Metagame SS OU Metagame Discussion Thread v7 (Usage Stats in post #3539)

Finchinator

Harry's House
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OU & NU Leader
how would you reccomend using glastrier, with screens,TR(yh I know TR is bad but still), or just by itself?
It is solid on Trick Room, but maybe 1-2% of teams are Trick Room on a good day, so I was thinking more standalone on balance. We saw it a couple of times in SPL like that. It is pretty limited no matter where you place it unfortunately, but there is a niche and if you build specifically enough, it will pay off.
 
There are dozens of viable pokemon to discuss. If you don’t want to talk about Zama, there are so many other topics to post about and I can even provide some myself if you guys would prefer. I don’t view the conversation previously focusing on that as an issue or a limiting factor, for what it’s worth.
Wanted to note that my note about getting stuck in another loop was mostly just me being cynical.

So this is not a one-liner, I haven't seen the idea of body press heatran before, and it makes sense! Cool tech. Thank you for your thoughts Finch.

Fwiw, I think your actions in the thread were fine.
 

Red Raven

I COULD BE BANNED!
:Heatran: with Taunt + Magma Storm + Earth Power + Body Press. Body Press is the key here -- if you pair it with Tapu Lele or Choice Specs Dragapult, then you are able to catch and trap Blissey or Tyranitar, opening the game wide open. This also can help force Roosts from Hydreigon and avoid risking Magma Storm accuracy in certain scenarios.

Hope this helps
What's the ev spread used for this Heatran set if I may ask?
 

Finchinator

Harry's House
is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis a former Tournament Circuit Champion
OU & NU Leader
What's the ev spread used for this Heatran set if I may ask?
Largely team dependent. You do not really need to deviate from the normal spread as you 2HKO Tyranitar and 3HKO Blissey with Body Press after Magma Storm easily regardless. If you do not need the soft check to Wisp Dragapult, Tapu Lele, Tapu Koko, etc., then I go more offensive like:

Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 248 HP / 76 Def / 56 SpA / 128 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Taunt
- Magma Storm
- Earth Power
- Body Press

However, standard spread with SDef works, too. This spread assures doing enough vs Blissey with Taunt+BPress spam to always 1v1 as they spam Seismic Toss even if you miss Magma Storm on the switch I believe. Rest in SAtk to help with trapping SDef Toxapex, 1v1 CM + TBolt LO Clefable, and general damage output bolstering.
 

Goodbye & Thanks

Thrown in a fire?
As for the tier as a whole, I find the metagame to be good, but not great. The quickbans improved teambuilding and the tier as a whole, but at times I find games to be repetitive and even uncompetitive with certain fringe/match-up strategies seeing consistent usage. Before it was not ideal, but we knew what we had to manage and games were arguably won by the better player just as often, if not more. I think the metagame is still developing lots though, so it would be silly to say the tier is in a suboptimal state or stagnant state -- neither would be true. I personally think we should look into retests moving forward as nothing strikes me as too broken in the tier right now and there is no reason to hesitate exploring what could be.
I'm not exactly sure what uncompetitive matchups/strategies Finch is referring to, so I won't touch on that, but I do agree with SS games feeling too repetitive at times. I think that at times it is just too difficult to make progress in games and games can be long and drawn-out with certain cycles repeating over and over again. I feel like this repetitive nature of SS OU was exemplified in this recent match between TPP and Lord_Enz in OST semifinals. Neither of these teams are stall, and in fact they each have some of the best breaking options in the tier in Tapu Lele, Heatran, and Kyurem, but still neither team loses a Pokemon until turn 181. I want to say that I don't think that it's inherently a bad thing that SS is a different meta in that its games tend to be slower and more deliberate, since it's good to have variety in the tiers, and although I tend to enjoy longer games, I've personally found myself becoming increasingly disinterested in SS. I tend to skip over watching most of the SS games from SPL and I don't play the tier much anymore, and I know that's become true for many other players as well. I think that some of the main reasons why it can be so hard to make progress in SS games is because of the diminished importance of hazards, the prevalence of Regenerator, and how easy/risk free positioning is with Teleport. I know that this thread can be very zealous to jump at the chance to take tiering action against aspects of the tier as a way to try to "fix" SS OU, but I don't really think that anything should or will ever be done to touch those three things. I could perhaps see a suspect test on Boots being warranted, but again, I'm fairly certain that that will never happen. So please don't take it that I'm suggesting that anything is really done about Boots, Regenerator, or Teleport, as they really are a big part of what makes SS unique, but I do want to discuss a little more how I feel like those three parts of the tier in conjunction make SS feel more repetitive to me. I know I've talked about these three things before, but I'm planning on stopping playing and posting much going forward, so I wanted to try to clearly get my thoughts about this out there one more time. I also apologize if this comes across as me just rambling and ranting about a tier, and I don't think that this post will be received too well, since most people who browse this thread probably do so because they enjoy the tier, but I just wanted to express my personal feelings about some frustrating parts of SS.

I sometimes see people erroneously claim that Boots are a good thing because they "fix" the overcentralizing nature of Rocks and use RBY as an example of a lack of hazards not necessarily leading to free switching. I think that both of these arguments are a little misguided. First, it's perfectly fine to think that Boots were a good decision because they make Rock-weak Pokemon more viable, and it's also reasonable to wish that Rocks were never introduced in DPP, but it's disingenuous to act like that's all that Boots do. Many of the biggest abusers of Boots in things like Slowking, Slowbro, Blissey, Zeraora, and Dragapult are not weak to Rocks and it's not like all Boots do is remove Stealth Rocks damage; they negate the impact of all hazards. Not having a consistent source of chip on Pokemon that switch into play can lead to instances where little or no progress is made against teams with solid defensive cores that switch into many threats, and it also prevents players from doing things like making double-switches to repeatedly rack up more chip damage against opposing Pokemon without allowing them an opportunity to heal. I feel like Boots simply removed a lot of the nuance from the game by making it irrelevant to some Pokemon if hazards are up or not. I also think that any comparison between SS and RBY is largely irrelevant, since they are obviously completely different games. Things like abilities (particularly Regenerator) did not exist in RBY, there wasn't as varied of a selection of Pokemon to use, and the crit, freeze, and sleep mechanics, along with some other mechanics, make RBY an extremely different game, and I think it's pointless to draw any comparisons to it. I also want to mention that it's not just Boots that limit the impact of hazards, but also how hazard removal is as easy as it's ever been, thanks in large part to Corviknight. I feel like Corviknight is easily one of the best, if not the best, Defoggers we've ever seen, and it keeps hazards off so reliably that they become an even smaller factor in some games (like the OST one that I linked to earlier).

Regenerator has always been a tremendous ability, but when combined with Boots, it allows Pokemon like Slowking/Slowbro and Tornadus-T to become even more difficult to make progress against. Obviously Toxapex is one of the premier Regenerator users, and Pex is and will always be great, but at least most Pex don't run Boots and can be vulnerable to hazards stacking. It sometimes feels very aggravating just trying to punish or wear down something like Torn or Slowking because they're able to freely come in regardless of how many hazards are up and pivot out to both gain momentum and regain health with Regenerator. In previous gens, hazards stacking was a reliable method to limit Regenerator's effectiveness, but that doesn't reliably work anymore. The pivoting capabilities of defensive Pokemon like Slowking brings me to the third thing that I feel like makes progress difficult to come by in SS, and that's Teleport.

Teleport has been widely discussed in SS since the days when Wish + Teleport Clef was on almost every team. I don't think that Teleport in itself is a problem, but again, when combined with Boots and/or Regenerator, it can make the pivoting of some defensive Pokemon like Slowking and Blissey feel too "free." I've heard some top players refer to SS as the "training wheels" generation and bemoan how easy it is to play. A competitive game being "easy" is always a little bit of a strange concept to me, since if it's easy for one player, it should be easy for their opponent as well, and then it's a level playing field. However, I feel like what is meant by SS being easy is that there are a lot of risk-free ways to position your Pokemon and make the "correct" plays. I already talked about how things like Boots and Regenerator can make switching in Pokemon risk-free, but defensive Pokemon getting guaranteed momentum with Teleport gives SS the easiest example of positioning of any Pokemon game. Things like Slowking/Slowbro and Blissey can switch into many Pokemon, not fear Rocks damage with Boots, regain health with Regenerator or ignore status with Natural Cure, and automatically make the correct switch-in after clicking Teleport. There really isn't any risk or difficult decision to be made by the player in instances like this. Even if the opponent doesn't attack into the Slowbro/Slowking or Blissey directly and opts to make a double-switch, it's not like Slowbro/Slowking or Blissey gets chipped by hazards when switching in, thanks to Boots. This leads to awkward scenarios where in order to force progress, players need to put themselves more at risk to make double-switches, and even then, if the opponent has a sturdy enough defensive core to answer what they double-switched into, they can just switch again without much repercussion. I'm not saying that it's impossible to make progress against defensive cores in SS, but I do feel at times that the risk-reward doesn't feel properly balanced when trying to make offensive progress.

I don't want to get sidetracked here by comparing SS to SM, so I won't spend much time on this, but I did hear ABR say during one of McMeghan's streams about how SS being so defensive is what happens when you remove Z-moves. I used to previously really dislike Z-moves, and I still have my problems with them, but I've grown to appreciate more how they can be used to force offensive progress by blowing holes in opposing teams. With that option being removed from SS, but many of the other strong defensive tools remaining (and some new ones being introduced), it does make sense how it could have added to SS becoming a slower and more defensive game.

In regards to potential retests, I do think that it's a good idea to test things and I don't think that suspect tests can ever really hurt a tier. I said before Cinderace was quick-banned that removing it from the tier could be detrimental, and I do think that testing it again could be a good thing to see how much of a difference Cinderace's inclusion in the tier makes on generating offensive progress, but the combination of things like Boots, Regenerator, and Teleport are still going to be prevalent and give SS its defensive qualities that have become somewhat defining of the tier at this point. However, as I said in the beginning of this post, these defensive qualities playing a huge role in SS is not really a bad thing. It's good for SS to have a unique feel to it, and it's kind of ironic that I'm lamenting the defensive nature of SS since I've also been annoyed before by how many people on Smogon are irrationally prejudiced against stall, but I think that stall isn't the problem in SS. That OST replay that I linked in the beginning didn't include stall teams, and it still exhibited the lack of offensive progress that I've talked about. I feel like often times, some Smogon users don't understand stall and just label anything remotely defensive as "stall," but I feel like the defining defensive attributes of SS are present in the vast majority of games in the tier, not just stall matchups.

So to conclude this, I'm sorry if this post just came across as me rambling or complaining about SS; I didn't intend to pointlessly do so. Instead, I wanted to share my personal perspective on why I've become more disillusioned with the tier. I don't think that the tier is in a bad spot and I agree with Finch's assessment of it being "good, but not great." It's good for SS to have a unique feeling to it and I don't feel like drastic tiering action should be considered to try to "fix" SS. I just wanted to get some thoughts out there one more time in a hopefully more complete manner, since I'm planning on not being too active going forward. I also understand that I'm just some guy and that my thoughts on the meta aren't particularly important, but I thought that I might be able to share sentiments that other people are also feeling or offer a different perspective that some people may not be as familiar with. Thanks to anyone who looked this over, and have a great day everyone!
 
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Cinderace was quick-banned that removing it from the tier could be detrimental, and I do think that testing it again could be a good thing
To say this simply: No. Let the bunny rot in Ubers for the rest of SS OU.

Last time was a complete waste of everyone's time. Let's not repeat mistakes multiple times.
Cinderace still have no sure checks (both defensive and offensive), it still can be whatever he wants, have one of the best Abilities in Libero, coverages for nearly everything and pivot for free for most of the game thanks to Boots being the best item in the game.

Cinderace is too much for OU. No restest for it should ever happen.
 

Goodbye & Thanks

Thrown in a fire?
To say this simply: No. Let the bunny rot in Ubers for the rest of SS OU.

Last time was a complete waste of everyone's time. Let's not repeat mistakes multiple times.
Cinderace still have no sure checks (both defensive and offensive), it still can be whatever he wants, have one of the best Abilities in Libero, coverages for nearly everything and pivot for free for most of the game thanks to Boots being the best item in the game.

Cinderace is too much for OU. No restest for it should ever happen.
Did you read the previous post of mine that I linked to? I didn't deny that Cinderace was extremely good and possibly the best offensive Pokemon in the tier, and I didn't disagree with most of what you said. However, I disagree that Cinderace did not have any checks. As I said before:

If you assume that Cinderace has Pyro Ball and three of U-turn/HJK or Low Kick/Gunk Shot/Sucker Punch/Zen Headbutt, there is a decent selection of already very common Pokemon that can reliably check it, such as defensive Lando, Garchomp, Rocky Helmet Pex (Cinderace pretty much needs a Zen Headbutt flinch to get past physically defensive Pex and it can't afford to fish against a Rocky Helmet), Rocky Helmet Slowbro (U-turn does sting a little but Cinderace gets chipped by Helmet and Slowbro gets Regenerator recovery, provided you have a decent switch for whatever comes in), Hippowdon, Pelipper, and even the less common, but still good, defensive Dragonite (as an aside, I think that the physically defensive set with Earthquake, Ice Beam, Roost, and Heal Bell used by Storm Zone in this SPL game is really cool, even though it doesn't face off against a Cinderace in that game). Moltres and Zapdos aren't the best answers to Cinderace since they really don't like switching into Gunk Shot, but they are also a deterrent to it grabbing momentum with U-turn as well. And yeah, I get that it could run Bulk Up or Electro Ball (which we've seen more recently in SPL, particularly paired with Electric Terrain from Tapu Koko) to get past some of those checks, but I really don't think that either of those sets are as good or reliable as the traditional four coverage move ones. Bulk Up also was only used on 9.386% of Cinderaces in January at 1825, while Electro Ball wasn't even one of the 8 most common moves on it, and running either of those options forgoes the ability to threaten other common Pokemon. So the point that I'm trying to make is that all of those Pokemon that I listed as checks are all valuable in their own right and I think that they would likely be about as common even if Cinderace wasn't in the tier, which I feel like is an important distinction between Cinderace and Urshifu/Spectrier. There are more options to check Cinderace than there were for Urshifu and Cinderace's presence isn't really inflating the use of certain Pokemon as substantially as Spectrier is with Tyranitar, Mandibuzz, and Hydreigon. Cinderace also doesn't really force its checks to run suboptimal movesets that they otherwise wouldn't, like Spectrier does with things like defensive Hydreigon with Snarl.
So yes, I agree that Cinderace is very good and difficult to deal with, but I don't necessarily feel like the meta is better off without it. FlamingVictini is easily one of the best SS players right now and he recently said on ima's stream that he didn't think that Cinderace should have been banned. He said that it required you to play and build differently (particularly using more Rocky Helmet to punish U-turn) but that he didn't consider Cinderace to be broken.

However, I don't want the thread to get sidetracked on a potential debate about whether or not Cinderace is broken, especially since it isn't currently being retested. I think that it's unlikely that Cinderace gets unbanned again anyway, so I don't think that you have anything to worry about. Cinderace was not the point of my post either, so I'd rather not focus on it.
 
I'm not exactly sure what uncompetitive matchups/strategies Finch is referring to, so I won't touch on that, but I do agree with SS games feeling too repetitive at times. I think that at times it is just too difficult to make progress in games and games can be long and drawn-out with certain cycles repeating over and over again. I feel like this repetitive nature of SS OU was exemplified in this recent match between TPP and Lord_Enz in OST semifinals. Neither of these teams are stall, and in fact they each have some of the best breaking options in the tier in Tapu Lele, Heatran, and Kyurem, but still neither team loses a Pokemon until turn 181. I want to say that I don't think that it's inherently a bad thing that SS is a different meta in that its games tend to be slower and more deliberate, since it's good to have variety in the tiers, and although I tend to enjoy longer games, I've personally found myself becoming increasingly disinterested in SS. I tend to skip over watching most of the SS games from SPL and I don't play the tier much anymore, and I know that's become true for many other players as well. I think that some of the main reasons why it can be so hard to make progress in SS games is because of the diminished importance of hazards, the prevalence of Regenerator, and how easy/risk free positioning is with Teleport. I know that this thread can be very zealous to jump at the chance to take tiering action against aspects of the tier as a way to try to "fix" SS OU, but I don't really think that anything should or will ever be done to touch those three things. I could perhaps see a suspect test on Boots being warranted, but again, I'm fairly certain that that will never happen. So please don't take it that I'm suggesting that anything is really done about Boots, Regenerator, or Teleport, as they really are a big part of what makes SS unique, but I do want to discuss a little more how I feel like those three parts of the tier in conjunction make SS feel more repetitive to me. I know I've talked about these three things before, but I'm planning on stopping playing and posting much going forward, so I wanted to try to clearly get my thoughts about this out there one more time. I also apologize if this comes across as me just rambling and ranting about a tier, and I don't think that this post will be received too well, since most people who browse this thread probably do so because they enjoy the tier, but I just wanted to express my personal feelings about some frustrating parts of SS.

I sometimes see people erroneously claim that Boots are a good thing because they "fix" the overcentralizing nature of Rocks and use RBY as an example of a lack of hazards not necessarily leading to free switching. I think that both of these arguments are a little misguided. First, it's perfectly fine to think that Boots were a good decision because they make Rock-weak Pokemon more viable, and it's also reasonable to wish that Rocks were never introduced in DPP, but it's disingenuous to act like that's all that Boots do. Many of the biggest abusers of Boots in things like Slowking, Slowbro, Blissey, Zeraora, and Dragapult are not weak to Rocks and it's not like all Boots do is remove Stealth Rocks damage; they negate the impact of all hazards. Not having a consistent source of chip on Pokemon that switch into play can lead to instances where little or no progress is made against teams with solid defensive cores that switch into many threats, and it also prevents players from doing things like making double-switches to repeatedly rack up more chip damage against opposing Pokemon without allowing them an opportunity to heal. I feel like Boots simply removed a lot of the nuance from the game by making it irrelevant to some Pokemon if hazards are up or not. I also think that any comparison between SS and RBY is largely irrelevant, since they are obviously completely different games. Things like abilities (particularly Regenerator) did not exist in RBY, there wasn't as varied of a selection of Pokemon to use, and the crit, freeze, and sleep mechanics, along with some other mechanics, make RBY an extremely different game, and I think it's pointless to draw any comparisons to it. I also want to mention that it's not just Boots that limit the impact of hazards, but also how hazard removal is as easy as it's ever been, thanks in large part to Corviknight. I feel like Corviknight is easily one of the best, if not the best, Defoggers we've ever seen, and it keeps hazards off so reliably that they become an even smaller factor in some games (like the OST one that I linked to earlier).

Regenerator has always been a tremendous ability, but when combined with Boots, it allows Pokemon like Slowking/Slowbro and Tornadus-T to become even more difficult to make progress against. Obviously Toxapex is one of the premier Regenerator users, and Pex is and will always be great, but at least most Pex don't run Boots and can be vulnerable to hazards stacking. It sometimes feels very aggravating just trying to punish or wear down something like Torn or Slowking because they're able to freely come in regardless of how many hazards are up and pivot out to both gain momentum and regain health with Regenerator. In previous gens, hazards stacking was a reliable method to limit Regenerator's effectiveness, but that doesn't reliably work anymore. The pivoting capabilities of defensive Pokemon like Slowking brings me to the third thing that I feel like makes progress difficult to come by in SS, and that's Teleport.

Teleport has been widely discussed in SS since the days when Wish + Teleport Clef was on almost every team. I don't think that Teleport in itself is a problem, but again, when combined with Boots and/or Regenerator, it can make the pivoting of some defensive Pokemon like Slowking and Blissey feel too "free." I've heard some top players refer to SS as the "training wheels" generation and bemoan how easy it is to play. A competitive game being "easy" is always a little bit of a strange concept to me, since if it's easy for one player, it should be easy for their opponent as well, and then it's a level playing field. However, I feel like what is meant by SS being easy is that there are a lot of risk-free ways to position your Pokemon and make the "correct" plays. I already talked about how things like Boots and Regenerator can make switching in Pokemon risk-free, but defensive Pokemon getting guaranteed momentum with Teleport gives SS the easiest example of positioning of any Pokemon game. Things like Slowking/Slowbro and Blissey can switch into many Pokemon, not fear Rocks damage with Boots, regain health with Regenerator or ignore status with Natural Cure, and automatically make the correct switch-in after clicking Teleport. There really isn't any risk or difficult decision to be made by the player in instances like this. Even if the opponent doesn't attack into the Slowbro/Slowking or Blissey directly and opts to make a double-switch, it's not like Slowbro/Slowking or Blissey gets chipped by hazards when switching in, thanks to Boots. This leads to awkward scenarios where in order to force progress, players need to put themselves more at risk to make double-switches, and even then, if the opponent has a sturdy enough defensive core to answer what they double-switched into, they can just switch again without much repercussion. I'm not saying that it's impossible to make progress against defensive cores in SS, but I do feel at times that the risk-reward doesn't feel properly balanced when trying to make offensive progress.

I don't want to get sidetracked here by comparing SS to SM, so I won't spend much time on this, but I did hear ABR say during one of McMeghan's streams about how SS being so defensive is what happens when you remove Z-moves. I used to previously really dislike Z-moves, and I still have my problems with them, but I've grown to appreciate more how they can be used to force offensive progress by blowing holes in opposing teams. With that option being removed from SS, but many of the other strong defensive tools remaining (and some new ones being introduced), it does make sense how it could have added to SS becoming a slower and more defensive game.

In regards to potential retests, I do think that it's a good idea to test things and I don't think that suspect tests can ever really hurt a tier. I said before Cinderace was quick-banned that removing it from the tier could be detrimental, and I do think that testing it again could be a good thing to see how much of a difference Cinderace's inclusion in the tier makes on generating offensive progress, but the combination of things like Boots, Regenerator, and Teleport are still going to be prevalent and give SS its defensive qualities that have become somewhat defining of the tier at this point. However, as I said in the beginning of this post, these defensive qualities playing a huge role in SS is not really a bad thing. It's good for SS to have a unique feel to it, and it's kind of ironic that I'm lamenting the defensive nature of SS since I've also been annoyed before by how many people on Smogon are irrationally prejudiced against stall, but I think that stall isn't the problem in SS. That OST replay that I linked in the beginning didn't include stall teams, and it still exhibited the lack of offensive progress that I've talked about. I feel like often times, some Smogon users don't understand stall and just label anything remotely defensive as "stall," but I feel like the defining defensive attributes of SS are present in the vast majority of games in the tier, not just stall matchups.

So to conclude this, I'm sorry if this post just came across as me rambling or complaining about SS; I didn't intend to pointlessly do so. Instead, I wanted to share my personal perspective on why I've become more disillusioned with the tier. I don't think that the tier is in a bad spot and I agree with Finch's assessment of it being "good, but not great." It's good for SS to have a unique feeling to it and I don't feel like drastic tiering action should be considered to try to "fix" SS. I just wanted to get some thoughts out there one more time in a hopefully more complete manner, since I'm planning on not being too active going forward. I also understand that I'm just some guy and that my thoughts on the meta aren't particularly important, but I thought that I might be able to share sentiments that other people are also feeling or offer a different perspective that some people may not be as familiar with. Thanks to anyone who looked this over, and have a great day everyone!
Gonna reply to this specifically because it was a very well constructed and explained post that covers probably a good amount of users' grievances with the tier, but not one that I personally agree with in entirety. Not replying to argue and at no point when I make a direct comparison or draw a direct quote am I intending to do so, it's just the best direct comparison I have to air my thoughts.

I don't think the tier as-is right now is as passive as it's often being shown to be. Drawn-out sequences may be around in more than a few games but I often find those sequences are generally positioning sequences or sequences of preparation rather than purely passive ones. If I had to make a point of truly passive sequences then rolling back to the post-Home meta where games often ran well over 100 turns and generally followed the routine of 'my Specs Kyurem and my opponent's Guts Conk died to chip and now whoever's ClefCorvToad core can outlast the other wins' would be an apt one, the power disparity of that meta is long gone and there's a much wider array of offensive options as well as supportive options for those mons, coupled with the assortment of positioning assets and trappers to create offensive opportunities there is a lot more room to play aggressively and still hold an advantage. The OST game cited previously is also not what I'd call a strict reference to the state of the meta as it stands right now, while it's true that neither of those were stall structures, they also really can't be claimed as leaning on the more offensive side either just by virtue of having a Kyurem and Lele on them; TPP's team was certainly the more offensive structure of the two, but, on the topic of Lele, TPP's Lele being caught off by an unconventional Pex and losing its boosting item within the first few turns substantially impacted its overall breaking potential that game. Would the game have drawn out as long as it did were that Pex a typical one and that whole sequence hadn't have happened? Idk, but it's worth considering before using it as a blanket reference. I don't like the idea of defining 'progress' purely by the number of mons left dead or alive, I think that's also a blanket way of looking at things that disregards a lot of the nuance and the value dynamic of play on a turn-by-turn basis; not to deny that a lot of turns can just be filler sequences but there's more to progress in the big-picture scale than just what dies first and what's the flashy play (I know quoted poster is aware of this, once again this is not meant to be a debate-sparker, but it's worth prefacing this clearly now).

I'm gonna cover off my thoughts on Boots as well because I really don't like looking at its impact on the tier as purely a way to limit the way progress is made and enhance the passivity of teams, because I think there's more layers than that. Boots do not limit the ability to make progress, what they do do is change the way that progress is meant to be made; setting hazards and expecting that to immediately put games on a timer did force more aggressive play because more focus was put on taking very direct action in the current turn, as mentioned by quoted poster pulling double-switches and spamming pivots was not as sustainable over the course of a whole game. What Boots do is make game sequences more reliant on the positioning elements of play, looking for opportunities to get your offensive monsters in to do damage to make that progress you want to make, creating frequent and timely set-up opportunities, abusing your trappers and your FuturePort user to guide the positioning battle in your favour. It's fun, at least I think it is anyway, I don't find it any more passive than sequentially cycling chip damage against an opponent with hazards. A good comparison could be in arm-wrestling, the early to mid game being focused on getting a good grip to hold the advantageous position and when the time comes you can comfortably top roll them quite comfortably; progress during the mid game is likely to be more incremental in creating opportunities to get the necessary chip for your win-con to proceed instead of getting cycled hazard chip do half that work for you or playing the game as a 1v1 slap fight (obvious hyperbole, but you get the point). I find it a bit off-putting when Boots is sometimes exaggerated to the degree where it sounds like they act as a stack-on Magic Guard or completely invalidate hazards in general, once again it just changes how things are meant to be done in that respect. Hazard stacking is still a very viable and very effective means of making progress and there is a compromise made in having to run Boots in order to avoid hazard chip and that's at the cost of being able to run anything else, it means no turn-by-turn passive recovery from Leftovers; once again, using Boots on pivots, defensive or offensive, just further emphasises the positioning focus of the tier rather than the focus on turn-by-turn damage, but that doesn't necessarily make a game passive. Add to that that the vast majority of mons used, defensive or offensive, do not use Boots is also a point of note, the meme of having a whole team of Boots users is not a genuine statement, and a team that does load their teams with majority Boots is likely not gonna be very consistent in the current climate; for everything else outside of that bracket, hazards are still as punishing as ever. Finally, item displacement is ridiculously common on a wide range of offensive and defensive mons, I very well will argue that Knock Off is the best move in the game and not one that often involves a lot of opportunity cost to accommodate. Yes the sequence of allowing hazards to have the same impact as they used to is now a bit more round-about, but Boots do not nullify the impact of hazards in the meta nor do I believe they get rid of the nuances of progress but simply re-focus that nuance slightly differently.

Regen I do not like, but that's just a very personal statement that I'll make in any Gen. I think again the prevalence of Boots Regen pivots, or Regen pivots in general, just emphasise the positioning aspect of the game right now. You want to slap those things very hard, relying primarily on chip damage as your means of defeating them, Boots or otherwise, is always going to result in drawn-our sequences. Lure sets and trappers are often times considerable ways of forcing progress as supportive options on offensive cores and there's a good range of these in the tier that can punish or remove these things provided the proper scouting is done beforehand and the right positioning is achieved. Yeah, we don't have Z-Moves to catch them with a pocket nuke when they start getting annoying, but that doesn't in its own right make them now overbearing.

Teleport I don't think I need to get into, I don't even feel it's worth discussing. If every mon running Teleport right now instead had U-Turn, the current 'issues' would still be more or less the same. In conjunction with either or both Regen and Boots yes it can be more than a little annoying, but ultimately they are just fat positioning assets that serve more purpose in allowing one to get their breakers in safely rather than sit out and never die; used well they can just as well maintain or retake offensive momentum rather than play passive for passive's sake.

I'm not sure what the reference to 'fringe/match-up strategies seeing consistent usage' was supposed to mean specifically either (especially in the same post that cited Superpower Hydra and Glastrier as underrated options), but I think in a meta with no particular overbearing issues, a good range of usable archetypes, and room for creativity and experimentation, I'm not all that sure what more to ask for; I at least 100% do not believe the tier as-is needs to be 'fixed'. I'd also be on board with testing some things for a drop for the sake of it, I'm fully on board with seeing Zama get a test and I'd be alright with seeing Ace make a comeback for a week just to get quickly banned again, but there's honestly no issue that needs to be filled here and I personally like the way this tier is focused a lot more on the positioning elements of progress and how effective creative lures and trappers are in this meta, I think it's engaging to play and fun to build for, and I can see it continuing to grow and develop in interesting ways on its own even without any re-tests in the near future. I think it's great.
 

Goodbye & Thanks

Thrown in a fire?
Gonna reply to this specifically because it was a very well constructed and explained post that covers probably a good amount of users' grievances with the tier, but not one that I personally agree with in entirety. Not replying to argue and at no point when I make a direct comparison or draw a direct quote am I intending to do so, it's just the best direct comparison I have to air my thoughts.

I don't think the tier as-is right now is as passive as it's often being shown to be. Drawn-out sequences may be around in more than a few games but I often find those sequences are generally positioning sequences or sequences of preparation rather than purely passive ones. If I had to make a point of truly passive sequences then rolling back to the post-Home meta where games often ran well over 100 turns and generally followed the routine of 'my Specs Kyurem and my opponent's Guts Conk died to chip and now whoever's ClefCorvToad core can outlast the other wins' would be an apt one, the power disparity of that meta is long gone and there's a much wider array of offensive options as well as supportive options for those mons, coupled with the assortment of positioning assets and trappers to create offensive opportunities there is a lot more room to play aggressively and still hold an advantage. The OST game cited previously is also not what I'd call a strict reference to the state of the meta as it stands right now, while it's true that neither of those were stall structures, they also really can't be claimed as leaning on the more offensive side either just by virtue of having a Kyurem and Lele on them; TPP's team was certainly the more offensive structure of the two, but, on the topic of Lele, TPP's Lele being caught off by an unconventional Pex and losing its boosting item within the first few turns substantially impacted its overall breaking potential that game. Would the game have drawn out as long as it did were that Pex a typical one and that whole sequence hadn't have happened? Idk, but it's worth considering before using it as a blanket reference. I don't like the idea of defining 'progress' purely by the number of mons left dead or alive, I think that's also a blanket way of looking at things that disregards a lot of the nuance and the value dynamic of play on a turn-by-turn basis; not to deny that a lot of turns can just be filler sequences but there's more to progress in the big-picture scale than just what dies first and what's the flashy play (I know quoted poster is aware of this, once again this is not meant to be a debate-sparker, but it's worth prefacing this clearly now).

I'm gonna cover off my thoughts on Boots as well because I really don't like looking at its impact on the tier as purely a way to limit the way progress is made and enhance the passivity of teams, because I think there's more layers than that. Boots do not limit the ability to make progress, what they do do is change the way that progress is meant to be made; setting hazards and expecting that to immediately put games on a timer did force more aggressive play because more focus was put on taking very direct action in the current turn, as mentioned by quoted poster pulling double-switches and spamming pivots was not as sustainable over the course of a whole game. What Boots do is make game sequences more reliant on the positioning elements of play, looking for opportunities to get your offensive monsters in to do damage to make that progress you want to make, creating frequent and timely set-up opportunities, abusing your trappers and your FuturePort user to guide the positioning battle in your favour. It's fun, at least I think it is anyway, I don't find it any more passive than sequentially cycling chip damage against an opponent with hazards. A good comparison could be in arm-wrestling, the early to mid game being focused on getting a good grip to hold the advantageous position and when the time comes you can comfortably top roll them quite comfortably; progress during the mid game is likely to be more incremental in creating opportunities to get the necessary chip for your win-con to proceed instead of getting cycled hazard chip do half that work for you or playing the game as a 1v1 slap fight (obvious hyperbole, but you get the point). I find it a bit off-putting when Boots is sometimes exaggerated to the degree where it sounds like they act as a stack-on Magic Guard or completely invalidate hazards in general, once again it just changes how things are meant to be done in that respect. Hazard stacking is still a very viable and very effective means of making progress and there is a compromise made in having to run Boots in order to avoid hazard chip and that's at the cost of being able to run anything else, it means no turn-by-turn passive recovery from Leftovers; once again, using Boots on pivots, defensive or offensive, just further emphasises the positioning focus of the tier rather than the focus on turn-by-turn damage, but that doesn't necessarily make a game passive. Add to that that the vast majority of mons used, defensive or offensive, do not use Boots is also a point of note, the meme of having a whole team of Boots users is not a genuine statement, and a team that does load their teams with majority Boots is likely not gonna be very consistent in the current climate; for everything else outside of that bracket, hazards are still as punishing as ever. Finally, item displacement is ridiculously common on a wide range of offensive and defensive mons, I very well will argue that Knock Off is the best move in the game and not one that often involves a lot of opportunity cost to accommodate. Yes the sequence of allowing hazards to have the same impact as they used to is now a bit more round-about, but Boots do not nullify the impact of hazards in the meta nor do I believe they get rid of the nuances of progress but simply re-focus that nuance slightly differently.

Regen I do not like, but that's just a very personal statement that I'll make in any Gen. I think again the prevalence of Boots Regen pivots, or Regen pivots in general, just emphasise the positioning aspect of the game right now. You want to slap those things very hard, relying primarily on chip damage as your means of defeating them, Boots or otherwise, is always going to result in drawn-our sequences. Lure sets and trappers are often times considerable ways of forcing progress as supportive options on offensive cores and there's a good range of these in the tier that can punish or remove these things provided the proper scouting is done beforehand and the right positioning is achieved. Yeah, we don't have Z-Moves to catch them with a pocket nuke when they start getting annoying, but that doesn't in its own right make them now overbearing.

Teleport I don't think I need to get into, I don't even feel it's worth discussing. If every mon running Teleport right now instead had U-Turn, the current 'issues' would still be more or less the same. In conjunction with either or both Regen and Boots yes it can be more than a little annoying, but ultimately they are just fat positioning assets that serve more purpose in allowing one to get their breakers in safely rather than sit out and never die; used well they can just as well maintain or retake offensive momentum rather than play passive for passive's sake.

I'm not sure what the reference to 'fringe/match-up strategies seeing consistent usage' was supposed to mean specifically either (especially in the same post that cited Superpower Hydra and Glastrier as underrated options), but I think in a meta with no particular overbearing issues, a good range of usable archetypes, and room for creativity and experimentation, I'm not all that sure what more to ask for; I at least 100% do not believe the tier as-is needs to be 'fixed'. I'd also be on board with testing some things for a drop for the sake of it, I'm fully on board with seeing Zama get a test and I'd be alright with seeing Ace make a comeback for a week just to get quickly banned again, but there's honestly no issue that needs to be filled here and I personally like the way this tier is focused a lot more on the positioning elements of progress and how effective creative lures and trappers are in this meta, I think it's engaging to play and fun to build for, and I can see it continuing to grow and develop in interesting ways on its own even without any re-tests in the near future. I think it's great.
Hey, I just want to thank you for writing out an excellent and even-handed reply! I think that everything that you said was a fair assessment, and I definitely agree that I feel like SS is in a good place. I apologize if my post came across as overly negative of the meta, and I do understand and am glad that many people enjoy it; I have spent a lot of time playing SS OU and had my biggest "ladder accomplishments" with it, so I personally have enjoyed the tier a lot as well. I think that I just was feeling more and more uninterested in playing SS OU, and I wanted to try to articulate why, since I know that some other people have been feeling the same way. As I said in my post, I don't think that anything should be done to "fix" SS, since it isn't broken - it's just different than all of the other metas, but that's a good thing. I completely agree with you that much of playing SS is focused on positioning and the addition of Boots and providing more defensive Pokemon a pivoting tool in Teleport changes how that positioning plays out. I didn't want to act like that aspect of the game should be labeled as "boring" or "bad," since no one can really decide that for other people, but instead that it just wasn't my personal preference. I do also agree with you that building in SS is fun, and I still do enjoy building much more than actually playing. I'll try to wrap this post up as well, since I'm not really good at brevity, but I think that I more just kind of came to a realization that some of the aspects of SS that I have grown to dislike more probably will never change because they're "baked into the bread" of SS. We've seen SS OU go through many different stages with the DLCs and different tiering actions (it is funny to think about at times how everything started this generation with Dynamax) and I think that I kind of kept holding out some hope that SS would eventually warp into a meta that felt close to perfect to me (and I also get that's not realistic but it was just a hope). I've realized that despite the changes the meta has gone through, some of the aspects I particularly don't like have never and likely will never change, but that's also fine, because I acknowledge that SS OU is a healthy meta that many people enjoy, even if it's just not ideal to me. And who knows, the Sinnoh remakes will probably shake up the meta (assuming they're compatible with SS) and it's not like the meta is at all stagnant. People are experimenting and trying new things, which is why building in SS is still pretty fun to me. Even look at how ORAS turned from a more bulky and balance oriented meta to HO-centric like it has recently; I know a lot of people don't like that development, myself included, but it still shows that tiers don't ever really stop changing. So yeah, thanks again for writing a great response and I'm happy that SS OU is in a healthy spot, even if I've had to accept that it's probably just not my particular cup of tea.
 
I'm not exactly sure what uncompetitive matchups/strategies Finch is referring to, so I won't touch on that, but I do agree with SS games feeling too repetitive at times. I think that at times it is just too difficult to make progress in games and games can be long and drawn-out with certain cycles repeating over and over again. I feel like this repetitive nature of SS OU was exemplified in this recent match between TPP and Lord_Enz in OST semifinals. Neither of these teams are stall, and in fact they each have some of the best breaking options in the tier in Tapu Lele, Heatran, and Kyurem, but still neither team loses a Pokemon until turn 181. I want to say that I don't think that it's inherently a bad thing that SS is a different meta in that its games tend to be slower and more deliberate, since it's good to have variety in the tiers, and although I tend to enjoy longer games, I've personally found myself becoming increasingly disinterested in SS. I tend to skip over watching most of the SS games from SPL and I don't play the tier much anymore, and I know that's become true for many other players as well. I think that some of the main reasons why it can be so hard to make progress in SS games is because of the diminished importance of hazards, the prevalence of Regenerator, and how easy/risk free positioning is with Teleport. I know that this thread can be very zealous to jump at the chance to take tiering action against aspects of the tier as a way to try to "fix" SS OU, but I don't really think that anything should or will ever be done to touch those three things. I could perhaps see a suspect test on Boots being warranted, but again, I'm fairly certain that that will never happen. So please don't take it that I'm suggesting that anything is really done about Boots, Regenerator, or Teleport, as they really are a big part of what makes SS unique, but I do want to discuss a little more how I feel like those three parts of the tier in conjunction make SS feel more repetitive to me. I know I've talked about these three things before, but I'm planning on stopping playing and posting much going forward, so I wanted to try to clearly get my thoughts about this out there one more time. I also apologize if this comes across as me just rambling and ranting about a tier, and I don't think that this post will be received too well, since most people who browse this thread probably do so because they enjoy the tier, but I just wanted to express my personal feelings about some frustrating parts of SS.

I sometimes see people erroneously claim that Boots are a good thing because they "fix" the overcentralizing nature of Rocks and use RBY as an example of a lack of hazards not necessarily leading to free switching. I think that both of these arguments are a little misguided. First, it's perfectly fine to think that Boots were a good decision because they make Rock-weak Pokemon more viable, and it's also reasonable to wish that Rocks were never introduced in DPP, but it's disingenuous to act like that's all that Boots do. Many of the biggest abusers of Boots in things like Slowking, Slowbro, Blissey, Zeraora, and Dragapult are not weak to Rocks and it's not like all Boots do is remove Stealth Rocks damage; they negate the impact of all hazards. Not having a consistent source of chip on Pokemon that switch into play can lead to instances where little or no progress is made against teams with solid defensive cores that switch into many threats, and it also prevents players from doing things like making double-switches to repeatedly rack up more chip damage against opposing Pokemon without allowing them an opportunity to heal. I feel like Boots simply removed a lot of the nuance from the game by making it irrelevant to some Pokemon if hazards are up or not. I also think that any comparison between SS and RBY is largely irrelevant, since they are obviously completely different games. Things like abilities (particularly Regenerator) did not exist in RBY, there wasn't as varied of a selection of Pokemon to use, and the crit, freeze, and sleep mechanics, along with some other mechanics, make RBY an extremely different game, and I think it's pointless to draw any comparisons to it. I also want to mention that it's not just Boots that limit the impact of hazards, but also how hazard removal is as easy as it's ever been, thanks in large part to Corviknight. I feel like Corviknight is easily one of the best, if not the best, Defoggers we've ever seen, and it keeps hazards off so reliably that they become an even smaller factor in some games (like the OST one that I linked to earlier).

Regenerator has always been a tremendous ability, but when combined with Boots, it allows Pokemon like Slowking/Slowbro and Tornadus-T to become even more difficult to make progress against. Obviously Toxapex is one of the premier Regenerator users, and Pex is and will always be great, but at least most Pex don't run Boots and can be vulnerable to hazards stacking. It sometimes feels very aggravating just trying to punish or wear down something like Torn or Slowking because they're able to freely come in regardless of how many hazards are up and pivot out to both gain momentum and regain health with Regenerator. In previous gens, hazards stacking was a reliable method to limit Regenerator's effectiveness, but that doesn't reliably work anymore. The pivoting capabilities of defensive Pokemon like Slowking brings me to the third thing that I feel like makes progress difficult to come by in SS, and that's Teleport.

Teleport has been widely discussed in SS since the days when Wish + Teleport Clef was on almost every team. I don't think that Teleport in itself is a problem, but again, when combined with Boots and/or Regenerator, it can make the pivoting of some defensive Pokemon like Slowking and Blissey feel too "free." I've heard some top players refer to SS as the "training wheels" generation and bemoan how easy it is to play. A competitive game being "easy" is always a little bit of a strange concept to me, since if it's easy for one player, it should be easy for their opponent as well, and then it's a level playing field. However, I feel like what is meant by SS being easy is that there are a lot of risk-free ways to position your Pokemon and make the "correct" plays. I already talked about how things like Boots and Regenerator can make switching in Pokemon risk-free, but defensive Pokemon getting guaranteed momentum with Teleport gives SS the easiest example of positioning of any Pokemon game. Things like Slowking/Slowbro and Blissey can switch into many Pokemon, not fear Rocks damage with Boots, regain health with Regenerator or ignore status with Natural Cure, and automatically make the correct switch-in after clicking Teleport. There really isn't any risk or difficult decision to be made by the player in instances like this. Even if the opponent doesn't attack into the Slowbro/Slowking or Blissey directly and opts to make a double-switch, it's not like Slowbro/Slowking or Blissey gets chipped by hazards when switching in, thanks to Boots. This leads to awkward scenarios where in order to force progress, players need to put themselves more at risk to make double-switches, and even then, if the opponent has a sturdy enough defensive core to answer what they double-switched into, they can just switch again without much repercussion. I'm not saying that it's impossible to make progress against defensive cores in SS, but I do feel at times that the risk-reward doesn't feel properly balanced when trying to make offensive progress.

I don't want to get sidetracked here by comparing SS to SM, so I won't spend much time on this, but I did hear ABR say during one of McMeghan's streams about how SS being so defensive is what happens when you remove Z-moves. I used to previously really dislike Z-moves, and I still have my problems with them, but I've grown to appreciate more how they can be used to force offensive progress by blowing holes in opposing teams. With that option being removed from SS, but many of the other strong defensive tools remaining (and some new ones being introduced), it does make sense how it could have added to SS becoming a slower and more defensive game.

In regards to potential retests, I do think that it's a good idea to test things and I don't think that suspect tests can ever really hurt a tier. I said before Cinderace was quick-banned that removing it from the tier could be detrimental, and I do think that testing it again could be a good thing to see how much of a difference Cinderace's inclusion in the tier makes on generating offensive progress, but the combination of things like Boots, Regenerator, and Teleport are still going to be prevalent and give SS its defensive qualities that have become somewhat defining of the tier at this point. However, as I said in the beginning of this post, these defensive qualities playing a huge role in SS is not really a bad thing. It's good for SS to have a unique feel to it, and it's kind of ironic that I'm lamenting the defensive nature of SS since I've also been annoyed before by how many people on Smogon are irrationally prejudiced against stall, but I think that stall isn't the problem in SS. That OST replay that I linked in the beginning didn't include stall teams, and it still exhibited the lack of offensive progress that I've talked about. I feel like often times, some Smogon users don't understand stall and just label anything remotely defensive as "stall," but I feel like the defining defensive attributes of SS are present in the vast majority of games in the tier, not just stall matchups.

So to conclude this, I'm sorry if this post just came across as me rambling or complaining about SS; I didn't intend to pointlessly do so. Instead, I wanted to share my personal perspective on why I've become more disillusioned with the tier. I don't think that the tier is in a bad spot and I agree with Finch's assessment of it being "good, but not great." It's good for SS to have a unique feeling to it and I don't feel like drastic tiering action should be considered to try to "fix" SS. I just wanted to get some thoughts out there one more time in a hopefully more complete manner, since I'm planning on not being too active going forward. I also understand that I'm just some guy and that my thoughts on the meta aren't particularly important, but I thought that I might be able to share sentiments that other people are also feeling or offer a different perspective that some people may not be as familiar with. Thanks to anyone who looked this over, and have a great day everyone!
I agree with most of what you said here and feel pretty similar about the metagame, which is why I keep taking breaks from PS this gen.
I don't think the current metagame is in a state where tiering action should be considered against the things you mentioned / discussed.
The IoA-Meta for example was in a way worse state as far as I'm concerned, tour replays from that period were straight up unwatchable imo.
Letting the meta develop more and potentially test Zamazenta is a course of action, I'd definetely support right now.

However if this "defensive" state of the meta keeps getting worse, the first thing I would consider for suspects etc. is not Boots and definetly not Teleport but Regenerator. Boots and Teleport are imo just what made a potential unhealthy aspect, that was there since Gen 5, a lot worse.
With Knock Off being this present and Teleport seeing this little use on mons aside from the Slowtwins and Blissey, I just have a hard time seeing them as potential problems.

The thing is that 6v6 singles has always been an extremely switch-heavy metagame (which is why I think an ability that gives you health on switch has always had the potential to be problematic), it's one of - if not the - central aspect of the game, that is why hazards have always been a key factor as well to limit and punish opposing switch-ins. However you still had to find the opportunities to set up these hazards and stop your opponent from removing them. In general there was always a lot of room during the game and in the builder to adequately deal with hazards and with the introduction of Defog and its increasing distribution it actually improved throughout the last gens imo.

With Regen mons it feels like the opposite, in Gen 7 we got an other very good and extremely centralizing Regen mon with Toxapex and in Gen 8 we got Boots and Teleport. The ways to combat and punish Regen have always been very limited and Boots and Teleport limited even further. The most frustrating part are the more and more common situations where you even know the opponent will switch / Teleport to get Regen but you also know that you absolutely no way of stopping them from doing that. This goes to show that the risk vs reward of this game mechanic is extremely skewed in favour of the Regen user. It's no coincidence that some of the Regen mons will always find their way to the top of OU and it's also no coincidence that we've even seen ppl use Mono-Regen teams, I even recall someone getting reqs with 5 of them + Ditto iirc.

Thankfully there are still things in the tier that give these Regen mons a hard time (like Pex who has fallen off significantly compared to IoA) and these mons ofc also have flaws that hold them back, even if it's just the accuracy of its strongest stab like in Torn's case lol
I still think the mechanic itself is easily borderline unhealthy and definetely has the potential to become problematic down the road.
 
  • :Hydreigon: with Superpower + Flash Cannon + Draco Meteor + Roost is an underrated lure when paired with Choice Specs Dragapult or Kyurem. Being able to do a great deal to Clefable, Blissey, Heatran, and Tyranitar all in one set while still having recovery is fun. Rather than a one-at-a-time, clunkier sweeper, Hydreigon functions as a mixed wallbreaker
What spread(s) do you run on this?
 
I wanna talk about sand in the current meta. (Shocking right? Me talk about Sand?) However yes I wanna talk about Sand and it's current place in the meta a bit after the bans as there's been some good things and some bad things.

1: Let's talk about the bans affect on Sand.

I for one actually think sand teams are worse post bans. Yes they did gain some good new things. Such as the rise of Garchomps viability and of Sub Veil chomp and the fact that T-tars/Hippo's no longer have to fear specs Fleur cannon. However, Sand was one of the very few archetypes which could regularly check both pokemon and actually thrive off of them.

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Mag was one of sands favorite pokemon to face and yes while Hippo/T-tar didn't like specs fleur cannon. They both could take at least one hit from specs and then get in Excadrill for an easy swords dance and clean. Not only this but Excadrill preyed on the common Screens Mag teams and the SG/SP/Dk Sets or the ID/CM/SG/DK/SP set up sets that cleaned through most teams and would often reverse sweep instead. Mag hated Zolt as well since it could never switch in as it had to be completely healthy to avoid the Ohko on offensive sets and 2hko on defensive sets.

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Sand also loved this bunny as while T-tar hated HJK. It made it much easier to run Hippo since Hippo could wall Cinderace all day and counter with Toxic/Whirlwind/Eq and take pitiful damage from all it's attacks. This made it an amazing sand setter easy to fit on all sand teams and now it's just a bit harder to slot onto teams especially since...

2. The rises

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Enemy number 1 of sand teams! the fact of the matter is this. T-tar and Hippo straight up lose to banded Boom, so does Excadrill and Chomp. The only thing that doesn't mind it is Zolt and even then it still takes 40+ from Grassy Glide and loses to SD sets. So it beats 2/3 of your mons and potentially a fourth. This means you basically have to run two checks to this mon or play very perfectly if you don't wanna lose to it. It also half EQ's power which makes your entire team much worse. I'm not exaggerating when I say this mon nearly invalidates sand as a playstyle and the fact that it's only gotten more popular post band makes sands much worse by themselves.

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I put these two together as they serve a similar point. I've found there has been a much higher rise in ground type plus Corv (and to a lesser extent Skarm). Which unless played perfectly around breaks most sand cores (Zolt+Drill or Zolt+Chomp). The primary breaker on most sand teams is Zolt and in theory it should run through this core and on low ladder it does. However the fact of the matter is that is in theory. In practice you have to play near perfectly against this core especially if something like boom is on the team as well. You have to predict the chomp switch perfectly or else you can't ko the chomp and vice verse if you miss predict the corv switch your zolt is dead and you have lost as it is now near impossible for you to break chomp. I know you're thinking alright run an extra mon that can beat these two? Well you can't because you need those team slots to counter Rillaboom especially if it is on said team. If they happen to have a Hippowdown or a Swampert instead of chomp, ya might as well throw in the towel as if played correctly you can't counter them.

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Sand hates the rise of Kyurem, one of it's best setters straight loses to it. Exca/Chomp/Zolt lose if it already has a sub up. The only thing that beats it commonly on sand is T-tar and that as a whole other slew of problems. Don't see it that much however, so I can't say too much on it.


Anyways this has been a slightly informed rant on why sand is much worse in the meta by a sand player who continuously keeps losing games because he's to dumb to adapt to the current meta. I hope you all enjoyed it and you all have a great day. Feel free to ask me any questions if ya have them.
 

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Red Raven

I COULD BE BANNED!
I wanna talk about sand in the current meta. (Shocking right? Me talk about Sand?) However yes I wanna talk about Sand and it's current place in the meta a bit after the bans as there's been some good things and some bad things.

1: Let's talk about the bans affect on Sand.

I for one actually think sand teams are worse post bans. Yes they did gain some good new things. Such as the rise of Garchomps viability and of Sub Veil chomp and the fact that T-tars/Hippo's no longer have to fear specs Fleur cannon. However, Sand was one of the very few archetypes which could regularly check both pokemon and actually thrive off of them.

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Mag was one of sands favorite pokemon to face and yes while Hippo/T-tar didn't like specs fleur cannon. They both could take at least one hit from specs and then get in Excadrill for an easy swords dance and clean. Not only this but Excadrill preyed on the common Screens Mag teams and the SG/SP/Dk Sets or the ID/CM/SG/DK/SP set up sets that cleaned through most teams and would often reverse sweep instead. Mag hated Zolt as well since it could never switch in as it had to be completely healthy to avoid the Ohko on offensive sets and 2hko on defensive sets.

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Sand also loved this bunny as while T-tar hated HJK. It made it much easier to run Hippo since Hippo could wall Cinderace all day and counter with Toxic/Whirlwind/Eq and take pitiful damage from all it's attacks. This made it an amazing sand setter easy to fit on all sand teams and now it's just a bit harder to slot onto teams especially since...

2. The rises

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Enemy number 1 of sand teams! the fact of the matter is this. T-tar and Hippo straight up lose to banded Boom, so does Excadrill and Chomp. The only thing that doesn't mind it is Zolt and even then it still takes 40+ from Grassy Glide and loses to SD sets. So it beats 2/3 of your mons and potentially a fourth. This means you basically have to run two checks to this mon or play very perfectly if you don't wanna lose to it. It also half EQ's power which makes your entire team much worse. I'm not exaggerating when I say this mon nearly invalidates sand as a playstyle and the fact that it's only gotten more popular post band makes sands much worse by themselves.

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I put these two together as they serve a similar point. I've found there has been a much higher rise in ground type plus Corv (and to a lesser extent Skarm). Which unless played perfectly around breaks most sand cores (Zolt+Drill or Zolt+Chomp). The primary breaker on most sand teams is Zolt and in theory it should run through this core and on low ladder it does. However the fact of the matter is that is in theory. In practice you have to play near perfectly against this core especially if something like boom is on the team as well. You have to predict the chomp switch perfectly or else you can't ko the chomp and vice verse if you miss predict the corv switch your zolt is dead and you have lost as it is now near impossible for you to break chomp. I know you're thinking alright run an extra mon that can beat these two? Well you can't because you need those team slots to counter Rillaboom especially if it is on said team. If they happen to have a Hippowdown or a Swampert instead of chomp, ya might as well throw in the towel as if played correctly you can't counter them.

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Sand hates the rise of Kyurem, one of it's best setters straight loses to it. Exca/Chomp/Zolt lose if it already has a sub up. The only thing that beats it commonly on sand is T-tar and that as a whole other slew of problems. Don't see it that much however, so I can't say too much on it.


Anyways this has been a slightly informed rant on why sand is much worse in the meta by a sand player who continuously keeps losing games because he's to dumb to adapt to the current meta. I hope you all enjoyed it and you all have a great day. Feel free to ask me any questions if ya have them.
I'm gonna have to disagree with you there. I think sand teams were just 'meh' with the bunny bans. I do agree that sand was a very good playstyle in the bunny era with Excadrill completely shitting on Magearna but I don't think it got worse with these bans. If anything I would say it got slightly better as Hippo no longer has to run physical defense all the time

Regardless of the team composition, if a sand team doesn't have a mon that can switch in and kill Rillaboom, then it's a flawed sand team and I will fight anyone to the death who says otherwise. Sand teams hates Rillaboom. They hate Garchomp. They hate paper sword and above all, they hate metal birds. However, with the first three, metal birds, despite that sand teams hate them, are also one of sand's greatest tools. Neither Kartana nor Rillaboom is getting past a healthy metal bird while Garchomp doesn't exactly have an easy time breaking them either. Metal brids aren't even the only options as you can go for something like Amoonguss or Tangrowth but regardless, the point is, having a mon that can deal with Rillaboom is always something one would consider when building a team. Sand is no exception to this one so it's not a tall order

This is why I say sand teams are very consistent as they're not restrictive as other weathers. You just have to pick between Tyranitar or Hippowdon and Garchomp or Excadrill for the first two slots with the third slot being dedicated to countering Rillaboom. As I said, answering Rillaboom is not a tall order because grassy glide is balanced and Rilla can end the game then and there. The first three are basically the only 'fundamentals' for a sand team and I think that any sand team that has those three mons will do fairly well as long as the last three mons are also well thought out, and as long as you don't have veil chomp and rush drill on the same team

The same goes for Corviknight. Many offensive or balance teams need to have a plan to get past the accursed steel flying type because of its limited weaknesses whether that's by Magnezone trap or random choice tricks. In sand's case, it has the perfect metal bird killer. Zolt doesn't even just kill metal birds, it drops all the other birds in one shot except maybe for Zapdos I guess but Zapdos can't touch Zolt either so it's fair

I do agree with Kyurem though. I think that any teams that doesn't have Blissey or Galarian Slowking can barely stop it from getting a kill but stealth rock is still an issue. Personally, I find sub dd much easier to manage. Kyurem has a non existent physical movepool and icicle spear is not gonna deal that much against Corviknight unless it manages to get like three dds or something but playing around non specs Kyurem is a lot easier for sand teams because specs is a coin flip. You guess wrong, you lose, you guess right you win. At least in my experience it is
 
I'm gonna have to disagree with you there. I think sand teams were just 'meh' with the bunny bans. I do agree that sand was a very good playstyle in the bunny era with Excadrill completely shitting on Magearna but I don't think it got worse with these bans. If anything I would say it got slightly better as Hippo no longer has to run physical defense all the time

Regardless of the team composition, if a sand team doesn't have a mon that can switch in and kill Rillaboom, then it's a flawed sand team and I will fight anyone to the death who says otherwise. Sand teams hates Rillaboom. They hate Garchomp. They hate paper sword and above all, they hate metal birds. However, with the first three, metal birds, despite that sand teams hate them, are also one of sand's greatest tools. Neither Kartana nor Rillaboom is getting past a healthy metal bird while Garchomp doesn't exactly have an easy time breaking them either. Metal brids aren't even the only options as you can go for something like Amoonguss or Tangrowth but regardless, the point is, having a mon that can deal with Rillaboom is always something one would consider when building a team. Sand is no exception to this one so it's not a tall order

This is why I say sand teams are very consistent as they're not restrictive as other weathers. You just have to pick between Tyranitar or Hippowdon and Garchomp or Excadrill for the first two slots with the third slot being dedicated to countering Rillaboom. As I said, answering Rillaboom is not a tall order because grassy glide is balanced and Rilla can end the game then and there. The first three are basically the only 'fundamentals' for a sand team and I think that any sand team that has those three mons will do fairly well as long as the last three mons are also well thought out, and as long as you don't have veil chomp and rush drill on the same team

The same goes for Corviknight. Many offensive or balance teams need to have a plan to get past the accursed steel flying type because of its limited weaknesses whether that's by Magnezone trap or random choice tricks. In sand's case, it has the perfect metal bird killer. Zolt doesn't even just kill metal birds, it drops all the other birds in one shot except maybe for Zapdos I guess but Zapdos can't touch Zolt either so it's fair

I do agree with Kyurem though. I think that any teams that doesn't have Blissey or Galarian Slowking can barely stop it from getting a kill but stealth rock is still an issue. Personally, I find sub dd much easier to manage. Kyurem has a non existent physical movepool and icicle spear is not gonna deal that much against Corviknight unless it manages to get like three dds or something but playing around non specs Kyurem is a lot easier for sand teams because specs is a coin flip. You guess wrong, you lose, you guess right you win. At least in my experience it is
Here's where we differ. I myself much prefer running two sand setters for Consistency. Which means I especially need more than one dedicated Rilla counter because you straight up lose if ya lose that one mon.

Not only that but I also disagree that Exca is required to use on sand teams. I think Zolt is much more required and useful on sand teams since it's such a consistent breaker for your sweeper. Not only that but it's such a consistent breaker for every mon that works on sand and destroys basically the entire defensive meta outside of Down.

I also hate using the metal birds personally as they just don't fit my preferred playstyle but that's my own bad there honestly unfortunately.

Onto Kyurem I feel like you straight up lose to Sub roost freeze dry Kyurem if ya don't use T-tar.
 

Red Raven

I COULD BE BANNED!
Here's where we differ. I myself much prefer running two sand setters for Consistency. Which means I especially need more than one dedicated Rilla counter because you straight up lose if ya lose that one mon.

Not only that but I also disagree that Exca is required to use on sand teams. I think Zolt is much more required and useful on sand teams since it's such a consistent breaker for your sweeper. Not only that but it's such a consistent breaker for every mon that works on sand and destroys basically the entire defensive meta outside of Down.

I also hate using the metal birds personally as they just don't fit my preferred playstyle but that's my own bad there honestly unfortunately.

Onto Kyurem I feel like you straight up lose to Sub roost freeze dry Kyurem if ya don't use T-tar.
That's why I love using Tyranitar of Hippowdon

I guess we have the polar opposite philosophy on sand lol. The way I build my sand teams usually goes Tyranitar, Garchomp / Excadrill, Rillaboom counter, wallbreaker 1, special wall and wallbreaker 2. It almost always ends up with smooth rock Tyranitar, Garchomp / Excadrill, metal bird, Ocelzolt, Blissey / Slowking and Tapu Lele. Always brings me consistent results

Are you using Ocelzolt as your main sand abuser? That thing is slow that scarf Garchomp outspeeds it in sand. I know that because I lost a couple times to an unexpected scarf chomp. I'm also against Dracozolt as the main sand abuser as that thing is literally helpless against offense without sand. At least Garchomp and Excadrill have a way to boost their speed without sand

Although, send me a pm if you wanna continue talking about it. I haven't had a conversation about sand as a whole and I think Finch is gonna get mad if we drag this for too long
 
Okay guys, what role can Kommo O play in the current OU if any?

I have tried so many sets and it just doesn't do much. On offense it seems like I have dead slot on my team as it's SD Scale Shots and DD sets get so utterly walled by every common defensive mons like Slowbro, Lando, Pex, Tapu Fini, Torn, Zapdos, Corvi etc. unless running Belly Drum and if you do run Belly Drum, it feels like playing 5v6 to keep it in pristine condition to sweep and still it fails a lot more than it succeeds. Not to mention it hits like a wet paper bag until you BD so somehow it is initially even weaker than SD or DD sets as that set can't even afford LO. Weavile Ice Shard rising is also really bad news for it.

Special Sets with Clangorous Soul also suffer similar problems but to a lesser degree due to throat spray. Now instead it gets walled by Slowking, Tapu Fini again, Pex, Pert, Galar-king etc. To be honest, even things like Corvi and Zapdos survive from full with just max HP but at least the chip needed is minimum.

Another problem with these sets is that it gets picked off by priority as it is lowering it's defenses and even lowering it's HP in Clangorus set. It also suffers from the fact that every relevant Scarfer is faster than it at +1. It simply is too slow. But at the very least, it does outspeeds Pult and Zeraora at +1.

Defensively it just struggles to check a lot of mons. Chomp, Torn, Koko, Lando, Weavile, Zapdos G, Pult, Dnite etc. all just punch through it. It used to be good against weather but it can't stand up to rain, sand or hail. Sun is the only weather it somewhat does decent again but that is niche compared to rain and sand. It really only checks Rillaboom and Tyranitar in the OU tier decently and maybe Kart and Barra.

I think the Clangorus Soul set followed by Belly Drum are it's best sets but not particularly good by top tier standards though and are rather inconsistent. I think there is some room for innovation such as Clangorus Soul set being run mixed with Drain Punch to prevent the priority problem and ditching Sub Salac for Scale Shot Sitrus Berry on Belly Drum, affording 3 moves on BD this way, but at just a glance they seem worse than the standard sets. Clangorus Soul set made itself a whole lot weaker and Belly Drum doesn't get that guaranteed speed boost anymore.

I do kind of like that BD Scale Shot set in theory as it's power is simply amazing melting something as ludicrously bulky as Phys Def Hippo with 4 Scale Shots at +6 but I don't think literally any human being will let you get that set up off. It's one of those only "on paper seems good" ideas.

Outside of these, maybe taunt rocks could work? But it is virtually worse than every rocker in OU.

Has anyone had any notable success with Kommo O and with what set?


In a similar vein, is Salamence completely overshadowed by Dnite or is there any hope for it? Giving up Multiscale especially with boots is very difficult even if you get Moxie in return. It's Speed is something it has over Dnite but Dnites can get away without running absolute max speed as is. Maybe Mence can go full offensive better but at that point Chomp and Pult are even better with even higher speeds and honestly that typing is just way too good defensively to not make use of roost. Has anyone had success with Mence which Dnite or the other dragons can't do as good if not better?

Edit - 2 things I think I should have mentioned is that it actually got better than before after Mag ban (Somehow it was even worse before) and Bulletproof blocks the incredibly common Shadow Balls and Focus Blasts while also the rare Weather ball, and some other moves, like Gyro Ball and Sludge Bomb. So while Pult can OHKO Kommo O, it prevents specs from clicking Shadow Ball freely. So it has a bit more defensive utility than I originally mentioned.
(Also does anyone else think that if focus blast is blocked by Bulletproof, so should Moonblast? Kommo O would be so fire if it could wall things like Clef and cause specs lele inconvenience)
 
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Okay guys, what role can Kommo O play in the current OU if any?

I have tried so many sets and it just doesn't do much. On offense it seems like I have dead slot on my team as it's SD Scale Shots and DD sets get so utterly walled by every common defensive mons like Slowbro, Lando, Pex, Tapu Fini, Torn, Zapdos, Corvi etc. unless running Belly Drum and if you do run Belly Drum, it feels like playing 5v6 to keep it in pristine condition to sweep and still it fails a lot more than it succeeds. Not to mention it hits like a wet paper bag until you BD so somehow it is initially even weaker than SD or DD sets as that set can't even afford LO. Weavile Ice Shard rising is also really bad news for it.

Special Sets with Clangorous Soul also suffer similar problems but to a lesser degree due to throat spray. Now instead it gets walled by Slowking, Tapu Fini again, Pex, Pert, Galar-king etc. To be honest, even things like Corvi and Zapdos survive from full with just max HP but at least the chip needed is minimum.

Another problem with these sets is that it gets picked off by priority as it is lowering it's defenses and even lowering it's HP in Clangorus set. It also suffers from the fact that every relevant Scarfer is faster than it at +1. It simply is too slow. But at the very least, it does outspeeds Pult and Zeraora at +1.

Defensively it just struggles to check a lot of mons. Chomp, Torn, Koko, Lando, Weavile, Zapdos G, Pult, Dnite etc. all just punch through it. It used to be good against weather but it can't stand up to rain, sand or hail. Sun is the only weather it somewhat does decent again but that is niche compared to rain and sand. It really only checks Rillaboom and Tyranitar in the OU tier decently and maybe Kart and Barra.

I think the Clangorus Soul set followed by Belly Drum are it's best sets but not particularly good by top tier standards though and are rather inconsistent. I think there is some room for innovation such as Clangorus Soul set being run mixed with Drain Punch to prevent the priority problem and ditching Sub Salac for Scale Shot Sitrus Berry on Belly Drum, affording 3 moves on BD this way, but at just a glance they seem worse than the standard sets. Clangorus Soul set made itself a whole lot weaker and Belly Drum doesn't get that guaranteed speed boost anymore.

I do kind of like that BD Scale Shot set in theory as it's power is simply amazing melting something as ludicrously bulky as Phys Def Hippo with 4 Scale Shots at +6 but I don't think literally any human being will let you get that set up off. It's one of those only "on paper seems good" ideas.

Outside of these, maybe taunt rocks could work? But it is virtually worse than every rocker in OU.

Has anyone had any notable success with Kommo O and with what set?


In a similar vein, is Salamence completely overshadowed by Dnite or is there any hope for it? Giving up Multiscale especially with boots is very difficult even if you get Moxie in return. It's Speed is something it has over Dnite but Dnites can get away without running absolute max speed as is. Maybe Mence can go full offensive better but at that point Chomp and Pult are even better with even higher speeds and honestly that typing is just way too good defensively to not make use of roost. Has anyone had success with Mence which Dnite or the other dragons can't do as good if not better?

Edit - 2 things I think I should have mentioned is that it actually got better than before after Mag ban (Somehow it was even worse before) and Bulletproof blocks the incredibly common Shadow Balls and Focus Blasts while also the rare Weather ball, and some other moves, like Gyro Ball and Sludge Bomb. So while Pult can OHKO Kommo O, it prevents specs from clicking Shadow Ball freely. So it has a bit more defensive utility than I originally mentioned.
(Also does anyone else think that if focus blast is blocked by Bulletproof, so should Moonblast? Kommo O would be so fire if it could wall things like Clef and cause specs lele inconvenience)
Rocker and set up mon behind screens. Specs seems okay in theory after reading it about but it's new territory in SS OU hasn't been solved. Needs Magnezone for any physical set.

Think Salamence is bad in general but probably another mon that needs screens. As much as I like to explore things I don't think I'll even bother trying to make this work even with former point. Much better stuff I can use.
 
Okay guys, what role can Kommo O play in the current OU if any?

I have tried so many sets and it just doesn't do much. On offense it seems like I have dead slot on my team as it's SD Scale Shots and DD sets get so utterly walled by every common defensive mons like Slowbro, Lando, Pex, Tapu Fini, Torn, Zapdos, Corvi etc. unless running Belly Drum and if you do run Belly Drum, it feels like playing 5v6 to keep it in pristine condition to sweep and still it fails a lot more than it succeeds. Not to mention it hits like a wet paper bag until you BD so somehow it is initially even weaker than SD or DD sets as that set can't even afford LO. Weavile Ice Shard rising is also really bad news for it.

Special Sets with Clangorous Soul also suffer similar problems but to a lesser degree due to throat spray. Now instead it gets walled by Slowking, Tapu Fini again, Pex, Pert, Galar-king etc. To be honest, even things like Corvi and Zapdos survive from full with just max HP but at least the chip needed is minimum.

Another problem with these sets is that it gets picked off by priority as it is lowering it's defenses and even lowering it's HP in Clangorus set. It also suffers from the fact that every relevant Scarfer is faster than it at +1. It simply is too slow. But at the very least, it does outspeeds Pult and Zeraora at +1.

Defensively it just struggles to check a lot of mons. Chomp, Torn, Koko, Lando, Weavile, Zapdos G, Pult, Dnite etc. all just punch through it. It used to be good against weather but it can't stand up to rain, sand or hail. Sun is the only weather it somewhat does decent again but that is niche compared to rain and sand. It really only checks Rillaboom and Tyranitar in the OU tier decently and maybe Kart and Barra.

I think the Clangorus Soul set followed by Belly Drum are it's best sets but not particularly good by top tier standards though and are rather inconsistent. I think there is some room for innovation such as Clangorus Soul set being run mixed with Drain Punch to prevent the priority problem and ditching Sub Salac for Scale Shot Sitrus Berry on Belly Drum, affording 3 moves on BD this way, but at just a glance they seem worse than the standard sets. Clangorus Soul set made itself a whole lot weaker and Belly Drum doesn't get that guaranteed speed boost anymore.

I do kind of like that BD Scale Shot set in theory as it's power is simply amazing melting something as ludicrously bulky as Phys Def Hippo with 4 Scale Shots at +6 but I don't think literally any human being will let you get that set up off. It's one of those only "on paper seems good" ideas.

Outside of these, maybe taunt rocks could work? But it is virtually worse than every rocker in OU.

Has anyone had any notable success with Kommo O and with what set?


In a similar vein, is Salamence completely overshadowed by Dnite or is there any hope for it? Giving up Multiscale especially with boots is very difficult even if you get Moxie in return. It's Speed is something it has over Dnite but Dnites can get away without running absolute max speed as is. Maybe Mence can go full offensive better but at that point Chomp and Pult are even better with even higher speeds and honestly that typing is just way too good defensively to not make use of roost. Has anyone had success with Mence which Dnite or the other dragons can't do as good if not better?

Edit - 2 things I think I should have mentioned is that it actually got better than before after Mag ban (Somehow it was even worse before) and Bulletproof blocks the incredibly common Shadow Balls and Focus Blasts while also the rare Weather ball, and some other moves, like Gyro Ball and Sludge Bomb. So while Pult can OHKO Kommo O, it prevents specs from clicking Shadow Ball freely. So it has a bit more defensive utility than I originally mentioned.
(Also does anyone else think that if focus blast is blocked by Bulletproof, so should Moonblast? Kommo O would be so fire if it could wall things like Clef and cause specs lele inconvenience)
I've tried Salamence and it's great until you realize that is suffers from a severe 4MSS and most importantly that every DD set is completely outclassed by both Dragonite and Gyarados while every pivot/defog set is outclassed by other Flying types with defog which there are tons of. Special sets are, despite Mence's great special movepool, obviously outclassed by stuff like hydreigon and pretty much every serious special attacker. As for Kommo-o he doesn't fit into the tier that we'll as of right now so probably the best way to use it would be Sub-Salac belly drum set with either Sticky Web (which is pretty bad) or screens.
 
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Rocker and set up mon behind screens. Specs seems okay in theory after reading it about but it's new territory in SS OU hasn't been solved. Needs Magnezone for any physical set.
Wait, people are using Specs? I guess Boomburst and Clanging Scales are nice to spam but seems worse than even Latios. Which rocker sets in particular are being used in particular? Also is Zone really necessary, as it naturally beats Ferro and can even potentially beat Corvi depending on the set up variation and can almost guaranteed beat it if Kommo O is behind screens. If you are running Zone, then at that point Dnite benefits much more from Ferro and Corvi being removed.

I've tried Salamence and it's great until you realize that is suffers from a sever 4MSS and most importantly that every DD set is completely outclassed by both Dragonite and Gyarados while every pivot/defog set is outclassed by other Flying types with defog which there are tons of. Special sets are, despite Mence's great special movepool, obviously outclassed by stuff like hydreigon and pretty much every serious special attacker. As for Kommo-o he doesn't fit into the tier that we'll as of right now so probably the best way to use it would be Sub-Salac belly drum set with either Sticky Web (which is pretty bad) or screens.
I think as DD user it actually would outclass Gyarados solely because of Grassy Glide but the original point of Dnite being better still stands after all. Webs + Salac berry is potentially interesting but scarfed Lando is still a problem and it simply can't pick any 2 moves to have decent coverage. T punch with Drain leaves it unable to OHKO Lando, Pult, Koko, Clef etc. Ice Punch + Drain leave it walled by Pex and Bro. EQ + Drain leaves it unable to OHKO Torn, Lando, the rare Togekiss also completely walls this iteration. Bro is also not OHKOed by +6 EQ. Sub Salac is just way too situational.
 
So I had earlier asked this evening that which Kommo O set do you guys consider most viable and given my thoughts on a few of the most common ones. It seems I had tried the sub-optimal Clangorus Soul set. Now as I had already said previously that I have tried every single set and none of them seems too good. This time I made some changes to the Clangorus Soul set and it performed very well, the two missing links that I grossly underestimated were - Boomburst and Throat Spray. Now I will give a brief list of what are a few advantages of this set over it's other sets -

1) Consistency - The BD, SD Scale Shot sets aren't consistent because the former lacks coverage while the later can be prevented from getting it's speed. This set can independently get it's speed via the Signature move. DD can also get speed but....

2) Power and Vs Usual Walls. - The DD and SD sets both are extremely weak due to pathetically weak Dragon Stab in Dragon Claw or unreliable and possibly even weaker Scale Shot. Outrage is something that is completely unusable. BD is also laughably weak prior to BD. With immensely power stabs in Clanging Scales, Focus Blast and the normal nuke of Boomburst, it has actual power on the special side. This is further compounded by the Throat Spray. With 3 sound moves, it can very easily activate it and just become stronger for the second by throwing out an attack.

Take a gander at these (Hitting with a neutral into +1 attack is equivalent in damage to a +3 attack) -


+3 252 SpA Kommo-o Clanging Scales vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Hippowdon: 331-390 (78.8 - 92.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

+3 252 SpA Kommo-o Focus Blast vs. 248 HP / 144 SpD Mandibuzz: 367-433 (86.7 - 102.3%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO

+3 252 SpA Kommo-o Clanging Scales vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Zapdos: 408-481 (106.5 - 125.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+3 252 SpA Kommo-o Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-Therian: 382-450 (100 - 117.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+3 252 SpA Kommo-o Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Clefable: 345-406 (87.5 - 103%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO

+3 252 SpA Kommo-o Clanging Scales vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Slowbro: 448-528 (113.7 - 134%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+3 252 SpA Kommo-o Clanging Scales vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Toxapex: 276-325 (90.7 - 106.9%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO

+2 252 SpA Kommo-o Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 88 SpD Corviknight: 339-399 (84.7 - 99.7%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock



These might not look very impressive but the thing is these are some of the mons, Kommo O absolutely couldn't get past with SD and DD sets unless Outrage at +2 with LO and Poison Jab resp. BD had to have the correct move along with setting up BD. In this scenario it can just throw out attacks and do real damage without setting up. Also if at +3 these mons are getting OHKOed, with slight chip damage, you can even put them in range of +2 hit to sweep late game with The Soul.

3) Reliability - This is perhaps the biggest benefit of this over others. The other sets were very unreliable, SD and DD being weak due to no dragon stab and BD being too match up dependent and having no utility the entire game until the opening appeared. This set as I showed above has respectable power so it can either do big damage or go for the Soul depending on the situation, the physical sets almost mandate that it set up before hand even making a dent in the resident walls. Throat Spray is the key here. It is considered a below average item in general but for Kommo O, It is like this item was made for him with 3 sound moves. It is kind of how Kings Rock is bad but good on Cloyster. It doesn't just keep waiting for the perfect setup opportunity that may never come and may even be stopped even if it comes but can be used very dynamically.


4) Defensive and Early Game Utility - The importance of just being able to attack without setup simply can't be overstated. Kommo O despite being so good against Kart on paper (Pun intended) can't OHKO it with drain punch on BD set (It barely does 75% and Kart puts it outside of Belly Drum range, effectively winning the 1v1) On this set Kommo O can use it's great nature bulk and resistances to throw down vs mons like Rilla, Tran, Lando, Barraskewda and trade blows. If it comes out healthy enough, it can even attempt a late game sweep albeit just at +1 due to throat spray being consumed.

5) Against Priority and Scarfers - If the opposing team has a faster scarfer or priority, then again Kommo O can just throw out attacks again and switch instead of setting up getting 1 kill and getting revenged.

6) Boomburst - I had underestimated this move previously but that was a mistake. Here is a devilishly powerful move almost matching Hyper beam in power but no bad secondary effect and 100% accuracy. It is a normal type move and even activates Throat Spray so in any situation it is just a great mid ground to go for. It having no bad effects is the key here. Focus Blast can miss while Clanging Scales put you in priority range with defense drops. This move is still strong enough vs fairies so you don't miss Flash cannon too much either and can actually be used to kill mons other than fairies as well preventing that many defense drops. Also not 2 of the fairies in OU are neutral to Flash cannon.


+2 252 SpA Kommo-o Boomburst vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Tapu Koko: 321-378 (114.2 - 134.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 SpA Kommo-o Boomburst vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Tapu Lele: 225-265 (80 - 94.3%) -- 50% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 SpA Kommo-o Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 64 SpD Tapu Fini: 192-227 (55.8 - 65.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

+2 252 SpA Kommo-o Boomburst vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Azumarill: 306-360 (89.4 - 105.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 SpA Kommo-o Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Hatterene: 248-292 (77.9 - 91.8%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 SpA Kommo-o Boomburst vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Tapu Bulu: 264-311 (93.9 - 110.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 SpA Kommo-o Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Clefable: 277-326 (70.3 - 82.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

+2 252 SpA Kommo-o Clanging Scales vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Nidoking: 378-445 (124.7 - 146.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO


As you can see with slight chip damage these mons can be put in range and Kommo O can go nuclear late game. Nidoking example is to show that against you average defenses Offensive mon, it can save those defense drops.

Another small advantage is that this being a special set, it isn't bothered by Rocky helmets, Iron Barbs, Rough Skin, Static, Flame Body etc. It isn't bothered by Intimidate either.


To conclude this I will say this this mon is still not anything fantastic. As you can very clearly see from the damage calcs, this mon is still weak and also that it is quite slow. I have just made a comparison to it's other sets and not other mons. It has unique place with set as it is the only dragon type that can raise speed and special attack unless you count Agility WP Latias. This set will do decently if you want Kommo O to put in work especially on Webs. It is decent to average I would say. Now, you might ask why do I insist so much on Kommo O in putting in work? To that, well I say that I think Kommo O is fire, not the literal type but fire as in hype. It is a very unique and fun mon to use. I feel sad for it because Garchomp is what it could have been but it just got a shafted by fairies and sub par stat distribution. It was even considered the worst pseudo at it's release and was RU but it later rose all the way to OU surpassing all but Garchomp (albeit with a broken Z move). I want Kommo O to shine in OU at least a little bit again as it was able to with a defensive set at the start of the gen.
 
I’m going to bring up a niche mon that I think has improved viability in the current metagame.
:ss/incineroar:

What does Incineroar do?

Incineroar is a bulky pivot with Parting Shot/U-turn and other utility such as Toxic, Taunt, WoW and STAB Knock Off. It has a great ability in Intimidate and a pretty good physical movepool, most notably EQ, Thunder Punch, Drain Punch/CC and Iron Head. Parting Shot is an underrated pivot move that lets Incineroar weaken threats when switching. This can be particularly good for stopping setup sweepers that force it out, and can also enable weakened counters to switch in. However, it’s held back by a lack of recovery outside of Drain Punch, mediocre defensive typing and reliance on HDB.

So why are metagame trends favourable for Incineroar?

For starters, Pult is absolutely insane right now. One of the primary reasons I started playing around with Incineroar was that it can check the majority of Dragapult sets. It laughs in the face of WoW Hex, Intimidate lets it switch in comfortably on physical variants and it can soft check Specs if locked into Shadow Ball. In every case, it threatens Dragapult out with and can gain momentum by pivoting or force progress with Knock Off. Without recovery it can’t beat Pult in the long run, but it still provides solid defensive utility.

Aside from Pult, three mons are arguably defining wallbreaking in the tier right now: Rillaboom, Lele, and Kyurem.
As such, the use of Steels such as Corv, Ferro, Scizor, Aegi and Skarm has increased due to their ability to counter these threats. Incineroar provides a pivoting option that can beat these defensive mons, unlike Lando-T that is forced out by most of them. Incineroar can also switch into comfortably to any Rillaboom not carrying Superpower or Drain Punch, and can force out Specs Kyurem if it is locked into an ice move.

Weavile is another mon that has been skyrocketing in usage recently, and Incineroar resists its dual STAB and has Intimidate. Again, lack of recovery prevents Incineroar from being a long term counter, but being able to force out Weavile several times during a match can be very valuable in terms of the utility Incineroar can provide. Low Kick?

-1 252 Atk Choice Band Weavile Low Kick (80 BP) vs. 252 HP / 112+ Def Incineroar: 146-174 (37 - 44.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

The ban of Cinderace has also left OU pretty much devoid of physical fire types, with Victini and Blaziken being rather matchup-fishy. Incineroar obviously appreciates the lack of competition. (Not to mention it can easily check Victini)

I am by no means suggesting that the ugly wrestling cat is particularly good. In most cases it is outclassed by Lando-T or Zeraora as a physical pivot, it’s slow, and it hates taking Knock Off. However, on certain teams it can be the best option due to the unique offensive and defensive utility it provides, and I genuinely believe that it can be very valuable in the current meta.
 
I'm not exactly sure what uncompetitive matchups/strategies Finch is referring to, so I won't touch on that, but I do agree with SS games feeling too repetitive at times. I think that at times it is just too difficult to make progress in games and games can be long and drawn-out with certain cycles repeating over and over again. I feel like this repetitive nature of SS OU was exemplified in this recent match between TPP and Lord_Enz in OST semifinals. Neither of these teams are stall, and in fact they each have some of the best breaking options in the tier in Tapu Lele, Heatran, and Kyurem, but still neither team loses a Pokemon until turn 181. I want to say that I don't think that it's inherently a bad thing that SS is a different meta in that its games tend to be slower and more deliberate, since it's good to have variety in the tiers, and although I tend to enjoy longer games, I've personally found myself becoming increasingly disinterested in SS. I tend to skip over watching most of the SS games from SPL and I don't play the tier much anymore, and I know that's become true for many other players as well. I think that some of the main reasons why it can be so hard to make progress in SS games is because of the diminished importance of hazards, the prevalence of Regenerator, and how easy/risk free positioning is with Teleport. I know that this thread can be very zealous to jump at the chance to take tiering action against aspects of the tier as a way to try to "fix" SS OU, but I don't really think that anything should or will ever be done to touch those three things. I could perhaps see a suspect test on Boots being warranted, but again, I'm fairly certain that that will never happen. So please don't take it that I'm suggesting that anything is really done about Boots, Regenerator, or Teleport, as they really are a big part of what makes SS unique, but I do want to discuss a little more how I feel like those three parts of the tier in conjunction make SS feel more repetitive to me. I know I've talked about these three things before, but I'm planning on stopping playing and posting much going forward, so I wanted to try to clearly get my thoughts about this out there one more time. I also apologize if this comes across as me just rambling and ranting about a tier, and I don't think that this post will be received too well, since most people who browse this thread probably do so because they enjoy the tier, but I just wanted to express my personal feelings about some frustrating parts of SS.

I sometimes see people erroneously claim that Boots are a good thing because they "fix" the overcentralizing nature of Rocks and use RBY as an example of a lack of hazards not necessarily leading to free switching. I think that both of these arguments are a little misguided. First, it's perfectly fine to think that Boots were a good decision because they make Rock-weak Pokemon more viable, and it's also reasonable to wish that Rocks were never introduced in DPP, but it's disingenuous to act like that's all that Boots do. Many of the biggest abusers of Boots in things like Slowking, Slowbro, Blissey, Zeraora, and Dragapult are not weak to Rocks and it's not like all Boots do is remove Stealth Rocks damage; they negate the impact of all hazards. Not having a consistent source of chip on Pokemon that switch into play can lead to instances where little or no progress is made against teams with solid defensive cores that switch into many threats, and it also prevents players from doing things like making double-switches to repeatedly rack up more chip damage against opposing Pokemon without allowing them an opportunity to heal. I feel like Boots simply removed a lot of the nuance from the game by making it irrelevant to some Pokemon if hazards are up or not. I also think that any comparison between SS and RBY is largely irrelevant, since they are obviously completely different games. Things like abilities (particularly Regenerator) did not exist in RBY, there wasn't as varied of a selection of Pokemon to use, and the crit, freeze, and sleep mechanics, along with some other mechanics, make RBY an extremely different game, and I think it's pointless to draw any comparisons to it. I also want to mention that it's not just Boots that limit the impact of hazards, but also how hazard removal is as easy as it's ever been, thanks in large part to Corviknight. I feel like Corviknight is easily one of the best, if not the best, Defoggers we've ever seen, and it keeps hazards off so reliably that they become an even smaller factor in some games (like the OST one that I linked to earlier).

Regenerator has always been a tremendous ability, but when combined with Boots, it allows Pokemon like Slowking/Slowbro and Tornadus-T to become even more difficult to make progress against. Obviously Toxapex is one of the premier Regenerator users, and Pex is and will always be great, but at least most Pex don't run Boots and can be vulnerable to hazards stacking. It sometimes feels very aggravating just trying to punish or wear down something like Torn or Slowking because they're able to freely come in regardless of how many hazards are up and pivot out to both gain momentum and regain health with Regenerator. In previous gens, hazards stacking was a reliable method to limit Regenerator's effectiveness, but that doesn't reliably work anymore. The pivoting capabilities of defensive Pokemon like Slowking brings me to the third thing that I feel like makes progress difficult to come by in SS, and that's Teleport.

Teleport has been widely discussed in SS since the days when Wish + Teleport Clef was on almost every team. I don't think that Teleport in itself is a problem, but again, when combined with Boots and/or Regenerator, it can make the pivoting of some defensive Pokemon like Slowking and Blissey feel too "free." I've heard some top players refer to SS as the "training wheels" generation and bemoan how easy it is to play. A competitive game being "easy" is always a little bit of a strange concept to me, since if it's easy for one player, it should be easy for their opponent as well, and then it's a level playing field. However, I feel like what is meant by SS being easy is that there are a lot of risk-free ways to position your Pokemon and make the "correct" plays. I already talked about how things like Boots and Regenerator can make switching in Pokemon risk-free, but defensive Pokemon getting guaranteed momentum with Teleport gives SS the easiest example of positioning of any Pokemon game. Things like Slowking/Slowbro and Blissey can switch into many Pokemon, not fear Rocks damage with Boots, regain health with Regenerator or ignore status with Natural Cure, and automatically make the correct switch-in after clicking Teleport. There really isn't any risk or difficult decision to be made by the player in instances like this. Even if the opponent doesn't attack into the Slowbro/Slowking or Blissey directly and opts to make a double-switch, it's not like Slowbro/Slowking or Blissey gets chipped by hazards when switching in, thanks to Boots. This leads to awkward scenarios where in order to force progress, players need to put themselves more at risk to make double-switches, and even then, if the opponent has a sturdy enough defensive core to answer what they double-switched into, they can just switch again without much repercussion. I'm not saying that it's impossible to make progress against defensive cores in SS, but I do feel at times that the risk-reward doesn't feel properly balanced when trying to make offensive progress.

I don't want to get sidetracked here by comparing SS to SM, so I won't spend much time on this, but I did hear ABR say during one of McMeghan's streams about how SS being so defensive is what happens when you remove Z-moves. I used to previously really dislike Z-moves, and I still have my problems with them, but I've grown to appreciate more how they can be used to force offensive progress by blowing holes in opposing teams. With that option being removed from SS, but many of the other strong defensive tools remaining (and some new ones being introduced), it does make sense how it could have added to SS becoming a slower and more defensive game.

In regards to potential retests, I do think that it's a good idea to test things and I don't think that suspect tests can ever really hurt a tier. I said before Cinderace was quick-banned that removing it from the tier could be detrimental, and I do think that testing it again could be a good thing to see how much of a difference Cinderace's inclusion in the tier makes on generating offensive progress, but the combination of things like Boots, Regenerator, and Teleport are still going to be prevalent and give SS its defensive qualities that have become somewhat defining of the tier at this point. However, as I said in the beginning of this post, these defensive qualities playing a huge role in SS is not really a bad thing. It's good for SS to have a unique feel to it, and it's kind of ironic that I'm lamenting the defensive nature of SS since I've also been annoyed before by how many people on Smogon are irrationally prejudiced against stall, but I think that stall isn't the problem in SS. That OST replay that I linked in the beginning didn't include stall teams, and it still exhibited the lack of offensive progress that I've talked about. I feel like often times, some Smogon users don't understand stall and just label anything remotely defensive as "stall," but I feel like the defining defensive attributes of SS are present in the vast majority of games in the tier, not just stall matchups.

So to conclude this, I'm sorry if this post just came across as me rambling or complaining about SS; I didn't intend to pointlessly do so. Instead, I wanted to share my personal perspective on why I've become more disillusioned with the tier. I don't think that the tier is in a bad spot and I agree with Finch's assessment of it being "good, but not great." It's good for SS to have a unique feeling to it and I don't feel like drastic tiering action should be considered to try to "fix" SS. I just wanted to get some thoughts out there one more time in a hopefully more complete manner, since I'm planning on not being too active going forward. I also understand that I'm just some guy and that my thoughts on the meta aren't particularly important, but I thought that I might be able to share sentiments that other people are also feeling or offer a different perspective that some people may not be as familiar with. Thanks to anyone who looked this over, and have a great day everyone!
Truly a good post, agreed. It's incredibly difficult to force progress in many matchups (not even stall). Pokemon like pult, zeraora and slowking using boots shows how game changing of a mechanic it is. Not that I think it should be banned, but in many aspects it leads to a drawn out boring metagame. Let's be Frank, competitive pokemon is cow patties without entry hazards.
 
It is solid on Trick Room, but maybe 1-2% of teams are Trick Room on a good day, so I was thinking more standalone on balance. We saw it a couple of times in SPL like that. It is pretty limited no matter where you place it unfortunately, but there is a niche and if you build specifically enough, it will pay off.
I know this is more a question than a statement, but I've been meaning to bring this up for a while and I think this goes past the scale of the simple questions thread:

What exactly *is* the status of Trick Room in the current meta? There seem to be quite a lot of incredibly strong Trick Room Pokémon such as Stakataka, Glastrier, A-Marowak, Melmetal, Reuniclus, Dhelmise, Torkoal, and even Rhyperior. Dexit appears to have spared most of the important Trick Room setting Pokémon and even buffed a few with Teleport. There's also Future Sight which can help the Trick Room team force progress against defensive cores without too much prediction.

Yet despite this I haven't seen very many successful Trick Room teams in tournaments or the ladder. Has anyone tried Trick Room much in 8th gen?
 

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