A Denotational Concern over the Division of UU and OU

Both UU and OU are supposed to be balanced (at least as balanced as possible) tiers, but the way OU is defined marginalizes UU and threatens to imbalance it. OU is defined solely by usage. A UU pokemon that is used a sufficient amount is likely to be switched to OU. From a definitional standpoint, this makes sense. If it's being used that much, it is by definition overused and deserves to be there.

But its usage in one tier says nothing about its power and role in another tier; the same reasoning is applied to non-uber pokemon that function well in ubers. A pokemon may serve an important role in UU but be forcefully removed simply because its newfound niche in OU has raised its usage above that pre-set threshold. It may no longer be underused, but that doesn't necessarily have any bearing on its influence in UU.

This is largely a theoretical concern, and to my knowledge, no major problems have arisen. The best example I can think of is Tentacruel. It was performing fine in UU until Obi's stall team was presented, people started using it in OU and discovered how useful it was, and it was inevitably promoted to OU. I don't play UU, but I do lurk allot, and I don't recall anyone ever saying that Tentacruel was too much for UU. I don't know much about play in UU; for Tentacruel I only know that he's used very differently between the two tiers due to Toxic Spikes playing a less prominent role in UU. I'd appreciate input from experts.

Do I not understand the definitions properly? Is something other than usage also used in deciding UU -> OU changes? In any event, barring a sudden and dramatic new discovery that would lead to a worst case scenario like I first described, I see no practical reason to change a system that everyone has been long accustomed to and that has managed to work so far. The best ideas for changes I can think add an extra layer of complexity to the system, and that's not something we strive for (if we can avoid it). I made this topic both to be sure of my understanding of pokemon tiering and, if I'm correct, to share a concern that people don't *seem* to be aware of (maybe it just never came up).
 
I think your post is better suited in the big UU thread, but

As of right now, there really isn't a "precise" definition of what OU is supposed to be, and there's even worse consensus over what UU is supposed to be.

yeah
 
OU is defined as all the pokemon from a set (all pokemon excluding ubers) that have some percentile (I forget specifics) of usage (based on shoddy statistics).

UU is left as some sort of undefined mess, but OU is clearly defined.
 
I agree with the Tentacruel thing. Because usage rose, it went from UU to OU and is now no longer allowed in UU. But say, if Tentacruel usage were to fall, would it get sent straight to UU, or would it lurk in the chaos that is BL? It wouldn't be used enough for OU, but because it was able to be in OU at one time, it would still be deemed too powerful for UU, though it obviously isn't. What if there are other pokemon like this, that aren't all that powerful, but end up in OU anyway, and then once usage falls for them, they require extensive testing to prove they were never too powerful for UU?

Yeah, it's all really messed up.
 
That's a power level concern. That debate is more over what should[n't] be banned from OU (aka ubers) than what is OU. In regards to OU vs UU, the defining line is clear.

EDIT: Tentacruel would probably go back to UU. UU vs BL is a power level concern, not usage. So once usage dropped enough, it goes back to its former tier.
 
But say, if Tentacruel usage were to fall, would it get sent straight to UU, or would it lurk in the chaos that is BL?
No it would sent straight back to UU ... the purpose of BL is to exclude pokemon that have been proven too powerful for UU. Tentacruel has never been considered too powerful, its movement to OU was a result of it finding a niche role that saw an increase in useage.
 

cim

happiness is such hard work
is a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
Wow, what a great, well-thought-out post that I happen to agree with! Seriously. I think stuff like Tentacruel being bumped to OU is the inevitable consequence of the tier system as Smogon has it.
 
Not really, just like ODDish said he can be brought down to UU. However Tentacruel usage rose extremely high and was brought to OU just because of his popularity. It doesn't mean he is too good for OU it just mean he works very well if not better in OU and no one can do it better. If tentacruel is no longer used then it could go back down to UU.

Same thing with nidoking and whatnot. If they ever did go to OU although I doubt it will ever happen, but if they did, they could easily come back to UU.

EDIT - Now to the actual topic there is a cut-off. If Beedrill found his way to extreme popularity he still wouldn't make ou. OU isn't soleyl on usage. It is more like a combination of usage as well as usefullness. If Beedrill did stuff no other pokemon could and did it very well and was good for ou then he would be put there. Why was tenta in ou?

- Best MixNape counter who at the time was threat numero uno
- Few pokemon that could absorb toxic spikes as well as lay them
- A Rapid Spinner and with a game of Spikes and Stealth rock we need them.
- Great speed and Special defense.

See not just usage but it has things no other pokemon has.
 
And Pinsir as well moving to BL. If it just entirely fails there it could quite possibly go back to UU.
Hmm ... Pinsir is not really in the same situation as Tentacruel, as its removal from UU was agreed upon because it was felt to be too powerful for the current environment.

If in the future Pinsir was reconsidered for a movedown he would require testing, because his movement was a consequence of power > useage.
 
EDIT - Now to the actual topic there is a cut-off. If Beedrill found his way to extreme popularity he still wouldn't make ou. OU isn't soleyl on usage. It is more like a combination of usage as well as usefullness. If Beedrill did stuff no other pokemon could and did it very well and was good for ou then he would be put there. Why was tenta in ou?

- Best MixNape counter who at the time was threat numero uno
- Few pokemon that could absorb toxic spikes as well as lay them
- A Rapid Spinner and with a game of Spikes and Stealth rock we need them.
- Great speed and Special defense.

See not just usage but it has things no other pokemon has.
Actually, as far as smogon is concerned, if Beedrill somehow made that percentile it would be OU.

While usage does generally imply either some special niche or general overal power/usefulness, it isn't required that Beedrill have a special niche in order to be OU.

Ie
P -> Q != Q-> P
Where P is special niche and Q is Usage Increase (or possible OU status)

If a pokemon has a special niche, then it may see increased usage, but increased usage does not mean that a pokemon has to have a special niche. If for some unknown reason every battler on smogon decided to use Beedrill in their teams for the time period required for a tier update, then Beedrill would become OU (OverUsed) by definition.
 
UU gets the leftovers, and junk too good for UU that doesn't make the OU cut based on usage gets shoved into BL. BL is basically the ban list for UU.

Either way, I think all the tiers beyond Ubers and OU are fairly worthless. Just makes people bitch more often about people using too many OU and wanting to be unique snowflakes. Most shit in UU is very usable in OU, assuming you're using the Pokemon for something other then replacing a standard OU that does the same job but better.
 
Beedrill will not show up as OU on the tier list. The jump from UU to OU is somewhat like the jump from OU to Ubers. It is not based solely on usage which is what I was getting at with tentacruel. Now matter how used Garchomp is it will not just get moved up to ubers. If it had something gamebreaking or sets itself away from everything else then yeah garchomp would be. That is the case with beedrill. He could get amazing ammounts of usage but even so he won't be moved to OU.
 
UU gets the leftovers, and junk too good for UU that doesn't make the OU cut based on usage gets shoved into BL. BL is basically the ban list for UU.

Either way, I think all the tiers beyond Ubers and OU are fairly worthless. Just makes people bitch more often about people using too many OU and wanting to be unique snowflakes. Most shit in UU is very usable in OU, assuming you're using the Pokemon for something other then replacing a standard OU that does the same job but better.
This raises a really good point about UU's competitive viability. Pokemon is the only competitive game I play where people play more than one metagame. With every other game I play, the things that are deemed "broken" are banned and everything left is your competitive metagame.

For example, Cammy and T-hawk are really terrible characters in Street Fighter 2 Turbo and don't do so well against the top-tiers. I've never heard of people a establishing a competitive metagame where Cammy and T-hawk are viable by banning the top-tiers.
 

obi

formerly david stone
is a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Smogon Discord Contributor Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
If Beedrill somehow got used enough to be OU, it would be OU, no questions asked. Power does not come into the question when determining what is OU (except to ban overpowering Pokemon to ubers, which Beedrill will not get). OU is by definition those Pokemon that are used a lot.

That Tentacruel became OU when it was used more despite not being overpowering in UU is not a side-effect of the tier system, it's the main effect, and it's intentional. We want Pokemon that are used more to be banned from UU, as the purpose of UU is to have Pokemon that aren't used as much in OU. If a Pokemon is used in OU, then allowing it in UU defeats that purpose entirely.

The only question asked when deciding if something is OU vs. UU is "Is this Pokemon used enough to be OU?". If the answer to that question is yes, it's OU and thus banned from UU. Then we take that pool of UU Pokemon, and from there we look at each Pokemon and ask "Is this Pokemon too powerful for UU?". If the answer to that question is yes, it's BL, and thus banned from UU. The reason we need this BL tier is that the arbitrary line of usage division between OU and UU doesn't necessarily create a balanced, competitive metagame, and thus we need to alter the tiering slightly to fix this problem.
 
If Beedrill somehow got used enough to be OU, it would be OU, no questions asked. Power does not come into the question when determining what is OU (except to ban overpowering Pokemon to ubers, which Beedrill will not get). OU is by definition those Pokemon that are used a lot.
And that is where I have a problem. With the current tier system I don't think it should work like that. There should be 2 phases for Pokemon to decide if they are OU.

1. Are they used a lot more and in OU range? If yes then it gets moved up to BL. Then you ask question 2.

2. Is this Pokemon good enough to be in OU and stay with OU threats? And that is where you decide. If yes then to OU it goes. If no the it stays in BL until testing is done to see where it goes, to OU, in BL, or down to UU.

I don't agree with just looking at its usage and placing it there. If everyone used magikarp why would you just place it into ou? you would test it first. and then conclude where it belongs which would then be nfe or uu whatever you place karp in.
 

obi

formerly david stone
is a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Smogon Discord Contributor Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
Magikarp would be OU because OU is defined as those Pokemon that are used a lot.

BL has nothing to do with usage. BL is entirely a ban tier to balance UU.

The purpose of UU is to play a balanced game without seeing the commonly used Pokemon. For this reason, the only purpose of the OU and BL tiers are to serve as ban tiers for UU. BL bans based on power, while OU bans based on usage. If a Pokemon fits either criteria, it is banned.
 
I agree with the Tentacruel thing. Because usage rose, it went from UU to OU and is now no longer allowed in UU. But say, if Tentacruel usage were to fall, would it get sent straight to UU, or would it lurk in the chaos that is BL? It wouldn't be used enough for OU, but because it was able to be in OU at one time, it would still be deemed too powerful for UU, though it obviously isn't. What if there are other pokemon like this, that aren't all that powerful, but end up in OU anyway, and then once usage falls for them, they require extensive testing to prove they were never too powerful for UU?

Yeah, it's all really messed up.
It can become less viable in OU as counter's rise in usage.
 
I think then we need to change the definition for the OU tier and the qualifications for getting in. But this isn't the time or place to talk about it.
 
[The] only purpose of the OU and BL tiers are to serve as ban tiers for UU. BL bans based on power, while OU bans based on usage. If a Pokemon fits either criteria, it is banned.
This is the most succinct definition of OU and BL I have ever seen.
 
This raises a really good point about UU's competitive viability. Pokemon is the only competitive game I play where people play more than one metagame. With every other game I play, the things that are deemed "broken" are banned and everything left is your competitive metagame.

For example, Cammy and T-hawk are really terrible characters in Street Fighter 2 Turbo and don't do so well against the top-tiers. I've never heard of people a establishing a competitive metagame where Cammy and T-hawk are viable by banning the top-tiers.

So what, we should simply discount everything unable to compete in OU?

Besides, perhaps if Street Fighter actually had 275 "characters" (+ 223 NFE equivalents), there would be a competitive metagame for Cammy and T-Hawk.
 
I dont think that we are discounting UU pokes since they can be used in OU, BL, and Ubers. BL is there so that the UU pokes have an even playing field. I can think of a few UU and NU's that can and haved been used in OU (at least by me). Butterfree is my favorite because it gives a reliable sleep, can set up weather, and U-Turn out of problems. Just because I use it in OU does not make me think that Butterfree is OU since Im pretty much the only person that uses it.
 
EDIT - Now to the actual topic there is a cut-off. If Beedrill found his way to extreme popularity he still wouldn't make ou. OU isn't soleyl on usage. It is more like a combination of usage as well as usefullness. If Beedrill did stuff no other pokemon could and did it very well and was good for ou then he would be put there.
I've always been wary of that argument. Whenever it's cited, an important stipulation is never brought up. In practice, usage only rises significantly for a reason. That reason is that the pokemon has a niche in that particular metagame. Since usage only rises [significantly] for a reason, it is still accurate to say that usage is the only determining factor, since realistically that is the only way for it to occur. This is [one of the] points of choosing a usage tiering system. For the purpose of semantics, suppose Beedrill usage rose. In any competitive community, it would have only gotten there for a reason, so it belongs in OU.

Another, if only semi-related point I'd like to make is that pure ability does not necessarily need to be that reason. *Perception* is central. How a community perceives a pokemon and what they expect from it is enough for that pokemon (whatever pokemon) to have a niche in that metagame. From that perception comes according usage, and based off how it performs people modify their perceptions (gradually changing the metagame along with it in reactionary team-builds) The point of even having an OU, instead of simply one large "BL" list, is to aid other players in identifying the trends in the current standard metagame.

PS: Obi beat me to the punch, but I had already written all this out, and there is still merit in posting it, especially since it elaborates on what he said, so here it is.

Edit: In response to all the new posts in this topic, I'd be better off responding in a whole new post.
 
The main concern I have with banning UU-level Pokemon based entirely on usage is that it short-changes the whole UU tier somewhat.

Consider the (entirely hypothetical) premise that the UU metagame was largely centered around Tentacruel. Not to the extent where he was overpowered or overcentralizing, but in a sense similar to Blissey in OU in that he keeps several threats under control that would be ridiculously powerful without him. Now we come to the point where a niche for Tentacruel is discovered in OU and his usage skyrockets. By the definition of the current tiers, that means Tenta goes to OU - a move that leaves UU in chaos. Pokemon previously contained by Tentacruel's presence now go wild, and without Tentacruel, they break UU and they have to be banned to BL based on power, etc.

I know that certainly wasn't the case with Tentacruel (and likely never would be for any Pokemon), but I just don't agree with any system where that situation would be perfectly allowable if it ever happened. If we're going to treat UU as its own tier, surely figuring out what works in UU and then leaving it there should take precedence over arbitrarily banning something just because it has a good and common use in a higher tier?

I know the tiers are called "Over-used" and "Under-used" for a reason, but I definitely think UU is drawing the short straw here.
 
The main concern I have with banning UU-level Pokemon based entirely on usage is that it short-changes the whole UU tier somewhat.

Consider the (entirely hypothetical) premise that the UU metagame was largely centered around Tentacruel. Not to the extent where he was overpowered or overcentralizing, but in a sense similar to Blissey in OU in that he keeps several threats under control that would be ridiculously powerful without him. Now we come to the point where a niche for Tentacruel is discovered in OU and his usage skyrockets. By the definition of the current tiers, that means Tenta goes to OU - a move that leaves UU in chaos. Pokemon previously contained by Tentacruel's presence now go wild, and without Tentacruel, they break UU and they have to be banned to BL based on power, etc.

I know that certainly wasn't the case with Tentacruel (and likely never would be for any Pokemon), but I just don't agree with any system where that situation would be perfectly allowable if it ever happened. If we're going to treat UU as its own tier, surely figuring out what works in UU and then leaving it there should take precedence over arbitrarily banning something just because it has a good and common use in a higher tier?

I know the tiers are called "Over-used" and "Under-used" for a reason, but I definitely think UU is drawing the short straw here.
That could very well be the case if Hypno/Milktank(she is UU right?)/Grumpig became OU.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)

Top