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

Finchinator

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OU & NU Leader
I would completely disagree with the "seemingly playable metagame state" bit. If you aren't running Heatran, Blissey or Glowking you're probably swept by mag right out of team preview. I would hardly call the current meta "seemingly playable," it's "barely playable" at best. Also, could you please tell us when the survey may be conducted? I recently got back into the game so I'm not sure how long after the suspect the survey is typically sent out.
I’m not about to go into a fully fledged argument about the difference between “seemingly” and “barely” but by playable I mean it’s not ideal, but you can clearly play competitive games and win consistently with a recognizable standard forming. I agree it’s not ideal and I think we may just not have construed the sentiments expressed the same exact way.

Regardless, I’d look for the survey sometime near the end of this week or early next week. And we will likely proceed sometime in the weeks following this depending on the results.
 

Red Raven

I COULD BE BANNED!
The meta right now is actually quite playable but Magearna is so restrictive. Unless you have Blissey, a protect user, a stat remover and a trick absorber, bunny bot is gonna screw you in one way of the other

I'm actually really salty that ghost horse was chosen to be suspected before bunny bot. Bunny bot literally has the exact same ability as ghost horse. Spectrier can feasibly beat its counters, Magearna straight up picks which pokemon its gonna lose to and it's incredibly frustrating. I can't even use any team except a sand team because that's the only one that reliably beats Magearna

Also, I think that the suspects last too long. I feel like two weeks is just a bit too long before the voting begins. Perhaps cutting the suspects from two weeks two about nine or ten days would be slightly better
 

Goodbye & Thanks

Thrown in a fire?
Also, anyone have some interesting, less-used defensive mons they've found to have a niche in this metagame? Wanna try to build around some.
I really like the defensive Dragonite set that Storm Zone used the past two weeks of SPL (week 3, week 4). I'm not exactly sure of what spread/spreads they used, but something as simple as this should work:


Dragonite @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Multiscale
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Relaxed Nature
- Earthquake
- Ice Beam
- Roost
- Heal Bell

Heavy-Duty Boots makes Dragonite far more reliable since it keeps Multiscale intact when Rocks are up, and Dragonite has always had respectable natural bulk (91 HP/95 Def/100 SpDef) and a good typing. A physically defensive set is about as consistent of a Cinderace check as you can get (although being poisoned by Gunk Shot can be a pain) and can also check other threatening attackers like Kartana, Rillaboom, Zeraora, Excadrill, Crawdaunt, and offensive Landorus-T (Stone Edge does 46.1 - 54.4% but only 23 - 27.2% if Multiscale is intact, while Ice Beam does 99 - 116.6% to OHKO back 87.5% of the time). However, Dragonite really doesn't like getting Knocked Off and it's prone to be while switching into many of those physical attackers, so I feel like it benefits a lot from solid Defog support from something like Corviknight, Zapdos, or Tornadus-T. I also don't think that Dragonite makes a very good Defogger itself for the same reason - it's too likely to get Knocked and has a hard time removing hazards itself while also keeping Multiscale active. Heal Bell is really nice right now anyway with how common it is for Ground types like Lando or Hippowdon to trade Toxics and how status from Static/Flame Body and things like Thunder Wave Clefable are also commonplace. Heal Bell helps Dragonite itself stay healthier as well, which is nice in case it does get statused by something like Cinderace's Gunk Shot. I feel like Earthquake and Ice Beam are all that Dragonite really needs for coverage to hit hard what it's meant to check, especially coming off of Dragonite's 134 base Attack and 100 base Special Attack stats; this makes Dragonite less passive and more immediately threatening than other defensive Pokemon, even without any attacking investment.
 
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Also, anyone have some interesting, less-used defensive mons they've found to have a niche in this metagame? Wanna try to build around some.
One mon I've been having fun with is Cryogonal.

:ss/cryogonal:
Cryogonal @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 28 SpA / 192 SpD / 36 Spe
Calm Nature
- Rapid Spin
- Freeze-Dry
- Knock Off
- Recover

This mon fits very nicely on one of my spikes stacking semi-stall teams. It has the rare rapid spin, which alone is something that should make you want to consider using it. It has a special defense stat comparable to Mantine, which means it's no slouch. Freeze-Dry + Knock Off is enough to annoy lots of common defensive cores like Bro + Galarking and cores with Heatrans or Landorus-T. It can often force uncomfortable switches from defensive teams, as if you don't value its boots and alongside spikes it really only has a few comfortable switch-ins in the tier (Clefable, Corviknight). It's pretty high speed also means it outspeeds things like Heatran, Magearna, and lots of walls like Tyranitar, Swampert, Pelipper, 0 speed Dragonite, Fini, and Mandibuzz. It forms a great core with Slowking-Galar, since with the above spread it handily walls even flamethrower variants of Nidoking, as well as serves as a check to Earth power Specs Kyurem, Specs/HDB Dragapult, and Hydreigon. The given spread makes sure that Cryogonal is never 2HKOed by Nidoking Flamethrower, while outspeeding defensive Landorus-T who look to outspeed Heatran, and the rest is dumped into special attack.

In general, it serves as a useful check to special attacking pokemon that can break through Slowking-Galar, while providing unique rapid spin utility (not to be understated for spikes-stacking teams), and while not letting up offensive pressure. Many common ice resists and specially bulky pokemon like Slowking-Galar, Blissey, Tyranitar, Heatran, Melmetal, Magearna, and Cinderace hate getting knocked, and there is a myriad of other OU pokemon that are weak to Freeze-dry and are forced to switch out. It's a lose-lose: either you get on of your above mons knocked and have their longevity cut severely or you spam recover with a freeze-dry weak mon and are forced to waste pp. It's one drawback is that it lets Corviknight in for free, but not only are many stall teams running Magnezone but this can be taken advantage of by something like a Cinderace or Slowking-Galar on your own team.

https://pokepast.es/991b2c66deff3cfe

Although this team may not be perfect, I think it show Cryogonal's strength very nicely. It has the core of Cryogonal + Slowking-Galar, which is effective, as well as stacking spikes. With its Knock off, it can clear opposing birds out of the way, which can wall Bisharp and Landorus-T. Letting in Corviknight is not as much of a problem either, since if they Defog and you call it, it's a free +2 with Bisharp, which is a KO after Freeze-dry. Bisharp also is a dark type, which can serve as an emergency ghost resist.

Edit: I just had a 100 turn game and I froze their Corviknight AND their Clef and they never thawed out throughout the entire match why is this pokemon so OP.
 
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Red Raven

I COULD BE BANNED!
Hey guys. I wanna share with you a little new toy that I've been playing with since this morning as I'm posting this an hour past midnight. It's a little something for sand teams


So, I'm sure we can all agree that right before the unholy horse, :Spectrier: got banned, sand was a play style that was safe against it thanks to King :Tyranitar:. His sand instantly reveals what set the horse was using as leftovers would show thanks to sand stream, meaning that the King's ever present disciple, :Excadrill: can out offense it, or scarf as no leftovers was gonna show, meaning that it won't even be able to touch King Tyranitar. After the unholy horse was banned, King Tyranitar is pretty much expected to drop off in usage and for good reason. It's complete and utter :Magearna: bait, the bait for the pokemon that got every single move in the game because it malfunctioned horribly

Since this is for sand teams, let's first put down a list of pokemon that irritates sand teams and by sand teams I mean both sand rush :Excadrill: and sand veil :Garchomp:. The first on this list is obviously :Corviknight: as it completely walls both drill and chomp. Not far behind is :Slowbro: which survives the two's +2 life orb earthquakes like nobody's business and of course, the dreaded :Landorus-Therian:, everybody's go to physical check. :Ferrothorn: because its spikes actually hurt Excadrill and is literally hell to switch into and finally, :Rillaboom: because grassy terrain is annoying

Here's the set that I've been toying with that completely destroys the first four, or at the very least, greatly maul them


:life orb::sm/Tyranitar::life orb:
Sand Stream
252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Lash out
- Fire Punch
- Stone Edge
- Dragon Dance

As you can see, this set completely destroys the above pokemon. Lash out becomes a complete death sentence for Landorus Therian if it dares come in and is only a hair weaker than crunch while also instantly killing Slowbro. Fire punch destroys Corviknight and Ferrothorn while seriously denting Magearna, even straight up killing it if bunny bot doesn't have hp investment while stone edge instantly kills any Zapdos that is hoping to wall Excadrill lacking rock slide

Naturally, this mon isn't gonna handle all sand threats on its own but rather, being a surprise threat. This does have major flaws as for one thing, adamant Tyranitar at +1 speed is literally a hair slower than Garchomp, meaning that the land shark is gonna be in issue and it straight up kills uninvested Godzilla. For another, every choice scarfer in the tier outspeeds it and lastly, stone edge never hits. However, given that this is freaking Tyranitar, it shouldn't be that uncommon to get +2 speed so that could in theory, remedy some of the issues. Regardless of that, this set is not meant to sweep as King Tyranitar has grown limp from being around for seven generations. It's meant to remove the biggest obstacles to clear a path for both Garchomp and Excadrill

As for why I played around with Tyranitar, well I love this mon. It has a very cool design and has a movepool as colorful as Rayquaza's. That was reason enough for me to use it. Other than that, I also wanted to have a pokemon that could both wall break and support Excadrill. Mix Dracozolt is a good set but it wasn't my cup of tea and I hate banded Tyranitar. Yes it hurts but thinking about what move to click hurts my brain more. So, I wanted to see if there was a way to replicate banded's power without thinking that much and it turned out, life orb dragon dance does that very well

For some random tips on this set, always pair it with Hippowdon. Never have this Tyranitar set do the sand setting on its own. You're gonna run out of sand turns of that does happen. Next, boost up against mons that are passive like Blissey or Mandibuzz or even Heatran. Lastly, always have a backup answer to Garchomp and Rillaboom. Those two outspeed this set even after a dance so you need to have an answer to the both of them, especially Rillaboom. Garchomp not so much as if you get two dances then you're gonna outspeed it
 
I really like the defensive Dragonite set that Storm Zone used the past two weeks of SPL (week 3, week 4). I'm not exactly sure of what spread/spreads they used, but something as simple as this should work:


Dragonite @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Multiscale
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Relaxed Nature
- Earthquake
- Ice Beam
- Roost
- Heal Bell

Heavy-Duty Boots makes Dragonite far more reliable since it keeps Multiscale intact when Rocks are up, and Dragonite has always had respectable natural bulk (91 HP/95 Def/100 SpDef) and a good typing. A physically defensive set is about as consistent of a Cinderace check as you can get (although being poisoned by Gunk Shot can be a pain) and can also check other threatening attackers like Kartana, Rillaboom, Zeraora, Excadrill, Crawdaunt, and offensive Landorus-T (Stone Edge does 46.1 - 54.4% but only 23 - 27.2% if Multiscale is intact, while Ice Beam does 99 - 116.6% to OHKO back 87.5% of the time). However, Dragonite really doesn't like getting Knocked Off and it's prone to be while switching into many of those physical attackers, so I feel like it benefits a lot from solid Defog support from something like Corviknight, Zapdos, or Tornadus-T. I also don't think that Dragonite makes a very good Defogger itself for the same reason - it's too likely to get Knocked and has a hard time removing hazards itself while also keeping Multiscale active. Heal Bell is really nice right now anyway with how common it is for Ground types like Lando or Hippowdon to trade Toxics and how status from Static/Flame Body and things like Thunder Wave Clefable are also commonplace. Heal Bell helps Dragonite itself stay healthier as well, which is nice in case it does get statused by something like Cinderace's Gunk Shot. I feel like Earthquake and Ice Beam are all that Dragonite really needs for coverage to hit hard what it's meant to check, especially coming off of Dragonite's 134 base Attack and 100 base Special Attack stats; this makes Dragonite less passive and more immediately threatening than other defensive Pokemon, even without any attacking investment.
I have been using a bulky Dragonite set similar to this one and agree that it has a solid place in the current metagame. Well-rounded bulk allows Dragonite's spread to be customized to check many threats, both physical and special. It has a plethora of coverage options to take advantage of its 134/100 offenses, meaning it is never too passive, and it even has a decent support movepool. You already touched on Heal Bell and Defog, but one could also make use of Haze, phasing with Dragon Tail/Roar, or spreading status via Thunder Wave and Toxic.

Multiscale makes it an excellent emergency check to many boosting threats, and Dnite can utilize either phasing or raw offensive power to take care of such foes.

252 SpA Life Orb Magearna Draining Kiss vs. 252 HP / 204+ SpD Dragonite: 159-190 (41.1 - 49.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO ---> note that Multiscale is not intact here, meaning that this SpDef Dragonite can always switch in and phase

0 Atk Dragonite Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 166-196 (55.1 - 65.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO, but watch out for policy

One other thing to note that I didn't see in your post is that with Earthquake + Heal Bell, Dragonite is by far the most consistent Heatran switch-in that I have found for bulkier teams. While I have been using a more specially defensive spread, Magma Storm does very little to any Dragonite variant due to its typing and bulk. These factors alone already make it a solid check, but with Roost and Heal Bell, it can completely shut down Heatran while keeping itself and its team healthy over the course of a match, even against the Toxic variants that put Garchomp, the Slowtwins and non-Rest Ttar on a timer. With some speed investment, you can outspeed bulky Taunt Heatran to ensure that Dragonite gets a Roost off before it can click Taunt. Alternatively, kill it in one hit with Earthquake:

0 Atk Dragonite Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 352-416 (91.1 - 107.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
 

Goodbye & Thanks

Thrown in a fire?
One other thing to note that I didn't see in your post is that with Earthquake + Heal Bell, Dragonite is by far the most consistent Heatran switch-in that I have found for bulkier teams. While I have been using a more specially defensive spread, Magma Storm does very little to any Dragonite variant due to its typing and bulk. These factors alone already make it a solid check, but with Roost and Heal Bell, it can completely shut down Heatran while keeping itself and its team healthy over the course of a match, even against the Toxic variants that put Garchomp, the Slowtwins and non-Rest Ttar on a timer. With some speed investment, you can outspeed bulky Taunt Heatran to ensure that Dragonite gets a Roost off before it can click Taunt. Alternatively, kill it in one hit with Earthquake:

0 Atk Dragonite Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 352-416 (91.1 - 107.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
Yeah Dragonite is a good answer to Heatran, but even if you're carrying Heal Bell on it, it still really doesn't like to take a Toxic. The problem with Dragonite taking a Toxic is that it receives poison damage on that turn and your opponent can switch out to something that threatens Dragonite on the next turn when you go for Heal Bell. This can be troublesome because you're forced to switch Dragonite out at less than full health, meaning that when you switch it back in, it won't have Multiscale active. Dragonite sometimes relies on Multiscale to safely switch into attacks and a lot of times it feels like your goal when using Dragonite is just to eat attacks and Roost back up to full, so that you can safely switch in against more attacks later. I feel like this reliance on being at full health to maximize its defensive capabilities is one of Dragonite's greatest limitations, along with being Rocks weak while also having a tendency to get Knocked (which obviously pairs badly with it needing to be at full health for Multiscale), and with how wanting to Roost back to full health can sometimes make Dragonite more of a momentum sink. It isn't like Dragonite absolutely needs Multiscale to be active for it to function as a solid defensive Pokemon, but it is one of its biggest selling points over other defensive Pokemon in the tier. So all in all, I agree with you that having Dragonite is nice against Heatran, but I also wanted to clarify for everyone that even with Heal Bell, Dragonite really doesn't like getting statused and shouldn't be viewed as anything like a status absorber, especially with Heal Bell only having 8 PP.
 
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There's been a lot of talk, either in terms of potential suspect tests or in a more general sense, about Magearna and Cinderace. They're both obviously very top-tier mons and the undisputed two best mons in the tier (though which is the best or the second-best is admittedly more up in the air), but I feel like there are some other mons that, though accepted to be great for some time now, deserve to be talked about now more than ever. They aren't broken, but they're all certainly excellent.


Landorus-Therian has been on a truly meteoric rise back to stardom as of recently. It continues to do the things Landorus-T has always been good at; that is to say, it can do basically anything you want it to do, but cannot do everything you would want it to do. It's a good Choice Scarfer in a tier devoid of good Choice Scarfers, it's an excellent pivot and Rocker, and it continues to find its way onto almost any team archetype due to the absurd amount of role compression it offers. And at the end of the day, it's still Landorus-T through-and-through: it's excellent at almost anything it does, but it's never overbearing and always honest. Magearna and Cinderace are both obviously the head honchos of OU, but I think Lando-T has solidified itself as the undisputed third-best mon in the OU tier.

I've thought extremely highly of Garchomp since the very beginning of the Crown Tundra/DLC2 meta--I even went so far as to put it in the S-ranks on my personal VR in a meta still occupied by the likes of Zygarde, Kyurem-B, Pheromosa, Urshifu-S, and Spectrier--but in a much more developed DLC2 OU metagame Chomp has truly taken off. Back then I thought very highly of Tank Chomp, and while I still think highly of it I firmly believe its Swords Dance+Scale Shot set is one of the most definitive OU threats. Yet despite being an absolute beast offensively with its nigh-untouchable dual STABs and great coverage alongside its ever-important 102 Speed, Chomp is never a slouch defensively either. It's still able to reliably set up Stealth Rock and it still offers teams with all the excellent qualities of a fast, hard-hitting Ground type that is mandatory on nearly any team. Physical attackers, and especially U-Turn/Flip Turn users, detest its existence thanks to Rough Skin.

Garchomp is considered to be arguably the fourth-best mon in the metagame, behind Magearna, Cinderace, and Landorus-T, but I think that it and Landorus-T have never been closer to equal than they are now. It's just as splashable and it's just as consistent as its Ground-type comrade-in-arms, but it succeeds in manners Landorus-T cannot, and vise-versa. These two completely and unconditionally define what it means to be a Ground-type in OverUsed currently; you will almost always be building a non-Stall team with one of these two in mind. You can often modify a team with Garchomp slightly and substitute Landorus-T for it, and you can often modify a team with Landorus-T slightly and substitute Garchomp for it. Garchomp and Landorus-T are the platinum standard for Ground-types; any Ground-type you would ever consider running in this meta must first differentiate itself from a member of this duo; all Ground-types that fail to stand out will remain in their shadow. Fortunately, though, there are some Ground-types that absolutely manage to stand out in a world where these two set the bar so incredibly high.

Galarian Slowking has been one of the most defining mons in OU for quite some time, and after the ban of one of the few special attackers that could reliably beat it 1v1 this thing is slated to become, in my opinion, one of the ten best OU mons. This thing is so absurdly good at what it does that I firmly believe it's singlehandedly keeping Magearna honest. It blanks almost every Special Attacker in the tier with its flagship Assault Vest set and is basically impossible to switch in against except with one's own Galarian Slowking, but I've been experimenting a great deal with the Nasty Plot set that recently came up in this thread and it is an absolute behemoth in its own right, leveraging the King's incredible typing and movepool to break past defensive threats it has no business breaking past. I often find myself just slapping either Assault Vest or Nasty Plot Galarian Slowking on a team and just making it automatically better; it's that good.

Going back to its Assault Vest set, usually walls are a bit more on the passive side; this couldn't be further from the truth for the King, though, as he has virtually no safe switchins. Nothing that can eat a Sludge Bomb appreciates either getting Poisoned or eating a hit from its bottomless movepool. It has Earthquake for both Heatran and the incredibly common Slowking mirror; it has Ice Beam for Chomp and Lando; it has Scald or Hydro Pump for most Grounds and most Fire-types; it has Icy Wind for additional utility; this thing has everything going for it and then some, and the only issue is deciding what that final moveslot is supposed to lure in and defeat; its STABs and Fire coverage do enough work on their own.

Hydreigon's defensive set--the set that saw the most prominence in the Spectrier meta--is now dead. But instead of its only niche being eliminated, the only reason why that set was mandatory has been eliminated instead, which gives the hydra the ability to once more spread its wings and run its absurdly dangerous offensive variants. Nasty Plot Hydreigon has almost no defensive counterplay once it gets going, as long as it packs the necessary coverage, and it has the longevity to ensure that it can come in multiple times a game and wreak havoc. Hydreigon's defensive utility still exists, but now it doesn't have to play exclusively towards its defensiveness. Hydreigon has a lot of potential to become a big part of the meta once again.

Yet another mon on a truly meteoric rise, Tornadus-Therian is extremely consistent as a pivot, as a Defogger, and as a breaker thanks to its newfound access to Nasty Plot. It is without question the best Defogger in the tier, and with moves like Knock Off and U-Turn in the support department and its powerful Hurricane and incredible coverage in Focus Blast and Heat Wave, Torn-T ensures that it can always threaten basically anything in the OU tier, so long as Hurricane and Focus Blast connect. Regenerator was expected to run the OU tier this gen, and with this thing, Slowbro, and Galarian Slowking becoming better than ever that reality suddenly doesn't seem so far-fetched.

Dragapult took a surprising nosedive in terms of both ladder usage and overall ranking on the VR, but started returning to the limelight come SPL (even when Spectrier was still around). Spectrier's existence did Dragapult few favors, though; while Dragapult has the Speed to outpace base 130s quite easily with a +Speed nature, it often had to forego significant power to do so in order to not become yet another Spectrier victim. Now that Spectrier is banned, Dragapult can keep doing all the things it's good at--pivoting, spreading status, wallbreaking, revenge killing, setting up for a sweep, and the like--without foregoing any of its power to do so since it can now afford to run a neutral nature. Whether or not Dragapult will once again become one of OU's absolute top threats remains to be seen, but the metagame's recent changes are certainly setting up for Dragapult to recapture at least a semblance of its former glory.

Kyurem is yet another rising star in the meta, and not too many people should be particularly surprised by this fact. There is absolutely nothing in OU that can safely switch in against an unscouted Kyurem, and more players are exploring its set diversity on the ladder nowadays. Of course, Specs is still the one set that instills fear in many; the chill that runs down an unprepared player's spine as he or she stares down a Specs Kyurem that comes in safely pales in comparison to the chill that will run through the defensive backbone of a team that, most of the time, isn't prepared to switch in on a Specs-boosted Ice Beam or Freeze-Dry. But Sub+Roost, Dragon Dance, and Sub+DD are still very threatening, and while Specs is often a candidate for OU's new best wallbreaker the threat of the unknown is often even bigger than the threat of Specs; it can very realistically muscle past its checks with a different set, and it's up to you--the player staring at it in Team Preview--to figure out how to figure it out and stop it first.

The post-Spectrier meta has a lot of potential to be very interesting, and I'm quite interested in seeing how these threats will perform both on the ladder and in tournament play going forward. What do you all make of them?
 
I am speaking on behalf of myself, not the entire council. I am open to any solution that we see fit upon getting community input. It would be unfair to rule anything out before consulting the active playerbase, in my opinion.

It absolutely would take an overwhelming amount of support to have a quickban in the middle of a seemingly playable metagame state, but there are absolutely Pokemon worth acting on and the level of support can determine the actions taken, the order of the actions, and so on. I personally prefer suspects, but perhaps briefer suspects so we can act faster and help reach a balance.
the "It absolutely would take an overwhelming amount of support to have a quickban in the middle of a seemingly playable metagame state" isn't an argument because there's been plenty of pokemon that are very quickban worthy in playable metagames, even in recent times being mosa in dlc2 as well. I think the idea of a meta having to be unplayable for any course of action to be taken swiftly doesn't make sense because for a pokemon to make a metagame unplayable, you have to be both broken as well as over centralizing. Because of the logic of a meta having to be unplayable and the cause for that to happen in the meta has to be THAT extreme, you get many cases such as spectrier who aren't downright broken but are over centralizing that through logic/reasoning along with the votes it clearly was quick bannable pokemon. Same thing goes for Dracovish but to a more extreme fashion. You can also say the same thing for pheromosa but the other way around, it was broken in gameplay as it had limited answers defensively and offensively and was hard to get rid of but wasn't overcentralizing, and through logic and reasoning and through the votes you can clearly tell it was a quick bannable pokemon, but because the extremes of what makes a pokemon quickbannable (being that it has to make the meta unlayable and thus it has to be over centralizing and down right broken EX:Zygarde,arena trap,and Kyub) are so difficult to achieve pokemon clearly too good for ou like the examples i've listed are now in a "months waiting line list" to be taken care of. I agree that it is fair that people get their say to vote for the metagame but the logic of "if its not unplayable deal with it until people vote" is just illogical because it doesn't take an unplayable metagame to have a pokemon that should be ubers, because if that WAS the case we wouldn't have banned spectrier because if it's "playable" enough to not get quick banned than why was it banned? I know what you said doesn't speak on the behalf of all council members or how it works, and this isn't to hate on you guys just giving my thoughts, but I think you should seriously relook this opinion and not put a blanket term that is too unrealistic for a pokemon to reach, for them to be deemed quick bannable.

EDIT: to further emphasis I am not complaining about how the tiering is done or that its too slow or anything I am just disagreeing with the opinion that having a pokemon to be quick ban worthy requires a unplayable meta.
 
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Finchinator

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OU & NU Leader
I'm fine with advocating for more liberal quickbans if this is reflected in the community responses to the upcoming tiering survey. Again: I firmly believe that the players who care about the tier should have a say in how the tiering process proceeds.

However, that is a two way street. My personal belief that taking the power away from the community is something that should only be done during more extreme cases is also justified by the above line of logic; this is why I am not fond of a lot of quickbans unless there is some community-wide consensus to back it (see: the Cinderace quickban in DLC1 after the first survey and the early DLC2 quickbans after the second survey). We have acted promptly and in the fashion deemed more desirable by the playerbase each time a survey has happened, so I do not see why there would be much fuss. Finaly, a lot of people claim suspects are formalities as a whole and that we should apply quickbans much more liberally, but during the last two generations, we have had suspects that resulted in no ban. Using the survey system we are allows us to get input to make the most informed decisions, which I feel is a huge step in the right direction.

Hope this clears things up -- I really just want the people who play and understand the tier to drive the progression of the tier.
 
I too strongly dislike Z-moves (in singles) for the reason you state, and still believe that Gen 7 OU (AND GEN 8) would have been much better if Z-moves were banned and then the tier was balanced accordingly. And I like the removal of Hidden Power for the reasons you talked about, but your post has definitely made me appreciate what the move brought to the table. Kudos.

Also, anyone have some interesting, less-used defensive mons they've found to have a niche in this metagame? Wanna try to build around some.
I feel like banning Z moves would be the correct competitive decision, but also so would banning critical hits, secondary effects (Flamethrower burn etc), and a bunch of other uncompetitive garbage. In general a line has to be drawn somewhere. We're playing Gamefreak's Pokemon with some additional fan rules, not Smogon's own turn based pvp slave rancher. Where that line is can often be gray. We banned Dynamax because it's a terrible competitive mechanic that made singles awful to play. Not just awful, borderline unplayable. But Z moves? Kind of lame to lose to one when you don't expect it but the same could be said of Hidden Power, crits, full para, etc. Imo Z moves made gen 7 my favorite comp gen.

Perhaps not on a "the best player wins" metric, but more on the "I can run Z Hyper Beam on Noctowl and OHKO a Heatran with it" levels of wacky over the top anything is viable bullshit that was gen 7. No one here plays Pokemon because it's a good competitive game because lol no it isn't. We all play because of a combination of nostalgia, competitiveness, and our own fondness for the franchise. Smogon does what it can to make things more fair but we still have to remember that we're playing Pokemon, and getting excessive with bans makes things a bit silly.

252+ SpA Tinted Lens Noctowl Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 258-304 (79.8 - 94.1%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

Bro don't take this from me.
 
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In a metagame where every team is running at least one Defogger and some even running an additional rapid spinner as well as so many teams running Heavy Duty Boots, Magic Guard and Regenerator, do you guys see some higher level players running Hazardless teams in the near future?
 
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In a metagame where every team is running at least one Defogger and some even running an additional rapid spinner as well as so many teams running Heavy Duty Boots, Magic Guard and Regenerator, do you guys see some higher level players running Hazardless teams in the near future?
Not particularly. People have been asking this question since the beginning of the generation when HDB first hit the scene, but even if there’s more counterplay to hazards now than there was several generations ago, the amount of reward you gain from a single hazard over the course of a long-term game is often too much to pass up. Additionally, not every Pokémon is gonna want to run HDB, and if you have any amount of vulnerability to hazards whatsoever, then you will always potentially find yourself in a situation where switching into a 3HKO could suddenly become a 2HKO, or a 2HKO against an emergency offensive check switch-in could suddenly OHKO. This is all not to mention the existence of Knock-Off making HDB Pokémon have to think carefully about when and where to switch in. Basically, no matter how you slice it, the reward from hazard pressure is often too high to forgo it entirely, it just often requires more thoughtful usage now and is slightly more matchup dependent.
 
In a metagame where every team is running at least one Defogger and some even running an additional rapid spinner as well as so many teams running Heavy Duty Boots, Magic Guard and Regenerator, do you guys see some higher level players running Hazardless teams in the near future?
I think it's a great question and I'm sure there has been some exploration of this idea. I do think that the prevalence of Knock Off can definitely go a long way in reestablishing the effectiveness of hazards in the metagame. I do think that a successful team without hazards, something that really hasn't been viable since Gen 3, would really need to take advantage of the team slots and/or moveslots opened up by dropping hazards. The thing is that it's so easy to fit SR on a moveset. Early Gen Spikers were incredibly limited and often forced a setter on your team that could be easily exploited. With the number of potential setters and the upsides of setting hazards I do think that the number of top tier teams without any hazards at all will be fairly small percentage wise, though I do think it's likely there will be many top tier matches where setting hazards won't be paramount to either team's strategy.
 
I'm fine with advocating for more liberal quickbans if this is reflected in the community responses to the upcoming tiering survey. Again: I firmly believe that the players who care about the tier should have a say in how the tiering process proceeds.

However, that is a two way street. My personal belief that taking the power away from the community is something that should only be done during more extreme cases is also justified by the above line of logic; this is why I am not fond of a lot of quickbans unless there is some community-wide consensus to back it (see: the Cinderace quickban in DLC1 after the first survey and the early DLC2 quickbans after the second survey). We have acted promptly and in the fashion deemed more desirable by the playerbase each time a survey has happened, so I do not see why there would be much fuss. Finaly, a lot of people claim suspects are formalities as a whole and that we should apply quickbans much more liberally, but during the last two generations, we have had suspects that resulted in no ban. Using the survey system we are allows us to get input to make the most informed decisions, which I feel is a huge step in the right direction.

Hope this clears things up -- I really just want the people who play and understand the tier to drive the progression of the tier.
I have just been skimming through this discussion and so forgive if I got some parts wrong but I will give my thoughts on this.

Firstly, I agree and appreciate your views on this that, yes suspects tests are better than quick bans just for that community participation. I remember that some people were indeed questioning the Lando I ban even if they were a few outliers. I feel most everyone can accept the results of a suspect test in good faith.

Secondly, I disagree that suspect tests are a waste of time. This is an indisputable fact that since the onset of the generation all suspect in OU have resulted in ban with overwhelming majorities. But we must not undervalue the importance of the suspect test discussions. There people are able to get there thoughts out for the final time against or for the mon and have a fruitful discussion. This again ties in to my first point of community participation and being able to accept majority vote. This hasn't happened yet but we can't write off the possibility of these discussions simply even effectively swaying the votes to change in less than obvious cases. I am not saying that this may ever happen but there is definitely a possibility.

Now, I will be the first to admit that Cind and Mag are more than likely going to be banned even if we hold suspect tests and I will also personally vote ban but that is whole point, being able to vote and contribute.

Lastly, that is definitely a valid concern for people that it takes way too long for these suspect test to wrap up. But instead of just completely removing the process, why not shorten it? Urshifu suspect test had started in the early 3rd week of December and went till end of 1st week of January. The Spectrier suspect started after 2nd week of Jan and went till 9th Feb. I don't think that the suspect needs to be 3 weeks long with such long gaps in between. For instance the next suspect could happen in 3-4 days after the previous one and the suspect could only be a week long. Obviously these are just random ideas and I don't know if they are feasible or not but if possible this seems like something that will make both sides happy with being able to vote but being relatively quick suspects.

This may seem contradictory but I do think that the survey at this point IS actually a mere formality. We don't need to take multiple votes, first to see whether a mon should be suspected or not and secondly the suspect itself. I definitely think the it does come in the scope of the council to hold suspect test om the basis of the popular community feedback from this thread particularly created to discuss the meta game. (This was considering that the survey is for suspect test. If they are for QBs, I already gave my thoughts on that).
 
Also, anyone have some interesting, less-used defensive mons they've found to have a niche in this metagame? Wanna try to build around some.
late to the party but I haven't particularly discovered it, I remember there being a bit of hype in the OU room about Salazzle / omnipresence on stall teams though

the GOAT (Salazzle) @ Leftovers / Heavy Duty Boots
Ability: Corrosion
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute
- Toxic
- Protect
- Flamethrower

OR 252 HP / 220 SpD / 36 Spe, tool around with more complex spreads is another option

corrosion is incredibly unique for a defensive mon allowing you to toxic a mon that is normally immune to it, the biggest if not only niche Salazzle has being so beneficial. You can spread toxic on Heatran and corv, etc. Eventually you can stall these out, encore can also be a more fun option to annoy setup sweepers. To be less vague having a partner with Salazzle (ground immunes, water resists and mons that appreciate toxic, wish support). the entire team will appreciate the status and thus will make progress allowing you to either make breathing room for a setup sweeper on stall or toxic the entire team in succession, eventually producing massive chip with entry hazards and statusing what you normally couldn't with corrosion.
 
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Also, anyone have some interesting, less-used defensive mons they've found to have a niche in this metagame? Wanna try to build around some.
A little late to the party as well, but I do have this.

81D5AC97-CC4D-453E-B0D6-CC7A3097A437.png

Scizor @ Leftovers/Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Technician
EVs: 248 HP / 68 Def / 192 SpD
Careful Nature
- Bullet Punch
- Knock Off
- Roost
- U-turn/Swords Dance

Scizor has established a bit of a niche in the metagame as a check/counter to Rilla, Kyurem, Tapu Lele, Reuni, and Specs Mag. As well as a soft-check to non-Dark Pulse Hydrei, especially since Flamethrower isn’t very common rn. It has some utility in Knock Off, Bullet Punch to pick off weakened mons, and U-Turn for obvious reasons. Swords Dance can be used over U-Turn as a bulky wincon when paired with Pex lures like Electro Ball Ace, but its too support reliant. It is an option tho. Scizor is still difficult to splash on teams due to its competition having more utility (Tran has rocks, Magma Storm trapping. Defensive Mag has Heal Bell and Twave. Ferro has Spikes + Iron Barbs. Corv has Defog + Pressure). However none of these can handle all of the stuff Scizor checks at once which makes Scizor worth being on Balance builds sometimes when we consider its 80% winrate with 5 uses all throughout SPL as of now.
 
In a metagame where every team is running at least one Defogger and some even running an additional rapid spinner as well as so many teams running Heavy Duty Boots, Magic Guard and Regenerator, do you guys see some higher level players running Hazardless teams in the near future?
I mean you could. Such a team would be extremely Hyper Offensive. Or if you just mean no Hazard setting on your team, it would be Pure Stall.
 
I feel like banning Z moves would be the correct competitive decision, but also so would banning critical hits, secondary effects (Flamethrower burn etc), and a bunch of other uncompetitive garbage. In general a line has to be drawn somewhere. We're playing Gamefreak's Pokemon with some additional fan rules, not Smogon's own turn based pvp slave rancher. Where that line is can often be gray. We banned Dynamax because it's a terrible competitive mechanic that made singles awful to play. Not just awful, borderline unplayable. But Z moves? Kind of lame to lose to one when you don't expect it but the same could be said of Hidden Power, crits, full para, etc. Imo Z moves made gen 7 my favorite comp gen.

Perhaps not on a "the best player wins" metric, but more on the "I can run Z Hyper Beam on Noctowl and OHKO a Heatran with it" levels of wacky over the top anything is viable bullshit that was gen 7. No one here plays Pokemon because it's a good competitive game because lol no it isn't. We all play because of a combination of nostalgia, competitiveness, and our own fondness for the franchise. Smogon does what it can to make things more fair but we still have to remember that we're playing Pokemon, and getting excessive with bans makes things a bit silly.

252+ SpA Tinted Lens Noctowl Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Heatran: 258-304 (79.8 - 94.1%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

Bro don't take this from me.
The reason why banning critical hits and other RNG mechanic has not happen yet is because it would require users on cart to modify their games (which is Japan is or will be illegal. idk the specifics of said laws or future laws), and also Smogon would be tasked with rebalancing the game (since having Fire Blast be 100% accurate with no downside would be OP), which tons of people would disagree on.

However, I think Stun Spore, Thunder Wave, Nuzzle, Glare, basically any move that has a near perfect or perfect chance of paralysis should be suspect at the very minimum (in the future), since such a status is effectively a permanent accuracy drop to Pokemon who are not immune to it. Same with Sand veil, Snow Cloak, and Bright Powder (which is literally just evasion).
I can understand why Body Slam, Iron Head, Air Slash, ect. are not considered (Body Slam especially with there being no Return/Frustrate. Flinching moves being that they eventually run out of PP or the user is too slow).

On Z moves, however, I actually liked them. Losing your item for a 1 time nuke on a specific Pokemon that could be KO’d is a lot more balanced than Dynamax. But neither are allowed in this meta for different reasons anyways, so it hardly matters.
 
What do you guys think of stall in this meta?

I've heard the opinion that stall is bad in this meta very often, but I honestly don't agree. It honestly feels kind of oppressive in the builder to me. Sure it's a big matchup fish, but it seems to have a LOT of favorable matchups. Even FS + Breaker can't reliably beat stall, most of them seem to be favoring Mandibuzz again to come in on things like Cinderace and absorb the FS. "Stallbreaker" Magearna isnt getting through unaware CM clef reliably, and some are even electing to run ditto to reverse sweep. Heatran gets massively annoyed by earthquake Galarian Slowking, Quagsire, defensive Dnite and Hydreigon, and the low Magma Storm PP also really punishes losing 50/50s against stall. I feel like if you don't specifically prep for stall, it's a massive uphill battle.

And when using stall, sure you can win a massive amount of games at matchup alone, but as soon as you run into another bulky team, it just feels helpless. What is even the wincon? Hazards can't do all that much conditioning vs other bulky teams, thanks to boots, regen and magic guard. If you choose to run a breaker and take a more semi stall route, you're overall much more frail against the breakers that matter to such a bulky playstyle, and even then, that breaker might just not be enough to get mileage against other fat teams, depending on the matchup.

On one hand, I think it's incredibly strong at having so many matchup advantages against the typical bulky offense and hyper offense seen on ladder, but it just feels like complete dead weight against other bulky teams. That matchup seems to always end in a draw unless one massively chokes somehow, and even then it's hard to force any progress
 
The reason why banning critical hits and other RNG mechanic has not happen yet is because it would require users on cart to modify their games
Uhh, what. Smogon OU as is in Showdown has been impossible to perfectly implement in almost any gen. Sleep and Freeze clause alone are impossible on cartridge. The timer is, as of gen 8, also impossible to recreate due to Gamefreak's insistence on mandatory 20 minutes. Dynamax is also impossible to disable on cartridge. We also pretend Showdown only displays info that the player has on the cart but that's generally not true as the average player can't count individual pixels to calculate exact HP percents. Endless battle clause is also impossible to implement on cartridge. Lastly some things that are technically possible, such as Wish Chansey or perfect Pokémon pre-gen 6 usually required hacking or RNG manipulation to do on the cart. Most Smogon clauses are hard coded into Showdown while on cartridge the best you can do is a gentleman's agreement. There's also glitches such as "acid rain" that weren't added to the simulators despite the fact that they can't be disabled in-game.

Tldr Smogon has long since accepted that it will bend what is possible for the good of the community and game. Smogon hasn't banned crits because it's fucking stupid, and if you want a turn based strategy game without crits there's probably 50 more competitively viable alternatives. However none of those Pokémon have Pikachu. So idk, we ban what we can but only as a last resort. We want a good metagame but it still has to actually be Pokémon.
 
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It's very possible. You just don't click the big button.
I can click that button and no amount of gentleman's agreement beforehand can prevent my finger from doing it. If you 6v6 me on the Switch with Smogon OU rules I'm gonna Dynamax my +1 Gyarados and there's nothing you can do about it.

While on Showdown cheating like that has been hard coded to not even be possible.
 

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