UU Metagame Analysis

By Eo Ut Mortus, with help from Legacy Raider. Art by Cartoons.
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The Big Picture

Due to its monthly tiering changes, the UU metagame is quite notorious for its instability. It is arguably the most dynamic of any metagame, and while the constant change may be off-putting to some, many enjoy the continual fresh feel of the UU tier. This phase of UU was a period marked by extreme diversity, perhaps more so than any other phase before it.

At the beginning of the month, three Pokémon were evicted from the UU tier: Froslass, Raikou, and Umbreon. Froslass and Raikou were banned because they were deemed broken by UU voters, while Umbreon was removed because it had garnered enough usage in standard play to be considered OU again. Each of these bans has had a considerable impact on the UU metagame. Raikou's removal is likely the primary cause of the massive decrease in Dugtrio, two of whose main selling points were its ability to trap and KO many of Raikou's counters as well as its ability to trap and kill Raikou itself. The loss of Froslass has made it more difficult to set up and preserve Spikes, especially for offensive teams. Without the level of Spikes support Froslass provided, many sweepers have become much more manageable, particularly Moltres. Milotic can now check it much more easily, and as a result, its usage has skyrocketed, causing Moltres to plummet from #2 to #7. The final ban, that of Umbreon, has given special sweepers a bit more breathing room. With one less special wall to blockade them, Mismagius, Rotom, and Alakazam all surged in usage this month.

Fire/Water/Grass cores have dominated UU for several phases now, and they still do this month. Venusaur and Milotic, the preferred Grass-type and Water-type respectively, hold the top two positions in usage, and Arcanine and Moltres aren't too far behind, at #5 and #7, respectively. With great offensive and defensive coverage, it's not surprising that this combination is so popular, especially for balanced teams. Because of the effectiveness of such cores, bulkier, more balanced teams dominate this metagame. Offense struggles to break through strong defensive cores, especially those that incorporate Milotic, and there are too many threats for stall to completely cover.

Under the Microscope

Venusaur – 23.27% (+0.66)

Top Five Teammates:
1. Milotic (32.65)
2. Rotom (22.92)
3. Moltres (21.08)
4. Mismagius (18.54)
5. Rhyperior (15.48)

Perhaps the most versatile Pokémon in UU, Venusaur can fill almost any role imaginable. From physical sweeper to special wall to Scarfed attacker, Venusaur just about does it all. It is not difficult to see why it has secured its position as UU's #1 Pokémon. Sleep Powder is the most common move on Venusaur, with 85.1% of Venusaur carrying it. The ability to shut down a potential counter is invaluable to any Pokémon, and Venusaur is no exception. From there, most Venusaur tend to attack from the special side with Sludge Bomb and Leaf Storm/Energy Ball, rounding out the set with Synthesis, but that's not to say physical variants are uncommon or any less of a threat. 30.1% of Venusaur are Jolly, which is not a far cry from the 37.3% who possess a Timid or Calm nature. Power Whip and Earthquake provide excellent coverage, and when Swords Dance is thrown into the mix, the list of Pokémon who can stop this Venusaur from sweeping begins to dwindle. Mixed Venusaur is not nearly as common as the other variants; however, its ability to KO the bulky Grass-types who can wall pure physical sets as well as the Chansey and Clefable who can handle pure special sets make it a formidable threat nonetheless. Defensively, Venusaur is one of the best answers to the ever-common bulky Water, especially Milotic, and is capable of acting as both a physical wall, handling threats like Azumarill, Hitmontop, and Leafeon, or a special wall, dealing with Pokémon such as Rotom, Sceptile, and Ludicolo.

Venusaur's top five teammates all deal with the Pokémon that Venusaur has no business attempting to wall. Regardless of the variant, Venusaur struggles against most Fire-types. It not difficult to see why Milotic is its number one teammate, as Milotic's exceptional bulk and pure Water typing allow it to take on almost every Fire-type in the UU tier. Flying-types pose as much of a threat as Fire-types do; Scyther is prone to taking advantage of its 4x resistance to Grass and switching in on Energy Ball or Power Whip, and Swellow commonly carries a Toxic or Flame Orb to take advantage of Guts, which allows it to safely switch in on Sleep Powder. By virtue of their resistances, Rhyperior and Rotom are both excellent answers to the majority of UU's physical Flying-types, although Rhyperior fares better against Altaria and also has the added bonus of countering Drapion, who walls most special Venusaur. Rotom, on the other hand, as well as Mismagius, can deal with problematic Psychic-types such as Uxie and Mesprit. Opposing Venusaur and Registeel have the potential to wall and outstall special variants of Venusaur; as such, Moltres ranks high as one of Venusaur's teammates. Venusaur, in return, can handle the bulky Water-types that Moltres struggles against.

There's no doubt Venusaur is a good Pokémon. With the amount of possible variety between its sets, its balanced stats, and its access to Sleep Powder, it's not the easiest Pokémon to counter. Unless the UU tier experiences a drastic change, Venusaur is likely going to retain a position in the top echelon of UU for quite some time.

Milotic – 19.48% (+3.84)

Top Five Teammates
1. Venusaur (39.00)
2. Spiritomb (21.14)
3. Rotom (18.82)
4. Mismagius (18.52)
5. Registeel (18.42)

Milotic is undeniably the single best mixed wall in UU, and is able to take on many threatening sweepers on both sides of the spectrum. It can survive a hammering from CB Rhyperior, while with the same EV spread take repeated beatings from LO Moltres, a feat no other UU Pokémon can come close to claiming. Its 95/79/125 defenses outclass all of its rivals, such as the 95/110/80 Slowbro, 95/80/110 Slowking, and Blastoise with its 79/100/105 defenses. Like Blastoise, it is a pure Water-type, so it is able to check the likes of Houndoom, Scyther, and Absol far better than the Slow Water/Psychic hybrids. It shares the same powerful base 100 SpA stat and access to instant recovery that make the Slow twins respectable walls, letting it tackle a whole host of frail sweepers by simply outdamaging them. However, what puts Milotic head and shoulders above its Water-type brethren is the fact that it combines all these advantageous traits into a single package, which, along with a great base 81 Speed and access to the rare Haze, make it one formidable Pokémon to have to face.

With its natural bulk, the only Pokémon with any hope of OHKOing Milotic are those with STAB Grass- and Electric-type attacks. Even then it isn't a sure thing—a LO Venusaur Leaf Storm isn't guaranteed the OHKO on a full health Calm 252 HP Milotic without help from Stealth Rock. However, since Milotic is such a big magnet for Grass- and Electric-type attacks, along with strong Close Combats from the likes of CB Hitmonlee, Venusaur makes complete sense as its most common partner. The two complete each other in a way akin to Laurel and Hardy—Milotic soaks up Fire Blasts and Ice Beams aimed at Venusaur, while Venusaur in return takes all those resisted attacks Milotic attracts. Alright, so perhaps the analogy wasn't the most accurate, but it is still an extremely synergic and easy to use combination. It is interesting to see that Ghost-types are very common partners to Milotic as well – most likely this can be attributed to Milotic's defensive potential as well. With the number of Pokémon it can force out, it is very beneficial to run entry hazards alongside Milotic. It causes the opponent to rack up a lot of residual damage over the course of the game and will often result in an easy sweep for one of Milotic's teammates. The Ghost-types prevent these entry hazards from being Spun away, while also bringing individual advantages. Spiritomb, with its balanced defenses, can make a good check for threatening Fighting-types, as well as Alakazam, one of the few non-super effective special sweepers with the ability to 2HKO Milotic. Rotom has a valuable Electric resistance, and can threaten the opposing Water-types that Milotic might not be able to deal with efficiently. Finally, Mismagius presents an instant threat to the common Spinners with immunities to their STAB attacks, and a powerful Shadow Ball to hit them on their lower defensive stat. Registeel is a much more defensively minded partner than the aforementioned Ghosts, and helps Milotic by checking threatening special sweepers such as Venusuar, Alakazam, and opposing Mismagius.

Where will it go on from here? Well, there has been a lot of discussion recently about Milotic's now quite controversial defensive abilities, with many people calling it out as BL under the defensive characteristic. Only time will tell if Milotic will garner enough support for a suspect test, and whether it will survive it, but you can be sure that this Pokémon will undoubtedly remain in the UU spotlight for quite a while yet.

Mismagius – 16.49% (+2.80)

Top Five Teammates
1. Venusaur (26.15)
2. Milotic (21.87)
3. Registeel (19.37)
4. Arcanine (16.63)
5. Uxie (15.43)

Mismagius is most often seen as a formidable Nasty Plot sweeper, with 52% of all Mismagius equipped with the move. Nearly every Mismagius carries Shadow Ball for STAB; its remaining two moveslots are delegated to a coverage move and a supporting move. Thunderbolt is the most popular secondary attack, with 53.2% of Mismagius running it. It allows Mismagius to more easily beat Milotic (especially Haze Milotic) and Drapion, as well as revenge kill weakened Moltres. The alternate option, Hidden Power Fighting, is used on 36.3% of all Mismagius, mainly for coverage against Steelix and Registeel. The last moveslot is a choice between Substitute and Taunt. With 55% of Mismagius using it, Substitute is the overwhelmingly popular option, as it usually is with boosting sweepers, as it enables Mismagius to scout its potential counters and defend itself from priority moves and Pursuit. Taunt does have some application; for instance, it enables Mismagius to beat Encore Clefable and the occasional phazer. It is undeniably more useful on stallbreaker Mismagius, who runs a set of Shadow Ball / Taunt / Will-O-Wisp / Pain Split. This enables it to beat many common walls, such as Milotic, through whittling away HP with Will-O-Wisp, preventing recovery with Taunt, and sustaining health through Pain Split. With 17% of all Mismagius running Will-O-Wisp and 13.3% running Pain Split, this set, while less common than the Nasty Plot set, is still something worth watching out for. Finally, 17.1% of Mismagius run Calm Mind; however, its usage is steadily declining, and compared to Nasty Plot, it is mostly a relic of the past.

Mismagius's top five teammates are each capable of dealing with the walls it struggles with and potential revenge killers. Venusaur can handle Milotic and incapacitate common switch-ins Registeel and Drapion with Sleep Powder. Milotic can force out Steelix and Houndoom as well as the potentially troublesome Arcanine. Arcanine can handle Registeel and check Absol and Drapion. Registeel can check Drapion as well, provide Stealth Rock support, and lure in Hitmontop, whom Mismagius can set up on. Uxie can provide Stealth Rock as well, and paralyze the Dark-types that are prone to switching in on it as well as Mismagius.

Uxie – 14.87% (+1.12)

Top Five Teammates
1. Venusaur (21.75)
2. Milotic (18.67)
3. Mismagius (17.11)
4. Arcanine (15.79)
5. Kabutops (14.68)

Uxie is most commonly seen at the forefront of many teams; in fact, 51% of its usages are in the lead position, and it is UU's #2 lead, just barely beat out by Ambipom. With Stealth Rock, a decent base 95 Speed, a sizable array of support moves, and U-turn, Uxie's effectiveness as a lead is unquestionable. Most Uxie run a simple set of Stealth Rock, U-turn, a STAB move, and a status move, with Psychic preferred to Zen Headbutt and Thunder Wave to Yawn; however, there are a reasonable number of Trick (23%), dual screen (19%), and Rain Dance (12.1%) sets in the mix as well. Outside of the lead position, Uxie is capable of acting as a decent defensive check to many Pokémon, including Venusaur, Blaziken, and Alakazam. A few Uxie also run Calm Mind, and while Alakazam and Mesprit possess much better attacking stats and offensive coverage, Uxie outclasses both of them in bulk.

Uxie can fit on almost any type of team; as such, its top teammates are mostly just the most used Pokémon plus Arcanine, who completes the Fire/Water/Grass core. Kabutops is the only notable outlier, and its presence is the result of Uxie being commonly used on rain teams to set up rain, and Kabutops being the most often used rain sweeper.

Registeel – 14.08% (+0.43)

Top Five Teammates
1. Milotic (25.49)
2. Venusaur (25.15)
3. Mismagius (22.69)
4. Moltres (18.35)
5. Alakazam (15.00)

Registeel continues its well-established role as an all-purpose wall and Stealth Rock user in this round of UU. Its typing and stats speak for itself—amazing 80/150/150 defenses and Steel typing make it a valuable defensive asset on almost any team. With the rarity of Steel-types in UU in general (the only three really viable ones being Registeel, Steelix, and Aggron), Registeel is very often seen as the sole Ghost/Dark/Psychic resist on the common Fire/Water/Grass oriented team. Like Milotic, Registeel checks a myriad of common threats, as well as many not-so-common Pokémon, making it a reliable choice on ladder when playing against more gimmicky Pokémon. In particular it excels at checking Mismagius and Alakazam, two very potent sweepers which give almost any other Pokémon trouble. While its Iron Head is pitifully weak, these sweepers' defenses are even weaker, meaning that Registeel can hold its own against them quite comfortably with a combination of paralysis from Thunder Wave and its STAB attack. While not many Registeel invest heavily in physical Defense, it still has the bulk to check some specific threats such as Swellow, Tauros, and Leafeon.

The Milotic/Registeel defensive combination gained immense popularity this round, and with good reason. Very few Pokémon are able to single-handedly beat both Pokémon, meaning many balanced teams can just slap the two on and not have to worry about half the metagame. More often than not, though, it is Registeel's lack of reliable recovery that inevitably spells its doom—offensive teams can easily overload the versatile wall with combinations such as Mismagius + Alakazam. And then there's the ever-present threat of Dugtrio trapping and killing Registeel before it can be used to its fullest potential. However, Dugtrio usage took a massive blow this round with the removal of Raikou, its biggest partner in crime, which meant that less than 5% of Registeel opted for Shed Shell.

Arcanine – 14.07% (+1.47)

Top Five Teammates
1. Venusaur (25.40)
2. Mismagius (19.49)
3. Milotic (18.63)
4. Rhyperior (17.12)
5. Uxie (16.69)

Arcanine possesses several qualities that make it an excellent all-purpose check to most physical sweepers. It has the ability Intimidate, its base 95 Speed means that it outruns Pokémon such as Venusaur and Absol, and it can utilize Morning Sun to restore lost health from sustained hits as well as Stealth Rock. In April, the standard Arcanine was more bulky than offensive; however, this month, Life Orb surpassed Leftovers as the preferred item, with 45.7% of Arcanine running it compared to the 34.5% Leftovers Arcanine. ExtremeSpeed, Flare Blitz, and Morning Sun are all staples on most Arcanine sets, the last move a toss-up from several choices. Thunder Fang has gained a lot of popularity as of late because it can 2HKO Milotic with the aid of Life Orb and residual damage, along with other bulky Water-types and Moltres. Toxic is also popular for crippling Milotic, and unlike Thunder Fang, it has the added bonus of hitting more Fire-types than just Moltres. Will-O-Wisp is used to soften blows from the physical sweepers that Arcanine cannot immediately KO, and Hidden Power Grass's main use is for OHKOing Omastar.

Like Uxie, Arcanine works excellently on both offensive and defensive teams thanks to its balanced stats; therefore, its top teammates are just the top used Pokémon. Naturally, it has a lot of synergy with Venusaur and Milotic, both of whom can take threatening Water-type attacks for it.

Moltres – 13.46% (-2.49)

Top Five Teammates
1. Venusaur (36.43)
2. Hitmontop (24.25)
3. Donphan (21.69)
4. Milotic (21.24)
5. Registeel (19.19)

A hotly debated suspect last month, Moltres has lost a lot of its steam, despite the removal of two of its checks in Raikou and Umbreon. The banning of Froslass was a harsh blow to Moltres's offensive prowess; without its excellent Spikes support, Moltres now struggles to break through Milotic, its most prominent counter. With Milotic usage surging, it was inevitable that Moltres had to drop. Regardless, Moltres still remains a dangerous sweeper. Life Orb Moltres with a moveset of Fire Blast / Air Slash / Hidden Power Grass / Roost is the most common variant. It has the ability to 2HKO everything in the UU metagame, save for a select few special sponges. As mentioned, Milotic is the most common of these, although Chansey and Slowking work as well, and a number of Pokémon, such as Azumarill and Houndoom, can check Moltres fairly effectively thanks to higher Speed or priority. Sub/Roost/Toxic sets and Choice Scarfers are seen on occasion as well; with Pressure, Moltres can act as an effective Toxic staller, and the set is a pain for most bulky Water-types. Choice Scarf is mostly used as a lead, and although it's somewhat of a waste of Moltres's sweeping abilities, Moltres no longer has to worry about being revenge killed by Pokémon such as Scyther and Mismagius. Finally, one will occassionally run into the freak Moltres with Sunny Day and Solarbeam, which, while immensely gimmicky on first sight, happens to destroy most Milotic, although it's somewhat questionable whether running such a set is worth giving up coverage or recovery.

Moltres's biggest obstacles are bulky Waters, especially Milotic; therefore, it's no surprise that Venusaur is its #1 partner. Milotic itself can deal with most Water-types as well, and Moltres is one of the best switch-ins to the Grass-types that are prone to switching in on Milotic. Stealth Rock is Moltres's next biggest hindrance. With it up, Moltres gets at most three switch-ins, two if it decides to attack. This means that Moltres will have to continually Roost every time it switches in, resulting in a huge loss of momentum and Moltres forfeiting a chance to attack. Due to this, it's almost always necessary to pair Moltres with a Rapid Spinner, and Hitmontop and Donphan both fit the bill perfectly. Finally, Moltres really benefits from Stealth Rock, which Registeel can set up. As an added bonus, Moltres is a decent switch-in to the Blaziken and Hitmontop that threaten to KO Registeel.

Spiritomb – 13.26% (+1.49)

Top Five Teammates
1. Milotic (31.06)
2. Venusaur (25.51)
3. Arcanine (17.12)
4. Chansey (16.48)
5. Hitmontop (14.37)

It is interesting to note that at the very beginning of "New UU", RestTalk Calm Mind Spiritomb, or "CroTomb" as some called it (much to the disdain of many others), was Spiritomb's most predominant set by far; some went as far as to call it a potential suspect. Now, its usage is steadily declining, and in a metagame of Alakazam and Nasty Plot Mismagius, Choice Band is now Spiritomb's preferred set. The combination of Pursuit and Shadow Sneak/Sucker Punch can force many Pokémon into a checkmate position—attack and risk being OHKOed by Sucker Punch or 2HKOed by Shadow Sneak, or switch out and risk being nailed by Pursuit. Thanks to its array of immunities, Spiritomb is capable of switching in and trapping most Psychic-types and its respectable defenses mean that it can take a hit from Pokémon like Rotom and Dugtrio in the case of a misprediction. Because of the prominence of lead Ambipom, Uxie, and Mesprit, Spiritomb is also quite an effective anti-lead. As Pursuit also deals double damage on a Pokémon using U-turn, Spiritomb will generally either KO or at the very least heavily damage them. While physical Spiritomb is the most common variant, special variants are still usable; in fact, the combination of all special Spiritomb sets saw more usage last month than did pure physical sets, although no single special set beat CBTomb. Physically defensive sets with Will-O-Wisp are still fairly common, especially for teams that need a counter to Fighting-types such as Hitmontop and Hitmonlee. CMTomb is still used, although only 14.3% of Spiritomb carried Calm Mind last month. The metagame in general has adapted to the threat CMTomb poses through the increased presence of harder-hitting sweepers, and as such, its effectiveness has been severely reduced.

All five of Spiritomb's top teammates can be often seen on more defensive-based teams. Spiritomb is stall's preferred Spin blocker, as it has the best overall defenses out of all the UU Ghosts. However, none of its top five teammates, barring Chansey, can set up any entry hazards, which indicates that Spiritomb perhaps sees more use on balanced teams than on stall.

Alakazam – 13.18% (+1.99)

Top Five Teammates
1. Venusaur (18.77)
2. Milotic (17.64)
3. Registeel (16.02)
4. Arcanine (15.32)
5. Swellow (14.83)

With the highest Special Attack stat in UU and a top-tier Speed stat, Alakazam is one of the tier's most potent special sweepers. 29.8% of Alakazam wield Choice Specs, making it the preferred set, although Life Orb isn't that far behind, with 27.1% of Alakazam carrying it. The combination of Psychic, Focus Blast, and Signal Beam or Shadow Ball provides perfect neutral coverage, and when you have base 135 Special Attack, super effective coverage isn't that necessary. Alakazam's final move is generally either Trick (for Choice sets) or Taunt or Substitute (for non-Choice sets). Both Taunt and Substitute provide protection from status, with Taunt preventing recovery and set up, and Substitute enabling Alakazam to scout potential switch-ins and defend from priority. Encore is also available, but it is generally used more in conjunction with Substitute in order to give Alakazam a free turn to set it up. Quite a few Alakazam are also leads, with 21.9% of Alakazam equipped with Focus Sash. Thanks to Inner Focus, Alakazam cannot be flinched by Fake Out, and because it is so fast, Alakazam can usually prevent most leads from setting up Stealth Rock with Taunt. Other options at Alakazam's disposal include Calm Mind, which has the potential to be deadly but is rather difficult to use thanks to Alakazam's paper-thin defenses, and Grass Knot or Energy Ball, which hits Milotic super effectively and, in Grass Knot's case, Spiritomb for higher damage than any of its other moves.

The best Alakazam counter is Spiritomb; it is immune to Psychic and Focus Blast and takes little damage from Signal Beam or Shadow Ball. Spiritomb can then make short work of it with Pursuit, Dark Pulse, or Shadow Ball. Alakazam's pathetic Defense stat also leaves it vulnerable to being revenge killed, especially by priority moves. Alakazam's top five teammates are all capable of dealing with both of these obstacles. Venusaur and Milotic can both take Azumarill's Aqua Jets, with the latter also a good switch-in to Arcanine's ExtremeSpeed. Registeel and Arcanine can switch into Absol's Sucker Punch and force it out, although the former must be wary of Swords Dance and Superpower, and are good switch-ins to another potential problem Pokémon: Drapion. Swellow can switch into Mismagius's and Spiritomb's Shadow Balls and Will-O-Wisps, and it can U-turn on a switch to allow Alakazam to safely enter battle.

Rhyperior – 12.32% (+1.16)

Top Five Teammates
1. Venusaur (29.25)
2. Arcanine (19.56)
3. Mismagius (17.20)
4. Uxie (16.89)
5. Milotic (15.38)

Rhyperior's talents consist of taking physical hits and dishing out punishing physical blows of its own. All but a few sets run Earthquake, Stone Edge, and Megahorn, which is astounding coverage. The final move is generally either Substitute (31.3%), Rock Polish (26.1%), or Stealth Rock (26%). While Leftovers is by far the most common item, Life Orb and Choice Band are used as well, mostly for increasing the level of punishment inflicted on Milotic (as well as everything else, but most especially Milotic).

Milotic is the most common switch-in to Rhyperior, as it can survive all of its moves and outspeed and KO it with Surf. Venusaur is therefore its top teammate. Arcanine ranks second for its ability to force out Venusaur and other Grass-types that can revenge kill it. Mismagius and Uxie are helpful for dealing with Hitmontop and lure in Steelix, Registeel, and Drapion, all of whom are set up bait for Rhyperior. Milotic deals with the Moltres that try to revenge kill Rhyperior with Hidden Power Grass as well as with threatening Water-types such as Azumarill.

Hitmontop – 11.80% (-1.76)

Top Five Teammates
1. Venusaur (27.83)
2. Moltres (27.67)
3. Milotic (23.26)
4. Registeel (17.89)
5. Mismagius (16.54)

One of the premier Spinners of UU, with the combination of Foresight and Rapid Spin, Hitmontop can almost always successfully clear the field of entry hazards, barring against a team with multiple Ghosts. Despite the removal of Froslass, a great impediment to Rapid Spinning Hitmontop, Hitmontop usage has decreased this month. This shift might have something to do with the increase in usage of most of the other top 20 UU Pokémon, most of which solidly counter or check Hitmontop. Eight of the top ten UU Pokémon decimate it. The ability split is pretty even; 51.5% of Hitmontop run Technician, and the remaining 48.5% run Intimidate. Oddly enough, Rapid Spin does not seem to be exclusively run on defensive Intimidate sets, but rather, on offensive Technician sets as well, with at least 32% of Techinician Hitmontop running Rapid Spin.

Bulkier teams are more likely to choose Hitmontop as their Spinner than offensive teams; if said offensive teams opt for a Spinner at all, it will more often that not be Donphan instead. Hitmontop's top five teammates reflect this, especially considering that 4x-weak-to-Stealth Rock Moltres ranks only #2 on Hitmontop's list of teammates.

Donphan – 11.59% (+1.45)

Top Five Teammates
1. Venusaur (30.17)
2. Milotic (27.79)
3. Moltres (25.21)
4. Scyther (20.59)
5. Swellow (17.57)

Donphan is UU's most used Spinner, even despite Hitmontop garnering more overall usage. Its powerful Earthquake means that Spiritomb risks taking massive damage when attempting to Spin-block against it, and it has access to Assurance and Head Smash to hit both Rotom and Mismagius. Interestingly, however, most Donphan tend to forego such coverage, with only 43.2% of Donphan carrying Assurance and 6.7% carrying Head Smash, as opposed to the 63.3% of Donphan with Ice Shard and the 59.2% with Stealth Rock. Ice Shard is likely used so much because of Venusaur's ubiquity; however, even coming of off Donphan's base 120 Attack, it's still rather weak, and as Mismagius and Rotom usage increases, it's likely that Assurance will become slightly more common. And with Spin blockers being relatively common, it's also likely that Donphan usage will only continue to increase for awhile.

Donphan suffers from weaknesses to Water- and Grass-type attacks, especially special attacks. Venusaur and Milotic therefore rank as its top two teammates; both deal with common Water-type threats, and Venusaur can handle most Grass-types. Donphan's other three common teammates are all weak to Stealth Rock and highly dependent on Donphan's Spinning abilities to keep the Rocks off of the field. Incidentally, Scyther and Moltres also deal with most Grass-types, especially Venusaur.

Rotom – 11.41% (+2.39)

Top Five Teammates
1. Venusaur (46.74)
2. Milotic (32.13)
3. Kabutops (15.22)
4. Registeel (14.38)
5. Omastar (13.67)

Rotom is a pretty dangerous special sweeper thanks to the excellent coverage provided by the combination of its STAB moves. With the aid of a few support moves, Rotom becomes an even harder Pokémon to face, with the ability to cripple physical sweepers with Will-O-Wisp or disable walls through Trick. Both Substitute and Scarf sets are fairly common, with the occasional defensive RestTalk set thrown in the mix. Further adding to Rotom's unpredictability, while each Substitute set typically runs Substitute, Thunderbolt, and Shadow Ball, the last move is a toss-up between Will-O-Wisp, Pain Split, and Charge Beam, all three of which are fairly common options. When facing Rotom, one should take extreme care to switch in the appropriate counter for the appropriate set.

Rotom is also a relatively common Rain Dancer; as such, Kabutops and Omastar are two of its common teammates, with the latter also a common partner on stall teams. Registeel and Rotom possess relatively good type synergy, with the latter able to take Fighting and Ground hits aimed at the former and block any attempts to Rapid Spin away Registeel's Stealth Rock. Registeel, in turn, can take the Ghost- and Dark-type attacks that plague Rotom's existence. Venusaur and Milotic are likely Rotom's top teammates because everyone and their mother uses them.

Sceptile – 11.12% (+1.60)

Top Five Teammates
1. Milotic (20.00)
2. Mismagius (19.41)
3. Arcanine (16.92)
4. Registeel (16.24)
5. Alakazam (15.76)

Like Venusaur, Sceptile is pretty versatile and is capable of attacking both specially and physically. Sceptile, however, while much faster, is also much frailer. Its three most common variants are Choice Specs, Swords Dance, and SubSeed. With 35.7% of all Sceptile carrying it, Choice Specs is the favorite of the three. Sceptile has Focus Blast to hit two of the most common special walls that resist Leaf Storm, Chansey and Registeel. While most Fire-types wall most of SpecsTile's moveset, Swords Dance Sceptile has Rock Slide and Earthquake to break through them, although its base 85 Attack is a bit disappointing. Sceptile's final set, SubSeed, is probably more suited to it than to any other Pokémon in UU thanks to its excellent Speed stat. The prominence of Venusaur makes it, and for that matter, any other Sceptile set, harder to use, though.

Venusaur not in someone's list of top teammates is somewhat surprising, although it makes sense, since Sceptile plays similar roles as Venusaur. Milotic and Arcanine complete the Fire/Water/Grass core and can tackle the Fire-types that Sceptile struggles to beat. Registeel's ability to set up Stealth Rock is invaluable for a sweeper such as Sceptile, and Alakazam's and Mismagius's wall-breaking abilities are useful to open up a Sceptile sweep.

Ambipom – 10.92% (+0.99)

Top Five Teammates
1. Mismagius (21.67)
2. Venusaur (19.50)
3. Milotic (19.07)
4. Registeel (18.19)
5. Alakazam (15.09)

With Froslass gone, Ambipom now holds the coveted title of UU's most common lead. With access to a STAB, Technician-boosted Fake Out, a blindingly fast Taunt, and a great transitioning move in U-turn, Ambipom makes a rather effective lead. Its last move is usually either Low Kick (37%) to hit the Steel- and Rock-types that would otherwise wall it, most of which are quite heavy; Return (32%) or Double Hit (22%) for additional, stronger STAB, the latter of which is boosted by Technician; or Pursuit (22.4%) or Payback (14.8%) to hit Ghost-types. Life Orb is the most popular item choice, with 39.2% of Ambipom running it; however, Silk Scarf isn't far behind at 35.2%, and while it provides less power than Life Orb, it allows Ambipom to Fake Out as much as it wants without taking recoil damage. The only other set that warrants any mention is a Baton Pass set. Ambipom is a fairly decent Baton Passer, capable of Passing Nasty Plot and/or Agility and Taunting anything that attempts to phaze it. It's an inferior option at best, though, with only 7.8% of Ambipom running Baton Pass.

Ambipom should ideally be able to U-turn to partners that can handle the Pokémon that wall it. Venusaur and Milotic can scare out Rhyperior and Steelix switch-ins, Registeel can set up on most Spiritomb, and Mismagius and Alakazam can take on the Hitmontop that are prone to switching in on Ambipom to either Intimidate or Mach Punch it.

Houndoom – 10.80% (+2.15)

Top Five Teammates
1. Toxicroak (24.87)
2. Venusaur (24.10)
3. Milotic (23.74)
4. Alakazam (14.65)
5. Rhyperior (14.32)

With its extremely threatening dual STABs and access to Nasty Plot, Houndoom has can sweep a team in the blink of an eye once its checks have been removed. After a Nasty Plot, nothing but the dedicated special sponges of UU—the likes of Milotic, Chansey, and specially defensive Regirock—can take a LO boosted hit and retaliate. Houndoom could hardly ask for two more destructive STAB attacking types to dismantle the common walls of UU: Dark Pulse deals with the likes of Uxie, Mesprit, Slowking, and Arcanine, while Fire Blast incinerates Registeel, Steelix, Tangrowth and Venusaur. Despite its paper-thin Defense, immunities to Fire and Psychic, as well as decent Special Defense and a resistance to Ghost- and Grass-type attacks, give Houndoom numerous opportunities to switch in and wreak havoc. Add on to that the possibility of Houndoom carrying either Beat Up to OHKO Chansey, or Sucker Punch to outsmart Dugtrio, and you have on your hands a top-tier threat.

There are, however, several quite reliable checks to Houndoom. If Azumarill comes in on Fire Blast or Nasty Plot, it can easily force Houndoom out with the threat of an OHKO from Aqua Jet. Dugtrio can use Substitute to evade Sucker Punch and then trap and remove Houndoom from the game with Earthquake. Milotic is guaranteed to survive any +2 LO attack that Houndoom can throw its way, while OHKOing back with Surf. However, from the teammate statistics it can be seen that most Houndoom users have ways to try and remove these threats before letting Houndoom off its leash. Toxicroak and Venusaur are both great switch ins for Milotic and Azumarill, while Milotic itself makes a decent answer as well. Opposing Registeel will give Alakazam trouble, so why not introduce the robot to a friendly LO Fire Blast? Resistances to Dark and Ghost are just bonuses. Rhyperior is an interesting partner, as on paper it would seem rather bizarre. Why double up on the weaknesses to Ground, Fighting, and Water? Well, Rhyperior and Houndoom are excellent Pokémon for weakening each other's checks and letting their partner sweep. Milotic, defensive behemoth that it is, will never be able to take successive beatings from a Nasty Plot Houndoom and Rock Polish Rhyperior. Similarly, Houndoom will laugh at Will-O-Wisp attempts aimed at Rhyperior, and can promptly OHKO any Tangrowth that thinks it can tank Rhyperior's Earthquakes.

Houndoom seems to have cemented its place as one of UU's most threatening special sweepers, and its ability to come in on, outspeed and KO Moltres, an arguably harder-hitting Fire-type, will always be of great utility to offensive teams.

Clefable – 10.48% (+1.48)

Top Five Teammates
1. Venusaur (25.43)
2. Milotic (18.43)
3. Mismagius (18.03)
4. Spiritomb (17.17)
5. Uxie (14.86)

Possessing near-unmatched versatility, immunity to all forms of indirect damage, and reasonable offensive and defensive ability, Clefable has been an solid fixture of the UU tier since the beginning, and that's not likely to change any time soon. Despite its massive movepool, the sets Clefable generally runs are pretty clear cut. Most run support sets, and a few (16.7%) run Life Orb sweeping sets. Leftovers is the preferred item for Clefable (38.7%); however, the combined total of Flame Orb (23%) and Toxic Orb (18.2%) just slightly beats it out. Thanks to Magic Guard, Clefable does not take damage from either poison or burn, and equipping Clefable with a Toxic or Flame Orb lets it act as an effective status absorber. When it comes to recovery, 65.8% of Clefable run Softboiled, while only 29.7% run Wish. Seismic Toss is the attack of choice, with 55% of Clefable utilizing it. Clefable then has a plethora of support moves to choose from, with Encore being the most common, and Thunder Wave, Protect, Trick, Cosmic Power, and Toxic secondary options. Protect and Trick are generally used in conjunction with a status-inducing orb; Protect allows for immediate activation and also works well with the moves Wish and Toxic, while Trick is commonly used with Flame Orb to permanently burn the physical attackers that are prone to switching in on it. The other set Clefable commonly runs is a Life Orb wallbreaking set of Double-edge, Fire Blast, Grass Knot, and Softboiled. Thanks to Magic Guard, Clefable does not take any recoil damage from either Life Orb or Double-edge. Its three attacking moves are unresisted by anything in UU, and Clefable can inflict massive damage on practically anything if it uses the right move. The main drawbacks to this set are that Clefable is horribly slow, and without any defensive investment, Clefable cannot sponge attacks as well as it normally does.

Clefable's sole type weakness is Fighting; as such, all of its top five teammates, whether by virtue of typing or natural bulky, can effectively take on most of UU's Fighting-types. In return, Clefable can sponge the special hits of Moltres for Venusaur, walls the SubSeeding Grass-types that plague Milotic's existence, and can take the Ghost-type hits that Uxie and Mismagius are weak to.

Swellow – 9.92% (+1.51)

Top Five Teammates
1. Venusaur (23.65)
2. Donphan (20.52)
3. Milotic (20.29)
4. Alakazam (19.71)
5. Mismagius (17.48)

Swellow hasn't changed a bit from its days in early UU. Its two main strengths are its base 125 Speed stat, one of the highest in UU, and its access to a powerful STAB, Guts-boosted Facade. Swellow is almost always found with a Toxic or Flame Orb to immediately activate Guts and double the power of Facade. There isn't much that can counter Swellow; however, there isn't much that Swellow can do to the Pokémon that do. Defensive Rock- and Steel-types such as Steelix, Rhyperior, and Aggron resist all of Swellow's viable attacking moves and can easily prey on its less-than-stellar defenses and its propensity to accumulate residual damage from poison/burn and Stealth Rock. Ultimately, Swellow's downfall is that it is terribly one-dimensional.

Swellow commonly opens with U-turn to scout its counters and to keep the momentum on its side. All five of its top teammates can take advantage of the free entry on many of Swellow's common switch-ins granted by U-turn. Alakazam, Venusaur, and Milotic can force out slow Rock- and Steel-type switch-ins with powerful Focus Blasts, Leaf Storms, and Surfs, respectively. Mismagius can burn those same Pokémon with Will-O-Wisp as well as threaten to KO non-Scarfed Rotom with Shadow Ball. Donphan can not only hit many of Swellow's counter super effectively with Earthquake, but can also Spin away Stealth Rock, which severely reduces Swellow's longevity.

Kabutops – 9.39% (+0.43%)

Top Five Teammates
1. Ludicolo (28.85)
2. Venusaur (24.33)
3. Uxie (23.25)
4. Rotom (18.50)
5. Qwilfish (17.87)

Kabutops is normally seen as a rain sweeper, and its top five teammates, all of which are staples on rain teams, further solidify this image. Under rain and with a boost from Swords Dance, Kabutops can OHKO just about everything in UU. Only the most dedicated physical walls, such as Tangrowth, can withstand its assaults. Kabutops has recently found itself playing other roles outside of the rain, though. It was quite popular in April as a lead because of its ability to KO Froslass with the combination of Stone Edge and Aqua Jet, limiting it to setting up only one layer of Spikes. Even with Froslass banned, it still sees use in the lead spot, thanks to its access to Stealth Rock as well as Rapid Spin to Spin away the entry hazards of other leads. Speaking of Spinning, Kabutops is also an effective offensive Spinner. Stone Edge 3HKOes all of UU's Ghost-types at worst, 2HKOing on less bulky variants. Suffice to say, Spin-blocking against Kabutops is a bit more dangerous than against Hitmontop. Kabutops can also operate as a sweeper without rain, and even though it's walled and outpaced by slightly more Pokémon, +2 hits off of base 115 Attack are nothing to scoff at, especially considering that Kabutops attains near-perfect coverage and has access to priority in Aqua Jet.

As mentioned, most of Kabutops's common teammates are mainly rain Pokémon. Ludicolo and Qwilfish are sweepers commonly exclusive to rain teams, and Uxie and Rotom are commonly designated to set up the rain. Venusaur's main use on rain teams is sponging Grass and Electric hits for its predominantly Water-type teammates, Kabutops included.

Dugtrio – 8.81% (-4.53)

Top Five Teammates
1. Venusaur (26.18)
2. Registeel (19.60)
3. Milotic (19.14)
4. Uxie (17.79)
5. Mismagius (16.54)

Dugtrio dropped all the way from #10 to #20 from April to May, a huge decrease for a Pokémon that was nominated as a suspect last phase. Without a Raikou to check or aid, Dugtrio has lost a lot of its purpose. Despite this, it's still a great revenge killer, capable of trapping and killing most Toxicroak, Houndoom, and Blaziken, to name a few, and it can still readily dispose of troublesome special walls such as Registeel and Chansey to pave the way for a sweep. However, one must also keep in mind that one of Dugtrio's main problems is its tendency to let certain Pokémon, such a Leafeon and Torterra, set up on it. This issue is magnified tenfold if Dugtrio is Choice Banded. Furthermore, Dugtrio has rather pathetic defensive stats. This, combined with its rather lackluster base 80 Attack stat, means that it's not OHKOing anything but the frailest of sweepers; most walls needs to be weakened to a certain degree before Dugtrio can finish them off.

Every little bit of damage helps Dugtrio accomplish its revenge kills. Registeel and Uxie therefore rank rather high in Dugtrio's most common teammates, as both can set up the ever-important Stealth Rock. Uxie can also U-turn on many of its common switch-ins, such as Registeel, Drapion, and Aggron, to Dugtrio, who can then cleanly dispatch of them with Earthquake. Milotic, Venusaur, and Mismagius tend to lure in Registeel as well as Chansey to a lesser extent, both of which are relatively vulnerable to being trapped and KOed by Dugtrio.

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