Announcement DLC and the Future of SWSH AG

MZ

Ban all DLC
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Most of you have probably seen or heard about the recent Pokemon direct which revealed that, spoilers, we're getting DLC for Sword and Shield. This DLC will bring back somewhere around 200 new Pokemon, including many major legendaries that we had no expectation of returning, including Yveltal, Xerneas, Mewtwo, Rayquaza, and more. This is pretty major for any Galar Dex format, especially Ubers based ones which so far have been kind of barren. Even with the future Pokemon we knew would be available when Pokemon Home gets released (Lunala, Dusk Mane, Zekrom, etc. were found in the game's code) this is a massive step up. Plus Urshifu and Calyrex will be dropping, although there's no guarantee that they'll be any good despite being marketed as "legendaries", and their typings certainly aren't a positive.

When AG leadership decided that National Dex was the way to go, it was a really tough choice. Galar Dex AG promised to just be a kind of boring Ubers-lite, with too few Pokemon to really make AG's major differences worth much at all. National Dex AG, on the other hand, is a fascinating and unique format which nevertheless overloads the player with Megas, Z-moves, Dynamaxing, and every broken mon we've ever had, even buffing already strong Pokemon like giving GeoXern access to Dynamax, Dusk Mane and Ultra Necrozma access to Dragon Dance, and Mega Gengar access to Nasty Plot and Encore. We know it's an awful lot to deal with

Now that we know Ubers is going to be getting quite a few new Pokemon, going back to a Galar Dex format seems like a much more viable option. This would mean: no Megas or Z-moves unless Gamefreak shocks everyone and puts them back in the game for some reason. Possibly no primals despite Groudon and Kyogre making their return. No access to major Pokemon that aren't returning in the update either, the biggest one being that they didn't reveal Arceus. It may return, but doesn't seem super likely at this point. It also means we wouldn't be working off of a ruleset that's just coders and leadership trying to work out how the devs would've wanted Utility Umbrella to interact with Desolate Land, we'd be able to go back to just basic cart mechanics followed by every other metagame.

To be clear, even if we stayed National Dex, we could still continue to update the format, give the Pokemon being added to Sword and Shield their expanded movepools from new TRs, or even implement balance changes if the devs decide to, say, nerf Geomancy. We would also still add Urshifu and Calyrex whenever those drop. Basically these expansions still have ramifications for National Dex, just not as major ones.

AG is a metagame that thrives on more options and gimmicks and going from a very limited legendary list of "literally just Zacian/Zamazenta/Eternatus" to "quite a few of them even if there's no Arceus or Mega Rayquaza which were our really major standout AG mons" is pretty noteworthy. While we know it'd be kind of massive to totally change the format for a second time just a few months after launch, nobody really could've predicted the scope of this DLC expansion and this is still definitely the early days of the generation. The Crown Tundra doesn't release until the fall and that gives us plenty of time to collect feedback from you guys in this thread. Do you want to return to Galar Dex AG? Would you prefer to leave AG as is, including Megas, Z-moves, etc.? How do you feel about the current metagame? We will take this into account when making our move. For what it's worth, Pigeons/Catalystic/Pichus/Myself all generally prefer going back to Galar Dex AG now that we know it won't be barren, but if the community lands strongly on keeping the format as-is then we're not going to overrule that. Please post, we want to hear from as many people as possible.

Keep in mind that this has nothing to do with National Dex OU, they're going to keep doing what they're doing. Also I would recommend keeping any "devs intended the game to be played xyz way" arguments out of your posts, they're completely meaningless and speculative and you really could use it to support any side you want, from going back to Galar Dex to making AG a doubles format. And finally, if we do commit to switching around formats and stuff, we're going to stay National Dex up to the release of the DLC. Even if people want to make the change, we might as well still be running National Dex until the major interesting stuff comes out, at which point our main format, ladder, and circuit tournaments can switch over.

Update: If we swapped to Galar Dex, National Dex AG would likely remain a challengeable format, just not our main ladder or tour focus. It would also presumably get updated with movepool changes to Pokemon dropping as DLC and other stuff like that.
 
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A lot of that depends on how the Ubers meta develops after November; in particular, whether or not Dynamax is banned when we have a large number of box legendaries which can use it. If it is, or if Ubers necessitates any species bans (though I think this is unlikely, since lacking Hidden Power makes Xerneas more manageable), I'd rather see AG as mainly a Galar Dex format. On the other hand, if Galar Ubers is able to function as "basically AG but with basic clauses", AG might as well be kept as it is.

In short, I'd rather it be kept out of Pet Mod territory, provided that doing so is possible while the meta maintains a separate identity from the Galar meta. I'd still like some meta to exist where Arceus and Megas are usable with gen 8 mechanics and learnets, be it NatDex AG or basically Ubers+, but that meta ought not to be a "main meta" unless AG has no other reason to exist.
 
Right now, NatDex AG is a ladder format, and GalarDex AG is a challenge-only format.
With "switch formats", do you mean these functions switch?
So NatDex AG (the way it works now) would remain a format you can challenge someone in?
 
I'll be quite honest; OG Galar Dex and Natdex are unplayable shitshows that killed any interest I had in gen 8 AG. It was a lose/lose no matter what we did but now we have an opportunity to make it a lot better. Reverting to Galar dex seems like the only sensible thing to do imo. It cuts a lot of the fluff but still includes shit that made ag fun in the first place. With our current system AG is even more of a joke than before, which I honestly thought was impossible. There's no real guarantees that this will in fact be a solid meta, but not even trying would be idiotic beyond belief. afaik Arceus isn't coming back, which obv rly rly sucks cuz multiple arcs defined ag, but I think we have a chance to make it have a new face.

Summed up, Holy shit yes Galar Dex when DLC comes out, ain't nobody gonna play this crap for a year currently. Also Heatran's back so who really wins in the end.
 
My understanding is natdex AG would not remain a format on the sim but I don't have a 100% certain answer for this
National Dex AG is the only Smogon format with minimal restrictions that combines Gen 7 and Gen 8 (except some Gen 7 items, I guess).
I'd find it regrettable if it was lost in the process.

Since there are two OUs (GalarDex and NatDex), why can't there be two AGs?
That way, a significant format is preserved, and the needs of GalarDex players are met.
 

Funbot28

Banned deucer.
I will admit that I may come from a bias viewpoint here given how I manage the format that will remain under the National Dex "mechanics" for the foreseeable future, but I believe that National Dex AG should remain as is.

While DLC definitely was a prospect no one anticipated from GF, adding in new mons that were dexited alongside previous legends, which their absence was one of the driving forces to let AG fall under National Dex in the first place (outlined in the OP). My opinion is that we still don't know specifically if mythicals such as Magearna, Mew, and Arceus will be returning due to precedence upon how USUM handles "obtaining previous legendaries" with the game's ultra wormhole post-game, usually only regulating the user in obtaining box legendaries or other non-event legends which would be obtainable in their respective native games. The potential absence of Arceus is the main key here and imo would really change the landscape and identity of AG as a whole since it is the prime abuser of the lack of species clause, where in previous iterations of AG, one may see at least half of a team occupied by various Arceus slots. While this may seem as a positive change to some, I still believe that having unique mons like Arceus helps promote AG's diversity from the standard tier of Ubers and can help create distinction which imo is what we should strive for as a community.

There is also the high chance that GF will not be returning the mega evolution, Z-Move, Primal Reversion mechanics which again removes previous meta staples such as Mega Rayquaza, Ultra Necrozma, Primal Groudon, Mega Gengar, Primal Kyogre, etc... from the game, further devaluing the identity of AG imo and also removing potential key threats that could check remaining metagame titans like Dynamax Xerneas, Dynamax Necrozma-Dm, etc... The whole premise of AG was to allow every mon and strat (besides Endless Battles of course) to be used and given how the tier was fostered from the arrival of Mega Rayquaza, it seems quite odd to play in a metagame without it, again further blurring the distinctions between AG and Ubers imo.

We have already played several weeks and started gathering resources for the National Dex AG metagame, and while of course we had some initial fears of new threats such as Encore + Nasty Plot Mega Gengar and Dragon Dance Necrozma-DM / Ultra Necrozma ravishing the tier, I think the metagame has grown to a point where various amount of mons / playstyles are viable and usable, and it would be a pity to revert the tier back to it's "vanilla state" especially given how as it stands, there would be no defining distinction between Ubers and AG besides Species Clause (and the rare OHKO Clause in which OHKO moves are rarely seen in AG as is), and I feel including AG as a "national dex meta" helps promote diversity and holds true to it's identity in which any mon, mechanic, playstyle is allowed, despite it may not being "true to cart" in this instance.

I know this post may be a bit of a rample, but I just wanted to express some counter-viewpoints as I really like the direction AG is currently going. I am open to discussion however of course.
 

bigtalk

Banned deucer.
I would be fine with the meta returning to Galar Dex AG once the DLC is released. I mainly care about AG because it has all of the legends; if most of them are returning, then that's good enough for me (although I will miss Arceus / Megas). It's no secret that a lot of people find the current AG unenjoyable, and I can also sympathize with the desire to remove all of the bloat and guesswork that comes from trying to shoehorn in past gen mechanics.

If we go ahead with this, though, I would like the current AG to be kept as a challengeable format. Having Arceus + Megas + Primals means it will be very distinct from the DLC meta, and it would suck if all of the experience people gain from this meta was simply invalidated in the fall.
 
Galar Dex AG is pretty boring and stag nit. Like you said, there are very limited legendaries along with a VERY limited pool of pokemon to use. Most teams would be the same and there would be very little room for any type of diversity or change of teams to actually be successful within the growing meta. The new DLC that is coming soon is definitely a breath of fresh air within the Galar AG metagame and would most definitely be a much more enjoyable metagame to experience than the heavily restricted Galar Dex now.

With that being said, the current Nat Dex AG metagame is far from perfect either, that can probably be said about any metagame from some strong standpoint but with the combination of Megas, Z-Moves, and Dynamaxing... it is a bit much. There is diversity and there is a LOT of room for people to legitimately use something that doesn't revolve around only 400 specific pokemon. As you said, MZ, AG is a metagame that thrives on gimmicks and more options, which Nat Dex most certainly does, but I believe most people dislike Galar and Nat AG as a whole.

The ladders are dead, the recent forums for the metagames are dead, people are showing very little interest. Galar AG has too little and Nat AG has too much. The Gen 7 AG Ladder is getting about the same amount of games as Nat AG is in mid-ladder and higher. This is a very sad metagame right now and its so disappointing.

With that being said, I believe that the AG Nat Dex ladder should remain until the DLC packs are officially open. This could be DLC pack 1 or 2, either way like I said before, it would a huge breath of fresh air for Galar Dex AG. I hope this helps a little bit.
 
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I would say revert to Galar Dex. Personally I feel like having NatDex, while allowing use of all mechanics and mons, is simply players being unable to change. When I heard that not all pokemon would be in Gen 8, I was of course disappointed. But to just create a tier where you can use everything anyway seems to me like a betrayal of Gen 8. It's like saying, hey, I like all the new pokemon, but these new mechanics are shit so let's not use them. Competitive pokemon should be the best players using smart, skilled teams and moves, and by rejecting Gen 8 mechanics I feel like we are giving past players a huge advantage, and screwing over Gen 8 greats.

I'm frequently told I'm dumb so all that might be objectively wrong.
 
Keep NatDex AG as is. It may be a shitshow but that's just how AG is, it was never meant to be a competitive format. It was meant to be a format where you could use whatever (legal) Pokemon and sets you want without having to abide by any pesky rules. I feel like not having all the past Pokemon available would remove a big part of AG's identity and just make it "SWSH Ubers but there's no rules".

You can remove Mega Evolutions and Z-moves if you want, but AG without all the Pokemon would just feel incomplete.
 
Keep NatDex AG as is. It may be a shitshow but that's just how AG is, it was never meant to be a competitive format. It was meant to be a format where you could use whatever (legal) Pokemon and sets you want without having to abide by any pesky rules. I feel like not having all the past Pokemon available would remove a big part of AG's identity and just make it "SWSH Ubers but there's no rules".

You can remove Mega Evolutions and Z-moves if you want, but AG without all the Pokemon would just feel incomplete.
The problem with this is that natdex uses ILLEGAL pokemon and moves. Therefore, it goes more against the nature of ag than Galar dex by far.
 
I know you could easily write essays over this topic but I think alot of arguments others already posted or will in the future of this discussion so Ill try to stick to my point. For me this shouldnt be a question of whether you like Galar Dex better or it being closer to the intended way of playing this gen but rather if its worth having Galar Dex AG when there will be Galar Dex Ubers. Sure things like species and sleep clause would be present for Galar Dex Ubers but without Arceus and probably Rays Mega will the standard Uber team be way different than the standard Galar AG? I think we are all alittle bit biased cause we are not Uber players but AG and thats why we all want the best AG meta but what if the best AG Meta for Galar Dex would simply be Ubers and for those who want to play NatDex we keep it? Unless Ubers actually bans stuff from there like Dynamax or Xern (which without HP Fire/Ground I doubt will happen) there would be not enough of a distinct difference between Galar Dex Ubers and AG to justify having a Galar Dex AG ladder. Imo its good that we have this discussion already but unless we have more knowledge on everything the DLCs will include we cant really find a solution.
 
I think the only reason to support National Dex AG would be if Galar Dex AG has no real difference to Ubers other than the really uncompetitive strategies. In both gen 6 and 7, AG had a lot to differentiate it from Ubers, most importantly mray and the species clause. In gen 8 however, the only notable differences from ubers were sleep clause, OHKO moves, moody and a bunch of other 'strategies' no one is really fond of - Galar AG had no real reason to be played over ubers. If post expansion pass Galar Dex AG also has no identity over Ubers, then there wouldn't be a reason to play that either.

I think trying out a Galar Dex AG ladder initially like what happened on release with SS would be the best move to make, especially as we don't know the nature of the pokemon we will get. Looking at it from a competitive point of view, unless Xerneas or other notable Dynamaxers get any nerf, then I think it is likely Ubers would ban Xerneas, even without HP Fire, as Xerneas would still pretty much be broken as it in in AG right now with the exception of losing out to Magearna, Shedinja and Ferrothorn (both Thunder/HP fire sets lose to a Dynamaxed dusk mane played well anyway). Additionally, Xerneas/Yveltal may get new tools such as Mystical Fire and Nasty Plot anyway which would push them over the edge. The new move tutors may also push some mons over the edge. It's also unknown if we'll get mythicals or megas (mainly MGar) or Zs (all of them are unlikely), but it remains a possibility, gamefreak has not confirmed anything won't be coming. In all these cases it's likely Ubers would be banning something or species clause would play a significant meta role which would give AG an identity over Ubers, which the current Galar Dex doesn't have. This is all just speculation though - that's the best we can do at this stage, so it's pretty much impossible to reach a decision at this stage. So in my opinion, we should definitely try out the Galar Dex AG meta on release for some time (as this is the default real metagame) and only in the case that it is like the current Galar AG meta where it's basically ubers + cancer then we should have a National Dex meta.
 
I think a lot of people have said this now, so I'm going to be less PC about it for the sake of not copy-pasting everyone else's comment.
If the only things that separate AG from Ubers are Species Clause, Sleep Clause and praise RNGesus, then IMO AG doesn't have a reason to exist. Heck, even Baton Pass and Moody are allowed in Ubers ATM.
The whole reason AG was created was to accommodate for the ban of Mega Ray. Before that, Ubers was the tier you took OP stuff to and dumped it there. When Mega Ray got banned from Ubers, it created AG due to the necessity of having a tier to play it in, and then Species Clause and so on were lifted in order to not make it Ubers+Mega Ray. I would wait until a Pokemon actually gets banned from Ubers so we can have a defined metagame beyond "Ubers but with the stupid bits no-one likes and you can use 6 Zacians".
 
Keep the National Dex format at least until the release of the DLC, until the full details of the DLC are known, and the meta is experimented with. Nobody knows what new moves the returning mons will have and just one move is enough to make or break some of them. After the release of the DLC and the ubers/AG meta is explored, the only reason to get rid of National Dex would be if an uber legal mon manages to get banned from AG. If there's no distinction between Galar Dex AG & Ubers (no mon that gets AG status), then National Dex AG has a meaningful purpose to exist.

Keep National Dex AG until something gets banned from Galar Dex Ubers

Edit: spelling
 
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I would agree with a reversion to Galar Dex AG as well; my own thoughts on the matter resonate strongly with what MDB and icemaster523 said above. I also don’t necessarily agree that SwSh ubers / galar dex AG are stale metas currently - we are definitely seeing shifts in the former with Most Wanted going on now e.g. specs Gothitelle becoming the preeminent set over CP/stored power variants. Regardless, the return of most old generation ubers will give us plenty to work with while still adhering to the classic idea of AG; a one-to-one implementation of the cartridge game. As others have mentioned, national dex AG carries with it a number of problematic elements.

One of the primary issues in my mind is that we did not opt for an approach to national dex formats that bears some degree of fidelity to the actual game (for instance simply adding every Pokemon but not allowing z-moves / mega evolutions / hidden powers). As such mechanics from older generations have to essentially be shoehorned in (with no clear precedent of course), and have even been actively detrimental to the competitiveness of the metagame in some instances. The epitome of this is the whole fiasco with Hidden Power/Dynamax and Xerneas - here we have an instance of an already overbearing presence in the metagame being able to use an illegal move that removes previously existing counterplay to it. That, to me, is quite antithetical to our goals for AG as a format.

It’s not clear that we can simply remove interactions like this either - this one in particular could have possible ramifications for national dex OU that might be undesirable (though I’m not at all qualified to speak on that).
Similarly, I very much doubt other degenerate elements in the current AG meta like Nasty Plot + Encore Mega Gengar were ever meant to exist (this flies a bit too close to MZ’s point in the OP about developer intent so I’ll refrain from expounding on that too much, but this particular instance seems relatively clear at least).

All this said, if it does turn out that Galar Dex AG doesn’t lend itself to a distinct metagame, I would be in favor of taking the lesser of two evils, i.e. keeping national dex AG (regardless of a desire for purity and adherence to standard cartridge mechanics) over a format that is strictly inferior to a similar one.
(A lot of this is contingent on whether Arceus in particular is returning, since Arceus’ versatility + a lack of a species clause is essentially what defined AG as a tier in SM).
Likewise, I certainly wouldn’t mind keeping national dex AG around as a challenge-only format or having a cup for it from time to time if there is interest in that. However, I don’t think that there is enough activity in AG as a whole for two ladders to exist, so it is probably best to stick to one choice.
 
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This is difficult to argue without giving my personal opinion, or without arguing similar points to those before but I felt like posting, so here we are.

I very strongly agree with changing to Galar Dex once the Crown Tundra DLC comes out. I believe that anything else would be honestly foolish, regardless of whether Ubers feels the need to ban something or not. The National Dex format made sense initially, given that we didn't expect many formerly viable Pokemon to return, and the format was borderline identical to Ubers, but now that we know of what's happening, I really don't see a reason for remaining with NatDex. Ubers and AG have always found ways to be different, and with the abundance of legendary additions, I can't see them being too similar. There's also a possibility that Ubers bans Dynamax or Xerneas or whatever, when it comes but that doesn't matter. Our format will find ways to be different regardless of the presence of a unique Pokemon.

What we have right now is a split community. A lot of people are completely against the concept of NatDex and are sticking to Gen 7 AG or Gen 8 Ubers, and the majority of the others are trying the new format, wishing that Game Freak included more of the Pokemon initially so that Galar Dex AG didn't feel so barren. The DLC amends these issues, it makes the AG community whole again. It gives us a unified format to play. It literally fixes the issues people had with either format. Why wouldn't we change to it?

I disagree with the former stated point that AG's identity relies on staples such as Arceus and Mega Rayquaza. Our metagame will obviously change substantially between generations. Come SM AG, you could've argued that Darkrai being nerfed to that extent made the metagame feel completely different, but I think we can both agree AG still has the same identity regardless. What makes AG isn't individual Pokemon, it's the ability to do anything you can within the cartridge.

Overall, I just find no viable counter argument to reverting to Galar Dex once the Crown Tundra DLC arrives. It makes complete sense and it only benefits the community.
 
Anything Goes should be real pokemon. Period. I know some people don't like to hear this, but a lot of people are drawn to AG because it's the one tier that smogon isn't allowed to meddle with. I understand why we choose to go Natdex and it's probably a better metagame, but some people just want to vanilla pokemon and there should be a place for them to be able to do that on PS. There is no problem with staying natdex if that's what people want. Even if you do choose to stay Natdex it would be nice to see more galar dex as well. I would like to see it have a ladder and more room tournaments.
 
I don't normally get on the forums to discuss stuff, but I don't want to lose NatDex AG, so I really wanted to give my (probably bad) 2 cents.

I personally do not see a point in reverting to Galar Dex at this current time unless even more DLC comes out for Galar. National Dex contains every Pokemon, and most items. There is really no reason to play Galar AG over Nat Dex AG due to Nat Dex simply having more options for playing. You could argue that actually not having Pokemon like Mega Rayquaza would make AG a better tier, but to put it bluntly, AG is already not a very competitive tier. I have always seen it as more of a fun ladder for people who want to mess around with weird or overpowered teams and play more like how Pokemon normaly plays than playing as Showdown intends for the majority of it's tiers. This is probably a very hot take that most people will disagree with, but I personally do not understand why people want the tier that removes more options and Pokemon, rather than keeping as many options as possible, which I feel is a very important aspect of AG.

Personally if I had it my way we'd just have AG for both tiers and leave it at that, but that doesn't seem like a road that people want to take unfortunately.
 
Yow guys i geniully dont post hear, but in my opinion i dont see the point to do it jet we should wait until we get DLC 3 and 4 remember they said they have more things planned for pokemon swsh which maybe can implemented all which is missing because right now even with the addition of the dlc we only have 649 pokemon +- which is not good enough plus they have removed mega + zmove and some important coverage move for some reason i think the best option should be wait until we get more information and another more important thing we would neat nat dexAG for pokemon 9 because they could do exactly the same in my opinion we should not i mean totally not remove nat dex.
Another thing which i have forgot to mention was its more or less the point of AG in the First place AG was created because Mega Ray was to dominant even for Uber Standard but here is the Think without Mega Evolution Mega Ray dosnt exist which means traduce Galar Uber is the same as Galar AG with 2 to 3 Changes Species Clause , Sleep Clause Trap Close and Moddy Clause yeah but thats it i would keep Nat Dex AG just because we all know the cycle will repeat it self in the next Generation most likely because that is how they work so it would be stupid not to keep it
 
I don't normally get on the forums to discuss stuff, but I don't want to lose NatDex AG, so I really wanted to give my (probably bad) 2 cents.

I personally do not see a point in reverting to Galar Dex at this current time unless even more DLC comes out for Galar. National Dex contains every Pokemon, and most items. There is really no reason to play Galar AG over Nat Dex AG due to Nat Dex simply having more options for playing. You could argue that actually not having Pokemon like Mega Rayquaza would make AG a better tier, but to put it bluntly, AG is already not a very competitive tier. I have always seen it as more of a fun ladder for people who want to mess around with weird or overpowered teams and play more like how Pokemon normaly plays than playing as Showdown intends for the majority of it's tiers. This is probably a very hot take that most people will disagree with, but I personally do not understand why people want the tier that removes more options and Pokemon, rather than keeping as many options as possible, which I feel is a very important aspect of AG.

Personally if I had it my way we'd just have AG for both tiers and leave it at that, but that doesn't seem like a road that people want to take unfortunately.
For me it sems that most people here in smogon have a problem with unpredictabillity which in my opinion is sad to see that i think national dex AG should remain for the people wo love to have a versital meta game which cannot be solve in my opinion it hasnt but yeah remember that guys a stale metagame is the worst thing which can happen in my opinion Natdex AG is far away from it and i will love to keep it as it is right now maybe if gamefreak adds back megas which a leaker stated they would so then we can go go back to normal but only if we get back to that state so yeah that is my opinion learn to evolve with the meta and the new feature and dont try to do your own think i my opinion this makes you a weaker player
 

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