Metagame Suicide Cup

I ended up being encouraged by Ho3nConfirm3d today to post some post-Home VR nominations, so here I go. This is my first time doing VR nominations period, and I hope I did well. These nominations notably attempt to keep the power levels of the currently posted VR tiers, but I'm actually shaky on some of them myself. Feel free to post your own noms and disagree publicly with mine, though:

:zacian:
Zacian: UR -> A+
Zacian is tied for the fastest Steel Beam user who can still self-2HKO with Substitute into Steel Beam, and it is so blindingly fast at 138 base Speed that it outspeeds all Heal Pulse users, most Taunt users, most Encore users, and most Trick/Switcheroo users. This means that high-tier mons like Mewtwo often cannot interrupt it. Imprison ensures it can disrupt opposing Steel Beam users in a way that Magic Coat cannot stop. Zacian has a weakness to Steel Beam, a neutrality to Stealth Rock, and a worse ability to tank opposing Struggles compared to its equally fast and useful compatriot Zamazenta, relegating Zamazenta to more Steel Beam Spam-prone teams.

Sample Set: https://pokepast.es/826cce93b68a5bbe

:mewtwo:
Mewtwo: UR -> S
Mewtwo is the fastest Heal Pulse user in the meta at 130 base Speed, and it has Taunt to boot to prevent opponents from creating Substitutes. This gives Mewtwo favourable match-ups against Pokemon who are slower than it and who do not have Magic Coat, which includes most Steel Beam users, the Court Change staples Dugtrio and Cinderace, and the best Sticky Web users. Mewtwo having access to Magic Coat, Disable, and Teleport as well as being the fastest non-Prankster user of Trick add to its unpredictability. With all these features, Mewtwo is a great pick for almost any team.

Sample Set: https://pokepast.es/7d1adcc8ce2a2b01

:liepard: / :purrloin:
Liepard Family: B -> A-
The Liepard family got Prankster back, which puts them back into a rarefied position among disruptors. Purrloin notably has good viability, having all the best moves in Liepard's movepool (Taunt, Encore, Trick, Thunder Wave, Baton Pass, Copycat) and, when Naive, being cleanly OHKOd by Zacian's Steel Beam, being OHKOd by Klink's STAB 45 base Special Attack Steel Beam after Black Sludge, and being OHKOd most of the time by Pawniard's STAB 40 base Special Attack Steel Beam after Black Sludge while still outspeeding fellow Pranksters Sableye and Impidimp (so it can put out a Substitute before Sableye Imprisons it away, for example). Not having Disable (or Heal Pulse, but no Pranksters get that) to hose Steel Beam users better and not having Imprison to disrupt Dark-types prevents me from ranking this family any higher, though.

New Sample Sets: https://pokepast.es/453924856d56e152

:silvally:
Silvally: A- -> A
In an expanded post-Home meta, Silvally notably gets to raise its VR position (IMO) by having Magic Coat and regaining Defog. This makes it the new fastest Defog Steel Beam user, giving it a valuable niche in Steel Beam Spam teams. Magic Coat also bounces back Taunt, Heal Pulse, and Sticky Web and plays mind games with Encore and Disable users, some of the best ways to disrupt Steel Beam users. As a cool bonus, it cannot have its ability changed by opposing Skill Swap and friends. Although it still keeps Imprison from pre-Home, its slower speed than fellow Imprisoners Zacian, Zamazenta, and Jirachi often prevents it from being a Steel Beam hoser on teams without Sticky Web. Silvally gets to Imprison Steel Beam counterplay they can't such as Roar and Tailwind, though.

New Sample Set: https://pokepast.es/0701f8cd7a119c5f

:xatu:
Xatu: A- -> A+
(The old VR description still applies)
Xatu gets a sizable boost post-Home by regaining Defog, thus making it perhaps the most reliable Defog user in the meta. Additionally, it can also use Imprison to prevent opponents from Defogging. It remains a great pivot with Magic Bounce and Teleport, and Tailwind with the slow pivot move Teleport provides great support. Its part-Flying typing grants it both a weakness to Stealth Rock and the ability to not be trapped by Dugtrio. Faster Imprison Defog users such as Ribombee can prevent Xatu from Defogging, though.

New Sample Set: https://pokepast.es/4ee7f93a2ce9b8a5

:whimsicott: / :cottonee:
Whimsicott Family: A- -> A
Regaining Defog post-Home was a boon to the Whimsicott family. This now allows Cottonee to compress the roles of Steel Beam fodder, Defog user, and Encore user. If the Whimsicott family does not need to provide Defog support, its members can still provide support with Switcheroo, Knock Off, Stun Spore, Tailwind, and more. Naive Cottonee notably is not OHKOd after Black Sludge roughly half the time by Bronzor Steel Beam.

New Sample Sets: https://pokepast.es/10546d5642621fb6

:swinub:
Swinub: B -> B+ (Split From Mamoswine Family)
For Steel Beam fodder, Swinub makes a surprisingly good pivot, as its Oblivious makes it immune to Taunt. This also makes Swinub a reliable Roar user, as few things will stop it from Roaring out its target. Swinub ends up being less disruptive than some other Steel Beam fodder, though, but a Taunt-immune mon is still a valuable addition to some teams.

New Sample Set: https://pokepast.es/a9bc73f6f57f4f35

:swoobat:
Swoobat: B- -> B
(The old VR description still applies)
The Swoobat family is currently the only family with Skill Swap and Klutz, providing unique disruption that ignores both Substitute and Magic Coat. All Swoobat needs is 1 turn to make its item injure itself for the rest of the game. Steel Beam users with Klutz are either forced out or made to use Steel Beam twice, which can decide games. Opposing Taunts and Encores can be mitigated with Magic Coat. Swoobat is also a decent Defog user.

New Sample Set: https://pokepast.es/4270406d6adf586d

:persian-alola:
Persian-Alola: UR -> A-
Persian-Alola is a fast Dark-type with a good movepool, including Taunt, Switcheroo, Parting Shot, and Roar. This allows it to ignore Pranksters, eject Magic Bounce users, disrupt Perish Song users, eject opponents with Toxic Orbs who linger for too long, and more. Rival Dark-types can hold edges in speed, being Steel Beam fodder, or having access to moves like Encore and Disable, though.

Sample Set: https://pokepast.es/e7fe2a051658e280

:celebi:
Celebi: UR -> B+
Celebi is the only Pokemon with access to Perish Song and Baton Pass, giving it a unique niche. This makes it a good partner for otherwise risky Trick, Klutz, and Belly Drum users. Magic Coat grants it protection while stalling out Perish Song turns. Heal Bell, Trick, Substitute, and Imprison add to the support it can lend. Natural Cure restricts it to holding Black Sludge or disruptive items, though. Also, not having access to moves like Taunt or Encore hurts, a mediocre 100 base Speed forces it to Magic Coat more than it may like, and Perish Song is a slower way to self-KO than Sub-Steel Beam and Sub-Belly Drum.

Sample Set: https://pokepast.es/7aecad8fbf4fe809

:ninetales-alola:
Ninetales-Alola: UR -> B
Ninetales-Alola is one of the fastest users of Imprison and Disable, thus hosing slower Steel Beam users (Cobalion and slower) fairly well. Encore, Roar, and Heal Bell round out its support movepool. Snow Warning provides chip to both sides, which may end up backfiring against Steel Beam Spam teams and Court Change teams, but it does help your failed Trick/Switcheroo users. Ninetales-Alola is OHKOd after Black Sludge by Steel Beams as weak as Pawniard and Togedemaru's (40 base Special Attack). A lack of Taunt and Magic Coat and a flawed 109 base Speed both hurt Ninetales-Alola, though.

Sample Set: https://pokepast.es/c0e7ecc3e3af8cd8

:delibird:
Delibird: UR -> B
Delibird is like a more disruptive but sadly bulkier Snom for Court Change teams that is unfortunately immune to Spikes. Defog lets it remove Sticky Web, and it just might be able to successfully use that move with its 75 base Speed. Baton Pass lets Delibird slower pivot to answers to switch-ins such as Prankster users. Delibird can lend further team support by using Hail or attempting to Agility Pass, it can try to restart the hazards party with Spikes, or it can stall out turns with Protect. Naive Delibird is unfortunately OHKOd after Black Sludge by Bronzor's (and Ferroseed's) Steel Beam only most of the time, but all other Steel Beams cleanly OHKO it, even when Hasty.

Sample Set: https://pokepast.es/9e433976ee5bdee4

:klinklang: / :klink:
Klinklang Family: UR -> A
The Klinklang family is one of the few families with access to Steel Beam and Magic Coat, thus making it harder to disrupt than the usual Steel Beam users. Thunder Wave tries its best to disrupt Imprison Steel Beam users and switch-ins. While Klinklang is the fastest member of the family, Klink notably has a wimpy 45 base Special Attack. Clear Body makes them immune to Sticky Web.

Sample Sets: https://pokepast.es/80683a536e28b1a8

:jirachi:
Jirachi: UR -> A
With access to Magic Coat, Encore, and Baton Pass, Jirachi makes an excellent lead for Steel Beam Spam teams, especially against opponents who sacrifice their typical Steel Beam fodder to it. Magic Coat bounces away several methods of disrupting Steel Beam users along with Sticky Web, while Encore eases switches by locking opponents, especially Imprison Steel Beam users, into unwanted moves. Baton Pass allows for slower pivots and Sub passing when Jirachi is discouraged from using Steel Beam. While Jirachi has access to Imprison to hose opposing Steel Beam users, it is slower than the fastest Imprison Steel Beam users, Zacian and Zamazenta, so it often does not play the Imprison Steel Beam role on teams without Sticky Web. Jirachi's biggest drawback is its enormous 100 base Special Attack with STAB on Steel Beam, which means it always OHKOs Naive Accelgor after Black Sludge, among other benchmarks. Perhaps cleanly OHKOing Dugtrio may secretly be useful, though.

Sample Set: https://pokepast.es/d4480317f25e4abe

:cobalion:
Cobalion: UR -> A-
Cobalion is the fastest Steel Beam user with a phazing move, and it has additional disruption with Taunt. This gives it an important niche in Steel Beam Spam teams by being able to remove Imprison Steel Beam users such as Zacian. Additionally, Cobalion is tied for fastest user of Taunt and Stealth Rock with Terrakion, and it distinguishes itself from Terrakion by being a Steel Beam user, therefore making it less of a setup fodder. Taunt can ease setting up Stealth Rock for Court Change teams by forcing open its own opportunities, and Cobalion makes a decent generic disruptor when hosed off Steel Beam. Cobalion's main weaknesses are its flawed 108 base Speed (slower than the fastest Heal Pulse user, Mewtwo), its lack of Magic Coat to fend off faster disruption, and its disturbingly high 90 base Special Attack with STAB on Steel Beam. This means that it always OHKOs Naive Sableye after Black Sludge, among other benchmarks.

Sample Set: https://pokepast.es/d92c3c4d754744b4

:zamazenta:
Zamazenta: UR -> B+
While tied with Zacian for the fastest Steel Beam user who can still self-2HKO with Substitute into Steel Beam, Zamazenta has an annoying Stealth Rock resistance, neutrality to Steel Beam, and automatically boosted Defense compared to Zacian. Thus, Zamazenta should only be considered for teams leaning into Steel Beam Spam. Zamazenta does practically the same things as Zacian, including Imprisoning opposing Steel Beam users, and their shared 138 base Speed is wonderful.

Sample Set: https://pokepast.es/7b2765de3aabb218

:ferroseed:
Ferroseed: A- -> B-
Ferroseed may be immune to powder moves (e.g. Stun Spore, Spore), but with no Magic Coat to redirect disruption, no Imprison to interrupt opposing Steel Beam users, no way to phaze opposing Imprison Steel Beam users, and no Taunt to at least prevent disruption from opposing switch-ins, it has a narrow niche in Steel Beam Spam teams. At least it's still tied for weakest Steel Beam with the better Bronzor.

:corviknight:
Corviknight: B+ -> C+
With Silvally taking over its Defog Steel Beam niche, I find no good reasons to run Corviknight in Steel Beam Spam teams anymore. It can't Magic Coat disruption away, its Taunt is slower than the most relevant Heal Pulse users, Silvally Tailwinds faster, Silvally's movepool is just plain better at dealing with opposing disruptors and Steel Beam users, 53 base Special Attack with STAB is vaguely unsettling when it comes to undesirably KOing otherwise unreliable Steel Beam fodder...I'd actually be fine with pushing this to UR, but I'm keeping this safe for now.

I'm personally not quite sure whether to push Accelgor down to A+ or keep it at S. On the one hand, it's vulnerable to Pranksters and cannot Magic Coat their disruptive moves back at them, and Pranksters are among the best Steel Beam fodder. On the other hand, always being able to keep its item gives it some switch-in opportunities, and Knock Off, while leaving it arguably even more vulnerable to Prankster Taunt, outright wins games in one turn in this more Black Sludge-infested meta. Accelgor being the fastest user of Knock Off (non-STAB to boot!) and having a somewhat wussy 70 base Attack helps its case.

As for refining the VR sets of Steel Beam fodder, I've found that Snom, Ralts, and Swinub can all be Hasty and still be cleanly OHKOd by Bronzor's Steel Beam. Additionally, Naive (but not Hasty) Dwebble is also cleanly OHKOd by Bronzor's Steel Beam. This frees them up to run Toxic Orb, though Snom and Dwebble should stick with Black Sludge and Ralts and Swinub may still stick with Black Sludge depending on the set. Also, sadly, Darumaka-Galar is not OHKOd by Bronzor Steel Beam regardless of what set it uses, and Naive Cottonee is not OHKOd after Black Sludge roughly half the time by Bronzor Steel Beam.
 
Here comes the early Isle of Armor drops!

Insta-quickban Misty Explosion the self-KO move, please.

Corrosive Gas is status-move Knock Off. Its most viable user is probably Salazzle, who has Oblivious to prevent Taunters from disrupting it. Sub, Magic Coat, Magic Bounce, Protect, and Sticky Hold all block or redirect it. The move works against Poison- and Steel-types, so Steel Beam users are not safe, but Salazzle may need to be cautious or it gets Magic Coated and loses its precious item.

Not strictly Isle of Armor-related, but Rillaboom got Grassy Surge, and Cinderace should now always run Libero instead of Blaze. Take that opportunity to make Cinderace immune to Prankster moves by spamming Taunt!

Here come some of the most viable newly reintroduced mons (Kubfu, Urshifu, and Zarude all don't look particularly viable in this meta, in part due to their subpar speed and mediocre movepools). Some of their descriptions are copy-pasted from earlier posts of mine:

:klefki:
Klefki @ Black Sludge
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Steel Beam
- Substitute
- Magic Coat
- Imprison / Defog / Thunder Wave

Dear God, this guy. Yes, the report I've heard is that this CAN learn Steel Beam. Prankster Sub is already nasty enough for opponents to disrupt - Magic Coat makes things even worse for opponents. Throw in Prankster Imprison and Defog and this guy likely boots Zacian from fair teams wanting to Imprison away Steel Beam, relegates Silvally to anti-Imprison phazing duty on Steel Beam Spam teams, and kicks Cobalion out of Steel Beam Spam teams entirely. Nastily, Klefki outspeeds most Pranksters, especially the Steel Beam fodder ones such as Impidimp.

:talonflame:
Talonflame @ Black Sludge / Toxic Orb
Ability: Gale Wings
EVs: 252 Spe
Timid / Hasty Nature
IVs: 6 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Taunt
- Substitute
- Defog
- Tailwind / Snore

The new fastest user of Taunt and Defog. The new 3rd fastest non-Prankster Taunt user on the block. Taking 50% from Stealth Rock is a great bonus to boot. Shame about resisting Steel Beam, though. 6 HP IVs hit a Black Sludge number (and a Stealth Rock number).

:zoroark:
Zoroark @ Black Sludge
Ability: Illusion
EVs: 252 Spe
Hasty / Naive / Timid Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Substitute
- Taunt
- Imprison / Roar
- Roar / Snore / Encore

People need to deal with SR Court Change mons and Steel Beam spammers in distinctive and predictable ways, so take advantage of this with Zoroark. Watch them lose tempo trying to Prankster Taunt this Dark-type, switching in their Steel Beam fodder while you Taunt them on the switch, or using anything but Substitute or Steel Beam after you Imprison while disguised as a Steel Beam user. Black Sludge and Substitute help it resemble a Steel Beam user.

:slowpoke:
Slowpoke @ Black Sludge
Ability: Oblivious
EVs: 56 HP
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD / 0 Spe
- Belly Drum
- Substitute
- Magic Coat / Heal Pulse
- Trick Room / Heal Pulse

One edge Oblivious Belly Drum Spam teams have over Steel Beam Spam teams is that Belly Drum doesn't injure the opponent. This Slowpoke is one example of an Oblivious Belly Drummer. Magic Coat makes Encore and phazing users think twice. The HP EVs make Slowpoke's HP divisible by 8 so it can self-2HKO, and they also prevent the teambuilder from complaining. Use a Speed-boosting nature and actual Speed IVs and EVs if you're not using Trick Room.

:lickilicky:
Lickilicky @ Black Sludge
Ability: Oblivious
EVs: 252 Spe
Timid / Naive / Hasty Nature
IVs: 6 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Belly Drum
- Substitute
- Sandstorm
- Heal Bell / Disable

All hail the return of Belly Drum Spam! ...Ish. This one can remove pesky paralysis (and, oops, poison) from your own mons and add to the self-chip damage.

:marowak-alola:
Marowak-Alola @ Mental Herb
Ability: Cursed Body
EVs: 252 Spe
Naive / Hasty Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Belly Drum
- Curse
- Snore
- Sandstorm / Substitute

A rare Belly Drum user who doesn't need Substitute to self-2HKO, Marowak-Alola likes being passed Subs.

:abra:
Abra @ Toxic Orb / Black Sludge
Ability: Synchronize
EVs: 252 Spe
Hasty / Naive / Timid Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Taunt
- Substitute
- Magic Coat
- Encore / Knock Off / Teleport

The old favourite Struggle and Knock Off fodder in Gen 7, Abra might also find itself as (subpar) Steel Beam fodder and an OK disruptor.

:comfey:
Comfey @ Toxic Orb / Pecha Berry / Mago Berry
Ability: Triage
EVs: 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 1 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Taunt
- Floral Healing
- Substitute
- Magic Coat / Aromatherapy / Tailwind / Trick

Comfey has at least a theoretical niche as being able to heal opponents with a priority move (Floral Healing combined with Triage). Having only 100 base Speed hurts it, though, as many Steel Beam users can Sub before Comfey Taunts them, and Cobalion in particular outspeeds and Taunts it. Magic Coat can at least turn the tables on Cobalion and other faster Taunters, though. Use the berries with Trick. The Naive nature is to make it as good of a Steel Beam fodder as possible, and 1 HP IV lets it make Subs more easily.
 
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Managed to squeeze in some Gen 8 post-Isle of Armor DLC Suicide Cup games last night and found more mons with niches, including one which I believe will completely shake up Gen 8 Suicide Cup teambuilding as we know it (it's at the bottom because its blurb is enormous):

:jigglypuff:
Jigglypuff @ Black Sludge
Ability: Cute Charm
EVs: 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Perish Song
- Baton Pass
- Magic Coat
- Substitute / Pain Split / Heal Pulse

The new addition Jigglypuff compresses your Perish Passing and Steel Beam Fodder slots into one mon. Magic Coat helps it not be complete Taunt/Encore/phazing/etc. fodder. Bronzor's Steel Beam OHKOs this after Black Sludge most of the time, but this benchmark may sadly no longer be relevant...

:alakazam:
Alakazam @ Toxic Orb / Pecha Berry
Ability: Synchronize
EVs: 252 Spe
Hasty / Naive Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Substitute
- Taunt
- Encore
- Teleport / Magic Coat / Knock Off / Trick

With Oblivious Belly Drum users returning to the meta, Encore is more important than ever. Alakazam happens to be the fastest user of Taunt, Encore, and Teleport in the meta, allowing it to be a good disruptive pivot. Alakazam also holds a variety of other tricks up its sleeve, including, well, Trick.

:sandshrew-alola:
Sandshrew-Alola @ Black Sludge
Ability: Snow Cloak / Slush Rush
EVs: 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 6 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Steel Beam
- Substitute
- Knock Off
- Protect / Safeguard / Hail

With a measly 10 base Special Attack, meet the new Steel Beam user with the weakest Steel Beam in town. In fact, Sandshrew-Alola's Steel Beam is so weak that it's weaker than Gen 7 Smeargle's Mind Blown:

0- SpA Sandshrew-Alola Steel Beam vs. 0 HP / 0- SpD Delibird: 80-96 (40 - 48%) -- 47.3% chance to 2HKO after Black Sludge damage
0- SpA Smeargle Mind Blown vs. 0 HP / 0- SpD Delibird: 102-122 (51 - 61%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Black Sludge damage

Sandshrew-Alola is so weak that it can't even OHKO Snom after Black Sludge:

0- SpA Sandshrew-Alola Steel Beam vs. 0 HP / 0- SpD Snom: 116-138 (68.2 - 81.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Black Sludge damage

For the matter, Ralts takes less damage:

0- SpA Sandshrew-Alola Steel Beam vs. 0 HP / 0- SpD Ralts: 102-120 (61.4 - 72.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Black Sludge damage

At this point, I highly doubt that anything currently in SwSh can get OHKOd after Black Sludge by Sandshrew-Alola's Steel Beam.

What does this mean for teambuilding? Weak Steel Beam Fodder could very well be a lost cause. It's quite possible that Steel Beam Fodder gets bulkier - bulky enough to get OHKOd by faster mons' Steel Beams.

An example of a mon that gets OHKOd by a fast Steel Beam after Black Sludge is Darmanitan-Galar:

0- SpA Zacian Steel Beam vs. 0 HP / 0- SpD Darmanitan-Galar: 288-340 (90 - 106.2%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO

Let's just say that Klefki can OHKO even more.

For the matter, Sandshrew-Alola actually doesn't match up too badly against several anti-Steel Beam measures. Taunt and Encore users often end up trading 1-for-1 with Sandshrew-Alola - or, worse, outliving Sandshrew-Alola even if they get hit by 2 Steel Beams:

0- SpA Sandshrew-Alola Steel Beam vs. 0 HP / 0- SpD Accelgor: 31-37 (11.4 - 13.7%) -- guaranteed 5HKO after Black Sludge damage
0- SpA Sandshrew-Alola Steel Beam vs. 0 HP / 0- SpD Cottonee: 72-86 (37.8 - 45.2%) -- 6.3% chance to 2HKO after Black Sludge damage

Heal Pulse and Floral Healing users look like they're among the best bets against Sandshrew-Alola, but Sandshrew-Alola actually doesn't fare too badly against Mewtwo assuming Mewtwo Taunts on Turn 1:

0- SpA Sandshrew-Alola Steel Beam vs. 0 HP / 0- SpD Mewtwo: 21-25 (6.5 - 7.7%) -- possibly the worst move ever

Sandshrew-Alola takes 4 turns to self-KO through Mewtwo Heal Pulsing and 4 x 7.7% = 30.8%, so even if Mewtwo Heal Pulses for 2 turns and Subs on the 3rd, Black Sludge Mewtwo lives by the skin of its teeth with at least 1.9% of its health remaining, and Toxic Orb Mewtwo fares even worse if its Toxic Orb activates on Turn 1.

If Mewtwo eats Knock Off on Turn 1 while it Taunts, it fares even worse:

0 Atk Sandshrew-Alola Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mewtwo: 118-140 (36.6 - 43.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

Heck, that's less damage than 4 turns of Black Sludge.

It takes Heal Pulse and Floral Healing users like Comfey, Indeedee-F, and Gothitelle to actually get KOd first. ...Turns out Hatenna has 1 less base Speed than Sandshrew-Alola, so Sandshrew-Alola can Sub before Hatenna Imprisons. Trick Gothitelle has an easier time by putting a non-self-harming item on Sandshrew-Alola, though if that item isn't a Choice item and Sandshrew-Alola Subs first, Gothitelle is screwed:

0- SpA Sandshrew-Alola Steel Beam vs. 0 HP / 0- SpD Gothitelle: 16-21 (6.4 - 8.4%) -- possibly the worst move ever

Sandshrew-Alola actually forces mind games with Imprison Steel Beam users as long as it uses Safeguard or a move that similarly neither Protects nor significantly hurts Subs. As it turns out, Zacian OHKOs Sandshrew-Alola after Black Sludge, and Klefki fares even worse:

0- SpA Zacian Steel Beam vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Sandshrew-Alola: 198-234 (91.6 - 108.3%) -- 50% chance to OHKO
0- SpA Klefki Steel Beam vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Sandshrew-Alola: 297-351 (137.5 - 162.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO

This means that both Imprisoners can trade 1-on-1 with Sandshrew-Alola if they opt to use Steel Beam.

If Sandshrew-Alola uses Knock Off as both use Imprison, Sandshrew-Alola wins even if all it does is use Knock Off:

0 Atk Sandshrew-Alola Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Klefki: 29-34 (12.9 - 15.1%) -- possible 7HKO
0 Atk Sandshrew-Alola Knock Off vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Klefki: 19-23 (8.4 - 10.2%) -- possibly the worst move ever

0 Atk Sandshrew-Alola Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Zacian: 23-27 (7.8 - 9.1%) -- possibly the worst move ever
0 Atk Sandshrew-Alola Knock Off vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Zacian: 16-19 (5.4 - 6.4%) -- possibly the worst move ever

Sandshrew-Alola takes 8 turns to self-KO through Imprison on both Steel Beam and Substitute, so Klefki takes 15.1% + 7 x 10.2% = 86.5% damage at most while Sandshrew-Alola KOs itself, assuming Klefki never Steel Beams.

This means that Klefki Subbing on Turn 1 and Imprisoning on Turn 2 is a sound strategy, but Sandshrew-Alola can then Steel Beam on Turn 1, attempt to Steel Beam and fail on Turn 2, and use Safeguard on the next 2 turns necessary to self-KO. Note that Knock Off 2HKOs Klefki's Subs (allowing Klefki to Sub once more and 1-on-1 Sandshrew-Alola), while Protect gives Klefki an opportunity to Steel Beam without penalty. By the way, this is how much Klefki takes from Sandshrew-Alola's Steel Beam:

0- SpA Sandshrew-Alola Steel Beam vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Klefki: 19-24 (8.4 - 10.7%) -- possible 5HKO after Black Sludge damage

So Sandshrew-Alola looks like a viable choice on Steel Beam Spam to absorb Taunts, and at the very least, it loves being passed Subs. It may wreck teambuilding even more than Klefki does...
 
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Game Freak nigh-confirmed today that more Suicide Cup-viable Pokemon will be in Crown Tundra, which will be released this October! Once Crown Tundra is actually released, there might be a Part 2 for this post, but Part 1 is already so big that I may as well get it out of the way:

The currently revealed new mons and Galarian forms don't look particularly viable unless they get fast stat spreads and sweet movepools. The closest we have so far is Galarian Slowking's move, "Eerie Spell", which is an attack that removes 3 PP from the opponent's last used move...but PP stalling is not all that prevalent in Suicide Cup.

We'll be getting some fun new mons back with Crown Tundra, though:

:sm/Tapu Fini:
Tapu Fini @ Black Sludge
Ability: Misty Surge
EVs: 252 Spe
Hasty / Naive / Timid Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Magic Coat
- Substitute
- Taunt / Defog / Knock Off
- Heal Pulse / Defog / Knock Off

Let's get this out of the way: Tapu Fini may be the highest-impact returning mon in Crown Tundra for Suicide Cup. Misty Surge alone makes it an enormous team supporter. Add in its slew of support moves, its faster speed than Weezing-Galar, and its ability to Magic Coat away disruption, and Fini is set to give Misty Terrain teams a shot in the arm...or let them double up on Misty Surge mons.

:sm/Tapu Koko:
Tapu Koko @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 252 Spe
Timid / Hasty / Naive Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Taunt
- Substitute
- Defog
- Roar / Thunder Wave

All set to steal some of Noivern's and Talonflame's thunder (pun may or may not be intended), Tapu Koko is tied for the new fastest Taunt + Defog user who does not have Prankster, and speed tying with Mewtwo is pretty nice. Koko has Roar and Thunder Wave to boot and wipes out Misty Terrain, Grassy Terrain, and Psychic Terrain, making it a great disruptor.

:sm/Crobat:
Crobat @ Sticky Barb
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 252 Spe
Timid / Hasty / Naive Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Taunt
- Substitute
- Defog
- Whirlwind / Tailwind

Turns out that it's this mon who is tied with Tapu Koko for the new fastest Taunt + Defog user who does not have Prankster. Needing to hold Sticky Barb and having a useless ability may be minuses for Crobat, though actually being Stealth Rock-weak and immune to Sticky Web are pluses.

:sm/spheal:
Spheal @ Black Sludge
Ability: Oblivious
EVs: 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 6 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Belly Drum
- Substitute
- Encore
- Hail / Protect

The last Oblivious Belly Drummers finally become legal, and Spheal is notably the only Oblivious Belly Drummer who gets OHKO'd (yeah, after Black Sludge) by Jolly Klefki Steel Beam. (None of them get OHKO'd by Jolly Zacian Steel Beam.) Being Stealth Rock-weak is a plus.

:sm/Tapu Bulu:
Tapu Bulu @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Taunt
- Substitute
- Whirlwind
- Snore / Disable / Protect

While Naive Grookey gets cleanly OHKO'd by Jolly Zacian Steel Beam more than half the time and Naive Tapu Bulu does not, Bulu is at least faster and still gets cleanly OHKO'd by Jolly Klefki's Steel Beam 100% of the time. Bulu can also phaze, while none of the other Grassy Surge mons can.

:sm/Tapu Lele:
Tapu Lele @ Black Sludge
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Taunt
- Substitute
- Magic Coat
- Aromatherapy / Skill Swap

Tapu Lele may not be able to Heal Pulse like its fellow Psychic Surge mon Indeedee-F, but it can Taunt and Magic Coat, and Jolly Klefki's Steel Beam OHKOs it after Black Sludge about 75% of the time. Aromatherapy wipes paralysis (and poison) off your fellow mons, but Skill Swap can let it steal Shadow Tag, Arena Trap, Magic Bounce, Oblivious, Prankster, and Mold Breaker.

:sm/Tornadus:
Tornadus (M) @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 Spe
Naive / Hasty / Timid Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Defog
- Substitute
- Taunt
- Tailwind / Knock Off

Add Tornadus to the list of Pranksters that can outspeed and Taunt Klefki. Shame that Tornadus's weakness to Stealth Rock may very well be worse than Whimsicott's weakness to Steel Beam - Whimsicott is OHKO'd by Jolly Zacian Steel Beam 100% of the time after Black Sludge, while Tornadus comes nowhere close. Tornadus also ends up doing too many of the same things as Whimsicott.

:sm/Thundurus:
Thundurus (M) @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Defog
- Substitute
- Taunt
- Thunder Wave

Also add Thundurus to the list of Pranksters that can outspeed and Taunt Klefki. Shame that Thundurus's weakness to Stealth Rock may very well be worse than Whimsicott's weakness to Steel Beam - Whimsicott is OHKO'd by Jolly Zacian Steel Beam 100% of the time after Black Sludge, while Thundurus comes nowhere close. Thundurus also ends up doing too many of the same things as Whimsicott.

:sm/Latios:
Latios (M) @ Toxic Orb / Pecha Berry
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 Spe
Naive / Hasty / Timid Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Heal Pulse
- Substitute
- Magic Coat
- Defog / Roar / Thunder Wave / Tailwind / Trick

Latios is tied for second fastest Heal Pulse user (well, Comfey beats them all with Triage Floral Healing...), and he can Defog and ward off nasty stuff with Magic Coat to boot. Shame about no Taunt or Encore, though. Latias has higher base Defense and Special Defense and therefore tanks Struggles, Knock Offs, and Steel Beams too well in comparison, although her base Attack is lower.

:sm/Azelf:
Azelf @ Toxic Orb / Pecha Berry
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Taunt
- Substitute
- Magic Coat
- Stealth Rock / Trick / Thunder Wave / Imprison

Azelf is now the fastest user of Taunt + Stealth Rock, allowing it to Taunt and then use the opening to set Stealth Rock. Azelf is slower and inferior in other roles, though.

:sm/Articuno:
Articuno @ Black Sludge
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Defog
- Substitute
- Roar
- Heal Bell / Tailwind

I suppose if you're in the mood for some more 4x Stealth Rock-weak mons for your SR Court Change team, Articuno isn't a terrible pick. Roar and Heal Bell give it more utility than a bunch of mons you could be using. Being only 2HKO'd by Jolly Klefki Steel Beam sucks compared to the much faster Ninjask and frailer Delibird/Snom, and Talonflame is also much faster, still has Defog and Tailwind, and has Taunt.
 
Clawitzer @ Black Sludge/Choice Scarf
Ability: Mega Launcher
EVs: 1 HP / 1 Atk / 1 Def / 1 SpA / 1 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD /
- Heal Pulse
- U-turn

How to use: Heal the opponent. That's exactly what they don't want. So heal them. Don't be shy, heal some more!
 
Clawitzer @ Black Sludge/Choice Scarf
Ability: Mega Launcher
EVs: 1 HP / 1 Atk / 1 Def / 1 SpA / 1 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD /
- Heal Pulse
- U-turn

How to use: Heal the opponent. That's exactly what they don't want. So heal them. Don't be shy, heal some more!
Sadly, Clawitzer isn't very good in Suicide Cup. Not only is it not very fast at a mere 59 base Speed, it also lacks Magic Coat, Magic Bounce, Oblivious, and Aroma Veil. This makes it easy Taunt bait for opposing mons who outspeed it or have Prankster such as Mewtwo, Noivern, Cinderace, Gothitelle, Impidimp, Whimsicott, and Purrloin. Once it's stuck spamming an attack, the opponent is free to use any move they want or switch in an otherwise vulnerable mon.

Once Clawitzer is Taunted, U-turn deals disturbingly high amounts of damage to viable opposing Suicide Cup mons, 2HKOing or even OHKOing several of them and maiming the rest:
0- Atk Clawitzer U-turn vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Purrloin: 172-204 (89.5 - 106.2%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO
0- Atk Clawitzer U-turn vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Impidimp: 105-124 (52.5 - 62%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
0- Atk Clawitzer U-turn vs. 0 HP / 0- Def Abra: 438-516 (273.7 - 322.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
0- Atk Clawitzer U-turn vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dugtrio: 65-77 (36.1 - 42.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
0- Atk Clawitzer U-turn vs. 0 HP / 0- Def Gothitelle: 78-94 (31.2 - 37.6%) -- 86% chance to 3HKO
0- Atk Clawitzer U-turn vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Accelgor: 80-95 (29.6 - 35.1%) -- 19.9% chance to 3HKO

(Count yourself lucky if you U-turn on a bulky mon or resist such as Mewtwo, Xatu, Klefki, or Cinderace.)

Even if Clawitzer uses a move set of Heal Pulse/Substitute/Protect/Snore instead, a Taunted Clawitzer is easy bait for Taunt + Heal Pulse/healing users such as Mewtwo, Gothitelle, and Comfey.

Clawitzer's lack of speed and protection also makes it easy bait for faster Encore users such as Accelgor, Salazzle, Zoroark, Whimsicott, Purrloin, and Sableye. Once Encored into any one move, the opponent can easily take advantage of it such as pulling up a Substitute to jam Heal Pulse or bringing in a Steel Beam user to take advantage of Substitute/Protect/Snore spam.

U-turn, Volt Switch, and Flip Turn are generally considered unviable in Suicide Cup because they deal so much damage for not enough return, and they are outclassed by the non-damage-dealing Baton Pass, Teleport, and Parting Shot. Unlike Knock Off and Nuzzle, they cannot win you the game in one turn if you hit the right mon with it at the right time, and unlike Steel Beam and Mind Blown, they do not rip out half your health (let alone any of your health). (I should know. U-turn positively sucks in Gen 7 Suicide Cup, even against the bot on ROM, simply because it deals too much damage. Gen 7 U-turn Xatu deals way too much damage to the opponent compared to Gen 8 Teleport Xatu and KOs the bot's Liepard disturbingly often. Remind me to never play with U-turn Xatu in Gen 7 Suicide Cup again.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On another note, man I can't wait for Crown Tundra to come out! If the datamine proves accurate, we'll get even more viable mons such as fossils, Ultra Beasts, and possibly Calyrex and friends if they're good enough! Count on Crown Tundra Part 2 to come out this week!
 
Assuming the data mines are true (because Serebii disagrees with some of it right now), Crown Tundra Round 2 is up and has a spectacular new mon that'll fit into teams everywhere (except Steel Beam Spam and maybe Stealth Rock Court Change): Calyrex-Shadow! Some oldies but goodies will also be returning this round:

:ss/calyrex-shadow:
Calyrex-Shadow @ Toxic Orb / Black Sludge / Pecha Berry
Ability: As One (Spectrier)
EVs: 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Taunt
- Substitute
- Heal Pulse
- Encore / Disable / Baton Pass / Imprison / Aromatherapy / Trick

Calyrex-Shadow has 150 base Speed, Taunt, and Heal Pulse. That is all it needs to unseat Mewtwo from being King of the Taunt + Heal Pulsers. Being unable to be trapped due to being part Ghost is just a bonus. Encore and Trick are old standbys (and Encore is one of the only checks to Oblivious Belly Drummers, while Trick is its usual game-winning self), while Disable lets it mess with Steel Beam users further and Baton Pass lets it pass Substitutes to more vulnerable mons. Sadly, Jolly Klefki's Steel Beam has only around a 67% chance to cleanly 2HKO Naive it, so it's likely better off being Hasty. ...And then Timid Accelgor's Knock Off always falls just shy of OHKOing Hasty it after Black Sludge. Jolly Sandshrew-Alola's Knock Off has a roughly 75% chance of OHKOing Hasty it after Black Sludge. Ironically, Calyrex-Shadow shares one awkward similarity with Mewtwo: its ability prevents opponents from actually eating the Pecha Berry while it's around. At least it took away their Black Sludge or now has a Toxic Orb with Trick, right?

:ss/spectrier:
Spectrier @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Grim Neigh
EVs: 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Taunt
- Substitute
- Disable
- Protect / Snore

In contrast, with its mere 130 base Speed, Spectrier looks like a worse Mewtwo/Tapu Koko/Crobat/Aerodactyl whose only consolation prizes are Disable and its inability to be trapped. And Disable stops looking so good against Steel Beam users when this horse is slower than Zacian. Looks like the only Steel Beam this horse can plausibly stop is Sandshrew-Alola's, as the more competitive Steel Beam users slower than Zacian and stronger than Sandshrew-Alola all pack Magic Coat.

:sm/aerodactyl:
Aerodactyl @ Toxic Orb / Black Sludge
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Taunt
- Substitute
- Whirlwind / Tailwind / Sandstorm
- Defog / Stealth Rock / Tailwind / Sandstorm

Aerodactyl now gets to be the proud owner of the fastest non-Prankster Taunt + Defog and the fastest Taunt + Stealth Rock. And it's weak to SR and immune to Sticky Web to boot! And it's even cleanly OHKOd by Jolly Klefki's Steel Beam! (Sadly, Jolly Zacian's Steel Beam has only about a 43% chance to OHKO Aerodactyl after Black Sludge.) Add 2 IVs to HP if this mon is on a Stealth Rock Court Change team so SR actually rips out 25% of its health (and Zacian's chance of OHKOing it after Black Sludge drops to about 37%).

:sm/pheromosa:
Pheromosa @ Toxic Orb / Black Sludge
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Def / 0 SpD
- Taunt
- Substitute
- Protect
- Snore / Block

Pheromosa has a blazing fast Taunt, and it gets to troll Calyrex-Shadow Rider by having 1 more base Speed. Pheromosa also gets to be cleanly OHKOd by Jolly Klefki's Steel Beam (this is starting to sound like a trend), but Jolly Zacian's Steel Beam has only about a 68% chance to OHKO it after Black Sludge.

:sm/Smoochum:
Smoochum (F) @ Black Sludge / Toxic Orb
Ability: Oblivious
EVs: 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Perish Song
- Substitute
- Magic Coat
- Hail / Heal Bell / Encore

Smoochum is cleanly OHKOd by Jolly Zacian's Steel Beam, even when Hasty. At this point, you may as well make Smoochum Hasty so it gets OHKOd by as many Struggles as possible (sadly, their base Attack must be 83 or above in order to be guaranteed OHKOs after Black Sludge, which means it is guaranteed OHKOd after Black Sludge by Taunted Calyrex-Shadow Rider but not Taunted Noivern). For Steel Beam fodder, Smoochum actually does decently well for itself, with Oblivious to switch into Taunt, Perish Song to KO itself faster at the cost of letting the opponent KO itself faster, Magic Coat to deflect Encore, phazing moves, and Thunder Wave, and your choice of support move with Hail or Heal Bell or the disruptive move Encore.

:sm/blacephalon:
Blacephalon @ Black Sludge
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Def / 0 SpA
- Mind Blown
- Substitute
- Taunt / Encore
- Magic Coat / Encore

If you're in the mood for a "Steel Beam" user who OHKOs way too many mons (e.g. Xatu, Klefki, Zoroark, Liepard, Accelgor, Dugtrio) but is faster than Jirachi and knows the best parts of Jirachi's movepool plus Taunt, Blacephalon may be the mon for you. Magic Coat lets it reflect all sorts of disruption, especially faster Taunts. Mind Blown at least is not named Steel Beam, allowing Blacephalon to partially ignore Imprison Steel Beam users such as Klefki and Zacian. While Encore is mainly worse than Taunt against Imprison Steel Beam users, at least it doesn't force Blacephalon to start its OHKO/2HKO spree if it gets reflected by Magic Coat (unlike Taunt).

:sm/absol:
Absol @ Black Sludge
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 Spe
Naive Nature
IVs: 0 HP / 0 Atk / 0 Def / 0 SpA / 0 SpD
- Perish Song
- Baton Pass
- Magic Coat
- Taunt / Substitute

Abdul obviously misses the glory days of being Mega Absol, but among Perish Passers, at least base Absol is immune to Prankster and has Magic Coat. Absol also has a 68.8% chance of getting OHKOd by Jolly Klefki's Steel Beam after Black Sludge.

If it turns out that the new legendaries need 3 perfect IVs, always put one on Speed, then one on Special Attack unless it uses Steel Beam, then either one on the defensive stat you're not nerfing or one on Attack. See my Pheromosa set for an example of this.
 
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