Boot to the Head
Previously titled Decentralizer Revisited.
A Pokemon that is constructed to perform only moderately well against the majority of the Pokemon with the OU tier, but designed specifically to beat the top 6 used Pokemon (and their playstyles) within the OU tier superbly.
If you have played on Smogon’s OU tier within the past three months, you must have noticed at there are certain Pokemon that seem to pop up continually and persistently. These Pokemon are the most used Pokemon in OU and they are often selected during teambuilding processes over other underused Pokemon within the OU tier. These include threats like Scizor and Rotom-W, which abuse switching tactics to decimate the tier; these two Pokemon are both statistically found in at least one out of every five OU teams. Weather starters like Tyranitar and Politoed are also widely prevalent, converting the majority of OU battles into a massive weather war.
It is unfortunate that the OU tier is so fixated on six specific Pokemon. There are many other OU Pokemon that have the potential to perform exceedingly well, but for less than obvious reasons, fall to the wayside when compared to the Top 6. The Boot to the Head would teach us vast amounts how the top threats in OU consistently rank so high in the usage statistics. Throughout the creation of this concept, we’d identify the weaknesses displayed by the Top 6 and discover how to exploit them. This would, concurrently, reveal to us how well other OU Pokemon can perform within the tier once the Top 6 aren't so pervasive.
Questions To Be Answered:
- Why are the top six threats in OU consistently seated in the top seats of the OU tier? What makes them stand out from other OU Pokemon?
- What kind of weaknesses do the Top 6 exhibit? How can we capitalize upon them?
- What common weaknesses do the top six threats in OU share? How can they be exploited? Inversely, which weaknesses are different and individualized per each of these six overused Pokemon?
- Which attacking types will prove to be suitable in an offensive combination against the Top 6? Furthermore, which defensive types hold their own against the top seated Pokemon in OU?
- Which non-attacking moves can be utilized to stop the top OU threats and their playstyles? Similarly, which abilities are useful in stopping the Top 6?
- Which Pokemon can now find success in OU when the previously biggest threats are now thwarted? What specifically was holding them back previously from achieving bountiful success within the OU tier?
- Does the Boot to the Head end up having an overall effect of decentralizing the tier or centralizing it even more? If the tier is more centralized due to its presence, then which Pokemon stole the spotlight? Why?
The Inspiration for Creating the Boot to the Head
To begin, let me provide some statistics from the OU tier, graciously pulled off of the Smogon server on Pokemon Online by user Antar:
As you can clearly see, OU has a massive
problem with centralization. Within the past month of March, the top six ranked Pokemon in OU ruled the tier with incredibly high usage percents. Furthermore, this focus on six specific Pokemon has been active for the past three months. That's right, all six of these Pokemon were also the top six Pokemon used within the long span of three months. Even more shocking is that the 1337 statistics for March are identical, except for those battlers use the Top 6 even more (1337 stats refer to battles that were fought by two users with a ranking over 1337)! These six Pokemon have absolutely defined the metagame for the last several months.
Meanwhile, with all of this centralization going on, there are many fantastic Pokemon that are falling to the wayside. Threats like Gengar, Gyarados, and Salamence have fallen under a 10% usage, with other Pokemon like Reuniclus, Volcarona, Conkeldurr, and countless others falling even lower. Furthermore, non-mainstream play styles like Stall and Rain Dance Offense have completely fallen to the wayside (even Ferrothorn is losing its touch). The OU tier's focus has been so glued to the Top 6 that we have almost completely neglected to study these Pokemon and give them a chance to shine. Their overshadowing is tragic, really. Adding the Boot to the Head will give us a chance to look at these "fallen stars" in OU thoroughly.
Clarification on the Concept's Purpose
When I say that we need to focus on defeating the Top 6 and their playstyles
, I am referring to the "niches" that they bring to an OU team. For example, Politoed and Tyranitar both provide weather support to a team, while Scizor and Rotom-W provide momentum support. Perhaps in order to decentralize the OU tier of the Top 6, we need to focus on stopping these playstyles alongside of stopping the Pokemon. We will need to be plenty creative, but I am sure it would be a lot of fun!
Furthermore, please not that Decentralizer and the Boot to the Head have different goals and are not the same concept
. The Decentralizer aimed to decentralize the current metagame completely. The Boot to the Head, however, is merely focused on removing the Top 6 from their lofty rank and noting the consequential changes in the tier. This concept is much more interested in seeing which Pokemon can thrive and survive when the Top 6 are deterred. With this concept, we're not trying to completely decentralize the OU tier, but rather, we're simply working on a) discussing tactics that can be used to defeat the top six biggest threats and their playstyles in OU, and b) discovering which other Pokemon do exceptionally well when the Top 6 are threatened by the Boot to the Head.
Flexibility of the Concept
Let me just make a quick note: how we "beat" the Top 6 is totally up for grabs. I think part of the fun would be incorporating its dominance over these six Pokemon at different parts in the process! For example, its typing could give it a solid advantage over two threats, while its ability lets it beat out two more, one is defeated by its stats, and the final falls prey to movepool. The term "beat" is also subjective. It could mean checking a Pokemon, countering a Pokemon, or removing the "playstyle" that the threat envokes (e.g. allowing the Boot to the Head to change the weather to beat Politoed). The concept is really quite flexible in these regards. Thinking "we're going to counter all 6 Pokemon in Ability Discussion" is a poor way of going about this. Variance and clever planning would be our best friends in taking down the Top 6!
However, we must be careful with this concept. We have to make sure that we create a Pokemon that is meant to stop the Top 6 and their playstyles specifically and little else. We'll need to have many discussions on the weaknesses of the top six threats and how to attack them without making CAP 3 too powerful. It certainly is possible; we just need to be aware of all of the Pokemon within the OU tier in order for this to work properly. Furthermore, we can glean information from the concept that inspired this one: the Decentralizer (Arghonaut
) by viewing the brand new CAP Process Archive
subforum. Although Arghonaut's concept was made with the CAP metagame in mind, we can still draw inspiration from the discussion on 4th Generation CAP 6 process when balancing this Pokemon.
As a final note, I must stress that if we're going to choose this concept, it is now or never
. Pokemon Black 2 & White 2 are on the horizon for release this summer. If we're ever going to test the BW OU tier that we have played for the last year and a few months (with a few bans) to see which Pokemon do well when the Top 6 are scattered, it must be now. The move tutors and other factors presented within B2W2, plus the new added threats of Keldeo and possibly Genesect, will shake up the metagame too much for us to get accurate data on the first wave of competitive BW OU battling. The BW OU tier has settled, more or less, so now is the perfect time to run with such a concept as this.
Thanks for your time!