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

This is an awesome discussion prompt, and I'd like to add my 2 cents into it after having done a lot of experimenting with weird stuff lately and watching SPL games to really help guide my thinking. So, I'd like to present: Aegislash, bar none the most slept on Pokemon in this tier.

:ss/aegislash:

A lot of my acquaintances are familiar with my stance on this Pokemon, and have endured quite a bit of discussion from me regarding it. It's a Pokemon that has had no tour breakout as of yet, but despite that, it is one I adamantly believe to be a presence in the metagame with untapped potential.
tried building around this on a whim since the replays in this post are from 2021. basically this is super good to pilot rn, takes advantage of the rising lele trend and breaks it over its nonexistent knees. this makes double ghost quite buildable, as you get to use a balance core that might not have a 100% lele matchup, and secure the winning matchup with aegi.

here's a recent replay, showing a team getting completely blanked by substitute: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1517703865

one minor downside so far is that you're not necessarily faster than spdef lando, so chipping it down with repeated shadow balls is going to require some team support, but that's not really an issue as lando has been prime knock off/toxic bait since the beginning of the year. looking fwd to seeing more aegi on the ladder, it's incredibly slept on right now
 
I wanted to make a post to sort out my thoughts about a Pokémon I'm feeling uncertain about. Please feel free to both disagree and expand upon it.
1645705720404.png

Buzzwole @ Rocky Helmet / Heavy-Duty Boots / Choice Band / Leftovers
Ability: Beast Boost
- Close Combat / Drain Punch
- Roost
- Ice Punch
- Thunder Punch / Leech Life / Earthquake

The current usage and winrate statistics in the SPL speak for themselves, the Schwarzenegger mosquito is getting a lot of appreciation lately:

Screenshot 2022-02-24 at 12-50-50 Smogon Premier League XIII - Usage Statistics.png


Here's my take: I don't think
1645704927499.png
is a very outstanding Pokémon, personally. It is currently ranked B+ on the SS OU viability rankings page, a place that I personally feel suits it largely fine.

Despite its high attack stat and wide coverage, it can't serve well as a win-con due to its sub-par speed and lack of better set-up moves than Bulk Up. Trying to make progress against opposing teams with it often boils down to a Gambit Roulette, as a large portion of the metagame resists its STAB moves or takes bearable damage from them, so it must use the correct coverage move at the correct time. It also lacks Knock Off to make reliable progress and Toxic isn't ideal for it, as many of its switch-ins (
1645704821192.png
,
1645704834084.png
,
1645704843453.png
,
1645704850686.png
,
1645704859914.png
) fail to be affected by it. On top of that, Buzzwole sports a number of shortcomings as a defensive pivot itself, notably a vulnerability to entry hazards (Heavy-Duty Boots help here, but Buzzwole is very prone to being knocked) and status itself. It also lacks a pivoting move to help generate momentum for its team. All this contributes to the image of a Pokémon that reliably performs its defensive role, but is a huge momentum drain on its team and is difficult to get creative with.

So why does Buzzwole feel so good right now?

1645705698193.png

It is no secret that this Pokémon is currently terrorizing the tier. And Buzzwole just happens to the highest-ranked Pokémon in the tier that can comfortably stomach Weavile's attacks, has access to reliable recovery in Roost and can actually threaten it back with its own attacks. Other Weavile checks either lack longevity (
1645706176916.png
,
1645706307478.png
,
1645706187119.png
,
1645706349840.png
), fail to actually force it out reliably (
1645706236221.png
), or get chipped too quickly and subsequently overwhelmed (
1645706295179.png
,
1645706386081.png
).

Buzzwole currently feels to me a bit similar to Hippowdon in earlier renditions of the metagame. It is experiencing a surge, not because it is an amazing Pokémon, but because of certain offensive threats that desperately need to answered. And because people find the more easily accessible, creative Pokémon to be an insufficient solution, they fall back on an straight-forward physical tank with reliable recovery. A similar, if weaker trend can be observed with
1645706848227.png
, another Pokémon who can boast the ability to reliably and repeatedly answer Weavile:

Screenshot 2022-02-24 at 13-49-13 Smogon Premier League XIII - Usage Statistics.png


So, my question is: Is the tier headed for another offensive crisis after the Kyurem incident?

Thank you for reading, and have a nice day.
 
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I'm curious about the qualified playerbase's thoughts on Weavile from recent survey. I have definitely felt Weavile's pressure in the teambuilder, but not that much more than other metagame-defining threats like Pult, Volcarona, and Urshifu. It has lots of checks in both offensive and bulkier playstyles , including Buzzwole, Pdef Flame body Rocky helmet Tran, Nine-tails Alola, Blaziken, Scizor, Urshifu, Melmetal, Bisharp, Toxapex, Tapu Fini, Metal Birds, and can be revenged most of the time by things like Scarf Lele. Triple Axel in particular is punished by Rocky Helmet and weavile is relatively frail so on Band Sets, combined with the weakness to SR, Weavile often gets worn down relatively quickly. SD/Heavy duty boot sets are nice but it often struggles with fitting its useful coverage moves like Aerial Ace, Poison Jab, Low Kick, and PsychoCut to get past a few of the checks listed or if foregoing SD the wall-breaking prowess is notably reduced.
 
Imma bring something up about a HO playstyle that I feel has been underrated big time.

SUICIDE LEAD HO

For a while, everyone favorite way to play HO has been Screens HO, either with Screens Koko or Veil AloTales, and while those are good, people really undersell the viability of suicide leads.

Let's talk the obvious pick:


:landorus-therian: Landorus-Therian (M) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Swords Dance
- Explosion
- Earthquake

This set can do wonders on Hyper Offense. Although the utility of screens is definitely not overhyped, I believe the ability to completely dismantle an important wall on an opponent's team is fantastic. Taking them by surprise with a +2 explosion can be detrimental to their game, with them losing an important mon and opening a weakness in the team, allowing you to come in with a sweeper that was previously walled by a now blown to pieces check. Now you might say, "This strat gets completely walled by Corviknight" However that's not exactly true. Sure a +2 Explosion only does just over half, but the explosion has more than 1 purpose.

A. Obviously up to 65% instantly to a Corviknight means that unless they Roosted on the Explosion, thats going to still open a big opportunity.
B. With Lando dying, a defog cannot be fired off since there is no target, keeping hazards on the field.
and most importantly,
C: You get a free pivot into a wallbreaker or sweeper who can destroy Corviknight before it gets a chance to roost, meaning that although Corviknight is still alive, it is at less than 50% meaning the weakness still exists.

This tactic isn't limited to Lando however, as although they aren't the most optimal picks, Ill show a few more that get the job done just as well.

:gigalith: Gigalith @ Custap Berry
Ability: Sturdy
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Stone Edge
- Explosion
- Toxic

Good ol Custap Explosion. Set up rocks, maybe get a toxic off on something else, and once sturdy pops or your HP gets low, BOOM. The custap berry takes em by surprise and it's already too late. Toxic also provides some extra help in case you wanted to toxic the opponents Lando, swap out and save Explosion for later.

:uxie: -5 IQ (Uxie) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Memento
- Knock Off
- Thunder Wave

Pineapple Fred may not be the greatest player ever; however, I definitely think he is onto something with Memento Uxie. On a HO team, being able to nerf the opponent to -2 -2 on their offenses can be game changing. It can take an already uninvested wall/hazard setter and make it so weak it won't be able to break your substitute after it goes up. Uxie just pairs incredibly well with those Sub Sweepers, letting them get their substitutes up for basically free, and set up behind a sub as they swap out. It has the same utilities as previously mentioned with Lando as well, preventing defog since it removes the target, and getting that free pivot into a very favorable matchup that turns the entire pace of the match into your hands. It can also run other nerfing moves like Thunder Wave and Knock Off, removing items and slowing them down to make it easier to setup on more offensive leads. It definitely doesn't prefer a Weavile heavy meta so it isn't the greatest choice, but all you need is a turn in against a preferred target, T-wave a swap into Weavile, and Memento for some beautiful setup sweeps on HO.

Overall, give Suicide HO a go, as whether you're removing a check to your team with explosion to create a weakness, or weakening the opponent for easy setup sweeps, the tactic is a huge momentum boost that can snowball into good victories!
 

Red Raven

I COULD BE BANNED!
Imma bring something up about a HO playstyle that I feel has been underrated big time.

SUICIDE LEAD HO

For a while, everyone favorite way to play HO has been Screens HO, either with Screens Koko or Veil AloTales, and while those are good, people really undersell the viability of suicide leads.

Let's talk the obvious pick:


:landorus-therian: Landorus-Therian (M) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Swords Dance
- Explosion
- Earthquake

This set can do wonders on Hyper Offense. Although the utility of screens is definitely not overhyped, I believe the ability to completely dismantle an important wall on an opponent's team is fantastic. Taking them by surprise with a +2 explosion can be detrimental to their game, with them losing an important mon and opening a weakness in the team, allowing you to come in with a sweeper that was previously walled by a now blown to pieces check. Now you might say, "This strat gets completely walled by Corviknight" However that's not exactly true. Sure a +2 Explosion only does just over half, but the explosion has more than 1 purpose.

A. Obviously up to 65% instantly to a Corviknight means that unless they Roosted on the Explosion, thats going to still open a big opportunity.
B. With Lando dying, a defog cannot be fired off since there is no target, keeping hazards on the field.
and most importantly,
C: You get a free pivot into a wallbreaker or sweeper who can destroy Corviknight before it gets a chance to roost, meaning that although Corviknight is still alive, it is at less than 50% meaning the weakness still exists.

This tactic isn't limited to Lando however, as although they aren't the most optimal picks, Ill show a few more that get the job done just as well.

:gigalith: Gigalith @ Custap Berry
Ability: Sturdy
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Stone Edge
- Explosion
- Toxic

Good ol Custap Explosion. Set up rocks, maybe get a toxic off on something else, and once sturdy pops or your HP gets low, BOOM. The custap berry takes em by surprise and it's already too late. Toxic also provides some extra help in case you wanted to toxic the opponents Lando, swap out and save Explosion for later.

:uxie: -5 IQ (Uxie) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Memento
- Knock Off
- Thunder Wave

Pineapple Fred may not be the greatest player ever; however, I definitely think he is onto something with Memento Uxie. On a HO team, being able to nerf the opponent to -2 -2 on their offenses can be game changing. It can take an already uninvested wall/hazard setter and make it so weak it won't be able to break your substitute after it goes up. Uxie just pairs incredibly well with those Sub Sweepers, letting them get their substitutes up for basically free, and set up behind a sub as they swap out. It has the same utilities as previously mentioned with Lando as well, preventing defog since it removes the target, and getting that free pivot into a very favorable matchup that turns the entire pace of the match into your hands. It can also run other nerfing moves like Thunder Wave and Knock Off, removing items and slowing them down to make it easier to setup on more offensive leads. It definitely doesn't prefer a Weavile heavy meta so it isn't the greatest choice, but all you need is a turn in against a preferred target, T-wave a swap into Weavile, and Memento for some beautiful setup sweeps on HO.

Overall, give Suicide HO a go, as whether you're removing a check to your team with explosion to create a weakness, or weakening the opponent for easy setup sweeps, the tactic is a huge momentum boost that can snowball into good victories!
I don't think that Landorus is that good of a suicide lead rn. The problem with it is every other team has either a Weavile or Urshifu and those two completely mess up Lando and are usual common leads. Atm, I think that the best lead is Mew

:Mew: @ Red Card
Ability: Synchronize
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Taunt
- Spikes
- Explosion
- Stealth Rock

Just the classic annoying Mew set. Since Mew is one of the few pokemon that can go boom and get both hazards, I think this one is the perfect lead for hazard stacking ho with Zapdos or Bisharp to punish defog. Perhaps the best part is that this thing is nearly impossible to kill from full. You would need a banded or specs ghost / dark move and Mew can screw you further if it decides not to use a red card and instead uses a damage reducing berry

Other than Mew, I think good ol Azelf is still a rather underrated pick. It doesnt' get both hazards up like Mew but it is significantly faster

:azelf: @ Focus Sash
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Taunt
- Explosion
- Magic Coat
- Stealth Rock

The biggest difference between Mew and Azelf is the significantly higher speed. Mon that can beat Mew such as banded Weavile or specs Blacephalon cannot kill it in one shot thanks to sash. Its access to magic coat could also help against faster taunts like Tornadus
 
In response to the previous two posts, I typically use both a suicide lead and screen setter on my more sweeper oriented HO teams, with this being my go to HO team recently. https://pokepast.es/4b13a7ff456d91d3
:haxorus::volcarona::landorus-therian::tapu koko::hawlucha::bisharp:

I disagree with lando not being a good suicide lead, mainly because of how powerful its explosion is, as well as sd letting it act as a pseudo sweeper. I personally prefer normal gem since lando already has good enough bulk that the focus sash rarely activates, so the gem makes land's explosion go from an atom bomb to full blown hydrogen bomb.

252 Atk Normal Gem Landorus-Therian Explosion vs. 248 HP / 168+ Def Corviknight: 143-169 (35.8 - 42.3%) -- 93.9% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Normal Gem Landorus-Therian Explosion vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 259-305 (65.7 - 77.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

-1 252 Atk Normal Gem Landorus-Therian Explosion vs. 248 HP / 4 Def Landorus-Therian: 277-327 (72.7 - 85.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

This including the fact that most steels and ghosts cant afford to risk taking an eq from lando makes it very useful in not only denying defog, buy also just forcing heavy damage on whatever lando just boomed on.
 
I don't think that Landorus is that good of a suicide lead rn. The problem with it is every other team has either a Weavile or Urshifu and those two completely mess up Lando and are usual common leads. Atm, I think that the best lead is Mew

:Mew: @ Red Card
Ability: Synchronize
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Taunt
- Spikes
- Explosion
- Stealth Rock

Just the classic annoying Mew set. Since Mew is one of the few pokemon that can go boom and get both hazards, I think this one is the perfect lead for hazard stacking ho with Zapdos or Bisharp to punish defog. Perhaps the best part is that this thing is nearly impossible to kill from full. You would need a banded or specs ghost / dark move and Mew can screw you further if it decides not to use a red card and instead uses a damage reducing berry

Other than Mew, I think good ol Azelf is still a rather underrated pick. It doesnt' get both hazards up like Mew but it is significantly faster

:azelf: @ Focus Sash
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Taunt
- Explosion
- Magic Coat
- Stealth Rock

The biggest difference between Mew and Azelf is the significantly higher speed. Mon that can beat Mew such as banded Weavile or specs Blacephalon cannot kill it in one shot thanks to sash. Its access to magic coat could also help against faster taunts like Tornadus
I'm a bit confused on why weavile and urshifu presence specifically invalidates suicide lando but not other variants of lando. I mean I get that triple axle and surging strikes can bypass the sash but you imply there are mons that can also Ohko red card Mew which the opponent can just lead with too and thus by that logic in either case you may not be able to lead with both depending on team matchup. Unless you just mean the mons that can Ohko mew are less commonly used than weavile or urshifu but I don't see why you wouldn't just switch out or anticipate them leading with these two and play around them the same way you would play around them using other lando t sets.


Edit: a user below largely clarified your point!
 
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I'm a bit confused on why weavile and urshifu presence specifically invalidates suicide lando but not other variants of lando. I mean I get that triple axle and surging strikes can bypass the sash but you imply there are mons that can also Ohko red card Mew which the opponent can just lead with too and thus by that logic in either case you may not be able to lead with both depending on team matchup. Unless you just mean the mons that can Ohko mew are less commonly used than weavile or urshifu but I don't see why you wouldn't just switch out or anticipate them leading with these two and play around them the same way you would play around them using other lando t sets.
Mew is at enough to not be ohko'ed by any attack and can be ev'ed to live any attack

252 SpA Choice Specs Dragapult Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Mew: 326-386 (80.6 - 95.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Weavile Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Mew: 302-356 (74.7 - 88.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Blacephalon Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Mew: 294-348 (72.7 - 86.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

This shows that not many attacks can kill it from full regardless even SE ones which means its usually guaranteed hazards unlike lando
 
What are your guys’ opinions on offense teams centered around nidoking goltres and buzzwole? Ive seen at least two (not including mine) which is more than normal for a not established corr. Especially since two of them are UU.
Nidoking is a god damn demon.

While it isnt exactly bulky it has an extremely annoying speed tier and can one shot and two hit a lot, a LOT of common defensive mons while avoiding a lot of scary shots. With how it synergizes with Blissey+Corviknight it ends up fitting nicely on a lot of semi stall. Good mon, well worth learning since it can give you some ludicrously free games.
 
In response to the previous two posts, I typically use both a suicide lead and screen setter on my more sweeper oriented HO teams, with this being my go to HO team recently. https://pokepast.es/4b13a7ff456d91d3
:haxorus::volcarona::landorus-therian::tapu koko::hawlucha::bisharp:

I disagree with lando not being a good suicide lead, mainly because of how powerful its explosion is, as well as sd letting it act as a pseudo sweeper. I personally prefer normal gem since lando already has good enough bulk that the focus sash rarely activates, so the gem makes land's explosion go from an atom bomb to full blown hydrogen bomb.

252 Atk Normal Gem Landorus-Therian Explosion vs. 248 HP / 168+ Def Corviknight: 143-169 (35.8 - 42.3%) -- 93.9% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Normal Gem Landorus-Therian Explosion vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 259-305 (65.7 - 77.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

-1 252 Atk Normal Gem Landorus-Therian Explosion vs. 248 HP / 4 Def Landorus-Therian: 277-327 (72.7 - 85.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

This including the fact that most steels and ghosts cant afford to risk taking an eq from lando makes it very useful in not only denying defog, buy also just forcing heavy damage on whatever lando just boomed on.
I really don’t see why you would run normal gem over lorb which also boosts eq, and you don’t really care about longevity on a suicide lead.
 
Mew is at enough to not be ohko'ed by any attack and can be ev'ed to live any attack

252 SpA Choice Specs Dragapult Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Mew: 326-386 (80.6 - 95.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Weavile Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Mew: 302-356 (74.7 - 88.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Blacephalon Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Mew: 294-348 (72.7 - 86.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

This shows that not many attacks can kill it from full regardless even SE ones which means its usually guaranteed hazards unlike lando
Fair enough, thank you this is informative. I feel like banded weavile is common enough to include it as an ohko which means banded weavile is a threat to red card mew practically as much as it is to Lando. Specs Blacephalon is also a thing but i'd reckon less common then scarf.
 
Well by the time you would actually reveal life orb, which is when you’re attacking, you should already have rocks up, especially since this set can’t damage most defoggers without exploding.
Actually, it's quite important. Suicide leads are dedicated to getting your hazards up and dying, and Sash being so common and often threatening means it an important bluff. Additionally, Normal Gem can also conceal other miscellaneous items like Choice Band, Choice Scarf, Rocky Helmet, Eject Button, Custap Berry, Soft Sand, etc. which makes it bluff more than just Sash. This keeps your opponent guessing and gives you an edge that Life Orb simply throws away. I would also like to say the assumption that you will always have Stealth Rocks up before you attack is far too dubious and sequence related, and Life Orb constrains what Landorus can do in a match as you attempt to bluff other items. In any case as a suicide lead it comes in, does what it needs to, and dies. However, the way in which it does so it very important and affects the overall game plan of a team.

Here are some calcs I found interesting:
+2 252 Atk :normal gem: :Landorus-Therian: Explosion vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def :buzzwole:: 437-515 (104.5 - 123.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO

252 Atk :normal gem: :Landorus-Therian: Explosion vs. 248 HP / 220 Def :zapdos:: 346-408 (90.3 - 106.5%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO

+2 252 Atk :normal gem: :Landorus-Therian: Explosion vs. 0 HP / 0 Def :kartana:: 303-357 (116.9 - 137.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 Atk :normal gem: :Landorus-Therian: Explosion vs. 0 HP / 0 Def :heatran:: 364-429 (112.6 - 132.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk :normal gem: :Landorus-Therian: Explosion vs. 0 HP / 0 Def :heatran:: 182-215 (56.3 - 66.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Normal Gem :normal gem: :Landorus-Therian: Explosion vs. 252 HP / 4 Def :landorus-therian:: 417-491 (109.1 - 128.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
-1 252 Atk :normal gem: :Landorus-Therian: Explosion vs. 252 HP / 4 Def :landorus-therian:: 277-327 (72.5 - 85.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk :Landorus-Therian: Explosion vs. 248 HP / 0 Def :tornadus-therian:: 461-543 (127.7 - 150.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 Atk :normal gem: :Landorus-Therian: Explosion vs. 252 HP / 252 Def :hippowdon:: 540-636 (128.5 - 151.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 Atk :normal gem: :Landorus-Therian: Explosion vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Multiscale :dragonite:: 399-470 (123.5 - 145.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 Atk :normal gem: :Landorus-Therian: Explosion vs. 248 HP / 168+ Def :corviknight:: 286-337 (71.6 - 84.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk :normal gem: :Landorus-Therian: Explosion vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def :Pelipper:: 276-325 (85.4 - 100.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 Atk :normal gem: :Landorus-Therian: Explosion vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def :tangrowth:: 472-556 (116.8 - 137.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO

[EDIT]

Items other than Sash or Normal Gem on suicide lead Landorus such as the aforementioned Custap are seen, albeit isolated. It catches faster threats off guard, and Landorus' general bulk in addition to its tendency to be chipped means that it can maintain 1/4 HP threshhold for Custap to activate a majority of the time and pop in front of almost anything it wants to (bar priority).​
 
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Well by the time you would actually reveal life orb, which is when you’re attacking, you should already have rocks up, especially since this set can’t damage most defoggers without exploding.
Which is why Normal Gem is the most used. It actually doesn't make a world of difference, normal gem is just slightly more optimal because in those scenarios where you kinda want to keep you lando alive, it's better to have an item that doesn't weaken you rather than one that does.
You definitely want a powered up explosion though, which is why you don't see any item other than normal gem (or sash I guess but that's bad imo) on boom lead lando.
 

Martin

[citation needed]
is a Live Chat Contributoris a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
Well by the time you would actually reveal life orb, which is when you’re attacking, you should already have rocks up, especially since this set can’t damage most defoggers without exploding.
  • There are lots of situations where it's better to go EQ turn 1 and delay your SR, so not eating into your HP to possibly tank one extra hit down the line to set up SD/fit in a Boom/last minute SR if need be can be quite valuable; this is doubly useful if you defer Lando from the lead position for a particular matchup
  • Keeping ambiguity about Sash forces your opp to play around you in quite specific ways and Normal Gem allows you to keep that forcing play without compromising on Boom's nuking power; once again, this is doubly useful if you defer it from the lead position
  • EQ hits more than hard enough anyway without a boosting item; it's a 100 BP STAB coming off of a 358 Atk stat, after all, so unless there's a specific damage roll that you want it to hit (doubtful) there's basically no reason to worry about buffing it
  • Kinda just repeating the second half of the first bullet point, but recoil is extremely cringe
  • Edit: It can sometimes also be kinda wasteful if you decide you'd rather SD to dent their team or something, as there's the potential to boost, kill yourself with your first EQ, and not be able to dent a second 'mon with Boom.
 
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Can someone explain to me why volcarona isn't banned?

It has literally 3 checks in the tier, not counting rain. Those being; Dragonite which loses 50%HP and gets burned to kill it, Heatran which is forced to run Taunt Toxic because any other set loses to Sub or Safeguard Volc and Tyranitar which has to run max bulk to not get 2hko'd by offensive bugbuzz.

In previous generations it was balanced due to the fact that it was 4x weak to rocks. With heavy duty boots there's almost nothing stopping it. Nearly all special attackers are mere setup fodder to the bulky set and physical threats risk a burn on every hit.

This is far too constraining on the team builder, I have to include one of three very specific sets in every non HO just so I don't immediately lose to Volcarona. But maby I'm overlooking something so I ask again... can someone explain to me why volcarona isn't banned?
 

Red Raven

I COULD BE BANNED!
Can someone explain to me why volcarona isn't banned?

It has literally 3 checks in the tier, not counting rain. Those being; Dragonite which loses 50%HP and gets burned to kill it, Heatran which is forced to run Taunt Toxic because any other set loses to Sub or Safeguard Volc and Tyranitar which has to run max bulk to not get 2hko'd by offensive bugbuzz.

In previous generations it was balanced due to the fact that it was 4x weak to rocks. With heavy duty boots there's almost nothing stopping it. Nearly all special attackers are mere setup fodder to the bulky set and physical threats risk a burn on every hit.

This is far too constraining on the team builder, I have to include one of three very specific sets in every non HO just so I don't immediately lose to Volcarona. But maby I'm overlooking something so I ask again... can someone explain to me why volcarona isn't banned?
Because this thing isn't restricting in the teambuilder at all

"boots there's almost nothing stopping it" is just plainly wrong. You aren't building a team right if it is an autolose to Volcarona from turn one. Here's a rather short list of mons that can deal with it

:garchomp: is probably Volcarona's third worst nightmare. Offensive sets can turn Volcarona into scale shot fodder while stealth rock sets will straight up kill you with stone edge or aqua tail. If it's spdef tank Chomp, you just get poisoned and die. If you're running bulky Volc with safeguard and whatever else, you can't touch Garchomp and it just kills you

:landorus-therian: runs spdef set. It's pretty much the same story as spdef Garchomp except if you're running bulky, you just get u turned on

:urshifu: is your second worst nightmare. Bulky sets rarely run psychic to deal with it so you just die to aqua jet. Or worse, it just straight up surging strikes you. Offensive Volcs just straight up die to aqua jet and they rarely ever ev to live one from full

:tapu fini: is a massive pain and Volc doesn't really run giga drain all the time

:toxapex: forces you to kill it with psychic or it keeps hazing away your boosts, leaving you vulnerable to faster threats

:slowking-galar: is similar to Tapu Fini and actually threatens to outlast you if it gets to poison you with sludge bomb

:tornadus-therian: mainly assault vests, are another massive pain for Volcarona for as long as its hurricane hits but even non av can cause you serious problems

:heatran: if you run into this thing, yeah, flame moth is utterly worthless for as long as lava frog lives especially since just about everything you throw at it just bounces off

Take note that none of these pokemon are actually rare to see. They are all what you would normally put on a team with or without Volcarona in mind. If you run into someone using a Volcarona, then you're probably not playing your cards right because their goal is to get rid of whatever mon you're using to check Volcarona. Once that mon drops, you're entire team just drops. It's the same case with other sweepers like Garchomp, Dragapult or Weavile. In the end, the problem isn't Volcarona isn't a threat. You're either using a team that is somehow nigh auto lose to it or you give it too much space to sweep your team. Simple as that
 
Because this thing isn't restricting in the teambuilder at all

"boots there's almost nothing stopping it" is just plainly wrong. You aren't building a team right if it is an autolose to Volcarona from turn one. Here's a rather short list of mons that can deal with it

:garchomp: is probably Volcarona's third worst nightmare. Offensive sets can turn Volcarona into scale shot fodder while stealth rock sets will straight up kill you with stone edge or aqua tail. If it's spdef tank Chomp, you just get poisoned and die. If you're running bulky Volc with safeguard and whatever else, you can't touch Garchomp and it just kills you

:landorus-therian: runs spdef set. It's pretty much the same story as spdef Garchomp except if you're running bulky, you just get u turned on

:urshifu: is your second worst nightmare. Bulky sets rarely run psychic to deal with it so you just die to aqua jet. Or worse, it just straight up surging strikes you. Offensive Volcs just straight up die to aqua jet and they rarely ever ev to live one from full

:tapu fini: is a massive pain and Volc doesn't really run giga drain all the time

:toxapex: forces you to kill it with psychic or it keeps hazing away your boosts, leaving you vulnerable to faster threats

:slowking-galar: is similar to Tapu Fini and actually threatens to outlast you if it gets to poison you with sludge bomb

:tornadus-therian: mainly assault vests, are another massive pain for Volcarona for as long as its hurricane hits but even non av can cause you serious problems

:heatran: if you run into this thing, yeah, flame moth is utterly worthless for as long as lava frog lives especially since just about everything you throw at it just bounces off

Take note that none of these pokemon are actually rare to see. They are all what you would normally put on a team with or without Volcarona in mind. If you run into someone using a Volcarona, then you're probably not playing your cards right because their goal is to get rid of whatever mon you're using to check Volcarona. Once that mon drops, you're entire team just drops. It's the same case with other sweepers like Garchomp, Dragapult or Weavile. In the end, the problem isn't Volcarona isn't a threat. You're either using a team that is somehow nigh auto lose to it or you give it too much space to sweep your team. Simple as that
Tank Chomp can check it. Offensive variants have look out for offensive Volc. Lando/Urshifu/Fini/Pex are fine checks to it. Glowking gives Volc free setups, even Sludge Bomb poison wouldn’t stop it. Volc wins if Torn switches in as it Quiver Dances. Can sponge Hurricanes and Roost off. Air Balloon Eruption Tran is the go to set these days, meaning it cannot check Volc anymore. Other variants still wall it out. You forget about Dnite who is one of the best answers to Volc.

Volc is definitely better rn due to meta trends such as Air Balloon Tran. SpD Lando is common but it can also be chipped down by Knock, hazards, and status which put it in range of Flamethrower. Fini and Lele being great partners for it, providing terrains that give it free setup vs Lando or letting it avoid being rkilled by Urshifu.
 
Can someone explain to me why volcarona isn't banned?

It has literally 3 checks in the tier, not counting rain. Those being; Dragonite which loses 50%HP and gets burned to kill it, Heatran which is forced to run Taunt Toxic because any other set loses to Sub or Safeguard Volc and Tyranitar which has to run max bulk to not get 2hko'd by offensive bugbuzz.

In previous generations it was balanced due to the fact that it was 4x weak to rocks. With heavy duty boots there's almost nothing stopping it. Nearly all special attackers are mere setup fodder to the bulky set and physical threats risk a burn on every hit.

This is far too constraining on the team builder, I have to include one of three very specific sets in every non HO just so I don't immediately lose to Volcarona. But maby I'm overlooking something so I ask again... can someone explain to me why volcarona isn't banned?
Even with Heavy-Duty Boots in its arsenal, Volcarona still needs much support for it to actually facilitate a sweep. For one, it is still very much vulnerable to physical attackers such as Lando, Garchomp, Zera, etc. You state that it can set up on 'nearly' any special attacker in the tier, which is false:

:zapdos: Zapdos is more than often offensive nowadays, which can easily OHKO purely offensive variants of Volc and threaten bulky variants of the bug:

252 SpA Zapdos Hurricane vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Volcarona: 338-398 (90.6 - 106.7%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO

252 SpA Zapdos Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Volcarona: 338-398 (108.6 - 127.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO

:zapdos-galar: Similarly, Scarf Gapdos can outspeed and OHKO any variant of Volcarona with ease. If, for any reason, you're running non-Scarf Gapdos, then it can take one hit from a boosted Volcarona and proceed to smash it into pieces, and even with rocks up, its still requires a high roll to OHKO it:

+1 252 SpA Volcarona Flamethrower vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Zapdos-Galar: 246-291 (76.6 - 90.6%) -- 25% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

:urshifu: Volcarona dies to Aqua Jet, plain and simple. Moving on…

:victini: Victini, while uncommon, can comfortably take any attack from a boosted Volcarona, including Bug Buzz, and nuke it back with V-create.

252 Atk Victini V-create vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Volcarona: 346-408 (111.2 - 131.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO

:volcanion: Volcanion can not only switch into Volcarona with ease, it can also eat anything Rona throws at it and destroy it with Steam Eruption. And if you're wondering, +1 Psychic has no chance of OHKOing it with rocks up:

+1 252 SpA Volcarona Psychic vs. 248 HP / 8 SpD Volcanion: 164-193 (45.1 - 53.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

252+ SpA Choice Specs Volcanion Steam Eruption vs. +1 0 HP / 0 SpD Volcarona: 378-446 (121.5 - 143.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO

And anything else Red Raven has provided can check it fine enough, as well.

Additionally, Volcarona cannot run QD/STABs/Psychic/Safeguard/Roost/Sub all at once. While it can tech for mons like Blissey with the aforementioned Safeguard, it more than often doesn't have the room for the move and drop it for the more reliable Roost or Bug Buzz.

Volcarona isn't consistent against all playstyles too. Volc is nigh useless against Rain, BO often have mons like Heatran, Lando, and Toxapex to stop it in its tracks… etc, etc. Point is, Volcarona is not the unstoppable monster that you're playing it up as. It's a rare occurrence that it will actually get a sweep under its belt, as it requires all of its checks to be weakened or outright removed, a suitable opportunity to get a Quiver Dance off, and make sure that no speed control on the opponent's team remains to screw it out of a sweep.

Edit: Bulky Volc can beat a number of checks I've mentioned, but checks to that variant are discussed below.
 
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iceblazer I consider bulky Volc to be much more dangerous than offensive Volc, as it can beat a number of the checks you've mentioned, but still, a number of other things still screw it hard.

Urshifu-R is a death sentence to Volc, all the more so that it's resistant to SR and both its STABs so it's fairly hard to chip down. Even a 1% Urshifu-R prevents any offensive Volc from doing a thing, while bulky Volcs deal pitiful chip damage with Flamethrower on the switch. Crawdaunt is easier to chip but presents the same hurdle to the Volc user.

Offensive Chomps fold to bulky Volc as it outspeeds them at +1 and 2HKOs with Bug Buzz, but beat mono-attacking Volc all the time. Defensive Chomps are a foolproof measure.

Offensive Zapdos loses if it switches on Quiver Dance, except if under Rain.

Volcanion still laughs at anything Volc can do to it and will happily OHKO it even from +1 (if specs).

Victini fails to OHKO bulky Volc with V-create but takes max 65% from +2 Flamethrower, so if it's not too chipped and if Volc does not have Bug Buzz it wins even if switching in on Quiver Dance.

SpDef Lando loses against Safeguard Volc, but can beat Substitute variants through mind games, and if it's suspecting the Safeguard incoming and using Earthquake right away then it wins.

Scarf Tapu Fini ruins it through Trick, but has only a small chance to 2HKO with Hydro pump on +1 Volc into Hydro Pump on +2 Volc, and then loses. Pretty much any Calm Mind Fini wins. Trapper variant loses.

Toxapex is a death sentence to bulky Volc without Psychic, and can sometimes get a Toxik on those with it, so in the end it's pretty much still a good countermeasure.

Glowking outright loses to bulky Volc, but a well-timed Future Sight can ensure the following Pokemon will get a revenge kill through.

Tornadus loses but can get an annoying Toxic through.

Heatran is a death sentence of course. Toxic + Taunt will get through any variant, even Safeguard or Substitute ones.
 

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If anything, I'd argue that Volcarona is pretty fucking terrible right now, Dragonite surging is absolutely awful for it, it's as walled by Heatran as ever, Lando-T can check it with Toxic, not to mention natural offensive checks like Garchomp and Volcanion that are popular right now. It's worth using as a matchup pick against people with specific tournament tendencies, but I'd never use it on something akin to a ladder team.
 
Because this thing isn't restricting in the teambuilder at all

"boots there's almost nothing stopping it" is just plainly wrong. You aren't building a team right if it is an autolose to Volcarona from turn one. Here's a rather short list of mons that can deal with it

:garchomp: is probably Volcarona's third worst nightmare. Offensive sets can turn Volcarona into scale shot fodder while stealth rock sets will straight up kill you with stone edge or aqua tail. If it's spdef tank Chomp, you just get poisoned and die. If you're running bulky Volc with safeguard and whatever else, you can't touch Garchomp and it just kills you

:landorus-therian: runs spdef set. It's pretty much the same story as spdef Garchomp except if you're running bulky, you just get u turned on

:urshifu: is your second worst nightmare. Bulky sets rarely run psychic to deal with it so you just die to aqua jet. Or worse, it just straight up surging strikes you. Offensive Volcs just straight up die to aqua jet and they rarely ever ev to live one from full

:tapu fini: is a massive pain and Volc doesn't really run giga drain all the time

:toxapex: forces you to kill it with psychic or it keeps hazing away your boosts, leaving you vulnerable to faster threats

:slowking-galar: is similar to Tapu Fini and actually threatens to outlast you if it gets to poison you with sludge bomb

:tornadus-therian: mainly assault vests, are another massive pain for Volcarona for as long as its hurricane hits but even non av can cause you serious problems

:heatran: if you run into this thing, yeah, flame moth is utterly worthless for as long as lava frog lives especially since just about everything you throw at it just bounces off

Take note that none of these pokemon are actually rare to see. They are all what you would normally put on a team with or without Volcarona in mind. If you run into someone using a Volcarona, then you're probably not playing your cards right because their goal is to get rid of whatever mon you're using to check Volcarona. Once that mon drops, you're entire team just drops. It's the same case with other sweepers like Garchomp, Dragapult or Weavile. In the end, the problem isn't Volcarona isn't a threat. You're either using a team that is somehow nigh auto lose to it or you give it too much space to sweep your team. Simple as that
I'll try answering one by one.

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Spdef are the 2 mons in this list I didn't fully consider when writing the post. They are certainly decent checks but they're also 2 of the easiest mons to chip into range as they're commonly used to check a number of metagame threats.

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dies on switch in with rocks + psychic and cb aqua jet only has a 37% chance of ohkoing 0 bulk volc.

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Only Calm Mind Tapu Fini can deal with bulky sets and Misty terrain actually helps it setup.

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is as you stated, a sack not a check.

1646236682407.png
can beat only non sub variants if luck is heavily in your favor, not what I'd consider a check.

1646236727141.png
needs to hit 2 hurricanes in a row, and can be pp stalled by sub variants.

Even with Heavy-Duty Boots in its arsenal, Volcarona still needs much support for it to actually facilitate a sweep. For one, it is still very much vulnerable to physical attackers such as Lando, Garchomp, Zera, etc. You state that it can set up on 'nearly' any special attacker in the tier, which is false:

:zapdos: Zapdos is more than often offensive nowadays, which can easily OHKO purely offensive variants of Volc and threaten bulky variants of the bug:

252 SpA Zapdos Hurricane vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Volcarona: 338-398 (90.6 - 106.7%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO

252 SpA Zapdos Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Volcarona: 338-398 (108.6 - 127.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO

:zapdos-galar: Similarly, Scarf Gapdos can outspeed and OHKO any variant of Volcarona with ease. If, for any reason, you're running non-Scarf Gapdos, then it can take one hit from a boosted Volcarona and proceed to smash it into pieces, and even with rocks up, its still requires a high roll to OHKO it:

+1 252 SpA Volcarona Flamethrower vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Zapdos-Galar: 246-291 (76.6 - 90.6%) -- 25% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

:urshifu: Volcarona dies to Aqua Jet, plain and simple. Moving on…

:victini: Victini, while uncommon, can comfortably take any attack from a boosted Volcarona, including Bug Buzz, and nuke it back with V-create.

252 Atk Victini V-create vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Volcarona: 346-408 (111.2 - 131.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO

:volcanion: Volcanion can not only switch into Volcarona with ease, it can also eat anything Rona throws at it and destroy it with Steam Eruption. And if you're wondering, +1 Psychic has no chance of OHKOing it with rocks up:

+1 252 SpA Volcarona Psychic vs. 248 HP / 8 SpD Volcanion: 164-193 (45.1 - 53.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

252+ SpA Choice Specs Volcanion Steam Eruption vs. +1 0 HP / 0 SpD Volcarona: 378-446 (121.5 - 143.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO

And anything else Red Raven has provided can check it fine enough, as well.

Additionally, Volcarona cannot run QD/STABs/Psychic/Safeguard/Roost/Sub all at once. While it can tech for mons like Blissey with the aforementioned Safeguard, it more than often doesn't have the room for the move and while drop it for the more reliable Roost or Bug Buzz.

Volcarona isn't consistent against all playstyles too. Volc is nigh useless against Rain, BO often have mons like Heatran, Lando, and Toxapex to stop it in its tracks… etc, etc. Point is, Volcarona is not the unstoppable monster that you're playing it up as. It's a rare occurrence that it will actually get a sweep under its belt, as it requires all of its checks to be weakened or outright removed, a suitable opportunity to get a Quiver Dance off, and make sure that no speed control on the opponent's team remains to screw it out of a sweep.
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like torn can beat it if you hit 2 hurricanes in a row and it doesn't sub stall you, sure.

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is a revenge killer not a check.

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is a good check overall but hard to fit on most teams.

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is a cool answer, and I'm happy you've brought it to light for me though its not part of the tier.
 

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