Uber Metagame Analysis

By reachzero and Theorymon.
« Previous Article Home Next Article »

Between April and May, there have been some significant shifts in the Ubers metagame. This is to be expected, considering that the month of May saw 2,014 more battles than the month of April, an increase of more than 20%. With so many new players, the metagame was sure to change substantially, though perhaps not quite as greatly as in previous months, with the popularization of such previously underutilized threats as Swords Dance Lucario.

There are twenty Pokémon that make up the "OU of Ubers", that is, Pokémon that see usage in at least one out of every twenty teams. Included is analysis of each Pokémon's role in the current Ubers metagame and explanation of each Pokémon's five most common teammates



Top Five Teammates: Palkia (46.34%), Darkrai (37.74%), Groudon (31.07%), Dialga (30.24%), Rayquaza (29.95%)

Kyogre remains the most commonly used and most threatening Pokémon in Ubers, always threatening to 2HKO the entire metagame with a Modest nature and Choice Specs. The threat of Water Spout is a primary factor in Palkia's rise to #2 in usage; however, fewer Kyogres than ever are actually using Specs, with only 38.9% holding that item in May. This is partially attributable to the growing usage of Kyogre as an anti-lead with Lum Berry, in additional to its usual Calm Mind and Choice Scarf sets. So while Kyogre remains the most common Pokémon in Ubers, it is in fact less predictable than ever.

While Palkia does not cover any of Kyogre’s weaknesses, it becomes a much greater threat under Kyogre’s permanent rain. Since Palkia has the same base Special Attack as Kyogre, its Surfs become just as powerful in the rain. Darkrai can destroy Latias (though it is unable to switch in on any move other than a predicted Calm Mind, Recover, or Refresh), possibly explaining its place in Kyogre’s top five teammates, as Latias is a common obstacle to a Kyogre sweep. Many Pokémon that carry Choice items such as Palkia and Dialga will use Thunder in an attempt to slay Kyogre; Groudon can easily switch into these thanks to its Electric immunity, and threaten to set up a sweep. It is hardly surprising, then, that Groudon is a common teammate for Kyogre. Dialga is most likely a top five teammate because of its 4x Grass resistance and 2x Electric resistance, both of which are very helpful for Kyogre defensively. Finally, Rayquaza is likely paired with Kyogre because Kyogre can easily take the Ice Beams aimed at Rayquaza. It is a testament to Kyogre's ubiquity in the Ubers metagame that it is a top five teammate of every Pokémon in the "OU of Ubers"!



Top Five Teammates: Kyogre (60.69%), Groudon (41.04%), Darkrai (34.33%), Dialga (32%), Rayquaza (27.62%)

Despite the fact that fewer Kyogre use Choice Specs, the fact that nearly two-thirds use Water Spout makes Palkia's 4x resistance as valuable as ever. While Palkia's overall usage has continued to climb, the percentage of Palkia utilizing Choice Scarf has remained relatively constant at just under 50%; Palkia is facing competition for the role of Scarfed revenge killer from Dialga (which handles Swords Dance Rayquaza better than Palkia) and Garchomp, due to the threat of ExtremeSpeed, this competition may be the cause of Palkia's slight dip in usage. When not using a Choice Scarf, Palkia is usually used as a deadly mixed attacker that is impossible to wall; as a result it is commonly handled by revenge killing, often by faster Dragon-typed Pokémon such as Latias, Latios and Scarfed Palkia and Dialga.

Kyogre is an obvious choice for a Palkia teammate. Kyogre's Drizzle ability makes Palkia's Surfs significantly more powerful. Importantly, the rain allows Palkia a chance of 2HKOing Wobbuffet with Surf even while holding a Choice Scarf, which is crucial because Choice Scarf Palkia will lose to Wobbuffet without it. The rain will also boost Aqua Tail's power on the mixed sets, meaning that Blissey will no longer have a chance of walling Palkia. It is likely that Groudon and Dialga are popular partners for Palkia because of their ability to switch into a Thunder from Choice Specs Kyogre's. A Thunder from Choice Specs Kyogre will easily 2HKO Palkia, and so Groudon and Dialga can switch into Kyogre if the opponent is expecting Palkia to come in to take a Water Spout. Dialga also has the benefit of setting up on Ice Beam as well, if it is using the Bulk Up set. While Darkrai and Rayquaza do not necessarily seem useful to Palkia at first, they are likely popular teammates for Palkia because neither Rayquaza or Darkrai can switch into Kyogre's Water Spouts, and so need Palkia's help. Palkia is an popular teammate for most of the Pokémon in Ubers, simply because it can survive Water Spouts from Kyogre.



Top Five Teammates: Kyogre (46.46%), Palkia (42.83%), Darkrai (35.26%), Rayquaza (34.87%), Dialga (33.55%)

Groudon is a major threat offensively with Rock Polish and/or Swords Dance, although a significant percentage of Groudon are still support-based Stealth Rockers, including some leads. However, 60% of all Groudon are using maximum attack, so it would seem that for the time being, Groudon is still being perceived offensively. Groudon's usage dipped a bit by percentage, however, as its nemesis Lugia climbed noticeably in usage. Interestingly, 10.8% of Groudon in May used an Impish nature, likely because a Swords Dance Lucario can KO an Adamant Groudon if it has taken a small amount of damage beforehand, such as from Spikes.

Palkia is Groudon's number one teammate because it can switch into Kyogre's Water based assaults. This is especially important to Groudon as only 21% ran max speed, while the majority of Kyogre ran max speed. Kyogre is a good teammate for Groudon because it often lures Choiced Thunders in, which can allow Groudon to set up a sweep. Darkrai can easily break through Lugia's and Giratina's defenses, the two of which are Groudon's greatest obstacles. Rayquaza and Dialga help Groudon in several ways: Rayquaza can use Dragon Dance to lure and destroy Lugia as long as Stealth Rock is up. Rayquaza can also used a mixed set to lure out Lugia, then 2HKO it with Draco Meteor after Stealth Rock damage. Dialga is capable of using Stealth Rock, which is important for Rock Polish Groudon in order to get a number of significant KOs. Dialga is also capable of switching into Giratina and forcing it out with the threat of Draco Meteor. Both Dialga and Rayquaza resist Water and have a 4x resistance to Grass as well, two types to which Groudon is weak too.



Top Five Teammates: Kyogre (55.57%), Palkia (38.60%), Groudon (37.98%), Rayquaza (35.11%), Dialga (33.12%)

Although not quite the immediate threat that Kyogre is, no other Pokémon in Ubers offers the sheer sweeping ability that Darkrai possesses. While nearly 27% of Darkrai elected to use a Choice Scarf and serve as revenge killers, the majority are sweepers sporting both Nasty Plot and Dark Void. Darkrai makes an excellent sweeper due to its ability to beat Blissey with ease and the fact that only Mewtwo, Shaymin-S, and Deoxys-S and -f are faster among commonly used Pokémon in Ubers without using a Choice Scarf. The threat of Darkrai is the primary reason that nearly every good Ubers team has a revenge killer using a Choice Scarf. Darkrai is the 2nd most common lead in Ubers; this is due to its ability to stop Deoxys-S from setting up if Darkrai is carrying a Choice Scarf. If Darkrai uses Dark Void, then Deoxys-S will have a hard time getting any entry hazards up due to Bad Dreams breaking its Focus Sash while Deoxys-S is asleep. Darkrai can also use Dark Pulse before Deoxys-S moves in case Darkrai does not want to risk death due to Wobbuffet switching into Dark Void. If Wobbuffet switches into a choiced Dark Void, it is all over for Darkrai and Wobbuffet will put up Safeguard as soon as it wakes up and stall Darkrai out of PP, eventually forcing Darkrai to Struggle itself to death. By using Dark Pulse on Deoxys-S, Darkrai will only allow Deoxys-S to set up Stealth Rock or one layer of Spikes.

Kyogre is Darkrai's number one teammate not only because of Kyogre's high degree of usage, but also because Kyogre can switch into Scizor's Bullet Punch. This is significant, as Life Orb Scizor can 2HKO Darkrai with Bullet Punch after Stealth Rock damage, and does not even need Stealth Rock to always 2HKO Darkrai with a Choice Band boosted Bullet Punch. Palkia serves a similar role, but it also has the bonus of being able to switch into Kyogre's Water Spouts. Groudon and Rayquaza are popular teammates for Darkrai because of Darkrai's ability to crush Lugia and Giratina, which are problems for Groudon and Rayquaza. Finally, Dialga not only offers a resistance to Scizor's Bullet Punch, but also a resistance to Scizor's U-turn.



Top Five Teammates: Kyogre (48.47%), Groudon (39.35%), Palkia (39.18%), Darkrai (36.06%), Rayquaza (34.66%)

Dialga is one of the least predictable Pokémon in Ubers, capable of serving equally well as a Choiced special attacker, mixed sweeper, tank (with Bulk Up, Rest, and Sleep Talk), and support lead. Its unique typing and sheer versatility allow it to fit into nearly any team in some role, and can only really be dealt with effectively once its set is revealed, as its various sets have considerably different counters. However, Dialga falls just short of Palkia in terms of base speed and is still threatened by Kyogre's Water Spout, explaining why Palkia is more popular, despite the two having fairly similar roles offensively.

Because of its amazing typing, Dialga is frequently used as a complementary Pokémon, so its teammate statistics generally reflect Dialga's usefulness in protecting other Pokémon from their common weaknesses; it fits nicely on almost any team with its typing and offensive versatility.



Top Five Teammates: Kyogre (50.15%), Groudon (42.72%), Darkrai (39.92%), Mewtwo (38.17%), Dialga (36.20%)

One of the great metagame shakers in Ubers, Rayquaza affects and is affected by several statistical trends: with a single turn of setup Rayquaza can unleash serious devastation on an opposing team (a turn it can easily be given by Wobbuffet); however, it can be checked without too much difficulty depending on whether it chooses to set up with Swords Dance or Dragon Dance. Dragon Dance Rayquaza can beat Scarfed Dialga and Lugia while Swords Dance Rayquaza cannot; Swords Dance Rayquaza can beat Scarfed Palkia and Mewtwo (OHKOed by ExtremeSpeed) that Dragon Dance Rayquaza cannot, and even Scarf Garchomp if the player has Spikes on the field. Complicating the issue is the existence of Mixquaza, which despite lacking the pure sweeping power of the other sets is able to reliably cripple or destroy all the Pokémon that commonly switch into Rayquaza. Traditionally the balance of Dragon Dance Rayquaza to Swords Dance Rayquaza is extremely volatile, reflecting the shifts in the metagame (such as the prevalence or decline of Lugia), but the balance seems to have stabilized somewhat, as the difference between the two has been less than 5% each of the last two months, and only 1% in May. Rayquaza usage overall has dropped slightly, as the metagame saw a sharp increase in the number of Lugia (hurting Swords Dance Rayquaza) even as the number of Palkia remained high (hurting Dragon Dance Rayquaza). However, now more than ever both Scarfers and Lugia are under heavy pressure by such game-breaking factors as the feared Wobbuffet/Darkrai combination, so Rayquaza remains as potent a threat as ever.

Kyogre is likely the most common teammate for two reasons: its high usage in general, and its resistance to Ice moves, meaning that Kyogre can easily switch into Lugia if it tries to stop Rayquaza. Groudon may seem like an odd teammate for Rayquaza, but Groudon has access to Stealth Rock, a vital condition for Rayquaza to sweep. Groudon can also lure in Lugia, then cripple it with Toxic. Darkrai and Mewtwo are top partners for Rayquaza due to their ability to set up on Lugia, Swords Dance Rayquaza's nemesis. Finally, Dialga is able to use Stealth Rock, which is reason enough for it to be a partner.



Top Five Teammates: Kyogre (50.76%), Rayquaza (40.79%), Groudon (39.66%), Palkia (35.39%), Darkrai (30.59%).

Mewtwo usage, which increased noticeably from April to May, has also seen some interesting shifts. While the Taunt/Calm Mind set remains the most popular, the Choice Scarf set seems to have dipped in usage, with Dual Screen Mewtwo appearing on the scene as a new factor in May. Mewtwo is especially valuable in the current metagame considering its ability to singe-handedly shut down the Wobbuffet/Darkrai combination without leaving itself vulnerable to revenge killing or allowing enemy Pokémon to set up as Scarfed revenge killers do. However, there is substantial statistical evidence that Mewtwo is being ineffectively used, making it likely that Mewtwo's usage is being inflated by the influx of new players into the Ubers metagame; approximately 10% of Mewtwo in April and May used Psychic, a move with extremely poor type coverage in the Ubers metagame, especially on a Pokémon that suffers from four-moveslot-syndrome to begin with.

Rayquaza and Groudon are top teammates with Mewtwo for good reason. Mewtwo can set up on the Pokémon that wall them (Lugia walls both, Giratina walls Groudon) thanks to Taunt and Calm Mind. Mewtwo is also faster than Shaymin-S; thus it can destroy it with Ice Beam before it attempts to kill Groudon. Palkia is most likely in the number four spot due to its ability to take on Choice Specs Kyogre, who gives Mewtwo serious problems if Mewtwo is not carrying Thunder or Grass Knot. Darkrai is most likely a common partner for Mewtwo due to its high usage and Mewtwo's Fighting resistance, as Darkrai and Mewtwo share quite a few weaknesses for certain Pokémon (such as Scizor). Kyogre as a teammate is probably a result of high usage in general, as all Kyogre does to help Mewtwo is to make its Thunder's 100% accurate.



Top Five Teammates: Groudon (42.88%), Rayquaza (38.17%), Kyogre (37.91%), Palkia (34.98%), Darkrai (32.14%).

Deoxys-S is easily the most dominant lead in the Ubers metagame, used more than twice as frequently as the second most common lead (Darkrai) and more than the second and third most common leads combined. Nearly all Deoxys-S in May ran essentially the same set, electing to set up Stealth Rock and Spikes while running max speed and Taunt in an attempt to shut down opposing Deoxys-S. Dual Screen Deoxys-S is still seen but is not particularly common, accounting for slightly less than 10% of total Deoxys-S usage. Of course, even 10% of total Deoxys-S usage still makes it the ninth most common lead in Ubers, between Ninjask and Mewtwo. There were only 175 Deoxys-S used that were not leads, thus its non-lead usage would be between Gyarados (number 51) and Electivire (number 52)!

Groudon, Rayquaza, and Darkrai are popular teammates for Deoxys-S simply because Deoxys-S's entry hazards are a huge help to them. With Spikes and Stealth Rock support, Rock Polish Groudon can always OHKO Palkia, Kyogre that do not invest more than 144 HP EVs, and offensive Mewtwo, in addition to having a much better chance of OHKOing Garchomp. Swords Dance Rayquaza is helped in a similar manner, as Spikes and Stealth Rock will allow a +2 Rayquaza with Life Orb to OHKO offensive Groudon with Dragon Claw, and will allow ExtremeSpeed to always OHKO Palkia, Mewtwo, Rayquaza, as well as giving a 92% chance of OHKOing Garchomp with ExtremeSpeed. Dragon Dance Rayquaza is also aided by Deoxys-S's Stealth Rock, as it allows a +1 Adamant Rayquaza with Life Orb to always OHKO the standard Bold 252 HP / 52 Def Lugia with Outrage, or a Jolly +1 Rayquaza with Life Orb to OHKO Lugia with Stone Edge. Finally, Deoxys-S's Stealth Rock allows a +2 Darkrai with Life Orb to always OHKO Palkia with Dark Pulse, and special defensive Scizor with Focus Blast. Deoxys-S does not help Palkia and Kyogre nearly as much, thus it is likely that Palkia and Kyogre are common teammates simply because of their high usage in Ubers.



Top Five Teammates: Kyogre (52.95%), Palkia (38.58%), Groudon (33.05%), Dialga (32.18%), Darkrai (31.46%).

Lugia is one of the fastest-rising Pokémon in the Ubers metagame, climbing more than 8% in usage since March. Interestingly, it seems to be not be used in the context of stall, where it is most useful for shuffling enemy Pokémon and building up entry hazard damage with Whirlwind; but instead for checking Groudon and Swords Dance Rayquaza on teams that are otherwise offensive in nature. This is a somewhat risky proposition, considering that Rock Polish Groudon can 2HKO Lugia with Stone Edge with Stealth Rock support, and that Lugia will only be able to check Dragon Dance Rayquaza at all if it is using max HP and Defense, which is very rare. Lugia benefitted substantially in May from a decline in Wobbuffet usage, since Lugia is one of Wobbuffet's most common targets on which to set up. Like Mewtwo, Lugia shows some statistical signs of being misused by newcomers to Ubers, as nearly 10% of Lugia used Aeroblast, and another 10% used Recover rather than the generally superior Roost.

As mentioned previously, Lugia is being mostly used as a check to Groudon and Rayquaza, and its top five teammates prove it. All of the above teammates have problems with Rock Polish Groudon and/or Swords Dance Rayquaza, while at the same time being mostly offensive Pokémon. Palkia can in return offer a way for Lugia to escape from Kyogre's Water Spout, as Kyogre will often save Thunder for when Garchomp and/or Groudon are out of play. Groudon and Dialga also switch into Thunders that are aimed at Lugia with no problem, as does Kyogre with Ice Beams. Darkrai provides hardly any support for Lugia at all and vice-versa, so overall usage is most likely the only reason Darkrai is often used with Lugia.



Top Five Teammates: Kyogre (54.25%), Dialga (37.26%), Palkia (34.52%), Darkrai (34.42%), Lugia (24.87%).

With its ability to outspeed and OHKO both Dialga and Palkia, immunity to Thunder and Thunder Wave and ability to threaten some (but not all) Lugia, Garchomp creates problems for many Ubers teams. These problems are compounded by the fact that more Wobbuffet are Calm than Bold, making Garchomp harder for Wobbuffet to revenge kill than Palkia or Dialga. 76% of Garchomp used a Choice item, with 60% using Choice Scarf, reflecting Garchomp's advantages over such common Scarfers as Palkia and Dialga. Choice Band Garchomp is also a significant threat, able to severely damage nearly any Pokémon, even in Ubers, with good prediction while outspeeding non-Scarfed base 100 Pokémon.

Kyogre is Garchomp's number one partner because they cover each others' weaknesses well. Kyogre covers Garchomp's Ice weakness, while Garchomp is immune to the many Thunders aimed at Kyogre. Kyogre can also beat Calm Mind Mewtwo that lack Thunder or Grass Knot, which is important because Mewtwo will destroy non-Choice Scarfed Garchomp with Ice Beam. Dialga is likely used because of its ability to easily switch into Lugia's Ice Beams, and either do a severe amount of damage with Thunder or cripple Lugia with Toxic or Thunder Wave. Palkia's usage with Garchomp is probably high because of Garchomp's inability to switch into Kyogre's Water Spouts. Darkrai can make Lugia's life miserable, which is important as Choice Scarf Garchomp can be easily walled by it.



Top Five Teammates: Kyogre (45.35%), Darkrai (42.33%), Palkia (36.42%), Groudon (30.78%), Deoxys-S (29.27%).

With good typing for Ubers, a reliable priority move, and STAB U-Turn, Scizor is a good fit on most Ubers teams; although its slight decline in usage is directly related to recent trends in the metagame that work against it. Scizor is hurt somewhat by the recent increase in Lugia, as it cannot do much damage to Lugia before Lugia phazes it, building up damage from Stealth Rock and possibly Spikes; it is also kept in check by the prevalence of Groudon, Giratina, and Forretress. In May there was a 15.3% increase in the number of Scizor that have max Attack EVs. This is likely because it allows Choice Band Scizor to always 2HKO Rayquaza, and will 2HKO Garchomp after Stealth Rock damage.

Scizor's number one teammate is Kyogre, likely because Kyogre can easily switch into the many Fire attacks aimed at Scizor. Scizor can also destroy Latias with Pursuit, allowing Kyogre to have a much easier time sweeping. Palkia is in a similar position, only it can also save Scizor from Kyogre's deadly Water attacks. Darkrai is likely used with Scizor because Scizor can switch into the common Pokémon that can revenge kill Darkrai (such as Choice Scarf Dialga, Choice Scarf Palkia, Mewtwo, and other Scizor) with ease. Scizor can then threaten Mewtwo (as long as it lacks a Fire attack) with either a STAB U-turn or Pursuit. Dialga is threaten by Superpower, while Scizor can use U-turn to scout the next switch-in on Palkia. Groudon not only has access to Stealth Rock, but it also helps Scizor take Water attacks from Palkia much more easily thanks to the sunlight. Bulk Up Dialga has an easy time setting up on Scizor that either lack Superpower or are locked into Bullet Punch, thus Groudon can easily solve that problem. Deoxys-S's ability to lay down both Stealth Rock and Spikes is very helpful for Scizor, as it can allow Scizor to invest more EVs in its Special Defense without sacrificing KOs.



Top Five Teammates: Palkia (48.68%), Kyogre (48.05%), Deoxys-S (40.05%), Groudon (336.20%), Rayquaza (32.67%).

After a meteoric 14% rise in usage between January and March, Wobbuffet's usage leveled off in April, and took a substantial 5.72% step back in May. This is particularly interesting because Lugia, a Pokémon that Wobbuffet frequently sets up on, increased in usage. However, it is noteworthy that Lugia and Wobbuffet tend to be used in distinctly diffent styles of teams; Lugia is defensively-minded and geared toward longer battles, whereas Wobbuffet is used to set up high-powered sweepers and encourage shorter battles. The Ubers metagame seems to have shifted in May to a more defensively-minded mentality, with Groudon, Rayquaza and Darkrai all declining in usage, and this hurts Wobbuffet's usage, while ironically making Wobbuffet all the more valuable. Wobbuffet can also be used directly as a "wallbreaker", by using Tickle to weaken walls to the point where they can be KOed by Pursuit from the likes of Tyranitar and Scizor.

Palkia is almost certainly Wobbuffet's teammate only because of Wobbuffet being vulnerable to Choice Specs Kyogre after a KO. Although Deoxys-S does not directly benefit Wobbuffet, it is a common teammate because Deoxys-S helps out other popular teammates for Wobbuffet. Groudon and Rayquaza are popular teammates for Wobbuffet because of Wobbuffet's ability to allow them to easily set up, in addition to destroying walls such as Lugia with the Tickle+Pursuit combination. Something to note is that the 6th most used teammate was Lucario, while the 7th was Darkrai; both Pokémon that are easily set up with help from Wobbuffet. Kyogre is likely a top teammate due to its high usage, as it does not benefit from Wobbuffet's support nearly as much as sweepers such as Rayquaza and Darkrai.



Top Five Teammates: Forretress (39.99%), Palkia (35.35%), Lugia (34.64%), Kyogre (33.02%), Dialga (32.84%).

The heart and soul of Ubers stall, Blissey enjoys a relatively stable niche in the Ubers metagame. Blissey easily handles nearly all unboosted special attacks, walling many significant threats such as Latias (without Refresh or Safeguard) and special attack-based Scarfers such as Palkia. However, Blissey has some limitations in terms of walling certain special attackers. For example: she is 2HKOed by Kyogre's Water Spout if it is Modest and has Choice Specs; Giratina-O can set up on Blissey with Substitute and Calm Mind; Mewtwo can use its Substitute/Calm Mind set; Darkrai can easily KO Blissey with Nasty Plot-boosted Focus Blasts; and Palkia and Dialga can be fearsome mixed sweepers. Blissey can alleviate some of these problems by using Calm Mind herself, but this also makes it easier for physical sweepers (and Wobbuffet) to come in unharmed and scare her out, or worse (in Wobbuffet's case).

Forretress is Blissey's number one teammate for good reason; Blissey and Forretress are not only what make Uber stall possible, but also highly effective together. Forretress's ability to lay down Toxic Spikes means that even Darkrai and Choice Specs Kyogre have the potential to get outstalled by a Blissey with Wish and Protect. Forretress can also switch into Outrages that Garchomp, Dialga, and Palkia try to beat Blissey with, thus allowing Forretress to lay down more entry hazards. Palkia is almost surely holding the number two spot due to its ability to take a Choice Specs Water Spout from Kyogre. Lugia can take on several of the physical threats that give Blissey problems, such as Garchomp, Swords Dance Rayquaza, and Groudon. Oddly enough, Lugia teammate usage dropped for Forretress and Latias, thus it appears that the combination of Blissey and Lugia is not common on stall teams for some reason. In fact, Lugia is only the 12th most used teammate with Forretress. Dialga is likely a top teammate due to its ability to lay down Stealth Rock, which can wear down teams due to the switches Blissey can force on many Special Attackers. Kyogre is once again one of the top teammates simply because of its high overall usage.



Top Five Teammates: Blissey (44.55%), Groudon (43.53%), Kyogre (39.45%), Dialga (30.90%), Giratina (29.12%).

Much like Blissey, Forretress enjoys a very stable position in the Uber metagame. Forretress is a very important Pokémon in Uber stall, because it is the only viable Pokémon in the Uber tier that can effectively use Toxic Spikes and Rapid Spin. Unlike the OU metagame, Toxic Spikes are very deadly in Ubers; this is because it affects many powerful threats, such as Kyogre, Groudon, Darkrai, Palkia, Mewtwo, Garchomp, and Wobbuffet. Darkrai and Wobbuffet in paticular are huge problems for Uber stall teams, and Toxic Spikes can help beat them once there are two layers down. Rapid Spin is another extremely valuable commodity in Ubers, as it allows Forretress to ruin Deoxys-S's entry hazard laying efforts. Rapid Spin will also spin away the entry hazards laid down by opposing stall teams once Giratina is out of play. Forretress' typing allows it to easily switch into Outrages from the like of Palkia, Dialga, and Garchomp, giving Forretress plenty of time to set up entry hazards. Forretress can also easily set up on Lugia, whose Ice Beams will do a pathetic amount of damage to Forretress. Forretress, despite being a staple on Uber stall teams, is being seriousily misused. 51.5% of Forretress used a Relaxed nature, and 50% used Gyro Ball. Both the nature and Gyro Ball are poor options in the Uber enviroment for several reasons. Gyro Ball is a very weak move in the Uber metagame, as it only has 8PP and will do less or similar damage to Payback to most of the Psychic-types in Ubers. For example, both Payback and Gyro Ball 3HKO Mewtwo. In fact, there are only three situations where Gyro Ball will do better than Payback. Gyro Ball will be able to do over 50% to Darkrai if it switches in. Gyro Ball will also do more damage to both Tyranitar and Rayquaza if they attempt to set up a Dragon Dance. However, Darkrai can still put Forretress to sleep anyway, while Rayquaza can easily carry a Fire move to roast Forretress. The Relaxed nature is also very bad in Ubers, as it can make Forretress very vulnerable to Wobbuffet. If Wobbuffet switches into Forretress as it uses Rapid Spin or Gyro Ball, Wobbuffet can use Encore before Forretress (This is assuming Forretress is using a 0 Speed IV, which is needed for Gyro Ball to do a reasonable amount of damage) even moves. Thus, Wobbuffet can destroy Forretress if it chooses Gyro Ball, or switch to a Pokémon such as Darkrai to set up if Forretress used Rapid Spin. If Forretress uses an Impish or Careful nature, Forretress is faster than Wobbuffet, and therefore can in fact take advantage of a Wobbuffet switch in by guaranteeing two layers of Toxic Spikes or Spikes. This can be very harmful to offensive teams over the course of the game.

As previously noted, Forretress's most common partner is Blissey. Blissey and Forretress form the core of Ubers stall, despite both being OU Pokémon. Groudon is also an important Pokémon to Ubers stall, and thus is used quite a bit with Forretress. This is mostly because Forretress is very vulnerable to being set up on by Bulk Up Dialga. Groudon is also capable of using Stealth Rock, which frees up Forretress's moveslots for another attack or Spikes. Although Kyogre is not a common Pokémon on Uber stall teams, it is most certainly seen on more balanced teams featuring Forretress, thanks to its ability to easily switch into the Fire attacks aimed at Forretress. Dialga is another user of Stealth Rock that is used with Forretress. Finally, Giratina is a standard on stall teams, as it blocks Rapid Spin, thus making sure that Forretress's time laying out entry hazards is not wasted.



Top Five Teammates: Kyogre (58.27%), Darkrai (43.22%), Palkia (40.96), Groudon (30.57%), Rayquaza (28.68%).

Deoxys-A, once one of the stars of Ubers, is now a mere shell of its former glory. There are several reasons for this. Scizor gaining Bullet Punch from Platinum was devastating for Deoxys-A, as it caused one of its best checks to skyrocket in usage. To make this even worse, Lucario has gained popularity in Ubers, forcing Deoxys-A to worry about another user of priority moves aside from Scizor, Rayquaza, and Metagross. The abundance of Choice Scarf users such as Palkia and Garchomp has also hindered Deoxys-A's usefulness. Most of all, Deoxys-A's low usage (at least compared to how common it once was) is due to Deoxys-S's high usage. The Species Clause does not allow both Deoxys-S and Deoxys-A on the same team, and thus the majority of players have chosen Deoxys-S over Deoxys-A. However, all is not gloom and doom for Deoxys-A, as it has enjoyed a slight increase in usage lately. This is likely because most teams do not take Deoxys-A into account anymore, thus Deoxys-A can devastate teams that are unprepared for it. While Deoxys-A might not be as fearsome as it used to be, it is a force that should never be underestimated. It is notable that Deoxys-A is the 5th most used lead in Ubers. While it can not lay down Stealth Rock as reliably as Deoxys-S, Deoxys-A's sheer power will often frighten leads such as Kyogre and Groudon into switching, thus giving Deoxys-A the free time to use Stealth Rock.

Deoxys-A is an offensive Pokémon, both as a sweeper and as a support lead, so it is hardly surprising that its five most common teammates are all offensive threats, designed to help Deoxys-A clear walls and sweep, as well as benefitting from the Stealth Rock and Spikes laid down by Deoxys-A leads.



Top Five Teammates: Groudon (45.53%), Kyogre (42.70%), Deoxys-S (38.63%), Palkia (37.11%), Mewtwo (26.46%).

Giratina-O's usage got a massive boost in May. The reason for this is that Giratina-O has several unique qualities that set it apart from other offensive Pokémon in Ubers, traits that are only now being exploited. First and foremost is Giratina-O being the only viable offensively-oriented Rapid Spin blocker in Ubers other than Gengar. Because of the inefficient Forretress sets that are currently being used, Giratina-O can easily set up on Forretress, due to Gyro Ball not breaking its Substitute. Blissey can also be easily set up on, as it can not break Giratina-O's Substitute with Ice Beam after Giratina-O has Calm Minded once. Even better, Seismic Toss does not effect Giratina-O due to its Ghost-typing. These qualities make Giratina-O an excellent stall breaker, and this has caused its usage to rise.

Groudon is likely the most common partner for Giratina-O due to Groudon's ability to handle Tyranitar. Although Tyranitar has dropped out of the "OU of Ubers", it is such a threat to Giratina-O that Groudon is highly recommended to accompany Giratina-O regardless. Kyogre is a top teammate due to Giratina-O being able to lure out and destroy Palkia and Latias, the two most common ways of dealing with Kyogre. If Giratina-O uses Calm Mind as they switch in, they will lose to Giratina-O (not even an unboosted Draco Meteor from Palkia will KO). Deoxys-S is a common teammate because it can operate freely without concern for Forretress, who cannot Rapid Spin Deoxys-S's entry hazards away while Giratina-O is still in play. Like many Pokémon, Palkia is used with Giratina-O due to its inability to safely switch into Choice Specs Kyogre's Water Spouts. Finally, Mewtwo's usage is likely a reaction to opposing players using Calm Mind Blissey to deal with Giratina-O, as Mewtwo can use Taunt and Calm Mind to easily set up on Blissey that lack Seismic Toss.



Top Five Teammates: Kyogre (50.84%), Forretress (33.83%), Blissey (30.62%), Darkrai (29.74%), Deoxys-S (26.38%).

Giratina usage suffered a heavy drop in the month of May, falling by 3.84%. This is likely due to a number of changes in the metagame that makes it less useful. Groudon's usage fell by 6.18%, significant because Groudon is one of the most prominent Pokémon that Giratina counters. To make the situation worse for Giratina, Lugia appears to be the wall of choice due to its ability to take on Swords Dance Rayquaza. Giratina-O's increased usage has also been harmful to Giratina's usage as well, as Giratina has no chance of stopping an enemy Calm Mind Giratina-O. Despite these setbacks, Giratina is a staple on Uber stall teams for a number of reasons. Giratina's Ghost-typing allows it to block Forretress' Rapid Spin, which is key to a stall team's success. This is also a very useful quality for more offensive teams, as entry hazards such as Stealth Rock are very helpful for sweepers such as Rock Polish Groudon. Giratina's lack of a weakness to Rock means that Stealth Rock is not as harmful to Giratina as it is to Lugia. This lack of a Rock-type weakness also helps Giratina to have an easier time with Rock Polish Groudon than Lugia does, as it does not fear Stone Edge.

Giratina's top teammates indicate that it is used on both offensive and defensive teams. Kyogre is Giratina's number one teammate due to a combination of Kyogre's high usage and its ability to switch into Ice Beams from opposing Choice Specs Kyogres directed at Giratina. Forretress and Blissey are important Pokémon in Uber stall, thus explaining their high usage in conjunction with Giratina. Darkrai is a top teammate due to Giratina's ability to wall Scizor, which is a threat to Darkrai. Finally, Deoxy-S's entry hazards are much more likely to stay on the field with Giratina's ability to block Forretress's Rapid Spin, making them natural teammates.



Top Five Teammates: Groudon (45.61%), Kyogre (45.14%), Darkrai (41.60%), Scizor (28.98%), Deoxys-S (28.34%).

While Latias may be the most reliable way to deal with Kyogre, Palkia appears to be favored by most players for a number of reasons. Palkia can use a Choice Scarf to revenge kill Darkrai, while Latias is unable to stop sweeps from Darkrai. Palkia also has the option of using a mixed set to get past Blissey, while Latias is forced to use Recover, Calm Mind, Dragon Pulse, and either Safeguard or Refresh.This leaves Latias vulnerable to Scizor. Speaking of Scizor, Latias despises Pokémon with Pursuit, as it can destroy her due to her Psychic typing. Not all is lost for Latias, as it has some significant advantages over Palkia. Unlike Choice Scarf Palkia, Latias will always beat Calm Mind Kyogre, due to Latias's high Special Defense (thanks to Soul Dew) and accesses to Calm Mind herself. Latias' Soul Dew makes it more powerful and more specially bulky than Palkia, and Latias has Recover to take advantage of this. Latias's ability, Levitate, also gives it some advantages over Palkia. Latias is immune to both Spikes and Toxic Spikes, allowing Latias to fare better against stall teams than Palkia. Levitate also allows Latias to switch into Groudon's Earthquakes. Finally, Latias's 110 base Speed allows it to revenge kill any other Dragon Pokémon that lack a Choice Scarf, notably Garchomp and enemy Palkia.

Groudon may seem like an odd choice as a top teammate at first, but Groudon is most likely a popular teammate because Latias can switch into Kyogre, which is a major threat to Groudon. Kyogre not only shields Latias from Ice Beams, but also makes Latias' Thunders 100% accurate thanks to the permanent rain. In return, Latias resists Kyogre's only two weaknesses, Grass and Electric. Latias is capable of defeating Sleep Talk Kyogre to clear the way for Darkrai, which otherwise Darkrai struggles to defeat. Scizor resists every weakness that Latias has, while Latias resists Scizor's Fire weakness, and clears Kyogre for Scizor, which otherwise will resist Scizor's Bullet Punches. Deoxys-S is a common partner due to its popularity as a lead. Forretress is Latias' 7th most common partner, highlighting Latias' importance to stall teams.



Top Five Teammates: Kyogre (47.84%), Mewtwo (32.15%), Garchomp (30.94%), Darkrai (29.99%), Palkia (28.87%).

Shaymin-S is becoming increasingly common in the Ubers metagame. This is due to several of its sets finding niches that cannot be filled by any other Pokémon in Ubers. The most common set in May was the Choice Scarf set, mainly due to its ability to work as both a revenge killer and a lead. Due to its Grass / Flying typing and Choice Scarf, Shaymin-S can switch into a Rock Polish Groudon's Earthquake, then OHKO it with Seed Flare before a Groudon with +2 Speed can even move! When used as a lead, Choice Scarf Shaymin-S has the ability to outspeed both Choice Scarf Darkrai and Deoxys-S. If Shaymin-S flinches them with Air Slash, it is highly likely that they will fall to another Air Slash the next turn. Even if Shaymin-S does not flinch Deoxys-S, it usally prevents Deoxys-S from getting anything more than Stealth Rock up. Shaymin-S’s other common set involves Substitute and Leech Seed. This can allow Shaymin-S to scout for Choice Scarfed Pokémon, and then destroy them later with Pokémon such as Wobbuffet.

Kyogre is Shaymin-S’s most common teammate because of its useful resistances to Ice and Fire, while Shaymin-S can take Grass attacks for Kyogre thanks to its 4x resistance to Grass. Palkia also sports a 4x resistance to Fire attacks, and is also a switch in to Kyogre’s Water Spout. Mewtwo and Darkrai can crush Lugia, which often switches into a Choiced Seed Flare. Finally, Garchomp (with a Choice Scarf) can stop Dragon Dance Rayquaza in the eventuality that it attempts to set up on a Choiced Seed Flare.



Top Five Teammates: Deoxys-S (58.33%), Palkia (55.69%), Wobbuffet (44.73%), Kyogre (38.71%), Groudon (37.91%).

While Lucario may seem at first like an inferior Rayquaza, it has made it into the "OU of Ubers" because of the advantages it has over Rayquaza. Unlike Rayquaza, after one Swords Dance while holding Life Orb, an Adamant Lucario will OHKO offensive Groudon with Close Combat. To do the same, Rayquaza must have Outrage, which makes it prone to revenge killing and less capable of prolonged sweeping. Lucario's typing is also very different from Rayquaza's, which makes its counters correspondingly different. For example, Lucario is not beaten by Lugia, as Swords Dance Rayquaza is. Lucario is remarkably difficult to wall in Ubers; it is best dealt with through revenge killing and by wearing it down through Life Orb damage and Spikes.

Because many of its important KOs depend on Spikes being on the field, Deoxys-S is crucial to Lucario's success for its ability to ensure that Spikes are up when Lucario comes in. Palkia serves as a switch-in against Kyogre Water Spouts, a rare trait on the sort of offensive teams on which Lucario is popular. Wobbuffet is Lucario's most important partner of all, as it serves to grant Lucario the free turn of setup that it needs to use Swords Dance; Lucario is too frail defensively to set up against offensive teams easily in Ubers. Kyogre resists Fire attacks to which Lucario is weak, but otherwise has little to offer Lucario in terms of support, and vice-versa. Groudon, on the other hand, is quite helpful to Lucario, both as a source of the all-important Stealth Rock and and a follow-up sweeper to "clean up" the opposing team after massive damage has been inflicted by Lucario.

« Previous Article Home Next Article »