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

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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.


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.
(This is about the hazard portion of the post, not the pivot portion)
Why are you complaining about hazards?

At first I thought that you were calling them "braindead" because of their ease of use and massive effectiveness, but instead you complain they have got too easy to remove. You complain about the lack of diversity, and how ferrothorn has narrowed the hazard metagame to just a few key pokes, but then you bring up the fact that defog and rapid spin have been buffed and more widespread. Is this not counteractive? Is having more options healthy for variety? Maybe you were talking about how hazards setters are a dying breed, but this is also untrue. From what I can count, there are at least 14 viable users of stealth rocks, which excludes anything in BL or lower tiers. And OU even looks to have ~5 users of regular spikes, and for reference, gen 7 ou had 3 spikers, and gen 6 had 2. To be clear; variety had not gone "down," the amount of viable options span further than ever before, despite the dex cut.


Second, you seem to preface your whole argument around the fact that hazards are too easy to remove. This fundamentally makes no sense.

If a mechanic/move/type is underpowed, it isn't used, and the fact stealh rocks and defog find their way onto almost every team is a testament to their continued power.


But there is another reason this argument makes no sense.

When a mechanic is banned (such as dynamax, swift swim + drizzle in gen 5, etc.) it is not done for the sake of the mechanic. It is done so other pokemon can have more viability. For example, while dynamax was still allowed, pokemon that could easily abuse it were near impossible to stop, meaning the metagame revolved around those pokemon and their counters. Same with pre complex-ban rain in gen 5.

So why is this relevant?

Well, if hazards or hazard negation were to be banned, it would not be on the principle that hazards themselves are too powerful. It would be done because one strategy, with the power of hazards, is so centralizing that is makes the pool of viable pokemon incredibly small. This is not the case in gen 8 ou. Not a single strategy is overpowered because of hazards/defog, and not a single pokemon is OU because of hazards or defog. All pokemon that learn defog, rapid spin, stealth rocks, and spikes would persist to have viable niches (besides perhaps skarmory due to it then being outclassed by corviknight) without these moves.


So overall, I don't understand you hazard rant. Sure, you might prefer a different generations hazard system to the one we have currently, but with no reason to change anything I recommend staying as true to the original game as possible.
 
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I'm not seeing what's so good about Volcarona right now. I'm not calling it bad, but people talk about it like an S-tier threat when I've never found it that threatening during a game despite never running a pokemon like Chansey.

After a Quiver, so many Pokemon in the tier can still easily tank a hit and retaliate, especially those taking advantage of its poor PhysDef. Aqua Jet users like Azumarill, WaterShifu, and Crawdaunt are in the tier, and rain+swift swim is growing in popularity. Other common Pokemon like LO/CB Cinderace, DDPult, Hawlucha, Alolan Marowak, Talonflame, etc. all will live a hit and return an OHKO

Chansey, Primarina, etc. really don't seem to fear it at all, hell a toxic from a Rotom-H can be a problem too.

I'm not saying this mon is bad, there's ways to handle everything. That's why they're not banned to Ubers. That being said, I feel people are really overhyping Volc currently when there are literal popular team constructions that are anti-Volc ultimately(rain), common offensive mons aren't that terrified of it and can instead really scare it in return, a bad relationship with priority, poor PhysDef in a physical attacking metagame, and some a commonly used mon in Chansey who literally just walls the shit out of it.

I'm asking to be sold on it I guess
 
I'm not seeing what's so good about Volcarona right now. I'm not calling it bad, but people talk about it like an S-tier threat when I've never found it that threatening during a game despite never running a pokemon like Chansey.

After a Quiver, so many Pokemon in the tier can still easily tank a hit and retaliate, especially those taking advantage of its poor PhysDef. Aqua Jet users like Azumarill, WaterShifu, and Crawdaunt are in the tier, and rain+swift swim is growing in popularity. Other common Pokemon like LO/CB Cinderace, DDPult, Hawlucha, Alolan Marowak, Talonflame, etc. all will live a hit and return an OHKO

Chansey, Primarina, etc. really don't seem to fear it at all, hell a toxic from a Rotom-H can be a problem too.

I'm not saying this mon is bad, there's ways to handle everything. That's why they're not banned to Ubers. That being said, I feel people are really overhyping Volc currently when there are literal popular team constructions that are anti-Volc ultimately(rain), common offensive mons aren't that terrified of it and can instead really scare it in return, a bad relationship with priority, poor PhysDef in a physical attacking metagame, and some a commonly used mon in Chansey who literally just walls the shit out of it.

I'm asking to be sold on it I guess
Volcarona pressures the fat archetype outside of Chansey, like corviknight, ferrothorn, tangrowth, amoonguss, and non-brave bird Mandibuzz. The ability to break certain components of such teams is what makes it good rn. In addition, its one of the best counters to Magearna, assuming that its not boosted from calm minds.

People are hyping it up because after seeing a metgame that was dominated by balance/semi-stall, Volc asserts itself as a check to such mons, and even checking those we received in the DLC. Metagame trends will often shift the popularity and trends of certain mons, but I think Volc is probably A+ tier for what it does in certain matchups.
 
I'm asking to be sold on it I guess
Can I try?
with HDB, its easier to use
It laughs at stall except Chansey/Blissey
it checks both Urshifus (dark if its band, water if not aqua jet and its band)
Conk, Bisharp, Excadrill, Ttar, all has its problems agains this thing (poor Ttar :c)
makes Hydreigon run scarf timid, rekts Kyurem, Kommo-o does not even want to go in
melts magnezone so free Magearna (the 2 makes a great duo, and also melts Mag)
The 4MSS is not even that bad this gen since the only thing you might want aside from Bug Buzz/Fire Blast/Psyquic + Quiver Dance is Hurricane
looks kinda cool....

Did I make good seling points? I hope so c:
 
(This is about the hazard portion of the post, not the pivot portion)
Why are you complaining about hazards?

At first I thought that you were calling them "braindead" because of their ease of use and massive effectiveness, but instead you complain they have got too easy to remove. You complain about the lack of diversity, and how ferrothorn has narrowed the hazard metagame to just a few key pokes, but then you bring up the fact that defog and rapid spin have been buffed and more widespread. Is this not counteractive? Is having more options healthy for variety? Maybe you were talking about how hazards setters are a dying breed, but this is also untrue. From what I can count, there are at least 14 viable users of stealth rocks, which excludes anything in BL or lower tiers. And OU even looks to have ~5 users of regular spikes, and for reference, gen 7 ou had 3 spikers, and gen 6 had 2. To be clear; variety had not gone "down," the amount of viable options span further than ever before, despite the dex cut.


Second, you seem to preface your whole argument around the fact that hazards are too easy to remove. This fundamentally makes no sense.

If a mechanic/move/type is underpowed, it isn't used, and the fact steal rocks and defog find their way onto almost every team is a testament to their continued power.


But there is another reason this argument makes no sense.

When a mechanic is banned (such as dynamax, swift swim + drizzle in gen 5, etc.) it is not done for the sake of the mechanic. It is done so other pokemon can have more viability. For example, while dynamax was still allowed, pokemon that could easily abuse it were near impossible to stop, meaning the metagame revolved around those pokemon and their counters. Same with pre complex-ban rain in gen 5.

So why is this relevant?

Well, if hazards or hazard negation were to be banned, it would not be on the principle that hazards themselves are too powerful. It would be done because one strategy, with the power of hazards, is so centralizing that is makes the pool of viable pokemon incredibly small. This is not the case in gen 8 ou. Not a single strategy is overpowered because of hazards/defog, and not a single pokemon is OU because of hazards or defog. All pokemon that learn defog, rapid spin, stealth rocks, and spikes would persist to have viable niches (besides perhaps skarmory due to it then being outclassed by corviknight).


So overall, I don't understand you hazard rant. Sure, you might prefer a different generations hazard system to the one we have currently, but with no reason to change anything I recommend staying as true to the original game as possible.
The thing I was complaining about was the removal of Hazards for the most part actually.
Sorry if that wasn’t clear.
I really appreciate the Gen 4 Sub-Meta about setting, removing, preventing of setting, and preventing of removing hazards, which I wish I could have experienced when Gen 4 was the current generation.
It was super elegant and a lot of care went into what you would use as a lead, your rapid spinner, and your spin blocker.
But today you just slap Ferrothorn/Excadrill/Hippowdon/Toxapex and Corviknight/Mandibuzz/Excadrill and call it a day for 90% of teams in terms of the hazard metagame, and you have the occasional Sticky Web team.
 

Gomi

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Can I try?
with HDB, its easier to use
It laughs at stall except Chansey/Blissey
it checks both Urshifus (dark if its band, water if not aqua jet and its band)
Conk, Bisharp, Excadrill, Ttar, all has its problems agains this thing (poor Ttar :c)
makes Hydreigon run scarf timid, rekts Kyurem, Kommo-o does not even want to go in
melts magnezone so free Magearna (the 2 makes a great duo, and also melts Mag)
The 4MSS is not even that bad this gen since the only thing you might want aside from Bug Buzz/Fire Blast/Psyquic + Quiver Dance is Hurricane
looks kinda cool....

Did I make good seling points? I hope so c:
Adding onto this, It heavily pressures your opponent to play in a certain way to preserve certain answers due to how extremely restrictive Volc is to play against after a boost, especially if your answer is something that isn't as consistent, such as haze toxic Spdef Pex, Cinderace, and Dragapult. On top of that, the more consistent answers such as Primarina, Chansey, and almost garunteed revenge killers like aqua jet Crawdaunt or Azumarill are all heavily pressured by spikes and residual as a whole, which a well built team can heavily exploit quite easily. It isn't at all broken or anything, but the extreme pressure it puts onto your opponent in battle makes it A) A great pairing with alot of pokemon due to the sheer pressure it exerts (Cinderace, Magearna, and Crawdaunt to name a few) and B) Almost always a constant threat for them to manage while you happily exploit that caution.
 
I'm not seeing what's so good about Volcarona right now. I'm not calling it bad, but people talk about it like an S-tier threat when I've never found it that threatening during a game despite never running a pokemon like Chansey.

After a Quiver, so many Pokemon in the tier can still easily tank a hit and retaliate, especially those taking advantage of its poor PhysDef. Aqua Jet users like Azumarill, WaterShifu, and Crawdaunt are in the tier, and rain+swift swim is growing in popularity. Other common Pokemon like LO/CB Cinderace, DDPult, Hawlucha, Alolan Marowak, Talonflame, etc. all will live a hit and return an OHKO

Chansey, Primarina, etc. really don't seem to fear it at all, hell a toxic from a Rotom-H can be a problem too.

I'm not saying this mon is bad, there's ways to handle everything. That's why they're not banned to Ubers. That being said, I feel people are really overhyping Volc currently when there are literal popular team constructions that are anti-Volc ultimately(rain), common offensive mons aren't that terrified of it and can instead really scare it in return, a bad relationship with priority, poor PhysDef in a physical attacking metagame, and some a commonly used mon in Chansey who literally just walls the shit out of it.

I'm asking to be sold on it I guess
The main issue with volc is the presence of other metagame threats and the amount of pressure that is put when you factor in everyone at once.

I completely agree that volc is seriously not an issue lmao.. Only time volc is an issue is in weak teambuilding but right now its so easy to have a generalist special attacker answer that its not going out of the way to check volc (unlike vish, where you needed a dedicated vish check not just a dedicated physical wall).

Volc isn't very centralizing either, as if volc was truely that big of an issue I think we'd be seeing more unaware clef, lycanroc, or heavy duty boots talonflame which completely nullify it. We'd see chansey and pex regardless of volc. Physical Dragapult deals with volc surprising well too. Mandi is a soft check that can deal with volc but situationally.

The main big issue with volc is that it is indeed a threat on top of numerous other threats. Building a team that naturally check volc is ez pz.. building a team that naturally checks volc+magearna+urshifu+dragapult+cinderace+zeroara+alakazam+sand excadrill+azumaril+anything else you can think of is damn near impossible, and leaves teams open to getting 6-0'd by which ever offensive mon their team lacks the proper answers to. Volc+Mageara in particular are scary just because magearna shits on so much that otherwise deal with volc, and the few answers magearna has volc pressures thanks to heavy duty boots letting it play more offensive with switching in and dealing with steels like ferro early game. This isn't inherently a volc issue, but rather a product of other trends happening in the meta right now. Volc gets enabled by finding opportunist setup moments in times where people are coinflipping their counters in teambuilder and volc happens to be the one that counters. You can run 2 volc checks, but then get destroyed by urshifu or dented enough for volc to muscle past those checks.

This is the standstill we're all at right now, who the fuck needs to go so we can get some breathing room to deal with the other problems, and neither of them are batshit crazy enough to come in agreement that its even justifiable to ban it. IMO volc isn't close to being the candidate unless you factor in mage+volc teams but.. mage is the bigger sinner here lol. I doubt the meta shifts much if at all if volc was removed, as we're still running the same answers for Volc to deal with Mage, Pult, Aegi, Zam, etc.
 
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Speaking of Mag, what are his favorite sets/answers to this thing???, the Set Comprendium tread has 9 Mag sets (like bruh what the hell xD)
my favorite set is AV witch can brawl with Urshifu and can even take a specs earth power from Kyurem and kiss it to death to name a few goodies
I personally think that the support variants are better than the offensive, maybe im biased with this

and Volcarona is funnily enough, a good check to all of her sets at once, Im not really sure if Magearna is Ban Worthy but I think everyone is making the good desicion of keeping some eyes on this thing
 
regenerator
And like, poor distribution much? As compared to all the offensive mons out there with great boosting moves AND abilities. Please - the defensive mons totally lost out. Not to forget so many items like Life Orb and Choice [X] are all meant to make offence viable (if not, a tad overbearing).
 


I don't think I'd call six mons (including G-Bro), five of which have radically different defensive typings and all of which have incredibly good synergy with one-another, to be "poor distribution" when Regenerator cores in their current state can stall out a huge amount of threats just by switching between one-another.
Lol, if you think this is sufficient in comparison to what offence has received over the years, you might want to think again.

#peaceout
 
Man. I really want to like Alolan Marowak. I love its design, typing, and moves. But having such a poor speed makes this thing really hard to keep momentum vs speedier offensive/bulky offensive mons. Swords Dance seems almost impossible to make use of unless they switch on the same turn, but then you'll still have to deal with faster revenge mons, Azu Aqua Jet, Stealth Rock/Hazards since you can't run HDB, etc. And while its defensive stats aren't bad, being slow still means you're going to be outsped, and you can't afford to take too many hits. It's like you're forced to run Trick Room, or some niche Baton Pass Agility/speed move to pass onto it, and even then I could see Scarf users outrun it anyway. Sure, A-Marowak can still put a dent vs certain threats, but idk, have been kinda struggling to find an effective way to use this mon. It feels like it needs much team support.
 
If you take issue with the fact that offensive Pokemon get "compensated" more than defensive Pokemon, I would like to suggest that you write a personal letter to Game Freak. I'm sure they will care, because the OU forum does not; it is a trivial argument that is not relevant here, so I'd appreciate it if we move on from it.
 

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Man. I really want to like Alolan Marowak. I love its design, typing, and moves. But having such a poor speed makes this thing really hard to keep momentum vs speedier offensive/bulky offensive mons. Swords Dance seems almost impossible to make use of unless they switch on the same turn, but then you'll still have to deal with faster revenge mons, Azu Aqua Jet, Stealth Rock/Hazards since you can't run HDB, etc. And while its defensive stats aren't bad, being slow still means you're going to be outsped, and you can't afford to take too many hits. It's like you're forced to run Trick Room, or some niche Baton Pass Agility/speed move to pass onto it, and even then I could see Scarf users outrun it anyway. Sure, A-Marowak can still put a dent vs certain threats, but idk, have been kinda struggling to find an effective way to use this mon. It feels like it needs much team support.
I am actually really enjoying Alolan Marowak right now. It can safely come in against defensive Pokemon such as Clefable, Skarmory, and Corviknight, semi-safely against Tangrowth and Ferrothorn, and can soft check Pokemon such as Magearna, Volcarona, Rotom-H, and Cinderace. It's never gonna be the kind of Pokemon that is going to soak up a lot of neutral hits and it sure as hell isn't fast, but it can check a bunch of important Pokemon in the OU metagame. From my experience, it actually gets a decent number of free turns to set up Stealth Rock or fire off a Flare Blitz or something. Usually, if I don't get up Stealth Rock in a match, its because I'm using Alolan Marowak to smoke the opposing team.

If I may ask, are you using Swords Dance? I personally don't believe that it's a very good set because Alolan Marowak is too slow and not bulky enough, so I prefer to just get Rocks up or attack.
 
I am actually really enjoying Alolan Marowak right now. It can safely come in against defensive Pokemon such as Clefable, Skarmory, and Corviknight, semi-safely against Tangrowth and Ferrothorn, and can soft check Pokemon such as Magearna, Volcarona, Rotom-H, and Cinderace. It's never gonna be the kind of Pokemon that is going to soak up a lot of neutral hits and it sure as hell isn't fast, but it can check a bunch of important Pokemon in the OU metagame. From my experience, it actually gets a decent number of free turns to set up Stealth Rock or fire off a Flare Blitz or something. Usually, if I don't get up Stealth Rock in a match, its because I'm using Alolan Marowak to smoke the opposing team.

If I may ask, are you using Swords Dance? I personally don't believe that it's a very good set because Alolan Marowak is too slow and not bulky enough, so I prefer to just get Rocks up or attack.
It's definitely useful vs those defensive mons, I agree. I think from my part, it's moreso from making the right calls to find a safe switch in to A-Marowak, and then having to deal with possibly being hit again after (since it's slow, as we've established). Even boosted Magearna/Volcarona can hurt on the switch. I've also been really torn about its EVs spread, giving up speed investment and just going all out HP and Attack, but I feel like a certain amount of Speed EVs will be considered once the meta stabilizes more, unless there's something absolutely crucial to outspeed in the lower speed tiers

I'm not running Swords Dance, no, for the same reasons you mentioned. Opted for Stealth Rock instead too.
 
It's definitely useful vs those defensive mons, I agree. I think from my part, it's moreso from making the right calls to find a safe switch in to A-Marowak, and then having to deal with possibly being hit again after (since it's slow, as we've established). Even boosted Magearna/Volcarona can hurt on the switch. I've also been really torn about its EVs spread, giving up speed investment and just going all out HP and Attack, but I feel like a certain amount of Speed EVs will be considered once the meta stabilizes more, unless there's something absolutely crucial to outspeed in the lower speed tiers

I'm not running Swords Dance, no, for the same reasons you mentioned. Opted for Stealth Rock instead too.
Some Speed EVs to outspeed walls is good.
Its Max Speed is 207, which is slower than Neutral Crawdaunt, but it lets it outspeed Neutral Azumarill, and Adamant is still tied with Neutral Conkeldurr.
https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/ss-ou-speed-tiers.3656474/post-8287571
You can find what you can outspeed with Marowak-A here and anything below that.
Like Neutral 124 can allow Marowak-A to outspeed Uninvested Clefable, OHKOing Specially Bulky Sets and 2HKOing physically bulky sets.
 
I've browsed around the OU forums for a little while, and it's looking like Magearna is gonna be a big threat, especially with its double dance set. Possible answers I've seen include SD Excadrill and QD Volcarona, both which are highly situational. There's also the (high) chance that you'll mispredict its set and sacrifice at least one mon in the process. Are there any hard counters to it out there? Only thing that comes to mind is SD Incineroar, which I didn't thouroughly test to see how it deals with +2 Draining Kiss, but I'm willing to bet it doesn't take a whole lot, and can view that opportunity to set up free SDs.
Incineroar @ Leftovers
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 252 Atk / 104 SpD / 152 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Taunt
- Flare Blitz
- Swords Dance
- Darkest Lariat
I agree with whoever said this is the next suspect test as it has 9 sets and one of them I've heard can beat entire teams lol
 
It's definitely useful vs those defensive mons, I agree. I think from my part, it's moreso from making the right calls to find a safe switch in to A-Marowak, and then having to deal with possibly being hit again after (since it's slow, as we've established). Even boosted Magearna/Volcarona can hurt on the switch. I've also been really torn about its EVs spread, giving up speed investment and just going all out HP and Attack, but I feel like a certain amount of Speed EVs will be considered once the meta stabilizes more, unless there's something absolutely crucial to outspeed in the lower speed tiers

I'm not running Swords Dance, no, for the same reasons you mentioned. Opted for Stealth Rock instead too.
About :ss/marowak alola:
I also like him but i am unsing him as a offensive support rn..
He is a nice stealth rock setter bc many defensive mons dont like seeing it and many give free switch like Clef for instance.
I am using the bulky set made by Finchinator and work fantastic You switch in something like cm :magearna:, qd :volcarona:, specs :magnezone: and is time to pain in the opponent side. Because of this i like using Lighning Rod over Rock Head and i am also using Flare Bitz and Bonemerang instead of Fire Punch and EQ.
Ofc you need support to use effectivlity but now is the better moment in his history outside Kantowak in GSC
 

One Pokemon I thought people would be talking about more is Alakazam, which has gotten Nasty Plot.
Seriously, the Alakazam thread has 3 posts, one of them is me posting today, and no one is talking about it as much as other threats like Urshifu and Magearna. If given a free turn (which is easy thanks to this move called Teleport letting it come in for free), this Pokemon’s power is simply ridiculous.
Having an effective 190 SpA after Life Orb (slightly more as it’s 479.7 instead of 479), Alakazam boosts this power even further beyond with Nasty Plot, becoming 100% unwallable as it OHKOs everything barring Unaware users and Chansey, which the latter is decimated by Psyshock.
And this is coming from a Pokemon with base 120 Speed, letting it outspeed the majority of the Metagame naturally. There being 28 sets that can immediately outspeed Alakazam, this includes things like Swift Swim Drednaw in Rain and overlapping Pokemon like Neutral/Positive Nature Dragapult.
Sure, Dragapult and Zeraora are incredibly common, but they don’t last forever and aren’t on every team.
And you either NEED priority or them to stop this thing.
Oh, and speaking of which;
While harder to pull off, getting Alakazam in while Psychic Terrain is up limits your options in stopping it as well, as priority fails, makes Psychic/Psyshock hurt even more, and Expanding Force decimates even Chansey WITH MAX SPECIAL BULK at +2
+2 252 SpA Life Orb Alakazam Expanding Force (160 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Chansey in Psychic Terrain: 547-645 (77.6 - 91.6%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

Could you imagine if Indeedee got Teleport? And how many Pokemon do you know that can OHKO Chansey on the Special side?
Edit: Sorry calculated that wrong. Still pretty impressive.
+2 252 SpA Life Orb Alakazam Expanding Force (160 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Chansey in Psychic Terrain: 421-497 (59.8 - 70.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
But anyways, there is another for Alakazam to deal with priority (mainly Sucker Punch) and faster Pokemon (baring Infiltrator Dragapult of just Dragon Darts)
Substitute.
While Substitute makes Alakazam’s coverage worse, it can make any Bisharp cry when their Sucker Punch fails as Alakazam puts up a Substitute and allows Alakazam to get a free hit. This also works as a way to protect Alakazam from oncoming speed control from the likes of Zeraora, Weavile, Sand Rush Excadrill, ect.
It also prevents Chansey for Thunder Waving you on Stall teams or prankster users from doing the same if you have it up.

Alakazam’s current incarnation is arguably even better than its Gen 1 counterpart, since at least back them Alakazam has to try to beat the GOAT Special Wall, and honestly if Pokemon I can’t mention for reasons I can’t mention either returns, Alakazam will make it [Pokemon] look like its [Alakazam] female dog.
 
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Regarding the post-DLC set compendium, I think a Stealth Rock set with Flare Blitz, Earthquake, and Poltergeist as indicated in the Alolawak Discussion Thread. It makes for good role compression as an entry hazard and wallbreaker. If in case it is added in the set compendium, I would recommend you call it a Bulky Wallbreaker as in the discussion thread.
 
I haven’t tried out electric terrain / alola raichu yet, but was a little surprised to see it not ranked in the new rankings thread. Seems like rising voltage is a good buff and with nasty plot + psyshock + surf it has the coverage to break through stuff like Hippowdon and Chansey that one would expect to annoy it. I get that Pincurchin is bad, but it seems to have enough support moves in spikes, memento, t spikes, self-destruct, etc. to make it usable with good abusers. Am I theorymon overestimating how good alola raichu and electric terrain are? Love to hear from someone who’s tried them.
 
I haven’t tried out electric terrain / alola raichu yet, but was a little surprised to see it not ranked in the new rankings thread. Seems like rising voltage is a good buff and with nasty plot + psyshock + surf it has the coverage to break through stuff like Hippowdon and Chansey that one would expect to annoy it. I get that Pincurchin is bad, but it seems to have enough support moves in spikes, memento, t spikes, self-destruct, etc. to make it usable with good abusers. Am I theorymon overestimating how good alola raichu and electric terrain are? Love to hear from someone who’s tried them.
I think it's mostly a ladder gimmick with little competitive value in the long run. I personally might rank it around like C or C-, but it's not really a consistent strategy.
 

ausma

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So, I want to talk about a surprising, fringe anomaly I'm seeing running around on the ladder currently.

:ss/tangela:

Tangela. At first, I was extremely confused. I thought it was some weird low ladder tech, but then, I smacked an opposing Tangela with a Wicked Blow and was surprised to see that it didn't do as much as I expected.

252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Wicked Blow vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Tangela on a critical hit: 129-153 (38.6 - 45.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Tangela: 129-153 (38.6 - 45.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

After calcing that, I found the minimum defense required for Urshifu's best moves to be consistent 3HKOs without hazard damage.

252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Wicked Blow vs. 252 HP / 140+ Def Eviolite Tangela on a critical hit: 141-166 (42.2 - 49.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 140+ Def Eviolite Tangela: 141-166 (42.2 - 49.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

It was then that I realized that the calcs here are the sole reason that people are currently running Tangela over Tangrowth on the ladder. And, after a little experience, it's been a pretty ok way of combating Banded Urshifu on Stall/defensive cores, which otherwise dismantles them. You might wonder why exactly you might want to run Tangela over Weezing-Galar, which is a much more snug fit for its ability to counter Iron Head-less Urshifu. Though, it has some amenities that Weezing does not.

1: Sustainability

This is probably the point that is best in Tangela's favor. Not only does it have access to Morning Sun/Synthesis, but it has Leech Seed, and most significantly, Regenerator. Regenerator is a godlike defensive ability that has spawned cores of its own, and Tangela is an abuser of it. Not only is it able to switch in on Urshifu's blows, but it is able to also heal it off after sporting its relatively solid utility moves, letting it sponge hits but keep coming in and out of battle, much unlike Weezing. Being able to launch Leech Seeds on incoming targets as well as its choices of Toxic, Knock Off, Stun Spore, and Sleep Powder while still being able to heal reliably gives it a lot more longevity over the course of the match, and more utility outside of checking Urshifu.

2: Utility

I eluded somewhat to this, but it's definitely a great point in Tangela's favor. Access to the powders and Knock Off is fantastic, as it is able to incapacitate a Pokemon's item-based firepower (most prominently Urshifu's), paralyze a target, or put a target to sleep. This isn't really too necessary to talk about, because Tangrowth has made us familiar with these options, but they are unique to Tangela as an Urshifu check versus Weezing-Galar.

3: Typing

A pure Grass typing is pretty alright right now, especially on an Eviolite-boosted Tangela. The biggest reason its pure Grass typing is cool is that it provides Stall with a pretty great Excadrill check (unlike Weezing) that is able to paralyze the mole, on top of just being a pretty ok mixed wall as merit of Eviolite and not stacking a Fairy-type with Clefable. It's also nice that it is a nice immediate switch-in to Rillaboom and Azumarill, too, but this doesn't last long whatsoever if they have Knock Off.

--

Though, there's a reason Tangela is considerably niche more than anything else. To illustrate my point, I'd like to compare Tangela to its older counterpart, Tangrowth.

:ss/tangrowth: VS :ss/tangela:

The comparison solely comes down to the item slot. Tangela's only niche over Tangrowth is having Eviolite-boosted defenses, which gives it more of a defensive edge over Tangrowth. Though, this very point is also Tangela's Achilles Heel. Tangela is greatly reliant on having its Eviolite to soak more damage, and as such, absolutely hates being hit with Knock Off, similarly to Chansey/P2. Tangrowth, contrarily, has an item slot, which it can fill with an Assault Vest or a Rocky Helmet, which provides it with additional utility that makes it a much better, more reliable pick overall. Though, more prominently, Tangrowth isn't crippled by Knock Off.

So, what is my conclusion?

Tangela is a fringe hard Stall pick, and should remain as such as long as Urshifu is in the tier. It is without question that Urshifu brings a ton of trouble to Stall, and Tangela is definitely a pretty ok answer that compresses Amoonguss/Tangrowth's utility into one package without Galar Weezing's glaring longevity issue. However, its reliance on Eviolite and lack of an item's utility is exactly why Tangrowth is just better in every other situation. If you're considering Tangela on a Balance/Semi-stall team, you should really just be considering Tangrowth instead, especially since Tangela still somewhat has a shot of being 2HKO'd with hazards up anyway.

To end things off, if you want my take on a set, I've experimented with the following:

Tangela @ Eviolite
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Impish / Bold Nature
- Synthesis / Giga Drain
- Leech Seed
- Knock Off
- Sleep Powder / Stun Spore / Toxic

This general variant is what I believe is its best set. I fully optimize the Urshifu and Excadrill matchup with Max Max, and use Tangela as a pure, defensive utilitarian, combining several of its best attributes in the form of its sustainability, Knock Off support, and powder support. Toxic is an option as well if Bulk Up Urshifu is giving you trouble, as it can force the opponent to act quickly and promptly despite the middling matchup. If you're too worried about being Taunt fodder and want to kind of slap Grass-weak mons, then Giga Drain can be slashed over Synthesis (then run Bold over Impish). You could alternatively run 140 Def Impish to barely guarantee the 3HKO from Urshifu, and put the rest in SpDef. Though, given how it's a niche hard Stall Pokemon, it's best to just speck it where it performs the best, as it does perform rather badly on the Special side anyway.
 
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Y'know, I think it's weird how little attention electric terrain is getting in this thread. I've seen plenty about Indeedee and Rillaboom, but only 2/3 mentions of my boi Pincurchin. Seriously, I love this spiny li'l guy, and I've seen relative success with him, with this team.

Pincurchin @ Terrain Extender
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunder Wave
- Toxic Spikes
- Rising Voltage
- Protect

Pretty standard I think, T Wave for status spread, toxic spikes because why not, Rising Voltage for surprising amounts of damage, and protect. I'm probably going to drop protect because I'm not the biggest fan of it, but it got me out of a scrape against a poisoned volc (no HDB, no idea why) so it's not all bad.

Raichu-Alola @ Choice Specs
Ability: Surge Surfer
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Rising Voltage
- Grass Knot
- Surf
- Focus Blast

Sweeper Number One please! This guy is almost unstoppable, apart from fat pink blobs and the odd focus blast miss. Grass defense cores are not my friend, I'll tell you that much, but sometimes rising voltage provides that power to break through that last quarter of health if it needs to.

Hawlucha @ Electric Seed
Ability: Unburden
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Close Combat
- Acrobatics
- Throat Chop

Don't even need to explain this guy, come in on turn 2 or 3, swords dance, and then proceed to 6 - 0 everything bar scarf pult. GG EZ.

Mantine @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Roost
- Scald
- Haze
- Whirlpool

Now, I know what you're thinking, "who the hell runs whirlpool?". Well, I absolutely love random meme moves that no one expects because they're normally so useless, and whirlpool is great here. Trap a poisoned special attacker, such as volc, then spam roost and the occasional whirlpool again till win. Fun times to be had by all.

Weezing-Galar @ Black Sludge
Ability: Neutralizing Gas
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Haze
- Will-O-Wisp
- Pain Split
- Corrosive Gas

This was my dedicated urshifu counter, but seeing after that amazing tangela tech, I'm definitely switching to my favourite pile o' vines. Anyway, this can be quite passive at times, but it has a hard time getting killed, so there's that. Also, corrosive gas is so funny, no one expects it, until it's too late...

Mandibuzz (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Overcoat
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- U-turn
- Foul Play
- Knock Off
- Taunt

Don't think I need to explain this guy either, he comes in on anything that doesn't kill him, and either pivots out, attacks or taunts. It also destroys trapped zams, which never fails to amuse.

Seriously guys, please criticise and take apart this team to your hearts content, I want to see where I'm going wrong, because I definitely am somewhere. Also, use electric terrain damnit!
 
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