Metagame SS OU Metagame Discussion Thread v5 (usage in post #547)

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After reading through all these posts on here & checking out a lot of what people had to say in the OU room on PS, it's safe to say that a lot of ladder players want a ban but, they aren't sure what to ban. The meta right now is obviously too offensively oriented & a lot of people are already tired of it even tho the DLC has just dropped a couple weeks ago. To be honest, none of the top threats are super broken on their own. And there lies the issue, something needs to get banned but none of the top mons, moves or abilities are broken on their own. So, what should get banned to solve the issue?

We're in another rocks-paper-scissors type of meta that is actually worse than the Dracovish meta.

The biggest offenders are: Magearna, Volcorona, Dark Urshifu, Cinderace, Terrain Hawlucha and Sand Excadrill,

The other offenders are: Alakazam under Psychic Terrain, Raichu-A + Electric Terrain, Zeraora, Dragapult and Aegislash.

These mons work way too well together (and with other common mons). It's obnoxious and there is no good or healthy counterplay against it all. That's a problem. If it was just one of them that existed, no one would care. The problem is, there's too many big threats to keep in check.

Magearna & Volcorona work really well together and can easily overwhelm opposing teams. A player can use Magearna to use trick on Chansey, pivot in on Lycanrock, and volt-switch out to Volcorona. They can also trick on Marowak-A and check Dragapult. A player could use Volcorona to get off chip on a Chansey, maybe even get a burn off a seismic toss, in order for Mage to safely sweep.

Alakazam + Dragapult under psychic terrain work great too. They both take on each other checks and it becomes difficult to check them once psychic terrain is up. You need Zeraora or a Scarf user to check them. Thing is, they can't switch in unless on a safe predict. It's even worse when it's Zeroara + Alakazam.

Hawlucha + any terrain user. Hawlucha + indeedee means no priority revenge kill until terrain is over. If you pair it up with Rillaboom, then you have an easier time against Hippo teams. They also work great with Magnezone which can trap & OHKO Corviknight.

Zeraora + Aegislash is another tough combo. Zeraora can weaken Hippo (especially if grass terrain is up), OHKO Mandibuzz and knock off Chansey's eviolite. It's also the fastest unboosted mon in the tier, which can handle other fast threats that could threaten Aegislash. Aegislash can get rid of Clefable and pick off weakened threats with shadow sneak.

The rest is obvious.

My point is, is that these teams these threats are on, work very fast and hit very hard. And a lot of these tops threats are very splashable on teams. A lot of these threats have colorful movepools & can run multitudes of sets with different items. Like, Magearna, Cinderace, Zeraora, Aegislash and Dragapult.

To further prove my points, let's look at some teams. Here is Gross Sweep's team that he built to better handle Dark Urishifa, https://pokepast.es/1e5ec499f39c5740
Right off the bat, you can notice that the team has trouble handling terrain teams. Raichu-A + Hawlucha give it a tough time. Hawlucha + Rilla can overwhelm this team. And Alakzam + Dragapult or Zeraora w/psychic terrain overwhelm it as well. Trick Magearna + Volcorona also give this team trouble.
Finchinator's Urshifu balance team - https://pokepast.es/cd4245e0993e86ef
It has trouble with Hawlucha + Raichu-A, Hawlucha + Rilla + Magnezone, and Mage + Volcorona. Each sample team loses to a top threat pair. And each of these teams (including Gross Sweep's) are very good!

I, personally, think there's not much that can be done. I've pretty much accepted that overwhelming Offensive Pressure is just a part of the course when it comes to playing Pokemon. But, this is what I think a lot of players are trying to say when it comes to the current metagame.
 
Before DLC the meta was HO / Sand Balance / 5 fat mons + breaker (mainly kyurem or vish) and was "funny" until WishPort Clef happen..
Now is like HO(terrain/weather/sticky web/screens)/ Semistall / Balance (pls Darkshifu dont click the right move twice or GG)
The meta was fun after DLC but now is the same thing again without WishPort Clef..
You cant build a team without being 6-0 by some random offensive mon..

Edit 1: pls ban some mons... make the tier playable for at least some time
 
It’s obvious Gamefreak has made a shift towards making the games more and more offensively inclined. Defensive Pokémon totally got the shorter end of the stick over the years.

Broken boosting moves like Quiver Dance, Shell Smash, and more mons getting Nasty Plot nowadays have made the metagame move too fast and too furiously. If you have a defensive playstyle, you will have a challenging time.

Darkshifu is such an unfair existence. I won’t be-labour what everyone has already said but seriously, moves that can CRIT EVERY HIT? That’s messed up, especially when coupled with its ability and stats.

The metagame is in a difficult state now. Things will get worse when Crown Tundra drops (oh the Tapus...oh joy). Perhaps OU council can consider different mon bans each week, just to see how the metagame will then turn out. Then we get a better sense of who’s the real culprit making the game unenjoyable.
 
The metagame is in a difficult state now. Things will get worse when Crown Tundra drops (oh the Tapus...oh joy). Perhaps OU council can consider different mon bans each week, just to see how the metagame will then turn out. Then we get a better sense of who’s the real culprit making the game unenjoyable.
This in particular will never happen and should never happen. Quickbans and suspects have wide reaching consequences and the council has a lot to consider when potentially taking action against any Pokemon. A week isn't even long enough to run a single suspect test, let alone a trial period of a meta without a certain mon. Yes the metagame is in an interesting spot currently, but that is generally the nature of new Pokemon being put into the game. We don't really have much precedent here, we've never had a gen quick like this one, where large amounts of Pokemon are gradually added into the metagame through DLC. We're in uncharted territory here, but I would still argue your suggestion is too extreme. I do agree that there are a few problematic elements in the metagame. This is a discussion for a different thread though, so I will end that point here.

-------

I'm personally rather glad that DLC1 dropped, it has been a remarkable breath of fresh air for the tier. I want to quickly go over my picks for best new mons in the meta.

1. Magearna - Has quickly established itself as a key threat to pretty much every playstyle out there. In particular, the setup sweeper sets have been wreaking havoc across the ladder. Choice sets are also quite solid now due to the gaining of Trick. Everybody knows this mon is good. It has 7 sets on the OU sets compendium, which is bonkers. While there is overlapping counter-play for a fair chunk of its sets, I don't necessarily think that it is necessarily healthy for the tier. I think its versatility could be considered too much for the tier, in a similar vein to Zygarde in USUM. We will have to see. Probably my main pick for the S+ tier once OU VR is back up.

2. Urshifu-SS - A very interesting breaker. Banded is awesome, and breaks through the majority of the tier. That being said I would argue that there is healthy and abundant counterplay to this monster. A mix of PhysDef Clef, G-Weezing (which has had a huge glowup), and stuff like PhysDef Pex can check it fairly comfortably. I don't think it is broken currently, but I do definitely think it is a top tier threat that mandates building with it in consideration.

3. Volcarona - Outside of Chansey, Offensive Quiver Dance cleans house. If you give this mon a free turn, it will Quiver in your face and potentially KO your team with relative ease. Heavy-Duty Boots, as expected, has been an absolute blessing to this Pokemon, alongside the apparent lack of Heatran. I've seen a couple of interesting trends with this mon in high ladder. Particularly Volcarona Stall, which various high ladder players have used to great success. It also fits nicely on both Balance and HO. This is my favourite Pokemon so I am absolutely biased here. Honestly, I don't think this thing is healthy for the tier, which really hurts me to say.

4. Chansey - The first defensive pokemon on this list, and with good reason. This thing is the special wall to end all special walls. Keeps a bunch of special attackers in check that would otherwise run the tier over. Volcarona, Kyurem, Magearna, Hydreigon, Togekiss and so on all get hard walled by this mon. Another high-tier threat in Alakazam is also threatened by Thunderwave, however with Psyshock it can potentially get the jump on Chansey. I have been using Teleport surprisingly infrequently, Chansey needs Soft-Boiled, S-Toss, Status Move and filler, and it's been a surprisingly consistent rocker for me. It is hurt by all of the knock off in the game at the moment

5. Alolan-Marowak - This thing caught me by surprise, but somehow every team I build gets hard beaten by this thing. Poltergeist was a great addition to its arsenal, allowing it to muscle its way through previously solid checks. Ghost/Fire/Ground coverage is surprisingly potent and is able to take on many defensive checks in the tier. My pick for biggest surprise pick of the DLC.

6. Alakazam - This thing is so ridiculously strong with Nasty Plot it isn't even funny. I have been finding success with both Sash and Life Orb, it really depends on your team. It is good both in and out of Psychic Terrain, with Expanding Force being a useful addition to its varied arsenal. That being said, Psyshock is almost too good to pass up considering all the Chansey running around.


There are other solid new mons I could mention like Tang, Mienshao and even Lycanrock-Dusk, but they don't quite hit the level of the above Pokemon in my opinion. It has also been interesting to see how existing metagame Pokemon have adapted to this new metagame. That's a post for another time though.
 
Is there a consensus on whether Urshifu's coverage move should be Poison Jab or Iron Head? Does it make much of a difference?
 
Gimmiks like Eruption Torkoal work only in vgc but TrickRoom is better as ever in this gen.
:porygon2: :slowbro: :hatterene: :crawdaunt: :marowak alola: :magearna:
Yeah I have to admit Torkoal was a fluke, even though it was fun ohko 3 mons with Eruption: It can't harm Chansey, which is a big no no for TR

Furthermore, I can consider building some hybrid of “normal team of 4“ + Pory2 + Awak, just because FlareBlitz spam in TR is insane in the current metagame. Also Pory2 copying Regen is always a sweet deal.

Actually Pory2 as a supporter in general is sweet. I wonder if non-TR teambuilder have tried it and can share their experience
 
Honestly, I think there are 2 general problems with Pokemon currently that can be fixed by Smogon.

First, is how mindless the Hazards Sub-Meta is currently.
This issue has existed since Gen 5 when Ferrothorn just became the dominate Hazard Setter, driving away so much competition that existed in Gen 4, and when Team Preview was introduced.
Although Ferrothorn is the least of the problems for the Hazard Metagame, as removing Hazards has become more braindead each Generation. Gen 6 buffed Defog and made Clefable a prominent figure, so that spin blockers became just an extra for some Pokemon. Gen 7 introduced an absurd amount of Defoggers into the meta. And now Gen 8 introduced Heavy-Duty Boots, Buffed Defog again, and buffed Rapid Spin. Gen 8 also removed pursuit to “compensate”, but now spin blocking is also just brain dead without pursuit, and the underlying problem is how freely opponents are able to switch.
This is especially bad when some Pokemon had Stealth Rock and other hazards in mind when balance was considered, such as Volcarona.


The second issue is how easy it is to pivot into strong offensive Pokemon, giving yourself easy momentum with little cost.
Ever since Generation 2, we had this thing called Baton Pass, the first Pivot move.
What seemed like a harmless tool to give certain Pokemon a way to boost their stats they otherwise couldn’t during competitive’s infancy, as competitive play became more mature, it was found that Baton Pass was a major issue. Leading to several complex clauses until Baton Pass was eventually banned outright and even banned in previous Generations as well.
The problem of Baton was that it would allow Pokemon like Magearna and Necrozma to get free speed boosts, which allowed them to snowball so easily into victory that it was just uncompetitive.

Throughout the history of Pokemon, GameFreak has added even more pivot moves over the years.
Gen 4 introduced U-turn, Gen 5 with Volt-Switch, Gen 6 having Parting Shot, LGPE having buff Teleport, and IoA DLC introducing Flip-Turn.
There are several options for pivoting moves, but there has been a bigger, in direct buff to the pivoting move sub group, and it’s extremely threatening offensive Pokemon that keep being introduced.
Each generation obviously has to introduce new Pokemon, and with new Pokemon comes new threats that force the meta to scramble, and naming them all would make this post as long as that one post from the Dugtrio/Arena Trap suspect.
This also extends into keeping your offensive Pokemon safe as well, and you can just use a Pivot move (besides Teleport for obvious reasons) when you feel as though you won’t survive the current 1v1, letting in a defensive Pokemon come in and tank the hit for the offensive Pokemon or to see if they switched and play accordingly.
Among the pivoting moves, Teleport and U-turn are the biggest offenders.
The former lets any defensive Pokemon take the hit for the Pokemon they wish to pivot into, and U-turn is a near unstoppable pivoting move, only faulting if you manage to kill your opponent before they pivot out. Teleport really pushed it over the edge for many people since it can benefit defensive cores such as Wish+Teleport, and Gen 8 in general has been pushing the bounds of competitive with jaw dropping additions like Nasty Plot distribution, the removal of HP/Pursuit, and of course Dynamax.
Pivot moves in general also benefit from the first issue as well, as one of the weaknesses they had was entry hazards on their side.


I will say that I don’t know how to approach these issues, but I can still recognize these things being issues. There are numerous ways to fix these issues as there are numerous options that provide these cancers.
Outright bans for certain moves? Ban on Heavy-Duty Boots? A new clause? Something else entirely?
But I think a lot of issues would be solved in this meta (and most metagames too) if Hazard Removal and Pivoting Moves became reasonable.
 
Yeah I have to admit Torkoal was a fluke, even though it was fun ohko 3 mons with Eruption: It can't harm Chansey, which is a big no no for TR

Furthermore, I can consider building some hybrid of “normal team of 4“ + Pory2 + Awak, just because FlareBlitz spam in TR is insane in the current metagame. Also Pory2 copying Regen is always a sweet deal.

Actually Pory2 as a supporter in general is sweet. I wonder if non-TR teambuilder have tried it and can share their experience
TrickRoom always gonna be antimeta unless Gamefreak give a ítem than increase the turn of TrickRoom
TeleDuck is great but he is outclassed by Chansey as always...
 
Outside of TrickRoom Chansey is better in everything outside of phys bulk
Yes but you were talking about Trick Room. Obviously Chansey is a better tank but Tele duck + Slowbro are huge buffs for Trick Room. Poltergeist Marowak is also a pain to switch in on.

Trick Room seems pretty good in the meta right now especially with all the focus on hyper offense.
 
Yes but you were talking about Trick Room. Obviously Chansey is a better tank but Tele duck + Slowbro are huge buffs for Trick Room. Poltergeist Marowak is also a pain to switch in on.

Trick Room seems pretty good in the meta right now especially with all the focus on hyper offense.
If I understand Pabloaram correctly, he responded to my "Has anyone tried Dux2 as a support mon in OU yet?" with the statement "If you want to run Teleport Dux // Support Dux run rather Tele Chansey instead"

Which I have to agree with. Chansey as always is an annoying pink blob. It spreads Status Moves better aswell.

About Trick Room: I am disappointed in Crawdaunt right now in TR. Not that it is complete garbage bad, but it kinda can't deal easily with Pex and especially Kommo-O in my experience. Its weakness to Body Press is super annoying aswell - In the current Dark Check Metagame(thanks Urshifu), I personally had more success to sweep with Alola-Marowak for example.

That's why if anybody has a crazy tech choice for TR replacing Crawdaunt, just mention it.
Team consists of Dux2/(g)Bro/Alolawak/Hatterene/*/* Last two slots are flexible.
 
Has anyone tried to use Dragon Tail on Kommo-o again? it wasnt very good in the past cause C l e f a b l e
but now Im using this set to try and counter set up spam and bad things, i dont think is gonna work on high levels of play, but i also think its worth exploring

Kommo-o @ Leftovers
Ability: Bulletproof
EVs: 252 HP / 200 Def / 56 Spe
Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Dragon Tail
- Drain Punch
- Earthquake

The spread is the same as the body press one so there must be a better way of distribution, something notable is that this kommo-o can live a +2 acrobatics from Hawlucha with item/+0 acrobatics without item and a +2 CC and ruin the sweep,the rare SD Rillaboom gets annoyed too, Drain Punch hits most EQ targets in case Grassy terrain is up, and its guaranteed 2HKO on Urshifu Single Strike (and the only move it fears is CC witch is a 99.6% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery) the bad thing is that you cannot stop BD Azummaril, Alakazam or whatever set-up move Magearna has, so its obviously not fullproof, opinions on this?
 
If I understand Pabloaram correctly, he responded to my "Has anyone tried Dux2 as a support mon in OU yet?" with the statement "If you want to run Teleport Dux // Support Dux run rather Tele Chansey instead"

Which I have to agree with. Chansey as always is an annoying pink blob. It spreads Status Moves better aswell.

About Trick Room: I am disappointed in Crawdaunt right now in TR. Not that it is complete garbage bad, but it kinda can't deal easily with Pex and especially Kommo-O in my experience. Its weakness to Body Press is super annoying aswell - In the current Dark Check Metagame(thanks Urshifu), I personally had more success to sweep with Alola-Marowak for example.

That's why if anybody has a crazy tech choice for TR replacing Crawdaunt, just mention it.
Team consists of Dux2/(g)Bro/Alolawak/Hatterene/*/* Last two slots are flexible.
Aegislash and Conkeldurr spring to mind. Magearna obviously works great on TR. If you're willing to go a bit "out there", Dragalge could work. Its Draco Meteors annihilate anything that doesn't resist them, and its Sludge Bombs/Waves nail Fairies. It has Hydro Pump, Focus Miss and Thunder(bolt) for its admittedly weak coverage, as well as access to a couple of sneaky tricks in Toxic Spikes and Flip Turn (imagine the momentum gain from Flip Turning into Duck on the last turn of TR...).
 
If I understand Pabloaram correctly, he responded to my "Has anyone tried Dux2 as a support mon in OU yet?" with the statement "If you want to run Teleport Dux // Support Dux run rather Tele Chansey instead"
Ty for understand..

I like Crawdant bc offer speed control outside of TrickRoom in Aqua Jet.. If you dont like Crawdaunt, Conk can be a good replacement but you lose againt Alakazam.
Another Tech is Misty Explosion in both fairies
 
Pretty cool wallbreaker I've been playing with

Coalossal @ Power Herb
Ability: Steam Engine
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Meteor Beam
- Fire Blast
- Ancient Power
- Earth Power

if you switch into a fire attack you're basically guaranteed a kill. Meteor Beam + earth power is guaranteed KO on toxapex. Clef can take a +1 fireblasts but you can just meteor beam again while she's in since she can't hurt you and once you get +2 she can't stall out fireblast. Kommo and toad is the only thing I've seen that can safely switch in but even they aren't necessarily safe from meteor beam + earth power if you have decent amount of chip. Natural bulk is nice too, a lot of times I'll get one kill off of meteor beam and then they bring in something like scarf pult which I can't kill in one turn but I can just meteor beam again in its face since draco won't ohko. And can take a lot of priority like grassy glide and bullet punch.

Can also easily sweep if they don't have any aqua jet or you get an ancient power boost. Also love that its a no risk switch into all volc variants.

Jolly lets you outrun unburden hawlucha after steam engine but I think the power is more beneficial.

Here's some replays:

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1140854230
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1139674008
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1139285143
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1139264728
 
Last edited:

Egor

нет, товарищ генерал, это вы даёте
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It's a rare occasion that I make posts in threads like this, but now I would like to talk about Aegislash.
:ss/aegislash::ss/aegislash-blade:

Before DLC, Aegislash was generally used as a wallbreaker, with several different sets being very good at this role: Choice Specs, Choice Band, and Swords Dance. Obviously they have different answers and are capable of achieving different goals. A SubToxic set, which takes a longer and more stally approach at dealing with defensive structures, has been seeing some occasional use as well.

After DLC dropped, how did the changes induced by it in the metagame impacted Aegislash's viability? Which trends does it appreciate, and which trends does it dislike? What sets are currently most optimal to use? In this post I'm going to share my own thoughts on these questions with y'all.

Trends Aegislash appreciates
* Magearna is currently one of the best Pokemon in the metagame, and Aegislash happens to have a nice defensive typing and bulk in Shield forme for being a nice soft check to it. Aegislash can withstand Magearna's attacks (not named Choice Specs Fleur Cannon) relatively well and can retaliate with a strong hit, especially if Aegislash carries Choice Specs itself. However, offensive Aegislash variants are prone to getting worn down quickly, and SubToxic may find itself struggling against Calm Mind Magearna.

* Newly introduced defensive threats - Slowbro, Tangrowth, and Amoonguss - are getting thrown by Aegislash. Choice Specs easily 2HKOs the latter two (if Tangrowth doesn't have Assault Vest) and destroys the former, and SubToxic is very annoying for them: Amoonguss does absolutely nothing to it, while Tangrowth and Slowbro hate getting Toxic'd and eating Shadow Balls.

* The continuing rise of Fighting-types such as Urshifu, Heracross, and even Hawlucha, along with pre-DLC powerhouses like Conkeldurr and Terrakion, makes Aegislash's Ghost typing even more valuable. While Aegislash cannot handle most of them singlehandedly, it truly does ease pivoting around them, especially if they are running Choice Band, which right now is true only to Urshifu though.

Trends Aegislash dislikes
* The best Aegislash's counter - Mandibuzz - is seeing more and more usage, and of course that makes Aegislash's life harder. On the one hand, yes, the influx of its main defensive answer is a strong hit on Aegislash's viability. On the other hand, however, Mandibuzz tends to run slower and more physically defensive spreads now, which enables Choice Specs Aegislash to shine. But due to the very same reason, physical sets of Aegislash are seeming worse than its special sets. Mandibuzz still really hates Toxic too.

* One major problem of Aegislash is its low Speed, and the introduction of new offensive threats, most notably Urshifu and Volcarona, makes the Speed issue even more troublesome. Combine these two and how punishing they are with already existing offensive Pokemon capable of revenge killing Aegislash, which there is way more than one or two, and get another hit to Aegislash's viability.

* Alolan Marowak, the DLC newcomer, gives a really strong competition to Aegislash as a Ghost-type hard-hitter: it boasts higher initial firepower, is not restricted by Choice-lock comparing to Choiced Aegislash, and hits a bit wider array of Pokemon.

~

Negative for Aegislash trends look more impactful than positive trends, resulting in a drop of Aegislash in viability. I will not say that the drop is too significant, however; Aegislash still has a strong niche of a Ghost-type wallbreaker with some valuable defensive utility. I would put Aegislash around the B+ or A- rank.

Aegislash's sets
As you might have noticed, I have been mostly mentioning two sets of Aegislash - Choice Specs and SubToxic. I do believe that these two variants of Aegislash are currently best and most optimal to use. I see physical sets, namely Choice Band and Swords Dance, being inferior to special due to the reasons I have explained above. Let's take a closer look at the most relevant, in my opinion, sets.

:choice specs:
Aegislash @ Choice Specs
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 8 Atk / 248 SpA / 252 Spe
Mild Nature
- Shadow Ball
- Flash Cannon
- Close Combat
- Steel Beam / Shadow Sneak

Choice Specs Aegislash boasts really huge immediate special attacking firepower, totally busting through common physically defensive threats like Hippowdon, Toxapex, and slower Mandibuzz. Being a special attacker means Chansey is going to cockblock it, and luckily Aegislash can prevent this with Close Combat. 8 Attack EVs and a Mild nature ensure that Chansey always drops to two Close Combats after Stealth Rock. Being Choice-locked on this move is generally undesirable, though. On the last moveslot, Steel Beam gives Aegislash a total nuke against anything not resistant to it and not being a very fat pink blob, while Shadow Sneak lets it pick off weakened offensive Pokemon like Volcarona, Dragapult, and Alakazam.

:leftovers:
Aegislash @ Leftovers
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
Quiet Nature
- Shadow Ball
- Substitute
- Toxic
- King's Shield

SubToxic Aegislash, on the contrary to Choice Specs, deals with the opposition by slowly whittling down their health via the combination of Toxic, Substitute, and King's Shield. Shadow Ball is the STAB of choice due to its great neutral coverage. Minimized Speed enables Aegislash to attack last most of the time, keeping the bulk of Shield forme to eat the opponent's attack.

~

I've also built a couple teams showcasing these two sets of Aegislash:

Here Choice Specs Aegislash opens up sweeping opportunities for Calm Mind Necrozma by smashing its checks. Necrozma itself also can break a bit early-game, and Flip Turn Choice Scarf Keldeo helps do that by pivoting Aegislash and Necrozma on its checks weak to them, such as Toxapex, Clefable, and Amoonguss.


This stall uses SubToxic Aegislash alongside various other chip damage sources to make progress throughout the game, weakening the opposition to the point Magearna can set up and win. Besides making progress, Aegislash aids the team with its defensive utility against Rillaboom and Alakazam.

~

That's all I wanted to say. I would appreciate y'all posting your thoughts on Aegislash as well. Have a good day!
 
Honestly, I think there are 2 general problems with Pokemon currently that can be fixed by Smogon.

First, is how mindless the Hazards Sub-Meta is currently.
This issue has existed since Gen 5 when Ferrothorn just became the dominate Hazard Setter, driving away so much competition that existed in Gen 4, and when Team Preview was introduced.
Although Ferrothorn is the least of the problems for the Hazard Metagame, as removing Hazards has become more braindead each Generation. Gen 6 buffed Defog and made Clefable a prominent figure, so that spin blockers became just an extra for some Pokemon. Gen 7 introduced an absurd amount of Defoggers into the meta. And now Gen 8 introduced Heavy-Duty Boots, Buffed Defog again, and buffed Rapid Spin. Gen 8 also removed pursuit to “compensate”, but now spin blocking is also just brain dead without pursuit, and the underlying problem is how freely opponents are able to switch.
This is especially bad when some Pokemon had Stealth Rock and other hazards in mind when balance was considered, such as Volcarona.


The second issue is how easy it is to pivot into strong offensive Pokemon, giving yourself easy momentum with little cost.
Ever since Generation 2, we had this thing called Baton Pass, the first Pivot move.
What seemed like a harmless tool to give certain Pokemon a way to boost their stats they otherwise couldn’t during competitive’s infancy, as competitive play became more mature, it was found that Baton Pass was a major issue. Leading to several complex clauses until Baton Pass was eventually banned outright and even banned in previous Generations as well.
The problem of Baton was that it would allow Pokemon like Magearna and Necrozma to get free speed boosts, which allowed them to snowball so easily into victory that it was just uncompetitive.

Throughout the history of Pokemon, GameFreak has added even more pivot moves over the years.
Gen 4 introduced U-turn, Gen 5 with Volt-Switch, Gen 6 having Parting Shot, LGPE having buff Teleport, and IoA DLC introducing Flip-Turn.
There are several options for pivoting moves, but there has been a bigger, in direct buff to the pivoting move sub group, and it’s extremely threatening offensive Pokemon that keep being introduced.
Each generation obviously has to introduce new Pokemon, and with new Pokemon comes new threats that force the meta to scramble, and naming them all would make this post as long as that one post from the Dugtrio/Arena Trap suspect.
This also extends into keeping your offensive Pokemon safe as well, and you can just use a Pivot move (besides Teleport for obvious reasons) when you feel as though you won’t survive the current 1v1, letting in a defensive Pokemon come in and tank the hit for the offensive Pokemon or to see if they switched and play accordingly.
Among the pivoting moves, Teleport and U-turn are the biggest offenders.
The former lets any defensive Pokemon take the hit for the Pokemon they wish to pivot into, and U-turn is a near unstoppable pivoting move, only faulting if you manage to kill your opponent before they pivot out. Teleport really pushed it over the edge for many people since it can benefit defensive cores such as Wish+Teleport, and Gen 8 in general has been pushing the bounds of competitive with jaw dropping additions like Nasty Plot distribution, the removal of HP/Pursuit, and of course Dynamax.
Pivot moves in general also benefit from the first issue as well, as one of the weaknesses they had was entry hazards on their side.


I will say that I don’t know how to approach these issues, but I can still recognize these things being issues. There are numerous ways to fix these issues as there are numerous options that provide these cancers.
Outright bans for certain moves? Ban on Heavy-Duty Boots? A new clause? Something else entirely?
But I think a lot of issues would be solved in this meta (and most metagames too) if Hazard Removal and Pivoting Moves became reasonable.
I don't particularly think the prevalence of Hazards a problem right now.
Pivoting, however, I 100% agree with you on. WishPort is the easiest, most free way of getting problematic Pokemon on the field rn. With Clefable's bulk and completely free points of entry thanks to Magic Guard, you have perhaps the biggest contributing factor for out of control offense in the tier today. By free, I mean that there is no penalty to using WishPort. Clefable taking a hit means nothing in the scheme of WishPort. Clef's sustainablilty thanks to Magic Guard, Lefties, WishProtect, and Fairy typing being as good as it is means Clef can repeat the process ad infinitum. The pass doesn't even have to go to an offensive threat, you can heal something like Ferrothorn or Corviknight and cause problems if something chose to boost on your Teleport turn. The sheer ease of use is what pushes it over the edge in my eyes. There's been braindead stuff in the past of OU, but never to this level.

Side note, Gamefreak's decision to balance around Doubles is dumbfounding, especially at this point. Everyone says this but in a game where the vast majority of your battles are Singles with no restrictions on teams, turning around and making the official meta a limited version of Doubles and balancing mechanics like Dynamax around a Doubles format is so stupid. Its why you have nonsense like Dracovish and G!Darm demolishing Singles tiers but being just okay in Doubles.
 
:choice specs:
Aegislash @ Choice Specs
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 8 Atk / 248 SpA / 252 Spe
Mild Nature
- Shadow Ball
- Flash Cannon
- Close Combat
- Steel Beam / Shadow Sneak

Choice Specs Aegislash boasts really huge immediate special attacking firepower, totally busting through common physically defensive threats like Hippowdon, Toxapex, and slower Mandibuzz. Being a special attacker means Chansey is going to cockblock it, and luckily Aegislash can prevent this with Close Combat. 8 Attack EVs and a Mild nature ensure that Chansey always drops to two Close Combats after Stealth Rock. Being Choice-locked on this move is generally undesirable, though. On the last moveslot, Steel Beam gives Aegislash a total nuke against anything not resistant to it and not being a very fat pink blob, while Shadow Sneak lets it pick off weakened offensive Pokemon like Volcarona, Dragapult, and Alakazam.
Just wanted to add to this that Toxic is another option on the Specs set to try and catch Mandibuzz or another check off-guard on the switch, although the downsides are pretty obvious (sucks to be locked into, requires giving up Close Combat, Steel Beam and/or Shadow Sneak). However, it does make Aegi better at breaking its own checks if it can be bought in repeatedly.
 
Side note, Gamefreak's decision to balance around Doubles is dumbfounding, especially at this point. Everyone says this but in a game where the vast majority of your battles are Singles with no restrictions on teams, turning around and making the official meta a limited version of Doubles and balancing mechanics like Dynamax around a Doubles format is so stupid. Its why you have nonsense like Dracovish and G!Darm demolishing Singles tiers but being just okay in Doubles.
Not just that but the 20 minute timer actively hinders our ability to play singles at all. It's ridiculous that they shove VGC down our throats so hard even though literally all other Pokémon media, including the entire story mode of SwSh, is singles.
 
Aegislash can pop mandibuzz with Head Smash too.

252+ Atk Choice Band Aegislash-Blade Head Smash vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Mandibuzz: 396-466 (93.3 - 109.9%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO

If you go life orb you can follow up with CC, finishing it off or hitting it when it roost. This allows you to get a shadow sneak off before going down.

252+ Atk Life Orb Aegislash-Blade Head Smash vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Mandibuzz: 343-406 (80.8 - 95.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Life Orb Aegislash-Blade Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Mandibuzz: 138-162 (32.5 - 38.2%) -- 97.8% chance to 3HKO

Downside to this is you kill yourself, but luring and breaking walls like mandi opens up the game for deadly sweepers.

Side note, Gamefreak's decision to balance around Doubles is dumbfounding, especially at this point. Everyone says this but in a game where the vast majority of your battles are Singles with no restrictions on teams, turning around and making the official meta a limited version of Doubles and balancing mechanics like Dynamax around a Doubles format is so stupid. Its why you have nonsense like Dracovish and G!Darm demolishing Singles tiers but being just okay in Doubles.
Pokemons first 'official' competitive scene was doubles and it has always been doubles afaik. Its weird to think they would balance for singles when they invent stuff like mega-ray, which even in doubles proved to be super toxic. They don't assume everybody plays 6v6 for OU like we do, they assume 6v6 is two little Timmies flexing their raid bosses, and afaik Japan doesn't have a singles metagame besides 3v3 or follow smogon rules majority of the time, I doubt they pay attention to what anything out side of Japan plays. This is especially apparent when the SWSH cart limits you to a 20 minute battle timer for 6v6 and building stall/balance teams will see the end of the timer, making it impossible to play anything but HO unless you like the "team with the most pokemon after 20 minutes wins" condition. I think the fact smogon is struggling this badly as a community to find an agreement on when and what point the game is considered balanced should be a testament to why gamefreak wouldn't bother with singles.
 
Specs Chandelure is pretty cool right now. Same defensive typing as Marowak lets it come in on Magearna and Volcarona, guaranteed live a boosted Psychic at +1 or +3 Stored Power and either blow them away with Overheat or Trick to keep them from setting up again. Also nukes almost every wall old and new and can Trick Chansey. Gotta be watchful of accumulated hazards and chip though
 

Gomi

was fun
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I don't particularly think the prevalence of Hazards a problem right now.
Pivoting, however, I 100% agree with you on. WishPort is the easiest, most free way of getting problematic Pokemon on the field rn. With Clefable's bulk and completely free points of entry thanks to Magic Guard, you have perhaps the biggest contributing factor for out of control offense in the tier today. By free, I mean that there is no penalty to using WishPort. Clefable taking a hit means nothing in the scheme of WishPort. Clef's sustainablilty thanks to Magic Guard, Lefties, WishProtect, and Fairy typing being as good as it is means Clef can repeat the process ad infinitum. The pass doesn't even have to go to an offensive threat, you can heal something like Ferrothorn or Corviknight and cause problems if something chose to boost on your Teleport turn. The sheer ease of use is what pushes it over the edge in my eyes. There's been braindead stuff in the past of OU, but never to this level.

Side note, Gamefreak's decision to balance around Doubles is dumbfounding, especially at this point. Everyone says this but in a game where the vast majority of your battles are Singles with no restrictions on teams, turning around and making the official meta a limited version of Doubles and balancing mechanics like Dynamax around a Doubles format is so stupid. Its why you have nonsense like Dracovish and G!Darm demolishing Singles tiers but being just okay in Doubles.
I honestly heavily disagree with this currently. The amount of free turns required to pull wishport off is just so much harder to get in this meta, because volcarona, magearna, alakazam, urshifu, etc. are so extremely threatening to let in safely, and all of these prey on Spdef clefable without much effort. "Well what about physdef clefable?" That would only really help VS Urshifu, and if it invests into physical bulk, it can't really capitalize on things such as specs pult to get wishes off, killing the amount of free turns it can abuse to wishport even further. Not to mention, alot of the new pokemon obviously appreciate wishport, but not to the same level as, say, Conkeldurr did, given they either have their own recovery moves or regenerator. I'm not a fan of pivoting but wishport is the most vulnerable its ever been, and I don't feel it centralizes the meta nearly to the same extent it used to. If anything I'm more worried about facing teleport Slowbro and how much momentum that consistently grabs for teammates that otherwise struggle to get in. This isn't even touching on the fact that Clefable as a whole feels worse
Tl;Dr it doesn't come in on as much safely to wishpass and Wishes aren't as game changing as they were with Hydreigon and Conk, coupled with a more offensive metagame with pokemon that can more feasibly end games in a few turns if you aren't careful.
 
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