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

Been playing a lot lately and figured I would share some observations. I'll be posting my thoughts on Spectrier/Pheromosa/other controversial Pokemon in the next day or two, too. For now, here are some strategies I view as underrated:

:Kartana:
Kartana @ Life Orb
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Leaf Blade
- Knock Off
- Giga Impact

This Kartana is a foolproof breaker in the metagame; virtually every single game it can get a kill on a target Pokemon, be it due to the sheer strength of Kartana's Leaf Blade, the convenience of and power of boosted Knock Off, or the nuclear option of Giga Impact, which is the big selling point of the set. When paired with Pokemon that enjoy the birds or Buzzwole lured (see: calcs on all of these) and traded with, this Kartana does a fantastic job opening things up. Of course, it mandates speed control or a durable enough defensive backbone to withstand giving the opponents a free turn or making this into a full-on trade as Giga Impact has a gnarly drawback. With this said, it is oftentimes worthwhile due to the sheer convenience of covering the Pokemon it hits. Regardless of this though, SD LO Kartana is very strong and I believe it should be used a lot more on both balance and offensive teams.
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Giga Impact vs. 248 HP / 200+ Def Moltres: 441-519 (115.1 - 135.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Giga Impact vs. 252 HP / 184+ Def Zapdos: 464-547 (120.8 - 142.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Giga Impact vs. 252 HP / 148+ Def Kommo-o: 363-428 (102.5 - 120.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Giga Impact vs. 248 HP / 160+ Def Mandibuzz: 409-482 (96.6 - 113.9%) -- 81.3% chance to OHKO
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Giga Impact vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Torkoal: 309-365 (90 - 106.4%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO

252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Giga Impact vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Volcarona: 385-454 (123.7 - 145.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Giga Impact vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Tornadus-Therian: 326-385 (109 - 128.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Giga Impact vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Zapdos-Galar: 298-351 (92.8 - 109.3%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO

+4 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Giga Impact vs. 252 HP / 144+ Def Buzzwole: 500-590 (119.6 - 141.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Works if you SD on switch and then SD again because of: 0 Atk Buzzwole Drain Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Kartana: 170-204 (65.6 - 78.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

:Magearna:
Magearna @ Life Orb
Ability: Soul-Heart
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Shift Gear
- Calm Mind
- Focus Blast
- Stored Power

Not that you can go wrong with Magearna much at all, but this is easily my favorite Shift Gear variant. Yes, it is reliant on Focus Blast, but if you hit (which you only need to ~once most games), then it has just about all you need so long as you do not run into Aegislash, Volcarona, or Victini. Stored Power with a Shift Gear and/or a Calm Mind gets surprisingly strong when boosted by Life Orb, being able to outdamage Toxapex's Recovery and Life Orb also allows for you to decimate non-Thunder Wave Blissey so long as you hit 2/3 Focus Blast. I quite like this as a cleaner against balance teams, but if you face enough offensive firepower, it can simply be used to break down the defensive core of balance teams in order to assure some progress is made while still being a soft check to a handful of things defensively in the early game because it's still a Magearna after all. I like it best on hyper offense due to its ability to snowball out of control and compliment other common win conditions, but it can certainly work on a balance / bulky offensive build so long as there are other strong offensive presences that can keep up the pressure.
252 SpA Life Orb Magearna Stored Power (80 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Toxapex: 169-200 (55.5 - 65.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO -- Shift Gear
+1 252 SpA Life Orb Magearna Stored Power (60 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Toxapex: 190-224 (62.5 - 73.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO -- Calm Mind
+1 252 SpA Life Orb Magearna Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Blissey: 393-463 (55 - 64.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252 SpA Life Orb Magearna Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 128+ SpD Heatran: 393-463 (101.8 - 119.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252 SpA Life Orb Magearna Stored Power (120 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Spectrier: 307-361 (90 - 105.8%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO -- Shift Gear + Calm Mind
252 SpA Life Orb Magearna Stored Power (80 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Nidoking: 289-341 (95.3 - 112.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock -- Shift Gear

https://pokepast.es/b03b80b5f61db9aa -- Here's a HO team I have been using with both of the above sets. Originally Storm Zone had a team with Cinderace > Magearna, Bisharp > Urshifu, Smart Strike > Giga Impact on Kartana, and some other set changes, but I made some edits to make it more to my liking and then changed the aforementioned Pokemon. It has been really successful on the ladder and I think it carves up balances, besides those with Unaware Clef + Buzzwole cores or a well-played Ditto.

I used it in Smogon Tour here as well, but it ran into a nightmare situation against a Jolly Choice Band Pheromosa. The team -- and other HOs -- tend to struggle with things that can snowball out of control like specific Pheromosa and Scarf Spectrier, but you can oftentimes minimize this due to priority and timely resistances. Even in games like this, there are still outs. For example, Magearna lived Close Combat 40% of the time from Pheromosa and if it did or I set up my own Pheromosa first before his got rolling, then the game could have snowballed in my direction instead (re: the former, if I lived, then Kartana clean swept the remainder after Pheromosa died, which is a totally different way for things to snowball out of control to maintain the same point). Obviously you live on the edge with these and similar hyper offenses, as people have for most of the generations, but the tools to win virtually every game are there and that is really cool imo).


:Zapdos:
Zapdos @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Static
EVs: 184 HP / 252 SpA / 72 Spe
Modest Nature
- Hurricane
- Discharge
- Roost
- U-turn

I have not used this one as much as the others quite yet, but it is really hard to switch into and not challenging to fit on to teams so long as you have another plan for hazard removal (hint: using two Flying types will not kill your entire synergy scheme, but also there's a wide array of viable removal rn). Offensive Zapdos is not a complete stranger from the metagame, having surfaced since the first days of it being out, however I think U-turn allows for it to always be part of sequences that are generating progress. The obvious benefits are being able to U-turn on things like Blissey and Heatran, but to that you might ask "why not Volt Switch?" and the simple retort is that U-turn offers a midground that does not get punished by Ground types. You are going to encounter the inevitable Zapdos on Garchomp/Landorus-T/Excadrill/Swampert/Nidoking/Gastrodon/Hippowdon match-up most times you use Zapdos and not having to predict around this while relying on a 70% move makes the most of Zapdos and its teammates I feel. Going for a Volt Switch on a potential midground to a Stone Edge Landorus-T, Sheer Force Nidoking, or any sort of offensive Garchomp is not ideal. You do lose out on the damage output from Volt Switch, but overall I like U-turn as a midground option and I think that not limiting your Zapdos to the role of Defogger offers a lot of untapped offensive potential. As for the EV spread, this just outruns +Speed Magearna and neutral speed Heatran. 248 SAtk is needed to 2HKO Clefable with Hurricane always, so I just maxed it out and put the remainder in HP. There are some other combinations worth experimenting with, especially if you can reliably Knock Off Clefable earlier in games, freeing up more room to invest in bulk or speed. Obviously Defog defensive Zapdos is still a good option, but this is a different take on Zapdos and I find it does a great job, too.

:Heatran:
Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 204 HP / 176 SpA / 128 Spe*
Modest Nature*
IVs: 0 Atk
- Taunt
- Magma Storm
- Earth Power
- Lava Plume

*also works with a standard SDef spread, which also helps bluff being fully SDef Heatran

If you reveal Lava Plume in the early game with Heatran, then Toxapex is far more likely to stay in against you to go for Knock Off/Scald/Recover. From there, getting off a Magma Storm makes it very easy to trap it. The same goes for things like weakened Blissey or Clefable. While you lose the ability to set-up Stealth Rock, which can easily be fulfilled by a number of other common options, you gain a ton of practical surprise value that can help eliminate common defensive options. Lava Plume in general is a good move as it can burn things and still does solid STAB damage, but using it + Magma Storm opens up a ton of scenarios where the opponent is lured into a false sense of being able to switch by a former only to be trapped by the combination of the ladder and Taunt+EPower. Being able to remove a Toxapex or a Clefable can open up so many potential paths for teams, too. I think this Heatran set is super underrated, but it is admiteddly a little more challenging to fit onto teams than the normal sets we see that have other defined roles. I believe ABR used dual Fire Heatran on a Z set last generation once or twice, but otherwise I do not think it has seen much use, let alone any this generation.

:Garchomp:
Garchomp @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 232 HP / 220 Def / 56 Spe
Impish Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Toxic / Dragon Tail / Flamethrower
- Endure

I don't like Tank Garchomp as much now as I did when it initially came out, but it is still a serviceable pick on bulky offense. If I ever were to use it more, it absolutely would be with Endure though. Endure + Rocky Helmet and Rough Skin followed up by another round of Rocky Helmet and Rough Skin to potentially kill Garchomp from there can lead to hilarious amounts of residual damage being taken. In a metagame where U-turn spam is already super prevalent, it is one way to punish it more directly. I feel like this only shines on a handful of teams right now, but the damage can wrack up and making the most of that while potentially having the option to scout things out or save Garchomp as fodder can come in handy. Not my original idea or set here as it has existed in prior generations, but it was never truly mainstream and I feel it is one of the best options if Tank Garchomp were to see more usage.

Back to spamming Toxapex and Clefable as that's clearly all I want the metagame to evolve into~
Nice. I’ll be stealing receiving your wonder christmas gifts for my own teams.

Speaking of which, what would you say is the most viable Hail team? Ever if Hail isn’t too viable, how would you make a Hail team viable in OU.
 
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.



-snip-
Great stuff, these are pretty much my thoughts as well after playing the ladder a lot since DLC2. I would expand on the fact that the issue with Urshifu itself is that it's one of the many breakers that threaten balanced playstyles, which actually makes stall more viable if anything, because Urshifu forces out common utility Pokemon that usually have methods of handling stall teams (Heatran, Tangrowth if its CB, Swampert, Excadrill, Necrozma, the list goes on) and FuturePort only makes this ten times worse. I think the meta would be healthier with its removal.
 
Team #12 posted here by Ben Gay/craing ;_; is probably as good as a Hail team gets.
There's also this one posted in the RMT forum. Top 10 on the ladder and it uses Specs Vanilluxe which is kind of neat.

I definitely think Hail teams are more viable now than they have ever been. Even ignoring Aurora Veil Ninetales-A teams which are hail as a technicality now teams can actually embrace the Slush Rushy goodness of the weather. Anyone else have any good examples of Hail in OU?
 

Zneon

schmovin
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Round 5 Tundra Cup Usage Stats and Observations



Hi all, this post is completely different from the discussion that's going on, because I want to make a post about the stuff being used in Tundra Cup and, the difference in usage stats, winrates, and what that says about our metagame. This is highly inspired, well, just straight up copied TPP's previous about the Usage Stats and leads for the last few weeks, however this time I want to explain some of these in much more detail than I really need to for no particular reason so here we go!

Round 5 Usage Stats

Code:
+ ---- + ------------------ + ---- + ------- + ------- +
| Rank | Pokemon            | Use  | Usage % |  Win %  |
+ ---- + ------------------ + ---- + ------- + ------- +
| 1    | Clefable           |   27 |  54.00% |  55.56% |
| 2    | Landorus-Therian   |   22 |  44.00% |  50.00% |
| 3    | Toxapex            |   19 |  38.00% |  63.16% |
| 4    | Urshifu-*          |   15 |  30.00% |  40.00% |
| 5    | Spectrier          |   13 |  26.00% |  61.54% |
| 5    | Magearna           |   13 |  26.00% |  53.85% |
| 7    | Zapdos             |   12 |  24.00% |  66.67% |
| 7    | Pheromosa          |   12 |  24.00% |  33.33% |
| 9    | Heatran            |   11 |  22.00% |  63.64% |
| 10   | Hydreigon          |    8 |  16.00% |  62.50% |
| 10   | Melmetal           |    8 |  16.00% |  37.50% |
| 10   | Mandibuzz          |    8 |  16.00% |  37.50% |
| 10   | Suicune            |    8 |  16.00% |  37.50% |
| 10   | Ferrothorn         |    8 |  16.00% |  37.50% |
| 15   | Cinderace          |    7 |  14.00% |  57.14% |
| 15   | Corviknight        |    7 |  14.00% |  42.86% |
| 15   | Slowbro            |    7 |  14.00% |  42.86% |
| 15   | Nidoking           |    7 |  14.00% |  42.86% |
| 19   | Tapu Fini          |    6 |  12.00% |  33.33% |
| 20   | Kartana            |    5 |  10.00% |  80.00% |
| 20   | Garchomp           |    5 |  10.00% |  60.00% |
| 22   | Tapu Lele          |    4 |   8.00% |  75.00% |
| 22   | Slowking           |    4 |   8.00% |  50.00% |
| 22   | Excadrill          |    4 |   8.00% |  50.00% |
| 25   | Rillaboom          |    3 |   6.00% | 100.00% |
| 25   | Blissey            |    3 |   6.00% |  33.33% |
| 25   | Hippowdon          |    3 |   6.00% |  33.33% |
| 25   | Tornadus-Therian   |    3 |   6.00% |  33.33% |
| 25   | Seismitoad         |    3 |   6.00% |  33.33% |
| 25   | Tapu Koko          |    3 |   6.00% |  33.33% |
| 25   | Pelipper           |    3 |   6.00% |  33.33% |
| 25   | Moltres-Galar      |    3 |   6.00% |  33.33% |
| 25   | Tyranitar          |    3 |   6.00% |  33.33% |
| 34   | Magnezone          |    2 |   4.00% | 100.00% |
| 34   | Amoonguss          |    2 |   4.00% | 100.00% |
| 34   | Swampert           |    2 |   4.00% | 100.00% |
| 34   | Hawlucha           |    2 |   4.00% |  50.00% |
| 34   | Moltres            |    2 |   4.00% |  50.00% |
| 34   | Victini            |    2 |   4.00% |  50.00% |
| 34   | Dragapult          |    2 |   4.00% |  50.00% |
| 34   | Barraskewda        |    2 |   4.00% |  50.00% |
| 34   | Regieleki          |    2 |   4.00% |  50.00% |
| 34   | Latios             |    2 |   4.00% |   0.00% |
| 44   | Arctozolt          |    1 |   2.00% | 100.00% |
| 44   | Ninetales-Alola    |    1 |   2.00% | 100.00% |
| 44   | Volcarona          |    1 |   2.00% | 100.00% |
| 44   | Quagsire           |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 44   | Nidoqueen          |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 44   | Aegislash          |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 44   | Kyurem             |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 44   | Kingdra            |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 44   | Volcanion          |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 44   | Buzzwole           |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 44   | Omastar            |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 44   | Tangrowth          |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 44   | Reuniclus          |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
Moves and Teammates
Combos
Round 5 Leads

Code:
+ ---- + ----------------------- + ---- + ------- + ------- +
| Rank | Leads                   | Use  | Usage % |  Win %  |
+ ---- + ----------------------- + ---- + ------- + ------- +
| 1    | Clefable                |    7 |  14.00% |  28.57% |
| 2    | Landorus-Therian        |    6 |  12.00% |  33.33% |
| 3    | Toxapex                 |    5 |  10.00% |  80.00% |
| 4    | Zapdos                  |    3 |   6.00% | 100.00% |
| 4    | Spectrier               |    3 |   6.00% |  66.67% |
| 4    | Pheromosa               |    3 |   6.00% |  33.33% |
| 7    | Tapu Lele               |    2 |   4.00% | 100.00% |
| 7    | Victini                 |    2 |   4.00% |  50.00% |
| 7    | Urshifu-Rapid-Strike    |    2 |   4.00% |   0.00% |
| 10   | Magnezone               |    1 |   2.00% | 100.00% |
| 10   | Ninetales-Alola         |    1 |   2.00% | 100.00% |
| 10   | Cinderace               |    1 |   2.00% | 100.00% |
| 10   | Dragapult               |    1 |   2.00% | 100.00% |
| 10   | Suicune                 |    1 |   2.00% | 100.00% |
| 10   | Garchomp                |    1 |   2.00% | 100.00% |
| 10   | Swampert                |    1 |   2.00% | 100.00% |
| 10   | Slowbro                 |    1 |   2.00% | 100.00% |
| 10   | Magearna                |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 10   | Nidoqueen               |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 10   | Urshifu                 |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 10   | Tapu Koko               |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 10   | Ferrothorn              |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 10   | Seismitoad              |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 10   | Tornadus-Therian        |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 10   | Melmetal                |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |
| 10   | Tapu Fini               |    1 |   2.00% |   0.00% |

====

Okay with that out of the way, let's get into the fun part, talking about the usage stats and winrates of some of these Pokemon and what it means about our metagame, so let's get right into it.



Top of the Usage Stats

Clefable and Landorus-T are topping the usage stats right now. Is it surprising? No of course not. These Pokemon are exceedingly splashable Pokemon that can provide a lot for a wide range of teams, these Pokemon in my opinion exemplify what it means to be splashable, especially Clefable so I'll get onto it first. Clefable is outstanding for the same reasons it always has been and honestly I don't really think its going to lose its grip on the metagame due to its unparalleled utility and insane role compression. Being able to check very prominent Pokemon like Buzzwole, Urshifu and Pheromosa . Landorus-T also does exactly what I just described for Clefable, its utility and role compression are outstanding, just to a lesser extent than Clefable in my eyes due to its lack of recovery despite them doing different things in a sense. Though that doesn't really change the fact that these Pokemon are great, valuable defensive presences in the metagame and I feel they will continue topping the usage stats for the rest of the Tundra Cup in my opinion but that could easily not be the case.





Unexpected Visitors

These Pokemon are much more interesting, as they all haven't gotten that much usage last week, if not any usage at all. Hydreigon is one that I want to touch on, it has a pretty decent winrate of 62.5% and its usage is pretty great as well, being in the Top 10. Its actually a great Defogger in this metagame! The main niche it serves is as a Spectrier and Heatran check due to the added EVs in SpDef, however it isn't too passive unlike Mandibuzz, making it work as a bulky Defogger insanely well. A lot of options has been used on this, and the one when I find to be the best is Earth Power, which allows it to hit stuff like Melmetal, Magearna and Heatran, allowing it to actually force these Pokemon without being passive against them or forced out by them.

Kartana is another big one, while its usage is much lower it has a whopping 80% winrate, which is just great! SD LO Kartana is a very potent breaker that can do tons of work depending on the support given, Leaf Blade / Sacred Sword / Knock Off in the best option since that combo hits a vast majority of the tier at least neutrally and when given Knock Off support or status support, it becomes so much better.

Suicune has the worst winrate of the bunch but I feel the fact that it has such a drastic rise from round 4, from #47 to #10 in 1 week is pretty outstanding! Its ability to take advantage of the abundance of bulky structures with either Crocune or Vincune is very valuable, it can easily and take advantage of stuff like Tyranitar, Heatran, Moltres, Mandibuzz and Corviknight by using that opportunity to Sub, and its ability to even potentially beat Toxapex in a 1v1 due to the combination of Pressure + Substitute + Rest/Protect stalling out its Hazes is very impressive.


===

That's all for now. I hope you guys enjoyed this post! The metagame has been evolving so much in this 1 month alone and that makes me so happy to see because it's such a fun and exciting metagame to play, especially with with Zygarde and Kyurem-B ban and this exactly shows in Round 5 of Tundra Cup, cannot wait to see other new things pop up in the future.

Thanks for reading! :blobthumbsup:
 
Last edited:
Oof, I wanted to talk about hydreigon but it seems I was beaten to the punch. Nevertheless I would like to add some more strengths that it has. It is also a great answer to the futureport strategy, due to outspeeding urshifu by one point, being able to OHKO both urshifu and slowbro between dark pulse and draco, and being immune to future sight. It can also take a choice locked wicked blow relatively comfortably, even when uninvested in defence. It also doesn't fear anything from spectrier, bar taking 2 hexes while already statused while coming in, which is a bit harder to do since toxic spikes don't hit it. This alone covers 2/3 most complained about things on this thread (you still lose to phero, but such is life). Hydreigon also has the reverse of 4mss, since most sets have one or 2 spots left for whatever you want (in my opinion the only things that are pretty much mandatory are dark pulse and roost), which means it can go for whatever move it wants in the last spot, be it defog, more coverage, status, or even something like roar.

Also speaking of roar, did anyone try phazing moves? it seems like it could be quite helpful in the meta, with stuff like vincune, sub spectrier, setup magearnas, clefables and similair setup mons running around, plus it can mess with futureport if you have it on something like a mandibuzz which can whirlwind on the teleport turn and then probably comfortably tank whatever is sent out unless you are unlucky and get the poke you didnt want to. I tried it against setup sweepers especially and it works out because they get greedy and try to get extra setup on something that they don't think threatens them, then just yeet them out with an unexpected phazing move. Now they know I'm running a phazer but I also know which set their magearna is, for example, which makes life a lot easier. This seems really nice on more passive teams that can be in danger of getting set up on.
 

Kyo

In Limbo
is a Tiering Contributor
I want to mention a mon that feels severely underutilized in the current meta.

5701ef99b2c8ed5dfe708a4dd626b086.gif


Tapu Bulu

Nobody uses this mon anymore, presumably because Nintendo snubbed it in the DLC move drop and didn't give it grassy glide. I get that Rillaboom does offensive sets better but Tapu Bulu still has an excellent forgotten niche as a Defensive Grassy Terrain setter. Rillaboom actually has similar physical bulk to Tapu Bulu and a better speed tier but its special defense is lacking and, most importantly, it has no form of recovery outside of its own terrain. Since Rillaboom really can't be used defensively and can't enter the field with ease, its team members tend to get less benefit out of grassy terrain than they might like. Tapu Bulu also has a great secondary fairy typing which gives it a number of extra resists making it superior to a pure grass type terrain setter, even if it doesn't have fairy stab moves to fire off.

Tapu Bulu @ Leftovers
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 248 HP / 68 Atk / 168 SpD / 24 Spe
Careful Nature
- Horn Leech
- Close Combat
- Toxic
- Synthesis

After some experimentation, this is the spread and moveset that I've figured to be the most effective. In Gen 7, defensive Tapu Bulu would run a similar set but with swords dance over toxic. I started out using this set and quickly found it to be ineffective 99% of the time. There are too many heavy duty boots birds running around the OU tier for this set to ever make progress on a team. Instead, I chose toxic to nail Zapdos, Moltres, Mandibuzz, Dnite, Buzzwole, and Torn-T on the switch in and start getting chip damage. It's obviously better to not make physical contact with the Kanto birds but I chose to use toxic over stone edge because Zapdos, Mandibuzz, and Dnite can stall you out with roost and Buzzwole will just stonewall completely. The given EVs speedcreep uninvested tran and guarantee a 2HKO on 252 HP spreads with close combat after lefties and grassy terrain recovery. The rest of the EVs are dropped in HP and Special Defense as this is what I've found to be most useful but who knows, maybe a physically bulky set has some merit.

Tapu Bulu on its own is not going to do that much work so it's very important to consider how you structure your team when building with it. Easily the best two partner mons in my opinion are Toxapex and Heatran. Either of these benefits greatly from grassy terrain in their own way. Pex loves running helmet in the current meta so the pseudo-lefties recovery is appreciated and weakening earthquake allows Pex to more safely stay in on Lando/Chomp to throw off a scald/toxic. Heatran on the other hand is probably not going to be taking earthquakes even with terrain up but it loves getting 12% HP back every turn in tandem with leftovers. This combo is especially potent on protect + toxic or sub sets and it also allows heatran to trap and 1v1 Pex/Blissey without taking very much chip damage in the process. Either of these mons are a great choice for a Tapu Bulu team and you can very easily use both of them since this creates a strong FWG core to build the rest of the team around. Rillaboom is simply not able to support these mons to the same degree and with the same longevity that a bulky Tapu Bulu can.

A nice bonus of building with Tapu Bulu is that you can actually get away with no ground type on your team and not be completely mopped by specs Regieleki/Koko, but you should still watch out for Magnezone. Here's a 1700s replay from testing Tapu Bulu that really shows its effectiveness.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1234675531-9ydyedi340iq6h17hgntrtbp0cixudapw
 
:ss/clefable:

Clefable @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 HP / 28 Def / 228 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Soft-Boiled
- Trick
- Healing Wish

Been using this on an offense since I feel like that's where you would ever use Scarf Clef seeing as its team specific. Healing Wish is nice for offensive partners that may go out pretty quickly like Life Orb QD Mosa and Specs Aegi. Speed is to outrun non scarfed Lati I know ben gay uses speed for chomp and below so that's applicable as well I just copied what I had in builder so any EV gurus could make better spreads.

Speaking of partners who appreciate a second wind.

:ss/dragonite:

Dragonite @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Multiscale
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dual Wingbeat
- Extreme Speed
- Earthquake
- Dragon Dance

I think somebody mentioned this before in this thread? Dragonite is a slightly anti-meta against more offensive teams that isn't Sand due to HDB negating Rocks damage to maintain Multiscale. It's also nice that it's a set up mon that doesn't care about Rillabooms Grassy Glide. While it has a good matchup against offense due to its priority, typing, and ability it does need partners to break down fatter stuff that can slow down Dragonite such as Defensive Ferro, Hippowdon, and the usual Defog birds. I use Jolly because it's a bit slow with Adamant only hitting 388 at +1 and I don't like being in a situation where things like Tapu Koko, non scarfed Spectrier and Dragapult can pick me off if I'm weakened. Nidoking makes a good partner, Specs Aegi (use Steel Beam it's really strong), and Specs Magearna make good partners for it.

:ss/landorus-therian:

Landorus-Therian @ Soft Sand
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge
- Swords Dance
- Rock Polish

Obviously not new but this set will pretty much 6-0 any fat sand balance not running Buzzwole, since they all follow the same formulas. Power Herb Fly set over Edge lures in Buzzwole if you have a partner that wants Buzzwole out ie Click Buttons aka Urshifu. It's not a fantastic set in the metagame but it hits hard and certain archetypes fold under it.
 
Block QD is fun asf. I run bug buzz and ice beam as my attacking moves. What moves do you run, I'm interested in seeing what you run.
I run Mono Attacking Phero, in my case Bug Buzz + Taunt. Block/Mean Look and Taunt is what makes the combination so deadly. I am still in search of the best Taunt Block Mon, but as described Tapu Fini comes close.

Oof, I wanted to talk about hydreigon but it seems I was beaten to the punch. Nevertheless I would like to add some more strengths that it has. It is also a great answer to the futureport strategy, due to outspeeding urshifu by one point, being able to OHKO both urshifu and slowbro between dark pulse and draco, and being immune to future sight. It can also take a choice locked wicked blow relatively comfortably, even when uninvested in defence. It also doesn't fear anything from spectrier, bar taking 2 hexes while already statused while coming in, which is a bit harder to do since toxic spikes don't hit it. This alone covers 2/3 most complained about things on this thread (you still lose to phero, but such is life). Hydreigon also has the reverse of 4mss, since most sets have one or 2 spots left for whatever you want (in my opinion the only things that are pretty much mandatory are dark pulse and roost), which means it can go for whatever move it wants in the last spot, be it defog, more coverage, status, or even something like roar.
I have to agree, I am surprised how good Hydreigon is again. I have tried a Defog Set (Dark Pulse Epower) and a Three Attack Roost set (Dark Pulse Epower Draco Meteor) and it is surprisingly resilent and useful. I just hate its weakness to U-turn.
Also speaking of roar, did anyone try phazing moves? [...]
I like this, I tried Roar Garchomp. Surprisingly useful for checking setup mons on your opponents side. Good idea.

Also on that note of "Phazing" I tried this Dragonite set:
Dragonite.png

Dragonite @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Multiscale
EVs: 252 HP / 164 Def / 92 Spe
Bold Nature
- Roost
- Thunder Wave
- Flamethrower
- Dragon Tail / Hurricane is maybe better


+2 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Giga Impact vs. 252 HP / 164+ Def Multiscale Dragonite: 220-259 (56.9 - 67%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Basically, it can't die and status or directly defeat most attackers.
Useful and strong. EV needs optimization as Dragonite isn't slow at all and can outspeed slower breaker well. (Right now it outspeeds Lando-T with no speed investment for example)
 


May God have mercy on our souls.
This is one I don't get. What was found to make it rise so much?

On other tier list notes, quite surprised to see Blaze drop to UU. I don't know if that was Zygarde's influence or its just overhyped. Spectier not being in top 6 was very shocking indeed, especially with all the talk on here about it.
 
Spectier not being in top 6 was very shocking indeed, especially with all the talk on here about it.
It's the counter syndrome. So many teams are forced to run hard counters to it that if you're using non-sub disable sets you'll often find yourself stuffed at every opportunity.

That aside Gslowking is heat and it being OU is surprising but welcome. Maybe we'll have someone (with experience) post about it. DLC2 has been full of heat OU rises with Nidoking last month so honestly I'm scared what Shedninja-esque abomination will rise next month.
 
That aside Gslowking is heat and it being OU is surprising but welcome. Maybe we'll have someone (with experience) post about it. DLC2 has been full of heat OU rises with Nidoking last month so honestly I'm scared what Shedninja-esque abomination will rise next month.
I've been using the boi a lot so here's a short summary I wrote for a friend, AM also explained it well

its fat as hell with AV + regenerator and has an amazing defensive typing compared to the special threats it needs to check. resists fairies, neutral or resists all of magearna or lele's moves for example.

only really weak to ghost types out of the relevant special attackers, and mandibuzz, blissey, or ttar is already on every team to deal with spectrier


A bit more memey but it's one of the best stops to magma storm trapper heatran that stall can run if you run EQ as a moveslot
 
Hydreigon_(dream_world).png

Since Finchinator posted a set with Giga Impact on Kartana I'm going to use it as an excuse to bring up Hyper Beam Hydreigon. Yes Hyper Beam the move we all used to spam in our noob days. With a +2 Hyper Beam all the Fairies are blown back. 252 HP Tapu Fini may need some Stealth Rock chip but that gets destroyed too. This atleast makes it so that you don't get hardwalled by Fini and friends and you can atleast trade with them to open up way for another teammate to go in. Very niche move but may be an attractive option for some of you.

Hydreigon @ Salac Berry
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Nasty Plot
- Substitute
- Belch
- Draco Meteor

I also want to talk about another Hydreigon set that catches people off guard and that is Salac Berry + Belch. This is the closest you will get to Naganadel. When Belch is activated it is a 120 BP move so it's basically STAB Sludge Bomb. While Steels wall you you can still do a Draco Meteor hit and and run at first to weaken them and then go for a sweep later in the end game.

Alternatively If you do not want to be resisted by Steels you can run Fire Blast over Substitute and run Sitrus Berry over Salac Berry but you have to take some hits before Belch can be used and you also get no speed boost option. Focus Blast can be used over Fire Blast to hit Heatran and Tyranitar and 2HKO Blissey at +2.

If you don't wanna rely on taking damage to activate Sitrus Berry and Belch you can also run Lum Berry to switch into status which may be more reliable in activating Belch.
 
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This is one I don't get. What was found to make it rise so much?

On other tier list notes, quite surprised to see Blaze drop to UU. I don't know if that was Zygarde's influence or its just overhyped. Spectier not being in top 6 was very shocking indeed, especially with all the talk on here about it.

It's probably new toy syndrome tbh,Just like regieleki and galarian zapdos I expect this thing to fall off very quickly I just don't see galarian slowking as a good pokemon in OU especially when slowbro is right there
 
It's probably new toy syndrome tbh,Just like regieleki and galarian zapdos I expect this thing to fall off very quickly I just don't see galarian slowking as a good pokemon in OU especially when slowbro is right there
its fat as hell with AV + regenerator and has an amazing defensive typing compared to the special threats it needs to check. resists fairies, neutral or resists all of magearna or lele's moves for example.

only really weak to ghost types out of the relevant special attackers, and mandibuzz, blissey, or ttar is already on every team to deal with spectrier
It definitely has a usable, unique niche with Future Sight + the specific threats it handles. I wouldn't ride it off so quickly. The fact that it's all over Youtube doesn't hurt it either.
 
Galarian Slowking's rise is definitely more than just new toy syndrome. If new toy syndrome were a thing affecting it, then it would not have dropped to RU in the first place and would've been more likely to have dropped now as new toy syndrome wore off. Galarian Slowking's Assault Vest set is quite potent as a balance breaker; it puts a dent into cores like Clefable + Toxapex + Mandibuzz really well, and it is one of the best checks to Quiver Dance Pheromosa as well as some other miscellaneous threats like Tapu Lele, Latios, and Tapu Fini.
 
About time, I said after the Zygarde and Kyurem-B bans that G-Slowking's niche would grow. I've said this elsewhere before, but there are a couple of important advantages that G-Slowking has due to its typing that make it a solid pick over its Kanto counterpart(s) on the right teams.

While Poison/Psychic has a bad weakness to Ground and G-Slowking loses out on the really nice resistances that a Water type provides, in exchange, G-Slowking also loses important weaknesses to Electric, Bug, and Grass and gains a nice resistance to Fairy (and Poison, plus a 4x resist to Fighting).

Not taking super-effective damage from the two common pivot moves in the form of Volt Switch and U-Turn is really valuable, since while the Kanto Slowtwins are bulky, being forced to Slack Off or Teleport out immediately after switching in doesn't feel great. In addition, an immunity to Toxic is really nice since that is one of the best way to wear down the Kanto Slowtwins now that HDB is a very common item on them. Yes, G-Slowking will take Rocks and Spikes damage if it's running an AV, but it still has Regenerator and hazard removal has never been easier.

The 10 point boost to G-Slowking's Special Attack stat (110 vs the 100 of the Kanto Slowtwins) is also a not-insignificant power boost: it's a 10% increase which is the equivalent of a "free" +SpA boosting nature. And G-Slowking has a crazy wide movepool (WHY NO CLEAR SMOG OR TELEPORT GAMEFREAK) with which to leverage that offensive power. Having STAB Sludge Bomb/Wave to nail Fairy (and Grass) types is great to stop G-Slowking from being set-up fodder for Tapu Fini and Clefable like the Kanto Slowtwins.
 
I haven’t seen anyone echo my perspective on the metagame as of yet, so I thought I’d throw my two cents in.

Spectrier
:Spectrier:

Spectrier does not appear to be limiting at first glance, with its premier checks being Mandibuzz, Tyranitar and Blissey. If you’re willing to dip into lower tiers, you can get away with Hydreigon, Incineroar, Obstagoon or Zarude or Scrafty the counter, which all check Spectrier nicely. OU does have other situational checks like SpDef Unaware Clefable, Urshifu-SS and AV Magearna/Melmetal that can come in once or twice to check certain sets, plus some options to revenge kill it (Triple Axel Pheromosa, Jolly/Scarf Dragapult, etc).

There are three problems with Spectrier notwithstanding everything I just said. First, its ability, power and speed tier mandate the use of a sturdy Ghost resist in a way other ghost types do not. While running a Ghost resist was always a noteworthy part of your teambuilding checklist even in prior metagames, Gengar, Aegislash and even Dragapult simply do not snowball out of control the way that Spectrier can (and often does) if you do not run dedicated defensive answers to them. This is the case even if Gengar/Dragapult ran the exact same HexWisp sets that Spectrier often runs. It isn’t any single trait that pushes Spectrier over the edge, but arguably the totality of what it offers that does so.

Second, most of these checks are flawed in some way. They are either forced to check other prominent threats and get worn down easily (Mandibuzz, Tyranitar), are somewhat passive and create free turns for the opponent (Rest Tyranitar), or are taken advantage of by Spectrier itself (Blissey). You could argue that the pokemon best equipped to handle Spectrier are actually the lower-tier mons I noted earlier, and while I am all for experimentation and breaking away from conventional habits, these pokemon do not see consistent usage in OU for a reason and forcing them onto teams to check Spectrier is problematic itself.

Urshifu
:Urshifu:

The third issue I have with Spectrier is actually the same issue I have with Urshifu, and it lays the foundation for why I don’t think Pheromosa could be viewed as problematic in the future. Put simply, while each pokemon has viable checks in the metagame, they each require those checks to be tailored in a way that makes them worse against the other, and vice versa. When you say you need a “Dark” resist in this metagame, you are almost always referring to an Urshifu resist, which consist of Buzzwole, Mandibuzz+Toxapex, or Physically Defensive Clefable. Every other Spectier answer loses to Urshifu, and every Urshifu answer bar Mandibuzz loses to Spectrier. Even Mandibuzz can ultimately be overwhelmed with burn chip damage to a point that it doesn’t check Urshifu as well, and if you don’t run Mandibuzz then you have resigned yourself to dedicating 2+ slots on your team just for these two pokemon. Both of these two pokemon have less than a half-dozen checks which must be tailor made to check them specifically, in a way that few other pokemon in the tier (if any) equally require.

Pheromosa
:pheromosa:

For at least these reasons, I feel we are playing the Spectrier/Urshifu metagame more than the Pheromosa metagame, which has serious implications when it comes to Pheromosa’s impact on the tier. Pheromosa is undoubtedly a great pokemon and it can viably run several different sets, but the issue is that most of the checks you need to cover Pheromosa are made worse by the presence of Spectrier and Urshifu. SpDef Clefable checks QD Pheromosa nicely and soft-checks Spectrier, but loses to Urshifu. Buzzwole checks physical Pheromosa and Urshifu, but loses to Spectrier. Toxapex checks any two of these depending on whether it’s physical or special, but can never check all 3 well at all. The other checks to QD Pheromosa such as Aegislash, G-Slowking, even Victini or AV Magearna are just not as viable at the moment due to being poor options against Spectrier and Urshifu. Without even one of Spectrier or Urshifu, you could probably get away with running a core like Buzzwole+Toxapex, or Mandibuzz+SpDef Clefable, and so on, without getting inevitably and consistently overwhelmed by having to check all three.

This does beg the question as to why we shouldn’t just remove Pheromosa to solve this problem instead of either Spectrier or Urshifu. I strongly disagree with that course of action. First, getting rid of Pheromosa does not actually solve the problem I noted earlier about needing at least 2+ slots for Urshifu and Spectrier – one could even argue it makes it worse. Where I think the metagame still has room to adapt to Pheromosa, I think we have come as far as we can regarding defensive counterplay for Spectrier and Urshifu. Urshifu has had months to develop and we have the answers we have for it, and unless we see an influx of Incineror or something else from lower tiers, I feel we have come as far as we can to handle Spectrier. In the alternative, I think Pheromosa's checks only stand to get better if one of Spectrier/Urshifu are removed.

Second, I think it’s worth looking into what each of these mons adds to the tier. Spectrier really doesn’t add anything more than it takes – there are other ghost types that can take its place, and it tends to function as a self-sufficient breaker for itself anyway. Urshifu probably adds as much as it takes from the tier, but at least it is a nice progress-forcing breaker that I don’t think is independently broken itself. Pheromosa I feel adds a lot to the tier, and I think at this point in the metagame it would be a big mistake to get rid of it. It supports frail/slower breakers with U-turn support to get into play, removes hazards, and helps revenge kill or offensively pressure things like Cinderace, Magearna, +1 Spe Blaziken, Tornadus-T and even opposing Modest Pheromosa with its speed tier. It is precisely this role compression that I find overwhelmingly healthy for the tier (in a way that I don’t feel is necessarily broken), and without its presence I feel the tier will struggle a ton to defensively handle these aforementioned breakers in the long-haul. If you already want some or all of these pokemon to get banned as is, then this probably won’t resonate with you, but I personally do not want to see 5-7 more bans if they could have been avoided by a potentially more optimal order of operations.

Public opinion probably isn’t on my side with this one, but that’s cool, it’s just my opinion as of right now. I enjoy the current metagame, but if there must be imminent tiering action then I would personally suggest Spectrier > Urshifu > Pheromosa, or at least Spectrier first, for all the aforementioned reasons about increased breathing room in teambuilding.
 

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