I know this has been said before but it is so refreshing to have so much transparency and communication from the council to know where their head is at. This is the most fun I’ve ever had at the start of the meta, and the most welcoming and non-toxic environment I’ve ever seen Smogon have in years. Hats off to the council, mods, and coders who all work so hard to make our community possible. (Special thanks especially to Finch!)
As for the meta itself - I don’t want to retreat any tired ground about how completely busted Palafin is, the fact that Iron Bundle has no switch-ins beyond Blissey, or the fact that terra may prove to be a bit much once the meta settles down.
Rather I want to ask a few questions:
-How are you all handling Chien-Pao? What reliable counters do you use?
-Have you found any specific, creative answers to big threats in the meta?
-Most under-rated mon?
-Most over-rated mon?
-Has anyone had any success with Espathra? I am trying to make that thing work for a friend who loves it but MAN it sucks. Any tips?
I would like to answer your question’s as it seems others have either overlooked your comment or simply don’t know the answers.
I will share with you my team set ups.
I will share with you how my team has evolved so far during Gen 9.
I will share with you some replays of my team in action.
The below link was my Pre-Ban set up in Gen 9.
A few Pokémon I used in the above set up were designed to help me counter some of the Meta at that time.
The Top 3 Meta Defining Pokémon during the above time were:
1 - Flutter Mane
2 - Houndstone
3 - Chien-Po
1 - I built Tinkeraton to be my Flutter Mane Counter.
Tinkeraton high Special Def. + Typing allowed her to counter Flutter Mane as long as the Flutter Mane didn’t do any Tera Type Changes.
Stealth Rocks + Rocky Helmet Damage by themselves with Continuous Resting from Tinkeraton was enough to kill Flutter Mane.
In addition, If Tinkeraton managed to get off a Gigaton Hammer, it was often a one shot even on fully healed Flutter Mane.
Tinkeraton proved to be great Pokémon which saved me few times during that Era of Gen 9.
2 - I built Arboliva to be my Houndstone Counter.
Arboliva Dou Typing worked well above my expectations.
Arboliva Normal Typing Shut down Houndstones Iconic Ghost move Last Respects due to being immune.
Arboliva Grass Typing Shut down Houndstones other moves allowing Arboliva to wall off Houndstone ultimately forcing it to switch.
3 - I built Iron Hands to be my Chien-Po Counter.
Chien-Po Dou Type (Dark & Ice) makes him have a 4x Weakness to Fighting.
Chien-Po High Atk stat + Priority moves makes him be a very dangerous Psychical Attacker.
I searched the Pokédex for a Fighting Type Pokémon with High Defense that could withstand Chien-Po Brutal Attacks.
My search lead me to the Iron Hands one of the greatest discoveries I ever had.
The Iron Hands has playstyle I really enjoy.
The Iron Hands is a Brawler!
The Iron Hands can takes some hits and he can dish out some hits, baby!
The revelation I had was in what item to put on him.
I thought about using a Berry or Leftovers to give him some extra healing besides only his Draining Punch.
What ended up stopping me from giving a Berry or Leftovers is my team, I like to examine all the items on my team,
I noticed several of my Pokémon were using Leftovers already.
I noticed I had a Pokémon using a Berry.
Using the same item‘s on all your Pokémon is usually bad.
You are often missing out on other items which could help your team as a whole.
This is when I realized I have no one using Assault Vest.
Than I looked at my Iron Hands and most of the moves I initially put on him were all attacking moves.
Iron Hands is the perfect Assault Vest User!
We put our EV’s in Defense to withstand our main objective is Psychical Attacker (Chien-Po).
Assault Vest allows us to Strenghten our Special Defense giving us extra toughness and allows us to survive a hit from a Special Attacker which we might not have survived.
AFTER THE BAN OF FLUTTER MANE & HOUNDSTONE, MY TEAM CHANGED.
I was also give improvement advice from the forum community.
My current Pokemon team is the following:
I will go over the minor changes which were made to my team first.
Clodsire - Stealth Rock vs. Spikes
I like Stealth Rocks, but I ended up changing to Spikes due to being able to add multiple layers.
I thought the extra Spike layers could potentially offer more Damage vs. Single Rocks.
I changed my Clodsire EV’s to be more Defensive to handle rival Leads/Hazard setters.
I ran into situations where my enemy would 1 shot me with Great Task, Garchop, or Iron Tread.
Skeledirge - Shadow Ball vs. Hex
I like the idea of doing big hit with Hex, but it practice it never happened.
I decided to change to Shadow Ball sense it is a little more base power.
Iron Bundle - U-Turn vs. Flip Turn
I found U-Turn is better if you lead with Iron Bundle.
If you Lead Iron Bundle and Enemy Leads Clodsire with Water Absorb,The difference between what Turn move you do matters.
Sometimes, Leading Bundle and pivoting out can be a safe play if your worried the enemy might be Ultra Aggressive on your Clodsire.
I will go over the minor changes which were recommended to me by players in this forum next.
Lil Benjii - Recommended that I changed Thunder Punch to Wild Charge on my Iron Hands Pokémon.
The change would help Iron Hands defeat a Bulk up Palafin.
Several Players - Recommended that I changed Whirlpool to Freeze Dry on my Iron Bundle Pokémon.
The change would help Iron Bundle do more over all damage.
Alephgalactus - Recommended that I changed Choice Scarf item to Choice Specs item on Iron Bundle Pokémon.
Alephgalactus explained Iron Bundle is already fast so their is no need to get the extra speed and it would be better with just extra damage.
I will go over the major changes to my team next.
With the Departure of Flutter Mane & Houndstone, I felt Tinkeraton & Arboliva didn’t really need to be on the team any more.
I think they are great Pokémon, but I was in the market of trying Different Pokémon.
Tinkeraton is Steel & Fairy Type.
I do like the Steel typing so I was in the market of trying out different Steel Pokémon.
I decided to go with a Classic Gen 8 Pokémon Corviknight.
I liked the idea of introducing Corviknight to the team because it gave me access to Defog to remove Enemy Hazards.
My previous team had no Hazard remove, I felt enemy hazards was a potential weakness my other team had.
Arboliva is Grass & Normal Type.
I did like the Grass Typing so I found Wo-Chein.
The reason I picked Wo-Chein over other Grass types is because of the new rising power houses.
The ban‘s of Flutter Mane & Houndstone left a power vacuum which ended up being filled by new rising stars.
The New Top 12 Meta Defining Pokémon after previous ban has emerged:
Keep in mind, Hyper Offense at its max destroys all other play styles making them unviable.
The nerfing/toning down of very powerful H.O Pokémon helps promote different play styles.
These different play styles ultimately end up with Devastating Sweepers of their own.
We currently have 4 different play styles which have emerged.
- Hyper Offense
- Set Up Sweepers
- Bulky Sweepers
The Top 3 Hyper Offense Pokemon:
1 - Chein-Po
2 - Iron Bundle
3 - Dragon Pult
Honorable Mention - Barraskewda
The Top 3 Set Up Sweeper Pokémon:
1 - Roaring Moon
2 - Iron Valiant
3 - Espathra
The Top 3 Bulky Sweeper Pokémon:
1 - Palafin
2 - Annilhape
3 - Chi-Yu
Honorable Mention - Skeledirge
The Top 3 Stall Pokémon:
1 - Gholdengo
2 - Gargancl
3 - Orthworm
I created my team to try and handle the Hyper Offense Pokémon.
Hyper Offense is usually more popular vs. other play styles so those Pokémon will often show up more in battles.
My Iron Hands should handle Chein-Po, Gargancl, & Barraskewda
I have replay of Iron Hands laying the smack down on Gargancl.
My Wo-Chein should handle Iron Bundle, Dragon Pult, & Gholdengo
I have very sweet replay showing how every time my opponent entered with Iron Bundle I switched into Wo-Chein to counter.
Same Replay as before, but you can see a glimpse of Wo-Chein taking on Gholdengo.
My Skeledirge has been doing very good vs. Set Up Sweepers.
Skeledirge Unaware Ability + Torch Song allows him to boost up and snowball.
I had some replays of it, but they expired.
In closing, I will answer your last remaining questions + give your friend tips.
I think the most under rated Pokemon is Skeledirge.
Skeledirge has won me so many games.
I think the most over-rated Pokémon is Chein-Po
Chein-Po is are carbon copy of Gen 8 Weavile.
I don’t understand why the same Checks/Counters from Weavile Gen 8 can’t be used for Chein-Po Gen 9
Lastly, I think Espadra is great Pokémon which can be a Set Up Sweeper.
My recommendation is to run her with Grimmsnarl + Cyclizar.
The Goal with Espadra is very simple.
All you want to do is Boost up her Sp. ATK with the move Calm Mind.
Once, you get her to like +2, you begin firing off moves.
The goal is to faint the entire enemy team with her.
Simple, Easy, & Effective - However, their is a catch.
The catch is how will you do the move Calm mind?
If your Espadra does Calm Mind, The enemy will do move as well which could potentially kill your Espadra before it has chance to boost up.
This is where the strategy comes into play!
The Set Up Sweep Players came up with a nice idea.
The idea is to create a distraction.
The distraction they use is a Substitute.
The enemy is “attacking” the Sub.(The Distraction) which gives Espadra a chance to boost with out having to worry about fainting.
Pretty sneaky idea right?
Cyclizar the Pokémon I mention above is one unique Pokémon who can pass Substitute to other Pokémon.
Espadra also has the ability to make her own Substitute as well.
Now the above idea players had was very good, but they started running into a small problem.
If you use Espadra to create a Substitute, Than the enemy attacks and destroys it in the same turn.
It defeats the purpose of the Sub.
You want the “Sub.” To stick around a few turns to by Espadra time to boost up.
This is the key element to understand.
What did players do to help by time?
This is where Grimmsnarl comes in!
Grimmsnarl has the move pool to reduce enemy Damage.
- Light Screen - For 5 Turns, All Special Atk Damage is Halved.
- Reflect - For 5 Turns, All Psychical Atk Damage is Halved.
Do you see the brilliance these Pokémon players had?
You reduce enemy Damage.
The reduction of enemy Damage helps the sub. stay alive longer.
The sub. staying alive longer helps Espadra boost up.
Espadra sweeps enemy team!
And that is all
Have Great Happy Thanksgiving