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

Even though I am a little bit salty about the Cinderace ban, I was watching a lot of Pokemon showdown Replays wherever is low ladder or high ladder and I'm seeing a lot of different mons. I see a lot of Rillaboom, I see Spiritomb picking up some popularity which I'm surprised but happy because it's one of my 10 ten favorite mons. Spiritomb surprisenly picked some ko, sucker punch Tapu Koko for a good 28% damage. Guzzlord almost 6ko a sun team lol, Espeon 6ko another team,. I'm not seeing too much stalls, I'm seeing some fake stall, Hyper Offense, and Bulky Hyper Offense. I keep seeing a lot of Iron Defense Corv for some reason and WP Latias being the new Mag lol. I accept the Cinderace quickban for now. I think the Meta is fine now and looks a lot of fun, you can basically use any Pokemon you want without having to worry tbh. Please no more bans like can we cool it please. Nothing seems too much, not even Rillaboom and Garchomp seems that overpowered even though they both very good. Thanks.
 

Martin

A monoid in the category of endofunctors
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Hello, one and all. As OU's resident Cong mod, I feel it is my duty to address one of the burning questions that absolutely nobody other than myself has asked about the metagame in the wake of the recent Magearna and Cinderace bans: how are sun teams affected?

Of course, this seems like a fairly cut-and-dry case at first glance. Cinderace was one of the best sun users in the game, and losing it is a really massive blow to the archetype's offensive capabilities. Nothing can really fill the hole that it left—there are no other attackers that share the combination of speed, power, and low commitment that made Cinderace such an outstanding pick for sun teams, and it means that they have a tough time punishing certain attackers, in particular those that are faster than Heatran, which increases the archetype's reliance on sunny weather to function properly.

However, I think there is still a lot to explore with this archetype, and I hope over time the few pioneers who try to make this increasingly-niche archetype work will find ways to make up for the loss of this behemoth. As with any change, the removal of Cinderace isn't purely a bad thing for sun teams: Cinderace singlehandedly invalidated certain variants of the archetype (more on that in a bit) while also causing issues versus others if Torkoal was weakened due to the archetype's lack of viable alternative responses to the combination of its speed and HJK+sun-boosted Pyro Ball. Sun teams tended to feel felt fairly samey wrt the build, with most being Torkoal+Heatran+Cinderace+Venu+filler while not really having viable options to take on certain key Pokémon if they opted for another structure, some of which are freed up with Cinderace's absence.

Here are some potential avenues that I think should be explored a little more over the coming weeks/months:
  • :ninetales: One of the main beneficiaries of the Cinderace ban, Ninetales builds always had the nagging issue of struggling versus Cinderace due to the lack of a free response in Torkoal, which it doesn't like being paired with due to Drought actually clashing with itself and reducing the opportunities Ninetales had to open teams up with NP-boosted Fire Blasts. Ninetales builds pre-ban certainly had options for dealing with Cinderace, usually carrying Moltres, Garchomp, or something similar to punish it long-term, but often it meant that they needed to default to semi-sun structures as opposed to a structure that benefited most of the team—think things like Ninetales+Venusaur+Cinderace+Helmet Garchomp+anti-Lucha+secondary speed control/anti-Dragapult. Of course, there are benefits to going down this route. Namely, the reduced reliance on sun means you have more freedom to run Heavy Duty Boots on Ninetales while using Venusaur primarily as speed control like you would with Excadrill on sandstorm teams. However, increased build variety is always a plus.
  • :blaziken: Blaziken is one of the interesting additions to the archetype this gen that ended up being kinda redundant due to Cinderace doing a chunk of its job without needing to wait a turn to outrun fastmons. Likely an interesting pick for Latias teams that can give it a second opportunity to sweep after it impales itself, as while a lot of teams have the resources to survive a full-on onslaught once, many of those will begin to struggle if they need to deal with it twice.
  • :darmanitan::victini: Probably the closest things we have to comparable attackers. These two can fill part of Cinderace's role with U-turn and both benefit from the added nuking capabilities provided by sun, but they have the drawback of either needing to carry choice to act as speed control or not being able to challenge anything faster. Still interesting picks.
  • :charizard::volcarona: These didn't actually face direct competition from Cinderace but dropped off a lot due to Tran+Cinder builds completely outclassing them on two-fire variations. I think more specially-oriented sun squads could be an interesting option in this format, and these two are notable as they appreciate Tran's ability to pressure stuff like the Slows, Toxapex, and Blissey.
  • :xatu: This saw reasonable amounts of use on sun teams in past gens and I've not really seen it much this gen; I doubt Cinder going will affect it much other than it being one less Pyro Ball target, but I'm gonna just put it here anyway bc I think it's under-explored.
Of course, there are likely a few other things worth considering that I might have missed, but at this stage I'm mostly just spitballing. The one I'm most interested in is Ninetales, which I haven't had a chance to mess around with much since the DLC0 meta (when it was low-key about as good as Torkoal IMO), but I've used Blaziken a bit with mixed success over the past day or two (it's always either extremely impressive or very underwhelming, granted I'm not sure how good a measure replacing Cinder on my 3 fire+2 grass+Latias build is lol).
 

Kyo

In Limbo
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There's a huge winner in this new metagame that hasn't been touched on yet but I think it's a real threat;

The absolute madlad Timid Kartana

4e8.jpg


Kartana @ Life Orb
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 19 Atk
- Leaf Blade
- Knock Off
- Sacred Sword
- Swords Dance

There were a lot of jokes about this mon last generation and admittedly, it was far from the best Kartana set. Hell, it even got featured in its own article about how inferior it is.
Screenshot 2021-02-25 150207.png


Things are a lot different in Gen 8, though. The overall power level of the metagame is lower than before and, most importantly, z moves aren't available for SD Kart so there is less of an opportunity cost when you forego the standard SD set. Cinderace and Mag being banned has rejuvenated the viability of this Kart for a couple reasons. Cinderace obviously was a frustrating offensive check to Kart and even if you managed to get the +1 speed buff, Ace could still pick off a weakened Kart with sucker punch. Magearna similarly frustrated Kart but by virtue of its typing. Even an attack invested Kart would fail to KO with +2 life orb sacred sword or faced a damage roll with smart strike. Timid Kart needed far more chip damage on Mag before it could attempt a sweep so having that mon removed from the tier entirely is great.

The metagame shifts as a result of Mag and Ace leaving are generally quite good for Timid Kart as well. Mandibuzz is expected to fall off in usage, in part due to Spectrier being gone and also because the phys def foul play set isn't needed for Cinderace anymore. Tank Garchomp should be quite rare in the tier now since SD life orb Chomp is so damn good and Ace was the main reason to use a bulky set. Toxapex similarly is free to experiment with other items aside from rocky helmet and Kartana appreciates that. Finally, Rillaboom is excellent and only getting better with the recent quickbans. Kartana of course is one of a small handful of sweepers that completely tools Rillaboom and takes advantage of grassy terrain coming from the opponent's or the user's side of the field.

Timid Kart needs some team support to function effectively and I think the two best supports are Magnezone and/or a screens setter. With Magnezone support, you can drop sacred sword for smart strike. This deals with a potential Mandibuzz/Tornadus-T better than any of Kart's other moves and, alongside leaf blade, ensures that no unaware mons will put a stop to your sweep. Screens support on the other hand takes full advantage of the extra bulk that Timid Kart gets from investing in HP and gives you far more setup opportunities whether that be getting an SD up or getting a KO leading to a speed buff. Here are some impressive calcs of Timid Kart behind screens:

252 SpA Tornadus-Therian Hurricane vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Kartana through Light Screen: 192-226 (59.8 - 70.4%)
252 SpA Tornadus-Therian Focus Blast vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Kartana through Light Screen: 280-330 (87.2 - 102.8%)
252+ Atk Choice Band Barraskewda Close Combat vs. 248 HP / 8 Def Kartana through Reflect: 163-192 (50.7 - 59.8%)
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Garchomp Earthquake vs. 248 HP / 8 Def Kartana through Reflect: 168-198 (52.3 - 61.6%)
252 SpA Choice Specs Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Kartana in Electric Terrain through Light Screen: 138-163 (42.9 - 50.7%)
252 SpA Choice Specs Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Kartana in Psychic Terrain through Light Screen: 172-202 (53.5 - 62.9%)
I think you get the idea. Screens are amazing and Timid Kart is just surprisingly fat.

It hurts just a little bit to take IVs out of attack when putting together a Kartana spread but Timid Kart is still far from a slouch when it comes to damage output. It's so naturally strong that very few mons in the tier can take a +2 life orb hit and I rarely find myself missing the pseudo-moxie boost that you lose out on when using Timid Kart. Here's a full list of all the mons in the OU tier that can survive a +2 life orb hit from the madlad:

Corviknight - Unfortunately stops Kart in its tracks. However, smart Kart + Magnezone deals with it handily. Skarm interaction is exactly the same.

Clefable - Fails to KO Kart in return unless it is packing fire coverage and moonblast deals an absolutely pathetic 40%. If you're using the smart strike set then Clef falls to a +2 hit and this notably lets you beat unaware Clef as well.

Mandibuzz - One of the most difficult mons for any Kart to deal with. With that said I don't think its usage will be very high in OU going forward. +2 smart strike is a 2hko but you're probably just getting knocked out by foul play before you can get the second hit off. If you have a reflect up, foul play only does 36-43% to a +2 Timid Kart so Mandibuzz is by no means a hard check here.

Lando-T - Included here because yes, it does take a hit from Kart. However, the matchup is quite bad for Lando. Scarf sets have a 60% chance to be OHKOd by +1 leaf blade while the defensive sets take 63-75% of unrecoverable damage. A +2 leaf blade guaranteed KOs bulky Lando after rocks while EQ in return only deals 36-43% making Lando a potential setup opportunity for the Kart user.

Toxapex - Specially defensive spreads take a massive 84-100% from +2 leaf blade while phys def has to rely on burning Kart with its first scald or it will get muscled through. Phys def helmet Pex spamming haze is still a pain in the ass.

Buzzwole - This mon is still listed in OU for some reason and it really shouldn't be lmao.

Dragonite - Multiscale allows Dnite to take the hit but doesn't do much else for it. +1 wingbeat deals 49-58% in return.

Kanto birds - Moltres and Zapdos are still great Kart answers. Although they are 2HKOd by +2 knock off, you're probably going to proc their ability leaving you with a useless Kart or just die to fire coverage. It should be noted that the offensive Zap used on rain teams has a 70% chance to die to +2 knock off. Nice.

And that's it. That's all the available defensive options in OU. Most of these checks can be mitigated in one way or another. Corv (or Skarm) and Clef fall to the smart Kart and Magnezone combo. Lando-T and Dragonite are poor "checks" to Kartana that are highly susceptible to chip damage and Buzzwole is nonexistent in the tier. That leaves Pex and the three birds as the best way of dealing with this Kart. A base 109 speed or greater choice scarf user can also revenge KO Timid Kart which is essentially only other Kartanas, Latios/Latias, or the rare scarf Dragapult. All of these mons fail to KO Timid Kart at 90% HP (Full minus one round of life orb) unless they have fire coverage or Lati's aura sphere. Weather abusers can revenge KO Timid Kart if screens are gone. If screens are up however, the most damage Kart will take is 70% from specs Kingdra's hurricane or life orb Seismitoad's earth power. Other attacks from weather abusers do far, far less and they all get KO'd in return.

Timid Kart is a criminally underrated pick in the current metagame. I don't know if it's because hardly anyone has considered it or if there's some lingering stigma from Gen 7. This mon does take a bit of finesse to use properly, but can snowball into a sweep in the blink of an eye. The surprise factor this set brings is huge too and often leads to opponent's blundering by sacking a weak mon to +2 Kart only to find out they were facing something far more sinister (I'm sorry really I couldn't resist). Either that or they bring in a key mon on their team for the revenge KO but Timid Kart tanks the hit and KOs back opening up opportunities for something else on your team.

Give Timid Kart a try, it's incredibly fun.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1288585418-1wvbc31zu6jyut3ez14dtndfdcaoc5qpw

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1288579988

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1288561921-8fp2adxlf5nvuc7nhjksv8cei3ss9dupw

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1289253611-dxcfrdjtj7cnnrwsla6qktmoq6oyh4tpw
 
There's a huge winner in this new metagame that hasn't been touched on yet but I think it's a real threat;

The absolute madlad Timid Kartana
I really like this post as I think that trying out new, or old, or outdated sets in a fresh meta is always worthwhile - you never really know if something is going to be genuinely decent or not until you give it a go. In furtherance of this, bringing back timid Kartana (Kart) is something that I am all for, and I think that Kyotoshi has done a good job at highlighting some of the strengths of the set.

However, there are a few points of contention that I will raise with this post regarding the general efficacy of timid Kart, so that we might draw a more accurate picture of its place in the metagame. In addition I will draw attention to another Kart set that I believe may have some room for experimentation at the end of my post.

Firstly, one of the main obstacles to timid Kart in the current meta is the presence of Tornadus-Therian (TornT). Indeed TornT is one of the most consistent Kart answers in the tier and while it lacks reliable recovery, access to regenerator means that all kart sets, barring the very powerful choice band variant, are rendered largely ineffectual for large portions of the early to mid game. I do not think I need to explain in detail the general game plan to remove TornT, but it should still be noted that, obviously, as with any Pokemon, TornT can be worn down and as such is not an absolute Kart cure-all.

One of the strengths of timid Kart is that after it gets a KO, it is very difficult (and oft impossible) to revenge kill. At a glance this might lend itself to the impression that timid Kart may be able to claim such a boost to out-speed TornT and subsequently threaten it. Kyotoshi above mentions:

With Magnezone support, you can drop sacred sword for smart strike. This deals with a potential Mandibuzz/Tornadus-T better than any of Kart's other moves
However smart strike does not allow the Kart user to break TornT as illustrated by the calculation below:

0- Atk Kartana Smart Strike vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Tornadus-Therian: 133-157 (44.4 - 52.5%) -- 18.4% chance to 2HKO

This is, of course, against an un-invested TornT; against a bulkier variant, Kart has no chance to secure a 2HKO. It should be noted here that TornT is often used as a players primary Kart check and as such, will be switched directly into Kart and thus denying Kart the opportunity to secure a kill for its beast boost activation. Even if Kart does get both a Sword Dance (SD) and beast boost under its belt, if TornT is the bulky variant then Kart is still limited as illustrated below:

+2 0- Atk Kartana Smart Strike vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Tornadus-Therian: 265-313 (73.2 - 86.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Here, even if Kart out-speeds TornT, there is still the 70% risk of a successful hurricane in response. Such odds are plainly not in Kart's favor.

I will round off this point by stating that timid Kart, if simply used in place of other Kart variants, fares the worst against the ever present TornT.

Secondly, I would like to note (in the nicest way - they are all great wins) that the first 3 replays listed by Kyotoshi do not demonstrably show timid Kart performing any better than a regular SD Kart would. The only pokemon of note in these first 3 replays that actually would out-speed regular SD Kartana is chessblitz's Weavile from game 1.
In addition, while a beast boosted timid Kart is going to avoid the speed tie with other Kartana such as regular SD & Choice Band, an opponent that has to use their own Kart and risk the speed tie to avoid losing the game to your Kart is already in a losing position. To expand, while out-speeding other Kart after obtaining beast-boosts (and thus already obtaining a KO) is certainly a boon, it is not what I would consider the main selling point of timid Kartana. You may evaluate this benefit more strongly however, as I can definitely see some players valuating this interaction higher than I do.

So Why Use Timid Kart?

While I think that Kyotoshi has encapsulated many of the key strengths of timid Kart and alluded to its fantastic speed tier
A base 109 speed or greater choice scarf user can also revenge KO Timid Kart which is essentially only other Kartanas, Latios/Latias, or the rare scarf Dragapult.
they actually did not explicitly mention its most obvious benefit over regular SD kart, so here it is in bold - once it gains beast-boosts, it is very difficult to revenge kill. This cannot be understated nor undersold. If timid Kart can get a single KO after a SD boost, then it out-speeds most of the metagame with an insane 522Spe. To illustrate, after obtaining a KO, timid Kart cannot be revenge killed by positive natured sand-rush Dracozolt under sandstorm!

Indeed, with sticky web support, in replay 4, timid Kart was able to out-speed Kindra under rain - if sticky webs is active, then Kart is able to out-speed Barraskeweda under rain also. Regular SD Kart is still unable to out-speed either of these Pokemon with sticky web support under rain.

This I believe effectively illustrates the niche that timid Kart has over regular SD Kart in the current meta; being able to more effectively close out a position against faster teams.

Kart Under Screens?

I honestly had not considered the benefits of timid Kart under screens, but seeing calculations such as this:

252 SpA Tornadus-Therian Hurricane vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Kartana through Light Screen: 192-226 (59.8 - 70.4%)

lead me to believe that there is indeed room to experiment. I won't comment further, as I have not played much screens offense in the current meta, but the fact that a single screen allows timid Kart to set up despite the presence of TornT is very telling that there is space to explore. I think Kyotoshi has done an excellent job at proffering this idea for us.

Lastly, I said that I had a Kart set to post myself. I will take no credit for this set as I did not create it and am only aware of it due to seeing it last generation - Adrenaline Orb Kartana

1614305478773.png

Kartana @ Adrenaline Orb
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword
- Knock Off
- Swords Dance

The idea behind this set is simple; you SD as they bring in and intimidate user (generally Landorus-Therian) and the Adrenaline Orb activates, leaving you with +1 Attack and +1 Speed.

It essentially cheats the beast boost requirement of the timid Kart set, trading the need to secure KO for a one time use with the added benefit of subsequent beast boosts going to attack rather than speed.

I do not think that this set is particularly optimal, but it does provide a surprise alternative to the more common Kart sets and is in a similar spirit to timid Kart. One thing to note is that despite the lack of Life Orb, it still hits harder than timid Kartana, so it does have that going for it.

Anyway, I think its time to close off this post. Thank you for reading and thank you to Kyotoshi for reviving some old ideas in a fresh manner.

TLDR:
- Timid Kart struggles with TornT more so than any other Kart set, unless behind light screen;
- Timid Kart has a real niche in the metagame over regular Kart as it is not as concerned about common means of speed control;
- Adrenaline Orb Kart
 

Finchinator

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OU Leader
Alternative: Do not reinvent the wheel. Use standard CB and LO Kartana as breakers rather than outright win conditions and do not compromise ridiculous amounts of power for the sake of highly circumstantial sweep openings.

There are a lot of creative ideas in the metagame right now with a lot of practical value and technically Timid Kartana fits into that category, but it is so much weaker and so much less consistent that the trade-off really is not worthwhile imo
 

Katy

Banned deucer.
Hello,

since Cinderace and Magearna are banned now and new development of the metagame is awaiting us, I would like to take that chance to talk about some Pokemon sets, which I do believe can definitely thrive in the future for having great potential. With that being said, let's dive into the first Pokemon / Set I think has great potential currently:

:aegislash:
Aegislash @ Choice Specs
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Shadow Ball
- Flash Cannon
- Steel Beam
- Shadow Sneak

I think this set can have potential, with a great spammable STAB combination in Shadow Ball and Flash Cannon this Pokemon is enabled with the Choice Specs-boost to tear holes into the opposition. Most Pokemon get hit neutrally by 1 of its two STABs and the most common Pokemon such as Heatran, Hydreigon, and Landorus-T can't come in on any given moment because they getting chipped rather easily. For any faster threat such as Dragapult Shadow Sneak can help, as it has priority and can KO a chipped Dragapult relatively easy. I feel there other great coverage to run over Steel Beam If you do not like the HP drop, coverage would include Close Combat for tearing through Hydreigon as it has a slightly higher damage output. I am really curious about how Aegislash will develop in the metagame, which is finally more in its favor again, and I am curious about other Sets which you guys think can work.

:Tapu lele:
Tapu Lele @ Choice Specs
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Psychic
- Moonblast
- Focus Blast
- Psyshock

Tapu Lele can work nicely as a Choice Specs-abuser again, as with Magearnas departure this Set became much better and there is not really much which is able to switch into its STABs or coverage option, Focus Blast etars through Heatran and Melmetal, whereas Psyshock hits Blissey for a huge damage output. This Pokemon pairs well with Volt-Turn cores to bring it in easily and safely.

:rillaboom:
Rillaboom @ Grassy Seed
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Grassy Glide
- Knock Off
- Acrobatics

This Pokemon became much much better with both Magearna and Cinderace leaving the OU-tier, but now great Checks towards it can rise up to glory such as Tangrowth so I feel Acrobatics with Swords Dance-boost can lure it in at the right moment. The direct consumation of its Grassy Seed due to its Grassy Terrain can give Acrobatics an immediate turn to work out: +2 252+ Atk Rillaboom Acrobatics (110 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Tangrowth: 316-372 (78.2 - 92%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery. This calc shows it can put a lot of pressure on one of its best checks in Tangrowth.

Hope you guys have fun trying these sets out and have a great day everyone!
 
On the subject of Aegislash, it can also function as good counter to some of the special attackers rising in the wake of the Ace/Mag ban, like Lele and Kyurem.
:ss/(Aegislash):
Aegislash @ Leftovers
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
- King's Shield
- Shadow Ball/Shadow Sneak
- Toxic
- Flash Cannon
Running a spdef set, Aegislash can hard counter all variants of Lele, resisting STAB and being immune to Focus Blast. It also does a good job of beating Sub Kyurem (Earth Power is a 4HKO without Specs) and Specs sets running Focus Blast over Earth Power. It also counters Alakazam, Latios and Torn-T, and can switch in reliably on Koko. It can also take a Shadow Ball from Specs Dragapult and OHKO back. King’s Shield is particularly potent after the ban of Urshifu-S, and can help Aegislash scout, stall out Toxic and Leftovers, and weaken physical attackers that make contact. Thanks to Stance Change, Aegislash can also hit far harder than most walls with Shadow Ball and Flash Cannon. Similarly to Heatran, it appreciates Rillaboom as a partner due to Grassy Terrain providing additional recovery and weakening EQ.
Aegislash is definitely a versatile mon that I think will benefit from the Cinderace ban in particular, and I’m looking forward to seeing it have greater impact in the new meta.
 
On the subject of Aegislash, it can also function as good counter to some of the special attackers rising in the wake of the Ace/Mag ban, like Lele and Kyurem.
:ss/(Aegislash):
Aegislash @ Leftovers
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
- King's Shield
- Shadow Ball/Shadow Sneak
- Toxic
- Flash Cannon
Running a spdef set, Aegislash can hard counter all variants of Lele, resisting STAB and being immune to Focus Blast. It also does a good job of beating Sub Kyurem (Earth Power is a 4HKO without Specs) and Specs sets running Focus Blast over Earth Power. It also counters Alakazam, Latios and Torn-T, and can switch in reliably on Koko. It can also take a Shadow Ball from Specs Dragapult and OHKO back. King’s Shield is particularly potent after the ban of Urshifu-S, and can help Aegislash scout, stall out Toxic and Leftovers, and weaken physical attackers that make contact. Thanks to Stance Change, Aegislash can also hit far harder than most walls with Shadow Ball and Flash Cannon. Similarly to Heatran, it appreciates Rillaboom as a partner due to Grassy Terrain providing additional recovery and weakening EQ.
Aegislash is definitely a versatile mon that I think will benefit from the Cinderace ban in particular, and I’m looking forward to seeing it have greater impact in the new meta.
If I were you I’d replace Flash Cannon with Close Combat. It ensures your not a sitting duck vs Blissey and OHKOs Ttar and Hydreigon after rocks. You don’t really need to hit Mandi as long as you can constantly cripple it with Toxic throughout a game. Flash Cannon doesn’t hit anything harder that Shadow Ball and CC doesn’t besides SpD Clef which is arguably a big thing in a meta infested with Kyurem and Pult. Love using this mon. Ghost types have been phenomenal this gen with the absence of Pursuit.
 
658Greninja said:
If I were you I’d replace Flash Cannon with Close Combat. It ensures your not a sitting duck vs Blissey and OHKOs Ttar and Hydreigon after rocks. You don’t really need to hit Mandi as long as you can constantly cripple it with Toxic throughout a game. Flash Cannon doesn’t hit anything harder that Shadow Ball and CC doesn’t besides SpD Clef which is arguably a big thing in a meta infested with Kyurem and Pult. Love using this mon. Ghost types have been phenomenal this gen with the absence of Pursuit.
I prefer Flash Cannon for the simple reason it doesn’t lower stats like CC, which can be an issue since then you get forced out by something Aegislash is supposed to check. If you run CC then Sub Kyurem can Pressure stall and beat you as well, which doesn’t happen with Flash Cannon. Ofc as you mentioned it hits Clef harder, and OHKOs the occasional A-Ninetales, whereas Blissey and T-tar have been dropping off recently since the Spectrier ban. I can definitely see the argument for CC though.
 
Since cind is banned, another main fire type is victini, do you think we will see a lot more of them with CB victini/ special boots. Victini can pivot and has a great stab in blue flare, isnt scared of protect heatran since schorching sands, psychic to hit pex, energy ball to hit bro and pert. I think victini will rise in popularity.
 
Just want to say so far this metagame feels very balanced and fair - I can even run experimental sets.

Rillaboom is a bit overrated - Grass is after all still a garbage offensive typing being resisted by fire, steel, flying, poison, grass, bug and dragon. That's 7 types. If I would have to choose a ""broken"" priority move, I would gladly take this one.
 

pulsar512b

ss ou fangirl
is a Pre-Contributor
Entirely unrelated to everything else but here's some Hawlucha speed stuff to ponder

The most common spread ran (for all the ladder usage stats, at least for January) has 252 evs invested in speed
However, an alternative spread that has some usage in the higher parts of the ladder has 124 speed evs, which is familiar to people that played gen 7 OU, as that was the standard then to outspeed excadrill in sand.
In addition, a spread with 168 speed evs has been used somewhat (hitting 314 speed before unburden and 628 after) to outspeed.. I don't even know what.

NEW SPREADS (all notes are after unburden):
Outspeed +1 Dragapult:176 speed
Outspeed +3 Blaziken: 196 speed
Outspeed +2 volcarona: 228 speed
Outspeed +2 Garchomp: 248 speed

Personally, I'd recommend the last, as Garchomp is a very threatening pokemon in the current meta. However, for teams with great ways to beat it you may want a bulkier spread.
 
I am having an amazing time using :Victini:. It has very little competition and it is very reliable in wall breaking. Here are the sets I've been using.

Choice Band

Victini @ Choice Band
Ability: Victory Star
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- V-create
- Bolt Strike
- U-turn
- Trick/Final Gambit​

The first 3 moves are obvious, V-Create is stab and it 2HKOs everything that is neutral to it. Bolt Strike nukes any non :Swampert: Water and U-Turn is for pivoting. The last choice is preferably Trick, as it allows you to cripple walls and Final Gambit can be used to sack Victini in games where it just isn't useful.

252 Atk Choice Band Victini V-create vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Slowking-Galar: 441-520 (111.9 - 131.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO

252 Atk Choice Band Victini V-create vs. 0 HP / 12 Def Landorus-Therian: 396-466 (124.1 - 146%) -- guaranteed OHKO

-1 252 Atk Choice Band Victini V-create vs. 0 HP / 12 Def Landorus-Therian: 262-310 (82.1 - 97.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Choice Band Victini V-create vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Clefable: 322-379 (81.7 - 96.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Choice Band Victini V-create vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Swampert: 199-235 (49.2 - 58.1%) -- 64.5% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Choice Band Victini V-create vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Garchomp: 191-225 (53.5 - 63%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Choice Band Victini V-create vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Hydreigon: 199-235 (61.2 - 72.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Choice Band Victini V-create vs. 248 HP / 60+ Def Mandibuzz: 303-357 (71.6 - 84.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Choice Band Victini V-create vs. 248 HP / 220 Def Zapdos: 331-391 (86.4 - 102%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO


As you can see, it heavily dents everything in the tier even with a resisted move just with V-Create.

Victini @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Victory Star
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- V-create
- Bolt Strike
- U-turn
- Final Gambit​

This is definitely the optimal set. It's a lot less powerful than the first set, but you can clean a lot easier and threaten a lot more.

Victini @ Choice Specs
Ability: Victory Star
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Expanding Force/Psychic
- Blue Flare
- Trick
- Focus Blast/Dazzling Glean/Glaciate/Energy Ball/Shadow Ball​

This is a very cool set that works on Psy spam teams and with Psychic, it works without :Tapu-Lele:. The first 2 moves are obvious, dealing reliable damage to everything. Trick allows you to cripple walls that you'd otherwise lose to.

The last move is very customizable. Focus Blast gets a neat accuracy boost and can 2HKO :Heatran: on the switch. Dazzling Gleam hits :dragapult: :garchomp: :hydreigon: :kyurem: :dragonite: and :tyranitar: . Glaciate allows you to beat :landorus-therian: and :Garchomp: switches, but makes you worse against Waters. Energy Ball hits other OU Grounds like :hippowdon: :Swampert: and other mons like :tyranitar: :gastrodon: :quagsire:. Shadow Ball hits :slowking: :slowbro: :slowking-galar: :tapu-lele:. I haven't tried Thunderbolt, but its only advantage is beating :tapu-fini:

Victini @ Life Orb/Heavy Duty Boots
Ability: Victory Star
EVs: 96 Atk / 160 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- V-create
- Bolt Strike
- Glaciate
- Energy Ball/Dazzling Gleam​

This is the Mixed set from XY, which works really well.

As you can see, Victini is really great and has a tonne of good sets.

It needs Defog support and a slow pivot like :slowbro: :blissey: :clefable:, but apart from that, it's really really viable
 

Red Raven

I COULD BE BANNED!
Since everyone is sharing the mons that they're having fun with, I might as well share mine



:sm/Alakazam:

Alakazam @ Focus Sash
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Psychic
- Nasty Plot
- Focus Blast
- Shadow Ball

I just watched BKC's building sand in bw video and I decided to add this mon to my sand team as a throw back to gen five. I didn't really see the need to use Lele anymore as Cinderace is gone so my Excadrill no longer has to contend with random sucker punches. I didn't put life orb on this set because it just dies to literally every physical attack in the game so sash. This also allows it to live something like Zeraora or Tornadus Therian knock off and kill them back or some cocky Rillaboom thinking it has a free glide, only for it to die and end up healing my Zam, allowing it to potentially get another kill. Timid may seem nice, by ou is literally filled with speedsters so I just went full power with modest

This mon was a perfect fit as it perfectly complemented the Ocelzolt set, which has trouble against specially defensive ground types, which this set completely destroys. Unlike Lele, this mon doesn't really have to rely on prediction because it isn't using specs. For its moveset, it's just what you would expect. Dazzling gleam is a choice over focus blast as not hitting Heatran is annoying but on the other hand, focus blast is one of the most annoying moves in the game. I've had a lot of fun with this mon especially since I'm spamming sand since it's very consistent. Sash Zam is also a very good check to random Blazikens or Aegislashes that pop up as blade Aegislash is fragile as fuck while Blaziken is never surviving any unresisted hit

And speaking of sand, what do you guys think about Garchomp in sand?

:sm/Garchomp:

Garchomp @ Leftovers
Ability: Sand Veil
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Substitute
- Scale Shot
- Earthquake
- Swords Dance


I think it's hilariously broken. It just boosts up to obscene levels and even abuses Rillaboom's own terrain to create more subs. "Oh gee I lost the battle because my +6 grassy glide missed and I turned into scale shot fodder". As if Garchomp wasn't already dangerous enough. It does require anti metal bird support but Ocelzolt can also easily support this mon in the same way it does Excadrill and so does Alakazam. Regardless, you guys think sand veil is a balanced ability?
 
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Victini @ Choice Specs
Ability: Victory Star
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Expanding Force/Psychic
- Blue Flare
- Trick
- Focus Blast/Dazzling Glean/Glaciate/Energy Ball/Shadow Ball

Victini @ Life Orb/Heavy Duty Boots
Ability: Victory Star
EVs: 96 Atk / 160 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- V-create
- Bolt Strike
- Glaciate
- Energy Ball/Dazzling Gleam​
On these sort of sets I would probably drop the 4th slot for Scorching Sands - it functions as a great way to lure in Heatran who would normally be eating up V-Creates and taking very little from anything else. Having a 4x effective move makes them think twice about sending it in, and being able to get burns on certain switchins is a nice bonus. With Swampert and Rotom-W taking what's still a solid amount from V-Create that's not easy for them to heal off, and defensive dragons being hit by Glaciate, I think that Scorching Sands has much more value than Energy Ball and Dazzling Gleam. This also would apply to the specs set, with it being a much more reliable Heatran smacker than Focus Blast (doing more damage and having higher accuracy).

It's worth noting that for boots, having a <80% chance to 2hko a standard SpDef Heatran with Protect after rocks requires max SpA investment - I'm not sure if that's exactly worth the weaker V-Creates.
 
Entirely unrelated to everything else but here's some Hawlucha speed stuff to ponder

The most common spread ran (for all the ladder usage stats, at least for January) has 252 evs invested in speed
However, an alternative spread that has some usage in the higher parts of the ladder has 124 speed evs, which is familiar to people that played gen 7 OU, as that was the standard then to outspeed excadrill in sand.
In addition, a spread with 168 speed evs has been used somewhat (hitting 314 speed before unburden and 628 after) to outspeed.. I don't even know what.

NEW SPREADS (all notes are after unburden):
Outspeed +1 Dragapult:176 speed
Outspeed +3 Blaziken: 196 speed
Outspeed +2 volcarona: 228 speed
Outspeed +2 Garchomp: 248 speed

Personally, I'd recommend the last, as Garchomp is a very threatening pokemon in the current meta. However, for teams with great ways to beat it you may want a bulkier spread.
I'm highly considering Jolly Nature for Hawlucha.

Jolly with 192 speed evs it hits 352 speed which allows it to outrun some very strong, fast threats in the current metagame and leaves you with 64 extra evs to work with.

Screenshot_20210228-161818.png
 
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AM

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I ran Jolly for awhile on Lucha because after that the wave of screens hyper offense and just offense in general it was pretty unreliable for it to get a sweep going and not being forced out by something on bulkier teams that can soak a hit. So in a lot of cases it would have to come in later which means it lost the Unburden boost and the Adamant nature means you miss all above benchmarks in pic above (some of these were less common than now but point remains).
 
I ran Jolly for awhile on Lucha because after that the wave of screens hyper offense and just offense in general it was pretty unreliable for it to get a sweep going and not being forced out by something on bulkier teams that can soak a hit. So in a lot of cases it would have to come in later which means it lost the Unburden boost and the Adamant nature means you miss all above benchmarks in pic above (some of these were less common than now but point remains).
This, also Slowbro being so common and everything running toxic which can put it on a timer. With the rise in popularity of Kyurem, I don't see how the 303 speed set is still getting much use
 
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pulsar512b

ss ou fangirl
is a Pre-Contributor
This, also Slowbro being so common and everything running toxic which can put it on a timer. With the rise in popularity of Kyurem, I don't see how the 303 speed set is still getting much use
Note that the usage stats I quoted were the January ones, so Kyurem hadn't really caught on then as much.

Jolly Hawlucha is certainly interesting, but its decrease in power may be fatal. In addition, typically when it tries to sweep, it'll have an unburden boost so the speed tiers for +2 Hawlucha are more important.
 

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