Hey there, pangobros, you already know who it is, and we’re back in the lab to continue our series on lower tier evaluation. Since our last discussion, a whole slew of changes have hit UU, so I’ve made added a slight change to the end of the article here. But we’re here to talk about one of the more recently developed formats, and one that is notorious for being a swamp of stall; Rarely Used. However, I’m going to do my best to put a more positive spin on it, showing you how diverse the format is, and why you might enjoy it more than other mainstream metagames. RU good? Then Let’s dive in!
At a Glance:

 

While UU tends to share Pokemon and playstyles with OU, RU does the same with NU. Thus, despite RU’s relatively small pool to choose from, I like to think there’s actually a greater realm of great candidates to choose from. Granted, your mileage may vary, but many popular NU pokemon have risen to the ranks of RU, and I suspect many more are to follow. RU is also refreshing in that it features both fantastically bulky walls and tanks that have great synergy, as well as potent late game cleaners. This makes the diversity in playstyles healthy, and despite the prevalence of stall and balance, offense has seen both a fair amount of play and success (It’s the team I used to get req’s for the Heracross ban).  I want to give attention to a few pokemon, or combinations thereof, that really help encourage a more varied experience than you might be used to.
Salazzle @ Poisonium Z
Ability: Oblivious
EVs: 8 HP / 248 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Nasty Plot
– Fire Blast
– Sludge Wave
– Hidden Power Grass/Ice

 

This venom spewing salamander has carved a name for itself as one of the premier special attackers in RU, boasting a 117 base speed and a respectable 111 special attack. Its unique fire/poison typing, in combination with a nasty plot boost, allows it to break many of the common fairy, steel, and grass walls that populate the lower tiers, and as such it finds a place on a variety of teams, from balance to hyper offense. Its two STAB moves are self-explanatory, but your choice of hidden power allows it to either damage Seismitoad/Rhyperior effectively, or threaten Flygon/Gligar without taking an earthquake to the face.
Snorlax @ Leftovers                                                                                       Gligar @ Eviolite
Ability: Thick Fat                                                                                            Ability: Hyper Cutter
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD or 144 HP / 188 Def / 176 SpD                          Evs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 Spe
Careful Nature                                                                                               Impish Nature
– Curse                                                                                                         -Stealth Rock
– Rest                                                                                                           -Defog
– Sleep Talk                                                                                                   -Roost
– Body Slam / Returns                                                                                    -Earthquake/U-Turn

 

The combination of Snorlax and Gligar returns to RU, and unlike last generation has a lot more room to take advantage of their excellent bulk and synergy. Depending on your entire team, the Snorlax spread can be used to accomodate more defense against physical fire/ice attacks, or just opting for a purely special defensive tank. The presence of Feraligatr and the mons that can run fighting and ice type moves (Like Toxicroak) trouble this core, so having a check to these threats can be handy. As I mentioned earlier, defensive cores like these provide enough in the way of resistances for your team that it opens you up to build with more offense in mind.
Dhelmise @ Choice Band                                                                    Moltres @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Steelworker                                                                           Ability: Pressure
EVs: 48 HP / 252 Atk / 208 Spe                                                          Evs: 4 Hp/ 252 SpA/ 252 Spe
Adamant Nature                                                                                Timid Nature:
– Shadow Claw                                                                                   -U-Turn
– Power Whip                                                                                       -Flamethrower
– Heavy Slam / Anchor Shot                                                                -Hurricane
– Earthquake / Rapid Spin                                                                   -Fire Blast

 

Although these two mons’ don’t get the respect they deserve, especially Dhelmise, I would argue that they can function as an excellent offensive duo. Dhelmise has surprisingly high attack, and in combination with its excellent coverage can break down a variety of common tanks, like Rhyperior, Diancie, Umbreon, and Cressellia. Moltres performs the role of a revenge killer here, able to outspeed the variety of ice type threats such as Mega-Glalie, and punish anything faster that might cause Dhelmise issues. While a choice banded rapid spin may be a risky option, there are a variety of other spinners, namely Donphan, that can compliment this core as well.
 
Teams:
Standard Offense:
Many of the offensive teams in RU will follow a similar format, where the components of your team ensure you’re always gaining momentum and that your main players compliment each other by breaking their respective checks. On this team, Salazzle acts as the premier wallbreaker, with the rest of the team utilizing various roles to break common counters for the lizard. Durant is ideal for spamming Iron head against rock types, Kommo-O utilizes Work Up to soften bulkier offense cores, and hazards support is necessary for Salazzle, so Flygon is used in place of Gligar here to maintain offensive pressure.

 

Bulky Offense:
The rarely used (pun intended) but incredibly potent Pangoro makes an appearance here, utilizing its excellent wallbreaking potential to spam heavy physical threats in tandem with the likes of Escavalier. Rhyperior/Mantine make a nice defensive core, while Shaymin offers the team much-speed control and utility with healing wish. Finally, Dragonium Z Dragalge adds a nice special hitter, being that the team has a pleuthora of options to get rid of dragon resists, allowing this drake to devastate opposing teams.

 

Snorlax Semi-Stall:

This functions more like the “classic” variations of stall many are used to, and in a tier without Mega Sableye and Dugtrio to worry about, this is both healthy to play with and against. Spikes and Stealth Rocks are used in full effect with the defensive synergy of Brongzong and Chesnaught, while the unique Sub-Toxic Mantine prevents opposing status from crippling the set. Gligar for hazard control and Florges for cleric support ensures that opposing bulky teams won’t wear it down, and Snorlax rounds out the team nicely as an effective way to pulverize some pokemon into pancakes, when status and hazards just won’t do the trick.

Wrapping Up:

 

I’ll be honest, when I started preparing for researching RU, I was not looking forward to it. 6th Gen’s notorious reputation for having RU as a stall-fest left a bad taste in my mouth, but I’m happy to say that’s no longer the case. My participation in the suspect tests so far, and the many healthy bans that followed have created an environment that actually promotes diverse play styles, mixing Pokemon from lower tiers while still having a respectable list of threats to consider as well. It goes without saying, of course, I highly encourage you to try this format if you haven’t before. It’s refreshing to play a tier so early on its development, and especially when it feels like there’s a nice balance among the play styles to choose from. Some final thoughts; I left pastebins to all the teams, their authors, and their original explanations of how they work. If you want to get a better idea of their function, that’s a great place to start. Additionally, I’ll leave a link to any and all RU replays you might need to get a feel for the tier. This article was starting to feel like a crammed can of remoraids, so feel free to explore further resources!

 

That’s all for now, as our adventures into the underground continue. Next time we’ll be cracking into the Kingdom of Scrafty, the haven of Hitmonlee: The Neverused Tier. With the biggest pool of unique and interesting Pokemon at your disposal, I’ll explain how to narrow down your options and become the best of the least-best tiers.

 

Shadow sneaking for now,
It’s Aero