Project Pokémon Matchmaking - Round 44 Zeraora


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Hey, we finally ended up with enough submissions. A huge thank to all those of you who made one. Thus, I'm closing the submission period so that we can move on to the voting phase for :choice specs: :blacephalon:. Here are the submissions we have:

:heavy duty boots: :tornadus therian: by Katy

:colbur berry: :slowbro: by SLDR

:life orb: :kartana: by InvisibleWater

:leftovers: :tapu fini: by Red Raven

:leftovers: :rotom wash: by D5405

Vote for who you think are the TWO best Blacephalon’s partners (you can’t vote for your own submission).
Voting phase ends on Sunday.


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Thanks to all the voters, our winner for the best Blacephalon partner is :tornadus therian: by Katy, congratulations and thanks for all the submissions!

:tornadus therian: 7
:rotom wash: 4
:tapu fini: 3
:slowbro: 1
:kartana: 1

Our new Pokemon for OU Matchmaking is most commonly used as a defensive pivot, but still has a niche to be a threatening breaker when used with an offensive set: offensive Zapdos.


Zapdos @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Static
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Roost
- Volt Switch
- Hurricane
- Thunderbolt / Heat Wave

Even though most players use it defensively, Zapdos got impressive offensive stats, with a correct 100 base Speed and a huge 125 base Special Attack. Hurricane is its main STAB and can punish unwise Ground types like Landorus-T and Garchomp coming in on an anticipated Electric move. However, it’s a rather unreliable move which can be quite frustrating to use sometimes. Thunderbolt is its main Electric STAB and becomes a very spammable move once the opposing Ground type is weakened with Hurricane. Volt Switch is a secondary Electric STAB and allow Zapdos to act as a hard-hitting pivot. With Hurricane to punish potential Ground type switch-ins, Volt Switch is even easier to use in order to pressure special walls like Slowking Galar and Blissey. Lastly Roost helps keeping a decent defensive utility on Zapdos, especially because you can still fish for paralysis on Physical attackers like Kartana, Weavile and Urshifu-R. Heat Wave is an option to hit some Steel types like Ferrothorn and Melmetal a bit harder. Overall, this set is good at pressuring common defensive structure relying on Landorus-T to take Electric hits while still having some defensive utility. Who would you pair up with this electrifying bird to help it in its breaking role or to take advantage of its breaking and pivoting abilities?

Submission phase will end on next Friday, good luck!


Banned deucer.

Melmetal @ Assault Vest
Ability: Iron Fist
EVs: 128 HP / 116 Atk / 252 SpD / 12 Spe
Careful Nature

- Double Iron Bash
- Earthquake
- Ice Punch
- Thunder Punch

Melmetal is a great partner, as it can cover dangerous Ice-types like Weavile and most notably Kyurem and check them for Zapdos, as Zapdosw dislikes them. Zapdos in return can threaten opposing Melmetal, and also Ferrothorn, and it can offer a Ground-immune Pokémon for Melmetal. With Volt Switch it can bring Melmetal in safely. Melmetal can also take care of Pokémon like Dragapult, Tapu Koko, and Tapu lele, which are scary to face for Zapdos, as Zapdos - even tho it has a great bulk - doesn't fare well against those Pokémon. Zapdos in return can help Melmetal with offensively threatening Pokémon such as Urshifu and Galarian Zapdos. In overall, these two are formidable partners and is worth a try.
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The Lord himself, Terrakion

Terrakion @ Choice Band
Ability: Justified
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Jolly Nature
- Close Combat

- Stone Edge
- Earthquake

- Toxic
cb terrak is a menace to the ou society: it hits like a truck with almost unresisted dual STAB and sits at a fast speed tier for breakers, only beaten by kartana (rip). however, its typing is garbage defensively which makes its decent bulk (91/90/90) pretty useless, which means switching in raw is a big problem. also it's heavily annoyed by bulky ground types tanking its attacks and destroying it in return. that's why offensive zap is a killer partner to it: it provides momentum on specially defensive behemots like heatran, blissey and stuff, while chipping grounds that try to block volt switches with hurricane, so that terrak has an easier time breaking through them. dual stab is obvious + eq for aegislash and for neutral coverage + toxic to not only help with those grounds (especially lando-t and hippo), but also with its own counters like slowbro, tangrowth and buzzwole. speaking of these three, they also happen to be easy pickings for offensive zapdos, which makes double switches very threatening, especially with hazards and possibly toxic already set.
at last, zapdos checks some dangerous fellas for terrakion, like the aforementioned kartana but also priority users like scizor and in general being a ground immunity and fighting resistance.
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Urshifu-Rapid-Strike @ Choice Band / Protective Pads
Ability: Unseen Fist
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Surging Strikes
- Close Combat
- Aqua Jet
- U-turn

Urshifu-Rapid-Strike has excellent offensive synergy with Zapdos. It acts as an offensive check to dangerous Ice-types like Kyurem, and also threatens many of Zapdos' switchins, such as Heatran, or Ground-types looking to block a Volt Switch. It can also attempt bring Zapdos in safely with U-turn. In return, Zapdos handles bulky Water- and Grass-types for Urshifu, and can pivot out to it with Volt Switch.

As an added bonus, Zapdos can defeat Pokemon that Urshifu can no longer break through if it uses Protective Pads, such as Corviknight or Buzzwole.
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Thanks to all the voters, our winner for the best offensive Zapdos partner is :urshifu-rapid-strike: by InvisibleWater, congratulations and thanks for all the submissions!
:urshifu rapid strike: 6

:melmetal: 5

:terrakion: 3

This week, we will be featuring a threatening sweeper who saw some usage recently in OU: Nihilego.


Nihilego @ Power Herb
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 80 HP / 176 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Meteor Beam
- Sludge Wave
- Grass Knot / Power Gem
- Pain Split

Thanks to its new toy in Meteor Beam, this Ultra Beast is here to claim a place in OU. Power Herb allows you to fire the first Meteor Beam in one tour, giving it the ability to boost its Special Attack while nuking something with a powerful 120 base power Rock STAB move. Sludge Wave is its secondary STAB and hit pretty hard after a Meteor Beam boost. Grass Knot is a decent coverage option to hit Ground types like Hippowdon and some annoying Water types. Power Gem can be an alternative to have a secondary Rock STAB that you can use after having consumed your Power Herb. Lastly Pain Split is mainly used to take advantage of a defensive switching into something like Blissey as it allows you to bruteforce through it by recovering most of your health while spamming Meteor Beam to boost your Special Attack even further. The spread given aims at gaining a Speed boost after each kill, making Nihilego way harder to revenge kill. This Pokemon still struggle with its average coverage and can have a hard time dealing with common defensive types such as Steel types. What partners would you use to help Nihilego covering its weakness or to benefit from its breaking abilities?

Submission phase will end on next Friday, good luck!

Magnezone @ Leftovers / Chople Berry

Ability: Magnet Pull
EVs: 252 Def / 80 SpA / 176 Spe
Bold Nature

IVs: 0 Atk
- Iron Defense

- Body Press
- Thunderbolt
- Toxic

nihilego really hates steel and groud types, so magnezone comes in trapping the former with magnet pull and crippling the latter with toxic.
iron defense + body press preferred over specs for a better mu vs ferrothorn and melmetal, while speed for 252 azu, uninvested heatran and other id+bp zone that reach 191 for heatran. thunderbolt is the preferred stab due to higher base power.
leftovers is generally more useful, but chople berry let magnezone mess with some checks to nihilego like urshifu and kartana: if you remove those with chople berry, you nihilego will have an easier time doing its job. anyway, your job is to trap and remove steel types via magnet pull and either thunderbolt or id+bp, meanwhile you click toxic on the mandatory lando-t and ground types that will most likely want the smoke with either magnezone or nihilego: this way, nihilego's attacks coupled with toxic will wear those grounds down quicker, allowing both pokèmon to become even more threatening for the opposing team. with this set, magnezone also heavily pressures special walls that may try to stop nihilego, like blissey, with the only notable exception being av slowking-g.
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