gimmepie

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Terrain is a steadily growing element of competitive Pokémon. Let's take a look at the pro and cons of the various types of terrain and how they are impacting current metagames. What do you think of terrain?
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Age 26
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Terrain started off as completely irrelevant. It's hard to believe that it even existed in Gen 6, given its complete irrelevance to ANY competitive metagame in that generation. It was at its strongest in Gen 7, though we are certain to see it reach new heights with the Crown Tundra release. I'll stick to past/current metagames for now, though.

Terrain was looking to be nearly busted when it was provided ability-based activation from 4 Pokemon that already possessed great stats and typings. There were some early discussions of possible Tapu Koko or Tapu Lele bans, though these never materialized into bans as the power level of OU was simply ridiculous. I really appreciated some of the tech that terrain provided throughout the course of the metagame. Since it stacked with weather, Tapu Koko could abuse the rain for completely nuclear, 100% accurate Thunders. Nothing outside of immunities wanted to switch in on that. Psychic Terrain could mess with a lot of players; Pokemon like Bisharp and Azumarill on the opposing team would be neutered pretty efficiently while the terrain was active. I loved seeing the assistance provided to Hyper Offense teams from this terrain.

Tapu Bulu was an interesting case that I expected to fade into irrelevancy as the metagame went on. However, Grassy Terrain gave it just the boost it needed to be a terrifying sweeper and/or wallbreaker. The tech I loved seeing was running Pokemon weak to Earthquake that could then survive with the terrain set and even heal a bit at the end of the turn. This even led to some people running High Horsepower, which would otherwise be an objectively worse move than Earthquake due to its slightly lower accuracy and BP. Tapu Fini was horribly frustrating to deal with, though it sucked that entry hazards activated before terrain. This meant that Fini was a poor Defog user against Toxic Spikes teams and nearly necessitated a grounded Poison type teammate. We amazingly never got to see automatic terrain in any tier below OU.

In Gen 8 the first thing that comes to mind is Rillaboom. It's one of the most dominant Pokemon in OU right now. Rillaboom was the greatest benefactor of the new terrain-related moves that were introduced with Isle of Armor. Grassy Glide is easily one of the best moves in the game. I believe that with all damage factors involved it's the most powerful priority move in the game (let me know if I'm wrong here). The other terrains are OK, though they're really more cheese in OU than a legitimate part of the metagame. I don't play UU much this gen, but it looks like Rising Voltage and Expanding Force gave their respective terrains just barely enough to be viable in UU. They're nothing special, but a team that happens to be unprepared is in for a really rough time. Unfortunately, a majority of teams naturally check these strategies and can play around them somewhat easily. Indeedee-F appears to be a big threat in RU, though Pincurchin is now horrible in RU without Raichu-A. I do like that UU's Electric Terrain strategies actually establish some viability for the Terrain Extender item, which previously was mostly cheese.

I don't think we'll see much of Misty Terrain from Weezing-G. Its other two abilities are far superior and it will likely never drop to a tier where it could use Misty Terrain effectively. Misty Explosion is a really, really awful move btw.

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gimmepie

Age 25
Male
Australia
Seen 31 Minutes Ago
Posted 33 Minutes Ago
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8.5 Years
Grassy Glide is easily one of the best moves in the game. I believe that with all damage factors involved it's the most powerful priority move in the game (let me know if I'm wrong here).
Pretty sure you're correct! Previously the strongest were Sucker Punch and Extreme Speed, which both have 80BP to Grassy Glide's 70. But, Grassy Glide has to factor in the boost it gets from the terrain as well as any STAB, meaning it edges them out in power.
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Mobile Tsk

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Age 26
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Pretty sure you're correct! Previously the strongest were Sucker Punch and Extreme Speed, which both have 80BP to Grassy Glide's 70. But, Grassy Glide has to factor in the boost it gets from the terrain as well as any STAB, meaning it edges them out in power.
Thanks for double checking me there - it is really fascinating to see the way that the list of moves and usable strategies has changed over time.

The one thing that I neglected to mention in my previous post was the new possibilities granted to Unburden strategies by the Terrains. I first saw a RMT in the beginning of SM OU on Smogon that championed the early Electric Seed Hawlucha set. I thought this was heat at first, something that could be abused by a skilled player to pull off surprise wins but nothing special in the long-term metagame. I was definitely wrong about that; it turned out to be a nearly metagame-defining strategy, at least for the majority of SM OU, that had to be accounted for. Hawlucha could really viably run any seed, other than perhaps Misty Seed. It's not that the strategy wouldn't work - just that Tapu Fini would be a poor partner for the Hyper Offense-enabling Hawlucha.

In current SS OU, Hawlucha returns with really only its Grassy Seed being a viable choice. Highly skilled players may be able to function with Indeedee or even Pincurchin+Raichu-A support, but I personally am not at the caliber of player to be able to abuse such all-or-nothing tech. Still, Rillaboom is a great Pokemon, and by extention Hawlucha gains a great deal of viability running in Grassy Terrain as well. I am curious to see how this will shake out in lower tiers. While Slurpuff would nearly always want to run Sitrus Berry, the opponent could be in for a nasty surprise if it healed back up to full HP using Drain Punch alongside a defensive boost from Psychic Seed or Electric Seed. Hitmonlee would generally prefer to run Close Combat + White Herb for its Unburden boost, but it would generally love the support from Indeedee-F in combating Hitmonlee's most superb check in Vileplume. The SpDef boost from Psychic Seed could allow it to live a stray special attack even after a Close Combat drop, and the immediacy of the seed activation would allow Hitmonlee to outspeed the entire metagame with no setup required. When Pincurchin predictably drops to PU, perhaps its combination of Spikes and Memento support with Electric Terrain could give rise to Electric Seed Drifblim.

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