Project USUM UU Research Week v2 (This week's picks: Echoed Voice Primarina, Electrium-Z Magneton, Mega Sceptile))

USMRW9 Daiyaga

Gonna try at the very least Sceptile-Mega, might try the others too.

I need to make a small erratum about SD Necrozma though, 'cause I overlooked one big thing about it and no one will notice it if I just edit my post.

When I talked about this set, I said that there was no reason whatsoever to use it over an offensive Calm Mind set except for the surprise factor. I thought there was no Match-up where SD Necro would outclass CM Necro. Turns out I was wrong, as there is one MU where SD is the better set : the stall MU. The reason for that is, that SD Necrozma is a physical set-up breaker that can break Quagsire because Photon Geyser bypasses Unaware. Coupled with the surprise factor that I mentioned earlier (most people expect Necrozma to be special and will switch Blissey in), and you can easily get a boost (or two if you decide to SD and it switches out) and break through Quagsire and Alomomola.
All of this is something CM Necrozma can't do at all. Even the bulky Calm Mind set that I shared struggles against stall because this set can be phazed while it's sleeping, or Quagsire can just keep Hazing your boosts away.
The only 'mon that can pose a problem breaking through is Gligar, but the flying scorpion actually can't do enough damage to force Necrozma out, meaning you can get to +6 and OHKO it without any problems (except maybe getting pursuit trapped by Aerodactyl-Mega after you killed Gligar)
+1 252+ SpA Necrozma Photon Geyser vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Blissey: 204-241 (28.5 - 33.7%)
+2 252+ Atk Necrozma Photon Geyser vs. 40 HP / 252+ Def Alomomola: 261-307 (54.2 - 63.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
+2 252+ Atk Necrozma Photon Geyser vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Quagsire: 250-295 (63.4 - 74.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
+2 252+ Atk Necrozma Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Filter Aggron-Mega: 268-316 (77.9 - 91.8%)
+2 252+ Atk Necrozma Photon Geyser vs. 252 HP / 156+ Def Eviolite Gligar: 159-187 (47.6 - 55.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
0 Atk Gligar Earthquake vs. 112 HP / 0 Def Necrozma: 84-100 (23.1 - 27.5%) -- 69.2% chance to 4HKO
 
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159888


One Punch Magneton, that's how i felt using Z Thunder set. When we talk bout Magneton, there're two sets that comes in mind : the regular scarfed and this one. Based on its poor SPAtk, the scarf often lack damages to score kills you want it to do. That's where the Z Thunder(bolt) shine the most, scoring kills where the scarf can't. First of, i've used this team to test (it was an old tournament build hence why it can be a bit weak to ladd but it worked fine) :

GuessWho'sBack (Aerodactyl-Mega) @ Aerodactylite
Ability: Unnerve
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake
- Roost
- Ice Fang

BackAgain (Hippowdon) @ Leftovers
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 80 Def / 176 SpD
Impish Nature
- Earthquake
- Slack Off
- Stealth Rock
- Whirlwind

Klefki'sBack (Klefki) @ Leftovers
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 HP / 48 Def / 200 SpD / 8 Spe
Careful Nature
- Magnet Rise
- Play Rough
- Spikes
- Thunder Wave

TellYourFriend (Tentacruel) @ Black Sludge
Ability: Liquid Ooze
EVs: 252 HP / 112 Def / 144 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Rapid Spin
- Toxic Spikes
- Haze

FIREDOWNMYLASER (Kyurem) @ Choice Specs
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Ice Beam
- Draco Meteor
- Focus Blast
- Earth Power

BaNsCiZoR :Teuteu: (Magneton) @ Electrium Z
Ability: Magnet Pull
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunder
- Substitute
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Flash Cannon

Alright so, most teams built with Magneton are, on purpose, a bit weak to Scizor as you're supposed to force it out, trap and kill it. In this team, Magneton was helping to take down any steel type that could block Kyurem from causing havoc in the team (Empoleon / Aggron / Klefki / Scizor....). That's why the Z Thunder was more usefull than a scarfed, i needed something that could obliterate Kyurem's resistance (but also Aerodactly). Was testing Sub as Moute told me it was cool but wanted to add HPIce to lure Gligar, being a regular Magneton block.

Now, why am i calling this Magneton a One Punch Mag set. This set is here only for steel types but got pretty much no other purpose (compared to the scarf). You basicly punch the steel and then wait to die. Your poor bulk and speed doesn't allow you to do anything else but killing slow steel (you can't even threaten things like Cobalion while the scarf can). The only other thing you can threaten with this set are slow bulky water like Primarina / Jellicent. Its poor bulk doesn't even allow you to be a good fly check as most of fly Pokemon run a fire coverage.

From my POV, both sets are as strong as the other one. They just don't have the same role. The scarf is cool thanks to the speed control it offers but the Z Thunder offers a capacity of wallbreaking things like Aggron which is pretty handy.

TLDR :
- Better than the scarf to nuke bulky steel but can only nuke one and then got almost no use
- Too slow to do anything else / Bulk is way too bad
- You can only nuke one steel (and not even Steelix) which is a problem against teams with several steel.


Replays :
Magneton pressuring opponent and forced him to take hits from Kyurem without sending a proper steel answer
Magneton picking up a kill (but what else can it do)



159887

I've been using Sceptile quite oftenly by the past cause i frikking love it but it always had to same pros and convs in the tier.
First thing, i"ve tested the classical AOA special set in this team :

Sceptile-Mega @ Sceptilite
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Leaf Storm
- Dragon Pulse
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Focus Blast

Scizor @ Buginium Z
Ability: Technician
EVs: 156 HP / 252 Atk / 100 Spe
Adamant Nature
- U-turn
- Bullet Punch
- Swords Dance
- Roost

Zeraora @ Life Orb
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 168 Atk / 148 SpA / 192 Spe
Naive Nature
- Plasma Fists
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Grass Knot
- Close Combat

Latias @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Draco Meteor
- Healing Wish
- Defog
- Psychic

Azelf @ Focus Sash
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 200 Atk / 56 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Fire Blast
- Explosion
- Stealth Rock
- Taunt

Primarina @ Metronome
Ability: Liquid Voice
EVs: 160 HP / 252 SpA / 96 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Echoed Voice
- Moonblast
- Psychic
- Scald

Main targets were to cheap down Amoonguss / fairies with the combination of Z Bug Zor and Primarina Metronome (that way i could get this set to work too). After testing a few builds, i've came to the conclusion that Sceptile was better in HO team, bringing an Electric immunity while not being weak Water which is quite cool but also able to pressure things that other Electric immunity can't like Gligar / Hippo.
First pros for Sceptile is his movepool. Drake + Grass + Steel coverage is pretty strong, specially in UU where the Grass resist will usually be Scizor / a dragon or some Grass that can't do much to Sceptile.
2nd pro, Sceptile offers an awesome MU against offensiv teams cause they'll often lack switch-in to it. The combination of Volt-turn and Sceptile does an amazing work (shotout to Rotom-H being an awesome partner), allowing you to abuse its Speed and strong STABs that are Leaf Storm and Dragon Pulse.

Now onto the convs (god there's not much but those are overwhelming compared to his pros...). First thing, even thought Sceptile doesn't have a lot of good counters, those are toptiers in UU : Amoonguss / Altaria / Togekiss / Blissey as the 4 big. Also, in offense you'll likely have some good checks like Empoleon / Tentacruel / Klefki. Having any of those against you makes Sceptile's work almost impossible as it gots no way to lure them properly (talking of the AOA set and the counters, checks can be cheaped pretty easily, specially Tenta and Empo as they won't be able to directly threaten Sceptile unless rare Sludge Bomb and Ice Beam).
Having that in mind, your MU against bulkier teams or just offenses having a fairy to sponge Sceptile is a pain for it to shine bright. As i continued testing it on 3 differents team, i've came to the conclusion that Sceptile relies too much on his mates to work.

2nd set i've tested afterwards was a physical set (i'll only post the set not the entire team) :

Sceptile-Mega @ Sceptilite
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Leaf Blade
- Earthquake
- Iron Tail

Like i said, fairies are a sponge for Sceptile hence why i've wanted to test an SD Iron Tail set. This set relies on luring your counters thanks to the combination of Earthquake and Iron Tail, keeping Leaf Blade as the unique STAB.
1st pro is that it's a cool lure, allowing you to beat down 3 of your 4 most seen counters aka Altaria / Togekiss / Blissey. It also helps luring in a better way some checks like Klefki, Empoleon or Tentacruel.

On the other hand, your lure is based on a 75 precision move, making it unreliable from time to time considering the Pokemon you're supposed to lure threaten you back of an OHKO. You're also losing the amazing pressure AOA set can offer as you've got to setup to be threatening. More importantly, you can't hit Hydrei and Lati properly (unless dropping Iron Tail for Outrage).

TLDR :
- Pretty awesome MU against offenses...
- ... only if they don't have a Togekiss / Amoonguss / Altaria

- Takes the Mega slot but relies too much on its mates to work unlike other Megas

Replays :
Sceptile does a good offensive pressure in late but relies too much on others to shine
Another replay showing it can pressure well some teams


159889


Last but not least, god it was a pain to get replays of you Primarina.
While i love Primarina, this set made me hate it. It was a pain to test, god it was so frustrating. Each match i was like "specs Prim would have done such holes in this team but here i am with this set". On the other side, it was such a joy to shred appart Blissey and Alomomola with Echoed Voice. I've tested the set with the same team as i did with Sceptile.

Primarina @ Metronome
Ability: Liquid Voice
EVs: 160 HP / 252 SpA / 96 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Echoed Voice
- Moonblast
- Psychic
- Scald

Scald on Hpump to get some utility for the team other than just being a fancy chansey breaker.

Alright so, this set is cool ok. It offers a cool MU against stalls and fat builds ok. But it relies too much on MU to shine. Against offenses, you'll likely be a sponge for Dark and Drakes but you won't do much more considering you either lack recovery or pure damages compared to its other sets. Just having a phazer like Empo can destroy this strategy and your Echoed Voice will at best ticckle it.

On the bright side, we got a Pokemon that can lure almost every counters it gots (unless Roar Empoleon), offering a brand new way to play the Pokemon but also openning opportunities that Specs Prima couldn't offer to its mate. On the dark side, i feel like it's just a stallbreaker that fails to offer anything else but being here to break walls while other stallbreakers can offer much more. I mean, yeah you got almost no switch in but hey, you got to use several turns to be threatening. Like, you can compare it to Haxorus, awesome stallbreaking and wallbreaking potential but what else can it do (at least it doesn't take a Z slot like Haxorus does).

As for me, using recovery being Rest and Sleep Talk makes you kind of pretty passiv. While defensiv Primarina got a strong bulk and Leftovers, Metronome Primarina would rely on Moonblast to do damages being asleep (unless being pretty lucky getting Echoed Voice twice). Not only this, it won't have the bulk defensiv Primarina got, making it a pretty passiv non hitting Pokemon.

I feel like this set got its niche and that's something you can't denie but it's too hard to setup against MU that aren't stalls or semi-stalls. I can see the potential it gots against offenses as it requires a strong hitting move to get OHKO but as i experienced it, it never shined much.


TLDR :
- Awesome stallbreaking power
- Too hard to setup against teams that aren't stalls or fat
- Fails to do a good work against offenses as it lacks power and / or recovery.


Replays :
Fancy Chansey gets yelled at
Alomomomomomomomola gets yelled at too
Primarina putting an awesome work at wallbreaking for Scizor to sweep
 
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Played a little with mega-sceptile, but I decided I didn't like it pretty early on so didn't wanna keep wasting my time with it. Did a few games with magneton, but there wasn't really much to test with it so didn't feel like spending ages on it honestly. Only one I honestly liked this week is echoed voice primarina, and I knew coming into this that i'd like that one at least cause i've used it before. Starting with my favourite down to my least favourite.

Going to add replays at a later point when I find some suitable ones. Will add elo closer to end of week once I've had time to ladder up a bit more.


Echoed Voice Primarina


159919

Primarina @ Metronome
Ability: Liquid Voice
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Echoed Voice
- Rest / Psychic
- Sleep Talk / Energy Ball

This one is probably my favourite of the three, though tbh I find it quite hard to use compared to just dedicating another mon on team to stallbreaking and going either fully defensive rest talk or specs, instead of the weird hybrid you have that can't really do either unless against very defensive teams. But against heavily defensive teams it is an insane breaker no-one can deny that. Not really much to say about it though, but summed it up below really.

Pros:
  • Amazing stall-breaking potential.
  • Gets easy kills against teams that play a defensive answer like empoleon/florges expecting specs, since it becomes incredibly hard to swap into once they've made that error.
  • Gets to run rest talk for recovery since it's not choice locked, this will come into cons too though, or some coverage instead if you wish.
Cons:
  • Has to sacrifice bulk for power, yet it's power builds up gradually so kind of stuck with its fairy stab only against heavily offensive teams.
  • Hates being knocked off cause it'll lose power from metronome.
  • Rest talk interrupts it's stacking damage, but it doesn't have the bulk to keep echoed voicing without it, or if you don't run rest talk the lack of bulk and power build up makes it hard to do anything against offensive teams.
Tldr: amazingly strong stallbreaker, but the gradual build up in power makes it very hard to use against offensive teams, and i believe in general you are better off running specs or the defensive set and simply using another stallbreaker in team instead, as it is way too MU dependent, unlike stallbreakers such as taunt hydreigon, crawdaunt, mixed clanger, dd refresh m-alt etc which do well in all matchups irregardless.

Z-Electrium Magneton


159921

Magneton @ Electrium Z
Ability: Magnet Pull
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Hidden Power [Grass]
- Flash Cannon
- Thunder/Thunderbolt/Zap Cannon/Electric Terrain

This was the one i was going in expecting to be the worst, as to me specs just seemed generally more useful. In hindsight, z-electrium has a powerful advantage due to this assumption though, in that everyone else will be assuming it's scarf/specs too.

Pros:
  • Can blag a choice locked set and surprise stuff.
  • Can do a bit more damage to mega aggron than you would with specs.
  • If you are really desperate can run electric terrain as one of moves, with z-electric terrain boosting your speed by 1 allowing you to have scarf and specs boosts (though only on electric moves) at same time briefly as a sweep, but not a good choice imo unless you were being forced to run z-electric magneton.
Cons:
  • Doesn't have the power of specs, and therefore struggles to do it's job when multiple steels are present on same team.
  • Does pathetic damage to mega steelix since it isn't running specs hp fire.
  • Flash cannon is fairly weak compared to the specs set, so can't do anything outside of its standard steel trapping role.
  • Even scarf would be better since it at least allows you to outspeed a bunch of stuff.
Tl;dr - Pulls off the standard steel trapping role of specs, has the same ohkos as it, but can't hit things as hard with its steel stabs. However in return it gets to run hp grass and potentially trick pokemon into thinking its choice locked. Pairs well with dd altaria as always, but I honestly think specs is better because it can actually do stuff outside of its primary role if needs be. Also takes z-move for a set which is honestly questionably better than specs at best, instead of a pokemon which could benefit from it much more, such as a moltres that you also pair with altaria on same team.

The main problem to me however, is that a magneton basically needs specs hp fire now due to m-steelix, and is a waste of a z-move, considering it's uses over specs are quesitonable at best.



Mega-Sceptile


159920

Went in expecting this to be my favourite of the 3 this week, after hearing good things about it recently. Can quite happily say however that I was left utterly disappointed. While on the surface it seems a decent pokemon, with a nice speed tier and good special attack, it is slightly slower still than threats such as mega-aero, and only speed ties with beedrill, and has coverage that means it just can't deal with mega-altaria at all. I think it'll be easier to summarise my thoughts about this one in bullet points, since I have quite a lot honestly.

Pros:
  • Great vs offensive teams who have a hard time outspeeding it and/or switching into it.
  • Powerful stabs when they are resisted.
  • Electric immunity after mega, however a lot of these mons will still be able to hit it with powerful attacks, such as overheat (rotom/manectric) close combat (zeraora), hp ice (manectric) etc.
  • Nice set of coverage moves, although horrible 4mss.
  • Ability to run special/mixed/physical sets, however needs SD boost to actually have any power with physical ones, outside of earthquake as coverage on special sets for mons weak to it.
Cons:
  • Grass/Dragon leaves it 4x weak to ice type moves, eg. ice shard from mamo. In general weak to priority too, since only priority it resists is crawdaunt.
  • Dragon typing just gives it a host of new weaknesses a la ice, dragon, fairy etc. While it does give it 4x resist to water, most of these mons will have some form of coverage in ice/fairy etc, so it's not that helpful unless they are choice locked.
  • Little to no stall or cleric balance counterplay, needs an SD set to break these, but it has horrible 4mss on these sets since really it wants to run leaf blade, earthquake, iron tail, dragon claw, rock slide and drain punch, since earthquake/drain punch is needed for steels, iron tail for fairies, dragon claw for latias, and rock slide for moltres, and no matter which 3 it chooses it's going to be hard walled by a lot of stuff, and it will always be hard walled by scizor on an sd set.
  • Takes up a mega slot, preventing you from using better mega pokemon in the team, and from using items.
Taking up a mega-slot is imo the biggest issue, and if it didn't and could use an item instead it would be so much better, like z-groundium would stand a much better shot at breaking steels on the SD set, or just a life orb for generally more powerful attacks on the all out attacking set.

Tl;Dr - Powerful all out attacker, but just a little too slow against some of the relevant stuff ie. mega-aero. Badly walled by (non-primarina) bulky fairies, and especially by mega-altaria, which can use it as set up fodder. Nice coverage moves, but very big 4MSS. Quite frail, which it can make up for with restoring hp through giga drain, but this means giving up a coverage slot, and it suffers a lot to unresisted priority moves because of it. Takes up a mega-slot, and has no stallbreaking capabilities whatsoever, making it quite hard to build into an balance team, as it is a liability and puts much more pressure on the other offensive members in bulky matchups and a questionable choice over other megas in tier, which each bring defensive/offensive roles outside of merely just firing off powerful hits, with the defensive utility of aggron/steelix/m-alt, the stallbreaking/sweeping potential of m-alt or the general presence that is mega-aerodactyl, with its ability to pursuit trap and its huge moltres resistance, its ability to roost and arguably better offensive coverage, and mega-blastoise which is similar in that it fires off powerful special attacks, but has the utility of rapid spin and the ability to defeat all spinblockers along with it, and has a far better bulky matchup.

Overall, a pokemon which shines in a more offensive matchup that isn't running m-alt, but due to it's 4mss is utterly helpless vs teams with pokemon that can easily sponge its hits. Too matchup dependent and hard to build around for my liking, and nothing about it justifies choosing it over a different mega in tier.

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Echoed voice prim: 2.5/5 -
insanely powerful stallbreaker, but spend most of your games wishing it was specs instead.

Electrium-Z magneton: 1/5 - does it's job i guess, but specs is just better. total waste of a z-move

Mega-sceptile: 1/5 - might be good against hyper offence and hippo/empo core, but useless against any teams that are remotely defensive and takes up a mega-slot, and honestly the other megas are just better.
 
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Twilight

My work asks questions, it never has answers
is a Pre-Contributor
Another fun week as usual and another pretty long post, though I didn't explore nearly as many sets as I did with Meloetta. So I did end up testing all three out and I won't be ranking them in any order this week either. Yes, I am aware that as you scroll through this you will see each time has Mega-Sceptile on it lol. It actually works really well with both Primarina and Magneton I felt it to be rather easy to utilize with both of the other sets. So I played about 35 games this week: 10 with Prima, 12 with Magneton and obvs all of them with Mega-Sceptile. In doing so I tested a total of three sets on Sceptile. I peaked just under 1500 before tilting so I'm gonna stop here lol.

Primarina

<Click Sprites for Importable>

This is the squad I used for Primarina which I partnered with AoA Sceptile. I went 9-1 with this one. Added Rotom-H as a Scizor check and Defog user. Scizor was added as a Lati check and wincon. Krook gives me some speed control and another electric immunity. Finally Empoleon as my SR setter and check to Prima etc. I am using Roar to phaze set-up sweepers out and in case I ran into you guys using this set :]

Primarina @ Metronome
Ability: Liquid Voice
EVs: 40 HP / 252 SpA / 216 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Echoed Voice
- Moonblast
- Sparkling Aria
- Psychic
Okay, just as I thought I found very little merit with the move Echoed Voice. I have used a lot of Metronome Primarina which I'm actually Cash introduced me to and I do love the set, but I just didn't ever find myself wanting to press Echoed Voice. It is so weak and requires multiple turns to ramp up that most of the time it wasn't worth it. If I came across Stall or Semi-Stall (Which I didn't) then sure there is potential to actually pull the purpose of this set off. However, against any normal offense and even some balance teams there is basically no reason to press it over Sparkling or Moonblast. I'd rather Prima just abused the crazy 126 SpA stat it has by firing off its strong stab moves. Giving up Hydro for this was kinda annoying as I missed out on some OHKOs which Sparkling can't pick up, especially when it is unboosted by Specs. The reason I didn't give up Psychic is because hitting and beating Amoonguss is way too important. The only other thing I can see Echoed Voice breaking through is potentially Empoleon, but it puts you on a timer and Toxic stalls it. So, unless you are fine with basically trading the Mon for Empoleon it probably isn't worth doing so. Just like the other sets I've tested such as Adrenaline Latias, I think it's just too situational and in this case 95% of the time you'll never want to use the move lol. For this reason, I have no replays of it working.
Magneton

<Click Sprites for Importable>

Here is my Magneton squad which I went 9-3 with. Again it works really well with Sceptile imo. Used SD Scizor which likes Magneton removing steel types. Scarf Ape for speed control. Empoleon + Gligar as my defensive core to provide rocks + defog support.

Magneton @ Electrium Z
Ability: Magnet Pull
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunder
- Flash Cannon
- Signal Beam
- Substitute
Electrium-Z Magneton was really nice tbh, and I think I prefer it over Specs or Scarf. Purpose of this set was to forgo HP [Fire] as Moutemoute informed me. But, I genuinely don't see much merit in running HP [Grass] when Swampert, Gastrodon and Seismitoad aren't very common right now. This is why I opted for Signal Beam as it actually lets you kill Celebi and hit Latias + Hydreigon slightly harder. While my opponent never went hard into Celebi from the two games I ran into it, I still think it is a very decent option in the third slot. I also used Substitute cos fck Volt Switch, Sub was so nice for making you have more freedom firing off an attack as well as fishing for a Flash Cannon SpD drop. It usually let me get a lot of chip off on something which was really nice for this squad. I also went with a Modest nature as I'd rather just absolutely nuke something than be faster than some stuff. This set was still able to successfully trap Scizor, but thanks to Elec-Z it can remove Aggron which is amazing imo. Unfortunately, you can't touch MegaLix which kind of blows tbh. I also hate being reliant on Thunder once you blow the Z-move, cos you damn well know if I be missing every Hurricane on Moltres this Mon isn't going to be any different. It also can't trap all the steel types it wants to like Cobalion etc without a Scarf. It has very poor defences meaning it also can't eat a hit well in even if it is resisted. There isn't much else to say, it traps steel types it would normally trap like Scizor and Empoleon but Elec-Z lets you remove Aggron.
252+ SpA Magneton Gigavolt Havoc (185 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Aggron-Mega: 261-307 (75.8 - 89.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ SpA Magneton Signal Beam vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Celebi: 340-400 (99.7 - 117.3%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO

252+ SpA Magneton Signal Beam vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Hydreigon: 186-220 (57.2 - 67.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ SpA Magneton Signal Beam vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Latias: 136-160 (45.1 - 53.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7uu-861341014 - Magneton actually put in a decent amount of work this games.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7uu-861361745 - He sacked his Scizor to Mag, but shows how annoying Substitute on it can be.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7uu-862170983 - Eventually traps Scizor. Shows how Sceptile has issues breaking Sylveon.
Mega Sceptile

Sceptile-Mega @ Sceptilite
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature / Hasty Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 31 Atk
- Leaf Storm
- Dragon Pulse
- Giga Drain
- Hidden Power [Fire] / Earthquake
Before I get into the SD Sceptile and the one below I am going to talk about the AoA sets I used in the first two squads. Imo Mega-Sceptile is actually amazing right now when the tier is littered with Primarina and Terrakion. Sceptile abuses the heck out of them and gets so many free turns to fire off its shit. Imo the AoA sets are by far the best out of anything it can run. I used a very standard set with HP [Fire] in the last slot which I think is much more useful than Focus Miss because fck Scizor. Once it was in, you could pretty much fire off Leaf Storm without too much care unless they had things like Moltres or Rotom-H up in which case you just bop them with Dragon Pulse. Its speed tier and ability make it fantastic for dealing with Zeraora and Manectric. I removed so many Manectric for this reason making it much easier to handle especially for the second team. Manectric basically drops to Leaf Storm unless you miss which I had happen twice... Anyways, I also tried Earthquake but it was pretty useless tbh. I think EQ is definitely viable in the last slot, I just never ran into Klefki or Alolan-Muk that often. Overall, I'd say is a lot more situational because you'll obvs run into Scizor maybe every other team unlike the other two I mentioned. It will have a lot of freedom vs offensive teams, but against some Balance and Stall squads it doesn't have the power to muscle through them without an extensive amount of help. As for replays it put in work in the ones provided above, but this one also shows how it takes advantage of teams reliant on Prima as a dragon check.
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7uu-862156956 - Nukes Primarina and forces out Kommo-o early. Using a squad Cash made me a few weeks ago.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7uu-862187685 - Sceptile EQ could have 2OHKO'd Klefki. Magnezone then traps and removes it. We be hitting raw Thunders out here too.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7uu-862242406 - AoA was reall threatening in this game applying a lot of pressure. On my main in a tour but w/e.

(Fairy)
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Basically the team I built for the Team Building Competition except I swapped Pert out for some speed control. I am not sure whether Doublade was on the original either, but I swapped this in as the new Maero + Terrakion answer. Sceptile + Nihi + Moltres is a great core imo so I built off that. Silvally-Fairy is the Defog user and needed Hydra check. I went 4-1 with this squad and stopped as I ran out of time.

Sceptile-Mega @ Sceptilite
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Leaf Blade
- Dragon Claw
- Earthquake
SD Sceptile isn't all that amazing in comparison to AoA, but it is still decent imo. It does suffer from some 4MSS which sucks as it can't hit everything it wants to like Fairies or Scizor. This set also has to be more wary about switching into Scald as it fears the burn. In most cases I just fired off my stabs without setting up as I ran into a lot of offense. I've tested this set out a lot before where it puts in a lot of work against Balance and Stall that don't have Togekiss or Malt. Unlike the AoA set, I'd say this one is very situational and against most offensive squads it won't find the opportunity to SD to look to break or sweep. It's poor defences don't help with this either. Another downside of this set was it being harder to just remove Manectric as you are actually affected by Intimidate meaning you can't just OHKO it from full.

-1 252 Atk Sceptile-Mega Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Manectric-Mega: 156-184 (55.5 - 65.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

I think the set has a lot of potential under the right situations, otherwise you'll usually just wish you were using the AoA set imo. I'll give some examples of calcs which SD Sceptile can pick surprise OHKOs against or deal some big damage too below as I have no replays to prove it:

+2 252 Atk Sceptile-Mega Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Cobalion: 312-368 (96.5 - 113.9%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 Atk Sceptile-Mega Dragon Claw vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Moltres: 255-300 (79.4 - 93.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

+2 252 Atk Sceptile-Mega Dragon Claw vs. 236 HP / 0 Def Rotom-Heat: 220-259 (73.3 - 86.3%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock

+2 252 Atk Sceptile-Mega Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 76 Def Empoleon: 396-468 (106.4 - 125.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 Atk Sceptile-Mega Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 112 Def Tentacruel: 472-556 (129.6 - 152.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7uu-861706596 - Physical Sceptile, didn't have a chance to SD but it had a lot of pressure


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Shoutout to I'm actually Cash for building this team for me because I was too lazy to build anymore squads lmao. Therefore, no thought process behind this one, but Kyurem is actually a threat. Overall was a really solid team from testing. I went 4-1 with this one too. You'll probs be better off using AoA or maybe SD Sceptile on this team as HC wasn't all that good lol.

Sceptile-Mega @ Sceptilite
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Hone Claws
- Leaf Blade
- Iron Tail
- Dragon Claw
Yeah, this set wasn't very useful especially in comparison to SD. I just wanted to try and lure in several fairies in and bop them with Iron Tail without as much risk of missing. Unfortunately, I just didn't run into any Malt or Togekiss on ladder for this set to work. Guess it just boiled down to me being a bit unlucky with the Mons I ran into. This set also had very few opportunities to set-up because it is so weak at +1 when it comes to breaking through walls. Just like SD it suffers from some 4MSS. I think it really isn't worth running over the SD variant even if I am basing this off only 5 games. No replays sadly as this set was hella useless, but yeah that is what RW is for testing stuff out.

TL DR;

- I think Metronome Primarina is very good, but I think Echoed Voice isn't worth it. In most cases I just wished I had Hydro Pump. I think it is way too situational to make work as you'll probably only pull it off against Stall or Semi-Stall.

- I really like this Magneton set with Elec-Z as it helps removes Mega-Aggron which is amazing. Having the ability for more coverage options is pretty nice. It still has issues with trapping faster steel types ofc as it is so slow and has piss poor defences. I personally prefer it over Specs or Scarf.

- I think AoA Sceptile is super good right now especially against offense. Teams are so reliant on Primarina that it can put a lot of work in. Struggles breaking the bulky fairies we have tho. The SD set is pretty situatuional and hard to make work as it struggles to find the chance to set-up. If it does and the team lacks Malt or Togekiss it can hit really hard. Hone Claws was just me not wanting to miss, but the set sucks in comparison to SD lol. The AoA set imo is the best set you can run on this Mon.

Thanks for reading my posts as usual, I had a pretty poor week laddering so sorry for the lack of replays for all of these sets. I just wasn't invested enough to want to keep spamming ladder for example till I ran into some really fat team for Primarina to work and for Sceptile to find a good oppurtunity to SD and actually put in work rather than killing one Mon and dying. See you guys next week as usual ^_^
 
it's already thursday wtf
Didn't play much this week, but I don't think playing more will change my opinion on this week's selection so might as well post now. Did 49 games total, but I might play a bit more just to reach a somewhat higher ELO and get actual replays (sitting at 1446 with 74.2% GXE). Anyway let's get started.
Sceptile-Mega
Didn't expect too much from it, and it turned out to be an okay mon. Not great by any means, but it did what it was supposed to do, aka hit fast and hard. I'd say Sceptile is a decent anti-offense mon thanks to its combination of speed and power, but its inability to do anything against bulkier teams really set it back and make it not that great of a pick in the current metagame. Sceptile simply struggles breaking defensive cores atm, notably the oh-so common mega Steel-type + Wish passer (Steelix-M + Florges being the one I encountered the most). Altaria-Mega gaining traction recently doesn't help it either, as AoA Sceptile is setup fodder for this fucking fluffy beast. There's also other common roadblocks roaming around in the tier, namely Amoonguss, Klefki, AloMuk (not as common as it used to, I'll admit), Cobalion (if you don't use Focus Blast), Scizor (if you don't use HP Fire), AV Bisharp, Aerodactyl-Mega (doesn't hard switch, but forces it out and can Pursuit trap it), Beedrill-Mega (same as Aerodactyl, except it's a speed tie)

But when these roadblocks are out ? Boy is this thing a pain to handle. 145 base speed alongside either a neutrality or resistance to most priorities make it pretty hard to revenge kill, especially considering one of the most common scarfers, Krookodile, is utterly helpless against Sceptile-M (Knock Off and Stone Edge only deal around 50%, which is completely offset by Giga Drain). combined with a extremely strong Leaf Storm, switching into it for offensively-inclined teams can be a real pain, and most of the time it can easily claim several important kills, if not outright clean on its own. It also really appreciates people spamming Primarina, 'cause even if Sceptile can't hard switch on it, it can scare it out and take advantage of some people relying on Primarina as their main dragon-type counterplay. Also Lightning Rod is a pretty cool ability even with a double resistance to Electric, as it prevents Manectric and Rotom from pivoting around, and getting that +1 SpA boost can sometimes help breaking teams
Sadly, Leaf Storm isn't too spammable because of the SpA drop resulting in huge momentum losses, which means I spent most of my games clicking either Giga Drain or Dragon Pulse, and their lower power is really noticeable (Dragon Pulse doesn't even 2HKO Amoonguss after rocks smh).
Didn't want to risk the roll on Manectric, but this is one of the instances where Sceptile basically won on team preview, as it could get free switches on Hippowdon and wasn't forced out by anything bar a potentiel scarf Latias
Same concept, Sceptile basically cleaned alone once Crobat and Houndoom-Mega got chipped

Echoed Voice Primarina
160231
I didn't like it in any way. The problem was not Primarina itself, that thing is still broken as hell. I simply hated how this set relied on facing very fat teams to put in work, and even against fat teams it didn't manage to shine. First time I got introduced to this set it was shown as some ultimate stall countermeasure, but whenever I used it it hasn't won a single 1v1 against the pink blob, and even if Primarina did win the 1v1 then it would be at 2% health so what's even the point. Yeah, having an offensive Primarina that can switch moves is cool and all, but I legit stopped clicking Echoed voice because getting it to a point where it actually deals damage is goddamn impossible against anything remotely offensive. Honestly Metronome Primarina isn't too bad, but I simply fail to see the times when Echoed Voice is any useful. Maybe I somehow didn't use that set correctly, idk.

Electrium Z Magneton
It did Magneton things, and that's about it. Honestly, Specs is probably an overall better set, as the opportunity cost of running the Z on Magneton and not on anything else is way too big, especially considering you have to play Magneton in the first place (Did I mention I hate Magneton ?). It does a slightly better job at trapping Aggron-Mega (Volt Switch + Z-Thunder kills Aggron 100% of the time, and since you're not locked you can run Magnet Rise to wall it non-Fire Punch variants all day. Didn't give it a try though, it litteraly popped up while writing this) and not letting Klefki set several Spikes up before going down. But the thing is, against multiple Steel-types (let's say, your opponent has a Klefki and a Scizor) you have to choose which one you want to trap and quickly remove, and which one you want to either risk dying to (in this case Scizor)/ let it do its job (Klefki). Also not having to run HP Fire is nice to catch stuff like Gligar off-guard with HP Ice, but not running HP Fire means you're not getting past Steelix-Mega any day.
Only replay I saved where Magneton did something the Specs couldn't, aka removing Klefki in one turn and getting some chip on AloMuk before going down, letting EQ Altaria clean up afterwards
tl;dr
- Metronome on Primarina is a cool item, but Echoed Voice is a bad move. It can probably do some things against fatter teams, but it never did anything when I used it.
- Sceptile-mega is okay as an anti-offense mon, but it struggles a lot against bulkier teams.
- Z-Elec Magneton is basically Specs Magneton with a bigger opportunity cost.
Best way to describe this week's selection would be "MU-reliant" tbh.
 
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