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Serperior Discussion

Psynergy

Strong Winds
Staff member
Super Mod
So I have Snivy with Hidden Power Rock, what is a good offensive moveset and EVs. It has a Timid Nature.
Serperior has little room for variation due to its limiting movepool, so a moveset will almost always look something like this:

Serperior @ Life Orb
Ability: Contrary
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Leaf Storm
- Dragon Pulse
- Hidden Power [Fire/Rock/Ground]
- Giga Drain/Knock Off

Obviously HP Rock in your case, and typically people run Giga Drain to give it a secondary STAB option that also recovers Life Orb recoil. I also prefer Giga Drain, though Knock Off does have some utility though since switching in a Heatran/Golbat/Moltres/etc on Serperior are obvious switch-ins and removing an item is always useful. Substitute is also an option in the last slot but you'd have to run something other than Life Orb because that self-inflicted damage adds up fast. Not running Life Orb results in a significant power drop though.
 

XXD17

Draco rex
Thanks, can Glare be used as well for the last slot?
Glare is almost useless on offensive sets because it destroys your coverage that is already barely existent to begin with...if running a defensive set with synthesis though, it could work...it's better to rely on team-members for para support...but with that said, could a defensive support set even be viable?

Serperior @ Leftovers
Ability: Contrary
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Def
Bold Nature
- Leaf Storm
- Glare
- Hidden Power [Fire]/ leech seed
- Synthesis

I don't see why I would ever use this...but maybe? lol
 

roguedr4g0nite

WishiWashi Trainer
Since I'm running offensively, would it be wise to use Serperior in the upcoming Double Battle Berry Tournament, or is it still bad for Doubles.
 

VoidMiasma

New Member
I think that Nature Power should be mentioned. It turns into Tri Attack, which has the same BP as Dragon Pulse while also giving it a 20% chance to cause status. I wouldn't have mentioned it if it had access to literally anything else that's viable in an all-attack set.
 

Ace Trainer Riana

Well-Known Member
Serperior's comparable to regular Diancie. It sounds good on paper but it has so many counters and checks that it's not viable.
 

KillerDraco

The Enforcer
Staff member
Super Mod
Serperior's comparable to regular Diancie. It sounds good on paper but it has so many counters and checks that it's not viable.
...That's gotta be the worst analogy I've ever seen. The two are nothing alike. Plus, by that same logic, Tyranitar has so many counters and checks that it's not viable.

Diancie's problem is that with most of its niches, Diancie finds it horribly outclassed at them, beyond being a Trick Room lead which is a poor niche regardless. Being so slow and bulky with average offenses, even things that would make sense like Calm Mind sets are outclassed entirely by Mega Slowbro and Mega Sableye. No reliable recovery outside of Leftovers does it no favors either. Not to mention its low speed and numerous weaknesses leave it checked by a LOT of things, including but not limited to Scizor, Mega Metagross, Lando-T, pretty much every bulky water type, etc.

Serperior on the other hand, while definitely having some noteworthy flaws that will hold it back from being top tier, is the only viable user of Contrary, and has a fantastic speed tier in the OU metagame. With Greninja gone, it literally outspeeds every unboosted Pokemon in the tier except Talonflame (whose priority makes that irrelevant anyway), Mega Lopunny, and Mega Manectric, the latter two of whom need a turn to Mega Evolve. It definitely has some Pokemon it struggles to break through, such as Heatran, Mega Venusaur, Talonflame, Mega Altaria, and Mega Charizard Y... But the rest of the tier can find themselves having trouble switching in if they're careless, because a base 130 power STAB with a free Nasty Plot followed up by the appropriate coverage move can screw over a lot of things. Contrary Leaf Storm is practically a no-risk move. Even things that resist it, such as Mega Metagross, Scizor, Ferrothorn, Latias, Dragonite, etc. do not want to eat the +2 HP Fire/Dragon Pulse that follows it.

No one expects Serperior to be a top tier OU threat, but it at least has niches in OU. It can threaten defensive teams by accumulating +2 boosts with every Leaf Storm it spams, and it's solid speed tier can be a nuisance to offense as well. True, its base SpA is initially low, and grass typing always carries with it some unfortunate weaknesses, but to say it's not viable at all... well, that's just a little short-sighted.

And again, it's nowhere near comparable to Diancie because Diancie's niches can be done by other Pokemon, while Serperior's the only Pokemon in the game who can get free +2 boosts by spamming its strongest STAB attack.
 
If you end up using Serperior in OU there are many, many counters to it. These include Charzard, Normal, Mega-X, and Mega-Y, Talonflame, Heatran, and even Venusuar. The only way to deal with this is Hidden Power Rock and Hidden Power Ground which aren't very good Hidden Power types to use, especially if Serperior has Choice Specs or Choice Scarf.
 

KillerDraco

The Enforcer
Staff member
Super Mod
If you end up using Serperior in OU there are many, many counters to it. These include Charzard, Normal, Mega-X, and Mega-Y, Talonflame, Heatran, and even Venusuar. The only way to deal with this is Hidden Power Rock and Hidden Power Ground which aren't very good Hidden Power types to use, especially if Serperior has Choice Specs or Choice Scarf.
Mega Charizard X is a check, not a counter. If it switches into Leaf Storm, a +2 Dragon Pulse is more than enough to 1HKO it, and Serperior outspeeds it. If Stealth Rock is up, then no form of Charizard can safely switch in.

Also, Serperior should never use a Choice item. It needs the freedom to switch attacks. Leaf Storm's coverage isn't all that great on its own, but being able to switch attacks to a +2 HP Fire or +2 Dragon Pulse is what lets it beat a lot of its checks, even if they switch into a resisted Leaf Storm.
 

Ace Trainer Riana

Well-Known Member
The analogy isn't comparing the pokemon, but the novelty of the two. When Diancie was first released in Japan, it shot straight to OU on Showdown because everyone was trying to find ways to make it work only to find that it sucked. It's very similar to how people are trying to find ways to use Serperior in OU. It's probably not as bad as Diancie and may be slightly usable, but it's not good enough for OU.
 

ger9119

Well-Known Member
I've been running Subsitute Serp, and oml it's very effective. Common switch ins now have to be able to tank two boosted leaf storms, I also run Giga Drain + Hidden Power fire it's walled by heatran but thats where team support comes into play. It's certainly good enough for Overused and it fits in well with the current metagame, it won't be classed in OU but you're rather silly if you don't think it's viable i think rn it sits at a B- ranking and even more silly to say it's only slightly usable.

B Rank: Reserved for Pokemon that are great in the OU metagame. These Pokemon have more notable flaws than those above them that affect how they function in the tier. Their positive traits still outshine their negatives, but they require a bit more team support to bring out their full potential.

Stuff that's included with it are Zapdos, Sylveon , Rhyperior , Alomomola and both Mega Tar and Mega Garchomp. So in conclusion it's a very viable mon that does need support to be effective in some cases, but in standard slow volt-turn teams Serperior fills a great spot and can easily put pressure on balanced and hyper offense teams as well as being an annoyance for stall. And let's be honest if you can't cover Talonflame and Heatran on a team you shouldn't be playing comp mons anyways
 
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KillerDraco

The Enforcer
Staff member
Super Mod
The analogy isn't comparing the pokemon, but the novelty of the two. When Diancie was first released in Japan, it shot straight to OU on Showdown because everyone was trying to find ways to make it work only to find that it sucked. It's very similar to how people are trying to find ways to use Serperior in OU. It's probably not as bad as Diancie and may be slightly usable, but it's not good enough for OU.
Again, the analogy fails because of a fundamental flaw; Diancie was entirely new, Serperior was not. Diancie had no usage but rather, just theorymon to back it up, so people had to actually use it in practice to cement its position. Serperior, on the other hand, has had usage in the Gen 5 Dream World OU metagame, so people knew what it was capable of. Mind you, it's never been legal in standard OU, but it was still used enough to see it in action. Heck, if anything, Serperior's recent response from people was actually underwhelming, with many assuming it wouldn't make it in OU and just downplaying it entirely... I mean heck, some people were so adamant against it they thought it wouldn't even rise out of NU (which is laughable as it's now being suspected in RU). But to say it's "not good enough for OU" or only "slightly usable" is silly. It's not something you can slap on any team by any means, but it's got just enough going for it to have definite viable niches.

Even now, Serperior's viability is ranked the same as Sylveon's and Mega Latios. Sure, it's unlikely to ever be classified as OU based on usage, but it's certainly not the throwaway that many people seem to think it is.

Though on a tiering note, the initial response seems as though RU may be saying goodbye to Serperior. I would not anticipate it surviving the current suspect test, so BL2 may be welcoming it. Time will tell if it gets used enough to bump it up to UU, though.
 
The analogy isn't comparing the pokemon, but the novelty of the two. When Diancie was first released in Japan, it shot straight to OU on Showdown because everyone was trying to find ways to make it work only to find that it sucked. It's very similar to how people are trying to find ways to use Serperior in OU. It's probably not as bad as Diancie and may be slightly usable, but it's not good enough for OU.
Just saying, but Diancie never shot straight into OU. It started out in OU because that's where every new Pokemon starts out by default, but even then, it didn't really get much usage at all until its Mega form was released.

Also, I have a feeling that people are still theorymonning about this thing rather than actually using it and basing their comments on experience. Contrary Serperior has been legal for two weeks now, so go onto Pokemon Showdown! and use it. There's way too many points being made about whether or not a person believes that Serperior will be good in OU rather than points and examples made from personal experience about how good Serperior actually is. Like KillerDraco said, there were people a couple weeks ago that were predicting that Serperior wouldn't even rise out of NU, and look what's happened. Serperior has a decent OU viabilty ranking on Smogon and is being suspected in RU as we speak exactly like I explained would happen, so it's obvious that Contrary Serperior was being drastically undervalued before. So yeah, please give it a shot on PS!, because chances are that if you still think there's no way this thing could even be viable in OU, you're dead wrong.
 
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XXD17

Draco rex
All in all, after using my contrary serp, Regina, to death in 6v6 wifi and 3v3 battlespot, I'll still firmly want serp to by UU...It can still be used in OU quite effectively but UU is still where it shines...
 

! Q

I do what I want!
Serperior is a perfect example of the right thing in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Serperior (the Right Thing...)
Offense: 75 Special booster
Speed: 113
Bulk: 75/95/95
On paper, these are good traits for a sweeper in any tier. Usually, sweepers are fast and frail, or bulky and slow. This grass snake defies that trend, with +90 bulk on both sides and +110 speed. Other sweepers may laugh at 75, but envy 150. Boosting capability outside of Calm Mind is uncommon for Special sweepers.

OU (...in the Wrong Place...)
Dominate Offense: Physical
Speed Benchmark: 110
Serperior's stats and ability really shine in this tier. Not only is it a Special sweeper in a Physical world, it also outruns pretty much the entire un-scarfed tier... almost. Though Troll-n'-flame typically runs 351 (vs Serperior's 353), it's Flying priority will inevitably shut this snake down. Then there's Heatran. Heatran scoffs at a +2 Serperior.

UU (...at the Wrong Time)
Dominate Offense: Physical
Speed Benchmark: 115-120
In UU, resistance to Grass may not usually be as problematic and bulk is typically lower. Serperior's boosting abilities may also shine a little brighter here. But, for some inexplicable reason (Crobat, Aerodactyl, Alakazam), the speed benchmark of UU is higher than that of OU, making that 113 less meaningful.
 
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Psynergy

Strong Winds
Staff member
Super Mod
I never really bought the whole "Serperior is bad in OU because Talonflame and Heatran exist" argument. Yes, these are two extremely hard counters to Serperior that happen to both be very common in OU, but all that really says is Serperior has hard counters. I mean things in OU do tend to counter other things in OU, Serperior isn't alone in that regard. That bad movepool is definitely an issue, but honestly Leaf Storm is plenty good enough. Coverage won't get a ton of use unless you've set up, at which point Dragon Pulse and Hidden Power are hitting noticeably hard. And if I'm not mistaken a Serperior Leaf Storm hits equally as hard as Giga Drain would from base 165 SpAtt (assuming STAB in both cases) so the base 75 SpAtt isn't nearly as awful as some people made it out to be.

Serperior has its undeniable share of problems that will keep it from being a dominating threat but I think Serperior can definitely function in OU. It has all the tools it needs to clean late-game (read as: only tool it needs), it just need some support to make its threats are gone (which applies to late-game cleaners in general).
 

Mye

Someone has to win..
I never really bought the whole "Serperior is bad in OU because Talonflame and Heatran exist" argument. Yes, these are two extremely hard counters to Serperior that happen to both be very common in OU, but all that really says is Serperior has hard counters. I mean things in OU do tend to counter other things in OU, Serperior isn't alone in that regard. That bad movepool is definitely an issue, but honestly Leaf Storm is plenty good enough. Coverage won't get a ton of use unless you've set up, at which point Dragon Pulse and Hidden Power are hitting noticeably hard. And if I'm not mistaken a Serperior Leaf Storm hits equally as hard as Giga Drain would from base 165 SpAtt (assuming STAB in both cases) so the base 75 SpAtt isn't nearly as awful as some people made it out to be.

Serperior has its undeniable share of problems that will keep it from being a dominating threat but I think Serperior can definitely function in OU. It has all the tools it needs to clean late-game (read as: only tool it needs), it just need some support to make its threats are gone (which applies to late-game cleaners in general).
See, for me that whole argument only sheds light on part of the reason why it's bad. Every other OU-usable grass type pkmn (venusaur, breloom, ferrothorn) has a dual-typing which adds a boatload of extra resistances that actually accentuate their grass typing/shed their nasty bug weakness. In the case of serperior, mono-grass hinders it greatly as defensively it has 4 pretty common weaknesses (fire/flying/ice/bug) whereas offensively it leaves it makes it unable to muscle past certain types depending on which hidden power it runs. Serperior can function in OU, but only really as a niche offensive threat who doesn't mind entry hazards (especially if it comes in on sticky web) and who needs certain teammates to help it get past the steels in the tier (magnezone being a great example of something that works well with it).
 

KillerDraco

The Enforcer
Staff member
Super Mod
See, for me that whole argument only sheds light on part of the reason why it's bad. Every other OU-usable grass type pkmn (venusaur, breloom, ferrothorn) has a dual-typing which adds a boatload of extra resistances that actually accentuate their grass typing/shed their nasty bug weakness.
Mono-grass may have its share of problems defensively, but it's not quite a total wash the way you imply. It has no psychic weakness, no fairy weakness, no 4x weakness, and it keeps its resistance to Ground. It definitely has its faults, but there are some perks as well. Plus, since when is a bug weakness "nasty"? Bug's not exactly a common offensive type outside of U-turn, and most users of U-Turn are hesitant to switch into Serperior. The most common user, Lando-T, can't switch into Serperior unless it's packing a Scarf since Leaf Storm 2HKOs, and Scizor gets fried by a +2 HP Fire even if it switches into Leaf Storm. I'm not going to argue that mono-grass is good typing defensively, but it's not enough on its own to make a Pokemon unusable.

magnezone being a great example of something that works well with it
Well... to an extent. In all fairness, the biggest threat as far as Steel types are concerned is Heatran, who Magnezone also hates, as specially defensive Heatran craps on 'Zone and even ScarfTran does likewise. Most of the other steel types can be a nuisance to Serperior, but they have difficulty switching in, since Serperior outspeeds most of them and wrecks them with a +2 HP Fire (Scizor, Skarmory, Ferrothorn, and Magnezone all being common examples). Serperior honestly doesn't need any more team support than something like, oh say, Mega Tyranitar does.

See, therein lies the problem with a fair amount of the "Serperior is bad" arguments. "It needs team support" is not unique to Serperior. Talonflame absolutely demands that Stealth Rock be gone and needs something to take care of Rotom-W and Tyranitar. Does that make Talonflame bad? No, it just means that the other 5 members of your team will need to support it. No one expects Serperior to be 6-0'ing teams by itself, but that's why you have five other team members. Serperior has a fair amount of faults, but "it needs team support" is honestly the least of those faults. It's definitely more of a niche Pokemon than a top tier threat due to those faults, but it's very usable, and is definitely has some viability in OU.
 
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