New Faces in XY UU
With the generation shift, not only did we gain new pokemon, we also saw changes and improvement to older pokemon. Ones once buried in the depths of NU are now amazing in OU due to a mega form, while others got stat changes or hidden ability changes, allowing them to function better in their roles and gives some different functions. With UU forgoing the bans of last generation, a lot of new stuff has dropped to UU, creating a broken meta when it first opened. However, as threats have been picked off such as Kyurem Black, Manaphy, and Terrakion, the meta has stabilized to a degree, but there are going to be several new powerful threats staying in UU. While there isn’t enough space to do all, we’ll cover the top ten in order of their effects on the metagame.
Number 1: Keldeo
Keldeo is an interesting pokemon having the ability to function as a mixed wall breaker without splitting its evs like others due to its unique move, secret sword. This makes Keldeo the best wall breaker in UU at the moment, having access to calm mind to boost its special stats. Backed with 108 speed, Keldeo is hard to outpace, plus has good bulk making it hard to revenge as well. Keldeo is also able to forgo calm mind and make use of a choiced item, add a scarf and its a powerful revenger able to check big threats like Bisharp, Mega Houndoom, and Meloetta once it form changes, or it can use a choice specs to act as a wall breaker with more immediate power, as well as one more coverage move. This makes Keldeo decently unpredictable but no matter the set, it struggles with grass/poison with decent special defense such as Amoonguss and Roserade, as well as Latias making handling Keldeo decently easy within UU, as well as the fact it generally is choiced making it able to be set up on depending the move such as with Bisharp if its locked in icy wind.
Number 2: Ninetales
Ninetales has been pushed from OU with the change in the weather mechanics as well as Charizard Y setting up sun and piling on offensive pressure. Ninetales does a nice job in UU where the tempo is a tad slower and there aren’t as many powerhouses, allowing it to spearhead some of the most offensive teams in UU. Ninetales earns the number two spot due to its ability to provide massive support with drought as well as setting up weather without the use of a mega form. This allows the use of Mega Houndoom, easily the most powerful sweepers in UU under the sun with solar power giving it what other megas would love, an effective life orb to deal massive damage with its 140 special attack. Other fires benefit from the sun as well such as Victini and Darmanitan, both of who are massive powerhouses and solid revenge choices. Not only that, but chlorophyll users benefit from the sun getting a plus two speed. This makes Victreebel and Sawsbuck powerful threats with high offensive stats and decent speed allowing them to outpace most choice scarf users. Ninetales can finally make use of a heat rock and prolong the sun for three more turns, allowing it to cause a lot of destruction for an extended span of time.
Number 3: Latias
Latias has fallen from grace in OU due to fairies being common as well as Latios defogging more offensively than itself while breaking fairies easier. Latias brings something completely new to UU, a good defensive dragon. Having better typing than Altaria and access to recovery unlike Druddigon, Latias plays a huge part on any team having solid bulk to act as a pivot on defensive and the offensive stats to function on offensive teams. Latias brings a lot to the table aside from its bulk and offensive stats, one being its movepool, having access to a wide array of coverage moves to function with a set of choice specs, as well as the defensive movepool to play a huge support role with defog, roar, and healing wish. With Florges in UU, as well as Metagross now, and with the old dark types as well as new ones, Latias has a few ways to be handled within the tier through common threats.
Number 4: Deoxys
Currently both legal Deoxys forms are in UU, but as they are affected by the species clause, they only get one number on the list.
Defense has a bigger impact than its Speed form, having more bulk allowing it to act as a wall and abuse its double hazards making it nice on stall teams as a hazard stacker, or on bulky offensive teams for the same reason. With recover and access to thunder wave, Deoxys Defense deters boosting sweepers in fear of being crippled with thunder wave and being unable to sweep. This makes Deoxys Defense easier to fit on a team due to its ability to be flexible in its roll as and as such has a bigger impact as well as being more common.
Deoxys Speed functions as a lead for hyper offense teams due to its high speed, allowing it to always get up at least stealth rocks, generally a layer of spikes as well. However, Deoxys Speed can also function as a lure with its reasonable offensive stats and wide movepool, allowing it to catch common pokemon such as Bisharp, Keldeo, and Haxorus off guard and removes them from the game. Because of this, Deoxys Speed is harder to use than its Defense form due to its frail and aggressive nature, but is extremely effective at its job as both a bait or hazard stacking lead.
Number 5: Haxorus
Haxorus has finally dropped to UU, sitting just in OU for all of BW2 by the skin of its axes. Haxorus was known in BW as one of the most offensive dragon dancers in OU with is massive attack and ability, mold breaker allowing it to rip through levitate users and the filter of Mega Aggron. Haxorus struggles form a shallow movepool however, but can make due with earthquake and low kick or superpower to work with its dragon stabs. As stated above, Haxorus is a solid dragon dancer, especially in UU without much competition but is able to function as a choice scarfed revenger or sweeper making use of dual chop to break focus sashes, as mold breaker stops sturdy. Haxorus can make use of a choice band, but is often not that good due to its rather low speed, but is possible.
Number 6: Zygarde
Much like Haxorus, Zygarde struggles to make its claim in OU with other dragon dancers, despite its bulk. Zygarde is a solid choice in UU with bulk to rival another drop, Hippowdon, allowing Zygarde to easily boost on physical threats and sweep, having solid coverage with its stab earthquake and outrage. Zygarde also has access to extreme speed, effectively making it like Dragonite without multiscale and lacks the weakness to stealth rocks, but is vulnerable to spikes. However, Zygarde can also make use of coil on defensive teams, using it with some special bulk and dragon tail to rake up hazard damage or just sweep with and live its bulk and beat common threats and easily shrug off physical attacks. This also makes stone edge more viable as the accuracy increase makes it far easier to hit threats, making it easier to beat flying and levitate threats such as Rotom Heat.
Number 7: Metagross
Metagross finally drops to UU, much like Haxorus. Metagross is finally able to function as a sweeper effectively again with agility. Meteor Mash also gained an accuracy increase allowing Metagross to sweep easier and without as much concern of missing the punch. Metagross also has four move slot syndrome, meaning it wants to carry more moves than it can, including Thunder Punch for bulky waters, Ice Punch for dragons and grounds, zen headbutt for Rotom Heat and Keldeo, and Earthquake for steels. Metagross can also act as a bulky pivot, having high physical bulk and access to stealth rocks and Bullet Punch to revenge threats, which is also viable in a choice band set using it to act as a powerful wall breaker. Metagross is also the first pseudo legend to drop to a tier lower than OU in the 6 generations of competitive tiering, just a worthy note.
Number 8: Hydreigon
Hydreigon is hands down one of the best wall breakers outside ubers, being impossible to switch into without decent damage with the correct move. However, with the rise of fairies, Hydreigon took a massive hit, being quadruple weak to their stabs while they resist its. However in UU, the only common fairy that Hydreigon has to compete with is Florges. This allows Hydreigon to once again act as a powerful wall breaker, making use of Flash Cannon to deal some decent damage to Florges. Hydreigon is also has some niche sets, such as a choice band set meant to break special walls such as Florges and Chansey with its powerful physical attacks. Hydreigon can also make use of a choice scarf set with its 98 base speed and U turn to scout and act as a revenger with its powerful attacks. Finally, Hydreigon can also use choice specs to pile on immense pressure to the opponent, mostly through Draco Meteor and Dark Pulse dealing massive damage to anything that doesn’t resist, while again U turn can scout and maintain momentum.
Number 9: Chansey
Chansey makes its return to UU since the early days of BW, still being a bulk blob. Chansey now has competition in its role with Florges who is more offensive, better typing, and more defense. This give Chansey a run for its spot on teams, especially with the amount of dragons that have dropped into UU such as Haxorus and Zygarde. Chansey generally doesn’t do much but support, and very defensively making it really only common on defensive teams which are making a rise with new threats in UU such as Chesnaught and Hippowdon. Chansey however struggles with the new fightings in UU such as Chesnaught and Keldeo as well as old threats such as Scrafty and Cobalion, making it harder for the pink blob than last generation.
Number 10: Kyurem
Rounding off the list is the legendary ice dragon Kyurem. Kyurem sat neglected in BL last generation, edged out by its other form, Kyurem Black. Kyurem can finally stretch its legs again in UU with its famous Substitute Roost set, making use of Ice Beam and Earth Power for near flawless coverage, resisted only by a few pokemon such as Rotom Heat. However, Kyurem is also capable of using different sets such as a choice scarf set using its powerful dragon stabs to punish switch ins and sweep with ice beam, while a life orb wall breaker set makes use of Kyurem’s 130 offensive stats and movepool to pressure walls with moves like Outrage, Draco Meteor, and Rock Slide to beat common switch ins such as Chansey and Rotom Heat that would normally stop it. This makes it seem that Kyurem outclasses Hydreigon, but its weakness to stealth rocks as well as Hydreigon’s access to U turn makes it different enough to not be outclassed.
And this rounds off the list. There are other threats that are honorable mentions that are good but just not as good as the list threats such as Hippowdon, Florges, and Magnezone. It should be noted that dragons are making a rise in UU, falling a bit from grace in OU with the rise of fairies such as Sylveon and Mawile. How will this effect UU, only time will tell.