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Metagame ZeroUsed Metagame Discussion

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In response to Calucha, Stoutland doesn’t invalidate stall at all, since stall is a playstyle that can fit counters to Stoutland pretty easily. Its very unusual for choiced “wallbreakers” like Stoutland to be a serious problem for stall. Generally set up pokemon, taunt pokemon, frail but truly uncounterable pokemon, and hazard setters that beat their removers give stall the most trouble. Pokemon like Stoutland excel at beating balance that can’t wall the breaker by abusing the passivity of some members of the team to rain assured destruction. I like to think of "wallbreakers" as pokemon that break your team for having a wall or two, rather than a pokemon that will break all walls that try to stand in its way.

Stoutland "wallbreaks" exceptionally well, using pokemon like Muk, Mareanie, Roselia, Lurantis, Dusclops, Beheeyem, Bouffalant, and really almost anything slower than it to pose a serious threat. Critically, Stoutland does this while still being at least decent against offensive mons due its bulk. This along with its decent speed sets it apart from other similar attackers like Toucannon and Marowak. Stoutland + pivoting moves + hazards = trouble for slow teams that aren't full stall. Against fast teams, it eats a hit and ohkos back with return. Everything faster than stoutland is ohked by return bar Silvally, fast bulky Rotom, fast bulky Misdreavus, and Slaking. Sometimes Alolan Dugtrio lives one. Of those, really only Silvally is that significant, since the others struggle to do much to Stoutland or are Slaking.

Is it a good idea to have a bulky pokemon sitting halfway between fast and slow ohko everything faster than it with one move with no drawbacks? Return's spammability is unparalleled, and superpower handles most answers to it while still ohkoing most fast pokemon.

In practice Stoutland hasn't felt too oppressive on ZU's short ladder, but I think given time it will be. The low opportunity cost of Stoutland combined with its strength against certain teams will eventually make it push out or at least cripple whole playstyles. Sure, you can just use offense, but if Stoutland makes the tier just offense, that's a problem.

I think Stoutland is very unhealthy for ZU's metagame. I don't know what "broken" means exactly, but Stoutland hurts being slow way too much for my taste. It's also a really boring pokemon to have as one of ZU's best. At least Rotom-F has more than one set and clicks more than one move.


All this doesn't touch on sand (sand rush Stout is basically a different Pokémon), which I haven't explored much but seems very strong. Shifting toward offense may work well when dealing with scrappy stoutland, but sand rush destroys fast teams. I'd like to hear someone's opinion on sand rush who has played it a decent amount. I could see sand teams being problematic, but the teams I have faced haven't been.
 
What are everyone's experience with other Normal-types? Theoretically, SubSD Bouffalant, Chatot, and Vigoroth thrive much better in an environment where trends that adapt to Stoutland run rampant. They capitalize heavily on preparations to Stoutland, with checks such as Tangela, Mawile, and Probopass being exploited by the three to varying degrees.

The reason I ask is because it's no denying that such trends are dominant right now. Anti-ban people have stated how oversaturation isn't a reason to ban something, but the point about bringing up other Normal-types is to show how Stoutland's presence is forcing additional steps in order to keep all threats of a single typing in check. This hinders defensive Pokemon and playstyles in a way that can't be brushed off so easily. The same also applies to special attackers, where Pokemon like Lurantis, Oricorio-Baile, NP Mime, and Simipour, abuse anti-Stoutland trends in similar ways.

If banning Stoutland to free up slots for more defensive teams to check threats isn't a valid reason, then what are alternate solutions? I'm interested in especially the no-ban's stance since "There's always threats that teams can't prep for" seems to be commonly brought up. If it can be argued that a particular threat is exacerbating the oversaturation issues, then why shouldn't the pro-ban side consider this a reason to remove said threat?
 
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I hate long posts so I'm gonna be kinda brief and just throw out my thoughts on why I'm anti-ban (for now at least)

What negative impact has Stoutland had on team building? Not even kidding. A normal check was already borderline a necessity due to mons like Chatot, Bouff and to a lesser extent Vig. Now that Stoutland is here sure you may have to use a different normal check than before but it still doesn't require the huge strain that many imply. Golem, Mawile, Crustle, and Carbink (Trick Room) were already on the majority of teams and all switch in reliably.

Also, Stout doesn't get a ton of opportunities to switch in and click moves without getting worn down or revenged due to only hitting 259 Spe.

People have also made the argument that it makes it hard to build fat teams but really fat teams have already been somewhat subpar compared to bulky offense, in my opinion. I haven't personally seen how they have gotten much worse than they already were.

Another random thought. Every time I put Stoutland on a team I end up changing it for something with more utility (resists, momentum, set up opportunities) because it actually competes with other breakers and normal types that can make winning a game a little easier thanks to the multiple roles they fill.

Sorry if I'm all over the place
 
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5gen

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It's that time


Over the course of the suspect, I've kept quiet and tested Stoutland a considerable amount. By doing so, I wanted to genuinely see whether Stoutland was broken or not. Long story short, I do not feel that Stoutland is a broken Pokemon.

Stoutland is without a doubt a fantastic wallbreaker with its Choice Band set and a great offensive Pokemon with its Sand Rush set, but both of these sets have inherent downsides that can hold Stoutland back. More unorthodox sets such as Work Up+Z-move are considered when talking about Stoutland, but are clearly a notch below CB or Sand Rush.

I know it's weird to think that Choice Band - the predominant set that defines Stoutland as an S-rank - has its downsides and makes Stoutland a manageable threat, but I will argue that it is true. Choice Band Stoutland has to deal with the influx of Normal-resists in the tier. As Froasty pointed out, Stoutland can nail most of its checks with coverage. However, that is a double-edged sword in this meta where a CB Return can be stomached (subsequently forcing Stoutland out), and forcing Stoutland to lock itself into a coverage move (which makes it considerably less difficult to pivot around). Hence, Choice Band Stoutland is a prediction reliant Pokemon a lot of the time, even with Scrappy+Base 110 Attack. Conversely, Stoutland always carries the threat of nailing a switch-in via prediction and can chip down its check with its STABs. However, it is extremely important to note that the increased usage of Protect on Normal resists makes it easy to scout out Stoutland, and that Normal resists are most often paired with Pokemon that can switch into Stoutland's coverage options.

Much like Rotom-Frost, NP Mime, LO Electivire, Specs Beheeyem, Specs Chatot, etc...Stoutland is a Pokemon whose defensive counterplay is typically dependent on pivoting and making the right calls. We should not look at Stoutland in a vacuum and discuss how it breaks certain teams or Pokemon in the right circumstances. From my testing and from what I've seen, Stoutland does not have an easy time getting itself into an ideal situation. A large degree of Stoutland's capabilities are often attributed to how many Pokemon can pair well with it and help remove its checks. For example, Probopass to trap Mawile, Roselia to counter Tangela, Oricorio-Baille to check Fighting-types and bust through Steel-types and Tangela, Rotom-Frost to bust through Tangela, Golem, and bring Stoutland in safely off of Volt Switch, etc. Personally, what this says to me as a builder and a player is that Stoutland is to a certain degree dependent on its teammates to be successful; it is completely manageable as a standalone Pokemon. Hence, I am not convinced that Stoutland is a broken Pokemon who removes skillful play, nor is it consistent enough to plow through things on its own.

Moreover, another argument that is commonly made from the pro-ban side is how Stoutland's checks are worse in this meta than the last time it was around. While this is arguable due to Abomasnow, Kecleon, Rapidash, Pinsir, and Probopass' impact on the viability of Tangela, Mawile, Carbink, and other Stoutland checks, I believe the metagame can still adequately prepare for Stoutland defensively. For example, Golem and Bronzor are two top tier Pokemon who already give Stoutland trouble. Moreover, although those aforementioned offensive threats do pressure many of Stoutland's checks, the metagame has reached a kind of equilibrium in my opinion. What I mean is, Abomansow, Kecleon, Rapidash, Pinsir, Probopass, and whoever else threatens Stoutland's checks have their own counterplay that keeps them in check. It is not as though these Pokemon completely invalidate Tangela, Mawile, Carbink, Golem, Bronzor, Metang, etc. On the contrary, these Pokemon more or less can effectively play their niche in the meta whilst acting as a check to Stoutland (admittedly Stoutland can be a big part of the niche). Lastly, I want to touch on Probopass trapping. Truth be told, Probopass is underwhelming as a trapper. It doesn't guaranteed beat Bronzor or EQ Metang (can run extra creep or bulk for Probo), and it has poor defensive synergy alongside Stoutland. Consistently beating non-Shed Shell Mawile is fantastic though.

I'd also like to note that I've tested stall thoroughly in this metagame and I have found that it is possible to check the influx of threats. Stall is not a great playstyle, but for people to think that Stoutland broke the camel's back so to speak, just is not true.


An issue I have with arguments about Stoutland is the emphasis on defensive counterplay, so I will talk about Stoutland outside of that vacuum. Stoutland is a unique Pokemon in ZU in the sense that it has good natural bulk for an offensive Pokemon. The downside though is its middling Speed tier. Strictly discussing CB Scrappy, Stoutland is not a Pokemon who can usually outpace a foe and revenge kill it. That isn't its job. CB Scrappy Stoutland is a wallbreaker and is not difficult to outpace, which results in many situations where Stoutland is forced to switch out against an offensive Pokemon or make a trade by eating a hit and firing back. Moreover, Stoutland does not have many opportunities where it would want to switch in, because it will be chipped down. The primary use of its bulk is used when it is already on the field, facing a foe. Hence, CB Scrappy Stoutland is a wallbreaker who can be difficult to straight up OHKO, but it can definitely be forced out or at least heavily weakened for the rest of a game. All in all, Stoutland definitely has its fair share of offensive checks due its 259 (or 284) Speed tier.

But what about Sand Rush? Sand Rush can definitely invalidate most forms of revenge killing and clean through offensive teams. Moreover, Stoutland is not nearly as prediction reliant with a Life Orb. This set plays as a late-game cleaner and revenge killer whenever sand is up, but the effectiveness of sand in the current meta is really what holds this set back. Hippopotas is not a great Pokemon in this metagame, and it struggles to keep up weather in a metagame where Abomasnow is prevalent. Also, if Hippopotas faints, then Stoutland becomes that much worse. Moreover, LO Sand Rush Stoutland has an additional counter in Gourgeist-Large, is noticeably weaker than its Choice Band counterpart, and is easier to wear down due to Life Orb recoil. Priority from Monferno, Shiftry, Fake Out Kecleon, and even Golem can help chip down Stoutland. Furthermore, Stoutland usually has to be preserved for the late-game and cannot be brought out very easily due to that. Although LO Sand Rush gives Stoutland a better matchup against offensive archtypes and counterplay, it is still a fairly limiting set due to the viability of sand, LO recoil, and introduces more defensive counterplay.

This is not to say that Sand Rush Stoutland is a bad set, as it is still a good set in this meta. What I do believe though is that it does tip Stoutland into being broken in tandem with CB Scrappy.

The last notable set I will talk about here is Work Up+Z-move. The appeal of these kinds of sets is that Stoutland can lure in its checks such as Tangela, Mawile, or Bronzor for example, proceed to setup, and then blast them with a Z-move coverage option like Fire Fang. In practice, these sets are not that effective. For one, you trade Stoutland's immediate wallbreaking power for setup, which just makes the whole process of breaking longer. Secondly, Stoutland doesn't have many opportunities to even setup because of its Speed tier and defensive typing. Work Up Z-move sets can work, but they are definitely one of the more niche sets for Stoutland.


What are everyone's experience with other Normal-types? Theoretically, SubSD Bouffalant, Chatot, and Vigoroth thrive much better in an environment where trends that adapt to Stoutland run rampant. They capitalize heavily on preparations to Stoutland, with checks such as Tangela, Mawile, and Probopass being exploited by the three to varying degrees.

The reason I ask is because it's no denying that such trends are dominant right now. Anti-ban people have stated how oversaturation isn't a reason to ban something, but the point about bringing up other Normal-types is to show how Stoutland's presence is forcing additional steps in order to keep all threats of a single typing in check. This hinders defensive Pokemon and playstyles in a way that can't be brushed off so easily. The same also applies to special attackers, where Pokemon like Lurantis, Oricorio-Baile, NP Mime, and Simipour, abuse anti-Stoutland trends in similar ways.

If banning Stoutland to free up slots for more defensive teams to check threats isn't a valid reason, then what are alternate solutions? I'm interested in especially the no-ban's stance since "There's always threats that teams can't prep for" seems to be commonly brought up. If it can be argued that a particular threat is exacerbating the oversaturation issues, then why shouldn't the pro-ban side consider this a reason to remove said threat?
Tangela is not a Normal resist; It's a physically defensive Pokemon that can wall Stoutland in most scenarios. It isn't a surprise that Tangela fails to adequately check Bouffalant, Viggy, or Chatot, and a team with Tangela should not use it purely as a Normal check. Just wanted to get that out of the way. With Mawile and Probo, like you said those Pokemon exploit them to varying degrees. Mawile can usually beat Vigoroth, Probopass can usually beat Chatot, and Bouffalant thrives in this meta and can beat all three of Probo, Tangela, and Mawile. Aside from those Pokemon, what I've seen from Normal-types is much of the same as before. Bronzor was such a prevalent Pokemon, Golem is as good as ever, and Pokemon like Gourgeist-L and Dusclops have a notable niche, so I believe the additional of Stoutland has actually opened up some doors for these Pokemon. Hence, aside from Mawile, I do not feel as though Stoutland's presence is forcing additional measures to check Normal-types.

Again, from what I've tested with fatter playstyles, I don't believe Stoutland places an unbearable strain in tandem with other Normal-types. This is because much of the same counterplay to Normal-types exists now as it did before. I just think that players will have to adapt in the builder and that the meta has enough measures in place to deal with these threats. The whole metagame dynamic can be inspected on this point that Stoutland's presence allow for certain Pokemon to capitalize off of trends, but that could be said about any recent drop, arguably to a lesser degree than Stoutland. For example, when Abomasnow dropped, Bronzor became much better. When Kecleon dropped, Silvally-Fighting became better. The list can go on. The major difference in this case is that Pokemon whom abuse anti-Stoutland trends arguably help Stoutland itself, since its checks are being taken advantage. Conversely, those same Pokemon can apply pressure to Stoutland (to a lesser extent), so it isn't like Stoutland benefits left and right from metagame trends.

Personally I view alternate solutions as metagame development. Stoutland has only been here for ~three weeks and the metagame has turned out to be balanced imo. I'm not of the opinion that "There's always threats that teams can't prep for" as a reason to not ban Stoutland, because that's really flawed logic and is an excuse for not covering a threat adequately. Over-saturation of threats is also not a reason to ban something imo because that's sort of a cop out. If something is individually broken, then it has a reason to be banned. In this case, Stoutland is not individually broken imo.

Stoutland's effect on the viability of the Pokemon around it:
Stoutland also has a couple of other very unfortunate effects on the meta. Most notably is that, because Stoutland puts so much strain on the ability to check it in particular as a normal type, it enables other Normal type Pokemon with different counterplay to become more viable than they otherwise should be. Examples of this are Bouffalant, Chatot and Vigoroth, who each take advantage of Stoutland's presence to overcome common things that Stoutland forces into the metagame for free wins. A Tangela, for example, is often a liability against Vigoroth or Bouffalant. A Monferno can't do enough damage to a Chatot with its Mach Punch and is often an opportunity for a free KO or momentum for Chatot. All three of these Pokemon especially appreciate that Stoutland's presence removes Ghost type Pokemon as perceived valid answers for dealing with Normal type Pokemon and punishes players utilizing them.
Responded to this for jklioe, but I'll mention it again. Due to the diverse and varying movesets of the tier's Normal-types, it is almost impossible to have a single Normal resist to check all Pokemon. Of course, Scrappy Stoutland slims down that list, but Ghost-types lost to Taunt Toxic Vigoroth. Knock Off Kecleon, and could be screwed over by Encore Chatot. I'm not denying that Stoutland exacerbates the problem, but even before there was no catch all Normal resist.

It's also unfortunate that a lot of Stoutland's defensive checks or counters are actually beaten with fair ease by offensive partners such as Lurantis, Rotom-Frost or specially offensive Silvally forms such as Silvally-Water. Lurantis uses most of them for setup fodder and Rotom-Frost or Silvally-Water just tear most of them apart with their offensive coverage, STAB or not. Lurantis in particular is a notable effect Stoutland has had on the meta, since some of Lurantis's answers such as Muk and Roselia do not appreciate Stoutland's inclusion in the metagame as a commonplace threat while Pokemon that Stoutland encourages such as Golem and Probopass are generally mere fodder for Lurantis.
I agree that these Pokemon put pressure on Stoutland's checks and counters. However, Stoutland's checks and counters have teammates as well that can mitigate their weaknesses. This argument goes hand in hand with metagame development, and as I've said before in this post, I feel as though the metagame can and has adapted to all these threats. On a larger note, the point of teambuilding and exploring our options is to push this meta forward. What makes teambuilding so fun for me in this meta in particular is the ability to craft teams that has counterplay to Stoutland+Lurantis or Frostom or Silvally-Water, and so on.

Conclusion:
Overall, it seems to me that while Stoutland alone isn't necessarily broken the metagame just can't be reasonably expected to adapt to its influence. The lack of unconditional switch ins to Stoutland and form the defensive meta is forced to take with the switch ins available are highly exploitable factors for the offensive threats in the metagame to take advantage of because of Stoutland's threat toward their usual checks and counters, and most of Stoutland's few reliable offensive checks suffer from other pieces of the metagame or just can't break a common partner to Stoutland. Stoutland can also just be used on Sand teams to overcome these offensive checks in return for greater vulnerability to its defensive checks. Stoutland just does not seem to be an element that can be reasonably expected to integrate into our metagame in a healthy manner, so I will be voting to ban the old dog.
I disagree with the sentiment that the metagame cannot adapt to Stoutland's influence. It is a highly effective wallbreaker, but it has key flaws such as a middling Speed tier, lack of switch-in opportunities, reliance on teammates, and reliance on prediction hold it back from being broken imo. The form the defensive meta has taken is not overbearing in relation to Stoutland and its partners. The previous meta had its fair share of Normal-resists, Lurantis checks, Frostom counterplay, Silvally counterplay, etc. I also find it hard to believe that there are few reliable offensive checks to Stoutland seeing as how most offensive threats faster than 259 Speed can force it out or dent it. And in the case of Sand Rush, that set has its own counterplay via pivoting, priority, and taking care of sand. Furthermore, Stoutland and its partners typically have poor defensive synergy, so I don't see how breaking a common partner to Stoutland can be hard. Contrary to popular opinion, I'm actually really enjoying this metagame as I feel that Stoutland has opened up both room for creativity and also forced teams to once again pack their Return switch-ins.
 

5gen

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A few things I need to correct here:
"Over-saturation of threats is also not a reason to ban something imo because that's sort of a cop out."
This is actually listed on the Tiering Policy Framework as a situation in which bans may be applied, not a matter of opinion. We have also actively applied this philosophy before in the situation of the Throh + Passimian metagame, which had the same type but drastically different answers. The Stoutland + Multiple other Normal types metagme suffers from this even worse than that metagame did, and this issue is a result of the inclusion of Stoutland to the metagame.
What I found in tiering policy that applies to your argument about saturation of threats is section IV.) Unhealthy, which states that "elements that are neither uncompetitive nor broken yet are deemed undesirable for the metagame such that they inhibit "skillful play" to a large extent". It also states that using this as ground to ban an element should be a "last-ditch, subjective catch-all, and tiering arguments should focus on uncompetitive or broken first". As I've argued, I do not see Stoutland as a broken Pokemon who is too good relative to the rest of the metagame, nor do I think that it is uncompetitive and inhibits skillful play. This is because Normal resists are plentiful in the tier, scouting Stoutland is not overly difficult, and Stoutland itself is prediction reliant. Yes, it can nail its defensive checks with coverage moves, but that is somewhat mitigated through the use of Protect to scout and utilizing Pokemon such as Tangela, Mawile, Metang, Bronzor, Carbink, etc, that can take a coverage move. Realistically though, those checks will have a harder time taking CB Return, but it isn't like Stoutland does not get chipped down either. Furthermore, I believe that the metagame can in fact adapt to the number of offensive threats available, but I'll address that more deeply in your other point.

I looked through discussions and ban reasoning from the Throh and Passimian, and they were deemed uncompetitive and broken. They weren't banned because of an over-saturation of threats. I apologize if I'm missing the point or something, because it's kind of unclear whether the claim is that Stoutland is also uncompetitive and broken, or if it's only the metric of "unhealthy". Even the ban reasonings from back then don't cite "unhealthy", rather they use "broken" and "uncompetitive" as basis for argument. http://zutier.boards.net/post/60/thread. Lastly, dealing with threats in this meta is more manageable than in Throh+Passimian meta, because those Pokemon had comparatively less counterplay than the current Normal-types in the tier. Even with Stoutland around, Chatot, Bouffalant, Vigoroth, Silvally-Normal, etc are still manageable because it's possible to utilize a Normal-type resist and pack Pokemon who can pressure them offensively or at least tank coverage.

" Of course, Scrappy Stoutland slims down that list, but Ghost-types lost to Taunt Toxic Vigoroth. Knock Off Kecleon, and could be screwed over by Encore Chatot."
This implies that any of the listed Pokemon did not suffer from flaws significantly more crippling than Stoutland's that kept them from being an issue. The closest thing we had to Stoutland's features was Choice Band Bouffalant, which due to its own flaws of recoil and poor speed was unable to muster the same level of bulk as Stoutland as well as having to deal with additional immunities. Taunt+Toxic Vigoroth is a set with its own crippling flaws in the form of knock off, poison damage (which Stoutland actively benefits from) and opposing breakers, and its answers are significantly different from Stoutland's. Chatot suffers from cripplingly poor bulk. Kecleon suffers from a speed tier that leaves it slower than nearly the entire metagame and poor physical bulk, and is also not a true normal type because of Protean.
I realize the Pokemon I mentioned have inherent flaws. I wasn't trying to imply that their flaws are less than Stoutland's, the point I was making was more so that Pokemon such as Bouffalant, Vigoroth, and Chatot also benefited in the last meta from the lack of Ghost-types. I'm not denying that Stoutland makes Ghost-types even worse now as potential answers to Normal-types, just that the previous meta also wasn't too kind to Ghosts.

"I disagree with the sentiment that the metagame cannot adapt to Stoutland's influence."
This line grossly misrepresents what you are quoting. The specific wording was that I believe that the metagame cannot reasonably be expected to adapt to Stoutland in a healthy manner. Considering the over-saturation of threats we're dealing with, healthy adaptation has not taken place thus far.
Perhaps my own wording didn't fully get my point across. I do believe that the meta can reasonably be expected to adapt to Stoutland in a healthy manner, even with the high saturation of threats we're dealing with. For example, teams can run a Pokemon to check Stoutland such as Golem, Bronzor, or Mawile, and then pack secondary checks to the tier's other Normal-types. For the record, I've made a stall team that could effectively deal with Stoutland, Viggy, Chatot, Bouffalant, etc. It's possible to play around all of these threats, so I disagree with the belief that healthy adaptation has not taken place thus far. Pokemon such as Golem, Bronzor, Mawile, and Tangela have risen to check Stoutland, and we've still got options to check the other Normal-types in the tier via other Pokemon like Silvally-Fighting, Dusclops, Granbull, and Machoke (those are just some examples).

"What I mean is, Abomansow, Kecleon, Rapidash, Pinsir, Probopass, and whoever else threatens Stoutland's checks have their own counterplay that keeps them in check. "
Can a player reasonably be expected to be able to stand up to each core that Stoutland can form? Can a player beat Stoutland+Lurantis, Stoutland+Vigoroth, Stoutland+Mareanie, Stoutland+Rotom-Frost, Stoutland+Rapidash, Stoutland+Probopass, and many other combinations that can be made all in one team or are they destined to lose to a particular Stoutland combination no matter what if they don't play full offense? I have not found the fulfillment of this expectation to be the case.
Yes. It is possible to expect a player to be able to all those Stoutland "cores". Take this with a grain of salt because I'm not claiming that one can beat all of these combinations all of the time, rather that it's possible for a player to comfortably prep for these scenarios. For example, most of these cores lack defensive utility and force a player to accommodate stacked weaknesses (i.e Fighting-type weakness, inability to repeatedly take hits, lack of Speed or revenge killing, or just being weak to certain offensive threats).

"This set plays as a late-game cleaner and revenge killer whenever sand is up, but the effectiveness of sand in the current meta is really what holds this set back"
On the contrary, during my laddering after which I achieved reqs I saw sand teams repeatedly, and they were highly effective. None of them used Life Orb either, instead preferring to use Choice Band and leave the move switching to SD Sandslash.
Sand is not a style which is consistently good by virtue of Abomasnow being in the tier and Hippopotas being a relatively niche Pokemon that doesn't serve as much defensively utility by going Smooth Rock>Eviolite. Obviously it can be highly effective at times, but I haven't found it to be a dominating playstyle that pushes Stoutland over the edge.

"Truth be told, Probopass is underwhelming as a trapper."
I used it on almost every single team I used to get reqs, and it was almost always highly effective, particularly when Stoutland learns Pursuit to guarantee the finish on Metang (which actually does not OHKO Probopass in return and therefore loses 1v1) and full SpD Bronzor. Probopass's best use was actually trapping other Probopass to allow Stoutland to freely abuse its STAB. Probopass created many situations for me where I only had to predict right once in order to remove my opponent's ability to stop my Stoutland from getting free KOs.
"It doesn't guaranteed beat Bronzor or EQ Metang (can run extra creep or bulk for Probo), and it has poor defensive synergy alongside Stoutland. Consistently beating non-Shed Shell Mawile is fantastic though." I admit I forgot to mention that it can trap opposing Probopass. There's no denying that trapping a Steel-type opens up the door for Stoutland to spam its STAB. However, it's more complicated than only having to predict correct once because the opposing Probopass can also win Speed tie and KO with Earth Power, the Metang can be faster than Probo, 2HKO it, and then force Stoutland to play a 50/50 with Pursuit, and Probo has to play around Psywave rolls vs Bronzor. Probopass also faces many issues in this meta, so although it can be a good trapper, I don't think it helps make Stoutland unmanageable.

"It is a highly effective wallbreaker, but it has key flaws such as a middling Speed tier, lack of switch-in opportunities, reliance on teammates, and reliance on prediction hold it back from being broken imo. "
Most of these applied to Ursaring, but the momentum based shape of the metagame and available speed control options made Ursaring quickban worthy. Stoutland too takes advantage of the momentum based shape of the metagame and has speed control options (despite not needing it nearly as much). Stoutland is faster and bulkier than Ursaring in return for the preference for good prediction (which for most of its 'checks' it only has to predict right once against). In this case, the ease with which a player can abuse Stoutland with momentum options in combination with Stoutland's support options creates many times where a player can win while being less skilled simply by making the right play once in a game.
I understand the comparison to Ursaring, but they play relatively differently. Stoutland does not match the same level of power as Ursaring or freedom to switch up moves, so I don't think it's fair to place them in the same boat.

Your point about momentum and how Stoutland can be brought in is a great point to make. I concede that it's true, but Stoutland still has to make the right calls when attacking. In other words, it can either keep up that momentum or make a wrong prediction and halt that momentum. Yes, I understand that even a mispredict can result in Stoutland chipping away at something. Also for the record, this logic works for most wallbreakers; it's just that Stoutland is a premier wallbreaker atm. For these reasons, I don't believe that Stoutland takes away skill and should be banned.
 

Xayah

KA-KOOO!
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With 7 votes having been submitted, the result can no longer be changed. With a 70% majority, Stoutland is now banned from ZU.
Tagging The Immortal and Kris to implement and to ban it from OM Snake finals. Thanks for laddering and voting everyone! To see precisely who voted what, see the hide tag below. It will be updated as the last few votes come in.
Froasty: Ban
Union Caboche: Ban
love chants: Ban
Absolute Infinity: Ban
Jmash324: Ban
RawMelon: No vote
LordST: No vote
Amphareixon: Ban
LightPinkYoshi: Ban
Calucha: Do Not Ban

Have fun in a now dogless meta!
 
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I'm going to explain my vote on Stoutland, I wanted to vote Abstain first but that wasn't really possible (it was the same de facto than a vote No Ban), so I finally voted Ban. I dont think Stoutland was broken in itself. The problem of the small number of switch ins has been very exaggerated, common core such as Mareanie+Golem were in practise totally able to deal with Stoutland if the opponent didnt do perfect double switchs every turn. In the same way, the increase of normal spam during the Stoutland suspected was true only for Vigoroth, Chatot was more powerful only thanks to the Probopass presence and Bouffalant has always been a monster, it was just underplayed during months and its usage in SSNL made it hyped. It was legitimately less powerful during the Stoutland suspect thanks to the important number of normal resists runned by teams (Tangela isn't a normal resist). At the contrary, Stoutland had a healthy presence on some aspects in decreasing the viability of boring threats which were generally not taken into account in the teambuilding such as Purugly, Bibarel, Pawniard or Ninjask. The bulk and the reasonnable speed of Stoutland allowed to check decently these threats in bringing in the same way teams far more prepared to physical threats. In this perspective, the presence of Stoutland was a good thing. I want to point also that Stoutland wasn't really in itself an anti-meta mon (even if it's true it was more powerful now than few months ago). Sure, it abused toxic spikes with Facade but it suffered also a lot for the lose of staying power. Mons which were unable to revenge kill it could do it after toxic spikes damages.

To summarise, I dont think Stoutland was broken in itself, it had also a positif impact on the meta and it wasn't anti-meta either. So, why did i vote ban ? Simply because some cores with Stoutland were broken, unhealthy, uncompetitive. Stoutland + Frosttom, Stoutland + Vigoroth, Stoutland + Lurantis, Stoutland + Probopass were very difficult to handle for whatever team not called offense/stall. Some people will argue that it's just the necessary support which makes a S rank Pokémon good but there is an important difference to notice here. Frosttom, Vigoroth, Lurantis and Probopass have all a little unhealthy presence in the meta. Frosttom was already suspected in the past and wasn't banned by one vote, a lot of criticisms have been adressed to vigorth since it's in ZU (and it was banned in ORAS PU), Lurantis is a monster which if it becomes stronger in the futur will deserve a suspect and the trapping ability of Probopass is uncompetitive. All these mons aren't arguably banworthy at the moment, but if you add one of them with Stoutland it does a toxic milkshake which exploses in the face. Balance teams were impossible to build without being 6-0 by one of this core or being unviable against the rest of the meta.

ZU has the particuliarity to dont have a strong stall playstyle due to the lack of a good unaware mon. It stays a correct playstyle (i used that the last battles of the suspect) but not as viable as in other tiers to be spammed. So the last option in the optic to keep Stoutland was definitely a meta 100% offense. I personnally dont like this perspective in itself but I can understand people support that. However, i think the restriction of a no balance playstyle meta was too important to ignore this in my vote. ZU has also the particularity to have strong special teams anti-offense such as Weather, Screen, Webs, TR already powerful without offense being the only playstyle viable. If Stoutland was still ZU, it would make finally the battles far more match-ups biased than nowadays. That wasn't an healthy perspective for the ZU meta and would have maken it less competitive than it actually is. That's why I voted Ban Stoutland.

But lets be honnest, the result of the suspect wont have normally a big impact, Stoutland will very probably rise in PU in October. It was an annomaly that it was ZU this month.
 

Xayah

KA-KOOO!
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
Usage Based Tier Updates have been released (They're right this time)! The ZU Meta is still getting flipped on its head!

Lurantis 3.601%
Ninetales 3.718% (RU)
Rotom-Frost 4.318%
Altaria 3.161%
Floatzel 3.002%
Gourgeist-Super 2.389%
Komala 2.647%
Pyukumuku 3.215%
Swanna 3.392%
Zangoose 3.275%

Kabutops 7.228%
Ludicolo 4.696%
Stoutland 3.707%
Type: Null 3.439%
Confirming all of these. Also...


The council is voting on Zangoose! This monster just dropped and is incredibly strong. With Toxic Boost sets breaking apart our entire meta and Belly Drum + Quick Attack sets running through teams with ease, we're not wasting time with letting this obviously broken threat sit around. If it does get banned, we have the option of retesting in the future, but with Fall Seasonal going on, the council decided to immediately spring into action.

Each of the council members will submit a vote and the results will be announced as soon as they are known. A simple majority (50%+1) is required to ban Zangoose. See below for a list of current council members:

That's about it for what I have to announce, so for some quick, rushed stray personal thoughts:
  • Oh my god Frosttom left. This is the thing I've been hoping for the entire time.
  • Seems PU also realized Stout was busted down here. Thanks for the help guys, little late though.
  • Gourgeist-Super is gonna do what Large did but better. Cool
  • Floatzel is actually my favourite of the drops. A fast Water-type breaker after Frosttom left? Cool, very cool
  • SCRATCH THAT WE'VE GOT SLEEPY BOI. I love Komala so much. From wallbreaking sets with U-turn for some momentum and Sucker Punch for priority to fat sets with WishTect+Rapid Spin, this mon is gonna be really cool and I'm glad PU FINALLY let it drop.
  • Pyukumuku is here so stall is good again.
  • Swanna... can PU stop letting it's A-ranks drop? This could be very scary with no more Elec mon at the top of the tier.
  • Lurantis left... poor thing. It'd been rising here the entire time, people (including myself) really realizing its full potential, and then PU takes it. That's rude to poor plant boi.
  • Ninetales left. This is unfortunate as it was actually a very nice anti-meta breaker, but we can live without it.
All in all, stall got better and no more Frosttom. Curious to see where this goes.
 
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Usage Based Tier Updates have been released (They're right this time)! The ZU Meta is still getting flipped on its head!

Lurantis 3.601%
Ninetales 3.718% (RU)
Rotom-Frost 4.318%
Altaria 3.161%
Floatzel 3.002%
Gourgeist-Super 2.389%
Komala 2.647%
Pyukumuku 3.215%
Swanna 3.392%
Zangoose 3.275%

Kabutops 7.228%
Ludicolo 4.696%
Stoutland 3.707%
Type: Null 3.439%
These changes look like Icevally is finally gonna get to C- maybe. Ninetails and Frostom leaving and Altaria and Supergeist dropping are really gonna help. Come on guys you know it deserves it lol.
Other than that holy cow this really changes the meta, and aside from pyuku needing to die now, these are all pretty interesting and I'm excited to see where the meta goes.
 

Xayah

KA-KOOO!
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
With almost all of our council members voting, the result can no longer be changed. With a fully unanimous 100% majority, Zangoose is now banned from ZU. Tagging The Immortal and Kris to implement this. For individual votes, see below (though they aren't exactly interesting):
Diagnostic: Ban
Xayah: Ban
5gen: Ban
Aaronboyer: Ban
DurzaOffTopic: Ban
Froasty: Ban
jklioe: Ban
LightPinkYoshi: Ban

Thank you for playing and I hope you enjoy this new, now much healthier metagame!
 
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I guess I'll be the first to discuss the rises and drops in-depth from these recent shifts

Rises

Lurantis- This mon leaving just as stall has become good again is quite unfortunate. It was the best defogger in the tier aside from certain Silvally-formes. It was also a solid check to threats such as Golem, Leafeon, and most importantly, Vigoroth due to Contrary Superpower However, I will say this mon has become increasingly annoying to prep for, requiring a dedicated check such as Oricorio-Baile, Roselia, Silvally-Poison, etc to deal with it. Overall losing this pokemon is unfortunate though.


Ninetales- Didn't expect to lose Ninetales but I don't follow the RU metagame in the slightest. Ninetales was always an underappreciated and underestimated pokemon while it was in ZU, as it was quite threatening due to its access to both Calm Mind and Nasty Plot and its pretty high speed tier. Another pokemon that is unfortunate to miss, though I don't think losing it is as impactful as the other two pokemon we lost.


Rotom-Frost- Oh boy. I think most of knew of the possibility for Frost Rotom to rise to PU after its usage began to rise last month, beating out Floatzel in usage. However, I don't think many expected it to be this soon. Frost Rotom has always been a controversial pokemon in the tier due to its dual STAB combination, solid bulk, and utility and while I never personally thought it was too overbearing, I'd be lying if I wasnt interested in seeing what pokemon can get their chance to shine both offensively and defensively without the fridge around.

Drops


Altaria- Altaria is going to be an extremely solid pokemon for Balance and other defensive playstyles. Its solid typing, mixed bulk, and access to reliable recovery allows it to check threats such as Silvally-Fighting, Monferno, and Combusken. It provides solid utility with moves like Defog, allowing it to become one of the best hazard removers in the tier. Its ability Natural Cure greatly increases its longevity and allows it to absorb toxic for teammates such as Pyukumuku on Stall (Lickilicky, Pyukumuku, Altaria, Bronzor is gonna be a really good stall core in this meta.). Defensive Dragon Dance also seems like an interesting option to experiment with.

Floatzel- This pokemon is absolutely fantastic. It has good mixed offensive stats, an insane speed tier (outspeeding scarf abomasnow single-handedly makes rain good again), and a solid movepool make this pokemon incredibly hard to deal with. It has few switch-ins and many possible switch-ins such as Pyukumuku and Mareanie can be crippled with Taunt or Switcheroo sets. Definitely the best offensive pokemon we have gotten in this shift (bar Zangoose), and arguably the best pokemon of the shifts period.

Gourgeist-Super- Essentially a better gourgeist. I expect to see this being a solid option on Balance teams and maybe even stall. This isnt a game-changing drop but a welcome one regardless

Komala- Komala is a pretty solid wallbreaker due its high attack stat backed by a good amount of coverage options such as Earthquake, Knock Off, U-Turn, Sucker Punch, Close Combat and more. Its ability Comatose is pretty solid, preventing it from being statused. It can provide decent utility such as the rare Rapid Spin and Wish, though the latter is somewhat questionable due to mediocre defensive stats. Aside from the wallbreaking Choice Band set, I suspect Assault Vest will be a solid option, even if it does compete with Kecleon to an extent.

Pyukumuku- Lickilicky's partner in crime is finally back and ready to roll. Along with Altaria, Pyukumuku is gonna make Stall an A tier strat again.

Swanna- Swanna is an incredibly potent offensive threat with the nearly unresisted water flying STAB combination backed by good special attack and speed stats. Its typing also allows it to serve as a servicable Monferno check on offensive playstyles. Swanna also provides good utility as being an offensive defogger, one of the few in the tier. Frost Rotom's exit from the meta is also benefital for this mon.
 
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Ampha

A king is a king for his people
is a Tiering Contributor
ok so giving my opinion on shifts with winners and losers:
Note:they may or not be accurate since this is day 1 of new meta
754.png

Winners:
I'd say water/rock types get a "win" from lurantis getting out,many things arent gonna need to worry about switching into Leaf storms or supower

losers:
Oricorio baile,Poison vally,Roselia and some others get less chance to be used due to lurantis leaving

038.png

Not that huge tbh but:

Winners:
Grass types in general get better with one more fire out,fire competition is also smaller

losers:
Nine's checks lose a bit of viability,although they will continue being used due to other fires

479f.png

well this one is the most important:
Winners:
Well to start out,a huge part of the meta likes frost's departure,as it could either VS / Blizzard / Trick them,bar some exceptions the meta will probably appreciate frost out,Electrode Zebs and electivire love its departure too
Losers:
SEAKING,Grumpig,frost specific checks,etc
Seaking main use was normally as a frostom counter,and with frost getting out seaking will have a huge drop in viability probably


334.png

Wins:
Stall,Balance teams are gonna appreciate a dragon type defogger with recovery,Alt was good in the past and probably will be this time as well

Losers:
Offense gets kinda cucked by Alt,it's typing does check some common offense mons and i'd say they hate alt being back,apart of that Grass types hate her as well bar Abomasnow i'd say

711.png

Winners: Basically what wins with Large gourgeist
Losers: Basically the same losers as Large Gourgeist


771.png

<3 <3 <3 <3
STALL,Bulkier balance teams,Pyu is just a stall staple a while ago and it will continue being,Bulkier balance teams also will probably like having a check to multiple setup sweepers

Losers:
Basically every setup sweeper loses with Pyu back,Unaware is incredible


419.png

winners:
Offense is likely gonna appreciate a new water type which can setup on Mareanie and with a great speed tier,it is probably gonna succeed
losers: Cant imagine one rn,but would say other offensive waters due to competition

581.png

Winners:
Offense will likely use swanna a Water type deffoger instead of water vally,it was good before and will likely be now as well
Losers:Water vally gets to compete with Swanna for a slot now,grass types also dont appreciate getting into spammable Hurricanes/B bird


Couldnt save img but
(Komala)
wins: ghosts since they will likely check komala,principally gourgeist,balance will probably like wish tect spinner as well
loses:i'd say normals ironically,bc there is now one more spot on competition
 
Its cool how much the drops have changed the meta. Komala + Floatzel have redefined offense, one with speed and flexibility, the other with crazy wall-breaking and an ability that shuts down status. Pyukumuku has of course completely changed the viability of stall and almost-stall teams. As the meta goes forward I could see more and more shift towards offensive pokemon with taunt to shut down Pyuku. Altaria and Gourgeist-Super add more great bulky options, with altaria in particular acting as a great check to old powerhouses like Monferno and Rapidash. Haven't seen much of Swanna, but it just seems strong and fast enough with enough utility and a great typing that I imagine it will be good in some capacity. Z-hurricane and scarf seem like good options. Even specs or band could be neat.


With the metagame shifting so much because of the new drops/rises, I thought I'd leave a team that I found success with in the past meta. It's a balance team with a solid defensive core and flexible offensive tools. The team used Gourgeist-Large and Corsola to handle most physical attackers while relying on Kecleon or Silvally-Poison to check special attackers. The team then applied pressure back with status and rocks and Protean boosted attacks before finally breaking teams with Orciorio and Raichu. Band Raichu gives the team strong priority and a strong fast attack to check offensive pokemon that get out of hand. The team also has some luring potential with surf Silvally and banded Raichu, which can make games easier. It still has some weaknesses to stuff like Pawniard and sub toxic Bouffalant, but overall I found it worked very well in the t-spikes/lurantis meta. Also won me round one of ssnl, so its at least not completely terrible.

gourgeist.png
corsola.png
raichu.png
Oricorio.png
silvally 2.png
kecleon.png


Gourgeist-Large @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Frisk
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Will-O-Wisp
- Foul Play
- Synthesis
- Leech Seed

Corsola @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Stealth Rock
- Toxic
- Scald
- Recover

Raichu @ Choice Band
Ability: Static
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Volt Tackle
- Extreme Speed
- Knock Off
- Brick Break

Oricorio @ Flyinium Z
Ability: Dancer
EVs: 12 Def / 244 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Calm Mind
- Hurricane
- Revelation Dance
- Roost

Silvally-Poison @ Poison Memory
Ability: RKS System
EVs: 252 HP / 60 Def / 196 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Defog
- Parting Shot
- Surf
- Toxic

Kecleon @ Assault Vest
Ability: Protean
EVs: 240 HP / 220 Atk / 48 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Knock Off
- Drain Punch
- Thunder Punch
- Sucker Punch
 
ZU Player Interviews #1: RawMelon

Welcome to ZU Player Interviews, where I, DurzaOffTopic (also known as pitches), will interview key players in the ZeroUsed community. Keep contributing to the community or make a splash in the tournament scene and maybe you could see yourself being interviewed!



Most Known For: Winning ZU Summer Seasonal

Favorite Pokémon: Salamence
What is the origin of your name?
When I was younger, around 14 or so, I thought the idea of having a two word name would be cool. Raw was a cool first name and I like melons so it just meshed to me. Now I prefer to go by raw though most call me melon.

We'd love to hear some background information about your interest into Pokemon. What brought you to Pokemon Showdown and competitive Pokemon in general?
I first got into competitive Pokemon in 2007 after the release of Pokemon Pearl in 2006. I joined the pokemon forums on Gamespot.com and learned all about EV training. I then found out about marriland.com which introduced me to shoddy battle and then Pokemon online. Eventually I heard of Smogon and started coming here exclusively. It was on Smogon that I discovered Showdown.

What have attracted you into ZU?
I am a huge fan of ORAS PU and played it avidly last gen. ZU happens to have a ton of ORAS mons and cores that I enjoyed and has the same allure of playing the bottom tier and using the lesser used mons.

What is your favorite playstyle? What generation do you like the most?
My favorite playstyle is bulky offense leaning more towards the offensive side than the bulky side.
My favorite generation is ORAS before baton pass got banned.

Are there any elements of the metagame that you deem unhealthy?
Ok so maybe people know this about me by now but I'm a huge proponent of adapting to a threat unless it's blatantly broken. So as I currently see it, nothing is too unhealthy for the tier. Obviously things have changed a ton with the introduction of Floatzel, Komala, Altaria and Pyukumuku mostly but I see no evidence currently of any of them being too overbearing.

What is your the most memorable game of ZU?
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7zu-806765130
This game was pretty horrible for me. I got bopped by skysolo14 in OM Snake draft. He (or she) actually gave me both of my losses in that tour, one of which cost us the Finals.

What do you value the most from your ZU Seasonal run?
What I value the most is just learning to adapt to the other player's style and using it to your advantage. That's what I really like about bo3, you pick up on minute mind games that really end up making the difference in the set. Also, I learned to stick to what works for you but at the same time don't be afraid to bring something creative.

You also performed well in Other Metagames Snake Draft. Any takeaways from the tour and anything you’d like to say regarding OMSD?
I kinda already answered a part of this prematurely but I'll restate it. First takeaway from the tour is that you have to be willing to take a backseat sometimes and just support the team in other ways. I didn't start the first few games and was asked to build and test. I honestly wasn't looking forward to doing that but in the end you gotta do what's best for the team. It was also tough building for someone else because my teams are always weird and have flaws that I know how to play around based on my playstyle. I wish I would have played better against skysolo14 and the game against HJAD was closer than it should have been as well. I really just need to slow down and think more when I play high level players.

What are your advice for new players getting into ZU?
Don't be afraid to ask for help with your team. However, also listen to the advice of more seasoned players. Once you learn the tier then you can begin to do your own thing but in the meantime I suggest using viable mons to get a feel for what works. Once you know the meta you can literally use just about any Mon and make it work to some extent.

Please share a set that you think is the most underrated and a set that is the most overrated in ZU.

- Underrated:
Crustle @ Leftovers
Ability: Sturdy
EVs: 248 HP / 212 Def / 48 Spe
Impish Nature
- Stone Edge
- Knock Off
- Stealth Rock
- Spikes
This set is so good guys. Its a solid defensive tank that gets up hazards on the 2 most common removers currently, Komala and Altaria. At the same time it checks most physical threats including the scary CB Komala and Evire. Use this until the meta catches up and people start using Silvally Water again.

- Overrated:
Probopass @ Groundium Z
Ability: Magnet Pull
EVs: 172 HP / 252 SpA / 84 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Stealth Rock
- Earth Power
- Volt Switch
- Smack Down
Not a fan of the mon or the set.

Would you provide us with a team and add a brief description of it?

https://pokepast.es/0ee07f400c5deb46
This team is pretty ugly on paper but it got me 2 wins in ssnl and Arifeen picked up a win with it. Also I don't really optimize my EVs that well. I just creep certain mons and call it a day.
I wanted to build a solid team that could handle most of the current threats seen on teams while at the same time keeping up offensive pressure. The original idea was to utilize Taunt Toxic Vig to basically 6-0 stall which has been gaining popularity. The rest of the team is about checking the meta and covering all my bases. SpDef Vig forms a nice core with Gourg XL which is also just a really solid mon right now. Silvally-poison gives me a form of hazards control and a tspikes absorber. I like the idea of it having bulk so I max out HP and speed (which probably isn't optimal). Raichu has somewhat underperformed but if ain't broke don't fix it. Nasty Plot puts a ton of pressure on balance and fat teams and can clean up late game against offense teams lacking speed control. Crustle is a beast that checks most physical attackers while also putting a lot of pressure on the opposing team to remove hazards. This forms a nice core with Gourg which spinblocks while Floatzel and Vig can Taunt opposing defoggers. Last mon is Floatzel which serves as my cleaner. I love Taunt in this meta and Taunt Float has always been my favorite set back in the ORAS PU days. This along with Raichu forms a nice offensive core.

Finally, who are some of your favorite people in the ZU Community?
LightPinkYoshi, Love Chants, Quagsgone, Aaronboyer, Diagnostic, Xayahh, Czim, Tack, 5gen, A fruitshop owner.
I hope I didn't miss anyone, if I you think I did I apologize and please correct me.

Thank you for your time and dedication to the community RawMelon, and congratulations on your tournament success!

More interviews will be coming soon!
 
My ZU friends congratulations. I knew this day was coming and im so proud to be apart of this experience. I know I haven’t shown myself to be active member of the ZU Community but hey being permanent means i can play daily and not worry about next month. Keep up the good work and I’m proud of you guys
 
I have time today so lets talk a bit about the meta. I'm very happy for the permanant ladder by the way, congratulations everyone !



Floatzel, Abomasnow, Electivire, Pinsir and Komola. Have a team which answers them all is a difficult job. Actually, it is maybe just not possible. Each of them have specific counters (which doesnt always synergy well between them), are all very versatile, able to run different sets which bypass their classic answers or offer a decent amount of support to your team. If we thought at the beginning the meta would be very defensive with altaria and pyuku in zu, we have underrated the strength of these guys able to take advantage of passive and slow builds. They are actually the face of ZU.

Indeed, stall is a playstyle which is good at the moment but people successed to adapt very quickly to that thanks to the number of taunt users, wallbreakers and set up sweepers able to pass pyukumuku we have in ZU. On the other side, success to cover all the scaring offensive mons is very difficult, the main reason is that our bulky mons cannot get rid of them. If i take Floatzel for example, Mareanie and Pyuku are on paper able to wall it, if it runs taunt however that's not really the case. Abomasnow has maybe more switch-ins (bronzor, muk, grumpig,...) but only bronzor is really used actually. Komola 6-0 alone bulky builds. I think i dont need to talk about Electivire and Pinsir, you know how threaten they are, they dont have a single guaranted switch-in.

That's why it's so difficult to play against them and so easy to run one or few of this monsters in your team. You're sure than as long as they are alive, your opponent should play carefully to preserve the good Pokémon. Sometimes, there aren't just switch-ins and it's often a rape in this case. The opponent has to predict their coming on the board but also predict the set and the move you will click into. Actually, you dont have any reason to dont play them. They aren't broken by any means but very very strong. I think all these mons are A+ worthy at the moment. They are staple mons which influence how we build teams and how we play. They are the best Pokémon in ZU now.


Servine, little Lurantis, enjoys a lot the meta. The first thing to notice is it's a bulky mon which isn't passive, it tanks several hits of dangerous attacker (Floatzel, Electivire scarf) in being able to kill them in return. Our grass snake is also strong because it takes advantage of bulky builds with its main set Leaf storm/Hp ice/Taunt/synthesis. Classic bulky core such as Altaria + Bronzor for example are get down, and thanks to its high speed, not a lot of slower mon can win the 1v1, the opponent has to rely on faster powerful mon to kill it. Contrary is also a way to discourage clicking defog which is pretty useful with the ton of defogers we have now.


I like a lot playing defensive Crustle recently. It's a decent switch in to some Electivire version and as well to Komala. Talking about that, Komala Wish+Rapid Spin is a good partener to get rid of hazards in healing our little crab. It's also a mon which prevents altaria to switch in and anyway SR + Spikes, even if it's a bit less good than before, stay a good way to pressure the opponent's team, no matter what it plays. Z-move SS Crustle is also probably better now that Frosttom is gone, note that a pyuku a bit weaken falls against Z-Stone edge + stone edge.


Toucannon is quite strong due to its ability to get rid of easily of Gourgeist-Super which is often the only physical sponge of the opponent. That with Bullet Seed makes it a very good pick against stall and in general against slow bulky builds. I think it has been a bit underrated recently, very solid mon even if the presence of komola sucks.

Enjoy the tier ~
 
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Xayah

KA-KOOO!
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
I have time today so lets talk a bit about the meta. I'm very happy for the permanant ladder by the way, congratulations everyone !



Floatzel, Abomasnow, Electivire, Pinsir and Komola. Have a team which answers them all is a difficult job. Actually, it is maybe just not possible. Each of them have specific counters (which doesnt always synergy well between them), are all very versatile, able to run different sets which bypass their classic answers or offer a decent amount of support to your team. If we thought at the beginning the meta would be very defensive with altaria and pyuku in zu, we have underrated the strength of these guys able to take advantage of passive and slow builds. They are actually the face of ZU.

Indeed, stall is a playstyle which is good at the moment but people successed to adapt very quickly to that thanks to the number of taunt users, wallbreakers and set up sweepers able to pass pyukumuku we have in ZU. On the other side, success to cover all the scaring offensive mons is very difficult, the main reason is that our bulky mons cannot get rid of them. If i take Floatzel for example, Mareanie and Pyuku are on paper able to wall it, if it runs taunt however that's not really the case. Abomasnow has maybe more switch-ins (bronzor, muk, grumpig,...) but only bronzor is really used actually. Komola 6-0 alone bulky builds. I think i dont need to talk about Electivire and Pinsir, you know how threaten they are, they dont have a single guaranted switch-in.

That's why it's so difficult to play against them and so easy to run one or few of this monsters in your team. You're sure than as long as they are alive, your opponent should play carefully to preserve the good Pokémon. Sometimes, there aren't just switch-ins and it's often a rape in this case. The opponent has to predict their coming on the board but also predict the set and the move you will click into. Actually, you dont have any reason to dont play them. They aren't broken by any means but very very strong. I think all these mons are A+ worthy at the moment. They are staple mons which influence how we build teams and how we play. They are the best Pokémon in ZU now.
Yo, nice post! I'd like to respond to this portion since I don't fully agree with it and would like to have some discussion with it.
Now, without a doubt, Floatzel, Abomasnow, Electivire, Pinsir, and Komala are the top 5 Pokemon in the tier. I agree with that portion. However, I believe you are overstating just how hard these things are to switch into, so I'll go over them one by one.


Floatzel is the best Pokemon in the tier, absolutely. A fast wallbreaker capable of threatening every playstyle from HO to Stall with at least one set is awesome! However, it often really depends on its set to do so. Sure, Taunt + Toxic or Sub + Toxic (or Taunt + BU or similar) is gonna just run through stall, but that set does not do nearly as well against offense because Water + Ice or Water + Fighting coverage is by no means amazing and is likely gonna give on or two free turns to the opposing team (for example, Ice Punch is gonna give free turns to Abomasnow while Low Kick/Brick Break does the same for things like Leafeon and Swanna) and offensive teams don't care nearly as much about Toxic. Also, Floatzel has a horrible time if Webs are up.
Now, you may be saying 'well yeah, but it can pick and choose what it wants to beat' and while that is true, it's actually not that hard to figure out what set it is. There are two reasons for this:
1. As soon as it clicks a move you know if it's special or physical, which already helps.
2. You said it yourself, Pyukumuku and Mareanie wall it completely and help you immediately find out what set it is (and unless it's Toxic the worst it's gonna do is Taunt you, which isn't that horrible). But the one mon you forgot to mention and has risen to status of balance staple and is also fantastic on both offense and stall is Silvally-Water. Yay-it's-the-best-again Silvally is easily the best check to Floatzel because it takes any hit (ONLY BU + Z-Focus Punch can break it, and only if it's offensive) and heavily threatens it back with Thunderbolt. And it's not like this mon is bad otherwise, a bulky Water-type Defogger that offers momentum and BoltBeam coverage (or, if you wanna run a different defogger, Surf/Flamethrower + BoltBeam) is quite nice and the fact that it doesn't need to be faster than Frosttom is really cool too, since it can run Modest/Bold/Calm now if you want. These 3 bulky waters + something like Gourgeist-XL means that scouting Floatzel is often not as hard as it seems.


Let's do Abomasnow next. The most notable this thing suffers from is its Speed and its typing. Don't get me wrong, Mixed sets, SD sets, and Specs sets are all excellent right now, but they really don't like facing offense teams, especially those that utilize some of the other mons on this list, most notably Floatzel (Fighting moves and outspeeds even Scarf sets) and Pinsir (SE STAB moves aren't fun). In addition, Bronzor is incredible atm and Abomasnow is one of the reasons for that. It can do absolutely nothing to the floating steel disk... thing, which will simply set up free rocks, Toxic it, and go to sleep (be very careful around SD Grassium though). And as you said yourself, it has several other switch-ins as well. Although Abomasnow is a bit harder to scout because its coverage is better, it also offers less utility and speed than Floatzel and should generally not be too difficult to deal with, especially for offensive teams.


I am very surprised Electivire is on this list because as opposed to the other 4, it rose as a response to a metagame threat (Floatzel) moreso than the defensive metagame forming to let it fit in nicely. I'll still go over it though. Now, Electivire is an interesting case where it REALLY wants to run its strong mixed Life Orb/EBelt set that can absolutely run away with games if it gets a matchup but is so often forced into a Scarf role. Don't get me wrong, mixed is good, but Scarf is generally far more common because it allows the team to deal with Floatzel that much more easily. And its Scarf set is also considerably worse at wallbreaking, which I believe is what the post is mainly about, as things like physdef Golem and Gourg-XL and Tangela can easily come on, scout what it's locked into, and determine what to do from there. Note that Gourg-XL notably has Frisk, so you also immediately know for sure if it is indeed Scarf. So no, technically EVire doesn't have guaranteed switch-ins, but its main set is very easily played around.
But I can't get away with this and I know it. I have to at least address the mixed set if I wanna do this right. So, let's do that. This set makes use of EVire's massive movepool to seriously threaten many of its checks, especially those that tend to come into Scarf for relatively free. And it's not that slow either, so it's not as simple as 'run faster stuff'. So what do we do? That's an interesting one.
The mixed Electivire's set relies heavily, really heavily on its coverage, as Electric is not a great offensive typing in the current meta and it also doesn't tend to run Volt Switch. Because of that, playing against it often comes down to simply outplaying. Keeping up momentum through clever doubles (there's few things more satisfying than bringing Floatzel or Rapidash in on a Flamethrower), U-turn, and constant immunities. And while it may seem like that's not entirely competitive, EVire's biggest issue is that its coverage is pretty weak. On neutral targets, it won't do much, so it's gonna rely heavily on prediction as well. Also, Camerupt does really well vs it. Try it, it's actually nice now.


Pinsir. Oh Pinsir. This mon has been in a state of 'really good but does not see much use' for months. From being one of the best ways of breaking Bronzor + Mareanie in the previous meta to destroying stall now thanks to Mold Breaker, Pinsir has been on the top forever but just doesn't see the use you'd expect. So why's that? What's holding this monster back? Well, there's two things: its complete lack of utility and its awful offensive typing.
Compared to Floatzel, Pinsir is extremely one dimensional. Compared to Abomasnow, it doesn't have a spammable STAB move... at all. And compared to Electivire, it's not an Electric-type to take out Floatzel and cannot run mixed. X-Scissor is just not good, unfortunately. Any team will be able to switch around that pretty easily before it's suddenly facing down something faster that's just going to kill it. I'd like to especially point out the drops of Gourgeist-XL and Altaria, both of which CAN be broken through (Darkinium Z and Stone Edge respectively), but it really does not have room for both on SD sets (also Foul Play will murder the death out of you) and Scarf sets suffer from the same things Scarf EVire suffers from (easy scouting through Gourg-XL/physdef Golem into immunities/resists). Also, being slower than Silvally is never great.


Everyone knows how much I love Komala (aka SLEEPY BOI). From the very moment it dropped I have been screaming off the roofs about how amazing its Band set is so sitting here and typing about its flaws physically hurts me. But I'm still gonna do it, because I think it's important to point this stuff out.
First off, lemme point something out.
Komola 6-0 alone bulky builds.
Technically, this is true. Komala's SD + Grassium Z build will 6-0 a purely defensive build that doesn't run anything that's faster than it. But first off, that means you're playing stall and this is a stallbreaker set, so I don't think that's a massive problem (if you think it is, run Silv-Fighting). Second, this set is complete deadweight against offense and even balance, since it cannot just break through defensive cores without a Band. So let's focus on its other sets.
Many of the things you said do not hold up for WishTect and AV sets, so I think what you're really aiming for is its Band set, my personal favourite. So, let's talk about it. Obviously, Return/Earthquake/Knock Off is amazing coverage and U-turn is the cherry on the cake. But here's the thing, Choice Band forces you to rely heavily, and I mean HEAVILY, on prediction. I've been playing with this thing a lot and seeing a lot of Golem + Gourgeist-XL and the thing about that core is that even if you predict correctly, you'll pop a Colbur (or, if you've already done that, do 40% to Gourg) or do 50% to Golem. That's just not enough reward. And now, that's a specific core (that is also really good btw), and yeah sometimes you'll be on the backfoot the second you see Komala do half to Pyukumuku, but a lot of the time a well build balance will be able to play around it by abusing the choice lock while offense will be able to sac and KO with ease.



Alright, that's enough. This post wasn't meant to be an attack towards Caboche or anyone in particular, I was simply interested in these comments and decided to offer my own view on them. A certain Pokemon I was missing from this list was Mr. Mime, which actually does a lot of similar things to these 5, but I don't think it's an issue either. All in all, I am glad that this happened. I believe that a well built defensive core will be able to generally take care of most top tier threats, although some easier than others. I have no doubt that teambuilding is different and maybe even pressured right now, but I really don't think it's a bad thing. Building in this meta has been awesome and while I might not be the most creative player ever, I'm glad that a lot of the things that I've been trying have been coming to fruition. I'm looking forward to where else this meta goes.
 

5gen

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Hey everyone, I forgot to make a post for the most recent CCAT, so I'll do so now. Shoutouts to everyone who came, and huge thanks to Froasty for finishing up the session when I had to leave.

https://pokepast.es/56d5783c984df55c: The core of Muk+Tangela won the vote, so we ended up building a team around that. Muk and Tangela are able to cover each other's weaknesses well. Muk acts as a special wall that can sweep, whereas Tangela is more of a physical tank. We debated whether Probopass support should be added, but ultimately we decided that the team would end up slow and susceptible to breakers like Floatzel and SD Pinsir. Hence, we decided on adding offensive Gabite. The spread guarantees a CB Komala will always 2HKO and the Speed EVs enable Gabite to outpace Base 65 max Speed Pokemon. Next, the ever splashable Silvally-Water was added as the Defogger, pivot, and necessary Floatzel check. Lastly, the team needed some speed control and breaking, so Scarf Electivire and Z-Bulk Up Floatzel were both added.

The team lacks a Normal resist, so Pokemon like CB Komala, Bouffalant, and Chatot need to be pressured in order to limit them from attacking. Same with mixed Abomasnow. Teams has more threats like Silvally-Dragon, mixed LO Electivire, and Psychic-types, so offensive pressure is vital in those matchups.

https://pokepast.es/145ac1e12e9b3bd5: Stall version around Muk+Tangela. This version features the physically defensive Tangela set, and has Poison Jab over Fire Punch on Muk. This is because the team runs Probopass to trap Steel-types for Muk. Lickilicky and Pyukumuku are essential on stall builds, acting as a cleric, Wish passer, and Unaware wall respectively. Finally, Silvally-Water rounds off the team as the Defogger. Its spread is designed to outpace mixed Abomasnow and OHKO with Flamethrower.

Once again, this team does not like facing Sub Toxic Bouffalant or CB Komala. Specs Beheeyem, Electric-types such as NP Raichu and Electivire, and Sub Regigigas are also notable threats.

Room logs: https://pastebin.com/04RdmZvH
 
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