Balanced Hackmons Suspect Discussion

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verbatim

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Hello, as many of you are aware, there have been some very significant changes regarding Balanced Hackmons in the past week, specifically, the move to a 510 ev limit and the inclusion of team preview. As a result, many have suggested that these changes will create a gigantic change in the balance of play styles for Balanced Hackmons, and with that the worry that we might be destroying something great, so before I get to the true point of this thread, I'd like to start off by saying that

THESE CHANGES ARE PERMANENT AND WILL NOT BE REVERSED

This is not a change in policy, this is a change in mechanics. Balanced Hackmons started as an emulation of what could be done on the cartridge with commercial hacking devices (at the start of generation 6 when no such thing existed we defaulted to generation 5 rules in order to keep the metagame alive, causing a lot of this confusion). As a result we spent a significant portion of generation 6 playing a metagame that could not be replicated on the cartridge. This move is meant to fix that.

I understand that a lot of you are worried about this, specifically how it will affect the composition of the metagame. Some of you have even approached me with ideas regarding a better system for removing things from the metagame that negatively affect competition... HOWEVER, I've also noticed that there has been a lot of interpretation of things that change the orientation of the metagame (specifically more towards offense and less towards stall) have been brought up in the the context of bans, obscuring the fine line that we need to walk when deciding what the policy (not the mechanics) of our metagame should be.


That is why, starting soon, this thread will be open separately from the main Balanced Hackmons thread as an incubating ground for discussion regarding what we should suspect.

Once a significant number of people have voiced legitimate concerns towards a particular pokemon, item, ability, or complex situation (I'd prefer we not have one of these but I'd be willing to consider it) the process will move on to an open vote. There had been previous discussion about a closed, group of leaders with voting powers making this call, however... after seeing a lot of people, specifically one's that I trust and respect, come to mixed opinions over BH's updated mechanics I've grown weary of concentrating power in any specific niche of players, which is why all votes will be open. If a suspected thing receives a visible majority after a certain period of time (feel free to also use this thread as a place to suggest the percentage required and the time the polls will be open for) it will be banned from the metagame. 50/50 votes indicate that that the community is split on an idea and will mean that we will do nothing in order to have as few bans as possible.

I understand that a lot of you have voiced concerns over this recent change in Balanced Hackmons and, while I won't provide a roadmap back to the way things were, I heavily encourage each and every one of you to think of the positive side effects of this change. Thanks to team preview, BH has become significantly more like the tiering system in place on Pokemon Showdown, meaning that new players will have an easier time transitioning into and mastering the metagame.

If anyone has any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me on PS, Smogon, or IRC, but please, do not use this as an invitation to complain about the changes.
 
Okay.

So at the moment, I don't have the time to make an expansive post. However, I really don't think -ate abilities (which are among the most likely candidates for a ban) should be removed. They are very powerful, for sure, but can be worked around. King's Shield stops physical abusers, and Soundproof Pokemon or bulky resists stop special ones (which I don't see very often anyway). In addition, I don't think any -ate abusers can handle Chansey very well. I also believe that without -ate priority users, Mega Mewtwo Y, Mega Mewtwo X, and Mega Gengar would be ridiculously difficult to stop.
 

Lcass4919

The Xatu Warrior
to be honest, this meta has kinda grown on me, i used to be calling out for a mega mewtwo ban but they aren't much of a problem in the current meta's "stability".

the ilates are honestly not a problem for me at ALL, and allthough powerful, have a multitude of counters and checks that can easily dispatch them. like soundproof aggron, shedinja, chansey, registeel, aegis, kings sheild sweepers(which ive mentioned completely neuters their would be revenge killers), and the list goes on.

evasion is stupid though, get rid of that shit plz. if it doesnt destroy you, it just annoys the living shit out of you, and basically grants free turns to sweep. like for example, mono attacker mega mewtwo with stored power has a 100% counter in dark types, but not everyone runs them. otherwise you resort to VERY. VERY. VERY breif percentages of hax to win. (seriously, with bright powder its a 30% chance of hitting them if at max evasion, which trust me, isn't hard to achieve)
 
My issue with the ates, isn't that they're impossible to deal with. They are easy to deal with. Instead, I dislike the way that they restrict the metagame. It's hard to run stall in such a diverse metagame, where half your team needs to focus on not being killed by all the various -ate sets. Throw protean into the mix, and stall starts to seem very unviable. The existence of -ates and protean at the moment, highly limit the success of stall, and cause the metagame to be highly pointed towards offense. Now, even though I enjoy playing offense, I feel that there needs to be some semblance of balance to the metagame to keep it diverse and interesting.I say ban -ates and protean.
Also, screw evasion. It adds absolutely nothing, allows good players to lose through imposed luck, and so on. Also it's annoying.
 
I really don't see any reason to keep evasion around. I've seen shuckles sweep teams with leech seed because they got max evasion and a sub up.
 
Evasion isn't a problem if you run Haze, Topsy Turvy, Unaware or Heart Swap on your team. If you run them. If you don't, or the mon with them dies, your opponent pretty much has an instant win unless you get enough hits against +4 or +6 evasion. Evasion is entirely luck-based, so it is uncompetitive and has no place in a balanced meta. With Simple, it only takes two Minimizes to get to +6, and at that point it is difficult for your opponent to even get a hit.
 
With Simple, it only takes two Minimizes to get to +6, and at that point it is difficult for your opponent to even get a hit.
Simple is sort of a waste with Minimize, in my opinion. The difference between having to Minimize twice and three times is not worth an ability slot (unless you're also boosting other stats, which is obviously a good idea). Instead, I might run something like Magic Bounce or Soundproof or Multitype Arceus (so you can't be Skill Swapped if behind a sub). Truly efficient uses of Baton Passing, like TheCommadore's or Kl4ng's, are incredibly difficult to beat.
 

Lcass4919

The Xatu Warrior
My issue with the ates, isn't that they're impossible to deal with. They are easy to deal with. Instead, I dislike the way that they restrict the metagame. It's hard to run stall in such a diverse metagame, where half your team needs to focus on not being killed by all the various -ate sets. Throw protean into the mix, and stall starts to seem very unviable. The existence of -ates and protean at the moment, highly limit the success of stall, and cause the metagame to be highly pointed towards offense. Now, even though I enjoy playing offense, I feel that there needs to be some semblance of balance to the metagame to keep it diverse and interesting.I say ban -ates and protean.
Also, screw evasion. It adds absolutely nothing, allows good players to lose through imposed luck, and so on. Also it's annoying.
lol. i am using a stall team that has currently had a win streak of ~60-1(the one person being flint, and i also lost to piccolo, but that wasn't ranked lel) stall is super underestimated in this meta and removing ilate just forces hyperoffensive superspeed playstyles even MORE then before which tbh, im not fond of. seeing how it will just eliminate stall moreso then what it is now and forces the meta in a "setup wins" situation. your acting like ilate promotes offense, when in reality its neutering it. if ilates leave, then offensive juggernaughts will overtake the metagame due to lack of good revenge killers. im not saying ilate doesnt restrict the meta, im saying, it restricts it from having a "setup and win" scenario EVERY GAME. like...seriously...once moldy mega gengar sets up a smash...whats gunna stop it? of course we can go the "ban everything" method, but lets face it. that is not going to happen, and it will make the meta so hectic its practically not even worth it.

just my 2 cents though, if anyone disagrees i will respect your opinion.
edit: and while i am at it...
Simple is sort of a waste with Minimize, in my opinion. The difference between having to Minimize twice and three times is not worth an ability slot (unless you're also boosting other stats, which is obviously a good idea). Instead, I might run something like Magic Bounce or Soundproof or Multitype Arceus (so you can't be Skill Swapped if behind a sub). Truly efficient uses of Baton Passing, like TheCommadore's or Kl4ng's, are incredibly difficult to beat.
what makes simple better then most other abilities is simply due to the speed/easy access it takes to get to max evasion. by doubling the evasion boost, your basically going to avoid hits twice as much, and on top of that simple makes setup super quick and deadly. meanwhile with other abilities its a more risky coinflip. +2 evasion isn't as scary as what it seems.
 
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Evasion is so simple and easy to deal with. No Guard, Taunt, Topsy turvy, Curse, Whirlwind, and Heart Swap are all simple checks to evasion boosts. The ate's have been a hot topic for discussion but they are actually fairly easy to wall with a stall team. Registeel, Aegislash, and Mega Aggron wall ates to hell and back. It is actually offense that has difficulty with ate spam due to the fact it reliably kills all but bulky offensive mons with the Fake-Out Espeed combination. Even bulky mons like Gigas and Mega TTar are 2Hkoed. The only troublesome pokemon for stall is MMx. Due to his ability to hit with powerful physical and special like protean V-Create and Draco Meteor. I myself have had a great deal of success with mixed MMX. Mixed MMY is less of a thing but would be similarly dangerous to stall teams. In my opinion many people underestimate stall. Due to offensive mons losing all investment in HP and Defensive stats sweepers are now super fragile and their Hp is easily whittle down by hazards, knock offs, dragon tails and other commonly used stall moves. In fact stall matches are faster now because Stall teams can actually hit hard. People like to say the current meta is over centralized and limited but they forgot how biased the old meta was to PH setup sweepers who could shrug off hits and hit 6+ with only the worry of SE attacks. I may be in the minority but I find this meta to be actually balanced and stable. Diverse? Not really. But I think thats the result of the perception of players and not what actually works best in the current meta.
 

E4 Flint

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Evasion is so simple and easy to deal with. No Guard, Taunt, Topsy turvy, Curse, Whirlwind, and Heart Swap are all simple checks to evasion boosts.
The issue isn't that it's easy, the issue is that we need to counter it at all. Reread here:

Evasion isn't a problem if you run Haze, Topsy Turvy, Unaware or Heart Swap on your team. If you run them. If you don't, or the mon with them dies, your opponent pretty much has an instant win unless you get enough hits against +4 or +6 evasion. Evasion is entirely luck-based, so it is uncompetitive and has no place in a balanced meta. With Simple, it only takes two Minimizes to get to +6, and at that point it is difficult for your opponent to even get a hit.
Besides, half those techniques you mention (which also happen to be the more useful ones of the list) fail on magic bounce which anyone with decent experience would realize is a good match with evasion boosting moves, and none of those except no guard, affect things like brightpowder or other abilities that could potentially raise evasion, and Taunt and Topsy can miss as well. Anyone who is skilled enough can easily get around such trivial problems anyway as Kumi, Klang and others have demonstrated.

I guess we ought to use the "simple" solution of embargo and gastro acid as well. In terms of creative grounds, there is nothing revolutionary or praiseworthy about using such a strategy. It is just spam and hope you get lucky and most of the time the user does get lucky and wins somewhat cheaply.

>.> I mean you'd think we'd've thought of these solutions before... They don't find much use elsewhere in the meta. Pokemon already has more luck than I am comfortable with, and if it comes down to it, I don't want to lose to a game completely to chance even if it is one game in a thousand and I could make a team in two seconds that could counter it but would be useless to me the rest of the time.

I do agree with your and Lcass' points about the balanced yet narrow nature of the meta so far.
 
Okay, got internet again. As you can probably expect, wall of text incoming. Going to dump it into a trio of spoiler tags for neatness and to prevent lots of scrolling later on.

Also, Evasion needs to go for reasons already said.


-Point 1: The offensive power of Pixelate, Refrigerate, and Aerilate is too high and is capable of easily destroying opposing teams who do not stack defensive and offensive checks.

For this point, I'm referring to Smogon's Portrait of an Uber to define how powerful an offensive threat must be to be ban worthy. If we assume that Pure Hackmons is the Ubers to our Balanced Hackmons, then we can apply this to any particular facet of our meta.

As taken from here: http://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/portrait-of-an-uber.43566/

Offensive Characteristic said:
A Pokémon is uber if, in common battle conditions, it is capable of sweeping through a significant portion of teams in the metagame with little effort.
This same definition can easily be applied to moves, abilities, play styles, and even items. For example, Huge Power, Pure Power, and Parental Bond all fall under this definition quite neatly. Our meta does not have any examples of moves and items at present, but standard offers us Baton Pass (for the support definition) and Soul Dew.

So now that I have a definition in place for categorizing -ate abilities, I need to prove that it fits under this definition. To do that, let's use one of the most common -ate users in the tier that also happens to be the lowest powered among those: Pixilate Xerneas.

Xerneas has an attack of only 131 and special attack of 131, tied with Yveltal, who sometimes uses Aerilate. Compare with the Kyurem forms, who sit at 170/120 for Black and 120/170 for White, and Rayquaza's 150/150. And, while it doesn't get STAB, I've seen a fair bit of Mewtwo-X using Pixilate lately, who sits at 190/154.

Now I need to calculate this against common defensive and bulky Pokemon. For this purpose, I'm going to be using 200/200 neutral nature mixed Xern (remaining EVs are either speed or HP). It is not holding a boosting item.

200 Atk Pixilate Xerneas Extreme Speed vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Regigigas: 153-180 (36 - 42.4%) -- 0.9% chance to 3HKO after Poison Heal

200 SpA Pixilate Xerneas Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Regigigas: 265-313 (62.5 - 73.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Poison Heal

200 Atk Pixilate Xerneas Extreme Speed vs. 4 HP / 252+ Def Cresselia: 105-124 (27.4 - 32.4%) -- guaranteed 4HKO

200 SpA Pixilate Xerneas Boomburst vs. 4 HP / 252 SpD Cresselia: 190-225 (49.7 - 58.9%) -- 99.6% chance to 2HKO

200 Atk Pixilate Xerneas Extreme Speed vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Kyogre: 139-165 (34.4 - 40.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

200 SpA Pixilate Xerneas Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Assault Vest Kyogre: 144-171 (35.6 - 42.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

200 Atk Pixilate Xerneas Extreme Speed vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Kyogre: 180-213 (44.5 - 52.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Poison Heal

200 SpA Pixilate Xerneas Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Kyogre: 216-255 (53.4 - 63.1%) -- 82.4% chance to 2HKO after Poison Heal

200 Atk Pixilate Xerneas Extreme Speed vs. 4 HP / 252 Def Lugia: 109-129 (30.7 - 36.4%) -- 54.3% chance to 3HKO

200 SpA Pixilate Xerneas Boomburst vs. 4 HP / 252+ SpD Lugia: 153-181 (43.2 - 51.1%) -- 5.1% chance to 2HKO

200 Atk Pixilate Xerneas Extreme Speed vs. 4 HP / 252 Def Xerneas: 135-160 (34.2 - 40.6%) -- 100% chance to 4HKO after Poison Heal

200 SpA Pixilate Xerneas Boomburst vs. 4 HP / 252 SpD Xerneas: 231-273 (58.6 - 69.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Poison Heal

200 Atk Pixilate Xerneas Extreme Speed vs. 4 HP / 252 Def Mega Scizor: 51-61 (18 - 21.6%) -- possible 5HKO

200 SpA Pixilate Xerneas Boomburst vs. 4 HP / 252 SpD Mega Scizor: 114-134 (40.4 - 47.5%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

200 Atk Pixilate Xerneas Extreme Speed vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Mega Aggron: 32-38 (9.3 - 11%) -- possibly the worst move ever

200 SpA Pixilate Xerneas Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Mega Aggron: 174-204 (50.5 - 59.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

200 Atk Pixilate Xerneas Extreme Speed vs. 4 HP / 252 Def Aegislash-Shield: 49-58 (18.7 - 22.1%) -- possible 5HKO

200 SpA Pixilate Xerneas Boomburst vs. 4 HP / 252 SpD Aegislash-Shield: 85-101 (32.4 - 38.5%) -- 98.7% chance to 3HKO

200 Atk Pixilate Xerneas Extreme Speed vs. 4 HP / 252 Def Darmanitan-Z: 63-75 (17.8 - 21.3%) -- possible 5HKO

200 SpA Pixilate Xerneas Boomburst vs. 4 HP / 252 SpD Darmanitan-Z: 110-130 (31.2 - 36.9%) -- 77.6% chance to 3HKO

200 Atk Pixilate Xerneas Extreme Speed vs. 4 HP / 252 Def Registeel: 49-58 (16.2 - 19.2%) -- possible 6HKO

200 SpA Pixilate Xerneas Boomburst vs. 4 HP / 252 SpD Registeel: 85-101 (28.1 - 33.4%) -- 0% chance to 3HKO

200 Atk Pixilate Xerneas Extreme Speed vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 39-46 (10.1 - 11.9%) -- possible 9HKO

200 SpA Pixilate Xerneas Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Heatran: 68-81 (17.6 - 20.9%) -- possible 5HKO


Now, for obvious reasons, I did not include stuff Xerneas hits super-effectively or sweepers not investing in bulk as they are both largely OHKOed by Extreme Speed or come rather close. And if not Extreme Speed, then Boomburst invariably does the job.

You'll notice that only Steel types, and Darmitan-Z, are able to sponge Xerneas' Pixelate powered attacks (AV Kyogre lacks recovery without switching, so it can't stay in nor safely switch in. Also, Fake Out). And, in some cases, only some of them. However, we've not even touched Xerneas' common coverage moves. As Xern's most common resistances are weak to Ground, and this is true for Fridge and Air too, it typically is going to be packing either Thousand Arrows or Earth Power for coverage. Here's the same Xern set against the same defensive sets that otherwise could switch into Pixilate.

200 Atk Xerneas Thousand Arrows vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Mega Aggron: 74-88 (21.5 - 25.5%) -- 0.5% chance to 4HKO

200 SpA Xerneas Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Mega Aggron: 230-272 (66.8 - 79%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

200 SpA Xerneas Thousand Arrows vs. 4 HP / 252 Def Aegislash-Shield: 112-134 (42.7 - 51.1%) -- 4.7% chance to 2HKO

200 SpA Xerneas Earth Power vs. 4 HP / 252 SpD Aegislash-Shield: 112-134 (42.7 - 51.1%) -- 4.7% chance to 2HKO

200 SpA Xerneas Thousand Arrows vs. 4 HP / 252 Def Darmanitan-Z: 146-174 (41.4 - 49.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

200 SpA Xerneas Earth Power vs. 4 HP / 252 SpD Darmanitan-Z: 146-174 (41.4 - 49.4%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

200 SpA Xerneas Thousand Arrows vs. 4 HP / 252 Def Registeel: 112-134 (37 - 44.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

200 SpA Xerneas Earth Power vs. 4 HP / 252 SpD Registeel: 112-134 (37 - 44.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

200 Atk Xerneas Thousand Arrows vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Heatran: 364-432 (94.3 - 111.9%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO

200 SpA Xerneas Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Heatran: 364-432 (94.3 - 111.9%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO

(1k Arrows' damage was calculateded by picking Earthquake and setting its base power to 90.)


As you can see, for all of them, and I do mean all of them, switching in is risky business, even if they have Soundproof or Fur Coat. And thanks to team preview, a switch like this can be much more easily predicted, unlike before where you didn't know about their Heatran until it switched in.

And again, this is Xern without any boosts whatsoever. With just a Life Orb or some hazard support, this Xern set 2HKOs virtually everything with the correct move and a little prediction. Or heck, it may not even need that since Fake Out is a thing. And let's not even talk about the potential effects of Shell Smash on a forced switch.

Hence, there's no feasible defensive counter to this set outside of Shedinja or weird, gimmick stuff like Quick Guard Soundproof Cress (the closest non-gimmick would probably be Soundproof Scizor, but that then gets destroyed by Ember). With some ability tinkering, you can create checks, but those checks only work if Xern doesn't have the proper coverage or something like Gastro Acid to kill your ability. And hell, again, this is Xern. 131/131 offenses, which are the lowest among common -ate abusers. The others, besides Yveltal, get even nastier.


-Point two: Regardless of brokeness or not, -ates are unhealthy for the growth of the meta by centralization, which encourages stagnation and reduces diversity.

Pre-510, -ates were strong, but any good defensive or bulky Pokemon could handle them. This is no longer true as even now type-resistant mons have difficulty withstanding their attacks due to the overall reduction of bulk in the meta. As such, having a strong, dedicated check is necessary, which is difficult due to the sheer number of coverage options available, which limits team building. -ates are also so powerful that the only reasons not to run one is because you're playing full-on stall, you're bluffing an -ate, or you're otherwise opposed to using them for whatever reason.

And because of the sheer power, especially in the priority department, many Pokemon who would otherwise be able to carve out a niche or even a major role are stuck sitting on the sidelines and are rarely used due to being weak to one or more -ate typings, just being too frail to take the boosted priority, or both. These include, but are by no means limited to, Zekrom, Absol-M, Ampharos-M, Lugia, Groudon, Palkia, Manectric, Skymin, and Thundurus. Removing or restricting -ates would, incidentally, increase the available variety of usable Pokemon, which in turn would allow for increased diversity. It'd also reduce stagnation as running -ates and -ate checks would no longer be necessary, which would free up those slots on teams to do something else.

Additionally, from the OMPL championship: http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/balancedhackmons-164375815

This is from a championship match and both players are those among the top players in the tier. They are also clearly playing to win, so no doubt they've done their research, carefully built and planned their teams, and determined what would be the strongest possible options for them to bring.

Now notice the make-up of those teams: two -ates purposely weak to Sheddy, one Protean Xtwo, one Shedinja, one defensive Steel, and one misc sweeper. I honestly doubt these two players collaborated in building their teams, especially since, based on his Gen V RMT, Lance appears to do his own thing rather than follow trends in whats strong and popular. Yet both players came to very similar conclusions on what team would give them the highest chance of winning.

Coincidence? Possibly, since it's one data point. But considering that's a championship match against top level players, it's still a strong data point.


-Point 3: Regardless of brokeness or not, -ates technically circumvent the ability clause.

By spamming -ates, you're threat stacking to the point where checks cannot function indefinitely and eventually the team crumbles to constant Extreme Burst spam. This was a problem pre-Ability Clause with most abilities, whether it be Contrary, Poison Heal, Simple, or whatever. This is still a problem with -ate abilities. And technically a few others, but I don't think anyone has ever been scared of a team with a pair of Battle Armor and a pair of Shell Armor users.


-Counterpoint: Banning -ates would make this other thing broken, which we'd have to ban too. And then that would make this broken, which would need to be banned. And then this, and then this, and then the tier is completely unrecognizable.

First of all, this is the slippery-slope logical fallacy. There's no way to be certain that anything else would have be banned.

Second, if A is broken, but it is kept in check by B, which is just as or more broken, it does not make A any less broken. This would be like arguing that, in standard, "Gengar-M is perfectly fine since Kanga-M can check it with Parental Bond Crunch/Sucker Punch and is commonly used. Therefore, we should not ban Kanga-M because then we'd have to ban Gengar-M too."

If something is unhealthy for the meta, it must be dealt with. Keeping something that's unhealthy just to prevent something else from breaking things is not the way to do things.


-Counterpoint: Well there's this other thing that's also broken, so why are we banning -ates instead of it?

One thing at a time. There's a few things I'd like to be looked at, but going after everything at once would be a confusing cluster cluck at best. This is what I felt was the most deserving of attention, hence why I'm doing it first.

Also, just because you feel something is more broken doesn't mean the proposed thing is any less broken. That applies to this or any other ban proposals ever.



-Counterpoint: My team runs this specific check which works really well with the rest of my team, so -ates are not broken.

This is akin to saying Skymin is not broken in standard because you run Ice Shard. But ask yourself: what about teams without your metaphorical Ice Shard? What if that team would synergize very poorly with your Ice Shard? What then?

Or if you'd prefer a more "BH relevant" example, Huge/Pure Power. These were checked or countered by Chansey, Shedinja, and Fur Coat. They were still banned. Parental Bond was checked by Poison Heal Giratina. Still banned. Shadow Tag is checked by Ghost-types and Parting Volturn. Still banned. Wonder Guard has super-effective attacks and Mold Breaker. Still banned. No Guard Deo-S OHKO move spam has Sturdinja, Sturdy in general, and -ate priority (ironically). Still banned.

Just because it can be checked or countered does not mean it isn't unbroken or unhealthy.


-Counterpoint: But just use Chansey!

Anyone building a half decent team will have a way to handle their own -ates, such as a Sturdinja switch-in against one without an answer to Sturdinja. Or if they're really abusing -ate like hell, they can just revenge KO Chansey with another -ate, especially if they're packing stuff like a Rocky Helmet to ensure Chansey can't abuse priority back without taking lots of damage. And then there's also Imposter resistant/immune -ates, like Earth Plate Judgement Pixie Heatran.

Besides, if Chansey is the only reliable way to check or counter the majority of the -ate sets, then that's indicative of a problem. As good as Chansey is, and despite it supposedly being the glue that holds the tier together, using it should not be mandatory to function.

Also, Frustration is a thing and pisses off almost every Chansey. An -ate abuser can also utilize Facade plus a status orb, which gives it rather scary power that Chansey cannot copy.


-Counterpoint: Just use King's Shield!

Feint is a thing. Not common, but it is a thing that can cause rage quits when you bypass their Spiky King Shield.

Also, Boomburst and many coverage moves do not trigger the attack drop. A lot of -ate sweepers also don't care about the attack drop. Once they know you have King's Shield, they're going to avoid contact moves on turns you can use it and simply blast you with coverage, Boomburst, or status moves. Or they can just set-up in your face. King's Shield is not going to help you against a Belly Drum Speedster.

Also, what happens if you get, say, Pixelate Xern paired with Contrary Xern?

"But King's Shield with Protean on Ytwo let's me-"

Yes, this is an offensive check. However, you better damn sure kill the -ate in one shot because common Proteans outspeed common -ate users, which means you're about to take a Boomburst or a coverage move to the face after you lose your Steel typing and Ytwo can't take hits for crap*.

Plus I also doubt your Protean can switch in safely against an -ate user, therefore making it just a check.



*No, seriously. Unrelated, but funny.
252+ Atk Choice Band Technician Weedle Bug Bite vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Mega Mewtwo Y: 306-360 (86.4 - 101.6%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO



-Counterpoint: But Levitate Steel-types!

People use Levitate? If you're bringing this up, you're probably trying to counter my above Fairy/Ground Xern. Also, Thousand Arrows. Also also, V-Create, Sacred Fire, and Blue Flare. There's a reason why they usually prefer Flashfire. Also also also, coverage from every other type. Your Aggron likes taking Aura Spheres to the face just as much as it likes Earth Power without Levitate.


-Counterpoint: It's ruins my team!111!1!!!

This isn't, and never was, a valid argument against any ban ever.


-Recommend solution: Complex ban -ate + Boomburst, Extreme Speed, and Fake Out. These three moves are the biggest offenders in the -ates arsenal. Removing them would reign their power in quite a bit. I'm not a big fan of complex bans, but I'll admit that this may be enough to bring -ates in line and does offer an attractive middle road between an outright ban and doing nothing. While complex bans are ugh, I feel this is the best solution to the problem and, should -ates still be broken after this, then we could take things farther.

-Alternative solution 1: Straight-up ban -ates. I've already outlined my reasoning above, so I don't need to elaborate on here. However, I'd also recommend that Gardevoirite be banned along with this so as to shut down a rule loophole and to maintain consistency.

-Alternative solution 2: Treat Pixelate, Refrigerate, and Aerilate all as the same ability when being enforced by Ability Clause. This prevents the threat stacking problem and alleviates the technical loophole allowing all six of them to be used creates. This can be combined with other solutions, but I do not recommend implementing it alone since it does little to address the problems of stagnation and diversity reduction. If implemented, I also recommend applying it to Mold Breaker/Terravolt/Turbo Blaze, Vital Spirit/Insomnia, Battle Armor/Shell Armor, and any other pairs/triplets I'm missing for consistency's sake.

Alternative solution 3: Complex ban -ate + STAB. Aka no Refrigerate Kyu-B, but Pixelate Kyu-B would be okay. I don't like this solution, since it still doesn't address stuff like Pixelate Xtwo who's about as scary as Pixel Xerneas, if not more, but I'm still offering it in case I'm the minority in that opinion.
 
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Lcass4919

The Xatu Warrior
stuff you said
okay, i agree with every point you said. that definatly what makes a pokemon uber. but your entire arguement is kind of assuming uber logic is bh logic. hear me out first, bh logic is way more vast then ubers, like...completely uncomparable. most importantly, there are numerous pokemon in the teir that can ko half the meta, heck, in reality, they ALL can given they get the right utility.

mega mewtwo x and y can both run both sides of the spectrum and nothing can stop them at all. given you have the moveslots to do so. however, the main problem with assuming this though, is that we are...god i say this so much...a vast metagame. i can run various attacks on various pokemon and OBVIOUSLY destroy the metagame with it given i have a unique counter to said pokemon. and if you invest in offenses only you are obviously going to badly injure more bulky teams. but then you forget your slow as shit, and mega mewtwo x/y proceed to completely shit on your xernias with kings sheild and a powerfull attacking move. or i can run regenvest ogre and slowly whittle down your hp meanwhile your stuck hitting me with extremespeed which will barely get me below 50 percent. this metagame cant ban stuff simply because "you can ko the entire metagame with it given you have the right utility" because in that sense. why isnt shedinja banned because it can ko every offensive pokemon with endeavoir, ice shard, or go smashpass, or it can pivot out or it can pain split to avoid rocky helmit, or run sash to avoid moldy pursuit etc etc or it can even run prankster dbond and just ko a pokemon on your team flat out (bad example i know) but do you at least somewhat get my trail of thought?

like, if we go by banning stuff based on "what makes a pokemon uber" then we might as well ban the entire concept of bh, because every pokemon has access to what makes a pokemon "uber". perfect coverage, powerful attacks, godlike abilities, impossibly high bulk. your counter arguments also completely avoids the MAIN con of doing this. "if we ban ilate we have to ban more stuff" no. its "if we ban illate, we ban every decently fast and powerfull sweeper, every setup move in the game, every powerful attack in the game" and so on and so forth. the main arguement against this ban, is if we don't have good revenge killers in an offensive meta, then this meta will become SUPER sweeping orientated. and forces everyone to run prankster topsy turvy since thats the ONLY counter to setup sweepers. and dont tell me "thats a bad argument" because unlike saying "oh this ban will force more bans" im saying "this ban will centralize the meta towards setup sweeping"
 
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i guess if people are really against evasion we might as well ban it. It doesn't really add anything to the meta but i don't really think its that broken. That being said the metagame would probably be healthier without it so i would support a ban. Also I agree with all of Lcass's points. BH logic is a whole different animal from standard tier logic. When you have the ability to choose any ability or move you gain flexibility in how you want to deal with things. This is how BH "self balances." I honestly think the argument for banning ates is parallel to the argument for banning imposter Chansey. Both are centralizing but keep the metagame in balance by checking set up sweepers. I feel like ates are a vital part of the current metagame.
 

xJownage

Even pendulums swing both ways
-ate is a lot more than a check for one or two mons, its a check for 95% of the setup sweepers in the tier. Dont forget; This isint OU mentality, or even ubers mentality. We only ban what is blatantly uncompetitive, and sometimes not even that. If you want to argue that -ate is completely uncompetitive and puts the game in the hands of luck be my guest. You will be wrong though.

The banning of ate would be the moment of truth for the tier. Do we continue to only ban things in absolute desperation, or do we actually try to make a balanced metagame?

This being said, -ate is very powerful, but banning it outright would be the beginning of this becoming restricted hackmons instead of balanced hackmons.

I am in perfect agreement with only allowing two -ate mons per team, conjoining all the -ate abilities in the ability clause

Why is this the best direction for the tier? Because we can keep the tier's best checks for sweepers, but prevent full-team -ate spam from being so outrageously overpowered in the tier. This allows us to nerf and overpowered team archetype without destroying the meta.

Btw -ate isint bad for stall, its a boon to it. Just imagine the way the meta would look...mold breaker shell smash everything. This ate clause is making this a much more balanced metagame imo.



Can we just ban evasion already?
 

Lcass4919

The Xatu Warrior
-ate is a lot more than a check for one or two mons, its a check for 95% of the setup sweepers in the tier. Dont forget; This isint OU mentality, or even ubers mentality. We only ban what is blatantly uncompetitive, and sometimes not even that. If you want to argue that -ate is completely uncompetitive and puts the game in the hands of luck be my guest. You will be wrong though.

The banning of ate would be the moment of truth for the tier. Do we continue to only ban things in absolute desperation, or do we actually try to make a balanced metagame?

This being said, -ate is very powerful, but banning it outright would be the beginning of this becoming restricted hackmons instead of balanced hackmons.

I am in perfect agreement with only allowing two -ate mons per team, conjoining all the -ate abilities in the ability clause

Why is this the best direction for the tier? Because we can keep the tier's best checks for sweepers, but prevent full-team -ate spam from being so outrageously overpowered in the tier. This allows us to nerf and overpowered team archetype without destroying the meta.

Btw -ate isint bad for stall, its a boon to it. Just imagine the way the meta would look...mold breaker shell smash everything. This ate clause is making this a much more balanced metagame imo.



Can we just ban evasion already?
lol. didnt i just summarize ALL of that in my previous post ;) but seriously. i strongly want to support the "illate all being one ability" standpoint
 
OK, as one of the few people here that's played with evasion from the side using it, I can say that almost everything regarding banning evasion in this thread is biased and some of it false.

There are a ton of counters for evasion. And they have all been named in this thread. Yet people choose to ignore them and instead focus on the fact that they think it's playing with the RNG and an uncompetitive strategy. While that may have been true last generation, the fact that topsy-turvy, heart swap, roar, skill swap, and haze can't actually miss means that you simply weren't prepared for evasion and you have nothing to blame but your team for losing. Plain and simple.

And no, it is not as reliant on luck as people make it out to be. Baton pass teams frequently have speed boosts under their belt and use substitute to minimize the risk of the chain being broken by consecutive hits. They also add in said speed boosts early on, which makes them usually get these substitutes up first. Even if the speed boosts aren't in, you can baton pass to a prankster to get the subbing done to get your free turn anyhow. Combine this with Pokemon that will be hand-picked to be either resistant or neutral to -ate to dodge extremespeed priority which would otherwise be problematic, and the odds are significantly in the baton passer's favor.

Take for example, +4 evasion, which is reached after using simple minimize. After reaching this number, all enemy moves now have a 42% chance to hit. Now, the average poster in this thread would point out that this is a 50/50 scenario which promotes luck rather than skill.

But then you factor in substitute. At +4 evasion, the chance of you breaking 4 substitutes in a row is of 3%. You have a 3% chance of coming out on top against a simple minimize baton pass chain if you decide to spam attacks and expect to win. Sorry, you are not getting haxed, but outplayed.

And no, the baton pass issue here is not similar to OU, because the ways you can beat baton pass are quite frankly both widespread and viable here, and you have no excuse not to be using them. Packing Haze on your Chansey is not difficult at all for God's sake:



Crafty (Chansey) @ Eviolite
Ability: Imposter
Happiness: 0
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Skill Swap
- Haze
- Soft-Boiled
- Aromatherapy / Fake Out

And if the "it's uncompetitive" route is to be taken on this issue, why not ban no guard as well? Zap cannon + Dynamic Punch is a complete pain in the ass, and has swept me in many a won game before. It's not broken, obviously. But what's to stop this from getting banned if it basically completely rips you apart if you get unlucky with the RNG?
 
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Lcass4919

The Xatu Warrior
to save space im just going to say look up
klang. realise when people say "theres only one counter to minimize" they are referring to prankster in itself and not the moves in question.minimize sweepers forces you to run prankster, otherwise they will find the one time you cant stop them, and set up minimizes and smashes, and then proceed to sweep your team. all they have to do is go in on your sweeper, set up a minimize catching them off guard, and then smash when they go into their roarer, and sweep. OR they can just run simple minimize pass, and go into a magic bouncer, forcing you yet again, to rely on a prankster.

another thing, you are not "outplaying" someone when their team has nothing to stop minimize. you are abusing their flaw in weakness. one means you outsmart(-ed?) the opponent, which trust me, clicking minimize when they have nothing for it is NOT outplaying. but that's just a nitpick of mine, and doesn't really contribute to my point and reason or counter argument.

evasion is just kind of thought as "the bastard child" of smogon, not many people like it, because without the nessisary utility, it easily mows through teams. now yes, in bh it IS different. but really, should we run prankster topsy turvy JUST to catch a minimize sweeper off guard? setup sweeping is actually so rare in bh now, mainly because ilates keep them in check. of course im speaking in the "neutral party" minimize isnt really a problem to me, seeing how i am decently lucky, and i do know how to deal with minimize. id just like to see it gone, since i dislike having to prepare for something im only going to see 1% of the time. but to each their own.

one last thing, that chansey does nothing to solve the main issue. which isnt "baton pass chains" its simple sweepers i find to be the worst. because they have 0 switchins once they get going and they gotten into the habit of running infest to stop you from escaping. its just so stupid because every revenge killer in the teir has a 50/50 if not lower chance to beat it.
 

E4 Flint

-inactive in BH due corrupt leader-
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There are a ton of counters for evasion. And they have all been named in this thread. Yet people choose to ignore them and instead focus on the fact that they think it's playing with the RNG and an uncompetitive strategy. While that may have been true last generation, the fact that topsy-turvy, heart swap, roar, skill swap, and haze can't actually miss means that you simply weren't prepared for evasion and you have nothing to blame but your team for losing. Plain and simple.
Let's bring back Shadow Tag and Arena Trap because after all, all you need to do is carry Shed Shell, or a switching move. OHKO moves can be easily countered with Sturdy as well. And if you don't keep one, that's your problem. Your own example of No Guard can be beaten if only you'd have run Natural Cure, Shield Dust or more; why didn't you? I guess you were outplayed. You may argue why I'm comparing evasion to powerful abilities like them. Well for one, they can be run on any mon, regardless of ability, and even a normal +2 evasion is enough to screw many people over, and two will be my next point:

And no, it is not as reliant on luck as people make it out to be. Baton pass teams frequently have speed boosts under their belt and use substitute to minimize the risk of the chain being broken by consecutive hits. They also add in said speed boosts early on, which makes them usually get these substitutes up first. Even if the speed boosts aren't in, you can baton pass to a prankster to get the subbing done to get your free turn anyhow. Combine this with Pokemon that will be hand-picked to be either resistant or neutral to -ate to dodge extremespeed priority which would otherwise be problematic, and the odds are significantly in the baton passer's favor.
Except that most people who run evasion are not you, me or Kumi; many run minimize alone and that is it. The idea here isn't what's good when it's in the hands of a good player, it's if two average players play each other, does the skilled one come out on top. Consider; a person who with much difficulty, prediction, planning and strategy was able to set up let's say Garchomp at +2 atk +2 def (bulk up maybe) and is just about to win the game. Suddenly, the opponent send out his Deoxys Speed, proceeds to Minimize and then protect, leech and substitute spam the rest of the game (but oh! If only the garchomp had carried haze!). That is not being outplayed, even though that is using the same substitute principle and adding protect on top of it; that is using something very rare that he didn't prepare for, and using constraints outside the control of a player namely the PP system and RNG. Which brings me to what I wanted to say in this point. Noone is arguing that it COULD be strategic and tactical if used properly; however, like ST and ohko moves, it can also be used completely randomly by any person at all and introduce something that is completely independent of skill. Are you trying to tell me spamming evasion here is skillful?

Why should the average player have to switch out the sweeper he could probably have won with, to chansey, and be forced use haze or skill swap (which can also be blocked with taunt)? These moves also are pretty situational and will not help the player in nearly every other matchup in the tier, unless everyone suddenly starts using evasion. Setting the moves would be fine if we have infinite moveslots, but the fact is we are only limited to a pool of 24 moves, all of which are pretty valuable. The fact that you are promoting people to always run 1/24th of their available tools for a strategy used 0.1% of the time is already indicative of the problem. Of course, you could say that we already do that with Imposter and Sturdy, but these are pretty well defined as to which mons are used and there are multiple ways to beat them. As mentioned before, evasion is not like this, as it can be used for example as a last resort option by any person with any skill level on any mon with any set.

Furthermore, you are ignoring one more thing that if someone DOES use haze, the opponent can simply use minimize again especially after the hazer switches out because it won't be able to force the opponent out in any way if they have magic bounce. Heart Swap is even worse as now the game is artificially extended with whoever gets the better chance winning. Okay, let's haze every turn to try and pp stall it (a possible strategy right? Of course the game would be extremely dull and would not progress). Okay, next time the opponent should just use more moves that increase evasion instead! But hey, we have the tools; let's put haze on every mon!

Take for example, +4 evasion, which is reached after using simple minimize. After reaching this number, all enemy moves now have a 42% chance to hit. Now, the average poster in this thread would point out that this is a 50/50 scenario which promotes luck rather than skill.

But then you factor in substitute. At +4 evasion, the chance of you breaking 4 substitutes in a row is of 3%. You have a 3% chance of coming out on top against a simple minimize baton pass chain if you decide to spam attacks and expect to win. Sorry, you are not getting haxed, but outplayed.
This is ignoring the obvious fact that now there is a commonly used move that gets around substitute completely, something far more common that haze or heart swap. Unless you're running six soundproofers (which isn't possible anymore anyway) it returns the game back to the luck-based play. Also please explain to me how you would proceed to break a sub if you don't "spam attacks" against a magic bouncer or someone with taunt?

Idk how you can ignore all of these things and attack us just on "laziness" or "bias". You know my track record of not wanting to introduce bans if I can help it, instead choosing to try and deal with the problem as much as I can beforehand. Even now, I can beat most teams who use evasion, even Kumi, you and in the past gtfo who spammed it more than any of us combined, because the solution is actually none of the ones listed here, but to stop the boosting before it begins. The only times I have lost to it have not been strategic pass chains and tactical sub set ups, but a random evasion boost when I do a switch in and then was unable to get rid of it due to RNG, near the end of a game that I normally would've won. I personally wouldn't be hit hard if evasion continues to be in the game but it doesn't sit easy with me that new players come in and are given the information that since most people will not run specific moves for it, use luck to win. At the end of the day, noone will remember you for using tactics, they will remember as you using a dick move, akin to using the infinite stall method only with half the setup, skill and time.
 

xJownage

Even pendulums swing both ways
Here is my question:

What do we gain if we keep evasion?

Lets be practical: its a trolly way to make a metagame much less skill based and only causes frustration and immature kids to scream at you on showdown.
 
And no, the baton pass issue here is not similar to OU, because the ways you can beat baton pass are quite frankly both widespread and viable here, and you have no excuse not to be using them. Packing Haze on your Chansey is not difficult at all for God's sake:

Crafty (Chansey) @ Eviolite
Ability: Imposter
Happiness: 0
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Skill Swap
- Haze
- Soft-Boiled
- Aromatherapy / Fake Out
Not running chansey is a thing in the upper ladder. Are you telling me I have to run Chansey or else i am going to get killed by evasion? Magic bounce+ sub stops most of the the other viable options. Correct me if i am wrong but the only way to stop a magic bounce+sub evasion combo is haze and heart swap. Both of which need to be run on prankster to be effective. I suppose you could run moldy taunt but all of the solutions i just mention are really only good against evasion. Any other set up sweeper can at least be revenge killed by an -ate. Evasion is unique among set up techniques because it shuts down revenge killing options. The sub is always the first thing to come up when an evasion mon is about to set up and once that happens your options are super limited. Against a smash pass at least you have a revenge kill opportunity. But Evasion basically makes the pokemon immune to revenge kills and that is hardly competitive or fair. Even if your haze counter does work the sub can be passed to a pokemon that can kill your counter, then your opponent simply goes back to the minimize mon and repeats the process. The pressure is not on the evasion player to find the right time to set up and sweep, but rather to the pressure is on the other player to keep his evasion counter alive and well because he can't touch the minimize pokemon once it starts doing its thing. Perhaps higher level strategists may find this simple but the majority of players do not.
 
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