Categorizing Tiering Bans
I want to start this thread to discuss recognizing different types of ban types, namely the distinction between skill-based and over-centralization-based bans.
While this distinction is far from a new idea, with its reappearence in the recent Arceus thread, I think it would be a good idea to discuss it directly, if only to sort out semantics (and possibly policy).
My idea is to define Standard Tiers (OU, UU) as those tiers that are constructed (by bans and clauses) to be both skill-based and to lack over-centralization.
Being skill based means the metagame is conducive to the stronger players rising to the top.
Lacking over-centralization means that a certain amount of variety is in the metagame, in terms of usage of different pokemon.
The combination of both of these favorable characteristics would identify a tier as a standard tier (or "standard ideal"), which have the main focus of the site's support.
However, we would say that only being skill based is necessary to be recognized as a "competitive tier," and thus be represented in official tournaments, events etc. Smogon would also give these metagames freedom to make their own policy in smogon's name. Yes, I am talking about the Uber tier here. "Lacking Over-Centralization" is a desirable charactersistic for many players, which is where OU's popularity stems from, but it is not a requirement for a game to be playable.
Now, the main point of this discussion would be to acknowledge that bans also fall into 1 of 2 categories dependant on their infringement of the above requirements.
Type A Banning: Reducing the Metagame's Skill-dependancy
Inconsistant. I had to say it. But also OHKO clause, Evasion clause, and Sleep Clause. I think it is inherent that this type of banning will often have to do with luck, but at a deeper source, it has to do with taking control of the game out of the player's hands, therefore removing the aspect of skill. That is why 4th Gen's wobb ban also probably has to do heavily with this type of ban. Inconsistant falls under here even without the luck aspect-- it takes the skill out of the game. Luck factors are not the only ones that can do this (sleep, Shadow Tag), but they are probably the most prominent.
Type B Banning: Over-centralization
Yache Chomp. lol. Anyway, these bans are made in order to prevent the game from centralizing around a mere handful of pokemon (we can note that 4th Gen OU has double the "OU" pokemon of 4th Gen Ubers). These bans almost always have to do with power. Some pokemon is just such a bad ass that everyone falls under his sway. It's probably fair to say that the vast majority of 4th Gen's Pokemon bans were heavily contingent on this type of problem.
Now, this is not to say that (especially in OU) it can't be a problem regarding both. If we look at Shaymin-S, or 4th Gen Deo-S (and it's ridiculous control over the lead matchup), it's clear that it's not always clear cut. That's fine. It's only important that we are aware of the distinction, and also important for the larger community to understand that bans can fall under either.
Inconsistent or OHKO moves don't have to win every game in order to be reducing the skill factor of the meta. Even if the better players have forsaken [inconsistancy] in favor of more dependable strategies, that doesn't mean it's not hurting the game. It is. Players have to understand why.
For Ubers it should be noted that philosophically, there should be an effort to not make Type B bans. Ubers is where we ban all those bad asses, and Ubers players are probably well aware of the resulting over-centralization (they embrace it from what I understand). That said, Type A bans should be fair game, as making sure the game is skill-based is always a top priority if people are to play the game competitively.
At this point I would like to open the floor to discuss whether this is how we should think about bans/tiering, and/or whether there should even be a distinction made. If people like this distinction but want to improve on the semantics (have clearer terminology suggestions) please post.
Also, my 4000th post. :P
edit: Also, because I know it's going to come up, the above are just categories-- they do not clearly define why a thing is being banned. How much hax does it have to caused to get under Type A? How much usage/dominance does have to achieve to get under Type B?
Those questions are not for philosophy or terminology to define. That's up to the players, and their opinions-- their votes. By making bans, we are engineering a "better game," but what makes a game better is subjective. The only way to answer that, is with people's opinions. That's why we have the voting system.
"Hmmm... a name for this plan..."