Analysis of newly introduced threats in each metagame
Click on the Sprites to find full details on each Pokemon.
HP:100 Attack:120 Defence:100 Special Attack:150 Special Defence:120 Speed:90
Arguably one of the most threatening Ubers in the game, Reshiram is the Yin to Kyogre's Yang- a powerful sweeper made all the more powerful through the introduction of sun. Aside from having the staples of any successful Uber (Excellent stats, expansive movepool etc), Reshiram has arguably the best offensive STAB combination in existence, with Dragon and Fire offering perfect coverage- thanks to TurboBaze literally everything in the game takes at least a neutral hit. One of those STABs is further augmented by sunny weather, eagerly provided by another Ubers staple, Groudon.
Playing with Reshiram:
Reshiram's most widely used sets fall into one of two separate categories, choice attackers or Flame Charge sweepers. As excellent as it's typing is for attacking, Reshiram is entirely unsuited to defensive roles, with a Stealth Rock weakness and a weakness to the omnipresent Dragon moves, as well as other common physical attacking types. Straight offense is the only way to go with this thing. Thanks to it's excellent 120 Att and 150 SpAtt, Reshiram can make effective use of both special and mixed sets (Physical sets can be used, but they're somewhat gimmicky given that there are far more suitable pokes for the role), with Dragon Pulse, Draco Meteor and it's signature move Blue Flare featuring on the majority of it's sets, with the last move differing between the different sets. Choice sweepers and mixed attackers typically go for Outrage or Stone Edge, allowing Reshiram to beat Blissey and Lugia respectively, while it should be obvious what features in the final slot on a Flame Charge set! EVs and nature are all out offensive, with maxed SpAtt and Spe with either a Timid or Hasty nature, depending on whether or not a physical attack is present.
Playing Against Reshiram:
Given the incredible coverage Reshiram gets and the sheer power behind a STAB, sun boosedt Blue Flare, switching into Reshiram's attacks can be extremely problematic. Therefore the first priority should be to neutralise the weather advantage. Bulky variants of Tyranitar and Kyogre are arguably the best switch ins, both resisting Blue Flare and negating sun's boosts upon entry. From here both can tank a second hit thanks to Tyranitar's 50% boost to it's special defence and Kyogre's excellent special bulk, before threatening back with their own powerful STABs. Lugia is also capable of stalling out Reshiram outside of the sun, with the standard walling set not being 2HKO'd by anything up to a specs boosted Blue Flare. Reshiram also occupies the base 90 speed tier, making it easy meat for Scarf Palkia, one of the most effective revenge killers in the tier.
HP:100 Attack:150 Defence:120 Special Attack:120 Special Defence:100 Speed:90
Zekrom is something of a runt in the Ubers litter. Not that it isn't a threat, with excellent stats and powerful moves just like it's fiery counterpart, but rather because it has trouble excelling in any role that isn't already occupied by another member of the tier. It's prowess as a physical attacker is matched by its dragon brethren Rayquaza and Garchomp, with the former having access to Dragon Dance and the other sitting in a superior speed tier. Mixed sets are done better by the likes of Palkia, with similar attacking stats but superior speed. It also lacks any decent boosting moves, has a somewhat redundant Electric STAB, and an entirely useless ability.
Playing with Zekrom:
Zekrom needs to play to its strengths to find a meaningful place in most teams. In most cases, this is mixed attacking, abusing it's powerful physical Electric STAB Bolt Strike (Which while mostly being redundant given the prominence of Dragons in the tier, does make an excellent way of breaking Lugia or CM Kyogre) and STAB Draco Meteor. Another niche Zekrom can play towards is it's position as one of the only Ubers to learn Volt Switch, making it an excellent scout if your opponent lacks Groudon.
Playing against Zekrom:
While walling Zekrom can be problematic given it's tendency to run mixed sets, it's certainly not impossible. Ferrothorn, for example, eats it for breakfast in most cases, only fearing the unreliable Focus Blast while being capable of stalling it out with Leech Seed and Toxic. Groudon can also take most attacks short of a Draco Meteor, or at least long enough to kill it with Earthquake. Zekrom also has "base 90 speed syndrome", leaving it prone to being revenge killed with no way of speed boosting outside of a Scarf.
HP:110 Attack:135 Defence:65 Special Attack:50 Special Defence:65 Speed:88
Introducing Excadrill, the king of weather sweepers in OU. With excellent stats in all the right places and amazing abilities, this Pokemon is a staple on any Sandstorm team. The primary reason for it's incredible success it it's access to Sand Rush. Combined with it's impressive base 88 speed, a Jolly Excadrill outspeeds Deoxys Speed Forme, and everything else in OU even with a Choice Scarf. Needless to say, a sweeper with this kind of speed coupled with a Base 135 Attack is terrifying indeed!
Playing with Excadrill:
The most common way of playing with this monster is to make it even more monstrous with Swords Dance. At +2 it is one of the most dangerous Pokemon in the game, with 738 Att, 608 Spe and STAB Earthquake. Coupled with Rock Slide for coverage, there is very little that Excadrill cannot 2HKO. Swords Dance sets are typically rounded off with either Return for more neutral coverage or Brick Break for levitating Steels. Choice Band sets are also popular to get immediate kills, but Excadrill is so effective at forcing switches opportunities to Swords Dance aren't exactly difficult to obtain.
Playing against Excadrill:
Bronzong is quite possibly the best counter to Excadrill available, with physically defensive sets being capable of tanking anything up to a +4 X Scissor and retaliating back with a super effective Earthquake. Walling varieties of Gliscor perform the role admirably as well, although allowing it two gain 2 Swords Dances before dealing with the threat will typically lead to it losing if Excadrill is using Return. Skarmory performs equally well as a check, but cannot threaten Excadrill outside of Whirlwind. Those two aside, the best way to hard counter Excadrill is undoubtedly to kill its weather support. Without sand, base 88 speed is very low in this generation's highly offensive metagame, and base 65 defences will not stand up to STAB or super effective attacks. Alternatively Excadrill has weaknesses to common priority moves Aqua Jet and Mach Punch/Vacuum Wave. Coming off a decent STAB like Conkeldurr can dispatch an Excadrill quickly.
HP:105 Attack:140 Def:95 Special Attack:55 Special Defence:65 Speed: 45
Imagine Machamp beefed up a little bit more and moved away with the circus, and you have Conkeldurr. Both play in fundamentally similar roles, that of the Fighting type tank, but with some key differences. The most striking one is in the abilities, specifically the lack of No Guard on Conkeldurr, who instead relies on Guts for it's primary ability. This aside, Conkeldurr is largely superior to Machamp, with more attacking power, superior physical bulk, and access to STAB priority. Guts being primary ability choice rather than No Guard is also a mixed blessing, with Conkeldurr welcoming status rather than cowering like Machamp.
Playing with Conkeldurr:
Looking at the stat line should be enough to show that Conkeldurr isn't exactly going to be your team's speed demon. Bulky attacking is what this thing does best, and boy does it do it well. Bulk Up is it's most common set, with it's stellar attack reaching new heights while simultaneously taking physical hits better and better each time. The key to this set's success is how Conkeldurr can make excellent use of the newly buffed Drain Punch, hitting hard enough to replenish substantial volumes of HP with every attack. Stone Edge or Payback provide great coverage, with Mach Punch rounding off the set to get the jump on faster threats. Choice Band and Sub Punch sets are also popular, but tend to be less effective than the boosting set.
Playing against Conkeldurr:
Unfortunately for Conkeldurr it has no way of patching up it's terrible SpDef stat, so anything faster than it with STAB Psychic (This is one of the few occasions that Psychic is preferable to Psycho Shock, which would get significantly weaker with every Bulk Up), or indeed and super effective special attack will have no trouble dispatching Conkeldurr. Physical walls like Skarmory and Gliscor will also laugh in it's face, as will Jellicent if it lacks Payback. Essentially the stuff that counters Machamp will do equally well here.
HP:60 Attack:67 Defence:85 Special Attack:77 Special Defence:75 Speed: 116
Behold, the most annoying Pokemon Game Freak have ever trolled us with. Whimsicott can be a complete nightmare for any team to come against thanks to it's combination of Prankster and ridiculously wide support movepool. Priority Taunt is guaranteed to shut any setup down. Priority Encore screws up anything that uses a non attacking move. Priority SubSeed can be very tough to bring down. It even makes use of rarely seen debuff moves like Cotton Spore, making the foe easy bait for switch ins. Simply put, a Whimsicott can effectively shut down any plan relying on any non-attacking move.
Playing with Whimsicott:
Whimsicott is remarkably easy to be a pain in the ass with. Predict a setup move, switch in as it's used, Encore it. From here you can either employ Whimsicott's most effective strategy, that of Leech Seed, or use the guaranteed free switch to bring in your own sweeper or counter. It also pairs extremely well with Tyranitar for it's STAB Purstuit. Whimsicott also makes an effective lead, all but guaranteeing entry hazards won't go down thanks to its ability to Taunt anything in the game before they can move.
Playing against Whimsicott:
Don't try and play around opposing Whimsicott, they will usually win. The best course of attack is to simply beat on it hard and not give it an opportunity to turn you into setup fodder. However one of the single best counters to Whimsicott is Thundurus, because it can beat Wimsicott at it's own game. Most Whimsicott sets run 4 non-attacking moves, making speed investment largely pointless what every attack gets priority. Enter Thundurus, another user of Prankster and Taunt. This faster attack will easily shut down opposing Whimsicott. The Magic Mirror users from the lower tiers also laugh at it, and happily use it as setup fodder without any risk of repercussions.
/ (Zen Mode)
HP:105 Attack:140 Defence:55 Special Attack:30 Special Defence:55 Speed:95
HP:105 Attack:30 Defence: 105 Special Attack:140 Special Defence:105 Speed:55 (Zen Mode)
Darmanitan is a Pokemon capable of generating ridiculous amounts of power thanks to it's base 140 Attack and Sheer Force. In fact its STAB Flare Blitz can break some of the biggest walls in OU with Life Orb and Sheer Force behind it. Unfortunately it's frail as hell and base 95 speed leaves a lot to be desired in a lot of cases, and such a powerful Flare Blitz will routinely lead to speedy suicidal streaks, but that doesn't detract from Darmanitan's ability to rip anything in half if they don't resist it's attacks. We'll gloss over it's useless alternative form, but the option's there if you're using a Trick Room team in doubles and are after some lulz.
Playing with Darmanitan:
As you'd expect, straight offence is always the way to go with Darmanitan, capitalising on Flare Blitz's ridiculous damage output. Life Orb is usually the item of choice, providing most of the power of a Choice Band with the ability to switch moves, with Sheer Force negating the recoil (Unfortunately it doesn't extend the same perk to FB). Coupled with coverage moves like Rock Slide and Superpower, and U Turn for scouting, Darmanitan can deal with most threats. Choice Scarf is also a popular set, making up for the slightly disappoint speed stat. This set in the sun is especially dangerous, with the Weather making up for the loss of Choice Band or Life Orb when spamming Flare Blitz.
Playing against Darmanitan:
Bulky waters are the order of the day, resisting it's STAB and retaliating with their own. Most popular physical walls also have favourable typing, and can tank even a sun boosted Flare Blitz if they are unscathed in the first place. Otherwise it is quite easily revenge killed, with or without a scarf, whether it's through faster sweepers or priority, given it's frailness.
HP:65 Attack:90 Defence:115 Special Attack:45 Special Defence:115 Speed:58
Scrafty is a new breed of bulky Fighting type, one with even more of a focus of defences than its offences. With excellent base 115 Def and SpDef and Shed Skin as it's ability, Scrafty can shrug off all manner of attacks and status. He's certainly no offensive slouch either, capable of boosting with either Bulk Up or Dragon Dance, with a well developed movepool and excellent STAB coverage.
Playing with Scrafty:
Scrafty is normally used in two fundamentally different ways, Bulk Up or Dragon Dance. The former makes use of Bulk up to become ridiculously tough to crack physically, using a combination or Drain Punch, Rest and Shed Skin to remain healthy. Dragon Dance, on the other hand, relies on latent bulk to carry it through a couple of boosts, before going on the assault and getting even more powerful through Moxie (Although Shed Skin is also used to avoid status, notable burns), this time using High Jump Kick as the primary STAB. Unfortunately for the opponent these sets are countered in entirely different ways, potentially making incorrect predictions very costly mistakes.
Playing against Scrafty:
Both sets have one set of shared flaws, and that is super effective special attacks. Anything with a decent strength Focus Blast will be able to deal with Scrafty quite easily. Scrafty is also very slow until it has at lest two Dragon Dances under it's belt, making outspeeding it and avoiding attacks easier. PHazing it and forcing it to endure entry hazards multiple times also keeps it at bay, especially defensive sets which require at least one turn of setup before they become at all threatening.
HP:110 Attack:65 Defence:75 Special Attack:125 Special Defence:85 Speed:30
Reuniclus took everybody by surprise with how good it was when 5th gen first entered competitive play. At first glance it was thoroughly unremarkable, with decent stats and an excellent ability, but held back by a limited movepool and abysmal speed. Oh how wrong we were. With a surprising level of bulk, Reuniclus quickly demonstrated how easily it could tank hits, set up, and sweep with the limited scope of moves it had available. It's also largely responsible for singlehandedly popularising Trick Room again, becoming the flagship player on any TR team.
Playing with Reuniclus:
Like so many Pokemon this generation, Reuniclus can lean heavily on either offence or defence and excel either way. A max HP/Def Reuniclus will have very few issues setting up multiple Calm Minds, especially given the popularity of Fighting types upon which it can switch in on, use Recover and begin attacking. Alternatively throwing out a Trick Room instantly turns Reuniclus into a sweeper with "speed" comparable to Excadrill in the sand, coupled with an immunity to Life Orb an the ability to pseudo-mix sweep with Psycho Shock nailing the likes of Blissey. It can also take a more defensive support role, absorbing status with no detriment while throwing out status moves of its own, or dual screens.
Playing against Reuniclus:
One of the easiest ways to neutralise Reuniclus is with Taunt, and being slow as hell this is easy enough. Once taunted, it can be very difficult for Reuniclus to exhibit the dominance it can with a Calm Mind or Trick Room behind it. Scizor is still as popular as ever this generation, and capable of tearing Reuniclus apart with a CB U Turn. Tyranitar similarly destroys it, gaining a SpDef with the sand it summons while killing Reuniclus with Crunch or Pursuit. The pink fat blobs will also stop it cold if it opts for Psychic over Psycho Shock. Even if all you can do in return is PP stall it.