Metagame Trademarked [OM of the Month]

Imperator Romanum

formerly Grains of Salt
The Hammer and the Anvil Strategy - Trademarked Semi-stall - Peaked 3#

After a lot of trial and error I finally made a team im proud of, mostly because it actually won me some games. Since we're making sample teams I wanted to share it, hopefully it's a good example of Trademarked stall. It's surprisingly difficult.

Intro

Phase 1)

My first team was built around hazard stacking with a rapid spin user, as hazards are a lot easier to get up in this metagame than any other. The first one was built around Assault Vest Synthesis Dhelmise but that just got pursuit trapped, so I tried out Tsareena but it was too frail, besides spinning away the hazard occationally it did not to much. I found the problem to be that my opponent could set the hazards faster than I could clear them, my team also lacked the necessary offensive pressure to break through the Chansey wish pass cores so omnipresent. However, the biggest challenge and the archtype I kept losing to was the hazard stacking volt-turn teams. Simply put, they applied too much pressure and eventually Murphys Law would take the team down, crits suck. When the volt-turns began using Pursuit trappers like SD Weavile/Bisharp or Substitute Tyranitar I scrapped the team entirely.

Phase 2)

I then tried a different strategy. I would use powerful Pursuit trappers and focus less on setting my own hazards and more on removing my opponents. I switched Skarmory's TM from spikes to defog and removed my Dhelmise/Tsareena in favor of various Pursuit trappers. Weavile and Bisharp were too hard to bring in safely, and were volunerable to Will-o-Wispers like Cofagrious, so I landed on Choice Banded Substitute Tyranitar and it worked wonders. Bulky enough to live u-turns and volt switches with screens up and powerful enough that it could not only trap unboosted but also break defensive cores with it's sheer power. That still left me with a weakness to Volt-turn cores. I had tried out reflect Hydreigon (Marowak-A and Victini counter/check respectively) but I decided on adding both a reflect and light screen pokemon. It should be mentioned that defog doesn't remove your screens any longer, only your opponents. After some testing I landed on Clefable for reflect, resist u-turn and being a switch in to SubPunchers, and Light Screen Zapdos for u-turn. The rest of the team was built around covering my bases and building strong backbone. I wont bore you any longer, so I'll go into the team now.
Tyranitar  sprite from Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
Toxapex  sprite from Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon & Sun & Moon
Skarmory  sprite from Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
Clefable  sprite from Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
Chansey  sprite from Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
Zapdos  sprite from Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire


The Anvil (Chansey) @ Eviolite
Ability: wish
EVs: 252 HP / 216 Def / 40 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Soft-Boiled
- Seismic Toss
- Protect
- Heal Bell

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Chansey is the backbone and MVP on the team. It's main purpose is to pass a large wishes to Tyranitar, as you can come in with substitute and heal all the way up to 100%. It can also heal up the rest of your team if something is widdled down too low, one wish should usually be enough to heal you all the way up to 100%. Softboiled is so you can stay in against Xurkitree, Volcarona etc and outlive them with healing and seismic toss. Protect is so you can come in and receive your own wish, you can also scout what your opponent will do which is very handy when facing pursuit trappers. Heal bell doesn't need to be explained :)

The Second Anvil (Skarmory) @ Leftovers
Ability: defog
EVs: 252 HP / 220 Def / 36 Spe
Bold Nature
- Roost
- Brave Bird
- Whirlwind
- Stealth Rock

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Skarmory and Chansey form a very powerful defensive core together, walling most of the metagame alone. It's main purpose is to controll the hazard domaine. Skarmory has little to fear from the common hazard setters, like opposing Skarmories, Landorus-Therian and Chansey. Whirlwind is to phase out bulky setup sweepers and disrupt opposing Chanseys attempts to heal their teammates. With a reflect and light screen up Skarmory can 1v1 pokemon like Buzzwole, non-spore Breloom, Kartana, Alakazam etc. You're not going to be using stealth rocks a lot, but if you manage to trap and kill your opponents hazard setters/removers you have more room to play.

The Third Anvil (Toxapex) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: haze
EVs: 252 HP / 164 Def / 92 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Toxic/Knock off
- Recover
- Toxic Spikes
- Scald

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Toxapex acts like Quagsire does in ou. I was hesitant to use it at first, as you can only haze as you come in but your opponent will face the same problem. Set-up pokemon like Infernape, Volcarona, Weavile, Bisharp etc. use a set up mon as their TM and so they can't set up any further, this means that your haze is enough to stop them. Toxic is meant to pressure pokemon like Volcarona, Zapdos, Landorus-T and Chansey. Occationally you will have to win by pp stalling Chansey out of heal bell, toxic forces them to use heal bell more often. Knock off is also a good option, it's just a very strong move that you can spam. Toxic Spikes to pressure defensive cores. Scald because... Well, it's scald haha.

The Forth Anvil (Clefable) @ Light Clay
Ability: reflect
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Soft-Boiled
- Moonblast
- Calm Mind
- Flamethrower

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Clefable is the first screener and one of the most important pokemon on the team. Having screens up is amazing. It relives the volt-turn pressure and can also stop opposing wallbreakers like Buzzwole, Tyranitar, Weavile/Bisharp, Landorus-Therian etc. The set is fairly standard. Clefable can sweep late game if you manage to trap and kill some of it's counters.

The Fifth Anvil (Zapdos) @ Light Clay
Ability: lightscreen
EVs: 248 HP / 168 Def / 92 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Discharge
- U-turn
- Heat Wave
- Roost

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The second screener on my team. Zapdos gets a lot of chances to set up screens throughout the game. Light Screen lets you handle powerful special attackers like Xurkitree, Infernape, Tapu Koko, Magearna and Exeggutor-A. Heat wave pressures Weavile, Ferrothron, Scizor etc. U-turn gives you more chances to bring in Tyranitar.

The Hammer (Tyranitar) @ Choice Band
Ability: substitute
EVs: 56 HP / 252 Atk / 200 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Pursuit
- Stone Edge
- Fire Punch
- Crunch

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Tyranitar is what the team was built around and is probably just as important as Chansey. Substitute is just broken tbh. It's like every mon has disguise now. You can pretty much bring this in constantly, don't be afraid to use it aggressively. A good prediction can win you the game, as long as you keep it above 26% you can always bring it in after Chansey and heal it up to full. It's HP is uneven as you can use substitue 4 times, surviving with 1%. Pursuit is the main move, lets you trap Chansey without Eviolite, Zapdos, Alakazam etc. With Choice Band you hit very, very hard. It's also a very powerful psychological force, as simply having Tyranitar in the back affects your opponent and disrupts their strategies. Fire punch is for Ferrothorn, Forretress, Skarmory, Tsareena and Magearna. Stone Edge and Crunch are just powerful moves you can spam. Stone Edge has a high crit chance and Crunch has a chance to lower your opponents defences, so pokemon like Toxapex and Skarmory can't stay in forever, you will eventually either crit them or lower their defences.

Pastebin: https://pastebin.com/nqpX64ML

Threatlist

No team can cover everything, and this team is no different. The most powerful threat is, without a doubt, Specs Xurkitree. It OHKOs everything except Chansey which takes around 70% without light screen. Keep Light screens up and try and pursuit trap it. Still, Xurkitree is the most dangeours pokemon you can face. Nothing else I faced really 6-0d this team from team preview as pursuit gives you a chance to trap and kill the worst threats. It handles volt-turn better than most stall teams I used, but it's still dangerous. Watch out for opposing Pursuit trappers as Zapdos and Chansey are volunerable to be trapped. Keep reflect up and you should be good though.

Thank you for reading :) Let me know if there's anything I should change.
 
Ok I have been pestered for this a while and I think its best I bring my thoughts on it as of current. Nonetheless I will just say point blank I dont have immediate plans on dealing with it as of current but I hope to have my thoughts collected on it once the hoopa u suspect is over.

Substitute as a Trademark

You would have to be completely blind to not see just how much this move has shaped the meta around it and how necessary it is to run sets to deal with it regardless of what team your building. It makes it easier for mons to revenge kill, come in on attacks and proceed to 1v1, makes the one of the most unreliable moves in standard (focus punch) a viable option, and prevents offensive sets from being stopped by status that doesnt pass through sub. In some cases a team badly prepared for it can even lose to it outright depending on the mon behind the sub and if the person team isnt properly prepared to deal with it. However, as I look at the meta as a whole with sub, I just often wonder, just what would like the meta be like without it? Would it be easier for all team types to survive as they do now? Would status begin to rule?. Here i just wanna give my veiws on sub as a whole. I explained it partially but lemme go further in depth with this as I explain:

What does substitute do for teams ?

Substitute as a move acts as a psuedo Disguise but at the cost of 25% of ur max hp and some but not all the trappings. It provides safety from attacks and status that dont go through subs, allowing physical attackers(the larger portion of sub users) to not have to worry about being burned, prz or get their attack reduced, making it easier for playstyles like hyper offense or balance to thrive. If the sub wasnt broken when the mon was sent out the mon can afford to throw out any attack it wants without fear of being hit back seriously for it. Despite the chipping to its own health with sub , they can either have their own recovery options or have wish support to help keep them healthy despite taking dmg from their own subs or from hazards. Overall it makes revenge killing easier, and allows mons to even sit in front of what would usually check them in standard tiers without fear.

Counterplays To Sub


I admit there isnt alot , but it often revolves around wearing it down with hazards (which isnt always possible especially with the best sub users either resisting or taking neutral to rocks and have wish support), having another sub user to basically trade then take down the now "naked" sub user, running "authentic" moves like hyperspace hole or sound moves like sparkling aria or running infiltrator mons (this being among the weakest way to handle it). The most consistent way to dealing with the sub is dealing with the wish support and then wearing it down as sound moves dont always work depending on the mon (most notably heatran since it resists all but sparkling aria and hyperspace hole). Wish chansey also however makes this tough with the only available authentic moves being both specially inclined and chansey being as specially bulky as it is and both tanking and being able to setup another wish to keep the sub healthy then (or better yet wait for another opportunity to do so). There are other more gimmicky counterplays I believe , however I admittedly have not met them.

My overall opinion on Sub

For those who do not know , I am an avid BH player (not among the better ones though). A meta where imposter helps hold the meta together and by reducing the surprise aspect of bh and making it harder for things to just outright run coverage for checks for their offensive mons. With Substitute (note I did not see it becoming as strong as it is now), I initially began to wonder and hope if it could become similar to imposter chansey. Being a necessary evil. As I see it and SamHPL expressed when I asked him regarding it, a meta without substitute means that offense takes a hit. Wow, twave, toxic, glare, etc, they all become much more potent on teams and make it a demand for offensive teams and none stall teams to now run clerics if they want to sufficiently deal with them as the mons that carry them basically have the free chance to throw these around by just swapping in. It woudlnt be hard to inflict the entire team with status barring immunities. Fire type physical attackers become the only reliable or consistent physical attackers or guts mons choosing to keep their base abilities and normals running facade (which doesnt fix their coverage moves and wisp in itself is already a move commonly learned by ghosts). Most attackers either way still have to be wary of para from twave , and glare (able to para more than twave). I am not saying that the subless meta will be worse than the sub meta, but I am saying this is what I feel the meta has a possibility to lead into if sub were to go. I still to this day do not regret suspecting hoopa unbound as I feel it allowed substitute to show what it really is capable of. Hoopa already has next to no reliable switchins, only stuff that can ko it after it decimates something on your team or pursuit trap it on a revenge kill. It also made sub harder to pull off with hyperspace fury just running through both sub and protect and also decimating chansey (aka the best wish passer in the tier) ohkoing with band laser focus. But in any case this is about sub and not hoopa unbound.

In the end I say this for now, I plan to see what action I can take the meta better in future, and just wanted to state this so that people know that I am fully aware of whats going on and that your complaints arent falling on deaf ears. I want to figure out what I want to do with it moving forward, but in any case a quickban I do not feel is optimal so I will try to have my thoughts sorted out on it by the time the hoopa suspect finishes. Please be patient with me as this is my first time running a tier and I cant be on here or as active on trademark ladder as I would like to be

In Other News: Just would like to say that trademarked Viablity rankings are in the works, a doc has been made and is being edited and 2 other groups have approached me with their own personal VR's for the tier. I would appreciate good nominations with replays showing off the potency as once again I admit to my lack of ability to be on ladder as constant as I would like. I hope to have it up here in the forums by 23rd of May
(dont quote me on this lol) by God's grace.
 
Wish also needs to be looked into. In addition to pairing well with Sub, it's also a good trademark on its own and makes matches drag on way longer than they should.
 
Why Substitute should be banned:

Apologies for the long post – read just the bolded lines and summary at the end for the main argument.

First let me give a big thanks for all the work Whitephoenixace and other contributors have put into Trademarked. It's a meta with a unique feel to it that I really appreciate that the TLs are trying to preserve as best they can. But Substitute really needs to go, and action needs to be taken sooner rather than later if the meta is going to have time to evolve to post-Sub play before the month is over.

Here are the main reasons why I think it should be banned:

1. It's more overpowered than people are giving it credit for because it is low risk/high reward

What makes Substitute a strong move? I see a lot of people arguing that Substitute is powerful because of its many strong abusers and the fact that it allows you to put opponents in checkmate solutions where they lack effective counterplay. I think that this is only half of the story. The real strength of Substitute is how safe it is – that is, how little can go wrong by switching in a Substitute user in on a given turn. Put another way, people have been extensively analyzing the rewards of using Substitute, but the right way to gauge the strength of a move is in terms of the risk/reward, and Substitute is by far the move with the most skewed risk/reward.

To demonstrate this point, let's compare Sub to moves with healthier risk/reward ratios. A move with a healthy risk/reward is Shell Smash. The reward of getting a Shell Smash user in safely is pretty high – a mon with +2 in every offensive stat can do some heavy damage. But getting a Shell Smash user in play is difficult due to defense drops and status conditions and the threat of your opponent attacking, and you also have to worry about countersweeps from Transform or Heart Swap. High risk, high reward.

Will-O-Wisp is also balanced, with less extreme payoff. The reward for Wisping successfully is burning an enemy mon – useful, but usually not something that will lead to KOs. Thanks to the attack drop when burning, the risk involved in switching to a Wisp mon is lessened. Low risk, low-ish reward.

All this is turned on its head when we look at Substitute. The reward of using Substitute successfully is greater than that of using Shell Smash, since a Sub user with setup moves can use a free turn generated by Substitute to choose between setting up and going for direct damage. The risk involved in using Substitute is also less than that of using Will-O-Wisp, since the damage that can be done to a Sub user is capped under most normal conditions at 25% + hazards.

The consequence of this is that Substitute as an ability is conceptually broken. Substitute's power does not depend which Substitute abusers are effective in a given meta, nor on whether auxiliary strategies like Wish passing are banned or not – Substitute is an outlier in terms of risk/reward and this is a fact of the Trademarked OM.

2. It leads to linear, flowcharty gameplay and games may be determined by whose Substitute user has the better matchup

There have always been moves and abilities with low risk and high reward that define metagames, either for better or for worse. Stealth Rock and Scald are 2 examples of moves that changed competitive mons, but while SR punished passivity and promoted aggressive gameplay, Scald led to prolonged matches and rewarded passive play. How does Substitute shape the Trademarked metagame?

As a player who's laddered and spectated a fair amount, I feel qualified in saying that Trademarked is a metagame where your gameplan is determined by your Sub user's matchup versus your opponent's team and their Sub user's matchup versus yours. Let me illustrate my point with some replays.

Replay 1:

In this game, sketchy ecchi autopilots to victory, switching in Heatran safely using momentum moves and items and using Protect to scout the opponent's counterplay. Milkito's Substitute user, being slow outside of Trick Room, was never able to get off the ground. Almost all of sketchy ecchi's turns were either spent using Protect, U-turn, switching into Sub Tran, or attacking something with Sub Tran, indicating that his strategy revolved heavily around exploiting his Substitute user.

Replay 2:

In this game, Ktütverde gets the upper hand because he is able to use his Substitute mon to get kills while crippling his opponent's Sub mon. Tyranitar is able to come in on resisted hits and get free kills with Pursuit and Focus Punch. Using Substitute to guarantee a Pursuit trap is an idea also found in Imperator Romanum's team.

Replay 3:

This agonizing and protracted slog of a match is a result of Chansey + Buzzwole vs Chansey + Buzzwole. With neither side able to break through or wear down the opposing Substitute user, the game grinds to a halt. In the end it's the Buzzwole that knows Roost that is able to break the Buzzwole that does not (after 150+ turns).

These replays were not cherry-picked; they were the first ones I could get my hands on. This is the state of the metagame. Personally I think it's a shame that a meta like Trademarked – where the attraction is the wide variety of sets possible and the unpredictability of gameplay – can be solved by using a strategy designed to minimize risk.

3. Banning Substitute (and Wish) would make the tier less matchup-reliant and more skill-reliant

Substitute may be the most powerful thing right now, but it exists in an ecosystem where if it were to be removed, something else would take its place and shape the tier around it. What would happen if Substitute were banned, and would it change the tier for the better?

Like anyone else, I can only speculate about whether the tier would be more or less fun with Substitute gone, but as a general rule, I think we should strive for a balanced tier. As it currently stands, there is little room to outplay a Substitute user with good matchup against you, and this makes for a frustrating gameplay experience. In dozens of games I have observed a pattern where if I am winning I rarely have to double or predict, and if I am losing there is little chance to turn the battle around.

It may be the case that the next best move is Wish, and that a tier without Substitute would be a semi-stall funfest leading to 1000 turn battles. Independently of Substitute being overpowered, I think that Wish is a risk/reward outlier as well, and I would not mind seeing it banned either. I believe that banning Substitute and Wish will make safe pivoting less of a dominant strategy and lead to a tier where piloting one's win conditions to victory is less straightforward than it currently is.

On a closing note, I think the tier has gotten stale. There are only so many ways to abuse Sub or counter Sub and I'm running out of ideas and desire to play. I think we should view a Substitute ban as an opportunity to start fresh and figure out the tier again. Banning Sub may lead to a meta dominated by TR, or spikestack, or stall – who knows. But isn't the excitement of adapting to a new meta the reason why we play OMs in the first place? I think a Substitute ban would be a welcome change of pace.

TLDR: Substitute is overpowered due to being low risk/high reward and warps the tier to the point that there is little room to outplay a Substitute user with matchup advantage over you. Banning Substitute would make the tier more skill-intensive and hopefully lead to a balanced and more interesting tier.
 
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Ktütverde

Ban haxx, but only from the opponent
is a Tiering Contributoris the defending PU Circuit Champion
I won't bother writing a novel on the sub issue. I just wanna say I don't really understand how sub makes offense better, I personally think Substitute makes offense almost unviable and that theres almost no reason not to use Chansey+sub balance (should've said Chansey+Buzzwole/Heatran). Mimikyu is known for being an anti-offense mon, so I let you imagine what sub is. Also I find it hard to justify using @ sub in offense, because there's no room to run @ defog so sub is just a liability cuz ur mon takes rocks+spikes+25% of sub damage and its almost dead. Sub is way better in stall/balance/w/e is the name of ur bulky team. Sub without @ wish and @ defog isn't that great. If you want good anti-offense measures in your own offense you will be using @ twave, @ heartswap, @ haze or @ wow for example.

Also I don't see the point of playing this meta anymore, sub is totally busted and I'm done memeing around with primarina chandelure and sound moves. Wish isn't a problem, the only problem is sub that becomes totally busted when paired with chansey/blissey. It's a flagrant example of what an uncompetitive strategy is and is probably worse than stuff like OU arena trap/shadow tag cuz that's just a safe strategy as Clefable said.

I can understand the meta hasn't been fully explored etc. But I've played enough Trademarked battles and can guarantee you that if your concern is that sub leaving will make offense hard to use, don't worry anymore: offense will start being decent when sub goes. Right now you had better focus on having counters to every relevant sub user, so you'll be using a bulky team with recovery defog etc.

Ban sub asap.


If you want to see how stupid is the meta centralization around sub, check this list:

Mandatory when building:
- sound moves (kommo, primarina, volcarona, chatot) or infiltrator
-having a 100% focus-punch-proof pokemon (cofagrigus, venusaur, tapufini..) cuz the sub-punch user will make 4 subs or maybe 8, 12 or 16 if its paired with chansey
-having a heatran-proof pokemon (one of the best sub abusers). Note that "heatran" and "proof" doesnt mean anything since heatran can usually beat everything especially with a sub. Best example is garchomp with roar and/or rest.
-having anti-toxicspikes pokemons (gengar, toxapex, venusaur) otherwise u will lose very, very hard to wish+sub
-using setup sweepers with multi-hit moves (cloyster..)
-taking into account other sub users (sub+TG manaphy, sub+DD dragons, sub+QD volcarona)

Most ppl won't be using this things and that's why most people lose to Clefable 's heatran team or that I went almost undefeated with Chansey+Buzzwole+tspikes. I'm not exaggerating.
 
Substitute, me first, mirror move should be the moves that must be banned; sub is practically a free hit or setup if you dont have a sound based move at the time, and for me first and mirror move is not fair to cause damage with a swap.

Also another issue is Chancey+sub/wish: practically if you dont 0KHO its pretty hard to deal with it, most pokes wont be able to do it, even with stab or suppereffective moves, this also kind of applies to most of toxapex sets .
 
With everything that's happening, I feel like Sub may not be sticking around for much longer in the meta, so I decided to post this team I've been using along with a feat that I'm proud of!

Sub Heatran + Toxic Spikes Tentacruel Semi-Stall (Peaked #1, 40-0)



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(ps: Trademarking is also me! :o)

As you may (or may not) imagine, the inspiration for this team came from the popular Clefable's squad. Admittedly, I'm still not sure how the Mirror Move + Me First + Eject Button thing really works outside of the U-Turn and Volt Switch loop, but what really caught my atention was a part of the team that wasn't as flashy as the MF + MM core, but seemed incredibly strong: Sub Tran + TSpikes. With that core in mind, I started building the team:


I decided on Tentacruel as the Toxic Spikes user because of its speed + Rapid Spin. As a Tspike based team, I didn't intend to have a Defog user, so if I faced a hazard stack team, I wanted a spin user. Tentacruel's typing matches up better with Heatran's than Forretress's imo (Volt Switch is nice, so if you wanna use Forretress it's ok, the team looks way uglier tho lol).

Next, I knew I wanted to use Heart Swap Mag. Imo, Mag is a S tier mon in TM and the way it kinda dictates what set up mons are or aren't viable is crazy. That plus Volt Switch makes it an amazing pivot, and considering in my last team it was a Trick Room user (pretty good too), I knew I'd probably want to have it as Heart Swap user in my next one.

And this point, my team had a crippling ground weakness and couldn't really deal with Sub FPunch users well outside of stalling them with TSpikes. I think most defensively inclined teams should have either Wisp or Reflect, and as Wisp + Tspikes isn't the smartest combination, Reflect Zapdos comes in and checks a lot of stuff I mentioned. I honestly think Reflect Zapdos is an amazing mon for any type of team, it has such a vast movepool and good typing.

Don't let the the stage at which Chansey was added fool you: I intended on using it from the start lol.

I wasn't sure what I wanted for my last mon. I ended up deciding on SRock and decided to use Lando, as the team appreciated a rocker that could keep momentum and overall another ground immunity/Knock Off user. I started with Scarf Lando, but eventually decided max HP with Lefties and protect would fit the team better.
- Standard Magma Sub set.
- A lot of speed because no amount of Def investment is fixing that base stat, so might as well be fast.
- AV with a mix of Def and SpD EVs.
- Enough speed to oustpeed Jolly Bisharp and the rest goes to HP and Def. Defog bc Zapdos has a good match up vs Ferro, and spikes can be scary (don't think I've ever clicked it tho).
- A very niche set that I found out after hours of research: Wish Chansey :o
- Lefties Protect fits the team well, enough speed for Jolly Bisharp (again!) and max HP.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7trademarked-910993400 - I really like this replay, it represents more matches that I played than you would imagine lol.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7trademarked-909840709 - Decently high ELO match against a mon that I consider very threatening (Bisharp).
That's it, should've saved more replays I guess
Pursuit Trappers - The team revolves heavily around Heatran + TSpikes. If they can pursuit trap either Tran or Tentacruel and get rid of the tspikes after, winning can get very hard. Bisharp is even more threatening than the other two, because Rock resistance and toxic immunity means it's hard to wear down.
Strong Physical Rock types - My dedicated Physical wall is weak to Rock and Magearna usually has a lot of stuff it needs to check, so it really doesn't appreciate taking a Gyro Ball or Close Combat/Earthquake. Stakataka specially, bc of the toxic immunity.
Toxic Spikes absorbers/ Reliable flying deffogers - They are less of a threat and more of a nuisance. It can get annoying tho.
Opposing Sub Heatran - I'll be honest and say I don't remember facing Sub Heatran and if I did my opp probably played it very poorly, but it seems very threatening.
Magma Storm Accuracy and PP - This team's biggest weakness tbh.
Heatran @ Leftovers
Ability: substitute
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Magma Storm
- Earth Power
- Taunt
- Protect

Tentacruel @ Black Sludge
Ability: toxicspikes
EVs: 252 HP / 104 Def / 152 Spe
Timid Nature
- Rapid Spin
- Scald
- Knock Off
- Protect

Magearna @ Assault Vest
Ability: heartswap
EVs: 252 HP / 116 Def / 140 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Fleur Cannon
- Flash Cannon
- Ice Beam

Zapdos @ Leftovers
Ability: reflect
EVs: 252 HP / 144 Def / 112 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Roost
- Defog
- Discharge
- Heat Wave

Chansey @ Eviolite
Ability: wish
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
- Seismic Toss
- Soft-Boiled
- Heal Bell
- Protect

Landorus-Therian @ Leftovers
Ability: Stealth Rock
EVs: 252 HP / 72 Atk / 184 Spe
Adamant Nature
- U-turn
- Earthquake
- Knock Off
- Protect
This team still hasn't lost a match, so go use it and change that! :^]

As for my thoughts on Sub, I think that at this point, even if Sub was to be considered not broken, it's clearly centralizing. It's the reason people are using Primarina, Chatot, Kommo-o, etc. While this team itself is more of a showing of what Sub + TSpikes can do together, it's also heavily based around abusing Sub Tran, and honestly, like the first replay I showed, so many teams just simply lose to it. It's not even a matter of outplaying, it's just an unwinnable match up. Maybe they should've taken Sub Tran into account when building, but how do you even do that? Like Ktütverde said, what is even a sub heatran counter? Reveng killing it with a Pursuit trapper is honestly the only somewhat consistent and viable way of doing it. While it was fun using this team and getting this peak, the amount of matches won at team preview or quick forfeits show that the strat is overall just too much for the meta.

Shout out to waiting 10 mins for a match that gives you 4 elo lol
 
The Moment you have (me included) have all been waiting for folks. With the blessing of sir ti I now bring to you:

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Substitute Is Being Suspected as a Trademark

If you ask any of the better players , and as many of you have made clear, substitute is without a doubt the strongest trademark in the meta. Though it provides alot of utility to teams it also however is very lacking in terms of actual counterplay and with the right mons behind them and team support they can easily carry an entire team to victory. There are options of get through or break through sub but in many cases we find them to be inconsistent and not efficient enough to consistently deal with all sub users. And yes the hoopa U suspect isnt done but TI has permitted to be able to start a suspect for sub this late into it, giving us exactly two weeks for sub suspect.
How to Vote:
  • Make an alt with SUB at the start of the name.
  • Have at least 30 games on the alt
  • Have a gxe of 78 minimum
  • Vote BAN, DO NOT BAN, or ABSTAIN
  • I would prefer a small paragraph explaining your reasoning for your vote
Substitute will be allowed on ladder for the duration of the suspect. The suspect will end in two weeks on May 31st at 7am est.

Edit: Reqs will be given to winners and runner ups for Trademarked dailies on 5/20 and 5/27.
 
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Now that I finally have my reqs, here are my thoughts on Hoopa-U.

At first I was on the fence about it, and I was (and still am) surprised that it was suspected before Substitute. The meteoric rise of Substitute Hoopa-U, I thought, was a symptom of a much greater disease. However, after careful consideration, I’ve come to realize that in this case the “symptom” is more akin to hemorrhaging than sneezing. Hoopa-U completely turns the meta on its head, and this is especially apparent when you consider than Substitute only became a dominant force after its absence because it completely invalidates any other Substitute users with Hyperspace Fury. I haven’t seen such a clear case of “broken checking broken” since the Aegislash/Pheromosa debacle. In the absence of Substitute, Hoopa-U manages to become even more problematic, as opposing teams lose Substitute-abusing switch-ins like Buzzwole (probably the absolute best Hoopa-U answer) and Conkeldurr, which tank Hyperspace Fury and force a switch-out if you can get them in safely. (Even these lose to the less common but still notable Hyperspace Hole sets.) Also, since Substitute is no longer available to Hoopa-U, other sets that are even more devious will rise to take its place, such as Nasty Plot, Laser Focus and even Trick, making it a lot more difficult to predict. Additionally, there’s basically no downside to putting Hoopa-U on any team—it’s more splashable than Lando or even Chansey. All of this adds up to make an absolutely ridiculous Pokémon that probably should have been banned from the beginning, and I think it’s about time that we ban Hoopa-Unbound.
 

Attachments

Tapu Koko @ Magnet
Ability: thunderwave
EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpA / 8 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Roost
- Defog

Landorus-Therian @ Choice Band
Ability: rockpolish
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake
- U-turn
- Knock Off

Conkeldurr @ Life Orb
Ability: substitute
EVs: 104 HP / 252 Atk / 152 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Focus Punch
- Mach Punch
- Ice Punch
- Rock Slide

Chansey @ Eviolite
Ability: wish
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Bold Nature
- Seismic Toss
- Soft-Boiled
- Stealth Rock
- Heal Bell

Tapu Fini @ Leftovers
Ability: haze
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Scald
- Taunt
- Toxic

Empoleon @ Assault Vest
Ability: defog
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpA
Brave Nature
- Earthquake
- Liquidation
- Ice Beam
- Aqua Jet
 

Ktütverde

Ban haxx, but only from the opponent
is a Tiering Contributoris the defending PU Circuit Champion
Alright, I'm done laddering. I have been using mainly sub heatran and sub alolawak, and the ridiculous amount of work they put in is a shame. Evene without wish, having 4 subs is more than enough when ur sub user is a wallbreaker like marowak. Stuff like sub conkeldurr isnt very problematic, but when you have an actual sub abuser, this trademark is no joke.


A random team that I built and actually wins cuz sub alolawak is insane:
Stakataka @ Life Orb
Ability: stealthrock
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Gyro Ball
- Stone Edge
- Superpower
- Trick Room

Mawile-Mega @ Mawilite
Ability: swordsdance
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Play Rough
- Knock Off
- Sucker Punch
- Fire Fang

Cresselia @ Eject Button
Ability: Trick Room
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Lunar Dance
- Ice Beam
- Moonblast
- Recycle

Marowak-Alola @ Thick Club
Ability: Substitute
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Shadow Bone
- Fire Punch
- Bonemerang
- Swords Dance

Primarina @ Choice Specs
Ability: raindance
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Sparkling Aria
- Moonblast
- Psychic
- Scald

Landorus-Therian @ Flyinium Z
Ability: rockpolish
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- Knock Off
- Fly
- U-turn


Also I tried playing a stall game vs a dude who had slowbro+pex+chansey+rotomwash+gliscor, my heatran almost got rid of all of them but lost on a 5050 so im sad cuz i dont have an epic replay showing sub's brokenness. Just wanted to say that some pokémons become godlike with @ sub, they just dont care about anything and kill everything. Scariest sub users are 404+ HP mons and ghosts (buzzwole, ttar, alolawak, gengar, hoopa ) cuz they come in on chansey which is a popular mon and they destroy its teammates. I've lost 6-0 to sub marowak and am not ashamed of it; sub is broken.

I'm voting BAN SUB.
 
(Galvantula) (F) @ Choice Specs
Ability: stickyweb
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunder
- Bug Buzz
- Volt Switch
- Hidden Power [Ice]

One of my favourite Pokemon in this meta. He's a very good lead because of his speed and his ability to Volt Switch if the Matchup isn't favorable. In addition, if your opponent lead Landorus without Scarf you can easily OS him with HP-Ice. You also can run it with Focus Sash to win your 1vs1 or to become a switch in to some Pokemon slower. The only issue with him is the accuracy of Thunder without Coumpound Eyes, so maybe you can try Thunderbolt. He's a great counter to a lot of offensive theat like Garchomp & Weavile.

To work in pair with the Sticky, I run Celeestela offensive.

(Celesteela) @ Metronome
Ability: leechseed
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Air Slash
- Flash Cannon
- Flamethrower
- Autotomize

Leech seed offers the possibility to run it with Metronome instead of Leftovers. He can easily switch in and restore his HP. Autotomize is here if the Sticky is removed or to counter scarf. Spamming Air Slash can makes Celesteela easily sweep a entire team.

And now, my third and last favourite Pokemon : Kommo-o

(Kommo-o) (M) @ Kommonium Z
Ability: dragondance
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Clanging Scales
- Close Combat
- Poison Jab
- Ice Punch

Dragon Dance first tour makes him faster than his opponent. Close combat is a powerful stab. Poison Jab is here to kill every fairy and Ice Punch is used to counter Lando-T. Using Z-Clanging Scales after one DD create a real monster.
 
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175887

Identifying as SUBi mon courroux
Well i just got the reqs, and im not going to make a soliloquy like my boy Ktutverde. So i will say let's ban this shit it's too op. You come in and it's a free switch everytime. Heatran sub just completely destroy the tiers and when he have a wish support it's even more OP imo. I also saw and been rekt by a komoo o Sub focus punch lmao it was incredibly strong and with the wish support as chansey everytime. So yeah i will definitely vote BAN
 
Leech seed offers the possibility to run it with Metronome instead of Leftovers. He can easily switch in and restore his HP. Autotomize is here if the Sticky is removed or to counter scarf. Spamming Air Slash can makes Celesteela easily sweep a entire team. Let's spam flinch and Spa Boost.
Now pardon me if I'm wrong here

But wouldn't giving Celesteela the ability leech seed remove the Beast Boost and thus not boost its Spa for every kill?
 

Imperator Romanum

formerly Grains of Salt
176033


God, laddering is a massive pain right now. I'm going to vote Ban substitute. The metagame is exhausting to play in right now. While teams may differ slightly the vast majority on the ladder are built around a Wish-Substitute core. Wether that substitute user is Buzzwole, Tyranitar, Heatran, Celesteela, Scizor, Hoopa-C or Kommo-o doesn't matter.

Essentially it not only lets you switch in your wallbreaker for free but inconjunction with Chansey you can do it indefinitely. A lot of the games I played came down to who can overcome the others wish-sub core or even worse - who would win the Heatran speed tie - with a metagame brimming with potential it's saddening to see it boil down to that.

The most effective teams on the ladder were those who best supported their sub-wish core. It's one thing to overcome a wish-sub core without support but when it's supported by hazard stackers, volt-turn cores and pursuit trappers your counter-play becomes severely limited.

That being said, I absolutely adore this metagame. It's refreshing and the potentials are immense. I look forward to playing more and seeing how the metagame evolves when/if substitute is canned.
 

The Immortal

They Don't Want None
is a member of the Site Staffis a Battle Simulator Administratoris a Top Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Programmeris a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
Other Metas Leader


DO NOT BAN. imo the only broken user was hoopa-u. if you must, ban the one or two abusers some of you are claiming are broken. but sub itself is fine and i did not face any issues with it while laddering to convince me otherwise. i can probably understand a marowak-a test tho.

also ban chansey. wish chansey is too good for tm.
 
aw man I have to delurk now
subbuzzgraf.png

I don't think Substitute is such an outlier on the risk/reward curve. There are ways to pressure Sub teams and increase the risk of bringing in (or leaving in) a Sub mon, even when it's part of a SubWish core:

- Hazard-stacking teams force a Sub user to choose between eating chip damage and/or poison on their Sub/Wish mon and Defogging

- Trick mons like Noivern can disable something that's left in without a Sub

- VoltTurn chip damage can break a Sub and force physical Sub users out, especially when paired with WoW users like Cofagrigus or strong attackers

- Sub-bypassing moves like Noivern's Boomburst, Primarina's Sparkling Aria, Kommo-o's Clanging Scales, Specs TG Xurk's Round, and Gardevoir-Mega's Hyper Voice can force Sub users out

- Chansey switchins can be predicted and answered with Knock Off or a Pursuit trapper like Weavile or Bisharp

- Z-moves can bypass a weakened Chansey's Protect

Importantly, most of these tools would still be useful after a Sub ban. Hazard stacking, Trick, VoltTurn, Knock Off utility, Pursuit trappers, and Z-moves have valid utility other than dealing with Sub. Even most of the bypassing moves would still be useful - the only exceptions are Sparkling Aria (probably outclassed by Scald) and Round.

And is Sub itself the problem, or is it the SubWish core? Since a mon that's going to take 25% on switchin needs recovery to viably come in >4 times, which isn't an unreasonable demand in a bulky meta like TM, the number of viable Sub users drops off dramatically outside a SubWish core - of the mons Imperator Romanum listed, the only ones with reliable recovery (i.e. 50%) are Buzzwole and Scizor, and I hardly ever see Scizor. (There's also Gliscor on stall, and I think I've seen Sub Hydreigon and Vikavolt once or twice.) So Sub sets on mons like Alolawak, Tyranitar, and (to a lesser extent because immune to Toxic Spikes) Heatran will be heavily pressured outside SubWish.

Of the components of the core, Sub has a wider range of viability than Wish. I'll usually want Sub no matter what I'm building - to give a physical attacker protection from WoW TMs, give a utility mon a free turn (e.g. U-Turn/Defog/Roost Scizor), or just have an answer to TMs like Leech Seed - but running Wish strongly encourages stall or at least semi-stall, so if the core turns out to be overcentralizing and/or broken, I'd rather see Wish go than Sub.

Sure, most teams are going to have a Sub user (whereas offensive teams don't need Wish) but just because something is central to a meta doesn't mean it's overcentralizing - cf. Pdon in Ubers, Lando-T in OU, Imposter Chansey and Sturdinja in BH, Tomohawk in Gen 6 CAP, or even WoW here in TM, which strongly discourages the use of physical attackers that aren't either Fire-type or running TM Sub. These are all things that you'll usually want to run - Pdon is at >70% usage in Ubers 1760 - and that you'll want to prepare for, but (unlike e.g. Hoopa-U) you have a decent range of options in preparing for them.

tl;dr: voting DO NOT BAN

Mega Roomba (Magearna) @ Assault Vest
Ability: trickroom
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Aura Sphere
- Fleur Cannon
- Ice Beam
- Volt Switch

Primarinyaa (Primarina) @ Choice Specs
Ability: reflect
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Sparkling Aria
- Moonblast
- Ice Beam
- Hidden Power [Fire]

Lt. Xurge (Xurkitree) @ Choice Specs
Ability: Tail Glow
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Volt Switch
- Thunderbolt
- Energy Ball
- Round

Richard Nixon (Marowak-Alola) @ Thick Club
Ability: swordsdance
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Flare Blitz
- Shadow Bone
- Knock Off
- Bonemerang

Spikesbane (Zapdos) @ Leftovers
Ability: defog
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Volt Switch
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Toxic
- Roost

Punch Buggy (Buzzwole) @ Fightinium Z
Ability: substitute
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Drain Punch
- Earthquake
- Ice Punch
- Roost

AV Mag sets TR and pivots out. Aside from late-game or clicking Ice Beam on a predicted Ground switch-in, that's all it does. If Mag gets KOed, you probably lose - there's no backup TR setter. But I haven't needed one.

Reflect Primarina might look like it's entirely an anti-Sub teamslot, but it's also there to check SD Goli, surprise Ferro switchins with HP Fire, and set a screen for the rest of the team, which aside from Buzzwole doesn't have much physical bulk. Primarina hardly ever clicks Ice Beam, so could run Scald (for burns) or Hydro Pump (for OHKOing 252/252+ Heatran, although with the damage calculator's specially defensive set Hydro Pump only provides an ~11% higher chance of netting the OHKO than Sparkling Aria) instead - I'm not really losing a moveslot to Sub here. Could maybe be replaced with WoW Jellicent or Trick Noivern.

Specs TG Xurk breaks things. It 2HKOs Eviolite Chansey. I am losing a moveslot to Sub here, but Xurk's movepool makes the Kardashians look deep so who cares.

SD Alolawak also breaks things. Not much to say here. Bonemerang loses 10% accuracy vs. Earthquake to break subs and sashes, although does anything run a sash?

Zapdos is a defogger. It isn't very good and could stand to be replaced, but I'm not sure what with. Usually gets sacced after the opponent's hazard setter is down. I had Heat Wave on it instead of HP Ice for a while.

Buzzwole is a slow, hard-hitting Sub user. I haven't tried Focus Punch on it, but that could work too, especially for more damage on the Z-move against the Protect of a low-HP Chansey. This slot was Conkeldurr for a long time, but it didn't have enough bulk and Drain Punch as sole recovery wasn't reliable enough.

 
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but just because something is central to a meta doesn't mean it's overcentralizing - cf. Pdon in Ubers
I think you do bring some good points and it's nice to have a diverse array of opinions, but I don't think this part is exactly accurate - sure, Ubers can't really ban PDon, because it's Ubers at the end of the say, but that doesn't mean PDon isn't extremely overcentralizing and that it wouldn't be banned in most normal metagames.
 
176164


BAN. ban wish also.

Some sub users suck, ill be honest. like Ktütverde said sub conk sucks. But most sub users are indeed broken. Its more than a few. Not to forget once you ban one pokemon another could take its place. Sub + Wish allows a pokemon to switch in many times. All these things combined make banning sub what seems like the correct thing to do. But what I think should have happened was a wish suspect and then suspect sub. I feel wish is going to be banned. I would definitely like to hear what other people think of wish beyond some of the comments ive read. It just is so hard to punish w/ wish.

Ik this is like nothing but im going to go outside lol.
 

Ktütverde

Ban haxx, but only from the opponent
is a Tiering Contributoris the defending PU Circuit Champion
I think some details aren't clear here. There are people who want to ban:
-Sub
-The best sub users
-Wish
-Chansey

I agree with banning sub and maybe suspecting chansey. However I don't really agree with banning all the "broken" sub users cuz 1) that will take forever (3, 4, 5, suspects?) and looks like a very artificial way of dealing with the sub issue. Otherwise I like TheImmortal's idea. I also don't agree with banning wish: the only annoying wish user is chansey, umbreon and alomomola are not problems at all for example. I have to say that while chansey makes sub problematic, the other way round works too: imagine pairing chansey with a pokemon able to make infinite disguises: that's pretty much the concept of shedinja stall but with something totally safe and strong over shedinja.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7trademarked-911890796 : reminder of sub's insanity and 100% safe use of it.

Good ideas ranking (by me):

1) banning sub.

2) not banning sub and banning chansey. But this: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7trademarked-912044794 will keep happening (credits to Clefable , that's their team and it's broke af).

3) not banning sub and banning wish as a whole. Seems weird cuz only chansey can use sub very well. You could tell me: "but Arena trap was banned in OU----->PU". Remember that there is only 3 arena users: dug, dig and trapinch, and all of them were problematic in their respective tiers.

4) not banning sub nor wish and banning the broken sub users:
-marowak-alola (cant be countered),
-hoopa (ghost-psychic) (ignores opposing subs with hyperspace hole),
-blacephalon (power, free setup on chansey, beats heartswap magearna easily),
-buzzwole (immense bulk and focuspunch) ,
-heatran (impossible to counter/ safe trapping),
-tyranitar (safe trapping),
-weavile (safe trapping),
-kommo-o (kommoniumZ DD nightmarish behind a sub)

Any other complex ban idea isn't good. Regarding TI's idea (4), it's true that there aren't so many Sub abusers (eh, there are almost 1K pokemons and my list above only has 8 pokemons). But Trademarked doesn't allow the use of so many pokemons: only the best users of the best abilities are worth using. It's not centralized, but not a tier where u can use everything either. I do believe these are the 8 really broke sub users, and banning 8 pokemons one by one when they all are banworthy because of sub only makes little sense imo.

Thx for reading! I'm looking forward reading replies to my post, so we can hopefully get a clearer picture of the current metagame's problems.
 
Some sub users suck, ill be honest. like Ktütverde said sub conk sucks.
I'm sorry for picking apart another post, but how is Buzzwole one of the best sub abusers in the meta and Conk sucks as a sub user? Conk has a 100+ HP sub, STAB FPunch and access to Knock Off, it's slightly stronger than Buzz and way slower, fitting TR well. If we were to ban the sub users
ktüt mentioned, I'm sure Conk would take its place in many teams. Not having Roost is not really relevant for as long as Wish is still allowed. (Taunt I guess? lol)

As for the Wish vs Sub debate, even tho I had a Wish Chansey in my team, between just the sheer pressure of Sub Tran + TSpikes and the recovery from Lefties + Protect, most matches I didn't even need Wish healing for Tran. I'm sure banning Chansey or even Wish wouldn't change how oppressive Sub is, both at teambuilding and during a battle.
 
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