OU: The Uber Cuffs are Broken

By Valmanway. Art by Nerina.
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OU has always been home to the most formidable Pokémon available, and even the least powerful is more than capable of making heads roll given the chance. However, sometimes there will be a Pokémon that makes more heads roll than is acceptable, and so they are brought to the attention of what's known as the OU Council. The Pokémon that fall under the gaze of the OU Council, which one can envision as the "courtroom" for Pokémon under consideration for banishment to the Uber tier, make fearsome OU staples such as Greninja look like small fry. The charges against these suspects are serious: they consistently win battles with their presence and might alone, often without the need of others to aid them in battle; they unbalance the metagame, and they force players to overprepare for their presence. If the Pokémon is found guilty of the charges against them, they get the Banhammer of Justice, and are then restrained in the shackles of the Ubers metagame, possibly forever bound to the tier.

But during the transition between generations, the judge may be generous and allow some of the convicts to leave their Uber prison and join OU again. In the eyes of the OU veterans of the previous generation, this is an unpleasant reminder of the days when these monsters would wreak havoc upon the tier. However, some of the new guys will think differently. Greninja doesn't give a Rattata's ass about Landorus, as he can outrun non-Scarf sets and KO. Talonflame challenges Deoxys-S for the role of the best revenge killer in the game, matching the alien's coverage and Speed with its strong priority attacks. Deoxys-D gets the crap kicked out of it by Aegislash. The convicts have been released into a whole new world, but with new and old faces alike joining the fray, some of those once shackled may very well be freed from Ubers for good. But what made them broken in the first place, and why aren't they as broken now as they were back then? That is the question that this article hopes to answer!

This was written before the Deoxys-D and Deoxys-S ban, so keep that in mind while reading.


Typing: Psychic
Stats: 50 / 70 / 160 / 70 / 160 / 90

Reason For Banishment In B/W

Deoxys-D was, is, and will likely always be, the cement, staple, glue, and tape of most successful hyper offensive teams. In the fifth generation, its defensive presence and supporting options were unmatched, its weaknesses weren't as commonplace as they are now, its reliability in not only setting up entry hazards, but also in preventing the opponent from laying down theirs was critical to its team's victory, and its bulk was excellent to say the least, which allowed it to survive powerful hits with plenty of health to spare. Thanks to a combination of its Fighting resistance and Recover, it could take on prominent offensive threats such as Choice Band Terrakion, Conkeldurr, Toxicroak, and Lucario lacking Crunch. Its access to Magic Coat and Taunt crippled Pokémon that relied on their support options, either preventing the use of or reflecting Stealth Rock, Spore, opposing Taunt, Roar, Will-O-Wisp, and Thunder Wave, and it would often either do just that or force them out with little cost to itself. There weren't that many attackers capable of scoring a 2HKO on it, and even notable offensive threats of the generation that could threaten it with strong neutral damage, such as Kyurem-B, Keldeo, and Latios, couldn't hope to score a 2HKO consistently if it ran the right defensive EVs and nature. While Scizor and Tyranitar were capable of scoring the 2HKO, the fact that they were the only two capable of such a feat is a true testament to Deoxys-D's defensive might. Its ability to destroy most forms of utility and its mammoth defensive stats that could withstand even some of the strongest of attacks were just too much to handle at the time.

Reason For Unbanishment In X/Y

The biggest reason for the downfall of Deoxys-D is Defog. With the buff to Defog allowing it to remove all entry hazards from the field, Deoxys-D's role as a hazard setter became much more difficult, as Magic Coat can't defend against the move, and the distribution of Defog is actually pretty good, notable users including Mandibuzz, Zapdos, Skarmory, the Lati twins, and Scizor. Another factor that lead to Deoxys-D's drop to OU was the Steel nerf. With that nerf, Ghost- and Dark-type moves saw a sharp rise in usage, whether they were backed by STAB or not. The two weaknesses that Deoxys-D rarely saw back in the day are now around almost every corner; Bisharp, Gengar, Aegislash, and Greninja are prime examples of top tier threats that can take on Deoxys-D these days, and each of them is capable of either setting up on it or flat out 2HKOing it with their pure strength. Another reason for Deoxys-D's drop was Knock Off, which has had many a buff, not only becoming a 65 Base Power attack, but also receiving a 50% power boost if the enemy has an item, and the move has pretty good distribution too, including but not limited to: Absol, Azumarill, Bisharp, Conkeldurr, Crawdaunt, Ferrothorn, Landorus, and Weavile. A third element that played a part in its drop was the advent of Mega Evolution, which introduced many powerful threats, such as Mega Mawile, Mega Pinsir, Mega Gyarados, both Mega Charizards, and Mega Gardevoir, all of which can either set up on or cleanly 2HKO, or even OHKO Deoxys-D outright. However, Deoxys-D's ability to take hits from threats such as Talonflame, Latios, Deoxys-S, Choice Specs Keldeo, and Kyurem-B, as well as handle walls such as Mandibuzz, Clefable, Ferrothorn, Hippowdon, Rotom-W, Mamoswine, and Skarmory is simply extraordinary. The metagame has gotten crueler and crueler as the generations pass by, and XY introduced plenty more threats that can rip through defensive Pokémon with ease, but Deoxys-D is still a defensive behemoth, regardless of the new offensive threats, and is one of the main reasons why hyper offense can still succeed to this day.


Typing: Psychic
Stats: 50 / 95 / 90 / 95 / 90 / 180

Reason For Banishment In B/W

Racing in as the naturally fastest Pokémon in the game, Deoxys-S proves to be a very significant threat in any metagame. Despite being one of the Deoxys formes that is supposed to excel in specific stats, Deoxys-S actually has the most well-rounded stats out of the bunch, with no real flaws to note other than lacking any high stats aside from Speed. It had two roles back then that it still has today: very fast support and revenge killing. As a supporter, it was very reliable at its job in setting up hazards and preventing the opponent from doing the same, much like Deoxys-D, but Deoxys-S was able to get the jump on many other Pokémon and Taunt them, such as Landorus-T, Gliscor, Celebi, Ninetales, Froslass, and Latias, Pokémon that Deoxys-D could only wish it could outspeed. But that was simply a niche playstyle compared to its role as a revenge killer. With access to an exceptionally wide movepool, good offenses, and blistering Speed, it was easily the most flexible and consistent mixed revenge killer in OU. Having access to excellent moves in Psycho Boost, Ice Beam, Superpower, Focus Blast, Pursuit, Thunderbolt, the elemental punches, and a few other options, Deoxys-S had all the coverage it needed to threaten most of BW OU, including but not limited to: Keldeo, Tyranitar, Celebi, Dragonite, Ferrothorn, Garchomp, Hippowdon, Kyurem-B, Landorus-T, the Lati twins, Scizor, Starmie, and Terrakion. What makes it so effective is that it can even outrun some Choice Scarf and +1 Speed Pokémon, such as Garchomp, Salamence, Dragonite, and Gyarados, so revenge killing this revenge killer was almost out of the question outside of using Extreme Speed or some other priority attack. But the worst part was that it could dismantle any Rapid Spinner with the right attack; Starmie and Cloyster were vaporized by Thunderbolt, Tentacruel was demolished by Psychic, Psyshock, or Psycho Boost, and Donphan was easily disposed of by Ice Beam, which made it very reliable at taking out spinners and preserving hazards. Deoxys-S made hyper offense very difficult to use, and required players to have bulkier Pokémon in order to endure Deoxys-S, but there were very few bulky threats that could avoid a 2HKO from one of its coverage options; the only one that could boast that capability was Jirachi, who could avoid a 2HKO from Life Orb Fire Punch and use Thunder or Body Slam to paralyze it, although neither even guaranteed paralysis. Deoxys-S's effectiveness in these roles was out of this world (but does this really surprise you considering that it's an alien?), and it seemed like it was impossible to build a successful team that didn't overprepare for it, which unbalanced the metagame.

Reason For Unbanishment In X/Y

Like Deoxys-D, the rise in Ghost- and Dark-type moves was one of the biggest reasons for the curbing of its might. Sucker Punch and Shadow Sneak from the likes of Bisharp, Mega Mawile, and Aegislash have become commonplace, making Deoxys-S's role as a revenge killer much tougher. In fact, priority in general has really cut down on its sweeping potential and has slowly become the dominant force for Pokémon in its role as a revenge killer, especially in the case of Talonflame, who boasts a powerful priority move with which to revenge kill opponents, creating a very worthy rival for that role. Other dangerous priority sweepers such as Azumarill, Mega Pinsir, and Mega Scizor can keep Deoxys-S in check with their viciously powerful STAB priority attacks, and what's worse, they can set up on the switch and then threaten Deoxys-S's entire team. Speaking of priority, fellow ex-Uber Thundurus can use a Prankster Thunder Wave to cripple the alien menace and then allow his team to pick it off. Then there are more defensive threats, such as Mega Charizard X, Aegislash, Clefable, and Chansey, who can thwart its attempts at revenge killing, and can either set up on it or stall it out. Even so, while Deoxys-S might have lost its edge this generation, it's still a top tier threat that must be prepared for.


Typing: Ground / Steel
Stats: 110 / 135 / 60 / 50 / 65 / 88

Reason For Banishment In B/W

Back in Generation V, sand, and the teams that made use of it, were a very threatening force in the OU metagame. The Pokémon seen on these teams would often have incredible power, bulk, and sometimes even Speed. But there was a certain mole that had all three, and it became the face of sand sweeping. This is the story of Excadrill. Excadrill had a niche as the best sand sweeper in the entire OU tier, with the help of Sand Rush, Swords Dance, and its EdgeQuake coverage, though calling it a niche is practically an insult, as his efficacy at the role was simply horrifying. With sand wearing down on opponents and doubling his Speed, and after one Swords Dance, it was practically game, set, and match for his unfortunate opponent. That's right, no team could possibly stop this monstrosity once he got the chance to set up, unless you either built your team specifically to beat him or ran a sun or rain team. With the combination of high power, blazing Speed, and great coverage, it was considered a miracle just to interrupt his sweep, let alone to beat him without priority. And he was a Rapid Spinner to boot, not to mention having quite possibly the best defensive typing in the game for coming in on hazards, especially when holding an Air Balloon. He also couldn't be hit with Toxic or Thunder Wave thanks to said amazing typing, which also played a huge part in his banishment. Speaking of his typing, while it left him weak to Aqua Jet and Mach Punch, neither move was very common, meaning that priority wasn't really a pressing issue for him, and being a Steel-type is almost always a good thing, especially on a sand team. If not for the fact that opposing weather took away his Speed increase, Excadrill would have been banned much sooner.

Reason For Unbanishment In X/Y

First and foremost, the nerf to auto-weather was the most significant reason for his drop to OU. I cannot stress this enough when I say that this was the most critical element here, and it was that nerf alone that made him drop out of Ubers. The metagame also adapted to him quite nicely, and with commonplace checks and counters such as Greninja, Talonflame, both Mega Charizards, Mega Scizor, Landorus, Azumarill, Keldeo, and Mega Venusaur easily taking Excadrill on outside of his precious sand, he actually has a pretty hard time sweeping offensive teams consistently. His sweeping days were damn near over, but then people remembered that he gets Rapid Spin, and also Mold Breaker Earthquake, allowing him to destroy Pokémon with Levitate, as well as being able to threaten spinblockers with said Earthquakes, such as Aegislash and Gengar, which makes Excadrill a spinner that can't be blocked without risk of being KOed. However, he faces competition for this role with Defoggers, who can guarantee hazard removal as the move can't be blocked by Ghost-types, making it the overall better option to get rid of hazards. Defog also has a variety of powerful or defensive users such as Mandibuzz, the Lati twins, Scizor, and Zapdos, all of whom compete with Excadrill for the role. But his strengths should never be underestimated; his great defensive typing seems like it was just built with hazards in mind, he has one of the strongest Earthquakes in OU, he can break through walls with his excellent power, and he's the best (and currently only) Rapid Spinner in OU, which is a huge asset on its own. He has fallen from his former fame, but rest assured, his placing in OU is very well deserved.


Typing: Ground / Flying
Stats: 89 / 125 / 90 / 115 / 80 / 101

Reason For Banishment In B/W

When thinking of ways to counter sand teams, a physical wall is the first thing that comes to mind, since sand teams are mostly made up of physical attackers. But when Landorus comes into play, it becomes much harder to handle sand teams. Landorus is one of those Pokémon that has better Attack than Special Attack, yet people use him as a special attacker because of his better special movepool, as well as the general lack of special attackers on sand teams. He was also an interesting case in the sense that he had base 101 Speed, barely outpacing the multiple base 100s, such as Jirachi, Salamence, and Celebi. He also had two very different abilities that powered up his attacks. Sheer Force powered up most of his special attacks and also negated Life Orb recoil, while Sand Force powered up his Earthquakes and Stone Edges to terrifying levels. Since he had two sets that functioned very differently from each other, if your opponent guessed the wrong set, then they would usually lose a Pokémon. What if you switch into Skarmory? Focus Blast. How about Blissey? Superpower. The fact that he could catch one of them off-guard and 2HKO them was impressive enough, but Landorus was also perfectly capable of running a mixed set that could take on both of them at once. Even though he had weaknesses to common Ice- and Water-type moves, they were only two weaknesses, and he had plenty of bulk to take a neutral attack or two, while he can hit like a truck in the process. It was inevitable; Landorus had to be addressed and banned accordingly.

Reason For Unbanishment In X/Y

Very little has changed for Landorus and the relative effectiveness of his sets. Any Sand Force sets, rare enough as they were in BW, are relatively extinct now due to the weather nerf, but there really isn't much difference between his old and new sets aside from that. What really changed wasn't so much him as it was the competition around him, which brought some important threats, both old and new, that have really defined the metagame, such as Greninja, Deoxys-D, Deoxys-S, and Talonflame. Sadly, these are the only reasons for why Landorus isn't considered too broken, as without them, he'd simply be too strong for OU to handle again. His coverage isn't anything spectacular, but it's just wide enough to guarantee that there are no safe switch-ins, and most of his good moves are powered up by Sheer Force, such as Earth Power, Psychic, Focus Blast, and Sludge Wave, which is one of the big reasons for his significance in the tier. His typing, while leaving him weak to Water and 4x weak to Ice, is pretty solid otherwise, notably giving him immunities to Thunder Wave, Spikes, Toxic Spikes, and Sticky Web, as well as nifty Poison, Fighting, and Bug resistances, plus immunities to all Ground- and Electric-type attacks. His 125 / 115 offenses mean he can go physical, special, or even mixed, creating a monster that can punish foes that predict the wrong set, while 89 / 90 / 80 defenses are pretty good, which means that he can certainly take a hit or two if need be. Despite XY providing new checks and counters to Landorus, some people say that he's just too powerful to handle, which is a testament to his influence in OU.


Typing: Water
Stats: 100 / 100 / 100 / 100 / 100 / 100

Reason For Banishment In B/W

Manaphy was one of the best stallbreakers in Generation V, thanks to having good setup options in Tail Glow and Calm Mind, with the former being a useful tool for the fast-paced dismantling of the opponent's team, and the latter providing more setup opportunities by boosting Special Defense as well as Special Attack. In addition, its Hydration ability, when combined with Rest, thwarted any attempt to wear it down with Toxic or Seismic Toss. In short, Manaphy was a devastating opponent for stall teams to face. Since rain was the dominant weather last generation, Manaphy had plenty of opportunities to switch in against stall teams in OU while the rain was up; once in, it could set up in relative safety with Tail Glow or Calm Mind and recover HP when needed with Rest + Hydration, and before long, it was basically "gg" from there. The consistency with which it was able to pick apart stall teams was rather alarming; Ferrothorn was the safest switch-in, since he could come in on unboosted attacks and threaten Manaphy out with Power Whip, though Ferrothorn needed full Attack investment for Power Whip to even have a chance of scoring a 2HKO, while physically defensive sets were still 2HKOed by a +3 Ice Beam anyways. There were certainly offensive checks, but there was absolutely no stall team that could beat Manaphy without having a faster, hard-hitting Electric-type constantly keeping it in check, such as Thundurus-T. Scarily, Thundurus-T was the only reliable special attacking check to Calm Mind Manaphy, aside from Pokémon that used Psyshock, as Manaphy was exceptionally bulky even at only +1 Special Defense. In terms of coverage, Manaphy had Scald for burning things to make its Calm Mind set even tougher to deal with, Ice Beam for hitting most Grass- and Dragon-types, and Energy Ball for dealing with opposing Water-types, making it next to impossible to find anything to take hits from it. Being a Water-type was also a great draw in the defensive typing department, as having resistances to Water-, Fire-, Steel-, and Ice-type moves was always convenient to have. Manaphy had everything it needed to succeed as a stallbreaker, and its banishment was well deserved.

Reason For Unbanishment In X/Y

With Drizzle no longer creating permanent rain, Manaphy lost a significant tool in Hydration for dealing with Toxic from stall teams, making the battle between the two more fair. There are also more threats this generation that give Manaphy serious issues, such as Mega Venusaur, whose Thick Fat ability, great stats, and STAB Giga Drain let her take on the little Seafaring Pokémon with ease. Even though Manaphy can carry Psychic to threaten Mega Venusaur, it's only a 3HKO without a boost, and replacing one of its other moves can leave Manaphy open to certain other opponents, such as Latios, who can come in on any attack and fire off a powerful Draco Meteor if you forgo Ice Beam, or Azumarill, who can come in on anything bar Scald and set up a Belly Drum when Energy Ball isn't present. For Pokémon that can come in on anything regardless of Manaphy's movepool, there's Clefable, who can tank hits to no end thanks to Unaware combined with Soft-Boiled or Wish, and can also set up with her own Calm Mind to pressure Manaphy to switch out. Due to Manaphy's relatively middling Speed, revenge killing is quite an easy task, especially since it lacks recovery outside of Rest, but even with Rest + Hydration, the duration of rain is only temporary, so stall has a chance at taking Manaphy out once it loses this protection. Plus, with just two attacks, there would be a plethora of Pokémon able to take hits from it. But the fact is that Manaphy is still the bane of stall teams in the rain thanks to its great overall stats, good typing, access to Rest + Hydration, as well as Tail Glow to sweep past walls, even without much coverage, is nothing to sneeze at. Things have gotten more difficult for it, but Manaphy can certainly still get the job done.


Typing: Electric / Flying
Stats: 79 / 115 / 70 / 125 / 80 / 111

Reason For Banishment In B/W

Thundurus is a Pokémon that was considered both very powerful and extremely annoying in BW. Thundurus had one of the highest Special Attack stats in OU, and when combined with STAB Thunder, he was very good at hitting things hard. His base 111 Speed tier was also unique in OU, shared only by Tornadus, and it allowed him to outrun Gengar and the Lati twins, providing a very convenient advantage when sweeping. But it wasn't his Speed or his power that resulted in his banishment, oh no. Rather, it was an ability feared by many, revered by others, but agreed upon by all as one of those singular abilities that can cause devastation at the drop of a hat; ladies and gentlemen, I am of course referring to the ability known as Prankster. Prankster was an ability that teams didn't really prepare for back in the day, but that was because its most common users weren't really that amazing; there was Whimsiott, who had many support moves such as Stun Spore, Tailwind, and Encore, but she had terrible defensive typing and lacked recovery outside of Leech Seed, and there was Sableye, who had Will-O-Wisp and Recover to stall physical attackers, but his lack of good stats generally kept him from being a prominent threat. Thundurus, on the other hand, had great stats, decent defensive typing, and arguably the most dangerous Prankster move available on any Pokémon: Thunder Wave, which basically killed almost any offensive team lacking a cleric. To paralyze a sweeper before they had the chance to move was incredible, and the 25% chance of the opponent being fully paralyzed on that turn only added to its effectiveness. As if that wasn't enough to make him overpowered, he also had Nasty Plot to pull off sweeps and power his way through defensive teams with relative ease. His coverage options may have been somewhat slim, but Thunderbolt and Hidden Power Ice were all he needed to tear Generation V's OU a new one.

Reason For Unbanishment In X/Y

One of the most important reasons why Thundurus was brought down to OU is because of a new mechanic introduced in X/Y, which protects Electric-types from paralysis. This means that Pokémon such as Rotom-W, Zapdos, Mega Manectric, and Raikou can switch in on Thunder Wave with no real risk, and the former two can heal off damage and whittle Thundurus's health down, while the latter two can outspeed him and score a 2HKO with their own Hidden Power Ice. This generation also brought some very bulky Pokémon along with it, most notably Aegislash, who can can avoid a 2HKO from unboosted attacks and can 2HKO with Shadow Ball and then Shadow Sneak, as well as Mega Venusaur, who can heal off anything thrown at her aside from Psychic and Hidden Power Flying and can 2HKO with Sludge Bomb, and Unaware Clefable, who literally doesn't give a crap about Nasty Plot, can heal off any and all damage, set up with Calm Mind, and then hit hard with Moonblast. Other notable threats that aren't quite as popular but can still avoid a 2HKO from any commonly seen attack include Sylveon and Conkeldurr, with the former able to heal off damage and rid the team of status, while the latter able to take advantage of Thunder Wave thanks to Guts and then OHKO with Ice Punch. Thundurus's strongest attack, Thunder, received a power nerf, as well as a nerf from the weather, which no longer consistently made the move 100% accurate. Thundurus has indeed taken a hit in effectiveness this generation, but you would do well not to incur the wrath of a thunder god. His Speed is still great, his power is still excellent, and he actually finds himself with a pretty good niche as a Defiant user, countering Defog and Intimidate, while catching special walls off-guard with moves like Wild Charge, Superpower, and Knock Off, and he has his solid base 115 Attack to work with. Bisharp can be seen as the better user of Defiant, but his low Speed and over-reliance on Sucker Punch mean he certainly has competition from Thundurus in that role. There's a common rule of thumb when it it comes to the Bolt Strike Pokémon; where there's a Thundurus, there's a way.


Typing: Flying
Stats: 79 / 100 / 80 / 110 / 90 / 121

Reason For Banishment In B/W

Thanks to rain being the most commonly seen weather in OU, Tornadus-T found a niche as the best Hurricane spammer in the game. Having a 120 Base Power STAB attack to throw around, with 100% accuracy in the rain and backed by a great base 110 Special Attack, was a huge advantage, it was easy to pull off a sweep against hyper offensive teams, and the confusion that Hurricane could inflict was just the icing on the cake. His main role was being a fast, effective scout with U-turn and playing a hit-and-run strategy, but sweeping was a role he could perform with almost as much ease. His base 121 Speed was also very difficult to get past, as even Alakazam and Dugtrio, normally excellent revenge killers, were too slow to keep up with him. His coverage was also pretty good, since he also has a respectable base 100 Attack and moves such as Superpower to work with, so his mixed capabilities were rather fearsome, and though his movepool wasn't amazing, Flying/Fighting coverage in Hurricane and either Superpower or Focus Blast was usually all he needed. Two more great assets were Regenerator and U-turn, which provided him with valuable recovery that healed off Stealth Rock and even Life Orb damage, making Life Orb sets especially effective in revenge killing and sweeping in general. This is pretty much all that Tornadus-T had to offer, but it was more than enough to make him one of the most broken forces in the tier. His Speed, power, coverage, and access to Regenerator made approaching him too difficult, as most things that tried to revenge kill him were outsped if they lacked a Choice Scarf, and his Flying/Fighting coverage was only resisted by Thundurus-T and Zapdos at the time, though U-turn made it very difficult for them to corner him. There just wasn't anything that could take him on without using a Choice Scarf, and even then, Tornadus-T could always just switch out against a bad match-up and get health back with Regenerator. Long story short, Tornadus-T always had a way to benefit from almost any situation, which made voting for him to be banished more of a formality than anything.

Reason For Unbanishment In X/Y

The number one biggest nerf to Tornadus-T was to his best STAB move, Hurricane, which received a twofold nerf. First, Drizzle no longer summoned permanent rain, which made people have to rely on Hurricane's very shaky 70 accuracy outside of the rain, and second, Hurricane was reduced to a base 110 power move (not a big nerf there, but people still whine about it for some reason), making Tornadus-T's biggest weapon into a dud outside of temporary rain, meaning that the much weaker Air Slash became his most reliable STAB attack now. To be honest, Tornadus-T is actually a rather underwhelming presence in OU these days, not so much as being within the A rank in terms of viability, and it's pretty easy to see why, since he lost his best weapon to throw around and whatnot. In addition, many powerful threats were introduced this generation, including Greninja, who outspeeds him by the skin of his teeth and can OHKO with a Protean Ice Beam, and Aegislash, who can tank hits all day and almost always 2HKO with Shadow Ball, and finish him off with Shadow Sneak even if Shadow Ball fails to 2HKO, as well as fellow ex-Uber Deoxys-D, who can avoid a 2HKO from even Hurricane, Recover off the damage, and wear Tornadus-T down with Seismic Toss or Toxic. Another letdown to Tornadus-T is that he lacks any setup options for his Special Attack, so he has a very hard time against special walls with recovery, such as Sylveon, Chansey, Latias, and Zapdos, and will be forced to switch out due to such a disadvantageous match-up. You could use Bulk Up for some weird physical attacking set, but that's usually the point when you want use a different Pokémon entirely. Rain does still have a place in OU, so for the time that rain is up, Hurricane can be spammed, and Tornadus-T is more or less just as strong as he once was. His Flying/Fighting coverage is still only resisted by three OU-viable Pokémon in the game, and to be able to take out (Mega) Tyranitar and Mega Venusaur, two Pokémon that significantly threaten rain teams, is a very convenient trait to have. His Speed, while not as impressive now as it was back then, is still pretty respectable, in that there are still very few foes in OU that outrun him, making a Hurricane sweep tough to stop. He might not be as good as he was back then, and can only be really good with the rain present, but if he has rain backing him up, then it's easy to remember what exactly made him so strong last generation.

Honorable Mentions


Typing: Fire / Fighting
Stats: 80 / 120 / 70 / 110 / 70 / 80

Mega Blaziken

Typing: Fire / Fighting
Stats: 80 / 160 / 80 / 130 / 80 / 100

We now take a look at Blaziken, who breaks the mold as the first starter in history to ever go Uber. With access to Speed Boost and Swords Dance, he's very similar to Scolipede, but factor in a meaty base 120 Attack, Fire/Fighting STAB coverage, and an arguably better defensive typing, and you'll see that he's basically Scolipede on steroids. Due to new threats such as Mega Venusaur, Talonflame, and a buffed Azumarill, it was thought that Blaziken should be tested to see if OU could handle him. I mean, with all these new Pokémon that can take Blaziken on, he surely shouldn't be too broken now, right? Right...? Wrong. Blaziken got two new toys to play with in Baton Pass, which is now legal with Speed Boost and made him the superstar sweeper among BP teams, but far more importantly, he received a Mega Evolution that included a major offensive buff, allowing him to vaporize almost anything with his excellent STAB coverage, a Speed buff, so Choice Scarf base 100s could no longer reliably revenge kill him before a sweep started, and even a cute little defensive buff, to take hits a little better to the point of it not mattering. Anyways, he could easily start a sweep with just one turn of setup, powering his way past bulky teams and outspeeding offensive teams, and only Talonflame, Azumarill, and Mega Pinsir could hope to check this monstrosity. He's now banned for the same reason he was banned last generation; it was too difficult to stop his sweeps without Talonflame, and he was an unhealthy presence in the metagame.


Typing: Psychic
Stats: 50 / 150 / 50 / 150 / 50 / 150

Here we have Deoxys, which, despite being the forme that's supposed to the most balanced in terms of stats, is actually quite frail and very hard-hitting. It's like offensive Deoxys-S in almost every way, just better. Deoxys-S indeed has more Speed than Deoxys, allowing it to outrun base 100s at +1 or with a Choice Scarf, but the fact that Deoxys has the same expansive movepool but significantly higher offensive stats means that it's usually seen as superior. Even though it's slower than Deoxys-S, Deoxys is still pretty fast; indeed, it is fast enough to run an Adamant or Modest nature and still outrun base 130s. Its low defenses mean nothing, as its opponents usually have to take a hit before it does, and its coverage is simply astonishing, to the point that there are literally no safe switch-ins, making it nigh-on uncounterable. Priority was the only defense against this guy, but in order to safely bring in your priority user, a sacrifice would have to be in order, and Deoxys can always switch out to something else, or even run a Focus Sash, so even if you bring your priority user in safely, Deoxys will just crush all of your hopes of winning. But the scariest thing about it is that it has those noodley arms to tickle people with at night, which earned it the title of "The Midnight Tickler"... but that's another story. Banishment was inevitable, but the image of Deoxys tickling people at night is now forever burnt into the minds of everyone who read this article.


Typing: Bug / Steel
Stats: 71 / 120 / 95 / 120 / 95 / 99

The last Pokémon that was once an Uber to be allowed into OU is Genesect, and boy, its banishment was one of the most debated ones to date. Its most common coverage options in Flamethrower, Thunderbolt, and Ice Beam seem pretty standard for an Uber, but what really made him shine was its ability, Download. Shared only with the Porygon family, Genesect could get an Attack or Special Attack boost free of charge, and is the sole reason why people usually put any filler EVs into Special Defense, so Genesect wouldn't get a Special Attack buff if it switched in on that Pokémon. It even has STAB U-turn with which to maintain momentum and deal sizable damage if Download boosts its Attack. Genesect actually has two sets because of Download that work well; the most popular choice was a Choice Scarf set, with the elemental blasts and U-turn preventing anything from avoiding sizable damage, and then there was a setup set with Rock Polish, which was effective more because of its surprise factor than anything else. Though its physical movepool was lacking during its stay in BW OU, it actually received new toys to play with in BW2 through an event, namely Shift Gear, Blaze Kick, and Extreme Speed, making it a formidable opponent in its own right, as it could easily start a sweep due to someone mispredicting the Choice Scarf set, meaning that Genesect had no foolproof counters. And yet people defended it, saying specially defensive Heatran was able to take hits from it easily enough and KO back, saying that Talonflame and base 100s with a Choice Scarf could revenge kill it efficiently, and saying that Stealth Rock was able to punish repeated U-turns. All of this is true for the most part, but they were just fooling themselves, since these were some of the very few forces that kept it at bay, and it could very easily defeat most everything else. And even its checks and "counters" weren't able to satisfactorily defeat the menace, as Genesect could simply U-turn out from any counter, could more often than not avoid the OHKO from Talonflame's Brave Bird, and could usually finish off foes before Stealth Rock could finish it. Genesect had many haters and fans alike, but in the end, justice was served.


The stories of the ex-Ubers all differ from each other, as some have a tough time just to stand out in OU these days, whereas others have made a comfortable home there, and a select few are still borderline suspects. Either way, most ex-Ubers have found a home in OU, and they're still going to give everyone hell, though perhaps not as much as they used to.

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