This is being posted in both IS and DST to gauge the opinions of both the general public and badge-holders in order to see if some consensus can be arrived at. The purpose of this post is to start discussion about something we think has been missing from Smogon's tiering process: a clear design philosophy. While there have been numerous attempts to define measures by which something is "broken" or otherwise, we think that this discussion is failing to recognise the fundamental reasoning for banning Pokemon, moves, and abilities. It seems to us that at the heart of every suspect discussion is a tradeoff between two paradigms, and, while they clash, the banning process is an attempt to strike a balance between the two. What we think needs to happen in order to solve much of the conflict that occurs around the suspect process is deciding which of the two main aspects of competitive Pokemon we value most: Teambuilding long term strategy or tactical short term decisions. The purpose of this thread is to decide which of the two we value more than the other, because any decision making in the suspect process asks us to make this decision, but we are distracted by nebulous terms such as "broken." Take, for instance, 4th Gen Salamence. Salamence almost completely stagnated tactical decision making but strategically he wasn't too strong. Through teambuilding he could be played around. Eventually the community decided that he was bad and deserved to be banned from a tactical standpoint, even though he was totally fine from a strategic one. This same clash is exhibited in the Keldeo thread and is the underlying tone of most of the (admittedly bad) arguments that are calling for suspect testing. In a strategically focused game, we would want to go out of our way to ban every element that fundamentally limit strategy. The classic example of this would be Garchomp, which, as Matthew put quite well: This obviously deals with complaints about overcentralisation being equated to brokenness. Another important discussion to be had here is the differing kinds of strategy that exist and how we value those strategical options. What is the measure by which we value this diversity: types of playstyle or number of usable Pokemon? By contrast, if we opt for a more tactically focused game, we would want to eliminate the various elements of the game that limit and stagnate tactical decision making skills. The example of Salamence that was discussed earlier would be a good example of this. A more extreme example would probably be Stealth Rock, which epitomises the good strategy, bad tactical decision making conversation that we are having. In a few channels the conversation of Ubers being particularly well-balanced was brought up, where everything acts as checks. We would describe this as a more strategically balanced game, and perhaps the direction that we may wish to take OU. By contrast, OU is a horrid combination of the two paradigms that trends towards tactically balanced gameplay the longer it goes on. The purpose of this thread is to identify our design philosophy, but from this point it seems that popular opinion tends towards strategy rather than tactics. In conclusion we believe that the lack of a design philosophy stagnates our ability to ban things that stop us from creating an optimal metagame and allow constant discussion of stupid bans based on visceral reactions to losing a game to whatever you might now consider broken. We need a design philosophy in order to transition into Gen 6 because otherwise our suspect process will be similarly stagnant and bad, and no measure of leadership or definitions can fix that. Every single suspect is put under the crucible of scrutiny from two factions, one with the mindset of "can this be strategically mangaged" and the other "is this tactically acceptable" and from those conclusions do disagreements arise. One needs to be chosen over the other so that we don't continually put forth the grinded arguments that we repeatedly see. Settling a single philosophy allows us to move past this and with a more accurate perspective more quickly diagnose tiering issues, and deal with them.Not picking one over the other means that we will have more almost meaningless and fruitless tiering conversation in which everyone is arguing about different things, and we think this is not acceptable for the future of the suspect process. We are trying to draw a line in the sand here. This line needs to be clear, and discussion of it also needs to be clear. So, Smogon, where do we draw the line? EDIT: A third option could be perhaps weigh out each suspect in terms of strategic/tactical cost/benefits. For any given suspect: "This thing really sucks for tactical decision making, but strategically is a really fun aspect of this game, and that outweighs its tactical badness". This wasn't outlined in the body of the post because the intention is to bring forward the philosophies behind banning in order to bring discussion up to the proper level of analysis. Thanks to TheValkyries for his help.