1. New to the forums? Check out our Mentorship Program!
    Our mentors will answer your questions and help you become a part of the community!
  2. Welcome to Smogon Forums! Please take a minute to read the rules.

Relooking at banning philosophy: Suspecting Moves

Discussion in 'The Policy Review' started by ginganinja, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. ginganinja

    ginganinja Dating Haunter
    is a Forum Moderatoris a CAP Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,735
    Recently in the OU forums, the community has been discussing the suspect status of certain moves in the metagame. These discussions have been “unofficial” in nature; however both the OU staff and the Suspect Council have been watching these threads progress, while discussing the topics themselves over IRC. With these discussions going on, I think it necessary to open up the floor to members of Policy Review to discuss suspect testing moves, especially if it ever becomes relevant to Gen 6 suspect testing.

    This proposal is a controversial one since it steps outside the traditional suspect testing process of simply banning the pokemon. For example, I have talked with many people that are naturally concerned that targeting specific aspects of pokemon, ie abilities and moves, can lead to a slippery slope. More than once, people in the various suspect threads have accused us of “lazy” banning, claiming we are banning because we just don’t want to adapt and while I don’t personally subscribe to this view, it has to be said that targeting certain moves in our suspect process does need serious consideration.

    We have banned moves before, with Evasion Moves and OHKO moves being the obvious examples. Obviously, those moves were deemed to be uncompetitive, such as removing skill from a matchup, thus tilting the metagame in favour of the more “lucky” player, and taking skill out of the equation.

    Scald is potentially one of the best examples of a move worthy of suspect testing. I refuse to name drop here, but I have talked with many battlers that I respect, and there is a strong opinion that the move itself is extremely stupid (putting it mildly) while at the other end of the spectrum, others believe it’s just flat out broken.

    For those that are unused to OU, the main reason why Scald is so frustrating is because there lacks any decent counter play towards it. Your best defence, against Scald, is to use Dry Skin / Water Absorb / Storm Drain / Natural Cure mons, of which there is a limited number, or simply pray you don’t get screwed over by an untimely burn, which simply happens more often than not because it is very easy for Rain teams to use the move, consistently spam it, and get the burns required.

    In regards to the move itself, it has average base power, it gets boosted by the ever common rain, it has no shortage of abusers (ie pokemon that can rely upon it as a general STAB move), it has a 30% burn rate, and it is just so spammable which makes switching in exceptionally difficult. Often, I can bring in my Tentacruel, my Jellicent, my Politoed, and literally 90% of the time, spamming Scald is always the best option because I can a) get good damage on something, and b) have a 30% chance at crippling the best switch-ins to Scald. Ferrothorn for example, cannot switch in on Tentacruel, heck, Tentacruel often switches in on Ferrothorn, simply because it can and will burn Ferrothorn thus crippling it for the rest of the match. Even Latias and Rotom-W hate getting burnt, because that residual damage, along with the ever common Stealth Rock (for instance), just pushes them into KOs from other high powered sweepers such as Keldeo.


    I should be clear here, that the purpose of this thread isn't to bitch and moan about Scald. I am merely illustrating Scald as the perfect example of a move that many believe is suspect worthy, and that discussing suspect testing moves is something we ought to do. So please, when replying keep in mind that Scald is merely one example, and that the real focus of this thread is to look at our banning philosophy in regards to suspecting moves. Discussions about suspecting moves have been brought up before, such as Spore and Stealth Rock, but I don’t want to dwell upon these as one example is enough. I do think that we need a firm policy in regards to suspecting moves in general, and we might as well do this now rather than wait till Generation 6 to make any changes (if at all) to our suspect test process.
    unfixable, yee, Toaster and 8 others like this.
  2. alexwolf

    alexwolf King of Conquerors
    is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    6,535
    I am all for allowing moves to be suspected as long as we make sure under which principle the move would be suspected for. If it would be because the move is ''broken'' then we should make sure that the move is broken on at least the majority of the Pokemon who get this move in order to safely deduce that it is indeed the move that is inherently broken. This way we would prevent stupid ideas to ban moves such as Close Combat and Outrage just because some broken Pokemon used them to huge success.

    The basic principle under which i could see some moves getting banned, and the only one tbh, is this of competitiveness, for lack of a better word (yes i hate to bring up this word because i know that the discussion might get derailed to discussing what it means, but i think that most people here do know what it means, or at least how we use it in smogon). Some moves such as the aforementioned Scald, and imo U-turn, have little or zero counters and are moves that for certain reasons make the game less skill-based no matter what Pokemon uses them, and i think we should definitely allow moves to be banned. After all, we are far past the mindset that only Pokemon should be banned, as seen by the combo-bans made this gen (Drizzle + SS, SmashPass), so i don't really see any problem with this, as long as we make sure that people know for which exact reasons a move is suspected for.
    BurningMan likes this.
  3. Oglemi

    Oglemi I ask consent before I thrash anuses.
    is a Tournament Directoris a member of the Site Staffis a Community Contributoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis an Administratoris a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
    C&C Leader

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Messages:
    8,433
    The thing I've always had about suspecting moves is that there hasn't been a situation (apart from evasion moves/ohko moves) where the move is broken on any Pokemon that gets it.

    The reason evasion and ohko moves have been Claused is because they were broken and ridiculously stupid on anything that got them. And the reason we banned Moody was because it was broken on anything that got it, even Bidoof. We didn't ban Speed Boost when Blaziken got it, we banned Blaziken.

    Let's take your Scald example: not every Pokemon that gets it can use it in a way that they could be considered broken. No Pokemon that's using it is storming through the tier, there are just a couple of really good users of it. Same can be said about U-turn and Spore. Scizor is exceptionally good with U-turn, but the same can't even be said for like Gliscor. Spore is a really good move, but Breloom isn't (arguably I guess) broken with it.

    The only time I'd be comfortable with banning a move is if any Pokemon that got it was obscenely good with it. This would stay with our current philosophy of only banning what's broken. Stealth Rock I suppose would fill this criteria, as would Spikes (every Pokemon that gets them can use them pretty well apart from like Glalie) though I personally don't feel their broken.

    I'm not arguing against that Scald is annoying to face; Spore is too and Lava Plume, etc. But if we are going to stick with our philosophy of only banning what's broken we can't ban a move that isn't broken on every Pokemon that gets it. If we want to ban something to make a more enjoyable metagame on the other hand... then that opens up more possibilities.

    edit: fuck ninja alex imo
    .Robert, panamaxis, PK Gaming and 5 others like this.
  4. kokoloko

    kokoloko genius cannot be contained
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Past SPL Winner
    UU Leader

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,455
    I'm pretty sure that if we use the standard definition of "broken" that every other gaming community uses--that being: "something so good that you can't be competitive without using it"--Stealth Rock fits the bill perfectly.

    That's all I'm going to say on this matter because I'm not really interested in yet another debate about banning philosophy lol
    Nails likes this.
  5. PDC

    PDC don't you know my nigga bkc fucking kidnap kids?
    is an official Team Rateris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,242
    I have no problem with suspecting moves, and I agree completely with alexwolf on this. We really have no restrictions as to what we can ban and what we can't. We've done complex bans in the past, and I don't see any reason why we can't do them again. But this doesn't mean we should go around banning every move that fits under the same criteria as Scald does, I think we should be more conservative with this than banning of individual Pokemon. We're not in this to get the most "enjoyable metagame" as stated many times, we're trying to get a balanced metagame, much to my dismay, which means taking a lot of the fun things out of it. But of course balanced / fun can be very interchangeable. As annoying as Scald is, I don't think it's "broken", but how would we define "broken" too a move? How do we define it for something like this? Moves like Double Team fall under the Evasion clause, but i'm not really sure what Burn would fall under. We've banned a lot of things, and i'm not sure where we will draw the line. But considering how the flexibility of complex bans opens up new doors, and how it looks like we're opening up new opportunities to make the game more fair, this is a plausible option.

    But I just don't think it has any use as of yet.
  6. TPO3

    TPO3 Never practice; Always perform.

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Messages:
    419
    I rather like the concept of suspecting moves. I've seen several players argue that moves like Scald, Stealth Rock, and U-turn have ruined pokemon/are broken/take skill out/whatever, and they're pretty logical arguments. I do agree with PDC in the idea that when suspecting and potentially banning moves, it should be quite a bit more conservative than with pokemon. I also think we should be (if this idea is implemented) be banning moves as a whole, not just silly complex bans like Scald + Politoed, Hurricane + Tornadus-T, etc. The idea as a whole is great. If it could potentially result in a more balanced, stable, and fun metagame, then I don't see why the option shouldn't at least be considered. When gen 6 comes out, it just might be something we really need.
  7. alexwolf

    alexwolf King of Conquerors
    is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    6,535
    This is not true. It has been statistically proved that when trying to setup with Double Team you will fail most of the time, as the opponent has a much bigger chance to hit you than to not, even counting a first free turn that the set-uper may get. This makes this kind of strategy unreliable at best, and just another gimmick when used on most Pokemon. Of 'course there may be a few select Pokemon thta would have the tools to take advantage of Double Team to a broken extend but this is besides the point, because you can't deduce that a move is broken just because a minority of its abusers are broken with it (which we don't even know if it is true). The same is true for OHKO moves, as most Pokemon have much better things to be doing than wasting their free turns 70% of the time.

    Those moves were banned because they have the potential to remove the importance of skill from the game, not because they were broken. Why should a player lose in a game that would be his if it wasn't for a strong setup sweeper that managed to become dangerous thanks to Double Team and then swept him (simple example would be a Double Dance + Double Team Terrakion). Why should i lose 2 Pokemon in the first two turns due to OHKO moves, just because i am using a defensive team and i got unlucky? Those moves were banned to prevent situations such as this, and prevent the meta from becoming a glorified luck-fest.

    So, seeing as how the precedent for banning things that diminish the importance of skill significantly exists, i think it's a good enough reason to ban more moves, with extreme cautious and good reasoning of 'course. Imo, we should even make sure that the voters write paragraphs or something like that to prevent people from banning moves for all the wrong reasons. For example, i am sure that if Scald was being suspected half of the people voting would vote it out just because it is annoying, which is totally not the point. Jirachi's hax is the most annoying thing ever, yet we haven't banned it for this reason and won't ban it (i hope).
    NixHex likes this.
  8. Dracoyoshi8

    Dracoyoshi8 weapon of mass seduction
    is a Contributor to Smogon

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Messages:
    911
    There have been competitive teams without using Stealth Rock. Or any entry hazards for that matter. Stealth Rock is an extremely good and useful move that directly impacts the game, but you can make successful teams without using it.
  9. BurningMan

    BurningMan fueled by beer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,307
    I am all for banning moves, but only relly under the criterias that Alexwolf/Oglemi listed. We shouldn't really ban something if it is only broken on a few select Pokemon, but the majority of them while i am against banning Stealth Rock or Spore these are perfect examples of a moves that are "broken" no matter what pokemon uses them and if we decided to ban individual Pokemons instead of the move we would propably end up banning tons of Pokemon that would be completly fine if we just banned the move. However i think it would be stupid to just ban a move like U-Turn that is fine on the majority of Pokemon just because it was a defining part of a broken Pokemon like in the cases of the recent suspects.
  10. Oglemi

    Oglemi I ask consent before I thrash anuses.
    is a Tournament Directoris a member of the Site Staffis a Community Contributoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis an Administratoris a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
    C&C Leader

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Messages:
    8,433
    Removing skill from the game is the definition of broken.... that's the point.

    EDIT: I guess a definition of broken, not the definition. Something being overpowered would also fall under broken (even though something being overpowered is taking skill out of the game because you just have to use it and win). This is kinda why we should have a direct definition for the word lol.
  11. kokoloko

    kokoloko genius cannot be contained
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Past SPL Winner
    UU Leader

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,455
    oh come on, don't be ridiculous. maybe, if you're lucky, 1% of competitive teams don't use SR. that's negligible from a statistics point of view. and even those that don't use it would probably be better with it tbh.
    Jukain and DestinyUnknown like this.
  12. Soul Fly

    Soul Fly IMMA TEACH YOU WHAT SPLASHIN' MEANS
    is a Contributor to Smogon

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,728


    Well I don't think full baton pass is a suitable candidate for competitive anymore. (That's the only kind which can legitimately claim to be well-off without hazards)
    If there was any other sort of team 99.99999% of the time they're better off using rocks.

    And if we're going to have this debate again then the councils really need to sit down and decide on a path for the metagame to take, because we can never have a truly utopian metagame. It's always going to have to favor one of these to a higher degree
    • Competitiveness/Skill Maximisation
    • Variety/Diversity
    • Balance
    • Stability (i.e anti-banning sentiments, letting the meta iron itself out)
  13. Lavos Spawn

    Lavos Spawn
    is a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Past WCoP Winner

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Messages:
    2,905

    would spore still fall under the same category as stealth rock in that regard, despite the fact that only 7 pokemon out of 649 can learn the move?


    thats the same thing, you ban shit cause it's broken lol.......idk if you were playing this game when bw1 rainstall was around but if you recall most of those teams relied on beating shit like ferrothorn and tentacruel simply by scalding them with tenta/poli and hoping for 1st or 2nd time burn. i guess one could bullshit their way out of that example by saying the rainstall user is simply "playing the odds" but everyone knows it was and still is a crapshoot whenever scald is involved. not only is it annoying, it's about as far away from "skill" as you can get without literally standing right next to pocket

    i really dont want to stick my head into this shitstorm but i couldnt resist pointing out a few things so pls forgive me
  14. BurningMan

    BurningMan fueled by beer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,307
    If Spore would be broken on the majority of these Pokemon yes why wouldn't it? In reality it is only "broken" on Breloom and thats because Breloom is a very good Pokemon even without Spore. On Stuff like Amoongus and Smeargle (i don't think we need to talk about the rest) it is just annoying so i would rather ban Breloom than Spore.
    The reason i compared Spore to Stealth Rock is that no matter what Pokemon uses this Move the effect is completly the same and in no way affected by the Pokemons stats since its a Status attack like the already banned Evasion and OHKO moves.
  15. alexwolf

    alexwolf King of Conquerors
    is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    6,535
    I just pointed out the difference because last time i took part is a discussion many people didn't agree that things that are not broken, in the sense of overpowered, should be banned, but now that i see most of us are in the same page i guess i can include things that decrease the importance of skill when talking about broken stuff!
  16. Aldaron

    Aldaron All da lil birdies chirpin
    is a Tournament Directoris a Battle Server Administratoris a Smogon IRC SOPis a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis an Administrator
    OU and IRC Leader

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    4,370
    I'll just say that while I support testing / suspecting anything, including complex bans, moves, and abilities, I'm not close to sold on the necessity of SR / U-turn / Scald tests.

    In regards to Scald, the primary argument for suspecting seems to be probability based, something along the lines of the 30% potential effect is seen at a large enough rate (high viable distribution) in high level games to have too large a determining effect on the outcome of the battle.

    Let's say, for the moment, I agree that it is seen "too much" (I'm not sold on this at all either though)...I'm still not sold that the negative effect of getting burned is as gamebreaking as our other probability based ban...Sand Veil and Snow Cloak. Missing an attack on SD Garchomp or Sub SD Gliscor was very literally gamebreaking (moreso in Garchomp's case)...I'm not sold it is GAMEBREAKING to get your Ferro or Tenta or Dragonite or Kyurem-B or whatever burned...Sure, it blows...sure, it can cause you to lose...but is it as strong a losing determining factor as Garchomp with an SD or Gliscor behind a Sub (I keep emphasizing Gliscor as well because the SD Flyign Gem Acrobatics set could nearly ohko Rotom-w...which is ridiculous)?

    Not sold on that at all.

    Someone is gonna have to sell me cause if we were to do a council vote right now, I know at least 2 of the 5 council members who would a strong no to test SR / U-turn / Scald atm...
  17. dcae

    dcae naughty list

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,172
    I feel out of all the moves brought up for testing, the only one that really deserves to be tested is Stealth Rock. The reason behind this is that a move like Scald is hated because of two reasons: distribution + hax. People dislike that they can't set up their physical attackers on a weak move because it can easily cripple their mon. The other similar move is Lava Plume, but no one rages at it as much due to low distribution.

    I brought up U-turn myself for discussion, but I actually wasn't advocating for it to be banned or even considered lol. Anyways, I believe U-turn is a mindless move, but since it isn't broken on all its users, it doesn't really deserve to be banned/suspected. It gives huge momentum, thus being mindless and quite spammable, but it doesn't tip the scales at broken.

    Stealth Rock is another matter. I cannot remember the last time a top team was built without it. Every team that is made nowadays takes into account Stealth Rock being present on their side of the field. 99% of teams include a Stealth Rock setter. There is so much sheer utility in this move. One turn is all it takes for every mon on your opponent's team to take a percentage of damage. If said opponent runs a spinner, they lose momentum + 1 turn to try to reverse this. This is keeping in mind that Stealth Rock can be used by every mon and its mother, while Rapid Spin is limited to an extremely small pool of mons, and a few of them are bad otherwise. The fact that Stealth Rock can be so easily set up, and much harder to remove, coupled with the fact that it can deal up to 50% to a mon upon entry show how important it is. It has rooted itself so deep into the metagame it is hard to imagine DPP or BW without it. Never has a move ingratiated itself such into the metagame. This is the only move that deserves to go through a suspect test.
  18. Pocket

    Pocket Apo, the astronaut's best friend >:3
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
    Doubles Co-Lead

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Messages:
    8,580
    It's hard to come up with a response to this thread, because testing and banning moves are not new ideas (ie OHKO test in Ubers and Smash Pass ban in RU). We have always banned elements, including moves / items / abilities, that fall into 2 categories - 1) elements that are overpowered / excessively restricting or 2) elements that are uncompetitive / intolerably luck-based. These are undesirable attributes that take away skill from the game, and allow less skilled players to earn undeserved victories.

    Scald does not fall into either categories. It is not overpowering, as it sacrificed damage for the 30% burn effect. Yet, 30% burn chance does not fall into the "intolerably luck-based" category where Moody, passive evasion, and 30% chance to OHKO reside.

    From talking to people about Scald on irc, it seems that most people want this move tested / banned based on a different / new criteria. They want Scald to be a suspect, because it's a novel and prevalent move. It's a move that induces burn that is supereffective against Fire-types (outside of Sun), and it is found on common bulky Water-types. The question lies in whether we should accept this new criteria to banning moves or not.

    I would say no to this. I believe we can all agree on that we should be conservative when banning non-Pokemon elements that affects more than individual Pokemon. I disagree that a move being unique-and-common as a good justification for a ban. There are 5 Scald users in OU (Politoed, Jellicent, Tentacruel, Starmie, and Gastrodon), and none of them are broken due to Scald. Even more, not all Pokemon that can learn Scald opts for this option, due to the notable damage reduction; you don't see many Keldeo, offensive Starmie, or Specs Politoed opting for Scald over Surf / Hydro Pump. This is because the lower damage output is not worth the 30% burn chance. Only bulky Water-types make use of this move, and I don't see why we need to nerf them. These are strong evidence stating that a move's novelty and prevalence do not solely justify suspect-testing

    More on Scald

    People tend to remember bad events where Scald burned in the first try, but it is indeed only a 30% chance of burning. I have witnessed and experienced numerous badly trained Politoed and Tentacruel, which didn't get a Scald burn in the first 2-3 tries. The majority of the time, it's a piss-weak Water move. In such an offensive metagame such as BW2, you really cannot afford to spam Scald 2+ times for a burn without allowing dangerous threats such as Latias or Celebi to switch in with minimal damage. If I knew for sure that Latios is switching into my defensive Politoed, I will select an Ice Beam for super-effective damage, not Scald for that 30% chance to burn. There is a reason why people run Will-O-Wisp on Jellicent in conjunction with Scald, because the 30% chance burn cannot be relied upon.

    People also have this pre-conceived notion that bulky Water-types should be set-up bait for the likes of Ferrothorn, so they find an exception such as Scald as "preposterous." Well, it IS a burn inducing move, so a physical tank would naturally detest it, whether it resists the move or not. A burn inducing move crippling a physical tank is not a strange concept.

    There are better ways to deal with Scald than your physical grass tank. Natural Cure and Water-immune Pokemon exist to make Scald spam less than desirable. Ninetales and other Fire-types are immune to burn and dont particularly care about Scald abuse when the Sun is up. There are also Specially-based Pokemon who resist water moves that could care less about its Attack being halved, such as Rotom-W and Latias. Yes, the residual damage sucks (IF it burns), but we aren't banning moves that causes residual damage (let's ban Leech Seed trololol). One can also use a Substitute user, such as Kyurem-B to block Scald, too

    This is a good time to bring up DougJustDoug's Characteristics of a Desirable Metagame. Here he states the following:
    Presence of luck factors are a desirable and appealing aspect of this game, and we should preserve "reasonable degree of chance" in our metagame. Unreasonable degree would be those elements that involve little to no risk upon use, such as OHKO moves, passive evasion abilities, and Moody. Scald has sufficient risks involved (costing a turn spamming a weak Water move in exchange for something far more effective) to be considered reasonable in our metagame.

    Even more, I find Scald desirable in our metagame. It offers an additional weapon to more defensively oriented teams. It offers a chance to wear down top threats such as Ferrothorn, Latios, and Kyurem-B. Scald bolstering defensive teams is definitely a good thing in a metagame where super-offensive threats run rampant. I don't see any reason to nerf bulky Water-types just because of a burn chance that is hardly game-breaking, as Aldaron put it.

    Rules of Thumb when Suspecting Moves (A Request)

    I think we should simply stick to the basics and follow 2 simple rules

    1) If a move / move combo contributed to the brokenness / suspect status of multiple Pokemon, by the principle of parsimony, we should test the move / move combo before multiple Pokemon.
    This is the primary reason why I supported a U-turn test, because the move contributed to the banishment of 3 OU Pokemon. If we find any of these Pokemon to be broken without U-turn, though, then we should reverse the ban on U-turn and ban the Pokemon instead

    2) As per kokoloko, if a move is so good that every team is sub-optimal without it, the move should be tested.
    Emphasis on every - this rule only applies to SR atm.
    Bull of Heaven and Sapientia like this.
  19. alexwolf

    alexwolf King of Conquerors
    is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    6,535
    I agree with Pocket for the most part, and SR and U-turn are definitely the biggest potential move suspects we have atm, but i want to clarify something about Scald. Imo, Scald deserves to be suspected not because it is annoying or because it is everywhere, but because it makes Water-type Pokemon and rain teams far more difficult to deal with and encourages a lot of reliance on luck. I have played and seen whole games be won or lost based mostly to the Ferro vs Tenta in rain match-up, where if Tenta managed to burn Ferro with Scald first the rain team won, otherwise if Ferro managed to KO Tentacruel before it got burned its team won instead. Or if Tenta managed to burn the CBTar in front of him the rain team won otherwise the sand team won because Tentacruel was dead and the sand team could freely stack up its hazards. Scald encourages people to bang on luck and creates scenarios that shouldn't exist in such a competitive environment as ours here in Smogon. So many times in all the games i have played in my BW/BW2 career have come down to a Scald burn or i have seen people (including myself) spamming Scald to get the burn as a legitimate strategy.

    Of 'course at that point, one can say: ''Then why not ban Jirachi too, which has 60% chance to flinch with Iron Head, and has paralysis in top of it to make matters even easier?''. The answer is that Jirachi has enough reliable counters, even counting the paralyze moves that Jirachi often carries. Also Jirachi is only one Pokemon and you know that if you pack a counter for it, most of the time you will be fine. On the other hand, Scald has like what 8 counters in OU? Jellicent, Vaporeon, Starmie, Celebi, Toxicroak, Poison Heal Breloom, Chansey, and Blissey. I know that this number may not seem as small at a first glance, but when you think that many rain teams often pack 2-3 Scald users and they are very versatile (both the rain teams and the Scald users) you will soon realize that those Pokemon are not enough to reliably deal with the threat of Scald on a daily basis.

    Here is a quick example. Out of the 8 counters to Scald in OU, SubToxic Tenta beats 4 of them 1 on 1, as Jellicent, Vaporeon, Chansey, and Blissey are all easily stalled out with Toxic. Another example? Starmie can beat Toxicroak and Breloom with Psyshock, and physically defensive Jellicent, opposing Starmie, and Vaporeon with Thunder. Ok last one. Jellicent beats 4 of them at least with the Taunt set (blobs, Vaporeon, and Starmie) and can prevent most of the other from coming in with the threat of WoW (except for Celebi).

    So, as you can see, Scald is indeed very hard to RELIABLY deal with, even though there are plenty of counters in OU for the move itself. And this forces the player to bang on luck to deal with this move, something that directly undermines that importance of skill in the games and makes the already good water-types and the already good rain teams even more difficult to deal with.

    And just something interesting to close my post with, have any of you wondered if anyone would be thinking that rain teams are broken without Scald? Imagine Ferro being able to counter almost every single defensive Water-type and physical Dragon-types being reliable switch-ins to defensive Water-types as well.
  20. Pocket

    Pocket Apo, the astronaut's best friend >:3
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
    Doubles Co-Lead

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Messages:
    8,580
    No offense, alexwolf, but those are some weak reasons. First of all, there are more than 8 reliable switch-ins to Scald. There's Gastrodon, Latias, Latios, Hydreigon, Rotom-W, Ninetales, Politoed, Amoonguss, Reuniclus, and Venusaur. If you're really paranoid, you can fit Aromatherapy, Refresh, or Chesto Rest on some of these Pokemon. Even Roost or Wish support would offset the burn damage.

    Although it sounds like a gross exaggeration, if a game really hinged upon burning a Ferrothorn or Tyranitar, then that user shouldn't risk Ferro / Tar from getting Scald burned in the first place, unless they only need to avoid 1 Scald burn for the KO. If the team lacks any other answer for Scald from Tentacruel, etc then it's just a poorly built team.

    Rain isn't broken because of Scald on bulky Water-types. Even with the rain boost, it's doing pittance damage from an uninvested special attack, and nobody complained that Rain Stall was OP back in BW1, and I don't see how BW2 would change this either. If anything Rain Stall has gotten worse due to the likes of NP Thundurus-T
  21. shrang

    shrang Reaction to Ubers ladder
    is a Contributor to Smogonis a Battle Server Moderatoris a Tiering Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    4,273
    I personally think we need to define what is "broken" first, before doing anything. Personally, I think "broken" comes into two categories:

    1) The move/Pokemon/ability/item is too powerful - I generally look to our old "Characteristics of an Uber" for a good picture of these are supposed to look like. They can be offensively/defensively/supportively too powerful, and therefore lead to characteristics of overcentralisation, Pokemon sweeping teams even with multiple checks on the opposing team, etc etc. - These are the most common types of bans, Deo-A, Blaziken, Excadrill, etc all fit under this category
    2) The move/Pokemon is uncompetitive in the sense it takes away skill - Basically, anything that introduces a significant portion of luck into the game. These are pretty much defined by our clauses - Evasion, Moody, Sleep, etc. How much is too much luck is subjective.

    Personally, I think if a move/item/ability fits under the second criteria, it is a good reason to ban. If you could convince the majority of players that whatever you're suspecting increases luck by too much, then I think you have a good case. Scald can potentially be lumped into this, since you can spam it and get a good chance of burning something with little side effect. There are other factors to consider of course, but I think this is how we should do this. If something fits under the first criteria, I think what is important is that you have establish that thing is inherently too powerful. What I mean by this is that it the move/ability/item is so powerful that the majority of Pokemon that can use/abuse it becomes broken. This is why I think banning something like rain is a bit more iffy, because the things that can abuse rain to the point of broken is still, a small proportion of the total number of Pokemon that get an advantage from rain. Soul Dew is the perfect example of a ban which is justified - both Latias AND Latios are ridiculously broken with it.

    tl;dr - You need to establish whether move/item/Pokemon/ability is too powerful or too luck based. Personally, I think banning Scald has a case, since it introduces significant luck into the game, while banning something like Stealth Rock is a lot more gray.
    yee and alexwolf like this.
  22. alexwolf

    alexwolf King of Conquerors
    is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    6,535
    Oh yeah you are right i forgot about Gastrodon, my bad. However, all of the other Pokemon don't like getting burned at all as a burn really hurts their overall performance, meaning that they are not really counters, just check, at least imo. All the other ways to heal the burn that you mentioned are legitimate but not widespread or effective enough to deal with the threat of Scald. Aromatherapy and Wish have limited distribution, Refresh is not a very good move and most Pokemon don't have the slot for it, and the same is true for ChestoRest, which only works for a select few Pokemon.

    And what about scenarios where one of the two players has no better choice left and goes for the lucky shot, which happens a lot? In such scenarios the player should chose his next best option instead of banging on luck. Not only this, but you are also making the assumption that all players are of a level good enough to get that they shouldn't risk an important Pokemon by banging on luck. There are people that will try to get lucky with Scald instead of making the best choice (in situations where going for Scald is not the best choice) and those people will directly affect you. Say i have CBTar and the opponent has Tentacruel in. Now in a game where both players know what they are doing they, and assuming both Pokemon and the whole party of each team is at full health, they would both switch out in order not to risk such important pokes so early in the game. But what if while i switch out to what i presume is the best switch-in the opponent stays in and goes for Scald anyway? I know this may not be the best example but i think it explains what i want to say. You don't have control of the skill level of the opponent and so reliance on luck (the luck that you need to get or avoid the burn from Scald) can screw you up even if it doesn't come from you.

    Finally, i don't believe that rain is broken, but i am sure that many people who think it is would change their mind if they could counter defensive Toed and Tentacruel with their Ferrothorn or their SpD Jirachi, alongside many other things that would happen with Scald banned.
  23. Dracoyoshi8

    Dracoyoshi8 weapon of mass seduction
    is a Contributor to Smogon

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Messages:
    911
    Something I would like to point out about Stealth Rock is that it doesn't just define OU. It defines the entire game of competitive 6v6 singles. Removing Stealth Rock would be removing a fundamental part of the game, akin to removing something as defining as Leftovers or Choice Scarf. The entire game, from LC up to Ubers, would change. Pokemon previously unviable will become viable, and Pokemon valued for their ability to combat or use Stealth Rock would become less useful. Every non-joke analysis would have to be entirely rewritten. We would have to rerun damage calculators and edit articles. C&C is almost always busy with a natural metagame shifts. Now imagine a shift to every metagame at the exact same time.

    The point I'm trying to make is when considering testing Stealth Rock, we actually have two questions to answer. First, does Stealth Rock warrant a suspect test? And if so, do we have the time and resources to handle the immediate effect of banning Stealth Rock, especially with X/Y coming up fast?
    NixHex likes this.
  24. Death Phenomeno

    Death Phenomeno I'm polite so just for clarity, when I'm cross I
    is a Contributor to Smogon

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    889
    The problem would be reaching a definition of "broken" that everyone (or at least council) agrees on. Also, doing that without referring to a single move in particular. For example, person A believes that move W is not broken according to the given criteria, although it obviously is. Or vice versa.

    About Scald: I'm just going to quote this little gem from Alomomola's analysis:

  25. ginganinja

    ginganinja Dating Haunter
    is a Forum Moderatoris a CAP Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,735
    Pocket brings up good points, and sums up some of the anti scald arguments quite nicely. I just wanted to clarify a few things however...

    Firstly, if I knew Latias was switching in 100%, then I 100% agree, I would use Ice Beam. On the other hand, if my opponent has a full team of six, with something like Heatran / Latios / Rotom-W / Ferrothorn (just an example but I tried to include 2 SpAing mons), id still click Scald because its a 50/50 as to whether you choose to bring in Rotom-W (resists Ice Beam) Ferrothorn, or Latios, and a burn gets boosted by rain, gets a STAB bonus, and has a 30% chance at inflicting a burn on all of the above pokemon (except Heatran but ill OHKO that). If I get that burn, Rotom-W or Latios loses 12% every time + damage from Scald upon switching in, + they take SR damage, thus losing a fairly large chunk of health. They are also encouraged to now recover (if your Latios), thus, I have decreased your attacking potential and get to make a safer switch with little problem. If you attack anyway, thats fine, you lost 10% from LO (most common Latios set iirc), 12% from SR, and 12% from burn + the damage you took from Scald. You are now sitting at around 50% ish, thus putting massive pressure on you when I bring in my Keldeo later in the match, and your Latios isn't in tip top shape to handle it. This is just a rough example, but its what makes Scald so annoying, especially when burn continues across the match (when you can simply recover off that Ice Beam, as I switch to my latios counter, then you can switch out at 100% and not worry about taking burn + SR every time you switch in).

    I think its more that Tentacruel, very often, is peoples Ferrothorn counter, and the arguement is that Tentacruel should very well lose, but it just spams Scald till it gets a burn and wins. Its just "lame" for want of a better word, and it frustrates people, especially when your switch still has a 30% chance to be crippled by that burn (for instance, I almost never switch in Latias on a Tentacruel, even tho im Sub CM, because its prolly Scalding, and its prolly burning me when I switch in, cos thats the game. Note that being "lame" doesn't mean "broken" but it explains why people are perhaps just a little frustrated with it at the very least.

    I see Scald Starmie, Scald Specs Politoed (just yesterday in fact), and Scald Scarf Politoed (v. common in my experience), JUST for the burn chance. It happens more than you might think imo.



    Just pointed out why I personally, always feel vulnerable switching in my Latias on a Tentacruel, even if I am Sub CM, because a burn will fuck me over if I need my latias in tip top shape to handle that Starmie, or that Keldeo. Sure, statistically I should be safe, but thats like saying statistically Stone Edge / Focus Blast / Hydro Pump (if your Panamaxis or myself) are reliable moves, but everyone knows those moves miss all the fucking time :(. The Risk Reward in many cases, just isn't worth crippling your water counter, thus its hard to decide what to bring in. Kyurem-B is a good switch in, as is Gyarados if its not Scalding, the issue is your utterly destroyed if you bring it in on a Scald (like really, your fucking wrecked, and very likely fodder for a standard set up sweeper or something) and again, risk reward means switching it in is very risky. If I had 50 pokemon allowed on the one team, sure, id be fine, but in a 6 on 6 match, having just one pokemon crippled (its why sleep is so gay) is a large handicap, especially if its a burn on a physically based pokemon you choose to switch in on a burning move.

    My standard 'go to' team is Politoed / Ferrothorn / Latias (Sub CM) / Gatr / Thundurus-T / Landorus-T. This team has been very successful on the ladder. Despite this, I still cringe whenever a Tentacruel, Politoed, or Jellicent switches in, because no matter what I bring in, at the least im risking a Scald burn crippling one member of my team, and thats bad. Are you accusing me now of making a poor team just because I lack a Celebi?

    Stealth Rock is potentially suspect worthy (note, not saying its broken) for the reasons already stated in this thread.

    Do we have the time and resources to suspect Stealth Rock before X/Y?

    No

    Like ok the suspect council can disagree with my here, but I don't think we have the time, and no-one wants to leave a shitty metagame behind that still needs 6 months of fixing (some argue we will still have that anyway but w/e). That said, a SR less ladder is planned to go up after the likely Keldeo test, which will be an unofficial way of seeing how the meta looks without Stealth Rock. Note that the SR less ladder will be "unofficial" in that there would likely be no vote.

    That said, I didn't make this thread in order to rush suspecting moves before the arrival of X/Y, I made it so we can discuss suspect testing policy BEFORE X/Y arrives so we can apply what we decide in this thread, to the future. Hence, if we could suspect test Scald / SR / moves, then that information would be relevant for the suspect process of Gen 6. Basically I sorta wanted to sort this shit out now (ideally), so we don't have any controversy if we suspect test a move down the line. I hope that made sense lol.

    Suspect Council can disagree with me, its just how I interpret this suspect policy thread going.
    Hollywood, Dracoyoshi8 and alexwolf like this.

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)