Tournament DCL I - Format Discussion

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I've discussed this topic quite a bit with friends previously so this is just word vomit from what i can remember from those conversations

The inaugural VGC smogon draft tour, Sitrus team tour (VGC draft team tour) and multiple DOU drafts has drawn in a huge number of doubles and VGC players to draft in recent months. I think it only makes sense to include atleast 1 VGC slot to represent this group of draft players.

In terms of other singles format, i think gen 6 or above is the best candidates as they're well developed formats with a big player pool and has been hosted for classics already. Gen 3 has picked up some steam in money tours and the TDT team tour so it could be a good candidate. I've seen gen 4 tours and know it's a format in the LPL team tour currently though i don't have enough first hand experience with it to comment too much, just wanted to note it as a potential slot as well. Gen 5 seems too underexplored to be considered as a stronf candidate though, only ever seen it in niche leagues and WPF regi division.

Lastly, i wanted to touch on natdex as a slot. There's too many differences between leagues and tours that have ran natdex in the past. The most recent draft team tour with natdex slot was PWS which had megas, no z moves, no tera. Many leagues now include tera, some with megas, some without megas but still without z moves. On smogon, i don't believe there's been a natdex draft tour so going off other natdex tours, it still include megas, tera and z moves. Additionally, many leagues are "non legacy" leagues that ban old gens only moves which as far as i know isn't a thing on these natdex tours. I think there will probably too many nuances and disagreement on how the format should work for natdex to be a slot for this tour.


formerly Lpow12
I think the only real options are between low tier, little cup, and vgc. Adding other slots for the old formats seems weird unless it is even between all of them and like lady mence mentioned low tier and little cup and both other circuit formats which I think should be included. I think vgc is the only other logical consideration as an established draft format given the council decision to not run nat dex tours.
I think the two recommendations I would put for a draft would have to be a potential doubles/VGC draft as well as one older gen draft (gen3-5). Personally, I am pro gen 4 but any of them would be fun. If an older generation weren't selected, National Dex would be awesome, especially if you made it a larger team pool and boosted how many point you could draft with.

Slowpoke Fan

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I would still like to suggest National Dex as a potential draft format despite Theia telling me that she has been informed of the format being unviable for draft - Smogon never having a National Dex draft tour is more of an issue with how it organises draft leagues rather than the tier itself being unviable (this is not a swipe at the Smogon staff responsible for the draft leagues of this site, they have done a fantastic job and deserve all the praise for making everything happen, but their omission of such a widely enjoyed format should not be a criticism levied at the format itself).

I do not see differences between leagues being an issue either, most players of this format are used to adapting to whatever arbitrary ruleset the league they are in has and I doubt that there will be any significant pushback over whatever rulebook Smogon decides on barring a severe lack of competence (which is the last thing I would use to describe the site's wonderful staff).
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STOP POSTING ABOUT VGC! I'M TIRED OF SEEING IT! MY FRIENDS ON MAIN SEND ME VGC, ON DL IT'S FUCKING VGC! I was in a server, right? and ALL OF THE THREADS were just vgc stuff. I-I showed my champion amoonguss to my teammate and t-the set I pasted it and I said "hey babe, when the mon is sus HAHA DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DI DI DING" I fucking looked at a trashcan and said "THAT'S A DONDOZO" I looked at a wolf I think of the vgc player and I go "WOLF? MORE LIKE WOLFEY" AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHGESFG
Add Gen 5 and Gen 4 to complete the set of DS Games! (These two are also really fun formats that I rarely see outside of specific tours and have not had the chance in smogtour yet).

Low tier SV would make sense though, so I definitely think that should be considered.
Little Cup is always a fun little meta too, but might be too niche for what people like.
No natdex, not a real format (I am hating).
I'd love to see a doubles slot, for a simple reason, doubles players have a different view on the game than singles players, considering this is a team draft that could create a rather interesting dynamic.

I'd also love to see an ADV draft, the oldest draft that is considered here for a very simple reason, old formats allow for crazy sets, moreso than other drafts in my mind.

Then my piece on slots I'd rather not see.

SS, a single slot if enough as there are a lot of other metagames that could use the love.

SV, honestly I think 3 is already too many, I'd much rather see 2 and then SV LC or SV Low-tiers. I understand you'd want SV to be the dominant dex, but 3 drafts just full dex seems too much to me.

NatDex, honestly with the sheer amount of NatDex drafts around, I wouldn't mind for it not to show up in the team tour.


Banned deucer.
I would agree mid/low tier (or little cup) are the logical options
Little cup right now is a bit limited though, therefore i would suggest midtier (drafts RU) and low tier (drafts PU)

National dex is a hot mess that never really works, bound to controversy. ( the concept as a whole being flawed)
meanwhile gens prior to gen 6 were kinda unplayable (thinking of weather and other stuff that still needed fine tuning)
If tiering is a concern per Lady Salamence's post, I'd like to see additional slots for the past gens in favor of low tier/LC. SS cup ended months ago, and both low tier and LC will still be running when the DCL starts. I'd pick SS and USUM because I'm biased towards SS, but I could see ORAS being more popular.

There is also the option of reworking the natdex tiers from the example draft boards doc. Natdex draft is extremely popular and distinct from the current locked slots, so I'd say it at least deserves to be considered. The same argument applies to VGC, but the draft board is from series 1, and VGC is a bit too different from the other tiers imo. If a doubles format is chosen, I'd rather see one with Smogon clauses.

If other formats are on the table, DPP or ADV would be interesting to watch, but I don't know if there would be enough support for them. Maybe test those out in the next circuit first.
tbh straying away from low tier if at all possible seems smart because of its lack of differentiation from the standard gen 9 draft metagame at its core. the ceiling of top mons is different, but generally though it seems best to have slots be more distinct tiers from one another. vgc and lc seem like the strongest picks due to their differentiation and seemingly more sizable playerbases (particularly vgc), or just adding an extra usum/oras slot each. adv is also worth considering but would probably benefit from more testing/playerbase growth
Realistically there are 6 serious suggestions on the table: Extra old gen slots (SS, USUM, ORAS), Low tier + Little Cup, and VGC.

Let's get the worst option out of the way: VGC. While I think VGC is a very interesting format and especially in draft, it doesn't really have a place in this tour. Firstly, it was not included on the draft league circuit which makes it an outlier for a team tour like this. It ends up making external sources of information necessary to check for the players of value, whereas you can easily check the circuit results here to see a player's performance in the tiers. Not saying this is a deal-breaker, but it is something to consider. There's also the issue of a VGC slot being completely isolated from singles in terms of help received and given. While I think that many VGC players delve into singles at least a bit, there are a significant amount of singles players who have never been interested in VGC, at least not enough to seriously build or learn the format. This isolates the slot to one where you cannot get any value out of them outside of their niche, and where your other slots cannot help them out with testing or build ideas.

Low tier + LC is honestly tied in my head with doubling up on old gens, I have gone back and forth on this since the formatting was first discussed, and will probably change my mind again after this post goes up, but ultimately the reason I am leaning toward old gen is that the tours are completed, and there's also the classic championships. This gives a large amount of data for managers to sift through when picking from potential players. Classic championships should also give flexibility to your old gen slots, making them at least somewhat familiar with the other two. The same reason that VGC struggles is where old gen slots shine. Lady Salamence put it very well in her post as to the benefits of LC/Low tier, so I don't feel the need to re-hash everything here. In terms of what old gen slots should make it, I would personally go with SS+USUM, but USUM+ORAS is also valid. USUM is probably the best out of the 3, so excluding it for SS+ORAS doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Some off-the-wall ideas are things like ADV, which I would love to see for next year's circuit, Natdex which I don't think works particularly well without shifting the draft landscape (from 8 mon to 11 at least), and DPP which just feels like a worse ADV option to me (not that the formats are the same, just that an old gen draft is better suited toward ADV).


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would be quite interested in a VGC draft slot. I can say from personal experience that the Doubles draft scene has been blowing up - excitement has been high for the DOU one we've been running with 16 players, and have talked to numerous people in VGC draft leagues. There is a lot of excitement for this, and it would be a relatively easy format to logistically add ruleswise, as I and most players have found Tera quite balanced in Doubles formats. I think this would be a really cool opportunity for expansion, even if it is not in the circuit at the moment.

also, with regards to it being "out of place" with the rest of the tournament environment, I've had a great time watching Doubles Little Cup for the recent Doubles Derby and talking with its players. Most of the players in it are primarily Little Cup players and participate in their own circuit, and being able to integrate another community with ours has been a great experience. In SPLs/SCLs/other team tours, I don't think the DOU player has been "isolated" - definitely still a part of the team culture, and the majority of players have some cursory knowledge of singles from either exploring other tiers and specifically in this tournament, interest in the vast amount of draft content out there. I don't think this is a real issue.

Thank you for reading :)
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1 vgc 1 ss

Feyy summarized pretty much my exact thoughts on why we should include vgc. the vgc playerbase in draft is super big, definently larger than the low tier and lc draft communities at least. bringing in new players from a different part of the draft community would be great and their format is amazing asw.

and for the final slot i think ss is easily the best add. its the most recent oldgen so if we had to pick from one oldgen as the final slot its the only logical decision really. alongwith that it has had the most recent development in terms of the metagame itself, with us allowing mons never really given a chance in ss before like kyurem black, blaziken, etc which was a huge breath of air solving the biggest problem i had with ss draft being the amount of good round 1 picks, and our format with the ss cup has completely solved that issue and i think thats great.
natdex is very non explored and deciding the specific format with natdex is a headache. if we do something like follow smogons official natdex format, thats a format that has never really had a chance on the big stage in draft and i dont think it would make sense for this tournament to be the first place where it gets representation

lc is the same sentiment above, since if we do lc it would have to be natdex, tho it is more popular but i dont think there is a good format that stays consistent with natdex's identity on this website

low tier
tbh straying away from low tier if at all possible seems smart because of its lack of differentiation from the standard gen 9 draft metagame at its core.
adv is by far the best option out of these unideal options imo since theres an actual playerbase for it and its not like natdex where deciding the ruleset for it would be a headache. BUT i just think this format is inherently uncompetitive and not really comparable to other formats in the tournament at all. adv mechanics are super jank, stuff like stat pass is a staple there as well which i think is super uncompetitive. we recently tried this format in tdt and it had super negative reception so i think it would be a mistake to try it here

2 ss 2 sm also works well imo, just more in favor of vgc
For a tour that encapsulates everything, I would say remove one SV slot and add VGC, LC and LT, that way everything is covered. What I’ve heard in the scene, people are pretty divided on SV as a format, so idt people would mind if one got cut for more variety.

Alternatively, you could just add another SM and ORAS slot. People love these 2 gens specifically and past gens tend to be less gimmicky as formats in comparison to the other formats, resulting in more competitive games (generally).




SV (or SWSH if wanting to keep consistent)


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How about you run an odd number of formats instead so you don't end up with ties. It's such a great dopamine hit on Sunday when you play your last game and you achieve a tie, I get to know what it feels like to be in the Champions League.
In case there was any confusion about why we're doing an even number of formats, i'll enumerate:
1. It's a Smogon standard. All the prominent tours have an even number of games, we see no reason to deviate from that standard for the first inaugural season.
2. Unlike in draft team tours, team standings are not lead by # of week wins as the foremost score factor. Teams win points per week pending outcome, with a tie (4-4) having a point value attached to it. It's to better display overall standing on week to week basis rather than cut and dry weeks won/lost.
3. Having more formats played per week allows more people to get drafted, more get to play, and ultimately we feel like that's a net positive for the tournament we anticipate to have a good turn out for.

It's different, but you can't tell me with how over saturated the draft team tour scene is that different is a bad thing.

Peek SCL for an example here:
SCL Records Google Doc , SCL II OP


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I think adding another old generation slot or two would be great. Personally I think SS draft is good, but I understand why some people would be bored as it has been done-to-death the last few years. With this in mind, all of it, SM, and ORAS are awesome options. Playerbases will be vast, level-of-play/prep will be on par with our expectations, and there is not much risk/flop potential. I think my preferred format would have another SM and either another SS to keep it recent if people aren’t burnt out or another ORAS slot, making it 8 slots across the main generations.

I do not oppose VGC because I am not informed enough to have an opinion on it. It doesn’t feel like an amazing fit, but it wouldn’t be fair to have a fully closed mind. I am not going to pretend to take a stance I cannot back and instead I will defer to those who have justified sentiments on either side to provide. It is cool hearing from those interested and I am curious what others have to say.


live a villain, die an icon
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I'd like to see a doubles slot (VGC or Smogon format, either is fine just pick one). qsns's post did a good job of explaining: opportunity for community growth and a willing pool of good doubles players = a good quality slot that doesn't take away from other slots all that much. idm whatever other slot gets in whether that be a low tier draft, another old gen, or whatever else is on the table
Natdex draft is a whole other level of draft experience and needs different skill level that other gens do thanks for the access to all tools. In my experience playing SS and sv natdex it is a healthy environment and favours good team building and good drafting a lot. I think it should be included for that reason.
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