Announcement Magearna and Cinderace are now banned from SS OU

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Hello all, the OU Council has voted to ban Magearna and Cinderace from OU effective immediately.


Magearna has returned to it's DLC1 levels of glory as the DLC2 metagame developed. Magearna's superb movepool and practical typing allows for it to make use of many different variants that are effective in the metagame. It is one of the most potent win conditions in the metagame, but Magearna can also pose as a threatening breaker, offensive pivot, and even as a utility Pokemon depending upon the team. While being versatile alone is not enough to warrant a ban, what Magearna can do with this versatility is what pushes it over the top. There are very few Pokemon that can consistently check it without incurring large levels of risk.

Choice Specs Magearna is arguably the most consistent variant of Magearna. 130 base special attack makes it one of the strongest special attackers in OU, which goes a long way when paired with a strong STAB move like Fleur Cannon and a slew of complimentary moves. In terms of the other attacking options, Flash Cannon is oftentimes utilized as another STAB option. In addition, Focus Blast is a strong coverage option used to devastate Steel types like Heatran, Excadrill, and Ferrothorn. Finally, Volt Switch is a staple on this set to generate momentum and threaten Waters like Toxapex. While it is true that a handful of Pokemon can check it and many options can win the 1v1 vs it, in practice Choice Specs Magearna can quickly grow problematic. Be it through boosted Volt Switches wearing out would-be checks like Toxapex and Slowking or through timely Tricks neutralizing special walls like Blissey and Heatran, Choice Specs Magearna is one of the best Pokemon at forcing progress each time it enters the battle.

Thanks to the Steel/Fairy typing and 80 / 115 / 115 bulk, getting in safely is not a problem for Magearna either. While we recognize that Pokemon like Assault Vest Slowking-Galar and and bulky Volcarona are able to minimize the effectiveness of Choice Specs Magearna, they still allow for free Volt Switches into more threatening teammates. This makes Choice Specs Magearna a suffocating presence as even in match-ups where it is not necessarily going to be the breaking force in gameplans, it is still seen as a major catalyst. This set alone is very challenging to manage in the teambuilder, restricting how defensive cores are constructed a great deal. However, there are various other variants of Magearna that have potential to be even more problematic on a game to game basis.

Magearna has a plethora of different set-up variants. It has access to boosting moves such as Shift Gear, Calm Mind, and even Iron Defense that gives it a variety of options. In conjunction with the abundance of coverage options it has and the great offensive and defensive stats, this can make Magearna extremely frustrating to deal with. The most common boosting variant takes advantage of Stored Power, which gives Magearna great snowballing potential when paired with Weakness Policy, screens, its ability Soul Heart, or even ordinary free turns to set-up and increase its strength. It can also make use of coverage moves such as Aura Sphere, hitting Steel types, or STAB recovery move Draining Kiss. This set may struggle with Haze Toxapex, Taunt Heatran, or excessive offensive pressure, but very few Pokemon can withstand a
Magearna with the right support or some free turns, making it a huge problem on offensive teams.

On top of this, other boosting sets are also common, making use of the plethora of strong special attacking options Magearna has. We already mentioned Fleur Cannon hitting hard with STAB, which it can do on boosting sets with Calm Mind especially. Thunderbolt or Electro Ball -- when paired with Shift Gear, Ice Beam, Focus Blast, and other coverage options have been seen on boosting sets, too. Magearna also can use a variety of items ranging from the aforementioned Weakness Policy to potential resist berries that allow for it to hand-pick its own checks and counters. This built-in versatility allows for Magearna to fit on to many teams and be dangerous in so many different ways. Having the ability to pick its own counterplay creates a very unhealthy and restricting dynamic, oftentimes making teams spend multiple slots on ensuring they are ok against each possible Mageaerna set.

Overall, Magearna is arguably the best Pokemon in the metagame; there may be some counterplay present, but it is very limited and varies greatly depending upon the set it is using. Magearna imposes restrictions on teambuilding due to how oppressive the Choice Specs set is and how versatile it is overall with the boosting variants. Even if you prepare for it sufficiently, there is a possibility that it will continue to give you issues due to how effective the Choice Specs variant is at forcing progress, wearing down defensive cores, and crippling opposing Pokemon. Magearna is a Pokemon that fits on to almost every archetype and oftentimes is able to carry its own weight and far more. The consequences of its unmatched strength and versatility on the metagame are undesirable, causing teambuilding to be very challenging to approach and gameplay to be very limited. We have elected to ban Magearna from SS OU for these reasons.


Cinderace has proven to be one of the best Pokemon once again, returning to the metagame after being quickbanned and kept ban after a retest in the prior DLC1 metagame. Much like last time around, Cinderace’s ability to take advantage of Libero as an offensive pivot and breaker is too much for the SS OU metagame to handle.

The primary set is largely the same, too, running Pyro Ball as a strong attack and U-turn to frequently pivot around. However, the other coverage options have varied. Zen Headbutt is used less often currently as Cinderace is oftentimes paired with Future Sight + Teleport Slowbro or Slowking, Spikes, or some other team member to help abuse Toxapex after a U-turn. In this slot, we are seeing a lot of High Jump Kick or Low Kick, letting you destroy opposing Heatran and Tyranitar. Gunk Shot is also a common option, giving you the ability to easily break through Clefable and Tapu Fini while also fishing for a poison against potential checks like Mandibuzz, Hippowdon, and Zapdos. Sucker Punch is also viable to punish faster Pokemon such as Dragapult, which otherwise function as soft offensive checks to Cinderace when healthy. Finally, on teams with Tapu Koko, Electro Ball is also a strong option, being able to demolish opposing Toxapex and Slowbro that otherwise could help check Cinderace.

Perhaps the main downside of Cinderace is that its moves are inaccurate; Gunk Shot, Pyro Ball, and Zen Headbutt can miss, which is especially problematic seeing as Cinderace is relatively fragile. In addition, High Jump Kick can miss as well, coming alongside a costly secondary effect of losing half of its health as well. However, when these moves connect, Cinderace is very challenging to keep in check.

Cinderace has virtually no hard counters in the metagame with a handful of Pokemon entering this territory only if Cinderace is lacking specific coverage -- such as Heatran if there is no Fighting move or Toxapex if there is no Zen Headbutt, Electro Ball, or Future Sight support. In addition to this, the Pokemon that check it oftentimes are subject to getting trapped in the vortex of U-turn and Volt Switch, oftentimes being a staple of Cinderace cores on balance and bulky offensive teams. These cores and Cinderace in particular are bolstered greatly by the item Cinderace frequents, Heavy Duty Boots.

Heavy Duty Boots allows for Cinderace to be more accessible than a Pokemon with its defensive stats would ever be otherwise; it pivots in frequently and is able to make the most of each opportunity it is granted thanks to the aforementioned coverage and Libero. Without being chipped by Stealth Rocks, teams are oftentimes resorting to items like Rocky Helmet, moves like Baneful Bunker on Toxapex, or abilities like Rough Skin, Flame Body, or Static that can potentially punish the hit-and-run rabbit while it attempts to run amok.

Cinderace’s offensive profile is unique in the metagame, having a handful of would-be defensive answers taken out of commission in practice due to the implications of it being such a devastating offensive pivot. A prime example of this is the interaction between Cinderace and Slowbro. Slowbro is able to avoid a 2HKO and deal off strong damage in return with the chance of landing a Scald burn, but U-turn is able to outdamage Regenerator, causing non-Rocky Helmet variants to end up in net-negative sequences frequently. Other Pokemon like Hippowdon and Mandibuzz can easily 1v1 Cinderace as well, but after a U-turn or two, they will suddenly be put into 2HKO range as Cinderace cores are oftentimes able to suffocate the opponents. This leaves the primary counterplay to healthy defensive Landorus-T and Garchomp as well as Toxapex when Cinderace is not packing the right coverage or paired with Future Sight.

Overall, Cinderace is a very threatening offensive presence that restricts the way we construct our teams a great deal. Very few Pokemon can minimize its effect on games and teams packing normal checks oftentimes get run over in the long haul thanks to how accessible Cinderace can be with Heavy Duty Boots and U-turn. Cinderace’s superb coverage allows for it to break through many opposing Pokemon with the Libero boost as well, making it very challenging to keep in check at all. We have elected to ban Cinderace from SS OU for these reasons.

Finally, the SS OU council came to these conclusions on Magearna and Cinderace due to the survey’s response in favor of banning both. The general playerbase favored a ban on both; players who achieved a high ladder ranking or participated in tournaments felt this way strongly about both Magearna and Cinderace, having virtually the same level of support for each. We will absolutely reevaluate how these two Pokemon moving forward and Cinderace in particular is likely to be retested due to it receiving slightly less support than Magearna. We are open to retesting these two Pokemon in the future as well as other Pokemon that have been included in prior surveys, too. The OU council will be sure to keep an open mind moving forward so we can do what is best for the metagame.

Tagging Marty and Kris to make this change on PS when they can; thanks!
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