Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Showdown November stats are up!

Rightchere if you're interested. Since these are for the full month, and the "it's new, gotta use!" appeal is fading, these are a lot more representative... though I guess they're still quite volatile, we're only two months in after all. Once again, the focus will be on the Pokébank ladders, for obvious reasons. A few thoughts in bullet points, and behind a jump since I anticipate there will be a lot of them:

- None of the sheer insanity of having a Pokémon on a full third of all teams and three others above 20%. Things are a lot more balanced now, with only one above 20% - Rotom-W, whose usage more than DOUBLED since last month. Meanwhile, Aegislash use got cut in half. Makes sense, it has the most entertaining gimmick of all the new Pokémon, though it's just not powerful enough to sustain the blistering pace it set in October.

- Talonflame at #2... wow. If you told me, even three months ago, that a physical Fire/Flying Pokémon who throws away what remains of its HP after hazards even more generously than Infernape (ergo, recoil) was going to hit #2 on the ladder, I would've called you crazy. And yet we are. Well, if there's anything we've learned from the likes of Whimsicott and Thundurus-I, it's that priority on moves that typically don't have it is NEVER a waste, even with a crazy speed stat. It might be heading downwards, though, as it was one of the few Pokémon that was a full stop to Blaziken, and now that's gone.

- In the same vein, #4 is probably the highest Gengar is ever going to hit, since its mega evolution was just banished to the land of ubers, to nobody's surprise. 170 special attack and 130 speed is one thing, but the ability to trap whatever you please is just too much. We're probably looking at what would've been Chandelure's fate had it obtained its DW ability BEFORE it was changed to Infiltrator. I know I've asked this before, but I'll ask it again. Why did Gamefreak recognize that Shadow Tag on Chandelure was so stupid they had to take it away, but then they gave it to something EVEN BETTER? This blows my mind. Trollfreak be Trollfreak, I guess.

- When Water Shuriken was first revealed, I said, "physical? It's a bad idea", and it turns out I was right. Priority or not, Hydro Pump, Surf and Scald, even taken individually, are all more popular.

- Kangaskhan is unquestionably the month's big discovery, skyrocketing from #46 all the way to #6. Yes, we have a Normal-type that's an absolute offensive fiend, something not seen since the heyday of gen 1. Thank GOD they decided to not have the baby be as powerful as the mother, though obviously it makes sense from a logical standpoint. On that note, can anyone explain to me why Scrappy is so much more popular than the other abilities? I mean, you megavolve it right away anyway and it loses its ability, and none of regular Kangaskhan's three abilities are something that could give it any kind of benefit, unlike something like Intimidate. Oh, and gotta pity the 0.404% who DON'T give it its Mega Stone. Common sense not found.

- SO MUCH STEEL. In the first 18 Pokémon, we have Aegislash, Scizor, Genesect, Heatran, Excadrill, Ferrothorn, Lucario and Skarmory. Almost half. Holy crap. It's super effective against Fairy and it shows. Iron Head is a thing on Genesect and Excadrill now, and Bullet Punch on Lucario. It's like those two lost resistances don't even matter. Gamefreak done fucked up.

- Huge shift in identity for two former sand abusers. Mold Breaker is huge on Excadrill right now, and Sand Veil is so rare on Garchomp you'd think it stayed banned. Still, they remain Tyranitar's best buddies, understandably so.

- Azumarill is the top Fairy at #16, however, like with Talonflame, I expect a drop next month for the exact same reason. But hey, it's still a damn good Pokémon in its own right now that it has a great secondary STAB, and with Belly Drum now legal with Aqua Jet many people are living the dream. Can't blame 'em one bit.

- Okay, okay, time out. I'll say this slowly just so you know you don't need to adjust your monitors. Ghost... Curse... has... a... USE. At least when you combine it with Harvest, a Sitrus Berry and Substitute (Leech Seed is great too, of course). Trevenant has to be the most delightfully cheesy bastard in a long time. And nonsensical too. I never expected to see a non-Prankster Pokémon ever run a defensive spread when its defenses are a glorious 85/76/82. DAMN. The best part is that none of this stuff is new, it's just the first time that we get to use all these goodies together in a single, gloriously epic package.

- We're probably not getting official tiers until March, but I feel comfortable in predicting Charizard will FINALLY be living up to the hype the kiddies heap upon it and make its big entrance in OU. With not one, but TWO mega evolutions with terrifying attack power, it's not exactly unexpected, though.

- I correctly called Azumarill and Togekiss as the most popular Fairies, but one thing I sure as hell didn't was for Clefable to be not far behind. It's always had a severe case of moveslot syndrome, but yet another move that was dismissed as useless gets to shine in Clefable's hands: Stored Power, used in combination with Calm Mind or Cosmic Power. All moves Clefable had before, but it's amazing what a little type retcon can do. Mono-Fairy is unquestionably superior to mono-Normal defensively, and offensively... well, let's just say Moonblast beats the pants off of Hyper Voice.

- Poor Heracross can't catch a break. Just when you think it might have a chance, Pinsir of all things trumps it. The thing that has always been a spiritual pre-evo, mind you.

- Don't look, but Venusaur looks like it could remain in OU. Sun may not be what it used to be, but that mega evolution came in more handy than I gave it credit for. Heck, many people STILL forego the Venusaurite and run it together with Ninetales or Mega Charizard Y (or sometimes even both).

- Looks like I was also wrong in my assessment of Sylveon as an Umbreon that sacrifices physical defense for reliable offense, as it ranks SECOND among the Eeveelutions, behind the lone Espeon. Kinda forgot that it could get some use out of Calm Mind where Umbreon clearly could not. One mystery remains, however: why in the name of heaven and hell do so many people use Moonblast over Pixilate Hyper Voice when the latter is much more powerful and flies right past subs? Is it just that Sylveon is being used by the inept crowd that just wants to use it because it's so kawaii?

- Galvantula looks set to make its big entrance in OU as the best, thus only one worth considering, user of Sticky Web... but I expected it to be much higher up, considering Sticky Web's effect.

- Scolipede also looks like it will make it, as a chibi-Blaziken of sorts (by that I mean the ability to BP Speed Boost and Swords Dance much more effectively than Ninjask ever could)... and keep in mind, Blaziken was allowed until about halfway through the month, so there was no incentive to use Scolipede then. Expect its rank to go up next month.

- Salamence and Terrakion are dangerously close to the UU cut-off line... but that's not the worst of it. Look at what's not making it: Hydreigon, Jirachi (!!!), Celebi, Kyurem-B, Keldeo, Thundurus-I, Landorus-I, Latias, Deoxys-E, Metagross, Haxorus, Deoxys-LG, Manaphy, Zygarde... interesting times in perspective for UU players. I mean, this includes many Pokémon that were uber just three months ago!

- Weather inducers, aside from Tyranitar and Mega Charizard Y, which are usually used more for their own capabilities than for sharing their goodies with others, are absolutely crippled, with Politoed and Ninetales off OU (or at least its current projections). I've been saying that if Politoed managed to stay, it was proof that it should've been banned last time. Right now it's at #74. Is it good enough to keep my point alive or not?

- Now, ubers! Arceus keeps its stranglehold over the tier, being featured on about two thirds of all teams (note to Gamefreak: creating a "god" Pokémon = BAD IDEA), but Xerneas also manages to stay above the one-half ratio! Not really a surprise, unleashing a powerful Fairy-type (especially one with what amounts to a double Quiver Dance) into a tier utterly overpopulated with Dragons is like opening the doors to a store on Black Friday.

- Too bad Yveltal just can't follow the tempo, despite being great against the other omnipresent type. Two reasons: it has to share its room with Darkrai and Giratina, and OBLIVION WING ISN'T DARK-TYPE. LOOK AT THAT ANIMATION. THIS IS NOT A FUCKING FLYING MOVE. The good news is that it's still doing better than both of them.

- Mega Mewtwo X is much more popular than I expected compared to its Y counterpart. I guess Gamefreak was more on the mark than I gave them credit for when they made that thing.

- Kyogre #4, Groudon #10 (behind Ho-Oh and Blaziken, just to add insult to injury)... yeah, weather's pretty much dead.


  1. The reason to run Scrappy on Kangaskhan is that if you see a Ghost type in your opponent's team in the team preview, you can predict that they'll switch in said ghost as you mega evolve and choose not to Mega Evolve so you can smack it to take advantage of the type's usually below average physical defence and guaranteeing at least a +1 from Power-up Punch

    1. This. People run Scrappy on it to play mind games with the opponent. If Kangaskhan mega-evolves and goes for Return or Power-up Punch, it won't have Scrappy and ghost types will have a field day with it. But if it doesn't decide to mega-evolve, and the opponent switches in a ghost type thinking that they can wall it, they get smacked upside the head. Because Kangaskhan doesn't have to mega-evolve, the opponent can't safely switch their ghost types in until it does.

  2. Rotom-W rose so much because it's a hard counter to Talonflame. Physically defensive sets can also take a hit from Aegislash and go through King's Shield with Will-o-Wisp to shut it down. And of course it can also take on Greninja comfortably. Having a leg up on the top three gen 6 pokemon goes a long way for the little washing machine.

  3. How do you even get Hyper Voice on Sylveon? I'm looking at Eevee's page on Serebii and it seems the only way to get a Sylveon with Hyper Voice is getting an Eevee from Black and White 2 and unless I'm mistake Pokemon Bank is not out yet.

    1. "Once again, the focus will be on the Pokébank ladders, for obvious reasons."

      There's your explanation.

  4. Yeah, I'm waiting to play competitive Gen 6 on the simulator until more concrete stats show up (mainly what I can and can't use in the tiers), and the Pokebank tier becomes the standard tier. As for the cartridge...Most of the Passersby suck at competitive play (go figure), so I can humiliate most of them. Thanks, Happy Pill-er, Super Training! However, my best Pokemon for Gen 6 are still on Black 2 (Gengar, Scizor, Ferrothorn, Dragonite, White Kyurem, etc.)...

    1. And by "What I can and can't use," I mean the Pokemon and items that would not be banned the next month. And we once lived in an era where only the Soul Dew and BrightPowder were banned hold items. That era is obviously over, along with Weather. Least Kyogre is fourth now in Ubers, though that's probably partially to do with its own merits like Tyranitar and Mega Charizard Y...

  5. Thanks for the tip, slowflake! The thing about Serebii's pokedex is Sylveon's technically a new pokemon, so there's no "gen V only moves" section for it. The only way anybody would know it could use hyper voice is if they perused Eevee's pokedex page, which you have prompted me to do.

    1. Eevee also has a special move called "celebrate" which... tells you it's your birthday in battle? Okay.

    2. Haha, it's so useless that while Serebii's Attackdex has it, it's not even in the drop-down lists. I mean come on, why not at least make it a better Happy Hour that only works on your birthday or something?