I've been sitting on a few ideas for NEXT, so I figured that I might as well post them already. I'll mention some considerations that guide my thought process: If an option receives any special attention at all, then it should be improved until it is viable in at least one meaningful niche. Outside of policy updates, a Pokemon should not be changed if it is likely to remain unused in a competitive context afterward. A change which clearly and universally eliminates the viability of another option is not a good one (changes should equalize, not replace). While large variations in move usability serve a purpose in-game, a competitive metagame gains more from equivalence in options when it does make play impractically unpredictable. There should always be some greater reason for a change than "It would be interesting if..." (changes should be purposeful). That said, I'd like to address weather in NEXT: it's too good. Swift Swim has been unleashed, Sand Rush has come back in with Excadrill and Flygon, and all weathers have received new toys to play with. Snorlax especially can serve as a one-man stall machine on extremely aggressive weather teams, allowing them to shift gears even more easily than before. It's become a little bit harder to set up weather, but it has also been made that much harder to take it away. And with priority weather moves, there's still nothing that non-weather teams can do to prevent it. The original weather inducers could be used for this purpose, but beside Tyranitar, they're still extremely poor options on their own and do nothing against their respective weathers. I don't believe that if the NEXT metagame were fully developed that any non-weather team, outside of a stall-based or extremely bulky team, could seriously compete. I don't know how to fully resolve this problem, but I think that nerfing Swift Swim and co. would help immensely. Issue: Swift Swim, Chlorophyll, and Sand Rush often make it completely impossible to be outsped. Many teams often have absolutely no way to prevent this or deal with it. Proposal: Make these abilities increase speed by 1.5x instead of 2x Rationale: This would greatly improve any team's ability to respond to Pokemon with these abilities with a Choice Scarf user while still maintaining their function. Some extremely slow abusers of these abilities would suffer, like Beartic, Armaldo, and Omastar. However, it would also improve the relative utility of users like Floatzel who are already fast. On to more general suggestions: Issue: Castform was buffed with the improvement of Forecast. It's still neither used nor usable. Proposal: Make Forecast induce a permanent weather corresponding to the weather stone held by Castform on switch-in. Rationale: There's no variation in weather inducers, which is just as boring as the original OU state. Castform's inferior stats and movepool mean that even with this ability, the other weather setters may often be preferable. In addition, the very fact that it has an awful movepool makes carrying an additional weather an interesting option as an anti-weather tool. Issue: Cloud Nine and Air Lock are relatively weak abilities that don't function the way most people expect. Proposal: Make Cloud Nine and Air Lock induce a no-weather state on switch-in. Rationale: This lends some much-needed function to Cloud Nine users as anti-weather tools. Lickitung and Lickilicky especially would have some viability on non-weather teams as clerics. Technically speaking, Rayquaza does not need the buff. Issue: Unnerve is a far too specific ability; every user has better options. Proposal 1: Rework Unnerve as a special-intimidate, reducing Special Attack by 1 stage on switch-in. Rationale: This is a far more attractive ability across the board, and the flavor certainly rings true. Several Pokemon eligible for Unnerve also get Volt Switch or U-Turn: especially notable are Galvantula, which would really only lose the use of Zap Cannon and Thunder, and Persian, which would no longer be able to take advantage of Technician. Masquerain benefits from an increase to its special bulk as a Quiver Dance abuser. Vespiquen would also like an upgrade from the ever-useless Pressure. Tyranitar is an interesting dilemma: Sandstorm's boost to the Sp. Def of Rock types carries a similar effect, but after being dethroned as a primary weather inducer, Unnerve could be used to push Tyranitar's special bulk even higher alongside Probopass. This would also be a useful ability when/if NEXT Doubles is implemented. Alternative: Rework Unnerve so that casts Embargo on switch-in (Or blocks the opponent's use of items entirely as long as the user is in play). Rationale: This version is certainly closer to the effect and intent of the original ability, even if it is somewhat less usable. More finesse is necessary to switch into a situation when this effect is favorable, but it could significantly weaken users of Choice items or Life Orb. Issue: Howl is too weak to be used viably. Proposal: Add the effect and negative priority of Roar to Howl, making it a boosting phazer. Rationale: Howl is now an extremely unique, interesting, and usable move that prompts predictive play and can rack up hazard damage while building power. Many of the Pokemon who learn Howl also get Intimidate, allowing them to run a bulky set which disincentivises switching out of the attack drop even further. Arcanine could certainly run Howl/Flare Blitz/Extremespeed alongside Will-O-Wisp or Morning Sun, and Stoutland's respectable bulk allows it to use this version of Howl easily. Luxray can also run it with Guts, making it almost impossible for a utility Pokemon to wall it or do anything against it. Mightyena struggles as ever, but Sucker Punch+Howl would probably become the strongest combination available to it. Alternative 1: Make Howl raise the attack of the next Pokemon to switch in, like Flower Gift. Rationale: I think it was actually Zarel who mentioned this? In any case, this would also help increase Howl's power while also giving it a unique effect. It would be less generally useful, probably being best on Stoutland or Arcanine to help the team. Alternative 2: Make Howl also drop the attack of the opposing Pokemon one stage. Rationale: This accentuates the attack drop of Intimidate, making it hard on anyone who wants to stay in against a Howl user. Issue: Cute Charm is far too unreliable to be used. Proposal: Rework Cute Charm so that it casts Attract on switch-in. Rationale: Alright, Infatuation is still really unreliable and narrow. And it's also really obnoxious when it works. But this would give it the ability the potential to impact a match. It is also another ability that would have an expanded use in NEXT Doubles. Alternative: Update Cute Charm to status quo so that it always causes Infatuation when hit, like Poison Point and Static. Rationale: A basic policy update. I think this speaks for itself. Issue: White Smoke was not updated with Clear Body, an identical ability. Proposal: Update White Smoke to match Clear Body's new functionality. Rationale: Because status quo. But there's more: it gives Torkoal some powerful options. Overheat and Shell Smash now have no downside on an offensive Torkoal. It can run a solid Shell Smash set with Overheat/Earth Power/Hidden Power or a mixed set with Overheat/Stone Edge and Earthquake or Earth Power. The power of Shell Smash is kept in check by Torkoal's low speed, making it fairly easy to revenge kill since no boost will ever make Torkoal fast. Heatmor also gets an improved Superpower, but it wouldn't do much to make it great. Alright, that's it for today.