Metagame PU Old Gens + Discussion

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Hera

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PUPL Champion
not technically qualified but i did play and build this tier a lot for pupl so i thought i'd post my thoughts

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edit: after talking on discord, i would change toge to b and shiftry to b as well

some assorted thoughts (ranks are unordered):

-i think you can argue more than one s rank but for me gigalith just feels like the king of the tier, you're realistically using it on every team but ho and stall (so basically 70% of teams), sand is so good at dictating the pace of the game, it's a pretty standard random bullshit denier, etc. there are mons like slash or bee you can argue are equally effective and viable but even they have some competition; nothing really competes with gigalith, and lith will probably have a long and prosperous rein atop the tier
-a+ thinking was "if you can use all of them + giga then you have a pretty solid team", i love weezing but it doesn't really fit as well as the other 5 do, although its utility is really good
-still unsure if doublade is a healthy or unhealthy presence (Bella where's the ss pu policy review post), but it's the only thing keeping gallade from being ultra mega broken so i'd rather it stay than leave
-gallade still busted but trends are leaning towards centi recently; still not convinced they're equal or centi is better but i can see why someone would think that
-steelvally is the best vally but all of them are not my first choice for picks imo, hard to justify most of the vallys over something else that does the job better but without less role compression; really like mixed ghostvally though as a midgame breaker
-supergeist is a great spinblocker, very glad it's finally being recognized since i first nommed it like a year or two ago
-trev is my goat, so many teams aren't running sub berry checks so once it gets a sub up and starts fishing for boosts (i use starf cause it's funny but liechi and sitrus are both solid choices), it's a menance
-b and b- generally consist of niche breakers or niche defensive mons (think: the sw mons, galarfisk, sawk, aromatisse) and mons that fit on gt but still have niches otherwise (coal, thwack, uxie)
-c+/c- are unneccassary imo, don't think there's a huge separation between like theivul and lanturn or some other random c ranks
-ditto sucks and i will die on that hill, 0 usage in forever, does nothing into most teams, only a good mon against ho and stall but there are infintely better mons that are good into those playstyles + ho and stall have easy to fit ditto counterplay (natural imposter proofing and ngas weezing)
-smallgeist is bad cause you never want a scarfer and np sets aren't good, otherwise it's just worse trev or supergeist
 
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UberSkitty

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TimeForDuosion.png

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Duosion: UR -> C
(Also add it to the Tier List Maker)
:duosion::duosion::duosion:
Reasoning:
Magic Guard is of course the biggest niche of Duosion. Mons like Ferroseed, Gigalith, and non-Taunt Weezing become complete setup bait. The immunity to hazards makes up for lack of HDB so that's cool. However, what has really helped Duosion in the current meta is the lack of Dark mons since Scrafty's ban. Now the top picks are Shiftry and Sneasel, neither of which are used too often anymore. This means that Duosion can run Stored Power as its only attack, letting it run both Calm Mind and Acid Armor. Another fun thing about Acid Armor is that it boosts Stored Power, meaning you're not only setting up defensively. Duosion can quickly spiral out of control, as even one boost can let it use offensive mons to further setup.
:duosion::duosion::duosion:
Competition:
:musharna:In USUM PU, Duosion was considered to be outclassed by Musharna, who didn't depend on an Eviolite for bulk and could run various other items. However, in the SWSH meta it is largely held back by one of the most common mons, Gigalith. Specifically its Sand Stream, with Sand lowering Musharna's recovery from Moonlight to 25%, as opposed to Duosion's Recover not being affected. Also Magic Guard stuff.
:Clefairy:It also exists as another Magic Guard mon, but I don't plan on using Stored Power double dance Clefairy ay time soon.
:mesprit::uxie::swoobat:There are a bunch of other setup Psychic-types in this meta, but are generally run more offensively, as opposed to Duosion's defensive approach.
:duosion::duosion::duosion:
Replays:
vs. Zoowi - That's right, it can even 1v1 Doublade.
Replays - Pokémon Showdown (pokemonshowdown.com)
vs. uhBella - Not even Knock Off can stop Duosion once it gets going.
Replays - Pokémon Showdown (pokemonshowdown.com)
vs. Leni - Regirock makes for some nice setup bait.
Replays - Pokémon Showdown (pokemonshowdown.com)
:duosion::duosion::duosion:
Set:
Jake (Duosion) @ Eviolite
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Stored Power
- Calm Mind
- Acid Armor
- Recover
Just your regular Duosion set. Not really sure why I felt the need to add it TBH. Especially since it's in the Pokepaste of my team below...
:duosion::duosion::duosion:
Team:
Not really relevant to the nom itself but here's the team I used in those replays! (And yes, there is also a Kangaskhan)
:duosion::whimsicott::gigalith::magneton::sandslash::kangaskhan:
:duosion::duosion::duosion:
Ok bye <3
 

DugZa

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UR: Accelgor, Alcremie, Poliwrath, Pyukumuku, Uxie

  • Cofagrigus wasn't an option but I think it should be C+/C; Toxic Spikes, Knock Off, ability to block Rapid Spin are all invaluable in this meta imo; has competition from Gourgeist as a defensive Ghost but access to Toxic Spikes gives it a slight niche over Gourgeist on certain teams.

Sample Teams

Just a few teams I figured I'd submit as samples;

:centiskorch::doublade::archeops::eldegoss::sandaconda::sneasel:
Admittedly, this is not a team I built and I unfortunately don't know who did or where I got it from but a team I've had a lot of success with across multiple tours including PUPL.

:doublade::sandslash::eldegoss::ribombee::cinccino::gigalith:
Fairly basic and standard sand balance with Cinccino; nothing special, team should be mostly self explanatory.

:whimsicott::sandaconda::wishiwashi::absol::aggron::weezing:
A balance/BO-ish team featuring Absol as the main breaker. The team was built around Neutralizing Gas Weezing + Sandaconda with the idea being Weezing denying Eldegoss whittling down Eldegoss overtime while denying Regenerator recovery allowing for a lategame Sandaconda sweep.

--

In general, I think the recent PUPL displayed how much better the post-Scrafty meta is; even previous arguments like Thievul being potentially too overpowering in a meta without Scrafty were proved to be incorrect as well. The tier has been in a much better place since Scrafty got banned and I hope no discussions to unban Scrafty are entertained in the future; looking forward to see more SS gaming in PUWC! :heart:
 
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gum

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gigalith and ribombee feel like clear s-ranked mons to me, and then elde/slash are both right below. this is simply due to how i view building in this tier; you're pretty free to add gigabee to any team and then eldegoss or sandslash depending on which works better (sometimes both fit). i'd say magneton and doublade are a step below the other two, but the former is the scariest breaker we have in the tier and requires less support than something like specs guno, while doublade shapes the metagame around it. qwilfish in a because i think it's one of our best setup sweepers and adds great utility + a wincon to balance teams that often struggle vs stuff like centiskorch, while also matching up nicely vs a lot of audino balances. other a-ranks feel pretty self explanatory so i don't feel like going over those, these changes just reflect the metagame post-sv release the best imo (more audino balance, vikavolt rising / zard dropping in relevance, etc). b+ is just where we get to good defensive mons that are more awkward to fit on teams (quag, tangela), breakers that require more support but still do their jobs well (centi, haunter, sawk, shiftry), and grassy terrain. imo this is the last rank that you really have to take into consideration in the builder, everything below is either not common enough or naturally covered by stuff higher up, to varying degrees. also kadabra should be ranked somwhere, probably around b- but it's not immensely relevant so. that's all i rly wanted to say about this vr, if anyone has any questions feel free to hmu

--

:audino::qwilfish::ribombee::gigalith::eldegoss::jolteon:
https://pokepast.es/4f04b1e985733f62
sample submission, this is a pretty regular audino balance. team works well together and pretty much every matchup is doable, sd qwilfish is a great breaker in the mirror mu while specs bee + jolt serve as speed control. the former also clicks trick and aromatherapy, while the latter blocks volt switch. p short description but umm if this gets added i'll add a real description i promise x
 
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(alphabetical within subranks)

I'm surprised other people had a more tame perspective towards Doublade seeing how easily it can tear apart teams. Its excellent typing coupled with obscene bulk still makes it the #1 offensive threat in the tier for me. While fitting soft checks on a team isn't hard (as was mentioned) I don't like how it can easily "trade" itself for practically any of them (+2 claw into sneak kills slash, wishi prays for scald burns etc). Apart from like, Quagsire (which is abusable in its own right), nothing enjoys switching in on it despite Doublade itself being chip prone. My PUPL builds are littered with ZU shitmon dark types as a coping mechanism (skunk is not good pls do not use it).
erm also togkey said it was broken and she's very good at the game

The 3 "hot takes" that one would probably notice here are ferro, centi and bee. I will elaborate on all of them.
- :ferroseed: Look even now I'm debating dropping it to A (absolutely no further) but I'm sticking with my gut. It is never not useful; Ferroseed will always find SOMETHING to annoy. Yes I absolutely want to run 6 moves on it but leech + spikes does so much on its own, beating the two main spinners and having an insane typing + bulk. It forces switches like no other and in earlier metas I often wondered how tf people build without it. Apart from the obvious fires (which it can cripple with knock) the matchup vs the high tiers is excellent and getting on the field is a cakewalk. (run Superpower on Gigalith like me trust)
- :centiskorch: When both jelli and wishi were legal in ZU, people still ran qwil just for this guy. Unlike ZU however, this tier has actual real rock types so it isn't busted, but damn does it not feel like that sometimes. Regirock and Qwilfish are pretty rare so in practice it'll have to deal with soft checks it can force its way past. For starters, its defensive utility feels criminally underrated; easily coming in on staples like Eldegoss and Ribombee while having a pretty neat stat spread and ability. Secondly, its moveset has knock, coverage, a risk-free strong stab move (and even some healing) coming off a base 115 atk stat. Finally, it is hard to put into words how "free" it can seemingly play (just like in zu that's why the tangent was relevant trust). Knock Off is guaranteed progress, Leech Life is surprisingly useful a lot too, Power Whip dissuades waters effectively (+roosting archeops) and Fire Lash is just a ridiculous move in general. "Is the goss gonna switch out to giga or is it gonna try to sleep/leech me?" Doesn't matter, click lash. If it stays in great, if it doesn't hit the likely chipped and now at -1 def switchin with the appropriate coverage move. 252+ Atk Centiskorch Power Whip vs. -1 252 HP / 4 Def Gigalith: 314-370 (83.9 - 98.9%) (great answer right there) Try to stay in with ferro to not get ur zard's boots deleted, see how well it turns out. This PUPL game feels like the perfect showcase. My opponent has 3 "checks" and is still forced to dance around it, succumbing to the rest of the offensive pressure because of this. (just pls don't use coil that set is so troll)
- :ribombee: Sorry I don't see why everyone treats bee like the second coming of jesus christ. Apart from being mon #87 that hard loses to Gigalith it's also pretty flimsy even if its offensive profile is pretty impressive. Both specs and setup have their issues and apart from the speed there's nothing gamechanging. (At least in earlier metas it could pretend to check Scrafty.) I'm pretty sure the last time I lost to bee it was in a test game with a pupl teammate who was using scarf to outspeed and kill my sanded slash (lol). For my own usage, I used it once in PUPL in tandem with guno because the opponent in question's scout revealed an insane phobia of fat sandsetting rock types. (ily spitfire)

Here are some loose unrelated B rank takes (wow B- is stuffed huh)
- full sand is not as bad as is often claimed
- put all the grassy terrain bullshit there cause I don't really trust it (fun fact grassy seed was banned from sszu bc of teams like those)
- idk why viking cat and lantonio are so low on some lists they're still fine imo
- I quite like Aromatisse, cool alternative to Audino that checks Gallade with a useful defensive profile (taunt immune). Also I got like 3 suspect reqs with it ladder is viable trust.

For most of these I really wouldn't trust my judgement, like how good is a fairy type with fire coverage REALLY? (Alcremie); Can Rhydon overcome its very unfortunate typing in this meta? (idk) Also apart from the dark resistance and ghost neutrality I truly do not get the Sawk hype, seems like a worse Gallade in almost every single way. The only thing here I am truly confident in is my sadness when being reminded of the fact that the sspu ladder stole Cinccino for no reason.

mons that should be ranked probably:
- Miltank is a useful stopgap vs offensive teams (in this status/hazard heavy meta) that can use the standard zu set to sit on certain mons while providing utility that Audino can't (sipper is great especially even if scrappy can be chosen for blade paranoia).(https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8pu-1921820723-r9bd79tk7cfg0yn86s4vjjz5xockuorpw)
- some of the Silvallies in general are not getting their recognition, the mon in general is always kind of a weird topic but just off the top of my head, for example water and dark should be ranked (I have a distinct lack of replays unless u count the one I posted above where it clicks 0 moves)
- only after all this I realised palo isn't here, he's defo viable (just use any replay with the tlenit stall, I should have some too if needed)

:mesprit:-:centiskorch:-:ferroseed:-:sandslash:-:gigalith:-:silvally-dark: (plot mesprit + centi sand)
The main idea here was plot mesprit combined with a whole slew of stuff that shits on steels. Slash and ferro try to win the hazard game while the former and darkvally can sweep lategame if the killer combo of sprit + centi hasn't already.

:gallade:-:gigalith:-:sandslash:-:eldegoss:-:doublade:-:persian-alola: (gallade sand)
I wanted to use Gallade and devolved back to a sand core cause it complemented well. This time goss spins so the slash can be more threatening; Doublade cause it's Doublade, and with Gallade having a lock on the fat Persian was added for a better offense mu (and the aforementioned Doublade insurance).

:gigalith:-:lycanroc:-:sandslash:-:frosmoth:-:vikavolt:-:whimsicott: (sandmoth)
There were not enough zu references yet so I decided for another old one. Pretty standard double sweeper + double pivot, except this time there is a frosmoth with weather ball. Godmoth already synergizes fairly well but imagine a zard switches in expecting to barely live the +1 ice beam and gets promptly obliterated. Also works with centi/mortar/opposing moth. Fat vika is pretty hard to deny volts from while whimsi can emergency defog hazards while also providing setup opportunities with encore.

(btw DugZa is right please keep Scrafty in the shadow realm)
 

Dj Breloominati♬

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UPL Champion
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  • Gigalith really holds the tier together. The sand BO structure is just so good, and it favours the better player a lot of the time
  • Electrics are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Sand teams with sandslash as the only ground get absolutely cooked by both magnet and vikavolt since they get multiple oppurtunities to get in. Magneton in particular is really really good, being a special attacker that can outdamage the best special wall (audino) is a something that only it can do. Also the reason why I ranked lanturn and togedemaru so highly
  • Bee doesnt win games in 2023 because people are making use of its other unique traits
  • Doublade is as good as ever, last mon blade is super scary, you have to try and force a knock with your fighting type otherwise those teams hard lose to blade.
  • Centiskorch absolutely shreds stall / fat if not accounted for properly. You dont want your gigalith to be the centi answer.
  • People need to stop using zard to check doublade, its a recipe for disaster
  • Garticuno fs is something I've not been able to pilot well, but its super oppressive to face if used correctly. It forces in gigalith / audino and can thus click uturn for free a lot of the time.
  • Gallade can just win you games because it people dont respect it in the builder enough (also why I used payapa weezing a lot)
  • Togedemaru is one of the few things that can completely turn the tables vs electrics which otherwise volt for "free", think its better than gunfisk at doing this given it has other uses like wish / uturn / spiky shield
  • Aboma is gallade jr, if u click the correct move it picks up kills
  • Admittedly im not a big fan of aggron given I feel its in this weird middleground between gigalith and regirock / gunfisk, and that being forced to do both of those things makes it inefficient in doing either.
  • Have tried magmortar, poliwrath and drudd to check blade better on some teams, drudd was the most ass out of the three
  • Bouff should be on the VR because of how good it does into elde teams, since most rockers are a free switch for a eldegoss
  • Silv water also shares some very nice traits, its a good offensive water that isnt stifled by grasses and opposing bulky waters (like basculin)
 

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2xTheTap

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Hello! Here are some strong teams with high win rates across recent tours featuring SS PU (those being PUWC III - 12-2022, Circuit - 01-2023, and PUPL - 08-2023). I had a lot of fun building and testing these late last year and earlier this year, so I hope you enjoy. Consider these sample submissions unless noted otherwise, and I'm happy to write up actual descriptions for these if one or two of them are accepted.
Most of this post will be focused on posting teams, but I'll also talk about the meta and address some things I've read lately on Discord. Like Shaneghoul, I also consider SS PU to be a very fun and dynamic meta that really rewards strong meta knowledge - the more experienced player will usually have the edge, and so you may not see as many tour-only players just go in with a team blindly and achieve wild success like they might've been able to in other gens of PU. Overall, SS PU is relatively easy to build in, its games are usually competitive, and you can get pretty creative with teambuilding while still producing something viable.

:Doublade: As a sidenote, I think the meta is in a pretty good place, with one or two exceptions. There are a few Pokemon that could be unbanned with little to no downsides, ex. Araquanid, but the topic in the context of making post-meta changes that is on many people's minds is mainly whether or not Doublade should stay in the tier. Personally, I feel that, while Doublade is still quite threatening and its presence has had an undeniable impact on building, it's been adapted to sufficiently. This isn't a new sentiment at all really, but old staples like Regirock and SpDef Togedemaru aren't nearly as rewarding as they used to be prior to Doublade dropping; for example, if you do end up using Regirock over Gigalith for its ability to take on specific threats like Centiskorch more competently, your team configuration ends up more vulnerable to various special attackers and Doublade (assuming you go with Regirock's standard Toxic / SR / Body Press / Rock Blast set) in turn, so that decision really requires thoughtful consideration when building. There is a lot more nuance to this than just this little side blurb though, and we might be reading more about Doublade soon thanks to Bella.

:Sandslash:I know there's been some discourse on how to rank Sandslash lately, and some might put Ribombee in that #2 slot, but I've seen many games where Ribombee isn't able to do much in the face of Gigalith, Doublade, Charizard, etc., and so rather than running QD sets like it used to, you've been seeing more and more Specs or Scarf variants with Switcheroo for either muscling through defensive cores, crippling something, or outspeeding something critical like +2 Sandslash or +2 Modest Thievul. Ribombee is certainly customizable and splashable, but maybe not to the same extent Sandslash is, and how well Sandslash can force progress in a game is just on a different level in my opinion (so, #1 Gigalith, #2 Sandslash, #3 Ribombee...).
Understanding how powerful and customizable Sandslash is really informs how you build in SS PU; it can run defensive spreads just as easily as it can run offensive ones, it doesn't always need to run Rapid Spin and can simply use SD + 3 attacks rather than the more standard set of SD + RS + 2 attacks, you can pick and choose what it outspeeds at +1 (Rapid Spin) and at +2 (sand, two Rapid Spin uses) with various EV investments and Jolly / Adamant for either added bulk or KOing a specific threat, its coverage is variable (Leech Life, Poison Jab, Rock Slide), which hazards it sets can be customized for the team it's on, what item it's running for specific damage calcs (Soft Sand or Life Orb) or added survivability (Heavy-Duty Boots or Leftovers) can be shifted around as you please, etc. To me, it really has all the hallmarks of an S rank, while Ribombee is arguably A+.
And, while this may be a no-brainer, sand is usually going to be up given how ubiquitous Gigalith is, and so your speed control in SS PU will typically fill one of two conditions on teams lacking a hard counter to Sandslash like Levitate Weezing: either 1) whatever scarf user you choose should be faster than 458 Spe (+2 Adamant Sandslash) at a minimum, or 2) you should pack some sort of supereffective priority (ex. Aqua Jet - Kabutops, Basculin, Qwilfish; Ice Shard - Abomasnow, Sneasel; Grassy Glide - Thwackey with some other Grassy Glide Pokemon that Thwackey enables like Trevenant; other priority users like Triage LO Giga Drain Comfey or Prankster users like Whimsicott or Sableye for priority status / Encore). If Sandslash opts for Jolly over Adamant, your options for RKOing Sandslash with sand up are even fewer in number - outspeeding 502 Speed is a tall order, and doing so without boosts or a priority attack basically leaves you with CS Whimsicott or CS Ribombee as your primary options for this (there is also CS Switcheroo Persian-A, which can be neat for outspeeding Sandslash, resisting Shadow Sneak while checking a boosted Doublade via Foul Play, being able to choicelock a target of its choosing, and generating momentum for its teammates throughout the course of a match). This is why CS Gourgeist-Small, CS Rotom, and CS Basculin are only okay and harder to justify when these other options for speed control exist, as they don't quite cover all your bases in the context of wanting a comprehensive answer to +2 Sandslash.
Another great thing about offensive Sandslash is how often people rely on Eldegoss in particular rather than building with bulkier Ground resists like Gourgeist-XL, Weezing, or Tangela for example (Tangela is good at shutting down both Doublade and Sandslash, but it's not as splashable and its vulnerability to Knock Off can be an issue), so SD sets with either Poison Jab or Leech Life can suddenly cleave through teams without much issue. Part of the reason why I use Levitate Weezing so often myself is more or less just because of Sandslash, even though Neutralizing Gas would indeed be powerful for denying strong abilities like Regenerator and making progress in a match that way.
I believe Sandslash is at least part of what's driving the usage of Grassy Terrain HO and Vikavolt offense as a whole. Not only does Thwackey's Grassy Terrain reduce Earthquake damage, but as mentioned before, Grassy Glide can be key to preventing Sandslash from cleaning or sweeping. Vikavolt is extremely useful in this meta too, as it feeds well into Sandslash builds on account of its ability, access to Roost in tandem with reasonable bulk, and the ability to OHKO Sandslash with boosted Bug Buzz or just Energy Ball.
Lastly, being a Rapid Spin user that isn't walled by Doublade sets Sandslash apart, and the threat of Sandslash's Knock Off and/or Earthquake lets it clear hazards sooner than something like Eldegoss would.

:Magneton: As far as sample team submissions (both past and present) go, I think Magneton deserves more time in the limelight; as gum has noted above, Magneton is quite strong and deserves a higher ranking. We talked about this in Discord a fair bit with Hera too, and saying it's effective against many top meta picks, such as Gigalith, Ribombee, Weezing, Wishiwashi, Eldegoss, etc. is an understatement.
This next squad was used in Circuit and in this most recent PUPL (use Sitrus Berry Weezing to outlast and block Poltergeist users - Eject Button Weezing there is just an alternative way to go itemless while also bringing in Magneton for another shot at wallbreaking):

:Gigalith::Sandslash::Magneton::Weezing::Jellicent::Ribombee:
yandaud vs robjr (PUPL W5 - Bo3 - :Haunter:Haunter x Haunter vs Dave's Doublades:Doublade:)


:Vikavolt::Shiftry::Trevenant::Articuno-Galar::Centiskorch:
Some other offensive centerpieces in addition to Magneton that I've found especially strong in this post-meta include, but are not limited to: Vikavolt, Shiftry, Trevenant, Articuno-G, and Centiskorch.

:Vikavolt:Vikavolt is particularly dangerous, as there isn't a single Pokemon that counters this well unless you really dig deep and find something niche that resists Grass / Ground / Bug (or sound-based moves) / Electric... and that's basically just Soundproof Abomasnow if you're ignoring Volt Switch lol. And no, I wouldn't count SpDef Togedemaru as a true Vikavolt counter because of the possibility of Mud Shot (Air Balloon or Shuca Berry, anyone?). Answers to Magneton like Lanturn barely count either due to Energy Ball (Stunfisk-G is okay for this though, as it is fat enough and has Rock coverage). Checking a boosted Vikavolt offensively can prove difficult (406 Speed), so as an alternative, many teams will instead aim to simply whittle it down with something like Gigalith or Toxic while pivoting around its coverage. In Gigalith's case, you sort of just pray Vikavolt's not running HDB Volt Switch and/or Energy Ball - Energy Ball into Volt Switch does a minimum of 54% to Gigalith without Leftovers + Protect factored in. As mentioned before and as Dj Breloominati♬ talked about above, Vikavolt feeds well into GigaSlash builds, especially those that use HDB / Specs Ribombee as their only form of speed control. On top of all of that, consuming its Throat Spray makes it itemless and so it becomes an offensive Grass resist that's also immune to Poltergeist, which allows it to check Gourgeist and Trevenant in certain scenarios.
Anyway, I am pretty high on Vikavolt as you can tell, so here are some Vika squads that I built during PUWC III. Meru won with this first team during PUWC III, then edited it a bit for PUPL (Taunt > SD on Thwackey, Volt Switch + Roost > Agility on Vikavolt). This team focuses on the synergy between Flip Turn users like :Kabutops: and :Vikavolt: - essentially, all Flip Turn resists are forced out and/or set up on by Throat Spray Vikavolt (Volt Switch sucks them further into that vortex), and in reverse, immediate checks to Vikavolt like Charizard or Archeops are blown back by CS Kabutops. This offensive duo drove the creation of this team, and as you can see below, Meru piloted it well here:

:Doublade::Vikavolt::Thwackey::Thievul::Coalossal::Kabutops:
meru vs Thiago Nunes (PUWC III - USW vs Bra - Finals)
meru vs gum (PUPL W6 - :Leafeon:Lucky Leafeons vs Twinkatuffs:Tinkatuff:)

:Doublade::Charizard::Shiftry::Vikavolt::Rhydon::Poliwrath:
lax vs Fc (PUWC III - Can vs USW - W1)

Bonus: Dual SD Soundproof Abomasnow Offense

:Centiskorch: Centiskorch is kind of unique among these offensive Pokemon, in that its winrate in recent tours doesn't accurately reflect its quality in my opinion. This could be related to how many Centi mirrors have happened, or perhaps building coherent teams with Centiskorch tends to be a bit more difficult - I'm not actually sure how we can explain that lower winrate (37%) without doing further research.
Here's a strong Centiskorch build - it's mostly standard, but it's more offensive in that it hedges its bets on winning with Sandslash and maximizes how threatening it is when Sandstorm is up via Jolly / LO and Gigalith's Smooth Rock to ensure it outspeeds and continues to outspeed most of the scarfed or boosted meta. z0mog could've clenched the win here in finals (tiebreaker) of PUWC III, but he ended up not calcing something and thus not really mapping out his endgame:

:Sandslash::Doublade::Centiskorch::Wishiwashi::Gigalith::Whimsicott:
z0mog vs mncmt (PUWC III - USW vs Brazil - Finals TB)

:Shiftry: I've been a Shiftry enthusiast for years now, and I can't emphasize enough how good this thing is. It's strong against more defensively-inclined teams for the same reason something like Silvally-Grass is, in that it's a physical attacker that can break past Quagsire no problem. Its Sucker Punch is super strong and KOes frail resists like Whimsicott and Ribombee with a small amount of prior chip, and Adamant LO Sucker Punch OHKOes Articuno-G 81% of the time without prior damage. There are many passive defensive staples it can switch in on (Leech Seed from the likes of Ferroseed or non-Pollen Puff Eldegoss) in order to set up with SD; we have an overall dearth of decent Ghost resists and only a few splashable Dark-types in this post-Scrafty meta (Thievul mostly and I guess Absol and Persian-A to name some usable ones); and, many of Shiftry's would-be counters like Weezing can be overwhelmed via a small amount of chip and SD. I've found special or mixed variants of Shiftry to not be as consistent as just straight SD / Knock Off / Leaf Blade / Sucker Punch with one of Heavy-Duty Boots / Life Orb / Roseli Berry, but Heat Wave is there as an option for smacking Tangela or Ferroseed around a bit harder before they attack with Sludge Bomb or set a layer of hazards, respectively. I do still love Eject Pack Leaf Storm, and I've also tried Scarf Rock Slide for surprise KOs on Ribombee and Charizard at various HP thresholds, which aren't the worst things you can run, but SD is definitely its best set. In my experience, bringing Shiftry in with pivots is the best way to avoid being hit by something like a stray U-turn, as its bulk isn't the best - you can see how I build with it in the teams below with pivots like Wishiwashi, Eject Button Sand Spit Sandaconda, Archeops, Eject Button Runerigus, Articuno-G, and Magneton setting it up for success.

:Articuno-Galar::Centiskorch::Magneton::Jellicent::Rhydon::Shiftry:

:Archeops::Qwilfish::Magneton::Frosmoth::Runerigus::Shiftry:
lax vs Beraldinho (PUWC III - USW vs Bra - W4)

:Wishiwashi-School::Charizard::Doublade::Shiftry::Sandaconda::Lycanroc:
lax vs Lockjaw (PUWC III - USW vs Bra - Finals)


:Stunfisk-Galar::Rhydon::Poliwrath::Pincurchin::Bouffalant:
The last thing I wanted to talk about is, given that SS PU is very dynamic, there are many underrated Pokemon that can help fill some gaps in this meta or let you poke holes in common defensive structures:

:Stunfisk-Galar: Stunfisk-G is the most competent Magneton counter out there in my opinion - it can be kind of awkward to try to find a switch to Magneton's dual STABs, a Volt stop, and a Tri Attack resist that's bulky on the SpDef side in one neat little package, and Stunfisk-G manages to accomplish all three while also setting SR and answering other threats like Vikavolt and Ribombee. It is passive enough that you might not use it over other Ground-types like Sandslash, and so it might not fit very well on more offensively-inclined teams, but there is still that old tactic of using Yawn + Snap Trap to break defensively-oriented Pokemon like Lanturn, which opens up other teams to be destroyed by things like Charizard and even Rotom-F in turn. This is most effective on balance teams when paired with Pokemon checked by Magneton, put simply.

:Rhydon: This is a bit better than we thought initially - its survivability is insane, ex. Gallade's Close Combat doesn't OHKO even without defensive investment (you can see that calc come into play in lax vs FC during w1 of PUWC). At the same time, access to Heat Crash lets it destroy squads relying on Eldegoss as their go-to Ground resist, which is a very common building path this meta. What's more, Gigalith is usually a free switch for it (especially mono Rock Blast variants), and Rhydon's natural bulk allows it to make the most out of that Sandstorm-induced Special Defense boost. Use Rhydon as a tank rather than as a wall (conceptualizing it as a Charizard answer and investing fully in SpDef just hasn't been it in my experience - just use Gigalith in that case). And, invest in defenses before HP as you normally would when HP thresholds are especially high.
Rhydon @ Eviolite
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 252 Atk / 200 Def / 52 SpD / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Heat Crash
- Stone Edge

:Poliwrath: (I keep talking about Poliwrath, but bear with me...) I find that resisting U-turn and being immune to Wishiwashi's Scald positions Poliwrath uniquely to double into Wishiwashi on behalf of the Pokemon Wishiwashi is meant to check and use to gain momentum, like Doublade, Gigalith, or Sandslash, and then set up a Substitute afterward. Poliwrath is not used much however, and it seems like only a few people like Prodigezz and I are driving its usage up in tours, but even so, I think its ability to check things like Lycanroc, Weezing, Aggron, Sandslash, Gigalith, Sandaconda, Doublade, etc. while also hitting Water resists like Ferroseed, Wishiwashi, Jellicent, and Tangela from behind a Substitute with Focus Blast and/or Toxic has proven useful and warrants at least C rank. PhysDef, CB, BD, and even RD can be useful at times, but I find Scarf to be a bit more useful than these, as outspeeding everything from 262 - 393 Speed lets it nab a KO or two throughout a match (think about Liquidation or CC finishing off stuff like Ribombee, Cinccino, Archeops, Lycanroc, +1 Frosmoth, etc.). It's definitely not without its downsides though, and stuff like Trevenant and Whimsicott (especially Infiltrator) obviously spell trouble for it. It's no Scrafty, but Poliwrath won all of its games below.
Poliwrath @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 160 HP / 252 SpA / 96 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute
- Toxic
- Focus Blast
- Scald

Poliwrath @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Liquidation
- Close Combat
- Ice Punch
- Toxic

:Sandslash::Articuno-Galar::Doublade::Poliwrath::Gigalith::Whimsicott:
pohjis vs Elfuseon (Circuit)
TJ vs Xiri (Circuit)
lax vs star (PUWC III - USW vs USN - W6)
lax vs Fc (PUWC III - USW vs Can - W1)

:Pincurchin: This is pretty niche, but there are a few ways you can run Pincurchin in this meta; I was just talking about how potent a wincon Magneton is, and Lightning Rod in tandem with Recover and its Electric-typing lets it take a hit from Magneton then set up hazards or Recover afterward - just be mindful of how you play around Tri Attack and build accordingly.
Another, much more interesting way to run it (in my opinion) is to use it for Electric Terrain's sleep preventing effect in particular, and building that way yields some interesting results. Think about what likes to sleep in this meta - Rest Gigalith (Protect is more common at this point, but still) and RestTalk Wishiwashi for example can be whittled down and then destroyed by bringing Pincurchin in on a predicted Rest. Teammates like Toxic Charizard, Doublade, and special attackers like Archeops or Aurorus that appreciate Gigalith gone are cool to pair with this, and then of course, you can add on whatever else that fits on terrain teams, such as Stored Power users, Thievul, Hitmonlee, priority (Nature Power) Thunderbolt Whimsicott or Thunderbolt Ribombee for stronger coverage vs Doublade, Charizard, and Weezing in one slot after that. Don't think only about preventing Rest, though - Eldegoss and Tangela will sometimes rely on Sleep Powder to shut down threats like Doublade (noting the obvious here, but Sleep Powder doesn't miss Doublade due to No Guard), and so Doublade used in tandem with Electric Terrain is a neat way to circumvent that tactic.

:Bouffalant: We call it the poor man's Drampa, but it's better than it looks; you can use Sap Sipper Bouffalant to really punish Eldegoss, Trevenant (lacking Drain Punch), Gourgeist-XL or -S (lacking WoW), Tangela, and Ferroseed. Bouffalant doesn't really start to make sense until you add coverage for Gourgeist and Trevenant though, otherwise you end up pointlessly pivoting into Poltergeist or Power Whip / Wood Hammer without being able to really do much in return. That's when you slot on Throat Chop, and now you can also do things like prevent Vikavolt from hitting you with Bug Buzz behind your Substitute, or stop Lanturn from using Heal Bell (you stop any sound-based move really, but those are just some examples off the top of my head).
The team below got used quite a bit post-Drampa, and it had a high win rate, but it's safe to say it's old meta and nonstandard. It's focused on the idea that Trevenant is the perfect punish to Sandaconda, in that Trevenant soaks up Glare and heals itself as it switches out for free while also resisting Earthquake and threatening with Wood Hammer, so Bouffalant complements Sandaconda nicely by answering Trevenant along with other Grass-types. Bouffalant can be brought forward into this meta too, and you can more or less conceptualize it as a partner to potent threats like Doublade and Sandslash. Like Poliwrath, Bouffalant won its fair share of games:

:Togedemaru::Bouffalant::Charizard::Jellicent::Sandaconda::Whimsicott:
z0mog vs Chloe (PUWC III - USW vs AAA - W2)
z0mog vs Thiago Nunes (PUWC III - USW vs Bra - W4)
Leni vs Lady Writer (Seasonals)
e: and now shaneghoul vs asa (BotW) (hi asa)

I'll do a larger team dump later on perhaps, but for now, I hope you enjoyed reading.
 
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Leni

formerly tlenit
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Top Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Past SCL Champion
Don't have the time to make entire VR, but pointing up few that should be looked at imo;

Ribombee/Quagsire, A, think Ribombee had its time as a top mon, but gigalith/doublade being everywhere really makes its life harder. Great mon still, but dodging the top two mons in builder is tough./ Quagsire; amazing stall mon and think its inf-tox-seismic-recover is bit under discovered. Such an annoying mon to deal with and literally chips everything down. In best case scenario traps bulky setups mons that usually have field time against stalls. Quag traps both Uxie and Sandaconda

Qwilfish, A-, tspikes are super annoying to deal with in SS pu and qwil is best setupper by a mile with Weezing. Overall great mon in setting hazards, dropping opponents atk or turning it into wincon

Mesprit, B+, extremely good movepool to fit in your likings. Scarfer, specs, setup fat wincon, grassyseed setup, bulky pivot and so on. Just amazing in and out

Galvantula B-, nascar version of its slower competitor which struggles in natural speed, but has the bulk. Galvantula can heal the sandstorm chip through gigadrain and elec-bug-grass attacking core is super annoying to deal with. Pivots itself out after hitting once whatever is the answer. Fan of this mon and probably one of the few ones been actively using it back in the days when i still built. Great mon in pivot/offensive teams

Poliwrath C+, amazing typing, good defensive stats and very nice support movepool to run over its competitors in wishiwashi/lanturn and sometimes even Jellicent/Quagsire. Especially in fatter builds that are either bulky offense/stall

Palossand/Bouffalant C, Palossand is great gallade switch and spinblocker in general with good defensive stats to be very valuable team member in gigaslash meta. fits in stall well as well / Bouff; great eldegoss-gourgeist abuser in sapsipper and like Tap pointed out, it can muscle through these giga/slash cores as well. Palossand and Quasire puts themselves into work, Palossand keeps spinblocking, Palossand spinblocks and holds up on Arhceops

Avalugg/Corsola-Galar, stall self explanatory mons. Been using both through entire gen and they both get to do their jobs very well. Dont recommend using them outside of stall really. simple showcase of both mons.

e: added some replays including mons from lower end of noms. Bouffalant replays can be found in 2xTheTap post. I know theres somewhere Poliwrath replay, but couldn't find it for now. I'll edit it in in case I find it later. Was very quick post. most likely lot of typos, but at least got something out
 
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SergioRules

||blimp||
is a Community Contributor
I know it's not ADV's turn for our spotlight, but with the ADV Slam happening and this being the week for ADV PU Signups, I wanted to go ahead and get this information out there.
ADV PU now has its own thread in the ADV subforum! We'll try to make this the main place for metagame discussion solely related to ADV, large updates will still be posted here in the oldgens hub but as we're trying to develop the tier more, we thought it best to have a separate place for discussion.
Speaking of posting big updates, Baton Pass is now banned in ADV PU! If you want a more detailed reasoning see this post but the main reason is that a Baton Pass limit is very hard to get right. Even with our already pretty limited Baton Pass Clause, Pokemon like Volbeat and Mawile made the strategy overwhelming for some teams. Rather than continuing to slightly limit it more and more, we voted to get rid of it altogether. Any discussion about the ban should take place in the new discussion thread.
We'll be updating VR and Sample Teams soon, and there may be another vote depending on how we feel about Arena Trap. Stay tuned!
 

MZ

And now for something completely different
is a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Top Team Rater Alumnusis a Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Community Leader Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Top Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Top Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
1697455387650.png WARNING: THIS IS NOW AN ORAS PU THREAD 1697455387650.png
You should all know the drill by now, the Viability Rankings and Sample Teams need updating and we're calling on qualified players to help us out. The following list of players has 3 wins or 5 games in PUPL or ORASPL, is an ORAS cup finalist, or just seems like they belong giving input here. Please submit a current ORAS VR based on your opinions of the metagame (reasonings not mandatory but appreciated) and any teams you might feel like deserve to be added to Sample teams. After the week is over we'll average the results to update the VR and go through Samples as well.

2xTheTap avarice Banbadoro Blue YM Danny Garay oak gum Taskr TheKingKarp TONE TSR Xrn zS

Anyone who isn't on this list is more than welcome to chime in with opinions or sample teams too. The tier list maker can be found here.

And I'll kick things off with my own tier list! I generally like the current one and don't have a lot to change, I'll keep it in the spoiler so the main point of this post is more visible.
EDIT: AFTER MAKING THIS AND SEEING OTHER OPINIONS, I WOULD CHANGE MY LIST TO PUT STOUTLAND IN A+ INSTEAD
my-image (1).png

Floatzel is absurd but also has consistent drawbacks that I think fit better in A than A+, it's just not always doing what you want it to reliably
Metang and Lumineon are kinda just worse than the rest of the A ranks with more and better competition that isn't as abusable, I think you could argue for either to stay A- but the list looks way better after dropping them imo
Tangela jumps 2 ranks to A, I think it's always worth considering on basically any non-HO team and is super customizable to deal with basically any of the things that should be a problem for it, as long as you figure out Roselia you can basically justify Tangela anywhere
Camerupt is a beast and non-specs sets are really underrated too, I just think A- better reflects its power level and utility in shoring up the fat matchups while never really being useless even when you'd think it should be
Aside from hazards Rapidash is a really amazing utility breaker with lots of options that deserves to be taken A-rank seriously
Drifblim is kinda hard to justify even on teams where it should fit imo, you're just worrying about too many different issues
Chatot is fun and funny but incredibly inconsistent at best, Boomburst is really unsafe in tons of matchups
Gorebyss drops because Huntail is better and Gorebyss shouldn't be in the same rank
Ninetales jumps two ranks, I value being customizable a lot and it can be a beast in so many different ways that make it really annoying to prepare for
Marowak also jumps a few, as the strong rocker slot it's *really* strong and annoying. Just shouldn't be under Rampardos imo
Regigigas is surprisingly usable but also not as good as anything else in C+
Avalugg can go up a little to C+ I suppose, stall is good
Same with Fraxure having that niche spot on HO making it a little more cut out than the rest of C

In a lot of these VRs I've seen people really liberally unranking things that kinda work and maybe it's more of a philosophical difference but I like to leave things that can be used as much as possible. I really don't think anything should drop off the rankings. That being said C and C- are kinda odd, I'd much rather use Dusclops or Gourgeist-Small than Ampharos or Armaldo. Didn't unrank anything but did shift those two ranks around a bit.
 
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asa

is a Site Content Manageris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a member of the Battle Simulator Staffis a Social Media Contributor Alumnus
PU Leader
Didn't take all those Ls in ORAS for nothing, plus I just really like ORAS PU. Here's my (alphabetized) tier list!

my-image-14.png


I think Rotom-F is unquestionably #1 and that neither Muk nor Stoutland are quite on its level. You absolutely do have to build with Muk and Stoutland in mind, and they're still often very good in-game even if you do take them into account. That said, they don't feel as consistent or automatic as the fridge to me, even with its annoying Stealth Rock weakness and reliance on prediction. They require more support to function while Rotom-F is often part of the support they receive and can also support itself just fine. It might just be the way I view rankings and all, but, imo, both Muk and Stoutland are a small step down from Rotom-F. If I had to organize A+ in terms of how good and threatening the Pokemon are, though, they'd for sure be high up.

Past that, my list isn't much different from the one that's already up. There are some noticeable differences, like big breakers such as Chatot, Kadabra, Marowak, and Rampardos being higher up due to feeling easier to support and get actual results with (especially Chatot), or defensive Pokemon swapping ranks a bit due to either being overlooked or (imo) kind of overrated. Though I'd say most of the good mons are in B+ and above, there's a whole lot of untapped potential in B and even B-, and I hope we get to see more of them (and maybe even some guys in C+ and down) going forward.

I'm willing to answer any questions about my rankings, and see you guys in PUWC!
 

Xrn

is a Tiering Contributor
RBTT Champion
disclaimer: pupl is the only time I've ever played this tier outside of gen 6 battle factory so my opinion is almost entirely based on those couple months, might explain the outliers idk maybe im stupid but we went undefeated in it so something went right !
(thank u MoM)

nothing rly felt S Tier to me while playing? fridge and dog are definitely very scary but not that much scarier or impactful than other strong stuff. left some mons off that I quite simply haven't seen sorry!
Gensixpuvriguess.png

tagging ManOfMany in case he wants to post any of the teams we brought
puwoah (1).png
 

TONE

I don't have to take this. I'm going for a walk.
is a Community Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnus
Here's my own personal tier list, also ORAS PU is the best gen and no one can tell me otherwise:

my-image.png


Ngl, I almost ended up leaving S rank blank just for not having one dominant mon reign supreme, but there's no denying how good Rotom-F is for the metagame between Scarf, SubSplit, Wisp, just too much good things to not have it not be S rank. Some other things to note:
Yes, I have Bouffalant over Dodrio, mainly just do to how good it is especially for Balance and bulky offense which are my favorite teams to run especially with hazard stack. Bouffalant just provides a lot with its bulk, SubSD sets are menacing against unprepped teams and I value that more than Dodrio which while threatning in it's own right, struggles a bit more despite having the covering and priority to function well.Other things to note, Quilladin I have a bit higher for a more sustainble Spiker and ground resist and I still value Vibrava a bit too just for still being a solid Defogger in the face of Golem and momentum in never bad either. Bumped up a lot of slow breakers which really was a good showing for stuff like Camerupt in PUPL and that's always nice to see stuff like that do well. Nothing much else to add other than what's already been said aside from maybe putting Ampharos in C+ as while the lack of recovery is detrimental, it's a Heal Bell user not item reliant like Clefairy or SR weak like Ataria/Articuno.
 

2xTheTap

YuGiOh main
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People keep saying that ORAS has been a completely settled meta for a while now, but I disagree - we're still seeing big changes like Stoutland falling out of S (only 4 uses this PUPL), Mr. Mime being the top used mon this PUPL (20 uses and 40% usage, while the next mons behind it, Golem and Monferno, were hovering around 30% - sort of crazy), people randomly busting out stuff like Dusclops or Future Sight + Protect Duosion (I love that set btw, asa/zS), and bringing techs like Eject Button from future gens retroactively into ORAS, etc. This meta still feels very dynamic to me, even though I'm coming up on having played this gen of PU for 9 years now. Anyway, without further ado:

1697923885905.png

*Pretend that :Leavanny:(B-), :Seaking:(B-), :Pikachu:(C), and :Trevenant:(C) are here in my VR above, as they all saw usage across team tournaments from this past year.
- Rather than making a 'use these 12 Pokemon and UR the rest' sort of list, I love ORAS PU and so I was more motivated to make a more complete list that acknowledges threats at the periphery of the meta just as much as it examines the top, meta-defining staples that we have in a way that displays ranking and quality as visually cascading downward for Pokemon of similar typing and/or role (ex. Stoutland > Bouffalant > Dodrio, or Monferno > Rapidash > Simisear, etc.).

- There were a lot of rather polarized opinions from older council members from the last VR update that no longer made sense to hold onto (like Zebstrika being as low as B rank despite its reasonably high usage and consistency as a quick example), so I used win rates and usage stats from team tours this year (PUPL and PUWC, namely) with a bit of my own flavor to address some of those outdated placements and to more accurately determine what meta developments are taking place currently, and therefore, what's deserving of a change in rank.

- A quick note about S and A+: I feel like there is a handful of Pokemon in A+ that are a cut above the others in their same rank: in particular, Stoutland, Mr. Mime, Leafeon, Golem, and Beheeyem stand out to me, but reflecting that in the VR somehow looked really off (at first, I tried making a VR with S- to denote their greater quality... I didn't like the idea of S- much, so then I pushed the rest of A+ down into A and the rest of the ranks further down - rank deflation, basically... I tried adding a D rank... I even thought about getting rid of S totally like Xrn did), but I ultimately thought the VR's standard format still reflected the meta pretty well.

- :Rotom-Frost:Talking about S rank, Rotom-F hasn't actually been doing that well recently (33% win rate in PUPL and 25% win rate in PUWC), and there are a few things working against it: people in team tours have been using Mr. Mime more frequently in that speed control role (#1 used Pokemon this PUPL); its consistency isn't always there with Blizzard misses still being disappointing, and Muk absorbing Trick via Sticky Hold is a thing; it's a SR-weak pivot, which means the potential for it faltering is there when it's under greater offensive pressure; and, people are adapting to Rotom-F more than they have in the past by using new sets like Protect Gabite, Protect Marowak, and Blizzard+Volt Switch sponges like Eject Button Audino and Eject Button Grumpig. Having said this however, Rotom-F will likely remain S rank because the way it centralizes the meta around itself is arguably on a different level when compared to the other potential S rank candidates. You'll see in my VR for example that there are splashable Ice resists and volt stops peppered throughout the upper echelon of ORAS - Rotom-F's presence really dictates how you build, and unlike other gens of PU, running without a volt stop in ORAS is still not something you can feasibly do. I do think people could use Rotom-F more effectively by potentially using its Substitute sets while opting for different methods of speed control. A snapshot comparing Rotom-F's and Mr. Mime's usage and win rates:

1697924085542.png


- :Lumineon: vs :Pelipper:: Don't drop Lumineon from A-. It had a very good showing this PUPL (~67% win rate with 9 uses) and it is in no way invalidated by Pelipper's presence. There are a few factors that need to be considered when differentiating the two: firstly, how you build with it is important; you more than likely wouldn't support a SR-weak Pokemon like Articuno with Pelipper. Instead, you'd probably opt for another removal option like Vibrava or Lumineon to avoid stacking weaknesses. Secondly, Lumineon's improved Speed sets it apart, which allows it to answer threats like Pawniard and Golem while also pivoting out of Cacturne. Thirdly, while it may not have that Flying-typing and Roost for beating threats like Monferno like Pelipper does, it has a flexible fourth moveslot for Toxic / Protect / HP Electric for either beating other Water-types or scouting versus choiced users like Rotom-F, and its lack of Flying-type lets it switch into and remove SR more readily. Call me a Lumineon fetishist, but its win rate and usage is very comparable to Pelipper's, and so they ought to stay in the same rank and be considered separately from team to team.

:Articuno::Kingler::Politoed::Gogoat::Regigigas::Solrock::Ampharos::Frogadier::Glaceon::Meowstic::Munchlax::Zweilous::Carbink::Lickilicky::Swoobat::Venipede:
- None of these Pokemon actually saw usage in either PUPL or PUWC; some of these are simply too high quality to justify unranking, like Articuno, Politoed, or Gogoat, but you could easily unrank a few of these and not many people would mind probably.

- Pretend that :Leavanny:(B-), :Seaking:(B-), :Pikachu:(C), and :Trevenant:(C) are here in my VR above, as they all saw usage across team tournaments from this past year.
:Seaking:Seaking is a functional answer to Rotom-F's BoltBeam coverage with Knock Off that has had only a winning record across PUPL and PUWC, but its usage is slightly lower than Chinchou's (B), so B- felt appropriate.
:Trevenant:Trevenant is difficult to justify adding, as it's a Grass-type that doesn't switch into Golem or Floatzel, but it's hard to claim that it's outright unusable even despite being overshadowed by a million other things vying for that same slot.
:Pikachu:PikaSpikes rose to prominence as a HO team archetype at the beginning of gen 8, and that seems like it stuck in people's minds to the extent that more people went back to ORAS to give Pikachu another try. I built with Pikachu recently and thought it was at least functional; that, and it went positive this PUPL, so C ranking is probably okay for it.
:Leavanny:Leavanny was originally hovering around C+ or B- in the first VR prior to being unranked fully in this update, potentially because council considered Smeargle to be a more effective setter of Sticky Web at the time. But, it did its job and set webs while also cleaning with a Choice Scarf set this PUPL, which says to me that this change probably wasn't warranted and that these Sticky Web setters should be considered separately.

- While they didn't see usage these last few tours, I might add things like :Beartic:(C), :Glalie:(C+), and :Octillery:(B-). There's nothing wrong with them really, as they are comparable to the Pokemon in those ranks and can easily take matchup against people who don't know the tier very well. Along these same lines, I considered other slower wallbreakers like :Heatmor: and :Seviper: too, but I strayed away from making an overly-inclusive list with Pokemon that aren't seeing any usage, even though they're arguably on par with at least some of those off-meta breakers like Zweilous and Glaceon down in C rank. Other Pokemon that really do have a legitimate niche even if they're rarely used, such as :Ditto: and :Natu:, could be added should they ever see tour usage, but past that, this VR is pretty comprehensive as it stands now.

:Slaking::Weepinbell:Slaking and full weather teams are the noob traps of PU; I wouldn't have included a note about them here, but for some reason, people keep using them and losing with them (this is more apparent in PUWC). You'll see a veteran like Taskr run in with sand and win occasionally, and perhaps rain and sand are viable, given that their respective wincons like Golduck and Stoutland are faster than common speed control options like CS Mr. Mime and CS Rotom-F and are relatively hard to wall (there is big opportunity cost in dropping Scrappy, though). Even still, I would leave the hail / sun / Slaking squads at home next time you're thinking about using them.
:Pawniard:A to A+: While maintaining its same win rate of ~60%, its usage has gone up over the last year even in the face of 30% Monferno usage - pretty impressive. There's a whole slew of faster, offensive Pokemon like the Simis, Zebstrika, Rotom-F, Mr. Mime, Dodrio, Kadabra, etc. that Pawniard threatens to OHKO with a boosted Sucker Punch, and many defensive answers to ORAS staples like Mr. Mime and Golem (ex. Bronzor) can be used as setup fodder for Pawniard. You can take that a step further and use Pursuit Pawniard to support partners that hate Bronzor like Bouffalant, but Pawniard's standard set is still arguably the best it's going to get. Pawniard feeds well into common building patterns like using Muk (lacking Fighting or Fire coverage), Audino, and SpDef Clefairy for your SpDef sponges, and there aren't really any downsides to using Pawniard given you have to build to answer Monferno anyway, so Pokemon like Swanna and Pelipper make for solid Pawniard partners that also see high utility in this meta.

:Bouffalant:A- to A: I think TONE covered this pretty well in his post above. I do want to add though, that as people are building for Normal-type threats like Dodrio and Stoutland, they may not consider Bouffalant as readily and stop at their prep for these with just Mawile. Bouffalant also pairs wonderfully with our most common CS user at the moment, Mr. Mime, which I like to use to give Bouffalant two attempts at sweeping. Bouffalant can be surprisingly difficult to answer (Bouffalant's presence in the meta leads me to consider Pokemon like Drifblim, Misdreavus, Gourgeist forms, and Bronzor (even Solrock on one team I recently built)), and A- didn't accurately represent its threat level to me when viewed alongside other Pokemon in A-. Weirdly, it had no usage in PUPL, but it won the majority of its games in PUWC.

:Vibrava:A- to A: Its increased usage and win rate warrant a rise in rank, and how splashable it is sets it apart from other removal options like Lumineon and Pelipper. Anytime I hear, 'X is hard to build with!', I say, look no further than Vibrava; it does a better job at supporting powerful but SR-weak options by not stacking weaknesses with those for the most part, while at the same time, it's able to answer physically offensive threats that are currently enjoying extremely high rates of usage (namely Monferno and Golem) pretty competently. Resisting STABs and coverage from the likes of Arbok, Rapidash, Camerupt is just another reason to use Vibrava given these Pokemon are all trending upward at the moment too. And most importantly, being a removal option resistant / immune to all hazards is such a strong thing for it in its favor when you contrast it with other options for removal, which says to me it's a cut above the rest.

:Arbok:B+ to A: Kind of a big jump, but Arbok is often underestimated for no discernible reason. Some notable factors in this ranking are its 80% win rate this PUPL and how it feeds into current meta trends. Realistically, it isn't that much worse than Muk is, and so ranking it one subrank lower makes much more sense to me in light of Muk's heightened defensive utility (as a blanket check to special attackers and its ability to absorb both Rotom-F's Trick and Roselia's Toxic Spikes). Arbok punishes many of the same Pokemon Muk does (ex. Roselia), but it's much faster and has coverage for the same Pokemon that wall Muk, which is key in deciding when to use Arbok. For example, Seed Bomb is there for threatening bigger damage versus Golem and Relicanth, Earthquake hits Stunfisk / Golem / Relicanth / Steel-types, Sucker Punch beats out offensive Psychic-types, etc. There's even more you can do with it - I recommend Ice Fang Arbok for teams struggling to keep up hazards versus Vibrava, and for teams looking to lure Gabite. With Coil boosts, Black Sludge recovery, and Shed Skin or Intimidate saving it potentially, it is actually a huge pain to take down, so I think Arbok in A and Muk in A+ is reasonable.

:Camerupt:B+ to A-: It took people a long while to acknowledge how scary Camerupt is, but it finally happened. Fire / Ground coverage is difficult to wall out, and there is always the danger that a Camerupt that resembles a SpDef variant from team preview is actually an offensive one, meaning that Pokemon that resist its dual STABs like Pelipper can be cooked quickly by Eruption. In Vibrava's and Altaria's cases, it's very easy to just click Hidden Power Ice on a predicted switch. There's a lot of merit in running a bulkier spread with SR and Protect (scouting Rotom-F is big) / Toxic alongside its dual STABs, too, and it is somewhat customizable in that sense. Its win rate went up from 60% in PUWC to 75% in PUPL, so a bump in rank is deserved.

:Duosion:B+ to A-: Realistically, this isn't much worse than the other Psychic-types out there, and there is actually some variability here that warrants some discussion. I think zS' / asa's set of Protect + Future Sight is fantastic and should be used more for scouting or setting up an offensive partner to get that extra chip they need to score specific KOs. Its Acid Armor set is quite strong when it gets going, is further complemented by Magic Guard protecting Duosion from Toxic, and is feasible to run when you have supports like Monferno baked into your team for taking out Dark-types on Duosion's behalf. Magic Guard is standard but Regenerator is an option for it, and if your opponent predicts you to run an Acid Armor set and tries to wall you out with something like Vullaby, Pawniard, or Cacturne, it's got coverage for those in Thunder, Hidden Power, and Signal Beam, respectively. While an increase in rank may not be warranted with usage this low (1 use in PUPL and 2 uses in PUWC), Duosion felt like a higher quality pick to me than many of the B+ ranked Pokemon did.

:Rapidash:B+ to A: A larger jump, but what's popular in the meta right now, ex. Pawniard, Mawile, Leafeon, Simisage, etc. are all checked nicely by Rapidash thanks to its access to Will-O-Wisp, unique speed tier, and reliable recovery. It has the option of running either more offensive with Life Orb / Charcoal and coverage options like Wild Charge and Drill Run, or bulkier in tandem with Rocky Helmet and Flame Body (reliable for punishing U-turn users like Purugly and Ninjask). A drop to B+ in this update by Anty didn't make much sense to me at the time it was done, and Rapidash is arguably more splashable than it's ever been. Another factor to consider too is that Monferno is sitting in A+; Rapidash isn't much worse than Monferno, so one subrank of difference between the two is a more accurate representation of their respective places in current meta.

:Swanna:B+ to A: Another large (but warranted) leap - Swanna's Flying and Water coverage is hugely potent and only resisted by Chinchou, and whatever else that is bulky enough on the SpDef side to not be 2HKOed by its dual STABs like Audino, Muk, Clefairy, Cryogonal, etc. is in danger of losing to Hurricane confusion and/or Scald burns. This in tandem with its high Speed stat allows it to Defog pretty reliably and is what sets it apart from Pelipper in terms of usage and quality. This is my go-to partner for Pawniard on more offensive teams, essentially an offensive Monferno resist that protects Pawniard and gives you switch-in initiative to remove SR or smack something with its (largely) unresisted dual STABs.

:Tangela:B+ to A: Sleep Powder, Stun Spore, Toxic, Sludge Bomb, Leech Seed, Synthesis, Giga Drain / Leaf Storm, HP Fire or Ice, Ancient Power, Knock Off, even Infestation - Tangela has it all and walls out a significant portion of the physical meta while being able to pick and choose what it can make progress versus in a match. It's very customizable in terms of what set and spread you can run, and it usually adds value to a team, assuming you also include a Pokemon that can deal with Muk and other Tangela answers like Roselia, Arbok, and Bouffalant.

:Chatot:B to A-:I agree with asa here on Chatot - while it's not terribly common, its effect in teambuilder is pretty prominent, as the threat of Boomburst necessitates Soundproof / Ghost / a Normal resist high on SpDef in the same way that Stoutland dictates you have a stop to Scrappy CB Return / Frustration. They're obviously on different levels, but the idea in building is the same. Specs Chatot is slightly harder to build with (use Vibrava for this), but Scarf Chatot is relatively easy to support (use a team structure that makes it difficult for Mr. Mime to lock into its dual STABs) and it plays pretty similarly to how Dodrio would. Boomburst is just such a strong button to click in end-game scenarios where Chatot is able to clean, and outspeeding Rotom-F is pretty big for it. I've heard people say, use HP Ghost Chatot, but no, I don't think it can afford it, as it needs HP Ground for counters like Probopass and Soundproof user Electrode. You can however use Return Chatot with a neutral nature for 2HKOing Mr. Mime on the switch (or just click U-turn on that into a Mr. Mime check; both ways of playing around Mr. Mime are valid). Chatot can just be so scary when you've got Golem as your Normal resist and the offensive Normal-type on the other end is a Specs Chatot - B or even B+ don't quite capture its threat level accurately in my opinion. I used Scarf Chatot recently in PUWC, and while it didn't do anything in that actual game, Boomburst felt very clickable in my test runs with that team.

:Zebstrika:B to A-: Another thing from Anty's update that I'm undoing. I have no idea how it dropping as far as B was ever justified, and his only rationale used in that post was "Zebstrika is complete shit." Basically, it was an unwarranted drop with no data or reasoning supplied, and in actuality, it's been winning the majority of its games and seeing pretty consistent usage across multiple team tours (#10 used mon, 9 uses, and 55% win rate in PUPL / #5 used mon, 13 uses, and 69% win rate in PUWC). It is basically your one-stop Volt stop that isn't a Ground-type, and it applies pressure pretty well versus typical counters to Electric-types while being able to Volt Switch out of the rest. What Hidden Power it chooses is variable too: Hidden Power Water for Golem and Camerupt mainly, Hidden Power Ice for Dragon-types, mostly Gabite and Vibrava, and Hidden Power Grass for Golem and hitting more niche answers like Chinchou and Seaking harder. It's as good an offensive pivot as you're going to find, and I could potentially see it in A if its success is sustained in future tours.

:Gabite:B to A-: I love this trend of seeing Ground-types like Gabite and Marowak use Protect - I've tried this myself on Krokorok in tandem with Pursuit for catching CS Rotom-F, but this tech from TSR is pretty neat. That match though between TSR and Blue YM captures well how effective Gabite can be at chipping away at teams via Rough Skin, its dual STABs, SR, and Toxic. It's a pretty unique Pokemon in that it's the fastest SR user in the tier, it's a SR user that has super effective / STAB coverage for Vibrava, and its Rough Skin is a rare but powerful option for punishing U-turn. It feels pretty splashable as you're building with it, possibly more so than many of the Pokemon in B+.

:Kadabra:B- to A: The more I use Kadabra, the more capable it feels - it's got so many little but hugely impactful changes you can make to its kit - Thunder Wave / Signal Beam / Encore / Substitute / Knock Off / Psychic / Psyshock / Hidden Power Fighting or Ground (beware that drop in Speed IV though if you're using HP Fighting...) / Dazzling Gleam / Counter+Focus Sash / Shadow Ball / Energy Ball / Taunt. Now, your real test - pick 4. It's probably the best 'oh shit' button we have to counter offense, and partially what makes stacking sweepers on more offensive teams or using multi hit moves so valuable. Name a Psychic resist, and I'll show you a Kadabra set that breaks it; not only is it pretty customizable in what it can take on, but its immunity to hazards and other passive forms of damage grant it a pretty specific niche. Whether it's finals of classic, or finals of PUWC, Kadabra simply wins games. It does compete with Mr. Mime for a slot, which has huge utility in Healing Wish and Trick, but Kadabra shouldn't be far behind Mr. Mime so a difference in one subrank felt like a much more accurate measure of Kadabra's quality to me.

:Ninetales:B- to A-: B-, really? While it has neither the usage or win rate to justify such a large bump, Ninetales was actually S rank back in the day and it's simply a high quality Pokemon with coverage for any Fire-type check, and is partially what drives Flash Fire Rapidash and Altaria usage up from a building standpoint. As mentioned when I talk below about Chinchou dropping, typically used Fire resists struggle quite a bit with Ninetales, as its coverage options in Energy Ball, Hidden Power Ice or Ground, Dark Pulse, Psyshock allow it to muscle through whatever you throw at it really. The best way to beat Ninetales is to check it offensively, so it's currently a pick that excels against more defensively-inclined teams but struggles a bit more in finding its footing versus more offensive ones - the fatter the meta becomes, the better Ninetales is, and while that's not really the direction the meta is taking at the moment, A- is more a signifier of inherent quality than anything.

:Relicanth:B to B+: Relicanth is a Pokemon I'm always excited to use, whether it's defensive or offensive, and it has had a well-defined niche in the meta ever since Carracosta left. 130 base Defense is absolutely massive, and so it finds many opportunities to set up via Rock Polish. Head Smash and Waterfall is literally only resisted by Palpitoad, a Ground-type with Water Absorb that very rarely sees usage in friendlies or room tours and nowhere else; so yes, once you set up successfully, you will probably be KOing something (unfortunately, it does not outspeed CS Mr. Mime at +2, but it does eat Monferno's Mach Punch quite well thanks to how bulky it is). Choice Band Head Smash with SR up has a ~67% chance to 2HKO Tangela (making Tangela eat Knock Off first is an easy thing to do), and it's a functional SR user and powerful option that answers threats like Rapidash, Stoutland, Dodrio, Arbok, etc. when played defensively. It's not terribly common, but it won 3/4 of its games across PUWC and PUPL.

:Marowak:C+ to A-: Marowak jumping from C+ to A- is such a massive jump, but it is just such a challenging Pokemon to play against in light of the fact most Ground resists that you would use for answering something like Golem are reliant on Eviolite, and so Knock Off from Marowak is doing so much throughout the course of a match (ironically, Marowak is also the #1 Pokemon most bothered by Knock Off in the tier). The fact that Marowak is out there gives you pause in choosing Eviolite-reliant Pokemon like Tangela, Bronzor, and Vibrava as your EQ answer, and perhaps opting for something like Colbur Gourgeist-XL or Leafeon instead, so planning for Ground-types in builder can be pretty complex. Funny enough, I ran into this same problem facing down Marowak + Muk in PUWC versus Elfuseon as I was running Servine as my Ground resist - not pretty. As a sidenote, I do think though that Bonemerang is situationally better than Earthquake, particularly when you're up against Pokemon like Golem at full HP, sash Kadabra, and Substitute users.

:Stoutland:S to A+: Not very controversial, as everyone else here has voted that way so far, but this is just the way the meta has been moving lately. Stoutland still does what it used to do, in that it has the propensity to break its own checks over the course of a match and kind of just keep on breaking after that. Its splashability isn't really there anymore with only 4 uses this last team tour though, and its win rate is either just breaking even in PUPL and negative in PUWC. Still a quality mon though, hence A+.

:Clefairy:A+ to A: Like Stoutland, there's nothing wrong with this one. Clefairy usually feeds well into the meta's main removal options because its SR usually stays up versus staples like Lumineon, Pelipper, Vibrava, etc. Alongside this factor, it is just a great progress-maker due to its innate ability to beat a vast majority of special attackers out there while avoiding offensive pressure from enemy hazards and its access to strong utility moves like Knock Off, SR, Thunder Wave, and more. On the downside, however, there are so many top ranked Pokemon that threaten to OHKO it, meaning it has to be built with the right supports, and so teams with Clefairy might not always win, even despite Clefairy having done what it has set out to do. Very good still, but it suffers from middling usage and win rates.

:Floatzel:A+ to A: Kind of a more contentious drop that might surprise some people, but like MZ talked about above already, its consistency isn't always there. Muk / Golem / Grass cores answer its coverage quite well, whether it's specially or physically offensive. This drop comes more as a result of building trends for me, as its usage and win rates are both pretty reasonable for an A+ ranked mon, so this could go either way.

:Mawile:A+ to A: Mawile is not doing as well as it used to, in that its usage is high but its win rate is negative. The Pokemon it answers aren't as common now too, especially Dodrio and Stoutland; meanwhile, it operates as a SR user that is checked by most Defog users, so its ability to keep up SR while also not allowing something like Pelipper or Lumineon to grab momentum for its team can be disappointing at times. It still does what it used to do for the most part, but I find this a bit easier to punish this meta with Ground-type breakers like Camerupt being as dangerous as ever and Pokemon like Swanna being very strong and easy to build with.

:Bronzor:A to A-: I've always hated how easy it is to force Bronzor to Rest and how easy it is to dismantle with the tier's myriad of Knock Off or Trick users that it's supposed to answer, ex. Clefairy, Tangela, Dodrio, Kadabra, Mr. Mime, etc. Usage and win rates don't indicate a drop for Bronzor, but I find myself using it less and less as a Golem answer and SR setter because it's not that splashable, it's setup bait for powerful wincons like Pawniard, it overpromises in what it answers throughout the course of a match, and it is too passive for my liking while being overreliant on Rest, and so it more or less just sits there and/or demands a cleric as a partner. This is more just a personal take though and how I prefer to build, so take that as you will.

:Combusken:A to B+: This was nominated to A rank while Baton Pass was still legal, so this is perhaps a remnant of the speed BPing meta that Teddeh was big into at the time when it was placed in A rank. It still sees usage 7 years later, and it has some perks that come with it - Pokemon designed to counter Monferno usually do not have high SpDef, so HP Electric / HP Ice Combusken can be used to break typical Monferno answers like Swanna, Pelipper, Vibrava, Altaria, etc. I find too that using Toxic Spikes works great in tandem with Combusken's combo of Speed Boost+Protect, up until you run into Muk or Clefairy and you're running specially offensive Combusken. It does have the option of going physically offensive, but then you're back where you started in considering Monferno over Combusken for its priority, recovery, and pivoting moves. Another disappointing thing for me is that, even at +2 Speed, Combusken is still outsped by CS Mr. Mime by +1, and given that Mr. Mime is more common than it has ever been, Combusken starts to look less and less appealing to me. On top of all this, its usage is very low even for something in B ranks, and it only wins about half its games (it lost to Pikachu in Taskr vs Aldo and did nothing in Xrn vs MZ).

:Dodrio:A to A-: How to play Dodrio: remove the bulky flying resist first (of which there are many: Golem, Mawile, Stunfisk, etc.), then clean up with Dodrio late-game. Dodrio's success really hinges on how common these flying resists are, and the few games where Dodrio actually did something meaningful was because a resist that can take on Dodrio was not included (ex. TSR vs Vulpix03). I find myself rarely using Dodrio due to how ubiquitous Golem, Mawile, and Pawniard all are, and at the same time, there is at least some opportunity cost in not using a more potent Normal-type. Still a good mon generally, but current meta trends have made cleaning late-game in particular more difficult for Dodrio.

:Grumpig:A to A-: ManOfMany called this, but Grumpig has fallen off a bit recently. Offensive Psychic-types are very strong at the moment, and while Grumpig is valuable for its ability to take on Pokemon like Rotom-F and Monferno via its typing and ability, it often pays to use something more powerful like Beheeyem or faster like Kadabra. You also won't find many teams with both Grumpig and Mr. Mime, and Mr. Mime has really taken off recently. Grumpig's quality is still there, but it's being used less and wins less frequently than it did even in PUWC, so a slight drop to A- fits. I do still enjoy Eject Button Grumpig quite a bit though, especially when used alongside Krokorok for trapping Rotom-F off of a Volt Switch.

:Gourgeist:A- to B+: This was used twice in PUPL, and twice in PUWC, and it won 1/4 of its games total. Its usage being low is most likely pointing to the fact that people will first gravitate to Grass-types like Tangela and Leafeon before they'd consider Gourgeist-XL (although, this choice is still largely team dependent). Gourgeist-XL can be sort of awkward to run in that you want to fit four of: Seed Bomb / Foul Play / Will-O-Wisp / Leech Seed / Synthesis (and even Skill Swap to deal with offensive Normals like Stoutland and Ursaring more effectively) in tandem with one of Leftovers / Colbur Berry / Yache Berry. Maybe too many options for me, but the big thing to remember with Gourgeist-XL when building is that its niche lies in countering Bouffalant while answering Golem and even Marowak competently, whereas something like Tangela would probably struggle a lot more in answering those at the same time.

:Metang:A- to B: It's had 6 uses over the last two team tours and 0 wins. While you can still think of it as a check to offensive Psychic- and Normal-types, how effective Metang is has likely been overstated. As a SR user, I struggle to think of a single Defog user that it beats - it lets in Swanna and Pelipper, and it relies on Toxic or the rare Thunder Punch for those. I think people should either consider something nonstandard to keep Metang alive, or just use a different Steel-type.

Metang isn't actually that great at beating Psychic-types:

0- Atk Life Orb Kadabra Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Eviolite Metang: 49-60 (15.1 - 18.5%) -- possible 6HKO
+
252 SpA Life Orb Kadabra Shadow Ball vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Metang: 260-307 (80.4 - 95%)
+
6.25% (Stealth Rock)
=
15.1% + 6.25% + 80.4% = 101.75%

:Articuno:B+ to B: It's seen 0 usage in PUPL and in PUWC; maybe B is not so much a measure of its quality as it is its visibility, but people are simply staying away from this. I might've said players are intimidated by the prospect of using something x4 SR weak, but they're still using Ninjask, so it's tough to say what's driving its usage downward really. I would speculate that it does poorly versus offensive teams utilizing Rotom-F, of which there are many, and so perhaps it's just not worth the effort to try and build something consistent with Articuno in this meta. I still think SubRoost offensive and SpDef variants are both very good, and if Articuno is ever used again, I could easily see it jump back up to B+ or even higher.

:Chinchou:B+ to B: Like Bronzor, Chinchou is great at walling out specific threats, and it is similarly passive and reliant on Rest and Eviolite to do much of anything. Its vulnerability to Rotom-F's Trick also makes me think you could do better with finding a way to pressure that than using Chinchou, like using a Muk-supported structure in tandem with a different volt stop. It can be a little awkward too, in that if your Fire resist is Chinchou, then teams with offensive Fire-types like Camerupt or Ninetales cook the rest of your team without much issue. It has a good win rate but extremely low usage, and with Ground-types that easily break Chinchou mostly trending upward, a slightly lower placement may be indicated.

:Misdreavus:B+ to B: 7 uses and a 28% win rate this PUPL was a pretty disappointing showing for Misdreavus - I think it could do better, but until it does, I think a drop in rank is warranted. I also consider Drifblim (B+) to be a more threatening wincon in end-game scenarios than Misdreavus, as Unburden sets trump all Choice Scarf users, while at the same time, Drifblim makes early-game progress pretty seamlessly via Will-O-Wisp and Knock Off. The more you think about Bouffalant and Chatot being strong Normal-types to contend with, the better using Misdreavus sounds, which is potentially why players like asa who voted Bouffalant and Chatot upward also have Misdreavus ranked higher in their individual VRs. Misdreavus is definitely an interesting Pokemon that could go either way, though; I've typically had more luck with its status spam + Hex sets than I have its NP sets, which saw more use this PUPL.

:Prinplup:B+ to B-: This is still viable for compressing SR setting and removal into one slot while allowing other SR users to run more offensive sets, but 0 uses in PUPL and 1 use in PUWC tell me it has definitely fallen off and is rarely considered these days, which warrants a steeper drop to B-.

:Vullaby:B+ to B: Another fallen Defog user, Vullaby is the Dark-type that overpromises in what it answers defensively, especially when you factor in its SR weakness and reliance on Eviolite. For example, Thunderbolt Beheeyem, Thunder Duosion, Knock Off and/or Dazzling Gleam Kadabra, Mr. Mime, even Taunt or Power Gem Grumpig, etc. all provide the potential for this Psychic check to lose versus these Pokemon it supposedly beats. It does a decent job as a blanket check to physically offensive threats like Arbok, Monferno, Leafeon, Stoutland, Gabite, Bouffalant, Pawniard, etc., but losing Eviolite in the process as it attempts to answer Pawniard and Leafeon and SR being up minimize the chances of Vullaby removing SR before it's forced to trade with something. Vullaby works well enough for keeping SR off the field versus Pokemon like Gabite, Metang, and Bronzor (though it is forced to eat Toxic in these matchups), but it starts faltering in that capacity versus Golem and Mawile especially, so it's not too reliable given how common that latter group of SR setters is. Pokemon that Vullaby hard counters (immunity to Powder is still a pretty strong trait) like Jumpluff are being used less frequently because of Muk and Mawile being common, so again, it's not an appealing option for removal in the meta at the moment. This is evidenced by its low usage rate, and it also lost the majority of the games it starred in.

There were a bunch of other changes I made, but I hit on the most notable ones. If you have any questions for me on the rest, ask away.

:Krokorok::Swanna::Muk::Grumpig::Mawile::Leafeon:
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:Vibrava::Roselia::Pawniard::Kadabra::Relicanth::Chatot:
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:Pawniard::Swanna::Rapidash::Tangela::Gabite::Mr. Mime:

:Golem::Pelipper::Pawniard::Monferno::Mr. Mime::Leafeon: - PUPL V teambuild with gasquake and Many
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dawnbuster

UUPL Champion
Hey, GSC has not been mentioned in this thread in 2 and a half years and is in general not an active tier, so I want to help anyone who glances this thread with learning it, or maybe pique someone's interest, I don't know. I am down to play GSC PU games with anyone, just tag me in PU / GSC discord and I will try to get games with you. This tier is still very underexplored and unrefined in my opinion, maybe we can get a discussion going.

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Since Hitmonchan was banned, Hitmontop has became far more viable. So much more viable that I can see an argument for it being the best Pokemon in the tier alongside Furret. The Curse + Rest Talk set is limited in counterplay and provides defensive utility. It checks Pokemon like Elekid and Magcargo and can go toe to toe with Furret. It becomes even better when paired with Pursuit Murkrow since it can trap Gastly. Using, say HP Rock on a Curse set for Venomoth sounds viable, but dropping Sleep Talk sucks so I am skeptical. There are answers, like Venomoth, Abra, Tangela, and Haze Murkrow, but some of these are shaky / can't check it long term. This is something you need to prepare for or else it will just run you over, its S tier.

furret.png

Other best Pokemon in the tier. Furret is fast, strong, and versatile. Normal STAB is great, and you have Surf for Rock types like Magcargo. Curse + RestTalk is not easy to bring down and wallops you with Double Edge's while you try to threaten it. I think its broken, too few good answers and you can beat them with coverage move. Curse Double Edge is both offensively and defensively potent, DEdge + Surf + RestTalk is good, Curse + Surf is good, even HP Grass is viable on this.

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Another top Pokemon. Murkrow is a solid offensive threat thanks to its good Attacking stats, speed, and STAB typing, but its also a great utility Pokemon. Murkrow's' STAB combination is difficult to switch into long term. Magcargo is your best bet, but you can run HP Water for that if you want. With Drill Peck, its one of the best mons at threatening Hitmontop, and you can Haze away its Curse boosts. Drill Peck also threatenes out Tangela and Sunflora. Haze is also crucial against Poliwhirl since you are faster than it. Pursuit is great to have when fighting crap like Abra and Gastly. Its just an amazing Pokemon to have on offense teams; its makes the most broken Pokemon better with Pursuit, stops you from losing to crap with Haze, and is a potent threat itself.

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Delibird is a crap Pokemon, but its the only Pokemon in the tier that can learn Spikes, aka the 2nd best move in GSC. Like Pineco in NU, Spikes transforms Delibird from a useless mon to an important metagame prescence. Spikes are crucial when trying to break the likes of Magcargo, Sunflora, Drowzee, Hitmontop, and more. The chip they provide stops them just switching around forever and means damage is able to stick on them. Delibird also has Thief, which further enables offensive Pokemon like Elekid and Murkrow. I have used HP Rock on this to hit opposing Delibird.

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Offensive Waters. Seadra I formerly considered broken, but I no longer feel this way. Its very strong, but we have Pokemon that can outspeed it like Murkrow, Furret, and Elekid. In addition, Pokemon like Sunflora and Noctowl are capable of answering it defensively. Still a very scary Pokemon though, Hydro Pump's from this hit hard, especially under rain. Poliwhirl is overatted imo, the prominence of Murkrow and Elekid hurts it a lot. It struggles to find setup oppurtunities and has to use shitty Lovely Kiss. Even if you get the drum off, you still have to tie with Furret and don't OHKO it. Seaking on the other hand I find underatted. Its a good physical breaker with Swords Dance, and Agility lets you sweep late game. It also has the bulk and typing to stomach some hits.

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Frail LC special attackers. Elekid is one of the most dominant Pokemon in the tier. It is one of the fastest Pokemon in the tier and packs a punch with its STAB Electric moves and coverage. Its ability to revenge kill Pokemon like Seadra, Murkrow, and Poliwhirl make it a crucial Pokemon for offensive teams. Thief is also great for these offensive teams. Gastly is pretty mediocre imo; It walls mono Furret and Hitmontop, but Murkrow often feasts on it. The same goes for Abra, though I do like it more than Gastly. Abra hits like a truck, but it suffers from Murkrow's prominence. Both of these Pokemon are incredibly frail in general, limiting how often they can hit the field. If used right though, they can put in work.

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Non Hitmontop defensive options. Drowzee I used to consider a top tier Pokemon, but its passivity has made me sour on it a bit. Its pretty easy to abuse with Pokemon like Furret, though Thunder Wave is very useful. Magcargo is in my opinion one of the best Pokemon in the tier. It reliably answers non Surf Furret, Murkrow, Venomoth, Growth Sunflora and Tangela, and does ok into Elekid. If you run Sunny Day on it, you can beat Noctowl too. This is a great set of Pokemon to check and Magcargo is pretty strong offensively. Hidden Power Electric is an option if you wanna hit Seadra. Sunflora is the best answer to Seadra and great into Elekid Flaaffy, and Cubone; it also has Growth to sweep. It sucks against Murkrow and Venomoth, so Magcargo is a great partner for it. Likewise, Magcargo appreciates its good Seadra matchup. Flaaffy reliably counters Elekid. In fact, it is basically a slower and stronger Elekid without coverage. Thunder + HP Ice is unresisted in this metagame and puts a lot of pressure into slower teams, especially since Thunder can paralyse. Lastly, Omanyte is generally the best answer to Furret. Unlike Magcargo, its not weak to Surf, meaning it answers most Furret sets. Its worse into Pokemon like Murkrow, though, so its more limited.

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Lastly, Baton Pass. I haven't used or seen BP much, but I feel it has potential here. Agility Pass Aipom + Cubone is a huge threat, and Eevee can Growth Pass to Seadra or Elekid. You probably want to pair these guys with Voltorb for screens. Aipom itself is midly threatening with STAB Return and gets moves like Counter, so I have more faith in it than Eevee.
 
Common threats to consider when playing GSC PU + some thoughts about the no-furret gsc pu tour

:gs/Furret:
  1. Furret
This tier centralized around Furret. Why? One reason is that Double Edge could 3hko most mons in the tier, couple that with Curse, and it has decent bulk to not get 3hkoed by the rock types in the tier. It is also fast in which only a few mon is faster than it: Sneasel, Voltorb, Elekid, and Murkrow, to name the common ones. It also learns Surf and can use HP ground to beat one of its common checks which is Magcargo. It is also tricky to check Furret offensively as those mentioned that outspeed it doesn’t resist Double Edge. Hitmontop could come in once versus it’s double edge but it needs to click Rest immediately the next turn as again, Furret is faster and 3hkos Hitmontop. So basically, every team in this tier has a rock type or Gastly. Teams with Gastly and Magcargo still need something to deal with Furret that has Surf and/or HP ground.

:gs/Hitmontop:
2. Hitmontop
Hitmontop has 110 base spdef so it acts like a special blanket check and can come in versus the electrics, (Elekid, Flaaffy, Voltorb), waters ( Corsola, Omanyte, Staryu), fire types (Magcargo, Ponyta, Charmeleon), low def sp atk mons (Sunflora, Delibird), and those that are weak to High Jump Kick (Sneasel, Clefairy). Coupled with its base 95 attack stat and High Jump Kick’s base power, it can 3hko most mons. Pairing it with Curse just further boost that threat, leaving only the likes of Venomoth, Golbat, and Gastly (versus mono fight set) to be able to check it. But since Hitmontop might try to check a lot of things, it can get overwhelmed and 2 mons faster than it can break through it eventually. An example is when Seadra/Elekid will put Hitmontop’s HP down to an ohko range for Abra’s psychic to faint it. Another thing to take note is that Seadra could actually break through Hitmontop alone with the help of Rain Dance to strengthen its Surf or use Hydro Pump and even Mystic Water item would help!

:gs/Seadra:

3. Seadra
As mentioned in the hitmontop section of this post, Seadra could break through most of its checks. A mon that could scare it would be Drowzee because Twave could neutralize non-rest Seadra sets and Rest Seadra sets isn’t as threatening as its full offense set. Magcargo on the field is one of the most common opportunity for Seadra to switch in. It can also come in versus the other common Furret checks in Omantye and Corsola. It isn’t as bulky as Hitmontop but having a base 55hp/95 def is decent enough to take some hits and come in versus a Murkrow Drill Peck and threaten it with Ice Beam.

:gs/Poliwhirl:

There are special mentions like Poliwhirl and Noctowl but I don’t want this to be too long and since I intend this to just like give a quick overview, I only pointed out those three mons. Now moving onto the other topic, which is the Furret-less GSC PU tournament that happened just several weeks ago. My expectations here is first, Noctowl would just replace Furret and second, there will be less rock types.

It was a small tour so the stats is hard to compare with the result of the GSC PU Open. But I guess I’ll just work with what we had for now….

:gs/Noctowl:

So Noctowl only appeared 7 times and won only 2 of those games. I reviewed all those games while I am working on this post. What I was looking when I searched the replays is if Noctowl met rock types. In those two wins, there is one game where Noctowl met Corsola. But in that game, Noctowl paired with Hitmontop made it tough to Corsola to be useful as a Hitmontop double means Corsola just let another threat that doesn’t necessarily need to set up unlike Noctowl to come in. Here’s the replay btw:

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen2nu-1944969809-xbkj6bii7tk3iahy7b8vin6ujyd8iuypw

And the Noctowl team is also built well as one of the possible counters to Machoke + Hitmontop is Gastly or Abra but that team has Murkrow. Not saying the other team just lost to match-up but it is possible to win versus that Machoke + Hitmontop even without using the likes of Tangela and Gastly to neutralize the fighting types. Machoke dealt with Venomoth because of its Body Slam while Hitmontop has hidden power just so not both of them will be walled by Gastly.

:gs/Corsola:

The other game that Noctowl won has no rock types so ig I wouldn’t discuss that xd. But even without rock types, Noctowl would still struggle because Elekid’s thunder can 2hko it, Seadra with Ice Beam is a threat too. I even saw Delibird made it a hard time for Noctowl in a certain replay this tour. And theres Cubone too setting up SD and Rock Slided Noctowl coz again, Noctowl is bulkier on spdef side but it only has base 50 atk so it really needs the Curse set-up unlike Furret which even use Double Edge to hit hard even without boosting with Curse.

:gs/Magcargo:

And now to the other expectation I mentioned earlier about the rock types, they had lower win rate in this Furret-less tour. Without Furret, the other top threats in Seadra and Hitmontop are both strong versus Rock types. So the Furret-less meta will really incline in the different direction in terms of teambuilding. Is this for better or not? I mentioned that I am in support of a Furret ban but I still has this doubts such as maybe Furret centralizing is not that bad because it at least raises the viability and emphasis for rock types.
 
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