With the insane popularity of Kyogre who averages 78% usage (58% on Pokemon Showdown and 98.03% on Battle Spot), any Pokemon that can has a positive match-up versus it is very pivotal for teams, which is why Ludicolo has seen a large surge in popularity where its constantly in the Top 10 of usage on all teams. This guide will look into Ludicolo and why its seeing use in the VGC 2017 format.

Ability, Base Stats, and Typing

Swift Swim - "Doubles the user's speed stat when in the Rain." With the insane popularity of Kyogre, being able to out speed it and threaten back with a super-effective Grass type move is very important. Compared to its two other abilities in Own Tempo and Rain Dish, Swift Swim has always been the best and most popular ability and the one you should expect on every Ludicolo you fight.

80 HP / 70 Defense / 100 Sp. Defense is pretty average defensively. While Ludicolo won't be surviving a large variety of hits, it can be trained pretty bulky to survive some super-effective hits and other powerful moves. 90 Sp. Attack is pretty decent but nothing amazing. With boosting items like a Life Orb or even Z-moves when they're legal can allow Ludicolo to become a very large damage dealer.

Water/Grass is a great typing both offensively and defensively. With only 3 weaknesses to Flying, Poison, and Bug which aren't very common types apart from Poison. This mean Ludicolo will mostly only be taking neutral attacks which gives it the best chance to take hits. Resisting Ground, Steel, and Water type moves is very helpful as Steel has become much more common with the popularity of Xerneas and Water gained popularity thanks to Kyogre.

Notable Moves

Sunny Day
Ice Beam
Grass Knot
Giga Drain
Hydro Pump
Fake Out

Sunny Day is very interesting. The idea is with Swift Swim active, Ludicolo can out speed Kyogre to set the sun to weaken its Water type moves to threaten it very safely with a powerful grass type move like Grass Knot or Giga Drain. Ice Beam is great to threaten the Grass types like Tsareena and Amoonguss.

Your choice in Water moves from either Scald for the burn chance and 100% accuracy, or Hydro Pump for the the strong damage output. Which one you value more depends on comfort. Fake Out is great for the flinch chance. Fake Out is great for the chance to allow Ludicolo's partner to set-up which can put you in an amazing position to win games easier.

Notable Items

Life OrbAssault Vest
King's Rock
Focus Sash

Life Orb is great for added damage. Most Pokemon after taking your Life Orb boosted moves will either activate their pinch berry or simply KO them which means you can follow up with another attack to pick up the KO. Assault Vest can allow Ludicolo to survive the powerful special hits better like Xerneas' Moonblast and Yveltal's Oblivion Wing to do its job of checking Kyogre better.

While a niche option, King's Rock can be used alongside Fling to flinch a Pokemon of your choice. With 7% usage on BattleSpot, some players are finding some form of success with it to warrant being talked about. The final item in Focus Sash is simply good to allow Ludicolo to survive 1 big hit it otherwise can't. If you run the Focus Sash, be weary of priority moves like Fake Out that can break it as that can cause trouble for your Ludicolo.

Sample Set #1 –Life Orb Offense

Ludicolo @ Life Orb
Ability: Swift Swim
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
– Scald / Hydro Pump
– Grass Knot
– Fake Out
– Ice Beam / Sunny Day

The first set is very offensive. The main goal of this Ludicolo is to cause as much damage as possible before going down which holding the Life Orb can aid in accomplishing this. Your water move choice in either Scald or Hydro Pump is great for a powerful water type move that can be powered up in the Rain. Boosting its damage output with the Rain and Life Orb can lead to a very powerful hit that rivals the power of a Rain boosted Hydro Vortex.

The first move in either Scald or Hydro Pump like said above, depends on whether you prefer Scald's 30% burn chance or Hydro Pump's power. Grass Knot is mainly for Kyogre and Groudon. Due to their massive weight, Grass Knot will deal more damage compared to other Grass moves like Giga Drain and Energy Ball. Fake Out is great to allow your other Pokemon to set-up or try and pick up an important KO. Ice Beam is great for all the Grass types in the format like Tsareena and Amoonguss that you otherwise can't damage for that much, but you can use Sunny Day to kill Kyogre's Rain.

Sample Set #2 – Bulky Assault Vest

Ludicolo @ Assault Vest
Ability: Swift Swim
Level: 50
EVs: 196 HP / 20 Def / 116 SpA / 44 SpD / 132 Spe
Modest Nature
– Scald
– Grass Knot
– Fake Out
– Ice Beam / Icy Wind

The second set is a bulkier one that uses the Assault Vest to survive some very strong special hits, including +2 252 Sp. Attack Modest Xerneas' Moonblast, Yveltal's Oblivion Wing, and 20 Attack Incineroar's Flare Blitz in Sun to name a few attacks this EV Spread was built for. The idea is if Ludicolo can survive some powerful attacks, it's able to do its job of dealing a ton of damage to the Pokemon it needs to.

The moves largely don't change. Scald, Grass Knot, and Fake Out are amazing moves on Ludicolo that are largely stuck in 3 out of the 4 slots on Ludicolo. The final slot in Ice Beam or Icy Wind depends on whether you want the power of Ice Beam or the speed control benefit of Icy Wind.

Partners for Ludicolo

Kyogre's Drizzle ability activates Ludicolo Swift Swim ability to help it to sweep thanks to its massive speed and rain boosted Water type moves. Ludicolo can also take down opposing Kyogre very easily.

Since Groudon is weak to Water type moves, Ludicolo can hopefully in the rain use its amazing speed to use Sunny Day if Groudon is stuck in the rain. Ludicolo's Grass type moves can also take down opposing Water types like Kyogre and Tapu Fini.

Xerneas enjoys the access of a fast Fake Out to help Xerneas use Geomancy to help sweep through teams.

Beating Ludicolo

Ferrothorn's strong special bulk allows it to take very little from water type moves while being able to out-damage it with Power Whip.

Yveltal can use its Dark Aura boosted Dark type moves and Oblivion Wing to threaten KOs on Ludicolo. A Scald burn is annoying, but barring that, Yveltal shouldn't have too much trouble.

Although Ho-Oh fears Ludicolo's water type moves, Brave Bird does threaten a ton of damage and without Intimidate, can easily KO Ludicolo.

dialga.png     palkia.png
Dialga and Palkia both resist Ludicolo's water and grass type moves and can threaten with either Dragon Pulse or Spacial Rend respectively to easily out damage Ludicolo.

Thanks for reading! Follow us on twitter @NimbasaCityPost for updates on VGC content on the website!

Dusk Mane Necrozma has certainly proven itself to be a very powerful Pokemon in VGC 2019. While the format is very new, this Pokemon has proven to be one of the most popular Restricted Pokemon and this article will look into as to why if you aren't using it, you should at the very least prepare for Dusk Mane Necrozma when competing. Hope you enjoy!

Ability, Base Stats, and Typing

Prism Armor – "Reduces damage from super effective moves by 25% (regardless of the effectiveness multiplier). It's not negated by the affects of the abilities Mold Breaker, Teravolt, and Turoblaze or the moves Moongeist Beam and Sunsteel Strike." This is a great ability as it can help against Necrozma's weaknesses to Dark, Fire, Ghost, and Ground type moves which means Necrozma should be able to survive attacks it otherwise couldn't.

97 HP / 127 Defense / 109 Sp. Defense should allow Necrozma should survive some very powerful moves. This also means it will have a hard time going down in 1 hits thanks to its bulk and ability. 157 Attack / 113 Sp. Attack is also very respectful as in theory, Necrozma could operate as both a physical and special attacker, but you should expect a physical set much more often. 77 speed is a bit depressing, but if you support it with speed control like Tailwind and Trick Room, you can make it with work.

Psychic/Steel is a great typing defensively. Being able to switch into 10 types thanks to resisting 9 (Dragon, Fairy, Flying, Grass, Ice, Normal, Rock, Steel, and Psychic) and immune to the other 1 in Poison can allow Dusk Mane Necrozma to have a pretty reliable way of switching into a lot of Pokemon and attacks. Only being weak to 4 types in Dark, Fire, Ghost, & Ground in combination with its Prism Armor ability is helpful to allow this Pokemon to take hits very well.

Notable Moves

Sunsteel Strike
Photon Geyser
Trick Room
Knock Off

Dusk Mane Necrozma's move play into its strengths as a physical attacker. Sunsteel Strike is your best Steel type move which is mainly for the Fairy types such as Xerneas and the Tapus. Photon Geyser is great to threaten Poison types such as Amoonguss and Toxicroak for super-effective damage. Trick Room is great to support your slower Pokemon as being able to threaten your opponent. Most of the time you set Trick Room, it won't necessarily be for your Necrozma but thanks to your base 77 speed stat, Necrozma could work under Trick Room.

Knock Off is a more niche option which is great since 99% of the items you'll fight can be removed by Knock Off which is helpful. Substitute is very interesting and great to take advantage of your great bulk and typing. In an ideal situation, a free substitute can put you in a much better situation which is huge.

Notable Items

Weakness Policy
Pinch Berries
Psychic Seed
Safety Goggles

The most popular item in Weakness Policy takes advantage of its great bulk in typing. Something most players will do is use a very weak super-effective attack on Necrozma to activate the Weakness Policy to give it a +2 Attack and Sp. Attack to allow it to sweep through teams. Pinch berries are great for increasing your longevity. The truth is most attacks in general will only do enough to activate your berry which means you can regain most of that damage taken to stay around longer and wreck more havoc to your opponent.

Psychic Seed is more niche and at the time of writing, is ranked #3 in usage on Pikalytics with 9.7% usage. The idea is to increase your Sp. Defense when it touches the Psychic Terrain. With this boost, you can tank a lot of big special moves like Xerneas' Moonblast / Dazzling Gleam, Kyogre's Rain boosted Water Spout / Origin Pulse, and the other powerful special moves that don't see as much usage as the other ones listed above. Safety Googles is mainly to block Spore from Smeargle and Amoonguss. Not getting put to sleep by Amoonguss means you can very easily wall it as you're immune to its Poison type moves and resist the Grass type moves.

Set #1 – Weakness Policy

Necrozma-Dusk-Mane @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Prism Armor
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Sunsteel Strike
- Photon Geyser
- Trick Room
- Protect

This set revolves around activating your Weakness Policy if possible. The goal is to survive hits to allow your Necrozma to get it activate to give +2 in Attack and Sp. Attack to allow you to sweep through your opponents. The EV Spread is very standard. Max HP and Attack gives Necrozma a balance between its bulk and power to accomplish its job. A Brave Nature with 0 Speed IVs works once you set Trick Room which allows you to be as slow as possible to sweep under Trick Room.

Your attacking moves are pretty cut and dry. Thanks to max attack, Sunsteel Strike hits the maximum amount of damage to Fairy types like Xerneas and the Tapus while Photon Geyser is doing the maximum amount of damage to Poison like Amoonguss and Fighting types like Hitmontop.

Set #2 – Figy Berry + Substitute

Necrozma-Dusk-Mane @ Figy Berry
Ability: Prism Armor  
Level: 50  
EVs: 172 HP / 108 Atk / 44 Def / 52 SpD / 132 Spe  
Adamant Nature  
- Sunsteel Strike  
- Photon Geyser  
- Substitute  
- Protect

This set is designed to take advantage of your strong bulk and typing to survive hits. The first big damage calc is Necrozma is able to survive Modest Kyogre's Water Spout in Rain which is very helpful as Modest Choice Scarf Kyogre is one of the most common sets during the Sun Series. This works in combination with the Figy Berry because it allows Necrozma to take a very powerful hit then regain 50% HP to survive other hits as well. Sunsteel Strike onto 4 HP Xerneas is a guaranteed OHKO while a +2 Timid Moonblast has a 98.4% chance to 2HKO and a +2 Timid Dazzling Gleam has a 63.9% chance to 3HKO which allows Necrozma a viable way to defeat Xerneas. Photon Geyser will KO most Amoonguss that either aren't physically defensive or holding a Payapa Berry, the latter has been seeing an increase in popularity.

The moves are pretty simple. Sunsteel Strike and Photon Geyser are your main attacking moves. Sunsteel Strike is mainly for Pokemon like Xerneas and the Tapus which should be a safe 2HKO on these Pokemon. Photon Geyser is mainly for is great to hit Pokemon like Amoonguss, Hitmontop, and Toxicroak for super-effective damage. The 3rd slot in Substitute is a personal favorite because it allows you to take advantage of your great bulk and typing to stay around even longer with the sub up. The ideal turn for this is you get to set the Substitute up with no issues mainly because you took no damage up that turn to accomplish this. Its even better if setting the sub activates your Figy Berry because you regain health to get it up.

Support Dusk Mane Necrozma

Incineroar is useful to give Dusk Mane Necrozma something it wants, Fake Out to set Trick Room or try to get a KO as well as Intimidate to help it survive hits it otherwise wouldn't. Incineroar being a part Dark type is helpful to combat the Ghost types Necrozma is weak to as well which is very helpful.

Kyogre's Drizzle ablity is helpful because it allows Dusk Mane Necrozma to have a better chance to survive Fire type moves. It can also use its powerful Rain boosted Water type moves to KO powerful Fire and Ground types like Incineroar and Groudon.

Tapu Lele's Psychic Surge ability is great because the psychic terrain it sets can power up Necrozma's Photon Geyser. This is similar to the strategy from 2017 and 2018 with Tapu Lele/Metagross to threaten many teams with powerful Psychic type moves which was great at tearing through its opponents.

Beating Dusk Mane Necrozma

Incineroar is a nightmare for Dusk Mane Necrozma. Both its Fire and Dark type STAB moves can hit Necrozma for super-effective damage while Necrozma's Photon Geyser, which it's immune to and Sunsteel Strike, which it resists. This makes it hard for Necrozma to really threaten Incineroar and just becomes a free KO for Incineroar.

Groudon can be annoying for Dusk Mane Necrozma as its STAB Ground type moves in Precipice Blades and Stomping Tantrum can do a large amount of damage. Groudon will fear a Photon Geyser, but for Necrozma to beat Groudon, it will need some help or to simply out-damage Groudon.

lunala.png     necrozma-dawn-wings.png
Both Lunala and Dawn Wings Necrozma are in the same camp due to both having access to the super-effective Moongeist Beam. This is great because it allows them to effectively deal with Dusk Mane Necrozma.

Yveltal's Dark Aura boosted STAB Dark moves can hit Dusk Mane Necrozma for super-effective damage. Moves like Knock Off, Sucker Punch, Foul Play, and Dark Pulse can all majorly threaten Necrozma while its only real defense is Sunsteel Strike which isn't gonna do enough damage without the Weakness Policy to be threatening.

The final Pokemon in Solgaleo is notable because of its access to the super-effective Fire type move Flare Blitz. This is notable because of Solgaleo's Full Metal Body ability which means you can't lower its stats so you can't lower its attacking power while Dusk Mane Necrozma only move that you'll probably see that could hit Solgaleo for super-effective damage is Knock Off which is only on 13% of all Dusk Mane Necrozma on BattleSpot at the time of writing this.


Thanks to its great bulk, offensive power, and typing, Dusk Mane Necrozma is going to be a very powerful Pokemon this season. If you're running Xerneas and see this Pokemon, you're going to want to stock up on Dusk Mane Necrozma answers and conserve them to make sure they can do their job and deal with Necrozma. Expect Dusk Mane Necrozma to be a Top 5 Restricted Pokemon Sun Series and maybe even in the Moon and Ultra Series as well.

Thanks for reading! Follow us on twitter @NimbasaCityPost for updates on VGC content on the website!

Announced at the VGC 2018 World Championships which is the earliest time we've ever gotten the rules for the upcoming VGC season, its confirmed that from September 4th, 2018 to January 7th, 2019, the VGC Sun Series format will be played using a twist on the GS Cup players who played VGC in 2016 aren't use to. The major changes includes the ban of Z-Crystals, Mega Stones, Red Orb, Blue Orb, and Rayquaza's Dragon Ascent. This change is going to shake up the first part of the VGC 2019 season so this article is meant to give you a brief look of what the format may look like and what to expect going forward. Hope you enjoy!

Also keep in mind that starting September 4th, the Championship Ladder on BattleSpot will switch to VGC 2019 Sun Series rules. Pokemon Showdown has already created a dedicated ladder for all VGC 2019 rules as well for your convenience.

Legal Restricted Pokemon

Since you are allowed to use 2 Restricted Pokemon on each team, its important to look at which restricted Pokemon are legal to use on teams. Note that if a Pokemon has access to a form, its form will only be legal if it can enter the battle for the very first time with in its form. Please note that because of the ban of the Red Orb, Blue Orb, and all forms of Mega Evolution, Primal Groudon, Primal Kyogre, and Mega Rayquaza are the only forms that are not allowed to be used.
mewtwo.png     ho-oh.png     lugia.png     kyogre.png     groudon.png     rayquaza.png     dialga.png     palkia.png     giratina.png     giratina-origin.png     reshiram.png     zekrom.png     kyurem.png     kyurem-black.png     kyurem-white.png     xerneas.png     yveltal.png     zygarde-10-percent.png     zygarde.png     cosmog.png     cosmoem.png     solgaleo.png     lunala.png     necrozma.png     necrozma-dusk-mane.png     necrozma-dawn-wings.png

Notable Restricted Pokemon

This section of the article will talk about the restricted Pokemon that trainers should prepare for as they will most likely be the strongest and the ones you should prepare to fight.

Mewtwo is a Pokemon that has seen to much success in previous GS Cup, but thanks to the release of Tapu Lele, Mewtwo has the potential to become a very scary Pokemon. Tapu Lele can set Psychic Terrain to power up Mewtwo's already very powerful Psystrike. The most common item you can expect is a Life Orb to power up Mewtwo's attacks.

Ho-oh saw usage in very early VGC 2016 because of thanks to its Fire typing and impressive 106 HP / 156 Sp. Defense stats, it takes barely little damage from Xerneas' Fairy type moves. This means Ho-oh can be a reliable answer to Xerneas which can be very helpful. Thanks to its Fire/Flying typing, this also means Ho-oh can wall any Groudon that doesn't carry a Rock type move.

Kyogre is a Pokemon that once it got access to the Blue Orb, sets without holding the Blue Orb still saw usage when paired with Air Lock users Rayquaza. The most popular item was the Choice Scarf to catch Primal Groudon off guard. In this format, players should also expect to fight Choice Scarf variants as partnered with Pokemon like Rayquaza, it can catch Pokemon like Groudon again off guard. We may see more niche items like pinch berries or even Choice Specs and Life Orb but judging from the past, Choice Scarf will be something to fear. Kyogre will be this season's premier Rain setter.

Unlike Kyogre, Groudon hasn't seen success as much success without the Red Orb. Before the format announcement, players did theory giving Groudon a Groundium Z to try pick up KOs Primal Groudon can't but with Z-moves being illegal, Groudon will have to find other items to use. At this point in time, its hard to say what items Groudon will be able to use or even how viable it is. Since the format is very fresh, we'll have to wait and see how Groudon fares and if it can't compete with other Ground types in the format like Zygarde and Landorus-Therian or will Groudon fall to a niche roll on teams as just a Drought user on teams.

Rayquaza losing Dragon Ascent has not helped it at all. Its best flying type move is now the 60 base power Aerial Ace which is not a powerful attack in the slightest which means Rayquaza will need to increase its attack stat with Swords Dance enough times for Aerial Ace to be threatening. Something Rayquaza is still just as good as is answering weather teams thanks to its Air Lock ability. Being able to weaken Kyogre's Water type moves can allow for Pokemon like Tapu Koko that gets destroyed by its strong Water type moves can be very strong. Rayquaza can also wall most Groudon that don't have Rock moves or the Hidden Power [Ice] which is very helpful.

Dialga saw usage in the past mainly to answer Kyogre and Rayquaza as well as Xerneas on some occasions. Thanks to its Dragon typing, Dialga is able to reliably take Kyogre's Rain boosted Water moves while being able to threaten a strong Dragon type move like Dragon Pulse or Draco Meteor which can also threaten Rayquaza as well although Rayquaza may not see much usage at all. Dialga beating Xerneas isn't as easy because if Xerneas is able to use Geomancy before Dialga can use its Steel type move in Flash Cannon, Dialga will struggle to deal much damage to it while getting out-damaged by either Moonblast or Dazzling Gleam.

Like Dialga, Palkia is really strong at answer Kyogre. Its Dragon/Water typing means Kyogre won't be dealing much damage while Palkia can threaten it with power attacks like a powerful Spacial Rend or even a Thunder which in the Rain will be 100% accurate. One Pokemon Palkia will hate fighting is Xerneas which can easily setup with Geomancy without caring much of what Palkia can do to it.

In 2016, Kyurem-White was a Pokemon that thanks to its strategy and team composition, players knew what was coming when they saw it in team preview. The main goal was for its partner, mainly a Prankster user like Sableye to allow Kyurem to fire off a powerful 100% accurate Blizzard. Most Kyurem will hold the Choice Scarf to allow for the fastest attacks possible. Something interesting Kyurem could do is partner with Abomasnow for 100% accurate Blizzards and a Pokemon that threatens both Groudon and Kyogre.

Xerneas has proven to be a very powerful Pokemon in any format its legal in whether Singles or Doubles. This is thanks to the combination of the Power Herb item plus the move Geomancy. Since Geomancy can give the user +2 in Sp. Attack, Sp. Attack, and Speed but takes 2 turns to work, Power Herb exists to have this only take 1 turn to happen successfully. Thanks to this, Xerneas is able to fire off a Fairy Aura boosted Moonblast and Dazzling Gleam. After the boosts, Xerneas is easily able to threaten major damage on most of the format. Xerneas will fear common Steel types like Ferrothorn, Bronzong, and Dusk-Mane Necrozma.

Yveltal is really good as being able to use very powerful Dark type moves thanks to its Dark Aura ability and base 131 Attack stat as well as its base 131 Sp. Attack stat. Since there aren't many Pokemon in the format that resists Dark type moves, this puts Yveltal in a strong position that allows it to threaten a lot of damage onto some very powerful Pokemon, including the restricted Pokemon. It also gets access to some strong support moves like Tailwind and Taunt for example.

Zygarde never really saw any usage in the 6th Generation. The lack of power in attacks and mediocre stats kept it from doing the job of a legendary it wanted to do. All that changed in the 7th Generation when Zygarde gained the Power Construct ability, which means it can change into its Complete form when its HP is at 50% or less at the end of the turn. Zygarde also got access to both the spread move Thousand Arrows which can hit flying types and grounds them, and the spread Thousand Waves which can prevent them from switching. Zygarde still struggles in a format where Xerneas is running the show and still has a mediocre base 100 attack stat, but with the right support, it can use Dragon Dance to set-up and threaten its opponents.

Solgaleo has already been perceived as one of the better restricted Pokemon so far. The combination of powerful moves like Sunsteel Strike, Zen Headbutt, and Flare Blitz makes it a powerful Pokemon as its able to hit a lot of Pokemon for major damage while giving teams a Xerneas answer. Decent bulk in 131 HP, 107 Defense, and 89 Sp. Defense can allow Solgaleo to survive some strong hits, which is also thanks to its Full Metal Body so you can't lower its stats.

Thanks to its Shadow Shield ability, Lunala is able to comfortably survive attacks which can allow it to safely do its job, either in setting up moves like Tailwind, Trick Room, and Calm Mind, or go for strong moves like Moongeist Beam and Psychic to try and pick up some big KOs. Lunala also learns Wide Guard which can be very helpful in a format dominated by spread moves like Water Spout and Dazzling Gleam. Lunala does fear powerful Dark types like Incineroar, Tyranitar and Yveltal but because of this, Fairy types like Xerneas can be a powerful partner for it.

Dusk Mane Necrozma is one of the most popular Restricted Pokemon in the Sun Series. Thanks to its Prism Armor ability which means it only takes 75% of the damage from super-effective moves, it allows Dusk Mane Necrozma to take hits it other wise couldn't. Access to strong moves in Sunsteel Strike and Photon Geyser can allow Dusk Mane Necrozma to take advantage of its powerful STAB moves.

Thanks to its base 157 Sp. Attack stat, Dawn Wings Necrozma can fire off some very powerful moves like Moongeist Beam and Photon Geyser. Like Dusk Mane Necrozma, Dawn Wings Necrozma also has the Prism Armor ability which isn't as good as Lunala's Shadow Shield ability as it means Dawn Wings Necrozma will take a large amount of damage from the Ghost and Dark type moves its weak to which means it can potentially be OHKO'd from full HP which isn't going to be helpful for it.

Common non-Restricted Pokemon

These are Pokemon that are commonly seen as the non-Restricted Pokemon. Their main goal is to support the restricted Pokemon or benefit from an attribute a restricted may have. They can also do a strong job at beating very popular restricted Pokemon which is strong enough on its own to justify slots onto teams.
incineroar.png     amoonguss.png     ferrothorn.png     kartana.png     tapu-lele.png     tapu-koko.png     cresselia.png     araquanid.png     celesteela.png     hitmontop.png     ludicolo.png     tsareena.png     bronzong.png     raichu.png     smeargle.png     stakataka.png     tapu-bulu.png     clefairy.png     crobat.png     gothitelle.png     landorus-therian.png     tapu-fini.png     snorlax.png     toxicroak.png     whimsicott.png     suicune.png     gastrodon.png     abomasnow.png     salamence.png     scrafty.png     tyranitar.png

Xerneas Answers

amoonguss.png     ferrothorn.png     kartana.png     celesteela.png     bronzong.png     stakataka.png     toxicroak.png
These are Pokemon will find themselves on teams in large part due to how well they are at dealing with Xerneas. Amoonguss resists Fairy moves and can get rid of the Geomancy boosts thanks to Clear Smog. Ferrothorn, Bronzong and Stakataka can also take Fairy moves as well pretty comfortably and threaten it in return with Gyro Ball which without lowering its attack stat, these 3 can always KO Xerneas which is very helpful. Celesteela gets Heavy Slam which threatens Xerneas and can get a pretty safe 2HKO. Toxicroak is a more interesting Pokemon that can threaten Xerneas with a powerful Gunk Shot and also learns Fake Out which is helpful.

Kyogre Answers

amoonguss.png     ferrothorn.png     kartana.png     tapu-koko.png     ludicolo.png     tsareena.png     raichu.png     tapu-bulu.png     gastrodon.png     abomasnow.png      toxicroak.png
These are Pokemon will find themselves on teams in large part due to how well they are at dealing with Kyogre. Amoonguss can soak of Water type moves to threaten it in return with Grass Knot. Ferrothorn can take all of Kyogre's hits and threaten with Power Whip which KOs most Kyogre unless their super bulky. Kartana is in the same boat as Ferrothorn but unlike Ferrothorn, Kartana doesn't take special hits as well so you will have to play around this fact, but it packs a very strong Leaf Blade. Tapu Koko and Raichu can use powerful Electric type moves in Thunderbolt/Thunder or Volt Tackle to try and threaten Kyogre. Ludicolo can outspeed thanks to Swift Swim and threaten with Grass Knot. Tsareena, Tapu Bulu, and Abomasnow get powerful Grass moves to threaten Kyogre and Abomasnow is notable because Kyogre can't do much damage to it. Gastrodon and Toxicroak can take Water moves and benefit from it either in regaining health or a Sp. Attack boost then fire off a strong attack.

Intimidate Users

incineroar.png     hitmontop.png     landorus-therian.png     salamence.png
The popularity of physical attackers means Intimidate is very strong. Incineroar gets Fake Out which is helpful and its Fire/Dark typing means it can threaten Solgaleo, Lunala, and Necrozma which is very very helpful. Hitmontop gets strong support moves like Fake Out as well as Feint, Wide Guard, and Helping Hand to support its partners. Landorus-T is a fast Ground type that can be strong against common Steel types like Solgaleo and special variants can use Sludge Bomb to threaten Xerneas. Salamence is commonly paired with Solgaleo to use Bulldoze to activate Solgaleo's Weakness Policy to give it +2 in Attack and Sp. Attack to so Solgaleo can pick up KOs easier. Salamence has seen niche usage as a weak Bulldoze user paired with a Solgaleo to activate its Weakness Policy to increase its attack stat without lowering its speed.

Redirection Users

amoonguss.png     smeargle.png     clefairy.png
Redirection through Follow Me and Rage Powder is very important to help Pokemon accomplish there job that they otherwise couldn't. As discussed above, Amoonguss can sponge hits from Kyogre and Xerneas which means it can survive multiple turns to help with Rage Powder. Although its not bulky in the slightest without good Moody boosts, Smeargle will probably only get 1 chance to use Follow Me which means if its Focus Sash is broken, it only takes 1 move to finish off Smeargle. The final one in Clefairy is notable because of its Friend Guard ability, which is helpful because it allows its partner to take hits it otherwise couldn't which is helpful for set-up Pokemon like Geomancy Xerneas for example.

Yveltal Answers

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These 6 Pokemon are really good at beating Yveltal pretty reliably. Tapu Lele, Tapu Koko, and Tapu Fini can use strong Fairy type moves in either Dazzling Gleam from Tapu Koko or Moonblast from Tapu Lele and Tapu Fini while not taking much damage from Yveltal's Dark type moves, but Tapu Koko can also use STAB electric type moves like Thunderbolt, Volt Switch, and Dazzling Gleam to threaten Yveltal. Raichu does fear Yveltal's Dark type moves but Raichu can outspeed it to threaten with a strong Volt Tackle or even paralyze Raichu with Nuzzle. Stakataka and Tyranitar can use Rock Slide to threaten Yveltal while Stakataka does have added bonus of threatening with the strongest Gyro Ball in the format.

Trick Room Setters

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These Pokemon are really good at supporting its partners, allowing them to do their job better. Cresselia gets access to multiple support moves such as Trick Room as other moves like Gravity, Skill Swap, and Helping Hand which allows it to help its partners out. Bronzong also gets Trick Room as well as Gravity and Skill Swap, but under Gravity, Bronzong can use a very accurate Hypnosis to put its opponents to sleep. Gothitelle's Shadow Tag ability is very important as preventing your opponent from switching is very important. Gothitelle does get access to Trick Room as well as Gravity, Skill Swap, and Helping Hand which can make it a great support Pokemon. Stakataka is an offensive Trick Room setter that has the added bonus of threatening Xerneas and Yveltal as mentioned above. The notable support moves include in Gravity and Skill Swap but not Helping Hand.

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