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

Hey y'all,

I wanna talk about :Urshifu:-S, since it got brought up earlier in this thread and I think it's important to get different point of views on it.
So first of all a quick view on it, Urshifu-S has sure a centralizing effect on the metagame, which also counts for Pokemon like the currently suspected Pheromosa, the ghosty-horse Spectrier, and also to a lesser degree Magearna. But Urshifu-S is no different in centralizing the metagame to some degree, especially with Future-Port-Support, due to Slowbro and the less used Slowking, but it can also profit and benefit of Galar-Slowkings Future-Sight (allthough it has no Teleport, but its Future-Sight stuff still pressures a ton of the counterplay to Urshifu-S).

Urshifu-S is a strong wallbreaker, capable of using an insane ability in Unseen Fist, which all contacts moves go through Protect. Its great typing in dark/fighting helps it a lot to capitalize from its potential, as this typecombination is really great in the current metagame, with not many Pokemon being able to wall the dual-stabs + its coverage-options. With a great HP, and Defense-stat being both 100 and its amazing Attack-stat of 130 and its great Speed-tier being 97, it has the stats to be a threatening Wallbreaker as well. Furthermore it has different Sets, which it can use, be it Choice Band, Choice Scarf, or Bulk Up, all its sets put in some work, and with the foremer two it can easily get Momentum via U-turn and with the latter it can become a dangerous breaker with Wicked Blow, Close Combat / Drain Punch, and Sucker Punch.

:Urshifu: (Single-Strike) Sets:

Urshifu @ Choice Band / @ Choice Scarf

Ability: Unseen Fist
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Wicked Blow
- Close Combat
- U-turn
- Poison Jab / Iron Head

Urshifu @ Black Glasses / @ Life Orb

Ability: Unseen Fist
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Bulk Up
- Wicked Blow
- Close Combat / Drain Punch
- Sucker Punch​

these Set-options are the main-sets currently in the metagame and have different counterplay options, but first off, let's dive in into a more in-depth view about these two sets:

Choice Band / Choice Scarf: This set really hits hard,e specially in concjunction with Choice Band, Wicked Blow-spam is really free in the current metagame and hits baring physically defensive Clefable and physically defensive Tapu Fini everything else pretty hard. Choice Band-sets can further Urshifus wallbreaking potential due to the already very good and optimal Attack-stat. Choice Scarf, however, can be also a Set-option, due to how many Pokemon it threatens, due to the Speed-control this set gives, being able to outrun a vast majority of the metagame with a Scarf is pretty functionally and good. It can outrun faster threats such as CB-Pheromosa, Spectrier, Tapu Koko, offensive Zapdos, Tornadus-Therian, Barraskewda (without rain), and Scarf-Lando-T. Both sets have the ability to run either Poison Jab or Iron Head to dish out a lot of damage on the aforementioned Clefable and Tapu Fini, especially coupled with a Choice Band. What really helps these both sets is the support, due to Future-Sight and Teleport from Slowbro as it can wear down the typical Checks to Urshifu and Urshifu can get past these Checks, with them taking damage from Futre-Sight and a always critting Wicked Blow or its coverage-options.

Bulk Up: This Set is seen more on hyper Offensive structures, be it Screens, Veil, or Hazard Stack HO, which it can make use of, to get a better position to Bulk Up. Bulk Up-sets have an overlapping counterplay to the Band- or Scarf-Set; physically defensive Clefable and Tapu Fini! Bulk Up-sets tend to run Close Combat more often than Drain Punch, but if you want to keep Urshifu for longer, a strong Drain Punch can help there, which is a nice tool for it. Sucker Punch gives some mind-games, especially when urshifu is already at +1 any player has to be careful around its mind-games made up by Sucker Punch.

I believe all Sets are really dangerous and have their different aspects of running through the metagame without any real drawbacks. Urshifu-S is a Pokemon, which shines more often than not during a battle and while it has its own flaws, the flaws by any means do NOT overshine how good Urshifu is.

But let's move on to another important aspect, the Counterplay to Urshifu!

These are the Pokemon, which can help versus it:
:Clefable:
:Tapu Fini:
:Toxapex:
:Landorus-Therian:
:buzzwole:
:kommo-o:
:togekiss:
I just wanted to add that Sucker Punch is an important slash on the banded set because it can actually nullify many sweepers such as Dragapult, Spectrier, or severely weakened Magearna or Kartana. Poison Jab is also an important slash on Bulk Up sets because with just a little chip, it can muscle through Clefable and Tapu fini which are Urshifu's most common counters. Personally, I think Bulk Up is only worth if you're running Poison Jab with another threatening mon like Cinderace that can chip fat.

As for the pokemon you listed, Kommo-o and Togekiss might be solid checks but they are outclassed by Clefable and Buzzwole and not optimal (as you mentioned), although I do agree they are respectable answers. Meanwhile Toxapex is only good if coupled with a Clefable or at least a Mandibuzz to eat Wicked Blow + Future Sight. Landorus-T has no business here to be honest because the offesnive sets are outsped and the defensive sets can't really touch or stop Urshifu. The best it can do is deter it from using Close Combat and switching into Magearna. I'd also argue Weezing-Galar is a solid answer, especailly with Wish support.

Hey, wanted to share some cool sets I think should see more usage to spice up the meta :)

To preface, I'm sure most people who stick their nose in the OU meta know of the infamous "Team 20" in the craing team archive. This is a team that has seen much usage in tournaments as well as ladder, unfortunately losing pretty much every time (besides Finchinator vs SOULWIND) ...

This is partially due to lack of surprise factor. Trapper Urshifu-R can't do it's job as a Pex lure, because Ushifu-R already being a rarity on non rain teams AND paired with a Suicune is too easy a giveaway.
Additionally, it doesn't even do a great job at killing Pex, it can get scald burnt and have it's pads knocked off and lose the 1v1.... So, overall using this thing is a huge L.

It got me thinking if there are any other cool trappers to use that aren't terrible at their job like Ursh-R and not boring as block+spite Pex, and it led me to something quite useful in a lot more situations than every other luremon (i think):


:ss/cinderace:
Cinderace @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Libero
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Electro Ball
- Fire Spin
- Taunt
- Gunk Shot/High Jump Kick/Pyro Ball/U-turn/Super Fang

Trapper Cinderace
is likely the best lure-and-trap pokemon available rn. It's very easy to pretend you're a standard Cinderace set just waiting to be walled by a bulky water type. I really want to see some creative teams that take advantage of this in many ways.

Fire spin+taunt is pretty standard as far as trapping goes. Taunt on Cinder is really cool because it outspeeds most of the tier and prevents set up from things that would otherwise wall the lure set.
Electro ball is the move that blasts away bulky water types as well as some other fat "cinder checks" such as defensive moltres and Torkoal. Being an unexpected Toarkoal and Pelipper killer in 1 is p nice, as those mons love to stay in especially at full health. You don't even need to trap Peli, uninvested electro ball 1hkoes.
The last move is up to player preference, and it's usually a move regular Cinderace would run. Gunk is good for hitting fairies hard which is why it's my most used choice, HJK hits Garchomp and Heatran which usually take the place of bulky waters on teams without them, super fang+fast taunt is nice but revealing it alerts the opponent you're not a standard Cinderace.

Meta relevant Pokemon you can lure and eliminate with this: :toxapex: :slowbro: :slowking: :pelipper: :torkoal: :moltres: :weezing-galar: as well as other big ones depending on your 4th move.

High ladder replays: (1800-2000 elo):
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1242372774-v59psrhu7piwr8g8f3kuah066p5epalpw Pex
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1242322435-jdy2eupqn7mqpb5ip8wg3lwu2522bp7pw destroying rain
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1242352616-sopsbd2gpji61gn0crrgnf1ezok80a0pw Slowbro
Bonus: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1242913645-q6lcz3x3c0oj8ohjd74x921scdx9qeepw poor ox ;-;
I've actually been using Fire Spin Cinderace myself, and have found that 4th move Pyro Ball is the most consistent 4th move, for me at least. It has consistent damage for stuff like Clefable and Zapdos while still providing enough damage vs. specially defensive threats like Corviknight or Mandibuzz that Electro Ball can't get through alone.
 

Finchinator

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One of the most interesting developments in this DLC2 meta to me is the evolution of Cinderace's moveset. Before its initial ban in DLC1 I firmly believed Pyro Ball / Gunk Shot / Zen Headbutt / U-turn was the best set, and probably the most commonly ran. You would have had to work hard to convince me to run any other set as it was such a good catch all to most defensive cores in the metagame. However, with new mons to beat this DLC the preferred set has seemed to change. Based off my experiences it feels like Pyro Ball / Gunk Shot / High Jump Kick / Sucker Punch has taken over as the most prominent set in the metagame. This is pretty wild to me for a couple of reasons. Firstly not having the ability to threaten Toxapex with Zen Headbutt is less than ideal to me. Also not utilizing U-turn to grab momentum while abusing Heavy Duty Boots just feels like a loss when it comes to opportunity cost. That said I can see the merit, since not being walled by Heatran, and having priority to help vs offensive threats like Spectrier in a metagame with more speedy Pokemon in general than DLC1 is practical.

Other sets like trapper Cinderace have even received mention, but most other sets fail to find the consistent usage and success as the one I mentioned earlier. Seeing this trend I obviously wanted to build a team that would utilize this Cinderace set while making up for its faults: lack of options vs Toxapex, and no ability to grab momentum through pivoting.


The first step was to find a way to deal with Toxapex reliably. I remembered a post by Finchinator earlier on in the thread that mentioned a Heatran set that ran both Lava Pume and Magma Storm as a way to lure in and trap Toxapex over the course of a game. Thought that would be a cool partner to start with as it helps with the problem at hand. Next I went with Slowking as I prioritized finding a Water resist to go with my Fire types, and FuturePort provided the team with another way to create situations to threaten Toxapex. Next I added Landorus-T who gave my team an Electric immunity, Ground immunity, some speed control as I went with Scarf. The pick also helps with the momentum issue. Between Teleport Slowking, U-turn on Lando, and even Magma Storm on Heatran the team does a fairly good job of keeping up momentum. Nothing to special about the EVs, still trying to find a good spread for bulky scarf sets. The only thing I'm really attached to is the speed which beats Jolly/Timid Mosa. Technically it only needs 204 to do so but that would leave it with 295 speed, and I don't like the idea of a speed tying Nidoking if Lando gets Knocked Off so I run 208. Like always Clefable is a top notch glue mon that provides the team with a lot of utility like Stealth Rock, Knock Off, Fairy typing, Urshifu check, and other Clef things. Hydreigon was my last as it helps me not lose to Spectrier at preview, provides another Ground immunity (most of the time), and helps check Heatran since it would be easy for Slowking to get overloaded vs a team with Nidoking and Heatran. I threw this team together pretty quickly and only played a few games with it, but I like it thus far. At the very least it's a solid start I'll probably tinker with a bit more over time. Feel like it does a pretty good job of showing options that can help facilitate the Cinderace set.

I'm sure a new Cinderace set will be taking over the meta a few months from now, as Protean/Libero sets have proved to be extremely adaptive. I would encourage anyone looking at Cinderace to try out new techs, just make sure to acknowledge any shortcomings the set may have and build accordingly.
That's a solid team and I agree with most of your analysis on Cinderace. Personally, I have been using a similar team with Specs Magearna > Heatran, allowing for Trick and some momentum based breaking. I was able to win with it in OU Champs R1 last weekend and have been grinding with it on the ladder a bit; the import can be found here. I do not see a need to invest more in SDef on Slowking (checks Modest Nidoking), but perhaps eating Tapu Lele and rogue Dracos a bit better can help in the long haul.

I do like how you integrate the Heatran set though. MagmaPlume offers so much unspoken utility and people oftentimes struggle to play around it before it is too late.

Also, I feel Sucker Punch Cinderace can still afford Adamant if you are not worried about Keldeo Rain (especially if you lack ZHB) or Zarude. Sucker hitting Latis is pretty big. I think Boots > any other item by a long shot, too, as LO makes you super prediction reliant and oftentimes is not worth it.
 
That's a solid team and I agree with most of your analysis on Cinderace. Personally, I have been using a similar team with Specs Magearna > Heatran, allowing for Trick and some momentum based breaking. I was able to win with it in OU Champs R1 last weekend and have been grinding with it on the ladder a bit; the import can be found here. I do not see a need to invest more in SDef on Slowking (checks Modest Nidoking), but perhaps eating Tapu Lele and rogue Dracos a bit better can help in the long haul.

I do like how you integrate the Heatran set though. MagmaPlume offers so much unspoken utility and people oftentimes struggle to play around it before it is too late.

Also, I feel Sucker Punch Cinderace can still afford Adamant if you are not worried about Keldeo Rain (especially if you lack ZHB) or Zarude. Sucker hitting Latis is pretty big. I think Boots > any other item by a long shot, too, as LO makes you super prediction reliant and oftentimes is not worth it.
Genuine question - is there any point to running 252+ speed on Defog/Roost Hydreigon? Urshifu, Tapu lele and Kyurem are all taking pitiful damage from Dark Pulse or EP, so I feel like running enough EVs to outspeed them is usually useless aside from finishing them off at low health in the rare occasion. I personally run just enough to outspeed Timid Nidoking or maybe a max speed Lando if the team is weak to HO. I feel like the extra points in HP or SpA feel really nice.
 

Finchinator

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OU & NU Leader
Genuine question - is there any point to running 252+ speed on Defog/Roost Hydreigon? Urshifu, Tapu lele and Kyurem are all taking pitiful damage from Dark Pulse or EP, so I feel like running enough EVs to outspeed them is usually useless aside from finishing them off at low health in the rare occasion. I personally run just enough to outspeed Timid Nidoking or maybe a max speed Lando if the team is weak to HO. I feel like the extra points in HP or SpA feel really nice.
I've thought long and hard about this one; ultimately, my answer is still yes. I prefer max speed on more teams than not with Defog Hydreigon. Being able to Roost off Choice Band Wicked Blow, get a timely revenge kill on a weakened Tapu Lele / Kyurem / Excadrill / Landorus-T, and soft-check Nidoking seems too (collectively) important to pass up on. The metagame has some speed tiers that are congested and Hydreigon is fortunate enough to be on the faster outskirts of one of these areas. In addition, you do not usually need more special attack or bulk investment for much here either. If you want to go with a bulkier Hydreigon, then I can see it justified, but you can check Spectrier, Heatran, and Crawdaunt regardless, which goes a long way I reckon.
 
Haxorus

In today's edition of "MidnightReaper once again channels Karen from Gen 2 energy", I've got an unconventional pick that I've been having a lot of fun with, Haxorus. Now you're probably thinking (a decently fast, powerful Dragon-type Physical attacker? Why on earth would I use Haxorus when Pokemon like Garchomp and Dragonite exist?) Simple, because we're not using Haxorus as a Dragon Dance sweeper (even though it gets access to it), we're not using it as a bulky cleaner (Dragonite gets Multiscale, so why even bother?). We're using Haxorus's unique traits to create a "tech slammer" set that can shut down walls like Toxapex and hazard setters while still being able to pound away at conventional answers with powerful attacks coming off of a monstrous 147 base attack stat (for comparison, that is only three points lower than Groudon). Also, just look at his scythe blade whiskers, awesome as hell.


Haxorus @ Life Orb (Rocky Helmet or Expert Belt have also been decent options during playtesting)
Ability: Mold Breaker
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Taunt
- Earthquake
- First Impression
- Close Combat​

(Additional options include Crunch, Aqua Tail, Poison Jab, Dragon Tail, Endeavor, Dragon Dance, Rock Slide, Swords Dance, Outrage, Hone Claws, etc)

The key to Haxorus's niche and where I've found it to be the most successful is access to a wide array of coverage moves for specific threats, access to a trifecta combination of Taunt, Earthquake, and the Mold Breaker ability. Neither Garchomp nor Dragonite has access to Taunt or Mold Breaker.

Taunt and Earthquake

Taunt means that prospective Will-O-Wisp users or hazard setters can't get a free switch without potentially risking shutting themselves down, and slower Pokemon such as Toxapex are completely shut down and then eliminated with Earthquake. Having Mold Breaker means that Taunt cannot be bounced back by Magic Bounce either. Base 97 Speed with Jolly is a wonky tier and it really wishes it was a bit higher, but for what it's trying to do it's completely usable (and it's also tied with Urshifu, who runs Adamant most of the time so you're likely always going to outspeed with a Jolly nature). Mold Breaker also means that Pokemon with Levitate such as Hydreigon, the Rotoms, and Latios don't get a free switch-in either on prospective Earthquakes. Pokemon such as Heatran, Regieleki, Excadrill, Nidoking, and many other threats cannot stand up to Earthquake (especially with prior chip).

252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 593-702 (153.6 - 181.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowking-Galar: 260-307 (65.9 - 77.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 278-328 (76.3 - 90.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus Earthquake vs. 244 HP / 0 Def Melmetal: 229-270 (48.5 - 57.2%) -- 91.8% chance to 2HKO
252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Nidoking: 385-455 (127 - 150.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO

First Impression

Now you may be thinking, First Impression? Really? There are several great traits about using this move that give it a very usable place on Haxorus's moveset. First (hah), I've found that in my testing that handling Grassy Glide Rillaboom is a serious issue for a lot of faster tech attackers, and First Impression is my solution to that as it has increased +2 priority over +1 Grassy Glide, and has a serious chance to one-shot Rillaboom from full health, and always one-shots it with even the slightest bit of chip damage (with an Adamant nature, it's always an OHKO).

252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus First Impression vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Rillaboom: 304-359 (89.1 - 105.2%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO

First Impression also gives Haxorus the ability to handle weakened late-game cleaners who have boosted their speed or are relying on a scarf to outspeed key threats.

252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus First Impression vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Latios: 338-398 (112.2 - 132.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus First Impression vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Hydreigon: 307-361 (94.4 - 111%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO
252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus First Impression vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Regieleki: 243-286 (80.7 - 95%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus First Impression vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Kartana: 110-131 (42.4 - 50.5%) -- 1.2% chance to 2HKO

Having access to the most powerful priority move in the game (not counting priority boosted by abilities or typing such as Yveltal's Dark Aura boosted STAB Sucker Punch) is a blessing, and it helps form the crux of this set in combination with Taunt's ability to shut down slower threats and the terror of Mold Breaker Earthquake.

Close Combat (and other options)

The last option really depends on your specific coverage needs. I personally recommend Close Combat as a reliable option to dispatch Urshifu-S and to hit Pokemon like Ferrothorn, Melmetal, Blissey, and Tyranitar for extremely high amounts of damage.

252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus Close Combat vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Urshifu: 372-439 (109 - 128.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Ferrothorn: 221-263 (62.7 - 74.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus Close Combat vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Kartana: 294-348 (113.5 - 134.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus Close Combat vs. 244 HP / 0 Def Melmetal: 276-325 (58.4 - 68.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Tyranitar: 686-811 (169.8 - 200.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Life Orb Mold Breaker Haxorus Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Blissey: 676-795 (94.6 - 111.3%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO

However, if Close Combat is not your speed you can always try one of Haxorus's many plentiful coverage or tech options. Poison Jab handles Fairies, Crunch has some situational use. Dragon Dance can be a safety net to clean opponents late game, the options are almost endless with the scythe dragon.

Give Haxorus a try! He may take a little work and requires a team to be suited for his specific strengths, but I promise you won't be disappointed.

(Sorry to everyone who is waiting for me to make a Lunatone analysis, I'm still trying to find a way where the niche I see for it isn't outclassed)
 
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Mars @ Leftovers
Ability: Speed Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Close Combat
- Protect
- Swords Dance

This Blaziken set beats the standard life orb FB/CC/Thunder Punch/Swords Dance set because it has the potential to actually sweep, come in multiple times per game, and eventually muscle through its checks opposed to killing one or two things before dying to chip + recoil like the standard set.

Generally I feel like Blaziken dies too early from Life Orb + Flare Blitz chip, which can be frustrating; Leftovers + Protect greatly helps offset this. Additionally, Protect also frees you from being revenge killed since there are plenty of threats that can easily outspend Blaziken at +1, so getting revenged is basically never an issue (besides priority, which Leftovers + Protect still helps with). With screens, I've found it rather manageable to even get up two Swords Dances sometimes. Protect and Leftovers really help you take the extra hit, survive one more flare blitz, and more reliably set up while still not at all being weak. While you may miss Life Orb in situations where you're +2 against a healthy Zapdos, Clef, etc., being able to set up a second Swords Dance all of a sudden becomes very doable with Leftovers and Protect. Withough Thunder Punch you might also find yourself getting frustrated being walled by more shit like Pelipper, Moltres, Slowbro, Tapu Fini, you can keep coming in and building a team to take advantage of this, while eventually being able to break through them with enough chip. Coming in multiple times isn't really possible with Life Orb, Rocks, and Flare Blitz recoil, but Leftovers and Protect give Blaziken the ability to come in a few times without dying to chip after like one kill. Another reason why Blaziken is a great user of Protect is that opponents take a huge risk trying to take advantage of a predicted Protect because of Swords Dance. While Thunder Punch + Life Orb is nice, I think Protect + Leftovers is the better set if you want Blaziken to actually sweep opposed to kill one or two pokemon before dying to chip. Sorry if my thoughts are a little jumbled, it's late but this really is a good set.

Replay
 
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Katy

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Mars @ Leftovers
Ability: Speed Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Close Combat
- Protect
- Swords Dance

This Blaziken set beats the standard life orb FB/CC/Thunder Punch/Swords Dance set because it has the potential to actually sweep, come in multiple times per game, and eventually muscle through its checks opposed to killing one or two things before dying to chip + recoil like the standard set.

Generally I feel like Blaziken dies too early from Life Orb + Flare Blitz chip, which can be frustrating; Leftovers + Protect greatly helps offset this. Additionally, Protect also frees you from being revenge killed since there are plenty of threats that can easily outspend Blaziken at +1, so getting revenged is basically never an issue (besides priority, which Leftovers + Protect still helps with). With screens, I've found it rather manageable to even get up two Swords Dances sometimes. Protect and Leftovers really help you take the extra hit, survive one more flare blitz, and more reliably set up while still not at all being weak. While you may miss Life Orb in situations where you're +2 against a healthy Zapdos, Clef, etc., being able to set up a second Swords Dance all of a sudden becomes very doable with Leftovers and Protect. Withough Thunder Punch you might also find yourself getting frustrated being walled by more shit like Pelipper, Moltres, Slowbro, Tapu Fini, you can keep coming in and building a team to take advantage of this, while eventually being able to break through them with enough chip. Coming in multiple times isn't really possible with Life Orb, Rocks, and Flare Blitz recoil, but Leftovers and Protect give Blaziken the ability to come in a few times without dying to chip after like one kill. Another reason why Blaziken is a great user of Protect is that opponents take a huge risk trying to take advantage of a predicted Protect because of Swords Dance. While Thunder Punch + Life Orb is nice, I think Protect + Leftovers is the better set if you want Blaziken to actually sweep opposed to kill one or two pokemon before dying to chip. Sorry if my thoughts are a little jumbled, it's late but this really is a good set.

Replay
Hey,

don't take it the wrong way, but this set faces a lot of problems: It can't bypass Pokemon, which are very big in the current metagame, Pokemon like Slowbro, Tapu Fini, Toxapex, Moltres, and Pelipper. I think it is a necesseity to have at least Thunder Punch instead of the Protect on this slot.

Tapu Fini just hardwalls this set and can retaliate with a strong Scald / Surf, whereas Toxapex can just Haze away the stat-boosts Blaze gained and can recover pretty freely, as it doesn't have to fear Thunder Punch or Earthquake at all, Slowbro can dish out a strong Scald or pressure it with Future Sight. Furthermore Slowbro can use Slack Off to stay healthy. Moltres and Pelipper can also wall this set, and can make use of Scorching Sands in the case of Moltres and Scald (occosionally Hurricane) in Pelippers case.

I feel this set, while being a fun set to try, is just getting walled by too many big Pokemon in the metagame and Thunder Punch at least is necessary on 1 of its slots to bypass these big Pokemon. Furthermore Leftovers might seems useful, but Blazikens fraility is - even with Leftovers in conjunction with Protect - still way too big to keep it really healthy in the long run.

Blaziken itself is in a weird metagame stage in general, as it faces too many walls even with Thunder Punch, Knock Off, Earthquake, or Stone Edge in its arsenal. The metagame is just not in Blazikens favor at all. I feel like to better utilize this set, i feel Thunder Punch is a necessity.

This is NOT meant to be a negative criticizm, just as a slight help, so Blaziken finds itself in a place where it can pressure at least the aforementioned defensive threats.

But in overall this set looks fun to use.
 
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Hi I wanted to share some cool sets that I've been running recently with success.

These are not really any new innovations, as they've been used in past gens before, but I feel like they have their place in the current meta and I just wanted to share.

:xy/hydreigon:
Hydreigon @ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 12 Atk / 244 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Dark Pulse / Draco Meteor
- Earth Power
- Roost
- Superpower

Although I don't think Hydreigon's best set is Life Orb 3 attacks, it's still viable and hits really hard. It's also a good surprise factor. In this set, using Superpower instead of a second STAB move like Draco, or even a coverage move like Flash Cannon, Hydreigon is able lure out and 2HKO Blissey. With how common Blissey is, I think this is worth, especially if you have teammates that hate Blissey. It also has the plus of hitting Urshifu and opposing Hydreigons the hardest bar Draco Meteor.

12 Atk Life Orb Hydreigon Superpower vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Blissey: 429-507 (60 - 71%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
-1 12 Atk Life Orb Hydreigon Superpower vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Blissey: 286-338 (40 - 47.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

:xy/nidoking:
Nidoking (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs: 36 Atk / 220 SpA / 252 Spe
Mild Nature
- Sludge Wave
- Earth Power
- Flamethrower
- Superpower

Although I really enjoy having Stealth Rock or Toxic Spikes as my last move on Nidoking, Superpower is a nice alternative from time to time that can lure and, also, 2HKO Blissey. Yes, you can run Taunt on Nidoking and slowly chip down Blissey, but that process is extremely delicate and is hard to pull off. Superpower doesn't have as much usage as Taunt, but if your objective is to eliminate Blissey from the game, it does the job way better.

36 Atk Life Orb Nidoking Superpower vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Blissey: 429-507 (60 - 71%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
-1 36 Atk Life Orb Nidoking Superpower vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Blissey: 286-338 (40 - 47.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

These set aren't really anything new, as anyone who has played gen 6 or even gen 7 UU has seen them before. They can be extremely effective in the current meta in luring out Blissey. It's not even hard at all, because you don't have to Superpower on the switch, as most Blissey will not Soft-Boil immediately.

I'm not a really much of saving replays, but here's a cool one if you want to see it in action. https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1244380036-evt69gb228361gb1ygcmb144ndx1hvxpw
 
I’ll vouch for Superpower on Nidoking for sure. I’ve hit it on just as many Tyranitars as I have Blisseys, simply because what seems like an opportunity to set up sand and absorb a sludge wave as a midground is anything but. The normal worse case scenario for a play like that is taking an Earth Power - SpDef Ttar can live Fleurs Cannons and some Focus Blasts/Aura Spheres, this normally wouldn’t phase someone - and instead they lose the mon entirely.

Sacrificing a 4th slot to eat a hard counter that probably walked 1 or 2 other mons on your team is certainly worth it. Skewda runs psychic fangs, right?

I do have to address that its the kind of tech you pick up to address a weakness, though. Superpower on King literally just hits those two mons, you might click it on a Hydreigon someday. You run this specifically because Blissey frustrates your team’s structure and you’re not looking to change a mon to handle that.
 


Solrock and Lunatone

I promised this post to all of you about making Lunatone work in OU, and I'm finally delivering. After endless testing and some much-appreciated help and testing from musiquepkmn we have discovered not only a usable niche in OU for one of the coolest Pokemon ever (Lunatone), but for his counterpart Solrock. Now you're probably thinking "with stats like that, are you kidding me?" Both Solrock and Lunatone have a very usable niche on balance teams, while Lunatone has an additional offensive niche. This is going to take a lot of explaining, so let's not spend forever on an introduction paragraph. Time to jump right into analyzing some of the coolest and most forgotten Pokemon!

Disclaimer - Solrock and Lunatone fit onto VERY specific team archetypes, and are not easily splashable Pokemon. Your team needs to be specifically teched to make them work. If you can fulfill these requirements though, either of these wonderful Pokemon could have a fulfilling, unique place on your team and bring some neat variety and surprise factor to any match!

PS: musiquepkmn is a beautiful human being.


Lunatone: Role #1 - Balance

Lunatone @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 84 HP / 160 Def / 20 SpA / 160 SpD / 84 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Power Gem
- Earth Power
- Stealth Rock
- Protect
Role #1 Explanation:

Lunatone fulfills a unique role on balance teams, it is a Stealth Rock setter that can switch in and set up on Heatran, acts as a stop to Dragonite, along with being able to handle Pokemon such as Nidoking, Moltres, and Zapdos. Lunatone is able to condense taking care of those problematic Pokemon into one slot, which is crucial and necessary for these kinds of teams (in addition to being able to handle other Pokemon that have problems with STAB Rock-type attacks and immunity to Earthquake. Typical answers to Heatran, Dragonite, and Nidoking (such as Hydreigon, Blissey, and Zapdos) can only handle one of the three each, so having a Pokemon that can compress this into a single slot is extremely helpful. Lunatone has just the right combination of moves, stats, and ability to handle these threats.

Role #1 EV Allotment:

So let's explain the EV spread first, as these EVs are specifically teched for Lunatone's unique niche. 84 Speed is an important benchmark that allows Lunatone to reach key milestones including outspeeding 0 speed Heatran and 0 speed Mandibuzz. Outspeeding these specific Pokemon is crucial to not only gain an advantage and slap Rocks onto the field but to attack first as well. Putting in a small investment of 20 into Special Attack allows Lunatone to get off decently powerful attacks with a strong chance to 2HKO Heatran and numerous other Pokemon with minimal investment (assured 2HKO with minor chip).

20 SpA Lunatone Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 176+ SpD Heatran: 188-224 (48.7 - 58%) -- 50.8% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
20 SpA Lunatone Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Nidoking: 160-190 (52.8 - 62.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
20 SpA Lunatone Power Gem vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Zapdos: 186-218 (48.4 - 56.7%) -- 35.5% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
20 SpA Lunatone Power Gem vs. 208 HP / 0 SpD Moltres: 388-460 (104 - 123.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
20 SpA Lunatone Power Gem vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Dragonite: 168-200 (52 - 61.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (With Multiscale Broken)

The 160 EVs in Defense and Special Defense allow for Lunatone to survive essential hits from key threats, ensuring that combined with the Ground immunity provided by Levitate that it provides important defensive cover for your team.

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking Sludge Wave vs. 84 HP / 160+ SpD Lunatone: 86-101 (25.1 - 29.5%) -- guaranteed 5HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Dragonite Dragon Claw vs. 84 HP / 160 Def Lunatone: 153-181 (44.7 - 52.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Zapdos Discharge vs. 84 HP / 160+ SpD Lunatone: 111-132 (32.4 - 38.5%) -- 3.4% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 SpA Moltres Flamethrower vs. 84 HP / 160+ SpD Lunatone: 51-61 (14.9 - 17.8%) -- possible 9HKO after Leftovers recovery

Role #1 Team Support Options and Additional Set Options:

Lunatone appreciates partners who can heal off status (such as Toxic from Heatran or Mandibuzz) and thus clerics like Aromatherapy Clefable or Heal Bell Magearna are extremely appreciated. Having a spin blocker never hurts either, and can provide some coverage with STAB Ghost offense as well (Spectrier, anyone?) Offensive Tyranitar is a fantastic partner, as the Special Defense boost from Sandstorm and the additional chip damage/leftovers negation that it enables allows Lunatone to get even more done. Lunatone has some additional move options it can rely on such as Magic Coat, Toxic, reliable recovery with Moonlight, or even Nasty Plot. Usually, however, scouting with Protect tends to have far more potential for success.

Lunatone: Role #2 - Late Game Cleaner

Lunatone @ Power Herb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 56 SpD / 200 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Meteor Beam
- Rock Polish
- Earth Power
- Ice Beam​

Role #2 Explanation:

Lunatone's role as a late-game cleaner is to act as a Special based pseudo-Shift Gear with a fantastically strong STAB attack that boosts its Special Attack by +1 alongside Rock Polish and follow up with great coverage options in Ice Beam and Earth Power. Lunatone's bulk and setup opportunity is actually deceptively easy thanks to its typing and ability Levitate. While this set requires more support than the Balance set, the benefits of using it are immense. Not many Pokemon are prepared to handle a +1 Meteor Beam, Ice Beam, and Earth Power all on the same set.

Role #2 EV Allotment:

Lunatone's full investment into Special Attack alongside a Modest Nature is absolutely necessary to get critical OHKOs and 2HKOs, as without the Meteor Beam boost it's relatively lackluster. 56 Special Defense is specifically meant to allow Lunatone to always survive a Modest un-status'd Spectrier Hex from full health. (Please make sure you scout the Spectrier set beforehand). Spectrier will often switch in, and you can set up Rock Polish predicting the switch

252+ SpA Spectrier Hex (65 BP) vs. 0 HP / 56 SpD Lunatone: 270-320 (84.1 - 99.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Lunatone then can proceed to have a 50/50 chance to OHKO Spectrier in return with Meteor Beam, increasing its Special Attack by 1 in the process and preparing for a clean. With some chip, it's almost an assured OHKO.

+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Meteor Beam vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Spectrier: 313-369 (91.7 - 108.2%) -- 50% chance to OHKO

After a Meteor Beam boost, Lunatone being able to either OHKO or 2HKO some of the game's premier threats, especially with chip damage if you've worn down the team enough.

+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Toxapex: 192-226 (63.1 - 74.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Nidoking: 328-388 (108.2 - 128%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Latios: 240-284 (79.7 - 94.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Ice Beam vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-Therian: 628-740 (164.3 - 193.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Meteor Beam vs. 248 HP / 44 SpD Mandibuzz: 518-612 (122.4 - 144.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Ice Beam vs. 248 HP / 44 SpD Mandibuzz: 260-306 (61.4 - 72.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Earth Power vs. 244 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Melmetal: 248-292 (52.5 - 61.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Ice Beam vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Hippowdon: 340-402 (80.9 - 95.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

I could post calculations all day for this, but you get the picture. It sets up speed, sets up its Special Attack boost while firing off a powerful STAB attack, and proceeds to lay waste to weakened teams. Lunatone's speed is 452 at +2, allowing it to outspeed most of the metagame that isn't carrying a Scarf.

Role #2 Team Support Options and Additional Set Options:

Lunatone appreciates hazard and status support. Stealth Rocks and/or Spikes can turn many 2HKOs into OHKOs, as many are right at the damage threshold. Alternatively, Sticky Webs support fits like a glove and prevents certain problematic Scarfed Pokemon (or naturally bonkers speed tiers such as Regieleki or Beast Boosted Pheromosa) from outspeeding Lunatone at +2. Shuckle is a great partner that can set up both Stealth Rock and Sticky Webs while also spreading status. Cleaner Lunatone (like Balance Lunatone) fits right at home on Sand teams thanks to Tyranitar's Sand giving additional chip damage and Special Defense. With the 56 Special Defense investment and the Sand boost, Lunatone actually has a chance to survive a Modest Life Orb STAB Shadow Ball from Spectrier.

252+ SpA Life Orb Spectrier Shadow Ball vs. 0 HP / 56 SpD Lunatone in Sand: 289-343 (90 - 106.8%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO

Pokemon that can scout for and deal with Pokemon that have priority is absolutely crucial here, as Grassy Glide Rillaboom and other Pokemon can be a serious thorn in Lunatone's side.


Solrock: Role #1 - Balance

Solrock @ Leftovers
Careful Nature
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 172 HP / 252 SpD / 84 Spe
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Stealth Rock
- Protect​

Role #1 Explanation:

Solrock is a physical variant to Lunatone's balancing abilities that is more solid against certain threats while being a little shakier against others. The main draw of Solrock is its ability to handle Stored Power Draining Kiss Magearna (on the switch-in), have a consistent 2HKO against Heatran while having a different kind of defensive utility. Basically, an alternative that handles even more specific threats that works in the same way that you would want Lunatone to function (with some tradeoffs).

Role #1 EV Allotment:

Like with Lunatone, 84 Speed is an important benchmark that allows Solrock to reach key milestones including outspeeding 0 speed Heatran and 0 speed Mandibuzz. Having 172 HP and 252 Special Defense allows Solrock to take specific hits from otherwise troublesome Pokemon (and includes some great defensive synergy courtesy of its ability Levitate).

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking Sludge Wave vs. 172 HP / 252+ SpD Solrock: 94-109 (25.8 - 29.9%) -- 0.3% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252+ SpA Magearna Stored Power (120 BP) vs. 172 HP / 252+ SpD Solrock: 101-119 (27.7 - 32.6%) -- 82% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Zapdos Discharge vs. 172 HP / 252+ SpD Solrock: 120-142 (32.9 - 39%) -- 11.6% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252+ SpA Magearna Draining Kiss vs. 172 HP / 252+ SpD Solrock: 127-150 (34.8 - 41.2%) -- 73.3% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

In addition to this, Solrock hitting on the physical side allows it to get specific benchmarks that Lunatone cannot get.

0 Atk Solrock Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 264-312 (68.3 - 80.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 Atk Solrock Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 124-146 (34 - 40.1%) -- 35.5% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

Role #1 Team Support Options and Additional Support Options:

Everything that applies to Lunatone's Balance set can be applied here with the exception of movepool options. Tyranitar's sand makes for excellent additional support while having a cleric like Clefable can be an Arceus-send for increasing Solrock's longevity. Solrock also has access to reliable recovery in Morning Sun and Will-O-Wisp to cripple Physical attackers, but Protect's scouting abilities are still extremely useful.

Final Thoughts:
I'm going to continue testing these two Pokemon, along with some additional Pokemon that I will be making posts about later. I absolutely love the state of Crown Tundra's Overused, and the flexibility this meta provides in terms of team building and options is a breath of fresh air. I hope you all are able to make use of Solrock and Lunatone's unique talents for your teams!
 
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Solrock and Lunatone

I promised this post to all of you about making Lunatone work in OU, and I'm finally delivering. After endless testing and some much-appreciated help and testing from musiquepkmn we have discovered not only a usable niche in OU for one of the coolest Pokemon ever (Lunatone), but for his counterpart Solrock. Now you're probably thinking "with stats like that, are you kidding me?" Both Solrock and Lunatone have a very usable niche on balance teams, while Lunatone has an additional offensive niche. This is going to take a lot of explaining, so let's not spend forever on an introduction paragraph. Time to jump right into analyzing some of the coolest and most forgotten Pokemon!

Disclaimer - Solrock and Lunatone fit onto VERY specific team archetypes, and are not easily splashable Pokemon. Your team needs to be specifically teched to make them work. If you can fulfill these requirements though, either of these wonderful Pokemon could have a fulfilling, unique place on your team and bring some neat variety and surprise factor to any match!

PS: musiquepkmn is a beautiful human being.


Lunatone: Role #1 - Balance

Lunatone @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 84 HP / 160 Def / 20 SpA / 160 SpD / 84 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Power Gem
- Earth Power
- Stealth Rock
- Protect
Role #1 Explanation:

Lunatone fulfills a unique role on balance teams, it is a Stealth Rock setter that can switch in and set up on Heatran, acts as a stop to Dragonite, along with being able to handle Pokemon such as Nidoking, Moltres, and Zapdos. Lunatone is able to condense taking care of those problematic Pokemon into one slot, which is crucial and necessary for these kinds of teams (in addition to being able to handle other Pokemon that have problems with STAB Rock-type attacks and immunity to Earthquake. Typical answers to Heatran, Dragonite, and Nidoking (such as Hydreigon, Blissey, and Zapdos) can only handle one of the three each, so having a Pokemon that can compress this into a single slot is extremely helpful. Lunatone has just the right combination of moves, stats, and ability to handle these threats.

Role #1 EV Allotment:

So let's explain the EV spread first, as these EVs are specifically teched for Lunatone's unique niche. 84 Speed is an important benchmark that allows Lunatone to reach key milestones including outspeeding 0 speed Heatran and 0 speed Mandibuzz. Outspeeding these specific Pokemon is crucial to not only gain an advantage and slap Rocks onto the field but to attack first as well. Putting in a small investment of 20 into Special Attack allows Lunatone to get off decently powerful attacks with a strong chance to 2HKO Heatran and numerous other Pokemon with minimal investment (assured 2HKO with minor chip).

20 SpA Lunatone Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 176+ SpD Heatran: 188-224 (48.7 - 58%) -- 50.8% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
20 SpA Lunatone Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Nidoking: 160-190 (52.8 - 62.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
20 SpA Lunatone Power Gem vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Zapdos: 186-218 (48.4 - 56.7%) -- 35.5% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
20 SpA Lunatone Power Gem vs. 208 HP / 0 SpD Moltres: 388-460 (104 - 123.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
20 SpA Lunatone Power Gem vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Dragonite: 168-200 (52 - 61.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (With Multiscale Broken)

The 160 EVs in Defense and Special Defense allow for Lunatone to survive essential hits from key threats, ensuring that combined with the Ground immunity provided by Levitate that it provides important defensive cover for your team.

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking Sludge Wave vs. 84 HP / 160+ SpD Lunatone: 86-101 (25.1 - 29.5%) -- guaranteed 5HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Dragonite Dragon Claw vs. 84 HP / 160 Def Lunatone: 153-181 (44.7 - 52.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Zapdos Discharge vs. 84 HP / 160+ SpD Lunatone: 111-132 (32.4 - 38.5%) -- 3.4% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 SpA Moltres Flamethrower vs. 84 HP / 160+ SpD Lunatone: 51-61 (14.9 - 17.8%) -- possible 9HKO after Leftovers recovery

Role #1 Team Support Options and Additional Set Options:

Lunatone appreciates partners who can heal off status (such as Toxic from Heatran or Mandibuzz) and thus clerics like Aromatherapy Clefable or Heal Bell Magearna are extremely appreciated. Having a spin blocker never hurts either, and can provide some coverage with STAB Ghost offense as well (Spectrier, anyone?) Offensive Tyranitar is a fantastic partner, as the Special Defense boost from Sandstorm and the additional chip damage/leftovers negation that it enables allows Lunatone to get even more done. Lunatone has some additional move options it can rely on such as Magic Coat, Toxic, or even Nasty Plot. Usually, however, scouting with Protect tends to have far more potential for success.

Lunatone: Role #2 - Late Game Cleaner

Lunatone @ Power Herb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 56 SpD / 200 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Meteor Beam
- Rock Polish
- Earth Power
- Ice Beam​

Role #2 Explanation:

Lunatone's role as a late-game cleaner is to act as a Special based pseudo-Shift Gear with a fantastically strong STAB attack that boosts its Special Attack by +1 alongside Rock Polish and follow up with great coverage options in Ice Beam and Earth Power. Lunatone's bulk and setup opportunity is actually deceptively easy thanks to its typing and ability Levitate. While this set requires more support than the Balance set, the benefits of using it are immense. Not many Pokemon are prepared to handle a +1 Meteor Beam, Ice Beam, and Earth Power all on the same set.

Role #2 EV Allotment:

Lunatone's full investment into Special Attack alongside a Modest Nature is absolutely necessary to get critical OHKOs and 2HKOs, as without the Meteor Beam boost it's relatively lackluster. 56 Special Defense is specifically meant to allow Lunatone to always survive a Modest un-status'd Spectrier Hex from full health. (Please make sure you scout the Spectrier set beforehand). Spectrier will often switch in, and you can set up Rock Polish predicting the switch

252+ SpA Spectrier Hex (65 BP) vs. 0 HP / 56 SpD Lunatone: 270-320 (84.1 - 99.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Lunatone then can proceed to have a 50/50 chance to OHKO Spectrier in return with Meteor Beam, increasing its Special Attack by 1 in the process and preparing for a clean. With some chip, it's almost an assured OHKO.

+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Meteor Beam vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Spectrier: 313-369 (91.7 - 108.2%) -- 50% chance to OHKO

After a Meteor Beam boost, Lunatone being able to either OHKO or 2HKO some of the game's premier threats, especially with chip damage if you've worn down the team enough.

+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Toxapex: 192-226 (63.1 - 74.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Nidoking: 328-388 (108.2 - 128%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Latios: 240-284 (79.7 - 94.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Ice Beam vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-Therian: 628-740 (164.3 - 193.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Meteor Beam vs. 248 HP / 44 SpD Mandibuzz: 518-612 (122.4 - 144.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Ice Beam vs. 248 HP / 44 SpD Mandibuzz: 260-306 (61.4 - 72.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Earth Power vs. 244 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Melmetal: 248-292 (52.5 - 61.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Ice Beam vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Hippowdon: 340-402 (80.9 - 95.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

I could post calculations all day for this, but you get the picture. It sets up speed, sets up its Special Attack boost while firing off a powerful STAB attack, and proceeds to lay waste to weakened teams. Lunatone's speed is 452 at +2, allowing it to outspeed most of the metagame that isn't carrying a Scarf.

Role #2 Team Support Options and Additional Set Options:

Lunatone appreciates hazard and status support. Stealth Rocks and/or Spikes can turn many 2HKOs into OHKOs, as many are right at the damage threshold. Alternatively, Sticky Webs support fits like a glove and prevents certain problematic Scarfed Pokemon (or naturally bonkers speed tiers such as Regieleki or Beast Boosted Pheromosa) from outspeeding Lunatone at +2. Shuckle is a great partner that can set up both Stealth Rock and Sticky Webs while also spreading status. Cleaner Lunatone (like Balance Lunatone) fits right at home on Sand teams thanks to Tyranitar's Sand giving additional chip damage and Special Defense. With the 56 Special Defense investment and the Sand boost, Lunatone actually has a chance to survive a Modest Life Orb STAB Shadow Ball from Spectrier.

252+ SpA Life Orb Spectrier Shadow Ball vs. 0 HP / 56 SpD Lunatone in Sand: 289-343 (90 - 106.8%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO

Pokemon that can scout for and deal with Pokemon that have priority is absolutely crucial here, as Grassy Glide Rillaboom and other Pokemon can be a serious thorn in Lunatone's side.


Solrock: Role #1 - Balance

Solrock @ Leftovers
Careful Nature
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 172 HP / 252 SpD / 84 Spe
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Stealth Rock
- Protect​

Role #1 Explanation:

Solrock is a physical variant to Lunatone's balancing abilities that is more solid against certain threats while being a little shakier against others. The main draw of Solrock is its ability to handle Stored Power Draining Kiss Magearna (on the switch-in), have a consistent 2HKO against Heatran while having a different kind of defensive utility. Basically, an alternative that handles even more specific threats that works in the same way that you would want Lunatone to function (with some tradeoffs).

Role #1 EV Allotment:

Like with Lunatone, 84 Speed is an important benchmark that allows Solrock to reach key milestones including outspeeding 0 speed Heatran and 0 speed Mandibuzz. Having 172 HP and 252 Special Defense allows Solrock to take specific hits from otherwise troublesome Pokemon (and includes some great defensive synergy courtesy of its ability Levitate).

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking Sludge Wave vs. 172 HP / 252+ SpD Solrock: 94-109 (25.8 - 29.9%) -- 0.3% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252+ SpA Magearna Stored Power (120 BP) vs. 172 HP / 252+ SpD Solrock: 101-119 (27.7 - 32.6%) -- 82% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Zapdos Discharge vs. 172 HP / 252+ SpD Solrock: 120-142 (32.9 - 39%) -- 11.6% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252+ SpA Magearna Draining Kiss vs. 172 HP / 252+ SpD Solrock: 127-150 (34.8 - 41.2%) -- 73.3% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

In addition to this, Solrock hitting on the physical side allows it to get specific benchmarks that Lunatone cannot get.

0 Atk Solrock Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 264-312 (68.3 - 80.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 Atk Solrock Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 124-146 (34 - 40.1%) -- 35.5% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

Role #1 Team Support Options and Additional Support Options:

Everything that applies to Lunatone's Balance set can be applied here with the exception of movepool options. Tyranitar's sand makes for excellent additional support while having a cleric like Clefable can be an Arceus-send for increasing Solrock's longevity. Solrock also has access to reliable recovery in Morning Sun and Will-O-Wisp to cripple Physical attackers, but Protect's scouting abilities are still extremely useful.

Final Thoughts:
I'm going to continue testing these two Pokemon, along with some additional Pokemon that I will be making posts about later. I absolutely love the state of Crown Tundra's Overused, and the flexibility this meta provides in terms of team building and options is a breath of fresh air. I hope you all are able to make use of Solrock and Lunatone's unique talents for your teams!
First of all, good job on finding a niche for a really really niche mon. Great read. I liked how you put in the EVs on lunatone and it is one of the most optimized spread I've ever seen since advance. How long did it take to find a niche for this mon?
Second, what made you choose solrock and lunatone? Is it just a favorite mon of yours or just another mon in the chopping block of finding a niche mon a niche usage in OU?
Lastly, which team did you use that has a lunatone on it?
 


Solrock and Lunatone

I promised this post to all of you about making Lunatone work in OU, and I'm finally delivering. After endless testing and some much-appreciated help and testing from musiquepkmn we have discovered not only a usable niche in OU for one of the coolest Pokemon ever (Lunatone), but for his counterpart Solrock. Now you're probably thinking "with stats like that, are you kidding me?" Both Solrock and Lunatone have a very usable niche on balance teams, while Lunatone has an additional offensive niche. This is going to take a lot of explaining, so let's not spend forever on an introduction paragraph. Time to jump right into analyzing some of the coolest and most forgotten Pokemon!

Disclaimer - Solrock and Lunatone fit onto VERY specific team archetypes, and are not easily splashable Pokemon. Your team needs to be specifically teched to make them work. If you can fulfill these requirements though, either of these wonderful Pokemon could have a fulfilling, unique place on your team and bring some neat variety and surprise factor to any match!

PS: musiquepkmn is a beautiful human being.


Lunatone: Role #1 - Balance

Lunatone @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 84 HP / 160 Def / 20 SpA / 160 SpD / 84 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Power Gem
- Earth Power
- Stealth Rock
- Protect
Role #1 Explanation:

Lunatone fulfills a unique role on balance teams, it is a Stealth Rock setter that can switch in and set up on Heatran, acts as a stop to Dragonite, along with being able to handle Pokemon such as Nidoking, Moltres, and Zapdos. Lunatone is able to condense taking care of those problematic Pokemon into one slot, which is crucial and necessary for these kinds of teams (in addition to being able to handle other Pokemon that have problems with STAB Rock-type attacks and immunity to Earthquake. Typical answers to Heatran, Dragonite, and Nidoking (such as Hydreigon, Blissey, and Zapdos) can only handle one of the three each, so having a Pokemon that can compress this into a single slot is extremely helpful. Lunatone has just the right combination of moves, stats, and ability to handle these threats.

Role #1 EV Allotment:

So let's explain the EV spread first, as these EVs are specifically teched for Lunatone's unique niche. 84 Speed is an important benchmark that allows Lunatone to reach key milestones including outspeeding 0 speed Heatran and 0 speed Mandibuzz. Outspeeding these specific Pokemon is crucial to not only gain an advantage and slap Rocks onto the field but to attack first as well. Putting in a small investment of 20 into Special Attack allows Lunatone to get off decently powerful attacks with a strong chance to 2HKO Heatran and numerous other Pokemon with minimal investment (assured 2HKO with minor chip).

20 SpA Lunatone Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 176+ SpD Heatran: 188-224 (48.7 - 58%) -- 50.8% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
20 SpA Lunatone Earth Power vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Nidoking: 160-190 (52.8 - 62.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
20 SpA Lunatone Power Gem vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Zapdos: 186-218 (48.4 - 56.7%) -- 35.5% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
20 SpA Lunatone Power Gem vs. 208 HP / 0 SpD Moltres: 388-460 (104 - 123.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
20 SpA Lunatone Power Gem vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Dragonite: 168-200 (52 - 61.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (With Multiscale Broken)

The 160 EVs in Defense and Special Defense allow for Lunatone to survive essential hits from key threats, ensuring that combined with the Ground immunity provided by Levitate that it provides important defensive cover for your team.

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking Sludge Wave vs. 84 HP / 160+ SpD Lunatone: 86-101 (25.1 - 29.5%) -- guaranteed 5HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Dragonite Dragon Claw vs. 84 HP / 160 Def Lunatone: 153-181 (44.7 - 52.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Zapdos Discharge vs. 84 HP / 160+ SpD Lunatone: 111-132 (32.4 - 38.5%) -- 3.4% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 SpA Moltres Flamethrower vs. 84 HP / 160+ SpD Lunatone: 51-61 (14.9 - 17.8%) -- possible 9HKO after Leftovers recovery

Role #1 Team Support Options and Additional Set Options:

Lunatone appreciates partners who can heal off status (such as Toxic from Heatran or Mandibuzz) and thus clerics like Aromatherapy Clefable or Heal Bell Magearna are extremely appreciated. Having a spin blocker never hurts either, and can provide some coverage with STAB Ghost offense as well (Spectrier, anyone?) Offensive Tyranitar is a fantastic partner, as the Special Defense boost from Sandstorm and the additional chip damage/leftovers negation that it enables allows Lunatone to get even more done. Lunatone has some additional move options it can rely on such as Magic Coat, Toxic, or even Nasty Plot. Usually, however, scouting with Protect tends to have far more potential for success.

Lunatone: Role #2 - Late Game Cleaner

Lunatone @ Power Herb
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 56 SpD / 200 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Meteor Beam
- Rock Polish
- Earth Power
- Ice Beam​

Role #2 Explanation:

Lunatone's role as a late-game cleaner is to act as a Special based pseudo-Shift Gear with a fantastically strong STAB attack that boosts its Special Attack by +1 alongside Rock Polish and follow up with great coverage options in Ice Beam and Earth Power. Lunatone's bulk and setup opportunity is actually deceptively easy thanks to its typing and ability Levitate. While this set requires more support than the Balance set, the benefits of using it are immense. Not many Pokemon are prepared to handle a +1 Meteor Beam, Ice Beam, and Earth Power all on the same set.

Role #2 EV Allotment:

Lunatone's full investment into Special Attack alongside a Modest Nature is absolutely necessary to get critical OHKOs and 2HKOs, as without the Meteor Beam boost it's relatively lackluster. 56 Special Defense is specifically meant to allow Lunatone to always survive a Modest un-status'd Spectrier Hex from full health. (Please make sure you scout the Spectrier set beforehand). Spectrier will often switch in, and you can set up Rock Polish predicting the switch

252+ SpA Spectrier Hex (65 BP) vs. 0 HP / 56 SpD Lunatone: 270-320 (84.1 - 99.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Lunatone then can proceed to have a 50/50 chance to OHKO Spectrier in return with Meteor Beam, increasing its Special Attack by 1 in the process and preparing for a clean. With some chip, it's almost an assured OHKO.

+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Meteor Beam vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Spectrier: 313-369 (91.7 - 108.2%) -- 50% chance to OHKO

After a Meteor Beam boost, Lunatone being able to either OHKO or 2HKO some of the game's premier threats, especially with chip damage if you've worn down the team enough.

+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Toxapex: 192-226 (63.1 - 74.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Nidoking: 328-388 (108.2 - 128%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Latios: 240-284 (79.7 - 94.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Ice Beam vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-Therian: 628-740 (164.3 - 193.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Meteor Beam vs. 248 HP / 44 SpD Mandibuzz: 518-612 (122.4 - 144.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Ice Beam vs. 248 HP / 44 SpD Mandibuzz: 260-306 (61.4 - 72.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Earth Power vs. 244 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Melmetal: 248-292 (52.5 - 61.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Lunatone Ice Beam vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Hippowdon: 340-402 (80.9 - 95.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

I could post calculations all day for this, but you get the picture. It sets up speed, sets up its Special Attack boost while firing off a powerful STAB attack, and proceeds to lay waste to weakened teams. Lunatone's speed is 452 at +2, allowing it to outspeed most of the metagame that isn't carrying a Scarf.

Role #2 Team Support Options and Additional Set Options:

Lunatone appreciates hazard and status support. Stealth Rocks and/or Spikes can turn many 2HKOs into OHKOs, as many are right at the damage threshold. Alternatively, Sticky Webs support fits like a glove and prevents certain problematic Scarfed Pokemon (or naturally bonkers speed tiers such as Regieleki or Beast Boosted Pheromosa) from outspeeding Lunatone at +2. Shuckle is a great partner that can set up both Stealth Rock and Sticky Webs while also spreading status. Cleaner Lunatone (like Balance Lunatone) fits right at home on Sand teams thanks to Tyranitar's Sand giving additional chip damage and Special Defense. With the 56 Special Defense investment and the Sand boost, Lunatone actually has a chance to survive a Modest Life Orb STAB Shadow Ball from Spectrier.

252+ SpA Life Orb Spectrier Shadow Ball vs. 0 HP / 56 SpD Lunatone in Sand: 289-343 (90 - 106.8%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO

Pokemon that can scout for and deal with Pokemon that have priority is absolutely crucial here, as Grassy Glide Rillaboom and other Pokemon can be a serious thorn in Lunatone's side.


Solrock: Role #1 - Balance

Solrock @ Leftovers
Careful Nature
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 172 HP / 252 SpD / 84 Spe
- Earthquake
- Rock Slide
- Stealth Rock
- Protect​

Role #1 Explanation:

Solrock is a physical variant to Lunatone's balancing abilities that is more solid against certain threats while being a little shakier against others. The main draw of Solrock is its ability to handle Stored Power Draining Kiss Magearna (on the switch-in), have a consistent 2HKO against Heatran while having a different kind of defensive utility. Basically, an alternative that handles even more specific threats that works in the same way that you would want Lunatone to function (with some tradeoffs).

Role #1 EV Allotment:

Like with Lunatone, 84 Speed is an important benchmark that allows Solrock to reach key milestones including outspeeding 0 speed Heatran and 0 speed Mandibuzz. Having 172 HP and 252 Special Defense allows Solrock to take specific hits from otherwise troublesome Pokemon (and includes some great defensive synergy courtesy of its ability Levitate).

252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking Sludge Wave vs. 172 HP / 252+ SpD Solrock: 94-109 (25.8 - 29.9%) -- 0.3% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252+ SpA Magearna Stored Power (120 BP) vs. 172 HP / 252+ SpD Solrock: 101-119 (27.7 - 32.6%) -- 82% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Zapdos Discharge vs. 172 HP / 252+ SpD Solrock: 120-142 (32.9 - 39%) -- 11.6% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252+ SpA Magearna Draining Kiss vs. 172 HP / 252+ SpD Solrock: 127-150 (34.8 - 41.2%) -- 73.3% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

In addition to this, Solrock hitting on the physical side allows it to get specific benchmarks that Lunatone cannot get.

0 Atk Solrock Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 264-312 (68.3 - 80.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 Atk Solrock Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 124-146 (34 - 40.1%) -- 35.5% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

Role #1 Team Support Options and Additional Support Options:

Everything that applies to Lunatone's Balance set can be applied here with the exception of movepool options. Tyranitar's sand makes for excellent additional support while having a cleric like Clefable can be an Arceus-send for increasing Solrock's longevity. Solrock also has access to reliable recovery in Morning Sun and Will-O-Wisp to cripple Physical attackers, but Protect's scouting abilities are still extremely useful.

Final Thoughts:
I'm going to continue testing these two Pokemon, along with some additional Pokemon that I will be making posts about later. I absolutely love the state of Crown Tundra's Overused, and the flexibility this meta provides in terms of team building and options is a breath of fresh air. I hope you all are able to make use of Solrock and Lunatone's unique talents for your teams!
Very good idea, I have been thinking too about using Lunatone as Nidoking and Heatran check. However, I have to ask why do you run Protect when they learn Morning Sun and Moonlight respectively?
 

Katy

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Galarian Forms in SS OU!

Galarian Forms
are actually a pretty interesting topic in the SS OU Metagame, as we have some Galarian Forms which are viable in the OU Tier -
from most viable to least viable, with that being sad, let us move to the discussion about these Pokemon:​

:slowking-galar: this Pokemon is a really interesting one, as it provides almost the same amount of utility which its kantonian counterpart offers, it has Future Sight to pressure fighting-types and also the bulky water-type in Toxapex. It can also make use of Psychic and has a great secondary stab in Slusdge Bomb. Flamethrower and Scald are great coverage-moves and therefore Galar-Slowking is able to pressure steel-types such as Ferrothorn, Corviknight, and Heatran. Galar-Slowking excells best as a specially defensive Pivot with either an Assault Vest or sometimes Black Sludge as recovery-option. Galar-Slowking is a great Pokemon in case the team is in need for a great specially defensive tool to put on the team, it can help against Pheromosa, Magearna, Clefable, Tapu Fini, and Tapu Koko. Its amazing ability Regenerator helps it to maintain healthy over the coruse of the game and I feel this Pokemon has a lot more potential in the future of the metagame. I think this Pokemon deserves more attention as it can really help versus a plethora of Pokemon in the tier due to its amazing typecombination in Psychic and Poison.

Slowking-Galar @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 176 SpA / 80 SpD
Calm Nature
- Future Sight
- Sludge Bomb
- Flamethrower
- Scald​

:zapdos-galar: this bird has an interesting typing in Flying and Fighting, and can act really well on Sticky Web-teams as it acts nice as a Defog deterend with a huge base attack of 125 and Defiant as ability, however it can't spam Close Combat as much as it wants to because it faces alot of issues with Spectrier, Dragapult, Clefable, Garchomp, Toxapex, Moltres, Zapdos, and Landorus-Therian in the tier, so it relies on its other move in Brave Bird to dish out damage, but it leaves it vulnerable because of the recoil-damage it'll take in the game. However I think it can still perform well as a Defog deterend on Sticky Web-teams as it'll give it a free Defiant-boost when the opponent tries to Defog.

Zapdos-Galar @ Choice Band
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Close Combat
- Brave Bird
- U-turn
- Stomping Tantrum / Thunderous Kick / Throat Chop

Zapdos-Galar @ Life Orb
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Bulk Up
- Close Combat
- Brave Bird
- Throat Chop​

:moltres-galar: this bird has the blessing Yveltal- and Mandibuzz-typing in Flying and Dark, it can act as a Spectrier-check and it can check other Ghost-types offensively with its great signature move in Fiery Wrath, the Ghost-types which have to fear it are Dragapult, and Aegislash. It can also check Zarude, Necrozma, and Slowking offensively. Moltres-Galar however has a big issue in one Pokemon especially, Magearna, Magearna resists both of its dual-stabs which means this Pokemon likes to have a partner which can help against it. Moltres-Galar can function well in Hyper Offensive-teams with Screens up, as Nasty Plot is a superb boosting-move which gives it more power with its amazing 100 Spatt stat and its amazing bulk of 90 / 90 / 125 and a decent speed-tier in 90. I feel this Pokemon really deserves more attention, as it is able to break through teams easily with its dual-dance-set or either a Nasty Plot + 3 Attack-set

Moltres-Galar @ Heavy-Duty Boots / @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Berserk
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Nasty Plot
- Fiery Wrath
- Hurricane
- Agility / Sucker Punch / U-turn​

:weezing-galar: G-Weezing saw a really good use in Pre-DLC2 as a formidable Urshifu-S check and it checkd Pokemon such as Hawlucha as well. This Pokemon is a really interesting case, as I feel it had brighter days in the past, but it can still work as a check to Urshifu-S and its cool typing in Fairy and Poison and its abilities in Neutralizing Gas helps it to make the opposing Pokemons abilities without any effect. It's great set contains Sludge Bomb, Will-o-Wisp, Pain Split and Toxic or Haze, but it can also run Strange Steam as its Fairy-type signature move or Aromatherapy to keep its teammates healthy and act like a great cleric.

Weezing-Galar @ Black Sludge
Ability: Neutralizing Gas
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
- Sludge Bomb
- Will-O-Wisp
- Pain Split
- Aromatherapy / Toxic / Haze​

:slowbro-galar: This Pokemon was initially hyped with its Quick Draw + Quick Claw combination and its set-up moves such as Nasty Plot and very very rarely Belly Drum. This Pokemon was very heavily discussed in lower tiers, however this Pokemon didn't have that much of an impact in the OU tier, like it had in the lower tiers. This Pokemon is very luck-based with its Quick Draw-ability and Quick Claw as its Item, but I think it does a better job as fringe sweeping-option for Trick Room-teams, as its low speed leaves it vulnerable to a plenty amount of Pokemon, and its typing isn't that great like the typing is from its kantonian counterpart. But it can still find its place on some Trick Room oriented structures and with as Nasty Plot-boost it is able to break past most Pokemon.

Slowbro-Galar @ Black Sludge
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 212 HP / 252 SpA / 44 Spe
Modest Nature
- Nasty Plot
- Psychic
- Sludge Bomb
- Flamethrower​

I thought Galarian Forms are a worthy Topic to dive into as these Pokemon are all pretty interesting, and some are worth to try out more in the metagame, such Pokemon would be Galarian-Slowking and Galarian-Moltres, whereas other Galarian Forms like Gapdos and Glowbro have more trouble in the current metagame due to too many great checks to the former and the latter is left with a niche-option on teams especially built around it.

How do you guys feel about the Galarian Forms in OU? Are there any other thought you guys would like to bring up around these Pokemon?
 
Tier Shifts come out today! What Pokemon do you guys think is gonna drop for OU, or rise to OU?


I'm thinking Buzzwole will drop. It cannot live a hit from any special move that is it's weakness, gets checked by many things in the tier, and haven't seen it in battles for a long time, 2-3 weeks to be honest.
 
This Pokemon was initially hyped with its Quick Draw + Quick Claw combination and its set-up moves such as Nasty Plot and very very rarely Belly Drum. This Pokemon was very heavily discussed in lower tiers, however this Pokemon didn't have that much of an impact in the OU tier, like it had in the lower tiers. This Pokemon is very luck-based with its Quick Draw-ability and Quick Claw as its Item, but I think it does a better job as fringe sweeping-option for Trick Room-teams, as its low speed leaves it vulnerable to a plenty amount of Pokemon, and its typing isn't that great like the typing is from its kantonian counterpart. But it can still find its place on some Trick Room oriented structures and with as Nasty Plot-boost it is able to break past most Pokemon.

Slowbro-Galar @ Black Sludge
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 212 HP / 252 SpA / 44 Spe
Modest Nature
- Nasty Plot
- Psychic
- Sludge Bomb
- Flamethrower​
I thought Galarian Forms are a worthy Topic to dive into as these Pokemon are all pretty interesting, and some are worth to try out more in the metagame, such Pokemon would be Galarian-Slowking and Galarian-Moltres, whereas other Galarian Forms like Gapdos and Glowbro have more trouble in the current metagame due to too many great checks to the former and the latter is left with a niche-option on teams especially built around it.
This Nasty Plot set seems completely outclassed in a vacuum by Slowking-Galar which is stronger and overall bulkier. The only thing Slowbro might have going for it is the surprise factor, but Slowking still retains it somewhat since it is usually a defensive pivot. Regardless, I do not see a compelling reason to use Regenerator Slowbro-Galar in this meta at all.
 
I really like Galarian Slowking. Max special defense with assault vest is the ultimate middle finger to any special attacking Pheromosa and when combined with regular Moltres, it forms a complete cockroach proof core. And it's design is also incredibly badass, I love it. Personally, I would go with surf over scald because really, the only thing you're gonna wanna use your water type move is Heatran, which doesn't care about burns so the faster it dies the better

Galarian Zapdos is an interesting mon. It's basically just Staraptor on steroids but has the same problem as raptor, just too many pokemon deal with it and when both your stabs get walled by one of the best defoggers in the tier and you have zero tools to deal with it other than brute force, it's in severe danger and I believe that you can't use two of the same pokemon even if they are of different forms so that already presents a different problem. If I use this thing, which I will if the damned Urshifu gets banned or neutered because it is absolute bullshit, I'm gonna go with a throwback subsalac reversal set with no brave bird because why not. At least Staraptor can double edge is way thru regular Zapdos. I'm gonna bet ten cents on this that Galarian Zapdos is gonna be a bl for life xD

On Galarian Moltres, it also faces the same problem as Galarian Zapdos, their regular forms just offer more utility. I think it's ability is kinda annoying since it requires it to be half hp I believe. Altho, now that I think about it, maybe a sub leftovers agility stabs set would work. I think that this is a must pair with an offensive ground type like Garchomp as it can deal with both Tyranitar and Magearna. This shouldn't be too much trouble considering how many pokemon get badly ripped apart by Garchomp

I'm not sure what to think about the last two. Galaran Weezing looks ugly so I'm probably never gonna use it and Galarian Slowbro suffers from the same problem as the other two Galarian Birds, the regular forms jut offers more, unlike Galarian Slowking
 
Tier Shifts come out today! What Pokemon do you guys think is gonna drop for OU, or rise to OU?


I'm thinking Buzzwole will drop. It cannot live a hit from any special move that is it's weakness, gets checked by many things in the tier, and haven't seen it in battles for a long time, 2-3 weeks to be honest.
I agree that following Zyg ban, it's become really clear that Buzz is a more niche pick as it is just such a momentum sink it's not worth using most of the time.

I also think Eleki and Dragonite will likely fall to UU, as Elekis issue is being able to fit only into HO as a screens lead. Dragonite is also hard to fit right now but I think Pheromosa ban could benefit it and give it a more defined role in the metagame.

Suicune and Kyurem are two Pokémon that have seen a lot of usage as a really underrated wincon in this meta. Kyurem especially is going to become big with both Specs and SubRoost sets once Phero is gone and I would be surprised if one or both does not rise in these next few tier shifts.
 
It sucks that buzzwole could possibly fall since being the best Urshifu counter in the game will always be very useful.But its issues with the metagame are really hard to overlook
 
Galarian Forms in SS OU!

Galarian Forms
are actually a pretty interesting topic in the SS OU Metagame, as we have some Galarian Forms which are viable in the OU Tier -
from most viable to least viable, with that being sad, let us move to the discussion about these Pokemon:​

:slowking-galar: this Pokemon is a really interesting one, as it provides almost the same amount of utility which its kantonian counterpart offers, it has Future Sight to pressure fighting-types and also the bulky water-type in Toxapex. It can also make use of Psychic and has a great secondary stab in Slusdge Bomb. Flamethrower and Scald are great coverage-moves and therefore Galar-Slowking is able to pressure steel-types such as Ferrothorn, Corviknight, and Heatran. Galar-Slowking excells best as a specially defensive Pivot with either an Assault Vest or sometimes Black Sludge as recovery-option. Galar-Slowking is a great Pokemon in case the team is in need for a great specially defensive tool to put on the team, it can help against Pheromosa, Magearna, Clefable, Tapu Fini, and Tapu Koko. Its amazing ability Regenerator helps it to maintain healthy over the coruse of the game and I feel this Pokemon has a lot more potential in the future of the metagame. I think this Pokemon deserves more attention as it can really help versus a plethora of Pokemon in the tier due to its amazing typecombination in Psychic and Poison.

Slowking-Galar @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 176 SpA / 80 SpD
Calm Nature
- Future Sight
- Sludge Bomb
- Flamethrower
- Scald​

:zapdos-galar: this bird has an interesting typing in Flying and Fighting, and can act really well on Sticky Web-teams as it acts nice as a Defog deterend with a huge base attack of 125 and Defiant as ability, however it can't spam Close Combat as much as it wants to because it faces alot of issues with Spectrier, Dragapult, Clefable, Garchomp, Toxapex, Moltres, Zapdos, and Landorus-Therian in the tier, so it relies on its other move in Brave Bird to dish out damage, but it leaves it vulnerable because of the recoil-damage it'll take in the game. However I think it can still perform well as a Defog deterend on Sticky Web-teams as it'll give it a free Defiant-boost when the opponent tries to Defog.

Zapdos-Galar @ Choice Band
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Close Combat
- Brave Bird
- U-turn
- Stomping Tantrum / Thunderous Kick / Throat Chop

Zapdos-Galar @ Life Orb
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Bulk Up
- Close Combat
- Brave Bird
- Throat Chop​

:moltres-galar: this bird has the blessing Yveltal- and Mandibuzz-typing in Flying and Dark, it can act as a Spectrier-check and it can check other Ghost-types offensively with its great signature move in Fiery Wrath, the Ghost-types which have to fear it are Dragapult, and Aegislash. It can also check Zarude, Necrozma, and Slowking offensively. Moltres-Galar however has a big issue in one Pokemon especially, Magearna, Magearna resists both of its dual-stabs which means this Pokemon likes to have a partner which can help against it. Moltres-Galar can function well in Hyper Offensive-teams with Screens up, as Nasty Plot is a superb boosting-move which gives it more power with its amazing 100 Spatt stat and its amazing bulk of 90 / 90 / 125 and a decent speed-tier in 90. I feel this Pokemon really deserves more attention, as it is able to break through teams easily with its dual-dance-set or either a Nasty Plot + 3 Attack-set

Moltres-Galar @ Heavy-Duty Boots / @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Berserk
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Nasty Plot
- Fiery Wrath
- Hurricane
- Agility / Sucker Punch / U-turn​

:weezing-galar: G-Weezing saw a really good use in Pre-DLC2 as a formidable Urshifu-S check and it checkd Pokemon such as Hawlucha as well. This Pokemon is a really interesting case, as I feel it had brighter days in the past, but it can still work as a check to Urshifu-S and its cool typing in Fairy and Poison and its abilities in Neutralizing Gas helps it to make the opposing Pokemons abilities without any effect. It's great set contains Sludge Bomb, Will-o-Wisp, Pain Split and Toxic or Haze, but it can also run Strange Steam as its Fairy-type signature move or Aromatherapy to keep its teammates healthy and act like a great cleric.

Weezing-Galar @ Black Sludge
Ability: Neutralizing Gas
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
- Sludge Bomb
- Will-O-Wisp
- Pain Split
- Aromatherapy / Toxic / Haze​

:slowbro-galar: This Pokemon was initially hyped with its Quick Draw + Quick Claw combination and its set-up moves such as Nasty Plot and very very rarely Belly Drum. This Pokemon was very heavily discussed in lower tiers, however this Pokemon didn't have that much of an impact in the OU tier, like it had in the lower tiers. This Pokemon is very luck-based with its Quick Draw-ability and Quick Claw as its Item, but I think it does a better job as fringe sweeping-option for Trick Room-teams, as its low speed leaves it vulnerable to a plenty amount of Pokemon, and its typing isn't that great like the typing is from its kantonian counterpart. But it can still find its place on some Trick Room oriented structures and with as Nasty Plot-boost it is able to break past most Pokemon.

Slowbro-Galar @ Black Sludge
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 212 HP / 252 SpA / 44 Spe
Modest Nature
- Nasty Plot
- Psychic
- Sludge Bomb
- Flamethrower​

I thought Galarian Forms are a worthy Topic to dive into as these Pokemon are all pretty interesting, and some are worth to try out more in the metagame, such Pokemon would be Galarian-Slowking and Galarian-Moltres, whereas other Galarian Forms like Gapdos and Glowbro have more trouble in the current metagame due to too many great checks to the former and the latter is left with a niche-option on teams especially built around it.

How do you guys feel about the Galarian Forms in OU? Are there any other thought you guys would like to bring up around these Pokemon?
OTR Gslowking good I’ve used Life Orb and I seen someone use with Black Sludge but AV has a lot more utility and lowkey its an A- mon. Some super effective hits strong ones too dont even clear half fully smh.

Relatively speaking as far as G-Zap goes I think Agility is better than Bulk Up. Bulk Up probably better for a defensive build but a lot of offensive teams dont handle it well once an Agility is up, seeing as a lot of the current priority is in the former of either Sucker Punch or Grassy Glide from Rillaboom. I cant really say too much about item choice as this is one of the few mons that would probably benefit from using Protective Pads for Rocky Helmet and Kanto birds.

GMoltres should probably be running HDB all the time considering its only going to do well on more offensive teams like screens and its ability is somewhat a bit iffy depending on matchup. I do like double dance though and outclassed is probably the wrong word in context to regular Moltres, considering ones defensive the others offensive.

GWeezing good Ursh counterplay but its also overlooked as something that can pretty much stop Garchomp in it tracks cause it needs both SD and Lum to actually ever break GWeezing, which requires for Stone Edge to even hit in the first place. Only really going to fit on defensive cores and builds, kind of neat but eh.

Quick Draw didnt trigger on GSlowbro for me 5/6 times and on the 6th time it missed a Focus Blast so probably not going to ever use this again in a serious manner lol. I used Life Orb Slack Off instead of Nasty Plot. A mon thats slower than Melmetal fishing for RNG already is kind of a reach but to somehow set up a Nasty Plot too? Idk man this seems kind of RUish to me.
 
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Very good idea, I have been thinking too about using Lunatone as Nidoking and Heatran check. However, I have to ask why do you run Protect when they learn Morning Sun and Moonlight respectively?
Wait I am a complete and total moron. This entire time I thought they didn't have recovery :psycry: It's not like protect does anything other than lefties recovery. I will definitely change that on my Solar System buddy teams.

smh

Edit: I'm about to start my final and i am still kicking myself over this help
 
Dunno why Buzzwole is being seen as unviable/having a minor niche in OU when it's most splashable defensive answer to nearly all Urshifu (barring Banded Zen/Aerial Ace, which aren't really things and mean Urshifu can't break other things) sets, and also handles things like Kartana.
I'm gonna guess because if the urshifu has a slowbro partner buzwole can't do the thing it's meant to do since it just goes down to FS, and it has a bro partner a LOT of the time
 
I'm gonna guess because if the urshifu has a slowbro partner buzwole can't do the thing it's meant to do since it just goes down to FS, and it has a bro partner a LOT of the time
that's entirely fair and important to account for, but Urshifu can muscle past pretty much everything with Future Sight up and the right move, and Urshifu will still be brought in without a Future Sight having been fired off in many instances

plus Buzzwole should run Toxic for this reason, since Slowbro isn't going to hit Buzzwole with anything outside of Scald on the same turn
 
Dunno why Buzzwole is being seen as unviable/having a minor niche in OU when it's most splashable defensive answer to nearly all Urshifu (barring Banded Zen/Aerial Ace, which aren't really things and mean Urshifu can't break other things) sets, and also handles things like Kartana.
Hey just wanted to clarify that I don't think Buzzwole is unviable or anything. Just here's a couple of the big issues I think it faces

:clefable::toxapex:
- vs balance, clef and pex get free switches on it all day to make progress via status/knock/hazards

:landorus-therian::garchomp:
- many things it could be used to check like lando and chomp are running toxic in many of their sets, and its very prone to being chipped down over time as it is often forced to switch in and roost

:kartana::rillaboom::hawlucha:
- re:kart, maybe it's just my experience but I've only seen kart on grassy spam teams with lucha and boomer rn and kart can run the SD LO set to bait and destroy buzz

:clefable::moltres::zapdos:
- I don't think the opportunity cost of using buzzwole as a physical wall over clefable (which checks similar threats while providing much more) or the birds like zapdos or moltres is worth it with how much those mons can blanket check

:slowbro:
- and the biggest one is futureport like glava said, the best partner of urshifu atm is bro

But yeah, I don't think buzz is bad, just its more of a B/B- mon imo and isn't that splashable when teambuilding. Still is the only urshifu counter besides clef (I've barely seen poison jab being run in practice tbh, mostly sucker for the third slot) which is a valuable role in some teams weak to it.
 

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