Project The Top 10 Titans of the 6th Gen OU Metagame

Taken largely from Gary2346's original BW thread.
The Top 10 Titans of 6th Gen OU

*Approved by bludz and celticpride*


As you can probably tell, this generation's OU has been a massively influential and drastically changing metagame. So many new offensive and defensive threats were introduced into OU, completely shaking up the tier as we know and shaping it into a new metagame that was completely different from previous generations. The weather wars that defined BW OU took a huge hit with the new temporary perma-weather abilities, drastically reducing the dominance of weather-based playstyles. Several Pokemon banned from BW OU such as Manaphy and Excadrill were unbanned, finding new niches without being broken once again. New threats like Aegislash and Talonflame also arrived to make their mark. The new mechanic of Mega evolutions redefined how most players approach teambuilding, with several Pokemon such as Charizard and Sableye making a huge impact in OU thanks to their new Mega forms. We even received the Fairy type, the first new type introduced since 2nd Gen. Not only that, but the Steel type suffered a bit of a defensive nerf when it lost its resistances to Ghost and Dark, which in turn boosted those two types offensively. Needless to say, many Pokemon were able to take advantage of these changes and have a major influence on XY OU.

So here's the big question. Out of all of the amazing and influential Pokemon, what can we say were the top 10 most influential Pokemon in 6th gen? What Pokemon had the biggest impact on the metagame? What Pokemon forced every team to run specific Pokemon to handle them? What Pokemon SHAPED the metagame? All of these questions needs to be asked in order to determine an accurate top 10 list.

Now here's where you guys come in. From September 1st - September 11th you guys will nominate Pokemon to be voted on to be placed as candidates for the Top 10 Titans of 6th Gen OU. After September 11th, we will evaluate all the nominations and begin to individually rank them from 1-10 by vote. All nominations will be counted as long as they fit the criteria and are reasonable. If you're going to nominate something like Donphan, then I will promptly laugh at you. Keep in mind that we aren't ranking on how good a Pokemon is, we are ranking on how influential the Pokemon has been this generation, and how much of an impact it has had on the metagame itself. This is very important when nominating a Pokemon, so please keep that in mind.

In the original thread, Gary2346 decided to allow everything banned after Stage 4 to be nominated (Excadrill/Thundurus and everything after). The BW OU Stage 4 vote occurred in early June after BW's release, so in order to approximate this same time restraint for XY, I'm allowing all previously banned Pokemon to be nominated after Suspect Stage 3 (the Baton Pass vote). This means that the two Deoxys forms and everything banned after them are fair game. That said, a banned Pokemon will have spent a shorter time in the metagame than a Pokemon who was never banned, so the banned Pokemon's dominance during its time in OU would have to be very strong to warrant a spot on this list. Keep that in mind as you make your nominations.

Here is an example format on how I want your nomination's to look like:

Nominating [Pokemon]

Enter sprite or animated model here.

What effect did [Pokemon] have on the metagame?

Explain how the Pokemon effected the metagame as whole, and how the metagame adapted around it. A brief description of which Pokemon it countered and which Pokemon it did well against would be good here as well.

In what main roles was [Pokemon] used?

Explain why this Pokemon was used on a team more often then most other Pokemon, and what was it particularly used for? What made it so good at this role?

What caused it to have a significant impact?

What exactly made this Pokemon have such a large impact on the metagame? Was it its stats, ability, useful resistances, amazing synergy, or the ability to sweep most of the metagame very easily? Did a certain Pokemon cause it to become that much better when it was partnered with it?

How do/did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?

What are the best checks/counters to this Pokemon? How does the metagame adapt to this Pokemon?

Make sure they look EXACTLY like this, or else I wont count them. Make sure they are also very informative, factual, accurate, and detailed. For the example nomination, here's an entry written by Gary2346 in the BW thread for Politoed:

Nominating Politoed.
What effect did Politoed have on the metagame?

The effect that Politoed had on the metagame is hard to put into words. Politoed was given an amazing gift from the Dream World in the form of Drizzle, which permanently summons rain for the entire battle once it comes out into the battlefield. It's impact was so huge that it basically changed the OU tier from weatherless to weather wars. The sheer presence of this thing has made so many Pokemon better in OU, while also making a lot of previously good Pokemon drop out of the tier itself. It created an entirely different playstyle that branched into many other playstyles such as HO rain, rain stall, and balanced rain. It pretty much shaped the OU metagame into what it is now. Hydro Pump now becomes 50% stronger due to the added rain boost, Thunder and Hurricane now have 100% accuracy, and to top it all off, any Pokemon with Swift Swim could now outrun most the entire unboosted tier. Unfortunately for the Toed this strategy was banned, but that didn't stop Politoed from still being an amazing team member.

Politoed forced very bulky Pokemon such as Ferrothorn, Jellicent, Rotom-W, and Amoonguss to get a lot more usage to help counter the sheer amount of threats that Politoed created with its permanent rain ability. Gastrodon, who was formerly an NU Pokemon, now finds itself one of the most anti-metagame Pokemon in OU thanks to its Storm Drain ability. Tentacruel and Vaporeon can now take advantage of rain to become outstanding support Pokemon. Offensive Pokemon such as Feraligatr, Sharpedo, Toxicroak, Tornadus, and Moltres that were once stuck in the lower tiers now find themselves comfortable in OU when partnered with Politoed, taking advantage of its ability to increase their Water-type moves to outrageous levels and making Tornadus' and Moltres' STAB Hurricane 100% accurate.

In what main roles was [Pokemon] used?

The answer to that is quite simple; to make it rain. Politoed's ability lets it summon rain for the entire battle, letting its teammates take advantage of it for every single turn. Pokemon like Thundurus-T and Tornadus can now spam Thunder and Hurricane to their hearts content with no drawbacks. Pokemon like Keldeo who are already powerful now become almost impossible to handle, because its Hydro Pump now becomes incredibly powerful. There are many reasons to use Politoed on a team, but it all depends on if Politoed benefits the team more than without it. For example, Toxicroak is a rather lackluster sweeper, but in the rain its ability Dry Skin allows it to restore a ton of health each turn, letting it gain more health each turn then it loses form Life Orb. Thundurus-T can potentially become an extremely dangerous sweeper with a 100% 120 BP STAB Electric move, but it needs Politoed in order to help it sweep more reliably. You can't just slap Politoed on any team and expect it to be good, but when paired specific teammates that depend on the rain support, Politoed is always a valuable asset.

How do/did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?
When playing in a metagame that includes Politoed, the metagame itself has to adapt to not just Politoed, but the playstyle it creates. Teams are forced to become bulkier in order to keep from being mauled by rain boosted Hydro Pumps or never missing Thunders/Hurricanes. Bulky Grass and Water-type Pokemon are a valuable asset to almost every team. Still, one must not underestimate Politoed itself. Its Specs set looks gimmicky, but in battle, it's terrifying. A Specs rain boosted Hydro Pump can deal a huge amount of damage to even the bulkiest of walls, and it really puts pressure on a lot of teams that lack a Pokemon that not only has high special defense, but also resists it.

There are two Pokemon that come to mind that have helped keep Politoed's rain of terror at bay, and that's Ferrothorn and Jellicent. Ferrothorn's amazing bulk and Grass-typing allow it to switch into a lot of attacks that are normally found on rain teams, such as Thunder, Hydro Pump, and Hurricane to an extent. It can also threaten Politoed and company with a powerful Power Whip, or threaten to setup hazards on them. Jellicent is probably the BEST counter to most Water-types that are commonly found on rain teams. Keldeo can't 2HKO Jellicent with any of its moves, and thanks to Water Absorb, Jellicent can freely switch into even the most powerful of Water attacks without a care in the world. It also has access to Recover to get back any lost damage. Rotom-W is another great anti-rain Pokemon because it counters Tornadus with little effort. Amoonguss, although RU, is actually one of the better counters to rain as well. It can counter both Thundurus-T, Politoed, and Keldeo with the proper EVs. Celebi is in a similar boat, but it must watch out for Scizor, who is commonly seen on rain teams because of its decent synergy with Keldeo. Checking Politoed is not that difficult, as powerful STAB Grass or Electric attacks can deal with it quite easily. Breloom, Rotom-W, Jolteon, Celebi, and Thundurus-T are all great Pokemon that can check Politoed with relative ease. Don't underestimate its bulk though, because it's rather bulky.


Current Nominees: (Link to nomination posts in the names)

You are allowed to reserve nominations, but if you don't post your nomination within 24 hours of reserving it, it will be back up for grabs. I'll try to be as lenient about this as I can, but I also don't want anyone to sit on a nomination for too long. You can also only reserve one nomination at a time, but if you finish one entry, you can reserve a new one. If you want to get an idea of how this thread was run back in BW, here's the original for reference: http://www.smogon.com/forums/thread...-the-5th-gen-ou-metagame-voting-over.3487848/. And with that, let's get to the nominations!
 
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Martin

gamer boy
is a Forum Moderatoris a Live Chat Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Moderator
Nominating Gothitelle


What effect did Gothitelle have on the metagame?
Gothitelle completely polarized the stall archetype due to it's ability to trap and either invalidate or eliminate key stall answers such as Manaphy and Togekiss and render them useless courtesy of Shadow Tag. While it's stats were all-around mediocre, the combination of Shadow Tag, Trick, Rest and passable bulk proved itself to be an incredibly useful asset; even if it couldn't take out a stallbreaker, it was able to render them useless for the rest of the match--which was a huge boon for stall as a whole and made the archetype a very dominant force both on the ladder and in tournaments. It centralised the metagame towards countermeasures to itself, forced the use of suboptimal sets for a number of Pokémon to be able to break stall consistently and singlehandedly turned stall as an archetype from being mostly inviable to being one of the premier archetypes with just one team: the infamous ABR stall. Ultimately it was the sole thing that led to the Shadow Tag suspect test (because--lets be real here--Wobbuffet was not what people were calling to have banned).

In what main roles was Gothitelle used?
Gothitelle was used exclusively in the role of a trapper; more specifically, it used this attribute to act as a revenge killer with Choice Scarf (similarly to Dugtrio, minus the bit about Choice Scarf), a stallbreaker between Choice Scarf, Trick, Rest and potentially Calm Mind (helping stall beat opposing stall as well as providing other playstyles with a multi-purpose stallbreaker that couldn't be trapped by opposing Gothitelle) and as a countermeasure to anti-stall tactics.

What caused it to have a significant impact?
Gothitelle was significant for two reasons: it's ability, and the tools in it's movepool that could abuse it to it's fullest. With it being in one of six Pokémon with access to Shadow Tag (Wobbuffet, Wynaut, Gothita, Gothorita, Gothitelle and Mega Gengar)--one of which was quickbanned--it was far and away the most devistating (legal) user of the ability. It was just bulky enough to take hits from weaker Pokémon, it was able to trap things and cripple them with Trick without needing to predict and--most fundamentally--anything that couldn't 3HKO was PP stalled. With Rest it ensured that it only consumed PP once every three turns, and with Trick it ensured that it's target only had one move's worth of PP that needed stalling. This meant that, if it needed to, it could trap and eliminate multiple Pokémon every game with no repercussions because it could simply trick it's scarf back on the turn it's target dies to Struggle or on the turn before and finish it off with Psyshock.

How do/did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?
The simple way of dealing with it was to click X, but players who didn't want to do that found ways around it--just that these strategies were exclusively for it. The most notable one was as follows: by using stallbreakers that it commonly tries to trap (most notably Togekiss, who was the flagship user of this strategy in njnp's "Anti ABR Aids", but it was also done with Pokémon like Manaphy), making them hold Shed Shell and pairing them with Choice Scarf Tyranitar, people would bait it in, escape it and eliminate it with Pursuit without the need to double on it, allowing them to break the team later without risking being trapped. A strategy that I personally used on a handful of stall teams was running Shed Shell Blissey>Chansey with said partner so that I could have Chansey's utility without being complete Gothitelle fodder. Beyond this and similar things, however, there were no countermeasures to it. It had no counters because nothing could switch in on it short of Shed Shell shinanigans due to Shadow Tag, but it's checks were things that could OHKO, Pursuit users and VoltTurners that could force it out to grab momentum.
 
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Funbot28

Banned deucer.
Nominating Aegislash



What effect did Aegislash have on the metagame?

Aegislash was a dominant force in the XY iteration of OU as it pressured teambuilding on countering its multitude of sets in conjunction with its ability to invalidate many Pokemon from being effective within that current meta. Many great Pokemon in the current ORAS OU metagame such as Mega Gardevoir, Mega Heracross, Starmie, Mega Medicham, Jirachi, etc... were not able to carve a niche in a metagame where Aegislash was allowed due to it being able to hard counter many of these threats quite easily. This often limited teambuilding as specific Pokemon such as Mandibuzz needed to be used just to specifically counter Aegislash (although it still had access to Head Smash, which limited Mandibuzz's ability to switch in on it) and prevented the metagame to evolve due to it being hypercentralized on utilizing and countering Aegislash at the time. Aegislash was also offered another suspect test in ORAS OU due to the introduction of new Mega Pokemon such as Mega Lopunny and Mega Sableye which were deemed to be able to deal with Aegislash, although this was not proven to be the case as Aegislash still pertained a polarizing effect on the metagame, thus leading it to be remain banned.

In what main roles was Aegislash used?

Aegislash was seen on many OU teams as it was so extremely splashable and remained effective regardless the archetype it was put on. Aegislash was utilized to be a blanket check to a multitude of threats in the metagame such as Mega Venasaur, Clefable, Mega Pinsir, and Mega Gardevoir and was amazing offensive pivot, applying pressure to the opposing team due to its incredibly high attacking stats. The most common set it ran was the mixed Life Orb set with Shadow Ball/Sacred Sword/Shadow Sneak/King's Shield which allowed it to attack from both sides of the offensive spectrum, being able to 2HKO and sometimes OHKO many bulky walls and being able to dent and punish switchins accordingly. The Toxic stall set was also quite common as well, as it allowed Aegislash to hinder incoming walls and proceed to stall them out easily with King's Shield. No other Pokemon at the time had such great effectiveness and ability to counter many metagame threats, which lead to Aegislash being a staple on many teams.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Aegislash had become so detrimental to the metagame due to it possessing a great Offensive and Defensive typing, outstanding offensive and defensive stats thanks to its ability and Stance Change and its ability to scout opponents with King's Shield. A 150 base stat for a non-mega evolution Pokemon was quite rare, and Aegislash was able to effectively interchange between its offensives and defenses stats with its ability Stance Change which made it truly difficult to take down and wall respectively. This often lead Aegilash to be able to always net at least 1-2 KOs a match, which made dealing with it even more frustrating. King's Shield was also a huge nuisance for opposing players, as the move often created "50/50 scenarios" in which the opponent needed to predict whether or not their Aegislash would use King's Shield in which they would not attack with a contact move to avoid the -2 Attack drop, or predict if the Aegislash user would not use King's Shield which granted the opponent a free opportunity to hit the Aegislash. The move alone decided many games on coinflips and luck with prediction in order to win the match. Although its low Speed stat did not allow it to just as easily sweep more offensive teams as it did balanced ones, Aegislash's ubiquity of useful resistances and great defenses granted it many switchin opportunities, which gave the Aegislash player a great boost in momentum and is typically why it was seen on many VolTurn balance teams at the time.

How do/did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?

Aegislash did not pertain many formes of sure counterplay due to the flexibility within its sets which allowed to lure and often eliminate pre-regarded "answers". Although Aegislash did struggle against many wallbreakes in the metagame at the time such as Mega Charizard Y, Weavile, Bisharp, Landorus-I, etc... which were all able to dent Aegislash extremely hard with the powerful moves due to its weakness to common offensive attack types such as Fire, Dark, and Ground. Balance, stall and bulky offensive teams did not have many options to counter Aegislash due to it being able to switchin and heavily dent many of the common pokemon used on those type of teams at the time, leading those teams to use obsucre options. This further pushed its overcentralization on the metagame
 
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Nominating Hoopa-Unbound



What effect did Hoopa-Unbound have on the metagame?

Hoopa-U had the effect of harshly limiting the viability of defensive team archetypes or even just teams with a defensive backbone to support them. It pushed the metagame to become more and more offensive due to the massive restriction it placed on defensive archetypes. Hoopa-U could comfortably come in on support Pokemon like Rotom-W as many could not heavily damage it, and then use the appropriate move to remove the switch-in. VoltTurn teams became more common as Hoopa's Choice Specs and Choice Band sets started getting more usage, as these would give Hoopa-U ample opportunities to come in and pressure the opponent, killing or leaving a massive dent in whatever tried to switch into it. It made people start to realize and take advantage of just how effective pursuit trapping was even more than before due to the way hoopa nearly mandated a Pursuit trapper on everything but hyper offense. Even after its ban, Pursuit trapping remains a dominant aspect of the metagame.

In what main roles was Hoopa-Unbound used?

Hoopa-U was a deadly "universal" wallbreaker capable of smashing through any wall in a single set. Hoopa-U has great offensive typing, its STABs only being resisted by Dark-types, and the Fighting-type coverage to round things out for it. In addition to this Hoopa is blessed with unreal mixed offensive stats unlike anything OU had ever seen, sporting an incredible 160 Attack stat and 170 Special Attack. Its other stats were all acceptable to good with the exclusion of its defense, as Hoopa-U had notably good special bulk (80/130) along with decent base 80 Speed allowing it to outspeed staples on bulky offense like Heatran, Clefable, and Rotom-W with ease. Its vast movepool full of coverage options such as Thunderbolt, Gunk Shot, and Fire Punch to name a few worked well in tandem with its offensive stats to further bolster its wallbreaking proficiency. Aside from just this however, Hoopa had some notable utility options in Knock Off and Trick it could fit onto certain movesets. Hoopa-U also had two powerful signature moves in Hyperspace Fury and Hyperspace Hole which let it bypass Substitute and Protect, making it only more deadly to face. Hoopa-U's main sets were Choice Specs, Choice Band, Life Orb, and Choice Scarf. Each of these had their own niches, but closer towards the point of its banning, Hoopa-U's best set was widely regarded as its Choice Specs one due to the capability to 2HKO the entire metagame in 3 moveslots and avoid being made more susceptible to Pursuit trapping by Defense drops from Hyperspace Fury or Life Orb recoil.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Hoopa-U left its mark on the metagame due to its insane wallbreaking potential and OHKOing power that allows it to blast through everything faster than it in one hit from the right move and 2HKO everything slower. It would essentially run straight through any slower team lacking a Pursuit trapper with minimal prediction and even bulky offenses were preyed upon by this monster. Its ability to do this combined with its fantastic synergy with common offense breakers like Mega Manectric and Mega Lopunny to pressure the faster teams Hoopa-U struggled against turned it into a driving force in the metagame.

How did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?

Letting Hoopa-U kill something and then sending out a Pursuit trapper like Choice Scarf Tyranitar or Life Orb Weavile were the biggest answers to Hoopa-U available, as it would take a large chunk of its HP trying to switch out due to its physical frailty and prevent Hoopa-U from coming in again and again on passive support pokemon with no repercussions. Unfortunately Life Orb variants could pull 50/50s with pursuit trappers, potentially KOing them if they click Pursuit and it stayed in allowing Hoopa-U to wreak further havoc upon the opposing team.. Faster revenge killers were another option, though Hoopa-U's fantastic special bulk prevented this from being done easily with anything but physical attackers even being able to tank a Draco Meteor from Latios without being KO'd.
 
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Reserving Mega Salamence bby

(somebody do greninja pls)
Ah, I knew I forgot something. Unfortunately, Mega Salamence will also not be allowed. It only spent one week on the standard OU ladder (and before that, just a couple of weeks on an experimental ORAS ladder), so it didn't have nearly enough time to leave a substantial impact on OU besides the obvious fact that it was extremely broken and arguably shouldn't have been allowed in the first place. Other Pokemon banned early into ORAS (i.e. Greninja and Landorus) will be allowed since they had already spent a year in XY before ORAS's release.

If you want to do Greninja, though, I can treat this post as your reservation. If not, let me know and I'll leave it open.
 

Eclipse

Like a chimp with a machine gun
is a Contributor Alumnus
Brave Bird

What effect did Talonflame have on the OU metagame?

Talonflame being one of the new Pokemon introduced in XY, it had a lot to live up to compared to the rest of the mons in OU. With its groundbreaking ability Gale Wings giving it a free priority 120 BP STAB move in Brave Bird, priority healing in Roost, along with its phenomenal speed tier of 126, Talonflame certainly looked to be a strong force in the beginning of XY. And that it was, as the main set that gained popularity at the time, Choice Band, paired with partners such as Mega Pinsir, gave rise to the Bird-spam archetype which was one of the most dominant offense archetypes and still is prominent to this very day as shown in tours like OLT. Talonflame's ability to break past faster, frail mons that didn't resist Flying was really valued and helped bring up the usage of Pokemon such as Landorus-T, Rotom-W, Tyranitar, Zapdos, and Hippowdon which were valued for their ability to check numerous mons in the OU tier, Talonflame being one of them. The meta continued and Talonflame adapted, mainly by running bulkier sets utilizing Will-O-Wisp to break down checks, Taunt, Bulk Up, and Swords Dance to break past offense teams and bulkier playstyles alike. Overall Talonflame was very influential in shaping the meta due to its offensive capabilities which brought out the rise of many common threats meant to take it on.

In what main roles was Talonflame used?

In the beginning of XY, Talonflames generally ran fast offensive sets such as Choice Band due to the power it brought with its priority moves and speed. Soon after, this set started falling out of favor compared to sets such as Offensive Swords Dance sets utilizing SD, Roost, Flare Blitz & Brave Bird. This set proved to be a massive threat because it was able to dent opposing teams well by taking out faster frail mons while also acting as a great wincon. Bulkier sets utilizing moves such as Taunt, Will-O-Wisp, and Bulk Up became popular as well since Talonflame was able to invest more into its bulk since it already had priority healing and Brave Bird, meaning it didn't have to worry much about losing out on its phenomenal speed tier. These bulkier sets were generally the more common sets Talonflame ran near the end of the generation outside of Birdspam teams which usually ran Choice Band still since bulkier talonflame sets are able to take great advantage of slower teams, mainly Mega Sableye teams by setting up on it with Bulk Up which meant it didn't have to worry about Foul Play dealing significant damage to it like it would have if it ran Swords Dance.

What caused Talonflame to have a significant impact?

Many teams in the beginning of XY were ill-equipped to deal with Talonflame's strong 120 BP priority moves, as fast setup sweepers were usually not bulky enough to take Talonflame's attacks well, so the rise in usage of Pokemon such as Landorus-T, Rotom-W, and Hippowdon soon after, Hippowdon specifically which would rise from UU to OU as a strong check to Pokemon like Talonflame. As the meta progressed into ORAS, Talonflame was valued for its ability to break past slower, bulkier builds with ease with its Specially Defensive Bulk Up/Will-O-Wisp sets, and once it had set up, even offense was unable to deal with it well, given that most of Talonflame's checks were easy to wear down by other partners. Being a pokemon that could set up on Mega Sableye was huge, especially during the time of the Mega Sableye/Shadow Tag suspect test where Sableye was a polarizing Pokemon in the OU community, so Talonflame was very valued during this time. Near the end of the meta, it wasn't as common as it used to be, given that many players didn't like feeling forced into running hazard control just to let Talonflame get to its full potential, however with its continued success in the tournament scene, notably its 2016 WCoP winrate of 72.73%, Talonflame still proves to be a big threat in the OU metagame, and one that will have left a big impression on the tier as a whole as the generation comes to a close.

How did you deal with Talonflame in OU?

There were numerous Pokemon that I used to take on Talonflame. Landorus-T, Rotom-W are the two prominent checks in the OU meta that do a very good job of handling Talonflame. And of course, Pokemon such as Tyranitar were highly valued as even a burnt Tyranitar was seriously threatening to Talonflame, meaning it could act as one of the best checks across all Talonflame sets, save for lure sets such as Natural Gift Salac Berry Talonflame. Hippowdon was one of the more common checks to Talonflame for a period of time, although this forced Hippowdon to forgo a valuable fourth slot in either Whirlwind or Toxic to take out Talonflame with Stone Edge, and even this was a difficult task, as bulky Will-O-Wisp sets were able to play 50-50's with Hippowdon in which you were not even guaranteed to come out on top. Mega Diancie, when it was introduced, was a great offensive check to Talonflame, being able to bounce back Will-O-Wisp and Taunt, while also resisting Flying so even boosted Brave Birds were not enough to take out Diancie while it threatened Talonflame back with STAB Diamond Storms. Heatran is able to soak up Will-O-Wisp's, take little from Brave Bird, and then easily wear down opposing Talonflames with the combination of Taunt+Toxic. Other niche Pokemon were also used during this time which served as great answers, mainly a personal favorite pokemon of mine, Rhyperior. Rhyperior was a great hard counter to Talonflame, as it had enough power to break past all Talonflame sets while not worrying much about burns due to it's Rock/Ground STAB's being very threatening to a Talonflame attempting to set up while also being able to soak up hits from Talonflame with ease due to its phenomenal Defense stat. Of special note are the Electric types such as Mega Manectric, Thundurus, Raikou, and Zapdos which resisted Brave Bird, did not care much about Will-O-Wisp due to being primarily special attackers, and being able to threaten Talonflame back with strong Electric STAB moves. Zapdos specifically was used a lot initially to take on the likes of Mega Pinsir, but did a great job of dealing with Talonflame due to its access to reliable recovery and great bulk. And finally is Tank Garchomp, which rose greatly in usage near the beginning of ORAS and was a good answer to a number of physical attackers such as Talonflame as it threatened to take a large chunk of Talonflame's health with the combination of Rough Skin + Rocky Helmet along with the recoil that Talonflame had to deal with from Brave Bird. As you can see, there were a number of Pokemon in the OU metagame which were able to handle Talonflame, but at the end of the day, Talonflame still left a lasting impression with its phenomenal offensive and defensive capabilities which allowed it to shine all throughout XY and ORAS.
 
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Imperator Romanum

formerly Grains of Salt
Ah, I knew I forgot something. Unfortunately, Mega Salamence will also not be allowed. It only spent one week on the standard OU ladder (and before that, just a couple of weeks on an experimental ORAS ladder), so it didn't have nearly enough time to leave a substantial impact on OU besides the obvious fact that it was extremely broken and arguably shouldn't have been allowed in the first place. Other Pokemon banned early into ORAS (i.e. Greninja and Landorus) will be allowed since they had already spent a year in XY before ORAS's release.

If you want to do Greninja, though, I can treat this post as your reservation. If not, let me know and I'll leave it open.
I'll do Mega Sableye :)
 
Nominating Keldeo



What effect did Keldeo have on the metagame?

Keldeo can be considered a large reason Latios was as common as it was, due to Latios being perhaps the best and most splashable check to Keldeo around, and also paired excellently with Latios somewhat ironically, as Keldeo dealt with most Pursuit trappers. It can also be partially attributed to the rise of Amoongus, and to an extent Tangrowth - though not entirely, as both were pretty good on their own due to being just generally fat and having Regenerator. It's probably most responsible for Dark spam not being as popular as it could have been due to it's high usage and tendency to beat and usually reliably switch in on most dark types, with the only ones it can't truly counter being Hydreigon and Mega Sharpedo, both uncommon choices in the OU metagame. Other Dark stops, such as Clefable, can be stopped by some coverage a few had (Poison Jab on Weavile) or just don't stop as many Dark types. It kept most Ground types, such as Garchomp, Gliscor, Hippowdon and Landorus in check, as well as being a big roadblock for Mega Scizor, Tyranitar and Mega Sableye. It also forced offense to be faster than it otherwise may have been, as frailer, slower Pokemon like Breloom, Bisharp and the occasional Mamoswine were usually OHKOd by it's Specs STAB, though Latios was usually sufficient for Offense, and made balance and stall carry a Latios/Latias/Mega Latias, or just generally anything that wasn't frail and resisted it's dual STABs as Keldeo would be clicking those 9 times out of 10, such as Amoongus, Celebi (who was OU for a short while, though likely not due to Keldeo itself), Slowbro, Gyarados and the like.

In what main roles was Keldeo used?
Keldeo was typically used as a wallbreaker, most commonly with Choice Specs. However, it was also sometimes used as a revenge killer for things like non Scarfed Lando-T, Breloom, Garchomp, Mamoswine (rare though it may be), and other slow but difficult to switch in on Pokemon. Another of it's roles was as a dark type answer. It had a variety of sets but most of these did these core roles in some shape or form.

Choice Specs:
Keldeo's probably most well known and common set, Choice Specs with, served as a very powerful wallbreaker. This set could 2hko most of the tier at worst (only missing out on Mega Latias, Amoongus and certain Tangrowth), and could carry coverage to deal with it's most common answers to it's Dual STAB in a Hidden Power. It functioned well vs stall, doing big damage, breaking Chansey/Skarmory/Mega Sableye/Quagsire, and just generally burning and weakening everything for teammates to break through them later. This set ran Scald, Hydro Pump, Secret Sword and then one of either Icy Wind for Latios and non mega Latias, Hidden Power Electric for Gyarados, Hidden Power Bug for Celebi, Slowbro and Starmie, or Focus Blast, who’s main boon was OHKOing Rotom Wash after rocks, enabling Keldeo to break it.

Choice Scarf:
With a scarf set, Keldeo could revenge a number of things, such as Mega Lopunny, weakened Mega Manectric, Mega Aerodactyl, Mega Alakazam, Weavile (though it beat it anyways), and other scarfers due to being a very fast scarfer, only really being outpaced in terms of scarfers by Latios. It ran more or less the same as Choice Specs, but used primarily as a revenge killer as opposed to a wallbreaker like Specs. This set ran Scald, Hydro Pump, Secret Sword and then one of either Icy Wind for Latios and non mega Latias, Hidden Power Electric for Gyarados, and Hidden Power Bug for Celebi, Slowbro and Starmie.

SubCM:
It could act as a win condition with a SubCM set, which could notably potentially get past some of it's revenge killers like Mega Lopunny, and after 1 calm mind it hit as hard as Specs anyways. This set could be more potentially threatening to stall as it could dodge some status like Amoongus's spore, as well as using Mega Sableye as setup bait. Sub also potentially gave it a second chance to burn a switchin while taking less damage itself. It ran Substitute, Calm Mind, Scald and Secret Sword with Leftovers, Expert Belt or rarely Life Orb. Scald is run over Hydro Pump as Keldeo's burn chances are a big part of what makes it so good, and the burn chance can weaken Pokemon for teammates. Potentially crippling Azumarill or Heal Bell-less physical Mega Altaria is also really nice. Secret Sword lets it hit Chansey

RestTalk
RestTalk Keldeo is a more reliable Dark Spam check, as Dark Spam tends to wear down Keldeo over many switchins. This set consisted of Rest, Sleep Talk, Scald and Secret Sword and Leftovers or Rocky Helmet. Scald is again chosen for the burn chance. This set is less focused around doing damage or being a win condition and more around having significantly more longevity than other sets, and as such fits better on Balance or Stall than on Offense like the other sets.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Keldeo's typing, speed, power and good bulk, along with Scald's chance to potentially burn, weakening many of it's already few counters, especially with specs sets, were the main factors behind it's very high viability. Notably, it's typing meant it also acted as a solid dark check, most notably to Tyranitar, Bisharp, Weavile, and Mega Gyarados. It’s power with specs was absurd, with even some water resists being 2hkod by it's water attacks anyways, most notably Slowbro and Starmie by Hydro Pump, and Scald in Offensive Starmie’s case. However, one of the biggest factors is that it got Secret Sword, allowing it to hit specially defensive checks on the physical end, thereby invalidating many that relied on raw special bulk to switch in on it otherwise. This was especially important as it turned Keldeo from just yet another special attacker Chansey could mindlessly switch in on and wall into a Chansey breaker, aiding in it's already significant wallbreaking prowess.

Due to these factors, it was very splashable on offense and some balance squads, especially as Dark Spam could be a big problem for both playstyles. I myself ended up using it on more or less every team I made, though this may be due to my general inclination towards offensively oriented playstyles. At one point, Keldeo was even S ranked alongside Tornadus-T, Clefable, Mega Charizard X and Manaphy, though this was prior to the viability rankings revamp which lead to the conditions of being an S rank worthy Pokemon being increased. In late ORAS, it became known for forming a very solid core of Latios, Landorus-Therian and itself, which was known for being able to cover significant portions of the meta, with Keldeo shielding the other two from Weavile and Tyranitar. Nonetheless, this core was very effective and was common in tournament play (examples of uses of the core being the WCoP XI .CarloO~ v Asuka Langley Soryu Qualifying Phase ORAS match and in aim v xtra$hine in Round 1 of WCoP XI) and higher ends of the ladder.

How do/did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?

Perhaps the most common answer and switch in to Keldeo was Latios. Latios takes any attack bar Specs or Life Orb Icy Wind, which 2hkos and slows it to the point of Keldeo out speeding and finishing it off - but do note that Latios could also get worn down by scald burns, putting it in range of scald anyways, so it wasn’t a surefire switchin. It then proceeded to OHKO back with it's Psychic STAB. Other common switchins include Latias and it's Mega, assault vest Tornadus-Therian, Azumarill, Slowbro, Amoongus, Assault Vest Tangrowth, base Gyarados, Mega Venusaur, Starmie, Dragonite, Celebi, and Mega Altaria. However, note that none of them bar Amoongus, AV Tangrowth, Mega Venusaur and Mega Latias are true counters, as all the others can eliminated by one of Specs Keldeo's hidden powers, Icy Wind, or just the sheer power of even resisted specs Hydro Pump, and even then, none of it’s counters like being scald burned.

Checking it offensively was more simple due to it's slightly lacking speed tier (108's good, but not excellent), as most non scarf sets could be revenged by the likes of Mega Diancie, Latios, Starmie, Serperior, Mega Metagross, Mega Gardevoir (though it has to be healthy to take it's water attacks), Thundurus, Mega Manectric, Raikou, Choice Scarf Magnezone, Mega Aerodactyl, Mega Lopunny, Alakazam and it's Mega, generally faster Pokemon that could KO. Choice Scarf made this a bit harder to do, as Pokemon like Mega Diancie took tonnes from Scarf Scald and Pokemon like Mega Lopunny were usually KOd by Secret Sword. However, due to the decrease in power from Specs, most defensive answers became a lot more reliable vs Scarf. It was usually choice locked (though not always) so it was very easily forced out once something that resisted the attack it was locked into came in, which could be dangerous as Starmie, Latios, and Mega Gardevoir, all common Keldeo checks, were dangerous to switch in on (unless you were bulky Starmie but then you kind of accepted you weren’t doing any damage with that by using it anyways).
 
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Martin

gamer boy
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Nominating Mega Charizard X



What effect did Mega Charizard X have on the metagame?

Whether people realise it or not, it is impossible to deny that the metagame is centred almost entirely around Mega Charizard X; I personally believe that this Pokémon is one of the biggest reasons why a number of metagame trends are as they are; sand is popular in part due to Excadrill's ability to outpace and OHKO +1 Mega Charizard X, and Landorus-T is the premier non-passive defensive Ground-type as opposed to Garchomp both for it's ability to handle sand better and for it's ability to handle Mega Charizard X better. In particular, I believe that the reason for Landorus-T's omnipresence in the OU metagame extends far beyond it's versatility; when something is used on almost one in every three teams, there absolutely has to be more reason than that--if there weren't then you'd see the same things with other Pokémon like Jirachi and Clefable. However, this is not the case, and I believe that the trends which Mega Charizard X's sheer existence promotes act as a catalyst for it's gargantuan usage. The meta has subconciously shifted to try and keep this complete monster in check, and it's viability has supposedly decreased because it is overprepared for due to it's status as the premier Dragon Dance user and sweeper.

In what main roles was Mega Charizard X used?

Primarily, Mega Charizard X is used as a sweeper with Dragon Dance. This is due to the combination of Tough Claws, its near-unresisted STAB coverage (resisted only by Heatran, Marill/Azumarill, Diancie/Mega Diancie, Mega Altaria and Carbink) and it's all-around spectacular stats. It is also known to run a more specially defensive variant with Will-O-Wisp to bait out and cripple the main switch-ins to it's Dragon Dance set, including but not limited to Landorus-T and Hippowdon. Between these two sets, Mega Charizard X effectively has zero counters. In the past it has also been known to run a Swords Dance wallbreaker set and a set consisting of Swords Dance, Tailwind and dual STABs to function like a worse DD Landorus-T.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

As I mentioned in the first section, the reason why I think Mega Charizard X is one of the most influential Pokémon in the metagame is because of the way that it has shaped the metagame around itself. Trends in usage focus on strategies that give Mega Charizard X a headache, and through natural succession the metagame has then forged itself around handling the strategies which beat it, and so on. Beyond this, it is obviously the premier offensive Fire-type and the premier Dragon Dance user/sweeper, and this is a big deal after all things are considered.

How do/did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?

For the most part, people fall back on Pokémon like Landorus-T to beat it directly and onto things which outpace it at +1 such as Excadrill to act as checks to it; it is the sole reason why Choice Scarf Garchomp is viable over Choice Scarf Landorus-T on select teams, and it is probably the only reason people use to justify the use of Choice Scarf Latios too. Quagsire also counters it's offensive variants due to Unaware, it's Fire-type resistance and it's reasonably good physical bulk combined with it's access to Recover. That said, all of it's defensive answers lose to it's Will-O-Wisp set due to them all hating burn, and as such it has no true counters. The other main method people use to check it include priority paralysis (Thundurus and Klefki). That said, Mega Altaria is also an answer to offensive variants barring the rare Iron Tail variants (a move which has been rendered a virtually pointless luring option due to Mega Altaria's low popularity and viability combined with Mega Diancie's weakness to Earthquake making it mostly redundant coverage), and similarly Mega Diancie can take any one hit from Roost variants and Tran walls EQless Zard too. Choice Band Azumarill can take one hit from +1 Mega Charizard X and KOs it with Play Rough after accounting for Flare Blitz recoil. There are other situational checks such as priority users like Talonflame and Mega Lopunny, but just like Diancie and Azumarill these are shaky at best.
 
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Nominating Clefable



What effect did Clefable have on the metagame?

Clefable proved to be a massive influence on the OU metagame due to its brand new Fairy typing and versatility. It was almost single-handedly responsible for the decline in Dragon spam due to being flat out immune to their STAB, although some are able to work around it (Iron Head Kyurem-Black, for example). At the same time, it caused Steel and Poison types such as Bisharp and Amoonguss, which both rose to OU by usage this generation, to become more popular, as they both resist Moonblast and carry super effective STAB against it.

In what main roles was Clefable used?

Clefable's most common and arguably best set is Calm Mind and Magic Guard. This set has solid bulk backed by great defensive typing, immunity to residual damage such as Toxic, solid power, and reliable recovery, plus a free moveslot for a coverage or utility move. It could also serve as a utility Pokemon, cleric, or even an offensive tank with Life Orb, abusing its wide coverage and having the item's drawback negated by Magic Guard. Magic Guard sets are most commonly seen on balance and bulky offensive teams, as it carries traits of both team archetypes.

Another option for Clefable is its hidden ability, Unaware. Unaware allows Clefable to ignore opposing setup sweeper's stat boosts, giving it tremendous use against them. The Unaware set typically runs WishTect (Soft-Boiled is incompatible with Unaware due to only being learned in Generation III), Moonblast, and a utility move, although Unaware Calm Mind is an option to bluff Magic Guard and defeat other CM users such as Suicune. Unaware Clefable is often run on stall, as most other Pokemon commonly seen on stall teams are setup bait for one sweeper or another. That said, it's not uncommon for such a team to have backup in the form of a (p)hazer, Clear Smog Amoonguss, or even fellow Unaware user Quagsire.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Clefable certainly made the most of its transition to being a Fairy type. The type is already good both offensively and defensively, and having good traits in both allows Clefable to be arguably the best OU-legal mon of that type.

How do/did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?

As mentioned before, Dragon types are no longer able to spam their STAB with near-impunity, so they either had to adapt to Clefable's presence or drop out of the tier. That said, Garchomp and Kyurem-B are sometimes seen running Iron Head solely to deal with Clefable. In a similar vein, Fighting types and many other physical attackers may run either that or Poison Jab to lure it. Of course, anything with Steel or Poison STAB has an innate advantage over Clefable. Such Pokemon include Bisharp, Mega Venusaur, and even a couple of assorted lower tier users such as Lucario and Tentacruel. If a super effective move is not an option, sheer power is, as Clefable's natural bulk is not overwhelming without a boost. A good example is Belly Drum Azumarill, which can KO nearly anything after a boost, Clefable included.

Let me know if I need to fix anything.
 
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SketchUp

Don't let your memes be dreams

What effect did Landorus-Therian have on the metagame?
It is not easy to describe the effect Landorus-T has on the metagame in a few sentences. Landorus-T has shown to be one of the most versatile pokemon in the metagame. Because of both its offensive and its defensive capabilities, Landorus-T has a big influence on pretty much the entire metagame.
Thanks to Intimidate and good 89 / 90 / 80 defenses, Landorus-T is able to keep offensive threats such as Excadrill, Mega Charizard-X and Mega Lopunny in check. Because of the splashability of Landorus-T, these pokemon had a pretty big decrease in usage and an increase in moves and items to lure Landorus-T (Ice Punch on Mega Lopunny, Will-O-Wisp on Mega Charizard-X, HP Ice on LO Terrakion)
The offensive stats of Landorus-T should also not be underestimated. With a high 145 attack stat and access to moves such as Swords Dance, Earthquake and Knock Off, Landorus-T can put a lot of pressure on both offensive as defensive orientated teams. Offensive Landorus-T is one of the reasons why pokemon such as Rotom-Wash, Mandibuzz (XY) and Tangrowth (ORAS), received a lot of usage.
Furthermore, Landorus-T was one of the most important pokemon for the Voltturn archetype. U-Turn was one of the most commonly used moves on Landorus-T, being an almost necessary move for Scarf and Defensive sets. The Voltturn archetype started at the beginning of XY, with teammates such as Rotom-Wash, Choice Band Talonflame, Mega Manectric and Tornadus-Therian. Even in the later stages of ORAS, the Voltturn strategy is one of the most dominant strategies on offensive teams.

In what main roles was Landorus-Therian used?
Landorus-T commonly used a physical defensive or a Choice Scarf set, but could also run sets such as Swords Dance, Offensive Stealth Rock, lure sets and Bulk Up successfully. The role of Landorus-T could vary from a bulky pivot to a revengekiller, and from a late game cleaner to a hazards setter. Landorus-T was able to adapt to almost every metagame trend, which was one of the big reasons why it constantly hit the top of the usage list.

What caused it to have a significant impact?
Landorus-Therian did not have one quality that contributed to its high viability. It was the combination of great stats, a good ability, useful resistances and nice synergy to many pokemon in the metagame that caused Landorus-T to have such a great impact on the metagame.

How do/did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?

Every archetype needs a different way to deal with Landorus-T. Stall teams did not have the biggest issues with Landorus-T, but still needed pokemon such as Skarmory, Tangrowth, Slowbro, and Quagsire to beat Swords Dance Landorus-T sets.
Landorus-T has an annoying quadruple weakness to Ice. Offensive teams abused this weakness by using lure moves such as HP Ice Terrakion, Ice Punch Mega Metagross, Ice Beam Tyranitar, and Ice Punch Toxicroak. Landorus-T also was vulnerable to the burn and badly poison status. Pokemon like Mega Lopunny, Mega Charizard-X, Excadrill, and Talonflame made use of this with Toxic and Will-O-Wisp. Another way offensive teams were able to deal with Landorus-T was to overwhelm it with multiple pokemon of the same type. Landorus-T does not have any recovery, and while it is able to counter pokemon as Excadrill, Charizard-X and Terrakion, cores with multiple physical orientated wallbreakers are able to beat Landorus-T. The most popular example is without a doubt the birdspam archetype, which used both (Choice Band) Talonflame and SD Mega Pinsir to break through counters such as Rotom-W, Landorus-T, and Hippowdon.
 
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What effect did Tyranitar have on the metagame?

Tyranitar has been an OU staple ever since its inception, and ORAS OU is no exception. Whether through disgustingly strong STAB Pursuit-trapping to neuter the omnipresent Lati twins, or using its obscene coverage to nail OU staples like Landorus-T and Ferrothorn, or just being a fat Stealth Rock setter that can still spread the yellow magic of Thunder Wave while hitting hard with a great dual STAB combo, Tyranitar can do it all. Its bulk, typing, offensive stats, and coverage allow it to check important metagame threats like the Lati twins, both Mega Charizard forms, Talonflame, and Alakazam, while heavily pressuring common defensive backbones with Heatran, Venusaur, Landorus-T, and Ferrothorn. In addition to this, its ability Sand Stream can never be discounted, as sand teams are still quite viable in ORAS OU and Sand Rush Excadrill and Sand Force Mega Garchomp are potent sweepers and wallbreakers (respectively).

Tyranitar is the face of Pursuit-trapping in ORAS OU, and for good reason. The ability to selectively remove checks/counters for other team members is incredibly powerful, and Tyranitar has just the right stats and movepool to do that. Able to be used on every archetype, Tyranitar is one of the top 10 titans of the ORAS OU metagame.

In what main roles was Tyranitar used?

There are two common roles Tyranitar was used in ORAS OU, and two less common roles: Choice Band and Choice Scarf are the former while Chople/Leftovers Support Tyranitar and Smooth Rock Tyranitar are the latter.

Choice Scarf Tyranitar was commonly seen in the earlier stages of ORAS, with a max Speed/Attack set that ran Crunch, Pursuit, Superpower, and Stone Edge. Its role was to trap the Lati twins, Gengar, Hoopa Unbound, and other things that did not want to get hit by Dark STAB, and thus pave the way for mons like Charizard Y and Keldeo (and similar mons that were checked or countered by the Lati twins) to sweep. It was very common to see Keldeo and Charizard Y paired with Tyranitar simply because you could almost guarantee the ability to trap and eliminate the Lati twins which were often the only answers many teams had to Keldeo/Charizard Y. In fact, any threat which was checked/countered by the Lati twins was usually paired with ScarfTar, simply because of the power of Pursuit-trapping.

Thus, the meta started changing and hurting Choice Scarf Tyranitar's usage. You started seeing fatter mons like Rocky Helmet Defensive Landorus-T, Defensive Pursuit Mega Scizor, Rocky Helmet Tangrowth, Suicune, Curse Gastrodon, and more pokemon that could not only handle Choice Scarf Tyranitar's attacks, but also threaten it back or threaten to set up on it.

But Tyranitar wasn't done yet. Choice Band Tyranitar started popping up later on as fatter teams became the norm (especially around the era of Shadow Tag stall). CB Tyranitar could muscle its way past common stall members like Mega Sableye with the power of CB Stone Edge, something that Choice Scarf Tyranitar is completely unable to do (sans critical hits). The extra bulk was also useful in trapping the Lati twins and the like, since even Tyranitar does not want to switch into repeated Draco Meteors. The rise of defensive Landorus-Therian as ORAS continued also benefited Choice Band Tyranitar, as it was able to cleanly 3HKO the former with Stone Edge even after Intimidate, while Choice Scarf Tyranitar could only 5HKO. Anything that doesn't resist Crunch takes huge damage from a Choice Banded Tyranitar's Crunch, so common defensive answers to Choice Scarf Tyranitar such as Ferrothorn and Gastrodn simply don't work. Now, Choice Band Tyranitar is seen as a staple on Bulky Offense teams, as it threatens to trap and inflict massive damage to anything that does not resist its STAB, and gets rid of the omnipresent Lati twins.

The other two Tyranitar sets we see at all aren't seen much and haven't really changed much in how they're used, but they're still worth noting IMO.

Chople/Leftovers Support Tyranitar had some usage in the beginning of ORAS OU, since it could set up Stealth Rocks and had great coverage to lead against things like Landorus-T and Garchomp (via Ice Beam) or Ferrothorn (Fire Blast). The increased prevalence of Mega Lopunny and especially Mega Medicham dampened these plans, as a High Jump Kick from either of these megas obliterated Tyranitar (even with Chople berry).

Smooth Rock Sand Setter Tyranitar similarly has rather low usage, as its primarily role is to set up a long duration of sand for Sand Rush Excadrill to sweep. Sand Rush Excadrill declined in usage as ORAS continued, but dedicated sand teams still are dangerous, and for them, Smooth Rock Tyranitar can compress a Talonflame/Lati twin check with a Stealth Rock setter.

What caused Tyranitar to have a significant impact?

Tyranitar's offensive and defensive stats, typing, and coverage enabled it to find a home on every archetype in ORAS OU.

Defense: A very fat 100/110/100 set of defenses is a boon to Tyranitar, and with sand giving a 1.5x boost to its Special Defense, Tyranitar often finds itself able to tank a large variety of attacks on both ends of the spectrum (although its typing and the sandstorm boost lend Tyranitar to be far more bulky against special attackers). Dark/Rock typing gives Tyranitar a useful immunity to psychic types (great against the everpresent Lati twins), and nice resists to Ghost, Dark, Flying, Fire, Normal, and Poison, letting Tyranitar check things like Gengar, Talonflame, both Mega Charizard forms, Heatran, and Tornadus-Therian. Weaker neutral attacks, especially on the special side (Mega Manectric's Volt Switch, etc.) do little to Tyranitar and let it fire off powerful STAB moves in response. With HP investment (as seen in the Choice Band and support sets), Tyranitar would often be a recurring menace for fatter teams, as they often struggle to OHKO it and were threatened by the raw power that Tyranitar brings.

Offense: Offensively is where Tyranitar really shines. 134/95 offenses are already quite good, but Rock/Dark offensive STAB is incredibly, with only Fighting resisting the combination. Even Fighting types don't want to eat a STAB Crunch or Stone Edge coming off of base 134 attack though. As for coverage, Tyranitar certainly isn't lacking. Fire Blast/Flamethrower/Fire Punch, Ice Beam/Ice Punch, Thunderbolt/Thunder/Thunder Punch, Superpower, and Earthquake are all legitimate offensive options for Tyranitar and can be used to cover things like Landorus-T, Garchomp, Gliscor, Keldeo, Skarmory, Ferrothorn, (Mega) Scizor, Bisharp, and other common checks or counters to Tyranitar. From a support standpoint, access to Stealth Rock is fantastic, as Tyranitar's natural bulk lets it set up rocks several times over the course of a match while having offensive presence to threaten common spinners/defoggers (even Excadrill is threatened by Fire-type coverage). Thunder Wave and Toxic round off the common support options for Tyranitar, and both have great niches since Toxic can neuter incoming fatties like Hippowdon while Thunder Wave cripples offensive answers like Keldeo.

How it fits on various archetypes: Bulky Offense/Stall loves to run Choice Band Tyranitar, and Balance can work with either Choice Scarf or Choice Band Tyranitar depending on what the team needs. Tyranitar doesn't fit super well on hyper offense, but on regular offensive teams Choice Band Tyranitar can be great to punch holes in common defensive backbones so that another teammate can sweep. Smooth Rock Tyranitar is great for sand teams (obviously) while Chople/Leftovers Support Tyranitar is a decent check to common OU threats listed earlier. Generally speaking, if you need to get rid of the Lati twins while having a threat that can punch holes in common defensive cores while having defensive utility....Tyranitar might be the perfect fit for you. Nearly every team can use a Pursuit-trapper, and Tyranitar brings that ability along with great offensive prowess and considerable bulk to boot. This is why we see Tyranitar in all levels of OU play, and on all team archetypes.

How do you deal with Tyranitar in OU?

Weaknesses to Bug, Fairy, Grass, Ground, Steel, and Water, in addition to a crippling four times Fighting weakness, mean Tyranitar is often devastated not only by common STAB moves (Scald, Earthquake, etc.), but also by priority moves and common coverage options (Mach Punch often OHKO's Tyranitar even with bulk investment, Aqua Jet and Bullet Punch do large chunks; Focus Blast/Superpower obliterates non-Chople Tyranitar, U-Turn lets you do good damage while pivoting out [watch out for Pursuit though]). Common threats like Keldeo, Bisharp, Garchomp, and other Tyranitar can often switch in and threaten you out.

For offensive teams, Bisharp is a decent answer, as STAB Iron Head hurts, and Bisharp can set up an SD on Tyranitar as long as it's not locked into/doesn't have Superpower/EQ/Fire coverage (with Superpower being the most common option by far). Focus Blast on Gengar and Alakazam also lets them kill Tyranitar on the switch and in the latter's case, avoid the issue of being Pursuit trapped (make sure to watch out for ChopleTar though, as in the sand it'll survive and OHKO back with Pursuit/Crunch). Keldeo is one of the better (and most common) checks/counters to Tyranitar. Secret Sword obliterates all variants of Tyranitar, and Scald burns completely neuter the beast as well. In addition, Keldeo's Fighting typing means that it takes comparatively little from Stone Edge and Crunch, especially from non-Choice Banded Tyranitar variants. Mega Lopunny and Mega Medicham also threaten Tyranitar: they outspeed non-Choice Scarf variants (and Mega Lopunny outspeeds Scarfed variants too) and OHKO with their Fighting STAB.

Defensively, Skarmory and Ferrothorn tend to be the more common and still good answers to non-band Tyranitar, but they must watch out for Fire coverage and accumulated damage from Crunch (if Tyranitar is banded). Still, they generally have little to fear if they're healthy. Rocky Helmet Tank Garchomp is a hard counter to any Tyranitar that does not carry Ice Beam/Ice Punch. Crunch and Stone Edge are 3HKOs at best, while the recoil damage alone does a number to Tyranitar and STAB Earthquake does enormous amounts as well. Tangrowth is one of the harder stops to Tyranitar as well, due to its massive physical bulk and Regenerator, which allows it to repeatedly come in to ruin Tyranitar's day. Suicune, Gastrodon, and even Reuniclus can set up on Tyranitar depending on the move its locked into, and all are solid/non-super-niche defensive pokemon.

Balance doesn't have the greatest time versus Tyranitar, but even then, the commonly-seen-on-balance (Mega) Scizor and Azumarill also threaten Tyranitar: they can set up on it if it's locked into the wrong move, and their priority options (or pivoting options in the case of Scizor and U-Turn) do a number as well.

All in all, there are a LOT of Pokemon that beat or force out Tyranitar, but very few want to actively switch into Stone Edge/Crunch/Coverage, especially repeatedly. Even with some of the counters listed, make sure to use them carefully since they will be chipped down by Tyranitar's raw might.
 
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Nominating Garchomp



What effect did [Pokemon] have on the metagame?

Garchomp gained a Mega Evolution and there was a lot of clamour about whether or not it would even be worth using without the stoner, thanks to its Attack hitting a monstrous Base 170, coupled with Sand Force, making it appear terrifying on paper due to having very limited switch ins. Of course, the nerf to weather meant that it was hard to break with MegaChomp consistently, while its deteriorated speed tier making
Throughout XY, Garchomp was a consistent threat as it always had been since its debut back in DPP (minus its banning in BW of course). Its plethora of sets that could be run: as a revenge killer; breaker or lead meant that you always had to account for it when teambuilding, however, the introduction and prominence of fairy types such as Clefable and Sylveon prevented it from being as dominant as it was in the past.

ORAS then came around and Garchomp gained a new role in order to check the almost-banned Mega Metagross as well as other physical threats such as Bisharp, Talonflame, Mega Scizor and Mega Lopunny for both balanced and offensive teams. Hereby came the rise of TankChomp, arguably the most defining set of the initial ORAS metagame. This set quickly rose in popularity, with many people calling the set to be S-rank material in the viability rankings. This newfound popularity forced many mons into having ice type coverage and could arguably claim to have been the reason why Mega Metagross didn't end up getting banned. While this set has lost popularity as the generation comes to a close, teams still have to prepare for it and ultimtely this results in teams being unprepared to deal with the more terrifying offensive sets which have been hugely successful in the latter weeks.

In what main roles was [Pokemon] used?

As mentioned previously, Garchomp's phenomenal stats, movepool and typing has lead to it filling a variety of roles.

Revenge Killer

During XY, Garchomp played a role as a revenger killer and potential cleaner thanks to a great speed tier coupled with a Choice Scarf. This set enabled it to revenge a plethora of mons, such as Greninja, +1 Char X, Keldeo, Terrakion and more. This set, however, fell out of fashion; mainly due to the dominance of Landorus-T. Landorus-T can run an awesome Scarf set which has been great since its inception and it's hard to justify using Scarf Garchomp over this unless you're using it for other roles; in addition, Landorus-T having Intimidate as well as being a Flying type and being on over a third of all teams means that Garchomp really struggles to pull off this role effectively. In addition, the banning of Greninja, the slight decline in set up sweepers like Zard-X and Dragonite meant that it was better used for other roles.

Lead

Another set which has unfortunately seen less usage towards the end of ORAS, but was at its peak while Hyper Offence was king during XY and when Mega Sableye was everywhere. This set was hugely effective as, when holding a focus sash or lum berry, Garchomp can fairly easily get up Stealth Rocks while also severely damaging or crippling an opponent. It could be used as a lead for the HO that dominated parts of XY, in order to quickly set up hazards and dent a hole in the opponents team thanks to its access to Swords Dance + Outrage/Earthquake, making it such an enticing lead. It was also great at the beginning of ORAS, as it was free to set up on non-Foul Play Mega Sableye who were expecting the omnipresent TankChomp set. While SashChomp was previously the better option; holding a Lum Berry meant that Chomp could eat the Wisp, set up and plow through defensive teams, and ultimately still get up Stealth Rocks.

Breaker

A set which has remained useful throughout the whole of 6th gen is its breaker set, if not in part due to people expecting Garchomp to be running either a weaker set (XY) or a defensive set (ORAS). Its highly convenient 102 Base Speed sat it in a sweet speed tier due to the overcrowding found in the Base 100 tier. This coupled with its great dual offensive stats allowed Garchomp to freely punch holes through teams which didn't have a combination of Lando-T, Hippowdon, Clefable and Ferrothorn (for example).

The breaker sets could really be separated into two categories, the SubSalac sets, and the LO Mixed Attacker sets. The SubSalac worked well as people switch in a the aforementioned defensive pokemon on Garchomp who was then capable to substitute up, SD as they break its Sub and then plow through with Earthquake or Outrage. This, in combination with the speed boost from the Salac Berry, could take many teams by surprise and ultimately dismantling them itself. In a similar vein, the Mixed Attacker set lured in Pokemon like Lando-T, Ferrothorn, Skarmory, Rotom-W who would be surprised after entering and being hit with either a Draco or a Fire Blast, boosted by Life Orb, in order to weaken defensive cores for other mons like Zard X, Gyarados or Bisharp to clean up late game.

TankChomp

Finally, the set which really made Garchomp so meta-defining. Even though, once again, this set isn't as prominent as it was a few months back, the tankchomp set was a staple on so many teams during the beginning and middle of ORAS and is still reasonably popular today. The idea is that with Garchomp's exceptional HP stat and better than average Defence stat, Garchomp could cause repeated chip damage throughout a game. Its Hidden Ability, Rough Skin combined with wielding the Rocky Helmet, forced physical attackers to think twice before spamming its favourite move. It forced Metagross and Lopunny to run Ice Punch just so that they wouldn't be fainted through repeated chip damage. This made it a God-send on HO teams, replacing the previously popular lead sets, as it still ran Stealth Rock, but could deter set up sweepers with Dragon Tail, while preventing the most threatening mons to HO (Talonflame, Lopunny and Bisharp) from spamming their way through the teams.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

The main reason why Garchomp has been so dominating in 6th gen is because of its versatility. Yes, it's stats are fantastic, but that doesn't guarantee a meta-defining mon. It's splashable on all teams except for the most defensive due to not having reliable recovery and fills a wide range of roles. Its ability to check threats, prevent set up sweepers, set up hazards, lure in a variety of mons as well as set up itself, means that until you find out which set you're dealing with, you cannot guarantee that you have a counter to it (unless you're running Whirlwind Hippo I guess.)

Its multitude of options has enabled it to consistently adapt to the threats and trends of the metagame at hand and even if on occasion, it wasn't as effective as perhaps it was before, you know that its still going to find a way of being one of the more threatening mons in the tier. Arguably three of the best mons in the tier, introduced in ORAS (Lopunny, Sableye and Metagross), had to find ways of dealing with Garchomp, because it was able to run sets to beat each of them as it wanted to.

In addition, its splashability in the tier is only enhanced by its ability to pair with so many common Pokémon. We already know how well TankChomp fits onto HO, so we won't talk any more about that but rather the mons in particular it assists. Pokemon such as Mega Metagross, Clefable and Mega Gardevoir who hate Mega Scizor and Ferrothorn for instance, are helped immensely by either Garchomp's Rough Skin forcing Sciz to always be below 75% or its ability to pack Fire Blast, meaning that a swift double can open up holes for the aforementioned mons to either sweep or set up.

How do/did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?

Garchomp's defensive sets are generally worn down through straight up attacking instead of setting up, WOWs from Rotom-W, as well as frequently coming into contact with hazards. Although Garchomp can create mindgames with the mons packing Ice Punch/HP Ice, getting these right at least once means that TankChomp is generally useless for the rest of the game, and good doubles into your Clefable or Weavile can easily prevent Garchomp from setting up hazards/phasing the team around to its heart's content.

Its offensive sets are arguably harder to deal with despite TankChomp's greater prominence this generation. It's difficult to answer a threat when you don't know what set it's going to be. But, in general, Balanced teams are capable of repeatedly switching into answers to these sets, causing it to faint through LO recoil, and causing 50/50s with mons like Clefable and Landorus, making it have to predict with coverage move to hit. More offensive teams definitely handle Garchomp better due to almost definitely having at least 2 mons who outspeed and have Super Effective coverage, such as Mega Manectric, Thundurus, Keldeo, Mega Diancie, and this constant pressure can prevent Chomp from having any impact whatsoever on a game. Stallier teams definitely struggle more with the Mixed Attacking set, as the extra power from the LO enables it to 2HKO Quag, Skarm etc. If you're really worried about being broken down by Chomp, then you can of course run Mega Slowbro who is a great counter to it, eating a Draco and healing off the damage, however Mega Slowbro does lose to Sub SD Chomp; thus showing that most defensive answers can be liabilities.

Overall, Garchomp has been without a doubt, one of the top 10 titans of OU, never going out of fashion and continuously evolving and threatening no matter how the metagame has changed. While its checks are aplenty, its counters are few. One moment of underestimation and that could be the end of your game.
 
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Nominating Lopunny-Mega




What effect did Lopunny-M have on the metagame?

Lopunny-Mega being one of the most infamous ORAS additions to the OverUsed environment, she brought many positive assets to the table with her blistering Speed, perfect neutral coverage with Return/Frustration + High Jump Kick, STAB Fake Out without immunites because of Scrappy, and a lot of coverage and utility moves such as Ice Punch and Encore, allowing her to deal with a even wider array of threats.

She almost instantly became one of the most dominant Mega in Offense, due of her ability to destroy most offensive teams and even some balance cores, but mostly because of Scrappy, allowing her to spam Fake Out way better than Medicham, and also for being the only non-Fairy capable to break through Sableye-M which can be quite tricky to deal with when playing an offensive team.

It's mostly because of her that the metagame shifted around bulky Rocky Helmet/Rough Skin users such as Defensive Lando-T and TankChomp, since they can stop her from spamming Fake Out at the risk of being worn down very easily. However, most Lopunny nowadays uses Ice Punch to beat those two since they became so common. (Lando-T usage is so damn high atm)

Not to mention that Lopunny can deal with every single Pursuit Trapper in the tier and outspeed it (She can even outspeed Scarf Ttar and Weavile), thus making it perfect for teams that uses things like Latis that are very prone to get Pursuit trapped, so the trapper will most likely going to be forced out when Lopunny will come to revenge kill.



In what main roles was Lopunny-M used?

Lopunny-M is mainly used as a generic sweeper, due to her ability to spam Fake Out early-mid game and her insane speed allowing her to revenge kill a very good portion of the metagame.
She also packs a decent bulk (65/94/96 is pretty good for something that's supposed to be a glass cannon) and useful resistances such as Dark, Rock and even an immunity to Ghost, allowing her to take less damage from SR which is really good for an offensive mon without any form of recovery, thus making her harder to get worn down.


All-Out Attacker :

Lopunny's probably best and most common set. In general, it uses HJK/Return/Fake Out/Ice Punch or PuP to put a severe dent in HO, Bulky Offense and some balance since her blistering speed makes it almost impossible to revenge kill without a Scarfer or a priority user, and her lack of immunities letting her spam Fake Out throughout the game.
Ice Punch allows Lop to deal with TankChomp and Defensive Lando-T, which would completly counter it otherwise, while Power-Up-Punch allows Lop to overwhelm defensive pokemon that could wall it effortlessly otherwise, such as Iron Head Skarmory or Amoonguss.

Substitute :

Now that's my personal favorite version of the bunny. I personally prefer Sub + PuP because it allows Lop to destroy stall archetypes while still being useful against more offensive builds because of her ability to protect herself from status and still overwhelm most walls with PuP.
However, the most popular Sub version mostly uses Encore or Baton Pass to lock down an enemy into their recovery move or into like SR or Defog, or simply BP the sub to a setup sweeper such as BD Azu or a wallbreaker which can sometimes win a game.



What caused it to have a significant impact?

Speed. 135 Speed is nothing to laugh at, especially when backed up with 136 Attack, an unresisted STAB combination, and ability to run whatever it wants as 4th move such as Ice Punch, Sub, PuP, Encore, or even Heal Bell, not to mention she has Scrappy Fake Out, meaning that she can deal some free damage to every pokemon in the tier.

However, this isn't the only good asset that Lopunny has up to her sleeve : with her defensive typing and stats, she has a few useful resistances that she can really make use of, such as resistance to Rock (that means SR won't deal as much damage and it's really important for that kind of pokemon), resistance to Dark, meaning she can't get Pursuit trapped (and thus meaning she can come in, Fake Out then run away easily) and doesn't care about most Knock Off which is one of the most used moves in the game.

With her damage output, she also legitimately COUNTERS most hyper offense teams, due to the fact that most HO won't have any switch-in to her (or this switch-in is called Landorus-T and is going to be worn down easily), and she outspeeds almost every single mon in those teams not named MKazam, MAero or MMane.


How do/did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?

Like a lot of physical threats, just throw a bulky Water / bulky Ground and you're good. Lop makes no exception. Hippowdon and Slowbro are probably two of its hardest counters, because of their tremendous physical bulk and reliable recovery with Slack Off and Regenerator for the latter, even if they fear getting Encored in their recovery move.

Most Fairy-types also don't care that much about Lop, such as Clefable or the forgotten MAltaria. They often have enough physical bulk to stomach everything that Lop can throw at them and retaliate back with Moonblast, Return or even Thunder Wave, not to mention that MAlt can also DD on the switch.

Even if it looks hard to revenge kill such a fast pokemon, there are still some pokemon that are able to do so.
The most obvious offensive check to Lop is probably Brave Bird, because of his Flying-type priority that will always OHKO the bunny. Other super effective priority like MPinsir Quick Attack or Breloom Mach Punch works fine too.
There's also MKazam which is actually able to outspeed Lop and kill it with Psychic.

Pivoting in general will also detriment Lop capacities since he won't be able to spam Fake Out as much as she wants to, especially if your VoltTurn core is RH Lando + Rotom-W, since he won't like taking free damage from RH and will be forced out by Rotom-W because of WoW.


Also take notice that i'm not english native so i may have done some mistakes, so please correct them if you see some :p
 
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Bisharp
Typing: Dark/Steel
Abilities: Defiant/Inner Focus/Pressure
Stats: 65/125/100/60/70/70
What effect did [Pokemon] have on the metagame?

Bisharp was a mediocre pokemon at best in Gen 5. Despite a unique typing and good Attack stat, its unimpressive abilities, poor HP stat, unimpressive speed, and crippling 4x weakness to Fighting meant Bisharp didn't have much opportunity to shine. But several changes to Gen VI made Bisharp into a threat that could not be ignored for team building, and simultaneously hard to pass up.

Hazard removal was one of the absolute biggest changes to Gen VI. Whereas before Rapid Spin was the only means of removing Stealth Rocks and Spikes, Defog (a move with far better access), became the go to method of hazard removal for most teams. However, Defog also lowers the opponent's evasion 100% of the time. What this means is that Bisharp with it's Defiant ability, would get an automatic +2 boost to its Attack power. While before you had Ghost types function as spin blockers, Bisharp became THE reason to be reluctant to hit that Defog button. While other pokemon have the Defiant ability (and its sister skill Competitive), Bisharp had the right combination of defensive typing, skill set, and match up against the most common Defog users that none could outperform it, meaning Bisharp had no competition in this category.

In what main roles was [Pokemon] used?

Outside of a Defog deterrent, Bisharp has a unique and uncommon STAB combo in Dark/Steel. Both of these types became of greater value with Steel types losing Ghost and Dark resistances, and Steel being one of the only two types super effective against the new Fairy type.

If we were to also rate the top 10 most influential moves of the generation than aside from Scald, you'd be hard pressed not to say Knock Off. Knock Off always had the utility of removing items, but it got an insane buff in BP from 20 to 65, and on top of that, the BP actually rose to 97.5 when removing an item. So what you have is an attack nearly as powerful as Earthquake on its first use, but with an offensive type that has no immunities, and on top of which removes the opponent's critical item. This is all before factoring STAB in. Bisharp's STAB Knock Off is one of the hardest moves to switch into in the game, and as such it was highly spammable and easy to play mind games with, as Bisharp's tendency to force switches meant it could often afford to set up a Swords Dance if it wanted.

On top of that, Bisharp is one of the best users of STAB Pursuit. Unlike Tyranitar, Bisharp also has access to priority Sucker Punch. This means a Latios or Gengar that would normally obviously withdraw and want to try attacking instead could fall prey to a super effective priority. While Sucker Punch can be played around, it's still an additional form of pressure not in the opponents favor.

Bisharp was flexible enough to be able to use several items to suit a team's needs, and its STAB attacks alone were so good it rarely ever needed coverage outside of Low Kick for other Bisharp, Ferrothorn or Mega Gyarados. Substitute with Leftovers eased prediction and to set up SD safely. Lum Berry was used to lure pokemon that relied on status to disable it. Assault Vest was plausible to make for an easier time switching into certain special attackers to make for a more solid Pursuit trapper. Otherwise, a simple Black Glasses or Life Orb to boost your attack were reliable fallbacks.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Bisharp's existence lead to many nefarious pairings. In fact, it was the infamous Bisharp/Deoxys-D combination that effectively lead to the decision to bad Deoxys-D into Ubers for its reliability in stacking so many hazards. There was also the Mega Medicham Baton Pass lure combo that made it easy for Bisharp to Pursuit trap common Psychic/Fighting resistant checks. Bisharp also faired well against the two most common Rapid Spin users: Starmie and Excadrill. Because Steel lost its resistance to Ghost and Dark (which ironically Bisharp did not because its part Dark), neither of these two pokemon could spin hazards in front of a Bisharp without taking a Sucker Punch to the face.

Bisharp was easy to form pairings with because of its typing. Despite its defenses were rarely invested in and 65/100/70 leaves a lot to be desired, it does however sport an impressive two immunities and 9 resistances, including one to Stealth Rock. Bisharp's weaknesses to Fire, Fighting and Ground were easy to cover in numerous cases. Latios is immune to Ground and resists the other two. Landorus-T is immune to Ground, resists Fighting, and softens physical blows with Intimidate. Bisharp is just very easy to find partners for.

Bisharp is also just bad news for some of the most ubiquitous pokemon in OU. Landorus-T's Intimidate ability became a liability, giving a Bisharp a free +1 just for switching in. Despite packing a super effective Earthquake, common Choice Scarf sets were OHKO by a +1 Sucker Punch. Meanwhile, defensive variants were slower and had a 50% chance to be OHKO after SR. Iron Head was bad news for Clefable and Tyranitar, and Gengar, Latios, Latias and Mew feared Bisharp's Dark STABs. And despite Magnezone being a renown Steel trapper, it isn't well suited to taking out a healthy Bisharp without HP Fighting, which they never carry lest they be unable to trap Ferrothorn and Scizor with HP Fire.

How do/did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?

Burns were one of the best ways to handle Bisharp. Gengar for example could rue a Sucker Punch by using Will-O-Wisp. Bisharp had to be wary of switching into Scald users. Despite threatening Slowbro with Knock Off, Bisharp can't risk switching into Scald. If not Burn though than Paralysis was your next best bet. Clefable commonly started carrying Thunder Wave to make Bisharp's job more difficult. However, Lum Berry Bisharp can be used for these strategies, as Bisharp is not dependent on one item to thrive.

Fast Fighting types are by far Bisharp's greatest enemies. Bisharp can't stop a sweeping Keldeo or Mega Lopunny with its Sucker Punch. And in the case of something like Terrakion with Justified it actually just gives it a +1 boost. Additionally, reliance on Sucker Punch for priority is a double edged sword. Fast sweepers can circumvent the attack with moves like Substitute, virtually guaranteeing them to get past Bisharp. Fairy sweepers like Mega Altaria and Mega Diancie often had coverage in Earthquake, Fire Blast or Earth Power and could take a resisted Sucker Punch comfortably. Mega Gardevoir and Mega Alakazam could also avoid Sucker Punch with Will-O-Wisp, Thunder Wave or Substitute and both had access to Focus Blast.

Knock Off was handled in a few ways of its own. Rocky Helmet Ferrothorn and Garchomp made for some hefty recoil damage for making physical contact. Meanwhile, Ferrothorn threatened with Thunder Wave and Garchomp with STAB Earthquake right back. Mega Pokemon also had the benefit of their Megastones being unremovable, meaning Knock Off would never get the removal damage buff. Therefore bulky mega evolutions like Charizard-X, Gyarados, Venusaur, etc. had little to fear from the move. Even certain megas that were weak to Dark like Mega Slowbro and Mega Latias were bulky enough with recovery options that they were not necessarily forced out by Bisharp.
 
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Thanks to everyone who has submitted nominations thus far! This has been a busy weekend for me, but hopefully I'll be able to update the OP sometime today or tomorrow.

Also, Analytic Drangonn. wishes, it's been more than 24 hours since your reservations, so Landorus, Mega Venusaur, and Mega Scizor are back up for grabs. If you still wish to write a nomination for them, please post a new reservation.
 
Nominating Mega Venusaur.



What effect did Mega Venusaur have on the metagame?

Mega Venusaur shined as XY began to settle. Quite far and wide, Mega Venusaur was considered the glue of stall and it reigned supreme. Residing in S Rank for quite some time, Mega Venusaur was able to hold its own and make itself a name as the stall Pokemon. For quite some time, most of the metagame was centralized around running a random Psychic-type move or using sand archetypes specifically to neuter Synthesis. What allowed Mega Venusaur to shine was the prominence of Water-types, Azumarill and Manaphy in particular, and the general state of an unevolved metagame. A Pokemon with such a great defensive typing with an ability which gave it the unique neutrality to Ice- and Fire-type moves which no other Grass-type had the luxury of. At this point in the metagame, Mega Venusaur had become a staple. Mega Venusaur had earned itself a reputation of just not dying thanks to its access to Leech Seed, Giga Drain, and Synthesis. Beyond this, the ability to check top tier threats such as Thundurus, Aegislash, and Bisharp meant Mega Venusaur was truly one of the best Pokemon in the metagame.

In what main roles was Mega Venusaur used?

Mega Venusaur was primarily used as a stall Pokemon, or a defensive glue. Thanks to its excellent bulk, typing, and movepool, Mega Venusaur really could do whatever it pleased versus most Pokemon. With such excellent defensive tools in Giga Drain, Synthesis, and Knock Off, it is no wonder Mega Venusaur shot to prominence alongside the new metagame. Beyond this, a very unexplored offensive set utilized its excellent bulk alongside a surprise factor of Hidden Power Fire or Earthquake to lure its common checks in Mega Scizor or Heatran. Little to be known at this time period, the offensive Mega Venusaur would later become the best set it could run. However, at this stage in the metagame it was best used as a defensive backbone for teams. Commonly seen next to Chansey, Skarmory, Heatran, and Quagsire, Mega Venusaur proved itself as an excellent way to patch up weaknesses in defensive teams. Resisting Fighting-type moves for Chansey and Heatran, or Electric-type moves for Skarmory, to opposing Grass-types for Quagsire, Mega Venusaur kept a lot of the defensive metagame in tact.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

In order to view Mega Venusaur's impact, one must not look at Mega Venusaur as a singular Pokemon, but as a part of a team with other members. Simply put, Mega Venusaur 1v1 was great, but not outstanding; however, when placed alongside other Pokemon which allowed it to shine, Mega Venusaur was fantastic. A lot of the significance of Mega Venusaur's prominence stems from how early and unsettled the new metagame was. With new, shiny Mega Pokemon, many were eager to jump right in and use Mega Venusaur. However, Mega Venusaur truly did have a huge impact as being a well known defensive glue and due to the subject of its controversy. Although most unanimously agreed that Mega Venusaur was a top tier threat, many speculated that it wasn't as top notch as everyone else had suspected. This did, unfortunately, end with Mega Venusaur ultimately residing in A+ Rank for the majority of the XY metagame past its S Rank glory days.

How do/did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?

The best counter without a doubt was Mega Pinsir, another former S Rank threat. Because of its resistance to almost all of Mega Venusaur's moves, and a pseudo-resistance to Knock Off, Mega Pinsir only really had to fear the uncommon Sleep Powder. In return, it could easily blow Mega Venusaur away with its powerful Aerilate Return. Beyond this, the metagame slowly but surely began to adapt enough to deal with Mega Venusaur. Psychic on Manaphy, the rise of Kyurem-B, or the rise to stardom that Talonflame brought about. Many Pokemon which struggled to break Mega Venusaur began to run specific coverage moves or lure moves to beat Mega Venusaur, as brute force simply could not break it sometimes. Another metagame trend we saw arise was the prominence of Sand, which effectively made Mega Venusaur's only recovery move, Synthesis, useless. Although Mega Venusaur had the metagame wrapped in its vines, the metagame became more and more adapted and found ways to beat this ancient dinosaur.
 
Nominating Manaphy

What effect did Manaphy have on the metagame?

Manaphy had the effect of harshly limiting the viability of Stall teams and Balanced teams which rely on bulky pivots, which causes the metagame to be heavily biased towards offense. With its decent bulk, Manaphy could comfortably come in on support Pokemon like Mega Sableye who could at best status it while it boosts its stats and prepare to tear down the defensive pivots with its decent movepool, which can be tailored to suit the user's teams. For example, Psychic is a coverage move which allows Manaphy to lure Mega Venusaur and defeat it for the team while Rain Dance is a move which allows Manaphy to defeat Specially Defensive Clefable and Chansey. As a response to the huge threat Manaphy poses to Stall teams, players begin to adapt by using Gothitelle to trap or cripple Manaphy by Tricking it a Choice item. While Manaphy users can get around this by using Shed Shell on it, the ban of Shadow Tag in OU leads to a sharp decline in defensive teams, limiting Manaphy's niche. However, it was partly due to Manaphy that players begin to realise the massive potential of Trapping Pokemon, leading to the rise and ban of Shadow Tag, as well as the spike in popularity of Pursuit users such as Tyranitar.

In what main roles was Manaphy used?

Manaphy was a deadly wallbreaker capable of defeating most defensive answers to it with a slight adjustment in its sets. What makes Manaphy truly great isn't just because of its good coverage options but also its decent bulk, typing and access to two different boosting moves; Tail Glow and Calm Mind.

The most popular Manaphy set is the Tail Glow + 3 attacks set, which allows Manaphy to have a wider coverage options (Ice Beam, Energy Ball, Psychic, Hidden Power Fire, Dazzling Gleam, Signal Beam) to dismantle defensive backbones after a single +3 boost from Tail Glow. This set is incredibly threatening to balanced teams which rely on bulky pivots as Manaphy can pave the way for a teammate to sweep. It can also clean up an opposing team after most faster Pokemon are eliminated.

Alternatively, Manaphy can opt to drop a single coverage move to run Rain Dance. While dropping a precious coverage move isn't ideal, Rain Dance allows Manaphy to single-handedly tear apart Stall teams as the premium Special wall, Chansey and Unaware Clefable are no longer answers to it due to its in-susceptibility to Status moves and having Rain to boost the power of its Scald.

Finally, Manaphy can also run a Calm Mind set, which allows it to take advantage of its decent defensive stats, access to Scald and its Hydration ability. Hydration allows Manaphy to run a Rain Dance + Rest set which makes it very difficult to take down for more defensively-inclined teams as it can just click Rest and regain lost health and status while slowing boosting its stats. Having Scald to deter physical attackers from recklessly switching in is also a huge boost in Manaphy's favour.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Manaphy was one of the best Pokemon because its stats, movepool and Ability are tailored perfectly against the trend of the metagame back then, which leaned towards defensively-inclined and balanced teams. With just a free turn, Manaphy can immediately turn into a fearsome wallbreaker capable of demolishing pivots and passive mons with ease. Manaphy is also capable of choosing its own counters based on its own choice of coverage moves or Rain Dance, which makes preparing for Manaphy a daunting task for defensive teams.

Manaphy is not completely useless against Offensive teams either. With decent 100/100/100 bulk, Manaphy can take a neutral hit and retaliate back with its own attack, which will normally be a huge dent on Offensive pokemon. Since Manaphy isn't item-dependent, it can also be made to hold a Type-resistant berry to lure unsuspecting would-be checks such as Serperior and Thundurus. While Stall teams eventually adapted to Manaphy's presence by introducing Gothitelle, Manaphy users can simply run a Shed Shell on it to escape Shadow Tag or simply pair Tyranitar with Manaphy to easily remove Gothitelle from the game.

After the ban of Shadow Tag, the metagame shifted to a more Offensive-oriented type, reducing Manaphy's main niche as a wallbreaker. It also find itself competing for a spot with Keldeo, who has the advantage of higher immediate damage output, better Bisharp and Weavile check, and occupying a higher Speed tier. However, Manaphy is still a viable Pokemon in teams which hate defensive cores.

How did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?

The best counterplay you have against Manaphy is to take advantage of its average base 100 Speed and Special Attack stats. Without a boosting item outside of the uncommon Splash Plate, Manaphy's damage output isn't very threatening which means it will normally need to click Tail Glow before it can start threatening teams. Therefore, Dragon-type Pokemon such as Kyurem-B, Latios, Latias and Mega Latias are good answers to Manaphy as they take relatively little damage from Manaphy 's unboosted attacks while being able to threaten Manaphy back with their own attacks. These Pokemon can also heal up the damage taken with Roost.

Pokemon like Serperior, Mega Sceptile, Mega Manectric and Thundurus all force Manaphy out with their faster Super Effective attacks. In the case of Mega Manectric, it can also potentially gain momentum with Volt Switch. Do keep in mind that Manaphy might potentially hold a Type-resisting Berry (such as Wacan Berry or Rindo Berry) to survive a Super Effective hit and knock out your attackers.

Thirdly, while Manaphy has a wonderful movepool, it cannot have all its options at once. Power Whip Ferrothorn is an answer to Manaphy if it doesn't have Hidden Power Fire while Mega Venusaur checks non-Psychic Manaphy. An Energy Ball-less Manaphy also faces trouble getting past bulky Water-type Pokemon such as Slowking. Manaphy is also stopped by Unaware Clefable and Chansey if it doesn't have Rain Dance.

While OHKOing Manaphy is not an easy task due to its decent defenses, faster Pokemon like Mega Lopunny, Mega Alakazam, Latios and Tornadus-T can all easily revenge kill Manaphy or force it out after it has incurred residual damage from battle, likely incurred while boosting to threaten an opposing bulky Pokemon.
 
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