Smogon’s mission statement involves creating the greatest competitive Pokemon site on the Internet: we made it happen. Through our use of the suspect testing process, we’ve been able to shape a fun children’s game into a game with a very strong and vibrant competitive spirit. There is a visible dichotomy between skillful players and tenderfoots, and this skill is very present in determining winners. This is the hallmark of a competitive game. However, we’re fooling ourselves if we think we’re playing chess. Unlike chess, Pokemon has a very strong luck element to it; this can be seen by clicking on virtually any thread in the Tournaments forum. Because of things like misses or critical hits, there is always a not-insignificant chance that there will be forces outside of the control of either player that impact the game. What this thread will seek to determine is at what level the concept of risk versus reward devolves into uncompetitiveness. It’s pretty well accepted that, as unlikeable as they are, Focus Blast and Stone Edge are better alternatives to Hidden Power Fighting or Rock Slide, respectively; they eschew higher accuracy for more of a punch. At what stage does this trade-off become so disproportionate that it takes away from the fundamental competitiveness of the game. Risk vs. Reward is an important concept of Pokemon, but it is important that we stay within the bounds of a competitive metagame. Some questions to think about: Is the 30% chance of hitting with an OHKO move that much different than the 30% chance to miss with Focus Blast? Is the payoff of an outright kill high enough to justify use? Is it too high perhaps? Is the gradual increase in evasiveness from moves such as Double Team worth trying to set up instead of boosting sweeping stats, such as Attack, Special Attack, or Speed? How about Defense or Special Defense? Is it that different to have your attacks do inconsequential amounts of damage due to highly boosted defenses than to have your attacks miss because of boosted evasion? Is a strategy like Moody, essentially the definition of risk vs reward, worth using if you are forced to use suboptimal Pokemon and run the risk of getting useless boosts? Is having your counter miss an attack that much different from its countering ability being nullified by Stealth Rock, 3 layers of Spikes, and 2 layers of Toxic Spikes? Is there a way to work around having multiple Pokemon slept? Would the metagame revolve too heavily around Darkrai or would only minor changes be necessary to accommodate? Possibly the most important question: are there any clauses that can be altered to be more permissive? Is Double Team acceptable but not Minimize? Is 1 Moody Pokemon acceptable on a team if not 6? You do not have to address any of these questions in your post, but I have put them here to guide your thoughts. Please keep your thoughts centered on the making of a competitive metagame though, and not the specifics of any particular test, since Jibaku and I will consult this thread and the arguments presented within it to formulate the bases of a competitive metagame, which will be used as a reference during the tests that are performed. Feel free to post as much or as little as you want, but keep your posts intelligent and courteous. This thread will be heavily moderated, so think carefully about what you’re saying and how you say it.