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RBY 4U (Under3U) Lead Thread

Discussion in 'Analysis and Research' started by Peasounay, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Peasounay

    Peasounay qui peut me stopper Host Emeritus

    Sep 29, 2015
    Likes Received:

    Welcome to the RBY 4U lead thread. Here we will see what are the most common and viable leads that suit the 4U metagame, detailing movesets and match-ups.


    As in every other RBY tier, fast sleepers are the central point of the lead metagame given how valuable sleep is. Venomoth and Poliwag are the two fastest sleepers of the tier, and Venomoth is on almost every team. This gives interesting paths to teambuilding: should you lead with Venomoth or Anti-lead it and have it in the back ? This question may influence your choices to play around sleep (shall you have one or two sleepers ?) as well as your picks and strategies to answer bad lead match-ups. Hopefully, this thread will help you figure out all of that.




    - Sleep Powder
    - Stun Spore
    - Psychic
    - Double-Edge


    Beats: [​IMG]
    Neutral: [​IMG]
    Complicated Match-up: [​IMG]
    Loses to: [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Venomoth is the best 4U sleeper, meaning it has the ability to go for an early Sleep Powder to give you a quick advantage. However, it also means it gets anti-lead quite often. Fires are its nemesis, given that they outspeed and do a very high amount of damage. Venomoth switches out against them, pokemon such as Blastoise or Slowpoke are good answers. Porygon also is but it's a bit more complicated.

    Abra isn't a straight loss but is a complicated match-up. It's a speed tie, but losing it means taking around 70% of damage in average, so it's not at Venomoth advantage. The thing is it's difficult to switch-in Abra's Psychic given the combination of high damage, high critical hit rate, and special drop threat. Slowpoke is the safest switch-in once again. Your opponent might Thunder Wave sometimes predicting a switch, but getting Venomoth crippled isn't a good idea given its mid/late-game utility in general.

    Poliwag is a speed tie, but Venomoth has a slight mathematical advantage thanks to Sleep Powder's accuracy being 15% higher than Hypnosis. Going for it is your play. The Blastoise encounter isn't common but is a pure gift when it occurs.

    When you decide to lead with Venomoth, it might be a good idea to have a back up sleeper (often Tangela, but Weepinbell can be used) in case you face another Venomoth. If you don't have back-up sleep, losing the ditto might put you at a very big disadvantage, so you may want to consider that. Slowpoke is also a good partner to have in the back to take care of bad match-ups.

    Fire Types: Rapidash / Arcanine

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    - Fire Blast
    - Body Slam
    - Hyper Beam
    - Fire Spin (if Rapidash) / Flamethrower (if Arcanine)

    Rapidash Analysis

    Beats: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Loses to: [​IMG]

    Fire types make the best leads in terms of match-ups. The choice between the two is wether you want access to Fire Spin or higher stats and more reliability. Rapidash and Arcanine win all of their match-ups beside Blastoise, the least common one. They outspeed everything and do a very high amount of damage: 2HKO Venomoth with Fire Blast, 2HKO Poliwag with Body Slam + Hyper Beam, and can even OHKO Abra with Hyper Beam even if Body Slam is usually the move you go with (it's a 2HKO anyway and Fires don't mind paralysis because it allows them to block sleep from Venomoth). The only problem with Fire types is that they aren't tough to switch-into: Blastoise, Omastar and Slowpoke are quite common. Though, those three pokemon are slower than Venomoth, so doubling to it isn't a very risky play and it can be very rewarding.



    - Psychic
    - Seismic Toss
    - Thunder Wave
    - Counter / Substitute


    Beats: [​IMG]

    Neutral: [​IMG]
    Loses to: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Abra is another agressive option. Whilst it doesn't purely win against Venomoth since it's a speed tie, it usually forces it out. Poliwag is also a speed tie but Abra annoys it a lot with Thunder Wave, and Hypnosis is a shaky move. Fires completely destroy Abra and Blastoise 2HKOs with Body Slam, which means Abra can't stay in against any of them. They're easy to switch into though.



    - Hypnosis
    - Amnesia
    - Hydro Pump
    - Psychic / Blizzard


    Beats: [​IMG]
    Neutral: [​IMG]
    Complicated Match-up: [​IMG]
    Loses to: [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The gambler, known as being either Poliswag or Polifag. It doesn't work out very often but when it does it can put you in the driver's seat. Poliwag is the other fast sleeper, meaning it ties with Venomoth even if it's at a slight mathematical disadvantage. Abra is also a speed tie but paralysis cripples Poliwag a lot so the risk is higher for it than it is for Abra. Fires can 2HKO and have a guaranteed Body Slam that can paralyse Poliwag which you don't want, making them bad match-ups. Blastoise though is a good one even if the accuracy of Hypnosis can happen to make things difficult. Things can also be complicated for Poliwag even after sleep is dropped since Slowpoke is a common pokemon that checks it fairly well.



    - Surf / Hydro Pump
    - Blizzard
    - Body Slam
    - Rest


    Beats: [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]
    Loses to: [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Blastoise is a rare lead but is absolutely usuable. It's the anti anti-lead, forcing out Abra and being the only one to do so versus Fire types. Though this has a cost, Blastoise is indeed a free sleep for Venomoth and Poliwag, the best thing it can do is hope for a miss combined with a Body Slam paralysis. It's also not difficult to switch into, Porygon being the most common early game answer, so there again, a double switch to your Venomoth will rarely be a bad play if you encounter a Fire type.

    Honorables Mentions


    There are other options for your lead. Omastar works similarly as Blastoise. It anti leads Fires and can prevent a Porygon switch since it 2HKOs it with Hydro Pump, forcing your opponent to bring in either Blastoise or Venomoth. The thing is it doesn't pressure Poliwag as well in case of a miss. Ninetales is another option as a Fire. It does better against Venomoth in general thanks to its higher special, but doesn't have the physical power of Rapidash and Arcanine. It notably doesn't 2HKO Poliwag with Body Slam + Hyper Beam.

    Additional Ressources
    4U Viability & Lead Rankings
    4U Discussion Thread
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
    Disaster Area likes this.
  2. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Furr and Power Member

    May 4, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Mention Omastar as an answer to the fires, mention Ninetales and explain why it's inferior, when you say about stuff being common you're underselling it. When something is on every team or almost every team, say that rather than saying common. When it's pretty popular but u often see teams without it say common or super common depending. Otherwise I find it kinda misleading. With poliwag it's super important to mention how slowpoke is very common and it can't actually beat it (but it does wear it down for its teammates I guess) limiting how effective it is beyond the lead spot anyway. Mention Omastar as a possible lead alongside Blastoise. Note that one of its advantages there is 2HKOing porygon with hydro pump, making it harder to directly switch into and pretty much forcing the opponent to bring in blastoise or venomoth into it.

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