DPP OU Metagame Analysis

By Tomahawk9. Art by Danmire.
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DPP OU has been in the shadows of BW OU for quite some time now. However, DPP OU is still a fun change of pace from BW OU. No Team Preview and no Drought or Drizzle, among many other things make a lot of difference, as leading is very important in DPP OU. Azelf, for example, is used almost solely as a lead, and is still OU for this reason. No Drought or Drizzle means you are not forced to pack several solid weather counters. However, Fire / Water / Grass cores are extremely common because they have good synergy, both offensively and defensively. Read on if you want to know more about the top twenty Pokemon used in DPP OU.

1. Heatran | 41.567%

The king, the emperor, and the ruler of the DPP OU metagame. Heatran tops the usage stats quite easily, and for good reason. Heatran works on any team style, ranging from offense to stall. Offensive teams like the power that Heatran has to offer with a 130 base Special Attack, letting it blast holes in anything not named Blissey, while more defensive teams enjoy the resistances that Heatran has, as well as its great bulk and support movepool. More balanced teams use Heatran as a mix of those two factors, abusing its resistances to fire off strong attacks. Heatran also works as one of the best Stealth Rock users, thanks to its resistances and huge Special Attack, letting it force out a large proportion of the metagame and set up Stealth Rock on the switch.

2. Rotom-A | 33.523%

Rotom-A has similar qualities to Heatran; boasting a great typing that leaves it with a pack of resistances, including an immunity to Rapid Spin. It isn't too shabby offensively either; a base 105 Special Attack is nothing to laugh at. Choice Scarf Rotom-A is the most common set, and it works on both stall teams and offensive teams. It's a great revenge killer, having just enough Speed to outspeed Dragon Dance Gyarados and finish it off with a STAB Thunderbolt. It also has another cool trait that Flygon lacks: an immunity to ExtremeSpeed. Flygon will never be able to revenge kill Lucario, as ExtremeSpeed KOes after a Swords Dance and residual damage. Rotom-A, however, can finish off a weakened Lucario no matter how many Swords Dances it has under its belt.

3. Flygon | 26.051%

Flygon is the number one choice for a reliable revenge killer. With strong STAB moves in Outrage and Earthquake, it has near-perfect coverage, giving it freedom for the last two moves. U-turn is almost always in the third slot, as it keeps momentum in its team's favor, and Flygon is one of the best users of it due to its immunity to Spikes and resistance to Stealth Rock. The last slot can be specified to your team's needs, with Fire Blast luring and 2HKOing Skarmory, and Stone Edge hitting Pokemon like Zapdos and Gyarados. ThunderPunch is a good option for Dragon Dance Gyarados if it is a major threat to your team.

4. Scizor | 24.524%

With good bulk and resistances, Scizor can force a number of Pokemon out while U-turning on the switch to keep the momentum. It has also has a very powerful priority move in Bullet Punch, letting it pick off weakened Pokemon. Pursuit is another move commonly seen on Scizor that lets it trap Pokemon such as Gengar, who will often switch out in fear of a KO from Bullet Punch. Scizor is also good when paired with Flygon, as they cover each others weaknesses and they can U-turn continuously to maintain momentum. There is one problem with Scizor though, and that is the fact that it is walled by some of the most common Pokemon in the metagame. Almost every team has several answers for Scizor, such as Heatran, Rotom-A, Skarmory, Gyarados, Zapdos, or others, which can leave Scizor to be dead weight or even set up fodder.

5. Jirachi | 23.080%

Jirachi is not only the most unpredictable and versatile Pokemon, it is also the most annoying one. With Serene Grace and Iron Head, the opponent won't be able to attack 60% of the time. With a Choice Scarf equipped, it can abuse this by revenge killing several dangerous sweepers, and several bulky ones as well. Iron Head lets Jirachi possibly revenge kill any sweeper, regardless of whether they are OHKOed or not. Choice Scarf Jirachi also has some other tricks up its sleeve. Trick and U-turn both provide useful utility, while all of the elemental punches let it revenge kill something specific that can trouble your team. Calm Mind Jirachi is another variant that has been rising a lot in usage lately, having the ability to set up on Blissey, and can even go as far as beating it with Toxic Spikes! Jirachi does this with either 101 HP Substitutes or an immunity to Toxic combined with Wish to heal itself, while Toxic Spikes slowly wears down opposing Blissey.

6. Tyranitar | 21.997%

Tyranitar is one of the better Pokemon out there, with its great stat spread, movepool, and ability. Its Choice Scarf set is definitely its most common and effective set, because it works so well on any team. Rotom-A and Starmie are troublesome to offensive teams and stall teams alike, and Tyranitar can checkmate them by outspeeding them and KOing them with STAB Pursuit and Crunch. Tyranitar can also run an excellent Choice Band set with its great Attack stat and bulk, as well as its good offensive STABs. Tyranitar can even sweep with Dragon Dance boosting its great Attack to even higher levels, and its Speed to just enough so it can outspeed Starmie and everything slower. Something that is also cool to try on Dragon Dance Tyranitar is a Shuca Berry with Ice Punch, as many offensive teams rely solely on Flygon to take care of Dragon Dance Tyranitar, leaving them open for a sweep.

7. Gyarados | 21.312%

Gyarados is a staple on both offensive and stall teams. On offensive teams, Gyarados is an effective Dragon Dance sweeper as Water is a great offensive typing, while it has excellent Attack and just enough Speed to succeed. It also provides some bulk to the team, being able to switch in on Fighting- and Fire-types reliably thanks to a combination of its typing, stats, and Intimidate. On stall teams, Gyarados provides an excellent phazer and counter to common stallbreakers such as Infernape, Lucario, and Heatran. Intimidate is an excellent ability on stall teams, which lets it counter most physical attackers that don't carry a super effective attack.

8. Dragonite | 19.125%

Dragonite is one of the most dangerous Pokemon to any kind of team. A Dragon Dance Dragonite can threaten offensive teams with an incredibly powerful Outrage that no sweeper wants to take. It's hard to revenge kill Dragonite as well, because of ExtremeSpeed, which lets it OHKO Flygon after a Dragon Dance and a bit of prior damage. Stall teams, on the other hand, are often very threatened by Mixed Dragonite. The only Pokemon that can comfortably take a Draco Meteor are Steel-types and Blissey, and they are dealt with by both Fire Blast and Superpower, respectively. To make matters worse, when Dragonite begins to get worn down by Life Orb recoil and Stealth Rock damage, it can just use Roost to recover its health.

9. Starmie | 18.642%

With its wide coverage and high Speed, Life Orb Starmie continues to be one of the most threatening Pokemon to unprepared teams. Not much can take a Life Orb-boosted Hydro Pump without breaking a sweat, and those that can won't enjoy an Ice Beam or Thunderbolt, seeing as most Water-type resistant Pokemon are weak to one of these moves. The only Pokemon that can really take all of Starmie's easily is (how surprising) Blissey, who gives Starmie a free opportunity to Rapid Spin. If Starmie opts to use Recover in the last slot however, it will be much more of a nuisance to offensive teams, hitting everything it outspeeds for a tremendous amount of damage, and using Recover to restore health when low.

10. Infernape | 18.197%

This fiery monkey can wreak havoc against any ill-prepared team. With excellent 104 / 104 / 108 offenses, two high-powered dual STAB moves, and a great movepool, Infernape can do almost anything it wants offensively. Mixed sets are its most common sets, carrying two powerful STAB moves in Close Combat and Fire Blast, and two coverage moves such as Grass Knot, Stone Edge, or Hidden Power Ice. U-turn is another excellent option as well, as it keeps the momentum on your side while also hitting Starmie hard, which commonly switches in on Infernape. Infernape can also run a boosting set with Nasty Plot effectively, as it can easily dispose of Blissey thanks to its Fighting typing. In fact, the only Pokemon commonly seen on stall teams that can wall Nasty Plot Infernape is Tentacruel, seeing as Infernape's usual counter Gyarados falls to a boosted Grass Knot.

11. Azelf | 17.205%

Azelf, the Pokemon that defines the lead metagame, is now more versatile than ever. The Choice Band set has been becoming more and more common in the lead slot, and for good reason. Choice Band Azelf can threaten a lot of the common leads by outspeeding them and then OHKOing them. Heatran? Explosion. Machamp? Zen Headbutt. Forretress? Fire Punch. Azelf? U-turn. The fact that CB Azelf scares out common leads that beat normal Azelf also improves the performance of normal lead Azelf. Azelf basically forces you to either risk it being Choice Band and losing your lead, or wasting a turn while it sets up Stealth Rock.

12. Suicune | 15.979%

Suicune is often used to complete a Fire / Water / Grass core. Suicune has good stats across the board, being very bulky, and decently fast and powerful. The most common Suicune set you'll encounter is offensive Calm Mind. With Surf, Ice Beam, and Hidden Power Electric, Suicune has great coverage. With Calm Mind boosting its Special Attack and its great natural bulk, Suicune can both take and dish out hits. Suicune can also run a very defensive set if it wants to; with Rest and Sleep talk for recovery, Calm Mind for boosting, and Surf to hit the opponent, Suicune can cause a lot of trouble for stall teams especially who can't Toxic stall Suicune thanks to Rest, or phaze it out when it's the last Pokemon on your team.

13. Skarmory | 14.645%

Skarmory is one of the faces of stall, and for good reason. With a base 140 Defense, not a lot of physical sweepers willl enjoy facing it. Add a wonderful defensive typing to the mix, as well as an excellent movepool including an instant recovery move in Roost, a phazing move in Whirlwind, and Taunt to prevent stat-up or recovery, making it of no surprise why Skarmory is so often used as a Spiker. Skarmory isn't just seen on stall teams though. Offensive teams can effectively use Skarmory as a defensive pivot and as a Spiker, which lets the sweepers cause more havoc when the opposing walls are weakened. It also fixes common weaknesses to offensive teams such as Dragon Dance Dragonite and Gyarados without Fire Punch or Taunt, respectively.

14. Gengar | 13.920%

Gengar is an excellent offensive Pokemon, as it is both powerful and fast. It also has perfect coverage with Shadow Ball and Focus Blast, leaving two moveslots open for useful utility moves. Substitute is one move that you'll almost always find on Gengar, because it can scout for switches and protects it from strong priority moves, which Gengar detests because of its frailty. Pain Split is also common as well, because it lets it heal while also hurting the opponent, and is especially useful considering Blissey is one of Gengar's most common switch-ins. Hidden Power Fire can also work as Scizor commonly switches in on Gengar to OHKO with either Bullet Punch or Pursuit.

15. Celebi | 13.210%

Celebi, like Suicune, often completes the Fire / Water / Grass core that is effective on almost any team. It is often used with a Thunder Wave set, as it does an excellent job at both threatening the opponent offensively and countering several dangerous threats defensively. It also has the added bonus of scaring off any Ground-type trying to switch in on Thunder Wave for free with Leaf Storm, as well as having access to solid recovery in Recover. Celebi can also run a more offensive set with Nasty Plot, its recent event move. After a Nasty Plot, Celebi has great Special Attack while also being decently bulky and fast. It also has two powerful STAB moves in Grass Knot and Psychic, and solid coverage moves in Earth Power and Hidden Power Fire. However, it can only use one of those, and this means that it will always be walled by either Heatran or Scizor, who are both extremely common.

16. Breloom | 12.921%

Breloom is certainly one of the most annoying Pokemon to face, because of Spore. Sleep effectively makes one Pokemon on your team useless. After that, it can set up Substitute while you switch again, and fire off powerful attacks from its base 130 Attack. Even resists won't enjoy taking a Focus Punch: offensive Roserade, for example, is OHKOed after Stealth Rock. Poison Heal also is a great ability for Breloom, as it lets it heal 1/8th of its HP every turn while also giving it an immunity to status such as burn and paralysis. Breloom can also use Poison Heal to go a more defensive route with a SubSeed set. It can easily outstall unprepared teams with Substitute, Leech Seed, and Poison Heal, while Spore takes care of possible threats to Breloom. Finally, Focus Punch is still really powerful even without investment.

17. Gliscor | 12.692%

Gliscor is an excellent Pokemon on any team that has problems with stall teams, and / or Fighting-types. With Taunt, Roost, and Toxic, Gliscor has no problem stalling out almost every Pokemon commonly found on stall. Pokemon that are immune to Toxic can be handled by STAB Earthquake, leaving only Skarmory as a common Pokemon on stall to wall Gliscor. However, when Skarmory is Taunted it is forced to attack with Brave Bird and take recoil damage, letting Gliscor stall it out with Roost. On the defensive side, dangerous sweepers such as Lucario can't get past Gliscor thanks to its base 125 Defense and resistance to Fighting-type moves, while Earthquake easily OHKOes Lucario.

18. Metagross | 11.935%

Metagross is one of the better Pokemon to lead off your team with. With good bulk and defensive typing, it can reliably set up Stealth Rock. It can also go on the offense well, with 135 base Attack and a strong STAB move in Meteor Mash. Bullet Punch lets it finish off Focus Sash users such as Azelf and Aerodactyl, forcing them to choose between Stealth Rock and their lives. Earthquake provides a powerful coverage move to hit leads such as Jirachi and opposing Metagross. Explosion on the other hand, provides an incredibly powerful move that is almost guaranteed to take out a Pokemon unless the opponent has a Skarmory or a Ghost-type. Metagross can also attempt a sweep with an Agility set, which lets it outspeed all common Scarfers, including Flygon and Jirachi, while launching off powerful Life Orb-boosted attacks.

19. Machamp | 11.910%

Machamp is definitely one of the most effecient attacking leads that you can use. Not only that, but it is also one of the most frustrating Pokemon you can face. This is all because of the combination of its No Guard ability and STAB DynamicPunch. DynamicPunch does a ton of damage to anything that doesn't resist it thanks to its high base power and Machamp's 130 base Attack. To make it even worse, it always confuses the opponent, leaving you unable to attack 50% of the time! Thanks to this, it can defeat slower, bulkier leads quite reliably, because they are usually 2HKOed by DynamicPunch which means they might not be able to set up Stealth Rock. Machamp can also deal with faster leads thanks to a priority move in Bullet Punch, finishing off Focus Sash users, and enough bulk to rarely be OHKOed by an attack.

20. Blissey | 11.901%

Blissey is a staple on stall teams because of its great special bulk. Thanks to its base 255 HP and 135 Special Defense, very few special attackers can break through Blissey. Even something as powerful as Choice Specs Lucario cannot 2HKO Blissey with a super effective STAB Aura Sphere! Blissey can also support a stall team with either Wish or Aromatherapy, letting it heal the weakened members of your team every time a special attacker comes in. This lets you avoid one of your important members being worn down and leaving you open to a sweep.


All in all, DPP OU is an extremely fun metagame, and this shows by the fact that already three of the Battle of the Weeks have been DPP OU. I recommend everyone who hasn't played DPP OU to try it out, and everyone who has stopped playing to give it a shot again!

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