OU Sword and Shield OU Discussion Thread


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SS OU Discussion Thread
This thread is dedicated to the discussion of the SS OU metagame. Discussion topics span from such things as metagame developments, set innovations, and general observations you have noticed as of late. You are welcome to post anything you like as far as the metagame goes, with a few simple rules.

  • Do not ask simple questions here; instead, post them to our "Simple Question, Simple Answer" thread.
  • Do not post one-liners that contribute nothing to the discussion. We do not ask that you write giant paragraphs with each post; we simply ask that you ensure your post has substance and adds to the discussion.
  • Posts should bear in mind the standard clauses, mods, and bans that are in place for the SS OU metagame:
Species Clause: Limit of one on each Pokemon.
OHKO Clause: OHKO moves are banned.
Moody Clause: Moody is banned.
Evasion Moves Clause: Evasion moves are banned.
Endless Battle Clause: Forcing endless battles is banned.
Dynamax Clause: You cannot dynamax.

Sleep Clause Mod: Limit one foe put to sleep
HP Percentage Mod: HP is shown in percentages

Move Bans
Baton Pass

Ability Bans
Arena Trap
Power Construct
Shadow Tag
Sand Veil
Snow Cloak

Item Bans
King's Rock

Here are some prompts to help guide your thinking:
  • What are your personal favorite Pokemon to use in the metagame, and why?
  • What current cores do you find to be strong or fun to use?
  • Do you like the current metagame, or find it to be well balanced? Why or why not?

Remember that at any point, moderators have the discretion to intervene or remove posts as necessary.
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Great to see the discussion forum up and running! I'm extremely invested in this metagame, so it's great to have a place to nerd about this with others.
Anyway, for the sake of sniping the first post starting a discussion, I thought I'd bring up an interesting observation I've come across.

:Ferrothorn: What's the Deal with Airline Food Spikes Anyway?:Skarmory:
(Neon talks about Spikes for a wall of text like a total goober)

Personally, I've felt Spikes are extremely underrated in the current metagame, and would even argue they're even better than Stealth Rocks! Only seriously held back by their limited distribution.
So why bring this up? Well I'm glad you asked reader who definitely did not ask this!
Well, to put it bluntly, I think the impact of Spikes is more felt than that of Stealth Rock in the current metagame.
I'm not saying this as a good or bad thing, just an observation I've made.
To illustrate my point, it's not exactly a secret Flying, Ice, and Fire Types Run Boots in a majority of cases because they're Stealth Rock weak, big woop(er). But what about Pokemon running boots for Spikes? Yes there are a few that do this, like Blissey, Gastrodon, Zeraora, Tapu Koko, and even occasionally Hippowdon and Slowbro. But an overwhelming majority of the Pokemon in the tier do not do this, for the basic reason that they prefer other items.
What this means is that on average, Spikes may do more heavy lifting than Stealth Rocks do! If you don't believe me, just look at the VR and think of how many of those Pokemon Stealth Rocks make substantial progress against are using boots, and how many Pokemon Spikes are making substantial progress against that are using boots. You'll notice there's a massive gap in how many Pokemon do that, and that far more Pokemon run boots for Stealth Rock than they do Spikes, Which leads me to the conclusion that, while Stealth Rocks should still be used on every serious team, people haven't been giving Spikes the respect it deserves in the builder this generation.
This is especially prevelant because of the new wave of Defogless teams popping up because of these boots, with these teams usually getting absolutely crushed by Spikes teams because of their inability to remove them, and the lack of True Knock Off "Absorbers" in the tier bar Clefable, who is very easily overwhelmed by the Pokemon it must absorb Knock Off from, and can't even safely absorb knock from every Pokemon, which only makes these Defogless teams have an even harder time against Spikes teams.
Of course it's important to address that most of these Defogless teams use Spikes themself to attempt to force their opponent to Defog for them, however in a lot of cases VS Opposing Hazard Stack this only serves to detriment them further, as most Spikes teams will already be well equipped to handle hazards with Defog relegated to Emergancies, or even just not have Defog at all and just Spam Boots on every Pokemon!

With all that said, Spikes deserve much more attention than they have gotten because of their overall far more sizeable impact on a game to game basis than that of Stealth Rocks at the current moment, as well as providing an excellent matchup into Defogless teams that have been on the rise recently. If you stuck around and read through this entire thing, thank you, and I hope you're more convinced to experiment more with Spikes, and claim that sweet sweet 25% on every grounded target.​
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FuturePort (and 'build your own FuturePort'): An Introduction and Explanation Of It's Virtues and Abusers

Introduction and Basic Facts

Let's start with the basics - what is futureport, what does it do, and what mons use it and how? FuturePort is the combination of Future Sight and Teleport, usually on Slowbro or Slowking.

Future sight is a 120 base power 100% accurate psychic move, with the interesting mechanic of hitting 2 turns after it's used. This was kinda never really an OU-viable thing before gen 8. It's most frequent users are Slowbro, AV Slowking-Galar, Slowking, and most scarfed Tapu Lele sets.

Slowbro and Slowking use it in combination with teleport and huge offensive threats such as Urshifu-RS and Weavile (often that struggle with toxapex). Specifically (assuming no meaningful interaction from the opponent, maybe they're setting up hazards or whatever), the primary point is to future sight, teleport into the threat, and then attack with the threat. Ideally, this puts the opponent in a situation where they will lose a pokemon, as they either have to go to toxapex and die to future sight after taking a hit or go to something that can't really take the breaker's hit. Unfortunately, Slowking-Galar and Tapu Lele can't learn teleport (and anyway their sets would not accommodate it), and as such you must do what i like to think of as 'build your own FuturePort' where you instead just hard switch your pivot in. This is obviously not ideal and you have to be careful, but nevertheless it's powerful.

This may seem quite narrow and altogether too much work to just break through toxapex, but it's actually much more versatile than that. More generally, it can help these breakers defeat checks. A simple example is buzzwole, where it basically works the same way. A more nuanced example would be Tapu Fini for Weavile and Urshifu-RS, where on their own it takes a while to wear it down. However, with future sight support it can let them swiftly blow through. For instance, it only takes a small amount of chip for band shifu + slowbro future sight to blow through fini (with 2 cc's). Even if you don't immediately blow through, it's heavily weakened to the point where it'll struggle to check it reliably in future (particularly with hazard damage etc).

252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu-Rapid-Strike Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 216 Def Tapu Fini: 108-128 (31.3 - 37.2%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Urshifu-Rapid-Strike Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 216 Def Tapu Fini: 72-86 (20.9 - 25%) -- possible 5HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Weavile Triple Axel (40 BP) (3 hits) vs. 252 HP / 216 Def Tapu Fini: 69-81 (20 - 23.5%) -- approx. possible 6HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Weavile Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 216 Def Tapu Fini: 55-66 (15.9 - 19.1%) -- possible 6HKO
0 SpA Slowbro Future Sight vs. 252 HP / 40+ SpD Tapu Fini: 91-108 (26.4 - 31.3%) -- 15.3% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery

Some other examples (specifically talking about Urshifu-RS here, who I believe is the best single abuser) include future sight support meaning pads variants consistently 2hko defensive zapdos from full, and band variants straight up killing and eliminating dragapult as a possible offensive temporary swap-in. Clefable is another example that's quite similar (but is blown through more instantly) for pads shifu/weavile, where it lets them grab a consistent KO.
0 SpA Slowbro Future Sight vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Zapdos: 142-168 (37 - 43.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu-Rapid-Strike Surging Strikes (3 hits) vs. 248 HP / 220 Def Zapdos on a critical hit: 252-300 (65.7 - 78.3%) -- approx. 2HKO
252 Atk Urshifu-Rapid-Strike Surging Strikes (3 hits) vs. 248 HP / 220 Def Zapdos on a critical hit: 171-201 (44.6 - 52.4%) -- approx. 8.6% chance to 2HKO

0 SpA Slowbro Future Sight vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Dragapult: 163-193 (51.4 - 60.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Urshifu-Rapid-Strike Surging Strikes (3 hits) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Dragapult on a critical hit: 177-207 (55.8 - 65.2%) -- approx. 2HKO

0 SpA Slowbro Future Sight vs. 252 HP / 56+ SpD Clefable: 121-144 (30.7 - 36.5%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Urshifu-Rapid-Strike Surging Strikes (3 hits) vs. 252 HP / 200 Def Clefable on a critical hit: 192-228 (48.7 - 57.8%) -- approx. 46.9% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Weavile Triple Axel (40 BP) (3 hits) vs. 252 HP / 200 Def Clefable: 192-228 (48.7 - 57.8%) -- approx. 46.9% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

What about other abusers?

Generally, pretty much anything walled by pex appreciates the support. Really, all sorts of wallbreakers can abuse this - even the ones who don't need specific pex help appreciate the slow pivoting of teleport bringing them in safely and the ability to wear down their checks more easily. For instance. Zeraora is a surprisingly good abuser due to future sight helping it wear down ground types far faster. A short (and noncomprehensive) list of abusers would certainly have to include in addition to Weavile and Urshifu-RS would certainly include Buzzwole, Kartana, Melmetal, CB TTar, Volcanion, Terrakion, Zeraora and many others.

What teams can I use this on?
Typically, this finds a natural place on offensive teams (often held together by cores such as slowbro+spd lando+melmetal), but really it can fit on anything that can fit the pairing (more than once i've been building a balance team of some sort and slowbro happened to fit as a last, not even primarily for the synergy but more to check important physical threats).

What counterplay exists?

With most teams, you have to play aggressively and disrupt this, by either not telling slowking safely teleport, or going to something that can outspeed and kill the threat (such as Tornadus-Therian for Urshifu-RS). This will be evident in the replays. Typically, you'll only get one or two chances to actually pull off the proper combo, but that's enough to have a huge impact. It's also worth noting that even if you can't get the combo off, you can still make great use of the individual pieces and get chip from future sight and great slow pivoting from teleport.

On stall and similarly defensive structures, this is often impossible. Thus, over time stall adapted to handle these ideas by running light screen or even payapa toxapex (so it can set up light screen on the future sighter to not die to the combination of the breaker and fs, or take less from future sight due to the berry). In addition, shedinja can help especially vs specifically shifu +fs. Generally, futureport teams can still break through these teams with careful play, but it makes the matchup infinitely more even. Without these adaptions, the matchup is hellish for the stall player, as you can almost just repeat the combo over and over and just win.

Replays (SPL)

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8ou-680819 slowking-based, with Weavile and Melmetal as abusers
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8ou-680812 mirror, slowking-g based with melmetal as abuser vs scarf lele based with melmetal and shifu as abusers
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8ou-669392 slowbro-based, buzzwole and weavile as abusers

These are all fantastic replays that between them show off all the forms, and how you can find counterplay.

Hopefully this will make this playstyle a little more understandable to new players, and maybe encourage them to build their own or try out various futureport teams. I'm hoping to make these sorts of posts more regularly (both to stir up discussion here and to make it easier for newer players to ease their way into this fantastic and balanced metagame), so if you have any subjects you'd particularly like a post on feel free to message me. Similarly, if you have any questions feel free to do this (either here on the forums or on discord, PulsieTheDulsie#3895 feel free to ping me on the SS discord or just dm me). Have a fantastic rest of your day <3

any1 else thinks this was peak SS and more fun to play than current?
i dont think most ppl enjoyed kyurem just murdering everything, anything to do with pheromosa, urshifu-dark murdering everything, spectrier somewhat requiring you to always have a normal/dark (and even then sometimes it sweeps you anyway because it beats mandi or whatever), or every team just losing to some 4 moves on magearna and you just have to hope its not the one that beats you.

on the other hand, the volt-turn offense structures at the time were certainly enjoyable to play with, and i have good memories from the time. however u can still replicate this with offensive structures today, or (for example) playing kokolucha stuff in sm ou

Red Raven


any1 else thinks this was peak SS and more fun to play than current?
Not me. I think peak ss was when that damn robot bunny got banned. Magearna was absolute cancer stage infinity. It ran like every set you can dream of and still succeed. It was ridiculous. After Magearna got banned however, I think that was when the tier was at its peak and I also think that the tier has degraded since Kyurem got banned. Now, I do think that Kyurem was ridiculous because it just fucks up everything but personally, I'd choose that over the toxic and knock off spam that tier has become these days

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