As most of you can probably tell, Smogon is going through a lot of changes for this new generation, and one of the biggest is a massive change to the SCMS. With this change comes a huge opportunity for us to move forward and refine our current analysis format, and starting with Generation 6's analyses, we'll be instituting a new format. Most of it is the same, but the main changes include a new layout and organization for each set, as well as a refreshed layout for Checks & Counters. There are three elements to this analysis format update. For the most part, the analysis will be structured the same, but there are a few notable places where they differ. 1: Tabbed Viewing One of the biggest issues with analyses is their monolithic nature. Often a huge analysis can be intimidating and hard to scan. To combat this, we're going to be implementing tabbed viewing, as a way to give each set a little more room to breathe. The three top-level sections (Overview, Other Options, and Checks & Counters) will still remain, and will have their own tabs. Their purposes will remain mostly the same, with a couple exceptions. Notably, Overview will have condensed versions of the sets, so that upon skimming the overview page you can get an idea of what the Pokemon does. The actual set text will be on their own tabs. Additionally, Checks & Counters is to be changed heavily, though that's more in-depth and will be covered in its own section. 2: Sectioned Sets This is the meat and potatoes of the change. With sets getting their own tabs, it's easy to also give them their own subsections. By doing so, we can make it easier to find pertinent information, while still retaining the flow of the current analysis style. There will be three main subsections for each set: - Moves This is where all the information about the moves go, including moves that originally would have gone under the cut. Moves that aren't slashed onto the main set should be mentioned here. Note that Other Options still exists, so that's still an option. Generally this is equivalent to what would be considered Set Comments on the current format, though there's a lot less descriptive fluff used since this is specific to moves. - Set Details This is where EV spreads, nature selections, and items go. Obviously, you can reference the move choice here, in the common case of sets that may or may not be mixed. These are combined because stand-alone they probably wouldn't individually be enough content. - Usage Tips This is where the set's play will be detailed. Things like when the set can switch in, what stage of the game it's best in, when it can/should set up, what Pokemon cause it serious trouble, etc. It shouldn't cover every situation that could possibly arise, but just a general and concise idea of how the set works. - Team Options This is where information on good teammates, preferred field conditions, and other team-related help for the set goes. For the most part this is the same as what the last paragraph or two of most sets would contain. Additionally, just like how custom top level sections can be used for the current system (see: zoroark, any set where damage calculations get their own section), custom set subheadings can be done. This will allow analysis writers to add an extra section for non-obvious set content, such as when to use certain setup moves or how to play a certain set (predictions, specific baits, etc). We don't want too many of them, so anyone looking to put in an extra set section will have to give some good hard reasoning for why it's necessary for the given set. 3: Checks & Counters As it stands, Checks & Counters is hard to read at best and nigh useless at worst, and considering it's one of the most important parts of any analysis, this is a serious problem. To fix this, we're moving away from the current paragraph-based Checks & Counters, to a system that looks more like a threatlist. Pokemon (and field conditions, such as SR and Weather) will be listed under one of three categories: Hard Counters, Soft Counters / Checks, or Situational Counters / Checks. The severity level of a given counter will be mostly debatable for each Pokemon, and Pokemon will be vetted for metagame feasibility and ease of use on teams as well as effectiveness. We're going to try to avoid listing every Pokemon under the sun for most sets, and just list the most notable ones. To illustrate how the new system will work, here is a sample analysis under the new format. XY Smeargle (Move your mouse to reveal the content) XY Smeargle (open) XY Smeargle (close) Overview ######## Smeargle is a Pokemon in a unique position. On one hand, it has access to literally every move in the game. On the other, its offensive and defensive stats are next to useless, and its speed is merely "okay", meaning that Smeargle's effectiveness is limited to purely utility purposes. While the irony of the Pokemon with access to every single move being one of the most limited Pokemon is apparent to anyone, Smeargle is still exceptionally good at what it does, and brings a unique utility to the tier. Smeargle serves two main purposes: as a hazard lead, and as a Baton Pass user. Spore not only allows Smeargle to shut down an opposing Pokemon, but also gives it space to lay down hazards of all kinds. It also gives Smeargle the opening it needs to Baton Pass important moves moves, such as Shell Smash and Ingrain. Hazard Lead ######## name: Entry Hazards Lead move 1: Stealth Rock move 2: Sticky Web / Spikes move 3: Spore move 4: Taunt / Memento / Endeavor ability: Own Tempo item: Focus Sash evs: 80 HP / 96 Def / 80 SpD / 252 Spe nature: Timid Moves ======== Knowing every move in the game, Smeargle is given a plethora of options for its moveset. This set is based around stacking entry hazards before Smeargle is taken down by the opponent. Unlike other entry hazard leads, Smeargle is given both status inducing moves and Taunt. This lets Smeargle stop slower opposing hazard leads and also induce sleep on an opponent's Pokemon, essentially giving Smeargle an extra free turn to lay entry hazards. Sticky Web and Stealth Rock gain the best synergy together, but can be replaced by Spikes depending on the team Smeargle is supporting. Memento serves as a way to stop an opposing spinner from making contact, while also lowering their offensive stats to allow a teammate to set up the next turn. Endeavor can also be used in the last slot, making use of Smeargle's Focus Sash, however it is important to note that this can leave Smeargle helpless against many common setup sweepers. If used, it is recommended to make Smeargle level one to minimize Smeargle's health and maximize damage to the opponent. Magic Coat can bounce back non-attacking moves such as Taunt, but it requires prediction on the users part, and is predicated on the opponent having a fast Taunt user in the first place. Set Details ======== The listed EVs (along with a Timid nature) grant Smeargle the maximum amount of bulk it can get while still maximizing Speed. Focus Sash is used to maximize the amount of turns Smeargle is alive for, thus maximizing the amount of entry hazards it is able to set. Usage Tips ======== Smeargle should typically be brought out as soon as possible to maximize the effects of its entry hazards. Knowing when to use either entry hazard is vital; if Smeargle is put into a situation where it can only use one of its entry hazards, the entry hazard that is used should be dependent on the opponent's team. For example, Smeargle should use Stealth Rock in cases where the opposing team has multiple Pokemon that are weak to Stealth Rock, and Sticky Web if your opponent has multiple fast Pokemon that are grounded. Your team should account for battles where Smeargle is useless from turn 1 (ie when dealing with a Magic Bounce). And battles such as this, it's possible to use Smeargle at a later point in the match, but be warned that there's a noticeably higher chance of entry hazards being set, which will nullify's focus sash, and significantly cut Smeargle's effectiveness as a result. Team Options ======== Smeargle really appreciates Ghost-type Pokemon as teammates, as they are able to help preserve entry hazards through blocking Rapid Spin. Gengar and Aegislash do particularly well, as they are also able to utilize the entry hazards to weaken their individual walls. Smeargle also benefits offensive teams the most, meaning powerful threats such as Lucario, Dragonite, and Salamence greatly appreciate Smeargle's support and serve as excellent teammates. SmashPass ######## name: Smashpass move 1: Spore move 2: Shell Smash move 3: Baton Pass move 4: Taunt / Ingrain ability: Own Tempo item: Focus Sash / White Herb evs: 80 HP / 96 Def / 80 SpD / 252 Spe nature: Timid Moves ======== This set makes use of one of the best boosting moves in the game, Shell Smash. Spore gives Smeargle the free turn it needs to set up, and also can incapacitate an opponent's key Pokemon. Ingrain has use in preventing Smeargle and any recipients from being phazed out, however it is important to note that Taunt can do this for a limited amount of time while also stopping the opponent from setting entry hazards. Set Details ======== The listed EVs (along with a Timid nature) grant Smeargle the maximum amount of bulk it can get while still maximizing Speed. Focus Sash allows Smeargle to take a hit when needed, as Smeargle's defensive stats are nearly nonexistent and Shell Smash. White Herb can also be used to offset the stat drops of Shell Smash, but Smeargle still risks being OHKOed by many of the offensive Pokemon in the metagame. Still, White Herb makes it easier for the recipient to sweep in case the opponent has a Pokemon capable of sponging an attack. Usage Tips ======== i cba to write these, pretend something is here Team Options ======== Sweepers similar to Mega Kangaskhan, Mega Heracross, and Mega Lucario all serve as excellent recipients. The key is the wide range of coverage each has, making sure that no one Pokemon counters the set. A Power Herb Geomancy set is recommended on a team with more specially based sweepers, as it lacks the defense drops of Shell Smash while also bolstering the Special Defense of said sweepers. A dual screens user is also appreciated, allowing the incoming Pokemon to better tank attacks, while also possibly aiding Smeargle in its setup. Other Options ######## i cba to write these, pretend something is here Checks & Counters ######## **Magic Bounce**: Pokemon with Magic Bounce hard counter hazard-laying Smeargle. Due to its complete lack of offensive capability, Smeargle is unable to do anything to Magic Bounce users. However, note that they may be unable to stop a Baton Pass user in a heads-up match since Shell Smash will make Smeargle faster than other **Hazard Removal**: Since Smeargle is typically KOed early in the match, Rapid Spin and Defog can eliminate entry hazards place by Smeargle at a later time and completely undermine it's efforts. (Defog is guaranteed to remove hazards) **Taunt**: Faster Pokemon with access to Taunt are the best answers to Smeargle. They're capable of preventing Smeargle from doing anything of note (though they should be wary of Magic Coat), and can often force Smeargle to switch out or Struggle. **Grass-types**: Grass-type Pokemon hold the distinction of being immuneto Spore, and as such, cannot be set up on. This makes them capable of limiting Smeargle's hazard laying, preventing it from inflicting Sleep, and forcing it to use its Focus Sash early in the match. However, as always, Smeargle can still Baton Pass at least one boost, so more defensive Grass-types may not be effective. For a template you can use to fill in the blanks, here you go: New Format Template (Move your mouse to reveal the content) New Format Template (open) New Format Template (close) Overview ######## OVERVIEW GOES HERE YOU CAN DO IT PROS & CONS STYLE BUT THIS WILL LIKELY NOT BE THE FINAL FORM OF THE OVERVIEW SO MAYBE CONSIDER WRITING ONE SET NAME ######## name: SET NAME move 1: move 2: move 3: move 4: ability: item: evs: nature: Moves ======== INFO ABOUT MOVES GOES HERE Set Details ======== EVS / ITEM / NATURE INFORMATION GOES HERE Usage Tips ======== USAGE TIPS GO HERE Team Options ======== TEAM OPTIONS GO HERE SET NAME ######## name: SET NAME move 1: move 2: move 3: move 4: ability: item: evs: nature: Moves ======== INFO ABOUT MOVES GOES HERE Set Details ======== EVS / ITEM / NATURE INFORMATION GOES HERE Usage Tips ======== USAGE TIPS GO HERE Team Options ======== TEAM OPTIONS GO HERE Other Options ######## OTHER OPTIONS GOES HERE. STUFF LIKE ALTERNATE MOVES, ALTERNATE SETS, NICHE STUFF THAT DOESN'T GET A MAIN SET MENTION Checks & Counters ######## CHECKS & COUNTERS GO HERE NOTE THAT THIS WILL BE MORE THREATLISTY SO MENTION POKEMON / OTHER EFFECTS ONE AT A TIME If you have any questions, feel free to post them in this thread. I'll try and answer as many as possible.