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Appletun has a colossal amount of HP, can learn recover, has an excellent special attack and has a signature move called "apple acid" which has base 80 power and lowers the foes special defense. If appletun is that strong, then why is it in PU?

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It's actually not that great, just okay. And people don't know how to use just okay Pokémon. So, it's in PU.
slow and not that great of a typing offensively or defensively
Shallow movepool specially.
You'll probably get a better answer by asking on Smogon. https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/np-nu-stage-3-rain-on-me-bans-post-87.3669764/
4x from Ice is punishing.  Grass makes it take neutral from Fire instead of resisting from Dragon.  Apple Acid is spectacular, and access to Recover is great on a chonker, but that's about all it has going for it.  Zero options for covering weaknesses, no access to a boosting move.  A lot of people describe it as a tank but frankly 80 in Def and S.Def doesn't really seem that great.  Massive HP though.  Speed of 30 means it's Trick Room or nothing.

2 Answers

1 vote
 
Best answer

There are multiple reasons.

Typing
Defensively, Grass/Dragon isn't a great typing, though it's supposed to be a tank. Even with Thick Fat, it's best defensive ability, it still has 6 common weaknesses. (Ice, Poison, Fairy, Flying, Dragon, Bug.)

Stats
Appletun is extremely slow, at base 30 speed. While it does have a high HP and SpA stat, it's SpD and Def are mediocre at best.

Movepool
Appletun has an okay movepool. Most of the moves it learns are Grass, Dragon, or Normal. (Go look at it's level up moveset, it has absolutely no coverage. The only moves it learns that aren't Normal, Grass, or Dragon are Withdraw, Iron Defense, and Curse, which are all status.) It can learn some decent moves from TM/TR, like Gyro Ball (Good with it's bad speed), Giga Drain, and High Horsepower. But that's pretty much it.

Even it's signature move, Apple Acid, can't save it. It's almost always better to raise your own stats than lower the opponent's. With the 100% chance to lower SpD, Defiant or Competitive users could switch in and reap the benefits, especially if Apple Acid is it's only attacking move.

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The definition of "in PU" is getting less than 4.5% usage in NU. Where does this answer explain why Appletun doesn't fit on 95.5% of NU teams?
The entire answer. It's not on NU teams because of its bad stats, typing and movepool. What else are you supposed to say? By all means you answer and tell me why it's not on NU teams.
Appletun's "absolutely no coverage" doesn't really explain why it's a bad wall. Toxic, stealth rock, milk drink, seismic toss Miltank is one of the best walls in the format, and its one attack move isn't super effective against anything. Competitive and defiant also are not threats in NU because less than 1% of NU teams use either of those abilities.
"Stats, typing and movepool" and it was an example. Again, if you feel you can make a better answer, than why don't you?
By listing something (ie. no coverage) as an example, I think you're implying that it contributes to Appletun's uselessness in NU, but it doesn't. So this answer might be misleading even though it isn't technically wrong.
1 vote

The cool thing about Appletun is that it hard counters Ninetails, and is one of the best walls available for that threat. Thick Fat helps with the Fire coverage of course, and Ninetails tends to run Energy Ball and Scorching Sands for everything else. The other Dragon-type in NU that can potentially check Ninetails, Silvally-Dragon, is slower [than Ninetales, not Appletun] and fears the burn from Scorching Sands, but Appletun barely worries about that and capitalizes with Grav Apple, Draco Meteor, or Recover.

Outside of this MU there are better walls all together, though. The other wall that comes to mind is Miltank, which counters Nintails very well and arguably punishes better with opportunities to Toxic, set Stealth Rock, and even Earthquake if it runs it. It also uses Thick Fat to its fullest, being an actual Ice resist. This is in contrast to Appletun, which succumbs to coverage from Vanlluxe and Frosmoth, and then the team will need another check to these attackers. Some cores also enjoy specially defensive mons like Wishiwashi, Mudsdale, Jellicent, and Garbodor that can take a hit or two when healthy and force significant damage on Ninetails so that it's then forced out by a faster mon like Ninjask, Ribombee, or Choice Scarf Duraludon.

All in all, Appeltun isn't the worst mon to build around if the team needs a good counter to Ninetails, but I'd recommend Miltank first and foremost for the role. Edit: as far as unviability goes, if you're referring to the VR, that's very out of date, so don't trust it that much.

I'll make a crazy claim, in terms of why you're using Appletun its basically a bulky water; its a fire resist, takes on ground types, and takes on enemy water types efficiently, all things you'd traditionally use a bulky water for. Now, to understand why its so mediocre as a wall, you gotta compare it to its competition, Jellicient, Cramorant, Wishiwashi, Quagsire, all of which have a crucial ingredient its missing, utility for their team, and/or GOAT move Toxic.

Honestly, its more just that Appletun doesn't get Toxic, or really any way to play around Toxic, which is crippling for a mon that would love to stay in for 50 turns. When you're completely crippled by Toxic and want to switch into Mudsdale often, you're in a bad place. It absolutely has way more offensive presence (sorta) than a lot on this list, but even there it struggles compared to how much harder Jelli's stabs are to resist, and well, Taunt letting Jelli break through a lot of slower stuff eg Clefairy which Appletun struggles to do. Apple Acid is the goat move, but requiring multiple turns to start doing damage is sorta whack, esp when your initial power is lacking, and again, Toxic exists.

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