Resource USUM PU Viability Rankings

I will make my nominations in descending order of rank:

B+ to A-
This is not new, Kingler is a terrifying sight in many team previews, because it usually means you are going to lose one pokemon when it switches in. There are almost no counters to it except Gougeist-Super, Gastrodon, and Pyukumuku. What makes it A- rank imo is its speed stat which is quite high, even with an adamant nature. It allows Kingler to easily outspeed standard Mesprit, Hitmonchan, Eelektross, and Aurorus and basically Ohko the latter three while dealing huge damage to our fav rocker. Also, it is able to sweep slightly -not even heavily-, slightly weakened teams via agility+liquidation nuke. Counterplay includes gurdurr as a check, scarf pyroar and healthy sprit in offense teams, plus aftermath/machpunches. I know a decently prepared team won't let it set up/ will revengekill it, but Kingler can function very well as a breaker and just not click agility. It will always get the kills you want it to get and wallbreak vs balance with SD/just spam if no gastrodon so I think it should be ranked higher than lycanrock and musharna and reach the level of floatzel and drampa.

B to B+
Silvally-F, while not being an awesome pokemon, is a largely reliable pivot, defogger, counter to every fighting pokemon that isnt gunk shot primeape, while boasting a correct/good speed tier. It has enough bulk to last throughout most battles, provides a solid stab, flamethrower for the ever-so-common ferroseed and parting shot support. But what makes it good in the metagame is its access to defog, which paired with all the former traits turns it into a great role compressor for offense teams. Defog is very important here, because how rare are the viable defogger users in PU since altaria is gone. Also, it's arguably one of the best offensive support pokemons imo alongside with skuntank and mesprit, and always does its job well in the current meta. So to conclude, the invaluable combo of defog+fighting-resist typing makes it a legitimate candidate for B+.

B to B-
Throh is quite underwhelming right now and it's pretty hard to justify it over gurdurr or hitmonchan: it actually is a mix of both, with solid mixed defenses and good attack. However it will rarely be successful whatever set it is running, due to a low speed stat and a slot-wasting, unreliable recovery method in the form of resttalk. I think it's best set would be choice band, because how easy it is to stop the circle throw set (and how much support it requires), but again gurdurr is by far a better choice because of eviolite-boosted stats and access to drain punch, in tandem with machpunch to make up for the lowspeed. I can hardly find a good reason to use throh, even typenull can work similarly but is bulkier.

E to C-
I have been thinking and working for a while on this pokemon, so I will be honest in my post, basing it on my experience because nobody actually uses it to its full potential (and I probably didn't either). Whether I like it or not, I have enough arguments to justify its niche in PU, besides it's quite easy to understand them. Shiinotic is probably the best counter to gurdurr and calmmind spiritomb (any spiritomb actually). It also walls Kingler to death which is huge. In addition, it is extremely effective vs trick room teams due to its abysmal speed (check my RMT/think 2 secs and give it 0ivs speed+relaxed) and rain to some extent (spores a rainsetter and cripples the incoming sweepers); access to spore make it a not deadweight pick because it will seriously cripple one of the opposing pokemons, and can then proceed to leech seed/ strength sap. It fits decently in some Bulky Offenses / Balances as a glue for gurdurr, trickroom, lanturn (becareful with icebeam) and notably as a hard counter to gastrodon thanks to gigadrain (choose between giga and leech tho, 4MSS: leech/gigadrain/hidden power fire). Strength sap means you can quickly get all your health back. It also makes a good role compression for partners like Aggron and Type:null, which are slow and will let their counters switchin too many times, notably gurdurr which can't be handled in the long run with stuff like mesprit (trapped) or clefairy/spiritomb psychic. I'm aware of the magmortar issue (vital spirit is problematic), but waiting for its ban makes 50% sense because pyroar and aurorus will still threaten shiinotic. I just want to highlight the humble tools shiinotics can provide to your team and make this post now because I will have forgotten to do it after mag is banned or not.

>RMT (includes proofs of peak/tournament wins): https://www.smogon.com/forums/threa...off-roomtours-peaked2-ladder-w-2loss.3632126/

>One replay where shiinotic shines: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7pu-729120760 (would have almost swept a magmortar team if hitmonchan didn't crit freeze lategame)

Why C- ? I definitely think it is as good as noctowl and servine and more useful than toucannon or vigoroth, that's why I'm suggesting C-. Togetic, Prinplup and Cacturne (D rank) are far from providing a similiar viable role compression : shiinotic can't do many things but does them very well, contrary to these ones.
Why use it over tangela? It's a good knock off absorber contrary to tangela, realiably beats gurdurr, takes on spiritomb, and underspeeds all the Trick room sweepers (with the spread). It is also less "passive" thanks to effect spore which quickly activates after a few contacts and can cripple additional mons.

EDIT: I've got other Shiinotic teams, if it may help you deciding whether it is possible to build with it in practice and what mons would benefit from it ask me!
 
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Anty

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The VR is fine but there are a couple things I want to touch on and idt they would really be much different in a mag-less meta
A+ -> A
Though Jynx has been A+ for a long time I no longer think it deserved its rank for the past month or so but has sort of been left in A+. Firstly, the addition of Spiritomb really hindered it as its a much more reliable stop than Skuntank as shadow sneak cant be stopped by CB and it can get past sub variants easily. The other earlier additions of Aurorus and Snowslash also annoyed Jynx as it competes with Aurorus as an ice type breaker and scarf sets can pivot in on ice beam and OHKO with edge, whereas snowslash resists Jynx's dual STAB. Z-LK set is also not as threatening as it was due to scarf togedemaru/swanna being popular, while priority users like Gurdurr and Lycanroc continue to be popular. Usage is by no means an indication of viability, but there is a big reason why Jynx usage is way down.

A- -> B+
Another Pokemon which has fallen from its peak but sorta just got forgotten about. Wallbreakers with immediate power have been extremely popular lately yet Drampa usage is at a low as it cant compete with the rest of the crowd effectively. Firstly Aurorus arriving has certainly given it competition, as before Drampa was extremely effective at being a mon you don't have to especcially predict with, just click buttons and kill stuff - which is what Aurorus does, but only better. Clefairy's usage is very high and when paired with a solid Normal-check Drampa isnt in the easiest position to just click and kill whereas Aurorus's Blizzard is much more effective at that. Magmortar's rise has made Carbink much more popular, and if you drop focus blast for surf then Audino/Type: Null can more effectively pivot in on Drampa, while AV Hitmonchan usage is still high and with Spiritomb here locking into hyper voice can be a risk as if dramap gets Pursuited it will often no longer serve much use due to its subpar speed.

B+ -> A-
The loss of Palossand has helped Lycanroc a lot, especcially considering it was pretty underrated beforehand. Though Lycanroc still has two solid counters in Gurdurr and Gastrodon, what makes it a really nice cleaner/breaker is its ability to pair with many different mons to effectively lure checks, such as Stoutland which can comfortably put Gurdurr into boosted Stormshards range or Pyroar which can chip at chan and potentially lure Gastrodon (just have good fighting resists). Additionally SS does 53-63% to Gurdurr and 60-70% to Gastrodon, the former isnt especcially difficult to weaken down (spikes support is amazing with lycan) though you just have to be wary of getting in mach range, and though the latter is often healthier, it is pretty passive. Mach Punch does provide a significant threat from chan/gurdurr, meaning Lycanroc has to be careful about setting up to remain high health (otherwise it can often find easy opportunities on mons like sensu, mesprit, choice locked stout etc), however it is great at forcing mons like Magmortar out, and even the threat of a z-move on certain checks can cause them to switch out to get an SD up. I also cant stress how amazing spikes are since you can even put scarf ape/toge in accel range (esp if you run LO which is a good option) since they both switch in during games a lot. Lastly Lycanroc provides vital midgame support by revenge killing top threats like Archeops, Magmortar, Pyroar, Swanna, Sensu, and more. Heres a game where I set up on a sack, and sweeping after I weakened Gurdurr (pressumably my opp assumed gurdurr could RK it)
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7pususpecttest-733088197
Ive said this before, but its tour MU is notably better than on the ladder as less people run hitmonchan and in general its not a well prepp'd for mon (take my exhb game vs Kushalos for example, had I played a bit better and chipped regi more or got the protect prediction right I woulda swept mid game)
 
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C+ > B- (potentially higher)

Might seem like a strange nomination, but I think the Substitute + Toxic set has some serious meta potential at the moment. Being a Water-type that literally sets up on Ferroseed and straight forces it out is really cool as even though others like Kingler and Floatzel can, they're scared of moves like Thunder Wave and don't enjoy Leech Seed at all. I find the ability to also abuse traditional Water resists like Lanturn and Gastrodon to also be a big selling point, as Poliwrath is capable of setting up Sub or Toxicing them when they come in, then stalling them out to a point where they're either KOed or severely weakened. Also having a decent match up against a load of powerful wallbreakers like Aurorus, Kingler, and Pyroar (to an extent) makes it a rather potent Pokemon and actually gives it a defined niche on a lot of balance teams as a way of checking said Pokemon. Overall an actual solid Pokemon in the current meta and trends have definitely favoured it!

I also agree with all of Anty's points, and I remember him talking about Lycanroc with me and the lads a few days ago. Palossand leaving was pretty huge for it as that's one less hard counter for it to attempt to deal with; leaving only Hitmonchan, Gurdurr, Gastrodon, and less common Pokemon like Mudsdale. As Anty also mentioned, Hitmonchan sees less tour play and Gastrodon definitely is not a common sight in both the tour scene and on the ladder.
 
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cradily.gif
tangela.gif
Cradily C+ --> C
Tangela C --> C+


I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner, but Cradily and Tangela really need to swap places on the Viability Rankings. Cradily has really had no true niche for itself this generation, and I think this is because of strange dual-typing and general inability to fit on bulkier playstyles. Honestly, the only time I've seen Cradily used was Anty vs. Kushalos during Exhibition which, although it was during the Passimian metagame, failed to do much of anything except sit there and die. In contrast, Tangela has really proven itself lately, despite the soaring usage of Magmortar and Aurorus. Regenerator and an absurdly high physical defense makes it a great physical tank that can annoy the opponent with its array of support options such as Leech Seed and Knock Off, and unlike Cradily, works well in tandem with other specially defensive Pokemon such as Audino or Carbink to form a solid defensive backbone for archetypes such as Stall. It's even done well during the PU Budget Tournament and had almost single-handedly pulled back Game 2 of my series against ProtoLugia by being able to repeatedly switch into Kingler and chip Weezing and Oricorio-Sensu. For these reasons, I believe Cradily and Tangela should swap places.
 

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