upon switching in?
They'll only take effect on a partner if a Pokemon with one of these abilities (Intimidate, Sand Stream, etc.) in on the field and a new partner switches in.

What happens when your partner faints?
After your partner faints, it's abilities will be nullified, but you can still use its move if you chose to use a move of your partner that particular turn. Afterwards you can't use its moves anymore.

What happens when you only have one Pokemon left?
Then you'll only have one ability in effect and only be able to use your own moves.


Strategy Ideas





:ss/arctozolt:




The new fossils have great new moves in Fishious Rend and Bolt Beak, which could be very beneficial in this metagame since many Pokemon can benefit from them. They may not be that good in standard doubles, but they'll definitely be more useful here!




:ss/hydreigon:



In general, immunity abilities have become even better, since you can protect your partner with them as well. Predict an Earthquake? Switch in Hydreigon and neither 'mon will be hit. Think that Gyarados is going to use waterfall, go gastrodon!



Of course, there are many more good strategies and there are even combinations of abilities that could be great when you play well and are able to combine them reliably! Luckily there's a lot to discuss, so go ahead and have fun.

Co-leader: Pigeons
Council: berry
 
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Geysers

Come to AG! We have cookies.
is a Pre-Contributor
I think we can post now? If we can’t I’m really sorry. First thoughts: the fossils are going to be utterly broken. The ability to pass absurdly powerful moves to fast pokemon like Barraskewda and Gyarados has the potential to be incredibly unbalancing. I’m also concerned about the potential effects that something like a shell smash mon + dracovish could have, allowing vish to become almost unstoppable. The existence of immunity abilities, however, could help to defeat this sort of gimmick, although I could still see it being super oppressive in the teambuilder. The ability to give something like Dracovish strong grass moves could allow it to muscle through potential checks like Gastrodon and Seismitoad. This meta was super cool in gen7, and I’m really glad to see it back!
 
If I remember correctly from last gen, Intimidate was even more powerful than it is in regular doubles, since it activated twice every time something with it got sent out. The FAQ makes it sound like it works a bit differently now, but it's very likely to still be a dominating force. To make things more interesting, this gen introduced some new ways to counteract Intimidate. In addition to the usual Defiant, Competitive, and Contrary, we have:
  • Inner Focus (also useful for shutting down Fake Out)
  • Oblivious
  • Scrappy
  • Own Tempo
  • Rattled
Unfortunately, many of these Pokemon either have other enticing abilities options or are just bad. Rattled is a very interesting ability though, as instead of ignoring Intimidate like the others, it grants a speed boost. This means it can potentially be combined with Defiant or Competitive to provide both your Pokemon with speed and power boosts every time Intimidate activates.
 
Oh cool, Partners in Crime has launched.

:sm/glalie: :sm/octillery:
you fools you have unleashed their wrath
(Moody isn't banned in Doubles OU and I checked its banlist, so Moody will be allowed in Partners in Crime. Oh god)

:ss/dracovish: :ss/dracozolt:
Also rather than suggesting a ban on Dracovish and Dracozolt, I suggest quickbanning Fishious Rend and Bolt Beak instead. In addition to Zeraora and Swift Swim Seismitoad, Gen 8 has changed the speed mechanic so that any speed changes will apply in mid-turn, allowing anyone with at least usable attack stat to abuse those moves. Imagine Mew using Bolt Beak because you will as it has 100 Attack and Speed on top of Tailwind. Even with Draco banned, Arctovish and Arctozolt can easily fill their spot, with the extra benefit of being slow enough for trick room. Forcing to use Gastrodon and Rhyperior doesn't seem good enough to check, with the latter being utterly crushed by Fishious Rend too.

As for not as broken stuff...
:sm/blastoise:
Now that Blastoise learns Shell Smash, it can share this move to its teammate. Additionally, Blastoise provides momentum to work around with Fake Out and Follow Me. Essentially, Blastoise can fill the spot for Smeargle who isn't in SwSh. If you're feeling drowsy and not wanting a Scald, Blastoise can run Yawn.

:sm/excadrill:
Sadly Kyurem Black has left us, so in its place is Excadrill. Sand Rush is great and all, but Mold Breaker is even more important in Partners in Crime which allows its teammate to bypass Magic Bounce and type immunity abilities. Excadrill also now gets High Horsepower which actually hits harder than Earthquake most of the time since spread move gets its power reduced by 25%.

:ss/dragapult: :ss/corviknight:
The best way to block Intimidate is to use those two guys (which was better than using Metagross who loses it by Mega Evolving), Dragapult and Corviknight. Dragapult has Clear Body to block all stats drop on top of its blazing speed whereas Corviknight's Mirror Armor reflects Intimidate's drop to its foes as well as sharing its ability to Corviknight's teammate. I do think that Tailwind could be Corviknight's best set though.

:ss/weezing-galar:
Want to block status? Here's Galarian Weezing with its Misty Surge. Don't have high hopes for it considering how more offensively-oriented it will be, just a suggestion. We probably would use Neutralizing Gas anyway to check weather speed or type immunity abilities.
 
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drampa's grandpa

#BlackLivesMatter
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Something that should have been noticed during submissions...

DOU clauses state "A Pokémon may not carry Recycle and hold a Leppa Berry in conjunction with Heal Pulse and Moonlight, Morning Sun, Recover, Roost, Slack Off, Soft-Boiled, or Wish."

Here this should be modified to be team based: a Pokemon may not hold a Leppa Berry while the team has Self-recovery, Heal Pulse, and Recycle.

Also standard DOU clauses with the same goal: "A Pokémon may not hold a Leppa Berry while carrying Recycle and Pain Split.
A Pokémon may not hold a Leppa Berry while carrying Recycle and Fling."

Here this should be modified to be team based: a Pokemon may not hold a Leppa Berry while the team has Recycle + Pain Split or Fling

Essentially: make sure Endless Battle Clause works because otherwise Pigeons will exploit it.

in other news
:ss/shiinotic:
Shiinotic @ Aguav Berry
Ability: Effect Spore
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Spore
- Strength Sap
- Nature Power
- Protect

:ss/grimmsnarl:
Grimmsnarl (M) @ Light Clay
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Light Screen
- Reflect
- Spirit Break
- Fake Out

I have no idea if this is optimal, but it seems like a neat combo, possibly for a lead pair. Grimm gives screens and Prankster, Shiinotic gives Spore, and Doubles has no Sleep Clause. >:)
 
in other news
:ss/shiinotic:
Shiinotic @ Aguav Berry
Ability: Effect Spore
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Spore
- Strength Sap
- Nature Power
- Protect

:ss/grimmsnarl:
Grimmsnarl (M) @ Light Clay
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Light Screen
- Reflect
- Spirit Break
- Fake Out

I have no idea if this is optimal, but it seems like a neat combo, possibly for a lead pair. Grimm gives screens and Prankster, Shiinotic gives Spore, and Doubles has no Sleep Clause. >:)
Hang on a second, let me take some goggles real quick...
1589606252293.png

There we go, now I will never lose to Spore or Sleep Powder anymore >:)
 
Since nobody wants to test water with me, I decided to do it myself >:/
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/trashchannel-gen8partnersincrimebeta-1786

In this replay, it showcased that Mirror Armor prevented Incineroar from switching out with Parting Shot when it supposed to allow it to. Unless there's some wild interaction going on here.

EDIT: Nope, I tried Defiant Obstagoon with Parting Shot on Corviknight, Defiant's boosts activate but it still allows Obstagoon to switch out.

Additionally, the clauses weren't implemented correctly, not sure about Sleep Clause, but there's Swagger Clause which isn't supposed to be here in Gen 8 Doubles OU and no Dynamax Clause which means Dynamax is allowed. My guess is that it inherited Gen 7 PiC's banlist.
 
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Ugh, Levitate is a good ability, but that Mold Breaker is going to be insane. Hold on, would Neutralizing Gas cancel out Mold Breaker? Or would it just screw up everyone itself?
 

CringeMeta

formerly We Wuz Nidokangz
Since nobody wants to test water with me, I decided to do it myself >:/
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/trashchannel-gen8partnersincrimebeta-1786

In this replay, it showcased that Mirror Armor prevented Incineroar from switching out with Parting Shot when it supposed to allow it to. Unless there's some wild interaction going on here.

EDIT: Nope, I tried Defiant Obstagoon with Parting Shot on Corviknight, Defiant's boosts activate but it still allows Obstagoon to switch out.

Additionally, the clauses weren't implemented correctly, not sure about Sleep Clause, but there's Swagger Clause which isn't supposed to be here in Gen 8 Doubles OU and no Dynamax Clause which means Dynamax is allowed. My guess is that it inherited Gen 7 PiC's banlist.
Oh...

I should say that this is an unofficial implementation of Gen 8 PiC that wasn't commissioned or authorized by the OM's council (it actually predates this topic, which I only just heard about). I mainly updated it so that I could play Partners in Crime: Hackmons Cup again...

I am sure some abilities won't work properly (not just new abilities*, it is likely degraded overall since Gen 7, as the mechanism previously used to reliably implement multi-ability metas was removed due to a major engine change in Showdown), and I can't recommend it as being robust enough to test the meta properly, even with tour code changes to match the official clauses and bans.

However, I'm glad to see PiC get an official pretense again this gen, and I would like to improve this implementation at some point by ripping off Shared Power (I will at least put the proper rules in when I can safely update).

* Mirror Armor specifically is, like Trace, by its nature highly likely to create technical problems in multi-ability metas. (It was banned for technical reasons in Shared Power.)

Ugh, Levitate is a good ability, but that Mold Breaker is going to be insane. Hold on, would Neutralizing Gas cancel out Mold Breaker? Or would it just screw up everyone itself?
Mold Breaker is disabled like other abilities under the effects of Neutralizing Gas.
 
It has been some time since DLC 1 has been released, so I might as well review some Pokemon that I think will be good for Partners in Crime.

:blastoise: :excadrill:
My opinion hasn't changed for them so far. To recap, Blastoise could allow its ally to use Shell Smash while supporting them with Fake Out and Follow Me and Excadrill being the only good Mold Breaker user. The only thing change was Blastoise getting Flip Turn to switch out.

:melmetal:
Overmelming beyond belief. In addition to all the fantastic qualities it has, Melmetal will love getting abilities like Levitate or Sheer Force and any physical attacker will love having Double Iron Bash. There's no reason why not to quick-ban it.

:weezing-galar:
Now I will eat my words for thinking it won't be good in early SwSh, because Neutralizing Gas is a busted ability. Not only does it shuts down abilities, but it also activates ability back as soon as it switches out, giving you full control over what you can do with the opponent struggling to get rid of Weezing. It is difficult than it sounds with not many viable Steel- and Ground-type Pokemon out there and with how reliant on ability Partners in Crime is. I say it might be best to test the water once it's available on the main server rather than quick-banning it because I think it might be too rash, though I won't be surprised if Neutralizing Gas gets banned.

:politoed: :kingdra: :poliwrath:
Rain teams will be more powerful with any speed changes will now be applied on mid-turn rather than at the start of the turn, which allows them to wreak havoc as soon as the weather setter switches in provided that it has been override by other weather already. I feel like rain team would be too overwhelming to handle without Neutralizing Gas or Storm Drain, but only time will tell.

:cinderace:
If you know anything about Greninja before, then Cinderace will act as its replacement. While it was broken like everyone with max airstream excellent in a Dynamax format, it leaves more than desirable when that's banned. However, in Partners in Crime, allowing its ally to changes its type when using a move with Libero is enough to make Cinderace a fantastic choice there. Considering Cinderace's relatively low bulk (something that Greninja also suffers), it's best to take advantage of Libero while it lasts.

:rillaboom:
Grassy Surge has done wonders to Rillaboom, in addition to having Fake Out, Knock Off and U-turn, Grassy Glide acts as a powerful priority move when there's Grassy Terrain, allowing any physical attacker to pick up any faster threat that's weak to Grass.

:urshifu:
Urshifu's Choice Band set is so powerful that it's not funny. I suppose you have Intimidate, but since Wicked Blow always results in a critical hit, this isn't good news for anyone that doesn't resist Dark. If you hate Incineroar that much, you can go for Rapid Strike who hits it super effectively with Surging Strikes, though Rapid Strike is more prone to being walled by Water- and Grass-type.

also ban moody please, I lost but it's nonetheless dumb don't let Mark K whine about unironically using broken Clefable
 
:ss/sylveon:
Sylveon @ Pixie Plate
Ability: Pixilate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Mystical Fire
- Helping Hand
- Substitute
- Calm Mind
:ss/toxtricity:
Toxtricity @ Expert Belt
Ability: Punk Rock
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Boomburst
- Shift Gear
- Stored Power
- Protect
sylveon can get boomburst, and it can be boosted by helping hand, pixilate, punk rock, and pixie plate. looks scary.
 
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I think Download could be quite strong, as you basically have a 50% chance to get a free +1 in your attacking stat. Moreover, now that the DLC's out, we have Genesect. I have no idea how good Genesect is in Doubles as mythicals are banned in VGC, but it hits hard and can also take hits reasonably well. Anyhow, here's the set that I've theorymonned to pair with Nidoking (also it's shiny to bluff ESpeed):

Genesect @ Life Orb
Ability: Download
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Flamethrower
- Flash Cannon
- U-turn
 
:swsh/perrserker:
Let's talk Perrserker for a sec. Steely Spirit, specifically! It provides a 50% boost to both the user's and ally's steel type moves. Applying it twice means that Perrserker's ally (along with Perrserker itself) get a 2.25x boost to its steel moves before other modifiers such as STAB come into play. And let's also remember that Doubles OU allows Dynamaxing, so we can have something like... this.

252+ Atk Steely Spirit Perrserker Helping Hand Max Steelspike (Iron Head) vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Bronzong: 165-195 (48.8 - 57.6%) -- 96.9% chance to 2HKO

Using Helping Hand as a stand-in for the second Steely Spirit on the damage calculator, since there's no actual option for that. Were Bronzong not resistant to Steel, this is very likely a KO right here. And this is before we even account for what ability the ally passes on.

Good thing there's no Steelworker or Adaptability or like to boost this tough cat further, right?

:swsh/dhelmise::swsh/crawdaunt:
...Oh, right, we have them. (Admittedly, Crawdaunt doesn't have steel besides Metal Claw... )

Even besides Pokémon who use Adaptability and Dhelmise or boosting Perrserker, there's a good number of Pokémon who like having steel type coverage via Iron Head (Like, say, users of the Sheer Force Life Orb combo, since latter's recoil is cancelled on Iron Head). But when you pump it up to getting double STAB on the thing... Well, it's potentially even better than your actual STAB is.

Of course, all of this also involves actually handing a team slot over to Perrserker when you could use something else, so consider it as you will.

it also involves the metagame being alive but this lived in my head until i typed it out here
 
I'd like to mention something that is probably not good, but offers perhaps the most interesting teambuilding of any pokemon in partners in crime; Klinklang. It is unique for 3 things that would be worthless in any other meta, but is potentially good here; Plus, Magnetic Flux, and Gear Up.
Plus raises the users special attack by 1.5 if an active ally has it, which is always in this meta, while Magnetic Flux raises the defense and special defense of the user and its ally by 1 stage, and Gear Up does the same for attack and special attack. In theory, while passively boosting the special attack of its ally, it can give defensive or offensive boosts to itself and its ally.
On top of that, it has an extremely solid support movepool. Just some options are;
-Gear Grind
-Shift Gear
-Discharge (If using Lightningrod or Volt Absorb)
-Trick Room
-Volt Switch
-Ally Switch
-Rising Voltage
-Gravity
-Thunder Wave
-Steel Beam
-Steel Roller
With a serviceable 60/115/85 defensive spread and a wide array of support options, including some unique to it, Klinklang could be not bad in this meta. Could be way off though, I played with stall in this meta last gen for some reason.
 
I think Download could be quite strong, as you basically have a 50% chance to get a free +1 in your attacking stat. Moreover, now that the DLC's out, we have Genesect. I have no idea how good Genesect is in Doubles as mythicals are banned in VGC, but it hits hard and can also take hits reasonably well. Anyhow, here's the set that I've theorymonned to pair with Nidoking (also it's shiny to bluff ESpeed):

Genesect @ Life Orb
Ability: Download
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Flamethrower
- Flash Cannon
- U-turn
Landorus-Incarnate is allowed in Doubles, so you could use that instead of Nidoking unless you precisely want STAB from Sludge Bomb, which still can be accomplished with Cinderace.

And let's also remember that Doubles OU allows Dynamaxing, so we can have something like... this.

252+ Atk Steely Spirit Perrserker Helping Hand Max Steelspike (Iron Head) vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Bronzong: 165-195 (48.8 - 57.6%) -- 96.9% chance to 2HKO

Using Helping Hand as a stand-in for the second Steely Spirit on the damage calculator, since there's no actual option for that. Were Bronzong not resistant to Steel, this is very likely a KO right here. And this is before we even account for what ability the ally passes on.
Dynamax has been banned in Doubles OU since April. Since Partner In Crime came out after that time, the ban is carried over. I would rather not imagine what Partners In Crime looks like with Dynamax allowed.

:swsh/dhelmise::swsh/crawdaunt:
...Oh, right, we have them. (Admittedly, Crawdaunt doesn't have steel besides Metal Claw... )

Even besides Pokémon who use Adaptability and Dhelmise or boosting Perrserker, there's a good number of Pokémon who like having steel type coverage via Iron Head (Like, say, users of the Sheer Force Life Orb combo, since latter's recoil is cancelled on Iron Head). But when you pump it up to getting double STAB on the thing... Well, it's potentially even better than your actual STAB is.

Of course, all of this also involves actually handing a team slot over to Perrserker when you could use something else, so consider it as you will.
That being said, I don't think the combo you suggest would realistically work. Neither of them learns Trick Room or any priority move besides Fake Out from Perrserker or Aqua Jet from Crawdaunt, unless you set up Trick Room before, they're going to get demolished before they can hit. I also don't think Crawdaunt would be good because of Rillaboom.
 
The OP links to the Gen 7 Doubles OU rules; it should link here instead. I also wonder whether it would make sense to swap out their Gravity Sleep Clause for the standard sleep clause, since PiC has more options for effective sleep spreading (No Guard comes to mind). Anyways, some thoughts:


Blastoise already had a useful support movepool (Fake Out and Follow Me in particular), but with the addition of Shell Smash, I can see it showing up on a lot of aggressive teams. Shame it doesn't have a good ability.


Now that Kommo-O's omniboosting has been changed from a Z-move to a status move (Clangorous Soul), it can be shared with allies. Simple Swoobat comes to mind as a high-upside partner, but there are probably safer options. Kommo-O's Soundproof should also be helpful vs. opposing Boomburst spam.


With all the abilities that now gimp Intimidate (Scrappy, Oblivious, Own Tempo, Inner Focus), on top of the already-existing Defiant, Competitive, Contrary, and Clear Body, I think most teams that could potentially have trouble with it are going to have room for dedicated counterplay. Incineroar and Landorus-Therian should still be viable, since they're generically strong Pokemon, but I wouldn't exactly rush to put Scrafty or Hitmontop on your team.


The terrain game looks like it'll shape up a lot differently this gen. Expanding Force and Rising Voltage spam look promising, but you're suddenly doing a lot less damage if your opponent switches in their Rillaboom. Meanwhile, have fun switching any of the Tapus into Grassy Glide. If your sweepers can't take two of those to the face, you'll probably need a Plan B.
 

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