Scald

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#76
The issue here is that for some reason, people feel that we don't have the right to arbitrarily ban Scald to make more enjoyable metagames.

In deciding whether to ban anything, I think we have two responsibilities. The first is to make the metas as fun as possible for the majority of the player base. We operate under the assumption that the desired metagame is both versatile and has skill as its primary determinant of success. If the majority dislikes dealing with Scald (as they obviously do), then that right there gives us a mandate to ban it.

On the other hand, we need to keep the metagames relatively close to cartridge play. If we change too much, we lose legitimacy and we lose players. It's worth noting that I don't see anything intrinsically wrong with changing the game's mechanics. Sleep Clause, for instance, when you get right down to it was implemented because it makes games more fun. Banning things for entirely subjective reasons is what we've always done, and more than that, it's the only way it can be done.

For me the question therefore is whether banning Scald, on top of our existing bans, will cause any significant number of players to lose respect for, or interest in, playing Smogon metagames. It's pretty obvious that banning Scald isn't going to have any appreciable effect. If we removed all secondary effects, and critical hits for good measure, things might be different. But all we're doing here is removing one move which has, due to its characteristics and ubiquity, a clearly negative impact on teambuilding and matchplay. This can only be a good thing.
Agree with everything except the bolded part, as I think Zarel said in the Baton Pass thread, the reason Sleep Clause isn't treated as changing mechanics is because it's something 2 players can agree on beforehand if they want to play to a specific ruleset. Sure on PS we have the fancy "Sleep Clause Mod activated!" but that's more for people who don't know about the clause when they play on PS, and is something I've never seen activate in high-level play outside of PP stall wars. However, lets say for example smogon decided to remove the 25% chance to be fully paralyzed from the status effect paralysis. This could be seen to adhere to the first responsibility you noted, in that it makes the game more skill based as a result because now there's not that chance to get immobilized on a vital turn that could decide the game. However it will never be done as there is simply no way to recreate this on cartridge, and therefore once we do that we're not truly playing Pokemon anymore, rather a distorted version of it with different mechs. What I'm trying to say is, we will always play pokemon, just with different rulesets but the key thing is that everything could be done on cartridge as could be done on simulator.
 
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#77
Clair said:
If the majority dislikes dealing with Scald (as they obviously do), then that right there gives us a mandate to ban it.
Let's look at some things that would either be banned or seriously considered for a ban, at some point, in other competitive communities if they had taken "Ban what the majority dislikes dealing with" as their banning philosophy.

- Claw in Super Street Fighter 2: Turbo

- Sagat in Super Turbo and Street Fighter 4

- Seth in multiple versions of Street Fighter 4

- Jigglypuff in Super Smash Bros. Melee - in 2010 its dominance in majors had three of the top four players in the world (and much of the surrounding community) calling for a ban anyway. While this was shortlived, later sets between Hungrybox and Armada once again had people up in arms about how painful it is to deal with the character, and how it 'turns the game into Brawl.' Now of course the character is barely struggling for survival and is one of the very few sources of 'calm' play in the game

- Meta Knight in Super Smash Bros. Brawl

- Throwing in Street Fighter 2: World Warrior???

- Sentinel in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 - ended up being nerfed due to player complaints. In hindsight the playerbase recognizes that the nerf was completely unnecessary and the character probably wasn't very good in the first place

- Phoenix in Marvel vs. Capcom 3

- Wesker in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 - once notorious for late-game comebacks, currently a very mediocre character in Ultimate (but is probably still fairly average even in the original)

- Morrigan in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 - one of the most complex and interesting characters in the game. Like many things on this list, Morrigan's biggest 'crime' is that she forces players to learn how to play completely differently in order to handle her

- Firebrand in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

- Nu-13 in Blazblue CT; Arakune in basically any Blazblue game

- Hilde in Soul Calibur 4

- Building too many infantry in Advance Wars

- Early all-in rushes in Starcraft 2

- Worth noting that Partial Trapping would be unanimously banned in RBY if that community took a 'majority hates dealing with it' philosophy


Two things to note here:

1) Actually, in some cases, the 'ban whatever the majority dislikes' mentality sort of leads to the right decision! Some of these things (Hilde, Meta Knight for a time, and O.Sagat to some extent) actually did get banned! Others, while legal, legitimately remained obnoxious and somewhat hated for the remainder of the game's lifespan (Phoenix, Meta Knight again).

2) Unfortunately, what we have to care about is the other cases. Banning Marvel 3 Sentinel would have been almost purely negative, since he's a valid character who brings good variety to the game, and didn't even turn out to be that good. Banning Firebrand in UMvC3 would be pointless; Firebrand legitimately sucks to deal with, but he's not the best character and the game itself is filled with so much bullshit that there's no escaping it no matter how many bans you make (what does this remind us of).

So one reason this mentality is largely not present in other competitive communities (and a reason why the Scald issue has to be given more nuance than "do most of us dislike it or not") is pretty simple: it often leads to really bad bans.
 

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#78
Let's look at some things that would either be banned or seriously considered for a ban, at some point, in other competitive communities if they had taken "Ban what the majority dislikes dealing with" as their banning philosophy.

- Claw in Super Street Fighter 2: Turbo

- Sagat in Super Turbo and Street Fighter 4

- Seth in multiple versions of Street Fighter 4

- Jigglypuff in Super Smash Bros. Melee - in 2010 its dominance in majors had three of the top four players in the world (and much of the surrounding community) calling for a ban anyway. While this was shortlived, later sets between Hungrybox and Armada once again had people up in arms about how painful it is to deal with the character, and how it 'turns the game into Brawl.' Now of course the character is barely struggling for survival and is one of the very few sources of 'calm' play in the game

- Meta Knight in Super Smash Bros. Brawl

- Throwing in Street Fighter 2: World Warrior???

- Sentinel in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 - ended up being nerfed due to player complaints. In hindsight the playerbase recognizes that the nerf was completely unnecessary and the character probably wasn't very good in the first place

- Phoenix in Marvel vs. Capcom 3

- Wesker in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 - once notorious for late-game comebacks, currently a very mediocre character in Ultimate (but is probably still fairly average even in the original)

- Morrigan in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 - one of the most complex and interesting characters in the game. Like many things on this list, Morrigan's biggest 'crime' is that she forces players to learn how to play completely differently in order to handle her

- Firebrand in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

- Nu-13 in Blazblue CT; Arakune in basically any Blazblue game

- Hilde in Soul Calibur 4

- Building too many infantry in Advance Wars

- Early all-in rushes in Starcraft 2

- Worth noting that Partial Trapping would be unanimously banned in RBY if that community took a 'majority hates dealing with it' philosophy


Two things to note here:

1) Actually, in some cases, the 'ban whatever the majority dislikes' mentality sort of leads to the right decision! Some of these things (Hilde, Meta Knight for a time, and O.Sagat to some extent) actually did get banned! Others, while legal, legitimately remained obnoxious and somewhat hated for the remainder of the game's lifespan (Phoenix, Meta Knight again).

2) Unfortunately, what we have to care about is the other cases. Banning Marvel 3 Sentinel would have been almost purely negative, since he's a valid character who brings good variety to the game, and didn't even turn out to be that good. Banning Firebrand in UMvC3 would be pointless; Firebrand legitimately sucks to deal with, but he's not the best character and the game itself is filled with so much bullshit that there's no escaping it no matter how many bans you make (what does this remind us of).

So one reason this mentality is largely not present in other competitive communities (and a reason why the Scald issue has to be given more nuance than "do most of us dislike it or not") is pretty simple: it often leads to really bad bans.
What in gods name does this have to do with Scald.
 
#80
1) Actually, in some cases, the 'ban whatever the majority dislikes' mentality sort of leads to the right decision! Some of these things (Hilde, Meta Knight for a time, and O.Sagat to some extent) actually did get banned! Others, while legal, legitimately remained obnoxious and somewhat hated for the remainder of the game's lifespan (Phoenix, Meta Knight again).

2) Unfortunately, what we have to care about is the other cases. Banning Marvel 3 Sentinel would have been almost purely negative, since he's a valid character who brings good variety to the game, and didn't even turn out to be that good. Banning Firebrand in UMvC3 would be pointless; Firebrand legitimately sucks to deal with, but he's not the best character and the game itself is filled with so much bullshit that there's no escaping it no matter how many bans you make (what does this remind us of).

So one reason this mentality is largely not present in other competitive communities (and a reason why the Scald issue has to be given more nuance than "do most of us dislike it or not") is pretty simple: it often leads to really bad bans.
I'm not actually familiar with these examples, but if banning "Marvel3 Sentinel" would adversely affect the game's diversity, and wasn't that strong (or, I assume, overcentralising), then why was it unpopular? You've got to assume that in general the playerbase will act in their own best interests, e.g. they won't just have an irrational dislike of something for non-competitive reasons.

Your second example, "Firebrand in UMvC3", is more relevant. If it's not the strongest thing, but as you say it "legitimately sucks to deal with", then why not consider banning it? This is exactly the kind of thinking I don't understand. "The game is filled with so much bullshit that there's no escaping it" - pretty clearly, our banning process in Pokemon has made the game more balanced and enjoyable compared to the cartridges. We are perfectly capable of dealing with the majority of the bullshit left in this game, and it's this mindset which is holding us back at the moment.

Look, the logic of my previous post is pretty simplistic. You might think there are other reasons to ban something other than majority sentiment, or you might think there are other reasons to not ban something besides trying to maintain a close resemblance to the cartridge game. Go ahead and argue one of those. But for god's sake don't spout the usual "we can't fix everything so we shouldn't fix anything" logic, because it just doesn't have any place here.
 
#81
Let's look at some things that would either be banned or seriously considered for a ban, at some point, in other competitive communities if they had taken "Ban what the majority dislikes dealing with" as their banning philosophy.

- Claw in Super Street Fighter 2: Turbo

- Sagat in Super Turbo and Street Fighter 4

- Seth in multiple versions of Street Fighter 4

- Jigglypuff in Super Smash Bros. Melee - in 2010 its dominance in majors had three of the top four players in the world (and much of the surrounding community) calling for a ban anyway. While this was shortlived, later sets between Hungrybox and Armada once again had people up in arms about how painful it is to deal with the character, and how it 'turns the game into Brawl.' Now of course the character is barely struggling for survival and is one of the very few sources of 'calm' play in the game

- Meta Knight in Super Smash Bros. Brawl

- Throwing in Street Fighter 2: World Warrior???

- Sentinel in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 - ended up being nerfed due to player complaints. In hindsight the playerbase recognizes that the nerf was completely unnecessary and the character probably wasn't very good in the first place

- Phoenix in Marvel vs. Capcom 3

- Wesker in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 - once notorious for late-game comebacks, currently a very mediocre character in Ultimate (but is probably still fairly average even in the original)

- Morrigan in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 - one of the most complex and interesting characters in the game. Like many things on this list, Morrigan's biggest 'crime' is that she forces players to learn how to play completely differently in order to handle her

- Firebrand in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

- Nu-13 in Blazblue CT; Arakune in basically any Blazblue game

- Hilde in Soul Calibur 4

- Building too many infantry in Advance Wars

- Early all-in rushes in Starcraft 2

- Worth noting that Partial Trapping would be unanimously banned in RBY if that community took a 'majority hates dealing with it' philosophy


Two things to note here:

1) Actually, in some cases, the 'ban whatever the majority dislikes' mentality sort of leads to the right decision! Some of these things (Hilde, Meta Knight for a time, and O.Sagat to some extent) actually did get banned! Others, while legal, legitimately remained obnoxious and somewhat hated for the remainder of the game's lifespan (Phoenix, Meta Knight again).

2) Unfortunately, what we have to care about is the other cases. Banning Marvel 3 Sentinel would have been almost purely negative, since he's a valid character who brings good variety to the game, and didn't even turn out to be that good. Banning Firebrand in UMvC3 would be pointless; Firebrand legitimately sucks to deal with, but he's not the best character and the game itself is filled with so much bullshit that there's no escaping it no matter how many bans you make (what does this remind us of).

So one reason this mentality is largely not present in other competitive communities (and a reason why the Scald issue has to be given more nuance than "do most of us dislike it or not") is pretty simple: it often leads to really bad bans.
(Smogon) Competitive Pokemon Community = / = Competitive Fighting Game Community

This should go without saying, but the player mindset and ban culture in each respective community is completely, completely different. Fighting game communities tend to favor adaptation over outright banning things. There are a few cases were communities have opted to ban a character, but for the most part Fighting game players just... deal. Smogon doesn't operate like that at all. Consider how we've dealt with overpowered elements in the past; we banned Gen IV Garchomp because it completely dominated the DPP OU metagame (not unlike some of the top tiers you've brought up). We could have used the "just deal with it" mindset and opted to play a metagame that completely revolved around Garchomp, but we choose not to. We could have dealt with Gen V Tornadus in a similar manner, but we choose not to. We could have dealt with Gen VI Baton Pass, but we ended up restricting it. Unlike the majority of Fighting Game Communities, we ban things in order to improve the metagame. This doesn't mean one approach is strictly better or inferior to the other, this is just the path we've taken from near the very beginning of competitive (Smogon) Pokemon.

Also worth considering:

Pokemon is a numbers game. Skill has significant influence in fighters, which is why overpowered elements in fighters tend to slide (since at the end of the day, player skill is a significant factor in a match) but the same thing can't be said with Pokemon. Raw skill won't get you through battles against overpowered threats and the like. But I digress, none of the best arguments on the pro ban side have seriously argued to ban Scald with the reasoning that the majority dislikes it, so this is really a moot point.

PS: How did you overlook Vergil for UMvC3?
 
#82
You've got to assume that in general the playerbase will act in their own best interests, e.g. they won't just have an irrational dislike of something for non-competitive reasons.
doesn't this just highlight a whole different (important) issue? In the jigglypuff case, players were very explicitly calling for the ban because it would benefit them personally in tournaments.

In any case, I think it's naive to assume things are popular or unpopular based on rational "this will make the game better for everyone as a whole" competitive reasons. That is the reason for my big list of real-world counterexamples! Some things are disliked for bad reasons! Often, those reasons go away once the community matures or improves mastery (true of most of those examples).


Re: "why not ban Firebrand",

The answer (really there are many but I'll highlight one) is that there are still people (who happen to be in a minority) who like firebrand, and have invested their free time into learning him, learning how to play against him, learning the metagame that includes him. Why take lightly their time and effort? I mean you can, and it won't destroy the community or anything, but should you? Other competitive communities tend to recognize that we need a good reason to throw away the time and effort of our players, and "most people don't like dealing with something" is usually not a sufficient reason.

It's especially weak reasoning, though, when a game is already filled with the exact same stuff that people are complaining about in the first place. If firebrand is banned, there's still viper and zero, which share similar 'problems.' Even if I don't want to outright ban those characters, don't I probably kind of dislike them? But they're central to the game, so I guess I dislike this thing that's central to marvel 3? At what point can we start to say, "maybe I dislike Marvel 3 on a fundamental level"?

Likewise: don't people who hate scald enough to ban it tend to "tolerate," but ultimately disapprove of, luck elements like flinches, full paralysis and crits? At what point can we start to say, "maybe these people just sort of dislike Pokemon on a fundamental level"? At what point does it become sort of weird for players who seem to dislike fundamental aspects of a game to then turn around and make changes to it which don't necessarily interest the players who "never had a problem" with the game as it was, but are nonetheless unavoidably impacted directly by those changes?


Edit: PK Gaming

Yes the culture is different (since gen 4). Not sure that has anything to do with my responses to Clair though, but mostly just wanted to say that i didn't overlook Vergil, just chose not to include :P
 
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#83
I did not read anything in this thread except the original post by BKC. Here's my input: luck has always been a major part of playing Pokemon, as intended by GameFreaks. Scald is an annoying move, but it also limits powerful Pokemon like Mega Altaria from going bat shit crazy. Without worrying about burn, many more Altarias would run DD, Roost, plus two attacks, instead of a mono attack set with Heal Bell. An additional attack (Fire Blast for Ferrothorn and Earthquake for Heatran) would make Altaria ever more difficult to deal with.

Iron Head's flinch, Waterfall's flinch, Lava Plume's burn, Sludge Bomb's poison, Stone Edge's miss, Hurricane's inaccuracy, and the list goes on and on. Sucker Punch is the worst of them all. Pokemon, imo, has always been 70% 'skills' and 30% luck; we should accept and respect that.
 

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#84
Not to mention Kristoph examples are totally irrelevant because those games are developed and designed around a competitive mindset. Pokemon is not. You want to know why the fighting games "just deal with it"? It is because the developer has already taken the steps to balance the game, so banning on the community's part is a practice that is totally unorthodox and mostly not needed.
 

Stratos

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#85
Not to mention Kristoph examples are totally irrelevant because those games are developed and designed around a competitive mindset. Pokemon is not. You want to know why the fighting games "just deal with it"? It is because the developer has already taken the steps to balance the game, so banning on the community's part is a practice that is totally unorthodox and mostly not needed.
Not the dev's fault u play the wrong meta
 
#86
I did not read anything in this thread except the original post by BKC. Here's my input: luck has always been a major part of playing Pokemon, as intended by GameFreaks. Scald is an annoying move, but it also limits powerful Pokemon like Mega Altaria from going bat shit crazy. Without worrying about burn, many more Altarias would run DD, Roost, plus two attacks, instead of a mono attack set with Heal Bell. An additional attack (Fire Blast for Ferrothorn and Earthquake for Heatran) would make Altaria ever more difficult to deal with.

Iron Head's flinch, Waterfall's flinch, Lava Plume's burn, Sludge Bomb's poison, Stone Edge's miss, Hurricane's inaccuracy, and the list goes on and on. Sucker Punch is the worst of them all. Pokemon, imo, has always been 70% 'skills' and 30% luck; we should accept and respect that.
if scald, a move with 30% success rate, is what is "balancing" altaria, then it's because altaria is a broken mon and should be banned. (i personally think altaria should be banned regardless of scald's existence, but that's off topic). also the "we should accept pkmn is 30% luck" part, the same could be said in regards to unbanning ohko moves, evasion and swagger. as for the comparison to sludge bomb/lava plume/etc, it probably has already been said 1000 times in this thread alone that scald's distribution and lack of good switch-ins is what makes it a separate case from those moves. and about stone edge/hurricane missing, that's a risk the player is chosing to take, not one that's being forced upon him.
 
#87
I'm not going to write paragraphs arguing with you because I'm sure it has already been beaten to death in this thread. Altaria was just a generic example. I could have easily used Ferrothorn or another example. The point is Pokemon has always been a game with an abundant elements of luck and we shouldn't try to turn Pokemon into a game it's not. Scald isn't uncompetitive like those OHKO moves and getting a +6 with Double Team. Why would it be different from any other risk / luck based moves? It's a risk for Scizor to stay in to attempt a Swords Dance sweep against a Slowbro, just like it's a risk to use one of those inaccurate moves.
 
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Bughouse

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#88
I think it should be pretty clear that pursuing the luck angle of attack isn't going to persuade too many people. The metagame is resilient to entire luck based strategies like flinchrachi or flinchkiss not to mention all the "yellow magic" that gets thrown around and just the sheer amount of luck on a turn to turn basis. There is definitely a line to be drawn. OHKO moves cross it. Evasion crosses it. Scald, to most people, doesn't cross it.

On the other hand, if the difference with Scald is the prevalence of the move on many users, the low-risk nature of the "luck" element, and the comparative lack of good counterplay, you've got a much better shot at a centralization/brokenness argument.
 
#89
There are tons of switch-ins against Scald. Storm Drain, Dry Skin, Natural Cure, Magic Guard, Heal Bell / Refresh sweepers, Rest / Sleep Talk users, Synchronize, Water Absorb, bulky sweepers that easily brush off Scald, and whatever else that I miss. Notable Pokemon include Mega Altaria, Mega Latias, Mega Charizard X and Y, Celebi, Chansey, Gastrodon, Starmie, Specially Defensive Gliscor, have you heard of Clefable?, Suicune, Mega Slowbro, and others. Scald's burn chance is only 30%, not 70%, which makes bulky water Pokemon susceptible to being used as setup fodders as well. If your Mega Scizor gets burned, then you're just unlucky and have to get over it. If it doesn't get burned, then you have a chance at a sweep. It's a risk worth taking, no? People always remember the 3 times they got fucked over by Scald, but no one ever remembers those other 7 times that Scald didn't burn.

"But what if my team doesn't have anything that switches into Scald safely?" That's too fucking bad. It's like bringing a Spikes stacking team against a team with Mega Sableye. Again, Pokemon is a very luck based game and should be treated as such. It's not chess.
 
#90
scald helping check potentially broken things like mega altaria is not an argument in its favor. i hope the people posting in this thread have heard that one at some point.

as for whitequeen's list several posts above, none of those moves are comparable to scald due to either lacking its distribution and spammability or outright not having the actual luck component in question. mentioning waterfall and stone edge in the same breath as scald is completely missing the point and demonstrates some blanket hax mentality that'd be better suited to lower realms such as wifi. there is a thread titled scald because it punishes switchins with no drawback while providing chip damage 100% of the time from some of the most splashable offensive and defensive mons in the tier. a scald user will consistently burn in any moderately paced game due to the ample existence/switchin opportunities afforded by water typing, while the same can't be said for other similarly constructed moves. notice how scald is the only one forcing specific countermeasures against it in teambuilding. hm red flag.

now you gotta take into account certain influences that have made scald even more pressuring. bw drizzle's damage boost and increased water viability along with xy's "offensive" scald boom in keld/mana/bro/cune (as in a scald with even more limited answers due to the threat these boosting/hard-hitting mons pose) have taken its capacity to metagame-impacting levels. absence of perma sand is another underrated point that's also letting these dudes set up shop, taking away that chip or stifled lefties and letting us feel the full weight of keld/mana's presence. and no, u don't wanna be playing the long game against a scald sweeper. these distinctions about xy scald are actually key because i feel like shutdown answers to pure defensive scald are at an all time high with mguard clef, abundance of bellers, rd manaphy, increased viability of rest, and things like sdef glis not fearing perm drizzle. shit even bulky fires. so i don't think scald allowing things like alom to exist is as big of deal as some would have you think.

those factors in mind, outcry against scald coming to a head now is prob indicative of danger my nigre. scald is no longer just an issue of constricting teambuilding/viability with limited counterplay (bw scald). it's now in the hands of not so passive dudes that can force something to get crippled that doesn't want it, often shaping game outcomes. prob not to a broken degree mind you, but definitely a relevant one. it's on us to figure how detrimental injecting "ah pokemon" elements at a high percentage (this aint boiling down to one scald use), risk-free level really is..

(did not intend to gangbang u queen, u in my newsfeed sent me here and i was meditatin for a fair minute)
 
#91
Why not just ban Thunder Wave too? It's uncompetitive and paralyzes everything in sight, proving to be quite troublesome for offensive teams that rely on Speed and power. Thunder Wave also has 100% accuracy. "But I'll just switch in my Raikou or Hippo to absorb it." Read my previous post. You can switch in one of those Pokemon to absorb a Scald just as well.
 
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Pocket

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#92
I've quickly gone through some WCop and SPL replays to see the impact of Scald in high-level matches.

What I found out from these replays:
  1. Scald is inconsistent at burning foes. Hardly a reliable choice to cripple a check. Banking on a Scald burn is a weak strategy. All the instances it doesn't burn is an inferior Surf.
  2. In fact, I've seen Will-O-Wisps and Toxics having much more consistent and decisive impacts in games, and we have no shortage of these users in the metagame. People argue that there's no "safe" counterplay to Scald, yet I see players readily sacrificing mons to Wisps and Toxics. The struggle to mitigate Wisp burn was much greater than the struggle for Scald burns.
  3. I've seen Fire-types like specially defensive Heatran and Talonflame tanking multiple weak scalds. There's also Mega Charizards
  4. Offensive teams or aggressive players limited opponent's Scald usage to 0-2x. Proactively pressuring the opponent to mitigate luck-based move is a useful skill that most good players possess. Being passive or reactionary and letting the opponent dish out free Scald is an easy way to receive perfectly avoidable burns. Or we can just ban Scald!
  5. Defensive teams get scalded more often, but they have ample of resources to shrug them off, whether it be through Heal Bell, Regenerator, Natural Cure, Magic Guard, Rest Talk. They almost always have at least 2 resident Scald absorbers. We can just ban Scald anyway!
  6. Matches were very rarely determined by Scald burns. Myriad of replays show players who suffered Scald burns actually coming out victorious.
  7. Scald actually rescued a Pokemon from an untimely IBeam Freeze hax! Scald's ability to cancel out one of the most lethal hax is a reason enough to keep it!!! xP
tl;dr - Most of these games managed Scald perfectly fine. Scald is also very inconsistent in providing the burn support. Will-O-Wispers, which are also widespread in this metagame, were much more consistent and game-changing than Scald. Scald burns didn't win games. The better player still won, despite/regardless of Scald burns (although Scald burns may facilitate wins, just like any other activated secondary effects).

The players were in full control as to how to manage opposing Scald. Nothing even close to Sand Veil / Snow Cloak, Moody or an OHKO clause (LMAO).

I don't believe having a widespread distribution makes it bannable, either, especially when it is a fully manageable aspect of the game. Just because a move is good and common doesn't make it a bannable offense. Listing all the bad things Scald can do to the opponent and noting the large number of Scald users doesn't make it a bannable offense. I can do the same with Draco Meteor (BW2), U-turn (BW2), and Stealth Rock and paint it in a way that makes them sound as retarded as you guys make Scald sound.
  • Draco Meteor is a ridiculously powerful move with 140 BP that is virtually unresisted by anything sans Steels! Only Blissey can switch into a neutral Draco Meteor safely! Virtually all Dragons that receive STAB learns DM! Draco Meteor Spam is so lazy and cheesy!
  • U-turn is BP that does damage! U-turn is a lazy way of stealing momentum from the opponent and exacerbate hazard damage! U-turn was one of the main reasons for 3 BW2 suspects getting banned! Spamming U-turn has no drawbacks! No counterplay!
  • Every fucking team has SR D:< Easy to set up and keep it up (BW2)! It cuts the health of Charizard Y and Talonflame in half! Breaks Focus Sash, Sturdy on Skarmory, and Multiscale on Dragonite, too! It restricts the usage of Pokemon weak to SR! It forces walls to recover more! Free chip dommage is dumb af! No drawbacks! So insidious!

It sounds ridiculous I know...
 
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#93
This is worth repeating again:

If your Mega Scizor gets burned while attempting to Swords Dance against weak users of Scald, then you're just unlucky and have to get over it. If it doesn't get burned, then you have a chance at a sweep. It's a risk worth taking, no? People always remember the 3 times they got fucked over by Scald, but no one ever remembers those other 7 times that Scald didn't burn.
 
#94
What I found out from these replays:
  1. Scald is inconsistent at burning foes. Hardly a reliable choice to cripple an opponent. All the instances it doesn't burn is an inferior Surf.
  2. In fact, I've seen Will-O-Wisps and Toxics having much more consistent and decisive impacts in the game, and we have no shortage of these users in the game. People argue that there's no "safe" counterplay to Scald, yet I see players readily sacrificing mons to Wisps and Toxics. The struggle to mitigate Wisp burn was much greater than the struggle for Scald burns.
  3. I've seen Fire-types like specially defensive Heatran and Talonflame tanking multiple weak scalds. There's also Mega Charizards
  4. Offensive teams or aggressive players limited opponent's Scald usage to 0-2x. Proactively pressuring the opponent to mitigate luck-based move is a useful skill that most good players have. Being passive or reactionary and letting the opponent dish out free Scald is an easy way to receive perfectly avoidable burns. Or we can just ban Scald!
  5. Defensive teams get scalded more often, but they have ample of resources to shrug them off, whether it be through Heal Bell, Regenerator, Natural Cure, Magic Guard, Rest Talk. They almost always have at least 2 resident Scald absorbers. Or we can just ban Scald anyway!
  6. Matches were very rarely determined by Scald burns. Myriad of replays show players who suffered Scald burns actually coming out victorious.
  7. Scald actually rescued a Pokemon from an untimely IBeam Freeze hax! Scald's ability to cancel out one of the most lethal hax is a reason enough to keep it!!! xP
tl;dr - Most of these games managed Scald perfectly fine. Scald is also very inconsistent in providing the burn support. Will-O-Wispers, which are also widespread in this metagame, was much more consistent and game-changing than Scald. Scald burns didn't win games. The better player still won, despite/regardless of Scald burns (although Scald burns may facilitate wins, just like any other activated secondary effects).
1. the problem has nothing to do with consistency, it's more about the luck it forces (or teambuilding restriction). "Horn Drill is inconsistent at killing foes. Hardly a reliable choice to kill an opponent. All the instances it doesn't kill is an inferior [literally any damaging move ever including Constrict]."
2. wow vs scald: first compare the amount of pkmn who learn wow with the amount of pkmn who learn scald. wow doesnt affect fire types (and p. heal glisc) whereas scald hits them super effectively. wow is literally a misplay when used vs magic guard mons, whereas scald might actually 2HKO some of them (if used by like keldeo). toxic vs scald: toxic cant touch at all any steel or poison pkmn, whereas scald can burn everything except the type it's se against. as for players using some mons as wisp/tox fodder, it's because some of them simply can't prepare for those moves. if i'm running HO, why should i exactly need a status absorber?
3. yeah but they cant fit easily on most teams (talon needs heavy hazard control support, zards do that and still consume a mega slot)
4. it's much easier to say "just play aggro!" than actually do it in high lvl games, where there is huge risk involved. consider this scenario: i have an active heatran w/ stone edge, and a venusaur in the back. the opp has an active cb talonflame locked into bbird, and a sub cm keldeo in the back. knowing heatran walls talon, the opp will likely switch-in his keldeo vs heatran; so, looking to face keldeo with venusaur and thus avoiding getting scalded, you send your venusaur against talonflame. but what if the opponent decides to be ballsy and stays in? then your venusaur eats a brave bird and you get swept by keldeo later.
5. yeah but even mons with heal bell/natural cure cant say they 100% dont care about scald. a celebi at 50% can get 2HKOed by keldeo if it gets burnt on the first scald. heal bell unaware non-cm clefable might actually lose to rain dance manaphy because of scald burns lol. magic guard mons get fucked by offensive scald users as well (name me one magic guard user who doesnt get savaged by specs keldeo or a manaphy going for tail glow).
6. uh, i can remind at least 5 clear examples of someone losing a big game because of a scald burn. even so, getting burnt doesnt mean you lose, who argued this ?_?
7. yeah that's actually one advantage about scald. unfortunately it doesnt make up for its 1829031 disadvantages.
 

jpw234

Catastrophic Event Specialist
#95
Not sure where the sentiment that Scald has a downside came from, but it is incredibly off base

When a Pokemon opts to use Surf, they are doing 2 things
-They are (typically) threatening a Pokemon to switch out
-Applying offensive pressure

Scald is also able to do these things. In addition:
-There is a 30% chance of crippling any opposing Pokemon

Hence, it is myopic to claim that there is downside to using this move because it is able to perform its job perfectly. When you are using Scald, you are applying offensive pressure with a % chance of achieving a burn that could potentially change the tide of a given match. There is no opportunity cost to using this move, and it's inherently difficult to exploit due to it's burn chance. That's why, posting a list of switch-ins indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of why Scald is problematic. The issue at hand isn't the lack of switch-ins, it's the fact that virtually all of those switch-ins risks being crippled for the remainder off the match.

I'm not sure why people try to push this narrative that Scald can backfire on players, because it's simply not true. Top level players aren't dumb; they're using Scald exactly as intended, with the implicit expectation that it can burn opponents and potentially secure a win, which is why it's nearly exclusively used over Surf on competitive teams.

To me, Scald is an example of a move that is negative. Perhaps not as overt as evasion boosting moves or Swagger (though even Swagger took some time to get banned...), but Scald is just as problematic as those moves, but on a more subtle, insidious level. It is restrictive, pervasive and lazy—it rewards players who play safe and in a one dimensional manner (ie: opting to use Scald on the switch as a catch all option). The game would be much better if Scald wasn't around; the likes of Ferrothorn/staple grass-type would be a cold hard stop to Starmie/staple water-type without risking its usefulness in the long run. Water-types wouldn't have a hail mary option against sweepers. Players would no longer have the option of relying on Scald to ease prediction. They'd be forced to consider more options, rather than rely on the same optimal choice every time. All of that sounds very beneficial to me.
The way you are using the term "no downside" is very confusing. Scald is 100% accurate and reasonably powerful, so by that metric in could be said in a vacuum to have "no downside", but that would be a metric that was entirely non-contextual (amusing given the repeated insistence that people against a Scald ban aren't viewing the move in context). There are plenty of moves, by this metric, that have no downside, including Iron Head, Moonblast, and Flamethrower - all completely reasonable moves - it is a useless descriptor. Unless you are going to claim that these moves have the downside of "not having a 30% chance to burn" (which is hopefully self-evidently ridiculous), I don't understand what your point is.

The way that you nonchalantly trot out quotes like
There is no opportunity cost to using this move
I'm not sure why people try to push this narrative that Scald can backfire on players, because it's simply not true
makes me think that you actually believe that there is no downside to ever clicking Scald, which is insane. To say that there is no opportunity-cost to using a move betrays a complete misunderstanding of the term; if there was actually no opportunity-cost to using Scald, no Keldeo would ever click Secret Sword. The opportunity-cost of using any move is that you:
- can't use your other three moves
- can't switch
This opportunity cost becomes relevant if there are Pokemon who can switch into your move safely and take advantage of that matchup, forcing you to the back foot. So we're back to where we started, with the fact that there appear to me to be a multitude of good switchins for Scald that can cause the use of the move to "backfire on the user".
posting a list of switch-ins indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of why Scald is problematic. The issue at hand isn't the lack of switch-ins, it's the fact that virtually all of those switch-ins risks being crippled for the remainder off the match.
And here you appear to have not read anything that anybody who disagrees with you has said (a troublingly common occurrence in this thread), because that list specifically broke down into Pokemon that weren't crippled by burns, resists with cleric support, Lum Berry mons, etc. It's disrespectful to pretend to be interested in having a discussion and then ignore everything the other person involved says.
The listed Pokemon can turn clicking Scald into a disadvantage for the user in a variety of ways. Scalding a Celebi switchin can lead to you allowing a free NastyPass and losing. Scalding a Starmie can allow a crucial Rapid Spin. These are all downsides if we take context into account. Your position will be much more convincing if you can take into account these objections and explain why the existing disadvantages to using Scald are overcome by the strength of the move, rather than myopically repeating that "Scald has no downsides".

----------------

Moving away from just PK Gaming for a moment. The current case against Scald appears to be something approaching the following:
- Scald inflicts a burn while being super-effective against the type immune to burn (a unique characteristic), limiting the number of viable switchins
- Scald is overly luck-based, a lucky burn can swing a match
- Scald is overly centralizing, or some variation of an argument that says that Scald is always the right choice/"too easy to spam"

All of these arguments revolve around the premise that there are not enough solid checks/counters/switch-ins for Scald (since even the luck point is not relevant if there are enough switch-ins that aren't crippled by burn). I (and apparently others) believe that there are, in fact, enough viable ways of dealing with Scald to resolve the above concerns (a non-exhaustive list of such methods is provided in my earlier comment). With that in mind, in order to advance this discussion in a meaningful fashion, will somebody who is pro-ban please respond to the following:

Why is the given list of switch-ins to Scald not sufficient to resolve your concerns?
Sub-point - if you believe that there are specifically not enough offensive switch-ins for Scald, please explain why this is an important concern, given that offensive teams must accept a weakness to chip damage and secondary effects based on how they are constructed?
In order to properly evaluate the repeatedly made and unsubstantiated claim that there is "not enough counterplay" for Scald, can you explain what "enough counterplay" would look like? It is impossible to evaluate the claim "not enough" without having some idea of what "enough" would be.
 

Pocket

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#96
radianthero, Did you really just compare Scald to an OHKO move? 30% chance to burn vs 30% chance to KILL. There are many ways to handle an unfortunate Scald burn, but a a kill is definite. I've participated in the OHKO ubers suspect test, and a bulky Sheer Cold Kyogre knocking out Latias, Arceus-Grass, and Ferrothorn is just UNFAIR. Same with Mold Breaker Excadrill knocking out a Giratina. OHKO moves pretty much rendered defensive mons useless. OHKO moves aren't just "uncompetitive," they are damned overpowered. Bringing up OHKO moves in a Scald discussion is hilarious.

I mentioned the Fire-types, not b/c they were easy to fit on a team, but b/c they can actually absorb Scald if need be (which was one of the argument points)

Also your examples boil down to "Keldeo hits hard." You make it sound like the problem is actually Keldeo (and maybe Manaphy) moreso than the move Scald, which 100 other Pokemon learns.

Of course Heal Bell / Natural Cure users care about status when inflicted >.> Is this news to you? Doesn't change the fact that they are reliable stopgaps for inconsistent Scald burns.

It would be nice if you provide these replays to add substance to your claim. However, I have an inkling that for every log you find Scald actually offering a game-breaking win to the worse player, there are many folds more log demonstrating otherwise.
 
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#97
The way you are using the term "no downside" is very confusing. Scald is 100% accurate and reasonably powerful, so by that metric in could be said in a vacuum to have "no downside", but that would be a metric that was entirely non-contextual (amusing given the repeated insistence that people against a Scald ban aren't viewing the move in context). There are plenty of moves, by this metric, that have no downside, including Iron Head, Moonblast, and Flamethrower - all completely reasonable moves - it is a useless descriptor. Unless you are going to claim that these moves have the downside of "not having a 30% chance to burn" (which is hopefully self-evidently ridiculous), I don't understand what your point is.
I will try to make this as simple as possible.

In an offensive context, there is a legitimate downside to using Scald (ie: Keldeo). You risk ceding momentum to your opponent if you don't get the burn off. On that we can agree with, yes? However, in a defensive context there is no risk (or to be more precise very little risk) to using Scald if you are in a position where your opponent is forced out. Sure an argument can be made that you lose out on potentially outpredicting your opponent and make a double switch, but what is the point? Why risk it? You can cover all of your opponent's options with Scald. If you don't get the burn off you've still done your job by forcing your opponent's Pokemon out, but if you do get the burn then you've crippled your opponents best answer to your bulky water-type (and more!).

Lavos makes this point exceedingly clear in his earlier post:

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.
Did that clear things up?

makes me think that you actually believe that there is no downside to ever clicking Scald, which is insane. To say that there is no opportunity-cost to using a move betrays a complete misunderstanding of the term; if there was actually no opportunity-cost to using Scald, no Keldeo would ever click Secret Sword. The opportunity-cost of using any move is that you:
- can't use your other three moves
- can't switch
This opportunity cost becomes relevant if there are Pokemon who can switch into your move safely and take advantage of that matchup, forcing you to the back foot. So we're back to where we started, with the fact that there appear to me to be a multitude of good switchins for Scald that can cause the use of the move to "backfire on the user".
Haha, are you seriously that arrogant to presume that I would honestly think that? That there's no downside to ever clicking Scald, when I've made it clear time and time again that I am explicitly referring to a specific circumstance? Since you don't seem to understand what I'm getting at, I'll set up an example for you.

Picture a BW OU match. Player 1 has Tentacruel in play and a strong Latios check waiting in the wings. Player 2 has Latios in play, Rocks are up and they also have Gastrodon. Tentacruel isn't going to Scald when matched up against Latias because Protect is the better option. Tentacruel isn't going to use Scald if/when Latios is gone because it needs to Rapid Spin. Tentacruel isn't going to Scald until Gastrodon is removed from play. Once Tentacruel has successful managed to remove hazards and Gastrodon is gone, it can proceed to spam Scald every time it manages to gain the momentum. You can nearly guarantee that. Every time. Because if the opponent's best check to Tentacruel is now Latios, burning it will make the match significantly easier for you (because realistically, your Latios check won't be in a position to KO it unless your opponent is backed into a corner) "But isn't it better to anticipate your opponent's move and perform a double switch?" Maybe, but you still need to apply offensive pressure Tentacruel. There's always the chance that your opponent will stay in to damage Tentacruel, which is why Scald is terrific. It covers both scenarios perfectly. There are some cases where double switching is ideal and good players will always capitalize on that, but for the most part Scald is too strong of an option when you're given free reign to use it.

If Scald weren't a thing, the Tentacruel player would have to weigh the option of applying offensive pressure with Surf or performing a double switch. Scald let's you bypass that. It allows Bulky Water-types to cripple Pokemon that are forced to switch into them, which seriously cuts into their usability for the rest of the match. And Jesus christ, are really naive of you to compare Scald to the other moves with secondary effect? Why the hell would you fish for Moonblast's secondary effect? None of the moves as game-changing as a burn. Nice of you to bring up Keldeo btw, aka literally the only the case where opting to use Scald when you have the momentum provides a potential risk (but oh but there's a lot to gain too...).

And here you appear to have not read anything that anybody who disagrees with you has said (a troublingly common occurrence in this thread), because that list specifically broke down into Pokemon that weren't crippled by burns, resists with cleric support, Lum Berry mons, etc. It's disrespectful to pretend to be interested in having a discussion and then ignore everything the other person involved says.
The listed Pokemon can turn clicking Scald into a disadvantage for the user in a variety of ways. Scalding a Celebi switchin can lead to you allowing a free NastyPass and losing. Scalding a Starmie can allow a crucial Rapid Spin. These are all downsides if we take context into account. Your position will be much more convincing if you can take into account these objections and explain why the existing disadvantages to using Scald are overcome by the strength of the move, rather than myopically repeating that "Scald has no downsides".
Okay i'm going to level with you. You seem like a pretty intelligent person with a good grasp reasoning, all things considered, but critical thinking seems to completely discern you when it comes to Pokemon. Your list is flawed for a multitude of reasons:

1) Some of the Pokemon you've listed aren't (realistically) viable options in OU (ie: Seismitoed, Toxicroak, Restalk Mega Ampharos, Guts Heracross)
2) Most of the Pokemon you've listed aren't consistent switch ins to Scald.
3) Some of the Pokemon you've listed have no place ever switching into Scald, period (I don't care if Alakazam has Magic Guard; you are NOT going to throw something as valuable as Alazakam into a Scald just to avoid a potential burn)
4) There is no such thing as an offensive resist that doesn't care about burn damage. Are you even for real.
5) There is a very, very big move slot cost to using Heal Bell (in addition to the fact that it has limited distribution). That's why you don't usually see it. Furthermore, expecting everyone to carry Heal Bell just to deal with Scald is absurd and not even perfect fix since you're still giving up momentum when you use it.

Suffice it to say, your list was pretty bad (why did you list Weavile...?) and still missing the main point in general: literally every Pokemon you mentioned barring the natural cure users are crippled if they incur a burn. Straight up. They are inconsistent answers to Scald.
 
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bludz

a waffle is like a pancake with a syrup trap
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I think it's important to decide under what premise Scald should go if there is gonna be such an argument. I personally don't think it's broken and the OP doesn't exactly paint it that way either. All the arguments about its ridiculous distribution are kind of moot if it's broken; cuz if it's broken its broken it doesn't matter if it has 1 good abuser or 50.

Uncompetitive or unhealthy seem more in line with a lot of peoples' arguments, and I'd lean more toward unhealthy. Granted it is better than all these other 30% side effect moves and that point has been beaten to death. But I'm not sure I'd argue it takes skill out of the equation to the same degree as other things we have deemed uncompetitive like BP or Shadow Tag, which were much more constricting and specific.

Someone mentioned that counterplay to Scald (I.e. Water Absorb mons) is not really definitive because a lot of Scald users can carry Toxic, which cripples this supposed counterplay. But this isn't a quality of Scald as a move, it has to do with its distribution and the sets of mons that use it. For this reason I think the true argument to remove Scald is to answer the question: is it unhealthy?

Here is an excerpt from the tiering policy which I think accurately reflects the above: "
c.) Things aren't broken (or unhealthy or uncompetitive) only in vacuums; they can contribute to the whole being greater than the sum of its parts."

Unfortunately this is the most subjective of our 3 ban criteria and the least used so it's difficult to make this case.

Personally I'm not totally sure where I stand on this issue. But I believe if we intend to go forward with this debate then it should be under the premise that Scald is unhealthy, not broken or uncompetitive.