Announcement SV National Dex UU Suspect 1: HEAT (Victini Suspect) - Victini Stays

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As per our recent vote, Victini will be the first suspect test of SV National Dex UU.

Suspect Reasoning:
Victini has been one of the most diverse and powerful Pokemon in the tier for a while now. Its fantastic offensive typing, solid natural bulk, good base speed, and variable moveset options have made it an elite offensive threat with very few safe options against it, often being few and far between when it comes to breaking through the few checks through entirely different options and/or with the smallest forms of residual damage being taken into account. The tier was initially able to stand ground against these traits due to the significantly higher power level of the initial offensive metagame, but has only since paved the way for Victini’s options to push forward with extreme prejudice as tiering shifts continue to take its effect, resulting in the loss of most of these threats in the process.

Z-Celebrate has been the most consistently used offensive variant for a while now, demanding excessive attention through its increased defenses, immensely powerful STAB moves after a boost, and aftermentioned speed tier. Checking this set in a vacuum can be extremely difficult due to the lack of reliable offensive revenge killers against it, with only Choice Scarf Keldeo and weather abusers being able to do this from full, and only without taking the likelihood of screens into account, allowing it to dish out even damage before going down. By extension, said increased hit-taking abilities also translate over to common defensive answers against it, with the likes of Chople Berry Tyranitar and Assault Vest Galarian Slowking being unable to deal significant damage back, and also being easily worn down into KO range by entry hazards. The freedom Victini has to wear down most Pokemon through its STABs alone on top of this, additionally allows it to opt for extra coverage moves to get past other resists to its main attacking moves, like Energy Ball over Focus Blast to obliterate the likes of Slowking and Clear Smog Gastrodon.

Choice Band sets have also seen somewhat of a resurgence, namely due to the increased usage of Sun with the recent returns of both Torkoal as a reliable setter and Venusaur as a potent offensive cleaner, but also because of the sheer offensive synergy it has with Z-Celebrate against its most common switchins. The raw strength of STAB V-Create on these sets are often further supplemented by Tera Fire, thus giving it the ability to nigh-effortlessly plow through even resisted Pokemon such as Tyranitar and Mega Latias on the switch, while also removing its weakness to Banded Tyranitar and Weavile’s Pursuit, preventing them from being able to get the trap off reliably after a Speed drop. The given threat of Z-Celebrate may already be difficult enough on most occasions already, but when paired with Choice Band’s ability to immediately force these would-be switch-ins on the backfoot for attempting to come in and not give away completely free opportunities to it, consistently dealing with and preventing it from accomplishing its job in this regard, remains the real challenge.

Victini does have a fair share of issues however, with the one-and-done nature of its Z-Celebrate sets in practice, a lack of reliability on getting super-effective hits can prove to be problematic when trying to break through certain Pokemon such as Latios and Galarian Moltres from full, while defensive answers such as Ting-Lu, Blissey, and Slowking are realistically able to take any hit at high health and respond accordingly with status or phazing moves in a pinch. Choice Band sets are also limited by their lack of defensive utility, being more vulnerable to Stealth Rock over the course of trying to attack through repeated turns and also being unable to directly switchin into much outside of pivoting support or an aggressive double, meaning faster teams can sometimes play around it through sheer offensive pressure, and limit it to one KO at maximum. Moreover, a well-timed Tera from certain Pokemon such as Defensive Kommo-o and Iron Treads may be used to scout an attempt from either variant, blanking it temporarily, and giving teams a much-needed second chance against handling it whenever possible.

Suspect Test Information

  • Reading this is mandatory to participate in the suspect test. The voting requirements are a minimum GXE of 79 with at least 40 games played. In addition, you may play 1 less game for every 0.2 GXE you have above 79 GXE, down to a minimum of 20 games at a GXE of 83. Also, needing more than 40 games to reach 79 GXE will suffice.
  • GXEminimum games
    • You must use a fresh account that begins with the given prefix for this suspect test. That prefix is NDUUVIC9. For example, I could signup and qualify with the name NDUUVIC9 Niadev.
    • You may not impersonate or mock another user with your account name. If there is any slight hesitation, you're probably better off picking a different name. We reserve the right to null your voting requisites if you are found impersonating or mocking another user with your account name. Moderator discretion will be applied.
    • If you are found trying to manipulate voting requisites in any way, you will be met with a harsh infraction. Manipulating voting requisites ranges from faking your screenshot to asking another user to forfeit.
    • The Pokemon that's being suspect tested, Victini, will be allowed on the National Dex UU ladder for the next two weeks so that we can properly assess its position in the metagame.
    • This suspect test will go on for two weeks. It will last until February the 28th at 11:59 PM GMT-4.
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Pity me! Oh, pity me!
is a Tiering Contributor
I don't think Victini should be banned since it has enough defensive counterplay and a restricted but existent offensive counterplay. Also I'll be talking only about Z-Celebrate with Searing Shot/Stored Power/Focus Blast.

Defensively there's a bunch of viable and good mons that can check it, such as Latias, Clefable, Slowking, Slowking-G, Moltres-G, Ting-Lu, Alomomola and Chansey/Blissey, most of which either win the interaction after Victini uses Z-Celebrate or can minimize its impact in the cases of Clefable and Alomomola. It's also important to count that Victini can be paired with Weavile, the best Pursuit-user in the tier to past through some of its check, but I think it's a more a question of how good the players are in order to analyze the game itself and when to bring the mons in the field than a question of a mon being too broken itself, and there's also the possibility of making use of a Colbur Berry to avoid these situations which can easily fit on Slowking, for example.
Another defensive counterplay is making use of a Tera-type to avoid being koed by Victini.

Offensively is where I think the problem lies since there isn't much mons to revenge kill Victini after a Z-Celebrate, Scarf Blacephalon for example does pitiful 50% which means that almost any other Scarf user will have trouble 1HKOing Victini. Other options are using Sucker Punch on Cinderace so you can almost 2HKO Victini and avoid the Stored Power, then proceed to (1) dodge the Focus Blast (2) live Searing Shot, and win all 50/50 and KO Victini with Sucker Punch, or use Excadrill and either use Groundium-Z or Adamant Life Orb to have a chance to 1HKO it, or use rain (or Scarf Punishment Weavile).

Another important thing to note is that Victini requires a lot of setup to work, it means that it doesn't want to face hazards, and it wants the defensive mons listed above fainted or sevely damaged in order to work decently, and it also needs a free turn to setup, which isn't very likely to happen.

About Pivot Heavy-Duty Boots it's completely fine and Band absolutely hates hazards and in most games requires heavely on predicting to work accordingly.
I'll add my thoughts to this too. Incoming long analysis, I tend to be very thorough when I do these, sorry in advance.

For a long time I really didn't think Victini was that strong. "Just run TTar," I said. "Use a decently bulky water," was another one. And these are all well and good, but after running Victini a bit myself I'm less convinced.

First of all, versatility. Victini can effectively run four sets, these being: band, scarf, z-celebrate and boots pivot. Identifying which of these sets it is can be incredibly important, but also not that difficult in the long run. If you get rocks up, you can immediately find out if it's boots when it next comes in. If it's coming in early in the game, then it's either band or scarf, or if it's late in the game it's z-cel. And scarf is by far the rarest variant, so you can relatively safely assume that it's band most of the time should it come in early. But this guessing game before it comes in necessitates you keep your check to each of these sets alive. And that's potentially a tall order.

Victini @ Normalium Z
Ability: Victory Star
Tera Type: Fire
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Celebrate
- Searing Shot
- Focus Blast
- Stored Power

Let's dive into each of these sets, starting with the most common; z-celebrate. This set is usually at its strongest against offence. In particular, hyper offence struggles to deal with it immensely if it gets in for free, especially if it's behind screens, where one free turn is potentially then all it needs to sweep through these frailer teams. Bulky offence has a bit less of an issue with this, as victini at +1 struggles to OHKO in neutral against more bulky targets, but if you don't have one of its dedicated checks you can struggle immensely. Notably, this list is limited pretty heavily when it comes to Bulky Offence, as mons like clefable and blissey/chansey can be incredibly difficult to fit on the style, along with the slowking variants being in a very similar position. But most notably, this set has the unnerving ability to completely shred the gliscor/ttar cores that are an incredibly useful tool for bulky offence otherwise. Only a tiny amount of chip is needed to guarantee the ranges, forcing a tera out of ttar to avoid getting nuked by focus blast or having the ttar user just pray for a miss. From here balance has more reliable checks, with ting-lu, clefable, blissey and the slowking variants added to the list. Stall also has the same options and none of the offence that Z-Cel Victini so easily preys upon. I will also quickly add that alomomola isn't remotely a safe check into this victini set; physically defensive sets get OHKOed after rocks damage by stored power, and specially defensive is strictly just worse into the rest of the tier.

To then assess the weaknesses of this set, there are two obvious things that leap to mind. First is a stealth rock weakness. Fortunately this weakness is limited by only ever coming in to battle once, and that's either as an emergency option or to win the game. Second is the need for it to have a free turn to set up, and a lot of things being able to just hit it once and bring it into range for being revenged by scarfers. This one is a little harder to address, though in practice the use of this set on veil teams tend to allow it to take 2-3 kills before going down pretty reliably due to its more than manageable bulk in 100/100/100 defences, though this is held back much more than manaphy by it's incredibly weak defensive typing.

Victini @ Choice Band/Choice Scarf
Ability: Victory Star
Tera Type: Fire/Electric
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- V-create
- Bolt Strike
- Zen Headbutt
- U-turn

This set is a lot simpler, and almost reverses the order of how dangerous the set can be. The keyword here is "Firepower." Tera fire banded v-create is one of the strongest attacks in the tier, potentially only outdone by kyurem's tera dragon modest specs draco meteor and iron moth with specs at +1 from a fiery dance. As such, it is one of the hardest mons in the tier for stall to address, between gliscor getting completely destroyed by it, dondozo taking 60 from bolt strike even without tera, and skarmory falling before both options. Most stall teams are forced to resort to a tera dragon mon to even remotely withstand its onslaught, especially since the low speed tier these mons usually carry allow victini to fire off multiple of these attacks in a row before being forced out. Balance struggles similarly, but can threaten it out much more reliably once it does take a kill. Aggressive play can also prevent it from coming in as often as it does against stall, but it's still a gargantuan threat. Moving up to bulky offence, while this mon does shred the defensive cores most teams carry, it has a much harder time finding its way into the match, as any of the mons on the team can likely threaten it with serious damage or potentially straight OHKOs. And this issue is only exacerbated against hyper offence, which rarely, if ever, will allow it to enter the game. This is where the faults in this set show themselves; choice band can struggle pretty heavily into faster teams, and while choice scarf is much more useful against offence, it lacks the strength that makes this set so dangerous into defence.

Victini @ Heavy Duty Boots
Ability: Victory Star
Tera Type: Fire/Electric
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- V-create
- Bolt Strike
- Zen Headbutt
- U-turn

This is, in my opinion, the weakest set Victini can run. On its own it lacks the power to break, the speed to revenge big threats, and the added versatility doesn't mean much when your bulk isn't the greatest unless you're behind screens. And if you're using it behind screens, most of the time you'd like to be using the Z-Celebrate set. So, instead, I'd like to dedicate this section to discussing Victini on Sun teams. Here you'll never see the z-celebrate set; while it can't be called bad on this style, it's utterly dwarfed by the monstrously powerful V-Creates that banded and even scarf/pivot sets can throw out. Remember when I said that there's only a couple things more powerful than tera fire banded V-Create? Now try sun boosted tera fire banded V-Creates. I won't even try and describe this, instead I'll just let the calcs speak for themselves.

252 Atk Choice Band Tera Fire Victini V-create vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Tera Dragon Dondozo in Sun: 240-283 (47.6 - 56.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Choice Band Tera Fire Victini V-create vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Tera Dragon Tangrowth in Sun: 226-267 (55.9 - 66%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Tera Fire Victini V-create vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Tera Dragon Skarmory: 139-164 (41.6 - 49.1%) -- 80.9% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Tera Fire Victini V-create vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Alomomola in Sun: 306-360 (57.3 - 67.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

To put it very simply, this mon on sun is outright unwallable. There is no defensive wall in the meta that can withstand it without an immunity. And this added power carries over to the scarfed set, which now becomes much more of an issue for the defensive teams that would previously have laughed at it. While I wouldn't have been convinced that Victini was broken if sun hadn't been a viable team style at the moment, it's not only viable but incredibly difficult to beat both defensively and offensively, with Victini being accompanied by partners such as Torkoal, Venusaur and Iron Moth. I think it is these teams that push Victini over the edge. Which is why, assuming I get reqs which I am notoriously good at missing because I procrastinate too long, I will be voting to Ban Victini.

As a note, thanks to Runoisch for reading this over and checking it for me
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