Project Top 10 TITANS of the SM/USM RU Metagame (LIST COMPLETE)

MrAldo

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RUART.png

RU TITANS

Credit to JustoonSmitts for the amazing piece of art, like literally
Ah, SM/USM. The favorite of many, and the disdain of plenty thanks to the introduction of the Z-Moves. In the end tho I believe this generation left a good impression despite on how z-moves turned the concept of having a check/counters up its head but considering everything is helped develop a metagame where offensive was far more rewarding and in the end. Opinions aside, pretty sure many people have wondered and like to discuss which ones are the most defining and influential Pokemon of this Generation (in fact, we are super late to the party apparently) so I guess it is time to define our titans, the true kings of the 7th generation.

From September 6th to September 15th we are going to be nominating candidates for the most influential Pokemon of this generation. From this after the last day we are going to be voting beginning from the 1st spot to the 10th which ones are the mons voted by the people to get onto the spot. If doesnt matter if a mon is good now, we are looking if the mon was influential to the point of being oppressive or being really damn good to miss out during a extended period of time. Being good but then it was ass for a while doesnt really count, consistency is key.

To make sure that the nominations are fair, or a rule of thumb if you want to call it that: Lets keep in mind the amount of time the mon has been around, it cant be something that just was on the tier for a week and we go like "Damn, that shit was broken so some influential mon for sure". We cant put Mienshao or Kyurem in the same boat as something like Virizion who has been during the tier for an extended period of time, just to give an idea. At least 1 month for the mon to be considered for voting.

Viability rankings also have a good idea on how to nom of this (Being around the A ranks during most of the generation since its introduction for example). Abrupt falls from grace also kind of make something not qualify but Ill take all nominations with good consideration.

https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/ru-viability-rankings-v3.3645873/ <---- Most recent one
https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/ru-viability-rankings-v2.3622740/
https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/ru-viability-rankings.3602279/

HERE IS A POST TEMPLATE
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 RU?

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

HERE GOES THE NOMINEES
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HERE GOES OUR TITANS (Will make it look prettier when the voting is done, somehow)

1.
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4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.


Nominations can be reserved for up to 48 hours so please make sure to complete the post under that name or something else will take it (or I will do it myself, idk)

So Cheers, happy posting, and lets get this ball rolling. Shall we?
 
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bkdrew

The end is where we begin
is a Pre-Contributor
Nominating: Mega Blastoise



What effect did Mega Blastoise have on the metagame?
From the moment it dropped, Mega Blastoise redefined hazard control in the RU tier, with it's amazing glue set being splashable, threatening hazard control that fit on a huge number of teams. Needed hazard control for Spikes-stacking offense? Mega Blastoise is here. Want an offensive and defensive threat that can punch holes and clear rocks for your Noivern? Mega Blastoise has you covered. Need an offensive check to the likes of Snorlax, Gligar, Doublade, Bewear, Flygon, Alolan Marowak, or Metagross? Mega Blastoise can do it all.
Hard checks or counters are nigh mandatory on every good RU team because of Mega Blastoise's prevalence in the metagame, making Pokemon like Mantine, Florges, Toxicroak, and Milotic sought after as prominent answers to Blastoise. While it isn't sweeping teams on it's own, as it's lack of a reliable recovery and only-adequate base 78 Speed attest to, Mega Blastoise is a fearsome, top-tier member of RU that needs to be accounted for in the builder, lest you get blown away by it's powerful Aura Spheres, Dark Pulses, and Ice Beams.

In what main roles was Mega Blastoise used?
Mega Blastoise had one main, primary set, with little variation from set to set- but that one set was so damn good at what it did that it didn't need other options.

Blastoise-Mega @ Blastoisinite
Ability: Mega Launcher
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Aura Sphere
- Dark Pulse
- Ice Beam
- Rapid Spin

Here is Mega Blastoise's flagship set, the spinner that invalidates any meaningful ghost type that could even have a ghost of a chance at spinblocking anyone else. Mega Blastoise was used as glue on the balance and offense teams that have dominated much of RU, to clear away hazards and punch holes in offensive staples like Metagross, Virizion, Zygarde-10%, and Noivern. It's very respectable defensive stats usually meant without a high-powered super effective STAB attack like Shaymin's Seed Flare or a Z-move, you weren't OHKOing Blastoise outright. Blastoise reprised it's role as an offensive spinner from it's time in ORAS UU and briefly in SM UU here in SM RU, where it's been a dominant force since it's drop.

What caused Mega Blastoise to have a significant impact?
Good defenses, amazing Mega Launcher-boosted attacks, and Rapid Spin gave Mega Blastoise it's strong niche of offensive glue made Mega Blastoise a staple on offense and balance teams, forcing players to adapt and use Pokemon that would take little damage from it's attacks, as preventing it from spinning was almost impossible thanks to Dark Pulse. It's Speed tier was also great, as anything slower than base 78 and weak to it's moves was forced out for a free Rapid Spin. It was difficult to switch into if you didn't have a select counter for it, and it would almost always do it's job of preventing entry hazards from troubling the rest of it's team. Rolling all it's positives together, it's easy to see why Mega Blastoise has been a top-tier Pokemon for a long time.

How do you deal with Mega Blastoise?
Well, Florges is a good start. Resistant to Dark Pulse and Aura Sphere, and a high Special Defense to shrug off Ice Beam, Florges is an amazing natural counter to Blastoise. Milotic also works well, able to Toxic Blastoise and Recover off it's attacks bar Dark Pulse flinches. Speaking of Toxic, that was one of the most surefire ways to handle Blastoise. Simply slapping a timer on it usually prevented it from keeping hazards off the field for a prolonged time, and it could be dealt with afterwards. Strong offensive Pokemon that hit it's weak points like Roserade or Raikou also dealt with it well, but neither enoyed switching in. It also has an annoying tendency to let in Virizion, sometimes even giving it a free Justified boost off a mispredicted Dark Pulse. Outspeeding it is also another way of forcing it out. If it had been chipped down, fast, hard hitters like Ninetales, Swellow, Shaymin, and Choice Scarf Tyrantrum could all force it out. All in all, it wasn't overwhelmingly difficult to wall or force out Blastoise, but it was essentially impossible to prevent it from doing it's primary job, spinning.
 
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EviGaro

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RU Leader
Nominating Durant



What effect did Pokemon have on the metagame?

In every RU gen, Durant ends up being a extremely potent threat and SM RU certainly was no exception, with two changes from previous iterations that made it even more threatening. The first one was smaller, but the lack of Magneton to limit its offensive presence made counter play slightly more dicey. The second one was huge however, as Durant benefited from z-moves unlike very few pokemons in the RU metagame, making it near impossible to counter. Besides that, Durant functioned about as linearly as it always did: it's by far the most potent offensive steel type due to its excellent speed tier, usable defensive utility on offensive builds due to a fairly ok defensive stat and a typing with marginal weaknesses, and near perfect coverage. Durant didn't necessarily counter any specific mons though, but it was very good at abusing free turns on passive mons - your Registeel, Chesnaught - that couldn't quite break it or frailer offensive mons that were stuck in poor positions in order to either boost up or unleash Hustle boosted attacks from choiced sets. As such, it was a big reason, alongside a few other mons that prolly would make this list, why passive play was nearly impossible in SM RU and part of USM as well

In what main roles was Pokemon used?

The main sets were either Hone Claws + z-move or CB, with all-out-attacker and Scarf also having notable niches due to either more coverage or simply a significant speed tier for boosted threats. Z-move with boost was probably the selling point for the longest while though, as Durant could viably switch up its coverage and z-move based on specific metagame trends. Darkinium was prominent due to Doublade, but Fightnium, Buginium, Steelium and even Electrium also had uses, which made counter play to this specific set really uncomfortable. CB was used a lot later on, like by Ajna in Snake Finals, and put the stress it could put on defensive checks to another level at the sacrifice of changing moves.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Again, RU never really has fast offensive steels, and Durant always ends up filling that role until it's just too much lol. Its speed tier is extremely good, right above Virizion and it's not a coincidence that this mon rarely ever takes off before Durant has to go. Its hustle boosted attacks are scary (for both players) and really elevate its offensive prowess as most of its attacking moves aren't very strong unboosted beyond Superpower. It was always a boon for offensive teams as next to no priority actually really hurts it, which puts it in a prime position to be both a revenge killer and a wallbreaker.

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

Well really badly, but there was a few ways that were possible. Doublade was amazing whenever it wasn't using Darkinium, which obviously needed scouting but depending on teams Durant could be keen on hitting something else. In general though, you really couldn't let it come in for free, and any chip was helpful in making the Durant player more hesitant to start setting up or just start clicking attacks. CB was held up by Gligar + bulky waters core, although this counterplay had to be wary of aggro playing that would block the needed recovery turns. Also, Durant was a great mon for offensive teams... but not the greatest steel. It couldn't come in on stuff like Scarf Gardevoir at all unless Scarf itself, and Scald from passive mons was scary even without factoring in the burns. Oh and, well, it used to miss a lot, which isn't really counterplay but like it was a thing lol. All in all though, this wasn't considered enough and Durant was justifiably banned, but not before making it a staple of the tier, a dominant presence in tournaments and overall imo one of the most significant mons of the generation.
 
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Reserving Ninetales

Nominating: Ninetales

:sm/Ninetales:

What effect did Ninetales have on the metagame?

Ninetales is very threatening thanks to its good speed tier and wallbreaking potential due to a Nasty Plot boost, or the use of Choice Specs.
Choice Specs gives Ninetales immediate power, whereas Nasty Plot boosts its SpAtt to +2, which means
that its rather mediocre SpAtt gets boosted skyhigh and no Pokémon is really able to switch into it as its coverage options in Solar Beam and Hidden Power Ice allows it to
counteract to its checks such as Milotic and Mega Blastoise. Furthermore it can dent through Rhyperior thanks to its good coverage options.
Same mention goes to Noivern and other Dragon-types, as HP Ice does a ton to all of them except Goodra due to its good special bulk.
Ninetales is capable of using Overheat in combination with Choice Specs, which makes it really threatening instantly, which means that even its checks in Flygon and Tyrantrum
getting hit pretty hard with the Sun boost on the field.

Ninetales might not have a secondary typing like other Fire-types, but it has a good potential at the RU Metagame because due to the Drought it offers.
Not only for itself but also for other teammates like Venusaur is Drought really appreciated in the process of the game.
It can make Venusaur really threatening in Sun as Chlorophyll allows Venusaur to get the doubled Speed in conjunction with a good movepool.

Ninetales effect on the Metagame is, that it caused teams to always run a check to Ninetales. Even when the player doesn't face Ninetales their team was always built the way,
that it has the capabilities to check / counteract to Ninetales in the case the opposing player will use it on their team.
Ninetales can work well on offensive teams with Volt-Turn support as it likes to get switched in safely because it doesn't want to take damage upon entering the battlefield.

It can also work very well with a more balanced archetype as a standalone Pokémon, where the team appreciates Ninetales' power to break through the opposing team.
Ninetales effect wasn't recognized at first because Torkoal also gained Drought in Generation 7, therefore Ninetales seemed like the 2nd option as a sun-setter, but as the Generation passed by
the playerbase experienced with Ninetales more often thus they recognized Ninetales' potential as a standalone threat on teams.

Ninetales saw also good tournament usage with a good winratio in nearly all tournaments. However the good tournament usage didn't mean automatically that Ninetales
would rise to RU via usage, despite the really good result it brought in tours the rise in the RU tier happened way later.
Ninetales also had (except earlier episodes of RU) a good RU Viability Ranking spot with being in the A rank now and in the past in the A+ Rank.

In what main roles was Ninetales used?

The Sets:


Nasty Plot User:

Ninetales @ Firium Z
Ability: Drought
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Nasty Plot
- Fire Blast
- Solar Beam
- Hidden Power Ice / earlier Psyshock

This set aims to break late-game after Ninetales got switched in safely and the faster checks to it got removed so Ninetales is able to boost itself with Nasty Plot
and can break through the rest of the opposing team. It can also threaten a KO with Firium Z boosted Fire Blast in the Sun early-game / mid-game.


Choice Specs Abuser:
Ninetales @ Choice Specs
Ability: Drought
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Overheat
- Fire Blast / Flamethrower
- Solar Beam
- Hidden Power Ice

This set aims to break in the early-game or mid-game process and Overheat is capable of 2HKOing the vast majority of the RU tier, even bulkier pkmn. However Overheat
makes it that Ninetales SpAtt get lowered by 2 stages. But the initial Overheat threatens even mons, which are 4x resisting this move like Tyrantrum.


Other Options:
-Flame Charge could be used to increase Ninetales speed by +1, but it isn't suggested as Ninetales will not have Nasty Plot in its movepool anymore.

-Will-o-Wisp can be used too to threaten physical attacking switchins like Gigalith, Zygarde 10% and Tyrantrum but it is also at cost of another move, which has to get replaced for WoW.

-Grassium Z instead of Firium Z can be used as another Z-Move option to break instantly through very passive water-types like Slowking and giving it the ability to get past Gigalith and specially defensive Diancie.

-Life Orb is another option, but this will make it, that Ninetales will get worn down easier due to the Life Orb recoil.


What caused it to have a significant impact?

Foremost its potential to set-up the sun with its Drought ability giving it simultaniously a boost with its STABs in Overheat and Fire Blast and an instant use of Solar Beam made it a promising
Pokémon in the RU tier. Its impact was mainly caused due to its attack-boosting ability in Drought in combination of its wallbreaking potential.
Z-Fire Blast in the sun also punishes bulkier mons and Solar Beam can hit Water-types and Rock-types pretty hard, especially after a +2 due to Nasty Plot.

It can also bypass other Fire-types like Salazzle with a non-boosted Inferno Overdrive. Meanwhile a Choice Specs Overhat in the sun isn't laughable as it can do around 50% to mons
which resist that move 4x, as example: Tyrantrum.
Its base-Speed in 100 is also pretty good in the RU tier meaning it outspeeds a decent portion of the RU tier.
It also saw success in smaller and bigger tournaments at smogon from seasonals
and all the way to SPL.

At the end Ninetales landet on the A-rank at the RU VR with being a pretty dangerous wallbreaker, which people find hard to switchin to thus being left with
finding more counterplay to this offensive threat.

How do/did you deal with Ninetales in RU?

Specially Bulky mons: Goodra, Snorlax and AV Slowking can check Ninetales pretty well as Goodra resists all moves an HP ice won't do too much. Snorlax has Thick Fat to prevent it to take too much damage from its one and only STAB
moves in Fire Blast / Overheat either and AV Slowking withstands Ninetales STAB option pretty well.

Faster Attackers: like Zygarde 10%, Choice Scarf Tyrantrum and Choice Scarf Flygon pose a threat to Ninetales and they all can heavily damage it in Return if not threaten an OHKO.
Same mention goes to Aerodactyl, Swellow and Noivern which are all faster than Ninetales leaving it vulnerable to them.

Rock-types: Specially defensive Diancie can pose a threat to choice-specs-locked variants and non-grassium-z variants as it takes the Fire Blast with relative ease.
Gigalith can counteract with its weather in Sand Stream thus being able to prevent Ninetales from performing its role effectively enough.

Other Pokémon Options: are Houndoom, with its amazing ability in conjunction with a great dual-typing leaving it as a good counter to Ninetales.
Flash Fire Arcanine can also act as a counterplay to Ninetales, same mention goes to Mantine with being water/flying and a great SpDef Stat in 140.

Residiul Damage: Stealth Rocks and Spikes are immediately threatening to Ninetales longevity during the game, as it takes damage from both these hazards.
It also dislikes Sticky Webs and other status-conditions like Paralysis and Toxic.​
 
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Nominating: Registeel



What effect did Registeel have on the RU Metagame?

Throughout SM RU and USM RU, Registeel was easily one of the most solid rockers due to its defensive capabilities and ability to beat most hazard control options in the tier. Its typing and defensive stats allowed it to reliably set rocks, check a lot of special and even some physical threats and counter a lot of weaker or passive Pokémon, as well as stall out stronger Pokémon with Toxic + Protect combination.
Even though a lot of Pokémon used sets that could easily get free turns on Registeel to set up or abuse free turns against Registeel, such as Nasty Plot Salazzle, Hone Claws Durant, Flame Orb Heracross, Substitute + Nasty Plot Hoopa, this never prevented Registeel from being a threat to be considered when building or an influencial Pokémon in the meta, being amongst the top of RU for the entire generation.

In what main roles was Registeel used?

Registeel was always used as a Specially Defensive Rocker, as it was able to check several special threats in the tier while reliably setting Stealth Rock up. Seismic Toss and Toxic were used to threaten most Pokémon in the tier and prevent them from getting free turns while Protect allowed Registeel to heal itself with Leftovers, stall out poisoned targets and scout its opponents moves or bait out Z-Moves. Some other options could be considered, the most notable ones are Thunder Wave, that helps with speed control; Earthquake that helps it mostly against Salazzle; and Ice Punch that helps against Zygarde-10% and Taunt Noivern; however, Registeel would hardly ever want to drop any of its main moves as they are fundamental for Registeel to work properly.
Registeel @ Leftovers
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
Calm Nature
- Seismic Toss
- Toxic
- Stealth Rock
- Protect

What caused Registeel to have a significant impact?

Registeel was an awesome Pokémon in SM/USM RU due to its phenomenal defensive stats, that allowed it to take strong attacks and still move afterwards or heal itself against weaker threats; and its typing, which gave it the ability to check powerful threats such as Gardevoir, Sceptile-Mega, Swellow, Shaymin, and Roserade; and switch into powerful resisted moves such as STABs from Escavalier, Durant, or Tyrantrum. The combination of Protect + Leftovers allowed it to heal itself in a lot of scenarios which made it a lot harder to kill, as it could easily switch into Pokémon that can't do much damage to it and quickly recover its health. Another huge factor was its ability to beat passive Pokémon in general (Cresselia, Umbreon, non-Refresh Milotic) and most hazard control options in the tier in Rotom-C, Mantine, non-Taunt Mandibuzz, Forretress, and Gligar (in SM, before Defog + Immunity got legal), while eventually being able to stall out Blatsoise-Mega and Donphan.

How do you deal with Registeel in RU?

Xatu:
Despite not being that common in SM/USM RU, Xatu was the a notable counter to Registeel as its the only one that can prevent (or bounce back) Stealth Rock, thanks to Magic Bounce, it could also prevent Toxic, and chip Registeel with Rocky Helmet if it tried to Seismic Toss, this basically made Registeel useless in these matchups until Xatu was removed.
Pokémon Immune to Toxic or Status Absorbers: The main way to deal with Registeel in RU was usually to go to some Steel- or Poison-type that could threaten it, as Registeel couldn't do much against them, those Pokémon included Durant, Swords Dance Escavalier, Salazzle, Nidoqueen, Toxicroak, and Metagross. Pokémon that could absorb status such as RestTalk Curse Snorlax, Refresh Milotic or already had one like Flame Orb Heracross and Flame Orb Machamp could also switch in and beat Registeel (although the last two could eventually be stalled out with burn + Protect). Leech Seed Shaymin could also switch in, weaken Registeel, and heal itself from Toxic due to Natural Cure.
Strong Ground-, Fire-, or Fighting-types: Powerful Ground, Fire, or Fighting attackers could beat Registeel despite having to be careful with Toxic damage, those Pokémon include Donphan, Zygarde-10%, Rhyperior, Arcanine, Ninetales, Virizion, Pangoro, and Bewear, among others. Nidoqueen and Toxicroak also fit in these and were also immune to Poison, which allowed them to deal with Registeel better.
Taunt or Substitute users: Pokémon with Taunt and some form of recovery could easily beat Registeel as it couldn't do much other than Seismic Toss. Mismagius could then use Registeel as a setup fodder as it it immune to Seismic Toss and Noivern could proceed to weaken it while Roost allowed it to keep itself healthy. Hoopa didn't use Taunt but could use Substitute to use Registeel as a setup fodder and threaten its team.
Knock Off and Passive Damage: Finally, another common way of beating down Regi was by making it weaker by removing Leftovers with Knock Off or burn it to negate Leftovers recovery, this would prevent Registeel from healing itself, weakening it every time it has to switch into entry hazards or take a hit.​
 
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reserving noivern

Nominating: Noivern

:sm/Noivern:

What effect did Noivern have on the RU Metagame?

Noivern is a fantastic Pokémon in the RU tier, with being able to outpace the huge majority of the RU tier with its fantastic speed
and having a great typing in Dragon / Flying. It has also a decent bulk with good Stats and the access to a lot of different moves, which enables Noivern to fullfill different roles on a team depending what the team needs to have as a good
last slot. Either a supportive Pokémon or a fast revenge killer, which is
faster than any other Pokémon in the RU tier with the use of a Choice Scarf.

Furthermore Noivern resists a good portion of typings, which are very commen at the RU tier,
making it a good check to certain threats in the RU tier.
Its moveset is also pretty adjustable, means, Noivern can also use other move-options to get some surprise picks.
Noivern is recognized as a pretty threatening mon at RU due to the many unexpected things it offers for a team as well.

In what main roles was Noivern used?

The Sets:


Support:

Noivern @ Leftovers
Ability: Infiltrator
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Hurricane
- Taunt
- Roost
- U-turn
This set is utilized to help the team with checking some certain Pokémon and is a nice help for gaining Momentum via the move U-Turn.


Choice Scarf + Switcheroo:

Noivern @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Infiltrator
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Hurricane
- Draco Meteor
- U-turn
- Switcheroo[
Ths set aims to crippe defensive threats such as Porygon2 down, due to the help of tricking the Item Choice Specs to the opposing defensive mon. It also gains Momentum via U-Turn.
Hurricane + Draco meteor are the notable STABs on this set, which can hit decently hard.


Other Options:
-Life Orb: Boosts Noiverns STABs mainly the strongest one in raco Meteor and can be used to get a higher damage output on opposing targets.
-Flynium Z: Helps as a one time nuke and can make it more dangerous on the offensive side.
-Choice Specs can also be used to give it immedtiate power.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Noiverns impact was caused due to the fact that it has a super fantastic speed tier, which allows it to revenge kill threats or just get off a fast Taunt
on the opposing Pokémon to have the ability to
break this threat down for its teammates.
Furthermore it is able to bring in powerful wallbreakers such as Machamp, Pangoro and Metagross, same mention goes to CB Tyrantrum and Gardevoir.
It can also bring in other offensive threats in: Salazzle, Mismagius, Ninetales and Shaymin just to name a few.
Infiltrator also enables its ability to hit mons through the Screens, which makes it so Noivern can revenge kill offensive threats easily with either of its STABs.

How do/did you deal with Noivern in RU?

Specially defensive tanks: Porygon2, Diancie and Milotic (but only when carrying Ice Beam) are answers to Noivern,
especially Diancie gives it trouble as none of Noiverns moves can hit it at least for neutral damage.

Stealth Rocks and Staus liek Toxic gives it trouble to handle threats defensively, as both will whittle it down pretty fast in conjunction.

Fairy-types such as Florges and Diancie give Noivern a hard time on the battlefield.

Faster threats + Priority: Ribombee, Scarf Tyrantrum and Scarf Gardevoir outpace Noivern - same goes to Mega-Scpetile, which also outspeeds it.
Priority moves such as a strong Ice Shard and boosted Extreme Speed will keep Noivern out or force a switch where the Noivern User has to withdraw its Pokémon.

Rock-types: Rhyperior is bulky enough to switch into Noivern constantly and OHKO it with either its STAB options in Stone Edge / Rock Blast or its coverage in Ice Punch.
Lycanroc-Dusk also gives it trouble as it can set-up on it or straight up kill Noivern with its STAB moves.​
 
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nominating salazzle

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pictured: salazzle claiming one, 2019 (colorized)
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its effect on the meta:

if you've played ru this generation, salazzle really needs no introduction. since the onset of gen 7, salazzle has established its dominance in the ru tier with it's perfect combination of blazing speed, high special attack with strong stab attacks, and amazing stab combination. despite its poor bulk and relative lack of coverage options, salazzle has always thrived in the ru tier, and can definitely be lauded as one of the most consistently amazing sweepers of this generation. in fact, its existence is one of the main reasons fire types have been historically difficult to prep for in this generation; it's absurdly powerful boosted z move allows it to bypass traditional fire checks with little effort, forcing teams to choose from one of a select group of pokemon able to take it on reliably. salazzle is also one of the major reasons scarfers have been nearly mandated on teams in every developed ru meta; with it being nigh-impossible to wall consistently, one is almost required to have a way to revenge kill it.

its roles in the meta:

in the very beginnings of the meta, its corrosion ability and immunity to toxic prompted people to explore sub toxic/sub disable sets; however, its tried and true nasty plot set was discovered not too long after, and the rest is history.

salazzle @ poisonium z
ability: oblivious
252 spa / 4 spd / 252 spe
timid nature
- nasty plot
- sludge bomb
- fire blast

- taunt / hidden power grass / hidden power ice / substitute / knock off / whatever u want lol

salazzle's near-perfect coverage with just stab moves leaves it a lot of freedom to use what it wants in its last slot to weaken or bypass its few checks. hp grass smacks water/grounds like gastro, quag and toed while providing more damage vs rock types than anything else lazzle can muster, while hp ice hits dragons like noivern, flygon, and tyrantrum. salazzle can also run a varierty of techs to aid in in either breaking or helping its teammates - taunt prevents recovery from defensive pokemon as well as defog and shuts down slower teams, knock off removes critical items like leftovers and choice scarf from would-be switchins, substitute provides salazzle a buffer against double switches and choice scarf users, and corrosion toxic lets it put a timer on some of its defensive switchins that don't have recovery, as well as providing chip damage to allow its teammates to better take advantage of the enemy team.

later on in the life of gen 7 ru, choice scarf salazzle was discovered as a way to reliably revenge even the fastest of threats, such as shell smash barbaracle and chlorophyll boosted venusaur, while also allowing it to become a even more potent cleaner with its incredible speed tier.

salazzle @ choice scarf
ability: corrosion
252 spa / 4 spd / 252 spe
timid nature
- sludge bomb
- fire blast
- hidden power grass / hidden power ice

- toxic / foul play / knock off

once again, salazzle's powerful stabs are its greatest assets - this time, they are paired with a coverage move that allows it to revenge either the highly threatening barbaracle, or noivern and dragon dance flygon/zygarde. its last slot is a toss up between different support options - toxic lets it weaken bulky walls that it otherwise couldn't break, whereas foul play allows it to revenge barbaracle should it need to use hp ice. knock off is once again a niche option to remove items from defensive answers and offensive answers alike.

its significant impact:

the first key to salazzle's success is its access to nasty plot, which lets it to boost its already excellent special attack to meteoric levels. when paired with its blazing speed, this allows it to either shred enemy teams with it's ridiculously powerful acid downpour and its devastating fire blasts so its teammates can wreak havoc, or clean weakened teams that can't continue to put up resistance to its onslaught. the unique poison + fire typing also plays into salazzle's continued success by being an excellent stab combo only resisted by rock-types and a specific few other pokemon, meaning it is able to tear through teams with strong neutral coverage. it's typing also lends it some defensive boons as well - despite it's poor bulk, it finds plenty of opportunities to set up between its resistance to fairies, steels, and grasses, three of the most important types in ru this gen. salazzle's poison typing also gives it an immunity to toxic, which plays perfectly into its ability to break down defensive teams as well as granting it access to a ridiculously high powered stab boosted acid downpour, which makes short work of traditional fire checks like diancie, slowking, and goodra, making it even more difficult to fit proper checks to lazzle on a team. a combination of all these factors gives salazzle a near unmatched level of offensive prowess in the tier, and it's no surprise to see how it's been a consistent top tier threat throughout these 3 years.

how to deal with it:

despite salazzle's stab combo being excellent, it isn't perfect, and due to its lack of meaningful coverage outside of hidden power it finds itself easily walled by most rock types, as well as specific type combinations like water/ground and dragon/ground. as such, pokemon like gigalith and dragalge are consistent switchins to it, and tyrantrum, rhyperior, gastrodon, and the like are switchins to it depending on its last move of choice. salazzle's poor bulk also leaves it heavily damaged even by resisted moves from offensive foes, with attacks like roserade's sludge bomb and ninetales' fire blast doing upwards of 50% of it's health. this, in combination with its weakness to rocks, lends to salazzle being worn down rather easily if one plays aggressively vs it. this also means aggressive switchins with choice scarf users/pokemon that are naturally faster and can stomach an attack from salazzle, like noivern, aerodactyl, choice scarf flygon, and goodra, are effective ways to force salazzle off the field so it has to take more damage later on when it attempts to come on the field. generally, teams have adapted to having at least one decent salazzle switchin alongside a scarfer that can outspeed and ohko it in order to minimize its effect on any given game; while this may seem like a lot of preparation on paper, there are a wide enough selection of options to fill both roles to where salazzle's limited opportunities to switch in become fruitless vs many teams.
 

bkdrew

The end is where we begin
is a Pre-Contributor
Nominating Milotic
Defensive Queen of the Seas



Milotic @ Leftovers
Ability: Marvel Scale
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Toxic /Haze
- Refresh
- Recover

What effect did Milotic have on the metagame?
Anyone who knows me knows that I love Milotic, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out why. Milotic has all the defensive qualities you could want in your defensive water- fantastic defensive stats backed up by Marvel Scale, access to the nifty combination of Refresh and Recover, and of course, the cornerstone of it's defensive use, Haze. Whenever RU's most threatening setup threats and physical attackers not named Bandrantrum reared their heads, Milotic was there- shutting down Doublade, Mega Blastoise, Snorlax, Feraligatr, Mega Glalie, Arcanine, Machamp, Flygon, Zygarde-10%, Donphan, Golisopod, Metagross, Araquanid, Cloyster, Escavalier, Drapion, Alolan Marowak, Honchkrow, and Rhyperior, as well as most variations of Nidoqueen, Gardevoir, and Goodra (if running Toxic). This is a huge list of Pokemon that Milotic could blank, and it's omnipresence lead to several Pokemon that utterly dominated it popping up a ton. Enter Roserade and Toxicroak, two of our highest-ranked VR Pokemon, and part of their reason for being at the top is their ability to abuse Milotic.

In what main roles was Milotic used?
Milotic's textbook-perfect spread made it the ideal bulky water for balance teams, providing a layer of protection against the aforementioned threats. Shutting down those threats was crucial for helping such balance teams to succeed, like removing Doublade for the benefit of one's own Virizion or making sure you weren't entirely screwed if Feraligatr got in free. Of course, once some of Milotic's biggest victims left the tier, it's role changed considerably, to deal with today's threats- Don Metapod of course, but also Thunder-less Nidoqueen, Mega Blastoise, and win status wars versus Registeel.

What caused Milotic to have a significant impact?
The viability and impact of all the top-tier Pokemon it threatened was what kept Milotic at the top for a long time. These threats were everywhere, and still are, keeping Milotic useful if not great throughout the entire life cycle of USM RU. Being able to take one-on-one duels vs so damn many Pokemon was nothing but a feather in Milotic's cap, as it would be able to engage offense killers like Honchkrow and Golisopod, as well as balance staples Nidoqueen and Mega Blastoise, to keep them in check. Most if not all of the tier's popular Choice Scarf users wanted nothing to do with Milotic, as without Trick, they were completely useless as long as it was alive, with the exception of Grass-type Scarfers.

How do you deal with Milotic?
Pokemon that both don't fear Scald or Toxic are paramount in shutting it down, and as such, as long as they remain alive, Milotic struggles to do much at best, and at worst, provides them free turns. This being said, Shaymin, Roserade, Toxicroak, and Espeon all can work, though the latter two are susceptible to Haze if using boosting sets. Florges can also Heal Bell away her burns. Strong physical attacks are also a way to punch through, as Metagross sometimes dons Electrium Z in order to beat Milotic as well as Slowbro, and Bandrantrum has no issue Head Smashing its way through. If not running Haze, Curselax will bring Milotic to a slow death, and Bewear a fast one. Salazzle can use a +2 Acid Downpour to plow through it, Raikou can abuse it's passivity for Calm Mind shenanigans, and recent metagame superstar Necrozma can boost up and drop Milotic with Photon Geyser, though it fears Toxic. All in all, Milotic is no unkillable wall, but it should be respected for the defensive behemoth it is.
 
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Nominating Golisopod



->
/

Ability: Emergency Exit
EVs: 168
/ 252
/ 88

Adamant Nature
- First Impression
- Liquidation
- Leech Life
- Drill Run / Aqua Jet

What effect did Golisopod have on the metagame?


Golisopod has made a massive mark on the current RU metagame in a plethora of ways. Having access to amazing dual STABs including an insane move in First Impression and a goliath Attack stat (haha get it) makes it one of if not the best revenge killer in the tier despite being considered awful for the better half of this generation. Golisopod's prevalence has made it a considerable threat when building, forcing you to have two or more answers to it. The RU tier really doesn't really have any solid Golisopod answers bar Noivern, which was the only mon that's able to somewhat take it on.

In what main roles was Golisopod used?


Golisopod was exclusively used as a revenge killer and rarely does anything else. First Impression was the cream of the crop when it comes to Golisopod. Being a 90 BP STAB move with priority, it beats up on so much of the tier due to the lack of bug resists and the prevalence of Grasses. Golisopod's usage skyrocketed when grasses like Shaymin and Roserade started to gain major traction, using First Impression to heavily dent or just flat out KO them.

What caused Golisopod to have a significant impact?


People started to notice Golisopod just because of the sheer power it harnesses. As I said before its movepool is so fucking good in the tier because nothing can really switch into its STABs except for a few select mons. Its resistance to mons like Zygarde-10% was also a huge benefit for it, and the amazing matchups it has against the prominent Grasses in the tier. Donphan, Golisopod, and Metagross is an extremely potent core on Ladder and in tour because they all handle the mons that give eachother trouble. For example, Donphan really can't handle the threatening Grass-types that currently roam the tier, so Metagross and Golisopod are ideal partners because they can beat up on those mons and take a huge burden off of Donphan's chest; making its job alot easier. Golisopod can literally 6-0 teams from preview if they lack proper answers just because of the fact that its Attack stat is nuts. Coupling that with amazing moves made it a fearsome revenge killer in the meta.

How do/did you deal with Golisopod in RU?


Honestly I and alot of other builders would personally just use Scarf Noivern and other variants to deal with Golisopod. It's really the only mon that can solidly check it due to it being able to resist Bug and Water STABs. People would use Toxicroak to answer it at first but it adapted and started running Drill Run as a 4th move being able to OHKO it with ease. Faster mons like Goodra and Mega Sceptile are somewhat able to take it on if it's chipped down, but you have to be sure that you waste its First Impression and its always just an extremely shaky matchup.
 
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Nominating: Roserade
roserade-f.gif


What effect did Pokemon have on the metagame?

Throughout SM/USUM RU's lifespan, Roserade has always been a mon players can get a lot of mileage out of. Leaf storm, Sludge Bomb, and HP Fire threaten majority of the tier and mons that can take Rose's coverage moves such as umbreon still have to worry about potential Sleep Powder, Sludge Bomb poison or Rose getting up layers of spikes against them. Rose beats a lot of notable mons in the tier such as Slowbro, Barbaracle, Diancie, and Tsareena. RU's two most common megas, Mega Sceptile and Mega Blastoise, both get ohkoed by Rose's stab super effective attacks. The latter of which Rose outspeeds. Rose can also easily come in on Florges to keep up pressure and get a spike or spikes up. As for as its effect on the meta, Rose has always been a huge threat that needs to be accounted for when team building. Rose's ability to cause switches allows it to set up spikes rather easily, making players want to use more offensive counters to it such as Dragalge and Goodra to limit spikes. For bulkier teams, Rose can be an absolute pain to face and may seem restrictive to team building.

In what main roles was Pokemon used?
Roserade is used over other grass types due to its coverage and ability to set up spikes. As stated before, Roserades ability to cause so many switches make it an amazing spike setter. Its main sets are sash and life orb. Sash guarantees you get spikes or an attack off vs threats and can come in handy vs sweepers such as Slurpuff and Zygarde, if you manage to keep hazards off. Life Orb gives Rose a nice power boost, making it harder for Bronzong and Registeel to take its HP Fires. Roserade can also be a threatening z move user. Z Sludge Bomb hits potential switch ins like Mandibuzz hard and can ohko Noivern, which could otherwise switch in on standard sash or orb. Z Leaf Storm give Rose a very powerful 100 percent accurate grass attack that can ohko threats such as offensive nidoqueen or in the very least, means it wont have to risk a miss against water types such as barbarcle. Rose can also deviate from the standard 3 attacks spikes set it most commonly runs. Synthesis and Sleep Powder can be ran over HP Fire or Spikes, giving Rose even more versatility. Synthesis provides longevity vs bulky waters such as Milotic, making them easier to switch into and sleep powder can potentially cripple a mon, opening the door for a teammate.

What caused it to have a significant impact?
Once again, Rose's coverage and ability to set up spikes have made it a very reliable mon throughout SM/USUM RU. It can pressure a variety of mons thanks to its move pool, and those Rose can't threaten with its move pool can fall prey to Sleep Powder or at the very least Rose getting a spike up on the switch. Rose's high special attack, access to technician, decent speed, and move pool have made it the most consistent mon of SM/USUM RU.

How do/did you deal with this Pokemon in RU?
Facing Rose has always been a trouble for me since most of my teams best switch ins to it are Registeel or Mandibuzz. Rose can weaken Regi with HP Fire or get spikes up on it and with rocks and potential Sludge Bomb poison, Mandi struggles to consistently tank hits from it. Snorlax can eat up any hit from Rose and force it out thanks to potential Body Slam. Curse Lax is even better because it doesn't care about potential Sleep Powder and can either set up or go for Body Slam. Cresselia can take hits from Rose and threaten it out with Psyshock. Porygon2 takes Rose's hits as well and can threaten it with Ice Beam. There's also a plethora of mons that can outspeed and ohko Rose. Banded Zygarde, Salazzle, Scarf Gardevoir, Noivern, and Lycanroc all force Rose out thanks to their stab attacks.
 
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Nominating: Machamp



What effect did Machamp have on the RU Metagame?
Going almost entirely ignored pre USM sadly, current machamp has been a reliable special sponge to switch in on many special threats including the tier's best megas in Blastoise and Sceptile, raikou, and more, added with guts to avoid scald hindering burns from milo, or mantine. With being a special sponge and a fighting type access to an abundance of possible niche coverage moves, Machamp finds a nice place in RU.

In what main roles was Machamp used?

Machamp is traditionally used as an AV special sponge for general special attackers, and occasionally as a flame orb user that can fit on trick room. With guts boosted stab and Machamp's level of coverage, not very much can switch in on it and comfortably stand in front of it. Both sets pull off different things, but either one is solid at what it was meant for. The AV set is bulky for a large amount of special attackers... until you cteam with specs psyshock spam. The flame orb set is a great breaker with added utility under trick room for more threatening possibilities and fun niche moves for some of machamp's regular walls. And for the amount of pokemon that can switch into machamp, semi risk-free knocks are almost always there

What caused it to have a significant impact?
Machamp has had a fairly large impact on the RU meta. Most of this falls with the amount of mons machamp can switch in on, and scare them out / get the kill. Fighting types in general could have this as a large amount would fill the same role as an attacker with reliable stab and solid coverage for whatever the stab runs into with issues. Machamp gained large amounts of popularity when the assault vest got noticed above flame orb. AV as the main set can switch into so much of the tier and scare a number of things away for. A few nice uses for it would be Blastoise, sceptile, and raikou as previously mentioned. It's useful for a lot of other mons in bronzong, shaymin, non willo mowtom, non sleep powder rose, and more

How did / do you deal with Machamp in RU?

Bulky psychic types- Quite a few bulky psychic mons rest in RU so machamp has a few issues, residing in Cresselia, Necrozma, Slowking, or more noteable, slowbro / metagross.

Flying types- Either defensive or offensive, a number of flying types rest in RU as Honchkrow, Brave bird mandi, Guts Swellow, and Yanmega.

Choice bands / General physical attackers- While machamp can act nicely as a special sponge, its physical side is left to be
 
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bkdrew

The end is where we begin
is a Pre-Contributor
Nominating Virizion



Virizion @ Life Orb
Ability: Justified
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Leaf Blade
- Close Combat
- Stone Edge/Synthesis
- Swords Dance

What effect did Virizion have on the metagame?
Well, to be frank, not a ton until after literally three of it's best counters all left the tier. Once Gligar, Doublade, and Chesnaught all left, Virizion suddenly found itself in the vaunted position of RU's best physical setup sweeper- not only for it's ability to bypass the omnipresent setup destroyer Milotic, but because it was just unpredictable enough to keep opponents on their toes as they danced around it's possible sets- an elegant ballet comprised of myriads of Rock-, Fighting-, Grass-, and Psychic-type moves boosted by Z-crystals, as well as the presence of Synthesis in place of coverage, Life Orb in absence of Z-moves, and even the surprise possibility of specially based sets with Calm Mind, Giga Drain, and Focus Blast. It's excellent speed tier, outrunning base 100s and 105s alike, plus it's unusually high Sp. Def for a physical sweeper, Virizion excelled at abusing the presence of Steel-types and Mega Blastoise alike to get it's Swords Dances up. It's stunning STAB combination shored up by the presence of Stone Edge to nail Flying-types who dared get in its way, the deer has remained a prominent and top-tier threat throughout RU's life cycle.

In what roles was Virizion used?
As an extremely popular setup sweeper, Virizion reprised it's excellent dance from the sixth generation with similar sets, setting up and breaking through teams with powerful Swords Dance-boosted attacks. This time around, however, it incorporated Z-moves into it's attacks, using the four mentioned above to systematically break through checks as it needed. Mandibuzz and Metagross each might live +2 Stone Edge or Close Combat, but powered up into Continental Crush or All-Out Pummeling, they each claimed their respective victims. Virizion has been RU's most prominent physical setup threat for a while, remaining A+ or S rank in viability rankings for some time. Being a setup sweeper that shrugged off Milotic was amazing, and Virizion's leap to the top as a physical setup threat that didn't care for Milotic was one of the things that pushed the sea serpent out of the spotlight and off center stage- a place Virizion was more than happy to occupy.

What caused Virizion to have such an impact?
As aforementioned, the disappearance of three of it's biggest headaches caused Virizion to skyrocket in usage, abusing the presence of bulky waters and Steel-types, both abundant in the meta, to set up it's flagship Swords Dance and blow them apart. Teams quickly adapted, however, using more fast-paced strategies and double switching to bait out Virizion's Z-move. To this day, Virizion remains a top 5 usage Pokemon, making it's presence clear and known everywhere it goes. The rise of Slowbro and Diancie was nothing but a boon to Virizion, as it gained two more victims for it's setup shenanigans.

How do you deal with Virizion in RU?
Well, it isn't easy, but the most reliable method is to hit it hard and hit it constantly. Toxic is also a good method, demonstrated in full fluidity courtesy of Florges and Cresselia. Speaking of Cresselia, it's probably Virizion's best true counter, since it doesn't fear any attacks, is hideously bulky, packs a pure Psychic typing to strike back hard, and has instant recovery. Poison-types can also work well, provided Virizion isn't running the rare Zen Headbutt. Revenge killing from Swellow, Gardevoir, Salazzle, and Noivern also works well in forcing out or claiming Virizion. Mandibuzz can work against anything but Z-Rock, and most physically bulky Pokemon can live a +2 hit.​
 

MrAldo

♦♣♥♠
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Moderator
At this point we better move on right now to the voting for the top ones right now. Plenty of noms despite the inactivity so thanks a lot of everyone that participated. We are gonna include candidates that werent nommed (that should have been nommed, but it is fine no worries):

Big list:



From this point we will have 10 rounds of voting to determine which if of these mons will be our top 10 titans, I like the list tbh. We will start by voting for the NUMBER 1 TITAN FROM THIS MOMENT. Voting round will last until Friday 27th at 11:59 PM GMT -5.

Have fun!
 

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