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GSC 1U (Universal Beta) Spikes

Discussion in 'Analysis and Research' started by magic9mushroom, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

    May 1, 2013
    Likes Received:
    If we're ever going to get GSC 1U nailed down, we're going to need to analyse it somewhat, as well as play it more. One thing in particular that I think merits some discussion is the role of Spikes in Ubers (which is the current 1U proposal), as there are some significant differences from OU in the tradeoffs. I'm not experienced enough in the tier to speak authoritatively about this, but I can note the obvious differences and then open the floor for others.

    1. Recover
    Probably the most obvious difference between the OU and Ubers landscapes is that all five Ubers learn Recover (or in Mew's case, Softboiled). Mew and Mewtwo don't always use instant recovery, as Explosion and Selfdestruct respectively give it strong competition, but Lugia, Ho-Oh and Celebi basically always do. Spikes damage on Recover users is generally less effective than it would be on Rest users or (especially) Pokemon without recovery, since Recover users can get rid of it more easily.

    2. Fliers
    Inherent in any analysis of Spikes is the distribution of Pokemon that ignore Spikes, which in GSC is only Flying-types. OU has only two decent Flying-types in Zapdos and Skarmory; most teams have at least one of these and some have both. Ubers adds two more in Lugia and Ho-Oh; the majority of teams have a Lugia, while Zapdos and Ho-Oh are both decent 'mons (Skarm suffers substantially due to competition with Whirlwind Lugia, and is TTBOMK only generally seen on teams that want to do something else with Lugia).

    3. Space in teams
    One obvious issue with Spikers in Ubers is the greater opportunity cost. Ubers has four really-good 'mons (Lugia/Mewtwo/Mew/Snorlax) and it's advisable to have counters for Lugia and the Legendary Electrics (Lugia counters most variants of Snorlax once LK's been absorbed, and Mewtwo and Mew have substantial variation in sets). Spikers don't really do either job, which means a team with a Spiker will be hurting for space.

    4. Typing differences
    Generally, as with OU, you're picking between Cloyster and Forretress as a Spiker. However, Forretress' Hidden Power Bug is actually a pretty nifty attack in Ubers, as it does about 75% to Celebi and nearly 40% to Mew and Mewtwo. Cloyster's Surf still has most of the usual benefits, as Steelix is a good Pokemon in Ubers. Note that Cloyster's Ice Beam still falls well short of a 2HKO on Lugia despite being super-effective.

    So. Spikes in GSC Ubers. Discuss.
  2. Ortheore

    Ortheore Host Emeritus

    May 16, 2013
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    I would like to suggest that Lugia isn't even close to being on par with Mew/M2/Lax, and is not really something that needs to be on the majority of teams, as it's profoundly impotent offensively. Also, Ho-oh is practically irrelevant. When they had GSC Ubers on Showdown not too long ago, Ho-oh saw something like a 2% use rate with 1760 weighting (the raw usage was 36% or so, which says a lot about the divide between competent and incompetent players), and honestly I think even that is overrating it, as its Curse sets are both awful and mostly outclassed by Lugia, leaving its best set (imo) to be little more than a Toxic shuffler. Sorry, just a few things that were nagging at me

    Spikes is still immensely useful even in an environment where instant recovery is more abundant. That damage can quickly accumulate and build pressure, while also potentially being a difference-maker in a given attack forcing the opponent to play passively or not. Saying that's a little basic, but those points don't just fade away, as there's still costs involved with recover. There's also the fact that instant recovery does have some downsides relative to Rest, even if it's overall far better.

    There's also still many of the regular OU staples lurking about the tier. Snorlax and Raikou are still prevalent, while you do get stuff like Lix that are far more affected by Spikes. I feel like you can list all these reasons as to why Spikes should theoretically be worse, but a) Spikes are already so good that there's a lot of room for them to drop while still being considered good and b) I really think this is something where the theorymon is extremely different from practice. This is especially the case with things that yield large amounts of value, but in a very gradual manner, such as entry hazards because they're naturally going to make a large number of small differences, most of which might not be significant, but many of them would be. So yeah, in my experience Spikes are still extremely good and should be used on most teams

    Regarding space in teams, I think this is a very interesting point. Out of Lax/Mew/M2, the only one I've been consistently adding to all my teams is Lax, and I've often only brought one of Mew/M2 (note: it's been a while since I played), resulting in teams that aren't that dissimilar from OU teams. That said, I suspect that there's a good chance that the idea you suggest that all three of them are too good to not pick has legs. I think the tier's too undeveloped to say for sure

    It's also worth noting the state of spinning and spinblocking. Spinning is basically restricted to Cloy and Forre, as Starmie is just kinda useless in the tier and everything else is fairly niche. The thing is, spinblocking is also diminished. In my experience, Missy is non-existent, though perhaps there's room for exploration (I'm not holding out hope though), while Gengar is significantly worse- lacking stab really hurts it due to the power creep relative to OU.

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