A New Face on Legends of Old

By firecape. Art by Fatecrashers.
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The purpose of this article is to explore the "standing" of fourth generation Ubers in the Black and White metagame. Many things have, understandably, changed; however, many things have also stayed the same. Many Pokemon, such as Arceus and Mewtwo, have gained much from the generation shift, and are able to leave even more chaos and destruction in their all-powerful wake. On the other hand, things like Latias and Latios have taken huge hits and fallen from grace. This article won't include all generation four Ubers, but it will mainly include just the ones that changed a fair bit. I won't bore you anymore though; onto the individual Pokemon!


While it was never usable on Smogon's official simulator with its EV limit implemented correctly, you could play with Arceus on other Generation 4 simulators. Even with the EV limit, Arceus was a frightening force to behold; it can effortlessly tear any unprepared teams to shreds with its lethal Calm Mind sets and deadly Swords Dance sets, not to mention the frustration a support Arceus can cause thanks to its amazing bulk and Recover. In generation 5, Arceus no longer has an EV limit. One of the most (if not the most) versatile Pokemon just got better. There are now a myriad of options, in terms of EV spreads, to choose from. Maybe a bulky Calm Mind set, with enough Speed to outspeed a Pokemon your team has some trouble with? Or, if you prefer, maybe a full out attacker with max Speed and Special Attack, or any spread in between. This is a huge improvement for Arceus, and makes it an even more threatening wall/supporting Pokemon/Calm Minder/Swords Dancer/whatever you can think of.


Darkrai hasn't really gained too much this generation; there is just a new sleep mechanic. If you hit a Pokemon with Dark Void, their sleep counter will reset when they switch out. This means they usually won't wake up, making Darkrai all the more deadly. The opponent will have to pick between waking their Pokemon up—and it will most likely get put back to sleep thanks to Darkrai's blazing Speed— or switching it out, which will reset its sleep counter completely. With proper prediction and this increased threat, Darkrai is pretty much guaranteed to put at least 1 Pokemon out of commission with one move, and probably more if you play your cards right. Also, to dispel a rumor that seems to have flourished, Dark Void has not been nerfed with lower accuracy or anything of the sort. Other than this, Darkrai hasn't really "gained" anything else worth noting.


All Deoxys formes have gained a major boost, and burden, with the new mechanics of Magic Coat; Magic Coat now reflects all entry hazards back to the user's side of the field upon use. It will also reflect Taunt. This means Deoxys-S vs. Deoxys-S lead match ups are even more dangerous; if you mispredict, you could end up setting hazards up on your own side of the field, or even Taunting yourself! This is beneficial to all Deoxys formes, but Deoxys-S profits the most, as Deoxys-A and Deoxys-N can't really risk a misprediction with their atrocious defenses. Deoxys-D should really never be used; it's just awful.


Groudon has not really gained that much by itself, but its usefulness has increased a fair bit. Sun is looking slightly more dominant than rain this time around. Ubers has gained a brand new sun abuser in the form of the almighty Reshiram. Reshiram has a jaw-dropping 150 Special Attack stat and gains a STAB boost on Fire-type attacks to boot! Reshiram has such colossal strength that it can fell Blissey in two hits with Blue Fire (a 130 Base Power Fire-type move) when equipped with Choice Specs and with the help of Groudon's infinite sunlight. The other cover legendary, Zekrom, also gives Kyogre a run for its money with it's 150 base Attack and a 130 Base Power STAB Electric-type attack called Lightning Strike. Another great abuser of sunlight, Ho-Oh has also gained major boosts but that will be covered later in this article. Suffice to say, Groudon is pretty much required on a team with Ho-Oh and/or Reshiram. Groudon has also gained a little something of its own: Dragon Tail. Dragon Tail allows Groudon to phaze Pokemon even when Taunted! Mew is no longer the looming threat it once was; no longer the nightmare of many a team. However, Dragon Tail is not all sunshine. It has an accuracy of 90 and will not phaze Pokemon behind a substitute. Despite this, it is very useful to deal a bit of damage while phazing a Pokemon out. The fact that entry hazards often used in conjunction with Groudon makes Dragon Tail even more useful. Sun teams were quite in the spirit of gaining in the 5th generation; they also gained one of their biggest threats. Shandera poses a big threat to any sun team, with its ability to trap Groudon with Shadow Tag, and proceed to use the sun Groudon has summoned to incinerate it with powerful Fire-type attacks.


Ho-Oh is another Uber that has improved leaps and bounds in the fifth generation, which is no small feat, seeing how good it was in the fourth generation. Ho-Oh has a few new toys to play with in Black and White, and it's hard to say which ones it will enjoy the most. Its new ability, Regeneration, which it obtained courtesy of the Dream World, restores 33% of its maximum health upon switching. This is a huge boon for a Stealth Rock weak Pokemon, allowing Ho-Oh a little more freedom to switch out. Roost is illegal with Regeneration, but who cares, it still has Recover. Ho-Oh also gained Nitro Charge, which is sort of like Charge Beam— it is a 50 Base Power Fire-type physical attack that raises the user's Speed by +1. Take cover... there is a brave bird on the horizon. Now Ho-Oh can simply force a switch, which happens quite often with its amazing power and great defenses, and simply gain a Speed boost on the switch in. And now Ho-Oh has the ability to outspeed nearly every Pokemon not holding a Choice Scarf, while still retaining the freedom to switch moves.


Severely hurt by the introduction of new Pokemon that excel at abusing sun, Kyogre has taken a few hits in the generation transition. On the bright side, it has gained a few things to roll with the punches. First off, it has lost one of its biggest counters, if not the biggest— Latias. Latias (and Latios for that matter) no longer has access to Soul Dew. It is worth noting, however, that on Pokemon Online's Dream World ladder, Soul Dew is usable. This mean Kyogre no longer has trouble drowning them, as their Special Defense has essentially "dropped" one stage. Kyogre also gained Boiling Water, which is a Water-type clone of Lava Plume. This can be quite useful on a mono-attacker, and helps Kyogre deal with physical attackers via burn, while it can boost its Special Defense with Calm Mind.

Latias and Latios

Latias and Latios have, arguably, taken the biggest hit out of all the Ubers. As it stands right now, Soul Dew is not obtainable in Black or White. Nintendo may release it at a later date, as it is a known fact that it is programmed into the game, but we cannot be sure. In addition, just because something is programmed into the game doesn't mean you can always obtain it (see: typeless Arceus in DPPT). This means they are no longer extremely threatening, and lose their +1 SpA and +1 SpD hold item. Without Soul Dew, even Scarf Kyogre has the ability to 2HKO Latias with Ice Beam. They may still be useful because of their blazing Speed, which allows them to outpace every other Dragon-type Pokemon in the game (not counting Dragon Plate Arceus). Will they still be used as much though? I highly doubt it, but we'll have to see. (Note: the only simulator with 5th generation has Soul Dew implemented still, so it is unsure exactly what will happen...)


Lugia has also improved in Black and White. It has added the move Dragon Tail to its moveset, which, as detailed earlier in this article, phazes an opponent while doing damage, meaning it is not blocked by Taunt. Substitute will prevent Dragon Tail's secondary phazing effect from working, however. At first glance, Lugia's Dream World ability may look like a troll. If you think about its implications, however, you will be pleasantly surprised. If Lugia is at full HP, it takes significantly less damage from all attacks; 50% less damage. With its blazing Speed, Lugia can abuse this ability even with entry hazards in play. Simply switch Lugia in on a death, free turn (which I realize is easier said than done), or use its amazing defenses to get it in relatively unscathed, and proceed to watch your opponent rage. Laugh as Lugia uses Recover and eats up their Specs Draco Meteor effortlessly, only to Recover again on the increasingly weaker Draco Meteor next turn. If you can keep Stealth Rock off the field, Lugia becomes even better. Add Toxic Spikes support and you don't even have to use a move other than Recover on non Steel- or Poison-type Pokemon. You may be thinking of using both Recover and Roost, but, unfortunately, Roost cannot be used with Multiscale. Lugia has just gotten more annoying...


Manaphy has profited from a mechanics change in Black and White; Tail Glow now raises Special Attack +3 each use. Not only this, but Manaphy has lost some of its biggest counters in Latios and Latias. It has also gained a few Pokemon that give it trouble, such as Zekrom, but I won't bore you any further. Suffice to say that Manaphy will be interesting this generation with its "old and improved" tool of destruction.


Mewtwo is another Pokemon that was already amazing, GameFreak just saw the need to make it even better. In Black and White, Mewtwo gained the signature move "Psycho Break," which is a 100 BP Psychic move that uses the user's Special Attack and hits the foe's Defense. At first, as a few others have, you may think "oh wow a Psychic move, yay?" Don't be fooled. With this, Mewtwo no longer has to sacrifice itself to kill Blissey, although Selfdestruct was nerfed, making it almost useless anyway. To give you an idea of Psycho Break's power, it can 2HKO Latias after Mewtwo uses Calm Mind, despite the resistance. Mewtwo's Dream World ability is a bit trollish, but I guess it lets it deal with Custap Wobbuffet... Who cares though, PSYCHO BROKEN! Stalltwo was amazing in the fourth generation, but it has taken a big hit with the introduction of Reshiram and the further improvement of Ho-Oh, making it hard for it to accomplish anything. Other sets of Mewtwo still usually perform the same as they did, but there really isn't any reason not to carry Psycho Break on pretty much every set.


Salamence was a "borderline Uber" in the fourth generation, so to speak. This generation, Salamence gets a new toy, but it comes with a huge trade off. The ability Overconfidence raises Salamence's Attack by one stage every time in kills something, but it is incompatible with Outrage due to the fact that Salamence learns it from a fourth generation tutor. It seems like a steep trade off to limit its best STAB to Dragon Claw, but I'll let you decide!


Wobbuffet has taken a hit this generation with the new Encore mechanics. Encore now will always last 3 turns, compared to the previous 4-8. This doesn't really hurt Wobbuffet too much, however, as all you really need in Ubers is one turn of set up to create a vicious sweeper; these new mechanics still allow Wobbuffet to provide more than enough. Also, the opponent is more likely to just switch out rather than stay in and attempt to wait out the Encore. This really only affects Wobbuffet if you are trying to waste a move's PP. Encore's new mechanics also affect Wynaut, but who actually uses Wynaut in Ubers...


As you can see, and may have expected, many things have changed in the transition into Pokemon Black and White. Mewtwo and Arceus are even more godly, while Latias and Latios have taken a huge fall from grace. Lugia has become even more annoying, and Kyogre may not be on one out of every two teams! Dialga, Garchomp, Giratina, Giratina-O, Mew, Palkia, Rayquaza, and Shaymin-S all get a mention here to state that they really haven't changed much, in their standing or movepools. They all look about the same as they did in DPPt, and for the most part, are just as good. What will become of the Black and White Ubers metagame you may ask? That, my friends, is up to you.

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