So basically, your implication is that this meta invalidates all but the absolute strongest of HO teams when it comes to frail offense?
No, HO teams inherently have limited defensive options
in exchange for greater versatility in offensive win-cons and pressure
. HO teams will often rely on fragile defensive options such as priority, screens and items like sash/choice scarf to respond to offensive pressure
. Otherwise, HO teams will rely on predictions and good positioning
of their offensive pieces to establish their own offensive pressure first
and force the opponent to play defensively. Due to this, HO teams (especially versus other HO or frail offense teams) can easily lose games due to the loss of key offensive/defensive pieces
which can result from anything from an incorrect lead to a misprediction on tera. Let's take the HO vs HO
replay mentioned above. In this game at turn 1 "ATKerrr" positioned their chi-yu to take offensive pressure early, ChiefGreenLeaf did not account for this and their team lacked an actual chi-yu switch-in (they had to lead with something which could threaten chi-yu
) and was immediately forced to sacrifice a potential offensive/defensive option (Iron hands). Losing iron hands may not seem like a big deal here, but as we can see from the end game (turns 29-31), iron hands would have been perfectly able to tank any +1 hit from dragapult
( +1 252+ Atk Dragon Fang Dragapult Dragon Darts (2 hits) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Iron Hands: 288-338 (56.2 - 66%) -- approx. 2HKO ) and revenge kill it. Aside from a healthy iron hands, Cheif's team had no real counterplay to dragapult if it had the opportunity to setup
even if it was a more standard tera type such as ghost. Iron hands also had great offensive pressure, forcing mons like corviknight and chi-yu to switch if it caught them on a free switch/ double switch.
I want to stress that HO teams will naturally have poor matchups or be unable to respond to set-up pressure
(e.g. sticky web vs a trick room team or a DD dragapult). Poor positioning/failure to keep your useful offensive/defensive options healthy will cause an early loss, this is not new.
Teams which lack reliable defensive options for set-up pressure
(e.g. most HO teams) will naturally be forced to rely on preventing the enemy setting up in the first place, or relying saving health on potential defensive wincons in order to prevent suckerpunch 50/50s or tera 50/50s. If HO teams where the only defensive option is indeedee psychic terrain
fail reliably cover the rare sucker punch DD dragapult if it has tera available, then so be it, either re-build the team to have a better defensive options such as priority, screens or hazard stack or use a more balanced build with an unaware mon ( skeledirge (with tera) or dondozo) or use a reliable phazer like ting-lu.