Ladder Balanced Hackmons

Illusio

Bold and Brash
Alright, it's about time I've finally done this. I'm calling for a Sleep Clause in BH. I've lost countless games to the dumb gimmick of Mold Breaker+Spore, and I'm positive many others have as well. For those of you who may not have played BH or encountered the set, it involves using a fast Pokemon (usually Deo-S) with Mold Breaker and Spore, which allows for Deo-S to remove a counter to their sweeper. While this by itself isn't bad, it's the fact that Deo-S can continually do this to null multiple Pokemon that makes this gimmick broken.

Another reason that makes a Sleep Clause necessary is the lack of checks against Spore spam. The only reasonable check would be -ate Fakespeeders, as they're the only Pokemon who can outspeed Deo-S and deal significant damage to it. Also, note that I said check instead of counter, because there are EXTREMELY few viable counters to Spore spam. Currently, there are no viable Grass types in BH, Safety Goggles and Overcoat are a waste of an item/ability, and Pokemon which are already statused.

According to the December 2015 1630 usage stats, a little more than 11% of BH teams had Deoxys-Speed. While not every Deo-S on the ladder is for the purpose of Mold Breaker+Spore, many are, and much like Mega Rayquaza and Chatter, they define the metagame to the point where not running a mon with Safety Goggles or having an espeeder makes your team unviable. Does that really sound like a healthy metagame to you?

Lastly, I would go as far as to say that Spore spam is at the same level, if not even less competitive than Chatter spam or evasion. In fact, much like how Chatter spam made Soundproof temporarily viable, we see Safety Goggles as quite common in BH. The sleep counter, unfortunately, is still completely random, giving chances from a 1 turn sleep all the way to a 5 3 turn sleep. Sleep is a complete coinflip, which also adds to the unviablity and brokenness of Spore spam. The sleep clause was implemented in all tiers/metas save for AG, so why not have it in the one meta where every single Pokemon gets sleep-inducing moves?
</rant>

tl;dr: just read the bold

Thank you for reading my long-winded rant, and I hope that this persuades you to at least allow a suspect of a sleep clause in BH. :)
 
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OM

It's a starstruck world
is a Community Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
Alright, it's about time I've finally done this. I'm calling for a Sleep Clause in BH. I've lost countless games to the dumb gimmick of Mold Breaker+Spore, and I'm positive many others have as well. For those of you who may not have played BH or encountered the set, it involves using a fast Pokemon (usually Deo-S) with Mold Breaker and Spore, which allows for Deo-S to remove a counter to their sweeper. While this by itself isn't bad, it's the fact that Deo-S can continually do this to null multiple Pokemon that makes this gimmick broken.

Another reason that makes a Sleep Clause necessary is the lack of checks against Spore spam. The only reasonable check would be -ate Fakespeeders, as they're the only Pokemon who can outspeed Deo-S and deal significant damage to it. Also, note that I said check instead of counter, because there are EXTREMELY few viable counters to Spore spam. Currently, there are no viable Grass types in BH, Safety Goggles and Overcoat are a waste of an item/ability, and Pokemon which are already statused.

According to the December 2015 1630 usage stats, a little more than 11% of BH teams had Deoxys-Speed. While not every Deo-S on the ladder is for the purpose of Mold Breaker+Spore, many are, and much like Mega Rayquaza and Chatter, they define the metagame to the point where not running a mon with Safety Goggles or having an espeeder makes your team unviable. Does that really sound like a healthy metagame to you?

Lastly, I would go as far as to say that Spore spam is at the same level, if not even less competitive than Chatter spam or evasion. In fact, much like how Chatter spam made Soundproof temporarily viable, we see Safety Goggles as quite common in BH. The sleep counter, unfortunately, is still completely random, giving chances from a 1 turn sleep all the way to a 5 turn sleep. Sleep is a complete coinflip, which also adds to the unviablity and brokenness of Spore spam. The sleep clause was implemented in all tiers/metas save for AG, so why not have it in the one meta where every single Pokemon gets sleep-inducing moves?
</rant>

tl;dr: just read the bold

Thank you for reading my long-winded rant, and I hope that this persuades you to at least allow a suspect of a sleep clause in BH. :)
Mega Venusaur is a very viable poke in BH, js. Also Sleep spam in BH is just as broken as in AG, in which it makes darkrai a top tier threat! Five stars I agree
 
<snippet>
All right, I've got a few things to say about this so hear me out. It isn't nearly as hard as it seems to revenge or defeat a fast sleep user as you make it seem. As you mentioned, Safety Goggles is a perfect stop to Spore and it comes with very little opportunity cost. While certain Pokemon like Mega Gengar and Mewtwo Y may need their plates, almost everything else barely minds running Goggles over Lefties or another item. A complete hard counter also exists in the form of Poison Heal. It's not like it doesn't have any other uses too. PH doubles as a great defensive and offensive ability, keeping them free from status and giving passive recovery to sweepers.

There are also several other tools out there letting you play around sleep. Magic Coat, Sleep talk, Taunt, Substitute, and Lum Berry are all great for avoiding Sleep. It isn't that difficult to adjust your team to beat Moldy sleep. With the exception of Magic Coat, all of the aforementioned moves are already viable even in standard tiers, where sleep isn't a big deal. Don't forget that you also only really need 1 sleep counter to be able to easily switch in on Mold Breaker sleep.

You also compare sleep's competitiveness to Chatter, while the gap between them is huge. Sleep only needs a simple item to get past, Safety Goggles. There also exist several counters and workarounds as I have already mentioned to beat it. Chatter, on the other hand, required a whole ability, of which there were only 1-3 (Own Tempo, Soundproof, Shield Dust) to get past, which didn't even work if they happened to be carrying Mold Breaker. It also did damage, which gave it use on several offensive sets like Protean Mewtwo Y and Gale Wings Rayquaza, allowing them to muscle past Pokemon intended to stop them. Just think of why Teeter Dance isn't banned, even though it bypasses Magic Bounce/Coat and also has the same effect as Chatter, while not being blocked by Soundproof or Shield Dust. Spore completely fails to provide damage at the same time as using its effect, and sleep isn't nearly as random as you make it seem. There are several ways to stop it in the first place, and you already know that your Pokemon will be sleeping for at least 1 turn, and will always end before 3.(You said 5, guessing you typoed.) Assuming from the start that you will have 3 turns of sleep easily allows you to strategize and play around it by switching around, while Chatter was truly random and had no guarantee that you wouldn't hit yourself 5 times in a row.

I also noticed that you used Deoxys Speed as your main example a lot. Is the problem really with sleep? Or is it with the combination of Deo-S' incredible speed and sleep? There are practically no other usable fast users that could pull off the role without being outsped or speed tied by other common threats. Also, without Mold Breaker, sleep is easily shut down by Magic Bounce, severely limiting what kinds of things can abuse it.

Sleep is also a potent and important tool for offensive playstyles, allowing them to get past various stall walls like Fur Coat Chansey which are otherwise almost invincible without the right coverage or set up. Furthermore it is a common tool used to Imposterproof sweepers with Safety Goggles or Poison Heal. It is also an invaluable tool to balance/stall playstyles, letting them force out or cripple threats like PDon and Mega Gengar, and is also used to stop sweepers via Prankster. Adding a sleep clause would hurt offense tremendously, and it would also have repercussions for other playstyles as well.

Lastly, you make the argument that practically every other metagame has sleep clause incorporated, and BH should have an even greater need for it. However, BH is completely different from the other metagames. Yes, it gives everything access to sleep, but in turn everything has the potential to get things to beat sleep as well. BH was meant to allow as much versatility and creativity as possible by allowing almost everything, so adding sleep clause would be a mistake as it would make sleep not nearly as viable. You can make the argument that sleep reduces the viability of everything else more than it adds to it, but due to all of my previous points I disagree with this. It makes no sense to ban something we don't have to, especially when so many viable tools exist to beat it. It isn't nearly as hard to beat sleep as it seems, and the tools you have to do it are numerous and effective elsewhere.

Thanks for reading (if you did), and I hope we can have a coherent and mature discussion about this. ^.^
 
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I've brought spore and sleep spam up before and honestly, yeah, sleep clause would be good cause sleep spam is extremely easy to do and its a constant meta defining threat.
The fact that you basicly need to have safety goggles on every non magic bounce/non grass type alone is extremely limiting item wise and knock off being very common doesnt keep you safe from it.

Yeah, it's not as bad due of the presence of -ate at the moment, but really, -ate currently in the low bulk meta alone has been discussed a lot due of its heavy presence and recruitment of steel type presence, and so on.

it really sucks to be honest, -ate and sleep spam are the two things in BH you really need to be prepared for on top of imposter and sheddy, but the difference is, they don't actually have the positive effect of "must have evil" the two latter have.
presence of -ate limits team building in the way that you -need- something for it, or die, steel type or your own -ate which is its own can of worms.
sleep spam again, requires you to be wearing goggles or if you want to try other things, sleep talk or give up your ability slot.

not to mention, there's dark void, granted it is 80% vs 100%, but it by passes safety goggles and the accuracy can be boosted.
If you keep getting your mons sleeped, your fucked, you can't take the risk to stay around to wake up anymore, you don't have the bulk for it with the current power levels.
Sleeping mon is about same as dead, body shield for sponging with the constant "please wake up in 1 turn" prayer, cause in BH, its hard to afford to give up too many turns compared to the other meta games where the powers and possibilieis aren't as endless as in here.

If you would not have to be constantly afraid of sleep, it would increase the potential sets to run and fun a lot more, judgement sets with more freedom on ability, even resistance berries against -ate or other items such as red card/sash, specially choice items too could become a lot more easier to use properly.
Currently, not using safety goggles for your non super specified mons is just rarely worth the risk, cause even if you dont run to spore in a while, the moment you do, you're about fucked.

Sleep spam doesn't really bring much to the table creativity wise, it just limits it by being a constant gigantic pressure that makes you too afraid to run something different that would require item and ability slot.
As much as there are ways to prepare for it, you only have so much slots to use for moves, abilities, items, etc, not to mention if you over prepare for it you've just wasted a lot on it, and get fucked by other constant norms of the BH.

Sleep would still be viable option for anti imposter and specific mon elimination with sleep cause and you would still want protection for your key mons for it
But in the current state, it's just way too silly and limiting, considering how its just, spammable.


and really, BH just, ever since the gen6, really gotten too many of "must prepare for" factors when the bulk vanished and the new powerful abilities and mons appeared, its kinda why the most effective teams are nearly carbon copies unless you're doing something super clever that is anti meta in some twisted way like magnet pull baton pass shenigans.
Removing sleep could atleast help open ability and item options a bit more to allow some little change atleast.
 

Illusio

Bold and Brash
I'll just answer your questions point by point for simplicity.

I'll agree with you that Safety Goggles do stop Spore spam. However, they still don't stop Dark Void, another viable sleep-inducing move. They're also a waste of an itemslot. Do you really want to have your entire team holding Safety Goggles simply to stop Spore-spam from occurring? You also appear to underestimate the viability of Leftovers, as Lefties are a major upgrade , contrary to what you're saying. And in regards to Poison Heal, it's still not a counter because during the switch-in, they can still be Spored.

Your replacements also aren't that sturdy. As you said, Magic Coat is normally unviable and would never be used otherwise in BH. Not to mention that Sleep Talk is pretty unreliable, Taunt only works if it outspeeds, Sub loses to Dark Void and also being outsped, and Lum Berry, if used as a check, will lose it on the switch in. None of those appear to be that useful, especially when the only move that actually beats sleep spam 100% of the time is also the most unviable move otherwise.

The reason Teeter Dance isn't banned is because that a) Teeter Dance simply is far from viable in BH, unlike Spore and b) even when confused, the opponent can still attack. I don't see how 3 turns of not being able to attack is better than having a chance to attack for 5 turns. Also, how would switching around help you at all, if the switch-in could be Spored just as easily as the first?

The main reason why I mentioned Deo-S should be pretty simple: he's currently the prime offender. With the Sleep Clause, he would be far from OP, so I don't see why you seem to be suggesting a ban for Deo-S, when it's the Sleep Clause that needs to be added. You also implied that Deo-S is the only Pokemon that could pull off Spore spam, which simply isn't true at all. Any reasonably fast or bulky Pokemon would have no trouble spamming Spore because they can either outspeed the opponent or just laugh off hits.

As for your next paragraph, I don't think you understand that the Sleep Clause doesn't ban Spore or sleep altogether but makes it so that only one Pokemon can fall asleep. If you think I misinterpreted your post, feel free to correct me, but I don't believe I did. Of course Sleep spam is useful on offense, it's just as useful as stall and balanced for the same exact reason - it's quick, easy, and there's nothing the opponent can do about it. Yes, Spore is useful on sweepers to get rid of their counters, but when the entire opposing team is Spored, is that really a fair matchup? Yes, Spore is useful on stall to get rid of sweepers, but if your stall team is centered around having all of the sweepers being asleep, then you, quite simply, have an extremely shitty stall team.

If only one Pokemon is asleep, then it won't "hurt offense tremendously", as you put it, but instead just cause a minor drop in viability for set-up sweepers. And if the opponent has more than one counter to your sweeper, unless if it's an extreme counterteam against that mon, than that sweeper isn't viable in BH as, like with the Spore stall team, it relies too heavily on sleep hax.

You stated that every Pokemon has the ability to stop sleep spam. That's true, but at what cost does that run? Wasting an itemslot on a useless item otherwise? Running a nearly useless ability just to stop sleep? Running an unviable move in Magic Coat just so that you would be able to fully beat Sleep spam? I don't consider those qualities to be an example of a supposed meta with "versatility and creativity". It makes no sense not to add a Sleep Clause, as it overcentralizes the meta and allows for a complete lack of creativity when it comes to making teams. As I proved above, the only method of beating Sleep spam is not viable, and beating sleep spam is a lot harder than you make it out to be. As I said in my first post, sleep spam is completely stupid and the fact that I have to ask for a Sleep Clause is a little shocking, as any team could abuse it and pull off a win.

I as well hope that we can continue to have a mature argument about this, and not degrade into a flamewar like most of the other arguments. I hope that my points help you to see a new light into why the sleep clause is necessary in order to have a healthy metagame.
 
Alright, it's about time I've finally done this. I'm calling for a Sleep Clause in BH. I've lost countless games to the dumb gimmick of Mold Breaker+Spore, and I'm positive many others have as well. For those of you who may not have played BH or encountered the set, it involves using a fast Pokemon (usually Deo-S) with Mold Breaker and Spore, which allows for Deo-S to remove a counter to their sweeper. While this by itself isn't bad, it's the fact that Deo-S can continually do this to null multiple Pokemon that makes this gimmick broken.

Another reason that makes a Sleep Clause necessary is the lack of checks against Spore spam. The only reasonable check would be -ate Fakespeeders, as they're the only Pokemon who can outspeed Deo-S and deal significant damage to it. Also, note that I said check instead of counter, because there are EXTREMELY few viable counters to Spore spam. Currently, there are no viable Grass types in BH, Safety Goggles and Overcoat are a waste of an item/ability, and Pokemon which are already statused.

According to the December 2015 1630 usage stats, a little more than 11% of BH teams had Deoxys-Speed. While not every Deo-S on the ladder is for the purpose of Mold Breaker+Spore, many are, and much like Mega Rayquaza and Chatter, they define the metagame to the point where not running a mon with Safety Goggles or having an espeeder makes your team unviable. Does that really sound like a healthy metagame to you?

Lastly, I would go as far as to say that Spore spam is at the same level, if not even less competitive than Chatter spam or evasion. In fact, much like how Chatter spam made Soundproof temporarily viable, we see Safety Goggles as quite common in BH. The sleep counter, unfortunately, is still completely random, giving chances from a 1 turn sleep all the way to a 5 3 turn sleep. Sleep is a complete coinflip, which also adds to the unviablity and brokenness of Spore spam. The sleep clause was implemented in all tiers/metas save for AG, so why not have it in the one meta where every single Pokemon gets sleep-inducing moves?
</rant>

tl;dr: just read the bold

Thank you for reading my long-winded rant, and I hope that this persuades you to at least allow a suspect of a sleep clause in BH. :)
This has a lot of good points, and overall I have to agree with what you are saying. However, I'm going to try and poke holes in the argument, just to get both sides out there.

First off- Pokemon that are already statused. These aren't that bad, especially since they give some nice abilities available for this, namely- poison heal, guts, toxic boost, flare boost, quick feet, marvel scale, and magic guard. This does require an item and an ability, but it isn't unviable at all, even aside from spore.

Secondly- Espeeding. Espeeding isn't the only way that this is/can be done. What I believe you meant is priority, and most offensive teams should have one, be it an atespeed or gale wings. Defensive teams should have priority as well, or at least have a option for it in prankster, via which you can taunt, safeguard, or whatever you please. Additionally, thanks to how priority works and deoxys bulk, both stall and offense can solve this in a moveslot with espeed and/or magic coat.

Thirdly- no viable grass types. Almost completely true. Venasaur-Mega has niche uses, and Shaymin can be run, but they are mostly outclassed. Still, immunity to powder is just something their type gets, like steel and poison are immune to poisoning and electric is immune to paralysis. If spore boosts their viability like ate does steel, then so be it. Additionally, Protean mons can run spiky shield for free sleep immunity.

Fourthly- Safety Goggles isn't the only item that does this. One common item is a Lum berry, which stops all kind of tricks and isn't limited to this. While it isn't a hard stop, it can give your pokemon enough time to get a speed boost (contrary, setup, whatever) to beat it next turn. If it has priority, then it can set up rocks and potentially run over an unlimited number of Deoxys-S, sash or no.

Fifthly- Deoxys-S running turboblaze. Without Mold Breaker or its clones, they are stopped by Magic Bounce, and with it they have no priority. Its not crippling, but its not helpful either. additionally, mold breaker makes overcoat useless. Try insomnia/vital spirit- they remove sleep at turns end even if they have mold breaker. Additionally, you can screw them over with synchronize or hope to get lucky with shed skin.

Final- they define the metagame to the point where not running a mon with Safety Goggles or having an espeeder makes your team unviable. They don't, not really. Counters arent that easy, but they can be stopped with several moves that can be given to literally any pokemon. It removes coverage or utility, but they give utility of their own. The moves are- Sleep talk, Magic Coat, Prankster Taunt, Prankster Safeguard, prankster sub, and Prankster Imprison if you know spore (lel). Even Rayquaza can't be stopped by all Pokemon just by adding a move/item. (with KS and Ice Shard, you can, but thats two moves, requires prediction, and is only for physical offense). Just because they aren't otherwise viable doesn't mean that spore is unhealthy- to take a biased example, setup makes unaware viable, but that doesn't make setup broken.

Many of these can be blocked with dark void instead of spore, but that has the miss chance and is a an overall inferior move. Also, you can run a scarf or your own Deoxys-S

TL;DR: it could use a suspect for sure, but there are very good antiban arguments.
 
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Lcass4919

The Xatu Warrior
YUR OPINIONZ AL SUK ND MIN RULEZ...no but seriously. im really liking the mature discussion at hand atm. its pretty rare not going to lie. i just had something i wanted to add, i think the problem with spore, that possibly bypasses the "its easy to prepare for" is that its also "impossible to predict" unlike mm2, or aerialate for example, spore and dark void is literally splashable on EVERY pokemon, and EVERY ability and EVERY moveset. you might have a poison heal kyogre. but that wont stop their dark void registeel from sporing your ate when you least expect it. and when you realise registeel is their voider, your protean mm2y falls asleep because they run spore fur coat chansey. so you decide to go into your mega gengar, but low and behold, they run spore mm2y, set up to +3 and finish you off. incredibly rare scenario, but you get my gist, as every mon can run counters, every possible set out there can run sleep. poison heal is a good check, but offensive sleepers can easily dispatch them. safety goggles might work, but dark void can be used. and the big one, enless you run it on every mon, your vunerable. i could pull a 3 dark voider 3 sporer team out of nowhere and probably demolish the ladder. in fact, ive seen even skilled players fall to spore spam.

i think antiban makes good points, but the problem is there are no "perfect" viable stops(vital spirit and insomnia are like, pretty meh, and lum berry is a one turn thing) to a attack that literally nullifies a mon for up to 2-3 turns and everything can find room for it, and have ways around usual switchins to it. which can literally make or break a game. poison heal can stop spore...but it doesnt stop the abusers. low kick mm2 basically destroys ph ogre, then it can safely spam spores again for example. we made an ability clause because spamming the same ability over and over produced good results, and i feel like spore spam does a similar effect mindlessly.
 
This has a lot of good points, and overall I have to agree with what you are saying. However, I'm going to try and poke holes in the argument, just to get both sides out there.

First off- Pokemon that are already statused. These aren't that bad, especially since they give some nice abilities available for this, namely- poison heal, guts, toxic boost, flare boost, quick feet, marvel scale, and magic guard. This does require an item and an ability, but it isn't unviable at all, even aside from spore.
Only one of those that is viable is poison heal. There are only two viable magic gaurd users, Ho-oh and Diancie, which want to run life orb for extra damage.
Secondly- Espeeding. Espeeding isn't the only way that this is/can be done. What I believe you meant is priority, and most offensive teams should have one, be it an atespeed or gale wings. Defensive teams should have priority as well, or at least have a option for it in prankster, via which you can taunt, safeguard, or whatever you please. Additionally, thanks to how priority works and deoxys bulk, both stall and offense can solve this in a moveslot with espeed and/or magic coat.

Thirdly- no viable grass types. Almost completely true. Venasaur-Mega has niche uses, and Shaymin can be run, but they are mostly outclassed. Still, immunity to powder is just something their type gets, like steel and poison are immune to poisoning and electric is immune to paralysis. If spore boosts their viability like ate does steel, then so be it. Additionally, Protean mons can run spiky shield for free sleep immunity.
Shaymin can't really be run though, and Venusaur isn't nearly as good as it is in XY due to the prevalance of Mray. Also, spiky shield isn't good at all on protean, it's literally a waste of a moveslot.
Fourthly- Safety Goggles isn't the only item that does this. One common item is a Lum berry, which stops all kind of tricks and isn't limited to this. While it isn't a hard stop, it can give your pokemon enough time to get a speed boost (contrary, setup, whatever) to beat it next turn. If it has priority, then it can set up rocks and potentially run over an unlimited number of Deoxys-S, sash or no.

Fifthly- Deoxys-S running turboblaze. Without Mold Breaker or its clones, they are stopped by Magic Bounce, and with it they have no priority. Its not crippling, but its not helpful either. additionally, mold breaker makes overcoat useless. Try insomnia/vital spirit- they remove sleep at turns end even if they have mold breaker. Additionally, you can screw them over with synchronize or hope to get lucky with shed skin.
Synchronize doesn't work for sleep, insomnia, vital spirit, and shed skin are incredibly niche. Also, turboblaze allows Deo-s to function as a shedinja-killer by running pursuit on top of beating Magic Bounce.
Final- they define the metagame to the point where not running a mon with Safety Goggles or having an espeeder makes your team unviable. They don't, not really. Counters arent that easy, but they can be stopped with several moves that can be given to literally any pokemon. It removes coverage or utility, but they give utility of their own. The moves are- Sleep talk, Magic Coat, Prankster Taunt, Prankster Safeguard, prankster sub, and Prankster Imprison if you know spore (lel). Even Rayquaza can't be stopped by all Pokemon just by adding a move/item. (with KS and Ice Shard, you can, but thats two moves, requires prediction, and is only for physical offense). Just because they aren't otherwise viable doesn't mean that spore is unhealthy- to take a biased example, setup makes unaware viable, but that doesn't make setup broken.
None of those moves bar Prankster Taunt and Sub are viable. And how is spore not unhealthy for the metagame when you're considering running sleep talk over a better utility move in order to prevent getting haxed.
Many of these can be blocked with dark void instead of spore, but that has the miss chance and is a an overall inferior move. Also, you can run a scarf or your own Deoxys-S
Name a single good scarf user. Additionally, you would need the scarf user to have 337 or more speed in order to outspeed Deo-S.

TL;DR: it could use a suspect for sure, but there are very good antiban arguments.
TL;DR: Spore is not unstoppable. But, when we're suggesting using niche things like insomnia and prankster safeguard in order to beat sporespam, it deserves to be nerfed.
 
And in regards to Poison Heal, it's still not a counter because during the switch-in, they can still be Spored.
Not if the orb has already been set up, which isn't that unreasonable an assumption to make. If I see an opposing Deo-S, I'll often lead with my Poison Healer and use Spiky Shield, which blocks their first Spore. Poison Heal is a completely viable counter to Sleep spam.
Sub loses to Dark Void
No it doesn't: http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/balancedhackmons-321315330
Substitute beats all variants of Moldy Sleep except Sing/Grasswhistle, which both have terrible accuracy and are never used in BH.

As for your next paragraph, I don't think you understand that the Sleep Clause doesn't ban Spore or sleep altogether but makes it so that only one Pokemon can fall asleep. If you think I misinterpreted your post, feel free to correct me, but I don't believe I did. Of course Sleep spam is useful on offense, it's just as useful as stall and balanced for the same exact reason - it's quick, easy, and there's nothing the opponent can do about it. Yes, Spore is useful on sweepers to get rid of their counters, but when the entire opposing team is Spored, is that really a fair matchup? Yes, Spore is useful on stall to get rid of sweepers, but if your stall team is centered around having all of the sweepers being asleep, then you, quite simply, have an extremely shitty stall team.
I think you missed his point. I'll attempt to clarify:
Imagine you are running a Poison Heal sweeper. Its way of dealing with Imposters is to Spore the opponent's Chansey, while Chansey cannot Spore your user. Thus, you are able to setup on Chansey and sweep theoretically. However, if Sleep Clause was added, the opponent might just switch to a mon that they don't care about and then bring Chansey back in, no longer afraid of Spore. Another example of this happening is a setup sweeper that uses Spore + Goggles to beat Imposter, and the same scenario would happen here with Sleep Clause.

You stated that every Pokemon has the ability to stop sleep spam. That's true, but at what cost does that run? Wasting an itemslot on a useless item otherwise? Running a nearly useless ability just to stop sleep? Running an unviable move in Magic Coat just so that you would be able to fully beat Sleep spam?
Safety Goggles are useful because Spore is good. Yes, that's their main purpose (outside of Shedinja), but they provide a purpose in blocking Spore, so they are a good item. If a Sleep Clause gets added, then I'd agree they're useless, but as of right now, they are quite good.
Anyways, I'd argue that Magic Coat isn't an unviable move, as it counters just about everything that most Deoxys Speeds try to do: sleep, rocks, and spikes. I think that it has potential to be a good anti-lead in BH because of this.
 
Only one of those that is viable is poison heal. There are only two viable magic gaurd users, Ho-oh and Diancie, which want to run life orb for extra damage.

Shaymin can't really be run though, and Venusaur isn't nearly as good as it is in XY due to the prevalance of Mray. Also, spiky shield isn't good at all on protean, it's literally a waste of a moveslot.

Synchronize doesn't work for sleep, insomnia, vital spirit, and shed skin are incredibly niche. Also, turboblaze allows Deo-s to function as a shedinja-killer by running pursuit on top of beating Magic Bounce.

None of those moves bar Prankster Taunt and Sub are viable. And how is spore not unhealthy for the metagame when you're considering running sleep talk over a better utility move in order to prevent getting haxed.

Name a single good scarf user. Additionally, you would need the scarf user to have 337 or more speed in order to outspeed Deo-S.

TL;DR: Spore is not unstoppable. But, when we're suggesting using niche things like insomnia and prankster safeguard in order to beat sporespam, it deserves to be nerfed.
I'm going to have to say that while I agree with your position, I don't agree with your arguments.
Magic guard is completely true- it does miss the life orb. If, however, spore is as popular as implied, then it has the value of stopping it and all forms of sleep. IF THERE IS SOMETHING A NORMAL SET CAN'T BEAT THAT A DIFFERENT SET CAN, THEN THAT SET HAS VALUE. Metagross in OU would much rather run something like Earthquake to improve its coverage instead of ice punch, but Lando-T is so common that it has something to gain by doing so. You can't always run the perfectly damage-optimal set; if something is good in a meta, you have to adapt for it. You have to, or else any ban argument you make is just a refusal to change a team. If it is broken or noncompetitive, fine, but your argument isn't showing that.
If Venusaur isn't good because of the presense of MRay, so much so that it can't be used to stop a strategy that greatly hurts your team, then its MRay that's the problem not sleep. Deoxys clearly isn't centralizing enough for it to be usable.
While Shedinja killing is nice, that doesn't really change all its flaws.
If it saves you from a "common" strategy, then that's a good reason right there. If you can't swap out anything, anything at all on your team or any of their sets, then your team is shit.
Faster than 337? That's base 106. The only things slower, outside of walls, are PDon (who cant hold an item), Kyogre (who is usually poison heal), Tyranitar (who shouldn't be revenge killing), Kyurem Forms (which usually run ate), and Slaking/Regigigas (who run priority). Almost everything else viable offensively, unless I'm mistaken, passes this low bar.
TL;DR- please don't argue like this. These might be good points but they aren't framed well at all. And please don't respond within a quote.

Upon looking this over, I think I've been unfair to you. Its not an excuse, but it's a huge peeve of mine. So please don't take any offense to it- this isn't meant as a personal attack.
 
In this post I'll be responding to all the arguments (CactusCacti and Illusio) I've seen in the order I saw them, so sorry if it's unorganized.

Firstly, you say that adding a sleep clause would remove the need for Safety Goggles, allowing other items to be used. However, remember that not every Pokemon on your team needs to counter sleep. Having just one sleep counter is sufficient for switching into sleep. Many attackers like Mega Gengar and Mewtwo Y carry plates, and they generally still do not have to worry about sleep if there is another thing on the team that can switch in on it.

You also say that Spore/Dark Void doesn't bring any creativity, but this couldn't be farther from the truth. Spore/Dark Void isn't a move just wildly slapped onto Pokemon hoping it will work out, and creating a set that balances the use of sleep and coverage is perfectly creative. Even if it isn't creative, BH is a metagame designed to leave as many options as possible available for use. Yes, it does limit the metagame, but it is nowhere near overcentralizing. As I have said it only requires 1 counter on your team to reliably switch in on, and there are many tools you can use to do it that do work elsewhere too. There is no reason to create an unnecessary limit on sleep if we do not have to.

Another argument you make is that sleep completely disables a Pokemon, leaving it as good as dead, but Aromatherapy and Heal Bell are perfect for waking up slept Pokemon. Coming in on walls or things that can't harm you isn't that hard either due to slow pivots and double switches, and it lets you eventually wake up in long games. There are several ways to prevent getting slept in the first place via careful scouting and items/abilities.

You also argue that offensive sweepers don't suffer much as this isn't a ban on sleep, yet as Piccolo said, it is simple to play around Imposterproofing via sleep if sleep clause is in effect. Sleeping a Pokemon not needed basically renders Spore/Dark Void a wasted moveslot for the rest of the match, losing its value in Imposterproofing. Yes, while this still comes down to predictions and making the wrong move kills your opponent, the fact that sweepers are already very limited must be considered. Due to Imposter and Ate the number of viable sweeper sets has already drastically decreased from before, leaving only Judgment sets and some Poison Heal and Spore Safety Goggles sets. Creating an opportunity to set up in BH is already hard due to priority and fast, powerful attackers running rampant, and creating a 50/50 switch or no switch situation every time an Imposter comes in really hurts Spore Imposterproofing. Adding a sleep clause would limit most offensive sweepers to Judgment sets, vastly limiting offense.

While it is true that Dark Void bypasses Safety Goggles, the other main counters to sleep, Poison Heal and Magic Bounce, still work perfectly. Ignoring its chance to miss, Dark Void users are susceptible to Imposters and Magic Bounce, both of which can sleep it back in turn. Also, you say that freeing up the itemslot taken by Safety Goggles would be a major benefit, but is it really worth restricting sleep so heavily just to do this? Most of the items you mentioned, like resist berries and Red Card wouldn't make a major difference as they won't be used much. It's not like it isn't possible to use them in the current metagame either. Even with sleep being so common, as I mentioned, only 1 sleep counter is enough to reliably switch into Spore/Dark Void. As for the argument saying that it is a waste to use Safety Goggles so much when it is useless elsewhere, I think Quantum Tesseract summed it up pretty well. Since Spore spam is so prevalent, Goggles are just as valuable as another item. It isn't a waste if it blocks such a major threat, and saying the item is useless elsewhere doesn't make much sense to me.

Though it is true that several of the alternative options (Sub, Taunt, etc.) I mentioned cannot switch into Spore/Dark Void, I proposed them as ways to play around sleep and prevent it, not switch in. They keep you from getting unexpectedly slept and at the same time useful in many other ways. Even if the only real hard counters to sleep are Poison Heal, Magic Bounce(non Mold Breaker), and Vital Spirit/Insomnia, the first 2 are extremely versatile and slapping it on one of your team members takes care of the entire sleep switch in issue.

Just to clarify, I brought up Teeter Dance in response to your Chatter comparison to show that Chatter isn't broken or uncompetitive at all without the damage factor, since they have the same effects otherwise. The difference between confusion and sleep is that counterplay is possible after being slept, since you know for sure you will wake up after a set amount of time. Assuming that any possible switch ins afterward would be weak to sleep isn't fair especially when Safety Goggles and Poison Heal are so common and effective.

I brought up Deo-S to emphasize how there aren't many abusers of sleep that can pull off the same role effectively. Sure, you can put Mold Breaker and Spore on anything else, but chances are, it'll be outsped or speed tied and KOed. The movesets of these Mold Breaker Spore Pokemon are also generally pretty predictable, and giving it a certain ability and move really limits what can do it. In truth there aren't many abusers of sleep that can outspeed common threats to sleep them before they do anything. Fast sleep abusers are usually easy to check especially since priority is so common. Chances are, your team already carries priority in the form of Ate/Gale Wings or in another form to check Imposterproof sweepers. Even if not, fast sleep abusers don't function as well after early game, once Toxic Orbs activate on Poison Healers and you get offensive momentum going. On the other side of the spectrum, slow sleep abusers can be taken out with nukes like Ate Rayquaza or Protean Mewtwo Y. It really isn't that hard to check sleep, and countering it simply requires adding one Poison Healer into your team. These counters are in no way niche. Poison heal is amazing in providing passive recovery to sweepers, allowing them to switch in without having their HP chipped away slowly and reduces the need to recover for walls in addition to blocking status. Magic Bounce is a great anti hazard and blocks status.

Finally, the fact that everything has access to sleep moves does make it unpredictable. However this is no different from using lures like Illusion or surprise coverage to get past threats. Scouting for Spore/Dark Void can similarly be done through Imposter, Protect, and careful switching. Sleep is a potent tool, but ultimately it is just another option to get past intended counters, just like running coverage. Modifying your team to defeat sleep isn't hard, since it only takes one sleep counter to do the job. I'll end this here because this is starting to turn into a rant and I don't have much left to say. If I missed anything important, let me know and I'll get back to it.

As a side note, any future replies to rebuttals will be delayed/nonexistent because I have big stuff coming irl and still have to write my Ho-Oh analysis. Have a nice day!
 
The problem with only having one check or counter to sleep on a team is, if you lose that check/counter, Sleep will f$%k your team sideways. It's not uncommon to run into multiple sleep-inducers on an opposing team and, if they're competent, they'll notice you only have one Pokemon to deal with sleep and will capitalize on it. So, you might keep sending your PH Giratina out against every predicted Spore, only to find Moldy Gengar there waiting for it, cackling maniacally. Well, unless Moldy Gengar was one of their sleep inducers, in which case you're screwed because your sleep counter doesn't counter their sleep inducer.

Also, I dunno how much it's being used right now, but sleep-shuffle is a thing, such as the classic Gen V Sporetail PH Gigas, who can punish you regardless of your sleep immunity and phaze out any and all sleep checks rather than getting forced out itself.

Second, you suggest both Heal Bell/Aromatherapy as a Sleep counters. There's two fundamental problems with this. First, the former moves only have 8 PP. If I remember right, Spore has at least 16. So, in a longer game, you will run out of cleric PP before they run out of sleep PP. Second, those moves play atrociously poorly with Poison Heal thanks to knock off. I'll be honest, one of my favorite things to do is Knock Off a PHer's Orb and then throw random status at the rest of their team, leaving them with a sadistic choice of crippling their status check or crippling someone else on their team. And third, how do you protect your cleric? PH is a bad option, as I just evidenced. Bounce gets bypassed by Moldy, Safety and Venusaur by Void/Koff, and Lum berry only works once. So... use Insomnia?

Thirdly, offense is side-graded. Sure, they can't rely on sleep to give them free set-up/wall breaking opportunities. But, on the other hand, they don't have to protect themselves from sleep so much or rely on a teammate to do it for them. So while its harder to get them going, their team building is also a bit more fluid. And really, the same applies to defense since stuff like Fur Coat Chansey has to worry less about a random Spore from Aerilate-Ray to punish it for using Eviolite.

Fourth, Dark Void is only slightly more vulnerable to Imposter/Bounce. The former still cannot manually switch in and both do jack-diddly-squat if the user is immune to sleep in other fashions.

Fifth, confusion =/= sleep. Yes, Chatter was only broken because it was damage on top of the 100% sub-and-bounce-bypassing confusion. But, Teeter Dance is not since, well, you can just switch out, giving your opponent only one turn to do something. And even if you don't, you still have a 50% chance to act. Sleep does not work like that as you'll be asleep for 1-3 turns even if you immediately switch out. As such, there's a lot less counterplay, unless you slap Sleep Talk on random crap and then start praying to that RNG god instead.

Sixth, I forgot where it was mentioned, but sleep being a dead moveslot is not a bad thing once something is slept. After all, Defog is a dead move once hazards are gone or if the opponent lacks them. Heal Bell is dead if you're unstatused or opponent has no status. Coverage moves are dead if the intended targets are not on the opposing team. Whirlwind is dead if the opponent is down to their last Pokemon. Recover is dead if you're at full HP. U-Turn is dead if you're down to your last Pokemon. And so on and so forth. You're already bringing plenty of moves, items, and abilities that become effectively dead once certain conditions are met or certain opponents aren't even there, so why is including sleep among them problematic? This is a team building decision and gives you something to consider.

Finally... why do we keep mentioning Deo-S? I mean, yeah, it's super fast and all, but its pretty one-dimensional. If you see it, you know it's going to fling sleep at something before probably dropping some hazards. It might try to poke a Sheddy to death, but otherwise once its done its job once, maybe twice if its lucky, it'll die an ignoble death, its sleep victim will wake up, and the hazards will be spun away. Sleep is dangerous in the hands of things that can immediately capitalize on it, such as sleepshufflers, Moldy Sweepers, -ate sweepers looking to tick off their usual checks, Contrarys wanting to really murder Unaware, anti-PHers, set-up sweepers, and so much more.

There's literally no way you can check every single one of these possible sleep users, plus the dozens of others, which just one sleep counter/check. You need at least two who can cover each other's weaknesses in the current meta because, like I said at the start, if their sleep inducer checks or counters your anti-sleeper, you're boned and can't do much about it. And Arceus help you if your "counter" is a single pair of Safety Goggles and they're running Trick or Knock Off.
 
lol this replay probably isnt that good, but this guys bouncer was tina. After tina went down, spore MRay had an easy sweep.
4-4 at turn 35, ended up with 4-0
http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/balancedhackmons-321661625
It isn't for a couple of reasons, not just their team.
First of all, you were running a prankster mray.
secondly, sleep clause wouldn't have changed anything, so its not really relevant. If we were arguing that spore was broken it would be relevant, but they didn't have a mon that could take a hit. This just says that +3 mray behind a sub can sweep.
Thank you for taking the sensible approach, though, in providing evidence.

While this discussion is useful by itself, might I suggest people start including replays to emphasize their points? Replays show how what you're writing in words actually plays out in the metagame, and I think it would help immensely in figuring out which path we should take from here on out.
Thank you.
Speaking on this topic, however, its hard to really show how its broken because it isn't common. I can't (although I have tried) just go out and look for someone with spore, so I can't say how well they work as antisleep. My preliminary antisleep ideas, however, still are reasonably viable. They don't work as well as my regular team, but that can be played around.
On this vein, However, if anyone has a sleep team they would like to say is broken, contact me on ps as P1101560. I'm more than willing to test this.
 
Slightly out of date since it's pre-GKR ban, but that doesn't make a whole lot of difference, other than me needing to play a little more timid than I otherwise would have had to. But...

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/balancedhackmons-233454060

Sleep abuse is largely seen before turn 20, at about turn 80, and around turn 100. I have Sporetail Gigas, which puts so much sleep pressure on the opposing team that he's forced to play poorly to avoid having his offensive Pokemon put to sleep, even when he only has one Pokemon asleep. His counter, Safety Goggles, are removed, although I end up giving him a costly immunity by burning that same Pokemon later. Because of Spore, Gigas was able to take on two Imposters, what I assume is Fur Coat Chansey, and Primaldon itself.

I'm sure I could dig up some other replays, although they'd likely be X/Y era. Albeit, ORAS did little to change the sleep situation.
 
Think of Sleep broken now?

I am nothing saying it is or it is not, but you had to see on 5th gen when Sleep timer reseted every time a pokemon got out of the field. Mold Breaker + Spore + Phaze maybe could be considered a thing back then, not so sure it can nowadays.

Oh, and back then there was no Fairy types to block Dragon Tail.

I remember i even had a team of Moldy Deo-S with D-Tail and Spore, PH Gigas with D-Tail, and Prankster Registeel with Copycat+Whirlwind. But enough to talk about the past =P
 
Sligh tly out of date since it's pre-GKR ban, but that doesn't make a whole lot of difference, other than me needing to play a little more timid than I otherwise would have had to. But...

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/balancedhackmons-233454060

Sleep abuse is largely seen before turn 20, at about turn 80, and around turn 100. I have Sporetail Gigas, which puts so much sleep pressure on the opposing team that he's forced to play poorly to avoid having his offensive Pokemon put to sleep, even when he only has one Pokemon asleep. His counter, Safety Goggles, are removed, although I end up giving him a costly immunity by burning that same Pokemon later. Because of Spore, Gigas was able to take on two Imposters, what I assume is Fur Coat Chansey, and Primaldon itself.

I'm sure I could dig up some other replays, although they'd likely be X/Y era. Albeit, ORAS did little to change the sleep situation.
The problem with that replay is that your opponent's team was hardly prepared for sleep at all. Aside from 1 Safety Goggles, there was nothing else to absorb sleep and no hard counters. If that Giratina happened to be a Poison Heal set, your Regigigas would have been completely walled. This replay shows me nothing except Spore's action against an unprepared team.

In addition, you can see how Regigigas used Spore as an Imposterproofing method. While Regigigas is a special case due to Facade (and your set was defensive), other offensive Poison Heal sets would be completely destroyed by Imposter without it. Adding a sleep clause would make Spore practically unusable here as after one thing is slept, it is now walled by Giratina, making it a complete waste of a moveslot.
 
So do you like want to see a team of 2 magic bouncers, 2 poison healers and two safety gogglers lose to spore spam or something?

The big point of sleep being broken in BH is the insane pressure it adds that forces you to over prepare for it, yeah you could prepare for it, but then you also gotta prepare for ate, imposter, sheddy and protean on top of it if you want to be solid, you also need a preparedness for possible setups, don't prepare for one of em and be fucked over when they pop up.
The team had good solid prepadness for most of the things BH throws at you with the bulky core and double imposter, but the knock off fucked up the sleep check and getting burned was a stroke of luck in a way for the guy.

When you're against sleep spam, it's seriously annoying and forces you to sack so much shit if your sleep check can't take on the actual mon that throws the sleep at you.

Here's a mon I theory crafted which I was planning to run as exsample;

Mewtwo-Mega-Y @ Lum/Leftovers
Ability: Protean
EVs: 252 spd, tweak attack and spa by your taste with emphasis on attack
-spef +spd nature
- Spore
- Knock Off
- King's Shield
- Boomburst / Nuzzle

Tell me a good proper check/counter for this that won't get fucked side ways by status or get seriously hurt
Most common Gira's either get slept and then chip'd down or seriously hurt by protean koff and then slept and chip'd down, or if they are MBounce, well, better hope there ain't gonna be boomburst from this guys team's ate coming.
PH kyogre would not enjoy boomburst, -ate's would not enjoy king's shield cock block and then boomburst/nuzzle or spore, diancie is probably the best bet, but even then, the question remains whenver you get spored or not, as -ate is one of the few BH mons that dont usualy run goggles as they prefer the extra power.
Imposter struggles to PP war with spore and goes to speed tie 50/50, does not like to get koff'd either
Sheddy will stop it for a while but is most likely going to get slept or lose their berry which is rather heavy blow for it.

By removing spore from this set alone, it becomes lot easier to check by gira and ates and imposter has a chance to scare it off, switching against it would become a lot easier aswell, but with a spore on protean, one of the big threats of BH, it alone became a lot harder to deal with.
With sleep clause, it would also become a lot easier to stop as you could let something sponge the sleep and then be able to check it easier.

Hell, throw void to your -ate and magmastorm as second, if the foes steel type is magic bounce, they are screwed by magmastorm, but if they activate flash fire on switch in, then next they come in, they are gonna be void'd and then chipped down by booms or forced to sack something to boom or sleep.

Overall my point is;
BH has way too many things you have to prepare for already, sleep is one of the few that when limited would relief a lot of pressure from team building, protean and -ate are also things that have had lot of discussion on it, and when combined with them, its just urgh. Sleep would still be viable with a sleep clause and not as absurd as it currently is. You can combine it with koff or other elements to force the player to play badly to your pocket and basicly cheap out yourself control over the match with the sheer pressure alone, which just feels wrong. Atleast the other 100% ensure statuses give your mon a chance to move.

Ofcourse we could open the can of worms on -ate, protean, magnetpull.. But wouldn't sleep clause suspect be a lot easier case with less lashback to go for to relief the meta's status a little?
 
The problem with that replay is that your opponent's team was hardly prepared for sleep at all. Aside from 1 Safety Goggles, there was nothing else to absorb sleep and no hard counters. If that Giratina happened to be a Poison Heal set, your Regigigas would have been completely walled. This replay shows me nothing except Spore's action against an unprepared team.

In addition, you can see how Regigigas used Spore as an Imposterproofing method. While Regigigas is a special case due to Facade (and your set was defensive), other offensive Poison Heal sets would be completely destroyed by Imposter without it. Adding a sleep clause would make Spore practically unusable here as after one thing is slept, it is now walled by Giratina, making it a complete waste of a moveslot.
That's the point. You can beat anything if you prepare heavily for it. (Well, except the stuff we banned aside from stupid edgecase teams, like six Assist Palkias to beat 6 Assist Pdons). But, you should stand a chance against things you didn't prepare for unless you're unfortunate enough to have your whole team countered by it (which Gigas did not on this replay outside of sleep spam.) Second, if that Giratina was PH, Gigas would have beaten it unless it had Recover, especially since Gigas could do damage and deny recovery on any given turn. And that assumes it didn't switch into Koff or Spore. Trust me, I've used this team, and variants, since X/Y started, I'm very familiar with its match-ups. Plus, it already "walled" Gigas in this replay, but you see how much that mattered when all it could do is desperately Whirlwind it out.

Also, in general, PH mons beat Imposter. If they're not running Spore, they're often running Leech Seed. Or resistant coverage so that Imposter gets whittled down while the PHer just sits back and laughs as the HP keeps flowing in.

Spore would hit the Sporetail Gigas set hard, perhaps enough that it'd damage the Gigas/Giratina core on that team enough that the team might become unusable in its current state, sure, but I feel that's an acceptable loss.
 


Audino-Mega @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Topsy-Turvy
- King's Shield
- Knock Off
- Leech Seed / U-turn / Recover

Giratina @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Defog / Recover
- Whirlwind
- U-turn
- Topsy-Turvy

Registeel @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Parting Shot
- Destiny Bond
- Whirlwind / Defog / Topsy-Turvy
- Recover


Just gonna share a solid defensive core for all your stalling, walling and pivoting needs. Tired of sleep? Tired of getting 6-0d by sludge wave protean mewtwo? Well... Unfortunately you might have to add a ho-oh to fix that problem but everyone should run quiver dance amirite? This core is 99% sleep proof! walls half the metagame, and is just good in general. There are very few mins that can break this core including but not limited to;sludge wave mewtwo y, pblades ray/diancie, secret sword + sludge wave + judgment adaptability gengar (fuck u).


Anyways my point is this is a great defensive core for all those ladder fools who spam ate + protean + sleep so I recommend you try it! It's especially good to crush those insolent ladder plebs who thinks they can run standard ho and win
 
Sorry, I'm a little late to the sleep discussion, but I suppose I'll weigh in.

I think it's important to remember the nature of the Balanced Hackmons metagame as it relates to the danger of sleep spam. There are two primary ways that sleep becomes an issue in BH: as an incidental way to bypass checks (such as on an -ate or a Protean user) and as a spam strategy (such as on the SporeTail sets which have been mentioned). Before jumping to conclusions and positing that Sleep is--despite being useless against certain highly prevalent strategies--overpowered, it is key to consider the following: are either of these concepts unique in the Balanced Hackmons metagame? The practice of loading random crap onto offensive threats in order to lure and overwhelm checks is commonplace, and would remain so even if Sleep spam was banned or limited in some form. Running, for instance, Spore on Rayquaza-Mega in order to threaten and potentially overwhelm a Registeel switchin is fundamentally similar to running Magma Storm on it with the goal of sniping Shedinja on the switch. In addition, the entire concept of Protean offense is in a similar boat to this, as a Protean user can almost always run an offensive move with the goal of nuking would-be switchins.

Meanwhile, I understand the gripe with Sleep spam strategies, but I just don't think it's a big enough issue to be banned. Sleep Spam strategies are so, so much easier to deal with than other major threats in the current metagame (Protean, -ate, and PH boosting come to mind). Specifically, if there's a serious discussion about limiting the effectiveness of Sleep Spam strategies happening, I would move for a discussion of the potential banworthiness of Protean as well. It's far harder to deal with than SporeTail or similar strategies.
 
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I'll just say, people need to remember Sleep Clause =/= Sleep Ban. It'll still be quite powerful, and you'll need at least some preparation for it, but you won't be able to destroy an unprepared team with it alone. Basically, it leaves it still relevant (you can be screwed if you let a certain Pokemon fall asleep) but decentralizes it. Just see how it works in other tiers where the Clause is in place, including Randbats.

Also, running a coverage move is not the same as running Spore. Magma Storm Rayquaza beats Registeel, but it still struggles against Regirock, Slowbro, Fur Coat Chansey, and some Giratina sets. Spore Rayquaza, however, can beat all five of those if they're not using Safety Goggles or Poison Heal. Alongside with a lot of things that could otherwise take a hit and KO back.

Not going to talk about Protean specifically, since that's a whole can of worms and its easier to focus on one thing at a time.


Aaaaanyway, what I came here to actually post about, after some thought, I think I figured out what's wrong with the Balanced Hackmons metagame. Or, at the very least, what I personally find what's wrong. Lemme just dive right in and explain: there are five "must prepare for" threats in the meta: Protean, -ate, Imposter, Shedinja, and sleep. Against a competent opponent, being unprepared for ones of those is effectively a death sentence. You might still be able to beat it, but the odds are very heavily stacked against you. And these threats are so potent, you are strongly advised to bring at least two ways to deal with each of them, lest the set either carry a counter for your check/counter or something happens to your check/counter. So, to do with this, at the team builder, you have six Pokemon, items, and abilities along with twenty-four moves. Or, in other words, you have forty-two slots to play with. (Huh... was someone at Game Freak a fan of Douglas Adams?) So since you need at least ten checks, you have only thirty-two slots to actually play with.

But wait! Most checks and counters to the big, prominent threats often require multiple slots! Like Moldy Pursuit Gengar for Shedinja, Spooky Judgement Gengar for Imposter, Poison Heal + Orb for Sleep, Fur Coat Eviolite Chansey for -ate, and Protean... that thing can run just about any offensive set under the sun, so good friggin' luck. Anyway, the thing is, you often have to devote multiple slots per check to ensure you can beat it safely. But, let's be lenient and say you can get away with only doing two slots per check. So, now you only have twenty-two workable slots to play with. Or, basically, you've devoted half your team to simply not getting wrecked by top tier threats. Likely more in reality because of the three-slot checks. Now, you can alleviate this by mixing some checks together, like the two Gengar I mentioned can be the same one, so you have at least that relief.

So, at least we have half a team to build to our hearts content, right? Oh, no, you can't do that just yet! You still have to make room for having some sort of answer for a lot of other common threats, like Contrary and set-up sweepers, Poison Heal offense and stall, Pranksters, and so on and so fourth. Now, these often aren't so deadly you have to devote tons of resources to answer the lot of them and are much easier to answer a few of them with the same slots and abilities. But, let's say... oh, let's be generous and you've answered all this with another five slots.

Now that you've finally gotten to the point you aren't going to get destroyed by everything that looks at you. Congratulations, you have seventeen slots left on your team to customize to your hearts content! Less than half of your team you can do with as you please! And this assumes you've picked extremely efficiently in your checks and aren't trying anything off-meta anywhere. So, you probably also deserve congrats for your team looking rather cookie cutter.


So, my point is, BH currently has a number of extremely strong and potent threats that require several answers to in order to properly answer for them. And even then, I wonder if two is enough for Protean with how flexible it can be on its coverage. Either way, there's immense pressure in the team building phase to make a functional team that doesn't auto-lose to the major, top tier threats while still being able to answer all the common stuff floating around. Because, let's be honest, it doesn't matter if you can answer all the biggest threats if every Bellyspeed Slaking or Contrary Xtwo who comes your way 6-0s your team, or if you can never break a PH Giratina or Regenvest Kyogre. So, once you have a team that's functional, you have very, very little room to make decisions to build a creative team, to make it your own, and come up with something new. It's possible, sure, I'm not going to deny that since my latest team is fairly unique as far as I've seen. But dear lord, trying to team build right now is nightmarish if you want to avoid using a lot of the same stuff over and over and over again. Once you have your team, things are usually fine if you remembered to address everything, although you're likely going to look at least somewhat cookie cutter (the current state of the ORAS version of my RMT makes me sad because of that).
 
E4 Flint has repeatedly promised us a new suspect thread where he would outline BH's suspect policy and what something needs to possess to be banned. Myself and MAMP have already brought up a suspect for Protean. We were just waiting for him to post the new thread.
 
To be honest, I have to admit, Rumors basicly hit the nail on the head on those exact same things I've observed on BH ever since the oras meta stablizied

It really is the reason why my intrest dropped for BH, when you get past the certain treshold of rank, more and more of the must prepare for things become checked and more and more you have to start to transform your team to the same old balance build that is able to check the threats that keep on growing.

Pure stall is really demanding to play and in ladder quite hard as one mistake can ruin it and the amount of knowledge needed is super high.
Offense is like "lol no" basicly as you'll be unable to prepare properly for well played -ate, proteans and imposters.
Hyper offense even so.

I mean, really, if you stay below 1300, you'll probably keep running to weird stuff and newbie players and have odd matches, that you can then roll at any given point when you throw in your ate or imposter to crush their setup and speed boost dreams.
Then when you get higher, you'll see the ol regi ray chansey protean ph sheddy electric boogaluus.
If you don't have your own -ate, your own regi and your own imposter at the very least, you wont most likely get too far, even tho it is ofcourse possible if you really are a clever clever case, but it really gets hard to get creative and play a team type that wouldn't be balance.
 

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