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Previously Banned Pokemon with Alternate Abilities

Discussion in 'The Policy Review' started by Lavos Spawn, Feb 19, 2013.

?

What should we do about Blaziken and Excadrill?

  1. Unban Blaze Blaziken

    16.4%
  2. Unban Sand Force and Mold Breaker Excadrill

    24.7%
  3. Keep both Pokemon completely banned

    75.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. Lavos Spawn

    Lavos Spawn
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    READ THE OP BEFORE YOU POST

    and please note that in the above poll, you shouldn't be choosing options one or two in conjunction with option three, as that will skew the data.

    while i was leafing through some old threads in this forum, i came across a pretty interesting topic that, in my opinion, really needs to be addressed and i'm surprised it hasn't been yet. the topic in question is the banning of blaziken and excadrill as a whole. now, before everyone starts getting really heated about these previous suspects, let me clarify - that's not what i'm referring to when i speak of these pokemon. rather, i'm referring to their alternate abilities (speed boost for blaziken, sand force / mold breaker for excadrill). these two pokemon were banned from the ou tier a while ago because of their broken abilities, speed boost and sand rush, respectively. however, both of these pokemon, as i pointed out, have different abilities. so, the big question is: why are these two pokemon still fully banned, when only a certain aspect of them that can be changed is actually deemed "broken"?

    i think we can all agree that blaze blaziken, if unbanned, would not be a broken pokemon in the ou tier. excadrill is obviously the pokemon that would cause more controversy if unbanned, yet i feel it's still pretty clear that this thing is not broken. sand rush, which gave it blistering speed in sandstorm, combined with a solid movepool and great base attack is what led to excadrill's banning from the ou tier. without sand rush, it's a half-baked pokemon, not capable of doing nearly as much damage as it could in bw1 days. sand force and mold breaker are both pretty good abilities, and it's true that excadrill could make for a fearsome rapid spinner or all-out attacker, but since it doesn't have access to any speed-boosting moves such as rock polish or automize, it's never going to be a true sweeper. much like garchomp (whom we also partially unbanned, freeing rough skin but keeping sand veil under lock and key), excadrill would most likely be good in ou, but not fantastic - nowhere near uber status.

    to me, it's clear what needs to be done. blaziken and excadrill should be conditionally unbanned from ou, allowing the use of blaze for blaziken and sand force / mold breaker for excadrill, but keeping the "broken" abilities uber. i realize that some people will say things along the lines of "but-this-ban-is-too-complex-we-must-remain-simplistic". to this, i ask you only to direct your attention to the "complex ban" of swift swim and drizzle. plus, as i stated earlier, we already allowed rough skin garchomp to be unbanned while keeping sand veil uber. this is the same idea: keep the uber abilities uber, but let people use the ou-or-below-level pokemon in ou.

    thoughts? i would particularly enjoy hearing council members' opinions on this issue. (and yes, i realize we have more pressing matters on our hands like drizzle, but this honestly shouldn't take a super long time to deal with!)
  2. Jukain

    Jukain fuck redew
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    Well, this looks like a sound idea to me. It's complete bs that Blaze Blaziken isn't in OU. The Pokemon I think is a little more complicated is Excadrill, as it might deserve a full test, Sand Rush and all. The metagame, in my opinion, can handle Excadrill. Don't give me "nothing's changed other than Techniloom," either, because the metagame in which Excadrill was banned is alien to today's. Iron Head means you sacrifice Rapid Spin, and it doesn't provide anything in the way of additional coverage, so I don't see how that's an argument either. Sand on a level playing field with rain is imho an ideal situation. The rain-based metagame nowadays can handle Excadrill, and I think it deserves a test. We can theorymon all we want, but until we put it out into the actual metagame, we just don't know. If it's broken, fine, it gets banned, but it's not bringing broken stuff down to check broken stuff, as it just isn't that clear-cut.

    This is an issue that has been needed to revolved for over a year, so I'm glad you brought it up, Lavos, in any case.

    EDIT: @Pocket: You're probably right about Thundurus, but honestly, Prankster doesn't bring so much to the table that it would change if Thundurus is broken or not. I think that's somewhat of an all-or-nothing scenario, as in, it's broken or it's not.
  3. Pocket

    Pocket Apo, the astronaut's best friend >:3
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    I posted on this subject 1.5 years ago here.

    Basically, I'm all for having as many non-broken options available to the playerbase, as you can see from my tiering decision history. However, I'd rather not start micro-managing Pokemon to allow certain Pokemon. For instance, should we allow Darkrai without Dark Void or Skymin without Air Slash? Granted neither would be uber without their signature moves.

    I requested the same thing as you have, Lavos, in the link I posted, but XienZo rebut that Pokemon + Ability ban would be no different from Pokemon + Move ban, so unless we can differentiate the two, I would rather avoid this, as it can lead to further arbitrary nerfs to keep an otherwise Uber Pokemon in OU.

    Also where's the choice for unbanning Defiant Thundurus???
  4. Eo Ut Mortus

    Eo Ut Mortus Elodin Smells
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    Sand Veil just on Garchomp was not banned; the ability Sand Veil was (on all Pokemon), so your proposal does not logically correspond to the example you gave regarding Garchomp. Precedence is a flimsy argument without justification beyond that, especially considering that the suspect test was an artificial metagame, and no part of any Pokemon was ever intended to be banned by itself in the actual OU metagame.

    This idea has been proposed in the past, and what Pocket posted was the main argument against it.
  5. Woodchuck

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    Voted to keep both completely banned; we should strive for simplicity of moveset banlist (typo), and I am averse to tiering different instances of Pokemon in different levels depending on what their traits are.
  6. Lavos Spawn

    Lavos Spawn
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    pocket, you bring up a good point in that it's sometimes hard to differentiate a pokemon + ability ban from a pokemon + move ban. on this one i'm going to have to ask you to simply look to precedents in smogon's tiering history. back at the start of bw, we banned darkrai as a whole, and shaymin-s as a whole, not making distinctions between dark void and non-dark void sets, or air slash and non-air slash sets. however, just a few months ago, we made the distinction between a pokemon ban and a pokemon + ability ban by unbanning rough skin garchomp, while leaving sand veil garchomp uber. i can't point to a clear distinction myself, because abilities and moves are both optional, but the chomp precedent indicates that unbanning blaze blaziken and sand force / mold breaker excadrill would be allowed.
  7. PttP

    PttP Shoutout to the sidewalk for keeping me off the streets
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  8. Fireburn

    Fireburn BARN ALL
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    Abilities have only been banned in the past if the ability is clearly uncompetitive. Moody turned the game into a luckfest, and Sand Veil/Snow Cloak were done as a free passive evasion boost is pretty obviously uncompetitive. I personally feel that is where the distinction should stay. Sand Rush and Speed Boost are not inherently uncompetitive as there are users of the abilities (Yanmega, Sandslash) that are decidedly not broken at all with them. Not like the way Moody and the evasion abilities were.

    Saying Pokemon + Ability ban is different than Pokemon + Move ban is different, in my opinion, doesn't fly as these abilities in question here are not unique to the suspect Pokemon. Blaziken isn't the only Pokemon who gets Speed Boost, just as he isn't the only Pokemon that learns Swords Dance (which we certainly didn't ban on Garchomp or Excadrill) or Flare Blitz. Excadrill isn't the only Pokemon who gets Sand Rush either. I completely agree with the poster Pocket linked when he says there is no distinction between Pokemon + Move or Pokemon + Ability - both things ultimately contribute to defining who the Pokemon is as a threat, and there really is no justification to saying one is completely different.

    They should both stay banned. The current system of banning the whole Pokemon, I feel, is best.
  9. kd24

    kd24 lemme just whip my dick out and slam it on the table
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    - my personal opinion would to be unban them both
    - it's just that, a personal opinion. eo might think lv 80 groudon should be unbanned. rey thinks soul dew latios without dragon moves should be unbanned. the solutions are entirely subjective.

    i think you picked this the same reason id support it and not others "it feels right and seems like common sense".

    that argument will not hold up and so this proposal is retarded, as we're all entitled to our opinions.
  10. Lavos Spawn

    Lavos Spawn
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    yeah so another point on the whole ability + pokemon vs. move + pokemon ban thing:

    okay, let's put this to a simple test. is speed boost blaziken, on the whole, a better pokemon + ability combo than blaze blaziken? in other words, are they different? the clear answer is yes. we're defining who the pokemon is as a threat because it makes sense to do so when blaze blaziken is obviously not uber, whereas speed boost blaziken surely is.

    why? claim but no reason here. just wondering.

    i guess the main question i'm asking here is what's so broken about blaze blaziken? what is the rationale behind keeping that uber? i can maybe understand arguments for excadrill, but blaze blaziken in particular seems so blatantly NOT uber that i can't help but wonder why it still is.

    opinions make the world go round, and also are the basis of our current suspect process. the opinion of the council determines what's nominated. the opinion of the voters determines whether or not the suspect goes uber. please don't attempt to debunk this proposal based on the fact that it's an opinion (especially when i substantiate my opinion with logical reasoning), almost everything posted on this site is.

    oh and @ eo, sand veil was the (main) reason chomp was banned, much like speed boost was the (main) reason blaziken was banned, so i don't see where you're going with that line of argument.
  11. MikeDecIsHere

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    The difference there though is that the ability Sand Veil as a whole was deemed uncompetitive and thus banned. By that logic, we would have to ban Speed Boost and Sand Rush as a whole in order to unban Excadrill and Blaziken, and there are several cases where there are Pokemon with those abilities that are not broken.

    Basically, complex bans are stupid and should be avoided as much as possible.
  12. alexwolf

    alexwolf King of Conquerors
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    The ban of Swift Swim + Drizzle saved an entire playstyle, while effectively banning zero Pokemon. It also set zero precedent except for the one that suggests banning ability combos instead of a sole weather inducing ability to save a whole plasystyle or multiple Pokemon.

    By banning Pokemon with specific abilities you open the door to a whole world of possibilities that i personally don't think we should examine. For example why not allow Espeon, Alakazam, and Xatu with Synchronize in the lower tiers? What about Sand Veil Dugtrio, Sticky Hold Gastrodon, Analytic Magnezone, Flash Fire Ninetales, Damp Politoed, Regenerator Reuniclus, and a whole bunch of other mons? Let's remake all our tiers to allow Blaziken and Excadrill in OU, this is what this proposal sounds like...
  13. TheFourthChaser

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    I'd rather not add a layer of unneeded complexity to Suspect testing, slippery slope and all that bs. My opinion goes along with what we're doing now, unless the ability is broken the Pokemon is banned. I don't think banning Speed Boost or whatever other ability is worth the time and problems that will arise because of combo bans. This means that until we have to deal with Shadow Tag Chandelure I'm going to vote for banning the Pokemon itself.

    This is part of what I meant by problems that will arise, this would be a HUGE pain in the ass for multiple tiers and isn't worth the time.
  14. Lavos Spawn

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    i understand the main argument for keeping things as-is, which is that unbanning non-speed boost blaziken and non-sand rush excadrill could open the doors for major tiering overhauls involving (i'll just quote a few examples alexwolf mentioned here) synchronize alakzam, damp politoed, regenerator reuniclus, etc. into lower tiers. i get it, you guys are afraid of major tier changes and want things to remain the way you've always known them: simple. not saying that's bad by any means, it's just your opinion and not mine. from what i've seen, your argument has been "simplicity for simplicity's sake". my argument is "unban the shit that isn't broken, because it isn't broken". i don't see why both these ideas can't coexist.
  15. alexwolf

    alexwolf King of Conquerors
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    No the argument is ''why change all the tiers just to allow two more Pokemon in OU (or in UU in Blaziken's case)?''.
  16. Lavos Spawn

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    and i responded to that by questioning why the tiers are going to have a major overhaul in the first place...because we bring blaze blaziken down from ubers, suddenly every single pokemon is now being judged on abilities and move combinations for their tiering? that's a slippery slope fallacy if i ever heard one.

    to me it sounds like people are afraid of exploring new tiering processes. i find that interesting, considering we've seen a bunch of new explorations in tiering in this generation. swift swim + drizzle was the first "complex ban" we've ever enacted, and i think 99% of people will agree with me when i say that said complex ban was one of the best things that ever happened to bw ou. we also unbanned garchomp from uber, which it previously was, on the condition that only rough skin would be allowed, while sand veil was banned entirely. both of these new approaches to tiering improved the ou tier considerably, yet now another approach is being proposed and automatically rejected because it embraces change?

    i want someone to post, with a straight face, that blaze blaziken is an uber pokemon. the crux of my argument is that things that aren't uber shouldn't stay uber. just like we did with garchomp, we should do with excadrill and blaziken. it makes sense.
  17. Texas Cloverleaf

    Texas Cloverleaf meh
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    The moment you start tiering Speed Boost and Blaze Blaziken separately you open up a whole new can of worms with tiering abilities on mons. You get things like Regenerator Slowking is RU but Own Tempo Slowking is NU. DrizzleToed is OU and Water Absorb Toed is NU. Etcetera, etcetera. We've always tiered Pokemon based on their entire being, including abilities and I see no need for this to change. As Eo stated, Sand Veil the ability was banned, not Sand Veil Garchomp. Therefore I do not support this proposal and will vote option three in the poll.

    (For the record and somewhat irrelevant to this topic I would have supported unbanning Excadrill in its entirety prior to the (foolish imo) ban of Tornadus-T.)
  18. Fireburn

    Fireburn BARN ALL
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    I'll respond with another question: Would Speed Boost Blaziken be broken without Swords Dance? It is pretty obvious that Blaziken pretty much has to be physical as mixed and special sets generally suck on it as they are rather ineffective at helping it beat its checks. If it didn't have that move which it could use to bust through practically anything that could check it such as Slowbro, Latias, Gyarados, Dragonite, Landorus-T, and Salamence, would it be nearly as threatening as Speed Boost Blaziken without that amount of wallbreaking power? Or would it be just like Sharpedo and Yanmega - fast cleaners with great coverage that are still solidly walled by plenty of things due to lack of a boosting move and checked by most priority. Would Blaziken with Swords Dance be, on the whole, a better Pokemon + Move combo than that of Blaziken without Swords Dance? The answer is yes. Are they different? Yes, they are. Do you see the similarities here?

    Again, Blaziken wasn't banned just because of Speed Boost. While it was a large factor in its banning, you must also consider the fact that it gets Swords Dance and insanely strong physical moves backed by said boosting move as well. The Pokemon itself was considered as a unit - we weren't trying to ban certain aspects of it or nerf it to force it into OU. Otherwise, we'd have situations like alexwolf described for all the lower tiers as well. If we try to "nerf" Pokemon into lower tiers, we create effectively multiple versions of a single Pokemon - what is supposed to be a single unit - spread across two or many tiers, which ultimately ruins the concept of the tiering system itself. Considering the Pokemon as a whole unit when it is brought up for possible banning is really the only real way to have an effective tiering system.

    I understand your concern for wanting to unban things that possibly aren't broken, but the ideas simply cannot coexist in our tiering system. If we make an exception for one Pokemon, we must extend the exception to them all, across all tiers, in order to preserve the concept of the tiering system that is necessary to define our metagames. Banning the Pokemon as a whole is the fairest and really only practical way to do things.
  19. Worldtour

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    What needs to be considered here is that Ubers is not an official tier per se - it's a banlist that is completely independent of usage stats. OU is a lot different than Ubers because the other tiers are dependent on usage stats. If we don't want to get issues with tiering plus abilities, then simply... don't make it expand past Excadrill and Blaziken. It's not that hard. Making anything else relate to usage stats is just complicated because then it relates to usage stats and then the formula is just wired and is a lot different than banning a mon due to an ability. Also, banning Pokemon from what is by far the most played tier by far is a huge deal.

    I support unbanning both. Also, Sand Veil was just a really annoying ability and needed to get banned, screw the fact Garchomp had it.
  20. Fireburn

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    The problem here is that this is a rather arbitrary cutoff that completely disregards the lower tiers and future tiering implications. What logical reason is there to stop at just Blaziken and Excadrill other than "just because?" What if another Blaziken or Excadrill comes along like, say, Thundurus without Prankster? There, the argument becomes little more than just "let's put Blaziken and Excadrill back in OU" with little regard to the logic of the tiering system.

    Just because OU is the most played tier doesn't mean we can completely ignore the others as well, each of which has their own significant playerbase and a part in the tiering system.
  21. Lavos Spawn

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    i completely understand why you guys are concerned that unbanning blaze blaziken and sand force / mold breaker excadrill is going to spiral into a massive tiering overhaul and ruin our current tiering process. i just want to make that perfectly clear, i get it. however, i just don't buy that this is actually going to happen. it's like when people claim that there's an imminent governmental crisis and if we allow the government one inch into our rights they'll take a mile of 'em. you can talk about that all you want, but until it actually happens, there's no knowing it will. when i look at blaze blaziken and sand force / mold breaker excadrill, i see two pokemon that are very clearly not uber, but are still being classified as such, and it's wrong. these pokemon shouldn't be uber because they aren't uber. it's hard to dispute that. what it all comes down to is the people who say "unbanning these two pokemon will spiral into a catastrophe sometime in the future" vs. the people who say "the tiering of excadrill and blaziken is a problem now, and it's a problem that can and should be resolved". i can respect the opinion of the former party, because i get where they're coming from, but since there's no precedent of tiering changes spinning out of control, i can't buy their theorizing.
  22. alexwolf

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    Damn Lavos you just don't get it... Arguments have already been presented and they explain every single one of your concerns, but you just refuse to understand them and prefer to go around in circles.

    We say to you that Blaziken without Swords Dance is not broken either and that if we allow one Pokemon + Ability ban then more will follow and you make parallels with governments and nuclear weapons...
  23. Pocket

    Pocket Apo, the astronaut's best friend >:3
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    Just to clarify about "overhaul" of lower tiers - it won't happen. Lower tiers are based out of usage, so if the Politoed's usage is in the twenty percentile, then Damp / Water Absorb Politoed wont play in NU or UU for the matter.

    What may happen are Pokemon that were deemed BL / BL2 / BL3 may be allowed back into the lower tiers with the offending abilities removed. Staraptor without Reckless or Gothitelle / Wobbuffet without Shadow Tag for instance. It wouldn't be as messy as people are hypothesizing.

    Lavos Spawn, you still failed to answer the basic question that I posed in my first post: what is the justification for starting Pokemon-specific Ability Bans and not Pokemon-specific Move Bans?
  24. yee

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    I personally think the biggest point towards my view of keeping both banned is to look at Blaziken- sure we can just ban an ability but there's every other thing about it that we can also ban. There was an interesting discussion about calling them different "formes" but what stuck with me was how nasty that would look on the strategydex for any outsider trying to understand. The way we have things adds simplicity / removes arbitrary factors, which lowers the barriers to entry. Sure this is an awful thing on PS! but I don't want any diamonds in the rough getting discouraged, understanding of why Blaze Blaziken isn't uber isn't something obtained before jumping into competitive battling.

    This next nitpick is something that's just an opinion that came to mind without me thinking too much about it, but working on this before settling the majority with simple complete pokemon / ability bans in this meta seems like modifying the nuts and bolts of a rim before deciding what shape the tire will be. We can only occasionally communicate through text exactly why we feel something needs to be done effectively, which is a big reason I think it's a good idea to keep as many people on the same page as possible by going for simplicity.
  25. Lavos Spawn

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    i explained the logical fallacy behind your slippery-slope "if this happens, a thousand catastrophes will immediately follow" argument. if you actually read the parallel i drew out for you, you'll see the similarities i'm talking about. don't automatically dismiss it because it has the word "government"...

    pocket, the reason for endorsing pokemon-specific ability bans and not pokemon-specific move bans is because abilities are an extremely small pool of options, three at maximum, meaning it's very easy to determine if one ability makes a pokemon broken whereas another does not (example: blaze blaziken vs. speed boost blaziken - one isn't broken, one is). moves, however, are an entirely different story. unlike abilities, a pokemon's movepool can span hundreds of different options, meaning singling out which particular move makes a pokemon broken is nearly impossible. for example, with the swords dance blaziken thing that fireburn was talking about, i've seen perfectly viable mixed hp ice blaziken sets that don't have swords dance at all but still function effectively. i could make the argument that sd isn't broken, you'd say it is, and we could go on and on. or maybe i could say that sd isn't broken by itself, but sd + protect is, and that creates a whole new shitstorm that we'd be forced to deal with by addressing pokemon + move bans. however, there's essentially no arguing that speed boost on blaziken is broken, whereas blaze isn't, so that makes it a lot easier for the tiering process to function effectively. that's why pokemon + ability bans work, but pokemon + move bans don't.

    ^before responding, read that paragraph, i think it's the smartest thing you're going to hear out of me in this thread^
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