VGC 17 Discussion Thread

#1
So while we technically speaking don't have the full VGC 17 ruleset yet (we don't know all of the legendaries that are banned, etc.), we did recently get to know a lot of interesting things about the rules. Here is the full article about it. We know these things about the VGC 17 rules:
  • The format is limited to Pokémon that appear in the Alola Region Pokédex (excluding some Legendary and Mythical Pokémon, including but not limited to Solgaleo, Lunala, and Magearna).
  • Mega Stones are not allowed
  • Z Crystals (aka Z moves) are allowed
  • Only Pokemon from Sun and Moon are allowed (essentially the gen 7 version of the pentagon rule from this gen)
  • 10 minute player time system
To expand a bit on the 10 minute player time system, it basically is as follows: Similarly to chess, each player has a total of 10 minutes to make all of their moves throughout the battle, and you have a total of 60 seconds each turn to make you decission.

How do you think these changes will affect the metagame, most notably the chess style timer and Z moves?
 
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#2
A lot of people on Twitter seem to be extremely excited that there are no Megas allowed in VGC17

though I'm sad that I won't be able to use Mega Charizard Y :(

The chess timer system looks interesting, I don't really have tons of input on it except that it looks like it'll eliminate timer stalling as a win condition.

I don't think we really know enough about Z Moves at this point in time to be guessing how it'll affect the meta.
 

idiotfrommars

HODOR HODOR HODOR
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#4
I'm very glad that mega's wont be in this edition of VGC. Ever since XY came out the mega-game has been centralized around a few key megas that blew the others out of the water. I think removing them for this edition opens up the chance for more diversity and more innovation as a Pokemon won't be invalidated if it runs into issues with the few powerful megas that are on pretty much every team.
 

TheMantyke

what if he kicks the ghost
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#5
A little conflicted on the Mega decision myself. It's a shame the power gap between Megas is so extreme. Several viable and interesting megs that were no where close to Mega Kanga levels like Blastoise and Manectric have to sit out for a round. Still, I suppose the focus this time is on Z-moves and Alola Pokemon, so it only makes sense.

On the subject of Z-moves, I keep thinking back to nuclear hits like Dragon Gem Draco Meteors from 2012 and 2013 whenever I see them. It'll be interesting to see how they'll be balanced and whether or not we'll all be EVing to survive one very specific hit from one Pokemon again like with Latios.

The QR system is such an awesome way to show off / share teams! What a great way to get people to try the rule set without having to breed / train a bunch of Pokemon first.

Really, really excited for VGC 2017!
 

Hulavuta

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#6
I will be definitely playing VGC this season, I've told Psynergy and lucariomaster2 to make sure that I do.

I think Megas being gone is definitely a good thing. Mega Charizard is one of my favorite Pokemon, but I think the benefits outweigh the detriments so I'm cool with it. Anything that brings the power creep down and allows me to make more mistakes is a good thing in my book :heart:

There's still a lot left unknown, and I don't think we'll really get a good idea of what the meta will look like until we see the full Alola dex, but hopefully there will be a lot of diversity in this and hopefully Tyranitar is in Alola and is good.

All in all, I'm really excited for this. I'm looking forward to seeing how the VGC section grows under new management too! :heart:
 
#7
I like: No megas and alolan Pokedex
I dislike: New timer and Z moves

Overall, I think the format is an improvement over ones we've seen in the recent past. I really disliked the power creep that mega evolution brought to the metagame, and I'm therefore glad to see that Pokemon like Mega Kangaskhan have been eliminated. I do echo TheMantyke's sentiment that having Pokemon such as Blastoise and Manectric sit on the bench this year is a notable downside, though. I think we all anticipated an Alolan Pokedex format prior to this announcement, but it's nice to see it confirmed. VGC '14 was a great year for bringing some underused faces to the forefront, and I expect VGC '17 to be a repeat performance in that respect; I can't see Pokemon such as Landorus and Thundurus being legal. The new timer is my biggest gripe with what we've seen so far. I think a lot of the criticism timer stalling has gotten recently has been from players newer to the format, and I feel as though TPCI are unduly caving into the masses with this change. At a cursory glance, the new timer appears to flip stall teams featuring moves like Minimize from being poor to great, as a stall player can select their moves quickly and end up with a late game win condition regardless of the opponent's remaining Pokemon where they didn't have one before. I don't like Z moves simply because I think they're unnecessary power creep, but given that they're nowhere near as potent as megas, I'm not freaking out about them.
 

Nails

Nuke the Weebs
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#8
The news released today confirmed a lot of details about VGC 2017. The most interesting part of this to me is the existence of a "10-minute player time system". While vague, a separate article goes into a bit more detail, though it still leaves some questions unanswered. The relevant bit about the timer is:
“Your Time” System for Rating Battles

A new system being introduced to the battle time settings is “Your Time.” When using this method of time accounting, players will have a maximum of 60 seconds each turn to select a move or Pokémon, and they will also each be awarded 10 minutes of “Your Time.” Under these rules, if a player runs out of their 10 minutes before the battle ends, that player loses the match. This will mean matches can be decided more quickly than in the past, allowing players to enjoy thrilling battles.
The time rules are (probably intentionally) left vague to the exact mechanics of the battle timer. There are a number of interpretations, which are the following:

A: The clock runs during move animations
B: The clock does not run during move animations with a separate time cap for games
C: The clock does not run during move animations with a separate time cap for rounds
D: The clock does not run during move animations without a separate time cap for rounds

Each of these scenarios has some unpleasant side effects for live VGC events.
The clock runs during move animations
In this interpretation of the timer rules, a player who gains a lead on time but would lose if the game were extended to have no time control would win. An example of why this is problematic can be seen in this game featuring Simple Beam, Minimize, Stockpile, and Psych Up.

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/battlespotdoubles-450323120

In past vgc rulesets, strategies like this are unviable because a player taking 45 seconds per turn can stall out 15 minutes of clock before the Minimize user can set up their sweep. A better example is a combination of Markus' tweet and the Muk team, where a Simple Chansey sets up Minimizes and spams Softboiled until the game ends; I don't have any replays available of that team in action but it exists. Anyway, if the player can ensure that the game reaches timer, the fact that an equal amount of time is burned from each player during moves would award the win to whichever player moved more quickly. This means that if a maxed out evasion Chansey can make it to the end of a game against 4 Pokemon, it wins the battle 1-4 assuming that the Chansey user played to their win condition of "make moves as quickly as possible".

This interpretation is the most likely in my opinion (others strongly disagree on it), and isn't inherently damaging to the circuit. However, it gives stalling tactics a large boost to viability, which both makes the game boring to watch and competitively less interesting. Players would adapt to evasion being commonplace, the game would become less fun in my opinion, but tournaments would run smoothly, albeit with the addition of a lot of extra salt directed at missed moves. Playing quickly/rushing moves to prevent falling behind on time may become a common strategy, and may cause more misplays/sloppy game management than we've seen in the past even if evasion is not played much.
  • Interpretation B: Useless Clock is Useless
The clock does not run during move animations with a separate time cap for games
In this scenario, the game clock would still end the game after a set period of time, the individual time cap for players would act as an extra lose condition. This is the interpretation which would be closest to the old set of rules. It depends completly on numbers for the game clock to decide if this system has problems but it's hard to imagine the game clock being less than 20 minutes. With a 15 minute game clock, a player would only be required to experience 5 minutes of animations per battle, which could see games end on timer in as few as 10 turns (especially if animations are as lengthy... Z-Moves have indicated that long animations will continue to be a recurring theme). A clock of 20 minutes with a 10 minute turn timer is a pretty good compromise competitively, but that gives up 5 extra minutes per battle over the gen 6 timer, and Regionals already have a tendency to run long with 15 minute games. An extra potential 15 minutes per round over 8 rounds of swiss is an extra 2 hours to play out a tournament. To take the most recent regional in Phoenix for an example, Swiss on Saturday started at 11:30am and ended at 7:50pm. Adding an extra couple hours onto the event doesn't make it unplayable but it's definitely more of a grinding, stamina-based tournament. A clock over 20 minutes makes regionals more of a slog than they would be otherwise, as maintaining razor-sharp focus over 12 hours is a difficult feat.

It's hard to say how this interpretation of the clock mechanics would end up, because of the unknown length of time games will last. However, the change seems pretty unnecessary in most interpretations, and the move timer would simply exist as a loss condition people rarely hit. 10 minutes over the course of an individual 4v4 doubles game is a lot of time. I would prefer this interpretation of the 10 minute move clock to any of the others, probably with a 16-18 minute game clock (because a 15 minute clock is too easily stalled I think). I don't think it's likely that GameFreak would put 3 different timers on the screen to keep track of (your time, your opponent's time, and the game time) though.

  • Interpretation C: We TCG Boys
The clock does not run during move animations with a separate time cap for rounds
This interpretation would probably require Judges to call games when the round hit time. We might see an introduction of the "3 turn rule", which for those not familiar with TCG means that the game will end after 3 turns have passed (whoever has the lead on prizes is declared the victor) [edit: apparently the 3 turn rule states that if no one has taken all of the prizes the game is a draw, so the comparison isn't as strong.] The consequences from this would probably mean both players click run to activate tiebreakers or judges walk around to unfinished battles to manually apply tiebreakers. If there were too many matches for all of the judges to get to in the 60 seconds before everyone's games auto-selected a move for them that could lead to some comical scenarios over judges running around the room to quickly determine game states... but mostly I'm not a fan of the fact that a third game in a bo3 could be determined with a different ruleset from the first two (because of the potential for the game to be decided on tiebreakers rather than play ingame). There's also the potential for a set to be dragged out long enough that tiebreakers are applied in the second game of a bo3, resulting in a draw. Draws exist in TCG and aren't inherently bad, but, I'd prefer to have them be nearly impossible in scenarios that don't include mirror matches.

I don't think this scenario is very likely, it would create awkward logistics for live tournaments and only seems likely as an ad hoc solution to interpretation D. Given the choice between interpretation C and D I would prefer C, but I still don't like it.

  • Interpretatation D: Stall is Life
The clock does not run during move animations without a separate time cap for rounds
This is the conclusion I jumped to upon seeing the rules. The only end to the game is through mons fainting or either player spending 10 minutes to make their moves over the course of a game. An autopilot stall team with this interpretation of the timer mechanics is free to spend 50+ turns setting up its win condition as long as it selects moves quickly. This isn't bad competitively; I like stall as a playstyle, but issues arise when a game takes a half hour to complete. It's not unreasonable to spend twice as long watching move animations, and in best of 3 swiss, if one person takes an hour and a half to complete their matches, 8 rounds of Swiss could extend from a long but reasonable 8.5 hours to an unreasonable 14+ hours of swiss. Perhaps some of their sets might be quick wins, or they might win or lose 2-0, but it's not unlikely that individual bo3s could extend for more than an hour. The fact that everyone in the tournament has to wait for every match in the last round to finish before the next round can commence is what makes this interpretation undesirable. To summarize, https://twitter.com/NailsOU/status/783353800988000260



I hope it's clear that I really hope that this option does not come to reality.

--

Please let me know if I forgot something about the timer. I definitely could be missing an important detail but I haven't come up with what I'm missing. Also, I feel like I should state that outside of edge cases, I generally don't mind/like the addition of the Chess Timer. In standard games where players are racing to knock out the opponent's pokemon, the timer rewards playing quickly and not using your full time, which is a nice touch. However, I also liked the timer in VGC 16, as it allowed for very interesting endgames where you had to carefully manage where your damage went to secure kills and win on tiebreakers. I feel like the change is unnecessary and causes more issues than it fixes. I hope I'm forgetting something, but every interpretation of the timer I could come up with seems like it has a lot of problems.
 
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Ace Emerald

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#9
Mega Evolutions may be gone this year, but there's no guarantee that it won't return next year. Players that played battle spot doubles in 2014 were far more prepared for 2015 then the players who avoided battle spot doubles. It might be worth it to be familiar with how the new meta operates with megas. It'll be interesting to see how gen 7 VGC unfolds over the next few years.
 

DragonWhale

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#10
I want to add on to Nails' (albeit radical) example for interpretation A, if a pokemon still has the "your timer" wincon in a 1-4 situation, the simple fact of having one mon on your side of the field is actually an advantage because you take less time picking moves for one pokemon over two. The game rewarding the side with only one pokemon remaining is rather absurd to me.

Whatever interpretation this game decides to implement, I think it favors fast thinking too much over careful thinking. In a turn based strategy game I can't see that as a good thing whatsoever and is definitely a lot worse than applying tiebreakers to games that extend for a certain amount of time, regardless of how "easy it is for players to manipulate".
 
#11
I have to agree with the issues coming with the new timer. Minimize stall and Muk could become a thing again, and that isn't good at all. I think I've said this before, but timer became such a conflictive topic BECAUSE VGC'16 ALLOWED IT. I don't think the timer was formulated badly, but the particular scenarios that could only be seen on VGC'16 (see: Trista) happened only due to this year's broken format rather than the timer being the issue. While I believe changes should have been made to the current timer, the chess clock system isn't the answer at all.

Also I'm crying far inside because of the lack of Mega Evolutions: they have been an important part of the metagame the last 3 years, and while the dominance of Kang has been more than settled, the other megas didn't really deserve it. Although I'll let it pass since it's Alola introduction, if megas remained banned for '18 I quit VGC.

Also, not only QR teams will make practicing simplier, the amount of tools given to us to train Pokemon is unreal, so I don't see myself having to trade ever again.
 
#12
I find this ruleset highly agreeable (VGC14 was great imo); the lack of Megas does inhibit my multi-generation Drought spam a bit but oh well. I'll live.
QR code thing sounds fucking amazing.
Timer is hit or miss but doesn't sound bad, they could of fucked it up far worse.

I will be playing VGC this year. VGC16 was fucking retarded, VGC15 was the best meta ever (and BSD still is lol), VGC14 was unique yet fun despite Garchomp's lordship. 17 sounds fun. The lack of Khan / Mence / Garde dominating everything will probably open up roles for lesser mons, like Snorlax, Latios, Sylveon, etc.
 
#13
I never really considered the idea that the timer could run during animations. I figured there would be one game timer and one player timer. If the game timer runs out you go to tiebreak but if your player timer runs out you lose. That being said, this kills my idea of a team with a stall mode based around trick room (against which most people try to stall out the turns) and your personal timer running 45 seconds off with eject button + u-turn + protect.

I love the lack of megas - I think this might make the game have a more diverse range of Pokemon. I'm also excited about Alola dex only given how much fun 2014 was. Looking forward to a great year.
 

GiraGoomy

when you see a good meme
#14
I for one really like how megas aren't allowed in the upcoming season, but it isn't really something where I would've been annoyed if they were allowed. Hopefully it makes the meta more diverse (sorta like VGC 14) and more fun overall.

One thing I really do dislike though is the introduction of the new timer. It just makes me think if TPCI will ever focus on larger issues rather than a timer which I personally think didn't have many problems. Sure the prospect of minimize spam and stall sucks, but hopefully when making the rules for next season they'll take this into consideration and just ban stuff like evasion in general (if not then ugh). As DragonWhale said, I think the fact that the new timer seems to be rewarding players who can make quick decisions over the people who carefully think (even turns ahead) in a turn-by-turn strategy based game is a clear example of how this new timer is a bad implementation, but I guess we're not going to fully know until we experience it for ourselves.

Who knows, it could end up being really good in practice and although it's not looking that way for me I have hope. Even so, I'm also looking forward to a good year!
 
#15
I for one really like how megas aren't allowed in the upcoming season, but it isn't really something where I would've been annoyed if they were allowed. Hopefully it makes the meta more diverse (sorta like VGC 14) and more fun overall.

One thing I really do dislike though is the introduction of the new timer. It just makes me think if TPCI will ever focus on larger issues rather than a timer which I personally think didn't have many problems. Sure the prospect of minimize spam and stall sucks, but hopefully when making the rules for next season they'll take this into consideration and just ban stuff like evasion in general (if not then ugh). As DragonWhale said, I think the fact that the new timer seems to be rewarding players who can make quick decisions over the people who carefully think (even turns ahead) in a turn-by-turn strategy based game is a clear example of how this new timer is a bad implementation, but I guess we're not going to fully know until we experience it for ourselves.

Who knows, it could end up being really good in practice and although it's not looking that way for me I have hope. Even so, I'm also looking forward to a good year!
Quick decisions only become relevent if it becomes a 20+ turn match.
VGC has been Doubles for years, and imo is very likely to continue.
Even if you take upwards of 40 seconds of careful thinking per turn (which isn't absurd in a tough VGC match), 10 mins / 40 secs is still 15 turns, which is double of a typical Doubles/VGC battle. For Singles it could defintely be a thorn; turn counters go quite a bit higher and Stall is more viable, so that is a justifiable concern and I do honestly cringe for the people that will have to stomach shit like Minimize + Stockpile + Pup Muk. I love Muk personally but it is capable of outright obnoxious shit.
But for VGC specifically, it probably won't be a big issue, and it does importantly streamline the matchups so that any given battle lasts ~25 minutes max.

The game rewarding the side with only one pokemon remaining is rather absurd to me.
The tiebreakers have been fucked up since at least X/Y release. LO / Recoil and such is right, imo, but Iron Barbs / Rocky Helmet I'm 50/50 on and the whole "you automatically win if you timerstall 30 mins and have a Chansey on your team when your opponent does not" thing (HP tiebreaks) are 110% fucked up and I have lost multiple matches to that bullshit when I was in a clear victory (4 Softboiled PP left, Poisoned (regular) + Leech Seed, against a full HP Mega Venu, 1v1). THAT, needs to change.
If the match goes to tiebreaker / timerstalled in a 4v1, the player with 4 mons wins. I've had people attempt to stall a 2v3 Doubles match knowing they'd win if the timer ran out.

But yeah I guess we won't really know if it's good or bad overall until we have our hands on the wheel. Still, I think we're all generally excited here. :P
 
#16
I think not allowing megas in the 2017 format will be great. As some people have stated before, I think it will lead to a lot more diverse team comps than in the past 3 formats (14/15/16) BUT at the same time, I do believe that people will have to start planning to survive these nukes that they call Z-moves. 180 bp + stab is no joke even from a Pokemon without that great of a phy/sp. atk stat. Learning to play around these Z-moves and having a team that can switch into and survive a variety of Z-moves, especially ones that hit your key team members super-effectively, will be a necssity.
 

Psynergy

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#17
People keep mentioning Z-moves but we still don't know exactly how strong they will be, so I think it's still a little too early to be too worried about them just yet. Unless I'm mistaken, we can only use one per battle so we also can't just nuke everything with Z-moves every battle either.

I also see people citing greater diversity as a result of no Megas but I feel like people are overestimating how much more diverse the format will be because of no Megas (don't forget Megas weren't the only big influence in past formats genies). I'm also a firm believer that diversity shouldn't be the primary measure of a good or enjoyable format though, so even if this format isn't super diverse like people hope I don't think that will necessarily make the format bad. To my understanding, restricted dex formats have historically been bad (*apparently 14 is contested on this) though so that does have me a little cautious but I don't mean rain on everyone's parade, just that I think people are being a little too optimistic about the rules bar timer because we're coming out of VGC16 (which wasn't even nearly that bad but I digress).
 
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Rezileen

formerly Rem
#18
While it is way too early to say anything concrete about the future VGC17 meta, the fact that Gamefreak's been blatantly designing new abilities and moves with a competitive focus gives me hope for an enjoyable meta. Of course Gamefreak isn't the best judge of their own game (e.g. like how they thought Aegislash would primarily be a physical attacker), but they're at least showing that they're being conscious of the VGC scene with every new reveal.

In regards to new moves, we now have a rock-type priority move in Accelerock and what may become Smeargle's new favorite toy: Instruct (if Smeargle's allowed anyway). Accelerock is actually an interesting addition, since Volcarona did really well last season on BS Doubles, and rock-type priority would obviously hurt its viability; plus, a lot of strong mons in past formats don't exactly appreciate rock (e.g. Talonflame, Salamence, Thundurus, Zapdos, etc). Then there's Instruct, which I'll leave to someone else, since that move seems to have a lot of new possibilities.

On the abilities side, Gamefreak has given us a lot of new toys. Some of the most notable being:
  • Electric Surge (auto electric terrain) is a big one, and leaves open the possibility of more auto-terrain abilities. That plus Surge Surfer (+2 Spe in electric terrain) show that Gamefreak is definitely trying to promote new potential archetypes beyond the traditional weather teams.
  • Stamina (+1 Def upon every hit) and Water Compaction (+2 Def upon being hit by water-type attacks) are very reminiscent of the Terra-cott combo and have a lot of potential for possibility giving us a slower-paced meta.
  • Dazzling (auto-Quick-Guard) sounds amazing if it gets distributed properly. The ability to stop Fake Outs without needing to use a move or by simply switching in a Dazzling mon is something we haven't seen before.
  • Dancer (auto-copies "dance" moves) sounds fun if any of the Oricorio forms end up being decent; e.g. if Oricorio gets good support options, then its partner could set-up while also passing the boosts to Oricorio via Dancer.
  • Receiver (get partner's ability if it faints) has a lot of meme potential if it works on Wonder Guard, which is a possibility since Trace also works on Wonder Guard.
  • Then we also have Battery (boosts partner's SpA move power), Disguise (free initial substitute), Comatose (immune to all status except sleep), and more.
What are people's thoughts on all these new additions? This is the first generation where we've been shown so many competitively-focused abilities before game release. Especially with all the ability break-downs in the trailers, it feels like the main focus of VGC17 won't just be on Z-moves but also this slew of new abilities that Gamefreak has in store for us.
 
#19
The variety is going to be really cool, only made better by the ease of getting teams ingame. I hope z moves aren't too op if they were around the power of bw2 gems that would be fine.
 
#20
I do think that without Megas, a lot of new strategies will be able to arise, not pressured by powerhouses like kangaskhan. Good thing for meta diversity
 
#21
Now we know that Parental Bond got slightly nerfed, I think Mega Kangaskhan will still be a top tier threat in VGC, likely VGC 2018 when they'll probably allow Megas again. But anyway, Kommo-o and Tsareena are hype
 
#22
Now we know that Parental Bond got slightly nerfed, I think Mega Kangaskhan will still be a top tier threat in VGC, likely VGC 2018 when they'll probably allow Megas again. But anyway, Kommo-o and Tsareena are hype
Parental Bond got nerfed? How do we know this?
Fuck that, Poison/Dark rainbow flan of Final Fantasy horror stories will spam doom. Dark/Poison is fantastic typing both offensively and defensively. Drapion would be literal shit if it didn't have that typing, Skuntank is freaking funny too. Muk has much better stats, but idk if Alolololola forms change stats or not.
 
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#24
I'm really mixed on this seasons ruleset. On one hand not having megas seems like an immediate boost, the ridiculous difference in power between some megas and other Pokemon was horribly imbalanced. But the idea that without them things will be balanced or not centralised around a handful of threats is pretty short sighted. VGC'11 should be a good reminder, Thundurus and Terrakion were on pretty much every team. Or even in VGC'14 with megas Pokemon like Garchomp had no real counters. Imposing arbitrary limitations on the Pokemon that you can use is always going to leave Pokemon that lack real counters, and while it might not be so bad these you can only use Pokemon from whatever region are never going to be balanced.

Although it is pure speculation I think that Z moves are going to work exactly like megas. We know Your Pokemon will have to carry an item and then I would assume you press a special button. Honestly I'm not entirely sure how it's going to effect anything, but I would assume it's going to be pretty similar to gems. Offensively orientated Pokemon are going to use them to attempt to pick up team specific OHKOs or just as a general nuke. They'll probably be stronger than gems, but having multiple Pokemon carrying Z stones limits team synergy whereas dragon gem Latios + fighting gem Hitmontop for instance was pretty common.
 
#25
Parental Bond got nerfed? How do we know this?
Fuck that, Poison/Dark rainbow flan of Final Fantasy horror stories will spam doom. Dark/Poison is fantastic typing both offensively and defensively. Drapion would be literal shit if it didn't have that typing, Skuntank is freaking funny too. Muk has much better stats, but idk if Alolololola forms change stats or not.
If you watch the Japanese trailer uploaded yesterday, you'll see that Mega Kangaskhan's 2nd hit does surprisingly less damage and Serebii confirmed that it got nerfed by 25%