Announcement Aegislash is now banned from OU

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Hello all, the OU tiering council has decided to ban Aegislash from the Pokebank OU metagame. After much discussion amongst the OU Council and the community, including discussion from the On The Radar thread, the Council has decided the appropriate action was to quickban Aegislash.

Aegislash is not like any other Pokemon; it doesn't outright sweep teams and is not utterly undefeatable, but rather its combination of stats, movepool, ability, and typing making it a Pokemon that has no place in OU. Its offensive and defensive capabilities are a major asset to any kind of team, and as such Aegislash has found itself onto the large majority of teams, cementing itself as a centralizing force in the metagame.

Aegislash's simultaneous offensive and defensive capabilities are unmatched in OU. With its pseudo-base 720 BST, it contributes to teams in incredible ways even with minimal investment and planning. Aegislash's offensive power and incredible Ghost-type STAB coupled with its coverage options make it next to impossible to reliably answer. Dark and Normal-types fail to reliably respond due to Aegislash's coverage options, and Pokemon heavily invested in special defenses typically lose to coverage. Aegislash has an array of viable options at its choosing, allowing an Aegislash user to pick and choose how the enemy will handle Aegislash prior to the start of the game. All the while Aegislash is capable of running a very threatening Substitute + Toxic set, punishing teams relying on passive Pokemon such as Mandibuzz, Mantine, and Hippowdon, while also giving Aegislash more security behind a Substitute. Substitute allows Aegislash to avoid status, potential Scald burns, as well giving Blade form more room to spam attacks. Aegislash can even provide teams with reliable Pursuit trapping, allowing it to trap Pokemon such as Latios and Tapu Lele.

Aegislash's movepool, stats, and ability alone make it an absurd force in the metagame, but couple it with its typing and it is over the top. King's Shield is an incredible move, not only presenting Aegislash the ability to give convert to Shield form and give itself incredible defenses, but also the fact it presents the game with more straight up 50/50 opportunities. While Pokemon is all about prediction and it might seem as simple as a guessing game, a straight up 50/50 does not reward based off of skill, but rather who won the coin flip. Consider this situation: You have Aegislash, in Blade form, out 75% vs your opponent's Swords Dance + Life Orb Weavile. These are the only two Pokemon remaining. You have the option of using King's Shield on the predicted Knock Off, which would otherwise KO your Aegislash and lose you the game, or to attack on the predicted Swords Dance, which would lose you the game should you King's Shield. In this scenario, the winner is not determined by anything skill based, but simply a guessing game. King's Shield even grants it the immunity to being reliably Pursuit trapped by Dark-types, as the only Pokemon that can really trap it is Bisharp, which fails to OHKO max HP Aegislash with Knock Off if Jolly, while Adamant Bisharp can potentially be outsped and OHKOd by max speed Sacred Sword Aegislash.

The problem that occurs with Aegislash's inclusion in the metagame is not that of basic metagame centralization; centralization is inevitable and is not something we seek to take action against. What Aegislash does, instead, is introduce an instance of extreme centralization which corrupts the metagame's typical checks and counters system. To take action against a Pokemon based on centralizing aspects, it must be controlling enough that every team revolves around a specific system in order to function in that metagame. Metagames adapt to threats that are presented, such as Pokemon like Mega Metagross and Buzzwole being required to run Earthquake with Aegislash's presence, and as such banning a Pokemon because it forces imperfect sets won't be happening. Aegislash's existence in the tier is different than that; Aegislash prevents metagame development. Aegislash forces the same metagames and Pokemon to be used in a environment involving it; the metagame will always stay mostly the same because of the fact that Aegislash is so unlike every other Pokemon ever suspected. Its offensive and defensive capabilities mean that a) It's ridiculously easy for the Aegislash user to punish Pokemon that do badly against it while also b) making it ridiculously difficult to actively punish the usage of Aegislash, with Hoopa-Unbound being one of the few Pokemon to do so thanks to its ability to breach both Substitute and King's Shield. Because of this, Aegislash by itself will always force the same trends and metagames, and no amount of time will ever change that.

In the OU Tiering Policy framework, under Definitions in Tiering Policy, Aegislash would fall under breaking I and III. It blatantly lowers the skill required to play but even to create teams. Aegislash can find itself onto virtually every team; there's really no reason not to use Aegislash in most situations. Aegislash is also simply too good, its strength and defensive utility just make it the best Pokemon in the metagame.

The Immortal
 
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