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The Making of a Competitive Metagame

Discussion in 'BW Ubers' started by bojangles, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. bojangles

    bojangles IF YOU TRULY BELIEVE,
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    May 23, 2008
    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.
  2. His Eminence Lord Poppington II

    His Eminence Lord Poppington II proverb:the fish who eats most dies still too
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    Jul 29, 2010
    I have played several matches against syrim using an OHKO team. Surprisingly, it is neither completely broken, nor completely worthless.

    OHKO moves allow certain Pokemon to win match ups they would never dream of beating otherwise; bulky Roar Scald Kyogre can now run Scald + Sheer Cold, pretty much dominating slower, defensive teams and sand. This is by the virtue of how many turns Kyogre has to use the move against defensive checks to it; Arceus Grass and Latias risk a 30% chance of getting OHKOed each time they come in, and their inability to OHKO Kyogre and temptation to use Recover means that a possible two uses of Sheer Cold will give them a 51% chance to been KOed. Giratina-A and Gastrodon are no longer 'good' checks to this variant of Kyogre, as they are only beat it through residual damage.

    However, against offensive teams where there are far less turns, this set does not excel. Kyogre cannot grab too many free turns against teams that aim to end the game within 15-20 turns. Syrim was using an entire team with Pokemon that had at least one OHKO move. He had great matchups against sand where Kyogre dominated the slower defensive checks; rain stall, where taking the turns to set up multiple hazards and phaze things resulted in core members dying off too quickly and backbone collapsing; and offense where he was utterly destroyed, although aided by a large sequence of OHKO moves missing, such a thing is unavoidable when relying on a 30% in the first place.

    Now, syrim was obviously testing the extreme of the move for the sake of seeing its effects in practice. However, it is more than viable to have just a few Pokemon, or even one on your team. Bulky Sheer Cold Kyogre used as a standalone set is undoubtedly analysis worthy, and has the potential to support teams in a way that would previously be impossible. Is it broken? I don't think so; its shortcomings are apparent and it will, in practice, almost never sweep an entire team. Is it good? Yes, it definitely has a niche, and makes defensive Kyogre just that 30% scarier.

    There are, of course, other Pokemon with access to OHKO moves; Groudon, Gliscor, Lapras, Kabutop, all possess it in one form or another. Thus far, however, I have found bulky Kyogre to be the most threatening due to the vast amount of approaches to checking it being defensive rather than offensive.
  3. trickroom

    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

    Sep 13, 2009
    OHKO clause is actually pretty big because it allows some useless pokemon to be viable like that of Lapras and Articuno LOL I will try those out when I get the time :(

    Fissure on Groudon is pretty useless because Flying-types are immune to it and Earthquake still hits everything pretty hard. Unless you want your Groudon to spam Fissure on Arceus, Defensive Kyogre or Giratina lol, not a reliable method but since Scald burns 30% of the time, Fissure might just help to get past those bulky walls. Sadly, things like Gliscor, Lugia and Giratina-O are immune to it.

    I doubt Kabutops have the time to miss with OHKO moves. Gliscor can spam OHKO moves only behind a Sub because otherwise, it can be forced out rather easily.

    I specifically mentioned Lapras and Articuno because both of them are pretty bulky and they have Roost or Water Absorb. What's better is Sheer Cold has nothing immune to it. Lapras can always get some free switch ins on Kyogre, as long as you don't come in on Thunder which still does not OHKO Specially Defensive Lapras. Articuno can Roost up on even things like non Specs Dialga/Palkia and spam Sheer Cold, although that SR weak blows.

    I tried Double Team but only on Gyarados...I think evasion can screw up many unreliable moves such as Focus Blast but it is unreliable.

    Sleep Clause is broken because Choice Scarf Darkrai can Sleep your entire team before you can even move, assuming it hits obviously. There is virtually nothing that can outspeed Scarf Darkrai unless you are Scarf Shaymin-S or Mewtwo.

    I think we agreed Moody should be banned a long time ago because even Bibarel can defeat Arceus in the end if it gets lucky. Yeah, I am willing to use Bibarel if Moody gets unbanned.

    Finally I would like to say Sturdy Forretress and Skarmory might see a lot more use if OHKO clause is removed.
  4. polop

    is a Contributor Alumnus

    Apr 29, 2011
    Double Team + Pressure sucks really, even moves with a lot of PP have the potential to drop extremely fast. Before you know it, you might even start missing struggles )_). HOWEVER, Thunder and Aura Sphere aren't exactly "uncommon" in this meta either, so I'm not going to cast this out as plain broke just yet (JUST VERY VERY ANNOYING, GRANTED THE SAME ARGUEMENT WAS USED TO KEEP MOODY SO DON'T BLAME ME :(). You can't setup another move with it or else you'll experience some kind of demented 4 move slot syndrome. Minimize however is just SAD. The only user of it is Chansey and that blob doesn't give eggs about Aura Sphere or Thunder. It can just Toxic and sit back, relax, enjoy the eggs it produces, etc. Pokemon using Substitute though will wall this version of Chansey though, but the fact it takes a turn to setup and basically be invincible = uh oh.

    I can imagine Double Team being lethal when combined with Toxic Spikes support though, this is an untested theory though so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

    Sleep clause being unbanned sounds broken initially, but all that really means is you have to toss sleep talk on your Choice Scarf Pokemon. While this may be considered a bit "overcentralizing" its not that bad to the point where you can't deal with it. The only issue is, Sub Darkrai might actually be able to take advantage of this to extreme levels. Say a Choice Scarf Palkia comes in while Darkrai Substitutes. Darkrai can substitute again to scout what move it chooses. If it chooses a damaging move it can Dark Void and setup another Substitute, if it goes for the sleep talk go for the nasty plot and enjoy what you have. If the Palkia switches you can just sleep the next mon and get another free sub up. Really Substitute Darkrai might be a bit more annoying then say Choice Scarf Darkrai. Choice Scarf alleviates revenge-killing issues but to really get screwed by it would mean you have to switch out your asleep mon every time. Really all Trick Scarf would force is Sleep Talk on your Choice Scarfed mon, and really thats not TOO BAD of a move to have on a Choice Scarf Pokemon right? Its big but its not the end of the world.

    OHKO clause and Evasion clause though are unique in the sense that they weren't banned in VGC, however they do make quite an impact. Similar to Poppy's conclusion, VGC's Suicune can run a set very similar to the one Poppy ran, and actually have success with that. OHKO clause may actually have a large impact on stall though if it does get released, but realize that pressure will make those 8 pp moves drop like flies, combine this with like Substitute Lugia, and chances are you are probably not going to ever get a successful hit (there are a lot fewer pressure mons in Doubles). OHKO moves are also severely hindered by the fact that stuff can take advantage of that one-turn of free potential setup and sweep, so that doesn't mean if they weren't banned that they would break the game either. Just be a little annoying for stall if it does hit (keep in mind Sturdy + Pressure = on stall a lot too).

    Moody is risk and reward, but honestly with prior experience to that meta I think we all agree we don't want that octillery or bibareal back sweeping things by setting up Subsitutes and Protecting. Smeargle is just worse. Its not like minimize because you Protect yourself from harm on that turn. Its like why Speed Boost Blaziken got banned.

    Also if someone dislikes my capitalization they reserve the right to remove it.
  5. barry4ever

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    Oct 20, 2009
    OK, formulated my thoughts time to post them here.

    First off, OHKO clause. IMO, this one is probably the easiest to analyse(and probably the hardest to judge objectively). Pokemon is a lot about weighing out risk vs reward, OHKO moves take this to the extreme. You have 30% chance to hit a mon and possibly wreck your opponent's core in shot. However, 70% of the times, you will fail and give your opponent a free switch-in etc etc.The use of OHKO moves by a sane person is done on a switch / or a Pokemon who cannot damage you significantly i.e a free turn or behind a sub (or in a desperate situation lol). The most common variant of this is probably the free turn scenario. Now this is where it starts to get bad. Like poppy illustrated, a defensive kyogre can just switch out if the ohko move misses and come back multiple times thanks to rest + sleep talk. Now while, this is all good, it works iff you get a free turn. There are several situation's (against offensive teams specifically) where the number of free turn's you get are quite limited and once you use the move, any good player will easily catch on to the idea and adapt by giving kyogre less opportunities to spam it, basically by giving it less chances to switch. Admittedly this is hard for more stall based teams. The question is, which side does this tip the balance in favor of ? The fact that stall gets the short end of the stick as compared to offense is not preferable. I think that the result will be pretty even since offense is the more popular style in BW2. But this is only conjecture and it will difficult to qualitatively judge unless it can be rigorously tested on the ladder.

    Coming onto to moody, I think this is where risk vs reward, makes the game noncompetitive. Moody is ridiculously easy to abuse.Tbh, the reason,s for which it was originally banned still stand true as of this date. Its ridiculously easy to abuse. Just protect and hope for a couple of decent boosts and switch to something like LO dialga / Ho-Oh and watch your opponent disintegrate.

    PS: Idk why Sturdy Forretress usage would rise, if kyogre say decides to run Sheer Cold, it still has scald to boil Forretress with, so its pointless to just use Sturdy Forry for Sheer Cold ogre.
  6. ZetoTarken


    Aug 31, 2009
    I dunno TR MuscularCarp is pretty badass, although I might get in trouble if I post THOSE logs(yes I still have them XDXD)

    On a more serious note, the pokes I can see as being potentially problematic with an evasion move are the big defensive titans that can afford to spend a turn or two getting some evasion boosts without horrible crippling their movesets too much. Evasion Shuffling Giratina and Lugia might be pretty tough to break especially with Pressure and a couple hazards Substitute and Rest protect them from Toxic and the evasion boosts protect from enemy phazers. I can also see some weird sets popping up like mono-flying Ho-Oh Sub-Roost+Double Team if things go poorly switch out and have full HP with an evasion boost you have pretty good odds of stalling out Stone Edge without Pressure. Bulky attackers would have to be able to double team AND beat the poke that switched into them without crippling itself(Draco Meteor).

    Moody, I'm gonna have to go with no. First off, we already had this discussion and I don't feel like rehashing all those arguments but they basically boiled down to Moody player took a several small risks for a very high reward.

    As for OHKO moves, They're high risk, high reward. Its kind of like getting a crit hit at the right time. Its ok against offensive teams but can be game changing against stall especially because a defensive Kyogre wiffing Sheer Cold against one of its checks is not a big deal, it was going to be negligible damage anyway. A thing to note with Lapras is while it has Water Absorb, it also has access to Hydration-Rest giving fairly reliable recovery to go along with a decent set of supportive moves.
  7. shrang

    shrang Draw me... like one of your human girls
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    Jul 24, 2009
    To me, removing OHKO clause is probably the only one I'd be happy with. With such a fast paced metagame, you're really playing with fire if you're trying to use a 30% accurate to your advantage, over other more productive moves. Like barry has already said, it's all about risk vs. reward, and I personally think the risks of using OHKO moves are enough to outweigh the benefits. Given we are in a metagame where a single move/hit/miss could potentially decide the fate of a match, this isn't really making a huge difference (at least as far as I can see).

    Evasion and Moody Clause, on the other hand, are the other side of the coin, IMO. If Double Team were not learned by pretty much every Pokemon that can learn a TM, maybe I'd be more inclined to think otherwise. It's too easy to spam Double Team and Moody, and the ways of countering it are quite inefficient. Moody is especially bullshit because it's not just Evasion, but it raises all your other stats faster than they drop them.

    I'm not seeing removing Species Clause either. Sure, it's not inherently broken or uncompetitive, but my basic gripe is that it would just make shit a whole lot more boring. You can imagine someone just using 6 different Arceuses (which is probably a perfectly legit team). Species Clause is around to make our game more interesting because it forces you to use and learn different Pokemon. Ubers is not an official metagame, people only play it because it's fun and more interesting than the other tiers. Can you imagine our friendly Charizard noob being able to use 6 Charizards against you? That would turn me off playing Ubers pretty damn quick, IMO.

    Not too sure about removing Sleep Clause, but not liking Darkrai being able to spam Dark Void at will.
  8. Jibaku

    Jibaku Who let all these plants survive??
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    Dec 13, 2005
    Maybe I'm very biased, but based on my experiences in the GBU, Evasion isn't quite as threatening as I would have imagined it. Despite the fact that almost everything learns Double Team, there are quite a few factors that make it a double-edged pick.

    - The time you could be using Double Team could be used for something more productive. This includes hitting things on the switch, setting up something for a -guaranteed- damage payoff (as opposed to setting up 1 DT which gives little evasion for you to gamble on to do your second set up, in which case it's probably not worth it anyways).

    - That moveslot for Double Team can often be used for something else. Let's face it - Double Team isn't like Swords Dance or Calm Mind and won't quite help you sweep. Further along, it's not a team support move either. It's also not a strong defensive move because you need luck to actually stall with it, and when you are trying to set it up you're going to need lots of it. Chances are you'll be more easily forced to switch out trying to do that (+1 Evasion is 25% dodge and +2 is 40%, which are rather small numbers compared to the 33% and 50% of +1 or +2 defensive boosts, respectively). Not only can't Double Team replace the traditional set up moves, if you still want to use it, you have to sacrifice important coverage (i.e SD/Sub/DT/Outrage Garchomp). Also, most stuff in Ubers suffer from a 4 moveslot syndrome already - good luck fitting Double Team in and expecting it to do something.

    - Fast paced metagame does not favor gambling. This is the reason that is used to justify that OHKOes aren't broken, and this can not be more true on evasion, especially with the low payoffs. On the other side of things, even stall doesn't suffer much from DT, because they have a lot of opportunities to phaze, and possibly even stall out the fully set up DT user if they dont have a set up move. Also, Perish Song.

    - Lastly, Thunder and Aura Sphere can deter Double Team's presence, even though it's not as effective.

    Of course, though, Double Team can dodge lethal blows that might still cut through defensive boosts. But its lack of offensive presence as a stat up move means the DT user might just get stalled out, and the subpar defensive presence means you have to gamble a lot to actually make it work. Then there's also the fact that DT could pull out a clutch win, but honestly there's already a million ways to do that already (paraflinch Jirachi, Sub SV Garchomp, or hey, even the aforementioned Sheer Cold Kyogre if OHKO Clause gets taken out), and Double Team isn't really anything special. Maybe pulling out clutch wins is all that DT is useful for...

    The most dangerous Evasion is going to get is probably something like Minimize/Baton Pass Drifblim because that's actually legit scary if it sets up. But it is weak to Thunder and can be foiled by an untimely phaze which will pretty much leave it useless for the rest of the game.

    Moody is an entirely different story because it doesn't actually require you to use a set up move and it raises everything.
  9. Pocket

    Pocket Apo, the astronaut's best friend >:3
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    Dec 22, 2004
    Awesome endeavor, Uber staff!

    I can't really deny all that Jibaku have said about Double Team / Minimize, but I am pretty sure there are 3-4 mons that these Evasion moves would break, causing them to remain claused. DT can especially be annoying on BP teams if they can find a space to add it - the BP recipient wont have any moveslot problems.

    I'm iffy about the prospect of allowing OHKO moves. As for the matter of risk vs reward, I believe it's reward outweighs the risk. Yes, it only happens 30% of the time, but when it connects it's an automatic kill. 30% is quite a big chance, when you consider that Scald burns and Focus Miss occurs just as frequently. I do not think a large miss:hit ratio is enough of a risk for letting it loose. Maybe if it had a lower accuracy or if it had some sort of side effect if it misses or used (25% recoil, recharge, stat drops, etc), then I would consider the reward vs risk to be more equal.

    However, a bigger issue is "does it require any skill to use this move." To this I answer no. A relative newbie can spam Sheer Cold or Fissue and net OHKOs without much thought. OHKO moves literally puts the match in the hands of RNG, and I believe such a huge dice roll would not be viewed as desirable, especially in a tournament setting.
  10. polop

    is a Contributor Alumnus

    Apr 29, 2011
    I hope we are allowed to argue and discuss a bit in this thread, but if anyone feels some of this post is out-of-place they can delete this.

    Jibaku while I do agree with most of your comments on Double Team in Doubles there was one huge thing that concerned me about it in singles.

    Now I'm certain you'll agree with me that hazards are exxxxtremely uncommon in GBU doubles, but as we all know, its almost the exact opposite case in our little Uber tier. What concerns me though, is what if a "wall" happened to accumulate a Double Team boost or two and then started phazing non-stop with its moves. The fear of having your hazards spun is lessened with Evasion, and Toxic Spikes just hasten the increasing damage output. While I do agree with you that most Pokemon will often face trouble with a sort of four moveslot syndrome when using Double Team, I disagree that it may be completely ineffective at its job. Unlike Ubers, GBU matches are a LOT more fast-paced, and walling is only probably with a Cresselia or something, and walls lack a lot of longevity compared to the ones we have here. Now I ask you, what if a wall were to use Double Team? Its bulk would certainly allow it to become a nuisance and setup a good bit, thats for sure, but would it be able to completely devastate teams? I will agree with you offensive sweepers don't have the space to pack an extra slot, but if they did they might be able to setup with a bit more ease thanks to Dual Screen strategies actually being viable in Ubers right? That would make it a lot less of a gamble right? <- if I'm wrong please say so !_!

    Take a Giratina-a for example, here's your standard Specially Defensive Giratina-a.

    Giratina-a @ Leftovers
    Trait: Pressure
    EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpD / 8 Def
    Careful Nature
    ~ Rest
    ~ Sleep Talk
    ~ Will-O-Wisp / Roar
    ~ Dragon Tail / Outrage

    Lets add Double Team to that.

    Giratina-a @ Leftovers
    Trait: Pressure
    EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpD / 8 Def
    Careful Nature
    ~ Rest
    ~ Sleep Talk
    ~ Double Team
    ~ Dragon Tail / Roar

    Yes this entire set is almost entirely reliant on entry hazard damage, but the thing is, it can setup on A LOT of Spinners, and it can block spinners too. Pair this up with a Forretress or Ferrothorn and watch it go go go. Combine this with Toxic Spikes and I don't know if that would break or help stall. The only true way out to beat this renegade is to use a sort of Support Arceus (you also need Steel or Poison to make sure Toxic Spikes don't wear it down) with Perish Song, but the fact we've gone THAT far to check just a single wall... isn't that just a little bit much? It also provides a way for Giratina-a to "boost its defense" so to speak, which it lacks, and yes its a little gamble but you can't even keep your check in on it due to the fact it might just get phazed the next turn, if its move DOES hit. Yes it lacks offensive presence, but its sheer bulk being used to phaze sooo much is just annoying.

    I agree with you on Sheer Cold though, the lessened pace of the game is made up for with all the users of Pressure and Substitute (ok you KNOW that nothing uses Substitute in GBU (at least I hope so :()).

    I'm not sure if we might actually need a seperate sort of way to test this though, its clear that all of the posts (mine included) are flooded with Theorymon, but this is uncharted territory so...
  11. Jibaku

    Jibaku Who let all these plants survive??
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    Dec 13, 2005
    Issue with that Giratina set is still getting forced out at +1 Evasion. Say you send in Giratina on Forretress using Spikes. Then they switch to Dialga while you DT. Would you risk that 67.5% chance on getting mauled by Draco Meteor (Or hey, even that 75% chance Dragon Pulse hits and takes >50% of your HP), and potentially losing your spinblocker/physical wall? Also if it's faster it could Roar before you DTail it away. This goes for every other Dragon really.

    Then there's the fact that you probably won't be getting a lot of set up opportunities against offensive teams. Giratina's role against offensive teams is to wall certain things and get out of there because they're going to send in something that destroys it. Without Will-O-Wisp you've lost a good chunk of Giratina's utility against these teams, for a pretty bad gamble because they will attempt to relentlessly bruteforce it and making the setup much less effective than it should be (unless you're very lucky).

    Don't discount Perish Song either. It's already a good move on Arceus (especially on stall teams), so having it rise in usage doesn't really indicate overspecialization. Going to extreme measures isn't something new in Ubers as well. If you think about the extremely low number of Ghostceus counters and Kyogre's stupidly powerful Water Spouts, specialization is already everywhere in Ubers. If this thing is going to cause a lot more overspecialization than we currently have, then we can reassess.
  12. polop

    is a Contributor Alumnus

    Apr 29, 2011
    Actually... Dragon Pulse from standard Support Dialga deals less then 50% (40.55 - 47.71%), Draco Meteor has a pretty decent chance to not 2HKO if it doesn't take Stealth Rock damage. Giratina-a can Double Team again and fish for a miss (the chances of it hitting three times in a row after two double teams is like 21%) by using it a second time and Rest the turn after. Draco Meteor also has a very good chance to not 2HKO. Keep in mind Pressure is constantly lowering the PP of these moves, making it even harder to wall when your Draco Meteor ran out of pp. I do see your point though, you could just send in a user of Outrage or something and Giratina-a will be in an unfavorable position.

    Thats not my large point though. You know better then I do Forry is notorious in Ubers for making Giratina-a its Spike fodder, with Double team, Giratina-a gets to reverse that (its arguable as to whether CM rest talk can do this too, unlike that set this set has a good bit of protection against phazers while retaining the ability to phaze). Forry will probably stay in as Giratina-a pulls of its first Double team to get that extra layer of hazards, then switch-out realizing the situation its in the second turn allowing a second Double Team. Its bulk can effectively allow it to get a third Double Team, and at that point you essentially minimized. If they send in Dialga, Giratina-a can go for another Double Team. Team's lacking a strong physical attacker will promptly be crushed.

    I wouldn't mark off this sets usefulness against HO teams either, it takes pittance from Choice Scarf Kyogre's Surf and Water Spout. It even avoids the 2HKO from specs spout meaning it can potentially pp stall that (it also avoids the 2HKO from scarfkia Spacial rend with Lefties 0_0). If you opt to run physically defensive over specially defensive you no longer fear ho-oh. It still stops Extremekiller Arceus and similar physical sweepers with Roar or Dragon Tail (well except SD Quaza but it already had issues with that). Tl;dr, it still has opportunities to find that wrong move to switch into and use to Double Team.

    I know its a good move, but being forced to run an arceus to stop that threat was awkward was basically what I meant. If we don't have species clause that may limit the diversity Arceus can potentially provide. That and the fact you allow a Giratina-a to wake up from its Rest when using Perish Song always annoyed me :(.
  13. Heroes and Cons

    Heroes and Cons

    Jan 21, 2012
    Before I get down to real commenting, I will say this: I feel that Moody is unsalvageably broken, as even something as weak as Smeargle can use it to sweep a lot of teams easily with its access to moves like Spore and Stored Power. More powerful Pokemon with access to moody, such as Octillery, are completely untouchable once set up, and often carry moves to annihilate common phazers such as Skarmory before they can stop the boosts. While I doubt it will ever be allowed in Ubers, even on certain Pokemon, I feel that Moody should not even be considered for retesting.

    As for OHKO moves, it is important to consider just how much luck is involved in them. A defensive team using bulky OHKO users such as bulky Kyogre, defensive Mew (which is definitely still viable, as it is almost a high-stats Smeargle) and bulky Groudon, has a better chance of pulling an OHKO move off than an offensive team that aims to sweep quickly. OHKO moves all have only 8 PP, and this is one of the main reasons why I do not think them broken in this metagame. Pokemon with access to Gravity, Lock-On or Mind Reader have a better chance to kill something with them, and certainly opponents will worry a lot more when those moves are used, but since Gravity still leaves them at around a 50% accuracy rate, and LO / MR are cancelled by switching out, this concvinces me that OHKO moves' 30% accuracy and 8 PP render them little more than unusable. Their downsides so far outweigh their upside that I am willing to face the risk of being OHKOed by luck, especially when Pokemon such as Kyogre and Mewtwo are so powerful that they can already OHKO a significant portion of the game using much more reliable moves such as Water Spout, Psystrike and Aura Sphere.
  14. Celestavian

    Celestavian Let the fire consume me, let the courage flow through me
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    May 23, 2010
    Pretty much everything in this thread so far is theorymon, but I might as well toss my opinions in. Still, I think this thread would hve been far more effective if it were posted after the suspect tests.

    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?

    Focus Blast and something like Sheer Cold, in my opinion, aren't really related besides the fact that they have a 30% statistic somewhere. Focus Blast is almost never an OHKO on anything due to the lack of STAB in the tier, so it needs to hit twice to make the KO. Ironically, this gives Sheer Cold the higher chance of scoring the OHKO over two turns than Focus Blast, since Focus Blast hits twice 49% of the time and Sheer Cold hits once 51% of the time over two turns. So yes, it is indeed a lot different. Whether that makes Sheer Cold broken or just makes Focus Blast a shitty move will be seen once we test the OHKO clause!

    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?

    Before people say that one Double Team boost isn't that significant, know first that one DT is equal to giving every 100% accurate move the accuracy of Will-O-Wisp. Another Double Team gives you Hypnosis-like accuracy. And it's all downhill from there. While this won't help out something super fragile like Darkrai most of the time, bulky Pokemon such as the Arceus formes could use this to great effect in theory. As for boosting attack/defense stats instead of evasion, why not do both? Double Team until your opponent misses and then do something like Swords Dance or Cosmic Power, and then you have an absolute monster.

    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?

    This ties into my last point. Having a monster on your hands sounds like any boosting sweeper, right? However, boosting evasion is completely different from boosting other stats. You can't boost your defenses willy-nilly, you have to do it when your opponent has a disadvantage. If you are using Calm Mind Kyogre and are trying to set up on Choice Band Zekrom, you are an idiot. If you are using Double Team, then with enough luck, you could set up on that and more, especially since Bolt Strike is not 100% accurate to start with. Likewise, if you let Calm Mind Kyogre set up against your Scarf Palkia locked into Surf, that's entirely your fault. However, if you are using that Choice Band Zekrom and keep missing Bolt Strike against Kyogre, whose fault is it? You couldn't blame yourself entirely, since you had no control over whether you miss or not. Boosting defenses takes patience and skill, and if you find yourself dealing no damage to a +6/+6 opponent, you let it set up! Boosting Evasion takes luck, and therein lies the difference.

    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?

    Once again, we have skill versus luck in play here. Guess how long it took to set up 6 layers of hazards. Six turns, right? In that six turns, unless you were goofing around, you could set up your own hazards, you could set up SD Arceus twice over, you could fully set up DD Rayquaza, etc. If you give your opponent six turns to do whatever they want by sitting around setting up hazards, and they don't win, then perhaps they are doing something wrong. Moody, however, takes a minimum of one turn to be effective. One thing I forgot while making this post was that Moody boosts stats by 2 stages instead of 1. That means if they snag an Evasion boost, you might as well be using Hypnosis every turn.

    About the sub-optimal point, it is true that everything with Moody is terrible. However, Baton Pass takes that restriction and throws it out the window. Smeargle can turn an annoyance into a gg just by passing its Evasion and possible Attack/Defense boosts to something like Kyogre. All of this is made worse by the fact that Moody is passive. If Moody was a move, then it would be the same thing as Acupressure, which has the same effect (it also doesn't lower your stats) and would be just as unused.

    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?

    Heal Bell, Sleep Talk, and of course not getting slept in the first place are the best ways to get around having multiple Pokemon asleep. Heal Bell suffers from poor distribution, so that's a less appealing option, as it forces you to run Chansey, or Shaymin-S, who can't spare the slot for it most of the time. Sleep Talk isn't an amazing move at all, due to its randomness. It also takes up a moveslot, making the 4MSS of some Pokemon even worse. If I have to run Sleep Talk on everything or risk me having dead weight, that leaves me 3 moveslots to work with. Why would I want to do that? As for not getting slept, I have a few options:

    -Magic Coat: A lot of users are Psychic-typed, which makes them weak to Darkrai's STAB, but for those that aren't I suppose this is a good way to burn up another moveslot.
    -Lum Berry: This works once, and while that's usually enough to defeat the frail Darkrai with something like Dialga's Draco Meteor, that's an item slot wasted that could be filled with Leftovers, a Choice item, or anything else. Lum Berry is also something I shouldn't have to run on everything just to avoid being slept to death.
    -Scarf users: You would think that outspeeding Darkrai would be an awesome choice, but alas, these are defeated by Scarf Darkrai and by Focus Sash Darkrai.

    Sleep Clause is definitely beneficial and I think the ladder will be in a sorry state once we test that out.

    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?

    No. evasion is evasion, Moody is Moody, sleep is sleep. Unless we modified the game mechanics themselves to be more competitive, then I don't think there is a way to water down the clauses to the point where some things are acceptable and some things aren't.
  15. Earthworm

    is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL and WCoP Championis the Smogon Tour Season 6 Champion

    Nov 3, 2007
    This is mostly theory, but I think one of the most important factors to be considered for all four of these clauses is that each encourages the use of Substitute.

    The turns spent boosting Evasion are obviously only going to be useful if you are able to stay alive after using them the majority of the time to take advantage of the incoming misses. Substitute gives you a potentially much larger number of chances to dodge your opponent's attacks. Other important considerations that were already mentioned are the effectiveness of passive effects such as Pressure and poison damage that can be taken advantage of even more effectively than usual.

    However, I believe that Jibaku is right when he talks about using evasion moves being a likely waste of a move slot on nearly everything that might be able to use them.

    One other thing with evasion: I am not sure how effective baton pass chains are currently in Ubers, but passing evasion is likely to make them stronger by an incredible amount given the number of times they are capable of spamming Substitute.

    As for OHKOs, Substitute basically turns them worthless if the OHKO user faces it (unless of course they just attack the sub with a normal 100 acc attack), and can also potentially be used to fire off an OHKO move without fear of fainting (e.g. Gliscor behind a sub using Guillotine on a Kyogre that switched in). This helps if they have something immune to your OHKO move that you can nail with Toxic or something (e.g. Giratina-O).

    Substitute + Sleep move is probably what breaks Sleep Clause, especially if it's on something really fast with a relatively accurate move (Darkrai). It might make Primeape viable in Ubers if removed!

    Moody obviously takes advantage of Substitute and is kind of an extension to Evasion.

    As for my general thoughts on making a competitive metagame, I don't have a problem with luck elements as long as they are not completely skewing the game towards who misses who determining the outcome.
  16. Relados

    Relados fractactical genius
    is a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Jul 9, 2012
    Moody doesn't seem all too broken to me in Ubers. The pokemon that get the ability are very weak and all except two (Remoraid and Octillery) are vulnerable to Aura Sphere, which ignores any evasion boosts and, while not learned by many pokemon, can drastically discourage using Moody. Sure, it could raise their stats to an annoying level, but so could any pokemon setting up that remains unchecked. Moody's stat raises are too random, and since it also hinders a stat each time, this can be taken advantage of early before any stat boosts raise too high.

    Applying to Double Team / Minimize as well as Moody, pokemon can run Aerial Ace, Shock Wave and Faint Attack as well as the aforementioned Aura Sphere if they fear losing to such a risky strategy - they're low power but when fighting an opponent that relies upon evasion it can easily prevent a loss.

    Mainly, the only problem with Moody I see is if Smeargle Substitute/Protects (and even stalls with Spore) and passes all the boosts to a much more powerful pokemon. This can be gamechanging, but to prevent such an event perhaps Haze on Darkrai, or Clear Smog on something like Gastrodon if the opponent lacks a Substitute, could be used to negate the boosts. Other moves like Perish Song work as well.
  17. SpecsX


    Aug 13, 2012
    I think it's a bit much to almost be required to run perfect-accuracy moves. If you do, you're using weakr moves just to hit the odd evasion booster, and if you don't, you stand a very good chance of losing to any Double Team/Minimize strategy. Aura Sphere/Thunder are exceptions. One is not widely distributed and the other is weather-dependent(although Rain is so common that Thunder isn't a complete moveslot waste much of the time). Still, Moody should stay banned. Too easy for Smeargle to pass boosts to a mon like Giratina, who is immune to Aura Sphere and resists Thuner. Evasion takes up a moveslot, but is uncompetitive as well for the reasons I mentioned earlier, imo.
  18. Parasol_Kirby


    Feb 14, 2007
    I'd have to agree with SpecsX...I'm all for testing those two clauses, but I don't believe for a second that they will become unbanned.
    As if Blissey honestly needed a way to be even more of a *****...
  19. Focus

    Focus Ubers Tester Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2010
    Yay! Just want to say right away that it's about time! As far as I know, most of these clauses are just collateral damage from OU bans (Moody being the obvious exception). So pent-up essay go! [rant]

    The Ubers metagame is characterized by its lack of concern for centralization, but there is a rather lengthy list of serious threats to consider when teambuilding, and there are likely hundreds of viable teams. How might releasing these clauses affect the metagame? Let's see....

    OHKO Clause:
    OHKO moves are terrifying for everyone involved. Outright disposing of an opposing Pokemon is a really big deal. But there's always that 70% chance that the user will miss and grant the opponent a free turn, which can be equally as devastating. OHKO moves inject a big element of luck into many matchups. Then again, not that many Pokemon can afford to run an OHKO move rather than some other option. Kyogre, Gliscor, Excadrill, Hippowdon, Groudon, and arguably Dugtrio, Lapras, and Articuno are pretty much the only Pokemon that might be a problem. Stallish Kyogre already exists, and Sheer Cold is a serious option for it. Guillotine Gliscor is interesting, but it still ultimately loses to Pressure stallers like Giratina and fast Ho-Oh. Excadrill and Groudon are usually better off just running a coverage or support move. Hippowdon too somewhat, but at least it has reliable recovery so it could work. Lapras and Articuno are just gimmicky, and they both are annihilated by Thunder and other common coverage moves. Dugtrio is if you're incredibly desperate, but if you are bold enough to use Duggy in Ubers then you might as well give it Fissure. Hardly anyone will lock themselves into Electric attacks when your opponent sees your team anyways. Since it seems unlikely that Sheer Cold Kyogre will dominate the metagame, I could easily see OHKO Clause lifted and there still being a perfectly enjoyable metagame.

    Evasion Clause:
    Pointless Brightpowder ban was pointless. But seriously, how might Double Team and Minimize affect things? First thing to note is that in Ubers, Thunder is on basically every team, and Aura Sphere is not uncommon. As other perfect-accuracy moves go, most of them have little use. Abomasnow and other Hail abusers such as Kyurem-W have Blizzard, which is cool, but Abomasnow has to really watch its step so that it doesn't die. Shadow Force has gone out of style and doesn't look like it's going back. I think I faced someone with a Faint Attack Weavile before, but lol. So the point is, the list of perfect-accuracy moves is essentially Thunder in rain, Aura Sphere, and Abomasnow's Blizzard. These are all special attacks, so that implies that Calm Mind users may have a use for it. As a veteran of Challenge Cup, I can say that evasion-boosting moves suck without a recovery move, so that only would leave one free moveslot. For most Pokemon this is a serious flaw, but some Pokemon may make it work, like Giratina or Latias. Then, there's the matter of Baton Pass chains. DT/Minimize are perfectly valid, and the fact that Roar and Whirlwind can miss is just dandy. The big hurdle is that it takes some serious time to rack up enough Evasion boosts for it to be worthwhile, but all it takes is a lucky miss to start going down the drain . If you play your cards right, then there is a very good chance that such a Pokemon can make such a stand.

    That is, unless the opponent has a certain oft-overlooked move: Perish Song. If you start boosting up, and your opponent has Perish song, then no number of Double Teams can save you from death. If you rely on evasion boosts and you opponent has an Arceus or Celebi with Perish song, you lose. Overcentralization is of no concern to Ubers, so not preparing for DT is ultimately the teambuilder's fault. Toxic can also help, as lost as the booster does not have Rest. Not being willing to give up a teamslot for a subpar Arceus or Celebi (or Meloetta or Mismagius) is like refusing to put a spinblocker on a team, except much worse. We'll just have to see, but the liability of having a Perish Song-er is essentially a question of whether is is better to have a slightly inferior team that beats gimmicks, or have a good team that allows some matches to turn into frustrating luckfests. It is probably for the best that Evasion Clause is here, but if Perish song gets popular, then Double Team and Minimize suddenly suck. The metagame will decide.

    Moody Clause:
    Ah, this takes me back when I crushed the unfortunate souls of many a new Ubers player with a Moody Octillery. Then Smeargle got released, and Moody was confirmed to be the worst thing ever in the history of competitive play, and was purposefully banned from Ubers through a battle clause. Perish Song, Toxic Spikes, and a prayer seem to be the only things that can knock out a Moody Bibarel or Octillery (Haze still is not that useful, because these Pokemon can fight back). As for Moody Smeargle, not even almighty God can help you when it sets up a sub. It's Perish Song or death. The best answer to Moody is impeccably good prediction skills, and even that usually fails. Since then, the metagame seems to have gotten less stallish, so I can see why this clause is on the table. I'm all for testing Moody again, I just don't think anything significant has changed.

    Sleep Clause:
    Ye olde Sleep Clause seems to be a bit different from the first few clauses. The only things in Ubers that would currently dare use a sleep-inducing move are Darkrai and Smeargle. Breloom could see a serious short-term rise. Parasect is interesting as well, but it is super slow. I almost forgot Jumpluff exists, but it can be equally as terrifying in the absence on Sleep Clause (especially if Evasion Clause is lifted). Brace yourself for a big metagame shift if this clause gets revoked. Everything except Wobbuffet can use Sleep Talk, so expect random Pokemon to suddenly carry it, like Ho-Oh. Rest-Talking may make a comeback, then things will carry Taunt. Alternatively, players will start slapping Lum Berry on everything...all this is metagame stuff. The big question is whether such a metagame would be at all desirable. All this based on a move with 80% accuracy. There's the chance of missing, the number of sleep turns, and the move that Sleep Talk picks. All of this leads to luck being a bigger factor in games. The big question is whether Ubers players are willing to accept that they have to run Lum Berry or Sleep Talk over "better" options. Sleep Clause is really starting to push it for removing clauses. We will be left with a StreetPKMN-like metagame, which is different to be sure, but imo not end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it terrible.

    Species Clause:
    There is the perception that Species Clause is the sole reason that Ubers is a good metagame to play in. Everything has its own list of checks and counters, some more so than others. It is the "others" that is the concern here. When a whole team is involved, there is a tendency to look and say, "Oh, my opponent has that Pokemon that my team can't handle well! Looks like I have to do A and B and hope things go smoothly." When Species Clause is taken away and you look down the barrel of 3 or 4 Arceus smiling at you in team, then you will see fear itself. But if you are smart, then you too will put the best Pokemon for the job on your team. It all cancels out. What's left though is the kind of centralization that makes players of lesser tiers weep. Since theoretically Ubers is not based on the idea of avoiding centralization, this new metagame would not be undesirable in that regard. What will happen is a brand new set of strategies centered around arguably the most terrifying Pokemon in existence: Arceus.

    The funny thing about team preview is that it shows you all the Pokemon on the opponent's team right down to the forme except for you-know-who. And each type of Arceus plays differently! Arceus can assume any type it wishes complete with a prepackaged base 100 STAB move, a deep movepool, and base 120 stats all around. Each Arceus forme plays like a different Pokemon, and team preview utterly fails. Even though Arceus is really good, it would be foolish to use an all Arceus team. Why? Because there are many roles that teams enjoy that cannot be filled by Arceus. I could see a decent player using up to 3 Arceus formes. Any more than that means kicking off a more useful teammate. Arceus does not have the tankiness of Giratina, the immediate field support of Kyogre, and so on. Extremekiller is a big metagame force. It can be checked and even countered, but it takes its toll on most teams. With the right set and support, a +2 Arceus can take down literally anything before being KOed. Having multiple Extremekillers to play with can get ugly really fast. So everyone is forced to constantly put pressure on Extremekiller to keep from getting swept. In truth, this could be said about many Ubers Pokemon.

    Enough about Arceus, back to Species Clause. So it centralizes the metagame, which Ubers players aren't supposed to care about. What's the big fuss about then? No matter how broken a team is, you can always answer it with the exact same team. That's what I think is the real thing to be cautious of. If it gets to the point where the metagame is essentially one team, then it turns the competitive game of Pokemon and turns each game into a big coinflip. If people wanted that, then they would play a game like War rather than Pokemon. That is why too much centralization is a bad thing, even in Ubers. But I have a hard time believing that that would be the eventual outcome if Species Clause were removed. It might shake up the metagame by introducing exciting new tactics and strategies, so taking advantage of concealing team members and overall skill would be even more rewarded. Alternatively, it might destroy the diversity of Ubers and thus make battling less fun and more of a chore. In my opinion, it is more likely that eliminating Species Clause would bring about more harm than good. But as always I am excited to test this stuff out for real. The future is awesome! [/rant]
  20. syrim

    syrim 1x1x1x1x1x1x1x1x1x1

    Sep 12, 2009
    In my opinion, the debate between what creates an enjoyable metagame, a competitive metagame, and the extent to which these terms are synonymous will likely define many of the upcoming suspect tests.

    Many players consider luck reliant strategies aspects of a metagame that is not enjoyable, and detrimental to skilled players. But at what point does gambling on moody boosts, OHKO attacks, or evasion moves, become managing a situation to create the most favorable odds? Many players also consider the disadvantage of one playstyle over another to be aspects of a metagame that is not enjoyable, such as the likelihood of OHKO clause making stall less viable, or the moody clause favoring teams capable of carrying toxic spikes, or a multitude of perfect accuracy moves. But it is entirely possible, and likely even, that some if not all of these clauses will be found to be unbroken in the current metagame.

    The OHKO clause is an excellent example of this problem.

    As poppy states, we have already done some small amount of testing with this particular clause, and its effects seem predictable. A well built team, one that is theoretically equipped to handle offense, at the expense of being weak to stall-esque cores, could easily pack a defensively useful pokemon carrying a OHKO moves, such as the obvious Sheer Cold Kyogre, or sub excadrill, sub taunt gliscor, and especially lapras. The inclusion of these pokemon that are bulky, hard to beat with passive damage if not immune to it, who all also bring great utility, it seems certain that stall's ability to maintain its defensive core will suffer. Latias, who surely loses to sheer cold Kyogre without Thunder/Grass Knot, Grassceus cannot OHKO bulky kyogre, gastrodon and Gira-a become completely unviable as checks, Sub Excadrill and Gliscor obviously have many opportunities to set up versus balanced and defensive teams, and lapras has full recovery in its preferred weather, as well as good bulk.

    It seems obvious that the removal of OHKO clause will put defense on the backfoot, but is that neccesarily uncompetitive?

    While offense has gotten faster and faster, many players still prefer to handle these threats by utilizing balance or stall and manage their risk more successfully. I would certainly agree with the statement that OHKO teams will have a worse match up against very offensive teams. As you say, missing a single move against an offensive team could certainly spell doom for a user completely reliant on a OHKO move hitting, which is not something well put together OHKO teams will suffer from I think, but against a stall team with Sp Def gira-a, Chansey, Thunder/Grass Knotless Latias, or even Ferrothorn should scald burn, these chances to attempt to score a free kill will abound. But does the lessening of a playstyle's viability, stall in this case, constitute something being broken?

    Firstly, gliscor would not likely lose to gira-a or ho-oh. It could certainly ensure beating ho-oh, as speed creeping is not really a viable way for ho-oh to avoid a OHKO from something naturally faster than it, especially when bulk is at least as important to ho-oh as it is to gliscor. Gira-a and Skarmory potentially could, but if one ran a simple set of Taunt/sub/OHKO/toxic, your opponent would have to run a sub par moveset to do so. For instance HP Ice skarm would be neccesary, or Dragon pulse/shadow ball gira-a.

    I disagree that lapras is in anyway gimmicky. It possesses status immunity and enough power to threaten sturdy users, a OHKO move with no imunities, as well as instant recovery if you have rain down, which is more than enough to beat almost any stall team. The point is not that there are relatively few extremely viable users of OHKO moves, it is that these few sort of seem tailor made to pick apart a certain play style, which may our may not be an issue to our playerbase.

    I think an important distinction that has been missed in the evalutation of the Evasion clause is its ability to lessen or even remove the effects of the physical and special attacking spectrums. If one chooses to use Calm mind, you are still weak to physical attacks, to an extent, and the uncommon bulk up would obviously face the reverse issue.For instance, Kyogre has always been one of the most difficult Pokemon to outright KO, as almost any attack, even SE thunders will fail to beat it because of its excellent Sp Def. I think less emphasis has been placed on the use of Evasion moves on Pokemon that already hit extremely hard, and have limited weaknesses/counters as opposed to slower boosters who often cannot afford to drop a move. Palkia is another great example of this, much better than kyogre in practice. A Palkia carrying Double team and finding a free turn against offense, which is not difficult considering how many threats it can force out, and kyogre's prevalence, could be very threatening, as it is capable of OHKOing a large portion of offensive teams, and can take advantage of it's typing to both grab boosts, and avoid being OHKOd by perfect accuracy moves. Dialga is also in pretty much the same boat, with excellent bulk, typing and power. It is easy to say that palkia would simply be better off attacking in that turn, but in a free turn that one does not want to predict versus an offensive team, is it an aspect of an "uncompetitive metagame" to create a luck reliant situation that could turn to a huge advantage for the player? Is this worth the turn that could have been spent predicting, a risky pastime as we all know. I think only testing can answer this.

    Although I certainly agree with Jibaku's point that you cannot retain offensive power, type coverage, or utility while using evasion, forcing certain teams, particurally offensive ones in this case, to sac multiple members to a potential case of bad luck that cannot easily be managed by including perfect accuracy moves. The question of whether missing an attack and "doing pitiful damage to boosted defenses" misses the way many players choose to deal with defense uppers, in my opinion, by hitting them on their weaker side, which evasion can potentially remove, and reduce viable ways of beating these pokemon to perfect accuracy moves, should they be effective against these particular threats, and multiple attacking turns, which could be very costly to your team against offensive evasion boosters should you not be able to wall them/KO immediately.

    In terms of Species Clause, I believe that all playstyles will be impacted evenly. Stall can potentially run multiple defensive arceus forms to deal with strategies like double Quaza, or similar trickery, and almost all uber Pokemon have a hard counter regardless of their moveset, so strategies like Overheat exkiller+shadow force exkiller, would still lose to WallCeus though they lure and beat usual hard counters like Gira-a and Skarmory. Offense will obviously benefit as well, as it can literally stack the same pokemon, maybe even changing movesets to beat counters. These two effects are rather polarizing. One is the definition of safe play, while the other is the best example of risk vs reward, and encouraging prediction, guess work, and mind games. This is the one clause I would propose a potential limit to. In my opinion, all of the above effects, which could encourage more thought, and be characteristics of an enjoyable metagame, can be expierenced by the metagame with a limit of two pokemon of the same species on the same team. This would remove potential strategies such as teams of six arceus, but still allow players to teambuild more creatively. With this limit, I think the clause removal could actually provide more diversity to the playstyles and team selection of many Ubers players . Obviously a separate test would have to be done for removing the entire clause, but in my opinion this would be a secondary step.
  21. His Eminence Lord Poppington II

    His Eminence Lord Poppington II proverb:the fish who eats most dies still too
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Jul 29, 2010
    While the rest of your post is very good, I do want to address this part, the underlined lines in particular.

    This brings up the largest points of contention: do we aim for an enjoyable metagame, or a metagame where everything that isn't 'broken' is allowed? Limiting the clauses is, at first glance, going against the principality of the second point. Disregarding the fact that it could very well be the objective limit of broken-ness, it is, at this point, an arbitrary limit that could very easily be applied in other forms to the other clause; let us say that we were to allow Moody without Smeargle, or perhaps raise sleep clause's limit to two Pokemon instead of one. Complex bans are generally frowned upon because they are, as true to their namesake, complex; simplicity is something Smogon strives for. However, as outlined in this post - http://www.smogon.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4371520&postcount=25 concerning the controversial SS + Drizzle ban

    The problem here being that we aren't making a complex ban for something that is allowed, we're modifying an existing ban to a complex one. As it stands, issues of conveyance in analyses regarding our existing complex ban have already been brought to light as seen in this post - http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103058 and if we add onto that by altering clauses to suit our forever nebulous 'desirable' metagame we are exasperating that problem and creating something highly artificial that deviates from playing 'Pokemon'.
  22. syrim

    syrim 1x1x1x1x1x1x1x1x1x1

    Sep 12, 2009

    This, the underlined section, is essentially what the subject of my many of my posts so far, and I'm glad to see it has finally sparked some discussion. At what point do "competitive" and "enjoyable" come together? If we determine something such as a fully removed species clause to be broken, is it worth testing an alternative that can potentially provide a more "enjoyable" metagame, at the cost of complexity?

    On the one hand, I completely agree with you as a matter of principle. Complex bans like these could be applied to any of the above clauses. But I disagree with the terming of this as "arbitrary".

    Keep in mind that I called for a testing of a fully removed species clause before this is even considered. My post on species clause was really attempting to highlight a modification in response to bojangles that would allow the good effects of the clause to be experienced, while simultaneously removing a gamebreaking effect, or turn off to most players in simpler terms, and not being too complex or arbitrary. The number I landed on is not really arbitrary. It allows offense to double up on threats and utilize creative teambuilding, and for defensive players to essentially utilize two arceus and/or giratina forms, which should be enough to check most of offense's advantage in that case. This seems like similar logic to what was used to keep rain and swift swimmers in OU. Allow for the positive effects, such as diversity of playstyle, to be experienced to the greatest extent without letting them be, objectively, broken.

    If we really intend to start with a fresh slate, and are already breaking an ingame challenge mechanic with any kind of removal of this particular clause, "arbitrary" seems a poor argument. We have added restrictions to ingame challenge mechanics in the past, but never subtracted them. It is impossible for me to deny that similar "arbitrary" limits could be added to the other clauses, and I would not try. But, if we are to use the basis of precedent, as I've addressed, complex bans such as Aldaron's proposal attempt at least to have the best of both worlds.

    Also you must keep in mind that if ANY of these clauses are to be removed, it is extremely easy to use the point's highlighted in your quoted posts. A metagame without sleep clause or species clause will be completely new, unfamiliar, and confusing to any player. Clauses have always been the one thing consistent throughout tier, and to argue that complexity is a basis for keeping new players out when considering their removal is tough. A tier without sleep clause, or OHKO clause, evasion clause, andespecially species clause, will not, and cannot resemble any other in terms of playstyle, teambuilding, or prediction.

    In short, I do not believe that in relation to clauses complexity is a purely valid argument, seeing as it is unlikely that all clauses will be removed, and that some of these clauses are consistent with Nintendo rule sets. I think that with proper testing, a relatively simple complex ban could prove to be what is best for the tier, though I disagree with complex bans in principle, and would avoid them if a suitable alternative proved available through testing.
  23. polop

    is a Contributor Alumnus

    Apr 29, 2011
    Err Syrim, if your going to question what point competitive and enjoyable combine and what a competitive metagame is, I reccomend you read this. Granted, it is heavily opinionated and biased, but this is the closest thing you have to unbiased -_-.

    I really think we need a species clause unban to save us from this. Celebi MIGHT gain a niche, but its niche level will be on par with Gastrodon. Being forced to run a Celebi or Support Arceus is actually a huge burden IMO. Support Arceus being mandatory takes away from the "variety" of a metagame really, that is unless Species Clause is allowed.

    Putting back Species Clause actually initially sounds like a good idea to me, not only does it increase "variety" but the fact you can use multiple Great Walls and multiple Offensive mons sounds like a great trade off, however I honestly don't think stall benefits from this at all. It is for this reason that I say we keep species clause banned (Now if things go the other way during Suspect Testing I will gladly eat my words).

    Stall teams have to be under pressure from something extreme (ex: Specs Kyogre) to type-stack weaknesses, and Species Clause actually encourages this type-stacking. Combine this with the fact stall often relies on only one Pokemon to check / counter something, then the fact the counter basically gets weakened from the random mon it was supposed to wall. Then the other mon it was supposed to safeguard can basically have a free-day. You might say you can run two of those walls to safeguard yourself from that one mon, but at that point stall has opened itself to so many other threats... this sounds really vague at first so I'll try to provide an example using one of the most feared sweepers in the game, Dragon Dance Rayquaza. Now lets say Offense decides to use two Rayquaza and they are paired up against a Lugia. Lugia can probably handle one of the Rayquaza, tanking the Outrage and OHKOing back with Ice Beam. It will be weakened but at least it did its job (no it can't reflect because its 2HKOed by it after Rocks). Wait, this means I can just switch-in my second Rayquaza, easily set up a Dragon Dance again, and go to town / sweep. This is only assuming they ran the same set, what if one was used as a lure for the other? What if someone deliberately ran a Mix Quaza so that it could break holes so that the other Dragon Dance Quaza could sweep? What if we had one Extremekiller Arceus running Life Orb with Overheat and the other using a standard set? You might say this can be migitated by running two Lugia, but then what about the stuff Lugia doesn't wall? If you have two lugia, you have to have hazard support, a spin blocker, and a revenge killer. Thats only ONE free mon leftover. Stall cannot cover the rest of its threats with just "one" mon. There's little doubt in my mind at least that stall would have trouble staying alive, meaning this reduces the "variety" and "balance" of the metagame. The reason for unbanning this clause was to promote it but in hindsight it does the exact contrary, does it not? Therefore, if banning Species clause leaves the metagame out of balance, it is difficult to ban Evasion Clause as its only reliable counter is Perish Song, and stuffing that on to a team reduces "variety". The only way it wouldn't break this variety is if Species Clause is active, but turning that clause on breaks the metagame more. Of course this is all theorymon, I will gladly eat my words if the exact opposite of my theorymon comes true during Suspect tests.

    Since it decreases the "balance" of the metagame I'm opinionated to say yes. We already had some people testing this out too, so I can kinda use that for evidence I suppose.

    Not only that but if you give a mon the ability to completely rid itself of a counter list doesn't that sound a bit unfair? Sheer Cold's underwhelming accuracy may make a point here, but at the end of the day, to quote from the ibo thread
    Not to mention the chances of its counter dying on the second turn is higher then 50%. That means whatever coming in has to be able to OHKO Kyogre on the spot the turn it comes in to actually reliably "check" it if we assume "check" = something that works against a mon 50% of the time or more. Oh and there is no Specs Ogre check that can satisfy this condition, great Kyogre now has no counters that can switch into it should Stealth Rock be on the field. Yes, I'm biased and again I will gladly eat my words if proven wrong during Suspect Testing.

    I may edit more into this post later.
  24. Hugendugen

    Hugendugen Noam Chompsky.
    is a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnus

    Apr 20, 2009
    As others have pointed out, the result of these suspect tests will essentially come down to how we approach the notion of what’s desirable in a competitive metagame and hence what needs to be banned. Like I suggested here I think that in principle there are two conditions for something to be banned: one, that it’s broken or two, that it significantly skews the metagame in an overly undesirable direction.

    Now whether or not something is broken is a reasonably simple concept to understand. I’d define something as broken if it was able to perform in its role, be it sweeping, defending, or laying hazards, in such a manner that it cannot be stopped without either considerable measures such as niche pokemon or extreme luck; alternatively, having the flexibility to operate 2 or more sets that have completely different checks / counters and can force a win condition of its own in very few turns.

    On the other hand, “significantly skews the metagame in an overly undesirable direction” is a far more troubling notion to handle. As opposed to the relative objectivity of something being ‘broken’, this second criterion oozes with subjectivity. Simply defining something as undesirable is in and of itself subjective, but even more so when we need to further distinguish the level to which we’re willing to accept an ‘undesirable’ influence. However, even if this is subjective and difficult to quantify, I still feel that it’s crucial to take into consideration, for the health of the metagame. As I’m sure is the case for most of us ubers players, I’d prefer that we banned as little as possible and as a result, I’d argue that something needs to be extremely undesirable for it to warrant a ban. We shouldn't ban things purely to make the metagame ‘fun’, we should ban things that distinctly make it ‘not fun’.

    Obviously none of us can really predict what the suspect tests will show us, but I think it's vital that before we actually start, we establish what it is that we want out of these tests and what it is that we want from the metagame.

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