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

Finchinator

You're so golden
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OU & NU Leader
Keep Magnet Pull discussion to Policy Review imo, it gets pretty cringe to have mini suspect threads in this thread. New games coming out soonish, the meta can probably sit otherwise.
Well yes and no. If we ever want to formally act on it, absolutely. I was pretty careful with my wording for a reason though — right now, to be fully transparent, I cannot see anything happening anytime in the immediate future. But it is nice to plant the seed in people’s heads and see how they react from there. Maybe people like the idea or maybe they do not. These things will never happen without a catalyst though, so some discussion in moderation within reason is ok when we are this early in the talking phase.
 
I think the Magnet Pull discussions go in circles all the time which is why I think they're not very productive in this forum as is a lot of random suspect talks that happen here. Magnet Pull vs Magnezone, equating Magnet Pull to STAG while ignoring the entirely different dynamics between the two, etc. You can probably put it into whatever survey you guys put out next though.
 

Red Raven

I COULD BE BANNED!
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.
This. This right here is exactly what I've been saying a few months ago. Magnet pull remaining unbanned while arena trap and shadow tag are banned is inconsistent. If trapping abilities are uncompetitive then I don't see why magnet pull should remain. Being left completely vulnerable when your non Heatran steel type is gone is just ridiculous. Now that Lele or Weavile is just gonna have a free real estate. Just the reasoning of 'Magnezone only traps one type' is not good enough imo

Although, having said that, maybe a more interesting discussion would be about trapping in general, including the moves. I personally think trapping moves are fine since it can easily go sideways if you trap the wrong stuff but when you do trap something, it's basically worse than arena trap and shadow tag combined especially when you consider that Heatran and Fini are such effective trappers
 
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.
Personal opinion the set Magnezone has to use to effectively trap 3 Pokémon in OU is pretty shitty at doing anything else so there is a significant opportunity cost to it. Team slots really are at a premium this generation and Magnezone is dead weight in games without those 3 Pokémon. It is the ultimate match up fish but at least there is some sort of strategy built behind it.
 

Finchinator

You're so golden
is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderatoris a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis a former Tournament Circuit Champion
OU & NU Leader
I think the Magnet Pull discussions go in circles all the time which is why I think they're not very productive in this forum as is a lot of random suspect talks that happen here. Magnet Pull vs Magnezone, equating Magnet Pull to STAG while ignoring the entirely different dynamics between the two, etc. You can probably put it into whatever survey you guys put out next though.
Seeing as the co-tier leader and OU moderator went out of his way to specify Magnet Pull, the ability, I do not think anyone will be discussing Magnezone as a potential suspect, rather than as the focal Pokemon with the ability, without having their post deleted or getting a prompt response to stop before going any further. Not too worried about that — we have people in place to handle any issues.

And yes, I will advocate for including it in the survey, but doing so can only be done after there is some public acknowledgement or post worth referencing about the topic — it is only fair to the public that way and I have tried to operate that way about any non-repeat survey additions all generation.
 
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.
On Arctozolt I'm with you Finch, at the very least we should be looking at it with close attention and monitor the meta trends and how well can the meta adapt to it. stab bolt beam + low kick is just that dangerous unless you're lightning rod alolan marowak, and even then some people run stomping tantrum. thankfully anything not bolt beak or supereffective blizzard is weak but hail adds that 6% to every damage calculation which is very annoying. basically, we keep watching the meta develop with attention to zolt.

on magnet pull, I can see the points of people wanting it gone, but I don't feel as strongly for it to be banned. In my opinion it's a very interesting mechanic that brings a layer of strategy to the team builder, battle planning and the battle itself. I don't think it's bad, but baning non-esclusive abilities can be problematic if we don't set a criteria before (if there is then sorry, I'm just unaware of it). Probopass and Golem-A also get Magnet Pull and aren't nearly as effective as Magnezone, so when we think about banning Magnet Pull, can we screw up these completely fine Pokèmon only because magnezone is very good at it? Would we be complaining about magnet pull if there was no magnezone to be good with it?
If we look at it in this way, it's really hard for me to ever think about banning Magnet Pull.
HOWEVER the actual criteria used here is "competitiveness", so we only need to come to an agreement about magnet pull being uncompetitive or not and act accordingly; there's no need to wait on this discussion (not saying we should suddenly right now, just saying in theory this discussion can happen anytime). this does not take into account any one pokèmon whatsoever (otherwise we should look at magnezone), so every pokèmon with magnet pull is treated "fairly". ultimately, coherent tiering policy is important and I'll agree with anything that mantains coherence.

Also, trapping moves are fine. they either are status move so blocked by taunt and stuff, or weak attacks with imperfect accuracy (unlike heatran's but magma storm is even more inaccurate), but most importantly the ability to trap with these moves is ACTIVE and requires setup, as small as it may be.
Going off the criteria of "uncompetitiveness" and considering my last sentence, I would start thinking about this topic by posing these questions: "is passively trapping an X number of pokemon uncompetitive? Is it important how many and/or how relevant the trappable pokemon are? If yes, when does many becomes too much and when does relevant becomes way too important?" and relate them to magnet pull.
 
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Seeing as the co-tier leader and OU moderator went out of his way to specify Magnet Pull, the ability, I do not think anyone will be discussing Magnezone as a potential suspect, rather than as the focal Pokemon with the ability, without having their post deleted or getting a prompt response to stop before going any further. Not too worried about that — we have people in place to handle any issues.
Some new players may be confused by this- here's why magnet pull is the potential target, not magnezone (based on prior precedent):
Back in., i forget which gen we started banning arena trap and shadow tag, we tried banning Dugtrio alone, but people started using diglett and trapinch to similar uses, showing that the broken element was really the ability. In this case, there's a even clearer example of a pokemon that could easily take over Magnezone's role in Magneton, which was used in some old gens to trap Skarmory. (Worth noting that however, it lacks body press and thus struggles to trap ferrothorn. you could prolly do it with iron defense+tbolt+substitute and just spamming tbolt until paras or something gets lucky).
 
I want to start by stating that my opinion does not lift weight since I haven´t had the opportunity to play in tournaments and im in mid-ladder. I have always been more of an expectator that has fun -and rage- laddering.

Trapping abilites as far as I know have always been controversial.

The problem with trapping -as far as I have seen through the gens are the openings the elimination of a Pokemon brings to the opponent. This has been seen as Dugtrio in BW, killing TTar and Heatran to give opportunities to Sun teams to strive; and Wobbufet in ADV, forcing a trade-off, a mon that has virtually no counters.

Magneton and Magnezone have been the only ones that has stay so far, and I think its because their trapping is limited to Steel types. As everyone knows, some of the top Mons of every gen have been Defensive Steels like Skarmory(ADV), Ferrothron(BW) and Corviknight(SS) or Offensive Mons like Scizor(XY), Heatran(DPP) and Melmetal (SS)

I think the concern should be "What types of threat does Magnezone opens among us?" like it was the case with Dugtrio in every gen bar Gen 3.


Magnezone Smogon 6v6 Set according to Smogon
Magnezone @ Leftovers/Chople Berry/Air Balloon
Ability: Magnet Pull
EVs: 172 HP / 252 Def / 84 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Iron Defense
- Body Press
- Thunderbolt
- Substitute

Magnezone mainly supports pokemon like Arctozolt, Excadrill, Rillaboom, Kartana or Dragonite

Magnezone can:
-Trapped Bisharp, but has to not get chipped by SR
+2 252+ Atk Black Glasses Bisharp Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 172 HP / 252+ Def Magnezone: 267-315 (82.4 - 97.2%) -- 25% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

252+ Def Magnezone Body Press vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Bisharp: 352-416 (129.8 - 153.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO



- SetUp and trap Ferrothorn lacking Body Press.

If they pack Body Press like Ferrothorn on Gloking-Urshifu sample team it will be tougher, but most of the time Magnezone will come on point
144+ Def Ferrothorn Body Press vs. 172 HP / 252+ Def Magnezone: 118-140 (36.4 - 43.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

2 252+ Def Magnezone Body Press vs. 252 HP / 144+ Def Ferrothorn: 226-268 (64.2 - 76.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery


-
Deal around 50% to Specially Defensive Corvi
0 SpA Magnezone Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Corviknight: 216-254 (54 - 63.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Which later gets killed by SuperPower Rillaboom or gets U-turned

252+ Atk Choice Band Rillaboom Superpower vs. 252 HP / 32+ Def Corviknight: 177-209 (44.2 - 52.2%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO

- Depending on Item, can effectively trap Melmetal.I think this is the biggest one, because Magnezone is usually faster than Melmetal, letting it pick the Iron Defense and supporting Arctozolt. Chople Berry lets it take Superpower while Air balloon lets it freely grab another Iron Defense.
I havent tried this combination (Arctozolt + Magnezone) -yet- and I lack replays, but I have been able to trap Melmetal with Magnezone.



Melmetal Magnezone Matchup Interactions.

Assuming Melmetal enters after letting the opponent pick a kill.

Lefties Magnezone vs Protect Melmetal

252+ Atk Melmetal Earthquake vs. +2 172 HP / 252+ Def Magnezone: 172-204 (53 - 62.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
-
+2 252+ Def Magnezone Body Press vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Melmetal: 258-304 (62.7 - 73.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Lefties Magnezone vs AV Melmetal

116 Atk Melmetal Earthquake vs. +2 172 HP / 252+ Def Magnezone: 140-168 (43.2 - 51.8%) -- 10.5% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

+2 252+ Def Magnezone Body Press vs. 128 HP / 0 Def Melmetal: 258-304 (58.2 - 68.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO


Chople Berry Magnezone vs Three Attacks TWave Melmetal


252+ Atk Melmetal Superpower vs. +2 172 HP / 252+ Def Magnezone: 102-122 (31.4 - 37.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock


+2 252+ Def Magnezone Body Press vs. -1 40 HP / 0 Def Melmetal: 386-456 (91.6 - 108.3%) -- 50% chance to OHKO




If Magnezone entering in a double switchin it can scout the attack with Sub and switch since most of the time, Magnezone is faster. If the opponent lacks EQ, then it can just boost defense and theres your Melmetal.


Magnezone biggest weaknesses could be his need to setup in order to act effectively or that in some matchups it mostly be -at best- checking Rillaboom or at worst death fogger to bring a pokemon.
This are some thoughs i wanted to share with u. Now if u excuse me i will go to finish my uni homework and go back to lurk the forums again.

----------------------------
Even after this, my stance is that Magnet Pull is not uncompetitive. Or why is it that now is uncompetitive whenwe have had it since Gen 3?
 
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Endrism

formerly SlippySlappySwampy
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.
I don't believe Magnet Pull is unbalanced, as a lot of steels have good moves to hit Magnezone, or can use pivoting moves. Magnezone with Magnet Pull I believe is balanced and a good way to punish people who rely too heavily on their bulky steels during a match. It has severely nerfed Skarm, but sometimes that happens. If we are talking the ability to trap the opponent, I believe Heatran is a much bigger concern. Being able to just click Magma Storm on anything that isnt another Heatran for the base damage plus trapping damage putting on more chip than it has any right to do to resistances, plus the fact that a fire type can successfully 1v1 a bulky water being able to Taunt Pex and Fini and wear them down is ridiculous. The thing can take on Blissey by Magma Storming, Taunting, then using Toxic and its over. Heatran is reliable to a point of being a little much to me, and while it has counterplay like Splashifu, you still cant switch in without taking up to 35% from the hit, and an extra 12% from the chip dealing almost half of your HP from a resisted not invested hit. A 100 Power STAB Trapping move with utility in Taunt, Toxic, and Protect along with coverage with Earth Power makes Heatran borderline uncompetitive, and is the only thing I would consider possibly being too much for the meta.

0 SpA Heatran Magma Storm vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Urshifu-Rapid-Strike: 102-120 (29.9 - 35.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after trapping damage
 
I don't believe Magnet Pull is unbalanced, as a lot of steels have good moves to hit Magnezone, or can use pivoting moves. Magnezone with Magnet Pull I believe is balanced and a good way to punish people who rely too heavily on their bulky steels during a match. It has severely nerfed Skarm, but sometimes that happens. If we are talking the ability to trap the opponent, I believe Heatran is a much bigger concern. Being able to just click Magma Storm on anything that isnt another Heatran for the base damage plus trapping damage putting on more chip than it has any right to do to resistances, plus the fact that a fire type can successfully 1v1 a bulky water being able to Taunt Pex and Fini and wear them down is ridiculous. The thing can take on Blissey by Magma Storming, Taunting, then using Toxic and its over. Heatran is reliable to a point of being a little much to me, and while it has counterplay like Splashifu, you still cant switch in without taking up to 35% from the hit, and an extra 12% from the chip dealing almost half of your HP from a resisted not invested hit. A 100 Power STAB Trapping move with utility in Taunt, Toxic, and Protect along with coverage with Earth Power makes Heatran borderline uncompetitive, and is the only thing I would consider possibly being too much for the meta.

0 SpA Heatran Magma Storm vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Urshifu-Rapid-Strike: 102-120 (29.9 - 35.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after trapping damage
From my stance I agree to a certain extend. While not broken, Magma Storm is a REALLY GOOD Trapping move. But a 75% offensive move with only 8PP seems -somewhat-balance to my eyes imo. But ig thanks to Heatran popularity is that Air Balloon Heatran has come as the best Heatran Counter, which is really funny and in other Pokemon, this would be reason enough to ban

But Heatran needs a good teamwork too: Has many common weaknesses and is not the fastest pokemon. Heatran is as good as the player or the team, even if sometime can single-handlely kill one or two StallTeams (I forgot here the existence of Shred Shell)
 
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I feel like Heatrans magma storm is more uncompetitive than magnet pill, since it is a very low drawback move.

removing steels doesn’t have the same impact that removing any Pokémon has (shadow tag in previous gens) or removing grounded EQ weak Pokémon in the era where rain was already top dog.

If your steel type is that imperative to stopping a Rillaboom, then you have the option of shred shell. Otherwise most steels mentioned are supposed to have more utility than just stopping a list of Pokémon that conveniently enjoy magnezone support.

the use of a magnezone is essentially using two Pokémon in the attempt for one of them to pull weight, whilst the other awkwardly sits there unless it is needed, and usually that’s only a against slower stall teams, which often use shed shell anyway.

Usually Melmetal and Ferrothorn will drag a magnezone to sub 60%, so the main two that really are impacted by it are skarmory and corviknight.

heatrans magma storm on the other hand is definitely a move that toes the line of “how is this allowed in OU”! It has so little drawback and puts the user in full control of momentum and direction of game flow every time it lands successfully. It’s very easy to get critical switch ins into their KO thresholds, like a Slowking sub 80% (47% before regenerator) suddenly becomes fodder for a Tapu lele. The only true way to deal with magma storm is having a team that gives little opportunities for heatran to come in. Things like dragonite and Slowking can be worked around.

Magnet pull from magnezone and other users by comparison is relatively harmless. Steels can still fulfil their purpose and can use options to get away from magnezone.

example: Users act like corviknight is the only thing on their team standing between them winning a game against Rillaboom/Kartana/Garchomp/lele/bisharp/etc or losing, if you’re in that situation your problem is certainly not magnezone. I deliberately am using a grass spam team without magnezone right now and corviknight is definitely not even in the discussion of most problematic threats to the team.

arctozolt being too good for OU is definitely something that makes no sense to me. It doesn’t compare to any previously banned threats or even specs dragapult in it’s prime a few months ago.
 
Don't understand Arcto being too good by this point, pretty much every team has learnt to properly adapt to its presence well and its largely with cores and pokemon many already considered great. Its def a threatening piece of the metagame but every steel but Corvi/Skarm is a fairly good check and we do have decent offensive checks in a pinch, most notably Scarfers, which i've noticed a general uptick in. Scarftana specifically has alot of potential for harassment because it forces a larger degree of prediction onto a pokemon that's already usually under a lot of stress to get every turn it can right.

CB :tyranitar:
scarf :kartana: :tapu lele: :blacephalon: :gengar:
:victini:
:melmetal: or :magnezone:+:Landorus-therian:
:torkoal: :venusaur: aka sun as an archetype
:volcarona:depending on the structure
:buzzwole: or :Hippowdon:+a decent ice resist

I can see an argument for Arcto forcing alot of pressure onto stall but I just don't play the playstyle much at all sooooo it's kind of not really something I can touch on. their typical structures can't really handle hail well though, bar some weird goggles shed cheese.

I'm just a pretty average ladderer so take what i say with a grain of salt, but Arcto just really doesn't strike me as something that forces me to overprep or play out of my mind to beat, usually.
 
Many months ago there was a discussion in this thread of magnet pull and its impact on building in OU, which heavily skewed towards anti-ban. I think when one really boils down why people use Magnezone, it is to enable teammates by removing checks/counters and not on the traits of Magnezone as a mon (much like Dugtrio and Goth). It’s not brain surgery to pair zone with grass types like Kartana and Rillaboom, just as Zard Y + Dugtrio worked well. I don’t have any particularly strong feelings on the matter but Magnezone traps what it needs to.

It might be worthwhile to at least touch on how Little Cup handles trapping abilities and the differences between the tiers as well (with the high damage output but added eviolite bulk of battling at level 5).

Trapping abilities narrow the possible game states substantially and force the opponent into suboptimal plays just to avoid the trap. I think at a bare minimum there needs to be a more cognizable defense of Magnet Pull other than “it traps less things”. Is some amount of trapping abilities desirable? Could we test diglett? Wynaut? I think the status quo has continued without any serious examination on why MP remains and why we do/do not want it to.
 
Random post about normalizing shadow ball on specs Lele.

Tapu Lele @ Choice Specs
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psyshock
- Moonblast
- Focus Blast
- Shadow Ball

Slowking has basically been a dead relic (also shadow ball hits it hard anyways) and Corvs in tour have mostly been either physdef or the rly fast timid ones we've been seeing, such as on the avalugg stall used in OLT. Essentially, 2hko'd by focus blast Corvs. Hitting 2 can be scary but generally hitting one and forcing the corv out is enough, and leaves it in psyshock 2hko range later. Point is, dropping tbolt for sball seems totally reasonable atm, turning the Shedinja stall matchup from "Lele kills nothing" to "Lele kills all 6". It also helps in sniping other random checks such as the slowly popularizing Victini, and less so common but still existent shit like Aegislash and Jirachi. Also hits opposing Lele hard, for whenever that situation arrises.
 

Zen

Corn of Husk
is a Tiering Contributor
Don't understand Arcto being too good by this point, pretty much every team has learnt to properly adapt to its presence well and its largely with cores and pokemon many already considered great. Its def a threatening piece of the metagame but every steel but Corvi/Skarm is a fairly good check and we do have decent offensive checks in a pinch, most notably Scarfers, which i've noticed a general uptick in. Scarftana specifically has alot of potential for harassment because it forces a larger degree of prediction onto a pokemon that's already usually under a lot of stress to get every turn it can right.

CB :tyranitar:
scarf :kartana: :tapu lele: :blacephalon: :gengar:
:victini:
:melmetal: or :magnezone:+:Landorus-therian:
:torkoal: :venusaur: aka sun as an archetype
:volcarona:depending on the structure
:buzzwole: or :Hippowdon:+a decent ice resist

I can see an argument for Arcto forcing alot of pressure onto stall but I just don't play the playstyle much at all sooooo it's kind of not really something I can touch on. their typical structures can't really handle hail well though, bar some weird goggles shed cheese.

I'm just a pretty average ladderer so take what i say with a grain of salt, but Arcto just really doesn't strike me as something that forces me to overprep or play out of my mind to beat, usually.
While I do agree that most teams have adapted to hail, arctozolt alone doesn’t make the style unbearable.

The 2 most common and probably the best hail teams is ox hail and tricking hail which he used during olt.

:ninetales-alola::arctozolt::landorus-therian::kyurem::tapu-lele::heatran:
:ninetales-alola::arctozolt::landorus-therian::volcanion::corviknight::tornadus-therian:

Let’s look at the cores you listed, scarf kart and scarf lele can both be easily handled with the lost of power without specs/band. Both teams have various switchins that can check those 2 reliably. Scarf blace is a major threat most definitely, but with tran on trickings team and Av torn it can be dealt with. Personally I don’t think scarf gengar and victini is worth mentioning. They r just not common enough to be taken into account. Cb tar also is not faster than arctozolt even out of hail, low kick is also an easy ohko. Hippo and Zwole both get 2hkoed by blizzard (providing you land both).

But my main point is what arctozolt and hail can do for its teammates. Volcanion, lele, kyurem, and many more really benefit from steels being gone/chipped. Some simple doubles/pivoting with the threat of arctozolt in the back can break pass many of its “supposed checks” in melmetal, zone, hippo, zwole and etc.

Some techs have been made more prevalent because of hail most notably defensive rotom-h and lighting rod alowak. Although those 2 r definitely very good counters to arctozolt, they r pretty much dead weight in most other matchups.

TLDR: While I do agree with you, many teams have adapted to the presence of hail. Hail/arctozolt is by no means no longer “very good” even with the meta shifts. Arctozolt is still very limiting in the team builder.
 
While I do agree that most teams have adapted to hail, arctozolt alone doesn’t make the style unbearable.

The 2 most common and probably the best hail teams is ox hail and tricking hail which he used during olt.

:ninetales-alola::arctozolt::landorus-therian::kyurem::tapu-lele::heatran:
:ninetales-alola::arctozolt::landorus-therian::volcanion::corviknight::tornadus-therian:

Let’s look at the cores you listed, scarf kart and scarf lele can both be easily handled with the lost of power without specs/band. Both teams have various switchins that can check those 2 reliably. Scarf blace is a major threat most definitely, but with tran on trickings team and Av torn it can be dealt with. Personally I don’t think scarf gengar and victini is worth mentioning. They r just not common enough to be taken into account. Cb tar also is not faster than arctozolt even out of hail, low kick is also an easy ohko. Hippo and Zwole both get 2hkoed by blizzard (providing you land both).

But my main point is what arctozolt and hail can do for its teammates. Volcanion, lele, kyurem, and many more really benefit from steels being gone/chipped. Some simple doubles/pivoting with the threat of arctozolt in the back can break pass many of its “supposed checks” in melmetal, zone, hippo, zwole and etc.

Some techs have been made more prevalent because of hail most notably defensive rotom-h and lighting rod alowak. Although those 2 r definitely very good counters to arctozolt, they r pretty much dead weight in most other matchups.

TLDR: While I do agree with you, many teams have adapted to the presence of hail. Hail/arctozolt is by no means no longer “very good” even with the meta shifts. Arctozolt is still very limiting in the team builder.
I would disagree with saying Scarf Kart and Scarf Lele can be handled easily. Scarf Kart really only needs a teammate to overwhelm Corv on Ox's build (which should be a prerequisite for scarftana) because Torn is a pretty ass check alot of the time, even moreso if you have a team member that makes torn dropping its AV a pretty garbage prospect. The first hail flat out doesn't have a way to beat scarftana beyond predicting and winning first, Knock is incredibly free and could feasibly clean without too much problem. Hell, it getting in and clicking knock might as well let it set up the sweep for itself given boots kyu is the main non rocks weak way to stop that from happening.

as for scarf gar, I didn't list it due to its commonality and more just to show that scarfers that bypass zolt's speed tier are just threats as a whole.

I listed Victini fr boots forcing kills and checking Zolt in a pinch, i havent seen a non gambit scarf tini in like months.

I listed CBtar because it overrides weather and hails tend to lack proper switchins to the mon, meaning if you ever get it in, they're forced onto the backfoot while you very likely get a kill/force huge damage.

Yea of course the cores are largely prediction reliant but they force zolt to continually get turns right or just spam sub and waste its own hail turns, which is usually a net positive scenario for you. Its not like Zolt is gonna get every turn right vs you either, and in hippo's case the punishment is similarly an override of your supportive weather while having to connect 2 blizzards even if you do predict correctly.

Yea Zolt has teammates to support it in overwhelming steel types but most of the time, those breakers let in hard to handle breakers in their own right, so at worst you can usually trade for KOs while denying Zolt free turns to do whatever it wants. Its the same as handling most of the other weather archetypes even with Hail's added flexibility, you try your best to get rocks up, force KOs and trades w/ ur own breakers, and work from there.

I still think hail is good, I just don't think its too good, the builder restriction is pretty light and mostly devolves into motivating non Corv/Skarm steels bc unless ur running super fat shit you can usually force trades to make up for not having consistent defensive outs.
 

airfare

ocean deep in my swimming pool
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as someone who's been spamming hail a lot, i agree that it isn't exactly broken at the moment
as others have already noted, pretty much every archetype has begun to adapt to arctozolt:
  • using double/triple steel cores on bo/balance with things like melmetal, scizor, ferrothorn, and heatran to try and limit arctozolt's progress and entry with good pivoting
  • using scarfers like tapu lele and kartana on offenses that would otherwise get lead 6-0d to try and force it out after a safe switchin or sacrifice
  • using gastrodon/avalugg/goated goggles shedinja on fat in order to not autolose to sub blizzard zolt
there's not really much more to explain beyond that - losing to arctozolt is more of a teambuilder issue than a playing one nowadays and isn't really necessary to consider from a balance standpoint atm imo

i wanted to break down my favorite iteration of hail so far built by Ox the Fox
:volcanion::ninetales-alola::corviknight::arctozolt::landorus-therian::tornadus-therian:
some of the more distinctive parts of the team:
  • my absolute favorite thing about this team is the dynamic it uses with defog. corv + lando are exceptionally good at keeping rocks off for the entirety of the game (until u win first), opening opportunities for the insane wallbreaking core and giving options for far more aggressive play while conditioning in the hazards game.
  • sub + lefties zolt gives you the option of turning your brain off while guaranteeing a kill with substitute, bypassing the pivoting mindgames altogether, and giving you a solid midground/scouting option when needed
  • the offensive core of volcanion + zolt means that almost every "losing" matchup will be outplayable (besides gastro and some more niche cteamy shit) with solid, aggressive play from both of these near-unwallable breakers
  • av torn is a decent pivot into most special attackers, giving outs to dragapult, slowking-g, and even something like turn 1 kyurem with knock. really good at generating momentum even vs koko and special scarfers
  • lastly, np alolatales is a surprisingly ok cleaner and can even function as an interim wallbreaker vs teams lacking a real ice resist, managing to setup on things like pex. it also means that u have actual offensive presence and aren't taken advantage of by something like fog torn or corv
few replays of me using it in a competitive premier league (you can find several more in olt playoffs)
vs Kenix
vs Raj.Shoot
vs HANTSUKI
 
The 2 most common and probably the best hail teams is ox hail and tricking hail which he used during olt.

:ninetales-alola::arctozolt::landorus-therian::kyurem::tapu-lele::heatran:
:ninetales-alola::arctozolt::landorus-therian::volcanion::corviknight::tornadus-therian:

just an anecdote here.. but I’ve played against similar teams to both of these a lot recently on ladder. Both are easily dealt with by specially defensive Kartana more than scarf Kartana. The first variant of the two is a simple cakewalk, as only a scarfed focus blast can revenge a healthy Kartana. I previously posted a replay against the first variant in 1900 ELO.

The second variant has the only real problem Kartana ever has to face :tornadus-therian: … the tornadus therian is difficult to play around due to it being hard to chip into KO range, and you don’t really get rewarded for double switching unless you’re packing koko or weavile. And even then you’re still not really rewarded because it’s the lowest risk switch in on a non banded Kartana there is! Tornadus just U turns out of slower threats or uses knock off on Pokémon that can’t hurt it much. It also couldn’t care less about toxic or burns.

also Tapu lele will also easily dispose of both of these teams, however I’m partial to a calm mind set, as it will stand it’s ground verse everything and at worst it will put great pressure on heatran, whilst disincentivising arctozolt from switching in.

Using pressure style game flow (rather than scarf revenging) is much easier to stop a hail team than to stop a rain team for example, as all the hail mons dislike hazards and even soft attacks. You get a lot more free turns on defog, Aurora veil, u turns, etc. it’s much harder to find “free” turns on banded flip turns from barraskewda unless you’re happy to forfeit some of your offensive pressure (using slowbro, ferro, etc). if you’re against hail, you really shouldn’t be using valuable turns defogging or roosting whenever you can avoid it!

Nine tails is also the easiest weather setter to switch in on, just pack a fire type. Fire types are more useful than steel types because it’s harder for hail teams to switch into them on average. I’m pretty sure in the current meta fire types are in the discussion for top 5 most essential types to pack on a team.

in the current meta, in no particular order, it would be something along the lines of:

Ground
Flying
Steel
Fire
Fairy

fairy is probably the least likely to deserve a top 5 spot in the current meta, due to steel types surging, but not sure what it could be replaced with. Koko, Fini and Lele are all top tier threats, whilst Bulu is kinda okay as well.

fire types are important right now and can compress a lot of work! Kyurem, arctozolt and Weavile have given fire types some time to shine! Maybe that’s why I’m seeing a lot more victini in high ladder
 
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Sorry what? That doesnt sound like… a thing?
i edited my post with a link back to one of the posts where I posted about 252 SpD / 252 Spe Kartana. Have posted quite a bit about it! Running a grass spam no magnezone that never struggles vs hail. So the empirical evidence is there.

The metagame just moves faster than most people talk about. You might remember the time when Weavile was in UUBL and people thought it was crap, lol. It then surged in use out of nowhere, and retained decent usage in the temporary zamazenta meta and is now considered possibly the best wincon in the game.

before that Volcarona was languishing in UU for sometime before some players figured out that with a little bulk, Volcarona can steamroll teams. Now I’d argue it’s bulkiest sets are A+ to S tier, whilst it’s offensive sets are B tier at best.

usually what happens is ladder experiments with things, some do decently well. An experienced player spots a threat and then develops it. Then a player who participates in competitions “techs” a set, and suddenly it is “discovered”. Example: When I saw someone tech a phys def Slowking-G on me in ladder I fell in love with the utility of the thing and started using a similar variant myself.

Kartana is possibly in the discussion for top 3 wincons right now.

Example of how experimental sets can be further developed: editing this post after witnessing another cool idea !! Trick room glo-king seems like another anti meta mon, the top teams are all offensive and combined with a slow teammate or two, I can see it being highly viable! Replay:https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1413196163
 
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Parin

Banned deucer.
just an anecdote here.. but I’ve played against similar teams to both of these a lot recently on ladder. Both are easily dealt with by specially defensive Kartana more than scarf Kartana. The first variant of the two is a simple cakewalk, as only a scarfed focus blast can revenge a healthy Kartana. I previously posted a replay against the first variant in 1900 ELO.

The second variant has the only real problem Kartana ever has to face :tornadus-therian: … the tornadus therian is difficult to play around due to it being hard to chip into KO range, and you don’t really get rewarded for double switching unless you’re packing koko or weavile. And even then you’re still not really rewarded because it’s the lowest risk switch in on a non banded Kartana there is! Tornadus just U turns out of slower threats or uses knock off on Pokémon that can’t hurt it much. It also couldn’t care less about toxic or burns.

also Tapu lele will also easily dispose of both of these teams, however I’m partial to a calm mind set, as it will stand it’s ground verse everything and at worst it will put great pressure on heatran, whilst disincentivising arctozolt from switching in.

Using pressure style game flow (rather than scarf revenging) is much easier to stop a hail team than to stop a rain team for example, as all the hail mons dislike hazards and even soft attacks. You get a lot more free turns on defog, Aurora veil, u turns, etc. it’s much harder to find “free” turns on banded flip turns from barraskewda unless you’re happy to forfeit some of your offensive pressure (using slowbro, ferro, etc). if you’re against hail, you really shouldn’t be using valuable turns defogging or roosting whenever you can avoid it!

Nine tails is also the easiest weather setter to switch in on, just pack a fire type. Fire types are more useful than steel types because it’s harder for hail teams to switch into them on average. I’m pretty sure in the current meta fire types are in the discussion for top 5 most essential types to pack on a team.

in the current meta, in no particular order, it would be something along the lines of:

Ground
Flying
Steel
Fire
Fairy

fairy is probably the least likely to deserve a top 5 spot in the current meta, due to steel types surging, but not sure what it could be replaced with. Koko, Fini and Lele are all top tier threats, whilst Bulu is kinda okay as well.

fire types are important right now and can compress a lot of work! Kyurem, arctozolt and Weavile have given fire types some time to shine! Maybe that’s why I’m seeing a lot more victini in high ladder
I havent played a lot of OU, but I dont think kartana can have a specially defensive variant. Its know for having paper thin special defense, unless you slap on a assault vest, its not living many special hits...
 

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