Metagame SS OU Metagame Discussion v4 (check out posts #483 and 484 for DLC1 info!)

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I want to talk a bit about Clefable and his presence in the current metagame. First of all, i have not read the posts that comes before myself because my limited free time unables me to do it.

So, i think it's not necesary to say all that we already know about WishPort Clefable, it has been talked a lot (I assume). But I definitely think that people is sleeping on other Clefable sets, aka any version such as CM flame moonblast softboiled Clef, wich is incredibly good against the current balance teams (it's able to break Seismi-Ferro-opp Clef, Corvi and Hippo too).

While people tend to prefer using WishPort Clef in order to keep the bulky sweepers healthy for more rounds, wich is really good (WishPort is the best set rn), there isn't any bulky sweeper with the capacity to break all the current fat mons (just Dracovish in Rain Dance, wich requires a determinate play style -rain or semi rain wich I think that works too-) this metagame is experimenting, while CM Clef can beat most of them.

It's important to considerer that making a game plan involving CM Clef to do the maximun work as possible, you can take advantage from your opponent expecting classic WishPort Clef. This set can be leftis or LO, but the superior version is clearly Life Orb righ now, because opposit Clef, Corvi, Hippo, Ferro, Seismitoad... will auto lose againts CM LO Clef. As I said above, flamethrower + moonblast is rn a scary combo.

Anyway, at creating a team with this set, you are sacrificing the defensive utility of this mon. However, the offensive power againts the current trends makes it worth using and it would be a part of your offensive backbone, and the deffensive backbone has still a plenty of possibilities to cover the metagame while abusing this Clef set.

This set had a lot of usage in early SS, and now with a more balance metagame I expect people to realize CM Clef potential. I need to end this post clarifying that classic 3+3 teams in SS (aka 3 bulky attacker or potentially sweepers + 3 fat mons, one being WishPort Clef always) will keep being the best archetype at least untill DLC comes out, so CM Clef will still be opaqued by WishPort Clef, although it deserves a mention as a great option.
 
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Fine, no more Clef+ Kyu+Vish.
- - -
Iron Defense and Body Press can be used by a multitude of Steel Type Pokemon such as Corviknight and if you are insane Ferrothorn. What specific difference does Steelix have that matters for it to be used in OU? Steelix is one of my favs, and i would love to give it a shot OU, just want to make sure that I pick the right teammates and of course reason for it.
Base 200 Defense is the key difference. It hits 548 Defense when fully invested, and 1096 after an Iron Defense. In a meta with some very strong physical breakers, this makes Steelix invaluable into certain matchups. You do lose out on some of the utility provided by things like Corviknight and Ferrothorn, but in exchange you get a solid physically defensive sweeper. It basically requires a Balance team to be built around it. Ideally with WishPort Clef and Toxapex. Sure it's generally outclassed, but it does really excel as a physically defensive tank.
 
This is not a post wanting Clefable to be banned, but doesn't an S+ Rank Pokémon mean that it overcentralizes a tier? The definition of an S+ Rank Pokémon was, in addition to the usual S-Rank definition, one that puts your team at a disadvantage if you don't use it. At one point in the previous generation when Lando was at its peak, many were against the idea of an S+ Rank for Landorus-T despite acknowledging the fact that Lando was still quite above other S Rank Pokémon like Magearna, Kartana, Toxapex, etc. since there are some reasons to use other Pokémon over Lando. On the other hand, Primal Groudon was a perfect example of an S+ as you can literally mold Primal Groudon into whatever your team needs and have more or less similar success with all of sets, whereas there are plenty of roles that Lando-T couldn't fill or are filled better by other Pokémon. I also remembered seeing a comment saying that the regular tiers would never allow a Pokémon like Primal Groudon to stay in any tier. I'm not sure if the regular tiers actually believes this, but there's never been an S+ Pokémon in any OU metagame as far as I recall except maybe in gens 1 and 2, where there are literally no Pokémon bans except event and 680 BST legendaries, so this would be the perfect time to discuss it. What exactly makes an S+ Pokémon allowable in regular tiers? Isn't the idea of "I need to use this Pokémon, otherwise I'm at a disadvantage" just as bad as "I need Galarian Darmanitan checks, otherwise I'm at a disadvantage"?
 
This is more for the Viability list then here.

Landorus, Mega Salamence, Clefable and Primal Groundon are all unique.

Then the Landorus scenario it was put in S+ because at the time it was clear cut above everything else (and eventually got moved down as the meta adapted). However, not only did some pokemon not stand on equal grounds as Landorus but some couldn't move up a tier because they were being compared to Landorus.

Mega Salamence was busted pre-released of the game but held off in case of any changes. When no changes on official release it was insta-banned.

Primal Groundon isn't OU so it's depends on how that tier works.
 
Hey everyone, a trend I’ve noticed on the ladder is that every few games I run into a Screens Sweeper team. These teams have a lot of diversity but follow the same basic format: Screen setter, Belly Drum user, special attacker, Shell Smash abuser, Defog protection. Grimmsnarl is the most popular setter but I’ve seen quite a few of them. Kommo-o or Slurpuff are popular Belly Drum choices, but Hawlucha is a good physical attacker behind screens as well. There’s a huge range of special attackers and Shell Smash abusers.

These teams have become increasingly difficult to play against especially as it is near impossible to plan for all these threats. For example, ok you have a Scarf user who can outspeed and OHKO a +1 Kommo-o and a +2 Cloyster but now this particular team has a Hawlucha that can’t be revenge killed. Or you’re using the rare Unaware physically defensive Clefable which will beat Hawlucha and Kommo-o but you can’t stop being flinched by Cloyster or statused by Grimmsnarl. The best way to stop this strategy may be Brick Break or Psychic Fangs but it can be hard to fit on a team.

How have you all handled the increasing usage of Screen Sweepers and are there other important threats to watch out for that I didn’t mention here?
 

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Hey everyone, a trend I’ve noticed on the ladder is that every few games I run into a Screens Sweeper team. These teams have a lot of diversity but follow the same basic format: Screen setter, Belly Drum user, special attacker, Shell Smash abuser, Defog protection. Grimmsnarl is the most popular setter but I’ve seen quite a few of them. Kommo-o or Slurpuff are popular Belly Drum choices, but Hawlucha is a good physical attacker behind screens as well. There’s a huge range of special attackers and Shell Smash abusers.

These teams have become increasingly difficult to play against especially as it is near impossible to plan for all these threats. For example, ok you have a Scarf user who can outspeed and OHKO a +1 Kommo-o and a +2 Cloyster but now this particular team has a Hawlucha that can’t be revenge killed. Or you’re using the rare Unaware physically defensive Clefable which will beat Hawlucha and Kommo-o but you can’t stop being flinched by Cloyster or statused by Grimmsnarl. The best way to stop this strategy may be Brick Break or Psychic Fangs but it can be hard to fit on a team.

How have you all handled the increasing usage of Screen Sweepers and are there other important threats to watch out for that I didn’t mention here?
I am one of those screens sweeper team users that u speak of, but my team deviates from the basic format you've outlined. From my experience, the THREE biggest hurdles I need to clear in order to successfully sweep a team are the following:
1) Whirlwind Physically defensive Hippowdon: This guy can disrupt many physical attackers trying to set up and waste valuable screens turns, especially vs mons like lucha, bd kommo, bd slurpuff, bisharp, zeraora, sd aegislash, dd pult, sd silvally-whatever, etc
2) Haze Toxapex: Same ish as above, but can also target some special attackers like cm clef, cosmic power/body press/stored power mew, gyarados, non-psychic primarina, etc
3) Excadrill under sand: Exca outspeeds and can threaten to kill a lot of shit even after the speed boost, like dd pult, RP necrozma, autotomize aegislash, sub salac hydreigon, incineroar, zeraora, gengar, etc.

The first two u just have to try and handle with the proper pressure, taunt, etc, but sand drill is very tricky to deal with when screens are not up. Afaik, there's 5 decent ways HO can try and handle an excadrill: SD LO crawdaunt with aqua jet can kill, BU Guts conk with mach punch can kill, DD Gyarados can eat non rock slide attacks and kill back, Cloyster can eat if its healthy but can't set up cuz its still slower under sand, and BU Agility Power Trip Corv can set up in front of drill. Regarding that last one, I spoke about it at length here, and I personally think it's the best of the 5. Seriously, I just had a single battle after making this post and this happened.

Beyond those 3 big hurdles, if you want to beat HO then your best bet is offensive pressure and fast taunts from mons like zeraora and keldeo, both of which also have very good HO matchups. You need to be very careful of weakness policies, and unorthodox ways of breaking screens go very far (I got smashed by a team with brick break seismitoad once).

And yknow, there's always ditto, but that's honestly not very helpful vs certain sweepers like BU zeraora, hawlucha, some mew, sweepers that keep up a sub, etc.
 
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This is not a post wanting Clefable to be banned, but doesn't an S+ Rank Pokémon mean that it overcentralizes a tier? The definition of an S+ Rank Pokémon was, in addition to the usual S-Rank definition, one that puts your team at a disadvantage if you don't use it. At one point in the previous generation when Lando was at its peak, many were against the idea of an S+ Rank for Landorus-T despite acknowledging the fact that Lando was still quite above other S Rank Pokémon like Magearna, Kartana, Toxapex, etc. since there are some reasons to use other Pokémon over Lando. On the other hand, Primal Groudon was a perfect example of an S+ as you can literally mold Primal Groudon into whatever your team needs and have more or less similar success with all of sets, whereas there are plenty of roles that Lando-T couldn't fill or are filled better by other Pokémon. I also remembered seeing a comment saying that the regular tiers would never allow a Pokémon like Primal Groudon to stay in any tier. I'm not sure if the regular tiers actually believes this, but there's never been an S+ Pokémon in any OU metagame as far as I recall except maybe in gens 1 and 2, where there are literally no Pokémon bans except event and 680 BST legendaries, so this would be the perfect time to discuss it. What exactly makes an S+ Pokémon allowable in regular tiers? Isn't the idea of "I need to use this Pokémon, otherwise I'm at a disadvantage" just as bad as "I need Galarian Darmanitan checks, otherwise I'm at a disadvantage"?
Yes it's weird to have 1 S+ pokemon and no S pokemon and then some S- pokemon, but I think it's basically just saying that Clef is on the radar even tho it isn't officially 'on the radar.' A lando comparison isn't really accurate tho, as almost no one with real experience playing the game would have ever argued that it was broken or banworthy. Lando deserved S rank because of it's insane versatility and role compression.
While clefable can perform more than just 1 role, it's clear that only 1 of it's roles (wish teleport) is what makes it S+ right now and gives it it's metagame dominance.
Basically, I don't think there are gonna be any more bans before DLC, so were stuck with this potentially ban-worthy mon for now. This generation has been and will continue to be different from any other because GF is giving us the meta piecemeal, and its awkward to try to build something when you don't have all the parts yet.
 
Fun tech for Sun teams:

Ninetales @ Eject Pack
Ability: Drought
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Overheat
- Solar Beam
- Toxic
- Shadow Ball

I've been using this in lower/middle ladder as a gimmick for Sun teams. Basically, you use Overheat to activate Eject Pack, then switch into Venusaur, usually. Also, I just gave it Shadow Ball because I needed a fourth move. So, basically, you have a one-time nuke of a U-Turn for your Ninetales while also sets up Sun. Anyway, I climbed to the upper 1300s with this on a Sun team, and I'm gonna keep using this to see how it holds up in higher rankings.

One thing to keep in mind is that Ninetales will also switch out without getting the sun up if it switches into Sticky Webs.
 
Now this is a hype announcement! If Dracovish indeed deemed unhealthy for OU, Teambuilding may take a completly new direction, with Sdef Toxapex or Ferrothorn rising up (latter would miss out on Body Press, not sure about that).

In my personal opinion about Dracovish, its uncompetitive abilities come from two angles: the obvious teambuilding strain of water immunities but also the way to easy use of Fishious Rend. It reminds a little of Thousand Arrows of the prior generation: Just use the move, get rewarded.

Furthermore, another point to support Dracovish getting lifted into Ubers is non other than Arctovish: It is proof that the whole Dracovish package in combination with Strong Jaw and Rend is important: Its typing, not being weak to priority. Its Speed which allows it atleast to outspeed the most important walls including Corviknight and last but not least its bulk, which is fantastic for a breaker.
 
Perhaps bad timing for this considering the Dracovish suspect test just went up, but all this recent discussion on Teleport Clefable has me questioning whether an intrinsic aspect of modern-gen Pokemon has been a bit uncompetitive all along - the low-risk switching moves i.e. U-turn, Volt Switch, Baton Pass, and now the problematic Teleport, particularly in the context of a metagame where hazard removal is so easy.

Just want to make clear that I am not at all suggesting these moves should be considered for a suspect, but I think it would be interesting to gauge the community's impression on these moves and how healthy their impact is on the game as a whole. If any mods think this is the wrong place for such a specific discussion, then just drop me a PM and I can start a new thread instead of potentially de-railing this one.

Since its introduction in DPP, U-turn has been slapped on just about any offensive Pokemon that gets it and for very clear reason. The cookie-cutter U-turn situation is something like offensive Dragapult vs defensive Kommo-o. Here, U-turn is a move with a very high floor - assuming that you have at least one other Pokemon that can threaten Kommo-o should they stay in on your U-turn, there is very very little risk attached to using it. This would be fine and properly balanced if U-turn at least had a low ceiling, but U-turn also has one of the highest ceilings in the game as if Kommo-o switches out, you are given free momentum to whatever you want as if you had perfectly predicted the switch but without needing to predict it. I would go as far as to say that having a physical attacker with U-turn vs something Bug-weak is probably the most advantageous single position that you can find yourself in in Pokemon - this situation is almost the entire reason why something like Celebi is considered a complete momentum sink.

U-turn has been a direct reason for many bans in the past (see below, mons in brackets only have niche use of U-turn), but also likely an indirect one. OU mainstays such as Landorus-T, Rotom-W, and Scizor are excellent facilitators of wallbreakers and sweepers that otherwise have a fairly difficult time finding opportunities on their own.

BW: :genesect::tornadus-therian::landorus:
XY: :genesect::landorus:(:greninja:)
SM: :genesect::landorus::pheromosa:(:naganadel:)
SS: :darmanitan-galar:

I think U-turn and similar moves are something that we never consider as uncompetitive mechanics because 1) they have been part of the game for so long and 2) there is actually a bit of counterplay. Residual damage dissuades U-turn by putting offensive Pokemon on a timer and encouraging them to actually make real progress (i.e. deal damage) rather than preserve momentum. This is probably why U-turn is kinda a non-issue in DPP, where sand is up permanently most games, and SR/Spikes are tough to remove vs Rotom-A - only Flygon has a truly safe U-turn as a result, but whatever partner Flygon brings in off a U-turn is still going to suffer from those issues. DPP still has Dugtrio and I know there are grievances about the impact of U-turn Jirachi + Dug there right now, but thats another topic.

So U-turn has inarguably already been an issue for many suspects in the past. However, with every passing generation, U-turn and the like feel more "free" to click than ever before. Sand is no longer permanent meaning that the pivoting role has moved beyond the typical Steels and Grounds without fear of longevity. Rocky Helmet was a nice addition but almost immediately undone by the Knock Off buff plus addition of Volt Switch and now the buff to Teleport. Between U-turn, VS and Teleport the distribution of pivoting moves among top Pokemon feels crazy. In addition, hazards have less impact than ever before, what with the distribution of Defog on mons like Corviknight, which is itself one of the best U-turners in the game, along with the Rapid Spin buff, and HDB. The result is that progress is insanely slow to make in SS, as it feels like a constant scrap for momentum while neither team can really punish things like U-turn Corviknight, Teleport Clefable, U-turn Dragapult, or Volt Switch Rotom-H.

I think a lot of us are, reasonably, keeping an eye on Teleport Clefable, as Wish + Teleport on a Magic Guard Pokemon is certainly the best example of how free and unpunishable momentum is abused in current SS. However, I think that this kind of mechanic has likely been an issue for a long time, and just barely kept "handleable" in old gens by things like hazards, sand, rocky helmet, and the various dynamics of fast vs slow U-turn etc. Teleport Clefable, with its ability to invalidate passive damage and always go last without touching Rocky Helmet is simply the set that has brought the uncompetitiveness of this to the forefront, but I do think that classical abusers and stuff like U-turn Corviknight are also huge contributors to the slow-progression, grind of games in SS OU. Looking ahead to DLC, I certainly don't look forward to the addition of many of the older offensive u-turns, nor things like Teleport Slowbro, Chansey which seem excessively difficult to punish with Corviknight/Mandibuzz support.

I think the OU council are doing fantastic here, but Game Freak has given us a stinking set of mechanics that now gives far too many Pokemon simply unpunishable options that games just turn into mini-momentum wars. Gens 4-5 have arguably too much focus on residual damage meaning you have to make individual turns count because you simply don't get too many of them - sure, U-turn exists but everything is on a timer so theres not just endless loops of pivoting, plus Ferrothorn is like 40% usage. Whilst I don't like them personally, gens 6-7 hit more of a sweetspot regarding momentum. Gen 8 feels like its gone too far, giving Defog to its best user ever, HDB making pivots tough to punish, and then giving Teleport to mons that really didn't need an unpunishable switching option.

tl;dr there is little risk on a given turn playing current SS balance, there is rarely reason to go actually make a play with these teams because HDB, Magic Guard and ridiculously good Defoggers makes pivoting mons absurdly difficult to punish. Magic Guard Clefable is the posterboy but I think with recent mechanics changes, the problems run deeper than just Clefable.
 
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With how volatile powercreep has gotten, without momentum control it'd be really rough to switch in more passive mons that can't switch in directly, or risk sinking momentum with a switch prediction. There's little risk in current ou, but without moves like u-turn, real talk how do you even find switch opportunities in this meta without coinflipping double switches?

At least back in the old days there was no team preview, so there was less risk switching in a wall or even offensive mon into something that might have coverage since usually you can take a hit and the opponent wont even know what pokemon you have to bait them out. Nowadays we see that shit and switching in mindlessly is gambling. remember when sylveon was actually countered by UU steels?

I can see where it might be unhealthy, but in the current gen it might make the game healthier when you consider how much more expansive pokemon movesets have gotten and how much powercreep over the years there's been. Tele clef is super disgusting tho, teleport is whatever but tele+magic guard+wish on a bulky fairy that can also bluff defensive sets for offensive ones is just a bit much.
 
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I disagree with this. Yes passive Pokémon also benefits from the free momentum, but the benefits of pivoting moves heavily favor offensive Pokémon. Most passive Pokémon are bulky, and the point of bulky Pokémon is to be able to hard switch into dangerous breakers and sweepers. Double switches and predictions are much riskier to do with breakers and sweepers than with bulkier Pokémon since even breakers and sweepers don't like switching into resisted or status moves. For dangerous Pokémon like Dugtrio or Fiscious Rend, pivoting moves make bringing them in very low risk a lot of the times. Plus, some U-Turn users like Darmanitan-G or Intelleon in RU require immediate attention else you lose something that you are always forced to go into your specific check because the free momentum they get is much less damaging between them clicking their main moves or U-Turn. Although I don't believe pivoting moves are banworthy from a peronal and Smogon perspective, I have to admit they are uncompetive in some way.
 
the point of bulky Pokémon is to be able to hard switch into dangerous breakers and sweepers.
This is what i disagree with because right now i dont believe this to be the case, bulky pokemon cant really hard switch without risking a 2HKO by a coverage move or just being muscled through anyway. When you really look at smogon's definition of checks and counters, the list of 'counters' has significantly diminished into just being 'checks' over the years. Pivoting isn't really the issue as much as the options to hard switch without pivoting have been narrower and narrower each gen since powercreep and versatility never seems to work for tanks as much as it works for offensive mons. Its even less tolerable now when we consider we're missing so many of them (skarmory, cele, heatran, chansey, blissey, porygon2, suicune, etc) to glue teams that dont have answers to high coverage mons.
 
Honestly, U-Turn is a poorly thought out move, even back in Gen 4 when Stealth Rock was everywhere and Defog was just an evasion lowering move. U-turn and other pivoting moves should have you select your switch-in before your selection phase ends, which is how it should have been handled in the first place.

However, being poorly designed doesn’t always mean banworthy, and trying to pin the problem on all pivot users as a whole, the likes of which are not as good as Clefable, instead of Clefable itself is really no different from the suggestions to save other Pokemon.

But regardless, it’s pretty early to discuss a Clefable, Teleport, or general pivoting move ban now. With Dracovish’s likely departure, there will be a huge metagame shift, namely Seismitoad plummeting down (although still useful, just not as useful), who is commonly paired up with Clefable due to its lack of reliable recovery, and opening the floodgates to multiple breakers other than Dracovish that will let or force defensive cores be more diverse.
On top of that, we’ll also be getting 100 Pokemon with more of the wacked movepools, regional forms, and some new Pokemon in just a few weeks.
 
Ok, so let's try and answer this question once and for all:
How good is non-Libero Cinderace?
119 Speed makes it the 13th fastest unboosted Pokemon legal in OU, and the 4th fastest OU/UUBL (slower than Weavile, Dragapult and Zeraora).
Court Change is a difficult move to evaluate the strength of, but works extremely well in Hyper Offensive teams that love the massive momentum swing it brings, as well as the pressure it puts on screens or hazard stack teams.
Blaze-boosted Pyro Ball hits like a truck (using typeless Regigigas as a comparison target):
252 Atk Blaze Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Regigigas: 250-295 (58.9 - 69.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Choice Band Blaze Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Regigigas: 375-442 (88.4 - 104.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
(252 Atk Choice Band Sheer Force Darmanitan Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Regigigas: 372-438 (87.7 - 103.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock)
Brings a lot of utility with U-turn and Taunt, as well as priority with Sucker Punch.
Deep coverage pool that includes Mega Medicham-style coverage in Zen Headbutt and High Jump Kick, as well as Gunk Shot and Iron Head so it can answer nearly any Fairy.
Access to Bulk Up, Flame Charge and Agility for some setup potential.
Moves that aren't Blaze-boosted Pyro Ball are unimpressive against bulky targets due to its 116 Attack.
252 Atk Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Regigigas: 168-198 (39.6 - 46.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Cinderace High Jump Kick vs. 252 HP / 0 Def typeless Regigigas: 121-143 (28.5 - 33.7%) -- 97.3% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Choice Band Cinderace High Jump Kick vs. 252 HP / 0 Def typeless Regigigas: 181-213 (42.6 - 50.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
The metagame leaning towards Phys Def walls makes using Cinderace against them very hard unless they are weak to Pyro Ball.
252 Atk Choice Band Cinderace Zen Headbutt vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 130-154 (42.7 - 50.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Black Sludge recovery
252 Atk Choice Band Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 72-85 (23.6 - 27.9%) -- possible 5HKO after Black Sludge recovery
Running Adamant for extra power is unviable due to the vast number of threats that jump neutral Cinderace (notably including the Swords of Justice).
Being grounded with a Stealth Rock weakness forces Boots on Court Change sets.
Low bulk and common weaknesses makes it easy for the opponent to pick it off, and harder than it would like to get in safely.
0 SpA Toxapex Scald vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Cinderace: 134-158 (44.5 - 52.4%) -- 17.2% chance to 2HKO
So what do you think? I think Cinderace is a great pick for Hyper Offense that excels in offense v offense matches due to its blazing speed, utility, Court Change and Pyro Balls. However, it gets bogged down by common walls if it tries to run more offensive sets.
 
Ok, so let's try and answer this question once and for all:
How good is non-Libero Cinderace?
I think you covered it pretty well. There are many issues bogging down Cinderace's offensive sets, such as the SR weakness and lack of power outside of band sets. Unless you're running a six CB team to pressure Pex and Hippo, Band Cinder is never going to break them. I have seen it on sun, which I think as a whole is pretty good as an antimeta pick. The Torkoal/Venusaur core appreciates a strong physical breaker and sun boosted CB Pyro Ball is insane. It offers a speedier option, at the cost of some power, compared to Darmanitan at the crowded base 95 speed tier.

252 Atk Choice Band Cinderace Pyro Ball vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Mew in Sun: 294-346 (72.7 - 85.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Sheer Force Darmanitan Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Mew in Sun: 435-513 (107.6 - 126.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO

I haven't played sun much as it's very limited by Dracovish atm, but as a big fan of the style I'm definitely going to try out Cinder once Mr Fish is gone.
 
I'd like to discuss Kyurem--specifically Specs Kyu. In my experience, Specs Kyu has been the absolute staple on a few of my teams for the following reasons:
  1. It is an excellent check to both Scarf and Band Dracovish.
  2. It has incredible power and coverage, and it has pretty decent offensive typing.
To the first point, it's been my absolute saving grace while laddering against a lot of the Dracovish teams out there. I've noticed most people tend to use Scarfed Dracovish, but Band Vish never OHKOs Kyurem and Kyurem outspeeds Band Vish and OHKOs it.

To my second point, Ice has been good so far, and whatever isn't hit hard by either Freeze Dry or Ice Beam is usually hit hard enough by Earth Power. Realistically though, you're really only ever clicking Ice Beam or Freeze Dry. Since we're currently in a meta where everyone seems to be packing a bulky water, Freeze Dry is just super sweet. The power behind Specs Freeze Dry is enough to OHKO or 2HKO most water types with the exception of Toxapex, which is really only ever an issue if it's running Toxic. T-Spikes/Baleful Pex sets are complete fodder for Kyu, but admittedly Toxic sets are a problem for Kyurem because it does end up getting worn down and walled.

Ok, so let's try and answer this question once and for all:
How good is non-Libero Cinderace?
I started using Cinder because one of my teams got absolutely monstered by a well played Cinder. I've been running Cinder on one of my teams lately to great effect. I find that his Speed tier,, and the power behind Pyro Ball is enough to threaten a lot of the offensive metagame. For passive mons, Taunt is a really solid option. Just run Heavy Duty Boots and U-Turn around while threatening KOs on Ferro/Steel types. Court Change is really the biggest asset to Cinder imo because you can freely switch in on things like Ferro and completely invalidate essentially all non-Knock Off options/variants. Cinder also can be a really nice anti-lead Pokemon against things because Taunt shuts down their first turn then you U-Turn to their answer.

Below is a replay I think really displays why Kyurem is strong right now; I am using Cinder on that squad, but he wasn't too useful in that matchup aside from being death fodder for a momentum grab. Since I knew Kyurem wouldn't die to Rend, I scouted my opponent's set with an early switch. After I realized my opponent was Banded Dracovish, I leveraged Kyu's higher speed to nail Togekiss and played to the endgame where my opponent couldn't keep his Dracovish alive anymore.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8ou-1122825471
 

Finchinator

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With the World Cup of Pokemon Qualifiers starting up this week, we have noticed some interesting usage trends recently. To check out the games played thus far, feel free to look here!

:Kyurem:

Kyurem was seen as a top tier threat from day 1, but between all of the Dracovish hype over the last couple of months and team archetypes oftentimes including cores to keep it in check such as Clefable with Protect + Rotom-Heat, it became a lot harder to be consistent with Kyurem. In addition, Kyurem appreciated Dugtrio (even if it also was trapped by the Focus Sash variant as well). During March and April, one could argue it hit a low point. However, it has recently started to pop up a lot more and it is as effective as ever with the Choice Specs variant.

:Primarina:

Calm Mind Primarina has established itself as one of the better win conditions in the current metagame. It is to the point where people are starting to consider running Power Whip on Ferrothorn again and we have even seen the occasional Poison Jab Toxapex. Substitute + Calm Mind Primarina is a great, anti-balance win condition and a lot of teams are still unprepared for it. It is seeing more and more usage as time elapses and while it is currently listed as UUBL, one should not underestimate or disrespect this intriguing option in the metagame!

Let me know what you guys think about these two Pokemon and other potential metagame trends.
 
:Primarina:

Calm Mind Primarina has established itself as one of the better win conditions in the current metagame. It is to the point where people are starting to consider running Power Whip on Ferrothorn again and we have even seen the occasional Poison Jab Toxapex. Substitute + Calm Mind Primarina is a great, anti-balance win condition and a lot of teams are still unprepared for it. It is seeing more and more usage as time elapses and while it is currently listed as UUBL, one should not underestimate or disrespect this intriguing option in the metagame!

Let me know what you guys think about these two Pokemon and other potential metagame trends.
Primarina has become a real menace to a lot of my teams. I would not be remotely surprised to see it rise to OU in this coming month. I was using your Vish sample team to attempt a reqs climb Finch. This thing was responsible for about 50% of my losses initially. To the point where I changed Clef to Unaware and invested enough Sp. Atk to break it's sub consistently. It's a great anti-meta pick

I've been gradually changing spreads on both offensive and defensive pokemon to answer this thing better. 32 Sp. Def on Toxtricity allows you to tank a +1 scald from Modest 124 Sp. Atk invested Primarina. 40 Sp. Atk allows Unaware Clef to always do 25% minimum to 252 HP/0 Sp. Def invested Primarina and so on.

Highly recommend using it.
 
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:Kyurem:

Kyurem was seen as a top tier threat from day 1, but between all of the Dracovish hype over the last couple of months and team archetypes oftentimes including cores to keep it in check such as Clefable with Protect + Rotom-Heat, it became a lot harder to be consistent with Kyurem. In addition, Kyurem appreciated Dugtrio (even if it also was trapped by the Focus Sash variant as well). During March and April, one could argue it hit a low point. However, it has recently started to pop up a lot more and it is as effective as ever with the Choice Specs variant.
Kyurem really got Freeze Dry this gen , this thing so hard to face with teams lacking clef + tom , lax , or the the very rare zong just hits so damn hard and rn is such a strong threat in the tier. With Knock Off support this thing becomes even more annoying on removing the lefties and better rolls with Modest heavily improves the match up. This thing is also fat and can eat a hit from some moves making it even more threatening than it was. ( Freeze hax is sad)

:Primarina:

Calm Mind Primarina has established itself as one of the better win conditions in the current metagame. It is to the point where people are starting to consider running Power Whip on Ferrothorn again and we have even seen the occasional Poison Jab Toxapex. Substitute + Calm Mind Primarina is a great, anti-balance win condition and a lot of teams are still unprepared for it. It is seeing more and more usage as time elapses and while it is currently listed as UUBL, one should not underestimate or disrespect this intriguing option in the metagame!
This mon is such an incredible pick rn and can easily dismantle a lot of balance. It really is no surprised that this thing is such a menace that Ferro are running pwhip for it , just cause how much it can blow through a ny teams that doesn't have a reliably switch in into this. Primarina is such a good anti balance mon in a meta where a lot of team are balanced, and is getting used a lot more , that I really expect this thing rising to OU with next tier shift, with Primarina teams usage keeps growing every day.

I already discussed one of the best mons to pair this with being Salazzle here , just because of how amazing that core works well with each other and makes Primarina be able to break past Ferro and Pex a lot easily in a way.

These two are definitely in the spot on impacting the metagame, and likely still for a while so would definitely recommend for anyone who hasn't used them , to give them a try because they will put in some work guaranteed.
 

Jordy

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:clefable:
If the qualifying round of WCoP is anything to go by, Calm Mind Clefable is absolutely back and it has been dominating pretty convincingly in most of the games it's been used in. I would like to acknowledge that this can partly be attested to the usage of unviable Toxapex, though. Seriously, dropping Haze is absolutely a mistake; you are simply asking to lose to Pokemon like Snorlax, Calm Mind Clefable, and Bulk Up Corviknight to name a few examples if you don't use it.

One particular option that I've been liking a lot on Calm Mind Clefable is Psychic. Although giving up the option to immediately pressure Kyurem can be a little annoying at times, as you have to drop Moonblast for Psychic, the pressure that it can exert against teams with Toxapex and/or Salazzle is incredible. A lot of teams right now lean on a combination of Pokemon like Toxapex + Excadrill / Aegislash / Jirachi to deal with Calm Mind Clefable, which Clefable can break down very easily with the combination of Psychic and Flamethrower.

:reuniclus:
Another Pokemon that is worth highlighting is definitely Assault Vest Reuniclus, which has been seeing a little bit of usage. It's definitely one of the more potent Future Sight users in the metagame, which is an excellent tool that can be used to quickly overwhelm Pokemon like Toxapex and Rotom-H. I have found it to be particularly potent in combination with Pokemon such as Clefable and Primarina. Beyond that, it can also provide some utility with Knock Off, and serves as a fine check to Pokemon like Kommo-o. Its definitely worth highlighting how an Assault Vest allows Reuniclus to play around Pokemon like Dragapult and Hydreigon much more aggressively; it can afford to stay in atleast once and punish them very easily.

:mandibuzz:
Another Pokemon that's been trending upwards is Mandibuzz. Mandibuzz dipped in usage a lot as people started to realize that it tends to faulter against Excadrill; teams with Mandibuzz don't really have room for Corviknight. However, it's definitely made a big comeback into the metagame alongside Pokemon like Ferrothorn and Rotom-H, which ultimately leaves you with a fine enough matchup against Excadrill. I don't think I really need to explain what makes Mandibuzz so useful, but for inclusivity's sake I'll briefly touch upon it anyways. Mandibuzz is a sturdy, durable Ghost-resistant Pokemon, allowing it to consistently check Ghost-types such as Dragapult, Aegislash, and Gengar, which gives it a pretty solid edge over other Ghost-resistant Pokemon like Incineroar and Choice Scarf Hydreigon defensively, which have to be sustained by Wish Clefable. Beyond that, it is a decent Defogger and can also act as a pivot.
 
I already voiced my opinions in the other thread, I will vote no-ban on dracovish because I think his speed doesn't justify a ban in such an offensive meta.

Talking about the meta in general I think 3 pokemon that are very good right now:
-SubCM Primarina, usually there's only 1 check to it in most teams which is easily lured,
-zeraora life orb grass knot knock off cc and plasma fists, can literally 2hko 99% of the meta and is faster than 100%,
-tom-h nasty plot discharge, this thing is stupid broken in this meta and it's very hard to deal with.

I would advice everyone to try those out for themselves, in my book they're the top 3 threats right now and close enough is DDdragapult which is pretty nasty after you weaken corviknight(which is setup fodder if it doesn't have BB).

Wait just for the sake of it I'll build a team with the 3 of them:
Zeraora @ Life Orb
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Plasma Fists
- Close Combat
- Knock Off
- Grass Knot

u dun goofed (Primarina) @ Leftovers
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 248 HP / 80 Def / 44 SpD / 136 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute
- Calm Mind
- Scald
- Draining Kiss

Rotom-Heat @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Discharge
- Overheat
- Nasty Plot
- Toxic

Dragapult @ Life Orb
Ability: Infiltrator
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Steel Wing
- Dragon Darts
- Sucker Punch

Bisharp @ Black Glasses
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Knock Off
- Sucker Punch
- Iron Head

Terrakion @ Focus Sash
Ability: Justified
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Taunt
- Close Combat
- Stone Edge
Enjoy it, looks pretty similar to what I used to qualify for voting, always start with terrak and either taunt or sr depending on the situation, figure out your win condition from the get go, try to never let down the pressure, if you need to sack a mon then so be it.
 
Incineroar @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 196 SpD / 60 Spe
Careful Nature
- Knock Off
- Flare Blitz
- Parting Shot
- Toxic

I'm surprised more people aren't using Incineroar as opposed to Rotom-Heat. I find that most of the time cores can play around Rotom-Heat and force the user to make a lot of guesswork. Incineroar is usually a great lead, and can easily get plenty of Knock Offs and a few Toxics every game, as well as being the best Intimidate user right now. I actually think Flare Blitz is the least used move, because it really only takes care of Corviknight and Ferrothorn who will usually switch out. Parting Shot is great for forcing switches and bringing in threats like Conkeldurr and Aegislash easily. I've seen more success with Incineroar than ever, finally breaking the 1600's on the ladder!
 
Incineroar @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 196 SpD / 60 Spe
Careful Nature
- Knock Off
- Flare Blitz
- Parting Shot
- Toxic

I'm surprised more people aren't using Incineroar as opposed to Rotom-Heat. I find that most of the time cores can play around Rotom-Heat and force the user to make a lot of guesswork. Incineroar is usually a great lead, and can easily get plenty of Knock Offs and a few Toxics every game, as well as being the best Intimidate user right now. I actually think Flare Blitz is the least used move, because it really only takes care of Corviknight and Ferrothorn who will usually switch out. Parting Shot is great for forcing switches and bringing in threats like Conkeldurr and Aegislash easily. I've seen more success with Incineroar than ever, finally breaking the 1600's on the ladder!
Agree, while I don't like Inceneroar myself I do notice that it's by far the best Knock Off user in the game with good bulk, slow turning capabilities and an excellent typing. It's a rather annoying mon to deal with.
 
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