Metagame SV OU Metagame Discussion v4 [Volcarona Banned]

I read in every dlc1 surveys that Terastal would be discussed later. When is later?
Volcarona, Enamorus, Serperior, and even Regieleki depend on this for a complete and fair analysis.
How long will we walk in circles around this?
Can anyone even say no and let us accept this, even when at one time 59% of the community wanted some action?
DLC2 isn't even a month old yet...
 
hello, i'm a beginner at competitive play - been studying it from afar from years but only recently began actually playing it - so pray forgive anything wrong i might say. that said, i have a question that doesn't really fit the SQSA thread, as i believe it's quite nuanced.

what is the philosophy behind not banning sucker punch (and thunderclap, for that matter)? i understand it has a big aspect of skill and prediction to it, but it feels like every game with a sucker mon always has a moment where it turns into a mind game - two pokemon staying in, one has sucker punch, the other has to choose when to use a status move and when to attack, and whoever guesses wrong first loses the matchup. i don't see how that's skill-based, it seems like just a guessing game that relies on pure luck, with no proper information to make an actually educated guess. sucker punch is a well-designed, fun, and skillful move, until you get to the mind games.

to me, this sounds like the opposite of what smogon wants for competitive play. i know i'm not that experienced though, so i'm asking those who know more than me - what's the explanation?
Sucker Punch isn’t banned because your opponent needing to ready an attack is always a drawback. Other priority moves can always hit a target (besides immunities or with protection). In the same scenario where something like Spiritomb could Sucker Punch, they could also Shadow Sneak with less counterplay as the opponent can’t use status move or priority or simply switching to avoid Sucker Punch damage. And in general Sucker Punch is strong for priority, it still is weak compared to moves like Close Combat or Earthquake.
Also Thunderclap also can’t hit Ground types or Pokemon immune to electric through abilities, making it even easier to avoid.
 
one fun but non-good pokemon to use in OU is hitmonlee.
this pokemon can be pretty good against new players that know nothing about it.
I use this set.

300 power reversal is a nuke.
thank god it does not have to worry of sandstorm.

Hitmonlee @ Liechi Berry
Ability: Unburden
Tera Type: Dark
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Reversal
- Endure
- Earthquake
- Throat Chop

edit: I accidentally used endeavor instead of endure. I fixed it.
Fake out with normal gem is a nice way to activate unburden.
 
So I did the survey thing. I'm enjoying the meta, give it a 10 and 8 for competitive. Only mons I find banworthy or too much for the tier is Roaring Moon and especially KingGambit. I already explained my reasons for Roaring Moon but KingGambit can literally win any game very easily and it doesn't matter if it gets burn, it still does too much damage. I feel like if they two are gone then other dark types can shine every more but it's just my opinion.
 
I read in every dlc1 surveys that Terastal would be discussed later. When is later?
Volcarona, Enamorus, Serperior, and even Regieleki depend on this for a complete and fair analysis.
How long will we walk in circles around this?
Can anyone even say no and let us accept this, even when at one time 59% of the community wanted some action?
"Later" did mean after DLC2, but it always implied that the test would happen if people still thought the metagame was bad. If everyone's returning scores in the 7s and 8s for the meta at large, and there's no real indicator that there's anything especially wrong with the tier, the odds of a Tera suspect go way down.

After all, think about it: Do you really think there are many people, even amongst the anti-Tera crowd, who would vote to turn the metagame on its head when they're enjoying it? If scores for the format are a lot lower than the forum-posting slice, you might see things move in that direction, but right now?

A Tera suspect would absolutely end in failure. Best to just enjoy things while the going is good, you know?
 
Is Serperior good enough to warrant its use? I’ve played against a lot so far and overall I just switch to Ddance moon and use nonboosted acrobatics to OHKO it. I like the idea of a strong attack boosting your stats with contrary as well but I think that overall Tera stellar scarf enamorus with contrary is just better.
Absolutely. Serperior’s main draw is that it is a paralysis spreading machine that doubles as a late-game wincon. Only a few mons in the tier are immune to Glare. A competent Serp user will just Glare your Roaring Moon on the switch in. Now you have a crippled Roaring Moon and your opponent switches out Serp for minimal opportunity cost.
 
hello, i'm a beginner at competitive play - been studying it from afar from years but only recently began actually playing it - so pray forgive anything wrong i might say. that said, i have a question that doesn't really fit the SQSA thread, as i believe it's quite nuanced.

what is the philosophy behind not banning sucker punch (and thunderclap, for that matter)? i understand it has a big aspect of skill and prediction to it, but it feels like every game with a sucker mon always has a moment where it turns into a mind game - two pokemon staying in, one has sucker punch, the other has to choose when to use a status move and when to attack, and whoever guesses wrong first loses the matchup. i don't see how that's skill-based, it seems like just a guessing game that relies on pure luck, with no proper information to make an actually educated guess. sucker punch is a well-designed, fun, and skillful move, until you get to the mind games.

to me, this sounds like the opposite of what smogon wants for competitive play. i know i'm not that experienced though, so i'm asking those who know more than me - what's the explanation?
Other people have given good answers to this from a meta perspective, but I want to come at this from the angle of tiering. In the majority of cases, it is preferred to ban Pokemon, not moves. A move would have to prove that it breaks nearly every Pokemon it's on, like Last Respects or Baton Pass. The only user of Sucker Punch that has ever been debatably broken in OU is Kingambit, so if it ever comes down to it, Kingambit will be banned and not Sucker Punch because every other mon is acceptably powerful for the tier. This goes double for signature moves with very few or only one user like Thunderclap. If Raging Bolt is decided to be broken, it's preferred to ban it, not Thunderclap. Tiering is done this way to (attempt to) keep everything as simple as possible and make it so bans are something that can be explained easily.
 
Maybe if you’re playing on the Random Battles ladder or doing a randomized team challenge or if this were pre-Gen 7. The only good means of activating Unburden is with Terrain Seeds and sometimes Berry Juice.
If you’re using Unburden you’re almost 100% also using some Terrain.
You know, if Hitmonlee had like 3 more base speed, it would unironically be fantastic this gen as an unburden sweeper. It got access to Sword Dance this Gen and currently speed ties Iron Valiant after a speed boost. With 3 extra Speed it could be guaranteed to outspeed Iron Valiant and Excadrill, as well as Roaring Moon after a Dragon Dance with Adamant.

Other people have given good answers to this from a meta perspective, but I want to come at this from the angle of tiering. In the majority of cases, it is preferred to ban Pokemon, not moves. A move would have to prove that it breaks nearly every Pokemon it's on, like Last Respects or Baton Pass. The only user of Sucker Punch that has ever been debatably broken in OU is Kingambit, so if it ever comes down to it, Kingambit will be banned and not Sucker Punch because every other mon is acceptably powerful for the tier. This goes double for signature moves with very few or only one user like Thunderclap. If Raging Bolt is decided to be broken, it's preferred to ban it, not Thunderclap. Tiering is done this way to (attempt to) keep everything as simple as possible and make it so bans are something that can be explained easily.
Slight correction, as only a few Pokemon need to be broken with it and that move needs to clearly be at fault. Baton Pass was broken on multiple Pokemon, but only a small minority. Baton Pass has tons of Pokemon that can use it and honestly it’s more so the Pokemon recieving the boosts that was broken too. Didn’t really matter if Scolipede or Celebi or what ever was passing the boosts, giving +2 Speed to Necrozma on bulky set up sets were always nasty. And Necrozma on its own was actually fine. It was only broken when getting a boost it couldn’t get because it can’t fit it.
 
You know, if Hitmonlee had like 3 more base speed, it would unironically be fantastic this gen as an unburden sweeper. It got access to Sword Dance this Gen and currently speed ties Iron Valiant after a speed boost. With 3 extra Speed it could be guaranteed to outspeed Iron Valiant and Excadrill, as well as Roaring Moon after a Dragon Dance with Adamant.
Unburden doubles speed and will outspeed Choice Scarf Darkrai and everything slower (including Iron Valiant and Roaring Moon) after activation if max speed Jolly. So it's only +1 Dragapult, Scarf Deoxys, and other +2 mons that outspeed you.
 
You know, if Hitmonlee had like 3 more base speed, it would unironically be fantastic this gen as an unburden sweeper. It got access to Sword Dance this Gen and currently speed ties Iron Valiant after a speed boost. With 3 extra Speed it could be guaranteed to outspeed Iron Valiant and Excadrill, as well as Roaring Moon after a Dragon Dance with Adamant.
…actually, he might still be interesting as an unburden sweeper. grassy seed turns his defense from absolute crap to just regular crap, so you might actually be able to score a setup opportunity and clean up in the late game. i can't readily come up with much he can do that valiant can't do better, but outspeeding scarfkrai is nice and i'm sure there must be, like, one or two important things hitmonlee can survive better on the special side
 
Maybe if you’re playing on the Random Battles ladder or doing a randomized team challenge or if this were pre-Gen 7. The only good means of activating Unburden is with Terrain Seeds and sometimes Berry Juice.
If you’re using Unburden you’re almost 100% also using some Terrain.
Riddle me this. What item was added specifically for a certain unburden strat (even if it was trash)?
It was run on :sneasler:
Fling:sneasler:
It is:gholdengo:'s cousin
Money, of course!:big nugget:
If you couldn't get it after hint 3 you are really bad (or new)
(I think people used :air balloon: but that's not it, that kinda sucks anyways.)

Also, what's your favourite Hitmon? Mine is Hitmonchan 'cause you can play Rock Paper Scissors with it.
RPS (Hitmonchan)
Ability: Iron Fist
Shiny: Yes
Tera Type: Fighting
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Upper Hand
- Focus Punch
- Mach Punch

Upper Hand>Mach Punch>Focus Punch>Upper Hand
 
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Riddle me this. What item was added specifically for a certain unburden strat (even if it was trash)?
It was run on :sneasler:
Fling:sneasler:
It is:gholdengo:'s cousin
Money, of course!:big nugget:
If you couldn't get it after hint 3 you are really bad (or new)
(I think people used :air balloon: but that's not it, that kinda sucks anyways.)

Also, what's your favourite Hitmon? Mine is Hitmonchan 'cause you can play Rock Paper Scissors with it.
RPS (Hitmonchan)
Ability: Iron Fist
Shiny: Yes
Tera Type: Fighting
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Upper Hand
- Focus Punch
- Mach Punch

Upper Hand>Mach Punch>Focus Punch>Upper Hand
Hitmontop. Technician boosted Rapid Spin2Win. I like Hitmonchan's design tho.
 
…actually, he might still be interesting as an unburden sweeper. grassy seed turns his defense from absolute crap to just regular crap, so you might actually be able to score a setup opportunity and clean up in the late game. i can't readily come up with much he can do that valiant can't do better, but outspeeding scarfkrai is nice and i'm sure there must be, like, one or two important things hitmonlee can survive better on the special side
I remember in Gen 8 using it with Thwackey (yes Thwackey and not Tapu Bulu) with Bulk Up as well in UU. It was actually pretty good. +1 Atk and +2 Def after 1 turn was pretty dope for UU standards. But this is Gen 9 OU, so if its being hit physically, it's gonna take it like grandma took the stairs.
Riddle me this. What item was added specifically for a certain unburden strat (even if it was trash)?
It was run on :sneasler:
Fling:sneasler:
It is:gholdengo:'s cousin
Money, of course!:big nugget:
If you couldn't get it after hint 3 you are really bad (or new)
(I think people used :air balloon: but that's not it, that kinda sucks anyways.)

Also, what's your favourite Hitmon? Mine is Hitmonchan 'cause you can play Rock Paper Scissors with it.
RPS (Hitmonchan)
Ability: Iron Fist
Shiny: Yes
Tera Type: Fighting
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Upper Hand
- Focus Punch
- Mach Punch

Upper Hand>Mach Punch>Focus Punch>Upper Hand
Honestly no bad but also not good. It got away with Fling sets mostly because it lacked Knock Off and was a good Pokemon on its own.
 

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Hey y’all, did you miss these? Back with some more underrated mons, this time its Magnezone. While it has never been in the forefront of any OU metagame, it and its pre-evo Magneton have been a major part of the tier since ADV due to Magnet Pull. Before we get into its niche in DLC2, here’s a history lesson.

ADV
The simple niche of trapping Skarm is that huge, so Magneton ended up in OU. That’s because Skarm checked half the tier by itself. It laid out spikes while being immune to the infamous TSS combo (if you know, you know). Skarm was such a meta defining force that teams will do anything to try and lure it, whether its Fire coverage from Ttar and Mence, or going full Oppenheimer on it with CB Gross. Magneton didn’t just trap Skarm, it also crippled or rkilled Rachi and Gross while smacking Pert or Flygon with HP Grass/Ice. Mag was also used as a sack once its job was done, so it becomes easier to bring in your big offensive threats. Magneton was so effective at its role that some players started running offensive variants with max speed and HP Ground, specifically for it. Currently Mag sits in C1 rank which puts it next to the two Fire/Flying types and Flygon.

DPP
Skarm got Roost making it harder to kill and Stealth Rocks plus the limited amount of spinners which made hazard stacking even better. However Magneton would evolve into Magnezone in this generation, sporting more raw power and bulk for the cost of 10 points of speed. There were more steels to trap this time. Empoleon, Scizor, and Bronzong, tho the latter often carried EQ. It also punished Scarf Rachi for clicking anything other than U-Turn. BW is often credited for inventing Dragmag, but it actually started in DPP with the release of new dragons and buffed Outrages. Outside of its role in trapping Skarm, it sported an impressive 130 SpA, solid bulk, and a whopping 13 resistances. These traits combined with options like Hidden Power, T-Wave, Sub, Explosion, and Magnet Rise let Zone break defensive while acting as an emergency check to Latias, Wastom, Scarf Rachi, etc. However it wasn’t just Magnezone, in recent years, Magneton has picked up usage and even ranks alongside it in B3 within the DPP OU VR. The extra 10 points in speed means with a Scarf, it gets the jump on +1 Ada Gyara, Azelf, and Scarf Ttar.

BW
While Zone’s role of being more than a steel trapper has been limited due to the hostile nature of BW OU and the nerf to Explosion, it has gotten better as a steel trapper. Ferro is the most notable new steel that it could trap, and with Balloon + Magnet Rise it could even trap Drill. BW dropped more volatile dragons than ever before. Chomp, Latios, Kyu-B, and the newly buffed Multiscale Dnite. This led to the infamous Dragmag style becoming even stronger than in modern DPP. Due to how demanding team building is in BW, Zone rarely found itself onto teams outside of Dragmag. It found itself solidly in B+ next to Terrak and Starmie in the BW OU VR, as for Magneton, it had to take High School instead of chilling with the OU titans, so it never caught on.

XY/ORAS
Good news is the introduction of the Fairy type gave its Steel STAB a purpose. Bad news is that now Dragons can’t mindlessly spam Draco or Outrage anymore because of it. Tbolt and HP also received got BP nerfs. It lost its Dark and Ghost resists come Gen 6. However Mag was in a better spot this gen than in BW due to teambuilding in ORAS being less restrictive. Scarf and Magnet Rise sets picked off Skarm, Mega-Scizor, Ferro, Drill, and weakened Mega-Gross. It also bolstered the typical Steel type resistances alongside a resistance to Electric. Even though it didn’t trap everything, its offensive typing + its 130 SpA let it hit a majority of the meta super-effectively. Scarf got the jump on base 110s or lower like Keldeo, the Lati twins, Mega-Gross, Mega-Medi, and Mega-Diancie. A few of these Zone can one shot. Zone currently sits 24th in the ORAS VR in A tier.

USUM
Zone is in A tier in the current USUM VR. Its defensive profile became more useful than before, with multiple Fairy types now joining the tier. There were even more Steel types like Kart, Cele, Mega Maw, but more importantly, Magearna. While it didn’t trap AV Magearna due to Volt Switch, it matched up well into the dangerous setup variants. Substitute with Z-Moves let it trap Steel types and potentially pick up another kill on Lando, Chomp, Mega-Lati, or even a greedy Heatran. Scarf Zone was another set that limited Scarf/SD Kart to only one kill at best. Zone enabled Ash-Gren, the Tapus, Kart, Mega-Maw, and offensive Lando that are otherwise checked by these Steels. Zone finds itself in a solid place within the offensive USUM metagame.

SS
Zone received a major nerf in Gen 8, it lost Hidden Power. Now it could no longer reliably trap Ferro who also got BP to threaten it. Magnezone even dropped to UU and RU this gen. It was out of the job, or so we thought. SS introduced Corv, a mon with better special bulk than Skarm, Pressure Defog, and U-Turn, but even that got trapped by Zone if it was too careless. It also found a way to trap Ferro due to its newfound access to BP. So with a Sub-ID set, it effectively trapped Ferro once again. Specs also saw use in the IoA meta, but not with Magnet Rise, but Analytic. It absolutely smacked Ground Types like Hippo and Drill, fulfilling a similar role to Specs Magearna before it was banned. Crown Tundra came and the Sub-ID set became the norm. Kart returned along with the brand new Melm. Zone not only could trap these two, but also teamed up with them. Trapping Ferro and Corv enabled Tox + Tect Melm along with Scarf Kart. Zone was also a semi-check to Weavile so that Melm and other Weav checks could be preserved for later. Trapping Corv and Ferro also enabled other big offensive threats such as RS Shifu, CM Fini, Lando, Weav, SD Chomp, Koko, and Rilla. While its feats are impressive, it was hard to splash onto teams due to its MU fishy nature. The BO styles it fit itself in sometimes didn’t even need it. The overwhelming force of these mons paired together was enough to wear down Ferro/Corv. Zone is currently in B+ tier next to Goltres and Zera.

SV
We finally get to Gen 9. Unfortunately Zone was not able to carve out a niche in the three metas of SV OU. Ferro and Kart are gone, Corv has to pay taxes to Ghold, and speaking of which, Zone doesn’t do much to the new Steels introduced this gen, especially Ghold who not only outclassed it, but was not trappable. Gambit it could theoretically trap with BP, but Gambit could just Tera and blow it up anyways. With so few Steels and no niche, it dropped all the way to RU. So what’s different in DLC2?​

DLC2 increased the pool of Steel types.

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The latter two you could ignore, being able to Sub and ID up vs Arch and win the 1v1 is definitely possible, but its not a guarantee. The important thing tho, is Skarm is back and its the best it has been since the DS era. Skarm had Spikes and better physical bulk which makes Skarm less passive and able to actually do shit even with Ghold in the tier. It checks a massive pool of threats while having the role compression of being a ground immune that isn’t weak to rocks. In a meta as hostile as SV OU, role compression is incredibly important. Basically what it has been doing for 20 years. Which is why alot of Skarm/Ting-Lu teams became the norm. Players responded to this by overwhelming Skarm with a barrage of physical threats or calling to ban Gholdengo. Rilla is normally a very effective wallbreaker, but Skarm tends to be an easy switch in. Not only are these team structures hard to break, but stuff like Meow, Weavile, Kyu, and Knock Clef have no trouble making progress vs you. Mag has the unique role of trapping Skarm while also being a semi-check to Weav/Meow, kinda like what it did in the last gen.

The Set
Magnezone @ Leftovers/Air Balloon
Ability: Magnet Pull
Tera Type: Fighting
EVs: 48 HP / 252 Def / 28 SpA / 180 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute/Flash Cannon
- Iron Defense
- Thunderbolt
- Body Press
The classic SS set. To summarize, 252 Def EVs to get the most out of Body Press, 28 SpA to OHKO Skarm with Tbolt, 180 Speed with Timid to speed creep Jolly Gambit and Archaludon speed creeping Jolly Gambit. Alot of Skarm Balances don’t have many safe answers into Zone. Ting-Lu the go-to Ground gets smacked by +2 BP and doesn’t OHKO back with EQ.

+2 252 Def Magnezone Body Press vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Ting-Lu: 264-312 (51.3 - 60.7%) -- 91.8% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

0 Atk Ting-Lu Earthquake vs. +2 48 HP / 252 Def Magnezone: 168-204 (57.3 - 69.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Dozo and Mola are hit hard by Tbolt while Clef is smacked by Flash Cannon. With Balloon you just sit on Clod and non-Knock Gliscor. Meanwhile Weavile and Meow want nothing to do with BP. Air Balloon also has the added benefit of being immune to Spikes and letting you rkill +1 Moon in a pinch. The only two MUs it needs help in is Ghold and Glowking, but those could easily be covered with Tusk, Lando, etc. Zone could also trap and rkill Gambit if it decides to not Tera. Or just ID up in its face or kill it with Tbolt/Flash Cannon in case it turns into the best Fairy or Flying type.

Partners
Remember how simply removing Skarm was enough to propel Magneton into OU in Gen 3? Take a look at the pool of mons that benefit from removing Skarm.

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Easing the pain of chipping down Skarm by simply deleting it is huge. It also helps that a handful of these can pivot into Zone directly. Removing Skarm also benefits teams indirectly. Since Skarm is the main spike setter on alot of team structures, limiting it is huge for Pokemon that lack reliable recovery like Tusk, Ting-Lu, and Gambit since they only need to worry about taking minimal dmg from SR.

There is one thing to note. Skarm can Tera, leaving it unable to be trapped by Zone, but that creates another advantage for teams. Skarm no longer can repeatedly switch in due to taking Spikes and shedding its amazing defensive typing leads to scenarios like this.

252+ Atk Choice Band Tera Grass Rillaboom Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 160+ Def Tera Dragon Skarmory in Grassy Terrain: 164-194 (49.1 - 58%) -- 64.5% chance to 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery

Forcing a Tera also means the opposing team can’t run defensive Tera in a pinch. No more Dozo clicking Tera Dragon on your Rillaboom. Like in the previous gens, the very existence of Mag causes the Skarm player to make riskier plays to hopefully not get trapped.

So the question is, where do you fit Mag?

Luckily there are two team archetypes Magnezone can find a place in, G-Terrain BO and HO which both heavily benefit from Mag trapping Skarm while having other qualities like being a Steel type. For the first time since SS, I think it has a genuine niche in the tier and an example that the tier still has room to experiment. Though I don’t think it is some meta defining staple, the trends of DLC2 have been kind to the Zone. I’ll leave y’all with a few discussion questions.

What lower tier mon(s) do you think have a genuine niche in the tier?

Any old gen staples like Keldeo, Latios, or Ttar that you think can make a comeback?

With January being in a few days, what do you think will rise or drop?

Are there any anti-meta sets you would like to bring up?
 
View attachment 585024

Hey y’all, did you miss these? Back with some more underrated mons, this time its Magnezone. While it has never been in the forefront of any OU metagame, it and its pre-evo Magneton have been a major part of the tier since ADV due to Magnet Pull. Before we get into its niche in DLC2, here’s a history lesson.

ADV
The simple niche of trapping Skarm is that huge, so Magneton ended up in OU. That’s because Skarm checked half the tier by itself. It laid out spikes while being immune to the infamous TSS combo (if you know, you know). Skarm was such a meta defining force that teams will do anything to try and lure it, whether its Fire coverage from Ttar and Mence, or going full Oppenheimer on it with CB Gross. Magneton didn’t just trap Skarm, it also crippled or rkilled Rachi and Gross while smacking Pert or Flygon with HP Grass/Ice. Mag was also used as a sack once its job was done, so it becomes easier to bring in your big offensive threats. Magneton was so effective at its role that some players started running offensive variants with max speed and HP Ground, specifically for it. Currently Mag sits in C1 rank which puts it next to the two Fire/Flying types and Flygon.

DPP
Skarm got Roost making it harder to kill and Stealth Rocks plus the limited amount of spinners which made hazard stacking even better. However Magneton would evolve into Magnezone in this generation, sporting more raw power and bulk for the cost of 10 points of speed. There were more steels to trap this time. Empoleon, Scizor, and Bronzong, tho the latter often carried EQ. It also punished Scarf Rachi for clicking anything other than U-Turn. BW is often credited for inventing Dragmag, but it actually started in DPP with the release of new dragons and buffed Outrages. Outside of its role in trapping Skarm, it sported an impressive 130 SpA, solid bulk, and a whopping 13 resistances. These traits combined with options like Hidden Power, T-Wave, Sub, Explosion, and Magnet Rise let Zone break defensive while acting as an emergency check to Latias, Wastom, Scarf Rachi, etc. However it wasn’t just Magnezone, in recent years, Magneton has picked up usage and even ranks alongside it in B3 within the DPP OU VR. The extra 10 points in speed means with a Scarf, it gets the jump on +1 Ada Gyara, Azelf, and Scarf Ttar.

BW
While Zone’s role of being more than a steel trapper has been limited due to the hostile nature of BW OU and the nerf to Explosion, it has gotten better as a steel trapper. Ferro is the most notable new steel that it could trap, and with Balloon + Magnet Rise it could even trap Drill. BW dropped more volatile dragons than ever before. Chomp, Latios, Kyu-B, and the newly buffed Multiscale Dnite. This led to the infamous Dragmag style becoming even stronger than in modern DPP. Due to how demanding team building is in BW, Zone rarely found itself onto teams outside of Dragmag. It found itself solidly in B+ next to Terrak and Starmie in the BW OU VR, as for Magneton, it had to take High School instead of chilling with the OU titans, so it never caught on.

XY/ORAS
Good news is the introduction of the Fairy type gave its Steel STAB a purpose. Bad news is that now Dragons can’t mindlessly spam Draco or Outrage anymore because of it. Tbolt and HP also received got BP nerfs. It lost its Dark and Ghost resists come Gen 6. However Mag was in a better spot this gen than in BW due to teambuilding in ORAS being less restrictive. Scarf and Magnet Rise sets picked off Skarm, Mega-Scizor, Ferro, Drill, and weakened Mega-Gross. It also bolstered the typical Steel type resistances alongside a resistance to Electric. Even though it didn’t trap everything, its offensive typing + its 130 SpA let it hit a majority of the meta super-effectively. Scarf got the jump on base 110s or lower like Keldeo, the Lati twins, Mega-Gross, Mega-Medi, and Mega-Diancie. A few of these Zone can one shot. Zone currently sits 24th in the ORAS VR in A tier.

USUM
Zone is in A tier in the current USUM VR. Its defensive profile became more useful than before, with multiple Fairy types now joining the tier. There were even more Steel types like Kart, Cele, Mega Maw, but more importantly, Magearna. While it didn’t trap AV Magearna due to Volt Switch, it matched up well into the dangerous setup variants. Substitute with Z-Moves let it trap Steel types and potentially pick up another kill on Lando, Chomp, Mega-Lati, or even a greedy Heatran. Scarf Zone was another set that limited Scarf/SD Kart to only one kill at best. Zone enabled Ash-Gren, the Tapus, Kart, Mega-Maw, and offensive Lando that are otherwise checked by these Steels. Zone finds itself in a solid place within the offensive USUM metagame.

SS
Zone received a major nerf in Gen 8, it lost Hidden Power. Now it could no longer reliably trap Ferro who also got BP to threaten it. Magnezone even dropped to UU and RU this gen. It was out of the job, or so we thought. SS introduced Corv, a mon with better special bulk than Skarm, Pressure Defog, and U-Turn, but even that got trapped by Zone if it was too careless. It also found a way to trap Ferro due to its newfound access to BP. So with a Sub-ID set, it effectively trapped Ferro once again. Specs also saw use in the IoA meta, but not with Magnet Rise, but Analytic. It absolutely smacked Ground Types like Hippo and Drill, fulfilling a similar role to Specs Magearna before it was banned. Crown Tundra came and the Sub-ID set became the norm. Kart returned along with the brand new Melm. Zone not only could trap these two, but also teamed up with them. Trapping Ferro and Corv enabled Tox + Tect Melm along with Scarf Kart. Zone was also a semi-check to Weavile so that Melm and other Weav checks could be preserved for later. Trapping Corv and Ferro also enabled other big offensive threats such as RS Shifu, CM Fini, Lando, Weav, SD Chomp, Koko, and Rilla. While its feats are impressive, it was hard to splash onto teams due to its MU fishy nature. The BO styles it fit itself in sometimes didn’t even need it. The overwhelming force of these mons paired together was enough to wear down Ferro/Corv. Zone is currently in B+ tier next to Goltres and Zera.

SV
We finally get to Gen 9. Unfortunately Zone was not able to carve out a niche in the three metas of SV OU. Ferro and Kart are gone, Corv has to pay taxes to Ghold, and speaking of which, Zone doesn’t do much to the new Steels introduced this gen, especially Ghold who not only outclassed it, but was not trappable. Gambit it could theoretically trap with BP, but Gambit could just Tera and blow it up anyways. With so few Steels and no niche, it dropped all the way to RU. So what’s different in DLC2?​

DLC2 increased the pool of Steel types.
The latter two you could ignore, being able to Sub and ID up vs Arch and win the 1v1 is definitely possible, but its not a guarantee. The important thing tho, is Skarm is back and its the best it has been since the DS era. Skarm had Spikes and better physical bulk which makes Skarm less passive and able to actually do shit even with Ghold in the tier. It checks a massive pool of threats while having the role compression of being a ground immune that isn’t weak to rocks. In a meta as hostile as SV OU, role compression is incredibly important. Basically what it has been doing for 20 years. Which is why alot of Skarm/Ting-Lu teams became the norm. Players responded to this by overwhelming Skarm with a barrage of physical threats or calling to ban Gholdengo. Rilla is normally a very effective wallbreaker, but Skarm tends to be an easy switch in. Not only are these team structures hard to break, but stuff like Meow, Weavile, Kyu, and Knock Clef have no trouble making progress vs you. Mag has the unique role of trapping Skarm while also being a semi-check to Weav/Meow, kinda like what it did in the last gen.

The Set
Magnezone @ Leftovers/Air Balloon
Ability: Magnet Pull
Tera Type: Fighting
EVs: 48 HP / 252 Def / 28 SpA / 180 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute/Flash Cannon
- Iron Defense
- Thunderbolt
- Body Press
The classic SS set. To summarize, 252 Def EVs to get the most out of Body Press, 28 SpA to OHKO Skarm with Tbolt, 180 Speed with Timid to speed creep Jolly Gambit and Archaludon speed creeping Jolly Gambit. Alot of Skarm Balances don’t have many safe answers into Zone. Ting-Lu the go-to Ground gets smacked by +2 BP and doesn’t OHKO back with EQ.

+2 252 Def Magnezone Body Press vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Ting-Lu: 264-312 (51.3 - 60.7%) -- 91.8% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

0 Atk Ting-Lu Earthquake vs. +2 48 HP / 252 Def Magnezone: 168-204 (57.3 - 69.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Dozo and Mola are hit hard by Tbolt while Clef is smacked by Flash Cannon. With Balloon you just sit on Clod and non-Knock Gliscor. Meanwhile Weavile and Meow want nothing to do with BP. Air Balloon also has the added benefit of being immune to Spikes and letting you rkill +1 Moon in a pinch. The only two MUs it needs help in is Ghold and Glowking, but those could easily be covered with Tusk, Lando, etc. Zone could also trap and rkill Gambit if it decides to not Tera. Or just ID up in its face or kill it with Tbolt/Flash Cannon in case it turns into the best Fairy or Flying type.

Partners
Remember how simply removing Skarm was enough to propel Magneton into OU in Gen 3? Take a look at the pool of mons that benefit from removing Skarm.

View attachment 585097View attachment 585098View attachment 585099View attachment 585100View attachment 585101View attachment 585102View attachment 585103View attachment 585104View attachment 585105View attachment 585106View attachment 585107View attachment 585108View attachment 585109View attachment 585110
Easing the pain of chipping down Skarm by simply deleting it is huge. It also helps that a handful of these can pivot into Zone directly. Removing Skarm also benefits teams indirectly. Since Skarm is the main spike setter on alot of team structures, limiting it is huge for Pokemon that lack reliable recovery like Tusk, Ting-Lu, and Gambit since they only need to worry about taking minimal dmg from SR.

There is one thing to note. Skarm can Tera, leaving it unable to be trapped by Zone, but that creates another advantage for teams. Skarm no longer can repeatedly switch in due to taking Spikes and shedding its amazing defensive typing leads to scenarios like this.

252+ Atk Choice Band Tera Grass Rillaboom Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 160+ Def Tera Dragon Skarmory in Grassy Terrain: 164-194 (49.1 - 58%) -- 64.5% chance to 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery

Forcing a Tera also means the opposing team can’t run defensive Tera in a pinch. No more Dozo clicking Tera Dragon on your Rillaboom. Like in the previous gens, the very existence of Mag causes the Skarm player to make riskier plays to hopefully not get trapped.

So the question is, where do you fit Mag?

Luckily there are two team archetypes Magnezone can find a place in, G-Terrain BO and HO which both heavily benefit from Mag trapping Skarm while having other qualities like being a Steel type. For the first time since SS, I think it has a genuine niche in the tier and an example that the tier still has room to experiment. Though I don’t think it is some meta defining staple, the trends of DLC2 have been kind to the Zone. I’ll leave y’all with a few discussion questions.

What lower tier mon(s) do you think have a genuine niche in the tier?

Any old gen staples like Keldeo, Latios, or Ttar that you think can make a comeback?

With January being in a few days, what do you think will rise or drop?

Are there any anti-meta sets you would like to bring up?
Magnezone is my favourite mon, so it is sad to see it not be OU this gen. I was going to suggest a sunny day, weather ball set, but then I looked it up and it doesn't even get weather ball! This mon would be so much better if they gave it better coverage, like idk, what about earth power or mystcial fire.
 
Maybe if you’re playing on the Random Battles ladder or doing a randomized team challenge or if this were pre-Gen 7. The only good means of activating Unburden is with Terrain Seeds and sometimes Berry Juice.
If you’re using Unburden you’re almost 100% also using some Terrain.
I don't really agree, if you're using terrain and lose your setter for whatever reason you're then on a timer to get the unburden mon in and you won't necessarily get the right mon in that time to bring your unburden mon in safely to sweep.

Overall I'd agree that terrain is the better way to go but fakeout normal gem ensures you can always get the unburden boost regardless of what's gone on in the battle and it also provides a bit of chip that could bring the opposing mon into range from the other moves.

Also in lower tiers (speaking specifically for Hitmonlee) the terrain setters aren't the greatest or don't necessarily gel well with Hitmonlee.
 
Riddle me this. What item was added specifically for a certain unburden strat (even if it was trash)?
It was run on :sneasler:
Fling:sneasler:
It is:gholdengo:'s cousin
Money, of course!:big nugget:
If you couldn't get it after hint 3 you are really bad (or new)
(I think people used :air balloon: but that's not it, that kinda sucks anyways.)

Also, what's your favourite Hitmon? Mine is Hitmonchan 'cause you can play Rock Paper Scissors with it.
RPS (Hitmonchan)
Ability: Iron Fist
Shiny: Yes
Tera Type: Fighting
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Upper Hand
- Focus Punch
- Mach Punch

Upper Hand>Mach Punch>Focus Punch>Upper Hand
Hitmonlee, cause Bulk Up Psychic Seed Unburden go BRRRRRRRRRRR
 
I don't really agree, if you're using terrain and lose your setter for whatever reason you're then on a timer to get the unburden mon in and you won't necessarily get the right mon in that time to bring your unburden mon in safely to sweep.

Overall I'd agree that terrain is the better way to go but fakeout normal gem ensures you can always get the unburden boost regardless of what's gone on in the battle and it also provides a bit of chip that could bring the opposing mon into range from the other moves.

Also in lower tiers (speaking specifically for Hitmonlee) the terrain setters aren't the greatest or don't necessarily gel well with Hitmonlee.
If you lose your Terrain setter, it's likely late game and you simply switch to Unburden sweeper when they die. It's WAY better than wasting a moveslot on Fake Out you'll only use once and an item that only boosts Fake Out. Seeds are generally better because they are not really possible to play around that is unique to Seeds. Only thing that would do it is if you remove the Terrain for the seed with another Terrain or with move like Ice Spinner being used on the correct turn.
And yeah that requirement to use Fake Out is huge. Besides failing if the opponent switches in Ghost types or uses Protect or what have you, you have Fake Out and then need to work with 3 other moves. You can't have all of Sword Dance, Close Combat/Axe Kick/HJK, Knock Off, and Poison Jab when one of them is taken up by Hitmonlee.
Also, being immediately fast is way better than taking a turn to be fast. With seeds, you pivot into something like Cinderace and threaten it out because of how strong Hitmonlee is and it being naturally faster than it. This also gives you a turn to Sword Dance or do massive damage. If you pivot Hitmonlee with Fake Out, Cinderace just immediately switches to a bulky counter that can tank its 3 moves unboosted easily but wouldn't at +2 or hit twice.
 
If you lose your Terrain setter, it's likely late game and you simply switch to Unburden sweeper when they die. It's WAY better than wasting a moveslot on Fake Out you'll only use once and an item that only boosts Fake Out. Seeds are generally better because they are not really possible to play around that is unique to Seeds. Only thing that would do it is if you remove the Terrain for the seed with another Terrain or with move like Ice Spinner being used on the correct turn.
And yeah that requirement to use Fake Out is huge. Besides failing if the opponent switches in Ghost types or uses Protect or what have you, you have Fake Out and then need to work with 3 other moves. You can't have all of Sword Dance, Close Combat/Axe Kick/HJK, Knock Off, and Poison Jab when one of them is taken up by Hitmonlee.
Also, being immediately fast is way better than taking a turn to be fast. With seeds, you pivot into something like Cinderace and threaten it out because of how strong Hitmonlee is and it being naturally faster than it. This also gives you a turn to Sword Dance or do massive damage. If you pivot Hitmonlee with Fake Out, Cinderace just immediately switches to a bulky counter that can tank its 3 moves unboosted easily but wouldn't at +2 or hit twice.
While that is fair, I think that fake out is more for cleaning potential/revenge killing. If you want to go for an outright sweep, then seeds are better. However, fake out has +3 priority, basically faster than anything. This could save you against a potential gambit/rilla sweep. I've used fake out on an iron hands set, and while hitmonlee has 20 less attack, that still is great chip damage. Sometimes you don't need +2 damage, you need to outspeed a priority user.
 
View attachment 585024

Hey y’all, did you miss these? Back with some more underrated mons, this time its Magnezone. While it has never been in the forefront of any OU metagame, it and its pre-evo Magneton have been a major part of the tier since ADV due to Magnet Pull. Before we get into its niche in DLC2, here’s a history lesson.

ADV
The simple niche of trapping Skarm is that huge, so Magneton ended up in OU. That’s because Skarm checked half the tier by itself. It laid out spikes while being immune to the infamous TSS combo (if you know, you know). Skarm was such a meta defining force that teams will do anything to try and lure it, whether its Fire coverage from Ttar and Mence, or going full Oppenheimer on it with CB Gross. Magneton didn’t just trap Skarm, it also crippled or rkilled Rachi and Gross while smacking Pert or Flygon with HP Grass/Ice. Mag was also used as a sack once its job was done, so it becomes easier to bring in your big offensive threats. Magneton was so effective at its role that some players started running offensive variants with max speed and HP Ground, specifically for it. Currently Mag sits in C1 rank which puts it next to the two Fire/Flying types and Flygon.

DPP
Skarm got Roost making it harder to kill and Stealth Rocks plus the limited amount of spinners which made hazard stacking even better. However Magneton would evolve into Magnezone in this generation, sporting more raw power and bulk for the cost of 10 points of speed. There were more steels to trap this time. Empoleon, Scizor, and Bronzong, tho the latter often carried EQ. It also punished Scarf Rachi for clicking anything other than U-Turn. BW is often credited for inventing Dragmag, but it actually started in DPP with the release of new dragons and buffed Outrages. Outside of its role in trapping Skarm, it sported an impressive 130 SpA, solid bulk, and a whopping 13 resistances. These traits combined with options like Hidden Power, T-Wave, Sub, Explosion, and Magnet Rise let Zone break defensive while acting as an emergency check to Latias, Wastom, Scarf Rachi, etc. However it wasn’t just Magnezone, in recent years, Magneton has picked up usage and even ranks alongside it in B3 within the DPP OU VR. The extra 10 points in speed means with a Scarf, it gets the jump on +1 Ada Gyara, Azelf, and Scarf Ttar.

BW
While Zone’s role of being more than a steel trapper has been limited due to the hostile nature of BW OU and the nerf to Explosion, it has gotten better as a steel trapper. Ferro is the most notable new steel that it could trap, and with Balloon + Magnet Rise it could even trap Drill. BW dropped more volatile dragons than ever before. Chomp, Latios, Kyu-B, and the newly buffed Multiscale Dnite. This led to the infamous Dragmag style becoming even stronger than in modern DPP. Due to how demanding team building is in BW, Zone rarely found itself onto teams outside of Dragmag. It found itself solidly in B+ next to Terrak and Starmie in the BW OU VR, as for Magneton, it had to take High School instead of chilling with the OU titans, so it never caught on.

XY/ORAS
Good news is the introduction of the Fairy type gave its Steel STAB a purpose. Bad news is that now Dragons can’t mindlessly spam Draco or Outrage anymore because of it. Tbolt and HP also received got BP nerfs. It lost its Dark and Ghost resists come Gen 6. However Mag was in a better spot this gen than in BW due to teambuilding in ORAS being less restrictive. Scarf and Magnet Rise sets picked off Skarm, Mega-Scizor, Ferro, Drill, and weakened Mega-Gross. It also bolstered the typical Steel type resistances alongside a resistance to Electric. Even though it didn’t trap everything, its offensive typing + its 130 SpA let it hit a majority of the meta super-effectively. Scarf got the jump on base 110s or lower like Keldeo, the Lati twins, Mega-Gross, Mega-Medi, and Mega-Diancie. A few of these Zone can one shot. Zone currently sits 24th in the ORAS VR in A tier.

USUM
Zone is in A tier in the current USUM VR. Its defensive profile became more useful than before, with multiple Fairy types now joining the tier. There were even more Steel types like Kart, Cele, Mega Maw, but more importantly, Magearna. While it didn’t trap AV Magearna due to Volt Switch, it matched up well into the dangerous setup variants. Substitute with Z-Moves let it trap Steel types and potentially pick up another kill on Lando, Chomp, Mega-Lati, or even a greedy Heatran. Scarf Zone was another set that limited Scarf/SD Kart to only one kill at best. Zone enabled Ash-Gren, the Tapus, Kart, Mega-Maw, and offensive Lando that are otherwise checked by these Steels. Zone finds itself in a solid place within the offensive USUM metagame.

SS
Zone received a major nerf in Gen 8, it lost Hidden Power. Now it could no longer reliably trap Ferro who also got BP to threaten it. Magnezone even dropped to UU and RU this gen. It was out of the job, or so we thought. SS introduced Corv, a mon with better special bulk than Skarm, Pressure Defog, and U-Turn, but even that got trapped by Zone if it was too careless. It also found a way to trap Ferro due to its newfound access to BP. So with a Sub-ID set, it effectively trapped Ferro once again. Specs also saw use in the IoA meta, but not with Magnet Rise, but Analytic. It absolutely smacked Ground Types like Hippo and Drill, fulfilling a similar role to Specs Magearna before it was banned. Crown Tundra came and the Sub-ID set became the norm. Kart returned along with the brand new Melm. Zone not only could trap these two, but also teamed up with them. Trapping Ferro and Corv enabled Tox + Tect Melm along with Scarf Kart. Zone was also a semi-check to Weavile so that Melm and other Weav checks could be preserved for later. Trapping Corv and Ferro also enabled other big offensive threats such as RS Shifu, CM Fini, Lando, Weav, SD Chomp, Koko, and Rilla. While its feats are impressive, it was hard to splash onto teams due to its MU fishy nature. The BO styles it fit itself in sometimes didn’t even need it. The overwhelming force of these mons paired together was enough to wear down Ferro/Corv. Zone is currently in B+ tier next to Goltres and Zera.

SV
We finally get to Gen 9. Unfortunately Zone was not able to carve out a niche in the three metas of SV OU. Ferro and Kart are gone, Corv has to pay taxes to Ghold, and speaking of which, Zone doesn’t do much to the new Steels introduced this gen, especially Ghold who not only outclassed it, but was not trappable. Gambit it could theoretically trap with BP, but Gambit could just Tera and blow it up anyways. With so few Steels and no niche, it dropped all the way to RU. So what’s different in DLC2?​

DLC2 increased the pool of Steel types.
The latter two you could ignore, being able to Sub and ID up vs Arch and win the 1v1 is definitely possible, but its not a guarantee. The important thing tho, is Skarm is back and its the best it has been since the DS era. Skarm had Spikes and better physical bulk which makes Skarm less passive and able to actually do shit even with Ghold in the tier. It checks a massive pool of threats while having the role compression of being a ground immune that isn’t weak to rocks. In a meta as hostile as SV OU, role compression is incredibly important. Basically what it has been doing for 20 years. Which is why alot of Skarm/Ting-Lu teams became the norm. Players responded to this by overwhelming Skarm with a barrage of physical threats or calling to ban Gholdengo. Rilla is normally a very effective wallbreaker, but Skarm tends to be an easy switch in. Not only are these team structures hard to break, but stuff like Meow, Weavile, Kyu, and Knock Clef have no trouble making progress vs you. Mag has the unique role of trapping Skarm while also being a semi-check to Weav/Meow, kinda like what it did in the last gen.

The Set
Magnezone @ Leftovers/Air Balloon
Ability: Magnet Pull
Tera Type: Fighting
EVs: 48 HP / 252 Def / 28 SpA / 180 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute/Flash Cannon
- Iron Defense
- Thunderbolt
- Body Press
The classic SS set. To summarize, 252 Def EVs to get the most out of Body Press, 28 SpA to OHKO Skarm with Tbolt, 180 Speed with Timid to speed creep Jolly Gambit and Archaludon speed creeping Jolly Gambit. Alot of Skarm Balances don’t have many safe answers into Zone. Ting-Lu the go-to Ground gets smacked by +2 BP and doesn’t OHKO back with EQ.

+2 252 Def Magnezone Body Press vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Ting-Lu: 264-312 (51.3 - 60.7%) -- 91.8% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

0 Atk Ting-Lu Earthquake vs. +2 48 HP / 252 Def Magnezone: 168-204 (57.3 - 69.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Dozo and Mola are hit hard by Tbolt while Clef is smacked by Flash Cannon. With Balloon you just sit on Clod and non-Knock Gliscor. Meanwhile Weavile and Meow want nothing to do with BP. Air Balloon also has the added benefit of being immune to Spikes and letting you rkill +1 Moon in a pinch. The only two MUs it needs help in is Ghold and Glowking, but those could easily be covered with Tusk, Lando, etc. Zone could also trap and rkill Gambit if it decides to not Tera. Or just ID up in its face or kill it with Tbolt/Flash Cannon in case it turns into the best Fairy or Flying type.

Partners
Remember how simply removing Skarm was enough to propel Magneton into OU in Gen 3? Take a look at the pool of mons that benefit from removing Skarm.

View attachment 585097View attachment 585098View attachment 585099View attachment 585100View attachment 585101View attachment 585102View attachment 585103View attachment 585104View attachment 585105View attachment 585106View attachment 585107View attachment 585108View attachment 585109View attachment 585110
Easing the pain of chipping down Skarm by simply deleting it is huge. It also helps that a handful of these can pivot into Zone directly. Removing Skarm also benefits teams indirectly. Since Skarm is the main spike setter on alot of team structures, limiting it is huge for Pokemon that lack reliable recovery like Tusk, Ting-Lu, and Gambit since they only need to worry about taking minimal dmg from SR.

There is one thing to note. Skarm can Tera, leaving it unable to be trapped by Zone, but that creates another advantage for teams. Skarm no longer can repeatedly switch in due to taking Spikes and shedding its amazing defensive typing leads to scenarios like this.

252+ Atk Choice Band Tera Grass Rillaboom Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 160+ Def Tera Dragon Skarmory in Grassy Terrain: 164-194 (49.1 - 58%) -- 64.5% chance to 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery

Forcing a Tera also means the opposing team can’t run defensive Tera in a pinch. No more Dozo clicking Tera Dragon on your Rillaboom. Like in the previous gens, the very existence of Mag causes the Skarm player to make riskier plays to hopefully not get trapped.

So the question is, where do you fit Mag?

Luckily there are two team archetypes Magnezone can find a place in, G-Terrain BO and HO which both heavily benefit from Mag trapping Skarm while having other qualities like being a Steel type. For the first time since SS, I think it has a genuine niche in the tier and an example that the tier still has room to experiment. Though I don’t think it is some meta defining staple, the trends of DLC2 have been kind to the Zone. I’ll leave y’all with a few discussion questions.

What lower tier mon(s) do you think have a genuine niche in the tier?

Any old gen staples like Keldeo, Latios, or Ttar that you think can make a comeback?

With January being in a few days, what do you think will rise or drop?

Are there any anti-meta sets you would like to bring up?
Love the analysis post. Magnezone has always been a favorite and I'd love to see it be able to work its niche in SV OU one day.

I think with how good and varied rain is now, Keldeo really is set to make a comeback. It's a little slow for our new meta standards, but the power and coverage it has really can't be underestimated. Once things settle down and we start experimenting with old stuff as well as new, I will for sure bet Keldeo will be a serious part of OU.
 
While that is fair, I think that fake out is more for cleaning potential/revenge killing. If you want to go for an outright sweep, then seeds are better. However, fake out has +3 priority, basically faster than anything. This could save you against a potential gambit/rilla sweep. I've used fake out on an iron hands set, and while hitmonlee has 20 less attack, that still is great chip damage. Sometimes you don't need +2 damage, you need to outspeed a priority user.
How often will that come up where you Fake Out a Rillaboom and KO it while cleaning? Like it doesn't even do that much to Rillaboom
252 Atk Normal Gem Hitmonlee Fake Out vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Rillaboom: 59-70 (17.3 - 20.5%) -- possible 7HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
You'd need to have done like +80% damage to Rillaboom prior and you'd need to use Fake Out on Rillaboom and no other Pokemon. And yeah Fake Out does nothing to Kingambit anyways. Plus you get +1 Def with Grassy Seed, which means you have a chance to survive Grassy Glide at full health and makes Sucker Punch a 3HKO.
252+ Atk Supreme Overlord 5 allies fainted Kingambit Sucker Punch vs. +1 0 HP / 0 Def Hitmonlee: 107-126 (44.3 - 52.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
252+ Atk Choice Band Rillaboom Grassy Glide vs. +1 0 HP / 0 Def Hitmonlee in Grassy Terrain: 208-246 (86.3 - 102%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO
oh and btw it's a 3HKO if you Tera Poison
252+ Atk Choice Band Rillaboom Grassy Glide vs. +1 0 HP / 0 Def Tera Poison Hitmonlee in Grassy Terrain: 104-123 (43.1 - 51%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
252+ Atk Choice Band Rillaboom Grassy Glide vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Tera Poison Hitmonlee in Grassy Terrain: 156-184 (64.7 - 76.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
So I REALLY don't think this tech would be all that useful if you're using Hitmonlee, unless of course you're doing that challenge where you get random Pokemon to make a team with.
 
:Serperior: Really annoying with Stellar Tera Blast giving it a neutral option across the board that plays into its Ability. Only thing against it is that it uses up your Tera slot, but it snowballs extremely quickly if you don't have an immediate answer. 3
Amending my earlier statement and bumping it to 5. Thing is beyond stupid when you can literally get reverse swept for accidently procing a buff against it.

You can't even run Sticky Webs because it's literally a free speed buff for it.
 
Honestly, if there is any pokemon that needs to be banned, or at the very least suspect tested: it’s gholdengo. That golden menace single-handedly made the hazards game go out of control. For example: If it weren’t for Gholdengo, there is NO WAY Gliscor would have ever been considered ban-worthy (annoying? Perhaps, but not worth a suspect test). National dex already gave gholdengo the boot, so I think it’s only a matter of time before OU does the same. Granted, Gholdengo can be on the slow side, but scarf alleviates this for a time; and while there ARE kingambit and great tusk, the former is probably on thin ice right now and both the king AND the elephant can be reliably dealt with via Tera and/or one of Goldy’s teammates. And while I’m still somewhat on the subject of kingambit and Tera: Tera blast flying or fairy can be a nasty surprise against fighting types. Defensively, it does help, but without Tera Blast, it can only do so much in return.
 
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