NatDex UU Stage 1: Strange Days Ahead
The council has officially conducted its first vote. As a result, Annihilape, Espathra, Mega Charizard X, Mega Mawile, Mega Medicham, and Zamazenta are all banned from National Dex UU effective immediately.
Annihilape might not seem like a very threatening Pokemon from the get-go with its average attacking stats in a tier filled with much greater physical forces than it. However, one notable and crucial factor stands out: Rage Fist, a move that can very easily allow Annilhape to snowball out of control when attacked repeatedly, which has since given it the opportunity to rain fire with a nearly unstoppable Specially Defensive Bulk Up set utilizing Drain Punch and Taunt, easily setting up on the likes of defensive Pokemon such as Skarmory and Ting-Lu attempting to force status, while being similarly difficult to break through with common offensive Pokemon thanks to its great natural bulk, lack of weaknesses further compounded by the ability to abuse defensive Terastallization types to escape common type weakness (notably when using Water), and perfect neutral coverage between its boosted Ghost + Fighting STAB. Couple this with other more recent adaptations, such as Tera Steel over Water to turn the tables on potential would-be stops like Specs Kyurem’s Freeze Dry and Meowscarada’s Flower Trick, or Chesto Berry + Rest for an instant healing option against more aggressive builds, and Annilihape was simply too much of a teambuilding restriction to be worth keeping around, thus being quickbanned.
With a set of Max Defense Spread with Calm Mind/Protect/Dazzling Gleam/Stored Power and Tera Fairy, handling Espathra was virtually impossible. Speed Boost not only let it quickly outspeed the entire offensive meta but boosted the power of Stored Power on top of Calm Mind. After one Protect and two CMs, Stored Power already reaches a base power of 160 with a +2 in special attack (+3 speed and 2 CMs = 20 + (7 * 20) = 160).
Due to becoming pure Fairy and the recovery offered by boosted STAB Dazzling Gleam, it was extremely difficult to kill without a strong physical steel-type move (the last relevant Pokemon capable of this, Melmetal, also rose last shift, and Mega Mawile never had the space for it either), and combined with its rapidly powered up Stored Power was able to snowball incredibly quickly to tear teams to shreds without status. Insufficiently strong steel moves would also trigger a likely Weakness Policy, propelling Stored Power even faster. As if that wasn’t enough, it could potentially even run Substitute over Protect to inconvenience checks even more.
Throw screens into the mix, making Scizor’s Bullet Punch incapable of doing much more than activate Weakness Policy, and nothing short of landing a Toxic on it before it accumulated too many boosts and/or got Substitute up could stop it reliably, and even then was likely to take quite a few Pokemon with it. Paralysis didn’t even inconvenience it all that much due to Speed Boost allowing it to boost past the speed drop. For these reasons, Espathra has been quickbanned.
Mega Charizard X
Mega Charizard X has always been a threatening sweeper - the following generation has since been no exception for it. A solid typing, high-powered STABs with great neutral coverage further boosted by Tough Claws, a good base 100 Speed, and access to both Dragon Dance and Swords Dance, has not only made it a staple on hyper offense teams, but on bulky offense and balance structures as well.
Having little to no reliable defensive counterplay both before and after a boost, with even physically defensive Pokemon such as Slowbro and Hippowdon often being short of 2HKOed by a +1 Dragon Claw or Outrage respectively, despite being unable to KO back at most. While other options such as Roost have since also popped up in order to mitigate its issue with longevity, frequently punishing teams with weak scarfers like Kartana attempting to switch around it to make it faint from its own recoil, in addition to various supporting options from teammates like Healing Wish Jirachi and Clefable, or Terrains from Rillaboom and Tapu Fini to aid its sweeping capabilities and increase the amount of destruction it could cause in a match.
Added onto this, Mega Charizard-X is also neutral to Ice Shard after Mega Evolving, resistant to Grassy Glide and Bullet Punch, and has the resistances afforded by its typing to gauge setup opportunities on Pokemon like Rillaboom, Rotom-Heat, and Kartana, further enhancing its offensive capabilities in practice in spite of its limited opportunities on the field, even without taking into account all of the above. Because of this, it was judged unhealthy for the time it was in and therefore got quickbanned.
Mega Mawile is an incredibly powerful wallbreaker that managed to set itself apart even in a meta with Tera Steel Melmetal by virtue of access to Swords Dance and Sucker Punch, enabling it to not only tear walls to pieces but potentially clean lategame at +2 once any bulky faster dark resists have been taken care of. For reference, +2 Sucker Punch OHKOs even somewhat physically bulky neutrals such as Kartana after very minimal chip damage.
In addition, the combination of Play Rough and Knock Off hits almost the entire meta for neutral, with +2 Knock Off doing incredible damage even to neutral Pokemon, and I don’t think I need to elaborate too much on what +2 Play Rough does to anything on the wrong end of it, 2HKOing even extremely bulky resists such as Amoonguss.
Even unboosted Play Rough is obscenely powerful, effortlessly 2HKOing every unresisted Pokemon short of incredibly physically defensive Pokemon like Dondozo, meaning it could run coverage on AoA sets for what few Pokemon could deal with Play Rough + Knock Off. Pretty much the only reliable defensive checks were Mega Venusaur, who could outspeed and threaten it with Earth Power, but lacks passive recovery and thus is easily worn down in the long-run due to Synthesis’s limitied PP, and Dondozo, who is passive and only has RestTalk for passive recovery.
Overall, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Mega Mawile has been quickbanned.
Mega Medicham is in a fairly similar boat to Mega Mawile, but trades Swords Dance for a respectable base 100 speed tier, enabling it to outspeed almost the entire defensive metagame. Close Combat replaces High Jump Kick from earlier gens, making Mega Medicham far more reliable for a minimal drop in power and far less scared of ghost types or misses - and let me be clear, Close Combat still obliterates anything that does not resist it, chunking even certain resists.
In addition, it still has Zen Headbutt, which still does a ton to anything that doesn’t resist it, as well as a surprisingly wide range of coverage, such as Ice Punch for Mega Latias, Thunder Punch for Slowbro, and even the choice to run Fire Punch for Aegislash in certain cases. Additionally, Mega Medicham also got access to Trailblaze this gen, allowing it to take on a sweeper role, as well as preventing revenge killing attempts from the likes of Scarf Tapu Lele, Weavile, and Alakazam. It could also choose to run Fake Out to more safely mega evolve and better handle faster offensive Pokemon by forcing chip damage, making it not useless against highly offensive teams.
This incredible wallbreaking prowess and loss of multiple downsides from the previous gen have merited its quickban from NatDex UU.
Zamazenta was an utter menace offensively, as to be seen by it being the first box cover legendary to have ever dropped into a UU tier. Sporting a great base 138 Speed stat, a benchmark that has since defined the offensive metagame around it, and many great neutral coverage options to go along with its superb natural bulk and Dauntless Shield ability, preventing even the few physically offensive revenge killing options from being able to force it out on the first turn it was in, like with Mega Aerodactyl.
The brute strength of Choice Band sets utilizing Terastallization on its Fighting STAB was ultimately a subject of controversy within its own realm of absurdity in this metagame, easily 2HKOing its way through the plethora of would-be defensive checks in the tier, many of which resisted the move to begin with. The likes of Tapu Fini, Clefable, and even Mega Latias were all just a few of the examples commonly blown away by it on the switch or two, while others that weren’t such as physically defensive Aegislash and Galarian Slowking could easily be beaten by a few simple, easy-to-fit adaptations within the tier, be it an offensive Howl set featuring Tera Dark to beat the former two, or by using FuturePort support from Slowbro and Galarian Slowking itself to help break past Buzzwole and Mega Venusaur, where Zamazenta remained arguably the best and most prominent abuser behind this mechanic. All in all, Zamazenta was simply too overbearing for the tier from a conceptual standpoint, and was quickbanned.
The full voting list can be seen here:
|Arishem||Quickban||Abstain||Abstain||Do Not Ban||Suspect||Do Not Ban||Suspect||Suspect||abstain||Do Not Ban||Do Not Ban||Suspect||Quickban|
|sanguine||Quickban||Quickban||Quickban||Suspect||Suspect||Do Not Ban||Suspect||Quickban||Quickban||Do Not Ban||Quickban||Suspect||Quickban|
|lupla||Quickban||Quickban||Quickban||Suspect||Suspect||Do Not Ban||Suspect||Abstain||Quickban||Suspect (5)||Suspect||Suspect||Quickban|
|MudkipBeans||Quickban||abstain||Quickban||No action||Quickban||Do Not Ban||Do Not Ban||Quickban||Quickban||Do Not Ban||No action||Suspect||Quickban|
|N_Mareanie||Quickban||Suspect||Quickban||no action||Suspect||Do Not Ban||Suspect||Quickban||Quickban||Suspect||Quickban||Suspect||Quickban|
|Niadev||Quickban||Quickban||Quickban||Suspect||Suspect||Do Not Ban||Suspect||Quickban||Quickban||Do Not Ban||Suspect||Suspect||Quickban|
|Pubo||Quickban||Quickban||Quickban||Suspect||Suspect||Do Not Ban||Suspect||Quickban||Quickban||Do Not Ban||Suspect||Suspect||Quickban|
|Ryuji||Quickban||Quickban||Quickban||Suspect||Suspect||Abstain||Do Not Ban||Quickban||Quickban||Do Not Ban||Quickban||Suspect||Quickban|
|Outcome||Quickban||Quickban||Quickban||Suspect||Suspect||Do Not Ban||Suspect||Quickban||Quickban||Do Not Ban||Suspect||Suspect||Quickban|
(EDIT: to clarify, because of the number of Suspect outcomes (no, we are not suspecting multiple things simultaneously) and the fact we are likely to have more quickbans, 'Suspect' will mean 'keep an eye on it' for the time being until such a time as there are less 'Suspect' outcomes)
In addition to the above, several other Pokemon were also brought up for moderate discussion within council lines, and thus the following watchlist will remain as follows: