Metagame Metagame Discussion Thread




With Ubers choosing to remove it from their banlist I thought now would be a good time to discuss the removal of Swagger clause in LC now literally every other main singles tier has done so and even some of the OM's following ubers.

"Bbbbuuttt isn't swagger uncompetitive????" - This has already been discussed to death in these two threads. To quote fireburn

However, given various nerfs to confusion/paralysis/Prankster, it seems clear that the odds of getting a positive outcome from Swagger have been dramatically reduced such that it falls within the purview of "normal hax" (aka the odds of anything really impactful happening are minimal),
Now lets look at LC's main swagger users from early XY when it was banned :

Murkrow - Literally banned now

Cottonee - Large 4MSS already, took a large viability hit this gen.

Riolu - Copycat not hitting dark types was a significant enough nerf to make this almost unviable

Purrloin - :/

Now lets look at some possible arguments as to why swagger would be kept on the ban list.

Could be used to allow free set up for sweepers like Zigzagoon or Shell Smashers. - This doesn't seem worse than the threats in other tiers like GeoXern, Double dance PGroudon, Ditto or Marshadow.

LC pokemon take 40 BP hits worse due to rounding than other tiers that allow swagger - Deoxys-Attacl literally KO's itself in confusion while comically the closest thing in LC would be cranidos.

+2 4 Atk Life Orb Deoxys-Attack Tackle vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Deoxys-Attack: 390-459 (161.8 - 190.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 236 Atk Life Orb Cranidos Tackle vs. 0 HP / 36 Def Cranidos: 14-18 (60.8 - 78.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Putting aside the ridiculous cases this is hard to disprove or prove without running a ton of calculations but is something I feel is actually true but not massively different to level 100 tiers. Just the first two calculations I ran to compare:

+2 76+ Atk Mienfoo Tackle vs. 0 HP / 196 Def Eviolite Mienfoo: 5-7 (23.8 - 33.3%) -- 0% chance to 3HKO

+2 252 Atk Jirachi Tackle vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Jirachi: 73-87 (21.4 - 25.5%) -- 0.5% chance to 4HKO

Other tiers have leftovers to mitigate confusion damage - Berry Juice exists.

So overall I feel like there isn't enough of a reason as to why LC would have Swagger banned when every other tier removed it for this gen. I'd love to hear why if anyone feels like there is a reason.
 

Drew

formerly LitsYaBoi1337
is a Contributor to Smogon
How would this make the meta worse? I get this is partially a joke, but I feel providing a last minute stop to sweepers, and giving a niche to poor lil Purrloin would shake a recently stagnant (imo) meta, and it wouldn't be that bad for the health of said meta. Obviously coming from someone who likes hax-based stuff, but I support this.
 
I personally think purely from a philosophy standpoint, that stuff should only be banned if it's broken or heavily uncompetitive. From that standpoint, Swagger should probably be unbanned.

From theorymonning Swagger, it seems like it'd be more of an annoyance than anything - which personally I'd hate to have to deal with - but from a tiering perspective that shouldn't be a factor in whether or not something is banned. Even if the council is hesitant to just free Swagger due to concerns that it might be an uncompetitive thing, I'd like to say that at least there should be some kind of suspect to check this followed by a council vote.

Should this be high priority? Not really, but at the same time Swagger should be a minimum of looked at if not just immediately unbanned.
 
I would think it is self evident that the addition of hax when unreasonable added would in no way be a positive addition to the metagame. You would think that the removal of skill and its replacement being pure rng would be agreed as a bad thing in a general sense, but alas I don't understand the stances of about 2/3s of the community as it is...

Unbanning swagger is a ban that would be purely for an emptier banlist, and an unban which is largely nominal as the whole idea of it being banned was because it was broken and uncompetitive, so now to unban swagger it must now be not broken and is now not uncompetitive enough to stay banned. I'm inclined to argue it is inherently uncompetitive, and to still an extent which is ban worthy. Then again, I would want confuse ray banned too, if I knew that was at least somewhat feasible.

Swagger was originally banned mostly due to it being banned across the board in smogon tiers, and now it is unbanned in most/all which largely means we might as well follow. Yet, this literally adds nothing positive to the metagame and is not in conflict with our tiering policy or general philosophy as it pertains to LC.

Frankly, I don't see why this is a pressing issue or even something which should be considered an issue at all. I think in all technicality it being unbanned is better for out banlist yet worse for our tier as a whole, even if just minimally so to both ends. So in the end it is a value judgement for the TLs and maybe council to decide, as I see the situation anyway.

On last thing, a stagnant meta is no reason to shake up a banlist and I'm rather sick of it being brought up in a serious nature (and at this point unserious too). No one with any sense will let that happen.
 
How would this make the meta worse? I get this is partially a joke, but I feel providing a last minute stop to sweepers, and giving a niche to poor lil Purrloin would shake a recently stagnant (imo) meta, and it wouldn't be that bad for the health of said meta. Obviously coming from someone who likes hax-based stuff, but I support this.
this is not a joke. swagger is toxic for the metagame. there's no reason to unban it because it's still an uncompetitive, luck-based tactic. it takes skill out of the game.

here is a comprehensive list i have compiled at great personal risk:

reasons to unban swagger:

- some argue that the metagame should be as inclusive as possible
- you get to use purrloin then realize that unless you're absurdly lucky it's still shit

reasons to keep swagger banned:

- it wouldn't improve the metagame and the implication that it would is laughable
- it would make the metagame worse
- common sense
- we should try to create and maintain a metagame that's actually enjoyable and luck-based elements take away from overall enjoyment. it doesn't feel good to get lucky and it certainly doesn't feel good to be on the receiving end of luck.

we shouldn't be having a serious discussion about this. unbanning swagger would obviously negatively impact the metagame. this is not hard to understand.
 

Berks

has a Calm Mind
is a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
this is not a joke. swagger is toxic for the metagame. there's no reason to unban it because it's still an uncompetitive, luck-based tactic. it takes skill out of the game.

here is a comprehensive list i have compiled at great personal risk:

reasons to unban swagger:

- some argue that the metagame should be as inclusive as possible
- you get to use purrloin then realize that unless you're absurdly lucky it's still shit

reasons to keep swagger banned:

- it wouldn't improve the metagame and the implication that it would is laughable
- it would make the metagame worse
- common sense
- we should try to create and maintain a metagame that's actually enjoyable and luck-based elements take away from overall enjoyment. it doesn't feel good to get lucky and it certainly doesn't feel good to be on the receiving end of luck.

we shouldn't be having a serious discussion about this. unbanning swagger would obviously negatively impact the metagame. this is not hard to understand.
Your argument is inherently biased towards keeping it banned. While I would also prefer it stay banned, we need to evaluate it from a tiering and banning standpoint and uphold our established precedents. The reason to unban swagger is not because our metagame should be as inclusive as possible; if that was the case and we wanted to leave as many things as possible in the metagame, we'd have banned Conversion, we'd have banned Pure Power, and we'd have banned Drought. Swagger has been nerfed to the ends of the earth and though it of course introduces a luck element that is stupid annoying to fight, it is almost exactly similar in function to Confuse Ray, which is not banned. In order to claim that our banlist makes sense and is consistent, and as a matter of pure ideology, we need to unban it.

Yeah, it sucks. I fuckin HATE Swagger. But we have to unban it now to stay consistent.
 
Exactly what are we keeping consistent here? Part of the tiering philosophy is to keep uncompetitive elements out of the metagame, and most agree that swagger is indeed an uncompetitive element. Just because ubers did something doesn't mean that we should do it too, considering that ubers happens not to be little cup.
 

Xayah

We always have a plan
is a Contributor to Smogon
Okay here's the thing. Everyone keeps saying Swagger is uncompetitive, but is it really? Let's look at the definition from OU's Tering Policy Framework (I couldn't actually find one for LC so I assume we use this)
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.
B.) This can be external factors; think endless battle clause, where the determining factor becomes internet connection over playing skill.
C.) This can be probability management issues; think OHKOs, SwagPlay, Evasion, or Moody, all of which turn the battle from emphasizing battling skill to emphasizing the result of the RNG more often than not.
D.) Note uncompetitive elements are almost always present in the battling skill aspect; they will, however, be present in the team building aspect should we allow them in the sense of having to rely on excessively specific counters (such as loading teams with Sturdy or Keen Eye Pokemon and the like).
(The reason SwagPlay is listed here is because it's still referencing ORAS, in which it most certainly was uncompetitive)

So we need to determine if Swagger causes "more skillful play" to be rendered irrelevant almost always. And frankly, it doesn't. Most Pokemon in Little Cup won't do a ton of damage to themselves when Swaggered and/or have ways to heal themselves back up; more important is Swagger's ability to give free turns. If it were consistent enough to actually give these a lot of the time, it'd be a problem. However, in order to get a free turn with Swagger, you need to land it (85%), have the opponent hit themselves in confusion to make up for the turn you used using Swagger (30%), and have the opponent hit themselves in confusion AGAIN to actually get the free turn (30%). This means that the Swagger user has a whopping 0.85*0.3*0.3=0.765 => 7.65% chance to actually get a free turn. Remember that this is only slightly higher than the chance of a critical hit.

Now don't get me wrong, I hate RNG. I dislike crits, freeze, paralysis, and yes, Swagger, and believe Pokemon would be a better game without all of them. However, Swagger does not render "more skillful play" irrelevant almost always, since it only has a 7.65% chance to be worth using at all, even ignoring Dark-types Prankster immunity and potential switching.That is not "almost always". Unless someone can point me to a different definition of "uncompetitive" that we adhere to that is not the one OU and every other tier uses, we have no grounds of keeping Swagger banned, no matter how much it sucks.

Also, to the people who keep saying "why are we suddenly following Ubers, Ubers is not LC", we aren't unbanning Swagger because Ubers did it, we're unbanning it because it's no longer uncompetitive. The reason we started thinking about it is because with Ubers now doing it, EVERY SINGLE OFFICIAL SINGLES TIER has unbanned it. Like Ubers has Marshadow and unbanned it. Klefki still exists in OU and UU and they unbanned it. LC does not have a Swagger abuser on their level, yet we're keeping it banned? On what grounds?
 
Exactly what are we keeping consistent here? Part of the tiering philosophy is to keep uncompetitive elements out of the metagame, and most agree that swagger is indeed an uncompetitive element. Just because ubers did something doesn't mean that we should do it too, considering that ubers happens not to be little cup.
The word uncompetitive gets thrown around a lot.

A lot a lot.

Like wow.

But what exactly is uncompetitive? Is it just something that removes skill from the game in favor of luck? Why that's terrible and definitely deserves to be banned! I look forward to seeing our new metagame without any less than 100 accuracy moves, moves with % secondary effects, defog (because contrary can make that boost evasion didn't you know!), sleep, freeze, and paralysis removed, and modded so that critical hits don't happen.

Yes I'm exaggerating. Fortunately our lovely OU forum and PR representatives created a framework (based around OU) that can be used to help elaborate on what uncompetitive is. Let's take a look!

Let's use this and start from the top!

First, the bits about Assumptions in Tiering Policy. Fortunately, sections I, V, and VI aren't particularly relevant to discuss in detail relating to this so I'm not going to cover them right now. VI could be argued for important but it's mostly discussing how "skill" will be defined later.

II.) We cater to both ladder players (the higher end of the ladder) and tournament players.
A.) The majority of our accepted "elitism skill" is concentrated in tournaments, but the overwhelming majority of our battles occur on ladder.
B.) For actions to be taken in tiering policy, it is important to show how that action affects BOTH the ladder scene and the tournament scene.
C.) Stats for both will be highly emphasized but not a sole determining factor.

III.) Providing justification is the onus of the side changing the status quo.
C.) If a proposal is made to unban a Pokemon, Ability, Item, or Move, the side suggesting this unban must demonstrate all of why this is necessary, how it affects the ladder and the tournament scene, and provide evidence for both.
IV.) Probability management is a part of the game.
A.) This means we have to accept that moves have secondary effects, that moves can miss, that moves can critical hit, and that managing all these potential probability points is a part of skill.
B.) This does NOT mean that we will accept every probability factor introduced to the game. Evasion, OHKO, and Moody all affected the outcome "too much" and we removed them.
C.) "Too much" is if a particular factor has the more skilled player at a disadvantage a considerable amount of the time against a less skilled player, regardless of what he does. In relation to the latter part, "too much" also refers to factors that nearly completely take a game out of the player's hands and turn the PRIMARY point of the game to wait for the RNG.
2.) Moody and SwagPlay are examples of the "taking the game out of a player's hands". Both turn the PRIMARY point of the game waiting to see what the RNG spits out.
I kept in the main relevant bits to this discussion, if you want to see the whole list see the thread I linked earlier. II is only tangentially relevant to this discussion - basically it means that we can't dismiss Swagger as just "a ladder gimmick" because we do have a responsibility to make the ladder competitive as well.

III is mostly saying that yes - Swagger is banned so it's on the people who want it unbanned to explain why it should be. THAT BEING SAID Swagger was carried over as part of the banlist in Gen 7, so I'd personally like to ask those who want to keep it banned why it should have been banned in the first place.

IV is obviously the most relevant section - explaining that yes part of the game is luck based and no that doesn't mean we have to accept it if they influence the outcome of the game "too much". Section A is mostly for the people who want it unbanned, Section B is for the people who want it to stay banned, and Section C is the battleground (keep in mind that this was written in Gen 6 so the SwagPlay example was done with that in mind).

I'm also going to quote the most relevant later sections for both sides in Swagger so that you don't have to jump back and forth - I'm not quoting the "skill" definition section because there's not really much to discuss there, it's pretty clear cut. Go read it once and then come back if you're curious.

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.
C.) This can be probability management issues; think OHKOs, SwagPlay, Evasion, or Moody, all of which turn the battle from emphasizing battling skill to emphasizing the result of the RNG more often than not.
D.) Note uncompetitive elements are almost always present in the battling skill aspect; they will, however, be present in the team building aspect should we allow them in the sense of having to rely on excessively specific counters (such as loading teams with Sturdy or Keen Eye Pokemon and the like).
Since Uncompetitive is the area we're discussing here, this is where we're mainly going to focus. Section A is only tangentially applicable, while Swagger could certainly cause some matchup issues it's unlikely to cause any more than other pokemon or teamstyles, however it's kept in because it could be relevant. Section C emphasizes that this is where Swagger should fall in discussion, since Swagger itself is almost entirely probability management. Section D is mostly to head off discussion of Own Tempo being a reason to allow Swagger - while yes it is an answer forcing teams to run Own Tempo mons would be an issue as well.

2.) One important thing to note with this is that distribution both matters (in the case of large distributions) and doesn't matter (in the case of low distributions).
a.) If Stealth Rock or Scald weren't so common, they probably would not be as controversial issues as they are.
This bit is from the Unhealthy definition, and is relevant because it explains "why Swagger" instead of Confusion in general. Swagger certainly has high distribution, which is a factor in the problem. Nearly every relevant LC pokemon gets Swagger, which is a part of the problem that isn't the case with moves like Confuse Ray or Flatter which are comparable or arguably better.

Overall Goal and Purpose of Tiering Policy:

I.) To create a metagame that is conducive to the more "skilled" player winning over the less "skilled" player a majority of the time.
B.) What this means is that, with all of the probability management inherent in the mechanics of Pokemon and with all the team matchup factor inherent with the sheer number of threats in Pokemon, we strive to create a metagame in which the better player winning over the less skilled player happens significantly more than the less skilled player winning over the better player
E.) What all 4 of the previous points seek to maximize is keeping the biggest determining factor in the match PLAYER CHOICE such that the better player wins the majority of the time.
II.) To ensure that both our ladder and tournament crowds are catered to regarding I.)
A.) Because ladder tends to be a scene where you play many battles in a short amount of time, "skill" for the ladder emphasizes beating the overall set of threats in a general sense.
B.) Because tournament battles tend to be a scene where a well played surprise wins the match, "skill" for tournament battles emphasizes the ability to both possess creativity and deal with creativity.
C.) The previous two are not mutually exclusive, just pointed out for emphasis. We strive to create a metagame in which someone can both deal with the general set of threats and be creative while dealing with creativity (read: balancing act between diversity and centralization).
D.) For tiering change suggestions, justification can be provided for either or both tournaments or ladder. Both is preferred as it makes an argument more complete.
1.) There will very rarely be a case where a true suspect element is not a problem in both environments, so be sure to be complete in your suspect justification.
2.) If something is overwhelmingly a problem in one environment and not the other, be sure to show how it is a problem in one and try to explain why it isn't a problem in the other.
3.) We expect some differences in both environments, but if a suspect element is non-existent in one environment, it is worth delving into why this is the case and whether there is something else to look at.
III. To ensure that actions are taken with appropriate and complete justification.
A.) Statistics help frame the context of a discussion.
1.) Be careful with adding spin to statistics instead of just reporting them; there are countless examples of using statistics incorrectly to draw deterministic conclusions that inevitably ruin a thread. Don't do this.
2.) Usage statistics and their implications correlate most strongly with how we have defined broken.
a.) While they can certainly provide context for uncompetitive and unhealthy, the way we have defined both means something does NOT need to be highly used to be either.
b.) This doesn't mean they don't need to be used at all. If say, Shadow Tag / Gothitelle is brought up as an uncompetitive suspect element but it has only 1 usage in 100 competitive tournament battles, people would rightly be justified in pointing this out as a counterpoint.
c.) What specifically constitutes "enough usage" is specifically left open-ended and it will be judged on a case by case basis for each suspect element.
B.) Do not haphazardly and brazenly declare anything is uncompetitive or unhealthy and shoot down objective counterarguments.
C.) We will expect and demand in-depth analysis into what particular factor(s) of skill is reduced, how the proposed suspect element is actually the cause, and why and how removing (or adding) this element will improve the metagame.
E.) Arguments that show how a specific suspect element affects skill in relative terms to other elements in the metagame will be very, very, highly emphasized.
1.) Arguments emphasizing relativity were emphasized in defining broken, but this is referring to the "how x is it" part of the argument, where x is any of uncompetitive, broken, unhealthy.
2.) Simply stating Gothitelle is uncompetitive because it reduces player skill by limiting smart switches is not enough; show how it does so more than other elements in the metagame and how this is detrimental.
There's a lot here, but most of this is based around how is best to discuss a suspect both in general and for Swagger itself, particularly III.). The most relevant part to Swagger in particular is I.) where it discusses again, player skill.


So all of this leads to one point in general that should be looked at for Swagger:

Does Swagger prevent the More "Skilled" Player from winning a majority of the time?

This question is implied or directly stated in all of Assumptions in Tiering Part IV Section C (the most important one to this discussion), Uncompetitive Definition Section C, and the Overall Goal in Tiering Part I.

While this would be aided greatly from having actual statistics relevant to LC, unfortunately Swagger is illegal and has never been a part of the Gen 7 LC metagame. Because of this an in the absence of a suspect test and the chance to play with Swagger, we instead have to rely on numbers to compare the advantages Swagger brings compared to other RNG based events in battle.

So here's our chart from last gen, discussing the wonderful chance to smack yourself in the face due to confusion.



Fortunately that middle column has changed to be 33.3%, 25%, 22.2%, 16.7%, 0%. This also changes the Cumulative Chance to hit yourself at least once to be 33.3%, 50%, 61.1%, 67.7%, 67.7%.

Basically what this means is that the odds of the opponent being immobilized at least one turn due to Confusion is 67.7% after 5(4) turns. Clearly this is significantly less than last generation, for a start, but that still seems kind of high to get some Free Turns doesn't it? Don't forget that the Swagger user also has to give up a turn to be using Swagger! Granted the cost of the free turn isn't equal, since hitting yourself in confusion is also damage to yourself, but basically what this means is that for a flat slightly better than 1 to 1 return on investment you only have a 67.7% chance. Which isn't terrible but also isn't exactly very good. This only gets worse when we account for the 85 accuracy of Swagger.

So what if you want to see where it becomes significantly beneficial to the swagger user, that is, the odds of hitting yourself at least twice? Well that math is taking way too long significantly more complicated and i need help I'd recommend trying it on your own. (Xayah is not doing this correctly if you were curious)

However, let's do a comparison to paralysis, where the chance to break is 0% and the chance to be immobilized is 25% all the way down. There, the cumulative chance to lose a turn at least once becomes 25%, 43.8%, 57.8%, 68.4%, 76.3%, ...

Similarly, these are the average odds of at least return on your investment. Basically speaking, Swagger is only more likely to get you a return on your investment of a turn for the first 3 turns - after that paralysis is more likely to get you a free turn and it only increases from there.

Let's also compare this to using Brightpowder, which is different in that the investment cost isn't as easy to calculate since it's an item slot and not a used turn. Assuming your opponent is using 100 acc attacks, the second column is 10% all the way down, and the Cum Chance to dodge at least once is, in order: 10%, 19%, 27.1%, 34.4%, 41%[, 46.9%, 52.2%, 57%, 61.3%]. While this isn't directly relevant to the Swagger discussion, I found it interesting to be able to see exactly how much Brightpowder is worth.


From the math, we can see that Swagger has a decent chance of getting the user at least one free turn in exchange for a turn of their own - well if 67.7% is decent. I personally don't think those are particularly good odds, but I can see how somebody else might think they're overwhelmingly good.

There's a lot here, so I'll try and sum up what I think the main unban-Swagger relevant points are.

TL;DR
1) Probability management is a part of the game, and so is RNG. We should only remove elements of RNG if they're "too much", and this is the debatable part of Swagger.
2) Swagger can be argued for the category of uncompetitive with a side caveat of how it is unhealthy due to distribution, but for it to be unhealthy it should emphasis RNG more than the skill of either player so that the more skilled player does not win a majority of the time due to Swagger's influence.
3) The burden of proving Swagger isn't broken or uncompetitive is technically on the side of the people who want it freed.
--- That being said, I personally would like to ask Quote as the person who made the decision to keep Swagger banned at a point in the carryover from Gen 6's banlist why Swagger is broken since the "Ban Swagger" side has never had that burden. This is less important, but I do think it is relevant.
 
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Cautiously Optimistic
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LC Co-Leader
The word uncompetitive gets thrown around a lot.

A lot a lot.

Like wow.

But what exactly is uncompetitive? Is it just something that removes skill from the game in favor of luck? Why that's terrible and definitely deserves to be banned! I look forward to seeing our new metagame without any less than 100 accuracy moves, moves with % secondary effects, defog (because contrary can make that boost evasion didn't you know!), sleep, freeze, and paralysis removed, and modded so that critical hits don't happen.

Yes I'm exaggerating. Fortunately our lovely OU forum and PR representatives created a framework (based around OU) that can be used to help elaborate on what uncompetitive is. Let's take a look!

Let's use this and start from the top!

First, the bits about Assumptions in Tiering Policy. Fortunately, sections I, V, and VI aren't particularly relevant to discuss in detail relating to this so I'm not going to cover them right now. VI could be argued for important but it's mostly discussing how "skill" will be defined later.



I kept in the main relevant bits to this discussion, if you want to see the whole list see the thread I linked earlier. II is only tangentially relevant to this discussion - basically it means that we can't dismiss Swagger as just "a ladder gimmick" because we do have a responsibility to make the ladder competitive as well.

III is mostly saying that yes - Swagger is banned so it's on the people who want it unbanned to explain why it should be. THAT BEING SAID Swagger was carried over as part of the banlist in Gen 7, so I'd personally like to ask those who want to keep it banned why it should have been banned in the first place.

IV is obviously the most relevant section - explaining that yes part of the game is luck based and no that doesn't mean we have to accept it if they influence the outcome of the game "too much". Section A is mostly for the people who want it unbanned, Section B is for the people who want it to stay banned, and Section C is the battleground (keep in mind that this was written in Gen 6 so the SwagPlay example was done with that in mind).

I'm also going to quote the most relevant later sections for both sides in Swagger so that you don't have to jump back and forth - I'm not quoting the "skill" definition section because there's not really much to discuss there, it's pretty clear cut. Go read it once and then come back if you're curious.



Since Uncompetitive is the area we're discussing here, this is where we're mainly going to focus. Section A is only tangentially applicable, while Swagger could certainly cause some matchup issues it's unlikely to cause any more than other pokemon or teamstyles, however it's kept in because it could be relevant. Section C emphasizes that this is where Swagger should fall in discussion, since Swagger itself is almost entirely probability management. Section D is mostly to head off discussion of Own Tempo being a reason to allow Swagger - while yes it is an answer forcing teams to run Own Tempo mons would be an issue as well.



This bit is from the Unhealthy definition, and is relevant because it explains "why Swagger" instead of Confusion in general. Swagger certainly has high distribution, which is a factor in the problem. Nearly every relevant LC pokemon gets Swagger, which is a part of the problem that isn't the case with moves like Confuse Ray or Flatter which are comparable or arguably better.



There's a lot here, but most of this is based around how is best to discuss a suspect both in general and for Swagger itself, particularly III.). The most relevant part to Swagger in particular is I.) where it discusses again, player skill.


So all of this leads to one point in general that should be looked at for Swagger:

Does Swagger prevent the More "Skilled" Player from winning a majority of the time?

This question is implied or directly stated in all of Assumptions in Tiering Part IV Section C (the most important one to this discussion), Uncompetitive Definition Section C, and the Overall Goal in Tiering Part I.

While this would be aided greatly from having actual statistics relevant to LC, unfortunately Swagger is illegal and has never been a part of the Gen 7 LC metagame. Because of this an in the absence of a suspect test and the chance to play with Swagger, we instead have to rely on numbers to compare the advantages Swagger brings compared to other RNG based events in battle.

So here's our chart from last gen, discussing the wonderful chance to smack yourself in the face due to confusion.



Fortunately that middle column has changed to be 33.3%, 25%, 22.2%, 16.7%, 0%. This also changes the Cumulative Chance to hit yourself at least once to be 33.3%, 50%, 61.1%, 67.7%, 67.7%.

Basically what this means is that the odds of the opponent being immobilized at least one turn due to Confusion is 67.7% after 5(4) turns. Clearly this is significantly less than last generation, for a start, but that still seems kind of high to get some Free Turns doesn't it? Don't forget that the Swagger user also has to give up a turn to be using Swagger! Granted the cost of the free turn isn't equal, since hitting yourself in confusion is also damage to yourself, but basically what this means is that for a flat slightly better than 1 to 1 return on investment you only have a 67.7% chance. Which isn't terrible but also isn't exactly very good. This only gets worse when we account for the 90 accuracy of Swagger.

So what if you want to see where it becomes significantly beneficial to the swagger user, that is, the odds of hitting yourself at least twice? Well that math is taking way too long significantly more complicated and i need help I'd recommend trying it on your own. (Xayah is not doing this correctly if you were curious)

However, let's do a comparison to paralysis, where the chance to break is 0% and the chance to be immobilized is 25% all the way down. There, the cumulative chance to lose a turn at least once becomes 25%, 43.8%, 57.8%, 68.4%, 76.3%, ...

Similarly, these are the average odds of at least return on your investment. Basically speaking, Swagger is only more likely to get you a return on your investment of a turn for the first 3 turns - after that paralysis is more likely to get you a free turn and it only increases from there.

Let's also compare this to using Brightpowder, which is different in that the investment cost isn't as easy to calculate since it's an item slot and not a used turn. Assuming your opponent is using 100 acc attacks, the second column is 10% all the way down, and the Cum Chance to dodge at least once is, in order: 10%, 19%, 27.1%, 34.4%, 41%[, 46.9%, 52.2%, 57%, 61.3%]. While this isn't directly relevant to the Swagger discussion, I found it interesting to be able to see exactly how much Brightpowder is worth.


From the math, we can see that Swagger has a decent chance of getting the user at least one free turn in exchange for a turn of their own - well if 67.7% is decent. I personally don't think those are particularly good odds, but I can see how somebody else might think they're overwhelmingly good.

There's a lot here, so I'll try and sum up what I think the main unban-Swagger relevant points are.

TL;DR
1) Probability management is a part of the game, and so is RNG. We should only remove elements of RNG if they're "too much", and this is the debatable part of Swagger.
2) Swagger can be argued for the category of uncompetitive with a side caveat of how it is unhealthy due to distribution, but for it to be unhealthy it should emphasis RNG more than the skill of either player so that the more skilled player does not win a majority of the time due to Swagger's influence.
3) The burden of proving Swagger isn't broken or uncompetitive is technically on the side of the people who want it freed.
--- That being said, I personally would like to ask Quote as the person who made the decision to keep Swagger banned at a point in the carryover from Gen 6's banlist why Swagger is broken since the "Ban Swagger" side has never had that burden. This is less important, but I do think it is relevant.

I didn't want to remove anything from the banlist unless I was 100% certain that the element changed enough that it would no longer present an issue and could be considered acceptable for competitive LC play. Despite the nerf to Swagger and confusion, I didn't feel fully confident that it was worth taking off the banlist, because of what it was still capable of doing. I'm open to revisiting and possibly unbanning it but like you mentioned, the burden of proof is on those supporting the unbanning.
 

Xayah

We always have a plan
is a Contributor to Smogon
I didn't want to remove anything from the banlist unless I was 100% certain that the element changed enough that it would no longer present an issue and could be considered acceptable for competitive LC play. Despite the nerf to Swagger and confusion, I didn't feel fully confident that it was worth taking off the banlist, because of what it was still capable of doing. I'm open to revisiting and possibly unbanning it but like you mentioned, the burden of proof is on those supporting the unbanning.
I am pretty adamantly in favour of at least suspect testing Swagger. The nerfs to it, from accuracy to confusion nerf to Prankster nerf (reduces effectiveness of best users) to TWave nerf (reduces effectiveness of ParaFusion), it is simply no where near as good as it once was. Best case for the Swagger user is gaining one free turn and the opponent doing 30% to themselves, but they have a 7.65% to accomplish that, as I calculated in my previous post. This, in combination with switching removing Swagger's effect, Dark-types being immune to Cottonee, Riolu, and Purrloin using it, and Murkrow being banned, leads me to believe that Swagger has been adequately nerfed to at least deserve a test.

EDIT: Quote has let me know that we're not wasting time on a suspect test, so then just unban it imo
 
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this is what I do on my day off... I'm going to try and stay away from fluff and padding my post with things that aren't needed.

Okay, so there's been some actual discussion on Swagger for the first time this generation. Unlike some people, I think it's absolutely fine to discuss this in the current metagame, as it's stabilizing in a way where there is nothing too significant to get banned at the current moment. I don't think we should be trying to contain or limit discussion on things that could potentially change the metagame. That being said, just because other tiers do something, this does not mean that is needed in Little Cup. We've always been our own thing and there's no reason to conform otherwise. (See: Level 5 vs Level 10/100 LC, Baton Pass) Knowing this, it still might be a good idea to look into why it is weaker in OU and Ubers. What I'm going to highlight are just some possibilities, while I personally don't think unbanning Swagger would be as viable as I am going to make it out to be, it's important to explore these possibilities.

I. Are we still talking about Swagger?

The first thing that fitzy highlighted in his post are the Prankster users that could potentially abuse Swagger. While this might seem like a solid place to start, we should be looking at all of the things that could potentially use it. My parameters for this started off as, anything that could potentially spread paralysis. I used this as my baseline because in the quote that he posted, the second thing that apparently was nerfed is paralysis. (The first being confusion, which was and still currently is irrelevant in competitive play.) Paralysis is still extremely prevalent in LC, as many threatening pokemon use it. In fact...

Here is all of the paralysis mons in OU, LC, and Ubers; How to read this list. Anything in all capital letters has a paralysis move on one of it's main analysis sets. Anything in lowercase has it as an OO. I went down to B- in both LC and OU, and chose to do all of Ubers. I chose these tiers as a comparison to LC because one has plenty of time to develop with Swagger around it, and the other has recently unbanned it. Following this list, there is more pokemon in LC's A-Tier that abuse paralysis than OU and Ubers combined. Okay, random naysayer, you might be asking, what the heck this has to do with anything. Both Swagger and Thunder Wave are examples of variance of luck in LC. It wouldn't be much of a jump to assume that paralysis, an already viable move in LC, would become even more powerful with the addition of Swagger. Conversely, Swagger would become more powerful because of the prevalence of Thunder Wave, Glare, and Stun Spore. If Swagger was allowed in LC, you would not need to be a Prankster mon to use it.

While this might not seem like such a bad thing, after all, you are sacrificing a slot just to run a move that might not even do it's intended job; it's still notable to point out that the odds of actually benefiting from Swagger is higher than other tiers. But how much could you possibly benefit from getting a Swagger turn.

II. Downhill Damage

Kindly, fitzy already pointed out the actual cons of unbanning Swagger, so I don't need to dwell on this nearly as much. Swagger has the chance of forcing a free turn on a setup sweeper, such as Shellder, Zigzagoon, or Snivy. This could potentially end the late game for a team, as those mons and many other have the ability to completely roll through teams if given the chance. I'm not too sure how much you enjoy getting unlucky in a turn and then instantly losing the game, but I can tell you from personal experience that it isn't fun.

"But I'm good Coco! My Swagger fodder won't be in on a setup sweeper."

Okay, you won't have it in at that moment, but good luck not being able to switch out reliably on anything. While that might be a really wild statement, everything gets Swagger. Like over 250 pokemon in LC get Swagger. If I'm switching in my Berry Juice Vital Spirit Magby to a Foongus, expecting to score a quick KO, it could very easily throw a swagger at me. This prevents Magby from doing it's job reliably, either set up or just kill Foongus. Something that was a true counter now just became a liability. Now it might not seem like a big deal, it has it's Berry Juice to restore it's health if it gets hurt by confusion or it can just switch out and wait for an easier time to come in. This forces a scenario where you as the battler could take the risk and potentially bring in something considerably more dangerous, like their Shellder. Or you could switch out and eat another Swagger or a Spore. While this, once again, might be an extreme situation, it's also a very generous one on both ends. Magby is lucky enough to take exactly half from a self-hit, which would pop it's BJ. Contrary to that, Foongus is one of the slowest mons in LC, using a faster example might open up a myriad of new problems and choices for the player to make.

Even if that example was too extreme, let's take a look at how much damage things in LC actually take from a +2 confusion.

How to calcspam and not be annoying...
Obviously I'm just nitpicking examples, but just about every mon takes at least 20/30%, and at worst just under half. After rocks, many birds and fire types are severely crippled and can potentially lose over half of their health. The problem with this, in comparison to say, OU, is that everything in LC does damage. Even something like little toxapex, does about 30% with it's Scald to a majority of the metagame. This means that the more offensive threats, such as LO Abra, could have a field day with everything below 80%.

LC's extremely fast paced metagame really makes it difficult to comeback after losing momentum. Swagger does exactly that, forces momentum back into your favor for a potential victory. Capitalizing on a free turn can easily lose you a game, and the risk of that is way too high to allow Swagger in the metagame.


III. Prevention

OU and Ubers have developed ways to counteract the actuality of Swagger, regardless of the fact that they are slower metagames comparatively, they have options like Tapu Fini and Misty Terrain to block Swagger, a more viable (comparatively) Lum Berry, more Heal Bell users, and more Special Attackers in general. LC has Sprtizee and Snubbull and Chinchou (lol) in terms of Heal Bell users, and no other ways to really block Confusion. fitzy suggested that Berry Juice exists. That's cute. Around 15 mons viably run Berry Juice between S and B-. Many of these mons do NOT want to lose their Berry Juice, as they rely on it to do their job; but many of them won't lose their Berry Juice in the first place. About 12 of those mons, even after rocks will not lose enough of their health to pop the Berry Juice, which leaves you at a massive disadvantage to a mon that actually has an Eviolite. One could argue that more mons would be viable with Berry Juice then, but that would be harmful to the metagame, as we are adapting around a move when our current metagame is already healthy. And that leads just about as well to the "tiering philosophy" points.

IV. Tire Philosophy and You.

LC does not have a tiering philosophy, and that is for a reason. That's another discussion for another time, but if we're insistent on using this as a reason to unban, I'm going to use my own personal thoughts on how a metagame should be run. Keep in mind that my biases lean more towards ban on most topics.

- Is it broken? Objectively? No. I don't think anyone believes that it is broken per se. If someone wants to speak up as to why it is broken, feel free to, but I don't believe anyone has as of yet.

- Does the suspect in question make the game uncompetitive or unfun? While these questions are more subjective and should be treated as such. Swagger's ability to add luck-based factors and stop the better player from winning would lead me to believe Yes it is both uncompetitve and unfun. This is generally agreed by just about every post regarding this topic. People are either saying, yes, it is unfun or yes it is uncompetitive. Even if we follow the definition used by OU, Swagger reduces the players choice and could potentially render the choice irrelevant in the first place. Also Swagger is obviously like one of the least fun and most frustrating moves in the game, you can fight me on that. There is nothing that is forcing us to unban swagger, as there's no tiering philosophy in place that says we must unban it, and there is no pressure from any other tier that claims that we must unban it, considering we've done our own thing for basically forever.

I know I probably forgot a lot of things, but I hope at least I'm getting my point across. For the people that are saying that burden of proof is on the people that want it to stay banned, no it isn't, but here it is anyway. Feel free to reply to this, but unless something needs to be clarified, I don't think I want to write anymore about Swagger for the rest of the generation.
 

Berks

has a Calm Mind
is a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
this is what I do on my day off... I'm going to try and stay away from fluff and padding my post with things that aren't needed.

Okay, so there's been some actual discussion on Swagger for the first time this generation. Unlike some people, I think it's absolutely fine to discuss this in the current metagame, as it's stabilizing in a way where there is nothing too significant to get banned at the current moment. I don't think we should be trying to contain or limit discussion on things that could potentially change the metagame. That being said, just because other tiers do something, this does not mean that is needed in Little Cup. We've always been our own thing and there's no reason to conform otherwise. (See: Level 5 vs Level 10/100 LC, Baton Pass) Knowing this, it still might be a good idea to look into why it is weaker in OU and Ubers. What I'm going to highlight are just some possibilities, while I personally don't think unbanning Swagger would be as viable as I am going to make it out to be, it's important to explore these possibilities.

I. Are we still talking about Swagger?

The first thing that fitzy highlighted in his post are the Prankster users that could potentially abuse Swagger. While this might seem like a solid place to start, we should be looking at all of the things that could potentially use it. My parameters for this started off as, anything that could potentially spread paralysis. I used this as my baseline because in the quote that he posted, the second thing that apparently was nerfed is paralysis. (The first being confusion, which was and still currently is irrelevant in competitive play.) Paralysis is still extremely prevalent in LC, as many threatening pokemon use it. In fact...

Here is all of the paralysis mons in OU, LC, and Ubers; How to read this list. Anything in all capital letters has a paralysis move on one of it's main analysis sets. Anything in lowercase has it as an OO. I went down to B- in both LC and OU, and chose to do all of Ubers. I chose these tiers as a comparison to LC because one has plenty of time to develop with Swagger around it, and the other has recently unbanned it. Following this list, there is more pokemon in LC's A-Tier that abuse paralysis than OU and Ubers combined. Okay, random naysayer, you might be asking, what the heck this has to do with anything. Both Swagger and Thunder Wave are examples of variance of luck in LC. It wouldn't be much of a jump to assume that paralysis, an already viable move in LC, would become even more powerful with the addition of Swagger. Conversely, Swagger would become more powerful because of the prevalence of Thunder Wave, Glare, and Stun Spore. If Swagger was allowed in LC, you would not need to be a Prankster mon to use it.

While this might not seem like such a bad thing, after all, you are sacrificing a slot just to run a move that might not even do it's intended job; it's still notable to point out that the odds of actually benefiting from Swagger is higher than other tiers. But how much could you possibly benefit from getting a Swagger turn.

II. Downhill Damage

Kindly, fitzy already pointed out the actual cons of unbanning Swagger, so I don't need to dwell on this nearly as much. Swagger has the chance of forcing a free turn on a setup sweeper, such as Shellder, Zigzagoon, or Snivy. This could potentially end the late game for a team, as those mons and many other have the ability to completely roll through teams if given the chance. I'm not too sure how much you enjoy getting unlucky in a turn and then instantly losing the game, but I can tell you from personal experience that it isn't fun.

"But I'm good Coco! My Swagger fodder won't be in on a setup sweeper."

Okay, you won't have it in at that moment, but good luck not being able to switch out reliably on anything. While that might be a really wild statement, everything gets Swagger. Like over 250 pokemon in LC get Swagger. If I'm switching in my Berry Juice Vital Spirit Magby to a Foongus, expecting to score a quick KO, it could very easily throw a swagger at me. This prevents Magby from doing it's job reliably, either set up or just kill Foongus. Something that was a true counter now just became a liability. Now it might not seem like a big deal, it has it's Berry Juice to restore it's health if it gets hurt by confusion or it can just switch out and wait for an easier time to come in. This forces a scenario where you as the battler could take the risk and potentially bring in something considerably more dangerous, like their Shellder. Or you could switch out and eat another Swagger or a Spore. While this, once again, might be an extreme situation, it's also a very generous one on both ends. Magby is lucky enough to take exactly half from a self-hit, which would pop it's BJ. Contrary to that, Foongus is one of the slowest mons in LC, using a faster example might open up a myriad of new problems and choices for the player to make.

Even if that example was too extreme, let's take a look at how much damage things in LC actually take from a +2 confusion.

How to calcspam and not be annoying...
Obviously I'm just nitpicking examples, but just about every mon takes at least 20/30%, and at worst just under half. After rocks, many birds and fire types are severely crippled and can potentially lose over half of their health. The problem with this, in comparison to say, OU, is that everything in LC does damage. Even something like little toxapex, does about 30% with it's Scald to a majority of the metagame. This means that the more offensive threats, such as LO Abra, could have a field day with everything below 80%.

LC's extremely fast paced metagame really makes it difficult to comeback after losing momentum. Swagger does exactly that, forces momentum back into your favor for a potential victory. Capitalizing on a free turn can easily lose you a game, and the risk of that is way too high to allow Swagger in the metagame.


III. Prevention

OU and Ubers have developed ways to counteract the actuality of Swagger, regardless of the fact that they are slower metagames comparatively, they have options like Tapu Fini and Misty Terrain to block Swagger, a more viable (comparatively) Lum Berry, more Heal Bell users, and more Special Attackers in general. LC has Sprtizee and Snubbull and Chinchou (lol) in terms of Heal Bell users, and no other ways to really block Confusion. fitzy suggested that Berry Juice exists. That's cute. Around 15 mons viably run Berry Juice between S and B-. Many of these mons do NOT want to lose their Berry Juice, as they rely on it to do their job; but many of them won't lose their Berry Juice in the first place. About 12 of those mons, even after rocks will not lose enough of their health to pop the Berry Juice, which leaves you at a massive disadvantage to a mon that actually has an Eviolite. One could argue that more mons would be viable with Berry Juice then, but that would be harmful to the metagame, as we are adapting around a move when our current metagame is already healthy. And that leads just about as well to the "tiering philosophy" points.

IV. Tire Philosophy and You.

LC does not have a tiering philosophy, and that is for a reason. That's another discussion for another time, but if we're insistent on using this as a reason to unban, I'm going to use my own personal thoughts on how a metagame should be run. Keep in mind that my biases lean more towards ban on most topics.

- Is it broken? Objectively? No. I don't think anyone believes that it is broken per se. If someone wants to speak up as to why it is broken, feel free to, but I don't believe anyone has as of yet.

- Does the suspect in question make the game uncompetitive or unfun? While these questions are more subjective and should be treated as such. Swagger's ability to add luck-based factors and stop the better player from winning would lead me to believe Yes it is both uncompetitve and unfun. This is generally agreed by just about every post regarding this topic. People are either saying, yes, it is unfun or yes it is uncompetitive. Even if we follow the definition used by OU, Swagger reduces the players choice and could potentially render the choice irrelevant in the first place. Also Swagger is obviously like one of the least fun and most frustrating moves in the game, you can fight me on that. There is nothing that is forcing us to unban swagger, as there's no tiering philosophy in place that says we must unban it, and there is no pressure from any other tier that claims that we must unban it, considering we've done our own thing for basically forever.

I know I probably forgot a lot of things, but I hope at least I'm getting my point across. For the people that are saying that burden of proof is on the people that want it to stay banned, no it isn't, but here it is anyway. Feel free to reply to this, but unless something needs to be clarified, I don't think I want to write anymore about Swagger for the rest of the generation.
oh bless you mother coco

yeah I said unban it but coco just stomped it to pieces and it's the worst so lol keep that swagger shit outta here
 

OP

is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
LC Co-Leader
Hey all. If you've been wondering where the snake discussion thread is, we're doing something different than what we've done for these team tournaments in the past. Typically the old threads would die out quickly and not have enough information to be useful as a resource, and this thread (metagame discussion) is pretty dead right now anyway, so we'd like to encourage you to post in here if you feel like discussing Smogon's Snake Draft tournament. With that said, I'll start us off with some of the related information.

Draft results:
Star r2#2 - Pacifidlog Pitvipers
ZoroDark r4#7 - Terminus Taipans
Sken r5#1 - Berry Forest Bushmasters
OP r5#8 - Ambrette Astrosias
ggggd r6#1 - Goldenrod Gliders
Heysup r7#7 - Shinto Ruin Serpents
Kingler12345 r8#5 - Sootopolis Sidewinders
Dundies r8#6 - Shinto Ruin Serpents
GOAO r8#9 - Victory Road Rattlers
tko r9#3 - Lanakila Nagas
Shrug r13#9 - Pacifidlog Pitvipers
Coconut r14#5 - Sootopolis Sidewinders
blarajan r14#8 - Lanakila Nagas

Power Rankings:
1. Star
2. OP
3. ZoroDark
4. Kingler12345
5. Dundies
6. Heysup
7. Sken
8. ggggd
9. GOAO
10. tko

Phase 1 Matchups:
Shrug vs. tko
Shrug vs. Sken
Shrug vs. ggggd
tko vs. Heysup
tko vs. GOAO
Sken vs. OP
Sken vs. GOAO
ZoroDark vs. OP
ZoroDark vs. Kingler12345
ZoroDark vs. GOAO
ggggd vs. Dundies
ggggd vs. Heysup
OP vs. Kingler12345
Dundies vs. Heysup
Dundies vs. Kingler12345

Best of luck to everyone apart from my opponents, I'm looking forward to johning for a full 2 weeks every phase. Let's have a good tournament :pimp:
 

Jac

An eternity in Puyo Hell
is a Battle Server Moderator
I have 3 things to say about snake

1) Banners are looking fucking amazing omg im so delighted to see the talent we have here at smogon inlove
2) 150 matches aint all getting done LOL Sunday more like play matchas day :weary:
3) some big drama about to pop the fuck off NotLikeThis

but overall im really excited to see some of these matches. we already got some promising matches (aka all of them)
 
Also im excited to see some of the most skilled lc players compete as well. i will look forward to the various inovations they have in store for us. P.S: Somebody use the adorable teddy :].
Hey, I don't want to ruin your encourage to our fellow LC players, but you shouldn't double post. The Edit button exists for something, which function is, you already know, edit a post.

And to avoid this post being bad, I'll say that the Brazilian brothers catch my eyes, but our Spanishman Sken will demostrate its best.
 
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Berks

has a Calm Mind
is a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
Solid Snake is the main hero and the primary protagonist of the Metal Gear main series. A former Green Beret and a highly skilled special operations soldier engaged in solo stealth and espionage missions, he is often tasked with destroying models of the bipedal nuclear weapon-armed mecha known as Metal Gear. Controlled by the player, he must act alone, supported via radio by commanding officers and specialists. While his first appearances in the original Metal Gear games were references to Hollywood films, the Metal Gear Solid series has given a consistent design by artist Yoji Shinkawa alongside an established personality. The character has been well received by critics.

During the Metal Gear Solid games, the character has been voiced by Akio Ōtsuka in the Japanese version and by actor and screenwriter David Hayter in the English version.

In the early games, Solid Snake's visual appearances were references to popular actors. He was given his own consistent design in Metal Gear Solid. Such design shows him as a brown-haired adult wearing a dark "sneaking suit" and a bandana. This appearance has remained mostly consistent throughout subsequent installments, with minor changes due to his advancing age. During Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, he disguises himself by wearing a Navy SEAL uniform. He has access to different disguises to make him look like other characters, as well as his younger self. He also establishes Philanthropy, an anti-Metal Gear organization carrying the motto "To let the world be", with his best buddy Otacon.

He possesses an IQ of 180, and is fluent in six languages. Solid Snake has been on the battlefield for most of his life; a hardened veteran, he has his emotions buried very deep inside himself during his missions, every one of which has different motives. He is also immediately shown as a loner, often with no intentions of taking orders from anyone anymore and he shows no sign of longing for the army or the country he was part of. However, along with these traits he has a more human side, being flirtatious, self-sacrificing and with a strong belief that even on a battlefield friendship and love can flourish, and that violence is not glorious. But Snake's perceived stance on violence may be a case of denial, as Snake's enemies and at least one of his allies have claimed that, in truth, he enjoys killing, and label him as more evil than the people he has killed. When he is not on duty, he acts as a musher.

Metal Gear (released in 1987) introduces Solid Snake (ソリッド・スネーク Soriddo Sunēku), a rookie recruit of the elite special forces unit FOXHOUND. Snake is sent by FOXHOUND leader Big Boss into the rogue nation Outer Heaven to rescue missing teammate Gray Foxand discover who or what the "Metal Gear" is, mentioned in Gray Fox's last transmission. As his mission progresses, Snake finds out that he has been set up; Outer Heaven's leader is Big Boss, intending to use the experimental, nuclear-armed TX-55 Metal Gear to establish Outer Heaven as a nuclear power. After destroying the Metal Gear, Snake confronts and defeats Big Boss's phantom.

The sequel Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (initially released only in Japan in 1990) sees Solid Snake called up to infiltrate a heavily fortified enemy base in Zanzibar Land. Zanzibar Land has aggravated an international oil crisis and declared themselves a nuclear power by kidnapping Dr. Kio Marv after the creation of a bio-engineered algae that produces an oil substitute, and the Metal Gear original designer Dr. Pettrovich Madnar. Snake infiltrates the base and discovers that Pettrovich as well as his former comrade Gray Fox has defected to Zanzibar Land, and that Zanzibar Land is led by Big Boss. Snake destroys Metal Gear D, and defeats both Fox and Big Boss.

Metal Gear Solid sees Solid Snake pulled out of retirement by Colonel Roy Campbell in a mission to deal with the "Sons of Big Boss", who, under Liquid Snake's leadership, seized an isolated American nuclear weapons disposal facility on Shadow Moses Island. Snake's mission is to retrieve two hostages (Donald Anderson and Kenneth Baker). Despite both Anderson's and Baker's deaths, Snake infiltrates and learns about Metal Gear REX after meeting up with rookie soldier Meryl Silverburgh and REX's engineer Hal Emmerich, and having confrontations with the Cyborg Ninja. As the games progresses, Snake confronts and defeats each member of the corrupt fraction of FOXHOUND (consisting of Revolver Ocelot, Decoy Octopus, Psycho Mantis, Sniper Wolf, Vulcan Raven, and the Genome Soldiers), is able to destroy REX, and personally confronts Liquid. During their fight, it is revealed that Solid and Liquid are twin brothers, artificially conceived from Big Boss's genes during the "Les Enfants Terribles" government project designed to create the perfect soldier, in which one brother was genetically modified to be superior over the other. Liquid harbors a strong resentment towards Snake since Solid was given their father's dominant "soldier genes" and Liquid was cast aside. After a grueling series of battles, Liquid dies from the FOXDIE virus that was previously implanted into Snake by Naomi Hunter in order to wipe out FOXHOUND and the Genome soldiers without risking any damage to REX and the Genome soldiers for retrieval. In the end, it is revealed that Liquid got Big Boss's superior "soldier genes" while Solid was actually the inferior one. The game's ending reveals his real name is David (デイビッド Deibiddo?).

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty shows Solid Snake as the playable character during the game's extensive prologue sequence in which he is sent by Otacon's anti-proliferation organization Philanthropy to infiltrate a cargo tanker and photograph Metal Gear RAY. During the operation, however, RAY is hijacked and the tanker destroyed, with Snake apparently dead and framed for the deed. During the game's main portion, Solidus Snake steals Snake's identity, and leads the "Sons of Liberty" (consisting of Revolver Ocelot, Fortune, Fatman, Vamp and Olga Gurlukovich) while Snake himself uses the pseudonym Iroquois Pliskin (イロコィ・プリスキン Irokoi Purisukin) as a non-playable character who assists rookie agent Raiden through the remote offshore Big Shell facility and in taking down Solidus and RAY while also learning about the Patriots.

The Metal Gear Solid prequels alludes to Solid Snake's existence; Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops has him briefly alluded in a prophetic vision as Naked Snake's "son [that] will save the world" (after either Liquid or Solidus as Big Boss's "son [that] will bring the world to ruin"), and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker shows Kazuhira Millermentioning Big Boss's "twin sons" that are two years old at the time.

The PlayStation 3 game Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots features an aged incarnation of Solid Snake that is once again the protagonist identified as Old Snake (オールド・スネーク Ōrudo Sunēku) during the game. Thanks to Otacon and Sunny, he wears a sneaking suit outfitted with "Octocamo" technology, which allows him to blend with his environment, as well as a face mask which alters his appearance. Snake is once again enlisted by his old friend Roy Campbell to assassinate Liquid Ocelot, CEO of a giant mother company that's trying to take control of the Patriots' AIs. During his final mission, he also learns from Naomi Hunter that his life has been artificially shortened as part of the cloning process so that his genes can't be used as a weapon in later research. As a result, Snake has the physical appearance of an elderly man, despite being only forty-two years old. Snake and his allies are forced to destroy the Patriots' AI and fight through Ocelot's forces until Snake defeats Liquid's doppelgänger in hand-to-hand combat. Learning that his DNA contains a mutated version of the FOXDIE virus that might trigger an epidemic, Snake tries to commit suicide, however, he is approached by Big Boss telling Snake that he still has a chance to live 'not as a snake but as a man'. After making up with Big Boss and his father's death from a new strain of the FOXDIE virus, David decides to live out the remainder of his life in peace, vowing that he will live long enough to see what the future holds for the new world he has helped create.

Solid Snake is featured/mentioned in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The unlockable bonus mission "Déjà Vu" on the PlayStation platform and later Xbox platform of Ground Zeroes in which Big Boss must re-enact situations from the original Metal Gear Solid game and answer a series of trivia questions after fulfilling them. If all the questions are answered correctly on the Normal difficulty setting, the mission can be replayed with Big Boss's standard character model replaced with Snake's Metal Gear Solid low-polygon model. The Phantom Pain shows that Snake's Metal Gear Solid low-polygon model can be an alternate outfit for Venom Snake after transferring the save data from Ground Zeroes. David is also alluded in association with Eli during conversation between Big Boss and Ocelot.

Solid Snake also serves as the protagonist in Snake's Revenge, a sequel to the original Metal Gear for the NES released for the western market in 1990 and developed without Kojima's involvement. Set three years after the events of the Outer Heaven incident, Snake's Revenge has Snake leading a team of FOX HOUND operatives as they infiltrate an undisclosed enemy base where the Metal Gear weapon is being mass-produced. Snake is addressed by the military rank of Lieutenant and starts the game already equipped with a handgun and a combat knife, in contrast to the first game, where Snake had to procure all of his weapons on-site.

After the success of the original Metal Gear Solid, KCEJ produced a trilogy of Metal Gear spin-offs for portable platforms set in a parallel universe outside the main Kojima-directed series. All three of these portable games were directed by Shinta Nojiri. The first of these is Metal Gear: Ghost Babel (released outside Japan as Metal Gear Solid), in which Solid Snake must infiltrate a rebuilt Outer Heaven (now called Galuade) to defeat a FOXHOUND-like team of rogue agents called Black Chamber and destroy a stolen Metal Gear prototype, Gander. Although the actual in-game artwork of Ghost Babel was done by Ikuya Nakamura, Yoji Shinkawa provided the promotional art like he did with the original Metal Gear Solid. In the second of these titles, Metal Gear Acid, Snake must retrieve "Pythagoras" from the Lobito Physics and Research Laboratory, in order to satisfy hijackers who have kidnapped presidential candidate Viggo Hach. This mission is complicated by La Clown, an expert mimic who impersonates Snake's contact Teliko, and subtle brainwashing that nearly convinces him that he is Hans Davis, a ruthless scientist that worked at the Lobito facility. He overcomes both and contacts the real Teliko, then destroys the latest model of Metal Gear, Metal Gear KODOQUE. Metal Gear Acid 2 features a main character who is not the real version, but a clone created from tissue samples of the man from the original Metal Gear Acid, following the events of the Lobito Island mission; the Solid Snake from the original Acid is implied to be dead in the sequel.

The character appears in his Old Snake form as a playable character in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus, a stand-alone expansion to the Portable Ops focusing on online play. In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, the VR Missions DLC add-on for the game's Japanese version includes a new weapon that can be used by Raiden known as the Hebidamashi, a talking wooden sword which speaks with Solid Snake's voice (as portrayed by Akio Ōtsuka); the weapon was never made available for the English version.

Outside video games, Solid Snake appeared in the Metal Gear Solid audio drama that focuses on his missions following the battle from Shadow Moses. He also appears in Alex Garner's comic book adaptations of Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2. Raymond Benson's novelizations of these two games also feature Solid Snake; Benson's adaptation of the character frequently focuses on the comical aspects of his characterization. He also appears in Project Itoh's novelization from Metal Gear Solid 4 where his actions are told from Hal Emmerich's point of view.

Solid Snake has appeared in a number of other games, including other Konami games. Hideo Kojima makes a habit of referencing his previous work. In the Kojima-produced Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django (and Shin Bokura no Taiyō: Gyakushū no Sabata), Snake appears as an unnamed character who sells items to the player. Konami's Evolution Skateboarding features Snake and Raiden as hidden characters, as well as two stages set in the Big Shell (the skateboarding minigame in Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance is a demo of Evolution Skateboarding composed exclusively of these elements). Solid Snake also appears in both halves of a crossover between the Metal Gearand Ape Escape franchises: the Ape Escape monkeys appear with Solid Snake in the "Snake vs. Monkey" minigame featured in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. In turn, Snake appears in the corresponding Metal Gear Solid minigame featured in Ape Escape 3, where he is rescued by Pipo Snake (Snake's character design in this minigame is taken directly from Naked Snake's).

He has also appeared in two of cross-company fighting games. In DreamMix TV World Fighters, Solid Snake appears as a playable character alongside other third-party characters such as Bomberman and Convoy (Optimus Prime). Similarly, in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the third installment from the popular fighting game series Super Smash Bros., Solid Snake appeared as a playable fighter alongside Sega character Sonic the Hedgehog and a variety of characters from Nintendo franchises such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Donkey Kong. Brawl Director Masahiro Sakuraihas stated that Snake was included under Kojima's request. In addition, Snake has appeared as a playable character in the Nintendo DS game New International Track & Field alongside some other Konami characters. Also, Old Snake has appeared in the Japanese version of Scribblenauts, having been published by Konami in that region. Customizations in Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet for the PlayStation 3 allow the player character, Sackboy, to take on the appearance of Old Snake. In the web series Death Battle, Snake was pitted against Splinter Cell protagonist Sam Fisher in a fight to the death, in which he won. He was voiced by Christopher Sabat.

Much as Metal Gear began as a pastiche of action movies of the time, Solid Snake began as a pastiche of contemporary action movie heroes. For example, on the cover artwork of the original Metal Gear, he resembles the Michael Biehn incarnation of Kyle Reese in The Terminator (although, Kojima claims to have no involvement in the production of the game's packaging illustration), and the in-game portrait of Snake in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snakeresembles Mel Gibson. Solid Snake was apparently even named after a fictional special forces operative: Snake Plissken, Kurt Russell's character in Escape from New York. However, Kojima revealed in March 2014 that the origins of Snake's name were something else. According to Kojima, he was given the name "Snake" because snakes are a symbol of stealth. Additionally, the "Solid" part of his code-name was given to him to give the opposite impression of a soft image. Kojima has compared the personality of Snake with Arsène Lupin III of Monkey Punch's Lupin III franchise, stating that in "MGS, Snake became this sharp-tongued, Lupin III-like guy who flirted with women and told lots of jokes". In Guns of the Patriots, Snake is modelled after Lee Van Cleef, who appeared in Escape from New York. His real name, David, is a tribute to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey that has a character with the same name. Kojima later described Snake's role in the original Metal Gear as the "player's presence", contrasting the defined personality Solid Snake acquired in Metal Gear Solid.

In addition to expanding Solid Snake's backstory, as the first Metal Gear game to feature voice acting, Metal Gear Solid established his characteristic voice and appearance. Yoji Shinkawa's Solid Snake design, characterized by his navy blue bandanna and "sneaking suit", would serve as the template for all future incarnations of Snake in later Metal Gear games. According to Shinkawa, Snake's physique in Metal Gear Solid was based on that of action star Jean-Claude Van Damme, while his facial appearance in the same game was inspired by actor Christopher Walken. Shinkawa described his rendition of Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid as a "middle ground" between the younger Snake who graced the cover artwork of the first Metal Gear and the middle-aged Snake from the MSX2 version of Metal Gear 2. For the initial events from the Big Shell chapter from Metal Gear Solid 2, Snake's visual appearance was sightly modified with his hair being more blonde. Solid Snake became one of the characters easiest to draw by Shinkawa as he notes that his appearance is consistent despite suffering minor changes across the games.

Various scenes from the games relate Snake's ideals with Hideo Kojima's. During Metal Gear Solid 2 Snake encourages Raiden to trust himself in making his own choices with the former representing the veteran developer and the latter the younger staff who are to decide whether a sequel to the series would be made without Kojima. In Metal Gear Solid 4, Snake tries to protect the next generation by stopping Ocelot which represented Kojima working with the staff to avoid bugs from occurring within the game. Kojima introduced the cloning origins of Solid Snake to Metal Gear Solid in order to provide Solid Snake with an adversary who would be his equal, since the story, being a continuation of the original MSX2 games, established Snake as an experienced soldier. Kojima explained that his decision to introduce a new playable character in Solid Snake's place for Sons of Liberty was done in order to develop Snake from another character's perspective, but also to avoid treating Snake as a rookie by having a new character be instructed via Codec instead.

By the time Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots started development, Kojima told Shinkawa about his idea of making Snake look elderly, which surprised the designer. Once Shinkawa showed his artwork of Old Snake to the staff, they were all also surprised by the idea of playing as an old Solid Snake. However, they were satisfied with the end product as the staff began to like the character. In Guns of the Patriots one of Kojima's endings for the game would have had Snake and Otacon turn themselves in for breaking the law, and subsequently they would be convicted and executed. However, comments from Kojima's staff who were disappointed with his death resulted in the character's survival. According to Ryan Payton of Konami at the time, Guns of the Patriots is the final canonical Metal Gear game to feature Solid Snake as the main character. Kojima himself stated that the series will continue. Despite previously stating that he does not want the character to be handled by anyone else, in an interview with French gaming magazine IG he stated that Solid Snake will reappear in a future Metal Gear Solid game.

In the games, Solid Snake has been voiced by Akio Ōtsuka in the Japanese version, and by David Hayter in the English adaptations. Ōtsuka remembers being surprised during his debut as a result of the large amount of dialogue Snake was given. Hayter found his work notable as he was originally a screenwriter and did not expect to become famous for dubbing a character.

Solid Snake's character was very well received by gaming media. Retro Gamer included him in the section "top ten forces of good" in their 2004 list of top 50 retro game heroes. In 2005, Electronic Gaming Monthly listed Solid Snake as number one as the top ten video game characters of all time. Snake appeared in multiple GameFAQs "Character Battle" contests, and was runner-up in three: the "Character Battle V" in 2006, the "Character Battle VII" in 2008, and the "Character Battle IX" in 2013. In an Oricon poll from 2008, he was voted as the most popular video game character in Japan, tying with Nintendo's Pikachu. In a Famitsu poll in 2010, Snake was voted by readers as the most popular video game character. His character was amongst the last 16 contestants on the greatest video game hero on GameSpot contest held in 2009, and lost out to Gordon Freeman on a tiebreaker. In the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition from 2011, Snake was voted as the fourth most popular video game character. In 2011, Empire ranked him as the 19th greatest video game character, adding that "beginning as an action pastiche, he swiftly evolved into his very own character".

Critics have commented on his traits and appearance, often praising Solid Snake for his appealing personality. In 2007, ScrewAttack ranked him as the sixth "coolest" character in video games. 1UP.com listed him second in the list of top video game smokers, while GamesRadar placed him at the top of their 2009 list of manliest men in video game history. Complex ranked him as fourth on the list of top "pervs" in games in 2012 and as the seventh greatest soldier in video games in 2013. Solid Snake's endurance in the face of extreme punishment was even made the focus of a comedy article in the satirical newspaper The Onion. In 2013, Rich Knight and Gus Turner from Complex ranked him as the ninth best video game mascot, adding that he represents "deep, human emotion that other characters fail to match."

Solid Snake's Metal Gear Solid 2 design was at the bottom of the worst game character makeovers list by GamePro, condemning his conversion in hairstyle in comparison to his Metal Gear Solid design, and was also at the top of IGN's list of the worst video game haircuts. Before Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the character was thought to be the game's protagonist because of his physical resemblances with Naked Snake. However, later previews speculated how was it impossible for Solid Snake to be in the game's settings, leading to the conclusion it was a young incarnation of Big Boss. A comparison between Solid Snake's and Big Boss's characters was made by IGN in article "Stars Thunderdome: Snake vs. Big Boss."

The character's appearance in Metal Gear Solid 4 has received mostly positive opinions. Before it was released, various speculations were made regarding Snake's role. As he was the only one who suffered from a drastic change in appearance, IGN commented that the most famous rumor was the one of Snake's body deteriorating across the game. Moreover, since it had been announced it would be his last appearance, IGN and GamesRadar wondered whether the character would die during the game and if Raiden would replace him following his death. GamesRadar commented that Snake was one of the few gaming characters that aged across video games. GamePro also listed Old Snake as one of the biggest surprises from the game, as the character was found interesting in contrast to pessimistic thoughts they had before the game's release. GameDaily listed the "old hero" as one of their list of top video game archetypes, using the old version of Snake as an example of this. PLAY gave praise to his moustache considering how highly detailed it is, and represents the change from Snake's character. On the other hand, 1UP.com placed him third in their 2009 list of most gracelessly aging characters as it gave negative messages about aging. In 2013, Complex included Old Snake among the ten video game characters who look like sex offenders, but La Nueva España included him among the top ten sexiest video game characters of both genders.

GameDaily made Solid Snake top their Smash Bros. characters list, while PLAY listed him as one of the characters they wanted to be playable in Mortal Kombat. The character customization in Soulcalibur IV that allowed to create Snake was listed by UGO as one of the best ones from the series owing to his popularity within gamers.

David Hayter's performance as Solid Snake's English voice actor has received praise to the point of being called one of the best ones in gaming as well as one of the character's most recognizable traits. In 2013, Game Informerranked Hayter's role as Snake as the seventh most memorable character voice in video games for "a portrayal that's considered to be a real classic in the history of video game voice acting", adding that "long-time fans are still reeling from the casting of Kiefer Sutherland as Snake for MGSV."

That's how I feel about Snake, what about y'all?