There are some strong Pokemon in Scarlet & Violet, but none so strong as Flutter Mane and Houndstone. These two ghosts are so strong that Pokemon’s competitive scene has already banned both of them.
Smogon University, the authority on competitive Pokemon and the governing body that breaks down Pokemon into competitive tiers, has announced Flutter Man and Houndstone are hereby banned from Overused, the second-highest tier of Pokemon, and relegated to the Uber tier with all the other uber-powerful Mythical and Legendary 'Mons.
So what's the deal? Well, Flutter Mane is already a sweeping monster with its 135 speed and special attack stats. Add in its Ghost/Fairy-typing, which gives it just two weaknesses and immunity to Normal, Fighting, and Dragon moves, while simultaneously having fantastic coverage in Mystical Fire, Psychock, Shadow Ball, and Moonblast, and Flutter Mane starts to look like a real problem.
The nail in Flutter Mane's coffin is its Protosynthesis ability, which boosts its highest stat by 50 percent in harsh sunlight. This punts Flutter Mane's speed or special attack higher than pretty much any Pokemon in existence, leaving it with extremely few counters. Scarlet & Violet players had to build teams specifically to counter Flutter Mane as it became increasingly common in the competitive meta, so Smogon stepped in and gave Flutter Mane the boot.
But what about Houndstone? The soul-sucking good boy seems like a perfectly fine Pokemon on paper with its middling stats. The true problem with Houndstone lies in its signature move: Last Respects. This move improves in power by 50 points for every fainted teammate, meaning if Houndstone is the last Pokemon standing, it hits for a whopping 300 attack power.
Even with a few fainted friends, Houndstone's power is absolutely off the charts. Combined with its Sand Rush ability, which boosts its speed in a sandstorm, Houndstone can be easily set up to sweep teams with a little bit of help.
It’s possible that Last Respects might be banned in Houndstone’s stead, but Smogon is waiting for another Pokemon to utilize the move first before changing its mind.
Scarlet & Violet might see another banned ‘Mon in the very near future. Fuecoco is proving to be a Nuzlocke monster thanks to its advantage over many of the game’s gym leaders and even one of the Elite Four, which has some calling for its ban in Nuzlocke runs.
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