Adjusting to Gen 5 OU from Gen 4 OU - 62% Complete
Adjusting to Gen 5 OU from Gen 4 OU - 62% Complete
Red - Completed
-- The concept of leads and the new Team Preview feature
-- The old and their change
- Rotom Forms and the change
- Azelf / Aerodactyl - "No more suicide leads"
- Machamp & Suicune and RestTalking
-- Other mentions: The Stagnant
-- The new OUs and their affect on metagame
-- Weather domination (Sand, Sun, and Rain)
- Tyranitar / Hippowdon: A New Sand Age - Old vs New - Along with Excadrill, Terrakion, and Landorus
- Role of new Rain - With Politoed, Rotom-W, Thundurus, Starmie, Vaporeon, Tentacruel, Toxicroak, and Steel types.
- Role of new Sun - With Ninetales, Heatran, Infernape, Volcarona, Venusaur, Darmanitan, Victini, Sawsbuck, Tangrowth
- Reign of Dragons: Lati@s, Haxorus, Hydreigon, Salamence
Are you someone that play or have played Gen OU and have no idea what's going on this generation? Are you having a lot of problems adjusting to this generation and are confused to all the new changes? Well then, this guide was made for people like you. Most players have a hard time adjusting to this generation and end up giving up, simply because they just can't seem to grasp the new alterations of this generation. This guide will help you answer all your questions about the transition between Gen 4 OU to Gen 5 OU. It will make your experience with this new generation a lot more enjoyable. Good luck.
Gen 4 OU - The Transition
To begin with, this guide will help you understand the old Gen 4 OU Pokemon and their transition to Gen 5 OU. Every Pokemon will be listed here with a brief explanation of their old role in Gen 4 OU and their new role now in Gen 5 OU.
Heatran was arguably the most dominant force in Gen 4 OU. Majority of the times, it was the most used Pokemon of the tier fighting alongside Scizor for #1. Heatran had many roles in Gen 4 OU. It was used as a great lead to handle other common leads and set up Stealth Rock. But unfortunately, the concept of a lead in Gen 5 OU has lost its meaning, simply because of the new Team Preview feature (which will be explained later). Heatran also served as a great revenge killer with a Choice Scarf set, being able to revenge kill common fast sweepers like Infernape, Gengar, Azelf, Lucario, etc. As well as serving as a powerhouse with Choice Specs as its item and a 130 Base Power SpAtk, easily OHKOing bulky Pokemon like Machamp, Rotom-A, Zapdos, etc. While posing a threat to any Pokemon that wishes to switch in safely. Heatran's other popular set was the offensive Life Orb sweeper set, which allowed it to sweep with ease, with its fearsome base 130 SpAtk boosted by 30% (from Life Orb). And Explosion allowing it to destroy almost any specially bulked Pokemon that tries to counter its Special Attacks, like Blissey. But with the transition to Gen 5, Heatran has lost it's #1 place on the usage statistics. Heatran's biggest loss in this generation is its ability to use Explosion. Heatran can no longer pose a threat to specially defensive Pokemon like Blissey with Explosion because of Explosion's downfall. Explosion no longer decreases the foe's Defense by 50%, meaning Explosion is only half as power this generation than last generation. This may upset you, but Heatran still plays a great role in the new metagame. With the new item Air Balloon, it can evade Ground-type attacks (but Air Balloon is a limited item, as once you've been attacked your Air Balloon pops). It is also still one of the best Stealth Rock supporters. As well as countering common threats like Ferrothorn, Scizor, Skarmory, and Jirachi. Heatran is also one of the best checks to a Drought team as it checks many opposing Chlorophyll abusers like Venusaur, Tangrowth, and Lilligant.
Jirachi has always had a great niche in every generation. In Generation 4, Jirachi had an infamous title, where it was disgraced by many players as a "luck-based" Pokemon. This was simply because of Jirachi's Serene Grace ability, doubling its chances of secondary effects. Iron Head's 60% flinch rate was really unbearable in Gen 4, where Heatran was the only hard counter to Jirachi. But with the advent of Gen 5, Jirachi has lost much of its recognition as a flinch haxing sweeper due to the many Steel-types and much faster threats. With rain up, Fire Punch won't be dealing much damage on Steel-types. While new bulky Water-types like Jellicent easily wall it and cripple it with Will-O-Wisp. Due to this, Jirachi has taken the role of being a specially defensive supporter this generation. With so many rampant Dragon-types, such as Latios and Latias, Jirachi has become the prime supporter to stop these threats. Along with Reuniclus and Gengar in OU, specially defensive Jirachi always finds its great niche in the metagame.
After Salamence got banned from Gen 4, Dragonite became the new powerhouse of the tier. After a Dragon Dance, it was able to rip holes trough the opposing team with a Lum Berry to prevent confusion or setting up on status. Or a Life Orb for unbearable power. With Choice Band, it's able to 2HKO even the bulkiest of Pokemon with Outrage, such as Scizor, Impish Gyarados, and Gliscor. Another role Dragonite served was the anti-lead role, being able to successfully take on common leads with its devastatingly power Draco Meteor. One thing to point out is its weakness to Stealth Rocks, which makes it lose 25% of its health every time it switches into the field, a good reason why Rapid Spin support is benificial. In 5th gen, it received a new ability, allowing it to outclass its brother, Salamence, which overshadowed when it was OU last gen. This new ability is called Multiscale, which halves the damage Dragonite receives from attacks, allowing it to set up and sweep much easier. Dragonite can also take advantage of permanent rain that Politoed brings to the field with moves like Hurricane and Thunder (both 100% accuracy in rain), and if you want you can use Surf, Waterfall, or Aqua Tail (all getting a 50% power boost in rain). Dragonite can also run a bulkier set coupled with entry hazards and abuse Dragon Tail to phaze and deal damage. Thunder Wave is also a great option for bulky phazing Dragonite.
What makes Magnezone stand out the most is its ability, Magnet Pull. This ability allows him to trap Steel-types such as Scizor, Skarmory, or Ferrothorn, set-up on them and then kill them off (or in Skarmory's case, killing him right of the bat as it could Whirlwind you away). Magnezone also has a great typing providing him of a lot of resistances. Magnezone also has access the move Explosion, the perfect move to get rid of those SkarmBliss combos in Gen 4. Magnezone could also use a Choice item such as Choice Scarf or Choice Specs, which allowed him to score some suprising kills. Also, access to Magnet Rise makes it easier to also set-up on Metagross, one of the most common leads. However, while Magnezone didn't receive much respect in the Gen 4 metagame, it is a commonly seen Pokemon in the 5th gen scenario. Mainly due to the fact that almost all teams have some kind of Steel-type Pokemon. Getting rid of the opponent's Ferrothorn or Skarmory is a valuable asset to any team. Its role hasn't changed much from Gen 4. Although it can't use Explosion anymore due to Explosion's power being degraded in half. It still easily traps Skarmory, Ferrothorn, Forretress, Jirachi and other common Steel-type Pokemon in Gen 5. It can serve as an essential utensil needed for a team that has trouble with Steel-type Pokemon, such as a team specializing with Dragon-types.
From its release in Diamond/Pearl, Bronzong has always been a very sturdy pokemon, a very bulky Pokemon. Bronzong has a great movepool to be an awesome supporter, getting access to Stealth Rocks, Reflect and Light Screen, also being able to Trick to cripple something, able to set up Trick Room if needed and then explode in your opponent's face. Its great typing, combined with Levitate makes it only weak to Fire-type moves, another reason why its so hard to take down. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any form of recovery outside of Rest, which means that it will die to repetitive hits. As far as gen 5 goes, Bronzong is a very useful pokemon not only because the aforementioned reasons, but because it is one of the best Pokemon to stop sandstorm abusers such as Excadrill or Landorus. With its immunity to Earthquake, resisting Rock Slide/Stone Edge and not taking much damage from X-Scissor or Return. It is also arguably the best counter to Gliscor with Hidden Power Ice and arguably the best Dragon Dance Dragonite and Salamence counter in the rain. In the rain, the power of Fire-type moves is weakened by 50%, meaning Bronzong has no weaknesses, easily being able to take a Fire Blast or Fire Punch.
Azelf, Aerodactyl, and other suicide leads
Back in Gen 4, Suicide leads were very commonly used. Their purpose was to either set up entry hazards, usually Stealth Rock, or to simply beat other leads. They were called suicide leads because they usually died in the first few turns of the battle, usually after they have fulfilled their purpose. Also, many of these suicide leads held Focus Sashes to ensure that they would survive long enough to serve their purpose. Azelf and Aerodactyl were two great suicide leads back in Gen 4. Azelf, in particular, was a very common lead, because of its many move options and great offensive and speed stats. Azelf could set up Stealth Rocks, Taunt opposing leads, set up Dual Screens, and even use Explosion to wipe out other Pokemon (because of Explosion's mechanics in Gen 4). Aerodactyl could do many of the same things that Azelf could. Aerodactyl could also set up Stealth Rocks and Taunt the opposing leads, in addition to just attacking them. What sets Aerodactyl apart from the rest is its base 130 speed, faster than nearly every other OU Pokemon. Apart from the lead spot, Azelf and Aerodactyl could run Life Orb based attacking sets to some effectiveness, however their true calling seemed to be suicide leads. With the introduction of Gen 5, the whole concept of leads 'flew out the window.' This was so because of the introduction of Team Preview, which lets you and your opponent choose the order of their teams before the start of the battle. Because of this, people were easily able to counter these suicide leads, thus they became less popular. Azelf and Aerodactyl, in Gen 5, are nowhere near as popular as they used to be, because their suicide lead sets simply don't work as well this generation. Their most common sets at this point have to be Life Orb based attacking sets.
Swampert is, arguably, with the exception or Rotom-A, the OU Pokemon that more changed in the transition from Gen 4 to Gen 5, due to Team Preview, Ferrothorn, and the fact that Gastrodon and Quagsire, two Pokemon Swampert easily overshadowed in the past, received a very big upgrade. During Gen 4 OU, Swampert's main role was to keep common threats such as Tyranitar, Flygon, Kingdra among others in check. It also had a good matchup against most common leads, like Metagross, Infernape, Heatran (with the exception of Hidden Power Grass), Aerodactyl, and Gliscor, allowing it to easily lay down Stealth Rock. The lack of recovery was a huge letdown, but that could be solved to a certain degree by pairing it with Jirachi or Blissey, both of whom have acess to Wish, or, by using a RestTalk set. Swampert also has acess to Curse, but, due to its huge weakness to Grass-type moves, it wasn't used too much. However, in this new generation, Swampert's role is much different than before. While it's true it can still take hits well, Storm Drain's buff makes Gastrodon a better special wall, allowing it to keep Politoed, Starmie, Thundurus, and most Drizzle teams in check. Dream World gave Unaware to Quagsire, making it more efficient as a physical wall. With Curse and Unaware along with a priority recovery move (Recover), Quagsire easily outclasses Curse-sweeper Swampert. Though, Swampert is not totally outclassed in Gen 5. Swampert is still a decent Choice Band user, 2HKOing even stuff such as Conkeldurr with Waterfall and luring Ferrothorn, who is nicely taken down by Superpower. Unlike Choice Band Azumarill, Swampert gets access to STAB Earthquake and resistance to Electric-type moves. It also has good synergy with other rain abusers, such as Tornadus, Thundurus, and to an extent, most Water-type Pokemon that need a bulky Pokemon resistant to Electric-type moves.
At one point Roserade was known as one of the premier leads in Gen 4 OU, but as Lum Berry leads, such as Machamp and Metagross, started gaining popularity, it gradually lost its usefulness as a lead. However, partly thanks to Latias being banished to Ubers, Roserade still had its unique niches in the metagame, allowing it to stay OU until the end of the generation. Roserade was easily one of the better entry hazard setters in the tier, missing out only on Stealth Rock, and having plenty of switch in opportunities due to the abundance of Water-types in the tier. It was also the only viable Grass-type with access Sleep Powder, allowing to potentially beat its own counters. Finally, despite being fairly slow, it was able to make effective use of Life Orb, as when it was equipped with it, its Leaf Storm became one of the most obscenely powerful attacks in the entire game. Unfortunately, Roserade has now fallen into UU this generation, but that isn't to say that it cannot still perform in OU as one of the better Specially Defensive hazard setters in the tier. It boasts the ability to safely switch into the popular Rotom-W, something which neither Ferrothorn (due to the threat of Will-O-Wisp) nor Tentacruel can do, as well as Natural Cure, which when paired with Rest gives it more reliable recovery than either of the two aforementioned pokemon.
Snorlax is one of those pokemon who have gotten progressively worse as the generations have passed, and despite being able to hold the title of OU throughout the first four, it has finally falled from grace and into UU. That isn't to say that 4th Gen UU was kind to Snorlax though, as a lot of what made it useful in the first three generations was greatly diminished in the fourth. Its most common set continued to be the Curse set, which while easily sweeping unprepared teams was simply far too slow, momentum-wise, to make a big impact on each game. As a special wall it was sorely outclassed by Blissey, despite actually having some offensive precense, the sheer power of Special Attackers in the tier made it necessary to run a more sturdy special sponge. Snorlax's other effective sets included a Choice Band set and a mono-attacking RestTalking phazer, both of which were outclassed by Tyranitar and Gyarados, respectively. In short, Snorlax's best niche in the fourth generation OU metagame was that of a Curse sweeper, but even then, it wasn't very useful. With the introduction of the 5th generation, Snorlax has finally fallen to UU, where it can once again shine as one of the best pokemon in the tier. If you really insist on using it in Gen 5 OU though, your best bets are probably a ChestoRest set with Curse and the Choice Band set. Don't epect either one of them to achieve much though, as the power level this generation is even higher than it was last time around.
These definitely need like G/P checks or something though.
Rotom forms and the changes
The Rotom formes went through some big changes during the transition from Gen 4 to Gen 5. The most important thing that changed is the fact that when in Gen 4 every Rotom form was of the same typing (Electric/Ghost), but in Gen 5, every appliance has lost its Ghost-type and took a new type in accordance to their form. For example, the Heat forme is now Fire/Electric, the Wash forme is now Water/Electric, and so on. This resulted into another big change, the fact the signature move of every Rotom form (for example Overheat for Heat forme, Hydro Pump for Wash forme) now gets STAB. In the 4th Gen, Rotom was, for the most part, used as a defensive wall and Rapid Spin blocker, able to cripple physical threats that would otherwise beat it (such as Tyranitar) with Will-O-Wisp. Rotom had two great ways of recovering, once was Rest, which forced it to run a RestTalk set (losing a coverage move or a status move) or Pain Split which was reliable only if the opponent had good health. Another set was the SubCharger, using Charge Beam too boost its Special Attack and sweep. Rotom's other set was the TrickScarf one, capable of crippling some of its common switches by Tricking a Choice Scarf item, such as Blissey. With the advent of Gen 5, Rotom formes also obtained a new move called Volt Switch, which is basically like U-Turn, with the only difference that it's an Electric type move and it's a Special Attack. This made Choice Scarf Rotom higher in usage, as it could use this new move as an advantage to its common switch-ins like Celebi or Blissey. Another important difference between the two gens is the fact that in 4th gen Rotom was a victim of Pursuit trappers due to its Ghost-typing, but no more now thanks to the type change. Rotom-W is currently the most used forme in Gen 5, as all of the others (bar the Grass-type forme) are weak to Stealth Rocks, and also thanks to the fact that Water is always a good type to have on a team (due to Politoed setting up permanent rain). It's also one of the best counters to Gliscor, and one of the most used pokemon in OU. The other formes are less widespread and not very commonly seen in OU.
Flygon was one of the best revenge killers in Gen 4 OU. This is mainly because of Flygon's resistance to Stealth Rock, immunity to Spikes and Toxic Spikes, excellent typing (Dragon/Ground) coupled with Levitate, access to U-turn, great coverage with STAB Dragon and Ground-type moves, and a great Speed stat making it an excellent Choice Scarf user. These were some of the reasons which made Flygon one of the most used pokemon in 4th gen after the banishment of Salamence. However, its attack is definitely not the best in the world, and because of this, Flygon usually fails to OHKO or 2HKO many common Pokemon. Choice Scarf was not the only viable item for Flygon, and even if it wasn't that common, the item Choice Band also deserves a mention. Flygon was also used as a mixed attacker to mimick Salamence, but the lack of power was very significant. Then 5th gen came and things began to go really bad for Flygon. Its usage dropped a lot, mainly due to the fact that it is outclassed by every other Dragon-type pokemon in the new OU metagame. Thus, Flygon has fallen into the UU tier.
In 4th gen Gliscor was a great defensive Pokemon, and now in 5th gen it got even better thanks to the new Dream World Ability called Posion Heal (made famous by Breloom). Gliscor was a very versatile Pokemon back in the day, as it could serve many roles in a team. The most used was probably the StallBreaker set, which started to become more popular after Salamence got banned. Gliscor could also be used as a lead to get Stealth Rock on the opposing field. Gliscor also has access to Swords Dance making it a viable sweeper as well. Finally, it's ability to Baton Pass should also get a mentioned. Often used under both Screens, Yache Berry to not die against Ice-type moves, Taunt toavoid getting phazed, Rock Polish and Swords Dance to boost its Speed and Attack stats. Then Baton Pass to a Lucario, Dragonite, or a Metagross and it could very well be the end of the game. With Gliscor's new ability it received this generation, Posion Heal, it provides Gliscor with substantial recovery in HP as well as being able to prevent status affliction. The most used set right now is the standard defensive Gliscor, with a lot of EVs invested in bulk, enough speed to reach 244 (or even more). 5th gen also brought a lot of other threats, very strong and very hard to wall, and Gliscor can most likely wall them all. Pokemon such as Conkeldurr, Terrakion, and Excadrill. As for commonly used moves, it often carries Earthquake for a strong STAB move, Swords Dance for Attack boost, Ice Fang for coverage (mainly for Dragons that are x4 weak to Ice), Protect to gain more recovery from Poison Heal, or Taunt to stop a Pokemon from setting up. There are many other optional and viable moves Gliscor can use, such as Fling with Acrobatics, Toxic stalling, or Substitute with Protect stalling.
Lucario is one of the deadliest sweepers in both Gen 4 and Gen 5. Its typing allows it to have a large number of resistances and opportunities to switch in, set up a Swords Dance, and start sweeping the opponent's team. If coupled with the support of Stealth Rocks and Life Orb, after a Swords Dance, it's able to OHKO some of the bulkiest Pokemon in the metagame. Its typical Swords Dance sweeper set carries the moves Swords Dance, Extremespeed, Close Combat, and either Ice Punch or Crunch. In Gen 4, Crunch was usually the more popular option so that Lucario is able to crush stall teams that use Rotom-A as their Ghost-type Pokemon. In Gen 5, most players decide to use Ice Punch instead to KO Gliscor, as Gliscors are everywhere this gen. The lack of Crunch is a big downfall for Lucario though, being walled by Jellicent, a bulky Water/Ghost-type. Lucario also has a very high Special Attack stat, which can be coupled with a Choice Specs to deal some significant damage on a lot of bulky Pokemon. Aura Sphere and Vacumn Wave are needed, as they provide power and priority. Dark Pulse gives nice coverage, being able to defeat Ghost-type threats. Hidden Power Ice is a viable option for the last moveslot to be able to KO Gliscor or Dragonite. Lucario also gets access to Nasty Plot, making it a very deadly Special Attacking sweeper as well. Lucario's role hasn't changed much throughout the transition from Gen 4 OU to Gen 5 OU. The new Gen 5 item, Air Balloon, is a viable option for Lucario though. It will allow Lucario to evade Ground-type attacks like Earthquake from Gliscor and set up on it.
Metagross, another well rounded pokemon in general. Looking at its base stats, we can clearly see how awesome its Attack is. Base 135 Atk was one of the best Attack stats in the Gen 4. And to utilize this fantastic attack, Metagross gets Meteor Mash, a Steel-type STAB move with 100 Base Power. Its ability (Clear Body) is also very useful, as it prevents Intimidate from working. Lead Metagross was one of the most commons leads, able to set up Stealth Rock, deal a lot of damage with Metor Mash/Earthquake, priority Bullet Punch, and even use Explosion at Pokemon that would otherwise counter it, such as Bronzong or Zapdos. Not to mention, Metagross had a good match up with some of the most common leads like Aerodactyl, Crobat, Machamp, Roserade, Smeargle with Lum Berry. If it had an Occa Berry, it could also deal with Heatran, Azelf, or Infernape. Agility is a nice move for a pokemon like Metagross, which is not known for its speed. It allows Metagross to take advantage of its great Attack stat and sweep with ease. Trick with the item Iron Ball was also an option, able to catch your opponent off guard and cripple one of its Pokemon by decreasing its Speed in half and making it weak to Ground-type attacks. Unfortunately, Metagross did not get many new option to play with, its new Dream Wolrd Ability, Light Metal, is almost useless. Explosion getting nerfed also crippled Metagross' capabilities badly. Due to these misfortunes, Metagross isn't as popular anymore in this new OU metagame.
Infernape is a has always been a great offensive Pokemon, as shown from its 104 base Attack and Special Attack stats, along with a great 109 base Speed stat. Infernape usually specializes as a mixed sweeper, and is one of the best stall breakers of both Gen 4 OU and Gen 5 OU. With Fire Blast, Close Combat, Grass Knot, Hidden Power Ice, Mach Punch, or Uturn as its commonly used moves. However, Infernape also has access to two very excellent setup moves, Swords Dance and Nasty Plot. Then, let's not forget the Choice items, Choice Band and Choice Scarf. Because of all the different and viable movesets Infernape can run, it is one of the most unpredictable sweepers in both Gen 4 and Gen 5 OU. However, unlike Gen 5, Infernape was a viable lead, getting access to Stealth Rock, and Fake Out to break potential Focus Sash users. But with the concept of leads gone, due to Team Previews and the degraded popularity of "suicide leads," Infernape lost much its popularity as a lead. However, Gen 5 introduced a new ability for Infernape, Iron Fist, which boosts the power of moves with the word "Punch" in them by 50%. This makes moves like Mach Punch or ThunderPunch more powerful and viable options to carry.
Celebi is one of those pokemon which can be tailored to fit almost any role you want them to, and this was especially true in DP OU. Despite the omnipresence of pokemon like Tyranitar, Scizor, and Heatran in the tier, Celebi was able to overcome its 7 weaknesses and be one of the most consistent defensive pivots in the tier when paired with moves like Thunder Wave, Leech Seed, and Recover. However, it was not an uncommon sight to see Celebi wielding a more offensive set with Life Orb, which gave up quite a bit of bulk in favor of power, which it could use to fire off really powerful Leaf Storms. A lead set was also quite popular for some time, as Celebi has access to Stealth Rock and U-turn, two moves which are well known to be good on leads. Later in DP, a Celebi which possesed the move Nasty Plot was released, allowing it to become a fearsome set-up sweeper as well. Though far less common, Baton Pass and Choice sets were also seen from time to time. In the early stages of BW, Celebi was largely overlooked, as everyone and their neighboor where too busy starting at the shiny new Grass-type supporter that is Ferrothorn. However, with the recent rise in popularity of Rotom-W, which commonly carries Will-O-Wisp or Hidden Power [Fire] to cripple Ferrothorn, Celebi has once again risen to claim its spot as one of the top pokemon in the metagame. The sets it is seen weilding are largely the same, or very similar, to those ran in DP, with the exception of Nasty Plot being much more popular now than it was back then.
Machamp and Suicune and RestTalkers
In Gen 4, Machamp was one of the best anti-lead Pokemon, but with the advent of Gen 5 and the concept of leads depleted, Machamp has lost much of its capabilities. Suicune was an excellent Calm Mind with Rest and Sleep Talk sweeper. It was able to set up Calm Mind with its already awesome defenses. With just one Calm Mind, Suicune posed a threat to any team that lacked a strong Electric- or Grass-type Pokemon or some way of phazing or Tricking a Choice item. Coupled with Rest and Sleep Talk, Suicune was able to restore back substantial health and sweep while asleep. Machamp was able to do the same with its great bulk, while not having to waste crucial Dynamic Punch PP when using Sleep Talk. Though Gamefreak decides to change the way Sleep works this gen. In Gen 5, when your Pokemon is asleep and you switch out, the counter resets. For example, lets say Suicune used Rest and two turns have passed. If I switch Suicune, then the next time I switch back Suicune, it will have to wait another turn turns until it can wake up the next turn. This has crippled almost every viable RestTalker in Gen 4 OU. Still, Machamp does a fine does as a bulky Fighting-type in OU with its ability to confuse Pokemon 100% of the time with a beastly 100 Base Power STAB move. Suicune on the other hand has fallen into UU, not being a viable RestTalker anymore, and being outclassed by other bulky Water-types such as Jellicent and Quagsire.
Zapdos was one of the best Electric-type Pokemon in Gen 4 OU. It had great bulk and Special Attack, but now in Gen 5 OU, Zapdos has lost much of its usage due to a new even more deadlier Electric-type, Thundurus. Even though Thundurus is a much better sweeper since it has access to Nasty Plot, and a higher Speed stats, Zapdos still holds come of its great capabilities in Gen 5 OU. Unlike Thundurus, Zapdos has access to Roost and is much bulkier. Zapdos can still fit itself in a decent stall team to make use of its defensive capabilities with its Pressure ability. Zapdos' Substitute with Toxic set isn't as dangerous anymore this generation due to common Excadrills in Sandstorm teams, that resist both Electric- and Poison-type moves. Zapdos can also find itself a nice niche among rain teams, being able to abuse Thunder with full accuracy.
In Gen 4, Kingdra was a great Rain Dance sweeper and bulky Dragon Dance sweeper. With Rain Dance and Swift Swim, Kingdra was able to sweep whole teams with double its Speed and a 50% boost on its Water-type moves. While the common Dragon Dance sweeper set is usually used under Dual Screens, allowing it to take advantage of its bulk and sweep whole teams after two Dragon Dances. In Gen 5, Politoed with Drizzle was introduce, meaning permanent rain could be set up for any team with Politoed. However, the problem now is that Swift Swim is banned alongside Drizzle on the same team. Due to this, players are no longer allowed to abused Kingdra's full potential in Gen 5 OU. Nevertheless, players have found ways to make Swift Swim Kingdra viable, by placing it in a team without Politoed and using it as a check for teams that rely on using Politoed and the rain.
Scizor was one of the most popular used Pokemon in Gen 4 OU, often competing against Heatran for rank #1 in usage statistics. In Gen 5, Scizor shows still shines in the top of the usage statistics, always topping the top 5. There are good reasons as to why Scizor still remains so popular. Scizor gets access to one of the most powerful priority move (Bullet Punch) when coupled with Technician, a 130 Base Power Attack stat, and STAB. With Choice Band and Bullet Punch, it allowed Scizor to defeat so many threats in Gen 4, such as Dragon Dance Tyranitar, Dragonite, Flygon, Gengar, etc. In Gen 5, it still plays the same role, handling Terrakion, Lati@s, Haxorus, etc; with Bullet Punch. U-turn is still just as powerful and threatening as it was in Gen 4 OU. Specially defensive Scizor with Swords Dance and Leftovers is also much more popular in Gen 5 OU than Gen 4 OU due to such special attacking threats as Reuniclus, Gengar, and Lati@s. Scizor also works great in the rain in Gen 5, which decreases its weakness to Fire-type moves by 50%, allowing Scizor to take hits like Hidden Power Fire from Latios and counter back.
Gyarados was a very popular Pokemon throughout the whole DPP era. Its most popular set was the standard Dragon Dance set with the common Taunt attack. The reason Gyarados was so popular in Gen 4 was because there were very few Pokemon that could actually stop this beast. Players had to rely on bulky Water-types with Hidden Power Electric to take it down efficiently. But with the advent od Gen 5, a lot of new threats were introduced. Unlike Gen 4, these new threats are able to actually pose a big threat against Dragon Dance Gyarados. Ferrothorn solidly stops Gyarados from sweeping with its great defenses and typing along with Iron Barbs ability. Ferrothorn also has a powerful STAB physical attack (Power Whip) and can Thunder Wave those Gyarados that lack Taunt. Rotom-W is another great counter to Gyarados due to this generation's new typing change of Rotom formes. Rotom-W is now Electric/Water-type (it used to be Ghost/Electric in Gen 4), so it is able to resist Gyarados' strongest STAB move (Waterfall) and OHKO it with an Electric-type attack. Because of these very common counters to Gyarados, Dragon Dance isn't a very popular move as it used to be for Gyarados. However, defensive Gyarados has become much more popular this generation. This is due to all the powerful physical attackers, that Gyarados with Intimidate and max HP and Defense greatly handles them well. Gen 5 also introduced a new move called Dragon Tail, a move that acts as a Roar or Whirlwind, but damages your opponent's Pokemon. The difference is that its accuracy is 90% and that it fails to phaze Pokemon hiding under Substitute. Still, it has the benefit of dealing some damage with a 60 base Dragon-type move while phazing. A reason why defensive Gyarados is so popularly used this generation.
Starmie was one of the most popular Rapid Spin user of Gen 4, mainly due to its Speed and defensive capabilities in comparison to other spinners. Now in this new generation, Starmie's role hasn't changed much. In fact, it actually got better. When coupled with Politoed for permanent rain, Starmie can boost its Water-type moves. This makes using Hydro Pump even more better with added boosted, 120 Base Power coupled with STAB and rain boost! Not to mention, Starmie can then run Thunder over Thunderbolt, making it a powerhouse with powerful attacks. With the loss of Rotom formes' Ghost typing, there are very few Ghost-types that can come in and stop Starmie from using Rapid Spin. In fact, the three OU Ghost-types (Jellicent, Gengar, and Chandelure), all fail to come in on Starmie and stop it from using Rapid Spin. Only thing in OU that stops it from its full potential is the ever popular Ferrothorn, that often hits #1 in the usage statistics. Ferrothorn practically walls Starmie and damages it with Iron Barb when Starmie tries to Rapid Spin. Still, Starmie is just as great as it was last generation.
Gengar's role hasn't changed much during the transition bewteen the Gen 4 to Gen 5. Gengar with Substitute and Pain Split is still quite popular. While Life Orb is usually the popular item chosen over Leftovers for the crucial power Gengar needs to be able to pose some threat to the eminently used specially defensive Jirachi. While Leftovers isn't so uncommon, especially with Sandstorm around everywhere this generation, people don't want their Gengar to die so fast to Sandstorm damage and Life Orb recoil. Gengar is also one of the few Rapid Spin blockers of OU, but not a great one due to its feeble defenses. With the advent of Gen 5, Disable's accuracy rose from 80% accuracy in Gen 4 to 100% accuracy in Gen 5. This made having Disable on Gengar coupled with Substitute very effective and dangerous. It was able to block you from using the move you last used (typically the move you used to break Substitute), and take advantage. Like Gen 4, Gengar is still a great Pokemon with very few checks to stop it from destroying a whole weakened team.
In Gen 4, Blissey was known as the queen of Special Defense. It was able to take almost any Special Attack move with incredible ease. This made Blissey such a popular Pokemon for teams that need a counter to some common Special Attackers like Jolteon or Empoleon. Blissey was also an excellent team supporter with Wish, providing a 50% HP recovery to any of your Pokemon when switched in after use. Blissey can also use Stealth Rock or Aromatherapy as other supporting moves. Blissey's role in Gen 5 OU hasn't changed much, it is still one of the best Specially Defensive Pokemon in the game. Gen 5 also gave users that use Blissey a little treat. The move Wish, it now heals the recipient by 50% of the user's HP. So lets say you maxed your Blissey's HP, reaching a 714 HP. This means that the recipient of that Wish will gain a 357 HP boost, maximizing any common OU recipient's HP to full health.
Vaporeon was regarded to be the best bulky Water-type Pokemon that can support your team with Wish pass in Gen 4 OU. Its role remains the same in Gen 5 OU, but often outclassed by specially defensive Jirachi as a Wish passer. Vaporeon has an exceptional HP stat, a good Special Defense stat, and decent Defense stat. Vaporeon's HP stat allows it to act as a mixed wall (being able to handle both physical and Special Attacks). Vaporeon's ability to Wish pass is what makes Vaporeon stand out from other bulky Water-types, but with the advent of new powerful Electric-types and the rise of Thunder usage this generation due to Politoed is what degrades Vaporeon from other bulky Water-types. Other bulky Water-types such as Jellicent and Gastrodon propose tough competition for Vaporeon, which is one of the reasons why Vaporeon slightly dropped off since 4th gen. However, Vaporeon received a neat ability this generation, called Hydration, it allows Vaporeon to shake off status effects at the end of each turn when under rain. This means Vaporeon can utilize Rest over Wish and can stall out the opponent without having to worry about being worn down by status. Like all other viable OU bulky waters, Vaproeon attained Scald, a 80 Base Power Special Attacking Water-type move with a 30% chance of burning the foe, great for stalling with Rest under rain. Vaporeon's Water-type moves are also boosted by 50% in the rain.
Hall of Famer
Skarmory was the best physically Defensive Steel-type in Gen 4 OU, able to withstand almost any physical move and recover back reliably with Roost. With the advent of Gen 5, Skarmory is still the defensive juggernaut, walling many of the most common physical attackers. What makes Skarmory stand out the most from other popular Defensive Pokemon such as Gliscor is that Skarmory is able to lay Spikes, phaze with Whirlwind, and is a Steel-type. Being a Steel-type in Gen 5 OU is very crucial, Skarmory is only one of the few Pokemon that can stop physical attacking Dragon-types, such as Dragonite and Haxorus that often spam Outrage with Choice Band. Entry hazards are still a big factor that can control the game, so Pokemon that can lay them down and abuse them like Skarmory are always welcome.
With access to all entry hazards and being able to Rapid Spin, Forretress was a staple for stall teams back in Gen 4. Unfortunately, Forretress has some competition against the newly attained Grass/Steel-type monster this generation, Ferrothorn. The good part? Forretress has access to Toxic Spikes and Rapid Spin, which Ferrothorn lacks. However, Ferrothorn dominates over bulkiness, and great typing to handle the rampant Dragon- and Water-types. Forretress struggles to take most hits and usually can't set up all hazards because of that, nor can it scare out opposing sweepers with a strong STAB so it won't be able set up easily. Although Forretress does have its niches, it is the only Pokemon that can set up all necessary entry hazards, and is able to spin away entry hazards. In Gen 5, Forretress also received a nice move called Volt Switch, which acts like U-turn but is a Special Attacking Electric-type move. So Forretress can take advantage of the hazards it places and avoid allowing Pokemon to come in and easily set up on it.
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Breloom was one of the most annoying Pokemon to deal with in Gen 4 OU. With its ability to nullify any one of your Pokemon with Spore, instantly putting it to sleep. It can then hide with Substitute and hit you with a 150 base power STAB Focus Punch along with a 130 base power Attack stat. Breloom was never taken lightly. Some sets also carry Leech Seed with some bulk, which made it Breloom even more annoying sometimes. Breloom's role has changed much in Gen 5 OU, it can still nullify one of your Pokemon useless. But with Toxic Orbed Poison Heal Gliscors being everywhere, Breloom has a hard time using Spore and disrupting a team. Gliscor in this generation is probably the best check to Breloom out there, able to prevent getting Spored, resisting Focus Punch, and taking Seed Bomb nicely with Poison Heal recovery. Still, Breloom is able to inflict sleep if used before Gliscor gets a turn for Toxic Orb to inflict poison onto itself. And Breloom's role is still just as devastating this generation with its ability to cripple almost everything else in OU.
Jolteon was a great revenge killer in Gen 4 OU, being able to cripple any team that lacked Blissey to wall it. Even Ground-types that resisted Electric-type moves like Swampert had a hard time stopping Jolteon due to Hidden Power Grass. Its 130 base Speed was among the highest in Gen 4 OU, along with Aerodactyl. However, in Gen 5 OU Jolteon didn't gain much popularity, being outclassed by Thundurus as the best Electric-type Pokemon. Even though Thundurus lacks as much Speed as Jolteon, it has enough to surpass base 110 Speed users such as Gengar and Latios. The fastest Pokemon in Gen 5 OU is Starmie, a base 115 Speed Pokemon. While Thundurus also has access to Nasty Plot and Focus Blastm completely outclassing Jolteon. Jolteon's Volt Absorb ability is still a great ability to have in Gen 5 OU though, able to come in on popular Electric-type attacks from Pokemon such as Rotom-W, Thundurus, and Magnezone.
Tentacruel was an excellent Pokemon in Gen 4 OU to support Toxic Spikes, spin away entry hazards, and absorb Toxic Spikes. Tentacruel was also one of the best checks to Infernape. In Gen 5, Tentacruel's role hasn't changed much, in fact, it got better. With Politoed and rain everywhere, and Tentacruel's newly acquired ability, Rain Dish, it is a much better supporter of Toxic Spikes and Rapid Spin. Tentacruel also attained Scald a deadly base 80 Special Attack with a 30% chance to burn the foe, which can be boosted by rain. Overall, Tentacruel is the same great Pokemon it used to be in Gen 4 and remains its role in OU.
The Concept of Leads and the New Team Preview Feature
In Gen 4, the concept of having a good Pokemon to lead with was very crucial. The Pokemon that is first in line on your team is the first Pokemon that will be sent out onto the field. So players had to think carefully as to what Pokemon they wish to lead off with. There were many different factors that played in deciding what Pokemon to lead with, such that the Pokemon you're leading off with has some benefit for your team. The most popular leads were Stealth Rock supporters, crippling every one of your opponent's switched Pokemon. This made the best Stealth Rock users such as Swampert, Azelf, Aerodactyl, Heatran, Infernape, etc, all popular choices to lead with. Then there were "suicide" leads, where the goal was to set up Stealth Rock and then die by crippling your opponent's lead. Azelf with Stealth Rock, Taunt, and Explosion is an example of a suicide lead, able to disallow your opponent from setting up, sets up Stealth Rock itself, and the commits suicide with a powerful Explosion attack destroying anything that isn't Ghost or Steel-type. Other supporting leads were dual screen users (to set up both Reflect and Light Screen), sleep inflicting users (incapacitating your foe's lead), etc. Then the notion of "anti-leading" disparsed, players started using certain Pokemon to take out or take advantage of common leads. Some examples are Lum Berry Machamp, mixed attacker Dragonite, Choice Specs Heatran, etc.
With the advent of Gen 5, the concept of having a good lead changed. Gen 5 introduced the concept of "Team Preview," a feature that allows you to look at your opponent's team as well as choose whatever Pokemon you wish to lead with. This completely changes the notion of having a good lead as you would want to lead off with something to take advantage and not something that looks too obvious to lead with. For example, if you wish to lead with a Stealth Rock supporter like Swampert, then you have to take into account of your opponent's team. It would look too obvious as if your opponent has Breloom, then he can easily inflict you with Spore and take advantage. Thus, you would need to think wisely, like lead with something that wouldn't allow Breloom to safely inflict you with Spore. Since Team Preview allows both players to know their whole opponent's team before starting the battle, it can be used for players to strategize, predict, and make clever moves. Team Preview has changed how battling works in so many levels. You can no longer "hide" your late game sweeper, as your opponent already knows what Pokemon you're carrying. Trying to weaken your opponent's team to plan a sweep late game with Swords Dance Lucario would be difficult because your opponent will be ready for it, knowing you have a Lucario.
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