Metagame SS OU Metagame Discussion v2 [Usage Stats in post #581]

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TPP

Sincerely
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With dynamax being banned (details can be seen here), the OU metagame will experience some new development and the tier is under construction once more. For that reason, I have decided to post a new metagame discussion thread as a significant change in the tier has occurred. I'll start us off by asking some general questions that anyone is free to answer. These questions may work in the future for newer users as well, so feel free to take a look below. I will also try and keep the usage stats in this post whenever they are released.
1. What do you find strong in the current metagame? In other words, what mons do you believe have consistent success and high viability?
2. Are there any strong cores or trends you've noticed? Are there common mons paired together that work well, and if so, would you like to share your opinion on it?
3. How do you feel about each playstyle? Which ones are strongest, which ones are weakest, and why?
4. Have you come across any unique sets that you believe have potential in the metagame? This could be something that takes advantage of common metagame trends.
5. Are there any mons you find to be underrated or overlooked?

(Optional question for when usage stats are posted):
6. How do you feel about the usage stats? Do you have an idea as to why certain mons are high in usage and why others have decreased or increased usage?


https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/ss-ou-metagame-discussion-v2.3657920/post-8325204
1. What mons are the most impacted by Darmanitan leaving the tier in both positive and negative ways?
2. Bulky waters like Milotic and Jellicent were helpful with handling Darmanitan. How do you think they'll do now?
3. Are there any other mons that look problematic or very threatening to you? (Don't ask for a suspect)
4. What mons look to fill in the role that Darmanitan previously played as a wallbreaker?
5. Are there any new mons that can get some spotlight now that Darm is done outclassing them?


December Usage Stats
January Usage Stats
 
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TPP

Sincerely
is a Top Tutoris a Top Team Rateris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributor
RMT Leader
While we do not have a viability ranking thread yet, I will go ahead and list the most recent changes below and group them if they have similar roles:


Avalugg and Vaporeon

Avalugg and Vaporeon are able to provide the role of a physically defensive pivot/tank. Both of them are capable of switching into threats such as Darmanitan-Galar and Dracovish. Avalugg is able to provide Rapid Spin while also having reliable recovery in Recovery. Vaporeon on the other hand is able to provide a water immunity, which is greatly appreciated to handle Dracovish, and is able to provide Wish and Haze for its team.


Flareon, Sylveon, and Centiskorch

These 3 mons are able to act as specially defensive pivots/tanks. They are reliable when it comes to checking Fairy-type attackers such as Life Orb Clefable, and Hatterene. They can also handle Choice Specs Dragapult and Choice Specs Aegislash. Flareon and Sylveon both rely on Wish + Protect for recovery, while Centiskorch utilizes a Rest + Sleep Talk set. Flareon and Centiskorch rely on physical Fire-type moves to threaten Clefable, using Flare Blitz and Fire Lash respectively. Flare Blitz packs respectable power and Fire Lash has a 100% Defense drop rate to allow Centiskorch to avoid remaining passive. Centiskorch has further utility with Knock Off, which in this generation can be very nice as nothing is immune to Knock Off anymore. Sylveon relies on Mystical Fire to lower the special attack of opposing threats, and can also threaten Substitute users, such as Hydreigon, with Hyper Voice.


Umbreon

Umbreon is similar to Mandibuzz and uses a specially defensive set. It excels at checking non-Fairy special attackers, including Dragapult, Gengar, and Polteageist. Unlike Mandibuzz, Umbreon can heal teammates with Wish, and Synchronize can punish status users such as Toxic Seismitoad and Wisp Dragapult, as they would also get badly poisoned and burned respectively. However, Mandibuzz (which runs Heavy-Duty Boots), is immune to Spikes and hazards, while Umbreon is not. This means that Umbreon is capable of being worn down by hazards, especially while switching into a mon it checks. If enough entry hazards are up, then this will usually result in Umbreon needing to heal right away with Wish + Protect. Umbreon will typically use Wish + Protect + Foul Play + filler, with the filler option possibly being Taunt, Yawn, or Screech (goes through Substitute and allows Foul Play do deal more damage to targets like Hydreigon).


Xatu

Xatu is capable of blocking hazards thanks to its ability in Magic Bounce. It is also able to use Teleport to safely bring in teammates. Teleport now has -6 priority and switches you out, meaning that you will always be able to pull off a slow switch. Xatu also uses Rocky Helmet to punish U-turn users. Xatu was able to keep Roost this generation, and will usually carry 2 of the following in the remaining slots (in addition to Teleport and Roost): Heat Wave, Air Slash, Night Shade, Thunder Wave, and/or Grass Knot. Heat Wave allows it to hit Steel-types like Aegislash and Corviknight, the latter of which may be forced to Roost the following turn, allowing Xatu to safely use Teleport to bring in a teammate.


Rotom-Mow

Rotom-Mow has the unique niche of being an Electric-type that not cannot be checked by Ground-types. Seismitoad is very common and teams that rely on Seismitoad + Mandibuzz/Corviknight will need to hope that they have another Electric-resist that can help handle Rotom. Most of the time it will probably be a Dragon-type such as Dragapult or Kommo-o, or it may even be your own Rotom. Excadrill is the only Ground-type that doesn't immediately fear Rotom-Mow. However, Excadrill cannot KO Rotom back and is therefore not an ideal switchin. Excadrill with Mold Breaker and Earthquake will still pack a punch and deal significant damage, but it will only suffice if Rotom is in range of Earthquake.


Flygon

Flygon is a Choice Scarf user that outspeeds Darmanitan, and provides an Electric immunity that can outspeed Rotom. Flygon can force the opponent to switch into a mon that checks it, such as Corviknight or physically defensive mons like bulky waters, and use U-turn to safely bring in a wallbreaker to abuse the opponent's switch in. It also resists Stealth Rock and is immune to Spikes and Sticky Web, meaning that it's a fast pivot that can revenge kill without minding hazards. Flygon will run U-Turn + Earthquake + Dragon Claw + Rock Slide/Fire Punch. Rock Slide is able to hit Rotom-Heat, Fire Punch can hit Steel-types and Darmanitan, Dragon Claw hits Dragapult, and Earthquake hits Steel-types like Aegislash.
 

Yung Dramps

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First off, I cannot understate how amazing it is that we have an OU meta where Flareon is a viable pick. That's the kind of amazingly creative and surprising shit I hope we get to see more of this gen.

Anyways, some rapid fire thoughts:

Dugtrio and Aegislash are gonna get soooooo much better. Duggy now doesn't have to deal with its moves being effortlessly tanked on the fly while Aegislash gets to enjoy more consistent defensive use and not being scorned as a Dynamax user. Dugtrio/Arena Trap in particular is one of my personal biggest candidates for a suspect in the future. Post-nerfs Aegislash could be cool to have stick around, but IMO that banks on whether it gets Toxic back via Home or not, if so I could see it becoming a problem again later down the road.

While they have obviously lost a ton of power and utility with the Dynamax ban, I wouldn't count out Ditto or Gyarados quite yet. There's plenty of powerhouses like Darmanitan, NP Hydreigon, the Dracos and Excadrill that need revenge killing, and Ditto fits that role to a tee, even if it's no longer capable of absurd reverse sweeps. Meanwhile, Gyarados could potentially still be hella dangerous with Dragon Dance. Its big niche will still be Power Whip to smash Seismitoad and form a deadly coverage combo with Waterfall and Earthquake that only Ferrothorn can really take on.

Finally, please stop fear-mongering over stall becoming too powerful. It isn't happening, alright? Aside from the aforementioned examples, one great point I've seen someone raise is that in a post-Dynamax world dedicated breakers like Crawdaunt and Calm Mind Chandelure could become viable again with less volatility and a slower meta pace. I'm sure it'll be fine, and if it gets out of hand we can just suspect Duggy or something idk.

With this busted-ass mechanic out of the way, I'm now incredibly excited to get back into OU and play some games. As I've stated many times already, I truly do believe that despite the rocky start we could have an incredibly fun and diverse meta on our hands with the heavily reduced power creep giving breathing room to some new faces like our rising star Flareon. I look forward to experimenting, building, playing and sharing discoveries with fellow players over the coming days, weeks, months even!
 

Finchinator

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With dynamaxing out of the way, would intimidate be a more preferred ability over moxie on gyarados, to allow gyarados to set up and sweep, since it's lost its free speed boost?
It honestly depends. I feel like both options have merit, with Moxie giving you more opportunities to muscle through bulkier cores and Intimidate giving you more opportunities to set up against more threatening, offensive teams. I think it ultimately boils down to the rest of your team and what situations you foresee yourself being in more often than not. For future reference, try posting questions like this in the SQSA!
 
Since Dynamax is gone, I want to discuss some of the winners and losers of the ban. Please correct me if something here is wrong :x

Winners:
Fat Stuff:
(probably more that I missed)

With the loss of Dynamax, and thus the loss of a sudden increase in offensive potential, fat Pokemon such as these are able to survive for much longer and function more effectively as defensive checks. Defensive cores will be quite a bit harder to break, making fatter teams a much more appealing option. It's also much easier for these Pokemon to come in and abuse choice-locked Pokemon now as well. Although there's still no shortage of offensive Pokemon that can do a number to many of these Pokemon, at the very least a massive weight has been lifted off the shoulders of these picks. I'm especially excited to play with some of the new HDB options such as Avalugg and Flareon, which will be much easier to pull off with Dynamax out.

Aegislash:


Aegislash is in a great position with Dynamax out of the way, and is definitely a threat to watch out for. Pre-Dynamax ban, it wasn't able to abuse it quite as well as other Pokemon due to its low speed and the fact that it can't abuse King's Shield to switch forms while in Dynamax, making it quite squishy and vulnerable. Not to mention that it struggled when facing other Dynamax abusers thanks to a lack of reliable recovery, meaning its only option bar switching was King's Shield spam. Now with Dynamax out of the way, it doesn't have to worry about threats suddenly being able to live a hit from it or being able to muscle past it. Once again, it can also abuse choice-locked Pokemon as well, giving it a free attack. Although I've personally seen mostly Sub or SD sets, I think Choice sets should be given a lot of spotlight too just because of how well Aegislash can abuse free turns.

Dugtrio:


Duggy is back! Now that Pokemon can't suddenly became much bulkier out of nowhere, Dugtrio is able to abuse good predictions or free switches in order to trap many of the big threats in this meta such as the omnipresent Tyranidrill combo, Bisharp, Dracozolt, Cinderace (if Jolly) and some up-and-comers like Flareon. It's also able to effortlessly trap weakened threats now that they can't dynamax to live a hit. I'm also in the camp that thinks a Duggy suspect is likely coming, since Dynamax was one of the main things that stopped it from being really strong. At the very least, Shed Shell is likely to be me the new big item on Toxapex again :p

Darmanitan-Galar and Dracovish:


Although both of these Pokemon will miss being able to max to break the choice lock and gain extra bulk, the fact that things can no longer counter max against these threats - gaining additional bulk - mean that they'll have a much more consistent time cleaving through teams. Darm-Galar in particular really appreciates this, as it was prone to getting maxed on by mons such as Togekiss, which could live one Icicle Crash while maxed if Darm wasn't banded, and KOing back with Max Airstream or a supereffective max move.



Losers:
Ditto:


Now that offensive threats are much easier to deal with, we simply don't need Ditto as the primary revenge killer anymore. Although Ditto will still have a place in the metagame no doubt, we no longer have to rely on Ditto Dynamax countersweeps (thank goodness).

Choice Abusers:
(these come to mind, but there's almost certainly more)

Now that choice abusers can't break the lock with Dynamax, it's much easier to punish them when they make a wrong prediction. It's also much easier to revenge kill them as well, since they're no longer able to get a sudden increase in bulk at any point. Some sets such as the Choice Scarf Nasty Plot Rotom-H no longer function since you can't Nasty Plot and then Dynamax to break to the choice lock. Over all, choice users will need some solid prediction in order to really pull their weight now.

Max Airstream Spam:
(these three were the main ones)
(shoutouts to these guys though)

Now that Max Airstream is dead, it's much harder for some Pokemon to acquire boosts and sweep. Gyarados now must rely solely on Dragon Dance in order to boost speed, making it much more easily pressured and revenge-killed. Togekiss is unable to boost its speed now that max Air Stream is dead, meaning Nasty Plot sets are much more likely to die off completely since Togekiss currently can't Roost like it could in previous gens, meaning Scarf sets (or maybe even Specs) are likely to become the norm. Either way, I can't see Togekiss staying in OU now that it can't abuse Dynamax to get some quick sweeps, as I don't think it's nearly as good as many of the other defensive options we have. Although Bulk Up Corviknight will still be a good late-game wincon that abuses passive threats, Max Airstream being gone means it can't boost its speed to better deal with offensive threats. Also RIP Braviary, Charizard, and Rotom-S, who I felt were OU viable only because they could Dynamax to get speed boosts and then sweep/break. You all will be missed.

Also let's not forget that Dynamaxing gave increased bulk to all of these mons, making them both offensive behemoths as well as incredible difficult to revenge-kill.

Rain:


Can no longer max to set up their weather again, meaning Pelipper is going to have to be played more safely in order for these teams to really shine. No more maxing also means that rain sweepers are much easier to revenge-kill, and it will also take more effort to get sweeps going then simply clicking the max. I think Rain will still be potent, but definitely much more bearable.

Mons that were only viable through their GMax:
(these are the only two that immediately spring to mind)

Any mon that relied on their GMax's Max Move in order to be competitively viable is now dead.

Other DMax sweepers:
(there's definitely more, these are just the main ones)

All of these Pokemon were also great DMax abusers that will definitely have a harder time sweeping now that DMax is gone, as they can no longer abuse DMax to get the increased survivability, secondary effects, and extra power that all of these Pokemon really benefited from. Excadrill in particular gets knocked down a peg since it can no longer set up its own Sand, making it nowhere near as self-sufficient. Hawlucha is also no longer able to set up its own terrain, meaning that it has to rely on teammates or more gimmicky items to activate Unburden; not to mention that it can't abuse Max Airstream anymore either. The loss of extra bulk really hurts mons such as Gengar, Hydreigon, and the Rotoms who all had no way to boost their speed, and without Dynamax they're no longer able to take extra hits thanks to the additional bulk; meaning that they're much easier to revenge-kill. The other listed mons also really hate the loss of the extra bulk that dynamax provides.

Please let me know if I missed anything!

EDIT: Made a couple of corrections.
 
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So happy to see dynamaxing banned and to soon start playing in a dynamax free meta, it already seems like it's going to be really cool and interesting. Something I started using the last couple days which I think could be even more interesting now that dynamaxing is gone is Roserade:


Roserade @ Life Orb
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Sleep Powder
- Leaf Storm
- Sludge Bomb
- Spikes/Toxic Spikes

Roserade's main niche over other Spikes and Toxic Spikes setters is it's access to Sleep Powder and offensive presence. It fits really well in the current meta as it can easily switch in on the many bulky waters that teams are forced to run to deal with Dracovish and easily set up Spikes, in addition to this, almost all hazard control mons (Excadrill, Hatterene, Avalugg, Conkeldurr) are all OHKO'd easily by Roserade's STABs, meaning that only Corvinight, Mandibuzz & Cinderace can remove hazards on it, with the former fearing sleep powder and the latter not being an entirely safe switch, due to this, Mandibuzz (as it's immune to Sleep Powder) is the only true hazard removal mon that can come in on Roserade and with it's access to Sleep and Spikes, very few other mons can really stop it from achieving at least something while it's in. As well as OHKOing the many water types (Seismitoad, Jellicent, Phys Def Vaporeon, Gastrodon, Rotom-Wash) it switches in on, Roserade also has a decent ability to kill fairies, as while it doesn't love switching in on Togekiss' Air Slash, Clef's Flamethrower, Grimmsnarl's Darkest Lariat or Hatterene's Psychic it can usually outspeed and OHKO all four of those with Sludge Bomb.

Roserade has fantastic synergy with Rotom-Heat, who can take out Flying and Steel types who are immune to Toxic Spikes, especially Corviknight & Mandibuzz, as well as luring Bulky Ground types onto the field, often forcing them to cripple themselves by taking Toxic Spikes or allow Roserade back onto the field again to set up more. This combination really only struggles with Dragon types so an answer them would be required. In addition, anything like Sub Aegislash that really benefits from Toxic Spikes obviously loves this set. I also imagine that having Vaporeon or Sylveon to take on certain dragons, pass wishes and stall Toxic with protect would be incredibly beneficial as well. Finally Roserade has a fantastic ability in Natural Cure to allow it to absorb status and though it can't hit Steel types with anything stronger than Shadow Ball, it's movepool contains Synthesis, Leech Seed, Giga Drain, Extrasensory (to hit Pex without the Spa drop from Leaf Storm), Aromatherapy, Dazzling Gleam, Stun Spore and Weather Ball, which can all have their users, while just running dual spikes is an option if you prefer. I suppose a Leech Seed/Sub/Protect set might have some use as well, although likely not with Dragapult running round.

While it's certainly not gonna be meta defining, I believe Roserade's ability to come in on and set hazards on at least one mon of almost every team in the current meta and matchup well with most hazard removers gives it a really nice place currently.
 
The following is a re-written, post-dynamax ban update to my post in the last metagame discussion about what's very good, decently viable, and mediocre / bad.

top tier and broken shit
:Ditto:

Was godlike when dynamax existed, and while it took a hit I'm expecting it to remain quite viable. Stall basically needs to run this to have a chance at beating many set-up abusers and its ability to turn games around in general is impressive. I for one will continue to use it.

:Corviknight:

Low-key busted. Sub Bulk Up is terrifying for fat teams to face and nothing (afaik) can keep rocks up against Defog sets. Also the best Excadrill counter (only counter) we have. Love it. Not sure whether physically or specially defensive sets are optimal. If you're really feeling cheeky I think it could pull off a Roost / Bulk Up / Brave Bird / Power Trip set, although it becomes much more susceptible to status and Dracovish will still tear it a new one. Speaking of which...

:Dracovish:

High-key busted. Nothing like 2HKOing bulky resists... at worst. Most teams are forced to run a Water Absorb mon just to check it, because nothing aside from an immunity is safe. I saw somewhere recently where a guy was arguing that Avalugg could take this thing on, which is a fucking mistake if I've ever heard one. Banded Rend in the rain has a chance to OHKO iirc and I believe even scarf can 2HKO without prior damage. Band fucks balance and stall, Scarf fucks offense, Dracovish fucks the tier. Man this thing is fun.

:Darmanitan-Galar:

Frosty the GOATman. No switchins exist, everything either dies or gets U-Turned on. Scarf and Band are both great, the former is much more splashable. Contrary to what others have said in this thread I think Darm will actually get slightly better after the dynamax ban since mons can't dynamax and try to eat a hit anymore. Super fun to use. CBCBDARM

:Dragapult:

Better in practice than on paper. Mixed LO is fun, Specs is a bitch to switch into, and Sub Disable is pretty good. Haven't used DD but maybe it's decent? Godlike speed tier, solid typing, big threat. No team is safe. Grimmsnarl and Sylveon can beat almost every set but god help you if your opponent gets Toxic Spikes up, or is a madman and runs banded Steel Wing. Losing dmax will hurt it but maybe the overall meta will be kinder to it, it's really to early to say.

:Toxapex:

Same shit, excellent as always. Most teams can find a way to fit this in. Like in gen 7, I try to run hazard control and / or a Poison-type on every team because it's such an issue to use a team where mons keep getting poisoned by Toxic Spikes. Clef and Reuniclus can annoy it but the lack of viable Electric-types is fantastic for it. Incredibly reliable. Not sure if physdef or spdef is better. Either way, Dracovish isn't getting walled, but Baneful Bunker is cool for Dracovish and other physical attackers, probably a decent option over haze.

:Ferrothorn:

Fat, excellent typing, preys on all the Water Absorb users, access to Stealth Rock and Spikes, checks Gyarados, Leech Seed abuse, Thunder Wave spam, what's not to like? The same as always, now with no Magnezone and no dynamax to help break it. Every team needs a way of switching into and beating this thing, and there aren't too many options that can reliably do that.

:Excadrill:

Pretty busted. Corviknight is basically all that stops it from being banned. What dumbass at GameFreak made Rapid Spin boost speed holy shit. LO Sand Rush and scarf Mold Breaker are both very good. I consider it the second-best hazard remover in the tier, with the number one being Corviknight. Losing dmax hurts but it will survive and thrive. The lack of bulky Rotom-Wash usage (many were running scarf for gyara and other scary stuff) makes +2 LO Rock Slide incredibly threatening. With a little prior damage on Ferro and a moderately weakened Corviknight this can eat teams alive.

:Hydreigon:

Scarf is probably good, but Sub NP Dark Pulse Flash Cannon is disgusting and bends every team over. Just watch out for Infiltrator Dragapult. After losing dmax it can no longer beat a healthy Sylveon (+2 Steelspike would OHKO but +2 Flash Cannot can't, and uninvested Hyper Voice OHKOs through sub) but it would be foolish to underestimate Hydreigon. Probably top 10 in the meta in terms of viability.


good shit
:Drednaw:

Strong and fast under rain. Basically a less bulky Mega Swampert with a typing that's worse defensively but better offensively. Losing gmax is tough but I think it will be fine. Best set appears to be SD / Edge / Waterfall / Superpower, or EQ in the last slot if you'd rather hit Gastrodon than Ferrothorn.

:Clefable:

LO is great and basically has no switchins. Bulky teams crumble to it and offense basically loses something every time it comes in. The lack of bulk makes it kind of squishy when uninvested though. I think defensive Stealth Rock sets will pick up, especially since it can annoy Corviknight with Thunder Wave, and cleric sets might even see use on stall if it still has access to Aromatherapy and Heal Bell; I don't remember if it does.

:Barraskewda:

Hits insanely hard with busted coverage. It can honestly 6-0 teams from turn 1 if they don't have priority or Ditto. Banded was popular but Life Orb will definitely be better now since it can't dmax to ignore the choice lock. I think LO was the way to go to begin with but whatever. I honestly can't think of a safe switchin to LO Liquidation / Close Combat / Psychic Fangs / Drill Run (or other last move), especially under rain. Such a beast despite its frailty.

:Hatterene:

Ridiculously powerful and the best Trick Room abuser in the tier. Best answer to the Ferrothorn + Toxapex (and Clef or Corv if applicable) core too, and can singlehandedly rip fat teams apart in general. Easy high tier and will probably be a top pick as the meta settles. Losing its gmax is a minor annoyance honestly, it will be fine.

:Copperajah:

Was skeptical at first, but its bulk, decent typing, and godlike coverage makes it a capable threat, especially under Trick Room. Will be even better now that Dynamax is gone since Heavy Slam and Heat Crash couldn't affect the thicc demons. Rip steel rocks but I think it's better off now. Pretty sure that LO Heavy Metal is better than LO Sheer Force but I'd like to see calcs comparing the two in case I'm completely wrong.

:Grimmsnarl:

The Chad Klefki. Prankster T Wave and screens is nice and its defensive utility in general is helpful. Offensive sets should be explored more since Bulk Up / Spirit Break / Darkest Lariat / Sucker Punch or Taunt is great on paper against basically every team. F for its badass gmax form but if that's what had to happen for dmax as a whole to disappear then I'm all for it.

:Cinderace:

Timbs + Court Change is really cool and it makes for a great pivot. It will be crazy good once Libero is released but it's solid for now with Pyro Ball / U-Turn / High Jump Kick / Court Change or Sucker Punch or some other shit. Pyro Ball also hits like a truck.

:Polteageist:

Slept-on threat. Ditto is all that stops it from dominating the meta. My favorite set is the simple Focus Sash Shell Smash / Shadow Ball / Stored Power / Giga Drain but I suppose Strength Sap is usable over Stored Power, especially if some other item is used.

:Mew:

Offensive Mew is so good, seriously DD Psychic Fangs + EQ + Close Combat is just absurd and it has other good options for coverage like Flare Blitz. As always, it's a Nasty Plot user with a respectable base 100 Speed stat that is much more respectable with the recent dex culling. Also works as a fat pivot, but purely defensive sets won't work until (assuming) Recover and Roost become available with Home's release. It also mimics the classic suicide lead Skarmory with its access to Stealth Rock, Spikes, Taunt, and Self-Destruct, trading a lack of Sturdy for a base Speed stat that's 30 points higher. I think its the best suicide lead aside from the Sticky Web users, although Excadrill's ability to get rocks up against Hatterene is worth considering. Heavily slept on.

:Toxtricity:

Crushes fat teams and pressures offense with Volt Switch spam. Hates Excadrill's existence sadly. SG 3 attacks might be decent but Specs is fantastic, and scarf is alright given it's the same speed as Dracovish. One of the best Toxapex answers in the tier. Having all of its moves walled by something (Grounds for Volt Switch, Steels for Sludge Bomb, Ghosts for Boomburst) can make its use surprisingly read-reliant.

:Sylveon:

As a recent convert to the church of Sylveon I'm really impressed with its results. It beats every dragon in the tier, checks Hatterene and Clefable, supports with Wish, scouts with Protect, pressures or outright KOs steels with Mystical Fire, and deals decent damage with uninvested Hyper Voice. So many teams just can't beat this thing even on its own, and fat cores featuring it are very tough to deal with. It can't do anything against Toxapex without running like specs Psychic (don't do that) but it supports teams very well. Probably the best defensive Fairy-type in the game, and certainly better in said role than Clefable is in the current meta.


shit
Honestly most of the new stuff probably has some sort of niche in OU even if their usage is low. Stuff like Dubwool, Crawmorant, Greedent, Arctovish, Arctozolt, Falinks, Thievul, etc probably aren't worth using. That said, I hope people keep testing them out as the meta develops, there's always new discoveries to be made. Hell I remember when Kartana was like B- and Kommo-O had really low usage in SM OU so don't write things off if they seem mediocre at first.

A brief list of mons that will almost certainly be unusable in OU: Butterfree, Unfezant, Liepard, Cincinno, Vileplume, Manectric, all the Hitmons, Golurk, Klingklang, Drifblim, Leafeon, Scrafty, Haxorus, and Type Null and Silvally. There's an even bigger pile of shit I didn't bother mentioning since no sane person would entertain the thought of their usage. Like, ZU, Noctowl-tier shit. I'm happy to be proven wrong though.


There's a lot I didn't cover that deserves to be addressed, but this is all based on what I've used so far so if I didn't include something then I probably haven't used it yet.

The meta seems to be in a good spot now that Moody and dmax are gone. I'm looking forward to playing a lot more over winter break.

Edit: Reuniclus Lover (username checks out) It's really good, not top-tier but really good. I've been using physdef CM / Recover / Psychic / Focus Blast and it's been fantastic even with dynamax putting it at a disadvantage. It will be even better once the ladder updates, since all that really scares it are brutally strong attackers like Dracovish and Darmanitan. CM mons are nice right now because Ditto generally can't revenge kill them. Reuniclus + Gastrodon + Sylveon is super hard to break- just ask my opponents ;)
 
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I've been preaching Sylveon since the start of the 8th gen meta despite being told to lol replace it with Clefable. I'm glad to see others now realizing that Sylveon is viable in this meta especially now with Dynamax gone. It's a fantastic check to Dragapult especially SpA focused versions who fail to 2HKO sometimes even 3HKO it while getting OHKO'd in return with Hyper Voice. Another great thing is both Hydreigon and Dragapult like to hide behind Subs which Sylveon laughs at in Hyper Voice OHKOing both behind subs without any SpA investment. It even proves to be a check for Life Orb Clefable which has a bad time with Sylveon walling it and lowering it's SpA with Mystical Fire. Unless the meta shifts in a big way I feel this will be one of the better fairies to use for balanced or bulky teams.
 
I don't see how you could possible argue that Dracovish lost anything with the Dynamax ban. There is absolutely no reason to Dynamax your Dracovish unless you want to snipe a Jellicent or Toxapex while still being locked into Fishious Rend, and even then you lose the Strong Jaws boost so I'm not even sure it does that much. It seems like a really poor usage of Dynamax overall.

The loss of Dynamax means you can't just Dynamax a wall to emergency check Dracovish via sheer bulk, so I would argue that outside of defensive Pokemon, Dracovish is the big winner in the Dynamax ban
 
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I really don't think G-Darm loses that much overall from Dynamaxing.

Yes, now it can't circumvent Choice-lock to do serious damage to Toxapex/Corviknight, but Dynamaxing also meant G-Darm lost the Choice-boost it got, which actually mattered since base 95 speed isn't THAT fast, and the loss of power from Gorilla Tactics is quite noticeable (especially on the rarer banded sets since it loses both Band and Gorilla Tactics).

Meanwhile, G-Darm did have to be careful of opponents Dynamaxing, stomaching the hit, and OHKOing back if G-Darm wasn't Dynamaxed. Yes, the icy gorilla is strong but a 2x HP boost is a big deal and G-Darm is very frail with a bad defensive typing that's vulnerable to all hazards, so most Dynamaxed moves from offensive threats could do massive damage or OHKO if G-Darm wasn't dynamaxed itself.
 
I really don't think G-Darm loses that much overall from Dynamaxing.

Yes, now it can't circumvent Choice-lock to do serious damage to Toxapex/Corviknight, but Dynamaxing also meant G-Darm lost the Choice-boost it got, which actually mattered since base 95 speed isn't THAT fast, and the loss of power from Gorilla Tactics is quite noticeable (especially on the rarer banded sets since it loses both Band and Gorilla Tactics).

Meanwhile, G-Darm did have to be careful of opponents Dynamaxing, stomaching the hit, and OHKOing back if G-Darm wasn't Dynamaxed. Yes, the icy gorilla is strong but a 2x HP boost is a big deal and G-Darm is very frail with a bad defensive typing that's vulnerable to all hazards, so most Dynamaxed moves from offensive threats could do massive damage or OHKO if G-Darm wasn't dynamaxed itself.
It loses a lot tbh. Removing choice-look was huge and often game winning move. Yeah, you had to time it correctly but even the threat of dynamax was such an issue for its "checks". Its removal makes G-Darm far more one-dimensional. It'll still be really good but no longer having to deal with its dynamax is such a huge buff to defensive responses to G-Darm.

Dracovish, on the other hand doesn't care much at all and properly benefits even more from the removal of the "defensive-dynamax" situation that you just mentioned.
 
Choice Abusers:
(these come to mind, but there's almost certainly more)
I agree with most of them, but dracovish got even better without dynamxing. it honestly doesn't really gain anything from dynamxing, because it does like half of its normal damage with fishious rand (on scarf sets, band sets lost even more damage if you dynamaxed) and it honestly won't click any other move 90% of the time. so dynamaxing gone makes it even stronger, because now you can't tank a fishious rand with clicking dynamax. i think dracovish could (and should) be one of the next mons to be suspect tested
 
I've raved against this in the discord, but anything with access to trick can now absolutely cripple support/setup mons for the entire game. There aren't any z-moves or mega stones to block it, and dmax cannot break it for you (not that you'd have used dmax on a support mon anyway, usually). This little wombo combo is dangerous again. If you see a possible trick user, be wary of its first turn.

Pex is a pretty big winner with the dmax ban, as a choice user dmaxing to break choice and hit it with Max Quake was usually the way I lost mine. Now things like gdarm must predict it coming in (or click u-turn), so pex gets a lot safer as a wall. Really most walls won here, as they didn't gain as much for Dynamax as their offensive bretheren, and their offensive bretheren often used those gains against them.
 
The following is a re-written, post-dynamax ban update to my post in the last metagame discussion about what's very good, decently viable, and mediocre / bad.

top tier and broken shit
:Ditto:

Was godlike when dynamax existed, and while it took a hit I'm expecting it to remain quite viable. Stall basically needs to run this to have a chance at beating many set-up abusers and its ability to turn games around in general is impressive. I for one will continue to use it.

:Corviknight:

Low-key busted. Sub Bulk Up is terrifying for fat teams to face and nothing (afaik) can keep rocks up against Defog sets. Also the best Excadrill counter (only counter) we have. Love it. Not sure whether physically or specially defensive sets are optimal. If you're really feeling cheeky I think it could pull off a Roost / Bulk Up / Brave Bird / Power Trip set, although it becomes much more susceptible to status and Dracovish will still tear it a new one. Speaking of which...

:Dracovish:

High-key busted. Nothing like 2HKOing bulky resists... at worst. Most teams are forced to run a Water Absorb mon just to check it, because nothing aside from an immunity is safe. I saw somewhere recently where a guy was arguing that Avalugg could take this thing on, which is a fucking mistake if I've ever heard one. Banded Rend in the rain has a chance to OHKO iirc and I believe even scarf can 2HKO without prior damage. Band fucks balance and stall, Scarf fucks offense, Dracovish fucks the tier. Man this thing is fun.

:Darmanitan-Galar:

Frosty the GOATman. No switchins exist, everything either dies or gets U-Turned on. Scarf and Band are both great, the former is much more splashable. Contrary to what others have said in this thread I think Darm will actually get slightly better after the dynamax ban since mons can't dynamax and try to eat a hit anymore. Super fun to use. CBCBDARM

:Dragapult:

Better in practice than on paper. Mixed LO is fun, Specs is a bitch to switch into, and Sub Disable is pretty good. Haven't used DD but maybe it's decent? Godlike speed tier, solid typing, big threat. No team is safe. Grimmsnarl and Sylveon can beat almost every set but god help you if your opponent gets Toxic Spikes up, or is a madman and runs banded Steel Wing. Losing dmax will hurt it but maybe the overall meta will be kinder to it, it's really to early to say.

:Toxapex:

Same shit, excellent as always. Most teams can find a way to fit this in. Like in gen 7, I try to run hazard control and / or a Poison-type on every team because it's such an issue to use a team where mons keep getting poisoned by Toxic Spikes. Clef and Reuniclus can annoy it but the lack of viable Electric-types is fantastic for it. Incredibly reliable. Not sure if physdef or spdef is better. Either way, Dracovish isn't getting walled, but Baneful Bunker is cool for Dracovish and other physical attackers, probably a decent option over haze.

:Ferrothorn:

Fat, excellent typing, preys on all the Water Absorb users, access to Stealth Rock and Spikes, checks Gyarados, Leech Seed abuse, Thunder Wave spam, what's not to like? The same as always, now with no Magnezone and no dynamax to help break it. Every team needs a way of switching into and beating this thing, and there aren't too many options that can reliably do that.

:Excadrill:

Pretty busted. Corviknight is basically all that stops it from being banned. What dumbass at GameFreak made Rapid Spin boost speed holy shit. LO Sand Rush and scarf Mold Breaker are both very good. I consider it the second-best hazard remover in the tier, with the number one being Corviknight. Losing dmax hurts but it will survive and thrive. The lack of bulky Rotom-Wash usage (many were running scarf for gyara and other scary stuff) makes +2 LO Rock Slide incredibly threatening. With a little prior damage on Ferro and a moderately weakened Corviknight this can eat teams alive.

:Hydreigon:

Scarf is probably good, but Sub NP Dark Pulse Flash Cannon is disgusting and bends every team over. Just watch out for Infiltrator Dragapult. After losing dmax it can no longer beat a healthy Sylveon (+2 Steelspike would OHKO but +2 Flash Cannot can't, and uninvested Hyper Voice OHKOs through sub) but it would be foolish to underestimate Hydreigon. Probably top 10 in the meta in terms of viability.


good shit
:Drednaw:

Strong and fast under rain. Basically a less bulky Mega Swampert with a typing that's worse defensively but better offensively. Losing gmax is tough but I think it will be fine. Best set appears to be SD / Edge / Waterfall / Superpower, or EQ in the last slot if you'd rather hit Gastrodon than Ferrothorn.

:Clefable:

LO is great and basically has no switchins. Bulky teams crumble to it and offense basically loses something every time it comes in. The lack of bulk makes it kind of squishy when uninvested though. I think defensive Stealth Rock sets will pick up, especially since it can annoy Corviknight with Thunder Wave, and cleric sets might even see use on stall if it still has access to Aromatherapy and Heal Bell; I don't remember if it does.

:Barraskewda:

Hits insanely hard with busted coverage. It can honestly 6-0 teams from turn 1 if they don't have priority or Ditto. Banded was popular but Life Orb will definitely be better now since it can't dmax to ignore the choice lock. I think LO was the way to go to begin with but whatever. I honestly can't think of a safe switchin to LO Liquidation / Close Combat / Psychic Fangs / Drill Run (or other last move), especially under rain. Such a beast despite its frailty.

:Hatterene:

Ridiculously powerful and the best Trick Room abuser in the tier. Best answer to the Ferrothorn + Toxapex (and Clef or Corv if applicable) core too, and can singlehandedly rip fat teams apart in general. Easy high tier and will probably be a top pick as the meta settles. Losing its gmax is a minor annoyance honestly, it will be fine.

:Copperajah:

Was skeptical at first, but its bulk, decent typing, and godlike coverage makes it a capable threat, especially under Trick Room. Will be even better now that Dynamax is gone since Heavy Slam and Heat Crash couldn't affect the thicc demons. Rip steel rocks but I think it's better off now. Pretty sure that LO Heavy Metal is better than LO Sheer Force but I'd like to see calcs comparing the two in case I'm completely wrong.

:Grimmsnarl:

The Chad Klefki. Prankster T Wave and screens is nice and its defensive utility in general is helpful. Offensive sets should be explored more since Bulk Up / Spirit Break / Darkest Lariat / Sucker Punch or Taunt is great on paper against basically every team. F for its badass gmax form but if that's what had to happen for dmax as a whole to disappear then I'm all for it.

:Cinderace:

Timbs + Court Change is really cool and it makes for a great pivot. It will be crazy good once Libero is released but it's solid for now with Pyro Ball / U-Turn / High Jump Kick / Court Change or Sucker Punch or some other shit. Pyro Ball also hits like a truck.

:Polteageist:

Slept-on threat. Ditto is all that stops it from dominating the meta. My favorite set is the simple Focus Sash Shell Smash / Shadow Ball / Stored Power / Giga Drain but I suppose Strength Sap is usable over Stored Power, especially if some other item is used.

:Mew:

Offensive Mew is so good, seriously DD Psychic Fangs + EQ + Close Combat is just absurd and it has other good options for coverage like Flare Blitz. As always, it's a Nasty Plot user with a respectable base 100 Speed stat that is much more respectable with the recent dex culling. Also works as a fat pivot, but purely defensive sets won't work until (assuming) Recover and Roost become available with Home's release. It also mimics the classic suicide lead Skarmory with its access to Stealth Rock, Spikes, Taunt, and Self-Destruct, trading a lack of Sturdy for a base Speed stat that's 30 points higher. I think its the best suicide lead aside from the Sticky Web users, although Excadrill's ability to get rocks up against Hatterene is worth considering. Heavily slept on.

:Toxtricity:

Crushes fat teams and pressures offense with Volt Switch spam. Hates Excadrill's existence sadly. SG 3 attacks might be decent but Specs is fantastic, and scarf is alright given it's the same speed as Dracovish. One of the best Toxapex answers in the tier. Having all of its moves walled by something (Grounds for Volt Switch, Steels for Sludge Bomb, Ghosts for Boomburst) can make its use surprisingly read-reliant.

:Sylveon:

As a recent convert to the church of Sylveon I'm really impressed with its results. It beats every dragon in the tier, checks Hatterene and Clefable, supports with Wish, scouts with Protect, pressures or outright KOs steels with Mystical Fire, and deals decent damage with uninvested Hyper Voice. So many teams just can't beat this thing even on its own, and fat cores featuring it are very tough to deal with. It can't do anything against Toxapex without running like specs Psychic (don't do that) but it supports teams very well. Probably the best defensive Fairy-type in the game, and certainly better in said role than Clefable is in the current meta.


shit
Honestly most of the new stuff probably has some sort of niche in OU even if their usage is low. Stuff like Dubwool, Crawmorant, Greedent, Arctovish, Arctozolt, Falinks, Thievul, etc probably aren't worth using. That said, I hope people keep testing them out as the meta develops, there's always new discoveries to be made. Hell I remember when Kartana was like B- and Kommo-O had really low usage in SM OU so don't write things off if they seem mediocre at first.

A brief list of mons that will almost certainly be unusable in OU: Butterfree, Unfezant, Liepard, Cincinno, Vileplume, Manectric, all the Hitmons, Golurk, Klingklang, Drifblim, Leafeon, Scrafty, Haxorus, and Type Null and Silvally. There's an even bigger pile of shit I didn't bother mentioning since no sane person would entertain the thought of their usage. Like, ZU, Noctowl-tier shit. I'm happy to be proven wrong though.


There's a lot I didn't cover that deserves to be addressed, but this is all based on what I've used so far so if I didn't include something then I probably haven't used it yet.

The meta seems to be in a good spot now that Moody and dmax are gone. I'm looking forward to playing a lot more over winter break.

Edit: Reuniclus Lover (username checks out) It's really good, not top-tier but really good. I've been using physdef CM / Recover / Psychic / Focus Blast and it's been fantastic even with dynamax putting it at a disadvantage. It will be even better once the ladder updates, since all that really scares it are brutally strong attackers like Dracovish and Darmanitan. CM mons are nice right now because Ditto generally can't revenge kill them. Reuniclus + Gastrodon + Sylveon is super hard to break- just ask my opponents ;)
Even Banded Dragapult is somewhat viable honestly - been having some nice success with it in testing and its higher attack stat means that it can make the most of its (admittedly inferior) physical movepool. Even banded sucker punch can be nice priority to pick off faster scarfers or opposing dragapults.
 
Even Banded Dragapult is somewhat viable honestly - been having some nice success with it in testing and its higher attack stat means that it can make the most of its (admittedly inferior) physical movepool. Even banded sucker punch can be nice priority to pick off faster scarfers or opposing dragapults.
Backing this up, it's kind of amazing how hard Banded Dragon Darts hit, and Banded U-Turn is also nice.

Dragapult's physical movepool is garbage but it does get Steel Wing, which not a lot of players know about and can catch Fairies by surprise. Steel-types still sop you cold (unless you want to rum Banded Fire Blast), so it's not exactly a great set

Incidentally, some people seem to think that DD Gyarados won't be good anymore but I strongly disagree with that, DD/Waterfall/PWhip/EQ is a strong set, and though it is walled by Grass-types, the only really viable one right now is Ferrothorn which can be taken down by boosted EQs. I think Gyarados is going to remain a top-tier threat this gen.
 
Backing this up, it's kind of amazing how hard Banded Dragon Darts hit, and Banded U-Turn is also nice.

Dragapult's physical movepool is garbage but it does get Steel Wing, which not a lot of players know about and can catch Fairies by surprise. Steel-types still sop you cold (unless you want to rum Banded Fire Blast), so it's not exactly a great set

Incidentally, some people seem to think that DD Gyarados won't be good anymore but I strongly disagree with that, DD/Waterfall/PWhip/EQ is a strong set, and though it is walled by Grass-types, the only really viable one right now is Ferrothorn which can be taken down by boosted EQs. I think Gyarados is going to remain a top-tier threat this gen.
Rotom-Mow is also a viable grass type that hard walls that setup and will OHKO back with an unboosted Thunderbolt/Volt Switch. Normally though it'll just force Gyarados out for a free Nasty Plot setup.
 
:Excadrill:

Pretty busted. Corviknight is basically all that stops it from being banned. What dumbass at GameFreak made Rapid Spin boost speed holy shit. LO Sand Rush and scarf Mold Breaker are both very good. I consider it the second-best hazard remover in the tier, with the number one being Corviknight. Losing dmax hurts but it will survive and thrive. The lack of bulky Rotom-Wash usage (many were running scarf for gyara and other scary stuff) makes +2 LO Rock Slide incredibly threatening. With a little prior damage on Ferro and a moderately weakened Corviknight this can eat teams alive.
Galarian Corsola can also shut it down pretty well too. Thick bulk, Wisp, and Strength Sap makes it a great check to physical mons.
 
It loses a lot tbh. Removing choice-look was huge and often game winning move. Yeah, you had to time it correctly but even the threat of dynamax was such an issue for its "checks". Its removal makes G-Darm far more one-dimensional. It'll still be really good but no longer having to deal with its dynamax is such a huge buff to defensive responses to G-Darm.

Dracovish, on the other hand doesn't care much at all and properly benefits even more from the removal of the "defensive-dynamax" situation that you just mentioned.
Thinking about it more, I feel I should have said that while G-Darm loses quite a bit, the removal of Dynamax also removes quite a bit of the (limited) defensive counterplay to it.
 
What do people think of Lapras as an unconventional answer to the top physically offensive threats in the metagame right now? It's by far the best switch-in to both G Darm and Dracovish due to its 4× Ice resistance, Water immunity, and access to Freeze Dry. With just 4 SpA EV's, it will OHKO uninvested Dracovish 100% of the time with Freeze Dry, allowing it to run Bold and Timbs to reliably switch into G Darm even if it clicks a non-STAB move. Freeze Dry is also nice against Gyarados (without Whip), Pelipper, Seismitoad, Quagsire, etc.
 

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What do people think of Lapras as an unconventional answer to the top physically offensive threats in the metagame right now? It's by far the best switch-in to both G Darm and Dracovish due to its 4× Ice resistance, Water immunity, and access to Freeze Dry. With just 4 SpA EV's, it will OHKO uninvested Dracovish 100% of the time with Freeze Dry, allowing it to run Bold and Timbs to reliably switch into G Darm even if it clicks a non-STAB move. Freeze Dry is also nice against Gyarados (without Whip), Pelipper, Seismitoad, Quagsire, etc.
Sounds interesting, but I really don't think Gyarados won't run Power Whip now. Bounce is once again crap on it, leaving the slot totally free for Power Whip which secures some valuable match-ups VS the likes of Rotom-Wash, Seismitoad and Quagsire.
 
I'll vouch for Vaporeon and Umbreon, it's a pity Heal Bell is illegal right now and we lost Toxic on many 'mons, but we have Ice Beam for Vaporeon, and Taunt for Umbreon, you can also give Umbreon some speed evs to outspeed Seismitoad so that it won't use sr or toxic (Synchro is still the better ability, though), while Vaporeon has wabsorb, which is very good with Dracovish and scald in general, alongside Wish, something that makes it different than say Milotic, and I believe superior as of now.
Another 'mon rarely discussed though, is Gastrodon, I'm using the ev spread of early bw2, which is max def for a check-ish but really ish for Specs Keldeo, though here it greatly helps against both fossils, the fish with Close Combat and 999 speed with a difficult name, Rotom-heat, Rotom-Wash etc, basically it does many of the stuff Seismitoad does except Toxic (wtf GF) and SR. However, it has access to Recover unlike it, giving it great staying power, also Clear Smog as a emergency check vs stat boosters (especially the now dead dyna).
I'm not sold on Snorlax being useless yet, while it lost something with the ban, I'm having great fun using a Curselax set with the early DP ev spread as that was the last time I ever used Snorlax in OU
It might get the shaft though, if the metagame becomes more aggressive in response to "fat" stuff, we'll have to wait and see.
 
What do people think of Lapras as an unconventional answer to the top physically offensive threats in the metagame right now? It's by far the best switch-in to both G Darm and Dracovish due to its 4× Ice resistance, Water immunity, and access to Freeze Dry. With just 4 SpA EV's, it will OHKO uninvested Dracovish 100% of the time with Freeze Dry, allowing it to run Bold and Timbs to reliably switch into G Darm even if it clicks a non-STAB move. Freeze Dry is also nice against Gyarados (without Whip), Pelipper, Seismitoad, Quagsire, etc.
252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Lapras: 215-254 (46.3 - 54.7%) -- 62.9% chance to 2HKO
Type matchups aren't everything...
Also normally I would run leftovers, but I figured lapras would want heavy duty boots

EDIT: Also I was under the impression that damage calculator still does not work with gorilla tactics, so I made it +1 and deleted the 1. Can someone confirm if gorilla tactics works yet? because if it does, lapras takes a lot less. (My headclalcs are telling me that lapras takes 50 tho)
 
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Finchinator

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It loses a lot tbh. Removing choice-look was huge and often game winning move. Yeah, you had to time it correctly but even the threat of dynamax was such an issue for its "checks". Its removal makes G-Darm far more one-dimensional. It'll still be really good but no longer having to deal with its dynamax is such a huge buff to defensive responses to G-Darm.
This is a very one-sided perspective. Dynamaxing defensively also was employed frequently to try and keep Darmanitan in check. If anything, this proves to be favorable to Darmanitan as it no longer is a possibility. Sure, Darmanitan is a little bit prediction reliant, but even resisted Icicle Crash does a number to anything and generates free turns due to forced recovery. If played wisely, Darmanitan can always generate pressure with the Choice Band set and the Choice Scarf set is similar unless you are facing Vaporeon or Jellicent (unless you wish to use meme-tier Pokemon like Piloswine).
 
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