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

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McCoolDude

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How is claydol this meta?

It has a teensy niche in teleport/rapid spin (levitating ground types don't mind hazards much)/stealth rocks (not on the same set), but ultimately the lack of recovery and weakness to several of the premiere OU players (pult, gdarm, gcorsola, Aegislash, etc) hold it back too much to actually perform well.
 
So if we're talking about shitmons does Noctowl have a place on sticky web teams?

It occured to me it has a combination of Nasty Plot + Tinted Lens + "unresisted" flying move (i think there's no 4x resists to flying attacks this gen) so it could happily spam Hurricanemiss or Air Slash without worrying about coverage. It has some special bulk to help it set up too.
 

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So if we're talking about shitmons does Noctowl have a place on sticky web teams?

It occured to me it has a combination of Nasty Plot + Tinted Lens + "unresisted" flying move (i think there's no 4x resists to flying attacks this gen) so it could happily spam Hurricanemiss or Air Slash without worrying about coverage. It has some special bulk to help it set up too.
Tinted Lens is sadly unavailable on Noctowl at this point in time :(
 
It has a teensy niche in teleport/rapid spin (levitating ground types don't mind hazards much)/stealth rocks (not on the same set), but ultimately the lack of recovery and weakness to several of the premiere OU players (pult, gdarm, gcorsola, Aegislash, etc) hold it back too much to actually perform well.
Ok thanks
 
It has a teensy niche in teleport/rapid spin (levitating ground types don't mind hazards much)/stealth rocks (not on the same set), but ultimately the lack of recovery and weakness to several of the premiere OU players (pult, gdarm, gcorsola, Aegislash, etc) hold it back too much to actually perform well.
I think the problem is that it's still outclassed by Excadrill, Avalugg, Cinderace, Corviknight & Mandibuzz for hazard removal, whereas Xatu can provide the slow pivot role while still helping with hazard control.
 

McCoolDude

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I think the problem is that it's still outclassed by Excadrill, Avalugg, Cinderace, Corviknight & Mandibuzz for hazard removal, whereas Xatu can provide the slow pivot role while still helping with hazard control.

Well, of those, Claydol doesn't take spikes (exca, avalugg, cinderace)/tspikes (cinderace/avalugg), isn't weak rocks (Cinderace/Avalugg/Mandibuzz), is much bulkier than exca/cinderace/xatu, and doesn't have to clear all the hazards on the field (Mandibuzz/Corviknight).

If it had some real recovery it would actually be really useful for teams that rely on having hazards up for pressure. Without it, it can only clear hazards once or twice, which is a role outclassed by exca.
 
Just lead with your own Darm and click Flare Blitz turn 1 against the Darm your opponent inevitably led off with turn 1. If you're gonna lose to your opponent's Darm at least you can blame bad luck.

EDIT: Please don't actually do this.
Alternatively, lead scarf Hydreigon and OHKO it with Draco turn 1 while they stay in.
This strat probably doesn't work above like 1600 1700 ELO.
 
Biggest problem with Claydol is its typing. A lot of ground types are hard to use this meta due to the presence of G-Darm, Dracovish, other water types, and even grass coverage moves for Seismitoad. So ground types that are actually useful defensively like Seismitoad are rare. The additional ghost and dark weaknesses make it even worse. I had a similar issue with Runerigus, except it is even worse on Claydol because that gets wrecked by U-turn and has no immunity to normal or fighting moves.

It's a shame because Claydol actually gets some amazing support moves. It's also a decent check to Excadrill. I tried to make it work but it just has very bad typing.
 

McCoolDude

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Biggest problem with Claydol is its typing. A lot of ground types are hard to use this meta due to the presence of G-Darm, Dracovish, other water types, and even grass coverage moves for Seismitoad. So ground types that are actually useful defensively like Seismitoad are rare. The additional ghost and dark weaknesses make it even worse. I had a similar issue with Runerigus, except it is even worse on Claydol because that gets wrecked by U-turn and has no immunity to normal or fighting moves.

It's a shame because Claydol actually gets some amazing support moves. It's also a decent check to Excadrill. I tried to make it work but it just has very bad typing.

This is another huge part of why it doesn't work well. With investment it often takes less than 50% from the things it is weak to (cept gdarm lol), but all those weaknesses + no ability to recover means that its bulk is almost entirely negated.
 
Well, of those, Claydol doesn't take spikes (exca, avalugg, cinderace)/tspikes (cinderace/avalugg), isn't weak rocks (Cinderace/Avalugg/Mandibuzz), is much bulkier than exca/cinderace/xatu, and doesn't have to clear all the hazards on the field (Mandibuzz/Corviknight).

If it had some real recovery it would actually be really useful for teams that rely on having hazards up for pressure. Without it, it can only clear hazards once or twice, which is a role outclassed by exca.
Oh I definitely agree that it has unique advantages, but I think it's overshadowed by the other hazard removers both offensively (except for Xatu) and defensively (except for Excadrill). Maybe if the metagame shifts away from absurd wallbreakers and more towards setup sweepers and bulky offense it'll have more of a niche. Like you mentioned though I really wish it had recovery!
 
I've been having fun with Ring Target on my Rotom forms. Ring Target basically takes away type based immunities (Levitate is not affected, as it is an ability), so you can trick it onto an unsuspecting Seismitoad/Gastrodon and boom, they can no longer stop your volt turn momentum.

It's also useful for stuff like taking away Dragapult's ghost type advantages, Ferrothorn's steel, Clefable's fairy, etc.

Hard to take off Boots and Scarf is more useful from game to game also but it's a fun option.
 
It's really a shame that Espeon wasn't granted Mystical Fire. l I think Specspeon is still somewhat usable since it hits a lot harder than Xatu, but it really faces competition from Hatterene who hits even harder, isn't nearly as frail, and has Mystical Fire to fuck Ferrothorn's shit up. Espeon is still much faster (and it gets Grass Knot to deal with the toad, although Ferrothorn admittedly walls it to hell and back if it's not running Trick to cripple it). It also slightly suffers from 4MSS as it obviously needs Psychic/Psyshock as a STAB, it wants Dazzling Gleam to hit Darks like Hydreigon, it wants Shadow Ball for opposing Psychics like Hatterene, Mew, and Reuniclus, it wants Grass Knot mostly for Seismitoad, but also for things like Hippowdon and Tyranitar, it wants Trick to cripple things like Ferrothorn, and Wish isn't a bad option either for pivoting against more passive hazard users. It also doesn't help that it gets completely fucked by Excadrill (whereas I believe Xatu beats Excadrill if it's not packing Rock Slide or some Sp.Def Swords Dance bullshit).

I wouldn't call it outright unusable, but the other Magic Bounce users are just better in the current metagame. Espeon is missing some key coverage that it really needs to succeed. Another potential thing to explore would be a Gen 5 style Screens set on HO teams, but with Excadrill being the tier's premiere hazard setter, I don't think it would be particularly effective.
 

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It's really a shame that Espeon wasn't granted Mystical Fire. l I think Specspeon is still somewhat usable since it hits a lot harder than Xatu, but it really faces competition from Hatterene who hits even harder, isn't nearly as frail, and has Mystical Fire to fuck Ferrothorn's shit up. Espeon is still much faster (and it gets Grass Knot to deal with the toad, although Ferrothorn admittedly walls it to hell and back if it's not running Trick to cripple it). It also slightly suffers from 4MSS as it obviously needs Psychic/Psyshock as a STAB, it wants Dazzling Gleam to hit Darks like Hydreigon, it wants Shadow Ball for opposing Psychics like Hatterene, Mew, and Reuniclus, it wants Grass Knot mostly for Seismitoad, but also for things like Hippowdon and Tyranitar, it wants Trick to cripple things like Ferrothorn, and Wish isn't a bad option either for pivoting against more passive hazard users. It also doesn't help that it gets completely fucked by Excadrill (whereas I believe Xatu beats Excadrill if it's not packing Rock Slide or some Sp.Def Swords Dance bullshit).

I wouldn't call it outright unusable, but the other Magic Bounce users are just better in the current metagame. Espeon is missing some key coverage that it really needs to succeed. Another potential thing to explore would be a Gen 5 style Screens set on HO teams, but with Excadrill being the tier's premiere hazard setter, I don't think it would be particularly effective.

Interestingly, all the eeveelutions got weather ball this gen. If you can keep sun up, Espeon can OHKO ferrothorn and Excadrill.

That first bit is the main issue, since exca is often accompanied by sand, and ferro is often accompanied by rain.
 
Okay guys, I played until 1700ish and im here to share my impressions about the metagame:

I dont miss Dynamax hell yea!
The metagame is fine,even though there is ONE problem.

The meta was like:
-Majority of balance teams run seismitoad+corviknight or mandibuzz+clefable+dragapult.
Body press corviknight is very strong, it can beat bisharp and obstagoon,2mons very hard to wall. I though the pokemon was going to drop after dynaban but I was wrong, it is by far the most reliable defogger
-As expected ditto died,but it will be always niche.
-I dont care about darmanitan.
-A lot of players tried choice specs aegislash, which can work with the surprise factor and 140spa Shadow ball is not a joke.
-Dragapult can do everything, its hard to not use it you cannot go wrong with this mon,it even runs Sucker Punch to beat other Dragapults. Epic
-lets talk about the Dracovish story:after fishious rend implementation,the hype was real !dt fishious rend was a common occurence and people even though it was broken. But then,players learnt how to play against it:
.water absorb totally stops it and outside of fishious rend(when you hit 1st of course) it does nothing.
.Its not easy to bring Dracovish on the battlefield:when you look the list of OU mons,dracovish doesnt want to come into scald burn/knock off/thunder wave/mons with a priority/etc/etc. I guess it can come against corviknight take 1 Brave bird if it doesnt click u-turn. It always need volt turn support.
.even if by some miracles, you kill water absorbers and safely place dracovish on the battlefield ready to click fishious rend and get one kill(good luck), you are Not guaranteed to win at all,you have 75 speed and scarf doest help that much.
.with 75 speed, you are not going to do well against fast teams.
-I know you can argue that water absorb is "required" but Jellicent/Gastrodon/Seismitoad are good outside of stopping Dracovish....
RIP Dracovish "reign"
-Barraskewda: in early gen8 I though it was broken and it was a potent Dynamax abuser, but now its not that great. it sure is fast and have good coverage but yea,no setup moves,no bulk,not that hard to wall. By the way, rain isnt that popular,since it struggles against Water absorb and priorites.
-HO teams are doing okay:they have Grimmsnarl to setup the walls/do other things,Bisharp to punish defog,which is by the way very strong in this metagame despite the loss of knock off and pursuit;Kommo-o is slept on Clangorous soul can be deadly and you can choose between physical variants with Drain Punch or special variants with Throat spray. Belly drum is even used to catch fat mons offguard. Gyarados is also used as a taunt sweeper although dynamax ban was a HUGE loss(now you have to play correctly to place gyarados kek).
-Hawlucha:not a dynamax abuser anymore but still strong and splashable. Close combat can trigger Power Herb and it has swords dance and various options to mess with its checks like throat chop for aegislash or substitute for Corsola(stength sap doesnt work against subs)
-Hydreigon is bonkers between Nasty plot to tear bulky teams apart and scarf to revenge kill and clean.


As for me, I tried:
-Red Card Mew, a fun spikes setter with 2795 options.
-Obstagoon, an underrated wallbreaker with almost no switch in(only an healthy max def Corviknight can beat it)
-Dracozolt, The REAL fossil:unlike dracovish doesnt rely on Bolt Beak;has several options and more useful resistances. Bolt Beak+Outrage+Fire fang is no joke. I tried substitute and it can really mess with Balance teams,since you 2hko Seismitoad and Gastrodon with Outrage.
-Post dynamax gyarados:requires patience but can win games when you know when to place it. Taunt is useful.


Okay now, lets talk about the Actual bane of the metagame(nobody cares dunno why), the more you progress on the ladder the more you see it: Dugtrio.
So, dunno why arena trap and shadow tag got unbanned(then shadow tag banned again yea)
How is it played? either adamant or jolly with focus sash/choice band.

Whats wrong with Dugtrio? Arena Trap
this thing can trap:
Bisharp;Cinderace;Dracovish;Dracozolt;Excadrill;Hatterene;Toxapex;Toxtricity;Tyranitar;Obstagoon, and in a certain extent Grimmsnarl and Clefable.
and very reliably.
So what does players do? They run teams that either want Toxapex or Tyranitar dead at all cost, or bulkier teams with some support like Eject Button Toxapex,U-turn Corviknight to bait the mon to trap and get one free kill and then win the rest of the team,since the opponent lost his "Win Condition" with no possibility to counterplay it.
Team preview: you see dugtrio, you cannot play normally your mons or else you get trapped. The best thing you can do id try to get one kill/do some damage and then getting trapped

As you can imagine, there is only so much you can do against Dugtrio trapping ability,which restricts teambuilding just because it exists.
(Using only flying/ghost,although they are pretty good is not a good idea.)

A balance team can lose its key check to an opposing threat and an offensive team can lose its only way to break the foe's defensive core.

When you are building a team,the question is:what else can I do if X pokemon end up getting trapped by Dugtrio?Do this pokemon has anything to fight back against dugtrio(such as a priority or a good bulk)?

Thats how I feel about the metagame,fine to play until high ladder Dugtrio shenaningans. both offense and balance are viable
 

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With December almost over, I'm sure many of us are eagerly awaiting this month's usage stats to drop. December is no doubt going to be a wonky month, since half of it was dedicated to the Dynamax suspect, so some Pokemon's usage are bound to be a bit more inflated than others. Despite this, I would like to take a crack at my future-gazing, prophet skills to see if I can predict what I expect to be the top 10 most used Pokemon.

#10) Rotom-Heat :Rotom-Heat:
I have a feeling Rotom-Heat is going to bake right through the usage stats, climbing up to the #10 spot. This 'mon has kinda been everywhere lately. Its one of the best stops to Galarian Darmanitan right now, but even beyond that, its just a really good Pokemon. Electric + Fire STAB is pretty wild, letting it rock typical defensive cores containing Pokemon like Ferrothorn, Toxapex, Corviknight, Clefable and Aegislash. Levitate is huge, too, letting it avoid being trapped by Dugtrio. Combine that with some utility with Will-o-wisp and potential offensive sets with Nasty Plot, and you have a fairly versatile and interestingly powerful threat. I've done a few RMTs lately, and I feel like Rotom-Heat has been the Pokemon I recommend the most. It just adds a lot to a team if played correctly, and I would not be surprised if it becomes to first Rotom form to eclipse Wash in usage, atleast since I can remember.

#9) Seismitoad :Seismitoad:
Toad has found its place on bulky offensive teams looking for a capable stealth rocker and reliable check to Dracovish all in one. I've used Seismitoad quite a bit, but I will admit I've been starting to lose the taste for it. Its pretty passive and easily worn down, but, I see it a hell of a lot, and dealing with it has become a key part of winning battles. #9th may seem pretty high considering its coming from ~16th, but its solid usage both before and after the Dynamax ban can definitely push it up.

#8 Aegislash :Aegislash:
A notable improvement for the once Uber, Aegislash has greatly appreciated not having to deal with Dynamaxed threats anymore. One of the most competent offensive Pokemon right now, I definitely expect this thing to rise to the top as the meta continues to develop around it.

#7 Clefable :Clefable:
Clefable wass fairly low last month, being sandwiched between shinier Fairy-types in Hatterene and Grimmsnarl. However, since then (and especially after the Dynamax ban) Clefable has really come into its own. LO Clef is a set that every team needs to be prepared for, because its coverage is fantastic and its hard to wear down. Not to mention the bulkier sets which have been making a comeback as of late. I hate to say it because I've been loving using Sylveon, but Clefable's defensive Magic Guard set sometimes seems like just a straight-up improvement. Clefable was around ~#13 last month, but I can definitely see it hitting the top 10. It seems like everyone is running this thing.

#6 Toxapex :Toxapex:
Its Toxapex.

#5 Ferrothorn :Ferrothorn:
Its Ferrothorn.

#4 Corviknight :Corviknight:
Already Top 5 before Dynamax got the boot, I think Corviknight is bound to maintain its high usage. A great pivot and check to big name threats, Corviknight seems like an inevitability on most teams in most team archetypes.

#3 Excadrill :Excadrill:
Its Excadrill.

#2 Darmanitan-Galar :Darmanitan-Galar:
It was a tough decision trying to decide whether or not this should take the #1 spot from Dragapult. While Darmanitan-Galar is certanly the more powerful of the duo, I think Dragapult's speed, coverage and versatility of sets will help it maintain the #1 spot. That said, we all know how incredible Darmanitan-G, and how dominate it has been both before and after the Dynamax ban.

#1 Dragapult :Dragapult:
Yes

Honorable Mentions:

:Ditto:Ditto: Obviously, Ditto is going to see a huge drop in usage. I still like Ditto and consider adding it to my team if I'm worried about set-up sweepers, like Dragapult, but its definitely no longer the absolute necessity that it was earlier this month. Its Dec. usage will definitely be inflated due to the suspect, but its definitely going to lose its #3 spot in favor of something more consistent.

:Dugtrio:Dugtrio: has been a real contentious threat lately, unsurprisingly. Now that Dynamax is gone it can much more reliably trap its targets, which is a huge boon for both offense and stall. For a Pokemon who, last month, was teetering on the edge, Dugtrio will dig its way comfortably into OU, and will probably hit the top #10 by the end of the month... provided its not banned by then.

:Hydreigon:Hydreigon: Hydreigon is big big threat, but I'm not sure it will break the top #10. Definitely will hover around there, though.

:Bisharp:Bisharp has been coming up since the Dynamax ban, with less Pokemon to absorb its Steel + Dark coverage. It was fairly low on the usage stats last month, teetering on the edge right there with Togekiss, but I am definitely expecting a large jump at the turn of the decade.

Anyone else have any predictions? Would like to hear your thoughts. I'll probably revisit this post in a few weeks when the usage stats drop, hopefully I'm not too off the mark.
 
Climbed up to like top 25ish. Meta sans dynamax definitely rewards good plays and knowledge again. Darm is still a pest with no actual answers. Some of the things I think are good now

Centriskorch - by far my fav thing to use atm. Its sp.def rest talk set is such an absolute pest to a lot of the cookie cutter clef/rotom h/darm/toad builds. Nothing likes actually switching into this thing. Boots are mandatory.

Conk - such a great pick. I run a lot of HP because clefs are starting to creep speed so its no point. Kills darm, aegislash, hydreigon, pex, etc. Priority is such a good tool in the meta with all the frail fighting weak things running around.

Mandibuzz - also a very very good pick. Stonewalls all dragapults. Also beats corv if you run taunt. Having a hydreigon, aegis, and drag answer all in one is clutch.

All in all. Much better, Im actually able to ladder. Still think darm is a bit much. Im in the minority but I honestly find Dracovish kind of trash lol
 
With December almost over, I'm sure many of us are eagerly awaiting this month's usage stats to drop. December is no doubt going to be a wonky month, since half of it was dedicated to the Dynamax suspect, so some Pokemon's usage are bound to be a bit more inflated than others. Despite this, I would like to take a crack at my future-gazing, prophet skills to see if I can predict what I expect to be the top 10 most used Pokemon.

#10) Rotom-Heat :Rotom-Heat:
I have a feeling Rotom-Heat is going to bake right through the usage stats, climbing up to the #10 spot. This 'mon has kinda been everywhere lately. Its one of the best stops to Galarian Darmanitan right now, but even beyond that, its just a really good Pokemon. Electric + Fire STAB is pretty wild, letting it rock typical defensive cores containing Pokemon like Ferrothorn, Toxapex, Corviknight, Clefable and Aegislash. Levitate is huge, too, letting it avoid being trapped by Dugtrio. Combine that with some utility with Will-o-wisp and potential offensive sets with Nasty Plot, and you have a fairly versatile and interestingly powerful threat. I've done a few RMTs lately, and I feel like Rotom-Heat has been the Pokemon I recommend the most. It just adds a lot to a team if played correctly, and I would not be surprised if it becomes to first Rotom form to eclipse Wash in usage, atleast since I can remember.

#9) Seismitoad :Seismitoad:
Toad has found its place on bulky offensive teams looking for a capable stealth rocker and reliable check to Dracovish all in one. I've used Seismitoad quite a bit, but I will admit I've been starting to lose the taste for it. Its pretty passive and easily worn down, but, I see it a hell of a lot, and dealing with it has become a key part of winning battles. #9th may seem pretty high considering its coming from ~16th, but its solid usage both before and after the Dynamax ban can definitely push it up.

#8 Aegislash :Aegislash:
A notable improvement for the once Uber, Aegislash has greatly appreciated not having to deal with Dynamaxed threats anymore. One of the most competent offensive Pokemon right now, I definitely expect this thing to rise to the top as the meta continues to develop around it.

#7 Clefable :Clefable:
Clefable wass fairly low last month, being sandwiched between shinier Fairy-types in Hatterene and Grimmsnarl. However, since then (and especially after the Dynamax ban) Clefable has really come into its own. LO Clef is a set that every team needs to be prepared for, because its coverage is fantastic and its hard to wear down. Not to mention the bulkier sets which have been making a comeback as of late. I hate to say it because I've been loving using Sylveon, but Clefable's defensive Magic Guard set sometimes seems like just a straight-up improvement. Clefable was around ~#13 last month, but I can definitely see it hitting the top 10. It seems like everyone is running this thing.

#6 Toxapex :Toxapex:
Its Toxapex.

#5 Ferrothorn :Ferrothorn:
Its Ferrothorn.

#4 Corviknight :Corviknight:
Already Top 5 before Dynamax got the boot, I think Corviknight is bound to maintain its high usage. A great pivot and check to big name threats, Corviknight seems like an inevitability on most teams in most team archetypes.

#3 Excadrill :Excadrill:
Its Excadrill.

#2 Darmanitan-Galar :Darmanitan-Galar:
It was a tough decision trying to decide whether or not this should take the #1 spot from Dragapult. While Darmanitan-Galar is certanly the more powerful of the duo, I think Dragapult's speed, coverage and versatility of sets will help it maintain the #1 spot. That said, we all know how incredible Darmanitan-G, and how dominate it has been both before and after the Dynamax ban.

#1 Dragapult :Dragapult:
Yes

Honorable Mentions:

:Ditto:Ditto: Obviously, Ditto is going to see a huge drop in usage. I still like Ditto and consider adding it to my team if I'm worried about set-up sweepers, like Dragapult, but its definitely no longer the absolute necessity that it was earlier this month. Its Dec. usage will definitely be inflated due to the suspect, but its definitely going to lose its #3 spot in favor of something more consistent.

:Dugtrio:Dugtrio: has been a real contentious threat lately, unsurprisingly. Now that Dynamax is gone it can much more reliably trap its targets, which is a huge boon for both offense and stall. For a Pokemon who, last month, was teetering on the edge, Dugtrio will dig its way comfortably into OU, and will probably hit the top #10 by the end of the month... provided its not banned by then.

:Hydreigon:Hydreigon: Hydreigon is big big threat, but I'm not sure it will break the top #10. Definitely will hover around there, though.

:Bisharp:Bisharp has been coming up since the Dynamax ban, with less Pokemon to absorb its Steel + Dark coverage. It was fairly low on the usage stats last month, teetering on the edge right there with Togekiss, but I am definitely expecting a large jump at the turn of the decade.

Anyone else have any predictions? Would like to hear your thoughts. I'll probably revisit this post in a few weeks when the usage stats drop, hopefully I'm not too off the mark.
:D nice post
I do have some stuff to disagree with. You said, heattom was a great pokemon besides a g-darm check, but honestly, that's basically all it's here for. Electric-Fire coverage, while neat, is generally hard-walled by Seismitoad.
If G-Darm gets banned (which is most likely thing) it will lose most of its appeal, and will be far from top 10.
And Toxapex and Ferrothorn feel much less common, with a lot of things being overly prepared for them, for example Dugtrio just blows past Pex, and Dragapult has the coverage to hit both. Also, I feel G-Darm is number one, Dragapult is definitely popular, but there's a reason why G-Darm is on the radar.
 

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Ye I'm gonna have to hard disagree on the Rotom-H thing. I'd argue it's one of the best Pokemon in the tier and I got dudes who would back me up on that, with or without Darm. Being one of the few decent checks to Darm is obviously a huge plus but Rotom-H has some of the best all around utility I've seen this gen so far. It's something that feels so easy to slap on teams because its typing offensively and defensively does so much for a team.

The NP set is a complete shit show to deal with overall. It's one of the best all around checks to BU Corvi in the tier as well as Clef, and you can fit Wisp or T-wave in the last slot to burn cripple shit that may try to pivot into Heat like Hydrei, Pult, Seis, or like a clutch suicide Wisp on something like Dracovish. After a boost, its counterplay defensively is basically limited reliably to Gastro and Toad; the latter taking like 48% from a +2 Overheat and its limited recovery makes it extremely easy to overwhelm. Even if Rotom-H can't outright break through it on its own, it can cripple it via Wisp/chip, and paired with something like CB Dracovish Rotom pressures it very heavily. The SpD tanks that exist in this tier like Slyveon/Flareon have to eat +2 Volt Switches as you go into your check, which forces them into Wishing and preserving you tons of momentum.

With smart play Rotom-H is legit one of the most infuriating Pokemon to deal with in the tier. It has the correct tools to pressure defensive teams as well status moves to dissuade offensive pivots from attempting to switch into it freely. It can click Volt Switch almost for free because the few Pokemon that can switch into it are prone to chip or status. I find it very hard to not just slap it on a team, Darm aside, for a Pokemon that is able to do so many things in one slot. Its flaws are greatly outweighed by its pros. When the VR finally goes up this mon is gonna be A+ minimum dont @ me.
 
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With December almost over, I'm sure many of us are eagerly awaiting this month's usage stats to drop. December is no doubt going to be a wonky month, since half of it was dedicated to the Dynamax suspect, so some Pokemon's usage are bound to be a bit more inflated than others. Despite this, I would like to take a crack at my future-gazing, prophet skills to see if I can predict what I expect to be the top 10 most used Pokemon.

#10) Rotom-Heat :Rotom-Heat:
I have a feeling Rotom-Heat is going to bake right through the usage stats, climbing up to the #10 spot. This 'mon has kinda been everywhere lately. Its one of the best stops to Galarian Darmanitan right now, but even beyond that, its just a really good Pokemon. Electric + Fire STAB is pretty wild, letting it rock typical defensive cores containing Pokemon like Ferrothorn, Toxapex, Corviknight, Clefable and Aegislash. Levitate is huge, too, letting it avoid being trapped by Dugtrio. Combine that with some utility with Will-o-wisp and potential offensive sets with Nasty Plot, and you have a fairly versatile and interestingly powerful threat. I've done a few RMTs lately, and I feel like Rotom-Heat has been the Pokemon I recommend the most. It just adds a lot to a team if played correctly, and I would not be surprised if it becomes to first Rotom form to eclipse Wash in usage, atleast since I can remember.

#9) Seismitoad :Seismitoad:
Toad has found its place on bulky offensive teams looking for a capable stealth rocker and reliable check to Dracovish all in one. I've used Seismitoad quite a bit, but I will admit I've been starting to lose the taste for it. Its pretty passive and easily worn down, but, I see it a hell of a lot, and dealing with it has become a key part of winning battles. #9th may seem pretty high considering its coming from ~16th, but its solid usage both before and after the Dynamax ban can definitely push it up.

#8 Aegislash :Aegislash:
A notable improvement for the once Uber, Aegislash has greatly appreciated not having to deal with Dynamaxed threats anymore. One of the most competent offensive Pokemon right now, I definitely expect this thing to rise to the top as the meta continues to develop around it.

#7 Clefable :Clefable:
Clefable wass fairly low last month, being sandwiched between shinier Fairy-types in Hatterene and Grimmsnarl. However, since then (and especially after the Dynamax ban) Clefable has really come into its own. LO Clef is a set that every team needs to be prepared for, because its coverage is fantastic and its hard to wear down. Not to mention the bulkier sets which have been making a comeback as of late. I hate to say it because I've been loving using Sylveon, but Clefable's defensive Magic Guard set sometimes seems like just a straight-up improvement. Clefable was around ~#13 last month, but I can definitely see it hitting the top 10. It seems like everyone is running this thing.

#6 Toxapex :Toxapex:
Its Toxapex.

#5 Ferrothorn :Ferrothorn:
Its Ferrothorn.

#4 Corviknight :Corviknight:
Already Top 5 before Dynamax got the boot, I think Corviknight is bound to maintain its high usage. A great pivot and check to big name threats, Corviknight seems like an inevitability on most teams in most team archetypes.

#3 Excadrill :Excadrill:
Its Excadrill.

#2 Darmanitan-Galar :Darmanitan-Galar:
It was a tough decision trying to decide whether or not this should take the #1 spot from Dragapult. While Darmanitan-Galar is certanly the more powerful of the duo, I think Dragapult's speed, coverage and versatility of sets will help it maintain the #1 spot. That said, we all know how incredible Darmanitan-G, and how dominate it has been both before and after the Dynamax ban.

#1 Dragapult :Dragapult:
Yes

Honorable Mentions:

:Ditto:Ditto: Obviously, Ditto is going to see a huge drop in usage. I still like Ditto and consider adding it to my team if I'm worried about set-up sweepers, like Dragapult, but its definitely no longer the absolute necessity that it was earlier this month. Its Dec. usage will definitely be inflated due to the suspect, but its definitely going to lose its #3 spot in favor of something more consistent.

:Dugtrio:Dugtrio: has been a real contentious threat lately, unsurprisingly. Now that Dynamax is gone it can much more reliably trap its targets, which is a huge boon for both offense and stall. For a Pokemon who, last month, was teetering on the edge, Dugtrio will dig its way comfortably into OU, and will probably hit the top #10 by the end of the month... provided its not banned by then.

:Hydreigon:Hydreigon: Hydreigon is big big threat, but I'm not sure it will break the top #10. Definitely will hover around there, though.

:Bisharp:Bisharp has been coming up since the Dynamax ban, with less Pokemon to absorb its Steel + Dark coverage. It was fairly low on the usage stats last month, teetering on the edge right there with Togekiss, but I am definitely expecting a large jump at the turn of the decade.

Anyone else have any predictions? Would like to hear your thoughts. I'll probably revisit this post in a few weeks when the usage stats drop, hopefully I'm not too off the mark.
This is a great list, I'm also looking forward to seeing the usage stats for this past month. Given that Dynamax wasn't banned until midway Dec, and not implemented on PS for a couple days after that, some mons like Gyarados, Togekiss, Ditto, etc. will likely have their usage inflated a bit still in the monthly stats.

Definitely think Rotom-H has a great shot at top 15, if not top 10. Being able to pressure Ferro, Pex, Corviknight, Mandibuzz, Aegislash is so valuable and running max HP/SpD lets it be a good Clefable/Hatterene/Sylveon check as well. It can run Nasty Plot to really up its breaking potential, or T-Wave/Will-o-Wisp for support. One of the biggest beneficiaries of Heavy Duty Boots this gen already.

Speaking of Mandibuzz, I think it will definitely be top 15 after being ~21 in Nov. As another poster mentioned before me, checking Aegislash, Dragapult, Hydreigon all-in-one is very good. One of the most reliable forms of hazard removal, can take on Mold Breaker Excadrill, just all-around solid.

Conk was ~24 last month, that rank has to rise this time around. KOs Darm-G after a bit of chip, pressures FerroPex with CC/Earthquake, Payback/Poison Jab if the opponent is looking to go Dragapult or Clefable. Can Defog if you need it lol. Similar to what you wrote on Bisharp, priority is really good right now.

On the other hand, I feel like Rotom-W's usage could decrease, after being ~7 in Nov. It may just be confirmation bias based on not seeing it as much when I've laddered, but given Dracovish's presence in the tier, I feel people are running more Water Immunity mons rather than Rotom-W. We'll have to see.

It will also be interesting to see the usage of these 3 mons in OU. Given that Kommo-o and Gengar were recently banned from UU Alpha Tour (and Obstagoon looks like it may get the boot too), if any of these 3 don't become OU by usage, they may be the first UUBLs of the generation.
 
So I see Sigilyph is there, which leaves me wondering: what does it do in this meta? I’ve never seen anyone talk about it.
 
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