Metagame SV RU Metagame Discussion (DLC Edition | December Shifts)

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I Have Regrets
also here's the top 10 for RU for context
Not surprised by any of these but Bisharp - I used to run it on every team but the meta now is so HO that it just misses out, in my opinion, of that final team slot. Think you're better off running Lucario if you want an offensive steel type, and sucker punch is weak to three of the top threats (Krook, Slither Wing and Iron Jugulis) while also just not hitting as hard as it used to.

Edit: Also, RU Ladder is great rn
 
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Here is a set I believe will be very good in RU. This started with me thinking about despite having a phenomenal typing vs the meta, especially pokemon like jugulis and fezandipiti, how a-muk is unable to check jugulis because it is too weak and unable to check fezandipiti because the bird just sets up calm minds until it wins. How do you solve this issue? Assault vest lets you survive 3 earth powers even after rocks damage from jugulis while letting you invest enough in attack to beat it down in return, and the attack evs+clear smog let you beat fezandipiti by keeping it from boosting and dealing enough damage in return to force it to roost. The EV spread I chose is probably unoptimal but it is a balancing act between your offense and defense. This spread is bulky enough to be able to always beat jugulis if you have full health and always be able to 4hko fezandipiti with poison jab. You can probably find a more optimal spread but this one does what you need. I feel like since you are almost exclusively going to use it against special attackers, you can drop hp evs rather than spdef evs in order to squeeze even more attack and total special bulk out of this blob.
252 SpA Iron Jugulis Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 120 SpD Assault Vest Muk-Alola: 112-132 (27 - 31.8%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
+1 0 SpA Fezandipiti Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 120 SpD Assault Vest Muk-Alola: 67-81 (16.1 - 19.5%) -- possible 6HKO
136+ Atk Muk-Alola Poison Jab vs. 248 HP / 192 Def Fezandipiti: 108-127 (28.4 - 33.5%) -- 95.7% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery

Furthermore, a-muk just has a type combination that matches up well vs basically all the special attackers in the tier. The addition of munkidori only makes this more true.
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Look at the special attacking threats in the tier. jugulis, horoark, hyphlosion/chandelure, munkidori, azelf, gardevoir, armarouge and dragalge all have stab types that are resisted by a-muk, while the rest are definitely the less threatening special attackers. AV a-muk can singlehandedly serve as your answer to a good chunk of the format, allowing you to build a more compact defensive core. Pair it with a physical wall that can handle scalders and you have a very solid two-mon defensive core. Slowbro and vaporeon both make good partners, with slowbro having high physical bulk, a fighting resist and weaknesses that muk can patch up, while vaporeon can keep a-muk healthy with wishes.

What are the downsides? Well there are two, kinda three big ones. The first is knock off vulnerability. You need the assault vest and really don't like taking physical attacks, and a dark type that can't really absorb knock is a big problem. The second problem is hazard damage. You just get chipped down so easily by rocks, sand and spikes. This is bad because the third problem is needing to be at high health to handle certain threats. Jugulis can still beat you with bad luck if you are sufficiently chipped and while you win the long game vs fezandipiti, you have to be at close to full health to do it. But those are both lategame threats which muk's team can assist with, and muk does a very good job vs all the specs, scarf and boots special attackers like gardevoir and zoroark.
 
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Here is a set I believe will be very good in RU. This started with me thinking about despite having a phenomenal typing vs the meta, especially pokemon like jugulis and fezandipiti, how a-muk is unable to check jugulis because it is too weak and unable to check fezandipiti because the bird just sets up calm minds until it wins. How do you solve this issue? Assault vest lets you survive 3 earth powers even after rocks damage from jugulis while letting you invest enough in attack to beat it down in return, and the attack evs+clear smog let you beat fezandipiti by keeping it from boosting and dealing enough damage in return to force it to roost. The EV spread I chose is probably unoptimal but it is a balancing act between your offense and defense. This spread is bulky enough to be able to always beat jugulis if you have full health and always be able to 4hko fezandipiti with poison jab. You can probably find a more optimal spread but this one does what you need. I feel like since you are almost exclusively going to use it against special attackers, you can drop hp evs rather than spdef evs in order to squeeze even more attack and total special bulk out of this blob.
252 SpA Iron Jugulis Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 120 SpD Assault Vest Muk-Alola: 112-132 (27 - 31.8%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
+1 0 SpA Fezandipiti Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 120 SpD Assault Vest Muk-Alola: 67-81 (16.1 - 19.5%) -- possible 6HKO
136+ Atk Muk-Alola Poison Jab vs. 248 HP / 192 Def Fezandipiti: 108-127 (28.4 - 33.5%) -- 95.7% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery

Furthermore, a-muk just has a type combination that matches up well vs basically all the special attackers in the tier. The addition of munkidori only makes this more true.
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Look at the special attacking threats in the tier. jugulis, horoark, hyphlosion/chandelure, munkidori, azelf, gardevoir, armarouge and dragalge all have stab types that are resisted by a-muk, while the rest are definitely the less threatening special attackers. AV a-muk can singlehandedly serve as your answer to a good chunk of the format, allowing you to build a more compact defensive core. Pair it with a physical wall that can handle scalders and you have a very solid two-mon defensive core. Slowbro and vaporeon both make good partners, with slowbro having high physical bulk, a fighting resist and weaknesses that muk can patch up, while vaporeon can keep a-muk healthy with wishes.

What are the downsides? Well there are two, kinda three big ones. The first is knock off vulnerability. You need the assault vest and really don't like taking physical attacks, and a dark type that can't really absorb knock is a big problem. The second problem is hazard damage. You just get chipped down so easily by rocks, sand and spikes. This is bad because the third problem is needing to be at high health to handle certain threats. Jugulis can still beat you with bad luck if you are sufficiently chipped and while you win the long game vs fezandipiti, you have to be at close to full health to do it. But those are both lategame threats which muk's team can assist with, and muk does a very good job vs all the specs, scarf and boots special attackers like gardevoir and zoroark.
I know a high ladder play (maybe Pepe?) was using a Tera Dragon Alolan-Muk and I couldn't believe how great it was. I'm all for it getting some shine!
 
Since the discussion has swapped to Muk-Alola, may I offer an apple in these trying times...?
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This mon is actually the perfect pair for something like Vest Muk-A. It's a knock off absorber that makes it so that Muk-A doesn't have to lose it vest, helps give a nice ground resist, and can do decently vs a fezendipit switch-in. The main issue is that it can rely on it's tera to get out of super tricky match-ups and really needs teammate support to handle iron jug and other special threats
 

cyanize

Mantra Good I Casted So Many Spells U Idiot
is a Community Contributor
hi! as the newest member of the council & a big proponent of transparency, id been meanin 2 make a post detailing my thoughts on the meta for a while now as a sorta introduction to ppl that may not be as familiar w me, but i kept gettin distracted... well, with the survey out now, n us actually havin a new meta to develop for a bit until gamefreaks fantastic dlc model does us a big favor yet again i figure there's no better time 2 start :0 also fair warning, i type a LOT...

i'll start w the drops since it'll b quicker

:barraskewda: - it leaving's obviously a debuff 2 rain, as the replacement physical water swimmers have nothin 2 touch the water absorb mons. i think float is the better replacement, as basc requires jolly; adamant loses to booster jugulis as well as any scarfer above 106 speed (which we just got another of!) float can afford adamant, so it's slightly stronger and also has notably btr ice coverage - the only real benefit 2 usin basc is impression/espeed resist. that said, skewda leaving is also a buff 2 rain in a way, since one of the biggest threats 2 rain teams was opposing jolly skewda. so overall i think rain will have the abt the same position in the meta regardless

:torkoal: - gaining this doesn't rly fix any of sun's biggest problems imo and arguably makes u weaker to ttar, since w tales you'll obv be using a different rocker/spinner and thus can be using smth that doesnt get shredded by edge. talon & tera dragon hippo still just sit on the whole joint, n the role compression is nice but idt tork is gonna do much 4 sun. i do think the style is a bit unexplored but the lack of an impressive fastmon hurts a lot

:munkidori: - i rly don't wanna deal w another toxic chain uturn mon dawg get this junk outta here.... on a real note, i dont think it'll b particularly more impressive than azelf but the problem is a. azelf is already p damn good without the fact it can poison u on uturns, so an azelf "sidegrade" is still annoying 2 handle, and b. it has some p annoying qualities over azelf - the additional bulk + typing makes priority users a bit more cautious abt challengin it which is a pretty solid form of counterplay 2 azelf on top of givin it more opportunities 2 hit the field without being pivoted in. it also cant particularly be contained by the fat rocks/waters like azelf can, since u obviously risk just gettin ruined by toxic off smth as noncommittal as uturn lmao. ill speak more on why i absolutely hate toxic chain from a builder perspective, but at least they didn't give it encore ig


now, for my answers 2 the survey... this might be a bit of a doozy since i have a lot 2 try n explain, so i'll try 2 keep it neat

How enjoyable do you find the current metagame? 6/10 i actually cant remember what i voted but this is the score id give it now
tl;dr - status is annoying ash but we have good tools to handle everythin else. cyclizar is very cool and fun and a much needed stabilization to the hazard game

from a playing perspective, overall this meta feels fine 2 me. there is one main glaring problem tho that loses it multiple points, n it's somethin i'll likely speak on a lot throughout this post - statuses are Fucking Everywhere and have pretty minimal counterplay. admittedly this is more of a current state of sv problem than one specific to ru, but whichever genius at gamefreak decided that deleting aromatherapy and making heal bell an exclusive move was already on some shit even when scald and toxic were effectively gone. then they decided to bring back scald and add more obnoxious status mons and not bring back any way 2 heal status??? PLUS we're missing almost all the mguard mons and half the good lowtier steels????? gen 8 already had it bad enough, w contact abilities shooting up in popularity due to the proliferation of nigh unpunishable uturn pivots thanks 2 our good friend the boots, but this is a whole different level of annoying. ground + poison coverage is incredibly difficult 2 handle (ill speak more on this later), and we don't have a whole lot that consistently takes on scald mons besides other scald/status mons, so scl has shown a couple instances of the worst aspects of this meta in unending scald regen wars bc nobody wants 2 potentially concede all their momentum to taking 40 + a burn on a pivotal offensive threat. sigilyph would fix this tier :/

outside of this though, i think we're in a p fun place rn; a wide variety of styles have enough tools to get their job done, and there are a couple "degenerate" factors but nothin that feels genuinely untenable or unfun 2 play against in the degree of the old super slowbro, king k rook, or oricorio + garde dance-off metas. cyclizar being 1 of (and arguably THE) top dogs in the meta feels nuanced and fun, as there's a lot of reward to using it well between its combo of fast knock+turn and ability to put out decent stab spins that can even let it clean vs frailer teams, but its own relative frailty means it's not super hard to punish consistently even with the hazard setters themselves, and all its moves are so good that u can have issue clicking the Right One for the situation. it's also not unbearably punishing to switch into as a whole unlike a lot of other knock users, because it's strength mostly lies in its endless utility as opposed to its ability to soften its own counters w/o bein punished. cyclizar is one of the best additions 2 the tier so far imo and it brings a dynamic that i feel is good 2 coalesce around

How competitive do you find the current metagame? 8/10
tl;dr - things feel balanced; the hazard game isn't awkward asf anymore, most styles r viable/have enough consistency and there ain't any luck based bs or unpunishable pivots or hugely centralizing threats

as much as i don't LIKE the extremely status centric nature of our current meta, i do think that the meta is currently in a pretty balanced state overall. as i alluded 2 in my last answer, cyclizar brings a much needed centralization and balance to the hazard game that we were sorely lacking, so now the idea of removing hazards doesn't feel like a lost cause as it did in most past metas. for the record, i think that the more bw-like approach to the hazard meta that we had in the past isn't an unreasonable state even if it is uncomfortable esp to some newer players, but i think we started to have a problem when we started gettin incredibly solid/splashable knock users to make boots extemely difficult to keep intact, and that's where that sorta balance begins to fall apart. i think it was neat when it was pretty reasonable to just run 5 boots users w a poison type and not rly bother w hazard control even on balance, but that got more and more untenable w the increase in item manipulation w/o a similar increase in defensive capability. this most recent shift, though, brought more of that defensive stability and good toolkit for teams to handle knock mons as well as (mostly) balanced additions to hazard setting and clearing, so even if i think it's a bit boring that we've returned to a state more reminiscent of gen 8 i also think it's a competitive dynamic.

outside of the hazard meta, i don't think there's anything that has an unreasonable hold on the tier and nothing stands out 2 me as egregious balance wise or player interaction wise. obviously i'll speak in depth abt my scores later, but the fact that there's nothing id vote a 5 on is a good sign, as a 4 to me is more like "worth suspecting but id prolly vote no ban/it being removed would come w some undesirables." there r a couple of mons that i think deserve a bit of scrutiny but truthfully if we just let this meta rock until dlc/jan shifts i doubt id have much to complain about that's not named toxic.

the scald wars that i mentioned earlier are snooze asf but they are a display of competitive long term planning; being able 2 know which mons u can afford to take a burn on in an endgame and which may not seem like a big deal but will be problematic later, preserving recovery pp and ur health values strategically in order 2 handle ur opponents threats, calling out double switches to and from whatever ur opponent designates as their status absorber... these r all things that i find p boring from a spectator perspective, but are undeniably competitive from a player skill and expression standpoint. we also don't rly have much in the way of discharge/twave mons and we finally have enough electric immunities around to keep a lid on kilo/rotom, which helps a lot because para is bullshit no matter what

most playstyles feel viable which is also a good sign. scl has been a bit more balance centric, and i agree a bit w oyster who said that goin w builds that rely more on offensive pressure seems like a better play 2 me as our defensive tools are still a bit strained from both directions, but it's certainly more reasonable than past metas to branch out from bo into slower and faster squads. ho is finally fuckin usable again cus we allowed it to have some good mons that, yknow, have OFFENSE; it's always gonna b inconsistent because the entire point of ho is to fish for a positive matchup, but it feels realistically usable now w/o being damn near solod by one or two specific guys coughwochiencough and additionally has some build variety between a couple different core threats w jug/mmq/lycan/rev all being solid consistent centerpieces. stall has yet 2 make a notable appearance in ladder or tour but between hippo/quag, our 3 different usable wishpassers, wo chien, talon, lax, slowbrothers... we got a lot of defensive stuff that can field good progress, plenty of longevity, and decent hazard control + consistent knock absorbers, so there's definitely something there even if u gotta use 2 different rest mons to not get thrashed by toxic lol

What are your thoughts on Fezandipiti in the current metagame? 4/5
tl;dr - toxic chain + uturn is dumb and very abusable; fez could, theoretically, grow as an issue down the line as more ppl optimize builds using his oppressive pivoting, but i don't think fez + mag specifically is a problem

the combination of fez + zone is smth that's come up recently as potentially a problematic combination, as fez can pretty easily pivot out of tink (and opposing mag technically) for a free trap that makes cm extemely hard 2 deal w lategame instead of relying on a tera that can hurt fez's defensive profile. i think that this combo may not actually be 2 bad for the meta in the long run but if there IS a problem here, in my eyes it's almost undoubtedly fez. here u will get my rant on toxic chain & why it absolutely blows 2 build around.... i think we can all realize the obvious synergy between toxic chain & uturn, as well as the ability to pair it w smth like krook or zone to beat the obvious switch into steel and poison types. but my problem w this runs a bit deeper than that.

let me explain a concept that i'm gonna call "emergent counterplay". the basis of this idea is that there are things in the game that can b overbearing but adaptable: for example, obnoxious salt cure mons can b "handled" w increased covert cloak usage, threatening uturns and contact attackers can b contained w flamebody/static and helmet, poltergeist mons can b walled by using sitrus/air balloon/itemless, z moves can b mitigated by smart double switching and increased use of protect, and so on. basically, some of the mechanics in the game can be mitigated by specific interactions both intended and unintended. i think that when things of this nature are overpowered or centralizing, there is more of a nuance 2 the argument of their balance on both sides.
wha'ts this gotta do w toxic chain? well, toxic chain has very clear and obvious counterplay - just switch in ur steel or poison type! but of course, the first thing u want 2 do when building w a threat is find a way 2 beat the most obvious counterplay, and this is presented to u w fez (and munki) in the form of uturn. uturn lets the toxic chain mons immediately make way for things that can threaten, and in zones case trap, the poison and and steel types that stop toxic chain from chaining. the problem is, that theres not any other way 2 keep toxic chain from poisoning critical members of ur team off something as noncommittal as uturn that gives u free momentum - u use a poison or a steel or u take ur chances. this gives the toxic chain user plenty of freedom in how they want 2 plan around the task of punishing the opposition, cus there is little viable emergent counterplay that allows for wiggle room, even ingame. u cant try to sit in front of fez and punish aggro uturns by double attacking it, because u risk getting toxic'd on that mon. u cant use a magic guard mon, cus we dont have any. u could switch 2 smth else that doesnt get threatened by whatever's paired w fez, but obviously u risk toxic. once fez is in there's not much u can do but cede the momentum to the fez teams gameplan.
u may be thinkin, "doesn't trapping also have no viable emergent counterplay? if fez + zone is a problem, then isn't mag auto trapping steels just as bad?" well, yes and no... of course if u use tink there's not a whole lot u can do about mag specifically except run bulldoze, but u do actually have a separate option in just using steels that don't get trapped. parting shot car can just dip unless zone is scarf, and it can also tech hhp on pivot sets if u wanted. eq or night shade + tect zong just wins vs zone anyway, and rajah can either whirlwind, eq, or knock + tect to come out of the matchup alive. zone is also unable to really trap itself so running it is also on option. u also have an entire different type of tox immune pokemon 2 avoid trapping with! the other steels have their own individual problems and drawbacks 2 usin them to be sure, but most of them also bring a useful value 2 a team that can be explored. this and a couple other factors i'll explain later r what lead me 2 think that zone isn't rly the problem here.

w that said, simply having this dynamic doesn't inherently make fez unbalanced. what does give it a more contentious status though, imo, is how incredibly easily and unpredictably u can facilitate it. again, zone is the obvious pairing, but ground types also punish both poison and steels in one slot and krook is a pretty perfect partner 2 that end. u could pair w fires like arma or typh that appreciate the free turns and also can punish both types, u could pair it w lycan or pawmot or other fighters to threaten cc on steels and abuse the physical frailty of the poisons, u could pair it w future sight to put poisons that aren't muk in a catch 22 and chip steels even faster, u could pair w a wisp user 2 threaten further chip on the fez answers and force them back out...
theres a basically endless amount of ways to put urself in good positions w fez uturn, and it has an extremely good profile w which 2 click uturn. it's bulky, fast, and has a fantastic defensive typing, meaning it gets quite a bit of opportunity 2 get on the field and isn't easy 2 overwhelm w attacks thanks 2 it having pretty rare weaknesses. fez's speed also helps it in more ways than one - speed doesn't hinder it as much as other fast defensive pivots since its pivoting move is so threatening; it almost always forces a switch, thus it doesn't need to slow pivot to get mons on the field freely. being fast also leaves fez w room 2 get off emergency roosts even if u do get away w double attacking it as it pivots out, and 2 top it off makes it an incredibly powerful taunt user in a way reminiscent of crobat, where u can shut down recovery and attempts to regain momentum on turns where fez lets something in for free by roost. on top of this, u can easily run cm on pivot sets cus u don't rly need any coverage when ur main attack is a moonblast that can toxic; ur other 5 members of the team are the coverage!
and then u can throw in the fact that cm + taunt is a combo that's strong vs slower builds at the cost of not making much headway on steels by itself (u can technically use a defensive tera and just slowly wear down the steels as u can't be encored or phazed, but it's hard to actually do any damage if they still have lefties lol)... and also sets using tblast ground + cm 2 fast track their way through the process of beating the switchins while keeping a solid defensive typing, w ground granting fez not one but TWO of the best stab combos in the game... combine all this and fez becomes a massive headache to account for in theory, because u essentially need to account for all the different things it can do AND all the threatening things it can b paired w.

i've seen it said a time or two that the centralization fez brings 2 the tier in mandating toxic immunes w a measure of longevity is a good thing. and we actually have the defensive resources now 2 field this reasonably, since we have real variety in our steels and a strong amount of poisons asw. but i disagree that it's a good way 4 the tier to develop, because despite the versatility in options they're all punishable by some p threatening partners that have a lot of overlap in the counterplay that they punish. there also is the argument that one can play and build more proactively 2 keep fez from hitting the field unscathed and not allowing it breathing room 2 pivot. i think this is practical both on paper and in practice, u can def build cohesive teams that don't give fez much opportunity 2 hit the field; the issue is u have 2 eschew a large part of the defensive mons in the tier by doin that, because it's great bulk and speed make it a reasonable switchin 2 almost any uninvested attacker that doesn't have super effective hits. that doesn't take into account the offensive mons it's capable of checking, either. a lot of the mons that pair well w fez r weak 2 ground as well, which provides a building problem for the fez user as we don't have a whole lot in the way of consistent ground answers, so abusing this building trend w more krook and tera ground attackers could also serve as a solution. and finally, u can theoretically just slap tera poison/steel on mons that can hit hard enough 2 outlast it as a very last resort, as these r both good typings that a lot of mons would b using anyway, but id argue if we start seeing tera poison tanks on every balance team primarily bc it handles fez then that'd b an indicator we have an issue.

overall, my pov is that there's definitely adaptation 2 b made on both sides. i'm holding out judgement on whether i think this is a problem that needs tiering action, but i can easily see this fleshing out as a bad direction for the tier cus of how narrowly the gameplans against Fez and Friends are allowed 2 exist in the builder n i think we should keep a close eye on it

What are your thoughts on Hisuian-Zoroark in the current metagame? 2/5
tl;dr - illusion mindgames r annoying and it is strong and hard 2 switch into, but i think the mon itself is pretty balanced so it's up 2 ppl 2 squeeze the most out of it 2 see whats up

ok sorry 2 anyone who clicked the last hide tag i promise this one wont b as long >_<
h zoro is an interesting case, as i think that on paper it's almost definitely too much for the tier. it's stab combo is v hard 2 resist, it has the perfect covg 2 smoke its few checks, and it has uturn and trick to capitalize even harder on the illusion mindgames just like unovan zoro. however, it's quite hard 2 position; it's frail as hell so ur essentially required 2 pivot it in or play off a sack, and its moves have pretty underwhelming bp and common resists so it doesnt hit quite as hard as itd like. these two traits combine 2 make it not v hard 2 trade w for bulkier teams and not had 2 pressure for offensive ones. it also kinda constitutes the perfect switchin to itself..? the arguable best mon and definite best spinner in the tier is immune to shadow ball and has a faster knock w a bit of power behind it, so it commonly finds itself w at least 2 solid checks on any given team. i also think that with boots bein so good, it's kinda hard 2 find good partners for choice sets as landing on rocks has a good chance of giving u away. that said, there's a lotta potent threats that it goes well w, and it can force pretty devastating mindgames that can lead u to sac something critical on either guess w illusion. theres also prolly room 2 play w boots sets between uturn, np, wisphex, and even knock potentially, as it still hits hard unboosted and likely appreciates the freedom 2 switch up its moves - this also gives u the ability 2 bluff more mons, as long as u can justify using it on the things u wanna disguise as. given how good boots are that shouldn't b very hard... i can see the potential for this to become a nightmare 2 see in team preview, but so far im not convinced it passes the threshold of "rly good and also a lil annoying"

What are your thoughts on Iron Jugulis in the current metagame? 4/5
tl;dr - very very strong, somewhat unpredictable, and certainly demanding 2 answer, but i think the amount of counterplay we have 2 it is varied and reasonable enough. i think offense should b allowed 2 have things that r demanding to answer on more than one front if u don't have to dig super deep for good switchins. id be down 4 a suspect of this if the survey results support it but i personally don't think it needs 1 atm

i'll b up front n say that i thought this woulda been balanced in metas previous, and i'll admit that i was wrong bc it's a fair amount more potent than i thought. tera ground booster is fantastic early, mid, and late game, and and it's excellent at critically weakening teams for other threats or even for it to come in later and claim kills itself. jugulis rly only need 3 moves between stabs and ep, leaving the last slot free for an extreeeeemely good fast taunt that shuts down a fair amt of potential counterplay, or tech coverage moves like hydro pump & flash cannon 2 nail things that think they can trade favorably. it also has solid bulk n a nice typing that gives it pretty decent opportunities 2 hit the field, as well as making it not v easy to down in 1 hit. all these traits combine 2 make it hugely threatening at basically any time it hits the field, and booster helps this by making it nearly unrevengeable as well which forces u 2 rely even harder on its slim defensive counterplay.

however, i don't think it's unreasonable in its ability 2 pressure opposing teams. i think that offensive mons should b allowed 2 b strong and be hugely threatening if there is consistent and common counterplay, and i think that if u r caught offguard w only one/inadequate defensive checks to jugulis, no priority or sufficient speed control, and ur team cant keep ur defensive check from gettin weakened 2 much 2 stop it... u may just deserve that loss. it has a mostly unavoidable weakness 2 rocks that heavily hinders its ability 2 trade should it land on them - boots sets r good asw, but they're def not in the realm of being problematic in the vein of booster. jugulis can also usually be mitigated even in situations where ur defensive check is too weak 2 win the 1v1 w prio users that can pick it off; it does resist sucker and sneak, but fi, ice shard and accel all put large dents in it and can take it out if u manage to get even just one hit in. we could also see an uptick in scarfers faster than 108 - h zoro has already seen some use, but azelf, noivern (now w switcheroo!), lycan (think scarf terrak), and salazzle r also serviceable choices. worth noting that nobody here except lycan can ko jugulis w nothin but rocks chip so this isn't a foolproof method of soloing it offensively, but it provides a nice cushion for teams that need the speed anyway and can also help vs shell smashers, wa arma, maus, and the like. and then theres magnet rise keys, who is cool and walls most jugulis sets while being a huge pain for offense between twave and spikes support :) it should see more use

it's also not crazy hard 2 fit 2 different defensive check to jugulis to ensure u have one to preserve. it's p reasonable 2 fit cores like hippo + dia, tink + ttar, milo + muk, fez + vap, and similar combos to have multiple options in dealing w it both early and lategame. jugulis also doesnt particularly like tryin 2 hit the field straight up, because even w its bulk and typing it gets chipped easily by uninvested attacks makin it much easier 2 trade w and force off its booster. once booster is gone it can still pose a threat, but it's much easier 2 revenge and it generally trades unfavorably w all the stuff faster than 108 bc most our fast pivots r also bulky pivots. faster paced teams w less room 4 defensive utilty can similarly use multiple prio users; basically every such combo involves phan but i think phan is v solid on those types of teams anyway.
u could make the argument that necessitating multiple defensive checks is a sign of unhealthiness for a pokemon, but i'm of the opinion that this is fine when the tradeoff for using the mon is u can only truly dominate w it once, thus allowing u to prioritize simply removin it from the field rather than needing to ko it and making forced trades a much stronger option (u can see this reflected in me bein the only person voting dnb on iron leaves lol)
that said, one thing that i think isn't mentioned enough abt jugulis is the rng aspect. both its stabs have debilitating 30% chances, and ep also is v crippling to get dropped by as it p much always means ur in ko range when it happens. if there is anything that would truly tip my opinion over the fence other than it provin 2 b increasingly problematic, it'd b this. nobody likes gettin double flinched by this thing myself included

What are your thoughts on Magnezone in the current metagame? 2/5
tl;dr - as i expounded on in the part abt fez, i think if there is a problem w the combination of the two it's fez's fault not zone. even if trapping is broken. we've had it multiple times b4 and it's been not much of an issue, but it is admittedly hard 2 consistently switch in on; it also comes w a lot of defensive drawbacks tho, so i think that's balanced

this post is gettin long so i'll keep it short

i already spoke on why i think fez is more of a problem in my eyes than this, but i'll expand a bit more on why that is. earlier i mentioned that there r other steels available 4 use that avoid trapping, and this is mostly true; forry kinda gets snatched, and tink w/o bulldoze obviously does, but all the other steels that were in the tier last time we had zone r still here and it rarely used magnet pull last time it was around bc of this. it doesnt trap itself, either, barring an off kilter tera choice, so if u need a smth to withstand zone the option is always right there... defensively, tho, usin it has a couple of drawbacks that further my idea that it's fine. the biggest one is bein super weak 2 jugulis ep; it basically necessitates u find a different mon thats not a steel to check it which isnt bad considering ull nearly always want fez anyway, but it almost always means ur stacking ground weaks. its raw bulk also leaves smth 2 be desired and it gets roasted by stuff like azelf fire blast and munki focus that ud rly like ur steel 2 b able 2 take. analytic sets r p threatning n i do sometimes find myself goin "wtf how do i switch into this..?" but it's slow and has no recovery so id hope its at least hard 2 switch into tbh. we also have a lotta decent switchins regardless, hippo/rotom/pawmot/quag/belli and others can get in on it p consistently, and it's not like it just gets endless opportunities 2 fire off attacks either. ill admit trapping is rather dumb in any form that it takes, but idt zone is too restrictive as to warrant action bc the list of things it traps is narrow and the list of things that can actually capitalize on it meaningfully is even lower

What are your thoughts on Maushold in the current metagame? 1/5
tl;dr - learn 2 build lolz

we have way more than enough counterplay 2 this. its not v hard at all 2 put helmet on some mon that shouldnt b taking knock, or stick belli/talon on and let lady luck deal w it, or run some prio users because it has negative bulk, or just run diancie, ttar also dumpsters non low kick sets and it cant rly afford lk cus it needs encore 2 set up, most steels have the same dynamic, any form of item manip ruins it (knock/trick/pickpocket)... admittedly it's harder 2 handle w offense cus its speed lets it use the power as a threat 2 set up, but it's still frail and has no defensive quallities outside of the ghost immune, so even if it does get an opportunity 2 try 2 set up it's p easy 2 bonk it and offense has plenty of room for prio like luc/slither/lycan asw as mmq to keep a lid on it. and on top of everything else it's quite easy 2 just throw on tera ghost or steel on some random beefcake like hippo (can also use rock), wc, or ches and eat a hit in a pinch. there's a litany of options 2 prep for this, i think if it manages 2 beat u u should hold ur L tbh
additionally i don't agree that its presence does nothing 4 the tier. i think mons like this that can punish overly passive play and greedy defensive options, asw as being self contained anti offense picks, r good to have in a tier when they're reasonable 2 beat especially when it comes at the cost of basically all its defensive utility. it keeps building honest while also being hard 2 build and play w itself, so it doesn't just provide free pressure w no drawbacks. remove 2 many mons whose sole purpose is punishing passivity, and u wind up w fatfests like the october wishmeta or half of the gen 8 tiers

Outside of the Pokemon suggested above, is there anything else you feel strongly is suspect or ban worthy in the tier?
tl;dr - scald and eq + toxic r ridiculously obnoxious 2 account for, and i thnk bro/quag should be kept watch on as potentially overbearing defensive options but there could b a better option 2 solve this

i think quag is more restrictive than both anything mentioned in the checklist and also half of the mons on the survey itself. i'm not necessarily sayin that it needs a suspect NOW, but the combo of ground poison coverage is p much unresisted since basically everything capable of stomaching ground attacks hates toxic so it's very difficult 2 keep from gettin hugely crippled anytime it hits the field... and it also has spikes for whatever fuckin rsn as if it rly needed 2 b able 2 generate more momentum. air balloon is a good item & all, don't get me wrong, but its rise in popularity can prolly be attributed entirely to quag being practically impossible 2 switch in on and it's at the forefront of the tiresome status spreading bs. it's a very low risk, high reward mon that doesn't have a whole lot of room to answer it consistently in the builder. ofc though, quag's not flawless; it does have relatively mid bulk that allows it to be overwhelmed by stronger offensive mons but i think its strengths lie much more in its ability to make defensive mons into infinite advantage. i also don't necessarily think it should b suspected bc a. there's a more fun solution and b. it leaving would hugely free up the OTHER ridiculously annoying status w no switchins since water absorb quag is p much the only way 2 switch in on...

scald. scald mons (bro/vap/milo) are also crazy oppressive rn. i mentioned this briefly earlier, but there's rly not a good answer that isn't an opposing water type, whether that's a scald user themselves or wa quag. scald + ib/flip turn/future sight/twave/dtail/wish or any of the other tools in these mons' kits r just so hard 2 prevent from making unreasonable amts of progress against any given team, and while i don't think that defensive mons that always make progress are BAD my issue lies w how few tools we have 2 deal w it vs the diversity of the mons themselves. croak is a good mon, but it doesn't take ice beams well (not to mention psychic moves) and also likely didn't enjoy losing its air balloon. vern can sit on waters in some cases but again gets fried by ib. wo chien rly doesn't being burned and is not hard 2 make momentum off of if u flip turn. a couple bulky mons w recovery that don't mind burns exist, like fez, belli, and umby, but they're also flip turn bait and even if they don't hate burn the residual dmg is still no bueno. depending on the mon they also may not beat the water 1v1 or stop it from cming or whatever. accounting for these guys in the builder is a massive pain due 2 our relative lack of grass types and further lack of grass types that don't care abt burn, so a lotta players have opted 2 just use waters themselves since 2 of them water absorb and the other 2 couldn't care less abt scald burn. and, of course, as i was crafting this post we had a slowbro mirror in scl where both were using grass knot, forcing the opposing bro out and gettin free burns on half the opposing team zzzzz i think that sittin watchin scald wars has always been degenerate bs but it's especially painful when u can barely kill the water types even w/o factoring in the burn. however, there is a way 2 kill both of these birds w one stone...

Should we actually unban Zarude?
tl;dr - yes! we should suspect it, partially bc it was a very close vote 2 unban, partially bc we need smth 2 solve the problem just above, and partially bc i think the speculation surrounding it is a bit overblown

the long & short of it is, zarude deserves a chance. i think that even w knock, a lot of theorycrafting around this mon doesnt consider a lot of problems that it has, and it would also bring extremely good value 2 the tier in helping 2 suppress status slinging waters w/o being overly dominating. first off, it has a bit of a coverage problem; obviously grass/dark/fighting is a good lineup, especially when u have stab knock, but it still struggles w some notable players like slither, jugulis, vern, talon, and fez; theres also quite a few lesser used mon that can check it decently btwn ches, migo, croak, qwil, and some others. grass/dark is also pretty mid as a defensive typing, so despite its fantastic bulk it gets chipped p easily and doesnt get 2 come in freely on much except bulky grounds/waters and bramble (also krook a bit, but krook cc/gunk both smash it). thus, offensive teams dont give it much room 2 commit shenanigans and slower teams using the waters/grounds have more room 2 cover it w switchins. this is compounded by us having a LOT of good uturn mons.

speaking of uturn, it has quite a few tools at its disposal but struggles to rly use all of em; knock and grass stab are mandatory, but in ur last two slots u want some combination of cc/uturn/jungle healing/sd or bulk up/tera blast and maybe even encore, and it gets pretty strapped for what it can do when u start having 2 drop things. sd sets are obviously great breakers but still somewhat wallable, are relatively easy to revenge at 105 speed unless ur using trailblaze which runs into power issues, and most importantly forego one of the best parts of zarudes kit: the ability 2 shrug off debilitating burns and toxics from the waters and grounds its tryna beat. sets w jungle healing make for solid pivots, but u have a dilemma here as well - u can only fit one of the remaining options, so u either give up the ability 2 actually pivot w uturn or become considerably more wallable w/o cc. u also cant fit broken move encore very easily this way. there's also scarf sets which id say r prolly just an objectively healthy addition 2 the tier. tera fire boosting sets could, potentially, be a bit of an issue, as u can circumvent some of the bigger issues of sd sets being susceptible 2 burn and uturn/fi, but often this means it becomes weak to terad versions of the same grounds and waters it was meant to check anyway - tera psn quag completely blanks this mon w/o jungle healing, for example. all in all, i think there's certainly a good possibility that it's a reasonable burden 4 the tier & it would alleviate my (and quite a few others') biggest gripe w the tier atm - it's almost def not as foregone a conclusion as some might think.

Thoughts on more ADV RU integration? For example, a place in the next Classic Tour or a slot in a team tour
yes! more representation for oldgens is always a good thing in my eyes & adv ru from what i've seen has turned out 2 be quite a fun developing tier that's pretty balanced as well. also, free talon

ok, i'm done finally. s/o to anyone who read all of this; thanks 4 reading! if u clicked the first hide tag and saw a literal essay n skipped all the rest i don't blame u & thank u 4 reading asw ^-^ if u wanna hear more abt my opinion on stuff, bless your poor soul hmu on discord im always down 2 talk mons! see y'all when dlc drops, pce
 
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greetings rarely used'ers

I don't have much to "discuss" about the RU metagame atm, (personal opinion, it's neat) but I'd personally like to know what kind of stuff you guys are looking forward to in the new DLC? What moves do you think might be coming back, and what pokemon would you like to see drop?
I personally am hoping that psychic noise doesn't absolutely destroy defensive counterplay against recover mons and I really hope that we get Reuniclus because holy hell do we need some kind of magic guard mon or cleric
 
Consider the Turtle: Some brief reflections on the viability of sun in the current RU metagame*

Introduction
With the recent drop of :Torkoal: to RU, replacing the altogether mediocre :Ninetales:, I have started to wonder how viable a team that utilizes the drought ability can be. As the author of this text is not a great player by most definitions**, please take this post with a grain of salt. I do not attempt to state truths, but rather to invite discussion about the challenges and strengths sun teams have.

Torkaol is just neat, man
Historically, teams heavily leaning on weather have faced the challenge of opportunity cost. Weather setters, like this tier's :Politoed:, often have mediocre stats and movepools. Rains teams therefore usually have to run a number of "abusers" to make running :Politoed: worth it. :Torkoal: on the other hand, has some fantastic physical bulk. It also has a good move pool consisting of hazard setting and removal (stealth rock and rapid spin respectively), spammable moves like lava plume and body press and utility like yawn and will-o-wisp. The ability drought, aside from enabling its team, also means it takes less damage from water moves. When running a decent pokemon like :Torkoal:, you can get away with running less sun abusers, as the opportunity cost is lower.

252+ Atk Choice Band Tyranitar Stone Edge vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Torkoal: 312-368 (90.9 - 107.2%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO
252+ Def Torkoal Body Press vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Tyranitar: 372-440 (109 - 129%) -- guaranteed OHKO
16+ Atk Protosynthesis Slither Wing Close Combat vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Torkoal: 138-163 (40.2 - 47.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Lucario Close Combat vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Torkoal: 257-304 (74.9 - 88.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
8 SpA Torkoal Lava Plume vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Lucario in Sun: 306-360 (108.8 - 128.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO


Go easy on the sun abusers
While making use of the sun is kind of the point of a sun team, running too many of them can make your team weaker. Fire types are generally weak to stealth rock. While Torkoal can use rapid spin, it has to carry heat rock instead of boots, making spinning awkward. I have been running another or second spinner, which seems to be a worthwhile effort.

Cholophyll users ( :Leafeon: - :Victreebel: - :Shiftry: - :Lilligant: )
These just kinda... suck? Apart from the speed you get from their ability, their stats and movepool just aren't anything to write home about. First impression bonks them as well, which is awkward in a tier with :Slither Wing:.

Hard hitters with fire moves ( :Typhlosion-hisui: - :Rotom-Heat: - :Chandelure:)
Our fire/ghost types :Typhlosion-Hisui: and :Chandelure: seem to need too many items at once. They are too slow without choice scarf, too weak without choice specs, and get demolished by hazards without boots. Using the move eruption without boots is especially awkward. Have not been impressed with these two. :Rotom-Heat: seems better, as it can volt switch around for momentum and can use trick for utility. Hitting those waters is also helpful.

Synthesis/Morning sun users ( :Shaymin: - :Arcanine: - :Slither Wing: - :Espeon: )
Synthesis and Morning sun both heal 75% HP in sun. :Arcanine: can use intimidate and is not a bad pokemon at all, but using it with :torkoal: means having two pure fire types. Haven't tested it, but seems sub-optimal. :Espeon: is too frail to use the increased recovery, and has a bad defensive type besides. :Slither Wing: is unsurprisingly a great pokemon in sun, as it has bulk and gets a boost from protosynthesis besides. Fantastic pokemon, don't see why you would build a sun team without it.

Protosynthesis users ( :Slither Wing: - :Scream Tail: - :Brute Bonnet: )
I just covered :Slither Wing: in the section above, it is great. I tried :Scream Tail: a bit. It seems bulky, but is also very passive. A pokemon like :Vaporeon: is also bulky and can wish pass, but at least it can burn stuff with scald or stop setup with haze. :Scream Tail: just... sits there. I personally haven't tried :Brute Bonnet:, but I would guess it lacks the offensive movepool to break trough key pokemon like opposing :Slither Wing:.

Final thoughts
As a final note, consider that rain weakens fire, but no one cares because water types resist fire anyways. Fire types on the other hand really benefit from the weakened water moves. Because they cannot be burned by scald and the water types in the current tier are often weak, switching into them is a lot easier. Also, you often don't need to run water absorb on :Quagsire: and can use unaware instead.

Thank you for reading! Feel free to add your thoughts on the current viability of sun in RU!

*The reader that recognizes this reference can get a bonus point on their latest English test
**Author has recently picked up pokemon again after a long hiatus. Main account is somewhere in the low 400s on the RU ladder.
 
:sv/cyclizar: :assault-vest:
Cyclizar @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
Tera Type: Ghost
EVs: 32 HP / 252 Atk / 224 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Double-Edge / Body Slam
- Knock Off
- U-turn
- Rapid Spin

This is both a recommendation and a question. I believe that offensive AV cyclizar is a good pokemon in this meta. A problem that no-attack cyclizar has is that it can't be a real revenge killer or do many of the other roles of a speedster. However, a 252 atk cyclizar double edge is surprisingly good at doing damage, allowing cyclizar to both be the utility king we all want while also being able to be a team's fast attacker. Offensive cyclizar has power and utility, but barely switches into anything. AV gives it the power to switch into a lot of special attackers even without investment, it's even worth giving up heavy duty boots. Assault vest just creates more opportunities to switch in and click a good move.

The problem is that I have no idea just what ev spread is optimal. How much hp, how much attack and so on.

Here is a random assortment of calcs for benchmarks to hit.
0 SpA Fezandipiti Moonblast vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 146-174 (51.9 - 61.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Yanmega Bug Buzz vs. 20 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 211-250 (73.7 - 87.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 SpA Salazzle Sludge Bomb vs. 64 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 126-148 (42.4 - 49.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 SpA Azelf Psychic vs. 160 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 135-160 (42 - 49.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 SpA Typhlosion-Hisui Focus Blast vs. 144 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 234-276 (73.8 - 87%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252+ SpA Magnezone Flash Cannon vs. 176 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 136-162 (41.8 - 49.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 SpA Iron Jugulis Hurricane vs. 212 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 163-193 (48.8 - 57.7%) -- 96.1% chance to 2HKO (guaranteed to live a dark pulse into hurricane, barring any jug hax)
252 SpA Munkidori Focus Blast vs. 224 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 248-294 (73.5 - 87.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 SpA Gardevoir Moonblast vs. 232 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 288-338 (84.9 - 99.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO


52 Atk Cyclizar Double-Edge vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Kilowattrel: 198-234 (70.4 - 83.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (kills with a rapid spin into double edge)
152 Atk Cyclizar Double-Edge vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Thundurus: 195-229 (65.2 - 76.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (kills with knock into double edge)
156 Atk Cyclizar Double-Edge vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Iron Jugulis: 165-195 (50.1 - 59.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
220 Atk Cyclizar Double-Edge vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Slither Wing: 187-222 (50 - 59.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Cyclizar Double-Edge vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Fezandipiti: 186-220 (49 - 58%) -- 97.7% chance to 2HKO

And then of course there are speed benchmarks like 176+ for thundurus, 208+ for azelf and 224+ for salazzle. Do any of you have any cyclizar ev spreads that just work?
 
greetings rarely used'ers

I don't have much to "discuss" about the RU metagame atm, (personal opinion, it's neat) but I'd personally like to know what kind of stuff you guys are looking forward to in the new DLC? What moves do you think might be coming back, and what pokemon would you like to see drop?
I personally am hoping that psychic noise doesn't absolutely destroy defensive counterplay against recover mons and I really hope that we get Reuniclus because holy hell do we need some kind of magic guard mon or cleric
There is some stuff I wish make a return/gets updated this DLC:

:Pincurchin:
Pincurchin @ Terrain Extender
Ability: Electric Surge
Tera Type: Electric
EVs: 252 HP / 208 SpA / 48 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Rising Voltage
- Scald
- Memento
- Spikes

Pincurchin was a niche pick last gen almost entirely carried by Rising Voltage + Electric Terrain, and now with the option of Tera for even more power I can see it as a nice option AND an enabler for Electric terrain teams, given that we currently have 2 Quark Drive abusers in Iron Jugulis (who will probably get banned if these becomes a reality XD) and Iron Thorns (giving it a solid niche over Ttar).

:Kabutops:
Kabutops @ Life Orb
Ability: Sharpness
Tera Type: Bug
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Aqua Cutter
- Night Slash/Aqua Jet
- X-Scissor
- Swords Dance

I hope they give Kabutops a similar treatment to Shiftry, giving it Sharpness as an ability option. While Swift Swim sets are probably still better, reversing the Grass matchup with Tera Bug X-Scissor and overall hitting hard with Sharpness boosted moves sounds like a LOT of fun.

:Cinccino:
Cinccino (F) @ Loaded Dice
Ability: Technician
Tera Type: Dark
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Tidy Up
- Tail Slap
- Knock Off
- Bullet Seed

If the pokemon whose pokedex entries explicitly says "A clean freak that will not allow even the slightest mess, it uses its tail like a mop to thoroughly clean any and all filth." doesn't get Tidy Up, I'll be extremely disappointed. I'm also hoping it still gets Tail Slap as an option, specially with Loaded Dice as an option, though Boots + U-turn also sound quite decent.

:Alcremie:
Alcremie (Alcremie-Matcha-Cream) (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Well-Baked Body
Tera Type: Fairy
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Aromatherapy (please keep it I swear to god if this doesn't return ;-;)
- Recover
- Dazzling Gleam
- Mystical Fire

I feel like this isn't that big of a stretch, considering it's based on a cake. This would give it a better defensive profile against pokemon like Armarouge and Torkoal, while also making setup with Calm mind much more viable.

That's what I can think of right now, though my picks probably won't even be RU at the end :smogonbird:
 

cyanize

Mantra Good I Casted So Many Spells U Idiot
is a Community Contributor
:sv/cyclizar: :assault-vest:
Cyclizar @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
Tera Type: Ghost
EVs: 32 HP / 252 Atk / 224 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Double-Edge / Body Slam
- Knock Off
- U-turn
- Rapid Spin

This is both a recommendation and a question. I believe that offensive AV cyclizar is a good pokemon in this meta. A problem that no-attack cyclizar has is that it can't be a real revenge killer or do many of the other roles of a speedster. However, a 252 atk cyclizar double edge is surprisingly good at doing damage, allowing cyclizar to both be the utility king we all want while also being able to be a team's fast attacker. Offensive cyclizar has power and utility, but barely switches into anything. AV gives it the power to switch into a lot of special attackers even without investment, it's even worth giving up heavy duty boots. Assault vest just creates more opportunities to switch in and click a good move.

The problem is that I have no idea just what ev spread is optimal. How much hp, how much attack and so on.

Here is a random assortment of calcs for benchmarks to hit.
0 SpA Fezandipiti Moonblast vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 146-174 (51.9 - 61.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ SpA Yanmega Bug Buzz vs. 20 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 211-250 (73.7 - 87.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 SpA Salazzle Sludge Bomb vs. 64 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 126-148 (42.4 - 49.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 SpA Azelf Psychic vs. 160 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 135-160 (42 - 49.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 SpA Typhlosion-Hisui Focus Blast vs. 144 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 234-276 (73.8 - 87%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252+ SpA Magnezone Flash Cannon vs. 176 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 136-162 (41.8 - 49.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 SpA Iron Jugulis Hurricane vs. 212 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 163-193 (48.8 - 57.7%) -- 96.1% chance to 2HKO (guaranteed to live a dark pulse into hurricane, barring any jug hax)
252 SpA Munkidori Focus Blast vs. 224 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 248-294 (73.5 - 87.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 SpA Gardevoir Moonblast vs. 232 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 288-338 (84.9 - 99.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO


52 Atk Cyclizar Double-Edge vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Kilowattrel: 198-234 (70.4 - 83.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (kills with a rapid spin into double edge)
152 Atk Cyclizar Double-Edge vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Thundurus: 195-229 (65.2 - 76.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (kills with knock into double edge)
156 Atk Cyclizar Double-Edge vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Iron Jugulis: 165-195 (50.1 - 59.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
220 Atk Cyclizar Double-Edge vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Slither Wing: 187-222 (50 - 59.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Cyclizar Double-Edge vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Fezandipiti: 186-220 (49 - 58%) -- 97.7% chance to 2HKO

And then of course there are speed benchmarks like 176+ for thundurus, 208+ for azelf and 224+ for salazzle. Do any of you have any cyclizar ev spreads that just work?

usually when i want my bike 2 serve as more of an rkiller i use timid draco, n take any leftover evs n put em in spa. admittedly this has the annoyin effect of making ur knocks and spins pretty wimpy, but as a tradeoff invested draco does do abt the same amt of dmg as jolly super effective knock, so it's not the worst

48 SpA Cyclizar Draco Meteor vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Chandelure: 141-166 (54 - 63.6%)
0 Atk Cyclizar Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Chandelure: 146-174 (55.9 - 66.6%)

(as an aside, i think if ur using any other bike u should always put the leftover evs in sdef, especially on av, bc it makes a much bigger difference than the small bump in dmg.)
the idea of offensive bike does intrigue me tho, so ill have to give it a spin n see how i like it. i have been lamenting the loss of good normal attackers... i think body slams prolly not strong enough 2 be worth investing 4 but it's a neat option to para stuff like tink or hippo for more drawn out gameplans. one thing that does worry me a bit abt the concept of using dedge is our friend the bike is already pretty strapped 4 bulk, so taking away bulk investment and chipping urself w ur attack might prove a lil problematic, but it does have regen i suppose. it'd also likely help if u dump all the excess into sdef to squeeze the most out of the remaining bulk -- u dont rly need the phys bulk anyway since theres not many phys hits u wanna take w bike if u can help it, and 0 atk bramble can't 2hko 0/0 bike after rocks w pwhip so

this is assuming 156 atk/224 spe - i think the 152 atk benchmark for koing thundy w knock -> dedge is the most pertinent, anything more loses way 2 much bulk, but the extra 4 atk 2 guarantee a 2hko on jugulis might as well be worth even if it'll likely never actually make a diff. i actually usually use 208+ for azelf, bc lazzle is relatively uncommon, but on a set like this ud def want 2 make sure ur faster than it cus taking two sludges is no bueno

252 SpA Iron Jugulis Dark Pulse vs. 128 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 118-141 (37.6 - 45%) -- 8.2% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 SpA Iron Jugulis Dark Pulse vs. 0 HP / 128 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 100-118 (35.5 - 41.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock
252 SpA Iron Jugulis Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 128 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 136-162 (48.3 - 57.6%) -- this is notably the same roll that the 212 hp calc u posted achieves, meaning this also would live dpulse > cane from full. problem is ur gonna die 2 dedge recoil lol

252 SpA Kilowattrel Air Slash vs. 128 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 102-120 (32.5 - 38.3%) -- 97.3% chance to 3HKO
252 SpA Kilowattrel Air Slash vs. 0 HP / 128 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 84-100 (29.8 - 35.5%) -- 27.8% chance to 3HKO

252+ SpA Magnezone Flash Cannon vs. 128 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 136-162 (43.4 - 51.7%) -- 9% chance to 2HKO
252+ SpA Magnezone Flash Cannon vs. 0 HP / 128 SpD Assault Vest Cyclizar: 115-136 (40.9 - 48.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
and so on


id also been thinkin about this concept when it came 2 utility bike, as i noticed the ou spread uses a split bulk investment of 112 hp/144 sdef. on boots it likely doesnt make much of a diff btwn max hp and a spread like this unless there's a very specific 2hko it can avoid, but on av splitting the investment like this makes a considerably bigger diff. ive yet 2 figure out a spread that makes use of this idea tho, ill lyk when i do

so to conclude, for this offensive set i'll try smth like this
:cyclizar: :cyclizar: :cyclizar:
Cyclizar @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
Tera Type: Ghost (maybe dark or normal could be good?)
EVs: 156 Atk / 128 SpD / 224 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Double-Edge
- Knock Off
- U-turn
- Rapid Spin

and my usual bike spread is smth like this
:cyclizar: :cyclizar: :cyclizar:
King Chevy (Cyclizar) @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Regenerator
Tera Type: Steel
EVs: 252 HP / 48 SpA / 208 Spe
Timid Nature
- Rapid Spin
- Draco Meteor
- Knock Off
- U-turn

:Cinccino:
Cinccino (F) @ Loaded Dice
Ability: Technician
Tera Type: Dark
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Tidy Up
- Tail Slap
- Knock Off
- Bullet Seed

If the pokemon whose pokedex entries explicitly says "A clean freak that will not allow even the slightest mess, it uses its tail like a mop to thoroughly clean any and all filth." doesn't get Tidy Up, I'll be extremely disappointed. I'm also hoping it still gets Tail Slap as an option, specially with Loaded Dice as an option, though Boots + U-turn also sound quite decent.
tidy up cincci would be very funny. dunno how good it'd be but calcs like this r hilarious
+1 252 Atk Technician Cinccino Bullet Seed (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 340-400 (86.2 - 101.5%) -- approx. 6.3% chance to OHKO
+1 252 Atk Technician Cinccino Bullet Seed (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 76+ Def Hippowdon: 370-440 (88 - 104.7%) -- approx. 31.3% chance to OHKO
+1 252 Atk Technician Cinccino Tail Slap (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Tablets of Ruin Wo-Chien: 275-330 (73.5 - 88.2%) -- approx. 6.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
 
I wanted to make a post on my general thoughts on the current meta, as it's been a while since I've done one of these posts.

First, I want to talk about the general teambuilding structures.

Common rockers:



These 4 are the more popular rockers you'll see on most types of teams. Hippowdon and Tinkaton are by far the most consistent in my opinion. Hippowdon just manages to be a general wall both the physical and special side, with access to reliable recovery and moves like Roar to help with set up mons. Tinkaton also has solid bulk, and utility moves like Knock Off, Encore and Thunder Wave, but also has one of the best defensive types in the game. I've also had a lot of fun with offensive Swords Dance sets. Tyranitar falls behind surprisingly. I still think this mon is great, but if you see most tournament replays, you'll notice that Tyranitar barely sees usage. It does see a lot of ladder usage, getting a #11 spot in usage last month, but I know a lot of people think it's a bit awkward to use Ttar. I also really like offensive sets, Choice Band in particular is great now that it has access to Knock Off. But then you find yourself being slower than Tinkaton, as they always aim to outspeed Jolly Tyranitar. Finally, Krook still finds its place in the meta, but I personally think Stealth Rocks sets are incredibly disappointing. The main niche this mon has is being a fast and offensive Ground type, so I think Choice Scarf sets are slightly better, but it's still far from being a mon I like as much as the others do. I find myself thinking that Hippowdon is the best and most consistent rocker we currently have.

Common removal:



I'll start this section by saying that Cyclizar is our best and most consistent removal option. Regenerator paired with Knock Off + U-turn just makes it so this mon can recover HP very easily, making it able to come in multiple times to spin away, while having coverage for spinblockers. It also has a free 4th slot that can be adjusted depending on your team: Power Whip for Quagsire, Overheat for Tinkaton or Magnezone, Draco Meteor and Double Edge for STAB damage, etc. Talonflame is a very common Defog user, but I personally believe Defog sets are just really bad. You find yourself cycling between Roost and Defog, making no progress as a slot. I really like Brave Bird, U-turn Roost and one of Will-o-Wisp, Taunt or the fun Swords Dance set. Noivern I also don't quite like using Defog on it, but it manages to pull it off better than Talon thanks to high output damage off the bat with Draco Meteor. Donphan is a spinner I like as well. It gets chipped down very easily, so it usually fits on more offensive teams. I've been trying out Seed Bomb to lure in Quagsire, but any of its moves are really good. Bramble is also pretty fine, tho mostly as a spiker than a spinner because it handles the 2 spinners I mentioned before. I've been using Spikes, Strength Sap and STABs and it does actually p decently. Forre I like a lot less. The one benefit I see from using Forre is that it can actually threaten Magnezone if it attempts to trap it, be it either a strong hitting Body Press or even Earthquake. I mention it here cause it also sees a lot of ladder usage.

Spikes setters:



I already mentioned Bramble and Forretress, both could be slotted here as well. Quagsire is one of the more popular mons at the moment. Toxic, Spikes, Recovery and 2 good abilities put it above so many mons in terms of value. Unaware is good into set up mons, specifically Calm Mind Fezandipiti if you are forced to tera poison into it. And water absorb is good to invalidate water types like Milotic, Vaporeon and non Grass Knot Slowbro, while threatening them with a Toxic. Chesnaught finds itself in a worse position, but its combination of Knock Off + Spikes is something I think has a lot of potential. I've also been experimenting with more offensive sets like CB or Swords Dance, as Chesnaught as a pretty cool movepool. Earthquake has been a cool move to catch Fezandipiti by surprise.

Meta picks:



I didn't know how else to name this segment, so I'll just call them the mons that picked up because of how much they own the meta. Magnezone is a hard hitting Pokémon that heavily punishes Tinkaton teams, as it can trap it and get rid of it for another breaker that would otherwise struggle vs it. But we also have certain Tinkaton running Bulldoze as coverage to get past Magnezone and prevent the full trade. Then we have Fezandipiti, who punishes most BO teams hard by either getting a Toxic Chain off on the fatter mons, or straight up sweeping with CM or NP sets. The natural bulk it has is enough to find plenty of opportunities to set up. And that brings me to Slowbro-Galar, who has a similar role as Fez in that it can spam Toxic relatively free vs most fat mons, but thanks to Psychic STAB + Flamethrower, it can punish mons that are or tera to be Steel and Poison types. It also works as a good Fez answer thanks to Psyshock, which forces CM Fez to basically run out of Roosts. I feel like these 3 mons keep the fatter cores on their toes with ways to not lose to them. Then we have Muk, which came to be because of the previously mentioned Poison types. Thanks to its bulk and STABs, it can pressure both Fez and Slowbro. My bigger issue with it is how easy it is to chip at be it by attacking it, or with hazards. I feel like Rest sets have potential but it becomes really tricky in general. Still a mon I like a lot in general.

Offensive breakers:



Ok this list is of mons that you will see grouped together a lot in Hyper Offense types of teams, but some of them like Zoroark, Armarouge, Revavroom, Torterra, Jugulis and oftentimes Mimikyu can be seen on bulkier structures. These are the mons to handle at the moment, as they can easily rip holes through teams, and even worse if they are paired together. I won't really go into full details of what they do, but I want to go more into the HO structure. Currently, I believe that the more consistent mons in Hyper Offense are a combination of Mimikyu, Yanmega and Iron Jugulis. You could literally pair these 3 with a lead rocker, any of the other breakers and feel like you've built a good team. Yanmega basically forces chip on so much thanks to Tera Blast Ground + Throat Spray activated by Bug Buzz, and it becomes hard to revenge kill due to Speed Boost. Jugulis forms a good core with Yanmega as they both have the same answers, so if one of them weakens the defensive mons, the other one is sure to end them. They also commonly run Speed Boosting Booster Energy, also making it hard to revenge kill. Then Mimikyu is there to also break thanks to Disguise SD, but also work as an emergency check to opposing offensive threats. I think Maushold + Mimikyu is a very dangerous combo, but like I said, all the consistent offenses have the previously mentioned 3 breakers.

My personal favorites:



I feel like these became my comfort picks in the tier. Slither Wing and Lycanroc-Dusk are known to be really good, but I also think Kilowattrel and Wo-Chien were kind of forgotten, Wo-Chien a way more since it ended up dropping to NU. Lycanroc is a fantastic breaker, be it Life Orb + Swords Dance or Choice Band sets, it forces a lot of damage vs opposing teams, and has access to STAB priority that also makes it a good pick vs more offensive teams. Slither Wing is the same, but bulkier and has access to more useful moves like U-turn, Morning Sun and it can run covearge like Earthquake for Fezandipiti or Roosting Talonflame. Speaking of Talon, its Flame Body burns are the reason we've seen Slither run Protective Pads more often. First Impression is so good in a meta that's filled with all the brokens mentioned above. Kilo does the same it has always done, but something I've liked recently is the idea of using Tera Blast Ground to lure in Magnezone if your team happens to be too weak to it. You can also get a super effective coverage vs stuff like Tinkaton or Fezandipiti, but it's mainly for Zone. Finally, my goat Wo-Chien keeps doing what it does best: Leech Seed + Knock Off. I've found myself just chipping down so many teams thanks to this combo, making it easy to recover HP on it. I like running Protect to maximize recovery on it, but I know people like all sorts of moves on it. I usually have Foul Play as my last as it can prevent set up and even revenge kill mons like Mimikyu and Torterra, although you have to pop the tera vs Mimikyu, but you should beat it as long as it can't hit you super effectively. Something I've thought about is using Giga Drain to get rid of Quagsire without having to pop a tera poison to not lose to it. I still think that it was outrageous for Wo-Chien to drop.

I could go on and on about so many mons in the tier. I didn't get to cover some breakers that I think are being slept on such as Gallade or Toxtricity and many more, but the post feels long enough as it is. My main goal was to outline my current view on the meta, and what I think of all the options available to us. I think that the meta is fun, but it's starting to take shape and the dangerous mons are becoming more apparent as time passes.

I'd love to get into a conversation of what the right steps to take are from here, but with DLC being so close it feels almost pointless. Regardless, hearing what people have to say about specific mons is important, as we don't stop tiering because we get new mons in some months, so feel free to talk about any specific mon, be it a breaker you think is underrated, a Pokémon you want banned, or an RUBL mon you want freed.
 
I'd love to get into a conversation of what the right steps to take are from here, but with DLC being so close it feels almost pointless. Regardless, hearing what people have to say about specific mons is important, as we don't stop tiering because we get new mons in some months, so feel free to talk about any specific mon, be it a breaker you think is underrated, a Pokémon you want banned, or an RUBL mon you want freed.
I think that the proper course of action for the tier right now is to look at and potentially quickban problematic guys people have brought up before (I don't feel as strongly about H-Zoroark anymore, though i still think rain and Yanmega are uncompetitive) as well as Maushold, as a Rocky Helmet user feels mandatory on most bulky offense structures, often forcing Pokemon that would rather run other items (namely Quagsire and Donphan) to run it. I could be 100% wrong but I don't think we will get major drops for about a month or two after the DLC releases, just a few mons introduced like we did in October.
 
I wanted to make a post on my general thoughts on the current meta, as it's been a while since I've done one of these posts.

First, I want to talk about the general teambuilding structures.

Common rockers:



These 4 are the more popular rockers you'll see on most types of teams. Hippowdon and Tinkaton are by far the most consistent in my opinion. Hippowdon just manages to be a general wall both the physical and special side, with access to reliable recovery and moves like Roar to help with set up mons. Tinkaton also has solid bulk, and utility moves like Knock Off, Encore and Thunder Wave, but also has one of the best defensive types in the game. I've also had a lot of fun with offensive Swords Dance sets. Tyranitar falls behind surprisingly. I still think this mon is great, but if you see most tournament replays, you'll notice that Tyranitar barely sees usage. It does see a lot of ladder usage, getting a #11 spot in usage last month, but I know a lot of people think it's a bit awkward to use Ttar. I also really like offensive sets, Choice Band in particular is great now that it has access to Knock Off. But then you find yourself being slower than Tinkaton, as they always aim to outspeed Jolly Tyranitar. Finally, Krook still finds its place in the meta, but I personally think Stealth Rocks sets are incredibly disappointing. The main niche this mon has is being a fast and offensive Ground type, so I think Choice Scarf sets are slightly better, but it's still far from being a mon I like as much as the others do. I find myself thinking that Hippowdon is the best and most consistent rocker we currently have.

Common removal:



I'll start this section by saying that Cyclizar is our best and most consistent removal option. Regenerator paired with Knock Off + U-turn just makes it so this mon can recover HP very easily, making it able to come in multiple times to spin away, while having coverage for spinblockers. It also has a free 4th slot that can be adjusted depending on your team: Power Whip for Quagsire, Overheat for Tinkaton or Magnezone, Draco Meteor and Double Edge for STAB damage, etc. Talonflame is a very common Defog user, but I personally believe Defog sets are just really bad. You find yourself cycling between Roost and Defog, making no progress as a slot. I really like Brave Bird, U-turn Roost and one of Will-o-Wisp, Taunt or the fun Swords Dance set. Noivern I also don't quite like using Defog on it, but it manages to pull it off better than Talon thanks to high output damage off the bat with Draco Meteor. Donphan is a spinner I like as well. It gets chipped down very easily, so it usually fits on more offensive teams. I've been trying out Seed Bomb to lure in Quagsire, but any of its moves are really good. Bramble is also pretty fine, tho mostly as a spiker than a spinner because it handles the 2 spinners I mentioned before. I've been using Spikes, Strength Sap and STABs and it does actually p decently. Forre I like a lot less. The one benefit I see from using Forre is that it can actually threaten Magnezone if it attempts to trap it, be it either a strong hitting Body Press or even Earthquake. I mention it here cause it also sees a lot of ladder usage.

Spikes setters:



I already mentioned Bramble and Forretress, both could be slotted here as well. Quagsire is one of the more popular mons at the moment. Toxic, Spikes, Recovery and 2 good abilities put it above so many mons in terms of value. Unaware is good into set up mons, specifically Calm Mind Fezandipiti if you are forced to tera poison into it. And water absorb is good to invalidate water types like Milotic, Vaporeon and non Grass Knot Slowbro, while threatening them with a Toxic. Chesnaught finds itself in a worse position, but its combination of Knock Off + Spikes is something I think has a lot of potential. I've also been experimenting with more offensive sets like CB or Swords Dance, as Chesnaught as a pretty cool movepool. Earthquake has been a cool move to catch Fezandipiti by surprise.

Meta picks:



I didn't know how else to name this segment, so I'll just call them the mons that picked up because of how much they own the meta. Magnezone is a hard hitting Pokémon that heavily punishes Tinkaton teams, as it can trap it and get rid of it for another breaker that would otherwise struggle vs it. But we also have certain Tinkaton running Bulldoze as coverage to get past Magnezone and prevent the full trade. Then we have Fezandipiti, who punishes most BO teams hard by either getting a Toxic Chain off on the fatter mons, or straight up sweeping with CM or NP sets. The natural bulk it has is enough to find plenty of opportunities to set up. And that brings me to Slowbro-Galar, who has a similar role as Fez in that it can spam Toxic relatively free vs most fat mons, but thanks to Psychic STAB + Flamethrower, it can punish mons that are or tera to be Steel and Poison types. It also works as a good Fez answer thanks to Psyshock, which forces CM Fez to basically run out of Roosts. I feel like these 3 mons keep the fatter cores on their toes with ways to not lose to them. Then we have Muk, which came to be because of the previously mentioned Poison types. Thanks to its bulk and STABs, it can pressure both Fez and Slowbro. My bigger issue with it is how easy it is to chip at be it by attacking it, or with hazards. I feel like Rest sets have potential but it becomes really tricky in general. Still a mon I like a lot in general.

Offensive breakers:



Ok this list is of mons that you will see grouped together a lot in Hyper Offense types of teams, but some of them like Zoroark, Armarouge, Revavroom, Torterra, Jugulis and oftentimes Mimikyu can be seen on bulkier structures. These are the mons to handle at the moment, as they can easily rip holes through teams, and even worse if they are paired together. I won't really go into full details of what they do, but I want to go more into the HO structure. Currently, I believe that the more consistent mons in Hyper Offense are a combination of Mimikyu, Yanmega and Iron Jugulis. You could literally pair these 3 with a lead rocker, any of the other breakers and feel like you've built a good team. Yanmega basically forces chip on so much thanks to Tera Blast Ground + Throat Spray activated by Bug Buzz, and it becomes hard to revenge kill due to Speed Boost. Jugulis forms a good core with Yanmega as they both have the same answers, so if one of them weakens the defensive mons, the other one is sure to end them. They also commonly run Speed Boosting Booster Energy, also making it hard to revenge kill. Then Mimikyu is there to also break thanks to Disguise SD, but also work as an emergency check to opposing offensive threats. I think Maushold + Mimikyu is a very dangerous combo, but like I said, all the consistent offenses have the previously mentioned 3 breakers.

My personal favorites:



I feel like these became my comfort picks in the tier. Slither Wing and Lycanroc-Dusk are known to be really good, but I also think Kilowattrel and Wo-Chien were kind of forgotten, Wo-Chien a way more since it ended up dropping to NU. Lycanroc is a fantastic breaker, be it Life Orb + Swords Dance or Choice Band sets, it forces a lot of damage vs opposing teams, and has access to STAB priority that also makes it a good pick vs more offensive teams. Slither Wing is the same, but bulkier and has access to more useful moves like U-turn, Morning Sun and it can run covearge like Earthquake for Fezandipiti or Roosting Talonflame. Speaking of Talon, its Flame Body burns are the reason we've seen Slither run Protective Pads more often. First Impression is so good in a meta that's filled with all the brokens mentioned above. Kilo does the same it has always done, but something I've liked recently is the idea of using Tera Blast Ground to lure in Magnezone if your team happens to be too weak to it. You can also get a super effective coverage vs stuff like Tinkaton or Fezandipiti, but it's mainly for Zone. Finally, my goat Wo-Chien keeps doing what it does best: Leech Seed + Knock Off. I've found myself just chipping down so many teams thanks to this combo, making it easy to recover HP on it. I like running Protect to maximize recovery on it, but I know people like all sorts of moves on it. I usually have Foul Play as my last as it can prevent set up and even revenge kill mons like Mimikyu and Torterra, although you have to pop the tera vs Mimikyu, but you should beat it as long as it can't hit you super effectively. Something I've thought about is using Giga Drain to get rid of Quagsire without having to pop a tera poison to not lose to it. I still think that it was outrageous for Wo-Chien to drop.

I could go on and on about so many mons in the tier. I didn't get to cover some breakers that I think are being slept on such as Gallade or Toxtricity and many more, but the post feels long enough as it is. My main goal was to outline my current view on the meta, and what I think of all the options available to us. I think that the meta is fun, but it's starting to take shape and the dangerous mons are becoming more apparent as time passes.

I'd love to get into a conversation of what the right steps to take are from here, but with DLC being so close it feels almost pointless. Regardless, hearing what people have to say about specific mons is important, as we don't stop tiering because we get new mons in some months, so feel free to talk about any specific mon, be it a breaker you think is underrated, a Pokémon you want banned, or an RUBL mon you want freed.
7.8/10, too little :sv/bellibolt:

In all seriousness, great analysis on the current meta and overall this covers exactly what to plan for in the Teambuilder.

In the interest of sharing (mostly bad) opinions, I'll touch on a few mons that weren't included:

:Bellibolt:
This funny little guy actually sits on a lot of this tier and, while lackluster in overall attack potency, can be a great pick for a 'fat' presence on your teams. With two stellar abilities to choose from and a variety of moves that allows for creativity (Acid Spray, Parabolic Charge, Toxic, Volt Switch, Slack Off, etc.), the Belli deserves consideration when deciding how to answer some of the bulkier mons in the tier.

:Decidueye-Hisui:
People are gonna grill me for my insistence on this mon being used, but I think the combination of Grass / Fighting STAB is perfect in this tier and I believe Decid to be better than Chesnaught on most teams. Triple Arrows is a much better Fighting STAB than Drain Punch or Body Press, as it not only has three rng rolls to choose from, it also doesn't make contact so Talonflame isn't always a reliable switch-in. Decid also gets plenty of coverage with Defog, Roost, Sucker Punch, Rock Tomb and Knock Off, meaning you can choose an offensive or defensive role and be covered.

:gardevoir:
While I believe there are much better Fairy types in the tier (Tink and Fez, mainly), Gardevoir is still my favorite mon to Trick a Choice Scarf onto an unsuspecting fat mon like Vaporeon or Milotic, while also being able to switch back into Vap freely later due to Synchronize. Whether it's spamming Moonblasts late game or clicking Destiny Bond to pick up a free trade, Gard remains a valuable tool to consider.

:Rotom-heat: and :rotom-mow:
While I typically don't use either Rotom variant, I definitely believe them both to be potentially great mons in this tier. They can both run Scarf and perform similar shenanigans as Gardevoir or Nasty Plot to spam Overheat / Thunderbolt / Volt Switch / Leaf Storm. Given the current structure of the tier, Rotom-Mow is probably more capable of breaking through some of the bulkier things you'll face, though both of them are quite frail and need to be maneuvered with consideration. If played well, their upside is huge.
 
I'd love to get into a conversation of what the right steps to take are from here, but with DLC being so close it feels almost pointless. Regardless, hearing what people have to say about specific mons is important, as we don't stop tiering because we get new mons in some months, so feel free to talk about any specific mon, be it a breaker you think is underrated, a Pokémon you want banned, or an RUBL mon you want freed.
Right now I think the tier is a bit chaotic and hard to prepare for everything, but it's still balanced enough and very fun. My biggest issue with the meta as a whole is that teams feel really limited and segmented. Team archetypes either feel limited to hyper-offense or standard bulky offense or borderline balance, and it feels like most mons are just rigidly confined to certain teamstyles and partners. Fezandipiti is almost always paired with magnezone, there's a cadre of HO mons that see used literally nowhere else like yanmega and mimikyu, and all the bulky offense teams I build usually feel like they are assembled from a pool of like 12 pokemon total.

There is only one pokemon that I feel should be banned, and it's one that I feel will still be an issue after dlc drops because its problems are not going to be solved by stronger attackers or bulkier defenders.
:sv/iron_jugulis:
Booster jugulis is a real problem for the tier. on its own, it feels like it completely invalidates most scarfers and any kind of offensive counterplay. There is almost no hope to outspeed it, so it forces teams to rely on priority and the few shaky defensive answers that are destroyed by a dark pulse flinch or hurricane confuse. This is a problem I don't feel will get any better with future drops because scarf gengar is not really going to help.
 
I'd love to get into a conversation of what the right steps to take are from here, but with DLC being so close it feels almost pointless. Regardless, hearing what people have to say about specific mons is important, as we don't stop tiering because we get new mons in some months, so feel free to talk about any specific mon, be it a breaker you think is underrated, a Pokémon you want banned, or an RUBL mon you want freed.
I personally find this meta to be quite enjoyable, maybe a bit too offensive to be considered truly "balanced", but I prefer that over metas that are too bulky, so I take it XD
Given that we're getting drops in January it's hard to give suggestions tiering wise, but some mons that come to mind:

:Yanmega:
Tinted Lens sets are fine, but that Speed Boost set that was spammed on that hyper offense team is a bit of an issue. If you don't pack at least 2 forms of priority or some healthy fat mons, it can run away with games very easily. I don't think it's quickban worthy, but a suspect test after things settle down may be a good idea

:Iron Jugulis:
I share the same feeling of the post above, though to a less extreme degree XD Jugulis is the ultimate late game condition thanks to booster energy and almost perfect coverage of the tier in STAB + a ground move. Most scarfers don't really go over base 100 atm, and bulkier checks can fall to hurricane confusion hax/dark pulse flinches. I've even seen some demonic sets using Charge Beam to really guarantee a sweep late game. Definitely on board for a suspect on this one.

Let's hope we get some specially bulky mons to check these monsters. Maybe AV Metagross with tera? :wo:
 
There is some stuff I wish make a return/gets updated this DLC:

:Pincurchin:
Pincurchin @ Terrain Extender
Ability: Electric Surge
Tera Type: Electric
EVs: 252 HP / 208 SpA / 48 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Rising Voltage
- Scald
- Memento
- Spikes

Pincurchin was a niche pick last gen almost entirely carried by Rising Voltage + Electric Terrain, and now with the option of Tera for even more power I can see it as a nice option AND an enabler for Electric terrain teams, given that we currently have 2 Quark Drive abusers in Iron Jugulis (who will probably get banned if these becomes a reality XD) and Iron Thorns (giving it a solid niche over Ttar).

:Kabutops:
Kabutops @ Life Orb
Ability: Sharpness
Tera Type: Bug
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Aqua Cutter
- Night Slash/Aqua Jet
- X-Scissor
- Swords Dance

I hope they give Kabutops a similar treatment to Shiftry, giving it Sharpness as an ability option. While Swift Swim sets are probably still better, reversing the Grass matchup with Tera Bug X-Scissor and overall hitting hard with Sharpness boosted moves sounds like a LOT of fun.

:Cinccino:
Cinccino (F) @ Loaded Dice
Ability: Technician
Tera Type: Dark
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Tidy Up
- Tail Slap
- Knock Off
- Bullet Seed

If the pokemon whose pokedex entries explicitly says "A clean freak that will not allow even the slightest mess, it uses its tail like a mop to thoroughly clean any and all filth." doesn't get Tidy Up, I'll be extremely disappointed. I'm also hoping it still gets Tail Slap as an option, specially with Loaded Dice as an option, though Boots + U-turn also sound quite decent.

:Alcremie:
Alcremie (Alcremie-Matcha-Cream) (F) @ Leftovers
Ability: Well-Baked Body
Tera Type: Fairy
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Aromatherapy (please keep it I swear to god if this doesn't return ;-;)
- Recover
- Dazzling Gleam
- Mystical Fire

I feel like this isn't that big of a stretch, considering it's based on a cake. This would give it a better defensive profile against pokemon like Armarouge and Torkoal, while also making setup with Calm mind much more viable.

That's what I can think of right now, though my picks probably won't even be RU at the end :smogonbird:
So, DLC is out and data is being dumped. I'm wondering if we can start talking about some of the changes to currently RU legal mons or if a new thread's gonna be created. Out of respect for anyone that wants to wait a bit to see some of the changes I'll label them as spoilers:

Honesly, not that much changed.
:revavroom: got fire coverage in Temper Flame, which is a fire version of Stomping Tantrum. :Slither Wing: also gets it as a midground option between Flame Charge and Flare Blitz.
:tsareena: got Triple Axel back, so its coverage is quite a bit better
:Zoroark-Hisui: got Pain Split, which could be quite potent given its low HP and some Illusion shenanigans
:munkidori: got that new move Psychic Noise that block healing, which makes it a really interesting stallbreaker alongside Toxic Chain

Also, regarding my predictions, I got 1.5 of them right, with :Cinccino: getting Tidy Up and :Alcremie: returning, though MASSIVELY nerfed ;-;
 
Well, if it means anything, this metagame is the first one since 2015 that's inspired me enough to bother being active again (last post prior to this was April 2015) and before you ask...

...yes, I'm old.

In general, I was most previously active in BW2 RU and off and on until ORAS. Mostly, I like any metagames where Quagsire is really good (yeah, you can hate me now) and strong moxie (or other auto-boosting sweepers) are popular.

I know there will probably be a lot of shifts/adjustments soon since the DLC dropped so I figured I would give my (admittedly limited and inexperienced) opinions.

How enjoyable do you find the current metagame? 8/10

How competitive do you find the current metagame? 8/10


My 1-5 rankings:
Fezandipiti = 4/5
Iron Jugulus = 3/5
H-Zoroark = 3/5
Magnezone = 2/5
Maushold = 3/5

Status spam (scald especially - somewhat toxic) are probably the most annoying things in my mind, but then again that's probably because I prefer to play balance style teams. HO probably doesn't care much about it. I'm a little worried about Munkidori getting Psychic Noise. I'm happy to discuss my thoughts in more detail, but I know I'm biased because this is the only meta I've known (literally the last 14 days is all I've played in Gen9).

Anyways, everyone is really nice on the RU room on Showdown (I've been mostly using names that include "baf2back"). I'm glad that's the same as it used to be. Have a great day!
 
Late to the survey response party but here's my thoughts on mons on the survey, some have changed since my initial survey responses:

:magnezone: - Surprised this didn't get a higher score, it's kinda like Jugulis without the Speed; very difficult to switch into, checks are prone to being pressured and worn down, and it enables other dangerous threats like Fezandipiti. The metagame being more on the offensive side hurts it, but with MagFez seeing a good amount of success in the RU Trios Tour I think it definitely needs a good look. I give it a 4/5
:fezandipiti: - Only reason this is so crunk is because Magnezone, one of its most common partners, is stupidly strong. I definitely think Magnezone warrants action first, and if/when it's banned Fez will become a lot more manageable. Right now it's definitely borderline, so I give it a 3/5
:zoroark-hisui: - I've definitely mellowed out towards the edgy fox since it's prone to getting offensively pressured and can be defensively checked by Tinkaton, Tyranitar, and Assault Vest Cyclizar. Still hits stupidly hard and Illusion mind games are annoying, but there are more pressing issues at the moment. 2/5
:iron-jugulis: - I made a post about it in the suspect thread but Sneakyplanner made a much better post talking about it that sums up my thoughts. tl;dr Booster sets have very little offensive counterplay and defensive counterplay is prone to getting pressured and worn down while Jugulis itself enables other threats like Maushold and Yanmega with Taunt, 5/5
:maushold: - I was initially surprised that it didn't get any action despite its high ranking. I think the idea is that it's frequently partnered with Jugulis, who shuts down common Rocky Helmet users like Hippowdon and Quagsire; thus if Jugulis goes then Maushold will be more manageable. I do think forcing Rocky Helmet on bulkier archetypes is very sus, and that it'll still be very difficult to deal with even after Jugulis goes. We'll have to wait and see once the suspect is over, but for now, 4/5
:yanmega: - Talked about it before, but my thoughts remain the same. Tera turns it into a stupidly powerful cheese mon that often turns games into coinflips with Air Slash. Didn't have a rating on the survey but I'd give it a 4/5
:politoed: - Also mellowed out a bit on Rain, but I still feel like it has too many abusers to account for in the builder. Mostly an annoying ladder strat, but should at least be given another glance. 3/5

And one more mon that I think warrants a look, but wasn't on the survey:
:quagsire: - I have very mixed thoughts on Quagsire. This tier has very few good Grass-types, and the few we have hate getting poisoned (bar Shaymin, who has its own issues). It exacerbates the tier's bulky water issues by virtue of being immune to Electric, sending normal bulky water checks like Bellibolt running for the hills. But on the other hand, Quagsire itself serves as a vital check to other bulky waters apart from itself and is a solid glue and role compression Pokemon; it's a Ground-type, Water-type, hazard setter, status spreader, and physical blanket check in one. If Rain goes then Quagsire will likely be harder to manage, as it'll be able to run Unaware more easily. I don't think it warrants immediate action but I think an eye or two should be kept on it.
 
It's christmas morning, I wake up with a smile and see the snow gently falling in my bedroom window. My family is calling me, we're ready to open presents. Have they gotten me a new joycon? Perhaps even something better. The package they hand me seems thin and small, like the only thing inside is a piece of paper. My face turns to a frown, feeling neglected and left out as my siblings enjoy big and expensive toys. But when I tear open the wrapper, making sure to not disturb the fragile present within, I see something more meaningful than any material gift could possibly be:
1703536854464.png
 
By now it's basically tradition for me to find some mon I really like and want to talk about just a few days before tier shifts make them irrelevant. But I want to talk about tsareena anyways and there are worse things I could be doing on new year's eve.

:SV/tsareena:
Tsareena @ Heavy-Duty Boots / Assault Vest / Covert Cloak
Ability: Queenly Majesty
Tera Type: Dark
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Power Whip
- Knock Off
- Triple Axel
- Rapid Spin​

Why tsareena?
Right now RU hazard control is mostly dominated by cyclizar. The bike is splashable and has longevity, but some things that bother me about cyclizar are that it just doesn't get too many chances to switch in (it's why I still prefer assault vest cycle over boots), it is scared of basically any full health pokemon and it loses vs basically all the hazard setters in the tier. It can win the long game vs a hippo or tinkaton, but it just feels like you spin away the rocks and then they switch in to set them back up. Tsareena solves all of these problems. It's not going to last forever, but it is the best spinner at actually keeping rocks off and breaking something in the process. I see it as a better version of whatever role donphan is trying to do. Less tanky but easily more damaging.
Unlike cyclizar, tsareena doesn't have to be scared of hippowdon and choose between clicking knock off or rapid spin. It switches in on the hippo or quagsire, rapid spins and then becomes an immediately threatening presence. With a bit of luck you can even force an entry point on a bulky water like vaporeon or slowbro clicking scald. Even if they are running ice beam, you only take around 50% from it and then get to click one of your buttons.

What are those buttons?
In my experience Tsareena just always manages to do something useful when it comes in. Power whip does a lot of damage even vs resists, triple axel is surprisingly good coverage despite grass/ice being a bad offensive type combination, and everything that can take both a whip and an axel absolutely hates being knocked off. A tinkaton switching in gets its item taken away and starts to get worn down by everything else, a knocked muk is a dead muk and talonflame is dead to rocks if it tries to take on the tsarina. And that's not even mentioning rapid spin. If tsareena has green health and gets a speed boost from a spin then it can just break stuff and make the rest of the game easy. Anything that outspeeds it doesn't want to switch in and has to rely on a sacrifice, and even then tsareena can just do something like knock a scarfer's item off, live a hit and then ko with power whip.

Some replays to emphasize the point:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9ru-2023481372-sc66angzru5ynsohc3qveei135a74bbpw
Here tsareena puts in work by knocking off a tinkaton early on and then doing some midgame breaking by taking out a quagsire with a power whip that would have been threatening to the tinkaton switch-in even if she didn't stay in with the quag, it likely would have 2hkoed. It doesn't even need to spin to win, it's just all about that raw damage and item removal.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9ru-2022612063
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9ru-2022642258
Here are two games where tsareena just goes on a midgame team flattening session, outright winning the game in one and doing enough damage that it's easy cleanup for the other.
 
By now it's basically tradition for me to find some mon I really like and want to talk about just a few days before tier shifts make them irrelevant. But I want to talk about tsareena anyways and there are worse things I could be doing on new year's eve.

:SV/tsareena:
Tsareena @ Heavy-Duty Boots / Assault Vest / Covert Cloak
Ability: Queenly Majesty
Tera Type: Dark
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Power Whip
- Knock Off
- Triple Axel
- Rapid Spin​

Why tsareena?
Right now RU hazard control is mostly dominated by cyclizar. The bike is splashable and has longevity, but some things that bother me about cyclizar are that it just doesn't get too many chances to switch in (it's why I still prefer assault vest cycle over boots), it is scared of basically any full health pokemon and it loses vs basically all the hazard setters in the tier. It can win the long game vs a hippo or tinkaton, but it just feels like you spin away the rocks and then they switch in to set them back up. Tsareena solves all of these problems. It's not going to last forever, but it is the best spinner at actually keeping rocks off and breaking something in the process. I see it as a better version of whatever role donphan is trying to do. Less tanky but easily more damaging.
Unlike cyclizar, tsareena doesn't have to be scared of hippowdon and choose between clicking knock off or rapid spin. It switches in on the hippo or quagsire, rapid spins and then becomes an immediately threatening presence. With a bit of luck you can even force an entry point on a bulky water like vaporeon or slowbro clicking scald. Even if they are running ice beam, you only take around 50% from it and then get to click one of your buttons.

What are those buttons?
In my experience Tsareena just always manages to do something useful when it comes in. Power whip does a lot of damage even vs resists, triple axel is surprisingly good coverage despite grass/ice being a bad offensive type combination, and everything that can take both a whip and an axel absolutely hates being knocked off. A tinkaton switching in gets its item taken away and starts to get worn down by everything else, a knocked muk is a dead muk and talonflame is dead to rocks if it tries to take on the tsarina. And that's not even mentioning rapid spin. If tsareena has green health and gets a speed boost from a spin then it can just break stuff and make the rest of the game easy. Anything that outspeeds it doesn't want to switch in and has to rely on a sacrifice, and even then tsareena can just do something like knock a scarfer's item off, live a hit and then ko with power whip.

Some replays to emphasize the point:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9ru-2023481372-sc66angzru5ynsohc3qveei135a74bbpw
Here tsareena puts in work by knocking off a tinkaton early on and then doing some midgame breaking by taking out a quagsire with a power whip that would have been threatening to the tinkaton switch-in even if she didn't stay in with the quag, it likely would have 2hkoed. It doesn't even need to spin to win, it's just all about that raw damage and item removal.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9ru-2022612063
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9ru-2022642258
Here are two games where tsareena just goes on a midgame team flattening session, outright winning the game in one and doing enough damage that it's easy cleanup for the other.
Fantastic writeup. My only question is does Tera Dark have any use beyond bolstering Knock Off? And what of Tera Ice, which I've seen a couple times on ladder?
 
Fantastic writeup. My only question is does Tera Dark have any use beyond bolstering Knock Off? And what of Tera Ice, which I've seen a couple times on ladder?
I have literally never terastallized it once so I just kinda defaulted to dark after some experimentation with fairy, steel and poison. You could probably justify any tera with a bit of justification. I think dark has more defensive uses than ice (resists ghost and dark) and boosts its only 100 accuracy move.
 
I thought it would be the funniest possible time to talk about this, so less than 12 hours before the tier changes forever, let me introduce you to...
melo.png
meloetta

Before Iron Malicious got banned, Meloetta was nigh unusable. Jugulis could smack it around with no fear of retribution, Pirouette form or not. HOWEVER

Meloetta has been freed from it's shackles, and now has a legitimate niche in RU. Thanks to it's phenominal bulk overall, and access to 100 HP subs, Meloetta can use Calm Mind + Substitute to become the tier's best specially bulky wincon. Investing into it's bulk allows it to substitute freely, the 100 HP subs lets it ignore pathetic special attacks from the likes of Rotom Heat and (somehow) Gardevoir after some CM boosts. That, along with it's normal typing giving it STAB on tera blast lets it become especially terrifying with access to Tera Fighting. If you run Tera Fighting + psychic Stab, you can tera fighting to completely change your resists. Pre-tera has the list of resisting mons be mostly dark types + tinkaton, but after that you can swap it out for a completely new set of mons that you beat pre-tera. This allows for Meloetta to change what counters it at will, and lets it invalidate the special attackers of the tier once it gets going. And you would assume that it's weak physically, but no! It takes at max 60-50% from most strong neutral hits like Pawmot CC and Krook EQ, letting it pick up crucial KO's and shrug off stuff not coming from the most powerful offensive threats. This + lefties recovery means that you can stick around and put some real pressure that no other mon in the tier can. It is essentially the ONLY bulky special attacker in the tier, and has the tools to leverage that perfectly.

not to mention that Meloetta's speed tier is actually really solid, letting it hit 216 uninvested, and 237 w/ a jolly nature uninvested

So, despite Meloetta being in NU, don't ignore her!
Meloetta @ Leftovers
Ability: Serene Grace
Tera Type: Fighting
EVs: 244 HP / 64 Def / 36 SpA / 164 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute
- Calm Mind
- Tera Blast
- Psyshock

At the time of writing, I haven't tried out Pirouette form, but it looks like it could be funny to use, given the 20% sleep chance given to Relic Song.
 
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