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The merciless hax in RBY [QC 0/3]

Discussion in 'Articles and Letters' started by Joim, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Joim

    Joim All promises become a lie, all that's bening corrups in time
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    Introduction
    We all know about hax. Remember that time you were going to win but you were fully paralysed and critted in a row? Or that one time when that fast Pokémon critted four times in a row, sweeping the remains of my otherwise winning team? So do I. It's one of the first things you learn about in competitive play, it's one of the first things you read whines about, and be damn sure it will most likely be the first thing you whine about if you are new to the competitive world of Pokémon. Well, if you never played RBY, be warned: it's the most luck-based generation and you must always account for the dreaded hax. It was definitely a very different game than the one we know today.

    The causes
    If you don't play RBY often, you might wonder why hax is so present. For starters, critical hits are calculated on base speed. That means that several critical hits are bound to happen in any given battle. This mechanic shaped the metagame, giving a huge advantage to faster Pokémon, like Tauros, which can crit a 21.5% of the times. Moreover, high critical rate moves have a chance to crit so close to 100% that they basically always crit. Persian is the best user of this tactic, breaking physical walls like Reflect Alakazam with its powerful Slash. That's only the beginning. Freezed Pokémon never thaw unless you are naïve enough to hit them with a Fire-type attack or use Haze while they are one the field, and none is really common in RBY OU. That means that if a Pokémon is frozen by the 10% chance on either Ice Beam or Blizzard, both of them common, it's basically dead. It's only useful to use it as a fodder or pivot; if it's active, to keep hold of Freeze Clause so your Chansey is not frozen too. Moreover, paralysis is the most prevalent status in RBY, it's very common to spread it to all the Pokémon you can; that translates to fully paralyzed being really common, in some battles it get as common as attacking! But that's not all, since common used moves have secondary effects, especially Body Slam, that paralyses, and Psychic, which lowers Special; both have a 30% chance for their secondary effect to happen, just as Scald in gen 5. We all know what that means. In case that all wasn't enough, unless you're using Swift all moves have a 1/256 chance to miss regardless of their accuracy, which, despite being a very small chance, you can expect these misses over the time and they can be gamebreaking. If you sum that all, you have a great chance for some kind of hax to occur.

    Dealing with hax and its consquences
    If you think you are winning a match, think it again. There's still chance of a comeback if there's a single Pokémon alive. Imagine you're up with your Tauros against the opposing Tauros—diverse teams are out of the question in RBY—, you're ready to attack. Well, you get that 1/256 chance and your Body Slam misses while the opposing Tauros' attack crits and paralyzes you. Your Tauros is done and the remnants of your team are all slower than Tauros. Normally, you would be able to deal with it, right? Well, it's not the case. That hax costs you the game because Tauros can KO all your remaining Pokémon with a non-recharging Hyper Beam since they are all at half their max HP or less. Good game! In fact, a critical hit Hyper Beam from Tauros can OHKO most Pokémon, so even a healthy Alakazam could be dead stopped easily. Since critical hits are more common, it's also more common for them to be game changing. You could be setting up an Amnesia Slowbro, ready to sweep, but then a critical Thunderbolt from Zapdos can throw all your work to the dustbin, getting through the Special boosts and KOing your Slowbro.

    That's it. In RBY, missing a move can be really game changing. AgiliWrap Dragonite, basically unstoppable in paper, can be easily obliterated if he fails Wrap a single time. That single fail is enough to paralyze, KO it with Blizzard, or maybe even freeze it. Sleeping it could mean you get rid of it, but sleep is more random in RBY as well: it might last just one turn. So, even if you risk it by having the fastest sleeper, Gengar, and do not miss the Hypnosis, which is almost as probable as hitting it, the sleep might just last a move and the next Hypnosis might fail, leading to a clean KO by a powerful STAB Earthquake. That's why sometimes you should rely on other sleepers such as Jynx or Exeggutor, who will fail less times.

    You will also be in disadvantage if you lose the Sleep lead war, which happens often due to the shaky accuracy of the Sleep moves available. The only way to take advantage of it is to use it to take incoming Thunder Waves or to take resisted attacks, but that can lead to bad match ups. In the meanwhile, turns will run for its sleep counter and, since its not reset upon switch out, it will finally get awake. You need to avoid paralysis like the plague, while trying to inflict it to every Pokémon you can!

    Of course, the most common and most infuriating form of hax in RBY is your Pokémon being fully paralysed. Paralysis spread is one of the most common tactics, so it's only natural that this side effect of paralysis is seen very, very often. It's almost granted that you'll suffer this at least once in a row. Imagine both teams end up with the same setup of Alakazam, Chansey, Tauros, and Exeggutor paralysed. Given a similar skill, it's luck that will decide the outcome of a match. Want to Explode on that Chansey's fat face? Nope. Exeguttor is fully paralysed and KOd by a nasty Ice Beam. What happens next? Your Tauros is fully paralysed too and dies to yet anoter Ice Beam, which this time is a critical hit. There, two 25% chances just decided that you must lose. You should always take into account this and try the most safe route. Sometimes, you just have to rely on luck to win. In an endgame where it's just an unstatused Chansey against unstatused Chansey, both will spam Ice Beam aiming for the game-deciding freeze. Freeze basically means KO, so Ice Beam spam fishing for one is seen too. The first one to freeze or the last one to use its last PP will win.

    Conclusion
    To play RBY, you must accept its haxy nature. All teams will look very similar, so you will need extra skill and extra luck to have an advantage on any opponent. Sometimes you will lose to it, sometimes you'll win to it, so it's kinda a status quo. Due to RBY's luck oriented nature, it's best to consider all options and outcomes every turn. Every time you switch an unstatused Chansey into Starmie, there's that 10% chance that it will be frozen and you have to take it into account. When you switch your Exeggutor or Starmie into a fresh Tauros, that might mean they get paralysed and KO'd on the next turn, or simply critted. A good RBY player will always take into account all these chances: 10% freeze chance, 25% fully paralysed chance, and 30% secondary effect from moves chance. They all add up and they can always happen. You must know when to rely on them and when to not to risk them back. Try not to tempt the luck, though, Chansey will not want to face Ice Beams or Blizzards and a Hyper Beam crit from Tauros can really ruin your day; and sometimes you are using that Tauros and you need to risk it and try to crit to win a battle. Risk it when necessary and have fun!
  2. Crystal_

    Crystal_
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    Just saw this and don't have a lot of time now, but some things that come to mind is that you could maybe emphasize more on FPs and maybe talk about Chansey 50/50 freeze wars. It think you can remove the mention to 100% critting moves, since if they crit 255/256 it's not a big deal as far as hax is concerned. Keep the reference to 1/256 chance to miss though, since those are always funny. Happen a lot more often than crit moves not critting, because Slash, Razor Leaf and Crabhammer are pretty uncommon after all.
  3. tehy

    tehy

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    You start out by saying "we all know about hax". So I guess maybe this is unwarranted, but perhaps a quick explanation of what hax actually is might help you out? even just a quick anecdote "Like that time X got paralysed, or critted, and it cost you a match" or something.
  4. Joim

    Joim All promises become a lie, all that's bening corrups in time
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    Updated OP taking into account two previous posts, I will take another look when I can :)
  5. Crystal_

    Crystal_
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    Oh, I'll give this a read and comment it later today whenever I have time. Sorry that I had forgotten about this >.>


    This is still extremely unlikely even from a rby standpoint! I'd change it to something like a crit and a fp in a row, which honestly happens quite often and can be quite devastating as well depending on when does it occur.

    I'm partial to just remove this. I mean, if something has a (very close to) 100% chance to happen, i doesn't depend on luck right?

    change it to "the most prevalent status" or something similar. I mean, freeze is still the best status!

    25% to 75% after all, so I'm not totally sure about that "almost as common". Maybe reword this sentence a bit?

    maybe add something like "despite being a very small chance, over time 1/256 misses will happen and expect them to be potentially gamebreaking". You know, I expect 1/256 to look extremely unlikely at first glance for the reader, so it'd probably be cool to emphasize that 255 misses actually happen from time to time!

    remove freeze imo. You go for the 4x effective hit, but not for the freeze, it's just too situational. Paralysis is another story because its a 100%/75% status and really cripples dragonite.

    I think this doesn't exactly have to do with hax. And you know, you probably shouldn't be suggesting to switch sleeping pokemon very often because that could easily lead to bad matchups; it sometimes works if you only do it a few punctual times but it's not something you should do repetitively. It's okay to talk about sleep duration and accuracy though, since this has more to do with luck.


    Maybe crit thunderbolts breaking through Amnesia Slowbro wouldn't hurt as a quick note somewhere. Oh and that, as a fallback, a crit hyper beam from tauros can KO pretty much anything. You, know maybe just as a quick comment that could go in the second-to-last paragraph. Just a couple of ideas.

    I think the conclusion should include something about the fact that due to the luck-oriented nature of RBY, it's important to consider your options in each turn taking into account all the possible outcomes. That is, for example, you should consider that everytime you switch Chansey into Starmie it's probably a 10% chance that you'll end up frozen. When you switch your Exeggutor or Starmie into a fresh Tauros, well, do it at your own risk. And that's why people whine and get mad, because they simply think the effect is so small that shouldn't happen. With the 10% freeze chances, the 25% fp chances, the 30% secondary effect chances etc being all present very often, a good rby player should always take into account the possibility of all these effects happening. A good player should know the position he is at, to know when to rely on a 25% or 30% chance, and when not to risk them back.


    That's all. Pretty long post I know :P Hopefully it helps. Good job with the letter!
  6. Joim

    Joim All promises become a lie, all that's bening corrups in time
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    Heh, I went on holidays and totally forgot about this one. I've updated the OP, thanks for the input, Crystal_!

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