Banning/Tiering Gigantimax Forms Separately From the Dynamax Form

Alakazam

Hey there, Delilah
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Hello. First time posting here.

So, I am currently part of the tiering council of 1v1. We are a metagame that has been radically affected by the shift from Gen 7 to Gen 8 and the introduction to Dynamax and Gigantimax forms. While the discussion within the 1v1 community has been one of interest for an eventual Dynamax suspect test, we as a council are waiting for the actions of the more established metagames to pan out, and as such, we have begun to make decisions concerning Gen 8 1v1 on the assumption that Dynamax will remain in the tier for at least a nonzero amount of time.

However, we have inevitably come up with an issue concerning which Pokemon should be quickbanned from the tier, and which should be preserved. The one forefront candidate for an immediate quickban is Alcreamie, or, more specifically, its Gigantimax form, which can heal itself to 100% of its health when using its Gmax Finale move. In 1v1, combined with the inherent unpredictability of dynamaxing/gigantimaxing, this is absolutely broken, and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. (CLARIFICATION: Yes I know whether or not Gigantimax Alcremie heals 100% of its health is in contention, that’s just how its been working for the last few days. I’ve already made a bug report about it, and asking around has given me mixed information, and since i don’t own a copy of SWSH, I can’t test for myself. It also doesn’t relate to the overarching issue) However, when dealing with how to actually handle this, we came at a crossroads - should the base form be banned or the Gigantimax form? Is banning the Gigantimax form a complex ban on base form Alcreamie or not?

Now, the obvious comparison that can be made is the dynamic that Mega Evolutions had with their base forms; they were both indistinguishable in team preview, and technically the Mega Evolution was also just a specific strategy that could be but never had to be used with the base form in a specific tier (Mega Tyranitar in OU comes to mind). However, people who want the base form of a Gigantimax Pokemon to be banned point out that the specific strategy of Mega Evolution on a Pokemon was only enabled by a specific item, and therefore the item was the only thing that enabled the strategy of Mega Evolution to take place, and was not an inherent part of the base Pokemon itself. However, this point doesn't really follow with the dynamax/gigantimax dynamic when one remembers that not all base forms of a Pokemon who can gigantimax can dynamax, and vice versa, and that some of them don't have the capabilities to access the same strategies as the other. Basically, the notion that Gigantimaxing is a strategy that is inherent to the base form of a Pokemon is simply not true, when only specific kinds of base forms can Dynamax and only specific kinds of base forms can Gigantimax. So claiming that banning a Gigantimax Pokemon is a complex ban on Dynamax Pokemon doesn’t make any sense, when they are effectively two different versions of the Pokemon who inherently cannot ever use each other's individual strategies.

I also wrote some more points in the discord where this was being discussed, so I'll just copy and paste instead of reword the exact same stuff-

If we take into account the original intention of why we don't do complex bans, its to avoid situations where specific strategies that could be seen as 'overpowered' when used on a pokemon would be banned, instead of the pokemon itself, rooted in the flawed notion that 'you could use X pokemon if it didn't have A and B'. We don't ban Stealth Rocks + Spikes + Taunt + Deoxys-S, we ban Deoxys-S. The Pokemon Deoxys-S is the overarching problem.

In this instance, Alcreamie has two forms, one that can gigantimax, one that cannot. Only one of these forms presents an issue with the current metagame, and both forms are radically different in their role in and approach towards the metagame. If the intention was actually to do a complex ban, then we would want to implement a ban that would save Gigantimax Alcremie, because only that form presents an issue in the metagame. This is not what is trying to be done, we want to entirely remove the problem form of the Pokemon.

Dynamax Alcreamie should not even be considered in this, as Gigantimax Alcreamie does not have the option to dynamax, and thus can't use any of the strategies involved in Dynamax Alcreamie in the same way, and thus does not connect the two forms outside of the base form. They are literally differentiated in game, as in there are regular Alcreamies that can be used and then special Alcreamie catchable in max raids. Therefore, by only banning Gigantimax Alcreamie, it is by definition not a complex ban, since it is only banning the specific Pokemon that is causing the issue, if we acknowledge that Dynamax Alcreamie and Gigantimax Alcreamie are two unique Pokemon who's overall/inherent strategies mechanically cannot intersect with one another.

It follows the logic of tiering/banning a specific mega evolution of a Pokemon, because their overall strategies were relatively different from one another. Concerning the argument that this was only able to be done because an item was inherent in mega evolution, the fact that an item was how the Pokemon mega evolved was a convenient scapegoat, not the only factor that allowed mega evolutions to be tiered differently. If no such item existed, but was still an option that could be activated whenever the player desired, the tiering would have adapted to figure out how to get rid of something like Mega Mawile in Gen 6 OU without banning regular Mawile.

imo we should also be adapting with the change in mechanics and figuring out a consistent approach to avoid complex banning and also acknowledging that Gigantimax and Dynamax are unique + separate forms that should be treated differently


If you can't already tell, I'm of the opinion that gigantimax forms should definitely be treated separately from the dynamax forms, like mega evolutions were before them, but I will also admit that this is definitely not a clear cut decision to be made, as they are not enabled by any particular outside force, like an item, besides how they are caught, which doesn't matter in competitive.

So, that's concerning banning a Gigantimax form over the base form, but this also applies to usage based tiering as well. Should base forms and their dynamax variants of a Pokemon be locked into a higher tier than they ought to be because their Gigantimax form serves a much better role in the metagame, or potentially vice versa, or should they be tiered differently, because the strategies involved in the Gigantimax form doesn't inherently overlap with the Dynamax form?

I know this probably won't be relevant if dynamax/gigantimaxing is banned, but it could be relevant if dynamax is banned but Gigantimax remains, which I believe is an argument going on right now. And, in any case, dynamaxing will surely remain in some form in competitive Pokemon, no matter how the decision goes, and thus this question needs to be addressed as early on as possible.

I underlined the important bits
 
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The Immortal

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Pokémon capable of Gigantamax are not separate formes. There is only one Charizard in the game data. The only difference between a Charizard that can Gigantimax and one that cannot is a flag, which you visibly see as a red X in-game. A comparison here would be event Pokémon. Would you tier V-Create Rayquaza separately from Rayquaza? They both are exactly the same except one has a special capability.

In regards to banning Dynamax and not Gigantamax, well, Gigantimax is a form of Dynamax. There isn’t a Gigantamax button in the game; you click the same thing either way. What appearance a Charizard takes on and the special move it has access to depends on the flag I mentioned.

I also want to mention, the PS teambuilder might be what makes you assume it’s a forme. That is just how it was implemented for ease of access. If it were to be done like the game, there’d probably be an option, like how you have a Shiny toggle, on these Pokémon.
 

Alakazam

Hey there, Delilah
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Pokémon capable of Gigantamax are not separate formes. There is only one Charizard in the game data. The only difference between a Charizard that can Gigantimax and one that cannot is a flag, which you visibly see as a red X in-game. A comparison here would be event Pokémon. Would you tier V-Create Rayquaza separately from Rayquaza? They both are exactly the same except one has a special capability.

In regards to banning Dynamax and not Gigantamax, well, Gigantimax is a form of Dynamax. There isn’t a Gigantamax button in the game; you click the same thing either way. What appearance a Charizard takes on and the special move it has access to depends on the flag I mentioned.

I also want to mention, the PS teambuilder might be what makes you assume it’s a forme. That is just how it was implemented for ease of access. If it were to be done like the game, there’d probably be an option, like how you have a Shiny toggle, on these Pokémon.
This seems more like a semantic argument concerning something being a form or not. While not specifically marked as a literally a different form in the Pokedex, functionally it is similar, as certain types of the same Pokemon caught will have access to different competitive mechanics than other counterparts. I am saying forms because that is the easiest way to differentiate the Pokemon who can Gigantimax and those who cannot, unless I am mistaken and you are saying Gigantimax forms of Pokemon can both Dynamax and Gigantimax.

Frankly I would just blame lazy gamefreak developers for not bothering to include a more distinct/better separation in the Dex, but, as you have stated, the Pokedex in game does takes the time to specifically acknowledge when a Pokemon has the capabilities of Gigantimaxing, or whether it cannot, which would imply a categorical difference in some way, which we can clearly tell is in a gameplay sense. Would that not also give credence to the notion of tiering these Pokemon separately, if the Pokedex already cares enough to make some kind of distinction, and we can clearly already tell that the distinction involves mechanics that fundamentally change how the different kinds of variants operate?

Gigantimax is also not as simple as giving a Pokemon a unique move in an event, because the powers granted that replace the regular dynamaxed version of a type of move are not just applicable to one particular move, but for the entire type. This can potentially grant access to strategies that are all completely different from one another that still use the Gmax version of a different moves, but all gain the same side effect. If this is to be compared to anything at all, it would be more akin to an ability change, as it maintains the exact same moveset and stats of the original Pokemon but gives the different variation of the Pokemon access to new ways to use that same moveset that cannot necessarily be replicated exactly by the other version of the Pokemon.

But comparing the mechanics of Dynamax and Gigantimax to both a Pokemon having unique moves or different abilities disregards the fact that Dynamax is a completely unique and different mechanic from what we have known so far, and thus won't exactly fit the mold of previous changes that have been added to Pokemon. Previous precedents set about what to do with different mechanics will only go so far in guiding the decisions that need to be made concernig Dynamax, and instead we should be looking at this through the lens of what we value in the tiering process of competitive Pokemon as a whole. Pokemon with Gigantimax capabilities are shown to be different in the Pokedex, should we take that into consideration for when deciding if a Gigantimax form of a Pokemon and a Dynamax form of a Pokemon should be treated differently for tiering purposes, or does the fact that it can separately choose to Gigantimax or Dynamax not inherently effect tiering, since it starts out the same way?

TLDR: No, its not literally a different form, I'm using the word form because theres no better phrase to choose. Comparing what we did for one functionally different mechanic should not be used as complete justification for what is done for another functionally different mechanic (concerning how we deal with Pokemon with unique moves and abilities vs what should be done about Gigantimax/Dynamax forms), we should instead look at this from a position of what is valued in Smogon concerning tiering/banning.
 
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Zarel

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My objection is mostly practical: The only difference between a regular Pokémon and a Gigantamax is a single move, which is only very slightly different from the regular Dynamax version of that move (and not noticeably stronger, from what I hear).

It would make more sense to tier Genesect formes differently.
 

Bughouse

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Generally speaking, I believe we've tiered anything that results in only a temporary change in the Pokemon together with the base forme. There aren't too many temporary forme changes, but perhaps the best example of this is regular Darmanitan vs Zen Mode Darmanitan. Even though it's a typing AND stats change when Zen Mode activates, it's a transient state that reverts to normal if HP goes back over 50%. In the case of Gigantamaxing, we know for a fact it's transient since it is guaranteed to end after 3 turns.

Permanent changes like Mega Evolutions (which we did end up tiering separately) and Battle Bond Greninja (which we didn't which we debated for a while and decided to tier separately, but ultimately both stayed OU https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/combining-of-formes-a-comprehensive-stats-counting-policy.3580299/page-5#post-7119797) are much more contentious, but something that changes formes for only 3 turns just seems sketchy to me to tier separately. Furthermore, as Zarel said, it adds just one move (compared to regular old Dynamaxing), which was already available.

I think this becomes a closer question if Dynamaxing is banned due to the widespread availability, and only Gigantimaxing is allowed. Then at least, its comparison point isn't an already available option to Dynamax. I still think though the temporary nature of the transformation means it should be tiered together with the base form.
 
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Colonel M

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There are some rumblings on online competitions from TPC as well as online matches banishing Gigantamax and allowing Dynamax, meaning that Gamefreak and TPC recognize these two mechanics to be "different" enough to prevent these from being used but allowing the other mechanic even though they both function almost the same way. I would not say that we have to follow precisely what Gamefreak and TPC do, but my thoughts on reading the thread (and granted I don't play 1v1) is that Gigacreme and not Dynacreme nor Alacreme are the problems here.

I'd say this information is enough evidence that we can tier Gigantamax and Dynamax Pokemon separately if we absolutely must, and I think 1v1 should have a choice whether to ban Gigacreme, Alacreme, or Do Nothing. To me this seems like a very open-and-shut case that doesn't need to be over thought in the process like it has been.

Someone tell me to stop posting in PR please.
 
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UltiMario

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This is a GMax question that only really applies to like PU or ZU or something, but what about Meowth, Pikachu, and Eevee? These are GMaxes that are locked to specific events/distributions and aren't entirely identical to their normal forms, as they can't have HAs and can't evolve. That's about as many arbitrary differences as the two Greninjas have. I know it's something that super easy to dismiss as "they don't matter" but they're definitely more individually distinguishable from other GMaxes, and seem to potentially meet some of the requirements that people have been saying the other GMaxes don't meet. Assuming people felt that they did meet the requirements, would there be merit it tiering these three separately even if every other DMax/GMax was banned?
 

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