Metagame SS OU Metagame Discussion Thread v7 (Usage Stats in post #3161)

TailGlowVM

I didn't get where I am today without a Manaphy
is a Pre-Contributor
I thought I may as well give my long, possibly controversial opinion on Dragapult:

Is Dragapult centralising?
Yes, I believe it definitely is. The best example of this is that we have had three different Pokemon rise out of the C-ranks that offensively beat Dragapult. While all of them are certainly good Pokemon in their own right in this meta, there can be no doubt that Dragapult is a big reason why people have suddenly started using Weavile, Bisharp, and Zeraora once again. Bisharp has even been seen using Assault Vest to check Dragapult. Meanwhile, despite being another Dark-type that can break through numerous defensive cores in the meta with its solid coverage and an offensive switch-in to the ubiquitous Heatran and the surging Slowking, Hydreigon has almost disappeared from the usage stats once again. It surely cannot be complete coincidence that Hydreigon is the one common Dark-type that loses to Dragapult? Certainly, I find Hydreigon difficult to fit on teams because it means I will usually have to run Blissey or a second Dark-type to cover Dragapult, with the latter option meaning Hydreigon's overall defensive contribution to a team is far reduced.

What about Dragapult having only base 100 Special Attack?
While power is definitely something you usually want from good wallbreakers, I don't believe it is always necessary: what is most important is wallbreakers that can almost always force significant damage on the opposing team. Whilst this does tend to involve Pokemon being very strong, Dragapult is exceptionally good at doing this because Ghost-type moves are so difficult to switch into safely, and it has a complimentary STAB move that has high base power and hits every frailer or weakened Dark-type for decent damage. A somewhat similar contrast can be made to Choice Band Zygarde when we had it in gen 7 and the early Crown Tundra: even with only base 100 Attack and its main STAB having 90 BP, it is almost always able to inflict notable damage onto the opposing team because so few Pokemon resist Thousand Arrows, and what does doesn't generally like Toxic or Zygarde's coverage moves.

The icing on the cake for Pult is U-turn: what can actually switch into Dragapult is exploitable by dangerous threats like Urshifu-R, Heatran, and Melmetal that most teams can't safely let in for free. U-turn also wears down Tyranitar and Mandibuzz if they switch into Dragapult too much, to the point at which the former may be unable to check teammates it can at higher health and the latter risks being put into 2HKO range of Draco Meteor if it doesn't get opportunities to Roost.

What can Dragapult do to overcome its counters?
Shadow Ball Special Defence drops from Dragapult are, in my opinion, the second most annoying thing after Scald burns, to the point at which I tried Diancie as a Dragapult check (I wouldn't bother with it, it tries to compress too many roles into one Pokemon and gets overwhelmed doing so, sort of like Swampert, but with much more exploitable typing), and they can potentially allow it to overcome Pokemon like Clefable. Whilst I mostly spoke of Dragapult's most common set at the moment, Specs, the pivot set with Heavy-Duty Boots can take great advantage of any team relying on forcing Dragapult to click U-turn all the time, and Substitute beats Blissey. I think Dragon Dance sets aren't very good, but when people randomly use them on balance or bulky offense you have to bring in Mandibuzz or Blissey and let them set a Substitute up. Finally, let's not forget Dragapult's great coverage movepool. While Flamethrower is common to hit Ferrothorn, Corviknight and Bisharp, Dragapult sometimes uses Electric coverage to lure Mandibuzz, Toxapex and Tapu Fini, and even Hydro Pump has occasionally been seen for Heatran and Hippowdon.

So why are lots of people claiming Dragapult broken now when we have had it for one and a half years?
I think this is the most interesting point. In this meta, we have a huge number of big threats that must be covered, many of which have rather narrow or unreliable counterplay. Every team must cover Grounds, a Volt Switch blocker, Rillaboom, Kartana, Dragapult, Heatran, Kyurem, Tapu Lele, Volcarona, Tornadus-T, Urshifu-R, and other Pokemon, which constrains teambuilding significantly. Whilst it's difficult to pinpoint any one of them at this time and work out if any ban avoids making the meta worse overall, Dragapult does seem a natural option to turn to given its somewhat shallow counterplay compared to other options and how it further supports many of the other threats. Additionally, many counters are worse at the moment than in past metas. Mandibuzz tends to be overshadowed by Corviknight as a Defogger for several reasons (certainly I would not choose it often were it not for Dragapult at the moment). Blissey is exploitable or lured by numerous special attackers like Tapu Lele, Heatran, CM Clefable, SubRoost Kyurem, Superpower Hydreigon, Safeguard Volcarona, and even Pult itself to some extent thanks to U-turn. Clefable is definitely good, but far from the tier queen it was prior to the Crown Tundra. We have lots more Ground-types, making Zeraora more difficult to use than in past metas.

So would banning Dragapult have disastrous consequences?
This is the problem I worry about: we would lose one of the only special attackers that beats Slowking and Galarian Slowking, a check to Volcarona, one of the already dire selection of options for speed control, and a revenge killer to several top Pokemon like Kartana, Tornadus-T, Kyurem, Tapu Koko and Tapu Lele. On the other hand, teambuilding would be easier with Dark-types and Blissey needed less, so covering these Pokemon could be easier in general. Additionally, broken checking broken is apparently not healthy, if Dragapult is indeed broken.

I can't agree with the suggestion of Dragapult just being replaced by another broken Ghost if it goes, however. While it's true that options to check Ghosts are limited, all three of the potential contenders for replacements (Blacephalon, Aegislash, and Gengar) lack a huge thing that makes Dragapult and Spectrier so good: their amazing speed tier. All three (if we consider Aegislash-Blade) are a lot frailer than Dragapult, and they have worse movepools, most notably lacking U-turn. The strongest of the three, Blacephalon, also has its power and versatility constrained heavily by being forced to run Heavy-Duty Boots, or if it uses Specs it will take 25% from Stealth Rock every time and be even easier to revenge kill and have to switch out a lot.

So what's your actual opinion, TailGlow?
I probably should have explained this more earlier, sorry. I believe the metagame is not in a completely healthy state at the moment and we definitely need to do something. While I'm not completely certain if a Dragapult suspect is the way to go, I can't say it looks like the worst option either. I'm pretty sure a valid case for a ban is that there are too many threats to cover for safely, and I think Dragapult is one of the more constraining Pokemon. Look at how many casually built teams in stuff like RMT you see that Pult 6-0s, and consider whether you would use Mandibuzz as your Flying-type were it not for checking Dragapult.
 
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Fusion Flare

Mechanical Hands are the Ruler of EveryTANG
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As someone who is a relative n00b in terms of competitive battling, it seems like the desire to "ban" Pokemon (or items in the case of HDB) is downright laziness. Pokemon should only be "banned" for being outright broken. Unless you're going to do a relegation-like situation. For example, Dragapult is one of the better 'mons in OU, but it's easily by Clefable, Chansey, Blissey, etc. which are relatively common in OU.
Well, you are definetly correct in that those happen to be the more common answers to Dragapult, but Chansey is directly outdone by Blissey in this regard. Chansey’s vulnerability to entry hazards cockblocks it heavily, as if pult starts to get into a momentum vortex with hazards down, your Chansey is getting into shit FAST. Blissey does not have this problem, which is why it sees more usage as the superior pink blob.
 
Unpopular opinion: the main reason Blissey gets more use than Chansey are not Boots (which are also a reason though) but the prevalence of Knock Off and Trick in the Meta. With 14 Mons among the S and A ranks having the potential to run at least one of these Moves, playing Chansey is extremely hard. Being worse vs Dragapult (as it can,t break its sub while Blissey can) is another reason, but not a very important one compared to the risk of losing the item.
 
Unpopular opinion: the main reason Blissey gets more use than Chansey are not Boots (which are also a reason though) but the prevalence of Knock Off and Trick in the Meta. With 14 Mons among the S and A ranks having the potential to run at least one of these Moves, playing Chansey is extremely hard. Being worse vs Dragapult (as it can,t break its sub while Blissey can) is another reason, but not a very important one compared to the risk of losing the item.
Certainly, a strong case can be made (although I would disagree) for this. At the end of the day tho, it doesn't really matter which is better or worse lol

To put my opinions on the things being currently talked about out here:
:volcarona: definitely borderline if not just straight up broken, it's near-impossible to manage without AV tar or Heatran (and god knows, neither of those are perfect). Urshifu-RS kinda checks it, but it can't swap in and

252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu-Rapid-Strike Aqua Jet vs. 248 HP / 8 Def Volcarona: 276-326 (73.9 - 87.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
0 SpA Volcarona Psychic vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Urshifu-Rapid-Strike: 254-300 (74.4 - 87.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
not exactly a compelling argument, esp when you consider that Volc may have more defense investment or be under screens...

also flame body blah blah blah

:Dragapult: Yeah, ban this thing. AV Bisharp becoming a thing is an attestment to the hugely broken nature of it, considering that otherwise AV bisharp is pretty trash. TailGlowVM wrote an excellent post that I think is very correct.

:Heavy Duty Boots: Nah, I don't think it's broken. Some of the individual abusers may be, but IMO the item is not. You could compare it to items such as the choice items, for instance. I can understand why yall want to target it, but I just do not think it is a problem atm.

Slowtwins/Future Sight/teleport: lmao no

more seriously: i understand why yall might think so, but I personally feel like it's fine.
 
Slowtwins/Future Sight/teleport: lmao no

more seriously: i understand why yall might think so, but I personally feel like it's fine.
I do agree that slowtwins are a false problem, people just seem scared of balance being finally viable in high elo.
Balance was a playstyle often outclassed by bulky offense and stall (or even HO), it was highly viable only when arena trap dugtrio was allowed for few months, dugtrio + charizard y was the golden era of balance.
Banned Dugtrio and the playstyle became weak again, bulky offense and stall have been simply better in almost every pokemon generation.

Slowtwins finally bring new life to the playstyle, but people are rediscovering protect to counter the teleport/fs strategy and other measures are showing up, they are not even remotely broken as arena trap dugtrio was, lol.
 
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I do agree that slowtwins are a false problem, people just seem scared of balance being finally viable in high elo.
Balance was a playstyle often outclassed by bulky offense and stall (or even HO), it was highly viable only when arena trap dugtrio was allowed for few months, dugtrio + charizard y was the golden era of balance.
Banned Dugtrio and the playstyle became weak again, bulky offense and stall have been simply better in almost every pokemon generation.

Slowtwins finally bring new life to the playstyle, but people are rediscovering protect to counter the teleport/fs strategy and other measures are showing up, they are not even remotely broken as arena trap dugtrio was, lol.
I wouldn't say that this is correct- I feel like the slowtwins if anything benefit bulky offense, and I can not remember any time when balance was 'bad'
 
Balance was a playstyle often outclassed by bulky offense and stall (or even HO), it was highly viable only when arena trap dugtrio was allowed for few months
what are you talking about, the last time balance was outclassed by stall was in gen 6 when msab was still allowed. duggy is much better for stall than it was for balance. other than brokens HO meta in early november balance has been the best playstyle in G8 OU. balance has been the best playstyle in the majority of generations since the inception of competitive pokemon.
 
I do agree that slowtwins are a false problem, people just seem scared of balance being finally viable in high elo.
Balance was a playstyle often outclassed by bulky offense and stall (or even HO), it was highly viable only when arena trap dugtrio was allowed for few months, dugtrio + charizard y was the golden era of balance.
Banned Dugtrio and the playstyle became weak again, bulky offense and stall have been simply better in almost every pokemon generation.

Slowtwins finally bring new life to the playstyle, but people are rediscovering protect to counter the teleport/fs strategy and other measures are showing up, they are not even remotely broken as arena trap dugtrio was, lol.
What? one of the main reasons on why Dugtrio was banned last generation was because it made stall teams alsmost impossible to deal with by removing its greatest threats, not because with its synergy in balance teams, I legit don't think that anyone complains about balance as a playstyle as not only is it incredibly approachable and very friendly but I would say that it is actually the playstyle that people play the most (and therefore base their opinions around it) I dont get where this argument is coming from. If we are talking about playstyles people are biased against then we should talk about stall, #DontHateOnToxapex.

Now unto another topic:
:dragapult:
I really don't have strong opinions on the flat faced dragon, I can see where all of the arguments are coming from as it is incredibly dominant and its checks and counters can be a little shaky sometimes, however at the end of the day we are talking about a mon which its best set is choiced locked and those sets are always heavily exploitable and can be easily predicted around, also its not like Dragapult inmediately threatens the entire tier as it loses the 1v1 against a bunch of mons most notably Tapu Koko, Tapu Rilla and Melmetal. Thats where the 100 SpAtk does bite Pult in its own tail.
All of this said I am really open for a Dragapult test and I do think that it will be healthy ban or not, I do think something has to be done about Slowtwins/Teleport first tho.
 
What? one of the main reasons on why Dugtrio was banned last generation was because it made stall teams alsmost impossible to deal with by removing its greatest threats, not because with its synergy in balance teams
This is not entirely true, while I agree that stall teams with Dugtrio were really annoying to deal with and probably the main reason why Dugtrio got banned, in high elo (1700+) balance teams with Dugtrio + Charizard Y were even more dominant than stall teams.
To clarify this, charizard Y was one of the best A+ mons when arena trap dugtrio was free, then he became B/C material at the end of the generation.

Slowtwins are a staple of this generation, we have to accept this, what do you want ban?
If you ban future sight then you basically kill glowking too because its assault vest set without the move becomes rather useless (glowking is such a cool and useful addition for the meta), if you ban teleport then you basically kill blissey, one of the best and most reliable wall of this generation, even slowtwins are higly affected by tha ban of these moves obviously.

We had toxapex for 2 generation as staple wall, and despite the fact that it was arguably the best wall in the tier and despite the numerous ban/suspect requests it never got banned or even suspected, I do think that slowtwins are far less over-centralizing and broken than how toxapex was.
 
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Sorry to contribute to the ban talk some more (and the following mass of solid text), but I wanted to throw in my 2 cents on the dragapult discussion (I had an earlier post which extensively outlined my feelings on the slowtwins, and I largely still agree with my statement, in that I think they could easily tip into broken territory but right now I am ok with them existing; Volcarona I have mixed feelings on which are not fully formed so I don’t want to comment on it much).

This may be a hot take, based on the posts here, but I honestly don’t think Dragapult is broken.

I mean, look, it is an amazing pokemon. It’s almost certainly the best offensive pokemon in the tier, possibly the best in general (I do think Lando is overall still the clear winner, it’s just too useful, but I understand people who think Pult also belongs in S tier even if I disagree). I also agree that it does have few (if any) hard counters, and the best overall answers can always be u-turned on.

However, while it is centralizing (as you would expect of any top tier threat, mind you), I personally do not find it to be as constrictive as many here seem to. I think part of the reason for this is that while it lacks a very distinct all-around hard counter, it has a plethora of widely usable checks.

I am gonna cover specs first and in the most detail by far, because I think it is the most splashable and centralizing set for sure, but I will briefly talk about boots and set-up sets afterwards.

Beyond the two best counters to specs Pult, blissey and toxapex (mixed or sp def pex is best obviously, especially with rocky helmet, but hell even fully phys def pex can scout a hit, eat anything besides draco, and either hit back or double switch out and heal with regenerator), there are several common defensive options. Provided you are sp def invested (a little more on this towards the end of the post), mandibuzz, clef, corv, and hippowdon are all solid, widely used checks with reliable recovery. Beyond this, heatran, tapu fini, AV melmetal, swampert (who I think gets slightly underrated/misunderstood right now but I think I’ll make a separate post about my fave gen 3 starter at some point), and the rare but viable sp def lando can all stomach an attack once or twice and hit back decently. Additionally, I want to make a special mention of AV slowking-g and the rarer AV regen reuniclus and AV tangrowth; obviously they are not the best answers for sure, but while both have a certain move to watch out for (shadow ball for the first two and fire coverage for tangrowth), they can still scout to take a hit and then swap out to another answer while using regenerator.

As for offensive checks, you of course have zeraora, but for scarfers you have Kartana, Fini, Lando (lando knock off has a 50% chance to one shot 0 HP/ 0 Def dragapult from full, and it’s guaranteed to kill if it’s either taken a round of rocks or a single u-turn from lando already), and the less common scarf Lele. Bisharp and Weavile of course are threats as well, and boots tapu koko with roost can stomach one shadow ball in a pinch, has the potential to threaten pult out with dazzling gleam (you need a bit of chip to kill, but after one round of rocks it’s a 75% roll in your favor), follow it with a u-turn to retain momentum, and has the ability to stay healthy in the long game. It’s also worth pointing out that Pult’s most spammable move, shadow ball, despite hitting everything neutrally, is not actually able to one-shot many offensive threats, and its other attacking options (usually draco meteor with fire or electric coverage), while potent, can be very easily taken advantage of.

This is not to mention several more niche but viable answers, notably bulky togekiss, sp def gastrodon, and umbreon defensively (I know the latter two get memed on a bit but I do think they are somewhat underrated if specific answers which have some other applications besides just checking dragapult, unlike wigglytuff which is actually a joke lol), and mamoswine, snorlax, moltres-g, and aegislash more offensively (for an example of the last two in action check out the team Separation used in their WCOP game versus Serene Grace, https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8ou-560155).

Now, for so many of these, the common refrain is that dragapult can just u-turn out. Yes, this is true. However, I feel like people are conflating specs and boots pult here. If it is specs pult, then u-turn is not totally free, because you can still punish it with hazards, and it is fully vulnerable to every single one of them. It’s worth noting that pult is not super bulky to begin with, and while it is crazy fast, after a few rounds of hazards, helmet, sand, etc., it will get worn down. This will tend to bring it within the range of priority from Weavile (jolly ice shard does 49% min without a boosting item) and Rillaboom (band adamant grassy glide does 47% min), and in the extreme even Crawdaunt (adamant LO aqua jet does 23% min) and Urshifu (jolly band Aqua Jet does 19% min). In my experience, this gives it a lot less opportunity to keep coming in and wreaking havoc, especially compared to fast boots pivots like koko, zeraora, and tornadus, and so often I find that one of the best ways to manage specs pult is to keep your hazards up consistently.

Furthermore, it has been brought up in this thread before, but given that Pult is choiced, protect is a great tech to take advantage of it (as well as with any other choiced mon). I want to point to the Triangles v Clickflash game in WCOP for an example of this (https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8ou-558332; here I could pull from some of my own ladder replays but I think a high stakes tournament game is more convincing lol). On the whole this game was a massive hawlucha sweep lol, but in the early game you can see Clickflash use protect stealth rocks lead garchomp as a great scout against Pult for an HO team. Other users of protect I have encountered myself are heatran, ferrothorn, and clefable (not to mention baneful bunker pex and kings shield aegislash). While these aren’t always the safest switches into pult, they can be brought in against pult on a pivot move, scout its attack safely, and then respond accordingly. I understand that despite many of these listed mons being common and viable, protect is still a niche choice to fit on a move set, but it remains an undervalued tool regardless, and can be useful outside of checking just dragapult.

Ok, now moving on to status boots sets; if you lack blissey or a cleric, I think that this set can actually be more potent against balance and bulky offense teams than specs, but it isn’t nearly as good against offense and stall (although most good stall handles all dragapult well imo). However, I doubt that anyone thinks this set is pushing pult over the edge. Getting status’d sucks, but most of specs pults previous defensive checks remain viable against this set (it even gains a few due to its usual lack of coverage), and it loses its immediate damage output versus offense. The main pain of these types of sets in my opinion is that they pivot forever without taking hazards, but even so, the overall damage output of non-specs pult isn’t too bad to deal with, and once it reveals the status of choice between burn and paralysis, there is a good chance you will have a mon on your team that swaps in well.

Lastly, I want to talk about the physical boosting sets. I do think these are viable and can very strong, but honestly, I have rarely been caught off guard by one of these. They are almost exclusively used on HO teams. Is DD pult a monster on these teams? Absolutely, but you can see it coming a mile away just by the team comp, and most solid physical walls can handle it so long as you keep them healthy (obviously this is often more easily said then done, but I think that is less about dragapult being broken and more about the fact that it is hard to play well against good HO players lol). If anything, I have sometimes been surprised when the dragapult on the opposing HO team ends up being specs instead of DD. I don’t want to say that DD sets are unviable outside of HO, but they are certainly much rarer, and I personally don’t think it is nearly as effective unless you have several other breakers ripping holes beforehand for dragapult to take advantage of.

To summarize everything, I think that while dragapult is a dominant force in the metagame, and it lacks many universal hard counters, there are several common checks, both offensive and defensive, that teams can incorporate to respond to it in a variety of ways. I want to stress that its checks are often broadly viable (as compared to water absorb mons and Dracovish), and that there are not just 2 or 3 of them (as compared to Urshifu-SS, where you basically needed clef or fini, and even then poison jab reads could end you). I don’t think this is too different from the premier offensive mons of previous generations, which often do not have a single hard counter to wall them. Specs pult is almost certainly the most oppressive set, but while it’s most spammable move, shadow ball, hits most things neutrally, it is not particularly strong overall against sp def invested mons that are not weak to it, it’s other most common options (Draco, fire coverage, and electric coverage) are strong but can be easily exploited with prediction or by a revenge killer, and even though it has u-turn it is still fully vulnerable to all three entry hazards, unlike the many fast boots pivots in the tier. Boots Pult sets spread status like cancer and are annoyingly evasive, but are much more easily walled, and DD sets are viable and deadly with the right support but are almost always restricted to one archetype, and can be answered by most common sturdy physical walls (not to mention that the most common set up variant can be walled indefinitely by a normal/fairy duo if hazards aren’t up, and by boots blissey + magic guard clefable even if they are). Additionally, while it can pivot out easily, it is not very bulky and has a fairly hard time coming in unless you bring it in on a slow pivot or after a KO, which I think limits the damage it can do so long as you are not playing too passively.

As a result of all this, I don’t think dragapult is worthy of being banned. I will admit that I have seen several teams that are exceedingly weak to it, but honestly I think that is because lots of balance/BO teams just slap on slowking as a special wall and call it a day ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Seriously guys lol, I don’t mean to call anybody out here, but I see tons of people posting bulky teams with full phys def or nearly totally phys def corv, clef, and/or mandibuzz, and their only special wall is a psychic type, and then they wonder why they are weak to Dragapult. If you are building a bulkier team, and include one decent sp def invested check that isn’t weak to shadow ball, and have either one back-up pinch defensive answer or a decent scarfer/zeraora, I think you can do fine. While you might say that this is using two pokemon to counter one, my response regarding specs pult is: 1) sure, but you have a decent variety options for both of these slots, and so it is likely you can fulfill this without tweaking your team too much if it is built solidly to start, 2) you can get by with just one defensive check, if you accept that you will need to play very well and will occasionally lose games to bad hax, but you can say that about so many hard to wall threats in any metagame if you are just counting on one pokemon on your whole team to answer them (e.g. how many teams rely on just corv/skarm to handle rillaboom, which can be removed by magnezone, or have just one special wall for kyurem which can be frozen out of the game), and 3) if you do want that one slot hard answer, blissey and sp def pex exist, and if they u-turn on you, just keep hazards up and they will have to stop doing that eventually lol.

Obviously much of this can be hard to do in practice, and this is not to mitigate how threatening Dragapult is. It’s still incredibly dangerous, but you can definitely play around it skillfully and come out on top, and it has a wide assortment of soft answers that you can pick from to respond to it, besides the tried and true sp def pex and blissey. All in all, I think this makes it comparable to top offensive metagame-definining mons of past gens which remain unbanned, and I will also add that I think infiltrator actually contributes to the health of the tier in my eyes by keeping screens and substitute abusers in check (sure this can be considered centralizing to an extent, but both of these strategies are still viable on the whole and it is nice to have a top tier offensive answer to them).

If you have bothered to read all of this, I hope that I have managed to provide a comprehensive case for anti-ban side to this argument, even if you remain unconvinced, and maybe give you a few ideas for how to better respond to dragapult if you struggle against it. If the meta develops more in the coming weeks (especially due to WCOP innovations/results), I would be willing to reconsider, but based on my own experience in the 1800+ ladder, both using and playing against pult, and the WCOP tournament replays I have seen so far, I feel relatively confident in my opinion here that dragapult is not broken in the current OU metagame.

*[also choice band Dragapult is sometimes seen, but it’s super niche, and I don’t personally think it is that good outside the surprise factor. Is it possible it might steal a game from you out of nowhere because you don’t expect it? Yes, but you can say that about a million different random scarfers and band/specs mons so I don’t think it is worth considering seriously in these discussions]

*EDIT: I'm an idiot who totally neglected to bring up tyranitar once as another answer. Obviously it does get worn down overtime, but even if pult pivots out on you, it enables Sand Rush excadrill and dracozolt who can then annihilate it.
 
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Unpopular opinion: the main reason Blissey gets more use than Chansey are not Boots (which are also a reason though) but the prevalence of Knock Off and Trick in the Meta. With 14 Mons among the S and A ranks having the potential to run at least one of these Moves, playing Chansey is extremely hard. Being worse vs Dragapult (as it can,t break its sub while Blissey can) is another reason, but not a very important one compared to the risk of losing the item.
Knock Off maybe, though Blissey hates facing the strong breakers that use Knock Off like Bisharp, Weavile, Zeraora, Rillaboom and so on, and can only take weaker ones like from Toxapex. However Trick is still insanely crippling for Blissey, even if its bulk won't be statistically cut in half by losing its item, it would still be invalidated by either the choice lock (more common) or the permanent passive damage induced by items like Sticky Barb, Black Sludge and Flame Orb, which are also an option. In fact, it could be said that Blissey suffers from an additional disadvantage against Trick, because the Trick user will steal an useful item that will increase their survivability instead of an useless one (Eviolite). Now suddenly the Scarf Fini that tricked you is a Boots Fini and has additional endurance that it normally does not have.
 
Knock Off maybe, though Blissey hates facing the strong breakers that use Knock Off like Bisharp, Weavile, Zeraora, Rillaboom and so on, and can only take weaker ones like from Toxapex. However Trick is still insanely crippling for Blissey, even if its bulk won't be statistically cut in half by losing its item, it would still be invalidated by either the choice lock (more common) or the permanent passive damage induced by items like Sticky Barb, Black Sludge and Flame Orb, which are also an option. In fact, it could be said that Blissey suffers from an additional disadvantage against Trick, because the Trick user will steal an useful item that will increase their survivability instead of an useless one (Eviolite). Now suddenly the Scarf Fini that tricked you is a Boots Fini and has additional endurance that it normally does not have.
This is a good point, but ultimately it comes down to the fact that yeah your Fini loses any additional bonuses, but it does RUIN an entire mon, in two ways. The total disadvantage caused by losing Eviolite is way worse than losing a marginal advantage on Fini, whos purpose is presumably to hurt these types of mons anyways. Blissey overall is a more desirable target for Trick, but the sheer and utter disadvantage caused by making a defensive wall into a nearly useless mon that has severely decreased survivability is absolutely worth it in my books.
 

TailGlowVM

I didn't get where I am today without a Manaphy
is a Pre-Contributor
In case it wasn't clear by my previous post, I'm not actually certain if Dragapult is broken. The main reason, as I said, I would support it being suspected is because I believe the tier has far too many powerful threats to cover safely, heavily restricting teambuilding. I am actually very convinced by Wraks's post about keeping Dragapult, but I will have to choose something else to support a ban on if Dragapult is to stay, and then perhaps fitting successful counterplay to Dragapult would be a bit easier.

The problem is that it's so difficult to actually pinpoint anything to suspect. It would be far too much for one post to list everything that's wrong, but here is the kind of problem I am talking about:

At first, many people were quite happy to use Slowbro to check the ubiquitous Heatran, but they soon realised Heatran could potentially beat Slowbro, so started to use Slowking instead, which was also the best (viable) counter to the rising Tapu Lele. After Cinderace was banned, it looked as though Slowking would be in every way be a better Slowbro, but a new wallbreaker came along: Urshifu-R, which hit too hard for Slowking to check despite the typing. Previously, Urshifu had been manageable by using Toxapex or Slowbro for your Water-type, but those became far less useful without Cinderace. Options to consistently switch into Urshifu that can be viably used with Slowking are actually quite limited: there's Dragonite, but that can't fit on every team, and Tangrowth and Amoonguss, which might look usable, but if Urshifu predicts properly, it can just use U-turn and send one of several highly dangerous Pokemon that OHKO them and most teams can't afford to let in for free. (While obviously this is true of just about any Pokemon with U-turn, we do have a very large number of difficult to cover Pokemon that do this for one or both of the two Grass-types, like Volcarona, Kyurem, Weavile, Heatran, and Tornadus-T.) Consequently, almost every team with Slowking becomes extremely vulnerable to Urshifu, but if people began to use Slowbro again they would only be worse off as they would find Heatran and Tapu Lele very difficult to check.

Furthermore, even if we have counters to everything, a lot of them are actually unreliable. No, I'm not talking about lures or the people that run Dragon Dance Dragapult on balance or bulky offense - I refer to the standard sets. Choice Band Kartana can beat Mandibuzz by using Knock Off to remove its Heavy-Duty Boots, then 2HKO with Smart Strike after Stealth Rock. Corviknight or Skarmory can't be safely used as your only check to anything lest you lose to Magnezone teams. If it predicts correctly, Choice Specs Tapu Lele 2HKOes Slowking and Corviknight with Thunderbolt, and with a Modest nature Scizor will almost always be 2HKOed by Focus Blast. (still a chance to with Timid) Whilst they can still pivot in once as Lele will be Choice-locked, this falls flat (especially for Slowking) if it sets up Calm Mind on the switch instead. Aegislash cannot switch safely into Choice Specs Kyurem if it runs Earth Power, and bulky Volcarona cannot if it has Draco Meteor instead. This is before considering what these Pokemon can do when they have Future Sight support, and it is consequently quite easy to overwhelm a lot of our defensive Pokemon if they have to check multiple Pokemon on one team.

Whether it is Dragapult, Volcarona, Kartana, Heatran, FuturePort, or something else, I think we need to accept something has to go to allow teams more room to cover other threats more easily. The problem is determining what, and when it is a big combination of Pokemon that causes the problem it may unfortunately have to be something that isn't completely broken on its own.
 
I still think the most problematic and limiting mon in the tier is Rillaboom personally. Banded Grassy Glide is stupid. Combine this with Magnezone and something like Urshifu-S or Pult and most team cores are unable to handle it.

It also doesn't help that it 2hko's a ton of resists and ohko's a ton of neutrals. It has such little offensive counterplay outside of predicting well that it's dumb.

Time to slink back into my little shadow and not post again for months until boom is brought up again.
 
This is not entirely true, while I agree that stall teams with Dugtrio were really annoying to deal with and probably the main reason why Dugtrio got banned, in high elo (1700+) balance teams with Dugtrio + Charizard Y were even more dominant than stall teams.
To clarify this, charizard Y was one of the best A+ mons when arena trap dugtrio was free, then he became B/C material at the end of the generation.

Slowtwins are a staple of this generation, we have to accept this, what do you want ban?
If you ban future sight then you basically kill glowking too because its assault vest set without the move becomes rather useless (glowking is such a cool and useful addition for the meta), if you ban teleport then you basically kill blissey, one of the best and most reliable wall of this generation, even slowtwins are higly affected by tha ban of these moves obviously.

We had toxapex for 2 generation as staple wall, and despite the fact that it was arguably the best wall in the tier and despite the numerous ban/suspect requests it never got banned or even suspected, I do think that slowtwins are far less over-centralizing and broken than how toxapex was.
This is why suspecting the slowtwins rather than banning teleport/future sight is the best option
 
I believe that the reason why Dragapult is being brought up for a ban probably dates back to two of its most prominent checks getting banned in the form of Cinderace and Magearna.

With those 3 in the meta together, Dragapult wasn't as big of a threat, especially with sand running around able to deal with both Mag and Cinderace, things like T-Tar and Sand Rush Exca could also do significant damage to Dragapult.

252 Atk Libero Cinderace Sucker Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dragapult: 270-318 (85.1 - 100.3%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
0 SpA Magearna Fleur Cannon vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Dragapult: 440-522 (138.8 - 164.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO (Even with 0 Sp.A Mag smacks Draga)
252 Atk Excadrill Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dragapult: 213-252 (67.1 - 79.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (If Draga is choice locked into Shadow Ball, Exca wins the exchange)

The problem now being that with Cinderace and Magearna not being able to keep Draga in check, along with the fact that sand cores are really uncommon now with how common the bro twins are to deal with Exca, theres really not much that can stop Dragapult. Sure you got some niche options like AV Bisharp and Crawdaunt, but ultimately Bisharp can be dealt with by Fire Blast if you carry it, and Crawdaunt's defenses aren't exactly the greatest so switching in isn't the best option for you as it gets 2HKO'd by Shadow Ball, but to me thats just the tip of the iceberg for Dragapult. Not only does it have amazing breaking power with its Specs Shadow Ball set, but as mentioned by MANY others, if you predict wrong and switch in say your blissey or click Sucker Punch and the Dragapult clicks SUBSTITUTE. You may as well just forfeit right there tbh. Combine this with 2 great abilties in the form of Clear Body preventing Lando-T from slowing down Dragapult's physical assault and Infiltrator instantly stopping any sub setup sets and you got a mon that is so potent and centralizing that this thing deserves AT LEAST a suspect in my opinion.

But I want to talk about what I believe would happen in the fallout of a Dragapult Ban, because thats always something we need to consider. This is all just theorycrafting for fun so don't take this TOO seriously, but it's good to think about the aftershock of a ban before a suspect to truly get the scope of what a ban like this could cause.

WINNERS

:slowbro: :slowking: :slowking-galar:
If you thought these 3 were annoying before, get ready for FuturePort shenanigans to pick up speed. With Dragapult gone, thats 1/3 of the prominent ghosts able to deal with Future Sight + CC from Urshifu, and in turn the biggest counter to this strategy will rise like hell.

:aegislash:

Resisting Future Sight, Immune to CC, Thank you very much. With Dragapult gone this thing will not only become probably the most potent ghost type in my opinion, but it will be the main counter to FuturePort strats. With a powerful Specs set of its own, along with a reliable SD set with Shadow Sneak priority to destroy Gengar, and great bulk in it's shield form making it able to abuse Weakness Policy on occasion. Aegislash will most likely become a top tier threat with the ban of Dragapult, which I'm not actually opposed to since I love the role Aegislash plays as a slow wallbreaker.

:tapu-lele: :alakazam: :latios:

Psychic spam yay! With dragapult not being able to outspeed and OHKO these threats, Lele + Expanding Force Zam and Specs Latios will become top tier threats once more. These teams can be so hard to deal with without Pult, as Psychic Terrain prevents revenge killing with faster priority like Sucker Punch, but things like the aforementioned Aegislash, along with Scarf users like Kart and Lando could deal with Psychic spam pretty well.

LOSERS

:bisharp:

Bisharp rose in popularity due to it being able to demolish Dragapult with a single nearly unstoppable sucker punch, but if Dragapult leaves the usage for Bisharp will most likely drop due to the possible rise in Psychic Terrain stopping sucker punch from landing. Not completely tho as I think Bisharp will still be really nice to use against things like Lando or Defoggers, but overall Bisharp will return to the role it always played, and possibly UUBL.

:quagsire: :blissey: :chansey: :clefable:

Despite being the most potent offensive mon right now, I believe it's ban would actually HURT stall and not help it. Dragapult majorly restricted the use of the big hyper offense team wreckers, but with it gone, and Zeraora really not being able to fill it's role as the fast hyper offense destroyer, all of those threats are going to emerge again and stall is going to SUFFER. The mentioned Latios, Lele, Terrakion, Blaziken, Zapdos-Galar, Victini among others will all be released into the tier being able to actually play the part the want to without having to worry about taking a specs shadow ball to the shnoz.

UNKNOWNS

:weavile:

This ones weird. With Dragapult gone the reason most people used Weavile will vanish, but if I'm correct and Psychic Spam returns to glory, Weavile may actually stay exactly where it is, but now having to deal with them and not pult.

:rillaboom:

Grass Spam would certaintly benefit on paper with one of the resists gone, but this once again comes down to psychic spam. With psychic terrain more potent, getting reliable grassy glides off will be difficult if your terrain is constantly being swapped around, but on the other hand Rillaboom would do the exact same thing back to psychic spam removing their extremely powerful expanding force's power and being able to deal with them better. Overall I have no clue what will happen to grass spam post-ban.

Overall a Dragapult ban I believe would send a HUGE shockwave that would completely turn the meta on it's head. With a bunch of new threats joining the fray to deal with the annoying slow twins, and hyper offense and psychic spam spiking in popularity, I think overall a Pultless meta would be a lot more balanced and fun, and would allow for a lot more variety in team building for the future.
 
:dragapult: derserve a suspect text, people are talking day and night about it, what makes it so good is that it can easily clean and wallbreake quite easily, despite having 100 spa and not 1v1 everything. If your checks take too much damage then is hard to answer and being so fast, even more than Koko is what make this thing so good at its job. Counters like tar and blissey can be easily lure by stuff like body press tran, which is a good mon on its own. Now lets talk what would happen if actually ban Pult. Well is more complex that it seems because for example latios is a perfect example that banning its checks wont necesarily make it good, in fact it got worse, even after banning 5 mons that destroyed it. So saying that mons will become better or worse is not particuraly easy.
 
:dragapult: derserve a suspect text, people are talking day and night about it, what makes it so good is that it can easily clean and wallbreake quite easily, despite having 100 spa and not 1v1 everything. If your checks take too much damage then is hard to answer and being so fast, even more than Koko is what make this thing so good at its job. Counters like tar and blissey can be easily lure by stuff like body press tran, which is a good mon on its own. Now lets talk what would happen if actually ban Pult. Well is more complex that it seems because for example latios is a perfect example that banning its checks wont necesarily make it good, in fact it got worse, even after banning 5 mons that destroyed it. So saying that mons will become better or worse is not particuraly easy.
 
Underrated Mons in OU

Considering the talks about what deserves to be banned or suspected has been going on for a while now, and as much as I want to add fuel to the fire, I wanna focus this post around underrated mons in the OU metagame. These mons all have been seeing gain some traction and usage as of late with a very nice niche to them, but aren't consider OU by usage, but can still be nice picks for teams if they ever fit something you need in a team.
(click on sprites for set)​

This is probably going to be one of the more controversial ones in the list, but mostly listed due to I'm surprised to the fact it had around 3.6% usage, which I hope for the next month it will have increased usage for how amazing this mon is. Scizor is really great defensive mon being able to check Kyurem,Tapu Lele, and Rillaboom to some extent, but while it can handle these mon Scizor also functions as a fantastic late game wincon with Swords Dance and Bullet Punch. For more offensive teams you can opt to ditch the boots or Leftovers for Life Orb and can run Sand Tomb to trap and remove common switchins like Heatran, Toxapex, and Magnezone, while if you still want some defensive capabilities and increase the damage of Bullet Punch then you can run Metal Coat for better rolls against Calm Mind Clefable, while still being able to check Tapu Lele and Kyurem.


While it had a bit of a rough start earlier in the generation with the superior Rotom-H as the better appliance form now Rotom-W is returning back to it's former glory in OU as a defensive pivot and can check mons like Tornadus-T, Landorus-T, and Heatran. With the ability of Levitate it can also function as a ground immunity for teams that need one, and has access of two good utility moves in Will-O-Wisp crippling mons that want to take advantage of it like Ferrothorn, Rillaboom, and Kartana, while Thunder Wave helps in hindering the speed of faster threats like Dragapult and Tornadus-T, in some cases you can decide to run Defog in case your team needs it. The biggest issues to Rotom-W comes with the lack of reliable recovery having to rely on Pain Split for recovery, and does some struggle with special attackers and getting Toxic hindering how much it can stay in the field, so pairing it with good special defensive mons are nice, such as Scizor who form a nice VoltTurn pivoting core for teams.

Normally people will go an opt to run Rillaboom access to the priority move under terrain in Grassy Glide while having sheer utility with moves like Knock Off and U-Turn, I find Tapu Bulu a formidable wallbreaker due to the ability in breaking against mons that Rillaboom and Kartana struggle with while also having some defensive qualities in checking things like Landorus-T and Urshifu-R. This generation blessed Tapu Bulu in getting Close Combat no longer needing to run Superpower in decreasing its attack boost, so you still keep the benefited boost from Swords Dance. I think it’s about time people stop with the nonesense that Rillaboom is better, when Tapu Bulu has its few advantages over it making it a strong breaker in OU.


This mon is really fun to use as of right now especially since Slowbro usage has plummeted down. Access to good coverage moves in Bolt strike to harass bulky water types, Glaciate for in coming ground types, and Scorching Sands that can pick off weakened Heatran. Victini has the moves to cover whatever teams need coverage for along with its high base power of moves that can act as immediate nukes breaking through past teams. If your like me I prefer running Boots as the main item to be clicking moves with the coverage you have will having some of its own breaking power, while in some occasions run Scarf with Final Gambit to lure in Heatran and Toxapex removing them easily. Pair Victini with a Tapu Koko to bring out Bolt Strikes damage to handle Bulky water types on your own and overwhelm teams with the wide variety of moves while increasing how dangerous Victini is.


Gastrodon is quite an interesting mon since in previous generations where it was more seen running Storm Drain acting as a check to Water-types, but as late it has been seeing running with Sticky Hold preventing its item getting removed from the plethora of Knock Off. This compiled with its amazing typing of only fearing Grass moves and Freeze Dry from Kyurem, and access to Recover makes it a good in handling against Zeraora, Tapu Koko, Non Giga Drain Volcarona, and Dragapult. Clear Smog is a nice move to run preventing mons like Calm Mind Clefable and Volcarona from setting up, this also helps it against Safegaurd Volcarona instead of having to rely on Toxic in order to beat a boosted Volcarona. Similarly enough like Rotom-W even though it’s good at checking certain things it doesn’t like getting statused.


While this mon has seen better days it’s starting to make a comeback in the tier being able to check plethora of physical attacker threats in the tier. This mon alone is able to cover so much such as Weavile, Bisharp, Kartana, and Rillaboom while being able to do this reliably with maintaining itself healthy with Roost. The last move slot can be played around where Toxic is nice in placing things on a timer that switch into Buzzwole and try to take advantage of it, while Bulk Up boosts its defense to better check physical attackers even more while being a wincon once Special attackers have been removed for fat teams.


Similarly Tangrowth also functions as a defensive tank for teams being more resilient against the likes of Urshifu-R and Zeraora thanks to its Grass typing. Tangrowth has access to wide variety of utility moves at its disposal such as Knock Off, Sleep Powder, and Stun Spore all of these are able to disrupt the enemy team and punish against its switchins. With the amazing ability of Regenerator to recover any damage loss and harassing physical attackers with Rocky Helmet and a non flying-type in order to check Offensive Grass types gives it a niche in OU.

So what are your thoughts on these mons I mentioned, I am to believe most of these have found a way to give themselves a defining niche in the metagame, and are definitely not bad picks to be used, would like to know you experiences in using these mons and how you feel in the metagame, that's all I have for now and hope y'all have a great day. :blobwizard:
 
Rillaboom for sure is better than Bulu due to it's sweeping potential, but Bulu serves as a fantastic option if you want more bulk with your grassy terrain. Tangrowth is certainly very good atm esp with urshi- should probably make a team from that.
Gastrodon is fine, I still prefer storm drain but sticky hold is i guess viable? was never really convinced by it tbh.
Victini is pretty good.
Scizor has been rising for a long time- it makes sense, as it deals with the big and frankly still rising names like Lele and Kyurem.
 
I also think :weezing-galar: is a bit underappreciated in ou. It's not as viable as the mons that have been mentioned of course, but it has pretty good defensive utility against offensive grass types, garchomp, lando-t and, to an extent, dark spam, while having good physical bulk against neutral targets like zeraora and dd dragonite. The movepool is surprisingly deep and rich of utility options like defog, haze, wisp, tspikes, pain split, even taunt. The offensive presence is somewhat lacking but fire, poison and fairy type attacks can hit common targets. Finally, levitate also gives it a spikes immunity which is valuable when you don't have reliable recovery. Being hopeless against heatran is bad and pain split isn't reliable, plus it really wants more move slots, but to me g-weez is an interesting pick as a grass and ground switchin that isn't pressured by the occasional magnezone partner.
 
Negative Charge said:
Gastro often gets overwhelmed in my experience. It's got a lot of good stuff going for it but I often find it's just a complete momentum sink and freely allows in Slowtwins to get futureport going. It's also pressed move slots when you consider all the things you want it to check. Eastern is stronger than Western.
I have to disagree with you here; Gastrodon can threaten both with Toxic. Slowking also doesn’t want to take 2 EQs since that usually does >60%, so provided you predict correctly it’s difficult for Slowking to get a FuturePort off freely. I’ll also say Gastro completely screws rain, and although rain is admittedly kinda bad right now, completely walling every special attacker commonly used on rain is really nice.

I think :dragonite: is another mon that is being slept on rn, it’s probably the closest thing that exists to a Heatran hard counter if you run Heal Bell, which can also make it a decent cleric. It’s also great at checking the rising Urshifu-R and Multiscale lets it take on some really powerful threats, since it can take a Draco Meteor from Specs Pult and OHKO back even without defensive investment.
 

This is probably going to be one of the more controversial ones in the list, but mostly listed due to I'm surprised to the fact it had around 3.6% usage, which I hope for the next month it will have increased usage for how amazing this mon is. Scizor is really great defensive mon being able to check Kyurem,Tapu Lele, and Rillaboom to some extent, but while it can handle these mon Scizor also functions as a fantastic late game wincon with Swords Dance and Bullet Punch. For more offensive teams you can opt to ditch the boots or Leftovers for Life Orb and can run Sand Tomb to trap and remove common switchins like Heatran, Toxapex, and Magnezone, while if you still want some defensive capabilities and increase the damage of Bullet Punch then you can run Metal Coat for better rolls against Calm Mind Clefable, while still being able to check Tapu Lele and Kyurem.
I've been using Bulky SD Scizor using Katy 's spread of 248 HP / 168 Def / 92 SpD with an Impish nature and I agree that its amazing. Despite having a ton of counters like Toxapex, Heatran, Corviknight, etc. it still is a great cleaner since its checks all have overlapping counterplay. Partners like Heatran, Zeraora, and Slowking are all pretty good at dealing with its checks and Scizor can find multiple oppurtunities to setup against mons like Rillaboom, Tangrowth, and Ferrothorn thanks to its good bulk and Roost. I really like running U-Turn in the last slot since it makes Scizor a great pivot in the early and midgame. What's nice about Scizor's U-Turn is that its also decently strong, so its dealing ok chip damage against some of its switch-ins like Zeraora and Garchomp. Its also pretty nasty against mons that it does will against like Tapu Lele, Rillaboom, and Slowking. If Tapu Lele / Rillaboom stay in, they can't do much to Scizor and take a ton of damage from Scizor as it switches into something like Dragapult that can just revenge kill them the next turn. Against Slowking, it can't Teleport safely since its taking 60-70% from U-turn, so the opponent is forced to lose momentum and switch out instead. SD-boosted U-Turn is also pretty nice in matchups against some defensive mons.

Do you have replays of offensive LO SD Scizor in action? From what I've of others using it, it almost never sweeps since it just dies too fast due to no bulk investment, LO recoil, and no Roost. The most I've seen it do is revenge kill the occasional threat here and there before dying the next turn.
 
Do you have replays of offensive LO SD Scizor in action? From what I've of others using it, it almost never sweeps since it just dies too fast due to no bulk investment, LO recoil, and no Roost. The most I've seen it do is revenge kill the occasional threat here and there before dying the next turn.
Sadly I do not but what you said is basically the scenario in most cases, though most of the time when using this set I like pairing it with Volcarona in order to trap and remove Toxapex and Heatran, though it’s also predictable once they see its Life Orb.
 

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