It's been a while since the last discussion about GSC NU. GSC NU was played in NUPL for the first time this year (thanks to Eternally and rozes for making this happen), but my understanding is that based on how it panned out this year, the NU community is looking to exclude it next year. In addition, the overall sentiment towards the tier is pretty negative from what I have heard. As it is a tier not included in any official circuits, we should have the power to correct this.
So what I think is at the core of the issues the tier faces are a few things. First, the two arguably best Pokemon, Raichu and Poliwrath, both wall themselves. You can run HP Ground Raichu or a boosting Poliwrath but there are big flaws with taking that approach (namely that Poliwrath has numerous counters that aren't Poliwrath and that HP Ground Raichu is walled by Exeggcute and Dragonair). Secondly, the strength of their RestTalk sets is overwhelming, and a sub point of that is that Raichu speed ties (and sleep talk rolls) are too crucial to game outcomes. These issues pose a problem in both team building and gameplay. Raichu almost forces you to use it due to its strength, the fact it checks opposing Raichu, and the fact it checks many important Pokemon like Xatu, Golduck, and Kingler. This then leads to wanting defensive stability against Raichu for times you don't want to depend on a speed tie, which is exceedingly difficult to achieve without Exeggcute or Dragonair. Poliwrath is added for Dugtrio and Shuckle for Normal-types and general walling purposes, and you then have the "NUPL defensive core", which is very passive and proved to be nearly impenetrable as it kept adapting to ideas designed to surpass it (Haze Poliwrath to beat CurseStoss Tung, DrumTung, and BP, HP Electric Wrath for SubSD Kingler, etc).
I found playing games with and against this core to be very tedious and unrewarding personally, but I contributed to its perpetuation because I wanted to win my games. I did manage to successfully deviate entirely on occasion, but almost anything you can do can be adapted to.
Another issue is high stakes Pineco speed ties. Unfortunately, Pineco does not live an opposing Pineco's Explosion unlike Cloyster and Forretress in OU. However, Spikes are an important game element so I think we don't have much choice but to accept that for what it is.
It was enjoyable to see NU played at a high level in NUPL for me despite this, although it did highlight the problems in the metagame in a harsh light.
In terms of addressing the problem, I think the best way to approach this will be to ban one or more Pokemon. I'm aware that many players want us to ban Raichu, and that is definitely an option on the table. However, I am concerned by the high chance that simply banning Raichu will lead to a metagame dominated by bulky Water-types, Xatu, and perhaps Kingler. Therefore, another option I'd like to raise is banning Raichu, Poliwrath, and Golduck all at once. These are the other two Water-types that were introduced along with Feraligatr just over a year ago. They are both bulky and Golduck is very powerful. Right now Raichu keeps Golduck in check, but if we ban Raichu, the only somewhat reliable checks will be other Water-types. I can't see this being a desirable thing for the metagame. Poliwrath may be less oppressive offensively with Pokemon like Xatu, Fearow, and Kingler keeping it in check somewhat, but it is still a Water-type of much higher calibre than the others in the tier like Octillery, Dewgong, and Mantine. I think the overall effect of banning these Pokemon will be to make the tier less Speed tie and mirror match reliant and more offensive, which I think would be a welcome change from the current state of things. Another suggestion I've gotten is to consider dropping Vileplume into NU to add a strong Grass-type where there is currently a dearth of them. I am not sure how this would affect the metagame at this stage but I am wary of adding a Pokemon that is of similar strength to the few at the top. I do acknowledge that it would have the potential to significantly shake things up though. The last option I am currently considering is to accept the metagame for what it is and do nothing, which most people seem to find undesirable.
At this stage I just want to facilitate discussion. Anyone who has played or is interested in NU is more than welcome to participate. I'm also open to suggestions other than the four options above. Once discussion has somewhat died down then I'll figure out how to make a decision on this. Anyone is welcome to provide input on that process too. Hopefully the end of this process results in a more enjoyable GSC NU.
For easy reference, here are some links to existing NU resources:
GSC NU VR (arguably outdated since not updated post-NUPL)
NUPL Usage Stats
Tagging everyone who played at least one game of GSC NU in NUPL:
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