Sword and Shield Tiering Announcements

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Hogg

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UU Leader
All tiering decisions for official Sword and Shield tiers will be documented here.

Tier Leaders: At the conclusion of any suspect test or council vote, please update the relevant post for your tier. Please make sure to include what was suspected, the date of the vote, the vote results (including the list of council members who voted if this was a council vote) and a brief explanation of the suspect.

Sample Council Vote said:
On ((date)), the UU council voted 8-3 to BAN ((Pokemon)) from UnderUsed.

((List council members who participated in this vote and how they voted here))

Reasoning: ((include a brief description of why the vote was held))

Sample Public Suspect Test said:
A public suspect test was held for ((Pokemon)). On ((date)), 65 voters (45%) voted to ban ((Pokemon)), while 80 voters (55%) voted to keep ((Pokemon)) UU. As it failed to reach the 51% majority required to ban, ((Pokemon)) will remain UU.

Link to Blind Voting results
Link to suspect thread

Reasoning: ((include a brief description of why the vote was held))
 

Finchinator

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BW Circuit Champion
OverUsed

On 11/18, SS OU quickbanned Shadow Tag

With just a few days of observation, Shadow Tag is evidently very broken. It does what it always has done - allows pokemon like Gothitelle to trap / cripple a huge array of pokemon with Trick. Furthermore, gen 8 has granted even more buffs to the already dangerous strategy: 1) Pursuit no longer exists; 2) There are no mega / z items to prevent Trick; 3) Gothitelle has gained access to Cosmic Power and Stored Power. These factors let it trap a wider range of pokemon than before and very often more than one per battle, as Gothitelle can get its scarf back vs a pokemon that is either out of PP or in Stored Power range.


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On 12/10, SS OU quickbanned Moody

While we are hesitant to label Moody as "broken" per our tiering policy framework, we believe it satisfies the criteria set forth for declaring strategies "uncompetitive." Its inherent reliance on chance coupled with its rising prominence within the metagame compels us to act upon it now. It is true that there are other aspects of the game that rely on chance such as move accuracy and secondary effect chances, but none of them compare to Moody in this regard and they also tend to require thoughtful play to integrate successfully into gameplay, thus at least incorporating a certain element of "player skill" into the result of a match. While we are not saying that using teams revolving around Moody involves absolutely no skillful play, it does require significantly less skill than normal teams. The presence of Glalie and Octillery reduces the effect of player's choices throughout the course of a game; even if alternatives are far more consistent in effectiveness, it still holds true that Glalie and Octillery can take very winnable game-states for any other Pokemon and make them snowball out of the control of even the best of players if it gets the right boosts at the right time. The element of randomness being applied to multiple stat boosts each turn does not lead to a competitive and skillful environment that we wish to promote within the SS OU metagame.


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On 12/16, SS OU voted to ban Dynamax (and Gigantamax)

The reasoning behind the Dynamax ban involves the increase in power, the impact of the secondary effects each type's move has, the defensive merit gained through doubling the HP of any Dynamax user, and the element of unpredictability that comes alongside being able to Dynamax with any Pokemon at any point of the game. The ability for some of the most threatening Pokemon in the game to fire off consecutive boosted attacks, especially without being confined to a choice lock, opens up a lot of unmanageable breaking possibilities. However, this is just the start as the secondary effects that occur through using a move of any type oftentimes lead to the the game largely being decided by this three-turn sequence, especially if the Dynamaxed Pokemon has the ability to use specific boosts to snowball into a sweep. This overwhelming prospect is also bolstered by the fact that Dynamaxed Pokemon have double the HP, allowing for many offensive Pokemon to avoid being taken out by otherwise troublesome threads as well as opening up the game to many defensive exploits of Dynamaxing.

While all of this is cause for concern, the biggest reason for banning Dynamax is perhaps the unpredictability that comes alongside it. As ABR has stated, the uses of Dynamax apply to any Pokemon at any time. No matter what specific Pokemon we try to get rid of (or even more narrowly prevent from Dynamaxing), the remaining set of Pokemon that can Dynamax will always be problematic. It goes way beyond "Gyarados and Hawlucha are terrifying sweepers due to their Dynamax moves." Anything with a choice item has the option of breaking the otherwise abusable lock by activating its Dynamax. Any concept of consistency or stability goes out the window when the Pokemon on the losing side of the 1v1 can flip that around with Dynamax. The existence of Dynamax lessens competitive strategy and rewards short term bursts of prediction. Without the thought or planning going into team deduction, set speculation, and how they relate to strategies regarding what beats what, the game cannot meet the standards of our competitive community. For more reasoning from members of the council, I would recommend reading through this post.

On top of this, we would like to add that this suspect has grouped Dynamaxing with Gigantamaxing as they are essentially the same mechanic, but with the latter only being usable on a smaller pool of Pokemon. In the games themselves, they function in the same way and are used through the same exact mechanism within the battle. Moreover, tiering them separately was not something we wished to entertain and Gigantamaxing will also be banned alongside Dynamaxing moving forward.


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On 2/14, SS OU quickbanned Kyurem-Black and Melmetal

The OU council has decided to ban Kyurem-Black and Melmetal.

Kyurem-Black has lingered in the OU tier for the last three generations. However, it recently gained access to some new moves that bolster its effectiveness. Dragon Dance and Icicle Spear are the most notable additions to its arsenal. The former allows for Kyurem-Black to have its unmatched physical attacking strength translate into sweeping potential and the latter gives it a physical, one turn STAB Ice move that it previously lacked. When used in conjunction with Fusion Bolt, Icicle Spear gives Kyurem-Black BoltBeam coverage, which is very hard to keep in check because nothing resists it except for Rotom-Heat. In addition, access to Earth Power allows for it to hit bulkier Steel types like Melmetal, who shrug off boosted Icicle Spear, and the aforementioned Rotom-Heat, who is impacted due to Teravolt nullifying Levitate.

Despite being strong offensively, it is true that Kyurem-Black has some vulnerabilities. It is weak to Stealth Rock and cannot always take advantage of its superb natural bulk due to a mediocre defensive typing. With the increase in Defog distribution and the ability to use Heavy Duty Boots, Kyurem-Black is oftentimes able to mitigate the entry hazard vulnerability. It is also able to muscle through most offensive threats to it with the help of Dragon Dance; setting one up is rarely problematic, too, considering that there are many more passive Pokemon circulating and plenty of things still are incapable of hitting Kyurem-Black super effectively. Couple this with the fact that the ability to revenge kill Kyurem-Black is limited to Mach Punch from Conkeldurr and a very limited pool of faster Choice Scarf users and it becomes clear that the metagame lacks sufficient offensive or defensive counterplay to Kyurem-Black. Because of this, we are electing to quickban Kyurem-Black.

Melmetal is a newer Pokemon, but it has made the most of its brief stint in the OU metagame. To start things off, Melmetal is one of the strongest Pokemon in the game physically and it is able to make use of this attacking prowess with signature move Double Iron Bash, which is effectively a 120 base power move with a 51% chance to flinch and an Iron Fist boost. The mono-Steel typing coupled with similarly great physical defense allows for Melmetal to be quite sturdy on that side of the spectrum, but it also enables Melmetal to pack a punch with Body Press, which is oftentimes used in conjunction with Acid Armor in order to strengthen it while making Melmetal even bulkier. Moreover, it also has a number of other options that allow for Melmetal to hit potential counterplay, including coverage moves such as Thunder Punch for Toxapex that can otherwise prove problematic.

While Melmetal has plenty of unique characteristics that let it stand out in the OU metagame, it is true that Melmetal is quite slow and can fall to strong special attacks. The problem is that most special attackers, aside from a healthy Rotom-Wash or Rotom-Heat, are incapable of switching into Melmetal safely due to how strong it is. On the contrary, Melmetal finds itself getting in unscathed frequently due to how practical the mono-Steel typing is, especially in conjunction with its defensive stat spread. Be it through the Body Press + Acid Armor set that is only countered by a very limited pool of Pokemon such as Toxapex and Jellicent or through other sets such as Choice Banded Melmetal, which is an absolute wrecking ball with Double Iron Bash, Melmetal is capable of posing a consistent threat to teams offensively while being a physically defensive behemoth. Given how disruptive the combination of Double Iron Bash and a potentially boosted Body Press can be, the amount of defensive counterplay to those variants of Melmetal present within the metagame is insufficient. In addition, there are virtually no switch-ins to the more offensive variants such as Choice Banded Melmetal, which is even more problematic due to how naturally bulky it is, letting it get in safely frequently. Therefore, we are electing to quickban Melmetal. The council intends to retest Melmetal in the near future once the metagame has settled down, so keep an eye open for that down the road.


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On 3/30, SS OU voted to ban Arena Trap

Arena Trap on Dugtrio has been one of the most controversial topics in the SS OU metagame for a few months now. Handling the ability allows for us to tackle the root of the problem while also avoiding any potential repeat issues with other abusers in the future. We have precedent for this and it is also discussed at length in the OP, so we will just focus on Dugtrio from here. The Focus Sash set has recently become very problematic; it is able to take out a variety of prominent Pokemon while also taking out the normal suspects. The Choice Band set is also superb; it is able to trap many weakened Pokemon while also eliminating a number of walls that are necessary for balance teams in specific match-ups. The impact of Dugtrio's trapping is not to be understated in the current metagame. Many games are blown wide open if and when Dugtrio is able to be effective with Arena Trap. No other Pokemon in the tier have the same unforgiving impact on gameplay and we do not view this dynamic as a healthy one. Switching is a fundamental part of gameplay as we see it and eliminating that through a steady trapper of everything grounded such as Arena Trap Dugtrio is not something that belongs in our metagame. Much like previous generations, Arena Trap will be banned from the overused metagame.


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On 4/20, SS OU voted to keep Melmetal banned

Coming soon
 
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Nayrz

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Ubers Leader
Ubers

On April 1st 2020, the Ubers council voted to enable a Dynamax clause.
Prior to Pokemon Home's release, Dynamax was regarded as a fine mechanic by the community, balanced by the centralization of Zacian and Eternatus and their inability to use the mechanic themselves. When Pokemon Home released, it came with legalizing various Ubers present in the SS code. There was one catch though - they could Dynamax. This has drastically thrown off the balance in the metagame to the point almost everyone has expressed discontent with it - games often centralize directly around certain Dynamax-boosted threats and how they are abused or nullified to the point little else matters. This pressure the various Dynamax-powered Ubers Pokemon have also extends to the teambuilder, reducing the interesting choices available both to use and to play around opposing threats compared to the general expectations our metagame has. Before Home, Dynamax was viewed as a cool way for lower tier Pokemon to stand out in Ubers, but now the Ubers themselves with access to the mechanic are the ones in full oppressive control of the metagame.

The council discussions led most of us to believe that the proposal of a complex ban on Dynamax as an initial starting point is the right way to begin - Ubers has the unique ability to pursue complex bans in our efforts to preserve elements in the metagame provided they are grounded in logic. There is a limit to how complex things can be dealt with when we consider the wider tiering system and ease of community understanding, but we know that any complex ban comes with an added knowledge burden to our players. We also have to accept that tiering in Ubers will come with some controversial and messy decisions when compared to other tiers in order to fit our goals. Still, the complex banlist needs something solid to operate from, something that makes a level of sense or we spend all day nitpicking. Question is then, what fits that description?

There are a few options that floated around in the previous discussion - a BST limit to Dynamax, ban all Ubers from Dynamax, ban the mechanic itself, to name some. The community felt that a full ban was too extreme at this point in time, and banning by BST introduces a large amount of collateral if used to solve the current problems, while also setting a poor precedent. Using Ubers as a hard baseline of what can't Dynamax would mean anything OU does would affect our banlist too, so we're using it as a basic idea of what to look at instead. The SS Council felt that using everything currently Ubers as the idea would cover too many things that are not problems with Dynamax, so we decided to go by the idea that anything that found itself being automatically placed in Ubers is a good starting point.

That left one issue out - Ditto. Ditto being able to circumvent the purpose of the banlist by turning into something on that banlist and then using Dynamax is something that just doesn't make much sense to allow. There are some differences between the imposter and the original forme, but in practice Ditto will violate the premise of the banlist and take direct unintentional advantage of a tiering decision - thinking in reverse, Ditto is being buffed by the effects of a ban on those it can copy. There are two ways this can be dealt with; one is that the clause can cover transformations but this also means the clause has increased complexity. It's a nightmare to enforce transformations combined with Dynamax in practice as it requires a further convoluted in-battle alteration to prevent Ditto using Dynamax when it's transformed into a Pokemon on the banlist, and its even less clear to players. Why can Ditto Dynamax sometimes and not others? There are limits to how complex a ban should be, and in this case it's better to take the simple solution and prevent Ditto from using Dynamax altogether.

On July 20th 2020, Baton Pass was banned from SS Ubers through a suspect test.
If you have been following the most recent "On The Radar" thread the target of the suspect test shouldn't be a huge surprise - we're suspecting Baton Pass.

Baton Pass in SS has had a diverse range of strategies that have been growing as more Pokemon release into the metagame. Full Baton Pass teams where all six Pokemon aim to pass boosts between each other in a methodical manner to an eventual sweeper are feared by many with limited in-battle counterplay. There are choices in the teambuilder that can make the matchup against full Baton Pass teams easier, such as SD + Sacred Sword Zacian-C and Haze users, but at the cost of limiting your team's options against many other metagame threats. Other Baton Pass strategies centered around Magearna are also growing in popularity - choose what boosts you want Magearna to Baton Pass to amplify the strength of Pokemon like Choice Band Dracovish or Eternatus and watch them go. Baton Pass is also more innocently used to allow Pokemon such as Umbreon to pivot out of threats, however, the community has been outspoken that Baton Pass's strongest strategies endanger the health of the metagame, so we're putting it up for a vote!

The SS Council considered the options between a full BP test or a BP clause internally and in the recent discussion thread, and eventually concluded that it is better to evaluate Baton Pass as a whole rather than tackle the numerous challenges that a clause presents - some of which I outlined in this post. We invite the community to decide amongst themselves if the less abusive strategies that Baton Pass can be part of are worth the downsides of keeping it in the tier and vote in their chosen direction.

(written at the time of the suspect test)

On November 16th 2020, Dynamax was banned from SS Ubers through a suspect test.
We're here with our biggest suspect test to date - Dynamax!

Dynamax has been a divisive topic across Smogon's tiering system and Ubers is no different. We previously enacted a Dynamax Clause in order to preserve as many metagame elements as possible as per our philosophy, but as time went on and more Ubers returned to the SS metagame, the limits of the Dynamax Clause became clear. There are too many threats with their strength exacerbated by the mechanic and we cannot afford to do endless suspect testing to make a fitting Dynamax Clause in the Crown Tundra environment. With that in mind, the Ubers Council made the decision to disable the Dynamax Clause with the intent to view the mechanic's power as a whole.

Currently, the most common Dynamax abusers are Necrozma-DM, Xerneas, Yveltal, Zygarde, Kyogre, and even our newest addition Calyrex-S. From accumulating otherwise difficult to obtain boosts or muscling past various forms of counterplay through incredibly strong attacks with potent side effects (or more likely all of the above at once), Dynamax can turn a single, once manageable threat into a destructive, game ending one immediately. Dynamax's power can also tilt the favor to the attacker as the opponent may have to guess when Dynamax will be used to reactively check it with their own. There is a lot of nuance to the Dynamax mechanic in its relation to the metagame - too much to cover in a single OP. With this test, we offer the discussion and decision to the community: is Dynamax too much for the Ubers metagame?

(written at the time of the suspect test)
 
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Hogg

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UnderUsed

On 1/5/2020, the UnderUsed council voted to ban Hawlucha from SS UU.



Hawlucha was an absolute menace. Between its ability and movepool options, it's the most potent setup sweeper UU has seen in a while. Due to its multitude of sets thanks to things like running items such as Electric Seed, Psychic Seed, White Herb, or Power Herb, as well as filler moves such as Taunt, Throat Chop, and Drain Punch , it is able to circumvent would be methods to handle it. Thanks to its naturally high speed, Hawlucah has the luxury of padding its bulk to better take on priority moves such as Mamoswine Ice Shard, this in tandem with the boost from Electric Seed allows Hawlucha to comfortably take on all forms of priority without picking up multiple kills along the way. Hawlucha can beat Doublade by running Electric Seed + Throat Chop, or beat most traditional bulky forms of counterplay, such as Hippowdon and Pyukumuku, with Taunt. Drain Punch also allows Hawlucha to recover some damage its taken to further increase its longevity, which can be big against teams that rely on sacrificing a Pokemon or two to force Hawlucha to click CC and drop its Defense, allowing priority to knock it out. All in all, Hawlucha was a menace, and one that does not belong in the metagame as it stands.


On 1/12/2020, the UnderUsed council voted to ban Crawdaunt, Gengar and Obstagoon from UU.



:Crawdaunt:
With the departure of Kommo-O, nothing in the tier has the typing or the bulk to switch into the lobster anymore. 5 fully evolved Pokemon are capable of resisting both of its STABs; Shiinotic, Whimsicott, Shiftry, Toxicroak (thanks to Dry Skin), and Crawdaunt itself. The bulkiest of these Pokemon is... Crawdaunt itself, which still takes 41.2-48.4% from Adamant CB Crabhammer. Point is: Crawdaunt has no switchins. Its incredible power, thanks to Adaptability, alongside its great offensive typing, and access to priority, all allow Crawdaunt to feast on this metagame. With virtually no means of switching into this Pokemon, the counterplay is limited to sacrifice a Pokemon and bring in something faster, or rely on Innards Out Pyukumuku to trade. Crawdaunt also has the ability to forgo the immediate boost from Choice Band, running Life Orb to switch moves for a slight cut in power, as well as the ability to run a 4th move to help Crawdaunt further; Swords Dance, Close Combat, or even Dragon Dance can let Crawdaunt go in even more than before. Most importantly about Crawdaunt is that its most frequently clicked STAB is Knock Off. In this metagame, Knock Off is practically the best possible attack; there are very few viable Dark resists, and none of them appreciate losing their items. Overall, even with Crawdaunts incredible power, its slow and not very bulky. It is very easily revenge killed by the vast multitude of threats. Crawdaunt, while on paper it seems unbeatable, really is mostly a hit-and-run Pokemon in this metagame, where it immediately switches out after attacking.

:Gengar:
Gengar, in this metagame, is incredibly fast and powerful. With Pursuit no longer existing, Gengar fears nothing, as it is capable of beating any type of team, no matter what is thrown at it. Even teams with Umbreon can lose to Gengar, as Gengar can potentially run Specs + Sludge Bomb, thus fish for a poison and utterly cripple Umbreon as well as Trick its Specs away, limiting Umbreon greatly. The popularity of Drapion as of late speaks volumes to how much of a commodity Ghost resists are in this metagame, as things like Umbreon are simply too passive is prone to Toxic Spikes and Obstagoon is simply not a good answer to Gengar, or any Ghost-type for that matter. Gengar also now has access to Nasty Plot, which is an absolutely killer set, only the aforementioned Umbreon and Drapion are able to combat it after a boost, otherwise relying on Choice Scarf Pokemon. Gengar, despite being one of the centralizing forces in this metagame, has its faults. The Pokemon I've mentioned before are common for a reason; because they beat Gengar. Gengar is not something that can't be switched into, it is not something that has no counters, and it is not something that is too fast to revenge kill.

:Obstagoon:
Obstagoon is a threat. Only 0.026% usage off of being OU in the last month of usage stats, Obstagoon is practically the face of UU as it currently stands. While its potent sets are limited to only running Flame Orb, Obstagoon has an absurdly useful movepool and the ability to cripple or bypass the vast majority of would-be counters. Taunt, Switcheroo, Bulk Up, Obstruct, Close Combat, and Parting Shot all are viable options to run alongside Facade + Knock Off. Obstagoon has an insane amount of versatility for a Pokemon that virtually always runs the same set, just with different filler moves tacked on. Obstagoon, while not as immediately potent as Crawdaunt, is virtually unwallable. Thanks to its speed tier, bulk, typing, and ability, Obstagoon can take on the majority of the tier and deal massive damage with its STABs. Having access to Knock Off off of incredible power in this metagame is killer; removing Leftovers or other utility items can open holes for Obstagoon or another Pokemon to win later. People have even found use of running Choice Scarf, as it has access to Defiant to punish Defogs, as well as Switcheroo and Parting Shot, to making it even more effective. However, with all this in mind, Obstagoon is not unbeatable. It's not fast enough to be impossible to revenge kill, an absurd amount of Pokemon can use Body Press with their high defenses to take it on, and Obstagoon isn't that strong for a Pokemon firing off Guts boosted Facades. While it certainly is extremely strong, it's no Ursaring; the majority of this Pokemons viability comes from its ability coupled with the other tools it has.


On 2/9/2020, the UnderUsed council voted to ban Dracozolt from UU.



Backed by Hustle, Dracozolt's Bolt Beak is the strongest attack in the game. To put things into perspective, even without a boosting item, it hits neutral targets harder than LO Mega Rayquaza's Dragon Ascent. This kind of power means that simply resisting it is not sufficient; any team that doesn't pack immunities will find it tearing through them in due course. It can also run a number of sets, including CB (which makes it capable of 2HKOing the entire tier), Scarf and Substitute. However, it is held back by Hustle's unreliable accuracy and a mediocre Speed that leaves non-Scarf sets easily revenge killed.

When Dracozolt initially dropped, everyone jumped on the Choice Band set due to its crazy power and the fact it OHKOs nearly every thing that isn't a Ground-type with Bolt Beak, to which gets hit by Outrage or another move. But, a crazy good breaker is nothing new to this tier, as we have a multitude of absurdly good breakers, even if Dracozolt is harder to wall, both of its STABs will very frequently run into an immunity and it also has to deal with Hustle reducing its accuracy. Dracozolt's speed is also pretty bad, leaving it vulnerable to easily being revenge killed by a lot of very common Pokemon, as well as reducing the opportunities it has to even come in in the first place. However, as time went on, people diverged from only using the CB set and found out that Dracozolt is, quite frankly, pretty stupid with multiple sets. Scarf in particular is ridiculous; letting it outspeed the vast majority of the tier and giving it absurd cleaning potential. Life Orb and Substitute are up there as well; being able to change moves and still hit with absurd power, as well as hide behind a sub making it impossible to RK bar Infiltrator allows for even more shenanigans. CB is not a bad set by no means, either, as quite frankly, it doesn't have any form of counter play bar a) winning a 50/50, b) dodging, c) sac and revenge kill. All in all, Dracozolt is simply too much for the tier, and has been voted to be banned in a 9-2-1 decision.


On 2/24/2020, the UnderUsed council voted to ban Diggersby, Durant, and Weavile.



:diggersby: Diggersby :diggersby:

Diggersby was always a major threat even pre-Home, with an excellent Scarf set that retains much of its wallbreaking ability while bypassing its low Speed and a powerful SD set that really began to gain traction in the latter days of the pre-Home meta. However, it wasn't until Home released that we saw its full potential thanks to the release of Knock Off. With Knock Off it no longer struggles with 4mss, as Normal + Ground + Dark hits the entire tier for good damage. There simply are not defensive counters to Diggersby barring defensive Avalugg in the current meta (and even Avalugg finds itself 2HKO'd by CB sets once it gets knocked). Its low Speed and below-average defenses give it some offensive counterplay, but with a Choice Scarf or strong priority in a boosted Quick Attack, it can easily power through offensive teams as well.

:durant: Durant :durant:

Unlike the other two, Durant saw no major improvements in the post-Home meta. While it does now have access to Hone Claws, giving it a powerful new option, the real menace is Durant's Choice Band set. Packing an excellent Speed tier and the strongest priority in the entire game (to put things into perspective, CB First Impression deals almost as much damage as +2 ESpeed from Adamant Arceus), backed by powerful attacks capable of breaking through even the sturdiest of walls, defensive counterplay to CB Durant is often limited to physically defensive Hippo (which must stay perfectly healthy, as CB Iron Head does 40% minimum to max/max Hippo), hoping to predict around its attacks or crossing your fingers and hoping for a miss. Many people have expressed that they feel Durant represents a particularly unhealthy presence in the tier, with games hinging entirely on whether or not Hustle hits.

:weavile: Weavile :weavile:

While Weavile is still lacking one of its most notorious tools in Pursuit, Home gave it back its other key option: Knock Off. With so few Knock absorbers in the tier, Weavile is proving to be a fantastic revenge killer and one of the best late-game threats around. It has several sets it can run, but perhaps the most reliable is Boots SD, which is fantastic at turning games around thanks to its blazing fast Speed and amazing attack and dual-STAB. While it is not a breaker in the same way Diggersby and Durant are, it is still an extremely formidable threat, and deserves a closer look.


On 3/4/2020, the UnderUsed Council voted to ban Alolan Ninetales.



It may come as no surprise to many that Aurora Veil is a big problem for UU yet again. Within the tier at the moment, there are a vast multitude of offensive threats, both old and newly gained from the latest drops, all of which's potency is exponentially furthered thanks to Alolan Ninetales. As you all should know, Alolan Ninetales' ability immediately summons Hail, thus allowing Aurora Veil to be used instantly with no partners or prior setup necessary. This has skewed the metagame in an egregious way. Every team at the moment falls under one of two categories; teams with Aurora Veil Ninetales and teams built to beat Aurora Veil teams.

While counterplay exists, its scope is incredibly narrow and is inefficient. The immediate reaction to stopping Aurora Veil will surely be either set up your own weather or to OHKO Alolan Ninetales before it can set up Aurora Veil. However, these are far from surefire and easily exploitable. Say you pick to use a team with Gigalith or (Kanto) Ninetales to combat Aurora Veil teams, and you switch into these weather setters when Alolan Ninetales hits the playing field. Now they click Hail. What now? Resetting weather is far from a guaranteed means of stopping Aurora Veil, and should your form of counterplay rely on this, you'll be left exposed should it fail. The other method of OHKOing Alolan Ninetales before it can set Veil is way easier to speak of in theory than in practice. The pool of Pokemon that are naturally faster and capable of OHKOing Alolan Ninetales consists of three Pokemon; Salazzle, CB Cinccinno, and CB Barraskewda. Choice Scarf Pokemon that have the potential to surprise Alolan Ninetales are also fine options. However, all of these bar Salazzle have the same issue; they're choice locked and allow free setup, even if your opponent fails to recognize that they should switch Alolan Ninetales out and set up Aurora Veil later. Against offensive teams, a free turn may be all it takes for the game to end. On top of the fact that they could easily switch out, preserve Alolan Ninetales as well as get the free opportunity to setup while you're choiced locked drives home just how limited the counterplay is.

Bar the aforementioned methods of counterplay, which are quite inefficient, exist two more; Infiltrator Pokemon and sweep before they do. Noivern and Chandelure, while both are incredible Pokemon in the tier, are not at their best against offensive teams, as they can be easily picked off or used as setup fodder, even without the boosted defenses Aurora Veil provides. These two Pokemon can be great tools against Aurora Veil, they alone are not means to call it a day. Aiming to sweep before they sweep is a foolish strategy on paper, but can work in some instances. To call it sufficient, though, is not appropriate.

Overall, Aurora Veil from Alolan Ninetales absolutely warps the metagame. While Alolan Ninetales only acts in support of the many potent offensive threats our tier has to offer, we deemed it to be the appropriate target rather than picking and choosing between each and every offensive threat that Aurora Veil boosts. On the matter of Alolan Ninetales vs. Aurora Veil as a whole, Vanilluxe has already existed within the metagame, and was not deemed to be problematic at the time. Should this change, and Vanilluxe led Aurora Veil teams become problematic, we will look into the matter again in the future. But as it stands, Alolan Ninetales is now BANNED from SS UU.


On 3/14/2020, the UnderUsed Council voted to ban Gyarados and Primarina.



:Gyarados:
The former Dynamax menace now drops to UU as of this month, and it has made a big splash in the tier. Gyarados has so many tools at its disposal now; its coverage options are incredible in this tier with over five viable moves to go alongside Dragon Dance, the utility of Heavy-Duty Boots, and an extreme lacking in viable physically bulky Pokemon. Between Boots and Gyarados' newest move, Power Whip, it's very hard to handle. Power Whip allows Gyarados to nail every bulky Water-type, as well as let Gyarados drop Water coverage if the user so pleases, as it still hits Ground-types very hard.

Even with the departure of Aurora Veil from the tier, Gyarados is still the perfect setup sweeper. It has Dragon Dance, a no drawback STAB, a multitude of good coverage options, and Moxie to further the snowballing. It is extremely difficult to handle Gyarados, the most reliable method being Scarf Rotom-Mow. Defensive options can't do anything more than sit and hope Gyarados does not have the appropriate filler move, whether it be coverage or Taunt/Substitute. Offensive options cannot reliably switch into Gyarados, and must outspeed after a Dragon Dance. All in all, while not a unanimous decision from the Council (8-3 with one abstain), there is no doubt that Gyarados is the most threatening setup sweeper the tier has seen since Hawlucha was banned at the very start of the tier.

:Primarina:
One of the most notable breakers from SM UU returns, but this time there is no Blissey. Much like Gyarados, Primarina got a notable addition with this generation; Calm Mind. Although it is not quite as useful as Power Whip is to Gyarados, it bolsters Primarina's options. Primarina, quite frankly, was a guaranteed kill every time it entered the field against something unable to kill it in one shot, bar some obscene exceptions. Specs Primarina could not be switched into; non-Specs trades immediate power for making it even harder to revenge kill; Calm Mind makes it even harder for things like Celebi and Toxtricity to offensively check it. Between all of its options, it was quite frankly the most fearsome Pokemon to face off against.

The decision to ban was unanimous from the Council; all 12 people voted to ban it. Primarina really did not have viable countermeasures, unlike in SM. Just comparing the two generations, there is no Blissey, Amoonguss, Empoleon, or Tentacruel, as well as offensive Pokemon that threatened Primarina, such as Scizor, no longer being within the tier. On top of the fact Primarina now gets Calm Mind, adding a whole new element to consider when taking it on. Ultimately, Primarina was banned because of the Choice Specs set, which simply has no viable counterplay.


On 4/7/2020, UU voted to ban Mamoswine.

Eligible Voters: 50
Votes: 47

Mamoswine
Ban: 29
Do Not Ban: 18
Ban % = 61.7%

Simple majority (50% + 1) is required for a ban, and the outcome will not be changed by more votes. Thus, Mamoswine is now banned from SS UU.


Mamoswine was already a top threat pre-Home, but the addition of Knock Off turned it into one of the most terrifying wallbreakers that the tier had to offer. Ground/Ice STABS with strong Dark coverage hit the entire tier for neutral damage, and its powerful STAB attacks off of that terrifying base Attack allowed it to power through some of UU's bulkiest 'mons. Fully defensive Milotic was easily 2HKO'd by Earthquake, while defensive Galarian Weezing was 3HKO'd by Icicle Crash, putting it one flinch away from fainting. And with a decent Speed tier and strong priority, it was surprisingly difficult to consistently revenge kill. The only reliable checks were Golisopod, Araquanid and Avalugg, and all three of those relied on not getting their Boots knocked off to stay healthy throughout the game.


On 4/27/2020, Venusaur was banned from UU.



Venusaur was determined to be the single biggest Sun threat due to its combination of above average bulk, decent defensive typing, ease of boosting and the power of effectively having triple STAB with Giga Drain/Sludge Bomb/Weather Ball. While concerns still exist that Sun will remain an unhealthy presence even without Venusaur, this was the most direct way to move forward with the Sun issue without bypassing our policy requirements.


On 6/2/2020, the UU community voted to ban Haxorus.

The voting breakdown is as follows:
  • BAN: 42 votes (76%)
  • KEEP UU: 12 votes (22%)
  • Not Yet Voted: 1 vote (2%)


Haxorus had been on the radar for almost the entirety of UU. With an excellent Speed tier, a fantastic ability in Mold Breaker and access to new moves in First Impression and Close Combat, this monster had proven nearly uncounterable. There was very little in the tier that did not fold to Choice Band Outrage, and those few things that did were rarely able to switch into a Mold Breaker Earthquake - in fact, outside of the rare Whimsicott, Mold Breaker EQ + Outrage was a combination unresisted by anything in the tier. Its Dragon Dance set was equally problematic, trading immediate breaking power for the ability to turn games around almost instantly. While it was previously kept in check by Mamoswine, since the pig's departure Haxorus had cemented itself as the single biggest threat in UU.


On 6/8/2020, the UnderUsed Council voted to ban Drizzle.



I doubt it comes as a surprise to anyone that Drizzle would be overly strong and overwhelming. Drizzle is incredibly centralizing and overbearing force in the tier, and is quite clearly broken. Rain has all the tools it needs; an array of Swift Swim Pokemon, fast and incredibly strong Water-types, a fast Hurricane user in Noivern, and Heliolisk. The only thing one could argue is that the Swift Swim Pokemon we have are not potent enough in comparison to something like Venusaur, but the ones we have do not disappoint.

Arguably the most potent part of rain is our fast and strong Water-types in Keldeo and Inteleon. Keldeo is newly dropped and absolutely mindless in rain. We have many Water resists available in the tier, but all falter in the fact of a Specs Keldeo in rain. The only way around it is to use Water Absorb Mantine and Jellicent, both of which have questionable viability in the tier on top of the fact they could potentially be circumvented by more niche Keldeo sets. Inteleon is no new face to the tier, but it received an upgrade with the release of Sniper. It now can make use of Snipe Shot well and it is an incredibly frightening thing to face. Its speed tier is 2 points off of being the best in the tier, only being outpaced by Noivern, which cannot come in safely at all. Inteleon is more than just speed, though, backed by Drizzle allows it to fire off mindlessly strong Water-type attacks, very similarly to Keldeo, but you trade off bulk, a few points of Special attack, and a great Fighting-type STAB for more speed and the potential to abuse Snipe Shot + Sniper. These two become absolutely deadly in rain, and they are absolutely not the only options.

This is not all Rain has to offer, though. Every component of rain is nearly as good as the other, if not just as good. Heliolisk and Noivern are both incredibly potent on rain and are given 100% accurate STABs while also being incredibly fits on rain to act as a Water resist that isn't a Water-type (thanks to Dry Skin for Heliolisk). The Swift Swim Pokemon are also insanely powerful, and there are a vast amount to choose from. They may not be as potent as the Pokemon I've already covered, but they are no slouches in the slightest.


On 6/19/2020, the UnderUsed Council voted to ban Chansey.



Chansey does Chansey things. Its bulk is absolutely obscene. If you aren't a choiced Fighting-type, you won't be knocking it out. It has its issues for sure, due to Knock Off and a lack of an offensive presence, but those are nothing compared to what Chansey can do. Even right now, Chansey feasts on this metagame. Chansey has a ton of tools, most notably is its newest tool, albeit one that it's had before; Teleport. While Wish and Teleport are not compatible at the same time, it is not issue for Chansey. Teleport is an incredible tool for Chansey to utilize, grabbing free turns for all of the great offensive breakers we have in the tier. Teleport Chansey is the momentum grabber; it's near impossible to OHKO and brings in the breaker of choice incredibly safe. On top of Teleport, Chansey makes great use of things like Counter and Thunder Wave right now. This metagame is incredibly offensive, and these moves feast against anything that isn't a Choice Band Pangoro. Traditionally useful moves such as Toxic, Heal Bell, and Wish are all incredibly too, of course. There is so much Chansey can do, even for teams that aren't full on stall. It is nonsensical how good it is.


On 7/1/2020, the UnderUsed Council voted to unban Crawdaunt, Gengar, and Obstagoon.



The metagame has developed a lot since these three were initially banned; in fact, it's been six and a half months since they were banned. We have a lot of new Pokemon, a lot of new top threats, and a lot of metagame changes that could potentially lessen these three's impact on the tier. I won't be writing an in depth reasoning for each as to why things may change, when I will regardless of the outcome in the coming days when they are voted on again, but I will write something brief. The metagame has gotten significantly more offensive than it was at the time these three were banned; balance as a playstyle is questionable, the tier is faster and stronger than it was before. Crawdaunt's breaking prowess is unmatched, but with the tier contentiously getting faster and stronger, it faces competition and cannot break like it used to. Incineroar, Blissey, and Porygon2 now are legal and top tier Pokemon, making Gengar's Ghost-type STAB far less insane than it was when it was banned. The speed Obstagoon has is no longer a premier speed tier thanks to things like Cobalion and Keldeo dropping. All of these are potential reasonings as to why these Pokemon may not be as broken as they once were, but we'll find out about that in the coming days.


On 7/5/2020, the UnderUsed Council voted to ban Aegislash, Conkeldurr, and Gengar.



:Aegislash:

I don't think this ban comes as a surprise to anyone; Aegislash went from Uber to Uber to UU. This Pokemon has an absurd amount of tools to run rampant in this metagame and can run virtually any type of set effectively. Its absurd stats, defensive typing, offensive typing, and movepool give it practically every tool it could ever need in this tier. From SD Balloon to Specs to SubToxic, and many more in between, Aegislash could pull off an array of sets and absolutely dominated the metagame for the short period of time it was around.

:Conkeldurr:

To anyone who played SM UU actively during the early stages of the tier, I'm sure they vividly remember how absurdly broken Conkeldurr was. Conkeldurr is a powerhouse; it's offensive stats, moves, and bulk coupled with Guts make it incredibly difficult to take on. Every game results in a straight up guessing game where, if you get it wrong, you'll probably lose on the spot. And it doesn't help that Conkeldurr's moves are all incredibly easy to spam.

:Gengar:

Gengar returned, and is now gone again. Gengar is quite simple; it's fast and absurdly strong. There is no way to beat its STABs + Focus Blast and its speed tier is extremely good (for something outsped by Noivern). This one is pretty straightforward; it's fast, it's strong, it has Nasty Plot, it's STABs + Focus Blast are absurdly powerful in this metagame, and theres no Pursuit. If you'd like to see some reasoning as to why we banned Gengar in the first place back in January, check here and here.

---

:Crawdaunt: :Obstagoon:

The two Pokemon banned alongside Gengar in January remain unbanned! The metagame has changed a lot since then, and these two Pokemon are nowhere near as dominant as they once were.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

phantom

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RarelyUsed

On February 16th, 2020, the RU council voted to ban Barbaracle, Pangoro, Shiftry, and Sigilyph from SS RU.

Barbaracle
atomicllamas - DNB
Averardo - Ban
Bebo - Ban
eifo - Ban
EviGaro - Ban
Feliburn - Ban
MrAldo - DNB
ODR - DNB
phantom - Ban

Pangoro
atomicllamas - Ban
Averardo - Ban
Bebo - Ban
eifo - Ban
EviGaro - Ban
Feliburn - Ban
MrAldo - Ban
ODR - Ban
phantom - Ban

Shiftry
atomicllamas - Ban
Averardo - Ban
Bebo - DNB
eifo - DNB
EviGaro - Ban
Feliburn - DNB
MrAldo - DNB
ODR - Ban
phantom - Ban

Sigilyph
atomicllamas - DNB
Averardo - Ban
Bebo - Ban
eifo - Ban
EviGaro - Ban
Feliburn - DNB
MrAldo - Ban
ODR - Ban
phantom - Ban
Barbaracle
atomicllamas: Barbaracle: Do Not Ban - This one is tough and probably should be revisited later, the reality is I just haven't seen enough of it in terms of usage or success in order to feel comfortable banning it at this point. It certainly has some customizable movesets in order to get past would be counters like Gastrodon and Bewear, but there are still a bunch of ways to deal with it in terms of both offensive pressure and defensive answers. I think where Barbaracle really succeeds is on Aurora Veil, but I haven't seen any success with those teams yet, again, as those teams improve, its possible Barbaracle (or veil) will need to be revisited.

Averardo: Barbaracle: ban. Barbaracle is one of the best setup sweepers in the tier. After one shell smash, its almost impossible to revengkill, especially if under screens. Opportunities to setup are also not hard to find, since it can easily abuse Snorlax, Choice locked Pokemon like Goodra, Rillaboom or Passimian, or just anything that doesnt hit it with a super effective move. Its combination of stabs is the most threatning in the tier, with enough coverage to hit checks like Gastrodon or Quagsire with Grass Knot.

Bebo: barbaracle: ban. This mon is also unhealthy and most teams really struggle with being able to avoid it setting up and just straight up winning. Our best checks are probably like quag and gastro and even then any team that dont have those 2 could very easily be broken up with. It's also way too easy to set up with the meta we have currently this mon really just doesn't give the tier anything it sets up and wins and has very minimal counterplay.

eifo: Barbaracle: ban. The meta is not centered around it, but I believe this is mostly bc users have not yet caught on to how problematic it is, due to the arguably more toxic presence of mons such as Pangoro, Sigilyph and Salazzle. That being said, we have a grand total of two mainstream mons which can tank a hit from +2 barb: Vileplume and Gurdurr (which it is a stretch to even call mainstream). Our ways of revenging it are also limited to obscure mons such as Mach Punch Hitmontop/chan/lee and Scarf Salazzle. This in my eyes makes Barb a very unhealthy presence in every game it is brought to, as unless you have any of the above on every single team, it forces the player to play in ways in which it would not in any other given matchup in order to prevent it from ever setting up. E.g. you can't kill Sigilyph with Scarf Passimian Knock Off, bc then the Barb comes in, sets up and wins.

EviGaro: Barbaracle: Ban: Despite losing the z-move, Barbaracle finds itself in a much, much slower metagame with also limited defensive counterplay to its Life Orb set and the death of hidden power lures on something like Scarf Salazzle, making it a lot more reliable to do something. Like Spirit alluded to, Barbaracle has quite a few supporting assets helping it do its thing, from veil to the rarer but effective Psychic Terrain from Indeedee-F, not only cutting down on the priority moves hitting it but also providing it Healing Wish support on top of it. Also like Spirit said, Barbaracle still has a tremendous attack stat allowing it to break when opponents hurry to their countermeasure or try to hit it as it would setup, allowing it to do more damage than just being a setup mon that can hopefully clean a game.

Feliburn: Barbaracle: Ban I don't really think Barbaracle is broken, ever since its introduction in gen 6 it's been the one mon that always has the potential to break teams but then teams adapt to it rather quickly, however back then we could slap Hidden Power Grass on most mons and call it a day. Currently it finds a lot of set up opportunities and the defensive cores aren't as anti Barb as they were in the past so sure this mon can leave.

MrAldo: Barbaracle: Do Not Ban
With Home now I believe we need to see Barbaracle a bit more doing its thing to take a better course of action. It is still doing the same thing since its introduction but in previous cases the meta always managed to adapt to it so I think the metagame right now has room for finding ways of not letting it set up as freely and because of Pangoro and Sigilyph that punish defense so freely I think new ways to handle Barbaracle like seeing more Gurdurr and what not could be a possibility. Id keep it and see how we adapt to it, I freely banning it would be a very abrupt move to do right now.

Odd Della Robbia: Barbaracle - Do not ban: Not denying this is a big threat, but it finds trouble getting setup opportunities. Dropping it’s own defenses means it basically requires veil/screens support, which can be hard to set up with ninetales torkoal and gigalith being so prominent to block veil. Even then it usually has to take a hit or get statused when setting up, and then it wears itself down with life orb recoil, leaving it easier to revenge kill. Basically I believe there is enough relevant counterplay to barb.

phantom: Barbaracle Ban: Barbaracle is a bit too unhealthy for the tier. I’ve been running LO sets and they’ve been able to cut through dedicated “counters” like Vileplume and Gastrodon with just a bit of hazards support. There’s just not much able to stop it once it gets going, and with the myriad of viable support options like screens and veil, supporting barb doesn’t take a whole lot of effort. Additionally, barb also doubles up as a breaker so even in situations where it doesn’t fully sweep, it still plays an important part in supporting its team by breaking their defensive backbone, thereby letting another sweeper pick up where it left off.
Pangoro
atomicllamas: Pangoro: Ban - Pangoro is a pokemon we clearly lack the defensive capability to deal with in this tier, the only switch in to CB that was consistently able to deal with Pangoro was Mudsdale, but with the release of knock off, Pangoro now can remove its only source of recovery. Knock off also pushes it over the edge vs some of it's other checks like Gurdurr. While Fairies resist both of it's STAB moves, CB Pangoro can easily fit in both Gunk Shot and Bullet Punch which do heavy damage to the fairies in the tier, while Bullet Punch allows it to be pretty functional against offense still. Overall the pressure it puts up against balance teams make it almost impossible to build a solid balance team right now, let alone a more defensively oriented team.

Averardo: Pangoro: ban. Easily the best wallbreaker of the tier. 124 Attack with access to Scrappy and Close Combat provides 0 risks and high rewards. It also just got back Knock Off, making previous switchins like Musdale and Vileplume worst checks. Its bulk and access to Drain Punch also makes it incredibly hard to revengkill. Overall, i think the pressure Pangoro puts on the teambuilder is too unhealthy for the tier.

Bebo: Pangoro: ban. I would've still voted ban before it even got knockoff this mon is crazy no matter what you will be weak to it and it has very few counter play. With the addition of knock there is literally no safe switch in nothing wants to take a huge knock and lose its item along it. Scrappy allows it to click CC whenever it likes with no drawback

eifo: Pangoro: Ban. There is not a single switchin to Pangoro. Every single mon in the tier gets OHKO'd or 2HKO'd. It thus single handedly invalidates bulkier teams, which in my eyes is enough to be deemed broken. Additonally, its power forces every single mon to carry some coverage for it, which it would otherwise never run: e.g. Air Slash Sigilyph, Superpower Gigalith, Dazzling Gleam Xatu etc. Lastly, it's a brainless mon that you can just get in and click Scrappy CB CC with, as even our best resist in Vileplume takes 40% from it. It is thus not only broken and unhealthy, but also to some degree skilless.

EviGaro: Pangoro: Ban: This is one I really strongly think should be revisited later on, as Pangoro benefits heavily from a meta that isn't super developed and severely lacking in defensive variety that will hopefully come back later on, but for now Pangoro is simply way too strong for the tier and getting Knock back makes it even better. CB is dumb, SD is also dumb and it still has decent bulk + good typing so it can almost always take a hit despite how slow it is

Feliburn: Pangoro: Ban Find Pangoro to be a tad unhealthy for the tier due to the raw power it has, coupled with Scrappy and Choice Band means the predicts you have to make are less because it basically 2HKOs everything in the tier with Banded CC and now after Home the added Knock Off

MrAldo: Pangoro: Ban
A little too good and a little too consistent for the meta to handle. Switch-ins dont exist period, and the mileage it gets for just pressing attacks mindlessly is too rewarding for no risk at all. Scrappy getting the buff and disrupting intimidate is the icing of the cake since you cant even weaken through abilities anymore so... yeah, it has to go. Im happy it is that good but not happy enough to keep it around destroying shit.

Odd Della Robbia: Pangoro - Ban: Very little counterplay. Scrappy close combat has few switchins and most things that can take a close combat will take a hefty chunk from knock off. Zen headbutt and earthquake are good options for getting past the bulky poisons that try to wall it, so it has no real counters.

phantom: Pangoro Ban: Pangoro punishes teams excessively each time it gets in, even more so than anything else voted on the slate. At least with Sigilyph, you can temporarily pivot around it. Best case scenario when dealing with Pangoro is hoping your counter will still be useful with its item stripped away. If you guess incorrectly, it can oftentimes just get a kill instead. I don’t think there’s much that needs to be said here - there’s just no switch ins to Pangoro because of how mindless STAB Knock Off and Scrappy Close Combat is. You’ll pretty much always make headway into the match when clicking either of the two moves just because of how stupidly powerful this mon is.
Shiftry
atomicllamas: Shiftry: Ban - This was my preferred way to deal with sun, I think the issue with Shiftry is that it's a sun sweeper that doesn't struggle with steels in the same way that Vileplume and Leafeon do. Knock off release only serves to make it a better sun teammate for Vileplume and the fire Pokemon. The other thing that makes Shiftry so much harder to deal with is that you can run Sucker Punch on it so when sun ends it is still very difficult to check offensively, for example a scarf Vanilluxe + something that can deal with the Fire mons should be an adequate sun answer, but scarf Vanilluxe falls to a +2 Sucker Punch. I think for the time being Shiftry is the thing that is too much for RU, not the other aspects of the tier.

Averardo: Shiftry: ban. Shiftry is the best Sun Sweeper, and for good reasons. Very good stabs in Solar Blade and Knock Off, incredible Speed under sun, making it almost impossible to revengkill if not with some Mach Punch users like Gurdurr, good coverage in sun-boosted Heat Wave, and a good setup move in Growth. This combination makes Shiftry almost impossible to check properly, something that all the other sun abusers dont lack.

Bebo: Shiftry: do not ban. Why are we even choosing to ban this mon out of all things. I've made plenty of teams and i can confidently say i doubt this is the mon we should be testing i completely agree with eifo and feli and think we should focus our attention on something else like trapinch. Sun has a hard counter which is gigalth trapinch completely destroys that counter on its own allowing sun to do whatever it wants making it crazy good.

eifo: Shiftry: do not ban. I don't see how this mon is even remotely close to being broken. It is not too good relative to the rest of the meta, the meta is not centralized around it and it does not cause severe team matchup restriction, as we have plenty of offensive and defensive checks for it that are by no means obscure. If people want to nerf sun, I think they should look to more problematic mons such as Trapinch. Trapinch traps and kills sun's best counter in Gigalith without the Gigalith user being able to do anything about it; i.e. it is skilless by nature. Shiftry, however, is not particularly problematic in my eyes.

EviGaro: Shiftry: Ban: If it wasn't for Home coming out right in the middle of the Great Sun Debate I would probably vote no ban, but if there's one thing clear in Gen 8 is that removing items is very very very good. Add to that a ridiculous stab under sun, an ability to go to +2 on both sides under sun or just a regular +2 in attack without it mean it has ton of options to break teams with an otherwise decent speed even without sun boosts. This is another one I'm perfectly willing to re-visit later on though, as it could maybe not be the right call to nerf the sun playstyle, but Shiftry has enough tools making me think that we can start by doing this first and see how the metagame develop after.

Feliburn: Shiftry: Do Not Ban Like I've said previously, Shiftry is the one mon that abuses sun the best, and now it has access to Knock Off making it better. However I don't think this is the mon that makes sun outright broken, I still think Trapinch is a bigger problem for beating sun rather than Shiftry.

MrAldo: Shiftry: Do Not Ban
Im from the philosophy that is something is broken under an specific scenario then isnt the mon fault. Sun isnt broken without Shiftry, but Shiftry isnt broken without Sun either if you ask me. I think Drought is at fault here and while Sun is far less good without Shiftry I dont believe it is a healthy playstyle to have on a meta with far less sun checks if you ask me. It is a cool mixed attacker and wallbreaker and I think it deserve without Sun on the map, but it is how it is.

Odd Della Robbia: Shiftry - Ban: Shiftry is by far the most threatening sweeper under sun, especially now that it has regained knock off from Home’s release. Even outside of sun it can be a scary breaker with SD and still utilize sucker punch for faster foes. Both of these sets can be extremely difficult to revenge kill when set up

phantom: Shiftry Ban: I think Shiftry is a bit much to deal with. It can circumvent various priority users with boosted sucker punches and now with it having access to Knock Off, previous counters like Torkoal and Turtonator are no longer effective at stopping it. This in addition to having insane speed and enhanced coverage under sun makes it a little too difficult to play around. Its switch-in opportunities are fairly limited, which is the main thing keeping it from being as difficult to stop as the other mons being voted on, but there’s just not much counterplay available once it actually does get in, which isn’t that difficult to provide given all the voltturn users in the tier.
Sigilyph
atomicllamas: Sigilyph: Do Not Ban - Another tough one that I think should be revisited in the future. I think Sigilyph has been overhyped and is something that is better on paper than in practice. While the removal of pursuit has certainly made it better, I think the drop of home will be a net negative for it, Defog and Toxic hurt it as much as help it, by reducing pressure on defensive mons and improving defensive mons in general, while Knock Off coming back is certainly to it's detriment. Additionally, there are a lot of things on offense that can take a hit and KO back, or outspeed and take it down. Defensive teams struggle a little more with setup Sigilyph but I still think there are plenty of otherwise good options you can fit on your team to deal with Sigi.

Averardo: Sigilyph: ban. Sigilyph can just do anything. Setup, remove hazards, spread status, or just clean teams thanks to its immense coverage, making finding a check even harder. Its speed is also very good, being outspeeded by few RU viable mons. Magic Guard also makes playing around it even harder, since its immune to Toxic and hazards.

Bebo: sigilyph: ban. I really dont think this mon offers anything good for this tier its just straight up busted and magic guard is way too good in this meta. It can so easily break through its checks and has the coverage to do with the likes of energyball and stabs. I've been using the CM set and its insane how easy it is to just set up with this mon and win. It's speed tier is crazy good and out-speeds silvally's so yeah busted

eifo: Sigilyph: ban. Sigilyph is a perfect description of a mon that is both broken and unhealthy. It's too good relative to the meta, the meta is completely centralized around it and it causes severe team matchup restriction. We lack good defensive answers for it, it's faster than 95% of the meta and it has several different sets, each with different counters. A mon that may beat AoA, may not beat Roost 3 attacks, CM Roost, or Cosmic Power + Stored power. A mon that may beat one variation of its coverage, may not take on others. E.g. Goodra switches in on Psychic, but not Psyshock. Escav/Lix/Steelvally switches in on some sets, but not Heat Wave. Gastro switches in on some sets, but not Energy Ball. Etc etc.

EviGaro: Sigilyph Ban: Sigilyph does too many things too well for it to be a very stable presence in the tier: it's an excellent breaker with limited switches, it's an amazing defogger with great sustain and it has incredible setup capabilities that can allow it to go past multiple checks. While in some ways it doesn't look that different to his former SM NU role, the death of pursuit, the complete lack of good defensive pivots and a speed tier that got so much better from last gen to this are all massive boons that make it definitely overwhelming. The ways to revenge Sigilyph nowadays are limited to an handful of mons that aren't all particularly great - Boltund, Liepard, Cinccino, Galvantula - which are massively unreliable as switchins and can't force it to take damage anyway, or scarfers that need to lock into Knock for the most part due to more than one of them having stabs that Sigilyph keep in check.

Feliburn: Sigilyph: Do Not Ban I've found Sigilyph to be less and less broken as it felt when the tier started, it's an incredibly good pokemon but I really don't think it's ban worthy. In fact, I've seen more teams now using it less and having more counter play to it at the same time, making it seem p manageable for the tier.

MrAldo: Sigilyph: Ban
Same venue as Pangoro, except with more stuff going for it. We all know what Sigi does but this time the metagame is the most favorable it has been for it, maybe ever. A really privilegued speed tier in a meta where stuff is sluggish, No Pursuit is a big boom for it cause there is literally no way to effectively punish it, and other sets have ways around its defensive checks so it is super hard to handle in the grand scope of things, hazards arent even an option for it. Yeah, I think it has to go as much as I like it.

Odd Della Robbia: Sigilyph - Ban: Excellent speed tier and coverage. Magic guard protecting it from getting worn down by life orb, weather, and status make it tough for defensive mons to chip it down, and most of the Pokémon capable of taking hits from it don’t have reliable recovery and will lose in the long game.

phantom: Sigilyph Ban: Sigilyph is ridiculous. It can perform a number of sets that all have different counters. Being as fast as it is and no longer being punished by Pursuit makes it difficult to get a handle on. It’s also able to sustain itself throughout the match too easily with the combination of Roost + Magic Guard, so oftentimes if your dedicated check can’t also recover as quickly, which is usually the case with most Sigilyph checks, then a well played Sigilyph will be able to outlast said counter 9/10.

On March 13th, 2020, the RU council voted to ban Goodra from SS RU.

Ajna - Ban
atomicllamas - Ban
Averardo - Ban
Bebo - Ban
EviGaro - Ban
Feliburn - Ban
MrAldo - Ban
ODR - Ban
phantom - Ban
Ajna: ban: i believe that goodra is ban worthy due to the combination of its lack of reliable checks/counters, its great defensive typing, and its speed tier. goodra effectively has no counters due to the sheer amount of moves it can run. my decision to ban goodra almost complete omits the banded set, even though that set is definitely viable. special goodra alone is able to 2hko every single mon in the tier with the right coverage (bar spdef gastrodon, but it can very easily throw power whip on if it really wanted to). goodra also finds an ample amount of opportunities to come in throughout the game because of its pure dragon typing and great special defense, and sits at the very competitive base 80 speed tier. tldr, goodra is too much for the tier to handle

atomicllamas: Goodra: Ban - With the recent tier shifts, Goodra finds itself in an incredible position in the RU tier. Prior to the shifts Gigalith, one of the best answers to the specs and scarf sets in the tier, was prolific in the tier, but with the shift, we lost by far the best check / counter to the specs set. While we gained some pokemon that Goodra doesn't really care for, the only additional check to specs Goodra we received is Copperajah (AV is fire btw), which is far less splashable than Gigalith. I've found it essentially forces you to run SpD Silvally Fairy or Aromatisse + Steel if you hope to be able to prevent it from getting a free kill every time it comes in on something slower than it or any special attacker without a STAB super effective attack. And none of the good defensive answers have recovery aside from Aromatisse (I neglect to mention Alcreamie, cause the Alcreamie v Goodra match up is not that great). The specs set is just too strong, too bulky, and adequately fast for the RU tier at this point in time, and that's neglecting the Physical sets which can be used to lure in common checks for Goodra.

Averardo: Goodra: Ban. This pokemon has no real counters, since it can easily abuse both his immense special and physical coverage. The special set itself is also almost impossible to check, since the movepool is crazy good and makes every turn a guessing game for what move the goodra will click. Its special bulk is also incredibly high, allowing it to get in for free versus most of the special attackers in the tier. Sap Sipper also allows it to get in for free versus most grass types and make the band set even more threatning. Overall Goodra has too much going for it and it puts an immense pressure in teambuilding.

Bebo: ban: Goodra right now is easily the best mon in the tier. As everyone knows it’s specs set is incredibly strong, as it has solid coverage such as Sludge Wave, Draco Meteor, and Fireblast to hit all the annoying steels, making switch-ins super hard to find. It can also use other options as band, scarf, and lo for surprise factor and are all viable as well. I feel like Goodra also makes building much harder as people have to run the same core to play around goodra. Which I personally find extremely unhealthy in the current meta especially because of the fact that goodra can take advantage of every single turn if it clicks the right move. To top this all up even it’s spdef is amazing to check mons such as rotom, salazzle, vileplume and much more. Overall, at this time, I don't think Goodra is a positive force in the tier and should go.

EviGaro: ban: Goodra's Specs set currently provides too many opportunities on the part of the Goodra user and too many constraints on how to deal with it to be a positive presence in the tier. Its coverage is without faults, and forces balance teams to guess almost everytime despite having a core of three mons that can in theory keep it at bay, or spam protect on defensive mons to limit that over better moves. Goodra's bulk is also incredible, giving it many opportunities to come in and force tough choices and make it a very good target to sustain from a team perspective, stretching those mind games over and over. However, to imply this is simply a problem against balance would be an issue. Goodra's speed, raw power and resists are also extremely good against various kind of offensive builds - sun being the most obvious example - which just again makes it more of an hassle to cover if you're not using a build with the same three defensive mons cores.

Feliburn: Goodra: Ban Goodra is currently the best pokemon in the tier, as a lot of people know it can run Specs, Band and Scarf effectively but lol nobody is using Band or Scarf currently. The special set, be it either Choice Specs or Life Orb, is incredibly strong due to the limited switchins available cause it has a solid coverage, Draco Meteor, Sludge Wave, Thunderbolt, Fire Blast and even Focus Blast to hit Snorlax, making it incredibly hard to play around. Due to this, I feel like Goodra limits variety in building because it forces people to use the same few pokemon that can play around it as cores, making it a very unhealthy pokemon for the tiers development. And this isn't even mentioning it has amazing defensive value with its high Sp Def stat, serving as a check to Salazzle, Vileplume, and other special attackers in the tier. Overall I feel like at the time, Goodra is just not a positive factor for the tier and should go.

MrAldo: BAN
Goodra is a perfect package of amazing coverage in both physical and special, excellent bulk to switch into a lot of stuff and proceed to deal DAMAGE at the target, possess a really good speed tier for the metagame where the things that outspeed cant kill it straight up besides a select few and not all of them are as good and teams need to dedicate whole 3-pokemon cores to deal with it and then pivot into the coverage, which is a guessing game that goes both ways, if the opponent guesses right every time you just lost your defensive core to a single mon... and many of the checks lose to the banded set and viceversa. A little too good for my eyes, deserves a ban.

Odd Della Robbia: Goodra: Ban - Goodra is by far the best Pokémon in the tier, and it puts immense pressure on players in the teambuilder and in practice. It’s great special bulk gives it ample opportunities to come in, and it’s unpredictability and wide range of viable sets leaves the defender guessing what the Goodra is running. Choice Specs and Choice Band sets require the defender to correctly guess which move Goodra is locking into, while mixed attacking sets with Life Orb and Assault Vest have the freedom to switch moves and break through defensive cores with its incredible coverage. For these reasons I believe Goodra is too overcentralizing for the tier and should be banned.

phantom: Ban Counters are non-existent and it’s neither lacking in bulk or speed to make it any easier to deal with. I’ve seen an increase in cores designated towards beating Goodra by switching in on resisted hits and using Protect to scout for its moves, and those teams fall apart if Goodra runs Life Orb. Aside from that... there really isn’t anything else that can deal with it. When the countermeasures are this concentrated and yet still fail, I think it goes to show just how ridiculous this mon is. That’s not even getting into the fact that Goodra can run less effective but still good physical sets that actually take advantage of Sap Sipper and can more easily break through special walls. It has to go.

On April 12th, 2020, the RU council voted to ban Barraskewda and Centiskorch from SS RU.

Barraskewda
Ajna - DNB
atomicllamas - Ban
Averardo - Ban
Bebo - Ban
EviGaro - Ban
Feliburn - DNB
lighthouses - Ban
Mavis - DNB
MrAldo - DNB
ODR - DNB
phantom - Ban

Centiskorch
Ajna - Ban
atomicllamas - Ban
Averardo - Ban
Bebo - Ban
EviGaro - DNB
Feliburn - Ban
lighthouses - Ban
Mavis - Ban
MrAldo - Ban
ODR - DNB
phantom - DNB
Centiskorch
Ajna: centiscorch - ban
this mon lacks any form of reliable, viable switch ins. couple this with its good bulk and decent speed tier and this mon feels like a very clear cut ban for me. it has perfect coverage between fire stab, power whip, and knock, and the mons that would be able to check it, like zard, are incredibly crippled by knock. i don’t see how this mon leads to a fun, playable meta.

atomicllamas: Centiskorch - Ban: Centiskorch is a Pokémon with basically no long term counterplay. The only Pokémon which don't take a lot of damage from Centiskorch's STAB moves or its coverage are Fire-types, which, outside of Rock Slide Charizard and Coalossal do not actually do enough damage back to cleanly counter Centi. Additionally, these Fire-types do not appreciate losing their item (typically Heavy-Duty Boots) which means that even if they can switch in and force it out once they cannot continually answer Centiskorch throughout a typical match. Teambuilding essentially revolves around making a team that does not give any free turns to Centiskorch, otherwise it can easily work its way in and start picking off your team, I do not believe that is healthy for the metagame.

Averardo: Centiskorch: Ban. Just like Barraskewda, Centiskorch has perfect coverage, making it impossible to switch into, and putting incredible pressure on the builder. Fire Lash is also a very brain-dead move, dropping the foe's defense of 1 stage, giving a massive advantage on the Centiskorch user. Its natural bulk and typing with Boots and a good ability in Flash Fire makes it almost impossible to wear down.

Bebo: (BAN) Centiskorch's success in RarelyUsed can be justified a lot by SS changes, specially the addition of Heavy Duty Boots, which allow it to come in to come into Stealth Rock with no drawbacks. This can be compared with Pokémon such as Charizard and Salazzle, which used to be deterred by keeping Stealth Rocks up, but another major change on the removal of Hidden Powers made checking those Fire-types way easier, which is not Centiskorch's case. It has really strong coverage in Knock Off and Power Whip, which can severely hinder the checking capabilities of other Fire-types such as Charizard and Coalossal and straight up beat other checks such as Jellicent and Rhydon. That can be also related to Mantine's rise, which could be a very solid spammable check to Centiskorch. Along with it's coverage, it boasts some of the best STAB moves its typing has to offer, with some form of recovery in Leech Life and arguably the best Physical Fire-type move, Fire Lash, which has extremely limited distribution and gives Centiskorch massive offensive capabilities with its 100% defense drop rate. Besides that, Centiskorch also has other movepool options such as Coil and Overheat to overcome specific situations. Defensively, Centiskorch offer useful resistances to Fighting, Grass, Ice, Steel, and a Fire immunity through Flash Fire, which boosts Centiskorch's Fire power even further. The common solution to disallow Centiskorch to switch into Pokémon it can regularly beat is to run Rock-type in Pokémon such as Silvally Steel/Fairy, Passimian, and Steelix. All that being said i believe centiskorch is too much for the tier and should be banned.

bkdrew: Centiskorch: BAN This thing has more or less zero defensive counterplay at the moment and I find building for it absolutely infuriating. A simple set of 4 attacks with Boots has zero switchins, since even the Fire-types that resist Bug/Fire/Grass hate having the Boots knocked off. While yes, it's fairly easy to revenge kill due to it's mediocre physical bulk, speed, and handful of common weaknesses, Centiskorch's ability to abuse it's Fire immunity, solid bulk, and good resistances to get on the field and create immediate results with little to no penalty push it over the edge.

EviGaro: Centiskorch: Do Not Ban: I actually don't see it with this mon. Yes, it's quite strong, albeit moreso because Fire Lash is a really really good stab, but it's very slow for this metagame and honestly the typing isn't particularly great either. While yes you see some overprep in terms of running rock slide on your Silvallys that are resisted by it, flying / water / rock weaknesses are terrible in this metagame, and Knock Off, while great on it, is also its worst nemesis. So, practically, Centiskorch doesn't win the matchup against any fire we have despite the flash fire ability, and all fighting types can easily wreck it. It's also falling prey to the fact that spikers are back in form, like Qwilfish and Garbodor, which can make it a bit of an hindrance since it really struggles to keep itself healthy enough and removal is really poor with it. Great overall mon, but it's definitely not the metagame restriction I see it made out to be for me.

Feliburn: Centiskorch: Ban Now finally the one mon I want gone, this mon has no guaranteed switchins beacuse it can just Knock Off all of them, or Fire Lash defense drop into Power Whip KO. It's really absurd because it has a good typing in Fire/Bug and with boots in this gen it really only has Knock Off to worry about. Decent bulk so it finds a lot of opportunities to switch in and Fire Lash always dropping defense means answers can't really take another hit safely after coming in. Basically everyone's trying to fit Rock Slide on every mon just to have somethin to KO it and even then it can switch out so easily cause of the boots. I feel like the tier would be better without it.

lighthouses: Centiskorch: ban
It can run one set(boots 4 atks) with the only choice in moveset being overheat or leech life. All of the deffensive answers for fire types in this tier can't switch into power whip at all, and in the rare case that they can(max def steelix, for example) a simple variation in the moveset can deal with it(overheat, in this example). I strongly believe that the mere presence of centis in this tier pushes it into a state where one must build heavy offense in order to be competitive, and while i think that offense is quite underexplored and has a lot of potential, im sure we can all agree that a single pokemon forcing one playstyle to be objectively better than all the others is an overbearing presence in the game, there is much precedent for this in past tiering decisions as well.

MrAldo: Centiskorch: BAN
An incredibly powerful fire type that we had an idea of what it was capable based on previous ru alpha experiences. Not much has changed since then, still a very constricting force that really warps teambuilding in a pretty uncomfortable way. Forcing rock slide on a bunch of mons, insane coverage for anything that tries to switch into to feel safe and in general thanks to its overall great bulk that isnt enough to avoid 2hkos but pretty hard to kill besides rock moves it is a mon that can trade with a lot of things in practice. And fire lash as the cherry of the cake punishing slower switch-ins lowering their defense. Between knock off, power whip, fire lash, and leech life or other type of coverage nothing really can switch in unharmed and we really lack defensive play against and versus offense it forces rather loopsided trade games... It is too much for the tier atm, who knows in the future but right now it has to go.

Odd Della Robbia: Centiskortch: Do not ban - I personally haven’t had issues dealing with this thing. It’s coverage is great but it’s held back by its low speed tier and lack of immediate power. A large portion of the metagame is able to outspeed and threaten it, preventing it from putting in the work it seems like it could do at team preview. It also can easily be worn down with various Rocky Helmet users, such Qwilfish and Weezing and lacks reliable recovery.

phantom: Centiskorch - Do not Ban
I’m not convinced that this needs to go quite yet. While Centiskorch has limited defensive counters, it’s still quite slow and easy to lure. I find that even against Pokemon like Vileplume, it isn’t guaranteed a safe switch in due to the threat of Sludge Bomb poison, whereas Pokemon like Ninetales can defeat it with boosted Psyshock. Its switch-in opportunities are surprisingly limited from my experience and can be narrowed down further in the builder despite its great special bulk, and even if it does manage to get in, there are a few Pokemon like Charizard, Coalossal, Passimian, etc that can switch in at least once and hold it off.
Barraskewda
Ajna: barraskweda - no ban
this mon is absolutely fine for the meta. it’s a fun, fast breaker; it’s the literal definition of a glass cannon. lo is far to weak to warrant it being called unhealthy, and cb is incredibly prediction reliant. it has great defensive checks in mons like jellicent and vileplume, and decent offensive ones like scarf rilla, toxicroak, and whimsicott. pretty clear no ban for me.

atomicllamas: Barraskewda - Ban: Due to its high speed tier, unresisted coverage and great attack stat, Barraskewda simply puts too much strain on team building in the RU tier. Its counters are essentially limited to physically defensive Lanturn and Gastrodon, the former is prone to be worn down and difficult to fit onto teams further limiting the number of solid answers. With offensive teams you are required to dance around Barraskewda's attacks or sack a Pokémon in order to get your choice scarf/revenge killer in against Barraskewda. So, while Barraskewda is one of the faces of offense in the tier, I believe its presence actually constrains offensive builds in the tier too much.

Averardo: Barraskewda: Ban. With its crazy speed, attack and movepool, Barraskewda is one of the most threatning mon in the tier. Psychic Fang for Vileplume, Crunch for Jellicent, and a good spammable coverage in close combat, Barraskewda is almost impossible to switch into, putting massive pressure both on the builder and in battle. Its frail, but thats the deal with every glass cannon, and its not enough of an argument to keep it on the tier.

Bebo:(BAN) Barraskewda was kind of a sleeper Pokemon before the tier shifts happened. The main trigger that exposed its viability and power was the rise of Mantine, which was a very consistent check to its most powerful moves and was seen in almost all teams, being the second most used Pokémon in the first 3 weeks of RUPL. That made players realize how little defensive counterplay Barraskewda really has after Mantines departure, having few pokemon that can take a STAB Liquidation, and can usually be very weakened or KOed by Barraskewda coverage, such as Toxicroak, Vileplume, Jellicent, Virizion, and Gastrodon. It also boasts a amazing speed tier with its 136 Speed stat, that allows it to outspeed some of the fastest non boosted Pokemon this tier has to offer while running an Adamant Nature to improve its damage output even further with its near perfect coverage in Psychic Fangs, Close Combat, and Crunch. Barraskewda works best when supported by pivoting, which can be provided by tier staples such as Silvally forms, Xatu, Passimian and Vikavolt, which can give it momentum to come in for free on the field and wreak havoc on opposing teams. I find this mon too much for the tier to handle with its crazy speed and breaking power making it unhealthy for RarelyUsed.

bkdrew: Barraskewda: NO BAN Barraskewda's main issue right now is it's very hit or miss nature: it is the epitome of a glass cannon, it needs to kill what's in front of it or it can and will die. While it's hard answers are few, namely limited to Gastrodon and Lanturn, there's a lot of things that can take one hit then proceed to flatten Barraskewda. When you combine this with it's absolute inability to contribute to it's team's defensive backbone even in the slightest, you end up with a super-powerful but super-fragile glass Pokemon that can only afford to make plays a small handful of times in a given game. With this in mind, I don't believe Barraskewda is a problematic Pokemon right now.

EviGaro: Barraskewda: Ban: Barraskewda's counterplay involves so many guessing games that it's a bit difficult for me to see the positives it brings to the tier. While those guessing games can definitely be a two ways street as Barraskewda's bulk is completely non existent and a bad prediction can set it back significantly, its power and unmatched's speed gives you a lot more pressure to build against it. Additionally, its reliable answers are extremely passive, which is a very notable issue in a metagame that got a lot more fast paced with the newest shifts as the lynchpin of the tier moved away from Mantine balance to whatever this is that we have.

Feliburn: Barraskewda: Do Not Ban Now this one is interesting, ever since Barra dropped we all thought it was gonna be this broken fast breaker with few counters, even Mantine dropped to banded Double Edge, and now that Mantine is gone it can run other moves to not take recoil and increase its longevity. Surprisingly, on paper this mon did get better without Mantine but as usual, it falls short in practice. Jellicent becoming a very good water type in the tier and Gastrodon and Toxicroak rising in usage both put a stop to it and prevent it from spamming the Water Stab. It sounds like there's little counterplay to it but the meta is offensive enough to where it barely gets chances to be sent in. Personally voting not to ban it despite it being obvious this pokemon has gotten way better.

lighthouses: Barraskewda: ban
The tier is, arguably, currently limited to vileplume as the sole viable deffensive grass type option, with 3 water absorb mons in jellicent, gastro, and toxicroak; while it IS true that one is perfectly able to outplay skewda possesing one of those deffensive answers and a revenge killing option, the player using the fish will always be able to play more relaxed, while the one in the receiving end necessarily has to play much better to win completely independent of the quality of their team; I say this because the metagame simply lacks the tools for this to be mitigated in the teambuilder, our current list of mons isn't preppared to handle offensive waters at all, and one that is this fast is just too much.

MrAldo[IMG alt=":<br />
Barraskewda:"]https://www.smogon.com/forums//media/minisprites/barraskewda.png[/IMG] DO NOT BAN
This is where it gets tricky, I can see the arguments onto why this mon can be considered unhealthy and even somewhat busted but I personally dont see it right now. While it can be a pain to switch into I think it has provide good benefits in terms of building options. RU never had a mon that strong and fast at the same time and I think having a cleaner of that quality is good for offensive and balanced builds. Also, it is a mon that requires more conditioning than any of the mons in this slate, being a big glass cannon you really need to play it right cause if it miss a KO it is as good as gone and I think the tier can handle it if water resists werent so punished by many things right now. I think this one deserves another shot, I love having a naturally fast attacker that could fresh up building a bit and add speed and power on a tier that has pretty barren options besides niche stuff, kind like mega sceptile did past gen tbh. Having an option as a cleaner that doesnt need scarf to bring you speed is a really undervalued quality that easily outweight its potentially bad effect in the meta tbh. Do Not Ban, Id like to see more of barraskewda.

Odd Della Robbia: Barraskewda: Do not ban - The typical glass cannon mon, fish requires a lot of support from teammates clicking U-turn and Parting Shot to get opportunities to come in. It has a hard time clicking its water STABS in a tier with so many resists and immunities around. It wears itself down with life orb and hazards and is easy to force out with a scarf U-turn. I really don’t think this mon deserves a ban.

phantom: Barraskewda - Ban
It’s too easy to support with countermeasures being highly exploitable and limited. Fish only has one counter in the entire tier and enough coverage to 2HKO everything else. Even Gastrodon is forced to burn a turn if it comes in on a coverage move. In addition, Life Orb sets require proper guesswork in order to play around and oftentimes have the potential to cheese through counters with defense drops from Liquidation even if you do guess right. While its bulk holds it back, the tier isn’t lacking in pivots that can help it come in safely, and there isn’t a whole lot of mons capable of taking turns on it or forcing it out except on telegraphed revenge kill from scarfers, of which is easy to exploit.

On May 17th, 2020, the RU council voted to ban Inteleon and Slurpuff from SS RU.

Inteleon
Ajna - Ban
atomicllamas - DNB
Averardo - DNB
Bebo - Ban
EviGaro - Ban
Feliburn - Ban
MrAldo - Ban
ODR - Ban
phantom - Ban

Slurpuff
Ajna - Ban
atomicllamas - Ban
Averardo - Ban
Bebo - Ban
EviGaro - Ban
Feliburn - Ban
MrAldo - Ban
ODR - Ban
phantom - Ban
Inteleon
Ajna: im voting ban for inteleon on the basis that it is extremely restricting in the builder. inteleon on paper is near impossible to counter without vaporeon, and it can still beat vap that with the sub sd set that has been running around. it reminds me barraskewda in that’s a glass cannon water type, but it also has multiple sets and better bulk.

atomicllamas: Do Not Ban. While Inteleon is very good and potentially is too constraining for team building the same way that Barraskewda was. Its much more limited coverage and inability to get past bulky waters without resorting to a sub SD set (which has its own issues and also loses to waters that aren't Vaporeon) means that it is not quite problematic in RU. I think more exploration may be necessary and I'm very borderline on this one, but I think balanced and defensive teams have several options to deal with Inteleon while offensive teams have a more limited selection, they also give Inteleon limited chances to do much breaking, and several creative options exist for offensive teams which allow it to be dealt with more easily

Averardo: No Ban. I dont really think Inteleon is that unhealthy for the tier. All his checks like Vaporeon, Gastrodon and Virizion i think are Pokemon people would run regardless, regardless of Inteleon being in the tier or not. Plus, its frail so its not hard to pressure it. I think offensive teams would also be mediocre even with Inteleon or not. We have plenty of fast strong attackers that annoy offensive teams, Inteleon is just another one of them.
Bebo (ban): I find Inteleon quite unhealthy to an extent due to the fact that it has an amazing speed and hits pretty hard which makes it extremely hard for teams more torwarded offense to have a chance. Then that turns to every team pretty much needs a vaporeon or some sort of bulky water. This pokemon is pretty much single handedly stopping an entire playstyle from being viable or even close to that. Another good point is its a u-turn bot any checks or counters that you would switch into Inteleon most of the time you'd be losing momentum as most of those switchins will usually be passive waters making the momentum shift to the user using Inteleon.

EviGaro: Ban: While in some ways it is similar to Barraskewda, the main problem I see with Inteleon is that its water stab is far, far more threatening, and poses a large problem that current building is extremely limited against that specifically. Inteleon then boasts extremely good coverage for the offensive matchup, being able to have a move for nearly any check you would find on common offence builds. It struggles against some of the bulkier water, but flinching coverage and uturn mitigate that. And that's just with the specs set, there's some exploration to be made against it but Inteleon itself is underexplored and even arguably doesn't even need to be explored due to how dumb good that one set is.

Feliburn: Ban Inteleon is a great offensive mon, faster than the majority of the tier and hits incredibly strong with specs sets. Baically forces you to run one of the 3 water absorb mons in the tier because other mons get overwhelmed easily by the coverage and raw power. This imo makes for a very restrictive meta due to having to always use one of them. And even then ppl have used Sub SD sets to abuse mons like Vaporeon and Jellicent to freely set up and win. The tier would be way better without it

MrAldo BAN

Inteleon is very cool and all, but right now it causes an extremely polarizing effect on the metagame that is just very unpleasant. Offense flat out loses to this Pokemon since the potential offensive counterplay is extremely niche to the point arctovish is being utilized to just limit this mon, and stuff like virizion and toxicroak get absolutely mauled by the coverage which is sufficient to be too much to handle which is hilarious, and somewhat sad. Best offense it can do it has a water immunity/resistance and have a mon to outspeed and kill it, which are pretty much scarfers that can be take advantage of, and Boltund which is cool and can pack a punch but it is still not enough. It having U-turn is super annoying too, allowing it to heavily capitalize on its switch-ins and the inteleon users can proceed to go into a mon that beat the water resistance. In a vacuum it is very similar to barraskewda, but that fish was considerably frailer, no setup moves and no u-turn saw if barraskewda got something wrong it was riskier. BO and Balance do have the tools to handle with new drops like Vaporeon, Snorlax, Ferroseed, Gastrodon among other cool Pokemon but Inteleon can funnily enough pull off some sub setup sets to take advantage of stuff like vaporeon and jellicent and toxicroak so they arent that good to handle it, the coverage is sufficient to pull that off very well sadly. BAN

Odd Della Robbia: Ban - Inteleon forces too big of a strain on players in the teambuilder. Its ability to outspeed and OHKO/2HKO a large portion of the metagame invalidates offensive teams as they lack reliable switchins. Players are forced to run a bulky water or a Snorlax to reliably check Inteleon, and that’s just the Choice Specs set. It can also viably run a Substitute + Swords Dance set that is able to turn would-be counters like Vaporeon and Jellicent into setup fodder, and is capable of sweeping through an entire team if subbed down into salac berry and torrent range.

phantom: Ban Way too fast and too strong. It has maybe 2 counters in the entire tier and can beat or overpower just about anything else. Its counters are also exclusively defensive, which leaves little viable counter play available for anything faster than balance except for random junk like Wishiwashi. Its counters being so limited also makes it easy to build teams around Inteleon to pressure the few Pokemon capable of holding it off. Overall, it’s a little too restrictive and should probably go.
Slurpuff
Ajna: i’m voting ban for slurpuff on the basis that it is uncompetitive. it is a mon that offers little to no defensive utility that wins games based solely on matchup. slurpuff does not even need proper support in the form of screens, veil, or memento to win games. i think slurpuff impacts our tier in an unhealthy way.

atomicllamas: Ban. Slurpuff is a Pokémon that has a negative effect on the meta game, due to both the large influence it has on the team builder and also the very careful counterplay it demands when you play against it. While Slurpuff has a few soft counters, they all require being at, or near full health, and the only Pokémon that both counters Slurpuff well and has reliable recovery is Vileplume. Due to its great typing and decent bulk for an offensive Pokémon it finds many opportunities to set up, if no hazards are up it can set up against anything that does not deal 75% or more damage. This includes all Virizion sets lacking Leaf Storm, Passimian locked into any move that isn't gunk shot, Life Orb Raichu-A (93.3% of the time), and Xatu from just the A+ and higher (and there are more that are rolls). If you carry any of these Pokémon you are required to carry a full counter to Slurpuff - and keep it at high enough health to deal with a +6 Slurpuff. Or carry a prankster encore mon and hard switch into Slurpuff every time (this includes Sableye which takes ~70 from play rough, and Whimsicott which takes ~40-60 depending on spreads), which can work if the opponent plays it wrong but is not guaranteed. The only viable means of revenge killing puff is Choice Scarf Salazzle. And this doesn't even get into the CM sets which have a different set of counters and more ways to get around them. Slurpuff overall just strains teambuilding and game play too much to be healthy for the RU tier.

Averardo: Ban. The definition of uncompetitive. Click one move and win. The fall in usage of Vileplume made dealing with this mon so much harder, and even then, CMind sets are pretty powerfull on their own.

Bebo (ban). oh fuck no please not another bebo ru open. This thing is so fucking extremely dumb that almost every team I've been seeing lately just gets smashed the second it finds a chance to set up. I've been seeing screens get some usage making it even extremely easy for this mon to just set up early-game and win the game right there. Slurpuff encourages these unhealthy cheese teams that no one wants to face and it fs needs to go

EviGaro: Ban: I kinda wanted to vote no ban on this because despite the panic I have not seen it outright win a lot, in fact the Belly Drum set to me isn't particularly amazing in its own right. Veil is an issue but Veil as a playstyle has lots of issues too. What I really, really dislike about Slurpuff is terrain Slurpuff, and I think people usually sleep on it. Electric Terrain is actually extremely viable since the drop of Raichu-Alola, and turns Slurpuff into a ridiculous partner and potential wincon. Indeedee support is less useful in some ways due to the defence boost being favourable, but not being owned by prankster and still being able to setup on common scarfers makes it still a massive threat. I think terrain is a bit underexplored and from what I see Slurpuff is definitely the major factor that can unbalance it, other unburdens like Hitmonlee, Driftblim or even Thievul are ok but nowhere near as oppressive and don't have as much diversity in making you prep for their setup.

Feliburn: Ban Slurpuff is just a very disgusting pokemon. It has both Veil and Unburden Seed support in the tier, making it easier for it to set up BDs or the annoying CM sets. There are a few mons that can trade with it but with the big ammount of offensive pressure in the tier it's really annoying to either get ur checks weakened for a mon that can set up as easily as Slurpuff or have ur mons torn apart for the heavy hitter in the back to finish u off. Really not that hard to lose with it.

MrAldo BAN

Eh, going back and forth with this one but in the end I think the mon is sufficiently bad for the metagame as a whole. It is fairly interesting cause a while ago thinking about it was somewhat laughable but from shift to shift Slurpuff has just been getting better and better, to a point that can easily get out of control. Main issue is that slurpuff isnt one-dimensional at all, the belly drum set is already threatened enough that pressing the wrong move with like a scarf passimian or like a draco dragon like choice duraludon or whatever can be a death sentence, BUT NOW we have an unburden psychic seed that is actually really good and beat the potential counterplay for the physical belly drum set. 2 great sets that are real easy to support, virtually no scarfers that can take the revenge kill besides salazzle which would rather run something else (and can probably still lose to a well played CM and lose to its coverage), and very easy ways to support both sets making slurpuff an extremely potent setup sweeper that can mess you up just by guessing the wrong set. Yeah, Id be leaning for a BAN on this one in the end, the one of a psychic terrain or electric terrain if you roll with the pincurchin which is a perfectly viable option alongside it together with belly drum... way too much.

Odd Della Robbia: Ban - This mon is simply uncompetitive. It sets up too easily behind screens/veil and can be hard to stop. Calm Mind sets have the coverage to beat the common stops to Belly Drum sets, so it’s often a tossup whether or not you have the tools to check it. The metagame would simply be better off without Slurpuff.

phantom: Ban This mon is kinda silly in its ability to completely turn games on its head. It requires you to preserve your Steelix at near peak condition to stand up to its belly drum set, and that obviously compromises your ability to do anything else with it. Other Belly Drum counters like Weezing, Vileplume, and Garbodor drop to Calm Mind terrain support sets, which is conveniently just as difficult to pin down. Arguably, Slurpuff is the best veil abuser, and the issues that teams already have in dealing with it are compounded even further under veil support.

On June 17th, 2020, the RU council voted to quickban Chansey from SS RU.

Chansey is capable of checking every special attacker in the tier and even some physical attackers while supporting its team innumerably with its various support moves including Wish, Heal Bell, and Stealth Rock. Due to how difficult it is to break, games oftentimes focus to an unhealthy degree on beating opposing Chansey. While Chansey is passive, Its ability to make use of Teleport allows it to find use on a variety of teams and also lessens available counterplay. In addition, its access to various status moves allows it to seriously cripple any would-be checks, making its lack of offensive presence only a minor issue. Chansey’s unprecedented defensive and support capabilities make it too much for the RU tier to handle.

On June 21st, 2020, the RU council voted to quickban Indeedee-M from SS RU.

Now that Indeedee has gained Expanding Force, the only Pokémon capable of holding it off are Dark-types. Its raw power and incredible Speed tier has made it into the single best wallbreaker in the tier. Previous checks such as Snorlax and Steelix are no longer effective due to the raw power of Expanding Force. Due to the fact that Indeedee sets no longer necessitate Psyshock, it can dedicate the rest of its moveslots for coverage options that beat the handful of viable Pokémon immune to Expanding Force. Indeedee also has the option to run Choice Scarf sets, which while not having the same level of power, are a nightmare for offensive teams to deal with, making it a bit unpredictable and even more strenuous for teambuilding. In order to beat Indeedee, teams oftentimes need to dedicate entire cores towards checking it, thus resulting in the meta being heavily warped around its presence. This level of centralization has been deemed far too unhealthy for the tier.
 

MZ

Ban all DLC
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PU Leader
PU

On April 2nd 2020, the PU Council voted to ban Arctovish, Arctozolt, Swoobat, and Silvally-Normal.
Arctozolt:
PUBL: Megazard, Akir, Teddeh, Taskr, Specs, HJAD
PU: Sam I Yam
Abstain: 2xTheTap, TJ

Arctovish:
PUBL: Megazard, Akir, Teddeh, Taskr, Specs, HJAD
PU: 2xTheTap, TJ, Sam I Yam

Swoobat:
PUBL: 2xTheTap, Akir, Teddeh, Taskr, Specs, HJAD
PU: Megazard, TJ, Sam I Yam

Throh:
PUBL: 2xTheTap
PU: Megazard, Akir, Teddeh, TJ, Taskr, Specs, HJAD, Sam I Yam

Noctowl:
PUBL: Megazard, TJ, HJAD
PU: 2xTheTap, Teddeh, Taskr, Specs, Sam I Yam
Abstain: Akir

Ludicolo:
PUBL:
PU: 2xTheTap, Megazard, Akir, Teddeh, TJ, Taskr, Specs, HJAD, Sam I Yam

Type Null:
PUBL: Specs, HJAD
PU: 2xTheTap, Megazard, Akir, Teddeh, TJ, Taskr, Specs, HJAD, Sam I Yam

Stonjourner:
PUBL:
PU: 2xTheTap, Megazard, Akir, Teddeh, TJ, Taskr, Specs, HJAD, Sam I Yam

Silvally-Ground:
PUBL: Megazard, Akir, Teddeh, Taskr, HJAD
PU: 2xTheTap, TJ, Specs, Sam I Yam

Silvally-Normal:
PUBL: 2xTheTap, Megazard, Akir, TJ, Taskr, Specs, HJAD, Sam I Yam
PU: Teddeh

Silvally-Fire:
PUBL: Megazard, Taskr, HJAD
PU: 2xTheTap, Teddeh, TJ, Specs, Sam I Yam
Abstain: Akir
Arctozolt and Arctovish push wallbreaking to its limit, being practically uncounterable offensive behemoths capable of running varied sets and coverage moves because they only need a single attack to devastate nearly all switch-ins. Their typing and speed tier weren't exceptional but Bolt Beak and Fishious Rend simply hit way too hard no matter if it's a Life Orb, Choice Scarf, Choice Band, or other attacking set. Every team would need to run 6 faster Pokemon or pack an Electric and Water immunity and pray that they get every prediction correct, and that's simply too much to expect.

Swoobat, with its ability Simple and excellent speed, stands as one of the most consistent setup sweepers in the format. Nasty Plot giving an unparalleled +4 in one turn makes it a fearsome wallbreaker, and the +2 to both SpAtk and SpDef from Calm Mind makes is both powerful and difficult to revenge kill. It is also possible to give Swoobat the Electric Seed item, effectively giving it +2 to Defense under Electric Terrain, which makes Swoobat even harder to revenge kill. This would all be potentially controllable if it weren't for the fact that Swoobat's natural base 114 Speed making it one of the fastest mons in the format. All of this combined leads to Swoobat being the best and most effective setup sweeper in the format.

Silvally-Normal's ability to hold an item pushed it past every other Silvally form in terms of wallbreaking potential. The tier has very few solid Normal-resists, and both Mawile and Stonjourner being very easy to bait and KO with Flamethrower and Surf respectively only exacerbates the issue. While not as devastatingly strong as Arctozolt/Arctovish or as problematic of a sweeper as Swoobat, the combination of being bulky, fast, powerful, and very versatile all at once pushes it past a tier where most Pokemon excel at only 2-3 of those characteristics.


On April 13 2020, the PU Council voted to ban Noctowl, Silvally-Ground, and Silvally-Fire.
Ludicolo: 0 PUBL / 9 PU
Noctowl: 8 PUBL / 1PU
Pawniard: 1 PUBL / 8 PU
Silvally-Dragon: 4 PUBL / 5 PU
Silvally-Fire: 8 PUBL / 1PU
Silvally-Flying: 1 PUBL / 8 PU
Silvally-Ground: 8 PUBL / 1 PU
Stonjourner: 0 PUBL / 9 PU
Throh: 1 PUBL / 8 PU
Type Null: 0 PUBL / 9 PU
Vulpix: 5 PUBL / 4 PU
Vulpix-Alola: 3 PUBL / 6 PU
Noctowl quickly proved itself to be by far one of the best wallbreakers in the format, if not the best. Thanks to Tinted Lens, Nasty Plot, and Hurricane, Noctowl's list of switch-ins is exceedingly small and arguably non-existent. Choice Specs sets also have more than enough power to 2HKO most targets, even ones that resist Flying and Normal. This resulted in counterplay to Noctowl being realistically limited to Pokemon that were faster or Pokemon that were sidelined, teched, and played specifically for Noctowl. The council reached a near-absolute conclusion from this: Noctowl's overwhelming offensive pressure constricted teambuilding and defensive play far too much to be a healthy part of the metagame.

Silvally Ground is an effective double-edged sword: it is excellent glue for rounding out many teams and making them more consistent, but is also extremely difficult for opponents to check as well. Multi-Attack on Silvally-Ground turns into a more powerful Earthquake that can be paired with Silvally's plethora of coverage options to make switching into it a challenge. Ice Beam, Rock Slide, and others are all such good coverage alongside Ground Multi-Attack that Silvally-Ground can effectively pick and choose its own counters. Combine all of this with U-Turn and Parting Shot, and you have a Pokemon that can pick which checks it can beat and can just U-Turn out on all others. Ultimately the council decided that what Silvally-Ground provided for the tier is overshadowed by the difficulty of stopping it.

Much like its Ground-Type kin, Silvally-Fire is an offensive powerhouse that can pick and choose its own checks and counters. However, Silvally-Fire trades its some of its effective support qualities in favor of much more crushing offensive capabilities. Much of the reasoning was touched on for Silvally-Ground, but Silvally-Fire has arguably better coverage and STAB that is easier to pair with coverage. The council banned Silvally-Fire for a lot of the same reasons as Silvally-Ground: this is a Pokemon that can very easily and reliably pick and choose its own counters while still being an excellent wallbreaker.


On April 24 2020, the PU Council voted to ban Silvally-Flying, Drought, and Heat Rock.
Silvally-Dragon: 5 PUBL / 4 PU
Silvally-Flying: 9 PUBL / 0 PU
Silvally-Flying was simply the latest Silvally to step up as the biggest, most difficult to check offensive threat in the metagame. Multi Attack is incredible STAB and, like all problem Silvallies, its ability to simply Surf or Flamethrower any check away was too much. Flame Charge sweeping sets were also extremely overpowered, with Choice Scarf Manectric being just about the only Pokemon in the metagame capable of reliably revenge killing it after a boost. The tier simply lacks the details to check Pokemon with this combination of Speed, bulk, power, and set diversity.

After a long period of discussion, the PU council decided the best way to nerf Sun teams would be to ban both Drought and Heat Rock. Sun teams were unquestionably overpowered in the meta. Beating Sun came down to a matter of matchup, either your team had very specific checks to handle extremely powerful Sun sweepers like Leafeon or Ivysaur, or it didn't and you just lost. Given how few Pokemon are capable of surviving a Leafeon with 5 turns of Sun still left, this was clearly an issue.

Our goal was to lay down a single ban that could handle Sun for as long as possible, rather than banning only one broken aspect of Sun and needing to nerf another aspect of it later. Because of this, banning individual Pokemon on the playstyle would not be ideal. In order to sufficiently nerf Sun, you would have to ban Leafeon, Ivysaur, and Maractus, at least to start. After that Sun could still potentially be an issue with manual setters like Liepard providing support for powerful but currently lesser seen sweepers like Gloom. Similarly, only banning Drought was deemed to be insufficient. Manual setting is not valuable as Vulpix's ability to set Sun just by switching in, but it's still far too effective. Sun would continue to have a negative effect on the tier. Only banning Heat Rock might be slightly better, but it's still not enough. Manually setting Sun and being able to set it at least once automatically with Vulpix is too much leeway to give Sun teams. The issue is that too many Pokemon are too powerful under the weather, a significant nerf was needed to prevent them from becoming overpowering.

Banning Drought and Heat Rock will nerf Sun enough to where it is not unhealthy. 3-4 turns of Sun that need to be manually reset simply isn't enough for Pokemon like Leafeon to become broken or unfair under. It also avoids the collateral damage of needing to remove otherwise balanced Pokemon from the meta, like Leafeon and Gloom. We believe this is the best way to both stop Sun teams from being overpowered and settle the issue for the foreseeable future.


On May 11 2020, the PU Council voted to ban Appletun, Silvally-Poison and Silvally-Fighting.
Appletun: 9 PUBL / 0 PU
Crustle: 0 PUBL / 9 PU
Dubwool: 2 PUBL / 7 PU
Falinks: 5 PUBL / 4 PU
Glaceon: 2 PUBL / 7 PU
Mr. Rime: 4 PUBL / 5 PU
Pawniard: 2 PUBL / 7 PU
Silvally-Fighting: 6 PUBL / 3 PU
Silvally-Poison: 9 PUBL / 0 PU
Appletun was a complete menace offensively and defensively. Apple Acid made for an incredible STAB move since few defensive checks can withstand constant Special Defense drops. Add on 100 SpA Draco Meteors and you've got something capable of breaking 90% of the tier without much effort. Defensively, Appletun had few weaknesses and excellent resistances (bolstered by Thick Fat) plus access to multiple amazing utility moves in Iron Defense, Amnesia, Leech Seed, and Recover. Very few Pokemon could claim to be able to reliably KO all defensive sets, with Body Press being a final nail in the coffin that could nail the occasional Steel- and Ice-types trying to switch in.

Silvally-Poison and Silvally-Fighting both sported incredibly powerful STAB attacks, solid boosting options in Flame Charge and Swords Dance, fantastic bulk and Speed, and the ability to break practically every potential counter with very slight moveset variations that had little impact to their wallbreaking ability. Special sets also began to take off as potent lures to the few would-be counters, cementing their place as the next two overpowered Silvally forms to be banned.


On June 7 2020, the PU Council voted to ban Golurk and Galarian Rapidash.
Galarian Rapidash: 7 PUBL / 1 PU
Golurk: 5 PUBL / 2 PU / 1 Abstain
Mr. Rime: 1 PUBL / 7 PU
Dubwool: 0 PUBL / 8 PU
Silvally-Bug: 3 PUBL / 5 PU
Silvally-Psychic: 1 PUBL / 7 PU
Silvally-Grass: 4 PUBL / 4 PU
Silvally-Electric: 1 PUBL / 7 PU
Galarian Rapidash outsped nearly the entire unboosted meta and could run both physical and special sweeping sets with near perfect coverage. Swords Dance sets were functional for cleaning and breaking, but special sets really shone due to the oppressive nature of Fairy+Psychic+Fire-type coverage in the current metagame. Grassy Seed Stored Power sets also started taking off due to how quickly it could accrue defensive boosts and become extremely difficult to edgeguard, bolstered by its immunity to Toxic. Reliable counterplay was simply too inconsistent to warrant keeping Galarian Rapidash in the metagame.

Golurk benefitted massively from the near complete lack of Ground immunities in this generation of PU. Simply by running 2-3 of Earthquake, Ice Punch, Heat Crash, or Stone Edge, Golurk had perfect coverage on the metagame. There was very little pressure on Golurk to nail correct predictions as resists and general counterplay was pretty limited. The few solid resists to Golurk could also be worn down somewhat easily for the most part in just a couple of interactions. Choice Band sets had a safe move to click to break entire teams in almost every matchup. This also greatly benefitted its Rock Polish sets, as did the fact that most common revenge killers fare extremely poorly versus its unique type combination. While Golurk was fairly easy to revenge kill, its risk-reward was still off the charts.


On June 18 2020, the PU Council unanimously voted to ban Porygon2, Scyther, and Magneton.

On June 21 2020, the PU Council voted to ban Basculin, Hitmontop, Gourgeist-Normal, Gourgeist-Large, Gourgeist-Super, Silvally-Bug, Silvally-Psychic, Silvally-Electric, and Silvally-Grass. The voting record and reasonings are on the voting sheet.

On June 28th 2020, the PU Council voted to ban Thievul. The voting record and reasonings are on the voting sheet.

On July 2nd, the PU Council voted to unban Appletun, Gourgeist-Normal, Gourgeist-Large, Rapidash-Galar, Swoobat, and Thievul. The voting record and reasonings are on the voting sheet.

On July 7th, the PU Council voted to ban Rotom-Frost and Orbeetle. The voting record and reasonings are on the voting sheet.

On July 12th, the PU Council voted to ban Butterfree and Kangaskhan. The voting record and reasoning are on the voting sheet.

On July 19th, the PU Council voted to ban Exeggutor, Ninjask, and Perrserker. The voting record and reasoning are on the voting sheet.

On July 26th, the PU Council held a quick vote but did not ban anything. The voting record and reasonings are on the voting sheet.

On August 2nd, the PU Council voted to ban Flapple and Thievul and unban Gourgeist-Super. The voting record and reasonings are on the voting sheet.

On September 6th, the PU Council voted to ban Silvally-Water. The voting record and reasonings are on the voting sheet.

On September 19th, the PU Council voted to ban Klinklang and Bouffalant. The voting record and reasonings are on the voting sheet.

On October 1st, the PU Council voted to unban Bouffalant, Exeggutor, Kangaskhan, Klinklang, Silvally-Bug, and Silvally-Poison. The voting record and reasonings are on the voting sheet.

On October 4th, the PU Council voted to ban Sawk, Galvantula, and Silvally-Dark and unbanned Perrserker. The voting record and reasonings are in this post.

On October 18th, the PU Council voted to re-ban Exeggutor. The voting record and reasonings are in this post.

On November 1st, the PU Council voted to ban Mesprit, Guzzlord, Magmortar, Zygarde-10%, Kingler, Absol, and Drizzle. The voting record and reasonings are in this post.

On November 15th, the PU Council voted to ban Silvally-Dragon. The voting record is in this post.

On November 22nd, the PU Council held a quick vote for Drampa, but it was not banned. The voting record and accompanying reasoning for each vote can be found here.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Corporal Levi

ninjadog of the decade
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Team Rater Alumnusis a Community Leader Alumnus
Moderator
Little Cup

On Nov 20 2019, the LC council voted 9-0 to BAN Corsola-Galar from Little Cup.

Coconut - ban
Corporal Levi - ban
fatty - ban
Kingler12345 - ban
Ninjadog - ban
Quote - ban
Shrug - ban
Star - ban
tazz - ban

Reasoning: Corsola-Galar is arguably the greatest defensive threat Little Cup has ever seen. Boasting 60/100/100 defenses, Will-o-Wisp, Strength Sap, Calm Mind, and Cursed Body, Corsola-Galar is extremely difficult to KO. When you factor in the Ghost typing which not only prevents trapping but is more difficult to punish because of Knock Off's limited distribution and Pursuit's removal from the game, you have a threat which requires the efforts of numerous Pokemon to effectively take it down.


====================


On Nov 24 2019, the LC council voted 8-1 to BAN Dynamax from Little Cup.

Coconut - ban
Corporal Levi - ban
fatty - ban
Kingler12345 - ban
Ninjadog - ban
Quote - ban
Shrug - ban
Star - ban
tazz - do not ban

Reasoning: While in theory quickbanning some of the most notable abusers is a solution, there is a strong belief that due to Little Cup's damage calculations combined with limited defensive counterplay, there are too many Pokemon that can abuse this mechanic to a strong degree, to the point where we would have to ban possibly 10+ Pokemon, such as Farfetch'd-Galar, Vullaby, Rufflet, Woobat (post-Home), Scraggy, Onix, and others. Even Pokemon that don't come across as obviously broken with the mechanic can easily snowball out of control, because in most cases, the best defensive option against Dynamax is your own Dynamax, which in most cases is coming after your opponent has already had a turn to gain a Max Boost. It is easier and cleaner from a tiering perspective to simply ban the mechanic entirely, and it lines up with our belief that the mechanic is too overbearing for Little Cup.


====================


On Dec 1 2019, the LC council voted 8-1 to BAN Gastly from Little Cup.

Coconut - ban
Corporal Levi - ban
fatty - ban
Kingler12345 - ban
Ninjadog - do not ban
Quote - ban
Shrug - ban
Star - ban
tazz - ban

Reasoning: Gastly is among the most immediately threatening Pokemon in the tier due to a combination of its fantastic 19 special attack and 18 speed, strong STABs in Sludge Wave and Shadow Ball, and a plethora of coverage moves that includes Thunderbolt, Energy Ball, Fire Punch, Psychic, and Sucker Punch. Life Orb Gastly in particular is able to OHKO the vast majority of Pokemon that aren't wielding Eviolite, as well as 2HKO most that do, allowing it to reliably get KOs almost every time it comes into play against teams that lack one of its select few checks. These checks have their usage dramatically skewed upwards, as the only other significant option to deal with Gastly is revenge-killing it with faster threats, all of which are unable to safely switch in and are generally less threatening than Gastly.


====================


On Dec 1 2019, the LC council voted 9-0 to BAN Gothita from Little Cup.

Coconut - ban
Corporal Levi - ban
fatty - ban
Kingler12345 - ban
Ninjadog - ban
Quote - ban
Shrug - ban
Star - ban
tazz - ban

Reasoning: Gothita is noticeably bulkier than the other common LC trappers, and has access to a variety of coverage and support moves including Thunderbolt, Energy Ball, Trick, Charm, and Thunder Wave. This allows each of its major sets to be tailored to switch into and trap a fair number of defensive Pokemon, as well as guarantee a revenge-kill on many more offensive and defensive Pokemon. The ability to actively switch into many of its targets means that it can effectively invalidate them from team preview. The options to countertrap Gothita are quite limited - Eviolite Gothita variants are generally able to avoid being countertrapped by the likes of Trapinch and Diglett - meaning Gothita will often be able to trap multiple threats per game. Gothita is able to support many of the top offensive threats in the metagame to an extreme degree by removing their strongest checks in a manner that allows limited counterplay.


====================


On Dec 1 2019, the LC council voted 9-0 to BAN Moody from Little Cup.

Coconut - ban
Corporal Levi - ban
fatty - ban
Kingler12345 - ban
Ninjadog - ban
Quote - ban
Shrug - ban
Star - ban
tazz - ban

Reasoning: Moody is available on two Pokemon in LC, Remoraid and Snorunt, and we have deemed it to be uncompetitive on both. Because of how damage rolls work at level 5, as well as how most passive options such as hazards, status, and leftovers have their effects rounded down, LC naturally skews towards offense; options to consistently deal with Moody abusers that might be available and common in OU, such as (p)hazing and Toxic, would be close to unviable in the LC metagame except to deal with Moody. As such, the opponent to the Moody abuser simply has to hope that Moody doesn't grant favourable boosts in time; if Moody does grant favourable boosts, then the Moody abuser will generally be able to sweep with no room for counterplay, leaving the outcome of the game entirely up to random chance instead of player skill.


====================


On Dec 8 2019, the LC council voted 9-0 to BAN Cherubi or Vulpix from Little Cup, of which seven votes were to ban Cherubi and two were to ban Vulpix.

Coconut - ban
Corporal Levi - ban
fatty - ban
Kingler12345 - ban
Ninjadog - ban
Quote - ban
Shrug - ban
Star - ban
tazz - ban
Coconut - Cherubi
Corporal Levi - Cherubi
fatty - Vulpix
Kingler12345 - Vulpix
Ninjadog - Cherubi
Quote - Cherubi
Shrug - Cherubi
Star - Cherubi
tazz - Cherubi

Reasoning: When paired with Sun support from Drought Vulpix, Cherubi's combination of Chlorophyll and Weather Ball turns it into an unmatched sweeper. Between its Grass-type STAB move and Weather Ball, which becomes a 150 power Fire-type move when boosted by the Sun, Cherubi's coverage is resisted only by Fire- and Dragon-types, of which there are nearly no viable bulky options that can safely switch into it in LC. Chlorophyll lets Cherubi reach up to 28 Speed under the Sun with a Timid nature, outspeeding all but the fastest Choice Scarf users looking to revenge-kill it. After a Sun-boosted Growth, even Eviolite Cherubi variants are able to OHKO the majority of the metagame; Life Orb Cherubi is viable too for its immediate OHKO power, and has to be dealt with somewhat differently from Eviolite Cherubi. Cherubi's potent coverage and high Speed with Drought support makes it almost impossible to reliably handle except through a select few choices that would otherwise see almost no viability. While it is only broken when paired with reliable Sun support in Drought Vulpix, and so this issue could also be solved by banning Vulpix, we believe that Cherubi is the only Sun abuser that is broken in the current metagame, and that banning it damages metagame diversity less than banning Vulpix does.


====================


On February 13th, the LC Council voted 15-0 to BAN Drifloon from Little Cup.

Reasoning: With the release of Pokemon HOME, Drifloon re-gained access to Recycle, which allowed it to greatly sustain itself over the course of a game by constantly recovering its Berry Juice. While a huge buff to its Specially Offensive set, this also allowed its infamous AcroWisp set to be viable once again. Those sets in tandem made Drifloon extremely difficult to reliably check, as checks for one will not reliably check the other.


====================


On February 13th, the LC Council voted 15-0 to BAN Vulpix from Little Cup (and subsequently unban Cherubi).

Reasoning: Vulpix was banned in place of Cherubi because of Bulbasaur's release. Bulbasaur was for all intents and purposes a better Cherubi, having access to Weather Ball but also having an additional STAB in Sludge Bomb, as well as being faster and bulkier. The reason for banning Vulpix is because with Bulbasaur's existence the council felt that Vulpix was providing too much support overall, helping foster an extremely powerful archetype in Sun. Regular Ponyta also returned, strengthening Sun teams even further. Cherubi was unbanned as a result of its source of power, Vulpix, no longer being available.
 
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MajorBowman

hello fellow young people
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Doubles Colonel
Doubles OU

On Nov 22 2019, the Doubles council unanimously voted to UNBAN Moody from Doubles.

AuraRayquaza unban
Croven unban
Demantoid unban
MajorBowman unban
Memoric unban
talkingtree unban

Reasoning: Without the ability to boost evasion, Moody is largely a non-issue in a metagame where double-targeting is available. Thus, this clause is unnecessary for a balanced Doubles metagame, and so the council struck it from the rules.

Announcement post is here

====================

On Dec 25 2019, the Doubles council voted 6-1 to UNBAN GravSleep from Doubles.

AuraRayquaza unban
Croven unban
Demantoid keep banned
MajorBowman unban
Memoric unban
talkingtree unban
Yoda2798 unban

Reasoning: This clause previously prohibited the use of Gravity with any Sleep-inducing move that had below 100% accuracy. However, the vast majority of the dangerous abusers of this mechanic in the past like Shaymin-S, Darkrai, Landorus-I, and Mega Gengar are no longer available, so it is unlikely to still be an issue. G-Max Orbeetle was originally brought up as a potential conflict with the clause as originally written, with its signature move skirting the rules, but the council agreed that even outside of G-Max Orbeetle, GravSleep no longer needed to be banned. Therefore, in the interest of keeping the rules as simple as possible, the clause was removed.

Announcement post is here

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On Jan 8 2020, the Doubles council voted 5-2 to REMOVE Evasion Abilities Clause from Doubles.

AuraRayquaza remove
Croven remove
Demantoid keep
MajorBowman keep
Memoric remove
talkingtree remove
Yoda2798 remove

Reasoning: Evasion abilities may not be ideal in a vacuum, and may even be seen as uncompetitive, but removing this clause is more in line with previous rulings. As was the case with GravSleep, the negative aspects that Sand Veil / Snow Cloak users could have on the metagame are limitied enough in their scope and viability that removing this clause is unlikely to cause issues. In the end, the majority of the council decided that this clause covered scenarios that didn't need to be covered, so the clause was removed. A more detailed post arguing for this decision can be found here.

Announcement post is here

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On Jan 21, 2020, the Doubles council reinstated the Gravity Sleep Clause.

Reasoning: The clause was originally removed due to the Council's belief that the combination of Gravity and inaccurate sleep-inducing attacks would not be a negative force within the metagame and the desire to shrink the banlist. However, it quickly became apparent that Gravity + Sleep was still significantly unhealthy, and that if it were to be freed it should be done by a public vote. As such, the clause has been reinstated for the time being.

Announcement post is here

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On Feb 12, 2020, the Doubles council banned Jirachi, Kyurem-B, and Marshadow.

Reasoning: Jirachi and Marshadow are both banned from all DOU generations in which they exist, and the currently lower-than-average power level of Generation 8 DOU creates an environment in which they would be even more unhealthy than in generations past. Kyurem-B, while never banned in DOU historically, gained access to three very good moves with the release of Sword and Shield, two of which nigh unarguably push it over the edge. As such, all three have been removed from the metagame.

Announcement post is here

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On Mar 2, 2020, the Doubles council banned Beat Up.

Reasoning: With Dynamax in the metagame, Beat Up + Justified Terrakion becomes an extremely easy way to get a tanky, fast +6 attacker that even has access to Max Airstream to raise its speed further. In addition, common and widely viable Pokemon like Whimsicott and Dragapult both get access to the move, making the opportunity cost for using Beat Up + Justified incredibly low. While there was some counterplay available, the bar for reaching an auto-win position was deemed too low, and so Beat Up had to go.

Announcement post is here

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On June 18, 2020, the Doubles council banned Magearna.

Reasoning: Soul Heart lol

Announcement post is here
 
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Decem

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Monotype

On Nov 23 2019, the Monotype council voted 7-0 to BAN Damp Rock and Smooth Rock from Monotype

Eien ban
Wanka ban
1 True Lycan ban
Chaitanya ban
Ridley ban
TheThorn ban
Waszap ban


Reasoning:
In Smooth Rock's case, it smooths over Hippowdon's lack of pivoting options and means Excadrill is not pressured to switch into attacks at all because it has more than enough time to eventually find its way into play. In addition, once it is in play, Excadrill has far too many turns of sand to sweep or set up against the opponent. In fact, Excadrill can happily switch out and sometimes switch back in before sand has to be reset by Hippowdon. Given how much momentum is lost by Hippowdon, this is a huge win for Ground teams against offense. The combined effect of both alleviating pressure put on the sand team by removing the onus to take risks to get Excadrill in quickly along with applying significantly more pressure on the opponent by giving Excadrill more turns to sweep means Smooth Rock is currently too good for Monotype.

For Damp Rock, Swift Swim sweepers are arguably better than ever. Barraskewda has fantastic coverage and is extremely fast even outside of rain, giving rain even more consistency than before and patching up the loss of Greninja's revenge killing. Seismitoad is still running around firing off ridiculously powerful Hydro Pumps, pairing extremely nicely with Barraskewda, and it even gets Stealth Rock, which you have much more time to set up when you have 8 turns of rain instead of 5. It isn't just Swift Swim sweepers that make Damp Rock too good, though. The great 1.5x damage boost to Water-type moves during such an extended period turns many Pokemon into wallbreakers. One great example is Dracovish, whose Fishious Rend goes from 85 BP to 170 BP when going first to 255 due to STAB to 382.5 in rain to 573.75 with Strong Jaw. When combining the effectiveness of Swift Swim sweepers and rain-boosted attacks, 8 turns is simply too long in Monotype.

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On Dec 15 2019, the Monotype council voted 7-0 to BAN Moody from Monotype

Eien ban
Wanka ban
1 True Lycan ban
Chaitanya ban
Ridley ban
TheThorn ban
Waszap ban


Reasoning:
With the nerf to Moody in SS removing its ability to boost evasion, Smogon decided to retest Moody by unbanning it for the new generation, as the historical reasons to ban Moody in Smeargle, evasion, and Baton Pass were all invalidated. However, it has become clear quite quickly that Moody remains uncompetitive in Monotype even if it isn't as broken as it once was. Even though it cannot get free evasion boosts anymore, it now has a 1/5 chance to boost Speed, which is a powerful way to improve consistency with Substitute giving extra turns to boost further. For many teams, stopping Moody users is a matter of getting lucky enough against its Moody boosts before it gets out of control, since Moody is very much a snowbally ability. The more Defense, Special Defense, and Speed boosts a Moody user gets, the more difficult it becomes to stop. When the Moody strategy turns the game into a question of whether the user gets the right boosts at the right times, that is a clear indication that it is uncompetitive.

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On Dec 15 2019, the Monotype council voted 7-0 to BAN Dynamax from Monotype

Eien ban
Wanka ban
1 True Lycan ban
Chaitanya ban
Ridley ban
TheThorn ban
Waszap ban


Reasoning:
Dynamax is too unpredictable and too powerful of a mechanic to allow in Monotype. It is unpredictable because any Pokemon can activate it at any time to use almost any move, which poses too much of a burden upon both players to make plays when many turns are essentially 50/50s. Power-wise, a third of the Max Moves are demonstrably broken and the remaining are still incredibly valuable. In addition, the bulk it brings to sweepers makes them all incredibly consistent. Due to the nature of Monotype and Same Type Clause, there is a legitimate chance that banning individual Pokemon is a self-perpetuating cycle, as the strongest Pokemon are always those who can Dynamax most effectively, and the teambuilder restriction makes it much more difficult to try to mitigate threats. Dynamax was a very complex problem, so the council's full justification can be found in our announcement thread.

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On Mar 30 2020, the Monotype community voted 33-6 to BAN Melmetal from Monotype in a public suspect vote.

Reasoning:
Melmetal boasts the third highest Attack stat in the tier and a physical bulk that puts even fully defensive Toxapex to shame. Its enormous HP offsets its rather poor Special Defense, enabling it to survive hits from even the tier's strongest wallbreakers including Choice Specs Keldeo's Hydro Pump. While mono typing is ironically subpar most of the time in Monotype, Melmetal being immune to poison means it has no fear of Toxic Spikes or Toxic from a wall. Even though its Speed is irredeemable, its bulk makes it very difficult to 2HKO even with multiple Pokemon working together, and most defensive Pokemon will hardly even scratch Melmetal, giving it many opportunities to fire off its powerful attacks.

The full discussion may be found in the Monotype forum.

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On May 24 2020, the Monotype community voted 27-16 to BAN Kyurem-B from Monotype in a public suspect vote.

Reasoning:
Upon its arrival with Pokemon Home in SS Monotype, Kyurem-B has shown to be a tremendous threat as a result of it getting new moves to take advantage of. With moves like Dragon Dance, Icicle Spear and Freeze Dry, Kyurem-B is now better than before compared to SM. Dragon Dance and Icicle Spear now allow it to run an entirely physical set, turning it into a strong Dragon Dance sweeper that many types struggle to handle, not to mention that Icicle Spear + Fusion Bolt hitting the vast majority of the entire metagame. Several effective sets have surfaced: Substitute allows Kyurem-B to avoid status from common defensive Pokemon like Toxapex and Galarian Corsola while forcing Aegislash to change to Blade form to beat it, Freeze Shock paired with Power Herb means Kyurem-B can take out bulkier Pokemon such as Hatterene, Tyranitar, Snorlax, and Ferrothorn easier. Other sets like Roost are less common but also have merit.

Kyurem-B's great bulk plays a huge role as a setup sweeper as well. 125 HP backed up by 100/90 defenses means that it comfortably sets up in a variety of scenarios, while common revenge killers in the Monotype metagame have trouble beating it especially with support. On either type, Kyurem-B has access to capable partners to help it sweep. On Ice, Alolan Ninetales sets up Aurora Veil in one turn, and on Dragon, Kyurem-B can be paired with a screens setter like Duraludon or even Dragapult. Aurora Veil and screens support make Kyurem-B extremely bulky which means that common revenge killers like Choice Scarf Gengar, Alolan Raichu under Electric Terrain, Excadrill under sand, Choice Scarf Flygon, and Choice Scarf Ditto struggle to beat Kyurem-B, allowing it to set up another Dragon Dance to outspeed the vast majority of the metagame or just beat them on the spot.

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On June 20 2020, the Monotype council voted 6-2 to BAN Magearna from Monotype
Chaitanya: Ban
Conflux: Ban
Decem: Ban
Harpp: Ban
Kev: Ban
Ridley: Ban
Thorn: Do Not Ban
Zap: Do Not Ban


Reasoning:
Magearna, while losing the ability to snowball through teams as easily with Zmoves, gained access to stored power and draining kiss, giving it another way for it to snowball through teams with all sorts of set up moves available. Compared to SM, SS Monotype is a more offensive metagame which means Magearna oftentimes doesn't need Z moves to power through to get its first kill and start snowballing using Soul Heart. On fairy, you are able to pair Magearna with webs, allowing it to bypass it's mediocre speed stat which is further augmented with shift gear. Along with this, both steel and fairy also have access to spikes, allowing them to stack hazards, making it easier for Magearna to get its first ko and begin its sweep. It's most common set of Calm Mind, Shift Gear, Draining Kiss, and Stored Power allowed it to sweep a large variety of teams. Aided with the availability of klefki setting screens on both types, Magearna has the ability to set up vs Pokemon that are super effective against it. With recovery in Draining Kiss, it becomes a nightmare to beat. With Magearna alone invalidating types such as dragon, dark, and making others supremely difficult such as poison, electric, and water among others, we find it is centralizing enough to warrant a ban.

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On July 5 2020, the Monotype council voted 6-2 to BAN Urshifu-Rapid Strike Style from Monotype
Chaitanya: Ban
Conflux: Ban
Decem: Ban
Harpp: Ban
Kev: Ban
Ridley: Do Not Ban
Thorn: Ban
Zap: Do Not Ban


Reasoning: Due to its great offensive stats, STAB combo and U-turn pivoting, Urshifu-Rapid Strike Style has been a huge threat in the Monotype metagame that is capable of running multiple sets, particularly Choice Band and Choice Scarf. On top of all this, its access to Surging Strikes and its ability in Unseen Fist combined with its other traits pushes it over the top. Surging Strikes's ability to always land in a critical hit takes advantage of Urshifu-Rapid Strike Style's great power to break through Pokemon with Defense boosts like Corviknight and Zeraora as well as screens, while Unseen Fist makes it unscoutable in front of Protect users like Ferrothorn and Aegislash, both restricting its counterplay even further. Of course, it is important to mention Water's great team support as one of the best types in the current metagame. With teammates like Pelipper boosting the already powerful Surging Strikes using Drizzle, Slowking and Slowbro's extremely reliable pivoting using Teleport and ability to damage checks in Toxapex, Amoonguss and Vileplume with Future Sight, and Araquanid to slow down the opposition using Sticky Web, Urshifu-Rapid Strike Style finds many opportunities to wallbreak effectively in many matchups across the board. Due to its already incredible wallbreaking potential, its signature move and ability limiting its counterplay, and its amazing team support, the Monotype council has deemed Urshifu-Rapid Strike Style as unhealthy.
 
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