Metagame SS OU Metagame Discussion Thread v7 (Usage Stats in post #1735)

Zneon

Freedom
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Since Slowbro has been brought up, I might as well talk about it.

So I feel Slowbro is an excellent Pokemon primarily for the reasons that Jordy brought up, its a very consistent Future Sight user due to its combination of Regenerator and Teleport and this, alongside its already good defensive utility gives it multiple opportunities to use it and allow its wallbreaking teammates to abuse them. So I'm going to go over few things and then determine what I feel about Slowbro in the metagame and if its unhealthy overall.

Part 1: Not gonna kill me today


First thing I want to talk about is how it fits into the metagame outside of Future Sight. Its a great defensive Pokemon that I feel adds a multitude of positives, such as being a Melmetal, Garchomp, Landorus-T, Blaziken, and Excadrill check; I could go on and on about the amount of prominent Pokemon it checks but the next thing I want to get into is its amazing longevity. It has Slack Off and Regenerator along with Teleport, so you are mostly not going to be wearing it down or even knocking it out anytime soon considering that it will not really lose momentum by a lot of damage 1 turn because after a few more turns of switching in and out your Slowbro is back up to full. It has a lot of amazing elements for it, now we have to go into the big part of it and what really separates it from the other Bulky waters.

Part 2: HA! Psyche!


Yeah this is the one right here. Future Sight is a ridiculous move and Slowbro uses it to an extent that no other Pokemon could ever really replicate, not even Slowking because it doesn't have the same defensive value as Slowbro does. Slowbro fits on a wide range of teams and pretty easily because of its useful traits, and with how good Future Sight is at applying pressure to teams, Slowbro I feel its probably too good of a supporter to these Pokemon sometimes. This is really only Slowbro doing this as well, because no other Pokemon has the tools to actually use Future Sight to such an absurdbly consistent level that Slowbro does. That's my main issue with how Slowbro supports these Pokemon with Future Sight, its too consistent at doing it and overall just too low risk and high reward to not really go for in almost every game, especially when you factor in how dangerous some of our breakers are, and when you add how Slowbro supports the very best ones with Future Sight, the pressure is always going to come in practice.

Conclusion: Impact


So I think from reading you already know how I feel about Slowbro and its impact, its insanely good and bordering on the line of oppressive and unhealthy with how it is far too consistent at pulling the Future Sight off, how it is too low risk and high reward of a strategy to go for, and how it matches up with a vast majority of our best offensive Pokemon. But if its broken, I am going to have to say no though. However I do think this Pokemon is definitely problematic and I would put it under my radar. Hopefully you guys enjoyed this post.

Thanks for reading! :blobthumbsup:
 
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Roy

streetpkmn
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Aegislash is CRIMINALLY underrated. The mixed set is devastating: Shadow Ball/Flash Cannon/CC/Shadow Sneak. Throw on a Spell Tag and opponents assume you are choice locked, which means you can Sneak after. What are you switching in other than Mandibuzz?

It hits most things neutral anywhere from 40 to 80%, and with some SR support/residual damage, you're killing a ton of things the next turn with Shadow Sneak.

Edit: also bonks Buzzwole even harder than Buzzwole counters Urshifu, except they're also essentially trapped unless they want someone else to get nailed on the switch-in.
 
Aegislash is CRIMINALLY underrated. The mixed set is devastating: Shadow Ball/Flash Cannon/CC/Shadow Sneak. Throw on a Spell Tag and opponents assume you are choice locked, which means you can Sneak after. What are you switching in other than Mandibuzz?

It hits most things neutral anywhere from 40 to 80%, and with some SR support/residual damage, you're killing a ton of things the next turn with Shadow Sneak.

Edit: also bonks Buzzwole even harder than Buzzwole counters Urshifu, except they're also essentially trapped unless they want someone else to get nailed on the switch-in.
252+ SpA Spell Tag Aegislash-Blade Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 136 SpD Toxapex: 121-144 (39.8 - 47.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252+ SpA Spell Tag Aegislash-Blade Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Fini: 145-172 (42.1 - 50%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252+ SpA Spell Tag Aegislash-Blade Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Magearna: 109-129 (29.9 - 35.4%) -- 22.4% chance to 3HKO
252+ SpA Spell Tag Aegislash-Blade Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Swampert: 141-166 (34.9 - 41%) -- 65.5% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

I guess these are some common spreads you'll see around and like Pex and Fini can knock Aegi.
Moltres and Zapdos are 2hko by shadow ball but they scare out Blade and can roost.

On paper, yes Aegi wins if its often in a position to force things out and you can bring it in multiple times in the battle and you can guess your opponents future double switches correctly.
But in practice right now I think you're only getting a few good chances to bring such a set in, and if you predict wrong you're forced out as Blade is pretty easily killed by a lot of stuff if its on the receiving end.
 

Roy

streetpkmn
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252+ SpA Spell Tag Aegislash-Blade Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 136 SpD Toxapex: 121-144 (39.8 - 47.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252+ SpA Spell Tag Aegislash-Blade Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Fini: 145-172 (42.1 - 50%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252+ SpA Spell Tag Aegislash-Blade Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Magearna: 109-129 (29.9 - 35.4%) -- 22.4% chance to 3HKO
252+ SpA Spell Tag Aegislash-Blade Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Swampert: 141-166 (34.9 - 41%) -- 65.5% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

I guess these are some common spreads you'll see around and like Pex and Fini can knock Aegi.
Moltres and Zapdos are 2hko by shadow ball but they scare out Blade and can roost.

On paper, yes Aegi wins if its often in a position to force things out and you can bring it in multiple times in the battle,
but in practice right now I think you're only getting a few good chances to bring such a set in
I get what you're saying but you're generally trying to save him for mid-late game where everything is somewhat chipped. I guess my greater point is most things not resisting ghost who have taken some chip damage are getting pounded by him. Also is great to switch-in versus Fleur Cannons, Draco Meteors, etc. Not sure of a single other Pokemon who can switch into as powerful threats while immediately going on the attack (without LO or a choice item I might add) as Aegislash.

As far as his defensive utility goes, he is a fantastic Pheramosa check and also revenge kills him, along with Spectrier. In a metagame where a novice clicking an attacking move that snowballs can easily win, it's revenge killing capabilities are crucial.
 
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Blissey is the best checks, immune to its Ghost STAB and able to cure burns. Dark Pulse doesn't do anything even at +6 (if Spectrier has Leftovers instead of Life Orb), while Blissey can either cripple it with status, provide momentum with Teleport, heal up if it got low earlier in the match or 1v1 Spectrier with Shadow Ball. Chansey it also a good choice, Shadow Ball isn't a very good option, since Chansey has horrendous Sp. Atk., but it tanks Spectriers hits better.

+6 252 SpA Spectrier Dark Pulse vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Blissey: 290-342 (40.6 - 47.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
+6 252 SpA Spectrier Dark Pulse vs. 248 HP / 8 SpD Eviolite Chansey: 240-283 (34.1 - 40.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock
0 SpA Blissey Shadow Ball vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Spectrier: 110-130 (32.2 - 38.1%) -- 0.7% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 SpA Chansey Shadow Ball vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Spectrier: 64-76 (18.7 - 22.2%) -- possible 6HKO after Leftovers recovery
Dark Pulse 100% beats Blissey unless you are having a terrible day. The set I am going to examine is this:
:Spectrier:
Spectrier @ Leftovers
Timid Nature
Ability: Grim Neigh
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Substitute
- Disable
- Calm Mind
- Dark Pulse

+6 Dark Pulse doesn't 2HKO Blissey, but you have to remember that it is a 3HKO. Even Nasty Plot variants can often break through non-toxic blissey due to the fact that Dark Pulse has a 20% flinch rate. 1 Flinch usually spells the end for Blissey, and if it's high enough health then Spectrier can just rinse and repeat. However, there's something even more threatening: Disable + Calm Mind. Calm Mind Spdef boosts means that Blissey's Shadow Ball cannot break the sub, which means that Spectrier doesn't need to Disable the Shadow Ball, which means that Spectrier is free to Disable the Soft Boiled. Once the Soft Boiled is disabled, it's pretty much GG, as it is quite difficult to revenge kill a +6 spdef Spectrier behind Sub (most of the faster mons are Special/are pheromosa). Not even Hydreigon and Mandibuzz are always safe, as if the Spectrier subs on the switch (as it often will), it gives a free turn to get a CM boost and then disable the Dark Pulse/Foul Play. Hydreigon Earth Power does not break Spectrier's sub at +1. Tyranitar is usually a safe counter to this set, as well as Toxapex and Ferrothorn, but who in the world is switching a non-ghost resist into a sub spectrier when it very well could be Sub-NP-Wisp-Hex and you just got 6-0d again (+4 Boosted Hex 2HKOs Fully Spdef Mandibuzz). Or even worse, it could be a Choice Specs set, and because your Mandibuzz is burned and has around 7% chip it's 2HKOed by Specs +1 Boosted Hex. You see what i'm getting at here? Spectrier sets get to choose what they are stonewalled by, but if the defending player "misplays" and scouts for the wrong set first they oftentimes just instantly lose.

:Slowbro:
This is definitely an interesting proposition. I have found future sight hard to use myself, but that's just because I'm not good at forcing situations where Slowbro clicks future sight, and then get in a pokemon that can profit off of it. For now my point of view will be this: It's good because it shuts up the "Smogon loves stall" people (Slowbro is still technically a defensive mon), but at the same time it benefits balance/bulky offense/stall teams, so that's a total win in my book LOL.

One thing: Watch out. Last time, Finchinator brought up Toxapex and then pretty much everyone hopped on the "ban toxapex" bandwagon. Before posting some mean or not-well-though-out post about SLowbro, first try to think about Slowbro from your own experience, instead of automatically agreeing with Jordy. I would counsel to actively try to convince yourself that Slowbro is not broken to make sure you think he is broken, and not just that you're hopping on another bandwagon. I am not two things: I am not a psychologist, and I am not saying that Slowbro isn't broken, just giving a word of warning because I feel like Toxapex got more ban hate than it really deserved as a pokemon because it was annoying and because Finch said so.
 
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I would look at Teleport before I look at Slowbro as far as this discussion goes because Slowbro is actually a good mon to keep a lot of the physicality of the tier in check especially now. Most of Slowbro's constraint with the Teleport set beyond just taking total control and momentum away from the opposing player is the fact the tier is filled with a lot of dangerous receivers right now. As far as defensive mons go I would put this below something like Toxapex who serves a different function but its ability to throw out Toxic Spikes, Knock Off items off defoggers with Heavy Duty Boots and the the lame PP stalling games it's able to accomplish in combination with Regen among just Scald and Toxic I think is more unhealthy than Teleport personally.
Main problem is teleport is not in and of itself a broken move, we aren't able to ban teleport unless it was easily abusable and "broken" on any pokemon with it. There are certainly great abusers of the move, but this doesn't mean the move itself should be looked at, since the ban of teleport would not only affect OU, but also every tier below it.

The main problem with slowbro (and kind of slowking), is that Future SIght, Teleport and Regenerator is an incredible synergy that makes slowbro able to freely launch future sights without repercussion. Any other pokemon has a huge opportunity cost of using future sight or teleport, since they can still take damage the turn they use this move, being able to freely switch out and provide momentum while healing 1/3 of it's health is a combination that no other evolution line has access to, adding future sight into the mix adds to situations where offensive teams are able to freely pick off and eliminate pokemon one by one.

In my eyes, we shouldn't be talking about banning teleport or future sight. The Slowbro line is the only one that abuses this strategy to it's full potential.

(In my opinion, Slowbro should definitely be looked at first though)
 
One thing: Watch out. Last time, Finchinator brought up Toxapex and then pretty much everyone hopped on the "ban toxapex" bandwagon. Before posting some mean or not-well-though-out post about SLowbro, first try to think about Slowbro from your own experience, instead of automatically agreeing with Jordy. I would counsel to actively try to convince yourself that Slowbro is not broken to make sure you think he is broken, and not just that you're hopping on another bandwagon. I am not two things: I am not a psychologist, and I am not saying that Slowbro isn't broken, just giving a word of warning because I feel like Toxapex got more ban hate than it really deserved as a pokemon because it was annoying and because Finch said so.
I don't really think that that's a fair assessment, I've always believed that pex was an unhealthy part of the meta game because it forces power creep like no other defensive mon ever has, and I'm sure quite a few other players agree with me based on the reception to finches post. I believe banning pex/any other centralizing defensive mon gives us a chance to reign in the power creep, because there are many offensive pokemon that would never be allowed in OU without a jack of all trades wall that can blanket check so much. Slow bro right now is an incredibly potent physical wall, and removing it may tone down the tier as a whole.
 
do yall actually have a problem with this? I’m actually being serious here. It's really not that big of an issue and more importantly extremely exploitable. It's entirely one dimensional and pretty not even that strong. future sight isn't doing that much damage at all. I actually would like to see exactly what teams u are using b/c knowing Jordy, you're using that certain type of shit that this is going to be effective for but for legit most things other than that it's super easy to deal with. Slowbro is REALLY easy to get past even with a physical attacker if u can power up; usually, I just toxic it and it takes care of itself or trick it/nasty plot on it. Slowking galar is more of an issue to that strategy but it's really not an issue, just a good lil mon. frankly there are bigger issues at play that go along with this - bringing in broken mons which I think is the real issue. While there is a plethora of broken shit here in the tier, this shit is HIGHLY effective because of it's ability to bring shit in that can steamroll too easily, otherwise, it's like pretty like... ok because again. you can easily exploit this shit



edit: musiquepkmn your post is literally what I said in the conclusion did you read , also mandibuzz lives banded +_ future sight but that's neither here nor there
 
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do yall actually have a problem with this? I’m actually being serious here. It's really not that big of an issue and more importantly extremely exploitable. It's entirely one dimensional and pretty not even that strong. future sight isn't doing that much damage at all. I actually would like to see exactly what teams u are using b/c knowing Jordy, you're using that certain type of shit that this is going to be effective for but for legit most things other than that it's super easy to deal with. Slowbro is REALLY easy to get past even with a physical attacker if u can power up; usually, I just toxic it and it takes care of itself or trick it/nasty plot on it. Slowking galar is more of an issue to that strategy but it's really not an issue, just a good lil mon. frankly there are bigger issues at play that go along with this - bringing in broken mons which I think is the real issue. While there is a plethora of broken shit here in the tier, this shit is HIGHLY effective because of it's ability to bring shit in that can steamroll too easily, otherwise, it's like pretty like... ok because again. you can easily exploit this shit
LMAO that's not his point. His point isn't that its hard to break through Bro. In fact, it's super easy to break through bro using a strong super effective attack or pretty much any special attack at all. The problem comes with Future Sight in tandem with Bro's pivoting abilities. There are literally 0 pokemon in the entire game that can switch in on Banded Urshifu Wicked Blow or CC + Future Sight. Literally every time future sight + Urshifu is active Urshifu will be claiming a kill, even against the most ridiculous of stall teams. You can't just not let Bro set up a future sight because passive mons like Clefable, Buzzwole, and Toxapex easily let Bro Future Sight, then teleport on whatever threat just switched in. Lemme say this again:
There are no pokemon that live Banded Urshifu -> Future Sight
It's not even only about Urshifu. Jordy posted a great post a while back detailing how Melmetal, Cinderace, Urshifu, and back then Zygarde and Kyu-B become nearly unstoppable after a future sight.
 
I believe Slowbro is far from broken or an unhealthy presence in the metagame. While Future Sight paired with powerful breakers can be a potent strategy, I believe that the Pokemon that are broken with Future Sight support should be banned, not Slowbro itself for enabling these Pokemon. Pokemon such as Urshifu-Single Strike, Choice Band Pheromosa, and Cinderace are extremely powerful with Future Sight support, and if Future Sight support makes them too overbearing, it should be Urshifu-Single Strike, Pheromosa, and Cinderace, not Slowbro, that are banned if some offensive support makes them broken.

Slowbro is useful for checking Pokemon such as Landorus-Therian, Garchomp, Excadrill, Buzzwole, Cinderace, Blaziken, Melmetal, Barraskewda, Dragonite Tapu Lele (have to avoid Moonblast, but it's useful for forcing the Lele user to predict and not spam Psyshock and Focus Blast), Zapdos-Galar, Hawlucha, Keldeo, Urshifu-Rapid Strike, and Victini. Banning a Pokemon such as Slowbro that is useful in checking multiple metagame threats to preserve Pokemon such as Urshifu-Single Strike, Pheromosa, and Cinderace that have limited counterplay does not seem like the optimal solution in creating the best possible metagame in my eyes.

I think that banning Slowbro would be a mistake just like the Mega Sableye ban that was arguably a questionable decision in retrospect when it was Arena Trap/Dugtrio that was the actual problem. It could end up being quite a foolish decision to ban Slowbro, and the real problem in the metagame is that there are too many overbearing threats that are extremely imposing with the proper support. Mega Sableye was scapegoated because of Dugtrio, and I really hope Slowbro isn't scapegoated because of actual broken threats.
 
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One thing: Watch out. Last time, Finchinator brought up Toxapex and then pretty much everyone hopped on the "ban toxapex" bandwagon. Before posting some mean or not-well-though-out post about SLowbro, first try to think about Slowbro from your own experience, instead of automatically agreeing with Jordy. I would counsel to actively try to convince yourself that Slowbro is not broken to make sure you think he is broken, and not just that you're hopping on another bandwagon. I am not two things: I am not a psychologist, and I am not saying that Slowbro isn't broken, just giving a word of warning because I feel like Toxapex got more ban hate than it really deserved as a pokemon because it was annoying and because Finch said so.
Just want to completely second this opinion on the topic of the slowbro discussion. I totally believe that any player should truely take the time to assess in their own experience rather than completely copy the opinion of the moderator (I am in no way calling Jordy out, just want to share my beliefs) i remember I was very active at the time of the toxapex witch hunt and at the time there were a good amount of people who simply just hopped on the bandwagon and bitched about it every week. Like musique said, take the time to play around OU with future sight/Slowbro in your mind and how it affects the metagame, then make your judgement on whether you think it’s broken or not. I personally have no opinion at the moment, it’s something that mostly flew under the radar for me, but it’s something I’ll look for when playing OU games. Also, we JUST banned 2 mons that constricted OU to a serious degree. I’d advise many players to just give it time for the metagame to develop for the remaining threats before crying for a suspect. I haven’t been active on the forums before gen 8, so I have no idea whether the constant complaints by some players for suspects is normal or is this something new.

tl;dr: Make your own opinion about slowbro and not hop on a bandwagon just because someone prominent posted about it. I am in no Way targeting anyone, but I felt the need to state my opinion on this banning craze. I will say the meta is a lot better with zygarde and kyurem-black gone, and we should devote time to possibly adapt to these remaining threats rather than immediately calling for them to be suspected.
 
I believe that the Pokemon that are broken with Future Sight support should be banned, not Slowbro itself for enabling these Pokemon. Pokemon such as Urshifu-Single Strike, Choice Band Pheromosa, and Cinderace are extremely powerful with Future Sight support, and if Future Sight support makes them too overbearing, it should be Urshifu-Single Strike, Pheromosa, and Cinderace, not Slowbro, that are banned if some offensive support makes them broken.
I'm not quite able to wrap my head around this. if my gist is right, and it may well not be, are you implying that multiple pokemon get pushed over the edge because of slowbro and its future sight/regenerator/teleport combination, and yet also saying it is them that are broken, and not the common factor pushing them over?
I am in no way advocating the opinion that Urshifu, Pheromosa, etc. are low-tier trash, and do recognize their potential in offense teams. However, what I have read so far is that it is these strong attackers and slowbro, especially when it can switch into a prominent force after a future sight.
You can't just not let Bro set up a future sight because passive mons like Clefable, Buzzwole, and Toxapex easily let Bro Future Sight, then teleport on whatever threat just switched in. Lemme say this again:
There are no pokemon that live Banded Urshifu -> Future Sight
It's not even only about Urshifu. Jordy posted a great post a while back detailing how Melmetal, Cinderace, Urshifu, and back then Zygarde and Kyu-B become nearly unstoppable after a future sight.
Furthermore, it is a wide variety of pokemon that get boosted, which seems to parallel a prior statement about future sight and teleport's widespread usage and the glaring downside of using either on something not slowbro.
Any other pokemon has a huge opportunity cost of using future sight or teleport, since they can still take damage the turn they use this move,...
 
One thing: Watch out. Last time, Finchinator brought up Toxapex and then pretty much everyone hopped on the "ban toxapex" bandwagon. Before posting some mean or not-well-though-out post about SLowbro, first try to think about Slowbro from your own experience, instead of automatically agreeing with Jordy. I would counsel to actively try to convince yourself that Slowbro is not broken to make sure you think he is broken, and not just that you're hopping on another bandwagon. I am not two things: I am not a psychologist, and I am not saying that Slowbro isn't broken, just giving a word of warning because I feel like Toxapex got more ban hate than it really deserved as a pokemon because it was annoying and because Finch said so.
On the one hand, I think you’re right that people definitely bandwagonned harder than normal on Toxapex after Finch made that post. On the other hand, in the Isle of Armor meta, I think that Toxapex was genuinely broken as a defensive Pokémon due to a lack of reliable ways to break through it, making it a really hyperconsistent defensive force with too good sustain, and I think it was completely fair that it dominated discussion for a while; had Isle of Armor lasted for more than a few months, I think Urshifu-SS and Toxapex definitely deserved being looked into. In Crown Tundra meta though, we definitely have a sudden influx of much stronger breakers, and Toxapex wears itself thing trying to constantly stay healthy against the much stronger attacks it will be facing on a more regular basis, not to mention new Pokémon that absolutely smash its face in like Lele and Latios.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that while the Pex discussion was perhaps a bit excessive, it wasn’t entirely unwarranted at the time at all, and the discussion boiled down to a lot more than “Pex is annoying”. Conversely compared to Pex, Slowbro LOVES the fact that breakers are more common because that’s what its Future Sight + Teleport set is designed to support. Previously, people were mostly pairing it with Urshifu to make switching into it that much more difficult, but people were already considering Urshifu as potentially broken, so not much stock was put into Slowbro being nuts, especially considering that it was harder to justify on a team given what I just mentioned about Toxapex thriving in IoA meta, after all. Now that Pex isn’t so hyperconsistent and breakers are more readily available, it’s much easier to justify using Slowbro to support them, and it’s exposing the fact that Slowbro’s Future Sight + Teleport combo doesn’t just make Urshifu impossible to switch into, but it also benefits TONS of breakers, turning Slowbro into an invaluable glue that a lot of teams really can’t justify foregoing. In fact, though we’ve talked a lot about Toxapex this whole time, I think that Slowbro is actually probably more comparable to pre-Isle of Armor WishPort Clefable in what it does; the type of support it provides is invaluable in this meta, but it can provide it without having to give up momentum and while also keeping itself consistently healthy throughout the game.

TL;DR: Bandwagonning can often be justified; it largely was for IoA Pex even if some people’s responses were too actively hostile towards the council when it didn’t get banned, and now I feel Slowbro definitely merits some serious discussion and consideration. This time, we have the benefit of no more DLC on the horizon though, so fortunately, we don’t have to rush.
 
I believe Slowbro is far from broken or an unhealthy presence in the metagame. While Future Sight paired with powerful breakers can be a potent strategy, I believe that the Pokemon that are broken with Future Sight support should be banned, not Slowbro itself for enabling these Pokemon. Pokemon such as Urshifu-Single Strike, Choice Band Pheromosa, and Cinderace are extremely powerful with Future Sight support, and if Future Sight support makes them too overbearing, it should be Urshifu-Single Strike, Pheromosa, and Cinderace, not Slowbro, that are banned if some offensive support makes them broken.

Slowbro is useful for checking Pokemon such as Landorus-Therian, Garchomp, Excadrill, Buzzwole, Cinderace, Blaziken, Melmetal, Barraskewda, Dragonite Tapu Lele (have to avoid Moonblast, but it's useful for forcing the Lele user to predict and not spam Psyshock and Focus Blast), Zapdos-Galar, Hawlucha, Keldeo, Urshifu-Rapid Strike, and Victini. Banning a Pokemon such as Slowbro that is useful in checking multiple metagame threats to preserve Pokemon such as Urshifu-Single Strike, Pheromosa, and Cinderace that have limited counterplay does not seem like the optimal solution in creating the best possible metagame in my eyes.

I think that banning Slowbro would be a mistake just like the Mega Sableye ban that was arguably a questionable decision in retrospect when it was Arena Trap/Dugtrio that was the actual problem. It could end up being quite a foolish decision to ban Slowbro, and the real problem in the metagame is that there are too many overbearing threats that are extremely imposing with the proper support. Mega Sableye was scapegoated because of Dugtrio, and I really hope Slowbro isn't scapegoated because of actual broken threats.
I think this will end up banning far more Pokémon than you are making it seem. Not sure why you think it’s a good idea to ban 5 Pokémon instead of just slowbro if this strat is ultimately deemed banworthy (I’m not sure myself).
 

Spyro

Banned deucer.
Just want to call out the council directly because I and I'm sure many others would want this to happen.
Please, please consider complex bans.

First of all I don't really have a strong opinion on the Slowbro + Future Sight issue but IF it does end up getting banned I would be very dissapointed because it's literally the next best bulky Water type Pokemon after Toxapex but the thing about Slowbro is that it checks so many troublesome Pokemon like Ground types that Toxapex just cannot handle. I feel like we've reached the point where the problems are getting too complex that by wanting to keep bans as simple as possible we are actually banning too many things that would be just fine without the one thing that pushes it over the edge. and missing out on a much more diverse metagame. For example can you imagine an OU metagame with NFEs being able to dynamax? Lots of otherwise unusable Pokemon would be able to shine. I completely understand how this opens up a can of worms but we just have to find a sweet spot as a community. Smogon rules are already so many. There's a lot of clauses too. Smogon rules are already complex to newcomers so it's not like this would scare away any more new players than it does already.
 

Gomi

bad lmao
is a Pre-Contributor
Bro discussion is something I expected to pop up at some point, and it's interesting to see other ppl's perspectives on it, but yea I don't really agree its very overwhelming yet, if it is very overwhelming at all.

I think it's very important to keep in mind that Futureport bro is extremely easy to stop in the act. As someone who has been spamming it for a good while now, offensive pressure is its BANE and its everywhere.
Just a few examples of great Pokemon that force bro to hard switch: :urshifu: :magearna: :Zapdos: :thundurus-therian: :Spectrier: :kartana: :rillaboom: :nidoking: :dracozolt: I could go on but u get it im sure.
This isn't even taking into account Taunt from Fini, Toxics that force Bro to click recover a lot more frequently, the rare phaser, their own pivots on your future sight, taking huge damage in the process of getting off a Future Sight that'll force a Recover the next time you're in, etc. I'm not saying it isn't amazing, because it is, and I'm not saying it doesn't make sense to say future sight pushes otherwise fine Pokémon into being a tad difficult to consistently answer, because it does, but matches don't exist in a vacuum, and if you try it out yourself, I guarantee you'll find it very difficult to consistently get Futureports off vs anything but pretty passive teams.

I just think it'd be better to wait to see how these passive teams adapt to the presence of Slowbro punishing them for not being able to effectively force it out, rather than blame bro for making Pokémon like Mosa overbearing, because as far as im concerned, Slowbro has plenty of viable ways to be denied by fat balance-y builds that I listed earlier, especially if you need to keep Bro healthy to check something of theirs, like a Cinderace or Driller. That being said, I am not in any way implying it is risk free to hard switch in on a Slowbro, scald burns completely cripple physical forms of pressure and cut into the longevity of its special answers by a considerable margin, and switching your Urshifu into a teleport just to be greeted by a Banded Galardos is not ideal, but to be fair, if they're being forced to Scald or hard Tele to not let in your offensive mons, they aren't Fsighting, So you can take advantage of these forced 50/50s decently well, least in my experience.

In particular though, I wanted to touch on a post abt Bro that I just have not been able to relate to at all.
Part 1: Not gonna kill me today


First thing I want to talk about is how it fits into the metagame outside of Future Sight. Its a great defensive Pokemon that I feel adds a multitude of positives, such as being a Melmetal, Garchomp, Landorus-T, Blaziken, Excadrill; I could go on and on about the amount of prominent Pokemon it checks but the next thing I want to get into is its amazing longevity. It has Slack Off and Regenerator along with Teleport, so you are mostly not going to be wearing it down or even knocking it out anytime soon considering that it will not really lose momentum by a lot of damage 1 turn because after a few more turns of switching in and out your Slowbro is back up to full. It has a lot of amazing elements for it, now we have to go into the big part of it and what really separates it from the other Bulky waters.
Of the pokemon Slowbro checks (this isn't everything, just notable ones), :cinderace: :landorus-therian: :zapdos-galar: :barraskewda: :urshifu: (rapid) and :victini: can Pivot to keep up pressure, :Garchomp: :melmetal: :excadrill: and :landorus-therian: carry Toxic/Knock reasonably often or force way too much damage onto Bro for FsightPorting to be possible, and :blaziken: :hawlucha: are on a playstyle where FsightPorting simply isn't something you'll do vs them bc of the breakneck pace at which they operate. Pretty much none of them let up VS. Slowbro to such a degree that Bro can do anything but retaliate, heal up, or pivot out. That's definitely sinking some degree of momentum as long as you're playing aggressively, or at the very least forcing too much damage onto bro for it to force its offensive pressure onto you.

As for Slowbro's longevity in general, yea it's amazing at keeping itself topped off, I will not dispute that, but Knock is reasonably easy to get off bc of the Pokemon Bro would prefer to pivot on (:clefable: :toxapex:), and after that, hazards pressure Bro into recovering before all else a whole lot more than one would likely prefer. You're basically forced to choose between offensive momentum or consistently checking what you need to a noticable amount of the time, which is fine, it doesnt make it bad, but it is a very noticeable flaw to keep in mind imo.

I don't really know how to close this out but I think I illustrated my thoughts well enough. Slowbro is really, really good, but I simply cannot see something so easy to pressure as broken at this stage, especially when its being pressured by top tier offensive Pokemon, like Mage and Mosa. It can rarely get away with abusing its amazing support scott free, even if regen makes up for the lost health considerably, and I just haven't struggled to consistently deny Bros without being forced to recover or something similar, or been able to force that support onto my opponents without smart play. I just fail to see how something so exploitable is low risk, high reward.
 
Before I talk about Slowbro, I want to start by saying that this sounds to me like yet another complaint about Teleport, and that's perfectly logical.

Teleport/U-turn/Flip Turn/Volt Switch etc. are some of the most unfun and uncompetitive mechanics in Pokemon, imo.

Option-rich teambuilding and smart switching by playing toward your most likely win con are the two elements of competitive Pokemon that make playing it worthwhile over other competitive games (in an objective sense--obviously liking Pokemon itself is subjective and many people play competitive Pokemon because they like the base series and not the gameplay).

One of the key skills separating great players from good players is knowing when to hedge, or to pick an option somewhere between the obvious play and the hard prediction. Hedging reduces risk because you make a play that isn't optimal for any one thing your opponent chooses to do but minimizes the risk of misprediction across all options.

But these free pivoting moves like U-turn sometimes totally remove the need to hedge or give you the most mindless hedge option possible. Hedging is still an important skill, of course, just less important.

It's sort of the effect that the addition of team preview had on scouting, but way different, because when team preview was added, even though scouting became less important, other skills became more important in its place, such as identifying sets based on opponent's team comp. U-turn/Teleport are (mostly) brainless and don't pad on any additional layers of skill.

That said, I think there's nothing "broken" about these moves. Something being unfun or making competiton less interesting doesn't make it banworthy.

And I see Slowbro as being part of this same overarching issue--sure, Slowbro's existence reduces the amount of hedging and prediction and it sucks that a mon like this exists, but is it broken? Here are some counterpoints:
  • It takes Slowbro a full turn for it to come in on something, a full turn for it to Future Sight, and then another full turn for it to Teleport. That's three whole turns, plenty of time to do something proactive against it.
  • Slowbro requires the rest of its team to be alive to pull off this maneuver. For example, it doesn't do any good for the Slowbro team if the Slowbro Future Sights as you bring in your Urshifu and they don't have anything faster than Urshifu to Teleport out to. The fewer teammates Slowbro has alive, the less effective it is, since Teleport loses options (i.e., Teleporting on turn 1 gives you 5 choices to switch to, whereas Teleporting when you have only 2 guys gives you 1).
  • But unlike other utility moves that depend on having teammates alive, Future Sight's effectiveness is limited by Slowbro's SAtk investment, and it takes two turns to activate. Wish, another strong utility move, takes one turn and heals 50% of the user's HP, which will already be invested on most walls.
  • Protect, a common and otherwise very powerful move/tool, blocks the attack paired with Future Sight so that you just take FS damage and nothing else. Substitute has a similar effect if you are faster than Slowbro's partner (or if it's not Melmetal with Double Iron Bash).
Future Sight turns 3HKOs into 2HKOs and 2HKOs into OHKOs? So does Spikes. And Stealth Rock. And chip damage.

Heck, Blissey does the same thing as Slowbro, just less obviously/immediately. Put up some hazards and then bring Blissey in every time your opponent brings in a special attacker. The special attacker is taking chip over and over while Blissey can just Softboiled it off and Teleport out when things get scary.

"But you can predict the Blissey and switch in a physical attacker"

Yeah, and you can predict the Slowbro too and bring in something that doesn't give it three entire turns to set up a favorable attack. Softboiled + Teleport is 2 turns, just like Future Sight + Teleport.

So while I do think that Teleport is really unfun, I can't really get behind this suspect argument. I respect Jordy a lot though and I'm sure some thought went into the original post calling out Slowbro, so I'd be willing to hear more.
 
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I'm surprised Future Sight has taken this long to really gain steam. Doom Desire was 140 base power gen 5 on and Future Sight was 120 gen 6+. It's not like this combo was ever super common. Is Teleport really what does it? Because many Pokemon had either DD or FS + either U-turn or Baton Pass (when applicable and legal). I'd guess if Future Sight is what pushes the powerful breakers in this meta over the top that speaks more about shit like Banded Urshifu than a previously unused move.

The problem is more that we have busted mons that can do 40% min to almost literally everything with one move, that's where stuff like Future Sight + Teleport gets too out of hand. Again Future Sight + breaker has been around forever. I remember using a stupid Doom Desire + U-turn Jirachi + Specs Latios and LO Terrakion team in gen 5 that could pop things like Tyranitar, Chansey, Bronzong, Landorus, Gliscor etc. It wasn't broken because... well the team was bad. But the idea never really took off even if it could be done in theory since gen 5.

I guess what I'm saying is if this shit is broken NOW but not ten years ago maybe it's a symptom rather than the cause. Perhaps we should look into Urshifu, Cinderace etc rather than some odd complex ban on Teleport or Slowbro? Or maybe just relax a little... Kyub and Zygarde were banned 48 hours ago lol. Let the meta do it's thing for a few days before making rash decisions.
 
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I'm surprised Future Sight has taken this long to really gain steam. Doom Desire was 140 base power gen 5 on and Future Sight was 120 gen 6+. It's not like this combo was ever super common. Is Teleport really what does it? Because many Pokemon had either DD or FS + either U-turn or Baton Pass (when applicable and legal). I'd guess if Future Sight is what pushes the powerful breakers in this meta over the top that speaks more about shit like Banded Urshifu than a previously unused move.

The problem is more that we have busted mons that can do 40% min to almost literally everything with one move, that's where stuff like Future Sight + Teleport gets too out of hand. Again Future Sight + breaker has been around forever. I remember using a stupid Doom Desire + U-turn Jirachi + Specs Latios and LO Terrakion team in gen 5 that could pop things like Tyranitar, Chansey, Bronzong, Landorus, Gliscor etc. It wasn't broken because... well the team was bad. But the idea never really took off even if it could be done in theory since gen 5.

I guess what I'm saying is if this shit is broken NOW but not ten years ago maybe it's a symptom rather than the cause. Perhaps we should look into Urshifu, Cinderace etc rather than some odd complex ban on Teleport or Slowbro? Or maybe just relax a little... Kyub and Zygarde were banned 48 hours ago lol. Let the meta do it's thing for a few days before making rash decisions.
Yeah, Teleport is definitely doing Future Sight a ton of favors. Not to mention the addition of boots, pivoting in and out with slowbro is pretty effective because it always guaranteed that +33% health back. I can see the pressure future sight slowbro can apply to another team, especially because OU has all sorts of breakers than crush psychic resists trying to switch into Future Sight (Cinderace for Jirachi or Magearna for example).

is this topic seriously discussing to ban Slowbro
I definitely did a double take after first reading it, but down in UU Slowbro + Zarude combo in DLC1 was metagame defining, so I can totally see how that applies up here with more powerful breakers.

That being said, I want to test out Slowbro + breaker before I say anything about it and whether it's too much for this early and unsettled meta or not.
 

Finchinator

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I do not believe Slowbro (or Slowking) is broken, but I absolutely understand the concern. Right now, there are an abundance of abusers of this pivoting-based strategy and it is not hard to pull off at all due to the convenience of using Slowbro (or Slowking), which are defensive oriented Pokemon with a lot of natural longevity.

Obvious abusers such as Pheromosa, Urshifu, Cinderace, Blaziken, Garchomp, and Kartana are already capable Pokemon without support, but with the addition of a Future Sight lingering above the head of potential checks/counters switching-in makes them even more menacing to face. I believe the balanced cores with Slowbro or Slowking + one of these or other offensive abusers are here to stay. We absolutely should be having these discussions and I am glad it has been brought up.

For the, "lol it's Slowbro, are you crazy?" crowd -- it's ok if you think it is a balanced strategy. In fact, I currently am in this boat myself. However, it is not ok to completely disregard well-thought out arguments. Play the tier, entertain the things being discussed and if you're so sure of yourself, then your own playing will back your own argument I'd imagine.

For the people calling for prompt/immediate action on a tiering POV, relax. Jordy and others bring up some great points, but we are also just a day after multiple quickbans, which happened promptly after three prior quickbans. We have handled tiering this generation at a much quicker pace than generations prior, specifically over the last 6 or so months with many different suspects and quickbans. I can say with the utmost confidence that once something is deemed problematic beyond the state of just being a potential trend -- i.e: the tier struggles to adapt to the trend, making it a defined problem, we will be sure to bring it to the forefront of our discussions.

With this said, I am looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say on this and other potentially controversial topics like Pheromosa, Magearna, Toxapex, and other Pokemon.
 

Finchinator

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Just want to call out the council directly because I and I'm sure many others would want this to happen.
Please, please consider complex bans.

First of all I don't really have a strong opinion on the Slowbro + Future Sight issue but IF it does end up getting banned I would be very dissapointed because it's literally the next best bulky Water type Pokemon after Toxapex but the thing about Slowbro is that it checks so many troublesome Pokemon like Ground types that Toxapex just cannot handle. I feel like we've reached the point where the problems are getting too complex that by wanting to keep bans as simple as possible we are actually banning too many things that would be just fine without the one thing that pushes it over the edge. and missing out on a much more diverse metagame. For example can you imagine an OU metagame with NFEs being able to dynamax? Lots of otherwise unusable Pokemon would be able to shine. I completely understand how this opens up a can of worms but we just have to find a sweet spot as a community. Smogon rules are already so many. There's a lot of clauses too. Smogon rules are already complex to newcomers so it's not like this would scare away any more new players than it does already.
I'm breaking the rules and double posting because this deserves its own post.

Preserving some degree of diversity for the sake of going down the complex ban slippery slope is the worst possible idea. Let's tackle Slowbro first before we get to what you said about Dynamax, which is problematic for a multitude of other reasons as well.

Let's say that Slowbro with Future Sight and Regenerator does become a clear problem, warranting tiering action. If we were to ban the combination of Slowbro + Future Sight, then what would stop us from looking into other problematic combinations that lead to bans? Let's reverse the ban of Zygarde to Zygarde + Thousand Arrows and Kyurem-Black to Kyurem-Black + Dragon Dance. Ok, this is already become a slight abuse of the rule set out for the sake of preserving just Slowbro, a seemingly normal defensive Water, but we can even take it a step further. If we are allowing this and there is no line drawn, and drawing any line whatsoever is entirely arbitrary, then what stops us from trying to balance any Uber Pokemon with arbitrary restrictions? We can free Kyogre if we ban it from using Water moves, so why would we not do this if we are balancing other would-be Ubers? At this point, we are no longer tiering Pokemon, but we are tiering combinations. Why would we keep forming tiers by Pokemon usage then, but rather by combination usage? All of a sudden, the entire system is derailed, every tier is formed by completely different things, every banlist becomes infinitely more confusing and complex, and this was all done to...preserve Slowbro in OU? Needless to say, this is a bad idea with infinitely worse future implications.

As for what you say about Dynamax, not only do we have no obligation to make a metagame as diverse as possible as tiering is done for the sake of competitive balance first and foremost (which oftentimes comes alongside diversity, but not always), but also that is just ridiculous. Dynamax is not something that will suddenly balance itself and if it were to, it would take dozens of individual bans (see: months of suspects, if not years) to get there. Dynamax was not banned like any other Pokemon that was broken due to being too restrictive, strong, etc. The mechanic itself was absurdly uncompetitive. Games were derailed by the timing element of it, making even the most competitive of match-ups between top tier players virtually a guessing game. Even if we are talking RU or potentially NU Pokemon being able to do this instead of OU, then all of a sudden what constitutes an RU or NU Pokemon goes out the window and the effect they have on games can be amplified to a potentially game-ruining extent. Again, doing all of this for the sake of preserving a mechanic that was deemed uncompetitive and banworthy by a vast majority of the qualified voters is simply not worthwhile.

The argument you presented about complex bans seems ok on the surface, but it projects into the future poorly and it is absolutely not an acceptable solution. We will not be entertaining complex bans on the Slowbro situation unless something drastically changes.
 
This discussion about Spectrier and Future Sight has made me realize just how hard :Mandibuzz: Mandibuzz is holding this meta together. In fact, I'm finding it hard to avoid putting it on my teams at this point - it's something that can absorb future sights while being very difficult to OHKO (outside of things like Magearna, Zone, Regieleki and Bolt beak) and roost up while doing so, which is super invaluable, and it's basically the only thing that can provide this - and this is on top of being one of the few reliable Spectrier checks. While other spectrier checks exist, Mandibuzz really feels like one of the only options defensively to not get future sighted to death. While I personally feel like the other options you have to check Slowbro and its friends offensively are enough to stop it from feeling broken (e.g. Rillaboom, Spectrier, Koko, Bolt Beak), it's definitely very punishing towards those who want to run more defensive teams.

While I don't disagree that future sight may potentially be a problem, I think :Slowbro: Slowbro as a target for a suspect would be somewhat misguided. I feel like the real issue here is probably :Urshifu: Urshifu - mainly because of Unseen Fist (as well as the insane power of Wicked Blow). Future Sight may hit through protect, but if a pokemon such as Heatran or Aegislash can afford to run Protect (or equivalent), it can use that to eat the weaker Future Sight hit and protect against whatever the Slowbro brings in, making the Future Sight achieve very little. While this is not 100% effective - Blaziken, for example, thrives off free turns like this - it should, at worst, force the Slowbro user to make a prediction, and if said breaker is choiced, put them in a very disadvantageous situation. Urshifu, unfortunately, also hits through protect - making it a guaranteed double hit anyway, and making sure that something is taking the damage no matter what. Because of this being one of the most common breakers and future sight abusers, this form of counterplay can be basically nullified (and once again forces Mandibuzz onto teams).
 
Dark Pulse 100% beats Blissey unless you are having a terrible day. The set I am going to examine is this:
:Spectrier:
Spectrier @ Leftovers
Timid Nature
Ability: Grim Neigh
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Substitute
- Disable
- Calm Mind
- Dark Pulse

+6 Dark Pulse doesn't 2HKO Blissey, but you have to remember that it is a 3HKO. Even Nasty Plot variants can often break through non-toxic blissey due to the fact that Dark Pulse has a 20% flinch rate. 1 Flinch usually spells the end for Blissey, and if it's high enough health then Spectrier can just rinse and repeat. However, there's something even more threatening: Disable + Calm Mind. Calm Mind Spdef boosts means that Blissey's Shadow Ball cannot break the sub, which means that Spectrier doesn't need to Disable the Shadow Ball, which means that Spectrier is free to Disable the Soft Boiled. Once the Soft Boiled is disabled, it's pretty much GG, as it is quite difficult to revenge kill a +6 spdef Spectrier behind Sub (most of the faster mons are Special/are pheromosa). Not even Hydreigon and Mandibuzz are always safe, as if the Spectrier subs on the switch (as it often will), it gives a free turn to get a CM boost and then disable the Dark Pulse/Foul Play. Hydreigon Earth Power does not break Spectrier's sub at +1. Tyranitar is usually a safe counter to this set, as well as Toxapex and Ferrothorn, but who in the world is switching a non-ghost resist into a sub spectrier when it very well could be Sub-NP-Wisp-Hex and you just got 6-0d again (+4 Boosted Hex 2HKOs Fully Spdef Mandibuzz). Or even worse, it could be a Choice Specs set, and because your Mandibuzz is burned and has around 7% chip it's 2HKOed by Specs +1 Boosted Hex. You see what i'm getting at here? Spectrier sets get to choose what they are stonewalled by, but if the defending player "misplays" and scouts for the wrong set first they oftentimes just instantly lose.

:Slowbro:
This is definitely an interesting proposition. I have found future sight hard to use myself, but that's just because I'm not good at forcing situations where Slowbro clicks future sight, and then get in a pokemon that can profit off of it. For now my point of view will be this: It's good because it shuts up the "Smogon loves stall" people (Slowbro is still technically a defensive mon), but at the same time it benefits balance/bulky offense/stall teams, so that's a total win in my book LOL.

One thing: Watch out. Last time, Finchinator brought up Toxapex and then pretty much everyone hopped on the "ban toxapex" bandwagon. Before posting some mean or not-well-though-out post about SLowbro, first try to think about Slowbro from your own experience, instead of automatically agreeing with Jordy. I would counsel to actively try to convince yourself that Slowbro is not broken to make sure you think he is broken, and not just that you're hopping on another bandwagon. I am not two things: I am not a psychologist, and I am not saying that Slowbro isn't broken, just giving a word of warning because I feel like Toxapex got more ban hate than it really deserved as a pokemon because it was annoying and because Finch said so.
You're right if you have a bad day, you loose your Blissey, but until Spectrier gets to +6 you can defeat it with Shadow Ball or Teleport into a faster Pokémon and revenge kill it. You're still right, but my point wasn't that Spectrier can't do anything against Blissey, my point was, that if Spectrier tries to defeat Blissey, it runs the risk of being KOed by it or an offensive mon.
 
You're right if you have a bad day, you loose your Blissey, but until Spectrier gets to +6 you can defeat it with Shadow Ball or Teleport into a faster Pokémon and revenge kill it. You're still right, but my point wasn't that Spectrier can't do anything against Blissey, my point was, that if Spectrier tries to defeat Blissey, it runs the risk of being KOed by it or an offensive mon.
Blissey can't beat it if it's calm mind, because the Spdef boost easily makes Spectrier live the hit behind sub, unless you are having said bad day and they crit many times in a row. Since Blissey can't break the sub, you are hard pressed to Teleport into a revenge kill, since multi-hit pokemon like Melmetal are generally slower and Infiltrator mons are all special, meaning Spectrier can live a hit and then take them out. Teleport into Triple Axel Pheromosa seems like one of the only ways to beat this strat once it is set up.
 

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