Combining of Formes: A Comprehensive Stats-Counting Policy

MattL

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#26
MattL, how would this be any different from a Pokemon with a single forme that has access to those two different abilities?
As I've laid it out, it wouldn't be, but it would if, say, there were 5 formes each with its own unique ability, or if each forme got a unique move the others didn't get.

These examples aren't the point though. You said the Meowstics should get tiered together, despite having different movepools and abilities, since the difference isn't as significant as Magic Guard vs Unaware Clefable, etc. So my point is, what if we get formes that do have even larger differences due to different abilities and/or moves? What would you do in that case?
 

Antar

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#27
MattL, my opinion is that they should be tiered together. The dividing line is clear-cut--tier separately only if type or stats differ--easy to understand, and with no need for endless debate about, "Well, is this a significant enough difference?" If we don't tier HAs separately, I can't imagine any forme difference that's just moves or ability that would be more significant. Your argument about, "Well it's more than Gourgeist" discounts the fact that there are quite a few Pokemon (different species) that are tiered separately that occupy essentially the same niche.

This policy isn't a matter of "movepool and ability differences are always less significant than typing or stat differences," it's a matter of "this is simple and basically in line with what we do now."
 
#28
he difference between Magic Guard vs. Unaware Clefable and Male Meowstic vs. Female Meowstic is that Unaware Clefable and Magic Guard Clefable can do all the same things but with different abilities (and move legalities, but that's an issue with the whole Hidden Ability mechanic that occurs with many Pokemon). Unaware Clefable and Magic Guard Clefable can both use the same TM and HM moves, learn the same moves by level-up, and had the potential to have another ability at their inception. Meowstic-M and Meowstic-F do not learn all the same moves by TM, HM, or level-up, and while they share some abilities, they don't share all.

Moves, abilities, typings, the ability to change inside vs. outside of battle: these are all things that could be used to determine how we proceed with tiering. However, none of these things are objective guidelines, and at the end of the day, it's better for the game to have the widest variety of Pokemon available. It's better for consistency to say "if it can maintain the form outside of battle, it is a different Pokemon." In fact, it's even better for consistency to say "each Pokemon has its own dex number" and to tier all the Rotoms, all the Arceus forms, all the Kyurems, all the Megas, and so on as one Pokemon each. It's weird that we have a Species Clause based on dex number but tier with little regard for dex number.

What we have to decide now is whether it's better to give the widest variety by tiering everything separately or to be as consistent as possible. I think these middle-of-the-line approaches are much harder to justify. If you have to "yes, but" your way through an explanation of why we tier the way we do, it's probably a bad thing. I'm open to revisiting the separate tiering of megas on this basis, but I'm probably the only one so /shrug.
 

Zarel

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#31
1/ Pokémon that change form outside of the battle

If the Pokémon are exactly the same competitive-wise (read Gastrodon) OR one form totally outclass the second by the possibility of doing exactly the same thing + something else (Keldeo-R > Keldeo, we don't need the latter in BL), those should be tiered together. If it can be formulated differently so it works for Pikachu, that's even better (because in theory, standard Pikachu can use static / be male while cosplay can't).

If the Pokémon have different typing, different stats or different abilities, they should be tiered differently (Rotom, Meowstic, Basculin...).
How do you define "one form totally outclass the second"? Should we ban Kyurem from lower tiers because Kyurem-W outclasses it?
 

Bughouse

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#32
No. Of course Kyurem-W does not totally outclass Kyurem.

Kyurem has: higher Attack in case you want to use Outrage, a different ability that is beneficial for Sub Roost PP stalling, and even a different movepool that has some niches such as Glaciate.

He means totally outclasses in the sense that Keldeo-R is literally Keldeo + one extra move (which isn't even true btw because you CAN get Keldeo-R with secret sword. they are clones except for the design.)
 

Antar

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#34
He means totally outclasses in the sense that Keldeo-R is literally Keldeo + one extra move (which isn't even true btw because you CAN get Keldeo-R with secret sword. they are clones except for the design.)
Well, not totally. Keldeo-R must have Secret Sword. This makes it unambiguously inferior to Keldeo-Base, as your opponent gains information by knowing a Keldeo-R has Secret Sword. Under the "simplest" plan that we count separately if there's ANY non-cosmetic difference (incl. movepool or ability pool), I'd argue we'd have to tier the Keldeo formes separately.

ryan, I understand that it still feels like an arbitrary line in the sand to say "stats or type counts, everything else does not," but the only other alternative I see is doing it case-by-case, which will mean endless threads of argument resulting in inconsistent decisions.
 
#35
I don't disagree with you on any of that. I think this arbitrary line is one of the better ones, and as much as I think it would be best in a vacuum to handle things on a case-by-case basis, I agree that consistency is more important. Not much else to add to this, really.
 

Zarel

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#36
No. Of course Kyurem-W does not totally outclass Kyurem.

Kyurem has: higher Attack in case you want to use Outrage, a different ability that is beneficial for Sub Roost PP stalling, and even a different movepool that has some niches such as Glaciate.

He means totally outclasses in the sense that Keldeo-R is literally Keldeo + one extra move (which isn't even true btw because you CAN get Keldeo-R with secret sword. they are clones except for the design.)
I hope you don't actually mean this. Like, if Kyurem didn't have higher Attack and a different ability and Glaciate, would you seriously tier it together with Kyurem-W?
 
#37
Ok let's see all these forms and their current state:

Pikachu: movepool changes (1 single move); inability to evolve (can't use Eviolite); tiered together
Pichu-Spiky: unobtainable in Gen 6, just design changes; if it was legal, I guess it would be tiered together with regular Pichu
Unown: design changes (why I can't choose any letter but A on PS? x_X); tiered together (there aren't alt forms on sim)
Castform: type changes; only in-battle form; (extremely) volutile; tiered together (and it's pretty obvious, since you can't decide only by yourself what Castform alt form you will use and your opponent could trigger other forms in any moment of the battle)
Deoxys: stats changes; movepool changes; tiered separately
Burmy: design changes; tiered together
Wormadam: type changes; stats changes; movepool changes; tiered separately
Cherrim: design changes; only in-battle form; volutile; tiered together (every Cherrim can potentially be Cherrim-Sunshine unless you ban Sunny Day/Drought/Desolate Land from everything)
Shellos/Gastrodon: design changes; tiered together
Rotom: type changes; stats changes; movepool changes (1 single move); tiered separately (it's important to note that Rotom-forms were tiered separately even when they shared the same type as Regular Rotom: however, they were tiered both as Rotom-A and Rotom-Wash/Heat/whatever);
Giratina: stats changes; ability changes; tiered separately
Shaymin: type changes; stats changes; ability changes; tiered separately
Arceus: type changes; move-typing changes; tiered separately
Basculin: ability changes: tiered together
Darmanitan-Zen: type changes; stats changes; only in-battle form; revertible; tiered together
Deerling/Sawsbuck: design changes: tiered together
Kamis (Tornadus/Thundurus/Landorus): stats changes; ability changes; tiered separately
Kyurem: stats changes; ability changes; movepool changes (2 moves); tiered separately
Keldeo: design changes; tiered together (only other notable difference is that Regular Keldeo can choose to not bring Secret Sword while Resolute can't).
Meloetta: type changes; stats changes; only in-battle form; revertible; tiered together
Genesect: move-typing changes; tiered together
Vivillon: design changes; tiered together
Flabebè/Floette/Florges: design changes; tiered together
Floette (AZ): stats changes; movepool changes (1 move); inability to evolve (can't use Eviolite); tiered separately (if it was legal)
Furfrou: design changes; tiered together
Meowstic: ability changes; movepool changes; tiered together
Aegislash: stats changes; only in-battle form; (extremely) volutile; tiered together
Pumpkaboo/Gourgeist: stats changes; tiered separately
Hoopa: type changes; stats changes; movepool "changes" (regular Hoopa can't successfully use Hyperspace Fury); tiered separately
All Megas: (some) type changes; stats changes; (some) ability changes; only in-battle form; irreversible; tiered separately


Well, it seems that typing/stats changes always lead to separate tiering.
Only in-battle forms will be likely tiered together as long as they can be revertible; volutile forms can't be tiered separately by any chance, while things like DZ or Melo-P (which only you can transform) could somehow be tiered separately (acting on what triggers the activation, like Zen Mode/Relic Song). Movepool changes apparently aren't enough to let forms be tiered separately: as we can see, every movepool change that isn't coupled by type/stats change leads to a unified tiering (Pikachus, Meowstic); I'd personally tier Meowstic separately, while I don't have a strong say on Pikachus, but it can either be one or other thing at this point. A point in favor of separate tiering of Pikachus would be their "inability to evolve and/or use Eviolite", like in Floette-AZ, while on Meowstic we can say that, unlike Pikachus, they get an entirely different movepool depending on gender. Movepool change can surely differ from a "Typing-change" move like the Genesect one (or Arceus).

TL;DR we have some objective parameters, in this priority order:
Volutile (and revertible) only in-battle forms (Castform/Cherrim/Aegislash): unified tiering
Revertible only in-battle forms (Darmanitan/Meloetta): either unified or separate tiering (the former one is currently applied)
Stats/Typing changes: separate tiering
Ability changes: unified tiering (as now, it can be discussed IMO; otherwise Basculins and Meowstic would be SURELY tiered separately anyway)

pls NEVER tier Keldeos separately :v
 
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Bughouse

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#38
I hope you don't actually mean this. Like, if Kyurem didn't have higher Attack and a different ability and Glaciate, would you seriously tier it together with Kyurem-W?
well, no. Because Kyurem also obviously has worse special attack and doesn't have fusion flare, etc. Vinc's point was about things like Keldeo and only things like Keldeo, ie things that are 99.9% similar.

This would include imo things like the Pikachu formes (though not with base Pikachu itself). The only difference between them is literally one move. They share the exact same typing, ability, stats, and the rest of their movepool.

Conveniently, we have a direct precedent for this. Rotom in DPP. Base Rotom, which had different stats from all the formes, was in UU. Meanwhile ALL the formes, whether they had Air Slash or Leaf Storm or Overheat or Blizzard or Hydro Pump, were OU.

Read: http://www.smogon.com/forums/thread...rms-be-considered-as-one-pokemon-or-not.46787

We've only ignored having this similar discussion about Pikachu because aside from some very "creative" builders, Pikachu formes have not had an impact on OU like Rotom did in DP.
 
#39
well, no. Because Kyurem also obviously has worse special attack and doesn't have fusion flare, etc. Vinc's point was about things like Keldeo and only things like Keldeo, ie things that are 99.9% similar.

This would include imo things like the Pikachu formes (though not with base Pikachu itself). The only difference between them is literally one move. They share the exact same typing, ability, stats, and the rest of their movepool.

Conveniently, we have a direct precedent for this. Rotom in DPP. Base Rotom, which had different stats from all the formes, was in UU. Meanwhile ALL the formes, whether they had Air Slash or Leaf Storm or Overheat or Blizzard or Hydro Pump, were OU.

Read: http://www.smogon.com/forums/thread...rms-be-considered-as-one-pokemon-or-not.46787

We've only ignored having this similar discussion about Pikachu because aside from some very "creative" builders, Pikachu formes have not had an impact on OU like Rotom did in DP.
So are you suggesting to split Pikachu and Pikachu-Cosplay (with the latter one including all Belle/Lucha/Rocker/etc forms)? In a way like there were Rotom and Rotom-A in DPP?

Do you think the Rotom precedent can somehow affect Meowstic situation?

I'm actually curious to see opinions about Pokémons like Darm-Z and Melo-P. In an hypothetical case in which there will be released a similar Pokémon (Gen 7 will give us the "schoolingfish" Wishiwashi, and Zygarde100 could be similar as well) for which the revertible "only in-battle form" will be ban-worthy in the tier in which the regular form will not, what would we do?
I'll make it easier: let's say that this new Pokémon, viable in RU, changes form to a +80 bst one after it uses Swords Dance thx to a new ability and that it reverts to regular form when switched out. SD-Form is broken in RU while the regular not. Let's say Council bans that ability, while in OU this Pokémon is just used for the SD-Form. We are in a situation similar to Megas, will we treat this form as them, even if it can revert to regular mon? Or we will just put the regular mon BL2 although it can be viable in RU without that broken ability?
 
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Zarel

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#40
well, no. Because Kyurem also obviously has worse special attack and doesn't have fusion flare, etc. Vinc's point was about things like Keldeo and only things like Keldeo, ie things that are 99.9% similar.
Vinc did not say "99.9% similar", which is why I was concerned.

Also the phrase "99.9% similar" is really vague. Everyone would agree with "tier together things that are 99.9% similar", the question is where to draw the line. Which happens to be what this entire thread is about.
 
#41
We can just assume that if forms keep same typing, same stats and they just have a (little?) variation in moveset, they will be tiered together. That's what we are doing right now and we have the drawn line. There aren't mons tiered separately with just a moveset difference. Deoxys have different stats, Rotom different typing, Wormadam both.
I don't see any reason to even discuss Keldeo honestly, since only differences between the two forms are design and "moveset" (which is actually the same but Resolute must have Secret Sword). None of these two features were enough to tier separately in every other case so why should them be on the pony?
 
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Deck Knight

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#42
Seems to me the most common sense solution would be that if a Pokemon has significant COMPETITIVE differences between forms (COMPETITIVE elements being Stats, Typing, Ability, or Moves used in high level play), the forme is counted separately. We separate the CAP process out this way and handle each competitive element separately.

So Male Meowstic and Female Meowstic are separate Pokemon. (Different COMPETITIVE Abilities/Viable Moves)
All Rotom formes are separate. (Different Types)
All Gourgeist are separate (Different Stats)
Basculin are all the same (Adaptability is the only COMPETITIVE ability, and is shared.)
Keldeo are all the same (Secret Sword tradeback to BW - Secret Sword will be counted in Moveset stats anyway)

In-battle formes are mostly covered by Ability stats. How many Darmanitan-Zen Modes were used? How Many Darms ran ZM instead of SF lol. Castform is the most volatile but sometimes that choice isn't your own so how it's impossible to tier differently.

Hackmons admittedly makes this more difficult because you can Mega one mon into another, but at that point just use Base Mon-Mega (Mega Mon) i.e. Mewtwo X-Mega (Mega Mewtwo Y). I'm sure there's cleaner nomenclature, but it's not difficult in concept.
 

Antar

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#43
Deck Knight, but that requires manual adjudication in each case to determine which differences are "competitive." I am strongly against any policy that will lead to dozens of long policy threads.

The bottom line of this thread appears to be: my proposal (stats or typing must differ) is fine except Meowstic (I've not even seen complaints about DZ or Meloetta).

Does anyone have an opinion that's not covered by that statement?
 

Bughouse

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#44
I'd go with an added logic gate about how dissimilar movepools/abilities can be in order to tier differently. Might as well nail that down exactly before something comes out that's Meowstic lite in terms of gender differences.

I think most people would say if Meowstic formes differed only by the ability, they should be tiered as the same Pokemon, for the same reason you gave about Clefable having two very good abilities that are very different. We're also tiering Basculin together, for example, so pure ability differences clearly don't do it.

So instead there's something about the movepool. Not all movepool differences qualify- it has to be more than just 1 move, like it is for Rotom-A in DPP or Pikachu Cosplay now. But do we have a floor for this amount of difference above which formes are tiered differently? I think we should set one here to avoid yet another thread like this one.
 
#45
Perhaps if the seperate forms run movesets that differ by two moves or more exclusive to the given forms and which show up in the generated usage stats? So a pokemon that got flamethrower and psychic would be differentiated from a form that go ice beam and thunderbolt even if they both ran calm mind.
 
#46
Antar, I think we can fix the Meowstic issue -more generally, the "two formes are used in very different ways" issue by considering your Stalliness metric.

In particular, apply this patch to your OP proposal,

Let the complex stalliness of a Pokémon forme be defined for a metagame as S = u + iv, where
u is the 1500-weighed average stalliness of the teams where it's used.
v is the 1500-weighed average stalliness of the sets where it's used.

For each forme X that can be distinguised in Team Preview from their base forme A, and that would be otherwise tiered together with it,
let δ(X, A), the competitive role distance of X to its base forme, be defined as

δ(x, a) = |S(x) - S(a)|

If it's hold that δ(X, A) > M, for a certain constant M (say M = 1.5), then the forme X is considered to be competitively different from A,
and they are therefore tiered separately. Thus, for high enough competitive distance, A and X will each get their own entry in the usage stats, and drop independently.
 

Zarel

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#47
Deck Knight, but that requires manual adjudication in each case to determine which differences are "competitive." I am strongly against any policy that will lead to dozens of long policy threads.
I'm actually usually very against any policy that leads to dozens of long policy threads, but in this specific case I don't think we can or should precommit to any specific tiering strategy.

If we precommit to one decision ahead of time, it might be the wrong one and lead to a long policy thread to change it that becomes even uglier because the wrong one has entrenched sides (cough, the tiering megas separately thread). Better to wait until an ambiguity comes up, so we can make a decision with full knowledge of what exactly the differences are and what would be the best choice.
 
#49
Slayer95, there's an interesting bootstrapping problem there...
Hmm? It's not like we can get a Tier 6 without having first a Tier 5...
The chicken-and-egg problem is only apparent. The proposal is just plain recursive over the tier indices, i.e. there is no circularity.
You just need a first pass over each tier dataset, treating each forme separately, before deciding whether to add their usage rates together in the report.
 

Antar

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#50
Slayer95, okay, that's fair. It's extra work for the scripts, but fair. But that'll require a lot of research first to determine what the average spread is for different movesets of the same forme (e.g. defensive vs. offensive whatever). And there's no guarantee that the distance for Meowstic (or anything else) will be above that average. Also: that definition is super wonky and subject to fluctuations. Bottom line: I don't think it's a good idea.

My preference is still to tier Meowstics together, and given that they're tiered together now, I don't think this is that big a deal.