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

Since it has been brought to the table, i'd like to talk a bit about Dracozolt and a tweaked EV spread that I have researched, which I think can be useful.


Dracozolt @ Life Orb
Ability: Sand Rush
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 176 Atk / 148 SpA / 184 Spe
Naive Nature
- Bolt Beak
- Draco Meteor
- Fire Blast
- Earthquake​

So, what is the deal with this weird EV spread? Well, I realized two things: The first is that the speed tier of neutral nature Dracozolt outside of sand is 249, which falls short from 252+ Magearna (251), and also, things that are creeping Magearna like 144 EV Speed Moltres (252 speed) and 144 EV Speed Landorus-T (254); with this spread, Dracozolt gets 255 Speed, putting it ahead of them. The Moltres thing is hilarious because you should be able to defeat it, but if it is faster than Dracozolt, it can spam Roost to eliminate Flying-type, and Bolt Beak will only have 85 BP, and also, it can fish for Flame Body burns, so, it may be actually useful to outspeed it and destroy with full-power Bolt Beak. Also, being able to outspeed defensive Landorus-T is huge: this EV spread can, among other things, KO Rocky Helmet defensive Landorus-T with the combination of Fire Blast + Draco Meteor after one round of rocks, even with the lowest rolls in both moves, which is great for Excadrill as it removes one of its biggest roadblocks. After all, the speed issue is really important for me, because being able to outspeed and put a huge dent on threats like Landorus-T and especially Magearna, which is very threatening in general, is a great deal.

The second thing is that neutral nature 252 EV speed Dracozolt (498 in sand) can't outspeed +1 Speed Jolly Garchomp (499) even in sand, and that boosted Garchomp can be a huge threat for these teams because Excadrill can't revenge kill it reliably, even taking into account the -1 Defense from Scale Shot and a round of LO recoil. This spread of Dracozolt actually outspeeds +1 Garchomp and revenge kills it with Draco Meteor.
Naive nature is prefered to take better priority like Cinderace's Sucker Punch and Rillaboom's Grassy Glide.

What other things this spread does?

- It KOes 252 HP / 176+ SpD Ferrothorn with the combination of Bolt Beak on the switch + Fire Blast (this can be a scenario when they have multiple resists but their Electric-immunity is gone). It also OHKOes the 252 / 252+ Def Ferrothorn with Fire Blast.
- OHKOes 252 / 252+ Def Toxapex with Bolt Beak.
- 25% chance to OHKO non-HP invested Magearna after rocks with Bolt Beak.
- It retains the ability to OHKO full defensive Skarmory after rocks with Bolt Beak. Also it also OHKOes Corviknight Defog's set spread.
- It keeps intact the myriad of 2HKO this mon has against a lot of threats like Clefable, Rillaboom, Blissey, Melmetal among others.

This thing is nuts because it has great coverage, speed and enough power to 2HKO the entire tier outside of select mons like SpDef Swampert (which takes 34% from Draco Meteor, which is huge for a mon without reliable recovery) and SpDef Hippowdon, which can be easily dealt with common sand members like a bulky Grass-type, which also helps in rain matchup or breakers like Kartana, which benefits a lot from the speed and power of Dracozolt and Excadrill, as they improve team's matchup against offense, and Kartana in return improves the team matchup against balance and weakens common checks and counters like Zapdos.

I think Sand is in a pretty good spot right now; with the departure of Urshifu, Excadrill and Dracozolt don't have to worry about being weakened or picked off at high HP percentages with Sucker Punch. Also, usually sand setter is Tyranitar, which is a great Spectrier counter, and if you want to play it totally safe, you can run Crunch + Rest Tyranitar, which can check things like non Aura Sphere Latios and Heatran thanks to the longevity given by Rest. Finally, sand is usually well-equiped against Magearna and Cinderace because Excadrill can revenge kill both and the archetype can run defensive answers like Toxapex or Moltres without problems.

176 Atk Life Orb Dracozolt Bolt Beak (170 BP) vs. 252 HP / 80 Def Ferrothorn: 104-123 (29.5 - 34.9%)
148 SpA Life Orb Dracozolt Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 176+ SpD Ferrothorn: 281-333 (79.8 - 94.6%)
148 SpA Life Orb Dracozolt Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Ferrothorn: 359-426 (101.9 - 121%)

148 SpA Life Orb Dracozolt Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-Therian: 122-144 (31.9 - 37.6%)
148 SpA Life Orb Dracozolt Draco Meteor vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-Therian: 216-255 (56.5 - 66.7%) --> Min rolls KO with one round of rocks

176 Atk Life Orb Dracozolt Bolt Beak (170 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 251-296 (83.3 - 98.3%) -- 25% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

148 SpA Life Orb Dracozolt Draco Meteor vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Garchomp: 413-486 (115.6 - 136.1%)

176 Atk Life Orb Dracozolt Bolt Beak (170 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 304-359 (100 - 118%)

176 Atk Life Orb Dracozolt Bolt Beak (170 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Cinderace: 355-419 (117.9 - 139.2%)

148 SpA Life Orb Dracozolt Draco Meteor vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Swampert: 140-165 (34.6 - 40.8%) -- 98.2% chance to 3HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

Thanks for reading, have a nice day and happy battling ^^
A fellow Zolt fan I see! Yourset is pretty nice and while I still prefer my Ocelzolt set.

Ocelzolt (Dracozolt) @ Life Orb
Ability: Sand Rush
EVs: 108 Atk / 212 SpA / 188 Spe
Rash Nature
- Bolt Beak
- Earthquake
- Draco Meteor
- Fire Blast

I guess it entirely depends on what you value more. You value the speed tier against Chomp, Mag and Moltres. Meanwhile I value the Ohko on Lando after rocks, Ohko on Buzzwole, Tangrowth and Rillaboom (who in particular fucks sand teams) especially defensive Swampert.

I do agree though Sand is in a really nice place right now though I'm still playing around with configuring a team that's works as well as mine did in the Kyu-b/Zygarde meta.
 
Since it has been brought to the table, i'd like to talk a bit about Dracozolt and a tweaked EV spread that I have researched, which I think can be useful.


Dracozolt @ Life Orb
Ability: Sand Rush
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 176 Atk / 148 SpA / 184 Spe
Naive Nature
- Bolt Beak
- Draco Meteor
- Fire Blast
- Earthquake​

So, what is the deal with this weird EV spread? Well, I realized two things: The first is that the speed tier of neutral nature Dracozolt outside of sand is 249, which falls short from 252+ Magearna (251), and also, things that are creeping Magearna like 144 EV Speed Moltres (252 speed) and 144 EV Speed Landorus-T (254); with this spread, Dracozolt gets 255 Speed, putting it ahead of them. The Moltres thing is hilarious because you should be able to defeat it, but if it is faster than Dracozolt, it can spam Roost to eliminate Flying-type, and Bolt Beak will only have 85 BP, and also, it can fish for Flame Body burns, so, it may be actually useful to outspeed it and destroy with full-power Bolt Beak. Also, being able to outspeed defensive Landorus-T is huge: this EV spread can, among other things, KO Rocky Helmet defensive Landorus-T with the combination of Fire Blast + Draco Meteor after one round of rocks, even with the lowest rolls in both moves, which is great for Excadrill as it removes one of its biggest roadblocks. After all, the speed issue is really important for me, because being able to outspeed and put a huge dent on threats like Landorus-T and especially Magearna, which is very threatening in general, is a great deal.

The second thing is that neutral nature 252 EV speed Dracozolt (498 in sand) can't outspeed +1 Speed Jolly Garchomp (499) even in sand, and that boosted Garchomp can be a huge threat for these teams because Excadrill can't revenge kill it reliably, even taking into account the -1 Defense from Scale Shot and a round of LO recoil. This spread of Dracozolt actually outspeeds +1 Garchomp and revenge kills it with Draco Meteor.
Naive nature is prefered to take better priority like Cinderace's Sucker Punch and Rillaboom's Grassy Glide.

What other things this spread does?

- It KOes 252 HP / 176+ SpD Ferrothorn with the combination of Bolt Beak on the switch + Fire Blast (this can be a scenario when they have multiple resists but their Electric-immunity is gone). It also OHKOes the 252 / 252+ Def Ferrothorn with Fire Blast.
- OHKOes 252 / 252+ Def Toxapex with Bolt Beak.
- 25% chance to OHKO non-HP invested Magearna after rocks with Bolt Beak.
- It retains the ability to OHKO full defensive Skarmory after rocks with Bolt Beak. Also, it OHKOes Corviknight Defog's set spread.
- It keeps intact the myriad of 2HKO this mon has against a lot of threats like Clefable, Rillaboom, Blissey, Melmetal among others.

This thing is nuts because it has great coverage, speed and enough power to 2HKO the entire tier outside of select mons like SpDef Swampert (which takes 34% from Draco Meteor, which is huge for a mon without reliable recovery) and SpDef Hippowdon, which can be easily dealt with common sand members like a bulky Grass-type, which also helps in rain matchup or breakers like Kartana, which benefits a lot from the speed and power of Dracozolt and Excadrill, as they improve team's matchup against offense, and Kartana in return improves the team matchup against balance and weakens common checks and counters like Zapdos.

I think Sand is in a pretty good spot right now; with the departure of Urshifu, Excadrill and Dracozolt don't have to worry about being weakened or picked off at high HP percentages with Sucker Punch. Also, usually sand setter is Tyranitar, which is a great Spectrier counter, and if you want to play it totally safe, you can run Crunch + Rest Tyranitar, which can check things like non Aura Sphere Latios and Heatran thanks to the longevity given by Rest. Finally, sand is usually well-equiped against Magearna and Cinderace because Excadrill can revenge kill both and the archetype can run defensive answers like Toxapex or Moltres without problems.

176 Atk Life Orb Dracozolt Bolt Beak (170 BP) vs. 252 HP / 80 Def Ferrothorn: 104-123 (29.5 - 34.9%)
148 SpA Life Orb Dracozolt Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 176+ SpD Ferrothorn: 281-333 (79.8 - 94.6%)
148 SpA Life Orb Dracozolt Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Ferrothorn: 359-426 (101.9 - 121%)

148 SpA Life Orb Dracozolt Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-Therian: 122-144 (31.9 - 37.6%)
148 SpA Life Orb Dracozolt Draco Meteor vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-Therian: 216-255 (56.5 - 66.7%) --> Min rolls KO with one round of rocks

176 Atk Life Orb Dracozolt Bolt Beak (170 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 251-296 (83.3 - 98.3%) -- 25% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

148 SpA Life Orb Dracozolt Draco Meteor vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Garchomp: 413-486 (115.6 - 136.1%)

176 Atk Life Orb Dracozolt Bolt Beak (170 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 304-359 (100 - 118%)

176 Atk Life Orb Dracozolt Bolt Beak (170 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Cinderace: 355-419 (117.9 - 139.2%)

148 SpA Life Orb Dracozolt Draco Meteor vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Swampert: 140-165 (34.6 - 40.8%) -- 98.2% chance to 3HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

Thanks for reading, have a nice day and happy battling ^^
A fellow Zolt fan I see! Yourset is pretty nice and while I still prefer my Ocelzolt set.

Ocelzolt (Dracozolt) @ Life Orb
Ability: Sand Rush
EVs: 108 Atk / 212 SpA / 188 Spe
Rash Nature
- Bolt Beak
- Earthquake
- Draco Meteor
- Fire Blast

I guess it entirely depends on what you value more. You value the speed tier against Chomp, Mag and Moltres. Meanwhile I value the Ohko on Lando after rocks, Ohko on Buzzwole, Tangrowth and Rillaboom (who in particular fucks sand teams) especially defensive Swampert.

I do agree though Sand is in a really nice place right now though I'm still playing around with configuring a team that's works as well as mine did in the Kyu-b/Zygarde meta.
i really like the looks of dracozolt in sand and it would be fun to try it out sometime but i am new to this competitive pokemon and would like to know what all would fit on a sand team. Any suggestions help out a lot.
 
i really like the looks of dracozolt in sand and it would be fun to try it out sometime but i am new to this competitive pokemon and would like to know what all would fit on a sand team. Any suggestions help out a lot.
Well, the basics on sand is you need Tyranitar. This is non negotiable. You need Tyranitar not only to setup sand but to counter the damned horse in the tier. After that just add Excadrill. Really, those two Dracozolt sets are not that fast even in sand. Garchomp after scale shot threatens to outspeed them. Yes, the first set outspeeds but its damage is severely limited. After those three, you just need a bunch of water and fighting resists so you have options to play with. Also, if you're going for a balance team, make sure your last hitter is one that can deal with Hippowdown. That thing is a massive headache for sand teams
 
I’d like to give my thoughts on the recent Spectrier-Magearna debate. Based on my experience, I don’t believe Spectrier is ban worthy, due to its abysmal movepool and lack of versatility. As soon as you see Spectrier, you know it most likely only has ghost or dark coverage, which makes it possible to play around it. Obviously normal or dark types can hard wall specs sets, and so can any half-decent special wall, e.g Heatran, Spdef Pex, Gastro etc. Typically, however, Sub sets tend to be more threatening. The thing is that while, yes, it’s terrifying if you let it set up, most Pokémon that aren’t walls or clerics have some way of breaking the sub, like knock off or a decent STAB move. Any physical attacker that can break a sub whilst burnt and take a couple of hits can beat it. Special attackers like Hydreigon can also break through the sub and easily beat it provided it doesn’t have too many calm minds up. Spectrier is predictable. You know it’s either Scarf, Specs or Sub. You know it has will o wisp. You know it has either Hex or Shadow Ball. The only other attacking moves Spectrier ever uses are Dark Pulse and the rare Mud Shot, which is only useful against Heatran anyway. It isn’t like Cinderace that has coverage for almost anything. Maybe this is just me, but I‘ve honestly had more difficulties with SD Scale Shot Chomp than Spectrier. If you’re really struggling against Sub, Specs Dragapult with Infiltrator can come in as it sets up Sub and threaten the OHKO with Shadow Ball.

In regards to Magearna, I do think a suspect test will be necessary. Unlike Spectrier, Magearna can run half a dozen viable sets, the most common at the moment being Specs and Shift Gear CM. Specs can punch holes in anything that doesn’t resist and isn‘t Blissey with Fleur Cannon, and Volt Switch makes it easy for Magearna to provide momentum. On the other hand, Shift Gear CM puts massive constraints on teambuilding, as Taunt or Haze is now mandatory to stop Magearna from sweeping once screens are up. Any mon that prevents offensive counterplay and requires specific moves to beat definitely needs looking at. Even Pex with Haze can lose to Shift Gear CM Magearna if the Magearna player gets lucky with Stored Power damage ranges. It could be argued that Spectrier does the same in forcing every team to run a Normal or Dark type, but most teams would have probably have one even if it was banned, given Mandibuzz, Hydreigon, Blissey and T-tar are all viable mons in their own right.

In short; Ban Magearna. Don’t Ban Spectrier.
 

Goodbye & Thanks

Thrown in a fire?
I’d like to give my thoughts on the recent Spectrier-Magearna debate. Based on my experience, I don’t believe Spectrier is ban worthy, due to its abysmal movepool and lack of versatility. As soon as you see Spectrier, you know it most likely only has ghost or dark coverage, which makes it possible to play around it. Obviously normal or dark types can hard wall specs sets, and so can any half-decent special wall, e.g Heatran, Spdef Pex, Gastro etc. Typically, however, Sub sets tend to be more threatening. The thing is that while, yes, it’s terrifying if you let it set up, most Pokémon that aren’t walls or clerics have some way of breaking the sub, like knock off or a decent STAB move. Any physical attacker that can break a sub whilst burnt and take a couple of hits can beat it. Special attackers like Hydreigon can also break through the sub and easily beat it provided it doesn’t have too many calm minds up. Spectrier is predictable. You know it’s either Scarf, Specs or Sub. You know it has will o wisp. You know it has either Hex or Shadow Ball. The only other attacking moves Spectrier ever uses are Dark Pulse and the rare Mud Shot, which is only useful against Heatran anyway. It isn’t like Cinderace that has coverage for almost anything. Maybe this is just me, but I‘ve honestly had more difficulties with SD Scale Shot Chomp than Spectrier. If you’re really struggling against Sub, Specs Dragapult with Infiltrator can come in as it sets up Sub and threaten the OHKO with Shadow Ball.
I don't necessarily disagree with what you said about Spectrier not being too difficult to handle due to it being relatively predictable, but I don't think that that is the only thing that should be considered when deciding whether or not to suspect test something. I'm not an expert on the policy so I apologize if I'm a little off on any of this, but I feel like there are kind of two broad categories that suspects/bans can fall under. Some Pokemon are simply too strong for the tier and are often quick-banned like Genesect, Landorus-I, and Kyurem-B were. The other reason why I think that a Pokemon may be banworthy isn't because it's necessarily too strong for the metagame, but rather that it is deemed to be "unhealthy." People can obviously interpret differently what it means for something to be unhealthy, but one example is if something restricts teambuilding too much. I personally don't think that things like Dracovish or Urshifu were necessarily "broken" (again, I don't really like that term because its interpretation is pretty subjective) in that they could just blow through teams and didn't have consistent counterplay, like was the case for something such as Landorus-I, but rather because there were only a relatively small number of checks to Dracovish and Urshifu, so their presences in the tier more or less mandated a select group of Pokemon if you wanted to be truly "safe" against them (I know that's a bit of an oversimplification but I hope that the distinction I'm making between "overpowered" and "overly-centralizing" makes sense). So while I agree that Spectrier can be managed by certain Pokemon, it has so few "safe" checks that it warps teambuilding. To be prepared for Spectrier, you need either a Ghost immunity or a resist with good Special bulk. I feel like Shadow Ball having a 20% chance for a Special Defense drop makes it much harder to rely on some of the other Specially Defensive Pokemon you mentioned as your Spectrier answer, because without a Ghost immunity/resist, it's often just a Special Defense drop away from blowing through a supposed answer. The other problem with Spectrier though is that while its attacking movepool is fairly limited, it does have a good selection of non-attacking moves to choose from that can allow it to get around some of its checks. Sub variants usually carry Wisp to cripple Mandibuzz or Tyranitar (even if you can break the sub after being burned, you have to get your Pokemon burned and making it weaker throughout the rest of the game), but Spectrier can also run Taunt to mess with Blissey or even Disable to thwart Choice-locked Pokemon or other options that can really only touch it with one attack. Grim Neigh is an annoying ability on it because it punishes you for sacking against it and can make things like crits even more punishing, since if Spectrier gets past your check, it can often snowball through your team. Finally, the last thing about Spectrier that makes playing against it rough is that the switch-ins to it are telegraphed and the risk for staying in against it is usually too great. This can give the Spectrier user pretty easy double-switches to keep up momentum and wear down the opposing Spectrier checks through hazards and residual damage. Having your check to Spectrier getting chipped can end up costing you the game, since as I mentioned earlier, if it can get past its check, it can snowball.

So overall, I get what you're saying, and that's why I don't personally think that Spectrier is as good of a Pokemon as something like Magearna or maybe Cinderace. However, Spectrier does confine how you build and play against, in a way that I don't feel is too dissimilar to Dracovish (although I think it's clearly a better Pokemon than Dracovish was). I think that if Spectrier gets suspected, it would be more for it being "unhealthy" instead of it having no answers in the tier - although don't get me wrong, Spectrier is definitely one of the best Pokemon in the tier despite its "weaknesses."
 
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Hello everyone, I just wanted to go over something about Spectrier, this may be somewhat old news to some people who have been helping me with building etc. And I wanted to share a better optimization for EV spreads on various pokemon.


So the old spread used to look like this:
Spectrier @ Leftovers
Ability: Grim Neigh
EVs: 112 HP / 20 Def / 172 SpA / 20 SpD / 184 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute
- Hex
- Calm Mind
- Will-O-Wisp


The newer spread I wanted to share with looks like this:
Spectrier @ Leftovers
Ability: Grim Neigh
EVs: 96 HP / 20 Def / 184 SpA / 24 SpD / 184 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute
- Hex
- Calm Mind
- Will-O-Wisp


Calcs for the new vs old:
Old:
0- Atk burned Mandibuzz Foul Play vs. 112 HP / 20 Def Spectrier: 76-91 (20.5 - 24.6%) -- possible 6HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 SpA Clefable Moonblast vs. +1 112 HP / 20 SpD Spectrier: 76-91 (20.5 - 24.6%) -- possible 6HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 SpA Blissey Shadow Ball vs. +1 112 HP / 20 SpD Spectrier: 72-86 (19.5 - 23.3%) -- possible 6HKO after Leftovers recovery

New:
0- Atk burned Mandibuzz Foul Play vs. 96 HP / 20 Def Spectrier: 76-91 (20.8 - 24.9%) -- possible 5HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 SpA Clefable Moonblast vs. +1 96 HP / 24 SpD Spectrier: 76-91 (20.8 - 24.9%) -- possible 5HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 SpA Blissey Shadow Ball vs. +1 96 HP / 24 SpD Spectrier: 72-86 (19.7 - 23.5%) -- possible 6HKO after Leftovers recovery


Basically the new change allowed the addition for 12 more EVs which allows us to invest it into SpA.
This may not be the biggest of changes but we know how games all revolve around rolls and sometimes you wish you had that extra bit of offensive power to slightly increase your chances of grabbing a KO, such as a 75% chance to KO x Pokemon turning into 81% or 86%, depending on the situation.

Enjoy.
 
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Magearna, in my opinion, should be first on the suspect list than Spectrier.
Now without simply saying “Just use Normal or Dark types lol”, here are a few reasons why I say this.
1. It’s survivability for what it can do
It’s no secret that Steel/Fairy is one of the best typings in the game. Asude from packing tons of resistances, Magearna is also Immune to Sand, Immune to Toxic, and resists Stealth Rock naturally. It also has titanic bulk for an incredibly deadly Pokemon.
By comparison, Spectrier’s defensive untility is having 2 immunities, and “Best defense is a goos offense”. It’s affected by Sand, Rocks, Spikes, T-spikes, burns, toxic, and is pretty frail.
This reasoning is a similar reason to why I say dropping Zamazenta-C is a bad idea, but just in trade a chunk of natural bulk and speed for better offensive power and choosing what item you want. Speaking of which;
2. Lacking linearity
While Spectrier is no one-trick pony (Being a 6’ horse and learning neither Trick or Trickroom), Magearna is a lot more diverse and often unassuming.
Almost all Spectrier sets are spam Shadow Ball/Hex with the rest of the set being for different situations, like Burning a physical attacker, outspeeding scarfers, reseting stats, ect. You can say these sets “branch” from Ghost spam, decided on what your team needs.
Magearna, however, has sets that have their own complex “branches” that can make it hard to predict, leading to either you losing a Pokemon or you losing outright.
As an example, let’s say that your opponent has an HO team w/Magearna. While this mean you can reduce the potential set to Shift Gear Magearna, you haven’t reduced it down to what Magearna is using with Shift Gear. Ice Beam? Thunderbolr? Calm Mind? Stored Power? Draining Kiss? Aura Sphere? Focus Blast? Shuca Berry? Weakness Policy? Life Orb? Maybe your opponent is using Iron Head for a surprise against Blissey?
That’s also just against one of its more assuming scenarios. Now imagine you have no idea what set it is running from team preview and that Magearna KO’d your Pokemon with Fleur Cannon. Your Pokemon was at low enough health for that Fleur Cannon to KO it without Specs, so you can’t be sure it is running Specs, and not other sets like Assault Vest or Choice Scarf, sometimes even Trickroom. Similarly, if it jusy uses Ice Beam, you can’t tell from the dozens of potential sets Magearna is running.
Sure, you can say similar things about Spectrier when it uses Shadow Ball or Wow. However, Magearna is significantly more punishing with its options when ever you get them wrong. Your Heatran is as good as dead if Focus Blast is on that Magearna set. This also leads me to;
3. “Touch of Death”
In fighting games, a Touch of Death refers to when a character can just outright win a match with one move as a combo starter, depending on the opponent, spacing, positioning, and other factors. Here, most people would say it’s a win condition, but for Magearna, a Touch of Death is more of an approriate title. Fittingly, Spectrier would also fit this category (other than for being a ghost type), which its ability in Grim Neigh and its speed, the previous points of Magearna having better survivability, having less predictability, and being more punishing, Magearna definitely takes the cake (for its set up sweeper sets).
When ever Magearna gets rolling, there is almost nothing that can stop it.
It resists some of the strongest Priority STABs in Sucker Punch and Grassy Glide. It can reach speeds faster than Modest Regieleki. What ever wouldbe defensive stop for Magearna, such as Heatran, they are dead meat with the right coverage or if you already are weak. With screens up, you would be benefitting WP Magearna more with that Magma Storm leaving 2/3rds of Magearna’s HP. If you run weather, you best hope that it’s still up when Magearna get a kill, since otherwise you gonna need to sack something else to get your weather back up and have your Barraskewda/Excadrill revenge kill that Magearna. Even then, your opponent could just Shift Gear again.
Now for many teams, the same thing applies for Spectrier, but your opponent’s Spectrier can be stopped by easier means than Magearna. Even when Spectrier does get the ball rolling, it can be stopped more often than Magearna.
This all without mentioning how Spectrier offensively can be invalidated by a single type, relying on Burns to do literally do any damage.
 
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This literal speaker is an unexpected counter (you read that right) to our somewhat rampant spectral horse. First, Exploud a normal type, meaning unless Death's steed shoots mud, it cannot really faze this slackjaw wonder. Second, it has scrappy, meaning its STAB Boomburst can actually damage Spectrier, despite it being a ghost. Third, as a special attacker, it gives no shits about being burned besides residual.

To show y'all just how strong it is, we screamed this horse apart!
252 SpA Choice Specs Exploud Boomburst vs. 96 HP / 24 SpD Spectrier: 313-370 (85.7 - 101.3%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO. You cannot repeatedly sub this fool, and it'd be unwise to switch in.
Hex does null, and at maximum reasonable damage, Spectrier still is beaten out damage wise.
252 SpA Choice Specs Spectrier Mud Shot vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Exploud: 126-149 (36.1 - 42.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

I hear you ask: can it hit other things too?
And to that I say yes!
252 SpA Choice Specs Exploud Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 216+ SpD Tyranitar in Sand: 304-360 (75.2 - 89.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 Atk Tyranitar Crunch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Exploud: 162-192 (46.4 - 55%) -- 98.8% chance to 2HKO after sandstorm damage
252 SpA Choice Specs Exploud Overheat vs. 252 HP / 88 SpD Corviknight: 344-406 (86 - 101.5%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO
0 Atk Corviknight Brave Bird vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Exploud: 168-198 (48.1 - 56.7%) -- 88.3% chance to 2HKO, with minimum 13% recoil. 1v1 Exploud wins.
252 SpA Choice Specs Exploud Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 128+ SpD Heatran: 236-278 (61.1 - 72%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 SpA Heatran Magma Storm vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Exploud: 174-205 (49.8 - 58.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after trapping damage. Exploud outspeeds and wins these.
252 SpA Choice Specs Exploud Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Fini: 214-253 (62.2 - 73.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 SpA Tapu Fini Scald vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Exploud: 106-126 (30.3 - 36.1%) -- 44.4% chance to 3HKO

While I advise against using Exploud rampantly and brashly, it does have a place as a SpA Scrappy blaster. Catch your opponents off guard, nail the switch predicts, and I'm relatively sure this beast can beat your competition.
Plus, we're really entering a period of strong ghost type(s), so being prepared is better than sitting around and being caught unaware when the world hits ya.
 
Since some guys liked the newly improved Spectrier set (thank you), I decided to also share my Landorus-Therian spread, specifically for defensive.

Landorus-Therian: Optimized.
Set + EV Spread:
Landorus-Therian @ Leftovers / Rocky Helmet / Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 208 HP / 144 Def / 12 SpD / 144 Spe
Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- U-turn / Swords Dance
- Toxic / Stone Edge / Knock Off


People have been using defensive Lando-T a lot lately but some guys really have no clue what the EVs are even for apart for like the speed benchmark, well I've got this new EV spread for you guys to enjoy.

The Landorus-T here allows the user first to outspeed Modest Heatran, along with other Pokemon such as some defensive Moltres which tries to outspeed Timid Magearna to mention.
The HP and SpD is precise to tank a specs Draco Meteor Dragapult which has been seeing some usage in current play. While the HP and Def allows Landorus-T to tank a +1 Life Orb boosted Leaf Blade from Kartana.
The EVs allows you to avoid the 2HKO from a neutral Pyro Ball from Cinderace (no intimidate) and with the intimidate, Pyro Ball becomes a 4HKO (without rocks).

Calcs:
252 SpA Choice Specs Dragapult Draco Meteor vs. 208 HP / 12 SpD Landorus-Therian: 313-370 (84.3 - 99.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 SpA Life Orb Clefable Moonblast vs. 208 HP / 12 SpD Landorus-Therian: 152-179 (40.9 - 48.2%) -- 8.2% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Hydreigon Dark Pulse vs. 208 HP / 12 SpD Landorus-Therian: 151-178 (40.7 - 47.9%) -- 5.1% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
+1 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 208 HP / 144+ Def Landorus-Therian: 313-370 (84.3 - 99.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252 Atk Landorus-Therian Stone Edge vs. 208 HP / 144+ Def Landorus-Therian: 151-178 (40.7 - 47.9%) -- 5.9% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
+1 252 Atk Excadrill Iron Head vs. 208 HP / 144+ Def Landorus-Therian: 172-204 (46.3 - 54.9%) -- 10.5% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252 Atk Life Orb Garchomp Scale Shot (4 hits) vs. 208 HP / 144+ Def Landorus-Therian: 272-328 (73.3 - 88.4%) -- approx. 6.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. 208 HP / 144+ Def Landorus-Therian: 154-183 (41.5 - 49.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
-1 252 Atk Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. 208 HP / 144+ Def Landorus-Therian: 103-123 (27.7 - 33.1%) -- 83.8% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
-1 252+ Atk Iron Fist Melmetal Double Iron Bash (2 hits) vs. 208 HP / 144+ Def Landorus-Therian: 158-188 (42.5 - 50.6%) -- approx. 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
-1 252+ Atk Choice Band Rillaboom Grassy Glide vs. 208 HP / 144+ Def Landorus-Therian in Grassy Terrain: 135-160 (36.3 - 43.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
+1 252 SpA Life Orb Magearna Stored Power (100 BP) vs. 208 HP / 12 SpD Landorus-Therian: 252-298 (67.9 - 80.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery (Shift Gear + Calm Mind + Intimidate drop)
 
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Well, the basics on sand is you need Tyranitar. This is non negotiable. You need Tyranitar not only to setup sand but to counter the damned horse in the tier. After that just add Excadrill. Really, those two Dracozolt sets are not that fast even in sand. Garchomp after scale shot threatens to outspeed them. Yes, the first set outspeeds but its damage is severely limited. After those three, you just need a bunch of water and fighting resists so you have options to play with. Also, if you're going for a balance team, make sure your last hitter is one that can deal with Hippowdown. That thing is a massive headache for sand teams
Funny you say that because I honestly believe Hippowdown is the much better Sand. Better bulk, reliable recovery and a resistance to SR. It makes it a much better sand setter throughout the emote game and in the long run especially against Sand, Rain and Stall teams.

That being said, I also prefer running 2 sand setter instead of one, that may just be me though.
Though
 
Funny you say that because I honestly believe Hippowdown is the much better Sand. Better bulk, reliable recovery and a resistance to SR. It makes it a much better sand setter throughout the emote game and in the long run especially against Sand, Rain and Stall teams.

That being said, I also prefer running 2 sand setter instead of one, that may just be me though.
Though

Two sand setters is okay I guess but without Tyranitar, you are basically just begging to get trampled by Spectrier. You do outspeed it with Excadrill but if Spectrier got in a sub first then you're pretty much screwed. Personally, I don't even use Hippowdon on my sand team. It just adds more water weakness than I would like and Dracozolt is basically the sand version of Nidoking. The thing literally has next to no switch ins. Then again, I do run protect on my Tyranitar and that move gives it incredible resilience
 
In light of the Spectrier discussion, here are a couple of pokemons that are actually quite viable in OU that completely counter every single Spectrier set.

:xy/porygon2:
Porygon2 @ Eviolite
Ability: Trace
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunder Wave / Discharge / Ice Beam / Toxic
- Recover
- Foul Play
- Teleport

Porgyon2 will never lose to any Spectrier set. Foul play is used because it will always break sub, and if burned will break in 2 turns. Other moves like Discharge or Ice Beam might get PP stalled by the subCM set. Meanwhile Spectrier can't do anything back, and even Specs Dark Pulse or NP Dark Pulse is doing abysmal damage. Teleport is just insane with the right teammates. To be completely honest I thought I would not like this mon but it's so incredibly useful. It can be a blanket check to many things, including Magearna (only afraid of trick), Nidoking, or Dragpault. Finally Trace is quite useful as it lets Porgyon2 switch onto Heatran, sponge hits better from Lando-t, or even copy Regenerator.

:xy/obstagoon:
Obstagoon @ Flame Orb
Ability: Guts
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Facade
- Knock Off
- Parting Shot
- Switcheroo / Close Combat / Gunk Shot

Obstagoon is very underrated as it hits really hard, can't be statused, and has a good speed tier. Although it has few switchins, it has a strong momentum move in Parting Shot. It will also, obviously, never lose to Spectrier. Disable sets might be annoying but if you're really worried about that you can just run a random coverage move like Thunder Punch.

:xy/zarude:
Zarude @ Leftovers
Ability: Leaf Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 24 SpD / 232 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Bulk Up
- Power Whip
- Darkest Lariat
- Jungle Healing

Although Zarude needs a good amount of support, it's a solid wincon once the fast U-turn users such as Cinderace and scarf Lando-T die. If you really want a consistent switch in no matter what even to specs spectrier with rocks up, you can always invest in more SpD. Jungle healing doesn't heal much but it heals any status so that means sets that rely on Hex will not be doing much damage.

:xy/snorlax:
Snorlax @ Leftovers
Ability: Thick Fat
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Curse
- Body Slam
- Darkest Lariat / Earthquake
- Rest

Snorlax is actually quite underrated as a wincon, and although it only fits on certain archetypes, it finds many opportunities to shine. Worst case scenario, you can just use it as fodder to sponge really strong special hits from a Magearna, Kyurem, Nidoking, Volcarona, Tapu Koko, or Dragapult.

:xy/tyranitar:
Tyranitar @ Leftovers
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Rock Blast
- Crunch
- Ice Beam

Good old Tyranitar will literally never fall to Spectrier. Even when burned, Specs Hex or +1/+2 Hex will do abysmal damage. Crunch will always break sub, and Rock Blast can also be used if Spectrier is not wisp (NP + disable/Taunt). If you are worried about Tyranitar's longevity, pair him with Wish support, or even run Rest if you want to permanently win no matter vs. Spectrier.

tl;dr I'm not saying Spectrier is broken so here are a couple of whack pokemon to counter it. What I'm saying is that there exists quite an array of GOOD counters (good at countering spectrier) that are certainly viable in OU, more than a niche. At the end of the day, it just depends on how much you really hate Spectrier, and how far are you willing to go.
 
Two sand setters is okay I guess but without Tyranitar, you are basically just begging to get trampled by Spectrier. You do outspeed it with Excadrill but if Spectrier got in a sub first then you're pretty much screwed. Personally, I don't even use Hippowdon on my sand team. It just adds more water weakness than I would like and Dracozolt is basically the sand version of Nidoking. The thing literally has next to no switch ins. Then again, I do run protect on my Tyranitar and that move gives it incredible resilience
You say Zolt has no switch ins but thats wrong. SPD Hippo can wall Zolt all day long and also take on Exca as well. SpD swanpwr can also take hits all day if not Ocelzolt/max spa. Same with basically any Specially defensive ground type. Hell Rhyperior will fuck Zolt up anyday of the week
 

Perish Song

Rampage
is a Tutoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Battle Simulator Driver
Hello, I'd like to share my thoughts on this debate of which one deserves to be suspect tested next between Spectrier and Magearna. Allow me to bring a different perspective to this debate, as I believe neither of these Pokemon should be the next one on the chopping block. I believe Cinderace is more problematic than the two and I'll try to explain why Cinderace is more stupid than the two mons we've been discussing.

I believe Cinderace is quite difficult to pin down defensively, nearly every defensive Cinderace check will suffer from one of its moves. Standard answers such as Moltres, Hippowdon, and Mandibuzz dont appreciate a random poisoning by Gunk Shot, Slowbro loses its entire momentum against U-turn. Moreover, while uncommon, Hippowdon and Mandibuzz loses to Bulk Up + Taunt sets we have seen in DLC1 era, which might see usage due to both these Pokemon gaining popularity, especially when paired together. Nearly everything else suffers from its coverage or being able to U-turn freely without drawbacks. Realistically you only have Toxapex with Rocky Helmet / Baneful as a definite answer that can just switch into any attack and force Cinderace out without it U-turning, but constant double switches (No U-turn on Pex to avoid Helmet recoil) can be annoying for Toxapex as well. It is a very dumb Pokemon to constantly generate pressure and momentum very easily and is super easy to pair with stuff like Future Sight Slowbro + Specs Magearna, which can break thru every listed check of Cinderace above. The aforementioned core works best vs offensive teams, as pivoting between cindermag + Future Sight Slowbro can just thred them as there probably wont be enough defensive counterplay for this combination. Overall its a Pokemon with ridiculous offensive stats, good coverage, excellent ability and very good partners to just restrict the gameplay heavily, and its most reliable answer is Rocky Helmet. I'd like to hear your opinions as well.
 
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i support for sus Magearna first.
Though each type of mage could be dealt with, it costs a lot to test its type.Mage's excellent race and range of skills make it stand out in today's OU. And this pm should be banned itself compared to only ban the one with specs.
Spectrier is much more noticeable after Wicked Blow had gone, and is a good one to stifle the Psychic (which is rising and waiting the leaving of spectrier).Almost every OUplayer has to add a Ghost check for it.But the fixed types(substitute or choice S) and its narrow moves makes me think it's a lower priority than Mage.
Cinderace.High spe, libero, and rich moves. Seems like the only trouble is MISS (lol).In the struggle with which one SUS first, I'm slightly inclined to Mage, but that doesn't mean cinderace doesn't less destructive.(As a major reason for the uubl rank of blaziken, it's excellent)

oh, except for the 3 above,almost forget that the melmetal deserved sus later ,though it lacks the ability to broke a team like mage or spectrier without trick room.
 
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I wanna give my own thoughts about the big three.
Firts spectrier, I dont run spectrier that much I use it with scarf for speed control reasons, but I am gonna talk about its main set, the bulky sub np. This set mainly gets advantage of mons like mandibuzz and other bulky mons. Scarf and Specs sets are dying out due to the rise of dark types. But if u wanna for example scarf, use double kick, why, because it prevent obstagoon and ttar from coming for free and its especially nasty when they are 2ko on the switch.
But anyway, I usually deal with bulky sets which is the most common one (I am more afraid of choice sets) My first measure is a bulky dark like buzz or dreigon and a fast mon like zerarora or scarf lando. I think dreigon is the best counter because it has reliable recovery, doesn't care about wisp and beats any set. In conclusion spectrier is rectrictive and definitely needs a suspect.

Magearna is probably the most broken one. This mon runs whatever it wants and does it well. Specs is nasty, some team depending on ferro or heatran get ruined when mag hits focus blast/ aurasphere but mainly blast because makes them unable to switch later. That typing helps mag a lot. Taking advantage of many darks, fighting and with those defenses mag takes most hits well, like defensive lando earthquake and defensive heatran magma storm. Calm mind split sets beats non twave blissey easily, (most people run aura sphere but I prefer Tbolt because beating is usually more valuable to beat pex)

Finally Cinderace, this mom is the example of a splashable zero drawbacks mon. It has access to high base power moves like puro ball, gunk shot and h jump kick. Very good speed and getting stab on every move makes aces sometimes too good, it just u turn out of its checks. Boots is most common variant, bulk up sets are decent but also Banded sets deserve a mention. It doenst exist a reliable answer, most of the time the hippo and pex, but bulk up gives an issue to hippo and banded zen heatbutt scares the hell out of pex. In general is hard to check ace properly. In fact I have used thing like scarf buzzwole just to avoid dealing with this mon. During this dlc2, helmet and the punish of contact move became popular to punish u turn and other moves. Priority is good but it depends of the typing that ace has locked into, like rilaboom s grassy glide, bisharp s sucker punch and more. Ace obiously not a tanky mon, but if it needs to take a hit it does take it, for example mag specs fluer cannon, defensive heatran magma storm, opposing ace, non specs spectrier and some more.

For me mag should be the one that gets suspected first, but thats up to the council.

Hopefully more surveys are done so people can vote about what they want to get tested (thats my own idea)
 
While I love Cinderace, I think it is the most pressuring mon right now.
Like stated above, there's little to no way to deal consistently with Soccer Bunny, except for Hippowdon (for non Bulk Up variant) and Toxapex (if Ace decided to run Gunk/SP instead of Zen Headbutt). Maybe also Helmet Lando-T to punish U-turn, but that's pretty much it.
Libero and Cinderace's excellent movepool is what makes the Scorching Bunny such a good Pokémon. It can do whatever you want him to do with no cost at all.

So yeah, Sus on Cind first and maybe qb Magearna alongside it (like a reversal on what happenned in Isle of Armor OU), so we can have a clearer view on Allmighty Black Horse.

End note: If Cinderace and Magearna both ends up being banned, the whole gang of unbanned Ubers at the beginning of Crown Tundra OU, with Blaziken being the sole survivor, will return back to Ubers.
 
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Two sand setters is okay I guess but without Tyranitar, you are basically just begging to get trampled by Spectrier. You do outspeed it with Excadrill but if Spectrier got in a sub first then you're pretty much screwed. Personally, I don't even use Hippowdon on my sand team. It just adds more water weakness than I would like and Dracozolt is basically the sand version of Nidoking. The thing literally has next to no switch ins. Then again, I do run protect on my Tyranitar and that move gives it incredible resilience
I had some sort of sucess using hippo + mandibuzz on sand teams, the only problem being the weakness to ice coverage
 
So I've seen many people say that Goon is a great Spectrier answer, and it admitedly is on paper, since it's immune to the horse's STABs, resists Dark Pulse and appreciates Burns instead of fearing them. However, this is what happens in practice:
252 SpA Choice Specs Spectrier Mud Shot vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Obstagoon: 116-137 (35.4 - 41.8%) -- 6.6% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and burn damage, and this is from full health assuming it hasn't already taken any prior chip like from switching into Stealth Rock prior to when Spectrier tried to attack, or simply from its Burns.

Now, since many people are discussing what they think should be the next suspect test, I'm gonna state my opinion that Spectrier should be the first to be banned. The restraint it pulls on teambuilder is simply too much, as there are few viable options in the tier avaiable. Mandibuzz and SpD Hydreigon aren't safe switch-ins, as even with their ghost resist they still take a lot of damage from Specs Hex and can get 2HKOed with a little chip. This leaves Blissey (which can't do anything back to Spectrier if the horse is a sub variant, unless you carry Shadow Ball which is often much worse than Seismic Toss or you have a Infiltrator pokémon that can outspeed and KO Spectrier, the only viable one being Dragapult, and Teleport to it), Tyranitar (which needs Wish support because it gets worn down fast and doesn't have recovery and even with Rest it ends up losing to Spectrier if the sand runs out as TTar is on the field: +2 172 SpA Spectrier Hex (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Tyranitar: 156-185 (38.6 - 45.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery), or Obstagoon (which, as I already said, isn't a reliable answer at all). So, very often, you can either run one of its most viable checks and hope you don't run into a situation where said check loses, or use a lower tier mon like Zarude who has little to no viability besides checking Spectrier and can't do much in most matchups.
 
So I've seen many people say that Goon is a great Spectrier answer, and it admitedly is on paper, since it's immune to the horse's STABs, resists Dark Pulse and appreciates Burns instead of fearing them. However, this is what happens in practice:
252 SpA Choice Specs Spectrier Mud Shot vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Obstagoon: 116-137 (35.4 - 41.8%) -- 6.6% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and burn damage, and this is from full health assuming it hasn't already taken any prior chip like from switching into Stealth Rock prior to when Spectrier tried to attack, or simply from its Burns.

Now, since many people are discussing what they think should be the next suspect test, I'm gonna state my opinion that Spectrier should be the first to be banned. The restraint it pulls on teambuilder is simply too much, as there are few viable options in the tier avaiable. Mandibuzz and SpD Hydreigon aren't safe switch-ins, as even with their ghost resist they still take a lot of damage from Specs Hex and can get 2HKOed with a little chip. This leaves Blissey (which can't do anything back to Spectrier if the horse is a sub variant, unless you carry Shadow Ball which is often much worse than Seismic Toss or you have a Infiltrator pokémon that can outspeed and KO Spectrier, the only viable one being Dragapult, and Teleport to it), Tyranitar (which needs Wish support because it gets worn down fast and doesn't have recovery and even with Rest it ends up losing to Spectrier if the sand runs out as TTar is on the field: +2 172 SpA Spectrier Hex (130 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Tyranitar: 156-185 (38.6 - 45.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery), or Obstagoon (which, as I already said, isn't a reliable answer at all). So, very often, you can either run one of its most viable checks and hope you don't run into a situation where said check loses, or use a lower tier mon like Zarude who has little to no viability besides checking Spectrier and can't do much in most matchups.
ahh yes, obstagoon isn't a good answer to spectrier because 93.4% of the time it can come in on literally the best possible move on the best possible set that spectrier is capable of running for obstagoon, which is run by less than half of spectrier, and I don't even know how many of those are scarf and not specs,on rocks and already burned(since you dont actually take damage the first turn from flame orb, which convenietly means spectrier cant take you out in two hits without you getting a hit in,and actualy zero chance if rocks are not up, which is a pretty big omission) and then (in increasing order of badness for your team):
1. get a massive knock off on something on your team because spectrier has to switch out
2. smash something on your team with a guts boosted STAB facade beacuse spectrier has to switch out
3. smash spectrier with knock off beacuse it didn't switch predicting a facade, thus probably losing your win con
the only winning play here is to stay in and pray it hits facade

Oh and if you misread and don't mud shot as it's coming in, it can do this twice.
Also this doesn't work at all if goon is scarfed
The problem here is that spectrier looks good at the expense of its' teammates: those sweeps look sweet but no one looks at how much pressure spectrier lost your team due to this interaction, and maybe even lost you the game because obstagoon took something out (possibly twice) when it forced spectrier to switch out.
Also this way of looking at things would make sense if obstagoon was a wall without reliable recovery like ferro or something, not a breaker that loves making the opponent switch
 
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i wanted to make a short little post about stall cause its in a super odd place atm. Ive never really been stall player and only have meddle with it recently so if i say something incorrect please correct me.

since the beginning of crown tundra stall has been in a very eh spot, this is because of a couple reasons, namely two but ill mention a third. The addition of boots at the start of gen8 really limited what stall can do, in previous gens, most stalls had relied on hazards to win games. Now there is a whole lot of teams running mons with boots which previously would die in the long game to stall, which is very problematic for the playstyle. Another very huge issue is future sight cores. Before the urishifu ban, teams would absolutely blast through stall using combinations of voltturn, future sight and urshifu. Even without urshifu, stall teams are still struggling with breakers. In my opinion, heatran being the absolute most problematic of the bunch due to its ability to shut down all of the stalls.

during the shifu stall slightly adapted to its issues however nothing was solid due to the fact (and third issue) its impossible impossible for much variety in this playstyle and people can just prep for 4-5/6 mons. stall had started using a new toy in future sight which has become super reliant for these teams to use if they want to win. stall also had started using ditto and/or urshifu (also fs + urshifu was so broken even stall used it) to revenge kill problems like opposing urshifu or tran, however, this was still shaky. Now we are left in a post shifu meta and stall lost a valuable tool and check.

stall teams have kinda adapted with a couple new toys being used like reuni but they still have a uber huge problem with tran. Lots of stall are for some reason also opting to not use a ground type to try and fix some of the playstyles problems but volt switch becomes super annoying in these cases. since i actually did have fun with stall during the shifu test I wanted to come up with somewhat of a solution. So i present my take on current meta stall.

:clefable::toxapex::corviknight::slowking-galar::blissey::garchomp: <- Pokepaste here

i saw early in this thread people speculating what breaker could be used in urshifus place. while i saw a lot of discussion on cinderace I do not think that is a good sub as it more serves to replace urshifu and not actually fix the problems the playstyle might have in a post shifu meta. first i know tran is a disgustly huge problem for stall so when building i knew i wanted gking to be eq. I tested a lot of different breakers but still found even with bait gking that it wasnt enough. I came across garchomp when Ox the Fox mentioned it to me. I thought it would actually fit super well as it covers the tran weakness, breaks through / sets up on some of the stuff that annoys the playstyle defensively and provides a ground type which the most, the breakers i was using didnt have the ground typing so people gaining momentum on me was super annoying. other than those, its super cookie cutter stall. but i really like garchomp on this as i think it really patches some of the holes the playstyle is facing atm. i use lefties as it gives chomp some longevity since on stall youre mostly in it for the long game then the immediate power lo and soft sand offer. In case anybody is wondering, i think clerics are super important for stall atm too and clef fits nicely to allow chomp to last even longer. of course there are some breakers like daunt & kart that can be annoying but i do think theyre manageable. i havent thought of anything vs this that isnt manageable yet and is mostly up to your playing as stall requires a lot of smart plays atm due to the nature of how it is.

hopefully stall can continue to evolve and become a better playstyle cause right now there isnt a lot of variety in the playstyle and its very skill intensive to use effectively.

i dont really save replays but here is my ost game from today which it won https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1264289542-bkmm23felm9zigrbjrfvsly1u5zp2szpw
 
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You say Zolt has no switch ins but thats wrong. SPD Hippo can wall Zolt all day long and also take on Exca as well. SpD swanpwr can also take hits all day if not Ocelzolt/max spa. Same with basically any Specially defensive ground type. Hell Rhyperior will fuck Zolt up anyday of the week
Oh yeah I forgot Hippowdon was a thing. To be honest, I barely encounter any Hippowdons even these days so I didn't think of that and I'm not exactly sure if Swampert is in that good of a spot since you know, bulky waters, and all bulky waters have to compete with that unkillable abomination known as Toxapex


I had some sort of sucess using hippo + mandibuzz on sand teams, the only problem being the weakness to ice coverage
Can Mandibuzz actually handle Spectrier? As in can it actually kill it instead of just sitting on its face?

That's also my biggest issue with sands teams. The type synergy between Excadrill and either Tyranitar or Hippowdon is just god awful and Dracozolt is simply far too frail to use it to take hits since life orb recoil is so annoying
 
Oh yeah I forgot Hippowdon was a thing. To be honest, I barely encounter any Hippowdons even these days so I didn't think of that and I'm not exactly sure if Swampert is in that good of a spot since you know, bulky waters, and all bulky waters have to compete with that unkillable abomination known as Toxapex




Can Mandibuzz actually handle Spectrier? As in can it actually kill it instead of just sitting on its face?

That's also my biggest issue with sands teams. The type synergy between Excadrill and either Tyranitar or Hippowdon is just god awful and Dracozolt is simply far too frail to use it to take hits since life orb recoil is so annoying
While I agree with you on Swampert and Hippo is bretty gud just really underrated, Perts strength is role compression in Electric Immune + Slow Pivot + Rocks and an emergency SpDef Tank. These are the qualities that set it apart from Pex. And the fact that sometimes if played well, Swampert can somewhat reliably shutdown Sand as a playstyle (if of course Garchomp doesnt get a lucky miss)
 

temp

legacy
is a Tiering Contributoris a Battle Simulator Driver Alumnus

look at him, he's so happy that someone wrote paragraphs about an irrelevant pokemon like snorlax

Replay vs Sub Taunt Disable Spectrier

Wanted to make a post about this big guy, Snorlax. There are plenty of powerhouses that keep Snorlax from being a massive threat to a lot of teams, but with Urshifu's ban, the biggest threat to lax is gone just like that. Snorlax's strengths lie in its ability to check all relevant Spectrier sets, limiting set up opportunities from Pokemon like Volcarona and even Weakness Policy Magearna, and being an all around bulky sponge for hits from Nidoking, Kyurem, Dragapult, Glowking, Zapdos, and a plethora of other special attackers—passive or not. Snorlax's weaknesses lie in its surprising fragility during the course of the game. Being forced to run Leftovers as a means of recovery outside of Rest leaves Snorlax susceptible to all hazards, which can limit Snorlax's opportunities to switch into the above special attackers or even set up. Reliance on Leftovers means Snorlax fears Knock Off heavily as well. Urshifu was not the only Pokemon holding Snorlax back obviously, as many strong breakers like Rilla, Garchomp, Tapu Lele, Melmetal, Cinderace, Specs Magearna (hazards in tandem with Volt Switch will easily put lax in range overtime), etc. can put the pressure on Snorlax as well. Snorlax is also shut down by Haze and Whirlwind/Roar. Unfortunately, there's more weaknesses than strengths, which is accurate given its tier placement and UR rank on the VR lol

In case you have any doubts about Snorlax's ability to fight virtually any Spectrier set easily, it shuts down the weirdest Spectrier set I've seen in Sub Taunt Disable in the replay above, allowing me to just pivot to my Regen Pokemon over and over. It essentially stopped Spectrier from ever making real progress outside of burning PP as long as lax was even at like 1 HP. Eventually, lax is able to Heat Crash and 2HKO the Ferrothorn from full.

Snorlax @ Leftovers
Ability: Thick Fat
EVs: 92 Atk / 244 Def / 172 SpD
Careful Nature
- Curse
- Body Slam
- Heat Crash
- Rest

The 92 Atk allows you to 2HKO 252 HP Magearna unboosted and 2HKO 252/252+ Corviknight at +1 (not really relevant since corv is boosting fodder anyway). The likelihood of OHKO'ing Excadrill after a Spike is also 81.3%. The 244 Def allows Snorlax to always survive Life Orb Kartana's Sacred Sword after rocks. That's important because Sacred Sword ignores the Curse defense boosts. If you chose to invest in 252 HP instead of defense, Kartana is always OHKO'ing after rocks. That should show the difference between investing in HP and investing in defense.

Thick Fat is a cool ability that allows Snorlax to switch into things like Kyurem or Blacephalon. Even Alola Marowak has trouble breaking through, and it allows Snorlax to act as a serviceable pivot around it with proper team support. Give lax a try it's very epic in the right mu or let it stay in ru
 
I've played a lot of OU lately, and something felt off. It felt like I couldn't punish anything. And slowly, over about ten hours of OU playtime, I realized what's wrong. And I think most everyone has felt that feeling, at least from what I can tell from reading through this thread. There's a lot of debate about what's broken, what should be suspected next, because this doesn't really feel like a balanced meta, but we can't agree on anything, because there's nothing we can point to as the definitive problem, something that would fix the meta. The three main troublemakers are Spectrier, Cinderace, and Magearna.

Spectrier is a unique case, as I think it's probably broken enough to get banned. But I don't think banning it would make the meta much better, because the reasons it's broken are different then the reason Ace and Mag are broken.

Cinderace is the one I hate the most, but I feel there's something missing that's crucial for a broken pokemon. I can't really explain it other then by saying that I just don't think it's highs are high enough. But don't you worry, I'll talk about Ace plenty in this post.

Mag, although really versatile, is weak to common typings on already good mons that can threaten big damage, and doesn't have reliable recovery. Every set has different answers, which is a problem, but the answers are already good mons that would be good regardless of Mag. I mean, life orb Chomp beats every set that doesn't increase their speed, and the calm mind shift gear set can't have nearly as much coverage as it wants, and will always lose to something no matter what.

What I find ironic is that although it's probably the least broken of the mons, Cinderace is the most troubling for me, as it restricts team building in an awful way. Thanks to Heavy duty Boots and Libero u-turn, Ace can just pivot around and rack up cheap damage and always be in a good position. It's very rare that Cinderace doesn't just click u-turn, as it always gets momentum, as long as it goes first, which it usually does. It's the ultimate offensive pivot, and forces every physical wall to run rocky helmet. The fact that it's free momentum every time it switches in is just ridiculous.

In every other gen, this wouldn't be a problem. You could say the same for something like Band Scizor in gen 4. There's a price for switching in, in the form of hazards. But heavy duty boots negates that. And that completely breaks switch moves. As a concept, I really like heavy duty Boots. It's a great idea. But the combination of switch moves and heavy duty boots is just stupid, and this single change completely warped the meta. Look at the viability rankings, and count how many pokemon commonly used a switch moves or counter switch moves. Out of the first 3 tiers, I counted 5 out of 17 that don't either abuse switch moves or counter them. And Spectrier abuses the free switches that it gets from those moves. Only Heatran, Melmetal, Tapu Fini, and Excadrill are mostly divorced from switch moves. Doesn't that say something, when a mechanic is so omnipresent that more then 3/4s of the top tiers are directly linked to it?

Do you know how many ranked pokemon resist both u turn and volt switch and have reliable recovery? None. Hippowdon is the closest as it's immune to v switch and has great bulk to tank a u turn and packs slack off, but that's about it. If grassy terrain counts then Tapu Bulu (waifu) also counts in that list as it's only neutral to u turn. Not even going to account for flip turn, as that list boils down to just Tapu Bulu who only has grassy terrain (and leech seed I guess). In fact, the only pokemon ever to resist both and have reliable recovery is Gliscor, who isn't even legal any more.

Again, this would normally not be a problem, as stealth rock and the other hazards would wear them down. But heavy duty boots negates that. And that changes the meta so much for such a small change. And not for the positive, in my opinion. Thanks to how many good pivots there are, the game stalls out to switching to pivots and walls to deal with other pivots and walls. It feels nigh impossible to make legitimate progress in games without putting yourself at a disadvantage. A game between two primarily offensive teams shouldn't take 30 turns every game. It makes the game a slog. And I don't think there's any way to change that without banning Heavy Duty Boots in some way.

I don't want to be one of those people who hates every new meta addition and wants to ban anything that I don't like, so I'm going to explain why I think this pivot based, switch heavy meta is bad. The number one reason that I think that it's toxic is that it takes control away from the players. HDB VoltTurn is the ultimate option select. It covers basically every single possible option at very little to no cost. The only cost would be if you took rocky helmet damage, which 1. takes away an item slot from the pokemon in question, which will hamper it in other ways. 2. The pokemon still takes damage from the attack and 3. You only take 1/6 hp and still get to switch out. Thanks to it's extremely limited counterplay, it leads to dead turns, turns in which nothing meaningful can happen. Even if you predict correctly, you still come out on bottom. There's nothing you can do to stop it, no extremely aggressive and risky plays you can make to get an edge, just safe, boring interactions. It leads to games that are unwinnable 10 turns in. Not because you're getting swept, or that you lost your checks to a dangerous pokemon, but because you made one bad prediction or your opponent made a good one and a key piece dies, and you lose because they can just force constant momentum and always have you on the backfoot. I know it sounds really hyperbolic, but it has happened to me multiple times. I have had games where I have had to switch out like 5 times in a row because they keep switch attacking and switching in an answer for free. I've also had games where I play 20x better then my opponent, reading him like a book, and still lose, because they did one unexpected move early on and got a key kill. You could feasibly have a game in which both players know what the other one is going to do every turn and yet do the predicted action anyways because it's the only answer. And that's just not a fun way to play Pokemon.
(And I can definitively say that it's not my team, because I switch it around a lot, using many different team types and makeups.)

Up to now, I don't think I've said anything too controversial. I think most people can agree that HDB is a problem, and that specifically it's how it interacts with switch moves that's the problem. However, this is where I think I'm gonna catch some flack. I don't think that full on banning HDB is the right move. I really like what it can do. It helps so many pokemon in some really good ways, and lessens the omnipresence of Stealth rocks in pokemon's viability, which is a really good thing. So what I say that we do is ban the use of Heavy Duty Boots on a pokemon that also has a switch move.

Complex bans are a very interesting situation, and the rules around them are very vague and undefined. From what I can tell, the main drawback for complex bans is how confusing they are to uninformed players. OU is the flagship tier of Smogon, where, like it or not, the majority of the casual players reside. The players who use their playthrough teams just for fun. So any theoretical complex ban also has to take into account how easy to understand it would be to an uninitiated player. However, I don't think this is a problem, as the complex ban that I'm advocating for is specific enough so that a casual player who doesn't read the rules would never even realize it was a restriction until they either started to get genuinely good at team building and/or find out where they could get viable sets, and therefore also find out that this is a rule. This complex ban would be extremely unintrusive for the average player compared to most bans, probably less intrusive then most normal bans. I've been told that Complex bans are allowed but heavily discouraged, saved only for extreme situations. But in my opinion, not only is this an issue important enough to warrant one, it's also the right move. Complex bans, by nature, are arbitrary, But not using Complex bans because they're arbitrary is, ironically enough, also arbitrary. If it's the best option and does the least amount of collateral damage, then why not use it? Because of rules that we came up with? Rules have to adapt to the right thing to do, not the other way around. If the rules are obstructing the proper course of action, we should change them. (I want to clarify, I'm not saying that my proposal is the universal best option, nor am I saying that anyone else agrees with me. All I'm saying is that if a solution is agreed to be the best course of action, the label of complex ban shouldn't at all affect whether we do it or not.)

Like I said earlier, in my opinion just banning HDB is the wrong move. HDB has the potential to help otherwise great pokemon that were ruined by Stealth Rocks, like Moltres, Volcarona, and even Zapdos to a degree, become genuinely good pokemon, and helps expand the depth of viable pokemon. It gives much more depth to item choice, as item choice has pretty much always been very static between sets. The item defines the set more then the moves do. Sweepers and cleaners run life orb. Wallbreakers run a choice item that boosts power and very rarely life orb. Revenge killers run scarf, or occasionally the other choice items if they're fast enough. defensive pokemon run Leftovers, or occasionally rocky helmet in very specific circumstances. I could go on and on. But HDB, divorced from switch moves, helps that. All types of pokemon using many different sets and archetypes have the capability of running it, and it's balanced because 1. You lose the item slot 2. It only works in specific circumstances, and 3. It helps provide useful role compression and negates the requirement of hazard removal for some pokemon, no longer forcing you build around one mon. (Try running sweeper Volc in gen 5-7 without hazard removal. Have fun.) All of these are good in their own right, and add depth to the meta as a whole. However...

HDB is incompatible with switch moves as a whole. But this isn't really HDB's fault. Switching is a core part of Pokemon gameplay, without it the game wouldn't even be close to the same. You can escape bad situations but lose the turn and your opponent can do whatever they want in that turn. Switching moves change that, and in a big way. You attack and switch at the same time, and can even switch after the opponent attacks. But, stealth rocks, the single most impactful move in pokemon history, was added at the same time, and helped temper those moves. It also helped that they were pretty rare, only given to mainly bug and electric types, one type was shut down by ground, and the other is bug. But as the gens went on, Gamefreak was a lot more free with switching moves, and now basically every good offensive pokemon has them. But switching out wore down your team, so it was more or less balanced.

I've always hated Stealth Rock, and how stupidly vital it is to viability, not just of pokemon, but of whole types. But now, I realize what a necessary evil it is. HDB was the straw that broke the camels back in terms of switch moves. From the days of Band Scizor and Rotom to now, switch moves have been getting better and better, and now HDB finally broke them

To conclude, I think that HDB VoltTurn is fundamentally broken, and needs to be contained in some sort of way to have a properly balanced metagame. In my opinion, a ban of holding HDB as an item while knowing the moves U-Turn, Volt Switch, or Flip Turn would be most appropriate, as it would most effectively limit the strategy while keeping as much meta depth as possible. (Teleport is not on the list because it doesn't attack and will always go last, really only being useful on stalwart walls that can tank sustained hits. It allows you to keep momentum but you give up damage instead, which makes it much more balanced) I think that banning HDB altogether is a secondary option that we should consider as well, but it would have more collateral damage for the same desired effect.

I think, finally, I'm done. It only took over 2000 words, but I think I said everything I need to. I doubt anyone will actually take this seriously as a suggestion, because lets be real, to get something like this to be seriously considered I would need a hell of a lot more influence then I possess. But I'm glad I got it off my chest. And if you read this far, then thanks for indulging me and my long winded rants.

Tapu Bulu best girl
 

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