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

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Yeah, those three definitely stand out as being potentially problematic in OU.

Urshifu's sheer power practically guarantees that it will tear a hole through the opposing team every match (unless you make dumb plays). The few mons that don't automatically fold to Wicked Blow or Close Combat all have issues of their own, whether it's Clefable's inability to handle repeated Poison Jab or Iron Head or Kommo-o's lack of recovery. Even Hippowdon and Tangrowth are almost always 2HKOed by Fu, and physical bulk is one of the main selling points of both those mons. Overall, its breaking power is just more than what the tier is currently built to handle.

Magearna has been out for less than a month, and yet already has five viable sets that take on drastically different roles; that alone should tell you just how versatile it is. While it can never check everything, its move pool is expansive enough to hit hard against everything in OU save Chansey, and even that is ruined by Trick from the Specs of Scarf set. Gear is one of those threats where you need to specifically scout its set before committing to counterplay, less you sacrifice at least one mon; even that approach is risky due to potentially giving sweeping sets a free turn. Not to mention that Gear has pretty good bulk, meaning that only the hardest hitters can really break through it. Finally, its Soul- Heart means that giving it even one KO can potentially cost you the game. It can be checked by Excadrill and Cinderace, but neither wants to switch in due to Gear's Fighting coverage and lackluster bulk, respectively. Gear's only downside is its lack of reliable recovery, but like Fu that doesn't prevent it from tearing a gaping hole in the enemy team (and can mitigate the problem a bit with Draining Kiss).

Cinderace is basically a physical repeat of ORAS Greninja, as its ability to switch typing along with solid offensive stats make revenging it easier said then done. Like Gear, Race's various offensive options hit a large section of the tier fairly hard between Pyro Ball, HJK, Zen Headbutt and the occasional Gunk Shot, Sucker Punch allows it to at least dent whatever takes it down, and U-turn allows it to escape unfavorable matchups like Slowbro. While its utility isn't as good as Greninja, being able to swap hazards, Taunt potential defensive answers and U-turn to bring in teammates give some dimension to its game. I don't think it's as broken as the other two, namely due to its lackluster bulk and its attacking stat not being as good, but it can still be hell for even the most reliable stall mons unless you're constantly on high alert.
 
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One thing about Magearna it is probably one of the most fun pokemon to play with. Using 200 BP attacks with stored power and OHKOing toxapex is very satisfying. Giving stored power to a pokemon that raises its special attack stat with every KO makes me think GF was trying to make an overpowered pokemon. And with one shift gear you can outspeed almost any mon in OU. Leftovers and draining kiss help you stay alive.

Last three wins have been Mag sweeps: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1147160277
 
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The most dangerous Magearna set is probably the Calm Mind/Shift Gear set. If you don't have good speed control or a hazer/phazer, Magearna will probably sweep. How are most people here dealing with/countering Magearna anyway?
 

Do you think Hatterene can have a role in OU, as a wallbreaker?

Hatterene @ Leftovers
Ability: Magic Bounce
EVs: 252 HP / 244 Def / 12 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Calm Mind
- Psychic
- Draining Kiss
- Mystical Fire

Magic Bounce allows her to easily setup on mons like Chansey, Clefable, Mandibuzz, Pex, Kommo-O and non Iron Head Corviknight and she be immune to phazing (thanks to the fairy type, as well). Also, she has access to Draining Kiss, keeping her alive and Mystical Fire hits steel types like Ferrothorn

With Max hp and 244 Def bold, she can take heavy hits from common threats and fight back, recovering with draining kiss, or even killing with psychic or mystical fire.
318 hp means that Chansey would need 4 seismic tosses to kill her and 12 speed allows her to outspeed Amoonguss, in case of Clear Smog. She will always outspeed Ferro

Pros:
Magic Bounce is a great ability for a wallbreaker, as it lets the mon be immune to status and phazing
Access Draining Kiss means she is not dependant to wishport
136 base spatk hits hard, even at +0
102 spdef is not bad
95 def actually allows her to survive one or two heavy hits, like banded Wicked Blow, life orb Steel Wing and Iron Head from Excadrill
She beats most walls like Chansey, non CM Clef, Ferro, Kommo-o and Pex
Sweepers like Alakazam, Hydreigon, Kyurem, Urshifu and other fighting types could have some problems because of calm mind/draining kiss

Cons:
Her hp is too damn low (base 57)
She is really, really slow. So slow that Alowak will always outspeed her and always do an OHKO with poltergeist
Dragapult specs is not a rarity and Shadow Ball is always OHKO
Faster steel types like Jirachi and Aegislash can switch into a psychic or draining kiss and fight back with iron head/shadow ball
Rillaboom is faster (as like as 99% of the metagame) and can do an OHKO with Wood Hammer
Mimikyu is rare, but it has a free turn thanks to disguise
Azumarill hits very hard with anything and does not fear any unboosted move from Hat
Magearna laughs on her 100% of the time
Avid Hatterene enthusiast here;

Don't use Hat in OU anymore.
  • TR is not good in the metagame at the moment, and her being the best TR setter is hardly praise when the archetype is often dead on arrival.
  • Hat's bulk is good but her awful HP stat is holding her back significantly. She can take 1 hit and then be horribly crippled the rest of the match.
  • Why is she horribly crippled? Because Draining Kiss is not reliable recovery. It is wayyyyy too weak, even with STAB. There are enough switch ins that do not mind a base 50(!) Fairy attack, namely Magearna, who is everywhere.
  • Hatterene gives away momentum. At best you scare something like Toxapex out and get a Calm Mind boost (don't use TR), but you probably won't be using said boost. There's a lot that don't care about Hat's STABs that are common. And any physical attacking threat is going to maul you because you are so. Fxching. Slow. If Alowak or Aegislash gets in on you say goodbye to Hat even after you boost.
  • Hat absolutely requires 1 free turn, which is very very hard to get these days.
In comparison, here's :alakazam:.
  • Alakazam gets Nasty Plot compared to Hatterene's Calm Mind. If Hat got Nasty Plot we wouldn't be having this discussion; the immediate danger of Nasty Plot compared to Calm Mind is extremely hard to ignore.
  • Alakazam has a whole 1 point less SpA, meaning the power difference is non-existent. There is no relevant scenario that Hat's Psychic hits harder than Alakazam's to warrent a use. And unlike Hat, Alakazam can pick from a bunch of items to boost with instead of Hat's reliance on Leftovers to not keel over.
  • Alakazam's 120 Speed is amazing. It means it actually gets damage on things immediately, as opposed to Hatterene. If you're running TR, you have to first get in without dying, then set up TR without dying, and then can you hit something before dying instantly, and then there's only 2 turns left of TR and you're not going to get anything more out of that. Compared to Alakazam, who gets in and stirs shxt up instantly.
  • You're thinking Magic Bounce is a selling point rn, right? Well Alakazam has better Magic Bounce, Magic Guard. Magic Bounce means you have to time your switch ins for maximum effect. Magic Guard does the same thing for stuff like status, but also makes you immune to passive damage in all forms. If rocks are down of Sand is up, you aren't affected.
  • Alakazam gets Recover. If Hatterene got Recover then again, we wouldn't have this discussion. Alakazam is significantly frailer but can actually hit first, which can help lessen the blow and keep the ball in your court.
  • Hatterene is hard locked into 1 set of CM/TR + 3 attacks, those being Mystical Fire, Psychic, and Dazzling Gleam, in no particular order. Alakazam's movepool isn't a ton better, but there's more variance thanks to Alakazam's choice of item and place on the team. Sets include Nasty Plot + 3 attacks (which can also have Dazzling Gleam), NP + Recover, Choice, Focus Sash + Counter is even listed. No, you're not using SD Hatterene. Miss everyone with that. What, you wanna auto-lose to Ferrothorn? Hatterene is locked so hard into Mystical Fire it's not even funny.
So that's why you shouldn't use Hatterene.

(this is still not going to stop me from using Hatterne and it shouldn't stop you either, start innovating or Magearna will remain the dominant species for all of eternity)
 
Hey, low ladder player here. One thing I've noticed very prominently in using double dance Mag is that Ferro walls it without Aura Sphere or Focus Blast. This is to say, specifically for SG + CM, with Stored Power and Draining Kiss, which are the two most common attacks with SG + CM for obvious reasons. With one SG and CM up each, SP is generally a 3HKO even without sp. def investment. Obviously, Ferro can be very easily taken care of with most fire moves lmao, and with Aura Sphere or Focus Blast taking the place of Draining Kiss. The problem there is that double dance Mag has 4MSS, because it wants to run other coverage. This is helped by team options like the ever-present Cinder and Pult (with fire blast obviously), which can easily take care of Ferro, leading to an easier sweep. It may well be my inexperience using Mag (I'm kinda just getting back into OU now lmao), but I found myself having to hard switch Mag out in order to prevent it from being worn down by leech seed and general chip. Of course, I realize that Mag could've set up to max and just muscled through, but doing so would've worn Mag down further, probably before further boosting. SG + CM Mag seems to be one of its most popular sets, so Ferro's ability to halt a sweep without fighting coverage is notable, imo.
 
The most dangerous Magearna set is probably the Calm Mind/Shift Gear set. If you don't have good speed control or a hazer/phazer, Magearna will probably sweep. How are most people here dealing with/countering Magearna anyway?
I'm using 252+ SpA Rotom-H with boots, stabs, nasty plot, & pain split. It's typing + levitate is pretty good role compression in this meta since it also checks like rillaboom, clef, togekiss, scizor, and to a degree zera and cinderace. It can actually also threaten chansey & stall/defense pretty well.
 
+3 188+ SpA Magearna Stored Power (200 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Ferrothorn: 250-295 (71 - 83.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery and Leech Seed recovery
+3 188+ SpA Magearna Draining Kiss vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Ferrothorn: 94-111 (26.7 - 31.5%) (21.1 - 24.7% recovered) -- possible 7HKO after Leftovers recovery and Leech Seed recovery
(136 HP 188+ SpA 184 Spe is just my set meant to balance HP and SpA while outspeeding all Dragapults and Zeraora at +2; didn't calculate anything specific for HP and SpA)

You don't need to boost to max to punch through Ferrothorn: +3 and SG once is enough. By then, Magearna will be somewhat weakened by Leech Seed, but Leftovers heals half of that damage and at +3, Draining Kiss already heals off Leech Seed damage.
This means that Ferrothorn only stops double dance draining kiss Magearna if running Leech Seed and Gyro Ball, and switches in before she sets up Calm Mind.
0 Atk Ferrothorn Gyro Ball (150 BP) vs. 136 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 136-162 (40.5 - 48.3%) -- 6.6% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery and Leech Seed damage (+2 184 Spe Magearna)
0 Atk Ferrothorn Gyro Ball (132 BP) vs. 136 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 120-142 (35.8 - 42.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery and Leech Seed damage (+0 184 Spe Magearna)
(Assuming Relaxed 0 IV Spe Ferrothorn)

If not running Gyro Ball, he's setup fodder as Magearna's Drain Kiss will eventually be able to outheal the damage from Leech Seed, and since Leech Seed only deals damage if there's an opponent alive on the opponent's field by the end of the turn, it won't bother her at all if she has set up enough to sweep the entire enemy's team.

The above mentioned Rotom-Heat is arguably a much better Magearna check, if also somewhat complicated.
Rotom-Heat forces Magearna out in most cases because it can OHKO depending on set with Overheat and can Trick Scarf and cripple Magearna for the rest of the match. But the best way to use it is to switch it right away on Magearna's face, and either pivot out or use Pain Split if she didn't use SG on the switch, or use Nasty Plot if she did. If she SGs, she might use CM, endure Overheat at +0, use Drain Kiss to endure a second overheat at +2 if running Leftovers and high SpA and HP investment and counter kill with Stored Power. But if Rotom uses NP while she uses CM, Magearna won't be able to endure Overheat under any circumstance or set at this point, and can either switch out, lose the boosts and let another pokemon take the Overheat while you still have a fresh Rotom or use Stored Power, heavily damage Rotom and accept her own knockout.
Disgracefully, and testament to Magearna's power, NP Rotom fails to check Double Dance Magearna if running Life Orb and is at full health: SG on the switch -> CM with Rotom on the field -> Stored Power
+1 252+ SpA Life Orb Magearna Stored Power (120 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Rotom-Heat: 265-312 (109.9 - 129.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Still, Rotom Heat scares Magearna too much and would discourage any team to send out Magearna while the opponent has the possibility of switching Rotom in unless she's already +2 +2 +2. On the other hand, a Rotom Heat needs to switch into Magearna as soon as she appears to check her before she sets up, making it


As for things that have annoyed my Magearna, most are trick scarfers and offensive Fire Types switching on her before she sets up. Rotom-Heat can do both roles, and while some sets can be outplayed, it proves to always be a problem and demands cautious playing.
Cinderace is the premier offensive Fire that forces my Magearna out: can OHKO most sets with Pyro Ball (specially if Adamant), and while double dance outspeeds after SG, she needs CM + LO to kill, and probably won't have the chance to set CM. I mostly use him to check opposing Magearnas.
+1 Excadrill is scary even after one SG if Magearna is not running full Speed invesment and only fears Aura Sphere from LO Magearna after SG.
Choice Scarf Jirachi was another good check, even if its not OU anymore. Scarf Iron Head 3 or 4HKOs, has a 60% chance to flinch, Magearna can't outspeed Scarf even at +2 unless she runs a Timid Nature (something rather rare), Jirachi resists Draining Kiss and doubly resists Stored Power and last but not list, can trick the scarf and cripple Magearna if she doesn't switch out.
LO 248 HP 252+ Atk 8 SpD SD Scizor is another great option that 2HKOs with BP at +2, OHKOs sets with full offensive investment and/or running LO at +4 and doesn't get OHKO by anything under +2 SpA, giving it time to set up.
My prefered option, though, is Thunder Wave + Teleport Chansey. She forces Magearna to set up to break her, cripples her speed while she tries to do so and forces her to set up SG a second time, and is still outsped by many things at +4 Paralyzed, including Cinderace, to which Teleport gives a free switch. On top of that, she serves as a great way to scout Magearna's set with little danger, which is usually what you want most against Magearna.
 

Gomi

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You don't need to boost to max to punch through Ferrothorn: +3 and SG once is enough. By then, Magearna will be somewhat weakened by Leech Seed, but Leftovers heals half of that damage and at +3, Draining Kiss already heals off Leech Seed damage.
This means that Ferrothorn only stops double dance draining kiss Magearna if running Leech Seed and Gyro Ball, and switches in before she sets up Calm Mind.
0 Atk Ferrothorn Gyro Ball (150 BP) vs. 136 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 136-162 (40.5 - 48.3%) -- 6.6% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery and Leech Seed damage (+2 184 Spe Magearna)
0 Atk Ferrothorn Gyro Ball (132 BP) vs. 136 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 120-142 (35.8 - 42.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery and Leech Seed damage (+0 184 Spe Magearna)
(Assuming Relaxed 0 IV Spe Ferrothorn)

If not running Gyro Ball, he's setup fodder as Magearna's Drain Kiss will eventually be able to outheal the damage from Leech Seed, and since Leech Seed only deals damage if there's an opponent alive on the opponent's field by the end of the turn, it won't bother her at all if she has set up enough to sweep the entire enemy's team.
Go to turn 5. This is a 56 Spdef ferro and literally the only reason this Ferro lost was due to a misclick+crit, and even then the Mage was left at 1%. This was an ID CM stored power Mage, SG does even worse. Ferro at the very least gives Stored power Draining kiss Mage an extremely hard time, if not beats it outright, please test things before you assume soley off of calcs.
Here's a second replay just for good measure
 
Okay, although I must point out that your opponent picked a less than great time to set up with Gear (this set should have been saved for later in the game). Still, I admit Ferro is great at checking this set; however, the problem I have with Gear is that this is not the only viable set it can run. Ferro may be reliable against Calm Mind + Shift Gear (or Iron Defense, in your example), but Gear has the option to run Fighting coverage (this Ferro spread is 2HKOed by FB or by Aura Sphere from Specs), can freely Volt Switch into something that can handle Ferro or can simply trick Specs or Scarf onto it. The thing about Gear's versatility is that its sets vary in playstyle to a degree that usually reliable checks like Ferro can still crumple if Gear has the right option for it, and many of those options are legitimate options for Gear. Fire types, namely Heattom and Volcarona, are really the only reliable checks to it, but answers to those two do exist in OU (namely Aqua Jet Azumarill).
 
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Finchinator

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Magearna is pretty ridiculous right now.

I find the Choice Specs set to be the problem. Versatility is helpful, but none of the other sets are seeing consistent usage and as I alluded to in a prior post, there is a lot of overlap in counterplay/initial switch-ins. The double dance sets can be cool if you have something to lure Toxapex and the offensive SG sets can be intriguing on HO, but neither of these strategies strike me as banworthy. The issue is Choice Specs Magearna.

Magearna @ Choice Specs
Ability: Soul-Heart
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fleur Cannon
- Aura Sphere / Trick
- Flash Cannon / Trick
- Volt Switch

You can add some bulk to the spread or adjust the moves how you wish, but this set is the single most problematic thing in SS OU right now and it is not even close. For Pokemon like Urshifu, you can adjust to their presence with common defensive cores easily enough, suffocating it from making much progress. For Pokemon like Cinderace, you struggle to get it in repeatedly and there are surefire checks and counters in both the short and long haul. For Specs Magearna, neither of these things exist to even close to the same degree. I am not saying Urshifu or Cinderace are not problematic, but rather that Magearna is clearly the biggest issue this metagame faces at the moment.

There are some Pokemon that can sponge Fleur Cannon decently well and live to tell the tale in the long haul. These Pokemon are Chansey, Toxapex, and Amoonguss honestly. Excadrill, Rotom-Heat, Volcarona, etc. can live, but all have at least a chance to get 2HKOd and also are susceptible to other things, making them normally circumstantial, early game checks. The issue is that Volt Switch into Toxapex is doing >50% because they need to run a sizable amount of PDef on most teams, Flash Cannon can shred Amoonguss and honestly the lack of Recover also makes it harder in the long haul, and Chansey is susceptible to Trick or even Fleur/Aura x2 after SR and Volt a couple times.

Magearna is able to destroy every single Volt Switch immunity in the tier, which is a major problem considering it gets in so frequently that counters become checks and checks become non-answers within the first few sequences of any game. Magearna's natural bulk and defensive typing enable an intense assault of specially offensive progress that is really hard to stop because of this. The combination of characteristics makes it pretty overbearing and even if you focus on it in building, it's going to limit what you can do in the game as the game progresses if the opponent plays it well. I definitely think Magearna deserves to be looked into.
 

WhiteQueen

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Finchinator - so when is Magearna getting banned? Suspect test would be a waste of time at this point.

I definitely change my stance from before. This bunny is too much. Same with Urshifu. Clefable needs to be like 80% healthy at all times or else it cannot switch into Urshifu anymore to take two Wicked Blows. Even at full health, there’s still that lingering risk of getting smacked by Iron Head/Poison Jab. Both these Pokemon are too OP.

At least the metagame is playable and can actually be fun nowadays unlike pre-DLC.
 
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Finchinator hit the nail on the head regarding Magearna. Hell I don't think the addition of stuff like Heatran would help, Specs Focus Blast has a ~60% chance to OHKO the standard SpDef Heatran set after Rocks. Even the standard Rotom-Heat set (248/0 HP/SpDef) gets 2HKO'd by Specs Focus Blast. Yea, shaky accuracy but just landing one means you do 67-79% to Rotom-H (which can't even OHKO back with unboosted Overheat). And now Magearna has Trick to cripple answers like Chansey, and Magearna STILL hits plenty hard without Specs, and Tricking away HDB/Lefties/etc. is always useful in a tier with no Z-moves or Mega Stones.

Also I called it a few weeks ago that Specs Magearna would be nuts, I remember it wasn't really a thing until later in Gen 7 and then we realized "hey this thing has Latios' Special Attack and good/better coverage." I didn't think it'd be THIS good, but Magearna's got Fighting/Ice/Electric/Fairy/Steel coverage and great utility options in Trick. Not much can handle that.
 

Finchinator

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Finchinator - so when is Magearna getting banned? Suspect test would be a waste of time at this point.

I definitely change my stance from before. This bunny is too much. Same with Urshifu. Clefable needs to be like 80% healthy at all times or else it cannot switch into Urshifu anymore to take two Wicked Blows. Even at full health, there’s still that lingering risk of getting smacked by Iron Head/Poison Jab. Both these Pokemon are too OP.

At least the metagame is playable and can actually be fun nowadays unlike before, pre-DLC.
I agree that the current metagame is pretty limited. I do not find Urshifu to be as problematic as Magearna, but I understand the concerns nevertheless and I think we should continue to discuss it! If it was up to me and me alone, I would give Magearna the "Melmetal treatment": quickban it right now and then re-test it down the line (say after WCOP or OLT) so that the metagame can continue to develop without it stirring up trouble each game. We even finalized the re-test ban threshold recently in order to prepare for this possibility. However, this is a pretty drastic line of action and it is hard to proceed with weeks into the tier honestly. It is true that the Choice Specs set only took over within the last 10ish days, so concerns surfacing now that did not do so prior are valid.

I am not the tier leader of OU anymore and while I personally believe that Magearna being banned is inevitable (hence my stance about banning it rn above), it is not the easiest to justify a quickban without widespread support and overwhelming circumstances. I believe that we are going to get some council action in the near future (not going to give a timeline because it's not my final decision), but it may very well be a suspect. The thing is that there is nothing wrong with a suspect: it lets us make use of community input, it gives people a suspect thread to voice their opinions, and it also is the most calculated and proven approach. While I want it removed from the tier immediately, I do not think there should be pushback for an eventual Magearna suspect. I do hope that there is some action on it in the near future though as it is not ok remaining in the metagame.
 
Gomi - First, my point was not that Ferrothorn was a bad Magearna check, just that it was shaky. Second, I did point out it did a good job if Magearna hadn't set up first prior to Ferrothorn switching in, which was the case in your first replay. Third, I did say she needed to be at +3 to break past Ferrothorn, while the second test replay stopped at +2 for some random reason:
+2 188+ SpA Magearna Stored Power (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 56 SpD Ferrothorn: 134-158 (38 - 44.8%) -- 98.3% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery and Leech Seed recovery
+3 188+ SpA Magearna Stored Power (180 BP) vs. 252 HP / 56 SpD Ferrothorn: 215-253 (61 - 71.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery and Leech Seed recovery
(from the damage on the second replay, I'm guessing that Magearna was either running less SpA or Ferrothorn was running higher SpD)
I do admit that I usually leave my Cinderace handle/scare off Ferrothorn, and I forgot to account for Iron Barbs, which greatly hinders Draining Kiss from working, making Body Press on non ID sets and Gyro Ball on all sets much more dangerous than I accounted for. But I'd still consider Ferrothorn a "shaky" check at best. It can get the job done sometimes, but can't really count on it for it. More like something you'd use when your main planned check had fallen to something else.
The overlook on Iron Barbs for Draining Kiss is not small, though, and I should've considered it before posting. But no, I don't speak only off calcs.
(FTR, just in case, this is all talking about Stored Power + Draining Kiss Magearna; the question was about Ferrothorn's ability to check her sets with these specific attacks)

Finchinator - Not gonna lie, I wanted to defend Magearna as deserving a Suspect test while pointing out I wasn't fond of the idea of a quickban on her, but I can't find arguments to defend Specs set at all. I never liked it because I found it silly and boring to use; guess that should've told me how broken it was. Honestly, at this point, I'm less likely to say I don't want her quickbanned and more likely to say I'll miss her when she's banned, via suspect or not. I don't think anyone can argue she is the most centralizing force of the SS OU metagame, and Specs has no counters.

Still, hoping more on the future Cinderace and Urshifu suspects; neither is even close to Magearna in how problematic they can be, but definetely should be suspected at the very least in the near future, and I for one would miss neither if they were gone. Urshifu is particularly silly, and wouldn't be surprised if we ended up banning it after a suspect test in the following weeks.
Have more doubts for Cinderace, although I just hate teamplanning for its silly all-STAB coverage and would personally want it gone.
 
Finchinator - so when is Magearna getting banned? Suspect test would be a waste of time at this point.
Let's just do what we did with Dugtrio. Come to a consensus immediately then wait a few months just to be sure, then suspect test anyway.


Also has anyone been playing with Porygon-Z?

https://pokepast.es/f7dd245a4cae9cf6

Specs with Uturn and Teleport support is really hard to deal with for some teams. Tri Attack has ludicrous power, 2HKOing Clefable through Protect, does up to 85% to Mandibuzz, OHKOs Volcarona and anything softer. It even 2HKOs offensive Magearna sometimes with Stealth Rocks! Chansey even risks a 2HKO at 70% with rocks. Ferrothorn takes 40%!

And of course it has Hyper Beam. OHKOs +1 Volcarona, Magnezone, and max hp Scizor. It even takes 90% off a Corviknight, OHKOing with the slightest bit of chip.

Specs Dark Pulse / Shadow Ball OHKOs every single Ghost in OU.

Trick isn't super useful but you can negate Chansey early and practically solo stall.

Defensively it's ass but it still has enough natural bulk to survive a LO Adamant Rillaboom Grassy Glide, Corviknight Body Press, and any non-fighting move from Cinderace.

Recently both Finch and Pokeaim have made Youtube videos with Porygon-Z in OU. I'm on mobile so I can't easily link them myself but it's worth a watch. Both videos resulted in 3-0 with Porygon-Z pulling its weight in every match. Obviously Porygon-Z isn't top tier OU but its raw power is hard to ignore.

Edit: Aye Finch already did PZ some justice in the heat thread but give it a shot. Regardless of its true competitiveness it's a very fun set.
 
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A really unimportant fact that I find interesting:

Skarmory not being in OU is a first for it, and up until recently, Tyranitar was the only pokemon to be in OverUsed for 7 consecutive generations (These numbers came from the end of each generation, or current viability). Now, Ttar has the record tied at 6 consecutive generations, along with the previously mentioned Skarmory, along with Gengar and Starmie. Jirachi would've joined them if it managed to stay in OU, but it is in UU. No other Gen 3 pokemon have remained in OU ever since their debut (to my knowledge), so we'd have to go to Gen 4 for active streaks, and there's only one.

With that said, ladies and gentleman, the active record for most consecutive generations in OU goes to... Magnezone!

This shocked me, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Magnezone's role as a steel trapper is huge, steel is the best type in the game (or at least one of them). Although, Magnezone might fall out of OU now that Skarm is gone, but Corviknight looks to have taken its place, and it gets similarly rekt by Magnezone, so Magnezone could definitely break the record.

Just a sidenote though, if you count members of the same evolution line, the record easily goes to Chansey/Blissey, one of the two of them have been OU in every single generation, but Magnezone would still have the 2nd longest active streak, benefiting from Magneton's OU appearance in Gen 3.

Once again, I could be wrong about this, just thought it was interesting.
 

Finchinator

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OU & NU Leader
Let's just do what we did with Dugtrio. Come to a consensus immediately then wait a few months just to be sure, then suspect test anyway.
This isn’t what happened with Dugtrio whatsoever and I think we all would appreciate it if you didn’t go out of your way to discuss grievances about months old metagames in your posts in a current metagame discussion thread. Especially when we are dealing with things like Home and DLC completely disrupting metagame progress and you ignore them entirely when stating these grievances. If you have an issue, you can always shoot a PM to the council and I am totally willing to engage in discussion so that we can come to a mutual understanding. Transparency is very important and understanding everyone’s opinion is as well!

With that said, Porygon-Z is a really strong fringe option Atm. Tri Attack 2HKOs anything that doesn’t resist it aside from Chansey and with utility options like Trick it can go a long way. Personally, I prefer tri/trick/dark or shadow/hyper beam for nuking purposes and I like using it with Teleport from a pokemon like Slowbro.

Unfortunately, it is hard to fit rn as building is quite limited, but once the tier opens up I could see it and many more fringe options growing in popularity.
 
The problem with Urshifu is how good it is at wallbreaking, not cleaning. You can knock it out and revenge it fairly easily, but by that point, it's usually done its job, and doing work with another offensive Pokemon of your choice is not difficult whatsoever. As such, it synergizes amazingly with these Pokemon to make what I've coined a "Wicked Core", which consists of Urshifu + your choices of offensive mons
I actually really like what you said right here. This is actually the problem that all players face on ladder & in tour when dealing with these offensive threats. And I think you said what I tried to say a lot better.

There's not enough checks to fit in on a team to handle all the top-tier offensive mons and that is what makes these top tier offensive mons look so broken without actually being broken. And for anyone confused by my second post, I do apologize. I don't think any of the mons I listed were broken, but together they are due to synergy. Not only that but, these mons are incredibly versatile. Urshifu-Dark with choice scarf still hits hard & is able to take down most of it's offensive checks a lot better. Zeraora being able to go special allows it take down max defense rocky helmet Tangrowth with a +1 LO Focus Blast after rocks. Being physical you could 1v1 an Amoongus with Bulk Up + Blaze Kick (if a mon is already asleep on your team or if electric terrain is up). Magearna being able to trick its choice item on a defensive mon. So on & so forth. Scouting these mons' sets are pretty difficult but at the same time, taking on the synergy seems impossible without the right team.

I don't mind if other people don't think Zeraora is ban-worthy or if it never gets banned. What I appreciate is the discussions made around it (and other threats I listed). I definitely appreciate it.

Here are some replays from WCOP that help illustrate these points better for anyone that wants to see them in action.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8ou-508847 Joris vs Leo

Right off the bat, Leo's team struggles with Joris' Offensive core of Cinderace + Rillaboom + Zeraora. And this happens all throughout the game. Leo constantly having to pivot around them while, trying to guess the right move coming out. In the end, the core wears down Leo's bulky team without much difficulty.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8ou-508905 the pharoah vs starmaster

Cinderace + Rillaboom take center stage once again and overwhelm the bulky team very quickly with aid from the sun. The match was very quick match overall.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8ou-508980 Electric Win vs Garay Oak

A replay that actually showcases two evenly matched teams and shows that this match could have gone either way. Even though both teams had stacked threats.

The list could go on & on for both sides. This is also why some offensive mons should get banned, it'll help even up team match-ups while making the tier healthy. So far, it looks like a lot people are on agreement that Urshifu-Dark, Magearna, Cinderace and Rillaboom are the top offenders.

We even finalized the re-test ban threshold recently in order to prepare for this possibility.
Awesome news. Thanks OU council and Finchinator.

I didn't notice that conversation until now so, I'll finish up my post with this: If Magearna & Urshifu-Dark do get quick banned or suspect tested, that would great for the tier but at the same time, not enough (at least in my opinion).

Also, I'm very happy that people enjoy reading my posts, it definitely feels like I am able to help out the tier grow without being a fantastic tour player (because I am not a good player on ladder either lol).
 
With that said, Porygon-Z is a really strong fringe option Atm. Tri Attack 2HKOs anything that doesn’t resist it aside from Chansey and with utility options like Trick it can go a long way. Personally, I prefer tri/trick/dark or shadow/hyper beam for nuking purposes and I like using it with Teleport from a pokemon like Slowbro.

Unfortunately, it is hard to fit rn as building is quite limited, but once the tier opens up I could see it and many more fringe options growing in popularity.
I think Finch has a great point here, and I'd love to talk about a fringe pick that I've found a surprising amount of success with - Lycanroc-Dusk

:sm/lycanroc-dusk:
Lycanroc-Dusk @ Life Orb
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Accelerock
- Psychic Fangs
- Close Combat
- Swords Dance

I really think that Lycanroc is super slept on in the current meta. I started testing it out as an offensive counter to Volcarona, but eventually realized its potential as a sweeper. While its base 117 attack isn't anything to write home about, the high base power of its moves in conjunction with its fantastic ability in Tough Claws make it a surprising offensive threat. (Each of the moves on this set are Tough Claws boosted!)

Many of the mons that people switch in on this pokemon are actually KO'd by a +2 hit. So even if this thing can't sweep a whole team, it will often set up on a switch, and then nail a switch-in with a coverage move. Some of the notable mons that can't take a +2 hit include Kommo-O, Magearna, Ferrothorn, and Amoongus as well as being able to take out most faster mons with an accelerock

It also tears through a lot of faster and frailer mons like Zeroara or Dragapult with +2 LO Accelerock. In forcing a surprising amount of switches, you get many opportunities to set up, making it an effective cleaner that many teams are completely unprepared for.

Calcs

+2 252 Atk Life Orb Tough Claws Lycanroc-Dusk Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 364-429 (100 - 117.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Tough Claws Lycanroc-Dusk Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Ferrothorn: 486-575 (138 - 163.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Tough Claws Lycanroc-Dusk Psychic Fangs vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Kommo-o: 361-426 (101.9 - 120.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Tough Claws Lycanroc-Dusk Psychic Fangs vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 312-369 (102.6 - 121.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Tough Claws Lycanroc-Dusk Accelerock vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dragapult: 261-308 (82.3 - 97.1%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Tough Claws Lycanroc-Dusk Accelerock vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Cinderace: 523-616 (173.7 - 204.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Tough Claws Lycanroc-Dusk Accelerock vs. 0 HP / 0- Def Zeraora: 290-343 (91.4 - 108.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock

Problems:
:sm/hippowdon: :sm/tangrowth: :sm/clefable:
Physical Walls
The most glaring problem for Lycanroc is the prevalence of all the rocky helmet max phys def mons running around in the current meta to check Urshifu. While Lycanroc does have some trouble with a few common mons, such as Hippowdon, Tangrowth, and Phys Def Clef, I've found a great deal of success in pairing Urshifu and Lycanroc to wear down these common counters.

:sm/scizor: :sm/rillaboom: :sm/azumarill:
Priority
Due to its incredible frailty, any mon with priority that doesn't die to accelerock can prove to be challenging for. Even sucker punch from mons like Bisharp or Cinderace pack a significant punch, and between life orb, rocks, and rocky helmet, it's fairly easy to wear this thing down. By taking out or weakening these mons early in the game, you help pave the way for a +2 Lycanroc sweep.

Frailty
Another problem that comes from this mon's frailty is that unlike mons like Rillaboom or Magearna, you don't have the bulk to set up on very many things. You usually have to set up on a switch. This isn't very hard, as many common mons in the current meta almost always fear a stone edge, including Rotom-Heat, Mandibuzz, and Togekiss. The amount of switches that this mon forces coupled with its ability to kill those switch-ins make getting up an SD not nearly as hard as it seems on paper!

Replays
Here's a few clips of Lycanroc doing what it does. Whether it sweeps a whole team or simply clears out a mag or a pex, it consistently puts in work. Here are two games where Lycanroc does serious damage to the opponents team. Apologies for only having a few replays - I had many more games, but simply wasn't saving them as I didn't think I'd be needing them. I don't post often, but I figured this was a cool mon worth sharing with you guys!

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1148850310
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1148845879
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1148925962

What other fringe picks are you guys finding success with?
 
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Gotta shoutout one of my fav mons. Any time I can fit it on my team, I do, because it always puts in work.

342.png

Crawdaunt @ Choice Band
Ability: Adaptability
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Aqua Jet
- Crabhammer
- Close Combat
- Knock Off

I've seen some life orb and even dragon dance sets being used, but I will swear by the use of choice band. That extra power really counts, and running crabhammer over liquidation is a necessity, IMO. On the switch, lot of fat walls like physdef clefable, corv, skarm and pex just get 2HKO'd by hammer or knock. Aqua Jet threatens faster or frailer mons like zam, gengar, cinder, volc and zera. Close combat is probably the least useful of its moves. ATM its just a kind of "i happen to need fighting coverage right now" pick. I suppose if you were an absolute madlad, you'd run switcheroo to give your band to something like magearna, tang or pex, LOL.

Obviously, biggest downsides being that its slow and frail. It requires some prediction, but the reward is usually a dead mon.
 
Hi. I don't usually post in discussion threads, and it also seems I am late to the party but I will give direct insights on the 3 best Pokemon right now:

:ss/magearna:

Magearna is inevitably broken this generation. The main problem about this Pokemon is the absolute lack of defensive counterplay, its best checks are worn down super easily by one of its moves, and you would have to predict around Choice Specs to get the safest switch-in possible. Not to mention, Magearna has a lot of versatility with its sets as other people have mentioned, CM + Shift Gear, plain Shift Gear sets, and even some Iron Defense ones have been brought up and seen usage. Of course, there is other sets that can be used on the thing, but they would still be pretty effective regardless. Magearna is most deadly with the support of its teammates, such as being able to give it a free pivot against slower, bulkier Pokemon that Magearna can easily fish out and wear down its checks. On the other hand, it does boast a lot of offensive counterplay with revenge killers and pivots that are able to easily outstand it, and this is very much done by the mediocre 65 base Speed stat. Magearna also isn't as too strong as it seems, depending on what plans you use to defeat it (I like to use Volcarona against Shift Gear + CM sets, it works really nicely.) If you lack these validations, or any way to outspeed it during late-game, then you are very much left easily worn down. I feel like Magearna's presence offensively is so threatening, a whole playstyle widely struggles against it (referring to Stall.) What makes Magearna problematic against stall is that it can trick items onto checks, volt switch out of slow things for momentum, and its STABs and coverages still hit pretty hard.

TL;DR I think Magearna is very manageable in its own ways, but puts a lot of pressure into this metagame, especially where having no checks on a single team will make Magearna completely overhaul the opponent in a battle, making teambuilding a bit cautious in a way. If I could, I definitely would hold a suspect on this thing.



Urshifu sets itself a bit apart from Magearna. While it is also able to put a bunch of pressure on teams thanks to its powerful STABs, it doesn't have the verstatility that makes a part of Magearna so great. Once Urshifu's checks and defensive cores that are able to switch into one of its locked moves are gone, Urshifu is able to spam moves with ease. With the right teammate support, Urshifu functions as a devastating wallbreaker than it already is. It does have similar issues to Magearna, such as also having a lot of offensive counterplay, and Urshifu is quite a bit prediction reliant with its move. Despite all of this. Urshifu is still able to potentially recieve a free OHKO against the right matchups, so this is able to carry teams with its high wallbreaking power that no other physical attacker can, in my opinion. Its checks (notably Fairy types like Clefable) can also be 2HKOed with Poison Jab, which is a plus.

Urshifu can really limit teambuilding at times because if you don't have a check/core that can defeat this thing, you're most likely going to lose against it. The power that it lets out cannot be compared to other top tier threats, who have to set up (like Volcarona) to make great progress, or are generally forced out much easier due to their moves being less spammable than Urshifu's. I would probably warrant a suspect test as well, but it would be better to see in the future if this thing is outright broken or not.

:ss/azumarill:

Azumarill isn't as devastating as the other two, but with the right conditions it can force wins against lots of teams, especially late-game. All it takes is one Belly Drum and Azumarill is already able to sweep through most slow or bulky teams, and even has STAB priority in Aqua Jet to back it up. The defensive counterplay is also very limited, but effectively dealing with this thing would take more specific routes. First, Azumarill can be easily worn down by attackers and some other chip damage such as sand from Hippowdon and any status damage if it's inflicted by one. Second, priority from things like Rillaboom can also be a problem, and especially dislikes revenge killers that can take a +6 Aqua Jet without any notable chip damage. It aditionally has wide coverage moves that leave Azumarill able to deal with Toxapex and Amoonguss, that resist its other moves.

I currently don't think Azumarill warrants a suspect test, and kind of sits there as a potential threat to unprepared teams, but otherwise it is decent.

Thanks for reading my thoughts.
 



I think its time to talk about these two, as I have seen some success as underrated wall-breakers in today's meta.

I think this is the potential meta (prior to Crowned Tundra) where Fighting Stab Guts users can take advantage of teams that really heavily on the balance/semi-stall archetype. With the Flame Orb activated, it gives both of these immunity to status moves (T-Spikes, T-Wave, Spore) and enjoy getting Wisp'd as well. The combination of Guts + Facade forces 2HOKs on supposed reliable switch-ins (Mandibuzz and Clefable being the main ones if Sp Def builds). Max atk on these two ensure the best calculated 2HKOs on potential threats that dare attempt to switch in. After they are burned, they can be used as Knock-Off fodder if you're worried about their teammates, and become immune to Poltergesit.

Heracross + SD means that unless you're Unaware or a Galarian Weezing, hardly anything is switching to a Knock Off + Facade/Close Combat after, which is really important considering the fat mons running around (Chansey, Toxapex, Mandibuzz, Clefable, Ferrothorn, Corviknight, Sp Def Tangrowth builds).

Conk is pretty much straight forward, with Drain Punch being opted for longevity against these same threats. Earthquake is there for the Magearnas and Toxapexs that tend to stick around for too long.

The only problematic 1v1 matchup these 2 seemed to have struggled with is Galarian Weezing w/Neutralizing Gas, Phy Def Hippowdon Phy Def Slowbro, and faster revenge killers that can KO them back. So far, I have enjoyed breaking the fat of many teams that rely on it as their backbone.

Conk eating Fat replays: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1148857944
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1148223964
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1147799270

Hera pressuring Fat replays: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1138274771
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1138270009
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1144491240
 

Gomi

was fun
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Close combat is probably the least useful of its moves. ATM its just a kind of "i happen to need fighting coverage right now" pick. I suppose if you were an absolute madlad, you'd run switcheroo to give your band to something like magearna, tang or pex, LOL.
I would heavily recommend running Crunch over Close Combat on choice band Crawdaunt, as it means pokemon like Tangrowth and Toxapex can't stomach your hits if they lose their item from Knock and decide to switch. Far more useful than the fighting coverage unless your team is extremely susceptible to Hydreigon, IMO.

Anyways just to fling out some opinions, I do agree Crawdaunt is extremely good currently, albeit you need a decent volturn core or the ability to double decently to bring it in without it being left at like 20%. Alot of people assume their tangrowth or amoonguss is enough until they take way over half from your dark stabs. The dragons generally being less popular also does wonders for it, since they were a huge thorn in its side for SD sets, while the new common offensive mons like cinderace and alakazam simply just fold to its aqua jet.
Speaking of picking off common offensive Pokemon with your priority
1594534912083.png

Bad Terrak is still bad, shocker. Like seriously I never saw the appeal of this thing in USUM and I don't see it now. CB sets are pretty much never effective outside of the HO matchup and walled by any half decent balance core currently, and the amount of moves it wants on an SD set at once is kinda frustrating (Close Combat for pure power and Ferrothorn, accelrock because it's the entire niche, psyfangs for pex, crunch for slowbro, Swords dance so it doesn't hit like a wet noodle, stone edge for mandibuzz and toge) and no matter what you choose you're still very likely never bypassing Corvik and Tangrowth
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Tough Claws Lycanroc-Dusk Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Tangrowth: 252-298 (62.3 - 73.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Tough Claws Lycanroc-Dusk Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Corviknight: 286-337 (71.5 - 84.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
It can't even really consistently pick off pokemon like Cinderace because they go first and do over half your health with sucker punch, which is a huge amount when you're a frail, mono rock type holding Life Orb. I've never had this thing put in work VS. me or for me outside of that admittedly cool lead endeavor set. Oh but it revenges Volcarona so its ok that its bad at doing everything :D. I'm prolly salty about this mon in particular cause I tried it like three times and every time it got replaced by smth that outperformed it kek
1594536419112.png

This thing almost falls into the "Mediocre pokemon that absolutely throttles stall" bin for me except that CC Conk can effectively claim 2-3 mons VS. sand balance if you predict well enough, but jeez has Tangrowth really just hurt this thing badly. Rocky helm, able to stomach a CC/Facade, makes the prediction game all that much harder, and Drain(Which you should realistically never run since it makes Hippo immovable and lets slower Corviks pp stall your stab but it's worth mentioning) 3hkos the fat regenerating grass monster while it giga drains you. Is it unusable? no, it just faces stiff competition and requires really solid playmaking alot of the time, especially since it has the extreme misfortune of being unable to outpace Magearna, who is currently, yknow, one of the best pokemon in the teir, if not the best.
1594536901174.png

Now this thing, is an absolute monster. It's quite hard to get in and basically does nothing in the HO matchup but it hits HARD and packs SD to completely bypass anything slower than it, ignoring a Skarm with Sturdy intact. The choice between Jolly and Ada kind of sucks since choosing between Ohkoing Hippo and Tang at +2 with zero support or Speed tie-ing Rilla and outpacing Toge is a tough one, but it's quite far from unmanageable. Another bonus is that stall hates this thing. Once it gets to +2, the games basically over, given nothing really stands up to a +2 guts hera very effectively. It's good, not much else to say.
 
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Finchinator

Harry's House
is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis a former Tournament Circuit Champion
OU & NU Leader
I'm glad people are posting their insight on the top Pokemon in the metagame.

In my opinion, there is a pretty set group of top Pokemon right now due to the limited nature of the metagame. With oppressive forces such as Magearna, Urshifu, Cinderace, and even Toxapex being as effective as they all are, it is really only possible to justify so many different options and team structures. Because of this, I believe the "top" Pokemon in the metagame is a pretty straightforward list.

Tier 1 (Magearna tier)

:Magearna:
Magearna - This should be near the top of everyone's list. The Choice Specs set absolutely perfect. There are no hard counters and all of the checks get worn down easily. It has enough bulk to combine with the Steel/Fairy defensive typing to make it easy to get in repeatedly as well. Magearna also has other sets, but they do not even need mention to make it top this list. With this said, Substitute + Calm Mind is gaining traction in WCOP, which is intriguing, and AV/SG sets are always intriguing options for the right team structures. I wrote more on Magearna here and in the following posts, so be sure to check it out if you are interested in why I think it may be too much for the SS OU metagame.

Tier 2 (S tier, the Pokemon that define the metagame and oftentimes are the most effective in games)

:Cinderace: :Toxapex:
Cinderace - Cinderace recently shot up from one of the better options in the tier to one of the best. Bulk Up sets were used a lot prior to WCOP R1 and DLC, which were cool. Since then, the sets with Pyro Ball / Zen Headbutt / Gunk Shot / U-turn have been amazing. With Heavy Duty Boots, you can come in repeatedly (see: U-turn PP). U-turn a few times brings Hippowdon or Mandibuzz into 2HKO range and honestly dominates the tempo of the game. Cinderace has checks and counters on paper, but it is still a ridiculously consistent offensive presence and arguably worthy of suspect/ban consideration in the future. It is really amazing seeing Cinderace adapt to the metagame with such effectiveness and I am interested to see how things proceed here.

Toxapex - Toxapex is better now than ever before, somehow. No Z-moves, barely any Pokemon to abuse it (i.e: last generation we had Gliscor, Magma Storm Heatran, and things like Reuniclus being more common to take advantage of it). Nowadays, it feels like Toxapex forces your hand as you cannot risk offensive threats taking status, so it slows down games immensely and requires certain defensive structures that are ok taking status/knock off. I don't know that you could call Toxapex itself broken, but it is worth examining, especially since we tend to pay our attention to more offensive threats when a defensive behemoth is as effective and arguably restrictive as ever right in front of our eyes.

Tier 3 (A+ tier mostly, the Pokemon that are used a lot and can define the metagame, but have more drawbacks or counterplay than those listed above)

:Excadrill: :Mandibuzz: :Clefable:
Urshifu (Single-Strike) - Urshifu (Single-Strike) is obviously one of the best offensive Pokemon. It is a clear step below the top 3 for me due to how oftentimes it is overprepared for now. I find it to be much more of a teambuilding restricter and paper threat than I do an in-battle issue and that is because, much like everyone else, I have a knack for slapping on Toxapex/Amoonguss + Mandibuzz, Tangrowth + resists to STABs, PDef Clefable, etc... the things that can handle Urshifu are at least all common cores that function well otherwise. With this said, nothing is more restricting in the builder, so even if it is a tad less effective in battles right now, it is still easily worthy of this placement and probably would have been higher a week or two ago.

Excadrill - Excadrill is better than ever right now. It is already a great Pokemon both on Sand teams with Sand Rush and with the generic Mold Breaker sets, but with it being decompressed due to other SR setters like Ferrothorn, Clefable, Kommo-O, etc. all being common and other hazard removers like Mandibuzz and Corviknight seeing usage, Excadrill is able to fit Toxic. Toxic Excadrill is amazing as it can help cripple Mandibuzz, Hippowdon, Slowbro, and Tangrowth. This opens up the game for so many teammates as well as Excadrill itself. Running SR + Rapid Spin is insanely restricted and honestly not very effective, but fitting Toxic onto any set right now is such a game changer and it makes Excadrill one of the best catalysts for progress in the tier.

Mandibuzz - The bird is the word. Mandibuzz fits onto so many defensive cores due to a whole slew of convenient characteristics. Wicked Blow and Ghost resistances are huge alone, but also being able to check Excadrill and Rillaboom goes a long way, too. It is easily the best Defog user in the current metagame.

Clefable - Clefable is still amazing, even if it is in a different way than it previously was. Being able to absorb status and provide a lot of different utility roles is amazing. It can customize a spread for your team, too. It can soft check Urshifu and Zeraora or go more SDef to help with Kyurem and Dragapult. It can fit onto a lot of balanced teams and there is a ton of merit in using Clefable rn, even if it is nowhere near the 'broken' status it used to be.

My top 10 would round out with Dragapult, Rotom-Heat, and Volcarona in some order. Honorable mention to Rillaboom as well.

I also want to note that I do not find Azumarill to be in this discussion as someone mentioned it before. It's a cool pick, but it is cheese offensively and utility wise at best right now. The Belly Drum set is not a staple on HO and it is not used on any other archetype seriously. This being the main set of it makes it an OU viable Pokemon, but not much more. The PerishTrapper sets are amusing, but they're remarkably inconsistent and manageable when you are aware of their existence. Belly Drum Azumarill is the main selling point and despite having high-highs, the fact that it only fits on very limited archetypes and you already know what it does, so preserving checks/counters in this developed metagame is not hard if you are prepared even in the slightest makes it manageable. I don't think I would use Azumarill seriously much right now, barring a limited number of HO teams.
 
Yoooooooooooooooooo, its me, the low ladder noob, and I see Azumarill discussion, so I want to bring in a set that I think is a bit forggotten

Azumarill @ Assault Vest
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 240 HP / 252 Atk / 16 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Aqua Jet
- Waterfall
- Superpower/Knock Off
- Play Rough

This is the set of AV Azu from Gen 6, you can potentially swap Superpower to Knock Off if you are that kinda person

Things this set can do:
-Volcarona can't do shiet even at +1 (Psychic has a 18.2% chance to 3HKO)
-Alakazam needs Nasty Plot boost and Focus sash intact (16.6% chance to 3HKO at +0 and gets 1HKO with Waterfall/Play Rough/Knock Off)
-Seismic Toss 5HKOs at full health
-Avoids getting 1HKO with Hex Dragapult if Azu is burned, witch can be usefull in a pinch? idk (96.1% chance to 2HKO after burn damage)
-+2 Hydreigon 4HKOS with Dark Pulse and 3HKO with +2 Flash Cannon regardless if Modest or Timid
-Can enter in a -2 Rotom Heat (Discharge 5HKOs and Volt Switch does less than 20%) and its a 3HKO if +0

Cons:
-Hates Knock Off
-Even if it has 436 attack, it not Choice Band´s 654 or Belly Drum´s 2616, so dont go with the mindset of "haha Azumarill goes brrrrrr" (burned goes right back to 218 witch is no bueno)
-(((edit: cause I forgot about this))) You are s l o w (base 50/136 speed lmao)
-Still loses to a discharge from a +2 Rotom Heat :c
-Its still kinda fragile in the physical side

It works? to me kinda, im not the best source of aprobation since im trash at this game but I think someone can make a good use of this
Opinions?
 
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