Mega Sableye and its effect on the metagame

#1

Credit to I'm Rick Astley for going through this with me and helping me write this up

Mega Sableye is a huge problem in the OU metagame right now and for a bunch of different reasons. It heavily centralises the hazard game, shutting out so many hazard setters and forcing balance teams to run SR Clefable if they even want to get rocks up against it. The support it provides to teams is incredible too and when you couple that with its ability to shut out almost all hazards and support from teammates, it's insanely restricting in terms of handling it and has such a large strain on teambuilding.

Essentially, Sableye makes stallbreaking a much more matchup-based process than it ever was. What happened before was a player could pressure a stall team down by setting up hazards and double switches. If you predicted a switch in to something, you could double out into the appropriate threat, and get 12.5% on whatever just came in, which could be crucial for bringing it in range of being 2hko'd on the switch in. Now, predicting a switch becomes useless if there is no reward for doing so, which is what a hazardless game vs a stall team does. Without the opportunity for hazards, you are simply left with the 6 pokemon in your party, and what is worse, they all work as individuals, rather than as a team. What I mean by this is that one pokemon which can effectively remove checks and counters for another does not work well if the opposing player can just keep switching out into their counter for each with no repercussions.

ABR's Mega Sableye team, which everyone reading this should be all too familiar with now, is being spammed both on the ladder and now even in tours. Players are using it exactly for the reason that it requires little effort to use, is heavily matchup based, and will win a very good portion of matchups due to how effective it is. So, how is the stall team losing a match at all? It is done by specific breakers, rather than smart play or team synergy, because those don't mean much without the capability to wear down opposing pokemon so that another can do work. Once you have those specific breakers, you can then use those effectively in order to win. However, a bad matchup vs this sort of Mega Sableye stall team is almost the same as an autoloss, disregarding the chance for hax to happen. This makes Mega Sabeleye very uncompetitive, under this definition:

II.) Uncompetitive - elements that reduce the effect of player choice / interaction on the end result to an extreme degree, such that "more skillful play" is almost always rendered irrelevant

This is the crux of the issue with Mega Sableye, by controlling the hazard game in the way that cores involving it do, it isolates your pokemon, then enables the rest of the stall team to completely negate the effectiveness of most of them. This lets stall players make obvious plays without the opportunity to be punished, because there is no penalty for having to switch back into the appropriate counter if the opposing player doubles on you.

What you have here is a pokemon that forces whatever specific breakers are effective against the stall team in question to be used in order to not autolose, and takes away the penalty of predictability in damage on switch in. It is also worth noting that due to the large variety of pokemon that Gothitelle can cripple, the pool of pokemon that can be used to beat a Sabeleye stall team becomes smaller still. However, merely banning Gothitelle does not prevent the conceptual problem, whereby you either pack the correct breaker for the correct stall team, or autolose, and no amount of smart play will be able to prevent this. It is for these reasons that we strongly believe that Sableye is uncompetitive in the current metagame and deserves a suspect, then subsequently a ban.
 
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#2
My name is CrashinBoomBang and I've never lost to Sableye-Mega-Forme because I run nothing but Heavy-Hyper-Extreme-Offensive-Teams and you're all bad for using Balanced-Teams that lose to this Passive Pokemon. I'm looking at you, Tele, you bellissimo Italian laddering son of a pizza. I love Bisharp!!!!!!!!!!

disclaimer: this is a post making fun of my pal cbb and not my opinion, but it is something certain players will try to argue (that msab sucks vs. offense), so it contributes to the thread
 
#3
To paraphrase: you should be able to beat stall by getting hazards up and then just VoltTurning and making smart switches. Anything that prevents this is broken. Offense should not have to adapt in any way to be able to beat stall.

Look, a lot of the rhetoric in the OP is bad, e.g. M-Sableye "isolating" each Pokemon on an offensive team (seriously, just use a lure or focused offensive pressure), or that simply being able to predict a safe switch should automatically confer an advantage on the offensive player. However, the crux of the post, that M-Sableye is a highly restrictive force in teambuilding, is true.

My standpoint is that stall in this metagame has very little reason for existing without M-Sableye. Supporting M-Sableye's ability to control hazards is the main justification for using stall, though it comes at the cost of being highly passive and vulnerable to stallbreaking strategies. Rather than see stall vanish, I'd prefer to keep M-Sableye, at least until it can be tested without the more uncompetitive element (Gothitelle) and there is a wider pool of stallbreakers available to exploit this inherent passivity.
 
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AM

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#4
Like I told tesung when we had a short discussion about this I'm going to wait and see what the responses are before making I guess you would call my own decision on the matter. For what it's worth about a couple of hours ago we planned on making a thread like this, although with all due respect fleggumfl while I understand the point you're trying to get across in the grand scheme of things from a practical perspective, some of these points can be a bit exaggerated as Clair has already pointed out.

In a chat with a group of people where this was being discussed Soulwind said it best that M-Sableye in conjunction with Shadow Tag is part of the problem. It stems from a trickling effective that M-Sableye, Goth, and Manaphy (though I don't really agree with suspecting at this point of time regardless of the reasoning I've been given constantly) have this sort of triangle effect that enables one another to shift the tier in a pretty sorry state at times, with the current OLT being a good showcase of that.

My opinion is that M-Sableye and ST are problems that I personally think should both go but I'm open to points from others.
 

Mur

If you're not first you're last
#5
Looking at how AM has talked about this makes me assume that a lot of this has already been discussed by the council and a decision is somewhat in the works so I won't go into detail as much as I would in a suspect thread or something like that.

As Clair said some of the points on Msab were kinda exaggerated and it doesn't really take much of goth's impact into account, but that's not to say Msab is not a problem. The amount of options you have to actually set up hazards against sableye teams is pretty low and it's typing+magic bounce puts a strain on the pool of stallbreakers that actually can break these teams. When you add goth into the mix this list drops even shorter adding to the issues. This strain along with the strain manaphy/hoopa puts on defensive builds kind of has us in that triangle situation that Soulwind explained to AM in the post above. I really liked that idea as it pretty accurately depicts the latest meta shifts in my opinion. Those times from a few months back when mana would randomly just 6-0 someone and the current gothstall/sab+shed meta of this seasons OLT are some pretty good examples of some shifts where the meta is put into a kind of poor state. The obvious problem in this is that this shift over power between these mons is what makes the tier feel very matchup dependent during these certain shifts and is exactly what AM means when he says this can shift around the tier and put it in an awful spot like in the examples mentioned before.

Clearly removing at least one of these three would be a good start as it may be possible to achieve a meta to our tiering standards without banning all three, although in my opinion it will most likely come down to removing all three and possibly hoopa but that's a conversation for another time. I guess the real question here is where do we start? I personally would pull the trigger on goth first as looking at sab when it doesn't have it's checks trapped and crippled along with the ability to actually use our stallbreakers without being trapped would prove if it truly is too much for the meta but hey that call is up to you AM.
 
#6
I'm not gonna pretend to be the most knowledgeable ORAS OU player, but just from a banning/suspecting standpoint there were very legitimate anti-goth posts in that it only became a huge problem recently and ORAS OU is a shifting metagame. Mega Sableye had been S before and it's been a problem for a longer while. Also I feel like jsut saying all trappers are outright broken is pretty silly just by virtue of trapping; trappers add a new element to the game, and besides the DPP/ADV STag ban (which basically just banned wynaut and wobbuffet; i'm pretty sure we'd ban wobbuffet now but it's honestly incredibly minor and no one really cares. also adv wobb wobb wars :o) there's not much precedent for outright banning trapping as a whole. Basically I feel like if you wanan ban something ban mega sableye, I don't think that would reduce the effectiveness of goth trap or whatever have you.
 
#7
If we're discussing which one to suspect then I think we should be considering:

A) How likely is it that either M-Sableye or Gothitelle will continue to be (broken, uncompetitive, restrictive) if the other is banned?
B) What will be lost from the metagame if either one is banned?

The loss of M-Sableye would seriously affect stall's viability, whereas I doubt a Gothitelle ban would affect it much in the long run (I know others disagree on this, but there are quite a lot of feasible non-ABR stalls which would significantly improve in ladder performance if ABR's disappeared). On the other hand, Gothitelle does have some viable uses outside of stall, even if the number of anti-offense threats in this meta means it's never seen.

I also don't think I need to explain that using Gothitelle makes match-up in many cases the determining factor in games, whereas any playstyle can incorporate sufficient counterplay to M-Sableye.
 

AM

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#8
I guess the real question here is where do we start? I personally would pull the trigger on goth first as looking at sab when it doesn't have it's checks trapped and crippled along with the ability to actually use our stallbreakers without being trapped would prove if it truly is too much for the meta but hey that call is up to you AM.
I mean that's a council decision, the opinion I stated is more my own as I'm pretty sure not each member agrees with that sentiment hence the let's see where these posts will lead us comment earlier. The question of "where do we start?" comes down to that last point, would rather start relatively soon though personally.
I'm not gonna pretend to be the most knowledgeable ORAS OU player, but just from a banning/suspecting standpoint there were very legitimate anti-goth posts in that it only became a huge problem recently and ORAS OU is a shifting metagame. Mega Sableye had been S before and it's been a problem for a longer while. Also I feel like jsut saying all trappers are outright broken is pretty silly just by virtue of trapping; trappers add a new element to the game, and besides the DPP/ADV STag ban (which basically just banned wynaut and wobbuffet; i'm pretty sure we'd ban wobbuffet now but it's honestly incredibly minor and no one really cares. also adv wobb wobb wars :o) there's not much precedent for outright banning trapping as a whole. Basically I feel like if you wanan ban something ban mega sableye, I don't think that would reduce the effectiveness of goth trap or whatever have you.
I'd take the VR with a grain of salt everyone has their gripes about them and can be subjective at times, I know one of the ranking team guys doesn't believe it's S from talking to him. The whole "all trappers are broken" argument I believe has always been ridiculous, it's always a combination of things that can put one over the edge (see M-Gengar). Not gonna comment on precedent lots of people like to stand by that and I'm not a big believer of that idea in most cases anyways. ORAS OU is shifting to a degree at this point a lot of the shifts in the metagame aren't particularly very large like they were when the tier was unexplored and people were still trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. It's hit a pretty sound area of stability in terms of what you see is what you get at this point. Considering SPL is on the horizon it's a good time to look at what has seemed to be a potential problem. The finger has been pointed more towards M-Sableye than it has Goth in most cases.
If we're discussing which one to suspect then I think we should be considering:

A) How likely is it that either M-Sableye or Gothitelle will continue to be (broken, uncompetitive, restrictive) if the other is banned?
B) What will be lost from the metagame if either one is banned?

The loss of M-Sableye would seriously affect stall's viability, whereas I doubt a Gothitelle ban would affect it much in the long run (I know others disagree on this, but there are quite a lot of feasible non-ABR stalls which would significantly improve in ladder performance if ABR's disappeared). On the other hand, Gothitelle does have some viable uses outside of stall, even if the number of anti-offense threats in this meta means it's never seen.

I also don't think I need to explain that using Gothitelle makes match-up in many cases the determining factor in games, whereas any playstyle can incorporate sufficient counterplay to M-Sableye.
These are some questions to consider for posters. Not a whole lot you can just theorymon off the bat here but it's at least something to go off of.
 

I'm Rick Pickle

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#9
To paraphrase: you should be able to beat stall by getting hazards up and then just VoltTurning and making smart switches. Anything that prevents this is broken. Offense should not have to adapt in any way to be able to beat stall.

Look, a lot of the rhetoric in the OP is bad, e.g. M-Sableye "isolating" each Pokemon on an offensive team (seriously, just use a lure or focused offensive pressure), or that simply being able to predict a safe switch should automatically confer an advantage on the offensive player. However, the crux of the post, that M-Sableye is a highly restrictive force in teambuilding, is true.

My standpoint is that stall in this metagame has very little reason for existing without M-Sableye. Supporting M-Sableye's ability to control hazards is the main justification for using stall, though it comes at the cost of being highly passive and vulnerable to stallbreaking strategies. Rather than see stall vanish, I'd prefer to keep M-Sableye, at least until it can be tested without the more uncompetitive element (Gothitelle) and there is a wider pool of stallbreakers available to exploit this inherent passivity.
The issue isn't that offence has to adapt to beat stall, it is that it has to adapt to using such specific mons, and that stall can make very obvious plays without fear of being punished. Having to pick from a small pool of pokemon to not autolose to a specific team isn't fun, and neither is giving a player the ability to take key elements of skill out of the match.

Using focused offensive pressure was a very common and effective strategy to take down stall in previous gens, but you have to bear in mind that unaware and regenerator have decreased the effectiveness of this, and also that these teams would usually rely on focused offensive pressure in conjunction with hazard control rather than just the pokemon by themselves.

Using a lure is something I can agree with as a potentially effective strategy, this is one of the points at which the Sableye user will have to play smart, but you have to bear in mind that the lure won't necessarily work if they anticipate the correct set and scout correctly. Not to say that they won't work, but they can only work to an extent, and relying on the opponent not being able to work out what you are running in order to have a chance of winning still isn't a fair matchup. "Adapting" works both ways incidentally, so just because I can run something that beats the current common variant of this stall doesn't mean that a smart builder won't change up to counter that threat, and thus we start back from square one. The issue isn't what can and can't beat the stall team, but the fact that Sableye cuts off support between different members of the team, and makes matchup almost a deciding factor.

Like I told tesung when we had a short discussion about this I'm going to wait and see what the responses are before making I guess you would call my own decision on the matter. For what it's worth about a couple of hours ago we planned on making a thread like this, although with all due respect fleggumfl while I understand the point you're trying to get across in the grand scheme of things from a practical perspective, some of these points can be a bit exaggerated as Clair has already pointed out.

In a chat with a group of people where this was being discussed Soulwind said it best that M-Sableye in conjunction with Shadow Tag is part of the problem. It stems from a trickling effective that M-Sableye, Goth, and Manaphy (though I don't really agree with suspecting at this point of time regardless of the reasoning I've been given constantly) have this sort of triangle effect that enables one another to shift the tier in a pretty sorry state at times, with the current OLT being a good showcase of that.

My opinion is that M-Sableye and ST are problems that I personally think should both go but I'm open to points from others.
Ok, fine, true, perhaps it doesn't completely isolate each pokemon, but it certainly cuts off team support to a very major extent, which is unhealthy. What we are dealing with right now is that many games are being ruined by Mega Sableye and Gothitelle. The OP aimed to draw attention to Gothitelle not being the only issue in the tier, and the direness of the need for a suspect for Sableye. Individual scrutiny is needed when looking at Mega Sableye, rather than just viewing it as a Gothitelle attachment.

If we're discussing which one to suspect then I think we should be considering:

A) How likely is it that either M-Sableye or Gothitelle will continue to be (broken, uncompetitive, restrictive) if the other is banned?
B) What will be lost from the metagame if either one is banned?

The loss of M-Sableye would seriously affect stall's viability, whereas I doubt a Gothitelle ban would affect it much in the long run (I know others disagree on this, but there are quite a lot of feasible non-ABR stalls which would significantly improve in ladder performance if ABR's disappeared). On the other hand, Gothitelle does have some viable uses outside of stall, even if the number of anti-offense threats in this meta means it's never seen.

I also don't think I need to explain that using Gothitelle makes match-up in many cases the determining factor in games, whereas any playstyle can incorporate sufficient counterplay to M-Sableye.
Well, there are separate issues with both when looking at them, Gothitelle in how it renders otherwise good breakers useless, and Sableye in how it cuts off team support from other members, making matchup such an important factor. The question I'm asking isn't what will happen if they are banned right now, but whether both are uncompetitive and have a negative effect on the games they are in, which I now strongly believe is the case. It isn't the combination of the two together that is uncompetitive, this isn't some core of pokemon that together can defeat the whole metagame, each is suspect worthy in its own right, and what we see when we witness games in which this team is played is the sum total of the problems each of them present.
 

Freeroamer

The greatest story of them all.
#10
My main issue with the ABR stall and in fact most Sableye teams is how restrictive they are in terms of the options you have to run to be able to beat them. You've already seen evidence of this with people running janky shit like Shed Shell Toge/Mana with Pursuit or some very specific sets like TauntDD Mgyara. It's not healthy for such a team to exacerbate matchup so strongly from preview because it means that when ppl are desperate, they can just bring the team in clutch scenarios(see 2 of the g3s of OLT series yday, as well as the Xray Lange series in r1) and in the majority of cases, they will pull out a win due to the lack of stall responses on the opposing team.

I believe that without goth, Sableye is still going to be a hugely restricting force in the metagame. While they might not be quite as infamous for tour play as the team being used right now, there are 2 Sableye teams in archive which don't use goth at all, yet both are still extremely restricting in their counterplay. Compare this on the other hand to the fact that I've seen very few consistent goth builds without Sableye(or none actually) due to the flaws of the mon(little to no defensive synergy, limited vs offense and so,e balance) and to me it's clear that Sableye is the more restrictive force here. I don't give a hoot whether the removal of Sableye would damage stall's viability, nowhere in the new tiering philosophy does it say that the aim is towards making all styles viable. However I find these components relevant here:

V.) Team match up management is a part of the game.
A.) This means we have to accept that we will be at an advantage or disadvantage from the very beginning.
B.) This does NOT mean we will accept a component that the majority of the time will turn the battle against the more skilled player. This component must both be an issue a majority of the time AND influence the battle dramatically.
C.) With optimal team building skills, the pool of options (Pokemon, Moves, Items) present in the tier should allow you to build teams addressing the different team-archetypes at least decently, and offer a solution in-battle to a large majority of the principle threats of the metagame.
D.) There is also an important point to note in that team match up is only an issue if there is an extraordinarily low chance to win from the get go.
1.) This means that, even if the better skilled player made the right plays, he lost.
2.) Team match up is only a concern if no matter what the better player did, he had zero or an extremely slim chance of winning.
3.) Basically, for tiering debate purposes, even if the better player had a team disadvantage and made the better moves the majority of the game, did he screw up a turn or two? If he did, then yes, part of the reason he lost was the team match up, but a major factor was also the poor decision.
B here to me describes Sableye in a nutshell for me, Sableye is constantly an issue unless you have SR Clefable or another SR user that has some means of pressuring it. It can also influence late game dramatically due to the limited checks available toot by outlasting the rest of the opponents team once said checks have been weakened or removed.

C in general Sableye teams, especially the Sableye-Goth team contravene this. It's ridiculous how few Pokemon or individual sets are capable of giving you an advantage or an answer to this playstyle. Anyone who has tried to teambuild during OLT will know how difficult it is to fit one of the very specific checks to it on their team.

D describes most Sableye-Goth matchups, once again refer to the two OLT series yesterday and the Xray Lange series in r1.


II.) Uncompetitive - elements that reduce the effect of player choice / interaction on the end result to an extreme degree, such that "more skillful play" is almost always rendered irrelevant
A.) This can be match up related; think the determination that BP took the battling skill aspect out of the player's hands and made it overwhelmingly a team match up issue, where even with the best moves made each time by a standard team often were not enough.
While I don't believe it's on the same level as Baton Pass, can it really be argued that Sableye Goth stall doesn't induce this kind of game? I've seen far too many matchups where due to how restricting this archetype is in the teambuilder, a player has played 150 turns, all the while making the 'better' plays yet has ultimately lost because they simply lacked one of the extremely limited tools needed to beat this playstyle.


I shoved all my stuff into hide tags otherwise this would've been stupid long, but overall if I feel that ORAS OU is going to move forwards, it needs to aim at reducing factors that exacerbate matchups to a stupid degree, and I believe Sableye is the clearest indicator of that due to how restrictive it is in of itself, and the archetype it makes viable. Replays of the 3 OLT games I reference throughout are below.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gold-ou-54621
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-ou-98189
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/smogtours-ou-97854
 
#11
The issue isn't that offence has to adapt to beat stall, it is that it has to adapt to using such specific mons, and that stall can make very obvious plays without fear of being punished. Having to pick from a small pool of pokemon to not autolose to a specific team isn't fun, and neither is giving a player the ability to take key elements of skill out of the match.
Yeah, ABR stall is dumb in how restrictive it is at teambuilder. But M-Sableye doesn't force offense to use incredibly specific mons to stallbreak, Gothitelle does. Without M-Sableye, any offensive mon with hazards up is capable of stallbreaking via simple predictions which will always favour the offense player. Because the risk/reward of taking a risk using stall is always unfavourable, the idea that obvious plays by stall should always be punished is a bit ridiculous.

Using focused offensive pressure was a very common and effective strategy to take down stall in previous gens, but you have to bear in mind that unaware and regenerator have decreased the effectiveness of this, and also that these teams would usually rely on focused offensive pressure in conjunction with hazard control rather than just the pokemon by themselves.

Using a lure is something I can agree with as a potentially effective strategy, this is one of the points at which the Sableye user will have to play smart, but you have to bear in mind that the lure won't necessarily work if they anticipate the correct set and scout correctly. Not to say that they won't work, but they can only work to an extent, and relying on the opponent not being able to work out what you are running in order to have a chance of winning still isn't a fair matchup. "Adapting" works both ways incidentally, so just because I can run something that beats the current common variant of this stall doesn't mean that a smart builder won't change up to counter that threat, and thus we start back from square one. The issue isn't what can and can't beat the stall team, but the fact that Sableye cuts off support between different members of the team, and makes matchup almost a deciding factor.
You're overstating the effect of Regenerator by a fair way...it's a valid point, but focused pressure is still perfectly capable of targeting other stall components. Lures are unreliable and I didn't like mentioning them, but "adapting" doesn't really work both ways. Stall has to cover the metagame, whereas a lure has to cover the common stops to a win condition.

The idea of M-Sab "cutting off support" between different offense mons keeps coming up, and the way you're describing it is very misleading. "Support" here simply means maintaining offensive pressure with hazards up to force the stall player into taking risks. Yes, M-Sableye does prevent Spikes from going up, and Rocks from many setters, but imo this potential hazard advantage is a fair exchange for the passivity and resultant vulnerability to stallbreakers which comes with it.

I'm open to suspecting either threat, because clearly the two in combination are a problem. However, if we test M-Sableye, stall will simply disappear and provide us with very little new information. Suspecting Gothitelle would show us whether stall is viable without it, and therefore whether M-Sab is problematic on its own.
 

bludz

a waffle is like a pancake with a syrup trap
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#12
It is definitely true that Sableye is very restricting to teambuilding. Even if Gothitelle is what's forcing specific stallbreakers, Sableye forces specific hazard setters, which there are fewer of to begin with. On top of that it's also true that Goth basically needs Sableye to function in a stall build and otherwise is more of a stallbreaker itself for offense.

All that said, I think all arguments regarding what is uncompetitive are stronger in respect to Gothitelle.

II.) Uncompetitive - elements that reduce the effect of player choice / interaction on the end result to an extreme degree, such that "more skillful play" is almost always rendered irrelevant

Let me provide a scenario here.

Say Team 1 - a standard offensive team - contains one main stallbreaker, which is Rain Daince + Tail Glow Manaphy (without a Shed Shell), going up against Team 2, a Gothitelle stall team (yes that includes M-Sableye). Manaphy and Mega Sableye are the leads for each team. Manaphy proceeds to Rain Dance, in an attempt to stallbreak, while the opponent switches into Gothitelle. Choosing to go for Rain Dance was indeed a bad play in this scenario. However, once Gothitelle has trapped Manaphy, there are no good options.

After Manaphy has been trapped by Gothitelle, what is the best play? Since Manaphy is not at +3, it is weak and clicking Scald is going to do laughable damage even to Gothitelle, while there is certainly a Chansey waiting in the back. Tail Glow, Rain Dance and Psychic all provide even worse outcomes for Manaphy. I believe that in this scenario, more skillful play is rendered irrelevant, because all the plays will accomplish nothing toward victory in the long run. In an alternate scenario, perhaps Tail Glow was used by Manaphy instead of Rain Dance on the first turn. The issue is that this is still a bad play, because +3 Scald is not nearly strong enough to break Chansey. Sure, Manaphy may OHKO Gothitelle with the +3 Scald on the turn it is Tricked, but the team has lost its only stallbreaker, and thus the more skillful play (of Scald over some other move, and even Tail Glow over the original Rain Dance - which should technically be more skillful in the scenario) has almost no impact on the outcome of the match.

Basically what happens is that the Manaphy player's best play every single time it comes into play is to double into something on the predicted Gothitelle, because otherwise it will be rendered useless for the remainder of the match and they will have lost their basic win condition. In games without Gothitelle, mid plays can be made that aren't the best and aren't the worst but that may mitigate some amount of risk. This is not the case here, as all plays that are not the best play result in certain failure of Team 1's strategy to break stall.

The troublesome thing is that this scenario can be expanded to a situation in which Gothitelle is not on a Sableye stall team. Perhaps it is on an offensive team, used as the primary way to break some wall such as Clefable or Mega Venusaur. Once again, these pokemon will not be able to carry out their duties as walls successfully, because every time they stay in (perhaps to heal up after taking an attack, which is a vital part of what they do), they are in danger of being completely neutralized. When Gothitelle enters play against them, it's checkmate. It isn't the same as ending up with a defensive Landorus-T vs a Kyurem-Black - in this situation the Landorus-T player may be forced to make a sacrifice, but if their Landorus-T is vital to winning, it can still be kept alive. More importantly, their subsequent move (choosing what they switch out to) isn't necessarily irrelevant.

This differs totally from other trappers because things like Dugtrio and Tyranitar trap a much more specific target audience. Gothitelle can be used to cripple a wide variety of stallbreakers (if used on stall) or walls (if used on offense) alike. I don't have a replay of Gothitelle PP stalling a wall locked into some move, but I'm sure you've all seen it. I would be surprised if anyone could point out the competitive aspect of any part of the sequence (once the trapping has occurred).

I am not against suspecting Mega Sableye in the long run. But I think the arguments that it is uncompetitive are much weaker than arguments for Gothitelle being uncompetitive. That said, it can be certainly said that Mega Sableye helps foster this uncompetitive strategy. This may be something to take a look at, but I don't think Sableye itself is the pressing issue.
 
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#13
What happened to letting the metagame adapt to new strategies that seem overpowering at first? Everybody was saying "Ban Mega Hera / Ban MegaCham / Ban Mega Garde" in XY after Aegislash was banned due to how initially overpowering they seemed, and yet the metagame adapted to them. There are usually no simple ways of adapting to strategies that seem overpowering at first, for this is not a matter of using X + Y + Z to beat them. Pretty much every potential issue that seems overpowering at first resolves itself (Hera / Medi / Garde, Mega Gross, BW2 Keldeo), unless it is like Greninja or Aegislash and deserves potential banworthy action for being so far over the top. Mega Sableye, while centralizing, is not unbearable like Greninja / Genesect / Aegislash, and requires more than just refusing to change teambuilding and strategies and banning it to fix the problem, for you still have to deal with the Gothitelle situation, which also is not as remotely impossible to deal with.
 

Luigi

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#14
What happened to letting the metagame adapt to new strategies that seem overpowering at first? Everybody was saying "Ban Mega Hera / Ban MegaCham / Ban Mega Garde" in XY after Aegislash was banned due to how initially overpowering they seemed, and yet the metagame adapted to them. There are usually no simple ways of adapting to strategies that seem overpowering at first, for this is not a matter of using X + Y + Z to beat them. Pretty much every potential issue that seems overpowering at first resolves itself (Hera / Medi / Garde, Mega Gross, BW2 Keldeo), unless it is like Greninja or Aegislash and deserves potential banworthy action for being so far over the top. Mega Sableye, while centralizing, is not unbearable like Greninja / Genesect / Aegislash, and requires more than just refusing to change teambuilding and strategies and banning it to fix the problem, for you still have to deal with the Gothitelle situation, which also is not as remotely impossible to deal with.
Have you read aldaron's thread/the posts here? No one's arguing wether sableye or goth are broken. People are arguing wether they're competitive or not.


Edit: the metagame has also had ample time to adapt and it has! Don't want a bad matchup vs stall? All you need is shed shell on a stall breaker + tyranitar, shame that now you're weaker vs everything else that the very diverse meta can throw at you.
 
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Freeroamer

The greatest story of them all.
#15
What happened to letting the metagame adapt to new strategies that seem overpowering at first? Everybody was saying "Ban Mega Hera / Ban MegaCham / Ban Mega Garde" in XY after Aegislash was banned due to how initially overpowering they seemed, and yet the metagame adapted to them. There are usually no simple ways of adapting to strategies that seem overpowering at first, for this is not a matter of using X + Y + Z to beat them. Pretty much every potential issue that seems overpowering at first resolves itself (Hera / Medi / Garde, Mega Gross, BW2 Keldeo), unless it is like Greninja or Aegislash and deserves potential banworthy action for being so far over the top. Mega Sableye, while centralizing, is not unbearable like Greninja / Genesect / Aegislash, and requires more than just refusing to change teambuilding and strategies and banning it to fix the problem, for you still have to deal with the Gothitelle situation, which also is not as remotely impossible to deal with.
I disagree almost wholly with this, because they're different kinds of threats. Dealing with offensive threats means you have to change the way you build yes, and that's why there is always an adaptation period where these mons initially seem overpowering and impossible to deal with but as new moulds for teams are discovered, some of these threats can be dealt with while others can't, which is generally a pretty good way to split the broken from the non-broken. However in this case, these pokemon are primarily designed to shut down all offensive means of beating them so it's very difficult to just say make small changes to your teambuilding because that's simply not the case here. Do you think if there were small changes available that could easily rectify this issue that the majority of the tour playerbase that have grown to hate this team and the OU council that think a thread like this and the Gothitelle one is needed wouldn't have found them thus far? This team's strength if anything is it's ability to abuse the standard builds that are in most cases necessary required to be functional vs the rest of the metagame and matches up very well against them, therefore removing the ability to make small changes and adapt. As for the Gothitelle vs Sableye situation, as I already said in my other post I think Sableye is always a contentious mon while it's here, whereas I don't think goth is an issue without Sableye as it needs the support of Sableye and the rest of the stall archetype to be justified on a consistent team that is designed to perform as well as possible across the metagame. Sableye however has already been shown to fit on several different squads that have performed consistently well(see two archive teams and ABR stall).
 

Aberforth

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#16
Just as an outsider looking in without much of an opinion on this topic, why is it terrible for stallbreakers to have to run a specific item (shed shell) in order to break stall? I know njnp make an RMT featuring shed shell togekiss with a tyranitar specifically for that situation, ferrothorns and skarmory's have run shed shell in the past as a good option to not be completely screwed in the dragmag matchup, and I vaguely remember seeing a team from bw2 that had a shed shell heatran so that they were not weak to sun builds.

But given that this has been adaptation that these mons have had to go through, why is it that it would be terrible for offensive stallbreakers to do it? If a stall breaker cant break stall, adapt it so that it can? In the scenario you posted bludz , they had a decision to make in the teambuilder whether they wanted their manaphy to beat goth stall or not, and they chose to give it leftovers over shed shell, basically saying that they are OK with their manaphy not breaking goth stall. The same decision that means players who use ferrothorn use shed shell so that when they encounter Mega diancie + magnezone teams, they are better off, when leftovers does it better in most other situations.

As I said, not much of an opinion on it, but it seems like a relatively easy adaptation to make.
 

AM

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#17
In response to PoMMan's and Alfalfa's points about adaptation, do realize that this adaptation you're speaking about is at a much higher amount of stress than you're really giving it credit for due to the nature of what M-Sableye entails practically. That njnp build was to counterstyle that single team to gain advantage in the ladder setting and the RMT itself clearly stated its goal was to combat stall being prominent at the time of its inception, not to adapt in a manner to cover everything at once which it doesn't.

I have no really comment on PomMan's second paragraph but relatively easy adaptation is a two way thing if it was relatively easy to adapt while covering the meta all at once we wouldn't be here in this thread and we wouldn't be addressing the amount of concerns that has been creeping up lately.
 

bludz

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#18
If you want to start running Shed Shell on your Clefables so they don't get trapped and PP stalled then feel free. It's kinda viable on offensive stallbreakers I guess, but totally sub par and just for one matchup. It's true, you can slap a Shed Shell on anything. And yeah honestly my post could have done a much better job addressing trappers in general. But if you think the whole Trick then Rest PP stalling sequence is remotely competitive then I don't really know what to tell you
 

I'm Rick Pickle

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#20
I dont think that its competitive, I was specifically talking about the manaphy situation that forces stall to be 'nearly unbeatable' the words of the OP of the thread.
It's worth noting that the OP never mentions stall being unbeatable, it just explains that match up is usually the deciding factor in a game with Sableye in it, rather than skill. You also have to bear in mind that only a certain number of pokemon effective against stall can actually make use of the shed shell item, as many rely on a life orb to get the necessary power. We do now have a policy where if a pokemon requires overspecialisation to beat it, it is banned, and picking your choice from a short list of pokemon with an otherwise useless item really does seem like overspecialisation to me. You can only expect adaptation to a reasonable extent.

Yeah, ABR stall is dumb in how restrictive it is at teambuilder. But M-Sableye doesn't force offense to use incredibly specific mons to stallbreak, Gothitelle does. Without M-Sableye, any offensive mon with hazards up is capable of stallbreaking via simple predictions which will always favour the offense player. Because the risk/reward of taking a risk using stall is always unfavourable, the idea that obvious plays by stall should always be punished is a bit ridiculous.



You're overstating the effect of Regenerator by a fair way...it's a valid point, but focused pressure is still perfectly capable of targeting other stall components. Lures are unreliable and I didn't like mentioning them, but "adapting" doesn't really work both ways. Stall has to cover the metagame, whereas a lure has to cover the common stops to a win condition.

The idea of M-Sab "cutting off support" between different offense mons keeps coming up, and the way you're describing it is very misleading. "Support" here simply means maintaining offensive pressure with hazards up to force the stall player into taking risks. Yes, M-Sableye does prevent Spikes from going up, and Rocks from many setters, but imo this potential hazard advantage is a fair exchange for the passivity and resultant vulnerability to stallbreakers which comes with it.

I'm open to suspecting either threat, because clearly the two in combination are a problem. However, if we test M-Sableye, stall will simply disappear and provide us with very little new information. Suspecting Gothitelle would show us whether stall is viable without it, and therefore whether M-Sab is problematic on its own.
You make a pretty good point in that not every obvious play by stall can or should be punished; stall makes mostly very obvious, low-risk plays, it is how the style works, and it is also the reason why I don't like using it. However, there is a difference between getting penalised if you make any obvious plays at all, as even an offence game should have turns where you can just make safe plays, and not being able to get the edge in a match despite continued smart play, which is what happens in a match with Sableye where the opposing player does not possess the breakers that the stall team is weak to.

Also, I'd just like to clear something up, because I realise that I didn't make what I was saying clear in my first post, and placed it right next to what I commented about lures, resulting in the meaning not being conveyed very well and lures being the subject of the sentence, which was not my intention. When I said the quote below, I was actually talking about the stallbreakers and wallbreakers which are effective against the current iteration of the team being used.
"Adapting" works both ways incidentally, so just because I can run something that beats the current common variant of this stall doesn't mean that a smart builder won't change up to counter that threat, and thus we start back from square one.
The point I was raising when I said this was that I was acknowledging that there are indeed breakers which can beat the current sab goth stall team being used, and do it effectively, Gardevoir works fantastically against the team, and PoMMan brought up shed shell togekiss, and although I'm much less of a fan of this pokemon due to how situational it is, that works arguably even better. However, a stall player, if they so choose, can change the team, and if everyone decided to start running one or the other of these, you could expect things like Jirachi or Zapdos to see some use. What we see in this scenario is that the opposing player has adapted to the threat of stall, but stall has adapted back. The issue here isn't that either player can adapt but the conceptual problem - where smart play can be either negated or left providing little advantage, and that this isn't a specific problem to any one breaker, but the breakers that the stall player designates. What I'm ultimately trying to avoid here are the near effortless matchup-based victories that Sableye can provide in many situations, rather than any one pokemon in particular not being effective.
 

Shaka Brah

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#21
Yeah, ABR stall is dumb in how restrictive it is at teambuilder. But M-Sableye doesn't force offense to use incredibly specific mons to stallbreak, Gothitelle does. Without M-Sableye, any offensive mon with hazards up is capable of stallbreaking via simple predictions which will always favour the offense player. Because the risk/reward of taking a risk using stall is always unfavourable, the idea that obvious plays by stall should always be punished is a bit ridiculous.
banning sab makes goth mostly unviable unless you're counterteaming someone due to the huge opportunity cost presented when using it in basically anything that isn't full blown sab stall, but banning goth doesn't change the fact that there'd still be a lot of teams that use sableye in combination with a specific, usually unrunnable, rock-weak mon or core that basically aim to win straight from team preview. wonder trio is the most obvious example of this type of team, but there are more. so, basically, from where i'm standing, banning sab takes care of everyone's worries about how "degenerate/unfair" goth is (not really my opinion but w/e) while also putting a stop to all of those matchup-oriented teams. IK it's your posting gimmick to basically defend stall super hard in every PR/OU thread but we aren't (or shouldn't be) balancing the three arbitrarily-defined "playstyles", we're (or should be) balancing the metagame in general.

e: and yeah, as you can glean from this post it's my opinion that a metagame where you can basically lose from team preview with not even a 5% chance to win because somebody decides to bring a team that happens to wall whatever you bring and you have no hope of getting hazards up is one not worth playing, which is mostly why i've stopped playing Pokemon
 
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#22
IK it's your posting gimmick to basically defend stall super hard in every PR/OU thread but we aren't (or shouldn't be) balancing the three arbitrarily-defined "playstyles", we're (or should be) balancing the metagame in general.
If you read my comments itt I haven't said anything about balancing playstyles. I'm just not as sure as you are that M-Sableye will still be a problem without Gothitelle (essentially the one example to the contrary being Branflakes' team). I see the number of teams that M-Sableye enables as a bigger potential loss for the metagame than losing Gothitelle would be, so I think we should test Gothitelle first. Capisce?
 

Reymedy

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#23
Hazards :
This is the main thing that ORAS took away from the other archetypes. With Sableye and Defog, you can WITHOUT BARELY ANY EFFORT make sure that SR are not gonna be present on your side of the field.
Usually, the Stall matchup in XY would leave hazard pressure on the shoulders of the Stall user. You could win this matchup with smart double switches and such. You lay down SR and then you switch between a physical sweeper and a special sweeper which forces the Stall user to switch around aswell. This is what I'm talking about.
You can see interactions here, it's not over from turn 1, and no one has a Pokémon 6-0ing the other team either.
Sableye-M makes it much harder to achieve consistently, as it lowers drastically the amount of SR setters able to create such a scenario.

Stallbreakers :
We got a lot of them that can beat Stall teams.
We got some of them that can beat Stall and still be somehow viable outside of this matchup.
We got very very few of them that can beat Stall, still be somehow viable outside of this matchup, and not be totally ruined by a Scarf Gothitelle using Trick or Thunder Wave.

This should sum-up why Stall is right now a major nuisance. There is no real way to fix the Hazards thing without banning Sableye-Mega, which I doubt would happen at this point. However the Gothitelle suspect is very focused on the issue we want to address, so to me it would make a lot of sense to suspect it (if not outright quick ban it to be honest, much like BP or SwagPlay, and unlike Landorus, we're talking about something marginal that people don't take too much into account when building because it's simply not worth taking into account, nothing will really come out of a suspect playtesting, we all know it).
Just quoting my old post because I feel like it's also relevant here.
SableyeM is like the pandora box, and no one seems to be willing to open it. To be frank, I'm down for whatever, the fossilisation of the tiering process is what irritates me the most. As if people were too scared/lazy/idksincewegetnoinfo to even try improving the tier, which is beyond me.
Let some suspect happen, let the tiering contributors vote and worst case scenario suspect it back. The metagame will come out of this more mature. I mean, I'm literally copy/pasting my posts now, I think we hit the point where all these threads are only getting ridiculous, enough talk, no one wants to reread the same things over and over even if that's what most smogon threads are about.

edit:
What happened to letting the metagame adapt to new strategies that seem overpowering at first? Everybody was saying "Ban Mega Hera / Ban MegaCham / Ban Mega Garde" in XY after Aegislash was banned due to how initially overpowering they seemed
Lol what? Did you play xy? That's a terrible example and it's very wrong I'm afraid. It's more like, people STARTED TO PLAY these megas after the ban, no one (and definitely not "everybody") was screaming about banning them.
 
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Aberforth

Californium is PoMMan now.
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#24
banning sab makes goth mostly unviable unless you're counterteaming someone due to the huge opportunity cost presented when using it in
This is bullshit. Gothitelle, when used correctly, can be a nightmare for balanced and defensive mons to deal with, and is a fantastic partner for so many mons that appreciate its ability to trap 95% of the metagame. Just think of how many offensive mons benefit from the outright removal of clefable, which goth can do really easily, and thats just one example. If you have a mega lopunny, using a gothitelle set of trick, rest, hp ice, psyshock would be able to open up doors really easily for lopunny, and allows it to run other options (one I like is Baton Pass to trap the very few good answers Lopunny has). Tagging Vinc2612 here because I know he has ran goth in this context a lot and can testify to how good it is.

basically anything that isn't full blown sab stall, but banning goth doesn't change the fact that there'd still be a lot of teams that use sableye in combination with a specific, usually unrunnable, rock-weak mon or core that basically aim to win straight from team preview. wonder trio is the most obvious example of this type of team, but there are more.
That just sounds like poor play/teambuilding. I'm 95% sure you're talking about the shedinja stall teams I've seen running around randomly recently which can be played around, including mega sableye. If your only rock setter option is one that loses to sableye or skarmory, change it. The two teams I've seen (both found in this thread) have inherant weaknesses that good builds should be able to exploit. For one thing, tyranitar is a huge problem for both of those teams, setting up sand to kill the sash shedninja and being able to pursuit trap the safety goggles shedinja leaves the "normally unviable" mon completely dead and a huge hole for you to exploit, which also works with things like hippowdon balance, bisharp offense, weavile offense ext. But focusing more on mega sableye and it's certainty to get up rocks, start using stuff that can set rocks that isn't going to be walled by sableye. Options include: Clefable, Heatran, Mold Breaker Excadrill, and a bunch of lower tier mons as well. Adaption is necessary in the face of metagame trends.

so, basically, from where i'm standing, banning sab takes care of everyone's worries about how "degenerate/unfair" goth is (not really my opinion but w/e) while also putting a stop to all of those matchup-oriented teams. IK it's your posting gimmick to basically defend stall super hard in every PR/OU thread but we aren't (or shouldn't be) balancing the three arbitrarily-defined "playstyles", we're (or should be) balancing the metagame in general.

e: and yeah, as you can glean from this post it's my opinion that a metagame where you can basically lose from team preview with not even a 5% chance to win because somebody decides to bring a team that happens to wall whatever you bring and you have no hope of getting hazards up is one not worth playing, which is mostly why i've stopped playing Pokemon
Again, poor play. I doubt you're losing from team preview unless its ABR stall (gothitelle) or you've just made a pretty poor team. I'll admit I've lost from team preview, but that is the fault of me, not the fault of the team I didn't prepare for. Mega Sableye has made the hazard game more complex and in my opinion promotes higher play, considering how important hazards are. If I was to complain of matchup after brining 6 special attackers vs a guy with a chansey, and none of those special attackers had a way to hit on the special side, complaining about matchup would get me laughed at. yes it is possible to have a good matchup (manectric teams vs hippowdon teams) but it is rarely ever unwinnable.

Reymedy, the increased difficulty in setting hazards is, in my honest opinion as an admittedly not very good player, a good thing for the metagame, as it increases the threshold of skill required by a player. Stall should not be condemned to a formulaic way of beating it such as set rocks and double switch until victory (paraphrasing and exaggerating, sure). I personally feel the faults of the metagame can mostly be summed up by Gothitelle's presence after talking with people I do consider good, although I feel like adaption (shed shell manaphy, togekiss, Gardevoir with a cleric) is more possible than people give credit in this metagame.
 
#25
If your only rock setter option is one that loses to sableye or skarmory, change it. The two teams I've seen (both found in this thread) have inherant weaknesses that good builds should be able to exploit. For one thing, tyranitar is a huge problem for both of those teams, setting up sand to kill the sash shedninja and being able to pursuit trap the safety goggles shedinja leaves the "normally unviable" mon completely dead and a huge hole for you to exploit, which also works with things like hippowdon balance, bisharp offense, weavile offense ext. But focusing more on mega sableye and it's certainty to get up rocks, start using stuff that can set rocks that isn't going to be walled by sableye. Options include: Clefable, Heatran, Mold Breaker Excadrill, and a bunch of lower tier mons as well. Adaption is necessary in the face of metagame trends.
"Just run a Rocks setter that beats M-Sableye" is a terrible argument. Teams which, for whatever reason, want to use a Rocks setter that loses to M-Sableye should be able to compensate by incorporating more anti-stall measures elsewhere in the team.