BH Balanced Hackmons - Mega Diancie banned! Liquid Ooze banned!

I really hate to post twice in a row, but GaG Zamazenta is getting out of hand.

The only consistent viable counter to GaG Zamazenta is GaG Zamazenta itself. Given a standard moveset of Victory Dance, Iron Head, Leech Seed and Substitute, we are looking at around 70 turns of PP stalling since the set is a wall to itself. The Heatran set Gum Buddy mentioned works and all, but a base 77 Speed is a big nope.

Here's some replays of just the most horrid stall in fathomable BHG9 existence:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1902670262-viaqu853k2ikqyz2uqkidpa279rwbs1pw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1903338379

I remember Akira and I were fighting one time and we came to the agreement to pretend that both our Zamazentas had fainted because neither of us wanted to play 70 turns of PP stalling. This type of agreement works between people who are higher in the ladder, but for new players it can be really discouraging. Imagine hopping on BHG9 with a Desolate Land + V-Create set thinking "Man, I love this set. I can't wait to sweep everyone!" and some 1100 player comes along and hits you with the 70 turns stall. Not only is this not healthy for the meta, but also the players of BH overall by creating an uncompetitive space.

I cannot stress enough how much of a problem this has become recently. Unless your running Double Steel types with Regenerator/Unaware + Pivot, you're going to have a hard time breaking Zamazenta without whittling down it's PP. Victory Dance, Good As Good or Substitute must be considered soon as they are the keystone in keeping this set alive. Personally, I am in favor of a Substitute suspect/ban because the amount of prolonged battle strategies achievable with Substitute is unreasonable.

Thank you for listening to my rant about the absolute state of Zamazenta. Have a good day and I hope your battles aren't as painful as the ones above.
I second this, this strategy is inherently unfun and forces teams in to specific counters, such as the Heatran set posted above.

This is simply describable as overcentralizing and action should be taken. But I disagree with you in that Sub is the main culprit here.

Good as Gold is the issue. Of course, over the course of BH’s history (Ignore the Gens where Shell Smash and Belly Drum are allowed.) Bulky setup has been a very effective strategy, since the combination of QD (or VD instead this gen) + Defensive Stat boosting ability allowing the user to both be a wall and an offensive threat at the same time.

This is usually kept in check by multiple factors such as Haze, Status, Spectral, Phazing and Imposter. This is where GaG comes in, as the ability allows the bulky setup mon to circumvent one of its flaws in Status, Phazing (with the help of Substitute) and Heart Swap (People might not use this but this has some potential.) GaG also allows it to utilize Leech Seed and beat offensive counterplay by clicking Leech Seed as counterplay comes in and then spamming sub until counterplay is in damaging move of crange.

This combination forces people to, no matter what they are running, to utilize some sort of hard counter, that outside of this matchup is mostly outclassed by other better mons.

TLDR: GaG is unhealthy and forces unoptimal mons with half optimal sets on to teams just to beat this strategy or locks half of your team in to the same 3 mons. This isn’t worth spending time suspecting.

Suspect Tera by the way.
 
I second this, this strategy is inherently unfun and forces teams in to specific counters, such as the Heatran set posted above.

This is simply describable as overcentralizing and action should be taken. But I disagree with you in that Sub is the main culprit here.

Good as Gold is the issue. Of course, over the course of BH’s history (Ignore the Gens where Shell Smash and Belly Drum are allowed.) Bulky setup has been a very effective strategy, since the combination of QD (or VD instead this gen) + Defensive Stat boosting ability allowing the user to both be a wall and an offensive threat at the same time.

This is usually kept in check by multiple factors such as Haze, Status, Spectral, Phazing and Imposter. This is where GaG comes in, as the ability allows the bulky setup mon to circumvent one of its flaws in Status, Phazing (with the help of Substitute) and Heart Swap (People might not use this but this has some potential.) GaG also allows it to utilize Leech Seed and beat offensive counterplay by clicking Leech Seed as counterplay comes in and then spamming sub until counterplay is in damaging move of crange.

This combination forces people to, no matter what they are running, to utilize some sort of hard counter, that outside of this matchup is mostly outclassed by other better mons.

TLDR: GaG is unhealthy and forces unoptimal mons with half optimal sets on to teams just to beat this strategy or locks half of your team in to the same 3 mons. This isn’t worth spending time suspecting.

Suspect Tera by the way.
Another thing to mention here is Parting Shot has historically been an immensely useful counter to slow set-up as it slows set-up to a crawl and gives a much larger window of opportunity to play around it before it gets out of control. And that's also blocked by Good as Gold.
 
Is Substitute or Good as Gold the factor that breaks setup sets like Zamazenta?
This seems to be the main point of division since the need for action on these sets is overwhelmingly clear. I won't be arguing that these sets are broken but rather what is breaking them and what should be banned to stop these sets from overwhelming the meta.
Personally I'm favoring action on Substitute, because I think the strategy itself is unhealthy, and should be fully killed rather than crippled.

What would a Good as Gold ban entail for Sub setup?
Sub setup sets would likely pivot in the absence of Good as Gold to two different abilities, however many mon-specific abilities such as immunities or damage amp abilities would become viable on these sets.
A) Magic Bounce
This ability would maintain the set's ability to self-Improof even with Leech Seed and keep protection against nearly every form of counterplay bar two moves: Parting Shot and Heart Swap
Heart Swap is relatively niche and would still only be slotted on as a dedicated counter to these sets, as it is otherwise very lacking as an anti-setup option.
Parting Shot, especially Prankster Parting Shot, would fully disable these sets, however it would give the user of the Sub setup set free momentum into whatever they want. (albeit you can prankshot on whatever comes in to prevent it from breaking straight away). You still need to fully lose momentum in order to hold off Sub setup and these would likely use Dark-Type partners like Hoopa-U to gain momentum off Prankshot.
B) Soundproof
Soundproof already competes with Good as Gold and can easily be further explored.
Soundproof maintains the crucial immunity to Parting Shot while protecting the user against all sub-piercing attacks. (No, Hyperspace Hole is not viable.) However the set becomes vulnerable to taunt and needs to keep Sub up to be protected against Sap and status. You also can't self-proof with Leech Seed, but 2 attack sets like this one i've been using stay viable and are even harder to disrupt once they get going.

Note that out of these, the only overlapping counter that is blocked by Good as Gold is Heart Swap, and Soundproof sets present a new form of counterplay denial that would be even more useful in a post-Tera meta where Zama can't Tera out of it's Ateburst weakness. As such, while these sets would become less consistent, they would be just as uncounterable when they have a favorable matchup, and accounting for all of them is impossible on a team that can also handle the rest of the meta.
I'd rather the meta have less matchup fishing and as such, I don't think this outcome is desirable at all.

Why Sub is powerful even outside of Good as Gold.
As seen in this game between Tzaur and Sevag, Substitute isn't limited to the standard Vdance/Attack/Chip/Sub sets we've been seeing with Good as Gold. Sub's ability to prevent Imposter from scaring you out allows fat breakers to become very disruptive since there isn't a good way to force them out. Here Sevag should have had an incredibly strong matchup into NP fairyceus, given he had a haze Scales Zacian and two regenerators with one able to slowpivot and the other resisting Fairy. However because of substitute denying most forms of harassment Toxapex could dish out, he wasn't able to consistently force it out. If he had Imposter, he wouldn't have fared much better because of Tera and Substitute limiting the chances Imposter had to get in and Sub+Leftovers acting as sufficient healing so that Fairyceus didn't have to have a recovery move for Imp to exploit. Sevag was instead able to win by PP stalling, which as Geneku highlighted is often the best approach to these mons, and would have lost if Tzaur had recognized the wincon earlier and played more conseratively.
Substitute provides many incredible attributes at once. It protect from Item Removal, Status infliction and Imposter all at once. Something no other single slot (Ability Item or Move) can provide. It should be noted that BH is different from other tiers because of maxed out EVs giving offensive mons incredible bulk, especially for the best sub users like Arceus, Zama and other Ubers with well rounded stats. It can often be hard for defensive mons to break Substitutes on offensive mons, which isn't often the case in standard play. So long as Subs aren't getting broken in one turn, which is easy to ensure with proper positioning, the opponent is forcibly put on the back foot every time a Sub mon is able to come in on something. Type matchups allow this to happen against nearly all defensive cores, as fitting healing, multiple attacks and sufficient utility on your defensive mons is impossible.

Conclusion
I think that banning Good as Gold instead of Substitute won't improve things. While there will be more counterplay for each possible set, sets will diversify and counterplay to the strategy as a whole will become harder. Matchup variance will only Increase which I think should be avoided.
Substitute is also an inherently very powerful move on its own because of the removal of Spectral Thief (a perfect counter) and Poison Heal (which didn't counter it but instead acted as competition for the role of koff/status absorbing offense), and I think it will only be a matter of time until It's broken in other ways than with Gag setup.
 
Good as Gold is the issue. Of course, over the course of BH’s history (Ignore the Gens where Shell Smash and Belly Drum are allowed.) Bulky setup has been a very effective strategy, since the combination of QD (or VD instead this gen) + Defensive Stat boosting ability allowing the user to both be a wall and an offensive threat at the same time.

This is usually kept in check by multiple factors such as Haze, Status, Spectral, Phazing and Imposter. This is where GaG comes in, as the ability allows the bulky setup mon to circumvent one of its flaws in Status, Phazing (with the help of Substitute) and Heart Swap (People might not use this but this has some potential.) GaG also allows it to utilize Leech Seed and beat offensive counterplay by clicking Leech Seed as counterplay comes in and then spamming sub until counterplay is in damaging move of crange.

TLDR: GaG is unhealthy and forces unoptimal mons with half optimal sets on to teams just to beat this strategy or locks half of your team in to the same 3 mons. This isn’t worth spending time suspecting.
Though GaG prevent all targeted status moves, there are many non-status moves that accomplish the same thing, so I would say that GaG is not broken in that sense. You can still cripple GaG Pokemon with a well timed Haze, and inflict passive damage with Moral Spin/Salt Cure. In a meta with many common status moves, GaG is a reasonable, but not broken counter, with many workarounds that go against its favor. I wouldn't say GaG is unhealthy and will elaborate below.

Another thing to mention here is Parting Shot has historically been an immensely useful counter to slow set-up as it slows set-up to a crawl and gives a much larger window of opportunity to play around it before it gets out of control. And that's also blocked by Good as Gold.
True, though the same can be said about Soundproof. However, Soundproof doesn't have enough usage to empirically say that the problem is due to GaG.

Why Sub is powerful even outside of Good as Gold.
Substitute isn't limited to the standard Vdance/Attack/Chip/Sub sets we've been seeing with Good as Gold. Sub's ability to prevent Imposter from scaring you out allows fat breakers to become very disruptive since there isn't a good way to force them out. Here Sevag should have had an incredibly strong matchup into NP fairyceus, given he had a haze Scales Zacian and two regenerators with one able to slowpivot and the other resisting Fairy. However because of substitute denying most forms of harassment Toxapex could dish out, he wasn't able to consistently force it out. If he had Imposter, he wouldn't have fared much better because of Tera and Substitute limiting the chances Imposter had to get in and Sub+Leftovers acting as sufficient healing so that Fairyceus didn't have to have a recovery move for Imp to exploit. Sevag was instead able to win by PP stalling, which as Geneku highlighted is often the best approach to these mons, and would have lost if Tzaur had recognized the wincon earlier and played more conseratively.
Substitute provides many incredible attributes at once. It protect from Item Removal, Status infliction and Imposter all at once. Something no other single slot (Ability Item or Move) can provide. It should be noted that BH is different from other tiers because of maxed out EVs giving offensive mons incredible bulk, especially for the best sub users like Arceus, Zama and other Ubers with well rounded stats. It can often be hard for defensive mons to break Substitutes on offensive mons, which isn't often the case in standard play. So long as Subs aren't getting broken in one turn, which is easy to ensure with proper positioning, the opponent is forcibly put on the back foot every time a Sub mon is able to come in on something. Type matchups allow this to happen against nearly all defensive cores, as fitting healing, multiple attacks and sufficient utility on your defensive mons is impossible.

Conclusion
I think that banning Good as Gold instead of Substitute won't improve things. While there will be more counterplay for each possible set, sets will diversify and counterplay to the strategy as a whole will become harder. Matchup variance will only Increase which I think should be avoided.
Substitute is also an inherently very powerful move on its own because of the removal of Spectral Thief (a perfect counter) and Poison Heal (which didn't counter it but instead acted as competition for the role of koff/status absorbing offense), and I think it will only be a matter of time until It's broken in other ways than with Gag setup.
Strongly agree with this analysis. Everything that is deflected by GaG is mostly covered by Substitute on top top of the fact it prevents secondary effects from activating. Substitute provide much more utility than GaG for a very small cost (in this meta at least). Defensive Pokemon struggle immensely with bulky Substitute users without the help of Tidy Up due to defensive Pokemon having usually low offensive stats. Without being able to break Substitute, there is little they can do. Take for example a defensive RegenVest Dialga. Using Salt Cure + Nuzzle would cripple GaG users, but not Substitute users without first removing the Substitute. Other points are very well articulated so I won't repeat them more.
 

cityscapes

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Defensive Pokemon struggle immensely with bulky Substitute users without the help of Tidy Up due to defensive Pokemon having usually low offensive stats. Without being able to break Substitute, there is little they can do. Take for example a defensive RegenVest Dialga. Using Salt Cure + Nuzzle would cripple GaG users, but not Substitute users without first removing the Substitute.
why is this bad exactly? defensive mons have gotten insanely strong this gen via the salt cure / mortal spin / knock off / stone axe complex, to the point where they aren’t just hard to exploit, but you can use them as primary progress makers without having to play aggressively in any way. so then offense comes up with counterplay that isn’t “get matchup with jungle healing arc / unresisted choice breaker” and it’s immediately called out as broken? alright.

don’t get me wrong good as gold is very stupid it blocks stuff that you’d think should work like perish song and ghost curse. but if anything just go for that, soundproof and bounce feel clearly worse and both importantly lose to heart swap
 

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considering this whole discussion is stamping out cheese i might as well just list everything that i think can justifiably go

:sv/arceus-poison:
Arceus-Poison @ Clear Amulet
Ability: Simple
Tera Type: Poison
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Imprison
- Haze
- Victory Dance
- Power Trip

yeah imprison can go and nobody'd really care. has 2 benefits in that it removes imprison haze setup but it also future-proofs impform when we maybe get viable trapping moves back. not really a lot to say here other than removing it sorta just does only good; there's theoretically some improofing method you can do with it but it's almost guaranteed to be imprison setup which is what we're trying to remove here (and last gen nobody ever bothered to look past impform and imprison SNR obstagoon).

:sv/ting-lu:
Ting-Lu @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Simple
Tera Type: Steel
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Fillet Away
- Power Trip
- Imprison
- Haze

less partial to removing this one. it's a gimmicky move, yeah, but we've not actually seen it a ton outside of imprison sets; if we opt to ban imprison then this should probably at least sit for a while to see if the "normal" fillet away stuff is fine (can be hazed and checked by imposter / revenge killed if they don't run sitrus). imo there's no instance where we ban this but not imprison since it only half solves the problem people are having with setup stuff.

:sv/zamazenta-crowned:
Zamazenta-Crowned @ Leftovers
Ability: Good as Gold
Tera Type: Steel
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Substitute
- Iron Head
- Leech Seed
- Victory Dance

pretty clear this needs to go, its just that nobody's sure whether to take out sub or good as gold. sub going takes out all potential sub setup greivances, whereas good as gold still leaves soundproof there; it's basically just down to "do you think that the soundproof sets will be annoying enough to warrant banning sub". i don't think there's any other ability you'd want to run on this stuff, as bounce is laughably bad when you can't safely leech seed without a sub and you get forced out by opposing parting shot. you can also consider other sets like simple but these being parting shot cycled is dire.

here's the most noteworthy differences:
  • breaking non-gold's sub with a pivot move means you get imposter or prank status users in, forcing the sub user out instantly.
  • non-gold can be sapped by tidy up users.
  • non-gold can be hit with heart swap.
  • non-gold now has to worry about leech seed being bounced against it if it doesn't have a sub up.
  • soundproof can't be forced out by torch song fires, short of tera fire mold breaker eternatus.
these different sets will likely play very similarly, but non-gold has some very notable weaknesses gained relative to the one common advantage it gets (you can technically scare it out with pixilate flutter mane if it has no speed boosts, but this basically relies on the zama user giving you that window + you have to go timid flutter mane which is notably worse imo). banning good as gold seems like the overall "better" option here, and it's not like this decision is irreversible if soundproof or simple or w/e become too annoying.
 
why is this bad exactly? defensive mons have gotten insanely strong this gen via the salt cure / mortal spin / knock off / stone axe complex, to the point where they aren’t just hard to exploit, but you can use them as primary progress makers without having to play aggressively in any way. so then offense comes up with counterplay that isn’t “get matchup with jungle healing arc / unresisted choice breaker” and it’s immediately called out as broken? alright.

don’t get me wrong good as gold is very stupid it blocks stuff that you’d think should work like perish song and ghost curse. but if anything just go for that, soundproof and bounce feel clearly worse and both importantly lose to heart swap
I agree that defensive Pokemon have gotten very strong with the introduction of these new moves. Though I'm not arguing that GaG is broken since, as you mentioned, moves with secondary effects like salt cure/mortal spin/knock off/stone axe which offer more than enough to counter GaG. I am arguing, however, that Substitute + GaG is unhealthy. This is bad because, as seen in the replays I've linked, it creates ~70 turn stalls which makes battles boring and just not fun. Unless you are prepared with 2 resists with Unaware/Regenerator to slowly whittle down PP, the best counter for Substitute + GaG is Substitute + GaG which I just described. While wasting PP is fine in some cases, it shouldn't be this common, especially in lower ELO. I believe that Substitute is the main culprit since it is enabling long term stall with no way to break through. Without Spectral Thief to remove boosts, it becomes hard to break Substitutes in a low healing environment.

Edit: Just thought about it, Substitute + Taunt also forces direct damage that is hard to break through otherwise and is worse that Substitute + GaG since at least GaG is Tidy Up/Haze-able without Prankster. Pair this with a fast tanky Pokemon and give it an Attack Boosting ability and its basically the same thing. This further makes me think that Substitute is the problem, not GaG.
 
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cityscapes

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I am arguing, however, that Substitute + GaG is unhealthy. This is bad because, as seen in the replays I've linked, it creates ~70 turn stalls which makes battles boring and just not fun. Unless you are prepared with 2 resists with Unaware/Regenerator to slowly whittle down PP, the best counter for Substitute + GaG is Substitute + GaG which I just described. While wasting PP is fine in some cases, it shouldn't be this common, especially in lower ELO.
the thing that in both of these games (here and here for those who haven't kept up), the other player had a specs hadron eleki (w/ wish support in the latter) which would have done a perfectly fine job of pressuring zamac. and additionally saw no volt blocker in either game. what are we scared of here exactly? sub on the switch? this gives us a great opportunity to volt switch into groudon with ideas of tidy up + ground move. vdance? we get rising opportunities unless grievous hax (in which case we still keep our eleki and can then go hard zamac to trade). fighting move? that only makes the decision to immediately go hard zamac even more confounding.

for the record this stands in stark contrast to gens 7 and 8, where it was often clearly optimal to go for anchors on key opposing defensive mons in order to trade them off over the course of 80+ turns and win with your offensive guy. your point about low elo is moot considering the use of sample teams.

i also ultimately disagree with the idea that the only 2 ways to ever beat sub good as gold ever are passive wall spam and countering it with your own sub good as gold. subseed is pretty annoying but it's the 1 trick the set has. strong pivoting will work, regen mons that can break the sub (idea is stalling them out of subs) will work, the mon also has a really hard time getting opportunities vs any offense or hazard stack. stuff like prank ogre can also buy you a ton of time. and this isn't even getting into dedicated counterplay like moldy perish song/heart swap/phazing (i brought this ompl w6), sound attacks (vamos iron moth), magic guard, and any non-passive magic bounce user, though some of these are admittedly fringe.
Edit: Just thought about it, Substitute + Taunt also forces direct damage that is hard to break through otherwise and is worse that Substitute + GaG since at least GaG is Tidy Up/Haze-able without Prankster. Pair this with a fast tanky Pokemon and give it an Attack Boosting ability and its basically the same thing. This further makes me think that Substitute is the problem, not GaG.
good tiering action is when you need to bring solid resists to like 10 types to not get run over by the 130+ speed 140 power move clicker of the day, but a moderately strong guy that has 2 actual attacks, no setup move, and (realistically) takes up your arceus slot is a step too far

like can you walk me through this real quick. where is the sweeping/snowballing potential here exactly. as one? speed boost stored power? torch song? how do you beat imposter without plate? how do you do anything without leftovers?

i know Chessking345 was pointing to this one set tzaur brought in ompl, sub np boom taunt fairyceus, mon goes hard. my question to chessking is how is this meaningfully different from the same set last gen? i know he was mostly playing natdex bh which makes this a little tricky to answer cause you can just out-offense anything in ndbh, but someone like xern in regional dex is gonna cause problems with this set unless it loads into like spectral hooh. regenvest spectral is not a stable answer. you cannot easily wall this out with le passive scales wall. you just had to play against it with your spikes and your counter-ates and your semi-passive half-measures and your imposter hp. i really don't understand what's so hard about applying this concept to current gen.
 
i know Chessking345 was pointing to this one set tzaur brought in ompl, sub np boom taunt fairyceus, mon goes hard. my question to chessking is how is this meaningfully different from the same set last gen? i know he was mostly playing natdex bh which makes this a little tricky to answer cause you can just out-offense anything in ndbh, but someone like xern in regional dex is gonna cause problems with this set unless it loads into like spectral hooh. regenvest spectral is not a stable answer. you cannot easily wall this out with le passive scales wall. you just had to play against it with your spikes and your counter-ates and your semi-passive half-measures and your imposter hp. i really don't understand what's so hard about applying this concept to current gen.
There are a couple differences here that I think are what is pushing sub over the edge.
Ignoring the fun and balanced mechanic that hopefully won't be relevant to tiering for long, I think you underestimate how much of an effect Spectral had on these kinds of sets. You mention how Spectral on regenvest wasn't a reliable answer but also say that the best way to beat these kinds of sets is through outplaying with chip and half-measures, which in prior gens would absolutely include Spectral users. Since these sets lack recovery, even outside of boost-stealing having an easy to fit relatively-high bp move that isn't commonly resisted made Spectral invaluable in beating substitute. Normal-Type sub users really only functioned on bpass chains as they simply didn't have a good offensive typing especially in a zama meta for gen 8 and prank tina meta for gen 7

You suggest playing aggressively with mons like Regieleki to prevent Zama from snowballing in the first place, but I'd say that you can only do that when you know about the set. Zama is now commonly known to run GaG because I popularised it, but when I was first using it the most common interaction was bringing it in on some passivemon like Dialga or Corviknight and subbing on a nuzzle or knock off or parting shot or draco meteor or literally anything those mons do, and since you aren't sure what mon will be GaG you don't know to switch to Eleki when it could well be an offensive set. Sub is tricky to handle but doable when you know it's coming, but the snowball comes from getting just one or two turns where it catches you off guard. Spectral killed any potential for this because it fully reversed progress, whereas now outside of those dedicated moldy whirlwind mons which are... not exactly viable, you can't eliminate the sub and the boosts at the same time while also doing significant damage for a mon that relies on lefties. Your best bet is to stall out one or the other with stuff like Haze Dondozo to stall Vdance or a strong Pivot (which is really only volt cause of Vdance boosts) to stall Sub. But stalling these sets is hard because recovery PP is nerfed and often these teams will try to get the things that can stall their Gag user out poisoned or otherwise crippled before revealing their wincon.

Torch song is a pretty great move into these but it really has to be Stab to get stuff done and the pool of Fire-Types is... not great and it isn't realistic to fit one on most teams. It can also be awkward to Improof. I think Soundproof Sub setup is pretty viable but it hasn't proven itself yet so time will tell on that. They can also Tera into a Fire resist but that's just lol Tera moment.

I agree that GaG setup isn't quite as hard to counter as Geneku is saying but I'd say it really isn't as easy as you're making it sound and it's pretty clearly different from prior gens.
 
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my question to chessking is how is this meaningfully different from the same set last gen? i know he was mostly playing natdex bh which makes this a little tricky to answer cause you can just out-offense anything in ndbh, but someone like xern in regional dex is gonna cause problems with this set unless it loads into like spectral hooh. regenvest spectral is not a stable answer. you cannot easily wall this out with le passive scales wall. you just had to play against it with your spikes and your counter-ates and your semi-passive half-measures and your imposter hp. i really don't understand what's so hard about applying this concept to current gen.
So if I was facing a sub NP taunt boom Xerneas last gen, I would go out to my scales Zamazenta. It can easily break subs with anchor, reverse NP boosts with topsy (or haze), and with 16 recovery PP you could just outlast boomburst. For this reason, instead of using substitute, the equivalent set last get was Nuzzle Boomburst which was in fact comparably as cancerous as sub NP is this gen.

For boosting sweepers this gen, they have a lot of advantages you seem to be ignoring. With 16 recovery PP, you had good odds of being able to outlast whatever their best move into you was, especially if you also had a decent midground like a regenvest that could absorb a hit or two if it’s healthy. You had topsy (and no GaG) to make it that not only can you undo boosting you can actually punish it. And you especially had anchor shot to make a lot of the stuff you just unquestionably risk this gen into a major risk. If I’m a Xerneas versus a 60% scales Zamazenta last gen, I have to either switch out or make a genuinely risky play to fish for advantage that could lose me my Pokémon. If I’m a Pixilate fairyceus versus a 60% scales Zacian, I’m free to stay in and attack or switch as I please. And then of course there’s viable GaG to block parting shot as well because why not.

So if I was describing the differences, I would say these kind of attackers have a much easier time wearing down their walls (recovery PP) and no prankster (topsy, recovery PP) and fewer midgrounds (no spectral) and weaker setup punish (no topsy, spectral, +GAG) and no fishing punish (trapping). And each of these individual changes are probably fine on their own - even no spectral - but together it makes it was more powerful.
 
Sample Teams

Flame Orb Balance by Chessking345
[Balance - Flare Boost Flutter Mane]
:ting-lu::zacian::groudon::arceus-water::flutter mane::chansey:
Flutter Mane is very strong at breaking teams apart. Waterceus provides a supportive wincon, Strength Sap here is more or less fine since you can Toxic Chansey, making it just lose to Flutter Mane, and Flutter can act as a secondary Knock/Status absorber. Water is the Arc-type here to provide a Orichalcum Pulse check, Tera Ground is for Dialga-O. Groudon rounds off the dual FC core, provides hazard control, and also spreads some Toxic and another potential wincon. Regen Ting-Lu is a good scouting tool and midground pivot. It + Scales Zacian form a pretty resilient SpD core with Ting scouting choice locks. Ting-Lu also provides lots of utility options.
Ting-Lu gets to Knock Imposter and then can be soft improofed by Groudon Waterceus or Flutter Mane. Zacian is self-improof, Chansey and Groudon can help if its Cloak or Normal/Ghost Tera Imp (not Chansey for Ghost Tera). Groudon improofed by Waterceus. Waterceus improofed by Chansey. Flutter Mane improofed by Zacian and Chansey (Zacian limits Pain Split from Imposter, Chansey is safer).
Some notable other options here are Tera types (notably Flutter Mane), item on Zacian (Ability Shield gives a much better Normalize counterplay, would recommend if expecting), item on Groudon (HDB here gives security against stuff like Koraidon spikes up) feel free to play around with those.

Some weaknesses include Speed Boost Palk-O (win before Zacian loses), Normalize Taunt (use AShield), physical breakers with Grass coverage (change Tera type on Groudon and use Imposter), opposing Scales Zac (try to win long game), stuff that RK Flutter (i.e. mainly Bundle, Pult, and -ateSpeed, can play with Tera type to try to nab a surprise kill, getting Knocked is also very good into Pult).

I Need to Start a Garden by XxLazzerpenguinxX
[Offense - Specs Rayquaza + Psychic Surge Mewtwo]
:rayquaza::arceus-water::chansey::landorus-therian::mewtwo::zacian:
How to use: To be successful with this team, you must try and stay on the front foot as best as possible. Early game, I would generally scout for Chansey, and try and put yourself in a good position by using Arceus' calm mind to force in passive pokemon. I would then look for positions where Mewtwo can come in for free. The idea with Mewtwo is that sure, Regenvest Dialga-O and Ting Lu hard wall it, but with Koff, you're able to effectively cripple them, as Rayquaza will have opportunities later in the game to 2hko them using Boomburst. You also totally cripple any Chansey (imp and non imp, and do like 20% w/ u-turn). Landorus serves as the primary physical attacker, with not many pokemon able to wall it effectively. Groudon, being one of the most effective rarely has great moves to hit it, as it'll usually just be toxic - while also just letting in Rayquaza for free if you can afford it also being toxic's or making a good read on recovery. Zacian serves as additionally speed control, while also leveraging court change for some hazard control. Additionally, with ceaseless edge no longer in the game, bounce is much stronger (underratedly blocking strength sap too).

Espeed on Rayquaza might be a little finnicky with Psychic Surge mewtwo, but it can come in clutch situationally vs. Koraidon.
With all the Parting Shot passive prankster pokemon around, future sight Mewtwo can strike with devastating effect.

Some move options for the team:
Arceus Water - EP => Aromatherapy / filler
Zacian - Nuzzle => Glare

Other Options:
Some move options for the team:
Arceus Water - EP => Aromatherapy / filler
Zacian - Nuzzle => Glare
Mewtwo - Tera Fairy => Tera Psychic
Rayquaza - Tera Steel => Tera Flying

If you're feeling adventurous, Landorus-Therian can be swapped for Desolate Land Zacian, and you can add any other pokemon to the team, Palkia-Origin comes to mind as being especially dangerous.

Weaknesses:
The speed control is admittedly so, a little finnicky as Koraidon is able to outspeed everyone. Zacian helps out with this, but it can get rocked by a gigaton hammer.
Physical attackers are also in general hard to deal with, really relying on Arceus-Water and Imposter here, but the goal of the team should be to try and prevent them from coming in as much as possible. Additionally, all of the tera types add some defensive typing to the offensive guys, allowing them to tank a hit, and retaliate with an OHKO.
Ice Scales Dialga-O can be a huge pain for this team, relying on just headlong rush Rayquaza catching it by surprise.
Annoying regen stone axe loops can get annoying if you need rocks off.
Effectiveness:
It has imposter, its gotta be at least decent on ladder
I beat TTTech, Quojova & Onyx with the team
It's pretty fun to use, and one of the few really aggressive teams I've seen in gen9bh, and takes advantage of the repetitive structures that gen9bh has fallen into

Disco Light by augustakira
[Balance - Simple No Retreat Arceus-Ghost + Good As Gold Zamazenta]
:Arceus-Ghost::Corviknight::Zamazenta-Crowned::Dondozo::Rayquaza::Chansey:

Heart and Beat by augustakira
[Balance - Band Koraidon + Flame Orb Flutter Mane]
:koraidon::flutter-mane::zacian::corviknight::groudon::arceus-ghost:

Past Samples:
Life's Epilogue by Onyx Onix 7
[Hyper Offense - Orichalcum Pulse + Prankster Destiny Bond Spam]
:zacian::groudon::eternatus::arceus-grass::rayquaza::coalossal:
Synopsis:

The following team is a hyper-offense build I that was accepted as a sample for the last round of sample submissions with some adaptations and optimizations for the current meta . The team is built around powerful mixed attackers like Arceus Grass and Rayquza to shatter most defensive cores and suicide Destiny Bond users to quickly restrict offensive counterplay options. Choice Band Zacian and Coalossal round out the rest of the build by offering some form of a defensive backbone and the ability to revenge-kill fast threats like Miriadon and Palkia.

Opimizations over pervious iteration:

1. Since Zacian-Crowned and Quiver Dance are banned there isn't a need for a Choice Scarf Revenge Killer anymore. Band Zacian with Orchalcium Pulse is sufficient in terms of power and speed to come in and threaten out most faster threats.
2. Since Knock-Off and Population Bomb have seen a surge in usage Carkol is replaced with Rocky Helmet Coalassol for more reliablity.
3. Arceus's Plated set is replaced with a life Orb Set to counter the rise in Neutral Fur Coat users like Fur Coat Arceus Ghost

Tips on how to play:

* Zacian is typically the best lead and midground due to its ability to scare out offensive pokemon and force in exploitable walls
* Save Tera-Fire for Arceus grass so it can 1 v 1 Imposter Chansey and so it has its Fire STAB
* Rayquaza, Arceus, and Zacian are Imposter Proofed by Coalossal
* Against bulky Calm Mind Pokemon Eternatus usually can win the 1 v 1 with the combination of Destiny bond and its ability to crit through Calm Mind boosts

Weakness:

* Fur Coat Arceus Fire can be tricky to break through for this team
* Bulky Victory Dance users can sweep the team if one isn't careful to preserve Groudon or Eternatus
* Random Flip Turns
* Primordial Sea Corviknight

Effectiveness:

The team is just as if not more effective than the prior iteration since many threats to the team like Zacian-C and Quiver Dance were removed, while the Hyper Offense build still has all of its tools to wreck havoc on opposing teams.

Electro-Spective Kyoto by augustakira
[Bulky Offense - Orichalcum Pulse Calyrex-Ice + Hadron Engine Miraidon]
:calyrex-ice::miraidon::arceus-ground::corviknight::zacian::chansey:
Generally puts a ton of pressure on opposing teams. You'll need to use Tera wisely to handle opposing threats, the team is generally frail but should hold up well enough to win quickly through agressive play. I think the fact that you can't build a reasonable defensive core with 3 slots says a lot about how many threats there are right now.
Caly-I and Miraidon are the two mons that can reasonably nail OHKOs on targets like FC Arceus, nothing walls both of them and Miraidon forces in things that Calyrex feasts on, so you may need to learn to take risks like hard switching to Calyrex when Mirai brings in a Ground-Type.
Arc-Ground handles opposing Miraidon and can make use of Tera to check Ground coverage Enamorus and Palkia, albeit these are softer checks.
Zacian handles GT mons and sets spikes, it can also scare out Korai/Miraidon and bring in your breakers with Parting Shot.
Corviknight and Imposter are setup control and check pop bomb users like Slaking.

Weaknesses: Opposing Corviknight, Teams that have strong defense with Palkia as a wincon, Enamorus with V-Create + Grounds/Koraidon.

Feel free to fiddle around with the Tera types to make the team work however is best for you. Apparently certain people are using Primsea which is not viable but if that's a concern swap Solar Blade for Power Whip on Calyrex, trading accuracy and a little power for not getting Cteamed is probably good.

Snakes and Ladders by Tea Guzzler
[Balance - Magic Guard Slaking + Mold Breaker Groudon]
:groudon::corviknight::slaking::arceus-ghost::chansey::enamorus:
How to use: Groudon is extremely effective at breaking down walls and forcing Toxic on opponents, both of which make sweeping with Slaking easier. Spreading Toxic with Groudon early on is generally the best way to go, damage-dealing becomes a priority later on when you can Tera Ground to OHKO Arceus after slight chip, and any Ability Shield Eternatus has been Knocked by Slaking (who's generally a side wincon). Corviknight improofs Groudon and Enamorus, Spikes is so it isn't total fodder for RegenVest Ting-Lu and so you don't miss Ceaseless. Arceus-Ghost is a generic Fur Coat user, can be realistically any Arceus but I fancied Nasty Plot Arc-Ghost and also wanted Knock Off to harass AV users and reduce the need for Enamorus to Tera. Enamorus is a wallbreaker first and backup hazard removal second, Enam with Spin up doesn't really have any switch-in other than Tera Fire stuff and go to RegenVest -> go Imposter on predicted Headlong. Chansey is a passive blob of bulk whose sole purpose is to never die, though you need to actually predict around Miraidon Volt Switch if Spikes are up.

Other Options: As said above, basically any Fur Coat Arceus can work. Arceus-Water is probably the most defensive and most effective at not dying but also the most fodder for Imposter and most passive, Arc-Fairy and Arc-Fire are options that lean more towards offense / defense respectively.

Weaknesses:
  • :hoopa-unbound: Wicked Blow spammers like Hoopa-U and Sniper Palafin are just a symptom of running one Fur Coat user weak to Dark. Not a lot that can really be done about this without changing Arceus type or making it Tera Dragon or something.
  • :arceus::spooky plate: SNR Arceus-Ghost is an issue mostly on the back of Corviknight not being the bulkiest Prankster user (however it is necessary to Imposter-proof Groudon). Cycling Parting Shot and/or spamming Sap as Slaking is usually sufficient.
  • :corviknight: Nullifies Groudon. Nothing can be done to fix this as Corviknight is generally not a primary wall, so you can't easily use a teammate to dispatch it, although if they have no Enamorus check then you can PP stall Recover by just spamming Boomburst.

Double Band by quojova
[Bulky Offense - Banded Sword of Ruin Koraidon + Slaking]
:zacian::koraidon::corviknight::blissey::arceus-ground::slaking:

FC Arc-Poison by quojova
[Balance - Sword of Ruin Koraidon + Fur Coat Arceus-Poison]
:koraidon::arceus-poison::corviknight::ting-lu::dialga-origin::chansey:
Hell on Earth by Tea Guzzler
[Offense - Tough Claws Hoopa-Unbound + Mixed Enamorus]
:hoopa-unbound::arceus::zacian-crowned::groudon::dondozo::enamorus:
How to use: Hoopa is your main sweeping threat and you should aim to get it in as much as possible. Zacian-C and Groudon both aim to help soften physical walls that Hoopa struggles with, such as opposing Arceus-Fire, with both helping limit offensive threats in the process. Arceus-Fire, Dondozo and Groudon fill the defensive slots, with Enamorus in the back as secondary hazard control and additional wallbreaking potential.
Other options:
  • :hoopa-unbound: Lonely ensures you can outspeed +1 neutral-natured Arceus after Shift Gear, but if this isn't a concern then Brave works. Tera Fire also allows you to set up in front of Pixilate + Extreme Speed users.
  • :arceus: Torch Song lacks the burn but can bypass Zacian-C's Substitute.
  • :zacian-crowned: If Gorilla Tactics isn't your thing, other damaging sets like Sword of Ruin or Ruination/Taunt can also work.
Weaknesses:
  • :groudon: Ground-types are naturally trouble since the Fur Coat wall is a Fire-type, so using Dondozo as a semi-replacement can work.
  • :palkia: Tera your Groudon and cope with Water Spout, or try to out-offense it with Zacian.
How Effective: See the RMT here. Has been brought to BH No Johns 3 times and hasn't lost, also beats good players.

Corner Store by augustakira
[Balance - Simple No Retreat Arceus-Ghost + Choice Specs Miraidon]
:arceus::dondozo::zacian-crowned::miraidon::clodsire::chansey:
How to use: Make progress with arceus-ghost, once the team is softened, hard reads with miraidon can usually clean up. Zacian confusehax and status from dondozo and clodsire can force situations where ghostceus can set up without fear of status, but it can generally perform even if burned or paralysed.
Weaknesses: PH taunt qd mons that dondozo can't handle (especially ghostceus), generally you can try and power through these with your ghostceus or with zacian but it can end up pretty matchup fishy with what PH sets can beat what teams. Try swapping around clod and dondo's phazing moves if need be.
Effectiveness: Got to top 5 on ladder pretty easily, won several games against reputed players.

The Scare Bear by Tea Guzzler
[Offense - Gorilla Tactics Ursaluna + Headlong Rush Enamorus]
:ursaluna::zacian-crowned::arceus::enamorus::dondozo::dialga-origin:
How to Use: This team has 2 primary ways to win - either through QD Arceus-Ghost (supported by Headlong Rush Enamorus, which removes all common special walls with relative ease), or through GT Ursaluna (supported by Ruination Zacian-C, who tears through Fur Coat users' Recover PP and removes Rocky Helmets). Arceus-Ghost, Dialga-O, and Dondozo fill out a standard FurScalesPrank core. Playing defensive early is usually the best bet, since most of the attackers enjoy being slow pivoted in and don't appreciate a surprise Glare or Nuzzle, so early scouting is recommended unless it's clear that they probably autolose to Arceus. Once stuff is scouted and you know what the main objective is (ie. you've identified which wincons you want to pursue, which can easily be both), the team excels at creating very high pressure in a very short time window, which you can keep applying until you break through.

Other Options:
  • :palkia: The team has an alternative version with some slight changes, namely swapping Ursaluna for QD Beads Palkia and making Dialga-O Ice Scales over RegenVest. This version focuses almost entirely on special wallbreaking, although is less consistent in Imposter-proofing (even with Scales Dialga-O, Palkia-O just does so much damage) and gives up Ursaluna's massively strong Extreme Speed. Here it is.
  • :thundurus: Enamorus is aggressive hazard control, however is frail as a result - nothing else can really perform the role it does, although if you're intent on playing a slower game, fitting this slot with bulkier hazard removal (like Tidy Up) can work.
  • :zacian-crowned: Headlong Rush Enamorus + Earth Eater Zacian-C is the general setup, however V-create Enamorus + Well-Baked Body Zacian-C also works. Trades lower killing power for better utility against stuff like Arceus-Fire.
Effectiveness: Won with it in ghosting tour, consistently beats good players and has few exploitable weaknesses.

Weaknesses:
  • :arceus::spooky plate::flutter mane: Normalize is annoying but generally not a game ender, getting them Glared and pivoting to Zacian (to knock Flutter's plate) or Arceus (to QD faster than opposing Arceus) works best.
  • :palkia: No team has long-term answers to this (without fringe stuff like DesLand Zacian-C), here it's no different. Playing aggressive is best, Ursaluna's Extreme Speed can pick it off from moderate HP / Tera Normal ESpeed is 62.5% to just OHKO.
  • :miraidon: Similar story to the above, but you have switching options with Ursaluna / Zacian-C and the threatening sets don't boost Speed (so Zacian-C can always chase them out). Tera Ground Enamorus also just default dances on people that don't know the set.
The Infernals by tzaur
[Balance - Double Fur Coat]
:zacian-crowned::arceus::chansey::ting-lu::groudon::eternatus:
How to use: Straightforward game plan. Just play well. Scout via Ting-Lu and Imposter and start finding some openings with Eternatus or Ghostceus. Cover most of the physical attackers defensively—especially Ghostceus since it interacts so little both defensively and offensively with the type chart. Etern is cool 'cause even if you don't even Tera, it punishes people who send in their Zacian thinking they'll KO it from full-ish with HR. Especially at +2. Zacian-C is a cool midgame breaker. Toxic + taking hazard chip wears down Dondozo pretty easily (Salt Cure also probably works here if you want more immediate chip, but Fireceus becomes more annoying, so I don't love it). Kiiiiiiiiinda have to out-finesse Imposter if it comes in on Don or Ting, but I had little to no problems doing that. Straight-up dogwalks most fat/stall builds.
Weaknesses: GTactics Don if you don't opt for Tera Flying on Eternatus. Fuck that mon. Mostly went Tera Steel when I laddered, and it obliterated most of the team; only reason I still won was cause for some strange reason my opponent closed their eyes and clicked a button missing their game-winning play when my paralysed Ghostceus was the last mon standing and was well within KO range of their last Headlong Rush lmao.
-ate Boomburst anything can be an issue since nothing reliably switches in on it. Especially random Aerilates with Specs or Metronome. Terastallize Poison Ting-Lu immediately to handle Pixiburst Fairyceus, Flutter, and Iron V. If/when PH gets banned, you can easily go Eviolite > T-Orb on Imposter to further ease this MU.
QD Miraidon of any breed. Struggled a lot vs. these. A well-played Tera Dragon Specs can also be a huge nuisance.
PH Fairyceus with Steel/Fire Tera can also be a nuisance. Will hopefully no longer being an issue after the current suspect. If it sticks around, you can opt for Tera Ground on the Don.
Effectiveness: I'm very, very terrible at saving replays, so I unfortunately don't have any. All I really have is 25-0 on first try on PH suspect with minimal effort aside from Onyx. Even though I was just shy of 1500s ELO by the time I finished, I believe the GXE was only surpassed by the top 2 in rank at the time, CHISIRYO and Quantum Tesseract.

Frighteners
[Bulky Offense - Toxic Spam + Magic Guard Slaking]
:arceus::eternatus::blissey::ting-lu::slaking::dondozo:
How to use: Play defensively, focus on getting Toxic off on as many mons as possible until you can safely bring in Slaking. Slaking should exclusively be used in endgame as a cleaner unless you can ensure it won't get easily checked. The other 5 mons, specifically Imposter, should focus on annoying the opponent's team through any means necessary until Slaking can clean or break if given the opportunity. Imposter should scout and Eternatus and Arceus-Fire should be used to maintain offensive pressure on the opponent. Ting-Lu and Dondozo can be a huge pain to defensive mons which would otherwise check Eternatus and Arceus-Fire such as Dialga-Origin. Normalize should be Poisoned and Tidy Up deals with the odd few sets that also run Substitute.

Weakness: No Heal Bell due to improofing issues, weak to Rain teams, slightly annoyed by Growth Arceus-Fire but absolutely not an unwinnable matchup. No Ghost-type may be a problem, however I have not found myself horribly bothered by this. Weak to Trick, but also not an unwinnable matchup and Arceus-Fire can optionally run Flame Plate to counteract this.

Effectiveness:
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firefox_z66RkE7xBi.jpg


The only reason I hadn't laddered higher is because it's hard to find any damn games at that high ELO. This took several days for me. I predict I can get to mid-1600s with it, but felt like submitting sooner since I want to take a brief break from BH and sample submissions would likely be closed by the time I come back. But the team itself beat Onyx Onix, Soul Dew Latias, LuciShrimp, Slightly Angry Kevin, amnael, and a few other 1400s-1500s rated accounts.
:arceus: Fireceus is a great mon, but what makes it truly great is it not being passive while simultaneously threatening FC walls. Tidy Up is severely underrated solely for its ability to remove enemy Substitutes. At +1 Attack, Arceus can get 2HKOs or OHKOs on a shockingly high amount of the meta. The main problem you will encounter using it is Imposter as you can not risk Fireceus being Poisoned.

Alternate Options: Heavy-Duty Boots can be used if you find Stealth Rock to be an issue, but I generally don't and can typically handle hazard removal fine without it. Not being Paralyzed or haxed is far more valuable to you. Flame Plate provides a modest buff to V-create plus the immunity to Trick. Tera Ghost is an alternate viable Tera Type that allows for a different generic defensive typing that lacks the Steel-type weakness in trade for a Ghost- and Dark-type one.

Improof: Eternatus, Slaking in a pinch.

:eternatus: Eternatus is a genuinely great mon hindered by a lack of particularly great sets. Unfortunately, its typing does it no favors either. But Base 130 Speed and a huge amount of bulk with great Special Attack allow it to remain a constant threat. This set is more or less a theorymon that I made to find viable SetPedia sets, but this paid off rather handsomely. Mold Breaker allows it to be very, very versatile. Especially with Toxic, as Toxic gets --- accuracy with Poison-types while Eternatus can reliably improof Arceus.

  • Good as Gold, Magic Bounce, and Purifying Salt are vulnerable to Toxic.
  • Strength Sap bypasses Good as Gold, Magic Bounce, and... maybe Liquid Ooze.
  • Torch Song bypasses Well-Baked Body, which is notable as WBB Zacian-C typically counters Eternatus.
  • Both Torch Song and Dragon Energy bypass Ice Scales.
However, it finds itself annoyed by RegenVest Goodra-Hisui and Dialga-Origin due to it having trouble with beating them without the use of Terastal, but the option is there should the need arise. Imposter is a bigger worry due to Eternatus having a natural Poison immunity and it likes to try and force out Eternatus to prevent it from snowballing.

Note: Never go to +2 Special Attack on Eternatus while the opponent has an active Chansey or Blissey. Your improof risks getting overrun.

Alternate Options: Covert Cloak can be used on Eternatus, however Leftovers (Black Sludge stops working on Terastallized Pokemon) synergizes better with Dragon Energy. Moveset should not be changed or Eternatus loses significant effectiveness. Tera Type can be Fairy if you want a defensive Tera Type rather than an offensive one.

Improof: Blissey, Ting-Lu in a pinch.

:blissey: It's Imposter. Use it to scout, use it to win against certain offensive matchups, but most importantly use it to PP stall if you cannot reasonably win through offensive tactics. As for the moveset itself, it is solely for improofing Eternatus and nothing else. Amnesia is there to allow Blissey to avoid getting overrun by Torch Song. Jungle Healing cures Toxic. Low Attack means enemy Imposter doesn't heal at all. Salt Cure is there to have passive damage against both Imposter and any switch-ins.

Alternate Options: Do not use Choice Scarf on this set. Blissey needs Covert Cloak. But Eviolite Chansey is acceptable here. The major change I'd say is viable here is Ruination or Comeuppance over Salt Cure if you're worried about an enemy Covert Cloak Blissey. Haze and other means of removing Torch Song boosts are likely unviable as they cause Blissey to be too heavily pressured especially as Blissey always underspeeds Eternatus. It is possible you could run Heal Bell over Jungle Healing to better support the party at the cost of a slightly dodgier improof.

Improof: N/A

:ting-lu: Ting-Lu is here over Dialga or Goodra as the team would otherwise be too weak to Ground-type attacks. It does its job fine as Knock and Salt Cure is very hard to wall on the same set and it readily takes on most special attackers besides Flutter Mane and Enamorus. It's not a particularly inspired set, but it does its job and it does it well for this team, providing an essential Nuzzle and Prankster immunity. Ting-Lu should prioritize Knocking Off items at any point, and Salt Cure any switch-ins. Salt Cure as mentioned is also great for harassing defensive sets that otherwise get in the way of the rest of your party.

Alternate Options: Ability Shield is usable if you're super afraid of Normalize Entrainment, but Toxic on Eternatus or Arceus can still hit Flutter Mane and enemy Arceus through Normalize. Tera Type should not be changed, and while the moveset can be changed, I do not particularly have any suggestions. Both Ting-Lu and Dondozo can change up their moves if you desire, however they work perfectly fine as is.

Improof: Knock Off the enemy Imposter's item and Salt Cure them to force them out. Eternatus can improof in an emergency as Toxic severely threatens enemy Imposter.

:slaking: Slaking is the late game cleaner, but he can work as a breaker in some cases too. However you should be skittish with it especially given that it does not like the presence of Imposter and needs to wait for an opportune time to come in. Magic Guard provides some extremely useful immunities with hazards, status, and Salt Cure. It also is immune to Rocky Helmet. Unfortunately, due to the status immunity, this means a Poisoned Imposter isn't going to be threatened coming in unless you Terastallize. Rock Tera Type is generally an ass type, but the Fire resistance is very useful in some non-Imposter matchups and it resists Normal too.

As an important note, while it seems counterintuitive, you should focus on removing hazards with Arceus over Slaking as your team is significantly handicapped if Slaking even risks being crippled or knocked out. Slaking is best used only after you know what exactly your opponent has in a given matchup. Or if Imposter is down, then scout to see what mon your opponent brings in on Slaking once you set up with it.

Alternate Options: Wide Lens is an obvious one, but Life Orb gives more power that's less consistent. This LO power has won me games though so I still use it personally. Morning Sun can be used in favor of Sap, but Slaking generally wants the PP. Victory Dance is usable, however Slaking generally appreciates being able to remove hazards and Substitute.

Improof: Terastal, PP stalling with Strength Sap if needed. Parting Shot spam can work in an emergency. Just because Slaking can self-improof, doesn't mean it should, and you should try to get Imposter down over time or at the very least put it in a disadvantageous position so it thinks twice before coming on in. Slaking generally always wants to come in late game or if the need to break something is absolutely necessary to avoid dealing with Imposter directly. Bringing Slaking in on mons without pivot moves gives Imposter less breathing room especially if it risks coming in as +0 on you Tidying Up.

Slaking is genuinely not hard to use despite the precarious improof. Imposter doesn't get full accuracy Population Bomb and its rather easy to annoy out with Eternatus and Dondozo unless you get extremely unlucky. That being said, some opponents may only use Imposter to PP stall you and this is another reason to avoid bringing out Slaking early until you have a gameplan which results in it getting at least one KO before switching out. Slaking is almost always going to put in work even despite this Imposter problem especially as it tanks almost everything extremely well and can force out certain mons with Strength Sap before setting up.

:dondozo: Dondozo is a fairly typical Prankster. It's likely you've already used this thing before given its bulk and the necessity to have a fat physical mon on your teams. This Dondozo is rather passive but Ceaseless Edge makes it extremely annoying to deal with as the opponent needs to focus on bringing out hazard removal which can give you a momentum advantage, especially if their removal doesn't like one of the other party members. Prank Parting Shot is very valuable in this metagame as Dondozo does not particularly mind Ting-Lu switch-ins and this team is not super afraid of Hoopa-U. Dondozo should mostly be used reactively, but if the game stalls at all you can start aggressively setting up Ceaseless Edge to try and force the aforementioned momentum advantage.

Alternate Options: Rocky Helmet is an option, but not for improofing Slaking as its immune to Rocky Helmet damage via Magic Guard. Only use Rocky Helmet if you think its worthwhile. Morning Sun is an option over Shore Up, but I specifically chose Shore Up to avoid Rain reducing Dondozo's healing. Tera Type is not too important, use Ground or whatever type you feel is necessary; Dondozo is unlikely to change any matchups as a result of Terastal.

Improof: Arceus removes hazards and forces Imposter out at the threat of Toxic. Ting-Lu prevents Parting Shot from letting Imposter gain momentum and the threat of 1/4HP Salt Cure + Knock Off forces Imposter out as well. Slaking is usable but not advised as an improof.

Life's Epilogue by Onyx Onix 7
[Hyper Offense - Destiny Bond Spam + Choice Scarf Zacian-Crowned]
:groudon::carkol::eternatus::arceus::zacian-crowned::rayquaza:
Synopsis:

The following team is a hyper-offense build I originally created for the ghosting tour, though we eventually decided to bring rain instead. The team is built around powerful mixed attackers like Arceus Grass and Rayquza to shatter most defensive cores and suicide Destiny Bond users to quickly restrict offensive counterplay options. Scarf Zacian-C and Carkol round out the rest of the build by offering some form of a defensive backbone and the ability to revenge-kill fast threats like Miriadon and opposing Zacian.

Tips on how to play:

* Zacian-C is typically the best lead and midground due to its ability to scare out offensive pokemon and force in exploitable walls
* Save Tera-Fire for Arceus grass so it can 1 v 1 Imposter Chansey and so it has its Fire STAB
* Rayquaza, Arceus, and Zacian are Imposter Proofed by Carkol
* Against bulky Quiver Dance Pokemon Eternatus usually can win the 1 v 1 with the combination of Destiny bond and its ability to crit through Quiver Dance boosts

Weakness:

*Fur Coat Moltres and Fur Coat Arceus Fire can be tricky to break through for this team
* Bulky Victory Dance and Quiver Dance users can sweep the team if one isn't careful to preserve Groudon or Eternatus
* Random Flip Turns
* Primordial Sea Corviknight

Ladder Peak / Replays;

While I, unfortunately, don't have a screenshot of how far I climbed on the ladder, I managed to easily make it into the high 1600s twice with HO. Had I continued laddering, I'm sure I could've made it to first place on the ladder. I likely won’t have the time to play a bunch more games to make that happen in the near future. So that will have to be good enough to demonstrate effectiveness.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1781412716-n5fetmxemzutv94oimyx5iug8cm66vlpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1780054633-xf87404k4kpxtcmcucubcyb2z8xwj0hpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1779437387-8powld7v1g16xqlqda90ecok7n92uunpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1778371178-dlbrflimpretu3azxc68lxgdl6i7sfopw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1763449752-ylcicpqbtemfj71mdipq3rc3tiacepopw
Sorry if this has been asked before but what does flame orb do on arceus here
 

Tea Guzzler

and now her home she has no longer
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Well I was hoping to be making an announcement today but there's an OMPL tiebreaker and we want finals to be the meta as-is :psysad:

In the meantime, here's some stuff i've been using recently:

:ss/regieleki:
Regieleki @ Choice Specs
Ability: Hadron Engine
Tera Type: Electric
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Rash Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 SpD
- Rising Voltage
- Volt Switch
- Ice Beam
- U-turn

Never thought i'd see the say when Regieleki was not only viable but lowkey kinda broken, but alas, this is reality. Specs Hadron deals dumb damage even despite Regieleki's mid-at-best Special Attack (base ~115 with Modest), which hits some pretty daft ranges like 2HKOing Scales Zacian and dealing about 65% to Imposter without Tera (this Imp damage is why it's min SpDef). With Tera, it hits stupid damage ranges like dealing 80% to Koraidon, having a small chance to OHKO Eviolite Imposter through a resist, and cleanly 2HKOing Ice Scales Arceus. Hadron also gives it deranged Volt Switch damage which makes spreading chip trivial. By far its biggest greivances are Ting-Lu and Dialga-O, as the former completely neutralizes it with RegenVest and the latter, while it can be Volt Switched on, is never scared of raw damage unless AV has been knocked. This co-incidentally makes the below a good partner...

:sv/arceus-ghost:
Arceus-Ghost @ Spooky Plate
Ability: Simple
Tera Type: Ghost
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Rash Nature
- No Retreat
- Judgment
- Collision Course
- Jungle Healing

This has basically become the main Arceus-Ghost set over Fur Coat for a few reasons, most notable of which being the downturn in Parting Shot meaning staying boosted is substantially easier. Regieleki and this both compliment each other well; Regieleki smashes conventional special walls that Arceus-Ghost struggles with, while +2 Collision Course beats the aforementioned RegenVesters. Jungle Healing is a great asset for being able to set up in the face of a large amount of stuff like RegenVests and Mortal Spin users, and Strength Sap's extra recovery rarely comes into play in most instances. Overall, very strong sweeper that can potentially win at preview, but needs support for Scales Fairies.

:sv/eternatus:
Eternatus @ Draco Plate
Ability: Mold Breaker
Tera Type: Dragon
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Dragon Energy
- Torch Song
- Sludge Wave
- Strength Sap

Stopping this from grabbing 6 trillion Torch Song boosts and taking KOs is surprisingly annoying if you don't have specifically RegenVest. Dragon Energy hits very hard, even when boosted only by Draco Plate, and Torch Song deals a surprising amount of damage even despite its low BP and non-STAB. Naturally, it excels at beating most Ice Scales users, meaning teams that rely on them heavily (especially Zacian) and rely on fast threats to scare out attackers can find this very difficult to stop. It also has some degree of flexibility in its set, as Sludge Wave isn't strictly necessary; Taunt, Spikes, or Toxic Spikes are all viable alternatives. Tera Fire offers a damage boost and emergency Gold Zama-C check, while Tera Fairy basically guarantees a self-proof in most cases.

:sv/dragapult:
Dragapult @ Life Orb
Ability: Adaptability
Tera Type: Ghost
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Poltergeist
- Glaive Rush
- Astral Barrage
- Strength Sap

This mon is bad. Like, really bad. It only barely does enough damage to be usable, is a complete defensive liability, has to predict every single turn to do anything of value, it doesn't work well with Tera, and if you're after something that deals damage while outrunning the big attackers then Regieleki and Iron Bundle are right there. I've also seen Simple SD sets with Poltergeist but no item damage boost is really dire; attacks just bounce off of common Fur Coat users except specifically Arceus-Ghost (which is trending downward). Normalize sets can cheese out wins against unprepared teams but only rarely, and the overwhelming majority of teams are going to simply have counterplay to it that completely shuts it down, be it Judgment, Revelation Dance, Glare, Extreme Speed, Regieleki, Magic Bounce, or others.
 

TTTech

My fate is a haunted curse!
is a Pre-Contributor
I'm gonna make this post quick addressing something that a few people have pointed out in the past, but have none or much solid evidence for, dire claw needs to go as well along with sub + gag setup and imprison setup. It should've been long ago for the fact that you can rng fish sleep turns on not 1, but multiple pokemon on your or the other players team.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1908485043

This was a tournament game, where I had the winning position, but I simply couldn't do anything. Now, sub gag did play a part in this match but it wouldn't have been that much of a big deal had it not been for 2 of my mons being slept. The meta is currently in a place, where ironically, its not balanced because of things like this running around and ladder is also nearly unplayable at the moment. You can run covert cloak to simply stop dire claw (you'll get knocked eventually in a realistic scenario unless you play absolutely perfectly), but I think its unhealthy for something like this to still be around for almost a year when no one has defended keeping this move, it just adds more rng to a game with already lots of rng, it's not competitive at all, and it bypasses sleep clause (if your lucky enough).
 

Tea Guzzler

and now her home she has no longer
is a Site Content Manageris a Social Media Contributoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
Moderator
Ladies and gentlemen, it is time.
Terastallization, Imprison, Substitute, and Hadron Engine have been banned from BH! Miraidon and Gorilla Tactics are freed!
////////////////////Tea GuzzlerquojovaaugustakiraTTTechChessking345
TerastallizationQuickbanQuickbanQuickbanQuickbanQuickban
ImprisonQuickbanQuickbanQuickbanQuickbanQuickban
Substitute SetupBan Good as GoldBan Good as GoldBan SubstituteBan SubstituteBan Substitute
Hadron EngineQuickbanQuickbanQuickbanQuickbanQuickban
Miraidon* (If Hadron Banned)UnbanUnbanUnbanUnbanUnban
Gorilla TacticsUnbanDo Not UnbanUnbanDo Not UnbanUnban

:fairy gem: Terastallization:

Since the last suspect, a few things have been changed. Many wallbreakers have risen as a result of the Zacian-C and Quiver Dance bans, and of these, the overwhelming majority of them use STAB Tera in order to flat-out eliminate certain checks after slight chip. Noteworthy in this list is Rayquaza, which uses Tera Flying to punch through almost all special walls with Extreme Speed, and Flutter Mane, which commonly runs Tera Fairy on its Pixilate sets to out-damage Dialga-O and Zacian (the latter even through Ice Scales and Spirit Break). Other noteworthy Tera attackers include Iron Bundle (Tera Ice + Refreigerate Boomburst), Koraidon (Tera Dragon + Sword of Ruin Glaive Rush), Palkia-O (Tera Dragon + Simple Nasty Plot Dragon Energy), Arceus-Ghost (Tera Ghost + Simple No Retreat Judgment), and more. The key issue here is that Terastallization does not function as a source of creativity, but instead as a delete button that allows offensive threats to simply bypass their checks after minor chip. The effect on the builder is that, because so many threats have this potential, it's simply impossible to cover for all possible threats; while this is nothing new, the power that these threats bring essentially lets them cruise to a win provided they don't get severely outplayed.

Compared to last time, defensive Terastallization on offensive threats has seen a shift as well. One of the most common applications is Tera Poison Arceus; this runs a Calm Mind set with Fur Coat or Ice Scales, a STAB move, a poisoning move, and recovery. The goal of this set is to be generally annoying as a bulky attacker but also to sweep late-game, where it can get away with invalidating the most common counterplay method in Toxic (Haze is the only viable other option, which is not consistent and can often feel relatively dead-weight against things that aren't Arceus). Tera Steel Flutter Mane is another example of defensive Terastallization being used to snuff counterplay; Flare Boost sets will often use Tera Steel to turn would-be checks, like Dialga-O and Ice Scales Zacian, into complete setup fodder. This is an aspect of the mechanic we deem to be unhealthy.

In terms of raw defensive Terastallization, Tera Poison is a very common option thanks to its immunity to poison and its useful Fairy resistance. Other options, like Fairy, Ground, and Steel, are relatively common thanks to their immunities and all-around strong defensive profile. The core issue here is reversing the matchup into wallbreakers, which adds an additional source of matchup variance in that your key wallbreakers can be completely shut down without any real attempt of muscling through. If this were only an issue for a small amount of wallbreakers, it probably wouldn't be so problematic, but almost every single wallbreaker in the meta can be shut down in this way. An additional source of controversy here is that pure-defensive Tera is almost exclusively used as a response to opposing offensive Tera, which contributes to linear, inflexible games.

In the spoiler tags are detailed interactions between breakers and walls that Tera influences:
:flutter mane: Flutter Mane:

Choice Specs Flutter Mane generally runs Pixilate Boomburst sets with Tera Fairy. Both Timid and Modest see use. Alternatively, Flare Boost sets with Nasty Plot see use; these carry Tera Ghost or Tera Steel, and are always Timid. Sets here.

Choice Specs Flutter Mane misses most 2HKOes on standard walls like Ice Scales Zacian, Ice Scales Dialga-O, and Ice Scales Arceus formes. Tera Fairy fixes this issue with the damage buff. Zacian takes 52.3%-61.5% from Timid Tera (2HKOed with one hazard, even after Spirit Break), and Modest Tera deals 57.2%-67.5% (basically guaranteed 2HKO). Dialga-O takes 44.3%-52.2% from Timid Tera (guaranteed OHKO after one Spike and favoured with Stealth Rock), and Modest Tera is basically guaranteed to 2HKO. Arceus fares the best but still takes 40.3%-47.5% from Timid Tera (53% to 2HKO with one hazard) and 44.3%-52.2% from Modest Tera (unlikely 2HKO without hazards, guaranteed with). The TL;DR here is that Flutter Mane "counters" only beat Tera Fairy Flutter Mane with their own Tera.

Flare Boost is a less clear-cut Tera-abusing Breaker thanks to needing to set up to deal notable damage. Zacian checks it with Haze and Spirit Break but still takes 37.3%-44% from Tera Ghost Astral Barrage on the switch. Ice Scales Arceus has a harder time thanks to needing to 1v1 Nasty Plot, and if Arceus switches in on Nasty Plot, it simply gets KOed unless it Calm Minds on the first hit and Flutter Mane gets 2 low rolls. Dialga-O fares worse, being 2HKOed by +2 Tera Ghost Astral Barrage and only being able to fight back if it has Gigaton Hammer.

As for Tera Steel, it offers no relevant damage amplification, but it allows Flutter Mane to 1v1 all of these in the long run thanks to resisting basically all of their attacks (spare the rare Earth Plate Judgment on Arceus formes like Arceus-Poison).

:rayquaza: Rayquaza:

Rayquaza runs a mixed Aerilate set with Boomburst, Extreme Speed, a coverage move (Collision Course, Headlong Rush, or V-create), and a recovery move (Strength Sap or Jungle Healing). It is always Tera Flying and almost always Rash (Naive is occasionally used specifically to Speed-creep other Rayquaza). Set here.

Rayquaza hits hard even before Tera. Most specially defensive checks, like RegenVest and Chansey, don't work thanks to being mixed; Chansey is potentially OHKOed by Collision Course and 2HKOed by Extreme Speed, Dialga-O is 2HKOed by all physical coverage moves, and Ting-Lu is 2HKOed by both Boomburst and Collision Course. This leaves basically just Ice Scales Arceus as a common special wall that handles Rayquaza, as Zacian can but gets dangerously close to being 2HKOed by Extreme Speed. That's where Tera Flying comes in, as Ice Scales Arceus and Zacian are 2HKOed by Tera Flying Extreme Speed, and common Flying resists like Corviknight and Dialga-O are simply 2HKOed by Boomburst (the latter without Assault Vest or Ice Scales). This leaves basically 3 "consistent" counterplay options in Ice Scales Arceus-Electric, specially defensive Corviknight, and Soundproof users like Dondozo and Giratina; the former two can simply fold to Rayquaza's coverage and are heavily flawed Pokemon otherwise, and those Soundproofers are both flawed (they don't beat the other Boomburst users) and can be 2HKOed by Extreme Speed with one hazard up.

:koraidon: Koraidon:

Koraidon runs a Choice Band set with Sword of Ruin, dual STABs, Gigaton Hammer, and Flip Turn. It is always Tera Dragon and always Jolly. Rarely, it runs Mold Breaker. Set here.

Koraidon generally doesn't hit very good ranges without Tera, as no relevant Fur Coat users are 2HKOed by Glaive Rush; Koraidon often relies on racking up hazard and Flip Turn chip before going for KOes (which it does with relative ease). For Mold Breaker sets, it 2HKOes Fur Coat users without any prior chip, but has lower damage output into naturally bulky non-Fur Coat users like Dondozo. Tera Dragon enables Glaive Rush to 2HKO Fur Coat Arceus formes and Groudon after one Flip Turn or entry hazard on Sword of Ruin sets, prevents Rayquaza from revenge killing it, and allows Mold Breaker sets to more reliably break past non-Prankster Dondozo.

:regieleki: Regieleki:

Regieleki runs a Choice Specs + Hadron Engine set with Rising Voltage, Volt Switch, Ice Beam, and U-turn. It is always Modest and Tera Electric. It also usually runs minimum Special Defense to maximize damage on Imposter. Set here.

Regieleki hits a lot of good ranges without Tera. It always 2HKOes Ice Scales Zacian and can, albeit rarely, 2HKO Ice Scales Arceus with Stealth Rock. Minimum SpDef variants always 2HKO Imposter with Rising Voltage without Tera. With Tera, its only good checks become Ground-types, as Zacian takes over 2/3 from Rising Voltage, Arceus is always 2HKOed, Imposter can rarely be OHKOed, and even Chansey can be 2HKOed.

:arceus::spooky plate: Arceus-Ghost:

Arceus-Ghost has two main sets, both of which use Spooky Plate + Judgment and Fighting coverage. Fur Coat sets use Nasty Plot and Focus Blast, while Simple sets use No Retreat and Collision Course. Sets here.

The main differences between the sets, at least for the purposes of this analysis, are that Nasty Plot can be spammed, and Simple means Spirit Break and Parting Shot lower Special Attack by 2 stages. +2 Judgment excels at picking off most offensive options in the tier, with Fighting coverage chunking Dialga-O and Ting-Lu (in Collision Course's case, Chansey too) for hefty damage. These often fall short at Ice Scales Zacian and opposing Ice Scales Arceus, however; Ice Scales Zacian completely shuts both down with Haze and Spirit Break, and Arceus-Ghost can 1v1 both with Calm Mind boosts. For Simple sets, Imposter Chansey can also reasonably stall a good amount of Judgment PP thanks to No Retreat's Special Defense boosts. With Tera Ghost, Arceus-Ghost can prevent Imposter from PP stalling it, Judgment hits every relevant Prankster user for over half (preventing them from safely switching in and making them much more susceptible to running out of Recover PP), Zacian can no longer safely PP stall Judgment, and Nasty Plot sets have the potential to 1v1 Ice Scales Arceus (barely falling short of a 2HKO).

:palkia-origin: Palkia-O:

Palkia-O generally runs Nasty Plot sets with either Speed Boost, Mold Breaker, or Simple. These have Dragon Energy, Steam Eruption, and Strength Sap. They can run all of Tera Dragon, Tera Water, and Tera Fairy. Speed Boost sets are Modest, while the others are Timid. Sets here.

Palkia-O is very dangerous by default, although even with Simple it falls short of most OHKOes it wants, and Dragon typing + Dragon Energy's HP reliance don't do it many favours defensively. Simple Dragon Energy is capable of OHKOing RegenVest Dialga-O at +4, with Mold Breaker picking off Ice Scales Dialga-O at +2. Both sets deal hefty damage to Ice Scales Arceus-Fairy (+2 Moldy Steam and +4 Simple Steam both 2HKO, but Simple does 51.3%-60.3% while Moldy does 68.4%-80.6%) and Zacian (Simple does 66.4%-78%, Moldy does 88.4%-104.3%), but it must also contend with their Fairy-type moves. That's where Tera Water comes in, as it both buffs damage and removes the ability to scare Palkia-O offensively, enabling Simple to hit both of Moldy's ranges and allowing Moldy to OHKO both (Zacian guaranteed). Alternatively, Tera Dragon allows Dragon Energy to OHKO Dialga-O on both sets and also allows Simple to OHKO Ice Scales Arceus (non-Fairy) with Dragon Energy. Speed Boost is the least threatening of all of these on raw damage, but Tera Water still gives it the kick to 2HKO Zacian, meaning it wins in the long run.

:eternatus: Eternatus:

Eternatus usually runs Mold Breaker. It generally aims to take advantage of Eternatus' good bulk and Poison STAB, matching well into the most popular special walls in the Fairies. It can be Tera Fire, Tera Dragon, or Tera Fairy (in descending popularity). Set here.

Mold Breaker Eternatus is mostly used for how well it can harass the Fairy-type walls, always winning in the long term thanks to Torch Song boosts and possibly Poison STAB. Dragon Energy is still potent, however, especially when boosted; +0 Dragon Energy can 2HKO Ice Scales Dialga-O, +1 2HKOes RegenVest Dialga-O and Ting-Lu, and Torch Song provides a general tool to prevent Prankster users from staying in and stalling Dragon Energy. Tera Dragon amplifies this by allowing +2 Dragon Energy to OHKO RegenVest Dialga-O and Ting-Lu, and for +1 Dragon Energy to OHKO Ice Scales Dialga-O, whereas Tera Fire basically guarantees Eternatus will always 1v1 the Fairy-types without any inconvenience. Tera Fairy provides an almost completely safe Imposter-proofing method.

:calyrex-ice: Calyrex-I:

Calyrex-I uses a Sword of Ruin set with Swords Dance, Fire/Ice coverage, and Tera Fire. Generally paired with support for Water-types like Dondozo. Set here.

Caly generally gets some good ranges into Fur Coat users like Arceus and Tera Groudon (which usually Terastallizes when seeing Caly-I or Palafin-H at preview), with +2 Glacial Lance doing up to 80% on both and having the bulk to reliably brawl with them. +2 V-create also nearly OHKOes Imposter. It's scared out by Imposter, however, as the Speed-tie means the winner eliminates the other. This is where Tera Fire comes in; it allows Calyrex-I to make the Imposter matchup completely one-sided and also allows it to OHKO those Fur Coat users with V-create.

:iron bundle: Iron Bundle:

Iron Bundle runs a Choice Specs Refrigerate set with Tera Ice. It's generally the weakest of the main wallbreakers in the meta, but makes up for this with its Speed, letting it outspeed Koraidon and Flutter Mane. Due to the Speed advantage being the main reason to use it, it's always Timid. Set here.

Iron Bundle generally hits similar ranges to Timid Choice Specs Flutter Mane, albeit lower. It's much more reliant on hazards for 2HKOes, which are required to 2HKO Dialga-O with Tera Ice and 2HKO Zacian with Tera Ice after Spirit Break. Ice Scales Arceus requires multiple layers of hazards or a lot of prior chip to be 2HKOed.

:mew::rhydon: Imprison and Substitute:

Banning these two aims to remove forms of cheese from the tier.

Imprison has generally only been used for Imprison + Transform strategies, but these haven't taken off this gen thanks to the lack of viable trapping moves. Instead, Imprison has been used to exploit the tier's severe lack of setup control by cutting off Haze, which leaves only the rare Dragon Tail and Heart Swap as potential answers. This is commonly run with Simple, Power Trip, and either Victory Dance or Fillet Away, which aims to set up and then cleave through teams, unperturbed by Imposter or standard setup control.

Substitute is the main enabler in the Substitute + Good as Gold sets you can see above; Substitute provides a layer of protection from direct attacks and gives the user a window to harass the opponent with flinching moves, Leech Seed, or Salt Cure. When combined into a set, it's almost impossible to offensively scare these threats out thanks to Victory Dance's Speed boost, and defensive Pokemon tend to be Leech Seed fodder and struggle to reliably break the Substitutes. The end vote came down to the idea that other abilities, namely Soundproof, could replace Good as Gold and result in an almost identical situation - while there are counterplay differences, these have varying degrees of effectiveness and often revolve around otherwise-niche options like Heart Swap. In the end, Substitute got more votes, removing the potential for these strategies entirely.

:regieleki::miraidon: Hadron Engine and Miraidon:

Hadron Engine is generally a pretty whack ability when you can also have STAB Rising Voltage and Volt Switch. This combination is so insane that Regieleki of all things (infamous in Gen 8 BH for being a noob trap that does nothing and dies) is doing the rounds as a Choice Specs attacker, and a good one at that. Regieleki's Rising Voltage is capable of a guaranteed 2HKO on Ice Scales Zacian, a roll on Ice Scales Arceus after Stealth Rock and at least 64% on Imposter if you go with minimum Special Defense - all without Tera Electric. Hadron Engine also effectively boosts Volt Switch damage by about 73%, which is kind of mental. Other non-Electric types can also use Hadron Engine, most often using the Special Attack boost to punch through walls and the Volt Switch boost to easily chip them into range. Ultimately, we thought that this will continue to be an issue in the post-Tera metagame, as Regieleki's complete all-or-nothing nature isn't believed to be healthy long-term and having Volt Switches this strong is also an issue.

With Hadron Engine gone, we don't really see an issue with unbanning Miraidon. By far its strongest asset is gone, meaning it will have to lean in on other potential options. Thanks to its Electric STAB taking such a setback, it now competes directly with Eternatus, which lacks some Speed and a paralysis immunity but is stronger, much bulkier, and has an overall better secondary STAB. Beads of Ruin, Electric Surge (Electric Surge + RV is still stronger than Galvanize + Boomburst and also buffs Volt Switch), and Simple are all some potential sets.

:darmanitan-galar:
Gorilla Tactics:

GT was originally banned during Tera meta, which as you might expect, made the ability pretty dumb; levels of dumb that can only really be shown by calcs like Koraidon 2HKOing Fur Coat Arceus or Calyrex-I doing up to 80% to it with Tera Fire V-create. With the setback that physical breakers have taken thanks to Tera leaving, we're hoping that Gorilla Tactics being unbanned gives them a better shot at keeping up with the meta while still remaining healthy, as the damage is a notable step down from Sword of Ruin with Tera but still higher than without Tera.

See this table of total boosts for reference:
Sword of Ruin + Choice BandSword of Ruin + Choice Band + TeraGorilla Tactics + Choice Band
Total boost on STAB moves343.375
Total boost on Non-STAB moves232.25

As expected, we'll be keeping an eye on what potentially needs tiering action next. Most noteworthy here is Gorilla Tactics. Thanks!

Tagging Kris to implement.
 
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Ladies and gentlemen, it is time.
Terastallization, Imprison, Substitute, and Hadron Engine have been banned from BH! Miraidon and Gorilla Tactics are freed!
////////////////////Tea GuzzlerquojovaaugustakiraTTTechChessking345
TerastallizationQuickbanQuickbanQuickbanQuickbanQuickban
ImprisonQuickbanQuickbanQuickbanQuickbanQuickban
Substitute SetupBan Good as GoldBan Good as GoldBan SubstituteBan SubstituteBan Substitute
Hadron EngineQuickbanQuickbanQuickbanQuickbanQuickban
Miraidon* (If Hadron Banned)UnbanUnbanUnbanUnbanUnban
Gorilla TacticsUnbanDo Not UnbanUnbanDo Not UnbanUnban
Wooo! Yeah baby! That’s what I’ve been waiting for, that's what it’s all about! Woohoo!

Sunstitute
Rare council L.

Also (https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen9balancedhackmons-1910028358)
I wanted to mald over this game. 39 turn battle, 14 of these turns were just me being paralyzed. Overall, of the 24 turns I could have been paralyzed, 14 of them results in me being unable to do anything. Assuming independent chances between paralysis, we apply a binomial distribution, this has a 0.041% chance to happen. Mayhaps one of the most RNG carried games in history, I am literally shaking and crying. The chances this happen are 41/100000 or 0.00041, the chances you get struck by lightning are 1/15300 or 0.0064. You have a higher chance of feeling the wrath of god himself through the heavenly thunders than for that to happen. Tagging Kris to fix, absolutely unbelievable.
 
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UT

Swaying as the room burned down
is a Site Content Manageris a Top Team Rateris a Battle Simulator Administratoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Smogon Discord Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
Appeals + C&C Lead
BH is potentially undergoing a pretty significant change, please read this post for details and give feedback if you have any. Short version:
  • The cut Pokemon would be freed but reveal claused; this includes Megas.
  • The forme changes would replicate cartridge. This means that existing in-battle formes (Zamazenta-C, Zacian-C, Palafin-H) will be inaccessible without manual transformation, as well as the cut formes that are confirmed to revert on boot (see this post; the big ones are Zygarde-C, both Darmanitans, Cramorant, and Aegislash).
  • Tera would stay banned for this. We do not fancy demons like Tera Fairy Specs MDiancie running around. We'd also be almost guaranteed to re-ban Gorilla Tactics.
edit: this is now officially policy!
 
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Tea Guzzler

and now her home she has no longer
is a Site Content Manageris a Social Media Contributoris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
Moderator
Hello everyone! The new meta is only a few days away, so we've been through the returning Pokemon and have a preliminary banlist! This is only what we have so far, so it's subject to change, but this wouldn't be major and we'll update you if anything does change.

Pokemon:
:calyrex-shadow: Calyrex-Shadow - No surprises here. Still egregiously broken with no good long-term answers.
:rayquaza-mega: Mega Rayquaza - 180/180/115 with a good amount of different viable abilities that have completely different counters, from Aerilate to Tough Claws to Speed Boost.
:groudon-primal: Primal Groudon - Even if we banned V-create, this would likely still end up overbearing. The typing and base stats are just too good.
:slaking: Slaking - We're pretty confident that the Guts set is still going to be broken the same as before. There isn't much new that can really wall it, and it still outruns everything at +1.
:regigigas: Regigigas - See the above. The bulk differences aren't enough to cause any notable shifts in what it does.
:shedinja: Shedinja - No moves with built-in Mold Breaker (Sunsteel Strike, Moongeist Beam, Photon Geyser) remove any chance this had of being freed.

Moves:
All current banned moves

Abilities:
All current banned abilities + Gorilla Tactics

What isn't currently starting on the pre-banlist, but could start there or be banned within the first few days:
:mewtwo-mega-y: Mega Mewtwo Y
:mewtwo-mega-x: Mega Mewtwo X
:deoxys-attack: Deoxys-A
:gengar-mega: Mega Gengar
:sneasler: Dire Claw

Note that Zacian-C is only off the banlist as it can't be accessed in the banworthy way anymore (with any ability, without Rusted Sword), which makes it simpler for newer players.
 
Hello everyone! The new meta is only a few days away, so we've been through the returning Pokemon and have a preliminary banlist! This is only what we have so far, so it's subject to change, but this wouldn't be major and we'll update you if anything does change.

Pokemon:
:calyrex-shadow: Calyrex-Shadow - No surprises here. Still egregiously broken with no good long-term answers.
:rayquaza-mega: Mega Rayquaza - 180/180/115 with a good amount of different viable abilities that have completely different counters, from Aerilate to Tough Claws to Speed Boost.
:groudon-primal: Primal Groudon - Even if we banned V-create, this would likely still end up overbearing. The typing and base stats are just too good.
:slaking: Slaking - We're pretty confident that the Guts set is still going to be broken the same as before. There isn't much new that can really wall it, and it still outruns everything at +1.
:regigigas: Regigigas - See the above. The bulk differences aren't enough to cause any notable shifts in what it does.
:shedinja: Shedinja - No moves with built-in Mold Breaker (Sunsteel Strike, Moongeist Beam, Photon Geyser) remove any chance this had of being freed.

Moves:
All current banned moves

Abilities:
All current banned abilities + Gorilla Tactics

What isn't currently starting on the pre-banlist, but could start there or be banned within the first few days:
:mewtwo-mega-y: Mega Mewtwo Y
:mewtwo-mega-x: Mega Mewtwo X
:deoxys-attack: Deoxys-A
:gengar-mega: Mega Gengar
:sneasler: Dire Claw

Note that Zacian-C is only off the banlist as it can't be accessed in the banworthy way anymore (with any ability, without Rusted Sword), which makes it simpler for newer players.
Will Mega-Ray be accesible with Dragon Ascent like Natdex BH? Pdon is also completely banned, since Red Orb doesn’t exist, right?
 

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Will Mega-Ray be accesible with Dragon Ascent like Natdex BH? Pdon is also completely banned, since Red Orb doesn’t exist, right?
Mega Rayquaza normally transforms with Mega Evolution, which isn't available in Gen 9, so regular Rayquaza isn't able to transform even when knowing Dragon Ascent. Primal Groudon is also completely banned due to Red Orb not existing, yes.
 

Tea Guzzler

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realized that this will probably make understanding the changes a little easier, since some people don't have the full picture:

Q: What actually are the changes?
A: Almost every cut Pokemon and forme is returning to BH thanks to a coding discovery. Pokemon that were cut before Gen 5 (like Pokestar Spirits and Arceus-???) are absent, but otherwise, everything else (including things like Ash-Greninja, Ultra Necrozma, and Floette-Eternal) is in. Some in-battle forme changes are inaccessible without their normal means of transforming due to an in-game check that reverts their forme; see here for a complete list (if a forme's on the list, you can't get it with a custom ability (except Meloetta-P, which loses the custom ability on switchout anyway) and have to transform manually to access it).

Q: Why doesn't Xerneas work?
A: The list above has Xerneas on it for "reverting in-battle formes", which sounds a bit odd. However, Xerneas has two formes - Neutral (the one with the blue horns) and Active (the in-battle one). Xerneas always reverts to Neutral when out of battle and Active when in battle, and it overrides its ability with Fairy Aura each time, meaning it's currently impossible to get Xerneas with a custom ability in a battle.

Q: What about cut moves?
A: These are still inaccessible. You can hack these onto a set on cartridge, but cut ones are prevented from use by a "You can't use this move!" pop-up when clicked on. This check can only be removed by modding, which is out of the scope of BH.

Q: So is BH a National Dex format now?
A: Not exactly. BH technically speaking has The National Dex in that all of the Pokemon are present, however it doesn't have things that National Dex tiers also choose to bring back, like cut moves and mechanics; it thus isn't considered a "National Dex tier".

Q: What is "Reveal Clause"?
A: When you hack in one of these dexited Pokemon on cartridge, it doesn't have correct visual behaviour. If the forme isn't "in the game" but the base is, the forme uses the model and animations of the base (eg. Mega Rayquaza is cut but Rayquaza is in, so Mega Ray will use Base Ray's model and animations). If the Pokemon just isn't in the game at all (eg. Necrozma), it uses the model and animations of Pikachu. Since this visual ambiguity both adds inconvenient complexity and would be annoying to implement on PS, BH will use a Reveal Clause (see: ADV Deoxys and Reveal Clause), which is basically a gentleman's agreement to say "Hey, the Pikachu in front of you is Deoxys-Attack", thereby revealing everything you're facing.

Q: Can I access banned stuff like Mega Rayquaza and Primal Groudon the "normal way"?
A: No. While the stat spreads and typings exist for all these cut mons, the ways of transforming do not; mega evolution, primal orbs, and the like just don't exist, meaning the formes are basically independent from one another for all purposes except Species Clause.
 
Last edited:
Hello everyone! The new meta is only a few days away, so we've been through the returning Pokemon and have a preliminary banlist! This is only what we have so far, so it's subject to change, but this wouldn't be major and we'll update you if anything does change.

Pokemon:
:calyrex-shadow: Calyrex-Shadow - No surprises here. Still egregiously broken with no good long-term answers.
:rayquaza-mega: Mega Rayquaza - 180/180/115 with a good amount of different viable abilities that have completely different counters, from Aerilate to Tough Claws to Speed Boost.
:groudon-primal: Primal Groudon - Even if we banned V-create, this would likely still end up overbearing. The typing and base stats are just too good.
:slaking: Slaking - We're pretty confident that the Guts set is still going to be broken the same as before. There isn't much new that can really wall it, and it still outruns everything at +1.
:regigigas: Regigigas - See the above. The bulk differences aren't enough to cause any notable shifts in what it does.
:shedinja: Shedinja - No moves with built-in Mold Breaker (Sunsteel Strike, Moongeist Beam, Photon Geyser) remove any chance this had of being freed.

Moves:
All current banned moves

Abilities:
All current banned abilities + Gorilla Tactics

What isn't currently starting on the pre-banlist, but could start there or be banned within the first few days:
:mewtwo-mega-y: Mega Mewtwo Y
:mewtwo-mega-x: Mega Mewtwo X
:deoxys-attack: Deoxys-A
:gengar-mega: Mega Gengar
:sneasler: Dire Claw

Note that Zacian-C is only off the banlist as it can't be accessed in the banworthy way anymore (with any ability, without Rusted Sword), which makes it simpler for newer players.

Honey wake up the kids, BH might be fun again! :tyke:

Memes aside, this will probably be quite the immense meta shift. Kinda bummed that Tera just got banned, I would have loved to abuse Tera Megas for at least a day or two :^)
 

Tea Guzzler

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it seems nobody announced this yet

The BH update is now live on Showdown, allowing almost every dexited Pokemon! Dire Claw was also quickbanned!

////////////Tea GuzzlerquojovaTTTechChessking345augustakira
Dire ClawBanAbsBanBanBan

Dire Claw was already known to be uncompetitive, but because nobody really wanted to use it, it sort of just flew under the radar. Now, however, there is a massive amount of fast stuff that'd like to completely bypass supposed checks, which is a lot more than only really Koraidon from the old meta. This ban just saves a lot of hair-pulling and removes by far the easiest way around Sleep Moves Clause, which is obviously there for a reason. This is already implemented on Showdown.

I'll kick off some discussion on a couple of sets i've been using thus far:

:sm/greninja-ash:
Greninja-Ash (M) @ Life Orb
Ability: Tough Claws
Tera Type: Water
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Surging Strikes
- Wicked Blow
- Electro Drift
- Strength Sap

Ash Greninja is back, although compared to its last BH appearance in Gen 8 National Dex BH, it's a mixed bag. On the one hand, Wicked Blow's nerf and the loss of Fishious Rend notably limit its damage output, up to the point where it doesn't even crack 30% against Fur Coat Arceus-Fairy. On the other, Electro Drift is an excellent upgrade from Grass Knot, as it has a higher damage celing and Imposter can't take it nearly as well thanks to Grass Knot only being 40BP on it before Tough Claws. From most of the games i've played it excels at bypassing Fur Coat Water-types pretty effortlessly, but doesn't have a ton of utility outside of that.

:sm/kyogre-primal:
Kyogre-Primal @ Covert Cloak
Ability: Ice Scales
Tera Type: Water
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Scald
- Knock Off / Haze
- Flip Turn
- Roost

This feels very strong into some of the scariest special breakers that have been let free (Mega Diancie, Mega Mewtwo Y, Mega Gengar, among others) thanks to its gargantuan bulk and Scald's good damage. Covert Cloak is highly recommended on this thanks to Lumina Crash MMY being an absolute demon to play against, and it also offers some protection against Gengar's Sludge Bomb. Knock Off is generally the better option, although Haze gives some extra security against SNR Arceus-Ghost (you can try and stall it with Kyogre + Imposter, but you have to dodge almost all Judgment crits).
 

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