Metagame SV OU Metagame Discussion

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Okay I'm gunna be that guy.

5 Pao
1 Garg
1 Ghold

2 Espathra

Pao is stupid, and I'd hazard to say we all know why - because the offensive Ruin abilities are freaking broken. Both Garg and Ghold are not issues at all and are completely containable, balanced, and in my honest opinion healthy; if you're losing to them, build better teams. Espathra is only a maybe now because it lost its cheesiest way to set up with the stupid motorcycle-lizard leaving.

Overall I find this meta to be really enjoyable other than the freaking stupid snow cat. Teams are innovative, Tera keeps things lively and spicy, and nothing else off the top of my head is blatantly broken.

Edit: yeeessss, laugh. Your hate only makes me stronger.
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pao: 5
garg: 3
ghold: 3
espathra: 2

pao has no consistent counterplay outside of the tauros forms, and it is really starting to show. a lot of it is kneejerk "tera on crunch" stuff, but this comes with such a large opportunity cost of losing your tera for other things and it can be played around by swapping out and leaving you susceptible to other pao moves later, so i find this argument to be in favor of pao if anything, just a testament to how good it is. i will expand on it more later, but i do not think a ton of bans are needed right now. pao is def my #1 though.

garg is still a bit silly, but cloak has contained it a lot. and usage of it has spiked a TON. i predict it to remain common and good, and i find its impact to be substantial even if mainly on the builder, but i do not view it as pressing.

ghold was not too heavily on my radar initially, but np sets do feel a little wild when you combine how great it is offensively, how it can skirt revenge killing with tera, and how much it gains viability/usage wise with its ability already. hard to pin-down with a singular broken argument tho and normally can be sorta minimized, so ok with playing the long game on it.

espathra i am not sold on being busted now as i find prep for it gets easier and easier. but it is still a bit restrictive and that warrants inclusion. just not eager to act on it rn p much.
4 more common finch w's. my votes were almost exactly the same—5 for pao (that thing needs to fucking go), 3 for garg and ghold (top threats but definitely dealwithable), and 1 for espathra (it basically doesn't exist anymore)

as i've said before, we're reaching a point where the tier is nearing an ideal state of balance. i'm also really enjoying this ou in a way i haven't enjoyed ou since something like gen 4 or 5. a big hand to the council for managing to rein in the absolute chaos that this meta was on day 1 and turn it into what it is right now.

(now we wait to see how much the home update fucks everything up)
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Pao: 5 (quickban it)
Garg: 2 (I understand people arguments for the ban, but I don't support it)
Gholdengo: 2 (same as above)
Espathra: 1 (not a problem at all)
(3 would have been "I'm okay regardless if it gets banned or not" and 4 would have been "I understand people arguments for not getting it banned, but I don't think it's healthy")

I've already said it multiple times, but Pao is absolutely broken and a pain in the ass to deal with. The only way to actually tank a couple of hits is running Azumarill or the 2 Tauros, any other mon relies on prediction and can get absolutely destroyed by either Icicle Crash or Crunch. Even Azumarill is not a reliable answer to it: Banded Crunch from Pao is a guaranteed 3HKO if it has a Jolly Nature and Azumarill is offensive with max HP/max Atk; it's a guaranteed 2HKO if Pao is Adamant, regardless if it Tera'd or not, meaning that you'll never be able to get a free switch in. Even if Azumarill is max Def/max HP, Adamant Pao still 3HKOs it, which is simply nuts. This is even worse when you consider the fact that Azumarill doesn't get a reliable form of recovery. This same reasoning applies to all other "checks", which all get 4HKO'd at worse if it's Jolly (Tauros as well, which still doesn't get any form of recovery and has an incredibly specific niche). And Pex can only scout for the hit just to switch out afterwards, considering that it gets 2HKOd by Adamant Crunch.

Garg is very annoying to deal with if you don't run Covert Cloak, but I don't think it's banworthy at all. It's a very good hazard setter and a nice defensive wall, but it still gets threatened by the likes of Great Tusk, which can take Salt Cure pretty well thanks to Leftovers, regular Gholdengo with Recover (most sets are Tera Fighting/Ghost/Flying, all of which lose the Salt Cure weakness and can recover even more easily) or Choice+Trick, Calm Mind Hatterene, Meowscarada, Iron Valiant with CC, Breloom and the common wall breakers like Pao etc. Sure, it can change its type with Tera, but doing so means that your opponent won't be able to Tera anything else, and considering that the most common Teras for Garg are Water and Fairy it can still get checked/revenge killed by Gholdengo, Meowscarada, Breloom, Iron Moth, Amoonguss, Specs Valiant with thunderbolt and many others. And if your team happens to run Covert Cloak then it's completely over, you get a free switch in and wall it forever. The argument that Covert Cloak is too specific of an item doesn't stand imo, considering that not only is it a good item overall thanks to the fact that it negates stat drops and secondary status effects, but it's also way more easy to slap on a mon during teambuilding.

Gholdengo is one of the best mons, if not the best mon, on the tier right now. Not only does it have a stupid good ability, but it's also incredibly versatile and, just like Lando back in the day, it can very easily run any set you want to fit in your team perfectly. You need a Scarfer? Boom, slap a Scarf on it and it outspeeds every other non-Scarfed mon in the tier besides Iron Valiant with Booster Energy and Swift Swimmers. You need a good special wall-breaker? Specs is the perfect set for you. Both of these sets can run Trick to invalidate stall and punish defensive walls that may switch in on it. You want a more bulky set with Recover? You can either use a more balanced Gholdengo with Nasty Plot + 2 attacks or go fully supportive and run Thunder Wave + Hex, both of which are very good and are rising in popularity lately. Its incredibly good ability, crazy good typing and the fact that it's a requirement for hazard reliant teams just make it omnipresent in the current meta. Is it perhaps over-centralizing? One could easily argue that, but I just believe that it suffers from the Lando-syndrome, being so good and so consistent that it can get slapped on any team without necessarily meaning that it's broken. I think that we should wait for Home to get released before actually doing a suspect test, I'm sure there will be many more mons that will be able to check it more effectively in the future.

I actually used to think that Espathra was broken in the early days of SV, but I ended up realizing that it's just too inconsistent to actually be a problem. Not only does it need multiple turns to be a threat and snowball, but Gholdengo checks it (half of the teams use it), Kingambit checks it, Hatterene checks it with Psyshock, Chien-Pao outspeeds it at +1 and doesn't die unless Espathra has Focus Blast (also it gets sucker punch) and Ting-Lu can just Whirlwind it away.
Trying to list semi reliable defensive checks to chien pao that don't need to tera (I count pokemon who can take two hits and threaten back, as well as pokemon who just continually wall it as meeting the criteria, calcing using banded sets):

Both tauros forms
Phys defence thick fat haryama (4 Attack Drain punch 2HKOs tera-ed dark pao and heals enough to tank the next sacred sword. Reliability determined by how much opponent lets you heal with drain punch)
Pokemon who can force pao to switch after getting locked (I don't think this really counts though, they can get predicted and chien pao could come in later and all that stuff, but I think it's the most popular choice)
Body press corviknight? (2HKOd by tera dark crunch, but fares well against the all-out-attacker set)
Dondozo (Extremely high chance to survive two tera dark crunches, but a bit shakey due to 1% chance + needing rest to restore HP + must be at full health)
I don't know why I went thick fat haryama before corv and dondozo, probably because he is the goat in RU

(calcing using the all-out-attacker set):

Azumaril (Quite solid)
Phys defence tinkaton (Gigachad hammer guaranteed OHKO)
Garganacl (With at least 108 defence EVs, sacred sword 3HKOs, and it threatens back with body press. I don't know what impact -108 SpD investment is going to have but this meets criteria)
Washtom (Tera dark crunch high chance to 2HKO af/ leftovers without factoring stealth rock, but it has wisp so I guess that changes things)
Toxapex (Also quite solid)

(No sacred sword)


Problem with many of these pokemon: Unable to take any chip, lack recovery allowing chien pao to switch out of the incoming attack and come back later, ruined by crunch defence drop.

I'm not exactly trying to sway votes one way or another, just trying to provide a good list. Feel free to add to or criticize this list
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Body press corviknight? (2HKOd by tera dark crunch, but fares well against the all-out-attacker set)
I used to love running Iron defense + BP Corvi, it could always switch into heavy-duty boots Pao and threaten it away. Then Banded Pao became a thing... the fact that it gets easily 2HKOd is nuts, and I already explained the overall problems I have with this mon above.
Chien-pao: 4 - Weavile evolution that cuts defense when attacking and Tera Dark makes it worse. Like using CB Crawdaunt in Trick Room and spamming Knock Off, but this doesn't require any setup.

Gholdengo: 4 - Its wild so many people want this thing to stay. Nothing dictates what's viable in OU like Gholdengo. Landorus-T never felt this toxic when I opened teambuilder.

Garganacl: 3 - Salt Cure can be problematic, but it's countered by an item, and Garganacl almost demands Tera for itself. I'm still on the fence about it.

Espathra: 1 - Now that it can't get a sub from Cyclizar, I don't think it needs to be looked at.
Is AV amoonguss good? I have used it once and I won but it’s too little evidence.
What are you specifically trying to check with AV? Iron Valiant? I'm not the biggest Amogus user but I feel like Spore is an incredible move that you always wanna have in the back if a mon learns it. But hey, try some more games and if you think it fits your team then keep it as it is.
I feel like I've been a bit too conservative on the tiering survey lol, everyone else has given much higher scores -

I wasn't sure whether somethings should be banned but they probably might need some action so I had:

Pao: 3 - obviously the top mon right now and "potentially" needs a ban, potentially because I personally wouldn't mind either way
Garg: 2 - less problematic than Pao clearly and might need to be looked at - Salt Cure warps a lot of the metagame around it and it has too many different choices for Tera (which it almost is guaranteed it will do)
Dengo: 1 - Top 2 mon, splashable but I think is just super consistent right now as opposed to be game-breaking
Espathra: 1 - I think since Cyc got banned, it's a lot harder to make Espathra work and is much too inconsistent as a result for it to deserve any sort of action

Red Raven

Since everyone posts their response, might as well chime in for the fun of it

Mufasa - 5

This thing is ridiculous. I'm honestly starting to regret hating Nemo more than this thing because damn this hurts. Enuff said. With the amount of five being posted, I do hope this gets quickbanned so we don't have to suffer this thing anymore

Monolith - 4 / 5

Not a hundred percent sure what I chose but I do know it was above three. For something that has a move literally named 'salt cure', it makes people saltier than actually using it. There's counterplay but I find this to be a similar case to that monkey we got rid of, the tera factor really makes it very irritating to deal with

Cheese Stick - 3 / 4

Again, not a hundred percent sure but this thing is just annoying especially with its customizable ev spread and probably the single most annoying ability in the game

Emu - <=3

I don't find this thing to be broken. It's just straight up irritating for me and I don't find myself having too much of a problem with it
I voted!
Panther: 5
Garg: 4
Dengo: 4
Espathra: 5

Panther is legit a problem, and I just hate the stupid bird. Can we turn it into our next Thanksgiving Turkey already? Garg and Dengo has been debated into the floor and honestly... Having been playing bulky offensive Cloak Dengo, Cheese String Man over here is about as silly as they come.

Also put my bonus points into Volc because holy hell does that thing take off after merely a +1.
Chien Pao: 5/5 ban
Garganaci: 3/5 suspect
Espathra: 2/5 no action/suspect
Gholdengo: 1/5 no action

Pao has no solid counterplay outside of Tauros Paldea Fire or Water, or Dondozo for non-Dark Tera band sets, that combination of power, speed and dual priority in late game is super threatening against all kind of playstyles. Garganaci & Espathra I think needs specific answers in teambuilding to deal well with them. Gholdengo is just fine, topnotch pokemon like Great Tusk but has different checks, defensive ones like Ting Lu, Apex, Water Garganaci, Clodsire, more offensive checks like Kingambit, revenge killers such Dragapult, Chien Pao, Roaring Moon, Garchomp, etc. Also Spin Knock Off Great Tusk is everywhere.


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Chien Pao - 5
Garganacl - 1
Gholdengo - 1 or 2
Esparatha - 1

Garganacl is just a more defense-specialised version of the Heatran DoT awkward-to-play-around archetype that gets complained about every gen despite posing no actual game balance issues every gen. Garg just trades partial trapping, Taunt, and immediate firepower for setup options, a strong recovery move, broadly superior defensive presence, and a DoT that doesn’t wear off over time and likes to make use of a mechanic that it was probably designed around in the first place. Mon’s entirely balanced. Something being extremely versatile + good at forcing progress + capable of easily adapting with its counterplay isn’t a reason to ban it if it’s not paired with other (stronger) justification, and I am really not seeing a reason to look into it, frankly.

No comment on the others.
I've been a fan of banning Chien-Pao since day one. It's not that the thing is outright busted 100%. There are things that can switch into it and force it out, and its weaknesses are so terrible that it really can't take a hit.
I just think it's so disgustingly powerful, hitting harder than most Ubers Pokemon, and that the meta is better with it gone. People joke about Mega Weavile nonstop but it's basically Gen V Kyurem Black. It hits about as hard and all it does is serve as the ultimate wallbreaker in a metagame that really needs stronger walls. And to the (possibly majority?) of people who still think Tera needs something curtailing it, the slower the metagame, the less any individual Tera-influenced turn means.
- 5
- 4
- 2
- 2

Nothing extra needed to say about Chien-Pao, it obviously needs serious discussion about whether we find it too overbearing in the tier.

Garganacl is a mon that I think merits a suspect discussion due to being limited in counterplay, straightforwardly "winning" matchups, and playing in a pretty flowcharty way that makes the tier less interesting and less fun. I don't know yet if I'd vote ban but I support a suspect.

Gholdengo and Espathra sit in similar places for me right now - teetering somewhere between balanced and "is this a bit much?". Ghol with its bulky NP sets is starting to feel like it's warping the metagame rather than holding a place at the center of it but I can't say it's feeling overwhelming. Espathra is obviously very feast or famine and we should think if we like that extreme polarising effect in the meta but it's probably not broken.
Everyone's posting their opinions, might as well put mine.

Chien is ridiculous, I been saying it day one. A faster and stronger Weavile who basically need 3 moves to have the meta on its knees while having one free slot for extra coverage or priority. Bullshit.

I really love Garga, been using it day one but I gotta accept when certain things are too much. If Tera was gone sure, I could see it staying but with Tera it can switch match-ups all around, this might seem a bit of a controversial take but I see it kinda like Dug, like it's great at performing its duty and it forces you to use certain items/moves so you can have a better match-up on the many teras it can change to. I love it but it needs to be looked up.

I'm admit I'm being a bit biased here, it's not that I'm think it's broken, it's just I think it's way overcentralizing and gives too much power to hazard stack, some games came up to who can take the other's Tusk just so you have no way to spin the hazards away and I kinda sick of seeing it everywhere. I would like to see it go, but if it stays I could begrudgingly live with it.

It's a match-up fishing mon, if you have something for it you're set.... sorta, otherwise you're screwed, and even then people are adapting their GagaStriches, you have bulky variants, offensive, etc. In my opinion what pushs it it's it interation with Tera, flipping weakness, empowering coverage, or gaining a brand new coverage to go with SP is a bit too much, I could see it stay, but I could see it go as well.

Dumb Pokemon. The only reliable defensive answer to it in the tier that I can think of is Fire Tauros, which isn't an OU staple so you know how this goes. Even then, it's prone to getting worn down, especially if not running Leftovers + Protect. What should be good switchins to it, such as Corviknight, Dondozo, and physdef Rotom-W are all broken down by Chien-Pao's Banded Crunch, especially if Tera Dark and Arceus help you if Defense drops get proc'd. It's offensively hard to check, too. It has a blistering Speed-tier which lets it outrun everything relevant besides +Speed Pult, which gets sniped by Ice Shard and Sucker Punch anyway, and Tera removes its 4x Fighting-weakness meaning Body Press from things like Corv or unboosted Garg, and Mach Punch from Sash Breloom won't OHKO from full anymore.

I feel the Banded set is the scariest, but Boots is also hella hard to wear down while giving it move-freedom. Also one of the scariest threats on Screens hyper offense, too. Just won't die, especially after Tera. Ban this thing.

3 (I voted 4 in the survey but kinda regret it now lol)

Not as overbearing as Chien-Pao, but Garganacl is still extremely annoying. It's arguably the best Tera user in the tier by far, and the combination of its signature ability, its signature move, reliably recovery, ID + BP, and fantastic bulk makes it the best defensive piece in the tier, too. There are ways of stopping it, such as Tricking a choice item onto it, knocking its Leftovers off forcing more Recovers, Great Tusk without Garg using Tera, etc, but it's arguably one of the hardest mons in the tier to gain progress against while it progresses very easily against yours. I wouldn't say it's *broken* but it's bordering brainless imo.


Don't have as much to say on Gholdengo. Definitely not as opposed to this mon as I was at the start of the meta, but the Cloak set is bordering too good. Also enables spike-stack hella hard, but not impossible to deal with considering Tusk exists. Keep on the radar, but I think over time, this mon will be more healthy for the tier.

1 (I voted 3 before, but I changed my mind again :p)

Not much of a threat at all tbh. Yeah, it can snowball pretty hard, but it requires much more set-up to do so than something like Blaziken did in past gens, which usually just needed one SD to cleave through teams. It just doesn't have the raw breaking potential, with Stored Power needing multiple boosts and Dazzling Gleam does pitiful damage if you don't Tera-Fairy, and running Tera Blast into Tera-Fighting REQUIRES you to Tera this mon otherwise you're walled by Dark-types forever. Not problematic in the slightest.
I voted

Chien Pao: 5
Garganacl: 4
Gholdengo: 4
Espathra: 2

I would support bans for each of Chien-Pao, Garganacl, and Gholdengo, but not Espathra.

However, I can definitely see which way the wind is blowing with most people so far not wanting to take any action on Gholdengo. I think my problem with it is that it forces you to use Great Tusk (or a Great Tusk dupe) to counter it. Otherwise, there's no reliable way to stop hazard stacking. Its presence in the tier means every team has to have an offensive spinner that can 1v1 Gholdengo, which in my opinion is the single most restrictive element of team-building right now. There's only a handful of offensive spinners that are viable, and having to work out what pokemon you want to use to complement your chosen spinner basically takes up half of your team right away. This means most teams only have 2-3 truly free spaces to work with in team-building after accounting for Gholdengo. I think more so than any other pokemon, a Gholdengo ban would open up the meta to a more diverse set of viable pokemon. I used to be ok with it, but the higher up I've gone, the less I've enjoyed the meta because of its presence.


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I voted

Chien Pao: 5
Garganacl: 4
Gholdengo: 4
Espathra: 2

I would support bans for each of Chien-Pao, Garganacl, and Gholdengo, but not Espathra.

However, I can definitely see which way the wind is blowing with most people so far not wanting to take any action on Gholdengo. I think my problem with it is that it forces you to use Great Tusk (or a Great Tusk dupe) to counter it. Otherwise, there's no reliable way to stop hazard stacking. Its presence in the tier means every team has to have an offensive spinner that can 1v1 Gholdengo, which in my opinion is the single most restrictive element of team-building right now. There's only a handful of offensive spinners that are viable, and having to work out what pokemon you want to use to complement your chosen spinner basically takes up half of your team right away. This means most teams only have 2-3 truly free spaces to work with in team-building after accounting for Gholdengo. I think more so than any other pokemon, a Gholdengo ban would open up the meta to a more diverse set of viable pokemon. I used to be ok with it, but the higher up I've gone, the less I've enjoyed the meta because of its presence.
Yeah I pretty much feel the exact way, I do think if suspect thread opened up today and all 4 of them were on the board. I would would vote ban on Nacl and Pao. Dengo I'm 50/50 on
I wonder how much a Gholdengo ban would actually affect Hazard Removal options. Look at OU now, these are the Pokemon that learn Rapid Spin or Defog:

Great Tusk, Iron Treads, Torkoal, Quaquaval, Corviknight, Scizor (Glimmora too)

The first two are pretty good spinners and can 1v1 Gholdengo, or at least hit it hard if it tries to switch in. Gholdengo doesn't wanna switch in on Torkoal but anyway Torkoal obviously has his niche and isn't ever going to be consistent at spinning in OU. Quaquaval really doesn't wanna be running Rapid Spin, regardless of what set it's running. Similarly, Defog Scizor sets are pretty mediocre with or without Gholdengo in the tier, especially now that it lost Roost. And then Corviknight would obviously be the big winner of a Gholdengo ban. Maybe more people would run some bulky Glimmora sets if Gholdengo got banned, but I don't think those will ever be very good, and they would still get shut down by Steel types.

There are also UU and below mons that can remove hazards, but most of them don't see play in OU because they're bad, not because of Gholdengo. So realistically, I think a Gholdengo ban would mean your hazard removal options go from Great Tusk and Iron Treads to those 2 + Corvi. And you can already run Corvi as your lone hazard removal, you just need to have other outs against Gholdengo Hazard stack teams.

If a Gholdengo ban were to pass, I feel like it would be more because the NP + Recover sets are too difficult to deal with rather than its centralization of hazard removal options. But I'm not that eager to see it removed from the tier, at least not before Chien-Pao gets the boot.
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Regardless of the banworthiness of Gholdengo right now, which I do not support since I consider it extremely good obviously but not broken at all, I'm 100% sure that once Home gets released Gholdengo will definitely become way easier to check and work around. Mons like Lando-T, Tornadus-T, Gren and Heatran have always seen widespread usage in OU, and are all incredibly good answers to Gholdengo:
Lando-T obviously outspeeds it and threatens it with an EQ or a Stone Edge if it Teras into a Flying type, and it's also bulky enough to tank a Make it Rain or a couple of Shadow Balls;
Tornadus-T will be crazy good with an AV and thanks to Regen it will be able to always switch in and check Gholdengo (unless it happens to be Specs Thunderbolt), and can threaten it back with an Heat Wave or a Knock Off (if it gets it back);
Greninja resists both of its STABS and could OHKO it with a Life Orb powered Dark Pulse or a Specs set;
Heatran is bulky enough to take multiple Shadow Balls without a problem, it resists Make It Rain and can completely destroy Gholdengo with any Fire move.
Other mons that could be very good against it are Moltres-G, Ursaluna, Typhlosion-H, Samurott-H and Arcanine-H, all of which outspeed it with the exception of Ursaluna and can easily 2HKO it, if not OHKO it.
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