Handling Broken Sets with Z-Moves

Imanalt

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#1
Hi so LC has been discussing a bunch on what to do with porygon, as everyone agrees that it has become broken in this generation with the addition of Z-conversion. I figured there should be a more open and sitewide discussion on what should be done with sets that are broken and include Z-moves, since Z-moves are kind of weird, and people in LC weren't exactly coming to a consensus. LC already banned Eevium-Z because that had an extremely and very obviously broken Z-move (boosted all stats by +2) and was very clearly broken on anything, even though it was restricted to eevee. The combination of that plus the move being easy to ban because of being based off of one item resulted in it being banned. But Porygon with Z-conversion is a more difficult issue. There isn't just an item that only results in Z-conversion, as it is based off of normalium Z. So I just wanted to get sitewide consensus, in the case of a broken set involving a z-move, how do we decide what is broken and so what to ban?

To be clear, it doesn't make sense to discuss the specifics of porygon here. Its better for LC council/tier leaders/whatever to decide what is broken, but I want a discussion of the philosophy of what makes a pokemon bannable vs. a z-move bannable that can be more generally applied. And then how (if ever) z-moves should be banned. Should we ban a z item that has any broken Z-moves? Should we ban the use of the Z-move in game? Should we complex ban using a certain move and item that results in the Z-move? Or should we just never ban Z-moves at all and ban any pokemon with a broken set, regardless of whether it involves a Z-move?
 

Karxrida

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#2
We banned stuff in the past based on what the Pokémon's best sets were, so I say we continue to do that and just ban Pokémon if they become broken due to a Z-Move. Way easier than keeping track of which Z-Crystals are banned on which Pokémon.

Also imo an Eevee ban in LC > Eeveeium-Z ban because literally nothing else can use the item, and from my limited LC knowledge Eevee wasn't a huge player in the meta beforehand so it's not like banning it will deny players a decent Pokémon.
 

Peef Rimgar

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#3
I really think not just banning the broken combination would be silly myself. You have to keep in mind the amount of potential sets you lose on any given Pokemon just by banning Z items straight up, and the Pokemon often wouldn't be broken without the combos. Z moves bring a pretty neat dynamic into the game where fairly unviable moves may get a slot on some mons as a lure or clutch setup sweeper. If we outright remove certain stones (are they stones?) this handy little feature is removed to some extent. I know this pretty much goes against the whole "no complex bans" thing but you could justify it as, rather than a complex ban, you're just banning Z-Conversion (in this case).
We banned stuff in the past based on what the Pokémon's best sets were, so I say we continue to do that and just ban stuff wholesale if they become broken due to a Z-Move. Way easier than keeping track of which Z-Crystals are banned on which Pokémon.

Also imo an Eevee ban in LC > Eeveeium-Z ban because literally nothing else can use the item.
If nothing else can use the item why not allow Eevee to stay in LC without it? It clearly isn't broken without it, so the broken component of the mon is the item.
 

Josh

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#4
General question: why should Z-moves be treated differently than other moves, such as Chatter? Chatot was clearly not broken in gen 6 PU and it was Chatter that pushed it over the edge so it was banned, and yet people were suggesting they only got away with that because they were an unofficial tier at the time of the ban and that Chatot should have been banned. Eevee is clearly not broken in LC without Eevium-Z, so you basically did the same thing and banned the broken move. The clear difference is Z-moves require items. So, the problem here was Eevium-Z. That much we agree upon. From what I understood from the Dynamicpunch thread the general goal is to only ban moves that are broken by all abusers. Z-Conversion is broken by all abusers in LC so a ban is probably justified. It is a ban similar to Mega Rayquaza though in that its implemented by PS, since you could still carry a Normal Z-stone on Porygon, and still carry conversion, just not click the combination. We need to decide if that kind of restriction is acceptable outside of Ubers, and that's a decision for TLs to make imo. And please, nothing like Baton Pass, choose something uniform for all Gen 7 tiers excluding Ubers.
 

Karxrida

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#5
Peef Rimgar so basically what you're asking for is this type of (hypothetical) banlist:

  • Waterium-Z is banned on Manaphy
  • Normalium-Z is banned on Porygon-Z
Etcetera. (Not asking for suspects on these Mons, I pulled some examples out of a hat for this.) This would be messy because unlike Mega Stones, most Z-Crystals are usable by multiple Pokémon and are akin to stuff like Life Orb because they do not induce a permanent forme change. This would also set new precent for stupid shit like asking to ban Leftovers on Lugia to make it not an Uber or no Life Orb on Greninja. (Again, random-ass examples. Lugia would probably still be broken but that's not the point.) The idea to ban Eeveeium-Z would be to stay consistent with this mindset.

The clear course of action here is to ban the broken Z-Move abusers because they got new sets that pushed them over the edge, like how ORAS tutor moves pushed Greninja to the point where it was deemed broken in OU.
 

Peef Rimgar

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#6
Peef Rimgar so basically what you're asking for is this type of (hypothetical) banlist:

  • Waterium-Z is banned on Manaphy
  • Normalium-Z is banned on Porygon-Z
Etcetera. (Not asking for suspects on these Mons, I pulled some examples out of a hat for this.) This would be messy because unlike Mega Stones, most Z-Crystals are usable by multiple Pokémon and are akin to stuff like Life Orb because they do not induce a permanent forme change. This would also set new precent for stupid shit like asking to ban Leftovers on Lugia to make it not an Uber or no Life Orb on Greninja (again, random-ass examples).

The idea to ban Eeveeium-Z would be to stay consistent with this mindset.
I mean there wouldn't be a surefire way to prevent the mon from using the stone (?) as they could use it with a different move. Im proposing the Z move is banned rather than the z stone or the mon. The tricky part of that is actually enforcing or making that common knowledge. An idea in my head is that teambuilder could alert of potential illegalities as a result of that? But I suppose that could be tricky as well.

EDIT: Magnemite pretty much put what I meant here eloquently below

Also banning Eeveeium is an identical thought process to banning a mega stone. It affects 1 mon, and a decentish mon gets to stay in the meta.
 
#7
After thinking about this for a while, I think the best way to do this is a ban of the use of Z-Conversion in a battle. The reason a teambuilder ban doesn't work is because you could theoretically have a set that uses a Normal-type Z-move and normal Conversion, which wouldn't be broken. I think this is the best option for a few reasons:

-It's very similar to the Mega Rayquaza ban, so there is a very clear precedent to do this.
-It's a simple ban that gets right to the point of the issue with no colateral damage whatsoever.
-It works in all cases of Z-moves, unlike banning Conversion. Banning the move itself would be tricky if Z-Recover or something ended up being broken.
-There is a slight issue regarding cart playability, but just like Sleep Clause, you can just have the players agree that if the banned Z move is used the player that used it automatically uses it. This is /an/ issue, but the way I see it, it's way less of an issue than having to come up with a different way to ban each broken Z-move set, which I can definitely see happening in a realistic scenario if one of the other options is chosen.

edit: after discussion with people, I think this proposal should be applied in cases where the Z-move is inherently broken. In cases where a Z-move breaks a specific Pokemon and not others, the Pokemon should just be banned.
 
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Karxrida

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#9
I mean there wouldn't be a surefire way to prevent the mon from using the stone (?) as they could use it with a different move. Im proposing the Z move is banned rather than the z stone or the mon. The tricky part of that is actually enforcing or making that common knowledge. An idea in my head is that teambuilder could alert of potential illegalities as a result of that? But I suppose that could be tricky as well.

EDIT: Magnemite pretty much put what I meant here eloquently below

Also banning Eeveeium is an identical thought process to banning a mega stone. It affects 1 mon, and a decentish mon gets to stay in the meta.
That's honestly a worse idea because it's even more complicated. "Oh using Normalium-Z is totes cool for Tri Attack and other shit but fuck Conversion even though it's only Porygon that gets it."

Like I said Eeveeium-Z is not the same thing as a Mega Stone so banning it does not follow that thought process. Mega Stones permanently change abilities and BSTs, Eeveeium-Z gives you a volatile super stat boost that can Baton Passed if you really wanted to do so.
 
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Peef Rimgar

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#10
That's honestly a worse idea because it's even more complicated. "Oh using Normalium-Z is totes cool for Tri Attack and other shit but fuck Conversion even though it's only Porygon that gets it."

Like I said Eeveeium-Z is not the same thing as a Mega Stone so banning it does not follow that thought process.
I definitely see your point, it comes down to do we prefer a clean banlist or a functional one at the end of the day. I would prefer one that has minimal collateral damage at the cost of complexity.

And it really is the same thing though when you get down to it. If you don't think Kangaskhan should be banned because Mega Kangaskhan is broken, why would you want Eevee banned because Evoboost is broken?
 
#11
This issue reflects the central conflict we have between producing better metagames and being faithful to the cartridges.

With Z-Moves, Gamefreak has introduced an element which clearly favours less experienced players. Z-Moves are unpredictable and devalue defensive responses to threats, while in more extreme cases they tend to promote all-or-nothing aggression and matches pivoting around a single turn of set-up. It seems likely that this effect will only increase as our metagames develop and the most centralising threats (such as Pheromosa and Aegislash in OU) are banned.

It's arguable, therefore, that many or even most Z-Moves encourage a less skillful metagame, which is contrary to the stated aims of our tiering philosophy. As Z-Moves become more prominent, this is something we're going to have to deal with.

In any case, if the Z-Move is only broken on one Pokemon then we should ban the Pokemon; if it's broken on many different Pokemon then we should consider banning the Z-Move. There's no justification to banning Z-Moves to "save" a particular Pokemon, even though they're distinct in that they require an item.
 
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Imanalt

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#13
Is Conversion actually any good normally? Maybe you could just ban Conversion...
Does it matter? Should we always ban a move if its z-move is broken? Hypothetically if Z-recover was broken, should we ban recover?

edit: basically I don't want this thread to be about the specific case, but rather I was hoping for a discussion of generally how tiers should handle broken z-moves in the future (also not a discussion of whether z-conversion is broken that can happen in lc)
 

Aberforth

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#14
Specific Z moves (Eeveeboost, alolanraichuium, mewszmove) are akin to Soul Dew. NonSpecific Z Moves (Normalium, Fireium, ext) are akin to Life Orb. Treating the former as Soul Dew was is fine in my opinion, however we should avoid getting complex with the latter. In other words, if normalium Happy Hour Jirachi is busted, we should ban Jirachi, not Normalium or Happy Hour.

However how to go for exclusive moves as opposed the item? Conversion in LC is unique to Porygon, so should the action be banning Conversion or banning Porygon. In OU, Conversion is not limited to PZ, so I feel in that situation PZ should be banned if there is a problem with it, and thus I'd prefer LC ban Porygon to remain consistant, but there's a valid argument that Conversion is broken on everything that gets it in LC and should be banned instead. One thing I definitely do not think should happen is pokemon + item complex ban, nor Mega-Rayesque in battle complex bans, that has the potential to get way too cluttered and messy, and sets a nasty precedent that I really dont feel like we should even entertain.
 

Berks

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#15
I'd like to put forward my opinion in the Porygon situation and how I think it could be applied on a larger scale.

Porygon is a very good Pokemon. It has great stats, a good movepool, great abilities, and pretty much anything a Pokemon could ever want. That was how it was in ORAS. Gen 7 added a lot of potential to a lot of Pokemon with the introduction of Z-Moves, but it broke Porygon with the addition of Z-Conversion, a move which 1) changed Porygon's type to correspond with the first move in its moveset, and 2) gave it a +1 boost in every stat. Z-Conversion Porygon has all the bulk of Eviolite along with a guaranteed +1 to Speed and Special Attack; it became too much to handle. Normally, I would support banning Porygon in this instance.

However, there is something unique about Porygon in this case: it is the only Pokemon in the metagame that can use Conversion. This is the main twist which makes straight-out banning Porygon not sit well with me. We can have a healthy Pokemon in the metagame by simply banning its broken set, right?

"But Berks, we already said we wouldn't do that with Blaziken and its Speed Boost sets!"

You're right, user, but here's why this is different: Z-Conversion is broken on every single Pokemon in the tier that has access to it. This was not true of Blaziken, as it existed in OU, a tier in which Ninjask could also be used. Ninjask wasn't broken by any means by the ability, and banning Speed Boost would have negatively affected it. Therefore, a Speed Boost ban was not on the table. This is similar to the Drifloon suspect late in ORAS LC: Drifloon was pretty much broken because Unburden let it get off Recycles and Will-O-Wisps faster than anything in the whole tier. However, banning Unburden would have negatively affected Treecko and Purrloin, which were (and this is key) not made broken by Unburden. There were three Pokemon in the tier who had Unburden and only one of them was broken, so Unburden could not be banned. However, there is one Pokemon in the meta that has access to Z-Conversion and exactly one Pokemon in the meta that is broken by it. This means that Z-Conversion can be singled out as a breaking factor in this case, and could be banned.

In short, my proposition in regards to Z-Moves and other bans in general is as follows:
  • If the move/ability/item breaks every single Pokemon in a metagame or tier that has access to its benefits, it can be banned.
  • If said move/ability/item is available on Pokemon which are not broken by it, it cannot be banned; this ban should fall on the individual broken Pokemon.
This philosophy aligns with the past bans of Soul Dew, Swagger, OHKO moves, and various Mega Stones under the first point, and it aligns with the past bans of Blaziken, Drifloon, and pretty much every other mon under the second point. Under this philosophy, Z-Conversion would be a viable candidate for a ban.

Does this mean LC as a community couldn't decide that Porygon is actually just overall broken-unique moves and all-and just straight up ban it a la Aegislash? Of course not! Ultimately, the decision has to come down to whatever community or council is voting. The main idea my philosophy proposes is that those moves/items/abilities can be banned without setting dangerous precedent.

Thanks!
 

Josh

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#16
"Hey we should ban all boosting moves because GeoXern is broken"
Its a poor precedent to set to just outright ban something available to every single pokemon but as of now broken on maybe 1 in OU, and 2 in LC.
Z-moves likely already broke Manaphy. The closest other things are probably a couple status users and bloom doom tran. What happens when z moves rip apart lower tiers though? Someone else commented that Z moves aren't competitive and are made to make the game more noob friendly and that they generally make offense dominate. If people argue to ban z moves it's because they're uncompetitive as a whole, not broken. Note that something I could potentially see happening down the road is a Z move blanket ban in lower tiers atune to drizzle/drought.
 

Rowan

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#17
We never ban unique moves though? With Aegislash, many thought King's Shield pushed it over the edge, yet we didn't ban King's Shield, we banned Aegislash. If Porygon was given a new unique non-z-move this gen which made it broken, we would probably just wanna ban Porygon, but for some reason because it's a z-move it's different? When Victini was banned in UU, they didn't think, let's try it without v-create because v-create is unique to it? Why should z-conversion be any different, or any z-move for that matter. Just ban the Pokemon like we've always done

we've only ever banned moves that are uncompetitive in that they add a luck factor to the game, such as swagger, evasion or OHKO moves, if z-moves are deemed to add a luck factor then fine, but conversion doesn't do that and nor do most that people have brought up, they're just overpowered on certain pokemon, in which case we ban the pokemon
 
#18
we currently have rules in place that prevent you from even carrying a z-stone with a type matching a move that can create a z-move that boosts evasion, even if you have other moves that could potentially benefit from said z-stone are on that mon. it won't even let you start the match. why is this specific complexity okay (other than evasion clause) but a similar complexity wrong?

also, it's one pokemon in LC. LC bans don't affect higher tiers, nor do higher tier's banlists affect LC.

We never ban unique moves though? With Aegislash, many thought King's Shield pushed it over the edge, yet we didn't ban King's Shield, we banned Aegislash. If Porygon was given a new unique non-z-move this gen which made it broken, we would probably just wanna ban Porygon, but for some reason because it's a z-move it's different? When Victini was banned in UU, they didn't think, let's try it without v-create because v-create is unique to it? Why should z-conversion be any different, or any z-move for that matter. Just ban the Pokemon like we've always done

we've only ever banned moves that are uncompetitive in that they add a luck factor to the game, such as swagger, evasion or OHKO moves, if z-moves are deemed to add a luck factor then fine, but conversion doesn't do that and nor do most that people have brought up, they're just overpowered on certain pokemon, in which case we ban the pokemon
but smeargle has all these moves. lc doesn't have a smeargle. they're not unique moves. i'm pretty sure the only unique move in a tier where smeargle and chatot co-exist is chatter.
 

Karxrida

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#19
we currently have rules in place that prevent you from even carrying a z-stone with a type matching a move that can create a z-move that boosts evasion, even if you have other moves that could potentially benefit from said z-stone are on that mon. it won't even let you start the match. why is this specific complexity okay (other than evasion clause) but a similar complexity wrong?
You already explained why yourself: Evasion Clause. It's a natural extension of that.
 

Peef Rimgar

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#20
You already explained why yourself: Evasion Clause. It's a natural extension of that.
Why cant that logic be applied to other stuff though? I dislike the need for precedent in the first place but thats pretty much the basis of a lot of people's arguments, and this serves that precedent.
 

Zarel

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#21
Why cant that logic be applied to other stuff though? I dislike the need for precedent in the first place but thats pretty much the basis of a lot of people's arguments, and this serves that precedent.
As mentioned earlier, Evasion Clause is about uncompetitive luck factor, not power level. Which is why it's done with complex surgical strikes instead of banning Pokémon (that, and, nearly all Pokémon get access to Double Team).
 

Peef Rimgar

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#22
As mentioned earlier, Evasion Clause is about uncompetitive luck factor, not power level. Which is why it's done with complex surgical strikes instead of banning Pokémon (that, and, nearly all Pokémon get access to Double Team).
Here's my thing though: why should we not treat bans in Pokemon as a whole with those complex, precise strikes? Its a complex, precise game, so banning should be treated similarly in my opinion. Simple, while easier, isnt always better.
 

Zarel

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#23
Here's my thing though: why should we not treat bans in Pokemon as a whole with those complex, precise strikes? Its a complex, precise game, so banning should be treated similarly in my opinion. Simple, while easier, isnt always better.
Mostly, because tiers should have rules that are as simple and easy to understand as possible. The more rules, the more annoying it is to build teams.

The implementation of Evasion Clause may be complicated, but the rule is easy to remember: "Don't raise Evasion".
 

Legitimate Username

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#24
We never ban unique moves though? With Aegislash, many thought King's Shield pushed it over the edge, yet we didn't ban King's Shield, we banned Aegislash.
Can I just take a moment to say that I've literally never understood why people get hung up on King's Shield being a potentially broken aspect of Aegislash. Sure, it could cause some random 50/50's, but King's Shield was never an inherently broken move. If anything, Aegislash as an individual Pokémon and King's Shield's interactions with Stance Change granting it an effective 720 BST seemed like a bigger deal than its individual merits as a slightly-different Protect reskin. Throwing King's Shield under the bus as the broken element of Aegislash seems about as arbitrary as saying that we should ban Flare Blitz and High Jump Kick on Blaziken in order to make it balanced for OU. The fact that King's Shield is a signature move and would result in no collateral damage is completely irrelevant, because nothing about that changes the fact that it isn't broken.

If the council wants to say that a move that grants +5 stat boosts in a single turn is overpowered even though only one Pokémon has access to it, I don't really feel inclined to argue with that, it'd be pretty insane on just about anything else in the metagame. If it's an inherently overpowering move then there's no reason to ban Porygon just because it's the only thing that has access to it.

I'm not really interested in addressing the nuances of Z-Moves as a mechanic and the fact that they'd likely require unique complex bans (which are already precedented by extremely justified Mega Rayquaza ban), but I just wanted to express my thoughts on broken moves vs. broken Pokémon and get that out of the way.
 
#25
Z moves were introduced in Gen7.
All pokemon have access to Z moves, and they are now a part of the "package" that encompasses an entire pokemon.
Porygon learns conversion.
Z-conversion is one of the traits that makes Porygon broken.
Porygon is broken.
Ban Porygon.

If it wasn't clear: we really should not set a bad precedent with complex bans. This is literally identical to King's Shield Aegislash or any other aspect of a pokemon that sums up the brokenness. STOP trying to separate traits from the entire pokemon.