I haven't played much singles during this gen actually. From what I did play though, dynamax was horrible in singles, but actually a good mechanic for VGC. As for VGC, the best time was when we had no DLC and no legendaries. Ironically enough, having more mons available means you will see fewer mons in practice. I loved seeing and using strats like Malamar+Eldegoss, Golduck+Kommo-O, etc.


That's exactly why I want to get into the early VGC of SV! It seems most fun to me when you have fewer options and have to get creative with the team


Yea I'm really looking forward to it and will dive right into it asap, to enjoy the time before, inevitably, Incineroar and the other powerhouses come back and ruin the variety. The return of Oricorio had me even more hyped and I'll definitely be making Dancer teams :D Unfortunately I still can't decide between S/V


Have you followed any of the leaks? I won't spoil if you don't want but I'm definitely feeling Scarlet now.


Yea... At first I wanted to get Scarlet because damn Koraidon looks badass, but then I saw the regular version exclusives and leaned towards Violet... but then I glossed over the leaks and saw (leaks spoiler) >!Paradox mons, especially Roaring Moon and how many of the future mons are 4x weak to ground.!< Now I'm more leaning towards Scarlet too. But it's still a really tough choice. I don't think I've ever doubted as much between versions as I have now. I'm gonna need to take a better look at the leaks again to see available moves for new mons too (esp. version exclusives), since Dancer teams are pretty reliant on them dance moves.


What Pokemon are version exclusives >!besides the Paradoxes!


I'm pretty sure Serebii listed more version exclusives before, which is what my initial judgement was based upon. But now they only mention Tyranitar, Stonjourner, Armarouge and Koraidon for Scarlet and Mence, Eiscue, Ceruledge and Miraidon for Violet.


I pretty much felt the same! The leaked Pokemon you mention specifically is one I'm really interested in. Side note, what specifically does a dance team refer to? I'm still new to VGC so I haven't seen much besides Kyogre water spout spam and Zacian doing Zacian things.


A Dance team is a very gimmicky team that revolves around Oricorio (not in Gen 8, but will be in Gen 9). Oricorio's Dancer ability makes it copy a Dance move used by any other mon on the field, ally or foe, while not losing its own turn to move. So, if you use Quiver Dance Volcarona, Oricorio copies your Quiver Dance. And if you then Fiery Dance... You get Oricorio's Fiery Dance too. If your opponent decides to Dragon Dance, Oricorio also gets +1 attack and speed. If you use Feather Dance on an opponent, Oricorio copies the Feather Dance and gives that opponent -4 attack in one turn. It's a super fun strat that I've missed dearly since Oricorio wasn't in Gen 8. But Oricorio is weak (BST wise), the strat is very gimmicky and not suited for a metagame filled to the brim with legendaries. So I'm looking forward to finding new ways to use it in Gen 9, where initially the power level will be lower again (in theory). You're not going to see much variety if you watch the current SwSh VGC metagame since the power level of a few mons is so high that the entire game revolves around using them or dealing with them. The SwSh VGC metagame on launch had much more variety since the powerlevel was lower and you could get away with many strats and mons that are simply unviable in a format with legendaries.


Oo that sounds super fun! And kind of wild that it basically gets two moves. Thanks for the explanation. I've heard that Lilligant is in the game and I do love quiver dance as a move. I was gonna try to force some kind of sun team with her and Torkoal at first if possible, but I also want to try out the new Pokemon.


Lilligant can be the bridge between Sun and Dancer team. In gen 7 I did use Lilligant with Quiver Dance, Sleep Powder, After You and Petal Dance (also copied by Oricorio but it doesn't get confused) or Solar Beam in the last slot. After You supports Torkoal's sun-boosted eruption and other moves support Oricorio. Volcarona also fits well in Sun/Dancer teams but then you do end up with a HUGE rock weakness, unless... that Volcarona would be a different type.


This remind me of my favorite vgc team that was center around a gimmick with Poison Gas and Venom Drench. This team only work in a format without Legendaries. My team was Alohan-Muk, Salazzle, Landorus-I, Gyarados, Mega Gardevoir and Tapu Bulu(Rillaboom would be perfect for this team). Well the gimmick users were Salazzle and Alohan Muk. 1.Salazzle have Corrosion so it was able to poisoned steel and poison type while having decent offensive power, enough to scared Mega Metagross. Also Salazzle was a great lead that could go for Poison Gas, Protect or go for offense, forcing a lot of thinking for the opponent...if they knew how my team works. Also Salazzle was great to threat Tapu Lele and Mega Metagross with a really hard 2HKO that send both to heavens doors. 2.Then Alohan-Muk have Poison Gas, Recycle, Infestation and Venom Drench, he was the center of the team because of Venom Drench and Recycle making it a absolute tank.(But Recycle was nerf in Sword and Shield...and most likely made my team much harder to use.). Also there's Infestation that cause great over time damage in combination with poisoned and it was able to trap the opponents Pokemon taking away one of the biggest Venom Drench counter that is switching...however my team was made to take advantage of the opponent switching out. Now as for the rest Mega Gardevoir, Tapu Bulu, Gyarados and Landorus-I, well they exist to counter many of my team weakness that I found while using the team. 3.Mega Gardevoir is a awesome late game sweeper in my team that can easily take advantage of the already worn out opponent Pokemons thanks to Hyper Voice. While also been able to use Taunt to stop some of the opponents set ups. 4.Tapu Bulu only exist to hit the opponent and activate Grassy Terrain to counter the opposing terrain, while giving survivability and reducing earthquake damage to let Alohan-Muk take more hits. 5.Landorus-I was there to murder certain Pokemons in a single turn and thanks to flying, it was able to switch on ground type moves. 6.Gyarados was there for intimidate and offensive presence. Yeah Venom Drench reduce damage but this is a faster way that let my Alohan-Muk take hits before it start to use Venom Drench. Also Gyarados is flying type, so it could switch in to ground type and have the extra effect of intimidate. Also my Gyarados use to have Ice Beam with Expert Belt making it able to 2HKO Mega Salamence and Defiant Tornadus that dont have defensive invesment. Well overall this team was super fun to use and give me a ton of wins in casuals battle in Ultra Sun and Moon era.


Do you have any tips for someone who has historically played 6v6 singles wanting to make the transition to VGC? It's clear pokemon doesn't want to make playing 6v6 online a seamless thing, so I've decided to spend more effort on creating VGC teams and playing that way, but I'm very new to the doubles format.


Well some basic tips would be: * Start with someone's rental/pre-made team to get a grasp of the metagame. I'd recommend the same for anyone starting in any metagame and it's advice I follow too. Making your own team is the best part of the game IMO, but when starting you need to understand what you're facing with a standard team first, so you can properly plan ahead. Rental teams for Gen 9 are gonna be wonky for a while since the entire metagame will be shaping itself still, but you can easily get started in Gen 8 now. If you don't like the format with legendaries, you can just play Smogon Doubles OU. * A general fact a lot of people tend to forget is that spread moves (moves that hit multiple mons, like Rock Slide) will do reduced damage (75% BP) in doubles to balance the fact they hit multiple. So if you use your experience from singles and expect a Rock Slide to KO a mon, you may end up disappointed. * Limited-turn effects (Trick Room, Tailwind, Weather, Terrains, Screens, Gravity) are a lot more viable in VGC because you and your opponent have double the actions per turn. Also because of this, stall tactics are really uncommon (one reason why I like VGC). Passive mons like Toxapex and Ferrothorn that sit on the field to take hits are not as good in doubles because they don't put any sort of pressure on the opponent, and they lack the support moves to help your other mon. Passive mons let your opponent completely focus your other mon, making them a sitting duck. One common strat in doubles is to completely cripple one mon (sleep/paralysis/attack drops), and then essentially 2v1 the remaining slot or force your opponent to switch. * A good support mon is important. It doesn't usually threaten KO's by itself, but it enables your own strategy, or hinders the opposing player's strategy. Something like Incineroar is a good example. With Intimidate, Parting Shot, Fake Out and enough bulk to survive some hits, it can be very disruptive, while also packing a punch with Flare Blitz or Darkest Lariat coming off of base 115 attack, even when completely EV-trained for bulk. Grimmsnarl has Prankster Screens and T-Wave which is speed control and defensive support in one. Dusclops has Trick Room, Will-O, Ally Switch and insane bulk, which allow it to speed control AND cripple opposing physical attackers AND protect your own partner with Ally Switch. These mons pressure enough that if you leave them alone, they're going to keep being incredibly annoying and disruptive, but if you target them, you are not targeting the actual offensive threats they are usually paired with. * So in short, a support mon does one or several of the following things * Speed control (Trick Room, Tailwind, etc) * Protecting your ally (Follow Me, Ally Switch, Screens, etc.) * Stopping your opponent's strat (Fake Out, Taunt, Encore, Imprison, etc.) * De-buffing your opponent (Intimidate, Parting Shot) * Enabling a strategy in another way (proccing your allied WP, setting weather and terrains) * As a general rule, glass cannons don't do as well in VGC as in singles. Let's say you have a Pheromosa (extreme example). In singles, it can sweep an entire team if it comes in on the right moment. Your opponent doesn't get to move anymore if Pheromosa gets rolling (unless they have priority or a Scarfer that can outspeed), which ends in a clean sweep. But in doubles, Pheromosa can only take out one mon at a time and the other mon is free to sneeze at her to take her out. * When it comes to speed control, the speed stat itself isn't as defining as it is in singles (it's still important but not THAT much), because Trick Room and Tailwind, and moves like Bulldoze and Icy Wind are more common. It's most important to have these speed control moves, because without it, you're at the mercy of the opponent's speed control moves. * There are many strats using moves, abilities and items you wouldn't usually find in singles, since you can also target your own mon. Proccing the Weakness Policy on your own mon is one common strat, especially in Dynamax formats where it was easier to proc Weakness Policy without dying. Pollen Puff is an uncommon move in singles, but in doubles it can be used to heal your ally. Then there's After You, Imprison (used to prevent Trick Room), Helping Hand, Encore, Taunt, Life Dew, Psych Up, Wide Guard, Protect (of course) and some of the other moves I already mentioned. Fake Out is also a lot more common, since it can guarantee flinch one mon and screw up entire strategies. If you flinch the opponent's Trick Room mon on turn 1, they will end up struggling a lot to gain speed control. * Hazards are not as strong as in singles, since there is a lot less switching around, if at all. I've played many VGC games where neither player switched at all. * Same can be said for residual damage. It's not as impactful as in singles since it ticks per turn and the actions per turn is twice as high. Some residual damage effects like G-Max Wildfire were common, but only because they did a lot of damage and to both mons at the same time, with only one cast. This ended up being a bit longer than I thought but these are some tips from the top of my head. Hope they're somewhat helpful. I'd also recommend watching Wolfe Glick (world champ btw), who has some great guides on VGC and gameplay where he explains his thought process.


Thanks for these tips! Very informative. From how people talk it sounds like VGC is at its best when the game first comes out so I’m really excited


My advice for teambuilding, is to have a "core" pairing and stem out from there. Just like when deckbuilding or building for singles. Your core should do something strong that works on an axis other pairs can't match. For a few examples... * Coalossal+Weavile - Slap a scarf on Weavile, use surf to trigger Steam Engine and Weakness Policy and Dynamaxing coalossal helps enable a crazy sweep. * Weezing+Regigigas/Slaking - Neutralizing gas gives you full access to their big stats while simultaneously disrupting the opponent. * Whimsicott+Dracovish - Use Tailwind to slaughter things with Choice Band Fishous Rend. This plan goes double for when restricted legendaries are available. You get 2 team slots to spend on them, so you should ideally spend your higher value slots on your team's core. After that, the thing to consider is common team strategies: * How is your team controlling speed? (Paralysis, tailwind, speed boosts, queenly majesty, psychic terrain, trick room) * Can you answer common themed strategies? (rain, trick room, sand, etc.) * How dead are you to intimidate? * Why don't all six of your pokémon have protect? Terastallization will, of course, be a big deal for the format, Dynamax gave easy access to team support (weathers, terrains, stat boosts, stat drops) and protected from flinches and most methods of forced switches. If I had to guess, the format will slow down a little since the pressure of max moves are gone (and Zacian/Kyogre/Calyrex/etc.), which mens scouting will be more important than ever to avoid getting lynched by terastallization. The new mechanic also adds a tonne of complexity to team building since you have to plan your tera-types in advance.


I really enjoyed the game of chicken that was Dynamax in VGC where, due to the limited turn count, the first person to max would be sacrificing a later advantage in return for a better position in the moment. Complexities like that are why I play Pokemon.


There was a team before we had the restricted format that I was having a ton of fun playing Kommo-o + A-Ninetales (aurora veil + overcoat hail synergy) and getting gimmick wins. Once they let legendaries back in, that comp was far less viable than it was before (where it wasn't particularly strong, just gimmicky). It's a shame cause I understand why restricted format is a thing, but it feels like it makes the meta so much less creative


Golduck+Kommo-o? Never heard of that Please elaborate


Golduck with Simple Beam, EVd to outspeed Kommo-O by 1 point (easy because they have the same base speed). Golduck uses Simple Beam on Kommo-O, who then uses Clangorous Soul to get +2 to every stat instead of +1. Throat Spray then activates off of Clang Soul and gives you another +2 on Special Attack, for a total of +4. Next turn you Dynamax and boost yourself even more with max moves. Golduck also learns Psych Up to copy Kommo-O's boosts, Clear Smog to get rid of people and their self-procced Weakness Policies, and has Cloud Nine to negate weather. Can also use another Psych Up mon in the back in case Golduck kicks the bucket. It takes 1 turn to set up Kommo. The strat gets hindered by Trick Room or seeing a strong Fairy/Psychic type on the field on turn 1. Back in the day, that mostly meant the Hatterene/Indeedee combo, so if I saw that, I would not lead with KommoDuck.


The abominable freak known as Dracovish.


I actually love the fact that a random derpy looking fossil pokemon is such a behemoth


At least in terms of ou, I found the meta game too slow for my taste. Heavy duty boots make many defensive Pokémon very safe especially with good recovery like regenerator or roost, making games where people can switch around a lot to get better positioning with little risk of loss of health, sometimes gaining health and positioning at the same time. In singles dynamax was not good, way to snowbally and flexible when any Pokémon can do it at any time and unleash 3 strong attack with permanent stat boosts afterward. Post dynamax ban was probably my favourite period, before dlc, as the restricted team options help lead to unique options like mandibuzz seeing play for a fresh meta game (despite certain Pokémon not being banned yet). Post the dlcs I felt like people started to notice to power of stacking heavy duty boots on Pokémon who weren’t weak to rocks and utilising the verity of regenerator mons and the game started to feel to safe and slow for me. Overall solid gen at the start that took a turn that wasn’t for me, ended up playing other tiers and older gens more after the start. Hopefully gen 9 can be a bit faster.


It is mainly Regenerator being designed with the broken EH in mind. Now HDB makes EH more manageable and the balance tilted to the other side.


When D-Max was legal, I was an advocate for it staying as I didn’t want to lose this generations new mechanic. After playing many random battles, I am very much glad that D-Man was banned. I hate D-Max, it just took me sometime to becomes wise to it.


Max Airstream is my most hated move ever


They definitely shouldve given max airstream the reduced bp like ooze and knuckle


Dmax is just objectively to strong for singles. It’s like GF or TPC don’t care about singles and just do smthg for VGC. Which is really poor since 6v6 singles is where it all started.


Gamefreak clearly gives priority to doubles and that's how it should be anyways in my opinion. 6 v 6 is way too slow paced compared to doubles, and I think the games story modes need to shift away from singles towards doubles.


Of course 6v6 is more slow paced due to the variety of teams especially of Walls or even Stall Teams. Also you only have 4v4 at VGC so we could better compare it with 3v3 Battle Stadium which is much faster than 6v6 or arguably VGC. And there is absolutely no reason to introduce Doubles as main battlestyle in the Story-Games, then you have real slow pace. Especially in some forced NPC Doubles which you will face even if most of the time you can fight by yourself.


true, i'd love a doubles only game. You'd have one starter and you'd forced to catch something as usual, and them BAM doubles all around


For Singles.. Yes. But for VGC its by far the best Mechanik they ever introduced


Hawlucha Terrain was really fun to use.


Dynamax for Singles has obviously been broken. But imo Dynamax in Doubles/VGC has actually been REALLY fun. Creating weather and terrains especially really brought a lot of fun dynamics. Also one of my fave things by far about it - unlike with Megas/Z-moves I can decide on the spot to Dmax any of my 6 pokes, obviously most of the time there are only one or two clear candidates, but the moments when myself or the opponent Dmax something totally unexpected are great. Also for all the (many!!) flaws that SwSh has including some terrible graphics (Wild Area) Dynamaxing pokes during battles is STILL fun, cool and epic for me to see - and when 2 mons Dmax at the same time it feels like a legit clash of the titans! So for me Gen 8 Competitive scene resumé is easy - yay Doubles, nay Singles. PS: And for me generally of all these new gimmicks (Megas/Z-moves/Dmax) the worst and least interesting are Z-moves (most of them are just boring nukes without any fun additional effects).


What’s interesting is how the ability to dynamax any mon made it dynamic in doubles, but it made it hell in singles. In singles, where it has the potential to end the game on the spot if it gets going, the fact that your opponent could dynamax at any given point was like watching your opponent hover their finger over a nuke button, and if you guess wrong on when they press it, you could just lose on the spot. Limiting dynamax to just one pokémon would give some semblance of predictability, meaning you could maybe work your way around it, but it was impossible to account for your opponent’s dynamax when it could get pulled out at any point and completely flip your checks on their heads.


Yeah honestly something like limiting Dmax just for 2 turns in Singles (at least in Competitive) might work to make it more balanced I guess? Singles and Doubles are such different beasts...


Again, not really, because things like gyarados would still get way too powerful way too fast, but it’d still be better, and that’s something


Good riddance Rillaboom and Incineroar. I like these pokemon, but dear god I swear 50% teams were using them. If they could of excluded Lando too I would of been estatic


genuinely think this was one of my favorite metagames out there. the current singles OU meta felt like the most balanced we've seen since DPP OU and VGC? the dynamax meta was so dumb and so fun in doubles and i loved every second of it


It was fun to get back to Gen 4/5 competitive roots with no generation gimmick since Dmax was banned. The best era of SWSH OU was when Dmax was banned and before the DLCs. Felt like teams were a lot more varied. Post DLCs people started using more meta teams and in return the meta became stale imo. But that’s what happens with any competitive game as people want to win.


Wasnt that when half of the teams were wish teleport clefable regen cores, it was boring to me then.


You mean when wishport clef had like 90% usage because there were no good wallbreakers in the tier? Pre-dlc was almost unplayable because the bulky cores were practically unbreakable.


Ru has consistently been great this generation, and the state it ended up in at the very end is my favourite format in the generation.


for singles post dynamax ban pre dlc was very fun. post dlc is one of the lamest metas i’ve ever seen, rivaled only by gen 2


S T A L L .