To begin my comment on the Arceus overviews, I have the words of user Theorymon
from this thread http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102272:
Might want to make the Overview more in line with the other Arceus analyses. I know why you object to it, but its possible to make it sound epic while still being factual!
I agree with this sentiment. While content about the Uber metagame is very important, this is Arceus
we are talking about. It is entirely possible to make an overview that provides good competitive information and as user Fireburn
Overview needs moar epic.
Take for example Arceus-Ice
. Here is the overview before and after a competitive/flavor update:
Returning from the desolate wastelands of afar, Arceus shows His frigid side, His heart as cold as the Icicle Plate He bears. In perhaps the most offensively-inclined forme of them all, Arceus-Ice takes no prisoners in the kill-or-be-killed world of Ubers. In this world, His STAB Ice-type attacks has excellent coverage, taking down most Dragon-, Ground-, Flying-, and Grass-types that stand before Him. His unmatched versatility allows Him to benefit from not only hail but also rain and sun, a feat few formes of His can rival. However, in His frosty guise, Arceus cannot boast of a strong defensive typing as a weakness to Stealth Rock limits His potential. His cold decision has rid Him of any resistance save one of Ice and grants Him the terrible weaknesses of Rock-, Fighting-, Fire-, and Steel-type attacks. He will be hard-pressed to take the common attacks of His Uber creations without sufficient boosts. If one has the misfortune to face Arceus-Ice, unless your body is as solid as steel or your soul as searing as the sun, you might never again feel the warmth of a new day.
As clearly seen in the "after" overview, the first and last sentences are flavorful befitting the God of Pokémon. However, the sentences in between are mostly of competitive information intermixed with some flavour. It is to be noted that this is an example, more (or less) competitive information/flavor can be placed in the overview as necessary and at the discretion of Quality Control.
For example, perhaps Steel types being one of the biggest threats to Arceus-Ice could be mentioned more explicitly instead of it just being at the last "flavorful" sentence. Perhaps the body of the overview could have much less mention of "guise, frosty, etc." and instead refer Arceus as "Arceus-Ice, Him, etc." Of course, there could be some factual errors that need correction such as Arceus-Ice arguably not benefiting much from hail (Main benefit is passive hail damage on opponents, Blizzard's PP is quite small).
As another example, take a look at the Arceus-Water overview (Pre-upgrade):
The Creator emerges from the depths of the ocean, holding a Splash Plate, using the essential liquid of life to unleash a devastating wave of destruction and end the life that He created eons ago. While He created Kyogre to rule the seas and Manaphy to strike fear into those who cross the ocean, unlike Him, both cannot function without rain support. However, Water Arceus does have His downfalls. Water is a poor defensive typing in the Ubers metagame, as it is weak to common Electric- and Grass-type moves. Water Arceus also receives a lot of competition from Kyogre, Manaphy, and Palkia. Don't let these drawbacks fool you, though, as Water Arceus gets access to two boosting moves: access to both Swords Dance and Calm Mind make Him very difficult to counter. Water Arceus's wide coverage and godly stat distribution make Him a true monster. Let it be known that Water Arceus is ready to show the nonbelievers that He is the true ruler of the oceans and seas.
As clearly seen, the first few (and last) sentences are flavorful. However, the rest is quite competitive (Ignoring the fact that this overview has to be updated as indicated in the posts of users Furai
as well as nitpicks). This is in my opinion what an ideal Arceus overview form should look like.
Looking at some contrasting Arceus overviews:
As previously mentioned, way too much flavor, too little competitive information. It’s also in my opinion not even good “flavor.”
Now take a look at these “pure competitive” Arceus overviews:
Great offensive stats, overall defenses that are better than most dedicated walls, and a wide movepool all make Arceus a top-notch threat in Ubers. Furthermore, Fighting Arceus has several advantages over other Arceus formes. First, Fighting Arceus lacks common weaknesses, which makes Him rather hard to take down, especially after a few Calm Mind boosts. Resistances to common attacking types in Dark, Rock, and Bug also allow Fighting Arceus to switch into attacks with relative ease. However, Fighting Arceus isn't without His cons: for example, Fighting-type STAB is not great in Ubers thanks to the popularity of Psychic-types. Nevertheless, Fighting Arceus should not be taken lightly, as He is still a threat every team should prepare for.
Arceus is one of the most potent threats in this new generation. Despite the introduction of newer and stronger Dragon-types into the Uber tier, none can challenge the might of the divine Arceus. With His excellent base 120 Attack, 120 Special Attack, and 120 Speed, Arceus can become a deadly setup sweeper capable of tearing gaping holes in unprepared teams. Defensively, Arceus is no slouch either, possessing base 120 / 120 / 120 defenses. When equipped with an Earth Plate, Arceus gains the Ground typing and a coveted resistance to Stealth Rock, as well as a useful immunity to Electric-type moves. This makes Ground Arceus the premier counter to Zekrom, a dangerous physical sweeper introduced in this generation. Arceus has more overall bulk than Groudon, who is considered to be the epitome of walling in the Uber tier; Arceus also outclasses Groudon in that He has a reliable recovery move in the form of Recover.
Ground is an excellent neutral STAB, and Arceus possesses two nifty 100 Base Power Ground-type moves up His sleeve: Judgment and Earthquake. This allows Ground Arceus to run either a physical set or a special set, providing Him with a versatility that makes Him utterly deadly. However, Arceus is not without His flaws; Ground Arceus possesses debilitating weaknesses to Water-, Ice-, and Grass-type moves, which really hinders Arceus's effectiveness considering the popularity of Kyogre. Nevertheless, one must never underestimate the prowess of Ground Arceus, as He is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
These overviews are pretty much all competitive information with virtually no flavor. It is currently out of line with the other flavorful Arceus overviews as well as having very cliché ending sentences. Take a look at “Making a Good Analysis Great” in The Smog: Issue 17
by user Ray Jay
"Underestimate Pokemon x at your own risk" - Stale and typically unnecessary.
"Protip! bojangles says to stay away from: "Underestimate this [type of pokemon (ex: bagworm, land shark)] at your own peril."
Yeah… On another note, I have seen “every team should prepare for,” “do not underestimate,” their variations, etc. in many other Uber overviews besides “pure competitive” Arceus overviews such as Deoxys-A, Excadrill, Thundurus, etc. So much in fact that these now seem “stale” to me. This problem is just as bad in my opinion, if not worse than many of the too flavorful (and all competitive) Arceus overviews.
In conclusion, my suggestion is that overviews at least consider making the first/last sentences of the usual “epic” flavor while the rest can be of pure competitive content. This can help make the Arceus overviews feel more distinct while still retaining the quality Smogon analyses are known for. Remember, mostly competitive information, some flavor!
After all, this is
the God of Pokémon!
NOTE: Comments are welcome on the Arceus-Ice overview. Like it? Needs less flavor? More competitive information? Just right? Quality Control? Sound off your opinion!
SECOND NOTE: I would like to if possible reserve Arceus-Ghost and Arceus-Dragon.