Metagame 2v2 Doubles

#51
Nothing stops you from using 2 accuracy droppers, targeting both opposing pokes. Another scenario would be dropping the accuracy of 1 poke and KO'ing the other.
Yes, if but if you have two accuracy dropppers you (the person dropping) are less effective than a single evasion booster is in standard, as they have twice the chances to hit and take one iut, at which point they can have both target the remaining pokemon. Accuracy dropping, unlike evasion, can be blocked by substitute, can be redirected, can be defeated by immunity (mud slap), clear body/white smoke, or bouncing (sand attack/etc) and require team support beyond that neede for evasion. While similar, fundementally doubles evasion and doubles accuracy reduction behave differently despite the lack of a switch.
 

Rumplestiltskin

I will rain lels all over you and you will drown in them
#52
The ways to deal with it still don't make the times it does hit ok. I know they behave differently, but I'm saying the difference isn't big enough. Admittedly it's not a very reliable strat, but neither is using evasion boosting abilities, and yet they're banned. Accuracy drops should be banned for consistency as it's the uncompetitiveness of making the opponent miss attacks which is the undesired gameplay ultimately, and the reason for the evasion bans in the first place.
 
#53
Okay, so I suppose it's up to me to post the first sample team. Without further ado, here it is.
LumberjackBeLikeSwerve (Kyurem-Black) @ Icium Z
Ability: Teravolt
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Fusion Bolt
- Rock Slide
- Freeze Shock
- Outrage

Zap! (Alakazam-Mega) @ Alakazite
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Dazzling Gleam
- Focus Blast
- Psychic
- Energy Ball

Afterburners (Heatran) @ Choice Specs
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Earth Power
- Heat Wave
- Flash Cannon
- Taunt

Jack Frost (Abomasnow-Mega) @ Abomasite
Ability: Snow Warning
EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpA / 8 SpD
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Blizzard
- Energy Ball
- Focus Blast
- Protect


This team is built around Kyurem-Black and the Icium Z crystal. As every 1v1 player knows, a Subzero Slammer from KyuB is one of the most powerful things in the game. All of the other team members support KyuB in some way, with Heatran killing Steel types that can wall it, Abomasnow boosting the power of Subzero Slammer with the hail and killing Dragon types, and Alakazam KOing Fighting types and breaking Sash with its incredible speed. Unfortunately, I don't have any replays, but I'm sure that people like Rumplestiltskin can vouch for its decency.
EDIT: It was brought to my attention that Hail does not boost the power of Ice moves. Ignore that bit.
(Sorry for one-liner) I tried this and it worked ok but choice specs taunt made me lose lol
 
#54

Tapu Bulu @ Focus Sash
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Wood Hammer
- Protect
- Superpower

MSceptile_ORAS.gif

Sceptile-Mega @ Sceptilite
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Frenzy Plant
- Dragon Pulse
- Protect
- Giga Drain

It seems like too many people in this format forget about the power of nature. Grassy Spam's niche is in the ability to beat a lots of popular 2v2 duos, including:

Tapu Lele + Deoxys-Attack
Tapu Koko + Raichu-Alola
Politoed/Pelipper + Mega Swampert
Tyranitar + Stoutland/Excadrill

Sceptile is scary as hell in Grassy Terrain, boasting 145 in both Special Attack AND Speed, while having Grassy Terrain-boosted STAB Frenzy Plants, as well as Dragon Pulse for stuff like Latios. Sash Bulu, meanwhile, can bait Deoxys, Lele, Excadrill or Pelipper and potentially KO them back. Give this duo a try, they can really help against a lot of things.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen72v2doubles-611813148
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen72v2doubles-611807075
 

Attachments

#56
I love this metagame. Also liking the idea of banning Perish Song (Soundproof mons would be OP)
Perish song is already banned SonicRPika

also to not make this a one liner i'll just post a core i've been having a lot of fun with:

Aegi (Aegislash) @ Ghostium Z
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Shadow Ball
- Flash Cannon
- King's Shield
- Destiny Bond

Rubi (Audino-Mega) @ Audinite
Ability: Healer
EVs: 252 HP / 64 Def / 4 SpA / 188 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
- Protect
- Trick Room
- Encore/Dazzling gleam
- Helping Hand

i've been having a lot of fun with this especially using destiny bond in trick room is fun as you are usually slower as aegislash in trick room and after you attacked you will be in your blade form making it easier to be killed, encore in trick room is also pretty fun as you can lock mons into status moves, dazzling gleam helps mainly against focus sash.
 

Laxpras

Young Metro Trusts Me
is a Pre-Contributor
#57
Ban Focus Sash.

Sash enables really overpowered/uncompetitive tactics such as Explosion gimmicks or unstoppable set up. It also makes things like Deoxys-Attack (why tf is this even allowed??) even more broken as it eliminates its only downside.

I really can't imagine any viable reason why sash (or Deo-A) should be allowed in this meta. If there are, someone care to explain? As far as I can see, sash does the same thing in 2v2 that it would do in 1v1, and it ruins the meta for me.
 
#58
I think the idea is that Focus Sash can be negated by focus-firing a single target, unlike in 1v1 where you basically have to hope you're faster or tanky enough to take three hits. It's still a pretty ridiculous item in this format, though. I could see it being banned at some point, but it's unarguably not on the same level as in 1v1.
 
#59
Ban Focus Sash.

Sash enables really overpowered/uncompetitive tactics such as Explosion gimmicks or unstoppable set up. It also makes things like Deoxys-Attack (why tf is this even allowed??) even more broken as it eliminates its only downside.

I really can't imagine any viable reason why sash (or Deo-A) should be allowed in this meta. If there are, someone care to explain? As far as I can see, sash does the same thing in 2v2 that it would do in 1v1, and it ruins the meta for me.
Aren't telepathy pokemon used in explosion gimmicks? Imo it seems like a waste to run a focus sash.

And imo it's not like sash breaks the meta. Most setup sweepers are easily identified and can be focus fired, preventing any sort of setup. Spread moves are also super common, allowing one teammate hit a pokemon hard down to focus sash, and have it's partner use a spread move, ko'ing the pokemon while also not wasting a turn focus firing one pokemon leaving the other untouched. It's a good item for sure, but not one that can't be played around.
 
#60
The following combo is a stupid gimmick and probably won't work, I just thought it was fun.

Tapu Bulu @ Grassy Seed
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Horn Leech
- Wood Hammer
- Megahorn
- Rock Slide

This is the main attacker. It takes away Psychic Terrain and is a great tank for any physical attackers thanks to the Grassy Seed. It hits very hard, has a spread move and can recover with Horn Leech. However, it's not only Physical attackers it can beat, thanks to...

Florges (F) @ Assault Vest
Ability: Symbiosis
EVs: 248 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 4 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Moonblast
- Petal Dance
- Flower Shield
- Helping Hand

Florges! The moment Tapu Bulu uses its Grassy Seed, Florges lends it an Assault Vest, which helps immensely in solving its Special Defense problem. It can then either give Tapu Bulu a defense boost with Flower Shield, boost its attack this turn with Helping Hand or use an attacking move to dent the opponent.

Just thought that was fun :P You can also run a Florges carrying another Grassy Seed if you really hate Physical attackers, or any other item in the game, but eh.
 
#61

Tapu Lele is now BANNED from 2v2 doubles.

Ever since the start of Gen 7 2v2 doubles Tapu Lele has been a force in the metagame thanks to its great typing in Psychic/Fairy and its ability Psychic Surge which summon Psychic Terrain easily the best terrain in-game as it can easily block priority moves such as Fake Out. Psychic Terrain used with Deoxys-Attack or Mega Metagross makes the deadliest combo in the whole metagame making it overcentralizing if you don't have a specific combo to beat Tapu Lele+Deoxys-Attack you will simply lose.

We have decided to ban Tapu Lele instead of Deoxys-Attack because Tapu Lele's terrain can be used with many other Pokemon creating powerful combos. Meanwhile Deoxys-Attack is a frail attacker that can be checked with priority moves or Focus Sash. Though, both Deoxys-Attack and Focus Sash are on the radar for the time being!

Tagging The Immortal to ban Tapu Lele from 2v2 doubles.
 
#63
I feel like there are flaws in the whole "Just double-target the sash Pokemon" argument. What if one of your Pokemon gets KOed by the opposition before they can act? That means they die, yet you can't even trade due to sash, putting you at an immediate disadvantage. Also, what if the opponent has Sash and Protect? Then there's a real problem. I think that Sash, while not as monstrous as in regular 1v1, is still too good for this tier and should be quick-banned.
 
#65
Having played a lot of this meta I am surprised at the lele ban, but I think sash is a necessary evil in this format of weather spam, double scarf sets (kubetini being one of the more potent ones), and with fake out being a prominent part of the meta especially with lele gone I don't think that sash is actually that big a deal.
 

Rumplestiltskin

I will rain lels all over you and you will drown in them
#66
Z moves

After playing 2v2 Doubles for the entirety of gen 7, analysing Z moves, I’ve come to the conclusion that they need to be banned ASAP. I will address frequently asked questions / frequently made arguments against a Z ban for 1v1. I know they’re different metagames, but the questions / arguments could still be applied, and I’m addressing them pre-emptively for 2v2 Doubles.

The main reason: Z was balanced by its creator Game Freak by being limited to being used once per battle, with a battle being 6v6. Which means that Z is usable on 1/6 of your team and usable once per battle. In 2v2 Doubles it’s usable on ½ of your team, which corresponds to z being usable on 3/6 of your team in a 6v6 battle and usable 3 times per battle. That’s 3 times the impact on the battle. Getting hit by a Z attack in 2v2 Doubles is the same as getting hit by a Z attack 3 times in 6v6. This enough is reason for a ban, however simple you might think the reason is.
Everything said here forth is additional analysis and justification for anyone who ignores that it’s banworthy on that sole merit.

A Z-move KO in 6v6 is not much of a big deal, you lost 1 poke, that’s 1/6ths out of your team. In 2v2 you lost half your team, turning it into a 1v1, which could quite possibly be the worse match-up for you, decided by the z-move user, simply due to its sheer power. Now of course OHKO’s can happen without Z-moves, but when they happen it’s because of a really strong move (covered below), type advantages, and difference in stats. And in the case where the Z-attack didn’t KO, it still does significantly more damage than it ever would have done otherwise, which is devastating (aka most likely game ruining) for the surviving poke.

Where such power was once due to a selection of pokes with big offensive stats, pokes with access to devastating moves, and pokes with type advantages, it is now available to pretty much any poke without utterly horrible offensive stats (which is the majority of viable pokes, if not the majority of all pokes). Where such pokes were once utilized for their other traits, traits for strats such as setup, support, walling, or whatever else, they can now have a strong attack (as in strength comparable to pokes that specialized in attacking) in addition to their role/use. That alone makes for unfair gameplay as such pokes now in addition to their specialization also get to nuke. This scales down the entire system of pokemon archetypes. An due to the sheer power of Z attacks, even the system of type effectiveness is scaled down to almost nothing. Who needs type effectiveness when you can just use Z to nuke everything not immune? Again keep in mind that even if the same applies to 6v6, the impact is tripled here. Now if Z-moves can provide such power to pokes that didn’t specialize in attacking, what do they provide to pokes that do? They make them unmanageable to deal with through any means other than outspeeding them and KO’ing them before they do the same to you.

“But Rumplestiltskin, why not just ban the pokes that you say become unmanageable due to Z-moves?”

Because it would mean losing a majority (if not all) of all offensive pokes at the very least, and the meta would still be unbalanced due to the massive power boost to everything (the unfair gameplay mentioned above).

In a meta where surviving is a massive struggle due to focus fire, and where power dominates, the addition of Z-moves, taking said power to a whole other level unbalances the meta too much and takes it even more in the direction of outspeed-and-KO ASAP type of battles. It utterly dumbs down the meta when not even type effectiveness or poke archetypes matter much any more.

“Rumplestiltskin, what makes Z attacks any different from other high BP attacks?”

Other strong moves are limited by their distribution, negative side effects, accuracy, and conditions. Which also means that you can play accordingly. And the distribution limit is significant because it incorporates all of the limits that the poke the move is limited to has, and if a poke with access to such a strong move doesn’t have enough limits, you usually see it banned in Smogon tiers/metas.

Let’s go over distribution first (excluding banned pokes, smeargle, NFE’s unless relevant, and moves with not so limited distribution (those will be covered in the other list)), and I hope I don’t have to go over the weaknesses and limits of each poke to get this point across.

  • V-Create
    • Victini, Rayquaza (banned)
  • Prismatic Laser
    • Necrozma
  • Blast Burn, Hydro Cannon, Frenzy Plant
    • starter pokes, Arceus (no Frenzy Plant, banned)
  • Eruption
    • Typhlosion, Entei, Camerupt, Torkoal, Heatran, Groudon (banned)
  • Water Spout
    • Wailord, Jellicent, Blastoise, Octillery, Kyogre (banned)
  • Rock Wrecker
    • Rhyperior, Crustle
  • Head Smash
    • Aegislash, Aggron, Archeops, Basculin, Corsola, Cranidos, Donphan, Emboar, Hydreigon, Nidoking, Nihilego, Rampardos, Relicanth, Scrafty, Sudowoodo, Turtonator, Tyrantrum
  • Roar of Time
    • Darkrai, Arceus (banned), Dialga (banned)
  • Shell Trap
    • Turtonator
  • Doom Desire
    • Jirachi (banned)
  • Psycho Boost
    • Deoxys and its formes, Lugia (banned)
  • Freeze Shock
    • Kyurem Black
  • Ice Burn
    • Kyurem White
  • Boomburst
    • Chatot, Exploud, Flygon, Noivern, Pikipek, Swellow, Toucannon
  • High Jump Kick
    • Blaziken, Hawlucha, Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee, Hitmontop, Lopunny, Lucario, Medicham, Mienshao, Pheromosa, Scrafty, Tsareena
  • Explosion / Selfdestruct, 250 / 200 BP
    • The user faints.
  • V-Create, 180 BP
    • 95% accuracy, Lowers the user's Defense, Sp. Def, Speed by 1.
  • Prismatic Laser, 160 BP
    • User cannot move next turn.
  • Hyper Beam / Giga Impact / Rock Wrecker / Blast Burn / Hydro Cannon / Frenzy Plant / Roaor of Time, 150 BP
    • 90% accuracy, user cannot move next turn.
  • Focus Punch, 150 BP
    • Fails if the user takes damage before it hits.
  • Eruption / Water Spout, 150 BP
    • Less power as user's HP decreases.
  • Head Smash, 150 BP
    • 80% accuracy, has 1/2 recoil.
  • Shell Trap, 150 BP
    • User must take physical damage before moving.
  • Sky Attack, 140 BP
    • 90% accuracy, charges, then hits turn 2.
  • Doom Desire, 140 BP
    • Hits two turns after being used.
  • Psycho Boost, 140 BP
    • 90% accuracy, lowers the user's Sp. Atk by 2.
  • Last Resort, 140 BP
    • Fails unless each known move has been used.
  • Psycho Boost, 140 BP
    • 90% accuracy, charges, then hits turn 2.
  • Skull Bash, 130 BP
    • Charges, then hits turn 2.
  • High Jump Kick, 130 BP
    • 90% accuracy, user is hurt by 50% of its max HP if it misses.
  • Draco Meteor / Leaf Storm / Overheat / Fleur Cannon, 130 BP
    • Lowers the user's Sp. Atk by 2.

As you can see all the moves listed (bar Boomburst) have accuracy deficiencies / negative side effects / conditions, with most of them also having limited to extremely limited distribution. This applies to all attacks down to 110 BP in one or multiple ways. I don’t know why I felt I had to make this list, it’s just ridiculous that someone actually thought Z attacks and regular high BP attacks are the same.

“But Rumplestiltskin, what about choice band and choice specs, don’t they boost moves base power to Z levels and even slightly above? How can you want Z banned, but not choice items?”

Except that there is a drawback to using choice, which is that you're choice locked, which can very much be exploited/punished in 2v2 Doubles. And choice can be used on all 6 pokemon in 6v6, unlike Z. Z's drawback, which is that you can only use it once per battle is extremely diminished in 2v2 Doubles, that's a clear difference. Being choice locked, if you think about it thoroughly, means that any poke that didn’t use choice band/specs is uniquely able to profit from Z due to the nature of sets that prefer not to use or don’t work with band/specs. Pokes such as the ones mentioned above, i.e. pokes that didn’t specialize in attacking, or pokes that setup. Even pokes that would previously use choice items, can now opt for setup + Z.

“But Rumplestiltskin, what about megas, they’re also only usable on 1/6 of your team?”

The difference is that this isn’t Mix and Mega, where you could slap on a mega stone on any poke. Megas are viewed as individual pokes, and if a certain mega poke proves to be broken, it can get banned. Megas should be subject to more scrutiny here though as there's way less opportunity cost here than in a 6v6.

“But Rumplestiltskin, Smogon’s guidelines is to only ban the absolute necessary. What if not all Z-crystals are banworthy? Are you saying that Buginium-Z for instance is broken? LOL”

If one Z-crystal is broken then they all are, this isn't monotype where you ban things based on type. If a Z-crystal is broken, it isn't because of its type, but because of the other reasons mentioned. Just because some of the most used pokes resist the Bug type doesn't mean that Buginium-Z does what it does any differently than the other Z crystals. It just means that it will do less damage against the pokes that resist the Bug type, which shouldn't hold any relevance to balancing unless you're saying “screw the pokes that don't resist Bug”. You could also mean that no currently strong popular poke has X-type to use X-type Z-crystal with, which again shouldn't hold relevance because I'm arguing that Z is broken for what it is and does nonetheless, regardless of how popular a certain type Z-crystal is.

“But Rumplestiltskin, just use Substitute or Protect.”

That’s overcentralizing. Protect is one of the best moves to have in Doubles, but being forced to bring Substitute or Protect just for Z, even in cases where you otherwise wouldn’t have is not an indicator of a healthy metagame. And unless you’re a psychic in real life, you don’t know the exact turn your opponent will use their Z-attack, meaning Substitute and Protect are not very reliable answers.

And speaking of Protect, due to Z-attacks’ ability to bypass Protect, that damage, even while cut to 25%, is still in some cases enough to do a number (talking 75% HP in some cases) on pokes at a type and/or stat disadvantage, while also doing a decent chunk when hitting neutrally.
Protect - +4 Priority. Undoubtedly the most important move in Doubles... A well-executed Protect means wasted turns for the opponent, whose attacks utterly fail to do anything while your other Pokemon can ideally take the attacker out. Protect also shield your Pokemon against Fake Out flinches, a devastating move in Double. Stalling out Tailwind or TR turns serve as another purpose for using Protect.
Protect provides some interesting gameplay to the meta and allows for some cool outplays. Z-attacks bypassing Protect reduces Protects usefulness in the meta, which allows more of just blindly and mindlessly attacking, with (unless mega stones) items such as Z-crystals and choice items.

“But Rumplestiltskin, Z moves make more pokes viable, how can you not want that? There’s no way that something that makes more pokes viable should be banned.”

First of all, while some pokes become more viable, others take a hit. Second of all, become viable at what cost? You don’t allow something broken just because it makes more pokes viable. In fact, I’d wager it’s a given that broken moves would make more pokes viable. If Perish Song was allowed on more pokes, we would get more viable pokes then too. And when it got banned in 1v1 for example Lapras and Murkrow fell real hard in viability. Just because something makes more pokes viable doesn’t mean it’s not broken, and you don’t keep broken stuff in a metagame just because they make more pokes viable.

Let's ban this swiftly, and use this month to resolve other issues such as stat boosting terrain inducing abilities and weather inducing abilities, the latter of which was overcentralizing last gen in 2v2 Doubles.
 
Last edited:
#67
Z moves

After playing 2v2 Doubles for the entirety of gen 7, analysing Z moves, I’ve come to the conclusion that they need to be banned ASAP. I will address frequently asked questions / frequently made arguments against a Z ban for 1v1. I know they’re different metagames, but the questions / arguments could still be applied, and I’m addressing them pre-emptively for 2v2 Doubles.

The main reason: Z was balanced by its creator Game Freak by being limited to being used once per battle, with a battle being 6v6. Which means that Z is usable on 1/6 of your team and usable once per battle. In 2v2 Doubles it’s usable on ½ of your team, which corresponds to z being usable on 3/6 of your team in a 6v6 battle and usable 3 times per battle. That’s 3 times the impact on the battle. Getting hit by a Z attack in 2v2 Doubles is the same as getting hit by a Z attack 3 times in 6v6. This enough is reason for a ban, however simple you might think the reason is.
Everything said here forth is additional analysis and justification for anyone who ignores that it’s banworthy on that sole merit.

A Z-move KO in 6v6 is not much of a big deal, you lost 1 poke, that’s 1/6ths out of your team. In 2v2 you lost half your team, turning it into a 1v1, which could quite possibly be the worse match-up for you, decided by the z-move user, simply due to its sheer power. Now of course OHKO’s can happen without Z-moves, but when they happen it’s because of a really strong move (covered below), type advantages, and difference in stats. And in the case where the Z-attack didn’t KO, it still does significantly more damage than it ever would have done otherwise, which is devastating (aka most likely game ruining) for the surviving poke.

Where such power was once due to a selection of pokes with big offensive stats, pokes with access to devastating moves, and pokes with type advantages, it is now available to pretty much any poke without utterly horrible offensive stats (which is the majority of viable pokes, if not the majority of all pokes). Where such pokes were once utilized for their other traits, traits for strats such as setup, support, walling, or whatever else, they can now have a strong attack (as in strength comparable to pokes that specialized in attacking) in addition to their role/use. That alone makes for unfair gameplay as such pokes now in addition to their specialization also get to nuke. This scales down the entire system of pokemon archetypes. An due to the sheer power of Z attacks, even the system of type effectiveness is scaled down to almost nothing. Who needs type effectiveness when you can just use Z to nuke everything not immune? Again keep in mind that even if the same applies to 6v6, the impact is tripled here. Now if Z-moves can provide such power to pokes that didn’t specialize in attacking, what do they provide to pokes that do? They make them unmanageable to deal with through any means other than outspeeding them and KO’ing them before they do the same to you.

“But Rumplestiltskin, why not just ban the pokes that you say become unmanageable due to Z-moves?”

Because it would mean losing a majority (if not all) of all offensive pokes at the very least, and the meta would still be unbalanced due to the massive power boost to everything (the unfair gameplay mentioned above).

In a meta where surviving is a massive struggle due to focus fire, and where power dominates, the addition of Z-moves, taking said power to a whole other level unbalances the meta too much and takes it even more in the direction of outspeed-and-KO ASAP type of battles. It utterly dumbs down the meta when not even type effectiveness or poke archetypes matter much any more.

“Rumplestiltskin, what makes Z attacks any different from other high BP attacks?”

Other strong moves are limited by their distribution, negative side effects, accuracy, and conditions. Which also means that you can play accordingly. And the distribution limit is significant because it incorporates all of the limits that the poke the move is limited to has, and if a poke with access to such a strong move doesn’t have enough limits, you usually see it banned in Smogon tiers/metas.

Let’s go over distribution first (excluding banned pokes, smeargle, NFE’s unless relevant, and moves with not so limited distribution (those will be covered in the other list)), and I hope I don’t have to go over the weaknesses and limits of each poke to get this point across.

  • V-Create
    • Victini, Rayquaza (banned)
  • Prismatic Laser
    • Necrozma
  • Blast Burn, Hydro Cannon, Frenzy Plant
    • starter pokes, Arceus (no Frenzy Plant, banned)
  • Eruption
    • Typhlosion, Entei, Camerupt, Torkoal, Heatran, Groudon (banned)
  • Water Spout
    • Wailord, Jellicent, Blastoise, Octillery, Kyogre (banned)
  • Rock Wrecker
    • Rhyperior, Crustle
  • Head Smash
    • Aegislash, Aggron, Archeops, Basculin, Corsola, Cranidos, Donphan, Emboar, Hydreigon, Nidoking, Nihilego, Rampardos, Relicanth, Scrafty, Sudowoodo, Turtonator, Tyrantrum
  • Roar of Time
    • Darkrai, Arceus (banned), Dialga (banned)
  • Shell Trap
    • Turtonator
  • Doom Desire
    • Jirachi (banned)
  • Psycho Boost
    • Deoxys and its formes, Lugia (banned)
  • Freeze Shock
    • Kyurem Black
  • Ice Burn
    • Kyurem White
  • Boomburst
    • Chatot, Exploud, Flygon, Noivern, Pikipek, Swellow, Toucannon
  • High Jump Kick
    • Blaziken, Hawlucha, Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee, Hitmontop, Lopunny, Lucario, Medicham, Mienshao, Pheromosa, Scrafty, Tsareena
  • Explosion / Selfdestruct, 250 / 200 BP
    • The user faints.
  • V-Create, 180 BP
    • 95% accuracy, Lowers the user's Defense, Sp. Def, Speed by 1.
  • Prismatic Laser, 160 BP
    • User cannot move next turn.
  • Hyper Beam / Giga Impact / Rock Wrecker / Blast Burn / Hydro Cannon / Frenzy Plant / Roaor of Time, 150 BP
    • 90% accuracy, user cannot move next turn.
  • Focus Punch, 150 BP
    • Fails if the user takes damage before it hits.
  • Eruption / Water Spout, 150 BP
    • Less power as user's HP decreases.
  • Head Smash, 150 BP
    • 80% accuracy, has 1/2 recoil.
  • Shell Trap, 150 BP
    • User must take physical damage before moving.
  • Sky Attack, 140 BP
    • 90% accuracy, charges, then hits turn 2.
  • Doom Desire, 140 BP
    • Hits two turns after being used.
  • Psycho Boost, 140 BP
    • 90% accuracy, lowers the user's Sp. Atk by 2.
  • Last Resort, 140 BP
    • Fails unless each known move has been used.
  • Psycho Boost, 140 BP
    • 90% accuracy, charges, then hits turn 2.
  • Skull Bash, 130 BP
    • Charges, then hits turn 2.
  • High Jump Kick, 130 BP
    • 90% accuracy, user is hurt by 50% of its max HP if it misses.
  • Draco Meteor / Leaf Storm / Overheat / Fleur Cannon, 130 BP
    • Lowers the user's Sp. Atk by 2.

As you can see all the moves listed (bar Boomburst) have accuracy deficiencies / negative side effects / conditions, with most of them also having limited to extremely limited distribution. This applies to all attacks down to 110 BP in one or multiple ways. I don’t know why I felt I had to make this list, it’s just ridiculous that someone actually thought Z attacks and regular high BP attacks are the same.

“But Rumplestiltskin, what about choice band and choice specs, don’t they boost moves base power to Z levels and even slightly above? How can you want Z banned, but not choice items?”

Except that there is a drawback to using choice, which is that you're choice locked, which can very much be exploited/punished in 2v2 Doubles. And choice can be used on all 6 pokemon in 6v6, unlike Z. Z's drawback, which is that you can only use it once per battle is extremely diminished in 2v2 Doubles, that's a clear difference. Being choice locked, if you think about it thoroughly, means that any poke that didn’t use choice band/specs is uniquely able to profit from Z due to the nature of sets that prefer not to use or don’t work with band/specs. Pokes such as the ones mentioned above, i.e. pokes that didn’t specialize in attacking, or pokes that setup. Even pokes that would previously use choice items, can now opt for setup + Z.

“But Rumplestiltskin, what about megas, they’re also only usable on 1/6 of your team?”

The difference is that this isn’t Mix and Mega, where you could slap on a mega stone on any poke. Megas are viewed as individual pokes, and if a certain mega poke proves to be broken, it can get banned. Megas should be subject to more scrutiny here though as there's way less opportunity cost here than in a 6v6.
“But Rumplestiltskin, Smogon’s guidelines is to only ban the absolute necessary. What if not all Z-crystals are banworthy? Are you saying that Buginium-Z for instance is broken? LOL”

If one Z-crystal is broken then they all are, this isn't monotype where you ban things based on type. If a Z-crystal is broken, it isn't because of its type, but because of the other reasons mentioned. Just because some of the most used pokes resist the Bug type doesn't mean that Buginium-Z does what it does any differently than the other Z crystals. It just means that it will do less damage against the pokes that resist the Bug type, which shouldn't hold any relevance to balancing unless you're saying “screw the pokes that don't resist Bug”. You could also mean that no currently strong popular poke has X-type to use X-type Z-crystal with, which again shouldn't hold relevance because I'm arguing that Z is broken for what it is and does nonetheless, regardless of how popular a certain type Z-crystal is.

“But Rumplestiltskin, just use Substitute or Protect.”

That’s overcentralizing. Protect is one of the best moves to have in Doubles, but being forced to bring Substitute or Protect just for Z, even in cases where you otherwise wouldn’t have is not an indicator of a healthy metagame. And unless you’re a psychic in real life, you don’t know the exact turn your opponent will use their Z-attack, meaning Substitute and Protect are not very reliable answers.

And speaking of Protect, due to Z-attacks’ ability to bypass Protect, that damage, even while cut to 25%, is still in some cases enough to do a number (talking 75% HP in some cases) on pokes at a type and/or stat disadvantage, while also doing a decent chunk when hitting neutrally.


Protect provides some interesting gameplay to the meta and allows for some cool outplays. Z-attacks bypassing Protect reduces Protects usefulness in the meta, which allows more of just blindly and mindlessly attacking, with (unless mega stones) items such as Z-crystals and choice items.

“But Rumplestiltskin, Z moves make more pokes viable, how can you not want that? There’s no way that something that makes more pokes viable should be banned.”

First of all, while some pokes become more viable, others take a hit. Second of all, become viable at what cost? You don’t allow something broken just because it makes more pokes viable. In fact, I’d wager it’s a given that broken moves would make more pokes viable. If Perish Song was allowed on more pokes, we would get more viable pokes then too. And when it got banned in 1v1 for example Lapras and Murkrow fell real hard in viability. Just because something makes more pokes viable doesn’t mean it’s not broken, and you don’t keep broken stuff in a metagame just because they make more pokes viable.

Let's ban this swiftly, and use this month to resolve other issues such as stat boosting terrain inducing abilities and weather inducing abilities, the latter of which was overcentralizing last gen in 2v2 Doubles.
As a counterpoint this is a meta full of protect, fake out, sashes, etc. And by using a z move you give up any scarf/sash/etc yourself. They're also not banned in doubles OU, which the banlist comes from. Having played already a lot of games in this format I really don't think z moves are overcentralizing compared to things like fake out, weather, etc already causing protect to be commonplace. Adding protect does not take additional teambuilding strain in this format.
 
#68
As a counterpoint this is a meta full of protect, fake out, sashes, etc. And by using a z move you give up any scarf/sash/etc yourself. They're also not banned in doubles OU, which the banlist comes from. Having played already a lot of games in this format I really don't think z moves are overcentralizing compared to things like fake out, weather, etc already causing protect to be commonplace. Adding protect does not take additional teambuilding strain in this format.
DOU also didnt have lele banned, or perish song. its important to note that these are separate metagames with their own trends, and different things have unique capabilities they wouldnt in standard DOU, the same way yawn shenanigans and accuracy dropping moves are not even remotely viable in OU, which was the basis of the 1v1 banlist. also saying that adding an effectively-required move isnt a teambuilding strain is literally just wrong, every mon has moves it could viably run over protect.
 

Rumplestiltskin

I will rain lels all over you and you will drown in them
#69
As a counterpoint this is a meta full of protect, fake out, sashes, etc. And by using a z move you give up any scarf/sash/etc yourself. They're also not banned in doubles OU, which the banlist comes from. Having played already a lot of games in this format I really don't think z moves are overcentralizing compared to things like fake out, weather, etc already causing protect to be commonplace. Adding protect does not take additional teambuilding strain in this format.
I don't see the problem of giving up scarves and sashes, especially when Z can be used on any poke, and all pokes certainly don't use need sash or scarf, sash is useless on pokes that can take a hit, and scarf is actually detrimental for any poke that utilizes more than one move in the battle. Don't ignore everything Z moves do and everything I said about them just because you don't find them overcentralizing. What I said in my post still applies, and keeping them is detrimental for the meta.
And regarding Protect, I already addressed that in my post,
unless you’re a psychic in real life, you don’t know the exact turn your opponent will use their Z-attack, meaning Substitute and Protect are not very reliable answers.
E: not to mention
And speaking of Protect, due to Z-attacks’ ability to bypass Protect, that damage, even while cut to 25%, is still in some cases enough to do a number (talking 75% HP in some cases) on pokes at a type and/or stat disadvantage, while also doing a decent chunk when hitting neutrally.
 
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#70
It's 2v2 it's always going to heavily rely on making predictions. From team preview to first turn protect/fake out decisions it's all heavily prediction based.
 

Rumplestiltskin

I will rain lels all over you and you will drown in them
#71
It's 2v2 it's always going to heavily rely on making predictions. From team preview to first turn protect/fake out decisions it's all heavily prediction based.
So keep something broken because you can predict when the opposing team will use it? Even if that wasn't pulling at straws, every other prediction decision based win is based on legit mechanics and not something broken. Not to mention (I actually did mention, twice now) that Z attacks go through Protect and could still nuke depending on matchup.
You're basically saying "Z isn't broken because it's your fault that you didn't predict and use Protect when the opponent was gonna use it", using this as an argument not to ban (assuming that's what you're arguing for), leaving the bulk of arguments for ban unrefuted.
 
#72
So keep something broken because you can predict when the opposing team will use it? Even if that wasn't pulling at straws, every other prediction decision based win is based on legit mechanics and not something broken. Not to mention (I actually did mention, twice now) that Z attacks go through Protect and could still nuke depending on matchup.
You're basically saying "Z isn't broken because it's your fault that you didn't predict and use Protect when the opponent was gonna use it", using this as an argument not to ban (assuming that's what you're arguing for), leaving the bulk of arguments for ban unrefuted.
No, my point is like in 1v1 the game is essentially decided in 2 highly predictive stages, if not 1. You see 4 pokemon, but only 2 will come to battle. The way good teams are designed this is already a pretty prediction heavy metagame, much like formats like VGC which are bring 6 pick 4. Like all doubles formats, you also have the game of fakeout/protect/feint/ priority wars, in addition to weather wars (megazardy, mega ttar, etc). These are all "50/50" especially with things like double targeting, spread moves, follow me, etc. You cannot remove the predictive nature of this metagame. Saying Z moves add more predictive burden on players I think is pretty negligible if it does have an effect, because it's no more "expectation busting" than sash, scarf, etc. The every mon can zcrystal argument is pretty silly because any mon can sash or scarf too, zmoves cant be spread moves, zmoves can't have priority, and zmoves cost you power or utility that you could otherwise have (choice items, life orb, resistberries, etc). Saying they have no cost is false, and you can't use 2 zmoves, unlike every other item.
 
#73
Apologies for double post but this one is pretty unrelated to the last so editing it in doesn't make sense.



I said when I peaked I would share the team.

Tapu Bulu @ Grassium Z
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Protect
- Wood Hammer
- Superpower
- Rock Tomb

Marshadow @ Focus Sash
Ability: Technician
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Shadow Sneak
- Close Combat
- Spectral Thief
- Hidden Power [Ice]

Tapu Koko @ Focus Sash
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Protect
- Thunderbolt
- Dazzling Gleam
- Brave Bird

Lopunny @ Lopunnite
Ability: Limber
Happiness: 0
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Frustration
- High Jump Kick
- Protect


Marshadow is legal so we use it. Can't afford protect because we need all 4 moves. Lopunny is the best partner as together they decimate most things not weather or scarf. They generally have to double team the trick room user to kill it (except cress, which you just have to fake out because BALK), and sash lets marsh get off a finishing sneak except vs spread moves or opposing lopunny.

Koko is both a very powerful mon AND prevents you from getting chloroslept which is pretty nice in the face of venusar/lilligant/etc. Thunderbolt ohkos zardy in terrain, but beware bulu+zard as the loss of terrain means zard lives. Brave bird is for bulu/venusaur/maroA.

Lopunny is basically just the fastest fakeout user bar unburden and scrappy is no joke. Fakeout on opposing marshadow is pretty unreal, as is outspeeding and koing with either stab. I originally had ice punch but it was not useful often enough and especially vs scarf spam you need protect for the 2nd turn (fakeout the scarfer that can ohko lopunny, hit it with marsh, protect, finish it with marsh. Usually vs rock slide or eq users that can't 2hko marsh, or fake out landos partner and hp ice lando with marsh, etc).

Tapu bulu was originally to beat lele teams because we focus heavily on fakeout and sneak vs deoA and sashes in general, and lele is a massive pain. Bulu is min speed because we want to win the terrain war. Bulu is our other anti spread mon because it can tank air cutter, any eq any rockslide dazzling gleam you name it. Bloom doom murders most things that don't resist, and rock tomb can be used with fakeout/protect to slow scarfers down for lopunny to kill. superpower is kinda flexible but it's used often enough, mostly against cube or snorlax if I didn't bring marsh.

One of the big weaknesses of the team is unsuspected dual scarf (got bopped by scarf zapdos at one point) and mmence if it's invested in spdef to survive fakeout+hp ice from marsh, as both physical and hyper voice mence do work on us.
 
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#74
I love this crazy, fast-paced meta. I've had a LOT of fun testing all sorts of weird stuff, from Scarf Cinccino After You + Specs Water Spout Octillery, to Choice Band Explosion Azelf + Power of Alchemy A-Muk (that Levitate), to my good friends Prankster Z-Rain Dance Thundurus + Mega Swampert. Right now tho I'd like to highlight a really enjoyable partnership, and my absolute favorite counter to Marshadow + Mega Lopunny, as well as other Fake Out leads.

Pheromosa @ Focus Sash (though feel free to use Fightinium or Icium, since you'll never hit)
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Quick Guard
- Focus Blast
- Bug Buzz
- Blizzard

Shaymin-Sky @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Mild Nature
- Air Slash
- Bullet Seed
- Seed Flare
- Hidden Power [Ice]

Quick Guard, I think, is hugely underrated. It saves you from having to double protect against Fake Out, and allows Shaymin-Sky to either OHKO Mega Lop, nearly OHKO Marshadow, or do some nice damage to whatever else is on the field. The flinch hax are always fun, but don't count on them. Bullet Seed is there for sashed weaklings like Deo-A, which falls to 3 hits, and has been very helpful. You could opt for physical Pheromosa, too, if you so desire. This partnership does get out-sped by various weather teams and double scarf and things of that nature, so it's definitely not without its counters... but man is it satisfying to see that Fake Out do nothing!

Replays:

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen72v2doubles-612931535
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen72v2doubles-612925982 (no Shaymin, but still shows off the utility of Quick Guard)
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen72v2doubles-612755036
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen72v2doubles-612758499
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen72v2doubles-613223463
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen72v2doubles-613210900
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen72v2doubles-613203902
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen72v2doubles-613192180
 
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Rumplestiltskin

I will rain lels all over you and you will drown in them
#75
No, my point is like in 1v1 the game is essentially decided in 2 highly predictive stages, if not 1. You see 4 pokemon, but only 2 will come to battle. The way good teams are designed this is already a pretty prediction heavy metagame, much like formats like VGC which are bring 6 pick 4. Like all doubles formats, you also have the game of fakeout/protect/feint/ priority wars, in addition to weather wars (megazardy, mega ttar, etc). These are all "50/50" especially with things like double targeting, spread moves, follow me, etc. You cannot remove the predictive nature of this metagame. Saying Z moves add more predictive burden on players I think is pretty negligible if it does have an effect, because it's no more "expectation busting" than sash, scarf, etc.
You don't seem to get it, so I'll put it more clearly: You don't keep something broken in a metagame because there's a chance you can "predict" when the opponent will use it.

The every mon can zcrystal argument is pretty silly because any mon can sash or scarf too,
The "every mon can use zcrystal argument" is an argument against banning only certain Z-crystals or pokes utilizing Z. And you're saying Z is fine because pokes can use sash and scarf? Are you saying sash and scarf are broken? If you are, that's a different subject, and you don't keep something broken because there are other broken options.

zmoves cant be spread moves, zmoves can't have priority, and zmoves cost you power or utility that you could otherwise have (choice items, life orb, resistberries, etc). Saying they have no cost is false, and you can't use 2 zmoves, unlike every other item.
Nothing stops you from having a Z move and priority and/or spread moves on the same poke. Again making a comparison to choice items when I addressed that in my post. And comparing to scarf and other items, I never said that all pokes are better off using Z in all situations. My post was outlining and analysing Z moves, and what Z moves do to the meta. And, if you've read my post, I'm saying that Z moves are inherently broken and unacceptable in a 2v2 meta. And regarding cost, I'm saying that the cost, which is that Z is only usable once per battle, is extremely lower in 2v2 than in 6v6. "you can't use 2 zmoves, unlike every other item" - that's precisely the point...

I really hope a Z move ban doesn't get stalled because of arguments coming from people who clearly haven't even read or understood my post.
 
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