Resource National Dex Viability Rankings v2

Slowbro actually checks things such as Mega Lop, Garchomp, Medi, etc

Slowbro right now is very bad imo and functionally doesnt check a lot of the stuff its supposed to, running ice beam to be able to check chomp means giving up one of scald or future sight since +2 eq will break you fast and mega chomp with HP can even sub up on slowbros uninvested scald slowbros version of checking chomp is typically taking +2 252 Atk Garchomp-Mega Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 270-318 (68.5 - 80.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO from an EQ then teleporting into something that can actually check it since even ice beam 0 SpA Slowbro Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Garchomp-Mega: 272-320 (76.1 - 89.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO wont kill in 1 either

Medi Just powers directly through with tpunch

252+ Atk Pure Power Medicham-Mega Thunder Punch vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 204-240 (51.7 - 60.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

and bro switching in to lop is typically forced to slack off on a u turn or get 3hkod by return which leaves bro vulnerable to being setup on by pup encore variants of lop.

Pads Melmetal bullies this thing too 252+ Atk Iron Fist Melmetal Thunder Punch vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 158-186 (40.1 - 47.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO you tpunch or even twave on switch then all it takes is one dib flinch and bro is gone

Blaziken also eats through this with Lorb sets or Electrium Z
+2 252+ Atk Life Orb Blaziken Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 385-455 (97.7 - 115.4%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO

On top of being a fake check to a lot of stuff it looks like it should wall slowbro is very exploitable and can and will be subbed up on by extremely common mons such as Serp, Kyurem, Magnezone, forced out by pivots like Rillaboom, Greninja and Tapu Koko or get setup on by things that can easily rip through a team like SD Weavile, Mega Gyara, Mega Latias, Volcarona and Kartana.


Slowbro definitely deserves a drop
 

Clone

Free Gliscor
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Slowbro right now is very bad imo and functionally doesnt check a lot of the stuff its supposed to, running ice beam to be able to check chomp means giving up one of scald or future sight since +2 eq will break you fast and mega chomp with HP can even sub up on slowbros uninvested scald slowbros version of checking chomp is typically taking +2 252 Atk Garchomp-Mega Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 270-318 (68.5 - 80.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO from an EQ then teleporting into something that can actually check it since even ice beam 0 SpA Slowbro Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Garchomp-Mega: 272-320 (76.1 - 89.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO wont kill in 1 either

Medi Just powers directly through with tpunch

252+ Atk Pure Power Medicham-Mega Thunder Punch vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 204-240 (51.7 - 60.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

and bro switching in to lop is typically forced to slack off on a u turn or get 3hkod by return which leaves bro vulnerable to being setup on by pup encore variants of lop.

Pads Melmetal bullies this thing too 252+ Atk Iron Fist Melmetal Thunder Punch vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 158-186 (40.1 - 47.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO you tpunch or even twave on switch then all it takes is one dib flinch and bro is gone

Blaziken also eats through this with Lorb sets or Electrium Z
+2 252+ Atk Life Orb Blaziken Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro: 385-455 (97.7 - 115.4%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO

On top of being a fake check to a lot of stuff it looks like it should wall slowbro is very exploitable and can and will be subbed up on by extremely common mons such as Serp, Kyurem, Magnezone, forced out by pivots like Rillaboom, Greninja and Tapu Koko or get setup on by things that can easily rip through a team like SD Weavile, Mega Gyara, Mega Latias, Volcarona and Kartana.


Slowbro definitely deserves a drop
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8nationaldex-593483

This replay alone disproves just about everything you said. Slowbro was the MVP, and it's positive traits shine against both chomp and Lop here. Without Slowbro I can't position my breakers the way I did without perfect prediction on aggressive double switches. My opponent even admitted he didn't click Axel vs glisc because of my slowbro in the back. In hindsight it should've been ice beam but either way Slowbro put in work and it does this pretty reliably against various team structures

Slowbro isn't the beast it is in SS, but it has more than enough positive traits to keep it in the A ranks. It's perfectly fine where it is.
 
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8nationaldex-593483

This replay alone disproves just about everything you said. Slowbro was the MVP, and it's positive traits shine against both chomp and Lop here. Without Slowbro I can't position my breakers the way I did without perfect prediction on aggressive double switches. My opponent even admitted he didn't click Axel vs glisc because of my slowbro in the back. In hindsight it should've been ice beam but either way Slowbro put in work and it does this pretty reliably against various team structures

Slowbro isn't the beast it is in SS, but it has more than enough positive traits to keep it in the A ranks. It's perfectly fine where it is.
Can i get the team by any chance if you don't mind
 

Kate

Don't forget 3.Oct.11
is a Tiering Contributoris a defending SCL Champion
:deoxys-defense:
UR --> B-

Deoxys-Defense @ Leftovers / Rocky Helmet
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Impish Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Taunt
- Night Shade / Seismic Toss
- Recover
- Cosmic Power

I've hyped this mon up a fair bit so here's the nom post finally. Deo is simply put, really annoying to deal with for a vast amount of teams. It has a decent speed tier for the set it runs, packs very solid bulk, and comes equipped with natural defensive prowess due to being a fat psychic. The real selling point is just how many pokemon Deoxys can proceed to beat after just a single cosmic power (barring crits). This includes: Band Weavile, Mega Charizard Y, Tons of miscellaneous sweepers like Kommo-o and Dragonite, the list goes on. You can scroll through the VR and see just how many mons on it Deo beats after just a single boost beforehand, and that boost is frankly very easy to acquire. You wall a vast amount of defensive mons, and can easily set up on them with taunt. The reasoning behind the set I provided is for Deo to creep timid tran and still maintain massive bulk. My main set runs lefties and night shade, but these don't have to stick. Helmet eases matchups from Voltturn spam, mainly Mega Lopunny, and hits the blobs at the cost of passive recovery. Additionally, if you still want leftovers, seismic toss is an option to be able to hit said normal types, but contact effects can be quite annoying to deal with. This set works best with Spikestack, as a means of counteracting things like regen spam which can seek to pp stall and otherwise wearing down Deoxys' limited reliable answers. Of course, the reason to use this over Mew is fairly simple; Pressure is an absolute godsend for a mon that is just going to sit there hoping to not get crit. Essentially halving the opponents opportunities to fish vs you is more than worth giving up Mew's speed tier. Here are some replays to highlight just how good Deoxys Defense can be (most are from me laddering, where I hit 2k and #1 on many different occasions):

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1464655167-cssbgb3n8z4m9n55y8n9q5l70sr8dr2pw Hoopa U walled after just two boosts

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1464647734-yid9ommdkyqt6ky5ttkcur148v7vdoypw Lategame win vs sand

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1461658079-kuw6ufgqwkvi34i954bd6k9y2in9dm2pw Optify farmed...

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-gen8nationaldex-592711 Aberforth misplays, but Deoxys essentially wins on preview with a spike

Quickie Noms:

:rotom-heat: UR --> C

Rotom Heat combines a unique defensive profile with an utterly devastating STAB combo. It's able to check a slew of random mons like grasses, Heatran, and Gliscor. While I think the defog set has some potential merit, Nasty Plot really shines, as it finds many setup opportunities on bulkier mons and can proceed to devastate teams. Here is a replay provided by the wonderful omicorio showcasing this:
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1469921458-curp0o7h5r635lxw72wtjpijly8w0ozpw

:swampert: UR --> C

Regular Pert trades the water immunes of Gasto and Seis in exchange for having both Rocks and a pivoting move, and I believe this is rankworthy. It can just be a general nuisance to a lot of teams and tends to be a very decent rocker. While it lacks some of the defenses and power of Mega Pert, it can make up for this with 3 different viable item choices, being standard lefties, Icium z to lure grounds and potentially something like a chipped lati or tang, and Z Refresh, which not only heals Pert of status, but fully recovers its HP. I've used it quite a bit on ladder (albiet with a UU team) and have found it to be decently solid.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1461221175-782fa8gv5q65b0np0breychtjhmym9npw A good showcase of swampert being annoying

:landorus-therian: S --> S-

Putting this under quickie noms because I just don't have a ton to say about it. For me, Lando and Tran as the same rank is just not an accurate reflection of the meta. Landorus saw limited set diversity throughout NDPL, being mainly focused on scarf and defensive, with Z sets taking a noticeable backdrop. It's not like Lando has gotten strictly worse; it's just Heatran has been absolutely incredible for some months now, and I believe Lando is much more suited to be hanging around the same rank as Mega Lopunny.

Thank y'all for reading!
 
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:swampert: UR --> C

Regular Pert trades the water immunes of Gasto and Seis in exchange for having both Rocks and a pivoting move, and I believe this is rankworthy. It can just be a general nuisance to a lot of teams and tends to be a very decent rocker. While it lacks some of the defenses and power of Mega Pert, it can make up for this with 3 different viable item choices, being standard lefties, Icium z to lure grounds and potentially something like a chipped lati or tang, and Z Refresh, which not only heals Pert of status, but fully recovers its HP. I've used it quite a bit on ladder (albiet with a UU team) and have found it to be decently solid.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1461217419-4rg7jo3i9rigg12mfm20452ttjuz03wpw A good showcase of swampert being annoying
I love that people are seeing perts potential and I definitely agree, another minor point in perts favor is its access to high horsepower which lets it fit on balance and bo's with rila and bulu without significantly dropping power at all, being able to ohko tran and even kill max psydef pex with rocks and spikes in gterrain, and the double lefties recovery is great.


4 Atk Swampert High Horsepower vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 120-144 (39.4 - 47.3%) -- 94.9% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock, 1 layer of Spikes, and Grassy Terrain recovery


4 Atk Swampert High Horsepower vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 120-144 (39.4 - 47.3%) -- 89.6% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery and Grassy Terrain recovery, also even has a high chance to three hit pex without hazards in gterrain which is useful for forcing recover's or switches for free flip turns.


https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1365339000 also here's an actual pert replay lol since kate's had no pert in sight, I wish I had more but I don't save replays that often, may grab more if I decide to make a more thorough post on why this mon is not only rankable but my second favorite volt blocker in the tier
 
I'm very confused about the placement of both Mega Charizards.

Despite Mega Charizard Y being eternally walled by Blissey, as well as not doing nearly enough to Toxapex, isn't it better than B tier? Since Mega Charizard's power is so immense, I believe it would still be worth it to use, and better than Pokemon like Tapu Bulu, especially because it puts quite a large strain in teambuilding, given that one would have to use Blissey in order to be completely safe against Charizard.

The Pokemon I'm even more confused about is Mega Charizard X. Despite the meta being hostile to it, it has even less counterplay than Mega Charizard Y in my opinion. In fact, most of the A and S ranked Pokemon would fall quickly to either its dual STABs or Earthquake, and it even appeared in a former version of the sample teams. Therefore, I would like to ask, what makes Charizard X to be unranked?

I would be grateful if a more experienced player could give their input on this.
 
Despite Mega Charizard Y being eternally walled by Blissey, as well as not doing nearly enough to Toxapex, isn't it better than B tier? Since Mega Charizard's power is so immense, I believe it would still be worth it to use, and better than Pokemon like Tapu Bulu, especially because it puts quite a large strain in teambuilding, given that one would have to use Blissey in order to be completely safe against Charizard.
The issue with Zard Y is that it requires significant team support. Running Zard Y means that your team must also be running highly resilient Defoggers (which National Dex is in short supply of right now), and usually multiple of them at that. I also completely disagree with the notion that one would have to resort to Blissey in order to be completely safe against Zard Y. Zard Y has absolutely no way of breaking through some of the most prevalent Pokemon found on Balance teams (e.g. Mega Latias, Blissey and Toxapex) without team support in the form of hazards, pursuit trappers, or Future Sight.

Even after Stealth Rock, Zard Y still cannot 2HKO standard Pex. The best it can do is fish for a burn.

252 SpA Charizard-Mega-Y Scorching Sands vs. 252 HP / 152+ SpD Toxapex: 108-128 (35.5 - 42.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Stealth Rock and Black Sludge recovery

Mega Latias completely and utterly walls Charizard Y, outspeeding it and resisting all common moves. The best Zard Y can manage is the highly suboptimal Dragon Pulse, which doesn't even 2HKO.

252 SpA Charizard-Mega-Y Dragon Pulse vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Latias-Mega: 152-180 (41.7 - 49.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

To a less reliable extent, even Pokemon like Kommo-o, Hydreigon, or Slowking-Galar can act as switch-ins to it. Of course, with enough team support, Zard Y can bypass some of these checks/counters, though that does go for most offensive Pokemon. The difference is that Zard Y is much harder to fit on a team due to it forcing one to dedicate several teamslots just to have it function as an effective wallbreaker.

Furthermore, Zard Y struggles to come into play against Offensive teams due to its middling speed tier, bulk, and crippling Stealth Rock weakness. There are also offensive checks such as Garchomp or Mega Diancie that can switch in on a predicted fire move, proceeding to force out Zard and even setting up Stealth Rock to deter it from coming back in the future.

I'm not saying that Zard Y is a bad Pokemon, just that it's often not the optimal choice due to the aforementioned reasons (and some I haven't mentioned). In my opinion, it being ranked B accurately represents its place in the metagame.

The Pokemon I'm even more confused about is Mega Charizard X. Despite the meta being hostile to it, it has even less counterplay than Mega Charizard Y in my opinion. In fact, most of the A and S ranked Pokemon would fall quickly to either its dual STABs or Earthquake, and it even appeared in a former version of the sample teams. Therefore, I would like to ask, what makes Charizard X to be unranked?

I would be grateful if a more experienced player could give their input on this.
I agree with you that Zard X shouldn't be unranked, though I think you do oversell it quite a bit. Whilst Zard X suffers from many of the same problems that plague Zard Y (stealth rock weakness, mediocre initial speed tier), it also has its own slew of issues.

Zard X's 4MSS is still quite the annoyance. If Zard forgoes DD or SD, its sweeping and wallbreaking potential is severely limited. If Zard forgoes Roost, then its longevity is significantly hampered, especially with Flare Blitz recoil + helmet or rough skin chip. If Zard forgoes DClaw or EQ, then it chooses to be unable to break past, in the case of the former, most Dragons, and in the case of the latter, mons that resist its Dual STAB. You could run niche options like Substitute but it's just not worth it 90% of the time, especially when considering how precious each moveslot is for Zard X.

The meta also isn't too friendly to it. Lando/Fini/Tran cores are very prominent right now, which is obviously detrimental to Zard X's offensive potential. Zard X is walled by Heatran if it forgoes Earthquake. Defog Fini can't really threaten Zard X if it's running Roost, but it can weaken its Dragon Claw with Misty Terrain and doesn't take much from anything Zard X usually goes for. Physically Defensive Lando is also highly popular right now as a (shaky) check to Lopunny, which is even worse news for Zard X than the previous 2.

Zard's checks are not limited to these 3 mons either. The Mega Latis wall if Zard X forgoes a Dragon STAB, and Gliscor eats most attacks and strikes back with EQ. Toxapex also reliably checks a Zard X that isn't running Earthquake. Even if the Zard X is (which it should imo), Pex takes 82 at most from +1 and can respond with a Toxic. The list of Zard X answers doesn't end here but I don't want to keep rambling on. Nevertheless, with all of this in mind, I doubt that anyone with an informed opinion can really say that Zard X is sorely lacking counterplay.

When it comes to Offensive answers, it's mostly in the same boat as Zard Y. Its speed and typing still leaves much to be desired, though there is an additional thorn in its side in the form of Rain teams that Zard Y fares much better against.

I do think it's harsh to place it as unranked though. It's more viable than Blaziken at the very least, and can threaten unprepared teams or players.
 
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Spellcaster

formerly omicorio
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Echoing what was said above. Zard-Y is not that good right now because of how common Spdef Toxapex and M-Lati are, and how much it relies on Weavile + Defog to put in work. In fact, without Weavile I think running Zard-Y becomes all the more harder because of how much focus then has to go into dealing with key resists/checks. VR's are meant to look at a mon individually, and not what is used with it. On it's own, Zard-Y definitely struggles to edge out its fellow B-ranked mons in usability and viability because of the many crippling flaws it has both in game and in the builder. I don't believe that you need 2 defoggers with it, but you 100% need Weavile and Madness Fini in my opinion to get the most out of it, but that's me. Not gonna talk about Zard-X because I don't use it.
 
Zard X is an incredible mon in this slow ass meta rn and definitely deserves to be tiered, Ive been running a fire spam with it and it absolutely shreds through teams in sun, you do not need roost because not every team has to be BO/balance you run can absolutely run 3atk in sun and destroy practically all checks, getting 2-3 kills and dying to flare blitz recoil is not a bad thing. on top of that if youre edgy you can run greeedy Xard belly drum scale shot sets with quick attack priority to pray on people switching into Zard Y checks, +6 quick attack will actually ohko most shit faster than a Xard like Koko, Greninja, Lopunny, Weavile, Etc. The meta is super weak to Zard X right now especially considering most of you lack speed control faster than a +1 Base 100. No rocks are not an issue for any competently built Zard X team especially not an issue that makes it UR worthy while Zard Y is ranked. you can play around rocks especially by trading more threatening hazards like webs screens and tspikes or running dual hazard removal. When taking belly drum sets into consideration, there is not a single mon I could find in the calculator that can switchin to Zard X absolutely none. there is a set that breaks everything Zard X is the definition of viable since there is not a single team that carries checks to every Zard X set the closest things to a check to this beast are the unaware walls, Physdef Quagsire which is 2hkod by outrage or can be by dragon claw + 1 layer of spikes or flare blitz in sun +1 layer of spikes. Full physdef Pyukumuku is the other which is not only not used but gets 2hko'd by adamant thunder punch anyways.

Heres some replays of it tearing shit up

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1450888784-ihxgglrjzf4vu53jjbmxm0tggx3dz0apw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1479319822-7btf0ntqzqwm94qeeez95u7ftw4ex7qpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1480437870-av134hcmutqmczzgdz20e5aejtg0s0npw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1478494967-unxldq450dximdvh7oy5j56xczj553jpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1477884138-2q2po73mxe67vukf8p295n5ahq3j5dqpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1474062221-4zmkmw9z4t4kbr1f1bz92rciai64g44pw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1450882313-2vzbxf7yx35eq0jrwzqygq31g1jf0popw

Brought it to Fall Seasonal vs Stareal and Sendoh10
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1460362160-yzgx9kbuaolvbh6kyozh8f7mdh29jbjpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1458422689-neyw4igqivxvnwe1o8lme0tsgqasj4spw

Nomming to B at minimum.
 
Zard X is an incredible mon in this slow ass meta rn and definitely deserves to be tiered, Ive been running a fire spam with it and it absolutely shreds through teams in sun, you do not need roost because not every team has to be BO/balance you run can absolutely run 3atk in sun and destroy practically all checks, getting 2-3 kills and dying to flare blitz recoil is not a bad thing. on top of that if youre edgy you can run greeedy Xard belly drum scale shot sets with quick attack priority to pray on people switching into Zard Y checks, +6 quick attack will actually ohko most shit faster than a Xard like Koko, Greninja, Lopunny, Weavile, Etc. The meta is super weak to Zard X right now especially considering most of you lack speed control faster than a +1 Base 100. No rocks are not an issue for any competently built Zard X team especially not an issue that makes it UR worthy while Zard Y is ranked. you can play around rocks especially by trading more threatening hazards like webs screens and tspikes or running dual hazard removal. When taking belly drum sets into consideration, there is not a single mon I could find in the calculator that can switchin to Zard X absolutely none. there is a set that breaks everything Zard X is the definition of viable since there is not a single team that carries checks to every Zard X set the closest things to a check to this beast are the unaware walls, Physdef Quagsire which is 2hkod by outrage or can be by dragon claw + 1 layer of spikes or flare blitz in sun +1 layer of spikes. Full physdef Pyukumuku is the other which is not only not used but gets 2hko'd by adamant thunder punch anyways.

Heres some replays of it tearing shit up
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1450888784-ihxgglrjzf4vu53jjbmxm0tggx3dz0apw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1479319822-7btf0ntqzqwm94qeeez95u7ftw4ex7qpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1480437870-av134hcmutqmczzgdz20e5aejtg0s0npw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1478494967-unxldq450dximdvh7oy5j56xczj553jpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1477884138-2q2po73mxe67vukf8p295n5ahq3j5dqpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1474062221-4zmkmw9z4t4kbr1f1bz92rciai64g44pw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1450882313-2vzbxf7yx35eq0jrwzqygq31g1jf0popw

Brought it to Fall Seasonal vs Stareal and Sendoh10
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1460362160-yzgx9kbuaolvbh6kyozh8f7mdh29jbjpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1458422689-neyw4igqivxvnwe1o8lme0tsgqasj4spw

Nomming to B at minimum.
while I, and several others have agreed that UR on MCX is harsh, B is too high for it imo. Most Mega Charizard X's have difficulty finding opportunities to set up mostly due to that dreadful Stealth Rock weakness. MCX suffers from the same issue Reshiram does in Ubers. And again, fitting multiple defoggers/spinners on a team with MCX is much more difficult than with Y, mostly due to its do or die nature and the hazard removers' slow nature (imo the only one who does not suffer from this is Exca). To say nothing of how much it hates Ash Greninja (ironically). Any smart player would just click Water Shuriken and finish it off, to say nothing of its awful 4ss. You can maybe get 3 kills 1 battle but it will usually be nothing more than death fodder in the rest. MCX should stay in C
 
:zapdos: B+ --> A- (at least)

:ss/zapdos:


I am of the opinion that Zapdos is a highly underrated pick that thrives in this current meta and thus believe it deserves to rise to A- (maybe even higher). It's tiered with the rest of the rain staples, but it clearly has a defined niche beyond that.

Zapdos @ Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Static
EVs: 248 HP / 188 Def / 72 Spe
Bold Nature
- Discharge
- Heat Wave
- Roost
- Hidden Power Ice

Defensive 3 Attacks + Roost is imo Zapdos' best set. I'm kinda iffy on the Speed EVs since it seems Modest Heatran has been losing popularity in favour of Timid, but I'm not too sure on what other benchmark should be hit. It could probably run Defog instead of a coverage option with the niche of checking many of the threats that Corviknight does while not being trapped by Magnezone, though I still believe it's mediocre overall due being heavily pressured by most Stealth Rock users.

Zapdos matches up very well vs many of the top threats in the tier (as can be seen in the list below). Even Pokemon that can threaten Zapdos can't exactly switch in safely. The combination of Discharge, HP ice, Heat Wave, or even Hurricane is an absolute nightmare for many teams, and nothing apart from a select few can boast being capable of switching in with impunity. For example, Garchomp gets obliterated by HP Ice while most Pokemon not immune to Paralysis (e.g. Kyurem, Clefable and Heatran) hate switching into Discharge.

Below is everything between S and A- that Zapdos answers (there are more beyond just these)

:Landorus-Therian: Lando-T cannot take HP Ice at all and fails to threaten Zapdos without a Rock move or Toxic.
:Lopunny-mega: Mega Lop is walled without Triple Axel (which doesn't even kill and has a high chance of leaving it paralysed).
:Kartana: Kartana is walled without being at +2 with Normalium Z.
:Gliscor: Gliscor hates HP Ice and can't really hurt Zapdos.
:Ferrothorn: Ferrothorn is completely walled and can only annoy Zapdos with Leech and Knock.
:Toxapex: Toxapex hates staying in on Discharge and can only threaten Zapdos if running Toxic.
:Tapu-Fini: Tapu Fini can't do much to Zapdos and also doesn't like Discharge.
:Scizor-Mega: Best thing this can do is Knock Zapdos on the switch. Can't stay in unless it wants to get roasted by Heat Wave.
:Corviknight: Completely and utterly countered. It also risks paralysis by U-turning on Static.
:Melmetal: Melmetal is walled if not running Ice Punch or Toxic. If it is, then it also needs to win a bunch of 50/50s with Roost and EQ while avoiding Paralysis at the same time.
:Serperior: Serperior can't Glare Zapdos and is forced out by Heat Wave or Hurricane.
:Slowbro: Slowbro gets blown back by STAB Discharge.
:Tangrowth: Tangrowth fails to do much of anything to Zapdos. Rocky Helmet Tang gets destroyed and AV still loses 1v1.


Zapdos in Rain is a completely different beast too. Idk what not named Chansey or Blissey is switching into the combination of Thunder, Hurricane, and Weather Ball lol.
 
Zard X is an incredible mon in this slow ass meta rn and definitely deserves to be tiered, Ive been running a fire spam with it and it absolutely shreds through teams in sun, you do not need roost because not every team has to be BO/balance you run can absolutely run 3atk in sun and destroy practically all checks, getting 2-3 kills and dying to flare blitz recoil is not a bad thing. on top of that if youre edgy you can run greeedy Xard belly drum scale shot sets with quick attack priority to pray on people switching into Zard Y checks, +6 quick attack will actually ohko most shit faster than a Xard like Koko, Greninja, Lopunny, Weavile, Etc. The meta is super weak to Zard X right now especially considering most of you lack speed control faster than a +1 Base 100. No rocks are not an issue for any competently built Zard X team especially not an issue that makes it UR worthy while Zard Y is ranked. you can play around rocks especially by trading more threatening hazards like webs screens and tspikes or running dual hazard removal. When taking belly drum sets into consideration, there is not a single mon I could find in the calculator that can switchin to Zard X absolutely none. there is a set that breaks everything Zard X is the definition of viable since there is not a single team that carries checks to every Zard X set the closest things to a check to this beast are the unaware walls, Physdef Quagsire which is 2hkod by outrage or can be by dragon claw + 1 layer of spikes or flare blitz in sun +1 layer of spikes. Full physdef Pyukumuku is the other which is not only not used but gets 2hko'd by adamant thunder punch anyways.

Heres some replays of it tearing shit up
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1450888784-ihxgglrjzf4vu53jjbmxm0tggx3dz0apw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1479319822-7btf0ntqzqwm94qeeez95u7ftw4ex7qpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1480437870-av134hcmutqmczzgdz20e5aejtg0s0npw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1478494967-unxldq450dximdvh7oy5j56xczj553jpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1477884138-2q2po73mxe67vukf8p295n5ahq3j5dqpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1474062221-4zmkmw9z4t4kbr1f1bz92rciai64g44pw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1450882313-2vzbxf7yx35eq0jrwzqygq31g1jf0popw

Brought it to Fall Seasonal vs Stareal and Sendoh10
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1460362160-yzgx9kbuaolvbh6kyozh8f7mdh29jbjpw
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1458422689-neyw4igqivxvnwe1o8lme0tsgqasj4spw

Nomming to B at minimum.
I'd just like to note that blaziken with firium z could pull off similar stunts while having better instant power (and de facto speed if using protect), which would avoid wasting a mega slot and having a rocks neutrality rather than a weakness. Also, utterly dominating ttar whilst forcing a ko on stuff like latias without requiring specific coverage moves is always excellent.

Edit: Also punishing the hell out of pursuit is always nice
 
I'd just like to note that blaziken with firium z could pull off similar stunts while having better instant power (and de facto speed if using protect), which would avoid wasting a mega slot and having a rocks neutrality rather than a weakness. Also, utterly dominating ttar whilst forcing a ko on stuff like latias without requiring specific coverage moves is always excellent.

Edit: Also punishing the hell out of pursuit is always nice
Blaziken Is also underrated IMO a very solid pick although I believe ZardX to be overall the better physical fire (Now what you run on your team is up to you to weigh the trade off of having a Z stone vs a Mega Stone) The Factors I find make ZardX better are its unpredictability, bulk, resistance to priority and easier time breaking then blaziken. As for the power comparison while blaziken has slighly stronger power off a z fire, a tough claws Boosted Flare Blitz combined with an extra base 10 attack gives ZardX higher power output over two turns heres some calcs to show that the difference is very slight even on the first turn. 130atk 156BP vs 120atk 190BP.

252 Atk Blaziken Inferno Overdrive (190 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 78-93 (25.6 - 30.5%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
252 Atk Tough Claws Charizard-Mega-X Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 68-81 (22.3 - 26.6%) -- 18.9% chance to 4HKO

The biggest difference I find is the unpredicatability of ZardX, people have a habit of going into their zardy checks (which all die to ZardX) and its one of the simplest baits in the world to pull off, you can setup in the face of things that could 1v1 you otherwise. Meanwhile Blaziken is much more predictable and is nearly always ran as a setup sweeper. people will chip you while you SD and then often finish you off with strong priority.
Blazikens much weaker to revenge killers also as it packs a weakness to greninja's Water Shuriken and cannot even switch into a resisted Rillaboom grassy glide, at -1 defence after a CC drop it does 80-90%. Mega Lopunny fake out can 2hko blaziken at -1 def while not even breaking a ZardX substitute

252+ Atk Choice Band Rillaboom Grassy Glide vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Blaziken in Grassy Terrain: 158-186 (52.4 - 61.7%) -- 98.8% chance to 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery.

ZardX has seriously increased bulk, doesnt suffer stat drops from attacking and handles the tiers priority and revenge killers a lot better, forces more switches and outspeeds plenty of common scarfers at +1 that blaziken does not (Lele, Lando, Hydreigon).
Going against ZardX it has a much bigger rocks weakness and has to run less common Belly Drum or SD sets to get around stuff like slowbro without being toxic'd or twaved while blaziken can bust through with z electric or Lorb Knock off and has a better matchup vs teams with Weavile or sucker punch users as revenge killer.

Either way both mons are underrated right now for what they can do to the metagame and Blaziken should probably rise to B- given its sheer variety of sets and versatility on different types of offence.

Also shoutout everyone who didnt want to test down blaziken from ubers because "Z move is too broken" youve been proven wrong and Torn is next cope wit it.
 

Kyo

In Limbo
is a Forum Moderatoris a Tiering Contributor
Moderator
B -> B+

:sm/urshifu-rapid-strike:

He goes hard. Guaranteed crits and immunity to protect scouting makes this a great no nonsense mon that can come in and threaten most of the tier with great coverage on its dual stab types. Usually you can go u-turn to pivot out of the bad Toxapex matchup, but tpunch works as well since this mon pairs nicely with u-turn Tapu Koko. Aqua jet is decently strong priority and especially useful for checking Volcarona. I would never use anything other than banded on this mon. A lot of the time you just click buttons and kill something and you're only choosing between your two stab types. Definitely a mon that is better and more self-sufficient than B ranked stuff like Arctozolt and Hawlucha.
 
B -> B+

:sm/urshifu-rapid-strike:

He goes hard. Guaranteed crits and immunity to protect scouting makes this a great no nonsense mon that can come in and threaten most of the tier with great coverage on its dual stab types. Usually you can go u-turn to pivot out of the bad Toxapex matchup, but tpunch works as well since this mon pairs nicely with u-turn Tapu Koko. Aqua jet is decently strong priority and especially useful for checking Volcarona. I would never use anything other than banded on this mon. A lot of the time you just click buttons and kill something and you're only choosing between your two stab types. Definitely a mon that is better and more self-sufficient than B ranked stuff like Arctozolt and Hawlucha.
I think it's also worth mentioning that a lot of the common LandoFiniTran Offense/BOs tend to struggle a bit to handle Urshifu-R defensively outside of the short-term, since Lando and Tran obviously don't wanna switch in at all and standard Fini needs minimal chip damage (typically 1 banded U-turn and a round of SR should suffice iirc) to be at huge risk of being 2HKOed on the next switch.


:slowking:
C -> UR

King is just straight up bad. It's bad enough that it forces awkward team structures as a result of being a SpD water that can't check Ash-Greninja, but it doesn't even do anything significant enough to justify forcing those structures. FuturePort strats are outdated af by now and unlike Slowbro, you struggle to check much and the pokemon Slowking does check require heavy investment in either physical or special defense (and even then you barely avoid 2HKOes from full), making it so King checks even less depending on the spread (Lele can beat Slowking without significant SpD investment, and Lop and Dia can beat variants without near full Phys. Def for instance). This doesn't even include the fact that these pokemon can still bypass Slowking through other means such as status, coverage, and/or Pursuit support, which are all easy to fit on teams, as well as the fact that offensive teams would rather just run other bulky waters like Tapu Fini and Washtom instead to provide role compression and actually check important threats.

TL;DR: Slowking struggles to check what it wants to and has way too many opportunity costs and issues to be worth using rn.
 

pannu

「GO BEYOND」
is a Social Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributor
quickly wanted to talk about Slowking, Urshifu-R, and Mega Charizard-X. Slowking does have a strong enough niche to warrant being ranked, checking Heatran, Mega Latias, and Tapu Lele is pretty huge. Urshifu is a good and threatening breaker rn since its an offensive mon that can switch into heatran, which is nice. Charizard X is very threatening and can sweep a lot of teams. vetoing the slowking drop and supporting the urshifu raise and Charizard-X re-rank.

Now, onto some personal noms.

:mawile-mega: -> A, Mega Mawile suffers a lot in the current meta due to its high pace and offensive nature making it hard for it to find opportunities to come in, set up, attack, etc, as well as a plethora of revenge killers making it feel somewhat of a liability at times, i think it should drop to A because the current meta just really doesn't suit it.

:corviknight: -> A- Corviknight used to be a stellar Defogger, beating Clefable, Landorus-T, and Garchomp. However, with the rise of Stealth Rock Heatran, as well as Magnezone becoming more popular, it tends to be entirely useless, being a steel which doesn't beat CM Clefable or NMI / Specs Kyurem also hurts, as such it should drop to a-

:garchomp: -> A+ Garchomp has always been an amazing Stealth Rock setter, and the drop in popularity of Corviknight, Tangrowth, and Skarmory is also something that makes it stand out more. I have personally been enjoying Dragonium Z a lot more in recent times, due to its ability to nuke Gliscor, Landorus-T, Mega Latias, and Slowbro allowing it to enable Mega Lopunny, Kartana, and Mega Scizor. Honestly, im not entirely sure why it dropped in the last update in the first place but, it should be ranked at A+

:kyurem: -> A+ Kyurem is literally impossible to safely switch into, between its 6 (yes, 6: SubRoost, Specs, Sub DD, NMI, Z move 3A, and Choice Scarf) different sets which all have vastly different counterplay makes it almost impossible to check consistently. Your Kyurem check is SpDef Corv? Get Specs Ice Beamed. Using Blissey to tank that? get 1v1d by Sub DD. Maybe you're offensively pressuring it with Mega Lopunny or Ash-Greninja, get scarf freeze-dried, its just a stupid pokemon to play around, as well as one of the biggest threats in the builder, and to reflect this it should be A+

:latias-mega: -> A+ Mega Latias is the go-to mega on fat teams, coming with fantastic defensive utility checking threats like Kartana, Manaphy, Mega Charizard Y, and Z Heatran. All the different sets it can run makes it able to do different things as well; Shocksphere is a Fantastic Wincon, Meanwhile BoltBeam has more of an offensive presence, also being able to spread status and check Ground-types like Gliscor, Lando-T, and Garchomp. Mono Stored Power is fun too but it requires heavy team support, I've even experimented a bit with Thunder Wave and Defog. Its just a very reliable mega with alot of good defensive utility and it should be a+ i think

:serperior: -> A Serp can just snowball really easily and it has a bunch of stupid support moves like Glare, Taunt, Defog, screens, leech seed, sub, etc. its just very difficult to handle alot of the time and rising it to A seems fairly justified

:hydreigon: -> b+ Hydreigon fits on balance teams to ensure you have a fantastic fat MU while also pivoting into ash gren and non z steelium heatran, fat is bad rn and alot of greninja run protean uturn or ice beam, and z steelium heatran is so, so common. also it just gets railed by Mega Lopunny, Weavile, and Kartana. Drop it to B+

:slowbro: -> A Slowbro checks Mega Lopunny and isn't a momentum drain, very nice traits in the current meta.

:tyranitar: -> B+ who tf uses this? lol. its awful and entirely outclassed by megatar.

:manaphy: -> higher. I think Manaphy should be ranked higher than the other part of the Rain Core; Mega Swampert and Pelipper, seeing as it has a viable role on HO, making it not limited to be used alongside those two, tbh idk if it should be A- or A but it should rise

:rillaboom: -> B This thing is awful lmfao, easily walled by most things in the tier bcus grass is a terrible offensive typing, no good defensive utility, gets worn down quickly; please just use Kartana or Serperior.

:rotom-wash: -> a- Rotom-W has fantastic defensive utility on offense, while also keeping up momentum. it can check Heatran, Ash-Gren, Gliscor, Weavile, etc, super solid super nice should rise.

:Volcarona: -> A While a two subrank rise seems insane, volc really deserves it, its a stupidly good and scary set up sweeper and its very consistent, also has amazing defensive utility and can check stuff like Kartana, Kyurem, and Serperior. It also has so much versatility in its last moveslot and item, some notable and common sets are psychic, z psychic, life orb giga drain, hp ground, I've even seen stuff like Focus Sash ran on ladder. overall this Pokemon is just stupid and difficult to handle once its set up at +1, mu moth should rise.

:greninja: -> a- Previously thought to be unviable, Protean Greninja is finally a real, threatening Pokemon in NatDex, and its really scary. Spikes are very good and with how common Tapu Fini is as a check to AshGren being able to freely Gunk Shot it is amazing. It can also break through most offenses with its insane coverage. please rise this mon its so good
:aegislash: -> C this Pokemon is so bad, nobody seriously uses it, its slow, weak, easy to pivot into, predictable, etc, just a stupid gimmick mon.
 
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Spellcaster

formerly omicorio
is a Social Media Contributoris a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributor Alumnus
:zapdos-galar:

-> C

For now, at least, I think we should bring back Zapdos-G to ranked status :pimp:. Choice Band is an incredibly effective wall breaker with its decent speed tier, pretty powerful stab-moves and ability to boost its physical attack further with Defiant (by abusing common Lando sequences, which it is great at punishing). Switching into it is also quite awkward since there pretty much is nothing that could handle switching into both of its STABs reliably without getting 2HKO'd. In any instance where it doesn't want to click CC or Brave Bird, it can simply pivot out into whatever partner you have in the back with U-turn (Can range from Tapu Lele all the way to more niche stuff like Nihilego) with relative ease. It also matches up well into the sort of BO's we see right now -- think Circuit Poffs and NDPL. Tapu Fini + Heatran + Lando-T cores get shredded by it, even more offensive teams can get abused if it manages to get in on something slower.

I definitely think it has flaws obviously like being easily chipped with all the Helmet users that exist + recoil and rocks, and how pretty much anything faster has a shot at OHKOing or threatening it out. But I believe the positives outweigh most of the negatives, and leaving it in C tier right now should be perfectly fine.

Pannu's noms are mostly correct besides Volcarona and Mawile in my eyes. Volc is definitely a great metagame pick but not much has changed for it to jump two whole subranks. It should rise tho but not all the way to A. Mawile on the other hand should never drop from its current placement due to how it still plays its role as a nuclear wall breaker very well, you can even see this during Kate's set vs. Fc in circuit where her Mawile set had a very good shot at winning if her other mons didnt win first XD


https://pokepast.es/f9df2093fa0b048b - team by adem which features Zapdos-G as the primary breaker with nihi as a cleaner.
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen8nationaldex-1497446173-khe4426pj6ev9a0fgelezmxhipy5l2rpw - gapdos basically killed 3 mons here n put massive pressure on the resists by consistently doing 50~ on switchin.
 
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:kyurem: -> A+ Kyurem is literally impossible to safely switch into, between its 6 (yes, 6: SubRoost, Specs, Sub DD, NMI, Z move 3A, and Choice Scarf) different sets which all have vastly different counterplay makes it almost impossible to check consistently. Your Kyurem check is SpDef Corv? Get Specs Ice Beamed. Using Blissey to tank that? get 1v1d by Sub DD. Maybe you're offensively pressuring it with Mega Lopunny or Ash-Greninja, get scarf freeze-dried, its just a stupid pokemon to play around, as well as one of the biggest threats in the builder, and to reflect this it should be A+
Don't completely disagree with this nom, but there are a few things I'd like to say.

"Its 6 (yes, 6: SubRoost, Specs, Sub DD, NMI, Z move 3A, and Choice Scarf) different sets which all have vastly different counterplay makes it almost impossible to check consistently".

This statement isn't entirely wrong but I do feel it's a little misleading. Imo there's little reason to distinguish Icium, Specs, and NMI from each other, especially since the checks/counters to those sets tend to mostly overlap. Specs Kyurem has lost a lot of relevance too (though ladder still seems to love it). Scarf Kyurem also doesn't really exist and Freeze Dry doesn't kill lop either. While it does excel vs specific builds, Sub DD is pretty rare and is arguably just a matchup fish.

I'd also like to dispute your claim that Kyurem is "literally impossible to safely switch into". While there probably isn't any single relevant Pokemon that can switch into every possible set, one can usually tell what set the Kyurem is running and many fat structures naturally run checks to sets that one's primary check can't deal with.

Checks/Counters
:Volcarona: This mon can reliably counter every Kyurem set with the exception of specs Draco.
:Slowking-Galar: Decent check that switches into Specs, NMI, Icium, Scarf, and can also thaw itself with Scald. Can 1v1 SubRoost depending on sets and evs. Team structures that this mon fits on are likely naturally carrying a Sub DD check anyway.
:Tyranitar-Mega: Solid check to every Kyurem set except those running specs Focus Blast. Won't deny that it can be worn down though.
:Scizor-Mega: Counters every Kyurem set except Specs HP Fire and Icium.
:Reuniclus: Checks Sub DD and SubRoost.
:Clefable: Counters Sub DD, SubRoost, Scarf, and Icium (after Z has been used). Can also use Kyurem as set up fodder with Calm Mind.
:Chansey::Blissey: Counters Specs, NMI, Icium and Scarf. Like Glowking, team structures that Blissey fits on usually carry a natural check to Sub Kyurem anyway.
:Ferrothorn: Iron Head Ferro is a usable short-term check to NMI and Scarf.
:Corviknight: Spdef Corv checks NMI, Icium, and Scarf.
:Jirachi: Spdef checks every set except Specs.
:Rotom-Heat: Arguably an unmon but in my opinion it does have a niche. Checks Scarf, Icium, NMI.

Yes, before anyone brings it up, I realise most of these mons can just be frozen and haxed through. Really don't think that's a solid argument for these mons not being defensive answers though since it's highly luck dependent and the capacity to hax past its checks isn't unique to Kyurem.

Now, on another topic, I think :tapu-koko: Tapu Koko should rise to A+. It can be an absolute pain to dance around and keep from gaining momentum, as well as excelling vs Lando/Fini/Tran cores rn. Many players neglect to bring a solid Electric check and rely on Lando as their sole ground which Koko can readily exploit, especially with the development of non-specs sets easing prediction.
 
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Kyo

In Limbo
is a Forum Moderatoris a Tiering Contributor
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:sm/alomomola:

C -> UR

Who is genuinely using this mon? Alo had a brief moment in the spotlight due to one stall team (may have been a sample) that's hella outdated now. There is really no point including this on the VR and giving people the impression that you will actually ever see one of these on ladder or in tours. Imo this is about the same as something like Pyukumuku with its role being a super niche pick for one specific team structure. It may be usable but I don't think it's worth ranking.
 
Don't completely disagree with this nom, but there are a few things I'd like to say.

"Its 6 (yes, 6: SubRoost, Specs, Sub DD, NMI, Z move 3A, and Choice Scarf) different sets which all have vastly different counterplay makes it almost impossible to check consistently".

This statement isn't entirely wrong but I do feel it's a little misleading. Imo there's little reason to distinguish Icium, Specs, and NMI from each other, especially since the checks/counters to those sets tend to mostly overlap. Specs Kyurem has lost a lot of relevance too (though ladder still seems to love it). Scarf Kyurem also doesn't really exist and Freeze Dry doesn't kill lop either. While it does excel vs specific builds, Sub DD is pretty rare and is arguably just a matchup fish.

I'd also like to dispute your claim that Kyurem is "literally impossible to safely switch into". While there probably isn't any single relevant Pokemon that can switch into every possible set, one can usually tell what set the Kyurem is running and many fat structures naturally run checks to sets that one's primary check can't deal with.

Checks/Counters
:Volcarona: This mon can reliably counter every Kyurem set with the exception of specs Draco.
:Slowking-Galar: Decent check that switches into Specs, NMI, Icium, Scarf, and can also thaw itself with Scald. Can 1v1 SubRoost depending on sets and evs. Team structures that this mon fits on are likely naturally carrying a Sub DD check anyway.
:Tyranitar-Mega: Solid check to every Kyurem set except those running specs Focus Blast. Won't deny that it can be worn down though.
:Scizor-Mega: Counters every Kyurem set except Specs HP Fire and Icium.
:Reuniclus: Checks Sub DD and SubRoost.
:Clefable: Counters Sub DD, SubRoost, Scarf, and Icium (after Z has been used). Can also use Kyurem as set up fodder with Calm Mind.
:Chansey::Blissey: Counters Specs, NMI, Icium and Scarf. Like Glowking, team structures that Blissey fits on usually carry a natural check to Sub Kyurem anyway.
:Ferrothorn: Iron Head Ferro is a usable short-term check to NMI and Scarf.
:Corviknight: Spdef Corv checks NMI, Icium, and Scarf.
:Jirachi: Spdef checks every set except Specs.
:Rotom-Heat: Arguably an unmon but in my opinion it does have a niche. Checks Scarf, Icium, NMI.

Yes, before anyone brings it up, I realise most of these mons can just be frozen and haxed through. Really don't think that's a solid argument for these mons not being defensive answers though since it's highly luck dependent and the capacity to hax past its checks isn't unique to Kyurem.

Now, on another topic, I think :tapu-koko: Tapu Koko should rise to A+. It can be an absolute pain to dance around and keep from gaining momentum, as well as excelling vs Lando/Fini/Tran cores rn. Many players neglect to bring a solid Electric check and rely on Lando as their sole ground which Koko can readily exploit, especially with the development of non-specs sets easing prediction.
Just want to mention Clef fails to check Sub DD because it gets PP stalled. Also you can't say there's no reason to distinguish NMI and Specs, being able to Roost and switch moves does mean NMI has very different counterplay in practice than Specs, all you really have to do to keep Specs in check is keep Rocks up and pivot around it. You can't do this with NMI, which is exactly why it's such a dangerous set.

Yes other mons can hax their checks, but none of them have the ability to fish for hax over the course of a game like Kyurem can. Freeze Dry has 32 PP. That's a lot of potential freezes, and Kyurem has the longevity to use that PP. So most of these mons can't realistically consistently check any special Kyurem set that has longevity. And when you look at how small this list is to begin with, you see how strong Kyurem really is. I support Kyurem to A+.
 
Just want to mention Clef fails to check Sub DD because it gets PP stalled.
Pretty sure CM clef checks Sub DD, especially if Unaware. Maybe we're thinking of different sets and EVs (like lefties + protect whatever).

Also you can't say there's no reason to distinguish NMI and Specs, being able to Roost and switch moves does mean NMI has very different counterplay in practice than Specs, all you really have to do to keep Specs in check is keep Rocks up and pivot around it. You can't do this with NMI, which is exactly why it's such a dangerous set.
I think you misunderstood what I meant there, so maybe I should have been more clear. I'm not saying that Specs is better than NMI. My main intention there was arguing that Specs is both irrelevant and also easy to play around enough that one should usually just consider NMI and Icium (which are actually very similar in terms of defensive checks with the exception of MScizor being hit by HP fire on Icium). Lol I agree with you on NMI being much better than Specs.

NMI also has inarguably more switch-ins than Specs, so if anything, it being a more popular set actually supports my argument that Kyurem isn't "literally impossible to switch into".

Yes other mons can hax their checks, but none of them have the ability to fish for hax over the course of a game like Kyurem can. Freeze Dry has 32 PP. That's a lot of potential freezes, and Kyurem has the longevity to use that PP. So most of these mons can't realistically consistently check any special Kyurem set that has longevity. And when you look at how small this list is to begin with, you see how strong Kyurem really is. I support Kyurem to A+.
Eh I think you overestimate Kyurem's longevity, especially with that rocks weakness. Freeze Dry's 32 PP is also pretty irrelevant for the non pressure stalling sets it runs so bringing that up is mostly a moot point I feel. I generally support Kyurem to A+ too, but I do believe some people oversell its capabilities.

Wrote this post pretty late so bear with me people
 
Pretty sure CM clef checks Sub DD, especially if Unaware. Maybe we're thinking of different sets and EVs (like lefties + protect whatever).
It does depend on your spread, as DD Kyurem can invest in as whatever bulk it feels like depending on your team. Specially Defensive Dragon Dance exists to beat most Clef (and also Heatran), as it only gets 3HKOed by unboosted LO Moonblast:
0 SpA Life Orb Clefable Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Kyurem: 198-234 (43.6 - 51.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
And +1 Flamethrower doesn't break Sub:
+1 0 SpA Life Orb Clefable Flamethrower vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Kyurem: 94-110 (20.7 - 24.2%) -- possible 6HKO after Leftovers recovery
(I don't need to show Thunder lol)
Meanwhile, Kyurem can threaten a 2HKO at +2:
+2 0 Atk Kyurem Icicle Spear (3 hits) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Clefable: 180-216 (45.6 - 54.8%) -- approx. 2HKO
Hence you can't get into a boosting war with it.
So yes if you come in and start boosting up you possibly force out Kyurem once or twice. But calling it an answer... Well you only have 12 Moonblasts to its 16 Subs and 16 Roosts.
Unaware CM is sure, whatever, if you're playing stall VS DD you're probably fine in general provided it doesn't PP stall you.
I think you misunderstood what I meant there, so maybe I should have been more clear. I'm not saying that Specs is better than NMI. My main intention there was arguing that Specs is both irrelevant and also easy to play around enough that one should usually just consider NMI and Icium (which are actually very similar in terms of defensive checks with the exception of MScizor being hit by HP fire on Icium). Lol I agree with you on NMI being much better than Specs.

NMI also has inarguably more switch-ins than Specs, so if anything, it being a more popular set actually supports my argument that Kyurem isn't "literally impossible to switch into".
But you still have to respect the possibility of Specs Focus Blast nuking you to high heaven when you first switch in an answer. NMI is the better set, agreed, but trying to dismiss one set or the other as having the same counterplay is just incorrect. NMI actually has answers that don't fold to one correct prediction, but the challenge is making that counterplay outlast Kyurem, whereas with Specs you're just trying to keep the beast at bay until it wears itself out.
Eh I think you overestimate Kyurem's longevity, especially with that rocks weakness. Freeze Dry's 32 PP is also pretty irrelevant for the non pressure stalling sets it runs so bringing that up is mostly a moot point I feel.
Kyurem has frankly amazing bulk for a breaker, and Roost mitigates Rocks.
On the subject of freezes, here's a thought experiment. Say you have an answer to NMI/Icium that forces it out instantly and can take anything from it. Say also that you keep Rocks up. So Kyurem when it comes in is going to have to alternate between Roost and out, or attack and out. Provided the rest of your team can hold up, Kyurem is going to get 17 Freeze Drys/Ice Beams off against its check here. That's a lot of potential freezes. Even assuming a layer of Spikes each time or other equivalent chip, so Kyurem is spending 3/4 times in Roosting, it still gets off about 6 attacks over its 16 Roosts. And maths tells us 1-0.9^6=0.469, a 46.9% chance of a freeze.
So even in this ideal world where Kyurem is taking 1/8th average chip and Rocks each time it comes in and only attacking once, you still have a just over half chance to avoid a freeze. And I imagine in practice Kyurem is going to be clicking something other than Roost more than 6 times. Kyurem finds it very easy to fish for freezes against passive/bulky balance teams, especially ones which find themselves unable to keep hazards up in that matchup, and more often than not if they can't keep it off the field, it will get that freeze eventually, even if the opponent has the correct counterplay. Against more offensive teams, obviously this doesn't come into play as much. But it does contribute to Kyurem's ability to break through pretty much anything with the right set and enough time.
 

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