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Item Clause

Discussion in 'Stark Mountain' started by Stagnant, Apr 24, 2009.

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  1. Stagnant


    May 24, 2008
    I've looked around but I haven't seen any discussion threads that revolve around Item Clause. I'm currently unable to express my views entirely on Item Clause because, well my mind is clouded. Anyways, here is my statement...

    Without Item Clause, item usage becomes very centralized therefore the Pokemon being used, the move-sets being chosen, and overall strategies become centralized.

    Centralization in Pokemon: High use of a small select group of something (Pokemon, Items, Moves) that limits the viability of other somethings (Pokemon, Items, Move).

    My definition of centralization is "Meh" at best. However, I'm just trying to give you my perception of it though it may not be true in its entirety.


    > Item Clause is used in game (Battle Tower).

    > Shoddy: Items are very centralized in that Leftover's is the number one used item. Followed closely by Life Orb and Choice Items. After those, the other items see limited usage Lum Berry, Focus Sash, and Light Clay. However, the last three are specialized items.

    I could pull up statistics from X-Act however, anyone who has played on Shoddy probably could agree to the previous statement.


    (The following is an assumption, backed by extensive play via Shoddy)

    Typically, a Standard Team uses... 0-1- Focus Sash, 1-2- Life Orb(s), 0-2- Choice Item(s), 2-3+- Leftover Users.

    Example Standard Team...

    Aerodactyl- Focus Sash
    Heatran- Choice Item (Scarf)
    Celebi- Leftovers
    Suicune- Leftovers
    Tyranitar (Boah)- Leftovers
    Lucario- Life Orb


    A typical UU Team uses... 0-2- Life Orb(s), 2-4+- Leftovers, 0-1 Choice Item.

    Example UU Team...

    Crobat- Leftovers
    Registeel- Leftover
    Slowbro- Leftovers
    Shamin- Life Orb
    Claydol- Leftovers
    Blaziken- Choice Item (Scarf)

    Now I did not attempt to rig each team so that Leftovers would be the common Item. I don't know much about Standard so I used the simple CeleTran+BulkyWater. UU however, I do know and the team I presented is not uncommon (aside from Claydoll).


    Hopefully I've presented this well enough to promote discussion. If you do decided to share your insight please keep it on topic which ultimately comes down to... should Item Clause be implemented?.
  2. Chou Toshio

    Chou Toshio Over9000
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    Aug 16, 2007
    In the very first section of your argument, it falls apart, because this is flat out not true. It is because items are free, that people are free to evolve more and better quality strategies, both at the pokemon-set and team level.

    Item clause, contrary to what all the pro-clause people try to propose, actually inhibits good strategy, and promotes bad strategies because no matter what the teams will be sub-optimal to what they could have been. :/

    If anything, that lead's to imbalance, because every team will be fighting with a few pokemon that are significantly weaker than the rest of the pokemon due to inadequate items.
  3. Objection


    Sep 27, 2008
    The reason Leftovers and Life Orb and choice items are so common is because they fulfil certain roles that are both more useful than any other and totally unique (although Black Sludge is an alternative for poison-types over Leftovers). How is a wall meant to wall without Leftovers? How is a sweeper meant to consistently boost all of its moves without Life Orb or Choice Band/Specs? How is the same sweeper supposed to have an instant speed boost without Choice Scarf?
  4. Vrolok


    Oct 13, 2007
    Out of curiosity, what other viable items are there besides the ones already mentioned? Pinch berries and type resisting berries seem way too specialized due to one time use.
  5. wildfire393


    Oct 3, 2008
    Yeah, the problem with the item clause is that there really aren't many usable items. I mean, an aggressive/balanced team can probably get by with a Focus Sash lead, one tank with lefties, three Choice users, and an LO sweeper, but what does a stall team do? The only real viable items on a Stall Team are Leftovers, occasionally Black Sludge (duplicate leftovers for a Tentacruel or whatever), and rarely a Choice Scarf as a check to threats that get by the other Pokemon on the team. It's not unusual to see a stall team with 5-6 leftover users.

    Honestly, implementing the Item clause, while it would serve to partially diversify item usage, would centralize the metagame as a whole by eliminating stall and limiting aggressive teams to a couple of specific set ups.

    Coincidentally, I have a team that implements the item clause, though it wasn't a conscious decision. Also, it doesn't use leftovers: Wide Lens, all three Choice Items, Babiri Berry, and Life Orb.
  6. Objection


    Sep 27, 2008
    The only other remotely useful ones are Wide Lens on something other than Machamp that relies on inaccurate moves, and Expert Belt to bluff a choice item.

    EDIT: Also the type resist berries and pinch berries on certain pokemon with certain sets (eg, DDTar needs Babiri Berry, Empoleon can run a Sub Petaya set).
  7. Lightsabre


    Aug 1, 2008
    Lum berry also has several good uses. I'd say that lum and salac/petaya berries are also pretty good
  8. Eidenhoek


    Mar 11, 2009
    This is why I support game theory/economics being taught more widely.

    People want to be competitive. Thus, they will choose the best options available to them. There almost must be centralization in the terms of items because, as said previously, there aren't more than...10? 15 viable items? To alter item choice is to make the game less competitive.

    That said, we do ban the "broken" things. I just don't see how the centralization in this case makes things broken. I don't see why only allowing one leftovers makes things "better".
  9. dozer


    Mar 15, 2009

    SE Reducing berries (Chopple, Yache, etc) are very useful.. Then you got type-raising items, like Zap Plate (Jolteon use instead of Lefties/Sash) and Iron Plate (Scizor, since your main hit is Bullet Punch anyway (and don't harass me about U-Turn please)), abuse Snow Cloak/Sand Veil with Bright Powder..

    I'm used to playing with Item Clause anyway in Doubles and Battle Tower, so this really wouldn't affect me at all. You just have to think a little bit more then your used to, is all.

    STALL teams are a problem though. You would pretty much have to run 1 Lefties, 1 Black Sleudg, maybe a Poison Heal, and a lot of RestTalkers/Recover-move Pokemon. Not sure, only Stall I ever played around with was Stallrein.
  10. haunter

    haunter Banned deucer.

    Aug 6, 2007
    Completely agreeing with ChouToshio. Just adding that matches played under item clause requires a lot less prediction because when you discover what item a certain pokemon is carrying, you know that the remaining 5 pokemons can't hold that same item.
    Let's say, for example, that I have a trick-scarf lead Jirachi, when my opponent sees the scarf, he'll know that I can't have more scarfers on the team which means that if lately I send out a Flygon, he'll know that its max speed can be 328.
    I think item caluse has nothing to do with competitive pokemon.
  11. dozer


    Mar 15, 2009
    To an extent, I can agree, but I would rather the comment say "I think item caluse has nothing to do with competitive pokemon SINGLES."
  12. Lemmiwinks MkII

    Lemmiwinks MkII

    Jun 14, 2007
    I find that to be a rather flimsy argument tbh. Imagine the same discussion in a hypothetical universe where Species Clause wasn't a default on the ladder. An analogous anti-Clause argument would be something like 'Species Clause, contrary to what all the pro-clause people try to propose, actually inhibits good strategy, and promotes bad strategies because no matter what the teams will be sub-optimal to what they could have been. A large number of teams rely on 2-3 variants of the same Pokemon, be it Salamence, Lucario or whatever, as part of their team strategy. Removing this option therefore forces teams to use less effective strategies overall'.

    Anyway, I'm kinda torn on what to think about Item Clause, and I'm not completely sure whether I'd be more for or against it at this moment in time. On the one hand I can understand the concerns about the restrictions it would have on certain kinds of teams, particularly stall, although you wouldn't hear me complaining too much as I think stall is the gayest and most boring shit imaginable. But on the other hand, claims about strategies becoming more centralized and whatnot are nothing but pure theorymon right now, and I think a substantial test with the clause in play would be very interesting if only to put these claims to the test. It would also be interesting to see what effect it has on the usage of certain Pokemon like Tyranitar, Hippowdon, Breloom, Nidoqueen etc just to give a few examples, and also the extra emphasis placed on 'deduced information' when it comes to in-battle decisions.

    I do like to be open-minded about these things after all.
  13. Revolution.Z


    Apr 20, 2009
    Yeh as everyone else said LO and Lefties are the most common items because they carry out the task best. LO with a 1.3x multiplier it nearly matches the multiplier of CB without trapping you into a move. The pinch berries are useful on like gyara and scizor and other x4 weaknesses for some originality but really LO and lefties are the best items for sweepers and tanks. Item clause just forces players to be more imaginative but doesnt allow the full potential of all pokemon
  14. makiri

    makiri My vast and supreme will shall be done!
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    Jun 24, 2006
    Item clause has been discussed before and you haven't really introduced anything particularly insightful. Items are just like Pokemon, certain items do their job better than other items, like say why use a Zap Plate when Life Orb can accomplish the same but power up all attacks at the expense of some HP.
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