AG DLC and the Future of SWSH AG

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
 

Reffrey

Banned deucer.
Switch to Galar Dex when the DLC drops. It's a real format unlike Nat Dex AG. Woop - dee - doo (I am not goofing around by the way, just way too lazy at the moment to write an unnecessary essay on this topic).
 
Since the post asks for as many opinions as possible:

Anything Goes is most fun as a sandbox metagame. NatDex AG still features more pokemon and items, including z-items, and this maximises the options the players have to work with, maximising the margin for a. powerful sets and b. creativity, which are the features which make AG stand out. Therefor, I support continuing the use of NatDex as the main AG format.

Fun is more important in competitive pokemon than authenticity, especially outside of the central structure of Smogon tiers.
 
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Since the post asks for as many opinions as possible:

Anything Goes is most fun as a sandbox metagame. NatDex AG still features more pokemon and items, including z-items, and this maximises the options the players have to work with, maximising the margin for a. powerful sets and b. creativity, which are the features which make AG stand out. Therefor, I support continuing the use of NatDex as the main AG format.

Fun is more important in competitive pokemon than authenticity, especially outside of the central structure of Smogon tiers.
From this perspective, I think it would make more sense to view National Dex AG as an evergreen meta with periodic updates than a current generation one. A sandbox meta where every element that has ever been legal in any generation (at least as far as it doesn't cause outright contradictions with current gen mechanics; in other words, mechanical updates are always preserved and removals are never preserved) is allowed is a concept that would likely appeal to a non-negligible amount of people, but I don't think it makes much sense to think of it as a generation 8 meta, and thinking of it as one creates a weird hybrid where the distinction between what is and isn't allowed feels quite arbitrary. Why not have non-Normal gems? Why not have the Berserk Gene?

Basically, my thoughts on this are that if we're going to keep AG as it is to maximise available elements, then we ought to go big or go home. The current situation, where we have top-tier Pokemon which use custom interactions but we still ban things from past generations based on in-game availability, feels like an awkward compromise. Why not fully embrace Showdown's identity as a cross-generational simulator? The biggest barrier to doing so is that mechanical consistency between elements that have never officially coexisted requires custom mechanics, but National Dex AG has already embraced this with things like Max Hidden Power.
 
From this perspective, I think it would make more sense to view National Dex AG as an evergreen meta with periodic updates than a current generation one. A sandbox meta where every element that has ever been legal in any generation (at least as far as it doesn't cause outright contradictions with current gen mechanics; in other words, mechanical updates are always preserved and removals are never preserved) is allowed is a concept that would likely appeal to a non-negligible amount of people, but I don't think it makes much sense to think of it as a generation 8 meta, and thinking of it as one creates a weird hybrid where the distinction between what is and isn't allowed feels quite arbitrary. Why not have non-Normal gems? Why not have the Berserk Gene?

Basically, my thoughts on this are that if we're going to keep AG as it is to maximise available elements, then we ought to go big or go home. The current situation, where we have top-tier Pokemon which use custom interactions but we still ban things from past generations based on in-game availability, feels like an awkward compromise. Why not fully embrace Showdown's identity as a cross-generational simulator? The biggest barrier to doing so is that mechanical consistency between elements that have never officially coexisted requires custom mechanics, but National Dex AG has already embraced this with things like Max Hidden Power.
The intent of Nat-Dex seems to be bringing stuff back that was removed in the cross between Gen 7 and Gen 8, not to restore all existing mechanics in Pokemon history. While I wouldn't be upset to see some returning items like gems, there is a reason they were not brought back for Nat Dex.
 
The intent of Nat-Dex seems to be bringing stuff back that was removed in the cross between Gen 7 and Gen 8, not to restore all existing mechanics in Pokemon history. While I wouldn't be upset to see some returning items like gems, there is a reason they were not brought back for Nat Dex.
we could do that beccause eh it is not a competetiv format or more for fun
 
I don't really have much to say about this but I believe that if we can we should try out galar dex ag once crowned tundra comes out, we should probably keep the nat dex ag ladder up too and if galar dex ag proves to be too similar to ubers then we can continue doing what we are doing and not have galar dex

But I think we should give it a try, dynamax xern could also end up being a problem in ubers even without access to hidden power and that could give ag a reason to exist. I really hope that galar dex ag gets some unique distinction from ubers other than just being ubers without species clause and sleep clause
 
I've kinda been lazy in adding something that I've been meaning to say for around a week now, but I'm finally gonna get around to it here. I now have around a week's experience in natdex so no one can really say I don't know what I'm talking about. Straight up, not supporting at least TRYING Galar dex is the absolute pinnacle of ignorance. You are willingly restricting change because you find it "fun". Idrc what sloppy arguments you make for this, please at least come to terms with the fact that trying out dlc makes infinitely more sense than saying "Hmmm, a meta that promises less power creep while still being potentially different from Ubers? Nah, I'm ok because I got to 1500 for the first time." I would respect you a lot more if you just admit that there is zero actual reason to continue on the same natdex path. Personally, this stupid pet mod format should be just that. A pet mod where you can have your berserk gene and normal gems. This isn't ag. Not to mention no one even runs double arcs, so what really is the difference between this and hypothetical natdex Ubers? Moody Smeargle? Come to your senses people.
 
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Hmmm, a meta that promises less power creep while still being potentially different from Ubers?
Not to mention no one even runs double arcs, so what really is the difference between this and hypothetical natdex Ubers? Moody Smeargle?
Neither Smeargle (to my knowledge) or arceus are even things after the dlc, so I don't see how you can make this argument, since there's even less to distinguish Galar AG from Galar Ubers. Also, how is Zacian in any way less powercreep lol. It outspeeds Mewtwo by 1 point when adamant and goes toe-to-toe with Dyna'd mons. It is the definition of powercreep.
Also: Mega Ray and quite probably (though hypothically) Mega Gengar, to answer your last question.
I'm fully open to trying, in fact I advocate it, once something gets banned from Ubers and it's clear there is a need for AG. Until then, we would just be this awkward tier that only has no Species Clause as its selling point. (No sleep clause etc is not a selling point, and Ubers hasn't banned Baton Pass gets and is unlikely to ban Moody due it no longer affecting Evasion.) While I understand that people aren't happy that AG isn't what we define as AG rn, there isn't a better way to do this while not being just "Ubers but more hax".
 
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Sorry to double post, but there's something I thought of, and it's been too long to simply edit my last post.
Now that Home has dropped and Ubers has 10+ mons in it, is there any reason to switch to Galar AG when the the DLC drops that doesn't apply ATM? I feel this is a worthwhile discussion to have, as I don't see any reason to not switch over to Galar AG right now if we're planning to do it when the DLC drops. I still stand by my previous opinion that we should switch when something "becomes AG tier" as it were. But I'm genuinely curious as to the opinion of those who want an immediate switchover on this.
 
Not sure if this is the spot to say this, but I absolutely think Galar AG should only come if we get a NatDex Ubers or AG thats playable without challenging people. One of the only reasons AG was created in the first place was so people could play with a mon that wasn't available in any normal tier (Mega Rayquaza). NatDex AG should stay so that everyone can still play with every single pokemon without being forced to challenge someone else to a battle. If a NatDex Ubers was introduced to the simulator though, I think I would be fine with that. (We would still wouldn't be able to use Mega Rayquaza probably, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.)

Edit: Besides, I still think NatDex is superior to Galar AG because Galar AG doesn't have any banned mons yet that can't be played with and has more options in general.
 

Pigeons

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Ok, discussion here has died down a bit but thought I'd give some transparency into what the leaders have been thinking and some potential questions that have arisen.

Based on feedback in the thread, it seems like most people support a transition back to Galar Dex as the primary AG metagame. The most common concern voiced is that people like the current National Dex metagame. Based on this, our current plan is to switch the primary focus of AG to Galar Dex, but both formats will have a ladder at least until the release of DLC pack 2. We felt this struck the best balance between people's enjoyment of the current format and the general desire to move away from a format that is closer to a Pet Mod than anything else.

Given this direction, there are 2 main questions we are trying to address:
  1. When should the switch be made? The current plan is to wait until DLC pack 2 comes out, but one idea that came up is potentially making the switch sooner if Ubers decides to ban something. These obviously aren't the only options so we'd like to hear feedback and suggestions on this.
  2. What should be done with the 2020 AG Tournament Circuit? Switching the primary metagame in the middle of the circuit is obviously problematic, but it would be a shame to scrap the whole thing as well. Options for this include changing the formats in the circuit midway through, or simply running the whole circuit for the year as National Dex even if Galar Dex becomes the primary format. This is a pretty tricky decision so again, we'd really like to hear feedback and suggestions on it.
Lastly, one related thing that can be discussed here is the topic raised in Policy Review about the identity of National Dex. You can check out that thread here. Policy Review requires a badge to post, but if you have something you want to say about this feel free to raise the issues here. If you feel particularly strongly, shoot me a PM and I can post in the thread on your behalf. The exact form National Dex takes is pretty relevant to the decision here, my personal preference is that National Dex try and mimic a metagame where all the Pokemon from Home are released into SwSh (similar to Pokebank tiers from last gen), but I know other people may feel differently.

Just to reiterate, community feedback is really important to us right now so please contribute if you have something to add. We know the constant changes have been a pain in the ass, we're trying to navigate a difficult situation but we really want to keep people as happy as possible. That's all I've got to add so please post away!
 
Where do I begin? I feel like it was an idea that was better on paper than in practice, mostly because of all the wonky interactions (Clangorous Soul + Kommonium Z, Megas having the new Gen 8 moves, standard Z-crystals at all, etc.). Personally, I would think the best option is to have only the Pokemon + the Megas, though the Gen 8 moves could be a little bit of a problem with implementation and I think the best approach would be keeping the Gen 7 movepool on anything not affected by HOME that was cut from the game, unless we remove the snapped moves from NatDex.
 
Lastly, one related thing that can be discussed here is the topic raised in Policy Review about the identity of National Dex. You can check out that thread here. Policy Review requires a badge to post, but if you have something you want to say about this feel free to raise the issues here. If you feel particularly strongly, shoot me a PM and I can post in the thread on your behalf. The exact form National Dex takes is pretty relevant to the decision here, my personal preference is that National Dex try and mimic a metagame where all the Pokemon from Home are released into SwSh (similar to Pokebank tiers from last gen), but I know other people may feel differently.
I saw that thread go up yesterday, and since I’m not badged this seems like the best place to share my thoughts. I personally care more about NatDex OU than AG, but this discussion applies to both.

Initially, I always tried to define the identity of NatDex through the lens of tranfer mechanics of generations past: all Pokémon and all moves have always been transferrable before SwSh. Now, this of course comes with a big asterisk, as it doesn’t directly account for Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves, at least the former of which I believe should definitely be preserved, as they are functionally their own unique Pokémon and therefore a part of the complete Dex. (If the latter mechanic were to be removed, I would argue for some means to still preserve Ultra Necrozma in AG for the same reason (it’s not hard, it transforms before using the Z-move anyway).) This definition would account for the new TM/TR moves in Home, as they would be learnable immediately if the Pokémon were actually transferrable. This is the most recent point of conflict, as these moves are not actually released.

However, I realize there’s a simpler way to state my views on what NatDex stands for, and it’s this: NatDex should be the format without removals. Up until generation 8, each new generation has been (almost) completely additive. New stuff is added, the old stuff is still there. Some of the old stuff may change how it works (weather nerfs, terrain nerfs, move and stat adjustments), but it’s all still there in some form.

I’d argue that National Dex formats now and in the future should be defined by each generation only adding to the format in this way. If a Pokémon, move, or mechanic gets removed, we keep it around in NatDex, while maintaining the most recent gen’s contents in the standard regional formats. If interactions become problematic, we ban them (for NatDex OU, AG as I see it is always going to be a format with problematic interactions as part of its identity).

There’s a comparison I’d use to demonstrate this: anyone who’s played trading card games/collectible card games knows that they always have at least two main formats: a ”Standard” format that only allows cards from the most recent X sets, and an “eternal format“ where the cards that rotate out of Standard can still be used. Gen 8 marks competitive Pokemon’s first real Standard “rotation”, with many Pokémon, moves, and mechanics leaving regional formats, as they are no longer in the most recent game. NatDex provides the eternal format in which we can still use all of these removed elements, growing with each new generation and only having elements removed by bannings.

Defining NatDex is this way maintains the format as it is and gives it a way to define its identity in the future if Pokémon continues to leave past Pokémon, moves, mechanics, etc. out of future games. It also allows for an easy way to define released vs unreleased to resolve the Home TM/TR and starter HA debate: elements are added to NatDex once they become available in a game, and once added they stay. We continue to control moveset compatibility using the extended transfer mechanics as we have been. The format stays as it currently is, and has a clearly defined identity for the future.

tldr: Define NatDex by not removing things, starting from where we are now. It’s easy to understand and easy to extend to the future.
 
I support Galar Dex as main AG, Natdex was created only because of Dexit. Now that Dexit is no longer an issue, Galar dex AG should be the main format.

Also, Natdex as of now is basically a version of Hackmons. Dynamax is not supposed to co-exist with Z-moves/Mega evolution and Hidden power. Galar Dex will be true successor to Gen 7 AG without being a speculative hacked game.
 
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.
If they do not want to change then they should not. Should you play golf instead of Pokémon just because you not doing so is "just you being unable to change"? I think that changing should not be a goal for it's own sake. The goal should be fun, and if people have more fun by not changing then not changing is what what we should do.

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.
I never pledged loyalty to gen 8 so I cannot betray it either. I'm just playing Pokémon for fun. Did you pledge your loyalty to 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.
This argument would actually be against your point if it was valid. Natdex AG uses the mechanics of gen 8 + the mechanics of gen 7. Galar AG is the only one of the two ditching mechanics here. It's like NetDex AG is saying "I like all mechanics and I gratefully accept them" and Galar AG is saying "Hey I like some of the mechanics but the rest is shit so lets not use them".

However the argument really is not in favour of either side IMO because it's a faulty argument. We should keep what we generally enjoy and drop what generally hinders our enjoyment. If we like all mechanics then we should keep all mechanics, if we like some of them and dislike the others then we should keep that which we like and ditch that which we dislike.

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.
The only advantage that past players get is due to the skill that they gained from practicing and studying the metagame. That means that if they win due to that advanatge then they are winning due to smart skilled moves and teams. So what you are saying here seems to boil down to that people should win due to skill and thus we must prevent people from using skill to gain an advantage. That contradicts itself.


As for me, I'm still on the fence which one of the 2 I prefer. I like NatDex AG for alowing more but I like Galar AG for being true to cartridge. Having both ladders would be ideal for me but if one is to go then I'm not sure which one I will vote for. Maybe we should have them both for a while after the DLC drops so that people who are on the fence can make up their mind.
 
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There’s a comparison I’d use to demonstrate this: anyone who’s played trading card games/collectible card games knows that they always have at least two main formats: a ”Standard” format that only allows cards from the most recent X sets, and an “eternal format“ where the cards that rotate out of Standard can still be used. Gen 8 marks competitive Pokemon’s first real Standard “rotation”, with many Pokémon, moves, and mechanics leaving regional formats, as they are no longer in the most recent game. NatDex provides the eternal format in which we can still use all of these removed elements, growing with each new generation and only having elements removed by bannings.

Defining NatDex is this way maintains the format as it is and gives it a way to define its identity in the future if Pokémon continues to leave past Pokémon, moves, mechanics, etc. out of future games. It also allows for an easy way to define released vs unreleased to resolve the Home TM/TR and starter HA debate: elements are added to NatDex once they become available in a game, and once added they stay. We continue to control moveset compatibility using the extended transfer mechanics as we have been. The format stays as it currently is, and has a clearly defined identity for the future.

tldr: Define NatDex by not removing things, starting from where we are now. It’s easy to understand and easy to extend to the future.
But in Magic-the posterchild for TCGs-even older formats ARE affected by mechanic changes and errata. Cards like Hostage-Taker got mechanics changes that applied to all formats, various cards have their rules text clarified/the mechanics changed, and creatures have had their type retconned (dinosaurs being a recent and prominent example). These changes affected all formats, and even something as fundamental to Magic as the mulligan (how you draw your opening hand) has been changed drastically and recently despite the varying level of impact on Eternal formats.

I think that having NatDex try to keep everything without removing anything will likely not line-up with Gamefreak's vision. What if Gamefreak has it that by DLC 2 that Toxic's distribution is only supposed to be in that limited group and makes it so that transferred mons with the move that are incompatible have to unlearn it? And that trend continues in every future game? Etc. etc.
 
But in Magic-the posterchild for TCGs-even older formats ARE affected by mechanic changes and errata. Cards like Hostage-Taker got mechanics changes that applied to all formats, various cards have their rules text clarified/the mechanics changed, and creatures have had their type retconned (dinosaurs being a recent and prominent example). These changes affected all formats, and even something as fundamental to Magic as the mulligan (how you draw your opening hand) has been changed drastically and recently despite the varying level of impact on Eternal formats.

I think that having NatDex try to keep everything without removing anything will likely not line-up with Gamefreak's vision. What if Gamefreak has it that by DLC 2 that Toxic's distribution is only supposed to be in that limited group and makes it so that transferred mons with the move that are incompatible have to unlearn it? And that trend continues in every future game? Etc. etc.
I play Magic, and you’re clearly misinterpreting what I said to fit your own opinion. New errata is obviously applied. Tapu Koko’s terrain only boosts by 1.3 because terrain was nerfed, even though Tapu Koko isn’t in gen 8. Older formats keep all the old things that aren’t in the new format, while applying any changes the new format applies to the existing rules. There aren’t any cards with Storm in Standard, but they’re still usable in Modern. Mega Evolution isn’t in Galar, but it is still usable in NatDex. If you want a format that sticks exactly to “GameFreak’s vision” go play regional.
 
I massively agree with the decision to go to Galar Dex AG as the main focus, and I'm glad this is the route being taken. However, I personally think that National Dex AG should definitely remain the main focus at least until DLC Pack 2 has been released. National Dex AG itself has barely settled as a format, and to switch to Galar Dex now would be an enormous shakeup again, which would repeat with DLC pack 1 and 2, and so I oppose any further changes until post DLC 2 regardless of whether Ubers bans something (which is likely - talks of suspecting dynamax is already present). Too much enormous changes is bad - that'd be 4 total. I also think we should also have a ladder for National Dex AG even after DLC 2, as National Dex AG would be the only format Zs, Megas, Unecro etc and it is currently quite an active ladder (about 136k plays last month, to put that into perspective Gen 8 BH had 39k) - Zarel himself said he didn't see anything wrong in keeping both ladders based on their activity.

For the 2020 Tournament Circuit, I think we should keep a National Dex focus. After all, it doesn't really make sense to have nearly all of the qualifying points - the seasonals (except maybe fall), Ladder Tour etc all being National Dex, while only a subtour in Grand Prix will have the Galar AG format (which wouldn't be the same meta as such, as the Galar AG tour is in May - before either of the DLC). It'd probably also be pretty difficult to adjust to a meta which has only been out for 2 months for the circuit playoffs. If we had a ladder running alongside after DLC 2 as well, keeping the rest of the circuit as National Dex shouldn't be too bad as the meta would still be alive and would have interest in it.
 
I play Magic, and you’re clearly misinterpreting what I said to fit your own opinion. New errata is obviously applied. Tapu Koko’s terrain only boosts by 1.3 because terrain was nerfed, even though Tapu Koko isn’t in gen 8. Older formats keep all the old things that aren’t in the new format, while applying any changes the new format applies to the existing rules. There aren’t any cards with Storm in Standard, but they’re still usable in Modern. Mega Evolution isn’t in Galar, but it is still usable in NatDex. If you want a format that sticks exactly to “GameFreak’s vision” go play regional.
Actually you're right in that MTG was a bad example! But my concern is what if-or more likely, when-Gamefreak brings back returning mechanics like Megas, Z-moves, etc. in DLC 1/2 or even the next game (more likely the latter since the former would likely bring up a lot of confusing situations) along with the changes we see to movepools and certain moves, what if said changes still persist? Of course this doesn't necessarily apply to Nat Dex right now, but DLC are coming out soon and who knows.

We can argue over how Dynamax and Megas and Z-moves would all be implemented at the same time because frankly we don't know how and Gamefreak clearly avoided it for at least base S&S.

...hold up, I could be totally misremembering -can we currently use Hidden Power/Pursuit on mons in Nat Dex OU? In Teambuilder at least the options still exist.
 
Actually you're right in that MTG was a bad example! But my concern is what if-or more likely, when-Gamefreak brings back returning mechanics like Megas, Z-moves, etc. in DLC 1/2 or even the next game (more likely the latter since the former would likely bring up a lot of confusing situations) along with the changes we see to movepools and certain moves, what if said changes still persist? Of course this doesn't necessarily apply to Nat Dex right now, but DLC are coming out soon and who knows.

We can argue over how Dynamax and Megas and Z-moves would all be implemented at the same time because frankly we don't know how and Gamefreak clearly avoided it for at least base S&S.

...hold up, I could be totally misremembering -can we currently use Hidden Power/Pursuit on mons in Nat Dex OU? In Teambuilder at least the options still exist.
We can use the deleted moves in NatDex. Anything not in the newest game retains the form it was in in its most recent appearance (gen 7 in this case). If gen 9 brings back megas and change how they work, then we now use gen 9 megas. If they stay out again, we keep using gen 7.
 
What makes AG isn't individual Pokemon, it's the ability to do anything you can within the cartridge.
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.
So then we should use Galar AG instead of NatDex AG because adding more Pokémon does not matter and because Galar AG is now going to get good by adding more Pokémon.
 
With Ubers on the brink of banning (or limiting) Dynamax, Galar Dex AG may be the only home where Dynamaxing is fully legal. Any concerns about AG not having a place because nothing is banned from Ubers will be solved. There should have a format where you can freely use Dynamax in normal Galar Dex gameplay and Galar Dex Anything Goes would be that format.
 

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