The Creation of Anything Goes

By Vertex. Art by Nerina.
« Previous Article Home Next Article »


The introduction of Mega Rayquaza was a huge catastrophe to the Ubers tier and caused a new metagame to be created: Anything Goes (AG). Mega Rayquaza was at a completely different level than the whole metagame, stronger than even Arceus, the God and creator Himself. Thus, it wasn't a surprise when Mega Rayquaza was banned from Ubers. In this article, we will analyze why Mega Rayquaza got the ultimate ban hammer and discuss top threats in this metagame.

Why Mega Rayquaza Was Too Much for Ubers

When Game Freak first released Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the public was amazed. Rayquaza Mega Evolved with a move, Dragon Ascent, meaning it could hold any item. With ridiculous stats and a powerful STAB move, as well as one of the best offensive types in the game, Mega Rayquaza became an overcentralizing force in Ubers. Using a different Mega outside of Rayquaza was unthinkable, and the opportunity cost of not using it was tremendous. With a single Dragon Dance, base 180 offensive stats, and a base 115 Speed, Mega Rayquaza could outspeed a majority of the tier while literally 2HKOing everything with Life Orb Dragon Ascent, outside of obscure checks such as Counter Skarmory and Shuca Berry Rhyperior. Klefki and Sableye were not even reliable ways to check it because it could run a Lum Berry as well.


Mega Rayquaza's ability, Delta Stream, made setting up even easier. Thanks to Delta Stream, Mega Rayquaza could set up on Primal Groudon, another metagame defining force, and had a resistance to Electric, a neutrality to Rock, and a reduced 2x weakness against Ice. All of these combined factors caused Mega Rayquaza to take the ultimate banhammer, completely changing the policy of Ubers.

The Creation of Anything Goes

As a result of Mega Rayquaza's ban, AG was created to make a "true" unbalanced metagame. Critics of the community have always complained of the lack of a ban-free tier and AG brings this to the table. In AG, you can use Moody and Swagger and put an unlimited amount of Pokeémon to sleep. The only clause here is the Endless Battle Clause, but this is here just to make the game more fun, as no one enjoys rage quitting. Another interesting clause eliminated is Species Clause. You can now use up to an entire team of the same Pokeémon!

Top Threats

Mega Rayquaza
Mega Rayquaza—the reason why AG was created—completely terrorizes the metagame. There is pretty much zero reason to not use it, as using a different Mega shoots down a huge opportunity cost. With its aforementioned stats, the ability to hold an item, and Dragon Ascent, keeping its obscure "checks" alive is important to have a chance of winning, and pretty much all games are centered around on who sets up their Mega Rayquaza up first.
With the absence of Sleep Clause, Darkrai is a force to be reckoned with. Its high base Speed along with Dark Void means that unprepared teams will always have Pokeémon rendered useless. Darkrai can get a Nasty Plot boost in the meantime and do massive damage with Dark Pulse. Even without Nasty Plot, Darkrai hits insanely hard and can use a coverage move over it instead, such as Sludge Bomb or Focus Blast, which prevent it from being walled. Sadly, Darkrai is very frail and will almost always have to come in after a kill because of how offensive this metagame is.
Now that Moody is available, Smeargle has turned into a boosting machine. By stalling for boosts with Protect and passing them to a teammate, you can decide the game very quickly, as Smeargle is also an incredibly useful asset to Baton Pass chains with the lack of clauses. It also possesses other moves such as Shell Smash and Quiver Dance, which are bolstered by Moody. Additionally, Smeargle can put an unlimited amount of Pokeémon to sleep, so having a reliable way to stop Smeargle, such as Haze Darkrai or Perish Song Arceus, is important. Without defensive boosts, Smeargle struggles to put something to sleep and is very dependent on keeping its Focus Sash intact.
Primal Groudon
Primal Groudon's great typing, bulk, attack power, and ability allow it to be one of the most dominating forces in AG at the moment. Its unpredictability is the main factor to its success, being able to pull off defensive, offensive, and even mixed sets. Primal Groudon can also deal with some of the most threatening Pokeémon such as Xerneas, Extreme Killer Arceus, and other physically based attackers such as Ho-Oh, Zekrom, and Blaziken. Finally, its ability, Desolate Land, neuters other weather conditions useless while removing its nasty Water-type weakness and giving it a boost to its secondary STAB.
After a Geomancy boost, Xerneas becomes the most terrifying sweeper in the AG metagame. The power behind a +2 Moonblast is ridiculous, and Xerneas has a wide movepool to take down the right threats. Xerneas can also run some other potent sets such as Choice Scarf or a cleric set. Moreover, its typing is great at allowing it to set up on top threats such as Latias and Yveltal. Xerneas is an amazing Pokeémon that needs to be taken into account when teambuilding, as it can sweep unprepared teams.
Arceus's Extreme Killer set has become a playstyle itself without Species Clause. Running five Arceus and a Mega Rayquaza is a common sight in AG because they share similar counters, which they slowly break past, as Arceus can run various items and moves. With access to other great coverage moves, Arceus can take down one specific wall for another Arceus to sweep. Arceus spam is one of the deadliest playstyles at the moment, and running a complete stop to the archetype is near impossible.
Latios & Latias
Soul Dew is finally available and has turned Latios and Latias into dominating forces in AG. With great special bulk in this specially based metagame and access to Roost and a powerful Draco Meteor, Latios and Latias can cause massive damage while coming in on threats such as Primal Groudon and Mewtwo with ease. If you want more power, Latios is prime choice, though if you want more bulk and the ability to use Healing Wish, Latias is the premier option. Both Latios and Latias are the main entry hazard removers with Defog as well, so seeing them paired with Ho-Oh, for example, is a common sight. Being prone to physical attacks is not appealing, so they can be easily exploited by Choice Scarf users and powerful priority when weakened.
Klefki's great typing and access to Prankster Thunder Wave make it a hard stop to threats such as Mega Rayquaza, Xerneas, and the Lati twins. However, the main reason Klefki is extremely common is because of SwagPlay, an old playstyle that was banned. It can now cause luck-based wins, and running six Klefki is not a rare sight. In fact, the metagame has started to run Numel, but even then, Klefki teams run Hidden Power Water, which shows how powerful the playstyle is due to quick adaptations.


While uncompetitive, Anything Goes is still fun and there are new strategies to try. Moody Glalie and Octillery are powerful. Primal Kyogre is a nice Pokémon as well. Ditto remains an excellent revenge killer. There are all kinds of strategies available in Anything Goes. Have fun!

« Previous Article Home Next Article »