Metagame Metagame Discussion Thread!

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Talking about Speed Control, here's a LC team I like to use that I've just realised really wants to be faster than the opponent.

Numel @ Focus Sash
Ability: Simple
Level: 5
EVs: 36 HP / 236 Atk / 236 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Growth
- Earthquake
- Flame Charge
- Ancient Power

Vulpix @ Heat Rock
Ability: Drought
Level: 5
EVs: 28 Atk / 236 SpD / 244 Atk
Gentle Nature
- Energy Ball
- Flamethrower
- Will-O-Wisp
- Quick Attack

Bulbasaur @ Berry Juice
Ability: Chlorophyll
Level: 5
EVs: 236 SpA / 236 Spe
Mild Nature
- Leech Seed
- Knock Off
- Sludge Bomb
- Solar Beam

Roggenrola @ Berry Juice
Ability: Sturdy
Level: 5
EVs: 236 Def / 236 SpD
Lax Nature
- Autotomize
- Stealth Rock
- Flash Cannon
- Rock Blast

Natu @ Focus Sash
Ability: Magic Bounce
Level: 5
EVs: 36 HP / 36 Atk / 196 SpA / 196 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Drill Peck
- Shadow Ball
- Tailwind
- Psychic

Clamperl @ DeepSeaTooth
Ability: Shell Armor
Level: 5
EVs: 76 HP / 244 SpA / 180 Spe
Modest Nature
- Shell Smash
- Scald
- Ice Beam
- Refresh

(BTW, how do people add the sprites to posts?)
 

Merritt

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Usage stats are out, nothing too shocking. Mienfoo usage has dropped a little (though it's still the most used Pokemon except in 0 stats). Main point of interest is probably that Drifloon is consistently rather low compared to a lot of other mons.

Ladder being ladder, lack of RMTs with Drifloon, or something else as the probable cause?

Oh and Acrobatics Mienfoo has gotten significantly more popular on the ladder, and surprisingly 1760 stats have Abra with this bit of data.

| Shadow Ball 28.455% |
| Protect 22.260% |

Poor Honedge and Drifloon.

e: oh yeah sun and moon starters, who knows whether or not the new grass starter will outclass hoppip or not still didn't get much information
 
Not mutch needed to outclass Hoppip knowing starters can have decent stats overall and get acces to some nice basic moves.
Not here to argue about something so speculateable but rater the useage stats looking at drilbur.
The spread's useage got compleatly shifted from the old spread to the new one being the bulkier set in all useage stats.
 
I wonder Why I haven't posted something here n.n' anyways, I might not be the best, but I try, so here is a sample team for anybody who wishes to start of laddering LC! Its peak is 1330 and for sample team they do the trick if you want to start of, so yeah n.n

ProportionPls (Gastly) (M) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Levitate
Level: 5
EVs: 76 Atk / 200 SpA / 200 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Shadow Ball/Sludge Bomb
- Dazzling Gleam/Sludge Bomb
- Hidden Power [Fighting]
- Sucker Punch

With these stats, Gastly will be faster than most non scarf mons out there, and with high Special Attack, you'll be scared how well he works. This guy is going to be your late sweeper, if you manage to keep him alive, you might win the game if the match-ups are on your side. Shadow Ball or Sludge Bomb are you STAB hard hitters, both really good. (update, sludge bomb is slightly better, since fairies seem to trouble this team, mainly Spritzee). Dazzling Beam is for those fighting/dark types that think they can take Gastly down, but if he's at max HP, his sash lets him deal back severe damage to the reckless. HP Fighting is mainly for Pawniards so if you see one in your rivals team, make sure to get this guy in with it and at max HP. Sucker punch.... Why? sucker punch is for those annoying Abras with sashes that think they are better than Gastly, it's not that common and I mean, you only have to deal 1 HP to knock out the Abra but it's also good for dealing revenge damage.




LightItUp! (Chinchou) (F) @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Volt Absorb
Level: 5
EVs: 232 SpA / 220 Spe
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Volt Switch
- Hidden Power [Ground]
- Hydro Pump/scald

Light. It. Up! one of the best pivots in the meta game, not to mention it's bulky and can hit hard. Chinchou is your pivot thanks to Volt Switch, which hits hard and gives you momentum. Thunderbolt is there to guarantee high damage once you finished crippling your opponent's team. HP Ground for other Chinchou that think they are better than LightItUp! and for other electric types such as Elekid. Hydro pump hits like a truck, but if you're not that reckless Scald can do the same thing, that is if you get the burn, of course. not much to say with this gal, great pivot, great move pool, great pokemon in general.



Archie (Archen) (M) @ Berry Juice
Ability: Defeatist
Level: 5
EVs: 76 HP / 180 Atk / 196 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Stealth Rock/Defog
- Stone Edge
- Acrobatics
- U-turn

Archie, oh boy Archie. you either set up your rocks or get rid of the ones on your side, your choice. The Reason Stealth Rocks is first and not the other way around is mainly for Pawniards with defiant and with Defog lowering its evasion, yeah that's not cool. Stone Edge is so good, it hurts seeing it miss. even though it has 80 accuracy it's very worth it since it has a high chance to crit. also Acrobatics is another great move, since it's paired up with Berry Juice, once Archie drinks his Juice, he isn't play any games, he's out to take lives. and U-turn is to get the heck out of the field when he feels too scared to do something (and nice coverage, I guess).



Whips&NaeNae's (Ponyta) (F) @ Berry Juice
Ability: Flash Fire
Level: 5
EVs: 236 SpD / 36 Spe
Careful Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Wild Charge
- Will-O-Wisp
- Morning Sun

Now watch it! Ponyta is going to be some weird combo of bulky support and somewhat a staller. Flare Blitz is his best STAB attack and Wild Charge is for coverage, but since both have recoil damage, I gave it some juice too. W-O-W is for some sneaky tactics or just to start her stall. Morning sun is there since it can live any non-super effective attack she can just spam it for days and days. also, doesn't it look cool to have a pony on your team? [:



Houdini (Abra) @ Choice Scarf/Choice Specs/Expert Belt
Ability: Magic Guard
Level: 5
EVs: 236 SpA / 76 SpD / 196 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psychic
- Shadow Ball
- Energy Ball
- Dazzling Gleam

If you want to talk about hard hitting LC Pokemon, Abra is A-Tier. Houdini seriously doesn't care if he rips through your opponents team. Magic Guard is here, do not worry for rocks you couldn't remove, he's okay with them. the reason I don't like sash Abra is mainly because I know how to counter them, but that's just me. Feel free to run a sash one if you like. Psychic... this move right here hits so hard, it's only afraid of dark types, but you got them Gleams of Dazzle for dark types. Energy ball for water types, mainly staryus or chinchous that think they are slick. and shadow ball/any-other-move-you-like for coverage mostly. now the item part. Scarf to be the fastest pokemon on both teams, okay? specs to be the most threatening pokemon on your team, you got that? and expert belt to be like a super ninja who doesn't care if his moves aren't STAB, understood? okay then, moving on.



Xiao Dre (Mienfoo) (M) @ Eviolite/Life Orb
Ability: Regenerator
Level: 5
EVs: 236 Atk / 36 Def / 196 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Knock Off
- Fake Out/High Jump Kick
- U-turn
- Drain Punch/High Jump Kick

Pick up jacket. Hang jacket. drop jacket. Xiao Dre is here to nerf you all! now, if you want a solid lead, run Fake Out, but if you just want the whole team to hit hard, run Life Orb and see your opponent shiver. Knock Off besides being great coverage, gets rid of your foes item, which is great in any case. U-turn for momentum/coverage and drain punch/Hugh Jump Kick for STAB. if you run either of the items, Xiao Dre will make your team proud.


That's my sample team! also, if you don't mind, please leave the nicknames as so, maybe it might seem wierd, but all the pokemon teams I create become part of me and I have bonds with them all of them (lol very cheeky yet true). so yeah, you dont have to but it would mean a lot for me <3
 
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Nineage

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Hey guys!
This thread has been kind of dead lately, and I wanted to use it to bring up a topic I'm seeing discussed more and more: Drifloon. I've started to see people talking about the possibility of a Drifloon suspect, and even the possibility of a Berry Juice suspect (!), and I guess I really have 2 questions for the community:
  1. Is Drifloon Broken?
  2. If the answer to #1 is yes, is it the fault of Berry Juice?
I've said this in a couple places, but I think that Drifloon puts an unfair amount of pressure on one side of the field. It's too easy to fit on a team as a blanket check to a bunch of things, it does its job pretty brainlessly, and its few counters are pretty easy to eliminate or wear down. I'm not convinced its broken: it doesn't seem nearly as metagame-shaping as the Pokemon we've banned in the past, but I definitely think it deserves a closer look.

As for Berry Juice, I have yet to be convinced, but I'm leaning towards thinking that it is the issue. The main argument for Berry Juice in the metagame seems to be diversity (as in, if we banned Berry Juice, everything would use Eviolite), and I don't feel this is a valid argument at all for keeping something in a metagame. Would love to hear people's thoughts on these though!
 

Corporal Levi

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I think we can agree that Berry Juice itself is not outright broken. If it was broken, it would see use on the vast majority of sets. As it is, Eviolite is used far more; Berry Juice is more or less on par with Life Orb and Choice Scarf as the #2 item. It's hard to argue that Berry Juice centralizes the metagame when it's not even the first choice on most Pokemon.

I have seen some people claiming that we only think Berry Juice is fine because we've gotten used to it over the course of this generation. I don't see how this holds more merit than saying we're only okay with Eviolite because we got used to it in gen 5, or Life Orb / Choice Scarf because we got used to them in gen 4. Berry Juice hasn't been allowed for as long a period of time, but the idea is still the same, and we've had an entire generation to see that it isn't any more dominant than other major items.

The currently banned Pokemon that heavily benefit from Berry Juice are Swirlix and, to a lesser extent, Gligar. Swirlix would arguably be nearly as good even with Oran Berry, since its Calm Mind + Cotton Guard set is hardly impacted, and Gligar would still have the stats, typing, and movepool to at least be on par with Misdreavus. Misdreavus and Murkrow sometimes ran Berry Juice, but this was simply a case of a fantastic Pokemon using a good item instead of some sort of synergy; their strategies certainly didn't rely on Berry Juice.

With that in mind, why don't we ban Life Orb? Without Life Orb, Murkrow, while still very effective, is actually possible to hard wall with extremely bulky Pokemon, like Spritzee, or revenge-kill with fast and frail Pokemon that can only take an unboosted Sucker Punch, such as Elekid, making it much easier to account for in teambuilding, when you consider how most of Murkrow's side sets were so effective because they beat checks for the Life Orb set. Yanma would be left with its SubHypnosis set, which would lose a great deal of its effectiveness without the unpredictability and initial threat of the Life Orb set. Meditite is left with its Eviolite and Choice Scarf sets, which are also easier to wall, although it admittedly did not rely on Life Orb as much. Sneasel, Tangela, and Misdreavus would lose some important sets, although they would still most likely be broken (see: Oran Berry Swirlix, Berry Juice Misdreavus). Diglett would probably be a mambo-novation. A similar argument could be made for Eviolite.

I don't actually think we should ban Life Orb or Eviolite. A mon-centric ban system is the most intuitive and the one that has been in place for the longest time, and I don't see why we should change the system now.
 
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I don't want to actually type out a long Drifloon or Unburden or Berry Juice etc. post right now but I do think we should take note of the current PR discussion happening about Dynamic Punch. That is a situation that's arising solely because of the influx of complex bans, it's hard to actually ban anything outright now because "who really knows" what the broken aspect is. I think we should focus our discussion on Drifloon and Drifloon only. I think there are very few situations in which we need to seriously consider complex bans and this is definitely not one of them.
 
I think we can agree that Berry Juice itself is not outright broken. If it was broken, it would see use on the vast majority of sets. As it is, Eviolite is used far more; Berry Juice is more or less on par with Life Orb and Choice Scarf as the #2 item. It's hard to argue that Berry Juice centralizes the metagame when it's not even the first choice on most Pokemon.

I have seen some people claiming that we only think Berry Juice is fine because we've gotten used to it over the course of this generation. I don't see how this holds more merit than saying we're only okay with Eviolite because we got used to it in gen 5, or Life Orb / Choice Scarf because we got used to them in gen 4. Berry Juice hasn't been allowed for as long a period of time, but the idea is still the same, and we've had an entire generation to see that it isn't any more dominant than other major items.

The currently banned Pokemon that heavily benefit from Berry Juice are Swirlix and, to a lesser extent, Gligar. Swirlix would arguably be nearly as good even with Oran Berry, since its Calm Mind + Cotton Guard set is hardly impacted, and Gligar would still have the stats, typing, and movepool to at least be on par with Misdreavus. Misdreavus and Murkrow sometimes ran Berry Juice, but this was simply a case of a fantastic Pokemon using a good item instead of some sort of synergy; their strategies certainly didn't rely on Berry Juice.

With that in mind, why don't we ban Life Orb? Without Life Orb, Murkrow, while still very effective, is actually possible to hard wall with extremely bulky Pokemon, like Spritzee, or revenge-kill with fast and frail Pokemon that can only take an unboosted Sucker Punch, such as Elekid, making it much easier to account for in teambuilding, when you consider how most of Murkrow's side sets were so effective because they beat checks for the Life Orb set. Yanma would be left with its SubHypnosis set, which would lose a great deal of its effectiveness without the unpredictability and initial threat of the Life Orb set. Meditite is left with its Eviolite and Choice Scarf sets, which are also easier to wall, although it admittedly did not rely on Life Orb as much. Sneasel, Tangela, and Misdreavus would lose some important sets, although they would still most likely be broken (see: Oran Berry Swirlix, Berry Juice Misdreavus). Diglett would probably be a mambo-novation. A similar argument could be made for Eviolite.

I don't actually think we should ban Life Orb or Eviolite. A mon-centric ban system is the most intuitive and the one that has been in place for the longest time, and I don't see why we should change the system now.
in my own opinion, Berry juice is great on Archen and Drifloon, but mostly only on them, even though they're mons like Magnetmite who can use it (I don't like Sturdy/Berry Juice/Recycle but whatever). Berry Juice/ Acrobatics is great on both these pokemon since it's STAB and once they use the item, Archen has more longevity (Stealth Rock or Defog are great moves to have on Berry Juice Archen) and hits really hard with Acrobatics and Drifloon can hit hard while being faster than (Adamant with only 3 EVs in speed) a scarfed Abra (timid max speed scarfed) which is really good.
I just think that Berry juice needs some nice thinking to know which pokemon can use it to their advantage.
 
posting this here so i can ask a friend an off-topic question without being infracted :))

Ray Jay said:
LC as a metagame has in my opinion chronically suffered from the fact that teambuilding was consistently disproportionately less important than move selection. New Pokemon that are intensely difficult to deal with, especially when they are common only in more "elite" LC playstyles, force a natural evolution that privileges strong teambuilding in a way that's helpful for a metagame's development. Metagames stagnate when teambuilding is not given this place of prominence / relevance.
You meant this as a defense of floon, one i sorta get. But it also read like a well-formed theoretical argument for the banning of diglett. for every flame charge pony "innovation" dig forces, it limits five other teams by forcing multiple checks to things like shellder or floon or fletch, reducing the spots available for actual innovation or metagame breadth. a lot of general checks to things - impish ponyta for an example - are rendered near useless as a solo mon because of Digletts. Furthermore, diglett games do become disproportionately decided in move selection - think volt switch / killing move 50/50s every time mag or chou comes in, or u-turn v acro with fletch. There might be a counterargument that diglet forces creative checks and counters to things to be revealed, but i dont think this is the case - teambuidling, to me, has always been about finding synergistic powerful combinations that jive attractively, and random inferior mons that are useful in only a very limited context dont fit in to this definition. the only way i can forsee building innovations to combat floon driving the metagame is if diglett is banned - otherwise, the metagame will continue to be a dance of "im going to send my counter in, but i hope it doesnt get picked off and i have to hit x now". if teams are enabled to more freely operate without the spectre of diglett, different combinations can be tried in an effort to stop floon. idk what your thoughts are here im curious
 

Ray Jay

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You meant this as a defense of floon, one i sorta get. But it also read like a well-formed theoretical argument for the banning of diglett. for every flame charge pony "innovation" dig forces, it limits five other teams by forcing multiple checks to things like shellder or floon or fletch, reducing the spots available for actual innovation or metagame breadth. a lot of general checks to things - impish ponyta for an example - are rendered near useless as a solo mon because of Digletts. Furthermore, diglett games do become disproportionately decided in move selection - think volt switch / killing move 50/50s every time mag or chou comes in, or u-turn v acro with fletch. There might be a counterargument that diglet forces creative checks and counters to things to be revealed, but i dont think this is the case - teambuidling, to me, has always been about finding synergistic powerful combinations that jive attractively, and random inferior mons that are useful in only a very limited context dont fit in to this definition. the only way i can forsee building innovations to combat floon driving the metagame is if diglett is banned - otherwise, the metagame will continue to be a dance of "im going to send my counter in, but i hope it doesnt get picked off and i have to hit x now". if teams are enabled to more freely operate without the spectre of diglett, different combinations can be tried in an effort to stop floon. idk what your thoughts are here im curious
So dear Shrug : a combo of busy-ness and the fact that quoting doesn't give you a notification it seems anymore has prevented me from getting to this as quickly as I would've liked, but I have finally formulated some thoughts on what I think is a great point you've made here. Apologies in advance for the long post.

The first thing I notice is the really nice phrase you've used here- "theoretical argument." This section was supposed to be rather short, but I just couldn't stop myself so it's in hide tags. Read it if banning philosophy is of interest to you.
We really don't have theoretical arguments about banning philosophies in Pokemon tiering all that frequently until a suspect test begins. Now, to a certain extent, this is where I do try to stay involved within LC; I'll mess around within the metagame, trying to play just a handful of games with and without the suspect in question to make sure I get a feel for it, but mostly justifying my posts in suspect threads on philosophy rather than a multiplicity of scenarios I've encountered. Now, this does occasionally get me and players like me in trouble, as you can see by the fact that Rowan did really trash me (kindly and intelligently) in the suspect thread. Still, in general, it's part of something I think we should consider.

- On the one hand, we might see the fact that we don't discusses theoretical arguments regularly as a good thing: it prevents a sort of "partisan" division between conservative and liberal banning philosophies and the players that hold them, making suspect testing truly about the experience of playing the metagame.

- On the other hand, the weakness I see is the fact that this leads to weak debate in the suspect threads. This was visible as far back as the Missy / Fletchling thread, where as I believe blizzardy put it, debate wasn't happening as everyone just wants to post their "superparagraphs" rehashing stuff people have already said. This tendency towards weak debate manifested itself REALLY heavily in our most recent Drifloon suspect test, with the most obvious example being the comparisons to everything from Yanma to Misdreavus and back again. I would suggest these points were completely invalid in that they attempted to invoke particular reasons for bans. Even when we have relied on a council system, we have never had a unified reason for ANY ban, and in the current system, anyone who obtains reqs is able to vote ban or do not ban for any reason they see fit. In other words, the argument that attempted to establish precedent (or refute precedent, ie "Drifloon is like nothing we've ever seen") was a demonstration of a misunderstanding of how Pokemon banning works. I believe this misunderstanding would not be present if we did take the time to engage in these theoretical arguments on banning philosophy beyond simply suspect tests.

The next thing I want to point out is that you've suggested, and pretty convincingly so, that "the only way i can forsee building innovations to combat floon driving the metagame is if diglett is banned - otherwise, the metagame will continue to be a dance of "im going to send my counter in, but i hope it doesnt get picked off and i have to hit x now."

I want to make sure I really understand your argument, so I'd like to reframe it more generally into something I hope we can both agree to: "trapping, when accessible by a user that naturally complements a dangerous threat, limits metagame diversity by forcing teams to run multiple checks to said threat." The most egregious instance of this may indeed be Diglett + Drifloon, but also, I would posit, Diglett + Fletchling is close.

Again, I would like to say that as a player of balanced styles myself, the suggestion seems perfectly logical. However, as you, a strong player should know, it is not true that in games where Team A had Diglett and Drifloon and Team B had less than or equal to 1 Drifloon counter, Team A won every time. The reason for this is simple: one wins a game of Pokemon not by having a perfectly built team but by eliminating the other player's 6 pokemon. Part of the strategy in countering threats like this might therefore be not to worry so much about reactionary playing, but proactive teambuilding: "how can I build my team in such a way that I can consistently eliminate teams that use Diglett + Drifloon before they render mine useless and I have to wait for 60 turns to lose." I might call this the prem strategy; I know prem for a long time convinced me that things like Misdreavus and Gligar weren't broken because "I should just use things that killed them first."

I'm aware that my suggestion seems naive, but I believe that that's because normally the suspect discussion happens much later in the process; that is, it would seem to me that Drifloon was not nearly as high usage as other threats we've examined. This suggests somewhat a rushed process to me, but most importantly it makes anti-metagaming against Drifloon actually really, really hard. The reason is that if everyone is using Drifloon + Diglett, teams that do well against Drifloon + Diglett will thrive. However, if only elite players are using Drifloon + Diglett, I would suggest that there is not a large enough pool of games or a large enough arena to practice new strategies to take advantage of Drifloon + Diglett in order to figure out what these actually are. Put as an axiom, we might say that "a threat must become part of the metagame before it can be effectively anti-metagamed."

To really cement my point, I'd like you to read a quote from the suspect test for Misdreavus and Fletchling. As I said, I prefer to avoid the direct comparison so as to avoid precedent, so consider this more as an illustration than as anything to take as binding policy. The quote's from fatty, who gave (in my opinion) the most convincing reasoning to ban Fletchling:
fletchling: ban
despite not being originally thought of as much of a threat early xy lc
, fletchling definetly cemented itself as one of the most broken threats to date in my opinion. having a reliable, strong flying priority is simply amazing in lc, and having sd to back it up just makes it infinitely harder to defend against. priority acro means it p much has no chance of being revenged, so walling it is the only way to really handle. the problem is that fletchling's checks are flying resists that have little to no way of recovering off damage, and are consequently worn down quite easily with atks + uturn. not to mention that fletch has the option of running coverage in the form of hp grass and overheat to put even more pressure on potential checks. fletchling morphs the metagame into an unhealthy state where there is an over-reliance on specific mons to beat it, with no guarantee that they actually will. it's pretty much the best revenge killer, sweeper, and scout in the tier all wrapped into one that culminates into an offensive onslaught that lc would be better off not having to bear.
Certainly the similarities must be striking, especially when we look at the sections I've highlighted here. I find fatty's argument to resonate, but as you know we did not ban Fletchling and today, we are certainly not in a metagame where teambuilding is DOMINATED by the unhealthy responses Fletchling forced onto teambuilding. So what changed? It would seem to me that what changed is not the game, but people. In time, adaptation happens, and even threats that create temporarily "unhealthy" environments cycle in and out of relevance as they cycle in and out of dominance.

In metagames where threats rise, strong teambuilding is a necessary skill to succeed. I would suggest that the pattern exhibited by Gen VI LC, which is definitely a much more dynamic a metagame than Gen V LC, suggests that this is even true when strategies that appear to be limiting (such as trapping) are dominant. The reason is that changes force you to account for new threats (eg when Drifloon rose to prominence, Fletchling did not go away completely) but your teambuilding must also prioritize effectively based on the knowledge that each team only gets 6 Pokemon (eg when Drifloon rose to prominence, strong players should have considered Fletchling less when teambuilding - not the perfect illustration, but hopefully one that makes sense).

The conclusion that I've drawn, and hopefully you can see now too, is that any active, breathing metagame (which we may define as a metagame in which new threats rise seemingly from out of nowhere) will always privilege teambuilding in a way that a static metagame does not simply due to the fact that player adaptations must occur both during AND before battles. The exception would be when a threat (or combination of threats) rises that is indeed broken and the game becomes irrevocably centered around it, transforming the metagame from an active one to a static one. I like to think optimistically, so let's just hope that this is actually the case of what was going on with Drifloon, and that we have just become smart enough to catch that sort of thing quickly.
 

apt-get

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The post-drifloon meta doesn't look too different from the pre-floon discovery meta, apart maybe from the rise in threats like Scarf Chinchou. Seems like a bunch of semi-gimmicky shit that was given birth also died out (Amaura, Bronzor, etc).

I think we're looking forward to the final ORAS meta.
 
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