Rethinking past bans in the current metagame.

I'm feeling a little rebellious~

OK, we've entered a new metagame with the advent of Black 2 and White 2. A metagame that heavily favors Rain, for reasons that I'm pretty sure are clear to all of us. The thing is, this metagame is BRAND new. The newly introduced Pokemon never had to contend with Pokemon that we've banned since before they were released (Shaymin-S, Garchomp, Blaziken, Thundrus-I, Excadrill, etc).

I really can't be bothered to write some long post where I'll probably just repeat myself over and over, so I'm just going to cut straight to the chase: I want to know why we haven't yet established a Suspect metagame like we had in DPP. I want to know why people are opposed to unbanning Blaze Blaziken (a clearly unbroken Pokemon) and Rough Skin Garchomp (ehh, we'll see). These two Pokemon were banned because of their respective abilities, Speed Boost and Sand Veil. Both have alternate abilities available to them that in my opinion would not cause them to be broken in the current metagame.

People say that this is an ugly ban, a complex, inelegant ban. I disagree. Look at our history. We've banned Pokemon, items, an ability, and we've had a complex ban with Drizzle + Swift Swim. We clearly don't have any kind of "ban ruleset" that we have to restrict ourselves to. If a ban (or in the case I'm arguing, an UN-ban) would make the metagame more enjoyable, I think we should do it. Nobody is hurt by allowing Blaze Blaziken. People will enjoy using Rough Skin Garchomp. The only other time we've had a complex ban, the Drizzle + Swift Swim one, was obviously fantastic for the metagame, and benefited everyone. Why is Pokemon + broken ability frowned upon, when Drizzle + Swift Swim is not? I'd just like you to reflect upon this for a moment.

What I'm really getting at though, is that we need a Suspect metagame. It was a massive success in DPP, and frankly I'm astounded that we haven't incorporated one yet in a metagame such as our current one, with many things hanging on the edge of brokenness (Manaphy, Excadrill and possibly even Darkrai), and some that are clearly not broken under certain circumstances (Blaze Blaziken and Rough skin Garchomp). A metagame where these Pokemon can be tested in a closely controlled enviroment , either one at a time or all together (I'd like to see the discussion on this, as if we only do one at a time, the suspects may be subject to over-preparation), would really, really help us determine whether or not they should be allowed in standard play. I'm not criticizing any past bans at all: I think that every single one of them was justified AT THE TIME of the ban. But with this new and completely different metagame, I think it's time we gave these guys a second chance.


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On complex bans (DrizzleSwim, Pokemon + Ability, etc.), I think Aldaron said it best in the Council Q&A.

"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."

On the more relevant topic of a suspect metagame, I'll be honest. I like the idea, but I don't see why it's really necessary. Sure, it's a way to test those old Pokemon. But wouldn't it be easier to simply unban it than go through the trouble of creating a whole new ladder, getting a whole new set of usage statistics, and judging from there? I understand that simply unbanning brings about its own problems (screwing with the stats is only an example), but the way I see it, we don't need to create a whole suspect ladder to test a few Pokemon. I'm not against it, but I'm not supporting it either.
I can post here? When did this happen? o.o


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I think retesting suspects like Excadrill, Garchomp and Blaziken (and probably thundurus as well) could be a good idea due to how dominant is rain right now: those three could help balance things to make sand and sun more viable and in more even terms against rain.
Sorry to make such a short post but what I'm thinking is maybe we could set up a system where once a Pokémon is banned from standard play, it is reconsidered and reviewed by the council every so often or any time a metagame-changing event occurs. Example: Every 2 months after Excadrill was banned, council members (who voted to ban in the first place) can state whether or not they think that the metagame has changed enough to necessitate a review of the ban
Arcticblast, my main concern is that these Pokemon get a second chance, not really how it's done. However, I'm no expert at all, but I was under the impression that it wasn't as difficult to create new ladders on PS! as it was on PO? Anyway, if we make a Suspect ladder we can use it in the future as well. I'd prefer if we could test these Pokemon again before just dumping them all on everyone's heads as a surprise; it just seems cleaner to me if we test them seperately from the actual metagame. This way we can mabye test batches of two or three Pokemon at a time (obviously starting with the ones I highlighted earlier) instead of all at once. Another benefit of a Suspect metagame is to test the things hanging on the edge, such as Darkrai, in the future. Darkrai was released on the DW ladder due to many players actually finding it dead-weight on their teams; this was mainly due to Techniloom, Genesect, Manaphy, other fast Scarfers, and it's relative frailty and bad typing (with Genesect and Techniloom now released I'm sure OU players would wish to test Darkrai in the standard tier, and see how much of an impact it has). Just theorymoning here, but if for example Manaphy was tested before or at the same time as Darkrai people would use it in the Rain to counter it. This is really just brainstorming, but I honestly think that this could all come into effect if a Suspect ladder was created. Obviously this doesn't depend on me but on the programmers of PS!, so it'd be great if they could chip in and give us their opinion on whether they'd be prepared to do it.

EDIT: Well, with the Garchomp Suspect ladder already established, I see no reason NOT to keep using it.


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I missed this the first time:
I want to know why people are opposed to unbanning Blaze Blaziken (a clearly unbroken Pokemon) and Rough Skin Garchomp (ehh, we'll see). These two Pokemon were banned because of their respective abilities, Speed Boost and Sand Veil. Both have alternate abilities available to them that in my opinion would not cause them to be broken in the current metagame.
Since we have already banned Drought, Sandstream and Snow Warning in lower tiers, BUT letting flash fire vulpix, sand force hippopotas and soundproof snover playable, I believe that's a good precedent to let Rough Skin Chomp, Blaze Blaziken and Sand force Exca back into the fray.


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Those bans were slightly different though. We were not banning Drought Vulpix, Sand Stream Hippo and Snow Warning Snover, but were banning all three abilities themselves. The only way for this to actually become a precedent is if we go ahead and ban Speed Boost, Sand Rush or Sand Veil.


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I think if we go through with this suspect ladder idea, we should do it to try a metagame without some mons in the current OU metagame that some might feel are overpowered [the process of figuring out what mons these will be can be figured out later, I just want to get this idea out there], similar to DPP's Dragon-less suspect ladder. I'm strongly opposed to the idea of introducing even more ridiculously powerful mons into an already chaotic metagame unless there is a very good reason, not just because there's a new metagame.
BKC, I'm not sure I quite understand your post. Are you saying that if we use a Suspect ladder, we should not allow some of the Pokemon that currently reside in OU? If so, I'm not sure how I feel about that... How would we test new threats properly if we're not dealing with the actual metagame? Unless I misunderstood you and you mean that we shouldn't unban everything that was banned before in one go, in which case I agree with you.


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I'm saying we shouldn't be allowing in any more new threats at all, because in my mind we have enough overpowered 'mons already, and dropping down broken mons to check other broken mons isn't the way to operate. I don't buy that any of the 'mons we've already banned have gained enough checks to warrant sending them back into OU [just because Excadrill gained another check in Technician Breloom doesn't stop it from being a cancer to the metagame, in my opinion].

I'm also saying that the procedure for a potential suspect ladder should be as follows:
- nominate suspects
- vote on which suspects will be chosen
- set up a ladder without said suspects, similar to the dragon-less DPP suspect ladder
- vote on the fate of the suspects based on the experiences gained on the ladder

This is a very rough outline; again, I just want to get the idea out there.


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I dont really have an opinion either way but as I understand it this is why so many people are opposed to complex bans as you suggest:

People are opposed to banning parts of a Pokemon. Moody is broken on anything so Moody was banned. Swift Swim + Drizzle is broken with basically every Pokemon. However, Speed Boost is just a part of Blaziken. High Jump Kick also makes it broken. You could easily ban STAB moves on Blaziken and achieve the same effect as banning Speed Boost would. You could easily ban Dragon-type moves on Garchomp and it wouldn't be broken. You could easily ban special attacks on Kyogre and make it not broken. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly sure this line of thought is why a lot of people are opposed to complex bans like you suggest.


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There's no signs of consistancy banning a Pokemon when the fate of the following suspect is pre-determined, all due to the "slippery slope effect". We should start from the beginning, (after Speed Boost Blaziken) and work our way through all the loose ends and set a definitive characteristic with which offers the best possible outcome, and that does not mean we have to ban, ban and ban some more.

Let us look back at Thundurus and Excadrill's case: they were both banned at the same time. This left Deoxys-S without its two main checks and ultimately we were forced to remove it from Standard OU because every other suspect had been deemed "Uber".

Imagine if you were to release Kyogre and Groundon in OU, would they be deemed broken under the assumption that, with prediction aside, they effectively nulify one anothers' ability to run rampent through the respective tier in question? No. Together, they would be near impossible to pass up on any given team and THAT is the problem with having several or more suspects under the limelight. Everyone piles their suspects in one team and goes all out for glory.

So when we put a Pokemon under the microscope, you have to be sure that, no matter what is readily available in its respective tier, the other options are not even worth a second glance because "x suspect" is 100% proven to be a success. For example, if we unbanned Arceus, every OU team would use him and we'd have no other choice but to forbid him from the tier.

In the light of our brand new metagame, BW2, I strongly believe opening the door to previously deemed "Uber" Pokemon to fairly assess JUST WHO is overpowered to the point where "suspect" is almost unstoppable.


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For me the crucial thing here is to have bans above a consistent power level (or level of brokenness). It seems entirely wrong to have some pokemon banned that are clearly less problematic than pokemon allowed to roam free in OU. I don't think there is any need to attempt to move this arbitrary cutoff if we think it has been applied correctly - in other words I see no need to unban things that "balance each other out" just because you think it's possible. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

So, you have two options really; either you ban more, or you unban, until that level is consistent and you have a satisfactory metagame. In this case I would say that there are a couple of Pokemon currently in ubers, Thundurus-I and Kyurem-B, that are similar to or less effective than pokemon currently in OU, such as Thundurus-T, and dragons like Salamence or Haxorus. As said before this can be remedied in two ways, but I really feel that it does need to be addressed. This is especially true of Kyurem-B, which is comfortably the least effective Pokemon never to have been given a chance. The PO server currently has in unbanned, so you can go and see for yourself if you wish.

edit: the other thing I forgot to mention is that we seem to be doing things in a strange order. I think if we are going to unban things we should be doing it BEFORE we consider banning things. It might turn out that pokemon now considered to be broken might become more balanced.
I agree completely with jc104. He basically said everything I wanted to say, but I'm just gonna voice my support on this issue; Kyurem-B wasn't even given a chance (no one's really at fault here, I think that when it came out we were all sure that it would be broken) but time has passed, and theorymon is no longer enough reason to not give it a chance. Once the Garchomp suspect process has finished, I'd vouch for Kyurem-B to be the next one on the list. I have to say, PO has really impressed me with their open-mindedness on this one. Players aren't even saying it's excellent, they're saying it's decent.
If theorymon really isn't enough evidence on the matter for determining whether Pokemon's tier, how can the only reason for Excadrill being cast aside due to Iron Head 2HKOing Gliscor? With the new inclusions released, a brand new metagame and seemingly unlimited SAtk/Atk boosts (Genesect, Kyurem-B) and we continue to moan about the one factor that competitvely changed very little? How does that come close, without practically examining the suspect itself, warrants for a "no test"? Absurd judgment to say the least.

The reason is that Iron Head takes precedent over either Rock Slide, Frustration/Return or Rapid Spin and thus Gyarados, for example, suddenly becomes a "true counter". Sure you can factor in Stealth Rock, but Excadrill itself is the best answer to the very move that the metagame demands for nearly each and every battle played and thus would definititely add variety across all the land. We might actually see a Pokemon like Zapdos as a viable option!

"Open-mindedness", you say. How is giving Dragon offense another tool at its disposal to gape wholes in teams and have ScarfMence finish the dirty work for them? What is open-minded is allowing a Pokemon to display an array of potential to every playstyle going, and preserve team building ethics in every direction imaginable because Stealth Rock becomes a much easier component to handle.

To those who simply do not ladder enough to know for themselves, rain is the dominating playstyle statistically and evidently through any one players' experience. Why? The introduction of mostly rain-beneficial elements are one of many reasons why the balance has shifted drastically in favor of Politoed and co.

If Kyurem-B's insane physical power is up for consideration, then Excadrill is, if not more deserving for Standard OU inspection.
It's true that the introduction of new powerful threats may persuade users to be in favor of unbanning borderline suspects such as Excadrill and Blaziken. However it is most likely that despite these changes, a significant proportion of the community will remain vocal in their opinion that it's uber status should be maintained. Given the amount of drama and hostility we've experienced on our past borderline OU/Ubers suspect discussions, I would say that i'd be better for the sake of the community to leave them banned for the time being.

Rather then spending time and energy on Ubers who will most likely remain borderline cases for the entirety of the fifth generation. It would seem more interesting to broaden our experience and knowledge on Ubers who have yet to see their first battles in the OU metagame. Based on this reasoning i would agree with the jc104's proposal to test Kyurem-B's performance in the OU metagame after the Garchomp testing has finished. If it turns out to be just another borderline case without general consensus from the community leave it banned like it is now.

Still i am a bit surprised however that many would consider Kyurem-B as the (possible) least effective pokemon never given a chance in OU. Based on pure theorymon i'd say the prime suspect fitting this description would be Ho-Oh. More then any other Uber pokemon it suffers from the omnipresence of both Stealth Rock and Drizzle, as such that Regenerator only serves to cushion the horrible side-effects of it's typing rather then being a great asset. It's 130-base Attack would be considered average as a physical sweeper in this metagame and 90 Speed even leans towards remarkably slow(again for a sweeper). It has considerable defenses and access to reliable recovery however so does Kyurem-B likewise despite it's massive SpD stat most special sweepers in the current metagame have no problem dealing with Ho-Oh even without the aid of SR. There are better pokemon that can abuse Flying stab(read Tornadus-T) and Sacred Fire's side effect is no longer as impressive as it once was. Pokemon such as Victini and Darmatian hit much harder as sun/non-weather sweepers and many would prefer to KO right away with V-create or Sheer force boosted Flare blitz rather then having a coinflip chance to burn.


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I was expecting someone to suggest Ho-Oh to be brought up for testing even after Regenerator (not because it's feasible but because history repeats itself), but I really wasn't expecting it to be brought up here. I was expecting some post in the Ubers forum by someone with fewer than ten posts.

Ho-Oh is undoubtably broken in my opinion. If it is dropped I'm sure that it would have a negative impact on the metagame. Nothing can switch into a set of Sacred Fire / Brave Bird / Earthquake / Recover with a reasonable degree of safety except for Balloon Heatran, which still pretty much flat-out loses. Alongside being difficult to switch into, Ho-Oh is ludicrously bulky. If it is dropped you WILL see every sun team become essentially the same thing: Ninetales + Dugtrio + Forretress + Ho-Oh and then two other mons, probably Genesect and Venusaur. Because Ho-Oh is good enough to merit that kind of team support. Ho-Oh would be insanely centralizing, and even acting outside of sun it is ridiculous. And it doesn't fear rain as much as people might think, because it is that damn specially bulky, and nothing on a rain team likes switching into a Brave Bird, and the few things that can don't want to eat a Sacred Fire, even in rain. Ho-Oh doesn't have to nuke everything with a Choice Band sun-boosted Sacred Fire, because it can actually do other things, and do them really fucking well. Comparing Ho-Oh to Darmanitan or Victini is like comparing an orange to an apple. And the apple is really mushy and might have worms. No good can come of dropping Ho-Oh. Period.