The OU Council

By Aldaron. Art by chameleonskyes.
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Hi guys, Aldaron here. I'm going to talk to you guys today about the OverUsed Council. I want to introduce you all to the lovable, kind-hearted Haunter; the honest, innocent M Dragon; the completely heterosexual McMeghan; and Nachos, our affirmative action addition. I also want to briefly explain how we'll be approaching XY OverUsed tiering as a unit.

The Five

Haunter

Haunter joined in August, 2007… one day after me, in fact. This should tell you all you need to know about Haunter: he is a lovable Italian dog. He joined the forefront of Smogon policy as the Rate My Team section's fascist leader and eventually became an administrator on both the site and the simulator. The majority of the drama around Haunter was the ill-conceived speculation that "he did not play," which was thoroughly refuted when he actually qualified for suspect voting more times than the majority of his naysayers. Haunter is a professional nerd-clique slayer and a lawyer in his spare time, and his go-to gimmick is to quote an obscure Latin phrase to solve any debate or controversy.

Haunter has been involved in tiering since DPP, but his large Italian frame only became important in BW. After becoming a Council member, Haunter defined his tiering legacy by repeatedly refusing to be influenced by outbursts of vocal minorities and being a voice of reason and logic amid brewing storms of ill-advised argumentum ad hominem and rage.

Amor Vincit Omnia, motherfuckers.

Aldaron

Though I've been part of the online Pokémon community since the gsbots, I only joined Smogon in August 2007 and have been a never-ending source of controversy ever since. I became a formal member solely to argue with LordS about including Manaphy on the DPP OU initial ban list and was promptly banned on the official Shoddy Battle server. 6 years later, I'm an admin on the site, on the simulator, and on IRC, and I have a direct say in both of our main competitive aspects: tiering and tournaments. So basically, even you, Peasant, can become King one day.

I've been involved in formalized Smogon tiering since the very, very beginning. JabbaTheGriffin, jrrrrrrr, Jumpman16, X-Act, obi, Maniaclyasist, and I, along with several others, were involved in the discussions that eventually led to the inauguration of the first formalized suspect testing process in Smogon’s history: the DPP Stage 1 to Stage 3 process. After DPP, I was responsible for "Aldaron's Proposal," Smogon's second official complex ban (yes, second, as people from GSC will remember). This complex-ban banned Drizzle with the ability Swift Swim and determined the direction of the metagame for the rest of the generation. This, as seems to be my penchant, has been met with extreme controversy, and will probably be viewed as the single defining moment of the BW experience.

M Dragon

M Dragon has been playing Pokémon since ADV. He joined Smogon in June 2008; right during DPP's peak. During DPP, he was mostly a ladder battler, but when BW came around, he became one of the most accomplished tournament players, winning all of "The sequels are never good", "ADVanced Users Only", "This is Kind of Big Deal", and 5 Smogon Tours.

M Dragon, like Iconic before him, plays an important role in the Council as a tournament player representative. Though the vast majority of Smogon battles occur on our ladder, the tournament scene is considered the main competitive arena, and therefore should be represented accordingly.

McMeghan

McMeghan joined in August 2010 and is another prestigious tournament player on the Council. Some might even say McMeghan is more accomplished than Earthworm, Gouki, or Loki, but don't tell Koala Corp or Team Oceania that. McMeghan's win list is extraordinarily impressive and he is arguably the single most accomplished BW tournament player on Smogon. He has won all of: "Same-Type Tournament II", "Battle Royale V", "BW2 OU Team Tournament" (with Dunk, BKC, yee and Funkasaurus), "BW2 Tag Team Tournament" (with MikeDecIsHere), "Goodfellas" (with Ojama and Earthworm), "Clear Skies", "Clear Entry", "Best of 3 Tournament II", "Second Tournament of Second Chances", "Battle Royale IV", "Rarely Used Tournament II", "Smogon Premier League III "(Alpha Ruiners), "ADV Ubers Tournament", "Same-Type Tournament I", "No Johns Tournament", 6 Smogon Tours (2 ADVs, 4 BWs), 3 Grand Slam Opens (UU, Uber, LC), and was the winner of Smogon Tour Season 14.

I cannot believe I just typed all of that.

McMeghan is very soft-spoken and probably the nicest guy on the Council. If you have concerns that you want resolving, I strongly recommend shooting him a PM, as he is the least likely to make you cry.

Nachos

I honestly have no idea who this is*

The Approach

The OU Council meets and talks regularly about the state of the metagame. We converse on both the forums and IRC. Our purpose is to efficiently guide policy to reach an optimally playable metagame. Though we have the power to both unban and ban, the majority of our power, historically, has been used to ban (though we do have one successful unbanning to date: Kyurem-B in BW2). We have two main tools to use: quick-banning, where we ban a Pokémon based only on our Council vote, and Suspect Testing, where we choose a suspect and have the community vote on it, measuring qualification to vote based on meeting ladder requirements. Quick-banning is considered to be an extension of the initial ban list, and the Pokémon that are quick-banned shouldn't be viewed as normal Pokémon, but as mostly broken Pokémon who were given a preliminary chance in the metagame but then determined to be definitively broken.

After some preliminary concerns were raised regarding transparency, we've decided to do the following:

  1. Post a Policy Review thread at least a week in advance of any decisions in order to allow discussion to occur. PR threads are publicly viewable to all, so even if you can't post there, you can at least view the discussion.
  2. Once a formal decision is made, the OU Council itself will post formal justification (and possibly IRC logs themselves) in a completely open forum so that all may view what went into this decision.

The OU Council's purpose, ultimately, will be to guide the community and the metagame to the best of its ability. We will try our best to make decisions as transparent as possible while also providing you with the "best" (the quotation marks are extremely important) possible metagame on which to enjoy wasting as much of your personal time as possible. The most important thing I can tell you is that competitive online Pokémon is subjective, and this subjectivity is inherent in ban philosophies, metagame preferences, definitions of "broken", and many other factors. While I am certain that you will not agree with all of our decisions all of the time, I hope that the justification we provide will be enough for you to at least accept our decisions, even if you cannot agree with them entirely.

Thank you for reading
- Aldaron


*Nachos joined in September 2007. He has been playing Pokémon since ADV and has been involved in tiering since DP Garchomp. A former tutor, researcher, and simulator moderator, Nachos has experience in a variety of Smogon's sections.

Nachos, tiering wise, is an anathema to ban-happy people. He demands strict justification for any bans, though he is not an absolutist, as evidenced by his willingness to quick-ban Blaziken and Deoxys-N. All Nachos asks for is legitimate, logical reasoning to convince him to think something is broken.

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