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Move Showcase: Z-Moves in SM Ubers (Part 1)

Discussion in 'Articles' started by E.T., Jun 9, 2017.

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  1. E.T.

    E.T. Random Slowpoke Super Moderator Server Administrator Articles Leader Super Moderator Server Administrator Articles Leader

    Aug 22, 2013
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    Ever thought of which Z-Moves your Ubers team should be running? Well then, in this Move Showcase, we'll be showcasing all the popular Z-Moves used in the tier and explain how they work!

    DISCLAIMER: This article contains both standard Z-Moves and the so-called "memes", which are at best gimmicks in the tier. The article aims to teach you how to use them properly and what the more popular variations to look out for are. Every Z-Move has an opportunity cost to it, so use it at your own risk!

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    Psychium Z comes first due to the sheer utility Psychic-type Z-Moves provide to Pokémon in the current metagame. Alongside the strong Shattered Psyche, Psychic has with it Z-Hypnosis and Z-Heal Block, two of the best setup moves to have graced the tier.


    Z-Hypnosis is probably one of the better Z-Moves to keep around in your team if you don't need a strong one-time nuke. Z-Hypnosis turns the mentioned Pokémon into deadly late-game sweepers and puts the foe out of commission with Hypnosis. Z-Hypnosis boosts your Pokémon's Speed by a single stage, making Pokémon with otherwise middling Speed tiers, such as Lunala and Xurkitree, outrun almost every unboosted threats. Here's how they work.

    Darkrai: Darkrai is the least common when it comes to Z-Hypnosis. It usually should be running Nasty Plot sets with or without Hypnosis, but Z-Hypnosis does bring with it a surprise factor. Z-Hypnosis helps put several known Darkrai checks, such as Arceus-Dark, Arceus-Fairy, Xerneas and Magearna, to sleep, and Bad Dreams provides it with additional chip damage to take them head-on. Combine that with Nasty Plot and two moves (notably Dark Pulse and Sludge Bomb or Focus Blast) and very few threats can take it alongside the boosted Speed. You can also opt for Hypnosis with three moves, but you lose the power boost from both a potential Life Orb and Nasty Plot in exchange for being able to hit all of the aforementioned checks. Darkrai also has access to Darkinium Z, Fightinium Z, and Firium Z Z-Moves, making it a good choice for using Z-Moves in several offensively oriented teams.

    Xurkitree: Xurkitree might seem like a fish out of water in the Ubers metagame, especially since it is checked by the likes of the ever-so-popular Primal Groudon. However, it has the perfect tools to take on several of the threats in Ubers, and Z-Hypnosis happens to be its most lethal tool; combined with a setup move like Tail Glow and the boosted Speed helps snowball off KOs and gain Special Attack boosts thanks to Beast Boost. With nothing fully resisting Thunderbolt and Grass Knot at +3, Xurkitree can just run down through a weakened team with ease.

    Lunala: Lunala is by far the best user of Z-Hypnosis. With Shadow Shield on, Lunala can make use of its solid one-time bulk to nab a +1 raise in Speed while potentially lulling threats like Arceus-Dark into a deep sleep. Making use of such free turns, it can Calm Mind freely and run down through the opposing team with a combination of Moongeist Beam and Focus Blast. Calm Mind can be foregone for a third move (generally Psyshock or Moonblast to take on Chansey or Yveltal, respectively, better), but it is less effective compared to Z-Hypnosis Calm Mind variants. With all that said, it is still weak to Alolan Muk, and walls such as Chansey and Magearna can take it on given they haven't been put to sleep, so removing such walls is a much needed requirement to fulfil a Z-Hypnosis sweep.
    Z-Heal Block

    Z-Heal Block: Heal Block not only blocks the healing moves of threats such as support Arceus formes or Ho-Oh, but also blocks any passive healing from Leftovers. However, Regenerator Pokémon such as Ho-Oh and Toxapex are exempt from this rule and can heal off upon switching out. That was just the start; once boosted with Z-Power, its user also gains a handy +2 boost to its Special Attack.​
    Palkia: Dialga can take a break here, as Palkia is the best user of Z-Heal Block. It should be played against very carefully unless you risk losing a check or two to its teammates. With a solid base 100 Speed tier, it is able to outrun the likes of Yveltal, Zekrom, Kyurem-W, Primal Groudon, and Primal Kyogre, and it excels by hitting them all really, really hard. Spacial Rend and Hydro Pump are generally a given, as a +2 Hydro Pump OHKOes standard Magearna with a bit of prior damage as well as OHKOes standard Ho-Oh variants from full. Spacial Rend is generally used to hit Pokémon that generally resist or are immune to Water-type moves such as Primal Kyogre, Primal Groudon, Rayquaza, Arceus-Water, and Arceus-Dragon for nice amounts of damage, OHKOing Rayquaza and even the bulkiest of Arceus-Dragon variants.

    The fourth slot can house either Fire Blast to help against Ferrothorn, which otherwise blocks the set and reliably hits tank Solgaleo variants, or Thunder, which hits Celesteela, Arceus-Water, Lugia, and Primal Kyogre for crippling damage. However, its accuracy may be a liability against Electric-weak threats not named Kyogre.

    Faster threats are the bane of this set, though Sticky Web can help remedy this issue to an extent.​

    Shattered Psyche (Psycho Boost, Psystrike, Zen Headbutt)

    Shattered Psyche: The name alone is a fearful one. However, this move has its ups and downs. Shattered Psyche runs through any Pokémon unless it happens to be a Dark-type, in which case they take nothing from it, or the fat Pokémon known as Lugia, which can soak up Psychic-type moves for days at a stretch. Let that not fool you, however. This generation has seen the rise of a new offensive Ubers archetype, which is Psychic Terrain offense. A high-powered Shattered Psyche coming off from offensive behemoths like Mewtwo and Deoxys-A boosted by the strange Terrain can nuke even the sturdiest of walls.

    If that's not enough, Solgaleo with Work Up and Zen Headbutt can shoot off a physically oriented Shattered Psyche, but try not to reveal your moves too early if it isn't obvious to your opponents.

    Solgaleo, when compared to Mewtwo or Deoxys, doesn't have as much raw hitting power against its foes in general, so the Z-Move it has is generally paired off with Work Up, which makes it quite a liability, especially if you have decided to run the aforementioned move combination outside of the Terrain Offense archetype.​



    Z-Geomancy: Ever since its inception in XY, Geomancy had been a pretty controversial move, even going as far as being banned temporarily in the generation. However, the advent of SM has somehow balanced the issue with Magearna being nearly a staple in the current Ubers metagame thanks to its ability to tank hits from Fairy-types like Xerneas and steal its boost using Heart Swap.

    But that doesn't make Xerneas any less of a threat. Geomancy alone has the ability to boost its Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed by two stages each. However, it comes with the drawback of taking a charge turn, although Z-Geomancy somehow remedies the issue of Xerneas being bait to stronger Pokémon that can take on a boosted Xerneas, such as specially defensive Primal Groudon or Ho-Oh, as the first turn of Z-Geomancy boosts all its stats by one stage with the next turn being the obvious Geomancy turn.

    Z-Geomancy is generally run with a much bulkier spread than the usual Power Herb Geomancy one, making it harder to take down with its usual solutions like Mega Lucario, Ho-Oh, and Primal Groudon. The inclusion of Ingrain in this set makes phazing moves from the likes of Primal Groudon and Lugia totally worthless. If that's not enough, it has another recovery move in Rest to shrug off heavy health loss and status for the cost of not being able to do anything for two turns.

    In saying all of this above, it might seem like Z-Geomancy Xerneas is an unbeatable beast, but it still has its cons. Magearna, as always, will be problematic thanks to Heart Swap stealing away all its boosts; it is easily able to force out a boosted Xerneas just because of that one move. If the opposing Xerneas hasn't been rooted by Ingrain yet, consider it forced out.

    The combination of Roar Primal Groudon and Clear Smog Alolan Muk might seem situational, but it is an effective way to counter the set, albeit inferior to using Magearna. The premise of the two-Pokemon core is simple; if Xerneas goes for Ingrain first, Alolan Muk can consistently keep removing its boosts with Clear Smog. If Xerneas decides to use Z-Geomancy first, Groudon can simply come in and phaze it away.

    That is all for this part of Move Showcase: Z-Moves in SM Ubers. In the next part, I'll talk about useful Flying-, Ghost-, and Ground-type Z-Moves. If you have any Z-Move suggestions for me to look upon, be sure to reply! Till then!

    Joyverse - Writer
    Mysterious M - QC
    E.T. - QC, Grammar
    Sobi - Grammar
    Annoying Orange - Artist

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