Lower Tiers RBY PU Hub


"Because... Scald is a shit Ferro answer!!!"
Hmm if the NU Metagame gets revamped after the recent additions would Champ be more viable?
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New year new takes!
:arcanine: - Best Lead in the tier and also amazing in the back. Nothing checks it well aside from Seaking who is an awful lead and has checks in its own right.
:nidoqueen: - Unwallable coverage, is favored vs most of the tier and walls Magneton, its only weakness is Water-types who it can still chip heavily to clear the way for ones own Seaking to sweep later.
:fearow: - Can bullshit its way through even the most dire of situations, one of the best revenge killers in the tier.
:seaking: - Is the only Pokemon to consistently 1v1 Arcanine and has great matchups into Nidoqueen, Rapidash, Fearow, and Scyther (latter two if it has Blizzard). Its kept in check by Staryu, Gastly, and opposing Seaking, although all of these are tentative checks at best and +2 Seaking beats all of these.
:gastly: - Outspeeds Nidoqueen and Seaking and beats Seaking in a 1v1, it can also prevent it from setting up an Agility with its piss weak Explosion. It also has Hypnosis to click if it really needs to and it has no good switchins after landing sleep, although Hypnosis should really be a last resort click as its awful bulk and plethora of weaknesses mean missing can spell its doom.
:staryu: - Best Seaking check in the tier by a long shot, revenges chipped Nidoqueen and 2HKOes Rapidash and Arcanine, although its paper thin defences can exasperate a teams Fearow issues and its middling speed means any chip can put it into revenge kill range. It also suffers from wanting to be used in the early- and mid-games to do things such as spread paralysis and revenge Nidoqueen but if it isn't comoletely healthy by the end of the game it can't properly check Seaking.
:rapidash: - Has an amazing speed tier, making it one of if not the best revenge killer in the tier, and a great fuck-off Fire Blast, it can even switch into a Fearow Drill Peck if desperate and still beat it, it also absoloutly crushes any chance of Scyther sweeping lategame. Its issues are the bad Arcanine matchup and having to rely on Fire Blast to do much.
:porygon: - Agility Porygon is a great lategame sweeper, although it requires some level of support beforehand to eliminate/incapacitate Arcanine and Staryu. TWave Porygon is alright I guess but it lacks the oomph of Agility Porygon and any stray crits can end it.
:magneton: Its like a better Scyther in my opinion, trading the speed and not awful Nidoqueen matchup for better Gaatly, Seaking, Porygon, and Fearow matchups. Its matchup into Rapidash and Arcanine are also much better but still not great. It requires decent support to KO Nidoqueen beforehand, but thats not that big a task considering Nidoqueen typically trades with something and dies before the endgame.
:scyther: - Its alright I guess. It can sweep lategame with Swords Dance but the odds are stacked against it most of the time and it requires extensive support to be able to sweep effectively, and even if all the checkboxes are ticked, it can just miss Hyper Beam or crit when it doesn't want to and it will just die. Its a decent revenge killer since its fast and has a decently strong Slash, but if it revenge kills something it gives up any hope of sweeping later.
:Graveler: - Best Fearow and Scyther wall in the tier, has almost no even decent switchins, it also has a decent Arcanine matchup, though it dies to a crit or burn. Its only issue is its absolute Seaking food
:vileplume: - Walls SurfBolt Staryu and Blizzardless Seaking, allowing ones own Seaking to sweep later. It also is one of the few Pokemon to resist Magnetons Thunderbolt.
:drowzee: - Slow and frail, it hits hard and has a good Staryu matchup but this fast paced offensive meta really doesn't suit it. Unlike Gastly its usually going to take a hit before it even gets the chance to land Hypnosis making it even worse at landing it, although it is very hard to switch into after sleep.
:dragonair: - AgiliWrap endgame sweeper with great coverage options, although its fucked over by Gastly and is unreliable in nature.
:pinsir: - Best Nidoqueen switchin in the tier, more Nidoqueen dropping Fire Blast than ever is extremely good for it, letting it actually beat it after switching in. Its still got to deal with the awful Fire-type and Fearow matchups though.
:Omanyte: - Interesting lategame finisher and has more potential than people give it credit for, as long as its not brought out extremely early and used as Gastly switchin fodder it can be good.
:magmar: This Pokemon does literally nothing exept use cheese moves, you trade the great Fearow matchup the other Fire-types have for stupid rng fishing. This Pokemon is worse Arcanine and Rapidash in every single way aside from Confuse Ray, how it ended up in PU baffles me.
:machamp: - Just use the better Nidoqueen switchin, its interesting as a lead but it lets Fearow in for free and hates burns.
:abra: - Abra has a great Gastly matchup, being one of the only semi-competent switchins in the tier to it after it lands sleep. However its horrendous physical bulk and lack of power make it a failure of a glass cannon, its even OHKOed by Gastlys piss weak Explosion.
:sandslash: - Decent Swords Dance sweeper, also walls Magneton, although its Seaking food and unlike Graveler can't really check Fearow or Fire-types.
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thunder only happens when its raining
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Due to the recent news that NU is going to have its next VR update in 2025, and an general dislike of the current state of the tier right now, we've decided to look into potential tiering action. However, we want to know the community's current thoughts on the metagame before starting any suspect tests or anything like that. So we made a short tiering Survey to gather everyone's thoughts on the metagame! It should only take about a minute to complete, so fill it out if you can!

Survey Link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeXpYIuyBjUVJWlC9RGJ_3IO43ry2PzLEXCM-qd4RH47Z9pKw/viewform

This survey will be open for two weeks, so until Sunday, March 17, 11:59PM GMT-5. Any kind of tiering action will only happen after the end of PUBD, the ongoing PU team tour.

Also feel free to discuss here!
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thunder only happens when its raining
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:rb/fearow: Survey Results :rb/arcanine:
Let's start with the first two questions:
Forms response chart. Question title: On a Scale of 1-5 How much do you like the current metagame?. Number of responses: 14 responses.
Forms response chart. Question title: On a Scale of 1-5 how skill-based do you think the current metagame is?. Number of responses: 14 responses.
On average, the metagame is fairly well-liked, with an average of 3.57
However, the metagame is generally considered to be less skill-based, with an average of 3.00

Now moving onto individual Pokemon, the two biggest standouts in the survey were by far Arcanine and Fearow
Forms response chart. Question title: Arcanine. Number of responses: 14 responses.
Forms response chart. Question title: Fearow. Number of responses: 14 responses.
Both of these Pokemon were considered to be broken by most of the submitters:
Arcanine has an average of 3.86
Fearow has an average of 3.57.

No Pokemon stood out as much as Arcanine and Fearow; the two next-highest responses were Gastly and Seaking:
Forms response chart. Question title: Gastly. Number of responses: 14 responses.
Forms response chart. Question title: Seaking. Number of responses: 14 responses.
Gastly's average was 2.50
Seaking's average was 2.00

No other Pokemon had an average above 2. Also no other pokemon were brought up in the "anything else" category.
Porygon: 1.57
Nidoqueen: 1.50
Rapidash: 1.43
Scyther: 1.36
Dragonair: 1.36
Staryu: 1.29
Magmar: 1.21

These results generally show that a large portion of the RBY PU community doesn't believe that this tier properly rewards player skill. The two biggest culprits for this are Fearow and Arcanine. As a result, we will be suspecting these two Pokemon very soon. Every other Pokemon wasn't deemed broken enough by the community in order to warrant immediate tiering action.


from the river to the sea
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Once the current vote concludes, I would like to collect sample teams. If Fearow is banned then of course there will be some speculation, but I want to make sure the sample teams at least have legal Pokemon on them, or, if Fearow stays legal, I want to make sure they're up to date. Please DM me here or on Discord (same @) if you have samples to share, ideally ASAP once the vote concludes.

PUBD just ended and my thoughts on the metagame have shifted a bit. No time to explain because Fearow might get banned today so I need to post this right now
Fearow: Probably the most centralizing mon in the tier, every team needs one mon there specifically to not lose to Fearow, you need a queen or magnets or gravel to not lose and even then, Fearow can choose to win with a crit. Arc on paper beats Fearow but the opponent can bring back arc and suddenly that isn't a real game plan. Theoretically droppable since it does not switch into much really, but in a world where Gastly has a higher usage rate than Nidoqueen, it's undroppable unless you face someone with a super anti-Fearow scout, in which case you can probably probably take advantage of that with Seaking and/or Nidoqueen.

Arcanine: I'd say back Arcanine is at the strongest it has ever been. Gastly usage has shot up while Seaking and even Nidoqueen usage has seen a bit of a dip. This has led to a drought environment where Graveler and Rapidash are a lot better, and there is still some Magneton and Scyther usage right now. All of this is great for back Arcanine. It beats a lot of mons and trades versus almost anything. Pretty much any team that does not have Seaking, Nidoqueen in addition to a secondary Fearow check, or their own back Arcanine is weak to back Arc, which is probably the biggest reason to run a non-Arc lead right now, so you can play Arc mirror in the mid-game.

Gastly: The 3rd most influential mon in the metagame at the moment, Seaking usage has dipped almost exclusively because this mon exists. Being able to switch into a Surf, threaten sleep, and probably go two for one kills the viability of so many mons. Substitute Gastly makes counterplay even harder, before you could hope for early wakes as Gastly does 24% to your Arc but Substitute means you need to take action immediately once you get slept. Only solid answers are fires since Gastly can boom on the Psychic NFEs. On top of that, having Hypnosis allows you to do truly evil plays that should be illegal, like sleeping Fearow. If Fearow wasn't in here Gastly would make the metagame miserable, not because its too good but because it and has ludicrous variance. It doesn't have to watch its HP as much (70% is dpeck range) and can afford to always fish for Psychic drops once it gets sleep, something that it can't always do right now in fear of a risky Fearow switch. Fires can beat it but they have to hit Fire Blasts and avoid psydrops which would probably be frustrating.

Staryu: Doing the same stuff it has always been doing with the same usage. I think Psystar is the strongest it has been in while, obviously stuff like Vileplume isn't making a comeback but Gastly becoming extremely common is quite nice for Psystar, as well as Seaking dropping in usage which was the main reason to run tbolt. Other stuff like Porygon rising is nice for it since you can potentially force out Porygon once you trade paralysis because Porygon can just kind of sit on SurfBolt. Still about as good as its always been, Seaking and Nidoqueen are still common enough, Gastly and Star are on almost every team, Porygon and Graveler are semi-common, and Vileplume and Drowzee falling off means that Staryu is never out of job.

Nidoqueen: The slow teams it used to farm have long since passed but it will always do something in the back, and if it doesn't, that means your opponent is not using Fearow or Arcanine (or queen got crit). It is one of the few mons that can go toe to toe with back Arcanine or Fearow and if you can't fit it you might as well slot it in the lead slot and run back Arcanine, which I feel is very good right now. Very much a glue mon these days, makes teambuilding much easier since it is like the only mon that is good that forces a Fearow or Arc trade. Substitute becoming the "best 4th" is great for it because everyone is forced to play around Substitute even if you don't run it, so you can have your cake and eat it too.

Seaking: Definitely fallen from the highs of RBYPL, Gastly is higher than ever and midgame Seaking is very bad until their Gastly is gone. Still great and worth using since the NFEs that check it are easily revenged, but we have definitely reached a point where 100% Seaking usage can be taken advantage of. Works quite well with lead Porygon.

Graveler: Graveler, Magneton, Rapidash, and Scyther all share one thing in common, and it's Fearow is the one thing keeping them all employed. Graveler is the only one of the bunch that doesn't explode from a crit Hyper Beam so I'd say its the best. Graveler has such polarizing matchups so you can't really be that creative with building, you need to not lose to back fires and Gastly so you need your own back Arc or like counter Magmar, you need to not lose to Seaking so you definitely need Gastly (or your own dedge Seaking), you also need some way to deal with Staryu switching into Graveler so you'd probably are running Staryu since Vileplume and Drowzee introduce queen issues, and then you add Fearow and a lead. A sturdy enough team into stuff you'd normally see in the metagame, but when you run into stuff you don't normally see the team actually just doesn't function, Machamp ironically gives this core a hard time if it paraslams Staryu, double back fire also kind of farms it since there isn't much that switches into Fire Blast after your back fire dies so you probably have to give up something vital (your own Graveler), Gastly can quite easily be overloaded versus Agility spam and brazen plays like sleeping your Graveler with Hypnosis destroy it. Explosion is droppable, the only target it hits is Agility Porygon really, every other use case is very niche. Still good, but you can definitely surprise your opponent with Substitute and Counter on the same set.

Porygon: A lot better than it once was, as one twave on a team is quite common and Psychic being the standard on Porygon pressures Gastly a ton. Psydrops and paralysis gives Porygon really high chances to break past stuff that it honestly shouldn't, Gastly included, so two turns of bad luck can cause Porygon to get out of hand like a runaway train. Drowzee can completely stop Porygon, but I think stuff like Abra and Magneton are better since they tend to be a lot better than Drowzee if you do not get the right fish. As a lead it forces paralysis on an NFE immediately since it can sit on Arcanine (clicking Fire Blast is NOT a line) with Recover and you still get to have your own back Arcanine. On top of that it is painful to maneuver around without back queen. It's better than it has ever since non-Agility Pory died. I've said in the past that Porygon is most similar to an endgame wincon but I think that's wrong now, Staryu can't do much once it trades paralysis unless it is Psychic so midgame and lead Porygon usually gets paralysis on two things on average. Porygon is a bit like food without an expiration date, it could go bad tomorrow and get crit or it can last for a month and hax its way through all of the opponent's checks. At the end of the day PU is a very linear metagame and Porygon is unique in that tends to create complex gamestates.

Magneton: I think this mon is really, really good right now. Even if you know this mon is on the opponent's team it is difficult to prevent it from getting out of hand, many times you are simply forced to give up queen and trying to preserve it loses you too much material. Recent upswing in queenless also helps this mon a lot. Its affect on the metagame is really not felt in the builder but definitely affects how you play, you don't want to keep Staryu as your last where it is arguably at its strongest.

Rapidash: Exists to check Fearow but is very swingy, you need to hit two Fire Blasts which is something you cannot rely on and if you have this as your sole Fearow check you invite a lot of evil into your life. Luckily most people aren't fishing for odds so your opponent will most likely switch, but Fire Blast is relatively easy to switch into with back Arc, which can definitely allow Fearow to get out of hand. Also introduces Seaking issues. Agility and Substitute are both better 4ths than Fire Spin from my experience. Still decent as a Fearow check and worth using in the metagame.

Scyther: Same issues with consistency as Rapidash, you need to not get crit and then land a Hyper Beam. It doesn't check Fearow at full which constrains how you play but a +2 Scyther is very difficult to switch into since bulk (arc and queen) dissappears early into a match and Gastly tends to go away early too. I think it is lower than Rapidash since it switches into absolutely nothing, with Rapidash you can switch into your opponent's Fire Blast or Fire Spin or cope and switch it into a Drill Peck, but Scyther is even more of a defensive liability. Still a decent Fearow check that is rewarding to build around. I think this will be the biggest loser if Fearow gets banned, it cant set up in front of anything since it is afraid of everything, including paralysis, a lot of the stuff that doesn't have these moves also don't die to +2 Hyper Beam, and Fearow is the only thing it can set up a Swords Dance on barring rare stuff like Dedge Seaking or Magmar without Fire Blast.

Abra: Abra has been put in PU for one reason, and it is to maybe trade with Gastly after it sleeps something. On paper does a bunch of stuff like revenging Nidoqueen and paralyzing Porygon, but it is difficult to build a team around that stuff. Immediately revenged by a back fire or Fearow after Abra gets a KO, but this is par for the course in PU and you can use this to remove Fearow rather early in the game. There are some cute early game lines with lead waters but that just turns the opponent's lead Arc into a back Arc, something you do not want if you are using Abra. Still think this mon is barely good enough to be used, both Staryu and Gastly don't like seeing this mon so it can be used to facilitate midgame Seaking if you still believe in it.

Vileplume: Think this mon is a bit underexplored. Punishes Staryu and Porgon obviously, but also general bulk is nice to have versus other anti-meta stuff like Graveler, Magnets, and Scyther so its kind of like a third-order mon in the tier. One line I don't really see is switching out to Fearow immediately after getting sleep with Vileplume which punishes the common "stay in versus Vileplume to burn sleep, I have a Gastly anyways" play. Fearow probably picks up a KO, opponent can't sack their sleeping mon, Staryu continues to be walled. I think you have to double up on sleepers and use Gastly too since every team I've built with Vileplume has been better with Gastly over it, but I think Plume is usable and not outclassed.

Magmar: If you plotted how good I think this mon is over time it would look like a seismograph, I feel this is the hardest mon for me to wrap my head around. Right now I am a bit of a hater, it doesn't have good matchups against core PU barring Seaking and Gastly, and is pretty terrible against most of the anti-meta stuff, but sometimes you have lead Arcanine on your Graveler team and you really need to not lose to both Seaking and Gastly. Never missing and having set variety that can trip up your opponent is cool but I don't think that's a good enough reason to use it right now. I think it is at its act 2 low point, there is less reason to run Magmar when there is less Seaking in the metagame.

Drowzee: Only really worth running versus people who use Porygon. Dead weight against very fast teams.

Machamp: It has a niche in the tier since it absolutely farms Fearowless teams as well as teams that are super teched out to beat Fearow, but it is almost impossible to fit on a team without dropping Fearow or something since you really need Graveler. If you do remove Fearow somehow it is like a second, worse version of Nidoqueen that trades well versus everything. Definitely the biggest winner if Fearow gets banned since that's the most pressing thing holding it back right now, Gastly doesn't want to risk sleeping Machamp (and sleeping Machamp seems like low value anyways) and Fires are much more afraid of Machamp than champ is afraid of burns. I think it has its niches in the tier and you aren't shooting yourself in the foot when you bring it, but I don't think its good enough to hang with the real mons of PU.

Dragonair: I don't think this mon is good when Agility Pory exists. I've soured on Agility spam since you have to bring two mons that switch into nothing and your Arc/Fearow/Queen tends to trade versus the opponents Arc/Fearow Queen while your Agility NFEs trade with their Gastly/Staryu, leaving you in an awkward endgame. Always kneecapped by the fact that you need to an unreasonable amount of Wraps to win since Dragonair cannot take hits. Frail, switches into nothing, inconsistent and reliant on matchup, I don't like this mon right now.

Pinsir: This is mon is good on paper but lives in a comically hostile metagame. You know it's bad when Fearow is only the 3rd worst thing to happen to Pinsir. My opinions on back Arcanine probably make this placement not that surprising, a world where back fires are good is a world where Pinsir is bad. Fearow sucks since you get revenged by it, but it isn't that bad since you chip it real good and your opponent burns their Fearow on Pinsir instead of one of your NFEs. However, getting OHKO'd by Fire Blast with nothing to show for it is simply terrible, and the good traits of Pinsir are so disparate that you often just end up with Pinsir + 5 of the best 6 mons in the tier when building with it, and at that point just use big 6. Show me a Pinsir team and I will show you a better team without Pinsir. I still find some uses for it in lead setups, but the fact that most mons you want to save from Nidoqueen (Fearow) bait special moves is terrible since Pinsir dies from Blizzard into Fire Blast. I guess Fire Blast being the less common option on queen right now is good for it, but Fire Blast on queen is just as valid and it's not like you know which one everyone is running since Nidoqueen's 4th is rarely revealed. The payoff for using Pinsir is not that much, Slash isn't 2HKOing everything and I'd say the metagame is pretty bad for it right now despite the Substitute Nidoqueen usage. Also has an annoying guessing game associated with it, you don't want to Slash into Gastly and give up sleep but stossing into queen makes you feel real silly so you kind have to accept that Gastly will be coming in and stoss it into Fearow range. Pinsir having to predict also opens it up to getting owned by reckless lines like Gastly on Slash and Fearow on stoss so you probably just have to take the Gastly L so this stuff doesn't happen.

Omanyte: Omanyte facilitates real cool teams since it is the only mon that switches into both Arcanine and Fearow. If you build with that assumption, you open your 3rd eye and can build teams in the 4th dimension that are surprisingly effective unless Omanyte gets crit.

Slowpoke: We live in a world where Staryu's first entry is often its final one due to any chip putting it in Fearow range, but midgame Slowpoke doesn't have that problem. Having Thunder Wave + Psychic is decent enough at stopping Seaking and pose enough of a threat to not just get slept by Gastly. Sets are unexplored and you could also probably drop Surf for Reflect so Slowpoke can possibly win lategame with Amnesia/Rest/Reflect. Obviously this loses to Magneton but Slowpoke has enough utility in the midgame that I think it has potential. Crit prone but this mon is underexplored, it does something I swear

Arbok: Arbok fixes a lot of the issues Agility Spam has. Dragonair is reliable at putting paralysis on Gastly, Porygon is reliable at putting paralysis on Staryu so your Seaking or other sweeper can do stuff afterwards. However, running two NFEs that switch into nothing ironically means you are weak to your opponent's Seaking without Staryu or Gastly on your team. Agility Spam teams put a lot of effort into trading into an endgame that is basically a Seaking mirror. Agility NFEs have a tendency to create bizarre, complicated game states since Agility Spam teams have to tickle their opponent to death so switching around momentum sinks and taking paralysis is not that big of a deal for the opponent. This is where Arbok comes in -- instead of losing to Seaking, you can instead hit a very large number of Wraps. Arbok also has a sack of sand in its back pocket to hit the opponent with for the 1v1 at the end of the game, which means even if your opponent plays completely correctly they still need to bank on some good luck happening. This mon is the final piece of exodia on a barely viable teamstyle

Sandslash: This mon is what I'd consider a "3rd order" mon. Fearow, Arc, and everything in A are good because they kill everything. Graveler and all the other mons in B and to a lesser extent B- are usable since they have good match ups against some of the 1st order mons in the tier. Sandslash farms every second order mon, it beats Graveler, Scyther, Magnets, Psychic NFEs and mono-Psy Porygon but is terrible into the 1st order mons so it is not worth bringing.

Every mon not listed (Wartortle, Primeape, Pidgeot, etc.) is D tier at best. I don't have anything new to say about them.


thunder only happens when its raining
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:rb/arcanine: PUBD Team Dump:rb/fearow:
So PUBD ended and it was really fun to get to play RBY for the Sandacondas. Even though we came just short of victory, the past two months have been a blast and a fun opportunity to get to know some people in the PU community. Here I wanna share my teams and my thought process in each game.

First some thank yous. I absolutely have to thank the absolute GOAT Wanted in 49 States first. We reviewed basically all my games, you helped me build, shooting down some of my most crackheaded ideas, and we played way way too many practice games in the past two months. I also wanna thank gum and sensei axew for drafting me ofc, was really glad I got to play with you! And ofc the rest of the team for being a really fun group!

With that, let's get to each week!

Week 1 vs phoopes:
Game 1: :arcanine::fearow::gastly::staryu::graveler::seaking:
Game 2: :arcanine::fearow::gastly::staryu::nidoqueen::seaking:
Game 3: :arcanine::fearow::gastly::staryu::graveler::seaking:

So some context for this week. The PU LTC tour had just ended, where I got second place. I had historically not been a huge fan of Graveler, since I didn't drop queen back then, and Graveler + Nidoqueen gave a huge Seaking weakness, and this was right after RBYPL, which was a meta dominated by Seaking. However, during the LTC tour, I began to experiment with Nidoqueenless teams, and I realized that Graveler is an excellent fit on them, since dropping Nidoqueen can give a Fearow weakness, and you don't have the Seaking problem given by running two Ground-types. Replacing Nidoqueen with Graveler effectively means you are running a Ground-type that has a better Fearow matchup, but is basically worse overall outside of that one matchup. However, one of the biggest problems I had with the traditional "top 6" team was that it felt a little bit Fearow-weak for me, since the lead Arcanine was likely going down quick, Nidoqueen was your best bet versus Fearow, and lack of Rapidash or Scyther just makes the bird hard to deal with, which is why I found replacing Nidoqueen with Graveler effective here. Another advantage to Graveler is that it allows for early-game Staryu lines, since if you play Staryu early on traditional big 6, you get revenged by Fearow, making you weak to Seaking later on.

In terms of the rest of my teammates, the reason why I opted for the traditional big 6 structure this week was because of Phoopes' tendency to use Reflect + Rest Arcanine, which Seaking and Staryu love. I also vaguely remember rolling phoopes with a Seaking during (i think Slam?) so I felt it was a very good bring into him. Apart from that he didn't really have much of a scout (this was week 1 after all) so I just went with what the most proven team was in RBYPL.

Week 2 vs BP/Medeia:
Game 1: :arcanine::fearow::gastly::staryu::nidoqueen::dragonair:
Game 2: :arcanine::fearow::gastly::drowzee::nidoqueen::seaking:

Although I played BP this week, that was due to a last-minute sub; this entire week I assumed I was playing Medeia, so I prepped assuming she was my opponent.

So the one thing that immediately stuck out to me was Medeia's Porygon usage. It was very high, and I knew I could exploit this in some way. This is why I brought Dragonair and Drowzee this week. Dragonair could pressure Pory with wrap, and two twavers makes it very hard for Porygon to really do anything. Medeia also had pretty low Gastly meaning Wrap had the potential to be devestating. Drowzee is the hardest counter to Porygon in the tier, so that was also a good pick. What's funny is I never revealed Dragonair game 1, so I'm assuming most people thought I had a Seaking or Scyther in the back.

In terms of Nidoqueen vs Graveler this week, I opted for Nidoqueen both games because of Porygon. She has a much better Porygon matchup than Graveler. Looking back these teams were a tad Fearow weak, but that's something I think I improved on later.

Week 3 vs Teh:
Game 1: :arcanine::fearow::gastly::staryu::scyther::rapidash:
Game 2: :arcanine::fearow::gastly::staryu::magmar::graveler:

At this point my view on the overall PU meta had shifted a little. Historically I had viewed Arcanine Fearow Nidoqueen and Seaking as the top 4 mons, with Gastly and Staryu clearly a tier below these two mons. However, as I played and watched the tier, I felt like Gastly and Staryu were contributing more to a game and being overall better mons than Nidoqueen and Seaking. I had discussed this with Wanted a bit, and we came to the teams I should start spamming are Arcanine + Fearow + Gastly + Staryu +2. This structure is of course Fearow weak, so the +2 mons should have some way of handling Fearow. Here, you can clearly see that, with Team 1 having Scyther and Rapidash, the two mons that outspeed Fearow, and Team 2 has Graveler. My third team that I never got to use had Magneton for Fearow.

The reason why I brought these teams vs Teh specifically was that Teh is the type of person to spam fast mons. I didn't expect him to bring any of the slower mons like Graveler. I also knew Teh spammed Gast + Star + Seaking, so Seaking itself didn't seem like a good bring into him. Teh also hardly ever brings double fire or back fires in general, so I knew I could bring both of these teams (both of which are weak to back fires) and be fine.

Week 4 vs Sabelette:
Game 1: :omanyte::arcanine::gastly::abra::dragonair::seaking:
Game 2: :arcanine::fearow::gastly::magmar::rapidash::magneton:
Game 3: :arcanine::fearow::gastly::staryu::scyther::rapidash:

Some context for this week, our team was guaranteed playoffs at this point, so Gum said I could just fuck around this week, so these teams weren't the most serious stuff in the world, and I didn't really go off any scout since Sabelette and I RFNed. Because of this, these descriptions will be short since they were just based on theory.

So the idea behind the team Game 1 is to anti-lead Arcanine with Omanyte, then go Abra t1 as either Gastly or Staryu come in. If Gastly comes in, that really enables Dragonair lategame, and if Staryu comes in, that really enables Seaking lategame.

For Game 2, this team is built around the three fire-types overloading Nidoqueen/Graveler to enable Magneton late-game, while Magneton can fend off Seaking if nessecary.

My Game 3 team was just the exact same team I brought vs Teh last week.

Week 5 vs Cake:
Game 1: :porygon::fearow::gastly::staryu::arcanine::seaking:
Game 2: :nidoqueen::fearow::gastly::staryu::arcanine::rapidash:

So Game 3 of last week Sabelette absolutely washed me with lead Porygon, so I defnitely wanted to try it out this week. The reason why I opted for Seaking this game is because lead Porygon pretty much baits in one of Gastly or Staryu, both of which Seaking appreciate being weakned. She also has very low Drowzee usage (the one Drowzee team she had brought up to this point was one that I gave her for Medeia's high-porygon scout), so I assumed she wouldn't bring it. For game 2, I know Cake is the type of person to adjust her teams for G2/G3 based on how her earlier games went, so I figured that if G1 I brought porygon, she had a chance at bringing a lot of NFEs to G2 to deal with it, which Fearow and Fires are really good into.

Semifinals vs Cake:
Game 1: :arcanine::fearow::gastly::drowzee::nidoqueen::seaking:
Game 2: :arcanine::fearow::gastly::staryu::magneton::rapidash:
Game 3::arcanine::fearow::gastly::staryu::magneton::rapidash:

So I expected Cake to bring Porygon this time, she brought it against me in LTC finals and it basically won her the tour, so I was ready to snipe it with Drowzee. I also felt like Cake could drop Nidoqueen here since there was some discussion about queenless that week in RBYcord, so I decided to bring Magneton game 2. Not much else to say there, since I had just faced Cake last week these teams were largely based off of last week's prep as well.

Finals vs Sabelette:
Game 1: :porygon::arcanine::gastly::staryu::nidoqueen::seaking:
Game 2: :arcanine::fearow::gastly::abra::graveler::seaking:

So for Sabelette the main thing that stuck out to me was that her teams were very robust against Fearow, but not so much Seaking. She brought a lot of Scyther, Rapidash, and Double Ground teams. Because of this, my plan was to have the teams more centered around facilitating Seaking rather than Fearow. My game 1 team is very similar to my week 5 team with Nidoqueen over Fearow. Nidoqueen was really good at taking advantage of the paralysis Porygon spreads, and I didn't wanna go groundless since I was worried Sabel would bring Magneton against me due to my 40% Nidoqueen Usage over the course of the tour. For game 2, I played around with the idea of Graveler and Abra, one of the oldest cores of this tier. Abra is fantastic against Staryu and Gastly; Graveler could do something like let in the opposing Staryu for free, then I go Abra on surf. This also facilitates Seaking very well. Rest Abra is to stall out monopsy Porygon LOL.

Overall this was a really fun tournament and I was really proud of how I played and the teams I built. I was glad I got to meet a bunch of new people in the PU community, and play some exciting PU games with some of my good friends in the RBY community!

I'll end this essay with some spicy metagame takes that I dropped in discord a few days ago. These are supposed to be unpopular/controversial so if you disagree with me, I did my job.

  • Seaking is a step below the other top mons (arc bird queen gast staryu)
  • Vileplume is utter dogshit, the second worst pu-ranked mon after machamp, even abra is better
  • Magneton is defnitely PU, especially with the queenless wave
  • Abra is a decent mon due to the crazy gastly usage (gastly has overtaken nidoqueen in usage
  • Arbok has merit in this tier (i never brought it but used it a lot in testing, def has good traits, and i would say it's better than at least stuff like machamp and sandslash
  • Explosion is very droppable on grav, quake and slide are the only mandatory move
  • Lead porygon is real, but defnitely needs more experimentation
  • If you want to use graveler, use it over nidoqueen, not alongside it, u kinda get farmed by waters if u bring both
  • Arcanine is mandatory, nothing else is (although fearow and gastly should be brought to most games)
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