Top Threats in XY RU

By Sapphire. and Goddess Briyella. Art by Bummer.
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June 1st of 2014 marked the official release of XY RU here at Smogon, and the tier wasted no time in developing a userbase and shaping itself into a thriving, yet still somewhat volatile metagame. This generation, RU features some returning contenders from BW as well as a handful of new ones, and it's turning out to be an entirely different game this time around. This article will cover some of the huge threats in the current XY RU metagame, what makes them great on the battlefield, and how they can be dealt with. Without further ado, let's bring them into the light!

The Top Threats


Type: Fire / Psychic
Abilities Blaze, Magician
Base Stats: 75 HP / 69 Atk / 72 Def / 114 SpA / 100 SpD / 104 Spe

Delphox may look docile, but it is actually one of the most powerful Pokémon in RU. It is one of the newly introduced Fire-types in XY, and it has found a home in RU. There are many reasons why Delphox is a force to be reckoned with; its great base 114 Special Attack and base 104 Speed allow it to hit and outpace many Pokémon in the RU metagame, and it can be a hassle for many defensive teams. In addition, it can threaten most of the tier with its coverage moves. Delphox's STAB moves have pretty decent coverage with each other, and it even gets Grass Knot to punish the Rock- and Water-type Pokémon that try and switch into it. Speaking about switching... it gets Switcheroo! This allows Delphox to cripple walls by switching items, and this makes it an effective Choice item user. It can revenge kill easily with a Choice Scarf set thanks to its high Speed, or plow through opponents with Choice Specs equipped. Delphox can also run a multitude of sets ranging from an all-out attacker to Calm Mind + three attacks.

Dealing with Delphox

Assault Vest Slowking is arguably the best counter to Delphox, and even without Assault Vest equipped, it is still a very good check. It resists both of Delphox's STAB moves and takes little damage from Grass Knot, though a Grass Knot on the switch from the Choice Specs or Life Orb sets will force Slowking back out; even then, it has Regenerator and Slack Off to heal off damage taken while switching in. Assault Vest variants also do not care about being Switcherooed a Choice item. While not quite as good as Slowking for the job, Cresselia can also counter Delphox decently well with its resistance to Psychic and its superb bulk. Other good checks to Delphox include Sharpedo and Druddigon; the former can't get in very easily but will threaten with an easy OHKO with Waterfall after getting in, and the latter can tank a Fire-type attack and force Delphox out. Druddigon's access to Stealth Rock also provides an additional detriment to Delphox later on in the game. Choice Band Spiritomb also makes a good check to Delphox, as it is able to cleanly OHKO it with Sucker Punch. Zoroark is naturally a good check to Delphox, just outspeeding it by one base Speed point and using its Illusion ability to enter battle under the guise of a teammate to threaten Delphox with its STAB attacks. Lastly, specially defensive Alomomola is a good counter, having excellent bulk coupled with Regenerator to heal itself.


Type: Bug / Steel
Abilities Swarm, Shell Armor, Overcoat
Base Stats: 70 HP / 135 Atk / 105 Def / 60 SpA / 105 SpD / 20 Spe

Escavalier's rare Bug / Steel typing leaves it susceptible to one type, Fire, and also gives it a plethora of resistances and one immunity. In addition, Escavalier's Overcoat ability got buffed, allowing it to switch into powder-based moves. That's not the end; Escavalier has a new toy to play with in the form of Assault Vest, which in conjunction with its typing and superb base 135 Attack makes it an effective tank, and it does not have much in the form of support moves to give up anyway. It also gets great moves such as Knock Off, Drill Run, and Megahorn. Even though Escavalier is really slow, it still is a force to be reckoned with.

Dealing with Escavalier

Many Fire-types counter Escavalier. Moltres and Emboar are the best counters to it, though the latter has to watch out for Drill Run; both of them OHKO Escavalier with their respective STAB moves. Besides Fire-types, Pokémon such as Cobalion, which resists every move Escavalier usually carries except Drill Run, can handle it relatively well; Cobalion can even run Magnet Rise, although gimmicky, to make Escavalier complete setup fodder. Gligar is also a great counter to Escavalier even if its Eviolite is removed, as it takes laughable damage even from Iron Head and can reliably Roost off the damage. Though Gligar can't hurt Escavalier a lot in return, it can use its presence to comfortably exert entry hazard control with Stealth Rock or Defog. Escavalier still loses to Gligar one-on-one due to the simple fact that Gligar can recover lost health and Escavalier cannot. Alomomola is a good check to Escavalier that can shrug off its physical onslaughts while threatening to burn it with Scald and maintaining its own longevity through Wish and Regenerator. This is especially helpful because it provides huge Wish healing to a teammate if Alomomola has to switch to get a better matchup against what Escavalier is replaced with. Fletchinder can switch into Escavalier as it resists both of its STAB moves and takes minimum damage from Knock Off (as it usually doesn't carry an item); it can cripple Escavalier with Will-O-Wisp, heal off damage taken with Roost, or wear Escavalier down with Acrobatics.


Type: Ground / Rock
Abilities Lighting Rod, Solid Rock, Reckless
Base Stats: 115 HP / 140 Atk / 130 Def / 55 SpA / 55 SpD / 40 Spe

Even though Rhyperior has many weaknesses, it is one true Rock-type: its enormous HP, Attack, and Defense stats make it a good tank. However, like most Ground / Rock Pokémon, it has subpar special stats and Speed. Nonetheless, it is a great Pokémon in the RU metagame. It has access to Stealth Rock, which is arguably one of the best moves in the game, and great bulk. It can easily switch into Pokémon such as Moltres lacking Hidden Power Grass. It can phaze with Dragon Tail and break Substitutes with Rock Blast, making it a great team supporter. Aside from a defensive set, Rhyperior can also utilize its Attack stat well, being able to run a potent Choice Band set. Rhyperior also has access to the EdgeQuake combination and Rock Polish, making it a fearsome sweeper.

Dealing with Rhyperior

Gastrodon is one of the best counters to Rhyperior. It takes little damage from Rhyperior's STAB moves and can deal heavy damage with Scald while also potentially burning it. Alomomola is also a really good counter; it can burn Rhyperior with Scald, Toxic it, or Wish pass to its teammates. Virizion also makes a decent counter to Rhyperior for offensive teams, walling both of its STAB attacks as well as being a Grass-type that isn't weak to Megahorn. After getting in, Virizion can recover lost health with a 4x super effective STAB Giga Drain, and it also has the option to set up while Rhyperior is forced to retreat. Tangrowth is a good counter as well, tanking Rhyperior's attacks with relative ease while also threatening Rhyperior with its Grass-type STAB and maintaining health with Giga Drain and Regenerator, though it must be wary of Megahorn on the switch-in. There are many good checks to Rhyperior in RU as well. Jellicent can threaten it with its Water-type STAB moves or Will-O-Wisp, while also being able to heal off damage with Recover. Clawitzer can OHKO Rhyperior easily and also take advantage of a predicted switch by maintaining momentum with U-turn. Rotom-C must watch for Megahorn but can threaten Rhyperior with a OHKO from Leaf Storm or a crippling Will-O-Wisp. Magnet Rise Cobalion has risen in popularity and hard-walls everything Rhyperior can throw at it while also hitting it hard with its Steel- and Fighting-type STAB moves. Other notable checks to Rhyperior include Hitmontop, Durant, Whimsicott, and Amoonguss.


Type: Fighting
Abilities Limber, Reckless, Unburden
Base Stats: 50 HP / 120 Atk / 53 Def / 35 SpA / 110 SpD / 87 Spe

Last generation, Hitmonlee was outclassed by many Fighting-type Pokémon in the tier, due to being walled by Ghost- and Psychic-types, but that is not the case anymore. In XY, Knock Off was buffed greatly, now having 97 Base Power if a Pokémon is holding an item, which most of them, except Fletchinder, do. This allows Hitmonlee to punish the problematic Pokémon that once walled it. It is fantastic on hyper offensive teams as well as Sticky Web teams, two very influential playstyles in the tier. It can run many sets such as Reckless Life Orb to Endure + Liechi Berry with Reversal. It rips through unprepared teams, and it can break through the sturdiest of walls, even 2HKOing specially defensive Aromatisse with High Jump Kick. It's easily the best offensive Rapid Spinner in RU, supporting most of the scariest wallbreakers in the tier which are weak to Stealth Rock, such as Yanmega, Moltres, and Delphox. In addition, it has access to priority in Mach Punch, which OHKOes many dangerous threats such as Sharpedo and Zoroark.

Dealing with Hitmonlee

Hitmonlee's newly improved Knock Off allows it to seriously hurt the Ghost- and Psychic-types that gave it problems in the past, but its Fighting-type STAB move + Knock Off combination is walled by the new Fairy-types. Due to Hitmonlee's sheer power, most Fairy-type Pokémon in the tier are 2HKOed by High Jump Kick, but physically defensive Aromatisse can still check it pretty well, stalling Hitmonlee out with Life Orb recoil and Wish + Protect. Physically defensive Amoonguss also deserves a mention as a decent counter to Hitmonlee that can heal itself with Synthesis and Regenerator, though it isn't seen quite as often as it was in the past. Mega Banette is a good check to Hitmonlee, having priority Will-O-Wisp to cripple it with, an immunity to its STAB Fighting-type moves, and a Mega Stone to negate the damage boost from Knock Off, though it is still OHKOed by Knock Off after Stealth Rock if it hasn't Mega Evolved yet. Doublade is a very good answer to Hitmonlee thanks to its high Defense, though it hates losing its Eviolite to Knock Off. Gligar also hates losing its Eviolite, but beats Hitmonlee even without it. Golbat is another great counter if Hitmonlee doesn't carry Stone Edge, as most people use Mach Punch and Rapid Spin in the last two moveslots. Cresselia can check Hitmonlee pretty well, as it doesn't care about Knock Off thanks to its superb bulk, can force Hitmonlee out with Psychic or Moonblast, and can heal lost HP with Moonlight. Lastly, while only seen on very dedicated stall teams, Weezing is a good check as there isn't really anything Hitmonlee can do against it thanks to its great defensive typing, and Weezing can burn it with Will-O-Wisp if it decides not to switch out.


The dawn of XY RU is still barely upon us, and much more has yet to unfold within the metagame. Will any of these top threats be suspected? What might move up from NU? What might drop from UU? Stay tuned for what is yet to come; many things are prone to change, and many viability shifts are bound to happen in the coming months. This is only the beginning of Generation VI RarelyUsed.

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