OU To Ubers: Wrath Of The Ban Hammer

By Valmanway.
« Previous Article Home Next Article »


Throughout the history of competitive battling, tiers have always been the great divide that separated the boys from the men, so to say, and have given Pokémon chances to shine in their respective tiers. When a Pokémon is too powerful for the tier it's in to handle, it undergoes a suspect test, which is where players discuss and express their opinions and experiences of a Pokémon that is thought to be too powerful for a tier to handle. After discussion goes on for long enough, a voting period begins, tallying the votes of those that have laddered enough to earn voting rights so that they can decide the fate of the suspect. We've had many suspect tests throughout the generations for many tiers, but OU always seems to get the most attention, and this couldn't be truer in Generation VI. Many of these Pokémon that were banned are familiar faces from previous generations, so you kind of know what to expect when a suspect test about them occurs. But what of the new faces that came about this generation? Some people don't know the story behind some of these new Pokémon that were banned, so they might not even understand why they were banned in the first place unless they looked all over the forum. This article could be considered an archive of the new Generation VI Pokémon that were banned from OU, explaining their traits and why they had to be banned, as well as how close or one-sided the voting phase went for each.

XY Bans


Typing: Ghost / Steel
Stats (Shield Forme): 60 / 50 / 150 / 50 / 150 / 60
Stats (Blade Forme): 60 / 150 / 50 / 150 / 50 / 60

We start this off with a bang, as the suspect test on Aegislash in XY was easily the most controversial and heated of them all. Statwise, Aegislash doesn't seem all that promising defensively or offensively, but one must look closer to discover the lethal combination of its ability Stance Change and signature move King's Shield. With these two traits put together, Aegislash became a massive pain for teams to handle, as it could utilize Shield Forme's great 60 / 150 / 150 defensive stats to tank a hit and proceed to change to Blade Form when attacking to unleash powerful attacks with its 150 / 150 mixed offenses; basically, no stat, bar Speed, went to waste when making an offensive Aegislash. But while it's true that Blade Forme's defenses are abysmal, actually hitting Aegislash in Blade Forme can be very tricky without trading blows with it, as King's Shield would instantly revert Aegislash back to Shield Forme thanks to its priority and Aegislash's Speed is low enough to "outslow" every sweeper and most wallbreakers and always take hits in Shield Forme before launching its own attacks. Speaking of King's Shield, that move was one of the biggest complaints people had about Aegislash, as its effect of lowering the opponent's Attack by 2 two stages when they make contact with it made many of the physical attackers in the tier obsolete, made them use moves that were only useful for beating Aegislash, or would cause mind games that could turn a whole battle around. While Aegislash doesn't have a particularly expansive movepool, it does boast perfect neutral coverage in Shadow Ball and Sacred Sword, which also provides great mixed coverage to hit walls of all kinds. Aegislash was also blessed with a Ghost / Steel typing, granting it nine resistances, including a Stealth Rock resistance, and three immunities, including a Toxic immunity, making Aegislash that much harder to crack open. Aegislash was also fairly easy to put onto a team, as it had several sets available to it, including its bread-and-butter mixed attacker set that every team had to prepare for, a cute Swords Dance set that was very popular early XY but became outdated by mid-to-late XY, and even a SubToxic set that was made to cripple walls intended to wall the mixed attacker set, such as Mandibuzz and Hippowdon. All of this made Aegislash a huge blanket check or counter to many of the Pokémon available at the time, including Mega Mawile, Clefable, Latios, Tornadus-T, Mega Alakazam, Mega Gardevoir, Starmie, Celebi, Jirachi, Raikou, and Mega Medicham. As a result, Aegislash became a very centralizing Pokémon, as its mere presence in OU also forced Pokémon to use moves that were only useful in threatening Aegislash over generally more useful moves, such as Tyranitar, Mega Pinsir, Mega Heracross, and Terrakion having to use Earthquake, every balanced or offensive team had to run a Mandibuzz and at least two offensive checks, and many teams were weak to other Pokéemon and playstyles as a result.

But that's not to say that everyone thought Aegislash was broken, as there were many people supporting Aegislash, bringing up solid points that they claimed made Aegislash balanced and unbroken. For one, Aegislash had weaknesses to some very commonplace offensive types, mainly to Fire-, Ground-, and Dark-type moves, leaving it weak to Landorus, Mega Charizard X, Bisharp, Excadrill, Garchomp, Heatran, Landorus-T, Talonflame, Mega Charizard Y, Gliscor, and Diggersby, showing that its defensive presence wasn't all-powerful. King's Shield was also somewhat limited, as it doesn't protect against status moves, so Pokémon could burn it with Will-O-Wisp and Taunt it to either make it unable to change from Blade Forme to Shield Forme for a few turns or force it out, giving burn spreaders and stallbreakers a bit of an advantage. But quite possibly the biggest argument made was that players needed to predict King's Shield and outplay the 50/50 that it was forcing onto players. This argument went both ways, however, as forcing a somewhat luck-based situation that could drastically benefit one player and cripple the other made OU unenjoyable to play in.

The voting phase was the closest one in the entirety of XY, with Aegislash getting barely banned by a 62% ban majority. This particular voting phase also had some last-second vote changes, as some people second-guessed their original opinions during the voting phase, leading to a slight delay in the tallying of votes.

Mega Gengar

Typing: Ghost / Poison
Stats: 65 / 65 / 80 / 170 / 95 / 130

Meet Mega Gengar, also known as Stall Killer. Mega Gengar is a Pokémon that single-handedly killed stall thanks to its unique and nearly uncounterable strategy. First, Mega Gengar was one of the few Pokémon in the game to have access to Shadow Tag, trapping any non-Ghost-type with relative ease. This, on top of its impressive base 170 Special Attack and base 130 Speed, allowed Mega Gengar to safely revenge kill many sweepers and wallbreakers, such as Life Orb Latios, Mega Gardevoir, Starmie, and Tyranitar. This was the initial thought that people had when seeing Mega Gengar, but then people realized that there was a much darker, much more devastating strategy that was the very important reason Mega Gengar was banned in the first place: Perish Song. Perish Song is somewhat of an unused move in the first place, but Mega Gengar made excellent use of it. The strategy was simple: as soon as the opposing team brings in their wall, and if said wall fails to 2HKO Mega Gengar, then Mega Gengar could simply switch into it and trap it, use Perish Song, survive the opponent's weak attacks for a while, and then switch out on the last turn of Perish Song; and just like that, the opponent's wall was safely removed for the rest of the battle, and a teammate was free to start a sweep. This strategy worked on a wide variety of defensive Pokémon at the time, such as Deoxys-D, Clefable, Heatran, Skarmory, Slowbro, Mega Venusaur, Mew, Chansey, Quagsire, Amoonguss, Chesnaught, and Sylveon. This meant that Mega Gengar was capable of completely removing most defensive Pokémon on the opponent's team, such as that Heatran that was preventing your Talonflame from sweeping, and allowing you to go to town on the rest of your opponent's team afterwards. This fact also made people wary of switching in their walls carelessly, as your opponent could predict your switch only to trap and beat them with Mega Gengar, but not switching your wall in meant the Pokémon in front of you would most likely have its way with your team. This created a very unhealthy metagame that made stall an extremely weak and unreliable playstyle and removed key walls on offensive teams with significant ease. But it wasn't just walls that were at risk of being trapped, as Mega Gengar also had Destiny Bond in its arsenal, which allowed it to safely trap and remove offensive Pokémon that would pose a threat to your team. Since the opponent couldn't switch out thanks to Shadow Tag, they were left with no way out and were forced to attack Mega Gengar, which would lead to their own demise after Destiny Bond. It wasn't even possible to PP stall Destiny Bond by not attacking, as Mega Gengar could easily just use Taunt to force the target to attack it and thus guarantee a kill on almost anything slower than Mega Gengar. This was also usable on defensive Pokémon that could hope to kill Mega Gengar before Perish Song finished them off, such as Mega Scizor, Ferrothorn, Gliscor, Hippowdon, Starmie, and Mandibuzz, so nothing was really safe from Mega Gengar once it got all set up.

Despite all of this, there was one argument that some people made: Gengar needed to Mega Evolve before it could begin its job. This meant that Shadow Tag wasn't in effect until the turn AFTER Gengar Mega Evolves, so teams still had a window, regardless of how small it was, to beat Gengar reliably. This was made a bit easier by Gengar only having base 110 Speed before Mega Evolving, as even though base 110 Speed was very fast at the time, there were still Pokémon that could either Speed tie Gengar, such as Latios and Latias, or outrun Gengar, such as Thundurus, Azelf, Starmie, Alakazam, Dugtrio, Greninja, Weavile, and Choice Scarf Tyranitar. But exploiting this small window was very difficult to do, as players would typically Mega Evolve their Gengar against a defensive Pokémon or when predicting a switch, which thus led to the suspect test.

But Mega Gengar was so overpowered that it didn't even merit a legitimate suspect test, and it was appropriately quick banned.

Mega Kangaskhan

Typing: Normal
Stats: 105 / 125 / 100 / 60 / 100 / 100

Kangaskhan... what a forgetful Pokémon this was. Since her debut, she's always been overshadowed by other Normal-types in the game, such as Tauros and Snorlax, and never really got any recognition outside of being a "mini-Tauros" in RBY, but all of that changed come XY in the form of Mega Kangaskhan. Like Aegislash, Mega Kangaskhan doesn't seem like anything special stat-wise, as even though her stats are very well rounded, they aren't too much to handle by any means. However, the element here that made Mega Kangaskhan's attacks so lethal was her unique ability Parental Bond. For those who don't know, Parental Bond adds a second hit that's half as powerful as the first to every damaging attack, effectively giving a Choice Band boost while enabling Mega Kangaskhan to break through Focus Sash and Sturdy, all at literally no cost, and Mega Kangaskhan has the perfect moves to use this ability. Fake Out basically guaranteed Kangaskhan a turn to Mega Evolve against anything bar Ghost-types and acted as a decent priority move for revenge killing purposes. Return became an absurdly powerful STAB attack, and Sucker Punch was a very powerful priority move that put sweepers in a tough spot. Now these were pretty powerful on their own, but the really threatening move here was Power-Up Punch, a move that would be mostly useless on anything else. When using a Parental Bond-affected move with a secondary effect the second hit will be able to activate said effect, so the second hit of Power-Up Punch will also raise Mega Kangaskhan's Attack, effectively giving Mega Kangaskhan a Swords Dance that can damage things. This made walling Mega Kangaskhan that much harder, as she could weaken the wall with Power-Up Punch while getting to +2 in the mix and power up the already ridiculously powerful Return to the point where even Hippowdon will be 2HKOed; bear in mind that the damage from Power-Up Punch will play a huge factor for KOing walls with Return.

But as powerful as Mega Kangaskhan was, some people still defended this monster, claiming that it wasn't broken. Their only argument was the fact that Parental Bond was easily punishable by Rocky Helmet, Iron Barbs, and Rough Skin, though it wasn't exactly a poor argument. With a single attack on Rocky Helmet variants of Garchomp and Ferrothorn, Mega Kangaskhan would lose over half of her health, which would very quickly kill a reckless player's Mega Kangaskhan. This was good and all, but this put a huge strain on the teambuilding process, since you would have to have two Rocky Helmet Pokémon to comfortably take on Mega Kangaskhan; some people would even use Rocky Helmet Skarmory along with the other two Rocky Helmet users just for good measure, which was a big indicator to the stress that Mega Kangaskhan put on teambuilding. So while you're dedicating two whole team slots to taking on Mega Kangaskhan, you're most likely leaving yourself wide open to other threats in OU, and the teambuilding process was basically deciding whether you should die to Mega Kangaskhan or die to other things.

With all of this stress put on teambuilding, it was obvious that Mega Kangaskhan would be quick banned.

Mega Lucario

Typing: Fighting / Steel
Stats: 70 / 145 / 88 / 140 / 70 / 112

Lucario's always been a fan favorite, and so it was reasonable that its popularity netted it a Mega Evolution, but nobody was expecting Mega Lucario to be such a monster. Statwise, Mega Lucario already had the makings of a truly threatening sweeper, as 145 / 140 mixed offenses are pretty crazy, and base 112 Speed was ridiculously fast at the time. Lucario's movepool was also pretty lethal, as it had STAB priority moves in Bullet Punch and Vacuum Wave to overtake anything that happened to be faster, Close Combat was a powerful physical attack, Aura Sphere and Flash Cannon were great special attacks, and having both Swords Dance AND Nasty Plot made Mega Lucario truly terrifying to face. Now all of these traits already make Mega Lucario seem like a top-tier threat, but we're forgetting a certain trend that I've pointed out in the past three Pokémon I talked about. What was it again? Oh yes, the ability! Now, apparently Game Freak didn't think Mega Lucario was powerful enough, so they decided to slap Adaptability on this thing and called it a day. But really, Adaptability made what was already an extremely lethal Pokémon into an unstoppable force once it got momentum, as changing the STAB multiplier to double the power of STAB attacks was completely overkill. So factoring in Adaptability, Bullet Punch and Vacuum Wave were at 80 BP, Aura Sphere and Flash Cannon were at 160 BP, and Close Combat was at a massive 240 BP. Need an Explosion that doesn't kill the user and can hit things super effectively? Mega Lucario's got that covered. Oh, and let's not forget that Mega Lucario has Swords Dance AND Nasty Plot. Do I even need to go on at this point?

If I told you that people actually defended this thing, you would think I was lying, but there were in fact people who opposed a ban, and for a rather underwhelming reason. Mainly, Lucario needed to Mega Evolve before it could start wrecking teams, as its middling defenses and low initial base 90 Speed would leave Lucario vulnerable to many of the faster and hard-hitting forces out there. However, this argument had little to no relevance against stall teams, as not much of anything at the time was outspeeding Lucario, and Lucario was able to safely Mega Evolve against defensive Pokémon on balanced and offensive teams; it could even revenge kill a sweeper with an Adaptability-boosted priority move, so this argument was relatively invalid. And... well... that's it. Only a tiny fraction of people weren't convinced of Mega Lucario's influence, and almost everyone else actually acknowledged the situation.

Mega Lucario's ban was almost unanimous, winning by a 94% vote for ban. Arceus rest the souls of the people who voted no ban.

Mega Mawile

Typing: Steel / Fairy
Stats: 55 / 105 / 125 / 55 / 95 / 50

When thinking of power, Mega Mawile should immediately come to mind. Mega Mawile was a very straightforward Pokémon, boasting unfathomable power like no other. While Mega Lucario's Close Combat does a smidgen more damage than Mega Mawile's Play Rough, Mega Mawile had the pleasure of having all of its attacks doubling in power as opposed to Mega Lucario only getting the power increase in its STAB attacks. Regardless of the maximum power, Mega Mawile was still remembered as the hardest-hitting thing to ever get banned. Mega Mawile's defensive presence gave it an edge in battle, as its typing gave it an edge over many of the other wallbreakers available in OU, granting it nine resistances and two immunities. To complement this, Mega Mawile's solid 55 / 125 / 95 defensive stats gave it plenty of bulk to take hits, which was further complemented by Intimidate before Mega Evolving, so Mawile could even switch into physical attacks before Mega Evolving if needed. But these points paled in comparison to Huge Power, granting Mega Mawile unbelievable power that rivaled that of Mega Lucario. While Mega Lucario had much more Speed and could be physical or special, Mega Mawile was a threat in the sense that it almost always lands an attack at least once in a battle thanks to its great bulk. This made approaching Mega Mawile a very strenuous task, as very few Pokémon could actually switch into a Mega Mawile and live to tell the tale. Even if you somehow managed to safely bring in a Pokémon, there was the chance that either the Pokémon at hand wouldn't have the power to KO and would then have to take a hit or Mega Mawile would throw out a Sucker Punch to get the jump on hasty players. But taking a hit wasn't the only thing that players didn't want happening during a switch, as one Swords Dance was all it took to cleanly plow through a team.

Despite the insane power that Mega Mawile boasted, there were those who opposed a ban. Some people used Mega Mawile's exploitable weaknesses to Fire- and Ground-type moves, and there were plenty of Pokémon that could OHKO it. However, actually bringing in such a Pokémon usually meant something already died, so these were moot points. Some people claimed that a Heatran was all it took to beat Mega Mawile, and while this was true for the Swords Dance set, this was far from the truth for the SubPunch set, which was designed to lure and kill Heatran specifically, so this was also a moot point.

I couldn't find the specific percentages, but the ban on Mega Mawile was banned by a 78.2% majority.



Typing: Water / Dark
Stats: 72 / 95 / 67 / 103 / 71 / 122

Greninja was already a Pokémon that people thought should have been suspected, but the advent of ORAS sealed its fate. Greninja was a Pokémon that boasted an incredible offensive presence thanks to its incredible base 122 Speed allowing it to outspeed almost every non-Mega Evolution available in OU, as well as a passable base 103 Special Attack stat. Greninja's sweeping prowess was complemented by its wide movepool with great moves such as Hydro Pump for sheer power, Extrasensory for Mega Venusaur, Grass Knot for Water-types, and Ice Beam for Grass- and Dragon-types. While this was all great, none of this would have made Greninja the top tier threat that it was without its ability Protean. Protean would change Greninja's typing to whatever type the move it used, so all of Greninja's attacks were effectively backed by STAB. This doesn't seem like a huge buff at first, as Greninja already has STAB on Hydro Pump, but it all starts to become apparent once you realize that Greninja's coverage moves are also backed by STAB now, so while a mere coverage move might have lacked the power to KO something, a pseudo-STAB boost might be all it needs to give it that extra oomph to get the KO; to put it into perspective, using Hidden Power Fire for the average Pokémon would be like using Flamethrower to Greninja. This gave Greninja a deceptively high boost in its offensive might and made it hard for players to approach it. As if that wasn't enough, Greninja also came with Spikes, which it could easily lay down as it forced switches. All of this already had people thinking that Greninja could be a possible suspect, but Greninja became even more difficult to approach when ORAS was released, as it gave Greninja access to some tutor moves, most notably Low Kick and Gunk Shot. With Low Kick, Greninja was able to threaten Heatran, Ferrothorn, and Tyranitar with just one move, but Gunk Shot was the real kicker, as it cleanly 2HKOed every Fairy-type that could have hoped to wall Greninja. This made Greninja a massive threat to both offensive and even defensive teams, as there were very few Pokémon that could switch into it, and it put a strain on teambuilding.

But there was some debating going on whether or not Greninja was broken, and there were some arguments made against a ban. The main argument was Greninja's stats, as its defenses were rather mediocre so it couldn't take hits at all, and its inability to OHKO bulkier Pokémon made it difficult to sweep until late-game. While both of these facts were true, Greninja's true strength came from its revenge killing role, acting as a very reliable check to a majority of the metagame and putting the opponent at a disadvantage. Another argument made was that Greninja had a small case of four-moveslot syndrome, leaving it incapable of threatening everything. While this was true to some extent, this didn't change the fact that what Greninja could hit was still beaten all the same, and Greninja was still able to threaten a majority of the metagame anyways regardless of its four-moveslot syndrome.

At the end of the day, Greninja was banned by roughly an 80% majority and made history as the second starter to be banned from OU.

Mega Salamence

Typing: Dragon / Flying
Stats: 95 / 145 / 130 / 120 / 90 / 120

Mega Salamence was easily one of the greatest catastrophes to ever befall OU, no questions asked. Mega Salamence was a Pokémon that had everything to not only be a massive pain for every team to face but also be a very independent Pokémon. Its stats are incredible in every respect, with great 95 / 130 / 90 bulk to take hits, which was complemented by Intimidate before Mega Evolving, an excellent base 145 Attack to throw around, and an amazing base 120 Speed to sweep with. Mega Salamence also came with Dragon Dance to start some powerful sweeps and Aerilate to make use of some seriously powerful Returns, as well as Earthquake to hit Steel-types with. Keeping all of that in mind, you would think that Mega Salamence was an unstoppable sweeper. You would be thinking right, but for the wrong reasons. See, what made Mega Salamence so overpowered wasn't an offensive set, but rather a set that was a mix between defense and offense. Many people probably wouldn't have known this, but in Pokémon XD: Gale Of Darkness, people were able to obtain a Salamence with Refresh, which is partially what makes Mega Salamence so hard to break. With a method to remove any status condition inflicted on it on top of Roost giving it reliable recovery, Mega Salamence surprisingly found its calling card as a mono-attacking setup sweeper, and it was damn good at its job, too. With great defenses, great healing options, a great offensive typing in Flying, and Dragon Dance, Mega Salamence was capable of sweeping teams with relative ease, and this quickly became a major problem for players to face. One of the biggest qualities to this set was how independent it was compared to most other setup sweepers, as it had plenty of bulk, could heal, remove status, and the raw power to pull most of the weight for its team, and it often seemed like the other teammates were only there for show. In fact, it wasn't all that uncommon for Mega Salamence to get two or even three boosts just because of how easy it was for Mega Salamence to set up, and it could very easily sweep almost every kind of team that didn't run mediocre Pokémon and sets.

The crazy thing about Mega Salamence was how little opposition there was during discussion. Sure, Mega Salamence was 4x weak to Ice, was weak to Stealth Rock, and usually relied on a single move to attack that was resisted by most Steel-types, but these were just tiny complaints compared to the massive strengths that Mega Salamence boasted, as it was still sweeping teams like no one's business all the same. Most people knew this, though, and so they went along with the quick-ban hype, but cheers for the brave souls that tried to oppose the ban.

As everyone expected, Mega Salamence was quick banned without hesitation.

Mega Metagross (close call)

Typing: Psychic / Steel
Stats: 80 / 145 / 150 / 105 / 110 / 110

While Mega Metagross wasn't banned, it is a Generation VI Pokémon, and it was almost banned as well, so it at least deserves an honorable mention of sorts. Mega Metagross is a Pokémon that's able to use every stat to great effect, boasting excellent 80 / 150 / 110 defensive stats to tank a hit or two with, great 145 / 105 mixed offensive stats to deal out sizable damage, and great base 110 Speed to potentially sweep teams with makes Mega Metagross a very difficult monster for sweepers and revenge killers alike to approach. But the biggest draw to Mega Metagross is easily Tough Claws, acting as a free Life Orb for contact moves, which includes great moves like Meteor Mash, Zen Headbutt, Bullet Punch, Ice Punch, Hammer Arm, and even Grass Knot, giving Mega Metagross's already great offensive power a huge buff. Psychic / Steel is also a great defensive typing, as it grants a Stealth Rock resistance, a Toxic immunity, and nine resistances, making the job of taking Mega Metagross out quite difficult to say the least. On top of the already great offensive capabilities that the all-out attacker set brings, Mega Metagross also comes with Agility, which lets it sweep weakened offensive teams with relative ease.

Now the arguments for keeping Mega Metagross in OU were met with much more agreement than most other arguments in other suspect tests. First, base 70 Speed before Mega Evolving is just awful, as even some wallbreakers like Mamoswine and Diggersby can outspeed and KO before or while it Mega Evolves. This low initial Speed can be easily exploited by Metagross's weaknesses to Fire-, Ground-, and Dark-type moves, which leave it open to attackers before Mega Evolving, with good examples including Mega Charizard X and Y, any Excadrill, Garchomp, Gliscor, and Hydreigon. There was one more point that people made: four-moveslot syndrome. While Mega Metagross has an answer for anything, it has no answers for everything at once, leaving it always walled by something in OU; (Mega) Slowbro can easily come in and try to burn with Scald if Mega Metagross lacks Grass Knot, Gliscor and Landorus-T can easily stall or wear Mega Metagross down if Ice Punch is absent, Hammer Arm is the only thing that can reliably threaten Ferrothorn and Skarmory, Heatran will only ever be OHKOed by Earthquake, and running Bullet Punch's only notable benefit is avoiding the low Speed before Mega Evolving.

However, when all was said and done, Mega Metagross only received 57.3% votes supporting a ban, and the minimum number of vote percentage to ban a Pokémon is 60%. Mega Metagross only avoided a ban by 2.7%, so you could consider Mega Metagross the closest thing to an Uber that's allowed in OU.


This has easily been the most powerful generation by far, with all kinds of new threats either sweeping teams or breaking walls with such ease. It can be hard to keep up with the number of bans that occurred this generation, and while this article doesn't talk about the older Pokémon, it at least can act as an archive of sorts to keep track of what's happened up until now.

« Previous Article Home Next Article »