PiC Partners in Crime

Petition to ban Dancer, there are way to many broken setups with this. Example: Chi-Yu + Oricorio. Oricorio uses Quiver Dance. Chi-Yu also Quiver Dances without wasting a turn. Now you think: "Now I can fake out the Oricorio!" Sike, Oricorio is running Covert Cloak, essentially wasting a turn on your part and now you are basically just fucked 95% of the time, with no chance of parole. Also there are way too many good dance moves(Aqua Step, Quiver Dance, Swords Dance)


Huh? Me? Not this time...
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:sv/Oricorio: :sv/Oricorio-Sensu: :sv/Oricorio-Pom-Pom: :sv/Oricorio-Pau:
I think it's time to address the elephant in the room: Dancer. Since the ladder went live, Dancer is by far the most used archetype and it's pretty easy to see why. Oricorio gaining Quiver Dance in Scarlet/Violet makes it a self-contained Dancer + Quiver Dance user, unlike its previous generations where it needed a Quiver Dance user next to it like Volcarona or Lilligant. With so many teams involving the dancing birds, we feel the need to talk about our thoughts on the team, potential counterplay to the gameplan, and just some general tiering thoughts.

Why haven't we taken any action yet?
I staunchly believe that high usage doesn't indicate something being too broken to be played against. During our testing of the meta before we won LCotM, we found Dancer to not be a huge problem overall. A bit of this is down to us looking at other teams, and a bit of this is just down to other big threats taking precedence on our watchlist (see the prior ban posts involving Revival Blessing, Flutter Mane, and Baton Pass). But, I also think a bit of this is down to the winrates of some of our tested teams into the archetype and us not initially deeming this a problem. Dancer came up in a discussion, with the consensus being that we should wait to see how counterplay evolves before taking action against it.

The Dancers
Oricorio's real drawback lies in its stats. Its stats are overall lackluster, and without an amazing Speed stat, it means the team does need to use at least one turn to get the engine running. We think this is at least a decent opening into Dancer teams. We also find that the teams are a little linear, with almost all of the Oricorio doing the same thing, which gives you a lot more flexibility in the builder to decide how you want to play around the team.

Oricorio-Pom-Pom @ Covert Cloak / Ability Shield
Ability: Dancer
Tera Type: Fairy / Ghost
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Quiver Dance
- Revelation Dance
- Hurricane
- Protect

Oricorio-Sensu @ Focus Sash / Ability Shield
Ability: Dancer
Tera Type: Dark
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Quiver Dance
- Revelation Dance
- Hurricane
- Protect

Given pretty much every Oricorio is going to look like this, you can easily start to plan this matchup before you even get to play against it. Oricorio-Pom-Pom is generally preferred due to its typing not clashing too heavily with teammates and its Electric-typing being relevant for hitting Water-types that common partners like Gholdengo and Chi-Yu would otherwise struggle to hit. It generally likes to hold a Covert Cloak in order to avoid Fake Out as well as minor things such as Snarl. Oricorio-Sensu allows it to hold a different item, as it has a built-in Fake Out immunity; however, it is forced to run a Dark type Tera in order to not be too disrupted by Follow Me Indeedee-F when it does want to attack.

It's true that often Dancer teams only need to find the time to get in a single Quiver Dance to start dealing some significant damage, especially when paired with the likes of Chi-Yu and Booster Energy Iron Bundle. This turn of required setup that actually leaves the Dancers a little bit exposed. Against sun, common Tailwind users like Salamence, Roaring Moon, and Jumpluff get a much-needed turn to set up Tailwind, or they can simply find a line with Chlorophyll. Against Trick Room, seeing Indeedee-F and Armarouge use Follow Me + Trick Room can be brutal, forcing the Dancer team to slow its plans down else allow Trick Room to go up. Against dual screens Annihilape balance, Ting-Lu can phaze Oricorio and Grimmsnarl can use dual screens and Parting Shot to disrupt the opponent. That all being said, play must still be fairly precise in order to not allow the Dancer team to take over the game, but with enough practice and planning, the matchup ends up being fairly manageable.

Counterplay Ideas
:sv/Chien-Pao: :sv/Palafin: :sv/Murkrow:

Haze users are capable of shutting down most of the big setup ideas in the current meta, Dancer included. Of course, Murkrow is the most potent of these thanks to Prankster and its deep supportive moveset, but Palafin and Chien-Pao have been known to bring it as well. Resetting the Dancer boosts forces them to find extra time to actually use Quiver Dance again, which can be tough as you start to apply pressure with other tools such as Tailwind, Taunt, or just simply having one of the biggest attackers in the meta.

:sv/Amoonguss: :sv/Torkoal: :sv/Armarouge:
Clear Smog:
Slightly less potent, Clear Smog follows the same idea of resetting the opposing Pokemon's stats. And, handily enough, all of these Pokemon are mainstays on Trick Room teams, which happen to have naturally good matchups into a lot of Dancer ideas.

:sv/Dondozo: :sv/Skeledirge:
One of the staple abilities in Generation 8, Unaware remains a fairly good ability despite the lack of Clefable. Dondozo is already a really great threat in the current metagame, and ignoring the boosts from the Dancers gives it a good shot to pick up a KO with its increased stats while next to Tatsugiri. Skeledirge is a piece that hasn't been explored as much, but still poses some practical problems to the metagame with its diversity of sets, Torch Song, and some good moves for longevity in Will-O-Wisp and Slack Off.

Skill Swap:
Sableye has seen a small amount of usage so far, with it being the only Prankster Pokemon with Skill Swap. There is nothing worse for the Dancer team than having its ability stolen, and then inadvertently boosting the opposing Pokemon. This choice is a fair bit less potent overall, as Dancer teams naturally incorporate Pokemon like Gholdengo, but with good positioning it can catch the opponent off guard.

:sv/Chi-Yu: :sv/Iron Bundle:
Fast strong attackers:
As previously mentioned, Oricorio's lacking stats leave it vulnerable to a lot of threats that are faster than it. Chi-Yu and Iron Bundle pose serious problems to a lot of the Dancer teams thanks to their type coverage and Beads of Ruin making their attacks sting a lot more. This forces a lot more defensive plays from the Dancer teams, or leads to them taking significantly more risks to make the plan work.

Dancer Team Innovations
:sv/Farigiraf: :sv/Gholdengo:
Farigiraf and Gholdengo have been mainstays of the Dancer team since the start of the metagame. Gholdengo loves receiving a Quiver Dance boost, allowing it to constantly put up good pressure with Make It Rain. Farigiraf serves as a great answer to priority spam, allowing the Speed boosts from Quiver Dance to actually be felt in the game. Both Pokemon can also help in blocking common disruption ideas like Prankster Spore, Taunt, and Whirlwind.

:sv/Volcarona: :sv/Vivillon:
Dancer teams always need a backup plan, no matter how sure they are that they can get things working. Both of these Pokemon provide redirection and their own Quiver Dance, allowing for good setup ideas even without Oricorio on the field. They can also be used for extra utility such as Tailwind and Sleep Powder in the case of Vivillon. Friend Guard from Vivillon and Flame Body from Volcarona help to make up for any lacking bulk.

Covert Cloak and Ability Shield are weirdly mainstay items for the birds and their partners. Avoiding the flinch from Fake Out is a big deal for Oricorio, as it always wants to set up immediately. Ability Shield on Farigiraf means that not even Mold Breaker Tinkaton flinch, allowing safety for already set-up partners or non-Covert Cloak Oricorio. Oricorio-Sensu can even choose to hold an Ability Shield to deny any attempts of Skill Swap.

What We Don't Recommend
The main idea we recommend avoiding is using a mixed Dancer team.
:sv/Quaquaval: :sv/Dragonite:
It's tempting to run Quaquaval, as Aqua Step is a decent Dance move and both it and Oricorio have Swords Dance. But, this often leaves teams a bit more susceptible to Intimidate from Arcanine and Salamence, and it means that Oricorio often needs to make a tough choice as to which gameplan it really wants to follow in that game. Without proper setup, Dancer ideas can actually be mostly ignored due to how weak Oricorio is otherwise. Dragonite's Dragon Dance feels like it'd be intuitive as it boosts offenses and Speed just like Quiver Dance. While I think this is a slight improvement, as Inner Focus blocks Intimidate and flinches, it's still less-than-ideal due to the amount of progress lost if it goes down.

Is Dancer insanely popular? Yes. Has it been brought up to us a bunch of times? Yes. Is it clearly the most used archetype on the ladder? You bet. But is it unbeatable? Only if you let it be. As discussed, we believe a lot of the major archetypes have good counterplay or just frankly decent enough matchups into the team that allow you to beat it. There are also a myriad of potential counterplay options that can be baked into every team, and these should be utilised as this is a common matchup. You wouldn't go into a matchup with zero clue how to beat Psyspam, Sun or Trick Room, so why go without a Dancer check when it is so popular? We'd need to see if it so omnipresent, even after more conscious building into the team and more counterplay options being used, before we can even think about banning the ability outright. If there are any further questions, feel free to talk to one of the council members or leave a question in this thread, I'm sure we can get to it!
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Sorry to interrupt this serious discussion. Just wanted to drop in and say that Defiant Annihilape + Intimidate Stantler with Skill Swap is a pretty fun gimmick to try out. You can disrupt your opponent's strategy while also giving your Annihilape a +2 boost, on top of the double Intimidate you throw off on entry.

EDIT: Oooh, Top 20 babyyyyyy
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Sorry to interrupt this serious discussion. Just wanted to drop in and say that Defiant Annihilape + Intimidate Stantler with Skill Swap is a pretty fun gimmick to try out. You can disrupt your opponent's strategy while also giving your Annihilape a +2 boost, on top of the double Intimidate you throw off on entry.

EDIT: Oooh, Top 20 babyyyyyy
Since my favorite Partners in Crime gimmick has been raised here, I'd like to throw my version out to the public. Stantler also makes a very good buddy with Kilowattrel and its ability, Competitive. Add an Adrenline Orb into the mix, and the bird can have +4 Special Attack and +1 Speed from the intimidate you give the opponent. Pretty scary on turn 1.

Arguably more specialised the Annihilape, since Annihilape is probably the better mon in a vacuum, but Kilowattrel does get to share Tailwind with its teammate too.


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The council has decided to look at Dancer again after round 1 of the tournament, we have now discovered that it should be banned!

:sv/Oricorio-Pom-Pom: :sv/Oricorio-Sensu:

While Dancer is not unbeatable, it has nearly spiraled out of control despite an earlier post describing how to circumvent it. Meanwhile, Dancer has amassed plenty of tricks up its sleeve to beat its counterplay. Trick Room can be dodged or reverted with imprisonroom Farigiraf or Indeedee-F, which also gives priority immunity, and Skill Swap also can be countered with the Ability Shield or Gholdengo, which already loves to be on Dancer teams thanks to its natural properties and its ability being used to beat Taunt and Thunder Wave. Dancer also forces some 50/50's because either Pokemon can protect and still have an action because its ally can click Quiver Dance or Revelation Dance, activating the ability behind a shield. What's even more annoying is how volatile Dancer can be, as any misplay by the opponent can end up sealing their fate against a good dancer team because the snowball can go from 0 to 1000 in less than a second. This more or less forces our hand to ban Dancer in order to improve the health of the metagame going forward, as so many teams seem to struggle against dancer already.

Tagging Kris to implement, thanks!
:toxtricity-low-key: Trick Room Tricks :toedscruel:

Trick Room is a powerful strategy in doubles, and it's especially effective in PiC when both mons on the field can set Trick Room. I experimented a bit and came up with some effective cores to set and take advantage of Trick Room.

:toedscruel: + :grimmsnarl:

Prankster Toedscruel is my favorite lead for Trick Room. Disruption like Fake Out and priority Spore can give you the time to be greedy and set up both Screens and Trick Room. Spore is especially nasty versus unprepared teams -- there is no sleep clause in doubles, and Mycelium Might hits through abilities like Magic Bounce, Armor Tail, and Good as Gold. After you've set up, these support mons can Parting Shot out to your sweepers.

:toxtricity-low-key: + :gastrodon:

This one might look strange, but PiC veterans know how strong Minus and Surf + Storm Drain is. Basically, this core spams spread moves while setting up. By clicking Surf with Storm Drain out, you deal damage to both enemies while boosting your partner. Minus is simply one of the best PiC abilities and I don't know why I haven't seen more of it: it gives both active mons a 1.5x SpA boost. This stacks on top of Storm Drain boosts, so things can quickly get very out of hand. For longevity, Magnetic Flux boosts both active Pokemon's defenses. This combo is especially oppressive behind Screens.

:indeedee-f: + :armarouge:

Not much to say about this one, it's seen a bunch of success in gen 9 VGC and it's strong here as well. Expanding Force is the strongest spread move and this spams it very well while also providing Trick Room. One trick I like is that I've EVd Armarouge to be slower than Indeedee under Trick Room, allowing Indeedee to click Lava Plume to activate Armarouge's Flash Fire and boost Armor Cannon's strength.

Here's a team I made which uses all 3 cores: https://pokepast.es/502e2241deb34611 I've found it to be really effective in the current fast-paced format. Give it a shot!
Dual Unaware
:sv/annihilape: :sv/grimmsnarl: :sv/garganacl: :sv/dondozo: :sv/ceruledge: :sv/clodsire:

Seeing a lot of teams trying boost hell so figured slapping 2 unawares on a team works. There isn't a lot to say, its dual unaware. Many of the teras have good use though.

Ghost Grimmsnarl is for Fake Out and if you think it may become the target of a Brick Break especially from Iron Hands (though most run Drain Punch).

Grass Garganacl for soaking incoming Iron Bundle Hydro Pumps, Salt Curing, and keeping it in for a future turn to protect or switch (if youre water they may wanna switch, and this team doesn't often have. Combined with Ceruledge, this makes it highly effective against Grass & Fire coverage as well. Also allows it to tank an incoming Solar Beam or so in a single turn (though bear in mind without Ceruledge you're weak to Eruption/Heat Wave/etc.). Purifying Salt also ensures you do not autolose to sleep spam or whatever Poison shenanigans people wanna bring.

Dragon Dondozo for a similar reason as it helps versus drought/chi-yu and to some extent Iron Hands. Dondozo could also run Soak for STAB removal + increased Salt Cure damage and allowing funny ghosts to hit their respective immunities. Body Press is good too. I've never needed it often enough to warrant any though. Dondozo is really only there to be large.

Steel Annihilape is for incoming Expanding Force/Fairy-type move. Annihilape is also basically a wincon, as a lot of your game will consist of spamming screens, recover, and various other attacks until you can beat the ever loving crap out of your opponent with 200+ bp rage fists from your big men.

Dark Ceruledge helps tremendously against Chi-Yu w/ Close Combat, and is also generally moderately useful aside from Chi-Yu. You appreciate the fire immunity a lot more than you'd think. Pairs well with Annihilape too. It may not have much bulk, but screens allows it to make Rage Fist at least somewhat better than Phantom Force, and it gives CC to Annihilape too (though I find myself using CC with Garganacl or Dondozo quite often as well).

Clodsire is big. Huge even. Against special teams he is able to tank a little too much, allowing for it to spam whatever shenanigans the rest of your team has. Often uses Salt Cure, Parting Shot, SR, Rage Fist, or Poison Jab.
I've been playing the format for a little bit, and I've been using a meme team, but found a good bit of success from it. Very goofy explosion team and if your opponent hasn't gone up against it before, it can be an instant win. https://pokepast.es/50f62b8a42896b91
I wonder if it's worth swapping out one of the mons for a Pixilate Sylveon so you can hit Ghost types with your explosion, considering how popular Gholdengo, Annihilape and Dragapult are.
Sorry for the double post, but I had a mechanics question. Bulbapedia says "...gaining the Ability Truant resets the turn count for Truant ". So, if a Slaking Skill Swaps Truant onto one of my mons, do I never get affected by Truant if I Skill Swap it back and forth between my two mons? Just having some doubt since both of my mons get the Truant in this OM.

EDIT: Oh, another one: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9partnersincrime-1780687108
Storm Drain Tatsugiri is out with Telepathy Noivern. On Turn 6, Noivern uses Surf, and Tatsugiri is completely unaffected by the Surf due to Telepathy. But then Tatsugiri uses Surf, and Noivern gets a Special Attack boost due to Storm Drain. Surely either both or neither should be boosted, or failing that the interaction should take the original abilities into account?
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Sorry for the double post, but I had a mechanics question. Bulbapedia says "...gaining the Ability Truant resets the turn count for Truant ". So, if a Slaking Skill Swaps Truant onto one of my mons, do I never get affected by Truant if I Skill Swap it back and forth between my two mons? Just having some doubt since both of my mons get the Truant in this OM.
No, you still get affected by truant even if you skill swapped it to your ally after the traunt mon moves.

EDIT: Oh, another one: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9partnersincrime-1780687108
Storm Drain Tatsugiri is out with Telepathy Noivern. On Turn 6, Noivern uses Surf, and Tatsugiri is completely unaffected by the Surf due to Telepathy. But then Tatsugiri uses Surf, and Noivern gets a Special Attack boost due to Storm Drain. Surely either both or neither should be boosted, or failing that the interaction should take the original abilities into account?
This is from the FAQ:
What happens when abilities overlap? (eg. Refrigerate and Pixilate)
Effects are applied in a random order.
Telepathy and Storm Drain give immunity at the same time, so its up to RNG to determine which has priority.
No, you still get affected by truant even if you skill swapped it to your ally after the traunt mon moves.
Ah, ok, good to know.

This is from the FAQ:

Telepathy and Storm Drain give immunity at the same time, so its up to RNG to determine which has priority.
Dang, I should have checked the FAQs. Thanks!

Anyway, I managed to hit the 1400s with my alt (PICTest2), which I wasn't expecting to do with my gimmick team. But I don't think I'll be able to do much better, so I'll post the team here and maybe someone can make improvements to it: https://pokepast.es/28e2a3ed35b1a7e7

Pretty straightforward team. Lead with Annihilape + Stantler, and then use Skill Swap with Stantler to get +2 Atk and +1 Spe on Annihilape.

:Annihilape: I tried Punching Glove + Drain Punch to be more survivable but I found people generally don't target Ape, and Screens were a bother, so I switched to Adrenaline Orb + Brick Break. I don't remember why I used this EV spread, maybe max offense might be better.

:Stantler: Stantler has Choice Scarf to move before Ape without Sacrificing Ape's Speed, and Tera Dark to avoid getting Prankster Spore-d. Trick helps in the matchup vs Tatsugiri + Dondozo.

:Dragonite: Multiscale + Dragon Dance + Espeed + Earthquake, all very useful stuff for Annihilape. Also has Adrenaline Orb because sometimes the opponent switches out the mon you didn't Skill Swap Intimidate to, which ends up giving Dragonite a +1 +1 on switch-in (assuming Ape is still on the field).

:Flamigo: Costar, that's mostly it. Throat Chop just to have a super effective option vs Indeedee-F.

:Armarouge: Flash Fire mon to handle the Sun Teams + Trick Room to counter Chlorophyll. Maybe Lava Plume over Heat Wave to self-activate Flash Fire, but I've never had a scenario where I could do that. Tera Fighting + Aura Sphere + Covert Cloak just to make sure it takes out Chi-yu.

:Hatterene: Magic Bounce + Life Dew to keep my set-up mons on the field and healthy. Also pairs well with Armarouge, giving it access to Calm Mind + Stored Power and acting as the Trick Room setter.


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Important Announcement!

:dondozo: + :tatsugiri:

You may know these two from a ban post earlier in the metagame’s development. Baton Pass was banned because of Tatsugiri not only giving Dondozo a way to get out from any danger, but also because it can pass an astounding +2 in all stats as well in the form of baton pass. A free +2 in all stats that it can then donate by simply getting Dondozo in was considered unholy and demonic by any sane person, and was thusly banished to the depths of Hell. However, we have just received divine news that a commanded Dondozo CANNOT switch out with Baton Pass.

This research nulls our reasoning for the ban in the first place. Therefore, Baton Pass will be freed once that mechanic gets implemented.

Thank you.
Ban Announcement!
Annihilape and Chi-Yu have been banned!

Annihilape does most of the same stuff everyone already knows, setting up with bulk up then becoming a nuisance to take down thanks to its solid bulk and Drain Punch recovery, while also punching holes in teams with Rage Fist. Annihilape appreciates Terastallization, with Tera Fire giving it a Fairy resistance and a burn immunity, and Tera Water giving it a great defensive typing. Annihilape’s damage also can’t be mitigated by Intimidate, as its ability Defiant raises its attack by two stages whenever Annihilape’s stats are lowered. This led to the rise of bulky teams that aim to support Annihilape with pokemon like Grimmsnarl, Amoonguss, and Ting Lu, which enable Annihilape’s setup further by reducing the amount of damage that Annihilape takes, with Amoonguss in particular being able to heal Annihilape with Pollen Puff and allowing Annihilape to recover health by switching out thanks to Regenerator. In addition, Annihilape can gain access to a bevy of useful moves and abilities, such as Recover and a status immunity in Purifying Salt from Garganacl, or Dragon Dance and a burn immunity from Baxcalibur. Annihilape can also donate Rage Fist to its partners to make them threats in their own right. Overall, Annihilape was too powerful on bulky teams and had to be banned due to the many available support options that enabled Annihilape, allowing it to run through teams without taking much damage, while also being able to make its partners threatening by donating Rage Fist.
As you may know, Chi-Yu has been the glue of almost any team made in Partners in Crime. A solid Fire/Dark typing; moves such Nasty Plot, Taunt, and Snarl; and a decent stat spread gave it plenty of tools in order to go far in the metagame. However, it went above and beyond what was expected. Chi-Yu easily aligns itself in a very Sun fortunate metagame, allowing it to take advantage of everything the weather had to offer, including Eruption from Torkoal. While Beads of Ruin was once a higher risk option due to formerly neutering of ally’s SpD, the new research of Pokemon being immune to the same “of ruin” ability meant that there is no downside, and also the best check for Chi-Yu, Ting-Lu, could easily get pummeled by simply having a Ting-Lu next to the opponent’s Chi-Yu. This meant that the new best check to Chi-Yu is Chi-Yu itself! This Pokemon clearly unhealthy for the metagame and has to be banned.
Just slightly late, but I'd like to share my team that I got top 20 on ladder with back in January.

Steely Spirit Spam
:sv/scizor: :sv/perrserker: :sv/drifblim: :sv/chien-pao: :sv/grimmsnarl: :sv/ting-lu:

- This team/ strategy went through a couple of variations before I settled on the current iteration. It has a pretty simple steely spirit technician bullet punch spamming endgame with an extremely solid early game. Grimmsnarl and Ting-Lu, together, are one of the strongest starting pairs in the metagame (in my opinion). They completely wall any psy terrain starts and are very good into any of the weathers due to most of the abusers being special attackers.

:sv/scizor: :sv/perrserker:
- These two are the dynamic duo that have stayed the same in all changes in the team. When both are out on the field, their bullet punches reach an amazing 135 base power before stab (if I can do my math right). In the case of scizor, it usually gets a 2x stab boost due to the tera boost. this is because steely spirit gives its 1.5 boost to it's teammate in addition to itself. they are fantastic endgame cleaners, and are insanely fun as button clickers. this also isn't even accounting for the power of their other moves, even if they aren't used nearly as much as bullet punch. Both are choice banded for maximum damage.

:sv/grimmsnarl: :sv/ting-lu:
- If Scizor and Perrserker are the ultimate endgame, then These two are the ultimate early/mid game. A Ting-Lu under screens will NOT die in one hit. It's simply not possible. Grimm will die sometimes, yes, but if it's getting hit by neutral moves it'll take quite a few turns.

- Individually, Grimmsnarl is one of this team's best anti- everything mons. Physical attackers? Reflect. Special attackers? Light screen. Special attackers again? double spirit break. Any status at all (or if there's a psy terrain up that you want to eliminate)? Misty terrain. This mon also gives you insane flexibility with the rest of your team, which I'll go over in a bit.

- Ting-Lu is a slightly less integral piece of the team, but that's not saying that it's a bad mon. I decided to spec into attack to give it just a little bit more power to break up teams for later sweeps for the steels. Stealth rocks are amazing. Hazard removal is not nearly as common in this tier, so rocks usually stay up to chunk bugs, fires, and rocks and break sashes. It has protect to give to it's partners and give it more leftovers recovery over time. throat chop helps against Sylveon and Skeledirge, and stomping tantrum is just a decent single target option.

:sv/drifblim: :sv/chien-pao:
- these two were the two most changed slots on the team. I've had AV haxorus, Tinkaton, Pelipper, and a few other mons to try to patch up blank spots in the team. in the end, I decided on two mons: The fantastic Chien-Pao, and... Drifblim?

- Chien-Pao is a very strong physical attacker. Everyone knows that. however, it also gives very good team utility in the form of haze and Sword of Ruin. If you didn't know, Sword of Ruin doesn't lower the defense of another Pokémon with the Sword of Ruin ability, which means that you just get a free 33% more physical attack on all of your mons with no downside. Ice spinner helps deter psychic terrain, and sacred sword can help you fight through boosters. If needed, crunch could be ice shard (or even recover for some vile Ting-Lu shenanigans). It also helps boost Scizor's bullet punch if your Perrserker can't come in.

- Finally, Drifblim. I chose to add a blim to this team for a few reasons. First, 4/6 mons on this team are weak to fighting (Scizor is neutral on a switch in but you're almost always using tera on it). Second, I needed more counterplay to the boosting strats of this tier. things like Dondozo, costar gimmicks, no retreat teams, and everything in between all get stopped by a clear smog and further weakened by Wisp and Strength sap. Having Grimmsnarl and Drifblim in at the same time against the multitude of physical attackers in this metagame means that you're just up 2 mons. Blim giving sap to ting lu means that now this earthen beast dies even less than it already did. Rain dance can be an incredibly clutch option against any of the sun teams that rule the tier if your Grimm goes down too fast. And finally, defog is just there in case you fight a hazard stacking lead.

- If there's one change I would make to this team, I would make Scizor have one less speed than Grimsnarl does so that you could use bullet punch in Psy terrain (use misty first, then profit) but that's an easy fix. Overall, this team is FUN. There's obviously still weaknesses it has that I'm not thinking of right now, but you, reader, should give this team a try the next time you play in this glorious metagame.

Level 51

the orchestra plays the prettiest themes
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I had a lot of fun playing this ladder back in January, and the team did pretty decently in the Kickoff Tournament, so I figured I'd make a short post about it. In ladder games that I finished and didn't just time out on because I forgot I was searching, the team went 169-10, which is an alright record. In this time, I got four accounts into the top 5 spots on the ladder (at ranks 2, 3, 4, and 5), and I believe the three top GXEs on the ladder.

(click for paste!)
The general impetus of the team is kind of a semistall idea: stacking defensive abilities and moves is really good, especially in terms of getting strong recovery options onto Pokemon that don't naturally get them. The core play cycle is to soak up hits with Intimidate spam and Vessel of Ruin and heal off the damage with Morning Sun / Pollen Puff and Regenerator, with Mortal Spin / Toxic Debris and Will-O-Wisp for convenient chip. All the while you're racking up Rage Fist counters on your Pokemon, so in the late game Annihilape shows up and now all of your Pokemon have access to a 250+ BP move. I can't stress enough how good Regenerator is in this format, since it just adds so much HP to your team that your opponent has to get through; one neat trick I liked using a lot was double switching with Amoonguss coming in on a faster switch to get the slower Pokemon Regenerator for an immediate +33% heal. To illustrate, here's a game against fellow semistall ladderer Broutpassa where, by my count, Regenerator heals me by a total of 334% over the front half of a game.

Usually, the team wins by chipping everything with poison and burn damage, while just not taking all that much in return, or not allowing damage to stick, and then cleaning up with Rage Fist. The other main win condition is setting up Bulk Up stacks on Annihilape or Iron Hands, with the rest of the team providing the same damage-reducing and healing support—here's me playing against YoBuddy's Annihilape+Great Tusk setup in Kickoff with this mode.

The team isn't legal anymore anyway due to the Annihilape ban, and by the end I think my tournament opponents had probably figured out how to play against it for the most part—it struggles significantly with opposing setup sweepers, mostly special ones or physical ones with Clear Amulet. In general, it's possible to overwhelm it with damage that it can't stomach in a meaningful way—I met the quadruple Explosion + Houndstone / Moxie Tera Ghost Salamence guy, and once they put Clear Amulet on their back two Pokemon I had basically no good ways to win. Defensively, various components of the team are simply shut down by abilities: I ran into a ladder team that ran Levitate + Magic Bounce + Purifying Salt + Unaware + Defiant, which is basically the perfect toolbox to stop this team from doing what it needs to. Good as Gold is also, as you might guess, a huge pain for this team.

After the Annihilape ban I added Unaware Dondozo in its place to try to patch this setup weakness, to partial success: it does do this specific job, but the drop in offensive output is significant enough that most bulky setup Pokemon can outlast the team, and most strong special attackers do uncomfortable amounts of damage to Dondozo anyway; if you're sick of replays where this team wins, here's me losing to Chromate in the Kickoff Loser's Finals, where I control the game reasonably well until Dondozo just gets outdamaged by unboosted hard hitters while it can't hit them at all in return.

Assorted replays:
This format is pretty fun; if we get another ladder I'll probably end up getting baited into playing way too many games again. If you run into three accounts with lowercased thematic names all running the same oppressive control team on ladder, say hi!


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Doubles Leader

Despite just winning the Kickoff Tour, I didn't actually build that much for this tier, I mainly tweaked and used sample teams (shoutouts fullroom - making Iron Hands not Assault Vest so it can set Trick Room is noice) and also adjusted regular DOU sun for Partners in Crime as well before Chi-Yu got banned. After losing the first set of grand finals I decided to actually try building something new and the above is what I came up with, though note that the sets aren't super optimised and I tailored stuff to my opponent's team like making Iron Bundle faster than Maushold then putting the rest in bulk, so if you want to use this team you should change the sets a bit.

Like in regular DOU, Iron Hands is one of the best Pokemon in the tier. It has fantastic stats, access to Fake Out which is super valuable, and Swords Dance sets are strong. Now the cool thing about Partners in Crime is it lets you combine these two together, as it means you can cycle partners beside Iron Hands and get a bunch of Fake Outs to facilitate setup. Then in the same vein I thought "hmm, can you do a similar thing with redirection?" and the answer is yes: Volcarona has access to Quiver Dance and Rage Powder, sp you can combine them like this where you don't actually click Rage Powder on Volcarona, but it means any partner has access to redirection for it (note: Maushold has a similar thing with Follow Me and Tidy Up, but Population Bomb is already a nuke and no spread attack or defensive boosting makes it a less nice setup idea). It's a cool strategy and works well when you can turn anything you want, like an Iron Hands or Wo-Chien, into a redirector, as the games showcased. I did still add Indeedee-F as a redirector anyways, to help support the other setup, and to block priority with terrain (note that Extreme Speed and Follow Me/Rage Powder are both +2, so Dragonite/fast partners can get around slower redirectors with that). Iron Bundle is a good doubles Pokemon, especially alongside a Fire like Volcarona, with Encore being there to mess with setup stuff and Fake Out, though Gholdengo's Good as Gold blocking it is a bit annoying and I did kind of wish I had Icy Wind with Garchomp at times. Speaking of which, there's not many Ground resists, just like regular DOU, and Garchomp outspeeds most stuff which is why I went with that to use Swords Dance then Earthquake all the things. Wo-Chien being a Grass rounds out the team, helping to add a defensive backbone, an Earthquake partner, and a really good Rage Powder user alongside Volcarona.

Partners in Crime was fun as always, it's a very cool and interesting OM!

TL;DR - Fake Out Swords Dance Iron Hands + partners = good, Quiver Dance Rage Powder Volcarona + partners = also good
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Home is out, things have changed. In the interest of time, we have decided to mirror the bans DOU have already done.

All of the obvious box legend big stat mons banned to DUbers are banned here as well, Magearna and Urshifu-Single-Strike are also banned from Partners in Crime.

Tagging Kris to implement ty
Maushold @ Wide Lens
Ability: Technician
Tera Type: Normal
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Population Bomb
- Encore
- Tidy Up
- Trailblaze

Samurott-Hisui @ Wide Lens
Ability: Sharpness
Tera Type: Normal
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Ceaseless Edge
- Razor Shell
- Sucker Punch
- Sacred Sword

This duo is real funny, but probably mid-tier. Good setup, disruption, and priority, and of course bonkers damage when it works with great coverage. Biggest weakness simply being that Maushold is aggressively mediocre and is unlikely to pair well with much else on the team if Samurott dies. Samurott is a lot more solid of a mon and Sharpness spreading has a pretty wide variety of applications, but the item more or less dies as the same time Maushold does since the accuracy buff to Ceaseless and Razor Shell aren't nothing but vastly inferior to just about any other item it could hold. Choice Band or Life Orb also work on Samurott to solve this, but it makes the primary gimmick even more swingy and hit-or-miss (pun intended) than it already is.
Just realizing half of the sample teams include banned mons. Can we change that? Perhaps include a few home teams? This is my favorite meta and I can’t wait to play it once it comes back on ladder! Last time I got to play it was back in gen 8 when it was bugged and had to be replaced halfway across the month with pure hackmons… (´༎ຶོρ༎ຶོ`)


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Hi all, some news: Partners in Crime will be featured as a format in the upcoming Tours Plaza Premiere V! As a result the council got together to quickly make adjustments to the format prior to the start of the tournament.

:Urshifu-Rapid-Strike-Gmax: :enamorus:
Urshifu-Rapid-Strike and Enamorus-Incarnate will be banned in Partners in Crime!

Urshifu-Rapid-Strike does what Urshifu does best, and the access to Swords Dance doesn’t really give it any points in its favor. Unseen Fist more or less invalidates trying to click protect while it’s on the field as both pokemon bypass it with contact moves.

Enamorus brought back Contrary spam to terrifying levels, as its presence with moves such as Tailwind and Springtide Storm alongside partners such as Dragapult and Gholdengo to fully abuse Contrary to its limits makes it a snowball that is incredibly hard to stop once got going.

:basculegion: :ursaluna: :Dudunsparce:
Basculegion, Ursaluna, and Serene Grace are all items that could be deemed problematic, but want to see more of during the upcoming team tournament. We will also be upkeeping our resources to reflect the new metagame as it progresses!


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As you may have heard, Partners in Crime was promoted, giving us some of the bells and whistles that come with our new status. The council is hard at work getting everything prepared as we head into a new trove of meta development to prepare for the upcoming tournaments we will be apart of soon enough! In order to spark some discussion, I will be giving my thoughts on some of the Pokemon that stand out.

:sv/Basculegion: Probably the biggest issue at the moment, 3 great abilities and one stupid stupid move. Slow enough to take advantage of Trick Room and fast enough to outspeed threats in Rain/Tailwind or with a Choice Scarf.

:sv/Cresselia: Going to be a cornerstone of fat teams thanks to its still great bulk, but now has access to Lunar Blessing, which while it may be a slightly worse Jungle Healing, doesn't discount the fact that it doesn't need to depend on its allies to prevent itself from dying to Toxic.

:sv/Torkoal: Hallelujah, sun as a playstyle is no longer the worst thing in the world to face! More teams have new options to face sun with mons such as Heatran, Volcanion and Diancie. This means that the metagame has more room to grow in other playstyles without having to worry about counterteaming sun and its 10 millions variants of the same style.

:sv/indeedee-f: Trick Room got a lot more new options thanks to slow behemoths like Ursaluna, Glastrier, and Kingambit's uptick in viability. This could probably be a more broken playstyle but we are going to have to see what happens next.


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:Chien-Pao: :Dragonite: :Ursaluna: :Basculegion: :Tinkaton: :Rillaboom:

Hey, I know we are only like two days into PiC being an official format and seeing play again, but can we please address the elephant in the room that is this team and others like it?

:SV/Basculegion: :SV/Basculegion-F:
Basculegion is broken, and I think both forms ought to be banned regardless if Basculegion-F has 20 less Atk. They still offer the same three powerful abilities + Last Respects. This thing is way too good on too many different archetypes of offense, and if anyone has anything remotely resembling an argument as to why Basculegion (either of them) are fine to stay, please enlighten me.

:SV/Ursaluna: :SV/Dragonite:
I really can't tell which is most problematic aspect of priority spam in PiC right now, but these two have to be frontrunners. If anyone would like to enlighten me on what counterplays exist for this archetype besides running it yourself, once again please do so. This team has outs for basically everything, and 90% of MU's feel absurdly difficult unless your opponent decides to turn their brain off. Ursaluna by itself just blows up everything in the tier. Mold Breaker means you don't have to contend with Levitate immunity from Cresselia or anything else that offers it, as well as blocking Queenly Majesty. PsyTerrain is removed by Rillaboom. Trick Room looks like it'd be a difficult MU for it, but it's annoyingly difficult to get up TR vs this team. And even if you are able to get it up, most of of your mons gets undersped by Ursaluna anyways, and the other times it just gets blown up by E-Speed. Intimidate and Fake Out are ignored by Dragonite, and Basculegion/Chien Pao makes all of your mons do absurd damage. I could go on about how annoying this team is, but I think you get the gist of it.

With all that said, can we please ban Basculegion M/F and nerf PrioSpam in a timely manner. I enjoy the tier and wanna play in tours like TPP and Kick Off for it, but I'd also like to avoid a repeat situation of the Dancer situation where this is all we see in the first round or few of those tournaments because it's that much better than anything else.

EDIT: I've since cooled off from my malding and tilt spree. I still think priority spam is broken and worth looking, but probably not as bad as I made out to be in my doomer post. I still would like it be nerfed in some capacity. I think a Basculegion M/F hit prior to the start of TPP could be a good start.
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