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

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Finchinator

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Should cinderace's libero be suspected? Really hard to counter when you can go so fast and change your type. You can then STAB 4 different types and use those types to your advantage defensively. Seems like a broken mechanic that undermines the balance of pokemon battling.
Just a note: if Cinderace is problematic right now, we would suspect test or ban Cinderace as a whole rather than Libero. For more information on that, check here.
 
How do you guys feel about Arcanine in OU, or am I the only person somewhat consistently using it?

I was kinda surprised to see it unranked in the updated OU viability ranking, and it even dropped to RU the other day. From my experience, Arcanine has been the only consistent switch in to Cinderace. The toughest thing when going up against Cinderace can be the fact that you just have to get lucky that your opponent isn't running the right move coverage/set. But w/ Arcanine, it resists the two moves that Cinderace essentially always runs in Pyro Ball and U-turn, and the rest of the coverage moves, it will take neutral damage, which it can tank after an intimidate. The only thing that can be kinda annoying are potential gunk shot poisons (1 gunk shot does about 29% after an intimidate), but this is a risky move for your opponent, as gunk shot has a good chance to miss, and your opponent has to fear getting wisp'd. So after the switch in, you can always teleport out or toxic/wisp something coming in, or even recover off the damage w/ morning sun if necessary.

Arcanine also provides a decent check to specs Magearna. The first fleur cannon will still do about half if you're running 0 sp.def investment, but you will generally have the upper hand in the match up as you can recover off the damage, while Magearna won't be doing enough after the sp.atk drops. I run just a bit of speed investment to outspeed modest Magearna for this very reason.

Also, you guys have made some really great points about Pex. I think the big reason why we rarely see bans on walls/sponges like Pex is because, psychologically speaking, they just appear much more manageable than some crazy set-up sweeper or near impossible to switch into choice locked mon. It generally feels like we have less control when getting 6'0 by a calm mind + iron defense Magearna SP set vs. losing after 150 turns to a Toxapex pp-stalling you. But Pex isn't like any other wall or passive sponge. With other mons of this sort of archetype, you have to risk losing momentum when you have it out on the field. Also, you generally can't just switch into anything as your opponent can predict and go for a move that severely cripples your defensive glue. Pex doesn't have to fear any of these things... scald + knock-off are essentially always safe to click, and can create significant momentum for you. And w/ the lack off offensive psychic and electric types in the tier this gen, Pex rarely has to fear switching into any move. Even an ADAMANT choice band Zeraora (which people tend not to run over jolly w/ HDB or leftovers) set does only 84%+ w/ a plasma fists. And due to it's stupid ability, you can always just say "oopsie" and regen off the damage from your opponent's good prediction. Focus sash Alakazam can never OHKO Pex, tho luckily a LO set has 75% chance to do so w/ psychic (but even then you have to fear getting blown back by knock-off). And people rarely run Magnezone these days due to it losing the precious hp fire and the mons it normally is run for to trap (e.g. Scizor and Skarmory) being seldom run atm.
 
How do you guys feel about Arcanine in OU, or am I the only person somewhat consistently using it?
Arcanine definitely has some niche in OU, being able to handle Cinderace and Magearna is very nice, but I don't think that it can really do much to most other physical attackers in the tier. Both Urshifu formes can ignore the attack drop from Intimidate with Wicked Blow, which lowers the value of Intimidate. Spreading status, specifically Burns to the physical attackers is very nice, but teams usually can handle burn either through a status absorber / special attacker. Beyond that, Arcanine can gain momentum with Teleport, but it does not provide much more to the team. Hippowdon checks Cinderace just as well, with recovery in Slack Off, setting Stealth Rocks, and threatening Cinderace (and Magearna if it switches in).
0 Atk Hippowdon Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Cinderace: 302-356 (100.3 - 118.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO
0 Atk Hippowdon Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 212-252 (58.2 - 69.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
While I do think Arcanine has some use in OU (Teleport is fantastic on any defensive Pokemon), I just do not think it provides much else that would make it fit on a team better than other defensive Pokemon like Hippowdon, Mandibuzz or Kommo-o / Toxapex (if not running Zen Headbutt).


Speaking of Zen Headbutt and Toxapex, I was very surprised when the July stats were released to notice that Zen Headbutt was Cinderace's second most used move, with ~ 69 percent of Cinderace's opting to run Zen Headbutt.
- Pyro Ball 98.673%
- Zen Headbutt 69.564%
- U-turn 66.399%
- Sucker Punch 52.877%
- Gunk Shot 41.491%
- Bulk Up 21.808%
- High Jump Kick 21.601%
- Court Change 16.803%
- Other 10.783%
Cinderace will probably only be using Zen Headbutt against Hawlucha, Urshifu Rapid-Strike Kommo-o, and Toxapex. For the offensive targets, If Hawlucha switches in Cinderace can OHKO, but if Hawlucha has its Unburden activated then Cinderace is toasted. Zen Headbutt 2HKO's Urshifu Rapid-Strike, which can OHKO with CC / Surging Strikes / sometimes Aqua Jet. For the defensive targets, Zen Headbutt does not always 2HKO Toxapex and Kommo-o.
252 Atk Libero Cinderace Zen Headbutt vs. 252 HP / 200+ Def Kommo-o: 156-186 (44 - 52.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Libero Cinderace Zen Headbutt vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 132-156 (43.4 - 51.3%) -- 3.1% chance to 2HKO

Note: the stats for Kommo-o and Toxapex show that Physical Defense is the highest individual sets run currently, but both have a high amount of usage on other sets.
For a move that does not always 2HKO many the defensive targets that it is intending to hit, and does not do much to help against its offensive targets, it is still highly used, and I do think the reason ends up being Toxapex. Being able to potentially be able to 2HKO this defensive wall is appears to be the primary reason to run Zen Headbutt, and I think it is another indication as to how unhealthy Toxapex is to the OU tier. It has great utility, can stay on the field forever, and Knock Off / Scald / Toxic / Recover as much as it wants. Toxapex forces teams to prepare multiple times to handle it, using the second most used Pokemon in the tier, Cinderace, as a example, if Toxapex is physically defensive, Cinderace can not do anything to it, so something else is needed to handle Toxapex. While this is only one example, I think it helps illustrate how Toxapex warps OU around itself, requiring multiple ways to handle it and being able to regen off if it takes more than it would like.
 
Arcanine definitely has some niche in OU, being able to handle Cinderace and Magearna is very nice, but I don't think that it can really do much to most other physical attackers in the tier. Both Urshifu formes can ignore the attack drop from Intimidate with Wicked Blow, which lowers the value of Intimidate. Spreading status, specifically Burns to the physical attackers is very nice, but teams usually can handle burn either through a status absorber / special attacker. Beyond that, Arcanine can gain momentum with Teleport, but it does not provide much more to the team. Hippowdon checks Cinderace just as well, with recovery in Slack Off, setting Stealth Rocks, and threatening Cinderace (and Magearna if it switches in).
0 Atk Hippowdon Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Cinderace: 302-356 (100.3 - 118.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO
0 Atk Hippowdon Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 212-252 (58.2 - 69.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
While I do think Arcanine has some use in OU (Teleport is fantastic on any defensive Pokemon), I just do not think it provides much else that would make it fit on a team better than other defensive Pokemon like Hippowdon, Mandibuzz or Kommo-o / Toxapex (if not running Zen Headbutt).


Speaking of Zen Headbutt and Toxapex, I was very surprised when the July stats were released to notice that Zen Headbutt was Cinderace's second most used move, with ~ 69 percent of Cinderace's opting to run Zen Headbutt.
- Pyro Ball 98.673%
- Zen Headbutt 69.564%
- U-turn 66.399%
- Sucker Punch 52.877%
- Gunk Shot 41.491%
- Bulk Up 21.808%
- High Jump Kick 21.601%
- Court Change 16.803%
- Other 10.783%
Cinderace will probably only be using Zen Headbutt against Hawlucha, Urshifu Rapid-Strike Kommo-o, and Toxapex. For the offensive targets, If Hawlucha switches in Cinderace can OHKO, but if Hawlucha has its Unburden activated then Cinderace is toasted. Zen Headbutt 2HKO's Urshifu Rapid-Strike, which can OHKO with CC / Surging Strikes / sometimes Aqua Jet. For the defensive targets, Zen Headbutt does not always 2HKO Toxapex and Kommo-o.
252 Atk Libero Cinderace Zen Headbutt vs. 252 HP / 200+ Def Kommo-o: 156-186 (44 - 52.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Libero Cinderace Zen Headbutt vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 132-156 (43.4 - 51.3%) -- 3.1% chance to 2HKO

Note: the stats for Kommo-o and Toxapex show that Physical Defense is the highest individual sets run currently, but both have a high amount of usage on other sets.
For a move that does not always 2HKO many the defensive targets that it is intending to hit, and does not do much to help against its offensive targets, it is still highly used, and I do think the reason ends up being Toxapex. Being able to potentially be able to 2HKO this defensive wall is appears to be the primary reason to run Zen Headbutt, and I think it is another indication as to how unhealthy Toxapex is to the OU tier. It has great utility, can stay on the field forever, and Knock Off / Scald / Toxic / Recover as much as it wants. Toxapex forces teams to prepare multiple times to handle it, using the second most used Pokemon in the tier, Cinderace, as a example, if Toxapex is physically defensive, Cinderace can not do anything to it, so something else is needed to handle Toxapex. While this is only one example, I think it helps illustrate how Toxapex warps OU around itself, requiring multiple ways to handle it and being able to regen off if it takes more than it would like.
You make some great points. However, just because ace zen headbutt cannot 2HKO pex from full doesn't mean it can't beat pex.
First of all, you assume cinderace is Jolly. When Cinderace is running Adamant, it goes from never 2HKOing with black sludge to having an 18.8% chance to 2HKO with black sludge. With rocks and adamant, Cinderace is able to always 2HKO pex with zen headbutt.

Furthermore, pex can always be chipped. If it takes a min roll zen, then regens out, the next time it comes in zen headbutt is a guaranteed 2HKO. The sheer amount of attackers pex is tasked at walling means many a time it will not be at 100%, even with regen. This is how Cinderace can break through pex.

Also you never know if Cinderace will get Zen Headbutt's 20% chance to flinch, which means pex is dead.

Edit:
252+ SpA Choice Specs Libero Cinderace Scorching Sands vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Toxapex: 176-210 (57.8 - 69%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Black Sludge recovery

Edit 2 (so i don't double post):

Don't you hate Toxapex? What about Mandibuzz? How about Hippowdon? Heck, even Blissey? Don't you hate it when you bring in your dedicated wallbreaker, just to see these dreadful stallwarts switch out? Don't you just wish there was a mon you could slap on your team that could lure in, trap, and eradicated said stallwarts from existence?

There is no such pokemon

But Specs Cinderace is like that pokemon's little brother
252+ SpA Choice Specs Libero Cinderace Electro Ball (60 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Mandibuzz: 216-254 (50.9 - 59.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ SpA Choice Specs Cinderace Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Hippowdon: 247-292 (58.8 - 69.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

4- Atk Libero Cinderace High Jump Kick vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Blissey: 522-614 (73.1 - 85.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252+ SpA Choice Specs Cinderace Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Clefable: 205-243 (52 - 61.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ SpA Choice Specs Libero Cinderace Electro Ball (120 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Toxapex: 306-360 (100.6 - 118.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Now, although it may not seem like it, I try to limit myself when it comes to heat in this OU forum. I've scrapped many a set, most notably defensive Hydreigon to hard counter Crawdaunt, but when this mons can lure in Toxapex and OHKO it from full, I really can't help myself. Other Cinderace walls? Thats a no go. The most notable ones are 2HKOed by coverage, and the many others that don't wall physical Cinderace are 2HKOed too. Did your opponent catch on and start switching in Blissey to hard counter? 2HKOed by High Jump Kick is the more likely option.

There are numerous flaws. First off, its weak to rocks, and it only really works with the surprise factor, although with this coverage I'm blanking on mons that can wall this atm (maybe im just dumb). I really think this set has potential, but Cinderace will probably be banned before this set catches on anyways.

Edit 3:
Here's some things I neglected to put in the previous edits:

Cinderace @ Choice Specs
Ability: Libero
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Rash Nature
- Fire Blast
- High Jump Kick/Focus Blast/Shadow Ball/Hyper Beam
- Electro Ball
- Scorching Sands

Idk which of the coverage moves in the HJK slot would be best. HJK is for blissey, Shadow Ball for Dragapult, Hyper Beam as a semi-nuke because of STAB, and Focus Blast for idk what.

The main midground move for this set definitely should be scorching sands. It still is going to dent many of the walls coming in, and it has that nasty scald % chance to burn, which cripples physical attackers and things like Hippo and Pex don't appreciate it either.

This is definitely not going to be a meta set. If it would be, then the choice banded set would be meta too, because theiry outputs in terms of % done to walls are similar. The one thing this has over banded is that it can OHKO Pex and take other walls by surprise.

That being said, if you want to get rid of Pex, use this set that was used in WCOP:

Aegislash @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Block
- Metal Sound
- Shadow Ball
- Flash Cannon

Block to trap the pex, metal sound to lower it's spdef, and finally weakness policy gives you a boost from pex's knock, which they will inevitably go for against an aegislash
 
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