Been meaning to write this post for a while but I keep getting half way through and losing motivation. If you're seeing this now, I finally finished it (yay). Given we are voting on a few Pokemon this weekend, I've pushed myself to finally give my comprehensive thoughts on the metagame. I surprisingly really enjoy the metagame a lot, even with several questionably broken threats, I think it is fun to build for and play. I also think while terastallization is clearly not healthy in terms of competitive singles Pokemon, it can be "fun" to use. I'm just deriving a lot of enjoyment out of the tier even if it is flawed. Everything in this post is my own personal opinion
and does not reflect the thoughts of the council in any way.
The Pokemon we are voting on:
- I don't think this is an outlandish take by any means. This Pokemon is insanely stupid and generally has no reliable counterplay. It sets up on so much, and doesn't really worry about much due to its tera type patching its inability to hit Steel-types and improving its defensive typing. I was hopeful this Pokemon would prove to be balanced once it got more attention post Baile's ban, but it has only shown how it presents the same issues, and how terastallization exacerbates its already potent features.
- While I personally think this Pokemon on paper is beyond what the metagame is really able to handle, I think in practice it never really pushes beyond what's acceptable. I do think its STABs + Tera-Ground/Tera-Water are impossible to reliably switch into, but again in practice I've never really felt like this Pokemon pushes itself over the edge. It's difficult to make an argument for keeping it but I think I'm just kind of reserved to the opinion currently that while it seems so powerful, it doesn't feel overwhelming in comparison to other breakers we have. Its speed tier is middling and its STABs are walled by several common Pokemon prior to terastallization. Feels like it really requires Terastallization to push itself over the edge but I never really see this happen in practice. Post terastallization it also suffers from having transformed into a much worse defensive typing generally. A lot of this is anecdotal experience with the Pokemon and not really concrete reasoning, hence why I think I need more time to ponder the effect of this Pokemon in the tier. My current vote though would be DNB, pushing for it to be included on the following slate.
- I used to think this Pokemon was stupid but I've since seen it rarely pop off, it feels like the metagame has adapted to it substantially. Even if a team lacks Skuntank, Haunter doesn't seem like the uber prominent breaker it was earlier in the tier's lifecycle. The only sets that seem worth using are the Choiced sets which both have issues due to their STABs immunities; or Hex sets which in my opinion are yet to really stand out. Again I think it might be a similar case with there just being breakers with similar power levels, and it doesn't really feel like Haunter stands out by a large margin. Just my personal take though.
The other commonly called brokens:
- I do not like the effect Vivillon has on the metagame. I think it's very dumb and spirals out of control very easily if the opposing team doesn't have substantially powerful priority or certain defensive counterplay. It already has decent coverage from the get go but post terastallization this mon excels at just sweeping through the majority of the tier. Its frailness is rarely an issue, and when it is it's because the opponent ran some unmon like Persian or had to rely on getting Sucker Punch right. I know I'm in the minority on council on this though. I really dislike Vivillon in the current tier.
- I think Lilligant presents a lot of the same issues but suffers extensively from its lack of an initial offensive movepool. Its overreliance on Grass-type STAB generally means it has counterplay and is usually FORCED to terastallize to do anything notable in a match. It's still a great Pokemon, and one I think is very underappreciated, but in comparison to other potent threats generally isn't too special.
- Houndoom has never really felt overwhelming to me. All of its sets have major issues that hold it back and in my honest opinion the Pokemon is consistently overrated. The prevalence of a Pokemon like Quaxwell, which deals with non NP sets well enough is a little funny, given the Pokemon doesn't even have a massive defense stat. It's a good breaker but one that doesn't separate itself from the crowd. I say this repeatedly, and the argument could be made that well "oh yea they're all broken then" but no they're not. These Pokemon are just good special breakers, and while it can be annoying to account for all of them, they are not finding themselves over the edge, at least in my personal opinion.
- Never really saw this as anything out of the ordinary. I think it's a cool Pokemon to have in the meta generally, and while it lacks substantial counterplay on paper, this never really ends up being an issue in practice. I do however see this maybe being more problematic once people bridge out with sets more. If stuff like Sub 3 Attacks was the norm, I could definitely see it being a lot more potent. As it stands, does not punch above the rest of the tier by any means.
- Excellent pivot, excellent offensive typing and generally a menace to deal with. Needs more time to settle in the metagame in my opinion; it hasn't shown to be broken so far, only just an effective pivot. Love this Pokemon though I throw it on so many teams.
I've also heard calls to ban Glaceon or Perrserker, but given these takes are so rare and in my opinion not remotely banworthy, I will not be focusing on them here.
Very Underrated Pokemon (not broken my any means) in the current metagame:
- While this Pokemon isn't exactly rated poorly, I feel like people consistently forget about its offensive sweeper set potential. +2 Tera Dark Sucker Punch is absolutely insane and decimates the majority of the tier. A lot of games it can just clean through with ease. Tera Dark SD on the Quaxwell Brave Bird turn, and then just take the game.
Also while I'm here I will spout my propaganda for Aqua Jet over Brave Bird on Quaxwell, that move genuinely feels so much better and generally accomplishes a lot more than nailing a Gogoat for under half on the switchin.
- This is our premier defensive Steel-type. Perrserker's defensive utility does not compare. This is genuinely a pain for most Pokemon to muscle through, it has very useful utility; Stealth Rock, Knock Off, Encore, Thunder Wave are all immensely useful for Tinkatuff in standing out above Perrserker. If we were voting on the VR tomorrow, this Pokemon would be A+ or A for me easily. It consistently feels like people sleep on this Pokemon for some odd reason, even if people are in agreement that it's good.
- I genuinely think most people forgot this Pokemon existed. It's genuinely fairly powerful, has very good coverage and a pretty decent speed tier. Flare Blitz, HJK, Gunk Shot, U-turn, Sucker, Acro. Can perform well as a choiced mon, the set I can vouch for is Scarf as I've used that a fair bit and it outspeeds everything you need to other than like Scarf base 95s.
Very OVERRATED Pokemon in the current metagame:
- Shroodle is unfortunately not good. It is an attempted patch fix for teams weak to set up sweepers, or teams with a lack of offensive momentum, that is never worth running. If you get to the point where you want to add a Shroodle to your team, my honest advice would be to start over and try to cover offensive sweepers properly. This is not a sufficient answer to anything, nor is its combination of Toxic + Parting Shot noteworthy enough to justify use. It is outclassed as a weather setter too as Pokemon like Raichu, Murkrow, defensive Perrserker and honestly several others have more going for them. This is just a gimmick, and not a good one.
- Jumpluff struggles immensely from the power level in the tier currently. Its attacks do not do enough, it does not do enough. It has no defensive appeal. Its speed tier while impressive to some degree, isn't enough to carry the remainder of its shocking attributes. This Pokemon does not justify usage.
- Someone put this at S on their personal VR which is absurd as all things come. This Pokemon doesn't do enough. Its defensive typing aiding versus Houndoom is great and all, but never has this justified an individual slot. 72% chance to phase out sweepers that people claim it prevents from sweeping. Why would I run this over specially defensive Dragonair? OH OH OH ALSO im not typing out an entire paragraph but this is the same shit with Sliggoo. Dragonair outclasses both, please don't use Zweilous and Sliggoo :(
Other miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings:
- tera sucks in singles, and would immediately make the metagame 10x more playable if it were gone but it is also super fun to abuse and we would not look good for banning it especially this early into the meta so shrug. if this were like vgc where you knew tera types prior to the match it would be immensely better, but alas.
- only removal worth running is quaxwell. toedscool/carkol maybe on hazard stack if you need a spiker. dartrix is bad, defog pa'u is bad.
- spikes are rare enough that with a tspikes absorber you can get away with no removal for now, but i think misdreavus spikestack might pick up in usage soon and that would be pretty tragic.
- self setting golduck / scovillain are cool additions to balance that i really think work well in the current context of the meta. people consider them solely on their respective weather teams and that shouldn't be the case.
- scarf lycan is so fricking good once stuff like gabite / quax are wittled or knocked. such an easy scarfer to slip onto a lot of teams too.
- dugtrio also consistently underrated / ignored in the conversation of top tier mons.
- i enjoy just loading up ladder a lot in this which is something i haven't been able to say for a long time but then again it's a new tier so hard to say how much of that is just new meta syndrome.
- i want a duck for my backyard, but idk if they can fly. i guess i'll look into it; don't really wanna keep it in a cage. if you have any info on this please like dm me on discord.
Thank you very much for reading my nonsense and I hope to see my opinions validated with the upcoming vote!