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

airfare

aruarian dance
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:bw/zapdos:

hi i wanted to share zapdos sets ive been using since most ppl are still hung up on defog when it is the worst in the tier at it (besides the obvious rain sets)


Zapdos @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Static
EVs: 248 HP / 220 Def / 40 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Toxic
- Hurricane
- Roost

volt toxic gives it a way to reliably punish grounds switching in, puts heavy pressure on most offensive teams and turns it into a momentum machine. think this is the best variant of ur typical defensive utility zapdos - static and the electric typing give it a solid niche on bulky offense bc of its ability to handle most physical offensive threats with some luck + can keep pressure up on most defensive mons without wasting turns on (failing at) fogging. ftr heat wave is ass, letting in every ground in the tier in for free rocks is awful and u don't really have too many issues with ferro/other steels either with good pivoting. i find myself liking static zap more and more because it can check current meta threats like melmetal and urshifu somewhat better than the other existing birds


Zapdos @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 148 HP / 108 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute
- Hurricane
- Discharge
- Roost

sub pressure zap is a menace on fatter teams - i find it's especially good on hazard stack teams to punish the double switching ppl usually resort to vs the pressure stall. sub, in addition to blocking status from typical switchins like lando/tankchomp/hippo, lets it give opportunities to other win conditions like clefable and suicune by pressure stalling while remaining an annoying wincon in its own right. it maintains its defensive presence with its typing while acting as a unique offensive presence with its STABs. can also use charge beam if ur a crackhead ig but the miss chance + pp + inconsistency in general turns me off especially when facing stuff like offense with weav pult
 
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:bw/zapdos:

hi i wanted to share zapdos sets ive been using since most ppl are still hung up on defog when it is the worst in the tier at it (besides the obvious rain sets)


Zapdos @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Static
EVs: 248 HP / 220 Def / 40 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Toxic
- Hurricane
- Roost

volt toxic gives it a way to reliably punish grounds switching in, puts heavy pressure on most offensive teams and turns it into a momentum machine. think this is the best variant of ur typical defensive utility zapdos - static and the electric typing give it a solid niche on bulky offense bc of its ability to handle most physical offensive threats with some luck + can keep pressure up on most defensive mons without wasting turns on (failing at) fogging. ftr heat wave is ass, letting in every ground in the tier in for free rocks is awful and u don't really have too many issues with ferro/other steels either with good pivoting. i find myself liking static zap more and more because it can check current meta threats like melmetal and urshifu somewhat better than the other existing birds


Zapdos @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 148 HP / 108 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute
- Hurricane
- Discharge
- Roost

sub pressure zap is a menace on fatter teams - i find it's especially good on hazard stack teams to punish the double switching ppl usually resort to vs the pressure stall. sub, in addition to blocking status from typical switchins like lando/tankchomp/hippo, lets it give opportunities to other win conditions like clefable and suicune by pressure stalling while remaining an annoying wincon in its own right. it maintains its defensive presence with its typing while acting as a unique offensive presence with its STABs. can also use charge beam if ur a crackhead ig but the miss chance + pp + inconsistency in general turns me off especially when facing stuff like weav pult
since we're talking about zapdos, here is something I came up with some time ago. I strongly agree with you saying that zapdos is a trash defogger and people should not use it for that purpose. i guess mine is a bit more offensive while still retaining some bulk. it focuses a bit more on "reliable" pivoting via uturn which of course can't be blocked, or status spread with toxic. keep in mind that in that post I put heat wave as a staple because the thread was about breaking fini+scizor core. this is how i would see it now. defense evs allows zap to take 2 consecutive knock offs from cb kartana from full. colours indicate personal preferences and alternative pair of moves.

in summary; if you don't cripple grounds, take momentum from them and run a more powerful electric stab. it's really just up to preference and team structure.

:zapdos:
Zapdos @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Static
EVs: 248 HP / 172 Def / 64 SpA / 24 Spe
Modest Nature
- Discharge / Thunderbolt
- Hurricane / Heat Wave
- Roost
- U-turn / Toxic
 

Nezloe

We do not care
:bw/zapdos:

hi i wanted to share zapdos sets ive been using since most ppl are still hung up on defog when it is the worst in the tier at it (besides the obvious rain sets)


Zapdos @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Static
EVs: 248 HP / 220 Def / 40 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Toxic
- Hurricane
- Roost

volt toxic gives it a way to reliably punish grounds switching in, puts heavy pressure on most offensive teams and turns it into a momentum machine. think this is the best variant of ur typical defensive utility zapdos - static and the electric typing give it a solid niche on bulky offense bc of its ability to handle most physical offensive threats with some luck + can keep pressure up on most defensive mons without wasting turns on (failing at) fogging. ftr heat wave is ass, letting in every ground in the tier in for free rocks is awful and u don't really have too many issues with ferro/other steels either with good pivoting. i find myself liking static zap more and more because it can check current meta threats like melmetal and urshifu somewhat better than the other existing birds


Zapdos @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 148 HP / 108 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute
- Hurricane
- Discharge
- Roost

sub pressure zap is a menace on fatter teams - i find it's especially good on hazard stack teams to punish the double switching ppl usually resort to vs the pressure stall. sub, in addition to blocking status from typical switchins like lando/tankchomp/hippo, lets it give opportunities to other win conditions like clefable and suicune by pressure stalling while remaining an annoying wincon in its own right. it maintains its defensive presence with its typing while acting as a unique offensive presence with its STABs. can also use charge beam if ur a crackhead ig but the miss chance + pp + inconsistency in general turns me off especially when facing stuff like offense with weav pult
I would like to add to the zapdos convo as well! So during wcop I saw this tech that kept me in awe and one that ive always wanted to try but couldn't bc the OU ladder is weird,I introduce to you Throat spray zapdos!

:ss/zapdos:
Zapdos @ Throat Spray
Ability: Static
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Metal Sound
- Hurricane
- Thunderbolt
- Roost/Subsitute
Basically just one of those set up sweepers sets that could be really threatening if you don't have a proper team structure and is for the shock factor I would also like to say that if hidden power was in this gen I'm pretty confident this set would be explored more,like maybe you could run HP ice over hurricane,allows you to hit spdef lando harder or you could keep hurricane for the STAB vs mons like quag etc.
Maybe we will get throat spray zapdos HO soon??? (Charge beam zapdos is prob a better option and requires less work I just wanted to share this bc I found it intresting)​
 
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Wanted to share a cool set I was trying out the other day.

:excadrill:

Excadrill @ Adrenaline Orb
Ability: Sand Force
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly/Adamant Nature
- Magnet Rise
- Earthquake
- Iron Head
- Swords Dance
Excadrill has fallen to the wayside in the meta. The prevalence of Lando-T and the archetype of sand becoming less and less viable are a few reasons why this may be case. That is why I decided to experiment a bit with Excadrill to see if there was a way to bring him back from the depths of the viability rankings. Naturally, Excadrill will bait in Lando. Many teams in the metagame have Lando as one of their only, if not their only resist to ground/ground immunity. That is what this set counters. When Lando switches into you, the adrenaline orb pops, letting you outspeed and set up a magnet rise. Lando will most likely have clicked EQ, now giving you a free swords dance. If you have a sand setter like Hippowdon or Tyranitar, ideally you run Sand Force, as you will already be +1 speed, and the 1.3x damage boost to your EQ and Iron Head hits very hard.

This set catches a LOT of people off guard. It still loses to stuff like Corv, for example, but any team relying on Lando to check Excadrill will be in for a real bad time with this set.

 
Thank u very much for the Zapdos ideas. I have already heard bout Throat Spray. In theory it can be good against fat defensives mon, but yeah, would prob be always better to run Beam HDB. Even then, thats not its best set

But consider this: Metal Sound + Throat Spray is an effective +3 for a turn, so maybe one should abuse and Sub.
 
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Hey guys, just wanted to share a set that I've been enjoying over the last couple days. I don't know if anyone is using this and I don't watch any tournament replays whatsoever so I'm just gonna go ahead and post it since I haven't seen anything that talks about it


:sm/tornadus-therian:
Tornadus-Therian @ Heavy Duty Boots
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 8 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Defog
- Taunt
- Icy Wind
- Heat Wave

It's not really that much of a change and there are probably better Tornadus spreads but here in the mid ladders, nobody ever uses adamant Weavile so might as well stick to the default. What this set does is ensures that you do not get swept by Garchomp and allows Tornadus to have a chance to actually beat Dragapult one on one. Even if Garchomp has yache berry, the icy wind will ensure that it will never be faster than you and even if its scale shots kill you, at least it won't be faster than whatever your fastest non scarfer is. Dragapult is a bit trickier since you are two shotted by shadow ball so a free switch is better. Also, you might need some chip on Pult before you can use Torn to check it. Taunt and heat wave allows it to mess with Ferrothorn and Corviknight. Defog is just for emergency hazard removal but you can replace it with u turn because you're walled by Heatran
 
Hey guys, wanted to share one that I've been experimenting with alongside the icy wind Tornadus. Ngl, the idea wasn't mine. The idea was actually from skyhigh981 who made a post here about Milotic. I didn't use that exact spread but I decided to give it a try since Milotic has some very unique advantages over Pex and Fini. I also didn't give it a try until now as for most of the last few months, I hated this generation


:sm/milotic:
Milotic @ Flame Orb
Ability: Marvel Scale
EVs: 180 HP / 252 Def / 76 SpD
Bold Nature
- Haze
- Recover
- Scald / Ice Beam
- Flip Turn / Toxic / Ice Beam


So, why Milotic of all things when you have Fini and Pex? Well, for one thing, snakes are kewl, until they start biting you that is. Also, the three strongest offensive mons in the tier, Dragapult, Garchomp and Weavile, all have a very difficult time breaking through Milotic. Dragapult would need some spdef drops for it to beat Milotic so it isn't all bad and Milo has to be careful about specs hex. Weavile has it the worst as unlike Toxapex, Milotic is not that vulnerable to future sight and its knock offs and axels bounce right off. Garchomp is the one with the easiest time as it has a strong earthquake that can potentially break thru Milotic but on the other hand, Milotic can fish for scald burns. If it gets them, even Garchomp is blanked. This is one of the qualities that make Milotic stand out as it can potentially handle all three at once. Fini and Pex can potentally blank Weavile and Dragapult but they are both raped by Garchomp in the long run especially if it's yache berry which shrugs off any random Fini ice beams

If the big three aren't enough, Milotic also straight up hard counters Heatran. Unlike Pex, Milo isn't afraid of getting trapped and unlike Fini, it has reliable recovery to consistently counter Heatran. Getting trapped isn't even the worst thing in the world as it has another great advantage, flip turn. This allows it to escape from any trapping attemps from Fini or Heatran, although you have to be careful about nature's madness, and it also allows you to get a better positioning on mons that like to switch in on Milotic

Aside from the big three and Heatran, Milotic also has a long list of pokemon it can totally blank, most of which carry coverage to deal with Pex. These include Melmetal, Scizor, Dragonite, Hydreigon and non giga drain Volcarona while its offensive answers in Kartana and Rillaboom could be ruined by scald burns or taken advantage by flip turn. It can also fuck over some random sub sd Landorus that is saved for the very end of a battle. The only offensive pokemon that it doesn't have a super effective move that Milotic can't check is Moistshifu. It could be a huge deal but well, you can't deal with everything. There's always one or two things you can't fight

Having said that, Milotic definitely isn't perfect. It has to consistently use recover to check with the things it's supposed to check which can be taken advantage of, has no passive recovery and even takes passive damage. Like with the other two bulky waters, it is brutally ripped apart by the likes of Lele and Kyurem while having the same issues against electrics and grasses. Also, I'm not sure how flame orb interacts with misty terrain so you might have to take that into account

So, just a tldr, some if Milotic's qualities include

- the big one, a switch move in flip turn
- toxic immunity thanks to flame orb
- a compression of Fini's Heatran countering abilities and Pex's knock off absorption, reliable recovery, and Weavile / Dragapult walling capabilities
- pure water typing and high natural speed means that the threats it deals with would need to be creative to get past it
- takes passive damage and has to use recover

Here are some calcs and replays of my experimentation of it thus far


252 SpA Choice Specs Blacephalon Shadow Ball vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 169-201 (44.9 - 53.4%) -- 89.1% chance to 2HKO after burn damage
+1 252 SpA Choice Specs Blacephalon Shadow Ball vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 255-300 (67.8 - 79.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after burn damage

252 Atk Weavile Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 180 HP / 252+ Def Marvel Scale Milotic: 84-100 (22.3 - 26.5%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after burn damage
252 Atk Weavile Knock Off vs. 180 HP / 252+ Def Marvel Scale Milotic: 57-67 (15.1 - 17.8%) -- guaranteed 5HKO after burn damage

252 SpA Choice Specs Dragapult Shadow Ball vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 127-150 (33.7 - 39.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after burn damage
252 SpA Choice Specs Dragapult Hex (130 BP) vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 205-243 (54.5 - 64.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after burn damage
252 SpA Dragapult Hex (130 BP) vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 138-163 (36.7 - 43.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after burn damage

+2 252 Atk Garchomp Earthquake vs. 180 HP / 252+ Def Marvel Scale Milotic: 183-216 (48.6 - 57.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after burn damage

252 SpA Volcarona Giga Drain vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 132-156 (35.1 - 41.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after burn damage

+1 252+ Atk Dragonite Dual Wingbeat (2 hits) vs. 180 HP / 252+ Def Marvel Scale Milotic: 122-146 (32.4 - 38.8%) -- approx. 3HKO after burn damage

+1 252+ Atk Dragonite Thunder Punch vs. 180 HP / 252+ Def Marvel Scale Milotic: 154-182 (40.9 - 48.4%) -- 8.2% chance to 2HKO after burn damage

252+ Atk Iron Fist Melmetal Thunder Punch vs. 180 HP / 252+ Def Marvel Scale Milotic: 130-154 (34.5 - 40.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after burn damage

252 SpA Life Orb Hydreigon Draco Meteor vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 208-246 (55.3 - 65.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after burn damage
252 SpA Life Orb Hydreigon Dark Pulse vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 129-152 (34.3 - 40.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after burn damage

Holy shit that's a whole lot of calcs. Now, calcs aren't everything but these are just the things Milotic can do and here are the replays of it doing what I mainly decided to experiment with it on, the switching

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1407881629-fj7azwtq5fprol0choktwuh5foof00tpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1407341888-bqyi5lsl9grtm3b3nqqr43t8ii0visopw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1407335607-c1nxoj7i9y6yyumf7nf90jvru6j11enpw
 
If we're discussing creative bulky waters I'd like to give my favorite fish some attention. Whiscash.

:whiscash:
Whiscash @ Leftovers
Ability: Oblivious
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Earthquake
- Liquidation
- Whirlpool
- Protect

I started using this set after seeing the most recent usage stats, mostly after noticing just how common sp.def Lando is right now, explaining why ice beam swampert was failing me. Heatran's high usage was the other catalyst. Whiscash perfectly counters both. Oblivious is the key as ignoring intimidate allows you to stick to physical moves to hit heatran and taunt attempts by pokemon like grimsnarl or heatran. It certainly suffers from a lack of recovery, but it's synergy with clefable in a wish passing core is amazing, offsetting this weakness. Whirlpool is the other key as many players seem to think a magma storm will break whiscash hence allowing you to trap heatran or a troublesome grimsnarl. Protect is mostly useful in blocking attempts to u turn by lando, breaking their momentum and confidence. It also allows you to scout what move Rillaboom locks into after trying to switch in.

A weakness to toxic and future sights make it a little inconsistent for actual use but if you're looking for a fun pick on the ladder consider the ugly duckling of the ground water types.
 

Endrism

formerly SlippySlappySwampy
My last post was asking a question to y'all, and that gave us some great responses and input, so I'll ask another and give my own thoughts aswell.

With the new usage ratings out, what trends either up or down are you really liking?

Like last time, I'll start:

:ninetales-alola: :arctozolt: As someone who always liked using underrated tactics, seeing hail rise to the top of the weather wars puts a huge smile on my face. The absolute damage output of Arctozolt is amazing with a STAB BoltBeam along with Stomping Tantrum, Low Kick, Freeze Dry, and Substitute puts together a fantastic moveset that is almost unwallable and hard to outspeed without a decent scarfer on your team.

:volcanion: Amazing movepool, amazing offensive typing, 130 base special attack, 80-120-90 defensive spread. Although its not the fastest pokemon in the game, it doesn't have to be to absolutely demolish walls and burn any physical attacker that thinks about switching in. Awesome mon, love to see it gain recognition.

:excadrill: :hydreigon: This may seem weird, but the incoming fall of Excadrill and Hydreigon to UU is something I believe is a great thing. These 2 have been suffering for a while being outclassed by others in the tier and seen as less and less viable. A trip to UU will give them a place where they can be top tier again. It hurts to say goodbye to Excadrill, but UU will fair much better for him.
 

Zen

formerly zeno420
is a Tiering Contributor
:excadrill: :hydreigon: This may seem weird, but the incoming fall of Excadrill and Hydreigon to UU is something I believe is a great thing. These 2 have been suffering for a while being outclassed by others in the tier and seen as less and less viable. A trip to UU will give them a place where they can be top tier again. It hurts to say goodbye to Excadrill, but UU will fair much better for him.
I will mainly focus on hydreigon in this post. Excadrill dropping is no surprise at all with :corviknight: and :landorus-therian: being a stable on many teams. But :hydreigon:, is a totally different story. It’s access a wide arrange of coverage moves allows it to blow pass many of its common checks such as clefable, toxapex, and fini. Especially with blissey dropping in usage, this demon should be rising not dropping. Sure weavile’s rise in popularity has caused hydreigon some issues, but it has to come in first.

The only pivots that allows weavile to come in scotch free is tp clefable and blissey. Which aren’t that common with many clefables not running tp at all. Common pivots such as the slowtwins, corviknight, and lando are all crippled by a +2 dark pulse/draco. I’ll provide some calcs at the end. Hydreigon also has an excellent speed tier out-speeding many of common threats such as :kyurem:, :tapu-lele:, and :urshifu-rapid-strike:.

Of course we cannot ignore the 2 main issues following hydreigon. The 4 move syndrome and tapu-fini. Getting chip on fini whether it is with hazards or just knock is ridiculously easy. You only need around 50% chip on fini for +2 flash to 2hko. I believe the best hydreigon set right now is plot, roost, 2 attacks. Given the right support dark pulse+draco/flash is enough to blow back many defensive cores.

+2 252 SpA Life Orb Hydreigon Draco Meteor vs. 252 HP / 164+ SpD Landorus-Therian: 487-575 (127.4 - 150.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 SpA Life Orb Hydreigon Flash Cannon vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Clefable: 481-567 (122 - 143.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 SpA Life Orb Hydreigon Dark Pulse vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Slowking: 447-530 (113.4 - 134.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO

252 SpA Life Orb Hydreigon Draco Meteor vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Weavile: 308-363 (109.6 - 129.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 SpA Life Orb Hydreigon Draco Meteor vs. 252 HP / 164+ SpD Toxapex: 320-376 (105.2 - 123.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 SpA Life Orb Hydreigon Flash Cannon vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Fini: 177-208 (51.4 - 60.4%) -- 91.4% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
 
Hey guys, wanted to share one that I've been experimenting with alongside the icy wind Tornadus. Ngl, the idea wasn't mine. The idea was actually from skyhigh981 who made a post here about Milotic. I didn't use that exact spread but I decided to give it a try since Milotic has some very unique advantages over Pex and Fini. I also didn't give it a try until now as for most of the last few months, I hated this generation


:sm/milotic:
Milotic @ Flame Orb
Ability: Marvel Scale
EVs: 180 HP / 252 Def / 76 SpD
Bold Nature
- Haze
- Recover
- Scald / Ice Beam
- Flip Turn / Toxic / Ice Beam


So, why Milotic of all things when you have Fini and Pex? Well, for one thing, snakes are kewl, until they start biting you that is. Also, the three strongest offensive mons in the tier, Dragapult, Garchomp and Weavile, all have a very difficult time breaking through Milotic. Dragapult would need some spdef drops for it to beat Milotic so it isn't all bad and Milo has to be careful about specs hex. Weavile has it the worst as unlike Toxapex, Milotic is not that vulnerable to future sight and its knock offs and axels bounce right off. Garchomp is the one with the easiest time as it has a strong earthquake that can potentially break thru Milotic but on the other hand, Milotic can fish for scald burns. If it gets them, even Garchomp is blanked. This is one of the qualities that make Milotic stand out as it can potentially handle all three at once. Fini and Pex can potentally blank Weavile and Dragapult but they are both raped by Garchomp in the long run especially if it's yache berry which shrugs off any random Fini ice beams

If the big three aren't enough, Milotic also straight up hard counters Heatran. Unlike Pex, Milo isn't afraid of getting trapped and unlike Fini, it has reliable recovery to consistently counter Heatran. Getting trapped isn't even the worst thing in the world as it has another great advantage, flip turn. This allows it to escape from any trapping attemps from Fini or Heatran, although you have to be careful about nature's madness, and it also allows you to get a better positioning on mons that like to switch in on Milotic

Aside from the big three and Heatran, Milotic also has a long list of pokemon it can totally blank, most of which carry coverage to deal with Pex. These include Melmetal, Scizor, Dragonite, Hydreigon and non giga drain Volcarona while its offensive answers in Kartana and Rillaboom could be ruined by scald burns or taken advantage by flip turn. It can also fuck over some random sub sd Landorus that is saved for the very end of a battle. The only offensive pokemon that it doesn't have a super effective move that Milotic can't check is Moistshifu. It could be a huge deal but well, you can't deal with everything. There's always one or two things you can't fight

Having said that, Milotic definitely isn't perfect. It has to consistently use recover to check with the things it's supposed to check which can be taken advantage of, has no passive recovery and even takes passive damage. Like with the other two bulky waters, it is brutally ripped apart by the likes of Lele and Kyurem while having the same issues against electrics and grasses. Also, I'm not sure how flame orb interacts with misty terrain so you might have to take that into account

So, just a tldr, some if Milotic's qualities include

- the big one, a switch move in flip turn
- toxic immunity thanks to flame orb
- a compression of Fini's Heatran countering abilities and Pex's knock off absorption, reliable recovery, and Weavile / Dragapult walling capabilities
- pure water typing and high natural speed means that the threats it deals with would need to be creative to get past it
- takes passive damage and has to use recover

Here are some calcs and replays of my experimentation of it thus far


252 SpA Choice Specs Blacephalon Shadow Ball vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 169-201 (44.9 - 53.4%) -- 89.1% chance to 2HKO after burn damage
+1 252 SpA Choice Specs Blacephalon Shadow Ball vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 255-300 (67.8 - 79.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after burn damage

252 Atk Weavile Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 180 HP / 252+ Def Marvel Scale Milotic: 84-100 (22.3 - 26.5%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after burn damage
252 Atk Weavile Knock Off vs. 180 HP / 252+ Def Marvel Scale Milotic: 57-67 (15.1 - 17.8%) -- guaranteed 5HKO after burn damage

252 SpA Choice Specs Dragapult Shadow Ball vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 127-150 (33.7 - 39.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after burn damage
252 SpA Choice Specs Dragapult Hex (130 BP) vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 205-243 (54.5 - 64.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after burn damage
252 SpA Dragapult Hex (130 BP) vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 138-163 (36.7 - 43.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after burn damage

+2 252 Atk Garchomp Earthquake vs. 180 HP / 252+ Def Marvel Scale Milotic: 183-216 (48.6 - 57.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after burn damage

252 SpA Volcarona Giga Drain vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 132-156 (35.1 - 41.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after burn damage

+1 252+ Atk Dragonite Dual Wingbeat (2 hits) vs. 180 HP / 252+ Def Marvel Scale Milotic: 122-146 (32.4 - 38.8%) -- approx. 3HKO after burn damage

+1 252+ Atk Dragonite Thunder Punch vs. 180 HP / 252+ Def Marvel Scale Milotic: 154-182 (40.9 - 48.4%) -- 8.2% chance to 2HKO after burn damage

252+ Atk Iron Fist Melmetal Thunder Punch vs. 180 HP / 252+ Def Marvel Scale Milotic: 130-154 (34.5 - 40.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after burn damage

252 SpA Life Orb Hydreigon Draco Meteor vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 208-246 (55.3 - 65.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after burn damage
252 SpA Life Orb Hydreigon Dark Pulse vs. 180 HP / 76 SpD Milotic: 129-152 (34.3 - 40.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after burn damage

Holy shit that's a whole lot of calcs. Now, calcs aren't everything but these are just the things Milotic can do and here are the replays of it doing what I mainly decided to experiment with it on, the switching

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1407881629-fj7azwtq5fprol0choktwuh5foof00tpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1407341888-bqyi5lsl9grtm3b3nqqr43t8ii0visopw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1407335607-c1nxoj7i9y6yyumf7nf90jvru6j11enpw
Interesting EV spread. I’ve always found the original 252 HP / 12 or 0 Sp Def investment to be wanting in this metagame, so I’ll try this spread too to see if it better helps Milotic to tank special hits.

My experience has been the same as yours - Milotic works in walling/countering what it needs to wall/counter in OU. Pairing Milotic with a dedicated wish passer such as specially defensive Clefable or Blissey will usually help to reduce Milotic’s reliance on recover.
 
Silvally-Fairy



"Because Null and I have to make it on our own. And I don't ever want to forget that."
- Gladion

BASE STATS:
HP:
95
Attack:
95
Defense:
95
Sp. Atk:
95
Sp. Def:
95
Speed:
95

Oh boy, BlackMalachite posting about more lower-tier Pokemon in OU, (seriously, are any of you actually shocked by my posts at all at this point? When it comes to Pokemon below OU having viability, I'm kind of a broken record when it comes to supporting niche Pokemon). Moving onto the topic at hand, Silvally has been talked about in OU before in short spurts, but lately, I've found that the Fairy Memory variant is extremely useful in OU. I have been having an unreasonable amount of fun and success with our Pseudo-Arceus steed in the tier as a result of its unique qualities.

You're probably wondering, "alright, I get that Silvally looks cool as a cucumber, but why not Clefable?" While Clefable is generally the preferred pick due to Magic Guard / Unaware, reliable recovery, and its ability to use different items, Silvally-Fairy has some absolutely excellent traits and offensive/defensive role compression to distinguish itself and provide for a specific but solid niche in OU, even over its main competitor Clefable. So first, let's start with Silvally-Fairy's great traits, and then I'll follow that up with an FAQ (based on players I've talked to on the forums and Showdown) once I've given information about Silvally-Fairy before we get into potential sets. We will also be talking about great teammates for each of the sets and why they're great.

Silvally-Fairy's Great Traits

- Silvally has access to a plethora of support moves that Clefable could only dream of getting, such as Parting Shot, Defog, Roar, Flame Charge, Tailwind, Swords Dance, and U-Turn. In addition, Silvally is the only Pokemon in the game that has access to the uniquely wonderful combination of Parting Shot and Defog, two utility moves that synergize extremely well with one another.

- Silvally-Fairy is the best Knock-Off absorber in OU, no question, as Fairy Memory (its required item) cannot be knocked off, and it resists the move as a result of its Mono-Fairy typing. It's also pretty much the only Knock Off absorber in OU (unless you count Pokemon with the Sticky Hold ability, which is a waste of an ability slot), and Pokemon you can no longer use in OU or couldn't to begin with (such as Zamazenta-C or Giratina-O). This is especially important as Clefable absolutely hates to lose its Leftovers or Life Orb, while Silvally does not care about the move.

- Silvally has the same base 95 HP and Special Attack as Clefable; in addition, every other one of Silvally's stats is higher (also all being at base 95).
  • This is notable in the speed department, as base 95 Speed with a Jolly nature reaches 317 or an Adamant nature 289. This means that Pokemon that outspeed Clefable such as Bisharp, Dragonite, Excadrill, Landorus-T, Mandibuzz, Skarmory, Tapu Fini, and Tyranitar are all outsped by Silvally-Fairy, and can be handled by one of its coverage moves or STAB attacks depending on the moveset you're using.
  • This is also notable for offense; Silvally can run mixed sets while Clefable simply cannot, opening Silvally's movepool even more than Clefable's and making it less predictable. Silvally's access to Swords Dance and a fantastic physical Fairy STAB move also gives it more potential kick offensively.
  • In addition, while the lack of reliable recovery outside of Rest is a bummer, Silvally's 95 / 95 / 95 defenses are more solid than Clefable's 95 / 70 / 90 Defenses and Silvally's speed helps make up for this lack of recovery, to begin with.
- Silvally-Fairy has access to much stronger Fairy STAB in Multi-Attack, a base 120 Physical move that changes type depending on the Memory that Silvally is holding. In addition to this, Silvally-Fairy has access to reliable Steel type coverage for opposing Fairies, along with access to Explosion (which can be particularly nasty if you're hit with Taunt and can't Parting Shot your way safely into one of your teammates).

- Silvally-Fairy is one of the only Physical Fairy types to gain access to Swords Dance and arguably has more utility than all the other Pokemon with access to this combination (I will get into this more in the FAQ). In addition to this, Silvally is the only non-Fire type Pokemon to have access to the potentially horrifying combination of Swords Dance and Flame Charge.

- Mono-Fairy typing is fantastic both offensively and defensively, and the higher Defense means Pokemon like Swords Dance Hawlucha won't have time to set up Swords Dance. STAB Acrobatics without a boost only 2HKOs an UNINVESTED Silvally-Fairy, while Jolly Silvally's Multi-Attack has a good chance to OHKO.

Silvally-Fairy FAQ

Question #1: Did you forget that Mimikyu and Tapu Bulu both exist for Swords Dance Fairy sets?

Answer: Great question, Silvally-Fairy from my testing has several distinct advantages over both of those Pokemon. Mimikyu has one more point of base Speed than Silvally does but also has 5 base points less in its Attack stat. In addition to this, Mimikyu has a crippling Ghost weakness, Dark neutrality, and while Disguise is a great defensive ability, it's somewhat neutered by its horrible base 55 HP and lackluster base 80 Defense, along with the inability to go mixed like Silvally (along with not having Silvally's other support tools, including the lack of Flame Charge). Tapu Bulu is way better, though, right? I mean, look at those vastly superior stats! Well, good luck using Tapu Bulu's Fairy typing when it doesn't get access to even a single physical Fairy-type attack. Tapu Bulu has access to two Fairy-type offensive moves, Nature's Madness, and Dazzling Gleam.

Question #2: Well, Clefable can do things like setting up Stealth Rocks and be a team cleric; why would I even look at Silvally when Clefable suits my team's needs?

Answer: Another great point and Silvally-Fairy may not be your fit for those kinds of teams. However, Silvally-Fairy is not meant for that kind of niche and isn't going to try to compete with Clefable in that role. Silvally-Fairy's niche comes from its unpredictability, role compression, better stats (contributing to its ability to go mixed and outspeed key threats), and access to unique support tools that Clefable cannot get access to. In addition to this, Knock Off cannot gimp Silvally item-wise in the way that it can gimp Clefable.

Question #3: There are much better Defoggers, though, let alone Fairy Defoggers. Have you forgotten that Tapu Fini and Tapu Koko exist?

Answer: Tapu Fini and Tapu Koko are as Pokemon, no question, better than Silvally-Fairy. However, Silvally-Fairy has key advantages over bother of them. Let's talk about Tapu Koko first, as it competes with Silvally-Fairy in this slot more. Tapu Koko has better offenses, much higher speed, and better offensive typing, so clearly, it's better right? Well, not quite. Tapu Koko's defensive spread of 70 / 85 / 75 is definitely usable but doesn't quite hit the defensive benchmarks that Silvally's 95 / 95 / 95 does. In addition to this, Tapu Koko has an absolutely crippling Ground weakness that Silvally-Fairy does not have, meaning it has to be a lot more scared of Pokemon such as Scarf Landorus-T or Garchomp. In addition to this, Tapu Koko's Fairy attacks actually don't hit as hard as Silvally-Fairy because it has no Physical Fairy-type attacks to utilize its 115 Base Attack stat. Tapu Fini absolutely hates Knock Off, cannot run mixed and has the same Special Attack stat as Silvally as well. In addition, having weaknesses to Electric and Grass attacks is absolutely not ideal when you have monsters like Rillaboom running around, and can offset its defensive prowess.

Silvally-Fairy Sets

There are two sets that I've been testing that I've had the most success with (I have tested some others, but they haven't been as reliable as the two sets I'm going to be talking about here). Each set fits different team dynamics, so choose wisely based on your team's specific needs.

Silvally-Fairy Set #1 - Swords Dance Cleaner



Silvally-Fairy @ Fairy Memory
Ability: RKS System
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Multi-Attack
- Psychic Fangs / Crunch
- Flame Charge​

This set is a lot more straightforward than the Parting Shot / Defog Utility set (which we will talk about next). Set up Swords Dance, use Flame Charge to boost your speed, and slice a hole through your opponent's defenses. +2 STAB Multi-Attack will absolutely neuter most Pokemon, even physically decently bulky neutral targets or hard-to-scale monsters like Multiscale Dragonite.

+2 252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Swampert: 343-405 (84.9 - 100.2%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
+2 252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Bisharp: 313-370 (115.4 - 136.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Blissey: 573-675 (80.2 - 94.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+2 252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Clefable: 277-327 (70.3 - 82.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+2 252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Multiscale Dragonite: 330-388 (102.1 - 120.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 248 HP / 60+ Def Mandibuzz: 522-614 (123.4 - 145.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 248 HP / 220 Def Zapdos: 286-337 (74.6 - 87.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

I'd also like to point out that specific Fairy resists such as Ferrothorn and Scizor absolutely do not appreciate taking Flame Charge and are not safe switch-ins as a result, as they're going to end up being fodder for Silvally-Fairy to gain Speed Boosts from, while the currently popular variant of Scizor (the Specially Defensive set) cannot OHKO with Bullet Punch, even with no investment and a defense lowering nature (0 Atk Technician Scizor Bullet Punch vs. 0 HP / 0- Def Silvally-Fairy: 188-224 (56.7 - 67.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO).

+2 252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Flame Charge vs. 252 HP / 80 Def Ferrothorn: 264-312 (75 - 88.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+2 252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Flame Charge vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Excadrill: 266-314 (73.6 - 86.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+2 252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Flame Charge vs. 248 HP / 8 Def Scizor: 352-416 (102.6 - 121.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Flame Charge vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Magnezone: 156-184 (55.5 - 65.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

While many people prefer to run Crunch on Swords Dance Silvally sets, I've actually found more consistent results with Psychic Fangs, as most of the things Multi-Attack will hit will still hit harder than Crunch (even against threats such as Slowbro). However, Crunch is still usable, so I've kept it slotted in as an option. Why Psychic Fangs? Well...

+2 252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Psychic Fangs vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 160-190 (52.6 - 62.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Crunch hits Slowking-G super effectively, so you'll have to decide whether you feel that handling Slowking-G more reliably is more important than handling Toxapex more reliably (I generally prefer the latter, as my team usually doesn't have problems with Slowking-G).

Good Teammates:

Tapu Lele: Psychic Terrain prevents priority and boosts the damage output of Psychic Fangs. This means that Bullet Punch, in particular, is irrelevant (and basically means most Scizor variants can't touch Silvally-Fairy).

Heatran: Fire / Steel typing absolutely compliments Silvally's mono-Fairy typing extremely well, and Heatran comes in on a lot of the Pokemon that threaten Silvally-Fairy really nicely.

Magnezone: Being able to trap opposing Steel-types like Melmetal and wear them down is an absolute boon to Silvally-Fairy; it can also maintain momentum with Volt Switch.

Swampert: Physically bulky Swampert can set rocks and come in easily against most Pokemon that want to deal with Silvally-Fairy. In addition, it can maintain momentum with Flip Turn.

Silvally-Fairy Set #2 - Mixed Utility Defogger



Silvally-Fairy @ Fairy Memory
Ability: RKS System
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Multi-Attack
- Flamethrower
- Defog
- Parting Shot​

The premise of this set is simple, come in to clear hazards or scare something like Hydreigon, Hawlucha, or Dragapult out (be wary of Specs Shadow Ball), then shift match momentum in your favor using Parting Shot, which allows you to get certain teammates in far easier. Multi-Attack will cleave through a wide variety of OU's Pokemon with ease, even without an Adamant Nature (the extra power boost from Adamant doesn't hit notable damage benchmarks over Jolly / Hasty).

252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dragapult: 402-474 (126.8 - 149.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 248 HP / 60+ Def Mandibuzz: 260-308 (61.4 - 72.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Tyranitar: 290-344 (71.7 - 85.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Multiscale Dragonite: 165-195 (51 - 60.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Hydreigon: 688-816 (211.6 - 251%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Urshifu-Rapid-Strike: 314-372 (92 - 109%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO
252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Weavile: 450-530 (160.1 - 188.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Hawlucha: 402-474 (135.3 - 159.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Silvally-Fairy Multi-Attack vs. +1 0 HP / 0 Def Hawlucha: 270-318 (90.9 - 107%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO (Grassy / Electric Seed Boost)

In addition to this, Flamethrower is a nasty surprise for Pokemon like Ferrothorn who think that Silvally will be running Physical, as even with only 4 EVs, Flamethrower gets crucial 2HKOs on certain Pokemon, allowing it to pick off weakened threats in the mid-game or severely damage certain threats to a point where they are no longer reliable answers to Silvally-Fairy or other members of your team.

4 SpA Silvally-Fairy Flamethrower vs. 252 HP / 176+ SpD Ferrothorn: 176-208 (50 - 59%) -- 67.2% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
4 SpA Silvally-Fairy Flamethrower vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Bisharp: 168-198 (61.9 - 73%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
4 SpA Silvally-Fairy Flamethrower vs. 32 HP / 0 SpD Melmetal: 178-210 (42.4 - 50.1%) -- 0.4% chance to 2HKO
4 SpA Silvally-Fairy Flamethrower vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Skarmory: 166-196 (49.7 - 58.6%) -- 99.6% chance to 2HKO
4 SpA Silvally-Fairy Flamethrower vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Scizor: 208-248 (60.6 - 72.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
4 SpA Silvally-Fairy Flamethrower vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Excadrill: 178-210 (49.3 - 58.1%) -- 59% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
4 SpA Silvally-Fairy Flamethrower vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Rillaboom: 168-198 (49.2 - 58%) -- 64.5% chance to 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery

Defog is there for clearing hazards, and Parting Shot allows you to easily regain momentum and weaken an opposing Pokemon's attack to cushion the blow of an attack on the switch-in (this is especially helpful for squishy Pokemon such as Weavile, Hawlucha, or Zeraora. Parting Shot as a whole is such an incredible tool on any Pokemon (see my Morpeko post in here several pages back), let alone a Pokemon like Silvally with usable bulk, speed, offenses, and a fantastic typing / movepool. The EVs are pretty standard and go well with Silvally-Fairy's movepool. We're choosing a Hasty nature because Silvally will more often get hit on the Special side if a Pokemon it feels comfortable switching in on will use against it.

Good Teammates:

Rillaboom: Grassy Terrain helps with longevity issues caused by Silvally-Fairy's lack of recovery and can also pick off some problematic Pokemon with STAB Priority Grassy Glide or a hard-hitting Superpower.

Heatran: Fire / Steel typing absolutely compliments Silvally's mono-Fairy typing extremely well, and Heatran comes in on a lot of the Pokemon that threaten Silvally-Fairy really nicely. This is especially apparent for this Parting Shot variant as it means Heatran has a much easier time coming in.

Magnezone: Being able to trap opposing Steel-types like Melmetal and wearing them down is an absolute boon to Silvally-Fairy, and Magnezone has an easier time coming in thanks to Parting Shot and then maintain momentum even more with Volt Switch.

Swampert: Physically bulky Swampert can set rocks and come in easily against most Pokemon that want to deal with Silvally-Fairy, especially with help from Silvally's Parting Shot. In addition, it can maintain momentum with Flip Turn.

Weavile: A fantastic teammate that covers Silvally-Fairy's shortcomings well thanks to its monstrous Triple Axels, in addition to having a much easier time getting onto the field thanks to Silvally's Parting Shot.

Final Thoughts:

Silvally-Fairy is not the easiest Pokemon to use, but it's gratifying and a potent component for maintaining momentum and disrupting your opponent's established archetypes. So give Silvally a whirl, and I can assure you that if you build your team right, it will put in some great work for you!



"You know why being a Trainer is so great? Because when you're battling, it doesn't matter if you're a kid or an adult. Everyone's equal in Pokémon battle!" - Gladion
 
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:ss/Arctozolt:
Arctozolt. A niche mon that has unexpectedly taken OU by storm, Zolt has brought itself and Hail to everyone's attention by the fact that almost nothing can safely switch into it. Ground types and Zeraora can't safely come in on its Blizzards, and Low Kick can destroy Ferrothorn and niche Mamoswine. Swampert and Gastro work fine- if Zolt isn't carrying Freeze-Dry (possibly good odds if one is not named okispokis). But, what if I were to tell you that a perfect counter (or at least a consistently good one) does exist, found in the obscure depths of ZU? I present to you:
:ss/Seaking:
Seaking @ Assault Vest
Ability: Lighting Rod
252 HP/140 Att/16 SpA/100 SpD; Sassy Nature
-Flip Turn
-Knock Off
-Drill Run
-Scald

You may have many questions, leading with what substances I am currently on. However, Seaking is in a rather unique position to counteract Zolt, shrugging off Bolt Beak and Blizzard being a mere 7HKO with Hail chip, with Low Kick only doing a max of ~25%; even surprise FD only does max 30%. While Seaking's Drill Run isn't quite strong enough to 2HKO reliably, its other options can make up the gap. Losing Boots makes Zolt sweeping a lot harder, Scald can burn and at neutral is just strong enough to break Sub sans Veil (while also preventing Freeze hacks), while Flip Turn allows you to pivot out into an offensive Zolt answer. Between these utility options and Drill Run, however, I've found that Seaking's role is not limited solely to checking Zolt.

While I specifically designed this set to check Zolt, Seaking has proven a surprising amount of worth as a special tank, while being very annoying to OU's scariest special attackers. For example:

0 SpA Heatran Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 53-63 (14.5 - 17.3%) -- possible 6HKO
140 Atk Seaking Drill Run vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 240-284 (62.1 - 73.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

176 SpA Slowking-Galar Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 81-96 (22.2 - 26.3%) -- 10.6% chance to 4HKO
252+ SpA Choice Specs Volcanion Sludge Wave vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 111-131 (30.4 - 35.9%) -- 44.8% chance to 3HKO
0- Atk Tapu Koko U-turn vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Seaking: 73-86 (20 - 23.6%) -- guaranteed 5HKO
252 SpA Tapu Fini Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 82-97 (22.5 - 26.6%) -- 23.8% chance to 4HKO
252 SpA Tornadus-Therian Hurricane vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 103-123 (28.2 - 33.7%) -- 0.5% chance to 3HKO
252 Def Magnezone Body Press vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Seaking: 114-135 (31.3 - 37%) -- 80.4% chance to 3HKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Dragapult Draco Meteor over 2 turns vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 259-307 (71.1 - 84.3%) -- not a KO

252 SpA Choice Specs Blacephalon Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 142-168 (39 - 46.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
140 Atk Seaking Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Blacephalon: 250-296 (101.2 - 119.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO

As you can see, almost every relevant special attacker struggles to break through Seaking at neutral, allowing it to either take an item or gain momentum with Flip Turn. In terms of those attackers, Specs Lele is the only one that OHKOs, and even then only with Psyshock. Seaking doesn't necessarily break any of these besides Heatran and Blacephalon without chip, it's not supposed to; AV Seaking works as a tank that can generate momentum on special attackers while also forcing progress with Scald and Knock Off to chip away at key threats. As such, here's some things to note for teambuilding.

:ss/Corviknight:
Corviknight is a great partner for AVking; Corv's physical bulk covers AVking's weakness to physical attackers, provides Defog support and blanks king's one weakness, while Seaking blanks both of Corv's weaknesses. Since it fits on most team styles, I'd say Corv is probably King's best partner.
:ss/Clefable: :ss/Rillaboom:
Wish and Grassy Terrain can both help with Seaking's lack of recovery; WishPort Clefable has proved to be a solid partner, also potentially providing Rocks to add onto Seaking's brand of chip. Grassy Terrain can alternatively be used to negate small bits of chip (particularly Hail chip), with Rilla and Bulu both appreciating burns and item loss on opponents, not to mention slow pivoting support. If you can't fit both, Wish is better for defensive teams, Grassy is for more offensive teams.
:ss/Weavile: :ss/Blacephalon:
Frail offensive mons always appreciate slow pivot support, and further appreciate King's blend of utility. This is aided by another benefit of Seaking (which I might be spoiling): the psychological factor. Nobody expects anything from a mon like Seaking, and I've found opponents tend to just give King turns to set hazards or attack it with their special attacker- assumptions that can allow in a terrifying teammate, and with mons like Weavile or Blacephalon that can potentially be game-changing. This makes Seaking a good gluemon on offense teams, especially since they don't care as much about King's lack of recovery.

In terms of other options, Ice Beam can be used if you really want to 2HKO Garchomp, Icy Wind can provide further support for slower breakers, Megahorn can OHKO Weavile (doesn't take +2 Knock though) and Whirlpool allows you to remove Glowking; regardless, you should at least keep Flip and Knock. Overall, Seaking's combo of utility, pivoting, Electric immunity and solid special bulk with AV allow it to serve as a gluemon for any team fearing the likes of Arctozolt, Heatran and Blacephalon. This is a VERY small niche, but one that does exist for the bravest of souls.
 
:ss/Arctozolt:
Arctozolt. A niche mon that has unexpectedly taken OU by storm, Zolt has brought itself and Hail to everyone's attention by the fact that almost nothing can safely switch into it. Ground types and Zeraora can't safely come in on its Blizzards, and Low Kick can destroy Ferrothorn and niche Mamoswine. Swampert and Gastro work fine- if Zolt isn't carrying Freeze-Dry (possibly good odds if one is not named okispokis). But, what if I were to tell you that a perfect counter (or at least a consistently good one) does exist, found in the obscure depths of ZU? I present to you:
:ss/Seaking:
Seaking @ Assault Vest
Ability: Lighting Rod
252 HP/140 Att/16 SpA/100 SpD; Sassy Nature
-Flip Turn
-Knock Off
-Drill Run
-Scald

You may have many questions, leading with what substances I am currently on. However, Seaking is in a rather unique position to counteract Zolt, shrugging off Bolt Beak and Blizzard being a mere 7HKO with Hail chip, with Low Kick only doing a max of ~25%; even surprise FD only does max 30%. While Seaking's Drill Run isn't quite strong enough to 2HKO reliably, its other options can make up the gap. Losing Boots makes Zolt sweeping a lot harder, Scald can burn and at neutral is just strong enough to break Sub sans Veil (while also preventing Freeze hacks), while Flip Turn allows you to pivot out into an offensive Zolt answer. Between these utility options and Drill Run, however, I've found that Seaking's role is not limited solely to checking Zolt.

While I specifically designed this set to check Zolt, Seaking has proven a surprising amount of worth as a special tank, while being very annoying to OU's scariest special attackers. For example:

0 SpA Heatran Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 53-63 (14.5 - 17.3%) -- possible 6HKO
140 Atk Seaking Drill Run vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 240-284 (62.1 - 73.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

176 SpA Slowking-Galar Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 81-96 (22.2 - 26.3%) -- 10.6% chance to 4HKO
252+ SpA Choice Specs Volcanion Sludge Wave vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 111-131 (30.4 - 35.9%) -- 44.8% chance to 3HKO
0- Atk Tapu Koko U-turn vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Seaking: 73-86 (20 - 23.6%) -- guaranteed 5HKO
252 SpA Tapu Fini Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 82-97 (22.5 - 26.6%) -- 23.8% chance to 4HKO
252 SpA Tornadus-Therian Hurricane vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 103-123 (28.2 - 33.7%) -- 0.5% chance to 3HKO
252 Def Magnezone Body Press vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Seaking: 114-135 (31.3 - 37%) -- 80.4% chance to 3HKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Dragapult Draco Meteor over 2 turns vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 259-307 (71.1 - 84.3%) -- not a KO

252 SpA Choice Specs Blacephalon Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 142-168 (39 - 46.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
140 Atk Seaking Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Blacephalon: 250-296 (101.2 - 119.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO

As you can see, almost every relevant special attacker struggles to break through Seaking at neutral, allowing it to either take an item or gain momentum with Flip Turn. In terms of those attackers, Specs Lele is the only one that OHKOs, and even then only with Psyshock. Seaking doesn't necessarily break any of these besides Heatran and Blacephalon without chip, it's not supposed to; AV Seaking works as a tank that can generate momentum on special attackers while also forcing progress with Scald and Knock Off to chip away at key threats. As such, here's some things to note for teambuilding.

:ss/Corviknight:
Corviknight is a great partner for AVking; Corv's physical bulk covers AVking's weakness to physical attackers, provides Defog support and blanks king's one weakness, while Seaking blanks both of Corv's weaknesses. Since it fits on most team styles, I'd say Corv is probably King's best partner.
:ss/Clefable: :ss/Rillaboom:
Wish and Grassy Terrain can both help with Seaking's lack of recovery; WishPort Clefable has proved to be a solid partner, also potentially providing Rocks to add onto Seaking's brand of chip. Grassy Terrain can alternatively be used to negate small bits of chip (particularly Hail chip), with Rilla and Bulu both appreciating burns and item loss on opponents, not to mention slow pivoting support. If you can't fit both, Wish is better for defensive teams, Grassy is for more offensive teams.
:ss/Weavile: :ss/Blacephalon:
Frail offensive mons always appreciate slow pivot support, and further appreciate King's blend of utility. This is aided by another benefit of Seaking (which I might be spoiling): the psychological factor. Nobody expects anything from a mon like Seaking, and I've found opponents tend to just give King turns to set hazards or attack it with their special attacker- assumptions that can allow in a terrifying teammate, and with mons like Weavile or Blacephalon that can potentially be game-changing. This makes Seaking a good gluemon on offense teams, especially since they don't care as much about King's lack of recovery.

In terms of other options, Ice Beam can be used if you really want to 2HKO Garchomp, Icy Wind can provide further support for slower breakers, Megahorn can OHKO Weavile (doesn't take +2 Knock though) and Whirlpool allows you to remove Glowking; regardless, you should at least keep Flip and Knock. Overall, Seaking's combo of utility, pivoting, Electric immunity and solid special bulk with AV allow it to serve as a gluemon for any team fearing the likes of Arctozolt, Heatran and Blacephalon. This is a VERY small niche, but one that does exist for the bravest of souls.
I had been meaning to find a proper use for Seaking for a long time now and I'm super stoked that you found one! Such an interesting Pokemon with a great movepool and ability. I also love the specialized EVs, some great stuff. It's also worth mentioning the Seaking set you listed works even better in Rain due to powered-up Flip Turns and Scalds, along with the utility of getting rid of Hail. It can also work in Sun to an extent under the same principle, as Seaking isn't focused on doing damage with its water moves as is, and sun can work to lure in Pokemon like Heatran on the opposing team, allowing mind games to get a potential Drill Run off, killing one of your opponent's most important team members.

I'd also like to add on here that Seaking gets additional great moves depending on specific needs for your team such as Megahorn, Haze, Scale Shot, Curse, Aqua Ring, Throat Chop, and Swords Dance.
 

ausma

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:ss/Arctozolt:
Arctozolt. A niche mon that has unexpectedly taken OU by storm, Zolt has brought itself and Hail to everyone's attention by the fact that almost nothing can safely switch into it. Ground types and Zeraora can't safely come in on its Blizzards, and Low Kick can destroy Ferrothorn and niche Mamoswine. Swampert and Gastro work fine- if Zolt isn't carrying Freeze-Dry (possibly good odds if one is not named okispokis). But, what if I were to tell you that a perfect counter (or at least a consistently good one) does exist, found in the obscure depths of ZU? I present to you:
:ss/Seaking:
Seaking @ Assault Vest
Ability: Lighting Rod
252 HP/140 Att/16 SpA/100 SpD; Sassy Nature
-Flip Turn
-Knock Off
-Drill Run
-Scald

You may have many questions, leading with what substances I am currently on. However, Seaking is in a rather unique position to counteract Zolt, shrugging off Bolt Beak and Blizzard being a mere 7HKO with Hail chip, with Low Kick only doing a max of ~25%; even surprise FD only does max 30%. While Seaking's Drill Run isn't quite strong enough to 2HKO reliably, its other options can make up the gap. Losing Boots makes Zolt sweeping a lot harder, Scald can burn and at neutral is just strong enough to break Sub sans Veil (while also preventing Freeze hacks), while Flip Turn allows you to pivot out into an offensive Zolt answer. Between these utility options and Drill Run, however, I've found that Seaking's role is not limited solely to checking Zolt.

While I specifically designed this set to check Zolt, Seaking has proven a surprising amount of worth as a special tank, while being very annoying to OU's scariest special attackers. For example:

0 SpA Heatran Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 53-63 (14.5 - 17.3%) -- possible 6HKO
140 Atk Seaking Drill Run vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 240-284 (62.1 - 73.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

176 SpA Slowking-Galar Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 81-96 (22.2 - 26.3%) -- 10.6% chance to 4HKO
252+ SpA Choice Specs Volcanion Sludge Wave vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 111-131 (30.4 - 35.9%) -- 44.8% chance to 3HKO
0- Atk Tapu Koko U-turn vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Seaking: 73-86 (20 - 23.6%) -- guaranteed 5HKO
252 SpA Tapu Fini Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 82-97 (22.5 - 26.6%) -- 23.8% chance to 4HKO
252 SpA Tornadus-Therian Hurricane vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 103-123 (28.2 - 33.7%) -- 0.5% chance to 3HKO
252 Def Magnezone Body Press vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Seaking: 114-135 (31.3 - 37%) -- 80.4% chance to 3HKO
252 SpA Choice Specs Dragapult Draco Meteor over 2 turns vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 259-307 (71.1 - 84.3%) -- not a KO

252 SpA Choice Specs Blacephalon Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 100+ SpD Assault Vest Seaking: 142-168 (39 - 46.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
140 Atk Seaking Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Blacephalon: 250-296 (101.2 - 119.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO

As you can see, almost every relevant special attacker struggles to break through Seaking at neutral, allowing it to either take an item or gain momentum with Flip Turn. In terms of those attackers, Specs Lele is the only one that OHKOs, and even then only with Psyshock. Seaking doesn't necessarily break any of these besides Heatran and Blacephalon without chip, it's not supposed to; AV Seaking works as a tank that can generate momentum on special attackers while also forcing progress with Scald and Knock Off to chip away at key threats. As such, here's some things to note for teambuilding.

:ss/Corviknight:
Corviknight is a great partner for AVking; Corv's physical bulk covers AVking's weakness to physical attackers, provides Defog support and blanks king's one weakness, while Seaking blanks both of Corv's weaknesses. Since it fits on most team styles, I'd say Corv is probably King's best partner.
:ss/Clefable: :ss/Rillaboom:
Wish and Grassy Terrain can both help with Seaking's lack of recovery; WishPort Clefable has proved to be a solid partner, also potentially providing Rocks to add onto Seaking's brand of chip. Grassy Terrain can alternatively be used to negate small bits of chip (particularly Hail chip), with Rilla and Bulu both appreciating burns and item loss on opponents, not to mention slow pivoting support. If you can't fit both, Wish is better for defensive teams, Grassy is for more offensive teams.
:ss/Weavile: :ss/Blacephalon:
Frail offensive mons always appreciate slow pivot support, and further appreciate King's blend of utility. This is aided by another benefit of Seaking (which I might be spoiling): the psychological factor. Nobody expects anything from a mon like Seaking, and I've found opponents tend to just give King turns to set hazards or attack it with their special attacker- assumptions that can allow in a terrifying teammate, and with mons like Weavile or Blacephalon that can potentially be game-changing. This makes Seaking a good gluemon on offense teams, especially since they don't care as much about King's lack of recovery.

In terms of other options, Ice Beam can be used if you really want to 2HKO Garchomp, Icy Wind can provide further support for slower breakers, Megahorn can OHKO Weavile (doesn't take +2 Knock though) and Whirlpool allows you to remove Glowking; regardless, you should at least keep Flip and Knock. Overall, Seaking's combo of utility, pivoting, Electric immunity and solid special bulk with AV allow it to serve as a gluemon for any team fearing the likes of Arctozolt, Heatran and Blacephalon. This is a VERY small niche, but one that does exist for the bravest of souls.
This is a really fun sounding option and a creative use of an otherwise bad Pokemon! While on the subject, I've been experimenting a lot with an Anti-Arctozolt measure of my own, featuring an old gem from back in the early incarnation of the DLC2 meta:

:ss/marowak-alola:
Marowak-Alola @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 248 HP / 72 Atk / 8 SpD / 180 Spe
Careful Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Flare Blitz
- Will-O-Wisp / Toxic / Knock Off
- Pain Split

This is a really wacky spread that I designed that works on bulky offenses and balances that are inherently Arctozolt weak. It boasts a Bolt Beak immunity, a Blizzard/Freeze-Dry resistance, and a Low Kick immunity, only weak to Stomping Tantrum (which is a lousy coverage option considering how much it likes Low Kick to pressure Ferrothorn and Kyurem or Freeze-Dry to slap Swampert/Gastrodon). The last slot is utility, which you can customize according to the needs of your team. Toxic lets it 1v1 Volcarona, Will-O-Wisp punishes offensive behemoths like Urshifu-R or Garchomp that think they can switch into you otherwise, and Knock Off is a cool midground option that can mitigate potential passivity granted by its middling attack stat. Pain Split is a cool option that Marowak has at its disposal that I haven't really seen people use much, which lets it take advantage of Flare Blitz switch-ins and not only keep itself healthy in a pinch, but compound chip damage against things like Heatran. Its defensive utility forcing switches lets it fire off Pain Split surprisingly often.

This spread allows Marowak to outspeed and 2HKO Corviknight with Flare Blitz, making it a Stealth Rock setter with the unique quality of beating Corviknight, something only presently shared by Heatran. In fact, since Corviknight tend to run Body Press, Marowak can actually hard switch into Corviknight unlike Heatran, which risks key chip damage in the process. The rest of its EVs are invested into its HP and Special Defense. Outside of beating Arctozolt, it is a Tapu Koko counter, Volcarona counter, Magnezone pivot, and potential Kyurem pivot that pidgeonholes it into Earth Power.

It pairs very well with Toxic Spikes Toxapex, which is really neat with Marowak since it's really good at forcing switches into Pokemon that you would really like to have poisoned on a whim, such as bulky Water-types like Tapu Fini or Tyranitar, and Toxapex also provides a lot of leeway for it by giving it a switch-in against Urshifu-R and Dragapult that attempt to capitalize on it. You can also pair this with Weavile, since Marowak can spread status against its checks fairly reliably and set Stealth Rock to help apply consistent pressure for it. By no means is this a bonafide option and it's still pretty mediocre all things considered, but it can be fun provided you have the support necessary to both capitalize on it and enable it in the first place.
 
Interesting EV spread. I’ve always found the original 252 HP / 12 or 0 Sp Def investment to be wanting in this metagame, so I’ll try this spread too to see if it better helps Milotic to tank special hits.

My experience has been the same as yours - Milotic works in walling/countering what it needs to wall/counter in OU. Pairing Milotic with a dedicated wish passer such as specially defensive Clefable or Blissey will usually help to reduce Milotic’s reliance on recover.
That ev spread isn't exactly the most optimal to be honest. I was just trying to tweak it and anything from around 170-196 hp evs with the rest dumped in spdef is just to improve the odds against Blacephalon

Earlier in the day, I've been pairing Milotic up with Tapu Bulu since Bulu can fix all the issues Milo has. Moistshifu, Garchomp, grasses and electrics. That cuts down everything but smart strike Kartana. I've just been building trash teams to see how the idea works and the two actually make a great pair since the terrain allows Milotic to stand its ground against Garchomp. Aside from its ability to deal with Moistshifu, Bulu also isn't instantly afraid of Garchomp's fire moves unlike Rilla which makes the pairing a lot better. Although having said this, the teams I made thus far is too trashy but the idea isn't half bad. Those two just blanks nearly the entire tier and Bulu appreciates the flip turns

Hail is still an issue for this core so that presents another challenge to solve but it isn't exactly that bad in the grand scheme of things since while it is common, hail is not on every team and it's still only the first day of trying
 
This is a really fun sounding option and a creative use of an otherwise bad Pokemon! While on the subject, I've been experimenting a lot with an Anti-Arctozolt measure of my own, featuring an old gem from back in the early incarnation of the DLC2 meta:

:ss/marowak-alola:
Marowak-Alola @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 248 HP / 72 Atk / 8 SpD / 180 Spe
Careful Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Flare Blitz
- Will-O-Wisp / Toxic / Knock Off
- Pain Split

This is a really wacky spread that I designed that works on bulky offenses and balances that are inherently Arctozolt weak. It boasts a Bolt Beak immunity, a Blizzard/Freeze-Dry resistance, and a Low Kick immunity, only weak to Stomping Tantrum (which is a lousy coverage option considering how much it likes Low Kick to pressure Ferrothorn and Kyurem or Freeze-Dry to slap Swampert/Gastrodon). The last slot is utility, which you can customize according to the needs of your team. Toxic lets it 1v1 Volcarona, Will-O-Wisp punishes offensive behemoths like Urshifu-R or Garchomp that think they can switch into you otherwise, and Knock Off is a cool midground option that can mitigate potential passivity granted by its middling attack stat. Pain Split is a cool option that Marowak has at its disposal that I haven't really seen people use much, which lets it take advantage of Flare Blitz switch-ins and not only keep itself healthy in a pinch, but compound chip damage against things like Heatran. Its defensive utility forcing switches lets it fire off Pain Split surprisingly often.

This spread allows Marowak to outspeed and 2HKO Corviknight with Flare Blitz, making it a Stealth Rock setter with the unique quality of beating Corviknight, something only presently shared by Heatran. In fact, since Corviknight tend to run Body Press, Marowak can actually hard switch into Corviknight unlike Heatran, which risks key chip damage in the process. The rest of its EVs are invested into its HP and Special Defense. Outside of beating Arctozolt, it is a Tapu Koko counter, Volcarona counter, Magnezone pivot, and potential Kyurem pivot that pidgeonholes it into Earth Power.

It pairs very well with Toxic Spikes Toxapex, which is really neat with Marowak since it's really good at forcing switches into Pokemon that you would really like to have poisoned on a whim, such as bulky Water-types like Tapu Fini or Tyranitar, and Toxapex also provides a lot of leeway for it by giving it a switch-in against Urshifu-R and Dragapult that attempt to capitalize on it. You can also pair this with Weavile, since Marowak can spread status against its checks fairly reliably and set Stealth Rock to help apply consistent pressure for it. By no means is this a bonafide option and it's still pretty mediocre all things considered, but it can be fun provided you have the support necessary to both capitalize on it and enable it in the first place.
Here is a different version of alolawak I made some time ago, with full explanation. i'm happy to see and share these convergent ideas, much like with the zapdos posts above.
If you don't want to read that, basically this alolawak can switch into arctozolt fairly reliably and has maximum pain split value, while still dishing out powerful attacks. that set can still fit stealth rock or a status move in place of bonemerang too.

here's set and spread
:marowak-alola:
Marowak-Alola @ Thick Club
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 8 HP / 232 Atk / 236 SpD / 32 Spe
Careful Nature
- Poltergeist
- Fire Punch
- Bonemerang (or Earthquake)
- Pain Split
 
Alright so for once, I won't be talking about a niche non-OU Pokemon, I'd like to talk about my current favorite Pokemon to use in OU that's actually placed OU (very few based on my posts, I know), and specifically, a set that I've found to be absolutely wonderful these days that's a bit different than the conventional version of this set.



Tapu Lele @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Energy Ball
- Thunderbolt

- Psychic​

Scarf Lele has been an absolute godsend for so many of my teams for two reasons. Fast, strong Fairy offense is phenomenal, while Psychic terrain to block priority is wonderful, and boosted Psychics to deal with Toxapex are always a plus. You're probably wondering "why aren't you running Focus Miss or Psyshock?" Simple, the accuracy fails way too much. I leave dealing with Steel types to my other teammates (like Heatran, who is one of my favorite Lele partners), and Psyshock I found I was only clicking it on Blissey, and I have partners that can take care of Blissey way better anyways, and I don't feel like getting my Lele hit by a status move.

I've found that the combination of Energy Ball and Thunderbolt has actually been serving me way better, catching things like Hippowdon, Swampert, Coviknight, the Slowtwins, and Tapu Fini off guard.

252 SpA Tapu Lele Energy Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Hippowdon: 258-304 (61.4 - 72.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Tapu Lele Energy Ball vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Seismitoad: 496-588 (119.8 - 142%) -- guaranteed OHKO (Since it's making a comeback now)
252 SpA Tapu Lele Energy Ball vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Swampert: 304-360 (75.2 - 89.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Tapu Lele Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Slowbro: 236-278 (59.8 - 70.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (same with Energy Ball)
252 SpA Tapu Lele Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Corviknight: 158-188 (39.5 - 47%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Tapu Lele Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 64 SpD Tapu Fini: 148-176 (43 - 51.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Tapu Lele Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Slowking: 134-158 (34 - 40.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO (same with Energy Ball)

As you can see, a good number of these Pokemon have to have max HP and Special Defense investment in order to avoid a 2HKO. Thunderbolt and Energy Ball together actually have good prediction synergy, as most don't expect the two moves to be run together. If you use Thunderbolt, people are going to assume you don't have Energy Ball and play their Ground types carelessly around it, meaning you'll have an opening to do absolutely massive damage.

While most of the time you're still gonna be clicking Moonblast and Psychic, I feel as though this moveset alteration for typical Scarf Lele sets is definitely worth consideration and I've had vastly more success with it thanks to the mindgames and opportunities that it opens up for my team builds (give this thing Aura Sphere already, cowards).
 
While on the topic of Lele, another set I've been enjoying with it is


:sm/tapu lele:
Tapu Lele @ Expert Belt
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Moonblast
- Calm Mind
- Thunderbolt
- Psychic / Psyshock

I actually got this idea when playing some gen seven and trying to predict our most hated durian to burn with hp fire is a massive pain in the ass so I just went with this. With no hidden power, which is good, might as well fry some metal birds. It doesn't do the speed control or revenge killing scarf lele does but it can bluff a scarf since its psychics won't sting that much. The expert belt is just to ensure that after a calm mind, you fry Corvibirb out of the sky. Oh, and after a calm mind, you live Dragapult's shadow ball from full. As the above post said, better leave dealing with steel types to your teammates because Lele has zero aim

252 SpA Choice Specs Dragapult Shadow Ball vs. +1 0 HP / 4 SpD Tapu Lele: 194-230 (69 - 81.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
 

ironwater

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Alright so for once, I won't be talking about a niche non-OU Pokemon, I'd like to talk about my current favorite Pokemon to use in OU that's actually placed OU (very few based on my posts, I know), and specifically, a set that I've found to be absolutely wonderful these days that's a bit different than the conventional version of this set.



Tapu Lele @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Energy Ball
- Thunderbolt

- Psychic​

Scarf Lele has been an absolute godsend for so many of my teams for two reasons. Fast, strong Fairy offense is phenomenal, while Psychic terrain to block priority is wonderful, and boosted Psychics to deal with Toxapex are always a plus. You're probably wondering "why aren't you running Focus Miss or Psyshock?" Simple, the accuracy fails way too much. I leave dealing with Steel types to my other teammates (like Heatran, who is one of my favorite Lele partners), and Psyshock I found I was only clicking it on Blissey, and I have partners that can take care of Blissey way better anyways, and I don't feel like getting my Lele hit by a status move.

I've found that the combination of Energy Ball and Thunderbolt has actually been serving me way better, catching things like Hippowdon, Swampert, Coviknight, the Slowtwins, and Tapu Fini off guard.

252 SpA Tapu Lele Energy Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Hippowdon: 258-304 (61.4 - 72.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Tapu Lele Energy Ball vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Seismitoad: 496-588 (119.8 - 142%) -- guaranteed OHKO (Since it's making a comeback now)
252 SpA Tapu Lele Energy Ball vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Swampert: 304-360 (75.2 - 89.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Tapu Lele Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Slowbro: 236-278 (59.8 - 70.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (same with Energy Ball)
252 SpA Tapu Lele Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Corviknight: 158-188 (39.5 - 47%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Tapu Lele Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 64 SpD Tapu Fini: 148-176 (43 - 51.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Tapu Lele Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Slowking: 134-158 (34 - 40.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO (same with Energy Ball)

As you can see, a good number of these Pokemon have to have max HP and Special Defense investment in order to avoid a 2HKO. Thunderbolt and Energy Ball together actually have good prediction synergy, as most don't expect the two moves to be run together. If you use Thunderbolt, people are going to assume you don't have Energy Ball and play their Ground types carelessly around it, meaning you'll have an opening to do absolutely massive damage.

While most of the time you're still gonna be clicking Moonblast and Psychic, I feel as though this moveset alteration for typical Scarf Lele sets is definitely worth consideration and I've had vastly more success with it thanks to the mindgames and opportunities that it opens up for my team builds (give this thing Aura Sphere already, cowards).
I agree with Thunderbolt being a great option on Tapu Lele because, even if Slowking fell down in usage, Corviknight is still a very common Tapu Lele (pseudo) answer and Thunderbolt can pressure it efficiently. However, I don't understand why you would use Energy Ball. I think you just rather have Psyshock or Focus Blast on this slot and I will try to explain why I think so.

So first, about the Pokemon you've mentionned, I don't think defensive Seismitoad is making a comeback, last time I saw one (a non-Swift Swim one) was during the Dracovish era and this Pokemon has too much flaws compared to other bulky Water types to become a common choice. You don't even need to OHKO it, as it can't recover its health and Psychic from Scarf Tapu Lele will easily 2HKO. About Swampert, it's true that Energy Ball is your best move against it, but here again, Swampert is extremely rare in this metagame, it can't heal well (only have Lefties) and already take a lot of damage on Psychic and even more on Psyshock (which almost 2HKO). As for Hippowdon, the thing is that Psychic does almost the same amount of damage, because STAB + terrain boost is almost a *2 multiplier.

252 SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Seismitoad in Psychic Terrain: 241-285 (58.2 - 68.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 SpA Tapu Lele Psyshock vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Swampert in Psychic Terrain: 186-219 (46 - 54.2%) -- 4.7% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Hippowdon in Psychic Terrain: 252-297 (60 - 70.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

The last point could be generalized, by saying that super effective Energy Ball is not useful against something that doesn't resist Psychic as both will do almost the same damage. Thus, Energy Ball can only be useful against Pokemon weak to Grass and resisting Psychic moves or Pokemon with a double Grass weakness not weak to Psychic moves. Swampert and Seismitoad fall indeed in that category, but as they can't recover health efficiently, and are not very common, you don't need Energy Ball for them. There is a another Pokemon that falls in this category and you didn't mentionned it, it's Gastrodon. This thing is probably the only Pokemon against which having Energy Ball on Tapu Lele (only Scarf Lele cause Specs Lele destroys him) can be useful, because it can take 2 Scarf Psyshock and Psychic but get destroyed by Energy Ball. It also has Recover, which means that you won't beat it with reapeated Psychic. Now, Gastrodon is still a niche pick, and unless you are expecting someone to bring it and want to lure it, it's not enough to justify the use of Energy Ball on Tapu Lele. Moreover, Gastrodon needs a very specific mixed spread to be able to avoid the 2HKO on both Psychic and Psyshock which means that you will still be able to beat most of them if you have these two moves.

252 SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 104+ SpD Gastrodon in Psychic Terrain: 183-216 (42.9 - 50.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 SpA Tapu Lele Psyshock vs. 252 HP / 156 Def Gastrodon in Psychic Terrain: 190-225 (44.6 - 52.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

As for the Pokemon weak to Energy Ball and resisting Psychic, most of them are Water types already threatened by Thunderbolt like the Slowtwins or to some extend Tapu Fini which remove your terrain. We can also consider Tyranitar here, but you have Moonblast for it.

Now, why are Psyshock or Focus Blast useful. Psyshock threaten most Special walls, Gastrodon is an example but the greatest one is Blissey. As for Focus Blast, even if it's rather unreliable, it's actually extremely useful to beat Heatran, Melmetal and other bulky Steel types, especially on a Scarf set that will do very little damage to them with Psychic.

By the way, I also read your post about Silvally and I found it very interesting. I also think that Silvally could have some potential in OU, mainly because Multi-Attack is a very good move since it was buffed.
 
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I agree with Thunderbolt being a great option on Tapu Lele because, even if Slowking fell down in usage, Corviknight is still a very common Tapu Lele (pseudo) answer and Thunderbolt can pressure it efficiently. However, I don't understand why you would use Energy Ball. I think you just rather have Psyshock or Focus Blast on this slot and I will try to explain why I think so.

So first, about the Pokemon you've mentionned, I don't think defensive Seismitoad is making a comeback, last time I saw one (a non-Swift Swim one) was during the Dracovish era and this Pokemon has too much flaws compared to other bulky Water types to become a common choice. You don't even need to OHKO it, as it can't recover its health and Psychic from Scarf Tapu Lele will easily 2HKO. About Swampert, it's true that Energy Ball is your best move against it, but here again, Swampert is extremely rare in this metagame, it can't heal well (only have Lefties) and already take a lot of damage on Psychic and even more on Psyshock (which almost 2HKO). As for Hippowdon, the thing is that Psychic does almost the same amount of damage, because STAB + terrain boost is almost a *2 multiplier.

252 SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Seismitoad in Psychic Terrain: 241-285 (58.2 - 68.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 SpA Tapu Lele Psyshock vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Swampert in Psychic Terrain: 186-219 (46 - 54.2%) -- 4.7% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Hippowdon in Psychic Terrain: 252-297 (60 - 70.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

The last point could be generalized, by saying that super effective Energy Ball is not useful against something that doesn't resist Psychic as both will do almost the same damage. Thus, Energy Ball can only be useful against Pokemon weak to Grass and resisting Psychic moves or Pokemon with a double Grass weakness not weak to Psychic moves. Swampert and Seismitoad fall indeed in that category, but as they can't recover health efficiently, and are not very common, you don't need Energy Ball for them. There is a another Pokemon that falls in this category and you didn't mentionned it, it's Gastrodon. This thing is probably the only Pokemon against which having Energy Ball on Tapu Lele (only Scarf Lele cause Specs Lele destroys him) can be useful, because it can take 2 Scarf Psyshock and Psychic but get destroyed by Energy Ball. It also has Recover, which means that you won't beat it with reapeated Psychic. Now, Gastrodon is still a niche pick, and unless you are expecting someone to bring it and want to lure it, it's not enough to justify the use of Energy Ball on Tapu Lele. Moreover, Gastrodon needs a very specific mixed spread to be able to avoid the 2HKO on both Psychic and Psyshock which means that you will still be able to beat most of them if you have these two moves.

252 SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 104+ SpD Gastrodon in Psychic Terrain: 183-216 (42.9 - 50.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 SpA Tapu Lele Psyshock vs. 252 HP / 156 Def Gastrodon in Psychic Terrain: 190-225 (44.6 - 52.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

As for the Pokemon weak to Energy Ball and resisting Psychic, most of them are Water types already threatened by Thunderbolt like the Slowtwins or to some extend Tapu Fini which remove your terrain. We can also consider Tyranitar here, but you have Moonblast for it.

Now, why are Psyshock or Focus Blast useful. Psyshock threaten most Special walls, Gastrodon is an example but the greatest one is Blissey. As for Focus Blast, even if it's rather unreliable, it's actually extremely useful to beat Heatran, Melmetal and other bulky Steel types, especially on a Scarf set that will do very little damage to them with Psychic.

By the way, I also read your post about Silvally and I found it very interesting. I also think that Silvally could have some potential in OU, mainly because Multi-Attack is a very good move since it was buffed.
Thank you for the compliment on my Silvally post! The Sword Dance variant is so much fun to use, Multi-Attack really is an incredible move, and Silvally's additional fantastic options like Parting Shot really do give it a great and very usable place in OU.

You know, looking at what you've posted here, I think I agree with you in regards to Psyshock. I'm gonna try throwing that on over Energy Ball again to see if it really makes that much of a difference. I absolutely cannot stand Focus Miss though, I cannot tell you how many matches I've lost the mid-game because of that move being so unreliable, I'd still much rather have Thunderbolt as an option over it.
 

airfare

aruarian dance
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yo i saw ABR use this in olt playoffs earlier today and it invigorated me



Reflect Corviknight is an interesting tech on fatter teams that achieves two purposes over Iron Defense:
  1. It has a unique role alongside Unaware users like Clefable and Quagsire (and any other bulky teammates that would appreciate the ability to eat a +1.5x hit at worst instead of a +2 hit), letting them pivot in after using Reflect on something like Bisharp, Garchomp, or Kartana and soak physical hits a lot more easily.
  2. Unlike Iron Defense boosts, which Sacred Sword bypasses, Reflect lets Corviknight survive interactions against Kartana by either staying in on attacks or pivoting into a teammate if it continues to set up.
 
I wanted to quickly talk about an OU staple set variant I've been having a lot of really great matches with as of late before I get back into testing some other things I've been working on.



Slowbro @ Choice Specs
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Flamethrower
- Psychic / Psyshock
- Yawn

You're probably thinking, "Specs Slowbro, with that coverage? Why? Also, why Yawn? Also, why not a higher BP Water move? No Future Sight, no Teleport? Your set makes no sense; stop playing FFS."

It's simple, this mon causes absolute mind games, and one bad play from your opponent can result in shutting down some of your opponent's key threats while dishing out immediate damage to possible switch-ins. Let's compare the damage output with the typical Physically Defensive set with the Specs set to get an idea here of the difference in damage.

0 SpA Slowbro Future Sight vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Toxapex: 192-228 (63.1 - 75%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
0 SpA Slowbro Future Sight vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Clefable: 141-166 (35.7 - 42.1%) -- 90.4% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 SpA Slowbro Future Sight vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Dragapult: 163-193 (51.4 - 60.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
0 SpA Slowbro Future Sight vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Multiscale Dragonite: 64-76 (19.8 - 23.5%) -- possible 5HKO

Let's see what happens when we instead forgo the teleport switching and immediately remove a key threat and add potential coverage based on prediction.

252+ SpA Choice Specs Slowbro Psychic vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Toxapex: 296-350 (97.3 - 115.1%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO
252+ SpA Choice Specs Slowbro Psychic vs. 252 HP / 120 SpD Toxapex: 272-324 (89.4 - 106.5%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO (For the Specially Defensive variants that have been cropping up lately, kudos to BoomFantastic for helping me with some EV work and teambuilding stuff, along with providing me some additional information)
252+ SpA Choice Specs Slowbro Psychic vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Clefable: 220-259 (55.8 - 65.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

So now you're wondering, "alright, the immediate damage output is higher, but you're removing the utility of Futureport in favor of coverage and Yawn?" Let's go into why Yawn, I feel, is absolutely one of the best moves in OU right now (I might make a post going into more detail about it in the future). Yawn, like Futureport, forces switches but rather than taking damage turns later, it threatens to cripple certain mons entirely, allowing you more opportunities to get one of your Sub Roost Pokemon set up, or if you're in the late game, get your sweeper ready to clean house. Since this utility forces switches, you're essentially compression the forced switching of Futureport into one move, freeing up additional space for coverage. Speaking of coverage, let's talk about Flamethrower.

252+ SpA Choice Specs Slowbro Flamethrower vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Corviknight: 216-256 (54 - 64%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252+ SpA Choice Specs Slowbro Flamethrower vs. 252 HP / 176+ SpD Ferrothorn: 372-440 (105.6 - 125%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Choice Specs Slowbro Flamethrower vs. 0 HP / 244 SpD Melmetal: 280-330 (68.1 - 80.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252+ SpA Choice Specs Slowbro Flamethrower vs. 128 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Melmetal: 170-200 (38.3 - 45.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252+ SpA Choice Specs Slowbro Flamethrower vs. 248 HP / 252+ SpD Scizor: 448-528 (130.6 - 153.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Many Pokemon aren't prepared for Flamethrower's raw power thanks to Specs, and it can net some surprise KOs or absolutely maim a potential switch in. The reason for Scald is specifically that burn chance for certain Pokemon. This works well because of Regenerator. I also slotted in Psyshock specifically because of the slow switch to the previously noted Specially Defensive Toxapex sets, but that's all up to you and what you find more reliable.

Also, since some were asking on Showdown, I'm currently testing another hyper niche Pokemon in OU. I will eventually draft up a massive post about it as I do with all the other niche Pokemon once I have more concrete results.
*cough*
*cough*
 
Hey everyone , reporting live from the ladder on the latest trends.

Personally I’m a fan of themed teams and grass types, and the latest team is a “grounded assault” one.
  • All team members must not resist flying type attacks
  • No flying or levitating types permitted
  • only one ground resist is allowed (otherwise it’s impossible to rank without any ground resist in OU!)
  • at least half the team must have a STAB that is resisted by the flying type
  • No STAB that is super effective against flying.
  • after seeing that my suggestions about Volcarona, rillaboom, and Kartana didn’t really stick, I set out to use all 3 of them, and prove their efficacy, this is a topic I’d like to explore starting with Kartana in particular
:conkeldurr: this team has lead me to discover that Conkeldurr really is useful right now with bulk up (older sets use 4 attacks, however that doesn’t pull weight against offensive teams), but that’s a topic for the VR thread.

here’s the team.

:Conkeldurr: :Rillaboom: :Volcarona: :Kartana: :slowking-galar: :Garchomp:


there’s a few replays too, here’s two that focus a little on 252 SpD kartana



The first replay is a good example of the utility versus hail

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1411124924-xbqikcbqw2hdr14w9x4fkf9tet8hftwpw

the second replay shows how the leftovers can tick you back out of important thresholds. As any experienced conk user will know, you really need Kartana sub 80 to revenge it.. so it was challenging for them to play around using prediction, whilst I was rewarded with healing.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1410030518-rr57mq0x2aglsmq755tam1dcpuogjw5pw

here’s a game of the team losing, obviously flying types are the biggest problem, here’s an example of a team running two of them. I needed one of the three end game hurricanes to miss to win, all 3 hit :(

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1411726183



the Kartana set is my favourite due to its matchup verse offense, so far it pulls its weight very well except for against specs fini , as demonstrated by another 1900s player (“clawed out”, rank 2, I’m at rank 5 as I write this) that completely disrupted everything.



Also some evidence of success, current rank at time of writing
 

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Finchinator

You’re so golden
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We have reached a point where cries for tiering changes are at a low-point, but metagame evolution is still transpiring at a respectable pace. I believe this is a testament to a mostly favorable — or at the very least playable — metagame state, which the survey results confirm, but I personally see a few topics worth discussing nonetheless.

Arctozolt — yes, the PU Pokemon — has been devastating with the BoltBeam dual STAB combination, proving tough to contain when it has double the speed under Hail. Would I ban it at this instant if given a choice? Probably not, but counterplay is limited and applications of Hail are getting more impressive, consistent, and standardized with each adaptation. This phenomenon has been going on for weeks now and I am unsure if we have reached the tip of the iceberg yet. There are Pokémon like Ferrothorn, PDef Magnezone, SDef Hippowdon, and bulky Excadrill that stand a chance at checking it while being justifiable regardless and then there are opportunities like Swampert/Gastrodon handling variants without Freeze Dry to further diminish it, but a lot of in-game counterplay to Arctozolt involves predicting around it, which is not ideal or consistent. We will have to keep an eye on this as we move forward.

Another topic I believe deserves more discussion both in general and right now is Magnet Pull. Magnet Pull is not necessarily broken, but it does toe the line on being uncompetitive like other trapping abilities can be. With Magnezone’s applications multiplying and it becoming a regular presence in the tier, we have seen many Corviknight, Ferrothorn, Skarmory, etc. go poof. The inability for these Pokemon to switch is, like other trapping dynamics, troublesome and the advantages of these Pokemon being removed are innumerable. Obviously this is a lot less clear-cut than Arena Trap or Shadow Tag, to the point where I am not even sure we are ready to discuss this as a community yet, but I do think it is still a pretty awkward dynamic in our metagame and one of the ugliest tiering discussions that we will eventually need to have as Magnezone remains a regular in SS OU.
 

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