Combining of Formes: A Comprehensive Stats-Counting Policy

#76
I don't generally post in PR. I'm not a particularly active user, I don't really play Pokémon on more than a casual "occasional laddering" level right now, and the circumstances of my PR access are the kind of edge-case that could give one reason to side-eye my still having it. But, well: what I do know is designing and programming video games. And in that light, I think I have something relevant to say here:

The fact that Battle Bond/Battle Bond/Battle Bond Greninja is a separate form to Torrent/Torrent/Protean Greninja is pure trivia. It is an implementation detail, a way of accomplishing the goal of giving Greninja a second "hidden ability" without reworking the entire Pokémon data structure to accommodate the single case where that happens.

It does not matter to the game-as-played.

T/T/P Greninja and BB/BB/BB Greninja are presented to players as the same form of the same Pokémon. They have the same stats, appearance, name, etc. They're identical in every respect but their ability sets. And there's no reason to assume that these will remain separate forms, either!

I'm going to say, right now: if I were tasked with re-implementing the Pokémon systems, from a completely fresh codebase, there's no way I'd keep both of these Greninja forms in the datasets. The existence of a case where you wanted a second HA slot and implemented a shitty hack to get around not having it suggests that this is a problem you'll likely have again in the future. You'd just have T/T/P/BB Greninja, because that'd be the cleanest, most generic solution that allowed me to avoid repeating something like the two Greninja forms we have now in the future.

Without datamining, you would never be able to experimentally determine which of these solutions was in fact in use.

Which gets back to the point of "this is trivia." There's never a point during gameplay when the decisions you have to make, or the options available to you, or anything else at all for that matter, is informed by the difference between "Greninja has Torrent/Torrent/Protean/Battle Bond" and "Greninja has Torrent/Torrent/Protean, unless it's the special Greninja that's identical to not-special Greninja except for having Battle Bond/Battle Bond/Battle Bond."

Smogon deals in rulesets, right? That means you're engaging with mechanics, not implementations. And while you might chase accuracy in mechanically relevant implementation quirks, this is fundamentally because these are things that, as players of the game, you have to interact with. Gen I criticals are broken. They don't work as intended at all. But they're part of the game as played, and the broken implementation definitely plays differently compared to a fixed implementation of gen I criticals! That's fine - but it's fine because that's a mechanic. It's a broken mechanic that doesn't work the way it's supposed to, but it's a mechanic that works in a particular, competitively meaningful way. That's an interaction between players and systems that needs to be modeled in simulators, accounted for in rulesets, etc. Even if it's not what Game Freak was trying to do there!

The difference between "there are two identical Greninja forms with different ability sets" and "all of Greninja's ability slots actually fit in one ability set" is not competitively meaningful, though! You can't do anything with it, and you could make a system that is the same in every way that matters to Smogon where the underlying assumption that Greninja has two distinct forms doesn't hold.

That being the case: I would make the argument that, in every way that matters to Smogon, both Greninja forms are the same Pokémon. The fact that there are two of them is purely down to a technicality - Game Freak didn't want to revamp their Pokémon data format on account of the one, singular mon that wants four ability slots.
 
#77
Because it's less volatile than any of the other volatile formes. But I'll probably end up tiering it together. Just giving myself some space to think on it.
Bump. The result of this decision can be important for Ash-Greninja too, since it shares lot of similitudes with Darmanitan-Z and Meloetta-P, so I believe that the fresh new form of the starter should follow them (or even just Darm-Zen).
I didn't test if Ash-Greninja keeps its form when switching out though. That could make it more similar to megas in that case.

EDIT: it seems Ash-Greninja keeps its form when switching. For this reason I'd still tier it separately from regular Greninja. The question is still up for Darmanitan (and maybe Meloetta) though.
 
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#78
I don't generally post in PR. I'm not a particularly active user, I don't really play Pokémon on more than a casual "occasional laddering" level right now, and the circumstances of my PR access are the kind of edge-case that could give one reason to side-eye my still having it. But, well: what I do know is designing and programming video games. And in that light, I think I have something relevant to say here:

The fact that Battle Bond/Battle Bond/Battle Bond Greninja is a separate form to Torrent/Torrent/Protean Greninja is pure trivia. It is an implementation detail, a way of accomplishing the goal of giving Greninja a second "hidden ability" without reworking the entire Pokémon data structure to accommodate the single case where that happens.

It does not matter to the game-as-played.

T/T/P Greninja and BB/BB/BB Greninja are presented to players as the same form of the same Pokémon. They have the same stats, appearance, name, etc. They're identical in every respect but their ability sets. And there's no reason to assume that these will remain separate forms, either!

I'm going to say, right now: if I were tasked with re-implementing the Pokémon systems, from a completely fresh codebase, there's no way I'd keep both of these Greninja forms in the datasets. The existence of a case where you wanted a second HA slot and implemented a shitty hack to get around not having it suggests that this is a problem you'll likely have again in the future. You'd just have T/T/P/BB Greninja, because that'd be the cleanest, most generic solution that allowed me to avoid repeating something like the two Greninja forms we have now in the future.

Without datamining, you would never be able to experimentally determine which of these solutions was in fact in use.

Which gets back to the point of "this is trivia." There's never a point during gameplay when the decisions you have to make, or the options available to you, or anything else at all for that matter, is informed by the difference between "Greninja has Torrent/Torrent/Protean/Battle Bond" and "Greninja has Torrent/Torrent/Protean, unless it's the special Greninja that's identical to not-special Greninja except for having Battle Bond/Battle Bond/Battle Bond."

Smogon deals in rulesets, right? That means you're engaging with mechanics, not implementations. And while you might chase accuracy in mechanically relevant implementation quirks, this is fundamentally because these are things that, as players of the game, you have to interact with. Gen I criticals are broken. They don't work as intended at all. But they're part of the game as played, and the broken implementation definitely plays differently compared to a fixed implementation of gen I criticals! That's fine - but it's fine because that's a mechanic. It's a broken mechanic that doesn't work the way it's supposed to, but it's a mechanic that works in a particular, competitively meaningful way. That's an interaction between players and systems that needs to be modeled in simulators, accounted for in rulesets, etc. Even if it's not what Game Freak was trying to do there!

The difference between "there are two identical Greninja forms with different ability sets" and "all of Greninja's ability slots actually fit in one ability set" is not competitively meaningful, though! You can't do anything with it, and you could make a system that is the same in every way that matters to Smogon where the underlying assumption that Greninja has two distinct forms doesn't hold.

That being the case: I would make the argument that, in every way that matters to Smogon, both Greninja forms are the same Pokémon. The fact that there are two of them is purely down to a technicality - Game Freak didn't want to revamp their Pokémon data format on account of the one, singular mon that wants four ability slots.
Even if your point is right, that doesn't likely change this matter on the question.

Let's say BB was the fourth ability on regular Greninja (how could we know it's a fourth ability and not a third without datamining tho? We couldn't guess that Torrent was listed twice, we would had just assumed that it was the third ability right after Torrent and Protean, but w/e), it would still be like a Charizard holding a Charizardite Y, a Charizard holding a Charizardite X and a Charizardite holding Choice Specs. They will be tiered separately, respectively as Charizard-Mega-Y, Charizard-Mega-X and Charizard.

Since Ash-Greninja can't stand alone, we need to see how the form works: does Ash-Greninja keep its form while switching? If it's so, then it shares the same similitudes of Mega Pokémons, therefore I don't see any reason to not tier it separately from regular Greninja. If it reverts to regular Greninja instead, then the rule will depend by this thread where there's a discuss involving Darmanitan-Z and Meloetta-P status, since it would share more similitudes with them at that point.

So, your point is good, but idk how much that matters on form tiering policy, since the fact Battle-Bond Greninja and regular Greninja are two different Pokémon in datas is just the smallest point in favor of them being tiered separately.
 

Bughouse

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#79
Assuming battle bond greninja permanently changes into ash greninja in battle, we have no choice but to treat it like we do mega evolutions and tier the two base greninjas differently. Because there's no way that regular greninja would be tiered together with ash greninja. Battle Bond greninja sits uncomfortably in the middle, but if it leads to a more powerful version, that's where it needs to go - with the powerful pair.


EDIT: and if battle bond greninja reverts back to just battle bond, after previously turning into Ash, by switching out, then all 3 would have to be separate imo
 
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#80
Even if your point is right, that doesn't likely change this matter on the question.

Let's say BB was the fourth ability on regular Greninja (how could we know it's a fourth ability and not a third without datamining tho? We couldn't guess that Torrent was listed twice, we would had just assumed that it was the third ability right after Torrent and Protean, but w/e), it would still be like a Charizard holding a Charizardite Y, a Charizard holding a Charizardite X and a Charizardite holding Choice Specs. They will be tiered separately, respectively as Charizard-Mega-Y, Charizard-Mega-X and Charizard.

Since Ash-Greninja can't stand alone, we need to see how the form works: does Ash-Greninja keep its form while switching? If it's so, then it shares the same similitudes of Mega Pokémons, therefore I don't see any reason to not tier it separately from regular Greninja. If it reverts to regular Greninja instead, then the rule will depend by this thread where there's a discuss involving Darmanitan-Z and Meloetta-P status, since it would share more similitudes with them at that point.

So, your point is good, but idk how much that matters on form tiering policy, since the fact Battle-Bond Greninja and regular Greninja are two different Pokémon in datas is just the smallest point in favor of them being tiered separately.
To be clear: I'm not saying anything one way or the other about how BB Greninja should be tiered; that's up to policy people. I'm just saying that BB Greninja being a separate form internally probably shouldn't factor into the decision regardless of how it falls!
 
#83
User Merritt does not have access to post here but he asked me to post his thought about the matter

If BB Greninja is to be tiered separately than normal Greninja, then there should probably be the same limitation as for megas where BB Greninja cannot be tiered lower than non-BB Greninja. The reasoning for this is because BB Greninja starts as normal Greninja, and can theoretically be used for the entirety of the battle without turning into Ash-Greninja.

The obvious counter to this is "what if Greninja gets banned again but BB Greninja would be fine?" but in the end that argument shouldn't matter in the face of how policy stands at the moment. Even though BB Greninja transforms, for the entirety of the battle until it does it's normal Greninja. If that's legal while non-BB Greninja is banned then it's a fairly clear statement of "Greninja is ok if it's using this ability" which is in direct contradiction to current standards of "All Greninja, not just Protean Greninja" or "All Blaziken, not just Speed Boost Blaziken" due to how any pokemon can be restricted to the point of not being broken as long as you don't use their optimal sets.
 

Karxrida

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#85
Important to note is that the IVs (I believe the spread is something like 20/31/20/31/20/31) are fixed, which means HP Fire is illegal on it unless Hyper Training provides a way to lower them.
 

Zarel

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#86
To me Battle Bond Greninja is akin to a pokemonn holding a mega stone, except its condition for mega-evolving is to KO one Pokemon. Therefore, I also agree with Prague Kick that we should tier Battle Bond Greninja separately from Protean Greninja
A lot of people have made this point, and I'm just quoting you here, but:

Our mega rule seems to be an exception. Battle Bond Greninja seems much more like Zen Mode Darmanitan, which we currently don't treat separately from Sheer Force Darmanitan.

I don't have a strong opinion one way or another, but whatever we decide for Battle Bond Greninja, we should do the same thing for Sheer Force Darmanitan (and possibly also Relic Song Meloetta).
 

Karxrida

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#89
So do we have any new forme changes in SuMo? Or any new mega evolutions?
No new Megas, just formes.

Greninja -> Ash-Greninja via Battle Bond.

Silvally has one forme for each type based on what Memory it holds.

10% Zygarde. It and 50% can turn into Complete Zygarde via the ability whose name escapes me.

Alolan Formes.
 

Antar

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#90
Karxrida

Okay, so Silvallies get counted separately (like Arceii)

Does Zygarde change forme in battle?

Gren is worrisome. Will read up more on the mechanics, but potentially that'll be handled like Mega evolution.

Oh, and the Alolan formes all have different typing, IIRC, so they get counted separately.
 

Karxrida

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#91
Karxrida

Okay, so Silvallies get counted separately (like Arceii)

Does Zygarde change forme in battle?

Gren is worrisome. Will read up more on the mechanics, but potentially that'll be handled like Mega evolution.

Oh, and the Alolan formes all have different typing, IIRC, so they get counted separately.
Zygarde changes during battle, with the trigger being going below 50% HP (not sure if it's only via damage or it can be forced with Substitue, but that doesn't matter for this thread). It stays transformed even if it switches out or gets healed (not that the latter matters because its Base HP goes up when it becomes Complete and it basically heals itself).
 

Antar

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#92
Only just saw this: this discussion belongs with the rest of the "combining formes" discussion. Unless there are any objections, I'd like to merge this thread into that one.

FTR, the policy previously agreed upon in that thread would hold that non-BB Gren gets counted separately from Battle Bond Gren. If it's possible to start Greninja in Ash's-G forme (I haven't played the game yet, but IIRC from the demo, once it changes forme, it's permanent, so just unsure how that translates to Wi-Fi), that would get counted as a third forme.
 

Karxrida

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#94
Karxrida, So 10% can go to 50%, and 50% can go to Complete? Or is it just 10% and 50% both go to Complete? Can Zygarde enter the battle in Complete forme?
Both go straight to Complete with the ability (Power Construct). So basically:

10% -> Complete via Power Construct
50% -> Complete via Power Construct

I heard something about being able to permanently make them Complete (letting you start battles as Complete) once you get every Zygarde Cell, but it was not confirmed to my knowledge and possibly even debunked.
 

Bughouse

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#96
I would rather them get counted together, for programming reasons.

BB Greninja is no different from Zen Mode Darmanitan, which is not tiered separately from Sheer Force Darmanitan.
zen mode darmanitan reverts to sheer force any time its health goes back over 50% and in fact when it leaves the field comes back in as regular darmanitan before transforming into zen mode (not that this affects anything, since it takes the same impact from all hazards either way). Battle Bond Greninja permanently changes into Ash Greninja within battle once it transforms.

Ash Greninja is much closer to a mega evolution than to Darmanitan or any other odd forme changes.

We tier Rayquaza and Mega Rayquaza differently, despite the fact that its (permanent) forme change is triggered by something other than a mega stone. And that's what we did. We banned the broken forme, even from ubers. But what did we actually ban? No item... and in fact not even the move Dragon Ascent. Rayquaza can still use it. All we banned was literally the forme. The button press of "Mega Evolve."

Well, what's the problem here? There's no button to click. Battle Bond Greninja has no choice over whether or not it will transform into Ash Greninja unless it uses zero attacking moves (and even then it could transform eventually via a Struggle kill.)

So Battle Bond Greninja and Ash Greninja HAVE to be tiered together.

But wait a second, Battle Bond Greninja and Protean/Torrent Greninja are basically the same thing as Unaware/Magic Guard Clefable, right? So those two have to be tiered the same as well...

Well, no. If we're treating it similarly to a mega evolution, like we did for Rayquaza despite no item involvement, then we should be able to ban just the mega part and keep the regular part. Even though Protean Greninja will never become Ash Greninja, if Protean Greninja = Battle Bond Greninja and Battle Bond Greninja = Ash Greninja, then by some fake property of math that I'm inventing, we can say that Protean Greninja is to Ash Greninja as Rayquaza is to Mega Rayquaza. How so? Since Greninja doesn't have a "button press" to prevent it from transforming into Ash Greninja, we can invent the button press separating the two... It's the button press when you choose which Greninja you pull from your PC into your party :p

So I would say:
Tier Protean/Torrent Greninja on its own.
Tier Battle Bond Greninja (invariably leading to Ash Greninja) on its own.
If Ash Greninja becomes usable to start a battle, also tier that on its own.

And although Protean Greninja may end up being better than Ash Greninja, I think we would still have to follow the same rule as mega evolution and say that Ash can't fall below Protean.



I think it will be silly to continue with a rule that is dictated entirely by the idea of specifically mega-evolving, when GF seems to have moved on from the mechanic. We should adapt the existing rules from XY to new gens to be as flexible as possible.
 

Bughouse

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#97
One other forme change is Minior, based on its ability Shields Down.

Same thing as Zen Mode Darmanitan.

Changes formes (not typing, but stats do change), when health goes below 50%. Reverts to regular forme when it goes back over 50%. I don't remember how it switches in, but again irrelevant for hazards etc since typing doesn't change. So whatever we do to Darm and Darm-Z should be done to Minior shell and Minior core as well.
 

Aberforth

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#98
I feel like the ability to control when you change your form should be the basis of tiering separately or otherwise. With Mega Ray, we're banning the Mega Evolve button, but there is no such button that you can press to have BB Gren turn into Ashninja. As such, despite it not reverting to it's previous form once switched out, I would say tiering all the greninja's as one is the way to go. Battle Bond is akin to a complicated version of moxie more than it is a mega evolution.
 
#99
zen mode darmanitan reverts to sheer force any time its health goes back over 50% and in fact when it leaves the field comes back in as regular darmanitan before transforming into zen mode (not that this affects anything, since it takes the same impact from all hazards either way). Battle Bond Greninja permanently changes into Ash Greninja within battle once it transforms.

Ash Greninja is much closer to a mega evolution than to Darmanitan or any other odd forme changes.

We tier Rayquaza and Mega Rayquaza differently, despite the fact that its (permanent) forme change is triggered by something other than a mega stone. And that's what we did. We banned the broken forme, even from ubers. But what did we actually ban? No item... and in fact not even the move Dragon Ascent. Rayquaza can still use it. All we banned was literally the forme. The button press of "Mega Evolve."

Well, what's the problem here? There's no button to click. Battle Bond Greninja has no choice over whether or not it will transform into Ash Greninja unless it uses zero attacking moves (and even then it could transform eventually via a Struggle kill.)

So Battle Bond Greninja and Ash Greninja HAVE to be tiered together.

But wait a second, Battle Bond Greninja and Protean/Torrent Greninja are basically the same thing as Unaware/Magic Guard Clefable, right? So those two have to be tiered the same as well...

Well, no. If we're treating it similarly to a mega evolution, like we did for Rayquaza despite no item involvement, then we should be able to ban just the mega part and keep the regular part. Even though Protean Greninja will never become Ash Greninja, if Protean Greninja = Battle Bond Greninja and Battle Bond Greninja = Ash Greninja, then by some fake property of math that I'm inventing, we can say that Protean Greninja is to Ash Greninja as Rayquaza is to Mega Rayquaza. How so? Since Greninja doesn't have a "button press" to prevent it from transforming into Ash Greninja, we can invent the button press separating the two... It's the button press when you choose which Greninja you pull from your PC into your party :p

So I would say:
Tier Protean/Torrent Greninja on its own.
Tier Battle Bond Greninja (invariably leading to Ash Greninja) on its own.
If Ash Greninja becomes usable to start a battle, also tier that on its own.

And although Protean Greninja may end up being better than Ash Greninja, I think we would still have to follow the same rule as mega evolution and say that Ash can't fall below Protean.



I think it will be silly to continue with a rule that is dictated entirely by the idea of specifically mega-evolving, when GF seems to have moved on from the mechanic. We should adapt the existing rules from XY to new gens to be as flexible as possible.
We can simply sum it up in this way:

Greninja {Greninja, Ash-Greninja}
Greninja [Torrent/Protean] = Greninja
Greninja [Battle Bond] = Ash-Greninja
Ash-Greninja = Ash-Greninja

Ash-Greninja (therefore, Battle Bond Greninja) CAN'T be tiered lower than Greninja (even if Greninja gets banned while Ash-Greninja doesn't).
Battle Bond Greninja will appear as a regular Greninja but it will get tiered as Ash-Greninja due to running Battle Bond (as mega evolutions are tiered differently from their regular form depending on the held item).