Friday, June 5, 2015

Smogon bans Landorus-I + monthly stats

It had to happen eventually, but now we say farewell to the poster child of Sheer Force abuse thanks to a 76% supermajority vote. Theorymon question for anyone interested: would it be getting the banhammer if it had to suffer from Life Orb recoil like everything else that tries to use that thing (bar other Sheer Force users, obviously)?

Just as it broke the 10% usage mark, too. Things aren't looking really hot for its Therian cousin, though: it finally conceded the throne to Heatran, and Garchomp also jumped ahead of it. The latter was well off the top 10 a couple months ago, but it became a lot more popular, and I'd wager much of the dent that was made in Landorus-T's use came from Garchomp. I'm not entirely sure why such a move would take place, even though it has an easier time dealing with the likes of Scizor and Bisharp. I'm looking at things that counter Landorus-T but not Garchomp, and there's no clear pattern there. Maybe it's just Garchomp's more desirable qualities, like better speed, the presence of Dragon Tail and Fire Blast, an actually usable secondary typing, and no insta-loss when faced with Bisharp.

Speaking of Therian forms, how about Tornadus' amazing form recently? It was ranked #82 in November, compared to #18 last month. Assault Vest Tornadus-T seems to have been the metagame's best-kept secret for a long while, huh? Regenerator is just that good, I guess. I mean, we live in a world where Alomomola is preferred to Vaporeon for wishpassing because of it, even though it's much worse in every other aspect. But anyway, it's impressive how Tornadus-T, a Pokémon that was banned last gen because of rain abuse, is still so good with the lack of rain and Hurricane's nerf (by the way, it takes balls to run a Pokémon whose primary means of offense has 70 accuracy). Hippowdon seems to be riding Tornadus-T's coattails, as they're by far each other's most common teammates, and the big hippo was another one that was out of OU in the not-so-distant past.

On the other hand, Metagross has been on a slow decline lately. Guess the call not to ban its mega has been the right one. Slowbro is also running into some problems, though that's mostly the mega specifically - regular Slowbro is still popular enough all things considered, although its biggest counters (Serperior, Manaphy and Venusaur) have been sighted a lot more lately. Alakazam has also gained a lot of popularity lately, especially the Life Orb variant. As for Weavile, it's set to make its big return to OU in the coming months - or so I'd like to say, but its sudden surge in popularity may have to do with it being the best thing to use against Landorus-I, bar none. Whether it can stay above the cut-off line with it gone remains to be seen.

Speaking of the cut-off line, guess what managed to get above it this week? Klefki. Yep, even in this Swagplay-free era, it still finds a way to fend for itself. Scolipede also isn't too far off, despite Baton Pass only being restricted to one user per team. Heck, BP-less Scolipede is becoming more and more popular, with Megahorn, Poison Jab and Earthquake all being moves seen fairly commonly. Mental Herb is another secret that's been unveiled recently, as it allows Scolipede to give a huge middle finger to Taunt users. Max HP EVs is a lot less common than it used to as well - more evidence that self-sufficient Scolipede is gaining ground.

Finally, something minor but still worth noting: Latias is now more popular than Latios. Granted, it's by almost nothing, and Latios had more raw usage, but Latias users are typically higher up the ladder, so after weighting is applied Latias comes out on top. It's so rare that defense triumphs over offense in terms of metagame presence, but here we go. Of course Healing Wish has a lot to do with it, since Latios only gets the crummy Memento, but the recent boost that allowed Latias to overwhelm big brother may be related to players finding out Mega Latias is actually usable, unlike the train wreck that is Mega Latios.

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