I love spamming blizzard with articuno in RBY. Other than that, I never found much use for my favorite legendary bird. I tried to make it work in 5th gen NU, which was the metagame I was most proficient at, but there were approximately zero good spinners so it was always at a disadvantage. Its movepool is absolute garbage to this day, too. Love her design but really a novelty pokemon if anything.
Despite being essentially the same as Slowbro outside of a slight specially-defensive slant rather than physically-defensive, Slowking has always lived in its brother's shadow. UU for GSC and ADV, it dropped to NU in DPP before Regenerator made it the star of BW RU. So, what were its best sets, niches, roles, teammates, and counters throughout each gen? Furthermore, what sorts of teams would make better use of its special bulk than Slowbro's physical bulk? Everything about Slowking is up for discussion this week ^.^
I used Slowking in that GSC UU tourney (i know McMeghan did too and he's good so heyy) and i feel like it's actually a top tier mon there. I have played far too few matches to actually judge, but its respectable bulk on both sides actually, good defensive typing and decent support options make it a great defensive fallback mon in the tier. I mostly used it as a Nidoqueen counter with a resttalk set, since Nidoqueen dominates that tier (depending on what banlist you use though, i guess). In OU it's complete lackluster, as to expect, since it's older brother Slowbro is pretty bad to begin with and Slowking just doesn't have the typing to absorb specials hits thrown around in OU reliably (read thunders). At least Slowbro can be used as a physical wall with like twave spread or growl to stall, Slowking can barely take on any special attackers in the tier though. The electrics completely demolish it, Exeggutor walls it back and can actually 3hko it if it carries Giga Drain. This matchup is pretty iffy though because Eggy doesn't appreciate eating a thunder wave, apart from that Slowking won't do anything to it though, giga drain less eggy won't really do alot to slowking either though. The little extra damage Nidoking does compared to Nidoqueen in UU gives Slowbro a hard time switching into its Thunders, despite having decent odds at beating it otherwise, the Gengar matchup plays out similarly, Slowking won't be able to come in at all, but it can threaten it out if it gets in safely. Speaking of a reliable answer is not the case though. What you can actually wall in OU with it is Cloyster though, which can only really hidden power electric you. Apart from explosion of course, the move that Eggy, Gar and Cloy can just use to remove Slowking in case their matchup really makes them lose otherwise. Basically all of those things render Slowbro useless in GSC OU, despite having potential (not being complete and utter garbage) there isn't any valid reason to use it at all over the likes of Starmie, Suicune and Cloyster as bulky waters, over Blissey or Raikou as special walls or over whatever else you may think of using on Slowking - its OU counterparts will be able to do it better.
edit: user Bekins once beat me with a twave dynamic punch Slowking and i am still mad.
I used slowking in the gsc uu tourney too! I actually had a hard time making a team without one because nidoqueen is so ridic good and king is a great pivot against stallier shit like hypno.
In dpp uu I remember jabba's team in summer 2010 with the lead qwilfish, sdef torterra and cb kangaskhan as the first time I saw a slowking. It's not milotic level or anything but it has all the benefits of being a bulky water type while being able to scare venusaur switchins with cool options like fire blast, twave or stab psychic. It can also go on the offensive with trick room (it's a staple on those teams) and/or nasty plot (which stall doesn't take very kindly to).
It's a staple in bw ru, regenerator was such a great addition and it made for easy pairings with tangrowth (and later amoonguss, who soaks up tspikes) for super bulky regen cores on both sides of the spectrum. It was the #1 mon for a long time before its pursuit weakness caught up with it (u-turn moltres made for an easy lure, something like escavalier [who often ran occa so even staying in on pursuit and fire blasting wouldn't save king] would then pick it off) and alomomola gained regenerator. I think at the end of the gen it was mostly using its offensive sets. Nails will expand on this, that hunk.
BW RU Slowking, my one true love. Capable of doing everything you needed it to do: breaking walls with specs and great coverage, sweeping with calm mind or trick room, being the best wall in RU for a good period of time, or spreading status like any good bulky water by spamming scald. For a while my teams ran toxic slowking as my main slowking switch because it was the only reliable counter. Scald is a powerful enough move and water immunities were rare enough that for a period of time calm mind iron defense slowking was hidden op. Over the course of years the best sets would change but it maintained its place without a break as at worst a top 5 pokmeon.
Then mola came along and stole its role because it's a stupid broken piece of shit.
So at the end of the meta (currently) king is probably at its weakest point in the entire run of RU. Which is a shame, because for more than half of the span of the tier it was (imo) the metagame's defining pokemon. And even with many other water types being extremely strong (kanye, qwilfish and kabutops, mainly, though there are others) Slowking still maintained a relevant niche where a lesser pokemon would've fallen out of favor.
Slowking's a gangster in DPP NU. It's the one Water that truly dominates the tier. On top of tanking hits from Charizard and Typhlosion, a rare quality, but it also dishes out the hurt thanks to its fantastic coverage and great Special Attack. It's also a great sweeper with Trick Room! I use it on a lot of my teams and I'm pretty sure most people do too. King's biggest issues are that it can be trapped thanks to everyone's favourite move Scald not existing, and also being prone to being worn down by Spikes and status. I'm not the most knowledgeable about DPP NU though so maybe someone who played the tier more could expand.
I love Slowking in BW OU though. It's just such a reliable check to a bunch of the metagame's most threatening pokes. Keldeo is at the top of everyone's list of things to prepare for, and Slowking takes care of it without caring too much about what set it might be running. Keldeo's usual partners don't really take care of it very well either because it pressures all of them with its strong attacks and Scald's chance to burn. Usual answers to Water types aren't exactly super well adapted to switch in either, with Ferrothorn fearing Fire Blast, Rotom-W doing fuck all, and Latis fearing a Thunder Wave or Dragon Tail from the defensive set (they don't like a Scald burn either.) Other top tier threats, such as Choice Specs Politoed, are handled quite nicely too. BW OU is a metagame that's very centered around wearing down your opponent, and Slowking's ability makes it very hard to do that, making it an even better choice.
Slowking in GSC UU is iffy. On one hand, it does force Nidoqueen to run Thunder for the 3HKO and can tank things like Kadabra TPunch and Gyarados Thunder. On the other hand, there's the important problems of tanking DEs from Dodrio and EQs from Grounds that Slowbro does way better. I think Slowbro's Defense is just a lot more important whereas Slowking's Special Defense is situationally cool, but not really vital. Not to mention that Blastoise is like a billion times better than Slowking as a Nidoqueen counter (and Ground counter in general) because it's faster.
The following is based on my GSC UU experience using the banlist on Smogon's website.
Slowking lives, most of the time, in Slowbro's shadow. Water-types are praised for the ability to counter ground-types which Bro does better. Nidoqueen should run Thunder regardless because the extra power plus 30% para is worth it. Slowking has some uses though. It can take on Grass types like Venusaur better than Bro and tanks non-stab tbolts all day (and even some Thunders from the likes of Gyarados). I've also seen an uncommon Slowking set with Curse/EQ/HP Rock/Rest which it can actually afford to run thanks to its good Sp. Def, while Curse patches up its Defense.
Overall, Slowbro is more threatening but Slowking should always be accounted for.
Lugia's maintained Ubers status since it was first introduced in GSC. So, how did it fare in the tier where only the toughest survive? What were its best sets, roles, teammates, and counters throughout the gens? We're talking Lugia this week.
The one thing about Lugia that's stayed the same throughout its existence is that it's one of the greatest walls in the game. In Gen 2 it's a cruse attacker/wall much like how CurseLax is except with even higher stats and access to recover which is phenomenal in the bulkier game that GSC was. It was a great wall, not something most things can break. It's one of the biggest reasons Zapdos is so good in GSC Ubers because it can break it. Other things, even the other ubers can have hard times doing it with its already high defenses + curse + its pretty good coverage or Whirlwind.
In Gen 3 and 4 it plays similarly but it lost curse and the other ubers got both bulkier, stronger, and more varied in how they can attack. As such Lugia has much less of an offensive presence to where its pretty much a mon only used by stall and bulkier balanced teams. Lugia is similar in both o these gens except in DPP it has roost which is a wonderful move on it and outclasses recover. It also has to deal with the existence of Stealth Rock which serves as a One other major problem that I've had with Lugia from this point onward is how thoroughly Wobbuffet can take advantage of it. It is very passive so Wobb can come in whenever it uses a non phasing move then encore it and switch in to a set up sweeper or other powerful attacker or good supporter or, in DPP at least, tickle it and switch in a pursuit user to have a guaranteed kill on it. Despite these flaws Lugia is still a very bulky, effective wall that is a major detriment to most physical attackers in the tier.
In Gen 5 it is also mostly the same except it got the elusive ability multiscale. It allows it to be a really annoying wall that can handle most of the game's threats because of how it is much harder to kill now. It also makes stealth rock that much more annoying to it because it cancels it out and forces it to roost off the damage. The introduction of team reveal and thus the decline of Wobbufett also helps it out here.
Lugia in GSC Ubers is kind of the main reason Snorlax struggles to accomplish as much as it does in OU; in OU, Lax doesn't have to deal with a Phazer as tanky as this that both can't be handled by coverage moves and gets instant recovery. Lugia is basically the best all-encompassing Phazer in the game, and yeah, to avoid needing to use boring stuff like Charm Umbreon, Zapdos is often used to counter it (Raikou works well too, but falls to the not-too-uncommon EQ variant). Otherwise it can just steamroll with Curse-boosted Aeroblasts and inability to be Phazed. I'll go as far to say that Lugia is the defining Pokemon of GSC Ubers; nothing else is a bigger gatekeeper to viability.
mewtwo in ubers tends to run curse sd (or at least i do). mew is 50/50 on sweeping with either boosted eq/rs or sb/submission and softboiled, or it also runs explosion. imo snorlax should also be running curse sd. lugia needs to run curse ww. so basically 5 of the most popular mons are built around lugia.
then you have shit like steelix, whose extremely good because of its matchup with lugia. i think it can phaze even after lugia is at -2.
Lugia in BW Ubers was pretty good from what I heard but i've quite frankly never understood how it fares against the common rain stalls and the ever so prevalent Forrys/Tentacruels there. I haven't really played that meta so... Someone experienced in BW Ubers please enlighten me?
ADV Lugia is a lot of fun, can run IB+ww+cm+recover (always with spikes), CB (aeroblast crit-rate is savage) or just a straight up wall set with reflect. Its major flaws in the meta is being weak to thunder/ice beam/shadow ball, the most common attacks in the tier. Especially shadow ball weak is such a big pain for a physical wall as the best physical cleaner is always spamming it. Being strong vs eq/superpower is pretty neat.
DPP Lugia is something I've personally never touched a lot but in my experience from playing against it, its sub shuffle set can be very deadly mid/late game as people can sometimes throw their forry early for hazards. Lugia is a great catch all vs most physical attacker when it runs reflect. Overall, it is the best phazer in a hazard infested tier, which is a big boon.
BW2 Lugia is very different from previous gens. Team preview eliminates the surprise of a sub shuffle Lugia as now people will conserve their forry/tenta/any other check and just use Lugia as spikes bait. Newcomers like Exca, Kyurem-W, regen Ho-oh and poison heal Gliscor makes its life as a shuffler miserable compared to the dpp days. Another big downside is that it now competes with other mons as a solid phazer. Sdef Kyogre and especially Dragon Tail Giratina-O (one of the best mons in the tier) often takes priority for builders as their qualities are more suitable for the tier.
What Lugia did get in BW2 was Multiscale, which is just an amazing ability. If you wanna use this mon then you gotta make the most out of this, though it is very complicated. In theory Lugia would wall about 70 % of the meta, but getting rid of SR is very problematic indeed. Certainly needs heavy support but I think it could be quite underrated in BW2 ubers these days.
Hitmontop's had a consistent career, remaining solidly in UU for GSC, ADV, DPP, and BW. Perhaps just as noteworthy is its prevalence in some past VGC metagames. So, how did this bizarre little dude fare in UU and doubles metagames? What were its best roles, niches, teammates, and counters throughout the gens? Anything about Hitmontop is open for discussion this week!
It's a spinner that both keeps Lax out of its face and doesn't immediately invite Cloyster back in. That's not really a niche that's needed in GSC, though; things like Reflect Starmie and Toxic anything are good enough at keeping those from being crippling problems. With Hitmontop's main niche in GSC not really a niche at all, what's left is a Pokemon trying to do a defensive job with an offensive typing, which doesn't really work very well.
In UU, Blastoise would be the go-to spinner were spinning a huge deal. Maybe even Sandslash. Hitmontop's somewhere on the bottom of the list - fighting isn't nearly as good a typing in UU as it is in OU.
Hitmontop's garbage in GSC, but Curse + Mach Punch will always hold a special place in our hearts, I suppose.
it gained its fame in vgc2010, the year where all the ubers were allowed in. the most prominent was kyogre. scarf kyogre's water spout was a little much to handle, so people looked for creative ways to handle it and in came hitmontop. with access to fake out, wide guard, helping hand, and feint, hitmontop made the perfect partner for kyogre in helping it do more damage or preventing enemy kyogres from steamrolling. in the beginning of vgc2010 the hitmontops were slow, but by the end everyone was pretty much running max speed hitmontop in order to try to beat other hitmontops. this deadly combo was dubbed topogre.
in bw doubles/vgc2012 hitmontop pretty much did the same thing. it usually would be packing a fighting gem so that its close combat would do big damage. this time instead of partnering with the now banned kyogre, it was partnered with volcarona. topmoth worked because hitmontop could generate free turns through fake out and wide guard protection (from rock slide) so that volcarona could quiver dance up and sweep.
in xy doubles/oras doubles/vgc2014 hitmontop is dead bc its a shit mon and everything resists its hits and talonflame and will o wisp mega gengar and defiant bisharp getting stronger (mega gengar will o wisps top, traps it, and the game becomes a 1v2 because a burnt hitmontop does no damage)
sets i like are:
dpp: fake out, wide guard, helping hand, feint (close combat is an option but i like full support)
bw: fake out, wide guard, close combat, helping hand
xy/oras: fake out, wide guard, close combat, feint/helping hand
latios has always been an issue for hitmontops throughout the generations.
nowadays: talon, mega gengar, mega metagross, mega diancie (diansy in smogon doubles)
From the amount of time I played adv uu, Hitmontop was a pretty nice mon since it was probably one of the best spinners of the tier. Intimidate gives it some extra pseudo-bulk to help it tank physical hits. Pokemon like gligar gives it a hard time though.
As for adv ou, its a niche mon that can work as a spinner since it would be the only spinner that can switch into tar no matter what due to it being one of the only pokemon who receives mach punch (or priority outside of quick attack). It also can mimic swampert's incredibly fun salac endeavor set even though its not quite as effective due to sand knocking it out. Mach punch can make up for it though. Its not used much due to mence and calm mind users being able to switch in and set up pretty easily.
Hitmontop is of course a top mon (sorry..) in DPP UU, but I've used it on some stall teams in OU as well with great success even! I used a team with Rose / Tran / Gyara / Bliss / Rotom / Top and it was excellent, especially for my playstyle (I even used Specs Rotom-W but Scarf was kinda better, specs rotom with spikes is actually scary tho..). There is just so much pro's to Hitmontop for DPP OU stall: Intimidate is the greatest, and if you pair it with Gyara they cover each weaknesses excellently as well. Hitmontop is an awesome Tyranitar switchin because he doesn't care about Fire Blast or Ice Beam or shit like that (ever seen a Psychic Tyranitar?) and double Intimidate is just so awesome. Doesn't even take a move to use, just a switch. It's hard to find a physical attacker that breaks through both except maybe something like CB Dragonite (46%+ to Gyara, 53%+ to Top) . Also, it's an alright Spinner. No recovery sucks, but Foresight can be interesting, and it's got decent enough special bulk to deal with a Rotom. Unfortunately though, there's no recovery really on Hitmontop which really hurts if you want to spin vs other stall teams for example. Personally I used Wish Blissey, but Rest + cleric is also an option. Neither are particularly great though, and RestTalk isn't really an option because Rest / Sleep Talk / Rapid Spin / Close Combat is pretty shitty.
Scyther never really shone in OU. Thankfully, it had its chance in the lower tiers. UU for the first four gens, Scyther settled down in the lower edges of RU for BW. So, what were its best sets, counters, teammates, and roles throughout the past gens? Little Cuppers, feel free to discuss what's kept out the most-banned babymon of them all. This week, we're talking Scyther!
Scyther sucks balls in all RBY tiers, even NU. It only gets Normal type moves in Red/Blue and in Yellow it was finally rewarded with...Wing Attack, a base 35 move. The best thing going for it is that it has a strong Slash, and can boost with Agility and Swords Dance, but since Slash and Swords Dance have no synergy, you can only boost your Hyper Beam.
Typing offers only an immunity to Ground while granting a BoltBeam weakness and other things to be sad about. RIP Scyther.
Scyther was really neat in DPP UU for one thing. It was a really brutal offensive mon with its great Speed and good power to make use of, and could run both SD and CB really well. Its CB set in particular was really good with a strong STAB U-turn (See: Scizor), and Technician STAB Aerial Ace to round it all up, which had pretty neat overall coverage barring some mons like Registeel, but with U-turn in tandem with Spikes you can easily wear stuff like Registeel down and gain a lot of momentum. Its SD set was also neat, with Bug Bite and Aerial Ace hitting hard after a boost and allowing Scyther to sweep really nicely in a team. It could run Baton Pass to pass the SD boost if it needed which is cool, and with its nice Speed (tying with the prominent Mismagius), outspeeding much of the tier, it could sweep slower teams really well. Its STABs also do work against some relatively common Pokemon like Mesprit, Venusaur, and Leafeon which helps. But yeah this thing was good. If you play XY/ORAS NU, then Scyther's performance in Gen 4 is kinda similar to how it does in 6th Gen NU. Biggest problem was it had a massive Stealth Rock weakness which sucked hard, but it's not like DPP UU had good spinners (ahem Hitmontop, Donphan, and I guess Kabutops)
It was RU in BW (I played BW RU a lot lol), but it was only decent back then. Its SR weakness was really sucky and it was kind of outclassed by Durant and Scolipede as a Bug-type sweeper, both of which could hit harder and were both faster as well. Durant also had a strong set of resistances which helped it a bit more than Scyther (but that special bulk lol), whereas Scolipede wasn't as weak to Rocks and had Megahorn, EQ, and Rock Slide for all that nice coverage. Both also had Baton Pass which kind of hurt what would have been Scyther's other niche (BP Swords Dance). But that was really its smallest problem back then, it had even bigger ones honestly. For most of BW2 RU it could be revenge killed by the prominent Scarf Rotom-C and Emboar afaik and it struggled against common defensive mons like Alomomola and Steelix. It was a garbage Scarf mon in BW because back in 5th Gen RU, most mons that had a Rocks weakness weren't too great as Scarfers. its use was kind of limited as a VoltTurn mon where it could definitely work with other VoltTurn mons of the time like Manectric and Cinccino to a decent extent. Aside from that, its set of weaknesses left it to be kind of a limited use mon. It wasn't terrible though, and there were far worse mons in RU lol (ahem Evire).
Scyther is pretty decent in GSC UU. He outspeeds the majority of the UU cast and has Swords Dance to attempt a sweep. Too bad he has to use HP Bug for his best STAB move. As a standalone sweeper, Pinsir usually does the job better due to a higher base attack and access to Submission, for Magneton not to cockblock him. Scyther is also weak to boltbeam, so it's harder for him to take on stuff like Nidoqueen. Scyther, however, has Baton Pass to pass either Agility or Swords Dance to a teammate.
As for GSC LC, Scyther tends to be banned. Agility pass to Thick Club Cubone comes to mind.
Typhlito can attest to just how powerful Scyther is in GSC LC. We did a test battle with it, by accident mainly, but it was completely dominate. It Baton Passed right to a Diglett, and then proceeded to completely sweep the opponent's team. Scyther in GSC LC isn't getting unbanned either, it's just way too good. Swords Dance Hidden Power Bug also smacks a large majority of the tier and not much in the tier can OHKO it in return. To sum it up, it's the best Pokemon in the GSC LC metagame and will likely be banned for the rest of the tier's existence!