Metagame [Gen 9] Do Not Use (Diglett-Alola suspect) [Pet Mod of the Season!]

:luvdisc: DISCORD LINK HERE :swinub:

:wooloo:What is Do Not Use?
Do Not Use, or DNU from here on out, is a metagame composed of the worst Pokemon to have existed. By severely limiting the power level, it creates a metagame that feels very distinct from any other tier you can find. We've been working to find the best of the worst since August 2022! In addition to the main tier itself, DNU has a rich history of playing with its mechanics, with lower tiers and OMs having been popular. (If you want a metagame where Seedot is the best Pokemon, DNRU Legacy would be right up your alley!)

Following the release of the Scarlet/Violet DLCs, Do Not Use underwent a reset, starting over with a new list of legal Pokemon, at a slightly higher power level. As such, the metagame is still very much developing and has a lot of opportunity for discoveries. Following the reset, the list of legal Pokemon is all Pokemon at or below 280 BST, plus Luvdisc and Unown, minus bans.

Update 4/8/2024: Capsakid and Snorunt have been freed as well!

I won't ramble too much here to keep this post concise, but late-stage DNU Legacy, despite being playable, had developed in an unfavorable direction. Several top tier Pokemon had people requesting tier action, and due to the direction of the metagame you could not clearly single out one Pokemon as the cause. There were strong fears that banning one Pokemon would lead to several other Pokemon needing bans as a direct result. When you only have 50 or so legal Pokemon, and half of them are route 1 bugs, this was very undesirable.

After the DLC gave already-debatably-unhealthy Pokemon such as :swinub: Swinub and :cleffa: Cleffa massive buffs, this train of thought led to the council deciding that, instead of trying to attempt the Herculean task of fixing the meta, we would reset at a higher power level, allowing the tier to redevelop while also giving us more room to ban Pokemon should we need to. So far, it appears to have been a success--the metagame feels fun and stable despite few bans.

:gossifleur: Challenge Code
/challenge gen9nationaldexubers @@@ -all pokemon, +Applin, +Arrokuda, +Azurill, +Bidoof, +Blipbug, +Bounsweet, +Bramblin, +Budew, +Bunnelby, +Burmy, +Capsakid, +Cascoon, +Caterpie, +Charcadet, +Cherubi, +Cleffa, +Combee, +Cosmog, +Cottonee, +Diglett, +Diglett-Alola, +Dreepy, +Feebas, +Fletchling, +Fomantis, +Gossifleur, +Happiny, +Hatenna, +Hoothoot, +Hoppip, +Igglybuff, +Impidimp, +Jigglypuff, +Kakuna, +Kirlia, +Kricketot, +Lechonk, +Ledyba, +Lillipup, +Litwick, +Lotad, +Magikarp, +Makuhita, +Mareep, +Marill, +Meditite, +Metapod, +Milcery, +Nacli, +Nickit, +Nidoran-F, +Nincada, +Noibat, +Nymble, +Patrat, +Pawmi, +Petilil, +Pichu, +Pidgey, +Pidove, +Pikipek, +Poochyena, +Ralts, +Rattata, +Rattata-Alola, +Rellor, +Rockruff, +Roggenrola, +Rolycoly, +Rookidee, +Scatterbug, +Seedot, +Sentret, +Shedinja, +Shinx, +Silcoon, +Skitty, +Skwovet, +Slakoth, +Slugma, +Smoliv, +Snom, +Snorunt, +Spearow, +Spewpa, +Spinarak, +Starly, +Sunkern, +Surskit, +Swinub, +Tadbulb, +Taillow, +Tarountula, +Togepi, +Toxel, +Tynamo, +Tyrogue, +Venipede, +Wattrel, +Weedle, +Whismur, +Wiglett, +Wimpod, +Wooloo, +Wooper, +Wooper-Paldea, +Wurmple, +Wynaut, +Yamper, +Yungoos, +Zigzagoon-Galar, +Zubat, +Luvdisc, +Unown, -Shadow Tag, -Arena Trap, -Huge Power, -Moody, -Pure Power, Terastal Clause, +Assist, Z-Move Clause

We have a functional teambuilder on the Petmods Dragon Heaven server! We're under the Gen 9 Solomods category.

:nacli: Ruleset and Banlist
Species Clause
: Players cannot have more than one Pokémon with any National Pokédex number.
Endless Battle Clause: Players cannot intentionally prevent their opponent's Pokémon from fainting from PP depletion and Struggle recoil.
Sleep Clause Mod: Players can not induce sleep on more than one of the opponent's Pokémon at once.
Evasion Clause: Moves that boost evasion like Minimize are banned.
OHKO Clause: Moves that OHKO the foe (Fissure, Guillotine, Horn Drill, and Sheer Cold) are banned.
Terastal Clause: Players may not Terastalize.
Z-Move Clause: Z-Moves are banned.

Due to the concept, I don't think anyone will be too mad at me for not listing every Pokemon not legal. Instead, I will list things that have been explicitly banned from DNU.
:dewpider: Dewpider
:flittle: Flittle
:nidoran-m: Nidoran-M
:smeargle: Smeargle
:wingull: Wingull
:wishiwashi: Wishiwashi
:zigzagoon: Zigzagoon

:diglett: Arena Trap
:wynaut: Shadow Tag
:marill: Huge Power
:meditite: Pure Power
:bidoof: Moody

In addition, Baton Pass is banned, as per usual ND Ubers rules.
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Viability Ranking
Last updated April 10th. Tiers are ordered.

:capsakid: Capsakid
:snorunt: Snorunt

:bramblin: Bramblin

:diglett-alola: Diglett-Alolan
:luvdisc: Luvdisc
:nacli: Nacli
:jigglypuff: Jigglypuff
:roggenrola: Roggenrola

:taillow: Taillow
:budew: Budew

:litwick: Litwick
:wattrel: Wattrel
:hatenna: Hatenna
:cleffa: Cleffa

:pikipek: Pikipek
:shedinja: Shedinja
:gossifleur: Gossifleur
:rockruff: Rockruff
:makuhita: Makuhita
:wooper: Wooper
:hoothoot: Hoothoot

:venipede: Venipede
:bidoof: Bidoof
:zigzagoon-galar: Zigzagoon-Galarian
:arrokuda: Arrokuda
:rattata-alola: Rattata-Alolan
:yungoos: Yungoos
:cottonee: Cottonee
:nidoran-f: Nidoran-F
:marill: Marill
:swinub: Swinub
:nymble: Nymble

:kirlia: Kirlia
:rattata: Rattata
:tadbulb: Tadbulb
:wooloo: Wooloo
:surskit: Surskit
:meditite: Meditite
:happiny: Happiny

:cherubi: Cherubi
:zubat: Zubat
:impidimp: Impidimp

:wooper-paldea: Wooper-Paldean
:spinarak: Spinarak
:slugma: Slugma
:petilil: Petilil
:rolycoly: Rolycoly

:fomantis: Fomantis
:shinx: Shinx
:pidove: Pidove

:dreepy: Dreepy

D -- loosely ordered
:togepi: Togepi
:lotad: Lotad
:mareep: Mareep
:tarountula: Tarountula
:diglett: Diglett
:patrat: Patrat
:skitty: Skitty
:skwovet: Skwovet
:sentret: Sentret
:wimpod: Wimpod
:noibat: Noibat
:smoliv: Smoliv
:hoppip: Hoppip
:ledyba: Ledyba

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Role Compendium (Work in progress! Pm R8 (.r.8.) on discord for any suggestions)

Pokemon at the right of the | uncommonly run the move, or are niche Pokemon in general.

Hazards removal
Rapid Spin: :bramblin: :gossifleur: | :rolycoly:
Defog: :cottonee: | :hoothoot: :pidove: :taillow: :zubat:
Hazards setters
Stealth Rocks: :nacli: :roggenrola: :rockruff: :swinub::wooper: | :jigglypuff: :diglett-alola: :diglett: :slugma: :bidoof: :rolycoly: :wooper-paldea:
Spikes: :budew: :venipede::wooper: | :bramblin: :rolycoly: :wimpod: :wooper-paldea:
Toxic Spikes: :venipede: | :spinarak: :nidoran-f: :wooper-paldea:
Sticky Web: | :spinarak: :surskit:

Checks and counters
Counters: (Generally, itemless bulky grass resists make good switch ins)
:budew: (itemless) | :wooloo: :hoothoot: :taillow: (defensive) :slugma:
:diglett-alola: :taillow: :litwick: (itemless) :pikipek: :wattrel: :rattata-alola: | :zigzagoon-galar:

:litwick: | :nidoran-f: :happiny: :venipede: :spinarak: :zubat:
:taillow: :hatenna: :pikipek: :wattrel: :yungoos: (scarf) :swinub: :kirlia: | :slugma: :hoothoot:
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Leads Natdex Other Tiers, not rly doing ndou stuff
is a Member of Senior Staffis a Community Contributoris a Smogon Discord Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a member of the Battle Simulator Staffis a Top Contributor Alumnus
National Dex Leader
This is a fire metagame I’d recommend anyone to try out. It’s still very young so there probably is tiering left to be done, but it already feels very balanced and although there is lot that still has to be explored. It is a tier with very unique dynamics, part because there is no defensive steel types (the only steel type in the tier is Diglett-A) and how impactful EVs spread are: since the stats you are working with are usually very low, EVs investment tend to make a big difference in the damage calc. This combined to a widespread access to Eviolite gives a lot of customisability to most Pokemon in the tier, and opens the door to a lot of different strategies and flexibility in the builder. This tier does not have much in common with Little Cup, as it is a level 100 metagame with a very different list of allowed Pokemon. This tier is also a National Dex format that does not have Tera or Z-Moves.

So here is my viability list! (Meditite should be in “Maybe has some niche” and Roggenrola in Low, forgot to change those oops)
Oh yeah if you are wondering, Nacli (mini-Garganacl) does not get Salt Cure. How sad! (Absolutely not)

Here is a pokepaste with sample sets for some of these Pokemon - provided by yours truly:
Some of the Pokemon listed here do not have a set yet, which means I just didn’t really think about them yet lol. An official set compendium should be available at some point though, so stay tuned!
You can copy the content of this Pokepaste in the damage calculator to have these DNU sets displayed like this:
Screenshot 2024-01-13 at 16.16.38.png

Here are some random big threats and my thoughts about them

Taillow is a very simple pokemon: it is the third fastest unboosted Pokemon in the tier and hits like a freight train. Its two flagship sets are guts facade and specs scrappy boomburst, and they both 2hko almost anything that do not resist normal - so yeah if you are wondering, many think this pokemon is probably broken. That being said it is not a flawless Pokemon: it is frail, which makes it very easy to revenge kill with priority, Luvdisc or Diglett-Alola (which also can threaten to pursuit trap it), is sometimes a bit hard to get on the field, is often vulnerable to chip because of its weakness to rocks and has a strong answer in Nacli, even though it is not completely foolproof if it gets chipped down. A Pokemon we will have to keep an eye on for sure.

:gossifleur: (+ :nacli: + :jigglypuff:/:kirlia: form one of the most common defensive cores in the tier at the time of this post)
Gossifleur is currently one of the most defining defensive presences in the tier : 40 60 60 bulk is absolutely tremendous, and its access to rapid spin makes it one of the most splashable removal options available to defensive cores and teams. However, it is very passive, and thus can be taken advantage of, and I believe that one of the keys to build a successful offensive strategy right now is to think of a way to make Gossifleur’s life miserable. Budew is an excellent example: it switches into anything Gossifleur could try to throw at it, can punish rapid spin with Poison Point, and poses an immense threats to the defensive cores Gossifleur is often found in thanks to its great offensive typing in Poison+Grass. Other examples include but are not limited to Litwick, Substitute Dewpider, hazards Venipede, Slugma, etc… Pressuring it with hazards and Toxic is a good way to help Pokemon annoyed by it, like Diglett-Alola, to break through it.

It is interesting to see Luvdisc still being good! It was allowed in the old DNU metagame, and was the best Pokemon in the tier (in my opinion) thanks to its ability to single-handedly check pretty much the entire offensive metagame while running pretty much any set it wants. It still is the fastest unboosted Pokemon in the tier, so it is back at its offense killing antics, however with much less freedom in its sets as it now has to run near max speed for Diglett-Alola and choice scarf Yungoos. It very much still is a very important threat any offensive teams will have to prepare for, even though it probably is not going to be as good as it was in old DNU.

I think a lot of players don’t rate Hatenna as highly as I do, even though they do recognize it is a very good Pokemon. The reason why I think it’s so good is because I believe it is an extremely threatening calm mind user: 42 45 53 is actually very good bulk with the eviolite, and not a lot of Pokemon wants to 1v1 this mon after a calm mind, because threatening to KO it is hard (and is also why I ranked Rellor - epic hatenna check!). It does have shortcomings of course, mostly that it has no recovery optinos besides draining kiss (I tried that, and it’s frankly disappointing lol, unless maybe you go max SpA?) or resttalk (which no one tried yet I think, but definitively has potential). It also has Magic Bounce, which is epic in a metagame where a bunch of stuff enjoy not having to deal with sneaky pebbles, like Taillow.

Chi-Yungoos or Oppenheimer are probably very fitting names for this Pokemon. It hits SO fucking hard it’s absolutely unreal. 70 base attack in this metagame is definitively a mark of a pokemon that Does Not Mess Around, and also has adaptability and stakeout on top of that, because having one of the highest attack stats in the tier is of course not enough. For anyone who doesn’t know, stakeout doubles your damages if the opposing Pokemon is switching in while taking the hit. It still is a flawed Pokemon: it is quite frail, and forcing out things in the first place isn’t always easy when your stab has no super effective coverage. That being said it definitively has the potential to be very stupid once it is explored, especially when it can do this to the physically bulkiest pokemon in the tier:
252 Atk Choice Band Stakeout Yungoos Return vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Fluffy Wooloo: 114-135 (39.5 - 46.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

Which is impressive, considering that max def fluffy eviolite wooloo is about as bulky as fucking mega-aggron:
252 Atk Choice Band Stakeout Yungoos Return vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Tera Normal Aggron-Mega: 129-153 (37.5 - 44.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO (Tera Normal on Aggron so it loses its steel typing for the calc)

Choice band adaptability is probably legit too, as getting the immediate power is nice, while you still hit like a truck.

I'll post more thoughts about other mons later maybe, there is a lot to be said about this tier right now! Here are some cool teams (probably not optimal yet but no team is optimal right now let's be honest lol, the metagame is too young): Sun offensive stealth rock bidoof + dewpider offensive taillow semistall

Join the discord server in the op!
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The imfamous R8 drops a banger of an analysis post even though i had to talk them out of running Pluck on their Taillow set
Dropping a manifesto (holy shit this post turned out long lol) here to talk about a banger of a mon that wasn't ranked in the original viability list, nor R8's list that they posted earlier today. I've been running it on multiple teams and it does solid into pretty much any team, and I think you have a lot to benefit from considering it!

:tadbulb: :bellibolt: TADBULB :bellibolt: :tadbulb:

Log by Bulb @ Eviolite
Ability: Static
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Acid Spray
- Parabolic Charge
- Muddy Water
- Volt Switch / Soak / Sucker Punch​

Any Bellibolt haters out there will see this set and weep, as this has a similar gameplan to its evolution. The biggest appeal of Tadbulb is its quite beefy base 59 special attack stat. while it's not the highest in the tier, it's certainly above average, with only a few Pokemon hitting higher. This allows it to get away with using moves that might not be the strongest. This, combined with its impressive natural 61/41/35 bulk, especially when boosted by Eviolite, and reasonable base 45 speed allow it to function as a very scary option into bulky offense, balance, and stall alike. Oh yeah, it also gets Static, since who doesn't love a little RNG fishing :)

Acid Spray is the keystone to its success, as it allows Tadbulb to continually apply pressure and increase the amount it heals by when it clicks Parabolic Charge. That's this pick's bread and butter. Jigglypuff, who normally walls Tadbulb, is a very strong Pokemon on balance and semistall teams, any typically serves as a team's special wall; but the ability to hit super-effectively and drop its special defense allows Tadbulb to break through. Parabolic also abuses Jigglypuff's high base HP, healing more than Jigglypuff can do back.

252+ SpA Tadbulb Parabolic Charge vs. -2 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Jigglypuff: 138-163 (31.7 - 37.5%) -- 89.9% chance to 3HKO (26.2 - 31.1% recovered)

This is a worst-case scenario calc, too; it assumes Jigglypuff is max special bulk (not a guarantee) and it assumes Jigglypuff still has its Eviolite (also not a guarantee). Muddy Water is for hitting those pesky Ground types, most notably Diglett-Alola and Swinub. Dig-A gets blown up, as do non-Eviolite Swinub variants (which are most of them--the most common set is Life Orb). Eviolite Swinub can theoretically live, but frankly isn't a great Pokemon in this metagame; just switch out and come back later. In addition, it hits Nacli hard, 2HKOing physically defensive variants. Specially defensive Nacli do get 3HKOed, even after Rocks, but Earthquake doesn't hit too hard in return and Tadbulb can just pivot out using Volt Switch for solid chip damage.

252+ SpA Tadbulb Muddy Water vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Eviolite Swinub: 214-252 (88.7 - 104.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock

252+ SpA Tadbulb Muddy Water vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Eviolite Nacli: 192-228 (61.1 - 72.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252+ SpA Tadbulb Muddy Water vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Eviolite Nacli: 112-132 (35.6 - 42%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock

The last move of Volt Switch vs. Soak varies on what you want to do into your checks. On paper, Soak allows Tadbulb to turn the Gossifleur matchup on its head by turning a resisted hit into a super-effective one. In practice, Gossifleur usually switches out anyways to Regenerate some health. As such, I generally prefer Volt Switch as that last move, as the biggest way to exploit Goss is to bring in something it can't touch. Sucker Punch is an option if your team struggles with Shedinja, and if you choose this I would modify the EV spread, but is generally not recommended as there are better options for Shedinja out there.

:jigglypuff: Jigglypuff provides two major supporting roles for Tadbulb: Wish and Knock Off. Tadbulb is somewhat prone to being chipped down over a game, and though Parabolic Charge absolutely helps, if your opponent doesn't give you a lot of opportunities to click it, Tadbulb's ability to break through is lessened considerably. By providing massive Wishes off a base 115 HP, Jigglypuff helps keep Tadbulb healthy in the long-term. It also compresses Knock Off very easily, removing Eviolite from key Pokemon such as Gossifleur. Depending on the exact set, Jigglypuff can also help with Heal Bell to cure status and Teleport to get Tadbulb into the game safely.

:diglett-alola: Diglett-Alola is a very useful teammate thanks to its ability to revenge kill. A lot of Balance vs. Balance/Semi-Stall games in DNU come down to whittling down your opponent until you find an opening in your opponent's defense. Tadbulb does the whittling; Diglett does the killing. While Diglett doesn't do great into Gossifleur, most other things that can disrupt Tadbulb's gameplan get killed by Diglett. In addition, Diglett brings very valuable Pursuit trapping to the table, which allows it to easily dispatch Pokemon like Taillow.

:bramblin: :cottonee: :gossifleur: A defensive Grass-type is very valuable in the matchup, as they completely shut down opposing Gossifleur. That's Goss's main weakness; it is completely unable to hit opposing Grass-types for meaningful damage. The only move it gets to do so is Pollen Puff, which is weak, doesn't hit two of the three listed super effectively, and requires a moveslot that Goss doesn't like to give. Cottonee deserves a special mention here thanks to access to Stun Spore and Knock Off, a combination of moves that no Pokemon in the tier wants to take. Encore and Taunt access also give Cottonee opportunities to bring Tadbulb into the game.

:slugma: :pikipek: :nidoran-m: Fire-types, Flying-types, and Poison-types make good partners for Tadbulb thanks to their ability to hit Grass types for big damage. Some options you might consider are Slugma, for its powerful Fire Blasts and Earth Powers; Wingull, for Knock Off access and strong Hurricanes; Pikipek, for hefty Brave Birds and setup opportunities; Budew, for its strong Sludge Bombs; and Nidoran-M, for Hustle-boosted Poison Jabs and Sucker Punches for speed control.

:cottonee: :zigzagoon-galar: Access to Knock Off is obviously very important in a tier where Eviolite is this common, and it helps Tadbulb immensely by allowing it an easier time to break through defensive cores.

:shedinja: Volt Switch, my preferred set, is completely unable to hit Shedinja. This is why Sucker Punch is listed as an option. A Shedinja most likely won't want to Sucker Punch a Tadbulb; not only is the damage weak, there's no point if it's going to switch out. Be aware that Shedinja could very well try to Swords Dance on the switch, in which case your Sucker Punch will reveal itself.

:gossifleur: Yeah, if you hadn't picked up on it by now, Gossifleur does very well into Tadbulb. It can eat any damage you do, get chip damange with Giga Drain, Leech Seed, and Poison Powder (yes this is a move Goss sometimes runs), and switch out, regenerating any progress you may have made. Acid Spray does allow Tadbulb to win in a 1v1, but if you drop its Special Defense, it will just switch out. With that said, it's not over for the little guy; as said prior, Soak allows you to massively increase the pressure on Gossifleur. If you Soak on the switch in, they're immediately forced out the next turn. I still prefer Volt Switch, as it's more reliable and more consistent (and also more helpful into teams without Goss). While the damage isn't amazing, on physically defensive sets it does start to add it. The bottom line to the Gossifleur matchup is you need to stay aggressive; stay ahead of Goss and don't give it opportunities to come in. If that does happen, make sure your team is able to abuse it.

:bramblin: :budew: :cottonee: Past Gossifeur, other grass types give Tadbulb issues. Luckily, none of them have Regenerator so Tadbulb can make long-term progress easier. Bramblin deals big damage with Poltergeist and use Tadbulb as a fairly easy Rapid Spin (but risks Static doing so). Substitute Budew is common right now as a breaking option, and unfortunately for us, not a single one of Tadbulb's moves can break Budew's sub thanks to its typing. Cottonee is probably the weakest into Tadbulb, thanks to its 4x weakness to Acid Spray, but it can remove Tadbulb's Eviolite, cutting into its solid natural bulk.

Replays and Conclusion

Here are two replays that show off Tadbulb teams. I honestly didn't play that well in either LOL but got bailed out thanks to Tadbulb's breaking ability and some nice RNG.

Tadbulb-GZig Balance vs. a variant of the Yungoos offense sample team
Tadbulb-Kirlia Wishpass vs. Dewpider bulky offense

Overall, while Tadbulb is not a top tier Pokemon, it is absolutely viable and can cause headaches into opposing defensive cores with the right supporting tools (and a method of abusing Gossifleur switch-ins lol). I encourage you to try it out--the little guy might surprise you!
The most enjoyable meta I’ve ever played is DNU, and it’s helped me grow as a player tremendously. Can’t recommend this enough, community on Discord is great as well. Also TR Litwik being real in singles is incredible. Weather is very good but not broken (yet), webs is good, HO is good, almost any play style is viable while not having a large amount of mons you have to think abt in teambuilder. Hope y’all check it out and enjoy.
Under Trial try 4 1-16-24.png

The DNU Council will be conducting a vote later this week over three Pokemon that people have circled as problematic since the tier became official. All three Pokemon have had notable outcry over their presence in the tier, and the calls for each to be banned have gotten stronger over time. With the kickoff tour approaching, we wanted to give plenty of time for the metagame to develop without these potentially-broken Pokemon in the tier, should they be voted out.

Dewpider was circled as a potential tier-breaking threat early, but it took some time to start seeing major success. Boasting incredible bulk and a solid defensive typing, Dewpider is able to shrug off hits like nobody's business while forcing large amounts of progress with Water Bubble-boosted Liquidations / Surfs (sometimes both!). Very little in the tier can switch in to all of Liquidation, Surf, and Leech Life. Dewpider is also the premier Sticky Webs setter, which while not problematic on its own, allows Dewpider to really abuse its free turns--which it gets a lot of. However, it's quite slow, leaving a weakened Dewpider easy to remove with a faster Pokemon--if you can bring it in safely. It's also Rocks-weak in a metagame where Stealth Rocks are very common.

Taillow, lovingly regarded as "bird", is a fairly one-note mon; literally. It clicks incredibly powerful Normal-type moves in either Scrappy Boomburst or Guts-boosted Facade. If you've played any tier where Swellow is good, you're familiar with Taillow's game. Taillow is also incredibly fast, with 85 base speed being tied for the 4th-fastest Pokemon in the tier. While Guts Facade sets aren't too difficult to check, having the option to go special significantly dampers any defensive play, as guessing the wrong Taillow set can mean an instant loss, with only mixed defensive :nacli: Nacli able to take on both--and it is hanging on by a thread. In addition, Taillow can carry Roost to heal off chip damage on Guts sets, or U-Turn to pivot on the switch. However, with all those strengths, Taillow is one of the frailest viable Pokemon in the tier. 40/30/30 is not good, even here, and it is never backed by Eviolite. Since it is also Rocks-weak, this leaves Taillow vulnerable to faster Pokemon, such as :luvdisc: Luvdisc or :diglett-alola: Diglett-Alola, or priority users.

Wingull is just as fast as Taillow, with a similarly high offensive stat: 55 in special attack leaves its STAB combination very difficult to wall. Nothing in the tier resists its STAB combination, and most specially-defensive options in the tier are weak to at least one. For the few that can actually take on Wingull's attacks, such as specially defensive :jigglypuff: Jigglypuff, Wingull plays its first trap card: Knock Off. By removing the Eviolite, Wingull can effectively disable the one switch-in a team has. This leads to the only truly reliable counterplay to Wingull being to out-offense it, which can be problematic as Wingull has a great type matchup into the faster Pokemon, forcing them to use otherwise suboptimal options to hit it (such as Rock Slide :diglett-alola: Diglett-Alola) that often leave them exploitable by switch-ins. Much like Taillow, however, it is Rocks-weak (but can afford Boots a lot more), and frail overall, boasting the same 40/30/30 bulk. These mons really are just reskinned versions of each other, huh; they're both even from Generation 3!

The outcome of this vote will be announced later this week.​
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Leads Natdex Other Tiers, not rly doing ndou stuff
is a Member of Senior Staffis a Community Contributoris a Smogon Discord Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a member of the Battle Simulator Staffis a Top Contributor Alumnus
National Dex Leader
I think Wingull definitively has to go. It is both very fast and super strong, water+flying is a pretty much unresisted combination in the tier, and it even has knock off to make sure it can outlast anything: as such, reliable long term answers might simply not exist, with the closest probably being some kind of spdef resttalk marill. Now the Pokemon probably isn't really fully figured out yet since it probably can run whatever as an item (I liked using mystic water to get better rolls against some jigglypuff spreads (after knock off) and nacli, but I reckon you can run specs, boots, sharp beak, whatever. Pple talked about evio but less sure if that's useful ngl) but I think it is already kinda clear you don't have much choices aside from revenge killing it somehow or manage to pull off a pursuit trap with diglett. Honestly I don't think choice band Diglett-A really minds running rock slide that much since it already does its job just by running its stabs, and I also think Luvdisc isn't too annoyed by the prospect of running HP Electric, but I still don't think Wingull is very reasonable to prepare for.

I don't really have strong opinions on the others two guys, dewpider I think might be the most worrying of the two - at least Taillow has to contend with rocks and Nacli. Hustle hone claws Nidoran-M probably deserves to be mentionned (sucker punch + drill run + poison jab), as it looks really threatening and I'm really not sure what checks this thing. So far I've only found wisp Shedinja. Nacli can take a +1 drill run and retaliate with earthquake, although this will not KO the nido so you still will need a way to pick it up afterwards.
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The council has spoken. Following this week's vote, Dewpider and Wingull are now banned from DNU! After these bans, the legal Pokemon are what will be used for round 1 of the DNU Kickoff. Full vote breakdown below.

cyclonez_R8gnsaigonWoodchucknorris24Alon Guy PersonResult
DewpiderBanAbstainBanDNBBan3/5 -- BANNED
TaillowDNBDNBDNBDNBBan1/5 -- Not banned
WingullBanBanBanBanBan5/5 -- BANNED

Glad Wingull went, absolutely busted mon that had no business staying. Dewpider I went back and forth on a few times but ended up voting ban, even if it wasn't awful to play vs. in practice the fact it had no true switch ins was enough for me to push it over the edge. Not like doing so kills webs, Surskit is hella viable imo, obviously worse than Dewpider but it'll settle as a B+/Bish mon. Taillow was the hardest for me, I ended up voting DNB as most teams can handle it but it still puts so much pressure on the builder. I'd like to suspect it but we're not gonna make any more moves until after week 1 starts so don't want to rush into things.
A few announcements:

1. We have a teambuilder on the Petmods Dragon Heaven server! Thanks to the team for getting us on there. While you're not allowed to play tour games there, this allows a much easier time building teams for the tier. You can find it under the "Gen 9 Solomods" category.

2. We're holding our first Tiering Survey! We'll be using results to help craft the best tier possible, asking about both bans and unbans that have been talked about both by the council and externally.

3. Council applications are open! It's a fairly simple form that helps present your experience and metagame knowledge. The goal is to break in the new council with a slate based off of any concerning survey results before round 2 of the tour starts.

4. Finally, a second and final viability list should be dropping today or tomorrow. This will be the last list before true viability rankings start.
New viability list! Won't go into every change as there were a lot of them but I'll explain a few metagame developments that caused multiple shifts.

:nidoran-m: The rise of Nidoran has been a very pivotal change in this current phase of DNU. Placed in "unexplored" in the previous list, it went from a bit theorymonned to everywhere in about three days, after I discovered its access to Hone Claws allowed it access to the breaking power of +1 Hustle-boosted attacks without the accuracy drawback. Very few Pokemon in the tier can switch in, but that means the ones that can become incredibly valuable. :wooper: Wooper is probably the biggest beneficiary of this, being able to easily eat anything Nidoran wants to throw out, but hates getting poisoned by Poison Jab. :wooloo:Wooloo is also able to tank Nidoran's physical attacks and punish it with Thunder Wave or Counter.

:cottonee: While Gossifleur dominated the hazard removal role early in the tier, along with the occassional Bramblin, this has shifted somewhat with the emergence of Cottonee. Cottonee does exactly what Whimsicott does in other metagames: debuff and support using the Prankster ability. With access to priority Defog, it is a fairly reliable hazard removal option, with the notable downside being that it is blocked by Dark-types. It learns debuffing tools such as Knock Off, Leech Seed, Stun Spore, Encore, and Taunt, meaning that what you would use to break one Cottonee isn't going to work for another. That said, Cottonee is prone to chip, at it learns no reliable recovery moves, and it doesn't apply much pressure at all if you have an option that doesn't mind taking its debuffs. Other rising anti-hazard options include the exploration of other Defoggers and :hatenna: Hatenna's Magic Bounce.

:budew: Budew has come to light as a very prominent member of the metagame. While it does mostly the same thing--a fairly bulky, fairly quick, very strong attacker--the exact set it runs can vary quite a lot. Dual STAB is almost always run, but past that, it gets access to Shadow Ball (hits Shed!), Substitute, Synthesis, Toxic, Sleep Powder, Stun Spore, Spikes... It has counters, such as :happiny: Happiny, and a lot of checks, but it can decimate unprepared teams.

The list has been updated above, but I'll show it here too :)
jan 29th vr.png
Under Trial 2-2-24.png
Following results from the tiering survey (which were posted in the Discord), Nidoran-M came in with an average vote over 4.0; following that, plus many complaints over the mon, the council held a vote to quickban purple guy.

cyclonez_R8gnsaigonWoodchucknorris24Alon Guy PersonResult
BanBanBanBanBan5/5 -- BANNED

As a result, Nidoran-M is now banned from Do Not Use, and will not be allowed in round 2 of the tour, which will be posted tomorrow.

My analysis: thank fucking god LMAO this mon was so oppressive both in the builder and in-game. So little in the tier was able to actually deal with it effectively. The usual defensive answers in the tier all become shaky long-term if Poison Jab gets the poison chance on the switch-in, except for Nacli who is immune--but is playing a dangerous game with Drill Run crits. On offense teams, one wrong turn and you just get 6-0d by Hone Claws as it can Sucker Punch at +1 with the Hustle boost.

With the bastard finally gone, I think attention will shift to Taillow now. I'm still on the fence on that mon, right now I'm leaning it should probably go, but I imagine with Nidoran gone it'll take a bit for things to settle again. I'm excited that other non-Budew offensive Poisons aren't strictly inferior to the most broken mon in the meta and have a couple in mind I want to experiment with! :sv/spinarak:
There was a discrepancy between believed rules and the actual listed rules that was brought up to me by a council member this weekend, so I'm taking this time to correct the record: Moody is banned in DNU. Luckily I don't believe this affected any tournament games, as it was believed that this was the case, but Moody was technically legal in the first two rounds of the tournament as it was not excluded in the challenge code. This has now been fixed.

Thanks R8 for bringing this up lol


Leads Natdex Other Tiers, not rly doing ndou stuff
is a Member of Senior Staffis a Community Contributoris a Smogon Discord Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a member of the Battle Simulator Staffis a Top Contributor Alumnus
National Dex Leader
Metagame has been developing a bit since my last post, so here are some things I noted from my perspective. I divided the stuff into sections, just in case there is a topic that could interest you more than the rest.

:gossifleur: Gossifleur balance… actually sucks? :gossifleur:

Gossifleur was initially seen as one of most defining pokemon of the tier, due to how bulky it is comparatively to the rest of the tier, regenerator, and its access to rapid spin, making it the most obvious hazard removal option in bulkier teams. However, my opinion on the mon kept going down recently, and it looks like people have been feeling the same way. So, what happened? Two things:

1. :litwick: Gossifleur is bad hazard removal :venipede:
Gossifleur is a fraud in the hazard removal department. Litwick walls Gossifleur super hard, is only really threatened by Poison Powder (which it does not care about if it runs resttalk, which is a very cool set btw!) and smashes any hope Gossifleur had to spin away the hazards into dust. This is super huge, as Gossifleur and its usual teammates are themselves quite vulnerable to hazards, while Litwick is definitively not a mon you want to give free turns to with hazards up. Gossifleur also suffers from a chronic allergy to tspikes, and also match up horribly against spikes budew which switches into Gossifleur all day long, threatens to punish Rapid Spin with Poison Point, and just can set spikes again.

2. :budew: Gossifleur balance cores are bullied by the entire metagame :taillow:
Not only balance has to worry a lot about hazards, but also feels incredibly easy to break: Gossifleur gives free switch ins to the already mentioned Budew and Litwick which are very notably pain in the ass to switch into, while balance generally has to contend with very threatening guys such as Taillow, Yungoos, Raticate formes, Curse/ID Roggenrola, Swinub, and some other more niche breakers such as Nymble, SD Bidoof, Makuhita, etc… Maybe the right balance formula was just not found yet, but for now building the archetype feels generally very difficult.

:bramblin: The subsequent rise of Bramblin :bramblin:

I think Bramblin is clearly establishing itself as the best Pokemon in the tier. Not only it became the uncontested most splashable hazard removal with the fall of Gossifleur, but it also asserts dominance in any game it shows up: Poltergeist and Power Whip coming from 65 attack has absurd damage output, and it has access to Spikes, Shadow Sneak and Strength Sap to complement its impressive offensive capabilities. And the mon still deserves some more exploration: Choice Scarf/Band sets haven’t been used at all so far, and definitely have very solid potential. People also toyed a bit with Tailwind to trigger Wind Rider, and while it might sound gimmicky the result was honestly surprisingly threatening.

As a side effect of the Bramblin rise, the fall of Gossifleur, and the looming threat of spikes, offensive teams featuring Bramblin also started to rise in popularity, and right now it kinda feels like the tier started to engage in an offense vs offense arm race (that being said semi-stall is still probably quite good, although this archetype has to respect hazards a lot in the builder). As such, offense killers are also potentially very threatening right now: Luvdisc, Toxic Spikes, Trick Room Litwick, and various priority users like Nymble or Bramblin are notable examples. Luvdisc in particular feels borderline problematic honestly, although I think counterplay to it still remain to be explored, such as scarf Bramblin or scarf Budew. That being said it’s still very hard to find good switch ins for in on offense, although I think I could probably be proven wrong on this one.

Rain also feels potentially very good, one of its main strengths being that Luvdisc + Barraskewda is still a very good offensive core even when rain isn’t up, which means the archetype does not rely on rain being up that much to function (Always run your Luvdisc timid max speed on rain by the way!), and that’s huge considering manual rain can sometimes be a bit tough to set up. That’s a big advantage rain has over sun, as our viable chlorophyll mons (Cherubi and Petilil) are as lost as a kid without his mom at the supermarket when sun is not up.

:jigglypuff: Should Cute Charm be banned? :jigglypuff:

I just wanted to quickly mention the discussions that have been happening around Cute Charm recently. Cute Charm is pretty much the default ability on defensive Jigglypuff sets, and if the opponent has the opposite gender and makes contact, it has a 30% chance to become infatuated, which is a status that has a 50% chance to prevent your Pokemon from moving. This ability actually comes into play decently often, which begs the question: should The Power Of Love be allowed in the tier?

Honestly, even though I think you can make an argument for this ability introducing an rng management skill to the tier, the variance it adds really feels super dumb sometimes, and I personally don’t see why the tier wouldn’t be better off without it. It doesn’t even have a defensive utility comparable to abilities like Static or Flame Body that could actively deter your opponent from clicking buttons, as it depends on the genders of the involved mons, and the status it induces wears off on the switch. It’s really just a random rng bonus you get for running Jigglypuff.
New viability ranking just dropped! Our first official VR of the tier :) If you have any questions regarding why a Pokemon is placed where it is, feel free to ask! A few personal thoughts on some things that rose/fell over the last month:


:bramblin: R8 covered this mon well in their post last week, and I have practically no thoughts to add. It's pretty inarguably the best mon in the tier right now, and a lot of the metagame is figuring out how to pilot your own Bramblin offense into other Bramblin offenses. Any team needs a way to play around Bramblin. I don't think it's up for tiering yet but it's definitely a Pokemon I want to keep my eye on.

:roggenrola: Watching this mon ascend from "yeah its decent" to arguably top 3 was a fun time, and I don't think it's done developing yet. This Pokemon has a few different key sets, the two most notable being a max attack tank with incredible damage output, and a specially-invested tank that runs ID/Press. Its 25 base special defense seems bad--and it is--but when invested and holding Eviolite it can tank some super-effective hits, such as Luvdisc's Surf. It can also serve as a Stealth Rock setter--to be honest I think it's outclassed in this role unless you're running a dedicated rocker set, but it's definitely worth considering.

:wattrel: Council member Alon Guy Person has been championing this mon and it is not hard to see why. With the Ground-types in the tier being either mediocre or frail, Wattrel is free to spam Scarf Volt Switch and get infinite momentum for a team. It's not flawless--it requires Rocks being down--but it's a hard mon to switch into safely. It doesn't seem that strong on paper, but Electric/Flying is a great STAB combo and it hits all the key targets.

:cleffa: Cleffa was the most contentious mon among the council members, and it wasn't close in that regard. It got ranked as high as A tier but as low as C. I'm satisfied with it ending up B+ as that's where I personally ranked it, but the more I think about it, I think it could go higher. Magic Guard is just such an insane ability in this tier, and it's hard to take down a Cleffa after it gets a Calm Mind off. So many teams I've seen, including my own, don't have an obvious gameplan into Cleffa. I think pairing Cleffa with paralysis spam is a super dangerous idea that could be worth exploring. I'll share a tour replay of this mon in action (I lost this game vs. TPP but it was not Cleffa's fault):

:makuhita: This mon is only beginning to be explored, but it seems very strong. Bulky Eviolite sets are very fat, and serving as a status absorber is a great role for the mon. Drain Punch / Knock Off / Heavy Slam is great coverage for the tier, and Knock Off access means this mon is always making progress. Pair that with either Bullet Punch to pick off weakened mons, or Bulk Up to apply more pressure over time, and you're in great shape. It's not flawless--it's very prone to being worn down and being revenge killed--but it is not a threat to be underestimated. In theory, it can run Guts Flame Orb sets as well, but you're probably better off just running Taillow in that role.

Just for fun, too, I'll share my personal top 5:
1. :bramblin:
2. :luvdisc:
3. :jigglypuff:
4. :roggenrola:
5. :taillow:


recorded my perspective playing r8 in the tournament! i do not youtuber very good but i tried my best :p i give an intro into both the teams i used an a couple others (i probably shouldve edited them out but it forces me to build more next round el oh el) and showcase all three games with live commentary
Hii, I just discovered this meta. Can anyone tell me the basics? Or is it too young to have an stablished meta?
I believe the ladder we have on the main server is broken with the wrong set of bans (it was as of last night anyways). Here's a few tips and tricks for building in this meta:

- Hazards are very good right now. You're going to want to have at least one hazard setter and you need at least one hazard remover, with a second setter being recommended. This is because defensive options in this tier really want to run Eviolite, though some users are running HDB on more mons. Rocks in particular are incredibly useful as they limit how many times offensive Taillow sets (either Guts Facade or Specs Boomburst) can come into the game.
- Bramblin is probably the best Pokémon in the tier and by far the best hazard removal. It hits like a truck thanks to its STAB Poltergeist and Power Whip. Any team needs to have a plan to navigate around Bramblin effectively. One common answer is itemless Budew, but it's becoming less reliable as time goes on as it gets pressured by hazards.
- Knock Off, already arguably a top 5 move in singles, becomes even better here as it can permanently debuff the majority of sets with an effective -1/-1. There's no true Knock Off absorbers in the tier, so determining who gets Knocked depends entirely on the matchup.

I've made jokes in the Discord recently about building a team goes like this: add Bramblin, add a Rock type, add any four legal mons. While the extent of the joke is just that: a joke, it is true to an extent. Bramblin offense is both easy to build and easy to pilot. I'd start there. Be aware if you use Bramblin, Pursuit is both legal and relevant!

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