Project Top 10 TITANS of the Sword & Shield NU! [Voting Round 10]

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roxie

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Art by roxiee | Adapted from SS OU Titans Thread | Approved by Moderation team
Sword & Shield NU has and is still going through many challenges due to the two DLCs and tiering shifts, immensely adjusting how we've built teams. We went from using Nasty Plot Ninetales and Ninjask to Silvally-Ground and Rotom-C. Honestly, I blame this all on EviGaro and the entire RU tiering council. Flygon, Bronzong, Roserade, Golisopod...is there anything else you want?? Nonetheless, with the tier going through several different metagames, this year's Top 10 titans thread very unique experience compared to the previous years.

The big question that we will try to answer with this thread is, which of all the Pokémon were the 10 most influential throughout Gen 8?

From June 2nd to June 19th, you will nominate Pokémon which will be voted on for the top 10 most influential Pokémon throughout Gen 8. After that, you will all evaluate all the nominations and individually rank the Pokémon 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 Pokémon based on how good they are, but we're ranking Pokémon based on how influential they've been. When nominating Pokémon, consider their influence not just in the current Crown Tundra format, but in the Isle of Armor, Home, and Pre-Home metagames as well. Feel free to reserve the Pokemon before you do a write-up. Joke nominations will not be included in the final vote lol.


Please use the format below to frame your posts or we won't count them!

Enter your nominee's sprite here.
:ss/pokemon:


What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

Explain how the Pokémon effected the metagame as a whole, and how the metagame adapted around it. A brief description of which Pokémon it countered and which Pokémon it did well against would be good here as well. Be sure to consider their impact in previous iterations of SS RU as well, if they weren't removed.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Explain why this Pokémon was used on a team more often than most other Pokémon, 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 Pokémon 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 Pokémon cause it to become that much better when it was partnered with it?

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

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

:ss/aurorus:

What effect did Pokemon have on the metagame?

A crucial component of Hail playstyles due to Snow Warning

In what main roles was Pokemon used?

Aurorus had access to Stealth Rock and Snow Warning. This compression wasn't found on any other Hail or Stealth Rock setter, making it beneficial compression on the playstyle.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

See above

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

Aurorus ran Focus Sash so you had the option to attack it (and bring in a wallbreaker) or Toxic it and stall the 5 Hail turns out. Defeating Aurorus wasn't the problem as it served more of a utility role if anything.
 
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roxie

https://www.youtube.com/@noxiousroxie
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All nominations: :mudsdale: :blastoise: :rotom-mow: :bronzong: :cofagrigus: :icy_rock: (Hail) :vaporeon: :sandaconda: :ninjask: :talonflame: :toxicroak: :xatu: :escavalier: :cresselia: :copperajah: :machamp: :slowbro-galar: :flygon: :silvally: (All-formes)

Top 10 Titans of the Generation 8 NU Metagame:

1. :ss/mudsdale:
2. :ss/silvally: (formes)
3. :ss/bronzong:
4. :ss/toxicroak:
5. :ss/copperajah:
6. :ss/ninjask:
7. :ss/flygon:
8. :ss/escavalier:
9. HAIL
10. :ss/cofagrigus:
 
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5Dots

Metronome
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:ss/Mudsdale:

What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?
Mudsdale was, is, and continues to be an elite Stealth Rock setter thanks to its terrific physical bulk, Stamina, and good utility options. Mudsdale did excellently against Stealth Rock setters like Copperajah, Diancie, and Stakataka, while Stamina allowed it to take on prominent physical attackers like Tauros, Drapion, and the aformentioned Stealth Rock setters. Xatu was used to discourage Mudsdale from setting up Stealth Rock, while special attackers like Rotom-C, Blastoise, and Starmie can take advantage of Mudsdale shaky special defense and typing. Even walls like Vileplume, Vaporeon, and Sylveon can take advantage of Mudsdale and freely support its own team upon forcing it out.

Mudsdale also had some use in early RU for similar reasons, though it was far from the esteemed status from NU and demanded far more support for its role.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?
One of Mudsdale’s main uses was a blanket check for most physical attackers, taking advantage of them with Stamina boosting its defenses, making it progressively harder to take down. As mentioned before, it can set up Stealth Rock relatively freely against most other Stealth Rock setters, since most of them were weak to Earthquake (Copperajah, Diancie, Stakataka, Rhydon). With Toxic, the horse can lure in bulky Grass- and Water-types like Dhelmise and Vaporeon, and with Smack Down, Mudsdale could now take on Xatu and eventually overpower it with repeated Earthquakes. Mudsdale sometimes was used as a phazer with Roar to discourage bulky setup sweepers like Snorlax and Scrafty from getting out of had, though it was prone to getting worn down with Toxic and had no recovery aside from Leftovers. Mudsdale saw a lot of use on balance builds thanks to the compression it brought to the team.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

A good defensive typing, reasonable offensive stats, Stamina, and having decent utility overall caused it to last quite long throughout the game, making it quite threatening if you didn’t have stable Grass-, Water-types, or special attackers to deal with it.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?
Vileplume and Vaporeon were perhaps Mudsdale’s worst foes to face. Vileplume was immune to Toxic, both didn’t take much from Earthquake, and they could easily defeat it with their STAB moves using their special attacks. Vileplume could even set up on it with Growth and Vaporeon can freely heal its team with Heal Bell. Other Grass - and Water-types like Tsareena, Dhelmise, Rotom-C, Blastoise, and Starmie can also heavily threaten it, but none bar Starmie appreciate taking Toxic. It’s a similar case for special attackers, since Mudsdale doesn’t have anything to boast about its special defense. Xatu also was troublesome, since it could blank Earthquake and stop Stealth Rock from being set up. However, Smack Down causes it to lose in a 1v1 scenario.
 
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:ss/blastoise:

What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

Blastoise has been one of, if not the single most controversial pokemon throughout this generation. It is the reason many pokemon use specific spreads and items to this moment.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Shell smash allowed Blastoise to act as one of the tier's best cleaners, able to boost its way past everything but a handful of pokemon, some of which it can utilize other sets/moves to work around. It cemented its place on HO builds and sees good usage outside of those builds.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

In addition to shell smash, Blastoise has all the bulk it needs, allowing it to take 1 or 2 neutral hits from most pokemon, along with a strong enough attacking/special attacking stat to where it can clean with ease at +2.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

Common checks include Vaporeon, Quagsire, yache berry grass types, AV Copperajah, Snorlax, bulky dragons like Dragalge, Guzzlord and Goodra before its ban. Offensive checks include scarf Heliolisk, outspeeding modest Blastoise at +2 and revenge killing it.
 

zS

this is all a moo point
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:ss/rotom-mow:
What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

rotom-c has been the single most dominant force in recent NU days and has been a huge part of the metagame ever since it was introduced to nu. it's the tier's strongest pivot and rarely fails to pull its weight in battle.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

this pokemon has been the premier scarfer in nu for like a year now, being the fastest viable scarfer the tier has to offer (helio doesn't count afaik) and doesn't have the issue of not being able to pivot out on ground types thanks to its secondary grass typing and rly strong leaf storm. it's also a very breaker / late game sweeper thanks to nasty plot + fantastic levitate ability that allows it to pivot in easily and do major progress.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

rotom-c is just a phenomenal pokemon. it has great stats for nu standard, a rly good typing, a wide movepool, a fantastic ability and just fits on every single team composition baring stall (and i could even make an argument for this last statement but owell let's say it doesn't fit there). it just pairs well with every single breaker in the tier and doesn't need support to do its job, its actually the one that supports other mons.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

we have some good answers to it like dragalge, dhelmise, exeggutor-a etc... but they either don't appreciate getting volt switched on or just take too much damage from one of the moves it runs (ie dhelmise takes a thousand from foul play). togedemaru is the single best counter to this pokemon but even this thing hates coming in on a trick and is hardly splashable due to it being a fake steel. trick + volt switch makes this mon rly strong and while there are mons that can deal with it consistently like vileplume togedemaru or dragalge, they won't be able to stop it from pivoting in and out / make progress with trick.
 
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:ss/bronzong:

What effect did Pokemon have on the metagame?

Bronzong served as one of the most integral defensive pillars during its time in the tier, capable of compressing many roles and checking numerous wallbreakers. It had a wide array of moveslots to choose from, with its Iron Defence + Body Press set warping the tier in its own right.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Bronzong had two primary sets, though the moveslots in between were quite interchangeable. The first was a standard Stealth Rock set, which was more common during the earlier stages of its arrival. As the tier developed further, its Body Press sweeper set became more popular. Both checked a large range of Pokemon, and could adjust its moveset/abilities accordingly for its teammates.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Like stated earlier, Bronzong can chose from a wide selection of moves, allowing it to be extremely customizable. It allowed Bronzong to become a staple on many balance teams, as it could blanket check or scout majority of the tier. Its removal quickly increased the viability of many wall breakers, resulting in less stability and even tiering action taking on certain Pokemon, like Goodra and Silvally-Ground. Furthermore, its Iron Defence + Body Press sets were extremely oppressive, as the tier lacked strong, reliable counterplay to it.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

Bronzong's dominance led to the large increased usage of Dark- and Ghost-types, such as Guzzlord, Decidueye, Golurk, who were all able to check it to some compacity. It also was a factor in Xatu's dramatic rise in usage, who could stone wall Bronzong, though started to use Shadow Ball near the end of its stay in the tier.
 
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Rabia

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GP & NU Leader
:ss/cofagrigus:

What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

Cofagrigus was one of pre-DLC and DLC1 NU's defining Pokemon, never dropping below A on the viability rankings and constantly garnering high usage. It basically mandated every team have a Body Press immunity, a Taunt user that didn't mind taking a Shadow Ball or two, or a special wallbreaker that resisted Body Press and 2HKOed back.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Cofagrigus was primarily a setup sweeper. Pre-DLC both Nasty Plot + Trick Room and IronPress sets saw significant use, but the latter was more prevalent in DLC1. Pre-DLC, Cofagrigus also saw some use as a physical wall to check some foes like Silvally, Kangaskhan, and Toxicroak.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Cofagrigus's versatility, especially with setup sets, made preparing for it a hassle; there wasn't a great amount of overlap between checks to Nasty Plot and checks to Iron Defense sets. Additionally, earlier NU metagames simply had a lower power level because of Dexit, making Cofagrigus much stronger in comparison to its competition.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

The removal of Hidden Power made Dark-types like Skuntank, Silvally-Dark, and Liepard a bit more consistent at answering Nasty Plot sets, but the latter two still had to fear variants that ran Body Press instead of Trick Room. IronPress sets were trickier, with people defaulting to Ghost-types like Decidueye and Jellicent that had the natural special bulk to still tank a Shadow Ball if necessary. Other options were Fairy-types like Clefairy and Alcremie, which could at least force a Rest out of Cofagrigus.
 
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Stories

now I am become eepy, taker of naps.
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:ss/sandshrew-alola: :ss/vanilluxe: :ss/arctovish: :ss/beartic: :ss/aurorus: :ss/sandslash-alola:

What effect did Hail have on the metagame?

Hail has plagued the NU tier multiple times before, indubitably brought to light by S1nn0hC0nfirm3d who created at least two infamously spammed Hail teams. Both of these teams popped up during times of a competitive ladder, be it a ladder tournament or a suspect test, making them extremely popular due to their ease of use and overall broken-ness.

In what main roles was Hail used?

Slush Rush users came in many shapes; Arctovish, Sandslash-Alola, and Beartic all support Blizzard spammers due to their abilities to KO Steel-types with their raw power or coverage. The doubled speed allowed otherwise niche or even unviable Pokemon to easily overwhelm checks by stacking multiple Slush Rush users and factoring Hail negating Leftovers recovery, entry hazards, etc..

What caused it to have a significant impact?

As stated before, these hail teams featuring Slush Rush users infamously plagued the ladder due to how easy they were to pilot and how effective they were at overwhelming their common checks. Multiple attempts at properly nerfing Hail teams were made, banning Snow Warning, banning Arctovish, and finally going straight to the root of the problem, banning Slush Rush itself. Banning Slush Rush was met with a lot of controversy, as it meant banning a LC Pokemon Sandshrew-Alola, and Sandslash-Alola through technicality because both Slush Rush and Snow Cloak were banned. Banning a LC and PU Pokemon from NU obviously turned a lot of heads, especially because Ability bans are quite uncommon, but Slush Rush was very clearly the defining breaking point of Hail teams and the tier has seen healthy growth since the ban while still allowing solo Snow Warning breakers to thrive in a balanced way.

How do/did you deal with this Hail in NU?

Each Slush Rush abuser infamously struggled to break through Vaporeon, and as Ice-types all shared common weaknesses. Sandslash-A and Beartic would be able to potentially overwhelm Vaporeon with Swords Dance and strong attacks, and many common teammates such as Decidueye and Dragalge are able to pivot into Vaporeon safely and beat it one on one. Escavalier's Overcoat Ability meant it could passively heal with Leftovers without Hail undoing its restoration, and its Steel typing meant it naturally had an advantage. Arctovish in particular could easily break through anything that wasn't immune to Fishious Rend because of its sheer power, 2HKOing common resists like Araquanid and Rotom-Mow, but boasting Ice coverage for bulky Grass-types anyway, meaning not much was safe besides Vaporeon. Bulky Fighting-types like Machamp and Hitmontop could take a hit from Sandslash-A and Beartic and easily OHKO back.
 
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wooper

heavy booty-doots
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:ss/vaporeon:

What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

vape is bulky enough to handle smashtoise, a huge and controversial threat in the meta, especially if youre running toxic as your last move. by virtue of being a bulky water, it is also able to answer multiple top-tier mons like silvally-ground, mudsdale, talonflame, staka, diancie, escav, and salazzle. people have started to run sets like sd/resttalk/megahorn escav, trick plot mowtom, and sub dragalge in order to be able to beat it successfully.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

vape excels as a wish user in the meta thanks to enormous base 130 hp and passable defense. it obviously also is able to wish to itself and stay healthy. scald is also great of course, coming off of base 110 spatk even uninvested and letting you fish for burns. it packs a lot of different options for its last slot (assuming wish/protect/scald): flip turn for momentum, heal bell for cleric support, toxic to wear down the opposition, and ice beam to hit grass- and dragon-types that resist scald are all valid options.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

as stated above, vape's ability to answer many top-tier mons cannot be understated, and wish is really invaluable for a lot of bulky and/or fat teams. partners like mudsdale, rotom-mow, and dragalge all lack reliable recovery, and appreciate vape's ability to heal them up over the course of a match. heal bell diancie is a notable partner, although it has fallen from grace in recently months, because it freed up the last slot on vape for something like toxic.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

vape is easy to abuse with toxicroak and heliolisk thanks to dry skin; araquanid with water bubble; and water-resistant mons that dont mind burns, like dragalge, rotom-mow, guzzlord, and goodra.
 
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:ss/sandaconda:

What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

Sandaconda was one of the best physical walls in PRE-DLC meta.Most physical attackers struggled to break it without taking several recoil from rocky helmet or be paralyzed.Silvallys even runned techs like surf or grass pledge to ensure a sweep.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Mainly used as a physical wall to check physical attackers like croak,kangakshan and silvallys and sets rocks .Could also run sweeper sets with coil.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Sandaconda was able to fit on many teams thanks to electric immunity and utility in glare and stealth rocks.While easy to take down himself with proper pokemons,paralysis from glare sets it apart from others sr users in galarian stunfisk and piloswine,made it hard to play around.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

Common specials attackers including decidueye,rotom-n,rotom-fan/frost,abomasnow and wishiwashi handle physical wall variants but they should play carefully vs 4th move from coil sets (stone edge and body press can overwhelm sandaconda's checks especially if he get boosts).
 
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Lucario

Eyes up, Guardian
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reserving ninjask

:ss/Ninjask:

What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

Originally in the Home meta Ninjask wasn't all that mainstream. After DLC1 Ninjask became a menace, it forced teams to run Steel- and Rock- types that often didn't do well against U-turn while other teams relied on Rocky Helmet walls. It also forced opposing players to do a lot of thinking due to its pivotal nature.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Ninjask's main two roles include being a setup sweeper and a pivot; due to its Speed it was also an outstanding revenge killer. Lastly, it acted as a team's speed control, relieving a slot for a Scarfer.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

In Home and DLC1 meta Ninjask made an impact due to how weak the meta was, especially with defensive answers. Heavy Duty Boots + Dual Wingbeat is what caused the massive surge of its viability, but over time and with Mudsdale rising to RU, Acrobatics eventually became the better option. The powerful STAB options allowed it to OHKO almost everything at +2, and if not, it would pivot out.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

In DLC1 meta you had options like Mudsdale (temporarily), Weezing, Cofagrigus, and Duraludon to stop it from sweeping, but nothing stopped it from pivoting besides Togedemaru and Garbodor due to Rocky Helmet and their respective abilities. Stunfisk-Galar was also an option but was held back due to Thwackey being a common partner to Ninjask, making Stunfisk a Grass-type under terrain. After DLC2 you had more options such as Mudsdale, Diancie, Talonflame, and eventually Doublade and Stakataka to defensively check it. The only viable Pokemon to offensively check it include Choice Band Basculin, Absol, Abomasnow (though Jask had to be low), and Ninjask itself.
 
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Rabia

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GP & NU Leader
:ss/talonflame:

What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

Talonflame has been a near-staple on balance builds ever since we got it. It's fast, can pivot, can spread status, and can revenge kill foes weak to its STAB attacks.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Talonflame has predominantly been used as a fast pivot with the set of Brave Bird / Will-O-Wisp / Roost / U-turn. Some teams will opt for Flare Blitz + Toxic instead depending on how weak they are to Escavalier or Rotom-C. We've also seen setup variants used, be it simple offensive sets with Swords Dance + three attacks, bulkier ones that substitute U-turn for Bulk Up, or ones that replace Will-O-Wisp for Swords Dance to make Talonflame a potential late-game cleaner while still letting it be a good pivot.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Talonflame compresses a lot of utility and defensive purpose into one slot. It's a fast pivot that can revenge kill wallbreakers like Machamp, Tsareena, and Salazzle, and it punishes opposing pivots like Silvally-Ground and Passimian with Flame Body. It also gives teams room against Fighting-types like Sirfetch'd and Toxicroak. It's just always been very easy to slot onto a team because of how in this generation, role compression is valued so much.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

Rock-types are of course very good at stopping Talonflame. Aerodactyl is the only unboosted Pokemon in NU faster than it and easily OHKOes it with Stone Edge, Tyrantrum often runs Dragon Dance with Lum Berry to use it as setup fodder, and Diancie simply walls it and removes and status inflictions with Heal Bell. Bulky Water-types have also been good stoppers, with Vaporeon being the most prevalent. Lastly, many common Choice Scarf users, such as Rotom-C and Indeedee-F, can revenge kill it.
 

Lucario

Eyes up, Guardian
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:ss/Toxicroak:

What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

Toxicroak was once a versatile demon that could run either Swords Dance sets as well as Nasty Plot sets. Early metas revolved heavily around it due to its potential to 6-0 most teams. Recent metas appreciate Toxicroak as a late game sweeper and as a check to Vaporeon and a semi-check to Blastoise.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Toxicroak has always been a setup sweeper. Both physical and special sets have had their time to shine. The combination of its STABs allowed it to go unresisted, except for Gastly. Sucker Punch and Vacuum Wave let Toxicroak revenge faster threats.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Early on in NU's development, the overall power was very low. This caused Toxicroak to stand out at it had an above average Attack and good Speed. Later on it became a staple for stallbreaking because of Vaporeon's high usage and less competition with other Fighting-type sweepers/breakers.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

Gastly was used by maybe one person in the Home and DLC1 meta. Nothing was bulky enough to not be 2HKOed by Toxicroak, so offensive answers like Ninjask, Psychic Ribombee, and Scarf Indeedee were used. As of right now, numerous things such as Vileplume, Doublade, Weezing, and Arcanine are defensive answers. Offensive checks include Talonflame, Aerodactyl, Drapion, Silvally-Ground, Scarf Indeedee-F, etc, I could go on, but you should understand that its Speed isn't great anymore. Mudsdale is supposed to be a check, but you all know the funny calc that makes it not great.
 

Ren-chon

A cocoon slowly drags itself towards you...
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:ss/xatu:

What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

Xatu has had an impact in the whole hazards dynamic in the tier for as long as its been around. Either your SR setter can up against Xatu, be it by having a naturally good matchup against it (Stakataka, Copperajah, Duraludon) or trying to work a way around (Smack Down Muds, Power Gem / Offensive Diancie, and even stuff like Shadow Ball or frigging Meteor Beam Bronzong back in the days), or you basically cant have your hazards set ever in that match. It single handely keeps some Pokémon nearly unviable, like Ferroseed, and even the ones that do well against it are still forced into countless 50/50s through the game to consistently keep rocks up. If that wasnt enough, access to Teleport and U-Turn also means theyre one of the best pivots in the tier, compensating for its overall passive moveset that could be taken advantage of pretty easily otherwise.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Its been our most consistent hazard control ever since it was introduced to NU this gen, being either the sole hazard control or paired with another potentially less consistent one (like Scarf Mowtom). Its also a pretty nice check to Fight-types due to being able to outspeed just about every single one of them, depending on how much Speed youre willing to run. Last but not least, having access to the Magic Bounce + CM/CPower + SPower combo means it can also be used as a wincon that can offer a lot of utility besides just sweeping teams late game.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Historically, our most common rockers have always been kinda passive and unable to do much against Xatu. Bronzong, Muds, Galarian Stunfisk, and even defensive Diancie cant reliably beat it and will force your opponent into always having to play aggressive if they want to beat Xatu, which is made harder due to the fact the bird is one hella good pivot too. Like mentioned before, its biggest impact is in the fact it can basically invalidate some of your opponents Pokémon and deny them of one of the most important aspects of competitive matches in hazards.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

As good as Xatu is against the standard slow balance, it really falls flat against more offensive teams, or even bulky offense squads that opted for more heavy hitting rockers as an answer to Xatus prevalence. 65/70/70 bulk and a weakness to one of the most spammable moves (Knock Off) means taking it down with stronger 'mons isnt really that hard, and also often means that one wrong predict means Xatu will be unable to properly switch in again without risking getting KOd. Copperajah and Stakataka are prime examples of it, both of which being able to 2HKO the bird, forcing the Xatu user to be in the disadvantageous end of the forementioned 50/50s

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

Xatu is best used as a proactive answer to what your opponent is trying to do, and more often than not wont really spend a lot of turns on the field. Checking it isnt hard at all once you know what coverage theyre running (2 of Psychic, Night Shade or Heat Wave), and can be easily done by Pokémon such as Sylveon, Vaporeon, Guzz, or Lax to mention a few bulkier ones; other than those, pretty much anything faster like Talon, Mowtom, Starmie and the likes can threaten Xatu with a KO or forcing it into constantly Roosting. The way the metagame adapted to Xatu was simply through the usage of hazard setters that could beat it, or using Pokémon that could still be really useful besides setting SR + some tech (such as Smack Down Muds, Sludge Bomb Stunfisk, Moonblast defensive Diancie, and so on) that could net them a better matchup.
 

Rabia

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:ss/escavalier:

What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

Escavalier has, for the most part, always been a centralizing force in the metagame. In DLC1, you pretty much had to run Rotom-S or Weezing to defensively answer it; we didn't have any other consistent switch-ins otherwise, and even these were vulnerable to Choice Band Escavalier. Nowadays, Escavalier doesn't force the same team adaptations it used to, but there's still a huge prevalence of wallbreakers that run Fire-type coverage in particular for immediately bypassing Escavalier, such as Indeedee-F and Copperajah.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Escavalier has been used as a wallbreaker or special wall throughout its NU tenure. In DLC1, we saw a fairly high amount of Choice Band usage because of how limited switch-ins were, but bulkier sets still saw a good amount of use for checking Choice Specs Duraludon. As DLC2 arrived and progressed, we saw an uptick in specially defensive sets. Recently, these sets have diverged from ProTox to RestTalk, with Rest + Swords Dance seeing use too.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Early on, Escavalier benefitted from stat checking the tier basically. It was just so much stronger than everything else, bulkier too. Nowadays, it just fits into the tier well, being a Steel-type Dragalge can't easily bypass and displacing items from prevalent foes like Talonflame and Mudsdale. Its defensive utility and support movepool have kept it as a viable option even when other Steel-types like Bronzong, Copperajah, and Stakataka have given it really strong competition.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

In DLC1, Weezing and Rotom-S were the best defensive stops to Escavalier. Weezing easily outsped and 2HKOed with Flamethrower, whereas Rotom-S could burn Escavalier with Will-O-Wisp. We also had Ninetales and Rapidash as good offensive checks.

In DLC2, trapper Vileplume is the most notorious Escavalier stopper, with Infestation + Leech Seed stalling it out quite successfully. This set, however, is a bit less consistent now with Swords Dance seeing more use. Fire-types are still good answers too; Talonflame and Salazzle are super common and generally handle Escavalier well. Mudsdale can generally keep up with Escavalier, but Megahorn can get annoying to keep switching into quite quickly. Lastly, a decent amount of Pokemon like Copperajah, Indeedee-F, Xatu, and Sylveon run Fire-type coverage to deny Escavalier switches.
 

Pokeslice

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:ss/Cresselia:

What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

Although it wasn't even here for a year, it would be impossible to talk about a Pokemon being influential in SS NU without mentioning Cresselia. Defensively, it was a great check to Fighting-types like Bewear and Mienshao that ran the meta, but it was also able to wall just about every physical and special attacker in the tier, leading users to use defensive Calm Mind sets that could often end games instantly while setting up on majority of the Pokemon in NU at the time. These set up sets were a massive deal in the builder and game, and much of the player base clamoured for a ban for months without action, creating a deeply polarized community.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Although utility sets with T-Wave and Toxic made for a strong defensive option, Calm Mind sets, and all its variations, were what made Cresselia so powerful, especially as the player base explored these different options to bypass counterplay. Sub and Rest CM sets could avoid status from Pokemon like Mudsdale or Vileplume, Kee Berry Stored Power sets would boost its defensive and gain an immunity to CB Golurk Poltergeist, and Psyshock would beat opposing Cresselia boosting alongside it. Because you always had to respect Cresselia and not allow it to set up, Scarf Trick sets saw some use just towards the end of its time in NU, which allowed Cresselia to cripple the answer to it on the other team that was guaranteed to switch in.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Cresselia was just too bulky. With 120/120/130 defenses, Calm Mind, an immunity to T-Spikes, and consistent, albeit mediocre, recovery, players quickly realized that Cresselia could not just be a top tier answer to the many broken Fighting-types, but a terrifying sweeper in its own right. Battles would often turn into reverse Cress sweeps or Cress 1v1's because it would outlast everything else, and you always had to respect the potential it had to 1v6 your team. Because of this, there was no downside to throwing Cresselia on just about every team and playstyle, from HO to hard Stall.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

To deal with Cresselia, teams needed to dedicate at least two of its slot to beating it, unless they had the only true hard wall in Escavalier. Outside of Escav, people began to run techs like Curse Copper or Curse G-Fisk to beat Cress. Offensive Bug- and Ghost-types such as Golisopod, Golurk, and Centiskorch could all cause problems for Cresselia, although Kee sets would beat the first two. Dark-types, specifically SpDef Taunt SD Drapion, were all seen because of their ability to wall mono-Psychic STAB Cresselia, although Moonblast sets were common enough to where a Dark-Type couldn't be a singular answer. Haze, Taunt, Encore, and phasing options like Whirlwind were basically mandatory in conjunction with a consistent offensive answer to Cresselia in order to not allow set up, but these were often easily abusable by the Cress player in the builder.
 

poh

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What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

Copperajah dropped to NU back in December 2020. NU Snake Draft I was reaching its final stages amidst massive tier changes across all tiers due to the DLC's that caused a huge trickle down effect. Copperajah quickly became one of the most used mon during that period. Ever since it arrived, Copperajah became one of SS NU's most iconic Pokemon, surviving meta after meta. Copperajah adapted itself when needed (Curse Copperajah to face Cresselia who ended up getting banned) and constantly forming relevant defensive cores.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Copperajah was/is used both as a rocker and as a bulky heavy hitting tank with AV. The AV set in particular is very difficult to switch into due to its high BP STAB move and coverage moves. Its Steel typing covers important Pokemon like Indeedee-F, Sylveon and it can even survive a hit from Blastoise and retaliate back with Power Whip.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

A bulky Steel-type is almost mandatory to have in a SS NU team. Copperajah offers that and more. Like previously mentioned it can be used as a stealth rock setter or as a tank thus offering a lot to a team. Bulky Steel-types are known to be easy to slot on a team, so it naturally synergises with many other NU staples like Talonflame, Musdale, Xatu, Vaporeon, Sylveon and so on. Most Steel-types struggle with bulky Ground- and Water-types but Copperajah has Power Whip in its arsenal. This makes Copperajah unique.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

Back when it dropped the main defensive checks were Guzzlord, Talonflame and Mudsdale (Talonflame and Mudsdale still are after almost 2 years). The offensive checks were/are mostly Fighting-types like Bewear, Mienshao and Sirfetch'd or Fire-types like Talonflame, Salazzle and Arcanine. Over the years there were some examples of adaptations like Qwilfish being able to reliably check it or Alolan Exeggutor and Glastrier being able to take a Heavy Slam reduced in BP with how weight works.
 
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:ss/Machamp:

What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

Although it had humble beginnings in the tier, Machamp slowly but surely rose to the top of the rankings, ultimately beating out Sirfetch'd as the tier's premier Fighting-type wallbreaker. The ability to switch moves while having a 50% power boost allows it to be more flexible than its Choice Banded competitor. The popularity of slow, bulky Pokemon that rely on spreading status allows Machamp to show off its power. Examples of Pokemon that Machamp enjoys breaking through include Snorlax, Vaporeon, Copperajah, and Diancie. This means that the tier is less reliant on bulky Pokemon, and must have an offensive Pokemon to properly deal with Machamp.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Machamp has one role and is very effective at it: it is a powerful physical wallbreaker. Its main set hasn't really changed, with Close Combat, Knock Off, Facade, and Bullet Punch being its staple moves, while Heavy Slam can sometimes be used over Bullet Punch to hit Sylveon harder. Guts and Flame Orb's burn status also allows Machamp to be a status absorber, allowing it to be a safe switch-in (after activating the Flame Orb) to the likes of Toxic from Vaporeon and Mudsdale.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Machamp's sheer power and good coverage allows it to plow through NU's bulkiest Pokemon. Close Combat 2HKO's bulky Pokemon such as Vaporeon, Escavalier, and Quagsire, while Knock Off is generally a safe move to spam due to its item-removal effect along with its great power. Facade on the other hand hits Fighting-resistant foes hard, such as Vileplume and Sylveon. Bullet Punch allows to check some faster Pokemon in a pinch such as Aerodactyl and Dragon Dance-boosted Tyrantrum. It also allows it to 2HKO Diancie without the Defense drops. Its Guts ability gives it immunity to status once activated, leaving it with one less thing to worry about. Basically, if your team has issues with bulky Pokemon, Machamp is a great choice to deal with those.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

Offensive pressure is generally the best way to deal with Machamp since it is somewhat slow and is easily worn down by burn damage and Close Combat's defense drops. Machamp also has a hard time switching into powerful Pokemon, which means that without pivot support, it generally has to sacrifice a teammate for a safe switch-in into an offensive Pokemon. Female Indeedee is notably Machamp's best counter since Psychic Terrain-boosted Expanding Force cleanly KO's Machamp while it is also immune to Bullet Punch priority due to Psychic Terrain. Other effective Machamp checks include Talonflame, Starmie, and Neutralizing Gas Weezing.
 
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:ss/slowbro-galar:

What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

Lasting only a little more than three weeks in the tier, Slowbro-Galar's (or Glowbro, affectionally) tenure in NU was short-lived but it was certainly eventful. It fell to the tier during the first shift of December 2020 alongside some Pokémon that are now tier titans like Rotom-mow and Talonflame as well as Pokémon that would eventually be banned like Pangoro, Bewear, Cresselia and Mienshao in what caused one of the most chaotic metagames of the generation. Early December 2020 was a time when one could abuse Drought, Drizzle and Snow Warning to their leisure, set up 8-turn screens and sweep with Shell Smash Barbaracle or Belly Drum Linoone or load up a balance team made for UU 3 months earlier. Although initially overlooked Glowbro was eventually put on the NU council's radar for its versatility and its ability to just win games, it was banned during the third round of council votes of December. Even though it only lasted three weeks it was the second most used Pokémon in NUSD in December, a testament to its strength in such tumultuous times.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Slowbro-Galar was an integral part of most teams, ranging from HO to balance. On HO it could run a Belly Drum set with Quick draw as its ability with either a Sitrus berry or a Quick Claw for even more rng abuse, if not immediately sweeping it could easily get 2 kos with just the help of its ability and help HO exert its dominance during this period of the generation. On more balance teams it would run either an Assault Vest set with Future sight or a Calm mind set with Shuca Berry, Colbur Berry or Black Sludge with Scald and Sludge Bomb as attacking moves alongside Slack Off. CM sets eventually proving to be arguably the most consistent ones for their ability to just steamroll entire teams with little effort. Aside from Belly Drum sets, both AV and CM had significant defensive utility by either checking special attackers or infinitely walling physical attackers that couldn't boost past it like Choice Scarf Mienshao.

What caused Pokémon to have a significant impact?

Put simply, it was nearly unbeatable. Between Regenerator, reliable recovery, a great typing, good stats and a good movepool it hilariously dominated a large portion of the tier right off the bat and this was still a tier with some pokémon that would end up banned themselves afterwards like Pangoro. Calm mind sets quickly proved Glowbro could simply click Calm Mind at any point in a game and win on the spot, other sets proved effective too but the prowess of the physically defensive Calm Mind set is what made it so dominant. Not to be forgotten is that the moves it used on that set like Scald and Sludge Bomb have a 30% chance to inflict ruinous status. You have a Copperajah with Earthquake? oooh scald burn, hope you have another way of dealing with it now. Ground types like Rhyperior and Flygon were dealt with similarly. Regenerator + Slack Off meant it outlasted its checks most of the time anyway but the option of beating everything through status made it even more absurd to deal with. Eventually a saying of UU came down to apply to NU too: "Three things in life are inevitable; death, taxes, and Glowbro crit wars.", Glowbro wars came to be an important aspect of the end of its tenure in the tier, with each player hoping they would get ahead in it. Slowbro-Galar wasn't a long-standing presence in the tier, nor was it the most impactful for the playerbase among banned Pokémon in NU this generation but it dominated one of the most hectic phases of the tier and as such should be remembered for being one of the figures of one of the strangest metagames in recent memory.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

As with any slow pokémon that needs setup to be effective you could always try to overwhelm it on either the special side if you were facing a Calm Mind variant (before it got the ball rolling ofc) or on the physical side if facing the Assault Vest set. Strong dark type moves like CB Knock Off from Pangoro would work against any Glowbro not running Colbur Berry but would fail against Colbur bro, similarly strong stab Earthquake from the likes of Rhyperior and Golurk could overwhelm it but if you caught a Scald burn you could forget about it. Golurk also had the possibility of potentially bypassing any Shuca Berry by going for Poltergeist. Alternatively, more defensive options existed like Gastrodon which resisted all of water, poison and fire and could use Clear Smog to deal with it, similarly Jellicent with Taunt + Hex would always beat it making it a fun option to play with in that meta. Finally there was also the most unreliable method in hoping to set up your own Slowbro before your opponent and win from there, or win the crit war.
 
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Rabia

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:ss/flygon:

What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

Flygon was the quintessential glue Pokemon. It had a ton of viable sets and provided a ton of defensive utility, so it fit on pretty much any team. It was the unquestioned best Pokemon in the format for multiple months up until it left for RU because it did so much for teams in one slot.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Choice Scarf and defensive/utility were the two most common variants because they capitalized most on Flygon's role compression. People also used Dragon Dance, Choice Band, and even mixed sets to good success.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

Flygon's utility and Choice Scarf set simply offered a ton of great teambuilding tools in one slot. Volt Switch immunity? Check. Ground immunity? Check. Pivot? Hazard removal? Check and check. Even its other sets still offered a lot in other ways, with Choice Band adding priority to Flygon's arsenal and Dragon Dance being a genuinely terrifying set with a lot of ways to cheese past your checks.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

Since Flygon was usually a defensive Pokemon, it really wasn't hard to check it. Talonflame was common to try and fish for burns when Flygon used U-turn, and of course Bronzong stood in the way of Flygon doing much of anything. Other generally bulky Pokemon like Sylveon, Mudsdale, and Bewear were also good stops to most of what Flygon tried doing.
 

Lucario

Eyes up, Guardian
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:ss/silvally: (Water, Fire, Ghost, Dark, Dragon, Fairy, Steel, and Ground)

There's 8 of these things and deadline was 2 days ago, so it won't have every detail.

What effect did Pokémon have on the metagame?

All of the forms mentioned above have had various effects. The notable one being Ground has warped an entire metagame around it, while others like Dragon, Dark, and Ghost had a few months of spotlight. Water and Steel were great utility options due to their type's defensive utility and Silvally's access to Defog and Parting Shot/U-turn to help aid the popular (and broken) Ninjask.

In what main roles was Pokémon used?

Every form has been used as a setup sweeper. Work Up sets were used on Fairy to allow it to have a stronger Flamethrower while Swords Dance has been used on every other form; Flame Charge allowed Dragon and Ground to have a stronger presence in a given battle. Steel and Water were mostly used for utility, as well as Fire, but those 2 had more of a niche. Steel is the only real defensive form as it checked Ninjask, Ribombee, and Whimsicott.

What caused it to have a significant impact?

In early metas the power level was extremely low, and with that came the uptick in Silvally usage since Multi-Attack got a buff in Gen 8. In recent times Steel keeps its niche as a faster Steel that can pivot and remove hazards. Ground is notorious as a Volt-immune and all around amazing sweeper.

How do/did you deal with this Pokémon in NU?

Wishiwashi was huge in IoA meta to help with Fire and Water, Quagsire helped with them as well as Ground and Steel. Persian-Alola sat on Ghost and Dark while Steel and Magneton checked Dragon and Fairy. Sableye and Qwilfish were utility-based checks to leave room for Mudsdale, Cofagrigus, and Sandaconda to be defensive checks. Currently, however, it is hard to check Ground without Rotom-C, Tangela, or Weezing.
 

roxie

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We will be voting for #1 first and #10 last in ascending order. So, in other words, your vote for this week should be what you consider to be the most influential SS NU Pokemon over the course of the generation. You may choose from any one of the options listed below, and will have 72 hours to vote, meaning that the results will be posted on 6/25/22! Any votes that contain Pokemon that aren't on this list will be omitted from the tally.

:mudsdale: :blastoise: :rotom-mow: :bronzong: :cofagrigus: :icy_rock: (Hail) :vaporeon: :sandaconda: :ninjask: :talonflame: :toxicroak: :xatu: :escavalier: :cresselia: :copperajah: :machamp: :slowbro-galar: :flygon: :silvally: (All-formes)
My vote goes to Bronzong.
 
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