Black & White Metagame Analysis

By Destiny Warrior. Art by *Hen*.
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Generation V! Yes folks, Generation V has a metagame, a well-developed one, one developed enough to write a metagame analysis about! If you've been looking at the theorymon pre-release, you would notice the prophecies of "stall is doomed" and "4drag2mag." Well, how true are they? Read on to find out!

The Face of Offense


Doryuuzu should always come first, excluding unreleased Dream World abilities. This guy is just... revolutionary. It tears through teams like no tomorrow, and is the death of any and all hyper offense teams that don't pack a Roobushin. Stall teams are thankfully better off dealing with it because of Skarmory and Hippowdon, but they still take a beating from Doryuuzu.


Garchomp is the perfect example of a trolly dragon. Its base 102 Speed lends itself to both Swords Dance and Choice Scarf roles, and that is augmented by an excellent 130 base Attack. It has bulk rivaling that of Swampert's, AND gets almost any move that every Dragon could wish for, except for Dragon Dance, which for some reason Game Freak hasn't given it yet. It even gets Double Chop, a move clearly meant to be Ononokusu's signature move!


This guy is the only answer that hyper offense teams have for Doryuuzu. However, it is in fact still an imperfect check, as a perfectly healthy Doryuuzu will survive even a Life Orb-boosted Mach Punch from it, while in return can KO back with a +2 Earthquake. Don't frown because Roobushin is also a good Guts sweeper, and after a Guts boost will gain the guaranteed KO on Doryuuzu, a big relief.


Sazandora is the premier special attacking Choice Scarf user in the BW metagame. Sazandora is both trolled and is a troll, sitting at 98 base Speed, which gets outsped by the base 100s, while simultaneously trolling Ononokusu who sits at base 97. This makes it an excellent revenge killer for Dragon Dance Ononokusu, but also makes it very vulnerable to base 100 Scarfers. However, Sazandora has certainly found its niche in the metagame, and it is bound to make an impact on it.


This thing was built to be Garchomp's partner, the same way Salamence was completely built to be Rayquaza's partner in DPP Ubers. It has access to both Dragon Dance and Swords Dance with a whopping base 147 Attack, though it has severe competition in these fields from Salamence and Garchomp, respectively. However, it works very well in the role of primary dragon on the widely acclaimed "double dragon" teams. It can set up and soften up a team nicely, so that Salamence or Garchomp can set up and clean up. It suffers horribly from 97 base Speed, which has it trolled by Sazandora.

Latias and Latios

Latias and Latios have lost access to Soul Dew in the generation shift, but they still continue to function well. They work together as dangerously as other "double dragon" tag teams. They can Calm Mind for a slow setup sweep, or they can get right down to business with Choiced sets. Tyranitar (and Doryuuzu to an extent) terrorize both of them, but then again, what Pokemon don't they?

Honorable Mentions

Huntail and Gorebyss

Huntail and Gorebyss have a devastating niche, shared with only Smeargle: the ability to Baton Pass Shell Break boosts to other Pokemon. Both also have access to Swift Swim, so if Rain Dance is set up by another Pokemon as it gets KOed, Huntail and Gorebyss can come in, force a switch, net a Shell Break, and Baton Pass out. They can even hold a White Herb to negate the stat drops, and you then have a devastating mixed sweeper on your hands, which has a +2 boost in Attack, Special Attack AND Speed, meaning it has a good chance to outspeed and KO most of the metagame. These two are Pokemon that cannot be underestimated, as they can even start sweeping themselves.


Terakion has the blessing of a stat distribution that allows it to wail on both offense and stall. Swords Dance backed by its 129 base Attack will cause heavy dents in any stall team, while Rock Polish combined with 108 base Speed will let it shred offense almost as efficiently as Doryuuzu. It has one of the best offensive typings in the game, getting excellent coverage, and as a bonus, even gets a boost from sandstorm! In fact, it is even possible for it to run both boosting moves, and use one of them depending on your opponent's team; Terakion manages just fine with just its STAB-boosted Stone Edge and Close Combat.

The Face of Stall


Nattorei makes an excellent addition to stall, replacing Forretress almost entirely (except for spinning and Toxic Spikes duties). Nattorei makes excellent use of Gyro Ball and Power Whip to hit switch-ins, and it can drop Gyro Ball for Thunder Wave if needed to provide even more status support. Its Fighting-type weakness is somewhat mitigated by its ability, which punishes contact moves (almost all Fighting moves are contact moves) by chopping off 1/8th of the user's HP. However, its severe Fire weakness is a big problem, but can be taken advantage of by clever switching.


Burunkeru synergizes well with Nattorei, both covering each other's weaknesses perfectly. Burunkeru also spinblocks, though it has some trouble with most Rapid Spinners. Burunkeru is still a good bulky Water, and can prove to be a major pain in the neck at times with its great special bulk. Between Nattorei and Burunkeru, the only types that aren't resisted are Flying (which is exceedingly rare anyway) and Ground (which is very common, but is handled well by other Pokemon).


Chansey was always a good special wall, but it was in UU just because Blissey existed. However, with the addition of the Evolution Stone, Chansey becomes even more bulky (both physically and specially) than its evolution! Sadly, this comes at a price: no Leftovers. Also, Chansey has a very poor Special Attack stat, so it must rely on Seismic Toss and Toxic as its sole means of offense, making it easy bait for a SubSplit Gengar. In general, if you want to run Ice Beam, Flamethrower or some similar move on Blissey, do that, or you're better off using Chansey.


Porygon2 is an excellent user of the Evolution Stone. While holding it, it has defenses rivaling that of Lugia! It has access to Magic Coat and Recover, making it a good tank. Porygon2 was already very good in DPP with Trace allowing it to beat specific Pokemon, but this just made it better. It can tank hits better, and has reliable recovery. It has a good complement of moves for beating various threats, and with proper prediction, can remain status free. Certainly a Pokemon to look out for.


Blissey competes with Chansey for a slot on a team, which is essentially decided by one thing: do you want to run Ice Beam (or some other move like Flamethrower)? If yes, go with Blissey, if no, go with Chansey. It's really that simple, as the two have pretty much identical jobs.


Hippowdon is stall's best answer to the omnipresent Doryuuzu. Ironically, it also makes it an excellent partner for Doryuuzu, who tears through hyper offense teams, with its Sand Stream ability. Hippowdon's physical bulk continues to be impressive, and the old hippo can even take an occasional special hit. Quintessentially, he's the same old bulky Hippowdon we all know from DPP.


Erufuun is an excellent player in stall, with its decent bulk and almost unparalleled success as a SubSeeder. Erufuun abuses Mischievous Heart happily, and when played well, it can stop hyper offense cold. Setup is very difficult against a well-played Erufuun, as Encore will force a switch, allowing Erufuun a free Substitute to start its annoying cycle of SubSeeding, which will take several switches to stop. With stall stacking lots of entry hazards, it will easily wrack pile up truckloads of passive damage against its opponents.


Mew is highly unpredictable. It is an excellent choice for both stall and offensive teams due to the sheer size of its support movepool. Mew is also quite fast for an average stall Pokemon, giving it a niche as a supporter. It also doubles as an excellent lead for an offensive team, capable of setting up Stealth Rock, dual screens, spreading status and so on. Its only curse is its typing, which makes it Pursuit-weak, but that can be played around more easily this generation due to the new game mechanic, team preview. Mew is bound to make a splash on the OU metagame.


With the advent of Evolution Stone, Dusclops gets a chance to return to its ADV glory. After the boost from Evolution Stone, Dusclops with a 252 HP / 128 Def / 128 SpD EV spread effectively has base 40 / 197 / 197 defenses, except that all 3 stats are maxed. This rivals even Deoxys-D in terms of bulk, and as a bonus, Dusclops can also spinblock. However, its offenses are nearly non-existent, and it must rely on Pain Split (which works well with its base 40 HP) and Night Shade for its offensive choices. In that respect, choosing between Dusknoir and Dusclops is extremely similar to choosing between Chansey and Blissey; it's a choice between better bulk and offensive presence.

Honorable Mentions


Laugh while you still can. When you're done, proceed to stare at a quickstaller that can make you rip your hair out in frustration. Mischievous Heart makes it have no need to invest in its Speed, so it can concentrate entirely on its surprisingly decent bulk after Evolution Stone. With a set of Roost / Substitute / Toxic / FeatherDance, Murkrow can cause frustration for people who have the misfortune to face it. Murkrow can also drop Toxic and FeatherDance for Perish Song and Mean Look for a Perish Trapping set that guarantees to make you storm and rage.

How is the Weather?

Weather has become a crucial part of the metagame. Damage calculations for EVing walls now often have to assume that Leftovers are canceled by the highly common sandstorm weather, which shines as an excellent offensive global effect.

At the time when this article was written, the top 5 Pokemon in terms of usage were Tyranitar, Doryuuzu, Scizor, Nattorei and Garchomp. All are immune to sandstorm, and all enjoy having sandstorm up for various reasons; Tyranitar sets it up obviously, and loves the Special Defense boost; Doryuuzu likes the instant Rock Polish; Scizor appreciates all the passive damage it can get; Nattorei can really wear down an opponent with its ability, sandstorm, entry hazards, and potentially Leech Seed (or if you would like to take it to the extreme, Rugged Helmet); while I'm sure we don't need to reintroduce the horror of Sand Veil Garchomp under sandstorm again, do we?

Hail is still sandstorm's poor brother, lacking any major additions, which shows in the usage statistics, where Abomasnow is 57th with 3.11% usage, which by Gen 4 standards would put it in UU. Sunny Day and Rain Dance have suffered considerably by the buffs to sandstorm, which have made it immensely popular. They still exist, but are extremely hard to use effectively. All in all, weather has become very important, and every team must have a dedicated sandstorm check, or it will risk losing most of its matches.


The BW OU metagame is very much playable, and I encourage you all to go out and try it out!

Footnote: This article was written before the release of Drought Ninetales and Drizzle Politoed.

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