Resource USUM Doubles OU Viability Rankings (Updated 6/27 on post #238)

talkingtree

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Doubles Captain
Making a nom of my own and sending out the slate:

Mega Tyranitar 4 -> 3

In using a variety of different sets for Mega Tyranitar, I've found that it's a powerful and very bulky Pokemon that has plenty of versatility. Bulky DD, TR attacker, SR utility, and lure sets can all put in work on the right team, and with Mence / bulky Psychics / Koko all becoming more popular in the past couple months, I think it's in a better place than Tier 4 describes.

Also, something I quickly wanted to touch on: When making UR -> Ranked noms, one of the most important things to do at this point in the generation is convince the council why the Pokemon is *now* deserving of a rank. Chances are that with a generation that's been around this long, everyone knows or can make a decent guess at what a close-to-ranked Pokemon does on the surface level, so listing attributes doesn't convince anyone. Tournament/high ladder replays, discussions of synergy with other popular threats, points about favorable metagame shifts, and examples of builds that make great use of that Pokemon are all much more effective ways to do so, and if your post doesn't include any of these and mentions something that hasn't been seen much, either I will leave it off the slate or the VR council will just say no in the votes.
 

talkingtree

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Here's the votes! Only a few this time around, but I'm sure more will come towards the end of DPL.

Mega Heracross UR -> 4’
Croven: UR, agree with Demantoid and emi. It always seems kinda awkward to use and I wouldn’t be too opposed with 5’ but even that is a slight stretch. 4’ is a big no

Demantoid: UR. I’d be fine with 5’, but it hasn’t seen much actual use besides one person.

emforbes: UR, I’m not actually too impressed with the mon. It forces you to call incin switch ins, leads to awkward building around stacking fire weaks, and has basically only been impressive from Human.

MajorBowman: UR, 4’ is way too much of a leap and we’ve really only seen Heracross from one person still. I don’t actually think it’s very good despite having a couple ok matchups because it’s pretty inflexible and requires a lot of support to function properly.

SMB: UR, I don’t think this is good enough to be ranked; it has 4 moveslot syndrome, requires a lot of support to work, only human has made a good use of it and it doesn’t surprise me that all the teams where he fitted heracross had gothitelle on them (I know he was trying to use gothitelle on every team), my point is that shadow tag can make some mons seem more viable than what they really are, and heracross is an example of this.

talkingtree: I think 4’ is a bit of an overreaction, but it’s probably worth 5’. Berries being everywhere hurts a lot for a mon that thrives on multi-hit moves, but it’s generally powerful enough to overcome that and has some decent bulk to boot.
Hitmontop UR -> 5’
Croven: No lol emilio said everything i want to say really

Demantoid: No, fighting type is sobad for a defensive mon like Hitmontop. Rapid Spin is its main unique move but it doesn’t really justify using top over other things.

emforbes: No, other intimidators are much better, only real niche would be wide guarding for zard against diancie imo. Even then hitmontop loses to moonblast. Using a defogger like fini or mew is much better on zard anyway, after faking out hitmontop is basically useless against most teams so I’m not convinced it should 5’

MajorBowman: Agree with everyone else here, Hitmontop’s niches are filled more effectively by other Pokemon and it still can’t really accomplish much on the perfect team due to its poor typing and mediocre bulk

SMB: UR, the only niche I see for this is role compression on zard teams and most of the times it’s better to just run a better intimidate mon like incineroar or lando and fit defog somewhere else which shouldn’t be an issue

talkingtree: No. SR removal has become a thing, but there are much better removers that offer more to a team. Defog being able to remove only hazards from the user’s side of the field with a side-target makes users like Lando-T, Fini, and Koko often better than the few mons that get Rapid Spin. I guess Hitmontop can be somewhat effective on a limited number of teams, still wouldn’t rank it though.
Mega Tyranitar 4 -> 3
Croven: For SURE this pokemon is fantastic. The team i used in semifinals is genuinely amazing and i think has swayed me a lot on mttar. Has a lot of sets that are viable and good (dd, support, whatever) and can be tailored to your team fairly well. Up to 3

Demantoid: 3. I’m not the biggest fan of ttar because its typing forces awkward building. However, I think its bulk and variety of sets put it on par with the other tier 3 megas (Scizor and Salamence especially).

emforbes: Yeah, I pretty much agree with everyone else. Similarly to diancie, the absence of a rock resists on many teams without kart/zygarde/metagross especially allow tar to truly shine.

MajorBowman: Yes, I’ve come around on Mega Tyranitar recently because I realized just how fat it was and how well it pressured a lot of common Pokemon. I still don’t know if I’m sold on the DD set, but DD is far from a necessity on this mon. Big fan.

SMB: 3 is fine, it can be placed on many playstyles and has good support tools, bulk and coverage moves that can punish some of its checks like kartana and lando. It’s also really good checking bulky psychic types which is pretty important now.

talkingtree: my nom
Changes:
Mega Tyranitar 4 -> 3
 
Small point to add in terms of order of comments:
Croven: UR, agree with Demantoid and emi. It always seems kinda awkward to use and I wouldn’t be too opposed with 5’ but even that is a slight stretch. 4’ is a big no

Demantoid: UR. I’d be fine with 5’, but it hasn’t seen much actual use besides one person.

emforbes: UR, I’m not actually too impressed with the mon. It forces you to call incin switch ins, leads to awkward building around stacking fire weaks, and has basically only been impressive from Human.
Nothing wrong with agreeing with others on the council, but it would be nice if the comments were ordered by chronological order as opposed to alphabetical, so anyone only agrees with comments above
 
I got a better understanding of the meta after following competitive matches and using mons that I wouldn't have normally used either. It's fine if you don't agree, but I think my nominations and notes are (hopefully) reasonable enough.

Mew ---> Tier 3
Well, to start things off, Mew is better than I expected it to be. With the exception of DLT II, it had always managed to pull off a win rate of 50% or higher. In the current DPL (5), Mew's win rate is 80% (out of 10 games). In comparison, Gothitelle (37.5% out of 8 games), Amoonguss (50% out of 12 games), and Chansey (42.86% out of 7 games) has been less successful as fellow "support" mons. Not to mention, Mew's diverse moveset help it to fit its team's needs. Resources such as Fake Out, Stealth Rock / Defog, Transform, Trick Room / Tailwind, Ally Switch, Toxic, etc. is always valuable and to have them all in one mon is quite precious indeed.

Metagross-M ---> Tier 2
This is perhaps the most controversial nomination but, I'm not convinced that Metagross-M is Tier 1 worthy. Of all Megas that had more than 5 usage in the current DPL, it has the worst win rate (40.74%). Of all Steel types that had more than 5 usages, it only has a better win rate than Stakataka. In the last 3 competitive tournaments, Metagross-M had a win rate of 42.857% in DLT II, 41.176% in Invitationals, and 47.739% in the Winter Seasonal. It continues to have a trend of losing more than it wins, so placing it in Tier 1 seems kind of uhh... a No. Still, it has a pretty good combination of moveset, typing, and stat, so I think placing it in Tier 2 is good for now.

*Credit to T.I.N and Sasa for posting replays and usage stats.

Kartana (57.5%) and Genesect (64.71%) had been doing real well recently, and I'm not too surprised at that. On the other hand, Zard (72.22%) have been oddly too impressive.
Another thing that I want to note is that some mons that are weak to Rock type moves such as Zapdos (36.84%), Volcanion (37.5%), and Volcarona (35.71%) have been doing absolutely terrible. And, I'm sure that Stealth Rock, Diancie (64.71%) and to some extent Tyranitar (46.67%) is responsible for that. Again, it's just odd that Zard is not doing just as bad, but rather twice as better.
I'm interested in what other players' thoughts on these are as I have no intentions of nominating any of these mons up or down the rankings. The statistics is just ... interesting.
 
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marilli

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I wrote a lot of things on the discord channel about interpreting statistics, but I really want to share this on the forums too because this really irks me when people get it wrong.

1. Statistical Significance.

Holy shit this one bugs me a lot. When you write out [37.5% out of 8 games] you might be fooled into actually thinking its significant because 37.5% winrate is absolutely terrible if you're 1. looking at a player, 2. looking at any extended number of games. but the reality is that it's just 3 wins 5 losses. 1 hax turning 1 win into 1 loss is going to turn an average winrate Pokemon to a "below 40% winrate" Pokemon. And because a Game of Pokemon can be flipped on 10% chances, 1 out of 8 games being solely decided by luck is nowhere near farfetch'd. If I hear someone else using this to talk about how a Pokemon with 3 wins 5 losses is significantly worse than a Pokemon with 4 wins 4 losses, you're probably the type of person who thinks when you flip a coin you if you get a head turn 1 then you should get tails turn 2 because it must be what 50% odds means - and I'm ignoring you immediately.

This applies less when you 1. look at a lot of different tournaments in total, so the sample size is bigger, 2. a Pokemon is as popular as Mega Metagross and gets 50-60 usage in 1 tournament. Yeah a lot of different tours will have their different intricacies, but honestly it's the best we can do.

2. Correlation does not imply Causation

LDM also brought this up, where he wondered if certain Pokemon were getting high winrates because they were good Pokemon, or because they were OK Pokemon, but being used by great players (i.e. Mega Heracross). And honestly, he's absolutely right! Stats can spot a correlation (Indeed, there is reasonable suspicion that bringing Mega Metagross is correlated with increased odds of losing - not the standard 90 / 95% confidence, but 80% is good enough when it comes to things like this) - but interpreting it is left up to the person by looking at the details. Is Metagross doing bad because people keep forcing it on teams where it doesn't work as well? Is it doing bad because it's actually bad and making people lose? Is it doing bad because most beginner players use a Mega Metagross team? Who knows?

This is why stats must be backed up by evidence / solid reasoning to be complete. One way to interpret it that I like, is that some Pokemon that are significantly correlated to losing aren't all that horrible, but just worse than what People think, so are either put on teams where it doesn't get enough support to succeed, or people have a tendency to bin teams that have poor matchup, because of it being so common, so the conclusion is not people should stop using it, but use it less / more selectively and see how it goes from there.

I'm not saying that we need to ignore stats altogether - it's really some of the few things that are available to us, and we should take advantage of it whenever possible. But I'm just saying that you can definitely get something out of stats without having to make something out of nothing.

My opinions:
M-Meta 1->2
Kartana 2->1

It has always sat on the top 5 on the usage, its winrate is not dogshit meaning it probably deserves its spot as a top 5 Pokemon in the metagame. If you look at the games Kartana stands far above any offensive threat in the metagame, as you can see the rest of the top Pokemon are durdlers and Kartana is a driving force for a lot of standard teams to actually take KOs. A lot of standard mirrors come down to who handles their opposing Kartana better. It's just good idk what else to say just look at the games lol..

Diancie 3->2

Aray is right. lol who am i kidding. Kidding aside, this thing destroys in Trick Room, but it is actully way more splashable than I initially thought, on semi room teams where it can flip the switch once and just go to town. Particularly so because people are rightfully noticing that Metagross is not as good as people thought, but most non-Metagross team just folds to this as they simply do not have the Rock resists. It is so hard to check this without giving it the weakness policy boosts, so you should aim to pop its weakness policy on the last few turns of Trick Room, but then it probably already got +6 Def and is a nuisance to KO even with super effective hits. Even when it doesn't just outright win, it almost always does the job in whittling down specific highly meta-relevant Pokemon (like Lando / Fini / Kart) even in games it can't win and needs to play a support role, only really needs Heal Pulse on Fini as support on standard teams as adjustment, and does plenty well without said tech. I think the scary part is that the commonly meta Pokemon are just super well equipped typing-wise in order to beat Diancie. To me that signifies that Diancie isn't a fad and won't be getting any worse - it already is facing the tough competition and scrutiny Pokemon can and will face when it rises into a position of metagame prominence.
 
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Amaranth

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I'll touch on a lot of pokemon so I can't get too in depth on any of them - sorry

Kartana has absolutely stolen Zapdos' spot as most reliable Tailwind user on balance. 2 -> 1

Mega Metagross has lost its spot as uncontested best mega, I think that's enough to deserve a drop. 1 -> 2

Volcanion is not a bad pokemon but the rise in popularity of stealth rocks and type overlap with both Incineroar and Charizard-Y make it really difficult to fit in teams and the opposite of splashable. 2 -> 3

Diancie is an absolute staple of fullroom and recent developments have proven its viability in semiroom too. Versatile, strong, can run away with games. Enjoys Metagross's drop in popularity a lot. 3 -> 2

Gastrodon has a very unique and fairly in-demand niche. It functions as a soft Trick Room check/abuser but the bulk, coverage, and immunities allow it to work outside of Room just fine too. Compresses the roles of Steel check, Ground check, Water check, and Electric check into one which is a very rare and very useful combination. 4 -> 3

People have figured out how to beat Chansey - if you don't have options to beat her directly just pressure the other slot, and she usually won't be able to do enough back to stop you from picking apart all of her teammates and then beating her thanks to numerical advantage. Still a useful pokemon, but very abusable. 3 -> 4

Araquanid only fits teams with strong TR options; very strong in the right archetype, but pretty worthless in every other archetype. 4 -> 4'

Volcarona has demonstrated a good amount of versatility, it's able to run both QD or Tailwind/Rage Powder sets successfully, definitely faces hard competition from other Fire-types but I wouldn't say it only fits specific team styles or requires specific support (other than Defog, but that plagues pokemon at every step of the rankings). 4' -> 4

I haven't seen a Togekiss in a serious DOU game in god knows how long. Tailwind and Follow Me are nice on paper but in practice it has nearly irrelevant offensive presence and nearly irrelevant defensive capabilities which makes it dead weight a majority of the time. 5 -> UR

Nihilego isn't excellent but it enjoys people switching their steel of choice from Metagross to Kart a lot, because Kart doesn't do super well at actually resisting Nihilego's attacks, and Rock resists outside of Steel-types are for the most part uncommon. Nihilego enjoys many positive match ups against common and popular pokemon such as Incineroar, pretty much all Tapus, Kyurem-Black (doesn't OHKO and very nearly gets OHKO'd back, but it's faster and kills after some chip), Charizard-Y, Zapdos, etc. Can also be very hard to maneuvre around if he gets a chance to start accumulating Beast Boosts. UR -> 5
 
Kartana has absolutely stolen Zapdos' spot as most reliable Tailwind user on balance. 2 -> 1
Zapdos 2 ->3
Piggybacking off of this idea, and looking at usage and W/L in DPL, along with personal opinions on badness.

Tapu Bulu 2->3
This one has less to do with stats (although the bulu stats arent great) and more to do with definitions and comparing bulu to other mons in the rankings. Bulu doesn't fit on a "Variety of teams" it pretty much only fits on teams with a dedicated TR mode, otherwise kart or venusaur are generally better.
Bulu also looks out of place standing beside Tier 2 kings Char Y, Genesect, and Zygarde, and seems more comparably viable to lele and p2 in tier 3.

Tyranitar 4->5
This is just not getting the same usage or wins as the other mons in tier 4 which features M Lati, Zeraora, araquinid, and (at least for now) mew. Maybe this is as good as these guys (doubt) but if no one uses it should it stay?

The problem with Mega Camerupt
This is a good mon. It has always been a good mega in the tier imo, but the definitions for the rankings place a lot of value in splash-ability and the number of different teams it can work on, and so mega camerupt is in this weird state of being better than the other mons in Tier 4' but only fitting on one(ish) team. This isn't a nom to move it or change tier definitions, just something that maybe deserves acknowledgement/discussion? Or maybe I'm just wrong...
 
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tennisace

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Wholeheartedly agree with Kartana -> 1 and Diancie -> 2.

Kartana is pretty much _the_ premier physical attacker right now in DOU. It's insanely splashable, and has a surprisingly wide variety of moves/evs/items it can pick from depending on your team comp. Leaf Blade / Sacred Sword / Protect (or Detect) are pretty mandatory, but Swords Dance, Tailwind, and Substitute are all viable options for the last moveslot and significantly change the way Kart is handled. In addition, it has one of the best nukes in the tier with Bloom Doom, can use two other Z-moves reliably (Fight-Z/Z-TW), or can use a pinch berry / Focus Sash to get a better chance at setting up. I could keep going but this thing is just too impactful on the metagame not to be T1. It's pretty much the entire reason you need at least 1 mon at 110 base spe or higher on any team that isn't fullroom.

Diancie has been great forever on fullroom but I'm glad people have picked up on it as an alternative to P2 on balance/semiroom. P2 is good but can sometimes get a little passive if you don't grab the download boost / evio gets knocked. Diancie trades in healing for reliable spread damage, stat boosting that can quickly spiral out of control, and some clutch resistances that help out a lot of balance comps. A good example of that is Bowman's w5 DPL match: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7doublesou-907644589

While the match itself had unfortunate luck, without TR up, Bowman would have had a tough time getting through koko + kyurem with what he had left. However, Diancie's presence just ended the game right as it set TR. The same wouldn't have been true about P2, which could have also fit on that team.

I think that Diancie's versatility & reliability should bump it up into 2.

Volcarona 4 -> 3

I mostly agree with TIN's post but I'm an even bigger believer in Volc. Even with Stealth Rock, you generally won't be switching Volc in and out a ton like you would be with Char-Y. The bulky set has great utility, as one of the hardest Kart/Bulu checks available / an above average MGross check, with some neat support options (Struggle Bug aka better Snarl, Tailwind, Rage Powder, even Will-o-Wisp or Defog) and still enough power with Overheat. The Quiver Dance set is also dangerous, as it outspeeds the most common Scarf user (Genesect), and has the power to do stuff like OHKO Incin clean at +1 with z-Bug Buzz. I think tier 3 is appropriate for Volc since: "Pokemon that are generally strong, but can be dead weight in some matchups" fits pretty well. QD Volc isn't good vs TR, and bulky struggles as well. QD isn't terrible vs rain if you can sneak a boost in since it does outspeed +2 Adamant Swamp, but Bulky just dies quickly. Other than that though, it has a good-to-great matchup vs a lot of common balance/offense compositions and I think it should be bumped up a tier to reflect that.
 

talkingtree

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Doubles Captain
Update time! Both full votes and the lower-tier sweep are below, and as Ezrael suggested, the written votes were added in chronological order.

Mew Tier 4 -> Tier 3
Demantoid: 3. Mew has proven to be extremely versatile in the sets/moves it can run which allows it to fit well on pretty much any type of team. Moves like Transform help set it apart from other supportive options.

talkingtree: 3, agreed with what Demantoid said. I wasn’t a huge believer in Mew before since it seems like a jack of all trades, master of none, but it has so many tools that its ability to rescue teams with its sheer role compression is incredible.

emforbes: 3, I agree with demantoid and tree. The amount of sets it can really make it a prime support option for a lot of teams.

Croven: 3. Everything’s been said already, no need to reiterate, agree w above.

MajorBowman: 4. Mew does a lot of things and does them okay to well, but it can’t do everything at once and that holds it back. While it *can* be a good Tailwind setter / rocker / Fake Out user / pivot / transform abuser / TR setter / whatever else, it can’t do them all on every team. 4 seems like a pretty good place for Mew, it won’t be winning games solo and can sometimes be a little underwhelming but overall a good mon.

SMB: i’m kinda undecided on this vote. While mew can be very versatile i don’t feel like it’s tier 3 worthy, i mostly agree with bowman here and i think it fits with tier 4 description perfectly so yeah, tier 4.
Mega Metagross Tier 1 -> Tier 2
Demantoid: 2. It has a much harder time breaking teams with the prevalence of Intimidate and decreased usage of mons it can outspeed and ohko. The rise of pokemon like Kartana, Zard Y, and Koko also hurt it.

talkingtree: 2, never thought I’d see the day but it’s nowhere near as good as it once was. Still an incredibly valuable teammate for many matchups especially against the recently surging Diancie, but it’s just not as widely usable as I’d normally like in a Tier 1 mon.

emforbes: 1, If metagross was restricted to a single set maybe I’d agree. Metalele is insanely powerful, and helps against the charizard fad. Even without zen if the zard team doesn’t have defog it’s not very difficult to handle. Hammer Arm, and Thunder punch are also options to help gross break past pokemon that assume they’re safe against it. Coverage, bulk, typing, speed, are still as good as they have always been.

Croven: 1. Very torn about this, and I could go either way but i think im agreeing with emilio here, its variety in sets can be a massive boon and it NEVER feels like deadweight when i use it. Ever. its just a very solid mega that always puts in amazing work and i still think its deserving of 1.

MajorBowman: 1. Even though it isn’t in its prime anymore, it’s still the most consistent mega and will pretty much always put in more than average work in a given battle. Fully agree with emforbes.

SMB: 1, this is probably the worse mon on tier 1 but it’s still the most consistent and splashable mega and doesn’t really need any kind of support to work properly. Insane coverage that can hit for super effective to any mon on tier 1 and 2 depending on the set and what your team needs… Definitely don’t drop this.
Kartana Tier 2 -> Tier 1
Demantoid: 1. It has been in the top 4 by usage for every major tournament since the Mega Gengar ban. Kartana has a ton of different set options even with its limited movepool. Has at least neutral match ups against almost everything leading to it being a common glue mon.

talkingtree: 1. I think there was a time before that I said Kartana would never be Tier 1, but now I have to eat those words. I find myself using Kartana on the majority of teams now, and it’s amazing how useful Grass + Fighting coverage can be. Read the various noms about this mon if you want more reasons, they all said it quite well.

emforbes: Abstain, Kart is very good but I don’t know if it’s comparable to current tier 1.

Croven: 2. I can see why people would consider this 1 worthy but i kinda disagree. It’s genuinely piss weak after any intim and while its fairly splashable, it doesnt consistently do enough work in games like the rest of tier 1 that i would consider this 1. Definitely the top end of 2 but i think it should stay there.

MajorBowman: 2. Agree with Croven, it’s a solid mon and can run a good variety of sets well but really does hit like a wet noodle after an Intimidate, especially the fat 0 attack sets. Shouldn’t drop below 2 but also shouldn’t rise to 1 imo.

SMB: tier 2, too many glaring weakness for this to be tier 1. Poor special bulk, weak to intimidate and easily lured by anything faster with hp fire.
Diancie Tier 3 -> Tier 2
Demantoid: 3. I think its flexibility to be on semiroom is what makes it 3 to begin with. It doesn’t do enough consistent damage by itself for me to consider it tier 2.

talkingtree: 2… I think. This one’s really on the border for me, DPL showed towards the beginning of the tour that Diancie’s pretty good and people haven’t really been able to adapt and change that trend yet, so that tells me it’s likely to stay good. Weakness Policy is clearly the main set, but SMB/KyleCole’s Rockium Z set has some great surprise value and just plain value. I think most of the noms made about this mon overstate its value a bit, but one main thing is I’ve found it’s sometimes pretty difficult to be solid against Zard Y without having Diancie (or Ttar) on your team.

emforbes: 3, Obviously a great pokemon but without weakness policy diamond storm damage isn’t impressive enough. I think diancie is extremely good at enabling other pokemon by virtue of trick room and rock coverage, setting up for a lot of situations where teams cannot switch into diancie + camerupt. Diancie by itself isn’t tier 3 material to me.

Croven: 3. Agree with what demantoid and emilio have said, it’s a close one but it just doesn’t do enough damage by itself to put it into 2. It absolutely steamrolls some games yes, but its value is very inconsistent and at times is nothing more than another TR setter. A little too inconsistent for me to say its 2.

MajorBowman: 3. Diancie is certainly a great mon but “easily placed on a variety of teams” doesn’t really seem true to me. It only ever runs one set with maybe some item flexibility but deviating from Diamond Storm / Moonblast / TR just seems foolish since that set is so good and is what gives Diancie its niche in the first place. Pretty one dimensional mon which isn’t necessarily a bad thing since its one dimension is good, but has kind of a ceiling at tier 3.

SMB: tier 3, even though I’ve been a huge fan of regular diancie since spl, I have to agree with everyone else here, this is not tier 2 material.
Volcanion Tier 2 -> Tier 3
Demantoid: 3. Volcanion has a lot of good match ups on paper but it is extremely difficult to fit on teams due to its mediocre speed and defensive typing.

talkingtree: 2, I still like Volcanion. I can understand where TIN and Demantoid are coming from, but I still end up using it on plenty of teams and I’ve never found it to be the weakest link.

emforbes: 2, strong fire and water stabs are pretty ridiculous, few pokemon in the meta can safely answer it. Fini being one of those, but it just invites volcanion to set up a sub. With proper positioning volcanion is really awful to play against, I don’t think the meta has shifted to a place where volcanion should be dropping at all. It can actually fit on quite a bit of teams, incin isn’t always the best fire for all builds.

Croven: 2. Agree w emi, its an absolute bitch to face if played right and i honestly dont find it being deadweight too often. Its stab coverage is pretty epic and strong steam eruptions are just nice as hell to throw around. Stay in 2

MajorBowman: 2 for sure. I kinda think its middling speed is more of an asset than a detriment because it’s super easy to hit tailwind speed numbers while also underspeeding a lot of stuff in TR if you want to go that route. Volcanion’s role compression as a water that beats grasses and a fire that beats other fires and is neutral with most other waters is pretty unparalleled, and it hits pretty hard even without much investment because Steam Eruption is so strong. Has a lot of options for items and third attack too. I haven’t seen a reason to see Volcanion drop despite TIN’s best efforts

SMB: tier 2, water and fire coverage is great and you should always have 2 mons on your team that can reliable switch into volcanion, which is not always that easy. Also, i don’t think it’s difficult to fit in teams? If you’re not running fini this is the first water type you should consider. Lure sets like wacan berry or shuca berry are still very good, same with sub. This is also a fire type that can check fini with sludge bomb which is very valuable and it’s a decent rain and tr check as well. I really don’t think it should drop.
Gastrodon Tier 4 -> Tier 3
Demantoid: 3. Very good defensive typing and offensive coverage against most common threats makes it splashable on a lot of teams. Its average bulk and 4mss prevent it from rising much more though.

talkingtree: 4, this is another that I’m on the fence about but I don’t think its matchups on paper end up translating in practice. I find it having to use Recover pretty often to retain the ability to check the threats it needs to check, meaning it can be a bit of a momentum suck. Also, Storm Drain doesn’t really help that much - the most common Water-type move is Muddy Water, so it really only helps against Volcanion, Araquanid, and Mega Swampert.

emforbes: 3, amazing typing and bulk, recovery, counters common sets for 4 out of 5 tier 1 mons at the moment, and has ridiculous role compressions. Gastro isn’t the strongest mon but ground and ice coverage does the job in this meta, pressures a lot of teams that rely on incin and lando as defensive pivots.

Croven: 3. I fucking love gastro this mon is amazing, demantoid and emi said all the points i wanted to but just gonna reiterate how easily it pressures teams with its offensive coverage coupled with defensive typing and longevity. Great mon

MajorBowman: 4. Gastro is and always will be a mon that does way more in theory than it does in practice. It’s not a bad mon at all, but it often struggles to accomplish a whole lot unless it happens to find itself on the field against the 1-2 pokemon on a given team that it beats. There aren’t a whole lot of single target water-type attacks being used right now so Storm Drain isn’t super useful and you have to pick between being bulky or actually doing damage which is disappointing.

SMB: tier 4, even though it has some good matchups vs popular mons i think people are just overhyping this mon too much. Very often it just sits there doing nothing except icy wind and recover, toxic being common isn’t good for it and can be a huge lost of momentum sometimes.
Chansey Tier 3 -> Tier 4
Demantoid: 3. Still offers a ton of support options with great bulk. Seismic Toss also does surprisingly decent damage.

talkingtree: 4. Read TIN’s nom, says exactly what I think and puts it better than I could here.

emforbes: 3, I don’t think you can ignore the fact that chansey can wall every special attacker in the meta, straight up countering zard, koko, volcanion, deoxys, etc is ridiculous when these pokemon are so threatening.

Croven: Abstain. Im fairly torn about this one and havent used chansey in a hot minute so i’ll sit this one out

MajorBowman: 4. Chansey never should have been as popular as it was and still is, I still don’t really get the appeal. TIN’s reasoning is spot on imo.

SMB: tier 3, it still can provide great utility with rocks, icy wind and heal pulse. It’s a bulky normal that doesn’t lose to toxic because of natural cure which is really good. Most of the times it’s going to wall half or more than half of your opponent’s team, what other mon does that? Also i don’t think “just pressure the other slot” is a good way to beat chansey because it can run heal pulse, your opponent can always switch or protect the mon you’re targetting, etc...
Araquanid Tier 4 -> Tier 4’
Demantoid: 4. The Sticky Web set is still usable for non-TR teams.

talkingtree: abstain, I’ve almost never used Araquanid so I don’t feel knowledgeable enough to know which description it best falls under.

emforbes: 4, I agree with demantoid. Araquanid is still a strong bulky water with wide guard/sticky web support.

Croven: Abstain. Yeah i’ve like never used this mon lol

MajorBowman: 4’. I really don’t like the sticky web set, especially since defog/spin are getting so common. It’s too slow to set webs reliably because you basically have to pick between setting up webs and getting an attack off (if you even survive the turn). I think it’s a really solid mon on semi/full room because it blows back a lot of common stuff (Incineroar, Landorus, Zygarde, among others) but really wants to be attacking first.

SMB: Tier 4, wacan berry webs araquanid is really good and it’s a set that works on non tr teams.
Volcarona Tier 4’ -> Tier 4 -> Tier 3
Demantoid: 4. I think it is viable on good variety of teams even if they do tend to be built around it. Volcarona’s fairly match up dependent so I don’t think it’s worthy of tier 3.

talkingtree: 3. If not, then definitely 4 over 4’, but tennisace’s nom has convinced me that this belongs in 3. Go read it if you want reasons that I’m voting 3.

emforbes: 4, Volc is still a good mon but I don’t know if it’s actually tier 3 material. Diancie being everywhere really hurts it, and a lot of teams naturally have answers to the qd set.

Croven: 3. Agree w tennisace and tree

MajorBowman: 3, agree 100% with tennisace’s nom

SMB: Tier 4, i agree with demantoid and emforbes here.
Togekiss Tier 5 -> UR
Demantoid: UR. I think it’s still viable but it isn’t relevant right now.

talkingtree: UR, Demantoid said it perfectly.

emforbes: UR, I also agree with demantoid. Depending on how far kartana spirals out of control it could maybe rise.

Croven: UR. Agree w demantoid and emi

MajorBowman: UR, agree with the above

SMB: UR, it doesn’t get usage
Nihilego UR -> Tier 5
Demantoid: UR. I don’t remember the last time I saw this used. Kartana makes it so almost all teams have at least one mon faster than it which hurts a lot.

talkingtree: 5. Gave this to LDM on a team for Loser’s Finals and was pleasantly surprised by it, and it’s done alright on the couple of DPL teams that it’s found itself on. It’s a fantastic check to Koko, Zard Y, and Zapdos, and it has a few other good matchups too. Only fits on a small subset of teams, but it’s definitely solid in the right situations, which is exactly what the description for 5 says.

emforbes: UR atm, I think it’s a good pokemon that rips apart most balances in the meta but it fails to get a lot of the kos it needs. I agree with demantoid about kartana, not to mention scarf or av genesect too.

Croven: Abstain. I know ppl are using this but i havent really seen it personally neither have i used it so i’d rather not theorymon

MajorBowman: Abstain, could honestly see it reaching 5 at some point if it picks up steam but like emilio said it often finds itself just short of enough power to pick up the KOs it needs to be a threat. I just haven’t seen it used nearly at all so I don’t feel comfortable voting on it yet.

SMB: abstain, i haven’t seen enough games where this mon is used to have an opinion. It could have potential i guess.
Zapdos Tier 2 -> Tier 3
Demantoid: 3. Has to make awkward decisions between speed, power, and bulk in addition to what moves it can afford to run. Rock and Ice-type moves are also extremely common which hurts its defensive utility.

talkingtree: 3. The rise of Koko and Diancie makes this tougher to use well; it’s not even a solid Zard check since it dies to Overheat. Demantoid’s point about speed, power, and bulk is also a good one.

emforbes: 3, the meta hasn’t been very kind to zap, it seems like it keeps getting threatened more and more. With rocks up it’s a shaky kartana check, and mons like chansey, gothitelle, diancie, and mega ttar make it drop to tier 3 in my opinion.

Croven: 3. I think the worst part about zapdos is its weakness to stealth rocks. The types of teams its on are naturally bulkier so you’re switching a lot, and with rocks up its really hard for zapdos to continuously perform its role. Were it not weak to rock i’d easily say 2 but since it is, 3. Also agree with everything demantoid and tree said

MajorBowman: 3. Not much else to say that hasn’t been said, it has a hard time keeping up defensively these days and that was basically the entire reason it was ranked so highly to begin with

SMB: 3, zapdos feels very useless sometimes because it’s a set up fodder for many popular mons rn like volcarona, diancie or mega ttar. It also doesn’t check that well the things it should be able to check and roost isn’t good anymore due to the more offensive nature of the current metagame.
Tapu Bulu Tier 2 -> Tier 3
Demantoid: 3. Bad speed tier and typing leave it very vulnerable. Grassy terrain often ends up just empowering opposing Kartana while Bulu isn’t strong enough without it. Requires a decent amount of support to be effective.

emforbes: 2, Bulu fits on so many teams, has great bulk, and does a great job of answering many threats in dou like lando, zygarde, fini, koko, lele and ttar. Read the nom and bulu absolutely does not only fit on TR teams, that’s just wrong. Venusaur isn’t generally better for obvious reasons, takes up a mega slot, isn’t a real ground answer. Kart being much frailer definitely doesn’t make it generally better than bulu either, fake steel type that is mostly offensive.

talkingtree: 2, What he said^

Croven: 2, somewhat torn on this but i think emilio put it best. Agree w him

MajorBowman: emilio nailed it, 2 for sure. Bulu absolutely does not only fit on TR teams, similar to Volcanion it has a great tailwind speed tier. It needs some sort of speed control to be most effective but TR isn’t the only one and it still checks a lot of things (pretty much everything emilio said) without a speed advantage anyway

SMB: no, emforbes is right and i don’t agree at all with the reasoning for this nom. Tier 2.
Tyranitar Tier 4 -> Tier 5
Demantoid: 5. Regular ttar suffers from the same problems as its mega to a worse degree. It’s slow and has to invest a lot to make up for its bad defensive typing. Without a boosting item it is also fairly weak.

talkingtree: 4. This is in a bit of a weird place where I think it’s worse than all the other Tier 4 mons but better than all the Tier 5 mons, thinking it should be left as Tier 4 for now, I’ve definitely had regular Ttar put in work recently.

emforbes: 5, I agree with demantoid. Regular ttar isn’t bad but it’s not tier 4 imo.

Croven: 5. Im almost on the same page as tree here as i’ve seen it put in work and i think its better than a lot of tier 5 mons but its significantly worse than most of the tier 4 mons and its problems are hard to ignore. Agree with demantoid’s reasoning.

MajorBowman: 4. Agree with tree somewhat in that it’s probably “in between” 4 and 5 in some respects, but I think the instant matchup Tyranitar gives you against Rain and Zard can’t be underestimated. It has some cute options that haven’t really been explored too much and deserves to stay in 4 imo

SMB: 5, i haven’t seen regular ttar put work in ages. Mega ttar has a lot of bad matchups that it can solve due to its superior bulk but without this and a worse speed tier, regular ttar just can’t do anything on many games except summoning sandstorm and attack once or twice at best, which doesn’t justify its current status on the viability ranking.

Low-Tier Sweep

Changes:
Mew Tier 4 -> Tier 3
Volcarona Tier 4' -> Tier 4
Togekiss Tier 5 -> UR
Zapdos Tier 2 -> Tier 3
Tyranitar Tier 4 -> Tier 5
Mega Gardevoir Tier 5 -> Tier 4
Kommo-o Tier 4' -> Tier 4
Ludicolo Tier 4' -> Tier 5'
Torkoal Tier 5' -> UR
 
Victini 5->4’
Victini is really good in certain situations... it’s got reasonably strong fire stab, it can run a few different sets, such as AV, scarf, and occasional TR variations (which are much more rare).
Victini does have a few things over other fire types, such as an excessively strong stab move in v-create, final gambit, more bulk than Charizard-y without using a mega slot, and most importantly, speed control, and a way to stop potential checks such as lando-t, and zygarde switching in. It just seems to fit the definition of 4’ perfectly: it’s good, although it requires a lot of support, and it’s better than what’s in 5 and 5’
 
Jellicent UR -> 5


Been playing around with Jelli for a good fortnight or so now and I think it's niche as an offensive pressuring water type trick room is worthy enough to make a vr post. I think its niche as in it requires waterium z to be consistient with damage but it does offer flexiblity for what a water type does for a team. It's not limited to full room if used with tailwind. As just 40 speed evs can be used to allow it to out speed base 101 in tailwind or 36 for base 100 if you don't have issues with landorus-I at all. So it works great with semiroom teams which I tend to find be the most consistient teams as they have so much board control and flexibility, as they punish fast teams with trick room and out speed full room teams without trick room up still. My spread I provided lives tapu koko 252 unboosted electric terrain boosted thunderbolt. Which is a pretty reasonable hit to live while still maintaining as much spa evs as possible. Jellicent isn't like eruptran where it isn't going to ohko-ing things but it does two hit ko a decent amount of the meta, and one water spout into a z move removes most things off the field that doesn't resist water. It isn't walled by other water types as it has access to a second stab in shadow ball which is more useful then ice beam in the majority of cases. As you want to be water spouting or using another move to allow you to try to get back into a water spouting position.



252 SpA Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 160 HP / 60 SpD Jellicent in Electric Terrain: 320-380 (83.9 - 99.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO


 

talkingtree

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Not many changes this time around, but here's an update since it's been a little over a month:
Victini 5 -> 4’
Demantoid: 5. I haven’t seen anything that makes me believe Victini has improved in the meta.

Croven: 5. What Demantoid said. I still think its just kinda meh and nothing has shown me otherwise

talkingtree: 5, I honestly can’t recall the last time I saw Victini -- not to say that it lacks value, I think the potential benefits are enough to keep it ranked, but Demantoid hit the nail on the head imo.

SMB: 5, it has the same issues it had when it dropped from tier 3 or 4; sr punishes it a lot, not enough offensive pressure when running av, average scarfer and it faces competition for your fire type slot with better mons like incineroar, volcanion or zard.

emforbes: 5. I agree with everyone else, but I do think the scarf and trick room set have serious potential if used properly on offense/semiroom.

MajorBowman: Victini is pretty lackluster right now and I don’t really see a reason to bring it back up to 4. SMB’s explanation is good, it just doesn’t accomplish a whole lot during games anymore. Would definitely still leave it in 5, but no higher.
Jellicent UR -> 5
Demantoid: UR. Doesn’t really offer much over other waters (besides TR) while still keeping weaknesses to Koko and Kartana.

Croven: Abstain. Haven’t ever seen this in SM lol

talkingtree: UR. I think Florist has shown that Jellicent is something worth considering, and before I read the nom I honestly didn’t register Jelli as something that could be on SM DOU teams. However, though my opinion has shifted favorably, I don’t think it has the niche or usage to be ranked right now.

SMB: UR, I don’t think this mon is good or relevant enough to be ranked.

emforbes: UR. Way too passive under trick room for my taste and I don't really see how it has a place in the meta compared to the other bulky waters when the tr set is so lackluster.

MajorBowman: I literally haven’t seen this used once in SM so I must abstain.
Low Tier Sweep

NOTE: Scrafty, Stakataka, and Suicune are incorrectly marked as 4 in the Results column, they should be 5

Changes:
Heatran Tier 5 -> UR
... and that's it!
 
Mega-Diancie 5->4’
Diancie is a pretty solid mega right now, being able to deal with Incineroar, zardy, kartana (if caring hp fire), and mence, which has been gaining a lot more popularity recently. It can also set up stealth rocks, or stop stealth rocks with magic bounce. If you can get off a double boost with diamond storm, it’s crazy hard to deal with using physical attackers, with the exception of steel types. Over all I think it’s on the same level as the mons in tier 4’, and believe it fits that description perfectly.
 
Politoed is pretty underrated. With access to Scald and Encore, Politoed is useful against intimidate cores (Lando-T + Incin) and even Chansey Heal Pulse BS. Even used as purely a hard counter to zard-y and teams that utilize sun, Politoed is useful.

While Fini has certainly made rain less viable among other reasons, I do think Rain is pretty anti-meta right now (Mega Diancie, Mega Mence, Zard-Y) all popular. I’ve been using Politoed + Ferro together (beats Kyurem-B and Fini) and reduces the fire weak for ferro, with plenty of success (save Ferro for another post, as I’m probably the only person who will vouch to push him up)

I expect to see at least a few people try Rain in Snake and I do like Poli more than Peli. Encore + no rock weak. You can even use Poli with Perish Song in combination with Gothitelle for max cheese :h

Tier 4’ -> Tier 3
 
Raichu UR -> 5’ or togedemaru 5’ -> UR

Yea raichu is better than togedemaru imo... faster, can tie with metagross still has the cancer that is nuzzle, bulkier, doesn’t have a 4 times weakness to ground, can survive incin blitz with 252+ (I use 212/116 to hit that mark), as well as lando-t ep (with an AV), it can also effectively use an AV... if you can call anything ether of these 2 monstrosity’s do effective... and is just all around bulkier... only thing it really misses is sash/endeavor shit... so yea I think it’s on the same level as togedemaru if not better even tho they both suck just put em on the same level. EDIT: also knock off... raichu also has knockoff UWU
 
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