Metagame Ubers Metagame and Set Discussion v4 - Crown Tundra [Shadow Tag Banned]

Icemaster

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- Discussion should only be focused around SS Ubers and its metagame. No national dex stuff.
- Discussion should only be focused around what is currently (or recently announced will be) available! Theorymon on the upcoming DLC are a no go in here until it arrives.
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Metagame discussion should go here. Post your thoughts on the post ban metagame and any effective sets or trends you have noticed!​
 
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The aftermath (I drew this):
A New Friend (1)_resize_67.jpg

Thank God this sword dog is gone, hopefully stuff like Calyrex-Shadow-Rider has more open counterplay. I look forward to building and experimenting teams without stacking max def NDM, Groudon, Ho-oh, and Zygarde. I am still somewhat wary of Gothitelle however.
 
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I got sniped by the thread lock while typing this up so here it goes instead, lol

My thoughts on Zaican-C in DLC 2 as a member of the Ubers council:

The OP and several fellow council members have effectively communicated the reasoning for this suspect, primarily describing how the metagame currently responds to Zacian-C as a major offensive threat. However, there has yet to be substantial discussion on the two central points of the issue at play: the collateral associated with a Zacian-C ban and the extent to which Zacian-C influences the competitive edge and/or premise of play in Ubers.

It's worth briefly clarifying how we got here. The forum poll indicated that most participants were more interested in suspecting Calyrex-SR rather than Zacian-C. The reason Zacian-C is being tested first is because, for the most part, the Ubers council along with other tournament and high ladder players currently consider Zacian-C a greater issue than Calyrex-SR. It's also important to highlight that Ubers has very recently received a major change in its leadership and that a majority of the council has only recently gotten involved in Ubers tiering policy. Although to be expected and no fault of leadership, there is unfortunately an underrepresentation of older era Ubers players in current gen Ubers tiering, with but a single member on the council that has continuous experience in Ubers tiering for ~3+ years. This is merely to highlight how Ubers has reached this critical point in its tiering; the most major since the banning of Mega Rayquaza, and one that may likely shape its identity and relation to neighboring tiers even after its current players are gone.

When I started to get into competitive play, the reason I played Ubers is because its identity as a tier represents the pinacle of competitive singles Pokemon: a format that clauses out uncompetitive elements while minimizing aberration of the game we came here to play. Ubers began as merely a banlist for cover legends whose abilities were so potent that they invalidated the vast majority of Pokemon that were meant to be played with, but over time the tier gained enough of its own elements that it emerged as the new status quo. I'm reminded of a post dice made several years ago about how Ubers has long displaced the original spirit of OU, and now even AG has taken up the original mantle of Ubers. I'm also reminded of something jack m posted a very long time ago that remains as true as ever, which is that a state of "Ubers UU" will inevitably transition into a state identical to OU. It's unfortunate that such a novel concept is so frequently overlooked, but the short version is that if you tier for balance, you're following the same tiering policy as OU, and therefore the end state can only be identical to OU. Ubers' identity, by definition, is broken Pokemon. Ubers can only stay Ubers as long as it tiers against game elements that alter the competitive edge of play, not game elements that are simply broken or too good.

That is not to say that a ban of Zacian-C in of itself is a full realization of such a change in policy, nor has it even been concluded that the Zacian-C ban sentiment is motivated by brokeness rather than uncompetitiveness (although unfortunately it likely is for many of those who will be voting). But one very important question to consider is: at what point in banning Pokemon does Ubers actually cease to be Ubers. This cannot be overstated: there is collateral associated with banning Zacian-C. It could be considered perverse to ban a cover legend for being broken in a tier that was born from broken cover legends. It would also be disheartening if Ubers gave up its current position as the most inclusive competitive tier merely to become an aberration of OU. This consideration has made me recontextualize why I joined Ubers, and if I would do so again if the big new exciting Pokemon like Zacian, Calyrex, or even Yveltal weren't legal.

The other half of the argument is that Zacian-C alters the competitiveness of the tier, to such an extent that Zacian-C is a special case, and so much so that the gains in competitive play exceed the collateral associated with its ban. Zacian-C being a special case is important because otherwise tiering policy inevitably cascade bans, but with Calyrex-SR also on the table for a suspect this is put into question. It's clear that Zacian-C has a substantial impact on gameplay, but there's been a lack of discussion about the extent to which it influences player choices. Instead, most discussion is about how Zacian-C checks are limited, in viability or reliability, yet this is neither relevant to the central dilemma, nor something other Ubers gens don't already experience. With an exception for basic player enjoyment, it's not an issue if games hinge on the effectiveness to which Zacian-C is employed, but rather when interesting player choice is snuffed out by its very presence.

Impact on teambuilding is generally paramount, and tiers where it's not are the exception rather than the norm. A worst case scenario would be a Pokemon that creates a convergence in teambuilding such that there exists one and only one viable team. Ergo, because of the nature of such a Pokemon, there are no interesting choices to make in teambuilding because the game is already solved. Of course this is not the case for Zacian-C, but degree matters, with tour and ladder usage being a natural starting point. Unfortunately these aren't very revealing, and despite there being a handful of highly potent offensive threats within a metagame that has comparatively limited reactive checks and defensive role compressors, a pool of game elements comparable in diversity to other Ubers gens are still utilized in serious play.

The fact remains there are skilled players that do not enjoy the impact Zacian-C has on Ubers, and it seems to come down to the premise of gameplay. More specifically, I think some players don't enjoy the fact that Ubers currently has a lot of emphasis placed on mitigating and utilizing Zacian-C. I think this problem is further compounded by the fact that Zacian-C operates more like a splashable RK / cleaner that's really hard to punish rather than a conventional setup sweeper or beatstick offensive threat. Just as with Dynamax, both the ladder and tournament games show that a competitive game remains with or without it, and while I argued that Dynamax reduced competitive edge due to the nature of its mechanics, I must admit I'm not nearly as convinced with Zacian-C. Either way players have already been given the choice: either they want to play with Zacian-C or they don't, because there's little point in playing a game you don't enjoy.


I thought it essential for this thread to have at least one post that really focused on the central issues, and to represent an articulated viewpoint on Ubers tiering policy and anti-ban arguments which are sorely underrepresented. But perhaps the single most important takeaway I want to leave with is that Ubers is Ubers with or without something like Baton Pass or Dynamax, but I'm not so sure (in the long run at least) the same can be said for Zacian or Calyrex.
I don't think there is (or should be) any sort of ontological definition of Ubers. To me, Ubers is whatever Ubers is. I think the power to decide what that is should be within the hands of the wider community/active playerbase through frequent polls and suspect tests, when needed. I don't like official tiering policy for Ubers anymore because that is mostly decided by TLs/Council, folks who the Ubers community has nearly zero power in selecting.

I believe the community should be able to ban/unban whatever it wants for any reason(s) it wants to give. I think a new generation of players as council (and TL!) bodes well for the metagame.

As an aside, I don't think Ubers could end up like OU even if it tried.
 
Yes so happy Zacian got banned, that thing was ridiculous. Anyway, my predictions on the new meta:

Winners:



No longer is it forced to run physically defensive (which was a pretty bad set anyway outside of checking sword wolf). It can now run Trick Room, Rock Polish, Dragon Dance or Specially Defensive sets. It can still check Zacian, only now it can actually OHKO it back with Sunsteel Strike, and if the wolf isn't running Life Orb it can survive a +3 attack from it with just max HP EVs.
Predicted rank: A+ / S



Xerneas lost one of its best checks and its competition for offensive Fairy. While Necrozma can still check it, you do have 5 other teammates to deal with it. Geomancy is once again a great late game cleaner, while Specs and Scarf are not to be overlooked too. I wonder if a bulky Geomancy set similar to its old Z-Geomancy set from USUM could be viable?
Predicted rank: A+, maybe S


One less bulky Steel type means one less resist for its Dragon Ascent. It will also appreciate the decline of physically defensive Necrozma, although mixed sets could still 2HKO it with Fire Blast. Nothing can reliably wall this thing. I'm not sure if Dragon Dance sets will be good again, but mixed and Choice Band sets can blow through a lot of Pokemon.
Predicted rank: A- / A

Again, once less bulky Steel type so one less check. What separates it from DD Zekrom is its Ice STAB, which gives it the ability to smash straight through the likes of defensive Groudon, defensive Zygarde and cleanly 2HKO Ferrothorn at +1. The multi hit nature of Icicle Spear also lets it break Focus Sashes like Marshadow and Calyrex-Shadow. The popularity of Scarf Kyogre (seriously it has other sets people) give it plenty of space to set up.
Predicted rank: B+

Losers



Without its Rusted Sword and beloved Steel typing, Zacian now has a much harder time coming it to cause chaos. All the Dragon types in the tier have secondary STABs that hit it hard, it hates Knock Off and Toxic from Yveltal, Eternatus can now wallop it with Sludge Bomb etc. It can't afford to run Adamant nature anymore, as it's now outsped by Marshadow and Eternatus. While it can match its previous power with Life Orb or Choice Band (in fact Band hits harder than Crowned), both of those items have significant drawbacks. I think it will still be a threat, but nowhere near top tier anymore.
Predicted rank: B / B+
 
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I got sniped by the thread lock while typing this up so here it goes instead, lol


I don't think there is (or should be) any sort of ontological definition of Ubers. To me, Ubers is whatever Ubers is. I think the power to decide what that is should be within the hands of the wider community/active playerbase through frequent polls and suspect tests, when needed. I don't like official tiering policy for Ubers anymore because that is mostly decided by TLs/Council, folks who the Ubers community has nearly zero power in selecting.

I believe the community should be able to ban/unban whatever it wants for any reason(s) it wants to give. I think a new generation of players as council (and TL!) bodes well for the metagame.

As an aside, I don't think Ubers could end up like OU even if it tried.
Tbh, this. GeoXern will never not be banworthy from any iteration of OU with whatever you base it off, but GeoXern will also never get banned from Ubers.
Anyway, with SwordDog gone, there's new stuff that can now flex itself!
Kyurem-White @ Choice Specs
Ability: Turboblaze
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Freeze-Dry
- Fusion Flare
- Draco Meteor
- Focus Blast
So you know how White Kyurem's biggest issue in past gens was having no way past bulky Waters who could take a Draco? Yeah, Freeze Dry+Fusion Flare is absurd coverage, hitting everything besides Fire types neutrally. Draco is just a nuke, though as ever it sucks to be Choiced into. Focus Blast annihilates Blissey and the occasional Heatran. Its Water resist, 95 base speed and solid special bulk lend itself to being a reasonable one-time Kyogre answer:
252 SpA Choice Specs Kyogre Origin Pulse vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Kyurem-White in Rain: 224-264 (57.2 - 67.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock (though it drops to 150 Water Spout with Rocks up)
252 SpA Choice Specs Turboblaze Kyurem-White Freeze-Dry vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Kyogre: 314-372 (92 - 109%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
There's still a few issues however. This beast as ever is very prediction-reliant, and the only form of setup it gets is Dragon Dance, which still leaves it outsped by Cal-S if Modest. It also misses Ice Beam's reliability against neutral targets. However, no longer being Zacian-C food every time it gets outpredicted is huge.

Rayquaza @ Heavy-Duty Boots/Life Orb
Ability: Air Lock
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD OR 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Jolly/Naive Nature
- Dragon Dance/Swords Dance
- Dragon Ascent
- V-create
- Extreme Speed/Draco Meteor
Here's another big winner! Again, having to go +Spe to outrun Timid Cal-S is annoying, but Ray still brings a load of pain from above with its fair and balanced movepool.

Calyrex-S wins a bit too. Now being totally uncontested as the fastest mon in the meta, it can go Modest to add extra oomph to its attacks, with results like this:
+2 252 SpA Life Orb Calyrex-Shadow Draining Kiss vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Yveltal: 250-294 (54.8 - 64.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+2 252+ SpA Life Orb Calyrex-Shadow Draining Kiss vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Yveltal: 273-322 (59.8 - 70.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
...Ok, so maybe not as dramatic as anticipated. Perhaps the Choice Specs set will benefit from this against neutral targets:
252 SpA Choice Specs Calyrex-Shadow Astral Barrage vs. 252 HP / 228+ SpD Groudon: 277-327 (68.5 - 80.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252+ SpA Choice Specs Calyrex-Shadow Astral Barrage vs. 252 HP / 228+ SpD Groudon: 304-358 (75.2 - 88.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
Ehhh, who leaves Groudon in on Cal-S anyway. Perhaps against Blissey?
252 SpA Choice Specs Calyrex-Shadow Psyshock vs. 4 HP / 252 Def Blissey: 465-547 (71.3 - 83.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252+ SpA Choice Specs Calyrex-Shadow Psyshock vs. 4 HP / 252 Def Blissey: 510-600 (78.2 - 92%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
Finally, a less than 1/3 chance to OHKO Blissey from full!
Yeah, not seeing it. Win those speed ties.
 

Fusion Flare

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Yeah, I think I'll do a Winners and Losers thing as well.
WINNERS OF ZACIAN-CROWNED'S BAN
:ss/necrozma-dusk-mane:
THE SUN (Necrozma-Dusk-Mane) @ Leftovers
Ability: Prism Armor
EVs: 252 HP / 216 SpD / 40 Spe
Careful Nature
- Stealth Rock / Swords Dance
- Morning Sun
- Sunsteel Strike
- Thunder Wave / Earthquake / Knock Off

Notes: only use SD if you got another rocker. Speed is for Adamant Calyrex-I, and also lets you outrun Gothitelle assuming it hasnt ran enough speed for this specific set, allowing you to scare it off with an SD-boosted Sunsteel Strike.

As said above, it isn't purely restricted to Physically Defensive sets, which Zacian-C could beat anyway LOL (which might still see more use due to it keeping armor-less sword dog in check) it can now utilize Specially Defensive, which i think is one of the better sets because of how threatening Xerneas is in the tier without a high-HP zacian to keep it from spiraling out of control. But I wanna talk about a particular Pokémon that benefits a TON from NDM switching to Specially Defensive sets along with the Zacian ban.
:ss/calyrex-ice:
Calyrex-Ice @ Choice Band
Ability: As One (Glastrier)
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Glacial Lance
- High Horsepower
- Icicle Spear
- Aromatherapy

Obviously Zacian decimated it, and it still lives in Shadow Rider's...shadow(ba dm tss)But these bans benefitted it all the same! As said, NDM switching to Specially Defensive sets for Xerneas means that Calyrex-Ice will have an easier time brutalizing the opposing opposition. Most teams I see usually don't carry the sturdiest Ice-type check outside of the aforementioned NDM and sometimes defensive Kyogre. So most of the time you can just spam Glacial Lance and own the opponent. Hell, banded sets get super fucking close to 2HKOing NDM with Glacial Lance by themselves, which is OBSCENE.
252+ Atk Choice Band Calyrex-Ice Glacial Lance vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 169-199 (42.4 - 50%) -- 0.4% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
That is only meager chip required to dunk on it and start getting a kill every time you come in safely. Now obviously, paraspam is required with it in order to actually get kills instead of merely trading. But paralysis is relatively easy to fit on most pokemon, Ho-Oh, NDM, Kyogre, Zygarde, to name a few. But yeah, this thing is about to become AMAZING.
LOSERS OF ZACIAN-CROWNED'S BAN
:ss/quagsire:
Quagsire @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Unaware
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Relaxed Nature
- Scald
- Recover
- Earthquake
- Curse

LMFAOOOOOOOOOO GTFO THIS SHITHEAD IS TERRIBAD NOW THAT ZACIAN DOESNT FORCE IT ONTO SQUADS, TRAAAAASH.
ok, enough with the exaggeration, but obviously this thing HATES that zacian-c is banned now, due to losing a prime target (not that it matters anyway, due to gothitelle just trapping and pp stalling you out) and outside of that role its kind of hard-pressed to find anything it can sorta check. Zygarde's a decent check i suppose but if they're running SubTox (which has been super common lately, lets you beat nearly all your checks(bar xern), including my boi tangrowth ;-;) then you're screwed, along with how Zekrom 2hKOs it with LO Dclaw, and how LO Groudon doesn't give a shit about it, unless it gets the scald burn or something. It just really fells like more a burden than a teammate, honestly.
HALF AND HALF ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
:ss/xerneas:
Xerneas @ Power Herb
Ability: Fairy Aura
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Geomancy
- Moonblast
- Thunder
- Substitute / Focus Blast

Xerneas @ Heavy-Duty Boots / Leftovers
Ability: Fairy Aura
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Sleep Talk
- Moonblast
- Aromatherapy
- Rest

Im sorta mixed on Geomancy Xerneas overall. On one hand, it doesn't have to worry about Zacian-C owning it with Behemoth Blade after living a Geomancy boosted attack. On the other hand, however, it loses one of the best ways to offensively pressure Dusk Mane Necrozma to sweep offensive teams, and it doesn't help that since because Zacian-C is gone, Dusk Manes are leaning more towards SpDef to deal with Xerneas better, since if you choose to run full SpDef, you aren't 2HKOd by thunder with leftovers in the mix. So its a bit of a trade off., but It's still a good sweeper.

Defensive Xerneas, however, is still incredible. Cleric support is an absolute GODSEND for Pokémon that usually have to Rest off damage and thus can be sitting ducks against more offensively inclined teams. Xerneas amends this, and also adds on top of it by being one of the best possible checks to Zygarde, shrugging off all forms of status along with its primary damaging move, Thousand Arrows. Use it, you wont be disappointed.
 
Dusk-Mane is still going to be physically defensive LOL.

Jolly Life Orb Zacian-H hits almost hard as adamant Zacian-C while being faster. Band Zacian-H destroys defensive Dusk-Mane and Quagsire. Good luck checking that with no defense evs!

Edit: added some calcs
+1 252 Atk Life Orb Zacian Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 155-183 (38.9 - 45.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

+1 252 Atk Life Orb Zacian Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 208-246 (52.2 - 61.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 160-189 (40.2 - 47.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

+1 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 215-253 (54 - 63.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252 Atk Choice Band Zacian Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 179-211 (44.9 - 53%) -- 29.7% chance to 2HKO

+1 252 Atk Choice Band Zacian Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 179-211 (44.9 - 53%) -- 85.9% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock
 
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Dusk-Mane is still going to be defensive LOL.

Jolly Life Orb Zacian-H hits almost hard as adamant Zacian-C. Band Zacian-H destroys defensive Dusk-Mane and Quagsire. Good luck checking that with no defense evs!
Regular Zacian will be nowhere near as viable or splashable, if Dusk Mane will be defensive, it will be specially defensive not physical. Xerneas is a much, much bigger threat than regular Zacian.
 
Regular Zacian will be nowhere near as viable or splashable, if Dusk Mane will be defensive, it will be specially defensive not physical. Xerneas is a much, much bigger threat than regular Zacian.
Zacian-H is an immediate threat. If Dusk-Mane doesn't run defense it gets 2HKO'd and then Zacian-H sweeps with its amazing coverage. People will handle Xerneas with Ho-Oh, Blissey, Shedinja, Ditto. Also, Physically Defensive Dusk-Mane doesn't get OHKO'd by +2 Thunder.
 

Ropalme1914

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Winners:
:yveltal: :necrozma-dusk-mane: :rayquaza: :zacian: :marshadow: :calyrex-ice:

Yveltal now lost its main switch-in to Knock Off. This already spammable move now has almost 0 risk both for defensive and offensive sets, with Band in particular loving this, as now it has what, Tyranitar and defensive Xerneas that can come into it?
Necrozma-DM can now viably run Sp. Def sets to deal with Xerneas and isn't worried about it getting 2HKOed by the Pokémon it's supposed to check. Phys Def. sets should still be decent for Zacian-Hero and Calyrex-Ice, but not a must have anymore. It also has more liberty on its moveslots instead of mandating Thunder Wave or Earthquake.
Rayquaza lost a Dragon Ascent resist and can one of the biggest punishers for V-Create. It still hates the fact that Calyrex doesn't let it use Adamant for DD sets, but it should be a bit easier to use now.
Zacian-Hero has been added to the game now isn't directly outclassed by its Crowned counterpart. Band should still be pretty decent as it hits even harder than Crowned, but no Steel-type, lower Speed that doesn't let it run Adamant (slower than base 130s and Marshadow), and being forced to be Choice-locked if not running Life Orb should hold it back compared to its AG forme, with the last problem being a little underestimated I think, as none of Zacian's moves are truly spammable.
Marshadow hated having a Pokémon that was faster than it on every team, but unless Zacian-Hero really picks up, it now is only naturally slower than Calyrex-S, who's weak to Shadow Sneak anyway, as Eternatus is not running max Speed.
Calyrex-Ice didn't like facing Zacian-C and phys def Necrozma, so it's a win-win situation with this ban.

Losers:
:xerneas: :excadrill: :quagsire: :gothitelle:

I honestly don't think that many Pokémon hate this ban. I see some people saying that Xerneas is a winner, but I can't agree with that, Xerneas lost its main partner at weakening Necrozma-DM AND Necrozma-DM now can Sp. Def sets more viably. I would rather face a Zacian-C who at least can be worn down easily with Rocky Helmet and no recovery than a bulkier Pokémon that can run both Leftovers and Morning Sun to keep it in check throughout the game.
Excadrill liked to revenge kill Zacian-C, which is not a thing anymore and reduces sand niche even more on a tier where Groudon and Kyogre exists.
Don't use Quagsire now lol
Gothitelle doesn't like to fight HO and likes to fight defensive Necrozma-DM on every team, which was what Zacian-C did best. Despite Calyrex forcing Yveltal, it still gives HO a hard time, so Goth still should do what it always did, but I don't think it'll be as effective as it was now.
 
Winners:
:yveltal: :necrozma-dusk-mane: :rayquaza: :zacian: :marshadow: :calyrex-ice:

Yveltal now lost its main switch-in to Knock Off. This already spammable move now has almost 0 risk both for defensive and offensive sets, with Band in particular loving this, as now it has what, Tyranitar and defensive Xerneas that can come into it?
Necrozma-DM can now viably run Sp. Def sets to deal with Xerneas and isn't worried about it getting 2HKOed by the Pokémon it's supposed to check. Phys Def. sets should still be decent for Zacian-Hero and Calyrex-Ice, but not a must have anymore. It also has more liberty on its moveslots instead of mandating Thunder Wave or Earthquake.
Rayquaza lost a Dragon Ascent resist and can one of the biggest punishers for V-Create. It still hates the fact that Calyrex doesn't let it use Adamant for DD sets, but it should be a bit easier to use now.
Zacian-Hero has been added to the game now isn't directly outclassed by its Crowned counterpart. Band should still be pretty decent as it hits even harder than Crowned, but no Steel-type, lower Speed that doesn't let it run Adamant (slower than base 130s and Marshadow), and being forced to be Choice-locked if not running Life Orb should hold it back compared to its AG forme, with the last problem being a little underestimated I think, as none of Zacian's moves are truly spammable.
Marshadow hated having a Pokémon that was faster than it on every team, but unless Zacian-Hero really picks up, it now is only naturally slower than Calyrex-S, who's weak to Shadow Sneak anyway, as Eternatus is not running max Speed.
Calyrex-Ice didn't like facing Zacian-C and phys def Necrozma, so it's a win-win situation with this ban.

Losers:
:xerneas: :excadrill: :quagsire: :gothitelle:

I honestly don't think that many Pokémon hate this ban. I see some people saying that Xerneas is a winner, but I can't agree with that, Xerneas lost its main partner at weakening Necrozma-DM AND Necrozma-DM now can Sp. Def sets more viably. I would rather face a Zacian-C who at least can be worn down easily with Rocky Helmet and no recovery than a bulkier Pokémon that can run both Leftovers and Morning Sun to keep it in check throughout the game.
Excadrill liked to revenge kill Zacian-C, which is not a thing anymore and reduces sand niche even more on a tier where Groudon and Kyogre exists.
Don't use Quagsire now lol
Gothitelle doesn't like to fight HO and likes to fight defensive Necrozma-DM on every team, which was what Zacian-C did best. Despite Calyrex forcing Yveltal, it still gives HO a hard time, so Goth still should do what it always did, but I don't think it'll be as effective as it was now.
Honesty, I think Exadrill got a win, or at least isn't loosing here. Zacian usually was able to outspeed it and kill it with close combat. Also sand will be more spammible due to tyraniter being utterly bollywomped by zacian.
+1 252 Atk Zacian-Crowned Close Combat vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Excadrill: 720-848 (199.4 - 234.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
 
Im playing a couple of gamins for the day and trying to be realistic this are my first thought (Open to debate)
Zacian Hero: :zacian:
As the new wallbreaker in the tier, this suffers a lot with the new changes, depends on what you want to do you need to use your full brain in order to discover how to win.
As now he depends on choice sets or LOi think this is a good change for the tier, fairy atacks are not that spamable than all the cover that she can use, so now you need (and you can) discover what she wants to do and response. Fun fact, as know he needs choice sets to beat hes only reliable check (Necrozma DM) you can use protec to scout what move he choices and win momentun, as you know you dont worry about possible SD or random substitute. This know open the meta to make predictions and take advantage from the lock wich is a healthy change but shes is gonna keep as a mayor threat in the meta game.

Calyrex Shadow: :Calyrex Shadow:
Despite the fact that she was the stelar revenge killer from Zacian, know she needs to worry about other sets. Scarf can outspeed Specs rex and take the KO without effor. And, on the other hand, Zacian know can absorbe trick on switch and criple Calyrex with a Choice band or invalidate the turn with the choice scarf. Despite this scenario, Calyrex is gonna still like one of the now multiples revenge killers against zacian and he should take care about knock off spam know that she loses a spectaculer knock off absorber.

Eternatus: :Eternatus:
Probably the only Uber who benefits from the zacian banned without drop backs. As know the tier loses hes premier dragon and toxic absorber etern can punish fairy types with poison atacks or spaming toxic as no one whant to get criple every turn. Despite this, etern needs to be worry about DM as know if you choices to go without flametrower, you cant punish DM on the switch. And with that saying. etern is a decent pivot against zacian locked in Close Combat.

Amoonguss: :Amoonguss:
Say hello to the new member of the viability ranking, this guy who response to the name of "Sporini" is a good adition to the tier now that Zacian H dont have the steel type anymore. Before the ban, this think cant really punish any Zacian moves thank to behemont blade or crunch and even the unexistent psychic fangs. Now, thanks to regenerator he can pivot against the majority of the moves or Zacian and punish the switch or lock with spore. As it happens with eternatus, now poison moves are move usful especially when you can punish something with spore. Also, thanks to clear smog you can soft check kyogre CM with clear smog and also soft check scarf sets with a assault vest. This little guy is probably a decent member of the meta and im glad to see this thing viable on the tier.
 
I think the metagame will now revolve around the 5 poke gods:

Xerneas

With Zacian-C gone that's one less fairy resist. Necrozma DM still walls it pretty hard but if Necrozma has already been taken out it'll just steamroll teams as Geomancy sets go awol.

Calyrex SR

I know a lot of people thought this was more broken than Zacian C even though it is very easily revenge killed and hard walled by Yvetal; 2 weaknesses Zacian never had. In any event the rise in Xerneas forces Yvetal on the retreat which means Calyrex can run rampant. It can easily take out weakened Necrozmas which helps Xerneas to sweep teams.

Yvetal

On the whole I think it will be harder for Yvetal. Yes Zacian-C could easily OHKO it but Yvetal could actually deals 56.3 - 66.4% damage using Foul Play on a predicted switch in. Which makes Zacian think twice on switching in. But with Xerneas usage rising, Yvetal faces a major threat to it's existence. On the one hand you need Yvetal to deal with Calyrex but on the other hand you need a pokemon that thwart Xerneas. It can't taunt Xerneas as it will end up eating a moonblast but if it switches out, it risks letting Xerneas set up. Life just got a lot harder for this bird.

Necrozma DM

This thing was relegated to just Zacian-C sponging. But now it gets to do a whole lot more. I agree with ChrystalFalchion that we will see set-up sweepers now with Weakness Policy and possibly Trick Room. But don't be surprised if Necrozma is used to counter itself. This thing will focus more on stopping Xerneas than anything else I feel.

Ho-Oh

No more wild charge Zacian-C is great news for the firebird. Sure we might see more Bolt Strike Zekroms but it's still 1 less massive physical threat. Ho-oH along with Necrozma are the only ones to stand a chance against a Geomancy Xerneas. It also deals with Necrozma DM with it's Sacred Fire Burns. Ho-Ohs high SpD and typing means it will get higher usage in the new meta.

I don't know about the impact or regular Zacian, I mean it's still really fast and choice band sets will be quite scary. However without steel typing it definitely can't switch into as many attacks and Necrozma DM can now destroy it with Super Effective Sunsteel Strikes.

Seeing as teams will revolve around these 5 pokemon it would be hard to say the new meta will be as fresh. It will just be a battle of constantly playing these 5 against each other and keeping 1 or 2 counters alive or you get trampled.
 
I think the metagame will now revolve around the 5 poke gods:

Ho-Oh

No more wild charge Zacian-C is great news for the firebird. Sure we might see more Bolt Strike Zekroms but it's still 1 less massive physical threat. Ho-oH along with Necrozma are the only ones to stand a chance against a Geomancy Xerneas. It also deals with Necrozma DM with it's Sacred Fire Burns. Ho-Ohs high SpD and typing means it will get higher usage in the new meta.

I don't know about the impact or regular Zacian, I mean it's still really fast and choice band sets will be quite scary. However without steel typing it definitely can't switch into as many attacks and Necrozma DM can now destroy it with Super Effective Sunsteel Strikes.

Seeing as teams will revolve around these 5 pokemon it would be hard to say the new meta will be as fresh. It will just be a battle of constantly playing these 5 against each other and keeping 1 or 2 counters alive or you get trampled.
Should replace Ho-Oh with Kyogre, who will see a lot more diversity this time around. Kyogre can actually run Calm Mind+Scald more easily which is an extremely dangerous as it won't be forced to run Scarf to outspeed and KO Zacian.

Kyogre @ Leftovers
Ability: Drizzle
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Calm Mind
- Scald
- Rest
- Sleep talk / Ice Beam/ TWave/ Roar
 
Dusk-Mane is still going to be physically defensive LOL.

Jolly Life Orb Zacian-H hits almost hard as adamant Zacian-C while being faster. Band Zacian-H destroys defensive Dusk-Mane and Quagsire. Good luck checking that with no defense evs!

Edit: added some calcs
+1 252 Atk Life Orb Zacian Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 155-183 (38.9 - 45.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

+1 252 Atk Life Orb Zacian Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 208-246 (52.2 - 61.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 160-189 (40.2 - 47.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

+1 252+ Atk Zacian-Crowned Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 215-253 (54 - 63.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252 Atk Choice Band Zacian Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 179-211 (44.9 - 53%) -- 29.7% chance to 2HKO

+1 252 Atk Choice Band Zacian Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 179-211 (44.9 - 53%) -- 85.9% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock
Agreed, NDM + some Regenerator pivot (Amoongus/Tangrowth/Ho-Oh) still seems like the best way to beat Zacian, this time Zacian-Hero.

My hot take is I honestly anticipate a lot more Dugtrio/Goth at least in higher level games because it exploits the increase in niche (i.e. not Ubers, so presumably weaker) mons that now have roles in post-Zacian-C ubers. This is mostly getting at Gothitelle which I think is just as, if not more broken than before. Zacian-C forced a very specific, all-consuming core on most builds, so its ban eases (not a lot but a bit) how often Goth can be slapped on to help an offensive mon.

I'm not completely sold on the idea that HO is worse now. Zacian-C was a beautiful inclusion on both webs and screens, but Zacian-C also was a really good offensive means of checking opposing HO, whether that be 2HKO'ing Shuckle/Grimmsnarl (which not every team can do, it's really just Ogre and Zac for both) or checking the Taunt spam Yv/offensive Xern that tried to sub on you. Zapdos-Galar easily can replace Zacian-C on Webs for example.

The real winner of this ban is stall. I expect some people to try stalling in MW in SS in week 5 and beyond while the meta's fresh, as I will also try on ladder eventually. Check out my Bazaar teams here for an idea. The only "great" measure is Goth I would say--not to say some teams don't have a perfectly fine stall MU--but missing Zacian-C means you're not relegating a Quagsire against it anymore to click Recover 16 times and (still!) lose.
 
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Actually i think ndm can be considered a winner but zacian hero clearly 2hkos offensive or specially defensive ndm with cc or crunch so idk if ndm is totally freed from it remaining phy defensive and if u say what counters zacian hero for me i think theres no true counter except playing around its choice band and about amoongus have a look at this

+1 252 Atk Choice Band Zacian Psychic Fangs vs. 248 HP / 168+ Def Amoonguss: 412-486 (95.5 - 112.7%) -- 75% chance to OHKO

now i know someone could say why run psychic fangs on it so the answer is i dont think the good sets are definite but smth like play rough/cc/wild charge/psychic fangs would have no defensive counter or if it does please say it but as per me no counter except defensive ndm but it too eats great amounts of damage from crunch.

+1 252+ Atk Choice Band Zacian Crunch vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Prism Armor Necrozma-Dusk-Mane: 196-232 (49.2 - 58.2%) -- 98% chance to 2HKO
 
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hello. zacian-h is a very dangerous mon. if you try to check it with ndm and that zacian uses a choice banded crunch, you're gonna have a bad time. the solution i tried to use was arcanine and it was a pretty good check against things like defensive ho oh, ndm, and maybe marshadow too. you gotta have a pokemon that can come in against knock off, because if arcanine loses the boots, things are gonna be much more difficult.

here's the team that was suppose to bring me to the finals of winter seasonals but only to lose round 1. don't use this team please, it sucks.
https://pokepast.es/d3d68c5852c7e182
 
hello. zacian-h is a very dangerous mon. if you try to check it with ndm and that zacian uses a choice banded crunch, you're gonna have a bad time. the solution i tried to use was arcanine and it was a pretty good check against things like defensive ho oh, ndm, and maybe marshadow too. you gotta have a pokemon that can come in against knock off, because if arcanine loses the boots, things are gonna be much more difficult.

here's the team that was suppose to bring me to the finals of winter seasonals but only to lose round 1. don't use this team please, it sucks.
https://pokepast.es/d3d68c5852c7e182
Arcanine is completely unviable in Ubers, regardless of Zacian-H.
 
Now that Most Wanted has ended, I wanted to go over a few things from the usage stats, with a bit more on week 5 since that's post Zacian-C but just in general, as well as some thoughts on the meta and some mons.

:buzzwole:
| 17 | Buzzwole | 4 | 5.00% | 75.00% |

The goat, high win percentage because it's an underrated wall to a lot of the most dangerous threats currently, and can just take almost any physical hit needed. It beats Zygarde barring dd dtail/toxic and even then can wear it down and break subs, as well as being one of the best Groudon checks for the dangerous dual dance sets. Beats sp.def Yveltal for free also, since knock does 0 damage and it can bulk up / ice punch, and while U-turn is annoying it's still a solid pivot. Also beats Marshadow :swole:

:giratina-origin:
| 20 | Giratina-Origin | 3 | 3.75% | 100.00% |

Interesting to see here as I hadn't looked at where it stood before, but I doubt it will even be any worse with the Zacian-C ban because it can't beat either of them as the standard sets ran Play Rough. It has a good utility movepool, great bulk, and is also a check to Groudon but it feels like to not much else aside from that. Maybe a fringe Zygarde check also depending on the set, but generally just a solid tank for some big threats, interesting to see, I liked it myself when I used it.

:galvantula: :shuckle: :slurpuff:
| 20 | Galvantula | 3 | 3.75% | 100.00% |

| 20 | Shuckle | 3 | 3.75% | 33.33% |

| 30 | Slurpuff | 2 | 2.50% | 50.00% |

Grouping the web setters together, and it's interesting to see Galvantula come out on top between them. I always thought it was really good, but the one time I used webs I opted for slurpuff, but galv seems to be taking over as arguably the best. Accurate thunder and twave while setting webs goes a long way, and I think it might be the setter of choice going forward if HO's want to just get faster. Shuckle compresses rocks into one mon, but its speed and susceptibility to a lot of things has probably led to that usage equaling Galvantula but the lesser win rate.

:Yveltal: :Necrozma-Dusk-Mane:
| 1 | Yveltal | 71 | 88.75% | 47.89% |
| 2 | Necrozma-Dusk-Mane | 70 | 87.50% | 48.57% |

The two at the top of the meta, keeping the most powerful offensive threats in check. Yveltal with just one more use all tour, and what's interesting is that the only week Necrozma had more uses was week 5, the one Zacian-C was banned for, where it had only tied with it at best previously. It was generally assumed that dusk would stick around post Zacian-C just for the utility but ideally it wasn't as needed, but this sample size, while small, might be showing that it's just as needed if not more than ever.

:tangrowth:
| 20 | Tangrowth | 3 | 3.75% | 66.67% |

2 in one game right before Zacian-C was banned, but it still won on at least 1 team whenever it came. I think it'll start picking up a ton, it's a really good way to pivot into banded Zacian without directly fearing any more like Ho-oh would as well as getting helmet chip. Checks a ton of scary mons outside of that as well, mostly dual dance Groudon and Zygarde although toxic likely wins long term, as well as Marshadow which just barely doesn't 2HKO Tangrowth.

:lunala:
| 12 | Lunala | 8 | 10.00% | 25.00% |

Surprising and quite disappointing, I think it's still a very good wall but it feels like it's slowly getting outclassed. It loses to toxic Zygarde as well as Marshadow but beats other Zygarde as well as Groudon. Pokemon like Buzzwole and Tangrowth are similar while also beating Marshadow, with one big thing Lunala has going for it is that it can't be trapped by Gothitelle. Overall though, I thinkn it may slowly just start to fall off as time goes on, and banded Zacian hits really hard no matter the move so I doubt it can be useful there, if you need a pivot into cc after something like a regen mon then run Calyrex-Shadow.

:Zacian:
| 6 | Zacian | 4 | 28.57% | 50.00% |

Last usage specific rant, but these are the stats for the last week where Zacian-C was banned. Regular Zacian is extremely noticeably less used, because it's less splashable and finds it harder to come in on a lot of attacks due to the lack of steel typing and vulnerability to knock off. Decent win rate but I think more was expected of Zacian, it feels much easier in game and allows for more pivot usage which varies things up a bit in play and very slightly in the builder because your pivots aren't just dying to assurance wild charge or play rough anymore since band can't switch moves and the others are weaker to pivoting chip or just dusk mane in general.


Now, past random mons that I thought were cool and had notable stats, a final one with notable stats but also many problems past those.
:SS/Gothitelle: (+maybe :gothorita:)
| 15 | Gothitelle | 5 | 6.25% | 20.00% |

These stats reflect quite badly on Gothitelle, where the only win was from my own week 1 game when Zacian-C was still legal, but in general Gothitelle is in my opinion the most problematic mon currently and maybe that the tier has ever had barring Dynamax. Trapping warps the game to unhealthy lengths when the trapper is good in the meta, and Gothitelle is amazing in the meta. People have started running dd/sd Necrozma-DM on balance, Dragon Tail etern which is generally quite bad overall, and mons that stretch their pp amount extremely hard with things like Bulldoze Tangrowth which was used in MW. If a team wants to use most realistic defensive cores, at least some of it either has to be unoptimal defensively or it loses to Gothitelle. Carrying shed shell is great until it gets knocked off which is very common at least for Eternatus, and Dusk Mane isn't immune to staying in on things like Yveltal, Ferro, other Dusk Mane, etc. The options become either run suboptimal sets and sometimes beat Gothitelle (defensive dd dusk mane still losing to Gothitelle) or just lose to Gothitelle unless you get insanely lucky crit fishing. And if there is no goth? Well you just have a suboptimal which does not much, a position I found myself in with SD defensive dusk mane where I needed another rocker as well as couldn't fit twave just because I didn't want to lose to Gothitelle, and SD Necrozma ended up never doing anything because teams were naturally alright against it. Dtail etern with tspikes support has its uses, but trick Gothitelle sets are also extremely bad for it if it wants to stay around a long time for things like Kygore, because before this all I was describing the impacts of was the defensive pp stalling set, while trick is still another extremely good set that can put a mon out of the game quite early if played around it even semi decently, maybe even with Goth just tricking it then beating it later.

Gothitelle puts an unhealthy amount of restriction and fear in building, because sometimes you just have to accept the loss to getting the ability to switch taken away or make the team objectively worse, which again still doesn't always make the defensive mon come out on top. Another example is something like fast taunt Gothitelle with good predictions beating WW Ho-oh, because it can't actually phaze if you taunt correctly and only has 8 sacred fire's. Twave BB Sacred Roost/Defog is also trapped, just not on the switch in unless it's to a status move. I added a mention on Gothorita because I feel like it's necessary when discussing the goths. It has similar bulk with Eviolite, so theoretically it can do very similar things just without the trick set being as good. I think goth is far and away the biggest threat in the meta, I much prefer Calyrex-S for example which I still think is a fine part of the meta, but Gothitelle is the main thing I think is a threat currently.
 
Honestly I just think that a pokemon whose core strategy is to force an inescapable PP stall is cancer that shouldn't be tolerated. I know "fun" isn't considered a valid criterion for banning something (and I'm not even looking to dispute this, despite what I'll be saying in this post), but fuck me, Goth really pushes the limits of how far we can take that reasoning. This shit is so boring that I honestly don't know how people can tolerate it being a core part of the meta, other than hoping that its usage remains low due to most people not being bloody psychopaths.

I literally timer stall when I get trapped by Goth, not due to BM, but because playing out the ensuing protracted scenario by mindlessly clicking for an extended period leaves me so unfocused that I'd honestly be better off clicking X if there were no other option. At least by walking away from my laptop for 30 seconds every couple turns to grab a snack or fold some laundry or some dumb shit, I can maintain a level of mental activity that surpasses most vegetables
 

SiTuM

du coup jles baise vu qu'la rue c'est pas disney
is a Tiering Contributor
wasnt planning to do this, but im bored and i wanna explain my thoughts on the matter.



Gothitelle is unhealthy and should be banned from ss ubers. well, in fact, to be more precise, it should be banned from every tier but anything goes, alas its not the topic here.

Since the beginning of ss ubers, goth has proven to be virtually unhealthy as it allows too much gameplay based on stupid trapping, basically killing every attempt of building balanced or even bulky offense in teambuilder because you have to run shed shell or bad sets to prevent being trapped by it. we can see this in the surges of usage of gothitelle in various metagames ss ubers has offered throughout last year, mostly in pre home and dlc 1 :

Usage of Gothitelle in Pre-Home (Most Wanted):




Usage of Gothitelle in DLC1 (UPL VIII):





In this game, Hack makes use of Gothitelle to easily trap Cynara's Eternatus, Corviknight and Quagsire since they don't hold a Shed Shell. The game ends 1 turn after this.

------------------------------------------------------​




In this game, Icemaster uses Gothitelle to trick a Choice Scarf to Nora's Necrozma-DM. After this, it proceeds to PP Stall it by wasting its Earthquakes. Zacian-C proceeds to end the game quickly after this.

------------------------------------------------------​



In this game, Fc traps cromagnet's Eternatus on Turn 1 by killing it with Specs Psychic. There is no Marshadow checks left on cromagnet's side, and after a bit, Agility Eternatus sweeps the whole team.

------------------------------------------------------​




In this game, Fc traps Necrozma-DM with Gothitelle by PP Stalling it. Zacian-C cleans Icemaster's team shortly after because there is nothing left on Icemaster's team that is able to check it on the long term.

Now, to prove my point, let's list every pokemon trapped/rendered useless by every set of gothitelle in the current vr.

*trick:

Gothitelle @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Shadow Tag
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Trick
- Rest
- Cosmic Power
- Stored Power

**confide, ****charm:

Gothitelle @ Leftovers
Ability: Shadow Tag
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Confide
- Rest
- Taunt
- Charm

***specs:

Gothitelle @ Choice Specs
Ability: Shadow Tag
EVs: 132 HP / 252 SpA / 124 Spe
Modest Nature
- Psychic
- Thunderbolt
- Trick
- Grass Knot

S Rank:

trick*, confide**, specs***

A Rank:

trick, charm****
(defensive) trick, charm | (offensive) trick
(defensive) trick, confide
(defensive) trick, charm, specs
(defensive) trick
trick
trick, charm, confide
trick
charm

B Rank:

trick, charm, specs
trick
charm
trick
charm, specs

C Rank:
charm
trick, specs
trick
trick
charm
trick
trick, specs
trick
trick, specs
trick, charm
trick, charm, confide, specs
trick, confide
trick, confide
trick, specs
trick, specs
trick, charm, specs
trick, confide
trick, specs
specs

yep. that's a lot. i could even argue it's more than what zacian-c made quite bad or unviable.

to conclude, gothitelle adds nothing to the tier but a cowardly way of dealing with common defensive walls such as dusk mane or eternatus. it also prevents the tier from developping correctly since almost every B Rank or below pokemon is trapped easily by 1 or more gothitelle set.

i hope a suspect test on it will happen quickly, or with calyrex-shadow with it, even if i believe calyrex is less of an issue for the tier's health than gothitelle can be.

Ban Gothitelle.
 
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As I already mentioned here https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/crown-tundra-ss-ubers-viability-rankings.3675194/post-8695670, Gothitelle is extremely unhealthy to the meta and has no counterplay, as it forces all defensive mons to hold shed shell or be content with sacking it. SiTuM mentioned above just how many mons are vulnerable to Goth's trapping shenanigans. It is especialy troublesome for balance teams where Goth can pick and choose to eliminate a check to the sweeper/wallbreaker, thus easing the match for them.

Gothitelle suspect test is a bigger necessity than Calyrex imo
 
OK, I'm not into Ubers so I'm probably going to make myself look stupid here, but I really think that all of these calls to suspect test/ban Gothitelle are really in bad faith here. From what I've been reading, the main problem that people have with Gothitelle is its annoying Shadow Tag + Trick combo, emphasis on the former. You take away the Shadow Tag part of it, and Gothitelle's entire strategy falls apart. I really think it would be silly to send a Pokemon from ZU all the way to AG because of its ability.

What I'm saying here is, if anything should be suspected here, it should be Shadow Tag. Shadow Tag forms the entirety of Gothitelle's niche in Ubers. If it didn't have the ability to trap, Ubers players wouldn't even be thinking about it. It only is as problematic as it is because of its trapping capabilities.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. "StarFalcon555, aren't you just basically suggesting a Gothitelle suspect? It's the only viable user of Shadow Tag anyways." Well, just because a Pokémon is a viable user of an ability does not mean it is a viable Pokémon overall. Take Dugtrio, for example. It basically filled the same role in OU as Gothitelle does here with Arena Trap. Yet it was Arena Trap, not Dugtrio, that was suspected and then banned. This is because the OU council and playerbase understood that without Arena Trap, Dugtrio is an unusable shitmon. And sure enough, after the Arena Trap ban, Dugtrio descended into ZU, where it currently is completely unviable.

Just like Dugtrio, Gothitelle is an unviable shitmon everywhere except for Ubers. The only reason it is viable in Ubers is Shadow Tag. And it would make no sense at all to send a mon that is currently nowhere to be found on the ZU viability rankings all the way to AG solely on the basis of its ability.

TLDR: Suspect Shadow Tag, not Gothitelle.
 

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