Announcement Darmanitan-Galar is now banned from OU

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The OU council has decided to ban Darmanitan-Galar. After gauging community opinion, and discussing amongst ourselves at length, we have come to the unanimous decision that this is the best course of action, since Darmanitan-Galar is quite literally the embodiment of the word overpowered.

Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar lacks any counters. While this does not necessarily mean a Pokemon is broken by definition, in this particular case there are a few arguments to lay on top of that. The moves Darmanitan-Galar needs to employ in order to be uncounterable typically range from two to four, depending on the matchup. This means that it isn't really restricted by any form of four-movement-slot-syndrome. Additionally, it can usually freely click the Ice-move / U-turn for great returns, rarely not getting satisfactory damage no matter what gets clicked. To top it all off, Darmanitan-Galar is occupying a proud 95 base speed tier. This is a lot for the Sword & Shield OU metagame, it outspeeds the entire roster of defensive Pokemon OU has to offer, as well as faster staples such as Togekiss, Excadrill, and the Rotom forms, merely losing out to a handful of exceptionally fast outliers.

Toxapex +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 276-326 (90.7 - 107.2%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO after Black Sludge recovery
Jellicent +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Jellicent: 233-275 (57.6 - 68%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
Rotom-Heat/Wash +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar Superpower vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Rotom-Wash: 213-251 (70 - 82.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

More specific attempts at counterplay
Pyukumuku +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Pyukumuku: 155-183 (49.3 - 58.2%) -- 65.2% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
Avalugg +1 252 Atk Choice Band Darmanitan-Galar Superpower vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Avalugg: 286-338 (72.5 - 85.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Not to mention that Stealth Rock considerably worsens these even further.


Choice Scarf is the other popular choice on Darmanitan-Galar. This item allows it to reach those few faster Pokemon like Dragapult, and prevent it from being outsped by slower Pokemon holding a Choice Scarf, such as the Rotom forms. Additionally, Choice Scarf enables Darmanitan-Galar to escape Dugtrio at times, depending on the circumstances. While this means that Darmanitan-Galar is able to get countered by certain Pokemon, it maintains remarkable power. Access to U-turn also means that it is still able to make progress against those. Lastly, the sheer existence / popularity of Choice Scarf further supports Choice Band's effectiveness due to the respect it demands, and the opposite is true as well, although to a lesser extent.

Adressing it's two obvious flaws and why they do not suffice to keep Darmanitan-Galar in check:

1) Low defenses (+bad defensive typing)
Darmanitan-Galar can indeed not switch into almost anything, however, as an offensive Pokemon, it does not need to. The aforementioned wonderful speed tier, paired with it's monstrous attacking stat, and good coverage options allows Darmanitan-Galar to put tremendous pressure on the enemy team in a timely manner.

2) Hazard weakness
Darmanitan-Galar is weak to every single Hazard. Stealth Rock looks like a limiting factor until you play any game against / with Darmanitan-Galar and realize that it will gladly take 25% for the opportunity to dish out an attack, as that will most likely have fatal results. Toxic Spikes and Spikes are mostly limited to a single Pokemon each, Toxapex / Ferrothorn. The former has some trouble fitting them in the first place, would also like to have Baneful Bunker when facing Darmanitan-Galar, and you can run your own to absorb them safely. Spikes can be a nuisance, but at the end of the day they act very similarly to Stealth Rock, and Darmanitan usually abuses Ferrothorn + the structures he is on pretty well.

Alright so Darmanitan-Galar with Gorilla Tactics is broken. Why aren't we just banning Gorilla Tactics?

We ban Pokemon regardless of whether their movepool, their stats, or their ability makes them overpowered. Our tiering system is built on this principle; banning Pokemon components separately will produce a bloated and convoluted ruleset if consistently used as a first measure. The circumstances need to be exceptional for us to stray from this norm, such as inherently uncompetitive (heavily luck-based / devoid of skill) abilities, or abilities that affect a larger variety of Pokemon very negatively. Two recent examples would be Shadow Tag and Moody.

Tagging The Immortal to implement this.
 
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