Project The Top 10 Titans of the Gen 7 OU Metagame

Jordy

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OP largely taken from Agent Gibbs and Gary



The Top 10 Titans of the Gen 7 OU Metagame


With new Pokemon like Ash-Greninja, Magearna, Pheromosa, and Toxapex dropping and Zygarde receiving Thousand Arrows, this generation has been very different from previous generations. The big question that we will try to answer with this thread is, which of all the Pokemon were the 10 most influential throughout of Gen 7?

From July 5th to July 19th, you will nominate Pokemon that will be voted on for the top 10 most influential Pokemon throughout Gen 7. After that, you will all evaluate all the nominations and individually rank the Pokemon from 1-10 by vote. Of course, all the nominations will count as long as they're reasonable and fit the criteria. Please keep in mind that we're not ranking Pokemon based on how good they are, but we're ranking Pokemon based on how influential they've been.

Here's an example format of what your nomination can look like:

Nominating Pokemon

Enter sprite 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.

All Nominees:





The Top 10 Titans of the Gen 7 OU Metagame:

1.
2.
3. 4.
5.

6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

You're allowed to reserve nominations, but make sure to finish them in 24 hours, or they will be back up for grabs! Also, you can only reserve one nomination at a time. This is to make sure that your reservation gets done before you finish another.
 
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Quick question: So we are allowed to do Pokemon that have been banned but stayed in OU for a significant portion of SM? (Pheromosa, Dugtrio/Arena Trap and Zygarde come to mind)
I think you can do stuff that was banned, iirc from previous generations. Some mons that are now banned ran the meta - Zygarde would probably be on the list even if it was the 5 titans of the meta.

Givens are:
LandorusT
Magearna
Ash Gren
Heatran
Toxapex
Zygarde
Kartana (probably)


Some possibilities:
Koko
Fini
Dugtrio
Pheromosa
Metagross
Tornadus
Celesteela
Ferrothorn

Will be interesting to see how the last few pan out. Also curious: are gren and ash gren separate? normal gren is probably a fringe candidate, but isn’t a ridiculous nom.
 

Jordy

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Quick question: So we are allowed to do Pokemon that have been banned but stayed in OU for a significant portion of SM? (Pheromosa, Dugtrio/Arena Trap and Zygarde come to mind)
Yes, that is allowed. Sorry for not making that clear.

Also curious: are gren and ash gren separate?
Also yes, Greninja and Ash-Greninja will be treated as different Pokemon, though you could loosely link their influence on each other I guess.
 

lyd

mysterious vibes that we share
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What effect did Pokemon have on the metagame?

Tapu Lele's effect in OverUsed is very evident. Along with the likes of Magearna and Mega Alakazam, Tapu Lele greatly contributes for the presence of at least one defensive Steel-type in nearly all non-hyper offensive teams. The sheer power of it's Psychic and Fairy moves makes a Steel-type an extremely valuable member to have in your team, as otherwise Tapu Lele will easily rampage through it

In what main roles was Pokemon used?

This Pokémon is most notably used as a Wallbreaker, and one of the most deadly ones at that. With Choice Specs and Calm Mind sets wreaking havoc on unprepared and prepared teams alike. Choice Scarf can be seen every once in a while as a Revenge Killer capable of negating priority but Tapu Lele shines as a Wallbreaker mostly.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Simply put 130 SpA alongside an automatic STAB boosting terrain is too much for several walls to handle. This allied with an alright Speed tier and a good typing really makes Tapu Lele shine.

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

The aforementioned bulky Steel-types make great checks. Offensive counterplay is also a great manner to deal with Tapu Lele, thanks to its below average bulk and its speed tier, albeit good, does leave it open for many revenge killers.
 
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Egor

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Nominating Zygarde



What effect did Pokemon have on the metagame?

Getting Thousand Arrows was a blessing to Zygarde and enabled it to make players forget the phrase "Ground immunity"! Pokemon immune to Ground but having a type weak to Ground, like Celesteela and Rotom-W, were used rarer. Instead, players were forced to run Ground resist aka bulky Grass-types like Tangrowth and Tapu Bulu on every team. As a consequence, Grass-types that don't resist Ground, like Amoonguss and Mega Venusaur, were out of favor. Tangrowth was probably the most catch-all answer to Zygarde but even it couldn't handle some sets such as Substitute+Toxic+Setup. Some Pokémon ran techs, like Curse Mega Scizor and Ice Fand SD Gliscor, exclusively to answer Zygarde. Pokémon like Mega Heracross and Slowbro were on rise thanks to their ability to answer Zygarde, more or less. Some Pokémon, conversely, were used less because of Zygarde. For example, Ground-types like Gliscor and especially Garchomp faced tough competition from Zygarde due to the its greater utility and bulk.

In what main roles was Pokemon used?

While Zygarde had an impressive amount of set which were used differently, main Zygarde's niche could be described as a wallbreaker or sweeper with amazing defensive utility. The most proactive sets were DD+Z-Crystal, Double Dance, and Weakness Policy. The former set was suited for bulky offensive builds, while the latter two were used on hyper offenses. Speaking of HOs, Zygarde was the face of this archetype thanks to two setup options, nice coverage, and good bulk. Sets like SubDD+Toxic and SubCoil+Glare took more defensive approach while still retaining a sweeping potential. Rest sets were the most defensive of Zygarde's sets thanks to a form of recovery but even they often carried Dragon Dance so they could act as a sweepers.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Thousand Arrows just put Zygarde over the edge of brokenness. However, this move isn't broken itself. The combination of Thousand Arrows, amazing bulk, and expansive movepool allowed Zygarde to have so significant impact on the metagame. I must note that exactly the combination of these qualities made Zygarde broken. Separately, they are absolutely healthy. What if we take over Zygarde's bulk? We will just get a Zygarde-10% which is by no means broken. What if we take over Thousand Arrows from Zygarde? We will get a Gen 6 version of Zygarde which was almost useless. Thousand Arrows, a spammable STAB move, means that Zygarde needs only it to effectively damage foes. Then the remaining moveslots could be absolutely any moves from Zygarde's wide movepool, like coverage, Substitute, Toxic, Glare, Rest etc. Great bulk lets Zygarde make a good use of its various sets caused by Thousand Arrows and expansive movepool. So these factors make Zygarde unhealthy, broken, and banworthy, so banning it was for sure the right decision.

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

As I said earlier, Tangrowth was the best all-around answer to Zygarde which also was good against some other top-tier threats like Ash-Greninja and non-Flyinium Z Landorus-T. SubSetup+Toxic Zygarde could just overwhelm Tangrowth in the long run, though. Tapu Bulu was another Grass-type Zygarde answer but it was worse than Tangrowth because it couldn't beat the very popular SubCoil+Glare set. Toxic Zygarde also could beat Tapu Bulu over the course of the battle. Curse Mega Scizor easily handled Toxic and Dragon Dance variants of Zygarde but could be haxed by Glare Zygarde or just phazed by the rare Dragon Tail. SD Ice Fang Gliscor could beat most Zygarde's sets finely but Ice Fang itself is an inferior option on Gliscor that cuts its efficiency as a sweeper. Slowbro and its Mega form were similar to Tangrowth because only Toxic Zygarde could beat them but Slowbro is considerably worse in the metagame than Tangrowth and faces a lot of competition from other bulky Water-types. Offensive answers like Mega Latios and Protean Greninja generally were good at beating Zygarde but they hate being Glared or screwed by offensive sets' strong boosted attacks.
 
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Warning: Quite a long post incoming

Magearna

184512

What effect did Pokemon have on the metagame?

From the beginning to SM to now, Magearna has established itself as a crucial part of the metagame. Between its typing, stats, ability and immense movepool, teambuilders scratch their when it comes to checking it. Magearna is a central reason as to why Pokemon like Landorus-T, Toxapex and Heatran are good, as these three Pokemon are the primary ways of checking it. It also contributes to keeping Pokemon such as Tapu Lele, Mega Alakazam and to a lesser extent, Ash-Greninja, from being immensely broken. Even stall, a playstyle that had its beloved Chansey, was forced to adapt in wake of its CM+Pain Split, which used Chansey as fodder. (Though stall also had new enemies in Mawile and Tapu Lele, but the point still stands).

In what main roles was Pokemon used?

Magearna plays an immense number of roles effectively, allowing it to contribute to teams ranging from HO to stall. Arguably its most threatening set, however, has been its Shift Gear set. This Gear variant aimed to setup and sweep opposing teams, and did so with surprising ease once minimal support was provided. The set could run any number of coverage moves. Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Focus Blast, Fleur Cannon, Flash Cannon and Calm Mind, the last of which made it a swiss-army knife sweeper, capable of picking when it wanted to clean a weakened offensive team or blow a hole in a wall so something else could sweep. This was aided by Soul-Heart, providing massive snowballing oppurtunity from an opponent’s sac, and its Steel/Fairy typing that allowed it to take hits while setting up.. This set also had several item choices, from Electrium Z, Fairium Z, Steelium Z, Fightinium Z, Leftovers, pinch Berries, Shuca Berry, Metronome and even Weakness Policy. Although it rarely deviated from a standard max max spread, bulkier versions that abused Magearna’s good bulk were also seen to counteract revenge killers.

And thats just one set this thing can run.

The next most popular set is Assault Vest, and it is a remarkable special pivot. While at first it may seem illogical to have a special wall with no recovery, the bulky offense teams that it fits on are geared (pun intended) to annihilate the opposition before Magearna dies. What separates Assault Vest Magearna from other pivots (Chansey as an example) is its typing and Volt Switch. This is one of the few switch-ins to the murderous Choice Specs Tapu Lele that often claims a kill against most defensive pivots. Volt Switch also allows Magearna to pivot into other breakers, such as Mega Medicham, Ash-Greninja and Choice Specs Tapu Koko to deal with the opposition’s answer to Magearna. The reason its such a good user of Volt Switch is because, even uninvested, Fleur Cannon scares away the tier’s Ground-types, letting it Volt freely. It doesn’t matter if Heatran or Chansey walls you, because you can just volt out to Medicham and bop something. Assault Vest’s moves and spreads have continuosly evolved, switching from Flash Cannon to Iron Head (dealing with CM Clef, CM Mega Alakazam, CM Tapu Lele and chip Chansey) and from Ice Beam to Energy Ball to Focus Blast (to pummel Grounds to eating Gastrodon to chipping Heatran and Ferrothorn). Its also invested more in SpDef than ever before to maximize the ability to take on Tapu Lele, Alakazam and AshGren.

The other two sets, CM+Pain Split and Heart Swap, are much younger and one-dimensional but are still effective. CM-Split is a nightmare for fat teams to deal because it 1v1s Chansey, and if its invested enough SpDef it can still check Lele (though not as well as AV). Heart Swap deals with CM mons such as Latias, Clef, Zam, Reuni, opposing CM+Split Mage and Lele. It also offers Volt Switch so it fits on BOs nicely, which may be troubled by these mons. In SM, Magearna could even be on Trick Room acting as an OTR alongside Uxie and Cresselia. Overall, Magearna performs several roles from setup sweeper to defensive pivot to stallbreaker to slow CM check.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

I’ve mentioned this in the beginning, but pretty much everything about Magearna makes it effective. There’s really nothing wrong with it except it can’t run everything it wants to. Its Steel/Fairy typing and bulk gave it good setup oppurtunites and let it check a good portion of the metagame. Soul-Heart and its Special Attack made it a snowballing threat that also hurt less offensive mons when uninvested. Even low Speed, a death sentence for most mons, was abusable thanks to it granting free Volt Switches. An array of coverage and utility moves allowed it to fit on and play crucial roles in every team it has been played on, from pivoting on BO to beating Chansey and stopping setup sweepers. Its item slot was pretty flexible, lending to the above three points. The popularity of Psychic-types who ward off Toxapex made arguably the most threatening set, Double Dance Fairium, even more powerful. The power of VoltTurn made Mage an easy fit alongside Defensive and Choice Scarf Landorus-T as well as Tornadus-T come USUM and Rotom-W is the post-Zygarde era. The rise of stall during WCoP and OLT of last year made CM-Split a strong option, and the eventual popularity of Calm Mind sweepers (particularly Latias and Reuniclus) made the meta a prime place for Heart Swap.

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

Between its 4 sets, it could be argued that Magearna has no counters. However, this would cause it to be banned, and it hasn’t been so it must have counters. These countermeasures can be circumvented by coverage or various utility options though. Landorus-T and Heatran are possibly the best check and counter respectively. Both outspeed unboosted variants and smack it with a STAB, although do the former is wary of Fleur Cannon and the rare Ice Beam and the latter can be taken advantage of by Volt Switch. Venusaur, who is growing in popularity, can deal with non-Steelium variants but can Mag can still Volt out. Toxapex and Celesteela can handle non-Thunderbolt variants, but Mage gets a free Volt Switch on them. Garchomp is a consistent check, but it is even more weary of Fleur Cannon. Volcarona can setup and roast it while Mage can’t do anything but gets Volted on again. Arguably Magearna’s greatest counter is offensive pressure. Between Spikes, Stealth Rock and its lack of any recovery bar the unreliable Pain Split, it can be hard to keep Magearna on the feld for long. This makes it especially prone to Ash-Greninja, who abuses the lack of a water resist and sets up Spikes as it switches in. The very niche Gastrodon can check all non-Fairium or Energy Ball variants, even blocking Volt Switch. This isn’t to say Mage is bad—it can circumvent all of these checks very easily with coverage, Volt Switch, Pain Split or Heart Swap.
 
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Mannat

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Won SPL Predictions
Nominating Toxapex


What effect did Pokemon have on the metagame?
Toxapex singlehandedly centralized the tier around insuring teams against poison spreading in a way that was never required before. In gen 6, there simply wasn't anything that got tspikes and was good enough to mandate prepping for them, but the addition of Toxapex into the metagame forced people to adapt and prep for them to an unreal degree. This is the first time in a long time that I remember a defensive mon that you gotta actively prep for like "I can't be weak to Toxapex" simply because it can throw out so much status and disrupt teams so well. This almost reached a breaking point where many considered it to be broken in late SM after the Dugtrio ban, but the release of USUM brought Defog move tutors, which thankfully made Toxapex a lot less of a headache to deal with, but it's still held onto its place as a top tier threat regardless.

In what main roles was Pokemon used?
  • tspikes setter
  • bulky pivot
  • setup sweeper check
  • status spreader
What caused it to have a significant impact?

Water/Poison is an incredible defensive typing against many of OU's best Pokemon, this along with its insane bulk and Regenerator allowed it to check Pokemon that were top tier threats in ORAS OU like Keldeo and Mega Scizor with ease. Additionally, Its incredible support/defensive movepool allowed it to o an incredible job fulfilling its role as a bulky pivot while simultaneously having just enough variety between its move options to keep the opponent on their toes. This movepool includes but is not limited to: tspikes, knock off, scald, toxic, baneful bunker, recover, and haze.

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

The most consistent answers to Toxapex over the course of the generation were Pokemon that didn't particularly care about its ability to spread status, such as Reuniclus, Alakazam, and Gliscor. Additionally, offensive Pokemon that could pressure it such as Tapu Koko and Landorus did a good job keeping it at bay. Heatran deserves a special mention here due to its immunity to both burn and poison while being able to actually trap and remove Toxapex from the game, which comes into play often due to how Toxapex teams traditionally rely on Toxapex to be the primary fire resist. Otherwise, finding ways to consistently chip down Toxapex like burning it with your own Toxapex after removing its Black Sludge with Knock Off Torn-T or something of that sort, usually in conjunction with entry hazards.
 
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The Pokemon I elected to write about in this post is none other than the infamous Dugtrio! I’m going to be going out of the recommended order for this; there's a lot to talk about regarding Dugtrio and because it's such an exceptional case compared to many of the other potential candidates for this list I feel that going outside of that order would best describe how influential Dugtrio was.

As a disclaimer, this one's going to be an extremely long post as I want to make sure I'm providing a pretty convincing argument in favor of considering Dugtrio one of the top ten most influential threats of the generation; I'm also open to any feedback since there may be some details I've missed in this analysis. Without further ado, let us begin!



"We dreamed of creating the world's strongest Pokémon...

...and we succeeded."

- Junichi Masuda, moments before witnessing the opponent's Dugtrio OHKO his team's defensive backbone.

Part I: Introduction

Many unfamiliar with the history of Generation 7's OU tier may consider Dugtrio a strange thing to associate with offensive and defensive juggernauts - the majority of whom are quite literally the stuff of legends - such as Zygarde, Toxapex, Heatran, Landorus-Therian, Magearna, and Tapu Koko among many others; yet one could most certainly argue that Dugtrio, during its time in the tier, had an influence comparable to that of many of these and even more extreme than that of others.

Dugtrio's stats appear incredibly unimpressive at a glance: its defenses and HP are paper-thin, its Attack stat is extremely mediocre by any tier's standards, and while its Speed stat is very high its relatively low power in more generalist matchups and overall lack of bulk would prevent it from picking up more than a single KO. This mole's strength, however, lay in its incredible Ability: Arena Trap. In discussing Dugtrio's influence on the metagame, this Ability will most certainly come up on several occasions, and while Dugtrio is by far its best user the Ability had some implications beyond Dugtrio.

Part II: The Generation Gap

Dugtrio has played a role in the OverUsed tier ever since Abilities were first added to the series, courtesy of the incredible Arena Trap: as of the time of writing this it ranks thirteenth, at the very bottom of the A- rank, on the ADV OU Viability Rankings, sharing the rank with metagame staples like Snorlax, Jirachi, and Suicune. It functions largely as a revenge killer in that metagame; it is able to eliminate the likes of Jirachi, Magneton (which had to develop a set specifically to turn the tables on Dugtrio!), and even the oh-so dominant Tyranitar with a Choice Band boosted Earthquake or one of its coverage options. Though it was an overall weaker choice in the following generation, falling to UU, it still saw occasional usage in that generation's OU for many of the same reasons; being able to trap and eliminate Heatran as well as other Ground-weak metagame staples is a valuable niche. The fifth generation brought with it Team Preview, and this fundamentally changed how Dugtrio would function going forward: your opponent would know if you had a Dugtrio on your team immediately, but you would know if your opponent had something Dugtrio could trap and eliminate immediately. This change added a new, mental layer to battles involving Dugtrio: your opponent would have to avoid putting himself or herself into a situation in which Dugtrio could trap something important, while you would try to force a trap situation through any means possible.

Discussing older OU metagames when discussing Dugtrio's influence on Gen 7's OU metagame may seem strange, but because of how exceptional of a case Dugtrio is this is is extremely important in setting the stage for the changes this generation brought for the three-headed mole. The first of these changes was one made specifically to Dugtrio: it gained an additional 20 base Attack in the transition to Sun and Moon, pushing the stat up from a mediocre 80 (max 284 if Adamant) to a more respectable 100 (max 328 if Adamant). This change alone was extremely important, as it could now score OHKOs it previously could not: the standard Choice Band Tyranitar, for instance, is now OHKOed by Choice Band Dugtrio's Earthquake, while the new Tapu Koko would always be OHKOed by an unboosted Earthquake should it be running a strictly-offensive spread (as many did at the time) while if Dugtrio's Attack stat remained unchanged it would have a chance to survive the move. This essentially allowed Jolly Dugtrio to outdamage the old Adamant Dugtrio sets, and the Adamant Dugtrio sets to reach newer heights than any old Dugtrio set. The second change, though more general in scope, was with the addition of Z-moves: this, paired with Dugtrio's semi-unique ability to pick and choose its targets and eliminate them, made Dugtrio threatening on and to a wider variety of teams than ever before.

Part III: The Tools of the Trade

Though Dugtrio was only truly excellent because of the value of its incredibly specialized niche, it could run a plethora of different sets to even further specialize that niche. Though many sets were usually relegated to specific team archetypes, one could choose the Dugtrio set that could eliminate the most important targets: for instance, a team that centered around Mega Charizard Y could get a lot of mileage out of a Dugtrio running Screech and Groundium Z for its ability to eliminate any of Toxapex, Heatran, and Chansey, while a team that would prefer to deal with fast offensive Electric types like Tapu Koko and Mega Manectric, and even some fast and frail offensive threats that weren't weak to Earthquake like Greninja, could instead elect to run a Choice Scarf Dugtrio to outpace and KO these things. Dugtrio isn't known for having the widest movepool, but the only true constant here was Earthquake, which every Dugtrio set would run. Here's an extremely rudimentary example of what Dugtrio could be seen using during its time in OU.

As a disclaimer, I intentionally left out a fourth move for Dugtrio's Scarf set because that could be customized as one saw fit (within reason). You may as well consider the sets here "the Scarf sets, the Sash sets, and the Z-move sets." Even the Natures Dugtrio could elect to run would vary: Jolly, as mentioned earlier, could now hit harder than the previous generations' Adamant, but the newfound power from this generation's Adamant Dugtrio made for a pretty convincing argument. One could argue that it was up to preference for the most part, although Sash sets would usually prefer to run Jolly.

Dugtrio gave players that used it a lot of agency during the teambuilding process in terms of item choice, Nature choice, and moveset choice, but gave players that were weak to it a considerable headache; as mentioned earlier, each of these sets can trap and eliminate very different things.

Part IV: Dugtrio's World

In the previous generation, Dugtrio made its home primarily on Stall teams for its ability to potentially remove something that could pressure its five bulkier teammates, offensively or defensively, and was frequently paired with Mega Sableye before the latter's ban. Dugtrio was most certainly still very effective on Stall teams for all the same reasons and more, but with the changes it received this generation it could also find its home on more balanced and offensive teams. One of the most dangerous offensive cores in the later parts of the Dugtrio metagame consisted of Dugtrio, Tyranitar, and Mega Charizard Y: Dugtrio could trap and eliminate Toxapex - something that walls Mega Charizard Y completely courtesy of its typing, bulk, and access to reliable recovery - and potentially Chansey - something that walls almost any Special Attacker, Mega Charizard Y and Tyranitar could more effectively wallbreak or potentially even sweep against slower teams thereafter, and their teammates could clean up from there if these two could not finish the job. That said, as the metagame progressed players found that Dugtrio could function well alongside many cores; the ability to trap and eliminate a wide variety of targets, from Heatran to Tyranitar to Chansey to Magearna, was invaluable support for many top-tier threats.

The definition of a "counter" is something that can near-indefinitely switch in on something and wall it or force it to switch out itself: such a term is frequently associated with threats that were so versatile or so incredibly powerful that they could potentially have a move or an entire moveset to deal with another set's counters or could just 2HKO everything with the correct move. A well-played Dugtrio, however, had no counters simply because its Ability outright prevents switching out in the first place. The metagame could, however, adapt somewhat to its presence: the most well-known adaptation to Dugtrio's considerable influence was Toxapex donning a Shed Shell over the tried-and-true Black Sludge for the sole purpose of escaping from Dugtrio's clutches a single time. Tapu Lele notoriously adopted a similar tactic, also frequently running a Shed Shell instead of its many alternatives so Dugtrio wouldn't trap it. As such, Dugtrio was still very difficult to adapt to because Arena Trap's ability to trap such a wide array of targets - something notably different from Magnezone's ability to only trap Steel types - meant it was technically impossible to counter in many situations. Discerning Dugtrio's set could prove difficult and an analytical player would have to determine it through team preview, as it could prove near-impossible to directly scout for Dugtrio's moveset without allowing Dugtrio to trap and eliminate something anyway. To counter-adapt to the limited viable adaptations Dugtrio forced, players would occasionally opt to give something an Eject Button to lure in a Dugtrio-weak threat, get the equivalent of a slow U-turn off if hit, and then send in Dugtrio to dispose of it. Dugtrio's Electric immunity also provided Tapu Koko with a good reason to run U-Turn on some sets so it could get some valuable chip damage on Dugtrio while also escaping from its clutches.

Checking Dugtrio was still possible, however. The Greninjas could play a very different mindgame against Dugtrio: non-Scarf Protean Greninja naturally outpaces non-Scarf Dugtrio (the same was true if both were running a Choice Scarf, obviously) and threatens to OHKO it if it isn't Focus Sash Dugtrio, but Scarf Dugtrio could severely damage non-Scarf Protean Greninja (and Sash Dugtrio could do the same to almost any Protean Greninja). Water Shuriken Greninja (Ash-Greninja) could always pose a considerable threat to Dugtrio, however, as Water Shuriken is a multi-hit super effective priority move that will OHKO any Dugtrio variant; this is important because even a pre-transformation Battle Bond Greninja could threaten Dugtrio. This is a common theme in general: if something could attack before Dugtrio, either through Speed or through priority, it could check Dugtrio. Dugtrio would generally not be used in these individual matchups, however, so Dugtrio users would avoid forcing Dugtrio into these potentially-unfavorable situations in the first place in order to preserve it for the targets it was supposed to trap. Overall, one could argue that the best way to "beat" Dugtrio before it did its job was through careful mindgames.

To say that Dugtrio was an enormous threat is still a considerable understatement. Dugtrio proved to be so centralizing that many OU players called for it to receive a suspect test. As such, two suspect tests focused on dealing with it were issued at different times during 2017.

Part V: Suspect Testing and Dugtrio's Eventual Ban

1. The Dugtrio Suspect Test:
Dugtrio was suspect tested on 9 February 2017, on the grounds that it was too centralizing a force and that, though limited to function exclusively as a frail trapper, it was far too versatile in what it could trap and eliminate to be considered healthy for the tier. This suspect test was considered rather controversial at the time: some considered a Dugtrio suspect necessary, while others thought Dugtrio was far from the biggest problem the metagame was experiencing at the time. Still others argued, contrary to the Council's original opinion, that the ability Arena Trap itself was the unhealthy element of the tier. Many players theorycrafted uses for two other Arena Trap users - the slow but strangely powerful Trapinch and Dugtrio's pre-evolution Diglett - and found that they could at least partially fill the void should Dugtrio be banned: Diglett was still relatively fast and its Earthquake could still KO the likes of Heatran and other Ground-weak threats, while Trapinch, though extraordinarily slow, boasted the same damage output as Dugtrio but also had access to Superpower to potentially break through Chansey and Ferrothorn. Though the votes were either "Ban" or "Do Not Ban," many argued that Arena Trap should've been the focus of the suspect and as such one could argue that there was a third group of voters that split themselves between the "Ban" and "Do Not Ban" sides, though this may not necessarily be completely accurate.

Ultimately, in an extremely close vote Dugtrio remained in the OU tier. The most prominent anti-ban argument appears to be that Dugtrio and Arena Trap weren't what needed to be suspected at that point in time: the terrifying Mega Metagross, with its enormous wallbreaking potential, excellent bulk, great Speed tier, and wide movepool to pick and choose its counters, was frequently cited as one of the most problematic threats in the tier. As such, something that severely threatened the archetype Dugtrio was most prominent on - and something that Dugtrio could trap and eliminate as it began to run Bullet Punch less and less frequently - getting suspected and potentially banned could perhaps fundamentally change how effective Dugtrio was in the metagame at large. Pheromosa, too, proved problematic at this point and due to its versatility as well as a blistering Speed tier that Dugtrio couldn't even contest it could pose a serious threat to many teams in general, including some Stall staples. Some argued, therefore, that Stall absolutely needed Dugtrio at that point.

Pheromosa and later Mega Metagross were suspect tested and ultimately banned, and from there the world kept a close eye on Dugtrio. It began to improve drastically thereafter. It was at this point that Dugtrio began to see use beyond Stall teams. Teams began to run Eject Button users for the sole purpose of giving Dugtrio a free opportunity to trap and eliminate something. Its Z-move sets were explored more, and people found that Dugtrio could even break through the likes of Chansey with the combination of Screech and Tectonic Rage. Many called for another suspect test, arguing that Dugtrio's ability was proving far too unhealthy for a metagame that at this point had plenty of time to adapt to its presence.

2. The Arena Trap Suspect Test:

On 2 September 2017, the entire Arena Trap ability was suspect tested. The rationale for this suspect test was largely unchanged: Dugtrio was able to defeat a long list of powerful offensive threats when used on Stall teams and to break past a long list of sturdy defensive backbones when used on more offensively-inclined teams, with Mega Charizard Y being cited as one of its premiere partners on these more offensive teams. Finchinator notably mentioned that, while Dugtrio was the primary focus of the Arena Trap suspect test, Diglett saw some use on Stall teams during the Dugtrio suspect test to deal with a handful of the important threats Dugtrio was used to trap. Thus the OU playerbase was once again tasked with determining whether or not Arena Trap - and, therefore, Dugtrio - had a place in the tier. Initial reception to the Arena Trap suspect test proved much more positive than to the Dugtrio suspect months prior.

Two weeks later, Arena Trap was banned from the Sun and Moon OU tier and all lower tiers it in a landslide vote, and as such Dugtrio began its long descent to the darkest recesses of the PU tier. However, controversy about Dugtrio did not conclude there: players took a retrospective look at Dugtrio's role in both the BW2 and OR/AS OU metagames and concluded that many of the elements that made Dugtrio such a centralizing threat in the seventh generation's OU tier applied to those tiers, too. Arena Trap was eventually banned from those two OU metagames as well, and as such the entire ability is currently banned from the OverUsed tier in all generations that feature Team Preview.

VI: The Aftermath of Dugtrio's Reign


Dugtrio is currently in a strange spot this generation in light of the Arena Trap ban: as of now it is completely untiered, having so little usage that it has no place in even PU. It currently has a rank of B- in Smogon's new unofficial tier, ZeroUsed; at least there it has a semblance of a niche. Yet in a twist of irony, Dugtrio has a notable niche in the Ubers metagame of all places: with Arena Trap still being legal in Ubers, Dugtrio possesses the valuable niche of trapping and decimating titans like Primal Groudon and Dusk-Mane Necrozma with its tried-and-true Groundium Z set. Dugtrio, while technically legal in OverUsed as only Arena Trap is banned, serves no purpose except as a reminder of its massive influence from days long past. But few if any familiar with the SM/USUM OU metagame, from casual fans that were introduced to the metagame through influencers like Blunder, Pokeaim, and False Swipe Gaming to Smogon's most elite tournament players, can deny just how impactful Dugtrio was during its stay in the tier.

Few if any Pokémon prove so impactful in a metagame that they can influence its role in past metagames; yet here Dugtrio stands, for its influence here was so great that its flagship ability was retroactively banned from two more OverUsed metagames that had since run their course.


EDIT 7/14/2019: I realized now that I forgot to include Shed Shell Tapu Lele as a common "countermeasure" to Dugtrio even though I discussed it with some of the folks in the OU Discord and we all brought up the absolute degeneracy of Shed Shell Lele to deal with Arena Trap.
 
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Nominating Tornadus-Therian



What effect did Tornadus-T have on the metagame?

Prior to the release of Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon, Tornadus-T’s effect on the metagame was small. While it may have been a top threat in ORAS, power creep hit it hard in SM and it found itself being considerably less viable. However, with the new move tutors in USM, Tornadus-T got a shiny new toy in the form of Defog, making it a premier user of the move and subsequently allowing it to regain its position as one of the greatest Pokemon in the tier. Many would currently consider it top 5 in the metagame, after the four in S-rank.

EDIT: It might be interesting to note that Tornadus-T was the second most commonly used Pokémon in the latest WCoP USM OU after Landorus-T (and also in ORAS OU after Clefable for what it's worth).

Tornadus-T’s popularity as a Defog user and the wider distribution of Defog in the USM metagame in general has made it much harder to keep entry hazards on the field. Hazard stacking in general has taken a considerable hit due to its popularity as it takes no damage from Spikes or Toxic Spikes and is even able to shrug off Stealth Rock damage thanks to Regenerator as it uses Defog to clear them. In fact, beating Tornadus-T is now an important criterion to be a good Stealth Rock user, otherwise it would simply come in and Defog them right away. If we look at the current top Stealth Rock users we can see that most of them have means of threatening Tornadus-T to keep them up: Landorus-T’s Stone Edge/Z-Fly/Rock Tomb, Heatran’s Z-Magma Storm/Z-Flash Cannon, Garchomp’s Stone Edge, Ferrothorn’s Gyro Ball, Tyranitar’s Stone Edge, etc.

In what main roles was Tornadus-T used?

Throughout the generation, Tornadus-T was used as a pivot. What makes it a good pivot is a combination of various factors, mainly Regenerator being a godsend for a Pokemon that’s constantly switching in and out, negating residual chip damage, as well as access to a great spammable Flying STAB move in Hurricane, and U-turn which allows it to garner momentum, often making it possible to bring in your sweeper or wallbreaker. This is why it is mostly seen on offensive and balance teams.

It was often used as an offensive pivot with Z-moves, mainly Z-Hurricane or Z-Focus Blast, to blow through common Pokemon such as Landorus-T, Clefable and Heatran. At the start of the generation it often ran Assault Vest to tank special hits as a bulky pivot, but this later transitioned to Rocky Helmet to be able to run Defog and punish U-turn users. With USM giving it Defog, it is able to cover the almost mandatory hazard removal needed on most teams.

Tornadus-T is also used as a utility check for a number of Grass- and Ground-types such as Kartana, Tapu Bulu and certain Landorus-T sets. This is especially useful on rain teams, which have been quite popular in the late USM metagame, as they often have trouble breaking through Grass-types and Hurricane is perfectly accurate in rain, making Tornadus-T a staple on teams of this archetype. In this case Defog is usually foregone as Pelipper is the usual pick for Defog on these teams, often running Superpower instead to deal with Ferrothorn. It usually runs Life Orb in this case for the needed offensive prowess as the Z-move slot is generally taken by the likes of Magearna, Manaphy or Azumarill which are often featured on these teams.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Regenerator is an amazing ability for a pivot as it allows it to come in multiple times throughout the game, and come in on many things it does. Its base 121 Speed is very decent, allowing it to outspeed the likes of Serperior, Kartana, Choice Scarf Magnezone, Latias/Latios and other Pokemon in the very crowded base 90-110s Speed tier. It does just barely miss out on Greninja's base 122 Speed however. It also has a stellar movepool: Hurricane, Defog, U-turn, Knock Off, Focus Blast, Superpower, Heat Wave, Taunt and Toxic are all viable options it can run, and you can even tech on moves like Grass Knot, Iron Tail or Icy Wind if you want it to check specific threats. It is the combination of these qualities that make Tornadus-T an excellent Pokemon in the metagame.

Tornadus-T pairs well with bulkier Pokemon that appreciate Tornadus-T's speed and resistances, e.g. bulky Water-types such as Toxapex. Slow wallbreakers also like to be brought in safely which Tornadus-T is able to do thanks to its pivoting capabilities. Pokemon that appreciate its hazard control also pair well with it, e.g. Volcarona and Charizard like to have Stealth Rock off the field and Heatran likes Spikes gone. The likes of Tangrowth, Toxapex and Amoonguss can also form a powerful Regenerator core with Tornadus-T that can be difficult to break through and possibly even PP stall you. Tornadus-T itself appreciates Pokemon that can check Electric-types, mainly Ground- and Grass-types.

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

As VoltTurn is a very popular team archetype this generation, a lot of people run Rocky Helmet on their Pokemon (including Tornadus-T itself) and also use Static Zapdos, Rough Skin Garchomp or Iron Barbs Ferrothorn to punish contact moves and thus deter the likes of Tornadus-T, Landorus-T, Tapu Koko and Greninja from spamming U-turn. Most teams feature an Electric-type like Tapu Koko, Zapdos or Rotom-Wash which resist most of Tornadus-T's attacks and scare it out with their Electric-type STAB moves. Bulky hazard setters with reliable recovery like Toxapex and Chansey can keep their entry hazards up against Tornadus-T, but that doesn't mean it can't do work against them. Lastly, on Sticky Web or other hazard stack teams people often run Defiant Bisharp or Contrary Serperior to deter Defog users like Tornadus-T, as Bisharp's Attack would get boosted to dangerous levels and Serperior's evasiveness increases making it hard to land a Hurricane and risk catching a Glare in return.
 
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Twilight

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Nominating Heatran



What effect did Pokemon have on the metagame?

Heatran performs so many tasks at once that has been capable of warping the metagame around trying to handle it. Its mix of defense and offense make it one of the top dogs in the tier thanks to it having such few switchins, all of which can still be punished given the right set. Heatran is so customizabe that it fits on almost every type of team which has forced things like Earthquake Mega Latios and Fightinium Z Tornadus-T to be able to remove it effectively. While Heatran does have a huge impact on the metagame it hasn't proven itself to be a banworthy threat, due to its middling Speed tier and easability to get worn down by hazards and switching into resisted hits. Heatran will still always be the dominant threat it is thanks to it beating down bulky walls like Chansey and Clefable or offensive threats like Landorus and Garchomp which can't pivot in safely.

In what main roles was Pokemon used?

Heatran was capable of fulfilling several roles for a team depending on the set of choice. Heatran could act as a fantastic breaker capable of dismantling defensive and offensive cores, while being able to effectively set Stealth Rock by virtue of how many switches it forced. Its signature move Magma Storm trapping Pokemon like Chansey, Toxapex, and Clefable then proceeding to beat them down in conjunction with Taunt or the multiple different Z moves it could run. Firium Z provided a strong nuke to break through Gliscor and Mega Sableye, Steelium Z to break Clefable, Tyranitar, and Mega Alakazam and finally Grassium Z to lure in Tapu Fini, Rotom-W, and Gastrodon. Heatran could effectively break through all of its checks depending on the set allowing it to flexibly fit onto multiple teams to serve a specific purpose. Heatran could also be used as a specially defensive pivot into threats like Tapu Lele and Tornadus-Therian then proceed to use it as a free opportunity to set Stealth Rock or spread status via Toxic or Burn from Lava Plume.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Heatran's great mix of both defensive and offensive utility made it have a massive impact in the metagame and this is further insinuated with all the potential Z crystals it could reliably run, even if some of them began falling out of favour for another such as Firium Z. Steel-types became extremely popular in this generation and Heatran's ability to be an effective Stall/Wallbreaker alongside the defensive capabilities it provided made it one of the best in the tier. The reason for a surge in Steel-types was because Pokemon like Kartana, Tapu Lele, and Mega Mawile were so prevalant in the tier and Heatran was capable of soft checking all of them. This alongside it having very few defensive switch ins made it a multi-purposed threat that not many other Pokemon in the tier could accomplish. Tapu Bulu was a very popular core alongside Heatran thanks to them being able to check each others checks almost perfectly, plus Tapu Bulu was also able to set Grassy Terrain for Heatran to net extra recovery and take less damage from physical Ground-type moves being Heatran's biggest weakness. After Zygarde-50% was banned, Heatran became even more popular than it was before thanks to one of its best defensive answers being removed from the tier.

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

Heatran only has two weaknesses and that is to Fighting and Ground, the latter it being 4x weak too. One of the best ways of dealing with it was through these Ground-types like Landorus, Garchomp, and Gliscor. In return some of these Pokemon had to adapt to Heatran to be able to handle it such as specially defensive Gliscor and bulky Garchomp to reliably pivot into it, otherwise an offensive set would take a lot on the switch especially with the former two lacking recovery. Pokemon like Mega Latios, Mega Alakazam and Mega / Tyranitar increased in usage to check Heatran. Mega Latios being able to switch into its standard Fire and Ground coverage, however in order to retaliate back it has to run Earthquake to handle it. Mega Alakazam is able to use Heatran's own ability against it by absorbing its Fire coverage and not taking enough from Earth Power that Recover could not health off. Tyranitar has amazing Special Defense especially when boosted by Sand to pivot into and take on Heatran. Even Assault Vest variants became popular to handle Heatran and Psychic-types better. Recently both Hydreigon and Kommo-o have seen increased usage by virtue of them being able to take on multiple threats in the tier; Heatran being one of them. Offensively Heatran could be pressured fairly easily due to its middling Speed tier making it outsped by threats like Ash-Greninja and Kartana which can revenge it.
 
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Gurpreet Patel (Sent you a Friend Request)

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Nominating Mega Metagross

What effect did Mega Metagross have on the metagame?

Mega Metagross, thanks to its incredible breaking power, increased the use of some unconventional Pokemon such as physically defensive Tangrowth, Hippowdon, Slowbro, and Rotom-Wash (which was a lot worse before the Zygarde ban). That being said, a more interesting effect Mega Metagross had was how it freed up building when it was on the team. Thanks to the incredible amount of roles Mega Metagross compressed with its great offensive and defensive capabilities, it could easily be used alongside less self-sufficient Pokemon meant to support it such as Magnezone. Slower wallbreakers were also good partners for it, as seen in this SPL game where Ciele paired Mega Metagross with Hoopa-U and Tapu Lele, while ABR used a Choice Specs Gengar to weaken Tapu Fini and KO Landorus-T so his Mega Metagross could put in more work later on.

Because of how well Metagross's teammates did against defensive builds, the metagame generally leaned towards a more offensive state, although stall could still make use of Dugtrio to take out key stallbreakers, including Mega Metagross itself. Balance teams typically couldn't stand up to Mega Metagross over a long period of time, especially considering its common teammates. In this SPL game, PDC capitalizes on Obliviate's aggressive play to land a Sleep Powder against his Mega Metagross, allowing PDC's own Mega Metagross to win the game with little to no effort.

Overall, the Mega Metagross metagame was very centralized around Mega Metagross. Teams often needed multiple dedicated slots to prevent Mega Metagross from tearing them apart, and even then, the Mega Metagross user could bring teammates to take advantage of these dedicated counters. Mega Metagross itself also limited the viability of Pokemon like Kartana and Magearna, because not only did they have to compete with it for a team slot, but they also struggled to break through it; Kartana in particular struggled in the OU metagame before Mega Metagross's ban because of how effectively Mega Metagross could shut it down.

In what main roles was Mega Metagross used?

Mega Metagross did a ton of things in just one slot that made it worth using. First and foremost was its stellar wallbreaking ability. Mega Metagross had two good STAB moves in Meteor Mash and Zen Headbutt alongside coverage moves like Thunder Punch, Hammer Arm, and Ice Punch, and utility options like Bullet Punch and Pursuit, which all came off Mega Metagross's impressive base 145 Attack and Tough Claws ability. This meant that any Pokemon that couldn't match Mega Metagross's 350 Speed was going to be eating a heavy hit from it.

Additionally, Mega Metagross brought incredible defensive utility to the table. Although it couldn't be used strictly as a stall Pokemon due to its lack of recovery, it did have great staying power throughout a match thanks to its amazing defensive typing and very good bulk even without investment. Very few Pokemon boasted the ability to outspeed and OHKO Mega Metagross from full HP, so against more offensive teams it could almost always find opportunities to come in and severely dent the opposing team. Mega Metagross was also able to switch in on attacks like Tapu Lele's STABs and Tapu Bulu's Wood Hammer or Horn Leech relatively unscathed.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

One of the biggest reasons why Mega Metagross was suspected and banned was because its counterplay had limited viability and could be inconsistent. Even physical walls meant to take it on could potentially lose to secondary effects from Mega Metagross itself, like attack boosts from Meteor Mash or freezes from Ice Punch, as seen in this game. Dedicated walls like physically defensive Tangrowth and Alomomola had limited use outside of countering Mega Metagross, and tended to drain momentum as well. Mega Scizor could be taken out by Magnezone or lured in by Hidden Power Fire variants of Mega Metagross, which popped up around the time it was suspected. Overall, balance and bulky offense teams didn't have enough tools to avoid losing multiple Pokemon without being significantly worse against other threats (some of which were commonly used with Mega Metagross).

How do/did you deal with Mega Metagross in OU?

The most commonly used form of counterplay to Mega Metagross on many balance builds was Rocky Helmet users, like Tangrowth, Hippowdon, Zapdos, and Alomomola. Mega Metagross was a lot easier to deal with once it had taken a few rounds of chip damage. Revenge killers like Choice Scarf Garchomp could successfully pick it off after chip while wallbreakers like Choice Specs Tapu Lele had a much easier time breaking through a Mega Metagross that was already chipped. Meanwhile, offense teams attempted to limit Mega Metagross's opportunities to come in with Pokemon that pressured it like Ash-Greninja.
 
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I'ma go with Kartana

Edit: sry I feel like I might not be the right person to do this, someone else can take Kart. At least I've tried, but I can't seem to get it right, so anyone can do it in my place. peace
 
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Jordy

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Nominating Volcarona


What effect did Volcarona have on the metagame?

Volcarona has been a very influential Pokemon throughout the generation, especially in the early stages of the metagame where it forced teams to run Choice Scarf users like Garchomp and Keldeo with Stone Edge. Volcarona has the ability to circumvent just about any checks and counters with the set it is running, which has ultimately granted it the nickname "matchup moth". For example, it used to run Charti Berry back when Choice Scarf Keldeo and Garchomp were run to check it a lot, ultimately causing them to drop. It can also circumvent checks like Toxapex with Shattered Psyche and Heatran with Hidden Power Ground, which has made it quite hard to check every possible Volcarona set. Right now Volcarona is still used the exact same way that it has been used throughout most of the generation, with some 'new' sets like bulky Quiver Dance Volcarona popping up to check common Pokemon like Mega Mawile and Kartana.

In what main roles was Pokemon used?

As I alluded to above, Volcarona is a sweeper that can be absolutely devastating in the right match up. It's very efficient at sweeping considering how small the list of consistent checks and counters is, basically being limited to Toxapex, Heatran, and Tapu Fini defensively, as well as Stealth Rock and priority users like Ash-Greninja and Mega Mawile. In addition to this, Volcarona can also run a much bulkier Quiver Dance set which allows it to consistently check Pokemon like Kartana and Mega Mawile defensively.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

The main reason why Volcarona had such an impact is because of Quiver Dance, which made it incredibly threatening after just one boost. To add onto this, the metagame wasn't entirely suited to deal with it defensively with Pokemon like Toxapex running a lot of Defense investment and Heatran not running sets that are quite as bulky as now.

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

In the early stages of the metagame, Choice Scarf users that could outspeed +1 Volcarona like Keldeo and Garchomp were often run with Stone Edge to keep Volcarona in check. Pokemon like Toxapex and Heatran are pretty good checks to the standard set, especially if they're running heavy Special Defensive investment. Together, they can cover every Volcarona variant, though they should be wary of Shattered Psyche and Hidden Power Ground if they're the only Pokemon that can stop Volcarona from sweeping. At one point, a lot of Payapa Berry started being a bit of a trend on Toxapex so that it could always cripple Volcarona with Toxic. Tapu Fini is a pretty good check to Volcarona's standard Fire Blast / Bug Buzz / Hidden Power Ground set. However, against bulky Quiver Dance variants, if Tapu Fini running Nature's Madness, it can only really guarantee that Volcarona stays low. Another good way to deal with Volcarona is through its very crippling 4x weakness to Stealth Rock. If you have a solid setter like Mega Diancie or Heatran, of which it can be hard to keep Stealth Rock off the field, Volcarona will often find it difficult to sweep. This becomes especially troublesome for the Volcarona user if you also have a priority user like Ash-Greninja or Mega Mawile.
 
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Nominating Mawile-Mega

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What effect did Pokemon have on the metagame?
Mawile’s offensive presence in the metagame has definitely been noticeable — the unreliability of passive teams such as stall or fat due to strong wallbreakers such as Mawile have centered the meta towards playstyles such as Bulky Offense. Mawile shines in pretty much every matchup, especially vs. bulkier builds like balance or stall.

In what main roles was Pokemon used?
As stated above, Mawile was used for its instantaneous wallbreaking gratification that many teams appreciated. Mawile mainly is fitted on Bulky Offense oriented teams, but also sometimes sees usage on fatter based teams, giving them some offensive presence, as well as it was used a lot on Hyper Offense teams such as Aurora Veil in the past.
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What caused it to have a significant impact?
Mawile is different than any other wallbreaker in SM OU, as it shines offensively but is also very good defensively. With its very high attack stat (factoring in Huge Power), great coverage and STAB move Play Rough, as well as access to Swords Dance it is a menace offensively, and can make up for its bad speed stat with Sucker Punch. These quirks are enhanced more by its great Fairy + Steel defensive typing (arguably the second best in the game), along with pretty good defensive stats of 50 / 125 / 95. Mawile’s power helps it wall break almost anything with ease especially bulkier based teams but also getting huge hits off anything is always appreciated. It’s defensive stats and typing let it live hits from a lot of mons, so for example it can trade hits and then chip something later on with sucker punch. Speaking of sucker punch, given Mawile’s powerful attack stat this prevents or frightens some offensive/frail mons to easily pick it off.

How do/did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?
Something to note about Mawile is that it was not a huge threat offensively to stuff like Bulky Offense as it would be say against Stall. That is why something like a “dedicated Mawile check” doesn’t really exist. However, sets that have taken advantage of Mawile that also have other uses as well include Sub Z Magnezone, which usually deals with Mawile well and Bulky Volcarona which takes hits from Mawile and punishes repeated clicking with Flame Body. Outside of that, not giving Mawile users many free turns by applying constant pressure with hazards or volt-turning is a good way to deal with it.
 

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Nominating Ferrothorn



What effect did Pokemon have on the metagame?

Ferrothorn has always been a strong defensive/utility Pokemon, and SM did not change that. Its mere presence has made many offensive Pokemon run coverage (particularly Fire coverage) for it or struggle, and its ability to learn both Stealth Rock and Spikes has given it a solid role in the hazard game despite the omnipresence of Defog in USM. It is effective at taking hits from may offensive Pokemon such as Greninja-Ash and unboosted Kartana, and can often take one HP Fire in a pinch from other offensive Pokemon such as Tapu Lele, many of which are only running HP Fire in the first place because of Ferrothorn.

In what main roles was Pokemon used?

Ferrothorn is a Grass/Steel type with 74/131/116 defenses, which work in combination to make it quite sturdy. It also has Iron Barbs to troll many physical attackers and an effective utility movepool which includes the aforementioned hazards but also Thunder Wave and Knock Off, along with Leech Seed for help in wars of attrition. By defensive Pokemon standards, its base 94 attack is also usable, so it's not completely passive, and it can choose between Power Whip and Gyro Ball, both of which can be quite powerful. Its Steel typing gives it an edge over other Grass types such as Tangrowth, Mega Venusaur, and Amoonguss, due to its innate resistances, while its Grass typing gives it Water and Electric resistances that many other Steel types don't have, namely Heatran and Celesteela.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Due to its good defensive typing, stat spread, and movepool, Ferrothorn often serves as part of a defensive backbone, synergizing well with many other defensive Pokemon such as Toxapex, Rotom-W, and others. It is frequently used on balance teams for hazard setting and type synergy.

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

As mentioned previously, Fire coverage is very useful against Ferrothorn, to the point where many offensive Pokemon have a Fire move as a viable option just to deal with it. Barring that, Fighting coverage is also good, as is simply wearing it down, as Ferrothorn does not have reliable recovery outside of Leech Seed or Leftovers. Additionally, Ferrothorn is vulnerable to powerful Z-Moves that it does not resist, such as Subzero Slammer from Kyurem-B. Trapping it is an option; although Arena Trap and Shadow Tag are gone, Ferrothorn is still vulnerable to Magnet Pull by virtue of being a Steel type, which Magnezone can easily exploit and even the extremely rare Golem-A can make a niche out of. Finally, anything that can come in on its utility moves is also effective, even if it only manages to force Ferrothorn out; Mega Sableye is particularly effective in this regard due to Magic Bounce and can burn or attack it in return.

may edit a few other things in later
 
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Nominating Celesteela.



What Effect Did Celesteela Have On The Metagame: From the moment this UFO first landed in the fertile cornfields of OU, Celesteela has taken the metagame by storm in a way that very few other walls can boast. Titans have risen to the top (Heatran) or fallen off the map (Mega Pinsir) based on whether or not they can break Steela and her partners in crime, Toxapex and Mega Venusaur - and most can't. When the meta first settled at the beginning of the generation, it did so into a golden age of Fire and Electric spam, and it was no coincidence that these are Steela's only weaknesses. This was followed by the suffocating stranglehold rise of Thousand Arrows Zygarde, and it was also no coincidence that Zyg happened to feast on these Fires and Electrics, along with Steela herself, until it was finally booted upstairs.

More directly, Skarmory, one of OU's most dominant walls from Gen 2 to Gen 6, has been driven by the new competition from its perch at the top of every stall team to little more than a meme waiting to drop to UU. The omnipresent SkarmBliss and SkarmSey cores have long since been replaced by omnipresent CelePex and CeleSaur cores, and last gen's stall compositions have been relegated to same dustbin as G1's Normal spam and G4-G5's hail stall.

In What Main Role Is Celesteela Used: Steela is, simply put, the blanket check to end all blanket checks. Most Steelas pack the tried-and-true moveset of Heavy Slam/Flamethrower/Leech Seed/Protect, differing only in their EV spreads, but that's all she needs to make her 30-foot-tall mark. In particular, PhysDef Steela is one of the few reliable switch-ins to sand teams and Grass spam, while SpDef Steela laughs in the face of Psychic spam.

What Caused It To Have A Significant Impact: This one boils down to Steela's incredible defensive typing - and equally incredible synergy with the aforementioned Pex and MegaSaur - coupled with the stats to properly abuse it. Even in its heyday, Skarmory was weighed down and eventually limited to full stall by its low Special Defense and general passivity; however, neither of these are issues for Boaty McBoatface (for example, SpDef Steela isn't 2HKO'd by Specs Tapu Lele's HP Fire and OHKOs it in return, two important benchmarks Skarm can't match), leaving the former staple outclassed and supplanted.

How Do You Deal With This Pokemon In OU: As I've alluded to already, even a wall as sturdy as Steela can be kept in check by offensive Fire and Electric-types. Of particular note are Volcarona, DD Mega Charizard X and Z-Celebrate Victini, which use her as setup fodder, and Magnezone, which traps her (although it needs to be healthy to avoid the KO from Flamethrower). Certain targets such as Landorus-T, Garchomp, Tapu Bulu and Kartana can also lure her with boosted Continental Crushes or All-Out Pummelings, but Protect can make this harder to pull off in practice than it is on paper.
 
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Nominating Tapu Bulu



What effect did Pokemon have on the metagame?


Tapu Bulu and its signature ability, Grassy Surge summoning Grassy Terrain made a great impact on the tier, weakening Earthqueake and giving passive recovery for grounded mons. This was great for defensive mons without reliable recovery, being Heatran the most common partner for Tapu Bulu, forming a great defensive core with perfect defensive sinergy, but other mons like Tyranitar, Zygarde and Magearna also enjoyed this.

Also, virtue of its typing and great bulk, Tapu Bulu was one of the best answers to most Zygarde sets, but failed to deal with Toxic/Glare variants as well as Iron Tail or Coil ones. Then, it runned Assault Vest to make it a better counter/check of special attackers, but players started to realize that the value of SD and Protect/Synthesis/Leech Seed was higher that the AV. Currently, it use Band and SpDef sets to wallbreak or deal with common threats like Ash-Greninja, PsySpam, Tapu Koko, Tapu Fini and some rain teams.

In what main roles was this Pokemon used?

As stated before, the main role of this mon in the current is a defensive one, being able to deal with massive threats like Ash-Greninja, Choice Band Zygarde, Psy-Spam, Koko/Fini, Keldeo, scarf and defensive Landorus-T, and some rain teams lacking Tornadus-T.

However, at the beginning of the gen, it used to run choice band and SD Z-moves to act as a bulky wallbreaker with some defensive utility, but, that slowly shifted to more defensive approaches virtue of its typing, bulk and recovery with Leftovers, Grassy Terrain, and Synthesis/Leech Seed. But there are some Choice band, Z move and scarf sets popping out in the ladder and competitive play, but not as common as SpDef set.

It faced competition as a bulky grass-type that checks Ash-Greninja and Zygarde with Tangrowth, being the latter able to deal better with Zygarde virtue of HP Ice, but a bit more shaky check to Ash-Greninja as it can be flinched by Dark Pulse. The surge of AV and SpDef sets makes it a more surefire check to Ash-Greninja in the long run.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Great bulk, solid typing, recovery and not being passive at all make it a great addition to bulky offensive teams. It features one of the most common defensive cores of the archetype in BuluTran having perfect defensive sinergy and being able to pressure each checks and counters very well. Other partners are Tyranitar, Magearna, Tapu Koko to reset the terrain and dealing with steel-types like Celesteela, Skarmory and Mega-Scizor, and mons that can deal with steel and grass-types like Mega Charizard X/Y, Victini, Mega Medicham, etc. In the Zygarde era, it was common for bulky offensive teams run Bulu and HP Ice Scarf Landorus-T to deal with it.

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

It depends on the set and the coverage it used, but common answers are bulky Steel-types neutral to Fighting-types moves like Celesteela, Mega-Scizor, Skarmory; Grass-types like PhysDef Tangrowth, Mega Venusaur and Amoonguss, and Flying types like defensive Zapdos and RH Tornadus-T.
Doing a recap, at the beginning of the gen, common sets were Choice Band and SD+Z move, with Grassium Z, Fightinium Z and the rare Rockium Z were used to lure and take down things like Celesteela, Zapdos and Mega Scizor, which goes down to a +2 AoP/Bloom Doom after rocks from a Adamant Tapu Bulu.
Right now, the most common set is specially defensive to counter Ash Greninja and deal with PsySpam, and this set can be dealt by the same answers than before and some mons like Mega-Lati@s, which can take advantage of a Megahorn-less Tapu Bulu, setting up or getting a strong hit off.
 
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Nominating Landorus-Therian




What effect did Pokemon have on the metagame?


Landorus-Therian, as in previous generations, was the premier Ground-type and defensive pivot of OU and held the number one spot in OU's usage for the entirety of Sun and Moon. Its versatility enabled it to range from a bulky pivot to a strong Choice Scarf user to a powerful breaker with Swords Dance and Z moves, enabling it to be a staple for many teams in need of a Pokemon that compressed roles effectively. Landorus-Therians's usage made super-effective coverage such as Hidden Power Ice even more omnipresent so its checks could attempt to beat it. Ultimately this did not dampen Landorus-Therian's high usage. This is unsurprising because despite the metagame attempting to overwhelm it with strong moves and super-effective coverage, it remained the greatest all-around answer to threats such as Mega Charizard X, Mega Metagross, Excadrill, Zygarde, and opposing Landorus-Therian. Its excellent combination of strength, speed, and bulk, along with Intimidate, allowed it to check or break nearly every Pokemon in the tier with the right set. Its access to Stealth Rock and Defog helped teams control hazards as well. Its variety of viable sets and consistent effectiveness in each role helped keep Landorus-Therian on top of OU for years.

In what main roles was this Pokemon used?

As stated previously, Landorus-Therian excelled in compressing roles due to its combination of power and defensive capability. Its classic physically defensive set, featuring Stealth Rock, U-Turn, and Earthquake, was frequently used throughout the generation, and often held Leftovers or Rocky Helmet. The last move was typically Hidden Power Ice, as the fall of Talonflame and dominance of Zygarde made Stone Edge an inferior option. It checked or countered almost every physical attacker in OU and kept momentum, fitting easily into bulky offensive teams as a result However, Landorus-Therian was not confined to a defensive role on teams. Its Choice Scarf set has filled important roles for many teams, serving as speed control, a Ground immunity, an Electric Immunity, and a bulky yet powerful pivot. Offensive sets were also granted an incredible buff in Z moves, enabling Landorus-Therian to use its Flying STAB, nuking usual counters such as Tangrowth and Tapu Bulu with Z-Fly off its incredible base 145 Attack stat. Z-Stone Edge was a less common option but was powerful regardless.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Landorus-Therian did not have one or two simple factors that led to its dominance; rather, each set took advantage of its various valuable features to make it an outstanding Pokemon overall. Defensive sets used its good bulk alongside Intimidate to handle OU's physical attackers and pivot frequently throughout battles. Offensive Z move sets used its massive base 145 Attack and decent base 91 Speed to serve as a powerful breaker. Choice Scarf sets combined all of these factors to serve as a fast, bulky, and strong pivot. Finally, its good speed, power, and access to moves such as Stealth Rock, Swords Dance, Explosion, and Rock Tomb made Landorus-Therian one of the most popular choices for a suicide lead on hyper offense teams. It was the most reliable Ground immunity in OU and consistently checked Electric-types such as Tapu Koko despite their usage of Hidden Power Ice to beat it. Landorus-Therian was an ideal partner for nearly any wallbreaker in the tier. It set Stealth Rock or removed hazards with Defog to support them, enabled them safe entry to the field with U-Turn, and switched into potential revenge killers after the breakers removed an opponent's Pokemon. It was not uncommon for it to fit into cores of defensive staples as well. With Landorus-Therian serving as a blanket check to physical attackers it would often be paired with specially defensive pivots such as Tangrowth, Toxapex, and Magearna, enabling offensive teams to dedicate most of their defensive presence to only a couple sturdy pivots that maintained momentum. Its many excellent qualities made it a top pick for almost every team and let it fit into ever archetype bar stall.

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

The best checks to Landorus were Ground-type resistances that shrugged off chip damage from U-Turn in some fashion. Skarmory, Rotom-Wash, Zapdos, Tornadus-Therian, and Celesteela were immune to Earthquake and took little from uninvested U-Turns, able to heal off damage with Leftovers and various means of recovery moves. All but Celesteela could use Defog to remove its Stealth Rock as well. Grass types such as Tapu Bulu, Tangrowth, and Mega Venusaur were consistent checks to defensive and scarf sets. However, nearly all of them feared a fully-invested Z move, especially after a Swords Dance boost. Offensive sets were generally played around carefully when the opponent was on the defensive as it had few real counters. However, it was easily removed by faster revenge killers and did not seriously threaten to sweep most teams as a result. Many Pokemon ran Hidden Power Ice or other Ice-type coverage to knock out or weaken Landorus-Therian, among other resists to their STABs, but otherwise individual Pokemon did not change their sets to beat Landorus-Therian specifically. Instead, it was more often the case that teams required a Ground-type switch-in, a Ground-type remover, hazard control, a revenge killer, and a pivot in order to deal with more powerful breakers and sweepers in OU. These various roles enabled for counterplay around Landorus-Therian in addition to the bigger threats, yet it could also fill the roles itself. Indeed, one of Landorus-Therian's best checks was an opposing Landorus-Therian, thereby raising the incentive to use it. While many of Landorus-Therian's checks and counters were very viable and Pokemon frequently ran coverage to beat it, its reliability overcame these factors and kept it on top of the meta for the entirety of Gen 7 OU.
 
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Nominating Pelipper

185307


What effect did Pokemon have on the metagame?

Pelipper helped propel Rain to new heights, acting as the primary setter for rain as well as a neat defensive pivot. It's a bit of an odd case as it's impact on the metagame is mainly felt in how well it enabled its teammates to perform. Rain is the most popular it has been since the Gen 5 weather wars. Pelipper in conjunction with longtime gen-3 homeboy Mega-Pert work so well together that it is kind of ridiculous. Teambuilding necessitates accounting for rain as a play style. Most teams will always pack a couple of answers to rain.

This isn't to say that Pelipper isn't a solid Pokemon on its own merits. It's typing allows it to act as a check to defensive Lando, Tangrowth (who is one of the best Pokemon in the metagame) and also to Mega-Scizor, which was a solid threat in the metagame for much of 2019.

While I think Rain would have been good if Politoed was the best available setter, I don't think it would be even close to where it is now. Therefore, to represent Rain's impact on the meta, I have chosen the Pelican.

In what main roles was Pokemon used?

Pelipper is used primarily as the staple rain setter. The best of its kind. Pelipper has several advantages over its Drizzle competitor, Politoed. These advantages make it not only the best rain setter, but also a decent pokemon with multiple roles to fill for rain.

It has access to U-Turn to keep momentum up for rain; Roost gives it reliable recovery so that it can set up rain far more often; Defog allows it to remove hazards, which is super important for rain as a lot of its threats are either grounded, or weak to stealth rock; it also has a ground immunity and Hurricane for those pesky grass types.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Pelipper was essentially the cherry on top of a very nice rain-sundae. The buff of gaining Drizzle allowed it to become that staple of rain that we all know and fear today. Rain as a playstyle gained various new toys to play with, alongside old favorites given new life, all enabled by this new and improved rain-setter.

As mentioned above, Mega-Pert was the biggest beneficiary of Pelipper's introduction into Rain teams. Pelipper also gained a lot from having Mega-Pert as its primary partner. A sweet, sweet electric immunity with the bulk, speed and power that Pelipper lack. Mega-Pert was nothing new to Rain, but was and is the biggest boon for the style. Another staple of rain that also appreciated Pelipper's unique additions to the style was Ferrothorn. What really pushes Rain over the edge though is the benefits that it gives to three of the best pokemon in the meta. Magearna, Tornadus-T and most prominently Ash-Gren. The two new powerhouses in Mage and Ash-Gren in particular have a field day on rain teams, one losing a vulnerability to fire types, the other getting its main stab move boosted.

How do/did you deal with this Pokemon in OU?
.
Checks and counters to Pelipper are not exactly rare. Anything with more special attack than mega-beedrill will be able to do significant damage to it if given the opportunity. Any electric type coverage also knocks it out of the sky, though Mega-Pert mitigates this in most cases, as grass move using electrics are pretty rare. Chansey is another big fat L for the pelican. Dealing with Pelipper itself is not difficult, but negating its effects on a battle are a bit trickier. Other weather setters are often the best bet for negating the rain, mainly Zard-Y, which is a difficult matchup for Rain in general.

If anybody has any amendments for me to put into this nomination, please PM me, as I would be more than happy to improve upon this post however possible.
 
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Is Greninja considered separate from Ash-Greninja? I assume so since they are ranked separately and are shown as separate for usage stats but any confirmation would be good.

If so, someone else can take care of that since I just finished Lando-T.
 

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