Lower Tiers RBY Tradebacks Metagame Hub


RBY Tradebacks Exploration & Discussion Thread
Approved by Lutra
Original post by Plague von Karma

With the recent quality enhancements to playing RBY with Tradebacks on PS, I thought I would make a thread with resources for those interested in the metagame. With team folders, various legality fixes, and more now available, it is now more accessible than it ever has been. Tradebacks OU is often said to be this monolithic unexplored metagame, but hopefully, this thread and those fixes will take that excuse away!

Feel free to discuss anything in this thread; interesting findings, potential metagame threats, tiering action, how to deal with various aspects of the game, etcetera! This is something largely untapped by even hardcore RBYers, so chances are there's a lot for you to discover!

:snorlax:Introduction & History:hypno:
"Tradebacks" is a term for trading RBY Pokemon with GSC to get better DVs and more moves that are otherwise unobtainable. This has been a massive morality and legality nightmare for many an RBYer, resulting in them being banned from standard play for over 20 years. However, a format allowing Tradebacks has quietly persisted ever since. I personally hold this metagame up alongside RBY and Stadium OU, making a kind of triad of formats. As a general rule, Tradebacks generally adds a lot more elemental punches and setup moves to the game, making for more "modern" movesets. This makes the game significantly more aggressive than your regular RBY OU, which is a nice change of pace, but this isn't to say stall isn't still a very potent force. There's a lot of back-and-forth interaction!

:gengar:Viability Rankings:persian:
This VR was last updated on October 25th 2023. A Google Sheets document with each of the submitted rankings can be found here.

:Snorlax: Snorlax
:Tauros: Tauros
:Alakazam: Alakazam

:Chansey: Chansey
:Starmie: Starmie
:Gengar: Gengar
:Exeggutor: Exeggutor
:Persian: Persian

:Zapdos: Zapdos
:Rhydon: Rhydon
:Cloyster: Cloyster
:Hypno: Hypno

:Slowbro: Slowbro
:Jolteon: Jolteon
:Jynx: Jynx


:Lapras: Lapras
:Nidoking: Nidoking
:Moltres: Moltres
:Vaporeon: Vaporeon

:Articuno: Articuno
:Nidoqueen: Nidoqueen
:Golem: Golem
:Victreebel: Victreebel
:Dragonite: Dragonite
:Clefable: Clefable
:Sandslash: Sandslash
:Porygon: Porygon

:alakazam:Role Compendium:tauros:
Since a lot of Pokemon get new moves, the roles you can see in a game are changed significantly. This role compendium aims to fix that.

Moves gained through Tradebacks are separated by an upper bar ( | ), so you can tell what Pokemon has been directly buffed to be capable of fulfilling this role. All ordering is specified and will be from left to right. If it's important, I'll also note % chances for stuff to hit/status and other details.

I can add more roles on request.

Ordered by Speed.
  • Hypnosis (59.8%): :gengar::poliwrath::hypno::exeggutor: | :persian::rapidash::mr-mime::golduck:
  • Lovely Kiss (74.6%): :jynx: | :nidoking::nidoqueen::poliwrath::victreebel::snorlax:
  • Sleep Powder (74.6%): :venusaur::victreebel: :tangela::exeggutor::vileplume:
  • Sing (54.7%): :clefable::lapras::chansey:| :raichu::jynx:
Sleep Speed Tiers
All Pokemon with sleep moves are cited, in the case that multiple Pokemon are in a tier, the higher accuracy moves are listed first. If a Pokemon gets the same move and has the same Speed, I default to alphabetical. I also removed any "worse" moves from here as well; eg. Jynx gets Lovely Kiss and Sing but you're really only using Lovely Kiss.
SpeedApplicable Pokemon
115:persian: (Hypnosis, 59.8%)
110:gengar: (Hypnosis, 59.8%)
105:rapidash: (Hypnosis, 59.8%)
100:raichu: (Sing, 54.7%)
:ninetales: (Hypnosis, 59.8%)
95:jynx: (Lovely Kiss, 74.6%)
90:mr-mime: (Hypnosis, 59.8%)
85:nidoking: (Lovely Kiss, 74.6%)
:golduck: (Hypnosis, 59.8%)
80:venusaur: (Sleep Powder, 74.6%)
76:nidoqueen: (Lovely Kiss, 74.6%)
70:victreebel: (Sleep Powder, 74.6%)
:poliwrath: (Lovely Kiss, 74.6%)
67:hypno: (Hypnosis, 59.8%)
60:tangela: (Sleep Powder, 74.6%)
:clefable: (Sing, 54.7%)
:lapras: (Sing, 54.7%)
55:exeggutor: (Sleep Powder, 74.6%)
50:chansey: (Sing, 54.7%)
30:snorlax: (Lovely Kiss, 74.6%)

Ordered alphabetically. Excluding Pokemon that get a better boosting move in the same stat.

Stat Boosts:
  • Agility (+2 Speed): :aerodactyl::arcanine::articuno::dragonite::jolteon::moltres::porygon::raichu::rapidash::zapdos:|:magneton:
  • Amnesia (+2 Special): :golduck::slowbro::snorlax: |:clefable::hypno::kingler::nidoking::persian:
  • Barrier (+2 Defense): :tentacruel::mr-mime: | :alakazam::cloyster::electabuzz::hypno::magmar::porygon:
  • Growth (+1 Special): :venusaur: :victreebel: | :flareon::jolteon::vaporeon:
  • Meditate (+1 Attack): :hypno::mr-mime:|:electabuzz::jynx::machamp::primeape:
  • Swords Dance (+2 Attack): :kingler::pinsir::sandslash::tentacruel::venusaur::victreebel:|:seaking:
  • Agility + Swords Dance: :farfetch:scyther: | :seaking:
Stuff that's also boosting but not really:
  • Reflect (+2 Defense during damage calc): :aerodactyl::alakazam::articuno::chansey::clefable::cloyster::dragonite::electabuzz::exeggutor::hypno::jolteon::jynx::lapras::moltres::mr-mime::nidoking::nidoqueen::porygon::raichu::rapidash::slowbro::snorlax::starmie::vaporeon::victreebel::zapdos:
  • Light Screen (+2 Special during damage calc): :chansey::clefable::electabuzz::mr-mime::raichu::starmie::zapdos: | :alakazam::dragonite::golduck::hypno:
  • Mist ("Tail Whip Flareon is scary"): :articuno::lapras::vaporeon: | :dragonite:
  • Focus Energy (+Crit but only in Stadium): :jolteon::nidoking::vaporeon: | :nidoqueen:

:persian:Critical Hits
Ordered by numerical strength.
  • Slash: :persian::pinsir: :sandslash:
  • Razor Leaf: :victreebel::venusaur: | :vileplume:
  • Crabhammer: :kingler:

:electrode:Speed Control & Paralysis
Ordered alphabetically.
  • Speed Debuffs:
    • Bubble Beam (-1, 33.2%): :articuno::chansey::clefable::cloyster::golduck::jynx::kingler::lapras::nidoking::nidoqueen::persian::rhydon::slowbro::snorlax::starmie::vaporeon:
  • Paralysis:
    • Body Slam (30.1%): :alakazam::chansey::clefable::dragonite::electabuzz::gengar::golduck::golem::hypno::jolteon::jynx::kingler::lapras::mr-mime::nidoking::nidoqueen::persian::raichu::rapidash::rhydon::slowbro::snorlax::tauros::vaporeon::victreebel:
    • Glare (74.6%): :arbok:
    • Thunder (10.2%): :chansey::clefable::dragonite::electabuzz::gengar::jolteon::lapras::mr-mime::nidoking::nidoqueen::persian::porygon::raichu::rhydon::snorlax::starmie::tauros::zapdos:
    • Thunderbolt (10.2%): :chansey::clefable::dragonite::electabuzz::gengar::jolteon::lapras::mr-mime::nidoking::nidoqueen::persian::porygon::primeape::raichu::raticate::rhydon::snorlax::starmie::tauros::zapdos:
    • Thunder Punch (10.2%): :electabuzz:| :alakazam::clefable::gengar::hypno::mr-mime::rhydon::snorlax::wigglytuff:
    • Thunder Wave (99.6%): :alakazam::chansey::clefable::dragonite::electabuzz::hypno::jolteon::mr-mime::porygon::raichu::slowbro::starmie::zapdos:
    • Stun Spore (74.6%): :exeggutor::parasect: :tangela: :venomoth::victreebel::vileplume:

:dragonite:Partial Trapping
Ordered by Speed.
  • Clamp: :cloyster:
  • Fire Spin::rapidash::charizard: :ninetales::moltres::flareon: | :arcanine:
  • Wrap: :tentacruel::dragonite::arbok::victreebel::lickitung:
  • Bind: :pinsir: :onix: :tangela:
  • Agility + Fire Spin: :rapidash::moltres: | :arcanine:
  • Agility + Wrap: :dragonite:
  • Swords Dance + Wrap: :tentacruel::victreebel::lickitung:
  • Swords Dance + Bind: :pinsir: :tangela:

:golem:Explosion & Self-Destruct
Ordered by strength, then alphabetically. No Pokemon gains anything here, so it's the same pool as OU. Pokemon that get Self-Destruct but also get Explosion are omitted from the Self-Destruct section. Note that Snorlax has the strongest Self-KO move in the game.
  • Self-Destruct: :snorlax:
  • Explosion: :golem::cloyster::exeggutor::gengar:

:porygon:Misc. Stuff I can't put anywhere else
Ordered alphabetically.
  • Counter: :alakazam::chansey::clefable::electabuzz::gengar::golduck::golem::hypno::jynx::mr-mime::nidoking::nidoqueen::rhydon::slowbro::snorlax:
  • Haze: :vaporeon: | :dragonite::gengar::kingler:

While this metagame is generally underexplored, there are some resources out there that can help you!

:snorlax:Smogon Strategy Pokedex
With the help of Caetano93, Sample Sets for Tradebacks OU have populated the dex, though the moves learned through GSC haven't been put into their movepools yet. If you're not sure where to start with building, look no further than here!

:snorlax: RoA Sample Teams
Teams from experienced players will be stored here, pick one up and play right out of the box!

:snorlax: A Beginner's Guide to RBY Tradebacks (2021)
A somewhat old guide to Tradebacks OU produced with the assistance of players like Caetano93 and Enigami. Largely considered to be definitive for the time, featuring sample sets, every Tradeback move, and some surface-level metagame analysis. While the sets generally hold up, most metagame analysis is outdated.

:snorlax:An Introduction to Tradebacks OU (2015)
While a touch outdated these days, this is a solid introduction to the metagame that gives a (somewhat incomplete) list of Tradeback Moves to look out for. This is often the first guide people read before getting into the format. It overstates the relevance of some additions (like Hypno and Alakazam).
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My personal Tradebacks VR:

S+: :snorlax:

S: :hypno: :gengar:

A+: :tauros: :chansey: :persian: :starmie:

A: :alakazam: :vaporeon: :exeggutor: :zapdos:

B: :cloyster: :jynx: :rapidash: :nidoqueen: :rhydon: :jolteon: :articuno: :slowbro:

C: :clefable: :nidoking: :electabuzz: :ninetales: :victreebel: :lapras: :poliwrath:

D: :moltres: :flareon: :dragonite: :kingler: :kabutops: :sandslash: :raichu: :dodrio: :gyarados:

E: :venusaur: :aerodactyl: :porygon: :mr-mime: :arcanine: :charizard: :machamp: :omastar: :tentacruel: :seaking: :electrode:

F: everything else

Tried to include as many as possible Pokemon here. If there is a Pokemon missing (F tier in this case) is because they didn't have any niche in Tradebacks games, either because they sucks big time or because other Pokemon do what they did but better.


"Because... Scald is a shit Ferro answer!!!"
Is there a Discord chat or Hub for something like this? Cuz this seems really interesting.
I have only played a few games on this format, quite a while ago, but am so happy to see it picking up a bit again. Imo, it does open up team building quite a bit compared to standard RBY. I do think Snorlax is borderline OP but am not sure what the downstream impact would be of banning it or if that would even ever be considered. I think the sleep game is stepped up considerably here. The presence of viable Fire types is also pretty cool. Very excited to see what this thread brings.

Plague von Karma

Banned deucer.
I do think Snorlax is borderline OP but am not sure what the downstream impact would be of banning it or if that would even ever be considered.
I'm not sure about whether or not Snorlax can be called broken or whatever. However, it can be called overpowered in reference to the options it has; it's in the same vein you can refer to SM Landorus-Therian as such. Its new direction as a sleeper is a bit odd since it has a massive amount of opportunity cost when running it: it loses to any other sleeper by Speed alone and then has to consider what it's running. Sleeper ReflectLax becomes Gengar food and AmnesiaLax often has to drop recovery or Body Slam (very bad please god don't do this). Then PhysLax has to drop Self-Destruct/Hyper Beam/Earthquake, all of which drastically change its matchups. On the flip side, it's the biggest stop to TWave leads in the game, and as we all know, early-game Lax often defines games in regular RBY OU. It's very polarizing, I'm not sure if Sing Chansey is just better? Still, it's very scary.
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Plague von Karma

Banned deucer.
7th May 2021

Sample Teams are now available on the Smogon RoA page! :blobpex:

12th June 2021
With the release of the Beginner's Guide to RBY Tradebacks, I've chucked it on the resources section. It's a better time than ever to learn about how this format operates!

I also added Sleep Speed Tiers to the Sleeper section of the Role Compendium, if that interests anyone!

11th August 2021
With the lack of any other informed VR, I've added Caetano's to the OP alongside links to the Sample Sets on the Strategy Dex.
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Plague von Karma

Banned deucer.
Heya, with the advent of the Tradebacks OU Spotlight Ladder & Tournament I've updated this a bit more. Namely, I added an Explosion + Self-Destruct section to the role compendium at Volk's request. It's the same as OU's, but still ok and important with the Amnesia users running around.

Also, you bet your sweet bippy I'll be looking into usage and the like for all this stuff!

With that out of the way...

There has been some minor discussion in the RBY Discord about sleep in this tier. What are your thoughts? It's very much revolutionised the lead metagame, as we know, but let's look at this a bit more, eh?


pay 5000, gg?
is a Contributor Alumnus
Mr. Mime.png

Mr. Mime
Having some fun with Mr. Mime in this meta. With a decent Speed tier Hypnosis, STAB Psychic, and TBolt, its honestly not that bad. Outspeeding the Nidos, Hypno, Chansey, and Lax with these tools is pretty nice, while being genuinely pretty annoying to Starmie due to TBolt, and also having some tools to combat stuff like Vaporeon. Has serious 4MSS tho, as without Seismic Toss this thing CRUMBLES vs Zam and Hypno. Thinking the play is to drop Thunder Wave? Taking some pressure off of mons like Hypno and Chansey is quite nice either way, since they're often such important defensive backbones. Think Mime is worth pursuing somewhat, prob like D or maaybe low C.

Sleep Ban
I'm pretty okay with Sleep. I feel that it and Amnesia help to differentiate the tier from Smogon OU which is very important to attract a playerbase, as i've seen many times that people like the tier as something diff to play occasionally from regular OU. It also just makes the lead meta pretty interesting, with the interactions between Persian (#1 mon in the tier btw), Gengar, Rapidash, Alakazam, Jolteon etc all being pretty interesting to theorize and mess around with. Smogon OU's lead game has gotten a bit stale for some, and for me the early game is one of my absolute favorite parts of playing mons, so I see this as a good thing. However, some people have 0-7 Sleep turns blah blah blah so I can see a ban ig.

Possible solutions:
  • Ban Snorlax (:Snorlax:): I've seen this one thrown around, but I don't like it very much. Snorlax is like the worst sleeper in the tier, it just so happens to have Sleep on an already good mon. Hell, half the time it doesnt even run it cause fitting it is so hard, and it doesnt really fix anything cuz there's 50 other sleepers to abuse stuff.​
  • Ban Sleep moves (:Parasect:): I see this one a bit more, but removing moves from a tier who's identity is giving Pokemon new moves sounds stupid as a concept.​
  • Nerf Sleep Mechs (:Porygon:): Enigami has brought this up a bit in the Discord, such as using Yellow Colloseum 2's Sleep mechanics. I'm kinda against it cause its a bit weird of an idea, but its not the worst and it should theoretically get the job done.​
  • Ban Lovely Kiss (:Weepinbell:): This is mostly a joke, but banning certain Sleep moves that are most problematic like LK or Hypnosis theoretically solves it while still leaving some Sleep moves to preserve as many moves for the tier's identity as possible.​
  • Do Nothing (:Hitmonchan:): The tier has seen generally positive reception so far, no action may be needed in the end. I like it personally so far.​

Bro this thing is so fucking good its scary. Single handedly warps the entire lead meta around it, hits super hard and has lots of great situations to pressure with Slashes and setup Amne TBolt stuff, while also randomly hitting Rhydon with BB cuz why not. Also makes Tauros an actually droppable mon which is neato. 100% better than The Bull due to utility too imo and is easily at least like #4 in the tier.

That's all my notable thoughts on the tier so far, bullshitting on ladder has been funny.
Want to make a post about how much fun I've been having with Aerodactyl in this format. While the addition of Earthquake to its moveset doesn't seem like the biggest change it makes it a ton more Viable. The main set I ended up settling with was :

Ability: none
- Earthquake
- Hyper Beam
- Sky Attack / Double Edge
- Agility / Substitute

While initially I used Fire blast for extra coverage its just really not that useful even when it burns and the 30% chance isn't worth the low overall damage. Sky Attack however does have a lot of potential as a move to break open teams lacking Zapdos and Rhydon. Now that it has the very spammable Earthquake to use, it becomes much better able to use its EQ immunity and normal resistance since it isn't weakening itself with Double Edge. This in conjunction with its Starmie & Persian beating speed stat it finds more opportunities than ever to come in and force out the opponent. Sky Attack and Substitute are risky and specific so double edge to hit Zapdos more reliably and Agility so that you can check those body slams without fearing paralysis as much. Important Team members are: a Rhydon switch in like Mid-game Exeggutor, Cloyster, or even the new reflect or Amnesia Tangela. A Zapdos switch in Like Rhydon, Jolteon or both (preferably Rhydon but the new growth Jolteon makes for a very scary double 130 speed core). And another fast breaker / sweeper to take advantage of the damage Aero does to the opponents team/ deal the damage that will allow aero to be the one doing the sweeping a la Tauros and Persian. One more thing of note is that you may wanna run Toxic in the same vein as RBY UU because if Agiliwrap D-nite becomes a common thing in Tradebacks then Aero becomes a big entry point for it
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Plague von Karma

Banned deucer.
Ability: none
- Earthquake
- Hyper Beam
- Sky Attack / Double Edge
- Agility / Substitute
I'm surprised Headbutt hasn't been mentioned! Being one of the fastest Pokemon in the tier with access to Headbutt makes it a pretty frustrating Pokemon to deal with, especially with paralysis support. I've been using it as a counterlead against Persian because it makes Hypnosis much harder to land factoring in the flinch rate. I think it amounts to like ~45% at that point; still gonna happen eventually, but the damage is very valuable.

I personally really like Fire Blast, as it ensures Exeggutor can't come in for free and be a little git. I think the burns are very useful alongside Cloyster, which seems to synergise well with Aerodactyl. You can chuck Jolteon in there to make a 3-Pokemon core that works super well together and makes Snorlax have to think for a change.

I don't see much reason to run Double-Edge as the Pokemon it intends to hit - Flying-types - likely kill it anyway. Articuno and Zapdos are the most common targets, after all. You can certainly run it, it's just that Earthquake doesn't deal recoil and is thus just the better move to use most of the time. Headbutt lacks recoil and has a useful flinch chance, all while making it better in lead situations.

With that in mind I tend to run this set;
- Headbutt
- Hyper Beam
- Earthquake
- Fire Blast

Plague von Karma

Banned deucer.
The Tradebacks OU Ladder has concluded with a Spotlight Tour still to go! I've added the stats to the Resource Hub, but I'll give my opinions on them now! I'll be taking it from 1630, as the stats seem "right" and don't appear to have been influenced too much by any one person. It seems to have been significantly more popular than Stadium OU. For information on how this works, go here.

Moves are here, leads are here.

Alright, big one first! I've cut off from below 1%. Articuno just barely missed it, for those interested.
 Total battles: 377
 Avg. weight/team: 0.043
 + ---- + ------------------ + --------- + ------ + ------- + ------ + ------- +
 | Rank | Pokemon            | Usage %   | Raw    | %       | Real   | %       |
 + ---- + ------------------ + --------- + ------ + ------- + ------ + ------- +
 | 1    | Snorlax            | 97.53809% | 541    | 71.751% | 457    | 73.394% |
 | 2    | Hypno              | 77.66272% | 454    | 60.212% | 373    | 59.904% |
 | 3    | Chansey            | 63.23765% | 380    | 50.398% | 307    | 49.304% |
 | 4    | Gengar             | 61.01599% | 368    | 48.806% | 331    | 53.158% |
 | 5    | Tauros             | 48.83653% | 440    | 58.355% | 338    | 54.283% |
 | 6    | Persian            | 46.21214% | 257    | 34.085% | 239    | 38.383% |
 | 7    | Alakazam           | 41.39224% | 285    | 37.798% | 239    | 38.383% |
 | 8    | Exeggutor          | 35.11212% | 193    | 25.597% | 172    | 27.623% |
 | 9    | Starmie            | 24.40105% | 172    | 22.812% | 151    | 24.251% |
 | 10   | Zapdos             | 20.59100% | 92     | 12.202% | 72     | 11.563% |
 | 11   | Cloyster           | 12.31400% | 95     | 12.599% | 75     | 12.045% |
 | 12   | Lapras             | 10.62652% | 48     |  6.366% | 40     |  6.424% |
 | 13   | Sandslash          |  7.98950% | 13     |  1.724% | 12     |  1.927% |
 | 14   | Seaking            |  7.98950% | 10     |  1.326% | 10     |  1.606% |
 | 15   | Rhydon             |  7.79980% | 106    | 14.058% | 90     | 14.454% |
 | 16   | Nidoking           |  6.11402% | 38     |  5.040% | 26     |  4.176% |
 | 17   | Electabuzz         |  5.63434% | 48     |  6.366% | 38     |  6.103% |
 | 18   | Jolteon            |  4.26939% | 103    | 13.660% | 89     | 14.293% |
 | 19   | Slowbro            |  4.07541% | 67     |  8.886% | 53     |  8.512% |
 | 20   | Clefable           |  2.25226% | 57     |  7.560% | 47     |  7.548% |
 | 21   | Jynx               |  2.13131% | 29     |  3.846% | 26     |  4.176% |
 | 22   | Vaporeon           |  2.12732% | 68     |  9.019% | 54     |  8.672% |
 | 23   | Rapidash           |  1.92870% | 41     |  5.438% | 38     |  6.103% |
 | 24   | Dodrio             |  1.65921% | 22     |  2.918% | 16     |  2.570% |
 | 25   | Aerodactyl         |  1.23263% | 34     |  4.509% | 34     |  5.460% |
 | 26   | Dragonite          |  1.19545% | 80     | 10.610% | 61     |  9.797% |
 | 27   | Victreebel         |  1.09608% | 50     |  6.631% | 36     |  5.782% |
The Top 4 seems to be very well-defined, showcasing a lot of strong usage with strong weighting in their favour. Nothing amiss there, they're all just super good Pokemon.


I am very curious about Sandslash, as it saw more usage than even Rhydon. It gains Counter, Defense Curl, and Headbutt. This doesn't appear to give it anything significant, though I can see Counter being nice for Persian. Looking at the moveset stats though, we see that it didn't use this at all, and instead used a pretty standard set;
 | Moves                                  |
 | Swords Dance 100.000%                  |
 | Body Slam 100.000%                     |
 | Earthquake 100.000%                    |
 | Hyper Beam 100.000%                    |
 | Other  0.000%                          |
What do you guys think?


 | 4    | Seaking            |  7.98950% | 9      |  1.194% |
Whoever spammed Lead Seaking to get it above Gengar and Jynx, please call me, I need to marry you. Curiously, it didn't take the Double Dance route that was popular in a few circles in 2019, instead running with a Swords Dance / Hyper Beam / Double-Edge / Surf set. Not sure what lead this does remotely well against, but hey...


All three of these Pokemon went quite underused, in my opinion. Vaporeon is a terrifying wincon from what I've seen, being nigh-impossible to stop once its checks have been removed. Rapidash is just a great Pokemon in general, being a pretty good sleep lead, Fire Spin pivot, and Double Kick user all in one. Clefable is similar, being a great Amnesia user alongside Hypno. Maybe I'm just gassing them too much, though!


 | 1    | Persian            | 39.44794% | 190    | 25.199% |
It seems that Persian has been the favourite lead on the ladder, passing even the beloved Alakazam! I'm not shocked as it was almost all I fought, but also a bit surprised at how much it got used here. It's not that it's bad, but with Gengar and Alakazam being about as popular I just thought it'd be lower, haha.


 | Snorlax                                |
 | Raw count: 611                         |
 | Avg. weight: 0.142173296812            |
 | Viability Ceiling: 75                  |
 | Abilities                              |
 | No Ability 100.000%                    |
 | Items                                  |
 | Nothing 100.000%                       |
 | Spreads                                |
 | Serious:252/252/252/252/252/252 100.000%|
 | Other  0.000%                          |
 | Moves                                  |
 | Body Slam 99.853%                      |
 | Reflect 56.771%                        |
 | Rest 52.999%                           |
 | Self-Destruct 51.191%                  |
 | Earthquake 47.033%                     |
 | Lovely Kiss 38.214%                    |
 | Ice Punch 14.161%                      |
 | Hyper Beam 10.909%                     |
 | Ice Beam  9.434%                       | lol
 | Other 19.435%                          |
 | Teammates                              |
 | Hypno 69.269%                          |
 | Chansey 57.334%                        |
 | Gengar 53.728%                         |
 | Tauros 43.334%                         |
 | Persian 41.633%                        |
 | Alakazam 36.367%                       |
 | Exeggutor 31.649%                      |
 | Starmie 21.713%                        |
 | Zapdos 18.717%                         |
 | Cloyster 10.673%                       |
 | Lapras  9.434%                         |
It appears that Reflect Snorlax endures as the dominant set, with PhysLax seemingly taking second place as we would expect. Curiously, Lovely Kiss wasn't spammed anywhere near as much as one would expect, implying that it's not quite impressed people as you would expect. It's still a pretty good amount, though, so don't start staying in all the time!

And yes, Ice Beam usage seemed to carry into the 1760 stats...
My personal VR, unrated are not neccesarily worse than rated, just haven't considered them fully.


  • Snorlax. Always useful, Phys lax, w/ Lovely Kiss/EQ/BSlam/Self-destruct hits almost anything. Reflect lax is a decent alternative if you cover sleep elsewhere. EQ is a must for common Gengar.
  • Hypno - The definining difference between tradebacks and regular OU, it almost always forces in other Hypno or something to explode on it. I have cooled on it a little though as I initially though it was S tier.
  • Alakazam - One of the best leads, counters Persian w/out speed tie like Starmie. Isn't weak to Jolteon lead either. Scares out Nido leads and Gengar leads.
  • Gengar - I have it lower than most, it has a great mvoepool but Persian aside almost all other top OU pokemon hit it really hard with EQ/Psychic or wall it. Either way, it usually just booms early.
  • Vaporeon - My buddy, just walls everything and then sweeps. If you don't bring Jolteon then you are banking on crits.
  • Slowbro - Completely lost its niche as the best Amnesia user but it gained another niche - countering Hypno.
  • Everyting below B I don't usually use. I think Victreebell could be awesome in this meta with wrap, stun spore and razor leaf. Alternate counter to Vaporeon/Slowbro and it wraps anything slow, stuns anything fast.

Plague von Karma

Banned deucer.
The usage stats for the Spotlight Tour are all finished up now! Now for some commentary on what was there...

In an almost expected fashion, much of the "nonsense" that was on the ladder just completely drops off here, but at the same time, Zapdos was not used once to whip people into shape. I'm also a bit confused about the lack of Nidoking given how hyped the Nido buffs were, but we did see quite a bit of Nidoqueen anyway. Vaporeon's tournament usage spiked, likely because acidArmourSpam loved it so much! Here's a comparison graphic;

Whoever brought Lickitung needs to be institutionalised btw

I've noticed that the people who win the most consistently right now are those that use more "grounded", "comfort zone"-esque teams. In layman's terms, teams closer to OU. This makes sense, as if anything, the Big 3 of OU all receive some kind of improvement. However, dropping Tauros for Persian - or using them together - is still very viable, which is partly what prompts the phenomenal Gengar usage in addition to its immense buffs. It seems that moving towards more traditional teams is going to be where everything is going, which I definitely like.


Anyway, I'm hoping to receive more VRs in this thread with the aim of making a congregated one. So, I'm gonna tag the people who participated in the tour and won at least twice. Of course anyone else can submit one, though~

For the sake of having it here, here's my current one;

For the record, I don't believe in "S+", "S-", "SS", etc outside of strenuous circumstances, as by design "S" is kind of a "God" Tier.


:snorlax:Snorlax is flat-out incredible. I don't think that it's banworthy or suddenly means anything needs changing though, it feels a bit like AgiliWrap Dragonite in that it's a very powerful tool that everyone ends up preparing for, demeaning the "broken" factor by a large chunk. Regardless, with the other changes the meta sees across the board, it's a powerful Pokemon that demands respect.

These are Pokemon that should be used on a wide variety of teams. Personally, I never leave home without at least one of them.

:chansey:Chansey is Chansey. Unchanged, but unflinching. Not sure how else to describe what it does, really, as anyone familiar with RBY should know what that means: it sits there, it takes all the hits, and it has the set variety for you to want to fall asleep while hugging it. Great Pokemon.

:tauros:I think it's the most droppable of "The Three Normals" with Persian getting sleep and Amnesia access, but it's still the raging bull and it's going to punt you. I think everyone and their mother knows how Tauros operates, so I'll leave it at that. Headbutt Tauros is quite fun, though! Try it out!

:persian:With how much influence Persian can have over games in the lead slot, you can definitely drop Tauros for this little monster on some builds. It's so, so, so nice, Hypnosis and Amnesia do so much. Right out of the gate, Persian forces a 50/50 between getting off huge damage with Slash against an intended sleep sack or knocking something out with Hypnosis. While Alakazam leads stuff it out, I've found that the ol' Turn 1 Chansey trick makes up for this just fine, as they really do just have to try and paralyze Persian. Also, try Headbutt Persian if you've had a bong hit and need something different in your life.

:gengar:Gengar is very helpful and arguably A+ to me. It has amazing coverage while letting you pivot around MonoLax, which is how Lovely Kiss builds tend to go if they don't add Earthquake into the mix. Plus, it stops Persian's rampage if it doesn't have Amnesia, which I think everyone can agree is very based. The only thing that really bothers me is the lack of paralysis-inducing attacks to be a definitive counter, but that's ok. I think Snorlax builds will adapt against Gengar soon enough, though, so it doesn't feel like it'll be like this forever. In the current meta, though, it's up there.

:hypno:Hypno is another one of those demons that tradebacks unleashed onto the scene, but I'm of a similar thought process to Shellnuts when I say it's not some elder god. The main issue I have with it is that it is a severe momentum sink. It's all or nothing: once it starts, you're going full throttle. You can definitely play for the suffocating end-games it can force onto a team, but when forced to Rest it's much more vulnerable than Slowbro. Regardless, its coverage, unpredictability, and sheer power make it more than enough to go here. Plus, it has sleep!

:alakazam:Alakazam feels so much nicer here with the elemental punches at its disposal. While it tends to make its matchups more lopsided, that lopsidedness is really nice if it means defeating Starmie or Exeggutor more consistently, which I can appreciate. I also like being able to paralyze Persian and stay in on Chansey too. An underrated trait of Alakazam is that if you run Ice Punch, because Alakazam can sit on Chansey forever, you can absolutely fish for a freeze and force it out as a result. I think Alakazam is gonna go up.

:starmie:Same story as always with this little nightmare. If Chansey is unchanged and unflinching, Starmie is unchanged and undeterred. With all the coverage one could ask for, access to Thunder Wave, and Recover, it's just incredible. I think everyone knows what this does, though, so let's move on.

:exeggutor:Yep, Egg.

:cloyster:Clamp God Cloyster is one of my favourite Pokemon in RBY in general for its depth despite set simplicity, but god does it feel good here. If Persian is prepping for Rhydon and using Amnesia + Bubble Beam, Cloyster dominates it, it's not even funny. Being able to smack Rhydon itself is also really nice, that Pokemon is still really stupid here. Absolutely do not sleep on this thing.

:rhydon:Still good ol' Rhydon. Only now, you can equip Headbutt for paraflinch strats, but don't actually do that. It still uses the same set it did like 20 years ago, if you don't know it then uhhh view the strategy dex or something.

:jolteon:This thing gets Growth man, what the fuck. Jolteon is absolutely juiced in this format and I think its potential has only just been scratched. However, it's definitely got qualms with Rhydon and Exeggutor, so it's not dominating it either. It tells Starmie, Persian, and Tauros to get knotted, it can wall Zapdos, it's just good.

:zapdos:Zapdos is absolutely still amazing and I don't know why people suddenly started sleeping on it, maybe it's the new toys. It's received no changes but it never had any issues with movepool: watch your backs!

:slowbro:Same ol' TobyBro, it has a few new toys but nothing of any real note. Same set for 20 years, same success: it wins or it doesn't.

:vaporeon:A new contender on the scene; while it's a massive momentum sink, Acid Armor + Growth may just be the most disgusting set to come out of tradebacks. You really just have to hope your battering ram of choice crits it enough times before it picks up all the boosts, or maybe run Victreebel if you're cringe. It requires a pretty specific stage to be set to work - Persian, Electrics, and maybe Tauros must be removed - but it's probably just going to win if it is.

:jynx:I don't think Jynx is necessary with the incredible pool of sleepers available, but it still holds the highly specific niche of "fastest ~74% sleep user", which is enough for people to use it. It's so shit afterwards, though...

:electabuzz:I've enjoyed using Buzz Lightyear in tradebacks for sure, it has the best coverage of them all and Thunder Wave + Rolling Kick is the most hilarious shit ever. It's a swiss army knife and works really well. However, its damage output is far worse than the ones in B Tier, which is really what brings it down. Don't sleep on it though, it probably has the best Chansey/Snorlax matchups.

:rapidash:Hypnosis, Fire Spin, and Double Kick is an amazing combination, and if you don't want Hypnosis, it can run Low Kick instead since it's then compatible and lets it smash Chansey's face in even more. It feels like a Fire-type Jolteon at times and can be a real menace at times. I think as the meta evolves, it'll see a bit more use. It has some serious 4MSS, though.
Nice VR! I agree with almost all of it. Not a massive fan of punch Zam in the comments as it's so match up dependent. Never regretted running SToss.

Lickitung was a pac special. It actually traded with me reasonably as I had literally no idea what it did beyond wrap and then it EQd my Jolteon. Woops. I wouldn't recommended it though lol.


Banned deucer.
I feel like the 'Big Three' from OU has remained dominant in this format due to many players wanting to retain comfort and experience from RBY OU before exploring Tradebacks. They have performed consistently well in the past, but Tradebacks opens up to new metagame shifts thanks to the gift of Amnesia and Hypnosis.




https://pokepast.es/ec7668a2bc9cfd74 (repeated)

A :rb/hypno:
I agree that Hypno is an A-ranked Pokémon after 4 weeks. Hypno is theoretically the most centralising Pokémon in the Tradebacks OU metagame due to Amnesia spam. I’ve used Hypno in all my teams (but one) and I do feel like Hypno is the main threat. However, Hypno is also found on all my opponent's teams as well, forcing situations of stall in Hypno mirror matches. Psychic and Amnesia are mandatory moves, but the latter two can be given to Rest, Thunder Wave, Thunder Punch, or Ice Punch. I personally chose Rest because of my style of battling, I value longevity. I also chose Ice Punch to be cheeky in mirror matches where I can invalidate the main threat with a Freeze (as seen in Week 4’s matches).

As 4 weeks have passed, I think most battlers know how to deal with Hypno by now. Amnesia Snorlax poses a massive threat to Hypno since it can set up to +4 Special to take little damage from Psychic. Snorlax can also Rest to avoid Hypno’s Thunder Wave and stall out the few PP Psychic has. Snorlax can also retaliate super hard using Body Slam, while also attempting to claim a cheesy freeze with Ice Punch. The concept of Amnesia can be better executed in other Psychic-types like Slowbro, who have access to +4 Surf and higher bulk. Slowbro will likely win against Hypno in a 1v1 Amnesia war since Hypno hits Slowbro with a resisted Psychic whilst Slowbro can retaliate with a neutral, STAB Water move. These are factors that limit Hypno from reaching the S-tier which I believed it dominated in Week 1.

B- → A :rb/slowbro:
As mentioned above, the most-feared Amnesia spam strategy on Hypno is much better executed on Slowbro. This is due to Slowbro’s higher bulk and dual typing. However, what limits Slowbro from reaching the A+ or S tier is its very slow Speed (meaning lower Critical chance) and additional weakness against Exeggutor and strong Electric-types.

B- → B/A :rb/vaporeon:
Although Vaporeon takes very long to set up since Growth only boosts its Special by +1, it will become extremely difficult to take down once it is +4 on both Special and Defense. This makes Vaporeon a very threatening late-game Pokémon that remains hidden in the 6th party slot until Exeggutor and strong Electric-types have been eliminated.

Persian is ultimately the best lead Pokémon in the tier since it is the fastest Pokémon with access to a Sleep-inducing move. It can easily dent the opponent’s team early on thanks to its high-Critical rate and STAB Slash. Persian can take advantage of its Critical rate by threatening greedy Pokémon that like to set up Amnesia within the first 3 turns, but also to finish off opponents with a critical Hyper Beam. However, Persian is only effective in its role as a lead, as its mediocre attack and bulk act more of a hindrance to the team as Persian is passive, giving the opponent more opportunity to set up Amnesia.

I believe Jolteon is underrated in its ability as a lead. Besides the useless Electrode, Jolteon is the fastest Pokémon in RBY. A lead Jolteon is an excellent matchup against the common lead Starmie, as it can paralyse Starmie or OHKO with a Thunderbolt. On the other hand, Jolteon cannot inflict Sleep as Persian does, but it can spread paralysis throughout the opponent’s team. This gives Jolteon an advantage over Persian since Persian can only put one Pokémon to sleep due to Sleep Clause. Unlike Persian, Jolteon can perform well mid-game as well, picking off threatening Water-types like Slowbro and Vaporeon. Jolteon has access to Growth, meaning it can take advantage of the opponent being continuously paralysed (if it's lucky) and set up to +4.

Fast Pokémon are so valuable due to their increased Critical chance. As the metagame is so dominated with set-up spam, back-to-back Critical hits will generate a huge advantage early on.

Thunder Wave is running around everywhere, so I think Rest is mandatory on most Pokémon. Rest ultimately increases your longevity. For example, I frequently ran into mirror matches between Snorlax and Snorlax, but I lost the matchup due to the opposing Snorlax outliving me, whilst I can only deal damage to it. Rest is amazing on set-up sweepers as well, allowing it to take little damage once it is +4 Special and can heal back up to remain as a threat in the game. Hypno does not frequently run Rest, meaning it will lose against opposing Amnesia users with Rest in the long-term.

In conclusion, this tour was super fun so thank you to you guys for hosting it. I think more people should explore this tier, it is pretty enjoyable if you are into gambling LOL. The feeling when you land a Freeze or Critical, or when your opponent gets paralysed 5+ turns in a row or misses a 100% accuracy move is amazing.
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pay 5000, gg?
is a Contributor Alumnus

Was asked to update my VR for the purposes of establishing a new one. I think people are underrating the new tools a tad out of the comfort of using old stuff, though at the same time I was definitely underrating Pokemon like Tauros and Cloyster and overrating stuff like Hypno. Persian and Gengar are really really good, Mr. Mime is VASTLY underrated, and Jynx sucks ass. I haven't used much of anything in D, its moreso "these are the Pokemon that interest me" and liiiiiikely have viability. Left out some possible stuff like Ninetales, Onix, Kingler, etc that I was too iffy about.

- mr mime should be e tier

This is a pretty rough tier list, many things subject to change. Also I didn’t add as many mons because I think life is tough out here and this is what I feel you can reasonably build with.

(No sprites because mobile naab)

Snorlax- this mon is already the best in every RBY OU meta game and they gave it new toys and a sleep move.

Gengar- Gengar is one of those mons that the more you use it the better you realize it is, and in tradebacks that’s no exception. Ice Punch rounds out gar unbelievably well. You hit Egg, you hit Don/Gol, and you can freeze Chans (or something else). Also Persian being so much better really helps since you wall it really well. You have great speed, explosion, great crit rate, and you even wall Lax without EQ and can play mind games with Tauros. Best Boom absorber. Oh yeah and this thing clicks Hypnosis.

Persian- probably the best lead in the game currently. Outspeed every other sleeper lead and click hypnosis, stab almost guaranteed crit Slash, good coverage, outspeed a lot. Yeah Persian is pretty fantastic. Being walled by Gengar is a bummer but this thing is lightning fast and it can start games off with some serious flame. You can sleep and then save it, or just try to go to town immediately if they don’t have a Gengar. I still think it could drop lower, but for now #3.

Hypno- I really feel like this thing is broken. So many games feature Hypno on Hypno crime. Reminds me of another tier where psychics click amnesia and counter eachother… but unfortunately, Hypno is slow and has to rest to recover. So it can’t immediately take over a game and just win. It needs alot more support, but clicking boosted stab psychics is so good. Thunder punch or ice punch for coverage and man this thing is good. If you don’t have one, you’re just asking to get clapped by one, imo.

Chansey- Chansey is the same blob. It doesn’t like Persian or Hypno and it doesn’t like Snorlax clicking lovely kiss. However, Chansey is Chansey, imagine this blob not being good.

Tauros- despite being the iconic bull, it’s ever so slightly more droppable in tradebacks, which is why it’s in A-. This thing is still the bullcrit machine, don’t ever disrespect it.

Starmie- Same shiz, watch out for zam and Hypno thunder punch, psychic might be necessary here for gar. Speed tieing Persian is cool because imagine ever hitting hypnosis through para.

Eggy- Getting ice punched sucks. Luckily you still have so many opportunities to sleep and you can spread para which is always nice. Explosion is still amazing as is psychic, but life is a bit harder.

Zam- pretty good here. Ice Punch/Thunder punch if lead, Seismic toss if back.Losing to Hypno is pretty sad. But yeah this thing is improved but also basically the same. Could be as high as A- but for now it’s here.

Zapdos- same as OU, Zapdos go brrrrrr but Rocks are annoying.

Rhydon- Same as ou, can feast on teams with some help from yellow magic

Cloyster- Walling normals is nice, but it’s a shame Persian always carries tbolt. Still being a certified lax switch once sleep is gone and generally being great against Tauros still makes me think this thing is great.

Jolt- Speed, Crit rate, Stab tbolt. I really like jolt, the speed and the ability to carve up teams with tbolt is nice. It’s a little harder here since lol nidos, Rocks, eggy. Could be lower but b for now because endgame zooming and being a zap check with twave is pretty cool.

Vaporeon- So I personally haven’t got to try this mon out, but it was pretty good against me and I think it would be great, I won’t move it higher until I think it’s exceptional tho. And right now I just don’t think it’a as consistent or destructive as a Zap or a Don.

Bro- Just ask my bro toby

Electabuz- rolling kick is sick and stab tbolt

Rapidash- I love this thing. Speed, spin, Hypnosis, Double kick, Stab Fire blast with a good crit rate. So much fun

Nidos: I also love these things, and I always have. Being a good electric check with coverage and now a sleep move is awesome. I like queen personally for the slightly increased bulk but it’s almost the same. I also love this thing as a lead.

Cuno- Stab Blizzard.

Jynx- mon sucks

Vic- cool mon with good tools but it’s hard out here especially with gengar lurking around every corner

Dnite- pretty much the same as Vic, gar really hurts this thing.

Raichu- electric not walled by rocks, also hammers Chans with submission but loses to egg

Golem- use don, it’s really hard to validate boom in tradebacks

Lapras- I don’t really know but I think it’s bad


kingler- gengar is annoying but it’s Swords Dance boosted Hyper Beams can still obliterate the planet.
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Rustiest Player Around
is a Community Contributor
Since I won the tradebacks tour, its probably a good idea for me to give my VR:

some of my thoughts on the metagame:
- I don't like passive setup mons in this tier much at all, with so many strong attackers and good sleep users and Explosions going everywhere, the tier is too fast paced to afford sinking so much momentum when you very often get forced out the turn after or trade with whatevers on the field already. Slowbro is the best of the lot because it actually can do something other than amnesia boost, and its bulk means it has better odds of sweeping than the other boosters. Seriously its not that hard to beat them, don't muck around playing booster wars, just go aggressive with physical attackers (or zapdos/persian in the case of vaporeon) or explode on it.
- Given what I just wrote, its not hard to see why I rate Egg over Chansey, its a bit too passive + with Sing Chansey being flat out bad (since Lax can break past it when its para'd & sleep something) its taken a noticable drop. Still fantastic though.
- Egg is really nice in this format, sleep + para (since anything para'd and chipped is food for Snorlax) + Psychic STAB + boom is so good in this format.
- Zap, Don, and Cloy are hella underused imo (especially Rhydon). Zapdos does so much vs anything without Rhydon (which people basically never use for some reason) and will nearly always trade 1 for 1 if not more. Rhydons similar, being weak to Surf sucks but it is very good against Persian (who never runs Bubble Beam), Tauros (especially when catching Hyper Beams), and its good at catching Explosions. Its also very good at abusing paralysis. Cloyster stuffing a lot with Clamp gives it nice midgame utility vs Tauros, Snorlax, and Boosters + bringing in mons that spread paralysis is super dangerous with Snorlax (and potentially Rhydon or Tauros) being in the back, and if things go south you have an emergency boom if you need it.
- Lax is very, very good. Not broken but it is by far the most important mon on any team, its just so good at smashing through teams while also checking stuff like Tauros and Persian very often. Goes 3 for 1 very often, and abuses paralysis like nothing else.

Plague von Karma

Banned deucer.
Hi, I've got an interesting topic to bring up.

So an interesting aspect of Tradebacks as a "thing" is that if you have a Pokemon trade and evolve in the Time Capsule when going to GSC, they can learn a GSC move. These can be traded back, wherein they will come with glitch moves. For example, Golem can get TM05, an Evasion +2 move. Many of these moves are bad, and since they are obtained with the same method as Tradebacks themselves, I'm here to argue for their legalisation in Tradebacks OU. Here's a demo of what happens, which I was originally getting for the purpose of making a video, but it works here too!

Here's a list of what you'd get;
TM05 - Evasion +2 | 33 Base PP (53) - this effect is actually otherwise unused, but it would be covered by Evasion Clause.
TM22 - Super Fang but it has 19 accuracy | 20 Base PP (32)

TM47 - Lowers a random glitch stat, which would reapply para speed drop and burn attack drop | 121 Base Power | 48 Accuracy | Normal-type | 16 Base PP (26)

TM12 - 0 Base Power | 7 Accuracy | Normal-type | 0 Base PP
Super Glitch (C2) - B&

TM33 - Draining move (gains 1/2 back) | 119 Base Power | 47 Accuracy | Normal-type | 49 Base PP (61)
TM38 - Crashes the game unless it kills something and has 0% accuracy, which means it's only usable in-game via X Accuracy; in a battle, it'd trigger Desync Clause Mod's "if game breaks, make fail" thing, making it a Whirlwind clone with checks notes 0 PP.

I hope I don't need to explain why these moves are perfectly balanced with TM05 covered by Evasion Clause. They would not create any format-defining superthreats and, if anything, would make the format more interesting to a newcomer. The spirit of Tradebacks OU is allowing RBY Pokemon to be played to their fullest extent. These glitch moves are obtainable through perfectly legitimate methods, it's something you could quite literally do by mistake. It's simply an oversight, much like a lot of what we already have, and given that nature, I think these are fine.

Given they've technically never been banned - just not simulated - I suppose these would have been fine to code on PS, but obviously I'd want to see what others think. I can really see the only argument being "b-but they gwitchy
" despite all but Super Glitch C2 being functional moves in-game.
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I did it again
is a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
I think “but they’re glitchy” is a perfectly valid reason to say no to this lol. I’m not the end-all be-all authority on this but yeah, even if they are obtainable and even if they’re not gamebreaking and won’t change the meta… why? I mean I guess I understand the point you’re trying to make with “the spirit of Tradebacks” but I don’t agree. I don’t think allowing glitch moves/Pokemon is in the spirit of the game at all. Call this handpicking over what we allow from GSC/what we don’t (you could get into legal DVs and all that yadda yadda yadda) but I think this is probably going to be a no under the unwritten “common sense clause” that the RBY Council uses. I think this was invoked recently when we were discussing all moves needing max PP Ups when it came to Wrap PP underflow. It’s just easier on everyone to not open up a can of worms for that issue, and I think similarly here as well.

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