Combining of Formes: A Comprehensive Stats-Counting Policy

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.
This (unfortunately) sums it up. It's a shame too, since legalizing Battle Bond Greninja would have given us some great PR. I know people who irl who are anxiously hoping for Greninja to stay legal in standard, lol.
 

Antar

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Control doesn't matter. What matters is that stats change and can't be reverted over the course of the battle (eg switch). If you say Ash's G doesn't get tiered separately then neither does Zygarde-Complete.

I honestly have to reread this thread to re-convince myself that Meloetta-P doesn't get tiered separately (difference is reversibility). Nvm. I thought for a sec that Meloetta retained form on switch-out. Reversibility is not an issue. It's volatility.
 
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tennisace

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Antar the problem with lumping Zygarde and Greninja together is that you can have 10%/50% Zygarde with Aura Break that cannot turn into Zygarde-Complete (or change forme at all). OU banned the ability Power Construct, which is only obtained once you get all 100 Zygarde parts in-game. If you have <100 parts, you can only obtain Zygarde 10% (if you have at least 10) or Zygarde 50% (if you have at least 50).

Zygarde 10% and Zygarde 50% can enter the battle as that form, cannot change formes in-battle, and have different stats. They should be tiered separately.
 

Antar

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tennisace, right...

I was under the impression we were tiering them all separately:

  • 10% Zygarde = Zygarde-10 (or w/e)
  • 50% Zygarde = Zygarde
  • 50% with Power Construct = Zygarde-Complete
  • 10% with Power Construct = Zygarde-Complete-10 (should have no competitive advantage over 50%, right?)
Then on the Gren side,
  • Protean / Torrent Gren = Greninja
  • BB Gren = Greninja-Ash
This is what's consistent with the rest of the policy. Are any tier leaders advocating otherwise?

Edit: Hackmons variants:
  • Complete-Zygarde
  • Ash-Greninja
 

atomicllamas

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tennisace, right...

I was under the impression we were tiering them all separately:

  • 10% Zygarde = Zygarde-10 (or w/e)
  • 50% Zygarde = Zygarde
  • 50% with Power Construct = Zygarde-Complete
  • 10% with Power Construct = Zygarde-Complete-10 (should have no competitive advantage over 50%, right?)
Then on the Gren side,
  • Protean / Torrent Gren = Greninja
  • BB Gren = Greninja-Ash
This is what's consistent with the rest of the policy. Are any tier leaders advocating otherwise?

Edit: Hackmons variants:
  • Complete-Zygarde
  • Ash-Greninja
Agree with tiering them as listed but there is theoretically an advantage to Zygarde-Complete-10, which is its higher base speed allows for it to sub down to 50% in front of more things cause faster. But no, I agree with how you are listing them Oo.
 
tennisace, right...

I was under the impression we were tiering them all separately:

  • 10% Zygarde = Zygarde-10 (or w/e)
  • 50% Zygarde = Zygarde
  • 50% with Power Construct = Zygarde-Complete
  • 10% with Power Construct = Zygarde-Complete-10 (should have no competitive advantage over 50%, right?)
Then on the Gren side,
  • Protean / Torrent Gren = Greninja
  • BB Gren = Greninja-Ash
This is what's consistent with the rest of the policy. Are any tier leaders advocating otherwise?

Edit: Hackmons variants:
  • Complete-Zygarde
  • Ash-Greninja
Not a tier leader but i'm so down with this it's not even funny.
 

Zarel

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It's an interesting way to handle stats but I'm definitely opposed to Pokémon being tiered this way.

I strongly believe Meloetta should be tiered as one, Zygarde should be tiered as two, Greninja should be tiered as one, and Darmanitan should be tiered as one.

Megas are a special exception, that I supported making not because the transformation is permanent, but because the transformation is effortless and unblockable. It doesn't require using a move or satisfying a condition and can't even be subverted by Knock Off; you just instantly and permanently transform into it at the beginning of a turn and take your turn as normal. It's clear that Game Freak intended you to spend your whole battle as that Pokémon.
 
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Bughouse

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But that's just not true about mega evolutions. You still start as the base forme and have to actively choose to switch.

If they truly intended mega evolutions to be considered wholly separate things, then you would literally immediately transform. Not have to switch in as the base forme at least once first. GameFreak wanted it to be strategic on when you decide to mega evolve and to give some Pokemon the benefit of two abilities or typings.

We made an exception for megas because they are a large class, an important mechanic, and it was a practical thing to do. Not because of anything inherent about how the mechanic works. You choose to mega evolve just like you choose when to use Relic Song.
 

Aberforth

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Difference is that mega evolution is something that the opponent cannot prevent you from doing, it isnt a forme change that requires certain in battle conditions take place, it is simply a button that you press that changes your form. A meloetta can be prevented from transforming by sacking something to hazard damage or switching into a ghost type. Megas cannot be blocked like this.

As Battle Bond requires in battle conditions to change form, it should be tiered together.
 

Antar

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Zarel, that's absolutely a logically consistent stance to take, though I disagree with it, primarily because tiering separately allows for greater stability and less reliance on complex bans.

Ultimately, this needs to be a call for the tier leaders, namely, I guess, TDK? If there are other people with skin in the game, please tag them so we can get this decided.
 
While I realize that treating Greninja(BB) and Greninja as the same Pokémon is the logical thing to do, I don't think stringently following protocol is the best idea here. I know that sounds like a completely ridiculous to suggest, but hear me out:

We didn't rigidly follow protocol when the Drizzle + Swift Swim ban was passed. Pushing that complex ban allowed us to experience Drizzle in the standard metagame, bringing forth a slew of insane, unpredictable, and memorable experiences. Some might say it was a terrible idea, but I feel that it helped give Gen V OU its own identity. And considering weather was nerfed in the subsequent gen, we were able to experience a once-in-lifetime metagame.

We didn't rigidly follow protocol when we complex banned Sand Veil + Sandstorm. Does anyone honestly think we did that for the sake of mitigating luck? Hell no. We did it to free Garchomp. And again, the result? A fantastic Pokemon that single-handedly help curb Volt-turning in addition to being a really solid Pokemon.

And the same damn thing happened again. We didn't rigidly follow protocol when we complex banned Sandstorm + Sandrush. That wasn't done because that combo was inherently broken, it was done to free Excadrill, another incredibly handy Pokemon to have in the OU metagame.

I think Ash-Greninja absolutely presents us with an amazing opportunity. The opportunity to finally make use out of Greninja in standard, after we were basically robbed of experiencing it in gen VI when move tutors pushed it over the edge. So again, while treating them as one Pokemon might be the logical choice, I think we'd sorely miss out if did that considering we'd basically be signing it off to Ubers. And that's not even factoring in the amazing PR we'd get for legalizing a variant of Greninja (a fan favorite Pokemon) after Protean Greninja inevitably gets banned.

And considering Zygarde (Power Core) was banned and Zygarde (Aura Break) was not, there's a precedence here. As previously mentioned, even the game treats Greninja(BB) as a seperate Pokemon from Greninja (it's banned on Battle Spot)

Treat Greninja (BB) and Greninja(regular) as seperate Pokemon.
 
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Zarel

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But that's just not true about mega evolutions. You still start as the base forme and have to actively choose to switch.

If they truly intended mega evolutions to be considered wholly separate things, then you would literally immediately transform. Not have to switch in as the base forme at least once first. GameFreak wanted it to be strategic on when you decide to mega evolve and to give some Pokemon the benefit of two abilities or typings.

We made an exception for megas because they are a large class, an important mechanic, and it was a practical thing to do. Not because of anything inherent about how the mechanic works. You choose to mega evolve just like you choose when to use Relic Song.
The key words here are effortless and unblockable.

Mega evolving can be done at any time the Pokémon uses a move, doesn't funge against anything (i.e. it doesn't replace a turn that you could have spent doing something else), and it's not something your opponent can prevent. In D&D terms, it's a free action.

You're right that we made an exception for megas because it's a unique flagship mechanic for gen 6, but honestly, if any other Pokémon could change formes as effortlessly as megaing, I'd probably consider tiering that forme separately, too.

But also, we don't need to argue because we agree on the important part: that mega evolving is an exception, and we should not treat other forme changes the same way.

Zarel, that's absolutely a logically consistent stance to take, though I disagree with it, primarily because tiering separately allows for greater stability and less reliance on complex bans.

Ultimately, this needs to be a call for the tier leaders, namely, I guess, TDK? If there are other people with skin in the game, please tag them so we can get this decided.
You have greater reliance on other workarounds, though.

You have workarounds like "a base cannot be tiered higher than its forme-changing variant (to avoid situations such as forcing Darmanitan to run Zen Mode or Meloetta to run Relic Song in lower tiers)", and "OU could CHOOSE to unban Aegislash-with-no-attacking-moves, but if they want to keep all Aegislash banned, that's fine and not at all inconsistent".

OU isn't choosing to ban Aegislash-Shield-Only because it's overpowered; I suspect OU is choosing to ban Aegislash-Shield-Only because the vast majority of players intuitively dislike the idea that in-battle forme-change availability should be tiered separately.

The problem here is that in-battle forme changes work massively differently between Pokémon, and our intuitions work differently:

- Melo-P, Darm-Z: are bad, most people would rather tier them together because forcing a move/ability for lower-tier availability is weird
- Zygarde-C: is overpowered, and selectively banned to Ubers because OU loves complex bans (same reason Soul Dew was banned)
- Aegislash: does not make sense to tier separately depending on whether or not it has access to Aegislash-B
- Greninja-BB: is like Melo-P/Darm-Z, but some people want to tier it separately so they can have a Greninja outside of Ubers

I personally think that tiering non-Mega formes together best matches what people want to do. This is maybe worth revisiting in the future, but for now I think the stability/banning issues are minor.

While I realize that treating Greninja(BB) and Greninja as the same Pokémon is the logical thing to do, I don't think stringently following protocol is the best idea here. I know that sounds like a completely ridiculous to suggest, but hear me out:

We didn't rigidly follow protocol when the Drizzle + Swift Swim ban was passed. Pushing that complex ban allowed us to experience Drizzle in the standard metagame, bringing forth a slew of insane, unpredictable, and memorable experiences. Some might say it was a terrible idea, but I feel that it helped give Gen V OU its own identity. And considering weather was nerfed in the subsequent gen, we were able to experience a once-in-lifetime metagame.

We didn't rigidly follow protocol when we complex banned Sand Veil + Sandstorm. Does anyone honestly think we did that for the sake of mitigating luck? Hell no. We did it to free Garchomp. And again, the result? A fantastic Pokemon that single-handedly help curb Volt-turning in addition to being a really solid Pokemon.

And the same damn thing happened again. We didn't rigidly follow protocol when we complex banned Sandstorm + Sandrush. That wasn't done because that combo was inherently broken, it was done to free Excadrill, another incredibly handy Pokemon to have in the OU metagame.

I think Ash-Greninja absolutely presents us with an amazing opportunity. The opportunity to finally make use out of Greninja in standard, after we were basically robbed of experiencing it in gen VI when move tutors pushed it over the edge. So again, while treating them as one Pokemon might be the logical choice, I think we'd sorely miss out if did that considering we'd basically be signing it off to Ubers. And that's not even factoring in the amazing PR we'd get for legalizing a variant of Greninja (a fan favorite Pokemon) after Protean Greninja inevitably gets banned.

And considering Zygarde (Power Core) was banned and Zygarde (Aura Break) was not, there's a precedence here. As previously mentioned, even the game treats Greninja(BB) as a seperate Pokemon from Greninja (it's banned on Battle Spot)

Treat Greninja (BB) and Greninja(regular) as seperate Pokemon.
For the record, I have no objections with complex banning Protean Greninja from OU (although I suspect a lot of other people would), and would prefer that instead of tiering Ash-Greninja separately.
 

atomicllamas

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Neither the Zygarde-C ban nor the ban on soul dew (in previous generations) are complex fwiw. The former bans an ability as a whole (power construct) while the latter banned an item as a whole (I assume Soul Dew is banned in this case, not latis @ soul dew because that would be a needless complex ban).
 

The Immortal

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Battle Bond Greninja is not like Meloetta-P and Darmanitan-Z. It is literally its own Pokemon, with fixed IVs and the lack of egg and past gen moves. The only thing it shares with Greninja is the same sprite before transforming. Not to mention, its transformation is permanent. It's far more similar to Mega Evolution than it is to Meloetta and Darmanitan, especially something like Charizard which transforms into either X or Y but has the same starting sprite. Mega Charizard X and Mega Charizard Y are tiered separately so Greninja and Battle Bond Greninja should too in my opinion.
 

Marty

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I'll preface this by saying I have no horse in this race since I don't play competitively, but some of what has been said bothers me so here we are.

The way I understand it is that Smogon tiers Pokemon (unless an Ability or item is completely broken on everything, then it's fair game), and this is done based on a Pokemon's "best possible set", which is why stuff like Blaziken and Greninja get banned as a whole. "Pokemon" here refers to each individual forme of a Pokemon, as long as it can start a battle in that forme. I thought tiering Mega Evolutions separately was a bad idea for that reason, but it was an exception and everyone agrees it was an exception, so whatever.

The major difference between Mega Evolution and Ash-Greninja is that Ash-Greninja needs an Ability to activate, and this Ability is not available to the Greninja that was introduced in Gen 6. The two Greninja are different "Pokemon", with different Abilities, different learnsets, and different "best possible sets" as a result, so they have to be evaluated separately. The argument earlier that we would never have known they were two different formes of the same Pokemon without datamining doesn't actually hold any water, because it was obvious this solution was the only way Game Freak was going to accomplish making the demo Greninja "special". It can't breed, therefore it's clearly a different forme of Greninja whether you can datamine the game or not.

This applies to Zygarde as well: there are five Zygarde formes now. The original from Gen 6, the same one but with Power Construct only, Zygarde-10% with Aura Break only, Zygarde-10% with Power Construct only, and Zygarde-Complete. As far as I'm concerned, all OU did was ban two of the five formes, and Zygarde-Complete goes with them by association because it can't exist outside of battle. People can say Power Construct was banned, but that's not really what happened in practice. So, essentially, Smogon has still never banned a battle-only forme without also banning the base forme (besides Megas). This is commendable!

Also, I realize that what I've said may imply Basculin Red-Striped and Blue-Striped should be tiered separately, but both of their "best possible sets" are very likely to be identical and include Adaptability, so they'd end up tiered together anyway.
 

Zarel

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I am aware that Greninja-BB (and Power Construct Zygarde) are programmed to be different Pokémon. However, you can't tell them apart in-game, so the fact that they're implemented as different formes is just trivia relevant only to hackers, and should have zero effect on tiering policy.

"Fixed IVs and the lack of egg and past gen moves" is true of literally every event Pokémon. The only difference is that it's an event ability rather than an event move.
 
For the record, I have no objections with complex banning Protean Greninja from OU (although I suspect a lot of other people would), and would prefer that instead of tiering Ash-Greninja separately.
Not a tier leader, but complex banning Protean + Greninja is straight up off the table, and will likely never happen.

I am aware that Greninja-BB (and Power Construct Zygarde) are programmed to be different Pokémon. However, you can't tell them apart in-game, so the fact that they're implemented as different formes is just trivia relevant only to hackers, and should have zero effect on tiering policy.

"Fixed IVs and the lack of egg and past gen moves" is true of literally every event Pokémon. The only difference is that it's an event ability rather than an event move.
You literally can't tell the difference between a regular Pokemon and a Pokemon that carries a Mega stone, and yet they're tiered separately in spite of that. Battle bond Greninja has even more tells; it can't be nicknamed, egg moves are completely off the table, ivs are locked so variable Hidden Power is not a thing and as of now, tutor moves aren't a thing either.

I might be off base, but I think you're getting hung up on the form itself (Ash-Greninja) rather than the Pokemon on its own (Battle-bond Greninja). I 100% agree with the assertion that Battle-bond Greninja is different from Pokemon like Darmanitan and Meloetta. All Darmanitan(zen mode) and Meloetta always have the capacity to transform, whereas only Battle-bond Greninja can transform. I'd sooner liken Battle-bond Greninja to something like the different Rotom forms, rather than being a slightly different variant of Greninja.

EDIT: :X
 
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