Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are burning through Ranked Double Battle formats like a Skeledirge burning through a Grass-type team with Torch Song. The initial Ranked Series 1 limited the official competitive format to regular Paldean Pokémon. The recent Ranked Series 2 allowed players to use the pseudo-Legendary Paradox ‘mons from the past and future, which dramatically shifted the meta to centre around them.
From 1st April to 1st June 2023, the next Ranked Series will be underway, and with it, comes a name change. Now dubbed Regulation Set C, the third format will add the Treasures of Ruin into the Pokémix.
The Treasures of Ruin consist of only four Pokémon: Wo-Chien, Chien-Pao, Ting-Lu, and Chi-Yu. With so few additions, you might think that the meta won’t change much, but these Legendary Pokémon have enough power behind them that they threaten to centralise the meta. For a list of the still-banned Pokémon, check out our friends at Serebii.
To get ahead of the ruin these Pokémon promise, we’ve put together a handful of team ideas to help you climb to Master Ball Tier without a Psyduck-level headache.
Ranked Series 2 Strongest Pokémon, Returning MVPs
According to Pikalytics, Flutter Mane, Iron Bundle, Iron Hands, and Great Tusk dominated the Ranked ladder, with at least one and often two of these four slotting onto teams. Further down the list, Roaring Moon and Brute Bonnet saw a decent amount of play that may continue into Regulation C. While there’s a chance something like Iron Valiant might rise in usage, it is unlikely that another Paradox Pokémon will rise above these six, given poor or neutral matchups against the Treasures of Ruin.
With both Flutter Mane and Iron Bundle out-speeding the Treasures of Ruin (except for Chien-Pao), expect Flutter Mane to continue its dominance as a glass canon. Iron Bundle may usurp Flutter Mane as the most popular Paradox Pokémon simply because of its utility; hitting an opposing Chien-Pao or Chi-Yu with Icy Wind will help slow them down – literally.
Other Powerful Pokémon
The early offensive juggernauts Dondozo and Tatsugiri fell off a little bit in Ranked Series 2 in favour of Pokémon used to support the likes of Flutter Mane, but the combo is still potent enough that it will make appearances now and again. Water-type Palafin, with its ability Zero to Hero, saw an increase in usage, and will likely see more with the threat the Dark/Fire-type Chi-Yu poses. Other offensive threats include the overpowered Gholdengo and Dragonite with a Normal Tera-type and Extreme Speed.
The stronger the power level of any given format, the more important support Pokémon become. In Regulation Set C, expect to see plenty of Amoongus redirecting with Rage Powder and putting your Pokémon to sleep with Spore. As Spore doesn’t work on Grass-type Pokémon, consider using that as your main attacker’s Tera-type. Maushold may see increased usage as a Follow Me user over Indeedee-F as the latter is weak to all the Treasures’ Dark-typings. Talonflame rose in prominence as a Tailwind setter in Series 2 due to its access to Will-O-Wisp and Arcanine returned to form to Intimidate Iron Hands and burn him if necessary. They still have a role in Regulation Set C, and it may even be an increased one.
Best Regulation Set C Treasures of Ruin Strengths and Synergies
All four Treasures of Ruin have a similar, powerful ability that lowers one stat of all other Pokémon on the field by 25%. Chi-Yu’s Beads of Ruin, for example, lowers the Special Defense of all Pokémon except itself – including its partner in crime. All four of the Treasures share a primary Dark-typing and the signature move Ruination that cuts the target’s HP in half. Yet, while they each have a high base stat total of 570, two seem more ruinous than the others.
Wo-Chien Movesets, Strengths and Weaknesses
This Dark/Grass-type slug of doom is built as a flexible defensive wall, whittling down your opponent's team while it lowers stats and heals teammates. With the ability Tables of Ruin, Wo-Chien lowers the Attack stats of all Pokémon except itself by 25%. With its good Defense, Wo-Chien can then take a few super effective physical attacks, and with an amazing Special Defense, it will cause problems for most if not all special attackers. Wo-Chien might be the most underrated of the four.
An optimal moveset for Wo-Chien looks like this:
- Giga Drain
- Pollen Puff
With Giga Drain, Wo-Chien can keep itself alive while hitting pesky water types such as Dondozo and Palafin. It can deal Bug-type damage or heal its teammates with Pollen Puff, making it a proper sluggy nuisance. It also has access to Foul Play, Knock Off, and Leech Seed.
At least early on in the meta, Wo-Chien players should invest 252 EVs into HP and 252 into Defense with the remaining 4 in Special Defense and use Assault Vest or Leftovers to ensure its survivability. Wo-Chien should have a defensive Tera-type, such as Poison or Steel to cover its weaknesses.
Due to its Attack lowering ability, Wo-Chien benefits teammates with high Special Attack that it can heal up with Pollen Puff. Look for it to be paired with its fellow Treasure Chi-Yu and the likes of Flutter Mane and Gholdongo.
Wo-Chien is 4x weak to Bug-type moves, making Volcarona, the current reigning Bug-type, an ideal candidate to take it out. Otherwise, ignoring it and focusing on your opponent's other Pokémon will often be the correct play. Alone, it can’t do much.
Chien-Pao Movesets, Strengths and Weaknesses
Chien-Pao is the coolest looking of the Treasures and likely the second most potent. With a threatening Dark/Ice-typing, it has an incredibly high Attack and an even higher base Speed, which makes it an ideal physical sweeper. Its ability Sword of Ruin lowers the Defense of all other Pokémon, allowing it to dole out even more damage.
An ideal moveset for Chien-Pao will look like this:
- Ice Spinner
- Sucker Punch
- Sacred Sword
Other notable moves are Throat Chop, Ice Shard, and Swords Dance, which show promise depending on the meta.
A simple 252/252 into Attack and Speed is the way to go with the literal sabre-toothed cat, with the remaining 4 in HP. A Focus Sash or Life Orb, depending on your preference, are great items for Chien-Pao to hold. An offensive Tera-type, such as Ice, Dark, or Fighting, makes the most sense for this cat, but Grass would work too as to not get put to sleep by Spore.
Chien-Pao benefits from teammates that can redirect moves away from it with Follow Me and Rage Powder, such as Maushold and Amoongus. Tailwind from Talonflame or Icy Wind from Iron Bundle to slow down Flutter Manes and Chi-Yus will help this Pokémon thrive. Partners with a high attack stat Pokémon also benefit from its ability, such as Iron Hands or Garchomp.
As for weaknesses, Chien-Pao has low Defense and Special Defense and the defensively poor Ice-typing, so it can’t take more than one or two hits. A single Will-O-Wisp from an Arcanine that has Intimidated it will also cripple this cool cat.
Ting-Lu Teams Movesets, Strengths and Weaknesses
This moose-like Pokémon is the most difficult to assess of the four, and it is perhaps the weakest of the bunch. With its great Dark/Ground-typing, however, one shouldn’t write Ting-Lu off. It has a great Attack stat and huge HP and Defense stats. Its ability, Vessel of Ruin, lowers the Special Attack stat of all other Pokémon on the field, and it has a low enough Speed to thrive on a Trick Room team.
It’s difficult to predict a good moveset for Ting-Lu, but it may look like this:
- Stomping Tantrum
- Body Press
- Rock Slide
It also has access to Throat Chop, Earthquake, and Heavy Slam for variation and coverage, along with some utility moves like Snarl and Whirlwind.
EVs spreads for Ting-Lu are hard to place, but with heavy investment into Defense and Attack, it can do the most damage possible with Body Press while taking an extra few hits. An Assault Vest on Ting-Lu would shore up its mediocre Special Defense stat that benefits heavily from its ability, making it almost as tanky as its comrade Wo-Chien. An offensive Ground Tera-type would help it stomp opponents into dust.
Being so slow, Ting-Lu needs help from a Trick Room setter such as Hatterene, Farigiraf, or Armarouge. Teammates that are weak to Special Attackers, which include the powerful Iron Hands and Iron Bundle, will love having Ting-Lu around.
Chi-Yu Teams Movesets, Strengths and Weaknesses
Much like Flutter Mane, this fiery fish promises to run away with the meta due to its high Speed and Special Attack. What’s more, its ability Beads of Ruin lowers the Special Defense of all other Pokémon on the field, making it an ideal candidate on a hyper-offensive team. Chi-Yu also boasts the oppressive Dark/Fire-typing.
An ideal moveset for Chi-Yu is straightforward:
- Heat Wave (or Overheat)
- Dark Pulse
- Tera Blast
Other moves Chi-Yu has access to are the reliable Flamethower and Will-O-Wisp. Protect is also valuable as this spicy goldfish has an abysmal HP stat, though it has good Special Defense.
Investing entirely in Special Attack and Speed is the way to go with Chi-Yu, adding the remaining 4 EVs into Special Defense. Chi-Yu benefits from two held items: Focus Sash to ensure getting an attack off and Choice Specs to increase its damage to absurd levels. For Tera-types, Grass makes a lot of sense as something like Dondozo or Palafin can slow Chi-Yu’s destruction down.
For teammates, fellow special attackers such as Gholdengo and Flutter Mane benefit from Chi-Yu’s ability. Throw a reliable Tailwind setter such as Murkrow or Talonflame, and you’ve got the makings of a potent team. To counter Chi-Yu, his fellow Treasure Wo-Chien, despite being Grass-type, holds up against him well; so do bulky Water-types such as Dondozo. In fact, Chi-Yu may herald the return of the massive catfish.
As Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s competitive scene continues to march toward the World Championships in 2023 August, the meta will keep shifting, especially with the introduction of these Treasures of Ruin. Remember to have an eye on websites such as Victory Road to keep up-to-date on all the most powerful teams, with rental teams often included. But for now, you should be all set to battle with and against these threatening ‘mons to climb the ranked doubles ladder to the coveted Master Ball Tier. Good luck!
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