Banning Libero rather than Cinderace in OU

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Cinderace has recently been heavily considered as a ban-worthy Pokemon in OU, and before any finalization within the banning progress commences, I want to suggest an alternative measure that would allow Cinderace to stay, while banning it's ability Libero instead. My understanding of the tiering policy on Smogon is that an ability should only be banned if you can demonstrate that it's inherently broken in and of itself, like Shadow Tag, for example, which proved to even be effective even on bad pokemon. This line of reasoning is fair, and makes sense in almost all instances because banning abilities negatively effects other non-broken Pokemon with access to the same ability. However, in the case of Cinderace, I believe an exception should be granted for a multitude of reasons.

Reasons for an Exception:
1. Libero is an ability exclusive to Cinderace(and it's pre-evolutions) so this negative impacts no other pokemon.
2. Libero is the only reason Cinderace is ban-worthy in OU.
3. Cinderace is a viable OU Pokemon without Libero. No other Pokemon has been banned on Smogon due to wielding an ability that is exclusive to it, while also having an alternate ability(Blaze) that is viable, yet not broken in the metagame. The perfect comparable Pokemon to this is Greninja which was banned in ORAS OU for the same reason, yet Torrent Greninja was clearly unviable in OU, so there was no reason to ban Protean. The reason Cinderace is viable in OU is due to Court Change, which is not even used on the Libero set.
4. Cinderace gets exclusive access to Court Change, a new move that switches hazards and Screens to the opposite side. This move is a game-changing mechanic that has been extremely under utilized so far in Gen 8. When using Court Change Cinderace, the opponent setting hazards/screens creates reverse progress for the player, which is a mechanic that completely changes the way typical competitive singles is played, and creates a new strategic dynamic.
5. Cinderace was extremely successful in SPL, with the highest win percentage of any Pokemon with double digit usage ( 35 | Cinderace | 10 | 3.55% | 70.00% |) This clearly shows that Cinderace has value in the OU metagame without Libero.

For these reasons, I believe an exception to the Tiering Policy is warranted. The only downside to banning Libero rather than Cinderace is merely to maintain consistency with the policy, and that seems like a poor reason when it compromises a viable and balanced OU Pokemon wielding a unique game-changing move.
 

Ruft

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No other Pokemon has been banned on Smogon due to wielding an ability that is exclusive to it, while also having an alternate ability(Blaze) that is viable, yet not broken in the metagame.
That's not quite true, as there's a similar case from earlier this generation in fact. Galarian Darmanitan was banned from OU due to it being too much to handle with its ability Gorilla Tactics, while not being broken with its alternate ability, Zen Mode, which many people did consider viable and wanted to conserve similarly to how you wish to conserve Blaze Cinderace.
 

Specs

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Hey PU player and former council member here.

Raboot is actually pretty viable and 100% balanced with Libero in PU. Solid speed tier especially now that most of the vally's are banned, STAB on any move is obviously good, the choice between HDB choiced item and eviolite is good for versatility and all of them limit it in some way while obviously benefitting it in other ways. It's solid and would hate to lose it. I know that the PU tier doesn't really matter to most people reading this, and if this is a decision most OU council and community members end up agreeing with then cool. However this would in fact affect the PU meta game in some way. I would hate for this to basically completely remove a very balanced Pokemon in our tier. Just thought I would let people know that, if it at all would affect their view point.
 

Finchinator

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I'm always happy to discuss the process that we apply towards OU tiering and I want to find the best metgame possible, but I personally disagree with the OP. Also: this is my personal opinion, not representing the entire OU Council.

3. Cinderace is a viable OU Pokemon without Libero. No other Pokemon has been banned on Smogon due to wielding an ability that is exclusive to it, while also having an alternate ability(Blaze) that is viable, yet not broken in the metagame. The perfect comparable Pokemon to this is Greninja which was banned in ORAS OU for the same reason, yet Torrent Greninja was clearly unviable in OU, so there was no reason to ban Protean. The reason Cinderace is viable in OU is due to Court Change, which is not even used on the Libero set.
This is unfortunately false. As Ruft said, Galarian Darmanitan (Gorilla Tactics) disproves your claim in the middle of this point. In addition, you are completely ignoring the impacts this would have trickling downward. Torrent Greninja could have been used in lower tiers and other Pokemon have Protean, so this sets precedence to focus on the Pokemon. Raboot has Libero currently and, as Specs indicates, is viable in PU (and perhaps other lower tiers). Banning Libero is not a decision that would only impact OU because of things like this and also would contradict perfectly sound precedent.

4. Cinderace gets exclusive access to Court Change, a new move that switches hazards and Screens to the opposite side. This move is a game-changing mechanic that has been extremely under utilized so far in Gen 8. When using Court Change Cinderace, the opponent setting hazards/screens creates reverse progress for the player, which is a mechanic that completely changes the way typical competitive singles is played, and creates a new strategic dynamic.
5. Cinderace was extremely successful in SPL, with the highest win percentage of any Pokemon with double digit usage ( 35 | Cinderace | 10 | 3.55% | 70.00% |) This clearly shows that Cinderace has value in the OU metagame without Libero.
I acknowledge that Cinderace is a viable option in the metagame with or without Libero, as the pre-Libero metagame indicated. This has little to do with our decision or what is proper though. We cannot pick and choose when we apply proper tiering logic or else our whole system is put in jeopardy. We must apply a consistent process in order to be taken seriously and have a solid platform moving forward. If we lose this, then our word loses value, our tiering loses meaning, and our process becomes much easier to undermine, in my opinion. There needs to be something far more concrete than making an exemption for an OU viable Pokemon to be preserved in order to consider the proposed line of action. Your claim that consistency is not a good reason is something I philosophically disagree with and I think the implications of breaking consistency and precedent here are not worthwhile.
 
If the effect of the pre-evolution being banned in LC and PU is an issue, banning Cinderace + Libero is virtually the same thing. Pokemon Showdown can easily implement that on their server and changes nothing except being considered a ‘complex’ ban, despite being easy to comprehend.

If people believe Zen Mode Galarian-Darmanitan has viability in OU then I see no reason for it not being unbanned either?

The mention of Galarian-Darm being another example of a potentially viable OU pokemon as a counter argument does not take away from the exception I’m proposing with cinderace. I just don’t consider it viable, and even if it is, the point still stands regarding Cinderace.
 
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Zarel

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I've been saying this for many years and I'll continue saying it: Any ban that isn't of a Pokémon species should be treated as a complex ban.

You can make any Uber Pokémon non-broken in OU just by banning the part that makes it good. Deoxys-A? Just ban it from using physical or special moves. Let me tell you, we can easily implement that ban on our server, and it's very easy to comprehend.

This works for non-Pokémon games, too. Why ban Black Lotus? Just add a rule that says you can't tap it. Chess? Why ban pro players from amateur tournaments? Just make it so pro players aren't allowed to use pawns.

In case it was unclear, the problem with this sort of thing is that it completely defeats the purpose of a tier system. A tier system is a list of things ordered by how strong they are. Of course you can add lots of tiny rules to nerf everything overpowered, but if you do that, it's not a tier system anymore, it's just making your own rules.

(And the problem with making your own rules is that it's a lot harder than a tier system. "Is Deoxys-A too powerful for OU", while a matter of opinion, is still something you can construct objective critera for: how many checks and counters does it have, how many teams have if it's not banned, etc. "What moves should we ban from Deoxys's movepool to make it good for OU?" is something that will always be subjective opinion. How do you put that to a vote?)

And the nice thing I like about a tier system is that it's way simpler than a list of rules. When I say "any ban that isn't of a Pokémon species should be treated as a complex ban", I mean it. Banning an ability is only one more rule. But banning a Pokémon is zero more rules. It's already covered by OU's first rule: "All Pokémon in the Uber tier are banned." The fewer rules, the easier to understand, the less time spent arguing over what the rules should be, the better the game.
 
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Fiend

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If the effect of the pre-evolution being banned in LC is an issue, banning Cinderace + Libero is virtually the same thing. Pokemon Showdown can easily implement that on their server and changes nothing except being considered a ‘complex’ ban, despite being easy to comprehend.
This should not affect LC whatsoever. These higher tier decisions will have no bearing on our metagame.

edit: He changed his verbage to reflect tiers that would indeed be affected by this.
 
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Eo Ut Mortus

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Zarel's post reflects our position, and we're not going to make an exception just for a single Pokemon. I'll also add we closed the door for complex bans at the beginning of the generation, when we chose not to make exceptions for Dynamax, and we don't intend to revisit this for the foreseeable future.
 
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