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Q & A with the Overused Council

Discussion in 'BW OU' started by Birkal, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. Birkal

    Birkal We have the technology.
    is a member of the Site Staffis an Artistis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
    CAP Head Mod

    Oct 12, 2010
    Question & Answer with the Overused Council

    Amazing artwork by Amastroph.

    Preface (open)
    Please note that the below thoughts are all pretty irrelevant for the purpose of this thread. You don't need the paragraphs within this hide tag to participate in the project!

    Hiya! This is my 1k post on Smogon, so that's a cool thing. To celebrate, I wanted to first give a bit of background on my time spent here. For those of you who don't know, I got my roots started in Smogon in the Overused forum about a year ago. Although most Smogon users associate me with the Create-A-Pokémon Project and the Orange Islands, this was the first Smogon community that actually accepted me and my thoughts. Both Matthew and Vader played a huge roll in me getting started out by talking with me and giving me feedback. I eventually went on to create the Dark Horse Project in January, which lasted for three months. Along the way, I earned my Community Contributor badge for my work; it was a huge honor. The project had to shut down in April because I was becoming too involved with other projects on Smogon (drawing for The Smog and starting up the Dream World Project, to name a few). Since then, my activity in Overused has been relatively low, unfortunately. While I've moderated and provided general feedback, I want to get more involved again, and that begins with this project!

    So that brings us to the present. While I am still working in other projects all over Smogon, I'd like to show my specific appreciation for the Overused community. You were the guys that got me started out on my journey here, and I'm so thankful for that. So, that's why I decided to start this new project and dedicate my 1k to all of you. The community here has given so much to me, so I'd like to try and give some back.

    To the sadness of some, I'm not going to throw in a bunch of shout outs here. Just to everyone that I interact with, both on the forums and on IRC: know that you guys are the reason I keep coming back. I've made so many friends here on Smogon, so thanks for accepting me for who I am! If you're a weirdo and want to send some sort of congrats, do it in VM or PM since this topic serves another purpose, haha. I'm so thankful for all of you; y'all are awesome =)

    Hello and welcome! The purpose of this thread is to connect the Overused community (all of you reading this thread) with the Overused Council. Many moons ago, we had to do away with the "Now Playing thread" in this forum because it was becoming highly clogged with petty bickering and pointless fighting. Smogon as a whole did away with suspect voting and switched over to the council system. While this new system has certainly lead us into more peaceful times as a community, I fear that we also may have developed ignorance and lethargy towards the tiering process of Overused.

    Well no more. I've contacted each of the council members of the OU council and all of them have agreed to facilitate with the project. In a nutshell, this thread is an public platform for any Smogon user to ask meaningful questions about the Overused tier and get thoughtful answers from the metagame's leaders. Since it is not-so-common knowledge, let me remind you of who exactly sits on the current Overused council:

    Each of these five users have agreed to answer questions that the public may have about the Overused metagame, no matter how specific or general it may be. They'll be able to use their past experiences and current thoughts to help answer your questions as best as they can. Feel free to present any thoughts, questions, and discussion points you may have about the tier to the Overused council in this thread. However, there are rules to this that must be followed so that this process runs smoothly. Please read the below rules before posting. If they are not followed, then your post has the potential to be deleted and possibly even infracted. You have been warned.

    • This thread is for in-depth questions about the Overused metagame. If you have a simple question (e.g. what is Politoed's best moveset?), ask them in our Simple Question, Simple Answer thread. Similarly, this isn't a thread for asking personal questions to the Overused Council; do that on your own time.

    • Absolutely do not complain about the current tiering process here. This is a thread for intellectual questions and answers about the current metagame, not about how the metagame is run. If you, for some reason, absolutely must talk about the tiering process, then take it up with the Overused council in private message form.

    • Do not ignite discussions or debates within this thread; you are only allowed to ask questions. The general flow of things should be that a user asks a question, and then an OU council member will respond to it. Do not respond to posts or type up rebuttals. You're allowed to reference other posts to clarify your questions, yes. Just make sure that your posts are more question-based than discussion-based and you'll be fine.

    • Please be thoughtful, polite, and practice patience. Each of the council members is very busy with their work on Smogon; they will answer your questions whenever they find the time. The best questions in this thread will undoubtedly be the ones that are descriptive and provide support to claims. Those are the questions that will likely attract the council and get thoughtful answers. Furthermore, don't be upset if your question isn't answered. The OU Council has the right to not answer every question but rather, to pick the ones they find most appropriate.

    • Please do not try to start a debate and "win people over to your side." That goes hand in hand with the above rule, really. This is a thread for asking questions openly, true, but it is certainly not for trying to convince the public of your views. So don't bandwagon an opinion. This is a public question and answer thread, not a public podium.

    As you can probably tell, this thread shouldn't be overflowing with posts. It is primarily meant for users who understand the Overused metagame and have serious questions on the current state of the tier. Remember, this thread is a privilege, not a right. If it goes poorly and people use it for improper conversation, I'll just lock it. The other Overused moderators and I will do our best to filter out bad questions so that when the OU council views this thread, they won't have to waste their time reading thoughtless questions. Please don't disappoint us; use this thread as a resource for the community to learn more about the Overused tier. As always, if you have any questions, shoot me off a PM. I can't wait to see what kind of information will come forth from this thread!
  2. Birkal

    Birkal We have the technology.
    is a member of the Site Staffis an Artistis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
    CAP Head Mod

    Oct 12, 2010
    Answered Questions


    Q: Tobes on criteria for banning, the hastiness of BW1 bans, Dream World philosophy, testing questionable Pokemon, and general methodology.

    A: Supplied by Haunter.​

    Q: Zacchaeus on banning items and moves.

    A: Supplied by Haunter.​

    Q: Pocket on banning guidelines, changes in philosophy, options versus simplicity, combo bans, and viability of ability bans.

    A: Supplied by Haunter.​

    Q: Seth Vilo on hesitancy to make combination bans on Abilities + Pokemon.

    A: Supplied by Aldaron.​

    Q: GatoDelFuego on the entire community hating a Pokemon and bending rules to suit the community.

    A: Supplied by Aldaron.​

    Q: X5Dragon on unifying Permanent Weather + Speed Boosting complex ability bans.

    A: Supplied by Aldaron.​

    Q: DittoCrow on defining what is broken or worthy of a ban.

    A: Supplied by Aldaron.​

    Q: tehy on the plausibility of banning specific moves.

    A: Supplied by Aldaron.​

    Q: Taylor on retesting Excadrill, Garchomp, Deoxys-S, and Thundurus-i in an effort to balance out the metagame's current shift in favor of Rain.

    A: Supplied by Aldaron.​

    Q: Ricky Horror on banning by popular demand versus council members deciding it needs to be tested.

    A: Supplied by Aldaron.​

    Q: Pwnemon on the role of luck in today's metagame and how it has shaped the council and its viewpoints.

    A: Supplied by Aldaron.​
  3. Tobes

    Tobes Na na na na na Na na na na na
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a defending World Cup of Pokemon champion

    Jul 16, 2010
    Ok, I'll kick us off then.

    What criteria do you use for deciding if something needs to be banned or unbanned? Do you feel that any BW1 bans were too hasty or should be reconsidered? What do you think of my more laissez-faire approach to Dream World's banlist? Do you think it's worth testing more "questionable" Pokemon (for example do you think I'm off my rocker for allowing Darkrai to be tested)? What methods have you considered for testing? What is your opinion on preliminary tournament tests, including potential flaws such as sample bias and overpreparation?
  4. Zacchaeus

    is a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Dec 5, 2009
    With the new and improved council system, will there be an attempt to ban moves or items* as opposed to traditional bans for Pokémon?

    *Will the very few banned items be reconsidered?

    Will clauses be altered or reconsidered? This would include removing clauses or modifying them, examples: Removing Soul Dew Clause (and perhaps banning Soul Dew as an item) or expanding Evasion Clause to include Acupressure, Sand Attack and clones, Tangled Feet, and Sand Veil/Snow Cloak
  5. Pocket

    Pocket Apo, the astronaut's best friend >:3
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

    Dec 22, 2004
    1) Have the OU senators outlined any "guidelines" or "principles" in banning?

    2) How has the current ban philosophy changed from the traditional "Smogon philosophy?"

    3) Which of the two are more important:
    a) having more options available in the metagame
    b) simplicity of our banlist

    Relevant example - Last UU tiering phase suspected sand. If they emphasized principle a) they would ban only what they felt was broken - Sand Veil + Stoutland. If they emphasized with principle b) they would ban Sandstream. They chose the latter.

    4) Are Combo bans considered "taboo" or "frowned upon," despite being utilized since 2000 / GSC era? Would such bans be considered in the future if it provides optimal results?

    5) Should "non-broken" Pokemon be reduced in viability for the sake of keeping an overpowered Pokemon in OU?

    A) If Shadow Tag Gothitelle and Shadow Tag Chandelure were deemed broken, would we ban Shadow Tag and reduce Wobbuffet's worth to 0? What if only Shadow Tag Chandelure was broken?
    B) Would we ban Sand Veil to bring back Garchomp, despite reducing the effectiveness of other Sand Veil users, which are unquestionably manageable even with 20% evasion? Would we have considered banning Sand Veil / Snow Cloak before the additions of BW2 tutor moves and the release of new abilities to Sandslash, Mamoswine, Cacturne, etc (thus resulting in some non-broken Pokemon unplayable in all tiers but Ubers / Pokemon losing access to past-gen or egg moves, etc)?
  6. Adamant Zoroark

    Adamant Zoroark

    Aug 11, 2011
    What are the chances of unbanning BrightPowder/Lax Incense? I'm asking because I believe the only way to truly abuse these items is with Substitute (a drop to 90% accuracy isn't much), while Leftovers gives more benefits to these Pokemon in the long run than BrightPowder does.
  7. Arcticblast

    Arcticblast Never did anything about Swagger
    is a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion

    Nov 29, 2008
    How do you guys generally operate? Do you mostly confer with yourselves, do you mostly listen to other people's opinions or do you try to balance the two?

    How often do you consider Pokemon/items/playstyles/etc. for banning? Is it a relatively common thing nipped in the bud or do you only bring up the idea when you believe it is truly broken?

    If something hypothetical, incredibly powerful Pokemon previously placed in Ubers was to be tested in OU for some reason, would you prefer to set a date for the testing period to end or would you simply make your final decisions once everybody has really gotten a taste for the metagame with this hypothetical Uber?

    In today's Rain-infested metagame, do you think a hypothetical lift on the Drizzle + Swift Swim ban result in re-implementing said ban or banning Drizzle as a whole?

    How many times a day can you be asked about bans before you go apeshit and yell at everyone to stop asking?
  8. doughboy

    doughboy backhand slap ready
    is a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnus

    Sep 4, 2011
    Glad to see that this has started and will be looking forward to their answers with great interest! All of the following questions have equal interest and value for answers!

    • How does/will the process of reintroducing a Pokemon into OU from Ubers compare to banning a Pokemon from OU to Ubers? While in the past Pokemon being banned form OU to Ubers was usually a quite long and arduous discussion, the process of reintroduction would be much more curt.
    • Had the suspect council ever took any Pokemon into consideration to ban after the Deoxys-S era of the BW1 metagame? Specifically Terrakion, who was considered to be the metagame's top offensive Pokemon and by far the most threatening, and Sand Veil which came under increased scrutiny due to the newfound popularity of Acrobat Gliscor at the tailend of the metagame (although Sand Veil came under watch in February as opposed to the tailend and the discussion was deemed to have gone "absolutely nowhere fast").
    • Currently, what are the suspect's councils thoughts about the new BW2 metagame in general? Specifically, what are the suspect council's views on Tornadus-T who has been considered the metagame's top and hardest-to-deal-with threat and has greatly influenced the large amount of rain use on the ladder?
  9. UltiMario


    Aug 11, 2009
    Yay, I get to add another ban-related question to the pile!

    -How strongly should BW1 be considered while we are currently dealing with balance and potential banlists in the BW2 metagame? Many threats like Garchomp, Excadrill, Deoxys-S, and Thundurus have sat high among the BW1 metagame, but have always been notably less Uber than many other Pokémon on the banlist. Do you think that bans during BW1 should still hold as much ground now? Or is a suspect ladder to test Ubers in the current metagame inevitable?

    -Should weather balance be factored into balance as well when deciding on suspects? Should we allow powerful sand strategies back into the metagame due to Rain being so incredibly dominant that it has shafted Tyranitar quite a few slots down? Or possibly in the other direction, of banning rain abusers so Sun, Sand, and nonweather keep up more easily? Or should weather only be treated like a normal team, and strong metagame defining abusers be the basis for bans, not factoring how weather and nonweather compete against each other significantly?
  10. Thorhammer


    Jun 18, 2008
    Current policy states that we must wait for the metagame to stabilize before reviewing past bans from BW1 to see if they should be changed in BW2. What are the criteria for this? Do you have a specific amount of time you plan to wait before checking over to see if there may be merit in making adjustments, or are you using other conditions?
  11. Jimera0

    Jimera0 You don't understand, Edgar is the one in the hole!
    is a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnus

    Jul 24, 2010
    Ok, I'm just going to ask what everyone is thinking straight up.

    What, if anything, is looking to be on the chopping block for the next round of suspect discussion (or whatever process we're going to use)? While I know we're waiting for everything to settle down a bit first (of course Gamefreak would released Genesect JUST as we were getting used to the Therians and Keldeo :P), but what are your initial impressions?

    For that matter, what IS the exact process going to be when we get around to addressing suspects? Will it be like with Deoxys-S, with a lengthy discussion followed by a sudden (from the perspective of the ordinary users) decision? Or will there be a voting process with individual testimonies afterwards like the UU Senate does? Or will we be doing something completely new?

    Essentially, I want to know the basics before we get into all the nitty gritty details. What are we looking out for and how is it going to happen is what I want to know.
  12. mien

    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

    Jul 13, 2008
    1) What kind of metagame does the council strive for?
    - A stable metagame, where bans are only considered under extreme circumstances without any chance of ubers ever being brought down to ou.
    - A metagame with as few bans as possible, the 'ubers-lite' metagame
    - A balanced metagame, were one strives for a less one sided metagame
    - A 'fun' metagame, where pokemon who are deemed annoying by most of the community get banned despite not necessarily being broken in order to achieve a much more enjoyable metagame overall.(for most users that is)
    - A different kind that is not described above.

    2) Will there ever be an opportunity to engage the council in a high profile live(irc) debate? High profile meaning that only users who have shown intelligence and/or talent by writing paragraphs/ladder ratings/recent tournament achievements/something else are allowed to participate. I believe that would be an interesting way for IRC users and those who usually don't go on chatrooms to exchange idea's without any obnoxious/clueless users disrupting it.

    3) Will the decisions made by the council be based on universal agreement or on a vote?
  13. Joeyboy

    Joeyboy Has got the gift of gab
    is a Team Rater Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Nov 30, 2010
    So many of these questions are about policy but I'd like to ask a question more about the competitive side of the current metagame, I hope thats alright.

    Each of you have proven to be proficient battlers, at the moment what do you find are the toughest threats in the BW2 to deal with? To go along with that; what threats do you find are most effective when you personally use them?

    Awesome idea Birkal!
  14. haunter

    haunter Banned deucer.

    Aug 6, 2007
    I'll start with a methodological premise:
    1) the OU council is made of people with very different views on what an ideal metagame is, therefore more often than not the only way to achieve a decision is through the vote. This means that you won't likely get "universally" shared answers in this thread. I'll answer a few of them hoping that my colleagues will follow me;
    2) nothing of what the council decides is set in stone, we might decide to re-evaluate each decision taken in the past. So don't take our answers like an irrevocable judgement.
    There was a discussion on the banning philosophy and the two options were:
    1) only ban "broken" Pokemon\abilities\items;
    2) ban things, in order to achieve a desired metagame, regardless of whether those things were broken by themselves.

    The majority decided to opt for the first option. That obviously still leaves a lot of subjectivity in order to decide what is "broken" but at the same time it prevents banning things that have a minor impact on the game.
    I think that some of the Pokemon banned during the early stages of the suspect process should be reconsidered, especially since the metagame has changed significantly since then.
    I never actually played DW, so I can't tell, sorry.
    I don't think that things like Darkrai would make the game any better. It really depends on what Pokemon you'd suggest to test.
    I have extensive knowledge of the meaning of the terms "bias" and "overpreparation" since both the elements were the main flaw of the 4th Gen suspect process. That's unfortunately an unavoidable aspect when testing previously uber Pokemon. I think preliminary tournament might be useful though.

    Some of us want to reconsider the "hax items" ban, but that ban has been included into a wider discussion on the evasion clause.
    Yes, I think that some clauses, especially the evasion clause, may be revised during B\W2, but this is just my personal opinion.

    See my first answer.
    It has not really changed, though we're no longer referring to the famous 3 uber criteria of Gen IV.
    The former in my opinion.

    They're not a taboo for me but, apparently, people prefer simplicity and combo bans are just an extraordinary measure, an exception to the rule.
    That's a quite complex question and would require me to make speculations. I can tell, though, that scenario B) has been discussed and it came down to these options (I hope Aldaron won't mind me copy\pasting part of his post):

    The majority seems to agree with option #2.
  15. Seth Vilo

    Seth Vilo

    Mar 6, 2009
    Something that's been bothering me with this generation particularly is this: Why is there such a wall to banning Pokemon+Ability combinations?

    To me, Pokemon+ability bans seem like the most logical option. For example, by previous generations it is clear that Blaziken is NOT broken with Blaze, but now has been deemed as such thanks solely to Speed Boost. So we ban Blaziken altogether? That doesn't make sense to me. Sand Veil hax hatred is a big part of why Garchomp has been banished the last 2 generations. Yes, Garchomp, the manliest Pokemon alive, is also a great Pokemon by itself, but why is the new Rough Skin version not even given a chance because the Sand Veil version has been deemed broken? Banning certain Pokemon +Ability combos will allow even greater diversity in the metagame by bringing things like Garchomp, Excadrill, and Blaziken back into the niches they fill (ex. Bulky SR-setting Garchomp, trolly Scarf 102-base-Speed Garchomp, Rapid Spinning Mold Breaker/Sand Force Excadrill - much like in Ubers, old UU Blaziken in all its glory, Defiant Thundurus). Again, it makes the most sense to me at least. All variants are NOT broken because one thing is.

    I could see the argument against these bans being a "slippery slope" one along the lines of "why not just ban certain sets then? Non-boosting Rayquaza isn't broken." This is a good point I foresee coming, but that's something more complex ban-wise (and programming-wise) than just ability+Pokemon bans. Speaking of programming, is the reason why we aren't crossing this "no ability+Pokemon ban" wall because of programming? We have our own simulator in the form of PS! now, which from what I understand is much easier to manage and program than PO, so is that reason now gone?

    Ability+Pokemon bans seem most logical to me. It allows for the most diversity by keeping non-broken Pokemon like Blaze Blaziken, Defiant Thundurus, Rough Skin Garchomp, Mold Breaker/Sand Force Excadrill, Sand Veil anything else, and Snow Cloak anything. It also keeps broken things out, and doesn't affect Pokemon that AREN'T broken with the ability (see the Sand Veil/Snow Cloak ban argument, Speed Boost Ninjask and Sharpedo, Sand Rush Sandslash), unlike what would happen if we just ban an ability. It's not a "complex ban"; it's banning what is broken and leaving what is not. It is most efficient, so why are we not doing it?

    /rant, /freeGarchomp
  16. GatoDelFuego

    GatoDelFuego When the grim reaper says you get to be in the skeleton army
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Forum Moderatoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor

    May 29, 2011
    Would there ever be a case where absolutely everyone in the entire community hates facing a certain pokemon to the point that it is banned? A hypothetical pokemon that "over-centralized" the metagame to a point that even though it may not be "broken" by the smogon standards, the vast majority of the community just wants it gone? Could rules be bent in this hypothetical case?
  17. Birkal

    Birkal We have the technology.
    is a member of the Site Staffis an Artistis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
    CAP Head Mod

    Oct 12, 2010
    Just posting to say that I've added an "Answered Questions" page here in the second post. That way, if you have a question, you can quickly skim that post to see if it has been asked already or not. Keep up the good questions!
  18. X5Dragon


    Jun 12, 2011
    1) Does the council have any intention of unifying the approach to perma weather + speed ability? As it stands right now:

    Hail: No such combo
    Sun: No bans implemented
    Rain: Swift Swim + Drizzle banned
    Sand: Only pokemon deemed broken are banned with all their abilities

  19. DittoCrow

    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion

    Mar 15, 2010
    What defines a Pokemon as broken or banworthy, or, do each of you have your own personal definition of what makes something broken/banworthy? What would that definition be?
  20. tehy

    tehy Banned deucer.

    Aug 16, 2010
    Here's a question i actually think would be interesting:

    Is there ever a point at which you'd consider banning a Move, other than double team and its ilk?

    The best examples i have are u-turn and pursuit. Even if, say, a 250 Base Power move came out, there would be walls that could take it. (Or maybe not, but not my point.) But i feel that with u-turn/pursuit, the enemy gains something and often you have no way to stop him. You could argue ferrothorn/rocky helmet, but rocky helmet's awfully niche for my tastes and ferro lacks good healing.

    Basically, what interests me is not more powerful moves, which are more of the same old same old, but moves like SR, Sub, and others that are transformative in nature, adding new aspects to a game.
  21. Myzozoa

    Myzozoa Don't keep calm, create chaos
    is a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion

    Jan 31, 2009
    In your collective minds, how settled is the Auto-weather question? Is there a sense that Auto-weather is what BW is, or is there a possibility of further restrictive bans aimed at reducing the strength of Rain, Sun, and Sand? I bring this up especially in regards to the possibility of an Excadrill re-test. Re-testing Excadrill would signal to me that the council at this time doesn't believe that weather is the single most important factor in the OU metagame.
  22. Taylor

    Taylor i am alien
    is a Team Rater Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Dec 11, 2006
    In BW1, Choice Specs Politoed is exclusively one of, if not the most dominating Pokemon in the OU metagame. Why? To successfully defend against its attacks (Surf / IB / HP Grass / FBlast), you need to predict correctly to withstand the brute force auto-weather brings to Politoed's overall power and presense.

    You can hit the entire metagame for at least a 2HKO, and even if the opponent has Blissey/Chansey you are merely teasing the possibility with which you may double-switch anyway, predicting the safest option your opponent can make. I see this as an unfair advantage, as I am sure there will be more out there who grasp onto where I am leading with this.

    I want to make this abduntently clear that manipulating this condition each time you switch Politoed in, you're forcing the opponent into submission because he has to sacrafice a Pokemon just to have a chance at removing Politoed; note, removing does not mean achieving anything more than a single OHKO, nor is it by any means a breakthrough. By the time Politoed has fainted, the damage has already been done and there's no coming back. Now this is not even factoring critical hits which end games in the blink of an eye.

    We accept auto-weather is very much part and parcel of the Standard OU metagame, yet target abilities in most cases when deciding what determines whether a Pokemon is Uber or not.

    My experience in the BW2 metagame and more specifically Politoed, is that it can only be considered more overmastered than it ever was. Releases, such as Therian-formes, Keldeo, Meloetta and Genesect, have all breathed new life into the metagame and seemingly boosted rain's potential to new found heights.

    Now, to carry on from my last paragraph, Aldaron was not sold on my proposal to unban Excadrill because he felt rain, if anything, has stagnated in a sense that you could use Keldeo on a non-weather team and call it a "check". Then by this very logic, can we not include Excadrill on our rain/hail/sun teams, in an effort to check sand? Why do trainers feel a weather team must be structered in a standarized fashion, with no innovative niches\strategies or room for thinking outside the box? I mean, part of my reasoning for pitching this idea was because I certainly understand the likes of Garchomp and Excadrill required Tyranitar's own ability before their own sequence of power could be measured accurately.

    This is where I begin to get frustrated with the way the system operates. As a whole, a competitive player striving to further educate him\herself should be willing to accept that when he\she builds a team, there will always be a new way to manipulate current trends and work those unpopular, unexploited ideas to your own advantage.

    My question: Can we accept the possibility that Garchomp, Excadrill, Thundurus-i and perhaps Deoxys-S (assuming the latter two were to be reconsidered) are given the opportunity to be re-tested in an existing metagame, on the basis that the balance of power is very much one-sided in favor of rain?
  23. Ricky Horror

    Ricky Horror

    Jun 1, 2012
    At the risk of sounding dumb, where does the council derive their source for banning Pokemon? Is it by popular demand or simply when a council member deems it worthy of testing. During BW1 a lot of complaints were made about Terrakion, yet little to nothing was done about it. It's not the only thing of course, but the bigger one in my mind.
  24. Stratos

    Stratos Banned deucer.

    Aug 26, 2010
    How does the council stand on the role of luck in our metagame? It's clear that luck does play an important factor, possibly because gamefreak hates us or possibly because we're playing a little kids' game. Do you think that luck has a place in our metagame? Is its role detrimental, and bs hax should be abolished whenever possible? Is it actually a beneficial aspect to the meta, because it ensures that superior skill is more important than team matchups in determining the victor? How does luck correlate to skill? Does it cause skilled players to be undervalued because "bs hax" often ruins what wins they would otherwise have obtained? Is it the antithesis of skill, more luck = less skill or vice-versa? Or is it a complement to skill, that actually gives skilled players even more of an advantage because they have the ability both to "damage control" so that hax that would screw over a less skilled player they can ensure does not ruin their entire strategy; and because they can use it as a weapon in otherwise impossible scenarios to have a chance at a win? Does luck contribute to a desirable metagame, or does it detract from one?
  25. Aldaron

    is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnus

    Aug 5, 2007
    I'll start from Haunter's post.

    Also note, most of these answers are my personal thoughts on the matter, and not necessarily representative of the council as a whole.

    When I proposed "Aldaron's proposal," it was with the understanding that these types of complex bans (combination bans) would be utilized solely as EXCEPTION cases, not as tools normally available to use.

    While I'm not an absolutist by any means, I still feel we should attempt to strive for simplicity in our ruleset. Making rules accessible to newer players is a fundamental principle I feel we should highly regard. Yes, we realized that weather was a big deal and made an exception for it; no, this doesn't mean we set a precedent, just acknowledged exception cases exist.

    This is why, unless the ban / unban is on the "metagame" level (as weather was) and unless there are clear arguments that the complex ban would make the metagame better (as far as I know, reintroducing Blaziken isn't really anything that would definitely make the metagame better), I don't feel introducing new complex bans is worth it.

    While I tend to focus on Smogon's established standard of catering arguments towards broken or not, as I said before, I'm not an absolutist. If there was some overwhelming wave of support from all of the masses, established "good" players, and senior staff, I would certainly give it a fair view.

    There is nothing to unify; unification implies a previous action that distorted the unity was something to be judged in the normal spectrum of actions. The Swift Swim + Drizzle combo ban was judged an exception, not a norm, and therefore any concerns about unification are unfounded.

    Now, if you're asking if other complex bans will be considered...sure. I'd like to limit how freely we use them, but I have no issue considering anything if people approach me with logically consistent arguments on how a complex ban's benefits outweigh its risks.

    From discussions with the council, I know we all have our own thoughts for broken. I specifically say thoughts and not definitions because I don't like strictly qualifying broken. I've always felt you don't need 1 strict of guidelines for it; your conditions for broken should evolve with the metagame and the community accordingly.

    [16:17:04] <DittoCrow> for my question thing in the q & a thread
    [16:17:06] <DittoCrow> i meant what sort of things make a pokemon broken in general, like "has no counters or checks" or some shit like that
    [16:17:07] <DittoCrow> :>
    [16:17:16] <aldaron> link
    [16:17:22] <DittoCrow> http://www.smogon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4371520&postcount=25
    [16:17:35] <DittoCrow> 4th quote down
    [16:17:40] <aldaron> i know
    [16:17:45] <aldaron> i specifically was not specific about that
    [16:18:17] <aldaron> i was basically going for the "definition" changes as the times change
    [16:18:29] <aldaron> for example in adv gen, having no counters probably meant banned
    [16:18:33] <DittoCrow> in general though, what was stuff banned for in the past
    [16:18:34] <aldaron> that changed in dpp somewhat
    [16:18:41] <aldaron> and definitely changed in bw
    [16:18:56] <aldaron> now we focus more on viability of checks as opposed to counters
    [16:19:01] <DittoCrow> kinda want to compare w/ gothitelle in lower tiers because i'm undecided
    [16:19:18] <aldaron> i guess you could say i personally judge whether a pokemon is uber or not based on the sum total viability of all its checks
    [16:19:36] <DittoCrow> oh kk
    [16:19:37] <DittoCrow> ty
    [16:19:43] <aldaron> rather, i base my judgment on that
    [16:19:44] <aldaron> thats not all
    [16:19:51] <DittoCrow> ye

    These concerns have been voiced before, and I've listened to them. Ultimately, it comes down to whether you can convincingly show that having bans like "Stealth Rock ban" or "Spikes ban" will definitively make the metagame better.

    I really have to emphasis this "definitively" point; too many people believe because they have some reasonable points, that we as a community should straight away invest countless resources and energy to consider them. This is not (and should not) be the case; ultimately whatever we do should be (and it doesn't matter if it is subjectively) weighed using a cost:benefit analysis, and only considered if the benefit far outweighs the cost.

    Tough question to answer in a general sense. We've spoken regarding this on irc; can you maybe specify the issues? I could give a generalized answer, but I think you're looking more for specifics.

    I bolded that specific part because it is forgetting that Excadrill by itself was voted broken, whereas atm the new rain toys, Genesect, Thundurus-therian, Tornadus-Therian, Meloetta, Keldeo and the like have not been. Therefore my argument was "rain got new non-broken toys that help but also hinder rain." It can't be applied to Excadrill, as while I absolutely acknowledge Excadrill on non Sand teams was a great Sand check, I don't acknowledge that Excadrill on Sand teams wasn't broken, as I do for the new rain toys.

    I bolded the last part because you have to be careful how you put it. Rain Offense has certainly been boosted, but Rain Stall has been (potentially equally) killed by the new toys. Literally all 5 of the new rain toys work against Rain Stall, so you have to be careful how you mention the balance of power. What has happened is that offense has seemingly seen the balance of power shift to it. That's what we should be talking about, not necessarily that it is Rain Offense, because, from what I've observed, teams not focused on weather (note I say not focused, so they can still have a Tyranitar or a Politoed as long as they aren't strategically built as 'sand' or 'rain' teams) have gained nearly as much of a boost.

    For me personally, it is a subjective analysis on a sum total of popular demands, good player thoughts, staff thoughts, and personal playing experience. I try to emphasize catering arguments for banning around "broken" and try to emphasize keeping the ruleset simple, but I'm not an absolutist for either cause.

    Terrakion wasn't broken to me in BW1, and enough of the masses / players / staff thought it wasn't to not make me reconsider that. Like I've said, I won't make moves towards a particular direction unless I'm convinced the benefit is worth the effort.

    I feel that probability management is (unfortunately) a vital part of a "good" player's ability-set, and I feel that this won't change anytime soon. That said, I don't mind community efforts to limit the effect of probability management (note OHKO and Evasion clause), and will consider any ideas that will convincingly improve the metagame.

    Regarding any actions taken on reducing the probability inherent in team matchup...atm my thoughts are "bad team matchup? Tough. That's an inevitable part of the game." Now, some people consider the existence of auto-weather abilities (and the teams they spawn) as contributing to an inordinate amount of variance, and have used this as an argument tool to argue against maintaining weather. We may revisit the "weather" questions soon to resolve these concerns.

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