Scald

#1
Hello, I'd like to spark a discussion on a universally despised move whose ban has been wanted by great players for years and it's not hard to see why; Scald is a luck-based attack with incredible distribution that ruins games. I don't need to write a thesis about why it does so because anyone who has played since BW came out knows how fucking retarded it is and there are a billion tournament replays floating all over the place to prove this point for those who don't play and would like to see how it works. I'm sure there will be a ton of WCoP battles in the coming month+ that will further demonstrate how ridiculous this move is. Most of the pro-ban posts in this thread sum up my thoughts: http://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/no-scald-ladder.3532415/

I wouldn't mind this extending to BW as well but that's another discussion
 
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Bad Ass

Serious as a heart attack!!
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#3
Bans were once a very simple concept (If a Pokemon is broken, ban it), but the advent of power creep and new extenuating circumstances of matches have led this community to become a bit confused on our sense of purpose with bans and all tiering-related decisions. No longer will it suffice to simply ban Pokemon, and as we have learned through extending our bans to ability combinations (SS + Drizzle etc), that is certainly not a bad thing. This arbitrary talk of "We can't ban Scald because it is a move" or really that we do not have it in our power and best interests to ban any aspect of the game that we deem uncompetitive is unhealthy towards developing a better metagame. If we feel that we need to restrict the things we can ban due to it being overly arbitrary (so for example, abilities on specific pokemon [Speed Boost Blaziken]) and difficult to understand, that is alright. We don't have to head down a slippery slope if we do end up suspecting a move, and opposing a Scald suspect on those grounds would be mere paranoid folly.

So if we can agree to drop the idea that we arbitrarily can and cannot ban some things, we can talk about what we want to accomplish with our bans and whether banning Scald in particular would be favorable towards this vision.

I believe that the ultimate result of tiering is to create a better metagame. I define the characteristics which make a metagame good or bad along these lines: A good metagame is one in which moves, Pokemon, abilities, ETC, tend away from creating circumstances where a heavy element of luck is involved. A good metagame also bans moves, Pokemon, abilities, ETC, which are overpowering. Any of the above may become overpowering when it is clear they are head and shoulders better than any other strategy; when all teams need to prepare a significant amount more heavily for the threat; when said overpreparation eliminates many lesser used pokemon and team archetypes.

A bad metagame is the opposite of this, where no strategies or means to those strategies are too efficient in what they do. Another symptom of a bad metagame is divorced from the outright power of a strategy. This symptom is when moves which are strongly reliant on luck hold a firm place in the metagame.

Scald is a move which is strongly reliant on luck and holds a firm place in the metagame.

I believe that the best counter-argument for keeping Scald free is that a player may choose to maximize his odds by maneuvering himself into a position where he can throw out more Scalds for free. If, for example, the opponent was extremely susceptible to your Choice Scarf Latios once you scald burned his ferrothorn, the Latios user would play better by attempting to get his starmie in a position where it can throw out a free scald into the ferrothorn. This is a legitimate use of Scald and in my opinion, one thing that Scald's detractors often leave out of the discussion: Its power to reward skill in breaking (usually balance) teams.

Another argument might be that there are Pokemon who can easily take advantage of Scald. Do you really want to be Scalding into a Choice Specs Latios, a Jellicent, a Reuniclus, etc. with your 0 spa starmie? No. Therefore, it takes a skillful user of the move to know exactly how to maximize the odds of burning the cornerstone of the opponent's team.

Even taking into account Scald's skill promoting factor, the luck that it brings into nearly every game which it is present outweighs that. It is not that it makes certain Pokemon that "should" counter certain others unviable (for example, using Ferrothorn to counter Starmie). That argument is bunk. If a Pokemon has a tool to dispose of your proposed counter, it is not a counter. The problem with scald is that it only eliminates these counters 30% of the time (or 51%, or 65%, or...). It is very common for a player to be backed into a corner and use Scald as a desperation, no-skill saving throw and have it execute and the tide of the game changes on what amounts to trying a Sheer Cold.

This kind of behavior should not be promoted or rewarded in any competitive metagame.

The same can perhaps be said of other 30% moves, but if your line of reasoning for keeping Scald is because Lava Plume is not broken then you should take a minute, sit down, and have a good hard think about what you just said.

Thanks for reading.
 

IronBullet

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#4
Scald is just unhealthy. UU players can tell you how negatively it affects the tier; stall wars between bulky waters simply fishing for Scald burns are not ideal under any circumstances. There is no opportunity cost to using Scald - it can be thrown around at will. In some matches there are situations where bulky waters simply sit there and continuously use Scald to fish for burns. This strategy can break defensive cores and open up holes for sweepers using little to no skill at all, and the opponent is hard-pressed to manoeuvre around it due to the natural bulk of defensive Water-types. There's even a fear of switching in Pokemon with types resistant to Water into Scald, because one burn could mean less capability to deal with the opponent's other Pokemon, exactly like the Ferrothorn-Latios example Bad Ass stated above. It also creates situations like the one fuga posted above, where games actually hinge on a 30% chance and bulky waters that have no right beating certain sweepers (Alomomola for example) suddenly become threatening. It became such an apparent problem in SPL where so many games were decided by it that we had the no-Scald ladder, which produced very positive results. It makes bulky waters a lot less overwhelming than they are with Scald, but it doesn't make them unviable. Bulky waters have always been useful and will always have a place in any tier. Even without Scald, they are hard enough to deal with thanks to their excellent defensive typing and reliable source of STAB with Surf. It's the same situation with Scald in BW, which has already been explained in the OP.

One thing to consider when talking about banning Scald, however, is how much of an impact it actually has on tiers other than the ones it's considered unhealthy in. In NU, for example, Scald isn't as much of a problem due to a lack of bulky waters. This is where the Transitivity of Bans discussion started by Raseri comes in. If we do decide to take some action against Scald, it asks the question: do we simply impose a blanket ban on the move or allow individual tiers to make a decision for themselves? I do think that tier leaders should be able to address it on their own accord without outside influence, but to some extent Scald, no matter the impact it has on a tier, can be considered a universally uncompetitive move simply because it creates unhealthy situations that don't make for a better playing experience. I don't play NU and the other tiers where Scald is not considered broken, however, so I'd like to hear the views of players who have experience with Scald in these tiers.
 
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Clone

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#5
I would like to ask those that oppose a scald ban these two questions: What benefit does Scald bring to the game, and what does it do to ensure (a) healthy tier(s)?

I know these questions seem loaded, and they probably are, but I know that there are a few people out there who like Scald for some reason and these are the questions that many would like the answer to

ib93 and bad ass have said everything I could on the matter so Ill refrain from rehashing anything. I will say that keeping Scald because it's a move and not a mon is backwards thinking, though.
 

Finchinator

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#6
I know the OP said to keep it brief, but this will probably end up quite long, so bear with me here.

The main thing that comes to me when thinking about Scald is drawing the line between fishing for scald burns (or just going for scald in general) being something that is deemed detrimental to the game or something that is simply part of the game that we must all deal with. In my post, I'll be discussing ORAS solely, for now, and maybe I'll make a post about BW in the future if it gets discussion from others.

I'll start with and focus on ORAS OU because I think it's problematic in multiple ORAS tiers and I think it's worse there then it is in BW (which I may touch in a future post) given the nature of some of the metagames. The following "viable" pokemon use Scald often in ORAS OU: Keldeo, Manaphy, Slowbro, Politoed, Slowking, Suicune, Empoleon, Quagsire, Tentacruel, Gastrodon, and Seismitoad, but really only up until Empoleon or Quagsire are the pokemon common and noteworthy. I could go on and on about how the 30% burn rate restricts a lot of common counterplay and pivoting into these pokemon, but I think the best thing to do here is give examples and the best example by far is Specs Keldeo. Let's say Player 1 has a Specs Keldeo while Player 2 has a Keldeo counter, as every well constructed team has, like Latias, Mega Venusaur, or AV Tornadus-T (only three examples that are vulnerable to scald; things like bulky Starmie or Celebi would not be as troubled by Scald). Player 1 gets his Keldeo in safely, which isn't too hard to do generally, and instead of being walled by Latias, Mega Venusaur, or AV Tornadus-T if they come in on it or predicting the opponent and double switching out to something that gives you an advantageous position against one of these pokemon, it is now seen as a valid and even sometimes optimal play to click Scald and fish for that 30% burn chance despite not doing much damage (not even a 3hko on Latias or Venusaur while it's not a 2hko on Tornadus-T and Keldeo gets outsped) - the thing is that if you get this burn, then whatever check/counter they have is crippled for the rest of the game which: A) means they are limited in checking things - be it Keldeo itself or other teammates, B) forces them to recover much more than they otherwise would be assuming they have a recovery move - if not, then their survivability is essentially put on a timer, and C) potentially opens up a huge hole for Keldeo or a teammate of Keldeo to get by uncountered by the opponent if their main answer was crippled and subsequently weakened significantly or killed. Obviously, this whole process relies upon Scald burning, which is still only a 30% chance, but the effect that 30% chance has is significant and there is no denying that. Now the question essentially is: if Scald should be treated any differently than other moves with secondary effects & if the significant effect it has on counterplay enough to warrant a ban or not - I'll cover that now.

The primary difference between Scald and a move like Lava Plume is that Scald is a water type move inflicting a status typically inflicted by Fire types and their moves, so the switch-ins are prone to being vulnerable to the status it inflicts - essentially, any physical attack has been discouraged from switching into special attacking water types anymore dating back to generation five because of this and in itself, this is a hindrance on counterplay as exemplified above. Another thing is that Scald gets a lot more competitve use, due to the anticipated hinderance on counterplay and the fact that basically every water type gets it, in comparison to Lava Plume, which gets less distribution among fire types, is often not used in favor of alternatives (like Fire Blast), and doesn't have the same niche as a water type move inflicting a burn in general - overall, I'm echoing Bad Ass on this front that Scald and Lava Plume are not reasonably compared and equated with each other. Other status inflicting moves, like Body Slam, are also not as commonly seen as Scald, nor as convenient in general as Scald, but they're not fully comparable, so I'll just emphasize the fact that Scald is easily spammable in a competitive context and has a lot of upside when that 30% kicks in.

If scald is worth banning or not is really where I sit on the fence. On some waters, it is much worse than others. For example, something like Keldeo can easily spam it and then switch out with a 30% chance of permanently crippling a counter and having a greater chance of eventually breaking through while something like Manaphy appreciates Scald burning when it does, but is primarily used to set up Tail Glow and (attempt to) sweep the opposing team without fishing for burns over and over again and switching out upon frequently like a choiced Keldeo would. Other pokemon that are common and are seen fishing for burns without other intentions due to them being bulky or simply gaining a lot of convenient opportunities and having pokemon vulnerable to scald often switching in on them are Slowbro, Slowking, and Suicune (arguably as although its main focus is being a bulky cm sweeper, it is passive and bulky enough to fish for burns to speed up wearing down checks). It can thus be said that Scald is significant enough in the metagame to be controversial and given the crippling effect of Scald, I'd say that taking some tiering action on it would be justified, but I don't know if it is fully warranted or not - it really depends on how people gauge the 'brokennness' of the secondary effect it has. Personally, I'm leaning towards it being broken due to the limitations it imposes upon counterplay (which I discussed at length earlier), the fact that it encourages simply spamming a move for a secondary effect that is so crippling (leads right back into counterplay limitation) as opposed to making competitive double switches / predictions, and (this isn't much of a pro-ban point, but still worth noting) things can just use Surf, so it's not making many things less viable. Oh and also, I know I primarily focused on OU as that's my only area of expertise that's too relevant here (NU Scald doesn't appear to be controversial), but UU probably also is worth noting here due to the No Scald Ladder and all.
 

doughboy

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#7
I think an important idea whenever the Scald issue comes up is the idea of "risk management," a skill that is relevant in every pokemon game. Everyone knows that chance plays a large part in pokemon, but what separates the good players from the bad players is that better players know how to mitigate luck and weigh the different probabilities of different chance events (or series of chance events) from throwing the game out of their favor. Stuff like not recovering unnecessarily with your end game Calm Minder instead of killing when a crit can happen, and realizing its ok to sac x-poke because the only way opposing y-poke can break through now is with triple crits. Risk management also works the other way; players also use it to their advantage to get wins or guarantee scenarios where their poke might otherwise not succeed. For example, a Tornadus-T in rain vs Jirachi that needs a crit to kill with Knock Off (6.25%). Tornadus-T has a better shot at cheesing its way to victory by going for Hurricane, having the Jirachi get confused and hit itself, and then safely KO'ing the now "in-Knock Off-range" Jirachi . Chance events that can easily be handled by risk management are healthy chance events.

Scald is the type of move that throws risk management out the window. Why? Because the wide distribution of the move amongst all the game's viable water-types, the decent 30% burn chance, and the unavoidable chance for the majority of pokemon + supereffective hit on the fire pokes that can avoid the chance makes "managing" the chance of a scald burn almost impossible. There are a few one time stops to prevent Scald burns (ex. Lum Berry), but even if you are a resisting special attacker / natural curer (ex. latios / mega-venu / chansey) that residual damage makes you so much more liable to be broken though (+6 manaphy can force out a burned chansey because it has a 50% chance to 2HKO now). Scald also preys upon risk management by either preventing an entire spectrum of attackers (physical) from ever staying in or switching in on a Scald user, regardless of resists. No reasonable player would risk entirely trashing a pokemon unless its a all-nothing win scenario. So it forces the Scald receiver to dance-around Scald or engage in risky / chance-based play.

I also think to say that Scald is like other tools to dispose of counters (besides the back-against the wall 30% chance thing) is fallacious. I would be more inclined to agree with you if Scald was a tool of one or two pokemon to specifically beat x and y pokemon (ex. its only Starmie using Scald to beat this one target Ferrothorn) but it isn't. Scald is a tool used universally to cripple water-type checks. With Scald on shit like Azumarill now (Attack 436 SpA 140!!!) I think its fair to say unlike most "tools", it has been accepted as a means to circumvent universal checks to water-types outside of "normal" means. With these ideas in mind, it should be understandable why Scald should not be included in competitive play.
 

jpw234

Catastrophic Event Specialist
#8
I would like to ask those that oppose a scald ban these two questions: What benefit does Scald bring to the game, and what does it do to ensure (a) healthy tier(s)?

I know these questions seem loaded, and they probably are, but I know that there are a few people out there who like Scald for some reason and these are the questions that many would like the answer to

ib93 and bad ass have said everything I could on the matter so Ill refrain from rehashing anything. I will say that keeping Scald because it's a move and not a mon is backwards thinking, though.
Scald extends the number of Pokemon in OU capable of spreading status, allows some water types to bypass/wear down their counters (e.g. Keld), and breaks several defensive matchups that are effectively defensive impasses (e.g. Tenta v. Ferro).

Offensive teams are inherently vulnerable to chip damage. This is a weakness that they knowingly accept at the teambuilding stage. Scald is just a reasonably common method of inducing this chip damage, which offensive teams have to take into account. Bulky teams have several countermeasures available to them - Lum Berry, Natural Cure, Magic Guard, and Pokemon that simply don't care much about burn, as well as the ability to heal off any burns inflicted with the use of a cleric.

I'm resistant to any claims about uncompetitiveness; a heuristic that I use is that uncompetitiveness should be relatively independent of scaling. As an example, Swagger is uncompetitive as programmed, but Swagger would likely also be uncompetitive if it only gave a +1 boost - it would be less strong, but still uncompetitive, because the move is doing something inherently unfair. I'm obviously theorymonning, but I think it very unlikely that Scald would be seeing much if any use if it has a base power of 40 or even 50 (or if the burn chance was 10%), which indicates to me that it's not doing anything inherently unfair. If it isn't uncompetitive, then it would have to be broken to ban it, and given the fact that counterplay is reasonably available, Burn is effectively Toxic Poison on >30% of the meta (dedicated special attackers), and there are plenty of Pokemon with Scald that are not doing broken things by any reasonable standard (following the motto that a game element should be broken on all of its abusers to be considered broken), I don't see why Scald should be considered broken.

I mean, Scald is undeniably an incredibly powerful move, and I've lost games to untimely Scald burns like everybody else here, but to me it just seems like a centralizing element that has to be taken into account rather than a move that is clearly on a too-high power level for OU. I can't speak to UU, though.

Edit:
I have an issue when a move is so often beneficial to use, that 90% of the time, it's simply a no-brainer to click because it almost always provides a positive situation for the user. Any team that doesn't contain some of the few Stealth Rock "counterplays" in a few spinners, defoggers, or rock-resistant mons could legitimately be defined as vulnerable to Stealth Rock. I've played many a game where my early game plan has been to aggressively get my Garchomp in as often as possible just to set up Stealth Rock despite my opponent having legitimate and defined Stealth Rock answers, such as Skarmory and Lati@s because I know that there's almost no downside to playing that way early and that lategame that chip damage could be what changes the game. It's my belief in a skill based competitive game, such as the one we aim to have, that moves that can almost be used without thought such as Stealth Rock are devaluing that competitiveness and along with the limited amount of counterplay available in most tiers, it's an undesirable element that should be removed.

Talking of other discussions, I wouldn't mind seeing one of these for Knock Off at some point too, although I imagine there'd be significantly greater opposition to it
Free chip damage comes from much better and more reliable places than Scald.
 
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Freeroamer

The greatest story of them all.
#9
I have an issue when a move is so often beneficial to use, that 90% of the time, it's simply a no-brainer to click because it almost always provides a positive situation for the user. Any team that doesn't contain some of the few Scald "counterplays" in specially bulky natural cure mons, Water/burn immunities via abilities or Magic Guard, could legitimately be defined as vulnerable to Scald. I've played many a game where my early game plan has been to aggressively get my Keldeo in as often as possible just to fire off Scalds despite my opponent having legitimate and defined Keldeo answers, such as Venusaur and Lati@s because I know that there's almost no downside to playing that way early and that lategame those burns could be what changes the game. It's my belief in a skill based competitive game, such as the one we aim to have, that moves that can almost be used without thought such as Scald are devaluing that competitiveness and along with the limited amount of counterplay available in most tiers, it's an undesirable element that should be removed.

Talking of other discussions, I wouldn't mind seeing one of these for Knock Off at some point too, although I imagine there'd be significantly greater opposition to it.

Edit: @ the above hide tag, it's a fair point however I'd nitpick that the counterplay available is much more readily available with Stealth Rock compared to Scald. This doesn't even begin to approach the argument that Stealth Rock could be considered to balance the game in some sense, by keeping certain threats from being ridiculous such as Mega Charizard Y and in general adding another layer of skill to the game by seeing which player can play the hazard war better. Tl;Dr there's an argument to be made that it benefits the game, whereas I'm yet to see one logical argument that shows how any tier benefits from Scald.
 
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NixHex

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#10
I will be very brief since I'm not really an authority on competitive matters, but the math really speaks for itself so I'm pretty sure I'm right here. As far as OU goes, pretty much every viable user of Scald gets STAB. In fact, most Pokemon in the entire game with the move get STAB. The only semi-relevant Scald user in OU without STAB is Dragalge, which is usually just spamming DracoBomb thanks to Adaptability being such an amazing ability in itself. And even for the rare occasion it needs to use Scald, it has a 30% to cripple Ferrothorn (who RESISTS the damn move!) who would otherwise only check it (hello HP Fire!). I'm not saying this to promote Dragalge as some super relevant threat, just showing that something with low SpA spraying off a RESISTED non-STAB can break Ferrothorn by using a less-risky move than Hidden Power Fire. Speaking of HP Fire's riskiness, Heatran gets hit SE by Scald, so it's going to be taking some nice damage from a Specs variant. Perhaps some players more decent than I can back me up here. Now let's move away from obscure stuff like Dragalge to bulky waters - as Bad Ass mentioned, they don't need any SpA investment to at least get some chip damage and chance to wear down their opponents. The damage and near universal STAB are just the cherry on top; the real power in the move lies in its side-effect.

Note that this is not an pro- or anti-ban post, I am just trying to point out the relevancy of the math and probability, not to mention the utility and distribution, that make this move so powerful.

[Oh yeah, it's not blocked by stupid prankster Taunt / Magic Bounce shenanigans either!]
 
#11
I do not want to repeat too much of that which was said in previous posts so mine will be rather short. I'll begin by saying that I am all for a Scald ban and anyone who wants a healthier metagame should be as well. It is very important to not let the conventions of "smogon not banning moves" or anything else along those lines to restrict the development of a tier. As Bad Ass stated, Scald also greatly prevents viable and reliable counterplay. Because of Scald, traditional "water resists" like Azumarill, Breloom, and Gyarados are not really water resists at all. Even if the water resist is a special attacker, the burn chance is very often too overwhelming and difficult to overcome. A burned Venusaur for example has to recover just about every turn it comes in vs a Keldeo. A Latios, which resists both of Slowbro's STABs and can ohko back, is not a safe switchin and can be easily worn down by the constant burn damage. This overwhelming effect of Scald is expected when the move can burn all but fire types and can still hit these burn-immune pokemon super effectively. Scald is simply overpowering in its ability to greatly inhibit counterplay, in the form of easily wearing down walls and preventing any physical attacker from being a switchin to most water types.

Edit: I also agree with all of the previous posts regarding Scald's mindless and luck promoting nature. I have no problem with pokemon being able to beat their alleged checks, but when this takes hardly any predicting or other types of skill then there is clearly a problem.
 
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EonX

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#12
I guess I'll chime in a little bit as an RU player considering I haven't seen any post so far and someone (i think ib93) wanted input from players of other tiers.

Simply put, Scald is part of what made Slowking the literal King of RU back in BW. It nullified a lot of the Dark-types that could otherwise pefectly switch into most sets, especially Spiritomb. Even Druddigon, one of the top offensive mons in BW RU, which could switch into any attack based on resistances vs. Slowking could not reliably come in thanks to a possible Scald burn absolutely ruining Drudd for the rest of the match. Keep in mind that Druddigon resists the move, has solid natural bulk, and commonly ran a high amount of HP EVs. Even in XY / ORAS, Slowking could invalidate a lot of common responses just due to the chance of a Scald burn. Obviously, Slowking has moved on to UU, but now RU has Jellicent as its premier bulky water and it's perhaps an even worse case than Slowking when it comes to possible Scald burns fucking over many normal responses. Virizion, Rotom-C, Jolteon, Tangrowth, Scrafty, Drapion, and Meloetta are all perfectly capable of tanking hits and / or outright KOing Jellicent, but all are pretty easily worn down by Scald burns and Jellicent has reliable recovery to outlast them if this happens. It isn't confined to Jellicent either. Quagsire, Gastrodon, defensive variants of Seismitoad, Qwilfish, and Alomomola are key offenders of this as well. None moreso than perhaps Alomomola who lives off of the threat of Scald burns to keep many setup sweepers at bay. (user -Tsunami- can back me up on this one in particular lol) Now, of these cases, only Alomomola would really be hurt by Scald not being available to it as the rest have high enough special attack to make use of the damage output of Surf (or physical attack + Waterfall in Quagsire's case) in most situations. Not saying that Scald should or shouldn't be banned, but I am providing examples of Pokemon that make really good use of the move in RU and invalidate otherwise solid responses to them with the burn chance.
 

Bughouse

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#13
IB93 wanted other tier people to post, so I am. This is probably no surprise, but when it comes to Doubles, we would like to continue with our unique tiering separate from singles, as we always have. So nothing blanket please :)

Surf is not a viable alternative, due to its full spread nature. Scald's only alternative is the inaccurate Hydro Pump, whereas I think most people refer to Surf as the most directly comparable move. No one particularly wants to force people to use an inaccurate move with low PP for STAB coverage. Moreover, Doubles games are much faster paced and also the tier tends to be more specially oriented, making random burns less unfortunate in most cases. Finally, because of the 2v2 nature, Politoed, Jellicent, Suicune, and Keldeo are much less able to just throw random Scalds out and hope for a burn. Politoed may want to try to use Scald on the slot where an opponent has an intimidated Scarf Landorus-T locked into Stone Edge, knowing if it stays in, it gets KOed, and if its Amoonguss partner comes in, Politoed may get the burn. But if Lando-T's active teammate is a Rotom-W, Thundurus, Skymin, etc... that random Scald can't be thrown out without due consideration of many additional factors.
 

Mizuhime

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#14
to expand on what he said ^

A lot of the times most Water-types will just flat out use Hydro Pump or another alternative (if they have it available) for the power increase. Since games are so short picking up a kill quicker, is more important than fishing for a burn you might not get. Kingdra can use Muddy Water, but people don't really use Kingdra and MW is weaker becuase of spread reduction, Politoed can use a Choice Set to play a more offensive roll, Ludicolo could use LO Scald in Rain, but Hydro Pump is still better etc. So generally speaking, Scald is used as a safer option in Doubles since there isn't anything else, but a lot of the time it's not even used. So a blanket ban on the move would take away the "safe" option for the entire tier.
 
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#15
chiming in to say there is no move even close to being comparable to scald, yes some analogies work and you can swing them so that they sound alright in a vacuum (scald = lava plume/body slam/iron head! scald = focus blast!) but in practice, no. aldaron mentioned in another thread that one huge thing about scald is it's super effective against the type that is not susceptible to its status affect, fire, whereas lava plume is resisted by fire and fire types can't be burned. you want burn immunity and scald resistance? it doesn't exist. or at least in bw, i have no idea if oras brought some new fire/grass or whatever. anyways. and grass types aren't safe either. you don't switch a grass type into lava plume because damage is a thing. but you do switch a grass type like ferrothorn into a water type like politoed or tentacruel. because it resists and then you capitalize on that. right? one would think so. because this logic has applied for the first 4 generations of this game. i can safely switch my roserade into your surf. yes. that's how the game ought to work. there should not be a risk of getting fucked because you actually made the proper play. which is interesting because often the proper play from the scald user's side is just to spam scald until they get a burn. leaving no interactivity for the user facing the scald because you are still making the objectively CORRECT play but now it's down to luck instead of skill. listen, entire playstyles have been built and sustained off scald's burn chance. off the idea that every turn, winning is just a 30% away. the foundation of rain stall from its very inception up until this point is to burn the opposing ferrothorn with politoed or tentacruel's scald. that is it. if you get the roll on the first few times you probably win because nothing is breaking your skarmbliss core plus tanky ass tenta poli ferro and a rachi/gliscor to round it out. all you have to do, all you need to do to secure an almost guaranteed win, is land that burn. then slowly stall it out. make them suffer for the correct play. that is rain stall in ten seconds. and it's actually a good playstyle! it was the best playstyle for a period of time! it's still usable but you have to spdef rachi it up to beat reuniclus. other than that it's still good and im surprised it doesn't get used more.

scald's distribution and typing and disgustingly high rng percentage make it perfect for ruining any semblance of a competitive metagame. get rid of it please
 

jpw234

Catastrophic Event Specialist
#16
the foundation of rain stall from its very inception up until this point is to burn the opposing ferrothorn with politoed or tentacruel's scald. that is it. if you get the roll on the first few times you probably win because nothing is breaking your skarmbliss core plus tanky ass tenta poli ferro and a rachi/gliscor to round it out. all you have to do, all you need to do to secure an almost guaranteed win, is land that burn. then slowly stall it out. make them suffer for the correct play. that is rain stall in ten seconds. and it's actually a good playstyle! it was the best playstyle for a period of time! it's still usable but you have to spdef rachi it up to beat reuniclus. other than that it's still good and im surprised it doesn't get used more.
This is such a silly argument because Scald from a Politoed/Tentacruel is effectively Will-o-Wisp with a 30% hit rate against Ferrothorn since the attack itself is doing practically nothing. Ferrothorn being burned by Politoed is not inherently worse than Ferrothorn being burned by Sableye or Gengar or w/e, and your argument effectively becomes "ban Scald to limit the distribution of burn". Imagine how silly it would seem if Politoed had access to Will-o-Wisp and you posted all incredulously, "rain stall is based on burning Ferrothorn with your Politoed's Will-o-Wisp, what a dumb playstyle!" Okay, well, GF has given this other set of Pokemon access to burn, that's something new to deal with. In fact, Scald should be completely at its worst against opposing fat teams, since fat teams are the ones that should be carrying a cleric and stall has no way of effectively stopping clerics (with Taunt/offensive pressure/etc). You just have some gut reaction that tells you it's "wrong" when Politoed does the burning:
you don't switch a grass type into lava plume because damage is a thing. but you do switch a grass type like ferrothorn into a water type like politoed or tentacruel. because it resists and then you capitalize on that. right? one would think so. because this logic has applied for the first 4 generations of this game. i can safely switch my roserade into your surf. yes. that's how the game ought to work. there should not be a risk of getting fucked because you actually made the proper play.
There's no "should" or "proper" play in some overarching sense. If you switched a Pokemon who can't perform as a check when it's burned into a Scald, then you didn't make the "proper" play, you made a risky play that accepts that you have a 30% chance of losing your check. If that's your only relevant check, you should probably have a better one or some method of healing off that burn.

Meanwhile, bulky teams have plenty of reasonable Scald switchins - Chans/Bliss, Celebi, Reuni, MG Clef, Roost Lati@s, cleric support, Gastrodon, more niche stuff etc. - and in BW you gain croak/Jellicent as well. And, as I said before, offensive teams are no strangers to being negatively affected by the threat of chip damage, so I don't understand what makes Scald particularly scary.

The best argument for banning Scald is when you're talking about offensive mons like Keldeo and...uh well basically Keldeo that actually hit hard with Scald and have the ability to fuck with balanced/offensive teams' checks to it with burn, but again, that's only an attribute of 2 relevant mons in OU (Keld and Man, Slowbro/king if you wanna stretch to CM/NP sets), but I still think there's plenty of countermeasures available for that and a banning is an overreaction.
 
#17
This is such a silly argument because Scald from a Politoed/Tentacruel is effectively Will-o-Wisp with a 30% hit rate against Ferrothorn since the attack itself is doing practically nothing. Ferrothorn being burned by Politoed is not inherently worse than Ferrothorn being burned by Sableye or Gengar or w/e, and your argument effectively becomes "ban Scald to limit the distribution of burn". Imagine how silly it would seem if Politoed had access to Will-o-Wisp and you posted all incredulously, "rain stall is based on burning Ferrothorn with your Politoed's Will-o-Wisp, what a dumb playstyle!" Okay, well, GF has given this other set of Pokemon access to burn, that's something new to deal with. In fact, Scald should be completely at its worst against opposing fat teams, since fat teams are the ones that should be carrying a cleric and stall has no way of effectively stopping clerics (with Taunt/offensive pressure/etc). You just have some gut reaction that tells you it's "wrong" when Politoed does the burning
yeah this alone shows you have a HUGE misunderstanding of how scald actually changes the game.

listen dude there's no way i switch my ferrothorn on a will o wisp. that's because burn is annoying for ferrothorn. okay? it hurts the usefulness of my pokemon and i don't want that. however, couple of things. first, will o wisp has a really limited distribution. for the pokemon that do have it, like SABLEYE and GENGAR (the ones you mentioned!!), why the hell would i switch my ferrothorn in anyways? sab just taunts me and i can't do shit, gengar just focus blasts me and i'm dead. the only ou mon i can think of that gets will o wisp and doesn't naturally neutralize ferrothorn is rotom-w...AND THAT'S WHY IT RUNS WILL O WISP. jesus. meanwhile everything and its mother gets scald. second big difference, SCALD DEALS DAMAGE. scald is a water type move with 80 base power which is pretty damn good, furthermore there's a very high likelihood that you're getting a stab bonus so make that 120 base power, it also has 100% accuracy so there's no reason not to use it, and it's a special attack which means generally harder to switch into (more physical walls exist and are meta). on any given bw ou team you probably have 1 or 2, 3 maximum good switches to scald, and half of those are going to be neutralized or at least severely impacted by a burn. yet what else do i switch? i can't switch anything good and everything hates a burn so i just go to my best check and count my lucky stars and fucking PRAY that i don't get burned. and if i do, i'm screwed. especially if it's ferrothorn.

so basically don't cite a pathetic irrelevant hypothetical as your sole counterargument, thanks

also just to clarify i'm solely talking about bw ou in all my posts because i could not care less about oras

edit: if you want this argument as dumb as possible for your brain/you're in a hurry,

if a pokemon has will o wisp i just switch in my fire type to negate their entire turn
if a pokemon has scald i just switch in my fire type to take super effective damage

yeah totally the same move amirite
 

jpw234

Catastrophic Event Specialist
#18
yeah this alone shows you have a HUGE misunderstanding of how scald actually changes the game.

listen dude there's no way i switch my ferrothorn on a will o wisp. that's because burn is annoying for ferrothorn. okay? it hurts the usefulness of my pokemon and i don't want that. however, couple of things. first, will o wisp has a really limited distribution. for the pokemon that do have it, like SABLEYE and GENGAR (the ones you mentioned!!), why the hell would i switch my ferrothorn in anyways? sab just taunts me and i can't do shit, gengar just focus blasts me and i'm dead. the only ou mon i can think of that gets will o wisp and doesn't naturally neutralize ferrothorn is rotom-w...AND THAT'S WHY IT RUNS WILL O WISP. jesus. meanwhile everything and its mother gets scald. second big difference, SCALD DEALS DAMAGE. scald is a water type move with 80 base power which is pretty damn good, furthermore there's a very high likelihood that you're getting a stab bonus so make that 120 base power, it also has 100% accuracy so there's no reason not to use it, and it's a special attack which means generally harder to switch into (more physical walls exist and are meta). on any given bw ou team you probably have 1 or 2, 3 maximum good switches to scald, and half of those are going to be neutralized or at least severely impacted by a burn. yet what else do i switch? i can't switch anything good and everything hates a burn so i just go to my best check and count my lucky stars and fucking PRAY that i don't get burned. and if i do, i'm screwed. especially if it's ferrothorn.

so basically don't cite a pathetic irrelevant hypothetical as your sole counterargument, thanks

also just to clarify i'm solely talking about bw ou in all my posts because i could not care less about oras
Hi, please calm down, I'm concerned about your mental state <- this was in poor taste I apologize

You completely missed the point - if Politoed had WoW in its movepool, you wouldn't go "oh my god it's such an injustice that my Ferrothorn got burned by Politoed", you'd accept that it's a risk of switching into it, same as you would with other WoW users like Rotom-W. Well, Politoed gets Scald, so that's a risk you have to accept. Now stop exaggerating about "everything gets Scald" - in BW it's more pronounced because you have Politoed/Tenta/Jellicent etc, but in ORAS you've got Keldeo/Manaphy/occasionally a SlowX using Scald offensively and about 3-4 more commonly used mons using it to chip/fish for burns (Starmie/Toed/Tenta/Suicune), that's not "everything and it's mother". And on these defensive mons, "OMG 80 BP WATER MOVE" is not a problem like you are making it out to be - like I said, it's effectively a 30% WoW, which is hardly something to write home about.

on any given bw ou team you probably have 1 or 2, 3 maximum good switches to scald, and half of those are going to be neutralized or at least severely impacted by a burn.

listen dude there's no way i switch my ferrothorn on a will o wisp. that's because burn is annoying for ferrothorn. okay? it hurts the usefulness of my pokemon and i don't want that.
Please stop saying this. If your "switchin to scald" is neutralized or severely impacted by a burn, then it is NOT A SWITCH-IN TO SCALD, or at least not a reliable one. The same way that a switchin to Lava Plume that can't function under a burn is not a good switchin. Now if you want to talk about the fact that there are fewer Scald switchins than X-other-move switchins, okay. But I've given a bunch of examples of ways defensive/balanced teams can deal with Scald, and I've said why I don't think that offensive teams being vulnerable to chip damage is a particularly new or exciting conundrum, so please do some explaining before you start calling things pathetic or irrelevant.
 
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#19
Meanwhile, bulky teams have plenty of reasonable Scald switchins - Chans/Bliss, Celebi, Reuni, MG Clef, Roost Lati@s, cleric support, Gastrodon, more niche stuff etc. - and in BW you gain croak/Jellicent as well. And, as I said before, offensive teams are no strangers to being negatively affected by the threat of chip damage, so I don't understand what makes Scald particularly scary.
oh also this haha

chansey/blissey: youre only using it on stall. which is hardly prevalent in bw. at least these pokemon aren't. burns are still dumb as shit. every scald burn i get means you burn 1/8 heal bell pp. once you run out, apply aforementioned arguments.

celebi: everything has uturn, good luck getting it in. yeah if i have my jellicent out and i see celebi probably gonna double switch. your point is literally "haha it's a grass type with natural cure, what now!" to which i answer "uturn"

reuni: do not open this can of worms. if you're saying reuniclus checks scald and that makes it competitive.......

clef: what. i presume this is oras stuff so i don't care

latias/latios: burn still cripples. also not a safe switch because toxic threatens more. if they have life orb, status is crushing. noticing a pattern? scald ruins plans.

cleric support/gastrodon: super rare, also latter gets rekt by toxic.

"more niche stuff etc": ??? such niche

toxicroak: sucks. ever heard of landorus-t? seriously have not seen this used to any success in half a year.

jellicent: eats toxic. also if you dont know the poli vs jelli speed evs game is fun fun fun

Hi, please calm down, I'm concerned about your mental state

You completely missed the point - if Politoed had WoW in its movepool, you wouldn't go "oh my god it's such an injustice that my Ferrothorn got burned by Politoed", you'd accept that it's a risk of switching into it, same as you would with other WoW users like Rotom-W. Well, Politoed gets Scald, so that's a risk you have to accept. Now stop exaggerating about "everything gets Scald" - in BW it's more pronounced because you have Politoed/Tenta/Jellicent etc, but in ORAS you've got Keldeo/Manaphy/occasionally a SlowX using Scald offensively and about 3-4 more commonly used mons using it to chip/fish for burns (Starmie/Toed/Tenta/Suicune), that's not "everything and it's mother". And on these defensive mons, "OMG 80 BP WATER MOVE" is not a problem like you are making it out to be - like I said, it's effectively a 30% WoW, which is hardly something to write home about.
thanks glad ur concerned can we get back to the discussion

no i didnt miss the point lmao, politoed does not have will o wisp so i dont know why you are going on about it when it is purely hypothetical and does not affect the game in any way at all whatsoever. scald is different for the reasons i mentioned above: deals damage, is ubiquitous, burn percentage high enough to matter, and most important is a water type move so can't get stopped by heatran etc. oh and also it can't get taunted.

yes rotom-w runs will o wisp to check ferro. that is why you do not blind switch ferro into rotom-w most of the time. burns suck. your point is moot.

"politoed gets scald so thats a risk u have to accept" ---> why do i have to accept this? i thought we were having a discussion. you still fail to understand and my patience is wearing thin. scald. is. not. will-o-wisp. it's about a billion times better, and everything gets it. stop with the ridiculous absurd pathetic comparison, it's getting u nowhere.

ALSO: will o wisp is a stupid example because it is a slot being used and dedicated SOLELY for the purpose of burn. which scald is not. like you said, scald is usually used by bulky water types e.g. politoed, tentacruel. these pokemon need a water stab for coverage. thats why they run surf in previous generations. but they are bulky so they dont do shit for damage anyways. so why not sacrifice a measly 22.5 base power when in return you can trade for a 30% to sometimes fuck the opponent up beyond recovery? it's like a free fucking lottery ticket.

Please stop saying this. If your "switchin to scald" is neutralized or severely impacted by a burn, then it is NOT A SWITCH-IN TO SCALD, or at least not a reliable one. The same way that a switchin to Lava Plume that can't function under a burn is not a good switchin. Now if you want to talk about the fact that there are fewer Scald switchins than X-other-move switchins, okay. But I've given a bunch of examples of ways defensive/balanced teams can deal with Scald, and I've said why I don't think that offensive teams being vulnerable to chip damage is a particularly new or exciting conundrum, so please do some explaining before you start calling things pathetic or irrelevant.
give me like 5 examples of shit that is: legal in the bw ou tier, can reliably switch into scald 10/10 times, doesn't get bodied by ANOTHER MOVE that scald users run (politoed can toxic? :OOO) and doesn't completely blow dick against offensive teams. if you can do that, you win! and your point stands. but it won't because there aren't any. except reuniclus. and he isn't sticking around for much longer.

also

man i'm pretty tired of seeing petty potshots in these forums already......................... his mental state? seriously?
yeah god knows i dont need user jpw234's fucking diagnosis, i have a psychiatrist for that!
 
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IronBullet

Astronomy Domine
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RMT Co-Leader
#20
I'm sorry but Will-O-Wisp and Lava Plume absolutely should not be compared to Scald under any circumstances. Scald is not a 30% W-O-W at all. Scald deals damage (and is likely boosted by STAB), has much better distribution, and hits the one type immune to burns super effectively. The same cannot be said for Lava Plume. That's one of the main arguments against Scald. Anything barring Pokemon with Water Absorb or Magic Guard is either going to be vulnerable to Scald burns or hit super effectively by it, which is what makes it so easy to spam.

Saying that switch-ins to Scald are not reliable switch-ins if they dislike burns might be a valid argument if there actually were a lot of Pokemon that didn't care about burns. But as Lavos pointed above, there really aren't many in BW OU, or in ORAS UU for that matter, which is the tier my concerns were based on originally.

Scald cannot be considered as a move that simply causes chip damage either. A Specs Keldeo's or a Mega Blastoise's Scald cannot be considered chip damage, they are powerful STAB moves that cause huge damage regardless of whether it results in a burn or not. Chip damage from the burn is a side effect of Scald, and is what makes it overpowering as it renders otherwise solid checks to either the Pokemon using Scald or other Pokemon on the team (see Bad Ass's Starmie / Ferrothorn / Latios example) incapable of doing their job effectively.
 
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#21
not really mentioned but i'd like to emphasize that even water immune mons aren't safe (gastro, jelli) since bulky waters that often run scald run toxic anyway...

the few 'best' anti scald mons that come to mind in ou are hardly viable-- celebi, roserade-- and one of the best, suicune, abuses it itself..... and even a status absorber like clefable can't reliably switch into keldeo......

i'm just a proponent for scald being gone just due to the risk management (read: very little) and interactivity scald provides. just because some (mostly niche, mind you [and please don't turn this into an argument about if celebi is ~more viable~ than i describe]) pokemon are able to effectively 'absorb' scald, they are still effectively weakened if it burns, and if it burns it can result a -1 in momentum for the non scald user anyway........

in terms of creating openings and dictating matches, scald is easily the #1 problem in competitive play atm.

also

man i'm pretty tired of seeing petty potshots in these forums already......................... his mental state? seriously?
 

jpw234

Catastrophic Event Specialist
#22
I really don't think you're listening to me at all, but I'll go one more post.

no i didnt miss the point lmao, politoed does not have will o wisp so i dont know why you are going on about it when it is purely hypothetical and does not affect the game in any way at all whatsoever. scald is different for the reasons i mentioned above: deals damage, is ubiquitous, burn percentage high enough to matter, and most important is a water type move so can't get stopped by heatran etc. oh and also it can't get taunted.
Once again, I am not saying that Scald = WoW. I am saying that your insistence that somehow the ability to burn things becomes "unfair" when it's put into the hands of some bulky water types is ridiculous. So when you say something like
yes rotom-w runs will o wisp to check ferro. that is why you do not blind switch ferro into rotom-w most of the time. burns suck. your point is moot.
you're being silly. Because you had no problem with saying "I can't blind switch ferro into rotom-w since I might get burned by WoW", but for some reason the exact same logic, "I can't blind switch ferro into politoed since I might get burned by Scald" is somehow unacceptable.

Now let's talk about some of the other stuff that I've already said: Scald in the instances you are referencing here (specifically bulky defensive waters like Politoed/Jellicent/Tentacruel) does not deal very much damage. Certainly not enough damage to push it over the edge into broken territory. Your Scald switchins are not getting smacked by the move itself (which you are tacitly admitting when you say "sometimes my stuff is fine sometimes it gets beaten by burn") which is an indicator that what I'm saying is correct.
Scald is also not ubiquitous, particularly in ORAS (which is relevant even if you aren't directly concerned with it since that's the tier that this proposal was originally being discussed for), but even in BW it's still on: Politoed, Tentacruel, Jellicent, Keldeo with any significant regularity. It's clearly a common move, but it's not "ubiquitous".
Not being taunted/being water type are advantages, yes.

ALSO: will o wisp is a stupid example because it is a slot being used and dedicated SOLELY for the purpose of burn. which scald is not. like you said, scald is usually used by bulky water types e.g. politoed, tentacruel. these pokemon need a water stab for coverage. thats why they run surf in previous generations. but they are bulky so they dont do shit for damage anyways. so why not sacrifice a measly 22.5 base power when in return you can trade for a 30% to sometimes fuck the opponent up beyond recovery? it's like a free fucking lottery ticket.
This is you directly making my point - that on these defensive Pokemon the damage component of Scald that you were previously acting like is a huge deal is effectively irrelevant, they choose Scald in the first place because they don't care about damage and are just using it to fish for burns...

give me like 5 examples of shit that is: legal in the bw ou tier, can reliably switch into scald 10/10 times, doesn't get bodied by ANOTHER MOVE that scald users run (politoed can toxic? :OOO) and doesn't completely blow dick against offensive teams. if you can do that, you win! and your point stands. but it won't because there aren't any. except reuniclus. and he isn't sticking around for much longer.
I'm not a BW god so I don't wish to act like one. But Celebi/Chans/Bliss/Gastrodon/Jelli/MG users is not the "nothing" you're pretending it is, and you completely glossed over the fact that bulkier teams that have to contend with the chip damage Scald brings have access to Aromatherapy/Heal Bell users that are themselves good switchins to Scald (see: Chans/Bliss/Celebi), so even if a Pokemon like lefties Latias can be "crippled" by a burn (which you're exaggerating again), they can rely on team support to alleviate that status.

Edit:
I know he's your WCoP teammate and all dice but come on man
so basically don't cite a pathetic irrelevant hypothetical as your sole counterargument, thanks

edit: if you want this argument as dumb as possible for your brain/you're in a hurry,
 
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#23
nah you keep misunderstanding why scald is different. and you keep railing on this will o wisp point.

also your posts are the same thing over and over again so not bothering to quote this time.

imagine a world where scald does not exist. just picture it. ignore how lovely it is for a second, and reflect on what move would be used instead of it. we need only to look at past generations for the answer. look at suicune, look at tentacruel, look at swampert. they all use surf. why is that? because on a bulky water type pokemon, having a water stab that does reasonable damage against shit that it's supposed to scare out e.g. tyranitar, landorus, terrakion is actually pretty important! that's sort of the point of running a bulky water in the first place. now, scald doesn't exist in this world, so i need surf. now extend this hypothetical to include politoed getting will o wisp. do i choose surf, the powerful water stab that threatens all the stuff i'm supposed to threaten? or do i choose will o wisp, the move that does nothing but burn the opponent and even misses a quarter of the time? i choose surf.

hypothetical situation ends now. scald is back is the equation. and now i don't need to run will o wisp because i can scald and combine the damaging effect of surf, which my bulky water so desperately needs, with a chance of inflicting status too. it's effectively two moves that were just packaged into one, and before you cry "but accuracy vs burn rate!", recognize that the shit i wanted to hit with will o wisp previously felt a lot less safe switching in when i was packing it instead of scald. now since scald deals actual damage, and you need someone to take that damage, you're going to send in your ferrothorn because it takes 8%, despite the fact that 30% of the time you are fucked. and listen, sometimes it won't burn. that's great. congratulations. you were rewarded for your intelligent switch. except there is a 30% every single time you make the CORRECT PLAY, that you will get punished for it nonetheless. that is the definition of uncompetitive.

also your examples suck. celebi is rare. blissey and chansey are nearly nonexistent because full stall is next to worthless and good full stall doesn't use these pokemon anyways. gastrodon is terrible and gets bodied by toxic. it abused scald too, fun fact. it's like there's a common theme among bulky waters in bw ou...jellicent is better than gastrodon but still not great and toxic once again bodies it. also uses scald. scald users counter scald users. well fuck me if that isn't a little unhealthy for the metagame. and finally, magic guard users, by which you mean reuniclus. hahahahahahahahaha

like when you're using reuniclus as a COUNTER-ARGUMENT to shit being broken, that's when you know you should stop posting.

edit: jpw234 notice how your attack was directly on my mental condition which is extremely personal and rude as fuck. whereas mine is on your shitty argument. even smart people make those sometimes.
 
#24
I don't want to just restate everything that Lavos Spawn and dice have already covered so I'll focus on one part of your post, jpw234.

Once again, I am not saying that Scald = WoW. I am saying that your insistence that somehow the ability to burn things becomes "unfair" when it's put into the hands of some bulky water types is ridiculous. So when you say something like

you're being silly. Because you had no problem with saying "I can't blind switch ferro into rotom-w since I might get burned by WoW", but for some reason the exact same logic, "I can't blind switch ferro into politoed since I might get burned by Scald" is somehow unacceptable.

I think you're really missing the point here about comparing will-o Rotom to Scald Politoed. I agree that sometimes the damage on Scald is meaningless, but this is besides the point. The difference between these two situations is that not every water type pokemon learns will o wisp. I honestly believe that if every water type pokemon learned will o (like they do scald), they would all be way too hard to stop. The only reason we aren't banning will o wisp is because rotom-w is literally the only water type pokemon that learns it. On the contrary, every single water type out there learns Scald. The will o argument is mainly important for the defensive water types issue, but lets not forget the fact that Keldeo gets to fire off base 80 STAB with a nice 30% chance to cripple 90% of its switchins.

Edit: Lavos Spawn made a fantastic point about Scald basically filling two roles in one slot, which makes these water type pokemon too effective.
 
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#25
re: ubiquity

a water type in oras ou is practically mandatory due to the threat fires, mainly heatran, have on the metagame. this is applicable in bw too. the only way to circumvent this is using a non-water heatran check which is relatively rare (on non-chansey teams, eq zard-x, garchomp, and mega aero are a few of the non-water checks and all of them are very very very shaky). azumarill and rotom-w are the only non scald waters that sees much usage in tournaments often...... (gyarados is almost always a mega and thus sees less usage)

suicune / manaphy / keldeo / starmie / slowbro all see plenty of usage

yes it's a quite common move in the metagame.