Classic is coming up and people are getting more and more interested in GSC UU lately so I've decided to write a kind of welcome to GSC UU post here, featuring some of what I'd consider to be strong teams to use while learning the tier, and my current interpretation of how I see the VR right now.
An incredibly classic combination for offensive structures, RestTalk Mime is a potent check to a range of stuff like Nidoqueen, Gyarados, Qwilfish, Blastoise, and Haunter, while Gyarados offers you an amazing Piloswine and Scyther check and the ability to massively punish switches with Roar + Spikes while overloading defensive structures.
One of my most recent versions of it is fairly friendly at the entry level here. Use of an Omastar is a fantastic addition to sure up matchups against stuff like Dodrio and most Granbulls, while Piloswine + Granbull gives you an amazingly powerful set of tools to pressure Psychic types without needing to enter into boring long 1v1s against them with Mime. A Curse Qwilfish alongside a team that just generally pressures Blastoise well ensures that you have enough offensive pressure to keep Spikes up well without Haunter, and the presence of a CurseTalk Granbull ensures that opposing Haunters have to think twice about booming on your Piloswine or Mime. Team has a pretty strong matchup into Baton Pass teams too for those worried about them, with Piloswine and Granbull both being very threatening from the off against Girafarig and its recipients, and Roar Gyarados giving you strong phazing options against non Thunder(bolt) versions.
Light Screen Hypno + Nidoqueen
Nidoqueen may be seeing less usage due to Piloswine's uptick thanks to its ease of building as a strong option against Psychic-types, but Nidoqueen remains at the top in terms of offensive threats with the single highest skill ceiling of any Pokemon in the tier, completely able to decimate through any checks it has with perfect play. Light Screen Hypno is such an amazing teammate alongside it that really gives it the opportunities to fish for those Thunder Para's/Crits into Water-types and aggressively pressure the Psychic-types, and these teams can be immensely dangerous with the Normal-types they can enable like Granbull and Dodrio alongside it.
This version of the structure that I used in UUPL was a cool variant that uses Curse HP Ground protect Granbull as a mid-game wallbreaker to abuse Hypno's LS and its fantastic matchup versus most normal-resists, even giving it the potential to get rly threatening to Omastar due to the Light Screen. Politoed is an unusual option in 6th over alternatives such as Blastoise but it provides a similar role as a bulky Water-type answer to Nidoqueen and Piloswine that has more offensive presence with its ability to act as a sweeper, and can be pretty threatening into a bunch of structures with HP Electric Omastar able to really pressure Gyarados and Light Screen helping it against Mime.
One of my favourite teams and one I RMT'd recently. Dodrio is such an enormous threat under Light Screen that acts as a consistent battering ram with the most powerful physical attack in the tier and ability to get very aggressive against would be checks such as Piloswine and Mr. Mime, and more aggressive against Pokemon that now cannot really hurt it such as Blastoise and Hypno. Lead Curse Thunder Lovely Kiss Granbull is perhaps not the easiest set to use in a vacuum but it has the potential to entirely remove Omastar for Dodrio, and open opportunities for it through Sleeping Haunter as an easy entry point.
I'll talk about my own variant of it here instead of Holly's one, which you can find a RMT of here.
Lanturn is a really cool threat in UU for its ability to blank a lot of Gyarados sets, and being the only Electric-type with super-effective STAB coverage against common Ground-types. It can be particularly threatening into Piloswine teams thanks to Pilos inability to outspeed it unlike Nidoqueen and lack of reliable 1 turn recovery, but does have some shrotcomings in terms of needing strong defensive support against Piloswine and Nidoqueen thanks to being a Water-type that doesn't check them defensively, and a lack of immediate power into Pokemon like Hypno. Pilo is a really popular pairing alongside it to help with Nidoqueen and Psychic matchups that loves Lanturn countering Gyarados too.
LanturnPilo structures tend to force both Qwilfish and Blastoise on them, Lanturn needs the Spikes support to really threaten bulky Pokemon but the structure can end up rather vulnerable to constant Spikes chip against itself, especially with Pilos ability to enable Gyarados Roar shuffling. Where my version differentiates itself from the more standard LanturnPilo structure is with the use of a Thief Screech Gligar, fixing a lot of the lack of immediate breaking power issues with an immensely dangerous threat capable of both crippling Water-types like Blastoise, Gyarados, and Slowtwins for Piloswine and forcing Spikes chip or immense damage with the threat of Screech onto bulky Waters and Psychics. The ground-spam nature ends up really contributing to a nice overwhelming of shared checks here, and Gligar + Piloswine also offers a complete core against Nidoqueen due to covering both Fire Blast and Ice Beam variants. Thief Dbond Haunter gives you the Thief support onto Hypno and Mr.Mime for Lanturn and can nicely trade itself for HP Ground Curse Bulls without risk of Explosion being absorbed by switches or Protect, and can end up being harder to play around in practice at times as it no longer offers the ability for the opponent to double out of Pokemon they are scared of being Boomed such as Nidoqueen/PIloswine into a potential sack to absorb it. HP Electric Blastoise rounds off the team in a really cool fashion with its ability to better keep Spikes off against Qwilfish and apply extra pressure to Water-types for Piloswine and Gligar, RestTalk is a definite option if you find it harder to use into the PIloswine matchup though.
Electabuzz + Granbull
This combo is really an old classic but very potent again right now due to the popularity of Haunter as a check to Granbull, with Buzz's ability to force it to either be trapped or boom against buzz and open up CurseTalk Granbull endgames.
A very simple but effective team to use really. Granbull gives you your primary matchup against Piloswine while Piloswine + Granbull + Mime give you strong ability to pressure Psychic types and Nidoqueen. Thief Dbond Haunter can help open up Mime endgames by crippling and trading with Hypno, Piloswine, and opposing Mime, lead Buzz gives you strong initial matchup into Spikes and Thief support to potentially punish Pokemon like Piloswine off the bat, and your thief support for granbull to do its work as a deadly win con.
Swords Dance + Light Screen Scyther
Scyther is mostly known for its Swords Dance + Baton Pass sets (sdbpbbpbpbpbpbpbpbpbpbpbp) but has really cool alternatives to explore that improve its matchups versus some common annoyances for it like Piloswine and Slowbro as a late game cleaner. Light Screen is a really nice one that lets it set up through and beat Pokemon like Omastar, Nidoqueen, and Piloswine it'd usually struggle against.
Gyarados is the main obstacle for an SD Scyther to do its magic in the short term but the combination of Piloswine and Slowbro really apply big pressure to it long term to be forced to take uncomfortable amounts of chip. lead Pilo is a fantastic option into most leads that starts you off strong here, qwilfish leads are bad but give you your own spikes with your own qwilfish to make progress. Haunters ability to trade with stuff like Thunder Wave Hypno is really important for Scyther as it won't want to face that, it also gives you a nice secondary check to stuff like Curse Mono Bull, but has absolutely no requirement to be kept around to check Bull due to the combo of Piloswine and Slowbro and can be used aggressively as an opener. CurseTalk Bull of your own gives you room to pressure stuff like Scyther when your Piloswine is in a poor condition, and a secondary win condition that appreciates SD LS Scyther's ability to break through stuff like Omastar.
Swords Dance Victreebel (The Abyssal Whip)
Victreebel is very much the marmite of GSC UU kinda, people are either quite fond of it or don't like it at all. I personally fall into the former camp, its ability to force trades with Psychic-types is really really nice to open up top tier threats like Nidoqueen and RestTalk Mime, and it has a really strong matchup into some playstyles like LanturnPilo when supported well. It needs a fair bit of support but it works very well on a team composition such as this team where you rely very much on overwhelming shared checks that have no chance of dealing with all three of Nidoqueen, Victreebel, and Haunter, and really opening up your Mime endgames.
Thief Haunter thieving Hypno and Piloswine is big to improve Victrebel's ability to pressure them. Victreebel should be kept hidden until later in the game preferably, its most potent when revealed more towards the mid-game and used to generate a dangerous turn that forces a Psychic to potentially have to tade with it, especially best done when said Psychics are currently asleep and at the mercy of bad Sleep Talk rolls. Sleep Powder lets Victreebel potentially create opportunities into Nidoqueen if it has to due to the threat of Sleep, but its ability to stop Nidoqueen and Gyarados from just harding in as checks is great for it and it can even be used to force those initial sleeps for the Psychics to then be used later. Between Victreebel and Haunters overwhelming pressuring into Psychics, Nidoqueen and Mr-Mime get really opened up, and Mime is expected to be able to potentially clean late game cause of this. Mime ends up having to bear the weight of switching into and checking itself on this team as expected on quadruple Poison, but Mime doesn't necesarily get the freest switch-ins ever and Haunter booms are very realistic options to be used immensely aggressively to flat out remove psychics as Reflect Slowking gives you the option to still check Granbull alright. Victrebel's matchup into Piloswine is an interesting one, on a surface level its flat out walled but with Haunter thiefing it the minute you land a Sludge Bomb Poison you put Piloswine in an uncomfortable position where if it doesn't Rest immediately, it takes 25% each time it comes in and smart doubles can get extremely deadly because of this, even if it does rest immediately smart doubles can still get very dangerous.
My Personal Viability Rankings
(Note this is just my own opinions and not a wide agreed upon averaged ranking across multiple players)
Won't explain most of this but will talk about a few things that might stand out I guess.
- Nidoqueen and Granbull's placements: I basically consider these Pokemon to be near identical in viability and way above everything else, these two define the tier so much and have by far the best offensive ceilings. Reason I put Nidoqueen ever so slightly higher is simply that it has more ability to just go through all of its checks and counters with very strong play and some rng, while Granbull is more dictated to by each sets specific counters while still having a huge skill ceiling of how well you use it, it definitely has the ability to pick and choose its counters between options like Thunder, Hp ground, Lovely Kiss etc but only Curse 3a Bull can beat all non-shuckle normal resists in one set and has the highest difficulty to use well in practice while lacking any of the supportive elements of options like Protect and Lovely Kiss.
- Qwilfish in #3: Yea i basically view Spikes to be mandatory on most non stall builds at this point unless you are running very specific structures like Belly Drum Rest Quagsire + Heal Bell Granbull sort of builds that don't really need the Spikes to do the wallbreaking and would prefer to get more value out of a different 6th slot and not stack waters alongside the Blastoise it runs. Spikes are so incredibly strong in this tier that it can't be understated and I feel like at this point Qwilfish deserves its own subrank.
- I'm particularly harsh on Scyther putting it at #6: So i still think Scyther is a top tier threat that demands respect in the buidler but I feel like this respect is fitted very naturally between strong options like Piloswine and Gyarados now that make its SD BP sets not as reliable in the short term, and i think playing this 5v6 in the short term can be a little awkward when these threats are annoying to give free turns to. I rate Scythers standalone sets like SD LS and SD Dedge far far more as dangerous dangerous wallbreakers but they still require considerably more support to me than Nidoqueen and Granbull do, while I find the two Psychic-types to dictate building to a very similar degree but be a lot more splashable and universally applicable, not running Hypno in particular forces you to make noticeable constraints in your builder to actually deal with RestTalk Mime like being forced into LanturnPilo or Pilo+RestTalk Bull stuctures, and LS Hypno is still one of the most deadly enablers in the tier.
- Dodrio and Slowbro are very high: So this is two points but since i both put them next to each other i'll cover together. Dodrio is honestly really showcasing itself lately as a way more popular threat and its the most powerful mon in the tier in terms of raw unboosted numbers, its honestly such a nightmare to play against LS Dodrio if you keep giving it turns and you very much end up in situations where your trying to mitigate the damage until the LS drops, and the speed tier is honestly so good above stuff like Mime and Haunter. Not without its shortcomings for sure due to the absolutely awful Magneton and Omastar matchups and the dangers of being crit through, but a very defining dangerous threat. Slowbro stonks are way up for me rn, its such an insanely good answer to a range of physical threats like Piloswine, Dodrio, and the popular non Rest Granbulls, I find it a really strong secondary normal-resist on teams allowing Haunter to really use its true offensive value through aggressive Thiefs and Booms and find that despite its kind of meh Mime matchup, the raw power it has is enough to be offensively threatening enough to never rly be a momentum loss. It might not be the most splashable Psychic right now but it really works well as a secondary Psychic alongside Mime too.
- Wigglytuff in B- Rank: Yep its not just Shuckle I think deserves to actually be considered UU now. I consider this mon to honestly be more relevant than stuff like Arcanine is now, while its still absolutely niche and only fits on one composition, WigglyBull teams are incredibly dangerous, enabling the true power of Curse3a Granbull while still allowing you the defensive comfort and late-game value of a Curse Talking Normal. Its better special bulk is actually fairly comfy here too into matchups like Lanturn and Blastoise for better set up, while the Granbull under Light Screen trades for absolutely every non Shuckle normal resist for you. (Team ive used it on multiple times - https://pokepast.es/644451b228d09fde)
I massively encourage anyone who is interested in this tier to get involved with learning it, we have a massively growing community of people interested in it and you should find it easy to find people willing to help out with learning the tier and playing games in the UU and GSC discs! Its a really rewarding tier to play that has room for teambuilding but is very structured and balanced still, and rewards solid long term game plan and strategy but is absolutely nowhere near its Stall-tier stereotypes, with all the teams I offered today being fairly offensive in nature.