Resource USUM OU ULTRA Viability Ranking Thread

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Finchinator

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I think it's good to explain specifically what you mean by drop in usage. Are you referring to tour - which im almost certain you are - or ladder? B/c if ur referring to ladder.... I got some news for you
Tournament usage although I believe ladder usage is only stabilized because of the screens/HO support. Either way, I think we can all agree Tapu Koko is common on the ladder, but I also think we can all agree KokoLucha has seen much better days, specifically earlier this year
 
from A to A-:
I agree on Tapu Koko drop from it's current position to A-, the offensive presence for it isn't enough right now to stay in this Rank, as it isn't able to break or counterreact to specially defensive Grass Types such as Tangrowth and Tapu Bulu. Tangrowth is pretty much a Staple on alot of bulkier teams with it's Assault Vest. Tapu Koko cannot counterreact with HP Ice to that and with the increase of Grounds such as Garchomp the Z-Thunderbolt Set also got less viable as an option. Shuca Berry is still lit, but I don't think this Set alone keeps it at the position he's at right now.

Tapu Koko from A to A- agreed.
 
That seems like a pretty poor, one dimensional argument. Hawlucha usage has dropped significantly, going from a premier win condition and high pressure threat on HO to something used pretty sporadically with more counterplay than ever.

In addition, my post still acknowledged that Tapu Koko had a clear use as a screens/terrain setter on HO, but it’s more the lack of offensive presence, consistent usage, and effectiveness on the more standardized sets (Defog, Shuca, Z, etc) that has decreased that leads to it dropping. Tapu Koko is often countered by so many common things and the appeal of using it is essentially diminished to fast Uturn that checks TornT on balanced teams at this point.
I'm going to ask a dumb question. But, what exactly is the purpose of the viability rankings? Because, if the purpose is to rank how good things are in tournament play, than that's a problem because mon viability is context dependent and I don't know what the usage looks like in tours. It might not be unreasonable to setup a ladder viability and tour viability thread, as even though there is some overlap there's also seems to be some major differences if we disagree this vehemently on tapu koko.

I generally speak from the context of high ladder play (I'm typically in the 1750-1850 range sometimes higher sometimes lower) where I will see tapu koko as a powerful, fast and unpredictable mon. I routinely see shuca, twinkle tackle, gigavolt havoc (physical and special), scarf (physical and special) and dual screens. Predicting the wrong koko comes with massive punishment as twinkle tackle in particular nukes many of its would be switchins. E-terrain + electric attack powers through a lot of resists and setting up hawlucha one of the most dangerous mons in the game is no small matter (though personally I think lele is the better lucha partner, however koko still good).

Could you please elaborate exactly what the counter play is to koko? Ferrothorn is the only mon I can think of that can stand up to all its offensive sets and its taunt + screens bait for dual screens. It seems to me if tournament players are struggling to get koko to perform they just need to change up their set and adapt, because it has no problems on the ladder.

An additional note on philosophically what the viability rankings should be. They should be a reference for relatively new players trying to figure out what's good and what's not. Experienced high skilled players generally already have an opinion on the mons in the meta.
 
Am I missing something about Tapu Koko not being able to get past Bulky Grass Types? Do people forget that it can run a viable physical set as a electric type due to being able to U-Turn and Brave Bird? For example:

252 Atk Tapu Koko Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 28 Def Tangrowth: 194-230 (48 - 56.9%) -- 90.2% chance to 2HKO(no item boost for Koko e.g. Shuca)
This is basically the lowest damage possible from Koko against Tangrowth.

I honestly think ranking Koko down is such an odd choice for being so meta-relevant, with its team support due to its ability, its blazing speed and unpredictability: Nobody is forced to run a special set only.

Basically, keep Koko where it is.
(Also it will always be good being faster than Tornadus, Normal Gren etc. etc.)
 

Gary

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From my experience the VR basically tries to take both tour and ladder into account (at least that's how I viewed it when I was in charge) but the issue with that is there are certain trends that work exceptionally well on the ladder and vice versa in tournaments. The ladder has a much larger sample size of players so you could argue that it's more relevant but at the same time tournament is a smaller sample size of overall more consistent players, whereas ladder the quality of players is significantly less until you get into like the high 1900+. Where you draw the line is difficult, because obviously someone like Finchinator or ABR who tend to stick to tournaments are going to be bias towards them while someone like Omari P or NJNP before he quit will prefer the ladder. I know I've been known to meme some of the unconventional ladder strats that are brought up in this thread from time to but honestly I wouldn't be surprised if someone could successfully pull off using Shiftry on the high ladder when you've been around the 1900+ for long enough and can pinpoint the kinds of teams/playstyles that are usually run. Tournament it's harder to judge because again, smaller sample size, so if someone brings a Shiftry it's probably going to be for some wack ass CT because otherwise no one will risk using a very unexplored niche mon that may cause them to lose. Ladder is a lot safer to experiment with basically.

But yeah, I don't really think it's possible to please everyone. The best the VR council can do is try and create a balanced ranking system that's already massively subjective to account for both ladder and tour. Considering most of the VR council is tour oriented it doesn't really surprise me the direction it's going with the Koko drop. If they don't want to take ladder into consideration because they feel that's irrelevant compared to tournaments I guess that's their choice but unless the ideology of the VR has changed since I stopped running it, than it's not supposed to be that way. If Koko is mediocre in tournaments but still sees a large amount of success on ladder than it should probably sit in a ranking that isn't too high or low otherwise you are technically favoring one side.
 
From my experience the VR basically tries to take both tour and ladder into account (at least that's how I viewed it when I was in charge) but the issue with that is there are certain trends that work exceptionally well on the ladder and vice versa in tournaments. The ladder has a much larger sample size of players so you could argue that it's more relevant but at the same time tournament is a smaller sample size of overall more consistent players, whereas ladder the quality of players is significantly less until you get into like the high 1900+. Where you draw the line is difficult, because obviously someone like Finchinator or ABR who tend to stick to tournaments are going to be bias towards them while someone like Omari P or NJNP before he quit will prefer the ladder. I know I've been known to meme some of the unconventional ladder strats that are brought up in this thread from time to but honestly I wouldn't be surprised if someone could successfully pull off using Shiftry on the high ladder when you've been around the 1900+ for long enough and can pinpoint the kinds of teams/playstyles that are usually run. Tournament it's harder to judge because again, smaller sample size, so if someone brings a Shiftry it's probably going to be for some wack ass CT because otherwise no one will risk using a very unexplored niche mon that may cause them to lose. Ladder is a lot safer to experiment with basically.

But yeah, I don't really think it's possible to please everyone. The best the VR council can do is try and create a balanced ranking system that's already massively subjective to account for both ladder and tour. Considering most of the VR council is tour oriented it doesn't really surprise me the direction it's going with the Koko drop. If they don't want to take ladder into consideration because they feel that's irrelevant compared to tournaments I guess that's their choice but unless the ideology of the VR has changed since I stopped running it, than it's not supposed to be that way. If Koko is mediocre in tournaments but still sees a large amount of success on ladder than it should probably sit in a ranking that isn't too high or low otherwise you are technically favoring one side.
Thank you Gary, this was a helpful comment. I have respect for tournament play, just don't think tournament players need a VR ranking to reference.
 

Gary

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Thank you Gary, this was a helpful comment. I have respect for tournament play, just don't think tournament players need a VR ranking to reference.
I feel like you're missing the point of what I'm saying. A VR is supposed to represent the metagame of that tier as best as possible, meaning that both the tournament and ladder scene are technically both important factors that influence it. If you just choose to use the ladder as the sole reference to the metagame you are technically leaving out an important aspect because tournament play is ultimately considered the cornerstone of the competition that happens on Smogon. In fact, you see a lot of very skilled ladders players eventually moving to tournaments as a way to test their obvious skills after topping the ladder multiple times. By leaving out tournaments in the VR, you are technically misleading new players. By leaving out the ladder in the VR, you are also misleading players. A new player should be able to look at the VR and immediately be able to tell what's good and what's bad in OU. Period. Doesn't matter on or off the ladder. As I said in my post, with something like Tapu Koko which is seeing much more success on the ladder than it is in tournament play, it would seem reasonable to rank it in a middle ground position to represent its overall viability.

Also new players can use the VR as a stepping stone to help them get into the tournament scene. It's not perfect due to its subjectivity, but it's definitely a great start and it gives you a good idea. You don't need to be good at Pokemon to play in tournaments as much as you need to be to ladder. It 100% makes the most sense to cater to both parties.
 
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Greninja-Ash from A+ to S.

Ash Greninja has been a staple in the metagame for as long as I can remember, solidifying itself as a clear A+ level threat. However, I feel that it recently has gotten significantly better, especially thanks to how common the "cheese" hyper offensive teams have become, how predictable and restricted counterplay to it is, and how it consistently makes progress, asserting its impact either with brute force offensively or through setting up Spikes earlier on in games.

I feel like this has been argued to death, so I will try not to go full-on essay, but I think that Ash Greninja fits on to an absurdly high amount of teams right now. Need something to clean out and consistently threaten offense while having a great speed tier? Ash Greninja is the definition of that. Need something to pressure balanced cores early in games? Ash Greninja is perfect for doing this, especially seeing as it can bluff Protean the first time it can come in. This overlaps with the last question a bit given Spikes impact, but need an offensive Spike setter? Ash Greninja is again easily the best with this. These and many more positive, practical labels can be used to describe what Ash Greninja brings to the table. Nothing else brings to the table such a consistently dynamic, progress making presence to the tier. Sure, it is frail and the SDef Grass types that are spammed pressure it, but I'm not arguing for Ash Greninja to be banned -- it's not outright broken. It's just a top tier Pokemon that is incredible at doing its job, supporting teams, etc. It is a pretty clear-cut rise to S for me.

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Alakazam-Mega from A+ to A

Mega Alakazam is still good, but it has definitely fallen off a bit lately. At one point, I would label it as metagame defining and perhaps the top mega in the tier, but now it clearly has taken a backseat to Mega Mawile and perhaps Mega Medicham (eh, they're probably on par for me, but Mega Medicham is a lot less manageable for balanced rn, especially considering how hesitant people are to use Clefable given how it enables Mega Mawile). Anyway, ultimate point being is that Mega Alakazam is still "really good", but it's nowhere near top tier or metagame defining anymore. I would rank it below everything in A+, but above almost everything in A, so that leaves me at a bit of a crossroads. Thing is that A+ is supposed to be pretty selective and show the true top Pokemon in the metagame, so I think that leaning towards the lower subrank is ideal in the spirit of the VR here, so I propose for it to go A.

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Some other nominations:
  • from A to A-: Mega Scizor does not see a ton of usage right now and I think it will always be a nice utility pivot/win condition on balance, but the metagame just is not overly favorable to it right now, especially given the competition in the mega slot, the fact that Magnezone is relatively common, and the lack of breaking prowess it has relative to alternatives.
  • from A to A-: This one is probably surprising and perhaps not considered at all by most people, but hear me out. Despite having a noteworthy presence as a screens/terrain setter on some HOs, Tapu Koko's offensive presence on normal teams has diminished a ton lately. The Defog variant is still passable, but even that is losing steam. Pure offensive Z/Shuca sets are hardly seen anymore in tournaments and Specs has not been seen in forever. I really feel like Tapu Koko is falling off and just not too great atm. It is hard walled by too many common things, tbh.
  • from B- to C+: This thing is pretty much completely unused atm. I would rather use Blace on pretty much every set besides the gimmicky, team dependent Z-Hex set that awkwardly never really caught on. I just cannot justify using it much and I think it should drop more, so yea.
Greninja-Ash from A+ to S: Agree Its not often I day "oh dear" but when I see a Greninja that doesnt change types, my #1 priority immediately become to eliminate it ASAP, hopefully before it transforms and kills 2/3 of my team. I am extremely dedicated to my game plan, anything this scary should be among the best of the best of the best. Be honest: any time you see Greninja pop out, isnt it one of the best things ever to see it change types?

Mega Alakazam from A+ to A: Agree This one is hard for me as I have loved Alakazam since Gen 1. However, it simply doesnt have enough tricks to be so close to the top of the pile. It really is a one trick pony and always one Focus Miss away from death. I would not he surprised to see it fall to A-.

Mega Scizor from A to A-: Agree While I hate facing it, it isnt seen too much, much to my relief. I think Heatran being if 85% of teams can be thanks for its drop.

Tapu Koko from A to A-Strongly Disagree: This one I feel strongest about, for the exact same reason that it's being nominated to fall: the drop in Hawlucha usage. Because of Hawlucha being less common many teams seem to overlook, or flat forget it exists. So now people that do still bring it out to play (like me, with a slight variance) often see great results. One example is among the last 10 OU games I played I went 8-2, with Koko->Hawlucha sweeping four of those wins (3@ 5-0, 1 @ 6-0). Additionally, with the trend of Dual Screens on the rise, I feel Koko is right where it should be.

Gengar from B- to C+ (or lower) : Agree I cant recall the last time I saw Gengar in OU. It simply does not work. If you want a fast, frail Special Attacker, Mega Alakazam is a better bet. Sure you lose out on a couple immunities (God, I miss Levitate), but the power gain more than makes up for it.
 

Jordy

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(♂)→A-

With Mega Alakazam being considered for a drop, I really think Mega Latios should also drop. The Mega Latios-type balances that used to be really common around July have fallen off a lot, to the point where you barely see them anymore. I think it's a very similar case to Mega Alakazam's where it's definitely still a good mega evolution, but the meta has adapted to its presence which makes it perform worse. To add onto that, Mega Alakazam does a lot of the things Mega Latios does as well, which often makes it the preferred Mega evolution of choice.
 
Heracross Mega B to B+: Disagree

So I've made a new team and gotten to play around with the most overlooked of the three mega-bugs (no I'm not counting beedrill lol). It has its pluses and minuses. On one hand it is incredibly hard to switch into and nukes the metagame with its coverage (opponents pretty predictably switch in a fighting resist that dies to rock blast or pin missile), on the other it has a hard time getting into the game. It's pretty slow so it doesn't come in on koes very well and even mons it pressures the hell out of like chansey can be hard to switch into because of status moves. Its good bulk and cool defensive typing lets it switch into zyg + bulu which are everywhere and also take one hit from some hard hitting offensive mons and ko back, but it doesn't really have the stamina to stick around for long battles or win boosting battles with say curse scizor (though +2 close combat is still taking 75% off +1 scizor for another mon to safely ko). I've been running it with wish chansey support + several u-turners and can still struggle to get it in multiple times.

Overall a solid mega with a defined niche. It's ability open holes in teams and pressure some of the most prominent defensive mons in the game is pretty valuable, and it even threatens full stall teams (something its closest analogs buzzwole and medicham can't say). Once it's in with the right predict it's obliterating something. Keep the hercules beetle in B.
 
First post here, but I’ve been playing on the ladder and following this thread for the better part of the year.

I feel that, in general, the VR is way too much influenced by the current trends and a lot of the time fails to see the long-term appeal of a lot of mons, especially in the high ranks.

We’ve seen a lot of mons rise all the way up from B tiers to A/A+ in the span of a few updates (with people sometimes clamoring them to go up to S rank even), only to go back to one or two sub ranks higher than their original position on the very next updates. Examples of this include Clefable, Zapdos, Latios-Mega and Alakazam-Mega (though they haven’t dropped all the way down yet, but they definitely will), Kartana, Gastrodon (though he was lower tier)… I think that all these mons didn’t rise because we discovered a new set that made an impact on the meta, but rather because some people started to play more of the existing sets, realized they were quite good, then became popular and spammed on the ladder and in tournaments. I think Latios-Mega is the prime example of this. Nothing has changed for it between the time he was OU by technicality and today when it’s A tier. The set is the same, it’s always been strong against the same things (TTar, Magerna, Heatran…) which were and are always top threats in the meta, it’s just that people thought it was trash because it was during ORAS. Yes, he was certainly ranked too low before, but I think it will settle around A-/B+ once things are settled down.

There are other mons which saw a similar rise, like Tornadus-T or Tapu Bulu, but those were entirely justified because they came with new sets (and at least twice for Bulu) that bumped their viability. Almost no one is arguing against their A+ rank today because it is deserved and isn’t really the result of a particular trend like Clefable was for instance.

The same thing is true for drops, where the VR seems very quick to propose some drops as soon as a top tier pokemon is performing slightly worse than it has always been. We’ve seen Magerna drop to A and then almost immediately go back to A+, Volcarona drop to A- and then back to A, and now we are arguing about a possible Koko drop to A-, just like we’ve been arguing just a few months ago for Lando-T to A+. Nothing has ever changed for all of this mons, they will always be top tier no matter what trend is currently happening, by virtue of their types, abilities, movesets and stats. I don’t think that there is any universe that has a USUM tier with the same banlist that doesn’t have Lando-T S tier or have Tapu Koko sharing the same tier as Reuniclus. These pokemons are just too good regardless of the current state of the meta.

I agree though that there is some variance, and that trends shouldn’t be blatantly ignored while making the VR. But I think we should take a few steps back from the everchanging mess of teams we face every day, acknowledge that some trends are cyclical, some will fade in a month and some will stay for a while. This isn’t simple at all, but I believe we are perfectly suited for the challenge with the council that has some very knowledgeable and dedicated members who spend a lot of time managing it. I don’t think showing the variance and the current trends of the metagame is the goal of the VR for two reasons : it doesn’t update nearly as fast as it should for this, especially because we tend not to have big rises/drops, and also because showing trends could very well be automated by analyzing the ladder and tournament results for pick rates, win rates and team compositions, building a chart for every pokemon reflecting its "effectiveness" across time.

Of course, such a feature would be imperfect at best, but I think it could bring a lot of insight on the current state of the metagame, much more accurately than the VR ever could by virtue of being always up to date and impartial. That “trend display” could very well augment the current VR by showing if every pokemon is trending up or down and could be the basis for requesting rises or drops (ex: this mon is A and has been trending up for a while, shouldn’t we move it up to A+?).

In any case, regarding the current slate of changes:
  • Greninja-Ash to S: disagree, because nothing has really changed for it since the beginning of USUM (if anything, we have more fat grasses lying around), but mostly because I think that moving him to S will cause teams to prepare more for it, causing the next slate of changes to ask him to go back to A+ because it’s not as strong it was as a month ago. Also, it has exactly one optimal set (the spikes-less sets are definitely not S-worthy, and the Hydro Vortex set is only good with Rain to get back the power lost from not running Specs). Even Kartana had 3 different sets back when it was S- with a choice of Z-Move and it sits in A these days.
  • Alakazam-Mega to A: agree, I think we went a bit overboard with it and that it shouldn’t have moved to A+ in the first place.
  • Scizor-Mega to A-: not sure, I agree that it may not be as strong as it has been, but I wonder if A- isn’t too low. I think we need more time to act on it.
  • Tapu Koko to A-: strongly disagree, not in a million years. Ranking him at the same subrank as Hawlucha would mean that all there is to that mon is to be paired with it (like Pelipper/Swampert-Mega, that one being true), which is simply not true since it can do a lot on its own too.
  • Gengar to C+: agree, it’s not as threatening as Blace (that should probably stay B-) and it’s hard to justify him over a lot of more powerful options. It doesn’t help that is best set is probably the one that uses a Z-Move.
I think Mawile-Mega to S was also previously discussed, and I’ll disagree on this one too because while it’s a bit more versatile that Greninja, it’s simply too slow and too reliant on a non-stabbed priority (that has a lot of common resists) to be considered among the best of the best mons in the metagame. Like with Greninja and other examples I gave earlier, I’m pretty sure that should Mawile rise to S-rank, it won’t last there very long.
 
While I agree to an extent about the VR being volatile as a result of trends; I argued a while ago that people get way too trigger happy about dropping Volc whenever its checks shift, which is easily remedied by it just switching to preferring a different coverage/Z-move. That said, I do think there is some value in the VR not just being a resource for viability in a vacuum but also a threatlist. If something is being spammed and it’s not intrinsically checked by normal sets/mons you would be likely to run anyway, it is worth being able to glance at the VR and know that if you hop on the ladder today you need to be ready for Glare spam even though that will likely fall out of favor in a month or two, or that a couple months ago you needed to be ready for Psychic spam. Even if the sets for the Pokémon that are most popular in those archetypes don’t really change over time, you still want to be able to get a sense by reading the VR of how well you need to prepare for certain things, whether it’s because of new partners they’ve started to be paired with or a particular set that’s gained popularity or whatever.
 
While I agree to an extent about the VR being volatile as a result of trends; I argued a while ago that people get way too trigger happy about dropping Volc whenever its checks shift, which is easily remedied by it just switching to preferring a different coverage/Z-move. That said, I do think there is some value in the VR not just being a resource for viability in a vacuum but also a threatlist. If something is being spammed and it’s not intrinsically checked by normal sets/mons you would be likely to run anyway, it is worth being able to glance at the VR and know that if you hop on the ladder today you need to be ready for Glare spam even though that will likely fall out of favor in a month or two, or that a couple months ago you needed to be ready for Psychic spam. Even if the sets for the Pokémon that are most popular in those archetypes don’t really change over time, you still want to be able to get a sense by reading the VR of how well you need to prepare for certain things, whether it’s because of new partners they’ve started to be paired with or a particular set that’s gained popularity or whatever.
Isn't the point of this whole discussion though? The volatility of the meta means we have no idea what the long term effects are. The reason for the updates is to reflect the current meta, based on the recent trends. It's totally subjective whether you think the 'trend' is significant enough to warrant a shift, but again that's the point of discussion.
 
I'm not sure how I'll be able to see that Glare-spam is being spammed currently by taking a look at the VR since there are exactly two viable mons that learn it and it's not even in all of their sets… but I digress.

As I said, I totally agree that being able to see at a glance the current state of the meta is important, but I don't think the VR is the right tool for this because it's not updated (and probably can't be in its current form) often enough. Let's stay that I have a trend that lasts for 2 months and that the VR updates every month (which is approximately the case?). A trend starts after a tournament, the VR is updated like a week later but doesn't have conclusive evidence yet so it ignores it, then a month later the appropriate mons get rises, then a few weeks later things start to cool down. The next VR update claims the evidence to be unconclusive again (too soon) and we wait for the next update (another month later) to see the same mons drop. Its obviously an edge case scenario but some things like this have happened before. During that 3-month period, the VR was appropriately reflecting the meta for 3 weeks.

There are too much roadblocks to update the VR in due time, mainly because we all aim for it to be accurate as possible so we exchange a lot about it, the council takes it time to vote because it wants to make the best decisions, so it's not exactly possible.

But if we had some complementary stats, easily accessible, that would show the current state of the metagame, that could be very useful. To come back to the Glare-spam argument, I'm pretty sure that if I could see that like 10% of the high ladder teams feature both Zygarde and Serperior and that they have like 60+% winrate, I'll know immediately that I need today do be prepared to face Glare-spam. I'm pretty sure that those stats already exist by the way, but they're not easily discoverable and definitely not presented in a form that would be easy to read (at the very least usage stats aren't ever compared to the previous month's, for instance).
 
Just a friendly reminder that the above posts about how the VR works is kinda off for a number of reasons, reasons I've explained before, so I'll keep this down to the big one: Theorymoning.

There is absolutely no way to tell how the next month will go and how it will affect all mons currently ranked...or even unranked as of late like Kyurem. How is it even possible to rank according to the future? This is why this thread focuses on current trends and metagame stances rather than taking the future into account; it's a mess to do it this way and there's a reason why it isn't. It's much more accurate to look at this at the current point and time--if something has to be moved, it will when the time comes (remember that Toxapex was S Rank once upon a time). Like with Suspect Tests, the future isn't the worry, as other threats will be opened and tested eventually--I know, loose analogy, but that's about the best I can think of right now.

With that said, I can definitely see Ash Greninja moving to S Rank. The biggest argument I've seen against it moving up is the "difficulty transforming", which is normally attributed to its non-existent bulk to switch in and its "good, but not great" Special Attack pre-transformation. I personally see an opportunity to abuse this in a way.

Many people would easily assume that most Greninja are Battle Bonded; within that, they would be able to tell that a good majority of those are wearing Specs. No, I'm not advocating Z-Crystals; that's a subpar strat in the long run. Considering the stats you have to work with, Greninja is likely coming out for a Revenge Kill on a weaker foe. What's the opponent likely going to do? Switch out to prevent a transformation, right? What's stopping the Greninja player from switching themselves? It's easy to see what checks there are to prevent Greninja from "setting up" and what to bring in to prevent that check from doing its job. It has teammates, why not use them? More of a minor point, as prediction works both ways, but this is more me bringing up a point of discussion.

Also the aforementioned "limited counterplay once it transforms" is quite obvious and a scary thought by itself. It can go S Rank at this point; if the meta overly prepares for it and it needs to drop, it can drop then.

Note: I'm not giving a definitive notion to move, as I'm on a lean more than over the fence and on one side. I'm open for fresh arguments on both sides.
 

Colonel M

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I'm not sure how I'll be able to see that Glare-spam is being spammed currently by taking a look at the VR since there are exactly two viable mons that learn it and it's not even in all of their sets… but I digress.

As I said, I totally agree that being able to see at a glance the current state of the meta is important, but I don't think the VR is the right tool for this because it's not updated (and probably can't be in its current form) often enough. Let's stay that I have a trend that lasts for 2 months and that the VR updates every month (which is approximately the case?). A trend starts after a tournament, the VR is updated like a week later but doesn't have conclusive evidence yet so it ignores it, then a month later the appropriate mons get rises, then a few weeks later things start to cool down. The next VR update claims the evidence to be unconclusive again (too soon) and we wait for the next update (another month later) to see the same mons drop. Its obviously an edge case scenario but some things like this have happened before. During that 3-month period, the VR was appropriately reflecting the meta for 3 weeks.

There are too much roadblocks to update the VR in due time, mainly because we all aim for it to be accurate as possible so we exchange a lot about it, the council takes it time to vote because it wants to make the best decisions, so it's not exactly possible.

But if we had some complementary stats, easily accessible, that would show the current state of the metagame, that could be very useful. To come back to the Glare-spam argument, I'm pretty sure that if I could see that like 10% of the high ladder teams feature both Zygarde and Serperior and that they have like 60+% winrate, I'll know immediately that I need today do be prepared to face Glare-spam. I'm pretty sure that those stats already exist by the way, but they're not easily discoverable and definitely not presented in a form that would be easy to read (at the very least usage stats aren't ever compared to the previous month's, for instance).
There are multiple resources that the forums have to help support this. In terms of tournaments, we always have Replays and Usage Stats. There are also Ladder stats.

The major point is all of this information is available and in front of the player so long as they take the time to look for it. Furthermore, every time the VR is updated there is a small quip on why a Pokemon rose or dropped. If such a quip doesn't exist, it can always be asked and Finch has (usually) provided that information.

As far as the VR debacle, while ladder should have some precedent in a tier list, its impact is definitely a lot lower in comparison to the highest level of competitive play, this being of course tournaments. Whether you agree or disagree is a subject that can be debated outside of the topic on your own free time.

Finally, I wanted to be a prick and add my last two cents on some nominations. Mostly because I'm bored and feel like it.

Ash-Greninja to S - Agree. People criminally undervalue Ash-Greninja so much it actually baffles me even from a more casual perspective. The main counterarguments that always come up are situations such as its lack of versatility in comparison to Heatran and Landorus-T, or that its a Pokemon that has easier soft checks in bulky Grass-types. While all of these do have some merit, something that is missed out on is that it's a Pokemon that offers a fairly unique role compression as well as the threat power to force teams into looking for good checks to it. Think less on the number of sets, and think more on what Ash-Greninja actually offers a player:

- Utility. Ash-Greninja's capability of laying Spikes is something that is difficult to underestimate. It allows Ash-Greninja to apply extra pressure to its checks and counters while also helping its team in situations where it doesn't offer as much within the battle. Spikes alone gives Ash-Greninja a purpose in every battle, and it's not like the common Defog Pokemon like to take Specs-boosted Dark Pulses or Hydro Pumps either.
- Revenge Killing. While Water Shuriken is by no means an extremely powerful move, it gives Ash-Greninja opportunites to revenge kill weakened threats such as Scarf Landorus-T, Hawlucha, and Mega Alakazam.
- Raw power. It's true that regular Greninja doesn't feel like the strongest Pokemon, especially prior to its transformation. That being said, the combination of having Spikes on the field and the potential to flinch a Pokemon 20% of the time with STAB Dark Pulse puts teams on the defensive at times within a disadvantage. Bear in mind that not every Tangrowth is an Assault Vest Tangrowth, and even the ones that are can feel pressured via Spikes or the threat of double switches into Pokemon that might be intimidating for the Tangrowth team such as Heatran or Tornadus-T. It's all about keeping momentum, and Ash-Greninja, even prior to transforming, can do this fairly well.

I don't see why the number of sets are what makes a Pokemon an S rank Pokemon. Think back to Toxapex - a Pokemon that literally ran on just about one set but still was a major threat for the tier (and still is), and while it remains in A+ today, the point is that a Pokemon does not need to produce a thousand sets just to be an S Rank Pokemon. In spite of Tapu Koko's versatility, it's still a Pokemon that can underperform in some duties and has definitely fallen from grace in the tournament side of games (and why I would also agree with Tapu Koko A- and Hawlucha maybe B+). I feel the combination of Ash-Greninja's power, momentum, utility, and general threat presence to opposing teams help sell it for S Rank.

Which leads me back to Zygarde, another Pokemon that I feel is S Rank. I understood at the time of Finch's post on why he felt it was A+, and while I did not 100% agree with the post I saw the counterargument. Nowadays, I have to think that such an argument is a lot harder to believe. Much like Ash-Greninja, Zygarde offers a lot of pressure to opposing teams just with STAB Thousand Arrows alone with moves to cripple its opponent (Glare) or setup (Substitute, Coil, Dragon Dance). Zygarde's bulk combined with Leftovers, Grassy Terrain, and a pinch berry make it rather difficult to take down properly and, especially with the pinch berry, give Zygarde a second chance of setting up and pushing through teams. It's a Pokemon that has a lot of qualities similar to Ash-Greninja in terms of being a threat presence that almost always has to be accounted for properly.

I think that's about it personally. I mainly wanted to echo my support for Ash-Greninja, but I also want to echo that Pokemon such as Tapu Koko can reasonably be argued lower as well as Hawlucha if you don't tunnel as hard into the ladder aspect of things.
 
I also want to echo that Pokemon such as Tapu Koko can reasonably be argued lower as well as Hawlucha if you don't tunnel as hard into the ladder aspect of things.
The problem I see with this, and this sentiment has already be echoed by quite a few people here, is that if you move Hawlucha down to B+ because it reflects its viability in Tournaments, every newbie that wants to learn about the metagame will see that he has to prepare more for Reuniclus than Hawlucha, which is pretty much absurd since Hawlucha has 8.5% usage and Reuniclus 2.2% (and I suspect it's not very common at low ladder) and will tear through unprepared teams much easier than the latter. As far as I know, the VR is still the number one resource for teambuilding at every level (though there are plenty others), so I think it should try to encompass all levels of play as much as possible.

There are multiple resources that the forums have to help support this. In terms of tournaments, we always have Replays and Usage Stats. There are also Ladder stats.

The major point is all of this information is available and in front of the player so long as they take the time to look for it. Furthermore, every time the VR is updated there is a small quip on why a Pokemon rose or dropped. If such a quip doesn't exist, it can always be asked and Finch has (usually) provided that information.
I know this information exists, but it can be hard to find (none of this info can be found from the Overused section of the forums for instance) and it's not presented in a way that's friendly for a casual player who wants to learn more. I also think we could get much more insight from those stats regarding to trends in a way the VR can't, but at this point I think I'll start to repeat myself.

There is absolutely no way to tell how the next month will go and how it will affect all mons currently ranked...or even unranked as of late like Kyurem. How is it even possible to rank according to the future? This is why this thread focuses on current trends and metagame stances rather than taking the future into account; it's a mess to do it this way and there's a reason why it isn't. It's much more accurate to look at this at the current point and time--if something has to be moved, it will when the time comes
I totally agree that ranking according to the future is stupid, I just feel like some decisions are being made too quickly (I gave quite a few examples) and that some of them should have been deferred to the next slate, where we'd have more conclusive evidence on why it should rise/drop or not. And the VR could show right away in the main list if a mon is currently in discussion for raising or dropping, that way regular people that don't follow every message in this thread could be aware of what the current topics of the thread are.


Anyway, it seems I've been suggested that this isn't the right place to discuss this kind of subjects, so where would be the appropriate place for discussion, so that we don't pollute this thread with supposedly unrelated content?
 

Gary

Can be abrasive at times (no joke)
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnus
Anyway, it seems I've been suggested that this isn't the right place to discuss this kind of subjects, so where would be the appropriate place for discussion, so that we don't pollute this thread with supposedly unrelated content?
There isn't really another place tbh. Like, I guess this discussion can technically be counted as derailment from the thread discussion itself, but it's directly correlated to the VR and outside of the Simple Questions Simple Answers thread there isn't really a better place to talk about something related to the VR. I feel like there's some truth to what you are arguing and you bring up decent counterarguments but I think it's also a bit flawed as well because it kinda goes against how all Smogon tiers in general run their VRs. Regardless, unless a mod tells you otherwise I'm pretty sure you're fine to talk about this in here as long as you try to keep civil or end up just simply repeating your old posts if it continues on much longer. Coming from the former owner of this thread I'd say your fine for now.

By the way, if y'all are gonna tell a dude that something doesn't belong in this thread, be a gentlemen and redirect him to where he should go. Otherwise it just looks like a really failed attempt at mini modding.
 
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Colonel M

People who spam Agency have a problem
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Before I go too far, I want to echo what Gary has stated and while SQSA could answer the question, I also feel that such a discussion might be better geared personally towards the VR Council itself privately. I don't have any objections to how the user has asked his questions and stated his arguments thus far, and there is nothing wrong with the perspective that he is trying to argue (at least from a standpoint of it being malicious, trolling, or off-topic).
The problem I see with this, and this sentiment has already be echoed by quite a few people here, is that if you move Hawlucha down to B+ because it reflects its viability in Tournaments, every newbie that wants to learn about the metagame will see that he has to prepare more for Reuniclus than Hawlucha, which is pretty much absurd since Hawlucha has 8.5% usage and Reuniclus 2.2% (and I suspect it's not very common at low ladder) and will tear through unprepared teams much easier than the latter. As far as I know, the VR is still the number one resource for teambuilding at every level (though there are plenty others), so I think it should try to encompass all levels of play as much as possible.
I'd like to start by stating that I disagree that the VR should be treated as the number one resource for teambuilding at every level. Let's break this down in a few ways to help get a clearer understanding.

As a person who's debated Fire Emblem, Shining Force, and in-game Pokemon tier lists, I want to demonstrate that a Tier List is not really a "great" representation of all levels of play. The reason I state this is because that players have different definitions on what exactly is efficient, their method of their goals, and how they reach them. Let's break down ladder play as an example. There are some Pokemon that function slightly better in lower ladder, mid ladder, or upper ladder due to the team compositions that are usually present in them. Options such as Hyper Offense usually have a much larger advantage in lower ladder, though it still has good enough momentum for higher level play as well. The other problem is that Pokemon often belong in different team styles, such examples being Mega Sableye being more common on stall teams and rarely outside of the archtype, yet its ranking doesn't really "show" that's the reason it's placed there. Individually, however, it's a good Pokemon and a highly valuable Mega in stall. I would agree that stall is in a pretty solid place at this point in time, but if you look at the VR the majority of stall components barely break beyond A- (rare exceptions occur of course) and some of the Pokemon even reside in the C tiers.
Think about FE6 Marcus as well for a few moments. He's a unit that is outstanding for a large portion of the game and can contribute with Rescue chains; however, as a unit he falls off after a certain point in the game and lacks great combat stats to carry him towards the lategame. He's a great unit, arguably Top Tier or High Tier depending on your weighted value of his earlygame contributions, but his placement does not necessarily represent why he's there specifically and above other characters such as potentially Saul depending on how you look at things or even above units such as Clarine.

My point is that a VR should not be the number one resource to every player. The VR should be used strictly to evaluate what is good in the present snapshot. Predicting into the future is too hard because metagame trends change rapidly depending on the tournament format (OLT vs Snake is a major example of this) or Tournaments vs Ladder in some cases. It is almost impossible for a Tier List to encompass all levels of play.
I know this information exists, but it can be hard to find (none of this info can be found from the Overused section of the forums for instance) and it's not presented in a way that's friendly for a casual player who wants to learn more. I also think we could get much more insight from those stats regarding to trends in a way the VR can't, but at this point I think I'll start to repeat myself.
Though I empathize with your plight, it is partly the responsibility of the newer player to branch out and search for this information. Could it be easier to find? Certainly, and we of OU do have some information for newer players and veterans alike such as with Speed Tiers. Though I understand that some users have varying opinions on different parts of the sites, there are multiple ways for a newer player to learn the tier even outside of the references I provided.

Ultimately, it is not and should not be the VR's job to teach newer players. Newer players will have different experiences and notice trends differently than veteran players due to lower elo often using teams that are either months behind, inefficient sets and Pokemon, or players that are unable to evaluate the situation in front of them and determine the most optimal play. To reflect that within the tier list would be a nightmare, and we should not include such variables like that. If we did this for Fire Emblem tier lists for example, we'd probably be assuming the player's obsession with Nino and thinking Isadora is too frail because they're too lazy to optimally put an Angelic Robe on her and use weapons more proper to her play style, and that would be a nightmare to attempt to list out.

In a nutshell, this is what I want to point out:

- VR should not be used as a beginner's guide to learning the tier. There are better resources, or the player should experience the game themselves via jumping into tournaments, watching high level play, etc.
- The forums could do a better job perhaps of displaying information for beginners better, but I am not a full-fledged moderator anymore and the decision is ultimately up to the moderators in question. I also want to point out that this particular discussion (and appealing the VR to beginners as well as veterans) is something I will ask to be refrained from in future discussions.
- If you wish to file a complaint about the format of the VR and how things are tiered, my recommendation is to contact the VR Council themselves privately through PMs. No, I'm not on the VR Council and Finchinator would rather eat 7 hot dogs at the same time before adding me. If you're unsure about who's on the VR Council and on the Moderating team, feel free to check out the OP of the VR thread for the former and this thread for the Moderators.
 
First post here, but I’ve been playing on the ladder and following this thread for the better part of the year.

I feel that, in general, the VR is way too much influenced by the current trends and a lot of the time fails to see the long-term appeal of a lot of mons, especially in the high ranks.

We’ve seen a lot of mons rise all the way up from B tiers to A/A+ in the span of a few updates (with people sometimes clamoring them to go up to S rank even), only to go back to one or two sub ranks higher than their original position on the very next updates. Examples of this include Clefable, Zapdos, Latios-Mega and Alakazam-Mega (though they haven’t dropped all the way down yet, but they definitely will), Kartana, Gastrodon (though he was lower tier)… I think that all these mons didn’t rise because we discovered a new set that made an impact on the meta, but rather because some people started to play more of the existing sets, realized they were quite good, then became popular and spammed on the ladder and in tournaments. I think Latios-Mega is the prime example of this. Nothing has changed for it between the time he was OU by technicality and today when it’s A tier. The set is the same, it’s always been strong against the same things (TTar, Magerna, Heatran…) which were and are always top threats in the meta, it’s just that people thought it was trash because it was during ORAS. Yes, he was certainly ranked too low before, but I think it will settle around A-/B+ once things are settled down.

There are other mons which saw a similar rise, like Tornadus-T or Tapu Bulu, but those were entirely justified because they came with new sets (and at least twice for Bulu) that bumped their viability. Almost no one is arguing against their A+ rank today because it is deserved and isn’t really the result of a particular trend like Clefable was for instance.

The same thing is true for drops, where the VR seems very quick to propose some drops as soon as a top tier pokemon is performing slightly worse than it has always been. We’ve seen Magerna drop to A and then almost immediately go back to A+, Volcarona drop to A- and then back to A, and now we are arguing about a possible Koko drop to A-, just like we’ve been arguing just a few months ago for Lando-T to A+. Nothing has ever changed for all of this mons, they will always be top tier no matter what trend is currently happening, by virtue of their types, abilities, movesets and stats. I don’t think that there is any universe that has a USUM tier with the same banlist that doesn’t have Lando-T S tier or have Tapu Koko sharing the same tier as Reuniclus. These pokemons are just too good regardless of the current state of the meta.

I agree though that there is some variance, and that trends shouldn’t be blatantly ignored while making the VR. But I think we should take a few steps back from the everchanging mess of teams we face every day, acknowledge that some trends are cyclical, some will fade in a month and some will stay for a while. This isn’t simple at all, but I believe we are perfectly suited for the challenge with the council that has some very knowledgeable and dedicated members who spend a lot of time managing it. I don’t think showing the variance and the current trends of the metagame is the goal of the VR for two reasons : it doesn’t update nearly as fast as it should for this, especially because we tend not to have big rises/drops, and also because showing trends could very well be automated by analyzing the ladder and tournament results for pick rates, win rates and team compositions, building a chart for every pokemon reflecting its "effectiveness" across time.

Of course, such a feature would be imperfect at best, but I think it could bring a lot of insight on the current state of the metagame, much more accurately than the VR ever could by virtue of being always up to date and impartial. That “trend display” could very well augment the current VR by showing if every pokemon is trending up or down and could be the basis for requesting rises or drops (ex: this mon is A and has been trending up for a while, shouldn’t we move it up to A+?).

In any case, regarding the current slate of changes:
  • Greninja-Ash to S: disagree, because nothing has really changed for it since the beginning of USUM (if anything, we have more fat grasses lying around), but mostly because I think that moving him to S will cause teams to prepare more for it, causing the next slate of changes to ask him to go back to A+ because it’s not as strong it was as a month ago. Also, it has exactly one optimal set (the spikes-less sets are definitely not S-worthy, and the Hydro Vortex set is only good with Rain to get back the power lost from not running Specs). Even Kartana had 3 different sets back when it was S- with a choice of Z-Move and it sits in A these days.
  • Alakazam-Mega to A: agree, I think we went a bit overboard with it and that it shouldn’t have moved to A+ in the first place.
  • Scizor-Mega to A-: not sure, I agree that it may not be as strong as it has been, but I wonder if A- isn’t too low. I think we need more time to act on it.
  • Tapu Koko to A-: strongly disagree, not in a million years. Ranking him at the same subrank as Hawlucha would mean that all there is to that mon is to be paired with it (like Pelipper/Swampert-Mega, that one being true), which is simply not true since it can do a lot on its own too.
  • Gengar to C+: agree, it’s not as threatening as Blace (that should probably stay B-) and it’s hard to justify him over a lot of more powerful options. It doesn’t help that is best set is probably the one that uses a Z-Move.
I think Mawile-Mega to S was also previously discussed, and I’ll disagree on this one too because while it’s a bit more versatile that Greninja, it’s simply too slow and too reliant on a non-stabbed priority (that has a lot of common resists) to be considered among the best of the best mons in the metagame. Like with Greninja and other examples I gave earlier, I’m pretty sure that should Mawile rise to S-rank, it won’t last there very long.
I get what you're saying, but I think it only applies to mons where their sets that beat their current counters are out of favor. Volcarona and what z-crystal it runs is a prime example. I think currently Tapu koko is a mon where its "standard" sets are "struggling" but it can adapt pretty easilly. In limited play I've had success with a special based koko running t-bolt, u-turn, hidden power ice, and brave bird with flyinium z. I wouldn't call this the "best" set but it effectively breaks teams that rely only on bulu or tang to check koko, while still doing tapu koko things. I'm never really been a "set inventor" so I'm sure the players who do these things will come up with an effective koko set, or players will just use one of its older sets that have fallen out of favor.

I disagree that nothing has changed and there is intrinsically long term value of mons. Mons is a context based game. Dragon Dance Salamence is a dangerous setup mon in a vacuum, but while people are running fairies and steels ad infinitum and gyarados has a non-banned mega form to play head games with people it's completely outclassed. In another meta context dragon dance salamence could very well be better than gyarados, just not this one. Greninja-Ash is incredible right now with people prepping the hell for it. I don't think upping it to S-rank is going to up preparation and decrease its value.
 

Ophion

Gotta get the right perspective
is a Pre-Contributor
I thought I’d give my opinion on some of these noms that have recently been brought up if I haven’t discussed them already.

1541646407935.png
Mega Alakazam: A+ to A: Agree
I feel that Mega Alakazam, while an amazing pokemon and best mega in the tier after Mawile, isn’t really fitting in too well in A+ imo. For one thing, AV Tar, Mawile, and Magearna being better and more common than before hurts this thing a lot. For another thing, a lot of the things this mon is supposed to beat like tran and lati, have ways of luring it in (z flash cannon/toxic and draco respectively). It also doesn’t like stall coming back. A great metagame pick rn, just not an A+ contender imo.

1541646436296.png
Tapu Koko: A to A-: Agree
While I don’t feel as confident with this one as I do with zam and Koko is still a pretty good choice, it’s been struggling. Screens and z electric defog are its best sets imo, but its other sets aren’t able to say the same. specs hasnt been seen in a while nor has wild charge. Also, things like tang and bulu being spammed really isn’t helping this mon make a case for itself. Not a bad pick, but may fit better in A- imo.

1541646475226.png
Mega Scizor: A to A-: Agree
This thing is struggling a bit rn. It really hates heatran, magnezone, and other metagame staples. It also doesn’t like celesteela being a bit better. Still one of the best zyg counters around and is a great check to many things, but the metagame being the way it is makes me feel A- is a more fair environment for it.

1541646518385.png
Weavile: B+ to B: Disagree
This mon really shouldn’t drop for a few reasons. For one, knock off is still just as stupidly good as it has been for a while, especially with all the mons that hate it coming to the forefront. For another thing, with all these grass types and shit, ice stab is insanely good and all the resists for it bar a select few hate knock. And while Lati@s being pretty much gone makes pursuit not as great, its still hella good with all the Torns, protean Grens that have type changed and Zard y’s that don’t wanna take a hit from Weavile and chipping them or killing them is so good in a metagame that has so many teams relying on chip.
 
Just so people understand for the future, Kommo-o nominations still need replays even if they are mentioned for discussion on the slate.

I have edited the slate to include that message.
To be completely honest, I think the standard z kommo set people use is pretty stupid and just following a trend that some teen started without thinking. the +speed berry belly drum also is pretty dumb. Ive only seen a few people do it correctly and make me hit that GG but none of them were the actual set(s) that is(are) recommend. If you're going physical, Z + dragon dance is the wave and make sure your moves are set up b/c the moveslots are heavily team dependent and you do not need stabs on it. I personally recommend special or like specs or scarf but that's just my personal preference. I know people think I have an attitude but that's more reactive than it is my innate nature. I just want people to think for themselves and learn how to actually teambuild. So ya that's what I think any thoughts?
 
To be completely honest, I think the standard z kommo set people use is pretty stupid and just following a trend that some teen started without thinking. the +speed berry belly drum also is pretty dumb. Ive only seen a few people do it correctly and make me hit that GG but none of them were the actual set(s) that is(are) recommend. If you're going physical, Z + dragon dance is the wave and make sure your moves are set up b/c the moveslots are heavily team dependent and you do not need stabs on it. I personally recommend special or like specs or scarf but that's just my personal preference. I know people think I have an attitude but that's more reactive than it is my innate nature. I just want people to think for themselves and learn how to actually teambuild. So ya that's what I think any thoughts?
I think the double dance set with dragon dance + clang soul is actually pretty good. I'm waiting until I get my kommo-o team to the high ladder to post a more in depth analysis. As my replays currently look like this idiocy:

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-832472983

If I played it a little smarter instead of trying to sweep turn 4 or get a better roll on scizor I probably win with just kommo. I've found on the mid-ladder at least this is pretty consistent of teams that don't pack tox or mage (which are the bane of this sets existence). I will say I think drain + poison jab is best move coverage.

Update: Here's a slightly higher quality replay where Kommo-o cracks what loooks like a pretty standard OU team wide open for lele and/or lop to mop up.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-832526841

Since I have a couple replays I'm going to make my case for Kommo-o. Double dance clang soul is a very threatening set that has 3 hard counters that I've encountered playing up from 1000 to 1600. Mage, Tox, Unaware Clef. Unaware Clef doesn't like switching into poison jab as it's taking 40% and a chance to get poisoned. Frail fairies + bulu are dying to +1 poison jab, and bulkier fairies are falling if weakened. Ddance is critical to further boost your speed and attack and Kommo frequently gets 2 boosts and sometimes more as people try and fail to intimidate/revenge kill etc. This set alone should get Kommo ranked in C- as it destroys teams without its counters or if said counters have been eliminated. The only reason it shouldn't be higher is its counters are excellent mons that are pretty damn common.

Now, Kommo has options beyond just Double dance clang soul even though I think this its best and should be standard set. Sub/BD is a high risk high reward gimmick that punishes mage and tox, and has surprisingly many setup opportunities. In theory a straight offensive physical dragon dance set with close combat isn't bad as how many fighting types can actually boost their offenses, but I haven't tried it yet. Most importantly when it comes to ranking a mon. Kommo-O is a unique threat. There isn't anything else in the metagame that quite matches it. As a z-booster it has advantages over victini, jirachi, and lol porygon z in that it can further boost and heal itself. As a sub-bd it is scarier than chestnaught and forces switches to mons it sets up on more readily. In my opinion the Komodo Dragon should be ranked in C.

I'm curious Thunder Pwoell what you mean by a special set. I've done a pretty in depth analysis of kommo trying to use it, but at least on paper all its special sets seem to be just for surprise value and really inferior to its physical sets.
 
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MikeDawg

Banned deucer.
here's some high ladder games (like 1800 - 2050 elo) where kommo did some serious work with the ddance z-clang set (ie the best one). this team peaked #1 on ladder fwiw.

Sweeps from turn 1:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-723514571

Sweeps half their team mid-game until it was finally weak enough for a weavile revenge, but it was already gg. Didn't even have screens up:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-724036598

I didn't get webs or rocks up cuz i forgot iron head has a 100% flinch chance, but kommo still 6-0d easily:
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-832591125

Stopped mawile sweep, sets up on brave bird koko, then countersweeps the last 4 members of their team because kommo takes 15% from leaf storm. zygarde was some bullshit spdef variant that i had like an 85% chance to ko anyway. it's not kommos fault that i upset the hax gods:

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-832621228

i let ash gren transform right away because he's an easy setup opprotunity for kommo who came in right after and swept their team (with no rocks or webs).

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-832634224


tl;dw: it still gets outsped by some fast things after a ddance, you have to choose between killing toxapex or fairies because 4mss, it needs decent support to reach its full potential.

but also it has a great def typing and bulk, it has high bp stabs like a 185 bp special dragon move that boosts all of its stats, its a naturally strong check to some big threats (like blacephalon and serp since immune to shadow ball and can hit through subs, ninja because easily resists stabs and 1hkos, etc.), and speed issues can be mitigated w/ smart use of ddance and clangorous
 
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