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...Holy shit.

I remember in discussions we were having on usage lists a few months back, people were saying that there was simply too little interest in ZU to even be a choice for OMoTM, let alone becoming an official tier, that was just a stupid pipe dream.

Now look where we've come: In those few months, ZU has gone from a tiny niche community to one of Smogon's biggest OMs. Hell, even after the OMoTM period has passed, we're still more active than some of the actual tiers! And now here we are, taking the first steps to getting our own ladder!

This ride has been inspirational to say the least, and I'm glad I've got to see it all play out. And I gotta be honest, with each passing day and with news like this, that official tier status is looking like less and less of a pipe dream. ;]
 

Xayah

KA-KOOO!
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
...Holy shit.

I remember in discussions we were having on usage lists a few months back, people were saying that there was simply too little interest in ZU to even be a choice for OMoTM, let alone becoming an official tier, that was just a stupid pipe dream.

Now look where we've come: In those few months, ZU has gone from a tiny niche community to one of Smogon's biggest OMs. Hell, even after the OMoTM period has passed, we're still more active than some of the actual tiers! And now here we are, taking the first steps to getting our own ladder!

This ride has been inspirational to say the least, and I'm glad I've got to see it all play out. And I gotta be honest, with each passing day and with news like this, that official tier status is looking like less and less of a pipe dream. ;]
Honestly, this post just says exactly how I feel about this. Since becoming TL upon USM's release I've seen this tier grow immensely, and in no small part thanks to help from 'outsiders' like P Squared, Quote, The Immortal, and especially Kalalokki, and it's been a wild ride.

However I want to highlight something: this is not a promise towards officialism or even a permanent ladder, so please do not expect it now. Even if we eventually get it, it will be many months or maybe years before we do, so be patient regarding that. In the end, the best thing we can do is continue enjoying the tier and showing the activity we have been, especially with tours like ZU Team Tour and ZU Seasonal!

But for now, let's celebrate this! Thank you all so much for making this happen!
 
To be honest, I'm excited about the growth of this format. From the first time I saw it, I decided and firmly believed that if you could go up the official stairs, it was promising because of my taste in the lower levels. It is very sasticfatorio to see that this project continues in Crescent, We fight for this to be an official level
 

allstarapology

welcome to the hydraulic press channel
is a Tiering Contributoris a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnus
just gonna dump two teams i made that i've been using a ton lately and find fun to use before shifts happen and potentially invalidate them.

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lambo (Bronzor) @ Eviolite
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 144 Def / 112 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psywave
- Toxic
- Stealth Rock
- Rest

checks clear (Muk) @ Black Sludge
Ability: Sticky Hold
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Poison Jab
- Curse
- Rest
- Sleep Talk

no patience (Lickilicky) @ Leftovers
Ability: Oblivious
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Careful Nature
- Wish
- Knock Off
- Protect
- Toxic

beans they took (Tangela) @ Eviolite
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
- Giga Drain
- Knock Off
- Leech Seed
- Hidden Power [Fire]

lost all hope (Pyukumuku) @ Poisonium Z
Ability: Unaware
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Toxic
- Soak
- Recover
- Spite

lose my mental (Togetic) @ Eviolite
Ability: Super Luck
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Dazzling Gleam
- Defog
- Roost
- Heal Bell

My only experience with stall in ZU prior to building this team was with Aaron's stall, and I wanted to see if I could make my own version of it. Despite ZU not having very many consistent options for stall teams and our teams looking pretty similar as a result, I've had more success with this team than his (not a dig at him, might just be because he's the builder and because of that, has an easier time using it). I started with Bronzor because I saw a friend using it on a balanced team, and it reminded me of the sheer role compression that it could provide for teams: a Stealth Rock setter, a Normal resist, an Ice resist, a Rock resist, a pseudo-Ground immunity, and a reliable means of spreading damage through Psywave + Toxic. Muk pairs excellently with Bronzor, as Muk absorbs Trick and handles special attackers like Combusken, Lurantis, and Manectric, while Bronzor easily switches in on Ground- and Psychic-type attacks. Muk is also an extremely potent win condition for stall and balanced teams, so it was a relatively easy fit. Speaking of easy fits, Lickilicky is the tier's best Wish passer because of its high bulk and immunity to Taunt, and it benefits Bronzor and Muk by mitigating their reliance on Rest for recovery. It also has Knock Off, which is just great utility in general. Tangela is a superb physical wall that keeps threats like Lycanroc, Torterra, Golem, Leafeon (though Knock Off sucks), and Granbull in check on top of providing additional recovery with Leech Seed and boasting Regenerator, which allows it to easily take hits throughout matches. Pyukumuku prevents setup sweepers from overloading the team, even Substitute users because of Spite, provides a secondary Trick switch-in, and appreciates it vulnerability to Taunt being handled by Lickilicky. Finally, while admittedly not the most optimal pick, the support that Togetic provided (Heal Bell user, Defog user, secondary Ground immunity, Fighting resist, Dark resist, relative Knock Off sponge) was too good to pass up. Fraxure and Pinsir are massive threats because of Mold Breaker, though Counter can be used on Pyukumuku to deal with them.

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(or
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Smeargle @ Focus Sash
Ability: Own Tempo
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Spore / Lovely Kiss
- Stealth Rock
- Sticky Web
- Magic Coat

Dusknoir @ Life Orb
Ability: Frisk
EVs: 212 HP / 252 Atk / 44 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Shadow Sneak
- Earthquake
- Ice Punch
- Thunder Punch

Mr. Mime @ Twisted Spoon / Life Orb
Ability: Soundproof
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psyshock
- Psychic
- Dazzling Gleam
- Focus Blast

(or

Kadabra @ Focus Sash / Life Orb
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psychic
- Dazzling Gleam
- Taunt
- Counter / Encore / Hidden Power Fighting)

Marowak @ Thick Club
Ability: Rock Head
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Bonemerang
- Knock Off
- Double-Edge
- Swords Dance

Rotom-Frost @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Volt Switch
- Blizzard
- Trick

Purugly @ Silk Scarf
Ability: Defiant
Happiness: 0
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Frustration
- U-turn
- Knock Off

In direct contrast to the last team, here's a hyper offensive team I've been enjoying using lately. Smeargle is Smeargle, sets up hazards, puts things to sleep, potentially blocks opposing hazards, you know. Dusknoir, while not as common as Misdreavus, is a decent spinblocker that is capable of threatening common hazard setters like Torterra and Roselia + removers like Silvally-Water and Rotom-S on top of being a threatening cleaner late-game because of STAB Shadow Sneak. Mr. Mime is a powerful wallbreaker that's mainly hindered by its low Speed, since it is normally outpaced by a lot of common threats like Liepard and Lycanroc, and appreciates having the speed control because of this. It was Choice Specs at first, but being locked into any one move proved to be an annoyance, so I opted for Twisted Spoon, though Life Orb is also usable to boost the power of all of its moves. Marowak is another slow but deadly wallbreaker that provides Knock Off support on top of appreciating its normal checks and counters like Torterra and Poliwrath being worn down by other teammates. Choice Scarf Rotom-F gives the team a means of keeping faster foes in check even if Sticky Web ends up being removed, provides momentum, and cripples bulkier Pokemon with Trick, and Purugly gives the team a Defog deterrent. Kadabra can be used over Mr. Mime for a faster and slightly more powerful wallbreaker that also can Taunt removers and act as an emergency button for things like offensive variants of Torterra, which could be an issue.
 

Aaronboyer

I Can't Hold Your Heart When I'm Fixing Mine
is a Contributor to Smogon
Another CCAT in 10 minutes about Sun Hyper Offense https://play.pokemonshowdown.com/zu

EDIT:
Our CCAT for this week is over and done with in less than 35 minutes (I like my teambuilding sessions sporadic and crazy, yeah), and we were able to build this Sun hyper offense team. While it doesn't look too overly unique at first glance, sets such as specially-biased Growth Shiftry and Z-Solar Beam Bellossom will be sure to keep your opponent on your toes. Thanks to everyone who helped and we hope to see you all again next week!



https://pokepast.es/79ee5049f72efa9c
 
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Hello ZU! I have made a HO webs teams that focuses on SD Monferno & Torterra, as well as CM Grumpig.
http://pokepast.es/5492e7d88d216fd5
So, for the explanation of the team: 48 EVs in HP allows Torterra to live a +2 Z Stone Edge from Lycanroc if you're ever in a pinch. 236 speed allows you to out speed Manectric & Silvally forms. Zebstrika was put on the team to offensively check rain & sun sweepers. Shuckle was used over Smeargle to lay up webs because of it's bulk which allows it to consistently put down hazards throughout the match if need be. Purugly is used for it's ability to punish defog users. For Grumpig, I put in enough speed EVs to out space Zebstrika (if webs are up) and I added the rest into SpAtk, as well as, HP (substitutes get hard to break for special attackers after one or two cms). Mago Berry is for the subs. I made Monferno adamant b/c webs, and stronger mach punches after an sd if need be.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7zu-773159296 - Showcasing the team.
 
Dam if those usage are correct then the meta will be have a decent shake up, first quick thoughts and imo the most noticeable change is liepard, we just lost our most reliable pursuiter, so rip frostom-liepard cores and finally grumpig is a good counter now

Lycanroc leaving is pretty good so much less pressure to have a switchin or scarf alolan-dug, manectric leaving is sad, we just lost fastest volt switcher. Sandslash leaving is pretty unfortunate too as we lost a good rapid spinner

Articuno is good i guess for balance/stall which need a spdef tank heal beller, ursaring is rlly bad for balance now as mawile/golem are needed if u dont want to autolose. Kabutops isnt that big of a deal as we got both poliwrath and torterra as reliable switch ins. Abomasnow is.. interesting i guess?
 

Xayah

KA-KOOO!
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
Tier shifts have been announced! (Thanks based Antar!)

We have lost Granbull, Liepard, Lycanroc, Manectric, Poliwrath and Sandslash!
We have gained Abomasnow, Articuno, Kabutops and Ursaring!

Jynx and Carracosta move up from ZUBL to PU!
Jynx and Carracosta have moved from ZUBL to PU and are therefore not currently options for suspecting!
(Note: We've received news that stats are wrong, so this post will likely receive later updates and this note will be deleted at that time)
First few posts have been updated to reflect these changes. Tagging The Immortal to update our ladder (assuming stats are correct, since I heard there might be something wrong too).

EDIT: The ladder will not be updated until we are sure everything is correct. So even though the OP and resources have been updated, it may be reverted eventually.

EDIT 2: https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/usage-based-tier-update-for-july-2018.3638866/page-2#post-7841265 The current stats will not be used and I'll be reverting any changes to the OP, VR, and samples (gonna leave RC and speed tiers for now as those will have to be updated again soon regardless)
 
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My quick thoughts on the shifts (presuming they are correct):
Rises:

Lycanroc was one of the best Pokémon in the tier (imo it was broken). I can see a rise in usage of Bug-, Fire and Flying-type type such as Ninjask, Pinsir, Rapidash and Jumpluff which were revenge killed by Lycanroc, but also a drop in usage of Machoke and Sivally-Fighting.

Liepard was the Pursuit trapper of the tier removing key Pokémon such as Grumpig, Bronzor and Misdreavus which supported strong threat in the meta such as Combusken, RP Torterra and Vigoroth. I can see a rise in usage of none-Substitute Grumpig, and other Pursuit-weak Pokémon (Bronzor, Misdreavus,...) but also Sivally-Dark getting more usage as being now the best Pursuit trapper in the tier. I also see a drop in usage of Sivally-Fighting (again) and Mawile.

Poliwrath was one of the most splashable Pokémon in the tier between defensive, specially offensive, BD Swift Swim and SubPunch. Since the two Pokémon it used to check also leave the tier and since Kabutops will replace it in rain-team i don't see its rise influences a lot the tier.

Granbull wasn't a good Pokémon in ZU because of its lack of recovery and speed, but it's irreplaceable because ZU lacks Fairy-type. It's CB set even if hard to fit into a team was one of the best wallbreaker in the tier. Since it wasn't a meta defining Pokémon in the tier and also is unique which means no Pokémon will replace it.

Manectric was the second best electric-type in the tier after Rotom-Frost. But unlike Manectric I can see it being easily replaced by other electric-types such as Raichu, Zebstrika, Electivire or Rotom-Frost.

Sandslash was the best spinner in the tier, it was also able to threaten spinblocker thanks to Knock Off and beated a lot of common hazard setters such as Golem, Probopass and Mareanie. I can see a rise in usage of Kabutops and Armaldo which are now the only viable spinner in the tier and of Silvally-Ground since it's Sandslash best replacement.

Drops:

Kabutops seems broken, we losed Poliwrath aka the counter to Kabutops. It can see it pushing Rain over the edge just like Ludicolo did with this set:
Kabutops @ Icium Z
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 252 Atk / 80 SpA / 176 Spe
Naive Nature
- Stone Edge
- Liquidation
- Blizzard
- Swords Dance
This set allows Kabutops to beat none-Yache berry Torterra and Tangela which otherwise can take a +2 Stone Edge. There is nothing besides none Knocked Off Specially Defensive Tangela in the tier which is able to take a hit from this Kabutops at +2 under rain after Hazards. There are still offensive answers such as Scarf Abomasnow and Monferno's Mach Punch. Imo quickban it since it will probably rise back to PU in 3 months since its two best answers Gastrodon and Ferroseed leaved PU.

A really strong addition for the tier: it's a grass type not weak to Ice which means it can switch into Rotom-Frost. It also provides Rotom-Frost a perfect accuracy Blizzard, and it also threatens Torterra. That means that this Pokémon is able to threaten the two best Pokémon in the tier. I can see a rise in usage of Bronzor and Articuno which counters most of its set, but also of other non-Frostom Electric-type such as Zebstrika, Raichu and Oricorio-Pompom. I can also see a rise of Fire-type which can switch-into both Aboma's STAB. I can also see a drop in usage of grass-type.

Basically same thoughts as for Abomasnow. However it as a huge weakness to SR, doesn't check Rotom-Frost but can PP-stall.

Good bye stall.

tldr:
The winner are:
(Dark)
(Ground)
Rain
And the losers are:
(Grass)
(Fighting)
Stall
 
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Aaronboyer

I Can't Hold Your Heart When I'm Fixing Mine
is a Contributor to Smogon
Regarding our Community Create-A-Team project (CCATs) that were originally held on Thursdays, the council believes it to be best that we skip this week as we patiently await for accurate stats to come out. The council has also decided to start doing CCATs every other Thursday, so this week will be our "off week". Thank you for your time and consideration and we hope to see you all next week.
 

5gen

one man's custard is another man's pudding
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributor
Moderator
Tier shifts happened.

Drops: Abomasnow, Kabutops, Kecleon, and Ursaring.

Rises: Granbull, Liepard, Lycanroc, Manectric, Poliwrath, Probopass, Pyukumuku, Sandslash, and Torterra.

We lost a lot of our good Pokemon, so expect big changes in the tier. The council has been having internal discussion about Kabutops and Ursaring, so expect an announcement regarding either in the near-future. Go nuts on the ladder and keep the speculation to a minimum in the thread please.
 

Spook

TRUER THAN FICTION!
is an Artist
Here's my thoughts on all of these changes

Drops:


- Kecleon is an excellent Rotom-Frost check being able to take an insane amount of damage with Assault Vest while having a wide coverage movepool to be able to take it down in a few hits. Its going to be really fun to play around with this pokemon.


- We lost Poliwrath, so having this around both seems cool for a replacement but also seems horrible since Poli absorbed water moves and resisted Rock moves. Rain is gonna be awful.


- fuck.


- Ah yes, finally. Hail. 100 Accuracy blizzards, but that doesnt matter since we now have an insane rock STAB. Soundproof allows it to be immune to Chatot's moves and Wood Hammer and Ice Shard make it a nice replacement for Offensive Torterra.

Rises:


- Beautiful Stealth Rocker, Magnet Pull really tied it together and allowed nice coverage with Volt Switch. Goodbye Mario.


- Rotom is now the sole S rank again. Now we dont need to put Ice Beam on anything anymore. the reign of Electric types is now.


- Resisting Water moves is going to be absolute hell. on the plus side, Belly Drum Hypno is now in fashion.


- Annoying, so im glad its gone. but its alright, since stall was going to be absolutely horrid now that we have Ursaring. Block and Toxic at least allowed you to destroy anything without Taunt, Encore, or Trick.


- Amazing, fast Electric type that had Hidden Power Ice and Overheat as great coverage moves. RIP.

- Another great Rocker with access to Rapid Spin. Rest in peace rapid spin.


- Granbull destroyed half of my teams and im glad its gone.


- Aw, i was having fun messing with people with Encore. at least Curse Muk is now safe.


-
 
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Ampha

A king is a king for his people
is a Tiering Contributor
opinions:
Kekleon
: Seems a incredible poke tbh,can use between Physical variants with Av to NP recover Bolt beam,probably gonna be A rank
Aye finally we won't need to worry about blind frostom anymore
Ban already
Seems a interesting pick tbh,may be broken but depends on how meta will adapt
rises:
Will miss you Mario :(,wish you have a good time there
RIP S rank,wish you drop next shift tho
RIP :b:oliwrath :(,Gonna miss you baby
RIP Stall :(,you are the one I am gonna miss the most
RIP electric :(,Zebs gonna prob sub it for the time
can this thing drop already since sands died?
Why this even rose to start with :blobwaitwhat:
RIP dark type :(,a cool mon,gonna miss you
#Freelycanroc
 

Xayah

KA-KOOO!
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus


ZU will be holding its first council vote since Jynx! We will be looking at the newly returned Ursaring as well as the brand new Kabutops!
We've had Ursaring before and it was a force to be reckoned with, single-handedly running through every stall team we had and making the playstyle near-unviable. In addition, it grabs a kill against offensive teams every time it comes in, which isn't hard to do with solid pivots like Rotom-Frost and the many Silvally-formes in the tier. It is easily the most powerful breaker and we will be taking a look at whether or not the tier can handle it.
Kabutops is completely new and has the potential to be incredibly powerful, especially on Rain Dance teams. It has a great offensive STAB combination in Stone Edge + Liquidation and using Rockium Z allows it to break through everything bar Tangela at +2, especially with both Poliwrath and Pyukumuku leaving our tier. It also gets X-Scissor, which can break through Tangela when powered up by Buginium Z and Swords Dance, and Aqua Jet, which means it bypasses priority from the likes of Monferno. Rain Dance teams were already very strong before and have only gotten better, so we're taking a close look at them immediately.

The council is getting a week to see the impact these Pokemon have on the tier. The deadline for their votes is July 22nd 11:59 pm EST. They are not required to post but it is heavily encouraged.
A simple majority (50% + 1) will be needed to ban these Pokemon.
 
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A Pseudo-Informed Rant - The (Official) Death of ZU Stall:
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It's kind of surprising to me that half of the Pokemon who rose are easily replaced by the drops/'mons who are already in the tier. Manectric can easily be replaced by Raichu or Fridge, Kabutops is basically Lycanroc/Poliwrath in the rain, even Liepard can be replaced by Illumise/Silvally-Dark (dependent upon the set). I like to think some of these "replacements" speak to the ZU community's versatility and willingness to experiment within the meta, as I would have never thought Silvally-Dark could compete with Liepard as a Pursuit Trapper until Diagnostic showed me how viable it actually is. On the flip side of things, these shifts also took a lot of things that were essential to Stall, while twisting the knife with the drops of Kabutops and Ursaring (whomst I will discuss later). Pyukumuku, Torterra, Poliwrath, and Probopass were all critical components for Stall as a playstyle, while Sandslash and Granbull were niche Stall 'mons. The main issue here, as hinted at prior, is actually the drops of Ursaring and Kabutops, who tear through stall teams like MAC trucks on steroids with their set-up moves, fast Speed tiers, and nice coverage. While people have extensively discussed (in ZU chat) how potentially game-breaking Kabutops is, there is not a clear consensus on Ursaring. My opinion is that Ursaring is ban-worthy. Stall as a playstyle has no defensive Ursaring checks, because Ursaring tears through all of them (I'd list the ample amount of calcs people have done, but in summary, the closest to "checks" it has are Foul Play Colbur Gourgeist-L and Defensive Crustle, neither of which seem spectacular for Stall). It causes Stall to run things like Hakamo-O, and even causes those things to have to Speed creep to 230 (that's 176+ for Hakamo-O BTW), taking away from their overall viability. Ursaring basically invalidates Stall, but I won't continue to rant about that. I'd just like to take this time to ask the QB council, many of whom have voiced their disdain for Stall as a playstyle, to flip the script and empathize with me as a Stall player, and at least vote ban on Ursaring.
 
Personally, I don't think ursaring should even be in question. Nothing defensively answers it; even max hp max def crustle is 2hkoed at +2, and that's not even weak to any of its coverage. Against offense its far less effective, but ti still puts enormous pressure on the likes of silvally / tangela, as well as any frosttom checks you have; rotom frost can simply volt switch out on them, and unless they're immune you now have to choose what you want to sack to ursaring.

Kabutops, meanwhile, is hideously powerful both on and off rain, much like lycanroc if lycanroc had a second stab to hit grounds and had swift swim. It also has utility options like rapid spin, but I don't expect to see much of that given that it means givign up coverage or turns with Kabutops in safely. Its extremely powerful unboosted, and has swords dance to quickly reach absurd levels; I'm not sure how, exactly, this is supposed to be answered. Ban this mon too, please.
 
Some thoughts about the shifts, the suspect & the future meta :


Kecleon looks terrific. Protean is an insane ability for a mon which has a large movepool. It's pretty hard to play around with it thanks to its natural good special bulk and stuff like Drain Punch or even Recover on other sets. It doesn't have a lot of safe switch-ins either, STAB on every move makes it good against everything and it has enough priority to surprise the opponent with the typing. Toxic stall is always an option but there aren't a lot of mon able to stall it. Otherwise, it's a nice mon to support the team with SR and a decent frosttom switch in. I wont be surprised if it's suspected during the next weeks.


Before Abomasnow comes in the tier, you need at least one ice checks against frosttom. Now, you need two or three. I don't know yet if the presence of Obamasnow here will be healthy or not but one thing is sure now, it will have a big impact. Scarf, Z-Move, Leftovers, LO,... All these sets can be customisable according to your team and bring something able to improve the pressure against the opponent's team. Abosmanow is now a threat to take into account in your teambuilding, it's an excellent pokemon.

About what we lose, I think this is what will have the bigger impact in the tier. But I wouldn't be too pessimist here. Lose Torterra, Poliwrath, Liepard and Lycanroc will have a major influence for ZU but we can except in a positive way. Rain was overpowered with Liepard + Poliwrath and restricted a lot the teambuilding, once Kabutops get banned (I hope), the playstyle will be less threaten and healtier than it was before the shifts. The presence of Abomasnow nerfs rain too. Liepard was a too strong pursuit trapper as well, stuff like Darkvally or Pawniard can still trap but without have the momentum move, the dumb speed or the movepool which makes it impredictible. Lycanroc restricted a lot the teambuilding too with only 2-3 counters (Torterra, Poli, Pyuku), it would be certainely quickbanned if it stayed in ZU. The dual dance Torterra's set was an issue too in the process of teambuilding, you needed bronzor, rotom-fan or a fat grass types to prevent the huge damages it does to balanced.

Probopass was a wonderful role compresser with its ability to set up rocks in being a switch-in to frosttom, its departure is bad for the tier. Lose Pyuku is hard too, stall needs to focus on ditto, shedistall, Mareanie or wooper meme to work now. Even outside stall, Pyuku was useful for fat balanced to stop set up sweepers such as monferno or M.Mime, I'm sad it left. Don't have Manectric is less an issue, the only impact it will have it's to make other electric types better, especially Zebstrika. We lose the only viable Spinner bar armaldo with Sandslash rising to NU, not a big problem either. Lose Terra and Poliwrath will have as negative impact to increase the power of rock spam and some unhealthy mon like Vigoroth (especially since Lycan rises too), lose a rocker and a phazer (very useful against some set up sweeper like muk), lose a solid role compresser and one of our only fighting types.

So what will change in the meta with all these shifts ?


Frosttom is in a weird situation. We could say it loses a lot with the shifts. Indeed, Frosttom hits SE against a lot of mons which rise, the presence of Abomasnow will increase the number of ice checks in the teams, it gains Kecleon in switch-in, loses some good partners like Liepard and is weak to mons which gain a lot in viability with the shifts. However, the life isn't totally black for Frosttom. Lose Terra and Sandslash is too lose two rockers which blocks its electric Stab, Lycanroc has always been an issue for the fridge, without manectric there is less competition between what electric type choose, it loses too one good switch-in which was also a rocker with the departure of Probopass. To end this, even if the presence of Abomasnow increases the number of ice checks, it offers to frosttom a 100% blizzard precision under hail which is insane and a partener to spam ice moves. So my conclusion is, even it's not intuitive, Frosttom is stronger now than it was before shifts.


Looks barely broken mon. You have Mareanie in your team ? No ? You don't have a single switch in to Monferno so. It loses two of its three switch in with the shifts (Pyuku and Poliwrath), a check with Sandslash, and it is insane against ice checks which are more than mandatory now. Ferno is the mon which beneficts the most about the shifts, fortunately it is slow. It's in my opinion the second best mon in ZU now just after Frosttom. I wont be surprised if it becomes S in the few next weeks.


They are both better (unforunately). Lose Probopass, Pyuku, Poliwrath, Lycanroc, Liepard is a gift of the sky for them. Muk is a frosttom switch-in and Vigo can switch one time too. If ScarfAbo runs Focus blast over Earthquake it cannot pass Muk. Without FB, it cannot deal with Vigo. They look both pretty unhealthy to be honnest. Wait&see, they are maybe more manageable than I think.


Torterra is gone, Poliwrath too, Sandslash as well and we lack of rockers to punish ice types. Welcome back. Spam Stone Edge looks quite stupid now if the opponent doesn't have any steel types. I don't think I've something to add, they will be both very good.


We're fighting types.


Find a mon which can take Abomasnow, which set up rock and which handles the EdgeQuake. Welcome Bronzor. Other steel types like Metang and Mawile are better too but Bronzor looks the best one. Probopass/Liepard gone means too it's more difficult to trap it (except if you run Darkvally/Pawniard). It's a wonderful role compresser to add in a team.


The only Monferno switch-in in ZU. It has Haze to prevents to set up to take the place of Pyuku, Toxic spikes is very useful against any match ups and Regenerator is godlike in a meta where you have to switch a lot. I could see in the future Mareanie climbs until A-/A rank.


Even if they don't have the same roll, they gain both something with the shift. Zebstrika will be the new Manectric now it's gone, it will be far better than it was before (even if it wasn't bad). Without Terra, Electivire is a bit more free, there are less electric types too and the most important is there aren't a lot mons able to switch into now. It is fast in a meta more offensive than never before and is able to break balanced core. Scarf Electivire is too the only scarf electric type which outspeeds frosttom. Good place for both.


Liepard is gone.


Both the best ice switch ins, Grumpig likes a meta without Liepard too. Regice can now even run ice body to take still better Abomasnow, clear body stays a nice option against Vallys.


Have an hail setter is very nice for beartic which could be excellent in hail playstyle now. Lycanroc-Midnight not only lose its big brother, it loses Terra/Poliwrath/Pyuku/Sandslash which stop it for its sweep. Rock types are globally renforced with this new meta. Lycan will have a decent niche now.

EDIT :


Rock type + Magnet Pull user now Probopass is gone. Even if it's a bit less effective than its Partner, that's a solid option. I won't be surprise if it climbs in B during the next weeks.

Fast attackers

Lycanroc and Liepard were an issue for them (and stuff like Terra/poli/pyuku for some). Now, their speed remains excellent for the tier and their usage will probably go up.

Lose in viability

Grass types

Lose Pyuku + Poliwrath (and even Terra) and the introduction of Abomasnow is quite hard for grass types. However, they wont become bad but if before the shifts they were one of the best types of the meta, they wont be at the same level of viability now. They look less useful than they were before (especially to handle Z-Wood Hammer or to pressure stall) and gain a new grass type which hurt them a lot. You don't have specific reason to run one now, they will decline in viability and probably progressively in usage.

Weather (except hail)

Weather playstyle suffer a lot about the shifts. Rain, even if they lose two of their good answers in Poliwrath and Pyuku, lose in the same time Liepard and Poliwrath which were almost mandatory in rain. Kabutops will be probably quicbanned too. The introduction to Abomasnow is terrible to rain which gains a mon hable to take water/electric move, remove the weather and punish them on the switch with a strong blizzard/giga-drain or Wood Hammer. Sand loses all its abusers except duggy-alola, I don't think it can be considering like a viable playstyle now. Sun is certainly the playstyle which loses the less comparing to the others but has unfortunately a lot of grass types inside and Abomasnow is a big issue for weather teams lacking of insta weather setters. Finally, Abomasnow looks terrible for all weather playstyle except obviously hail which is renforced

Stall

Lose Pyuku is a terrible pain for stall. It isn't unplayable and stuff like Ditto stall, shedistall, Mareanie stall or wooper stall stays viable but the lack of pyuku will have an important impact on this playstyle. I've nothing special to add here except if it makes the teambuilding more free, it shows ZU is now a meta very offensive (too much ?). It's not a bad news but not a good one either.

The meta with the tiershift looks globally more offensive than it was before. Ice spam and rock spam are the big winners of this and grass types suffer about that.

About the suspect
Ban Kabutops, I abstain about Ursaring.
I wont write much here because other people explain it already and i'm pretty sure some council members will write a post about that. Kabutops doesn't have any viable switch in the tier except maybe Hakamo-o, at +2 in speed (aka with Swift Swim or Weak Armor) it outspeeds the whole tier and destroys the offensive teams which are the best archetype right now. It's a slower Lycanroc but without counters and with a second stab. Ban it.
I'm not sure about Ursaring because don't have switch-in doesn't mean it's a broken mon. Otherwise, Ursaring will be banned in PU and NU too because it doesn't have a single switch in in these tiers either. The problem with Ursaring is it's better in ZU than in other tiers thanks to Momentum moves like Volt Switch/U-Turn/Parting shot which are all very common with the Vallys and Frosstom/Monferno/Chatot, etc. Activate the flam orb is pretty easy. ZU is globally slower too which helps Ursaring a lot, especially under webs. The meta looks however more offensive now and i've trouble to see it more effective than it was in the past. Ursa invalides too stall but like every wallbreaker does. I don't have a strong opinion about this susbject, I won't miss Ursaring if it leaves but i cannot say if it's broken or not. I abstain.

Obviously, the meta isn't fixed yet so that was only my thoughts and some predictions about what the meta could look with all these changes.
 
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Funbot28

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Ok so I managed to test out the meta a bit and would like to give some thoughts given how drastic these changes had been to the overall tier. I will go briefly due to how others have kinda given their well thought out opinions already.

First lets talk drops:


Really been liking Keck as it provides the tier a reliable special sponge that hits really hard ala Bouffalant with its AssVest set, checking many threats such as Rotom-F, Grumpig, Mr. Mime, and Chatot. The coverage between Knock Off, Drain Punch, and other cool coverage such as Ice Punch, Fire Punch, and even Power-Up-Punch to boost its power even more. The only issue I had while testing it is its tendency to be worn down by hazards and consistently being brought in against powerful hits that can chip it over time such as Boomburst and Blizzard. Still a great mon that works great vs offense due to the multitude of priority it provides. I still need to test wallbreaking sets with a Life Orb but I am sure it would wreck defensive teams quite well due to its great power.


Best all out wallbreaker in the tier probably, Ursaring is truly a menace. Between its Quick Feet and Guts set, nothing really can switch in safely to its STAB Facade + coverage options such as Close Combat and Earthquake / Crunch. It also requires different checks depending on which ability it chooses to run, where Quick Feet is more of a pain for offense while Guts basically lacks any defensive checks for more passive teams. Added to the fact that this mon gets Swords Dance + ok bulk which enables it to setup and we got too strong of a wallbreaker on our hands. Only issue it has is its Speed especially if running Guts but that doesn't rlly matter when nothing can come in on you anyways.


While Ursaring is the best wallbreaker, Kabutops is definitely the best sweeper in the tier. Swords Dance sets with either Rock Z or tech options such as Water Z or even FIght Z can completely sweep teams that lack hard checks such as a max health Tangela, Bronzor, or Intimidate Mawile. Its great STAB combo, good Speed and added access to priority means that it can really threaten every playstyle quite well kinda how like Lycanroc did back when it was in the tier (although the difference in Speed is noticeable), however this does get patched up by the use of Weak Armour which can actually but Kabutops in many more win conditions then it should be able to. It also works wonderfully under Rain, further pushing the limited amount of actual checks it has especially considering the fact that Pyuk left. Another threat that I feel should be banned asap.


Tbh haven't used / seen too many Abomasnows on ladder or in room tour games however great mixed offensive stats and powerful STAB moves such as Blizzard and Wood Hammer alongside coverage that rounds it off such as Earthquake and I see some potential of a decent wallbreaker. The weakness to SR, rlly bad defensive typing, and low Speed does limit it somewhat, but the fact that Aboma can run many different sets such as SD, Mixed Offensive, and even Scarf can give it some niche. Also having another check to rain is always nice.

Rises:


Really sucks that Torterra left as it was probably the best glue mon in the tier behind Rotom-F, being the best SR user, an amazing setup sweeper and even great wallbreaker with a CB set (which should have been used more). This really hits bulky offensive teams that relied on Tort to check most threats for them and reliably keep SR up against the opposing team, now having to rely on "worst" setters such as Metang, Golem, and Cradily as a result.


Thank god this thing left as I actually believed it was quite broken in the tier especially when new sets such as Taunt + Swords Dance were starting to get used to counteract the already limited amount of defensive counterplay it had against it. It probably had been the best setup sweeper in the tier and also acted as a great offensive SR setter due to its stupid Z-Move and good coverage + access to STAB priority. Offense appreciates this as they struggled to check it without resorting to niche stuff like Intimidate Mawile.


I liked Poliwrath as a bulky special tank and I also find it unfortunate that it is leaving since it reliably checked a bunch of threats such as Monferno, Pawniard, and Golem. It was also quite a versatile threat, being able to run both special and physical threats well and was even a great rain sweeper (although that playstyle didnt need anymore threats). It also could have helped check Kabu which is like rip.


Tried using stall without Pyuk and yeh it does not work. It provided the playstyle a reliable answer to a bunch of threats such as Monferno, Bouffalant, and SD Silvally sets. It was even useful on certain balance teams being a sponge (lol) that can take on many hits. Basically it leaving killed a playstyle.

Other shifts happened but I don't feel like commenting on them as there isn't much to say + people already talked about them pretty well.

Overall, I actually didn't really like these shifts too much and preferred how the meta was previously even though annoying mons such as Lycanroc and Liepard left. Hopefully the tier will stabilize after some bans (aka Kabu and Ursa) but yeh RIP Torterra meta.
 
Throughout all the discussion of the new drops I thought someone would beat me to this point and so far only one person has even brought up this Pokemon.

Abomasnow's fall to ZU means that Beartic now has an auto-weather setter as a partner. While many people have addressed how Rotom-Frost will appreciate the help due to 100% accurate Blizzards, Beartic now also gains an automatic doubled Speed stat to abuse. As far as Hail abusers in ZU, there aren't really that many. Regice appreciates Ice Body recovery and most Ice-types appreciate the Blizzard boost, but Beartic's niche is that it can break through most common Ice resists. I can imagine an SD Fightinium set might be popular at first to deal with Steel and opposing Ice-types, but with the departure of Probo, there really aren't any relevant Steels and other Ices aren't exactly known for their physical bulk so regular Superpower will likely be enough. However, there are other Ice resists to worry about, namely Grumpig, Metang, and Bronzor. Because of this, a Ghostium Z set with Shadow Claw could actually be extremely useful to break through these resists and give your Abomasnow a chance to clean up later. I doubt Beartic will be a very huge threat due to its low Speed, low bulk, and weakness to common types like Fire and Fighting in addition to Stealth Rock, but it will be a very cool breaker/sweeper (edit: took me five hours to realize this pun) for semi-hail teams.

Though I think we need to address the other bear before we really talk about a balanced meta
 
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Ok so idk if FEAR is considered uncompetitive, but I've been playing ZU since it was OMotM and I'd had moderate success with FEAR Sub-Seeder Cottonee. (Not a full FEAR team, but one FEAR mon can catch your opponent off-guard and Cottonee can chip away at potential threats with relative ease) However, due to the prominence of Liepard and Torterra (Liepard being immune to Prankster and Tort to Leech Seed) it was sometimes too much of a dead-weight.

However, with these mons gone and the highest ranked Grass type mon being Tangela (lol), Cottonee has seen much greater success lately.

The Set:

Cottonee
Level 1
Focus Sash

Leech Seed
Substitute
Endeavour
Encore

Ok so the strat is pretty self-explanatory but I'll explain it a little because the set is optimised for almost any situation provided hazards are gone and you can switch Cottonee in.

So let's assume for argument's sake your opponent has no Grass or Dark types on their team, then the easiest option is to lead with Cottonee. This circumvents the issue of hazards potentially getting in the way.

Anyway, when Cottonee switches in, beit on turn 1, 2 or 85, it's first play will always be leech seed. Then, its second play is always sub. If the opponent switches out, you are behind a sub and can leech seed their switched in mon the next turn. In this way you will ALWAYS get Sub-Seed up. (SR support is helpful, to discourage frivilous switching, but not necessary as switching doesn't break the strat. Plus, Endeavour is a thing.)

Because Cottonee is level 1 leech seed will always restore it back to full. From here you spam Sub until the opponent does something other than attack. (Either that or they switch out or faint: simple as that.)

Only when you have Leech Seed AND Substitute up can you use either Endeavour or Encore.

Say you are in this optimal position and your opponent goes for an SD. Then you encore next turn. Simple.

Alternatively you can Endeavour them, (and generally Endeavour is less situational than Encore) but there is a pit fall here that I myself have fallen for before. If you Endeavour (bringing them down to like, 2%) and then they break your Sub/you Endeavour without Subs up, then Leech Seed will only restore what ever tiny portion of their health is left, ie: it will not bring you back to full so that's something to watch out for.

I don't have any replays atm, but if anyone is interested then I can jump on the ladder. (Edit: Jump on the ladder to get some replays)

Thoughts?
 
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