BW OU Diglett and Excadrill Suspect Discussion

ill make this post as short as i can because im pretty sure it wont make things move anyway and you've had enough long ass posts to read in this thread.

1. those who think perma weather abilities should be banned either have absolutely no step back on the matter or are absolutely clueless. the tier would be absolute dogshit with dragmags and breloom-volc offense everywhere. literally dpp with team preview and stuff like volca-terrak-landot. weathers are the signature of this tier, they are what makes this tier so unique and good, but yeah let's get rid off them.

2. echoing dice's post regarding the tiering policy. i just cant understand why you guys care so much about your arbitrary rules and precedents when clearly these are some of the reasons as to why smogon has slowly been dying over the years. just gotta look at how poorly you've handled suspect tests and timer issues, literally 2 of the biggest problems everybody has with tds/councils. and what do they have in common? take a guess. this is pokemon on smogon, not LoL, Fornite or Hearthstone, any decisions you make have absolutely 0 impact on the official ruleset of the game. this isnt even vgc, which is the only official tier where one can actually earn money. if banning a certain ability on 1 specific mon makes the tier better, why the fuck you care about precedents and rules? i get it there needs to be rules, but they shouldn't restrict us in our will to make a tier better.

3. banning excadrill and going back to the early bw2 metagame with dug + sun has to be one of the dumbest things ive read in a long time. comparing sun and dragmag is another, but maybe these are the only playstyles you've ever had success with so maybe u felt like comparing them idk. it doesnt take a big brain to realize that chloro venu in sun with dugtrio was absolutely broken. dug got rid off its very few counters and then it could sweep an entire team thanks to growth or sleep powder with the fantastic sleep mechanics in this tier. nah come on let's be serious. sun should be brought back as a viable playstyle now that dug is gone and ill get to it in the next part. regarding excadrill, echoing dice's post again. he summarized everything. exca is a great add to the tier, but it's clear that back in the day we didnt anticipate the impact sand rush would have on the tier. but it's just wrong to claim that moldbreak and sand force exca are banworthy, this is just wrong. let's not ruin what we've been trying to build for all these years by outright banning exca and going back to the magic guard metagame. please no.

4. if it weren't for precedents and if some ppl werent so closed-minded and obtuse, this would be my suggestion for an almost-perfect metagame:

  • ban sand rush on exca exclusively
  • unban all other pokemon that have access to sand rush (aka unban stoutland)
  • unban chloro venu in sun (venu would remain a very good pokemon, sun would still be viable, but with dug gone it wouldnt be near as broken as it used to be)
  • ban arena trap (and shadow tag?)
 
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on behalf of LuckOverSkill

While Ojama's suggestion would be a step forward in the evolution of the metagame, there are some points that need to be addressed.

First, I'm not advocating to go back to the early BW2 metagame by any means, 2015 is definitely not early BW, as XY had already been out for 2 years by then. If anything, I'm advocating going back to late BW2, which happens to be the state the tier was supposed to be left at, unless something out of the ordinary happened. Judging by the statistics of the time, Sun could definitely not qualify as "out of the ordinary". While complete reliance on stats is bad, completely ignoring them is asinine at best. I re-read the original thread of the ban, and it's really hard to understand what happened in the vote, and all I saw was people just repeating ad nauseam "Sun has sub 5% usage and average winrate but it is broken because I said so", which then was agreed upon by the voters at the time it seems. If a new player asked me "Why was Genesect broken?" I could list multiple reasons as to why Genesect was completely bonkers, and had to go. I could do the same with Sand Veil only Garchomp, Tornadus-T, Thundurus, Swift Swimmers in Rain and so on, but if you asked me what's so broken about Sun and / or Dugtrio, I'd have a hard time doing so, especially since there's very little discussion about it.

The biggest problem I have with how the events unfolded, is that the Sun suspect should have never even happened. Because Sun was definitely not a "rising problem", nor it had ever been. This isn't Sand Veil Gliscor in DPP, that's a good example of acting on a old gen because something actually problematic was seeing a surge in usage. But Sun? Years and years of being average and having a couple good games per tournament at best warranted a suspect? I really do not see why that happened.

I am still awaiting for a concrete answer on what's so different between Dugtrio trapping Venusaur / Volcarona's counters then getting swept, and Magnezone eating your Ferrothorn / Skarmory alive and having issues dealing with 3-4 Dragons. There is no real difference here, both teams function in the exact same way, except one of the two is arguably harder to pilot, and had never been widely used (except when Genesect was OU) while the other one has been definitely in the top 3 most used strategies of all times in Smogon Tour. Possibily THE most used even, together with Sand Balance, and whatever flavor of the month Rain team is popular at the time. The impact Magnezone has on the metagame is ten times bigger than the impact Dugtrio has had over the history of BW, they both do the same exact job, they both are supposed to enable their archetype to function as intended, they both aren't exactly stellar Pokémon if you exclude their trapping abilities. Then what makes Dugtrio broken, and Magnezone not broken? I don't find either mon broken in the slightest, but if one is indeed deemed broken, then I'd like to hear the rationale behind considering its steel-trapping counterpart not broken.

I'd rather not comment on Gothitelle, as I admittedly have not played much BW in the past 4 months, so excuse me if this comes off as condescending, but did we finally find a way to make Gothitelle relevant? Or is it still the same old terrible Pokémon that doesn't even OHKO Amoonguss with a Specs boosted STAB attack, can barely trap mons it supposedly is designed to trap, and that is a wasted slot on your team 90% of the times? I wish I was exaggerating, but Gothitelle is actually an atrocious mon, to say the least. Sure, it might "trap" Chansey, by virtue of trading its useleness to make Chansey useless, but that's its biggest claim to fame really. And Chansey isn't exactly this massive threat in BW. The ubiquitousness (what a mouthful) of Tyranitar doesn't exactly help the argument either.

Regarding Excadrill, as long as Sand Rush Excadrill leaves the tier I'll be fine with it. I don't really have a strong opinion on Mold Breaker or Sand Force. But do keep in mind Excadrill spectacularly failed to address the problem it was supposed to solve when it was unbanned, as Spikes are still the #1 force of the metagame. What a bummer.
 
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dice

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re goth: no one thinks it's great or relevant, but there are a lot of mental gymnastics you have to do if we want to ban arena trap but not shadow tag.

re sun: i really don't think dragmag is a proper parallel to be drawn. dragmag in bw has always been OK, but that's about it. tentathorn in rain is one of the best ways of having a decent shot against most mag teams, and lots of steels have ways to avoid trapping--fire/ground jira/ferro in rain/excadrill's existence/u-turn sciz/heatran..... i adamantly believe the arena trap ban is an inherent good in this tier, because it now forces matchups of actual interaction. this continued parallel of magnezone to other trappers honestly just sits really wrong w me.

for the record, i'm open to revisiting and reallowing venusaur, since that seems to be a commonly discussed mistake in bw history and we probably should have just banned the trappers at the time. it also reinstates weather as a central force of the tier. but no, nothing abt dugtrio/diglett is anywhere close to being mistaken imo. i'd rather amend mistakes now and keep the tier stable for the remainder of its play if possible.
 

Energy

Dance
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Who cares about “mental gymnastics” anymore? We threw away precedent years ago. We’re banning things because we don’t like them today, not because they’re broken... just look at the vote we just had with Diglett.

Can we please make moves on what the community seems to want and vote on Sand Rush Excadrill and Chlorophyll? Lets work together to improve this tier.
 

Shurtugal

The Enterpriser.
is a Tiering Contributor
Gonna just post my memories from 2012 BW back when I played, since watching what the tier has become now is saddening. As someone who played bw1 I can confirm sand rush Exca had like 0 counters because it only needed one flinch to bypass gliscor/skarm. It's really absurdly strong and fast and nothing can really stop it outside of removing sand. I understand that sand rush + sand together is banned but things like sand rush Exca + Latios sounds really stupid.

Banning arena trap when we have shadow tag is dumb, it is ok to ban dugtrio if it was a problem by itself but diglett and trapinch didnt need to get axed: also to clarify, wobb and goth and shadow tag are fine in the bw meta I played, so the argument isnt "ban shadow tag" but "because shadow tag is fine; therefore, arena trap is fine."

When the tier ended in 2012 a lot of the game felt relatively fine and balanced, seeing sun get neutered just seemed really awkward and extreme. I would like to see sun come back, especially with dugtrio or arena trap banned, as it was a core part of the meta and what makes bw what it was. I understand wanting to experiment with Excadrill but permitting sand rush Excadrill is really not an option, and sand rush stoutland is actually a really good pokemon that shouldn't go. That sand stall meru built with stoutland for example is really stable and doesnt need to get hit for Exca sins.

I dont mind if people wish to keep non sand rush Exca but sand rush Exca is a problem; something needs to change about it.

Also keldeo and Latios were suspected a really long time ago, and suspecting one of them would have been preferable than suspecting arena trap imo.
 
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re goth: no one thinks it's great or relevant, but there are a lot of mental gymnastics you have to do if we want to ban arena trap but not shadow tag.
The arena trap ban was hasty at best. Considering how cresselia is capable of soloing an entire team, once Tyranitar has been removed, then probably we should have looked into her rather than banning Diglett and Trapinch. We shouldn't perpetuate the mistake by banning yet another trapping ability which clearly isn't consistent enough to represent a threat to the tier. Also, even assuming Diglett is actually "broken" there's no proof Trapinch would have had the same success (big word here) if he stayed around. What's done is done but targeting the trappers was an overly pragmatic approach and I don't think we should use it to justify a Shadow Tag removal -- on the contrary, we should be more careful with our bans from now on. You say "there are a lot of mental gymnastics" involved in keeping shadow tag...would you mind explaining which? Arena trap and shadow tag users mostly have different targets.

That said, how about we: ban Swift Swim, ban Sand Rush, free Drought + Chlorophyll (that would be ABR's proposal basically + free chloro). A Swift Swim ban is justified by the fact basically every SS user is broken and / or problematic (we all know that). A Sand Rush ban is justified by the fact Sand teams are so flexible and dominant it's simply not fair they also get to have speed boosting abilities (even if we're talking about Stoutland and Sandslash here, which are not inherently broken). A Drought + Chlorophyll unban is justified by the fact Chlorophyll users, especially without Arena trap, are not broken in the slightest while their "home" archetype, Sun, is pretty much forced in predictable structures and it mostly has always been at the bottom of the metagame, so it's not like we're pushing it over the edge. This compromise should make everyone happy, while not outright killing our tiering principles: we keep non-Rush Excadrill, we don't delete three years worth of metagame development, and at the same time we free something that should have never been banned to begin with. But all before that, we have to determine whether Excadrill is 100% a problem or not, 'cause if people feel like it's not banworthy then we should simply keep things as they are. And things aren't that bad.
 
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dice

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The arena trap ban was hasty at best. Considering how cresselia is capable of soloing an entire team, once Tyranitar has been removed, then probably we should have looked into her rather than banning Diglett and Trapinch. We shouldn't perpetuate the mistake by banning yet another trapping ability which clearly isn't consistent enough to represent a threat to the tier. Also, even assuming Diglett is actually "broken" there's no proof Trapinch would have had the same success (big word here) if he stayed around. What's done is done but targeting the trappers was an overly pragmatic approach and I don't think we should use it to justify a Shadow Tag removal -- on the contrary, we should be more careful with our bans from now on. You say "there are a lot of mental gymnastics" involved in keeping shadow tag...would you mind explaining which? Arena trap and shadow tag users mostly have different targets.

That said, how about we: ban Swift Swim (no cherubi here), ban Sand Rush (neither here), free Drought + Chlorophyll. A Swift Swim ban is justified by the fact basically every SS user is broken and / or problematic (other than the obvious Kingdra, Kabutops and Ludicolo I'm also looking at Sub BD Poliwrath, Qwilfish which is basically a pseudo-Deoxys, and even things like Shell Smash Carracosta). A Sand Rush ban is justified by the fact Sand teams are so flexible and dominant it's simply not fair they also get to have speed boosting abilities (even if we're talking about Stoutland and Sandslash here, which are not inherently broken). A Drought + Chlorophyll unban is justified by the fact Chlorophyll users, especially without Arena trap, are not broken in the slightest while their "home" archetype, Sun, is pretty much forced in predictable structures and it mostly has always been at the bottom of the metagame, so it's not like we're pushing it over the edge. This compromise should make everyone happy, while not outright killing our tiering principles: we keep non-Rush Excadrill, we don't delete three years worth of metagame development, and at the same time we free something that should have never been banned to begin with. But all before that, we have to determine whether Excadrill is 100% a problem or not, 'cause if people feel like it's not banworthy then we should simply keep things as they are. And things aren't that bad.
banning arena trap tacitly suggests shadow tag should be banned as well for policy's sake. it is a better ability after all. this is historically how it has been handled. i don't mind breaking this precedent if others are on board.

this is fairly obvious if you have an iota of understanding in this conversation, which, given your post, you do not. yes, we know swift swim users are strong. no, we won't ban cresselia. and no, none of your generalizations have pushed this thread anywhere closer to a conclusion.
 
Ah here I am, thanks guys, I don't have to annoy people anymore to get my point across.

Keldeo has been suspected twice already, suspecting it again sounds a bit extreme to me, I realize the suspects were years ago, but there's really nothing wrong with Keldeo, it is a good mon of course, but I'd go as far as saying it's lost a bit of its appeal over the years.

I would like to see a Latios suspect, but I am not sure we have the numbers to get anything out of a suspect of such a old staple of the metagame, like, Latios has been in the "almost a little too good" status since forever, and don't get me wrong, it still is, but I'm not entirely sure it's "too good", maybe it's only because Tyranitar has 60% usage though, who knows. Predicting the outcome of a Latios ban on BW is impossible.

Absolutely in favor of the Sun retest. No Dugtrio leaves the sweepers with a lot to be desired. And without Dugtrio Tyranitar is very difficult to beat for Sun, and I'd expect most Sun teams to be balls to the walls offense, since going defensive is a bit too hard considering the poor quality of the setter, and the close to 0 chances to win weather wars without superb play.

And I definitely want something done about Excadrill. I voted ban Excadrill last time, so I'm gonna stick with my opinion here, but as long as we get rid of Sand Rush Exca I'm ok with it. Dugtrio is a lost cause, and Gothitelle is whatever, I really don't see the point of banning Shadow Tag in BW, or rather, I do, but it still sounds like a waste of time and energy, but it's not a fight worth fighting as it stands, seeing what people's stance on trapping is. I just hope we will proceed rather quickly to the next step of the evolution of this wonderful metagame!

Thanks for reading.
 
banning arena trap tacitly suggests shadow tag should be banned as well for policy's sake. it is a better ability after all. this is historically how it has been handled. i don't mind breaking this precedent if others are on board.

this is fairly obvious if you have an iota of understanding in this conversation, which, given your post, you do not. yes, we know swift swim users are strong. no, we won't ban cresselia. and no, none of your generalizations have pushed this thread anywhere closer to a conclusion.
Yeah, I admit I focused too much on SSwim but I just wanted to recall that back when comparing Sun to Rain and Sand
"SS ban is justified by A, SR ban is justified by B, Sun has not A nor B therefore it's not incoherent to free drought+chlorophyll" that's my reasoning
I never said we should ban Cresselia instead of Arena trap. The arena trap ban is questionable, but 100% legitimate.

I'm gonna add something else since I had no time yesterday.
My doubts about extending the ban to Shadow Tag arise from the fact the ratio behind the Arena Trap ban was basically to solve the Sun problem. You can argue about how Arena Trap is broken on its own but let's face it we wouldn't ever suspected Diglett if Sun wasn't a thing. This is different from Dugtrio, who actually saw some usage on Rain, Sand, Weatherless and Hail. Bans like the one we just enforced should ALWAYS be contexualized: yes, Shadow Tag is an objectively better ability than Arena Trap, but why did we ban atrap? Does Shadow Tag enable the same things that led to the Arena trap suspect in the first place? Wouldn't a stag ban violate the principle of proportionality? If you adopt this perspective and renounce to strict formalism (something that even real life law distanced itself from), then Shadow Tag can be easily ignored.

many, many people who didn't know shit about this tier intervened in BW OU discussions throughout the years. You just have to check old threads to know who I am referring to. I can clearly see why you are frustrated but I am no part of that crowd and you will gain nothing by targeting me: I played this tier from 2010 to today, except the period that goes from 2014 to 2017, and I know what I'm talking about when I come up with a proposal. Especially considering how it's basically a middle ground between what ABR devised and what people like Luck want to attain, so it's not like it's completely worthless like you make it out to be. I just noticed you are part of the Council, so please consider it at least. If you fear it's too radical of a change, we can always take a step-by-step approach and free Chlorophyll only when the Sand Rush-less metagame will stabilize. Cheers
 
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Finchinator

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BW Circuit Champion
Thanks to everyone for responding to this thread and the Ruins of Alph thread. We took into consideration all of the posts and the opinions we gathered from the exit survey to determine that the best course of action moving forward is having a vote on Sand Rush. We determined this to be the most pragmatic response to the issues within the current metagame cited by a majority of respondents and posters. While many of us wish we could throw away the complex weather bans altogether, start from scratch, and re-tier BW in complete accordance with our current framework, we must acknowledge that we have neither the infrastructure nor the resources to proceed down that route and ensure we end up with a good final product. A potential Sand Rush ban impacts the current metagame comparatively less than a complete Excadrill ban and therefore has the greatest chance to stabilize the metagame to the point where little to no further changes will be necessary to ensure its playability. This is a consciously conservative decision we are making in an attempt to minimize the extent of future changes we might have to make to BW.

As for the vote, it will have the following options:
  • Ban -- remove Sand Rush from the current metagame
  • Do not ban -- keep Sand Rush in the current metagame
The criteria to qualify to vote will be the following:
  • Played at least 3 WCOP games in BW and had a win/loss of at least .500
  • Finished in the top 12 of the most recent BW Cup (round 7 or further)
  • Finished in the top 12 in BW points in the most recent Smogon Tour season (13 points or more)
  • At least 3 BW games played with two or more wins in SPL 9 or at least 5 BW games played in SPL 9
The following users can participate in this vote:

How to vote? Simply PM me ( Finchinator ) one of the two options listed above (Ban or Do not ban). You cannot edit your vote once you have PMd me and to assure this, I will respond upon receiving your vote. Sand Rush will need to get 60% ban votes to get banned.

The deadline is November 1st at 11:59pm GMT-4! We have made the period to vote longer due to small turnout last vote. Please send your PM to me before then; there will be no exceptions made for late voters and a vote not made will be counted as an abstained vote.
 

Shurtugal

The Enterpriser.
is a Tiering Contributor
Feel free to delete this post if it derails too much, but I sort of want to bring up something I feel is important:

In order to ban Sand Rush, do you not have to prove that Sand Rush is broken on everything that gets it? Stoutland is not broken; if Excadrill is broken with Sand Rush than Excadrill should be banned. It doesn't matter what is preferable, do we not have Policy Guidelines to follow?
 

Eo Ut Mortus

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The current complex ban already bans what you cite as not broken (Sand Rush Stoutland + Sandstream), and we are tiering with respect to that. Whether we agree with it or not, whoever implemented the ban has effectively made the decision for us: either Stoutland + Sand Stream is broken, or there is just cause in this case to violate the policy you are referencing.

This brings up a larger, implicit point that has been used to dictate our tiering: All our suspects/bans should try and assume all bans leading up to it were valid. Ideally, the validity of a ban should be an issue addressed on its own, not in conjunction with a suspect; otherwise, we force voters to make multiple decisions in a single vote (whether a ban is valid and whether a ban is beneficial for the metagame). This is effectively what happened in our first Excadrill runoff vote. The assessment of a ban's validity should be made by the council or other relevant tiering body, and in this case, we are choosing to uphold the initial validity of the Sand Rush + Sand Stream complex ban and continue to tier upon it.
 

Merritt

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As this would functionally ban Sandslash in every gen 5 format except BW Ubers as it will lack a legal ability (its only options are Sand Rush and Sand Veil), will this ban be transitive to lower tiers?

In addition, should this go through, what level of precedent would this allow for in determining bans and unbans in both BW and other old gens? For example, does this open the door for a discussion on banning Prankster in BW OU in order to unban Thundurus-I, or a discussion on banning Protean in ORAS?

I'd appreciate it if the council would clarify explicitly whether or not this departure from current precedent of not "nerfing" Pokemon to keep them legal is intended as a one time thing in order strictly to preserve Sand Force and Mold Breaker Excadrill in BW OU and should not be used as precedent for future bans, just as Drizzle+Swift Swim was intended to preserve Drizzle as a part of BW OU, allow for Rain Dance Swift Swim, and not ban a large number of broken Pokemon for their ability to abuse infinite rain Swift Swim according to the original thread.
 
As this would functionally ban Sandslash in every gen 5 format except BW Ubers as it will lack a legal ability (its only options are Sand Rush and Sand Veil), will this ban be transitive to lower tiers?

In addition, should this go through, what level of precedent would this allow for in determining bans and unbans in both BW and other old gens? For example, does this open the door for a discussion on banning Prankster in BW OU in order to unban Thundurus-I, or a discussion on banning Protean in ORAS?

I'd appreciate it if the council would clarify explicitly whether or not this departure from current precedent of not "nerfing" Pokemon to keep them legal is intended as a one time thing in order strictly to preserve Sand Force and Mold Breaker Excadrill in BW OU and should not be used as precedent for future bans, just as Drizzle+Swift Swim was intended to preserve Drizzle as a part of BW OU, allow for Rain Dance Swift Swim, and not ban a large number of broken Pokemon for their ability to abuse infinite rain Swift Swim according to the original thread.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a BW OU suspect, idt it would affect whatever low tier Sandlash is currently in.
 

Merritt

literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a BW OU suspect, idt it would affect whatever low tier Sandlash is currently in.
Since the thread related to this question didn't actually conclude clearly - in fact the way it ended could be interpreted to suggest the opposite - and the ORAS OU Baton Pass flat ban very much carried down to lower tiers (you can easily check on PS if you want) I felt that asking whether or not this would actually impact lower tiers, both by functionally removing Sandslash from BW RU and preventing the use of manual sand teams in lower tiers, was appropriate.
 

Finchinator

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Ban (20): Finchinator, obii, BKC, Empo, LuckOverSkill, Tricking, Jimmy Turtwig, Posho, Kebab mlml, dice, ABR, Shoka, Eo Ut Mortus, M Dragon, bro fist, Lycans, Souf, lax, blunder, undisputed
Do Not Ban (9): McMeghan, Smurf., SoulWind, Sam I Yam, Ace-11, elodin, FLCL, Luigi, TDK

Sand Rush is banned from BW OU. 20 of 29 voters chose the ban option, thus giving it 69% in favor of banning, which is enough to pass the 60% ban threshold. Do note that this ban is effective immediately. 13 individuals did not vote; these are all considered abstain votes and do not impact the current tallies on either side. Thank you to everyone who participated in this vote and the Arena Trap vote.
 
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EviGaro

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Sorry to revive this, but it had an unintended consequence that really should be fixed. In the RU WC Eternal Spirit tried running a team with Sandslash and apparently was not allowed: https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/ru-world-cup-week-1.3644305/#post-7972616

Now I tried it myself and yes, Sand Rush is not usable in BW RU because of the ban. The other problem for Sandslash is that you cannot run it with the other abilities like you would with Stoutland, since Sand Veil is also banned. Therefore, Sandslash is totally unusable in BW because of this result, which might not change anything for BW OU but it's like one of the three spinners and three ground types for BW RU so we'd like to keep it for our tournaments....?
 

Finchinator

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Sorry to revive this, but it had an unintended consequence that really should be fixed. In the RU WC Eternal Spirit tried running a team with Sandslash and apparently was not allowed: https://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/ru-world-cup-week-1.3644305/#post-7972616

Now I tried it myself and yes, Sand Rush is not usable in BW RU because of the ban. The other problem for Sandslash is that you cannot run it with the other abilities like you would with Stoutland, since Sand Veil is also banned. Therefore, Sandslash is totally unusable in BW because of this result, which might not change anything for BW OU but it's like one of the three spinners and three ground types for BW RU so we'd like to keep it for our tournaments....?
Old Generation Council bans will only impact the OU metagames they are targeted to impact, thus minimizing collateral and eliminating situations such as this one. I have notified The Immortal on discord to make the change, but feel free to instruct people to play in gen5ubers until this is implemented.

Thank you for bringing this important concern to our attention and doing so in a civil fashion; it is very much appreciated!
 

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