Can we talk about Stealth Rock?

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#26
UU suspected Chandelure long after Gen 5 was over. Revisiting metas and appropriately adjusting them after the fact is normal, encouraged, and actually points out that metas are still being governed and reviewed periodically.
Funny that you mention that example, considering it was a decision made by a very select group of people (basically, the tier leader and the few users that agreed with him), there was no open discussion, and the time between announcing the suspect vote and the actual vote was so short that nobody besides those few users was able to vote. Furthermore, it ended up being detrimental to the metagame because it wasn't properly tested, and some mons ended up being more broken than ever (Victini).

I see little-to-no problem with reassessing elements in previous generations and continuing to address potential problems since some of these metas are not dead and continue to develop: example, gen 3 uu.
As I stated previously, radical shifts require a long, drawn out process because should we make the wrong decision we impact tens of thousands of players negatively by giving them a less fair metagame. My goal as a UU mod and council member is to fight for fairness and diversity in my tier. Anything else is a secondary concern, including "enjoyment".
Exactly the reason why the change should be carried out at the start of the generation, when there's still time to make up for it if turns out to be a mistake.

I'm confused, is your problem with SR a Gen 6 thing? Then shouldn't we suspect it in Gen 6?
Maybe you should try to write less fluffy posts, so that you wouldn't contradict yourself so much...


I'm not suggesting our current tiering system is perfect, but what you're proposing is so radical, that it would involve changing our policies on these matters. Once again, the onus is on you to prove that this is necessary.
What's our policy on ''a move that has been 100% necessary in each competitive team for the last 9 years''?

I hate to quote myself, but I've made several counter arguments that, for some reason, are being ignored: Not all teams even require hazard control, such as some HO teams which just attempt to plow through the opposing team, often utilizing double switches and aggressive counterplay to force the opponent to not retain enough momentum to place Rocks. That's just one scenario among thousands which introduce VARIABILITY among games. Stealth Rock support is a means to an end in terms of strategy and is just one element of a larger whole to the dynamic additions that Pokemon introduces generation after generation. The fact that you can choose between Blissey's SR or a support coverage adds to the dynamism of Blissey. You propose to take that dynamism away. That's irresponsible without solid reasoning. The onus is not on me to prove this to you, because our system is our system and you are the one that argues to change it.
They're ignored because they're not true. Every competitive team uses Stealth Rock, that's an empirical fact as you like to say.

And if something is on every team, then it's not just a 'support option'. It is true that ''it's a means to an end''. Yeah, the 'end' is winning, because you flat out need Stealth Rock to win a competitive game.

Lastly, regarding theoryhazarding. I'd delete the post of any individual who attempted to theoryhazard, theorymon, or do any kind of non-relevant theorizing as a way of explaining the brokenness of anything. Fire-type SR don't exist, won't exist, so it means absolutely nothing to me. Until it does exist, I will not consider it as an element of a valid argument because it's all theoretical and we live in a world of data and empiricism. Things need to be verifiable in order for you to argue for or against them otherwise you're just speculating, or, even worse, posturing.
In that case, how do you support banning every 680 BST legendary in the game without testing? We have never actually tried them in OU, so there's no proof that they're broken. We are just banning them based on theory, so your argument doesn't hold.
 
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#27
Funny that you mention that example, considering it was a decision made by a very select group of people (basically, the tier leader and the few users that agreed with him), there was no open discussion, and the time between announcing the suspect vote and the actual vote was so short that nobody besides those few users was able to vote. Furthermore, it ended up being detrimental to the metagame because it wasn't properly tested, and some mons ended up being more broken than ever (Victini).




Exactly the reason why the change should be carried out at the start of the generation, when there's still time to make up for it if turns out to be a mistake.



Maybe you should try to write less fluffy posts, so that you wouldn't contradict yourself so much...




What's our policy on ''a move that has been 100% necessary in each competitive team for the last 9 years''?



They're ignored because they're not true. Every competitive team uses Stealth Rock, that's an empyrical fact as you like to say.

And if something is on every team, then it's not just a 'support option'. It is true that ''it's a means to an end''. Yeah, the 'end' is winning, because you flat out need Stealth Rock to win a competitive game.



In that case, how do you support banning every 680 BST legendary in the game without testing? We have never actually tried them in OU, so there's no proof that they're broken. We are just banning them based on theory, so your argument doesn't hold.
Wrt your last paragraph that's not actually true, they aren't banned because they're broken we banned them in policy from standard OU because we made a conscious choice as to what power level we wanted OU to be based around and that we didn't want no bans (I.e. Ubers) to be the standard metagame. 680 BST was chosen as the cutoff point because of the egregious limitations imposed in teambuilding, but there was no theorybanning utilised.
 

THE_IRON_...KENYAN?

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#28
If you are gonna suspect test stealth rocks, you have to suspect test scald too. There are good arguments for both and honestly what does anyone do on this website anymore besides get into drama or post pandas every once in awhile? We could use a big suspect test to make smogon feel like smogon again instead of some high school girls clique. I dont play pokemon much, but we have really lost our way as a website. We have nothing to really lose and everything to gain. If it goes wrong we just reverse it.
 
#30
I don't know why the official smogon way of dealing with SR is being indirect, either giving a venting space to express our anger in the form of a separate ladder or by just saying **** it and giving us an OM where all types have SR and everyone can be dealt with unfairly. Even in the OP of the BW thread the words "we won't suspect SR this gen" seems to me like a ball that we keep kicking forward hoping that either Game Freak either fixes it, gives us enough tools to not care about it anymore (eg. Defog) or we just kick it again to the next gen and find a way for everyone to taste the other side...that was 5 then and now we are at 7.

All the damage dealing hazards (passively or directly) are stackable/need at least two turns to have max effect, they deal static damage (not effected by typing as long pokemon is grounded) and by themselves don't render any pokemon obsolete, they are mere tools of strategy in which how effective they are rely on team building from both sides. That's competitive and fair.

Now I realize all hazards only effect ground(ed) pokemon but the fix Game Freak had in mind to have hazard play against Flying types is beyond absurd. It takes one turn to set up, may rack up to 50% damage upon a single switch and was the literal cause of so many pokemon dropping down or outright excluded from teambuilding, specifically from rock weak types. Now, at the risk of sounding contradictory yes this hazard deals damage based on type while others deal damage at a fixed percentage, but does it make sense that Lugia, the great wall of ubers with all its bulk, takes 25% damage, the same as Natu, from one turn of set up, due to sharing the same type?

We already know and work by the principal that Game Freak has left defining the metagame to the players, and we already banned moves before, banned pokemon, performed gen specific complex bans and general complex bans (varying in application), everything short of changing game mechanics or move damage/effects, otherwise we would long ago made SR stackable and reduced damage but that's a red line nobody has crossed before.

Is SR unhealthy and broken? Some agree and some disagree, but do we have enough to put it in an official suspect test? Yes. We should stop delaying this, either do it at the beginning of gen 7 or one of the very first suspect tests after we automatically ban broken stuff that don't need one. If it gets banned it would be a majority decision, if not then that's that until something changes.
 
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Oglemi

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#31
To refocus this thread from all the posts I deleted, please take a gander at this thread: http://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/ous-tiering-policy-framework-read-and-understand-this.3552154/

I want to see arguments dealing with the four parts that Aldaron laid out in that thread relate to Stealth Rock.

1) How removing Stealth Rock would increase the skill level of our matches. Personally, I really don't think "removing a bunch of viable Pokemon" deals at all with increasing the skill level of our Pokemon matches. If anything, introducing more threats into the metagame is exactly what's not needed in this generation, because while you'd get more Pokemon that check/counter certain threats in OU, you also open the door to a ton of threats that suddenly lost one of the biggest checks available in a single moveslot.

2) Whether or not Stealth Rock is broken. To me, it's debatable. It limits team building, but not overly so. There's a ton of Pokemon still viable in the metagame, there's a lot of Pokemon that can counteract Stealth Rock, and there's a lot of choices to set Stealth Rock, all unlike examples like MegaLuke and MegaKang which significantly limited what was viable in the tier and what wasn't. You usually don't win because you brought Stealth Rock and your opponent didn't, although it helps immensely. Perhaps this is debatable, since I would never not bring it to a match myself.

3) Is Stealth Rock unhealthy? To me something "unhealthy" is something like Aegislash that turned games into a bunch of 50/50s and simply made playing unenjoyable. Stealth Rock doesn't do anything like that, if anything it creates fun mindgames that Bughouse talked about earlier in the thread like when best to play to Stealth Rock, when best to play against Stealth Rock, and when best to just ignore it. I can see maybe if you really dislike playing the hazard game you'd dislike Stealth Rock, but like King UU said, there's still 3 other entry hazards and they're going to get used with SR gone (see GSC and ADV Spikes) so it's not like this aspect of the game is going anywhere.

4) Is Stealth Rock uncompetitive? I don't this so; it doesn't auto-win games, it doesn't throw anything to the RNG, it doesn't create completely scripted matches (citing playing BP chains here).
 
#32
To refocus this thread from all the posts I deleted, please take a gander at this thread: http://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/ous-tiering-policy-framework-read-and-understand-this.3552154/

I want to see arguments dealing with the four parts that Aldaron laid out in that thread relate to Stealth Rock.

1) How removing Stealth Rock would increase the skill level of our matches. Personally, I really don't think "removing a bunch of viable Pokemon" deals at all with increasing the skill level of our Pokemon matches. If anything, introducing more threats into the metagame is exactly what's not needed in this generation, because while you'd get more Pokemon that check/counter certain threats in OU, you also open the door to a ton of threats that suddenly lost one of the biggest checks available in a single moveslot.

2) Whether or not Stealth Rock is broken. To me, it's debatable. It limits team building, but not overly so. There's a ton of Pokemon still viable in the metagame, there's a lot of Pokemon that can counteract Stealth Rock, and there's a lot of choices to set Stealth Rock, all unlike examples like MegaLuke and MegaKang which significantly limited what was viable in the tier and what wasn't. You usually don't win because you brought Stealth Rock and your opponent didn't, although it helps immensely. Perhaps this is debatable, since I would never not bring it to a match myself.

3) Is Stealth Rock unhealthy? To me something "unhealthy" is something like Aegislash that turned games into a bunch of 50/50s and simply made playing unenjoyable. Stealth Rock doesn't do anything like that, if anything it creates fun mindgames that Bughouse talked about earlier in the thread like when best to play to Stealth Rock, when best to play against Stealth Rock, and when best to just ignore it. I can see maybe if you really dislike playing the hazard game you'd dislike Stealth Rock, but like King UU said, there's still 3 other entry hazards and they're going to get used with SR gone (see GSC and ADV Spikes) so it's not like this aspect of the game is going anywhere.

4) Is Stealth Rock uncompetitive? I don't this so; it doesn't auto-win games, it doesn't throw anything to the RNG, it doesn't create completely scripted matches (citing playing BP chains here).
I actually disagree with the policy framework that rewarding skill should be the sole aim of tiering policy. That discussion deserves its own thread, but it should be apparent that Aldaron's criteria of 'broken', 'unhealthy' and 'uncompetitive' aren't applicable to addressing Stealth Rock.

The policy framework defines:
  • Uncompetitive: Elements which reduce the effects of player agency to render skillful play irrelevant
  • Broken: Elements which are so strong relative to the metagame that they render skillful play irrelevant
  • Unhealthy: Elements which are not considered broken or uncompetitive, but still inhibit skillful play
Stealth Rock does not satisfactorily fit any of these criteria. While the degree to which it rewards skillful play differs in each game, its overall effect on the benefit derived from skillful play is negligible. We cannot ban Stealth Rock under these principles.

However, this does not mean the metagame wouldn't be better off without Stealth Rock.

I'm defining "better" as maximising both enjoyability and faithfulness to the cartridge experience, such that people want to play it. Rewarding skill is a major component of enjoyability, but it isn't the only one. We have evidence from the BW no-Stealth Rock ladder that a majority of players preferred the game without it. On top of the simple fact that this discussion keeps coming up, surely we have enough reason to take action?

In response to 1), I actually addressed this concern earlier after Albacore brought it up. Yes, banning Stealth Rock would increase diversity, and therefore in a vacuum it would make it harder to check the increased number of threats - worsening match-up issues. However, removing Stealth Rock, which disproportionately benefits the attacker, would make it easier to defensively check threats. The two factors may well balance each other out. Introducing some more viable defensive Pokemon wouldn't hurt either.

Again, I'm not arguing for an outright ban of Stealth Rock. I believe we should trial a metagame without Stealth Rock at the beginning of S&M, and allow the community to vote. It would be, essentially, a traditional Suspect test, at the only time in the generation it will actually be possible.
 
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Kink

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#33
I actually disagree with the policy framework that rewarding skill should be the sole aim of tiering policy. That discussion deserves its own thread, but it should be apparent that Aldaron's criteria of 'broken', 'unhealthy' and 'uncompetitive' aren't applicable to addressing Stealth Rock.

The policy framework defines:
  • Uncompetitive: Elements which reduce the effects of player agency to render skillful play irrelevant
  • Broken: Elements which are so strong relative to the metagame that they render skillful play irrelevant
  • Unhealthy: Elements which are not considered broken or uncompetitive, but still inhibit skillful play
Stealth Rock does not satisfactorily fit any of these criteria. While the degree to which it rewards skillful play differs in each game, its overall effect on the benefit derived from skillful play is negligible. We cannot ban Stealth Rock under these principles.

However, this does not mean the metagame wouldn't be better off without Stealth Rock.

I'm defining "better" as maximising both enjoyability and faithfulness to the cartridge experience, such that people want to play it. Rewarding skill is a major component of enjoyability, but it isn't the only one. We have evidence from the BW no-Stealth Rock ladder that a majority of players preferred the game without it. On top of the simple fact that this discussion keeps coming up, surely we have enough reason to take action?

In response to 1), I actually addressed this concern earlier after Albacore brought it up. Yes, banning Stealth Rock would increase diversity, and therefore in a vacuum it would make it harder to check the increased number of threats - worsening match-up issues. However, removing Stealth Rock, which disproportionately benefits the attacker, would make it easier to defensively check threats. The two factors may well balance each other out. Introducing some more viable defensive Pokemon wouldn't hurt either.

Again, I'm not arguing for an outright ban of Stealth Rock. I believe we should trial a metagame without Stealth Rock at the beginning of S&M, and allow the community to vote. It would be, essentially, a traditional Suspect test, at the only time in the generation it will actually be possible.
It's great that you're defining "better" arbitrarily considering no tier follows your logic. Enjoyment is not a primary factor when making tiering decisions, and yes, Aldaron is correct when he says that we make policy decisions that reward skill as much as possible. I can't support an argument that is based in assumption and innuendo and I would never support a UU SR test going into gen 7 for the reasons I listed before.

If SR, by your own omission, is not uncompetitive, broken, or unhealthy, then you're suggesting we create a new, arbitrary component for making tiering decisions, solely propagated by your desire for a "better" meta. That's not a sound argument because "better" is entirely subjective (to a fault... obviously opinion and bias are relevant to any conversation, but opinions and bias can also be god awful) and is meaningless to this discussion.

Again, you're proposing to change the entire policy workings of this site to suit your rhetoric. You need to prove this is necessary and you continue to ignore this. Yes, we can see you're not arguing to ban SR entirely, but that's because you're not actually providing an argument, you're speculating. If stealth rock is broken now, make an argument to suspect it now (except it's not broken, and I'd never support it a SR suspect in UU without dammed good evidence). Saying "things could be better for some defensive mons" is conjecture and is not an argument.

Also: enjoyment is a secondary component of rewarding skill and not the other way around.
 
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#34
It's great that you're defining "better" arbitrarily
Yes, I'm defining "better" arbitrarily. I didn't think that anyone would dispute that making a game more enjoyable would be "better", but there you go.

no tier follows your logic. Enjoyment is not a primary factor when making tiering decisions, and yes, Aladaron is correct when he says that we make policy decisions that reward skill as much as possible. I can't support an argument that is based in assumption and innuendo and I would never support a UU SR test going into gen 7 for the reasons I listed before.
You're just repeating yourself here for the sake of posturing.

you're suggesting we create a new, arbitrary component for making tiering decisions
Yes, that's right. I believe that rewarding skill is a means to an end, that being enjoyment. You believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that the game should reward skill above all, and it doesn't matter if enjoyment is derived from that or not. This is why we can't see eye to eye.

"better" is entirely subjective
That's right. That's why I'm suggesting a majority vote. You know - the usual way of making subjective decisions.

you're proposing to change the entire policy workings of this site
I'm proposing a minor amendment to tiering philosophy, but sure, since you're obviously given to hyperbole.

you're not actually providing an argument, you're speculating
I explained why I believe an argument cannot be provided for banning Stealth Rock in terms of rewarding skill. I proposed a different criteria, enjoyment, by which we might consider allowing a test and majority decision to end the debate.

Obviously we have completely different opinions on the goals of tiering. I believe that making the game more enjoyable for players is a primary concern. You believe in not changing anything unless it can be demonstrated that it makes skillful play less relevant. I'm trying really hard to understand where you're coming from, but I'm struggling.

I still think this is a valuable conversation to have.
 
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Acast

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#35
Yes, I'm defining "better" arbitrarily. I didn't think that anyone would dispute that making a game more enjoyable would be "better", but there you go.

...

Yes, that's right. I believe that rewarding skill is a means to an end, that being enjoyment. You believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that the game should reward skill above all, and it doesn't matter if enjoyment is derived from that or not. This is why we can't see eye to eye.

...

I explained why I believe an argument cannot be provided for banning Stealth Rock in terms of rewarding skill. I proposed a different criteria, enjoyment, by which we might consider allowing a test and majority decision to end the debate.

Obviously we have completely different opinions on the goals of tiering. I believe that making the game more enjoyable for players is a primary concern. You believe in not changing anything unless it can be demonstrated that it makes skillful play less relevant. I'm trying really hard to understand where you're coming from, but I'm struggling.

I still think this is a valuable conversation to have.
You keep harping on enjoyment being the end-all of policy. Enjoyment is not measurable and is not a valid argument for banning something. I'll quote myself here:
"Enjoyment" is entirely subjective and varies from person to person. We don't tier metagames based on enjoyment because it's not a measurable or controllable factor.
Stop saying a metagame without Stealth Rock would be more enjoyable and start explaining why it would be more enjoyable. Enjoyment is subjective. If you want us to seriously consider a suspect or ban of Stealth Rock, we need objective reasoning.
 

Kink

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#36
Yes, I'm defining "better" arbitrarily. I didn't think that anyone would dispute that making a game more enjoyable would be "better", but there you go.
We do not tier based on enjoyment. Get that through your head.
You're just repeating yourself here for the sake of posturing.
No I'm not. I'm repeating myself because the burden of proof is on you, you still haven't given me sufficient evidence to support your test, and as a UU council member that cares very deeply for his tier, I will fight against reasoning that I think is poorly presented or rationalized. It's not personal.
Yes, that's right. I believe that rewarding skill is a means to an end, that being enjoyment. You believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that the game should reward skill above all, and it doesn't matter if enjoyment is derived from that or not. This is why we can't see eye to eye.
It's not just me that thinks this, it's all of the policy leaders, tier leaders, and moderation staff. This is why the burden of proof is on you, because we, through shared discourse, debate, and transparent discussion, end up deciding if this policy you propose is worth it. The reason we can't see eye to eye is because every single one of your posts utterly ignores this element.
That's right. That's why I'm suggesting a majority vote. You know - the usual way of making subjective decisions.
That's not how it works. Tiers decide how to run a vote, not you. If we do run a SR test and leave it to a council vote, your subjective opinion will not matter. As I said 3 posts ago, become involved in a tier's voting process, get a spot on the council, and have prominent say in tier policy. It'll only add credibility to your opinion.
I'm proposing a minor amendment to tiering philosophy, but sure, since you're obviously given to hyperbole.
Attempting to fundamentally change the way smogon tiers is not hyperbole. It's the truth. Any change to fundamental policy is a radical proposal that must be responsibly handled, otherwise we risk losing our credibility as a premier battling site.
I explained why I believe an argument cannot be provided for banning Stealth Rock in terms of rewarding skill. I proposed a different criteria, enjoyment, by which we might consider allowing a test and majority decision to end the debate.
For the (hopefully) last time, the criteria of "enjoyment" is no good. Smogon does not primarily tier based on enjoyment of a metagame. Enjoyment is a secondary factor, and is itself a means to an end. This is not just my opinion, rather it is the backbone of the site as a fundamental policy. By proposing to change it, you automatically shift the burden of proof on you. Period.
Obviously we have completely different opinions on the goals of tiering. I believe that making the game more enjoyable for players is a primary concern. You believe in not changing anything unless it can be demonstrated that it makes skillful play less relevant. I'm trying really hard to understand where you're coming from, but I'm struggling.
I don't think you're being vindictive at all, but with all due respect, your arguments come off as naive. Which is why I wholeheartedly want you to get more involved with the policy of this site, so that should your opinions not change in combination with your policy experience, you will be taken that much more seriously. It goes without saying that a TL has more credibility that a new user. That logic applies to perception as well.

On a side note, SR is centralizing, I'll give you that. But that's never been a valid argument alone to justify a suspect test. And, hopefully, it never will be.
I still think this is a valuable conversation to have.
It's valuable insofar that it's an interesting discussion in theory, but I'm not sure if advocating for what you propose is a responsible way of holding this debate. As per my first post, I don't think any of the pro-suspect SR Gen 7 posts have been conducive to a healthy, responsible discussion of a staple element to competitive battling.
 
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#37
Acast

For the last time, enjoyment is measurable by majority decision. You might disagree with that point of view, but please at least address it.

King UU

Let's simplify this.

By testing Stealth Rock as I propose, we potentially make the metagame more enjoyable and we settle the arguments over Stealth Rock. If we ignore the logistics of running the test for the moment, then this is clearly the logical action to take - a win/win scenario.

As you say, current tiering policy does not allow enjoyment to be taken into consideration. Due to this, we cannot test Stealth Rock without risking the credibility of the site.

Therefore, since our tiering policy is preventing us from taking a logical action, that policy needs to change to include enjoyment as a factor for consideration.
 
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#38
Sure, why not?

1) How removing Stealth Rock would increase the skill level of our matches.

By removing stealth rocks we allow more diversity into the metagame, evening the playing fields instead of a team with SR weak pokemon starting with a huge disadvantage, encourage strategy and teambuilding since now the 4 disadvantaged types can be used again instead of the generic lead SR pokemon throwing rocks and parking the pokebus (ghost, dark pursuiter).

As said before, we should abandon this generational argument, it's been 3 gens since we started using that flimsy excuse, and our mere exploration of an SR-less ladder and it's popularity led the successive gens to abandon it lest people be reminded of what OU can actually be. Game Freak isn't fixing SR anytime soon, we should act.

Everytime someone mentions SR as a check or counter I'm constantly reminded and astonished that we are talking about not an overpowered uber like pokemon, but a single turn move that deals 50% in a single hit worst case scenario, a practically 7th pokemon in all but name choking the life out of not one, 2, but 4 types if not team building in itself. All in the name of what? "Meh it's been there forever", "we should have acted since the beginning now it's too late", "I fear the unknown fire/flying/bug/ice monster hiding in the closet all this time"...


2) Whether or not Stealth Rock is broken.

Teambuilding starts with SR, always does. You want to bring it, congrats you follow 99% of the tier, options to bring in your own defogger/bouncer/spinner depends on whether you want to include SR weak mons.

You don't? Better pony up for one of those defoggers (i.e Lati twins) or invest in a magic bounce user. Don't like either options? Bring a team that doesn't have 25%/50% SR weak mons, pray your not facing a stall team and hope for the best.

A team that manages to cover most of the tier but is weak to one or two or a bunch of mons/sets is perfectly capable of peaking ladders and winning tournament matches, since no team is perfect and matchups do exist since playstyles inherently have rock-paper-scizzor relationship.

A team that doesn't take into account the effects of SR or pretends it doesn't exist...I don't need to even complete this.


3) Is Stealth Rock unhealthy?

We've established the dominating role SR has so there is no "ignoring it". People who are against SR are not against Hazard play. The rest of the hazards are stackable/need at least two turns to have max effect, they deal static damage (not effected by typing as long pokemon is grounded) and by themselves don't render any pokemon obsolete, they are mere tools of strategy in which how effective they are rely on team building from both sides. That's healthy.


4) Is Stealth Rock uncompetitive?

It's uncompetitive because it limits team building, makes otherwise perfectly great pokemons a liability, matches devolving into either who can throw rocks at one another first and keep their fields clean or keeping your ownside clean lest your Talonflame/Charizard X-Y/Volcorona.etc turn into dead weight. That is scripted. I'm not even bringing in the benefits of using it that surpass it being a move or a mere hazard.
 
#39
3) Is Stealth Rock unhealthy?

We've established the dominating role SR has so there is no "ignoring it". People who are against SR are not against Hazard play. The rest of the hazards are stackable/need at least two turns to have max effect, they deal static damage (not effected by typing as long pokemon is grounded) and by themselves don't render any pokemon obsolete, they are mere tools of strategy in which how effective they are rely on team building from both sides. That's healthy.


4) Is Stealth Rock uncompetitive?

It's uncompetitive because it limits team building, makes otherwise perfectly great pokemons a liability, matches devolving into either who can throw rocks at one another first and keep their fields clean or keeping your ownside clean lest your Talonflame/Charizard X-Y/Volcorona.etc turn into dead weight. That is scripted. I'm not even bringing in the benefits of using it that surpass it being a move or a mere hazard.
Both of these answers have literally nothing to do with the words "unhealthy" or "uncompetitive", you're just going on about completely unrelated "this is why I don't like Stealth Rock". There's no way that "Stealth Rock is uncompetitive because it limits teambuilding" is a valid argument, because it completely unrelated to what competitive and uncompetitive mean.

I also want to take a moment to say that not all types are equal in Pokémon, and there are always going to be some that are better than others (cough Steel cough). Talonflame, Charizard, and Volcarona aren't being unfairly discriminated against in any way, their lesser viability (despite STILL being capable and potent threats) is simply a consequence of them having a 4x weakness. There's seriously no objective or competitive reason to ban Stealth Rock to cater to these Pokémon specifically, you need to provide a better argument that Stealth Rock itself is either broken, unhealthy, or uncompetitive using the definitions that Oglemi provided.
 

Acast

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#40
Acast

For the last time, enjoyment is measurable by majority decision. You might disagree with that point of view, but please at least address it.

King UU

Let's simplify this.

By testing Stealth Rock as I propose, we potentially make the metagame more enjoyable and we settle the arguments over Stealth Rock. If we ignore the logistics of running the test for the moment, then this is clearly the logical action to take - a win/win scenario.

As you say, current tiering policy does not allow enjoyment to be taken into consideration. Due to this, we cannot test Stealth Rock without risking the credibility of the site.
Majority opinion is not objective. It's about as subjective as it gets. As far as I'm concerned, if we're going to consider making a change to our policies on this big of a scale, we need objectivity. Using something as subjective as "enjoyment" to justify policy decisions is foolish.

I'll give you an example of why enjoyment is an awful way to make decisions.

In early XY I spammed Mega Kangaskhan on the OU ladder. It was fun to use something so obviously overpowered and just watch things die. I loved it and got plenty of enjoyment out of using it. If I had any say in the decision to ban Mega Kangaskhan and if I had used my personal enjoyment as justification to vote against a ban, I would have been irresponsible. Mega Kangaskhan was objectively overpowered in OU and obviously should have been banned, which is why it's currently in Ubers. Objective reasoning is ALWAYS superior to subjective reasoning, and enjoyment is purely subjective. That's why enjoyment is not used as justification for any tiering decisions.
Therefore, since our tiering policy is preventing us from taking a logical action, that policy needs to change to include enjoyment as a factor for consideration.
Your fatal flaw here is assuming that suspecting Stealth Rock is a "logical action". "Logical" implies objective reasoning behind it, which you have failed to provide.
 
#41
Both of these answers have literally nothing to do with the words "unhealthy" or "uncompetitive", you're just going on about completely unrelated "this is why I don't like Stealth Rock".
I'm not going to argue semantics here or have words be put into my mouth or even cherrypicking, I bought legitimate arguments about what SR is, what it does to the meta-game and how damaging and limiting it is as well as address arguments that say we are already revolve around SR and it's too late to act on it.

If you don't like my argument you are free to post counter points.

There's no way that "Stealth Rock is uncompetitive because it limits teambuilding" is a valid argument, because it completely unrelated to what competitive and uncompetitive mean.
Oglemi's second point starts with:

"2) Whether or not Stealth Rock is broken. To me, it's debatable. It limits team building, but not overly so."

If you find that uncompetitive and broke have two separate meanings, I have provided arguments about for both..

I also want to take a moment to say that not all types are equal in Pokémon, and there are always going to be some that are better than others (cough Steel cough). Talonflame, Charizard, and Volcarona aren't being unfairly discriminated against in any way, their lesser viability (despite STILL being capable and potent threats) is simply a consequence of them having a 4x weakness. There's seriously no objective or competitive reason to ban Stealth Rock to cater to these Pokémon specifically, you need to provide a better argument that Stealth Rock itself is either broken, unhealthy, or uncompetitive using the definitions that Oglemi provided.
You are right, but there is a difference between one type being better physically/defensively and a group of types being a liability because a move deems them so. Charizard X-Y, Talonflame, Thundrus and to a lesser extent Volcarona managed to rise above such initial liability because they posses such great stats/abilities that it is worth dedicating a pokemon to allow them to function and more often then not there is a real chance of them being useful rather than being 25%/50% health one time use pokemons per switch. The rest of the mons? Liability suprasses any useful role they might have played and their otherwise excellent features because SR is just too much to justify using them.

======================

If somehow by the end of the day GameFreak does nothing and smogon decides to take a pass on suspect testing SR once again, at the very least give us an SR-less ladder and let us be, it harms no one and does a lot by not neglecting a viewpoint lots of people, great skilled and seasoned people as IR called them.
 
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THE_IRON_...KENYAN?

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#43
How many knots do we have to twist ourselves in to think that if a majority of the seasoned and skilled battlers want to test something like stealth rock or scald out we should just say no and ignore it? If you could prove "objectively" that something was bad in a post there would be no such thing as a suspect test. Why do you insist that this website keep doing nothing and remain a high school girls clique with only ghosting drama and red pandas? Whatever happened to doing things on this forum? Post not directed at anyone specific person.
 

Oglemi

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#44
How many knots do we have to twist ourselves in to think that if a majority of the seasoned and skilled battlers want to test something like stealth rock or scald out we should just say no and ignore it? If you could prove "objectively" that something was bad in a post there would be no such thing as a suspect test. Why do you insist that this website keep doing nothing and remain a high school girls clique with only ghosting drama and red pandas? Whatever happened to doing things on this forum? Post not directed at anyone specific person.
Short answer is because without a process you end up with situations like 2007 Cathy that takes action from the words of a very vocal minority, not all of it or most taking place on the forums, which ends up going against what the majority actually wants, which leads to ~drama~.

Discussing and advocating for change within a framework removes the dictator dramas from occurring.

Not going to argue against the point that a central figure is probably needed to direct and enact change with a strongly defined endgoal in mind tho, which would help things move along immensely
 
#45
gengod You keep mentioning that banning Stealth Rock will also increase the number of viable checks to the big threats it empowers, but you haven't given a single actual example of this. The only one I can think of which is relevant to OU would be Zapdos/Thundurus acting as a better check to certain Flying types, particularly Tornadus-T. But otherwise, the typings don't really indicate that checks to SR-weak threats would benefit from SR being gone.

SR mainly affects Fire-, Flying-, Ice- and Bug-types, so those are the mons that will rise in viability with rocks gone. And while Fire- and Flying- types would have an easier time checking bugs, I highly doubt Scyther will suddenly become a massive threat with SR gone.
You can argue that offensive Fire- and Ice- will be kept in check by defensive Fires which will more easily fit on teams as a result, but as far as I know only rock-weak Fire-types that can really work defensively are Talonflame and XZard (which admittedly can keep Volcarona in check, but I don't think that would make up for how much bigger threats both of these would become, especially since they really don't check each other at all) and Arcanine (which will almost certainly still be complete garbage even with rocks gone). Ice-types will always be awful defensively, and although you can argue that Weavile will be able to keep Flying-types in check, much like Talonflame and XZard, that would just be another case of broken checking broken.

If you look at the pokemon who do check Fire- Flying-, Ice- and Bug- types, you'll realise that they're primarily Rock- (duh), Steel-, Water- and Ground-types. Half of these types are resistant to rock and the other doesn't really mind too much, so I fail to see how SR is holding back checks to other SR-weak Pokemon.
Are you really making the assertion that Pokemon do not gain more checks/counters with Stealth Rocks removal?

The move does damage 3.125-50% to any counter or check sent out before taking into account whatever hit they were switched in to tank thus making their job inherently harder regardless of type. This obviously becomes even harder if forced to switch your counters/checks in multiple times throughout the course of the game. When taking type into consideration once Stealth Rock is down you've pretty much removed 4 of them from being able to benefit from their defensive characteristics and resistances at all which both greatly inhibits Pokemon with that type, and all other Pokemon that happen to share one of those types as a secondary typing.

In addition it's not as simple as just looking at what types inherently counter other types. You have to take each Pokemon's characteristics, coverage moves, additional resistances and abilities into account as well.

You state that I don't give Pokemon specific examples of this but is it really necessary to? I'd assume it's relatively easy for one to see just run through the list of OU-NU mons and see which gain more relevant checks/counters with the removal of Stealth Rock.

For the sake of your response I've listed in quote a few non-current OU Pokemon below in quote as an example that would be far more valuable defensively looking at the current Oras meta, assuming Stealth Rock-less games.

Gyarados, Salamence, Arcanine, Moltres, Volcarona, Aerodactly, Crobat, Altaria, Articuno, Entei, Mandibuzz, Cloyster. Kyurem, Scyther, Noivern, Rotom-H, M-Pidgeot, Abomasnow, Staraptor, Rotom-F, Togekiss
This has been mentioned before, but it bears repeating : SR's ability to compromise specific types, thus reducing the need to check them, frees teambuilding immensely, especially given how impossible it is to check everything these days. Increasing the number of viable threats is absolutely not a good thing, and going out of our way to do that is a terrible idea.
The "Fire-type Stealth Rock" argument doesn't hold at all to me by the way, because that would, much like our current Stealth Rocks, free teambuilding even more by giving teams the option to no longer worry about Ferrotorn or Scizor walling/sweeping them. Which would be a good thing as a whole, and probably worth banning, say, Azumarill or Mega Diancie for if that becomes an issue.
On balance, I'd much rather render a bunch of threats less viable, at the risk rendering a few explicitly broken, than arbitrarily banning non-broken threats for contributing to a bloated metagame. And a metagame without SR would be very bloated indeed.
I wouldn't really say it "frees up team building" as the general consensus is that it does quite the opposite on multiple levels. In addition your stance seems to just be arbitrarily trying to fight the inevitable. It's not like we're going to stop Gamefreak from making more Pokemon.

The next thing I'd like to address is how you don't believe drastic changes without empirical evidence is not irresponsible. What is your argument for disagreeing with me and the majority of all users that sit on a council? UU is currently suspecting Baton Pass at the end of Gen 6 because that is when the problem of its existence has arisen, and the individuals chosen to vote in that test are all users that can back up their claims. If we vote to remove Baton Pass, which is a drastic change, you better believe I need to offer responsible reasoning, otherwise I tarnish my credibility.
Just for the record Baton Pass has been a problem since it was introduced and people have argued for it's banning from then until now. Also, realistically I'd like to know how Baton Pass was banned solely in UU when the move affects all tiers as that is something that has never been done before, seems quite lopsided and I'm surprised that it was passed at all and actually find this to be a quite problematic approach with regards to it's ban.

However, I too would like to see some data with regards to Stealth Rock to see just how much it does impact the metagame. The only question is what data is really worth looking at.

If possible seeing data on the following would be a great help to this discussion

• How much damage on average does Stealth Rock accumulate per battle
• How long does Stealth Rock generally stay down after initially placed
• How often is it used per battle in comparison to it's specific counter moves in Rapid Spin and Defog.


Any other suggestions are welcome.

Gen 7 doesn't even exist yet. SR with Gen 7 is an unknown variable. How can you claim to know how SR affects the Gen 7 meta? You cannot. These standards apply to everyone.
Noone can explicitly know what the metagame will be like for Gen 7. However it isn't impossible to theorize just how relevant it will continue to remain. Nothing has been changed with regards to it's power and although there are a few new Rapid Spinners I can't realistically see any of them being very relevant to neutering Stealth Rocks much. We've played with the move for 9-10 years now. It usage and ways it's used and abused haven't changed much since and I highly doubt they will change much if at all in Sun and Moon.

I think we've reached a point where Stealth Rock is about as intrinsic to Singles as Snorlax was in GSC. Removing Stealth Rock would completely change how we approach building the Sun & Moon metagame. We're talking months after months after months of constant testing (on top of the suspecting we'll inevitably have to do when we unban various Pokemon in order to test them). And it doesn't just apply to OU too; every tier would be significantly affected by the removal of Stealth Rocks.

It's just not worth it.
This honestly just sounds lazy...


Main question at the moment...

Is it possible to obtain data pertaining to the bolded text above?
 

jrp

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#46
Note that removing stealth rock from the equation opens up a whole new can of worms insofar as checks and counters are concerned.

I am personally of the stance that Stealth rock is a necessary evil.

One of the main complaints about pokemon is that the game has reached a point where it is basically impossible to prepare for every offensive threat that could appear at any given point. Certainly, we can use the oft-cited argument that "we shouldn't use broken things to keep other broken things in check" (I believe that argument became prominent during the Aegislash test, if my memory is correct?), but the fact is that in this format where it is very difficult, if not impossible to prepare for any given threat, removing stealth rock could present an even harder metagame to prepare for. Would the defensive pokemon that might be viable without stealth rock be able to stand up to the offensive ones that are being held back by stealth rock? Will the offensive pokemon be able to break through the defensive ones? That is something to keep under consideration when discussing this.

Removing stealth rock from the equation adds a whole slew of offensive and defensive threats that were not initially present in the metagame. It would present a fairly radical shift in the tier, (going off of current OU, since SM isn't in play yet) and I believe that the undisputed "best" pokemon in OU would definitely see a shift (Would Landorus-T still be the top Pokemon without stealth rock? What about the Pokemon that follow it on the usage statistics?).

Whether that is inherently a bad thing is subject to interpretation, but I do believe that simply theorizing about a format without stealth rock is kind of pointless. Actually implementing one so that people can see how the format plays would be the best way to measure just what sort of impact this would have.

As I see it, if stealth rock ended up getting banned, you would see the meta shift towards spikes as the primary hazard. Many of the Pokemon that see usage specifically to set up stealth rock would fall in usage, and as I, and others, have said above, the tiers would shift fairly radically.
• How much damage on average does Stealth Rock accumulate per battle
• How long does Stealth Rock generally stay down after initially placed
• How often is it used per battle in comparison to it's specific counter moves in Rapid Spin and Defog.[/B]
I agree that this information is very pertinent to the discussion at hand.



It's been said before in this thread, but if people seriously wish to look at stealth rock as a potential ban, it needs to be done IMMEDIATELY when SM becomes the official format. I would even say that when the usual list of borderline ubers get tested, we should test stealth rock before testing them. Things like Deoxys-D and Deoxys-S that we've tested in OU the past couple generations were primarily used as Stealth Rock setters during their short tenure in OU. If spikes becomes the primary hazard, will the two of them be seen as still too powerful? That is an important thing to consider.
 
#47
Is there any way we can get a poll to see where people stand on Stealth Rock? Otherwise it seems like this thread will be ignored like usual.

I think SR should be tested. babidi1998 's post is particularly good. It'd be nice to see some prominent players post their opinions in this thread too, not that I don't enjoy reading X5Dragon or Clair's evidently well-informed opinions.
 

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#48
Posting this on Ajwf's behalf:

So let's talk about Stealth Rocks.

There are two types of competitive games. Games that force a defender and aggressor, and games that give an advantage to aggresion. Games that give an advantage to aggresion have a common characteristic of 'starting on even ground'.
Defender v Offender games are less common in 'truly competitive games', however CS:GO gives us a real taste of what that kind of balance has. TIME neccesistates victory in a specified period because otherwise the defender would always lose. Therefore with the condition of aggression being forced upon the attacker and the defender having to hold out for a specified period, these games don't give advantage to the aggressor but give a period where aggression can be had. Instead, players are rewarded for 'performing their roles optimally'. Economy in CS:GO, Ult Charge in Overwatch and Killstreaks in COD all emphasize this. Even if the last isn't competitive, it still shows the same roots.

Hypothetically, pokemon is one of these 'even start' games. Often games like these give an advantage to 'who goes first', showcasing this truth.
-Tic-Tac-Toe, while certainly not competitive, showcases this perfectly. The first one to move (Aggressor) cannot lose if played perfect. The worst they can do is tie. Four square is known to be the same.

-In Chess, your reward for aggression manifests in board control. Board control leads to pawns advancing to higher unit power.
-Checkers has this. If you want a king, cross the board. There are few defensive strategies in checkers that won't eventually result in you moving to an area where you get slaughtered.
-In league of legends, neutral objectives such as dragon/baron are your reward for aggression. This is true in similar MOBAs Even though league doesn't necessitate an even start (drafts can give wildly different power levels to begin with), it plays like this.
We consider pokemon this way too because pokemon may have different comps but at the beginning, you have 100% power turn 1.

If you're looking at this going "well what does this have to do with anything", you're probably not alone. However some people will probably have figured this riddle out already. That is "Pokemon possesses ONLY the time factor, as an equal start game." This is present in cartridge, not in the Smogon metagame, and is only there because they lack something similar to an auto-forfeit move timer that smogon has. For anyone wondering, games are topped to an hour max in pokemon.

This timer isn't MEANT to be a wincon in the same way pokemon isn't really meant to be a competitive game. Smogon's adjusting it to make the game competitive. And certainly, this timer doesn't exist in smogon. But the designers of pokemon did understand something when they implemented it:

There are a lot of cases where you are better off not attacking for multiple turns, just by cost/benefit analysis. The timer limits HOW LONG that can exist because eventually the game will run out. I am not sure of the exact specifics of a timer's determination to winner (whether it's by % health or numerical health) but the general jist of it is the following: At the end of an hour, if a conclusion is not met, the game is ended and whoever has more health (by % or total) throughout all remaining mons is declared the winner.

It is COMPLETELY inelegant. Specifically consider stall v offense where the stall team is just a winconless amount of bulk. If the attacker cannot break through because of the bulk, he suddenly finds himself in a Defender v Offender situation in a game that's 'even start'. If the stall team's recovery comes from rest/wish/heal bell, good luck having either of higher % health or higher total health. Nigh impossible. And claiming Setup sweepers can neccessitate this need for aggression is somewhat true. However I claim an arena moba like DOTA2/League have this with hyper carries. They may win eventually, but certainly find it hard to get to that point in a constrained time period. In this scenario, consider if stall has uanware, or just a mon that counters your wincon. This isn't exactly rare, and we're dealing in a general sense of the word for examples.

Same goes for stall v stall but in this case it's worse. Neither team WANTS to attack if they're lacking hazards. All they're doing is burning any chance at momentum, doing effectively no damage and wasting PP. Realistically a winconless stall would come down to turn 99 and which team could inflict the most damage on that last move. Fair? Not even close.

This isn't to say there aren't other measures to 'encourage aggression'. You can't crit if you don't attack, don't get scald burns without attacking, similar and so forth. However RNG is RNG and isn't exactly the most useful way to encourage aggression.


So yes, pokemon isn't competitive, smogon attempts to solve that. Turn timers with Decaying time allowances grab the original purpose of a timer, or that the game not stall because of an AFK. This reasonably pushes out the "Defender v Offender" that the game setup in cartridge. However it right away sets up for the initial problem, an ABRvTele kinda match.

Smogon does not add game mechanics. Well, turn timer.... normally accepted because someone who afks like that isn't really within 'the spirit of the game'. However outside of this, Smogon's job has always been to limit what already exists. So smogon currently does not have a way to incentivize attacks other than to tell a person to have a wincondition.

This is the first place stealth rocks come in. They represent the 'win for aggression' in pokemon. In fact they, along with spikes, basically are the only true ways to ALWAYS encourage aggression. What do I mean by this? Well it's rather hard to explain but think for a moment of SR as a 'neutral objective'. It isn't really that hard, we mostly think of SR as something that has to be down, and in itself is an objective. This objective has ways to activate and deactivate it (setting/clearing) and conditions for usefulness (switches over it and turns in play) as well as most importantly being more activtely controllable by an aggressor.

But then lastly, it ENCOURAGES aggression on the stealth rocked's part by it's existence. We can even prove this with cost/benefit analysis. First off, your cost on a neutral field is as follows:

//the move that your opponent takes + the move you COULD'VE made instead (next best option, somewhat subjective but perfectly measurable retroactively) + the opportunity your opponent has next turn due to prior moves

The benefit of a move on a neutral field:

//the effect of that move * any resistances/weaknesses that a mon has to that move + the opportunity you have next turn

Notice that naturally, you supposedly get an advantage for attacking (switching gives you ONLY the opportunity you'd have next turn).
However there are cases where your next best option in cost is negative. Making a move does have costs. Immunities, low damage, PP waste, possible loss of pressure ALL exist here. Which means that if your next best option (not switching) is negative, you are incentivized harder TO switch. It's crazy to think about but then you consider ABRvTele or stall v stall and you see that it's not unusual for ALL OF THESE to exist on a hazardless field.

Now rocks doesn't do a lot to this formula. The cost of switching is:

//the move that your opponent takes + the move you COULD'VE made instead + opportunity your opponent has next turn due to prior moves
+ SR damage of your switchin

But notice something important. The cost of NOT SWITCHING is:

//the move that your opponent takes + (the move you COULD'VE made instead - SR damage of your switchin) +
opportunity your opponent has next turn due to prior moves

Really rocks are only factored once because you don't apply both these simotaneously.
However you're still incentivized to attack by a factor of your next best option's damage taken from stealth rock.

And over time, this becomes important:

//the effect of that move * any resistances/weaknesses that a mon has to that move + the opportunity you have next turn + [Σ(SR Base damage * type damage multiplier)]

Where sigma's conditions are i starting at 0 to a hypothetical infinity. This is because hazards can be cleared before they have benefit (cleaerer comes in that turn). However because of this, over time this is the formula of incentives you have to attack. That damage stacks up over switches and encourages aggression on the side's part who cannot CONTROL the objective of SR. Because SR's damage potential is infinite, it means that it will eventually cause the game to end by itself.

Smogon has shown that it cares about endless battles at least twice. The implementation of a timer and the exclusion
of funbro style strategies demonstrate a policy that intervenes to expediate the game or give the game a chance to
conclude in a reasonable time. This is good game design. So when SR is talked about, THIS is the factor that needs to be considered.

1.) How does smogon REPLACE the contrictions on a game's time that SR applies? We call this 'pressure' in game.
2.) What exactly is broken about the application of an objective with decent/good distribution that allows this?
3.) What's more unhealthy: A strong possibility of a 0 incentive attacking game or SR's existence.

These are not loaded questions, nor are they ones I hold an answer to. However the work above demonstrates a part of the argument that MUST be considered.
 
#49
Interesting post but none of it really "demonstrates any kind of argument that MUST be considered". All of what is posted above is relevant to all entry hazards and more or less just speaks about them in a fairly generalized sense.
 
#50
Ajwf's post raises good points, but it doesn't hold a great deal of weight to me.

It is true that in drawn-out battles where pp becomes a factor, Stealth Rock is a primary component of strategy (exhausting the opponent's means of removing or blocking it, along with exhausting Heal Bell pp etc). If we remove Stealth Rock from the tier right now, stall vs stall battles will become even more insufferable.

Back in the golden age of DPP (and even last generation, despite the weather-oriented match-up problems) stall vs stall match-ups were actually my favourite to play. Games often revolved around hazard stacking and targeting the opponent's spinner or spinblocker. It was easy for both sides to apply serious pressure to the other, and each turn was significant with lots of aggressive plays.

What's changed? Defog and M-Sableye. Defog is healthy for the tier; it's just another much-needed way of removing hazards. M-Sableye, though, actively blocks the use of entry hazards as a strategic factor. Strategy in stall vs stall has been deferred to stalling M-Sableye's Recover pp (or in some cases, the side with Stealth Rock Clefable or Heatran simply wins on match-up).

In other words, if the current suspect test sees Sablenite banned, Ajwf's concerns should be alleviated. Spikestacking will become a very viable source of counterplay against stall teams. There will also be a greater range of effective stallbreakers which can fit on defensive teams (Gliscor, Talon, Mew, Reuniclus etc).
 
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