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Announcement LC Suspect - Longtime Sunshine - Vulpix is banned

Discussion in 'SM Little Cup' started by Quote, Mar 4, 2017.

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  1. Quote

    Quote Cautiously Optimistic
    is a Global Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Battle Server Moderatoris a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnus
    LC Co-Leader

    Jun 27, 2008


    Sun teams have become much more difficult to handle this generation than previously, mostly due to Fletchling's fall from grace, Porygon's ban and the advent of Z-Moves. Bellsprout can now 2HKO some bulkier Pokemonwith the help of a Poisonium-Z-charged Sludge Bomb, and Bulbasaur, a Pokemon previously referred to as an afterthought, has now become a respected sweeper thanks to the playstyle not needing as much support to handle its checks. While Sun teams of the past would only use a single Chlorophyll sweeper (almost always Bellsprout) they can now easily utilise two on a team, which puts on fantastic offensive pressure. Grass/Fire/Poison coverage is incredible, only resisted by Salandit and Litwick. Because of the overbearing presence of Sun teams in today's metagame, the LC council has decided the playstyle deserves to be properly examined in the form of a suspect.

    Vulpix was chosen as the victim of the suspect over Drought because Vulpix is the only Drought user and we do not want to have a complex ban on the Pokemon. When discussing this suspect, please do not argue whether it should be the ability or the Pokemon that the suspect is the focus of.

    tl;dr: Suspecting Vulpix because Sun is 2good.

    For this suspect, we are bringing back the suspect ladder! Yea, I wanna give it a try at least once this gen. To qualify as a voter, you will need to reach a COIL of 2700 with a game limit of 70 games, or 2300 if you are on the council. You will have two weeks from now to do this, making the deadline 11:59pm EST on March 17th.

    The b value for this ladder is 13, so here's how many battles you need to make reqs:​

    GXE N
    100 23
    90 32
    85 40
    80 54
    79 58
    78 63
    77 69
    If you want to figure out how many matches you'll need to reach 2700 COIL, you can use slap this equation into a calculator or Google:


    A voter identification thread will be up soon, so don't post your proof of COIL here. Only use this thread for discussion and questions.

    Have fun!

  2. Pikasohn


    May 27, 2014
    Please not our poor little qt.. ;~;
  3. Corporal Levi

    Corporal Levi
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Team Rater Alumnus

    Jun 27, 2010
    (Approved by Quote)
    A lot of suspects in the past have had the issue of people simply not reading the posts before them and clogging up the thread with rehashed and debunked points, which is somewhat understandable because suspect threads can get quite long. As such, I'm going to use this post to provide a summary of reasonable arguments that have been brought up in the thread. I do have an opinion on the suspect and will be arguing for it within this thread, but I'll try my best to keep this post neutral; if you feel that it comes off as biased in either direction, please let me know.


    Acid Downpour and Sleep Powder allow Bellsprout to break through certain traditional Sun checks, which, combined with Fletchling's nerf, make it more difficult to hard check relative to ORAS Sun. 1 2 3
    The high Speed tiers of Chlorophyll sweepers makes them more difficult to deal with offensively than most other offensive Pokemon. 1

    Hard checks to Sun are generally not very viable in the current metagame outside of checking Sun. 1 2
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  4. EpicBradley129


    May 9, 2016
    I'll take a stab at this. I've been around for a while on ladder, but this is really my first foray into forum discussions, so no guarantees that this will be a particularly cogent argument ;)

    If I had to say one way or another right now how to vote on this, I'd probably say ban Vulpix, but I'll have to see how this suspect goes and what the arguments for and against are in order to finalize my opinion. I'm playing in MDL at the moment, and one of the teams I'm facing is full on sun, so I know first hand how hard it is too prepare for Bellsprout. Traditional counters just don't do it anymore. Traditionally, you'd counter Bellsprout with mons like Fletchling, Vullaby, Ponyta, and the odd Chespin, but now each of these can no longer reliably do their jobs against sun. Fletch got nerfed, and Z-Sludge Bomb powers through Vullaby, Ponyta and Chespin. In order for these "checks" to work against Z-Bellsprout, they need to run Protect, which none of them want to do and which strains their abilities to preform their other jobs, or you will need to run multiple "checks" so that one of them can take a Z-Sludge Bomb and prob get KOed and the other can then come in and take on Bellsprout. This not only puts a big strain on teambuilding, it's also not a good strategy because it basically requires sacking one of your mons.

    On top of that, Bellsprout still has Sleep Powder, so anything it can't outright OHKO it can take out of commission for a few turns. Between Z-Sludge Bomb and Sleep Powder, Bellsprout is basically guaranteed to KO/disable two of your mons, and then still be extremely dangerous after that. That's just crazy.

    EDIT: I think in order to complete my argument I need to add that w/all the buffs that Bellsprout received this gen, it did not acquire any nerfs to balance it out. A lot of old checks are no longer reliable checks, and the only new mon that is of any note against Bellsprout (I think) is Mareanie, but Mareanie suffers from exactly the same problem I noted above: it gets disabled by Sleep Powder. It seems that there is only one mon in the entire metagame that serves as a full stop to Z-Bellsprout: Sleeptalk Munchlax. And maybe Sleeptalk Skrelp, actually, but that seems to have largely disappeared this gen. Everything else gets wrecked by either Z-Sludge Bomb or Sleep Powder. Without one of these two mons, teams are reduced to running their own weather setters or using an 18 speed mon w/scarf to hard check Bellsprout, both of which are rather niche choices.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  5. rhydonphilip


    Jan 8, 2015
    Considering it's background of last gen and the improvements compared to this gen, It seems like a subject worth listing:
    What traditional/relevant pokemon beat Sun(Multiple sun abusers and traditional sun are both considered):

    -Munchlax with Rest-Talk/Recycle Fire Punch; Able to take on Sleep or All-Out attacks from Bellsprout & Co. respectively.

    -Hippopotas; Hippo can switch in on a Vulpix and evade the 2HKO from Energie Ball thanks to the mixed defensive(traditional) set. It can also switch in on Bellsprout taking anything it could throw at you or anything it should throw at you at least. But Bulbasaur is a bigger issue for this cute ground type. Bulbasaur can utilize a bulkier Growth set with Giga Drain to greater effect, checking and ruining most of Hippo's utility if you safely switched Bulba from Vulpix into Hippo. There isn't a lot Hippo can do directly but it can still utilize Whirlwind and the previously stacked Stealth Rocks to rack damage and be of use against other pokemon in the sun team. The main downside with that is how you are phazing an opposing auto-weather setter and potential abusers all in the same pot.

    -Abra; It's Abra with Sash, it can check anything offense related that isn't Dwebble/Shellder/Aipom.

    Hail setters (open)

    -Amaura; While odd on first sight can revenge against Vulpix thanks to some bulk and Bellsprout/Bulbasaur with instant damage. Main downside being the trade off of Scarf/Some bulkier set as one beats the Chloro users but loses to Vulpix and the other takes on Vulpix better but loses to Chloro users.

    -Vulpix-Alola; Can revenge against Chloro users but instantly baits in Vulpix thanks to it's lack of strong moves or momentum gaining moves.

    -Snover; Even worse against Sun then Vulpix-A only having Scarf to check Chloro abusers and Ice Shard on the bulkier set to hit worn Chloro abusers as it will be 1HKO'd by LO Sludge Bomb, +1 Sludge Bomb and more.

    Poison (open)

    -Grimer-Alola; With the new Dark type this mon is able to do more things outside of checking sun then it's Kanto counterpart. Having access to great defenses, Neutral Stabs to hit any mon on Sun and potential Fire Blast to hit Pawniard if someone still wants to use it on Sun. Not a lot to say other then ''It can be put to sleep and worn down, so it's not a complete check''.

    -Salandit; Poison, Fire and 18 speed? Is this meant to be a direct check to any Sun team? Not exactly but it certainly checks most of it. The main issue Salandit has is a lack of Sleep Immunity and enough damage to 1HKO Vulpix with Life Orb Sludge Bomb without Rocks on the field.

    -Tentacool; Good SpD bulk, speed tier and some coverage to irritate the sun setter and abuser. It can beat sun but needs some support to do that.
    -Skrelp; Horrible check as it can't afford to lose much HP and this way it even loses 69% of it's HP to LO Solar Beam. It can't take on +2.
    -Mareanie; Sludge Bomb, Recover and Haze until you faint.

    Fire (open)

    -Ponyta; is what I feel like the most underrated pokemon for most of this gen. The Bulky Sunny Day set/Bulky Flame Charge can destroy sun but also help it in beating opposing sun teams and it's traditional hard hitting fire type. Other Ponyta sets like Z-Sunny Day don't interact much to help sun as it mostly lacks the bulky to reliably set it and after it has done it's job sun already expired or is about to expire.

    -Larvesta; Having access to an amazing typing to take on Sun abusers as well as serve as a hard hitter against most of the relevant pokemon on a sun team it's got only a handful of flaws. The flaws however do hurt it's viability. Being extremely prone to Rock types, reliant on having Eviolite and 4x weakness to Stealth Rocks. It can certainly do a lot of things but ultimately loses a massive about of utility with some of the most mandatory things for sun teams.

    -Houndour; Having the Fire typing and Immunity to fire it's a solid mon for sun as against Sun. Downside being it's too frail and too weak with LO Sucker Punch to effectively prevent Chloro users from taking you down. However it can switch in on all besides HP Rock/Hypnosis from Vulpix and prevent Chloro users form coming in safely. It should be noticed how it's too frail to come in on a bigger list of things making it more overall risky.

    Flying (open)

    -Vullaby; Utilizing a wide array of sets that each have pro's and cons against sun pokemon. The bulky pivot set can take on a sun abuser but will take extremely heavy damage from there attacks when taking in account LO Sludge Bomb, Eviolite Growth and Acid Poordown. It gets even worse if we look at SR + Brave Bird recoil because it can easily end up as a kill trade. However, it also can't take on Growth boosted Acid Poordown.
    Nasty Plot Eviolite has the advantage of special moves so it doesn't take the recoil and Heat Wave can 1HKO under sun where Air Slash just barely lacks on damage.
    Other sets like Berry Juice NP need to prevent SR at all costs to even take on a regular LO Sludge Bomb not speaking of Acid Poordown which always 1HKO's.
    Offensive has pretty much the same going for it as NP Eviolite but needs to add Brave Bird recoil to that. Z-Mirror move/Scarf has bare nothing to check sun abusers

    -Rufflet; New to being listed as a pokemon to take on sun can still pose a threat if we consider the Eviolite set having the same defenses as Vullaby. It also gets access to Superpower take on none-sturdy Rock and Steel types. It does suffer from the same issues as bulky Vullaby and thanks to Hustle also risks 80% to check Chloro pokemon.

    -Scarfed Doduo; With the introduction of a couple important moves Scarfed Doduo went from lesser common set of an already lesser common pokemon to a serious threat. Doduo can outspeed almost any original sun abuser except 14 speed bulba, but thanks to some adaptations most sun abusers can consider changing the speed tier up to 14 or if the opponent sees some use in it to 15 speed. This change can make it very hard for Scarfed Doduo to even be consistent in it's job, not speaking of how easily it is worn down by rocks and recoil and can't safely switch into the majority of moves. Toping that off with a common trend of Steel/Rock types that guide sun teams it can be very difficult for this to be a sun check.

    -Fletch; After the nerf there isn't a lot Fletch can do outside of beating sun and inside of beating sun the main thing to watch out for is getting Stealth Rocks off before you get Fletch in. Fletch has 2 viable sets, 1 takes on sun effectively and the other is almost a laughing joke. The viable set is a mixed lure set with Acro, Hidden Power Grass and Overheat allowing it to even hit Onix for respectable damage if it comes in, however it's still under firm offense as it can't come in on any attacks and must have a clean field before it can utilize Gale Wing Acrobatics. The other set is Z-Fly and that one only sees use in it's ability to 1HKO Mienfoo/Foongus and is hammered down by Rock types and heavily focuses on being able to predict switchins.

    Goomy is god (open)

    Goomy beats anything any sun abusers can throw at it while hitting back extreemly hard with Draco Meteo! It can't even be put to sleep because that will only make it stronger!

    Special mentions: Diglett(Removes Vulpix, doesn't remove sun), Lickitung(Cloud Nine + Stall), Magnemite/Sturdy Users(This is Little Cup), Carvanha(LO Crunch/Psychic Fangs does the work if you can get to +2), Torchic(Needs +2 before it can check Chloro's), Mantyke(FTW), Trubbish (Recycle stall the none Growth sets) and Rest-talk Koffing is legit.

    On this list a common theme occurs, that being Predictions. You can't safely assume anything against Sun and even with a prepared team you could end up having to make riskier plays while a multi abusing Sun team can afford to take risks. Traditional Sun(Lucy's Sun) however is put at a notable disadvantage compared to most of the pokemon in the list in some notable aspects but I am not the inventor of that team to judge for that.
    It's also very noticeable how Offense is the most suffering playstyle in this as they have to resort to sacrificing multiple pokemon to ensure a chance of victory.
    Not speaking of the limited Offensive pokemon they already had(excluding Abra).
    Plas likes this.
  6. GOAO


    Oct 4, 2014
  7. Nineage

    Nineage A Simply Awesome Onix
    is a Contributor to Smogon

    Sep 13, 2013
    I have yet to be convinced either way on whether or not Vulpix should be banned, but I want to head off a few arguments which I expect to see made in this thread before anyone makes them. I'm obviously not in charge of this suspect in any way, but I hate seeing these threads go off the rails because people make fundamentally flawed arguments.

    First, please don't waste our time talking about bad Chlorophyll sweepers. We are all aware that Sunkern gets Chlorophyll and is not broken (except when paired with Swablu and Seel), but the question this suspect aims to address is not whether pairing any Chlorophyll user with Vulpix in LC is fundamentally a problem. The question in this suspect is whether a well-built sun team is an issue, not whether your bad combination of Vulpix + a mon with 180 BST + 4 other E ranks is a viable team. I don't think any LCer worth their salt would say Vulpix is an inherently broken Pokemon, or that Drought + Chlorophyll is an inherently broken combination, so don't bother trying to argue either of these. Instead, try and convince us that Vulpix + some good Chlorophyll Pokemon are either balanced or otherwise.

    Second, please don't just list checks to sun. We know that there are some Pokemon that can take on various Chlorophyll sweepers under sun. The questions should instead be: does fitting these Pokemon on teams limit teambuilding, do these Pokemon have use outside of checking sun, and is keeping sun around in the metagame because of the Pokemon that check it worth it for the metagame. This works if you are arguing in favor of a ban as well: don't just list Pokemon that the suncore beats. Instead, maybe focus on how sun can get around its checks, how easily you can deal with such checks with team support, etc. I find it helpful when posting about any Pokemon to always think in a broader context: instead of providing a list of calculations, explain how something works in general in the metagame.

    Third, this is kind of in the OP, but please don't try and argue about whether Vulpix is broken all by itself as an attacker. If Chlorophyll didn't exist, Vulpix would not be a broken Pokemon, and I don't think anyone is contesting this. Vulpix is being suspected because it is the most essential component of a sun team that it would make sense to ban. Yes, the suspect is Vulpix, but what we are trying to analyze here is the support Vulpix provides, not the mon in a vacuum. Basically, please discuss sun as an archetype, not how Vulpix does if you just slap it onto a team with 5 random other Pokemon.

    tl;dr Please make this thread constructive discussion guys!
  8. Quote

    Quote Cautiously Optimistic
    is a Global Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Battle Server Moderatoris a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnus
    LC Co-Leader

    Jun 27, 2008
    I'm increasing the game limit to 70 games since apparently 60 games is too unforgiving. That's all I'm giving you.
  9. Xayah

    Xayah They say I don't know when to quit. Like that's a weakness
    is a Contributor to Smogon

    Nov 19, 2012
    I am going to go through a few reasons why a Pokemon (or in this case, playstyle) could be banned: being uncompetitive, overcentralizing, or overpowered.

    Uncompetitive Sun is not uncompetitive. It's a playstyle that is not based on RNG and it does not take skill out of the game in anyway (in fact, I think it adds skill, as playing around Sun turns is a very interesting mechanic for both the Sun player and the opponent). As such, if we ban Vulpix (and thus Sun), it will not be based on this.

    Overcentralizing This one is more interesting. It's defnitely true that a lot of teams are preparing for Sun in one way or another. Many teams are fitting on a Sun check like Vullaby, Ponyta, or Alolan Grimer or another weather setter like Alolan Vulpix or Hippopotas, seemingly in order to combat Sun. However, it's not like we are being forced to run unviable Pokemon (like Goomy) in order to combat Sun. Vullaby is one of the best Pokemon in the metagame with a wide variety of sets, most notably its offensive pivot set. Ponyta is a great check to Pokemon like Mienfoo thanks to its ability Flame Body, access to reliable recovery and Will-O-Wisp, and high Speed. Alolan Grimer has a strong Knock Off that also has a great chance to Poison thanks to Poison Touch and is most likely the best Pursuit trapper in LC. Alolan Vulpix provides near invaluable support for frail set up sweepers like Zigzagoon thanks to its access to Aurora Veil in combination with Snow Warning. Hippopotas is easily the least viable out of the listed mons, but it's still a solid defensive mon that can set up Stealth Rock and Whirlwind out set up sweepers.
    In addition, I've been thinking about things made unviable because Sun is in the tier, as that is a great way to measure how centralizing a Pokemon or playstyle is. I couldn't come up with anything to be honest. The best thing I came up with is Pokemon that set weather for themselves, like Sandstorm Drilbur and Rain Dance Mantyke, but Vulpix does not exactly enjoy switching into either of those anyway, so I don't think they really count.
    In conclusion, since Sun does not significantly inhibit teambuilding by forcing us to run unviable things nor does it make certain things unviable, it is not overcentralizing.

    Overpowered This is the one we need to look at. In BW, Sun was banned due to infinite weather being dumb, but you can't really compare SM Sun to that since it's now possible to play around Sun turns. In XY/ORAS, Sun was good, but by no means broken. Common Pokemon like Vullaby and Ponyta could check it quite well and this meant it wasn't really that bad for the metagame. However, we are in SM now, and with that comes one very notable obvious change: Z-moves. I don't mean to repeat arguments, but calcs like this happen:

    196+ SpA Bellsprout Solar Beam vs. 0 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Ponyta: 5-6 (23.8 - 28.5%) -- 99.6% chance to 4HKO
    196+ SpA Bellsprout Acid Downpour (175 BP) vs. 0 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Ponyta: 16-19 (76.1 - 90.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
    Ponyta can only switch into Weather Ball, as Solar Beam -> Acid Downpour KOes.

    196+ SpA Bellsprout Sludge Bomb vs. 116 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Vullaby: 7-10 (28 - 40%) -- 98.9% chance to 3HKO
    196+ SpA Bellsprout Acid Downpour (175 BP) vs. 116 HP / 76 SpD Eviolite Vullaby: 16-19 (64 - 76%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
    Even defensive Vullaby can't switch into Sludge Bomb

    Most LCers know these calcs and I'm well aware of that, but I felt the need to point them out one more time, since they are very important. This shows that Bellsprout can easily muscle past its checks with a new Z-moves. The exception is Alolan Grimer, which can easily take any hit from Z-Crystal Bellsprout and proceed to stall out Sun turns. But that means the only reliable Sun check we have is Alolan Grimer, which is a very slow mon with no recovery and can be trapped by Diglett (or Trapinch if you want to go there for some reason). Plus, Alolan Grimer can fairly easily be worn down by the combined assault of Bellsprout and Bulbasaur (and of course, the best meme in the world, Cherubi), so it's not exactly the best thing in the world.
    However, I can't leave it at that, since there are obviously ways to check Sun sweepers offensively as opposed to defensively. Notably, Focus Sash Abra can revenge kill both common Sun sweepers. Sadly, things like Scarf Pawniard or the rarer (on Sun teams) Alolan Grimer can Pursuit trap Abra, meaning it can't actually revenge kill the Sun sweepers, since the Sun player can go into a Pawn/Grimer and bring Abra down to its Sash with Pursuit, meaning Abra can no longer revenge kill the sweepers. Scarf Doduo is also an option as it outspeeds Modest Bellsprout in Sun, but that's all it outspeeds (is outsped by Modest Bulb and Timid Sprout of course). So really, it's very, very hard to check Sun offensively as well.
    In conclusion, if we ban Sun, it will be because it's overpowered.

    Now for my personal opinion on Sun. Keep in mind I will not be getting reqs, but I felt like I should still give my opinion since I played a ton of Sun throughout both ORAS and SM. I think Sun should be banned. The buffs it got in SM in the form of Z-moves and the Fletchling nerf push it over the edge for me. It is now nearly impossible to check reliably and even if your entire team is based around beating Sun, there's still a good chance you lose the game if the Sun player plays well around his Z-move, Sleep Powder, and Growth. Though I must say I can definitely see the other side of the argument though, as I tried to point out in my first two sections.

    EDIT: If any arguments are pulled out of this post to go into Levi's argument list, I hope it's not just pro-ban arguments purely because I said I'm pro-ban.
  10. Sam-testings


    Jan 10, 2015
    I'm sorry, what? All Nineage is saying is that we should have a constructive discussion, and he listed some common arguments that pop up in these types of threads that are bad and do not contribute to the discussion.

    Anyways, to avoid this being a one liner I'm going to put some initial thoughts. What makes Sun so much more powerful than it used to be last gen is the ability to run more than one Chlorophyll sweeper. Before, you had to go and weaken the opposing team and then sweep in the end with Bellsprout, but now you can weaken the enemy team with Bellsprout and then clean up with Bulbasaur/Oddish/any decent chlorophyll user. If you want to beat these double chloro teams you have to bring more than one sun check, and even then its pretty sketchy. Also as stated earlier, Bellsprout can take advantage of Sleep Powder and Z Sludge Bomb to break past traditional Sun checks such as Ponyta and Vullaby, and if that doesn't KO its weakened enough to let the other Chloro sweeper defeat it. Additionally, one can also run Z Moonblast on Oddish, which straight KOs Vullaby and deals a lot of damage to A-Grimer which is another sun check. Im still on the fence for banning Vulpix, but Sun is definitly extremely powerful right now and it will be interesting to see how this suspect will play out.

    TLDR: Suns ability to run more than one Chlorophyll sweeper makes it super good
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
  11. Zebraiken

    Zebraiken dance through the danger
    is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Site Staff Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnusis a defending SPL Champion

    Oct 7, 2011
    Throughout this post, whenever I refer to sun I specifically mean the dual Chlorophyll builds (Vulpix + Bellsprout + Bulb/Oddish + whatever). Other sun builds are less impactful because they either a) don't overwhelm checks as well or b) don't deal with the rest of the meta well enough.

    I don't agree with this particular summation. Specifically, "(s)un does not significantly inhibit teambuilding" does not resonate with me. In my experience, sun is universally the #1 threat that must be considered with each and every team. This is because sun sweepers simultaneously demand multiple answers and are very difficult to revenge, if not impossible to revenge with any given team.

    It's important to draw the distinction between sun and other powerful Pokemon that you must prepare for to have a competent team because without that I sound like a big whiny baby that doesn't want to prepare for sun. Mienfoo is a great, versatile Pokemon with multiple sets; a team should typically have a hard answer (Snubbull, Spritzee), something faster that can kill (Doduo, Abra), or some other form of counterplay to check its numerous sets. While it also demands multiple answers because of the risk of something dumb like Z-Poison Jab, one of these answers can just be "something faster", and in LC that's how you can effectively deal with any Pokemon not named Torchic/Carvanha. There is nothing faster than sun sweepers in the sun unless you're brazen enough to run Scarf 19-20 Speed Pokemon (and even then Scarf 19s only tie Timid Bellsprout / Modest Bulbasaur, so haha). If I want to deal with sun sweepers by outspeeding and revenging them outright, I need to be running an extremely fast Scarf Pokemon that has little merit otherwise (save WA Pokemon, but -you- control whether or not those get activated so it's much different). I'll address things like Scarf Snover & Torchic/Carvanha in a moment.

    Since I'm done lamenting the worth of weak (Elekid, Diglett) or otherwise generally ineffective (Abra) high-speed Scarfers, let's move onto the other bit; you're probably thinking "zeb u fuck there ARE hard answers to sun" and you're technically right! Let's look at all the ones I see brought up often: Munchlax, Hippopotas, Lickitung, the trio of Snow Warning setters. These hard answers are, very generally, suboptimal Pokemon. They all certainly have their niches, but the primary niche for each is that they check sun. This is a warning sign, I think -- all of our hard checks are only considered usable Pokemon because they hard check sun. Without hard checking sun, how useful is Hippopotas in any given game in comparison to Drilbur or Mudbray, or even Onix?

    Scarf Snover is a cute Pokemon that I like a lot because it is cool and anti-meta, but it struggles with sun because the primary move (Blizz) is a free switch for Vulpix and even Staryu.

    I saw that some people mentioned self-setting Rain Dance Pokemon. When do they get the chance to do this?

    I also see loads of sun checks pointed out, namely Vullaby, Grimer-A, and Ponyta. You are all very right, these are great, viable Pokemon and are worth using on any team. Trouble is, they are soft checks and are overrun by the nature of dual Chlorophyll builds. One of the sun sweepers sleeps, the other breaks. Maybe one has both and the other has Growth and a bulkier build. Two of these are weak to SR, so unless you can constantly keep SR away (tough with Staryu vs sun) they're even less of a check. Focus Sash Abra falls into this group. Do I need to always be running two or more of these handful of Pokemon to consistently beat sun?

    What about other, alternative answers? You -can- outspeed sun sweepers with Sticky Web teams + >18 Spe Pokemon. I don't have much experience with webs vs sun, so I will refrain from talking about it, but it is a team style that can handle sun afaik. How about Torchic/Carvanha? Both are extremely threatening to sun builds -- you can watch Sken vs Levi this past week to see it in action. Sken got some luck, but Torchic made that matchup rough as heck for Levi. However, both require at least one turn of speed prior to outrunning sun sweepers, or a lucky double Protect. And don't forget that Z-moves break Protect, or that typical sun teams have some counterplay (mostly foo/onix).

    You can time it out, too, right? Fake Out is available on a handful of Pokemon and Protect on everything. Good luck keeping away sun for 8 turns, though, while you sac multiple Pokemon to try to burn the remainder of sun turns, only to realize that Bellsprout has picked off a third of your team while you were doing so.

    Sun teams force you to run either a specific style of team (Webs), Speed Boost mons / 19-20 Spe Scarfers, one of the handful of bad hard answers, or minimum two soft checks. That sounds like a lot of options, I guess, so we can certainly keep sun around if you guys are a-OK with running (insert two of Ponyta / Abra / Vullaby / Grimer-A) on every team from here on out and still sometimes losing to well-played sun.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
  12. Corporal Levi

    Corporal Levi
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Team Rater Alumnus

    Jun 27, 2010
    I'm not convinced that Sun is banworthy.

    ORAS Sun vs SuMo Sun

    SuMo Sun is definitely much stronger than ORAS Sun - however, I do not think that this is a point in favour of banning Sun this gen. XY Sun hit its peak during the late Misdreavus metagame when it was first reintroduced post-Tangela, and while it at least managed to cement itself as a non-gimmick for the remainder of the generation, it was never a strong or even noteworthy strategy at high level play throughout ORAS; Vulpix was used exactly once during SPL 7, where it lost. The removal of Fletchling and introduction of Z-moves simply got rid of significant flaws that held Sun back from being genuinely worth using to begin with.

    High initial speed

    Chlorophyll users may outspeed almost every relevant threat under the Sun, but they don't start off the match with 28 Speed. Sun sweepers require setup, generally in the form of Heat Rock Vulpix, before they become legitimately threatening. Outside of the tricky plays you have to go through to keep Vulpix alive if you want to set Sun throughout the match, which are certainly at least as difficult as finding the opportunity to set up a boosting sweeper, Heat Rock Vulpix simply isn't that good of a Pokemon on its own. Bellsprout's Speed tier is less impressive when you compare it to LC's other fast setup sweepers, primarily Shell Smashers and Zigzagoon, which are also difficult to check by outspeeding post-setup.

    Of course, Sun isn't totally comparable to boosting sweepers, because something else is doing the setting up instead of putting the sweeper itself at risk. But this also comes at a price: Sun is on a timer. Given a team that is defensively unprepared for setup sweepers and Sun, pressuring Vulpix with hazards and strong attackers to prevent it from being able to come in and set Sun safely is less effective than the smart double switches to prevent setup that are needed against boosting sweepers; on the other hand, smart predictions can stall Sun out, without which Chlorophyll sweepers are easily dealt with, leaving Sun with different but not necessarily less counterplay compared to traditional sweepers. There's also the fact that most boosting sweepers will be increasing their damage output to levels where they can OHKO most of the metagame, whereas Sun sweepers rely on coverage or a risky setup move in Growth to have a real shot at this, which makes them less difficult to soft check.

    Fewer viable checks

    Hippopotas and Munchlax aren't amazing Pokemon in a Sun-less metagame, but I think it's reasonable to have to run a Pokemon with significant drawbacks if you want a hard check to a high tier strategy - after all, that's exactly what happens for most of our high tier offensive strategies, like Fighting spam and Shellder. If you think about it, Spritzee isn't actually very good on its own due to its passiveness; it's trivial to wall and extremely easy to Knock Off and wear down. It doesn't reliably check a whole lot outside of Fighters or Vullaby, and is unmatched among high tier Pokemon in its ability to allow a whole slew of major threats into play, including Gastly, Magnemite, and the entire Sun core. You'll frequently see more offensive teams forgo a Fairy resistance completely, despite how easy they are to fit onto a team, because even a totally unprepared team can simply wear Spritzee down. We're just so used to Fighters dominating the metagame that it feels natural to include a Fighter check; Sun being such a strong threat is relatively new, so it comes off as a bigger hassle to go out of our way to prepare for it.

    In general, archetypes whose hard checks are both splashable and difficult to take advantage of simply aren't reliable enough to be very good (Hail, ORAS Sun).

    Sun's soft checks are fairly easy to muscle through with multiple abusers, but breaking through soft checks with offensive cores is not unique to double Chlorophyll; type spam has always been very strong in LC. Z-Bounce Mienfoo, Ice/Fire Punch Timburr, Life Orb wall-breakers, and so on are all methods that Fightspam can use to get past Foongus or Croagunk. Doduo or Rufflet just flat out 2HKO most bird checks. Darkspam checks are worn down throughout the match by all the Knock Off users. Due to the drawbacks of hard checks, most teams will instead pack multiple ways to deal with Fightspam and Birdspam; in a metagame where Sun is a top threat, we add Chlorospam to that list. And while double Chlorophyll can still win against a team that is prepared for Sun, this is no different from how Fightspam will still have a good chance against teams that run multiple Fighter checks.

    Overall, I feel that while Sun ranks among the stronger archetypes in the current metagame, it is not more overwhelming powerful or restricting than other top strategies, such as Fightspam.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  13. Kingler12345

    is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    May 26, 2013
    I've said a lot on the subject in discord and don't really feel like rehashing the points I've made regarding why sun should be banned, so I'm just gonna respond to Levi's post considering it brings some good points to the table that should be addressed (I kinda mean to write more in this response, but i think it'll just be repeating what others said at this point):

    I don't think this is so much a reason to ban it as just explaining why it's being tested this gen as opposed to the last one. It's just an initial justification of the suspect.

    I'm confused as to why you've bunched Fighters + Vullaby as a comparison to sun; these don't feel comparable to me. Running Spritzee does not carry the risk of being useless versus teams having these threats like Munchlax does for sun; it's far more useful in 1v1 matchups against a lot of tier and doesn't get stopped in its tracks by pretty much every Knock Off user ever. In addition, Munchlax is good against sun but it isn't like an auto-win; you have to make sure not to get overwhelmed by double chloro or whittled down to the point where +2 Solar Beam or Bloom Doom or Acid Downpour KOes you, and sun has pivots such as Mienfoo to directly switch into it as well. I see the line of logic you're using here but I don't feel like it's quite applicable. The part that bothers me more is the one below:

    Fighting spam is really not comparable to Sun. Yes. Z-Bounce Mienfoo can lure in fights/foongus which makes it easier for it + Timburr to muscle through but it's not like your opponent might not have additional checks to them or faster Pokemon that can KO them. It also gives you a weakness to certain offensive threats such as Abra and Gastly. This brings me to something I consider really important: other archetypes can't just bypass their offensive weaknesses using Speed; but sun can. In my game versus zf, every single 'mon on his team was 2HKOed at worst by LO Abra's Psychic, yet I got just one kill with it. This is because Chlorophyll sweepers are so offensively threatening that you eventually have to end up saccing your offensive mons to get your soft checks in. Or, as happened in the game, there was just no opportunity to bring it in as it would invite the Chlorophyll sweeper in with sun up. You can slap a Timburr on and honestly have a very good time vs Dark spam, because you basically know that you have a panic button to click versus Speed Boost Carvanha (which you don't vs sun btw!!!!).

    I don't think any of these playstyles can win through pure matchup like sun can, and preparing for sun by itself is far too restricting in a way none of these are. You say that you don't feel sun is more restricting than these playstyles but countermeasures to it are very easy to overwhelm. I wouldn't say it's exactly risk-free in that it can have some really tough matchups; it's just that the teams you'll have those against won't be very good versus the rest of the meta. It's impossible to know which chloro sweeper is a lure set as interchanging the sets basically gives you the same effectiveness making it harder to have a gameplan against it.

    anyway i'll probably have to make another post because my thoughts are kind of jumbled but most of you know them anyway so w/e
  14. Coconut

    Coconut no one knows me like the piano
    is a Tutoris a Contributor to Smogon

    Jul 22, 2012
    I'm going to be hosting a suspect tour This Saturday at 4 PM, EST.
  15. Panther-T

    is a Smogon Social Media Contributor

    Jan 10, 2016
    I'm a potato in terms of my experience with LC, but I've been meaning to get into the tier for a while. With OU being as 'interesting' as it is now I figured now would be a good time. With regards to Vulpix, judging by the SPL replays posted, sun seems to be very matchup reliant and it almost seems to create unwinnable matchups for the team facing sun.

    Looking at OP Vs NYAAdoka, as an example, OP's team has very little counterplay vs. Bulbasaur and, having to resort to attempting to keep Vullaby healthy enough take it on. Given the addition of Z moves, which allows sun abusers to blow back otherwise solid checks, I don't see how an unprepared team can really deal with sun adequately. Of course, it can also be argued that this should be prepared for in teambuilding, but you also have to look at how reasonable it is to prepare for a playstyle like sun. Preparing for it would mean including multiple hard checks to Vulpix and sun abusers, which means that the team would be less prepared for taking on other playstyles, cores and individual threats. I apologize if my post is fairly general but I am very new to playing the tier. I haven't made up my mind but will post a more informed opinion once I ladder some more.
  16. Drew

    Drew Impatience ain't a virtue
    is a Contributor to Smogon

    Nov 20, 2015
    Ok I'm not the greatest competitive poster, but I have some opinions I'd like to share, so here goes:

    Free Vulpix
    So the 2 main reasons we have banned things in the past are as follows: they're uncompetitive (i.e. Gothita, Drifloon, Swagger, etc.) or they are too powerful and/or influential in the meta (i.e. Eevium Z, Gligar, Swirlix, etc.) So does Vulpix, or more precisely sun, fit either of these descriptions? In my opinion, no. So first of all sun is plenty competitive compared to some other things we let hang around in the tier, as it really does take genuine skill to know the proper time to switch certain sweepers in and out, maintain hazard control, and how to preserve different setters for late game. Second, sun's influence on the meta is certainly quite big, but not as big as some seem to think (at least in my opinion) and it is certainly not without its checks. Vullaby, for one, can withstand any non boosted move from Bellsprout (only Acid Downpour even 2HKOing) and +2 Acid Downpour is the only thing that can OHKO it from full, while Vullaby can easily OHKO with Brave Bird. When it comes to Vulpix itself, Vullaby can safely stall until either the sun ends, or Vulpix runs out of PP for Fire Blast, due to Fire Blast only 2HKOing by a slight amount of HP. Ponyta, Hippopotas, Munchlax, and even to some extent: hail setters and Sturdy users, being quite relevant to the meta and also being reliable sun checks/counters.

    Before I continue, I'd like to address the fact that I'm referring to the suspect being about sun, and not Vulpix. This is because that is 100% true. Vulpix is an enabler for sun abusers, similar to Politoed in BW OU, and without it, Bellsprout, Cherubi, and Oddish could not fulfill their one trick (Bulbasaur excluded as Z-Celebrate gives it its own niche.) The reason this is not a Drought suspect is mostly because of then precedent set by the Porygon and Cutiefly decisions. tl;dr for this paragraph: Sun is being suspected, not Vulpix.

    So from that, I'd like to talk about the fact that sun is a playstyle, and should be judged as such. Sun cannot be shoved onto a team as an extra wincon or wallbreaker like Cutiefly, or be fully checked by one Pokemon. I feel as if those trying to justify the ban seem to be taking the second part of that, but not the first. Sun's versatility, is in adding extra sweepers, and can't be taken much further than that. It is relatively predictable, and its main counter is making correct switches and maintaining your checks, not simply clicking into a mon and expecting to force a switch, and therefore people overestimate its power. Banning Vulpix would eliminate a fun archetype to play with, and a generally ok archetype to play against (in my opinion of course) and the last time we've banned sun in BW was because "Vulpix was determined to be too overcentralizing," something the current state of sun can hardly be determined as.
    tl;dr: Sun's impact on the meta isn't enough to warrant a ban.

    Vubon, Accelgor, dwarfstar and 2 others like this.
  17. Chippy2001


    Jul 28, 2014
    I've been trying out Sun a little bit, specifically the notorious Vulpix x Bellsprout Combination. It's pretty strong and hard to stop.

    I wouldn't call Sun Uncompetitive, as it does require a brain to use. Many uncompetitive strategies tend to be braindead and are primarily RNG Based. The closest you get to RNG is safely bringing in the sweeper you use, and to be honest that's just how Smogon functions: there isn't necessarily a problem here. There are ways to bring the sweeper in outside of simply switching them in too. In my opinion, Sun displays more skill rather than less.

    Overcentralising? Debatable. Many teams do prepare for sun, but doesn't everyone in every tier attempt to prepare for a good strategy? Sun always at least carries a niche, however small, in every Smogon Metagame. I've seen many people attempt to prepare for sun, but many of the potential counters tend to be counters for something else at the same time. It's just good teambuilding in my experience. Examples I have seen are Ponyta and Fletchling. The latter's fall from grace has made it a little less frequent though, and it often turns out to be a Tailwind setter if anything. However, they do sometimes carry Brave Bird to stop my Bellsprout and Bulbasaur in their tracks. Fletchling is still a good way to nuke Bellsprout, no doubt about that. No sash saves you there. I have also seen the occasional Onix as an effective wall to my Charmander (experimental LO + Solar Power Sweeper, found to be sort of effective) and to set up the rocks. Ponyta tended to switch in whenever Bellsprout did, but not to the best effect since it still dies.

    Overpowered? I'm not sure. It's definitely strong with it's new buffs, but is it really overpowered? Are we being a little too quick? Is Sun itself really the problem? To me, Vulpix isn't the problem. There's still time to consider the possible counters. I think the root cause is the fact that you can definitely carry 2 Chlorophyll Sweepers with Vulpix/Sun (tbh the only way Sun works is Vulpix) and be successful. I found Bulbasaur and Bellsprout to both be incredibly strong with their abilities to sweep without much effort at all. However, the main reason was that there was little they could do about it. However, the Sun itself never seemed to be the cause. Bellsprout and Bulbasaur being able to be used in sequence if Vulpix held a Heat Rock was the real issue: they couldn't fight back. There are probably other ways to combat the sweeping, but this isn't the way forward.

    I wouldn't say that Vulpix or Sun is the issue here. Leave my fox unbanned pls ;-;
  18. Shrug

    is a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributor

    Jul 12, 2013
    THESIS STATEMENT: The three defining metagame changes from gen 6 to gen 7 improved sun from a powerful, but limited build most teams could find opportunities to counterplay to an offensive framework whose unique abusers are fast and powerful enough to limit their select checks to a list easily addressed by the team's support mons. This change leaves sun too powerful for the current metagame - to counter it entirely is impossible, to check it heavily is to weaken yourself significantly to the rest of the metagame, to check it lightly is to risk still being overrun.

    INTRODUCTION: All invested LC players from gen 6 have some memory of Sun, a playstyle wielded to such dominant effect by a single user as to become synonymous with her name, making her famous and prompting a change to some weeb shit to jettison the stigma*. The team itself - Vulpix Bellsprout Snubbull Pawniard Mienfoo Archen - menaced lc for some time, to the point where there was a sizable contingent supporting a suspect test for the concept of Sun offense in some form. It rightfully never materialized. The period of sun terror was partially a fear of lucy, whose playing ability and comfort with the team made it seem more formidable in her hands than anyone else's; the build itself was very limited in needing two hard checks to fletchling as well as a fighting answer, a pawn answer, an abra check, hazard removal etc, all in four slots, making it manageable for most teams after the metagame shifted to accommodate it. In the opening weeks of Sun & Moon, Sun was often neglected in favor of new tricks such as Poryzon, Cutiefly, and Slush Rush offense, with only Sun build seeing much use in the opening LC tour. After those interlopers have been exposed as "Infamy's relationship with his parents" broken, broken, and bad enough to be forcefully and nonconsensually pummeled by solarpsy, the creative minds of lc turned to sun. When they did so, they found a metagame that both intra- and intergenerationally shifted to be favorable and a variety of abusers facing a limited list of checks.


    1. Fletchling was a defining mon of gen 6 LC - once suspected and always feared, it was one of few mons that necessitated both a designated hard check as well as a soft one for a team to feel somewhat safe. It occupied a niche unique to Gen 6 lc as a mon that could soar above speed to strike with a powerful STAB attack, one super-effective on the most prominent type in the tier. Its specter loomed over nearly every build, but few were as threatened as sun, whose two core members - vulpix and bellsprout - were picked easily off the field by an Acrobatics. It's no coincidence the immortal sun team from the era features two of the three paragon examples of fletch checks in Pawniard and Archen along with a strong soft check in Snubbull. Even against sun teams with a strong anti-fletch backbone, smogbird jr's ability to instantly seize momentum against a playstyle whose offense is inherently on a timer often swung matches in its favor.
    This gen brought the gale wings nerf, and along with it a plummet from grace for fletchling only mourned by those fond of games decided by extremely Exciting and Good 50/50 acrobatics / u-turn scenarios, which is to say bad players and OP. It has obviously been a boon to sun to have the threat that merked its core mons out of the meta. There are birds that have replaced Fletchling of course, but they suffer from the same flaw as most offensive mons against sun: theyre too slow. The fastest of them (scarf doduo) only outspeeds 13 speed sun abusers when many run 14; any faster and you wander into a portion of the mons junkyard - scarf Tailow? - unsearched by even Heysup**. A residual effect of the sudden disappearance of fletch has been the similar decline of archen, a mon that stealthily checked sun by coming in on vulpix fire moves and threatening both pix and sprout with stone edge. The thread can be followed for quite a while w conclusions that typically favor sun, but i trust the point is understood: the death of its main nemesis improved Sun as a build.

    2. A panoply of highly effective sets meant Porygon could find a place on nearly any Gen 6 LC team, and often found itself on those teams checking sun. Bulky Trace could shrug off attacks from Sprout and recover off the sun turns, using Chlorophyll to threaten switchins; fast Trace could net a KO on the sun sweeper and often several more pkmn; Download could live an attack and blow holes in sun teams with great coverage. Every Sun team (and every team in general, but it was harder for sun because of the natural limit on free slots) needed a way to knock off and KO porygon while still being able to switch in to its attacks. A difficult task indeed, made more challenging by the overlap between Pory checks and Fletch checks - let your pawn on sun get worn down and you risk a swift lancing from the other normal-type sweeper. And as was noted before, Pory was probably the exact opposite of a niche Pokemon, seeing use on every playstyle to do essentially everything besides check fighting types. It seems once again obvious that the loss (this time to a ban) with no clear replacement of a ubiquitous and extremely strong pokemon that checks sun would benefit the playstyle.

    A. The two changes above were instrumental in establishing the defining difference between this gen's sun and the last: the standard build switched from one Chloro user to two. This is not a result of the Sun users of the gen past being dim or creative or a lack of wanting. In Gen 6, running two chloro users would have exposed you to fletchling more assertively than Jared Fogle allegedly (but did not) expose himself to children, left you walled by porygon harder than howean by bae during the middle school slow dance, gotten you reamed by a (better) flame charge pontya, all while letting abra and other threats menace you (just run stunky bby, still holds up). In gen 7, Sun, less walled and less threatened, is free to commit to its offensive nature and run two chloro users while relying on some new and some improved mons to compress roles on the back end. Onix has emerged as a premier bird check and rocks setter that (with weak armor) is unperturbed by diglett; Grimer-A is a soft check to more than half the meta while hardwalling gastly and (non hp ground) abra. I'll spare you the full roster. The thrust is, double chloro has changed what it means to check sun - you can't just steel yourself on not being overwhelmed by sprout, because growth bulba will finish the job, nor can you lean on one check for too long lest it get sleep powdered while expecting a coverage move. You need to attack the root concept (the turns it's up and the opportunities the mons get to come in) because you will not find a package to beat all of Sprout + oddish / bulba et al. The tools available to do so have diminished.

    3. Often found on the dual-chloro cores is a pokemon wielding a z-move, one of the major mechanic changes to hit mons this gen. the ability to hit a pokemon with a devastatingly high-powered attack works in the way you'd think for Sun offense: it weakens checks both specific (think twinkle tackle on vullaby) and general (think acid downpour for that added boost whenever it's needed). Often the threat of the z-move backfoots the opposition, forcing them to switch around to bait it out in a way that just means the steady accumulation of damage. A more subtle and admittedly more tenuous effect on the metagame has been z-moves tendency to reward offensive teams - Mienfoos can become fletchlings to snatch up foonguses, Chinchous can ice themselves out to kill... foonguses, etc. Offensive teams are the primary target of Sun teams, whose unmatched speed and strong STABS and coverage can often blitzkrieg foes before they react. Fewer eviolites (even only slightly fewer) cannot hurt a teamstyle predicated on quick, fast offense.

    B. [THRUST IS HERE] The above points show why sun is good, not why sun is broken. it's very obvious that any playstyle that can attack powerfully w speed is going to be effective. im going to submit for consideration a point that should not be controversial but likely is: all bans are centralization-based bans. When we ban a mon for being "too powerful", what we're really saying is we dont want to warp our entire metagame to deal with the threat. PGL lc is a playable metagame despite legalizing sneasel and swirlix, but most people find it reductive and unfun because it's centered around the same few threats. it's from there only a short hop to what we'd normally call a centralization ban, which seems to be a more non-transitive game ban (rock paper scissors, anyone?). If defending against playstyle x leaves you hugely open to threats from playstyle y which is in turn menaced by X, you essentially have a circle. Over years of pokemon this has been settled by taking the strategy least similar to "bulky or fast 6v6 teams with lots of hazards and even more switching" and excising it. The politics of this I will not debate itt. I will, however, suggest that Sun is at least a single intransitive element, one the metagame would benefit from removing.
    There's no "playstyle" that beats sun like would be suggested in my explanation. However, the mons one would use as the "strongest checks" have flaws that weaken ones team significantly compared to most alternative mons in the same role, so the argument remains valid. First example would be munchlax, often touted as a great sun check easy enough to fit on teams. It is also a good example of how sun is not possible to hard-counter*** - most teams can weaken munchlax with their two main sweepers between z-moves and growth (or both), setting aside the switchins it just hands to onix foo et al. It's also a pretty bad mon in the context of a meta with powerful physical flying types, fighting types running amuck, mudbray existing, etc. The slight other use (abra gastly check) is done better and with more added utility by grimer-a. Other weather starters... are not great. If you were trying to find the worst ground type in common use, hippo is fine; it loses to giga drains or bloom dooms as well as getting abused by staryu forcing it into a slack off cycle. vulpix-a is fine until you realize vulpix switches in and it faints to sludge bombs. come onto the field with amaura at your own peril at any time i guess. the best among these is apix, but that... loses, so it doesnt belong on this list at all.
    When you realize how weak these additions leave you to, say, Fight spam, one is often frightened back into the second category: soft checks. Grimer-a, Vulla, anything that can take a hit, along with some needed techs - fake out foo, for instance. These are obviously good mons in their own right, but their sun-checking bona fides come into question quickly. Vullaby drops to a twinkle tackle, as do bulkfoos expecting to fake out and eat sleep. Grimer-a dislikes being pounded with weather balls and sleeping (unless you're woke and run sleep talk like me, heh). This circles back to the double-chloro point: there's no way to check every combination of a few fast and powerful mons, each with multiple sets you must deduce in the moment. im going to claim because of this the "soft checks" i mention are helpful, but unreliable - you're usually backfooted when using them as your only recourse for sun (of which there are few).

    Sun is a playstyle that hemorrhaged checks in the generational shift while receiving an iv loaded with new options. The new inability to reasonably contain the attacking power of sun on the defensive end w soft checks means the best way to deal with sun is directly - wasting turns of the drought itself. the mons that best do so make one's team significantly weaker to other threats to the point Sun is detrimental to the metagame overall. pce

    *This is speculative.
    ** apologies to whomever I've set up for a thoroughly embarrassing smiting in front of a medium-large smogtours crowd.
    *** as are other teamstyles, but that kinda supports my argument rather than works against - the more threatening a style is, the more resources one needs to defend against it, and having multiple examples of these in a metagame creates the kinda situ i was getting at.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
    Dundies, MiyoKa, Quote and 20 others like this.
  19. Vubon


    May 27, 2015
    Despite its recent increase in popularity and potential, i still find Sun boring and a stupid archetype to play with and personally imo those who wield sun proudly into battle are insane warrior legend geniuses who i love a great deal, yes that includes you too Corporal Levi
    but regardless of what i think of it i cant deny the absolute demolition Sun teams can do to most traditional builds and cores.

    In some of the previous posts i found people describing Ponyta, Vullaby and Grimer-A as good soft checks to Sun Teams, which individually all three being capable in beating Bellsprout or Bulbasaur from full health but will certainly struggle to see them off because all good sun teams will have either Onix + Staryu or Archen + Diglett. Chlorophyll abusers typically dont need Acid Downpour to get past these three assuming they'll either be weakened off or trapped long before the sweeps starts. On the matter of Poisonium Z Bellsprout or Z Celebrate Bulbasaur, i think they both are memes and yet have made any significant impact to even consider them as threats. Bellsprout without Life Orb lacks serious offensive pressure and doesnt secure potential ohkoes and 2hkoes before and after the z-move on stuffs that take neutral damage from its Stabs and coverage, i.e bulkyfoo, timburr, vullaby etc. The growth set can be considered but it requires a turn or two to utilize, mostly importantly it wastes a turn or two of sun. Similar reasons with Z Celebrate Bulbasaur (idk why im mentioning this tbh) which can also be revenged by scarfers of 16+ speed (i.e rufflet,doduo) after Suns gone.

    Sun teams have very constricted builds with very little changes differentiating them from each of their sub archetypes, but since dual chloro is the one is in the spotlight i'll get to that. Firstly they have Vulpix+Bellsprout accompanied by another chlorophyll abuser mostly bulbasaur or oddish, then bulky mienfoo and the last two mons being either Onix and Staryu or Archen and Diglett. At a glance, if 'played properly' it loses to Focus Sash Abra. I think most Sun teams i've seen except madoka's one in Oras are heavily weak to sash Abra, sure they bellsprout packs sleep powder, a move with 75% accuracy(which is very unreliable) can deal with Abra but sleep clause is a thing too, bait in the sleep powders!

    So about the traditional sun checks. Hippo despite being a good mon to use is often stated as outclassed as a stealth rock setter/volt turn check but its the best check to sun that has access to stealth rocks and doesnt autoloose vs bulk up timburr or nasty plot croagunk like the other setters that outclass it, e.g. onix, pawniard, omanyte, kabuto etc.

    Munchlax with max HP/SpD is a cool glue mon that checks a variety of threats such as abra,gastly,shell smashers, np vullaby etc. Hell, u can even 1v1 with slowpoke or mareanie or ponyta with facade. It's debatable about its use in a meta run by fighting types specially since gothita is gone but im gonna be favor of using it since most teams do have one or more fighting checks.

    Ice types with access to snow warning such as Amaura or Snover has very limited use but Vulpix A+setup sweepers is becoming usable.

    In addition, Sun faces tough matchup vs cores/teams consisting of stab fake out users such as meowth or aipom or priority users like lo doduo. Zigzagoon accompanied by a memento user also has good chances of winning. Special Carvanha destroys a weakened sun team if u can manage to get to +2 speed. Sturdyjuice Magnemite or SS Dwebble pressure sun somewhat. Sometimes in teams when i cant fit in a proper sun check, i run Rain Dance on Mienfoo,Staryu or Chinchou just to mess(I dont recommend this at all lol). Focus Sash Gastly comes in mind :/
    I'm gonna stop here because this will just stretch.

    So this leads me to a couple of questions.

    Is Sun Broken ?

    The definition of 'broken' in my dictionary means overpowered stuffs with very little viable checks or counters. so according to that sun is not broken. There are almost enough ways to deal with sun.

    Is Sun unhealthy ?

    erm not at all if we look back at the last mon we banned for being unhealthy.

    Is Sun overcentralizing ?

    Look at Vullaby(or any other good bird) or Fighting types or Shellder(Or just read Levi's Post), they all set a standard for what to expect when you go out playing this meta. I think Sun deserves proper respect and treated as the best offensive archetype at the moment and yes, some major preparations in team building.

    Should we ban Vulpix?

    Not at all, the meta is still fairly new and Suns reshaping it and like i mentioned it yet hasn't made an impact like the things we previously suspected made.

    But the real reason i dont think Sun's broken because it gets bopped by Scarf Elekid or Diglett and thats never a sign that states somethings broken.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  20. Adri989898


    Feb 23, 2015
    I'm not completely sure of what to think of sun yet. On the one hand, it is played a lot these days and I do believe we could call that "overcentralizing". But on the other hand I don't think it's broken. I mean, we can beat it without too much trouble. I feel like sun teams are kind of "overrated" by a lot of players these days. I don't mean it's not a strong playstyle, it actually is one of the most destructive playstyle atm. By I feel like a lot of people don't see anything else than sun teams and so a lot of them play sun. Probably more than what it "deserves" (at least it is my opinion). I mean, sun probably is one of the best offensive playstyle right now, but it is far from being the only one. And I feel like a lot of people play sun a bit "too much", as if there wasn't really any other good offensive playstyle. And as sun is so much played, it becomes a problem for the meta.
    To take a counter-example: baton pass. Baton pass teams exist in LC and they can be really destructive and threatening. And even tough some people would like to have the baton pass clauses in LC, there hasn't been a suspect for that (at least since I play LC, so since ~2015, something like that). So baton pass isn't a real problem for the meta because it isn't actually played that much. If your team is "weak" to BP teams... Well, that's no real problem actually.
    But it is the exact opposite with sun teams: it wasn't that more powerful than some BP teams, but it is played so much that being weak to them becomes a real problem. *

    Of course, now, the question is to know if the fact that a playstyle is overplayed and then quite centralizing can justify the ban of this playstyle, even tough it's not really "broken" (I mean, there are a lot of mons that can really help handling sun teams, such as sturdy mons, Vullaby, powerful priorities as SP for instance... and anyway if you don't have a sturdy/sashed mon or a priority user there are good chances that your team would be destroyed by any shell smasher/belly drummer).
    To be honest I don't have the answer of this question myself: even tough all I said, I'm still not convinced sun deserves a ban. But I'm not more convinced that it is "healthy" for the meta.

    * Maybe my example isn't that good as BP teams probably are far less powerful than sun teams, but I chose it to show how the prominence of a playstyle might make that playstyle problematic for a meta. Sorry if you don't agree with this example.
    Sam-testings likes this.
  21. MK007


    Jun 26, 2016
    I'm on the fence right now far as which way I'll vote but I'll post my general opinion.

    Strengths of Sun

    Powerful Abusers with access to STAB Solar Beam and Sludge Bomb and Sleep Powder
    • [​IMG] Poisonium Z Bellsprout
      • Hits 28 Speed which outspeeds scarf 18 speed mons
      • Has Sun-Boosted Weather Ball
      • 2HKOs Vullaby and Timburr with Acid Downpour + another move meaning that neither can switch in safely
    • [​IMG]Fairium Z Oddish
      • Slightly Stronger than Bellsprout
      • 1HKOs Timburr, and 1HKOs Vullaby after rocks
    • [​IMG]Growth or Z-Celebrate Bulbusaur
      • Nearly unstoppable if set up
      • Hits 30 Speed which ties with Scarf 20 Speed mons
    • [​IMG] [​IMG] Flame Charge Vulpix or Ponyta
      • Can act as a backup or surprise sweeper
      • Spams STAB Sun Boosted Fire Blasts/Flare Blitzes which are very difficult to tank. Both 2HKO Vull and Timburr.
      • Can hit water types with Energy Ball/Wild Charge

    Ease of Setting

    • Vulpix sets sun for Eight turns every time it comes in, which controls any battle where the opponent does not have another weather setter
    • Backup Setters such as Ponyta and Diglett can reliably set sun at 19 and 20 Speed with no real negative to either one.

    Double Chlorophyll

    • The most threatening sun teams out there right now are Double Chlorophyll teams. As previously mentioned by several people, type spam is hard to stop since you can counter one, but get killed by the next one after your counter is weakened. Sun teams with only 1 abuser are FAR less of an issue than a sun team with 2 abusers right now.
    Weaknesses of Sun

    Vs. Hail and Sand
    • [​IMG] Hippopotas is far bulkier than Vulpix and has recovery which means it can come set up sand far longer than Vulpix can set up sun, especially with hazards up. It is also a far more useful mon than Vulpix is when weather is not taken into account. Thus, it can be put on teams to counter sun, with less of a negative impact to a team than Vulpix. Not to say Vulpix is exactly a negative impact, but it's definitely not a great mon, and is less good than Hippo.
    • [​IMG] Vulpix-A isn't bulkier than Vulpix, but like hippo, it helps a team more. Vulpix-A gets to set up Aurora Veil, and it can also fires off a free blizzard whenever it is safely brought in on a sun sweeper that isn't +1 Spe Vulpix or Ponyta.

    Abusers are Frail, weak to priority, and cannot 1HKO bulky mons

    • Unlike most of the sweepers in the tier that boost their Atk or SpA along with their speed, sun sweepers rely on strong moves, and their own SpA to utilize the blisteringly fast speed they get.
    • [​IMG] Vullaby can hit any of the main sun sweepers(bulb/bell) hard with Air Slash/Brave Bird, and not get KOd Back unless it is switched in, or hit with a Z-Move. Additionally if you set up a WA Vull on something like foo which is commonly found on sun teams, you basically win (if onix is gone). Archen, Foo, Staryu, Bell, Bulb, Dig all lose to a set up vull, and Dig, Foo, and Archen can all enable a Vull +2 Spe.
    • [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Timburr (or slowfoo) comes in and uses knock off on any of the main sun sweepers, and mach punches right after (if timburr, if you were foo you got to fake out first) to do a total of ~60% damage to bellsprout, and a little less to bulbasaur. That puts it in range of a fake out or two, or if you have meowth fake out + feint, or even a LO Sucker Punch from Pawn. I personally have found great success with Timburr + Meowth for dealing with sun, but with lots of STRONG priority moves, you can chip the sweepers down very easily with other mons. It's not the best solution, but it is an option.
    • [​IMG] Sash Abra is guaranteed to kill one of the sweepers as long as you make sure to save it until after something is put to sleep.
    • [​IMG] Grimer-A cane come in and knock off then shadow sneak to dish out some serious damage and put it in the range of a fake out or two.

    Vulpix is easily trapped

    • Diglett exists in this meta, and takes out Vulpix extremely easily. A sub/protect diglett set can even stall out the sun and then kill Vulpix essentially winning the game then and there.
    Quick Thoughts on Sun and the Current Meta
    • Sun is NOT centralizing right now. It has the potential to be though.
    • Sun IS the most powerful offensive archetype right now. Does that make it banworthy? Not in my opinion.
    • Is Sun what's OP, or is it Double Chloro? What would happen if the best sun sweeper, Bellsprout was banned instead?
    • Sun requires skill to be good, it's not an easy autowin team. I personally beat most sun teams I face, and think aveil is far more of a problem than sun right now.
    PD, Sam-testings, wishes and 2 others like this.
  22. Zebraiken

    Zebraiken dance through the danger
    is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Site Staff Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnusis a defending SPL Champion

    Oct 7, 2011
    levi post = zebra likin

    I think Levi outlined the crux of this suspect discussion succinctly in a post in the other metagame discussion thread, here:

    It's an excellent point. In my opinion, the distinction between typespam and sun builds will be the deciding factor in this suspect test, and we should examine these similarities and differences thoroughly as we come to our own conclusions. What makes sun feel more suspect-worthy than any of those other examples provided in the quote above? Is a timer a fair trade-off for the lack a required set-up turn?

    Levi accurately drew together the similarities here; to summarize, both styles of teams pummel soft checks and require multiple answers to effectively deal with them, and they attract the usage of hard counters that are not great as a whole, but are fine in the context of dealing with typespam (Spritzee was a fine enough counter-example to Munchlax and co for me). I find these thoughts to be both true and acceptable. However, I feel that the differences were glossed over somewhat, so I'd like to extrapolate on each individually.

    Reliance on Vulpix

    Sun has a genuine and hard weakness in its reliance on Vulpix. Vulpix is frail (with Heat Rock), weak to SR, and sits at just an OK speed tier. It can be trapped (Pursuit, Diglett) or otherwise pressured by faster Pokemon, and losing Vulpix early often means losing the game outright. My potential sun counterplay against Sken revolved around trapping Vulpix with Pursuit, keeping SR up, and having Rain Dance in the back on one of my faster-than-Vulpix Pokemon so that hopefully it could not return to set sun. You don't necessarily have to play around Bellsprout & its partner to beat sun -- and indeed doing so is very hard -- because Vulpix is the weakest link.

    At the same time, Vulpix -is- hard to punish effectively. It does not have to stay in on anything not named Diglett, so you can feasibly use it to set sun and then switch to one of sun's many pivots / sacs. Slowfoo is probably the most important of those, since it can tank a hit and immediately U-turn into a Chlorophyll. While its speed tier (17) is not great, it is fast and strong enough to pose a threat on its own, and Flame Charge makes it difficult to sacrifice something -> trap with Diglett.

    Other options exist for setting sun (stuff like Sunny Day on your rocker comes to mind) but sun is much less effective, if not entirely ineffective, once Vulpix is gone.

    The difference between Vulpix and a set-up move

    This is true, yes. It is also true that handling Vulpix throughout a match & finding set-up opportunities are similar in execution. However, the important difference here is the one mentioned as a trade-off with the timer: Pokemon that are setting up must spend a turn themselves to do so. Levi did not expand upon this to the degree that I'm interested in in his post, so I'll take it further:

    - Pokemon that are setting up must have at least one turn to do so. There are ways to ease the transition, like with Memento support or on a predicted switch/Protect, but in almost all scenarios a Pokemon that is setting up must do so with the notion that they will be taking at least one hit.
    - Because Pokemon that are setting up must take a hit, they are weakened and are more easily revenged by priority moves and other follow-ups.
    - Because Pokemon that are setting up must take a hit, it is entirely feasible that you can prevent an opponent's Pokemon from setting up through excellent play. I can keep my opponents DD Scraggy from sweeping me by not KOing something with my defensive Staryu, a Pokemon that enables its setup, and instead feeding the kill through my Dazzling Gleam Gastly. This is perhaps the most important distinction between the two.
    - Shell Smashers weaken themselves further with defense drops, again making them more susceptible to priority. Other boosters are more easily revenged by fast (16+ spe) scarfers.
    - Vulpix's sun lasts even after the first abuser is KOed.

    Throughout the process of teambuilding and the subsequent battle, you can generally gameplan for boosting sweepers via your play & by whittling it into range where something else can kill. This is not true for Vulpix and the Chlorophyll Crew, because all they need to do is switch in Vulpix once then flee to the nearest pivot and bring in their powerhouses. You, very generally, cannot prevent Vulpix from setting sun by pressuring it and making smart switches. It just sets sun by -existing-. This is an advantage that heavily favors sun, in my opinion.


    And does the timer truly offset this? Most people have stalled out a sun timer easily enough, but what about twice? What about the fact that stalling out the sun timer necessitates taking constant chip damage between all of your Pokemon, or that Vulpix can just come back in and reset it? A team that simply survives the timer without actually removing the Chlorophyll Crew will just have to go through the whole shebang again, slightly weaker this time.

    The concept of simply stalling out the timer is one I genuinely think I'm not understanding as an argument. To me, you -can't- stall out the timer unless you have like two Fake Out Mienfoos and a Protect on something else. Is it the combination of stalling it out & killing one of the sun sweepers in a timely fashion? If you're not doing anything except attempting to outpredict the sun player for 5 or 6 turns in a row, there's a really big issue there and I'm a little confused as to why nobody else sees it that way. I want to see what everyone else thinks and why this is used as an argument for "sun's limited effectiveness". Please, enlighten me!

    Priority & speed

    Typically, boosted sweepers (SSers are what I mean mostly here, as they have the similar speed tier w/ Chlorophylls) and sun are handled similarly due to a lack of faster Pokemon, but here are the differences I see:

    - Boosted sweepers, as mentioned above, must take a turn to boost. This gives an avenue to handle them, whether it's through attacking the booster outright and revenging with priority or preventing it from setting up altogether.
    - SSers are typically weak or neutral to common priority moves (Fighting / Water / Dark) and have to deal with defense drops; ChloroCrew does not have these issues.
    - Slower sweepers (DD Scraggy, etc) do not have to worry about defense drops, but they are prime targets for standard speed Scarf Pokemon (like 16+ works fine for most things I can think of).
    - While Fake Out is often a much more pressing concern for sun sweepers than SSers, they can typically sit through them and grab a KO after eating one Fake Out and repeating the process (or they can always switch out, and come back in... still with sun up).
    - A good chunk of shell smashers have genuine hard checks that are quite good. Pawniard is commonly seen as an answer for Shellder, Timburr for Dwebble, etc.

    In regards to speed, I wrote this earlier:

    This is important to consider not just in the context of shell smashers vs sun, but as a whole for LC. If you're playing against Fightspam and something dies to a Mienfoo, you have the option to bring in a Pokemon that immediately threatens it, whether it's by virtue of being faster like Abra/a scarf Pokemon, or being fat enough that it can eat any hit and KO back like Spritzee. After it kills something that's slower, you can be faster and put pressure on the opponent again. If the opposing Mienfoo is actually scarf, you can feasibly identify this based on team structure and deal with it appropriately because it's locked into one move. When you're fighting sun, you are *always* on the back foot until you stall the timer out because you simply cannot pressure sun sweepers post-kill (unless you're running like Meowth).


    No other team archetype completely subverts the concept of revenging sweepers and handling typespam the way that sun does. You can't truly prevent sun set-up by pressuring it, because Vulpix just needs to switch in to set it up. You can't chunk the sweepers in exchange for their setup & to weaken them to priority, because they literally are not present for the setup. You can't outspeed them unless you're running extremely fast scarfers, whose usefulness I have outlined before. If you kill the fast, dangerous Chlorophyll sweeper, you could immediately face another one with nearly the exact same unrevengable qualities. Your priority options are limited because they resist two of four common priority types and can dodge another (sucker) with Sleep Powder. Vulpix really only has to be able to set sun twice to dominate a game, so if it can escape once into a sacrificed Pokemon then even stalling out the sun timer once feels meaningless.

    Yes. They both can decimate their soft checks, but it's the combination of instantaneous speed, ability to overwhelm checks, and resistance to priority/not needing to eat a hit that separates sun from set-up sweepers and other typespam builds.
  23. hanswurst2


    Mar 11, 2017
    Hello, I would like you to consider the follwing points;

    1-Instead of banning Vulpix, there should be a suspect for infamous sunny-day sweepers.
    If you have problems with Bellsprout, then make a Bellsprout suspect. There are other, non-overpowered sunny sweepers who rely on Vulpix.
    Vulpix aka the only sunny team setup we have in LC gives birth to a variety of sunny mons and strategies.
    Banning Vulpix would basically remove all those mons and strategies from the tier, which would be more cancerous to the tier than not banning Vulpix.

    2-Countering the "if you don't kill it asap, you automaticly lose" or "chlorophyl is to fast" arguement:
    Chlorophyl mons can be outsped by prio attacks, such as extremespeed (used on Zigzagoon) or mach punch (used on Timburr etc.) or sucker punch (Pawniard etc.), can be disabled by prankster users (such as Cottonee), can be focus-sashed by Diglet with aerial ace (+ sucker punch if it isnt enough damage) or sturdied by Magnemite with HP fire, and can be cut off by other weather generators such as Alolan-Vuplix, which is very common because Aurora Veil seems to be *the* thing these days.
    If you really have a problem with Chlorophyl beeing to fast despite these arguements, then ban the ablity Chlorophly and not Vulpix.

    3-Vulpix itself is not much of a thread.
    If you use a weather-rock you can't use eviolite/berry juice/scarf, if you don't, you only effectively get 4 rounds of sun setup for your sunny sweepers,
    as 1 round of sun is lost due to switching out. With the items stated above, Vulpix itself isn't much of a tread, can easly be outsped, tanked and swept.
    With a rock, it still needs to be switched in again every 7-8 turns to make sun.

    4- No sun = all your sunny mons are useless
    It's not that simple to keep the sun up every time, but your sunny mons rely on the weather, so to make them work, you *need* to keep the sunny weather up,
    else you risk getting outsped and swept. And to keep up the weather, *Vulpix needs to stay alive*, so you can't switch it in at any time because you'd risk getting predixed and swept with a very effective move and there goes your strategy. You'll need to throw in a Plan-B, making it 3-3 sunny/non sunny mons so you don't completely get destroyed once your sun is down.

    I did some testing with a Vulpix-sunny day team and I come to the conclusion that it is very situational. It gets checked by many commonly used mons if your opponents know what they are doing. Meanwhile it is true that you can chainsweep newer/less experienced players, I find it rather difficult to compete against skilled players who know my strategy and can predict moves and switches, and the fact that Alolan-Vulpix is often played makes it even harder to execute the sun strategy according to plan. Really depends on what your opponent is playing.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
    Serene's Grace likes this.
  24. MK007


    Jun 26, 2016
    Sturdy Mag and Sash Dig are not great revengers and they both lose if rocks are up. You say bannin vulpix messes up all the sun sweepers yet you say you want chloro banned?

    Um... were you seriously running or considering running 6/6 sun mons? Standard sun only has one or two chloro sweepers. Triple chloro is a meme. Most sun teams carry 3 of Onix, Archen, Mienfoo, Staryu, Diglett, etc.
  25. hanswurst2


    Mar 11, 2017
    Hi there,

    No, I don't want chloro banned. I just say there are other abilitys than chloro that profit from sun, so if people really want to get rid of fast sunny sweepers, they don't need to kill everything else that relies on sun.

    Also, stealth rocks are not an arguement. I expect you to defog or spin like everyone else does when running sturdy/sash, because common sense. If you do not like to go with sturdy/sash, there are other bulky revenge killers that can tank some hits.
    Most common types to cover against would be grass/poison/fire.

    Running 2 sunny sweepers is exactly what I wrote in my post.
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