sound the alarm
Hello everyone! As mentioned on a pia stream a few weeks ago, we've been analysing the elements to take action on in the tier, and right now the UU council has determined that the most appropriate element of the tier to take action on is Sandy Shocks.
When we first started tinkering with Sandy Shocks, most people gravitated immediately towards the Heavy-Duty Boots set that has come to be such a metagame staple. With a moveset of just Volt Switch, Earth Power, Thunderbolt, and a hazard of your choice or Power Gem, you could hit essentially the entire tier for big damage; Grass-types (and Kilowattrel) were the only thing resisting both STABs, and they were just Volt Switch fodder anyway save for Toedscruel, which, respectfully, sucks. This was kinda fine; specially defensive Ground-types could handle it well enough. Hippowdon and Gastrodon were bulky enough to take it on, and Quagsire, while not really -great- into it, was good enough to take two Earth Powers with some investment. Even some Assault Vest Donphan popped up, and that was a fine interim check. The worst Ground-type to have against Sandy Shocks was, ironically, an opposing Sandy Shocks, since it OHKOes itself with Earth Power. That's just a tradeoff offense has to make; all was fine and good. Occasionally you'd see other sets like Booster Energy, Choice Scarf and Choice Specs, but nothing was too crazy.
Then Tera Blast caught on. Initially, it was seen as a poor use of your Tera, since you'd have to commit so much just to get that OHKO on Gastrodon and the 2HKO on Hippo. But people quickly realised that there's a loooot of potential for silliness there; Pokemon like Salamence and Pawmot get really tough to handle if your bulky Ground-type goes down. Sandy Shocks became an effortless facilitator of this kind of offense; yeah, you'd have to commit your Tera in some matchups, but that was more than worth it for the benefits provided. There were downsides of course; being weak to Talonflame's STABs made for annoying interactions, for instance, but the thing is that even if your opponent predicted your Tera, it was a win-win for you. They'd either have to switch the Ground-type out and you'd get free Volt Switches all game off that monstrous SpA stat and great Speed, or they'd Tera the Ground-type and well, the same thing happens. Players went scrambling for Sandy Shocks checks and they came up pretty much empty-handed.
Now of course, Sandy isn't the only Electric-type that can do the unblockable-Volt Switch song and dance. Tera Blast Kilowattrel started popping up too, and it's pretty good considering it's faster than just about everything, hits fairly hard still, and can even check opposing Tera Grass Sandy Shocks. What's the difference? Well, there are some somewhat small things, like Kilowattrel not really being able to hit all-purpose special tank Tinkaton for much immediate damage while being able to nuke Grass-types instead. But the real difference is the bulk. Sandy Shocks is really bulky. Like, for an offensive Pokemon, it's actually kinda crazy how fat it is; 85/97 physical bulk is downright excellent, while 85/85 special bulk is just fine too. This makes it really easy for Sandy Shocks to not only trade with faster Pokemon like Pawmot, Noivern, and Gengar, but also to find switch-in opportunities on some passive walls that can't really hurt it much. Coming in on Tinkaton is super free, most importantly, and with its typing in mind, it can pretty easily pivot into stuff like Magnezone too.
Sandy Shocks definitely brings some positives to the tier. It's a good offensive check to Scizor and Bisharp, for instance, and it is the only fast offensive Ground-type we have access to (the next closest thing is Krookodile). It breathes some life into offense through its great Spiking ability and Volt Switch support. It's not impossible to check either; stuff like Wo-Chien, Decidueye and Assault Vest Cyclizar can stave it off for a while, although they're all very prone to getting Volt Switched on, giving free reign to monstrous wallbreakers like Tyranitar, Pawmot, Salamence, and both forms of Paldean Tauros.
So, what do you think? Is Sandy Shocks's unmatched pivoting and wallbreaking capability too much for the tier? Do you have hidden tech you use to keep it in check? Let us know!
The voting requirements are a minimum GXE of 78 with at least 50 games played. In addition, you may play 1 less game for every 0.2 GXE you have above 78 GXE, down to a minimum of 30 games at a GXE of 82. As always, needing more than 50 games to 78 GXE is fine.
The test will operate as always. There will be no suspect ladder. Instead, the standard UU ladder will remain open. Those who wish to participate in this suspect test will instead use a fresh, suspect-specific alt. All games must be played on the Pokemon Showdown! UU ladder on a fresh alt* (see below note) with the following format: "UU2ZO (Nick)." For example, I might register the alt UU2ZO Lily to ladder with. You must meet the listed format in order to qualify.
NOTE, THIS IS NEW: If you have been laddering for the UU Ladder Tournament, your Cycle 1, Cycle 2 or Cycle 3 alt can be used for reqs, assuming it meets the GXE and game requirements for the suspect test.
Participants will have until Sunday, May 21st at 7:00 PM GMT -4 to meet voting requirements and post in the Alt Identification Thread. PLEASE DO NOT POST YOUR CONFIRMED SUSPECT RESULTS HERE - there is a dedicated thread for identifying your suspect results. Happy laddering!