Hey all, I hope you're all having a fantastic weekend! I have a couple of discussion points for you guys that I would like to bring to the table; I'll start with one for now to keep things simple. My first discussion point revolves around Urshifu-SS
I've been doing a lot of laddering and experimentation lately, particularly focusing a lot on the infamous Futureport user Slowbro, as well as its best abusers. We are all fairly familiar with how this operates, and it's driven a lot of Pokemon from being radar threats to potentially banworthy. For a while, I thought that the enabler--Futureport--was the problem, as there are a myriad of natural answers in the tier to Pokemon such as Pheromosa and Melmetal that can get overwhelmed with the additional pressure provided by Slowbro's incredible facilitation of the move. However, after extensive playing using this technique more thoroughly, I realized that the technique itself can be stuffed relatively easily if Slowbro faces too much pressure in of itself, which it easily can due to how valuable it is as both a wall and a pivot. Its typing, while fairly good for checking Cinderace and Melmetal, is not the best defensively due to a notable weakness to Volt-Turn, the nearly omnipresent use of Knock Off in the tier, and yielding a troublesome weakness to Urshifu-SS and Pheromosa's other STAB options. Against any good offensive team, Futureport can crumble if used recklessly, and for that reason I think it can be more readily checked despite how strong of a strategy it can be on Balanced Offense and Bulky Offense teams. However, I still do not believe such things as Pheromosa or Melmetal are problematic factors in of themselves when it comes to Futureport facilitation; though, Urshifu-SS is a problem in my eyes, and I'd like to explain why.
Urshifu-SS has always been a fairly polarizing Pokemon offensively, with one of the most spammable STABs in the game in Wicked Blow and a brutal STAB CC to back it. For that reason, it is a prime candidate for Futureport abuse, and I believe that the answers to Urshifu are much more limited than the myriad of checks that can handle Pheromosa and Melmetal. Urshifu's brutal STAB combination and damage output in tandem with hazard support and Future Sight leaves it so its only real switch-ins are Fairy-types. Of the top Fairy-types, the only viable, consistent answers come in the form of Clefable and Tapu Fini. While both compress quite a bit on a team, they can more readily crumble to Futureport support, and Wishport Clefable faces severe difficulty handling it due to Unseen Fist bypassing its only way to remain healthy. Tapu Fini, unfortunately, can be easily overwhelmed with a combination of Stealth Rock chip --> Wicked Blow --> Future Sight --> Wicked Blow, making it unreliable against the strategy (especially if Tapu Fini is pressured dealing with other threats like Melmetal or Garchomp and is already chipped). Utility Clefable can sometimes face this problem as well, though to a slightly lesser extent thanks to Magic Guard to mitigate hazard chip. Poison Jab variants are run sometimes as well, which can completely throttle Clefable and Tapu Fini if it opts for coverage over Sucker Punch priority. Although, I find myself more pressed to run U-turn + Sucker Punch, as Urshifu can always phenomenally pair with any good Fairy-type buster like rising star Nidoking, this still forces a very dangerous guessing game with revenge killers versus bulky Fairy-types to check Urshifu, and especially with Futureport, this can be really overwhelming to play against as guessing correctly can still be mitigated with something as simple as Future Sight to back its onslaught. I find myself nearly obligated to run a Fairy-type simply to check Urshifu to some degree of consistency, but even this isn't too consistent in execution as Futureport can completely throttle the switch-in anyway.
This simply just addresses its Choice Band variant. In fact, I find its LO Bulk Up sets to be extremely strong HO staples, able to pair phenomenally well with dual dance Magearna to lay out severe pressure against most of the defensive tier. Magearna can use Urshifu's few switch-ins as fairly good setup fodder since it is very good at forcing such switch-ins. Having the freedom to switch up moves after a Bulk Up boost makes it even more terrifying, with the 50/50s created via its last moveslot being even more polarizing and sometimes even game defining.
I'm curious to hear what people think about Urshifu-SS in the tier, and if people think it is a main suspect as to Futureport's strength at the moment. I personally think it is, and although I think it alone isn't broken, it takes far too great advantage of team support in my eyes to be a consistently healthy component to the tier, if it is one at all. Even if it can be checked with things like Rocky Helmet or residual damage, I think its sheer wallbreaking ability especially with Futureport to cleave through nearly all of its checks is too much and opens up offensive wincons far too easily to be conceivably healthy in my eyes.