Metagame SS OU Metagame Discussion Thread v7 (Usage Stats in post #2312)

skarm/bliss/tox/clefable was actually the core I used the most in the meta pre urshifu ban, and can give you the mons that from my experience personally gave this core the most headaches, in no particular order:
1. dracozolt
2. strong psyshock users with good coverage, so latios and tapu lele
3. mamoswine
4. trapper heatran
5. taunt fini
6. 4 attacks nidoking with superpower
7. magearna before the set is scouted

Out of the other things mentioned: crawdaunt is scary but manageable, cinderace doesn't do anything if it doesn't have zen headbutt and even then its not that scary, alolawak sounds scary on paper but in reality it didn't really pan out, gapdos is meh, and I didn't really run into conkledurr,toxtricity,victini or darmanitan, but the scariest of those would probably be victini and toxtricity.
Aside from that, if someone is actually interested in playing with such cores, I have 2 recommendations for partners that I found to work well with such cores:
1. bulky attacker dragonite with extreme speed/earthquake/ice punch/roost. extreme speed is a great deterrent for fast but frail threats like barraskewda, earthquake is an amazing deterrent to a lot of different fire types, especially trapper heatran, ice punch is just coverage for the multitude of weak to it like chomp and lando and roost allows for maximum multiscale abuse.
The really great thing about dragonite is that thanks to marvel scale it can take pretty much any hit once, and it's typing has a lot of defensive utility, which combined with priority from espeed and good coverage options allows it to trade hits with frail sweepers quite well, if you use the coverage option to soften it up while taking your one multiscale hit and then finish off with extreme speed.
Edit:now that I think of it, extreme speed might not be necessary after the mosa ban, it's still ok but another option that I think could work is heal bell, since it allows dnite to support its team and help with burn and poison crippling its multiscale, or yknow just slap on more coverage
2. jolly sand rush excadrill with 200hp/72att/24speed EVs(this is less than you get, but you can put other EVs in any way you like). These EVs let it outspeed standard ocelzolt outlined in liquidocelote's post and OHKO it with earthquake, and even to switch into any of its moves once(of course its better if you both switch at the same time or you hit a bolt beak, or it misses a fire blast or...). it's also immune to electric and poison moves and carries rapid spin, which is very nice for stall teams as they dont want to remove their own spikes just to get rid of rocks, and takes diddly jack from rocks, as well as being resistant to fairy moves which lets it do well against most magearna. EQ and rapid spin are mandatory, but the last two moves can be anything (I used iron head and toxic, but there are more options)
 
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I feel like Stall really isn't going to get much better in the current meta than it was pre-Urshifu ban contrary to the common belief. I have played Stall quite a bit in that meta trying to get the reqs (and failed) and at least for me, Urshifu was never an issue. Most of the time a ran Rocky Hemet buzzwhole which is a mon Stall could fit easily and its issues of being a momentum sink aren't a problem for Stall. Sure, stall right now doesnt have to run Buzz anymore but that is pretty much it. There are stil a ton of very annoying mons that stall has serious problems with such as Taunt/Trick Fini, Trapper Heatran, CM Clefable (which is probably going to get used more now), psyshock and a lot of super strong threats that remain in the metagame (that are mentioned in the post above + some extras) and most importantly teams' defensive backbones are not as limited as they were bcs of Urshifu which means that a lot of these TP super defensive pivots gives balance and BO tons of survivability and longevity while also giving free switches to aformentioned offensive threats. So in my eyes this new meta really isn't going to be Stall infested, but it might get a lot more defensive due to all these defensive pivots which are very durable and work really well with offensive pressure.
 

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I feel like Stall really isn't going to get much better in the current meta than it was pre-Urshifu ban contrary to the common belief. I have played Stall quite a bit in that meta trying to get the reqs (and failed) and at least for me, Urshifu was never an issue. Most of the time a ran Rocky Hemet buzzwhole which is a mon Stall could fit easily and its issues of being a momentum sink aren't a problem for Stall. Sure, stall right now doesnt have to run Buzz anymore but that is pretty much it. There are stil a ton of very annoying mons that stall has serious problems with such as Taunt/Trick Fini, Trapper Heatran, CM Clefable (which is probably going to get used more now), psyshock and a lot of super strong threats that remain in the metagame (that are mentioned in the post above + some extras) and most importantly teams' defensive backbones are not as limited as they were bcs of Urshifu which means that a lot of these TP super defensive pivots gives balance and BO tons of survivability and longevity while also giving free switches to aformentioned offensive threats. So in my eyes this new meta really isn't going to be Stall infested, but it might get a lot more defensive due to all these defensive pivots which are very durable and work really well with offensive pressure.
Yeah, I agree that stall isn't really going to improve now that Urshifu has been banned, and I actually think it may end up being worse (or at least semi-stall might take a hit). I'm going to quote myself from a post I made in the suspect thread (I hope that's ok) explaining why I think that Urshifu being banned may hurt stall (I also made this post before the ban, which is why I used the future tense):

"One other tangentially related thing about Urshifu that I want to address is that some people feel like removing Urshifu will make stall stronger. Now first, I think it's undeniable that many users are prejudiced against stall (and sometimes I see anything remotely defensive get erroneously labeled as "stall"), and even though I personally enjoy slower and more deliberate games, I won't deny that a metagame that ends up overly defensive is detrimental (and on the flipside, I don't think that an overly offensive meta is a good thing either). However, even if a tiering change does end up favoring stall, or any other playstyle, that's not inherently a problem, so long as a certain playstyle doesn't become too oppressive, or a playstyle isn't rendered unviable after a ban. Now with that being said, I think that if Urshifu is banned, it may end up actually hurting stall more than helping it. Any properly built stall team should be prepared to handle Urshifu, so I don't think that Urshifu's inclusion in the tier is really hurting stall anyway (not like I feel that stall is overbearing at the moment either). However, as other users have pointed out, two of Urshifu's biggest "weaknesses" are it being difficult to bring in at times and being susceptible to revenge killing (although revenge killing non-Banded versions with Sucker Punch can be challenging). The team I used to get reqs was a stall/semi-stall team that had a Banded Urshifu of its own, and I found Urshifu to be more useful on that team than on any other offensive team I've used. I was able to frequently and reliably bring Urshifu in thanks to Teleport from Blissey and a slow U-turn from Corviknight. If my Urshifu punched a hole in the opposing team and picked up a KO, but then was threatened out by what my opponent brought in next, the team I used had plenty of defensive options to usually have a safe switch-in. Urshifu being a Dark resist that I could pivot to from my Rocky Helmet Pex against opposing Urshifu also was really nice. Conversely, offensive teams can sometimes struggle to safely bring in Urshifu (unless you use Volt Switch or U-turn while your opponent switches to something that Urshifu can threaten) and usually can't switch into potential revenge killers of Urshifu well. Obviously Urshifu is still a very powerful Pokemon and works well on many offensive teams, but I got the feeling that some people who are afraid of an absence of Urshifu leading to more stall weren't too familiar with how Urshifu can actually be a great asset to stall."
 
I want to quickly talk about the semi-stall team I used to get reqs for the Urshifu suspect and how it could be adapted now that Urshifu has been banned:


I didn't build this team (ABR did), so I don't want to post the full import, but the team itself is pretty straightforward. I went 32-2 with it to get voting reqs, and I found it to be extremely reliable. This team included Urshifu, partially as a check to opposing Urshifu when coupled with Rocky Helmet Pex as a pivot, but also as an easy way to punch holes in the opposing team, especially after you've weakened some key Pokemon down a little. I feel like the defensive backbone of Blissey, Corviknight, Galarian Slowking, and Pex is sturdy and dependable enough to stand up to most offensive threats, and Ditto is insurance against anything that may set-up and break through, but I was trying to come up with an option to quickly plug in and replace Urshifu. I started to think more about Cinderace, and I feel like the following Cinderace set could work very nicely as the sole breaker on semi-stall teams:


Cinderace @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Libero
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant / Jolly Nature
- Pyro Ball
- High Jump Kick / Low Kick
- Gunk Shot
- Sucker Punch

Although Cinderace's damage output may not always seem to be as overtly oppressive as Urshifu's was, I feel like in a lot of ways Cinderace is a more threatening breaker. I've personally thought for a while that Cinderace was more difficult to switch into and overall better than Urshifu, but that's just my opinion. However, it's indisputable that Cinderace is much more versatile than Urshifu, and I think that running Cinderace on a semi-stall team in particular helps capitalize on its offensive potential, for a couple of reasons. First, I think that Cinderace can afford to be Adamant over Jolly more on semi-stall teams because you have defensive answers, like Corviknight and Pex, to things like Kartana that out-speed Adamant Cinderace. Even if something like an SD Kart does punch a hole in your team, Ditto will become extremely threatening back. The damage boost from Cinderace being Adamant is substantial, as it does things like makes it likely that Pyro Ball 2HKOs Zapdos (Jolly Pyro Ball only has a 1.2% chance to 2HKO 220 Def Timid Zapdos, but when Adamant, that rises all the way to 74.2%). It would be fine to remain Jolly as well for added protection against some faster threats, but Jolly Urshifu only reached 322 Speed anyway (15 points slower than Adamant Cinderace), and I didn't really come across anything that either Urshifu or Ditto couldn't revenge kill/force out. The second thing that Cinderace appreciates about being on a semi-stall team is that I feel like having a plethora of sturdy defensive options to switch to makes it easier to forgo U-turn. I think that Pyro Ball, HJK/Low Kick, Gunk Shot, and Sucker Punch gives Cinderace the best coverage (and Sucker Punch offers very valuable utility), but Cinderace usually wants U-turn for momentum and positioning as well. Stall/semi-stall teams usually aren't as worried about maintaining momentum and have good enough defensive answers to just switch out if they're in a bad spot. Obviously even stall teams don't like being forced to switch out, but I'm saying that they usually are better equipped to do so than other, more offensively-oriented teams. Now Cinderace can't universally break through as many Pokemon as Urshifu could with Wicked Blow, and this could be annoying and force you to play more drawn-out games, but things that are able to repeatedly come in on any of those 4 attacks from Cinderace (like Slowbro, Toxapex, or Hippowdon) aren't really able to do much back to the rest of the stall side of your team. The team I used also ran Future Sight on Galarian Slowking, and while it isn't as useful as Slowbro or Slowking to set up breakers with a Future Sight, since Galarian Slowking can't learn Teleport, it can make it more difficult for things like Pex or Hippo to check Cinderace at times. Finally, having defensive Pokemon that can still capture momentum, like Blissey with Teleport and Corviknight with a very slow U-turn (I talked about this before in this post, but ABR used minimum Speed on Corviknight, which was useful for a few reasons), really helps Cinderace get on the field and fire off big attacks.

I don't really feel like playing anymore now, and I'm planning on finally taking that long break that I've always been telling myself I would, so I haven't tested the team with Cinderace subbed in for Urshifu, but I think that it should be fine. I don't feel like the removal of Urshifu will change too much, at least for a semi-stall team like this - the defensive backbone should still be very solid (Bulk Up/4 attacks LO Urshifu actually was a fairly big threat if they had their own Urshifu answer to handle my Ditto after a sac), but it was nice to be able to go Rocky Helmet Pex to scout/chip opposing Urshifu and then go pretty freely to my own Urshifu on Wicked Blow as a way to abuse CB Urshifu. Cinderace is still going to be extremely threatening and should be able to fill a similar breaker role that Urshifu did, although having to actually worry about hitting attacks like Pyro Ball, HJK, and Gunk Shot can be annoying when before you could just click Wicked Blow/CC or Poison Jab if you suspected a Fairy switch. With that being said, I don't really like posts that are mainly untested theory, so I apologize for that, but at the very least, I got to talk a little about considering Cinderace on semi-stall teams. Have a good night/day everyone!
Other than Sucker Punch on Cinderace, how would the team approach the matchup vs Spectrier?
 

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Thrown in a fire?
Other than Sucker Punch on Cinderace, how would the team approach the matchup vs Spectrier?
Blissey walls Specs/Scarf Spectrier, however it can't touch it back unless Blissey is running Shadow Ball (and the Spectrier isn't CM), but I think that Shadow Ball on Blissey is pretty bad and not worth it at all. Sub versions can be annoying but I think that Blissey may still be able to PP stall them out if their only attacking move is Shadow Ball, although I fortunately never had to play that situation out to see. If it does Sub, all you need to do is be able to break the sub when you sac to it, which Cinderace can do with Sucker Punch or even AV Galarian Slowking can accomplish this, despite being weak to Ghost attacks, because it's so bulky on the special side. If you do break the Sub and sac to it, your Ditto could be able to reverse sweep their team, unless they have their own answer to Spectrier, and it needs to usually be pretty healthy if it's only a resist, not an immunity, to Ghost attacks, since your Scarf Ditto is coming in with at least one boost thanks to Grim Neigh. I actually ended up winning a few games during my suspect laddering on the spot with Ditto becoming their Spectrier and reverse sweeping. However, Spectrier is dumb and Sub + Disable variants could potentially 6-0 the team, although Disable wasn't even one of the 9 most commonly used moves on Spectrier at either 1695 or 1825 in the most recent stats. You also can freely pivot with Teleport from Blissey into your Galarian Slowking, Cinderace, or Ditto (if it didn't Sub), unless it has Taunt, but that also isn't one of the 9 most commonly used moves on Spectrier either.
 
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hot take maybe but I think Buzzwole will still have a niche in OU, not just because of its potential offensive use (thing hits hard, and has the coverage necessary), but because of the potential rise in usage of Kartana

Sure Kartana's speed tier means it's outsped by several very important threats that can OHKO it (Lati twins, Spectrier, Cinderace), but Scarf sets are still good cleaners especially with the pseudo-buff to Knock Off (in the form of no Megas/Z-crystals), and Rillaboom makes for a good Grass-Spam partner. And now Kartana can't bust through Buzzwole with a +2 Z-Giga Impact (or even Z-Steel), while Buzzwole only really loses to boosted LO Smart Strike (Kart has to hit Buzzwole on the switch in with a +2 Smart Strike, otherwise it loses thanks to Drain Punch).
 

Zneon

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Hi everyone, Urshifu got banned (finally) and I want to go over what I've been enjoying to use the most ever since it got banned.


Galarian Zapdos rocks right now, at least to me, with Urshifu-S banned its not completely outclassed as a Choice Band user so it's free to use that now, Defiant is a great ability especially on this Pokemon because its able to completely wall standard Landorus-T and given its pretty handy Speed tier and offensive typing for this meta, it can really do work. This mon hits stupidly hard, Thunderous Kick means that almost nothing wants to switch in, and combine that with U-turn and you got yourself a pretty annoying wallbreaker, its rocks weakness is a problem I feel and will hurt it from rising too high in terms of viability, but right now I love this thing.


BlissBro feels infinitely more consistent now since now you don't have to stack this with a Dark resist just to prevent a 50/50 of Urshifu just breaking a hole in this core with 1 correct prediction, now it doesn't have to worry about that and that's amazing. It is a very straightforward core but it has the ability to outplay so many otherwise unfavourable positions because Slowbro and Blissey are so good at regaining momentum, not to mention how with Urshifu gone Slowbro has more opportunities to Future Sight without being in an unfavourable position of either dying or sacking a Pokemon to Urshifu.


Urshifu-RS is obviously better with Urshifu-S being gone. No longer having to be brushed off from teams due to its other form outclassing it entirely is helpful for it, since I feel Urshifu-RS without Urshifu-S is a pretty good Pokemon even outside of rain, with good support such as Spikes and Future Sight from Slowbro and Slowking, Urshifu-RS is a pretty deadly wallbreaker all things considered. It does have much bigger flaws that Urshifu-S, like how Water offensively can be stuffed out by stuff like Slowbro, Tapu Fini and Ferrothorn which makes Urshifu-RS a wallbreaker more keen on prediction than its other form ever was. Nonetheless its a pretty good Pokemon that has gotten much better with its ban.


Aegislash is really really fun to use to me! Against Urshifu, it was basically a death sentence for Aegislash unless it CC'd it on the switch which wasn't even guaranteed to kill, now its pretty fun to use! Substitute + 3 attacks is the set that I've been using the most since yesterday, Shadow Ball + CC is unresisted, and that combo also allows it to beat BlissBro very well too; Shadow Ball is pretty hard to switch into especially with Spell Tag intact, aka the item that I've been using the most on Aegislash because of the consistent damage output of Shadow Ball afterwards. Anyway, anything that resists or is immune to Shadow Ball is just bopped by CC. Blissey, Tyranitar and Heatran are the Pokemon that I'm talking about here. Really nice breaker and a pretty fun one as well, and something that I will use vastly more often.

Hoped you all liked this, thanks for reading! :blobthumbsup:
 


With Urshifu-S being banned, 2 types I can see rising are Normal and Dark. Being weak to Fighting, both Dark and Normal obviously benefit for one of the best Fighting wallbreakers in the tier. Likewise Rock, Steel, Ice Psychic, and Ghosts types benefit for the same reasons.


Other Pokemon benefitting Urshifu-S being gone is the direct competition as Dark or Fighting wallbreakers. Although, not as much for Urshifu-R (which is still walled by a lot of Pokemon and just dies to Tank Chomp) and Gapdos (which resisted Urshifu’s STABs so it could effectively check it).

Protect no longer has an ever present wallbreaker that can simply bypass it, so it’s much more viable.

Spectrier definitely lost here. Having such a desert movepool that struggles against Dark types and often can’t do anything against Normal types (at most, Burn them or use Mud Shot of all things), it hurts having lost your physical Fighting type buddy.

Defensive Buzzwole can go into the trash now that it’s main purpose is gone. Maybe offensive Buzzwole sets will pop-up in the Meta with Buzzwole’s improved movepool?

I have mentioned it in my post before, but Obstagoon is probably the biggest winner with Urshifu-S gone.
Urshifu itself completely dumped all over Obstagoon face to face and was “had similar power, bulk, and speed, but was edged out in every way” outclassed.
252+ Atk Guts Obstagoon Facade (140 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Rillaboom: 318-375 (93.2 - 109.9%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu Wicked Blow vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Rillaboom on a critical hit: 321-378 (94.1 - 110.8%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Life Orb Rillaboom Grassy Glide vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Urshifu in Grassy Terrain: 207-243 (60.7 - 71.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
252+ Atk Life Orb Rillaboom Grassy Glide vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Obstagoon in Grassy Terrain: 207-243 (63.3 - 74.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery and burn damage
0 SpA Heatran Magma Storm vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Obstagoon: 160-189 (48.9 - 57.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after burn damage and trapping damage
0 SpA Heatran Magma Storm vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Urshifu: 204-241 (59.8 - 70.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after trapping damage
Urshifu just edges out Obstagoon in nearly every category, besides Special Bulk and Status absorbing.
Obstagoon, likewise, is absolutely the best counter to Spectrier. Having Guts to benefit from Will-o-wisp, is immune to its only decently powerful moves, and threatens a good portion of the Metagame with its Guts Facade. Any Ghost, Rock, or Steel wanting to switch in will have to be careful about a Knock Off, Close Combat, or even Switcheroo.
It also does well against Toxapex, benefits from Static and Flame Body, and enjoys Wishpass Clefable.
 
:ss/bisharp: :ss/crawdaunt: :ss/obstagoon: :ss/conkeldurr: :ss/zapdos-galar::ss/Terrakion:

Cuddly beat me to the punch here in some parts of his post. I fully agree that other physical Dark and Fighting type wall-breakers will rise to fill the void left by the Wicked Blow bear. I do think that Obstagoon is likely to be the biggest winner, it is a crazy good pick into Spectrier in particular.

However, I wouldn't be surprised if Bisharp begins to see even more usage than the Goon. Being able to hit Mage / Clef is likely to be one of the key selection criteria for any offensive mon in the near future. Bisharp Iron Heads are nothing to sneeze at in this regard. Access to Sucker Punch is also crucial for hitting the stupid horse. I have tested it a bit, and it has done well so far. Struggles a bit into some of the common ground types running around at the moment. Also doesn't do anything against Melmetal, which isn't great.

I personally am going to go back to spamming Crawdaunt again. Teams just aren't as prepared for this thing as they used to be. I am going to be pairing it with your pick of any of the strong fighting types we have available. My boldest take is that Conkeldurr will have a surprising rise, as people prep less for strong Fighting + Dark coverage. Not the biggest fan of Zapdos-G (I like it's Kanto cousin too much), but I can see it also rising a bit. Terrakion is a different story, I think it's a beast and will do well against meta answers for fighting types.
 
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Gomi

cinderace rights
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just some first impressions
:magearna: largely unaffected but its worth noting one of scarf's major selling points as a way to condense a balance disruptor, steel, and BU urshifu hard check is dampened somewhat.

:obstagoon: I've loved this mon since pre-home but frankly Urshifu was far from the only pokemon holding this thing back. It's a shit spect check because, between SR and Burn, it takes too much chip coming in to scare it out over the course of a long game (which spect is really good at playing for) and Toxapex religiously running helmet limits its longevity and ability to break severely. Switcheroo can amend this to a degree, but it's genuinely quite difficult to get an item that actually benefits you longevity wise from switcheroo and not just like a Helm or, at best, some boots. Its just ok really, definitely gonna be overhyped for a while.

:terrakion: :kyurem: :crawdaunt: and other misc breakers
they were already pretty solid, really all urshifu did is make them more justifable honestly. Some of them got checked by Urshifu in some manner but most of the time they were simply RK'd or took it out with decent chip regardless.

:spectrier: still broken nothing to see here, Urshi was a pretty bad check and couldn't come in directly at all because of specs doing half and cm packing Wisp, basically relegating it to being a revenge killer. As an offensive partner, Spect has adapted to force most darks and normals to overtech for it anyways, which other pokemon can abuse easily still. your Sball Bliss/Rest Crunch Ttar/Knock no U-turn Buzz sure is great until you realize what you had to drop to use it and cry as Spect's partners abuse your lack of (insert incredible vital or generally useful thing) like no tommorow.

:slowbro: is overrated and Urshi going is going to expose that massively. its not a super great wall and mostly relies on its offensive pressure to make up for that, with Urshi being the most braindead partner for that. Ace is still really good but struggles more with picking its moveslots and gets heavily annoyed by other Slowbros and aggressive predicts on your TPs. btw run helmet boots kinda meh tbh
 
Despite being a great check to Urshifu, Clefable definitely got buffed. With only 1 user of Unseen Fist left, being the vastily inferior Urshifu-R, Clefable’s Wishpass is much better.
But more importantly, the best Wishpasser being more viable means more than just Clefable will rise in viability, and generally bulkier teams.
I would like to also add to the Obstagoon discussion that this makes an execellent partner. Wish and Teleport can heal off that residual damage Obstagoon takes while bring it in safely. It’s fairy typing also helps against Fighting types as Obstagoon can reliably fall back on Clefable while Clefable can scare off most fighting types.

One issue I have with Obstagoon is it’s middling speed and reliance on a Normal STAB to do as much damage as Urshifu. Tons of common Pokemon will get the jump on it, especially since most Obstagoons will be running Adamant. It has excellent bulk, but nothing amazing, and lacks that many resistances. While Adamant Guts Boosted Facade being a Normal type move that hits a smig less than Jolly CB Wicked Blow, it is also the move you’ll be spamming the most, which can give easy switch-ins. Facade is also one of your only ways to KO a lot of Pokemon. Like Tapu Fini, which can be KOed early on with Facade, but does not take that much from KO or CC, which can be abused by switching into a Normal resist.
 
I've been playing some Ladder recently, and I have to say that I'm really liking Defensive Buzzwole rn. It's just so stupidly bulky and has both reliable recovery and isn't offensively worthless (reaching over 300 attack uninvested, and having really good coverage moves, although it suffers from 4mss pretty hard.) Buzzwole can stone wall almost every single physical attacker, and check most of the ones it can't, even when boosted.

Here's some calcs to show just how insane it is

252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu-Rapid-Strike Surging Strikes (3 hits) vs. 252 HP / 144+ Def Buzzwole on a critical hit: 174-207 (41.6 - 49.5%) -- approx. 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Dragonite Dual Wingbeat (2 hits) vs. 252 HP / 144+ Def Buzzwole: 336-408 (80.3 - 97.6%) -- approx. 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

+2 252 Atk Life Orb Garchomp Scale Shot (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 144+ Def Buzzwole: 330-395 (78.9 - 94.4%) -- approx. 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Buzzwole is perhaps the single tankiest physical mon out there, combining colossal HP with a massive defense with a typing that is surprisingly good for physical walling, as 3/4 types supereffective against it are primarily special. It does have an unfortunate weakness to flying, but it's bulk is so insane that the only physical flying types in OU who can OHKO it are Zapdos and an itemless Hawlucha acrobatics. At full health, Buzzwole can do some truly insane things, like being able to win the 1v1 vs Cinderace (Pyro ball does at max 63%, and Drain punch+lefties is enough to survive even two max roll pyro balls, and two drain punches have a good chance of killing, and if you have EQ it's guaranteed) It is one of the best Garchomp answers in the game, as a +2 5 hit scale shot maxes at 94% damage, and ice punch will always KO back, because of the defense drop. It counters band Urshifu if rocks aren't up, as a band surging Strikes does at max 49%. With max defense, it can switch in even with rocks up. Buzzwole can win against Dnite, tanking a Dual Wing Beat, and hits back hard with Ice Punch, probably killing if it's at all chipped. Buzzwole is never 2HKOed by a banded Barraskewda Liquidation in the rain thanks to both Lefties and Drain Punch, which will always 2HKO. It completely destroys Kartana, as even having it's lefties getting knocked off is *that* big of a deal because of drain punch, and not even a +2 life orb Smart Strike kills it.

I think I've proved my point as to how bulky this thing is.

However, Buzzwole loses to basically every single special attacker, which, to say the least, is pretty bad. It absolutely requires a a special wall, usually Blissy. However, these two cover each other's weaknesses pretty damn well, as Buzzwole can easily take the physical fighting moves that threaten it, and Blissy can take basically every single special attack in the game, so I find that they work well as a pair to serve as a defensive core that helps balance teams by condensing the defensive core to just two pokemon, allowing for more offense.

Buzzwole is also pretty damn weak to status, being crippled by both burn and toxic. (By Toxic more so, as it still functions even burned, just losing some matchups due to losing it's attacking prowess and the extra chip.)

Buzzwole's worst problem is that it invites in special attackers and kills the pace. But, depending on the mon, Buzzwole can generally hit it's switch-in pretty hard. Even uninvested, Buzzwole reaches a really solid 314 attack and has really good coverage, although can't get everything it wants at once. I find that a moveset of drain punch, ice punch, EQ, and Roost is the best. You can switch out EQ for Toxic, but I much prefer the coverage offered by EQ, as without it Magearna and toxipex get a free switch in.

Buzzwole, overall, is a really good physical wall/tank that is not something you can slap on every team but functions extremely well as a wall/tank that is able to beat basically every physical attacker but invites in special attackers and can slow the pace of your team, and requires a special wall to properly function as a defensive mon.

(I hope I didn't ramble too hard)

As a bonus, here's a replay of Buzwole winning me a game for free after a failed Magearna Sweep
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1261056463
 
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I've been playing some Ladder recently, and I have to say that I'm really liking Defensive Buzzwole rn. It's just so stupidly bulky and has both reliable recovery and isn't offensively worthless (reaching over 300 attack uninvested, and having really good coverage moves, although it suffers from 4mss pretty hard.) Buzzwole can stone wall almost every single physical attacker, and check most of the ones it can't, even when boosted.

Here's some calcs to show just how insane it is

252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu-Rapid-Strike Surging Strikes (3 hits) vs. 252 HP / 144+ Def Buzzwole on a critical hit: 174-207 (41.6 - 49.5%) -- approx. 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Dragonite Dual Wingbeat (2 hits) vs. 252 HP / 144+ Def Buzzwole: 336-408 (80.3 - 97.6%) -- approx. 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

+2 252 Atk Life Orb Garchomp Scale Shot (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 144+ Def Buzzwole: 330-395 (78.9 - 94.4%) -- approx. 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Buzzwole is perhaps the single tankiest physical mon out there, combining colossal HP with a massive defense with a typing that is surprisingly good for physical walling, as 3/4 types supereffective against it are primarily special. It does have an unfortunate weakness to flying, but it's bulk is so insane that the only physical flying types in OU who can OHKO it are Zapdos and an itemless Hawlucha acrobatics. At full health, Buzzwole can do some truly insane things, like being able to win the 1v1 vs Cinderace (Pyro ball does at max 63%, and Drain punch+lefties is enough to survive even two max roll pyro balls, and two drain punches have a good chance of killing, and if you have EQ it's guaranteed) It is one of the best Garchomp answers in the game, as a +2 5 hit scale shot maxes at 94% damage, and ice punch will always KO back, because of the defense drop. It counters band Urshifu if rocks aren't up, as a band surging Strikes does at max 49%. With max defense, it can switch in even with rocks up. Buzzwole can win against Dnite, tanking a Dual Wing Beat, and hits back hard with Ice Punch, probably killing if it's at all chipped. Buzzwole is never 2HKOed by a banded Barraskewda Liquidation in the rain thanks to both Lefties and Drain Punch, which will always 2HKO. It completely destroys Kartana, as even having it's lefties getting knocked off is *that* big of a deal because of drain punch, and not even a +2 life orb Smart Strike kills it.

I think I've proved my point as to how bulky this thing is.

However, Buzzwole loses to basically every single special attacker, which, to say the least, is pretty bad. It absolutely requires a a special wall, usually Blissy. However, these two cover each other's weaknesses pretty damn well, as Buzzwole can easily take the physical fighting moves that threaten it, and Blissy can take basically every single special attack in the game, so I find that they work well as a pair to serve as a defensive core that helps balance teams by condensing the defensive core to just two pokemon, allowing for more offense.

Buzzwole is also pretty damn weak to status, being crippled by both burn and toxic. (By Toxic more so, as it still functions even burned, just losing some matchups due to losing it's attacking prowess and the extra chip.)

Buzzwole's worst problem is that it invites in special attackers and kills the pace. But, depending on the mon, Buzzwole can generally hit it's switch-in pretty hard. Even uninvested, Buzzwole reaches a really solid 314 attack and has really good coverage, although can't get everything it wants at once. I find that a moveset of drain punch, ice punch, EQ, and Roost is the best. You can switch out EQ for Toxic, but I much prefer the coverage offered by EQ, as without it Magearna and toxipex get a free switch in.

Buzzwole, overall, is a really good physical wall/tank that is not something you can slap on every team but functions extremely well as a wall/tank that is able to beat basically every physical attacker but invites in special attackers and can slow the pace of your team, and requires a special wall to properly function as a defensive mon.

(I hope I didn't ramble too hard)

As a bonus, here's a replay of Buzwole winning me a game for free after a failed Magearna Sweep
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1261056463
Buzzwole also pairs really well with melmetal, as their typings compliment each other incredibly well defensively, and their combined fire power makes them very difficult to repeatedly switch into. Just add a special sponge and you have a very potent defensive core that doesn't sacrifice much in terms offense.
 
Buzzwole also pairs really well with melmetal, as their typings compliment each other incredibly well defensively, and their combined fire power makes them very difficult to repeatedly switch into. Just add a special sponge and you have a very potent defensive core that doesn't sacrifice much in terms offense.
Just watch out for Cinderace.
 
Buzzwole isn't even necessarily that afraid of Cinderace. I mean, yes pyro ball is a problem but Buzzwole can actually straight up kill Cinderace with drain punch and the ball only has eight pp
Drain punch won't kill even with max attack and life orb. Earthquake isn't guaranteed to kill without adamant, but drain punch into EQ is always a kill.

If it's a life orb set, then most of the time you can switch into the predicted high jump kick and then tank a pyro ball and EQ is a guaranteed kill after the life orb damage.

If we're talking about defensive cores then BlissWole is great. I talked about this in my post but they work so damn well together. Buzzwole dies to any special attacker, is status bait, and doesn't do well against other defensive pokemon. Blissy is stupidly specially bulky, a status sponge, and has seismic toss and toxic to deal with other walls. In return, Buzzwole helps cover Chansey's fighting and physical weakness, taunt weakness, and is a lot less passive. However, both lose to Zapdos Galar and Toxipex (Halwlucha to a lesser degree), so you need your team to cover those. I've found that Garchomp is a great partner, having fantastic power, good defensive utility, and covers the rest of their weaknesses.
 
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Drain punch won't kill even with max attack and life orb. Earthquake isn't guaranteed to kill without adamant, but drain punch into EQ is always a kill.
I never said it does but Buzzwole can continuously harass Cinderace with drain punch if it tries to come in and Cinderace has no reliable recovery, making those drain punch harassment stick. Buzzwole, depending on the ev spread, can even force Cinderace to burn at most two pyro ball pps and living to tell about it via roost with leftovers help
 
Buzzwole isn't even necessarily that afraid of Cinderace. I mean, yes pyro ball is a problem but Buzzwole can actually straight up kill Cinderace with drain punch and the ball only has eight pp
Wait you're right. Max Max Buzzwole (which is not the optimal spread) actually has a 32% chance to not be 2HKOed by Cinderace, but Drain Punch only has a 31.3% chance to KO. Switch it in on anything not named Pyro Ball and you're golden, especially if you're an EQ variant, which does around 80-90%.
That is true, but toxapex is still very easy to splash onto teams, and Cinderace can't touch pex without dropping valuable coverage for zen headbutt, which is not very optimal right now
And yea, I was thinking that myself, but other than Cinderace Toxapex doesn't do too much, honestly, at least for the structure they are proposing (Buzzwole - Melmetal - Toxapex). Pex really only covers Cinderace and some other less-used pokemon like Gapdos, Hawlucha, Dragonite, and Rain, but a bit shaky.

This seems like a time to plug a favorite core of mine for more defensive teams:

:ss/buzzwole: :ss/zapdos: :ss/slowbro:

I used this core pre-Zygarde ban and you dang well know I'm going to use it post-urshifu ban. Buzzwole is a terrible momentum dip, but these three pokemon in combination pretty much cover the entire physical metagame hard. As you probably noticed, this structure is built so that there are multiple counters to the most common physical attacking types, so that if one of the 3 is debilitated with status or unrecoverable chip, you should still be fine in most matchups. I remember using this core when that Screens HO with Kyu-B, Zygarde, and Urshifu was running around and laughing as my opponent would successfully double switch and correctly predict 5 times in a row and still making 0 progress. Buzzwole specifically is a good mon for stall, as a lot of rarer physical stallbreakers like Diggersby and Crawdaunt who don't hit it super-effectively are hard-pressed to make progress, even if the team is stall. A lot of teams I see rely on a core of Toxapex - Quagsire - Skarmory to wall the entire physical metagame when using a team like this one is so much more effective. Of course, Pex - Quag - Skarm have their upsides, such as entry hazards and unaware, but who needs those when you can just wall everything amirite

Good partners to this trio are Special Walls like Blissey and Earthquake Glowking (for Draining Kiss Magearna), Spikes setters like Ferrothorn, Heatran to trap and remove opposing nuisances with longevity, and Ground types like Spdef Hippowdon and Offensive lefties Garchomp.

https://pokepast.es/8b89d0f1cfb759cc
Nice stall team I made in 5 minutes. Usually a team like this would be hard pressed to make progress, but the unstoppability of Cinderace under Future sight, as well as surprise Heat Wave on Zapdos can often make at least a little progress. Heat Wave on Zapdos is needed as Spikes are annoying to this Squad and you don't want Ferrothorn or Skarmory setting them up for free. Calm Mind Clef is probably going to go on the uptick soon, and this team really relies on Cinderace to be teleported into Clefable and force it out/KO with Gunk Shot. Not the cleanest or most reliable, feel free to change Cinderace to Adamant if that's a problem for you. Dragapult with Wisp - Hex - Dragon Darts - U-turn are annoying but you should be able to manage by letting Hippo take the burn (don't waste too much Aromatherapy pp) and slowly whittle it down with Sandstorm and toxic. Also pray to god they don't have a Wishport Clefable, since that monster demolishes stall. Hippo improves our matchup against the common stall auto-losses in Substitute-using Special-attacking Ghost types such as Gengar and Blacephalon, who are unable to break through Hippowdon but only barely. Hippo can't take too many Specs/Life Orb-boosted Special Attacks from them, and Blissey gives them free Subs and setup turns, so you're gonna have to be pretty careful, maybe even switch Seismic Toss to Shadow Ball if you're seeing a lot of those. This isn't an RMT or anything special, just thought I'd add this as an example of the type of structures I am thinking of.

I also like these types of stall teams because it is very colorful. Most people associate stall with the pink-rosy color of Chansey, Blissey, Clefable and kinda ditto, as well as blue water types and steel birds. The vibrant shades of Red and Yellow make many people not realize they're playing stall right away, which is funny.

I'm kind of going on a tangent here, but if you look at the post at the top of the page, they state the biggest threats to their team using a standard stall/bulky balance core. I've copy-pasted it here:

1. dracozolt
2. strong psyshock users with good coverage, so latios and tapu lele
3. mamoswine
4. trapper heatran
5. taunt fini
6. 4 attacks nidoking with superpower
7. magearna before the set is scouted

These are some commonly used mons that have the coverage to break past common cores. Looking at the list, Specially Defensive Hippowdon takes care of 1, 4, 6, and 7, while Buzzwole takes care of 3 and Zapdos takes care of 5. Hippowdon is nice for a lot of things, apparently. Since I don't have an assault vest Slowking-Galar, Latios and Tapu Lele can be a pretty terrible sight to see, since our regenerator mon is also KOed by them. If you don't like this, use Slowking-Galar instead of Cinderace. I don't like how that makes us unable to force progress against many teams and also makes us even more weak to Spikes, but if that's your type of team then go for it.
 
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I have a question for the players, which suspect should take place first between Spectrier and Magearna, and does either of them bother you a lot in the teambuilding?
My opinion is , I find Spectrier more annoying because it forces specific mons and can often beat the checks in the long term because of the raw power, the burn , the passive recovery of the lefto, take 6hp on the check with sub and being able to put everything within range of hex kill + boost .
It is also difficult to rk this , very fast and his ability to bypass the sucker punch (cinderace for example) with the sub. So for me it should get a suspect quickly.
Do not hesitate to give your opinion if you are against what I say or if you support my opinion.
 
I have a question for the players, which suspect should take place first between Spectrier and Magearna, and does either of them bother you a lot in the teambuilding?
:spectrier:
I haven't been playing as many games recently bc I really hated the Urshifu meta, but I agree that I would highly prefer a Spectrier suspect test when we get around to the next round. It's been well explained what is broken about this mon, and there's already been so much experimentation done within the meta to come up with creative checks and counters yet between Specs and CM there isn't one (besides maybe the subpar Obstagoon) that counters it completely.
:magearna:
Magearna hasn't demonstrated itself to be broken yet in my eyes. It is a great mon, but I haven't seen as many Specs sets and most players prefer not to use Fighting moves like Aura Sphere and Focus Blast which I think is going to change in the future when Heatran, Ferrothorn, and Melmetal are some of the best general counterplay to Mag. Boosting sets are good but overrated, if they have Haze Pex or any of the three aforementioned mons, you're unlikely to make real progress unless you play ridiculously well. I would also prefer to test mons like Spectrier that add nothing positive to the tier before we tested things like Mag which has a healthy SpDef set that I think really benefits the meta.
:cinderace:
I am actually of the opinion that Cinderace is much more suspect-worthy than Magearna. While Magearna isn't checked by the same thing for all its sets, there is counterplay to each one that is naturally going to be on good teams, like Glowking for Specs plus bulky Steel for boosting. Cinderace has a bunch of shaky checks that just lose if it choses to run a specific set. Just one example, I saw a great bait set for Pex in some thread recently using Electro Ball. The only semi-reliable check to it is Hippo, but even then Bulk Up or Gunk Shot poisons can muscle past it and teammates like Rillaboom can easily take advantage of Hippo. I find Cinder to be much more overwhelming in building and in practice than Mag.
 
I've been playing some Ladder recently, and I have to say that I'm really liking Defensive Buzzwole rn. It's just so stupidly bulky and has both reliable recovery and isn't offensively worthless (reaching over 300 attack uninvested, and having really good coverage moves, although it suffers from 4mss pretty hard.) Buzzwole can stone wall almost every single physical attacker, and check most of the ones it can't, even when boosted.

Here's some calcs to show just how insane it is

252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu-Rapid-Strike Surging Strikes (3 hits) vs. 252 HP / 144+ Def Buzzwole on a critical hit: 174-207 (41.6 - 49.5%) -- approx. 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Dragonite Dual Wingbeat (2 hits) vs. 252 HP / 144+ Def Buzzwole: 336-408 (80.3 - 97.6%) -- approx. 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

+2 252 Atk Life Orb Garchomp Scale Shot (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 144+ Def Buzzwole: 330-395 (78.9 - 94.4%) -- approx. 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Buzzwole is perhaps the single tankiest physical mon out there, combining colossal HP with a massive defense with a typing that is surprisingly good for physical walling, as 3/4 types supereffective against it are primarily special. It does have an unfortunate weakness to flying, but it's bulk is so insane that the only physical flying types in OU who can OHKO it are Zapdos and an itemless Hawlucha acrobatics. At full health, Buzzwole can do some truly insane things, like being able to win the 1v1 vs Cinderace (Pyro ball does at max 63%, and Drain punch+lefties is enough to survive even two max roll pyro balls, and two drain punches have a good chance of killing, and if you have EQ it's guaranteed) It is one of the best Garchomp answers in the game, as a +2 5 hit scale shot maxes at 94% damage, and ice punch will always KO back, because of the defense drop. It counters band Urshifu if rocks aren't up, as a band surging Strikes does at max 49%. With max defense, it can switch in even with rocks up. Buzzwole can win against Dnite, tanking a Dual Wing Beat, and hits back hard with Ice Punch, probably killing if it's at all chipped. Buzzwole is never 2HKOed by a banded Barraskewda Liquidation in the rain thanks to both Lefties and Drain Punch, which will always 2HKO. It completely destroys Kartana, as even having it's lefties getting knocked off is *that* big of a deal because of drain punch, and not even a +2 life orb Smart Strike kills it.

I think I've proved my point as to how bulky this thing is.

However, Buzzwole loses to basically every single special attacker, which, to say the least, is pretty bad. It absolutely requires a a special wall, usually Blissy. However, these two cover each other's weaknesses pretty damn well, as Buzzwole can easily take the physical fighting moves that threaten it, and Blissy can take basically every single special attack in the game, so I find that they work well as a pair to serve as a defensive core that helps balance teams by condensing the defensive core to just two pokemon, allowing for more offense.

Buzzwole is also pretty damn weak to status, being crippled by both burn and toxic. (By Toxic more so, as it still functions even burned, just losing some matchups due to losing it's attacking prowess and the extra chip.)

Buzzwole's worst problem is that it invites in special attackers and kills the pace. But, depending on the mon, Buzzwole can generally hit it's switch-in pretty hard. Even uninvested, Buzzwole reaches a really solid 314 attack and has really good coverage, although can't get everything it wants at once. I find that a moveset of drain punch, ice punch, EQ, and Roost is the best. You can switch out EQ for Toxic, but I much prefer the coverage offered by EQ, as without it Magearna and toxipex get a free switch in.

Buzzwole, overall, is a really good physical wall/tank that is not something you can slap on ever team but functions extremely well as a wall/tank that is able to beat basically every physical attacker but invites in special attackers and can slow the pace of your team, and requires a special wall to properly function as a defensive mon.

(I hope I didn't ramble too hard)

As a bonus, here's a replay of Buzwole winning me a game for free after a failed Magearna Sweep
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1261056463
Agreed. Even after a bunch of physical attackers that Buzzwole can wall are removed (I think the list is Zygarde, Black Kyurem, physical Pheromosa, Blaze Kick-less physical Genesect, and Urshifu), Buzzwole is still great. However, I'm going to say that Buzzwole and Blissey as a defensive core is very weak to the move Psyshock, so strong Psyshock users like Latios and Tapu Lele are able to destroy them (you definately don't want to give Lele a free switch). And both Hawlucha and Keldeo (if anyone still runs it) destroys the core. I run this with Slowbro for this reason, as it patches up these weaknesses. Then I usually slap on a Tornadus-T as an offensive defogger. From there I just figure out the rest of my offensive core.
 

Goodbye & Thanks

Thrown in a fire?
I have a question for the players, which suspect should take place first between Spectrier and Magearna, and does either of them bother you a lot in the teambuilding?
My opinion is , I find Spectrier more annoying because it forces specific mons and can often beat the checks in the long term because of the raw power, the burn , the passive recovery of the lefto, take 6hp on the check with sub and being able to put everything within range of hex kill + boost .
It is also difficult to rk this , very fast and his ability to bypass the sucker punch (cinderace for example) with the sub. So for me it should get a suspect quickly.
Do not hesitate to give your opinion if you are against what I say or if you support my opinion.
Yeah, I agree. I personally think that Magearna is a little better and it can be more frustrating to play against (I really wish that it didn’t learn Shift Gear, because other sets like Specs or AV are still good, and possibly too strong for the tier, in regards to Specs, but they’re not as cheesy as the setup sets), however, Spectrier is more restrictive on team building, and as you said, can still bypass its checks. I find Spectrier more unhealthy and would like for it to be suspected next.
 
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