~ VR Update ~
Hello everyone, the council has come together to vote on the nominations presented in this thread, and here is the outcome. Beyond that, we have also taken everyone's suggestions into consideration and ranked the S and A ranks by viability instead of alphabetical order. This way, we believe the metagame will be represented more correctly than ever. If you wish to see what order each of us individually voted, feel free to consult this sheet
. Without further ado:
B+ to A-
B- to A-
B- to B+
B- to B+
B to B+
B to B+
D to B+
C to B
UR to D
Calm Mind and Choice Specs variants of Kyogre have emerged as one of the strongest and most effective wallbreakers in the metagame, convincingly taking advantage of many common Pokémon such as the omnipresent Necrozma-DM, as well as the likes of Ho-Oh and the influx of support Arceus forms, akin to its Primal brethren. However, with Dynamax and a free itemslot available to it, it sets itself apart from Primal Kyogre by being capable of effortlessly breaking through traditional counterplay in Primal Groudon, Ferrothorn, and Chansey. This makes it so that counterplay to Kyogre is in a very dire spot, in many teams often only boiling down to Speed control through the likes of Zacian-C and Mega Rayquaza. The abundance of opportunities Kyogre can take advantage of, as well as the lack of consistent counterplay, adds up to a very clear-cut rise.
Arceus-Dark has proven to be a very solid staple in countless teams during the last couple of weeks. Calm Mind variants are very hard to limit in the long term, taking advantage of a large swath of the defensive metagame and walling many notable Pokémon such as Ultra Necrozma, and Yveltal after Dynamax has been expended. Furthermore, support variants have also made a lot of appearances, usually adopting either of two sets: Whirlpool + Perish Song or Defog + Refresh. The former is capable of checking Zygarde-C and Calm Mind Arceus forms, as well as acting as a potent wincon, by virtue of Perish Song, while the latter is one of the few Defoggers that can at all times keep Stealth Rock off the field against Necrozma-DM and support Primal Groudon variants, which is important in order to keep Assurance Zacian-C at bay. All in all, Arceus-Dark has managed to solidify no less than three niches for itself in the span of a few weeks, which will be met with a huge rise to reflect it.
Similarly to Arceus-Dark, Arceus-Fairy has been rediscovered in recent times. Its ability to blanket check tons of prominent threats in Yveltal, Mega Rayquaza, and Zygarde-C has proven to be a great asset for quite a few teams. Needing only Judgment to achieve the aforementioned, it has the privilege of two free moveslots, which it can use in a great variety of ways. Whirlpool + Perish Song allows it to greatly limit every relevant Calm Mind Arceus form, while also letting it serve as a wincon on its own. Double status variants are capable of punishing every relevant switchin with Toxic, Will-O-Wisp, or Thunder Wave. It can fit a few other support moves as well if its team needs it to, with common examples being Refresh and Defog, even though it isn't necessarily the best status absorber or Defogger. Calm Mind + Refresh variants have also popped up a fair few times and can put in similar amounts of work compared to Calm Mind Arceus-Dark, albeit being less effective than it in general due to its weakness to Sunsteel Strike and not outhitting Ho-Oh's Regenerator.
Mega Mewtwo Y has established itself as a frighteningly effective wallbreaker, stallbreaker, and late-game cleaner with its Nasty Plot sets. Psystrike along with either Fire Blast or Focus Blast offers near perfect coverage already, which allows it to run Recover in order to take advantage of the massive popularity of support Arceus forms. Pressure in its base form compounds on this trait, easily stalling Arceus out of Judgment. Nasty Plot 3 Attack-sets are even more threatening to the defensive metagame, having very little convenient defensive counterplay, and therefore almost always forcing the opponents Dynamax or wrapping up the match with little to no support against teams with Adamant Zacian-C as the only form of Speed control. Its blistering Speed tier is definitely a great boon for it as well, allowing it to outspeed everything up to Adamant Zacian-C, which allows it to serve as a great form of Speed control itself against hard-to-check threats such as Zacian-C and Eternatus.
Bulky balances are thriving currently due to their ability to take on a majority of the sheer number of lethal threats the metagame has to offer. Chansey, Lugia, Giratina, and Mega Sableye are often at the forefront of these teams, due to how much they can offer in terms of limiting the deadliest of the deadliest Pokémon. Chansey is the only Pokémon capable of convincingly countering Substitute Xerneas and Life Orb Eternatus, among other threats such as non-Knock Off Yveltal, non-Calm Mind Primal Kyogre, and Calm Mind Arceus forms. Lugia hard checks the majority of physical wallbreakers, such as Mega Rayquaza, Zygarde-C, and miscellaneous Swords Dance Arceus forms. Giratina PP stalls entry hazards and Ho-Oh's Defog like no other, crucially keeping the entry hazard game in its team's favour. It also checks the deadly Eruption Primal Groudon variants, as long as they forego Swords Dance, in addition to a few other threats as well. Similarly, Mega Sableye is also capable of securing the entry hazard game for its team, deterring entry hazards from every relevant setter bar offensive Primal Groudon variants.
With the addition of Baton Pass, Magearna can now act as a reliable enabler of already dangerous Pokémon, by passing them Shift Gear, Calm Mind, and Iron Defense boosts, thereby creating a brand-new Baton Pass playstyle. Albeit unreliable against Whirlwind Ho-Oh matchups, it is still a playstyle that can offer great amounts of output nonetheless, granting Magearna a niche and therefore a ranking. It is also Jho
's greatest contribution to the AG metagame, so be sure to redirect your gratitude to him.
S+ to S
S to A+
A to A-
B+ to B
C to D
" Yveltal's sheer dominance has lessened to the point where an S+ rank cannot be justified anymore. The metagame's balance, bulky offensive, and stall cores have finally become more capable of sponging Yveltal's Max Moves, and walling it afterwards. This can largely be attributed to the enormous rise in Arceus-Fairy and Arceus-Dark usage, which, alongside already popular Pokémon such as Zacian-C, Ho-Oh, and Chansey, gives teams much more breathing room in taking on a Dynamaxed Yveltal without the ridiculous repercussions before the Arceus-Dark / Arceus-Fairy renessaince. Obviously, it is still a gigantic threat in the grand scheme of things, but its viability ceiling does not exceed Zacian-C's to the point where it demands its own rank. Thus, Yveltal should drop to S. "
Zygarde-C massively suffers from the popularity in support Arceus forms, with all of Arceus-Dark, Arceus-Ground, Arceus-Water, and Arceus-Fairy being popular picks that can blanket check Zygarde-C's Dragon Dance sets with any of Judgment, Ice Beam, and Perish Song, while also competing with its defensive sets. Teams are often seen equipping at least two of them, making it very hard for Dragon Dance Zygarde-C to make meaningful progress without extensive support, and rendering defensive Zygarde-C's checking prowess and ability to act as a status absorber obsolete on a fair few builds. However, it remains capable of breaking through support Arceus forms with Dynamax, or at the very least force the opponents Dynamax, with its Dragon Dance set, while defensive sets are one of the very few solid checks to the thriving Eruption Primal Groudon variants, as well as a whole host of other physical attackers, landing it a solid spot on A+ for now.
Arceus-Ground's defensive niches are less notable currently. The general popularity of Arceus-Dark, Arceus-Water, and Arceus-Fairy means there's less of a reason to run Arceus-Ground in the first place. Besides, it is no longer a satisfying check to Primal Groudon due to Eruption / Overheat variants, Zygarde-C is much less prominent, and checked well enough by other support Arceus forms, and it was never a good check to Mega Rayquaza to begin with. Not to mention its relative passivity against harshly punishing wallbreakers such as Yveltal, Kyogre, and Mega Mewtwo Y, which makes it more support-demanding overall, resulting in a slight drop to match up with its Water- and Dark-type brethren.
Lunala just demands a lot in order to get the most out of it. Even though it has a clear niche in hard-checking a diverse array of threats in Zygarde-C, Mega Rayquaza, Mega Mewtwo Y, and Swords Dance Arceus forms, it requires Shadow Shield to stay intact in order to do so, which necessitates frequent Roost usage, thereby giving up momentum quiet often and being extremely prone to the omnipresent Toxic. It also slightly suffers from 4MSS, ideally craving all of Ice Beam, Moongeist Beam / Hex, Will-O-Wisp, Toxic, Roost, and Roar, which means it sometimes needs to compromise its matchup against one, in order to check the other. Meanwhile, offensive sets, while theoretically potent, remain a rare sight. All of the aforementioned results into a slight drop to B.
If you ever consider using vanilla Zacian, come to your senses and use Swords Dance Zacian-C instead.
Feel free to PM me in case of any further questions. Keep up the nominations and stay safe!