NU's Top Threats: How do they fare in RU?

By ScraftyIsTheBest. Art by Bummer.
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Every tier has a group of top-tier threats. These are Pokémon that have a major effect on the metagame and are a great fit on a vast majority of teams. NU itself is no exception; there are Pokémon that the tier revolves around, such as Jynx and Scolipede. But if such Pokémon were banned from the tier, that would not be the case. If you're wondering what would happen to these top threats if they end up banned, you've found the right article.


First up, here we have the queen of NU, Jynx. With a fantastic offensive movepool, great Speed and power, and a sleep-inducing move in Lovely Kiss, Jynx is one of the deadliest forces in NU. Jynx is capable of completely incapacitating an opponent with Lovely Kiss, and with the sleep mechanics, that will usually equate to a free KO. What really makes Jynx so threatening in NU is not just this, however; after Jynx has put something to sleep with Lovely Kiss, Jynx can proceed to threaten the rest of the team with its powerful attacks. Unless you're running something specially-bulky like Munchlax, it will be very hard to stop Jynx from getting at least one KO in the game. Jynx is also somewhat versatile in sets: it can run a Choice Scarf to cripple or revenge kill fast targets like Scolipede and Swellow or it can pose as a powerful threat with Nasty Plot or an all-out Attacker set. All of these make Jynx a metagame-defining threat that has caused all of NU to revolve around it, so much that it had once held the dubious honor of being the only Pokémon to ever get banned from NU.

Jynx is a fairly solid choice in RU as well; even with the recent banning of Snow Warning from the tier, Jynx still does well. Jynx's qualities bring it to be a solid threat in RU. Although Sigilyph and Mesprit are generally better offensive Psychic-types, Jynx's access to Lovely Kiss and STAB Ice Beam make it worthwhile to use. Its Speed is not that great by RU standards, but it's still enough to suffice. Jynx's great coverage helps it too, so it can threaten a lot of Pokémon in the tier. Unfortunately, Jynx suffers from the prominence of Emboar, Entei, and Escavalier; these three can threaten Jynx relatively easily as they commonly carry Sleep Talk, which makes Lovely Kiss a very risky move to use. Even worse is the fact that Jynx cannot do much to Escavalier unless it carries Hidden Power Fire. Jynx is also walled by Slowking, the king of RU, which makes matters worse for it. Despite the metagame being somewhat unkind to Jynx, it still has a lot of potential in RU if you're looking for a strong offensive Ice- or Psychic-type.


Here we have the other metagame-defining Pokémon in NU: Scolipede. Aside from its completely manly appearance, Scolipede is the epitome of Spikes-stacking offense in NU. What makes Scolipede a top-tier Spikes user is that it is very fast; its Speed is above that of many Pokémon in NU with the exception of Swellow and the rare Electrode. Scolipede also has a very good Attack stat, as well as a powerful STAB move in Megahorn. It also has excellent coverage in its movepool, which consists of Aqua Tail, Earthquake, and Rock Slide. Not only can it be a fast Spikes user, but it can also be a bulky pivot for the bulkier teams or become a frightening physical sweeper with Swords Dance. With all of these, Scolipede is a Pokémon in NU that fits on all kinds of teams, and is also something that everyone must prepare for.

Believe it or not, Scolipede was part of the RU tier for the majority of the fifth generation, and rightfully so. All of Scolipede's qualities that allow it to dominate NU make it a great Pokémon in RU as well. Its 112 Speed is pretty good by RU standards; Scolipede can outspeed and threaten a large portion of the metagame. Scolipede's access to Spikes and Toxic Spikes make it an excellent entry hazard setter on offensive teams. Compared to RU Spikes users such as Roselia, Qwilfish, Smeargle, and Crustle, it has more Speed to quickly set up Spikes while still being able to maintain an offensive presence. Despite some competition with Accelgor Scolipede's access to Toxic Spikes gives the centipede a niche, not to mention Scolipede is also stronger than Accelgor simply because Megahorn is much more powerful than Bug Buzz. Scolipede also has a great offensive typing in RU; Bug-type moves threaten a lot of the RU metagame, and Scolipede also has great coverage options to threaten anything that resists its Megahorn. Its Speed and coverage allow it to be an effective Swords Dance sweeper, whether with three attacks or the rare but underrated SubSalac set. The only really big drawback to Scolipede is its frailty, so just keep in mind that Scolipede won't be taking any hits too well. All in all, Scolipede's long stint in RU is perfectly justifiable, as it can and certainly will make an excellent selection for your team.


Although it might not look like the part, Kangaskhan is a top Pokémon in NU for quite a few reasons. Kangaskhan is one of the best priority users out there with Fake Out and Sucker Punch, and this makes Kangaskhan a great revenge killer in this fast and frail metagame. Kangaskhan also has well-rounded stats, allowing it to have good bulk as well as decent power and Speed; it has a great offensive movepool to work with as well. Scrappy is also an excellent ability, so Kangaskhan's Fake Out and Double-Edge hit even Misdreavus and Golurk, making it all the more difficult to switch into. Kangaskhan has room for options such as Substitute, Toxic, or Focus Punch to punish switch-ins such as Regirock and Carracosta. Although Kangaskhan's slight lack of power does hold it back, its qualities make it a great threat to many teams.

Although often overlooked, Kangaskhan does perform very well in RU. Its qualities that allow it to be a top-tier threat in NU are also the keys to success in RU. Its access to Scrappy Fake Out as well as Sucker Punch make it a good answer to the more offensive Pokémon, namely Sceptile, Cinccino, Galvantula, and Scolipede. Its Double-Edge is also decently powerful, and Scrappy makes it relatively easy to spam. Kangaskhan's Speed is decent by RU standards, tying with threats such as Moltres and Lilligant while outspeeding base 80s such as Gallade, Kabutops, and Mesprit. Choice Band and bulky variants are also viable options; Kangaskhan can opt for immediate power or make good use of its bulk. Overall, despite other Normal-types to compete with such as Tauros, Cinccino, and Bouffalant, Kangaskhan is still an excellent Pokémon in RU, and is one to definitely consider for a teamslot.


Samurott is among the most fearsome attackers in NU; it can hit a multitude of targets with powerful physical and special attacks. It can run a Swords Dance set, allowing it to be a devastating physical sweeper with great power and coverage in Waterfall and Megahorn to pummel many Pokémon, while Aqua Jet allows it to pick off many of the faster Pokémon. The only real counter to it is Alomomola, which can sponge off Samurott's physical attacks, recover lost HP with Wish and Protect, and eventually KO it with Toxic. On the other hand, a special set allows Samurott to have a lot of immediate power and great coverage in Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, and Hidden Power Grass. It also has access to Taunt, so Samurott can be a great anti-lead as well. Both sets also have wildly different counters; the physical set can destroy many of the special set's counters, and vice-versa. This allows Samurott to force a guessing game by its lone appearance in Team Preview, and it still does not lose its surprise factor even after it begins attacking.

Samurott can definitely shine in RU, making for a great wallbreaker. It can run a mixed set using Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, and Megahorn to break down bulkier Pokémon with relative ease; its coverage means that outside of Ferroseed, almost nothing in RU can effectively wall Samurott. It can also run the ever deadly Swords Dance set. Although Kabutops and Feraligatr give it some competition, Megahorn means Samurott can handle Tangrowth. Despite some flaws, Samurott is an excellent choice for a wallbreaker in RU.


Musharna has been a top-tier threat in NU for a long time. Its titanic bulk, reliable recovery, and Psychic typing allow it to counter other prominent threats such as Gurdurr, Sawk, and Kangaskhan, while being a check to a vast majority of other Pokémon. Musharna does more than just taking on threats however; it can support its team with Thunder Wave, Heal Bell, Reflect, and Baton Pass, which is helpful to a lot of teams. It also has Calm Mind, and with its bulk and recovery, Musharna has an easy time setting up and being able to sweep. It can also run an offensive Trick Room set because it's so slow. Musharna is a very versatile Pokémon; it can wall, sweep, or support very well and it will almost always find a spot on a team.

Musharna is a pretty good Pokémon in RU, and although there are other Psychic-types to compete with such as Mesprit and Uxie, it still finds a place. The bulky Calm Mind set works very well, and Musharna can again find setup opportunities with its bulk and Moonlight. Baton Pass is also an excellent move, as Musharna can safely escape from common Pursuit users such as Spiritomb and Escavaler, while also giving Musharna a good niche as a pivot. It can also run Heal Bell to prevent status from wearing its team down. Like Uxie, Musharna can handle some common Pokémon such as Hitmonlee. The recent banning of Snow Warning has also helped Musharna a lot, as it no longer has to suffer from a weakened Moonlight. Overall, if you're looking for a bulky Psychic-type, Musharna is certainly a viable choice.


Sawk has been a staple of NU since the early days of the tier, and has held a reign of dominance since October 2011. Its massive Attack, powerful Close Combat, and good Speed give Sawk all it needs to terrorize teams in NU. It can function as a fantastic wallbreaker with Choice Band, and Mold Breaker also means it can break Sturdy Custap leads such as Golem while hitting Levitate users hard. It's a usable revenge killer with Choice Scarf as well, and although Primeape gives Sawk competition for a Choice Scarf user now, Sawk still has the extra power. It also has usable coverage, with Ice Punch, Earthquake, and Stone Edge, although it's still walled by a number of Pokémon such as Musharna and Misdreavus. Despite this, Sawk still holds a strong presence in NU, and is a force to prepare for.

In RU though, Sawk really gets the short end of the stick. Sawk is usable, don't get me wrong, but it's heavily outclassed. As a wallbreaker, it faces competition from Gallade, which has Swords Dance and Night Slash, as well as Hariyama and Emboar, which have better bulk or coverage. A Choice Scarf set is usable, but Sawk still has to compete with Primeape and Emboar, which can effectively absorb sleep, while Primeape also has U-turn to scout. Mold Breaker is also not enough to save Sawk, as the only Sturdy users—Crustle and Steelix—can still endure a hit from it and set up Stealth Rock. Sawk isn't completely unusable, and can work well if you want it to; just keep in mind that there's usually something that will do Sawk's job better.


Although Carrocosta has only recently seen the limelight, it's become one of the top setup sweepers in NU. It has great bulk and Solid Rock, which give it some good opportunities to set up a Shell Smash, and its STAB combination of Waterfall and Stone Edge is very hard to stop; only Seismitoad and incredibly bulky Pokémon can do this. The Normal resistance and bulk mean that Carracosta is also one of the few offensive Pokémon not to get wrecked by Kangaskhan, and that's a pretty good thing considering the prominence of the kangaroo. It can also run a supportive set with Stealth Rock and has Aqua Jet and Waterfall to handle other leads. Despite its Speed keeping it from being as threatening as the other top NU threats, it's still a force to be reckoned with.

Carracosta isn't a terrible Pokémon in RU, and it's actually quite decent. It can set up Shell Smash and use its STAB combination to deal hefty damage to opposing teams. Its physical attacking prowess gives it enough of a reason to be used over Omastar. A support set is still a possibility, and Carracosta does it decently. Its resistances are great too; it can take hits from Entei, Emboar, and Swellow rather well. Its mixed attacking capabilities mean it can use Ice Beam to nail Tangrowth, unlike Kabutops. Despite this, Carracosta's low usage mainly comes from one word: competition. Carracosta is definitely good at what it does, and has some valuable traits, but Omastar and Kabutops give it a lot of competition. Kabutops has better initial Speed, more power, and most importantly, Rapid Spin. Omastar can be a Shell Smash sweeper too, but has better Speed to outpace threats such as Sceptile and Choice Scarf Rotom-C. Omastar also has stronger STAB moves than Carracosta. Still, Carracosta's combination of bulk, power, and Shell Smash give it a niche; just make sure that when you use Carracosta, play it to its strengths to ensure Kabutops and Omastar won't be the better choice.


Well, that's all I've got. These are how all of NU's top Pokémon perform in RU. With that in mind, it's definitely worth giving a lot of these NU Pokémon a shot in RU, as they can perform excellently, and other Pokémon in NU can do so too, so be sure to try a lot of lesser used Pokémon in the tier. But please, when I say this, I am not promoting the use of garbage such as Sandslash and Dusknoir. Anyways, get out there and see how your favorite NU Pokémon perform in RU; you might very well be impressed.

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