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Serene Grace

Discussion in 'Policy Review' started by imperfectluck, Apr 9, 2011.

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  1. imperfectluck

    is a Past WCoP Championwon the 7th Official Smogon Tournament

    Mar 18, 2005
    Serene Grace is an ability that is alive and well, whether it be 4th or 5th gen. As of the time of this post, I just came off a tournament loss to Jirachi's Iron Head giving me virtually no chance to attack, something I'm sure many of you have experienced before. Also, my success in ST7 speaks for itself how brainless and easy it is to be able to abuse this ability to the fullest. In the interest of competitive Pokemon, why is an ability that doubles the "luck" factor, something generally frowned upon, still allowed to run rampant?
  2. Smith

    is a Team Rater Alumnus

    Nov 23, 2009
    I think we've really been getting ban-happy lately, honestly. As abilities go, it's certainly the less pressing of many, and really I don't consider it "broken" in any way. If you want to talk about luck- if anything, it minimizes hax. People would bitch a lot more about Jirachi Iron Head flinching if it didn't have Serene Grace. I understand where you're coming from but I honestly don't see why we need to ban it.
  3. 6A9 Ace Matador

    6A9 Ace Matador veni, vidi, vici, VERSACE, VERSACE VERSACE

    Oct 10, 2008
    yeah i gotta agree, i see more complaining about jirachi to this day than any other pokemon and rightly so, it's ridiculous -_- problem is idk what the alternative is, you'd have to ban jirachi all together which seems kinda extreme...
  4. Zystral

    Zystral めんどくさい、な~
    is a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Apr 16, 2009
    I don't think the problem lies in Serene Grace itself, rather, the use of Serene Grace.
    Let's be honest, if Jirachi didn't have Serene Grace, would anyone ever use Iron Head? If Togekiss didn't have Serene Grace would it really be that good a Choice Scarfer? And of course, "lol dunsparce".

    I agree, Serene Grace has its problems in that it "forces" luck, something which many people prefer to eliminate from Pokemon, yet at the same time, some would say it adds to the game, giving you an extra something to think about. I admit to abusing Serene Grace more than I should, but it is a cheap tactic.

    Let's also not forget the impact it has on people's perceptions of hax. If a non-Serene Grace Pokemon (say, DPP Scizor) used Iron Head and got a flinch, you'd complain, and rightfully so. If Jirachi DIDN'T get an Iron Head flinch, the Jirachi user would get a tad annoyed. But then again it is only 60%. One must remember it's like Hypnosis. And as soon as Platinum was released, many analyses stopped recommending Hypnosis. So why do we rely on Iron Head and Serene Grace more, when the effects aren't as completely shut-down, and isn't any more reliable?

    I also think a player's reaction is a vital part. If you were up against a Jirachi, and it used Iron Head, how many people would be annoyed that they got flinched and were unable to move? I'm sure quite a few people. But then, how many of those people would get the annoyance from not being able to fight back against a cheap tactic, and how many people would be annoyed that the flinches are actually working? This kinda goes back to my original point in that the problem lies in Serene Grace's use, not the ability itself. If you were to face Superachi and its Thunderbolt paralyzed you, sure you'd be miffed, but I think you'd be more likely to accept "it has Serene Grace, I suppose 20% was bound to happen." Now, with Iron Head which'll flinch 60% of the time, it's a different story.

    I'm always against the idea of banning small facets (i.e. Soul Dew, single abilities, Pokemon + Move combos, Ability + Ability bans, etc.) in the game, so I am opposed to banning Serene Grace. I'd say the problem is more deep-rooted in players' conflicting ideas of hax and luck and what part they play in Pokemon.
  5. shrang

    shrang AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
    is a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Battle Server Moderatoris a Tiering Contributor Alumnus

    Jul 24, 2009
    This. If a Pokemon is found to be "broken" with Serene Grace, why not just ban that Pokemon?
  6. Destiny Warrior

    Destiny Warrior also known as Darkwing_Duck
    is a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Dec 30, 2009
    I feel this should not be treated like Evasion clause, at the very outset, as in we ban stuff just because its "hax".

    ScarfJirachi Iron Head spam may seem like a deadlock, but keep in mind that the odds are stacked in your favour to hit just after 1 flinch. The chance to flinch is exactly the same as the chance of Hypnosis to connect, which isn't gamebreaking. ALso, if you build an entire strategy around Iron Head/Air Slash flinching, you are taking the risk of luck going against you in exchange for the reward of a simple strategy.

    I don't think this is an unhealthy choice to make, and at some point we have to face the fact that Pokemon is avout both luck and skill, and that without deviating from game mechanics, there will be a few games where luck overpowers skill. However, the event of luck completely beating skill regularly is so mathematically improbable, I feel that we should live with that case. I don't think we should be aiming to minimize the effects of luck by banning; rather, we should be banning to achieve a better metagame. If a player manages his odds well, he deserves the victory. I don't feel Serene Grace should be banned for that reason.
  7. Matthew

    Matthew I love weather; Sun for days
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    May 26, 2008
    As Destiny said before, it's a 60% chance to flinch with Iron Head on Jirachi. When using Scarf Jirachi you need to think about no matter how many times you've flinched your opponent, no matter how likely or unlikely it is you're basing winning the game off of luck. A strategy that is based on luck, whether it be 60% chance to win or 40% chance to win, isn't effective and sooner or later it's going to catch up to you. I'm not sure if I'm alone on this, but I'd feel much safer with a strategy of "remove Excadrill's counters, sweep" than "try to flinch my way past these mons -- try to flinch my way past this normally solid counter."

    Jirachi is a fantastic 'mon, I think that's been proved time and time again. However, you also have to realize that Jirachi doesn't meet any of the criteria of being over powered. It can't sweep through the metagame with ease. It can't wall half the metagame with ease. It sure as hell can support a team, but to the extent where it's too strong (see: Deoxys-S), no way.

    It's a high risk high reward. You run the risk of Jirachi not being able to flinch, then reward is that it will occasionally work to the extent where Jirachi can work past your Skarmory. But, more often than not, it's usually not going to happen.
  8. locopoke

    locopoke indulges in unsavory behavior
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Aug 18, 2007
    oh absolutely lets get rid of this shit, its about time
    Soothing Deoxys likes this.
  9. undisputed

    is a Forum Moderatoris a Tutor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion

    Aug 16, 2009
    Anything that is so easy to use that even IPL can win st7 definitely needs to go imo.

    Kidding aside, I'm against banning serene grace. Relying solely on Jirachi flinching with Iron head is not a high percentage strategy, and there are a million things that resist it anyway. Iron head in conjunction with paralysis is very annoying, and when used in the hands of a capable player its quite good. But I stand by my opinion that even a "hax based strategy" like paralysis and serene grace requires a good player to use effectively. Otherwise im sure there would be a lot more paralysis teams in gen 4 than the grand total of close to 4 (obi's, djxo9 + prides, matty, ipl are the ones i recall). I think that is enough proof to show that paralysis + serene grace isnt super easy to just whip up a team using it, and its not like any of those teams were invincible. seems to me that winning with a paralysis team is on par with using a normal team just using high probability hax instead of "stalling" or "out offensing", etc.

    that makes sense in my head, idk if i articulated it well
  10. reachzero

    reachzero the pastor of disaster
    is a Forum Moderatoris a CAP Contributoris a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Oct 18, 2008
    We have a Suspect process for a reason; there is an organized, fair process for evaluating metagame elements. Why would we undermine it by trying to sidestep it in PR?
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