BH Balanced Hackmons Suspects and Bans Thread

Im just going to errrr ignore the last few posts above and focus on addressing SL's response to my non ban argument because as far as I can tell, he was the only one that addressed the points I brought up.



I want to start by saying that I don't disagree with pretty much anything in this post, everything above is pretty valid and translates into real game situations. I would however like to bring up a few points. The first one is a point about momentum. It is true that shed acts as a very large momentum drain on opposing teams unable to deal with it, however, the way teams running shedinja are structured usually makes it harder to capitalise on this momentum than it would appear on paper.

Most Shed teams are structured as follows:
Shedinja (obviously) / a bouncer (for keeping shed alive) / imposter (for scouting mold moves)
beyond that it gets a little bit more complicated. A shed team requires other walls to switch in on things shed can't. Imposter is a good start to this but is insufficient paired with bounce. Usually, to really cover the bases well this requires two other walls: say a prankster (which also deals with setup) and a regenerator or PH.

When you add up all those mons you only have 1 slot left. Some shed teams skimp on the extra wall in order to have more offensive presence, but for almost all shed teams there are going to be either 0, 1, or 2 offensive mons. This makes momentum much harder to capitalise on. If you have 0 breakers, it makes it nearly irrelevant, and if the opposing team has a mon that walls your 1 to 2 breakers than it also makes momentum much less important than it would otherwise be. I feel like this fact is especially important because while shed teams do grant momentum, their basic structure makes that momentum less important than it would be on a non shedinja team.

The second point I would like to bring up is that while worse in some aspects, fur coat mons (or other fat mons intended to fufill a shedinja-like, momentum draining role, say regen zy) require 0 team support and are inherently much longer lived than shedinja. They do not have the same positive aspects (lack of HP mantainence required) but they also possess none of the negative aspects. They do not die to mold pursuit, nor weather nor whirlwind. At this point it is a tradeoff between these two aspects.

I would argue that because of these two things (shedinja teams not being able to capitalise on momentum quite as freely as other teams using alternative walls and shedinja teams being inherently more frail (but also requiring less HP maintenance)) Shedinja is indeed a solid option in the team builder, but not far and away a better one than some other alternative walls. If this is in fact true, then I would ask why we are looking into banning shedinja, while altogether ignoring other walls.
You do'nt need several breaker when you can just play Mega ray :p
 
E4 Flint
I don’t think the Species Clause is an issue except for meme Shedinja teams where they always show as 100% health, the PS! Stacks all moves of the same species together so it can be hard to know which set is which, and they can be difficult to take down depending on what they do.

As for Mold Moves, do you plan to suspect all of them? I feel like Sunsteel should be looked at more carefully than the other 2, since the others have a type immune to them.

For me, Sunsteel doesn’t seem powerful without Unburden or Simple Smash (Tyranitar-Mega), and while a complex ban is often looked down upon it wouldn’t make sense to ban all Moldy Moves when they are typically only too much when paired with a set up move.
 
OM! Don't forget the Ray-spam teams, the Mewtwo-spam teams, the Kyogre-spam teams, or whatever else. The whole point of those teams is threat stacking, in which you load up all on one really strong thing (or slight variants of it due to ability clause) to the point where they'll overwhelm the opponent's check(s)/counter(s) to the given mon. It's a threat stacking situation, which is similar to the reasoning for ability clause back in the day.

For Moldy Moves, it's best to suspect them all. If, for any reason, there's concern one might not be as broken as the other, it could simply be handled similar to the GKR suspect in ORAS where they're all done at the same time but people can vote ban or no ban on each individually. (Or was it just Groudon/Kyogre seperate from Ray? I forget.)

As for a "set-up + moldy move" complex ban... I don't think it's an appropriate response there. A complex ban, if done, should be simple, obvious, straight forward, like Sleep Talk + Comatose. But for set-up moldy, what constitutes as set-up? All stat boosting moves or only Attack/Special attack? Is it legal for me to Baton Pass the boosts? Is using Psychic Terrain (the move) considered set-up for Photon Geyser? Is using Acid Spray considered set-up? Is stealing boosts with Heart Swap/Power Swap/Spectral Thief considered set-up? Is bouncing Parting Shot off of opposing Magic Bounce and then bouncing Topsy Turvy off of it considered set-up? Is using the Metronome item considered set-up? Is boosting with Defiant or Anger Point considered set-up? And so on.

It'd all kind of muddy and you have to draw a line somewhere otherwise the complex ban ends up looking like "Sunsteel Strike may not be used in combination with Coil, Howl, Shift Gear, Swords Dance, Belly Drum, Work Up, Shell Smash, Power-up Punch, Parting Shot + Topsy-Turvy, Spectral Thief, Baton Pass on teammates, Heart Swap, Power Swap, Speed Boost, Fire Lash, Leer, Defiant, Anger Point, Meteor Mash, etc. etc. etc."

And I didn't even ask if damage boost abilities like Steelworker, Guts, or Adaptability, among many others, counted.

Which, yeah, it also doesn't address potential problems from stuff like Steel Worker Banded Kartana/Duskmane or Adapt Band Photon or Adapt Specs MMY or other wallbreakers, which can do stuff like utterly blow away stuff like Fur Coat Pokemon that would otherwise wall them, among other things.
 
moldy moves are a healthy addition to the metagame because they provide strong counterplay to shed and enable a greater diversity of offensive threats to be viable, like kartana, adapt mmx, specs gar etc. sunsteel in particular is a very welcome addition to the tier imo as it gives mons like ttar and mmx a reasonable coverage move they can run to hit fairies. they're only broken in combination with shell smash and belly drum, and i think it's pretty clear which half of that equation is the problem.
 
OM! Don't forget the Ray-spam teams, the Mewtwo-spam teams, the Kyogre-spam teams, or whatever else. The whole point of those teams is threat stacking, in which you load up all on one really strong thing (or slight variants of it due to ability clause) to the point where they'll overwhelm the opponent's check(s)/counter(s) to the given mon. It's a threat stacking situation, which is similar to the reasoning for ability clause back in the day.

For Moldy Moves, it's best to suspect them all. If, for any reason, there's concern one might not be as broken as the other, it could simply be handled similar to the GKR suspect in ORAS where they're all done at the same time but people can vote ban or no ban on each individually. (Or was it just Groudon/Kyogre seperate from Ray? I forget.)

As for a "set-up + moldy move" complex ban... I don't think it's an appropriate response there. A complex ban, if done, should be simple, obvious, straight forward, like Sleep Talk + Comatose. But for set-up moldy, what constitutes as set-up? All stat boosting moves or only Attack/Special attack? Is it legal for me to Baton Pass the boosts? Is using Psychic Terrain (the move) considered set-up for Photon Geyser? Is using Acid Spray considered set-up? Is stealing boosts with Heart Swap/Power Swap/Spectral Thief considered set-up? Is bouncing Parting Shot off of opposing Magic Bounce and then bouncing Topsy Turvy off of it considered set-up? Is using the Metronome item considered set-up? Is boosting with Defiant or Anger Point considered set-up? And so on.

It'd all kind of muddy and you have to draw a line somewhere otherwise the complex ban ends up looking like "Sunsteel Strike may not be used in combination with Coil, Howl, Shift Gear, Swords Dance, Belly Drum, Work Up, Shell Smash, Power-up Punch, Parting Shot + Topsy-Turvy, Spectral Thief, Baton Pass on teammates, Heart Swap, Power Swap, Speed Boost, Fire Lash, Leer, Defiant, Anger Point, Meteor Mash, etc. etc. etc."

And I didn't even ask if damage boost abilities like Steelworker, Guts, or Adaptability, among many others, counted.

Which, yeah, it also doesn't address potential problems from stuff like Steel Worker Banded Kartana/Duskmane or Adapt Band Photon or Adapt Specs MMY or other wallbreakers, which can do stuff like utterly blow away stuff like Fur Coat Pokemon that would otherwise wall them, among other things.
I agree with your point on what constitutes set up. And then items like Weakness Policy and others become an ongoing issue.

Maybe what I meant was more along what MAMP was getting at (Shell & Belly Drum). As using Cotton Guard won’t be an issue.

I am not really sure if Belly Drum or Shell Smash are the problem. If you take away Unburden, Belly Drum would have to rely on Gluttony and Salac Berry, not be able to heal back up to 75% and wouldn’t be Imposterproof vs Scarf 50% of the time, and would fear Trick and Knock Off even more.

Plus it could be outspeed by faster Scarf users (especially on Dusk-Mane) like Scarf Gar.

Overall, I think Unburden is what makes Belly Drum broken. As your emphasis was on Sunsteel Strike on Unburden Dusk-Mane and Kartana, and they can break Imposter, and suddenly outspeed the metagame. Afterall, if the other sets are not relevant (Dazzling, Triage, and other Drummer Set...), then the issue is what makes Unburden push Belly Drum up to the OP limits.

As for Simple White Herb Shell Smash, they will likely use Stored Power or Power Trip and a Moldy Move, but they are more vulnerable to Haze, Topsy Turvey, and Spectral Thief, while Unburden is immune to the effects of + Speed removal.

I don’t know what to do. Unburden can be less broken with Shell Smash, but I feel like none of them are broken in their own, even Belly Drum.

Was Belly Drum considered a bannable thing last Gen?
If not, then it’s not Belly Drum that is the problem, it’s the changes to what stacks on top of it that is the problem.
 
So, a history lesson.

If memory serves correctly, set-up moves were a bit contentious last generation, but I don't think any discussions for suspecting any of them got any serious traction. And the times it did, it was about Simple and Contrary rather than the moves themselves. And, mind, this was in a meta with a 510 EV limit too, so face-tanking boosted attacks was even more difficult.

Worth noting that, all across Gen VI, the main tools for answering set-up were Unaware, Imposter, Shedinja, and (usually Prankster) Topsy-Turvy. Haze was considered a bad move because the enemy could simply just set back up. Heart Swap was usable, but risky because of Shell Smash. Shuffling and Perish Song existed, but were uncommon to rare depending at which point you're looking in Gen VI. Spectral Thief did not exist. Prankster Destiny Bond was still the same as now. Unaware options were fairly diverse and almost any viable wall could run it, although you had to keep Contrary in mind.

Set up was a little bit more conservative as well as Shell Smash (until mid-late ORAS) and Belly Drum weren't the most common picks, Illusion Drum Slaking notwithsanding. Lots of set-up sweepers ran Shift Gear, Quiver Dance, and Tail Glow. Coil and Swords Dance were things too, but pretty rare.

If we go back a little farther to Gen V, the landscape, if memory serves, was similar in regards to set-up. Except Belly Drum (besides Slaking and Prankodon*) and Shell Smash** were considered even riskier and therefore even more uncommon, with Quiver Dance, Tail Glow, Shift Gear, and Contrary being THE set-up to use. Set-up was typically answered by Unaware, Shedinja, Imposter, and just the general stally nature of the metagame not letting the set-up get any real traction. Or it was nuked by weather teams before it could get going.

Set-up moves never really came up as being broken in V. Mold Breaker did once it was fixed to properly bypass Unaware, but, if memory serves, things settled back down once people adjusted.

Gen V and VI are also notable in having a bit of a rock paper scissors situation. Prankster beats Mold Breaker, which beats Magic Bounce/Unaware, which beats Prankster. Depending on whether you had Bounce or Unaware in the equation depended on whether you were talking about hazard/status users or set-up users. Exceptions applied, of course.

*Prankodon was Prankster Groudon running Nature Power, which turned into Earthquake in that generation. Although Landorus and Eviolite Rhydon ran that strategy too. They'd often attempt to Spore > Belly Drum > Sweep.

**There were some Smash Stored Power users, usually Jirachi on teams with a Magnet Pull user to trap Imposters and opposing Jirachis.



Set-up itself didn't really get many new tools to play with this generation outside of Power Trip and some Z-move shenannigans like Z-Belly Drum while anti-set up lost the reliability of Prankster Topsy but gained Z-Haze and, way, way more importantly, Spectral Thief, which alone all but practically killed the slower, more deliberate set-up strategies (and Baton Pass chains to boot).

However, set-up users did get these powerful moves that ignore defensive abilities, letting them bypass sets that would have otherwise stopped them cold. They also got anti-priority abilities or, in Dark's case, natural Prankster immunity. This broke the circular trinity the past two generations had. Whether that is a good thing or not is a matter of opinion and perspective.


But, there's the history as best as I can remember it. Anyone else who was around can feel free to chime in or correct me. But either way, hopefully that'll help you answer the question: "What should we suspect? The chicken or the egg?"
 
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So uh more discussion about set up in bh right?


hmm where to start... When people talk about set up in bh, chances are theyre talking about sets using shell smash. It's the most common and outside of the one notable set (Triage Ray), the most outright threatening. Doubtful anyone would argue with me on this but my reasoning in short is that it doubles three stats at once.

Now, shell smash sets can come in many forms, as evidenced by multiple posts on the main bh thread. The moves and abilities can vary, something as simple as dazzle smash mmx to slightly less simple smash mguard diancie or galvanize zekrom. Shell smash, and set-up in general, has been a topic of discussion throughout the entire generation. It comes in and out of focus as more pressing issues are discussed. One of the big reasons no action is taken besides that though, is the argument as to what to do is not one that has been resolved. You could say that this is due to the communities inability to come to a consensus on this, but I would disagree. A significant portion has already decided what course of action should be and what they want, but a few outliers fuel the argument.

There are three things that are discussed when it comes to smash:

Shell smash - As stated above, doubles both offenses and speed. Mons using this don't have much issue running mixed sets, making them even more threatening. Has weakness of lowering defenses, making it vulnerable to priority. Buuutt...

Dazzling/Queenly Majesty - Completely blocks priority, taking away one of shell smashes weaknesses. Makes smash sets very difficult to revenge kill. Has weakness of not providing much power on its own, meaning you cant beat set up checks any better.

Moldy moves - Sunsteel, Moongeist, and Photon. Decently strong moves that bypass the many would be checks such as unaware and shed.

Now, the arguments usually are the same; without anti-priority -ate and prankster topsy become more viable as counterplay to smash, and without moldy moves unaware and shed become more viable as checks to smash. Neither of the previous statements are wrong by any means.

They are, however, flawed reasoning for why either of those things should go.
An Ability should be considered for ban based on:
  • "Splashable"ility:
    Can be slapped onto nearly any 'mon, regardless of role, stat spread or moveset .e.g. Shadow Tag and Wonder Guard
  • Extreme Augmentation:
    The capabilities of the 'mon it is on that the set in question are difficult or impossible to check or counter. This implies that the power originates from the ability and that the choice of 'mon, item and even moveset, is irrelevant. e.g. Pure Power, Parental Bond
A banworthy move would be:
  • An attack with either no counters, or unreasonably niche or unusable ones e.g. OHKO Moves
  • A move (attack or status) that removes the emphasis on skill, planning and/or preparation and moves the outcome to forces not in control of the player e.g. Chatter
They would be effective without needing real synergy with the Pokemon itself, its ability, the rest of its moveset, item or any in-game condition
Take the time to actually read these, and you'll quickly understand why.

Splashability: Can be slapped onto nearly any mon regardless of role or moveset: Not at all. Dazzling on pokemon without shell smash is not nearly as threatening. Moves such as Tail Glow and Shift Gear don't boost stats the same way, and while still potentially fearsome, are not made much more so due to dazzling. The fact that mons using them are not easily revenge killed by priority to begin with (compared to how they would be with smash) lowers the significance of the ability. Dazzling on pokemon without set up is nigh useless. Any ability that actually gives power would be preferable.

Extreme Augmentation: As stated above about no-set up Dazzling, it gives no actual power on its own. The moves I run (shell smash, stabs, coverage) are what give the set power.

No Counters, or unreasonably niche or unusable ones: Nope. Sunsteel, Moongeist, and Photon by themselves do not fit this. Resists to steel are plentiful in the meta, Moongeist checks are also not very hard to find, considering it has an immunity and is only a 100 bp move by itself. The only time its ability to bypass abilities matters when it comes to its ability to hit things is against sturdy shedinja. Photon is a mix of both the moves weaknesses.

Removes emphasis on skill, planning, and or preparation and moves the outcome to forces not in control of the player: Must I really explain how this one is not true? These moves have no elements similar to chatter, our one example of this rule, that eliminates a need for skill (no insane secondary effect that inflicts a status) or planning (you can't just continuously click any of these moves for free).


Now, I think it's clear to see that neither moldy moves nor Dazzling/Queenly Majesty fit any of the guidelines laid out. But what about Smash? Multiple posts in the main bh thread have showed that almost anything can run shell smash set up and have a substantial threat level. Yes it has a perfectly viable check in prankster, but what is stopping the opponent from running more than one? It's impossible to cover every possible shell smash user. Rayquaza, kyub, and gengar all have the potential to smash one of if not both the most common prankster mons in the meta. Prankster mons tend to work, but there are mons that they would want to haze on that could potentially break them, leaving you vulnerable to more smash. And nothing stops them from just using more smash. The constant is smash, so we take down the constant, the source. NOT the mere tools used. And that's not even getting into belly drum and how unburden without it is only slightly more useful than no smash dazzling. Please for the love of anything you hold dear, stop suggesting dumb things to be banned just so that you can hold on to your precious move or mon which is so obviously the problem. Yes, they are guidelines, yes, they have could have exceptions, but these are just absurd. It's like if we had banned spooky judgment instead of protean; It doesn't solve anything and the thing in question (smash/protean) is still good without it (it being moldy moves).
 
So uh more discussion about set up in bh right?


hmm where to start... When people talk about set up in bh, chances are theyre talking about sets using shell smash. It's the most common and outside of the one notable set (Triage Ray), the most outright threatening. Doubtful anyone would argue with me on this but my reasoning in short is that it doubles three stats at once.

Now, shell smash sets can come in many forms, as evidenced by multiple posts on the main bh thread. The moves and abilities can vary, something as simple as dazzle smash mmx to slightly less simple smash mguard diancie or galvanize zekrom. Shell smash, and set-up in general, has been a topic of discussion throughout the entire generation. It comes in and out of focus as more pressing issues are discussed. One of the big reasons no action is taken besides that though, is the argument as to what to do is not one that has been resolved. You could say that this is due to the communities inability to come to a consensus on this, but I would disagree. A significant portion has already decided what course of action should be and what they want, but a few outliers fuel the argument.

There are three things that are discussed when it comes to smash:

Shell smash - As stated above, doubles both offenses and speed. Mons using this don't have much issue running mixed sets, making them even more threatening. Has weakness of lowering defenses, making it vulnerable to priority. Buuutt...

Dazzling/Queenly Majesty - Completely blocks priority, taking away one of shell smashes weaknesses. Makes smash sets very difficult to revenge kill. Has weakness of not providing much power on its own, meaning you cant beat set up checks any better.

Moldy moves - Sunsteel, Moongeist, and Photon. Decently strong moves that bypass the many would be checks such as unaware and shed.

Now, the arguments usually are the same; without anti-priority -ate and prankster topsy become more viable as counterplay to smash, and without moldy moves unaware and shed become more viable as checks to smash. Neither of the previous statements are wrong by any means.

They are, however, flawed reasoning for why either of those things should go.

Take the time to actually read these, and you'll quickly understand why.

Splashability: Can be slapped onto nearly any mon regardless of role or moveset: Not at all. Dazzling on pokemon without shell smash is not nearly as threatening. Moves such as Tail Glow and Shift Gear don't boost stats the same way, and while still potentially fearsome, are not made much more so due to dazzling. The fact that mons using them are not easily revenge killed by priority to begin with (compared to how they would be with smash) lowers the significance of the ability. Dazzling on pokemon without set up is nigh useless. Any ability that actually gives power would be preferable.

Extreme Augmentation: As stated above about no-set up Dazzling, it gives no actual power on its own. The moves I run (shell smash, stabs, coverage) are what give the set power.
I don't feel Dazzling is the problem.
No Counters, or unreasonably niche or unusable ones: Nope. Sunsteel, Moongeist, and Photon by themselves do not fit this. Resists to steel are plentiful in the meta, Moongeist checks are also not very hard to find, considering it has an immunity and is only a 100 bp move by itself. The only time its ability to bypass abilities matters when it comes to its ability to hit things is against sturdy shedinja. Photon is a mix of both the moves weaknesses.
I disagree here. That’s like saying Chatter was blocked by Soundproof, the same way Moongeist is blocked by Normal-types- I see your point, but that alone isn’t enough.

Also, what about Steelworker Sunsteel Strike Choice Band sets? Not only does it bypass Sturdy, it also bypasses Fur Coat, doesn’t require Shell Smash, and nothing is immune to it based on typing, and obviously not by ability, as Sturdy Shedinja would normally wall a single move otherwise.

The fact that a move can become nearly as strong as -ate Boomburst, is often used by Steel types that have secondary coverage such as Kartana (Power Whip) which can handle would-be checks such as Slowbro-Mega, and can 1-2HKO most of the metagame:

252+ Atk Choice Band Steelworker Kartana Sunsteel Strike vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Zygarde-Complete: 328-387 (51.5 - 60.8%) -- 91.8% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252+ Atk Choice Band Kartana Power Whip vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro-Mega: 390-462 (98.9 - 117.2%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO

Means that Shell Smash can be handled on the Special side by at least Assault Vest, and immunities, but to say there are plenty of Steel checks, especially with the vast array of coverage moves like V-Create which is nearly as powerful as a Z-move, without an item alleviates that answer of “resistances means it isn’t overpowered”. Send in a Slowbro-Mega on a predicted Sunsteel Strike and get 1HKOed by Power Whip, send in a Prankster Registeel on a predicted Belly Drum or Shell Smash to Haze the boosts away, and get KOed by V-Create, send in a Fur Coat wall and get bypassed thanks to Sunsteel Strike’s effect. This is BH, not OU, you can add nearly any move to ensure you have coverage. I think you are focusing on Moldy Moves as the coverage move without STAB, and that they alone cannot make something hard to switch into, but what if they are the main STAB move and the other coverage moves make Sunsteel Strike easier to exploit? Maybe you could argue for Photon and Moongeist because of an immunity, and bc it lacks an equivalent of Steelworker (since the Psychic Surge ban), but with high Attack, Steelworker and Choice Band. Shell Smash isn’t needed for Sunsteel Strike to feel OP, so you cannot blame set up moves for the power of the attack itself.

Further, what about CB MMX Adaptability Photon Geyser? it also bypasses Fur Coat, and it’s not just Shedinja, if anything that set is what made even Sableye-Mega have use. That is definitely a niche check/counter, and it’s main purpose in the metagame period. So that point you made about not creating niche counters omits Sabeleye-Mega.

Also, to a lesser degree, we can say that Aegislash with Flash Fire was niches to check/counter MMX as well. It just seems to fit the “needs specific niche checks to be handled” argument.

The same can be said about Muk-Alolan as a wall for Photon Geyser MMY, as Muk-Alolan literally has little real niche beyond a MMY check, and MMY Imposterproof - Photon Geyser, and Moongeist Beam obligated an obscure check for no other reason but their raw power and effect.

I even thought of Meloetta as Check for that same reason, simply bc MMY was so powerful, and it could wield either Moldy move, and a check has to be ready for not one but both, and that’s why some Normal-types like Arceus could struggle with Photon Geyser when their Unaware and typing was only designed to stop Moongeist Beam’s effect.

Also, Hustle could also be used on MMX to bypass its regular checks:

252+ Atk Choice Band Hustle Mewtwo-Mega-X Photon Geyser vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Giratina: 375-442 (74.4 - 87.6%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
And most Dark types like Gyarados-Mega fear Close Combat, so really unless you have Sableye-Mega, or Aegislash, it’s easy to see how OP these moves are without any set up.

252+ Atk Choice Band Hustle Mewtwo-Mega-X Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Yveltal: 481-567 (105.4 - 124.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO

So it’s not just about “100 Base power”, it’s about all of the power with STAB, item, and ability, and since this is a Choice Set, no Shell Smash or other set up to blame for the raw power of the move.
Removes emphasis on skill, planning, and or preparation and moves the outcome to forces not in control of the player:
Must I really explain how this one is not true? These moves have no elements similar to chatter, our one example of this rule, that eliminates a need for skill (no insane secondary effect that inflicts a status) or planning (you can't just continuously click any of these moves for free).
Agreed.
Now, I think it's clear to see that neither moldy moves nor Dazzling/Queenly Majesty fit any of the guidelines laid out. But what about Smash? Multiple posts in the main bh thread have showed that almost anything can run shell smash set up and have a substantial threat level. Yes it has a perfectly viable check in prankster, but what is stopping the opponent from running more than one? It's impossible to cover every possible shell smash user. Rayquaza, kyub, and gengar all have the potential to smash one of if not both the most common prankster mons in the meta. Prankster mons tend to work, but there are mons that they would want to haze on that could potentially break them, leaving you vulnerable to more smash. And nothing stops them from just using more smash. The constant is smash, so we take down the constant, the source. NOT the mere tools used. And that's not even getting into belly drum and how unburden without it is only slightly more useful than no smash dazzling.
I don’t think most anything can run Smash. Oftentimes weaker frail glass cannons like Gengar have to weigh the Scales, as most Entrainment Gengar-Megas run Quiver Dance to better handle opposing Priority hits especially from Triage Rayquaza (SpD boosts).

Running Smash is often for Dazzling users for that reason, (blocking Priority), and many people don’t run Smash without Dazzling especially if they cannot also run Focus Sash or White Herb on the same set (such as Spooky Plate Gengar-Mega).

Smash is definitely easier to use than Belly Drum for obvious reasons, but the more frequently the other ability often associated with Smash besides the much rarer Unburden sets, are Simple Shell Smash sets, such as Tyranitar-Mega, justified by virtue of STAB Power Trip.

For example, I see more Shift Gear Groudon and Kyurem-B bc they are not Mixed Sweepers, and in the case of Groudon — so it can trap Imposter with Anchor Shot and set up.

Shell Smash can be great, but I know it’s not as commonly used as the primary set up move for primarily physical attackers. It is more common on Mixed and Special Attackers.
Please for the love of anything you hold dear, stop suggesting dumb things to be banned just so that you can hold on to your precious move or mon which is so obviously the problem. Yes, they are guidelines, yes, they have could have exceptions, but these are just absurd. It's like if we had banned spooky judgment instead of protean; It doesn't solve anything and the thing in question (smash/protean) is still good without it (it being moldy moves).
I don’t think I said we should ban something just for my own set, etc. I actually mentioned in my last post that I didn’t know and asked about prior Gen 6 discussions which Rumors addressed to a tee.

So you must be addressing something or someone else...?

If anything the reasons people mentioned Belly Drum are good are because they work with Sunsteel Strike and Unburden bc the Triage and Dazzling sets are not preferred. Therefore, they are not viewed as overpowered bc they are handled by Unaware, Shedinja, etc. bc they have weaker attacks in order to use priority over raw power.

Overall, both sets can even be blocked by Dazzling for the most part, and are handled by Imposter except in cases of Z-move as an emergency button.

So I was concerned about the combination of Unburden+Sunsteel only bc those were the only sets that were deemed standard sets, and thus examples to be used in the arguments for or against Belly Drum in the first place... I didn’t limit the discussion to my sets, i encompassed all sets.
 
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Honestly, I think the "move ban" guidelines might be a little too strict. I mean, if we apply to Shell Smash...

An attack with either no counters, or unreasonably niche or unusable ones e.g. OHKO Move

For fairness sake, looking at the move by itself, and only by itself, Shell Smash is checked/countered by Shedinja, Unaware, Topsy-Turvy, Haze, Power Swap, Heart Swap(ish), Imposter(ish), priority, Fur Coat (sometimes), Assault Vest (sometimes), Sleep, Paralysis(ish), Burn (sometimes), shuffling, Foul Play, Spectral Thief, Punishment, Trick Room, anything that can live the user's strongest hit and KO back (situational), or walls the user lacks the right coverage for (situational). The move, by itself, in a vacuum, has plenty of checks/counters with varying levels of splashability and viability.

(Yes, I know some of those are niche/not really viable at the moment, you don't need to quote each one and comment on it. I'm not gonna read it if you do.)


Now, you're probably saying "But Shell Smash runs it with this a lot of the time to beat these checks." But, if you do that, then you need to consider abilities, Pokemon, items, and moves commonly ran with Moldy Moves and Dazzling for fairness sake.


A move (attack or status) that removes the emphasis on skill, planning and/or preparation and moves the outcome to forces not in control of the player e.g. Chatter

Shell Smash can be planned for. You'll (usually) cover it when planning for set-up in general. Shell Smash takes some skill to use, since even a Sashsmasher can't just go in willy-nilly and do its thing lest it get chipped somehow and easily KOed. Even without the correct checks or counters, a player can potentially play around or beat Shell Smash (depending on the match-up).

Shell Smash does not operate on forces outside player control, aka RNG.


They would be effective without needing real synergy with the Pokemon itself, its ability, the rest of its moveset, item or any in-game condition

Shell Smash operates best on certain Pokemon and sets. You can get okay performance if you totally ignore synergy, so long as you use a Pokemon with reasonable offenses. But it's not like... CFZs where the only synergy needed is "hit hard" or Chatter where the only syngery needed is "user not fainted".



If we run off of the guidelines, I don't think we're gonna get anything banned. We've killed pretty much all of the "holy crap broken" stuff this gen by about a year ago or so. We're definitely not banned any set-up moves, moldy moves, or Dazzling abilities by hard-nosing them.

Related but not really, but I think the guidelines could stand some revision come Gen VIII.
 
I don't feel Dazzling is the problem.
Saying this followed by exactly 0 reasoning doesn't make a point at all.
I disagree here. That’s like saying Chatter was blocked by Soundproof, the same way Moongeist is blocked by Normal-types- I see your point, but that alone isn’t enough.
Soundproof is super niche compared to Normal-types and other resists types. And I don't exactly see how this makes the point any more invalid.
Also, what about Steelworker Sunsteel Strike Choice Band sets? Not only does it bypass Sturdy, it also bypasses Fur Coat, doesn’t require Shell Smash, and nothing is immune to it based on typing, and obviously not by ability, as Sturdy Shedinja would normally wall a single move otherwise.

The fact that a move can become nearly as strong as -ate Boomburst, is often used by Steel types that have secondary coverage such as Kartana (Power Whip) which can handle would-be checks such as Slowbro-Mega, and can 1-2HKO most of the metagame:

252+ Atk Choice Band Steelworker Kartana Sunsteel Strike vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Zygarde-Complete: 328-387 (51.5 - 60.8%) -- 91.8% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252+ Atk Choice Band Kartana Power Whip vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Slowbro-Mega: 390-462 (98.9 - 117.2%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO
No one thinks that Steelworker Kartana is broken. You have resists and you have Prank Sap and you have the fact that its slow af and is forced out by Ray MMX and MMY. Heck this isn't even relevant to the discussion on setup.
Means that Shell Smash can be handled on the Special side by at least Assault Vest, and immunities, but to say there are plenty of Steel checks, especially with the vast array of coverage moves like V-Create which is nearly as powerful as a Z-move, without an item alleviates that answer of “resistances means it isn’t overpowered”. Send in a Slowbro-Mega on a predicted Sunsteel Strike and get 1HKOed by Power Whip, send in a Prankster Registeel on a predicted Belly Drum or Shell Smash to Haze the boosts away, and get KOed by V-Create, send in a Fur Coat wall and get bypassed thanks to Sunsteel Strike’s effect. This is BH, not OU, you can add nearly any move to ensure you have coverage. I think you are focusing on Moldy Moves as the coverage move without STAB, and that they alone cannot make something hard to switch into, but what if they are the main STAB move and the other coverage moves make Sunsteel Strike easier to exploit? Maybe you could argue for Photon and Moongeist because of an immunity, and bc it lacks an equivalent of Steelworker (since the Psychic Surge ban), but with high Attack, Steelworker and Choice Band. Shell Smash isn’t needed for Sunsteel Strike to feel OP, so you cannot blame set up moves for the power of the attack itself.
Shell Smash isn't needed for Sunsteel Strike to be OP because mons that use Sunsteel for STAB don't run Shell Smash. The point that every mon can run every move doesn't prove shit because that applies to every mon not just your Kartana. Zovrah already explained that these moves as STAB aren't that great because they have a large number of resists and/or immunities.
Further, what about CB MMX Adaptability Photon Geyser? it also bypasses Fur Coat, and it’s not just Shedinja, if anything that set is what made even Sableye-Mega have use. That is definitely a niche check/counter, and it’s main purpose in the metagame period. So that point you made about not creating niche counters omits Sabeleye-Mega.

Also, to a lesser degree, we can say that Aegislash with Flash Fire was niches to check/counter MMX as well. It just seems to fit the “needs specific niche checks to be handled” argument.
Band MMX is one of its worse sets rn and it also have a lot of checks like Psychics. Again idfk why this is relevant at all to the discussion. Again no one thinks Band MMX is broken and deserves a ban.
Aegislash is actually garbage and I don't see how this is relevant either (especially flash fire mention because no one runs fire moves on MMX).
The same can be said about Muk-Alolan as a wall for Photon Geyser MMY, as Muk-Alolan literally has little real niche beyond a MMY check, and MMY Imposterproof - Photon Geyser, and Moongeist Beam obligated an obscure check for no other reason but their raw power and effect.

I even thought of Meloetta as Check for that same reason, simply bc MMY was so powerful, and it could wield either Moldy move, and a check has to be ready for not one but both, and that’s why some Normal-types like Arceus could struggle with Photon Geyser when their Unaware and typing was only designed to stop Moongeist Beam’s effect.
Hence why these mons are garbage D-tiers. There are literally other mons that can do a similar job. Unaware is bad anyways as discussed by Zovrah.
Also, Hustle could also be used on MMX to bypass its regular checks:

252+ Atk Choice Band Hustle Mewtwo-Mega-X Photon Geyser vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Giratina: 375-442 (74.4 - 87.6%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
And most Dark types like Gyarados-Mega fear Close Combat, so really unless you have Sableye-Mega, or Aegislash, it’s easy to see how OP these moves are without any set up.

252+ Atk Choice Band Hustle Mewtwo-Mega-X Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Yveltal: 481-567 (105.4 - 124.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO

So it’s not just about “100 Base power”, it’s about all of the power with STAB, item, and ability, and since this is a Choice Set, no Shell Smash or other set up to blame for the raw power of the move.
Congratulations you just found a set worse than Band Adapt MMX rn.
Again how tf is this relevant to the discussion (if you want to get into details tina runs relaxed often and will just prank sap you and you might miss).
Saying that "it's about all the power with STAB, item, and ability" is just supporting the fact that Moldy moves aren't the problem. Thank you for arguing for your opposing side.
I don’t think most anything can run Smash. Oftentimes weaker frail glass cannons like Gengar have to weigh the Scales, as most Entrainment Gengar-Megas run Quiver Dance to better handle opposing Priority hits especially from Triage Rayquaza (SpD boosts).

Running Smash is often for Dazzling users for that reason, (blocking Priority), and many people don’t run Smash without Dazzling especially if they cannot also run Focus Sash or White Herb on the same set (such as Spooky Plate Gengar-Mega).

Smash is definitely easier to use than Belly Drum for obvious reasons, but the more frequently the other ability often associated with Smash besides the much rarer Unburden sets, are Simple Shell Smash sets, such as Tyranitar-Mega, justified by virtue of STAB Power Trip.

For example, I see more Shift Gear Groudon and Kyurem-B bc they are not Mixed Sweepers, and in the case of Groudon — so it can trap Imposter with Anchor Shot and set up.

Shell Smash can be great, but I know it’s not as commonly used as the primary set up move for primarily physical attackers. It is more common on Mixed and Special Attackers.
You yourself know very well that Shell Smash can be used on many different mons through your MANY sets featuring Shell Smash.
Every setup Gengar is Shell Smash bar Normalize because that allows it to take Rev Dance better, which is different.
IDK what universe you see more Shift Gear Groudon because that set is complete garbage and walled by standard Don checks such as Zygarde Giratina and Slowbro. If you trap Imposter while having shift gear you just die lol.
Shell Smash Groudon is the best offensive PDon because it can beat non-prank non-regenvest dragons with Fleur Cannon.
IDK what Kyurem-B runs setup apart from meme sets like Skill Link.
I don’t think I said we should ban something just for my own set, etc. I actually mentioned in my last post that I didn’t know and asked about prior Gen 6 discussions which Rumors addressed to a tee.

So you must be addressing something or someone else...?
Yeah saying this trying to refute the obvious fact that you are against a Drum ban because of your Slaking set isn't going to work.
If anything the reasons people mentioned Belly Drum are good are because they work with Sunsteel Strike and Unburden bc the Triage and Dazzling sets are not preferred. Therefore, they are not viewed as overpowered bc they are handled by Unaware, Shedinja, etc. bc they have weaker attacks in order to use priority over raw power.

Overall, both sets can even be blocked by Dazzling for the most part, and are handled by Imposter except in cases of Z-move as an emergency button.

So I was concerned about the combination of Unburden+Sunsteel only bc those were the only sets that were deemed standard sets, and thus examples to be used in the arguments for or against Belly Drum in the first place... I didn’t limit the discussion to my sets, i encompassed all sets.
Bring up the nigh unviable Unaware along with the broken Shedinja doesn't help argue that Drum isn't broken. Drum is good with Unburden is because Drum is good here not other stuff.
For fairness sake, looking at the move by itself, and only by itself, Shell Smash is checked/countered by Shedinja, Unaware, Topsy-Turvy, Haze, Power Swap, Heart Swap(ish), Imposter(ish), priority, Fur Coat (sometimes), Assault Vest (sometimes), Sleep, Paralysis(ish), Burn (sometimes), shuffling, Foul Play, Spectral Thief, Punishment, Trick Room, anything that can live the user's strongest hit and KO back (situational), or walls the user lacks the right coverage for (situational). The move, by itself, in a vacuum, has plenty of checks/counters with varying levels of splashability and viability.

(Yes, I know some of those are niche/not really viable at the moment, you don't need to quote each one and comment on it. I'm not gonna read it if you do.)

Now, you're probably saying "But Shell Smash runs it with this a lot of the time to beat these checks." But, if you do that, then you need to consider abilities, Pokemon, items, and moves commonly ran with Moldy Moves and Dazzling for fairness sake.
Can you read? "unreasonably niche or unusable ones "
And then you decide to drop a whole bunch of shitty crap like Power Swap Heart Swap Sleep Foul Play Punishment Trick Room that are unreasonably niche. Not to mention that stuff like Unaware Fur Coat are basically garbage rn. Along with stuff like Priority as only a check. Burn AV being unreliable. Shed being just broken.
Shell Smash can be planned for. You'll (usually) cover it when planning for set-up in general. Shell Smash takes some skill to use, since even a Sashsmasher can't just go in willy-nilly and do its thing lest it get chipped somehow and easily KOed. Even without the correct checks or counters, a player can potentially play around or beat Shell Smash (depending on the match-up).

Shell Smash does not operate on forces outside player control, aka RNG.
IF YOU ACTUALLY PLAYED GEN 7 MAYBE YOU WOULD KNOW.
Smash Spam teams are the most brainless teams on ladder because all you need to do is just click Smash and not die because of Sash, KO whatever stuff, and then send in the next setup mon.
You literally cannot play around Smash because they switch in on something that it potentially can OHKO so staying in is risky af.
By prepping for Smash by stacking stuff like Scarf Imposter Unaware and Prankster you open up your team for other threats.
Shell Smash operates best on certain Pokemon and sets. You can get okay performance if you totally ignore synergy, so long as you use a Pokemon with reasonable offenses. But it's not like... CFZs where the only synergy needed is "hit hard" or Chatter where the only syngery needed is "user not fainted".
Again seen through OM! sets such as Palkia and Landorus-T (ignoring the viability of the actual sets because most are bad) and his replays it shows how even bad mons can get wins in mid-low ladder because of how dumb Smash is. Basically every offensive mon that isn't outclassed by another mon can run Smash and have good results. In fact I'm going to list them because you obviously haven't played in ages and don't know the meta.
MMY is obv. MMX is obv. MRay can but has other broken sets that eclipse smash. MGar is obv. MDiancie has MG which runs Smash. POgre has the rare SF set which is still decent and runs Smash. Xerneas's PH sets are far far better and Diancie pretty much outclasses it for a Smash set. Groudon has the Fleur set which runs Smash. Dialga can run Smash but TG Doom sets are generally better, only because of a lack of a good steel STAB move. Regigigas/Slaking's PH set generally eclipse Smash sets, but they are still seen in Low ladder because of their Spectral immunity. Kartana doesn't run Smash because Drum or Band is just generally better. NDM can run Smash with the Z. YGod has the Unburden Smash set. Garchomp has the mixed Adapt set that runs Smash. Kyu-B can run Smash. TTar is obv. Aero can run Smash but the faster utility sets are generally better. Blaze's main set is Tinted Band so Smash is outclassed in a way. Gyarados is obv. Ho-Oh can even run an offensive MG set with Smash. Kyu-W and Scept can both run Smash. Zekrom can also run Smash. This is up to the C-tier for every mon that can be run offensively.

reworded edit: Can we have some more experienced players to back this up?
 
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<--- The point

<--- Your head


Lemme clarify since you like to just argue and throw insults around at every opportunity, screaming about "OMG THESE PEOPLE DON'T PLAY OMG OMG OMG YOU GUYS SUCK!"

The point. Lemme make this in nice, bold letters for you. The post isn't about banning or not banning Shell Smash. It's that using the suspect guidelines, as currently written, excludes Shell Smash ALONG WITH moldy moves and dazzling from being suspect worthy. Period. No pro ban argument. No anti-ban argument.

Now, if you're struggling with Smash, particularly Sashsmash, then maybe you ought to explore your options before writing them off as "OMG THESE ARE SO BAD" instead of just crying all the time and trashing people instead of making actual constructive, useful arguments. I mean, seriously, all your recent posts here have been nothing but toxic.

Also, I wanna play this mythical meta where my opponent always has momentum, always has sets that beats my checks/counters, I'm always in a losing match-up, and my team is worthless. It sounds like it'd actually be challenging outside of me making mistakes or bringing "bad teams" for kicks and giggles because winning with the easy to use, standard stuff is a snooze fest.


And lemme clarify another thing in these nice, big bold letters so maybe you can see this as well. Yes, when I am being comprehensive, I include stuff that is either "bad" or "currently niche." Why? Because the point of being comprehensive is including everything. The literal dictionary definition of the word is "Complete; including all or nearly all elements or aspects of something."

So yes, Punishment is typically a terrible move (it'd be friggin' amazing though if it worked with Unaware). But it's an option. A very niche one, but it's there. It's the worse one there.

But you really want me to go through the rest? Meh, I'll bite. I'll feed the trolling.

Foul Play?

Ah ha ha ha ha...

0- Atk Audino-Mega Foul Play vs. -1 252 HP / 252 Def Mewtwo-Mega-Y: 682-804 (163.9 - 193.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO

0- Atk Audino-Mega Foul Play vs. -1 252 HP / 252 Def Mewtwo-Mega-X: 328-386 (78.8 - 92.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

0- Atk Audino-Mega Foul Play vs. -1 252 HP / 252 Def Rayquaza-Mega: 314-370 (75.8 - 89.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

0- Atk Audino-Mega Foul Play vs. -1 252 HP / 252 Def Kartana: 261-308 (81 - 95.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

This isn't even STAB or or them having Simple. And you don't even need Maudino to do this. You literally OHKO/2HKO any non-resistant glass cannon Shell Smash user with literally any non-Dark type. If this was a Dark-type like Sableye or Yveltal, these would all be straight up OHKOs. All you need to do is get that tiny little chip damage, which you can do with hazards, U-Turns, weather damage, or whatever else and you utterly murder them if they set-up. Moldy moves make this trickier since you can't just lolUnaware Foul Play them if they have those moves, but still... in a Shell Smash infested meta, Foul Play is hella underrated.

Oh, and Foul Play has amazing synergy with stuff like burns. Burn will cut the victim's attack in half, but the Foul Play user will still get the full power.


Trick Room?

Okay, just think about this for a moment. Normally you need to build around if, but if you're running a defensive team or slow team? If you can fit it in, you can get a Trick Room up against an offensive team and just laugh right in their face as they Unburden Simple Shell Smash Choice Scarf you. There is literally no sweeping for fast frail threats in a Trick Room environment. None. And heck, you can toy with your speed EVs and duck over slow pivot spam by forcing them to be fast pivots.

Seriously, try Trick Room sometime


Heart/Power Swap?

Heart Swap is hilarious against non-Smash users, but its bad in a Smash-infested environment. Power Swap is the better option if Smash is big, especially if Quiver Dance and Coil aren't really being ran. Notably, it works on Normal-types too, just in case Gigas and Slaking come a knocking. Which... is the main reason to run it over Spectral Thief. If those aren't big threats at whatever moment in time you happen to be playing, and you're not using these to Imposterproof your own Gigas/Slaking, then just go Spectral. There are some other niche scenarios where they're better, but those aren't really important nor common.


Sleep?

Since when did sleep suck? Because you can't spam it? Who really cares? You straight up disable a Pokemon and can gain momentum on it. As long as its asleep then they're basically down a mon. Sleep the set-up user and they can't attack. Sleep their pivot and they can't, well, pivot in to set-up. Sleep the Imposter check and you can Imposter them. You know... the obvious plays here.
 
<--- The point

<--- Your head


Lemme clarify since you like to just argue and throw insults around at every opportunity, screaming about "OMG THESE PEOPLE DON'T PLAY OMG OMG OMG YOU GUYS SUCK!"

The point. Lemme make this in nice, bold letters for you. The post isn't about banning or not banning Shell Smash. It's that using the suspect guidelines, as currently written, excludes Shell Smash ALONG WITH moldy moves and dazzling from being suspect worthy. Period. No pro ban argument. No anti-ban argument.

Now, if you're struggling with Smash, particularly Sashsmash, then maybe you ought to explore your options before writing them off as "OMG THESE ARE SO BAD" instead of just crying all the time and trashing people instead of making actual constructive, useful arguments. I mean, seriously, all your recent posts here have been nothing but toxic.

Also, I wanna play this mythical meta where my opponent always has momentum, always has sets that beats my checks/counters, I'm always in a losing match-up, and my team is worthless. It sounds like it'd actually be challenging outside of me making mistakes or bringing "bad teams" for kicks and giggles because winning with the easy to use, standard stuff is a snooze fest.


And lemme clarify another thing in these nice, big bold letters so maybe you can see this as well. Yes, when I am being comprehensive, I include stuff that is either "bad" or "currently niche." Why? Because the point of being comprehensive is including everything. The literal dictionary definition of the word is "Complete; including all or nearly all elements or aspects of something."

So yes, Punishment is typically a terrible move (it'd be friggin' amazing though if it worked with Unaware). But it's an option. A very niche one, but it's there. It's the worse one there.

But you really want me to go through the rest? Meh, I'll bite. I'll feed the trolling.

Foul Play?

Ah ha ha ha ha...

0- Atk Audino-Mega Foul Play vs. -1 252 HP / 252 Def Mewtwo-Mega-Y: 682-804 (163.9 - 193.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO

0- Atk Audino-Mega Foul Play vs. -1 252 HP / 252 Def Mewtwo-Mega-X: 328-386 (78.8 - 92.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

0- Atk Audino-Mega Foul Play vs. -1 252 HP / 252 Def Rayquaza-Mega: 314-370 (75.8 - 89.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

0- Atk Audino-Mega Foul Play vs. -1 252 HP / 252 Def Kartana: 261-308 (81 - 95.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

This isn't even STAB or or them having Simple. And you don't even need Maudino to do this. You literally OHKO/2HKO any non-resistant glass cannon Shell Smash user with literally any non-Dark type. If this was a Dark-type like Sableye or Yveltal, these would all be straight up OHKOs. All you need to do is get that tiny little chip damage, which you can do with hazards, U-Turns, weather damage, or whatever else and you utterly murder them if they set-up. Moldy moves make this trickier since you can't just lolUnaware Foul Play them if they have those moves, but still... in a Shell Smash infested meta, Foul Play is hella underrated.

Oh, and Foul Play has amazing synergy with stuff like burns. Burn will cut the victim's attack in half, but the Foul Play user will still get the full power.


Trick Room?

Okay, just think about this for a moment. Normally you need to build around if, but if you're running a defensive team or slow team? If you can fit it in, you can get a Trick Room up against an offensive team and just laugh right in their face as they Unburden Simple Shell Smash Choice Scarf you. There is literally no sweeping for fast frail threats in a Trick Room environment. None. And heck, you can toy with your speed EVs and duck over slow pivot spam by forcing them to be fast pivots.

Seriously, try Trick Room sometime


Heart/Power Swap?

Heart Swap is hilarious against non-Smash users, but its bad in a Smash-infested environment. Power Swap is the better option if Smash is big, especially if Quiver Dance and Coil aren't really being ran. Notably, it works on Normal-types too, just in case Gigas and Slaking come a knocking. Which... is the main reason to run it over Spectral Thief. If those aren't big threats at whatever moment in time you happen to be playing, and you're not using these to Imposterproof your own Gigas/Slaking, then just go Spectral. There are some other niche scenarios where they're better, but those aren't really important nor common.


Sleep?

Since when did sleep suck? Because you can't spam it? Who really cares? You straight up disable a Pokemon and can gain momentum on it. As long as its asleep then they're basically down a mon. Sleep the set-up user and they can't attack. Sleep their pivot and they can't, well, pivot in to set-up. Sleep the Imposter check and you can Imposter them. You know... the obvious plays here.
Yes!
I completely agree, and appreciate how you spell out the information in a complete and compelling format. Maybe it will sink in!
————
Okay, let’s move on to Shedinja. I think Shedinja is a bit centralizing but not to the point of it being like PDon.

Shedinja is sort of like imposter, annoying to face, but ultimately can make the metagame a healthier one for a few reasons:

A). 1 stop shop to many sweepers, like choice band users locked into a non-Moldy move

B). Utility in regular Immunities like Blocking Rapid Spin (enabling it to set up its own hazards), immunity to Circle Throw, underspending many Core Enforcers, and avoiding trap moves like Anchor Shot ruining the momentum of the team, especially with STAB U-Turn.

It’s not necessarily OP, it’s just very good at a unique trait, and also very bad at being 1HKOed due to its 1HP.
 

Gurpreet Patel (Sent you a Friend Request)

bh's very own pseudo-intellectual
is a Community Contributor
Rumors chessking might have been rude in his posts to some extent, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a point as well.

throughout your posts all you have provided are moves that theoretically beat smash in a 1v1 situation, although some (foul play, power/heart swap, punishment) are strictly worse than spectral in the vast majority of cases, some (trick room, maybe sleep, shuffling, fc) are gimmicky and hard to justify, and the rest (imposter, prank, shed, spectral, para/burn, regenvest) are already common.

SECTION 1: IN BH

spectral is better than foul play, power swap, and punishment because it has the attribute of dealing damage and removing boosts at the same time. no other move does this.

foul play's issue is that it doesn't actually ohko anything outside of mmy, who is one of the worst smashers and should always be running sash anyway. sash in general beats this move because they just smash on the foul play then kill you the next turn (and stuff like gengar doesn't need sash to live). it also fails to beat tail glow unlike spectral. punishment is mostly the same way except it necessitates a high attack mon to even use in the first place.

power swap and heart swap are bad because they just shell smash again. your only chance at getting them out of the way is to try to ohko them with the 1 attacking move they are running (you do NOT have the space for two). considering sash and resists, this is really unreliable.

the only time these moves are better than spectral is against smash normals, which are rare and not super hard to prep for (all of them lose to prank gira)

trick room etc are generally really hard to fit on a set and have little to no use on the majority of defensive mons.

SECTION 2: BALL STRETCHER

nitpicking aside, though, your argument basically boils down to "why are we trying to ban smash lol just run prank/unaware/imposter/priority/spectral" which is basically the same argument as "why ban pdon when shed/zyg/gira/bro are in the meta". similar to pdon, smash has numerous ways to tech around its counters, which makes this argument look oversimplified at best and uninformed at worst.

SECTION 3: PARACHUTE

one last thing i wanted to bring up
Lemme clarify since you like to just argue and throw insults around at every opportunity, screaming about "OMG THESE PEOPLE DON'T PLAY OMG OMG OMG YOU GUYS SUCK!"
i agree that this thread is not the place for insults, but at the same time, to our knowledge you have not been active in tournaments, in climbing ladder, or in getting reqs for suspects for a very long time now. if you don't do these things, you won't be able to provide insightful points concerning bh policy. i would recommend doing things like laddering with and against smash with different teams and watching ompl replays to observe its impact in practice, rather than in theory, to better develop both your opinion and your ability to argue for it.
 
Rumors chessking might have been rude in his posts to some extent, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a point as well.

throughout your posts all you have provided are moves that theoretically beat smash in a 1v1 situation, although some (foul play, power/heart swap, punishment) are strictly worse than spectral in the vast majority of cases, some (trick room, maybe sleep, shuffling, fc) are gimmicky and hard to justify, and the rest (imposter, prank, shed, spectral, para/burn, regenvest) are already common.

SECTION 1: IN BH

spectral is better than foul play, power swap, and punishment because it has the attribute of dealing damage and removing boosts at the same time. no other move does this.

foul play's issue is that it doesn't actually ohko anything outside of mmy, who is one of the worst smashers and should always be running sash anyway. sash in general beats this move because they just smash on the foul play then kill you the next turn (and stuff like gengar doesn't need sash to live). it also fails to beat tail glow unlike spectral. punishment is mostly the same way except it necessitates a high attack mon to even use in the first place.

power swap and heart swap are bad because they just shell smash again. your only chance at getting them out of the way is to try to ohko them with the 1 attacking move they are running (you do NOT have the space for two). considering sash and resists, this is really unreliable.

the only time these moves are better than spectral is against smash normals, which are rare and not super hard to prep for (all of them lose to prank gira)

trick room etc are generally really hard to fit on a set and have little to no use on the majority of defensive mons.

SECTION 2: BALL STRETCHER

nitpicking aside, though, your argument basically boils down to "why are we trying to ban smash lol just run prank/unaware/imposter/priority/spectral" which is basically the same argument as "why ban pdon when shed/zyg/gira/bro are in the meta". similar to pdon, smash has numerous ways to tech around its counters, which makes this argument look oversimplified at best and uninformed at worst.

SECTION 3: PARACHUTE

one last thing i wanted to bring up
i agree that this thread is not the place for insults, but at the same time, to our knowledge you have not been active in tournaments, in climbing ladder, or in getting reqs for suspects for a very long time now. if you don't do these things, you won't be able to provide insightful points concerning bh policy. i would recommend doing things like laddering with and against smash with different teams and watching ompl replays to observe its impact in practice, rather than in theory, to better develop both your opinion and your ability to argue for it.
I don’t want to disagree with you but I feel like some points are just flat out wrong.

I think if everyone provided more productive posts, yes me, yes Chessking, yes everyone, then it wouldn’t become a “prove myself rather than just my point” comparison posts.

Rumors post would have been so much shorter if he wasn’t offended by what the person before him wrote.

Pissing people off leads to pissing contests, and it’s harder to read anything that seems downright offensive. That means the context can move the actual points out of focus. Being rude makes that evident and sometimes distracts people from the actual point completely.

I don’t think your wrong that everyone who posts should put their points to practice, but it’s not fair to expect him to do tournaments. Big Tournaments happen occasionally, like OMPL = Annually, and I among others didn’t get drafted.

Even so, there are only so many positions per team, not everyone who signs up gets selected, no matter who you are.
Timing also matters, me having to leave for a vacation didn’t help, for example.

Just because someone doesn’t get drafted even if they did sign up doesn’t invalid their posts.

Otherwise if what you are saying is true, then New players who are not chosen for teams on drafts would feel like they shouldn’t post bc they didn’t get into a tournament, and bc of a lack of presence on the forums bc they feel like they shouldn’t post, would likely not be drafted for the future tournaments bc no one knows how good they are esp if their PS! Username is different than their Smogon one.

It would be a never-ending loop where people don’t get drafted, and therefore don’t post, and then don’t get drafted bc no one heard of them.

As for suspects, like tournaments, they come around only every so often.
This means that if someone is on vacation, or just not active at the time of the suspect, then they have to basically feel inferior to others who posted and were in the suspect?
I feel that is only relevant during the discussion of that suspect.

As for you, right now, saying that Rumors doesn’t have the same clout to talk about Shell Smash bc he didn’t participate in another Suspect test, that’s not fair. He doesn’t need to do the Sleep Clause Suspect to know how Shell Smash works. Afterall, do new players need to not post when they are still able to grasp concepts after the results of a suspect test?

As long as he he is active as a player during the discussion points, it doesn’t matter if he didn’t participate in a suspect test months ago.

That being said
I agree with trying to play on the ladder. Being current is expected, I just disagree with having to play in various different types of play.

Afterall, playing in a suspect test inspires a centralization on testing what is being suspected. Flint encouraged everyone to use Contrary during the Suspect Test.
Seeing how it plays out in the non-testing period against all strategies once the results are finalized gives us an even clearer perspective bc it’s not saying we need to use it if we normally wouldn’t (I.e. we can have a team to counter it without using it ourselves).
 
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I don’t want to disagree with you but I feel like some points are just flat out wrong.

I think if everyone provided more productive posts, yes me, yes Chessking, yes everyone, then it wouldn’t become a “prove myself rather than just my point” comparison posts.

Rumors post would have been so much shorter if he wasn’t offended by what the person before him wrote.

Pissing people off leads to pissing contests, and it’s harder to read anything that seems downright offensive. That means the context can move the actual points out of focus. Being rude makes that evident and sometimes distracts people from the actual point completely.

I don’t think your wrong that everyone who posts should put their points to practice, but it’s not fair to expect him to do tournaments. Big Tournaments happen occasionally, like OMPL = Annually, and I among others didn’t get drafted.

Even so, there are only so many positions per team, not everyone who signs up gets selected, no matter who you are.
Timing also matters, me having to leave for a vacation didn’t help, for example.

Just because someone doesn’t get drafted even if they did sign up doesn’t invalid their posts.

Otherwise if what you are saying is true, then New players who are not chosen for teams on drafts would feel like they shouldn’t post bc they didn’t get into a tournament, and bc of a lack of presence on the forums bc they feel like they shouldn’t post, would likely not be drafted for the future tournaments bc no one knows how good they are esp if their PS! Username is different than their Smogon one.

It would be a never-ending loop where people don’t get drafted, and therefore don’t post, and then don’t get drafted bc no one heard of them.

As for suspects, like tournaments, they come around only every so often.
This means that if someone is on vacation, or just not active at the time of the suspect, then they have to basically feel inferior to others who posted and were in the suspect?
I feel that is only relevant during the discussion of that suspect.

As for you, right now, saying that Rumors doesn’t have the same clout to talk about Shell Smash bc he didn’t participate in another Suspect test, that’s not fair. He doesn’t need to do the Sleep Clause Suspect to know how Shell Smash works. Afterall, do new players need to not post when they are still able to grasp concepts after the results of a suspect test?

As long as he he is active as a player during the discussion points, it doesn’t matter if he didn’t participate in a suspect test months ago.

That being said
I agree with trying to play on the ladder. Being current is expected, I just disagree with having to play in various different types of play.

Afterall, playing in a suspect test inspires a centralization on testing what is being suspected. Flint encouraged everyone to use Contrary during the Suspect Test.
Seeing how it plays out in the non-testing period against all strategies once the results are finalized gives us an even clearer perspective bc it’s not saying we need to use it if we normally wouldn’t (I.e. we can have a team to counter it without using it ourselves).
When he mentioned competing in tournaments, he didn't exclusively mean draft based tournaments like OMPL. There have been plenty of others recently such as the Team Tour and Seasonals that all you have to do is sign up to be able to play.

He was not saying that anyone who went undrafted at OMPL has no right to post their opinions. That would be insane.

I think his main point on Section 3 of his post is that Rumors just hasn't seemed to actively play Gen 7 Balanced Hackmons in quite some time and that his posts reflect it. If you don't play the meta, it adapts and what you used to know becomes outdated.

To me, it seems that participating in suspect tests is a necessary part of discussing them. Its hard to know if something is banworthy by looking at it solely in theory. I too tried out Contrary during the suspect as Flint recommended and it sold me even more on thinking it should be banned. Actually playing, whether on the ladder or organized tournaments, really helps expand your knowledge of the meta past what just sounds good on paper.
 
When he mentioned competing in tournaments, he didn't exclusively mean draft based tournaments like OMPL. There have been plenty of others recently such as the Team Tour and Seasonals that all you have to do is sign up to be able to play.

He was not saying that anyone who went undrafted at OMPL has no right to post their opinions. That would be insane.

I think his main point on Section 3 of his post is that Rumors just hasn't seemed to actively play Gen 7 Balanced Hackmons in quite some time and that his posts reflect it. If you don't play the meta, it adapts and what you used to know becomes outdated.

To me, it seems that participating in suspect tests is a necessary part of discussing them. Its hard to know if something is banworthy by looking at it solely in theory. I too tried out Contrary during the suspect as Flint recommended and it sold me even more on thinking it should be banned. Actually playing, whether on the ladder or organized tournaments, really helps expand your knowledge of the meta past what just sounds good on paper.
I agree with that. My point on the suspect tests was on how it seemed like because you haven’t played in prior ones you cannot discuss this one.

In other words, if Rumors doesn’t participate in the recent suspect tests like Sleep Clause, how does that make him less equipped to discuss this new separate discussion on Shell Smash.

Contrary suspect tests also don’t relate to Shell Smash bc you cannot benefit from using Shell Smash on a Contrary Pokemon, it’s either 2 separate sweepers or 1 over the other on a team.

I believe that since we don’t even have a suspect test on Shell smash, it’s hard to say that Rumors doesn’t participate in suspect tests, bc the only relevant suspect he needs to be apart of is the Shell smash suspect - if it even happens.

Plus, as for tournaments, oftentimes that can be skewed. Many people run unorthodox sets in tournament play so it’s a completely different metagame bc standard stuff is too predictable.

As for suspects, it’s a different metagame than laddering as well bc laddering is a mix of everything while Suspect tests emphasize using what is being suspected, making the majority of teams overly focused on specific strategies.

P.S. Thank you for your replies, I find them informative and useful. Plus they are friendly ;)
 
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Thanks OM!, but I can post for myself. And also thank you other people for being polite and civil.

Anyway, as I told MAMP in a post on my wall, my time is actually fairly limited to play. I work six days a week in effectively 11 hour work days (8 hours actual work, 1 hour lunch, 2 hours bus riding to get to/from work). Basically, wake up at 7 A.M. to catch the bus at 7:45 and get home around 6 P.M. On top of that, I'm also a full time college student, so the next few hours after getting home I'm usually dealing with that. I also never have the same day off week to week, so you get situations like right now where I've not been off until today for almost 10 days.

This puts me in an odd position.

-For normal laddering, I can't maintain anything above decay without sacrificing friends, family, sleep (trust me, I need the full 8 hours), other responsibilities, and other activities, like my writing (I do both Nuzlocke stories on the Nuzforums, can share links to anyone who might be interested, and am working on my own novel that'll hopefully not suck). Maintaining a decent ELO was much more feasible back before Classic Hackmons shut down, because what we know as the low ladder mostly didn't exist, only really being around the 1000-1150 ELO, and you could run into top players easily once you got to around 1200-1300.

--When I am online, I largely play private alts so I can be left alone and focus on the matches (especially lately since I've had some annonymous harassment from alts I don't recognize). Since I can't climb very high, I largely experiment and mess around. For example, since it was an off day, I was just playing a bit ago on my "Rumors is Bored" alt where I do silly things or test things that are what I assume are in the "garbage tier" levels of development and need a lot of work, such as just now I was working with a "traditional stall" team focused on racking up residual damage with poison, partial trapping, etc. (It needs work, but has promise. Not ready to deploy on a higher ELO alt though.)

Plus, controversial point: I feel the BH ladder is mostly a reflection of how much time someone is devoting to the ladder rather than raw skill. The BH ladder, and most (all?) OM Ladders are still small enough you can climb near to the top with a good sample team and general meta knowledge, I've been near the top on several occasions since Gen V, up to effectively #2 or 3 even (I say effective since it was all confirmed alts of a one or two players above me) but was always like... 300 ELO behind the top spot. Either way, peaking is impossible unless you play hours and hours a day every day.

-For tournaments, I'm not home, let alone online, for most (all?) Roomtours. And hanging around hoping it'd be a BH roomtour isn't a good use of time. For more official tournaments... well, ask yourself, do you like staying up until 3-4 A.M. waiting for a match? I don't and I don't like making others do it, which is basically what happens to everyone on the other side of the world I play if they play at times that are good for me. So, I don't, even though I miss the tourny scene.

-For suspects, I tend to skip them since, honestly, they're not fun. The most efficient way isn't to properly play, IMO, but rather utilize a team that efficiently destroys common low to mid-ladder teams while playing at a time when most aren't to maximize your odds of not running into good players. It's also quite the time investment that's difficult to commit to on my current schedule. Fortunately, I don't feel too bad about missing the suspects since all of them have gone the way I would have voted. Except Contrary, I had no strong feelings and didn't feel like doing a suspect grind to say "abstain" was worthwhile.

-For keeping abreast of the higher elo situation, I try to keep up with tournament replays. Sadly, you guys don't always post them, which is a shame since they can be entertaining, informative, and it's cool when someone brings an innovative or uncommon set to victory. ...except the matches that are 50-100 turn pivot wars, those are boring as hell to watch.

...I also managed to not notice that the OMPL was running. Whoops.

-I don't participate in the BH Discord since... well, what's the point if I'm going to be silent most of the time? Heck, I'm barely active in the Discord groups I am part of right now.

-As for RMTs... I do plan to post my current best team sometime before Gen VIII. There's just... something slightly off I can't place a finger on that I've been trying to find and fix and I'd like to nail that first. I also probably need to remember to save some replays, I'm really bad about that.


I definitely understand my perspective is different since I'm not able to devote a ton of time to the meta like others are and don't constantly have my nose down in it. And I also come from a much older BH community that was more interested in experimenting and discovery rather than the community of today that seems more focused more on winning and little else. I mean, I'd rather come up with a new set or technique that lasts or inspire someone to improve one of my innovations to make such a set. For example, Quick Feet Mega-Ray on the setpedia is one of my creations, starting way back in X/Y as Quick Feet Shaymin Sky, which I made when someone said "they'd be surprised if a non-PH status orb user was ever viable."

Also worth noting the community of the past tended to try to solve meta problems rather than rely on bans, since we couldn't rely on bans. Verbatim was an absentee OM leader and we didn't get our first proper suspect until Flint took over, so we had no other choice other than scream loudly for weeks/months for a quick ban if something really needed it, like Huge Power. We had a few ban votes, but they were like... straight up open polls.

Anyway, you know that sensation of you getting stuck on a difficult part of a game, no matter how hard you try? And then you step away for a while and then suddenly, boom, you have the answer and it works when you try it? At the risk of coming off as arrogant or the like, but I feel like that with BH. I see people dead focused on certain things and struggling with other things and I'm just like "But there's a solution you can try RIGHT THERE!"

Meanwhile, I mostly struggle with Specs/Banded wall breakers, those are my current kryptonite, especially Sunsteel/Photon breakers because you can't Fur Coat them long enough to burn them or whatever. Stuff like Shedinja and Shell Smash doesn't bother me, except the latter if I misstep and they have a Moldy Move or I screwed up/got outplayed earlier in the match and my team is just getting cleaned up by the sweeper.

I definitely recommend anyone who's playing hard and a lot to just take a breath, step back from the meta a moment, and reconsider it from a more detached view. And maybe poke around stuff like Pokemon lists on Bulbapedia rather than the VR list for ideas on teams or (re)watch older replays to see how they handled current meta threats without the tools we have now.

BH isn't "solved" and focusing on "what's the absolute best" right now leads to stagnation. I mean, come on. A year or so ago I was defending Ho-Oh hard to keep it from dropping to D or UR because people thought it was utter crap. And now look at where it is: B-! All because someone

And really, with Gen VIII coming up, IMO you're gonna need to settle into a more experimental mindset if you wanna do well. ESPECIALLY if worst comes to worst and everything you know and love is ripped out of the game data and, consequently, BH. (I'm seriously expecting all the megas, legendaries, and signature moves we rely on so heavily to go poof.) Gen changes often drop good players like flies because they can't handle the alterations and they're set in a particular playstyle that's no longer feasible or even exists.

Either way, BH is my favorite meta and I don't seem to be able to quit. Trust me, I've tried a few times, especially the few times where I literally did not play for months. It's a shame too since I had planned to make a BH YouTube channel, but Real Life™ kicked me in the groin before I could do more than make a practice video. So, I try to stay involved in the meta and community to the best of my ability, which is sadly not as good as I like.



But yeah, TL;DR, Real Life™ takes a looooot of my time, although I still do play a bit and I do try to keep up with tournaments. I also come from an older, mostly extinct BH community with different view points that rub the current community the wrong way at times, I feel.

Anyway, unless I'm the next suspect test, probably should move on to other topics lest we all get modsmacked for being off-topic. If, for whatever reason, people really want to talk more to me about this topic and my level of activity, or some of my weird BH experiments (that I'm really worried I'm not gonna finish before Gen VIII), I'm happy to do so privately, so long as it doesn't get personal.
 
Thanks OM!, but I can post for myself. And also thank you other people for being polite and civil.

Anyway, as I told MAMP in a post on my wall, my time is actually fairly limited to play. I work six days a week in effectively 11 hour work days (8 hours actual work, 1 hour lunch, 2 hours bus riding to get to/from work). Basically, wake up at 7 A.M. to catch the bus at 7:45 and get home around 6 P.M. On top of that, I'm also a full time college student, so the next few hours after getting home I'm usually dealing with that. I also never have the same day off week to week, so you get situations like right now where I've not been off until today for almost 10 days.

This puts me in an odd position.

-For normal laddering, I can't maintain anything above decay without sacrificing friends, family, sleep (trust me, I need the full 8 hours), other responsibilities, and other activities, like my writing (I do both Nuzlocke stories on the Nuzforums, can share links to anyone who might be interested, and am working on my own novel that'll hopefully not suck). Maintaining a decent ELO was much more feasible back before Classic Hackmons shut down, because what we know as the low ladder mostly didn't exist, only really being around the 1000-1150 ELO, and you could run into top players easily once you got to around 1200-1300.

--When I am online, I largely play private alts so I can be left alone and focus on the matches (especially lately since I've had some annonymous harassment from alts I don't recognize). Since I can't climb very high, I largely experiment and mess around. For example, since it was an off day, I was just playing a bit ago on my "Rumors is Bored" alt where I do silly things or test things that are what I assume are in the "garbage tier" levels of development and need a lot of work, such as just now I was working with a "traditional stall" team focused on racking up residual damage with poison, partial trapping, etc. (It needs work, but has promise. Not ready to deploy on a higher ELO alt though.)

Plus, controversial point: I feel the BH ladder is mostly a reflection of how much time someone is devoting to the ladder rather than raw skill. The BH ladder, and most (all?) OM Ladders are still small enough you can climb near to the top with a good sample team and general meta knowledge, I've been near the top on several occasions since Gen V, up to effectively #2 or 3 even (I say effective since it was all confirmed alts of a one or two players above me) but was always like... 300 ELO behind the top spot. Either way, peaking is impossible unless you play hours and hours a day every day.

-For tournaments, I'm not home, let alone online, for most (all?) Roomtours. And hanging around hoping it'd be a BH roomtour isn't a good use of time. For more official tournaments... well, ask yourself, do you like staying up until 3-4 A.M. waiting for a match? I don't and I don't like making others do it, which is basically what happens to everyone on the other side of the world I play if they play at times that are good for me. So, I don't, even though I miss the tourny scene.

-For suspects, I tend to skip them since, honestly, they're not fun. The most efficient way isn't to properly play, IMO, but rather utilize a team that efficiently destroys common low to mid-ladder teams while playing at a time when most aren't to maximize your odds of not running into good players. It's also quite the time investment that's difficult to commit to on my current schedule. Fortunately, I don't feel too bad about missing the suspects since all of them have gone the way I would have voted. Except Contrary, I had no strong feelings and didn't feel like doing a suspect grind to say "abstain" was worthwhile.

-For keeping abreast of the higher elo situation, I try to keep up with tournament replays. Sadly, you guys don't always post them, which is a shame since they can be entertaining, informative, and it's cool when someone brings an innovative or uncommon set to victory. ...except the matches that are 50-100 turn pivot wars, those are boring as hell to watch.

...I also managed to not notice that the OMPL was running. Whoops.

-I don't participate in the BH Discord since... well, what's the point if I'm going to be silent most of the time? Heck, I'm barely active in the Discord groups I am part of right now.

-As for RMTs... I do plan to post my current best team sometime before Gen VIII. There's just... something slightly off I can't place a finger on that I've been trying to find and fix and I'd like to nail that first. I also probably need to remember to save some replays, I'm really bad about that.


I definitely understand my perspective is different since I'm not able to devote a ton of time to the meta like others are and don't constantly have my nose down in it. And I also come from a much older BH community that was more interested in experimenting and discovery rather than the community of today that seems more focused more on winning and little else. I mean, I'd rather come up with a new set or technique that lasts or inspire someone to improve one of my innovations to make such a set. For example, Quick Feet Mega-Ray on the setpedia is one of my creations, starting way back in X/Y as Quick Feet Shaymin Sky, which I made when someone said "they'd be surprised if a non-PH status orb user was ever viable."

Also worth noting the community of the past tended to try to solve meta problems rather than rely on bans, since we couldn't rely on bans. Verbatim was an absentee OM leader and we didn't get our first proper suspect until Flint took over, so we had no other choice other than scream loudly for weeks/months for a quick ban if something really needed it, like Huge Power. We had a few ban votes, but they were like... straight up open polls.

Anyway, you know that sensation of you getting stuck on a difficult part of a game, no matter how hard you try? And then you step away for a while and then suddenly, boom, you have the answer and it works when you try it? At the risk of coming off as arrogant or the like, but I feel like that with BH. I see people dead focused on certain things and struggling with other things and I'm just like "But there's a solution you can try RIGHT THERE!"

Meanwhile, I mostly struggle with Specs/Banded wall breakers, those are my current kryptonite, especially Sunsteel/Photon breakers because you can't Fur Coat them long enough to burn them or whatever. Stuff like Shedinja and Shell Smash doesn't bother me, except the latter if I misstep and they have a Moldy Move or I screwed up/got outplayed earlier in the match and my team is just getting cleaned up by the sweeper.

I definitely recommend anyone who's playing hard and a lot to just take a breath, step back from the meta a moment, and reconsider it from a more detached view. And maybe poke around stuff like Pokemon lists on Bulbapedia rather than the VR list for ideas on teams or (re)watch older replays to see how they handled current meta threats without the tools we have now.

BH isn't "solved" and focusing on "what's the absolute best" right now leads to stagnation. I mean, come on. A year or so ago I was defending Ho-Oh hard to keep it from dropping to D or UR because people thought it was utter crap. And now look at where it is: B-! All because someone

And really, with Gen VIII coming up, IMO you're gonna need to settle into a more experimental mindset if you wanna do well. ESPECIALLY if worst comes to worst and everything you know and love is ripped out of the game data and, consequently, BH. (I'm seriously expecting all the megas, legendaries, and signature moves we rely on so heavily to go poof.) Gen changes often drop good players like flies because they can't handle the alterations and they're set in a particular playstyle that's no longer feasible or even exists.

Either way, BH is my favorite meta and I don't seem to be able to quit. Trust me, I've tried a few times, especially the few times where I literally did not play for months. It's a shame too since I had planned to make a BH YouTube channel, but Real Life™ kicked me in the groin before I could do more than make a practice video. So, I try to stay involved in the meta and community to the best of my ability, which is sadly not as good as I like.



But yeah, TL;DR, Real Life™ takes a looooot of my time, although I still do play a bit and I do try to keep up with tournaments. I also come from an older, mostly extinct BH community with different view points that rub the current community the wrong way at times, I feel.

Anyway, unless I'm the next suspect test, probably should move on to other topics lest we all get modsmacked for being off-topic. If, for whatever reason, people really want to talk more to me about this topic and my level of activity, or some of my weird BH experiments (that I'm really worried I'm not gonna finish before Gen VIII), I'm happy to do so privately, so long as it doesn't get personal.
That’s a great way to accurately frame it. I am the same way and have been playing since BH started in Gen 5.

I too find it’s much easier to post and not ladder. I used to play on weekends only and that is fairly often but even the decay on the 5 days between is just demotivating to ladder for a top spot. Being #3 is good enough for me and I know I have done it already, and with a creative team I made myself without help, so I feel it’s more of an accomplishment than a overhaul of only standard stuff.

A lot of the post was similar for me. It’s just not convenient to play everyday, and many things people don’t realize is that some of us are no longer in school so we have 9-5, and other stuff going on. It’s not summer break for everyone who plays, as many players are still in school and don’t have the same requirements, some players even have children and are very active parents.

Anyways, I hope we all focus on what works but don’t shatter people along the way. I don’t think this was a concern on posting behavior in Gen 6, or Gen 5. Things may have changed but let’s change again for Gen 8.
 
Rumors: I can't really play much, but I know my meta. I have been messing with low ladder gimmicks and stupid stuff on alts and it's not ready for high ladder yet but trust me, it will be soon. I can only play at dead times most of the time. But you should still act like I know exactly what I'm talking about. But yes I do not have very much meta knowledge about this tier because I do not play the tier very much, but if you say my opinion is objectively wrong, you are wrong. and OM! can prove it for me.

OM: basically, yeah I agree with rumors., we have lives, we don't play much, but you should still be respectful and listen to us. I have been playing since gen v, and I did manage to reach 3 on the ladder with a team I made myself, so if I can do it, anyone can. So ladder ranking doesn't matter too much. I've never lost an argument because I always end them before I lose or tell Flint. I am also very good and making fake calcs!


s/o to SuperSkylake for making most of this uwu
 
gonna weigh in with my opinions


This mon is really overcentralizing right now with its main sets being Specs Aerilate, Triage, and Band TC.

Rayquaza-Mega @ Choice Specs
Ability: Aerilate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest / Rash / Naive / Timid Nature
- Boomburst
- Draco Meteor
- Secret Sword / Earth Power / Blue Flare
- Volt Switch / Extreme Speed / Moongeist Beam

Specs Aerilate is the most used set that can break through a lot of things really easily:

252+ SpA Choice Specs Aerilate Rayquaza-Mega Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Registeel: 156-183 (42.8 - 50.2%) -- 1.2% chance to 2HKO (41% with SR, 100% with spikes)
252+ SpA Choice Specs Aerilate Rayquaza-Mega Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Kyogre-Primal: 198-234 (49 - 57.9%) -- 96.1% chance to 2HKO

It's checked by some things fairly well but Rayquaza can get by against them:
  • Regenvest Registeel/Dialga can get rekt by Secret Sword
    • 252+ SpA Choice Specs Rayquaza-Mega Secret Sword vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Registeel: 232-274 (63.7 - 75.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
    • 252+ SpA Choice Specs Rayquaza-Mega Secret Sword vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Dialga: 272-322 (67.3 - 79.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • Soundproof Audino-Mega gets chipped a lot by Volt Switch and coverage moves
    • 252+ SpA Choice Specs Rayquaza-Mega Volt Switch vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Audino-Mega: 108-128 (26.3 - 31.2%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
    • 252+ SpA Choice Specs Rayquaza-Mega Secret Sword vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Audino-Mega: 119-141 (29 - 34.3%) -- 4.2% chance to 3HKO
Shedinja is probably the only reliable switchin (and even that can be bodied by random Moongeist Beam sets).


Rayquaza-Mega @ Life Orb / Leftovers
Ability: Triage
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Tail Glow
- Oblivion Wing
- Any two of: Secret Sword, Giga Drain, Moongeist Beam, Volt Switch

Triage is really hard to check if played correctly (see Gurpreet's team with it) mainly due to the main STAB outspeeding Prankster combined with high longevity and big offensive stats. Again, it breaks things:
+3 252+ SpA Life Orb Triage Rayquaza-Mega Oblivion Wing vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Registeel: 160-190 (43.9 - 52.1%) -- 16% chance to 2HKO (72.7% after SR; shows how even Prankster Registeel can't reliably check it)
+3 252+ SpA Life Orb Rayquaza-Mega Secret Sword vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Kyogre-Primal: 357-421 (88.3 - 104.2%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO
+3 252+ SpA Life Orb Rayquaza-Mega Moongeist Beam vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Giratina: 421-497 (83.5 - 98.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (though not common, it shows the raw power of this thing)

The usual plan is to catch it before it boosts, but that can be hard to do sometimes especially when the Rayquaza threatens a mon without boosting (i.e. it reveals Secret Sword and then is slow pivoted into Tyranitar-Mega).
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-901880959 sl craps on me using one of his teams
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-897962913 andyboy's triage ray ko's mons for his dazzling ray to sweep


Rayquaza-Mega @ Choice Band
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant / Jolly Nature
- Dragon Ascent
- Dragon Hammer
- Close Combat / High Horsepower
- Sunsteel Strike / U-Turn

Tough Claws Rayquaza is one of the most potent threats right now because it's so anti-meta, breaking most defensive cores with ease:
252+ Atk Choice Band Tough Claws Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Giratina: 340-402 (67.4 - 79.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (Dragon Hammer cleanly OHKOs)
252+ Atk Choice Band Tough Claws Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Zygarde-Complete: 339-399 (53.3 - 62.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Choice Band Tough Claws Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Registeel: 159-187 (43.6 - 51.3%) -- 8.2% chance to 2HKO (64.5% with SR; CC and HH cleanly OHKO)
252+ Atk Choice Band Tough Claws Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Magearna: 175-207 (48.2 - 57%) -- 91.4% chance to 2HKO

The only viable and reliable switchin is basically Fur Coat Slowbro-Mega, and even it gets chipped significantly:
252+ Atk Choice Band Tough Claws Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Fur Coat Slowbro-Mega: 127-150 (32.2 - 38%) -- 96.7% chance to 3HKO


Overall, Rayquaza causes significant restriction when teambuilding in order to have some check to both Aerilate and Triage Rayquaza. Unless one has a sturdy Fur Coat user like Slowbro-Mega or Zygarde-Complete (which takes ~43% from Dragon Hammer), beating Tough Claws Rayquaza is left to prediction, though a PH user with a Protect clone can ease the matchup.

However, what if you don't know which Rayquaza you're facing?


Pokemon spam teams becomes problematic once there is 3 of an offensive mon. It's similar to Illusion: while the mon can be scouted with Imposter, it is difficult to know which mon has which set has, and hazards don't help because they all take the same amount of damage. Additionally, with multiple sets, it becomes very easy to wear down the one check to that mon and overrun the team.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-903006973 Andyboy spams Rayquaza against SL, allowing him to setup a surprise Shell Smash and sweep
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-882486031 Andyboy spams Deo-A against Loser, overloading Prankster Giratina with setup spam
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-864158206 Andyboy spams Deo-A against OM!, overloading walls with setup spam
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-940151244 Ducky spams Zygarde-Complete against ElMustacho, overloading Regenerator Celesteela using Entrainment and chip damage
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-939642973 Ducky spams Gengar-Mega against the ruby kitty, overloading the Registeel/Giratina/Audino core
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-943771050 Pazza spams MMY against me, overloading my Magearna/Tyranitar core


Most of the replays show a common culprit: Shell Smash.


(shuckle's here cause it learns shell smash and looks cute)

The existence of Shell Smash basically forces use of Prankster on balance teams, though some more offensive teams can use Scarf Imposter instead. Prankster Giratina is the usual user, since it can also handle Shedinja, AdaptBand MMX, and Steelworker Kartana, but this fact also helps Shell Smash users like Gengar, Tyranitar, and Magic Guard Diancie. Prankster Steels (mostly Registeel but sometimes Aegislash and occasionally Magearna and Celesteela) are an alternative option that handle special attackers better but lose to physical ones like Dazzling MMX.

While Shell Smash does not exactly fit in the ban criteria for moves, it does share the "splashability" aspect in the ban criteria of abilities and an overcentralizing factor (forcing Prankster and/or Imposter as mostly reliable checks, so a suspect is a good idea.

The huge rise in Prankster Giratina does another thing: without Will-o-Wisp, it allows Shedinja to switch into it and do whatever it wants.



I can't say much that GL Volkner has already mentioned rof

tldr: ban everything
 
Someone else wrote most of my post.
I end arguments bc someone has to.
gonna weigh in with my opinions


This mon is really overcentralizing right now with its main sets being Specs Aerilate, Triage, and Band TC.

Rayquaza-Mega @ Choice Specs
Ability: Aerilate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest / Rash / Naive / Timid Nature
- Boomburst
- Draco Meteor
- Secret Sword / Earth Power / Blue Flare
- Volt Switch / Extreme Speed / Moongeist Beam

Specs Aerilate is the most used set that can break through a lot of things really easily:

252+ SpA Choice Specs Aerilate Rayquaza-Mega Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Registeel: 156-183 (42.8 - 50.2%) -- 1.2% chance to 2HKO (41% with SR, 100% with spikes)
252+ SpA Choice Specs Aerilate Rayquaza-Mega Boomburst vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Kyogre-Primal: 198-234 (49 - 57.9%) -- 96.1% chance to 2HKO

It's checked by some things fairly well but Rayquaza can get by against them:
  • Regenvest Registeel/Dialga can get rekt by Secret Sword
    • 252+ SpA Choice Specs Rayquaza-Mega Secret Sword vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Registeel: 232-274 (63.7 - 75.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
    • 252+ SpA Choice Specs Rayquaza-Mega Secret Sword vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Dialga: 272-322 (67.3 - 79.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
  • Soundproof Audino-Mega gets chipped a lot by Volt Switch and coverage moves
    • 252+ SpA Choice Specs Rayquaza-Mega Volt Switch vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Audino-Mega: 108-128 (26.3 - 31.2%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
    • 252+ SpA Choice Specs Rayquaza-Mega Secret Sword vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Audino-Mega: 119-141 (29 - 34.3%) -- 4.2% chance to 3HKO
Shedinja is probably the only reliable switchin (and even that can be bodied by random Moongeist Beam sets).


Rayquaza-Mega @ Life Orb / Leftovers
Ability: Triage
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Tail Glow
- Oblivion Wing
- Any two of: Secret Sword, Giga Drain, Moongeist Beam, Volt Switch

Triage is really hard to check if played correctly (see Gurpreet's team with it) mainly due to the main STAB outspeeding Prankster combined with high longevity and big offensive stats. Again, it breaks things:
+3 252+ SpA Life Orb Triage Rayquaza-Mega Oblivion Wing vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Registeel: 160-190 (43.9 - 52.1%) -- 16% chance to 2HKO (72.7% after SR; shows how even Prankster Registeel can't reliably check it)
+3 252+ SpA Life Orb Rayquaza-Mega Secret Sword vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Kyogre-Primal: 357-421 (88.3 - 104.2%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO
+3 252+ SpA Life Orb Rayquaza-Mega Moongeist Beam vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Assault Vest Giratina: 421-497 (83.5 - 98.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (though not common, it shows the raw power of this thing)

The usual plan is to catch it before it boosts, but that can be hard to do sometimes especially when the Rayquaza threatens a mon without boosting (i.e. it reveals Secret Sword and then is slow pivoted into Tyranitar-Mega).
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-901880959 sl craps on me using one of his teams
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-897962913 andyboy's triage ray ko's mons for his dazzling ray to sweep


Rayquaza-Mega @ Choice Band
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant / Jolly Nature
- Dragon Ascent
- Dragon Hammer
- Close Combat / High Horsepower
- Sunsteel Strike / U-Turn

Tough Claws Rayquaza is one of the most potent threats right now because it's so anti-meta, breaking most defensive cores with ease:
252+ Atk Choice Band Tough Claws Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Giratina: 340-402 (67.4 - 79.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (Dragon Hammer cleanly OHKOs)
252+ Atk Choice Band Tough Claws Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Zygarde-Complete: 339-399 (53.3 - 62.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Choice Band Tough Claws Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Registeel: 159-187 (43.6 - 51.3%) -- 8.2% chance to 2HKO (64.5% with SR; CC and HH cleanly OHKO)
252+ Atk Choice Band Tough Claws Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Magearna: 175-207 (48.2 - 57%) -- 91.4% chance to 2HKO

The only viable and reliable switchin is basically Fur Coat Slowbro-Mega, and even it gets chipped significantly:
252+ Atk Choice Band Tough Claws Rayquaza-Mega Dragon Ascent vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Fur Coat Slowbro-Mega: 127-150 (32.2 - 38%) -- 96.7% chance to 3HKO


Overall, Rayquaza causes significant restriction when teambuilding in order to have some check to both Aerilate and Triage Rayquaza. Unless one has a sturdy Fur Coat user like Slowbro-Mega or Zygarde-Complete (which takes ~43% from Dragon Hammer), beating Tough Claws Rayquaza is left to prediction, though a PH user with a Protect clone can ease the matchup.

However, what if you don't know which Rayquaza you're facing?


Pokemon spam teams becomes problematic once there is 3 of an offensive mon. It's similar to Illusion: while the mon can be scouted with Imposter, it is difficult to know which mon has which set has, and hazards don't help because they all take the same amount of damage. Additionally, with multiple sets, it becomes very easy to wear down the one check to that mon and overrun the team.

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-903006973 Andyboy spams Rayquaza against SL, allowing him to setup a surprise Shell Smash and sweep
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-882486031 Andyboy spams Deo-A against Loser, overloading Prankster Giratina with setup spam
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-864158206 Andyboy spams Deo-A against OM!, overloading walls with setup spam
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-940151244 Ducky spams Zygarde-Complete against ElMustacho, overloading Regenerator Celesteela using Entrainment and chip damage
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-939642973 Ducky spams Gengar-Mega against the ruby kitty, overloading the Registeel/Giratina/Audino core
https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7balancedhackmons-943771050 Pazza spams MMY against me, overloading my Magearna/Tyranitar core


Most of the replays show a common culprit: Shell Smash.


(shuckle's here cause it learns shell smash and looks cute)

The existence of Shell Smash basically forces use of Prankster on balance teams, though some more offensive teams can use Scarf Imposter instead. Prankster Giratina is the usual user, since it can also handle Shedinja, AdaptBand MMX, and Steelworker Kartana, but this fact also helps Shell Smash users like Gengar, Tyranitar, and Magic Guard Diancie. Prankster Steels (mostly Registeel but sometimes Aegislash and occasionally Magearna and Celesteela) are an alternative option that handle special attackers better but lose to physical ones like Dazzling MMX.

While Shell Smash does not exactly fit in the ban criteria for moves, it does share the "splashability" aspect in the ban criteria of abilities and an overcentralizing factor (forcing Prankster and/or Imposter as mostly reliable checks, so a suspect is a good idea.

The huge rise in Prankster Giratina does another thing: without Will-o-Wisp, it allows Shedinja to switch into it and do whatever it wants.



I can't say much that GL Volkner has already mentioned rof

tldr: ban everything
While I disagree with banning them, I will say these are solid points for the argument on why someone thinks they should be banned.

Not only does the post itself bring the topic back to the suspect, but it clarifies the overall for each option to suspect and the reasoning behind it is solid.

Kudos.
——————-
Going thru the Official BH Analysis (I am leaving Setpedia sets aside), I would add the following check:
Unaware Audino-Mega for Triage Rayquaza-Mega, (it’s listed as an Other Option), and is pretty much able to take on any of your listed variants. Unlike Shedinja, it just has no Stealth Rock fear, where Rayquaza can effectively shut down Shedinja with SR support from a teammate: it is probably the absolute safest check to Triage Ray, and is worthy of mention if Fur Coat Slowbro-Mega is acknowledged for Tough Claws Rayquaza-Mega.
One nitpick:
I lost in the replay you posted bc of Contrary, not because of Shell Smash or species Clause.

He won with 1 Deoxys-A at exactly 1 HP, and won because he used Psycho Boost to KO Audino-Mega, and then Photon to KO Diancie-Mega.

If Contrary Clause was in effect, Diancie-Mega would have survived Photon Geyser, and KOed Deoxys-A, at that point in the game, set up was simply not possible as Audino-Mega would have Spectral Thiefed away any Shell Smashes.

252 SpA Deoxys-Attack Photon Geyser vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Diancie-Mega: 154-183 (50.6 - 60.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

So since Contrary is banned, I don’t think Species Clause needs to be applied, as your replay assumes victory is because of 6 Deoxys-A, but it is actually because it uses a broken ability. I don’t mind losing, he won fair and square since the ban wasn’t in effect yet, but to put it in the context... that is why he won.
 
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Time to actually make a good post on these stuff (rather than just saying a viewpoint and providing 0 support, cough cough)

Lets talk about this mon. Aka the most borked offensive threat present.
Rayquaza has 3 main offensive sets (Specs -ate, Band TC, Triage), 1 secondary offensive sets (Mixed -ate), and some other possible sets (Specs TL, Band TL, Quick Feet, DQM, Scarf, Adapt).
Note that I did not include any replays featuring a certain 6x Rayquaza spam team because the species overload definitely has something to do with the effectiveness and I wanted to make the replays show just the raw strength of Rayquaza.
Rayquaza-Mega @ Choice Specs
Ability: Aerilate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid / Naive / Modest / Rash Nature
- Boomburst
- Draco Meteor
- Secret Sword / Earth Power / Magma Storm / Blue Flare / Extreme Speed
- Volt Switch / Moongeist Beam / Extreme Speed

The most popular and probably effective Rayquaza set rn. Specs Boomburst is insanely difficult to switch into outside of very bulky resists or Soundproof. This set's effectiveness comes from the sheer power granting it many chances to come in on a slower offensive mon (PDon, Xern, etc) and threaten an OHKO.

Good checks: Soundproof Audino, Soundproof Ho-Oh, Soundproof Xerneas, RegenVest + Shed, Shield moves.
Decent checks: RegenVest Steel, FF/Levitate/Prank Registeel, FC Chansey, Shed, Mega TTar, Nihilego.
Offensive checks: SF MMY, Ice Move MMX, Ice Move MGar, Pixi Diancie, SF Deo-A, Kyurem-B, ESpeed Kyurem-W, Mega Aerodactyl.
Among the good checks note that Soundproof Dino and Xern are 2HKOed by Blue Flare, Ho-Oh takes chunks from Draco, and all hate Volt Switch. Resulting in having basically no good defensive check.

Specs -ate immensely pressures the opponent despite having a Shield mon and a Soundproof mon, and wins after hitting a risk-free 50/50.
Specs -ate 2HKOs Dialga and forces a Prank DBond trade.
Specs -ate breaks the opposing team that has a FF Registeel.
Both Specs -ate break the opposing team.
Sl's Specs -ate pressures despite FF Aegi.
Specs -ate despite being hard walled by Audino cripples Regi, opening up opportunities for TC.
Rayquaza-Mega @ Sky Plate / Life Orb
Ability: Aerilate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Fake Out / Draco Meteor / Sunsteel Strike
- Extreme Speed
- Boomburst
- Precipice Blades / V-create / Thousand Arrows / U-turn

The worst of the 4 main sets. Compared to the other sets it either lacks breaking power or longevity. In return this set offers the utility of revenge-killing which can be valuable.

Good checks: Soundproof Audino Zygarde MegaBro, FF Celesteela, Shed, FC Chansey, Mega TTar, Levitate Nihilego.
Decent checks: FF/Levitate/Prank Steels, Imposter, Soundproof Xerneas, RegenVest POgre.
Offensive checks: Pixi Diancie, Kyurem-B, Kyurem-W, DQM MMY MMX MGar Deo-A, Refridge MMX, Mega Aerodactyl.
There are a lot more options for defensive checks now but offensive checks are reduced or worse because of how strong Plate-boosted ESpeed is.

Mixed -ate despite being walled by Soundproof Zyg is able to prevent Gengar sweep by revenge-killing it.
Mixed -ate cleans late game.
Rayquaza-Mega @ Life Orb / Safety Goggles / Leftovers
Ability: Triage
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Oblivion Wing
- Tail Glow
- Moongeist Beam / Giga Drain / Earth Power / Secret Sword / Volt Switch
- Spore / Substitute / Any of moveslot 3

Ridiculously annoying to face because of the insane longevity provided by Oblivion Wing. Defensive checks are very lacking to this set because not only do they have to live +3 Boosted moves but they also need to be able to threaten back as otherwise it just shrugs off the damage. Life Orb boosted OWing is still very strong priority to revenge-kill.

Good checks: Unaware Audino Chansey POgre Zygarde, Imposter, RegenVest Giratina Zygarde.
Decent checks: RegenVest POgre, FC Chansey, Steels, Mega TTar, Nihilego.
Offensive checks: DQM MMY MMX MGar Deo-A.
Note how generally Defensive checks rely on Unaware or RegenVest, both of which are pretty bad rn, and offensive checks relying on DQM.

Triage takes out 2 mons and weakens a third.
Triage sweeps despite Spectral + Ice Beam Chansey.
Triage sweeps despite Prank Aegi and RegenVest Zyg.
Rayquaza-Mega @ Choice Band
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly / Adamant Nature
- Dragon Ascent
- Dragon Hammer / Ice Hammer
- Close Combat / High Horsepower / V-create
- U-turn / Sunsteel Strike

The dangerous thing about this set is its ability to break past the special walls for the Specs -ate and Triage sets that tend to switch in on Ray. Its breaking power is also very dangerous and has a wide range of very powerful coverage moves. Compared to Specs -ate it also doesn't have an immunity to its main move.

Good checks: FC Slowbro Cresselia Celesteela, Prank Slowbro (w/ Sap),
Decent checks: Prank Tina Zygarde Steels, FF Aegislash, RegenVest Slowbro Celesteela, Shed.
Offensive checks: Same as Specs -ate.
Note how there are minimal good checks due to the coverage.

Tzop's TC breaks despite Zekrom and FC NDM. (Also note how dual ray makes it difficult to play around)
TC breaks after Regi is crippled.
TC effectively takes out 3 mons and possibly more if it wasn't sacked.
Band Tinted Lens is an alternative to TC that trades breaking resists easier for more damage on neutral targets such as Dino and Ogre.
Specs Tinted Lens is like a hybrid of Triage and Specs -ate with breaking power and some longevity from OWing.
Quick Feet is an interesting late game sweeper that beats normal Imp and can beat Scarf Imp.
DQM is not that great but can still be used to surprise opponents and lure some priority.
Scarf is a nice surprise revenge killer against frail targets like MMY and MGar.
Adapt is a mixed breaker that can threaten both spectrums simultaneously with very strong STABs.
So why is Ray so dangerous and so broken? What makes it different compared to MMX and MMY and MGar and Mega Diancie? Does it satisfy the "guidelines" in the OP?
  • A banworthy Pokemon should be considered first and foremost as a blank state with no ability or specific moveset, on the merits of its stats in both an offensive and defensive setting. It should outshine every other Pokemon in the tier and be considered head and shoulders above them.
Rayquaza's stats are very very good. 180 180 Mixed Offenses are only rivaled by Deo-A and its speed tier is enough for it to force out many slower offensive mons and prevent mons like Kyurems and Diancie from effectively revenge-killing it. The Mixed Offenses differentiate it from MMY and MMX because even though they have very good mixed offenses it is still not enough to run mixed sets effectively (as in sets from both end of spectrum). Compared to MMY and the similar offenses but better speed Deo-A, its bulk is better, which allows it to live hits the others cannot, especially priority. Its bulk is near identical to MMX, who already is very tanky and can live super effective hits with ease.
  • In addition, their typing would grant both a great offensive STAB as well as uncommon or easy to patch weaknesses (e.g. by an ability), and also be neutral or resistant to common hazards.
Flying is a very good STAB to have, especially when compared to the Psychic STABs of Mewtwos. It doesn't have immunities, and the resists are rare outside of Steel and are easily covered by strong coverage moves (Ground is perfect neutral coverage, Fighting is solid coverage because Electrics suck, Dragon provides decent neutral coverage on the metagame already unlike MMX whose STABs are resisted by Psychic). This means that there are no super good 4x resists to its STABs because a) the 4x resists all suck and b) they all have a 4x weakness that is exploitable. Compare this to Psychic/Fighting which not only has immunities that they need to be wary of, but also has solid 4x resists (in the case of Psychic) that lack 4x weaknesses (Solg and NDM and Metagross).

Its typing defensively is also much better than MMYs and arguably just as good as MMXs if not better. Its lack of weakness to Spectral Thief means that sets like Triage can setup generally without too much risk because even the strongest Spectrals only do like 30. Core Enforcer weakness is less important compared to Spectral but even this weakness is somewhat covered by its own strong Dragon STAB to hit opposing Dragon types hard while no Core Enforcer mon can OHKO either. U-turn resist is obviously really good. Having an immunity to Ground is very good as well as it can generate free switches from Choice-locked mons. Spikes and TSpikes immunity helps out with the SR weakness while being immune to the rare Webs makes it a nightmare for those teams. Its typing also lets it be a one time check to some offensive mons like PDon (or more than one if its Triage because of the insane recovery). Ice weakness really sucks but Ice coverage isn't even great on defensive mons outside of the rare POgre and on weaker mons it doesn't even OHKO. In fact thanks to these traits Triage can be a decent defensive check to mons on an offense team.
  • Because of its stats and typing, the Pokemon can run many different sets and different roles, all of which vary from passable to dominant in the tier, whether defensive or offensive
Defensive apart, it is very clear that Rayquaza can run a plethora of offensive sets with all different roles including Special Breaker, Physical Breaker, Mixed Breaker, Special Sweeper, Special Revenge Killer, Physical Revenge Killer, Semi-improof Sweeper. In addition, the main 4 offensive sets are all top tier offensive sets (maybe less for Mixed -ate but thats still a very good set).
  • It is important to get past simply being the jack of all trades. There has to be a subset of the main sets that can be run on the 'mon that are unique to it, either from its STAB combination, defensive typing or more
Thanks to Rayquaza's insane stats, some sets are only really effective because they are used on this mon. Specs -ate for example is possible on other mons such as Diancie and Kyurem-W or even like Char-Y for Aerilate but they are less effective because of Flying being a generally better STAB and its higher speed tier. Tough Claws is another set that can be used on mons like Aerodactyl but the loss of power is very significant and the extra Dragon STAB really helps against the fat Dragons. Triage is another set that is really only good with Ray (Char-Y Triage is useable but its niche is beating Xern and the loss of power is quite significant).
  • One of (or both):
    • It's difficult to win without using the banworthy Pokemon or
    • Checks and counters for this mon are insufficient, niche or uncommon to the point of forcing the decision to either prepare for the ban-worthy Pokemon uniquely or the rest of the tier
I wouldn't really say that one cannot win without using Ray, although as seen through OMPL many players are agreeing to no Ray simply because how busted it is. On the other hand...
Checks and counters to ray... basically non-existent. It is very difficult to even find good checks to the individual checks and its almost impossible to find a mon that checks TWO of the 3 strongest sets (exclude mixed -ate because its relatively easier to check). In fact, the only mon I can think of that can barely check two of the 3 strongest sets is Multitype Electric Arceus, and this can even lose if Ray is healthy (Ice Beam / Ice Rev Dance doesn't OHKO). In addition, even the sets that can only check ONE set are often still quite niche, as shown through my personal analysis on the possible checks to each set. These niche sets often can only a) check ray (even still not always safe) and b) improof your own ray, and in a meta like BH having a dead mon slot leaves you open to other threats in the meta such as the Mewtwos and Shell Smash and Shed and Imposter.
  • The Pokemon is so good at different roles/sets that preparation for one leads to a loss against the other
This is pretty obvious when Ray can use one of the many different roles. A special check like RegenVest or Nihilego will easily die to the TC set or a fat mon like FC Chansey that is passive will lose to Triage. This connects back to how there is no blanket check to Ray and how it is even really difficult to scout relatively risk free (for MMY you can use NDM/Solg/Imp/FC Chansey/Cress to scout while for MMX you have Cress/Bro/Tina/Imp/Mega Sab to scout).

As we can see Rayquaza pretty much satisfies all of these conditions. If we compare Rayquaza to PDon we can see that PDon has more defensive utility and better STABs (unresisted outside of Fire immune abilities) and better STAB moves and can run some defensive sets to varying degrees of success while Rayquaza has a much better Speed tier and can run special sets more effectively.
You can probably tell I am a big supporter of a Rayquaza suspect (quickban pls lol) and I will post my opinions on Shed later on. Thanks for reading.
 
My thoughts on Mega Rayquaza:

Specs Aerilate is a potent wall breaker and has been throughout all of Gen 7. Tail Glow Triage is a potent stall breaking / sweeping set and has been throughout all of Gen 7. The only ban this generation that really affected Mega Rayquaza was Contrary and that wasn’t its strongest set. Other bans have either had little to do with Mega Rayquaza or have actually helped it, like Psychic Surge. The sleep clause put a damper on Triage + Spore sets, but that wasn’t the most effective Triage set as coverage is usually more valuable and reliable. Basically what I’m saying is that Mega Rayquaza has pretty much been the same mixed threat that it has been all generation and the only thing that really helped it was the surge ban.

No one has been calling for Ray's head until just recently. I'm not really sure what changed things all of a sudden. Ray is certainly tough to prepare for thanks to its strong mixed offenses, but it is not without its checks or flaws. I just haven't seen anything to convince me that Ray is banworthy right now.
 
The difference seems to be that people are discovering and using more varied ray sets. it used to be that you would only see specs aerilate and triage and the occasionally contrary set, and you could cover the specs and triage sets with a single mon like fc chansey/dialga/registeel, and contrary was just contrary and was annoying. The others, like tough claws, were slept on, mostly because the metagame didn't really let them come in as much. Now it does more. I am noticing when prepping for tours that I need to devote at least two mons to ensuring I don't lose to all of mega ray's sets, and even then, I'm relying on 4mss most of the time. So it's definitely getting harder to deal with just like mmx is. Is itw orth banning? Probably not. We haven't yet adapted fully to it. Stuff like 4x flying resists such as Basti or Probo are on the rise because they can check variants without fighting coverage pretty well. So Ray will most likely start running fighting coverage to hit them, meaning it has to give up something else. It will probably become like one of the metagame cycles we have now, such as the Shedinja viability cycle where teams prep for it, and it falls out of usage, teams don't prep as much and it goes back up. Another thing that Chessking mentioned was that FC Chansey can switch into almost all its sets except the tough claws one, but it hates status and can easily be chipped into range, which means that another posible option is running misty surge which also weakens Ray's Dragon-type stab. I feel like people calling for the ban haven't given the metagame long enough to adjust to ray, and it will, just as it's adjusting to all the new MMX sets with things like Cres and Protect Bro usage going up.
 

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