Category Archives: Sun and Moon Speculation

Minior: A Pebble Full Of Potential

Minior is arguably one of the cutest Pokemon we received this generation, but don’t be fooled by its appearance. Minior is an adorable ball of terror underneath that shell, and I expect it to make a big impact in league format, no pun intended.

The first thing you might notice about Minior is its unique ability, Shields Down. Shields Down means that once Minior’s HP drops into the yellow, its shell breaks away, and some crazy things happens to its stats. Like Aegislash’s ability Stance Change, Minior’s high defenses get delegated to its offenses, and its speed doubles, effectively making it one of the fastest new Pokemon in a generation full of slow, bulky threats. The only difference from Aegislash is that once that shell breaks off, it’s gone for good unless it gets healed above 50%, but it has no recovery moves besides Rest. I couldn’t even begin to describe what it would be like if Minior got a move like King’s Shield to send it back to its shell, but that’s beside the point. The fact of the matter is, with this unique ability and stat distribution. Minior has some great foundations laid to become an interesting defensive and offensive threat.

The first thing you have to understand about Minior, despite how you may have seen it used so far, is that it’s far from being just a one trick pony because of its ability. It’s easy to think of Minior as an excellent Shell Smash sweeper and call it a day, and while it does fill that role excellently, Minior’s potential would be wasted if that’s all it did.

This guy isn’t Crustle or something. (I still love you though, Crustle <3)

Truth is, in a draft league environment, Minior’s potential can be explored to the fullest.

Minior has a myriad of both offensive and defensive moves in its arsenal, and since Minior starts off as a defensive Pokemon, I’m going to talk about the more defensive side of its movepool first. Minior has access to Stealth Rocks, which is always sought after in league format. Reliable Stealth Rock setters tend to go fast; that being said, I wouldn’t rely on Minior to do the majority of your stealth rock setting, simply due to it not being a fully defensive Pokemon. But is it afraid to run Stealth Rocks on its moveset? Absolutely not. Minior makes a great back-up hazard setter if your main one has a bad matchup for a certain week.

Minior also gets access to Light Screen and Reflect, which are great support moves to have, and with 60/100/100 bulk with its shields up, it’s definitely a viable user of these moves. It’s also worth noting that Rest has interesting viability with Minior. It’s not a conventional recovery move by any means, but Rest opens some interesting doors since it’s the only way to get your shields back up. Minior has access to both Calm Mind and Cosmic Power, both of which it can spam until its shields go down. Then, with its shields down, it will be fast enough to go for a Rest and heal all the way back up to full. A set with Cosmic Power, Toxic, Sleep Talk and an attacking move would be the most defensive form of Minior that you could get away with. I’m not saying you should draft Minior just to run this set, but you could catch someone off guard with it if they plan for a more offensive Minior.

Lastly, it’s important to note that Minior cannot be statused while it’s protected by its shell. So not only can Minior serve these more supportive and defensive roles, but it can do that while being a status sponge as well.

But the offensive side of things is even more exciting. Minior, as I already expressed, is an excellent Shell smasher. That’s not only because of its ability, but because of its offensive movepool. Stone Edge and Earthquake are standard options. Acrobatics is a great move if you run White Herb, or even Weakness Policy if you’re incredibly daring. On the special side of things, you have Power Gem or Ancient Power, Dazzling Gleam, Psychic, and even Charge Beam if you are interested in the boosts. Solar Beam is also one more option, which works better on mixed sets (which are very viable) because if you use Power Herb, it allows you to use Acrobatics.

Another more offensive tool Minior has includes U-Turn, which doesn’t work out so well when you Shell Smash up, but it is a viable offensive move and it works well on offensive Stealth Rock sets. Explosion is one last notable option to hit hard on your way out before you die, and can be an effective way of trading Minior for one of your opponent’s more offensive threats in a match.

It’s because of these options that I think Minior has a surprising amount of potential for draft leagues. It has the versatility that makes a lot of good Pokemon great. So even if when tiers settle, and everybody gets used to Minior and realizes it might be “just okay” instead, I think Minior’s unique ability and movepool will keep it off the sidelines in draft league format.

So if you were thinking about drafting this cute little chunk of rock, I say go for it. Who knows? He could just end up being the surprise star of your team. Because just like his design, from a competitive standpoint, there’s a lot more to Minior than what you see on the surface.

Advertisements

Golisopod: The New Behemoth Bug Type

Honestly, did anybody expect Wimpod to stay wimpy forever? I knew this little bugger was going to grow up into a monster, but Golisopod was not what I anticipated. Wimpod’s ability Wimp Out seemed awful to me at first, and I was hoping its evolution would flip the script a little bit and get an ability that does the opposite: scare out the opponent when your health drops below 50%.

But alas, Golisopod gets Emergency Exit as its only ability, which is basically Wimp Out but with different flavor text. But is Emergency Exit truly a deal breaker? And what can we expect from it in league format heading into Generation 7?

After all, what exactly makes Emergency Exit so “bad?” There’s a few reasons which I’ll briefly explain here:

  1. Emergency Exit activates after you are hit below 50%, not the end of the turn. With Golisopod’s base 40 Speed, you will often get switched out without getting a hit off.
  2. Golisopod is Stealth Rocks weak, so it wants to avoid switching at all costs. In the context of league format, drafting it is essentially inviting your opponent to bring Stealth Rocks against you.
  3. Being switched out against your will hinders your ability to set-up and sweep.

But taking a closer look at Golisopod, namely its stats, reveals some amazing potential. To get a good understanding of its bulk, it’s essentially got the same HP and defenses as Mega Scizor, albeit with a worse defensive typing. (It has 75/140/90 bulk to be precise.) That bulk is valuable to a Pokémon like Golisopod, which will generally always be in fear of dropping below 50% HP. In fact, no matter what way you look at it, Golisopod will always have that issue.

But along with that bulk, Golisopod packs a punch with 125 base Attack, which is respectable for sure.  So, it appears that looking at stats alone, Golisopod has a lot of things going well for it. But what exactly can it do with these stats? What about its movepool?

Primarily, lets cover its signature move, First Impression. First impression is a +2 priority Bug Type Move with 90 Base power, but it can only be used on the first turn it is sent out. This makes First Impression the strongest priority move currently in the game. It functions extremely well with Golisopod’s “crippling” ability, believe it or not, since it acts as a reset button for this move. This makes Golisopod a potentially great revenge killer.

Other highlights of Golisopod’s movepool are as follows:

  1. The newly buffed Leech Life, which is now an 80 base power healing move, which ties with Oblivion Wing as the strongest HP-draining move, unless you count Dream Eater.
  2. Water STAB moves like Razor Shell and Liquidation, both which have a chance to lower the opponent’s Defense. Nice and spammable.
  3. Priority moves in Aqua Jet and Sucker Punch, and of course, First Impression. Although Sucker Punch is now 70 base power this generation, it’s strong enough to help mitigate Golisopod’s poor speed stat.
  4. Yup. Golisopod can set up some hazards if you need it to. This is especially notable for league play, where hazards play a big role in preparation and counter-team building.
  5. Physical coverage moves including Rock Slide, Poison Jab, Brick Break, and Aerial Ace. (Yeah, I know those last two moves aren’t all that impressive, but they could be useful in a league match where movesets tend to get a little funky sometimes.)

There’s two last moves that deserve their own separate section, and not just a bullet point. Substitute and Swords Dance. Based on its ability, Golisopod seems like the last Pokémon you’d want to set up with, because you’d just get ejected at some inopportune time and lose all your stat boosts. But with the threat of First Impression, you can force the opponent to switch, which can be your opportunity to set up a Substitute. A nice quirk in Emergency Exit’s mechanics is that Golisopod will not switch out if its health is dropped below 50% from Hail, Sandstorm, or Substitute. It also won’t switch out if an item like Sitrus Berry keeps it above 50% once activated.

Behind a substitute, you’re free to go for a Swords Dance or two, and with Aqua Jet as a STAB priority move, sweeping with Golisopod is much more achievable than it would seem on paper.

In that sense, Emergency Exit is truly both a blessing and a curse. Just like with every Pokémon, you must play to its strengths and not its weaknesses, or better yet, turn those weaknesses into strengths. Used correctly, Golisopod has the tools to overcome its ability, and even use it as an advantage on occasion. Whether you set up and sweep or set up hazards, slap on a Choice Band or a strap on an Assault Vest, there’s plenty of things you can do with this beastly bug type.

I see this thing having a bit more success in draft leagues than I do in normal Smogon tiers. Behind the right coach with a well-drafted team and some smart movesets, this Pokémon can really shine. I know you could say that about pretty much every Pokémon, but with an ability like Emergency Exit, I feel like Golisopod needs a little bit of defending, as I can already tell many people will write it off because of its ability alone.

But don’t be afraid to use this monster! We’ve been waiting since Surskit for a usable Water/Bug type, and this generation we were introduced to two. And if you learn how to use it well, it will be your opponent that Wimps Out against you!

Mega Sableye: Scary Good in Draft League Format

I’m sure I wasn’t one of the only ones that was left wondering if Mega Evolutions would be removed in Generation 7 up until the announcement that they would be making a return just a few weeks ago. Mega Evolutions have played important roles in the GBA and in other draft leagues since the beginning of the format. Since then, though, along with the introduction of new Mega Pokémon, certain Mega Evolutions have risen to the top and established themselves as dominant forces in the draft league format.

(No, we’re not here for the bunny.)

One such Mega, in my opinion, is Mega Sableye. And with the arrival of Halloween, along with Mega Sableye’s recently announced OU suspect test, I figured it was fitting to analyze Mega Sableye and figure out what exactly makes it such a potent threat.

The first part of what makes Mega Sableye frighteningly good is what its non-mega counterpart is known for: Support. While many Megas provide teams some immediate offensive presence, Mega Sableye can be drafted as a strong, dependable wall with only one type weakness, and the team can be built upon from there.

Since Mega Sableye has such excellent defenses and succeeds as one of the best walls in the format, it can sit on the field and fulfill its role of Support by throwing out Toxics and Will-o-wisps, or by hitting the opponent with STAB Knock Offs, removing items that could have been vital to the opponent’s team preparation.

But in addition to its support capabilities, it’s also a great wall in the format, especially due to its typing. It normally has great synergy with the Fire types of Fire/Water/Grass cores and the Steel types of Fairy/Dragon/Steel cores due to them covering the weakness to Fairy Sableye carries. Since these cores have a rather exalted reputation, Mega Sableye can feel right at home when drafted to these common yet effective draft archetypes. It also has three useful immunities in Normal, Fighting, and Psychic, which may not seem like the most threatening attacking types on paper, but in a format where move coverage and team preparation means almost everything, having any immunities at all is always a good thing.

It also cannot go without mentioning that Mega Sableye has a superb ability in Magic Bounce. Two other Megas get this ability, but no Pokémon makes use of it like how Mega Sableye does. If you’re fond of normal Sableye, you might wonder why you’d ever want to get rid of Prankster. But with those high defenses, Sableye won’t be needing priority Recover. Instead, Sableye becomes impervious to the very statuses it inflicts: poison and burn. It cannot be whittled down. It also can’t be phased out by Roar or Whirlwind, only to be dealt with later. It can’t even be Taunted, which makes Oblivious Pokémon just look sad, if you think about it.

But most importantly, Magic Bounce is so impactful because of the hazard and status protection it provides. Before the battle even begins, opponents must plot out how to get their precious Stealth Rocks up while dancing around this gem grasping goblin on the battlefield. You may even find that some of your opponents won’t even bother bringing hazards to begin with, and would rather focusing on striking Mega Sableye down instead. This can be a crucial form of indirect support and shielding that mega Sableye can provide to hazard-weak teammates, and helps more defensive or bulky teams sustain less damage when they switch into hard hitting attacks. Many status spreading moves are bounced away by Sableye as well, which means a well-placed switch into this little gremlin can be excruciatingly punishing to an unwitting opponent, making Mega Sableye a great way to bolster your team’s stallbreaking capabilities.

These things are what make Mega Sableye a great wall, but we’re not finished just yet.

Unlike your typical walls, Sableye isn’t condemned to the sidelines merely as some measly support Pokémon that you drafted just to take hits; this snickering little spirit can sweep!

With 85 base physical and special attack stats, Mega Sableye doesn’t have much immediate offensive pressure, but with boosts, this thing can be unstoppable. Calm Mind varieties are notable because of Mega Sableye’s special movepool. Shadow Ball, Dark Pulse, and Dazzling Gleam round out the more common sets, while Psychic, Power Gem, and Signal Beam are more obscure examples just to name a few. Sableye’s typing also proves to be significantly useful for Calm Mind sets, since typical answers like Psyshock or Secret Sword won’t work. (Nasty Plot can do a lot of the same things, but with less defense).

Less commonly, you can run Hone Claws/Power-Up Punch Sableye, which might seem questionable at first, but against certain teams it can wreak havoc. Sableye has a surprisingly nice physical movepool as well, giving you plenty of options. Knock Off is always great, but there’s also the elemental punches, Shadow Sneak and Sucker Punch for priority, Poison Jab, Zen headbutt, and Rock Tomb. Sets like these become even more enticing once you realize you can’t be crippled by burn thanks to that good ol’ Magic Bounce.

So there you have it. Mega Sableye is a bit of a jack of all trades (or since it’s Halloween, a jack-o-lantern of all trades?) It can be your defensive wall, your stallbreaker, your status and hazard management, or your sweeper, or maybe even a little bit of all of that at once! It’s a solid draft pick that can be used as a cornerstone for the rest of your draft, as it is east to build a team around it. It’s proven itself in the GBA, particularly in Season 4 when it made it all the way to the Finals, and in other leagues as well.

With the end of ORAS in sight, and a new generation on the horizon, will we see Mega Sableye’s grip on the meta and the format loosen? We’ll have to wait and see!

 

[November 1st, 2016]

Decided on Decidueye

by BlameTheBlax

One of the biggest causes of debate when it comes to Pokémon is which starter to choose from. Usually, people will simply choose the one that they like the most, however, there are those who aim only for the most competitively viable. So when Pokémon Sun and Moon came out with Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio, there was bound to be controversy over which one was the best. Sometime later, we received the leaks of the starter final evolutions. While the masses shrugged this off as yet another fan concept, I personally found the art to be far too detailed to be entirely fake. Lo and behold, a month before the game’s official release, the demos were subject to datamining and we found that the leaks were actually valid. While I’m unsure how GameFreak let these be leaked so early on and failed to contain the leak before it spread like wildfire, they did still manage to keep some cards close to their chests, only recently being revealed through a trailer. Let’s see what our starters can offer us.

Starting us off with probably the biggest surprise yet, we have the final evolution of Rowlet, Decidueye. Immediately, I noticed that the name is based off of the words deciduous and eye, which is some clever wordplay on how Decidueye is a Grass type archer. However, the secondary typing is what threw us all for a loop. A myriad of fans assumed that it would stay a Grass/Flying type like Rowlet and Dartrix, a handful or so believed it would become a Grass/Ground type to represent a burrowing owl, but instead it’s a Grass/Ghost type. While this isn’t exactly original anymore, what with the Trevanant and Gourgeist lines being introduced last generation, it’s still a unique and interesting typing with plenty going for it offensively. While I probably would’ve preferred a secondary Flying type, I’m certainly not complaining.

Grass/Ghost is an interesting offensive typing, but we’ve only seen it on weaker and bulky Pokémon. The Ghost typing is great offensively, with only Dark resisting and Normal is immune to it. Meanwhile, the Grass typing is less great offensively, being resisted by Fire, Grass, Poison, Flying, Bug, Dragon, and Steel. However, they work together to hit Water, Rock, Ground, Ghost, and Psychic for super effective damage. It does have the most weaknesses out of all the starters, being weak to Fire, Ice, Dark, Ghost, and Flying, however, it can also hit all of these counters with some Fighting and Rock coverage added on to its STAB attacks.

Like all the other starters, Decidueye has a signature move, Spirit Shackle. According to the official Pokémon website, Spirit Shackle is a Ghost-type physical move. An opponent hit with this move will become unable to flee from battle or switch out for an ally. This is absolutely insane from a competitive standpoint. Switching is such a necessity in our metagame, a restriction placed on switching is essentially a death sentence. However, I’m unsure if this would be a permanent effect or if it would wear off upon Decidueye switching. If it does wear off upon switch, the move probably isn’t worth running unless it has a decent base power. Judging by this signature move and the choice of design, I imagine Decidueye will be a fast mixed attacker, although probably more physically oriented. I can assume it will be getting moves such as Shadow Sneak, Shadow Ball, Giga Drain, Wood Hammer, and possibly even some Flying type moves like Hurricane and Brave Bird due to it being an owl. There’s also a high possibility of it getting Swords Dance like the majority of Grass types do. It may even be a decent support, since Grass types learn Leech Seed and Ghost types usually can learn a plethora of status moves, Will-O-Wisp being the most prominent.

Since Sceptile, a fellow offensive Grass starter, and Chesnaught, the previous starter, both have a BST of 530, it’s safe to assume it’ll be the same for Decidueye. This gives it plenty of wiggle room for balancing out stats, but if I were to decide them, it would look something like 75/100/70/95/70/120. This gives it enough defense to take one or two weaker hits, the speed to outpace the majority of Pokémon it ought to in order to prosper in competitive, and the attack to actually do some damage with every hit. As for hidden abilities, there are countless possibilities with this. My list of ideas is based off of abilities that are somewhat likely, so with that said, here they are: Sniper, Levitate, Technician, Infiltrator. Sniper is an obvious choice, personally I wouldn’t like it, but I could imagine the benefits if it gets Focus Energy. Levitate is also fairly obvious, why would we have a bird that can’t fly? Empoleon makes this idea redundant, not to mention Grass resists Ground anyway, but never complain about immunities. There’s also how Ghosts can levitate, but this holds much less weight due to Pokémon like Golurk and Aegislash. Technician would actually be very intriguing, since Hidden Powers would be boosted and it could run Shadow Sneak with the boost, assuming it gets it. Lastly, Infiltrator would be interesting. While it may not be the best competitively, the ability to ignore Screens and Substitutes is awfully rare and would make Decidueye become even more unique.

With all of this in mind, where do I envision Decidueye in the meta? While I certainly can’t use Future Sight, I can use my imagination and place it as a strong UU for the Smogon tier. Grass types are incredibly valuable in UU due to their ability to beat bulky waters, however, the amount of weaknesses and checks that the type does have usually holds it back. However, the added Ghost typing and the potential of Fighting and Rock coverage allows it to be an extremely strong attacker with little to no counters on paper, not including dual typings. Of course, the amount of Dark types in UU and the threat of Weavile, Tyranitar, and Bisharp would keep it from going into OU. As for its place in the GBA draft format, I honestly can’t say anything definitive. Trevenant is in Tier 4 and Gourgeist is actually at Tier 5, which is a rant for an entirely different article, but they are meant to be walls, not attackers. At this point in time, I’d place it in Tier 3. However, if it gets coverage and acceptable stats, in addition to a decent competitive HA, it’s highly possible to hit Tier 2. In the end, this is mostly speculation. We surprisingly know little about Decidueye, despite learning about it months beforehand. The majority of my conclusions are based off of what I know from the other Pokémon with this typing and the Grass starters with similar, offensive looking designs. Anything is possible for the Green Arrow. Until then, all we can do is stay high-spirited.
[Oct 31, 2016]

Null Money, Null Problems: Silvally in Action

 

Type-Null has been one of the coolest Pokemon that was announced for Pokemon Sun and Moon. With its clear emphasis in alchemy in its design, and the heavy helmet that it wears. it was clear (to me at least) that this science dog would get an evolution that would be better than the usual. Lo and behold, my expectations were confirmed when Silvally was shown off in a trailer for the game, looking just as majestic as it could.

We know a couple of things since Silvally was shown off. One is that since the helmet that Type-Null was wearing was actually holding back its true potential and speed. We also know that it has the ability RKS System, which allows it to be any type so long as it has the corresponding hold item, as well as the move Multi-Attack which changes its type based on Silvally’s current type.

Its pretty obvious that Silvally is going to get a lot of comparison to Arceus, what with basically having the same type of ability, as well as the fact that “RKS System: sounds way to obvious to be a coincidence. It would not surprise me if Silvally would have comparative stats to the God Pokemon with all that it has in common with Arceus. While I doubt that Silvally will reach the vast multitude of stats that Arceus possesses, it wouldn’t be too far fetched if it has base 100 across the board. It would keep Silvally in check with its pure counterpart, as well as still being powerful enough for the competitive metagame that we all know and love.

In terms of attacks that Silvally can learn, since it starts off as a Normal type, we can assume like almost every Normal Pokemon, it will learn a good amount of moves across the type spectrum. We also can safely assume that because of the name “Multi-Attack” that the move will hit multiple times. Since those moves are usually not great besides when the Pokemon has an Ability that makes it hit every attack, unless its a powerful move I doubt that it will have much effect in the metagame. My hope is that it will be a good utility Pokemon, like Mew in that it could hold its own either defending or attacking. Base 100 stats, while not the best, can have opponents guessing on just what type of Silvally was trained.

Honestly, I doubt that Silvally will have much use with its Ability. Unless a team needs to have a specific type tank, or if Multi-Attack  does enough damage, most people will probably slap on a Life Orb for more damage dealing. Perhaps another attack will be in the main games that will cause more damage depending on the type, but it would have been shown as such. However, if the current theory that Silvally is a clone of Arceus holds true, then it may get access to Judgement, which is quite a powerful move no matter the opponent.

While we may not have gotten all the information that we wanted from the Pokemon Sun and Moon Demo dataminig, it still allows us fans to speculate on just what Pokemon will be the cream of the crop, and that is for the best. We will know if Silvally can hold up to its potential come November, and that’s enough of a wait.

 

[October 20th, 2016]

Scaly Dragon Skepticism: How Strong Will Kommo-o Be?

Everybody knew that Jangmo-o would become a monster, but I don’t know if anybody quite expected what we got in Kommo-o. Our tiny heart-headed dinosaur turned into an armor-plated beast that is sure to be a powerhouse when Sun and Moon come out.

One issue I have though, is that people are claiming that the Kommo-o line is our pseudo legendary family for this generation, but I’m not entirely convinced. There’s evidence that Kommo-o could not be our pseudo for a couple of reasons, the biggest being that we are normally not shown pseudo legendaries before the game comes out. We were never shown Goomy in CoroCoro, let alone Goodra, were we? While Jangmo-o gives off vibes reminiscent of Larvitar or Bagon, I think a more accurate example would be the Flygon or Haxorus line. But the consensus in the community appears to be that this is our pseudo legendary Pokémon, so maybe everybody is on to something? Only time will tell.

So with that out of the way, what exactly can we expect from Kommo-o? Well for starters, I can almost guarantee that Kommo-o will be a mixed offensive attacker. This doesn’t exactly require a stretch of the imagination though; Kommo-o has been shown using Sky Uppercut, but its signature move Clanging Scales seems as though it will be a special attack, as all sound-based attacks are. So even though Kommo-o looks to be a brute strength behemoth, Kommo-o will likely get a respectable special attack as well.

And how about those scales? Kommo-o is called “The Scaly Pokémon” after all. Those scales are bound to provide high defenses, which will also make its signature move a bit spammable. I could also imagine Kommo-o having at least a fair HP stat due to that plated armor.

But that’s probably the end of Kommo-o’s fortune. Its scales will probably not protect it too well from special attacks, and its speed will likely be lackluster. This makes sense from a design and competitive standpoint. All those scales are bound to weigh you down, and why would you give a Pokémon high marks in every stat? It’s bound to have some weaker stats to keep it balanced.

My prediction for a stat distribution would be:

  • HP: 80
  • Atk: 110
  • Def: 120
  • SpA: 110
  • SpD: 60
  • Spe: 60
  • BST: 540

Now this is obviously going away from the assumption that Kommo-o is our sun and moon pseudo. What we have here is a stat distribution reminiscent of something like Tangrowth or Carracosta, with high stats in everything except Special Defense and Speed. This means Kommo-o could be an excellent Assault Vest user, assuming all of this speculation is correct.

With mixed offenses, there’s limitless possibilities of Kommo-o’s movepool. Being a Dragon and Fighting type, we can expect Kommo-o to get a lot of notable moves like Draco Meteor, Outrage, Focus Blast, Superpower or Close Combat, and maybe even the Elemental Punches.

It should be notable then, that Kommo-o’s abilities are somewhat useful. Not only because with Soundproof Kommo-o can avoid those 4x super effective Pixilate Hyper Voices, but because with Soundproof and Bulletproof, Kommo-o can avoid an opposing Kommo-o’s Clanging Scales or Focus Blast respectively.

While two Kommo-o fighting each other isn’t going to happen in league format (unless your opponent has a Pokémon that can learn Transform) there is still a lot of potential for this monster. Soundproof and Bulletproof are both excellent abilities for a Pokémon with a low special defense, and will give the team a couple of key immunities that will force draft format opponents to prepare differently.

A weak point of Kommo-o’s is that it has a 4x Fairy weakness, but this actually isn’t as bad as it sounds. I’ve repeatedly stated to friends of mine that a 4x Fairy Weakness is the best 4x weakness to have. This is mainly because there are only a handful of Fairy Pokémon, and even then only some of them are viable, but another great reason is that there is no Hidden Power Fairy, unless they change that during Generation 7. Even still, a Roseli berry could fix that problem easily, so defensively, I don’t see this thing having too many problems because of its typing.

Kommo-o’s offensive typing is absolutely phenomenal, though. It will have the ability to spam Dragon moves, especially if it does end up having mixed offenses, and when a Steel type comes in to take the hit you have Fighting STAB attacks to work with as well. I would also be incredibly surprised if this thing didn’t get a good Poison move, since many Fighting types get Poison Jab, and one of Kommo-o’s inspiration, the komodo dragon, has oral venom glands. With a poison move, Kommo-o would be able to handle Fairy types, and would have amazing coverage options against all kinds of would-be threats.

With a great typing, abilities, and hopefully good stats and movesets, Kommo-o certainly looks to be one of the most promising new Pokémon revealed so far.

So will Kommo-o be a pseudo-legendary? Debatable. Will it be strong no matter what? Absolutely.

 

 

Mucking About in Alola

by BlameTheBlax

Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon have already ushered in a new era of competitive play. With the introduction of Alolan forms, totem guardians, and the brand spanking new abilities on their recently revealed Pokémon, the tier lists of both Smogon and this League will undoubtedly go through a paradigm shift. The real question isn’t how the game will change, but rather how it won’t. More news was recently released and countless things stand out, but I was a little slow on the draw, so now I’m analyzing another familiar face that changed under the Hawaiian sun. Alolan Muk.

Let’s stick with the basics of what we know. Alolan Muk has a Poison/Dark typing, something only seen previously by the Stunky line. While this was a gigantic disappointment when compared to the “leaks” stating it would be a Fire type, this does mean that Muk only has one weakness in Ground. It also carries an immunity to Psychic and four resistances. It may lose out on the benefits from a Fairy resist, but it still hits them like a truck. As for movepool changes, it seems pretty clear to just about everyone that this version of Muk will be able to run Crunch, based on the information from the official Pokémon website (Note: After watching the footage from the trailer, I can confirm it does use Crunch). I could also anticipate it getting Sucker Punch, Pursuit, Assurance, and possibly even Foul Play. While Skuntank may suffer in the metagame, this is more due to a poor BST of 479. Meanwhile, Muk carries a more respectable BST of 500, which isn’t necessarily superb, but certainly gives it an advantage over a myriad of lower tiered Pokémon.

Speaking of the stats, let’s talk about Muk’s and what might change with them. Currently, the regular form of Muk has the stat distribution of 105/105/75/65/100/50. To be entirely honest, this is a wonderful stat distribution that makes me personally wonder why Muk isn’t used more, but I digress. If GameFreak were to change anything, I’d think they’d drop the speed. This conclusion was reached by merely looking at the design of Alolan Muk, which is covered in various crystals. I’d imagine that having crystals all over one’s body would cause you to be slower than not having crystals, but what do I know? If I’m right, I could imagine them dropping the Speed to 30 and placing it into Defense and Attack. Once again, this conclusion was reached due to the entry on the official website, which states that it eats a great deal and runs amuck without food. Basically, it eats up hits and deals heavy damage back to the target. This is backed up with the Special Defense already at a respectable base 100 and the Special Attack never being utilized, so I doubt seeing either stat change anytime soon. This new spread, assuming they do change the stats and it is similar to my vision would look something like 105/110/90/65/100/30, making Alolan Muk a real force to be reckoned with.

Finally, we have the abilities. Poison Touch is something Muk already had beforehand, so I don’t think I need to go into depth about it. Gluttony means we could definitely be seeing Muk holding items such as Sitrus Berry for health in dire circumstance, or a Liechi Berry for stronger attacks before death, but it seems like something more gimmicky or matchup based. I’m personally holding out hope for a hidden ability, although I’m not entirely sure what I’d give it. As of right now, I’m biased towards Infiltrator or Aftermath. Infiltrator would allow Alolan Muk to completely ignore opposing screens or Substitutes, effectively shutting them down before they even seize the chance to start up. Aftermath, on the other hand, is what makes Skuntank such a viable threat in the lower tier. This would allow Alolan Muk to be fodder for any physical setup sweeper, Sucker Punching them for damage and letting Aftermath do even more.

With all of this information and speculation out of the way, where will Alolan Muk appear in the metagame? While I doubt it makes an appearance in the upper tiers, it would be a monster in the lower ones. I could definitely see Smogon putting it in UU. In terms of League format, it’s an easy fit into Tier 3 with the potential to shift to higher tiers depending on who drafts it and how they use it. In the end, this is all merely speculation. We know next to nothing about Alolan Muk, the majority of my conclusions are based off of the design and the limited information we have received from our Rotom-Dex. Anything is possible for the Pokémon more toxic than League of Legends. Until then, all we can do is muck around until the demo finally comes out on Tuesday.

 

[October 16th, 2016]