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RBY OU / 1U (OverUsed) Jolteon's Rise

Discussion in 'Analysis and Research' started by Disaster Area, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Catto of Furr and Power Member

    May 4, 2014
    Likes Received:

    So I had an interesting observation yesterday that I discussed with Lutra. A few years ago, before the mechanical discoveries, Jolteon was considered on the fringe of OU, alongside the likes of Articuno and Victreebel. Nowadays, it's considered amongst the standard leads, has solid usage in the WC (currently at ~12%, and at ~9% as a lead), and in the vote on where Jolteon should be ranked, it was majority voted for B, with a couple of votes for A- or B+, and only 1 vote for C.

    So what I want to talk about is, why has this happened? I have a couple of theories of my own and Lutra proposed one too, and I'm interested to hear what other people think. It's probably a mixture of these factors and then maybe some other things which we've missed.

    The first theory I have is simply that it's gotten better because of metagame shifts due to the mechanics change. The mechanics change made paralysis harder to spread, making a Pokemon which is fast in general - in particular, outspeeding tauros - more valuable. Furthermore, the rocks (Golem and particularly Rhydon) have become a little less valuable due to it being harder to spread sufficient paralysis to put those Pokemon in a good position and make them a good teambuilding choice, which again improves Jolteon's stature.

    I also think the fact it is becoming seen as a more legitimate lead (it has usage close to Gengar as a lead in the WC, although Jynx is a bit farther off at the moment) probably bolstered its legitimacy in the metagame too, turning into a solidly 1U Pokemon rather than a fringe Pokemon over a matter of a few years.

    Lutra suggests that perhaps groupthink is playing a large role:

    Lutra - Yesterday at 07:35
    But also groupthink plays too much a role
    so whoever thinks it is worthy has a big impact over the people who can't make up their minds

    So... what do you think?
  2. marcoasd

    marcoasd P.I.P. PLAY IN PEACE Host Emeritus

    Jul 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    How is 9% standard? The hype is real.
    It was voted as B because everything is at this point, and the metagame is so centralized by S4 that everything else ranges from "I hope I don't get counterpicked" to "I hate this, but I have to counterpick at times".

    This happened in 2015, it was an early overreaction. GolDon got back into the metagame as we all changed a lot in the way we play, and a little bit in movesets.

    I think Lutra is a wise man.
    Isa, The Idiot Ninja and Chrysalis like this.
  3. Ch01W0n5h1n

    Ch01W0n5h1n Member

    May 23, 2016
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    I think this was mainly due to Rocks being less common (and less feared), but also due to the fact that frail but fast Mons gained a bit popularity (Persian has seen more usage too when Jolteon rised in Usage iirc).

    "Group thinking" may have done it´s part too, but, however, if the Meta didn´t change, it would´ve soon dropped in Usage.

    On top of that, and that is a very simple and overlooked fact:
    Jolteon is fun to use to aggressive playstyle loving players, and, if you do enjoy playing a certain Team or Mon, you will do better than if you don´t.
    And since aggresive Players have had the most success in recent Tours, other Players have considered using it too.
    And if the Meta is aggressive, it will reward Mons like Jolteon as less Switch Ins will happen, since players will be willing to adapt to the pace and will in general be more willing to sacrifice.

    Just my two Cents
  4. Ortheore

    Ortheore Host Emeritus

    May 16, 2013
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    The primary reason Jolt was never used when I first started is that it was seen as being inferior to Zapdos iirc. At some point though people began experimenting with it and found that its traits are enough to distinguish it from Zapdos (better speed, no Ice weakness).

    marcoasd you may say that GolDon's fall from grace is an overreaction, which I guess is true, but even so, they definitely don't occupy the same status that they did prior to Crystal's mechs. I think broadly speaking people have become much better at exploiting GolDon's weaknesses such that they no longer represent the massive electric-stopping roadblock that they once were. Back in the day you might've run SurfLax to open up holes for your Electric, now I no longer think it's necessary since running standard sets often opens up plenty of opportunities to take them down regardless.

    I also think that Ch01W0n5h1n's points on Jolteon's playstyle are valid (they go hand in hand with its advantages over Zap imo)
    Disaster Area likes this.
  5. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

    May 1, 2013
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    Rise of Starmie lead and the eventual reaction to that also played a big part IMO.
  6. marcoasd

    marcoasd P.I.P. PLAY IN PEACE Host Emeritus

    Jul 17, 2013
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    Jolteon definitely is distinguing itself: the speed alone would make it different, and taking neutral hits from Ice makes it cut for the lead spot. It climbed rankings due to being good as a lead (as usage shows).

    As a filler it’s only viable and usually needs you to be already in a good position in the Chansey+Snorlax mid game.
    I don’t understand what you guys mean with the aggressiveness thing. I think these days Exploding early to be aggressive, and Jolteon definitely gets an opening when Snorlax falls into its range or is removed.

    Yeah, GolDon definitely lost their status because Normal-types, especially Tauros, are often unstatused.

    Some years ago, Surflax was mostly EQ+Surf; EQ is more dispensable than HB at the moment and I think we’ll see a little bit more SurfLaxes as players realize.
    Body Slam/Amnesia/Blizzard/Selfdestruct is an option too.

    Jolteon vs Starmie lead is all about awkward mindgames: you’re forcing out Starmie but starting with a TWave on Chansey might backfire, if you’re doubling into Egg your opponent could have the guts to stay in, both players might go to Egg... to make it short, the player who succeeds in landing the sleep takes the driver’s seat.

    If I think more about Jolteon lead, I conclude that it gives its best when the opponent, most likely Alakazam, fires off TWave and Jolteon pulls back.
    All of a sudden, you have a team made up of S4, a Water-type and Jolteon; Chansey is absorbing status.
    S4+Water is a long way to go for GolDon, and any other matchup ranges from good to even better.
    That puts Jolteon in the position to shine and boost its winning percentage nonetheless: Jolteon is possibly the best in that role - it’s a mixed sweeper (it wins the comparison against Jynx, Gengar, Alakazam and Starmie).

    Jolteon is good against Jynx because Jynx is likely to stay in for LK at the moment; even when it does stay in (should be one game out of 3 or 4, just to scare Exeggutor from switching in) I’m not sure it should LK.
    No matter how good the playerbase is, years of games are giving out more answers. I think we don’t know it all on how to play against Jolteon lead.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017

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