Metagame SM RU - RU Alpha Discussion - Month 2

What are you looking forward to in Sun/Moon?


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Lurantis finds itself badly outclassed by Serperior in just about every role it'd want to fulfill in OU. However, in RU it may be better than Servine due to its access to Defog and ability to be a Defogger capable of beating most Rockers while maintaining respectable offensive presence. It can also go Physical or Special with Leaf Storm depending on what your team needs.
I strongly believe this pkmn will be NU or PU, its just too slow to perform as a sweeper. And finds it outclassed as a defogger by Decidueye.
It could have been good if it wasnt so damn slow.
 

HotFuzzBall

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I strongly believe this pkmn will be NU or PU, its just too slow to perform as a sweeper. And finds it outclassed as a defogger by Decidueye.
It could have been good if it wasnt so damn slow.
Ehhh I really don't see Decidueye as an RU mon tbh, I feel that its utility and well-rounded stats would land it a spot in either BL or UU. But, I feel Lurantis would be outclassed by Tsareena as a hazard remover though.
 
Ehhh I really don't see Decidueye as an RU mon tbh, I feel that its utility and well-rounded stats would land it a spot in either BL or UU. But, I feel Lurantis would be outclassed by Tsareena as a hazard remover though.
I think in sun it definitely deserves a spot in uu along torkoal.
 

HotFuzzBall

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Idk if Lurantis in sun would make a difference because Contrary > Leaf Guard imo for the most part. Also sun doesn't really solve Lurantis's problem of a shallow movepool and low speed.
 

phantom

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RU Leader
Lurantis seems underwhelming due to its below average stats and barren movepool. It doesn't really have any attacks to make use of contrary Leaf Storm and I doubt it would be a good Defog user given how easy it would be to pressure. At best, I can see it having a very tiny niche since it can do Defog + Leaf Storm in one, but I think overall it probably won't make an impact on RU.

I think Decidueye could end up in RU. Balance stat spread ≠ UU. In fact, its stats probably aren't enough for it to hold its own very well in upper tiers. Its niche as a Defog user might not be all that great either given its Pursuit weakness and the fact that sturdier Defog users exist to overshadow it, so I can see it performing at its best here. People seem to be overhyping a lot of things this gen in general. Something being relatively decent looking doesn't mean it would break UU or be too powerful for other lower tiers.. If you look at the Pokemon RU has had in the past for instance, it should be pretty clear that the tier can handle more than what people give it credit for.

As for Torkoal, Drought is still an insane ability in lower tiers. It's not so much the Pokemon itself is good, it's just that automatic sun is really really powerful. If Drought isn't banned in UU and below, then it's probably going to end up as the best Drought user in lower tiers and could justifiably end up in UU since it is way more useful than Ninetales, leaving Drought Ninetales in RU in this hypothetical. If Drought won't be a thing in lower tiers, then it and Ninetales are just going to stay where they currently are p much.
 
Yea I think Lurantis (and Tsareena, for that matter) are going to struggle a lot in their respective roles. Their movepools are overall unimpressive, and offensively they will most likely have to compete with Sceptile, Virizion, Decidueye, etc. for a teamslot. They will also have to deal with the general omnipresence of Poison types in the lower tiers, although that might change because of all of the newly introduced Fairy types. I think Tsareena and Decidueye will outclass this Pokemon due to their access to Spin/Defog as well as their better coverage options (and in Decidueye's case, secondary STAB). However, Decidueye ending up in RU is pretty questionable, as HotFuzzBall mentioned.

On an unrelated note, what is the word on Salazzle? Does that thing have a shot at being RU?
 

Lord Death Man

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I'm not too sure on Salazzle. It's got a cool stab combo, good speed tier, and Nasty Plot, and then literally nothing else. Most individual sets are competing heavily with similar but more versatile (assumed UU) pokemon, so I'm unsure if they'll keep it. That being said, it seems like entirely too much for current RU, having an incredibly good speed tier, great stab combo + an unprecedented amount of power for something that fast (in RU). HP Grass can be used to hit Seismitoad and Rhyperior, and HP Steel can be used to hit Diancie, which shores up it's coverage pretty well (or HP Ground for mirror matches, but you want the 4x hit on resists). Potential new toys, such as sand stream Gigalith, wall it pretty well but I'm unsure how far that will go towards it being balance.

I really think Decidueye isn't going to be UU unless people use it despite it being medicore. It's "utility" is in the moves defog, haze, and baton pass. It's bulk is mediocre. It's offensive stats are held back by a bad speed tier. It's type leaves it weak to Pursuit, which is horrendous for a defogger. It's movepool is pretty barren, lacking Wood Hammer and Power Whip, which would have been it's only real hope at being a wallbreaker. I don't even think it will fill the gap Flygon might leave if it's UU/BL2 (pls Gligar save us). It's an okay mon but not really amazing.

That said, if we get Metagross + Doublade, I could see it pulling it's weight as a balance breaker versus common balance archetypes, similar to what Samurott did at specific points this gen.
 

SlottedPig

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Going to be a bit ambitious with the drops I expect RU to get.

Alola Persian is fast, and with relatively little investment it can check Doublade thanks to Fur Coat. Fast Parting Shot and Z-Parting Shot will be incredible assets. Offensively, it's not quite as impressive, but it has access to Nasty Plot and sits at a good enough speed tier to revenge Virizion.
Persian-Alola @ Darkinium-Z
Ability: Fur Coat
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Parting Shot
- Nasty Plot
- Dark Pulse
- Hidden Power Flying / Thunderbolt
Alola Raichu capitalizes on the fact that many of our electric immunities err on the poor side of Special Defense and are generally neutral to Psychic, making its secondary stab a great catch-all coverage. However, I still do expect it to be worse than Heliolisk if Heliolisk drops. (Edit: On second thought, if Venusaur and Virizion continue to be so relevant, then Raichu's Psychic stab may allow it to edge out over Heliolisk, but Raichu is also much more Pursuit-trappable, has a much worse matchup against Doublade, and isn't a water switchin.)

I don't think Hail centered offense will be particularly good, but Light Clay Alola Ninetales is good enough to build HO teams around and it also enables Beartic while slowing down other weather-based teams. Ninetales itself doesn't have anti-Steel coverage though -- the best it can do is generally burn them on the switch, which has been nerfed.
Ninetales-Alola @ Light Clay
Ability: Snow Warning
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Aurora Veil
- Blizzard
- Moonblast
- Will-O-Wisp / Nasty Plot / Toxic
Necrozma could feasibly drop (600 bst is equalled by meloetta). Mono-psychic typing hurts it, and furthermore, it's not as tanky as Cresselia, fast enough to be an all-out-attacker or as generally threatening as Celebi, or consistently able to sweep slow teams like Reuniclus can. However, it can set up on either side of the spectrum with the stats and coverage to back it up, or set Stealth Rock backed up with recovery.

Talonflame outspeeds most of RU, is decently powerful and has good STABs and U-turn. It's not quite powerful enough to reliably break through mons such as Slowking or Alomomola. Coupled with the Dodrio buff (Jump Kick), Talonflame/Moltres/Dodrio (possibly Tornadus as well) could enable birdspam in RU.

Bewear soaks up physical attacks and hits pretty hard, which could make it a nightmare for offense. Swords Dance is also an option, which allows it to even break Alomomola. Bewear's offensive stats are comparable to Pangoro's, but Bewear is much bulkier in exchange for a weaker secondary stab (normal over dark); in particular, this makes Bewear much worse against Slowking.

Zygarde-10% is fast enough to revenge Dodrio/Ninetales/Musketeers and is somewhat powerful with spammable ground stab, but due to low bulk I expect it'll be a lower tier than Flygon. If it drops to RU, it has the speed and coverage to use Choice Band or Dragon Dance sets (although I suspect that such a squishy Dragon Dancer requires support such as from Alola Persian/Ninetales). It'd be an interesting offensive mon but not revolutionizing.
 
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avocado

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Ribombee @ Life Orb
Ability: Sweet Veil / Shield Dust
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 Spe
- Quiver Dance
- Bug Buzz
- Moonblast
- Hidden Power [Fire] / [Ground]

Lycanroc @ Choice Band / Life Orb
Ability: Sand Rush
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stone Edge
- Accelerock
- Brick Break / Fire Fang
- Crunch / Swords Dance

Two Pokemon I really hope end up being RU, they're so fun to use @_@ and they're cute af. :3

Accelrock I could see being high tbh just cuz 115 atk and 112 speed is really good and he has decent priority.
 
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Hilomilo

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I'm really excited about Ribombee but think that you missed one of its biggest upsides, two great abilities aside from honey gather. Sweet veil completely saves your team from status while shield dust could allow it to take resisted hits even more reliably. Nevertheless, it's a very threatening quiver dancer with that speed and fairy typing.
 

avocado

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I'm really excited about Ribombee but think that you missed one of its biggest upsides, two great abilities aside from honey gather. Sweet veil completely saves your team from status while shield dust could allow it to take resisted hits even more reliably. Nevertheless, it's a very threatening quiver dancer with that speed and fairy typing.
Yeah honey gather was actually a typo, sorry about that. Sweet veil looks like insomnia but just for Ribombee (and her ally in doubles). shield dust looks like a decent ability, but I guess deciding on which one will eventually depend on the meta and if there's someone like tang with sleep powder that you need to check with ribombee or if you need her to not get burned by scald or some shit I dunno. They seem like /ok/ abilities, as in not completely useless, but not too good otherwise
 
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Going to be a bit ambitious with the drops I expect RU to get.

Alola Persian is fast, and with relatively little investment it can check Doublade thanks to Fur Coat. Fast Parting Shot and Z-Parting Shot will be incredible assets. Offensively, it's not quite as impressive, but it has access to Nasty Plot and sits at a good enough speed tier to revenge Virizion.
Persian-Alola @ Darkinium-Z
Ability: Fur Coat
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Parting Shot
- Nasty Plot
- Dark Pulse
- Hidden Power Flying / Thunderbolt
Alola Raichu capitalizes on the fact that many of our electric immunities err on the poor side of Special Defense and are generally neutral to Psychic, making its secondary stab a great catch-all coverage. However, I still do expect it to be worse than Heliolisk if Heliolisk drops. (Edit: On second thought, if Venusaur and Virizion continue to be so relevant, then Raichu's Psychic stab may allow it to edge out over Heliolisk, but Raichu is also much more Pursuit-trappable, has a much worse matchup against Doublade, and isn't a water switchin.)

I don't think Hail centered offense will be particularly good, but Light Clay Alola Ninetales is good enough to build HO teams around and it also enables Beartic while slowing down other weather-based teams. Ninetales itself doesn't have anti-Steel coverage though -- the best it can do is generally burn them on the switch, which has been nerfed.
Ninetales-Alola @ Light Clay
Ability: Snow Warning
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Aurora Veil
- Blizzard
- Moonblast
- Will-O-Wisp / Nasty Plot / Toxic
Necrozma could feasibly drop (600 bst is equalled by meloetta). Mono-psychic typing hurts it, and furthermore, it's not as tanky as Cresselia, fast enough to be an all-out-attacker or as generally threatening as Celebi, or consistently able to sweep slow teams like Reuniclus can. However, it can set up on either side of the spectrum with the stats and coverage to back it up, or set Stealth Rock backed up with recovery.

Talonflame outspeeds most of RU, is decently powerful and has good STABs and U-turn. It's not quite powerful enough to reliably break through mons such as Slowking or Alomomola. Coupled with the Dodrio buff (Jump Kick), Talonflame/Moltres/Dodrio (possibly Tornadus as well) could enable birdspam in RU.

Bewear soaks up physical attacks and hits pretty hard, which could make it a nightmare for offense. Swords Dance is also an option, which allows it to even break Alomomola. Bewear's offensive stats are comparable to Pangoro's, but Bewear is much bulkier in exchange for a weaker secondary stab (normal over dark); in particular, this makes Bewear much worse against Slowking.

Zygarde-10% is fast enough to revenge Dodrio/Ninetales/Musketeers and is somewhat powerful with spammable ground stab, but due to low bulk I expect it'll be a lower tier than Flygon. If it drops to RU, it has the speed and coverage to use Choice Band or Dragon Dance sets (although I suspect that such a squishy Dragon Dancer requires support such as from Alola Persian/Ninetales). It'd be an interesting offensive mon but not revolutionizing.
Sorry for what i likely just a one liner but just gonna say real quick that Alolan-Ninetales doesn't have access to Will-O-Wisp
 

phantom

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RU Leader
Let's talk Z moves

What we know:

-Limited to one per team
-They can't be Knocked Off
-Knock Off is 65 BP vs a Pokemon carrying a Z Crystal
-Protect doesn't completely block it as Z moves will still do 25% of their normal power

Z moves are going to make cracking open defensive cores a lot easier than they normally would be and makes it easier to support many set up sweepers. Status Z moves also come with some quirky effects that should really broaden the creative scope on teambuilding. The ability to soften the impact on Knock Off should also make the move easier to handle..kinda. Z moves will be pretty unpredictable though because it's impossible to see what's holding it and what isn't and there's such a wide variance of them that it will make it difficult to be really safe against. I think the new kinds of tactics they introduce should make them a pretty fun addition to the game, though.

Z Memento/Parting Shot:



This is probably one of the most powerful Z moves imo. Provided Whimsicott comes back down to RU, it alongside Uxie and Alola Persian should be the best users of this tactic. So what Z Memento and Parting Shot do is restore a teammates health to full in addition to their normal effect. This kind of move is absolutely huge for setup sweepers due to the unparalleled level of support it can provide. All three of these Pokemon can fit this move pretty easily in their last slot too, with Persian Running Taunt / Toxic / Foul Play / Parting Shot, Uxie running its normal Psychic Move / U-turn / Stealth Rock / Memento, and Whimsicott using Moonblast / Encore / Memento / U-turn. To my knowledge, these moves do not get rid of status, but the benefit of holding the Z crystals is that they can't be Knocked Off and reduce the move's BP to normal, making Persian and Whimsicott good Knock Off sponges. This will make frailer sweepers and high-risk kinda sweepers like Slurpuff even more dangerous.

Lures:

+


I think everyone is familiar with Power Herb Solar Beam Houndoom, well take that concept and square it and you get Z Bloom Doom Houndoom off of Solar Beam. Unlike Power Herb, it can't be Knocked Off, it isn't entirely dodged by Protect considering it can still deal 25% of the normal damage, and it's far more powerful. With Z Bloom Doom off of Solar Beam, that's effectively a 190 BP Grass Move. Here are some calcs to show the noticeable difference in power:
+2 252 SpA Houndoom Solar Beam vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Diancie: 250-296 (82.2 - 97.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+2 252 SpA Houndoom Bloom Doom vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Diancie: 396-468 (130.2 - 153.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 SpA Houndoom Solar Beam (60 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Gigalith: 130-154 (34.7 - 41.1%) -- 65.9% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
+2 252 SpA Houndoom Bloom Doom vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Gigalith: 408-482 (109 - 128.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO (Sand)

+2 252 SpA Houndoom Bloom Doom vs. 120 HP / 252 SpD Alomomola: 228-270 (45.5 - 53.8%) -- 41.8% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+2 252 SpA Houndoom Dark Pulse vs. 120 HP / 252 SpD Alomomola: 289-342 (57.6 - 68.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

The above Calc shows the power of Bloom Doom under Protect, which puts Alomomola in KO range for Houndoom's Dark Pulse.
+


Standard Swords Dance Virizion has the issue of picking between its coverage moves, Stone Edge and Zen Headbutt, to beat its check, well not anymore with Z Rock Move. With Continental Crush, Virizion has the raw power in its Stone Edge to cleave through the Pokemon it would otherwise need Zen Headbutt for. Virizion is also a good holder of Z Crystals that can make use of the reduced power of Knock Off given its resistance to Knock Off + Justified. Off of Stone Edge, Continental Crush becomes 180 BP and deals enough damage to Zen Headbutt targets to the point where it KOs them altogether or puts them in range to be 2HKOed with a following attack the next turn. Calcs below:
+2 252 Atk Virizion Continental Crush vs. 248 HP / 204+ Def Venusaur: 259-305 (71.3 - 84%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after sandstorm damage and Black Sludge recovery

In KO range for a +2 Close Combat after or if defensive Venusaur uses Synthesis that turn, Virizion can use Swords Dance again and KO it:

+4 252 Atk Virizion Continental Crush vs. 248 HP / 204+ Def Venusaur: 388-457 (106.8 - 125.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 Atk Virizion Continental Crush vs. 252 HP / 200+ Def Garbodor: 261-308 (71.7 - 84.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+2 252 Atk Virizion Continental Crush vs. 252 HP / 28+ Def Weezing: 232-273 (69.4 - 81.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Black Sludge recovery
+2 252 Atk Virizion Continental Crush vs. 252 HP / 20+ Def Uxie: 217-256 (61.2 - 72.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+


This guy has the problem of not being fast enough or strong enough after a boost, well at least Z moves can change one of those things. Z Iron Head becomes 160 BP. Scrafty is also going to make a good Knock Off sponge with this. It should also be interesting to see how well Z moves + Moxie can stack on it. Z Iron Head deals around 30% more damage at +1 than a +1 LO Iron Head, which makes it easier to break through various Fairy-types after a little support:
252 Atk Life Orb Scrafty Iron Head vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Granbull: 153-182 (39.9 - 47.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Scrafty Corkscrew Crash vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Granbull: 236-278 (61.6 - 72.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

+1 252 Atk Life Orb Scrafty Iron Head vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Florges: 242-286 (67.2 - 79.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252 Atk Scrafty Corkscrew Crash vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Florges: 372-438 (103.3 - 121.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
It's not going to be a massive improvement, but it will make it a bit better.

So, what other Z moves and sets involving Z moves do you guys think might end up decently?
 

Lord Death Man

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So speaking of Z-Moves, what do you guys think of Z-Celebrate Venu, Zard, Blastoise ?
Blastoise doesn't really have the power or speed to really become a scary sweeper, and Z-Celebrate being 1 use means it's useless defensively, and I can't see Z-Celebrate Venusaur being any better than current Sunny Day Venusaur. While Z-Celebrate Zard is really fas and has access to Focus Blast/Earthquake over Moltres (to hit a semi-weakened Gigalith with), it doesn't seem like it has enough to make a big impact.

In re: to Spirit.

+

Turns Heal Bell into a 100% self-heal, which Diancie vitally lacks. Functions similarly to Chestorest, but also heals the whole team's status. I don't expect this to be amazing, but I feel that some teams would prefer for Diancie to have the ability to self-heal over the semi-reliability of lefties, especially if it's functioning as the primary knock switch in. (Also works with defensive Meloetta and Granbull)

and, if we get it

+


Mirror Move is pretty much SD, but it also uses the Z-move version of the attack the opponent was going to use. This can let Dodrio boost without having to tank a hit in specific circumstances, which is incredibly useful. Also, assuming we get Mega Steelix back at some point, this is capable of ohkoing a Megalix who used EQ as Dodrio switched in, which can be useful. I'm not TOO clear on Mirror Move's mechanics, but it seems useful in certain key circumstances (also, it will break Honchkrow).

edit: Waterium Swanna rain dance (+1 speed) will be the core destroyer we deserve.

second edit: Think I'm dead wrong about how Mirror Move works.
 
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Medicham + Z-Recycle/Trick gives it +2 speed and makes it a nightmare for offense to deal with (especially since it can afford to run Adamant)
Ambipom + Z-Work Up gives it +2 Atk and +1 SpAtk and it can then Baton Pass the boost.
Jynx + Z-Lovely Kiss not only puts the target to sleep but it also gives you +1 speed making Jynx harder to RKill.
 
There are another Z move maybe interesting :

Late Game Sweeper

Firium Z + Sunny Day : Every "Z weather" raises your speed by +1, with Solar Power it could be interesting in late game.

Darkinium Z + Hone Claw : allows you to get a +2 Atk and +1 in accuracy also a set Double Dance Tyrantrum.

Wallbreaker

Psychium Z + Meditate/Zen Headbutt : can get a +2 atk boost with Z meditate, Psychium is better than Fightium Z (bulk up) to lure some usual check like bulky Ghost or Fairy at +1. Of course existing Electrium Z Thunder Punch to lure more effectively bulky Psy.
Zen Headbutt
252 Atk Pure Power Medicham Shattered Psyche vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Granbull: 276-325 (72 - 84.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock, sandstorm damage, and Leftovers recovery
+1 252 Atk Pure Power Medicham Shattered Psyche vs. 252 HP / 244+ Def Aromatisse: 424-501 (104.4 - 123.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252 Atk Pure Power Medicham Shattered Psyche vs. 248 HP / 216+ Def Jellicent: 445-525 (110.4 - 130.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Thunder Punch
252 Atk Pure Power Medicham Gigavolt Havoc vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Slowking: 310-366 (78.8 - 93.1%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock


Fightinium Z + Bulk Up : get a +2 Atk but idk if it would be more efficient than a LO/Band set
Electrinium Z + Thunder Fang
+1 252 Atk Hustle Durant Gigavolt Havoc vs. 120 HP / 136+ Def Alomomola: 484-570 (96.6 - 113.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock


Buginium Z + X-Scissor : it was suffering from a lack of powerful STAB move like Megahorn to be a relevant Wallbreaker able to beat Unaware walls thanks to Mold Breaker. Maybe it could change with Z move.
+2 252 Atk Mold Breaker Pinsir Savage Spin-Out vs. 120 HP / 136+ Def Alomomola: 474-558 (94.6 - 111.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252 Atk Mold Breaker Pinsir Savage Spin-Out vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Quagsire: 408-480 (103.5 - 121.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO


Some relevant stuff ?


Crustle @ Rockium Z /Groundium Z
Ability: Weak Armor/Sturdy
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Shell Smash
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- X-Scissor

+2 252+ Atk Crustle Tectonic Rage vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Solid Rock Rhyperior: 442-522 (101.8 - 120.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252+ Atk Crustle Continental Crush vs. 120 HP / 136+ Def Alomomola: 517-610 (103.1 - 121.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO


: Z Skill Swap -> +2 SpA I don't think if this thing will be RU, depending on metagame
Ribombee @ Psychium Z
Ability: Shield Dust
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 Spe
- Skill Swap
- Moonblast
- Psychic
- Hidden Power [Fire]
 
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Spirit talked about this thing some, but I kinda want to expand on it since I feel people are kinda sleeping on it. In terms of power, Araquanid has one of the strongest physical Water STABs in the game, behind only monsters like Crawdaunt and Primal Kyogre. This alone gives waterbug a niche as apart of Water spam, but if we are going to assume the tier will remain mostly the same with same changes, I can see this thing being a huge threat to more bulky playstyles.

Araquanid @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 252 Atk / 68 Def / 188 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Substitute
- Toxic
- Liquidation
- Leech Life

While bulky waters can be a pain in Araquanid's backside, SubToxic completely takes advantage of them, since they are usually too passive to break waterbug's sub in one hit(or even two or three). And obviously they won't appreciate being poisoned and stalled out.

0 SpA Alomomola Scald vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Araquanid: 16-20 (5.7 - 7.2%) -- possibly the worst move ever
0 SpA Seismitoad Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Araquanid: 33-39 (11.9 - 14%) -- possible 8HKO
0 SpA Blastoise Scald vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Araquanid: 30-36 (10.8 - 12.9%) -- possible 8HKO <- roar blast can get around this, but still doesnt like toxic
0 SpA Jellicent Scald vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Araquanid: 30-36 (10.8 - 12.9%) -- possible 8HKO
0 Atk Poliwrath Circle Throw vs. 0 HP / 68 Def Araquanid: 31-37 (11.1 - 13.3%) -- possible 8HKO

Araquanid @ Choice Band
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant / Jolly Nature
- Crunch
- Poison Jab
- Liquidation
- Leech Life

While Spirit may be correct in Araquanid not having good coverage, it still has a few tools that can be useful for a banded set. Obvious STABs are obvious, Crunch lets you hit Jellicent and 2HKO after one layer of hazards, and Poison Jab lets you hit Whimsicott(if it ever drops back down) and Shiinotic. You could run max HP on this set to live Jolteon's Thunderbolt which can be useful so you can't be revenged so easily, but I like max speed to outspeed most bulky mons.

Araquanid @ Waterium Z
Ability: Water Bubble
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Rain Dance
- Liquidation
- Leech Life
- Filler, maybe Surf or something with Hasty nature?

Here is a much niche set, but can be useful for sweeping late game. Z-Rain Dance gives you +1 speed as well as boosting your water stab the equivalent of a choice band. And thanks to Araquanid's good bulk, it shouldn't have lots of trouble setting it up.
 

EonX

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So I want to talk about Decidueye for a moment. Imo, it's going to drop down to RU unless Fighting-, Normal-, and Water-types are really damn common in UU (it loses to some due to their common sets / coverage anyway) and this thing has some really cool perks about it:


Decidueye @ Leftovers
Ability: Overgrow*
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Atk / 252 SpD (or 252 Def)
Careful (or Impish) Nature
- Defog
- Roost
- Spirit Shackle / Leaf Blade
- Baton Pass / Leaf Blade

Normally, you use Baton Pass in order to pass boosts, and while Decidueye can definitely do that with SD or NP (I'll get into these in a moment) Baton Pass also lets you bypass Pursuit, which is a pretty significant weakness it would otherwise have as a defensive Pokemon. Defog + Roost is absolutely amazing. We've seen what it does for other Pokemon, such as Gligar and Flygon, and Decidueye shouldn't be much different. Spirit Shackle is its strongest physical Ghost move and it takes a lot of counterplay away from your opponent once the opponent switches in (can't double due to the trap effect, so the target is forced to stay in unless it has U-turn, Volt Switch, or Baton Pass) Because the opponent can't double out to predict a switch, this takes a pretty significant tool away that most players use to take advantage of fleeing defensive Pokemon. Leaf Blade is an option over either Shackle or BP for very obvious reasons, but I honestly like the utility of both moves. EV spread and nature depends on which side of the spectrum you want Decidueye to tank hits from. Its typing works better for taking physical hits, but its stat spread works more for special hits (while still having Water, Grass, and Electric resists to back it up)


Decidueye @ Lum Berry / Decidium Z
Ability: Overgrow*
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Spirit Shackle
- Leaf Blade
- Baton Pass / Sucker Punch

You could probably run a bulkier EV spread if you wanted, but access to Swords Dance is really cool since it also gets Baton Pass. Spirit Shackle adds to this since it traps the opponent and keeps them from switching out as you may attempt to Baton Pass your boosts. Leaf Blade is needed coverage on fat Ground and Water mons and Sucker Punch is an option if you want to try to make Decidueye more of a standalone sweeper (I think it's better as a passer that can possibly sweep due to its average Speed) Lum Berry is probably the best item for such a set as it allows Decidueye to bypass status one time, but Decidium Z can give Spirit Shackle a major one-time power boost if you're wanting Decidueye to have a better shot at sweeping on its own.


Decidueye @ Leftovers
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 248 HP / 8 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Nasty Plot
- Shadow Ball / Grass Knot / Energy Ball
- Roost
- Baton Pass

More of a dedicated Baton Pass set with Nasty Plot as Decidueye lacks the small quirks and counterplay measures that a physical set does with Spirit Shackle, thus making it harder to sweep. As this is more of a dedicated passing set, Decidueye has to pick which STAB move it wants to use. Shadow Ball has the best overall neutral coverage, but has a natural immunity in Normal-types. Grass Knot and Energy Ball are the best special Grass-type moves it gets (why no Giga Drain? :[) with the classic battle of consistency vs occasional higher power at work with that. Roost is mandatory to maintain health and allow Decidueye to possibly pass more than once in a game. Baton Pass is obvious as Decidueye is ultimately wanting to pass its boosts to a teammate. The EVs reflect Decidueye's more supportive role with max HP and Speed to take as many hits as possible while also passing as quickly as possible once it has the boosts. Obviously, you could mess with the EV spread some and add more power or bulk depending on what you want, but this is probably a good baseline to start with.

HIDDEN ABILITY

If / when Decidueye gets its hidden ability released, it's going to be an instant buff to physical sets. Long Reach will allow Decidueye to bypass all forms of contact damage (Rocky Helmet, Rough Skin, Iron Barbs, etc.) it would normally incur as well as allowing it to get around odd Static and Flame Body users (Aftermath too maybe?) This will make U-turn worth considering on the defensive set, although I still think Baton Pass would be better to dodge Pursuit.

FLAWS & OTHER NOTABLE MOVES

The typing in combination with its average Speed and Defense are its ultimate downfalls. The lack of coverage in its movepool certainly doesn't help any sweeping sets as it only really has Hidden Power for special sets and Brave Bird (Acrobatics for the Z-move variants) for physical sets. That said, there are a couple of other support options it has access to. Haze is the most notable once since its typing works really well vs Virizion and it has good special bulk in general. Outside of that, Light Screen and Substitute are the only other noteworthy options Decidueye has available to it, neither of which I see it doing much with. Toxic is kind of bad since most Steel-types don't mind switching into Grass-types.

I think Decidueye will probably come down here to RU and end up doing pretty well. I doubt it will be meta-defining just because of the holes in its stat spread and movepool, but it should be very relevant (consistent top 20 mon, but probably no higher than just inside top 15 and possibly as low as top 35 if the meta isn't kind to it)
 
So I want to talk about Decidueye for a moment. Imo, it's going to drop down to RU unless Fighting-, Normal-, and Water-types are really damn common in UU (it loses to some due to their common sets / coverage anyway) and this thing has some really cool perks about it:


Decidueye @ Leftovers
Ability: Overgrow*
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Atk / 252 SpD (or 252 Def)
Careful (or Impish) Nature
- Defog
- Roost
- Spirit Shackle / Leaf Blade
- Baton Pass / Leaf Blade

Normally, you use Baton Pass in order to pass boosts, and while Decidueye can definitely do that with SD or NP (I'll get into these in a moment) Baton Pass also lets you bypass Pursuit, which is a pretty significant weakness it would otherwise have as a defensive Pokemon. Defog + Roost is absolutely amazing. We've seen what it does for other Pokemon, such as Gligar and Flygon, and Decidueye shouldn't be much different. Spirit Shackle is its strongest physical Ghost move and it takes a lot of counterplay away from your opponent once the opponent switches in (can't double due to the trap effect, so the target is forced to stay in unless it has U-turn, Volt Switch, or Baton Pass) Because the opponent can't double out to predict a switch, this takes a pretty significant tool away that most players use to take advantage of fleeing defensive Pokemon. Leaf Blade is an option over either Shackle or BP for very obvious reasons, but I honestly like the utility of both moves. EV spread and nature depends on which side of the spectrum you want Decidueye to tank hits from. Its typing works better for taking physical hits, but its stat spread works more for special hits (while still having Water, Grass, and Electric resists to back it up)


Decidueye @ Lum Berry / Decidium Z
Ability: Overgrow*
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Spirit Shackle
- Leaf Blade
- Baton Pass / Sucker Punch

You could probably run a bulkier EV spread if you wanted, but access to Swords Dance is really cool since it also gets Baton Pass. Spirit Shackle adds to this since it traps the opponent and keeps them from switching out as you may attempt to Baton Pass your boosts. Leaf Blade is needed coverage on fat Ground and Water mons and Sucker Punch is an option if you want to try to make Decidueye more of a standalone sweeper (I think it's better as a passer that can possibly sweep due to its average Speed) Lum Berry is probably the best item for such a set as it allows Decidueye to bypass status one time, but Decidium Z can give Spirit Shackle a major one-time power boost if you're wanting Decidueye to have a better shot at sweeping on its own.


Decidueye @ Leftovers
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 248 HP / 8 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Nasty Plot
- Shadow Ball / Grass Knot / Energy Ball
- Roost
- Baton Pass

More of a dedicated Baton Pass set with Nasty Plot as Decidueye lacks the small quirks and counterplay measures that a physical set does with Spirit Shackle, thus making it harder to sweep. As this is more of a dedicated passing set, Decidueye has to pick which STAB move it wants to use. Shadow Ball has the best overall neutral coverage, but has a natural immunity in Normal-types. Grass Knot and Energy Ball are the best special Grass-type moves it gets (why no Giga Drain? :[) with the classic battle of consistency vs occasional higher power at work with that. Roost is mandatory to maintain health and allow Decidueye to possibly pass more than once in a game. Baton Pass is obvious as Decidueye is ultimately wanting to pass its boosts to a teammate. The EVs reflect Decidueye's more supportive role with max HP and Speed to take as many hits as possible while also passing as quickly as possible once it has the boosts. Obviously, you could mess with the EV spread some and add more power or bulk depending on what you want, but this is probably a good baseline to start with.

HIDDEN ABILITY

If / when Decidueye gets its hidden ability released, it's going to be an instant buff to physical sets. Long Reach will allow Decidueye to bypass all forms of contact damage (Rocky Helmet, Rough Skin, Iron Barbs, etc.) it would normally incur as well as allowing it to get around odd Static and Flame Body users (Aftermath too maybe?) This will make U-turn worth considering on the defensive set, although I still think Baton Pass would be better to dodge Pursuit.

FLAWS & OTHER NOTABLE MOVES

The typing in combination with its average Speed and Defense are its ultimate downfalls. The lack of coverage in its movepool certainly doesn't help any sweeping sets as it only really has Hidden Power for special sets and Brave Bird (Acrobatics for the Z-move variants) for physical sets. That said, there are a couple of other support options it has access to. Haze is the most notable once since its typing works really well vs Virizion and it has good special bulk in general. Outside of that, Light Screen and Substitute are the only other noteworthy options Decidueye has available to it, neither of which I see it doing much with. Toxic is kind of bad since most Steel-types don't mind switching into Grass-types.

I think Decidueye will probably come down here to RU and end up doing pretty well. I doubt it will be meta-defining just because of the holes in its stat spread and movepool, but it should be very relevant (consistent top 20 mon, but probably no higher than just inside top 15 and possibly as low as top 35 if the meta isn't kind to it)

Intelligent and awesome post as always EonX, perhaps the only quip is that I'm pretty certain the Z-Stone is not used up after the Z-move is used, meaning that you keep your held item, therefore the power of Acrobatics is not doubled ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. In any event, I'm excited and hopeful that Decidueye finds its place in RU in the coming generation. It has a lot of potential and provides some awesome utility that the tier could really take advantage of. I think if Celebi stays UU (likely at least early on given Buzzwole, Genesect, and Pheromosa are running around atm) this thing will for sure find itself a spot in RU given they share a similar function of being a Baton Pass user. I'm curious to hear some thoughts that anyone might have on the other two starters, Primarina and Incineroar.
 

EonX

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Figured I would follow up Decidueye with a few other Gen 7 Pokemon that I'm looking to be RU or close to it.







Beginning with Incineroar, it's safe to say that this thing's stat spread was a MAJOR disappointment to most, if not all, of us. While one could compare it to Houndoom based on typing, they play like polar opposites. Houndoom being a fast, frail special attacker and Incineroar being a bulky, slow physical attacker. While the stat spread may not be great for the typing, one can't ignore the tools Incineroar has in its movepool. Flare Blitz and Darkest Lariat are two great physical STAB moves to have. Add in coverage with Leech Life, Cross Chop, Earthquake, and even Outrage and you've got a wide assortment of options to use. It even gets U-turn, which makes Band sets a lot harder to deal with than you might think at first. However, Incineroar's issue lies in its typing, which simply doesn't suit its stat spread. Sure, it only has four weaknesses, but they happen to be four of the best offensive types in the game (Water, Ground, ROCK, Fighting) Weakness to Stealth Rock means this thing will NEED hazard control to function well since its movepool and stats scream for a Band set. It does get Bulk Up, which is definitely worth noting due to its decent bulk and solid raw power. I think it'll be a fun mon in RU, especially once it picks up Intimidate officially, but it'll require support and prediction to use well due to the conflict in its stat spread and typing.
Incineroar @ Choice Band
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Darkest Lariat / Throat Chop
- U-turn
- Earthquake / Cross Chop / Leech Life

Incineroar @ Leftovers
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpD / 8 Spe
Careful Nature
- Bulk Up
- Substitute
- Darkest Lariat / Throat Chop
- Flare Blitz

Incineroar @ Leftovers / Expert Belt
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 88 HP / 252 Atk / 168 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Taunt
- U-turn
- Darkest Lariat
- Flare Blitz




It seems every generation has that one early-game Pokemon that has just enough of a movepool for it thrive in a tier other than NU / PU. For Gen 7, I think that Pokemon is Ribombee. While it has extremely lackluster coverage against Steel-types and is very frail on the physical side, it has Quiver Dance, two solid offensive STAB options, and just enough coverage to skate by. It has incredible Speed; the highest for a Quiver Dance user in fact, and this may allow it to run Modest without too many drawbacks. That said, it has a lackluster defensive typing and unimpressive defenses, so its success will hinge on what's popular in the meta. I think it ultimately ends up being one of the more underrated sweepers in RU due to that blazing Speed. Its lack of coverage against Steel-types (aside from Hidden Power) will be a turn off to some, but it has the potential to be pretty solid.
Ribombee @ Life Orb
Ability: Sweet Veil
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest / Timid Nature
- Quiver Dance
- Bug Buzz / Pollen Puff
- Moonblast
- Hidden Power Fire / Psychic




So from the early-game Pokemon with just enough of a movepool, we come to one of the best in-game Pokemon that has two major holes in its movepool competitively: reliable recovery and Stealth Rock. If Mudsdale had either one of these available to it, this horse would be an easy contender for UU or, if it had both, OU. Alas, this is not the case, and Mudsdale is stuck with a great stat spread, but key holes in its movepool. Stamina is a fantastic ability that can make physical attackers have a much harder time 2HKOing it upon switch in, especially considering Mudsdale's weaknesses fall primarily on the special side. In RU, it should have a chance to shine as its amazing stat spread should be enough to carry it well enough in spite of its questionable movepool. It can only really act as a bulky attacker, but I think it has two ways it could go about it. Sadly, its weaknesses are crippling, so it won't be dominating RU any time soon IMO, but I think it should fit well if it finds its way down here.
Mudsdale @ Choice Band
Ability: Stamina
EVs: 132 HP / 252 Atk / 124 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Heavy Slam
- Close Combat / Toxic / Sleep Talk

Mudsdale @ Assault Vest
Ability: Stamina
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Heavy Slam
- Super Power / Close Combat




This cute, innocent looking Pokemon has the potential to be a really interesting addition to RU should it find its way down here. Komala is a Rapid Spinner that cannot ever be statused thanks to its unique ability of Comatose, which results in it being in a constant drowsing state, and thus, immune to status ailments (aside from confusion) Aside from Rapid Spin, it has a base 115 Attack stat for literally no reason, and the typical god-like coverage most Normal-types come with. It has Wish as well, but its hard to see it becoming a prominent Wish user due to its base 65 HP stat. However, all that being said, Komala has the potential to be an interesting addition to RU if nothing else.
Komala @ Assault Vest
Ability: Comatose
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Rapid Spin
- Earthquake
- Sucker Punch / Shadow Claw
- U-turn

Komala @ Choice Band
Ability: Comatose
EVs: 132 HP / 252 Atk / 124 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Frustration / Return
- Earthquake
- U-turn
- Shadow Claw / Sucker Punch / Play Rough / Wood Hammer




So remember what I said about Normal-types and god-like coverage? Same thing applies here. Drampa is this generation's attempt to recreate Druddigon. Complete with a brand new ability in Berserk, Drampa is basically the special counterpart to Druddigon with a Normal typing thrown in. Sadly, that Normal-typing is likely to not do Drampa any favors due to the added Fighting weakness, and its even slower than Druddigon is. That said, this thing's coverage combinations are unreal, and its Special Attack stat is nothing to be scoff at either. It may end up being a worse Druddigon defensively, but it has some fantastic coverage most Pokemon would kill for offensively.
Drampa @ Choice Specs / Expert Belt
Ability: Berserk / Sap Sipper
EVs: 136 HP / 252 SpA / 120 Spe
- Draco Meteor
- Fire Blast
- Thunderbolt / Energy Ball
- Surf / Focus Blast

Drampa @ Choice Specs / Expert Belt
Ability: Berserk / Sap Sipper
EVs: 136 HP / 252 SpA / 120 Spe
- Hyper Voice
- Fire Blast
- Shadow Ball
- Focus Blast / Surf


And sorry to burst the bubble for those of you wondering about Primarina. There is no way I see it dropping below UU. It's typing, movepool, and stat spread are easily good enough to make it UU.
 
Alright, here's some mons I think could be RU or lower-tiered with a niche in RU:





Say hello to a unique and niche utility mon. Getting Fake out to chip away at things + Parting Shot to give your opponent a debuff and get a free switch into something else (Sort of... Persian is really fast, which is both a boon and a little bit of a bane). Parting shot forces a lot of switches if you don't want to be debuffed all the time. It also gets Hypnosis, too. An annoying mon that can force a lot of switches from your opponent. Also gets Technician Fake out for all you ambipom addicts out there :^)

Persian-Alola @ Leftovers
Ability: Technician
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Parting Shot
- Hypnosis
- Foul Play



Probably the only Oricorio form that could see use in RU. Ghost + Flying hits everything at least neutrally, and getting STAB on both of them is nice. It's weak and frail though, but it does have some fun utility in passable bulk with 75/70/70 defences, roost, and Baton Pass, so it can make use of its ability with some clever prediction. It also lets you fire off two attacks per turn if your opponent uses a dance move. Not amazing, but it might be enough to give it a niche.

Oricorio-Sensu @ Life Orb
Ability: Dancer
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Revelation Dance
- Air Slash/Hurricane
- Roost
- Baton Pass



Necrozma has a decent chance of coming to RU. 600 BST is matched by Meloetta and Necrozma has one of the most incoherent movesets known to mankind. It gets Stealth Rock for whatever reason and reliable recovery, so it could be a decent rocker and status spreader. It can also do some fun stuff with CM and Autonomize, though I'm not hopeful for either of these sets as there's other, better rockers and as a set-up offensive psychic type it's probably outclassed by Sigilyph.

Necrozma @ Leftovers
Ability: Prism Armor
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Stealth Rock
- Moonlight
- Psychic
- Thunder Wave

Necrozma @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Prism Armor
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Autotomize
- Calm Mind
- Moonlight
- Stored Power



Now to something with an even higher BST than Necrozma, Wishiwashi. With 140 Attack and Defences that rival Toxapex's, this mon is a monster. However, with just 30 Speed and 45 HP, it pretty much always has to take a hit to attack something, and taking hits is very counterproductive with this mon since it becomes useless should its HP ever drop below 25%. Lack of coverage past Earthquake and U-Turn also hurts it, though its STAB is going to pack a wallop if you can keep it healthy.

Wishiwashi @ Choice Band
Ability: Schooling
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Waterfall
- U-turn
- Earthquake
- Sleep Talk



Aurora Veil gives this mon a great niche for Hyper Offensive teams. With that and Encore to screw with your opponents, it's an excellent lead for Hyper Offence teams. It also sets hail to negate Leftovers and Break Sashes. Lastly, it can run a Nasty Plot set because Ice and Fairy is solid coverage and STAB Blizzard with Hail hits hard.

Ninetales-Alola @ Light Clay
Ability: Snow Warning
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Aurora Veil
- Encore
- Blizzard
- Moonblast

Ninetales-Alola @ Life Orb
Ability: Snow Warning
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Nasty Plot
- Hidden Power [Ground]
- Blizzard
- Moonblast
 

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